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Who Killed Laura Palmer

Filed under: General — 19day @ 05:11:00

and then they found out it was the baby… *cough*

No, actually I’ve been watching a DVD box set, season one of Twin Peaks. I had never seen it before, and actually, my only exposure to it had been through the Simpsons. One episode Homer was reportedly watching it, and it showed a man dancing with a Unicorn under a tree with a traffic light under it… hmm, okaaay. And then there was the who shot Mr. Burns episode with Lisa and the backwards dream with the flaming cards (um, I’ll drive) which I knew from the commentary was a reference (or rather, blatant ripoff) of a scene in Twin Peaks… so my interest was somewhat, ah, peaked, as the show involved David Lynch, so I figured there would be some strangeness.

It is actually sort of a comedy that’s too good to be funny, heh. Well, it’s like a soap opera, where some of the plot elements are so nuts that it’s like a parody of soap operas, to the point that the characters in the show follow a soap opera in the show itself called Invitation to Love.

The whole show centers around an FBI agent trying to solve murder of Laura Palmer, who is as much of a saint as she is a devil. Homecoming queen, and druggie, english-tutor and whore. And of course, in the show there is the Very Obvious Person who you think did it, sort of like when we thought Snape from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the evil factor in the story, since he was basically painted as such. Also, there seem to be any number of reasons for everyone else in the town to have killed anyone else (and they threaten each other daily) but not many motives in her death.

Unfortunately, the experience with the box set wasn’t great, for two reasons. There was no pilot episode included! There was a pilot, and it aired, and had the whole first part of the story, but there was some rights issue, so the first box set was released without it, what the hell? So the “first” episode has a “last time on Twin Peaks”, all the episodes do… I thought for the first one having that was an interesting narrative device, but no, there was a pilot, just not in the box set, alas.

Secondly, the second, and last season, doesn’t seem likely to ever make it to DVD. They apparently solved the murder (which in the first concept of the show, was going to be made unsolved forever) halfway through the season, and then no one watched anymore, so the show wrapped up in two seasons.

Fortunately, a movie was also made, called Fire Walk With Me, that is a prequel showing the last week or Laura Palmer’s life, and then her murder, revealing the killer. Since David Lynch was heavily involved with it, it is very very odd indeed, the series itself was less so. The movie also had frequent references to the dream seen in the second episode of the first season and which is the one the simpsons referenced. No burning cards, but most of the rest of it was there.

In fact, there’s a weird bit in that dream with Wiggam and Lisa where a shadow passes over the drapes. I always wondered what that was supposed to be.. a glitch, a reference?, something about Burns’ shooter? Turns out it was taken as seen from the dream sequence in Twin Peaks itself, of course, what it means there is even more baffling. The best I was able to come up with is that it’s sort of bird shaped, and a bird, oddly, does play an important role in the murder of Laura Palmer.

The show itself is pretty good, strange but not overly so (movie is another matter), has really nifty lounge music that reminded me of 7th Guest, and also, unfortunately, has a Dragon Ball approach to rising action, where it could take a season for one of the characters to build up the energy to release their attack :P

Anyway, so that’s another show that is in the public collective consciousness that I now have caught up on.


When I say cancel, I mean cancel

Filed under: General — 19day @ 16:28:13

I’ve been reading a few blogs/journals on various kinds of usability. The alert box focuses on web usability, but a lot can be extracted an applied to computer in general. flow|state is seldom updated, but is pretty humourous, as is The Daily WTF which has a couple nuggets, usually in the form of amusing error popups that people have submitted.

All of which have made me pay attention a little bit more to usability in terms of computing, and now I have my own WTF moment to complain about. Here at work, we use a bug tracking system, I won’t name names, but it’s got some good points, and a whole lot of bad points. It has both a client agent, and a web based agent, but I never use the web based one since one would tend to time out all the damn time, so I stick with the client one.

I also have a mouse (quelle surprise) but it’s an optical mouse, which has the nasty habit of just sort of flinging the cursor where ever the hell it feels like putting it, luckily bounded by the screen itself. Of the four corners of the screen, I wonder which is the most dangerous, also think of a maximized application. Say, like bug tracking software, where I had a bug report all typed up, but I couldn’t submit it. I was waiting on a build, and waiting, and waiting, but I have to use the thing for other purposes, and as it’s a sort of crappy MDI app, I can manage it. So then my mouse picks a time when I’m just clicking to fling the mouse off to the top right of the screen, where my click was interpreted as a click on the close button. Gasp, if this had been the web version of the app, it would have just closed the window and I would have lost everything in my unsubmitted bug report.

But ho, I was saved by the application asking me if I wanted to Save the Bug, Discard the Bug, or Cancel. I clicked cancel, which has saved me from similar problems in Word, EditPad and virtually every other program I can think of. I guess the program interpreted my cancel as being “Cancel the closure of the child window”, but then it went ahead and closed the whole program anyway, so much for the child. There, thank you, no better than web based, glad it takes space on my hard drive.

If it would just start timing me out too, now that would be shiny.


The Fifty Dollar Story

Filed under: General — 19day @ 01:35:51

fitty dolwar bills, hey guys, it's fitty dolwar bills

No, the story itself isn’t worth 50 dollars, the story itself involves 50 dollars.

I’ve thought about this story recently, and I see that I don’t appear to have a record of it online already, which is odd. But anyway, here’s the best that I can remember the story right now. It is always a painful ordeal trying to reconcile conflicting memories of the past with friends, so I’ll say mine is definitive in all ways except in the ways that it isn’t.

Anyway, this occured many years ago, when I was in 1A in University, or actually, it was probably in my work term at Schneiders in between 1A and 1B. I was with 5 other friends, not all of whom I can recall, so I won’t bother giving a list. But I beleive there were six of us total, and also, I know most definitely we were at Mel’s, a diner in Waterloo.

We were there, in a booth, 3 on each side, eating an late (or very early morning) breakfast I beleive. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do recall seeing a strange man in a booth further back, but I didn’t pay him much mind, until he approached us. Given the noise, my position in the booth, and my general inability to pick a voice out of anything but silence, I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. Then he put down six 50 dollar bills, one for each of us. And after some discussion afterwards, everyone putting together what they had heard (apparently I wasn’t the only one who had trouble understanding him) he had told us to find some person to give the money to, and gave a name (which actually had two derivations that I recall between us, and we later could find neither in phone books or the university directory). If we should fail to find the person, he said, we were to keep the money, as he said he knew we were poor university students. But, he also said, if we found this person, we should tell them the numbers 6, 3, 1, and that they would understand (my mind was disconnecting from this point). Finally, one of the things that came out of our notes on the encounter, was that he said that he didn’t like men for one reason or another, okay, jolly good.

He then left the restaurant, sort of shoo’ed away by a waiter. Who then told us to just take the money and not make a fuss about it. That last bit struck me as odd, it’s like he was trying to avoid a scene or something, when a scene in a half empty diner late at night is hardly devestating for them, hell, I’ve had friends vomit over their tables. The waiter then told us that he was in earlier, gave a waitress some really large tip (in the hundreds) and just not to worry about it and to stay calm, etc, etc.

Anyway, out of the six people, I am the last, as far as I know, to still have the fifty. One person I beleive gave theirs to charity some time later, another beleives they accidentally spent it thinking it was one of their own fifty’s. Mine is still in my wallet, like decoration, like the condom. I don’t know if I will ever get rid of it before it disintegrates, it’s a fixture.

As is this story.


This Reliable Device is Unreliable

Filed under: General — 19day @ 00:45:16

I bought a USB Harddrive a while ago, during a boxing week sale from Futureshop’s online store. Got it last week but I haven’t really put it through its paces. I tried a couple dummy big files to check the speed, and it’s pretty swift, but I’m just not sure if I trust it. James had one that, if I recall, gave him some difficulty (stuff vanished if I recall correctly). My brother has one that had the dire warnings that if you turn it off or otherwise unplug it before telling windows of your strong desire to do so (strong because you may try to stop the device, and windows will think better of it and decide that, no, now is not the best time, so go away) then you risk losing all your data, the drive itself, windows (oddly) and half your worldly possessions. So what about power outtages, my computer has lived through those… does it affect external drives more or something, are the manufacturers just covering their… assets?

Which reminds me, have to find room on the UPS for the plug, crazyness. Had to pull out the lamp (which was just on a surge protected plug).

Anyway, the point of this litle entry was just something I noticed in the included quick-start guide (which is listed in the box as included, as is a driver CD… what I’m sure they meant to say was that the quick-start guide was a PDF on the CD which still and confusingly just says “Driver” on it. I know, easy to get those confused, anyway, in the area dealing with the simple backup utility provided:

For important data, every month at least ‘data check’ some files after Backup Task
If possible, it’s recommended to backup your important data to other media or device
as back up copy incase of failure or accident.

I see, the very device some people would have bought to back up their internal drives to is now recommending that people backup their backup. And also, it’s recommended to backup.. as back up. incase. of failure or accident. Well, I’m sold. And I’m sure when I buy my DLT units and carts that the manual will suggest that I should back up my data on stone blocks for safe keeping, but to keep them out of that acid rain. The stone block people will then suggest getting someone with a really good memory. Not that any ’serious’ corporate or small business users should back up onto USB drives as such, but I found it funny enough to ignore that opinion.

Anyway, not sure if I should trust the thing, but I figure it might hold some of my episodes before burning them off on DVD I do download lots of… things…. things to make us go…. we look for things. (Somewhere in Hong Kong, Curtis is feeling summoned by that reference) But I should probably break it in for some general backup purposes or some such, it’s a 160GB, and my two internal 120GB ones give me 400GB of what-the-hell-am-I-hoarding capacity. The fact is, I’m not sure. I mean, I have lots of episodes of things, but every time I check the size of some of the higher folders, I dunno, it’s like all the socks I lost over my lifetime have found their way onto my platters and are filling them up. I think I might need a good format soon enough, clear away the cruft.

I remember on my P2 when I had to reformat and install XP fresh after every reboot because of… something I never quite nailed down, man, that really teaches you what you need and what you don’t. I guess I hang onto stuff just because I haven’t suffered a recent catastrophic loss of data that makes me start fresh.

Fates: That is not a proposal.


I Made You a Cookie but I Eated It

Filed under: General — 19day @ 01:42:51

Crying having eaten gifted cookie

This is a picture by azuzephre who I’m guessing is the same as this guy.

Anyway, I don’t know why I find this picture so fascinating, and also incredibly sad at the same time. Sort of reminds me of some situations of my own…, not that I’ve ever eaten someone’s intended gift, but it strikes a chord with me for some reason. Also, vaguely the sense of having tried, made an effort, for something, and also ruining it all by yourself. I dunno, a simple little picture, but for some reason I associate something with it.

I made you some tea…


Let Darwin do the Dirty Work

Filed under: General — 19day @ 18:46:39

Okay, this is kind of political… okay, really political, but whatever, I’ll risk it.

The Indian nation is now doing (always was but I just read the news story I’m talking about today) what China has been doing for a while (which I read about at the time a couple years ago). They are aborting female offspring in order to avoid the liability involved, and hopefully get the ’superior male specimen’ they so desperately want. This story relates how something like 10 million girls who should have been born… somehow aren’t in existence.

Is there anything more futile? I guess the pollution of our own environment is analogous, but at least you can imagine outcomes that are a little less dire, or maybe we’ll invent some new anti-pollution spray, or something. But slowly killing out a gender has to sound some alarm bells somewhere. I mean, if you’re going to kill a gender, absolutely determined to do it, then it’s got to be the male one, because at least the females have everything else needed to reproduce, science will likely (if not already) create synthetic germ cells that can be used. But killing off the women? What?

Okay, I can understand… in China, you need sons to work and support you in your old age… in India, girls cause dowries and that is expensive so it’s best not to be in that sitation at all. Yes, very good… so how can we solve these problems? By social change to make women as effective wage-earners as men? By making marriage a partnership instead of a weird-reverse-sale? Nope, let’s kill girls. (okay, I know I’m being simplistic, but that is one of my charming characteristics, or at least I’m so simplistic I’m willing to beleive it is charming)

Anyway, I just wish that we were isolated again, maybe as far along as sailing cargo ships perhaps, so the nations can’t interfere biologically on a grand scale. Then Darwin can come in, watch as these nations eventually reach their 100% male populations, watch them celebrate that they have finally reached their highest religion, ethical, financial, non-temptational potentials and have rid themselves of all the other things they attribute-to-women-just-because-they-can, and later, probably laughing quietly to himself, watch them die out in a generation.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting… but jeeze

How to ruin a good TV series idea

Filed under: General — 19day @ 00:35:52

Simply introduce to american producers.

Specifically the story of Red Dwarf USA… it was terrible what they did to it, and at least it failed before it was completely launched without going out on the air and besmirtching the british show’s name. I haven’t seen the pilot, only bits of it included in the Series V DVD of Red Dwarf, but the casting and the bits I saw were quite, quite awful.

But it’s funny to think of the reprocussions if the series had taken off:

There would have been no more Red Dwarf (Original) because Robert Llewellyn was reprising his role of Kryten in the US version and would have likely been unable to continue the British one.

The role of the pretty psychic home-assistant in Frasier would have gone to someone else, as Jane Leeves would have been busy playing Holly

Dax on Star Trek: DS9 might have been played by Nicole DeBoer the whole time (no, probably not) as Terry Farrell would have been playing the second incarnation of Cat (which, to me, seems the most insane of all)

Not sure why I found this interesting, probably because I was at least mildly interested in Frasier and DS9, and loved the “Real” Red Dwarf, so it’s fascinating to see how close it all came to being different.


Fool! You’ve enraged the slashdot

Filed under: General — 19day @ 10:40:00

I never used to read slashdot myself… as a quasi-geek I tended to really have distaste for anyone or any group I felt to be ‘eliteist bastards’ which goes some way to explain my irrational dislike of IRC channels and Mathsoc. However I’ve been at slashdot on and off for a while now, and it’s funny to see how it can sort of operate as a swarm and might actually make a difference.

There was this one story about a girl who had been molested or otherwise abused, survived, and wrote a book that was called by the publisher… without checking or without caring that a completely independent site was already at that domain (but nothing can exist without having a website these days, or at least sounding like they do, so apparently the .com was vital to the book’s success). Anyway, this had a negative impact on the owner of the actual site, and complained to Penguin books about it to no avail. Katie’s lawyer threatened her that it would be in her best interest to just donate the domain, or else things would get much worse… they wanted it for some online expansion of the themes in the book. This hit slashdot, which hit back, and at least according to the owner of the site, had an impact that eventually led to the end of the dispute. A good end at least, you can read about some of the fun at

Anyway, a more current event in sillydom is a kid who put a link on his blog to his school’s website, telling people to click it and hit F5 (which just refreshes the page) in an effort to hurt the server. Okay, a little spiteful, but the server just slowed down a bit by all accounts, didn’t crash, didn’t explode killing millions… didn’t install a rootkit on everyone’s computer who tried to listen to music… how does the school respond? They have him arrested and want to charge him with a felony… how appropriate.
But, the funny thing about this is that when the news hit slashdot, well, you can imagine. Well, perhaps not…. there is a term called the slashdot effect which can almost be thought of as a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, when it’s really just lots of people all seeing a link and clicking on it for their own interest. But the effect is very much the same, it tends to bring medium to smaller servers down within minutes.

So now you can imagine what happened when the link to the school was posted. The site is down, has been for a day now I’m guessing. The kid is now in jail, they can’t blame him for this one. But it’s pretty much a joke, they school has overreacted to this one to the nth degree… I did something far worse in school (which I will not relate) that resulted in a 3 day suspension. The funny thing about that one is that normally, during a suspension, all tests and other evaluations missed are assigned a zero with no chance of making it up after the suspension is over. So when I got back, with my usual sort of luck, I had missed a major CS and Finite Math test. Both teachers allowed me to complete them anyway (kinda pointless in Finite’s case since I was so terrible at the material), the CS teacher already knew about my crimes of course, but my Finite teacher actually went out of his way to find out what had happened and rebelled against the stupidness of my suspension by allowing me to write the test.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this entry anymore… I guess, never underestimate the overreactions of school officials. Oh, and also fear ever being linked on slashdot, or worse, having the swarm against you.



Filed under: General — 19day @ 11:18:23

So it’s now 2006, and I’m destined to screw up my next few rent cheques to be sure.

Spent a fairly quiet new years eve and day with a friend, went to dinner then played games and watched movies until the crucial moment, drank some sparkling white wine a couple minutes past midnight due to my inability to get the damn plastic cork out, and continued the relaxed adventures further into the night. This morning I tried my hand at pancakes, the fancy ones that only need water, the high of the culinary art. At least I managed not to screw them up, heh.

What of new years resolutions, I was asked… I tend not to have them, it just combines a self-promise which an easily remembered date so that when you inevitably break it, you know it and it seems much worse then if some arbitrary starting point was picked. And god knows that I’ve broken all of mine, given by the evidence that I’m still alive (as one was a do-this-or-die resolution, so much for self-threats too). Anyway, let’s see if I can come up with some resolutions which I’m almost certain to break.

1. Lose mass and volume – chance of breaking: 99.99%

I’ve tried this many many many times before, in different forms, and I’m now up to wanting to lose several multiples or a normal persons weight, as I’m just that far gone. Regardless of what I think other people think of me, there is a strong desire to just improve myself. I have no real hope of becomeing attractive, but I can work to being less repulsive.

2. Catharsis – chance of breaking: 80%

I’ve played the part of the fool once more, and had become emotionally charged over someone who could never return that sentiment. After casually-planned interrogation-like questioning over quite a long time, the problem with me can’t be tracked to anything specific I can change, but some fudamental element of my being. If mind-swapping were possible I might have tried it, but even then I can’t say that would have raised my chances above the negative. To continue to hope for this is to smash myself against the rocks in what I can only describe as a pathetic fashion, so I must purge my heart of any further desire for what has shown to be impossible. I’m also willing to use a sort of induction of this problem and conclude that quite a few billion other things are also impossible. If I could manage it, I’d probably be better for it, but as the bullet of this entry indicates, my resolve has never been very high.

Further, I should never pursue a girl who’s name ends in ‘a’, I’ve noticed a pattern. Yes, it makes perfect sense. As much sense as a robotic car freaking out when it looses sight of the grass, or a rock that keeps tigers away

3. Finish a project – chance of breaking: 50%

I’ve had a number of little side projects over the years, games and such, and I never seem to finish any of them. So to round off this list to three, I’ll resolve to continue working on at least one of them. Asylum is nearly dropped again, should pick it up again dang nammit.

By 2007, I’m sure I will have gained 50 pounds, have had my heart smashed out again, and created and dropped a number of projects.

Oh, I guess that should be a fourth one then

4. Be more optimistic – chance of breaking: 0%

There, that’s my optimism for the year.

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