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  Komputer Kraziness! 01:56 PM -- Sun August 7, 2005  

Hey, I bought a UPS for my computer, and it got its first use the very next day - we had two tiny brownouts (like 1/2 second each), and it zipped right through them fine, while other things around the house briefly ceased and sputtered. Hooray! Looking at the grey sky and lightning flashes outside, today might be another chance for it to shine! I just don't get the weather here. It's kind of nice except for the roads falling apart.

And a followup on the wonders of Earthlink. After giving them a month and half to refund the money that I was told on two separate occasions would be refunded in 7-10 days (but the second time he started out trying to tell me I only deserved a partial refund... until I ripped him a new one), I got fed up and contacted my credit card company to have the charges reversed. They responded promptly and effectively and I got my refund in under a week. I didn't know that initially though, since I wanted to go online today and discovered that my dial up account wasn't working. It said "invalid username/password". I thought that was odd! So I called up a new dialup company, that luckily Google Desktop found in my web cache (just last week I had been seeking alternatives to Earthlink to switch to, once this fiasco was over). I signed up, got online with the new account (FAR cheaper, and personal service), and went to check my credit card account, because I had a suspicion. Well, what do you know? The very same day that I find my Earthlink dialup not working, is the very same day that my refund has appeared in my account! Which is nice, because I was paid in full for the dialup - the refund was for satellite service which I of course never received, hence the desire for a refund. So those vindictive weasels just yanked my account out of spite, and kept the half month or however much I've already paid for. Spite for what? For finally getting the refund they told me twice I would've gotten a long time ago. Nice, huh?

I'm actually really happy though - I got my money back at last ($600, I was kind of missing it...), and at the same time, I got my Earthlink account cancelled without having to deal with them on the phone (which would've been 10 minutes of "Are you sure you want to leave? But we offer..."). I guess I better call up anyway though, to make sure I'm not going to get billed still. I wouldn't be surprised.

Moral: Do NOT use Earthlink.
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  Nature Notes 03:19 PM -- Thu August 4, 2005  

Firstly, it poured rain and even hailed today. The world has gone mad.

Secondly, on our walk yesterday, we saw a tarantula crossing the road! It was huge, like 3 or 4 inches long, just moseying along all slow. That's our first non-zoo tarantula, and quite a sight it was. Just another fine reason to kick ourselves for not bringing our camera when we do walks.

Thirdly, each of our cats has a game they play. It's fun. Zazzy plays catch (sort of) - if you throw the correct type of water bottle cap (she only likes Crystal Geyser caps), she'll jump up to swat it out of the air, or catch it with both paws and grab it in her mouth, then smack it around some more. She gets upset if you stop throwing it though, she doesn't like to just play by herself.

Huzzah plays fetch just as well as any dog... if you're using the right toy. He'll only fetch these sparkly little fluffball cat toys we've got. We keep losing them since he loves to bat them around, especially under things. But he does it so well, running out there and bringing it back to you to throw again. That's my favorite. He came up with it himself, we never tried to do any training. He just realized that we'd throw it if he brought it to us.

Bonsai plays hide and seek! If you get his attention and then run away from him rapidly and hide somewhere, he'll come looking for you, and always finds you eventually. If he can't find you for a little while, he cries, but he keeps looking! It makes him really happy to find you, and he likes it when you run off to hide again. I tried to play it with him today, but he decided to chase at high speed instead, so I never actually got away from him.

And there's Ollie. He plays "chew up the paper", and "especially if it's important". He also enjoys "chew the wire" and "torment the big fat cat just by being near him". He's basically a monster. But I'm convinced that when he grows up a little, he'll have a game of his own he likes to play. Maybe it'll be Kid Mystic.

They're cats, so that qualifies as a nature note.
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  Geeks & Thanks 08:15 PM -- Wed August 3, 2005  

Here's the thing with geeks. A geek is someone who has no power. They're not physically strong, they're not famous or popular, they're not a success in intellectual pursuits (I'm speaking of a specific type of geek here, not just the general brand). So what do geeks do? They create their own world in which they do have power. This may be a comic book they draw, it may be RPGs that they play, it may be short stories. Or it may be a special private geek community they create with fellow geeks. Kind of a big "No Homers Club". This last is the most powerful, because now, the geeks actually hold power over other real people! If, for some odd reason, people want something that their little club provides, or wants in, they can deny them, and smugly feel mighty and splendid. The Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons is the archetype of this brand of geek.

I tell you the above only because I recently had the slightly frustrating experience of being rebuffed by such a secret geek club. It's only slightly frustrating, because I'm not missing out on much (just a listing on a certain website that very few people would ever have seen...), and I know that their little community is all they (they being specifically the guy who got my listing yoinked) have. So I can be smug too, suckas. Oh, and the frustration is also lessened simply because the validity of my listing was really right on the edge to begin with. It could've gone either way in fairness. I shall leave them to their private geekery however by not naming names or citing the situation in any further detail.

Oh, and boy do I like having my owning private geekdom to rule over here at Hamumu!! BOW DOWN BEFORE HIGH ELF KING HAMUMU AND HIS +3 BROADSWORD OF SMITING! It's especially appropriate because in desperation for something to read, I have just started in on the Dragonlance books, which my wife has had in her possession since she was young enough that they were appropriate and 'cool'.

Thank you to Drgamer for his efforts and work in regards to the geekery situation above, by the way, even though they were sadly futile. And thank you to Mr. Zee for his appreciation of the effort I put in to keep these games new and fun! It's a much more fun job when I know my work is being appreciated!
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  Sneak Peek: Super Happy Go Go Ninja Time 05:35 PM -- Tue August 2, 2005  

At long last, there are now Tony Hawk combos! It's fun! Those swirlies coming off the ninja are from performing the Atomic Drop, which is not in Ninja Academy (actually, I think it's in the Mac version, but with no special effects). It's a three-fold move: it drops you out of the sky straight down, which is good for controlling where you land, and it smashes all badguys within a radius, which is good for pummeling, and when it's over, you are walking the opposite direction, which is good for controlling which way you're moving! In the list of moves executed, "Beatdown" is not actually a move, it's just giving me credit for finishing off Training Dummies.

So lots of polishing of that combo system today, and it seems to work properly now. It's kind of tricky - as long as you remain in the air, your combo keeps going. As long as the last guy you hit has not recovered from being hit, your combo keeps going. And if you finish someone off, you have 1 second bonus time to get back into your combo before it ends. So as you can see, there's lots of things that keep a combo going, but in the frantic ninjitsu storm, it's still not easy to keep comboing!

There's also a new life meter in this shot (and that new font). I don't really like this life meter much better than the old, so I still need to come up with something new.
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