amazingly painless disputes

This weekend I paid the bills. But there were a couple of unexpected ones. Well, to be fair, I was expecting the medical bill. Basically, sick as a dog, at the clinic, I didn’t have my insurance card. The lady said not to worry about it, they’d just bill me. I thought about it some, “Don’t they usually call the insurance company at this point?”, but just decided not to fuss, and got on with it.

OK, so now I have this bill, I know I’m not suppose to pay it, what do I do? Well, long story short, I called the clinic, and gave them my insurance #, and that was it! Easy as pie, after being on hold for 20 min.

2nd bill, from my homeowner’s insurance company. Wait a minute, I paid for a year of that up front… ten minutes on the phone with my insurance agent, and it’s all taken care of.

I had been dreading these phone calls, you know, where you KNOW you’re in the right, but you just expect to have to fight for it the whole way through? But no problem!

validators and Songs Ohia

So I’ve been spending probably more time at work than I’d like to admit playing with the W3’s (x)html validator. I got all excited when I found out the default movable type templates validate, and started converting my old static pages to css layout (most are still using font tags), and writing them to validate at the same time.

Then I randomly ran into this accessibility tutorial that just kicks ass, and I’ve been trying to integrate that information too. Probably the most interesting part of that tutorial is how it says who benefits from each tip, and one of the “people” who can benefit is google. I had no idea, but yes, many accessibility tips will also increase your site’s rapport with google.

I want my pages to look good in text browsers like lynx (which can check with this handy Lynx Viewer–although I’m not sure why anyone would use lynx when w3m is so much better. ;) and many of the changes for text browsers are pretty much the same ones that need to be made for accessibility, so that’s nice. Fortunately, back when I handcoded most of those old pages, as clueless as I was, I still tried to keep things as simple as possible. So the work is mostly doing things like closing paragraph tags (I still thought of paragraph tags as just adding space between text) and un-nesting various formatting tags (like center and blockquote).

It’s fun, actually, to revisit these pages, revamp them a little. I like the new stylesheet I’m using, I might make this one a little more like the one I’m using there.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Songs Ohia is at first ave tonight. I might have to skip unicycling again. I haven’t decided.

amon groovin

I must immediately and humbly apologize for all current and impending puns in the titles of my blog posts. I like puns, but they’re somehow ingrained because they were (and still are) my father’s main form of humor.

At this very moment, I am listening to the new Amon Tobin album. In part, in preparation for the concert this saturday at first ave. I just picked up the album last night. I think it came out yesterday, but coincidentally that’s also when I first heard about it. Anyway, I rushed out to Cheepo and picked up a copy. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have a copy of Ben Neill’s latest work, which is supposedly comprised of songs he composed for auto commercials.

The other reason I’m listening to this great CD is to get the song that appears in this wonderful flash unstuck. (The link is to, and may take a bit to download, depending.)

Final news tidbit: It’s snowing outside. First time of the year, as far as I know. Fuckin’ beautiful.

tuesday like a dog

Let me start off by saying this is not because I’m vegetarian, because I had MEAT this last weekend. Twice even! The first time was when Sam brought some Taco Bell back to the LAN party, and he had an extra bag given to him at the drive through… “Free tacos, anyone?” The second time was at this dive oriental place over by where Laura used to live. We went there before watching a movie on Sun. Someone got the sesame chicken, and I had to have a bite or two!

I am sick. Throat and achy body.

It might have been the oriantal place. Out of the things we got, only a couple of them were any good…

1 side of weekend, hold the impending cold, please.

My weekend was GREAT.

Friday night I got halfway to unicycling only to realize that I had a concert ticket in my pocket. Doors opened half an hour previously. I went to unicycling anyway, and practiced for 20 min or so before heading to First Ave. Apples in Stereo were not quite as exciting as I’d hoped, although they were good. I left before the headliner and hung out with Laura for the rest of the evening.

My computer performed beautifully at the LAN party Saturday. I was the first to get there, and the last to leave. My favorite part were the couple of hours in the middle when we had 12 players (two teams of six) playing Unreal Tournament 2003. That’s some good fun stuff.

Sunday I spent upgrading my laptop to OSX 10.2 (or jaguar). When I say sunday, I mean a good chunk of it, like 4 HOURS. I don’t know why the upgrade took so long, but it was enough time for me to get through 2/3 of UT’s single player missions.

Sunday night Laura and I hung out with some new and blooming friends, watching this amazing movie, Death to Smoochy. I had heard only bad things about this movie, but they were all wrong. I recommend it highly. We’re getting together again on Wed to watch The Adventures Of Buckaroo Bonzai Across The 8th Dimension, which I have yet to experience.

Now, yes, my throat hurts. Lets hope it goes away.

mopsa props

Mopsa writes relatively frequently about her various insecurities. She’s so human it’s sick sometimes. Hyper-human. It occurred to me this afternoon that this is never something I would have expected from her, having known her personality in "real life" — before we both ventured into the blogging wonderland. Mopsa is a formidable woman. Not necessarily imposing, but commanding. She’s witty, intelligent, and downright fun to be around. I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t like her. (Although I can think of people who might not like her, but they don’t count as real people anyway.)

It’s been a weird week. I’ve been talking a lot about how time seems much faster than it used to seem. I feel like weeks are flying by at a pace usually reserved for days, if not hours. For some strange reason I have not been keeping up on my blog reading. Maybe at first it was because I was too obsessed playing with MT (which I have now upgraded to 2.5, btw). Anyway, for whatever reason, I had not read mopsa’s blog in over a week.

How disturbing to discover that she’d been in a life-threatening accident!


Dear Mopsa,

Get well soon.


PS, your blog kicks ass.

PPS, I fixed my computer last night. I know you probably didn’t even know it was broken, but it wasn’t playing 3d video games, and that made me sad. I had to switch from 4X AGP to 2X AGP. At least, I think that was the thing that fixed it. (We tried two or three things before finding it was working.) Now I’m all excited about the LAN party this weekend.

PPPS, disregard that last PS, it was meant more for general consumption than for your own. That’s not to say I didn’t want you to read it. I like that you read my blog. It makes me happy. I’m glad you’re ok.

osmosis living

By sleeping with it under my pillow
I can absorb my life through osmosis.

Words are but frail shadows
cast on a blank-parchment imagination–
stones cast down from dragon’s heights,
talons fiercely tearing at this flesh.

I want to observe without interaction
and interact without being observed.

This poem is bubbling, boiling,
cooking in a pot at the back of your brain–
heavy, with nothing to feed the hawk’s-eye
but a subtle glance into unknown corridors.

sunsets and game studies

Today has been one of those days where link leads to link leads to link. It all started when a friend led me to this weird email tool called ZoË. That just blew me away. The site is so compelling. I installed it, and can’t really say what the big deal is. Maybe if I had all my emails imported into the thing I’d really like it, but for now at least it’s nothing I’d use on a regular basis.

Actually, the appearance of said friend in my inbox is mysterious enough to overwhelm the application disappointment! I hear from this strange character once every six months or so… and because he lives so far away, I imagine his life in this sort of rich fantasy dreamscape. Very european (which of course it is)!

Anyway, the ZoË website led me into this mad metablogging wonderland of RSS developer’s blogs and various blog-related techno-snob-blogs.

[It occurs to me almost as a side note–and perhaps I’ve had this “revelation” before–that I am obsessed with blogs because they epitomize what got me interested in the internet in the first place. They are communication, pure and simple: ideas and words. Blogs are fascinating because they facilitate communication in the same way the web was initially lauded for its ease of idea dissemination. Blogs are what the web was meant to be!]

From some developer’s blog, I discovered Game Studies which is an online academic magazine about… well, about studying games and game development. Very interesting. (And far too much to read right now!)

I spent fairly much the whole day surfing.

On my way to work this morning, I drove past a woman walking down the street crying like something horrible had just happened to her. She was sobbing, and stumbling along, holding a white handkerchief in her right hand next to her face like she was going to use it. I was really moved, and told myself the only reason I didn’t turn around right then and there was that I had to be to work for a meeting. (which I did.) Of course, had I turned around, what would I have said to her?

And now the round red blinding circle of the sunset is piercing my retina through the blinds of my air conditioned office… and I feel I have wasted my afternoon.

the internet: instant miscommunication

My problem is that I have all these things worthy of blogging… ideas, ramblings, opinions, cool links… and as soon as I decide to write, they flee from my consciousness like rats from the sinking ship that is my brain. I was going to title this entry “extra ordinary”, but I’m on AIM with a friend who provided the superior one above.

I hesitate to link this, because I’m going to take it down eventually, but I just added some fest pictures from this year to the ones that were up from last year. (I’m taking those down even more soon, but you can see the dir listing in /fest if you want for a few days.) The pictures will give you a better sense of the level of debauchery that takes place–and the reason I go back year after year. ;)

OK, one more topic, in this fleeting fly-by-the-seat-of-your-non-sequitur blog-entry: Pop Cap Games. The makers of the supremely addicting Bejewled. I love them. They have outdone themselves with a game my mother calls a cross between Scrabble and Tetris, and is aptly named Bookworm. I’m not telling you to play it. Because, if you’re like me, you’ll never want to stop. Instead, I’m just telling you to just look at it, and absorb the fun that I’m having through internet-osmosis.