Sunday, October 12, 2008

December 2007 Archive

December 30, 2007
Angel: Hope this helps
Our guitar matches the above, here's a long view.
The pic is high res, so give it a few minutes to download.
And in other news, we've been trying to return the Rock Band bass pedal that broke after 4 uses. They've sat on the god damn thing for 2 weeks, and it wasn't until Kev sent an email Friday night asking where the hell it was that the tracking number finally showed activity. We've been watching the tracking number they gave us since the day we ordered it, and it didn't even ship until 4:30am Saturday morning. Now we've received a message that we haven't returned our pedal yet (in the package provided with the new one), and they're going to charge us the $145 charge for not returning it. We'll definitely be disputing that charge if this isn't rectified.
UPS then did a Saturday delivery, which we weren't prepared for and were sleeping when they arrived; they apparently knocked on the door and then didn't leave a message that they'd even been here. We checked the tracking number again, and it said, "Will try to deliver again Monday." Great. I have 50 f-ing million things I need to do tomorrow, and now I have to keep my ear to the door for UPS. All day. Bullshit.
Rock Band may be fun as hell, but the equipment is shitty, shoddy, and could probably be made better by 4-year-old Chinese prostitutes.
Die in a fire, Harmonix and EA.

Posted by Karabou at 10:32 PM EST

December 28, 2007
I hate Discover.
I finally got my Discover card cancelled today. I transferred my balance from their shitty 18% interest rate over to a nice 7.9% one.

I used to have a 9.99% rate with Discover, and then, arbitrarily, they jacked it to 18%. I had no late payments. My credit score is over 750. And yet, I received a letter from them stating that "due to my credit rating" they were jacking my rate. At the time, I had a lot of credit card debt, but I had no late payments at all. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. And I was paying them off.

After paying down a huge chunk of it, I was able to get a great card through my credit union. And I cancelled that devil albatross Discover card.

And when I called to cancel it, not only did I have to fight the rep tooth and nail to GET it cancelled, he was pissed when I told him that I've asked twice in the past year to lower my rate and was refused, so I got a card through someone else that didn't suck ass. His response was, "Have a nice day." And he hung up on me. lol Discover has been the most nightmarish credit card company I have EVER dealt with. They refuse to lower your rate, even if you have no late payments and good credit rating.

Never, EVER, get a Discover card if you can help it.

Posted by Karabou at 11:10 AM EST

December 26, 2007
While on my Xmas break, I've gotten a ton done already. Friday, I finished my Xmas shopping and watched P.S. I Love You, which I adored. Saturday, I saw Sweeney Todd, which was excellent. Over the weekend, I accrued 27k honor from the AV bonus honor weekend and bought my Gladiator helm and chest piece. Monday, I did 4 loads of laundry, went to the grocery early in the AM to avoid the madness, did the dishes, taped off and painted the bathroom walls, and tried to just generally straighten.
Unfortunately, the paint I picked out somehow became this god awful pale pink. Holding the swatch up to it, it is NOT the color it's supposed to be. I picked out new paint today and re-painted the walls, AGAIN, with a pale yellowish beige, which will just have to do for a while because I'm not painting it again anytime soon.
We started the bathroom remodeling today, and our friend is laying the tile as I write this, and he'll be putting the toilet back in. Tomorrow, we put the new sink in, but until then, we live with using the kitchen sink for our toiletry needs. Good enough.
Kev caught a cold just in time for Xmas, so he was feeling sick at his parents' on Xmas eve, and he was too sick to go to my family's on Xmas day. He HAD to go to work today, even though he felt miserable, because his monkeys are on vacation this week, and his job HAS to be done.
I also took down all my Xmas decorations today. I want to try to get some of my new decor up over the next few days, and I need to get my hutch assembled and in place, so I can end my kitchen being in constant, total disarray. Busy busy busy.
Posted by Karabou at 8:43 PM EST Top

December 20, 2007
French & Saunders: Harry Potter Spoof
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Posted by Karabou at 11:16 PM EST Top

December 19, 2007
Christmas cards: A public service announcement
Be careful about sending anything in a Christmas card. I'm not posting some email forward; I'm talking from personal experience.
I've received two Christmas cards this year that were a cute style with layers to it. Evidently, someone in the post office believed there to be money or a gift certificate inside of them because both were sitting in my mailbox, obviously having been opened. Feeling them through the envelope, one would think there WAS something in it. Thankfully, there wasn't.

At work, we also went with a layered design, and I've had one returned that was TORN open. I mean, someone stuck their finger under the flap and opened the envelope. This was no accident.

So if you want to send someone a Christmas card with a present inside, spend a couple extra dollars and send it in a cardboard envelope. Otherwise, they're not gonna get it.

Posted by Karabou at 10:44 PM EST

December 18, 2007
I am Murloc.

Posted by Karabou at 11:23 PM EST

December 17, 2007
I both feel like I got a lot accomplished this weekend and like I got nothing accomplished this weekend.

I PVPd my ass off in WoW. They now offer Gladiator season 1 gear in the regular BGs, so I'm determined to gear my shaman up with it. One axe down, one to buy today, and then it's back to insane PVPing for the rest of my gear. I earned about 10k in honor, 22 eots tokens, and probably 10 AV tokens. In between my mad alliance killing, I put two coats of primer on the entire bathroom, including the ceiling, painted the ceiling, and did some laundry.

The kitchen cart is together (thanks to Kev Friday night), but I still have the hutch to assemble, shit tons of gifts to wrap, packages to deliver, a bathroom to semi-remodel, bathroom walls to paint, and tons of stuff to get put away in my new kitchen storage.


Posted by Karabou at 11:12 PM EST

December 16, 2007
Bob sends his thanks from Iraq
My wife is my wife so you'll understand that receiving care packages from her is a different sort of special but I have to say that yours was something else. There are many well-wishers but no one has even come close to a care package like that. Thanks Kara and curse you for making me miss you guys that much more!
I have an odd request. The dice you sent brought the dorks out of the woodwork and now I have 4-5 people (Including half the chaplains) who want to play dungeons and dragons. We have internet access but fairly strict filters (Alas your site as well).
I seem to remember Wizards of the Coast had the D&D rules as a starter kit on the website. Any chance you could send me the PDF by E-mail? I don't think anyone here is looking for depth, just a chance to rekindle a nerdy youth. If I had known this from the start I would have put them through their paces.
Thank you again for a very bright spot in a sometimes taxing deployment- Bob

Posted by Karabou at 1:47 PM EST

December 15, 2007
White Death
It's really coming down, and I'm thanking sweet baby Ganesha that I had enough sense to cram my car into the garage last night. I opened the shades this morning, so I could enjoy the full splendor of the snow falling. Kev has been gleefully strumming away to Rock Band for the last 30 minutes or so, and I was in the bathroom taping up all the woodwork to prepare for laying down the primer later. I hear him yelling, and apparently, a van did a donut right smack into the spot where my car is parked every day. He looked up, out the window, and thought a van was about to drive through the front of the house, but instead, it just spun away down the street.

Dear god.
Posted by Karabou at 12:10 PM EST

December 14, 2007
Digital processing reveals the final whisper in Lost in Translation

Posted by Karabou at 8:22 PM EST

December 11, 2007
When a party stops being a party
Kev's office party was last night.

They waited until 2pm the day of the party to inform employees through an email that the event was semi-formal. It was not listed on the invitation. So anyone who worked 2nd shift or took the day off had no idea it was semi formal. So mixed in with the business suits were people who were barely dressed business casual. That was some good planning.

Not only that, but at 8:30pm, they hadn't even really started the party games. This was a work night. People had small children at this thing, most of whom are usually in bed by 8 or 9pm.

One game involved everyone smashing in together around a little table trying to guess whose desk was whose from close-up pictures. Just about everyone was voicing their guesses as they filled out their form, but Kevin was singled out by the office secretary who had the mic for "cheating" because he was doing the same thing most other people were doing. She had announced we were being judged by tables, so we assumed it was a "table" effort.

I was beyond pissed. I wanted to put my shoe through that bitch's head. I decided I'd had enough, and we just got up and left, along with Tyler from Braniac's wife and kid.

I guess after that, the games got even worse, and anyone who tried to leave was guilt tripped over the microphone as they exited. Wow, that's some party.

My opinion is, if you're going to make people dress semi-formal, skip the dumbass party games. Party games are for informal gatherings. If you're going to force me into a cocktail dress, I'm not going to be happy if you make me pander to your lame-ass idea of holiday fun. Serve dinner, give everyone a gift, and let them go home and put their kids to bed.

Posted by Karabou at 11:28 PM EST

December 10, 2007
Friends don't give friends the gift of popcorn.

Instead, friends tell friends about awesome places like Steve & Barry's. I love it. Go there. Now. Everything is under $20. And it's not crap.

On another note, another magazine rep sent me a gift--a pachira tree. I have no idea how I'm going to keep it alive. I supposed I've kept my Charlie Brown Xmas tree and my peace lily alive for 2 years, so maybe this will survive, too.

Kev's office Xmas party is tonight. They just sent out a message to employees today that it's semi-formal. Wow, that's kind of down to the wire for that sort of requirement. I was planning to just go business casual, but now I have to re-think my my entire outfit and do something with my hair. /sigh I'll also have to wrangle Kev into suit & tie and then figure out what on earth I'm going to do. Now I need to straighten my hair. blah.

My only dilemma is shoes. /sigh

Posted by Karabou at 9:47 PM EST

December 9, 2007
Rock it with your cat out
Recent movies:
Becoming Jane
I'm not keen on biographical films that don't stay true to history. I don't feel that things need to be "buffed" to make it more interesting. It was meh. I'm not a fan of Anne Hathaway, either. At least she didn't play her usual bumbling retard role in this movie. I was beginning to think she was a one pratfall pony.

The Host
A Korean monster flick that had parts that totally rocked. The opening sequence was one of the best monster rampages I've ever seen. It's just a shame that it couldn't have taken up more of the movie. After that, it degenerates into baffling Asian culture weirdness, like most Asian movies do for Westerners. I'm positive there was some religious or cultural significance to a lot of the things that I was lost on, and I usually try to just fill in the blanks and enjoy what I get. I do better with Chinese films, as I know a lot about Chinese culture and religion.

Die Hard with a Vengeance
Okay, so there were some good action sequences; I'll admit it. But I dunno. As I get older, far-fetched stories of techno-ludicrosity just annoy me. I spent most of the movie shadowed by thoughts of "Christ, this is stupid." McLane seemed more tired and grouchy than badass, but he had a few good moments. I find I tend to enjoy the more personally physical action films, such as Bourne 1&2. I like to see people beat the shit out of each other and actually be able to tell what's going on, unlike Batman Returns, where all you see is CGI dirt and blurs because both guys are wearing black, it's dark, and there's wolves out.

We played Rock Band again all evening last night. God that is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun. I tried my hand at singing, which was akin to tuning a violin in a room full of screeching cats, but I did okay. Brian is the best at it by far, 100%-ing several of the songs we have to play over and over. I think it's going to be a Rock Band NY Eve.

Posted by Karabou at 8:35 PM EST

December 8, 2007
Rock Band of your soul
Rock Band is the greatest game ever made. End of story.

If you haven't played it, your life is not complete, and if you die before you do, your soul will haunt the earth for eternity.

Play it. Love it. Live it.

The Greatest Fake Bass Player EVAR

Posted by Karabou at 12:01 AM EST

December 7, 2007
Jedi Chocobo Tactics
Wednesday, through a haze of exhaustion, I watched Out of Africa for the first time. It was utterly amazing. I loved it. I already like Meryl Streep, but she was incredible in that movie. And Robert Redford…I don't think he's aged--he's just gotten craggier. He seems to play a lot of that character type.

If you like chick flicks in the least, totally check it out.

I also watched Super Skinny Me: The Race to Size Zero on BBC. Quite possibly the most disturbing documentary I've ever watched. Two female journalists, UK size 12, decide to try to get down to a UK size 0 over the course of six weeks.

They try various celebrity-touted diets, including Liz Hurley's Watercress Soup Diet, Beyonce's Master Cleanse Diet (which she famously used to lose 20 lbs in 14 days), the Lemonade Diet, the Raw Food Diet, the Protein Shake Diet, colonics, steam bath workouts, and then it degenerates.

They both workout like mad to keep their metabolisms from stopping. A personal trainer tells one of them that the super models he trains subsist one 1 diet Pepsi a day and a pack of cigarettes. The other journalist asks her trainer how close to zero body fat he can get her before she's in danger of dying.

That journalist begins to like being skinny a little too much and begins to use laxatives, becomes wildly obsessed with her progress, and ultimately spirals into bulimia. They pull the plug on her study, and she remarks to the camera, "I knew I shouldn't have told him about the laxatives. I could have made it," completely oblivious of what is actually happening to her.

The other journalist hates that her body has become a skeleton in clothing. But she makes it into a size 00 jean and looks like an Xray. Then she immediately shoves 2 giant pieces of cake into her mouth and moans in ecstasy.

I love life too much to deny myself an iced sugar cookie once in a while.

Posted by Karabou at 10:59 PM EST Top

December 7, 2007
Nippley man I met, he ate my motor boat.
I feel worse today than I did yesterday, but that's probably because I came into work today, and I'm struggling through it. First thing I had to do was print 450 page of crap that required me to frequently get up and babysit the printer. I almost passed out at one point and just sat with my head under my desk like I was looking for something for about 5 minutes.
I'm pissed because our Lady's Holiday Luncheon was today, and I was too sick to go. If I'm not taking delicious, expensive food for free, I'm sick. But out of pity, my boss offered to take me out next week for a nice lunch to make up for it. And I'm annoyed I couldn't enjoy the cake in the breakroom that everyone was freaking out over because the thought of it nauseated me, AND I missed Hump Day Breakfast yesterday. !!!! And they just sent out another announcement for cake! WTF!
I'm so tired that standing for any length of time makes me want to puke. I tried to get some salt for the sidewalk at Walmart, and they were out. How does a place like Walmart not stock enough salt? Now I have to go out and find some after work and then drive home in shitty traffic. I'm thoroughly unimpressed with Kettering's snow removal. I want a snow blower. Heh
And I'm distressed because our sidewalk is the only one on our street that isn't cleared. I know in Fairborn, you had 24 hours to get it done, or the city could fine you. I can't find anything like that in Kettering 's bylaws, but I'm sure if the neighbors complain, something will be done about it. And if someone slips on it, I think they can sue us. So despite feeling worse than yesterday, I now have to FIND salt and then go put tons of it down outside and pray we don't get the snow and ice predicted for tonight.
And after today, I'm anxious to get the bathroom done, so we can finish clearing out all the other temporarily stored crap in the garage. I want to park in the carport and not have to worry about 4 inches of snow all over my car anymore. Ice back there will be a bitch though, as there's a steep slant in the pavement down to the carport. I'm amazed Kevin hasn't brained himself yet.
On the upside, I got a $70 Tiffany's crystal bowl as a gift from one of my magazine reps. They sent it to my boss, even though they only deal with me, and she knows I go through hell with these people at last once a month about their inability to keep anything straight. So she gave it to me. It's a cute little candy dish, and it did make me feel less crappy.
Okay, enough whining. Back to pretending to work.
And just for your enjoyment:
A Crazy Indian Video
A Crazy Indian Video2
Posted by Karabou at 10:15 PM EST

December 6, 2007
Obama and the Giant Peach
The e-mail — one of several hoaxes that have been circulating since the Illinois senator announced his candidacy — claims that Obama is a Muslim whose campaign is part of a plot to destroy the United States. Obama is not, and never has been, a Muslim.I swear to you, if you sent an email to 100 total strangers that said "African Americans have blood made of peanut gravy," at least 50 of them would believe you. Because, you know, if it's an email FW:, it HAS to be true.

Posted by Karabou at 12:02 AM EST

December 5, 2007
Sickpocalypse 07
So I just survived what was seriously the worst stomach flu I've ever had. Early Monday morning, I had weird stomach cramps, but that's nothing out of the ordinary from time to time. By 8:30am, I had the worst diarrhea of my entire life. You know that scene in Van Wilder where the jerk gets slipped Colon Blow and ends up power-shitting in a trash can? Yeah, I was that guy, but worse.

I kept thinking I wasn't sick. I had no fever. I had no nausea. I didn't feel "sick." Around 11am I started shivering, I was so cold. 11:30 I decide to go home from work. I just couldn't get warm but still no fever. ??? The assplosion stopped around 3pm, and then the 102 degree fever kicked in. Around 7pm I start barfing my guts out. Mind you, I still had no nausea. It was more of a mechanical thing of my body ringing my brain's doorbell and saying, "Um, yeah, you need a toilet. Now."

I was so tired I couldn't even watch TV. I went to bed with absolutely nothing left in my body. Around 5am, I woke up starving. I finally decided to try a fruit smoothie and made some feeble attempt at it. I got down 4 sips and gagged, ate a 1/2 a Jello cup, and promptly tried to barf again. I managed to keep it down by assuming some weird position on the bathroom floor that consisted of kneeling and putting my face against the tile. I dunno how or why, but it worked. After about 20 minutes of that, I crawled on my hands and knees back to bed and literally collapsed face-down on top of my covers and immediately fell asleep.

Yesterday, I crawled out of bed around noon, still starving. But the kicker was, my body wasn't having any of this "eating" thing. I made some chicken and rice, got 4 sips of broth down and was just done. DONE, I say. I ate another half a Jello cup and passed out on the couch for several hours. I made another attempt at eating around 6pm, got 4 spoons of chicken noodle down and was again over it. Going to the bathroom was a chore. I crawled on my hands and knees from the couch to the bathroom, laying down on the floor halfway to my destination.

I tried to watch some TV, but I seriously didn't have the energy. I would force my eyes open for a few seconds to see what atrocity HGTV was throwing at me, and I almost threw up when I saw a lime-green kitchen wall. No more TV after that. I degenerated into utter misery by the time Kev came home. I couldn't even hold my head up to watch the Simpsons and went to bed around 7:30pm.

And through it all was this terrible lower back pain. I felt like someone had a hold of my kidneys and trying to yank them out of me. Last night, it moved from my lower back into my head, neck, and shoulders. I woke up at 2am and wanted a cereal bar RIGHT NOW. Good sign. So I went and got one and laid on my bed in the dark, eating it like some sad, nocturnal squirrel.

I'm in dire need of a shower, but I at least feel human again. The part I hate most about being sick is that it somehow warps time itself, making you feel like you are NEVER going to feel better again. I'm still really tired and weak, but at least I feel like I can eat today. Blah.

Posted by Karabou at 9:32 AM EST

December 3, 2007
Derek Smart's Wheelchair Fiesta
Friday, we watched the 2nd season of BBC's IT Crowd. I'm hoping their talks for a 3rd season don't fall through. BBC shows are often short-lived.

Saturday, we watched King of Kong, which just further proved my theory that cheaters always win, and that competitions are rarely honest. The world is full of weasels. It was a fantastic documentary. If you ever loved classic video games, check it out.

Then we watched Wake Up Ron Burgundy, a re-cut of Anchorman that used deleted scenes and other footage from the cutting room floor. It's a completely different plot and just as amusing.

Yesterday, I got sucked into Confetti, a Brit movie about 3 couples competing to win a house from a wedding magazine by putting on the most original wedding. Seeing as Britain only has like 8 actors, they were all in it.

I also restarted my WoW account Friday night to get in touch with a few people in the guild. It was nice talking to them over the weekend. There are so many changes to the game since I last played about 4 months ago that it's like a whole new (improved) game. I was having a blast in AV, though my Enh Sham is kind of mediocre, and my lock is only 63, so she can't actually HIT anything in the sea of 70s, though she can rack up the kills with her AOE and random dotting. When I get closer to 70, I'll start doing AV defense with her. She can single-handedly hold onto the AV base with AE fear. I won't deny locks are over-powered, but god they're fun.

Pandaman put it best, "Deathcoil should also take gold from the opposing player to pay for the numerous concubines we have to keep in our giant floating citadels powered by the tears of bitter players."

Honor seems much easier to get. I got about 8k in maybe 5 hours over 2 days. Previously, that'd take me at least a week. I'm trying not to go crazy with it. I still have things to do around the house. But man, nothing is more satisfying than ganking someone 7 levels higher.
Did I mention that Confetti was chock full of frontal male nudity? I love the British.

Posted by Karabou at 9:26 PM EST