Wednesday, June 30, 21:10 CDT
Well, I haven't been able to get a connection for the past couple of days. What can I say?

Hmm... I see has acquired (I'm starting to dislike that word, for some reason) Slashdot. Which of course means plenty of people shrieking about "selling out". Only time will tell if /.'s quality will go downhill, or if commercial interests will corrupt it, but it looks to me like they're trying to do right by their users and the community. Of course, I'm probably just being a sucker. I mean, it's not like anyone could actually try to balance personal gain with accomplishing some good.

Aside, of course, from the people who haven't put in the hard work and gotten the lucky breaks. We all know *they'd* never cash in on any kind of success.

(As usual, I'm not really sure how much of this is sarcasm. Give it a few years, I'll probably know.)

Ack! I'm missing Crusade. More later...

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 30

Friday, June 25, 23:22 CDT
Whoops, never actually uploaded that last update. Hate it when I (don't) do that.

I just read a piece over on Slashdot, asserting that Microsoft's monopoly lies chiefly in the all-pervasiveness of their proprietary document formats (read: Office 9x). Lengthy, but makes some points worth considering.

OTOH, I've been doing everything in plain text or HTML since even before I left Windows behind. I can't be completely alone there...

I've been re-reading my stack of Calvin & Hobbes collections over the past couple of days. I love classic literature. :)

I'll be in Kansas for the next couple of days; shall try and update Monday.

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 25

Wednesday, June 23, 15:40 CDT
I just finished reading The Practice Effect, by David Brin. An enjoyable book of the "Earth scientist winds up in another world with different physical laws, is mistaken for wizard" type. It's got all the ingredients: Evil Warlord, Beautiful Princess, cute-but-useful alien sidekick, bad puns and SFnal references - and a nice twist on the "different physical laws" bit. Good reading for a summer afternoon.

Went to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me this past Saturday. If you've got no objection to scatological humor and constant innuendo, I'd say it's worth seeing. Not nearly as funny as it could've been, but there were enough good moments to make it worthwhile. (The Jerry Springer scene, for example.)

I've been messing with vi a bit lately (in fact I'm using it, with considerable difficulty, to write this) I can see how it could be a powerful tool, in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing. An experienced vi user must be able to (argh, moving back to XEmacs...) manipulate large blocks of text with surgical accuracy and almost frightening speed.

That said, I'm not sure how much use I'll ever get out of it. While the command set isn't huge, it strikes me as much less intuitive than most other editors I've learned. Maybe because my mind just doesn't seem to wrap around a modal editor very well.

At any rate, I'll try getting enough experience with vi to use it should the need arise, so maybe I'll adapt.

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 23

Thursday, June 17, 21:55 CDT
I really should do something here. Clean some things up. Mess with the layout. Write some actual content. Add some links here and there. Something. But, well... I'm tired.

I'm going to do some work for the local highschool on their site over the summer. Should be loads of fun... (Time will tell just how sarcastic I should be when I say that.)

Amazingly enough, I actually got official permission to install Linux on a former Windows box (a little Gateway Celeron machine) at school. Even more amazingly, I actually got it smoothly installed and on the network on the first try. Love it when something I do actually *works*. ;)

If I had the energy, I'd rant a bit about operating system politics, fanaticism, and so forth here... Maybe later. At the moment, I think I'll go watch last night's taped Crusade episode.

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 17

Tuesday, June 15, 16:01 CDT
I got home Sunday evening. Spent the week in Breckenridge, Colorado - my dad had one of those meetings that serve as an excuse for everyone to bring their families and do expensive stuff on the company tab. Meant to update before I left, but Hardlink's servers were down (or unreachable, at any rate).

Had fun in CO - we went whitewater rafting on the Arkansas River, which by itself was worth the trip. Zinging through water 5 or 6 degrees away from being snow, paddling for all you're worth (which isn't much, in my case), knowing full well that if you should happen to be violently ejected from the raft, most rocks swim better than you do... It's an incredible experience. Makes your average amusement park ride look kinda lame by comparison. Although I'd reccomend knowing how to swim a little better than a rock before you try it.

I'm looking at a cardboard standup of an Imperial stormtrooper that I couldn't resist buying. I don't really have room for it, but I think it adds a lot to the decor of my room; standing there with blaster levelled at my door, as if waiting for rebel scum to come pouring through...

A few books I've read lately:

  • The Summer Tree and The Wandering Fire, the first 2 books of The Fionavar Tapestry, by Guy G. Kay - A lot more Standard Fantasy than his later stuff. Would be better without the Tolkienesque elvesndwarves. Still well worth a read though, and I'm looking forward to the final volume.
  • The Princess Bride, by William Goldman - The best book -> movie translation I've ever read and watched. Definitely a classic.
  • Island in the Sea of Time, by S.M. Stirling - The island of Nantucket gets dropped into 1250 BC for some reason or another. Every bit as good as this sort of book should be, and a great piece of "what if...". I'll have to get the sequel. (IIRC, this is going to be a 3 volume series.)
  • Gibbon's Decline and Fall, by Sheri S. Tepper - Heavily political and preachy. Despite which I didn't find it nearly as obnoxious as I would have expected, and it's definitely thought provoking. Worth a shot, anyway.

I watched Babylon 5: A Call to Arms, and the first episode of Crusade Wednesday. A Call to Arms is definitely one of the better B5 movies. Nice effects work, and the music was decent. Very effective at times; gave the whole thing a different flavor.

The Crusade ep... Well... It sucked. It just seemed so unnecessary. A Call to Arms already provides a great intro for the show; why was the standard "And this is how they picked up crew member X" episode needed? There was cool stuff there, but it should've been used as flashbacks in later episodes, if anything.

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 15
tags: topics/fantasy, topics/guy-gavriel-kay, topics/reading

Sunday, June 6, 23:11 CDT
(Me: Hi, my name is Brennen. And I... I'm a media junkie.

Group: Hi Brennen!)

Saw Episode One again last Thursday. Also saw The Mummy, which is moderately entertaining fluff at best, and a waste of material. A few good one liners and a couple of really cool effects shots, though. Go figure. Saturday night, I rented Primary Colors with a couple of friends. Quite good, if rather depressing.

Earlier this afternoon, I went to see Episode One a fourth time. Interesting to note that there was a bigger crowd at the theater, on a Sunday afternoon, than's usually there on a Friday evening.

One of the few reasons I still have a Windows partition... I see mIRC v5.6 is out. A few minutes messing around with it didn't reveal any drastic changes, but I haven't really looked over versions.txt.

I've been using Midnight Commander, a textmode file manager for Unix, lately. It's got a decent little built in viewer and editor, along with an integrated command line and good mouse support. In some ways it reminds me of List, an old DOS file viewer that I got a huge amount of use out of... Great little prog. I should find a link to it...

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 6

Thursday, June 3, 13:28 CDT
Messing with the color scheme and layout a bit.

I created my first Perl script the other day, a simple little job that repackages my Lynx bookmarks. Pathetic? Yeah, but I've gotta start somewhere. Given a little more know-how, maybe I could turn this into something useful.

Wrote a review of Cryptonomicon.

p1k3 / 1999 / 6 / 3