Monthly Archives: January 2004

possible heads up

I taped a segment for VH1’s new series “VH1 website a moment ago, (I’ll admit it. I think “Super Secret TV Formulas” is the best idea since Britney said, “Hey, this Boone’s is making me feel horny. Wanna get married, so I can say I saved it?”) and the topics I talked about are listed for tonight’s show.
So I’m guessing that, if I didn’t suck, I’ll be on at 11PM EST on VH1.
I had a TON of fun when I did the show, and I’m #praying that I’ll get #offered a chance to contribute more to the show, and maybe their blog.
Updated: Well, none of my stuff made it. Maybe I’ll get another chance next week — there are a few topics we talked about that weren’t on this episode. If anyone needs me, I’ll be crossing my fingers.
By the way, how cool is it that Chris Jericho is so damn funny?
One More Update: I just heard from a producer at VH1. He told me that there were some issues, unrelated to me, that prevented my stuff from getting on this week. He says there’s a good chance it will happen next week, so be sure to tune in then!
I promised an increase of 5 viewers, you guys. Don’t make me look bad.

straight, no chaser

I have this compulsion to write and create. This is good, because I’m supposed to run in a manuscript of Just A Geek RSN . . . but I’m really only good for about 2 hours a day. Longer than that, and my brain just churns out garbage. Sometimes and there’s value to garbage: It’s easier to rewrite garbage than fill up a blank page, but more often than not, the gargabage* is just garbage.
So I put myself on a schedule, which I’ve kept very poorly the last two weeks. When I’m done with the Writing Stuff part of my brain, I activate the Other Stuff part of my brain: the Other Stuff I’ve been digging on recently (when I’m not getting wasted by a freakin’ OWLBEAR when I’m two freaking moves away from beating Sokoban) is web development.
As a result, my lame HTML skills are growing by the tiniest bit each day, as I crawl all over the web to find useful php scripts, web references, and books to fill my head with learnin’.
A few days ago, I got an e-mail from Yahoo! that informed me my lame Geoshitties site would be *gasp* sent down the Memory Hole because it hadn’t been touched in so long. Losing "Where’s my Burrito" would be like losing an embarrassing but important collection of yearbooks, so the first thing I did was wget the whole thing, and then I made a tiny change to the index file. Hopefully, that will mollify Yahoo! for another year or so.
Going over that site really is like looking back on photos from 1987. There were several "I can’t believe I thought that was cool" moments, especially when I viewed the source!
Hey, at least I didn’t get a tattoo, right?
*(that was supposed to say “garbage,” but “gargabage” is such a wonderful word, and so perfectly descriptive, I’m leaving this happy accident intact.)

snakes n ladders

In response to my recent nethack mania, Joel sent in this top ten list, which he wrote:

Top 10 ways to know you’ve been playing to much Nethack:
10. You spend all night turning on and off the faucet in your sink hoping to find a ring.
9. You go to a store and insist on standing on top of the merchandise before letting the owner tell you how much it is.
8. Everywhere you go, you grab as much food as you can hold and carry it around with you for later.
7. You are an accomplished musician, but refuse to play anything but five notes at a time, then you stop and listen for clicks.
6. You don’t pick up anything you find on the street without dipping it in holy water first.
5. You throw out any mail the mailman brings you because you know it only says one of three things you’ve read before.
4. You are banned from your local church for sacrificing jackals on the altar.
3. You are banned from your local museum for taking a pick ax to all the statues… they didn’t buy your “looking for spellbooks” excuse.
2. You always carry a dead lizard around in your pocket ‘just in case’.
And the number 1 way to know you’ve been playing too much Nethack:
1. Whenever you look at someone’s email address, you think “Oh my God! I’m surrounded!”

The number double plus one reason I know I play too much nethack is how hard I laughed when I read this. I’m not even going to try to explain it to my family.

dropped from the moonbeam

Anne got home very late from work last night, so after the boys went to bed, I killed some time playing nethack. It’s moving from “a fun diversion” to “a serious addiction.” Just this morning, I was reading The Center for American Progress, and my heart skipped when I saw a Y next to a @. I instinctively hit “Z a .” and crashed my browser.
My waking obsession with Nethack reminds me of the old Tetris days, when I’d see patterns in everything. The best one was on approach to Kennedy Airport on a red eye flight, after I’d played through two sets of batteries on my Gameboy during the five hour flight. The Manhattan skyline (one of my favorites in the world) was mentally filled in by all sorts of blocks as the plane landed. I think I had about 5000 mental points when we touched down.
But check it out! I got farther last night than I ever have:

1 15917 Morc-Mon-Hum-Mal-Law died in The Dungeons of Doom on level 12. Killed by a xan. - [68]

Okay, I don’t know WTF a Xan is, but it kicked my ass in three turns. I was in The Big Room, just one step away from the stairs when I died. The worst part is, my own stupidity cost me the game: I forgot to #pray (I was piously aligned) which would have, at least, restored my HP (at best, it may have whacked one of the baddies who was wailing on me). I was also carrying an unidentified amulet of lifesaving (is that what it’s called?) which would have obviously saved me had I put it on. Moral of the story? Don’t forget to quaff and read, and apply and put on everything when you’re close to the end. It’s not like you’ve got anything to lose.
Of course, you could also tear yourself away from nethack for more than three minutes at a time . . . even though there’s something intensely satisfying about listening to the scores for the three Lord of the Rings movies while you play.
I’m just saying.
Exciting link of the day is also a plug for me: I’ll be on The Screen Savers tomorrow (on tape, not in studio) with those interviews I did at JPL last week. I talked to my producer yesterday, and he told me that some of the stuff that couldn’t make it on the air because of time constraints will be streamable on the web, at their website.

words as weapons sharper than knives

I’ve got several “irons in the fire” as they say over near the chuckwagon, so producing original material for WWdN is going to be difficult for a few days.
However, in a shameless effort to keep you around, I’ll do my best to link at least one amusing / interesting / useful link a day until I can scrape some stuff out of the creative portion of my skull.
Today’s link is to Something Awful. Specifically, a hilarious article Lowtax wrote called “How To Be An Internet Tough Guy.