A Christian Establishment, No More

October 13, 2006 at 10:47 PM | KSU, Nerd | 1 Comment

Almost 2 years ago, I wrote about Google Maps showing K-State as Manhattan Christian College. I just checked again and it appears that they’ve since fixed the problem. When did this happen? Who knows. I guess Google Maps was still beta back then, so they probably figured that they could just throw any labels they pleased on their maps without taking responsibility or facing any kind of repercussions. And they were right.

I’m glad that I saved an image of it, because otherwise nobody would have believed me.

Old News?

August 6, 2006 at 10:11 PM | Art, Music, Nerd, Nostalgia, TV | No Comments

Sam & Max, 3DSam & Max, your favorite canine detective and rabbity-thing are back!! Telltale Games will be releasing an episodic video game series of the duo in the fall. This is all very exciting news since LucasArts disappointingly cancelled their Sam & Max: Freelance Police video game a few years back. And it looked so cool, too. And it was going to be in the same vein as such classic adventure games like the Monkey Island series or the genius Grim Fandango.

Sam & Max, if you are not aware, is one of my favorite comic entities that even enjoyed a brief run as a cartoon on Fox many years ago. The art is amazing and the humor is borderline inappropriate, just like I like it. You should pick up some of their comics if you get a chance.

Anyways, the site is chalk full of stuff related to the game, including a trailer, a semi-interactive webcomic, t-shirts, wallpapers… all kinds of fun Sam & Max type stuff.

Smashing PumpkinsIn other news, I just read today that The Smashing Pumpkins are back in the studio, getting ready to drop a new album. I’m not sure how I missed this, because I read that this was announced around the time of Billy’s TheFutureEmbrace release a while back. At the moment, only Billy and Jimmy are back on board with the reunion, so I’m not sure how I feel about it, because James Iha had a lot to do with the sound that I liked about the Pumpkins. Will it be the same without him? Or D’Arcy? I know a lot of people have the opinion that Smashing Pumpkins started going downhill after Mellon Collie and that Mellon Collie was their greatest work of all time, but I actually like the stuff post-Mellon Collie more than the earlier stuff. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the early stuff, either, there were some hot tracks back then, but Adore? My god, that album was brilliant. And so very underrated. I would play it sometimes and people are like “whoooa what is this!? This is fuckin’ awesome, how come I haven’t heard of this?” It’s like the album wasn’t given enough airplay to make it well known, I guess. To me, it’s kind of like The Smashing Pumpkins’ equivalent of Weezer’s Pinkerton–one of their best (if not the best) albums, yet somehow obscure to the mainstream.

Anyways, Adore was all electronic and wild with the absence of Jimmy Chamberlin, but then when Jimmy came back for Machina, that album was just as brilliant, if not more so. No, I think the Pumpkins were onto something. But then they broke up and for a while there was Zwan, some kind of a bizarro-Smashing Pumpkins lineup that sounded alright, but not as good as the real deal. I’ve also grazed through TheFutureEmbrace too, and I like it… it’s kind of Adore-esque, but again… missing something. And I’m glad that Billy realizes that too.

Abusing Amazon Images

July 22, 2006 at 9:15 PM | Music, Nerd | No Comments

This is a good one. I’ve messed around with Amazon’s image URLs before to do some pretty tricky things before, but not quite like this guy: http://www.aaugh.com/imageabuse.html. I actually came across this when I was looking for an image of the cover of Rachael Yamagata’s EP and found that the image on Amazon had this extra white border around the image. Simple URL manipulation took care of that one pretty easily, but still, it’s interesting to see all of the things that one can do with Amazon images.

Moved In

May 11, 2006 at 2:03 AM | Nerd, Site/Personal | No Comments

So I’m moved in to the house, for the most part. I still have a lot of unpacking, organizing, rearranging to do, but it’s almost all here. On the downside, however, my computer is pretty much dead. It boots up mistaking my CPU for one that is a full gigahertz slower than it really is and then proceeds to overheat in about 15 minutes. That’s probably why you may not have seen me online much.

Update on the Keyboard Situation

April 4, 2006 at 12:42 AM | Nerd, Site/Personal | 2 Comments

What I’ve discovered is that I can deal with these issues with my keyboard, for the most part. Over the weekend, I’ve practically trained myself to always hit the Backspace key an even number of times (first time mutes the sound, second time unmutes, etc., etc.). Or I’ll switch to using the Delete key exclusively. What else? I’m also using my mouse to do all the operations that I used to do with the CTRL key. The most annoying one, however, is the blasted calculators popping up whenever I hit the U key. That’s the one that’ll drive me to actually do something about my busted keyboard, because there’s nothing that I can do about it really…

Update: I have just discovered that the “J” key decreases the master volume. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if I happened to know what key increases the volume, but no such luck thusfar. Fun stuff.

So… My Keyboard is Fucked

April 1, 2006 at 9:28 PM | Nerd, Site/Personal | No Comments

This isn’t the first time I wrote this post. I actually lost it when I was almost done with it and totally just closed the browser before I had saved.

I had to type this up on the laptop because my keyboard on my computer just started messing up all of a sudden. The U key opens up a calculator. The backspace key or the CTRL key mutes the sound. The mute button does a backspace and mutes the sound. The 6 key works every third hit or so. The Enter key sometimes types a “6″. I seriously thought it was a virus when this started happening the other night and I hadn’t discovered that it was actually my own keystrokes causing all this to happen. But, I plugged Sam’s keyboard in this morning and it was all good and the on-screen keyboard was fine too. It has to be the keyboard right? Anyways, everything’s just so fucked up that in the fury of typing up this post the first time, all these calculators were popping up, the music was cutting in and out like crazy that I almost killed myself. Do you know how many U’s are in a post like this? A whole lot. And when I started alt+F4′ing to close all these calculators, I accidentally closed the browser. The shit was so infuriating because it was like I couldn’t even tell anybody about it. But now I have, so take that, devil keyboard.

Turkish Delight

January 1, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Food, Movies, Nerd, Nostalgia | 1 Comment

Edmund and The White WitchEver since I read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe back in grade school, I have wondered what this “Turkish Delight” that I read about was. I didn’t know what it was exactly, but I know I wanted some really bad. Not enough to actually go out and find some, but enough to have it grow into a quiet obsession in the back of my mind over the years.

If it was enough to make Edmund crawl back to The White Witch to betray his brother and sisters, I was convinced that this stuff had to be the tops. And what a wonderful name, even… Turkish Delight. Mmmmmmmmm. So wonderful in fact, that there were times when I doubted that it was even a real food product.

And then I saw it. Turkish Delight in the movie. I knew it was coming, too. I watched the lines unfold one by one, just waiting…

“What would you like best to eat?” asked The White Witch.

Turkish Delight,” I breathed.

“Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” echoed Edmund on the screen.

Oh my godddd… he said Turkish Delight…

And then she made it appear. And for the first time, I saw what this Turkish Delight looked like. It looked an awful lot like daifuku, or other similar mochi-based products, lightly dusted in powdered sugar. It really wasn’t what I had imagined at all. But that was the trouble… I didn’t know what I had imagined it to be, just something sweet and wonderful, yet never taking any one particular form.

A few weeks later I consulted the internet for information on Turkish Delight, photographs of Turkish Delight, Turkish Delight recipes, places to purchase Turkish Delight, stories about Turkish Delight, and whatever else I could find out about it. That is when I came across this article entitled The Lion, the Witch, and the Really Foul Candy which details the author’s utter disappointment with Turkish Delight and another entitled Why You Won’t Like Turkish Delight As Much As Edmund Did saying that–well, I think the title speaks for itself. Amusing and informative as both of these articles were, it kind of sucks to think that Turkish Delight could not be the awesome treat that I had once imagined, loved by all. But I suppose I can’t just turn away from Turkish Delight until I actually try it for myself.

Maybe if I were to ever find myself in a similar situation, you know, where a White Witch asks me what I would like best to eat, I’d play it safe and say “A bowl of pho dac biet, please, your Majesty.” And I’d coming crawling back for more, too. And you’d better believe that I’d betray your ass if you got in my way.

The Cashew/Legume Debate

December 28, 2005 at 8:38 PM | Food, Nerd, Random | 1 Comment

Mr. Peanut, Times Square (Roving Rube)Somehow, my cousins and I found ourselves in a heated debate about the classification of the cashew over Christmas break. They were all saying that it was a nut, but I was like “nah, I think it’s a legume.” I’m not sure how I came up with this bold statement, but I think I’d heard something along those lines before from somebody. I don’t really even know what a legume is. Or what makes a nut a nut.

I figure, just because Planter’s sells cashews and they often come mixed with other nuts… does that necessarily mean that the cashew itself is a nut too? I mean, things don’t always fall under the category that you would expect. Like tomatoes… they say it’s a fruit, even though it’s always showing up with other real vegetables. You know, that sort of thing.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), we didn’t have access to the internet, so this debate went on for a little while, with no real concrete arguments brought up for either side. The internet is wonderful for answering these sorts of questions… a vast world of knowledege available at your disposal so you don’t need to be or know the foremost expert in botany or culinary terminology in order to settle life-altering episodes such as the “is the cashew a nut or a legume” debate. I guess people used to go consult the local library for these sorts of things, but who’s got time for that anymore?

And so I looked it up when I got back. It turns out, yes, the cashew is a nut… But wait! The peanut is the one that is actually a legume!! That’s got to count for something!

Black Thursday

November 25, 2005 at 5:42 AM | Nerd, Site/Personal, Wichita | 1 Comment

So… Black Friday started a little earlier this year.

I was over at Martin’s house for dinner and afterwards, we were looking over the ads in preparation for Black Friday, the craziest shopping day of the year. I’m not sure how the tradition began, but I guess the day after Thanksgiving, a lot of stores decided to simultaneously have ridiculous sales on items of a grotesquely limited quantity. If you want to be successful in acquring some of these items, you need to:

  • Have a game plan (figure out what you want and hopefully coordinate your efforts with others)
  • Pick a store (you usually only have time to hit up one store, so you must choose the store with the most desirable goods)
  • Get there hours and hours before they open and camp outside in the blisteringly cold darkness of night

I’ve done the whole Black Friday thing for the past couple of years now and each year, I find myself doing it in Wichita since I usually come home for Thanksgiving. I usually hit up Best Buy because they usually have some pretty good deals on computer peripherals, accessories, etc. One thing that I’ve noticed is that people are getting there earlier and earlier… and they show up a lot better prepared. I mean, it used to just be a bunch of fools standing around in the cold for about 3 hours. Now they’re coming with their furniture, music players, portable gaming systems, and thermoses.

But anyways, I was looking over CompUSA’s ad and noticed that it said that they were opening at 11:59PM. I leaned over and I was like “oh my godddd… they’re opening at noon–what are they thinking??” But I really hadn’t processed the information that I had seen on the ad. In reality, they were opening at midnight Thursday. This had never been done before. They were technically opening up shop for Black Friday on Thursday. Nobody ever does that. The notion of things happening on Thursday didn’t even cross my mind. Everybody always opens up around 7AM on Friday. I know that they purposely put down 11:59PM because sometimes times involving 12AM/PM can be a little tricky. And yet… I still messed it up. As soon as I realized what was going on, I checked the time: 8:45PM. I was like “If you want to hit up CompUSA, we needs to leave like righ now.” And so we drove out to CompUSA, fully expecting a small crowd waiting.

Instead, there were only like 6 or 7 guys standing around so I guess we were going to be pretty much at the front of the line if one were to form. Some of them were seated at a table (which I assume that one of them brought), setting up a game of Risk: Star Wars – Clone Wars edition to pass the time. And there was this really fat dude there that was wearing shorts. And also, another fat dude, of no apparent relation to the first fat dude, wearing shorts. What is up with fat people and wearing shorts in the cold weather? I’ve seen this before on numerous occasions and I just can’t seem to figure it out. I refuse to believe that their particular physiology provides them with enough body heat in the lower body to warrant the wearing of shorts when its 25°F out. I was out there with my winter coat, scarf, and stocking cap… freezing my ass off and I see these guys standing around having a grand ol’ time in their shorts. I dunno, I guess I’ll never truly understand.

Anyways, just seeing this little group of people made me feel like I was as big a nerd as the rest of them for being out there. And I don’t know, I probably am, I won’t deny it. But I mean, come on… the Risk game was a little much. I’m not dogging on the game or anything. I like Star Wars as much as the next guy and I’m sure that it is probably a very entertaining game.

And then something happened that I have never seen happen in the entire history of my participation in the Black Friday tradition… they let a group of us wait inside the first set of doors. It was actually quite warm in there and I had to return my winter gear back out to the car. Not only were we near the front, we were going to be waiting indoors. Utter blasphemy! But you can bet that you didn’t see me complaining about it…

Eventually, the whole place started to fill up and people that got there later were back to the classic waiting outside. I couldn’t see how many people were out there, but word had it that it was not a small number. Time passes excruciatingly slow when you are waiting for something. This was most certainly the case here, when you pretty check the time on your phone every 10-15 minutes, disappointed that not more time had passed. And being on your feet for so long is no easy task either. With every passing moment, people moved in closer, inching their way towards the door, even though nobody was going anywhere.

Until finally… it was go time.

The floodgates burst open with a roar of people pushing and shoving their way into the store and towards the goods that had taunted us for the past three long hours. Martin and I had devised a plan: I would go for the items in the front island, grab a cart and meet up with him after he had gone to pick up other items in a different part of the store. As soon as they let us loose, I knew that the job would not be as easy as planned. People are fucking craaazy when it comes to this sort of thing. People were all pushing and scurrying around, grabbing shit off of the shelves, all yelling n shit. I was pushed around back to the rear of the island where I was able to grapple a set of stuff for the both of us. I dropped the stuff into the cart and began inching my way towards the designated meeting area, all the while paranoid that someone would just come by and snatch the goods from the cart in the chaos. Luckily, no such thing happened and I saw Martin in the distance, successful in his part of the mission. By the time we were checking out at the registers, people that were waiting in line were still coming in. I guess there must’ve been a shitload of people in line outside.

We got up on out of there feeling pretty good and it was only like 12:15. This was by far the easiest, fastest, smoothest Black Friday operation ever. We were out of there in a hurry and we each got what we came for. All in all, I would say that it was a raging success.

This year, Best Buy decided to also change up their opening time. They were going to open at 5AM. Now, usually 3 hours before opening is plenty of time to get a decent spot in line. So I was thinking that we would just roll by there, check out the line, and if it wasn’t too out of control, hit up the nearby IHOP for a bit. However, by 12:30, the line coming from the entrance of Best Buy already stretched back out to the Burlington Coat Factory. People were all lined up in their blankets and lawn chairs… it was like four and a half hours til go time and the line was already out of control. I was like “my god… I can’t compete with these people–they’re craaazy.” We decided to give up on that venture… there really weren’t that many deals going on, we’d been spoiled with the waiting indoors bit, and mostly, we’d already done a fair amount of waiting. Shit just wasn’t worth it. We hit up IHOP and called it a night.

Cold / Harry Potter Marathon / Back to the Philippines

November 17, 2005 at 2:02 AM | Food, Good Times, Movies, Nerd, Site/Personal | 2 Comments

First of all, I would like to comment on the fact that it snowed for the first time on Tuesday. The weatherman said that it would snow and there were many naysayers but I was like “nah, it’s gonna snow.” And it did. We were in a meeting and somebody pointed out that it was snowing, and snowing hard. It wasn’t cold or plentiful enough to stick so nothing really happened. But that’s not to say that it hasn’t been cold recently, because it has been damn cold as of late. I be waking up, freezing n shit. We turned the heater on the other day. I certainly don’t want to be responsible for pipes that be bursting n shit. I’m not even sure what’s up with the weather this year… I think it should have snowed already a couple weeks, maybe months, back. Global warming? Global cooling? El niño? I dunno… I don’t keep up with these sorts of details.

In preparation for the new Harry Potter movie coming out this Friday, me and some people are going to have a Harry Potter marathon tomorrow. It should be every bit as exciting as it sounds. And that’s very exciting.

So today, after work, I stopped by Blockbuster to pick up some Harry Potter DVDs. They only had the first two, but it’s cool… It is my opinion that the first two Harry Potter movies are better than the third one, and plus I’ve got the third one as a rip somewhere.

In the same strip mall as this Blockbuster that I went to was this place called Filippina Café (or something to that effect). I was like “oh shit!” when I saw it because I miss that Filipino food so very badly. Some of that afritada… some of that adobo… all that good shit. I ran up in there even though they didn’t look like they were open. There were some people moving some things around and this lady told me that they weren’t open yet. It turns out that they were opening up shop tomorrow. They let me take a look at their menu and it was all there… all of the familiar menu items that I remember seeing from the Philippines… all except for the mango shake. A couple weeks back, Ryan had called me up and was telling me about this Filipino eating establishment that he had run across in Wichita, and they didn’t have the mango shake either. It leads me to believe that the mango shake was probably more of a “I’m actually in the Philippines and I am on the beach” type drink. Since neither of us are in that particular situation at the moment, I suppose a mango shake might be a little too much to ask for. Besides, they’d probably have to resort to mangos from Mexico and that really doesn’t cut it. I’m definitely going to have to check this place out though, probably this weekend. Or maybe tomorrow for lunch and skip out on pho.

Next to the restuarant was this little shop called Manila Grocery. I went in there to check it out and sure enough, they sold a number of food products from the Philippines, as well as various typical Asian grocery store foods. They had Jufran brand products! They even had some of that crazy banana-based ketchup that I tried in the Philippines. The whole trek about this strip mall brought me back and now I’ve got a reason to wake up in the morning. Almost made me forget about the cold, cold weather.

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