Mar 31, 2004

The fourth FloorBurn game was last night. We improved our record to 2-2! Lee and I were back on a line again, but we just weren't in sync. I was playing too far away from him and he wasn't able to get the puck up to me. No matter what, I stole the puck deep in their end, deked the goalie and got my fourth goal of the season. We ended up winning 4-1 and team morale was much higher than any other night. It's possible that our practice last week really did help, but we shall see.

Ok, more updates to the use car hunt. I totally forgot that Microsoft has its own classified ads! I have contacted four more sellers and I already have two replies! I cannot link to the cars since they are on an internal site, but I can tell you that one is a '92 Camaro and the other is an '83 Supra! It would be cool to say that I owned a Supra, no matter what model year it is. Both are in fairly decent shape, at least from what I was told. The Supra needs a muffler, but that can't be more than $200 to replace. I should be able to test drive both of them this week. Maybe I will end up buying a car this week!

Mar 30, 2004

I'm looking for a used car! No, even with all of the problems with the Focus, (which I've since named Sanchez, since the car was made in Mexico and now I can make all sorts of "Dirty Sanchez" jokes) I am not thinking of replacing it for a used car. I'm actually looking for an old manual car so that I can get better with an MT before I get a real car. I figure, why not spend upwards of $2,000 on a used car, practice driving a manual, then sell it off for upwards of $1,500 rather than spending $1,200 on clutch replacement for a new car? There is a parking lot a block away from my apartment where I can get a space for only $50/month. I will put the least amount of insurance on it, so it shouldn't be too expensive of a proposition.

Here are the cars I've shown an interest in so far:

1995 Saturn SL 2

1989 Honda Civic

1987 Honda Accord

Mar 29, 2004

Possible license plates (all currently available in WA):

  • For a turbo car:

    • SLO4CYL

  • For a WRX:

    • NOTSTI
    • NOTASTI (but that looks like NO TASTI)
    • QWKWRX

  • For a STi:


  • For anything:

    • FASTER
    • FASTAR
    • OMGHI2U
    • OH NO

Just so I don't forget it again, my AAdvantage (American Airlines frequent flyer account) number is V23M670.

Mar 28, 2004

NASIOC Forums - 2005 Impreza changes: Did I just figure out what my next car will be?

Ok, this sucks. Someone stole my inline girdle after our second game. Honestly, it is my own fault since I didn't take inventory after the game. Lets see, for each game this is the equipment I need:

  • Girdle (w/ cup)
  • Shin guard x2
  • Inline pants
  • Elbow pad x2
  • Skates x2
  • Jersey
  • Gloves x2
  • Helmet
  • Stick

I purchased my hockey skates (image) last year when Eric and I decided to get back into inline hockey. The wheels that the skates came with weren't bad (Labeda Shooters) and the bearings were satisfactory (ABEC 3 rated, the lowest rating but there are worse bearings out there that aren't even rated!). I had used the wheels quite a bit playing outdoor inline, so they were quite worn down:

The first two games of the indoor inline season were played on those wheels. Needless to say, I fell a handful of times. It took a few weeks of online bargain hunting, but finally I picked up a new set of wheels and bearings.

Out with the old:

...and in with the new:

Don't the new wheels just look so much better, especially on the blue chassis?

Mar 26, 2004

Why am I cooler than you? Thanks for asking! Well, do you have the Knight Rider theme song as your ringtone? Nope, didn't think so.

Mar 25, 2004

Dream Update: The dream from last night concerned me entering some sort of car show. The show was held in a building similar to Cobo Hall where the North American International Auto Show is held. The first part of the dream is quite fuzzy, but it involved Jeff, Russ and I driving quite a long distance from home to the show, trailering my show car. The car was a fairly sedate blue; brighter than Ford Racing blue but not as bright as Subaru World Rally blue. I have no idea what type of car it was, though my mind told me it was an Acura RSX. I'm not even sure what sort of car show it was, but I knew that I had to perform something. Possibly just drive it around for show, possibly drag race it, possibly drift it, who knows!

After we got to the show, there was quite a bit of time before I had to drive, so we walked around. As we walked around, I realized that I had forgotten the keys to the show car! Since it was trailered there, I didn't need the keys. Oddly enough, I found out that I was carrying one of my old keys from the Michigan Daily and it worked as a master key for the entire showroom building. Again, oddly enough, all of the mens bathrooms were closed so all of the womens bathrooms became co-ed.

While Jeff, Russ and I were walking back down to the parking garage so that we could go get the keys to the show car, we ran into a group of about six people. We were in a small hallway at a bend, so it was a tight fit to get all 9 people through. The groups sort of collided, then the six people swarmed us. My first thought was to check our wallets. They didn't actually steal our wallets, but Jeff had lost all of his IDs and all of his money except for singles. Just at the end of the altercation, I some how stole back all of Jeff's IDs and a huge stack of money. I checked my wallet at this point, and it actually had more money in it than before! At first, I was pleased, then I checked the bills. A 300 hundred dollar bill? Another bill that had multiple denominations on it (I remember one that had "$300", "$133" and "$16" all on the same bill)? Another bill that had some sort of religious message on the back instead of a visual scene? This was where I woke up.

Mar 23, 2004

Ok, ok, I know that WAPCE is not a terribly common acronym, but since when did DTB become common!? Christ.

WAPCE: Women Are Pure Concentrated Evil

DTB: Dump The Bitch

I am absolutely amazed by this review of Dawn of the Dead. Not because it is a bad review, not because it is a funny review, not because the review is dramatically wrong but because this is a review for parents. This is one of the most gore-filled movies I have ever seen, lots of swearing, some nudity and sexual situations and all of the other great things that give movies an R rating. There is even a handy table listing issues such as "Profanity", "Nudity/Sex" and even "Diversity Issues." You would figure that the review would be horribly opposed to anyone young seeing this and especially not making this family affair. Au contrair, the review is suprisingly positive without a lick of conservative America "hide your children from this filth" opinion. The review even gives discussion topics if this movie is seen as a family! "Families who watch this movie might wish to discuss the different approaches taken by the survivors and the range of choices that they make. Are there times when the moral answer is at odds with the instinct to survive? How would you handle this variance?" I am amazed, and quite proud, of this site.

Mar 22, 2004

I knew the addiction wasn't going to get any better when I would think back to those lovely days when I owned a video game console. All those levels beat, all those new trophies acquired, all those end-bosses defeated... I needed a console, and fast! I ended up using my $101 store credit at GameStop to buy a refurbished PS2 with network adapter and another copy of Gran Turismo 3. I still had my saved game from when Joe and I co-owned a PS2, so I fired that up.

Last night, I ended up beating all of the rally levels. I used the same car for all of the levels: a heavily modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII GSR, putting out about 542 HP. There are 10 tracks on the rally circuit, 3 races per track and 2, 3 and 5 laps per race. That means 300 rally laps to complete the entire circuit. My car couldn't handle as well as most of the rally cars on gravel, but the sheer power got it through those tracks without fault. On tarmac, the car could handle at least as well as the rally cars and I still had a huge power advantage. The prize for getting all first places on the 30 different races is the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Version. You'd think a Suzuki would be a horrible prize car, but mine is currently modified to put down 1881 HP! Top speed is currently 278.9 MPH, nice.

Mar 20, 2004

Consumerist Whore: So awhile back, I sold my GameCube, memory card, Metroid Prime (wanted to write "Metroit Prime", too much time spent in the Motor City, I guess), Super Mario Sunshine and Prince of Persia to GameStop for a whopping $101. When you sell used games and consoles, they give you store credit. This credit comes in the form of a receipt with a unique alphanumeric. When the cashier gives you said receipt, he/she is supposed to impart the words of wisdom "DO NOT LOSE THIS." Well, I lost it! Luckily, I was dorky enough to write down said alphanumeric and GameSpot was able to reissue the receipt. Let's see how long it takes before I lose it again.

Anyway, the point of this post was that I went to the mall to get the reissued receipt and ended up going shopping for myself. I ended up buying two pairs of stain, spill and wrinkle resistant pants at the Gap and three shirts over at Express. When I went to the get the receipt reissued, the manager said that he woudl probably call me on Tuesday with the reissue since he has to call corporate and they are closed on the weekend. Turns out, they were open today so he told me to come pick up the receipt. Another trip to the mall, and we all know what that means... more shopping. I hadn't run into J. Crew or Banana Republic since I was in a bit of a rush last night. Ended up buying my second pair of jeans, making that two pairs purchased in the past 8 months, my first pairs in at least 8 years! J. Crew jeans are just about the only ones that fit me even close to well. Jamie and I must have spent at least two hours looking for that first pair. Actually, I think that only J. Crew works for jeans, Gap works for casual pants and Kenneth Cole works for dress pants. Anyway, I ended up spending $50 for an undershirt and two pairs of boxers at Banana Republic. Even I realize that's a waste of money, but they were cute and everyone needs underwear, right? Mmmm, underwear...

Mar 18, 2004

So my radio crapped out awhile ago, probably at least a month ago, and I just today brought it in to be fixed. When I dropped it off, the technician sait it would be ready this afternoon. Around 2 PM, he called to tell me that he couldn't fix it, couldn't find a replacement and had to send it out to be fixed. He had no ETA as to when it would be back, so he said to come pick up the car. Well, I have the car, but no radio or CD player!

Sonics Dance Team: Click on Tricia; Last night, Mark Jen tried picking her up at Tap House in Bellevue. They talked for a little while, then Tricia and her friend left.

Mar 16, 2004

So, by now you have probably heard that Nintendo's next handheld will have two screens and be called the DS (D = Dual/Double S = Screen). Take a look at this mockup posted to Gizmodo. The angled design immediately screams to me "This is better because it is different!", but just think about the ergnomics. Hold your hands in front of you as if you were trying to hold something a bit smaller than a paperback book, lengthways. You don't curl your wrists outward and your fingers upward, as you would have to with this design. I can see a large number of young gamers developing carpal tunnel if this design got the green light. (I'm going to refrain from jokes about other causes of carpal tunnel in young male gamers.)

A common question about the Pocket PC Phone that I carry around is "Can it play games?" Well, the answer is yes, but why bother? The overall form factor is wrong, requiring you to interlace your fingers to hold the device with two hands. Additionally, there is a directional pad and four buttons, but the pad only supports the four cardinal directions (not diagonals) and two of the buttons are toward the top of the screen. Basically, I wouldn't even try playing pong on this thing. Hell, I have nethack install on it and even that is impossible to play.

Mar 15, 2004

"2 + 2 = 5 for large values of 2.", why do I find that so humorous?

Penny Arcade!: By far, the best description of those self-cleaning litter boxes. Quotes of Note: "the tiny pot roasts my cat leaves behind", "sometimes it is flung out, as through by catapult, toward imaginary foes", and "It is the sort of thing you would design if you had only a vague description of a cat and you didn't really give a fuck if it worked or not."

Mar 14, 2004

In response to my away message: "Why do all girls have the crazy?":

Lee (11:35:43 PM): i think girls impact male productivity more than disease

Jenn (8:34:51 AM): you sure know how to pick 'em

Meg (6:36:39 AM): I'll admit to having the crazy :-)

Krista's away message: I like Mike's away message "why do all girls have the crazy"

Woohoo, go Markko! He only one a single stage of the entire rally, but "slow and steady wins the race". Ok, in all actuality, having your strongest competitor get slapped with a 5 minute penalty wins the race. If you don't want to read the link, basically Petter Solberg had some electrical issues before the start of a stage. He and his codriver tried to push the car uphill to make it to the starting line in time. There were already 4 minutes late, giving them a 40 second penalty when the officials realized they received help from the spectators to reach the starting line. That tacked on an additional 5 minute penalty eventhough neither the driver nor codriver asked for the help. With a final time difference of 3 minutes and 14.7 seconds from Markko Martin, Solberg would have won. As Russ said, he probably wouldn't have pushed so hard if it wasn't for that 5 minute and 40 second penalty.

Mar 11, 2004

Setting: A Gameworks or some sort of gaming facility. Lots of old people, dimly lit, similar to a casino in that respect. Basically, it had the feel of a Gameworks, casino and bowling alley combined.

First scene: I'm sitting down and playing some sort of matching game, seems like Mastermind, with quarters. An older lady approaches from nowhere and demands to know where my gamer card is (If you have been to Gameworks or Dave & Busters, you know that instead of using quarters, you get a credit card of sorts that you can put money on. I show a pocket full of quarters, implying that I'm just playing with quarters and she storms off. She returns about 5 minutes later and hands me a large stack of gamer chips (4 $25, 2 $10, 2 $5, 4 $1) and a fist fill of Twizzlers. The look she gives me as she walks off was, "I've been in your place before, kid. Have some fun and enjoy the sugar!". Possibly she thought I was poor since I only showed about 5 dollars with in quarters. I vaguely remember winning a lot of money on the Mastermind game and then being given a tour of the facility. The man in charge was giving the tour and reminded me of Tom Poston from the Newhart show, but with a suit that Rod Roddy would wear. Well, a suit he would have worn, since he died of breast cancer. During the tour, I remember passing by a small room in the back with mirrors on the walls and a rainbow motif adorning the ceiling. He said that was in case anyone felt like dancing and could also be rented out. Oddly enough, it was empty and the lights were off. I can only imagine how those rainbows would look with the full house lights! I know I would want to shake my groove thang, and probably go suck on a popsicle or eat some sausage.

Second scene: The dream gets fuzzy for a bit, but I remember after the tour there was this one counter way in the back with no one around it. The person running it is none other than Beth Manoongian, an "acquaintance" from school. This game was a trivia game with a twist. The questions are extremely difficult but the prize for answering a single question runs in the millions of dollars. I decide to give it a shot, hoping that Beth will help me out a little bit. As she pulls the question from a long box of cards, she places it on ledge face down in front of me, then gets a phone call. While she isn't watching, I try to see what the answer is, but can't quite make it out. It looks like "Yeh" to me backwards. The question was something like "What is the beach on Jo Beach?". Sort of a trick question, but I thought I already had the answer. I hem and haw for a bit, then exclaim "Yeh!". The answer was actually "Lev", which doesn't make sense to me in the dream or in the waking world. Since playing the game is free, I have her pull out another card. By this time, someone else has joined me at the counter. This person seemed to be between 18-22 years old, male, dark hair, reminded me of a frat boy. The next question wasn't even a question, it was something along the lines of "(SomeForeignName) is furious." I think the riddle was that you had to figure out the country that would give out a name like that then give the translation for "furious". The random guy and I looked at each other trying to figure it out and then I woke up.

I should rent out my brain for studies into the abnormal.

Mar 10, 2004

So the first inline hockey game was yesterday! Lee and I got there 1.5 hours early so that we could sign up for the league, meet the team and do a little bit of practicing. The facility is fairly ghetto, located in what looks like an old warehouse. It is seperated into a little practice field for soccer, the inline rink, then a larger soccer field. The rink itself is in good condition with an interesting plastic flooring that reminds me of the plastic used for milk crates or toddlers blocks (not the shiny kind). We only got about 20 minutes of practice in, but it was tiring. I know that when I got off the rink at the start of the game, I was drenched in sweat.

We ended up losing 5-4, but I scored twice and Lee scored as well! We both received praise during and after the game which made us both feel a bit better about playing. Everyone seems very nice and laid back which is exactly what I was hoping for. Our first practice is tomorrow (yes, we had a game before we practiced) so hopefully my sore knee and arm feel better!

New Scientist: Does anyone else find it completely asinine that tobacco is the number one killer in the United States, accounting for 18.1% of all deaths in 2000? Does anyone else find it completely asinine that obesity is about to overtake tobacco as the number one killer? Also, 64% of Americans are overweight or obese. Pathetic. Ironic that I'm posting this to the web while sitting on my ass, but I'm not overweight, you pudgy MFs!

New Scientist: It looks like the "fact" that mammals do not produce new eggs after birth may be incorrect. With a study done on mice, it appears that the number of living eggs decreases too rapidly for the number of eggs available at birth to persist until menopause. To test if new eggs were created, an ovary from a normal mouse was inplanted into a mouse that was genetically modified to generate a glowing protein in all new cells. After transplant, eggs were observed with the glowing protein, practically confirming that new eggs are created after birth.

Mar 9, 2004

An update to my hockey purchase: a detailed cost breakdown!

Helmet w/ cage$99.95
Inline hockey pants$79.95
Shin guards$39.95
Elbow pads$29.95
Hockey bag$29.95

As a side note, I understand spending almost $100 to protect my noggin, but only $4 to protect my bits?

Ok, so my friend Alicia got hit on by a guy at a party last week, but they didn't exchange digits. Instead, since this guy is a complete putz, asked a mutual friend for her AIM screenname! She isn't going to date him, but they have talked a bit and she found out he has a vanity site: Morris Singer.

Signs you are a PUTZ:

  1. You place a picture of yourself in your title graphic.
  2. Your site is "Under Construction": No one with a modicum of web design ability has used "Under Construction" on their site since 1995. Go put your crap on GeoCities.
  3. You copy all of your columns, and screw it up! How many instances of "Restroom Revolution Gathers at Stonewall" are on that page? Hard hitting journalism, at that!
  4. Your photo galleries are Javascript pop-up driven garbage.
  5. Your bio is written in third person perspective.
  6. You do not have a job or a degree yet you have a business card.
  7. Your tagline is a warning: "Thank you for visiting my site. Do not duplicate this information, content or design without written permission from me."

Yeah, I know, someone could rip apart my site as well, but I can take it.

Mar 8, 2004

Well, I just joined an inline hockey league! We have games every Tuesday, starting tomorrow, for 12 weeks at Arena Sports. Lee introduced me to the team and we are both going to be on the core roster. I was originally on the substitute list but someone from the core team dropped out.

So, I've played a lot of street hockey, but I've never played on a team or in any sort of organization fashion. The closest I've come to organization was playing at Elbel Field in Ann Arbor where they kept a list of players. First come, first serve, so as a person decided to take a break, the next person on the list got to hop in. That pales in comparison to a real league, so I cannot even imagine what I'm in for tomorrow night. I've watched enough hockey in my life to know what to do! Right, I'll be just fine. No worries. I'm going to die.

Anyway, Russ and I decided that hockey is the most expensive game to play that does not require an animal (polo, cockfighting, etc). I already owned skates and a stick, I didn't buy top of the line gear and I still spent $435 dollars. Things I needed: helmet, elbow pads, cup, girdle, shin pads, inline pants and a hockey bag. I better play this game for more than a season... I'm a dork, so of course there are pictures.

Mar 7, 2004 Restaurants: I'm not really sure what to make of this just yet, but Amazon now has the full menu of almost every restaurant in the greater Seattle area on their site. Reminds me of the page for Ann Arbor, but Amazon has almost 800 menus to monkey's 45.

I wonder if the menus are ever updated, considering places like Waterfront Grill changes their menu nightly. Well, I just checked the menu for Waterfront and it advertises an event on July 16th, 2002, so that answers the question about updates but also poses the question of how long has Amazon had this feature? What else does Amazon offer that I have missed all this time? I know they do movie showtimes, oddly enough, as well.

Mar 5, 2004

I haven't posted an actual update in far too long. Let's dial back the Wheel of Time™.

I finally moved off the Daily servers for both my email and my web hosting. The email wasn't a big deal since Yahoo is free and I just forward everything from umich anyway. Keep emailing me at mbibik at umich dot edu, since I might not stay with Yahoo. The web hosting, on the other hand, was a big deal. My gallery was taking up at least a gig and no host would charge less than $39/month for that much space. Well, I found a free host for most of my site and then I'm hosting the galleries at home (thus the URL). No, I can't tell you where I'm hosting, but you can sort of figure it out if you are smart.

Kat and I have been up and down lately, but she is in Italy for two weeks so hopefully things will improve (absense makes the heart, blah blah blah). Unfortunately, she had a slight hiccup with her flight plans! Her flight from Seattle to Chicago left on time, but due to weather it couldn't land and had to circle for an extra two hours. This made her miss the connecting flight from Chicago to Rome! Her sister flew in from North Carolina so they could fly together to Rome so she skipped the flight to be with Kat. Now they are both trying to find another flight to Rome. The next direct flight that is available isn't until Saturday night and American Airlines keeps telling them to fly to London and then home for a standby flight to Rome. No matter what, I would be very upset. You can't really get pissed since there is no control over the weather, but very upset nontheless.

My car is really pissing me off lately. Purchased on 06/27/2003 for about $18k and 8 months later it is only worth $10k. I still owe about that much! Anyway, it looks like I haven't posted about my car problems over the past few months. My CEL (check engine light) came on during normal driving. Nothing seemed amis, but I made a service appointment anyway. By the time the appointment arrived, the CEL was off. They took it and ran some tests anyway. They replaced a fuel hose and said the car should be fine. I took it home that night and the CEL went back on the very next day! I waited a couple weeks before making another appointment. During those few weeks, the CEL would go on for a couple days then go back off for awhile. Nothing really seemed wrong with the car until I checked my fuel logs. The car was getting 17 MPG! This car is rated for 27 MPG, so something was definitely borked. I took it in and this time the CEL was on when they received it. They replaced an 02 sensor and again said the car was fine. Well, I completely grannied the next tank of gas and got 22 MPG. Not bad, but not good either. I went back to my normal driving style and I'm still getting 17 MPG. I could be driving a WRX for that sort of gas mileage! I talked to the service tech and he claims he has seens Focii get 17 MPG and there was no solution. Great.

I finally just decided to ignore the gas mileage since I'm not driving that much anyway. About two weeks ago, I was simply changing a preset on my radio and it decides to completely freak out. Now, it goes through this cycle of playing 0.5 seconds of music then turning off for 1.5 seconds, constantly rebooting. What make its even more annoying is that you have a 0.2 second window while the radio is off to hit the power button so that it will stay off. I'm sure I can fix it by pulling the plug (disconnect the battery), I just haven't gotten around to it.

How sad is it that my car is worth less than what I currently owe on it? I mean, obviously that would be the case if I had just bought it or if I paid a very low down payment. I put down $4k and the car is now 9 months old (and a 2003 model). Gotta love almost 50% depreciation in less than a year. Sigh.

Mar 3, 2004

NASIOC Forums - Pulled over in my STI: Woohoo, same thing happened with an STi! - Ticketed: "Whale Tail": Haha, if you have an Evo, watch out for pissed off cops in NY. This guy got ticketed because of his STOCK Evo spoiler! Anyway, one of the members had a pretty cool sig: "1 turbo, 2 liters, 3 diamonds, and 4 doors."

Mar 2, 2004

Welcome to P.F. Chang's China Bistro: P.F. Chang's is finally accepting reservations! I remember the good ol' days of putting in a name at 4:30 PM and eating at 10 PM. Ahh, the memories, so inefficient.

Mar 1, 2004

Rockstar Games Announces Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Woohoo! Having the next GTA set in San Andreas isn't shocking since the original GTA was in three cities: Liberty City, Vice City and San Adreas.

I still remember the day that Chris brought over his copy of GTA:3 for Joe and I to try. He had to take it away from us a few weeks later since he was going to re-gift it, but I went right out and bought another copy. Joe eventually traded it in for GTA:Vice City but I was never as impressed with VC. It just didn't have the same feeling since the character that you played actually had a voice and some emotion. I much rather enjoyed the voiceless character in 3. Thus, I bought another copy of 3! I just need a PS2 to go with it now...