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Ouch! Dec. 11th, 2005 @ 12:03 pm
My cheek feels like... burning...

I'll have to stop lighting matches with it

...starting tomorrow. *FTSSSH*

It Happened Last Night Dec. 3rd, 2005 @ 02:50 pm
Me and some Eliters were out golfing. We had a foursome, and it was me, Come, Mark Jones, and one other guy... possibly QB. I hit a terrible shot over some short trees that landed in a valley between two holes. Everyone else finished up on that hole but me, because I was too concerned about trying to get my ball back. We had to walk across a bridge to get to the next hole, so while we were there I looked down into the "valley" we were crossing. As it turned out, it was a big mansion that some family was still living in. I guess the story was that the golf course didn't own that one patch of land, and they'd refused to sell, so the course had to build a bridge over the top and build on both sides.

As it turned out, the mansion was owned by Kevin Booth's parents, as Jones pointed out to us. Then Come had one of those "big ideas" he's famous for. But first I should point out that, apparently, this dream occurred in an alternate universe where I had pulled off one of my patented April Fool's Day tricks the previous year, but on mariokart64.com for some reason. It had been something like the Elite's AFD from 2001 (non-sensical new rankings system). Also in this alternate world, a new glitch had been discovered on one of the MK64 tracks, but because the new shortcut was very difficult to pull off (and maybe only worked on certain game carts?), Booth had decided that it wasn't going to be officially recognized as an SC. Much like the first SC we found in MKDD, I had been one of the first to get it to work and to get a video online, and still had one of the lowest times on the track, so I was pretty upset by the decision.

So, since I was the one wronged, and since it was my golf ball, Come suggested that I hop over the railing, sneak into the mansion, get my golf ball back, and in the process, get on Booth's computer and steal all of the Kart rankings pages. Then we would be able to edit them to include the new shortcut, insert some offensive comments directed at Booth and the Kart community in general, and have Jones upload them in place of the real pages. It would be the "ultimate prank," in other words. After Come finishing laying it out, I responded with, "What? Me, replace a well-established, highly respected, fully functional rankings system with an inane sets of ranks I just come up with on the fly?" Which, because this was an alternate universe, remember, was a hilarious thing to say. Also pretty funny was the method for getting into the valley that we came up with. I was going to run as fast as I could down the middle of the bridge, then swerve to the left, way out almost to the other railing, then cut it sharply to the right, gaining momentum and hopping over the right-side railing at the last second, to land on the roof of the mansion. Which interestingly enough was almost the exact method employed by Kevin Booth himself, in real life, when creating the first Toad's Turnpike Shortcut video that I ever saw. (It's insane, the connections our unconscious minds are able to come up with.)

But despite the plan, I wasn't willing to go through with it. This was because just the other month, someone had broken into the Booth's mansion and got caught trying to rob the place. The Booth's had kept him locked up in some room for a while, then had had him executed right there on the grounds. Which they shouldn't have been able to do, but there was some loophole in the law where "once a man is inside your house, anything you do to him is nice and legal," as Chief Wiggum once said. (This incident must have been inspired by a convo I had with Neo last night, about how an Australian was caught trying to smuggle drugs out of Singapore a while back, and ended up getting state-executed last week.) So I turned it down and we all returned to our homes. But the next day I was paid a visit by two of my least-favorite acquaintances from back in High School. They weren't "bullies" per-se, just sort of slow, but they played the part in this dream. Somehow word had gotten to them of the scheme we'd cooked up, and they wanted me to go through with it. So I sighed and said, fine, I'll do it tonight.

Once it got dark I snuck back to the bridge, hopped over the rail, and landed on the roof. I had prepared some explosives to help me break in, but found out that I was able to lever-open the skylight with my foot. Sweet deal. I found the computer and got all the files, then was going around stuffing things from the house into a big black sack I had brought along when I accidently bumped into a plant and set off an alarm. Needless to say, I was up the skylight and back on the bridge in seconds. For some reason, my Dad was up there and had brought our red Radio Flier wagon along with him, so we put the bag in the wagon and started to walk north toward our house. Walk, mind you, because we were sure we'd be shot down if they saw us running away from the scene of the crime. Even walking we must have called too much attention to ourselves, because Kevin's mom was suspicious of what we were doing in the area and came running after us. I had stupidly forgotten to put the last thing I had grabbed into the bag (it was a big red clock with a yellow face), and was still carrying it in my left hand. So we kept walking away from her, pretending we didn't hear her yelling, while I held the clock close to my body. Fortunately for us, there's a park just south of our house, and I was able to kneel down and bury the clock in the sand there just moments before Mrs. Booth caught up with us. Apparently she didn't think it was out of the ordinary to be out walking in the night, towing around a bag-filled wagon and wearing all black, because she let us go after seeing we weren't carrying any of her stolen property. So we breathed a sign of relief and safely continued on home.

My roommate's alarm went off at this point, but I can only assume that the MK64 prank went off like clockwork the following day, and a good time was had by all.

School's Here! Aug. 30th, 2005 @ 01:09 am
You got the H-Star, you got the H-Star-R. And boy, do I have a bee in my bonnet!

Yep, starting up my Senior year of college, and I'm happy to say that I'm doing so with what is almost certainly the coolest schedule of all time. Even better than that elevated train schedule I saw in Chicago once! I commented about it at length in Chat, so I'll blog my thoughts, paste-style.

Im Ngamer (12:19:28 AM): I'm not the type of guy who uses phrases like "flippin sweet"
Im Ngamer (12:19:42 AM): but my schedule this semester is flipping sweet
Blueline Goddess (12:20:04 AM): What classes, Jon?
Im Ngamer (12:20:10 AM): every single day, I don't have to wake up until 11
Im Ngamer (12:20:29 AM): meaning I can stay up for FV at 2, and still get 8 hours sleep, easily
Im Ngamer (12:20:53 AM): pretty amazing considered I used to stay up till 2 every night anyways, even when I had to wake up and be into work by 7
Im Ngamer (12:21:13 AM): my classes are
Im Ngamer (12:21:26 AM): Theory of Algorithms
Im Ngamer (12:21:38 AM): which is supposed to be pretty tough and mathy
Im Ngamer (12:21:56 AM): but my other 3 should be fun and easy for me
Im Ngamer (12:22:09 AM): Early English Literature
Im Ngamer (12:22:21 AM): going from Beowulf to a little past Shakespeare
Im Ngamer (12:22:29 AM): 800-1700 or so
Im Ngamer (12:22:42 AM): then the one I'm really excited about
Im Ngamer (12:22:47 AM): Science Fiction and Fantasy
Im Ngamer (12:23:16 AM): we're reading 9 books, one of which is The Hobbit
Blueline Goddess (12:23:29 AM): Awesome!
Im Ngamer (12:23:32 AM): another is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Im Ngamer (12:23:46 AM): then the day after we finish we're going to watch Blade Runner
Im Ngamer (12:24:21 AM): and.. The Golden Compass, The Time Machine, etc etc
Im Ngamer (12:24:26 AM): should be right up my alley
Im Ngamer (12:25:10 AM): and my last class is Modern Nationalism or some such
Im Ngamer (12:25:22 AM): not sure if it will be cool, but easy I'm sure, as it's a Gen Ed
Im Ngamer (12:25:23 AM): my last
Blueline Goddess (12:25:26 AM): And what is your major?
Im Ngamer (12:25:37 AM): Computer Science, with a minor in English
Im Ngamer (12:26:04 AM): so I'm basically doing all I need with computers, and filling the holes in my schedule with fun English stuff
Blueline Goddess (12:26:14 AM): That's the way to do it.
Im Ngamer (12:26:45 AM): yeah, I love to read, and writing has always come naturally to me, so it's a good fit
Im Ngamer (12:27:00 AM): nice to have something to take my eyes off the PC monitor for a bit each day
Im Ngamer (12:27:57 AM): so, yeah, up at 11 each day (except for Thur, don't have to be up till 1, omg)
Im Ngamer (12:28:08 AM): and done with class each day by 3
Im Ngamer (12:28:24 AM): except Wed, which is 5

EDIT - Oh yeah, just remembered that I have the full version of my schedule online already, so I might as well post the link.

http://www.thengamer.com/personal/2003-%20Sem2.xls

Ultimate LMFGAO Jun. 30th, 2005 @ 11:31 am
With the QDB still going strong, there has quite understandably been alot of talk lately about what's funny, what makes you laugh, humor in general, etc. Actually, it's been an ongoing debate for quite some time now. I've taken plenty of heat over the past two years for running what is called the Winter "Quote of the Day," where I select what I feel to be the funniest thing said in our Elite Chatroom every day and award it. Though to be perfectly honest, last year I didn't even make the decisions; I'd just select 3-4 good moments and let someone else be the judge. Not that it did anything to stop the criticism of "my administration." *grumbles*

Anyways! Enough with the sour grapes. The QDB is opening up a whole new chapter, one where what is funniest is decided by consensus, not a single person or even a small group. As I mentioned earlier, maybe this is a good thing, maybe it's not. In any case, I'm going to take this opportunity to explore my own taste in humor. This should be a blast! Maybe.

Let's start with a little journey back in time... Back to the moments in my life that have made me laugh hardest, in a variety of different situations.

The Hardest I've Ever Laughed at a TV Show/Movie: Season 4, Episode 5 of Mr. Show ("The Story of Everest")
This incident took place almost 2 years ago now (how time has flown!). It was the first week of my sophomore year at college, and I found myself once again living in a small dorm room, once again with a new roommate. The two of us were getting along just fine, but I was understandably more than a little nervous about the whole situation, what with this new rommie, new classes, the list goes on. What I most wanted to do was to find something to take my mind off the whole situation, if only for a short while. As luck would have it, I had just finished downloading the 4th Season of HBO sketchshow Mr. Show off Kazaa (this was back before any of the DVDs were released, you anti-pirates! as a result of the downloads I ended up purchasing the entire DVD collection, so I'm sure Bob and David would approve of my brief career as a pirate). The first 4 episodes had been fantastic, and so I was looking forward to EP 5, and rightly so. The title skit, The Story of Everest, could perhaps be described as the most ridiculous thing ever to air on cable TV... The Story is that this adventurer was the first to ever climb Mt. Everest, so he returns home in his glory to tell his parents all about it. But as he's trying to explain how he's the world's greatest, most daring climber, he falls flat on his back, knocking over some shelves and making a huge mess of the living room. Naturally, he has never been so embarrassed in his life. So everyone has a good laugh, they pick up the mess, he restarts the story, and falls AGAIN. And it just goes on and on, one of the great slapstick sequences of all time, and every time he falls I can't help but double over and go into a deeper fit of laughter; I could barely breath after a couple minutes of this. I'm sure you've been in a situation where the laughter just keeps feeding itself... you know what I mean. My lungs hurt for the rest of the day, because I guess I'd been laughing so hard that I'd forgotten that little thing about still having to draw a breath every now and again.

THIEL in a Classroom - Spanish 1 Class, High School, Freshman Year
Please understand that I hated Spanish class, moreso than anything else I ended up taking in HS or have since been involved with here at college. I liked actually speaking the language (not surprising, given my passion for public speaking), but that was about the extent of my enjoyment. The rest of the class was just bad, humorously bad, largely because our teacher was so old and utterly out of it that just watching her try to conduct a class was hilarious. To give you an idea, students had been hoping that she would be retiring within a few years or so back when my parents graduated... in 1975. She actually refused to let people sit at two of the desks near the back of the room because those were her "blind spots." I'm dead serious. Anyways, she had this horrible 30 year old cassette player that she made use of in order to play equally horrible, 20 year old "Learn Spanish" tapes. You know the ones. A Mexican will say "Hola, mi nombre es Juan" and then an American comes on to say "Hello, my name is Juan." But the tape was so badly beat up from 20 years of overuse, and the speaker so small, old and crappy in the first place, that all you would actually hear would be "garble garble garble Juan." And of course, this teacher herself can barely hear, so she can't understand why we're not following along very well and just does the natural thing: turns that speaker up louder! Yeah, that's going to solve the problem. So now all the way at the end of the hall, through a two inch think door, you can hear this dying speaker shouting "GARBLE GARBLE GARBLE Juan!" and as ears are being blown out with all the static and interference we're just mouthing "mumble mumble mubmle Juan" while trying to keep from cracking up, and she's still oblivious to the whole situation, staring straight ahead until the tape has finished. Man oh man... even 7 years later, thinking back to that absurd, utterly useless Spanish class never fails to cheer me up.

THIEL at Written Word - The Onion: Dispatches from the Tenth Circle (two articles)
This is a tough decision... but because my two top options occurred within 2 days of each other, I'll just call it a tie. One of the biggest laughing spells of my life took place just last summer, while up at our Northwoods cottage on vacation. It's always a nice, relaxing time, largely because the nights are spent doing things like talking, playing cards, and reading, rather than finishing homework or playing StarCraft or something intense like that. Anyways, I had brought along my three Onion books (from The Onion Platinum Prestige Encore Gold Premium Collector's Collection - surely one of the best Christmas presents ever) and was browsing at random through Dispatches, the "Best Of" book from the paper's first 5 or so years. So I'm laying on the foldout bed, in a tremondous mood already, and I see this classic Infographic on First Aid Tips. Near the bottom is this handy piece of advice: "Nothing revives a stroke victim more quickly than an eye-popping orgasm." I was in hysterics for half an hour. Then only two nights later I came upon a full article that had me rolling on the couch laughing for even longer: "Area Man Has Great Ass." Not that it's the best Onion article ever (that's a debate for another time- and it will be a long one), as it's a very simple premise, but even a shallow joke can be incredible when executed to perfection, and once again, I had come upon this writeup in just the right mood. Wow, those were some great nights.

THIEL "in real life" - Perfect Dark co-op, June 2002
Ugh, "IRL"... that's got to be one of my most hated of all internet expressions (and that's really saying something). "Real Life," as if what the two of us are doing right now isn't "real," just because there happens to be a piece of technology lying betwixt us. As if communication between any two human beings is entirely inconsequential unless it takes place within the same physical room. But I digress. The hardest I've ever laughed, bar none, was in the summer of Double Aught. You know how it is when you're in that 16-14 range and not used to staying up late into the night, and you're with a friend and having fun and it gets to be the wee hours of the morning all of a sudden. Things get goofy. That's what went on with me and my cousin, Jake, when trying to play all the way through the Agent difficulty of PD's co-op mode (where two players work together to beat the solo missions). We only made it to Air Base before our tiredness and the almost unbearably poor co-op framerate resulted in our just messing around, shooting each other and the like. The exact details aren't important, but what IS is that a certain unexpected turn of events resulted in one of those laughing fits that leaves you gasping for air. And of course, as soon as you get it under control, the other person starts laughing again and you can't stop yourself, and soon there's tears rolling down your face, and had you been drinking milk it would most certainly have come back out of your nose long ago. Apparently we woke up the entire house, and they were pretty upset about it in the morning, but that's alright. Well worth it to have a memory that will always bring a smile to your face.

Ok, I think that covers most of the situations. If I come up with another, I'll be sure to blog it right up. That should give you some idea of what "makes me tick," humor-wise. Now, on to the next entry!

Oh, but the Summer Nights Jun. 20th, 2005 @ 09:09 am
Now, I told myself that with the summer underway, and me having a little more free time than during classes, I'd start to get this blog updated somewhat regularly. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm going to be spending time in front of a PC on Help Desk for parts of the day the next two weeks, so I'll try to take advantage of this opportunity to get the ball rolling.

This has been a great summer so far. I've finally got a summer job that isn't killing me overtime, for the first time ever. It's a consistent 40 hours here at Computer Services, no more, no less, just the way I like it. And my second job, at the Theater, has been better as well, not being crushed with extra time, probably because theater attendance nationwide is way down. Everyone came out in droves for Revenge of the Sith, but its died right back off since then... Hopefully War of the Worlds can reverse that trend in a couple weeks. But I digress.

What's also been cool is our Summer Contest... We put together a great bracket this season, IMO, and it certainly seems to be paying off, as excitement and vote totals are at an all-time high. A major factor is that I'm just able to get to a PC alot more than I was last summer (10 hour shifts 5 days a week will do that to you), and so I can inform more people about the matchup over AIM. But that's not the whole story by any means, as even the totals from people I don't talk to are way up. I could go into greater depth on this, but let's keep this thing moving.

Another neat thing is that the new GameFAQs Character Battle is about to get underway. We're in the nomination phase for about another week (PS - nominate Joanna Dark!), after which the full bracket will come online and we can start predicting. I think CJay learned his lesson last summer, and is going to be smart enough to avoid those boring Same Fanbase matches this year, to put together a really solid bracket. Originally I had been pushing for the "big three" of Cloud, Link and Sephiroth to be removed, but as it turns out, this summer will be plenty interesting even with those guys left in. That's because not only is the hype really starting to mount now for the new Zelda game (to be released this November), but also, Final Fantasy Advent Children is going to be released right in the middle of this Contest. There's a huge debate on which of the two is going to be a larger factor, how the voting population has changed over the past two years (some say that the Gamespot merger has turned the site more casual, which would explain Link's huge rise last year), all that kind of stuff. So I'm excited to see how that all comes out, definitely something to keep an eye on.

And then the last thing is, a little site I helped create last month had gotten off to a fantastic start, it's been alot of fun to follow along with its progress and manage it along the way. I'm talking about The Elite Quote Datebase. If you've ever been to the very popular nerd supersite bash.org, you'll know what you're getting into. It's a collection of all the best/funniest convos and one liners and moments from our Elite Chatroom, Boards, and even private IMs. All the members get to cast their vote as to how funny the quotes are, meaning that (in theory), the best of the best are going to slowly rise to the top over time. What I really like is the system we've got in place. The biggest factor is that we tie all votes to a specific user account, and enforce one vote per user, so the rating is going to be much more fair than at bash, where anyone can have their say as many times as they'd like, more or less. It's also better in that we go with a hard ratings system, rather than the yes/no popularity of bash, where "the rich get richer," as they say. If you're not on the front page of Highest Rate on bash, it's very hard to get there, since the total votes cast on those quotes are astronomically higher than a new incoming quote. On the QDB, not only do we keep the focus on Recent quotes, giving the newest their chance to shine, but it's also set so that with a couple high votes early, a quote is given every opportunity to prove itself for a while over on Top Rated's front page. There's also all kinds of neat Stats, including some graphs, even.

Alright, that about catches you up on the online goings-on for this Summer to this point. Tomorrow we'll be able to dig... deeper.
Other entries
» omg its Summer!
Back for the Summer! Wow, that was a rough Finals week, maybe the most running around I've ever had to do. But got through it, I think things ended on a strong note, and ready for an enjoyable Summertime.

But one last thing from school... Some Constant Readers were quick to accuse me of exaggerating in my Empire of the Ants post, because how could there possibly be that many ants in the room at once? Well, turns out I was right. During Finals Week I put out little poison traps in both windowsills, and the first day out, the ants just went CRAZY over them. Here was the best total score at any one time:

East Window - 37 ants
South Window - 14 ants
TOTAL: 51 ants!

There were still a few here and there the next day, but after that they were all take care of, so that was cool. Ok, time to get back to starting the Best Summer Ever on a high note. NGO!
» Empire of the Ants
We always used to have a slight ant problem every year about this time back at home... But I've never seen anything like this. At one point this afternoon while I was trying to make some no doubt delightfully witty comment in Chat, I couldn't because there were 2 ants walking across the keyboard. So I decided to look around the room and see how many ants I could spot in all. There were

2 on the keyboard
1 on the dresser to my left
1 on the desk to the right, coming toward the mouse
2 on the floor underneath my chair
2 on the wall to this side of the window
1 in the windowsill
1 on the ceiling
1 on the wall above my bed
1 on the opposite wall

I thought they must have been attracted by food and crumbs lying around, so yesterday I took all the non-sealed food downstairs and emptied and trash can and cleaned it out really well and wiped down the desk, in the hopes that they would get the idea that there's nothing for them here, and stop risking their lives with these breaking and entering. But apparently they didn't get the picture, as they only expanded their territory during their travels today. I even saw one out of the room, down the hall, on the staircase heading down to the kitchen. I had to pack up my N64, because a caught a couple ants hanging out underneath the expansion pack yesterday, didn't want that to become a prime hideout.

This would probably be less of a problem, except I'm one of those guys who literally "wouldn't hurt a fly," and that holds true for ants as well. I don't kill anything that doesn't bear me ill will (so I still take down mosquitoes with a vengeance... oh, horseflies too), and these ants don't, really, so I don't mind them so much. The strangest thing is that I live on the second floor this year. How could it possibly be worth climbing 20 feet straight up just so you can walk around on my walls, accomplishing nothing? I guess I just don't get ants.

So anyways, I figure they must be getting through tiny cracks in the screens, so I've closed and locked the windows tonight... we'll see if that keeps them out. If it doesn't work, I'll have no choice but to buy some ant poison later this week and take care of the problem that way. Not the most pleasant solution, I know, but I still think it's more humane than crushing them to death one by one. Way more effective, too.

Oh, almost forgot, but one of them was climbing down the middle of the monitor this afternoon, so I decided to see if I could get it to follow the mouse pointer around, like that spider on bash. No such luck, it got flat out ignored. Ah well... NGO!

PS - If an ant rides on my backpack and climbs off all the way across campus, a mile away from his home nest, what does he do? Spend the rest of his life trying to get back home? Or does he go, meh, forget this, and just start living for himself for once? Such an interesting animal... it's just that I have an easier time appreciating them when I don't have to check that I won't crush one while reaching for my mouse.
» Bada-bing, Bada-boom
Whoops, haven't been posting lately, as I've been considering moving the blog to the front page of thengamer.com. There's alot of better ways to blog than LJ, true, but I really like this Semagic system. So... I'll stick with this, and maybe just duplicate what's here over to thengamer.

Now then... I've been doing some stuff with the capture card today, and one of them was to whip up this little vid. A puppy video, as it were! Here you go:

http://thengamer.com/personal/

It's my Uncle's new dog, she's a 2 month old pug named Tess. Enjoy!
» REST
Good news! Just disrobed and got up on the scale once again- I'm just under 149 lbs! The Undiet is working, this is great.

Sunday:
2 Glasses Choc Milk
1 Glass Skim Milk
2 Pcs Pizza Hut Pizza
1 Breadstick
2 Pcs Chicken
2 Choc Chip Cookies (w/ milk)

gar
» I can Rest tomorrow
Saturday:
1 Grilled Cheese Sandwich
1 PB&J
1 Capri Sun
1 Glass Choc Milk
3 Striped Dainties
2 Little Debbies
1 Plate Red Lobster Popcorn Shrimp (w/ French Fries)
2 Glasses Mellow Yellow
1 Bowl Applesauce
2 Buns

Figured out how to allow directory browsing, but managing users is a huge pain. I think I'm just going to wait for things to sort themselves out this Monday, when I expect to have the whole site working off the domain name they're supposed to be registering for me. I guess the evening of Friday was a bad time to sign up, as it appears they don't do any setting up of domains over the weekend. Oh well, live and learn.

Amazing day of basketball today, with UW-M over BC and West Virginia over Wake both being fantastic from start to finish. My bracket's halfway sunk now, since I had Wake going all the way to the finals, but I'm not too upset since it's pretty much the same story for everyone. Here's hoping for more upsets tomorrow... as long as it's not Duke! Could go for a nice UNC defeat though.

EDIT - To the Constant Reader who is interested in directory browsing...

I'm not sure how universal this is, but on my Apache server there is a file called " .htaccess" in the main directory, along with the highest index.html, etc. The first line in this file used to read

IndexIgnore .htaccess *~ *# */HEADER* */README* */_vti*

Meaning that no one would be able to come in from online and get to any of those folders/files. The * works like wildcards in AdBlock, meaning you could say "IndexIgnore *.jpg*" and then no pics would show up when people browse folders. I just knocked out that whole line and replaced it with

Options +Indexes

Which means "show all folders. ALL."
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