Wednesday, August 31, 2005

School. Money. Credit. Issues.

I've posted about it before; trying to get into school, that is.

I've been accepted to ITT Woburn, MA. I've taken out a couple federal loans but they are more like too little, too late than financial aid. The way it works is you get SOME of the money a few weeks after the start of class. You don't get the rest of the loan until later. This means I still have to come up with the entire first semester's tuition within a couple weeks.

I've also filled out all the forms at work to get tuition reimbursement. I have a signed form that says they'll pay as long as I get a 2.0 or better in each class. 100% reimbursement. Tuition, books, and fees.

I've started filling out the Montgomery GI bill forms as well. That's another grand a month in my pocket; provided I maintain full time status.

So it boils down to go to school, get paid. Unfortunately I can't afford the rather steep tuition out of pocket. I make too much money to qualify for grants. My credit is too crappy to get a loan on my own.

The plan is to get into class, and use the GI money to get caught back up on all the stuff thats been juggled since I got out of the Navy last year. And maybe even build up a savings.

However, that all requires me to pay for the first semester up front. (Technicaly, I have like 3 weeks after the first day to pay up.)

On top of it all ITT is very expensive. Damn near $400 a credit hour. Plus fees. Thats just shy of $40, 000 for an Associates Degree. Shocked the crap outta me...

Anyway, I am supposedly getting a credit for some of my military training, which is what drew me to ITT in the first place. Hopefully it won't take me more than six months to complete the program. I've already tested out of one class, and plan on taking every test they don't give me credit for.

I'm really stressed about paying for it though. My family has a history with being credit risks. And now I'm struggling. I've tried really hard to keep myself ahead, but there are some things you just can't control. We're still doing the balancing act with things. Its so easy to get behind, but we've been trying to catch up for over six months. Going to school while I have the chance to double dip might be the thing that gets us back on our feet.

While I was in the Navy, I wasn't very satisfied with my job. I felt trapped in a dead end. Since I got out, my entire life has changed. I'm much happier. I'm still not doing my life's work but at least I feel like I'm working toward something. Making progress. Thats why I took this job in the first place. I was making money in SA. But it wasn't steady by any means. Now I have the opportunity to climb up a little.

I just hope I haven't already fucked this up...

Stupid Survey

I took this survey b/c I found it on one of Shay's pages

Name:Byron Bowerman
Age:22
Birthday:June 25th
Birthplace:San Antonio, TX
Current Location:Gloucester, MA
Hair color:Brown
Eye color:Blue
Height:5' 11"
Weight:210
Heritage:
Religious background:Protestant Christian
Current religion:Pagan
Right/Left handed:Right
Shoes you wore today:Blue Sketchers
Your weakness:Temper
Your fears:Myself
Your goals:Know
Your perfect pizza:Meat +Cheese +Lots of crushed red pepper
Your thoughts first thing in the morning:Almost time for bed...
Your best physical feature:Eyes
Your bedtime:?
Your most missed memory:Garner State Park
Pepsi or Coke?Coke > Pepsi
Chocolate or Vanilla?Yes
Coffee or Tea?Coffee
McDonald's or Wendy's?McDonalds
Single or Group Dates?Groups
What do you want to be when you grow up?Grow up? Don't plan on it.
Where would you like to visit?Space
Where would you like to visit?
Who do you live for?No one

CREATE YOUR OWN! - or - GET PAID TO TAKE SURVEYS!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hackaday Boston

If you are in the Boston, MA area & are interested in attending our monthly hackaday meetup, check out our google group to recieve updates on where we'll be & when.

The list is public, but you have to be a member to post.

    As for the meetings
  • When
  • We aim for the last Thursday of the month, around 7pm.
  • Where
  • We've been kinda bouncing around, but until we find a better place, the Barnes & Noble in Burlington, MA (Google Map: here).
  • Who
  • The meeting is open to anyone who can be reasonably well behaved for the duration of the meeting. If you have any questions, ask a member.
Google Groups Subscribe to Boston Hackaday Meetup
Email:
Browse Archives at groups.google.com

Standard Issue Thinkpad

I got my work laptop today. Nice IBM (read Leveno) Thinkpad T43p.

Specs:

  • CPU
  • 2.13GHz Centrino
  • RAM
  • 1.0GB
  • HDD
  • 60GB
  • LCD
  • 15" @ 1400x1050x32
  • Graphics
  • 128MB ATI Mobility FireGL V3200
  • Ports
  • 2xUSB, 2 Type 1/1 Type 2 PCMCIA, Parallel, VGA, Dock, Headphones/Mic, PS2, Phone, LAN
  • Networking
  • Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi (802.11A/B/G), Bluetooth

Also came with a second battery, dock, and a bag.

Almost worth the wait to get it. They've been teasing me with it since I got hired. Especially lately.

Monday, August 29, 2005

No Contact Politics: Preachers of Hate 3: Westboro Baptist Church

Wow. There are some people that I really hope read this.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Comments. Spam.

Thats it. Word verification has been enabled. you can thank referralware.com.

REFERRALWARE INTERNATIONAL
26012 Marguerite Parkway, Suite H-237
Mission Viejo, CA 92692
US
Domain Name: REFERRALWARE.COM

Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :
Strickler, Dean
dean@NETSOL.NET
26012 MARGUERITE PKWY # H237
MISSION VIEJO, CA 92692-3263
US
Phone: 949-455-9584
Fax: 949-597-1926

Record expires on 09-Dec-2005
Record created on 09-Dec-2000
Database last updated on 30-Jun-2004

Domain servers in listed order: Manage DNS

DNS1.REFERRALWARE.COM 66.161.20.6
NS1.SBCIDC.COM 216.65.193.34
NS2.SBCIDC.COM 216.65.209.34

Current Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
IP Address: 66.161.20.33 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-CALIFORNIA-COVINA
Record Type: Domain Name
Server Type: Apache 1
Lock Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK
Web Site Status: Active
DMOZ 1 listings
Y! Directory: see listings
Web Site Title: :::: REFERRALWARE -- AUTOMATED PROSPECTING & FOLLOW-UP! :::::
Secure: No
E-commerce: No
Traffic Ranking: 1
Data as of: 29-Jul-2005

Comment Spammer Roundup

I went back through this months posts. Here are the comment spammers.

I wonder if these people really think they're safe by just commenting as 'anonymous'. Whoever is behind the comment-spam bot can kiss my ass.

  • elijahauto.com on Now Playing
  • Domain Name: ELIJAHAUTO.COM
    Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
    Whois Server: whois.opensrs.net
    Referral URL: http://domainhelp.tucows.com
    Name Server: NS1.ELIJAHAUTO.COM
    Name Server: NS2.ELIJAHAUTO.COM
    Status: ACTIVE
    Updated Date: 12-may-2005
    Creation Date: 08-may-2005
    Expiration Date: 08-may-2006

  • carauction-autoloan.com on My passport pic
  • Registrant: Donald Emmons
    3417 Foxhall Dr.
    Holiday, Florida 34691
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com
    Domain Name: CARAUCTION-AUTOLOAN.COM
    Created on: 10-Aug-05
    Expires on: 10-Aug-06
    Last Updated on: 13-Aug-05
    Administrative Contact:
    Emmons, Donald orendon@intnet.net
    3417 Foxhall Dr.
    Holiday, Florida 34691
    United States
    (727) 943-7548
    Technical Contact:
    Emmons, Donald orendon@intnet.net
    3417 Foxhall Dr.
    Holiday, Florida 34691
    United States
    (727) 943-7548

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS1.DONEMMONS.COM
    NS2.DONEMMONS.COM

    Current Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    IP Address: 68.178.164.61 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
    IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-ARIZONA-SCOTTSDALE
    Lock Status: ACTIVE
    DMOZ no listings
    Y! Directory: see listings
    Data as of: 14-Jun-2005

  • health-insurance-facts.com on Brits to get RFID-chipped license plates
  • Registrant:
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com
    Domain Name: HEALTH-INSURANCE-FACTS.COM
    Created on: 16-Sep-04
    Expires on: 16-Sep-06
    Last Updated on: 16-Aug-05

    Administrative Contact:
    Private, Registration HEALTH-INSURANCE-FACTS.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States
    (480) 624-2599 Fax --
    Technical Contact:
    Private, Registration HEALTH-INSURANCE-FACTS.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
    Domains by Proxy, Inc.
    DomainsByProxy.com
    15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
    United States
    (480) 624-2599 Fax --

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS1.EV1SERVERS.NET
    NS2.EV1SERVERS.NET

    Current Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    IP Address: 64.246.44.55 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
    IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-TEXAS-HOUSTON
    Record Type: Domain Name
    Server Type: Apache
    Lock Status: REGISTRAR-LOCK
    Web Site Status: Active
    DMOZ no listings
    Y! Directory: see listings
    Secure: No
    E-commerce: Yes
    Traffic Ranking: 2
    Data as of: 14-Jun-2005

  • hotpatches.biz on This just in
  • Domain Name: HOTPATCHES.BIZ
    Domain ID: D9723109-BIZ
    Sponsoring Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 146
    Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
    Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited
    Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Registrant ID: GODA-011798055
    Registrant Name: Charles Norris
    Registrant Organization: Unknown
    Registrant Address1: 144 Bussey Rd
    Registrant City: Hallsboro
    Registrant State/Province: North Carolina
    Registrant Postal Code: 28442
    Registrant Country: United States
    Registrant Country Code: US
    Registrant Phone Number: +1.9106463167
    Registrant Email: chucknorris@weblnk.net
    Administrative Contact ID: GODA-211798055
    Administrative Contact Name: Charles Norris
    Administrative Contact Organization: Unknown
    Administrative Contact Address1: 144 Bussey Rd
    Administrative Contact City: Hallsboro
    Administrative Contact State/Province: North Carolina
    Administrative Contact Postal Code: 28442
    Administrative Contact Country: United States
    Administrative Contact Country Code: US
    Administrative Contact Phone Number: +1.9106463167
    Administrative Contact Email: chucknorris@weblnk.net
    Billing Contact ID: GODA-311798055
    Billing Contact Name: Charles Norrisv
    Billing Contact Organization: Unknown
    Billing Contact Address1: 144 Bussey Rd
    Billing Contact City: Hallsboro
    Billing Contact State/Province: North Carolina
    Billing Contact Postal Code: 28442
    Billing Contact Country: United States
    Billing Contact Country Code: US
    Billing Contact Phone Number: +1.9106463167
    Billing Contact Email: chucknorris@weblnk.net
    Technical Contact ID: GODA-111798055
    Technical Contact Name: Charles Norris
    Technical Contact Organization: Unknown
    Technical Contact Address1: 144 Bussey Rd
    Technical Contact City: Hallsboro
    Technical Contact State/Province: North Carolina
    Technical Contact Postal Code: 28442
    Technical Contact Country: United States
    Technical Contact Country Code: US
    Technical Contact Phone Number: +1.9106463167
    Technical Contact Email: chucknorris@weblnk.net
    Name Server: PARK3.SECURESERVER.NET
    Name Server: PARK4.SECURESERVER.NET
    Created by Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    Last Updated by Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    Domain Registration Date: Fri May 13 23:56:53 GMT 2005
    Domain Expiration Date: Fri May 12 23:59:59 GMT 2006
    Domain Last Updated Date: Thu Jul 21 09:34:51 GMT 2005

Comment Spam. Again.

As much as I dislike anonymous posting, I realize that some people might not want to hassle with registering in order to leave a comment.

I'm one of those people.

If you have something to say, say it. But this unsolicited ad <CENSORED>shit<CENSORED> has got to stop.

Please take the time to register/sign in. While I don't believe in deleting comments, I am seriously considering banning anonymous comments and/or activating the word verification.

From now on, anyone who spams my blog will have their whois information published as a thank you.

Lotus Notes

I hate lotus notes.

As mail clients go, its worse than Outlook.

As corporate databases go, its worse than Access.

When you use it for both. The suck factor increases exponentionaly. Today's feature is Date Sorting. The way it works is, we use the notes databases to store records for each machine. This includes the daily logs. On most of the machines this isn't a problem--just annoying--but when working on an engineering tool, as we have been this weekend, things get messy. This machine has been on site for over a year, almost 2 to be exact. The daily notes are sorted by month, then day, then year. This means that pressing NEXT on the entry for 08/08/2005 takes you to the entry for 08/09/2003. Very aggrevating when you are trying to go through the previous months' entries.

Not to mention the idiocy of the entire daily log system, that's a different matter entirely...

The Golden Arches

Its been a while since I've interviewed anyone. That's mainly because I can't find the microcassette. The original goal was to podcast the interviews. I hope to get that underway soon. Plus, I've been busy doing nothing. Well, at least it feels like nothing. I've been working full time, and trying to get things squared away with ITT so I can get started next week.

But, I digress

The only fast food in town is a McDonalds. I like McDonalds. Cheap. Decent. Food. However, this particular McDonalds BLOWS. I've been there several times since February. Every time has been a bad experiance. Their fries suck, they are always cold, soggy, or both. About 1/2 the time they get our order wrong. The employees are rude. Everything is very expensive (except for the dollar menu, which costs $1, oddly enough) the large fries are fucking $2. They charge 55¢ each for condiments... I could go on and on.

The thing that really got to me tonight was how much of an ass the drive thru guy was. Now, I'm not 100% certain, but I think it was the manager/owner. He handed us our drinks, then immediately started waving the bag of food (put into the rain) in Dave's face, saying "Thank you, have a nice day" the entire time. This was before Dave could even hand me the drinks. Then a couple of seconds later, as Dave is checking to make sure they gave us what we ordered--and making sure the fries are edible--the guy comes back over and says "Hey, you gotta move there's someone behind you." Dave responded, "I'll move when I'm ready". That got the guy's attention; enough that he left us alone, at least.

I'm getting really tired at the crappy service around here. Not just Gloucester, but every where in MA as well. The people who work, live, & drive here are pretty much all pricks. As a matter of fact, most of the people that I can stand here aren't from here.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Thought for today

There's nothing more enjoyable than sliding a G5 Xserve into a rack full of butt ugly HP servers. Well nothing except for the look on the co-lo sysadmin's face when he asks you where you'd like to set up the monitor to do the configuration, and you reply "Monitor, hell son, it don't even have a video card. This ain't no game machine, what do you need graphics for?"

Friday, August 26, 2005

Movable Type. Finished.

I've finished installing Movable Type & have been playing around with it for several hours.

FYI Its only on my development computer. No, its nothing I intend to go live with. At least not in the immediate future.

I happen to like blogger. Even with all of its shortcomings. Simplicity.

That being said, the whole point of installing movable type was to check out what I've been missing. I've been playing around with the applications Ecto & MarsEdit lately, and it seemed to me that most of their advanced features weren't available to blogger.

From what I've seen so far, the MT system is very nice. Powerful. Flexible. So far, its almost all good. I'm sure that I'll find some quirks about it that I don't like, but I just haven't had time.

I took the time to post using MT, and manually uploaded it to the bustikated server for your viewing pleasure. I haven't customized ANYTHING in the template, so if it looks fresh from the box, it is.

You can view it in a new window by clicking [here].

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Movable Type, again

08.25.2005
Announcing Movable Type 3.2
We're proud to announce that Movable Type 3.2 is now available.

That's right, folks. I haven't even gotten the BETA installed yet, and its already a FINAL.

Damn, I suck!

Movable Type

I've been trying to install Movable Type 3.2b5 since I downloaded MarsEdit & realized that it just blows for blogger support.

I don't have the access or even desire to get this set up for bustikated.net, yet.
I've just been trying to get it to work on my G4 for testing purposes.

For those who don't know, I have a PowerMac G4 400MHz/896MB RAM/160GB HDD. I'm using the Apple provided Apache 1.3.33.

Apache is pretty easy to enable on OSX, its installed by default, all you have to do is check a box in your system preferences' sharing pane. I spent about 6 hours trying to figure out why http://localhost/~myuser/ wouldn't work, but http://localhost/~mywife/ worked just fine. Finally, tired & fed up I shutdown my mac. It wasn't until about 5 minutes after I clicked skip that I realized I'd enabled FileVault on my account.

*STUPID*.

I'm convinced that that's the only thing keeping Apache out of my ~/Sites/ folder. Man do I feel like an idiot!

Anyway, I downloaded & installed MySQL 4 & PHP 5 (after trying to get phpMyAdmin to work with MySQL 5. It won't, so don't waste your time.)

With Apache, MySQL, and PHP finally configured, I sat down to finish the MT install that I started Monday.

I've been installing PERL modules since 1pm.

CPAN and Marc Liyanage's software page have been incredibly helpful. As has my previous (however limited it may have been) LINUX experiance.

Still not finished, but I'll let you know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bling bling!

Bling bling!

My new wedding band. That's right, after two years of marriage I'm finally marked. Its really sweet. Titanium. Had to be ordered in my size. Can't cut it. Beautiful black. They said it would take three weeks to get. That was five days ago. All in all, a great experience.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Free iPod Back to School Book

Back to School Free iPod Book

Get your copy of the free iPod book from iLounge.com

Passport time

My passport arived today. So did the reimbursement check for it. Nice.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Choices...

I can't decide between the 15" powerbook and the 17" powerbook There's only 200$ ddifference in the cost... But I can't really find any reason that I need the 17". Especially since its bigger & heavier than the 15". I'm thinkin that the best bet would be to stick to the more practical 15" & upgrade the processor in my desktop. Lemme know what you think.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Back on my feet

Well, I've pretty much got everything back the way it was before.

Managed to save my iTunes library, which means I didn't lose my ratings/playlists. *lucky*

Now that I've restored my tunes, all thats left is to finish restoring all the stuff I moved off this drive.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Panther MM

I've recently aquired an Apple Mighty Mouse. It's great. I love it. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but everything works the way I always wished my Pro Mouse would.

That being said, I'm kinda disapointed that I don't get 100% of the spiffy features of my 50$ mouse.

While setting my Expose prefs after restoring my mac today, I noticed that not only can you select actions for "hot corners" but you can assign Expose functions to mouse buttons as well.

And wouldn't you know, I can assign functions to buttons 3 & 4!!!

Just a lil bit of joy on a dark day

Archive?

While archiving & trying to back up my data from my main drive, I created an archive of my entire pictures folder. All 1000 summod images, most of which aren't anywhere else anymore. While it was running, I archived my addy book.

Then I moved both to my iPod's root directory where they would be nice & safe. I left the copy running over night, more because I had a ton of stuff to do than by plan...

When I came back, the copy was done, and since everything else was already in place, I ejected my iPod & restared off the OSX install disc.

After an uneventful install, and subsequent downloading frenzy of both updates & lost applications, I sat down to restore everything that had been misplaced beforehand.

This is where it gets ugly... When I extracted the zip file containing my address book backups, only one file came out, named address (no extension) and it was incredibly small (12k). Certianly not my list of a couple hundred contacts. (everyone I've ever known). Needless to say, nothing happened when I tried to import this decroded piece of crap into Address Book.

I'm not too upset by the loss of my addy book. Sure, it was the most complete/updated/whatever, but I still have a fairly accurate copy of the most important contacts in both my gmail & yahoo accts, so not much is lost.

When my pictures folder(s) extracted as a single 28k file called MyPics; however, I just about lost it.

I've all but given up hope.

I downloaded a few shareware recovery apps, but most of them seem to work only right after the file was accidentaly deleted. I've formated the drive, installed an OS, and encrypted my home folder since then. (It wasn't encrypted before, but the fact that it is now isn't going to make the recovery process any easier.) Not to mention downloaded & installed several applications.

I'm going to attempt recovery with the shareware apps, but I'm not holding my breath. I can't count the hours I've spent getting all of those images together. Not only almost every shot taken with our digital camera since we got it @ the end of May, but almost every single pic I've taken with my camera phones over the last 2 1/2 years also. Most of them aren't anywhere else.

Its a sad, sad day :(

Wedding Rings

Sharon & I stopped by Kay Jewelers on the way home last night after dinner. Finally ordered my wedding band, and dropped hers off to be resized.

They say it'll take up to 3 weeks for my ring to come in. I hope it won't take that long.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Its Alive!!

Back up. Hope to be reconfigured by the end of the week!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Happy Anniversary!!!

Happy 2nd Aniversary!

Love you, babe!

I killed it

I actually crashed my mac. Not quite dead, dead... More of a slightly twitching paralyzed. Not much works. I'm in the process of backing up everything to my 2nd hard drive & my iPod. Sure is nice havin those 30gigs now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Comment Spam

<RANT> I am getting really sick of this crap. I mean, how is it even done??? Anyone else out there having their blog's comments spammed?

WTF?!

Its seriously pissing me off. </RANT>

Thursday, August 11, 2005

My passport pic

the picture that will be on my passport for the next ten years. It cost me about $160 to get it, and it takes two weeks.

Lemonade Tycoons

Today, on the way to drop Sharon off @ work, I drove past a few kids runnin' a lemonade stand a few blocks from the beach.

On the way home, I stopped in for drink & a quick conversation.

I spoke with brothers Paul (8), Patrick (5), Joseph (5), & Francis (2) and their parents, Micheal & Helen-Marie Langton from Framingham, MA. Here's what they had to say: (Paul did most of the talking for the boys.)

ME: Where are you from?

Micheal: Framingham

ME: How long are you going to be in Gloucester?

Paul: A week. A week starting Saturday, and ending Saturday.

ME: What brings you to Gloucester?

Paul: Vacation

Micheal: Business. *waves hand around* The lemonade business. You guys are here to work.

ME: Do you come here for vacation every year?

Paul: Pretty much every year.

Micheal: Every year since you've been around, anwyay.

ME: How do you like staying so close to the beach?

Paul: We like it. We like Wingaersheek Beach. Its a good beach. But right here isn't a good place to sell lemonade. People just go speeding by.

Paul: We caught a blue claw crab.

Micheal: And some minnows.

Patrick: And a hermit crab.

Joseph: And some sand dollars, we're cleaning them off on the deck.

Paul: We went to Rockport. We went to Rockport, and Patrick got a HUGE lollipop!

ME: What gave you guys the idea for the lemonade stand today?

Paul: The landlords already had the sign, we just changed it. We changed the price and added a few things.

ME: Who made the lemonade?

Everyone: Dad!

Micheal: I did.

Paul: Patrick made the snowflakes, and Joseph drew the lemons.

ME: So do you boys have a secret family recipe for lemonade?

Paul: Uhm. Water, lemons, and sugar. Oh, and ice.

Micheal: You gotta keep the seeds in there, too. So its authentic.

During the course of the “interview” another couple, Anne & Pete of Reading, PA stopped in for a drink.

As Helen-Marie (mom) put it, “[Its] a great business.”

And it certainly was. I was surprised at how the involved the whole family got in the business. Everyone seemed to be having a blast. I really enjoyed the lemonade, and the interview.

There are pictures to go along with this story. Helen-Marie was kind enough to take pictures with her digital camera, when she sends them to me, I will post them here.

Local News

Sharon and I talked about it last night over dinner, and we decided that we're going to start interviewing local people & blogging about it. I'd like to be able to put them together into a podcast of local happenings, but we'll see about that later.

For now, be on the lookout for my first interview. I talked with a bunch of kids running a lemonade stand close to Wingaersheek Beach. Their mom took some photos with her super-spiffy cool digital, and I'll be posting the story once the pics come in.

My thoughts

  • Microsoft requires accessory manufacturers to pony up
  • From Joystiq

    All this will lead to is higher price accessories, and more unlicensed homebrew ones.

    The Nintendo/Atari story is of no relevance, because it applies to SOFTWARE not HARDWARE. Requiring SOFTWARE titles to be licensed is one thing. It gives control over game content to the console manufacturer. Wether this is good or bad depends on how tight a grip they maintain over the process. It worked for the NES. And there are still a lot of homebrew UNLICENSED games around.

    Hardware licensing will prevent people from using the XBOX any way that MS doesn't want them to.

    That being said, the XBOX 360 will probably kick ass, just like the XBOX. But I probably won't buy one for the same reason I don't own an XBOX: Microsoft.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    My 2 cents

    What I had to say today

    Lazy Day

    Today has been a particularly lazy day, notable even amongst the string of lazy days that have accompanied it. Its damn near 3pm, and I haven't so much as posted anything.

    I did read through some news sites, which I feel I've slacked on this week. And I've watched another 3 episodes from the first season of The Simpsons. That counts as productivity, right?

    I also poked around with the settings on this blog & the blog formerly known as The Game of the Day. Thats right, TheGOTD will henceforth be known as Play, and will be hosted on bustikated.net as well.

    Moving thgotd wasn't as easy as moving this blog was, only because I had to do it different. Should've known better, but I'm obviously stupidy stubborn. Oh well, such is life. I will either spend the time fixing it, or just go back and do it the right way (yeah, yeah, like I should have done it the first time, so <CENSORED> fuck</CENSORED> off).

    As for now, I've got some chores to finish up before I head out to get my passport. Fun, fun, I know.

    Anyway, there's always stuff to write about, so maybe I'll post later.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Google adSense TOS

    Well, I just found out that modifying the javascript that Google adsense uses violates their TOS. In order to keep the google gods happy, I shall revert to their script by the end of the day.

    You agree to comply with the specifications provided by Google from time to time to enable proper delivery, display, tracking, and reporting of Ads, Links, Search Results, and Google Brand Features (as defined in Section 12 below) in connection with Your Site(s), including without limitation by not modifying the JavaScript or other programming provided to You by Google in any way, unless expressly authorized in writing by Google (including by electronic mail).

    Sorry, Google.

    In case you're confused, when I posted my blogger guide the other day, I mentioned that I had encapsulated the scripts that Google provides in order to get them out of my html. Well, in doing so, I broke them apart, which is clearly a no-no. Then I went and published it . o O (mistake #2). So now I gotta publicly state that I'm an idiot.

    . o O (not that I have a problem with that, heh)

    We've moved!

    I finally got up the courage to move the blog to my server. It went a lot more smoothly than I expected... It took me a few tries to get everything finalized; getting the archives and the feed transfered over. I kinda just assumed that it would all be transfered automatically. I was mistaken, but as it turns out, getting it set up was very easy. And I like the amount of control that blogger gives you over where the files go on your server.

    I'd like to say that I'm impressed at the ease of the move & flexibility of the system. I was even able to quickly snag back my blogspot subdomain without much effort.

    So, without further ado, I give you http:://blog.bustikated.net/bm5k/.

    But you've already found me, so I guess you knew that... Kinda anti-climactic, huh...?

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    I commented on...

    A new feature!

    From now on, I am gunna post links to things that I've left comments on, and what I had to say. That way people who read the comments on those other sites, but don't read my blog (shame on them anyway) don't miss out on what my opinnion... . o O (because its soooooo important, lol)

    • Time-shifting DST
    • from Engadget

      The entire DST issue assumes that people are only up during the day. This is utter nonsense. Many people, myself included, work strange schedules. I already have to remember what times businesses open and close, AND I have to change my f*cking clock too. Not everyone conforms to the 9 to 5 schedule. Not only that, but it screws with my head when its still daylight at 10pm... So just leave my clock alone! Don't these people have a budget to balance, and a war to worry about?!?!

    • Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Won’t Play in iTunes
    • from DigitalMusic

      Then just buy the songs from itunes... problem solved, lol

    • The Gap Gives Away iTunes Tracks
    • from DigitalMusic

      As a consumer, a 1 month trial of napster would suck, because all the music that you've downloaded would be worthless unless you continued to pay the fee, leaving you with less than a free song. <CENSORED> Fuck </CENSORED> napster

    • Change the login window background in Mac OS X
    • from TUAW

      Yeah, because everyone knows that whoever steals your laptop would never wipe the hdd and reinstall the os. Or chop your box up and sell it as parts

    Brits to get RFID-chipped license plates

    First your car, then your arm... For the sake of public safety. That way the cops can drive down the street & check everyone for warrents without even questioning you.

    Then it will be to ensure you don't leave your house during curfew...

    Creepy.

    And this guy says it best:

    Posted Aug 9, 2005, 11:28 AM ET by Travis

    <QUOTE>I really love how the government is somehow unable to balance the budget or come up with a good exit strategy for Iraq (dont start with me, I'm a Marine, and I was there, I have a right to criticize), yet somehow they keep finding more ways to watch every move I make and all in the name of the neverending “war on freedom”...excuse me, “terrorism”....you know, here we are “spreading freedom across the globe”, yet somehow were turning the “land of the free” into a police state. Im moving somewhere else. Fu*k this country. </QUOTE>

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    This just in

    Alrighty folks... Its official. Windows “Vista” is a cheap rip off of OSX. I've seen some screen shots, and all the windows have a very familiar look to them. From what I can see, its just a facelift for XP. Just like every other microsoft OS, they updated the interface and (prolly, I can't tell from screen shots) left the same <CENSORED> shit </CENSORED>ty code beneath. I won't be ditching my mac any time soon. And, in the very near future everyone stuck with an x86 computer will have a great altenative to the juggernaut Micro$oft.

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    ecto

    I've been using this program to do my blogging for about a week. So far, it hasn't replaced the blogger.com website.

    What I don't like

    • The inability to update multiple posts at once
    • I'd like to be able to update multiple posts, save them to my computer, and then upload them all at once. I've already had to change just about every post on my blog twice in the last week, and doing it one post at a time isn't really any easier than doing it through the blogger.com interface.
    • The “old or new” dialog
    • This is incredibly annoying.
    • Constant connection errors
    • Almost every time I refresh/post/do anything I have to deal with disconnects & having to retry the operation.
    • User Interface
    • There are several little quirks in the interface that need to be taken care of to make this program top-notch. One of them being the tag editor in the options pane of the post window. I've had a lot of trouble with tags appearing multiple times, tags disappearing, and tags reverting to the default-“puppy”.
    • No link support
    • The API used by blogger supports specifying a link for each post, there's no way to set this with ecto.

    What I do like

    • Multiple blog support
    • I contribute to two blogs, so this is handy.
    • Preview
    • This attempts to display the post the way it will look in a browser. Most of the its close.

    I'd like to see the PREVIEW functionality be implemented a bit more like the blogger.com website. The fact that it pops up another window is pretty annoying. They should look at Dreamweaver, and the way you switch from code to split to design mode, only I think the options code, design, and preview would be more appropriate. Having the OPTION to open any of the 3 in a seperate window would be great. (Not even Dreamweaver can do this)

    I also think that this tendency to have everything appear in a separate window extends into other portions of the program. There's HTML Tag Templates, Account Manager, Notification, Settings, Templates, Console, and Status. The first 5 could easily be incorporated into the Preferences window.

    The preferences window

    There's something lacking in the interface here... It doesn't feel very refined. The font options shouldn't be here, it should be a toolbar button that references the standard font/color dialog. The recent entries pane lacks the option to automaticaly retrieve posts & save them locally. The options for retrieving posts from the server should be independent of the local cache options. The only interface options are setting window transparency. Again, I think this is something that you should be able to control from the window itself. Not to mention grouping some windows together could be annoying for some people who use this feature. The “other” options seem kinda out of place, but I'm not sure where else they'd fit in. These are the kinds of things that should be on a General tab (not other) and, IMO they'd be better as the first pane. There are a lot of advanced options to choose from, but if the entire preference system was improved, a lot of them would find a better place.

    Console

    This is the protocol log, it details the interaction between the server and ecto. This information is quite helpful if you run into problems with the software. I'd like to see the ability to store this info in a log, along with the status information.

    Status

    This small, useless window contains information that you would expect to see in the status bar. The info isn't useless, just putting it in its own window is.

    Final Thoughts

    I like not being tied to the web interface that blogger provides. I can't say that I'll be ready to shell out for this app after the next to weeks, but we'll see...

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    Discovery safely on the ground!

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    Watch the Shuttle Landing

    Shuttle landing via NASA TV (requires real player) They also have a windows media feed @yahoo.com

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    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Mighty Mouse

    I am at the Apple Store, getting some hands on time with the mighty mouse. I'm using a mac mini with Tiger & a 30“ lcd.

    The mouse is exactly what I think an Apple mouse should be. It feels exactly like my pro mouse, and there is a scroll wheel exactly where I always reach for it. I've been here less than 5minutes, and I'm already addicted to right clicking-again. A hold over from all those years chained to a PC I suppose.

    For some reason, the side buttons arent configured, and there is no option to configure them either.

    Go figure.

    I will say that I've already noticed that having to lift my index finger slightly to right click is gunna take some getting used to. But I don't think it would detract enough to prevent me from buying this mouse.

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    Windows Vista Leaked Already?

    Not sayin' its true, or that it won't <CENSORED> fuck </CENSORED> your computer, but thats the rumor I heard. That's right folks, the new flagship of Redmon, Wa based Micro$oft available for your... Suffering & torture, if its anything like every other product they make.

    I for one, don't really give a <CENSORED> shit </CENSORED>. The only windows boxes I have to use are the <CENSORED> crap</CENSORED>py - lt;CENSORED> ass </CENSORED> ones at work. And they'll be downgraded to Vista soon enough. Either way I don't have to pay for my suffering.

    But, hey, some people pay *extra* for the pain...

    Bookmarklets (part 2)

    How it works

    If you take a look at the source code for the above you'll notice that all of the scripts begin with javascript:. This tells the browser to interpt the rest of the URL as a script (yes, that means you could just as well type the script in the address by with 'javascript:' in front.)

    Next, you'll see that most of the scripts have several statements enclosed with curly brackets, '{' & '}'. These signify a code block that has been used in place of a single statement. I'm not sure how REQUIRED they are for use in bookmarklets, but its simply good programing form to use them if your script contains multiple statements. After the closing bracket, you'll see that most scripts also return a value with 'void(1);'. This ensures that your script returns a positive exit code, which may be required for some browsers to use your script properly.

    Modern browsers support executing a wide range of JavaScript code from the address bar, and thus the bookmark bar. [Time] will display the current time in Safari.

    The hardest part in turning a normal script written in JavaScript into a bookmarklet is formatting. The code must all appear on a single line, which is a great pain for anyone with any coding sense. What I pfer to do is write the script in another application, with normal formatting, and then take out all the extra whitespace.

    This also means removing all the spaces. In most cases, you can just run statements together, but where the space character is required (ie “else if” conditionals) you must encode the space with the %20 escape sequence.

    This allows the browser address bar to handle the space correctly. Its very important, so I'll say it again, “YOU MUST ESCAPE SPACES IN YOUR CODE BY USING %20”.

    That about wraps it up for the basics. A lil JavaScript knowledge, and you'll be dangerous writing bookmarklets in no time.

    If you write/find any cool scripts, post them below in the comments. To insert a link like the ones above, simply use this format:

    <a href=“javascript:{CODE HERE};void(1);”>Script Title</a>

    Lastly...

    There are security issues involved any time you run scripts on your computer. Make sure you've checked the source code & know exactly what you're executing when you click that bookmark. Or, get the bookmarklets from a trusted source. If you've found a script, but aren't sure if it's safe, feel free to post it here, using the same method as above. Put a note in your comment that you'd like me to check it out for you. I'll reply with what I find out.

    Happy Scripting

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    Bookmarklets, a geek's explanation (part 1)

    You may have heard the term before, but I've been using these lil scripts for a while without even knowing anyone else knew what they are.

    A bookmarklet is a specially formed javascript that you can set as a bookmark for quick use.

    Here are a couple scripts that I use on a regular basis. To use them, simply drag the links too your bookmarks bar.

    • Bloglines: [Sub w/Bloglines]
    • javascript:{   location.href='http://www.bloglines.com/sub/'+location.href; }p void(1);

    • Technorati: Search based on the current page [Technorati This]
    • javascript:{   w=window;   d=document;   var%20u;   s='';   ds=d.selection;   if(ds&&ds!=u) {     if(ds.createRange()!=u) {       s=ds.createRange().text;     }   }   else if(d.getSelection!=u){     s=d.getSelection()+'';   }   else if(w.getSelection!=u){     s=w.getSelection()+'';   }   if(s.length%3C2){     h=String(w.location.href);     if(h.length==0||h.substring(0,6)=='about:'){       s=prompt('Technorati%20Realtime%20Search%20for:',s);     }     else{       s=w.location.href;     }   }   if(s!=null)     w.location='http://technorati.com/cosmos/search.html?sub=toolsearch&url='+escape(s); } void(1);

    • Blogger/Blogspot: [BlogThis!]
    • javascript:{   Q='';   x=document;   y=window;   if(x.selection){     Q=x.selection.createRange().text;   }   else if(y.getSelection){     Q=y.getSelection();   }   else if(x.getSelection){     Q=x.getSelection();   }   winParams='scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes';   pw=y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?     t='+escape(Q)+'&u='+escape(location.href)+     '&n='+escape(document.title),'bloggerForm',winParams); } void(1);

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    Blogger.com, a Guide (updated, again)

    I've taken some time to redo my blogger template (as any savvy person can no doubt tell.) and I'd like to support everyone else who's fed up with the default.

    First off, I moved all that CSS crap to its own file, which I put on some webspace that I just happend to have lying around. I'm a real big fan of having CSS in my HTML files, makin everything look like shit. So I cleaned it up a bit. I also played around with it just a lil to get the page to display to my liking. A lot of people use higher res displays than 1024x768, but the default CSS for the template I use (I don't even remember what its called now) had all the positioning hard coded. I changed as much as possible to percentage values. This makes my page grow/shrink when you resize your browser window. Spiffy, eh?

    The second, and most time consuming, was taking the time to pretty much rewrite my entire template. I wanted to move the links around, and I wanted comments below their posts on the main pages. I was trying to get it so you could post a comment directly from the permalink page, but I gave up for now.

    Lastly, I took my adsense code & put it in a few .js (read: javascript) files that I simply link to wherever I want an ad.

    NOTE: If you want to use the .js files for yourself, you can download them and use them as I do, just remember that unless you change the google_ad_client line, I'll get all the credit for the ads.

    If you're interested, you can take a look at my template by clicking the link below. In order to get the most out of it, use your browser's save as functionality & open it in your favorite HTML editor (*cough* notepad). If you have any questions, put them in the comments.

    Getting Started

    Here are some links that I found helpful while creating my own template. (An overall knowledge of HTML & CSS will help, but probably isn't necessesary.)

    The Files

    • blogger.html
    • The template. More helpful if you VIEW SOURCE.
    • blogger2.html
    • A revised template. A single file that you can use as your template in blogger, with as little editing as possible. Great for leeches!
    • blog.css
    • The CSS.
    • skyscraper.js
    • First AdSense Script - Contains layout for skyscraper style ads on my blog.
    • leaderboard.js
    • Second AdSense Script - Contains layout for leaderboard style ads.
    • adsense.js
    • Main AdSense Script - Contains all the admin bs.

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    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    You Know It

    My lil bro finally got a blog. Enjoy.

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    Sharon's Blog: All about me

    I wanted to say this, but as nicely as possible.

    Its great that you've posted SOOOO much. I mean, you've got a LOT of content, babe. But you really need to break stuff up. Line breaks are your friend. I'm affraid of the long posts... I don't have the attention span to read that much all at once :) and you should know that.

    You could use some spelling help, but who am I to criticize spelling . o O (maybe you've actually spelled everything right, like I would know) LOL?!

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    Friday, August 05, 2005

    eyes wide apart

    Just an intresting, accidental find: eyes wide apart

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    Just a thought

    It used to be, here in America, that if software *could* be used for something legal, then it was ok. The trend is quickly becoming if it might be possible for one person to do something illegal with it, its slienced.

    I'm talking mainly about P2P file sharing, but I think it applies to more than just downloading movies/music.

    Entire companies, web sites, and applications are being shutdown or banned or blocked because a few of the users are getting caught being stupid. Case for or against piracy aside, blaming the people that enable legitimate sharing for a few thieves is like blaming smith & wesson when someone gets shot.

    Recently legislation was passed limiting the amount of damages that gun manufacturers can be assessed in wrongful death suits. Shouldn't this same mentality apply to software? Such a ruling seems to be a complete reversal of the grokster ruling. It seems that common sense only applies when your agency/group can afford to bully the government.

    If you'd like to read more, there's an article on wired today dealing with this subject.

    Happy reading!

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    Update

    I downloaded, installed, and have been using ecto. But I don't really like the end results. I'm really unhappy with the spacing of the posts that I've edited with it. And there is no option for uploading multiple posts.

    I changed several posts, but had to go back and re-publish them all one at a time.

    <RANT> I think that part of the problem might be how blogger/blogspot treats linebreaks. As a developer, having to uglify my code to get what I want on the screen pisses me off. I can understand the usefulness of it, and its fine in compose but not in code mode. </RANT>

    I've started including technorati tags (with the help of echo) in most of my posts. I've actually gone back and added them to almost, if not, every post on this blog & the Game of the Day.

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    Now Playing - A playlist update

    • Shelf In The Room
    • from “Days of the New” by Days of the New
    • Limelight
    • from “Retrospective II” by Rush
    • Calling Elvis
    • from “Sultans Of Swing” by Dire Straits
    • Weak And Powerless
    • from Thirteenth Step by A Perfect Circle
    • World so Cold
    • from The End of All Things to Come by Mudvayne
    • The Trees
    • from Chronicles by Rush
    • Tom Sawyer
    • from Retrospective II by Rush
    • Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
    • from eMOTIVe by A Perfect Circle
    • Internal Primates Forever
    • from LD 50 by Mudvayne
    • Take a Look Around
    • from Chocolate Starfish & the Hotdog Flavored Water by Limp Bizkit
    • Triad
    • from Lateralus by Tool

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    I read the news today

  • Apple’s new $49 Mighty Mouse—first with right click and no buttons
  • Hard to believe a mouse is causing such a commotion. I, for one, think that its a novel approach to an incredibly over-done market. There are soooooooooooo many mice out there already, for apple to quietly re-release the same old shit would cause just as much noise from the anti-apple crowd.

    But, instead of mocking the new features, they'd be mocking apple for releasing “the norm”. I'd be willing to bet that most of the comments about this mouse, for or against, are by people who haven't even used it yet.

    For all of you PC users, <CENSORED> bitching </CENSORED> about this knowing full well you'll never use an apple product, shove your MS mouse up your <CENSORED> ass </CENSORED>. You're bigger fanboys than any Apple user. You'd have to be to defend such a <CENSORED> crap </CENSORED>py company.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of logitech & their entire product line. I'd never even consider buying a mouse/keyboard from MS. Not because I hate windows. Ok, not just because I hate windows, but because their a software company. I wouldn't buy an OS from logitech, either.

    I'm a recent switcher to Mac (as some of you know) I've been in love with my G4 since I got it. I hated windows for years, but I'm finally satisfied. I've even talked a few people into replacing their PCs with Macs. In the case of my mom, I talked her into paying twice as much for an iBook (she was gunna buy a dell). And she loves it. But, I digress. the point was supposed to be don't knock it till you've tried it.

    I won't be rushing out to replace the single button Pro Mouse that came with my mac any time soon. When I do get a new mouse, I probably won't spend $50 on one (wired or not), but none of that changes the fact that the mighty mouse, while having a slightly ridiculous name, is probably <CENSORED>damn</CENSORED> cool.

  • iKeyTypePro LCD-based multi-language keyboard
  • iTech’s got the latest (Bluetooth) virtual keyboard
  • Keyboards are all the rage, these days.

  • Turn Skype Calls into MP3s
  • Podcasting, anyone?

  • CVS Camera Hack
  • MAKE: Blog: CVS camcorder usably hacked!
  • How many of us have been waiting for this?!?

  • TiVo Banner Ads released | PVRblog
  • Anyone else really HATE this idea?

  • Wired News: PC Precisely Predicts Felony
  • Just plain creepy!

  • OSX Tiger on PS3
  • Very interesting, even if its untrue.

  • Mobile WiFi hotspot: the StompBox
  • These are cool.

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    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Now Playing

  • Engadget Podcast 034 - 07.12.2005
  • from Engadget Podcasts by Engadget
    Catching up on my podcasts...

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    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Flickr: Wingaersheek Beach

    Welcome to Wingaersheek Beach
    Welcome to Wingaersheek Beach
    originally uploaded by bm5k

    Wingaersheek Beach 2
    Wingaersheek Beach 2
    originally uploaded by bm5k

    Wingaersheek Beach Concessions
    Wingaersheek Beach Concessions
    originally uploaded by bm5k

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    Surfing

    I've noticed a lot of the blogs I read have introduced a linking blogs feature. Not quite sure how it works, yet, but its supposed to list all the posts that link to that specific post. Sounds pretty cool. Lets see if it works.

  • From Unofficial Google: Google's Lack of Integration
  • Posted Aug 1, 2005, 11:31 PM ET by Brad Hill

    I haven't finished reading the post yet, but I've already got my 2 cents to add. I think google would be better off buying/releasing an all-in-one messenger client rather than creating yet another proprietary format.

    Even if they wanted to introduce their own IM scheme (hopefully integrated with their other services I already use) then they'd be better off releasing a multi-service client to go with it.

    Or, better yet, with the quality of today'sopen sourcee/free multi-service software, they could develop the service, and release an API.

    This would make it easier for the authors of these programs (AdiumX, gAim) to integrate the new service into their apps.

    Now that I've finished reading, I feel I should mention that I like Google.

    One of the reasons I no longer use Yahoo is the super-simplistic ideology that surrounds the Google site. While the different Yahoo services are “more integrated” I think the result is a much more clutered experiance. I think it would be foolish for google to risk offending their user base by trying to be more like Yahoo.

    Simplicty rules. If integration is Yahoo, then I'll settle for divergence.

  • Elsewhere:
  • Rockstar Games gets <CENSORED>bitched</CENSORED> at by some idiot attorney. Tho say that violent video games breed violent children is insane. If this guy is so upset he doesn't have to buy the game for his kid, but who the <CENSORED>fuck</CENSORED> is he to tell me what I can't buy for myself/my kids. As a lawyer, I'd expect him to be more educated. What a dickhead.

    . o O (How's that for a convincing argument? heh. So, there!)

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