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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Computers, man...

Yesterday I performed major surgery on my computer. I had been thinking about a few upgrades for a while, just some little advancements that might make life easier, if not better. A dual-layer drive with Lightscribe maybe. Or a new video card.

That was the intention, anyway. But like on Plastic Surgery Nightmares, what started out as a minor operation turned out to be a medical crisis. Hence the surgery.

First thing, kiddies. Don't buy a PCI Express video card if your motherboard doesn't actually have a PCI Express slot. Buy the motherboard first.

Then when you buy a motherboard, the processor, and the memory, make sure you get a power supply that's compatible with it. It's bad for morale when you hook up everything up and realize, DOH, you have no 4-pin connector for the CPU!

Hours later...

Save for the harddrives, the sound-card (which I kept because I know it works well), and my old fire-wire card, I'm back up and running with all new parts. I still need to figure out, as they would say in corporate parlance, a cooling solution as the thing runs super-hot now, but after that, I should be good for a while.

No, really, computer industry. I'm okay. I don't need anything else right now. Keep innovating, though. I'll catch ya on the next round.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Some massively light blogging on my end thanks to a bout of food poisoning I picked up after a graduation party on Friday. I'm pretty sure it was the calamari appetizer plate I snacked on before I got my dinner, and though I had stomach cramps within hours, the true horror wouldn't start until Monday night, when I couldn't keep anything down. Not yogurt. Not even water. Nothing.

By Tuesday morning I was severely dehydrated, aching everywhere, weary of putting any food or drink near my mouth. Thanks to some yogurt smoothies and Pedialyte, I started feeling better towards the evening and by the time I went to bed, even my headache was gone.

Note to self: Never eat calamari again.

A few things I might have blogged about if I wasn't dying of calamari-poisoning:

1) As another Colorado winter freezes everything around me, the thought occurred to me that one reason we don't have Rio De Janeiro-like favelas in this country is because of climate. There is no way that thousands of people could survive the winter in a shack city. No way in hell. While I believe the causes of Brazil's favelas are man-made (economic inequality and a government unwilling or unable to do anything about it), the factors that allow them to thrive and take over complete hillsides is probably environmental.

2) I saw David Fincher's latest film Zodiac again. I saw it in the theater and at the time thought it was too long, that I didn't connect with any of the characters, that the pacing of the story was off, basically that it wasn't very good. Watching it again, I must change my opinion. It is too long, it is difficult to connect with the characters, and the pacing is off, but that doesn't make it a bad movie. One thing to keep in mind is that it's not about the killer or the Zodiac killings, or even the letters. It's not even about how one man's (that would be Jake Gyllehaal) quest to find the truth at the cost of his family (that would be Chloe Sevigny). In that sense, it was completely mis-marketed. It's really about the cops (Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue) trying to find this guy and being stymied at every turn. There's one scene, which I thought unnecessary on my first viewing, where Anthony Edwards is on the phone "trying to coordinate" the investigation through four different jurisdictions. "I'll telefax it over to you." "We don't have telefax." "Okay, then I'll mail it." Stymied by reality even! In other words, the movie's worth a second look.

3) I probably would have said something about the church shooting or torture or Mike Huckabee's sprinkling a little religion on his politics, but I really haven't paid attention. Too many guns still means too many shootings, torture is still wrong, and Mike Huckabee is still my pick (mostly because he's a guaranteed loser) for the GOP nomination.

4) Making your own hot cocoa mix is more economical than buying it, especially if you drink the stuff by the gallon like I do. You get more bang for your buck, and all the proceeds don't all go to Nestle. Hershey's gets a little, the sugar company gets some, et cetera. It got me to thinking. What's better for the economy, a concentrated stream of wealth (say straight to Nestle) or a smaller, more distributed stream (say to the ingredient makers themselves)? Deep thoughts...

5) I watched a show about Charlie Manson and in one of the sound bites recognized a sample on a Rob Zombie record. "And I remember her saying, I'm already dead." You've probably heard it. That was Patricia Krenwinkel as she told the story of how she stabbed coffee heiress Abigail Folger to death.

6) Anthrax has a new singer, some no-name guy who sounds a lot like John Bush. Good for them. I'm sure he'll do great and they'll sell a few records and go on tour, but what the hell already? Anthrax is one of the most self-destructive bands out there. They can't keep a singer or a second guitarist and with each reboot they have to redefine their sound. Figure it out, guys. It can't be that hard.