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Archive of October, 2002

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[Permalink 2002-10-31] It Pays To Be a Nice Guy Sometimes

October 31, 2002:

Maybe the karma train's finally coming back around. After being a nice, helpful neighbor even though there wasn't a chance of me getting off the clock -- if you don't know, just don't ask -- I've gotten something in return: Htet Htet got me a freelance job writing the Web site for the company her mother works for.

Y'know, if I could guarantee myself finding work on a regular basis this freelance/contract stuff ain't so bad. But I'd still rather have a regular income.

[Permalink 2002-10-30] Ow.

October 30, 2002:

Got an e-mail about a possible job yesterday. (Actually, I need to follow up since I haven't heard back from my reply yet.) But now when he asks, I have another motivation for wanting a job: I need to get some dental benefits. I've definitely got a cavity and it's beginning to make things less than pleasant in the "chewing" department. And if you know me, you'll know what a disaster that is. Meantime, every bite of food I take manages to wedge its way into the damn thing, so I'm always picking at it. Ow ow ow.

So somebody hire me, dammit, before all my teeth fall out.

[Permalink 2002-10-28] Verizon

October 28, 2002:

Well, after everything running flawlessly at the Greenfield apartment, Verizon has managed to foul up my DSL account twice since I moved to Friendship. This time my account's been flagged as inactive -- a surprise to me as I've been paying all my bills -- and I thus can't get past Verizon's proxy servers.

Sigh. Much thanks to my friendly upstairs neighbor for letting me bum some bandwidth.

Update, 12:33pm: After a remarkably quick phone call everything's back up and running. Quote of the day from the call: "Your account's inactive, but there are no notes. That's a no-no."

[Permalink 2002-10-26] Jason 1, Numerology 0

October 26, 2002:

Plugged my name into a Numerology site, and got the following:

Your Heart Number is 4
You have a strong desire for a sense of security in life. Home, family and tradition are all very important to you. You need a job that you can depend on, and you aren't afraid of a little hard work.

Not too far off. Security and family, yes. Tradition, no. But then I was a staunch defender of tradition when I was in the fraternity, so maybe.

Your Personality Number is 7
Can make you seem somewhat reserved or aloof at times, and you might not really have all that great a need for others. You're probably quite a deep-thinker, and may be a bit of a loner.

Deep thinker. BWAHAHAHAHA!

Your Image Number is 2
Which makes you a real expert when it comes to dealing with other people. You know how to handle others in a way that makes them feel good about themselves but that also gets them to do what you want them to do.

Hmm... which should I laugh at first? Real expert at dealing with others? Getting people to do what I want? Ri-i-i-i-ight. If I had either of those qualities, I wouldn't be single.

[Permalink 2002-10-25] Pleasant Surprises

October 25, 2002:

Came back from running some errands Thursday to find an attempted-delivery notice for me. Here's to hoping it's a paycheck for the consulting work...

[Permalink 2002-10-24] DLI's New Hobby: Fucking with Me

October 24, 2002:

As all of my loyal readers know, I'm unemployed. A while ago I got a contract job via a friend of mine and made a little money.

Fool that I am, I told the Department of Labor and Industry that I'd worked. Instead of just not paying me for that week and continuing as had happened before, they haven't sent me any money in a while. When will I learn that honesty never pays?

[Permalink 2002-10-23] Happy Birthday to Me, Or Something

October 23, 2002:

Today's my 26th birthday. I'm kind of indifferent about it, really. There're no presents like when I was a kid, going out for a beer (which I'll probably do later) is no longer a novelty; there's nothing really special here when you get right down to it.

I remember 10 being a big deal because I'd made double-digits; 16 was of course important because I could drive; 18 meant I was a legal adult and could, if I wanted to, buy smokes; for 21 I went out and got hammered legally with my college friends. Then it went downhill: 22 was basically, "well, I've been drinking for a year," and the only things about 25 were the decrease in car insurance (welcome to the new demographic!) and being a quarter-century old. What the hell is there for 26? The fifth anniversary of my first Oakland crawl? A year or cheaper insurance? Feeling like a dirty old man every time I drive past the Pitt or CMU campuses and ogle some 18-year-olds?

Enh. I s'pose that all I've got left are round numbers from here on out (30 in 2006). And getting "lapped" by pledge classes also in the fall of 2006 (Alpha-Rho will pledge then; I was Rho). And that horrible day in 2012 when I'll be twice as old as the freshman women I already feel guilty about looking at.

No wonder old people try to ignore their birthdays.

Update: Heh. Thanks to Headline News, I now know that I have the same birthday as Weird Al Yankovic.

[Permalink 2002-10-22] Road Trip!

October 22, 2002:

Sunday morning I met with a bunch of Browns fans to take a bus to the Browns-Texans game. It was the first game I'd been to at Cleveland Browns Staudium (actually the first ever, either there or at Lakefront). The game went well enough. As for the stadium, it was nice but not impressive.

For the two-hour trip we had several cases' worth of beer and some old Browns highlights. Once we got to the stadium we broke out the keg and the burgers and dogs and commenced a three-hours-plus tailgate party. We kicked the keg and the 150 cans, and a few of us even bought $6 Buds at the game. All in all, great fun in 45-degree weather.

Cleveland Browns Staudium brought back the Dawg Pound, but really in name only. At Lakefront the Pound was at the open end of the field -- you had to be about half in the bag to sit there in the first place. Now the entire stadium is closed in except for a couple openings away from the lake. Heinz Field here in Pittsburgh would actually have a better Dawg Pound than Browns Stadium -- it has an open end that faces the rivers. The only ways I could tell where I was were the bleachers that replaced the seats, and the "Dawg Pd" printed on my ticket. Enh.

The game itself went well, if you ignore the fiest half. The Browns looked completely mystified on both offense and defense. In fact, it took a special teams play -- a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third -- to really spark the team. Eventually the Browns offense managed to wear down a depth-deprived defense (what happened to the Browns defense last week) and doubled up the Texans 34-17. Maybe they'll get some confidence back going into the Jets game next week. If they win they'll be contenders. If they lose they're pretty much done.

Oh, and the fans. Everyone thinks they're horrible for booing Tim Couch and the offense. Well, they're not. They've all been told this is the year the team will contend. Not win the Super Bowl, not even win a playoff game; just contend. And right now they're way inconsistent and don't look like contenders. The fans are frustrated and they're letting the players know it. Just like when Steelers fans boo Kordell Stewart, and for the same reason: They're not playing up to their potential.

It's partially the players' fault, because it looks like they're sandbagging it out there sometimes, and it's partially the coaches' fault, because they're being too damn conservative. But all of 'em need to get straightened around before they learn the hard way how annoyed fans can get.

Road trip: Rockin'
Stadium: OK
Game: Good
Team: Needs improvement
Fans: Justified

[Permalink 2002-10-21] Moving Backwards Via Progress

October 21, 2002:

On the way to the Browns-Texans game Sunday (lengthy football-related post to follow) we watched an old game to pass time -- the '89 divisional playoff against Buffalo. I noticed that even though NBC's graphics were much more primitive they told the viewer more.

Since the lineups were done as text overlayed on the screen, everyone on the field could be taken care of in two plays. Also, they were able to show the substitutions that happen when an offense or defense changes schemes (say, going to four wide receivers or using the dime defense).

Now that every player's name has to be mentioned and there are nifty graphics that accompany the players' mug shots (insert your own Dallas Cowboys remark here) it often takes several plays to get to everyone, and people can get missed if the drive is short.

Yay progress.

[Permalink 2002-10-19] Sanity in the Crosshairs

October 19, 2002:

Yes, this is going to be another "Christ are people ever stupid" update. Today's entry is about the National Hockey League. In hockey, a player who's very good at shooting the puck a long distance into a small area of the net is called a "sniper" or "sharpshooter." Kinda makes sense, doesn't it?

Anyway, all the team stores sell "sniper caps" in the team's colors. I haven't seen one myself, but it probably involves the team's logo, the team's sniper's name and maybe his number.

I'm betting you have an idea where this one's going now. Someone in DC bitched. Look, these people are going through a lot. I can understand they're a little on-edge. But hockey is not their enemy. Forcing people to dwell on this more then they already are can't be helpful.

It's a sport. The term was derived from a real-world idea, but it isn't the same. Just take a deep breath and let it be. Hell, next thing you know they'll have to stop calling the Yankees the "Bronx Bombers."

[Permalink 2002-10-18] Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

October 18, 2002:

This Sunday I'm going to the Browns-Texans game in Cleveland. I'll be in the Dawg Pound with a bunch of other PBBers. So if you have a chance to watch the game, see if I make it on the air.

[Permalink 2002-10-17] Those Gas Pumps Sure Look Silly Wearing Klan Hoods

October 17, 2002:

While I was in Akron last weekend I saw on the news that the mayor of North Randall is saying that "pay before you pump" is racist. Apparently North Randall is a really quiet town, if this is all the mayor has to worry about.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time pointing out how stupid this is. You and I both know that people will drive off without paying if they have the chance, regardless of race. But this 'tard thinks that somehow blacks are being racially profiled. Sorry, Chief, when a black guy gets pulled over for driving around in a mostly-white neighborhood, that's racist. Gas-station managers trying to keep everybody and his brother from running off with their gas is good business. (I wonder if he complains because the local McDonald's makes him pay at the first window but won't give him his food until he gets to the second window.)

Just goes to show ya: You don't have to be bright to get into politics. Hell, if this guy gets any dumber he could be president.

[Permalink 2002-10-16] What the Hell Was My Password Again?

October 16, 2002:

How 'bout that: The Web site's right where I left it.

Well, anyway, it looks like things are winding down on the contract job (after an 8½-hour day, a 16½-hour day and a 13½-hour day) so hopefully I'll be able to post again tomorrow. Yippee.

[Permalink 2002-10-11] FYI

October 11, 2002:

This consulting job had me working my ass off Thursday, and probably putting in a 12-hour day Friday. Then I go to Akron for a visit. So there won't be a Saturday update and probably not a Monday one either. And if things really get shitty, I may lose half of next week.

[Permalink 2002-10-10] Jason's First Law of Weblogs

October 10, 2002:

(With a contribution by Tristan)

The more interesting someone's life is, the less time he'll have to blog about it. Conversely, the more boring someone's life is, the more time he'll have to blog about its minutae.

I update (almost) every day. Draw your own conclusions.

[Permalink 2002-10-09] Ergonomics

October 09, 2002:

Since Htet Htet's laptop is still in Repair Limbo, she's been borrowing my computer to do her homework. To make things easier for herself she plugged in her optical mouse and "natural" keyboard into by machine's USB ports, and brought her ergonomic mousepad with her (you know, the kind with the gel-filled bar that takes up half the mouse's space).

Well, I can barely type on this friggin' keyboard due to the GIANT GAP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KEYS and this gel-thing on the mousepad is actually making my wrist hurt. And to top it off, this crappy old office chair I have is more comfortable than the 38-degrees-of-freedom, lumbar-supporting chair I had at Brady.

What the heck is wrong with me that ergonomic stuff causes pain and annoyance instead of relieving it?

[Permalink 2002-10-08] Planet X?

October 08, 2002:

Scientists poking around some photos taken of the Kuiper Belt earlier in the summer discovered a worldlet 800 miles in diameter (compared to Earth's 8000 and the Moon's 2100) in an orbit farther out than Pluto's. They've named the newly-discovered body Quaoar (pron. "kwah-o-wahr") and are debating whether or not the thing's actually a planet or a "Kuiper Belt object." If it's a planet, we now have 10. If it's not, Pluto may be reclassified as a Kuiper Belt object as well, dropping us to eight.

Quaoar apparently travels in a circular orbit like the other eight planets and differing from Pluto, whose elliptical orbit takes it both inside Neptune's and outside Quaoar's. It obviously hasn't been mapped as yet (Pluto was only "mapped" a couple years ago using computers to guesstimate the tint of its surface from what photos are available). NASA plans on launching a Pluto probe in 2006 (and it probably wouldn't get there until 2016) which may check out Quaoar as well.

[Permalink 2002-10-07] If "Ifs" and "Buts" Were Candy And Nuts...

October 07, 2002:

Just got back from watching the Browns-Ravens game. so this is really going up at about 20 after 12. In a word: Pathetic.

The Browns spent the entire first half getting pushed around -- it seemed like every time I turned around that jackass Ray Lewis was doing his stupid little "I'm the felon" dance. The Browns just couldn't do anything right. Tim Couch was throwing his standard three-yard screen pass, and they were getting picked apart.

Finally, early in the fourth quarter, they scored to make it 23-6. They tried for two and made it; 23-8. Then Ray Lewis jammed his shoulder and Tim Couch got a concussion. Kelly Holcomb came in and marched the team down the field 98 yards to make it 23-15. The Ravens got the ball back and kicked a field goal to take a 26-15 lead.

Then the Browns came down the field again and scored, missing a two-point conversion. 26-21 Baltimore, just under a minute left. Holcomb had a couple iffy throws, but looked to be in charge.

But he was gimping. I don't know for sure yet, but it looks like he pulled a hamstring. Couch was no good, so he trooped it out and stayed in. The Browns got down to about the 30 with 14 seconds left, and Holcomb aired it out. The ball sailed on him, though, and it left the back of the end zone. Ten seconds left, enough time for two plays.

Holcomb goes long again, since a first down would be useless. The ball sails again, and is tipped and picked. The Ravens run it back (not for a touchdown) and the game ends. 26-21 Ravens.

So, what do I have to say about all this?

· The Browns need to bench two of their number-one picks. Couch is hurt, but Holcomb's more effective anyway. They need a deep threat, and Tim isn't it. They also need to bench Green. All he does is dance around in the backfield and lose yardage. I can't help but think of what might've happened if they'd brought in Jamel White sooner. He may not be the Next Big Thing, but he knows how to put his head down and run forward, something Green just doesn't get.

· The offensive coordinator needs to put down the crack pipe. Yes, Couch isn't as accurate at long distance as Holcomb. That's no reason to run nothing outside of five yards. Even if you miss it spreads out the defense.

· Get an offensive line. Please. For the first 45 minutes of play, Couch barely got a two-count before the defenders were on him. That's no way to win a game.

· Quit playing around Ray Lewis. Yes, he's good. Very good. But any time your game plan is centered around one man it's doomed to fail. Because Ray isn't the only guy on the other side of the ball, and his teammates will make you pay for avoiding him.

And now, some quotes:

"Can I get you guys anything?"
"Yeah, a running back."

"Mark my words: Green's gonna wind up being Butch Davis's Kordell." (A player who is given more chances than he deserves, and really ought to be released)

"If they don't do something soon, I'm gonna have to start doing shots."

"My heart can't take any more fucking games like this."

"RUN, GODDAMNIT!" (directed at Green)

[Permalink 2002-10-05] I'm So Lucky My Parents Didn't Kill Me

October 05, 2002:

I saw a commercial just now for some kind of Excedrin tablet that melts in your mouth. (Great, now they're mixing aspirin with acid.) Anyway, the basic gist of the commercial was a mother chasing her kid all over the house, and the Excedrin supposedly allowed her to catch the little bastard. And I realized something: If I'd ever made either of my parents chase me around like that, I'd still be running today.

[Permalink 2002-10-04] Woohoo!

October 04, 2002:

A recruiter who saw my resume on Monster got me a quick contract job up in Zelionople. Let's hear it for not going broke!

[Permalink 2002-10-03] Fun With Spam

October 03, 2002:

Not much going on so I decided to share some of the funnier spams I've gotten recently. What, you expected something deep? Don't you know better by now?

From "": Top Legal Services (pennies per day)
'Cause when someone tries to sue your ass off, you want a lawyer you can pay with what you dredge out of your sofa cushions.

From " (Ivanna Come)": Obscene Facial Pictures
They would've been just as obscene without the penises and jizz. They could have at least found some not-ugly girls for this...

From "": –¢?³‘ø?L???¦?‘‚«‚±‚?–³—¿‚¾‚æ?I
Helpful hint: Whatever language that was supposed to be, I don't speak it.

From " (Free Prize Palace)": Naturally Increase Bust 1-4 Cup Sizes - Guaranteed!!!
Thanks, but no. Besides, the Twinkies and Ho-hos seem to be doing a bang-up job of it on their own.

From "": Are we going to war with Iraq?
Christ, now I have to decide?

From " (Emotional Stability 67% improvement)": Wrinkle Reduction 61% improvement
Neither the subject or address is really worth looking at without the other. I guess wrinkles cause mental instability or something.

[Permalink 2002-10-02] 𝅘𝅥𝅮 Piece of Shit Car... 𝅘𝅥𝅮

October 02, 2002:

Finally figured out what was wrong with my car today; it was the distributor and spark-plug wires. So now that that's fixed I should be able to start my car in inclement weather.

I'm not too ticked about replacing the starter, though. With the new one in place I was able to narrow down the problem situations. With the old starter it would just fail to start randomly. So it was at least part of the problem.

Of course, I'm still down $400 with all this mess. So I really need to get that new job.

Note: In case your computer's fonts don't suport the special characters in the title, they're supposed to be musical notes. I just didn't feel like typing "o/~" in there.

[Permalink 2002-10-01] Not a Good Sunday

October 01, 2002:

Things that went wrong on Sunday:

· Somebody took my paper, forcing me to read the Trib.

· The Browns shut down Jerome Bettis, scored the first touchdown, intercepted the ball in overtime, blocked a kick in overtime, and still lost to the Steelers, 16-13.

· Paul, the PBB president, wasn't able to get Drew Carey to come out to the Oregon to watch the game. I wasn't expecting it to happen, but it would've been fucking cool.

· Due to the heavy fog Saturday night, my car didn't start until after noon. Not only did I miss the pre-game party at the Oregon, I almost missed the beginning of the game. Had to stand next to the Steelers fans to watch.

But aside from that it was a good day.

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