2004.08.31

New iMac, No comment

22.55.05 - Mark

I'm not thrilled about the new iMac. Looks like an un-portable tablet computer without the touch screen. Plus it seems like it needs TV input. No big deal.

On the flip side it looks like Apple is getting the message of better faster cheaper. iBooks, iMacs and eMacs all offer superior performance for the money. They're just shy of invading the pro line. I mean, it boils down to expansion. Period.

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Back from the dead?

08.23.16 - Mark

Arguably my favorite application is back with a new version. Bare Bones software released BBEdit 8 today. But I would have sworn they killed it off in favor of Text Wrangler a couple years ago. Doesn't really matter, I can't afford full versions of BBEdit, even if the cost is justified...

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2004.08.29

/. mod

23.33.18 - Mark

Ever wonder what it looks like to log into /. and find out you're a mod? Well here it is:

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I need a new template

21.24.27 - Mark

I've been browsing more blogs (well, more than the occasional ones before google took over and added some better tools) and I'm beginning to realize how dated my template seems. Among other things I need to add the email post feature (never know...) profile stuff, and possibly make it gel better with the other branches of my site.

Speaking of site development I'm still debating wether or not I get a real domain name. It would be nice but I don't know if I can spare that money yet, especially since the iBook/iPod financing is still up in the air.

Anyways, gotta get ready for tomorrow. I know I'll have classes, I suspect I'll be getting my newton stuff, and I'll probably be getting the info to start listing some stuff on eBay. 'corse thats probably going to wait until the end of the olympic closing ceremonies.

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Free Speech No More

16.17.34 - Mark

The creator of Bikes Against Bush, which is a neat project, has been arrested in NYC, and his bike confiscated. Of corse he hasn't been charged with anything and the republican convention (the reason it was created) starts tomorrow. Gotta love those "protected" rights now don't we....

Article Here

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::drool:: starcraft

02.15.34 - Mark

Played ~3 games of starcraft with my youngest brother tonight. I forgot how much I love that game. Even 7/8 years later it still looks good. He's never played before but he'll learn. Supprisingly he didn't do too bad in the last game. Little trigger happy. He needs to play more before we can really go head to head. Afterwards he went to watch some office space with the other brother. Good movie, he'll probably start making referance to it. Anyways, I need to get some sleep, going somewhere tomorrow.

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2004.08.28

Hurray!

15.12.15 - Mark

I just found a lost check. (indirectly because of my dad who ran the car's gas tank down to fumes) Hurray! Now I can afford my iBook/iPod combo :)

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2004.08.27

Dumbass tech support

12.19.13 - Mark

I've been meaning to blog random stuff for a while now but keep getting distracted by the need to fire off letters to various tech support types. Here's one I got back from Rio/SonicBlue/whatever the hell they call themselves anymore:




Dear Mark,

Thank you for contacting Rio.If none of the troubleshooting steps that you
have been given help in resolving the issue that you are experiencing, we
will gladly offer you a warranty replacement for your Rio product. I only
ask that you provide us with the following information, which should be sent
by fax to 1-254-299-2751. This will assist Rio, with verifying if you are
still within the warranty period for your particular player.

[requested information]

< snip>

* Please include all previous messages (in text format) for continuation of
support and also ensure your return e-mail address is correct. Undeliverable
messages will be deleted. *

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

My Rio Volt SP250 will no longer play discs, it doesn't even spin them up.
Pressing and holding the CD<->FM button on remote won't do anything other
than turn the backlight on (it powers up into FM mode) and the button on the
player itself doesn't do that much.




Now a couple things. One, I didn't get any *&^%ing trouble shooting advice. I did EXACTLY what should have worked. I didn't trouble shoot it I just expected it to work. When it didn't work I messed with it and emailed support. Furthermore this is an older item, one they first sold 3 years ago, and stoped selling close to 2 years ago. The Default warrenty, 1 year. So hell no they aren't going to exchange it for me. Its BS. And thats just from one company. I've got letters pending at a couple other businesses as well (including google adwords and a cybersquatter)

It pisses me off, kinda like the traffic jam that made me late for my classes this morning.

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2004.08.23

Origami - its not just a grade school thing

23.48.36 - Mark

From Slashdot

Oooooh
Aaaaaah
Wow.....

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2004.08.22

Apple Politics

12.45.14 - Mark

Apple would love to deny it, but a lot of us crazy mac users are also pretty political. Especially with presidential elections.

Last year someone tried to get Steve Jobs elected to top office, and this year anti-bush groups are borrowing from Apple's advertising think tank. Moveon.org is going to run a series of ads featuring former Bush supporters talking about why they will vote for Kerry in November. Wonder if it will work, I mean Bush's support has been floundering recently, and if there's a Tet Offensive like attack in our war on terror before the elections, Bush will loose a lot of credibility, meaning people would really listen to that sort of ad.

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2004.08.21

500+ posts

12.54.18 - Mark

Wow I come here wanting to blog about one of those stupid time wasting personality tests and the blogs of a couple friends but instead I see I'm at 500 posts. In a word Cool. This should make 501

Anyways to the other stuff:

I'm not the only citizen of Mt. Airy to have a blog (and certainly not the only to complain about the High School and its shitty policies) Anyways a few are my age, a couple are slightly younger (but still in the competent 1%) So I was skimming over Brad's blog After reading the remnants of Ivan's blog the comments linked me to one of his friends blogs, which took me back to another one of my friend's (Jeremy) blog Anyways, enough 6 degrees crap, I've got them all beat on this blogger thing.

Now. My results for some quizzes.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Fifth Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Extreme
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very High

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

I'm A 1990s Geek
Cool, confident, and very powerful, you're the sexiest geek ever! Buckle in, your decade is one hell of a ride.
find your geek decade at spacefem.com

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2004.08.20

Chem Addiction

12.05.29 - Mark

No, I'm not on drugs, but I have rediscovered how addicting Chiral is. Chiral is a game that can probably be best described as molecular tetris. One of the few games out there (in my knowledge) is simple to play but impossible to beat. In other words a perfect game.

Like all Ambrosia Software, it was Mac only, still is to some degree but one wonderful person ported the game (with the companies blessing) to the Newton. I've known that since my first Newton a few years ago, but until I picked up my Newt 2k I was unable to play the Newton version. So when loading my Newt up with a pile of eBooks I loaded up Chiral, and damn - I forgot how addicting it was (thank god for pause) Still in my first game and up to level 20. My only problem is I need to go to sleep :P

Tho if I want to get it online I still need to get a serial adapter, so the question is dongle or SER-001. Tough call.

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2004.08.17

Sigh of relief

21.12.24 - Mark

Phew! While I prefer the Democrat by a large margin, I was fearing that a far right wing gun loving racist red neck "I was a military intelligence officer" conservative Vernon Robinson would win the republican run off. Now remember that this district loves their rights revoking republicans so those of us who've actually read the founding documents have to hope for a competent candidate on both sides, unlike idiots like Burr (whom I've sent several letters to only to get replies filled with biased opinions and blatantly ignorant facts)

Anyways Robinson didn't win tonight, and his opponent gave her victory speech a matter of minutes ago. Still have to hope a liberal will win the real deal...

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One big thing, no post

18.46.18 - Mark

I don't know why but I've avoided blogging about my looking glass -esq exploits in college. While my plan was to avoid doing the college thing for a year I ended up enrolling at Surrey Community College, which I had regarded as a high school for people too dumb for high school, because I found out they are now offering a web development/internet technologies degree. While they're still controlled by a centralized state education commission (which while bad at the K12 level is worse at the community college level) it isn't quite as horrible as I had imagined they would be. Anyways, I've got a few drain-dead classes, one of which I hope to test out of, but the rest look workable.

Intro to Internet (programing) should be easy, and I may get some WYSIWYG editor knowledge (but frontpage :bleh!:)
Intro to Web Graphics - easy - teacher already told me to stop answering so many questions
Networking - I stand to gain a lot from this one - Win 2k networking, novell and a brush up on DOS
College Student Success - IE let's get stupid! One of those dumb ass introductory classes

Intro to Computers (for cromags) Class offered for people stuck in a place involving rocks (under one, in a cave, or stone age) Teacher knows I won't learn anything so I probably can test out, until then I don't think I need to show up.
Writing class (forget the real name) writing, which I don't mind doing (I blog, write essays, articles and post to several forums) but hell writing is an art, now what the hell is the point of taking an art class? Exactly waste of time.

Monday Wednesdays are a long haul 8AM-3PM, no breaks aside from getting out early. Tuesday Thursday are better from 8 to 12:20, with a 1 hour break plus what ever we get in terms of being let out early, but that could change if I test out of the computer class. Friday I need to wake up for 50 minutes, but it will help me get some of my ideas worked out so I suppose I'm OK with it. Even with the breaks it's letting me get though some reading material. yesterday I finished a full issue of Pop Sci, and today I pushed though a large part of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which I DLed and loaded on to my Newt 2k. Talking about the book is an item for another entry, but damn he's good (can't wait to start on his other works)

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Yet another argument for Anarchy

16.46.51 - Mark

But you'll need an ID first

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2004.08.16

Why am I not supprised?

22.24.17 - Mark

Something circulating the blogosphere...

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CONVENTION SCHEDULE
New York, NY


6:00 PM - Opening Prayer led by the Reverend Jerry Falwell
6:30 PM - Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM - Ceremonial Burning of Bill of Rights (excluding 2nd Amendment)
6:45 PM - Salute to the "Coalition of the Willing"
6:46 PM - Seminar #1: Katherine Harris on "Are Elections Really Necessary?"
7:30 PM - Announcement: Lincoln Memorial Renamed for Ronald Reagan
7:35 PM - Trent Lott - "Re-segregation in the 21st Century"
7:40 PM - EPA Address #1: "Mercury: It's What's for Dinner"
8:00 PM - Vote on which country to invade next
8:10 PM - Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh
8:15 PM - John Ashcroft Lecture: "The Homos Are After Your Children"
8:30 PM - Round table discussion on reproductive rights (Men Only)
8:50 PM - Seminar #2: "Corporations: The Government of the Future"
9:00 PM - Condi Rice sings "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"
9:05 PM - Phyllis Schlafly speaks on "Why Women Shouldn't Be Leaders"
9:10 PM - EPA Address #2: "Trees: The Real Cause of Forest Fires"
9:30 PM - Break for secret meetings
10:00 PM - Second Prayer led by Cal Thomas
10:15 PM - Carl Rove Lecture: "Doublespeak Made Simple"
10:30 PM - Rumsfeld Lecture/Demonstration: "How to Squint and Talk Macho
Even When You Feel Squishy Inside"
10:35 PM - Bush demonstration of trademark "deer in headlights" stare
10:40 PM - John Ashcroft Demonstration: New Mandatory Kevlar Chastity Belt
10:45 PM - GOP's Tribute to Tokenism, featuring Colin Powell & Condi Rice
10:46 PM - Ann Coulter's Tribute to "Joe McCarthy, American Patriot"
10:50 PM - Seminar #3: "Education: A Drain on Our Nation's Economy"
11:10 PM - Hilary Clinton Piqata
11:20 PM - John Ashcroft Lecture: "Evolutionists: A Dangerous New Cult"
11:30 PM - Call EMTs to revive Rush Limbaugh again
11:35 PM - Blame Clinton
11:40 PM - Newt Gingrich speaks on "The Sanctity of Marriage"
11:41 PM - Announcement: Ronald Reagan to be added to Mt. Rushmore
11:50 PM - Closing Prayer led by Jesus Himself
12:00 Mid - Nomination of George W. Bush as Holy Supreme Planetary Overlord

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2004.08.14

Attacked by a l337 $kr1p7 k1dd13

23.29.21 - Mark

Not on one of my systems, but an account I picked up after the great gmail invite. Idea get another blogger account gmail4me, get another invite, like the 2 I got with this account, sell on eBay for another 100 a pop like the one I sold a few months ago. Didn't work out but looks like a l337 k1dd13 did one of the infamous lost password scheme on the account, but an email went strait to me. I'll give them credit since they found the account, probably by guess and check, but geeze that attack is sooo over used. Plus if they want it for the obvious reason they could easily get an account for a couple bucks on eBay or next to nothing on gmailswap.

fcsking idiots.

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2004.08.13

Political Paradox

12.44.46 - Mark

Just looking at a couple news articles and they both reminded me of the political paradox based on a comment by Douglas Adams.

First the articles:
CIA directors says "I'm not Qualified"

Republicans trying to force Gay NJ Governor out of Office sooner

Now for the Paradox.

Anyone who wants the Job, isn't qualified
Anyone who is qualified, will be kicked out.

:.:.:.:.:.:Rant Ahoy:.:.:.:.:.:

Speaking of unqualified politicians, my family is being spammed to death by an čber-conservative named Vernon Robinson. This ass is redefining gun loving, racist, homophobic, redneck hick, err Republican. In one week we've received half a dozen fliers from the jack ass trying to convince us that his opponent (Virginia Foxx) is nothing short of a communist (one supporter is writing letters telling the local paper that a vote for Robinson is a vote against socialism, which is BS). He's using the editorial page of another area paper for his "convincing" (insert sarcasm there) arguments. One one hand I'm getting rid of one asshole but the strongest competition is this jerk. With Richard Burr at least I could complain and get a semi-detailed, while biased reply on various resolutions, but this guy would probably send me libel fliers bad mouthing liberal organizations. I hate my elected officials, at least I can have a say now.

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Since we're on politics today...

22.17.30 - Mark

Found a presidential I might actually like - Michael Badnarik. A couple of his policies seem like they could backfire, but at least there's a stand in what he says. Kerry doesn't know where he stands, and Edwards has his head stuck so far up his running mates ass he'll be smelling BS for decades. Bush, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out where his priorities are *cough* unnecessary war *cough*

In some states he's getting decent polls and his share is growing, but still isn't as well known as some other candidates. If you're tired of the regular parties look at his campaign, he may be worth your vote.

Now if I could find a set of representatives I can bear IE not Burr/Robinson/Dole (tho' no problems with Dole - yet)

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Can't decide...

17.02.23 - Mark

Grrrrr, stupid decisions. I've got the money to buy an iBook, I've got my parents set up to buy an iPod for me, I've got the need.

However. I don't know which one to get. I can pick up a New iBook that surpasses my most basic requirements for $1070 with educational rebate, add an iPod for what they would pay anyways and the result is that I can get a $200 rebate, tacking the iBook back to $870 more than I was planning but thats about 2 years I can add to its shelf life.

Flip side, I can get a system that meets my requirements, used for $650-$700, $400 less than a new system and $200 less than the rebated deal from Apple. Assuming I get PCs for some class work, that means I can push a G4 iBook for close to 6 years (average for one of my systems, unfortunatly) but the older iBook might not make it that long.

Either way these systems will probably come back and and make up their cost, but I don't know that for sure, which makes this a tough decision, probably my toughest today (and since I went from curious observer to student at the local community college today that means more than it would most days)

I soooo want a new laptop :(

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2004.08.12

Back with my Newton Again

12.44.18 - Mark

Got my Newton 2k working again. I've had the replacement board for a while now but I only got it installed today. Still no serial connection but I'll work on that, even if I have to swallow the extra cash to get a serial adapter, either a SER-001 internal board or as the infamous dongle. Either way I'm glad I've got it working again. I missed it, my precious. Now once I get my debit card I'll be able to get a new laptop (likely an iBook) and look at ways to get my old toys working with my new system. More on that some other time, for now - I gotta get some sleep

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I love Penguin Mints

18.44.38 - Mark

I love the product and I love the company. For one they sell wicked cheap on eBay, two they accept paypal and three the always ship a little bonus. Last time it was a display stand and a static cling sticker in addition to my 36 tins, this time it lacked those but came with a tin of their gum product. Kola flavored, don't know how it tastes yet but Its still nice to get a bonus item with my order, wish all companies would treat customers like that. If you want to get some of their stuff they have an online store at peppermints.com or search for "penguin mints" at ebay, you might need to drop the "s" on mints to find some more of their stuff but its there. All well priced and all worth the effort.

Yes Jake, I'll send the last tin with Matt tomorrow.

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2004.08.11

Hey lookie! I beat /.

13.47.00 - Mark

I love wearable tech and alternative input devices, so when I saw a /. article under the title "A one-handed keyboard for under $25" I took a look. Of corse the site linked to had already fallen victum to the /. effect, but in the comments I found a couple mirrors and a general conversation on the product. A Belkin Nostromo n52 SpeedPad. They suggested the device could be mappped and adapted for use as a chording keyboard.

Now the one or two people who pay attention to this site and have read the wearable mac section know that I already covered that idea just scroll down to 1/22/03 I guess they got /.ed since I don't have any linux code, or every day traffic. Oh well.

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2004.08.10

Social Paradox

19.07.13 - Mark

Why does society insist on creating stupid legal, political, and other paradoxes based on what is or isn't "socially acceptable". Right now there's an interesting thread on slashdot about insurance.

To me insurance is yet another one of those unnecessary social restraints. For one insurance is over-abused, the medical profession is known for charging more to insurance companies than to individuals, in turn costing consumers more and more. It's also heavily skewed on many of the items that in any other company, or even society at large have deemed illegal. Among other things racial profiling, stereotyping, price fixing and in general plays on the worst of human nature. The items insurance is supposedly used for fall between the cracks and often users pay for the damage to be repaired as well their fees.

So why do we have insurance, aside from possible use on truly expensive items? Is it really needed aside from the fact that the government dictates that it is? This is probably a useless rant but why does society trap itself in red tape, its not like insurance is the only form of socially imposed entrapment...

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2004.08.08

OOOOhhh.... New Toy

19.29.54 - Mark

I love discounts, especially when they're for things I really want, like the USB Pen Drive I just bought (128MB PNY Executive Attache) I've been wanting a thumb drive for a while now but at $25 for one that pulls double duty as a decent ink pen it was a no-brainer. Plus a couple poster frames for my Apple Think Different posters last night and I'm feeling really good. Aside from the aches and pains.

Earlier this afternoon my Brothers and I went out with the intention of playing some soccer but the field was in use, rather than go find another field we went to a piece of land the city is holding aside for an environmental park combination linear park and trail system. We started out by looking around and climbing on some rocks but for what ever reason my youngest brother waded in, until he fell in completely. Of corse the other brother (Matt) waded in a little, started to get out, sat on some rocks then also fell in. So they started goofing off some but before long I also hopped in. After we were all soaked we goofed off in some rapids and just swam in some of the deeper parts (none of it is deeper than about 5.5 feet) before long we decided to float down to the nearest street, about a mile or so. Not a bad way to waste a couple hours. It will be neat to see what they develop out of it. Mount Airy could use the additional parks.

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2004.08.07

and still in time for a movie...

20.48.34 - Mark

Busy day. Woke up at noon since I was catching up on TV most of yesterday then just kept going and going. Shortly after I woke up I got the new seatpost for my Trek, so after searching around for the right wrench to install it I got it set up and started riding around. I'll need to take a decent trip to see if its at the right height but it feels really solid. Well worth the $30 I paid for it, and the $5 for express shipping worked out well too. So I finished up with that and started cleaning up the basement, and got "the Lounge" finished (apparently my brother nicknamed it over the last couple months), there's a pile of crap on the futon but it's all boxed up and just needs sorting, which works out as well since I still have a good part of the basement to finish cleaning (tomorrows task me thinks) Still have some electrical to figure out but I switched some plus around and fired up the mini-fridge I bought the other day. It's humming nicely, but is currently unstocked. Going to let it chill overnight before I load it up with sodas, It'll be a week to two before I try to freeze anything. So after a pizza and some more cleaning I called it quits, re set up my computer and was in a good position to start watching the Reservoir Dogs on Bravo.

Yeah, I feel pretty good right now.

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2004.08.06

Sedentary

09.45.08 - Mark

Kinda sedentary right now. Brothers at school, parents at work, bike suffering from the second busted seat post its had in 6 months. That part does a real good job of preventing me from riding my bike. Should only stop me for a while since I already ordered a new part off eBay. Set me back more this time but I think it's worth it.

I'm probably going to be like this until noon-ish. I'll probably do some cleaning since Farscape is on Sci-Fi right now but this afternoon I'm going to try and get in touch with various people. Local Arts Council and the city planner, possibly someone from the community college. Start doing some of the work I'm sure I've got waiting for myself. Also going to finish an eBay transaction and look at some cell phone packages. So I'll be a little busy this afternoon, which will be nice I suppose. More later

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2004.08.04

Gone, gone, gone

19.17.11 - Mark

I'm watching G4TV, or rather the shit channel that replaced TechTV. Right now I'm watching the screen savers, but before there was a crappy show that didn't even bother having something most people would call language, just some dumbass videos.

I've been gone for the last 10 some weeks at camp but holy shit, the entire network has gone downhill, no jumped off a cliff and is plummeting to its doom. It's horrible, even the screen savers, which was a really neat show, has been reduced to showing old segments.

Another one bites the dust I suppose.

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2004.08.03

Ahhhhh...

12.17.50 - Mark

Finally done - camp is over. Thankfully we finished up early with close down, Monday morning rather than Tuesday so I'm home. I've ended up working 10 weeks on staff and while part of me is sad that it's over, but I'm glad I'm back to society. Anyways I'm going to get back into my projects soon, I really want to finish domemac and get my newton 2k functional again.. Since I cut my foot open the other day I'm going to take a couple days off for it to heal. Still have things to get taken care of, like getting in touch with the half dozen people looking for me, all with various jobs they'd like me to do.

Anyways, I'm selling my second set of HHGttG and I'll probably be buying some assorted materials off ebay. Get some more projects finished up. I also bought a fridge, finally. $60 at wallyworld, and I'm splitting the cost with my brother(s) so I can keep drinks in the basement. That will be nice. Still going to leave me with projects to finish. Still this feels good. Now to go sleep in a real bed :)

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