Tuesday, July 30, 2002

The Power of + and @

So I'm in a chatroom on a private IRC server the other night, and no one's talking, yet the room is filled with people's nicknames. About 1/3 of them had "@" in front of them (ops), and another third had "+" in front of them. I forget the proper term for the "+" sign, but I've taken it to mean something like "regular with priveledges" or someone just shy of an op.

At any rate, I decide to /ping the entire channel to see if anyone's actually alive, or at least under a three minute ping (which would explain why no one's talking: lag). Two people immediately piped up and in a few words told me things like "don't ping me, fucker" and "you should know better than to ping me, fucker."

I've never understood this about IRC. What's the big deal when you get pinged? Oh dear lord! My computer has just received an infinitessimally small packed asking it to respond with another infinitessimally small packet asking it how long it takes to talk between the two! Violator! Blasphemer! Philistine! You Bastard!!

And then I don't understand the attitude of "you should know better than to talk, fucker" that I got after I laughed at their /ping comments. Indeed, I should have known better than to have tried to swing by to tell them what a cool website they had, let alone talked. The nerve. The audacity. How dare I?

I swear to god, should my life ever become so pathetic that my head inflates to the size of a hot air balloon over the fact that I have a "+" in front of my nick in an inconsequential chat room, I'm going to do the world an enormous favor and kill myself.

Saturday, July 27, 2002


I've put up the old front page to the main site since I've been exceptionally lazy about going in and fixing the broken pages I put up in the first place. For those of you who haven't been there/didnt' know it existed, please take a swing by, won't you? I saw a ton of websites this week that all blew away my lame-o first try at frames, so I think I'm going to take my time on this and really try and put forth a solid effort before I post the face-lift for the site.

My sister Jamie stayed over last night, and we've got more family to visit today, so there's not a whole lot of blogging to be done lately. To make up for it, I give you the funniest things I saw/read all week:

True Porn Clerk Stories. "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" Well, not quite, but Ali is certainly a more likeable person than Dante ever was. And they're real.

Behind the Typeface: Cooper Black You've already seen this one if you read Little. Yellow. Different. Broadband only, as the movie takes forever to load.

Krazy Korean Yahoo Pop Up Ads I don't know what to say about this one other than "just keep clicking the reload button" after the page has finished loading and you're done laughing your ass off. The floating ads are on a rotation cycle, so there's a few of them to look/laugh at. My personal favorite: "The guy in the BMW."

You Pray With That Mouth? Indeed, I even kiss my Mother with that mouth. I'm so going to hell.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Excuses, Excuses

Well, the main site's not fixed yet, and it's going to stay that way at least another day or two. I was going to try and fix it tonight, but another game of WWIIOnline got in the way. My friend tempted me with tales of air superiority, and he was right. I shot down a Hurricane in a Stuka. This is no easy feat (you're basically attempting to kill a very maneuverable fighter with a sluggish but slightly maneuverable light bomber), and it's only the 5th or 6th time I've been able to do it.

For those of you who may have tried to look at the comic book pages on the gallery page, my apologies. The stupid lousy html is case-sensitive, so if you're really dying to look at them, try clicking on the pages, and then when you get the 404 error, just change the .jpg to .JPG in the Address window.

I promise, when I finally get off my lazy ass, the site will have a whole new fresh look. With Frames. Frames may be old hat what with the new Cascading Style Sheet, but I'm a big fan of Frames from way back. I've never been able to do them successfully, and I think I'm getting the hang of it.

In the meantime, I've got more family in town this week. My Mom and my little sister Jamie are here, so I've got more entertaining (which means less Blogging) to do.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Ugh. Me Break Things.

Due to my laziness and general lack of wanting to bother to install Photoshop on my gaming PC, I managed to royally eff up my website by trying to do all of the title graphics using Flash Text.

Big Honking Mistake.

So, the main site is going to be broken until at least Monday night when I can install Photoshop, and generate some regular old plain .gif tags for you to lay your eyes on and click at to your heart's content. Not really a content update, sadly. Just a redesign. Oh, but if you can manage your way to the gallery page, I threw up five of my old comic book try-out pages based on an old Marv Wolfman Punisher four page story that my old professor Mark Nelson originally pencilled.

At least I got the comments thing right.

This is a Test of the Emergency Blogging System

For the next sixty seconds, you will hear a sound indicating that a comments section has been added to this Blog. This is only a test.


Comments by Enetation

Friday, July 19, 2002

The Good, The Bad, and The Uncomely

Had a big scare yesterday. There was the "we're going to get laid off" vibe happening bad throughout the Team Redcard cave here at work around 2:30 pm, and then there was an announcement that there was going to be a team meeting to go over what was decided in the executive review two days previously set for 3pm. I started feeling just a bit queasy. I've been in the unemployment line more times than I'd care to count, and I was hoping to work here for...oh...say, the rest of my life.

The meeting was both good and bad. Bad in that Redcard 2 is now cancelled. Good in that we're being rolled into the Ballers team. (Read: Me = still gainfully employed). Bad in that a lot of the guys (including me) are unhappy about it. Everyone has their own reasons. Mine is due to me losing my title of Lead Animator on a project. Ballers already has a Lead Animator, and I'm not about to fight him for it. It's his game, and he earned it. Christ, the guy taught me everything I know about using the animation pipeline here at work. I'm not being demoted; I'm not losing any salary. I'm just losing the title and responsibility, and really, that was a big reason for me to wake up and go to work in the morning.

In other news, the Birthday was a fun lackadaisical day. I called in sick (because Liz called in sick since she honestly needed some more sleep), and opened my gifts first thing in the morning. It was like a mini-Christmas in July. Without snow. Or Christmas trees. Or anyone else getting gifts. The big surprise was Liz got me an Xbox, and a copy of Gotham Street Racer (or whatever the heck it's called). I switched off between Project Gotham and Warcraft III for the entire day, and wound up getting pretty far in both.

And in a combo-platter (Xbox and Redcard being cancelled) event, I went and bought Outlaw Golf for my Xbox last night on the way home because I was all depressed. I stayed up 'till about 1:30 am just playing the mini games and trying to unlock better clubs for my favorite character: Summer. Overcoming depression is such a weird thing. Some people eat. Others drink.

I game.

Monday, July 15, 2002


As promised, I have the goods on the photo papers.

First off, we have the most boring. Remember the bathroom? It's done. And I have the before and after pics to prove it. Sadly, the pics just don't convey the sheer volume of work involved. Looking at the two, it looks like all we did was throw down a new floor and cart out the old sink/cabinet and replace it with a new one. If only. The bathroom really does look magnificent. Unfortunately, it's so damn small I'd need a wide-angle lense for you to be able to see it. It's just too small of a space to photograph well, unfortunately.

Next, because it's been so long in the promising, I have the bike pics for your viewing pleasure. Here's me looking rather tentative as I ride over a pile of wood. Honestly, it's a lot harder than it looks, and I'm actually riding over it a lot faster than the 1/2 mile an hour that it appears like in the photo. Sadly, I look like a two year old learning how to ride a bike for the first time in this pic, and that log pile is a hella lot bigger than it looks in the photo. Unfortunately, photos don't do trail riding justice, as they don't show the swerving and the bailing, and the biffing off of trees. Also, I have a pic of Phil making The Log look easy. I'm still not touching this one until I at least get front suspension on the bike. I might just wait 'till next year 'till I have the full susupension. Then again, I might just ride it this weekend. We'll see what way the wind is blowing.

Then, because it struck me as funny, here's the lobby of the hotel that Anime Central 2002 was at. I swear, it's like Emporer Palpatine designed this hotel lobby or something. Everything was poured cement and/or black metal. You were expecting Stormtroopers to move en masse every time you rounded a corner, and when you walked down one of the "gangplanks" from the central elevator pillars (pictured), you just had to hum the Imperial March. Phil (who supplied this and the bike pics, btw) quipped the now famous "No Deathmatching in the Lobby" line when I mentioned that the hotel lobby would make a bitchin' CounterStrike or Quake 3 map.

Next up are some pics from the Shedd Aquarium. They recently added the Oceanarium, which normally wouldn't look as dark as it does in the picture, but they asked everyone to not use flashes so the fish/animals wouldn't go blind. I just love this pic, because it shows off just how majestic the Oceanarium is. The water from the dolphin pool (you can just make out a dorsal fin in the pic) looks like it stops on the glass for the building, and then you have Lake Michigan and the Adler Planetarium behind it in the distance. Magnificent.

While we were looking at some of the other exhibits, we wandered into this one called Rising Amazon or something like that. In this exhibit, we happened upon some horny turtles. I missed the photo op when both turtles were straining their necks out with their mouths open, either in exstasy or agony. Honestly, I'm no turtle expert, so I wouldn't know. All I know is it was damn funny watching them try and do the slo-mo nasty. Bump. Wait. Grind. Wait some more. A mother there quipped that "You could come back in an hour and I think they'd still be going at it." That one got some laughs.

I've saved the two best ones for last. While we were in the Oceanarium, we decided to go visit the pregnant Beluga they have there. This poor girl is ready to pop any minute. You can pretty much see the baby Beluga bulging inside of her. But what was extra cool/special was that she kept swimming up to us, turning so that one eye was out of the water (so she could see what was above water), and she'd look right at us and make a chirping bird-like noise as she swam by. This happened about four or five times until we decided to say our goodbyes and leave. She didn't do this for anyone else the whole time we were there watching her. I don't know why, but I've always felt a sort of ken/connection with sea mammals, and this just really freaked me out. In a good way.

As we sat on the train waiting to head back to the 'burbs, I spied a really cool photo op. Unfortuantely I didn't have any wide-angle lens (or camera that could use one), so I had to take two pictures and try and piece them together. Normally Union Station is buzzing with people walking up and down the piers (or whatever you call the cement walkways the trains pull up to). For whatever reason, it was fairly vacant while we sat on the train, and I noticed just how cool the architecture looked with the train across from us. Now, I'm not trying to make any connections, but The Wachowski Brothers are from Chicago. Surely this sort of view inspired oh, I don't know...maybe...The Matrix?

Oh, and I got my first birthday gift from a friend of mine who can tolerate my geekdom. Bigah Oh! Shotaimu!

Saturday, July 13, 2002

DDR to the Max

Sis and I headed over to Woodfield Mall to do a little cross B-day shopping for each other. I forgot to send her something for her birthday, and since she was going to be here just days before mine (*coughcoughahemJuly17thcoughhack*) we figured we'd just go buy each other something.

So of course we stopped at Gameworks first, and I played a few games of DDR Max. It's been ahwile since I've played DDR, and I have to say that there's a crapload of new songs to play. I'm really stoked to head back and play some more. My favorite new song I've played (and failed miserably on the "8" setting) is Twilight Zone. If you were really into Rave/Techno music circa 1992-4, you'll know what song I'm talking about.

Then we headed off to Woodfield and there was much shopping. Well, mostly walking, and a little bit of actual shopping. Not a whole lot to talk about there, really, other than the fact that I realized that I am not a "beautiful person," and that I'm hideously ugly. Way too many mirrors. Way too many beautiful people. Actually, I love looking at beautiful people. They probably think I'm some sort of sick twisted stalker because there's this fat ugly bozo just staring at them. I should find a really old, nasty white shirt with tons of stains on the front when I head to the mall just to complete the look. Apologies to anyone who's seen me in person recently and had to hold back the rising bile.

If anything, it was some serious incentive to get back on the workout wagon. I. Want. Abs. Of. Steel.

No, that was not a request for you to buy me Abs of Steel for my birthday.

Check back soon. We went to the Shedd Aquarium today, and boy howdy do I have some fun pictures. And the bathroom's finished, so there's going to be pictures of that, too. Oh, and the bike pictures. Hopefully all within the next few days.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Quick Update

Sorry for the utter lack of updates. After the amazing Fourth I had last weekend, there just hasn't been anything comparable to talk about!

My sister's coming to town this weekend, so hopefully that should drum up some quasi-adventurous things to talk about. I haven't seen Katie in a couple of ages, and I'm pretty excited.

Carry on, and check back soon!

Sunday, July 07, 2002

The Best Fourth (Fifth) Ever

Normally I hate going to see fireworks on the Fourth. It's not because I'm unpatriotic or some sort of Scrooge when it comes to the Fourth. It's because I hate the crowds. You show up early just so you can get a parking spot and stake out a picnic-blanket sized postage stamp of space on the lawn that everyone walks over anyway, and then you either try and fold your chairs faster than everyone else when it's over and make a mad dash for your car or you sit and wait an hour until you think everyone's finally left so you don't have to fight the waves of traffic.

Well, this year was different. My brother-in-law Scott invited Liz and I (and their brother Todd and his wife) out to SkyDive Chicago's Jump Zone to watch the fireworks show they were going to have on the fifth.

Evidently this was the private "warm up" show that they were having before the official display they were going to have on the sixth. So the four of us carpooled up there with our newly purchased chairs and a cooler full of beer (something else the town-based shows won't let you bring).

I have to admit that Sky Dive Chicago freaking rules. Tons of beautiful people jumping out of planes. I love planes. So dressing them up with beautiful people isn't half bad. Everyone folds their chutes and prepares for their next jump in the hangar, with rave music blasting from the stereo system. The Otter (plane) is constantly roaring as the twin engines take the plane from the runway to the hangar and back to the runway full of jumpers again.

We unfolded our chairs and took up a lonely position about 20 yards away from one of the taxi-strips to the runway, just behind the main hangar. There was no one around us. Possibly ten other people were out behind the hangar with us, and most of them were just having a bite to eat from the snack shop on the picnic benches. The Otter took off, and about 10 minutes later we could barely make it out above us (possibly at around 10,000 feet?). A few small ants jumped out, and we strained to watch them directly overhead as the three of them did some formations with the fourth one off to the side watching. Many seconds later, we noticed the ants had gotten much bigger, and to our surprise, we heard them deploy the parachutes. They must have still been a few thousand feet up, and you could hear the chutes ripping through the air louder than the engine of the plane.

We then noticed that the Otter had dropped off about ten more jumpers after it had flown over our head, and we were treated to roughly a dozen colorful parachutes and skydivers coming in for landings about 30 to 100 yards away from us (one of the guys landed on the other side of the airfield). Just as the last guys were landing, the Otter came and landed, immediately turned back around with another load of jumpers.

Todd and I then headed off to the swimming hole to get some food. Amazingly enough, Roger (the owner) had hired a chef named Tim from Florida for the restaurant he's going to open soon. So there's a gourmet chef, cooking in his chef pants on a giant outdoor gas grill. We paid our money, and grabbed some plates of food. I have to say it was some of the best bbq food I've ever had. The salsa he made was amazing, and the Asparagus he grilled was out of this world. People who know me very well are picking their jaws off the ground right now, as they'll know that I despise asparagus. This stuff was divine.

We got back to our seats and watched the fireworks after the sun went down. Scott helped light off a bunch that the switchboard they made didn't ignite. The show was incredible. I've been to some of the larger Chicago suburb shows, and I have to say it was on par with what I would have seen had we elected to fight the crowds on the Fourth. Only there were no crowds. And we had skydivers. And beer. And good food. And we didn't have to fight for a parking spot.

Afterwords, Scott came over to ask how we liked it, and I asked him to give me a quick tour. He showed me the entire hangar building, which is so much more than just an aircraft hangar. As it turns out, Scott is a bit of a small celebrity there, as he helped build the place. Evidently he wired all of the electricity running throughout the entire complex (campgrounds, hangar buildings, etc.) He had the chute-packers show me how to fold and properly pack a parachute. I had no idea that there were so many different ways you can pack a parachute. I'd always been under the impression that there was only one way to pack a 'chute or it wouldn't come out right. We climbed inside of one of the Otters and I got to sit in the pilot's seat. Then he showed me how everyone exits the plane when they compete (Scott's in a 10 man team for when the Nationals come to SkyDive Chicago in September), and how they hang on the outside of the plane when they're not competing. That was fun; hanging on the outside of the plane, I was secretly imagining what it must be like for an action movie star to be on the outside of the plane, and then I realized that's what these guys do every day. I guess Ruke (Roger's son) has figured out how to climb down the strut of the wing and stand on the landing gear's very large tire. I couldn't even come close to doing it when the plane was on the ground.

Honestly, sitting in the plane and watching those guys pack chutes made me seriously consider trying skydiving. Just asking me if I want to jump out of a plane will get a quick and decisive "no" out of me, but if you bring me to the site, let me watch some people come down gracefully, kick the tires, climb in the plane, and literally hang on the outside imagining what it must feel like to let go and "fly," well, that's damn good salesmanship.

After the tour, Scott wanted to show me what the big fireworks look like, so we drove out past the runway and I got to help them collect all of the "duds" that didn't fire off when the switchboard told them to. This sounds a lot more dangerous than it actually was. The ones we were removing never received a signal to fire from the switchboard, and weren't touched by a flare, so it's as if they were still "straight out of the box." That was pretty cool, since I'd never actually handled anything quite that large. There were a lot of 3" ones (balls 3" in diameter) that hadn't fired off, and quite a few 6" ones that we collected. They all fire out of just your average simple PVC tubes. I thought maybe there were some special rigs you had to use to fire them. Turns out you just need a lot of PVC plastic tubing.

We ran out further towards the cornfield so he could show me the Twelve Inch PVC Mortars. Those things were freaking incredible. Six foot long tubes that are a foot in diameter set 2 feet deep in the ground. They were used to launch the 12" fireworks. I wish just one of those hadn't gone off so I could have seen what it looked like. Imagine a single firework as large as a basketball. BOOM. Scott had to light those off by hand, and he said that the explosion that sent them flying up into the air was deafening. I wish I could have been out there with him to see it.

Later we cruised back by the hangar to try and find Liz and the gang, but they had already headed off to his trailer to watch everyone fire off the rest of the unused fireworks. We found these enormous bugs that looked like six inch long mutant dragonflies laying on the ground. They'd get agressive when Scott poked them. We also saw this huge moth that was so colorful it looked like a butterfly. It was about five inches across (wingspan) and was bright yellow with some blue accents in the wings. Scott picked it up for a closer look, and then handed it to me (admittedly, I really wasn't interested in holding it). It. Was. So. Cool. The body looked as if it was covered in yellow pollen. It looked fuzzy. And it purred. Honestly, it was vibrating so fast (even though its wings were motionless) that it felt like you were holding a miniature kitten or something. Maybe it was shaking because it was scared, or maybe it was actually emitting some sort of defensive ultra low-wave sonic thing or whatjamajiggit, but it purred.

Then we headed back to the campsite and by then the family carpool was ready to leave, so I had to hop out of the back of Scott's pickup and into Todd's Passport. I felt like a little kid again, and it was time to go home. In retrospect, and this is going to sound entirely too cheeky, I really enjoyed hanging out with Scott and Todd. Growing up as the oldest child, I never had a big brother to show me the ropes, so it's a lot of fun hanging out with Liz's older brothers, because they're cool enough to treat me like thier younger brother.

I swear that if I head up there two more times, I'm going to jump out of a plane with him.

I've got photos of The Log and me on the bike. I'll try and get those up soon.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Open the Blast Door! No, Wait, Close the Blast Door!


The game that loves to frustrate. I'm talking about the damn PS2 title where you drive around in a car or a motorcycle or a monster truck or a tuk-tuk and do stunts whenever the film's Director tells you to do them.

Sometimes this means having him tell you to turn left when you've already decided that the safest/coolest direction is right. Or my personal favorite: "Use the ramp to get to the roof!" Where's the fucking ramp, you might ask yourself? Why, it's behind you. Have fun finding it in ten seconds or less before the timer at the top of the ramp runs out.

In fact, for a game that prides itself on being as true to life as a movie stunt-driving game can be, it sure as fuck isn't. Stuntdrivers typically walk the route they're going to drive first. Maybe they even have it mapped out, so they can study the intricacies of the course. Maybe they'll mathematically figure out what the best possible speed they should hit the launch ramp at, so that they can get it right in one take. You'll find none of these preparations in this game.

So when the director is getting pissed that you haven't miraculously driven the course perfectly by the fourth take and starts saying "Rolling!" with a tone of voice that succinctly conveys "Why the fuck did I hire you? My grandmother could have done this better by take two!" try and take that with a grain of salt and not run him over like he deserves.

While this game is fun about 10% of the time (the times that you've successfully guessed what it is your Director is going to say), I can't say enough things about what's wrong with it. And I don't know where to start. There's certain things that should be done right in a driving similator. Like cars that drive the way they're supposed to. Monster Trucks, for instance, are all wheel drive, and they're all wheel turn. This means that when you turn the wheel, all four wheels turn. When you step on the gas, all four wheels are supplied power. You won't get that in Stuntman. The Monster Truck in this game looks like it's a Monster Truck, but in fact behaves like a pickup truck with giant wheels stuck on it. Why is this a big deal, you say? Because when a Monster Truck is doing a nose-wheelie on its two front tires, you can hit the gas to bring it back down on all fours. You can't do that in this game, and trust me when I say that you'll be doing a few nose-wheelies in the Monster Truck.

Do you like repetition? Do you like repetition? Do you like repetition? Well do you? Me neither. In an effort to make this game seem like it contains more replay value than it really does, they put in a wee too bit much difficulty to force you to replay the levels over and over and over untill you get it right. I played some stunt levels literally one hundred times before I got the stunt right. Is that really necessary? Why is it that the English love to frustrate the living hell out of me? Besides the fact that you have to replay the level eighty thousand times just to finish it, that might not be good enough for the Director. You crossed the finish line? Big deal. You only finished 82 percent of the stunts, so try harder next take. You fail. Since when was 82% an "F"?!? Last I checked that was a "B" or even a "C" on some screwed up private school curves. As it turns out, some of the stunts are worth twenty percent of your score. So if you miss just that one stunt, you fail the entire run. In which case, you might be asking yourself why the effing hell didn't they just tell you that in the first place?!? "Hit the ultralite with your snowmobile on this run or don't bother finishing." What's the point of offering a % complete if it doesn't really matter?

Here's some other things wrong with the game, in no particular order:

1). Contrary to popular game-designing belief, there are more than just three positions that a front tire can angle out to when the steering wheel is turned.
2). Other vehicles' tires tend to role when the vehicle is moving. They just don't slide along on the ground like Stuntman displays them.
3). Motorcycles do not have a reverse gear. Especially ones with sidecars. From the 1940's.
4). Using the analog buttons on the PS2 is an enormous mistake when one needs to apply constant thumb-numbing pressure to ensure that the vehicle is moving at top speed. My rule of "sore-thumb" is: the sorer my thumb is when playing your game, the worse your game design is. Good games don't make my thumb hurt.
5). When driving into oncoming traffic in real life, oncoming car drivers tend to get out of the fucking way. Only in your sad game do they continue to drive on a rail like brainless robot automatons. Ever seen Ronin? Maybe even the more recent Bourne Identity? Oncoming cars swerve out of the way, because they're human beings who don't want to die when I hit them because they won't move an inch.

The funny thing is, this game could have been sooooo much better if they'd just given you an "easy" setting that painted a line for you to drive on so that you could follow the proper path, and maybe a speed indicator (besides the speedometer that doesn't work) that tells you when you're at the proper speed for the stunt. And a map of the level before you drove it. And maybe a fly-by of the level.

And maybe if they'd given me back my money, too.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Expo Can Go to Hell.

It can go to hell and die.

We took the big mirror back. It was too big vertically and too small horizontally. So we picked up a much much smaller oval mirror (still with silver finish on the frame) and then cruised by The Effin' Money Pit (breaking my oath to god) for a small wall cabinet to go next to it.

At The Effin' Money Pit (remember, both Expo and The Home Depot are the same exact company), we see an oval silver framed mirror (the frame is only slightly different in style, and not by much) by the exact same manufacturer. For thirty dollars less.

Nice mark-up on your merchandise, Expo. That's a 30% hike in price for the exact same effing mirror.

So, in an act of outraged consumerism, we're going to take the $90.00 oval mirror we bought at Expo back, and then buy a much much larger mirror from them for $195.00.

That'll show 'em.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Keel me now

You need to say the title with a fun Jamaican accent, mon.

I hereby swear to god that I will not set foot in a Home Depot, henceforth to be known as The Fucking Money Pit for another week. Eight trips to The Effing Money Pit later, our bathrrom is nearly finished. It's mostly finished, but there's a couple of things left that we can't quite figure out how to manage. Here they are in no important order:

1). The fucking walls aren't square. This is a huge problem because the sinktop (countertop/sink combo platter) won't sit flush in the corner between the walls. It shifts between the two. I have no idea how the old sinktop was sitting flush in there. Oh wait, yes I do. They did a half-ass job of it. That's why we wanted it out of there. I've had a few recommendations from the guys at The Effin' Money Pit, but all of them are messy and involve massive amounts of silicone. I want something cleaner; tighter; finely engineered. I don't just want to inject silicone behind it and hope that it glues itself there.

2). The mirror had to go. Turns out that the height standard for vanities and countertops has changed in the past 20 years. Surprise! So we had to remove the mirror that's glued to the wall. This brought up a new problem: What the hell are we going to put on the wall? Actually, this brought up all sorts of new problems. Patch the wall. Sand the wall. Patch and sand the wall again. Say "fuck it" and just paint over the patched wall, even though it needs one more patch and sand coat, because you're going to hang shit there anyway. Then you paint the wall, and say "fuck it!" (this time with feeling) when you realize that you've been using the wrong color white. Don't get me started on how I could possibly be using the wrong color white. Just trust me that I was. So after two coats of the wrong color white (hey, it's sublte). Wait for a re-dry, then paint it AGAIN. So anyway, now we're trying to figure out what kind of mirror we need to buy to put up where the old one went, because I ain't gluing a mirror to the wall. After the eigth trip to The GDMF'n Money Pit, we decided to go to The God Damned Money Mass Burial Strip Mine, otherwise known as Expo (a Home Depot company!) to find a decorative mirror for our bathroom.

[Tangent]: Has anyone been in the inside of an Expo? Because it's the exact opposite of The Home Depo--sorry, The Effing Money Pit. While The Home Depot is "Driving Down the Cost of Home Improvement," Expo's motto surely must be "Gauging Out Your Pockets With Giant Cash Speculums." Cold ones at that. That place is amazing. We're talking showers that even the most crazy porn director couldn't envision. You like to stand in a jaccuzi tub up to your knees while you get sprayed on the torso by 8 misting nozzles while taking a shower, all the while watching television and looking at yourself in two different mirrors inside of some giant contraption that looks like it belongs on a sci-fi set? They've got that. For twelve thousand fucking dollars. That shower/jaccuzi/entertainment center cost almost as much as my car. And yes, I still want one.

3). Because the mirror/wall thing is still a tossup, we're holding off on installing the light fixture we bought. Actually, we bought two, decided on which one we liked best, and the other one is going back. So the light's not up. So we have this Taj Majal of a bathroom, with some piece of ass light that's a throwback to the 70's. And cheapo 70's at that. I should send a picture of it to Lileks. I'll be posting three pictures of the beginning, middle, and end later. So you can see the old and the new fixture. Aren't you lucky? Next time maybe I can bore you all with some vacation photos or something.

So, to make this long story longer, it's pretty much done, and we're exhausted.

Just in case I wasn't exhausted enough, I went tree-hopping again today, and took a royal header down a 30 degree slope. It's one of those things where I somehow got my bike off the trail and aimed straight down the hill towards the river below and off to our left. Exactly where I didn't want to go. It was some sick and twisted self-fufilling prophecy. Even though I was moving very slowly, there was just no stopping the bike. Here I am, skidding not even remotely wildly yet still entirely out of control, watching as the 30 degree slope is about to become a vertical cliff, where I will drop exactly three feet to land ungently on another 30 degree slope, and will most assuredly crash into the river at that point. So I decided to just ditch everything and fall, thereby increasing my surface area to something greater than the soles of my feet and the bike tires. The fall stopped me from going over the edge (just barely), but now I've got road rash all up and down my right side.

The funny thing is, the rash doesn't even hurt. I wanted to scan my arm for all to see. Maybe I will tomorrow :). My back is pretty good and sore, though, and my shins are killing me from when I jumped/rode over a two foot mound of logs, and my foot flew off the pedal while I was applying a lot of pressure with the other foot. The loose pedal came around and smacked me good right in the shin-bone.


One last thing: I've been lax in doing art updates lately, so here's one of Witchblade's Ian. Unfortunately he looks a lot like a Christ. He's actually supposed to be doing one of his "Ian" jumps off of a building.

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