The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Thrill of It All

The past couple weeks, I've had a couple things on my mind. I've always had a sentimental spot for popular culture that's a little outdated. I'm always amazed by how, a few years down the line, something that seemed so cutting edge and cool can look so completely different. I also tend to get too attached to a specific actor or show and try to watch everything that is related to it. The past several months, my obsession has been with James Garner.

Introduced to him when watching the remake of Maverick in grade school, I quickly developed an attachment. In college I realized they were showing reruns of the Rockford Files at night so I would watch them when I could but with my random schedule, it was kind of difficult. After college things got even more ridiculous, working crazy hours and spending little time at home.

However, last Christmas with the receipt of a single gift, that all changed. The bastard that now fuels my actor/show obsession now TiVo arrived. The past 6-7 months I've been dutifully TiVo'ing all the episodes of the Rockford Files or watching old movies like Sayonara or Victor/Victoria—I'm still not able to make myself watch 10 Simple Rules just to see Garner.

And yet my thirst is still unquenched. I was happy when I was able to rent Support Your Local Gunfighter from Hollywood Video (which after watching Support Your Local Sheriff last night, seems like exactly the same movie). It has now even escalated into renting movies online, and have recently received movies like A Man Called Sledge, Sunset (James Garner and Bruce Willis together in one movie ... it will blow your MIND), and The Fan.

The thing about all of this that seems most strange to me though, is that as you make your way backwards through an actor's films—especially one that is as old as Garner is now—you it hits you that it's a finite endeavor. As you see more movies and become more familiar with the person it's always with an end overshadowing everything, knowing that every film or episode is a step towards that finale.

I'm sure there is some lesson about mortality or keeping a dream diary or something in this. Screw that though, I suck at learning lessons. All I know is that I'm getting closer to the end with one of my favorite actors and it really feels kind of weird.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Weekend Projects: I need a BIOS major or something

I tried to find the SATA settings in my BIOS on my own before I called dontEATnachos last night. The logn and the short of the story is that the BIOS had tried to recognize my SATA drive as a Secondary IDE Master and somehow I don't think that worked too well. I think this because it didn't work at all.

I tried setting the BIOS to go with a Manually chosen Master drive (HDD-0) and that didn't help. dEN suggested setting the IDE Master to HDD-1 and see what happens. Massive Non-Windows BSOD (Blue Screen of Death for those non-abbreviating nerds out there). So, I reset that back to HDD-0 and the machine booted properly. The new drive was not connected during these tests.

We then tried unplugging the IDE Drives and plugging in the SATA drive with my Windows disc in the DVD drive. That did not work and returned the same error as before, the weird "Hit TAB to do stuff and Nothing will happen error".

dEn had me dig around inmy computer and try to identify my motherboard brand and type. This would have been a lot easier if I had dug out all my documentation prior to all this fucking about. Well, after a bit of seraching I found the right sequence of jargon and dEn was able to find a manual for the motherboard. Cool beans. We then checked the BIOS again and dEn decided I should upgrade it.

Umm, what? Whatever. So that is the current plan and dEn is going to hopefully come over tonight and we can hammer this out and go see a movie or something. There is one potential hitch: I don't have a floppy drive on this machine. When I bought it, I was living in Casa de Free Rent Plus Chores (My parents' house). My father has more computer parts from the last 20 years than most stores. He could open a museum of the Home Personal Computer complete with a detailed explanation of why there are called personal computers. I think our first one used vacuum tubes. My dad used to program in FORTRAN and KOBOL and shit. He is the O.G.I.T. The point is that I didn't shell out 20 bucks for a black fronted 3.5" drive because we had a bunch in the basement. (I made a shelf out of them. Ok, not really, but you could have with all the power sources.)

I never got around to adding a floppy drive and now it may come back to haunt me. I guess I never understand the point of floppy when you can have hard.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Court Decision of the Century

This should be in 3B! or Fulsome territory but since I don't know if I can trust them to actually get it done, I'm going to do a little post about it myself.

Apparently a Superior Court Judge has ruled that burritos are not sandwiches. I know there has been much debate over the years as to the food included in the statement "I'm going to get a sandwich" but we now have official confirmation that burritos are not in that list. At least not in the US.

The judge made it clear saying:
A sandwich is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans.
For those of you still hoping that when you open your MASK themed lunchbox—even though your mom said she packed you a sandwich—there is still a slim chance that it may in fact be a burrito, we have official confirmation that your hope was unfounded.

Of course, if you ever did have any doubt about the matter chef Chris Schlesinger wants you to feel like a complete jackass. In his affidavit in the case he made it quite clear. "I know of no chef or culinary historian who would call a burrito a sandwich. Indeed, the notion would be absurd to any credible chef or culinary historian." That's right, the smug society of credible chefs and culinary historians are laughing at your ignorance.

It's ok though, it still doesn't change the fact that your 4 foot long burrito tasted delicious.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ninjas Play Theremins Because Theremins Are SPOOOOOOOOOKY

I was doing some research on the Everlasting War Between Pirates and Ninjas, which is only everlasting because of the unending variety and population of pirates, and I discovered that Ninjas have a particular favorite instrument: The Theremin.

Ninjas are well known for their stealth and hiding abilities, even if they are never seen to be congratulated. Their key weapons are fear and surprise. And shuriken and tantos, too. Ninjas can strike like invisible lightning from any location. There is probably one reading this post over your shoulder and eating a bag of Garlic and Onion potato chips but you can't see, hear or smell him/her because ninjas are that stealthy.

This is female ninja playing the theremin in an undated photo. This photo is out of focus and grainy because the photographer was a ninja too and it is hard to focus a camera when you are so stealthy that light bends around you.

Even though ninjas are of no nation, some ninjas have a long and proud history of service to many worthy nations, but never to any nation that engaged in piracy. Here, a ninja plays a theremin salute to a past leader of the USA:

Ninjas strike when it is most advantageous. The ninjas strikes not only to eliminate a target but also to instill fear and cowardice in the hearts of the enemy. Having a ninja appear from behind your CEO and gut him like a fish can have quite the impact on a Board of Directors that is comtemplating an act of piracy, I can tell you! This pirate thought him safe in front of a crowd of pirate fans, but not even in a sea of his compatriots is a pirate safe from the velvet kiss of death from a ninja.

Sometimes a ninja just needs to relax and just chill out after a long day of flipping out and killing pirates. That is the time when a ninja breaks out his/her theremin and unwinds with a few strains of Bach's Theremin Concerto Number 73 or sometimes even a stirring and spooky rendition of the greatest ninja movie of all time, Forbidden Planet.

Weekend Projects: Fallout from the Installation of a Serial ATA Hard Drive, a WRN Special Update to the Special Report

The weekend has passed and I actually performed the task which I most desired. I purchased and attempted to install a 160 GB Serial ATA Hard Drive. The item in question is actually an SATA 2 drive, but the store clerk assured me that they were retro-compatible. Since this was a local computer hardware store and not a big box retailer that shall remain nameless and sucky, I took him at his word.

After fucking around with 4 attempts to squeeze sandwichslot the new drive in between my two older drives, I gave up and moved it into one of the other drive bays that are sized for CD Drives, burners, DVD drives and that sort of thing. It is being held in place by two screws on one side of the drive and the other side is just floating out in the air between the oversize mounting brackets. (That sounds like a computer geek romance novel, In the Space Between the Mounting Brackets, out next quarter from Harlequin.) Anyway, I figured that once I got it installed and formatted I would move all the music porndata from the old 20 GB drive onto the new drive and then remove the old drive and send it to my Dad for the War on Christmas.

That would have been a nice gift and would have continued the tradition I started two Wars ago, when I gave him the entire computer from which this drive originated. At the time, the computer was 3 years old and 1 GHz and the fastest computer my father had ever owned. It now runs Linux and he is really happy with it. Last year, in honor of the Grand Peoples' Liberal Army's continued breakthroughs in the War on Christmas, I gave my father a 1.2 or 1.4 GHz laptop, docking station and monitor. He was floored. I also paid him back some money I owed him and it was like I had told him that I was giving up computer games for engineering school or something. Anyway, my mother was not exactly pleased with the gifts of that year, but she has since come around due to functionality of the laptop. (It actually works and can be used to send and receive email, which is something new for my parents.)

But I digress yet again, I installed the new drive semi-properly and hooked up the power and information cables. These cables are only able to be hooked up in the proper manner, so I know I did that right. I used a can of air to blow out all the dust from the heat sink over the processor and then blew out the rest of the case.

I then turned on the computer and expected to see my standard load screen. Instead, I saw an unformatted HD screen and it told me to hit TAB to enter the BIOS. Well, I hit TAB and nothing happened. Then the computer told me to hit DEL to do something else and that didn't work either. I put my Windows XP Pro disc in the drive and then rebooted. Nothing different happened and the keyboard didn't work again. I then attached a Non-USB keyboard and rebooted. The keyboard commands were not recognized again. I decided that I would unplug the new drive from the motherboard and try to boot the computer to check to see if it still worked at all.

The computer booted up really slowly and then behaved...erratically. I became extremely pissed and annoyed at myself. I figured that I had broken something while mucking about in the innards of my poor processor. Well, the problems I was having running any program at all since installing the drive were solved when I removed the Windows disc. So that is wonderful. I haven't broken anything yet, but the Windows disc sure does delay all functions of my computer.

Tonight, I am going to stick the Windows the disc in my drive, unplug my old IDE drives and then plug in my new drive and see what happens. I can't remember if the Windows disc will act as a boot disc, but I hope it will, because then I hope to install Windows and format the drive and then I will either set the IDE drives to slave status or get the computer running with the SATA drive as Master and then reboot and muck about in the BIOS and set the new drive as a Slave.

Some might say that I am going about this in the extremely hard way. To them, I say that my Wang allows nothing less. Also, installing Windows isn't the problem, installing my download-only virus protection and firewall. I don't want to sit on hold with the virus protection people for three hours trying to get them to send me a disc with the software. This is an immaterial matter, some might say, since I already have to do that because the update I paid for and dowloaded does not work and my subscription does not seem to have worked either.

Oh, the plight of the genoius.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Like Ponies, the Keytar is Awesome

Wikipedia defines the keytar as this:
A keytar is a keyboard or synthesizer worn around the neck and shoulders, similar to a guitar. The word "keytar" is a portmanteau of "keyboard" and "guitar". Keytars allow players a greater range of movement than conventional keyboards, which are placed on stands.
In this one case, Wikipedia is completely wrong. A keytar is in all reality, 100% electronic frickin' excellence.

Originally created by Steve Masakowski in 1978 the keytar actually went on to define a generation.

Consider this YouTube video of some guy rocking out with a keytar:

The keytarist in the video clearly realizes how amazing the instrument is, knowing full well the sound of the keytar will COLOR THE VIDEO FOR YOU.

While Chuckles has been busily anticipating that lame-ass Guitar Hero 2 (which apparently came out today). I've been busily working on programming the next ground-breaking game:

But in addition to the great keytar games, we're also going to be getting a keytar-themed Pirates of the Caribbean tour.

That's right, the radness of pirates combined with the majesty of a keytar to create a rock tour so phenomenal that it will blow your mind.

Screw going to see whatever lame hair metal/indie rock group that you were planning to go check out at some point in the future. Instead, the Pirate-Keytar Rock Experience will be touring the country.

And yes, if you're wondering, this much of this post is designed to move Chuckles anti-pony histeria down a notch. But that's not the only reason. Look again at the picture on the right. Pirate Keytarist. This is not a bitch-ass ninja, no, it's something far more deadly.

I'd like to further emphasize the awesomeness of this keytar tour by emphasizing the fact that the core of the group is the Darkness.

Hmm, I guess I don't really have much more to add about the keytar besides that. Well, besides the keytar neck tie that's all the rage right now. Oh and giant keytar playing robots.

Ponies are Enemies of the State

dEn is clearly a sympathizer in the War on Ponies. No moral equivalence is allowed! We can not permit another vile invasion like the one suffered in the video below:

I also recommend you avoid goats as well. They are burglers and thieves. So is dEn.

As is clearly demonstrated in the video above, dontEATnachos' vile minions can be fought off with the proper application of an umbrella.

I Love Ponies

Chuckles recently felt the need to post a long-ass entry about his dumb SATA drive issue. This of course moved my great post about the War on Christmas down a fair bit. I spent a little bit of time spewing out that post and to have it bumped down after being up for less than 24 hours by a blog contributor who has been posting rather infrequently lately makes me angry. And when I get angry, I post about ponies.

The truth is that ponies are quite awesome. Although they are not as large as regular horses they are just as cool as their full-sized brethren. Unlike dogs, where the miniature versions are crap, ponies are effing rad.

Take this YouTube video of two ponies for example:

You can see that they are freaking sweet. Also consider this photo of a pony:

As you can see, ponies are even cuter when put up around full size horses. Something else that helps make ponies more interesting is the wonderful television show, My Little Pony that is the epic tale of your little pony. I believe they come in various colors and that you can purchase small plastic replicas of them at various children's entertainment retailers.

Apparently they also make some films about them:

Anyway, that's everything I have about ponies at the moment. Just wanted to let you guys know.

K. Thanks.

Weekend Projects: Installing an SATA drive, a WRN special report

Listen up kiddies, dontEATnachos is not the only technically-inclined-yet-well-rounded nerd on this blog. We all are. That is sort of the definition of well rounded, but I digress.

This weekend I am going to add more stuff to more porn machine world of warcraft injectorcomputer. I already have two hard drives, a 40GB and a 20GB, but I want to add a 100GB+ for all my porn Diablo2 characters 3d video gamesmusic. I could add a third IDE hard drive but those cables are flipping annoying. I have heard that adding a third IDE (the old kind with the big grey ribbons for you non-rounded people) is actually a pain in the ass and I have three available SATA connections, so that is the project.

There is room in the case and I am not at all worried about that. Nor am I worried about heat, since I had to remove the side of my case this summer due to heat. I like to think that this had made my computer sort of rad, like a car with a hemi/air intake sticking out of the hood. Really, it looks more like a car up on blocks in your front yard that the neighborhood kids play in.

I have already added a gig of memory to this computer to play one game and that is not hard. There is only way memory sticks can fit and if you can't figure that out, then you are the kind of person that needs to ask the flight attendants to strap you in to your seat because the airplane seatbelt is too comlicated for you. I am the kind of person who asks the flight attendants to do it for me because I like having women's hands in my crotch.

Whatever. The point is that SATA drives do not have the traditional jumpers in the back that are used to set master/slave status. I don't know why, but SATA drives are newer and this sounds a lot like TVs. Newer television sets have less buttons and require a 350 page manual and a degree in particle physics just to set the channels. Old TVs with buttons worked just fine, but designers get bored with designing things that look cool and instead have contests to make the most functional Waterproof TV/Toaster Oven/Electric Blanket with the least amount of controls possible.

But I digress yet again. The only thing I am worried about is annoying problems with master and slave status. According to various forum posts by not-as-well-rounded-and-really-quite-focused nerds, SATA drives are typically auto set as master drives by the BIOS. Since I will be installing a clean 100GB+ drive, I may have to muck about in the BIOS to get it set as a slave drive. I want it set as a slave merely so I can avoid having to install Windows again and download all the fucking updates again. Not to mention my firewall and virus protection software. If I can get the new drive set as a slave I can move all the music into one partition and then just repath my playlists. No big deal.

If anyone out there has done anything like this and run into trouble go ahead and leave your suggestions in the comments, if you haven't and don't understand half of the terminology in this post, the flight attendant will be along shortly to prevent you from accidentally strangling yourself with your seatbelt.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The War On Christmas Begins Last Tuesday

It's recently come to my attention that some people don't enjoy me hating on Christmas cookies. They say things like, "Wah wah, I'm a liberal and don't like it when people pick on defenseless little cookies!" or "Why u hatin' on dem Xmas cookiez, bra?"

The answer: REVENGE.

Maybe you've never been entered into years of servitude because of that bastard called Christmas but I certainly have (the elves know what I'm talking about. right guys?). Well I have and it's a miracle I've even lived to tell about it.

There are several points I think it necessary to consider.

1) Monetary Drain

Buying gifts is a freaking expensive. Not only do you have to buy gifts for that one person in your life you care about, you also have to buy gifts for the 10 other jackasses who buy you things you know you don't want but will still feel guilty throwing/giving away in the middle of January.

Add in the cost of traveling home (in my case flying) and you're easily blowing some large bills.

2) Time Suck

In addition to the $$$ cost of Christmas you've also got the CLOCKCLOCKCLOCK cost. You have to take vacation days to sit around doing nothing with your family (inside because it's too cold to go out to do anything and stuff that is open is crowded and annoying).

There's also that time you've got to waste all that time trying to find gifts for people who, like you, will think whatever you got them is a lame sack of crap. Also, you then have to disguise said gifts in pieces of paper that are attractive looking. So you get to waste hours wrapping (but don't wrap before you fly, cause they could just make you open them and all your work would be for nothing.)

Even worse than the buying of gifts though are the holiday traditions. Decorating the tree. Let's put a bunch of breakable junk on a tree for about 3 weeks. Get upset if it gets knocked down and be paranoid that the tree is going to burn down the house. Then 3 weeks later put all of it back in a box until next year.

The biggest culprit though has got to be Christmas baking. Every year we have to do the rollout cookies. Lots of people just sprinkle their round cookies, not mine though. We make like 80,000 kinds of cookies. Some have to be rolled in sugar after baking, some have to be pressed out of some dumb cannister, and most annoying there are the others have to be cut into shapes first and then iced.

Last year my girlfriend was over and was helping out during the icening. Unfortunately she was not experienced and was having lots of fun enjoying the novelty of decorating cookies in the shape of houses, snowmen, trees, bells, cats, dinosaurs, you know, the usual. That's all well and good, but when you've got approximately 3 billion cookies to ice you have to step it up a bit. I still have blisters and hand wounds from my furious icing pace. It was horrifying. HORRIFYING.

3) Nowhere to Hide

The worst part about Christmas though is that there's nowhere to hide. You can't get away from your annoying relatives or nagging family. You can't just sit somewhere and drink until you pass out. No, you've got to sit around and talk about crap. Lame things like what you do and life plans and other BS like that. That's if they're not nagging you about your relationship and when you're going to settle down.

The only thing that maybe salvages it is Christmas Day football. Ah the sweet respite of professional sports. I don't know if that makes up for having to watch It's a Wonderful Life again but I guess I'll settle for that.

So that's why we went to war on Christmas, none of that religious fluff those other punks through out there. And this war could always use more troops (cause unlike Iraq, I don't care about who dies fighting this war) so if you want to join up just email your congressman to have them ban Christmas.

I'm hoping that sometime before Christmas I'll be able to get a template anti-Christmas letter up for you guys.

Seaward, HO!

Somebody may have to step up and torpedo the old battleship.