Friday, April 1, 2005

Throwing Copper

Bleh. Somehow I lost the stubs and envelopes for my cable and electric bills. I paid my Time Warner bill online with their PayXpress thing, but then when I tried to do my Xcel bill, I accidentally typed in my SSN incorrectly (okay, why do you wait until I actually want to pay before asking for this?) and that apparently messed everything up. They said to print out something so I could then wait a week and a half to be verified. Bah. I called Xcel and paid my bill in three minutes.

People are dorks, while companies are über-dorks.

Well, I did some laundry, which is always good. I should mention that I've been exercising a bit for about three weeks now. Well, it has a slight effect, but progress isn't quite as rapid as I'd hope. Even two years ago when I tried, things seemed to go faster. I guess I'm getting older. My back is bothering me, though a bit less than it had been before the exercise. The springs in my bed have deformed now, and it isn't as firm as it used to be, I think.

Heh, I should get a new bed, I suppose, but that requires money. Plus, I'd want a queen-size, and that would probably require a larger bedroom, which requires moving. Actually, I'd get an extra-long queen-size, which is all sorts of trouble ;-)

I'm not even all that tall, but I don't know how people, oh, 6'3" and above manage to keep their feet/ankles from freezing. I suppose they don't ;-)

Posted by mike at 03:17 PM | Money , Self | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 2, 2005

The Newest from Paris Hilton

Went to Josh's birthday, then saw Sin City. Grand Slam in Eagan was alright, and I suppose turned out to be more fun than I was expecting when we walked in to see a huge crowd of kids. The bumper cars were entertaining, and had enough padding to keep you from being totally slammed. I did horribly on mini-golf, but what else is new.

The movie was good, though I hope the stilted conversation was an intentional representation of the frames in a comic. I'm trying to remember the biggest laugh from the movie. It might have been the comment about clean copies.

Posted by mike at 08:01 AM | Josh , Movies | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Howdy-Ho!

I want to make an online quiz where people have to guess what fluid they are looking at. There would be images of white grape juice, pear juice, apple juice, beer, and urine. I'm sure there are other brownish liquids that could be included as well. (Bio)diesel, gasoline, and other fuels might work...

Posted by mike at 02:37 PM | Internet | Comments (0)

Monday, April 4, 2005

Pope-Antipope

The grass continues to slowly turn green, which is good. I'm still exercising, but I don't think I'm expending enough energy to lose any weight. Well, I've probably gained a few pounds. About a week ago, I was 187, today 190. Yesterday I was 192, but I'd just eaten at Chipotle, and I think I was still wearing jeans. Ugh, I wish I knew how to cook something good and didn't mind taking the time to do it. Well, I suppose I could con myself into thinking that I've gained muscle mass, but I doubt that quite a bit. I've always varied a fair bit, though. One of these days, I'll get into logging such stuff and then make weekly averages or something.

On Saturday I went to Uptown to visit Cheapo. I ended up getting Ladies and Gentlemen, The Suburbs Have Left the Building by The Suburbs, but there's only a few tracks that 89.3 isn't playing ;-) That's the problem with album-oriented stations—sometimes you've already heard everything. Hopefully they're trying to restrain themselves on a lot of the music they play, though, so that people aren't disappointed when they get the CDs.

Anyway, I also chatted with Matt a bit, and went for a walk around Lake Calhoun. I should really run or bike or rollerblade. Unfortunately, running is just kinda painful, and I seem to not have the balance for rollerblading. I suppose that leaves my bike, which I haven't touched for two years. It's probably not in great shape, but I should at least dig up a pump so I can fill the tires and check it out.

Well, I'm going to wander to the downtown Target to get some batteries. Maybe I'll find a cheap pump too.

Posted by mike at 01:44 PM | Bike , Music2 , Self | Comments (0)

In a Related Story, Jesus Has Quit

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.

  1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
  2. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (95%)
  3. Liberal Quakers (93%)
  4. Neo-Pagan (90%)
  5. New Age (85%)
  6. Bahá'í Faith (72%)
  7. Secular Humanism (71%)
  8. Reform Judaism (70%)
  9. Mahayana Buddhism (69%)
  10. Theravada Buddhism (67%)
  11. New Thought (64%)
  12. Sikhism (57%)
  13. Scientology (57%)
  14. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (56%)
  15. Taoism (54%)
  16. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (47%)
  17. Nontheist (47%)
  18. Orthodox Quaker (46%)
  19. Jainism (46%)
  20. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (41%)
  21. Orthodox Judaism (39%)
  22. Hinduism (34%)
  23. Islam (32%)
  24. Eastern Orthodox (26%)
  25. Roman Catholic (26%)
  26. Jehovah's Witness (25%)
  27. Seventh Day Adventist (20%)
Hmm. Some of that scares me (ie, Scientology), but not too unexpected.

Posted by mike at 02:40 PM | Self | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Happy Hacking

Heh. I hope that was an engineer I heard say "buh buh buh hey hey hey" at around 3:35 today while listening to 89.3. Otherwise, someone is playing with the studio-to-transmitter link. Oh, and now I just heard someone complain about their headphones. Woo. Hmm, maybe they had some wires crossed between studios. That seems like the most likely problem. The station just has weird engineering issues though. It's the WJM of Twin Cities radio ;-)

I was reminded how friggin' heavy my bike is today. It's gotta weigh about twice what an average bicycle does. Oh well, it still works at least.

Posted by mike at 03:47 PM | Bike , Music2 | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Pole-lympics

Prepare for the Incredible Popeman!

Posted by mike at 09:30 PM | News | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 9, 2005

You've Got Red on You

I watched Tomb Raider in the morning. It was decent, not great, I guess. I wonder if Chris Barrie manages to do any more in the sequel.

Dan invited me over to see Shaun of the Dead, which was very amusing. The Z-Day bits at the end were funny too.

I just watched an episode of a show I liked so that I won't have zombie dreams. We'll see if that held them off or not. Well, if Scott Speedman gets zombified, I won't care too much :-p

Posted by mike at 01:04 AM | Movies | Comments (0)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Don't Drive Angry

There's a birthday greeting I wish I could make today, but I can't. Well, maybe if I get a job offer, then I can at least have something positive to convey. That's not going to happen, though. Well, as for other jobs, I should get at least a few calls today, since I went through the Star Tribune 100, and applied for dozens of jobs at those companies. With my luck, I suppose I'll just end up getting one call out of my four hours of effort.

Groundhog Day was on AMC's "DVD_TV" last night, and I must say that I was hoping I'd wake up sometime in the past. Back at a point when I had a net worth of more than $2000, at least...

Well, when I was on my bike yesterday, I was lucky enough to have Matt see me ride by a picnic he was having. I did a little frisbee (er, mostly throwing, not so much the catching part), had some bratwurst, and choked on burning Nemo fumes. They had a boombox there that pulled in 89.3 without trouble, so the evening had a nice soundtrack. I suppose my boombox would actually work that well if it was outside rather than behind a few layers of walls.

I'm at the beginning of my fifth week of continuous exercise. I've been doing stuff every day (aside from two days, as I recall), and I plan to keep doing that as long as I can. Two years ago, things fell flat after six weeks. Hopefully my expectations are more reasonable this time around. Well, I've kind of had to admit that I'm fat, which is still just weird. It's impossible for me to maintain a good diet, mostly since I have no cooking skills, and little desire to sit in my kitchen for 45 minutes preparing something. I'm not sure which direction my weight is going, and whether that's good or bad.

Oh, and when people talk about muscle tone, I'm pretty sure they're really talking about fat tone. There are parts of me that are smoother than they used to be, but there's a fair amount of junk between the skin and the point where any muscle would first appear. It's nice to be a tad less grossed out about myself, but I still wish I could fast-forward 6 months and hopefully be somewhere better.

My self-image hasn't matched my outward appearance for a long time. I'm not sure if it ever did. Well, dropping some weight would be one of the biggest things to get the two back into alignment.

It'll rain sometime today. I need to actually do my taxes rather than just estimate them. But first, sit-ups...

Random interesting article that appeared in my web browser this morning: Was Lowry Bridge a span to crime?

Posted by mike at 07:44 AM | Self | Comments (0)

Fundamental

Here's a good one: The Unitarian Jihad Name Generator. I suppose I'll take The Shuriken of Quiet Reflection. The page was inspired by a column by Jon Carroll, which is pretty entertaining: "There will be coffee and cookies in the Gandhi Room after the revolution."

Edit: I just had to point out that David Brooks is an idiot. He likes to use big words, but doesn't really have anything to say. Well, I don't have anything to say either, but I don't work for The New York Times.

Posted by mike at 09:10 AM | News | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Freaking Annoying Questions

Okay, when you are questioned, "Explain your method of troubleshooting," do you think that should be an answer for a specific instance, or something more broad? Apparently when people ask this question, they want a specific incident. Well, even though I bombed that in my phone interview today, it sounded like I should still get a call for an in-person thing in a week or two (unless someone else gives me a job first, anyway...)

Posted by mike at 11:20 AM | Work | Comments (0)

Rick James

Remember when you didn't know what "esoteric" meant? Too many people understand that now, so it will soon be supplanted by "abstruse".

In totally unrelated news, I watched Mean Girls finally. Very good and it came from an unexpected angle, though I suppose I purposely avoided knowing much about the movie when it first came out. I just had to avoid Lindsay Lohan until she was legal ;-)

Oh, and bonus points for using "Halcyon + On + On" at the end, even if they cut it off kind of quick.

Posted by mike at 03:40 PM | Movies , News | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

DND

I got $6.66 in change today at the grocery. As if I need any more negative omens these days.

I ended up watching two Rachel McAdams movies in a row. She's only been in, like, 5... What the hell?

No interested employers called today.

I played around with OKCupid again, and my match percentages are way higher now (tip: answer at least 100 questions). Of course, my top match just started dating someone like last week... Pfft, it's kind of a wonky algorithm anyway, IMHO. Weird to see just one person stick way out at the top of the pile, though.

Posted by mike at 11:06 PM | Self | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Postman Always Sings Like Elvis Costello

Hmm. I don't know how long Google video has been up and operating, but it's fairly interesting. Only 8 channels, though... Sadly, no Comedy Central.

I'm still playing with OkCupid too much. I suppose I'm procrastinating on my taxes. I'm sure my interest will wane within a few days.

Oh, and I had a phone screening plus a call to set up a face-to-face interview today.

Posted by mike at 04:52 PM | Internet | Comments (0)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Threads

My taxes are done. Probably wrong, but done. Total refund comes out to around $600. TurboTax made me pay, which they shouldn't have. I tried to go back in and at least not pay on my state return, but that just added two payments of $0.00 to the price. Sheesh.

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of soulmates lately. I guess I don't believe in it anymore. Yeah, it's a weird thing to believe in anyway, since it defies logic, and I try to be a logical person. I often fail at being logical, though, especially when it comes to interpersonal stuff... Logic can be depressing, since it can tell you things you don't want to hear.

Well, if soulmates do exist, I have to wonder if I've met mine or not. If I have, we're probably on diverging paths by now and won't be able to meet up in this lifetime. Maybe we'd become friends at 60 or something ;-) If I haven't met her, well, who knows. Nah, things don't work that way in real life. Every so often, you meet people who can be that close, even if there's no divine plan in place. Sometimes it works, sometimes you're too distracted to notice.

Heh. I know nothing about relationships, though. Movies and television just make people like me believe in strange things. Bleh. I simply want to fast forward my life to where I have a girlfriend. Well, then I'd probably live in fear of my soulmate suddenly appearing out of the blue at the worst possible moment. Yeah, more movies and TV for you there. I've got to stop thinking in that way, it's just fantasy...

Posted by mike at 02:06 PM | Self | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Oh, My Lack of God!

Hmm. Flipping through the channels and I come across Amy Pietz on some godforsaken show known as Rodney. I doubt the show will last, but I like her, so I'm glad she's getting some work (she was Annie on Caroline in the City way back when...)

I briefly turned on the A/C today to dissipate some of the humidity in my apartment (and to bring the temp down just a tad). At the moment, I'm not sure if it's better to turn it on again or open the windows. Well, we probably need the rain.

My car stalled yesterday at the end of I-394 (at a stoplight). I had to go the same way again today because I forgot to bring some application materials, and the car stalled again. Fortunately, after the car sat a little bit, I could get going again, but it's weird. Very probably related to the weird lurching it's been doing for a while now.

A total of four calls now for the few dozen applications I put in a week ago. I'd better put more effort into applying for other jobs I guess.

In order to print out my application materials, I had to get a new black ink cartridge for my printer. I tried out Cartridge World, which has a site a few blocks from my place. $13.90 for a cartridge filled while I waited. Seems to work, though it took a little convincing at first.

I should say that when I first saw "Cartridge World" plastered on that building a year or so ago, I thought it was a video game shop.

My tax return was rejected initially. This is because my previous year's Adjusted Gross Income was incorrect, according to the IRS's records. They had received a 1099-MISC from that contracting company I never talked to. Sure wish I'd gotten one. Well, I apparently paid taxes on $1000 more income last year than I had to. Oh well, fifteen minutes of waiting on the phone fixed that fairly easily.

Posted by mike at 09:10 PM | Car , Hardware , Money , TV , Weather , Work | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Follow the Rotted-Brick Road

I didn't get the job. Of course it was too good to be true. There are actually women there. Women at a software company? That's unpossible!

At least I got one of my tax refunds already. That makes it possible to last another two weeks.

Ugh. It's times like these where I just start feeling lonely, but there's nothing I can do about it. Getting a girlfriend would most likely involve going out and spending money (Hah! Not on the woman, silly, but on everything that goes around that).

I'm too honest, and with my persistent uneasiness due to my lack of employment and personal companionship, I have no chance of obtaining either. Well, better start preparing the speeches to ask the parents for cash. Still another month of cash left, though. I might start selling my DVDs too. DS9 alone could cover half my rent, I imagine.

Posted by mike at 09:39 PM | Money , Self , Work | Comments (0)

Tom, Dick, and Harry

Well, since me complaining about my life isn't interesting, I may as well talk about 104.1 assuming yet another format. Actually, they hadn't changed significantly since late 2000, when they started the '80s format and dropped the alternative "The Point" (which is where they got the WXPT call sign). 104.1 and 105.1/5/7 kind of bleed into each other for me, and they both change formats at similar frequencies.

It's before my time (sort of), but 104.1 used to be KJJO (KJ104), which started off as a modern rock station (to my knowledge), then shifted to be more alternative. Well, those two genres float between each other for me (I think my old fav 93.7 "The Edge" was kind of a mix between those two). Anyway, those formats pretty much disappeared by the time I started paying attention. Rev 105 is considered a successor of KJJO by some. At least one guy on the 89.3 bulletin board had some old KJ104 bumper stickers and was hoping to put it on his minivan along with those of some of the other now-defunct stations, ending with a sticker for The Current.

Okay, I'm drifting. The point is that WXPT is now running the "Jack FM" format. Jack has been popping up all over in the last few months. It's a marginal improvement over what we've seen lately in commercial radio. Instead of 200–400 songs in the playlist, they have 1000–2000 (if you're lucky). However, they drop even the semblance of live DJs almost completely. (In one bizarre instance, a similar station fired their staff while some of them were out doing a remote broadcast—they changed to a "Doug FM" format). The songs are still Top-40, though. They're just the "underplayed" ones...

There are a few other bizarrely similar formats. They're licensed by some big radio format companies, which explains the names. Anyway, there's "Dave FM", "Bob FM", "Joe FM", and others. In Chicago, a Jack variant is named "Nine FM" for the 99.9 FM frequency. In Springfield, IL, there is "Abe FM", named after famous local Abraham Lincoln. Philadelphia has "Ben FM", named for Benjamin Franklin.

Interestingly, the "Bob FM" moniker comes from the former Twin Cities country music station WBOB ("Bob 100", if I recall), which took to the air around 1993 (today it is KJZI 100.3). However, modern Bob FM stations carry '70s, '80s, '90s, and contemporary pop music. Still, there is at least one country variant of the whole Jack/Dave/Joe blob, "Hank FM", which apparently launched in Sacramento.

Well, I don't have a crystal ball, but I think 89.3 will survive much longer than any of these bozos. (Tip for the other guys: if you want me to listen, you have to have a larger number of songs than I do.)

Posted by mike at 10:15 PM | Music | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Black Hole

Wow. Better Off Dead is a pretty awful movie. It's supposed to be about a suicidal teenager, but he only tries like two times (and really only by accident)! Dancing cheeseburgers, crawling blue goo, "Fraunch" dressing.. Sheesh. Sad that Diane Franklin wasn't in very many more movies, though. She was cute. Oh! And her stunt double looked like he (didn't look much like a she!) was friggin black!

Heh, I could probably go on for hours if I really got started. John Cusack pretty much carries the whole movie, and is likely the only reason people actually think it's good.

I'm going out to try and get some semi-fresh air and get this bad movie stink off of me...

Posted by mike at 12:07 PM | Movies | Comments (0)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rocket from the Crypt

I was watching the original Star Wars trilogy over the last few days, and I realized that my high school crush was cuter than Princess Leia (well, IMHO, anyway). Yeah, my standards have always been a tad high...

Posted by mike at 10:53 AM | Self | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Square Peg, Round Hole

So yesterday I got two different recruiters going after me to fill a position. At the end of the day, one of them finally realized that the position had been out there for a while and that it had already been filled. Way to stay on top of things, people!

Posted by mike at 08:50 AM | Work | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What She Said

Heh. I've always confused Better Than Ezra's "Good" with Jennifer Trynin's "Better Than Nothing" since the main lick is "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling good, I'm feeling good for now." Well, if you want to relive 1995, like I seem to be doing on a regular basis, it's one of the tracks available off of her website.

Posted by mike at 07:55 AM | Music | Comments (0)

It's Almost Over Now

So, the longstanding query of what that song in the Taxi trailer was has been solved: "Rock Star" by N.E.R.D. Well, not exactly. The Jason Nevins remix. Suuure. Make things complicated.

Well, I know I've heard at least one other Nevins remix: his version of Duran Duran's "Sunrise", which I probably heard on BBC Radio 1 at some point.

Posted by mike at 09:37 PM | Music | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dick van Patten

Heh. Well, Google Maps may not have decent satellite images of downtown Minneapolis, but they do have pictures of a buch of nuclear test sites including Sedan. Look around...that's a lot of holes.

Posted by mike at 10:17 AM | Internet | Comments (0)

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Prodigy

Hmm. I've printed out a form from the EPA's fuel economy site. You can set up an account and add the mileage of your car to compare it with what others get and what the original EPA test values were. There isn't a huge population of users yet, but there are some. Heh, according to the numbers, the mileage of diesel Volkswagens is darn close to that of the Toyota Prius ;-)

Posted by mike at 02:11 PM | News | Comments (0)

Under the Spell

Heh. I was there, so I feel justified in copying the image from Alton Brown's website. His caption: "Rule 37: If you write cook books, don't read them at book signings."

sleeping crowd

Heh, of course it was a gag. That's why everyone is smiling ;-) It was taken on January 22, 2005 at the Barnes & Noble at Har Mar Mall in Roseville, MN. (I find it amusing that someone here got annoyed when I mentioned Har Mar Superstar—apparently someone he/she had never heard of...)

Posted by mike at 04:23 PM | Food | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Hair

Eh. Just for amusement. The second question hurts my brain, though.

Five celebrities that I would tumble, if I was single or not, with no qualms at all.

  1. Keri Russell
  2. Lindsay Lohan (yeah.. I know..)
  3. Jane Krakowski
  4. Alyson Hannigan
  5. Sienna Miller
Five people you would either "go gay for" or if you are gay already "go straight for".
  1. Mark Valley
  2. Jude Law
  3. Jon Stewart
  4. Johnny Depp
  5. Tom Cruise (What? Bad option? Do you think I actually spend time thinking about this?)
Five fictional characters that you wish were real so you could do the deed.
  1. Felicity
Mm... okay, that doesn't count..
  1. Emma Peel
  2. Mrs. (Nora) Charles
  3. Thelma the Cigarette Girl (The Aviator)
  4. Jenny Blake (The Rocketeer)
  5. Rachel Green (the early Friends years)
Five comic book/animated characters that you wish were real for the same reason.
  1. Lois (Family Guy – Giggidy! Giggidy!)
  2. Rogue (except for that no-touching thing..)
  3. Betty Rubble
  4. Jessica Rabbit
  5. Faye Valentine (eh, that whole list is pretty obvious..)
From here, which you probably can't read.

Posted by mike at 09:46 PM | Self | Comments (0)