Saturday, February 28, 2009

I would like to be an artist

When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist. And a musician, and an author, and and and etc...

I loved to sketch things out. I didn't have much innate ability, but I figured that with hard work and practice, I would gain practical skill. There were two things that prevented me from reaching my goal:
  1. My colorbindness
  2. The accident
Now, ideally disabilities like colorblindness can be overcome. Practically, however, it's really not that possible. I might train myself to recognize some colors that I can't now identify, but that still wouldn't give me the sense that an artist needs. I wouldn't be able to see colors as you would. (Yeah, yeah, work in black & white, I know; it's very limiting however).

And then there was the accident, wherein my right hand was crushed. That put the kibosh on any freehand drawing/painting (as well as ending piano playing and basically anything else that requires full use of your hands).

But I still come back to the idea every now and again. I have my wacom tablet hooked up at work and I play around with Painter and Sketchbook, without much success. Lately, I have been experimenting with photographs, trying to make a regular picture look drawn or painted. I have not yet been entirely successful, but here are some of the results so far:

Redfield Sketch Master "Sketch", darken, 67% opacity on the face only, top layer
Redfield Sketch Master "Crayon", soft light, 50% opacity
Cutout + Palette Knife for the background

These two are very nearly identical.
They both have dry brush 50% on the top layer
Redfield Sketch Master "Crayon", soft light, 50%
The first one has cutout + palette knife as the background
The second one has a Corel Painter autopaint as the background

I think the colors seem off on the second one, but how can I tell? For both of them, I think there is too much detail just in the face, but how do you get _just_ the right amount? I'm still searching.

"Welcome to my secret lair under Skullcrusher Mountain."

One of my co-workers made an excellent villain for Halloween. Unfortunately, Photoshop does not save your actions history in the PSD, and I don't exactly remember how I got to this point.
Probably crayon on cutout + palette knife with face and eye details somehow.

"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

Again, details are missing (I've got to start labeling my layers better)
eye in dry brush, 50% (I think)
face in graphic pen, soft light, 50% (I'm guessing)
crayon, soft light, 50% (I'd imagine)
autopaint, 50%
cutout as background

And my favorite as last. I think this is the one that most succeeds in looking hand-drawn.
dry brush eyes, 50%
crayon, soft light
cutout + palette knife as base

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Like Babies

I found Anne Loucks via an essay she wrote on Star Wars, but her essays cover a wide range of topics. Here's another one:

I Like Babies

by Anne Loucks

Babies are delicious. The flesh of a baby has not had time to become tough, stringy, and unpleasant. Many of the best meals I have ever eaten were simple affairs: some baby meat, with a nice salad of young greens, French bread, and a glass of red wine. Few things are quite as delectable.

My favorite sort of babies are lambs, skinned and slow roasted. I cannot eat a whole one in a single sitting, but they are wonderful. I am also quite fond of young carrots, chicken ovum, apple placenta, and peanut fetuses. Where would we be without babies to consume? I suppose we could limit ourselves to fully grown plants and animals, but few people wish to eat a cherry tree, piece of hay, or elderly rooster.

With certain organisms, removing and eating their baby allows us to harvest and use a great deal of delicious mammary excretions originally meant for the offspring. Milk can be drunk straight or perhaps with a bit of flower nectar regurgitated by a bee. My favorite use for mammalian breast discharge involves curdling it, and leaving those curds out to be carefully rotted by various bacterias and molds. I love a good cheese with a nice hunk of french bread.

Now, some people may call bread the staff of life, but staff of genocide is more like it. For a single loaf, thousands of helpless wheat zygotes are crushed, and then repeatedly mashed together with water until they become sticky and glutinous. These are then fed upon by billions of vulture-like yeast who fart carbon dioxide, creating lovely bubble homes within the raw dough. For a while it seems like the slaughter of so many potential wheat plants has a silver lining, the happy fungi living out their lives as they please. Then, the entire colony is placed in an oven where all life within the bread is extinguished by fiery heat. After which, the resulting mountain of cooked corpses is devoured by slavering humans like you and me.

This talk of everyday slaughter might bother some people, but it is making me hungry. I'm off to eat some boiled rice fetuses mixed with fat separated from the mammary discharge of a cow and sprinkled with saffron uterus. I'll also be drinking a glass of yeast urine made from the amniotic fluid of a grape.

She has a few more. Definitely worth a read.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Expected Exception

I saw this error when I was playing around with LastRipper:

If it was really expected, then why...?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trader Joe's

Why don't we have a Trader Joe's in Spokane?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No Post

So my buffer of forward posts ran out and there was no new post yesterday. I HAD been hoping that my posting streak would at least last the entire month, and with less than a week to go I blinked.

SO close...

This happened because I worked through this past weekend trying to get projects done for school, instead of fun projects like the blog. And all weekend long, I kept thinking "Oh, I really have to remember to write my posts for this week. I'm definitely going to do that..." and then it was Tuesday.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Digital Tuner Stuff

I previous mentioned that the digital tuner coupon program ran out of money the day I signed up. Timing!

Anyway, I was put on the waiting list, and lo! Guess what arrived in the mail recently? My coupon.

I've looked at the comparison of boxes, and unless a better one comes along soon, I think I'll go with the Channel Master CM-7000. It's got good picture quality and s-video output. It's not perfect, but it's OK.

So, with the converter, I'm going to need an antenna!

Why don't I just make one? I found a couple sets of instructions.

#1: How to build a HDTV Antenna....CHEAP!
Mmm, effective, but not pretty.

#2: The Gray-Hoverman Antenna For UHF Television Reception
Oooh, complicated!

Mmmmaybe I'll just buy one.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Der Schlangemann has reminded me of a romantic tip (via The Sneeze [same tip as last year]).

A long time ago when my wife was my girlfriend and we were LIVING IN SIN, a tradition was born. I'd like to now share it with you all.

I came home from work one day and found her in front of the computer. I said "Hello," and she barely grunted back. I don't even think she looked up.

Half-jokingly I responded, "Okay, we're gonna try this again." I walked out the front door and came back in a few moments later...

"STEVIE'S HOME, STEVIE'S HOME!!! YAY!!!" was the new over-the-top cheer I was greeted with. It was accompanied by a hug and kisses. And I loved it.

What began as a joke quickly became an ongoing practice that continues to this day in our house: The person who is home first must make a small fuss when the other person gets there.

Does it sound silly? Yes. Do I promise that it will set the tone for a nicer evening just about every time you do it? Yes.

The world is full of douchebags, guys. Take 3 seconds out of your precious day to make a fuss over each other. Do it like you mean it. Do it as a goof. Just do it a lot.

I'm promise you'll be glad you did.

And THAT reminded me of the "I Love You Today" game in my family. The game is simple: whomever says "I love you today" first, wins. That's the whole game.

Well, actually that's not all, as there are variations. "I love you this year" for example, but that doesn't come up too often. ^_^

While playing it every day is the goal, if you run into someone you haven't seen for a while (that you play the game with), it's fun working it into the conversation before they remember.
A: Oh, guess what?
B: What?
A: I love you today.
B: Damn it!
You can add variations of the rules (no saying it right after midnight, etc), but the real point is just to say "I love you" every day.

Is it cheesy? Yup. And silly, and kind of goofy. But, like Steve's tip, it does make a difference. ^_^

(Says the single guy...)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Der Schlangemann

This is a stop-motion animation film that contains mock genitalia and explicit sexual acts involving dolls. Viewer discretion is advised.

(warning from

Here is the classic Der Schlangemann video that you may have heard me mention. Now, the original site is gone, unfortunately. (It was actually still up [sans videos] when I originally intended to post this, however many months ago that was).

However, the Internet Archive has kept it online. Isn't technology wonderful?

Don't watch this video at work, unless your workplace is OK with German doll-men with giant penises sexing up Barbie.

(Also, video is entirely in German with no subtitles. But, it is very understandable!)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Basic Instructions

Today's Basic Instructions mentions Spokane. That is all.

Calling "Blog Rights"

Thomas introduced me to the practice of calling 'blog rights' to something. Having never heard of the practice, I called blog rights to 'blog rights'.

That was what, two months ago? More? It's been a while.

So here it is, at long last: the rules to calling blog rights (with addendum).
  1. The first person to call it gets it.
  2. You can't pre-call it (eg, no going "I call blog rights on the concert we're going to next weekend").
It's really a lot like calling shotgun. Here's the proposed addendum:
  • If someone calls blog rights to something, and NEVER POSTS IT, their exclusive rights expire. Let's say, in a week.
Does that work?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Price Of Beer

On Friday, Feb 6th, the CS department went to the bar.

It was a lot of fun, but I did end up drinking too much (people kept buying me beers, what was I supposed to do?). I told a friend that he was annoying. I also was informed about a beer that resembles my beloved Sapporo. I should have left sooner though.

When I went to pay my tab (for the two beers that I myself had ordered), there were a bunch of mixed drinks on there. Not mine.

At this point, the waitstaff from earlier had already gone. According to them (on the phone), someone had gone to the counter and ordered drinks and said that they were Phoenix.

So, unless there are more of me (unlikely, since my doppelganger lives in the Seattle area), someone was putting drinks on my tab.

Anyway, the point is I ended up paying for the drinks. So my two beers came to around $27. Not quite $14 a beer, but close.

At that price, I might as well stick with wine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Brightness

I live in a cave.

Or, at least it seems that way at times. All the bulbs are 60-watt, and it's so dark in my kitchen that I usually have to have the stove light on as well just to see what I'm doing.

Well, I had a few burned out bulbs, and when I went to purchase replacements, I decided to start switching over to CFLs. And since I was switching to CFLs, I also opted to increase from 60-watt to 100-watt (equivalent brightness). So, not-quite-twice the brightness for just over a third the electrical cost.

Oh. My. Science.

It's so much brighter in my apartment, it's hard to describe. I no longer feel like I'm living in a cave. It's like stepping out into sunshine. I should have done this months ago.

An interesting side effect is that it is making me more aware of when I turn on the lights. See, if you turn on a CFL, you should leave it on for at least half an hour (which is why I don't use CFLs in the bathroom), otherwise you drastically shorten its lifespan. So now I am more aware of when I turn on the hallway light, for example. Because if I'm going to leave it on for 30+ minutes, I better be sure I need it. If it's a momentary need, I'll probably just leave it off and do without.

Monday, February 16, 2009

TopFive is Gone

They actually appeared to have stopped making lists last August.

I didn't notice because I don't read them anymore. I imagine a lot of others went the same way.

See, I used to love TopFive. Back in, say, 1996, they were really funny. Then they spread out into Little Fivers, and those were less funny. Then they had a subscriber program, where you would get an ad-free list.

And then they stopped giving you the whole list if you weren't a subscriber. They'd cut off the top half (eg, the funniest half) in the e-mail, and you would have to go to the site for it. This is when I stopped reading.

You're going to give me ADS and NOT THE LIST? Thanks, but no thanks. And that's not mentioning the drop in quality of the main lists. The top contributors had gone off to be funny on their own and the people left were... meh.

So, I'm sorry to see that TopFive is not producing at the moment (but may come back), but it doesn't really affect me. TopFive stopped producing for me years ago.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ideas Lost

Whenever I have (what I think is a) great idea, I write it down immediately.

If I'm at my computer (most of the time), I have text files filled with ideas, ready at hand.

If I'm out walking around, I have my handy cell phone to type my ideas into.

This morning, I had a great idea. While driving.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Forward Posting Revisited

How is the forward posting experiment going so far?

Well, drafts and scheduled posts now take up the entire first page of the Edit Posts menu (and part of the second).

Sometimes it's great, like during the week when I have almost NO time to post anything. I don't have to worry.

Sometimes it sucks, like when Mike posts a video that I have sitting in my queue. ^_^

Sometimes so much time has passed between when I write something and when it posts that the post is meaningless or out-of-date on arrival.

Overall, I like it. I can sometimes think of scheduled posts in the back of my mind, simmering away, and something new will occur to me, or I'll have a change of heart. I can edit it before it posts; I have plenty of time. And if I forget, well, then it wasn't that important. ^_^

The Reverend: Evil League of Evil application

The Reverend applies for a spot at the table...stable...whatever.

This was one of my favorites from the ELE application videos.
Not to be confused with the master of puppets,
I'm the Plush Preacher, Father Felt, the Pastor of Muppets.
I'm the Miniature Minister of Sinister stuff
The Priest made of ping pong balls, mischief and fluff.
I am the puppet of the lord and I will tell you how to get
to Bless-a-Me Street if y'all ain't gotten there yet.
Stop your thinking. Stop your feeling. Stop your copulation.
I'll make puppets of the entire population.
I'll put my hand up politicians, scientists and theologians.
And I'll bribe the Evil League of Evil with indulgence.
That's right, even the thoroughbred of sin
can trot straight through the pearly gates if y'all let me in.
An offer you can't refuse. Unless you get one higher.
Or unless you just do, in which case, you know, fire.
Of the perpetual variety. So what's it gonna be?
Let the puppet in your club or burn for all eternity?

This is not as much a request
as it is a proposal of-
fering you something quite val-
uable you won't find anywhere else.

Still not sure? Need some more?
Well...what am I here for?
You're probably thinking, that's a preacher not a villain.
He can't be down with us unless he's out there killing.
Well, I've told you about my abilities as a herder,
so let's get to the real stuff: What's my stance on murder?
Well, once you know you've sinned beyond all redemption,
and you know you have no honest chance at ascension,
there's nothing wrong with killing. You might as well,
'cause the good ones go to heaven and the bad ones go to hell.
That's fair! They all get exactly what they require.
Everybody wins. Well, not the bad ones, '
But I reckon I'm in the right. Me and the Lord are tight.
So you better let me in or you're in for a fight.
I'll kill you all, and forget about heaven.
So, do I get the job? Signed, the Reverend.

This is not as much a request
as it is a proposal of-
fering you something quite val-
uable you won't get anywhere else.

P.S. I really need this job. The church kicked me out 'cause incident I don't wish to talk about. But I assure you I am not in any way a sexual deviant. Shut up! I am 100% heterosexual. You hear that, Bad horse? I have no desire what so ever to walk into your stall in the middle of the night...with a jar of... Okay, reverend, keep it together, remember shock therapy, remember the good book! Remember the...purdy horsie. No! No, bad reverend! Bad reverend!
Anyway. Yeah. Let me in the league or you're all going down. Far, far down. I'd like to go dow--No! Bad! But if you take me, you automatically get my invisible friend,
the most powerful being in or outside the universe on your side.
You may have heard of him. Can't pass that up.
So...can't wait to hear from y'all. Till then, well, God bless.
To download the mp3, go to and click "albums"!

There are a few Ask The Reverend videos on YouTube. You can ask him questions @ Reverend @

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why Science Is Awesome

(Originally scheduled for yesterday, but got bumped)

Saw this comment on Digg recently:
on 01/20/2009
What happened to Pluto is what I adore about science. New technology... providing new information... that causes the scientific community to realize fault in it's existing information. No adherence to tradition, no injured pride, no accusations of heresy and no excommunication. You just inform the world that billions of books, posters, documentaries and science fair models are WRONG. And when the world replies "COME ON!" Science replies "TOUGH SH*T" this is science. I love it.
Update: After I wrote this, Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared on the Daily Show and talked about Pluto:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Darwin

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

I was just thinking about him! There was this post over on Slashdot the day before yesterday. Darwinism Must Die So Evolution Can Live.
"Equating evolution with Charles Darwin opened the door for creationism by ignoring 150 years of discoveries, including most of what scientists understand about evolution — Gregor Mendel's patterns of heredity, the discovery of DNA, developmental biology, studies documenting evolution in nature, and evolution's role in medicine and disease. Darwinism implies an ideology adhering to one man's dictates, like Marxism. Nobody talks about Newtonism or Einsteinism, and that by making Darwin into a sacred fetish misses the essence of his teaching. By propounding "Darwinism," even scientists and science writers perpetuate an impression that evolution is about one man, one book, one theory. "Darwinism" implies that biological scientists "believe in" Darwin's "theory." It's as if, since 1860, scientists have just ditto-headed Darwin rather than challenging and testing his ideas, or adding vast new knowledge."
Yeah...except as MANY /.ers pointed out, actual scientists DON'T SAY "DARWINISM". They say neodarwinism; Darwins theory plus all the addition evidence of the last 150 year. Or they say darwinian evolution (to distinguish it from, say, lamarckian evolution), meaning natural selection as the mechanism. But when they are talking about evolution in the modern understanding of it, you know what they say? "Evolution". As Thomas pointed out, Darwin didn't invent evolution. The only people that say "Darwinism" are creationists, trying to obfuscate the arguments: if you pin an idea to a person, you can ad hominem attack the person.

I didn't even know it was Darwin's birthday today until Google told me. (More on that in some future post)

SPEAKING of Creationists, I hope everyone has seen the Creationist Junk Debunked videos. Sometimes funny, and sometimes sad that people believe the things they say.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sign Up To Comment

So, I had followed a link from Thomas' to Girl Grows Up (or, Potomac Fever?), and saw a post that mentioned a Mark Haddon book. I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on the recommendation of a friend while I lived in Japan. It's a sort-of mystery told from the perspective of an autistic boy. Now, having an autistic brother of my own, to whom I was a care-provider for a couple years, I came at the novel from an unusual perspective. Some things were just plain incorrect, but overall I think I enjoyed it.

But could I comment about it?

Apparently not.

See, when I followed the comment link, I was presented with this:
You will be asked to join Vox to post this comment.
Want to comment? Join our site. I have to say, it's 2009, and that's lame.

You want to leave a comment here? Now, I have anonymous comments disabled. BUT! You just have to have an OpenID somewhere. Anywhere. Such as AOL, Blogger, Flickr, LiveJournal, Yahoo, WordPress. Or Vox.

That's right, if you have a Vox account, you can post comments here, but I can't post comments there. It's strictly one-way.

Get with the times, Vox!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Firefox Woes?

So, I was editing the Moosebutter post, right?

I had gone to YouTube looking for Terry Fator videos. I had never heard of Terry Fator, but I followed a link from Thomas' to Snickersnack's, and there it was. But those videos had expired, so I went to YouTube.

I saw that Corey Vidal had posted a new video. The video led me to some other sites and I figured there was enough material to warrant either a new post or an update. Since the post in question was already an update, I figure I would just expand it.

I added Corey's new video and a bit from the article. I saw a line in the article I wanted to emphasize, so I did. Then I wrote "(Emphasis mine)" at the bottom of the post.

Didn't look good there, moved it up to the "From the article:" line. But now I needed to un-capitalize the E in Emphasis. This was going to be my final change, then I could post it. Highlighted 'E'. Pressed 'e'.


Firefox freezes.... then crashes. Bam. All tabs gone, all update gone, everything gone.

I was pretty pissed. See, because this was an existing post and not a new one, I never got the "Draft autosaved at 3:49 AM" message next to the Save Now button. So, unlike a new post, it wouldn't be waiting for me when I restarted Firefox.

Restarted FF anyway, got up and paced and went for a cup of coffee while I fumed and composed a "Computers Suck" post in my head. Came back, FF was loaded with my saved tabs, and the last active tab selected. My "Create Post" tab. With my update still in it.


Did Firefox save it somehow? Was it Session Manager? Or did Blogger secretly save my post, but not as a regular draft?

Who knows? All I know is, computers rock! I love technology! ^_^

Monday, February 09, 2009

World Of Mime

(from That Mitchell and Webb Situation)

This kind of thing is why I didn't enjoy acting classes.


On Friday the 13th, 2009 at 11:31:30pm UTC UNIX time will reach 1,234,567,890.

This will be Friday, February 13th at 1531 and 30 seconds PST.

You can watch the countdown (countup?) here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hang In There, Jack

I saw this commercial during the superbowl, but apparently it's not a "superbowl commercial"? It's not in ANY of the official collections of superbowl commercials (NFL, NBC, Hulu, YouTube, Yidio). This is what I get for not watching TV.

Anyway, it was the one where Jack gets hit by a bus.

(May be gone by the time this posts)

Hadn't thought about it since the game, but it came up recently on a blog I read, so I checked out the site Two things:

1: FREE FOOD. One day only. February 10th. That's THIS TUESDAY. Print out the coupon on the site, get one order of medium seasoned curly fries. Free. Not, free with purchase or any of that crap.

2: While most of the HITJ videos are meh, the ones with Jack's doctor tickle me.



Saturday, February 07, 2009

Heroin Addict Christmas

(from That Mitchell And Webb Look)

How I Spent My Morning II

I have to write a literature review (a review of published papers in my area of science, not a review of books).

Lots of searches, lots of tabs open.

Oh, EWU's Library pages reset to the search page? So if you don't save your results right away they're gone? Cool.

Ah, Citeseer isn't supported anymore? Guess I'll try the beta. Oh, the beta doesn't save search parameters if you use the back button (shitty javascript implementation), maybe if I click the advanced search link at the top? Oh, that link means instant browser death? Awesome!

Good thing I didn't have a ton of unsaved searches open, because that would suck!

Friday, February 06, 2009

World Record


Phoenix Has Bad Luck... online. In this review: KungFu4Less.

Executive summary:
I ordered some kendo equipment, including a shinai case. They apparently ran out of shinai cases, so they removed it from my order without asking if that was OK. I told them to cancel the whole order.

A few days later, they send me a coupon, and upon checking their website I see that the shinai cases are marked as back in stock. I place a second order, identical to the first.

They canceled the whole order without any notification at all. I didn't even know they canceled it until I checked the status.

KungFu4Less is pretty terrible, and although their prices look good, I don't think I will ever shop there again.

So I'm in Kendo club at EWU. I wanted to buy some kendo gear, and some froogling led me to

Prices seemed OK, so I placed an order for a gi, hakama, and shinai bag. They e-mailed me an order confirmation.

I also told my friend about it, and she placed a similar order.

Then they e-mailed me a second confirmation, with the shinai bag removed. It seems that they are out of stock, so they just took it out of the order.

What the hell? Companies can do that?

I've never had a company change my order without asking for confirmation on my part.

So I e-mailed and canceled the order (probably a good idea anyway, since I think I might have ordered the wrong gi size). But upon checking the website, the shinai case is still listed! But the owner tells me that no, they aren't actually in stock.

Here is the complete first communication (even the parts that expose me for the dick I am): Show/Hide
No no, that is not OK. You can't just DROP an item from my cart and
ship me the rest without asking. Because, I'm going to have to order
that again from somewhere else, and that's going to cost shipping
there, so I might as well order my gi and hakama there TOO. See?

Also, how is the shinai case not available for ME, but it IS available
for my friend [redacted] who placed her order AFTER MINE?

DO NOT SHIP MY ORDER without a shinai case. No shinai case, no order.
Okay we will cancel your order.

Jim Sul
Thank you. I'm sorry for the trouble. I was just very surprised.

Also, when I went back to the website, you still list the shinai case?
Is it available? Or no?
No problem at all Sir... Unfortunately that item is still out of stock. We are very sorry.

Jim Sul

A few days pass, and then I get a coupon from KungFu4Less. Maybe this is a sign? The shinai cases are back and they still want my business? I place another order (this time with the correct sizes). I got a confirmation e-mail shortly.

Then I waited.

And waited.

After more than a week had passed, I went back to the order confirmation e-mail and followed the link to check the status of the order.

It had been canceled.

No notification, no anything, just canceled.

I e-mailed them again, and was summarily chewed out by the owner.

Some highlights:

"You seem to not like the way we run our bussiness, so I ask you to stop placing orders with our company."

"Did you think we were going to ship your order??"


"Yes I canceled your order... We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and that includes you. You are a very difficult person and I do not want you or anyone like you as a customer. I'm sure you have heard that alot, if that bothers you.. oh well."

"You are one insignificant person who is complaining because he didn't get what he wanted. Grow up."


Here is the full gory transaction: Show/Hide
You canceled my order without ANY notification at all?

This is the worst shopping experience I have ever had.
Dear Sir,

As per your request, we could not ship your order complete, so we cancelled like you requested.

Jim Sul
You canceled one order on my request.

Then you sent me a coupon. When I checked your site, it appeared that
the one item that was missing from my first order was back in stock.
I placed a second order.

You canceled the second order without any notification. You didn't
say "We don't have this item". You didn't even say that you canceled
the order.

There were two DIFFERENT orders.
Dear Sir,

You seem to not like the way we run our bussiness, so I ask you to stop placing orders with our company.

Jim Sul
I will stop placing orders with your company, and instead I will start
telling everyone I know about the terrible service I encountered.
You truley are a very difficult. You make a big fuss about about one item being backorderd and want to cancel your entire order. We were more than happy to accomadate you. What did you think we would do when you place the exact identical order a few days later. Did you think we were going to ship your order?? Did you think we would run the risk of shipping your order incomplete? Of course not, you already told me how you wanted us to treat your orders. Your exact words were "if you cant ship my order complete, then I want to cancel my order." Well guess what... WE CANCELLED YOUR ORDER.

Jim Sul
It wasn't an identical order. It seems you didn't look at it.

It also seems that you say items are available on your site when they
are NOT available.

You didn't say the item was backordered, you just removed it from the order.

My issue isn't that you canceled my second order, it is that you
canceled it WITHOUT NOTIFICATION. Just like you removed an item from
my first order WITHOUT NOTIFICATION. Do you see that part that is
causing the problem? When you change things without telling the
customer, that is BAD.

If you didn't want me to order again, why did you send me a coupon? I
thought "OH, the item is back in stock AND he sent me a coupon! He's
not a bad guy at all, I guess I will order from him again."

I guess that was too much to hope for.
Dear Sir

I am the owner and operation of and I do my best to give mu customers what they want. Sometimes, in bussiness, your gonna have items that are not in stock. I sent you a notification that one of the items you order was not available. You called me and wanted to cancel your order. Wasn't that email a notification that an item was backorderd??? Obviously I didnt just cancel an item from the order and ship it like you claim. Had I have done that, I would not have been able to cancel the order. On this new order, I sent you another email letting you know that the entirre order was being cancelled. Again, doesn't that email act as a notifying your order was being cancellation?? You keep saying we adusted your order without notification, yet you were able to reply to both notification that were sent. TAKE A MOMENT AND THINK ABOUT THAT.

Jim Sul
For the first order, you did not send me a notification that one of
the items was not available, you sent me an order confirmation with
the item removed. I sent you an e-mail saying that I didn't approve
that change and canceled the order.

That was not an e-mail notification that the item was backordered.
You said nothing about it being backordered, only that it was no
longer available. These terms are not identical.

I didn't say that you shipped the order without the item. Of course
that did not happen.

You say that you sent me an e-mail notification that the second order
was being canceled? To what e-mail address did you send that
notification? Because, I did not receive it.

Reply to what notification? For the second order, I replied to the
order CONFIRMATION. There was no notification that you canceled the
order. I only found out that the order was canceled because, after
waiting a week with no shipping notification, I went to the website
and checked the status of my order.

Look at the history in these messages. There was NO NOTIFICATION of
the order being canceled. Please take a moment and think about that.

You seem very angry at what has happened, but everything that has
taken place was in your control. You claim that you sent out
notifications, but I did not receive them. That is the root of the
Dear Sir,

All notifications are sent out automatically when ever an adjustment is made to an order. This includes the confirmation email that is sent when you place an order, as well as any tracking email there after. I could not changed the status of your order without an email automatically being generated. If you did not recieve that email, I do appologize.

Jim Sul
I didn't get it because you didn't send it. If your system is broken,
that is unfortunate.

I'm sorry we couldn't be customer-merchant, and I appreciate your
(current) polite tone, but it was still a terrible shopping experience
and I'm still going to tell everyone I can about it, including the
messages you've sent me today.
You are amazing. Even when I try to be civil you are rude and obnoxious. Apparently you have nothing better to do. Yes I canceled your order... We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and that includes you. You are a very difficult person and I do not want you or anyone like you as a customer. I'm sure you have heard that alot, if that bothers you.. oh well. I ask you now to move on. I can care less what you write about our company. You are one insignificant person who is complaining because he didn't get what he wanted. Grow up. I can assure you, our business will thrive without you.

Jim Sul

Don't shop at!

(See how I still link to the site? Apparently I reward companies that screw me over by giving them more traffic.)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Do You Watch Heroes AND Lost?



So, Thomas has this picture in his house, and I just (well, two months ago) realized it was a Banksy.

This link will take you to the page of his rat pictures, the fourth one being the picture in question.

Now, maybe Thomas had told me it was a Banksy and I just forgot, but it was still a surprise to spot it on the Internet. ^_^

Update: Well, I asked Thomas about it, and no, he hadn't told me it was a Banksy, because he was told that it was some California (con-)artist. So some Cali guy is painting up Banksy reprints and selling them as his own. That rat bastard.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sick and Tired...

...of being single? Hmm.

So I spent most of yesterday lying in bed, lying to myself about not being sick. You know when it really sucks to be sick? When you're single.

I hadn't even thought about the fact that I've been single since I came back from Japan until a friend brought it up a couple weeks ago (thanks, "friend"!). Is it so bad being single? Think of all the advantages!

No one crowds me in the tiny kitchen when I'm making my breakfast. No one breaks the silence with conversation so I always get to eat in peace and quiet.

I never come home from work and have to hear stories about someone's day.

I save a TON of money by not going out to movies or dinner.

Since I always cook for one, I get to prepare my meals just how I want! And then eat my meal by myself in front of the TV. I don't have to fight over the remote, since nobody else is here.

Sure, some social events are awkward when it's all couples and then me. All of my friends are couples...

And sure, I had no one to bring me soup, or damp towels for my forehead, or to listen to my whining about being sick. And there's no one to share stories with or cuddle with or unwind with.

I can picture my singles ad now...

Chubby middle-aged computer nerd seeks young hottie. Wealthy, bi-curious, nymphomania a plus. Sense of humor also probably a good idea.
But I'm single, and that's a fact.

It's not as if there are a ton of young hotties that really dig middle-aged chubby computer nerds. And it's not like I can go "Wait! That's not the whole of me! I'm really actually awesome!"

And I work and go to school in the computer department and rarely meet new people anyway.

So, I'm single.

But remember the advantages!

At the end of the day, when I go to bed, it's already half-made. One side always stays tucked in. And there's plenty of room, since I'm always in bed alone.


I love it!

It's great.


Barney's Video Resume

In the recent How I Met Your Mother, Barney shows off his video resume. The full music segment is available online. (Poor sound quality warning; go to the site for better quality)

Neil Patrick Harris is so awesome.

ALSO available is a collection of Barney clips set to the same song. (Commercials warning)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tuesdays Broken Thermometer News

So, I'm feeling a little woogy today. Not too terrible; I haven't thrown up or anything.

So I decided to take my temperature. I bought a thermometer a few weeks ago when I was way sick, but didn't really use it.

The thermometer says my temp is over 100. That doesn't sound right at all. I'm woogy, not sick. If I were over 100, I wouldn't be out of bed.

So that was, you know, a wise purchase and all. :-(

OK, I took a picture of the thermometer in action. It says my temp is 102.3F, so, that's wrong. I'd be dead.

Also, why is it bendy? WHERE do they think I'm going to stick this thing that it would benefit from being soft and pliable?

Tuesday's Hidden Videos News

OK, so clearly all the videos are gone/hidden on my blog (at least, all the recent ones).

Instead, you'll see these links:Show/Hide
Wow, you'll just click anything, won't you.

I did this for a couple of reasons, but mostly because the page loads much faster without all the videos. They're still there, and you can still watch them, you just don't have to wait for every old thumbnail to load from a dozen different sites. Also, the page isn't as long this way, so you can scroll down quicker.

And those autoplaying flash files on my old pages can be hidden so they don't autoplay!

Anyway, like I said, lots of reasons. Just a way of making my little part of the world a bit better every day.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day!

Today is February 2nd, otherwise known as Groundhog Day. This year, the groundhog saw his shadow, predicting another six weeks of winter.

Interestingly, it is the second day of the second month. New Years is the first day of the first month, Cinco de Mayo is the fifth day of the fifth month... you see where I'm going with this? ^_^ In Japan, there were official and unofficial holidays for most of these. So this year, on the xth day of the xth month, I'll be posting something special.

Superbowl Aftermath

What were the final scores? Who cares! How were the commercials?!

My favorites: Tips

You get to see a glasses-wearing, coffee-drinking koala punched in the face. Oh dear! David Abernathy

Am I watching a commercial or The Royal Tenenbaums?

Pepsi: Pepsuber

Purely for the presence of Richard Dean Anderson. This is actually the 2nd of three SNL clips. 1 2 3

And finally, my personal favorite:

Hulu: Alec in Huluwood

Alec Baldwin!

Yahtzee Hates Joss Whedon?


Watched Dr. Horrible again last night, and this morning I found this video. I'm just flabbergasted. I don't think Yahtzee has seen Dr. Horrible, and if he did watch it, he'd hate it now because he's invested in that opinion.

(Yahtzee is a donut because he was described as 'cynical and twisted', except it sounded like 'cinnamon twist'. Go to the video for more info)

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Ah, makes me miss my mustache.

Bo Henry, art director, Coraline.

I don't have to explain Coraline, right? Directed by Henry Selick, written by Neil Gaiman, right? You all read Neil's blog? Good.

Six days left...

The Java Mystery

Recently, my computer has been calling out to IP address What is I have NO IDEA.

Even better, it's a Java.exe process that is doing the calling. But, that can be ANY Java program. What could it be? I didn't want to give Java free reign to run over my firewall, but maybe this was an important process?

In comes Process Explorer, a SysInternals program now available through MicroSoft (which has devoured SysInternals). This will tell me what the parent program is.

So who is the culprit? None other than Digsby, my all-in-one chat app. But what the hell is Digsby doing calling Java programs to call seemingly random IPs?

It turns out, they are experimenting with distributed computing (like the Folding@Home project). Except they forgot the part where they ask your permission first.

The official solution is simple! Just open Digsby, go to Help -> Support Digsby, find the Help Digsby conduct research option and click disable. Intuitive!

Yeah, the average user is going to figure that out. There's nothing in the TOS or FAQ about it. They are just secretly using your computer cycles for their own gain, without asking you if you're cool with that.

Dirty pool, Digsby.