Saturday, October 28, 2006


I _need_ an Esteban Chord Chart

Seriously, my life seems incomplete without one.

If you haven't seen it, you should really try to catch Esteban on HSN when he's hawking his shitty burswood (fancy slang for PLYWOOD) guitars and bunging up scales like a true tone-deaf champion.

Anyhow, the chord chart is easily the biggest item in the package - like a big-ass movie poster... and it says "ESTEBAN" right at the top and has a fancy Esteban silhouette behind the (hopefully) misfingered chords and you can hang it up to show everyone how awesome you are.

I really want people to know how awesome I am. I need an Esteban Chord Chart.

Unfortunately, the only way you can get one is to order a package deal from HSN. The trouble with that is that it comes with the guitar. And other shit which I really don't need to spend good shipping fees on just to have it brought to my house. And really, who believes it when HSN tells you their $197.95 price is a fantastic deal since the retail value on all of the items in the package, if purchased separately, is over $802.67?

First, you can't buy the items separately. I tried. HSN would not budge when I insisted they sell me the chord chart for $14.95 or $19.95 or whatever the fuck was on their "if priced separately" list. I even offered them more. I think I was offering $30 or $40 and they still said they couldn't do it.

Second, HSN seems to be a little dodgy with their decimal placement. By my estimation, all of the stuff in the package -- the plywood guitar, the pre-rusted strings, the already-has-a-short-in-it cable, the can't-hear-it-because-I'm-breathing-and-that-masks-the-sound guitar amp, the picks, the chart, the books, the fabulous DVD's -- all of that shit comes up to about $8. And that includes the shipping from China.

But, I digress. I need an Esteban Chord Chart.

Isn't there someone out there who got one of these hunks of shit from their grandma, or from their evil step-mother? Give me the chord chart. You can keep the other crap so you can point it out when the demon-spawn who foisted it on you comes by for a visit. "See there Grandma? There's the Esteban guitar you got for me. I'd love to play it for you, but I was playing "House of the Rising Sun" on it earlier and the sharp fret edges filleted my finger tips. I'd love to play it for you, but I have to wait until my hamburger hands heal up."

And now, here's the saddest news of all.

I found the chord chart. It had to dig several pages deep into a google search to unearth it. You can find it here.

I'll wait down here while you check that out.


Isn't that just a pisser?

$11.95 for the chord chart. And they give you a free amp, cable, and books, too. I guess that's to weigh down the package so it doesn't blow away when UPS leaves it on your porch. (unless you have the spiteful UPS man who silently sneaks up to the door and slaps his yellow tag on the window without bothering to knock. "No. Really, mr. UPSman, I wasn't waiting here all day for that delivery. I'm really glad you took my highly anticipated, and probably very valuable purchase with you to sit in your truck overnight in some nasty UPS hole. Thanks. Thanks a lot. I guess you probably thought I ordered an Esteban guitar and you were thinking you were doing me a favor.'")

WHY IS IT FUCKING SOLD OUT? WHO THE FUCK WOULD EVER WANT ONE? It's not even advertised properly - they're trying to sell you on the amp. Jeez. What the fuck am I supposed to do now?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Give it to Mikey.

Funky Smith posted a recipe. My wife wants to try it. She told Funky about this. Now Funky is telling my wife to eat Spag. instead of her recipe. I dunno why. That's just the story I heard.

So, to make Funky feel better, I will post a recipe that she (and everyone else) is welcome to try. I hear it goes great with fresh bananas and milk.

1 oz. toenails

2 tbsp. dead arm hair

1 pinch of crud from under the lip of the kitchen counter

4 early-morning eye crusts

3 dozen chocolate chips

1/2 cup egg beaters

1/3 cup cottage cheese

15 bite-sized chunks of beefsteak

7 sticks of sugarless gum

Mix first five ingredients in a small sauce pan on high heat.

When the chocolate begins to burn to the bottom of the pan pour in the egg beaters and the cottage cheese. Stir for twenty-five minutes. Keep heat on high. Do not stop stirring.

Balance the beefsteak chunks on the ends of the gum sticks. You have an extra one in case you drop one on the floor. (you wouldn't want to get any germs in the recipe)

Drop the balanced beef-gum into the pot one at a time. The gum should get sticky and wrap around the beef. If it doesn't, try to stab it with a fork and twist it around.

Once you have the gum wrapped neatly around all the beefsteaks, stir the whole mess for about an hour. But take a ten minute break every fifteen minutes. Leave it on high heat the whole time or it won't come out right.

After you've stirred it for an hour, place the pan on a cookie sheet and put the whole shebang into a preheated 550 degree oven.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and serve hot.

Serves two.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Protesting the Stupids, pt. 2



He is now READING STATS off of some web page OUT LOUD for the benefit of
everyone around him.

One pick. 33 yards.
358 yards. That's a league record.
So is the 386.

I hope he chokes on a field goal.

a day late. several dollars short.

See here for National Protest the Stupids Day

I am protesting the stupids today.


I am lodging a full-scale protest.

The stupid is RIGHT HERE talking about the football. I protest.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

I may be Sacky, but...

I don't care what kind of horn you play:


It's just not right.

I got my pencil...

now gimme something to write on.

Dust off your AST PowerExec laptop and your fancy clip-on trackball.

Less than two weeks until another installment of NaNoWriMo.

For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. You get 30 days to eat turkey, visit the in-laws, shop for Christmas, and somehow hack out a 50,000 word novel.

I did it last year. I actually finished a book for the first time in I dunno how many false starts.

This year leaves me wondering if I should even bother -- let's compare:

Last year I had a stupid job which had me home most of the time.
Last year I had a pregnant wife who also wrote a novel while she continued being pregnant.
Last year I had a semi-fresh idea which I wasn't afraid to explore.

This year I have NO TIME. None. Time is extinct as far as I'm concerned.
This year we have a baby who requires LOTS OF ATTENTION. Giving attention to a baby is time consuming. Back up a few sentences if you forgot how much time is available.
This year I have a new slant on an old idea, but I'm scared of it because I've started and restarted it several times over the years and it never goes anywhere.

So yeah, write a book. Maybe I'll read it in my spare time.

my brain is turning to mush

1. I have a cough. Probably bronchitis. Or worse. I wish it would stop.

2. The football guy is going NON-STOP because there are no calls coming in.

I'm so sick of hearing about Raven's stats from '99 and 2000. Seriously. WHO THE FUCK CARES?

I wonder if he knows what kind of picks Jeff Loomis uses. I could tell him, but I don't think he'd give a shit - kinda the same way I feel about everything coming out of his mouth.

OH. I should clarify something from my initial post about the Football Talker.

He does have something to do with the Ravens. He plays in the band. He gets to go to all the home games for free and toot his horn.


fartypants jones

I can eat a box of cookies for dinner if I want to. Can you do that?

No, you can't. Because you're a fart-faced kid.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Get 'em while they're young

Make sure your children get an early start in computer education.

Here's what my son, who is just five and a half months old can do (with a little help from his mother):

From MSN Messenger

Baby says:
';' cv
Daddy says:
hi there, mr. baby
Baby says:
d ]]]]-]`====-
Daddy says:
are you having a good day?
Baby says:
Daddy says:
don't tear off any keys
Baby says:
./=- i7j88uh7tr6555555555555555555y6gv bn u=76
Baby says:
8ip8o0-9999999999999999999099 0p-['?
Daddy says:
where is your dog book?
Baby says:
Daddy says:
I don't think it's there.
Daddy says:
Where did you leave it?
Baby says:
I gave him his own computer and now he's kicking it
Baby says:
Off the couch
Daddy says:
that's what he usually does with it
Baby says:
but he's mad because his doesn't light up
Daddy says:
that's for sure
Daddy says:
take the battery out of mine and put it in that one. It might turn on if you're persistent with the power button
Baby says:
Baby says:
Daddy says:
Why does he like the CAPS LOCk so muh?
Daddy says:
Baby says:
under his hand
Baby says:
he likes whatever is under his hand
Baby says:
do you get free pizza toay?
Daddy says:
i dunno what we get
Baby says:
Baby says:
doodle says ok
Daddy says:
that's good
Baby says:
78888888YMV`GHY7FCV ``````````````````````````````````````````28IJK PU,U,7

Monday, October 16, 2006

Way to go, Microsoft!

I know I'm not stupid. However, it's nice to have it validated from time to time.

The following is from a recent book on how to write DirectX code outside of C++:

"Managed DirectX was released with the latest version of the core DirectX libraries in DirectX9. It enables developers using the new .NET languages (i.e. C#, VB.NET, etc.) to develop rich multimedia applications with DirectX. Unfortunately the Managed DirectX runtime was released without adequate documentation, and developers are having a hard time figuring out the best way to write managed applications. This book covers how to use the Managed DirectX objects, how they differ from the core DirectX libraries..."

Thursday, October 12, 2006


20 GOTO 10

There you have it. The first kind of computer program I learned how to write. I could even do it in two versions. The one -WITH- a semi-colon would print horizontally, wrapping the text when it got the edge of the fabulous 80-column green or amber screen (IF YOU WERE LUCKY) or the TV (NOT SO LUCKY NOW, ARE YOU?) that you had your Tandy hooked to. OR -- if you left out the semi-colon then it would just print a single in-line column of your selected slogan.

Simple. Maybe that's why they called it BASIC.

Somewhere along the line, I learned PASCAL, as well. Shortly thereafter (along the line) I forgot anything at all about actually DOING Pascal. I do remember making a fully functional Minesweeper program in my fancy class, however. I also remember having Kingo help me with some part of an assignment and we got some kind of crazy error message upon running whatever the program was. We dug deep into the manual and found a reference to it - which stated specifically, "You should never see this error."

So yeah, even way back, I was perfectly adept at ruining the innards of computers.

Around about 1998, I stumbled upon VBScript. VBScript is an offshoot of Microsoft's Visual Basic language. Visual Basic is a souped up version of the old standby which I first learned - only now it has Windows form components so you can drag-n-drop buttons and text boxes and menus and assign some code to events - like when the user clicks on the "OK" button.

VBScript left out most of the GUI garbage and focused on getting shit done - shit in a "sneaking around behind the beast" way of administratinizing Windows machines.

I managed to cobble together some VBScript tools for my job and realized a new sense of satisfaction. Sure, they were simple tools but -- no one else had done it (and many had tried) and, most importantly, they fucking worked. In one instance my VBScript which took a few days of learning-while-coding saved the company a lot of money by negating the purchase of some outside tool.

I also played around a little bit with the full-fledge Visual Basic, but not much. And then I left that job and didn't touch any programming for the next 8 years.

Which brings me to my new job. I'm helpdesking, and over the course of any given day, I can be called on to execute the same task, or set of tasks, a number of times. Since I hate repetition of labor, my mind instantly starts churning and looking for a way to make it easier, faster, better, or more fun.

In the sense of most of the jobs I've had, the "more fun" option is the only one which ever seems feasible, but is usually out of the question due to some shitty policy like, "no throwing cakes" or "don't ride the shopping carts."

In the sense of Windows administration, this line of thinking leads to creating working tools that cut repetition out of the picture. Never mind that the actual task only takes 3 minutes. If I have to do it three times in a day, I become furious and frustrated. So, I take the time, away from work, or on breaks, to dust off my scripting skills and create a utility to do my job for me. In the sense of this particular utility, all of my co-workers will also benefit.

But that brings me to the deeper problem. I'm never really content with any one thing. I've always been flighty when it comes to my interests and I've never managed to acquire any real mastery of all the things I pursue. Except for fixing the hardware side of computers. On that count, I will dare you to find an equal.

But with everything else, I manage to attain some modicum of proficiency and that's usually good enough for me. I can play the guitar, but I don't have mastery of music theory. I can bash out a beat on a drumset, but I lack the nuance and feel of a good drummer. I can make a guitar or write a story, but all of these efforts seem as if they're forced into existence as half-assed creations and not the true artistic expressions they could be.

The same goes for the various jobs I've had - but over these years I've recognized a certain feeling of belonging. A feeling of "this is right" that rarely comes along. In the eight years since I stumbled upon VBscript programming, I've only consistently maintained an interest in one thing. Race cars and toys and bands have all come and gone - but I've been unable to go more than a few days without futzing with some kind of audio recording. I get a feeling that says "this is it" and it seems right.

I get that same feeling when some program I wrote actually does what it's supposed to do.

I tried to make a living at the audio recording. It might have worked, but I took too big a step - more like a giant fucking leap - to actually maintain any momentum in the cold, harsh real world of bill collectors.

And now I've made the switch from fixing computer hardware (remember - I said up above that it's the one skill I've attained any real mastery in) and I'm back in the kind of environment I was in back in 1998 when my utility programs saved the day.

And I've done it again. And I want more. And I've developed a plan.

My plan is this:

1. Learn by doing.

That's it. That's the whole plan. If I set out to -DO- programming, I'll be able to do it. But in order to make it work and make it stick if it gets tough, it has to be interesting, it has to fit together and it has to bring back that feeling.

So how better to do that than to make some kind of program which records audio?

And that, ladies and germs, is why I try not to make plans.

Because - I have an understanding of how to put things together in Visual Basic - it's easy to follow since it kinda reads like English. Broken, terribly formatted English, but English nonetheless.

What I'm finding is that PEOPLE DON'T MAKE REAL PROGRAMS IN VISUAL BASIC. Actually, I pretty much already knew that. I just chose to ignore it and hope it would go away.
And -- it seems like it's trying to go away. Microsoft has revamped their line of Development tools and Visual Basic is -SUPPOSEDLY- capable of doing anything the others can do.

But I cannot for the life of me find any way to access a soundcard device through Visual Basic.

I can make it play a sound. That's easy. But I'm using system defaults for that. I'm not telling it WHAT DEVICE to use to play the sound. I'm letting Windows pick the device. I WANT TO PICK THE FUCKING DEVICE.

Which leads me to the whole point of this idiotic rant.

Real people use real tools to create real programs.

Real tools in this case means C++

I don't know shit from C++. Not nothing. Not one fucking bit. It strikes me as pathetic that I can copy a few lines of text from a tutorial and make the C++ pop up a box with a message on it, BUT I STILL HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE HOW THE SYNTAX AND STRUCTURE WORKS.

With Visual Basic and VBScript I was able to look at a few lines of code and adapt them to whatever my actual need was. Not so with these crazy bracketses and double colons.

I guess I need a book. Or maybe a class. I fucking hate a class.

#include "unintelligible.h"
#include "make_no_sense.h"
#include "lots of fucking brackets.h"

Don't forget the fucking semi-colons.

static int sound_scream;
static int sound_shout;
static int sound_yell;
static int sound_punch;
static int sound_curse;
static int sound_fuck;

void any_kind_of_sense_at_all (edict_t *self, edict_t *other)
gi.sound (self, CHAN_VOICE, sound_fuck, 1, ATTN_NORM, 0);

void what_the_fuck (edict_t *self)
gi.sound (self, CHAN_VOICE, sound_scratchy, 1, ATTN_NORM, 0);

void fuckit (edict_t *self);
mframe_t berserk_frames_stand [] =
ai_stand, 0, berserk_fidget,
ai_stand, 0, NULL,
ai_stand, 0, NULL,
ai_stand, 0, NULL,
ai_stand, 0, NULL


I promise, I didn't make this last part up.


Running -> Arm raised in air

void() berserk_runb1 =[ $r_att1 , berserk_runb2 ] {ai_run(21);};
void() berserk_runb2 =[ $r_att2 , berserk_runb3 ] {ai_run(11);};
void() berserk_runb3 =[ $r_att3 , berserk_runb4 ] {ai_run(21);};
void() berserk_runb4 =[ $r_att4 , berserk_runb5 ] {ai_run(25);};
void() berserk_runb5 =[ $r_att5 , berserk_runb6 ] {ai_run(18);};
void() berserk_runb6 =[ $r_att6 , berserk_runb7 ] {ai_run(19);};
// running with arm in air : start loop
void() berserk_runb7 =[ $r_att7 , berserk_runb8 ] {ai_run(21);};
void() berserk_runb8 =[ $r_att8 , berserk_runb9 ] {ai_run(11);};
void() berserk_runb9 =[ $r_att9 , berserk_runb10 ] {ai_run(21);};
void() berserk_runb10 =[ $r_att10 , berserk_runb11 ] {ai_run(25);};
void() berserk_runb11 =[ $r_att11 , berserk_runb12 ] {ai_run(18);};
void() berserk_runb12 =[ $r_att12 , berserk_runb7 ] {ai_run(19);};
// running with arm in air : end loop

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's good that I have friends. If I didn't, I wouldn't know about half of the fabulous ways to waste time on the Internet.

On our next program: Yeti Sports

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a L p

1. This should be. No - fuck that. NEEDS TO BE a TV show. Like NOW. Pay the man some money for his idea. Kill the people who made the AvP movie. Buy the rights from Fox, and make this TV show. NOW.

2. Seeing as how there are more than 200 of these, it makes me sad to think how much fun and giggling I've missed.

I guess I'll have to make up for it and read them all tonight.

Favorite Word

Saturday, October 07, 2006

jesus fucking christ

"We've taken three pro-bowl players off their hands."

"We love rookie quarterbacks."

"The only way you get a rating lower than 40 is if you throw lots of interceptions with very few completions."

"The only way that happens if you have more interceptions than completions, you only have two or three completions, and you never throw a touchdown."

"He was seen on the sideline in tears."

"... last season, when we played the Packers, they benched Brett Farve."


I would just like to point out here, that the above quotes do not come from a football player.

They do not come from the coach of football team. They don't come from anyone involved in any way with a football team.

Instead, they are coming (faster than I can type them) from the fellow seated to my right (who is wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey) who has been TALKING ABOUT MOTHERFUCKING FOOTBALL FOR SEVEN HOURS STRAIGHT.

In the process of talking football, he has also accidentally rebooted servers and fucked up other things he is supposed to be fixing.



He would also like you to know that YOU TOO can own a fabulous BALTIMORE RAVENS COUCH IN PURPLE LEATHER, but he can't find the price online or he would also tell you how much it costs.