log (2004/09/10 to 2004/09/16)

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Favorite tattoo:

Snips and snails
Wednesday, September 15, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

So since I said on Monday that all the places in FFX that I think are going to be the final battle actually turn out to be whole new sections, the new section that I went into last night turned out to be the final battle. But it look so long to get through that I had to turn the machine off in the middle so the little daughter could go to bed.

Tonight I started earlier (from my saved game at the last save-spot in the game), and finished it (including watching all the credits) at about eight thirty. Something like 100 hours of playing time! Because of my extremely leisurely advancement style.

The final battles were all pretty easy, again because of my leisurely advancement style and wildly overtrained party, as noted before. I was looking through the guidebook that the kids have, and it describes all sorts of complicated strategies for the final (well, almost final; see below) battle, but I just sort of bulled my way through and had no trouble.

(One of the battles in there, one that for whatever reason isn't even in the guidebook, seemed unusually interesting to me at the time. I felt like I had to actually use strategy, and that I was in danger of losing; I was proud to have gotten through it essentially unscathed. Then I read on the net that it's impossible to lose that battle no matter how scathed you manage to get. Still, I'm glad to think that I would have won through fine even without the odd safety net.)

So it was a fun game. I'm still not entirely 100% sure what the heck happened, but I enjoyed it. *8) I watched all the credits (my favorite one was "Hair Simulation Supervisor"), and there were even a couple of nice little movie sequences to reward me for my patience.

And, as the little daughter points out, I still have that 100-hour saved game, in case I want to get everyone (not just Auron and Yuna) their Break Damage Limit abilities, defeat all the monsters in the arena (many of which are much harder than the final bosses), and so on. And there's always FFX-2. And for that matter FFI through FFIX. *8)

Spam subject lines sometimes contain exciting new product ideas. I got this one just today, for instance:

Subject: Anxiety Releif tampon

Well, yes, hmm. And this slightly more cryptic one:

Subject: pocket 63 cream puffs

But enough about me.

Underground Bed and Breakfasts, Coober Pedy, Australia.

DIMES (Distributed Internet MEasurements & Simulations):

How does the Internet look like? How does it evolve?

DIMES is a distributed scientific research project, aimed to study the structure and topology of the Internet, with the help of a volunteer community (similar in spirit to projects such as SETI@Home).

Due to the way the Internet is engineered, distributing the Internet mapping effort is very important, and the only efficient way to measure the Internet structure is by asking you to participate. What we ask is not so much your CPU or bandwidth (which we hardly consume), but rather, your location. The more places we'll have presence in, the more accurate our maps will be. Understanding the structure and function of the Internet is an important research task, that will allow to make the Internet a better place for all of us.

If I wasn't so lazy, I might actually install it. At home, of course; I doubt the Employer would like me to stick a network-mapping client in behind the firewall.

The Coincidence Theorist's Guide to 9/11

...I could go on. And on and on. But I trust you get the point. Which is simply this: there are no secrets, an American government would never accept civilian casualties for geostrategic gain, and conspiracies are for the weak-minded and gullible.

Worth looking at, if only for the title ("coincidence theory" is my buzzphrase of the day; it's the imverse or dual or something of "conspiracy theory").

Legal Response o' the Day:

It is the opinion of us and our lawyers that you are fucking morons, and that you should please go sodomize yourself with retractable batons.

There's a Wiktionary associated with Wikipedia. Somehow the idea doesn't quite grab me as much, but there it is.

And those are the primary thoughts ("thoughts") rattling around in my head at the moment. Oh, and I also rediscovered Jim Huber today (author of the classic "Kissing Hank's Ass"), and have been enjoying reading or re-reading it all. So if you're looking for a next thing to do after getting to the end of this entry...

Monday, September 13, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

Whoosh, only nine o'clock. Some evenings are so much longer (shorter) than others.

The GameCube and PS2 have been moved to the kids' rooms from the livingroom (for reasons that I've forgotten, but that seemed perfectly reasonable at the time), which has cut down on my casual video-game playing somewhat (all to the good, I think). But I did spend some time this evening in FFX, in the little daughter's room. I keep thinking I'm about to go into the Big Final Battle, and discovering that I've just entered yet another area with more different monsters to fight and spheres to collect and so on. So now my party is even more absurdly powerful, and I've sent back a bunch of Gemini Knights and Greater Malboros and so on to that dude in the arena.

And I think I've finally gotten rid of that annoying Seymour character.

After several days of debate, all of those involved are touched by the gentle demeanor of the tiny robot whale, and agree to shelve their differences.

If I'm doing something verbal (reading or writing or editing or...) and I'm listening to music, I get distracted when the music has lyrics that I can understand (in English, say). When there aren't any lyrics, it's (generally?) not distracting. So now I'm studying whether or not music with lyrics that I don't understand (as mentioned previously (scroll scroll scroll)) causes distraction from verbal tasks.

So I got "20 Jahre Nena Nena feat. Nena" (by Nena) from iTunes (along with the forty-zillion other people who heard it plugged on NPR on Sunday morning), and I got three Spanish tracks from "Laundry Service" (by Shakira), and preliminary studies (exclusionary buddies; my frog is very muddy) suggest that in fact they're not nearly as distracting as English lyrics, and perhaps just the same as pure instrumentals. Which suggests in turn that my cognitive apparatus is pretty good at telling when something's in a furrin language and it shouldn't spend any cycles trying to understand it, even though it's recognizably a human voice.

(This topic is provided free to the public for psychology dissertations, if it's not already tapped out.)

I've started reading Marginal Revolution, a weblog kept by a couple of real live Economics professors. It's good reading, and not entirely about economics by any means. But sometimes it is, and sometimes that leads to great phrases.

Many of the most serious public goods problems are embedded in the neuroeconomy of the human mind.

Also noted there, the very relevant "Is keeping a diary bad for you?".


"there's twenty-nine of them!"
Because Walt Disnae.
".... Oh! M!"
now watch this drive
frog blast the vent core
I changed it to Dick Van Dyke..
walter jon william

Readers are invited to locate or invent the corresponding jokes (although be careful with that "M" one). Readers are also invited to Google the history of "frog blast the vent core"; I enjoyed it, anyway.

Sunday, September 12, 2004  permanent URL for this entry

Let's play spot the parody! Is it "Cheney: Economic Stats Miss EBay Sales":

Indicators measure the nation's unemployment rate, consumer spending and other economic milestones, but Vice President Dick Cheney says it misses the hundreds of thousands who make money selling on eBay. "That's a source that didn't even exist 10 years ago," Cheney told an audience in Ohio. "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay."

Or is it "Bush, in Ohio, promises dollars":

"I promise you all," the President said in prepared remarks to a crowd gathered before the steps of the Scioto County Courthouse, "that if you support me this year, I will support you right back. I will take away money from the other forty-eight states, and give it to you, right here in Ohio".

Well, okay, so maybe that wasn't so hard. I do think they're both pretty funny, though. And I only wrote one of them.

Subject: monadic rapport transcribe - jubilant mann cupful
Subject: shackle taverna - 45 - PD . . . suffrage roberts

"Lighten up, Mom. Everybody's doing it."

So I've been thinking about validation yet again (this was one of the Big Themes here on the weblog once upon a time). I had various thoughts about it that I might have written down, but right now I'm tired and sort of grumpy and don't have too many thoughts. Sex, I'll propose, is very much about validation. Validation is having someone tell you that your iTunes library is the best and most eclectic that they've seen (and contrary to the expressed opinions of the womenfolks around here, I have not been mentioning it constantly since it happened). There's even validation in determining that someone who doesn't have a high opinion of you is a jerk anyway (a sort of sour-grapes sort of validation).

But anyway.

Many Fantasy Worlds possess fine metal working, word-working and the ability to make crossbows, catapults and elaborate secret trapdoors but have no wheeled transport.

(I think "word-working" is a typo, but a nice one. See also the rest of that site. File under "clue".)

I'm tired mostly from having closed up the Big Tub of Water for the year (seems like just the other day we opened it). Also from having run my first Annual Meeting of the Lake Association as President. Nothing much happened (which was good because we didn't have a quorum), but people did come down and we all talked and it was a nice day, and we agreed to get up a petition to the town to complain about them never having finished repaving the roads after they put in the sewers. Or something.

And then there wasn't a potluck afterward because the meeting announcement hadn't been definite enough about it, but I did take the fudge that I made yesterday and my computer and my book down to the lake after the meeting, and sat there for about forty-five minutes. Manny from down the street stopped by and joined me for awhile and we ate fudge and chatted. And I think a big part of the reason that I'm not a natural Association President is that that was a fine sort of social occasion as far as I'm concerned.

And let's see. I'm reading Shelley's "Frankenstein". And I finished the silly but fun Lion in the Valley.

Validation is also all the nice words that people have been typing into the input boxes in the Fifth Anniversary Issue; keep those cards and letters coming, folks; it's what we live for (roughly). Selections will be published in a future issue.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to tune in next time, for another thrilling episode of "Yeah, but if you can't plagiarize from yourself, who can you plagiarize from?". Or something like that. *8)


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