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Category: Personal
Tuesday, August 30th, 2005 @ 11:16 pm
Posted By Brent

Ok, just to have a place that everyone I know can communicate, I'll post some info on what I know:

Cell phone usage is useless ANYWHERE in LA/MS. Text messaging seems to work perfectly. The water is continuing to rise in the city, a whole day after the storm. The water will be there for at least a week if not weeks. Now, here's what I know about our peeps.

  • Scott and Alison: Baton Rouge (I think), but they're ok.
  • Kim: Somewhere in Texas, but OK.
  • Jason, Rebs, and Jude: Went to Baton Rouge, then kept going to Shreveport to get farther away.
  • MC & Colleen: After saying he was going to stay, MC is now safe in Arkansas, and I ran into Colleen and PG on the street today here in Natchez, MS
  • Pete, Christine and Max: We texted Pete and he said he was OK in Vicksburg, I can only assume Max is with him, and Christine is either there as well, or at Touro where she's just as safe.
  • My Parents and Little Brother: Ok in Baton Rouge.
  • Feasty, Niki and Shane: My parents said Niki and Shane evac'd with her parents and Feasty was planning on staying. We haven't heard from them since before the storm.

Please check in and tell us what's happening.


Category: Work
Saturday, August 27th, 2005 @ 02:40 pm
Posted By Brent

Well, I'm hitting the road in mere minutes. The company's shipping us all up to Natchez, MS for the time being to wait out this hurricane which appears to be coming right for us.

If you have a chance, I'd get the fuck out of New Orleans. You really don't want to be here if there's four feet of water in the streets and the power's out for two weeks, I'd rather be stuck on Aunt Edna's couch in Baton Rouge.

That's it, hope everyone fares ok, now I'm off to go sit in the parking lot called the interstate.


Category: Games
Thursday, August 25th, 2005 @ 03:46 pm
Posted By Brent

Nintendo, you win. I lose.

I will buy your hunk of shit, and I will probably love it. Your Nintendogs is too much for me to bear. Even if I didn't have a wife who was dying to play it, I'd still probably buy it. Even though I'm no where near in the same boat, I feel I can relate to this all too well.

Really though, Nintendogs is just the kicker, what started this was a recent bout of adventure game nostalgia I've been having. Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, Maniac Mansion, etc, have all been in my thoughts as of late and after the one-two punch of hearing about ScummVMDS and Trace Memory, I've been beaten.

Of course, add to that Advance Wars DS, Animal Crossing DS, Resident Evil DS and a handful of other choice titles, I just don't think I'm going to be able to hold out.

Now, when I called this DS a "hunk of shit" up there, I didn't mean in comparison to any other unit. I mean, we all know what I think of the DS's main competitor, so please don't start any shit Nintendo fan boys, I am one of you. What I mean is that it just feels like a big plastic piece of cheap crap. I'm sure a year after I buy one they'll come out with the smaller, sleeker version of it and I'll get all pissed, but I have come to accept the things I cannot change.


Category: Personal
Monday, August 15th, 2005 @ 10:57 am
Posted By Brent

During my entire childhood I was told I was a "gifted" child. I consistently scored above my class on placement tests, had a healthy appetite for reading, and I picked up things like memorizing the Gettysburg Address and learning my multiplication tables rather quickly. I spent so much time as a kid hearing about how eff'ing smart I was that it naturally became part of my self image. It didn't matter that I was a chronic underachiever who never got higher than a C average, I was a fucking prodigy, and I had the test scores to prove it.

The problem with being a child prodigy is that once you are no longer a child, you're no longer a prodigy either. You're just some dipshit with an over inflated self image. You've grown into your smarts like a pair of your brother's hand-me-down jeans and having the problem solving skills of a High School Senior, while amazing at 10, is considerably less amazing when you're a High School Senior.

By the age of nineteen this was a lesson I had yet to learn. I was young, virile, and in my opinion, possessing an immeasurable intellect. Looking back I imagine I wasn't too far off from how intelligent and invulnerable just about everyone thought they were at that age, but it didn't help coming from the background I just described. The icing on the cake was that I more or less a "goth" around this time period, which only added to my belief that I was a horribly misunderstood genius.

It was around this time that my friend Matt's band was playing one night and after the show he suggested that a bunch of us go have drinks at his place which happened to only be a few blocks from the venue. It was not an unusual night, a group of around eight of us sat around chain smoking and marathon drinking, talking up the great ideas we have for the bands we're in or the importance of some irrelevant factoid that we thought would make us seem deep if we waxed philosophical about it, usual nineteen-year-old bullshit.

Anyway, one of Matt's friends Clint was there. Clint was a few years older than us and I had only met him once or twice before, but he seem pretty agreeable. He was thumbing through a Beavis and Butthead book Matt had lying around, and reciting various funny things that he came across. After about ten minutes of him reading and us discussing which Beavis and Butthead moment was the most hilarious, he tossed the book onto the coffee table and said, "You know, this is sad. We can sit here and hold a ten minute long conversation about Beavis and Butthead, but I bet not one of us could say what started World War I."

I was pretty offended. I mean, here I was, a fucking genius for Christ sakes, and he thinks so little of me to try and stump me with such retarded trivia. I was just about to shut him down by giving him an extremely long winded and exhaustive history of World War I when I realized I was thinking about World War II. I sat there and tried to dredge up any memory I could possibly find that had anything to do with World War I and kept coming up empty handed. Who the fuck was even in World War I? At this point my brain was just spasming:

There were Germans in both I think, but the second one was about Jews. Or something. What did the Germans do in the first one? Were they all about killing Jews in both? Wasn't there a treaty called the Treaty of Ver-something? Did that end the First or Second one? I know Japan was in the second one, but were they in the first one too? What did they even want in the second one? Did the French surrender in both? Didn't I learn anything in school?

I was floored. How could I expect to be a misunderstood genius when I was a complete moron? Without the genius part, I'm just misunderstood, which is another way of saying retarded. This did not bode well for my self image.

Of course, while I was going through this inner turmoil, Scott was busy supplying Clint with the actual answers involving the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, by the Serbs.

And that's when I discovered that you actually need to learn things in order to appear intelligent, it's not something that just happens out of force of will. I'd spent the majority of my formative years having everything come to me so easily that I never really learned how much went into actually learning things. Since then I've made myself extremely familiar with the events surrounding the major conflicts of the twentieth century and will be prepared if such a situation presents itself again.


Category: Tech
Thursday, August 4th, 2005 @ 02:49 pm
Posted By Brent

In the past week I've gotten word from both Scott and MC that they're both interested in rocking Linux on the Desktop. For MC it's because he's sick of the spyware, crashes, and virii that are so inextricably tied to the Windows platform, and for Scott I believe it's because he's tired of Windows and wants to learn about the exciting new world of Teh Lunix.

Anywho, I thought I'd combine both needs and have a Linux install night at my house. I was thinking this weekend, not for any particular reason other than its temporal proximity to right now, but if the parties are interested but would like to reschedule, that's copacetic. Of course, if anyone else is interested in Linux and has a machine they'd want it on, you're all welcome too. You are also welcome if you just want to hang out and drink beer, which will be happening in parallel to the installs.

I've been asking around and it seems like the distro of choice for people first getting their feet wet is a toss up between Ubuntu Linux and Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrake). I've heard that both are rather friendly distros without going off the deep end like Lycoris or Linspire (both of which require paid subscription services to get any use out of them at all). The opposite end of the spectrum would be my distro of choice, Gentoo, but giving that to them would be like selling a person their first car and then giving them a pile of parts, a wrench, and a manual. A bit overwhelming for your first time out.

I've burned Ubuntu (or more specifically Kubuntu, Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome), and I'm about to install it on a test machine to see what it's like. I haven't installed or maintained a distro other than Gentoo in about three years, so I'm well past due to see what's out there these days.

Comments? Questions?