2007 Sep 20 aya

Guy Blade Guy Blade---09:30:00

Ask me no more Questions is a site that lets you ask people questions. I find it mildly interesting. I asked the following question:

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2007 Sep 18 terra

Guy Blade Guy Blade---08:51:00

Unifying Theme
There are several things that I'd been meaning to post about recently. I'll try to do all of them now.

I got my power bill for the month of August last Thursday. It was $370. I find this irritating. The worst part is that the power company uses a tiered system to determine how much your power bill is. For the first 350 kWh (or so), the cost per kWh is only $0.022. The price then goes up in tiers based on what percentage of that 350 kWh value (the so-called 'baseline') you exceed it by. I exceeded it by over 200%, which means that the last 350 kWh or so were $0.25 / kWh. I've turned down my air-conditioner somewhat, but the real power usage is the 8 computers (9 if you count the xbox) that never turn off.

Command and Conquer 3 has a notable cast. It has Lando, Sharon from Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Cameron from House, and the teacher from Starship Troopers. Command and Conquer 2 had James Earl Jones in it, so I guess I shouldn't be too suprised.

LEGO Star Wars II isn't as good as LEGO Star Wars. They followed the standard "3D platformer sequel plan" which consists of two steps. First, keep the gameplay almost identical. Second, add arbitrary collectables of dubious value. If you were thinking about collection all 99 gold bricks in LSW II, I'll go ahead and tell you what it does: it gives you a LEGO stud (i.e., money) fountain. This is handy if you have a lot left to unlock in the store. I only had the higher-value money multipliers left to unlock, which made this reward something of a let-down.

If you haven't played Halo 2 yet and you want to play it on a PC instead of a machine not designed for FPS games, you should wait until Halo 3 PC is released. The game pulls a XIII, though at least we know that there is a Halo 3 in the works.

Also, Halo 2 for the PC is a bitch to play. You have to sign up for an XBox Live account to be able to play it--even in single player. I find that to be an idiotic design decision. The most annoying part is that Microsoft Passports are the basis of XBox Live, but you can't simply use a Passport account--you must first go through a registration process before being able to use the account you already have.

Speaking of passports, I got my US Passport today. Now, if I have to go to France in January, I'll be able to do so. Also, it will be significantly easier to prove my identity (yet again) during the rebadging process at JPL. I had to prove my identity to them twice since I started working there. I had to prove it again at the California BMV. I am growing tired of having to prove who I am. Apparently a passport is a one-stop item for doing so.

I've recently begun converting my DVD collection into a more useful form. I'll post more about this at a later date.

I haven't heard anyone complaining about being unable to access the link or I wonder if people other than me can access them...

Today is my birthday; I turned 23. Earlier today, I had difficulty writing the date down on a piece of paper because I am used to writing today's date followed by my birth year instead of 2007. I then had to think really hard for a few seconds to determine what year it was that I should be writing next to my birthdate instead of the one that I was mechanically programmed to write.

The unifying theme of this post is the lack of unifying theme. This sentence contains 54 characters including period. This sentence does not refer to any sentence in this post, including itself.

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2007 Sep 12 namine

Guy Blade Guy Blade---09:27:00

So, last week I finally filled out the paperwork to be reimbursed for my move. The travel department had complained to me that I should have filled out the work over a month ago (though I was unaware of such a need), so I just sat down and filled it out. I figured that this week, I would have a little bit more in my paycheck due to the reimbursement. Unfortunately, the finance people decided that it would be a good idea to also have me pay all due taxes on the parts of my move that were paid for by JPL such as the relocation of my things, paying for my hotel, etc. The net effect of my reimbursement was that my paycheck was approximately one-third of what it usually is. I find this irritating.

I also filled out the paperwork for the HSPD-12 badge. This required me to, among other things, list everywhere I've lived for the past 5 years (along with people who can verify that). I also had to list various other things such as my selective service number, a list of everywhere I worked for the past 5 years (which would include my unemployment during high school), 3 people who "know me well" and cover the last 5 years, and other such nonsense. It was a giant pain because pretty much everyone I've known for the past 5 years has scattered to the winds. At least it is done and I won't have to worry about it anymore (assuming that my badge is approved, that is).

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2007 Sep 10 anthy

Guy Blade Guy Blade---11:01:00

Lego Star Wars
So, I've mentioned before that Lego Star Wars (and its sequel which I am playing now) is an amazing game. Up until now, I haven't explained why the game is good. I intend to change that now.

LSW doesn't have any dialog in the game (Legos can't talk, after all), so all interactions between character are carried out using mumbling or facial expressions. The real amazing thing is how expressive the legos can be. Solo still has his half-smirk, Tarkin still has his grimace, etc.

Of course, Legos also don't bleed which makes the game take on a more humorous tone in many places. For instance, when Han shoots Greedo, Greedo's chest piece flies out behind him followed by him looking down before falling part ala Looney Toons--very good stuff.

Since both games are $20 or less now, I suggesting picking them up. Ideally, you should pick them up for the same system so that you can use the "Use Old Save" feature of the second game to bring Episode 1-3 characters into the Original Trilogy.

If nothing else, you can see Chewbacca try to put on a stormtrooper helmet which is hillarious enough on its own.

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2007 Sep 04 celes

Guy Blade Guy Blade---08:35:00

Odds and Ends
So I play in two RPGs now. The first is the Warlock (Caltech D&D) game which I have talked about before. The second is a rotating HERO game. It turns out that one of the people in that game does the lettering for comics. Apparently, he does lettering for The Avengers. That would be about the closest I've ever come to someone famous in the comics industry.

I expect my power bill to be higher this month than it was last month. I say this because I have already used more kWh this month than I did last month. Hopefully, my bill won't go past $300...

Figuring out how to get things to build with libpurple was a pain. I blame glib and its backwards "you must use pkg-config to produce appropriate gcc flags" mentality.

There are $11 left in my National City checking account. Now I just have to figure out how to spend exactly the remaining funds.

I have to play through Bioshock again because everyone I know played through it with the same mentality.

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2007 Sep 03 peach

Guy Blade Guy Blade---06:04:00

The Plan
So, for the past week or so, the temperature hasn't dropped below 65, not even at night. This has resulted in my apartment's tiny airconditioner being unable to decrease my apartment's temperature to a livable one. As such, I have come up with a plan. I have purchased a portable air conditioner.

Usually, setting up one of these things would be trivial, but unfortunately, my apartment has only suicide windows. As such, I have also ordered a large piece of clear acrylic plastic in order to cover a window to use in order to vent the exhaust outside. Hopefully, this won't be too difficult to set up.

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