26 July 2005

Random post from the computer book section of Bar...

Random post from the computer book section of Barnes & Noble. Compliments of SBC DSL.

24 July 2005

Warning Before The Simposns

Warning: this episode contains discussions of same sex marriages. Parental discretion is advised.

Major Purchases

I have an apartment, pending paperwork, etc. It's a pretty nice place in Brentwood. Currently I'm working on finding furniture. My closet is ridiculously huge and takes up an entire wall of the bedroom (22 ft^2), which means that I only need a bed, desk, and shelves. I found great shelves at Ikea, and a bed on Target's website of all places. I originally was going to get a similar bed at Ikea, but I found a much nicer one at target.com for the same price by accident. However...

I am in Los Angeles, so what good is my own apartment without a car? Yesterday I test drove three Honda Civic models. The hybrid sucks. The engine turns off when the car is stopped to save power. The ac turns off when the engine turns off. Hell no. Don't get me started on the dashboard that looks like something out of a crappy video game. The LX sedan (they didn't have any coupes immediately available for a test drive) was pretty nice. The Civic SI won. It's a three door hatchback available with only a manual transmission. Excuse me, a five speed. Honda doesn't sell manuals, they only sell five speeds. Unfortunately, the whole experience was quite painful. The salesman had a thick Indian accent, so I couldn't understand half the things that he said. The problem was compounded by his inability to figure out what I was saying. The end result was having half my questions answered with the horsepower of all the different Civic models, as if that was the only thing that was important. The manager, however, was a completely different story. He not only had a firm grasp of the English language, but actually was able to answer questions. For instance, he was able to quote me a price that he didn't read off the window sticker. When he started asking questions about when I wanted to buy the car (within 1.5 weeks), I found out what the magic words are. "I can't sign anything until my daddy looks at it first, since he's a lawyer." The price he quoted me actually decreased after I said that. Something to keep in mind tomorrow while I poke around a Ford Focus.

16 July 2005

Half-blood Whatever

Matt convinced me to go to the midnight Harry Potter party at Barnes and Noble. I drove there, which ended up being a mistake. His car is a stick, and due to a lack of practice, I am quite inept at cruising slowly around a parking lot. Neither of us expected the entire lot for the shopping center to be full. We did manage to get lucky and find what must have been the last free parking spot near the other end (yay for small cars).

Anyway, upon entrance to the store, I received reserved braclet #378. This entitled me to ~45 minutes (after midnight) of watching everyone else who had shown up. There were fewer young children than I expected, though there were plenty of teenagers and adults to make up for it. Of course, about 1/5 of the people there were dressed up for the occassion in some manner: face paint; Hogwarts robes; et cetera. What really surprised me, though, were the number of punks and other individuals who would be labelled hard core. It never occured to me that people who exude toughness would want to be seen at a Harry Potter event.

In the end, we procured two copies of the sacred text. However, we made the mistake of putting them in the same bag. One employee, still reeling from being unable to order people around earlier in the night, was handing out posters and braclets. She refused to distribute more than one set per bag, even though we had both purchased a copy. Twit.

Now I must go look through the pictures of adoptable dogs at the LA Animal Services animal shelters, a daily ritual which causes nothing but problems.

09 July 2005

I will stay sane. I will stay sane. I will-oh hell.

81 days of summer vacation left....

...the joys of leaving a semester system for a quarter system.

In other news, the UCLA cs department said that course listing for the fall would be available July 1. As of 5 minutes ago, they still show Winter 2004. Useful.

06 July 2005


It took a week, but I finally remember to make this post. Two bottles of Dom have been discovered in the wine fridge in Matt's kitchen. 1995 and 1973. The 1973 is on the tail edge of drinkable life, but the 1995 is in its prime...

bleep bloop

My birthday gift from Matt was tickets to the first show of Video Games Live at the Hollywood Bowl, which we just got back from. I, not so coincidentally, was wearing my 1up mushroom shirt. As we walked into the ampitheater, a video crew asked to film my shirt, assuring me that they would only show my shirt, not my face or anything else. I must admit, it's very hard to stand still and not giggle loudly when some random guy is admitting to aiming his camera at your boobs. Anyway....

The LA Philharmonic played everything from Pong to Halo. The best part was the opening number, Metal Gear Solid. They had Snake crawling around the stage and climbing up ropes to avoid being seen by a bad guy with a large "!" over his head. At one point, he even hid in a cardboard box (complete with the required paint job) while the bad guy walked by.

During each of the songs, the screens showed clips from the video game or series in question. The newer video games' montages consisted almost entirely of cut scenes, but they did blow up a few things during Halo's.

At the end of the show, about 30 game composers/artists/designers were called on stage. It being the first night of the tour, they had some big names. Seeing as how almost all the major ones were Japanese, I'm not going to even attempt at spelling their names correctly. I will, however, mention that they included the composers from Super Mario, Sonic, Advent Horizon, and Halo.

Now I must go fulfill my sudden and unexplained urge to go blow things up. To the video game machine!