I've decided to stink up the officeWell, not so much "decided to" as "found I have no choice but to." I've been here just over an hour. I've let rip at least 20 times, large and loud. I lack a sense of smell, but everyone else here has one. I pity them.
Actually no, I don't pity them. They'll find it just sort of builds over time, and may not even notice it until the end of the day. I pity the cleaning staff who get to come in at 6 tonight and walk right in to an office filled with DiMono ass-stench. I also pity the people who didn't come in to the office today, and on Monday will walk in to an office filled with three day old DiMono ass-stench.
I kind of pity the people above us, too, who will almost certainly notice the reak coming up through the floor but be powerless to stop it. If you hear news of the entire occupancy of a Toronto office building dropping dead of unknown causes, my hairy ass is the murderer.
My only regret is that I didn't have a massive bowl of chili for breakfast.
Back in Austin - part 3 of ?To recap: Drive to buffalo, very high bridges on Beaver Island, no malls, rude disembarker, crying baby, touch down in Austin
We pulled up to the gate some time around 10:30PM, and I needed to use the real bathroom in the airport. While I'm at the urinal, who should sidle up next to me than 6'6 fridge man, who then tells me "I like how they turned off the air on the plane for the last 20 minutes of the flight. They must have been trying to acclimate us." I finish my duty and the girlfriend and I go to get our rental car.
Avis was good to us last time, giving us a full-size Grand Marquis for the price of a Compact because everyone's been really gas conscious lately and is taking the smaller cars. We went back to them hoping the same trick would work, but unfortunately they still had some compact cars, what with it only being Thursday and most people arriving on Friday. We ended up in a Chevy Cobalt that was last driven by someone 4'3 and blind. My head was touching the roof of the car, and I almost castrated myself getting in to it. We made sure Avis knew about all the existing damage to the car (including a few windshield chips, yipes!) before we tok it off the lot, and we headed for the hotel.
We got to North Austin Plaza Hotel and Suites at around 11:20 and checked in. I won't say much about the hotel in these journals except that we will be recommending it to everyone we know who's travelling to Austin. It's located just south of 183 and 35, behind Bikinis Bar & Grill. The rooms are large, there's a nice pool and a fountain, and if you book your room direct with them it's only about $40/night. They also have a deal with the IHOP across 35 where if you buy a non-alcoholic drink you get 15% off your entree. We finally got to sleep a little after Midnight, and so ended Thursday.
Our plan for the weekend was simple: Friday was "browse stores and go to D&B, then hit a bar to meet friends" day, Saturday was the tailgate, and Sunday was "relax because everything's done and try to arrange dinner with Burnie & co" day. More to the point, our plan for every day was "sleep until you wake up on your own." We ended up leaving the hotel room at around 11, and immediately went to the wrong IHOP. It didn't matter though, because I ran the numbers in my head and figured out it wouldn't ever be worth it to add the drink for the discount, because the drink costs more than what you save. If you're getting the drink anyway, though, the discount is a nice bonus.
After breakfast I had some syrup on my hand, so I headed to the bathroom to wash it off. Imagine my surprise when the only part of the bathroom that's out of service is the sink. Figures. I talked to one of the employees, and they let me wash my hand in the meat-cleaning sink. I'd never seen a bucket of individually shrink-wrapped meat floating in water before, but now I have. One more thing to cross off my "things to do before I die" list.
We ended up going to Wal*Mart and Big Lots south of Austin on 35. I bought my Horns hat at Wal*Mart, and I found a nice suitcase in Big Lots for $20. I also found a really nice pair of shoes in Wal*Mart, but I was wearing sandals and wasn't about to try on a pair of shoes in the store barefoot, so I didn't get to try them on. My current shoes were falling apart and ruining my feet though, so new shoes is a good purchase for me.
After finishing at WM and BL we made for Dave & Buster's to spend 17,000 tickets on a card a friend had given us, and oh the stuff we found... more on that next time.
Damn my life is excitingI'm taking a break right now from cleaning my house. Yesterday I did the top, today I'm doing the bottom. While I'm at it I'm going to unload the bookcase next to my computer and fix the backing on it so it's not severely bowed out, and hopefully I'll be able to rearrange it such that I don't have books lying sideways on top of each other any more. ...I have too many books. The bottom shelf isn't even my books, they were left behind by the previous occupant of the house and I haven't bothered to go through them to see if I want to keep them.
Back to Austin - part 2 of ?Recap: Drive to Buffalo, search countless hours for a mall, find cool dollar store, get to Buffalo Airport, pass potentially anally intruding security guards without incident, get on plane.
The plane ride to Cincinnati was rather uneventful. Delta planes have leather seats, which is nice. I imagine riding in short shorts or topless would be painful though, and the latter probably frowned upon as well. We landed nicely and taxied to the runway, at which point, as everyone who has ever flown knows, the plane is meant to unload from front to back. This is because it makes sense for those at the front to get out of the way of those in back. No sooner does the plane stop moving than some overweight white woman runs up from the back of the plane to the front of the line.
Now, we weren't in any kind of rush to reach our connecting flight: we landed about an hour before it was scheduled to leave. But seeing someone so blatantly disregarding the rules of courtesy and conduct just gets to me. So I turned toward my girlfriend and said "You know, it's a shame we're not supposed to disembark front to back or something," being sure to be loud enough to be heard by the rude person. The rude person (who will henceforth cease to have a gender) turned down to me and said "I have another plane to catch." So I looked up at it and said "So do we," implying that if we're courteous enough not to rush off to make our second plane, maybe she should be too. Instead it says "but I think mine's soon."
Now, either it doesn't know when its next flight is leaving, and thus it's an idiot, or it made a schedule that was unkeepable, and thus it's an idiot, or it's just really inconsiderate and probably slightly less dumb than a retarded potato, and thus it's an idiot. I blinked twice at it pointedly, then looked down to face the seat in front of me. It said "I'm sorry for making you late for your flight," completely missing the point, and I continued looking forward. After all, the five seconds it had cost me made only slightly less of an impact than the 30, maybe even 40 seconds it had saved itself by being rude. When we got off the plane we saw it was headed for Detroit, and somehow weren't surprised.
With boarding to begin in about 40 minutes, we decided to explore the airport looking for some trinkets to purchase as souvenirs. The most interesting things we found were Maddox's book The Alphabet of Manliness in the Borders (C is for Chuck Norris... so's N... and S), and a small amount of OSU gear in one of the thrift shops. I briefly considered buying an OSU shirt to wear to Little Woodrow's on Friday and then tear off, but that would be a terrible waste of $20 in a place I was staying in for just over half an hour. In the end we didn't buy anything there, and instead boarded the very back of the plane to sit next to the toilet.
Now, sitting in front of the toilet isn't actually that inconvenient. You're very close, and the smell's mostly kept in place (not that it matters for me anyway since I have one of the worst senses of smell on the planet), and at least you're not behind the toilet... that would be a very uncomfortable place to sit considering there's just a bunch of wall there, and probably some fuel tanks or something. ...probably SNAKES ON A PLANE!!!
No, sitting in front of the toilet isn't that bad. Sitting three rows behind a woman with a baby who won't stop bitching about whatever it is babies bitch about , now that's annoying. How are you supposed to sleep when that's going on?
Shortly in to the flight, someone came back to use the bathroom. Then someone else, 6'5 and shaped roughly like a muscular refridgerator, came back to use it too, while the baby was complaining about Bush's immigration policy. He looked at the bathroom, and I looked at the seat with the baby, and then we looked at each other and I said "Don't you envy us?" thinking I was talking about being close to the bathroom, he said "at least you're close to it," and I let it drop.
As the person already in the bathroom stepped out of it and the two maneouvered around each other, the mother finally gave her kid a bottle filled with the hopes and dreams of several Mexican amputees. I turned to my girlfriend and said "Finally, now it'll be alright." She responded "until it shits its diaper and stinks up the place."
It ended up falling asleep, thus allowing us to fall asleep, and that's how we stayed until the plane touched down in Austin.
We interrupt the Austin story...so I can properly express my feelings toward Microsoft. Those of you who have become accustomed to me not using a lot of profanity in my journals and will be offended by seeing some will definitely want to skip this journal.
Several months ago my computer randomly decided to not recognize the Open button on my CD tray while Windows was booted, but allowed it just fine during start-up. It's a good thing I like Diablo 2.
About four weeks ago my computer started skipping and jumping while playing .WMV files in any media player. I have a lot of videos in this format, so this basically hamstrung me from watching things that need watching, like OOM episodes so I can write transcripts for them.
About three weeks ago my computer started randomly having memory errors, with messages presented to me that say something to the effect of "the command at 0xfuckyou failed to access memory at 0xfuckyoutoo. The memory could not be 'written' " This prevented about 3/4 of programs on my system from executing, including Task Manager, and about 3/4 of programs I could run or was already running couldn't do fuck all without crashing themselves or my computer. Additionally, I lost the ability to shut down my fucking computer without literally pulling the fucking plug.
Today I had to work from home, and I wasted a full hour rebooting my computer from crashes over the course of the day. As I was learning that my boss had somehow failed to forward me a critical document on a project that was already two weeks behind (two months of which came from the client not giving a shit whether their client (whom the site is for) lives or dies), which didn't help the situation any, I had my system crash after five minutes or so of up-time.
Fuck this shit.
I can't afford to waste time using an unstable operating system. I can't switch to Linux because I don't have a fresh computer to install it on, so my only option is to do a repair installation of XP and pray to god it doesn't fuck anything else up. So I insert my disk and reboot, and press R when prompted, and come to a command prompt instead of a Repair Installation option. What the fuck? Seems my copy of XP doesn't offer me a repair, it just assumes I'll know what to do at the command prompt to get it done. I try my other XP disc, and it's pure install/upgrade and isn't bootable. What else could I do? Upgrade Fucking Installation.
Guess what happened during the upgrade? The upgrade crashed. All these helpful text screens that are programmed to scroll by and tell you how sexy XP is once it's installed, and the installation fucking crashes. Something about not being able to find an entry point in MSDART.dll. I pressed OK about five hundred times trying to get it to advance, and nothing happened. I went in to my bedroom and kicked the shit out of my pillow and came back and pressed OK about three hundred more times, and nothing happened. I kept pressing the button in vain, and finally it went through and finished the installation.
After the install, Windows boots up. Guess what happened? Having "upgraded" from XP SP1 to XP SPfuckall, all kinds of shit is missing and it booted with all kinds of errors. Okay, I can live with that, I need to re-install the service pack. I'll just go to Windows Update and - watch it crash Internet Explorer. It's a fucking good thing I have the SP1 installation file backed up on my hard drive. As I type this it's running in the background, and in a few minutes I get to reboot my machine with my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
FUCK THIS SHIT!
If I wanted an operating system that needed re-installing I'd use a rotten potato for a hard drive. It would work fucking better than anything Microsoft has ever produced.
Edit: I have SP1 installed and am more calm, but I still can't get to Windows Update. Anyone have any advice that will work?
Back to Austin - part 1 of ?Well, as some of you may know, the girlfriend and I went down to Austin this weekend. We just got back to Toronto an hour ago as I start writing this, and among the things we saw on this trip were a 24 hour tailgate, the Horns losing to OSU (Ohio), the number 1 team in the countr, and a good choice by airport security... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Thursday morning we hopped in the car and started the long drive to breakfast. Then we topped up the gas tank and made for Buffalo. Shortly before reaching the border we pulled in at the Duty-Free shop to use our respective restrooms. Fun fact: "duty free" in French is "hors tax." How many people do you think come over from America and see that and are instantly confused? In the stalls there were signs taped to the wall that said "After using our restrooms, we encourage you to browse our shop. You may find something that peaks piques your interest" with piques scrawled in pen. We looked, and didn't find anything we wanted to buy, and left.
At the border we encountered the most deadpan, uninteresting customs agent that ever walked the Earth. She asked questions, I answered truthfully, got a peculiar (for her) look when I said we were meeting people from the internet, and passed through without incident. We ended up getting to Buffalo a full 4 hours before our plane was scheduled for take-off, so we decided to find a local mall.
Fifteen minutes later we were still looking for a mall. We found an uncountably high number of restaurants (cause of obesity, anyone?), but it seemed like Buffalo was totally bereft of a place to spend money on things that won't be brown the next time you see them. We finally stopped in at a gas station where I said to the clerk "We're looking for a mall." He asked "Which one?" I said "Any one." So he directed us to the local large mall, cleverly positioned next to the local small mall. We found some items in a dollar store there that we decided to come back for, and I had a pretty good burger and fries from Tom's Hot Dogs. Among the items we found at the dollar store were some DVDs for a dollar, including a Leslie Neilson movie called "Project Kill" and a 2-for-1 deal with an old John Wayne movie and a Walter Mathau movie I've never heard of and can't remember the titles of. Better to pick this stuff up on the way back, we figured.
Knowing that we're not allowed to bring anything more liquid than a brick on the plane with us, we stowed everything in our checked baggage except for sweaters and a couple books in my sports bag and the contents of her purse. After going through the security checkpoint and in the process of putting our shoes back on (who smuggles things in their shoes, honestly?), I noticed a pair of suspicious sunglasses had been left behind on a seat. Explosives are small, these sunglasses could be hazardous! I was sure airport security would commandeer them and blow them up in an air-tight chamber specially designed for demolishing suitcases, and pointed them out to whoever was listening. A few minutes later we hear on the loudspeaker: "Would the owner of a pair of sunglasses please come claim them?" Such a disappointment.
As our flight began boarding, we were told the FTA would be conducting random bag searches, and please have them open for convenience. I looked toward the terminal door and saw two men in white shirts pulling on blue surgical gloves up to their shoulders like they were planning to check cows for prostate cancer. They quietly hid at the bottom of the JetWay and didn't look in anything at all. They must have been hoping to bluff everyone in to submission. The plane took off and we were on our way! First stop: Cincinnati, Ohio.
Good things happen at onceThursday I leave for Austin again. In preparation, today I got a haircut after work. Then I went to the bank and got a bunch of Canadian and American money. I figured since I'm down there anyway and I've lost my copy of Anywhere But Home by Evanescence that I'd pop in to HMV and replace it. It only cost me $4.99 the first time around, so I was prepared to bite the bullet and pay it a second time. Unfortunately, HMV had other plans.
Who would have suspected they'd restored the price back to $30.99 while I wasn't looking? I wasn't about to pay 6x what I'd intended for something that was probably still kicking around somewhere but unfound, so I left HMV and went hunting to other stores looking for it. Sunrise was out of Evanescence entirely. Future Shop was out of Evanescence. Wal*Mart only had Fallen, which I wasn't looking for. It seems my only reasonable choice is to find the copy I already own.
I arrived home to find both my parents' cars in the driveway, which is good. The last place I remembered seeing the disc was as I put it in the CD player of my Mom's car, but when I searched it last time I didn't find it. I've actually searched both cars thoroughly at least three times. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, and having a CD up and vanish is certainly maddening.
I grabbed the keys to both their vehicles and started digging. I went in to my Dad's truck first. Searched the back and the bins he keeps tools in... nothing. Looked under the seats and in the pouches in the backs of them... nothing. Checked out the glove box and the console, and still nothing. The truck is clean.
In to the car I go. The trunk is so empty it could comfortably house three Mexicans for a year. I look in the pouches behind the driver and passenger seats, and my fingers fall upon a familiar object: it's a CD case! And it's wedged down there something fierce. I free it from its bondage, and I find ...some CD I've never seen before. Nobody in my family nor any of my friends own such a CD; it must have been left by the car's previous owner. I don't remember what the disc was, but it's my Mom's now... her car.
I open up the glove box, and just like last time it's not there. In to the console I go, and once again the only discs I find belong to my Mom. Dejected, I replace the CDs with a little more force than I should have, and thrust my hand against the sides of the console in the vain hope that I've missed something all these times. Then I feel something smooth against my fingers... I grasp the plastic and loosen it, and there in my hand is my long-lost Evanescence CD! It was exactly where I always thought it must be, it was just hiding.