|Tridicennial||August 21, 2014, 6:52 pm|
|Ice cream cake, patron, and a brand new (work) laptop marks my personal anniversary.|
|Story of my ear plugs||January 13, 2014, 12:50 am|
Saturday night I got the impulse to go to a night club. I go maybe once or twice a year. I've learned to enjoy it a lot more in recent years. My favorite club is a tropical-themed venue. They play plenty of top 40, but they mix in a lot of 80s and 90s hits as well. The crowd is really diverse. Even couples in their 60s come there to dance. The overall douchebaggery level is at an absolute minimum.
There's one thing that still bugs me though, more than anything else. The ridiculous volume levels. Pretty easy problem to solve with a $2 bag full of earplugs. But why waste that money when you can make your own?
The idea seems pretty life hacky. Those little in-ear earphones come with 3 sets of ear buds. Small, medium, large. I use the large for listening. I can use the medium as makeshift earplugs. Oh, but I can only find one of the damned things. No problem, the small should work just fine.
But wait, what about the little hole in the middle of them that lets the sound trough? Seems to defeat the whole idea. If only I could plug that hole somehow. Glue? Seems kind of messy, and I don't have it anyway. Cover the hole with tape? No luck, the stuff doesn't adhere to the silicon at all.
My genius strikes! Rubber bands. Yep, thin little ones. I just cut off about a 3cm section, fold it twice over, and cram it into the hole. Works perfect! Repeat for the other bud, and try them out. I turn up the volume on the TV. It muffles the sound wonderfully. I see how they look in the mirror. It's almost impossible to tell I'm wearing them.
I head off to the club around 11. I thoroughly enjoy the music in all its uber-comfortable treble-neutered glory. My ears feel very protected.
Head home at 2am. Pull out the left bud. Pull out the right, oh. Can't seem to get a grip. Try a bit more. Okay. Probably would be best to use tweezers to avoid risking pushing it in. (By the way, try holding a mirror to another mirror while holding tweezers, and then actually try to get your brain to move your hand in the proper direction. For a perfect analogy of what it's like, turn your mouse around 180 degrees and use your browser for a bit.)
3 minutes later, the homemade earplug is completely buried deep within my ear. The tweezers can reach the bud, they just can't maintain any kind of grip on the thin, oily, rubbery material.
This was the story of my first ever trip to the ER. Fortunately, I only had to wait until 5:45am for the doctor to see me, and it took him maybe 15 seconds to get it out. I was home and in bed by 6. And my ears are happy and healthy.
As for the ear buds, I've learned my lesson. From now on, I'll use the large buds as earplugs, and the small ones for listening.
|Hot asian girlfriend of 3 years is turning into a major princess||April 1, 2013, 8:29 pm|
I have no idea whether I've talked about this before or not, but I've been dating a girl whom I met at work nearly 3 years ago.
We've had some bumpy patches, no different than almost all relationships, but for the most part the relationship is highly functional. There is a fair amount of overlap between our interests. Maybe not so much in terms of life goals. She wants a family, or at least to live with me. I want good times.
On several occasions she brought up the topic of moving in together (she's been living in her sister's house for 4 years, halfway across the city). I said that would only happen if we signed a legal document first, which she said she would never do. I also said that she would have to pay 1/3 of the expenses, which she wasn't happy about. After a while of explaining my reasoning, she seemed to agree that it was fair. (She currently chips in a couple hundred a month to her sister, that's about it, so it's not surprising that she has a hard time facing reality.)
I wasn't sure if I was comfortable with the idea of moving in, though. If she turned into some kind of monster, I'm not sure how easy it would be for me to kick her out. So I decided to offer a "small" commitment to see what effect it had on our relationship. I brought up the idea that the 2 of us should take a weekend trip to Toronto, catch 3 baseball games, hit the nightclubs, maybe edgewalk the CN tower, all my treat. She seemed pretty excited about it, but wanted some time to think. After a week, I asked her if she was still up for it. She said yes.
A few days later, I booked the flights. Then found a decent hotel with a great location and booked that. I let her know that everything was going ahead. Probably a few days later, she asked me "can you cancel the reservation"? Surprised by this, I said not really. The flights can be postponed, but not refunded. "But what if we have an argument?" I basically said there's no point in being negative about it, and you have to be willing to take some chances in life.
In the past few months, we've had a lot of fun. I've taken her on two snowboarding trips, and most weekends she's here where the two of us play Diablo II and Ticket to Ride.
But things this weekend were simply too much for me to handle.
I invited her over Thursday night to play Diablo II. She insisted that I take the bus to her house to come get her that night. This is a recent habit of hers which is somewhat annoying to me. It's not a safety issue or anything. She just feels it's more "fair" if I come get her since I don't have a car. It's a 45 minute bus ride for her, but it's a nearly two-hour bus ride round-trip for me. That's a huge chunk of my evening, and precludes me from doing other things such as cooking/exercise/laundry. She asks me where my grocery bags are. (???!). I said I didn't bring them, why? She said "Oh, I thought you needed groceries tonight." I needed a couple of things, but nothing that couldn't wait til the weekend. "Oh, I thought you were getting groceries, that's why I asked you to come! You didn't need to come get me if you weren't getting groceries!" Sidenote: She definitely did not give any indication that she was willing to come over if I didn't escort her.
More than a little annoyed at this point. I stew for a while, but by the time we get back to my place, I've pretty much let it go.
So we play Diablo II for an hour, maybe two. I get to the point where I can barely stay awake, so I lay down for a few minutes. She protests. "Let's beat Andariel, then we can go to bed." I summon the energy and we finish the act.
Friday, we play off and on. I want to switch up the activities and watch a little TV, but she wants to continue playing Diablo II. She's becoming more and more assertive with her demands. At this point, I'm caving maybe half the time, and doing what I want the other half.
We spend maybe another hour or 2 that afternoon on Diablo II. I said I'm getting tired of being inside all day, and maybe we should go out. She thinks about it and decides it's a good idea. So we take the bus to The Keg, where we enjoy a meal that we both find excellent - steak, iceberg salad, calamari, and cider. We're both having a great time.
We get back and play another 2 hours, and I'm once again worn out for the day. I say I'm just not up for it anymore tonight. She protests, and after losing the argument, she curls up on the couch and goes to sleep.
She stays there the whole night.
Saturday afternoon, after maybe another hour of playing, I say I'd like a 5 minute nap. Severe whining and complaining ensues. I say "Why can't you just give me 5 minutes?" She responds that we've hardly been playing, this is the whole reason she came here, and I've had plenty of rests already. I'm really getting annoyed at this point, so I ignore her. Literally 5 minutes later, maybe not even that, she says "Let's play!" I still haven't shaken off the drowsiness.
I decided I've had enough. I said I don't want to play with her if she's going to give me such a hard time about it. She enters insta-pout mode, plugging in her headphones loading up Netflix on her laptop. She spends the next 3 hours watching some TV show.
Around 5pm, she finishes her season of whatever on Netflix and accounces that she's hungry. Leftovers? No, she wants KFC. Knowing they charge ridiculous delivery fees and give crap value for the money even without delivery, I offer to take the bus to the grocery store a grab some chicken and salad, a 1-hour trip. I get back. We eat.
Then she says that we haven't been playing enough. This is pretty much when TSHTF. I tell her that she's acting like a princess and I'm tired of her entitled attitude. She says something along the lines of "you don't care about me anyway". I mentally freak out, but manage to keep my composure. I explain all the ways I've shown her how I care for her recently. She says she doesn't like the fact that I'm "keeping count". And that what I've done is nothing special, and that where she comes from, men are expected to take care of women in that fashion.
At this point I basically start destroying her arguments and pointing out every little bit of hypocrisy in what she's saying. She evades every one of these by changing the subject as much as possible. She mentions how bad I made her feel one time when I said her perfume was too strong and I didn't like it. I explain that it's no different than the time she complained about me wearing a sweaty shirt after coming back from the gym. I said there's a reason why they ask people not to wear strong perfumes in public places. She says the two are completely different, that sweat is offensive and perfume is not.
I point out all the commitments I've made and things I've done for her recently, including having a personalized jersey made for her to wear on our trip. She say "What, are you saying you want me to buy things for you too? You want me to take you on vacations?" I tell her that's not what I want at all. What I would like is for her to be considerate enough to let me rest when I feel tired. I tell her that I do 20 times for her what she does for me, and she's still unwilling to let me have a few breaks now and then.
The argument degrades to the point where I feel like I'm talking to a 12 year old, then a 5 year old, and then finally a 3 year old. I reach my limit and finally leave the room. She marches after me and insists that we talk. I say that I don't know what there is to talk about.
She stands there for a few seconds, and then announces that she's not going on any trip with me. This is a trip where I've basically committed $3000, pretty much all non-refundable. I mentally say fuck it, and go to bed.
Sunday morning I'm still pissed off to the point of utter silence. The dishes have been piling up for days, and I point this out. It's kind of an unmentioned understanding that she takes care of the dishes when she's eating my food and sleeping in my bed. She says that it hurts for her to stand because she has a stomach pain. I just shake my head. She finally storms off to do the dishes, and halfway through she sits down and starts sobbing. What I see is so beyond pathetic that I have absolutely nothing to say.
After she's done, at 11am, she asks me if I want to talk. (I need to leave at 11:30 for a practice.) Again, I say I don't know what there is to talk about. She again states assertively that she's done and she's not going on any trip. I leave at 11:30. She leaves probably at 12.
No contact since.
I guess I should be thankful that I made a relatively "small" commitment. Now I know how she treats someone when she's given any upper hand whatsoever.
And likely enough, she will come back apologizing in a few days. She'll probably go on the trip with me, which is a very important event for me by the way. It will be the first time I've ever been at a baseball game, and the seats I got us are quite amazing.
Still, the very fact that she would threaten to ruin this trip for me is pretty much a deal-breaker. I can't see us going anywhere other than our separate ways once we return, assuming she really is a decent enough person to come along.
|Channeling emotionally hard times in a productive way||December 17, 2012, 9:15 pm|
The last couple of days I haven't been hungry enough to eat more than about 500-800 calories a day. I went to the gym tonight and worked out non-stop from 645 to 9pm. Still not enough. After this protein powder and milk, I think I'll run up and down 22 flights of stairs about three times.
Yes, this is all because of stupid crap first world problems.
|Sometimes I just want to fire the internet||June 1, 2012, 9:48 pm|
Are you serious? Is this how you really want to run your site? Why don't you show a little appreciation to the people who provide content to your website and make it popular? I never spammed your site. I never went out of my way to offend people or hurt their feelings. I'm basically donating my time to give advice, as I see it, to others, and you can't even be bothered to send me a message talking about your problem. No polite request, no warning, nothing.
I've received plenty of "Like"s for my posts and I haven't had a single person complain to me about anything I said. But apparently, none of that matters to the power-hungry control freaks running this site.
I've posted on many, MANY web forums over the years, but NOTHING compares to the incompetence in how your moderator/administrator, or whoever, demonstrated in handling this situation. Maybe I should be thankful that people like you are administrators of marriage websites instead of police officers or judges.
|Just bought Diablo II after a 10-year hiatus||January 9, 2012, 1:08 am|
Just before Christmas, with not a whole lot to do over the holidays, I decided to buy a copy of the Battle Chest (I gave my original game away after I stopped playing). I figured the 40 dollars couldn't be nearly as bad a waste as some other games I bought over the years.
I'm pleased to find out the game isn't nearly as screwed up and unbalanced as it used to be. There are a wide variety of viable characters, and the ladders don't seem to be dominated by a very specific type of character.
I've really gotten into the game, and I started to notice all the qualities it has compared to more modern games. Over the last week I've been telling my girlfriend about my character, describing things from the game, etc. A few days ago I decided to show her the game. Usually her undivided attention in the evening goes to the Game Show Network, American Idol, or some kind of movie with a 5 or 6 IMDB rating, so I was happy when I noticed that she didn't take her eyes off the computer screen. When I took a break from the game, she asked me if I could play again.
On Saturday, she asked me if it's possible to play together. I installed it on both our laptops, and made me stay up till 2am playing with her.
She had 3 or 4 of her characters die over the weekend, and she's thinking of maybe not playing Hardcore mode anymore, but the fact that she doesn't seem ready to quit Hardcore is kinda impressive.
She went back home tonight (halfway across the city) and she texted me around 12:30am telling me she can't sleep because she keeps thinking about the game. She can't really play because she borrowed my other mouse while we were playing in my living room, and now she doesn't have a mouse at her place. We're going to the computer store after work tomorrow to get her a new mouse.
I always thought the hot gamer girlfriend was some kind of fortune that befell men in some kinds of fairy tales. It's interesting how quickly life can change, and you don't realized it's happened until you're in it.
Diablo 3 looks terrible, like some kind of slow-paced, cartoony, WoW-inspired Activision mess.
After 10 years of having nothing to do with Diablo II, and not being able to remember any of the music, I expected to hear the memories come flooding back when I started playing. I was amazed to find that I had no memory of the music whatsoever. Considering I put about 500 hours into the game when it first came out, I definitely wasn't expecting that.
|What I'm doing with my week off||May 13, 2011, 12:28 pm|
I'm doing something I've never done before in my life. I'm playing through Doom 2. UV -FAST and only allowed to save the game at the beginning of each level. I don't really know where most of the traps are in the game, so I've had some hands-in-the-air jaw-open deaths. Just this morning, I cleared MAP13 with two enemies remaining, only to step through a portal and be flash-fried by two cacodemons. I was an idiot not to grab an invulnerability sphere before entering the one unvisited part of the map.
I have to say, the game is superb, ammo balance is crazy good, and the difficulty outstrips any modern game by great distances.
|Long overdue: An AndrewB thread||March 13, 2011, 4:56 pm|
Sorry, it's been a while since I posted an epic new thread. My priorities have changed somewhat and the idea of opening my life up to debate has seemed less and less interesting to me. But things are getting a bit settled lately so I figure what the hell.
Last week, I switched almost my entire investment portfolio to global precious metals stocks. I also just placed an order for physical gold and silver and I should soon be in possession of three 1oz Canadian maple leaf gold coins and 55 1oz Canadian maple leaf silver coins. I'm also pressing hard for my mom to take out a HELOC on her ridiculously overpriced house to buy physical gold and silver. She's putting up a lot of resistance. The way that the U.S. fed is printing money and Canada ties itself to U.S. policies, anyone who has their money tied up in home equity, cash, and low-risk investments is going to get wiped out. Anyone who has gold, silver, food, oil, and debt is going to do very well in the coming years. She doesn't seem to have any retirement plan at all. She believes that she'll be able to hunt, live off the land, and rely on neighbors for help through her 60's, 70's and beyond. I think she's a sitting duck and just waiting to be wiped out through the coming hyperinflation.
In other news... I've been dating my girlfriend for about 9 months now. She's from the Philippines and is 8 months older than me. She works in the same office as me, and that's how we met. She lives in her sister's house. Her sister and brother-in-law and going back to the Philippines for a month and she doesn't want to spend an entire month alone in the house. She has to commute a total of 80 minutes on the bus each day. If she stayed with me, she'd have to walk a total of 20 minutes to/from work each day. Obviously it would be great for her to live with me for a month but what does it do for me?
Right now, she shares the cost of groceries with her sister but does not pay any rent. Even though she makes about 40% of the money that I make, she spends a lot of money on clothes, accessories, and entertainment. She also sends about $400/month to her family in the Philippines because that's what Filipino Canadians do. They come here for the opportunity to help their family back home. She basically has no savings. Every time I talk to her about money issues and how everyone needs to prepare, she says something like "Why do you worry so much?" I think she's just immature and naive when it comes to important life issues.
Anyway, back to the main topic. She wants to live with me for a month. I basically told her that staying with me for a month is a completely different dynamic than spending 1 or 2 days a week with me, and that if she wants to stay with me for a month she should pay her fair share of expenses. In my mind, this would be about $500 (less than half my rent) plus groceries. She was very disappointed to hear this. I said that I don't want to harm our relationship by creating a situation where I resented her for freeloading off of me. She said she understood this but was hoping I would do her this favor. She tried to argue that I would be paying the full expenses anyway if she didn't stay with me and therefore she shouldn't have to share. I explained to her that I value my space and privacy, and of course she acted offended by this. I think she has a lot of growing up to do and that allowing her to freeload off of me for even one month would set a very bad precedent. As it stands now, she's going to continue to stay in her sister's house. I think this is the best arrangement. She ought to be very grateful for the privilege of staying in her sister's house for next to nothing. Maybe this month alone will help her gain some maturity.
|Youtube is becoming more evil||August 2, 2010, 3:37 pm|
They now have an auto-play feature that automatically skips to the "next" video when the current video is done. It does so by making a semi-random guess at what video the user might want to look at next. Unsurprisngly, it fails at guessing at least 90 percent of the time. It also makes stopping to read video comments and and viewing related videos an extreme pain in the ass. This is enabled by default and must be disabled by clicking on the tab at the bottom of the screen. This must be done EVERY TIME you visit the site. There is no way to disable it by default. That is, unless you download and install 3rd party software which is only available for Firefox. Really, who wants to install software and possibly switch browsers just to accomplish something that should simply be an account setting on the website?
I always thought of Google as a company that puts user-friendliness and "not being evil" above all else. Now I don't know.
On an unrelated note, I just discovered that "auto-play" (minus the quotes and hyphen) is starred out when posting on these forums.
|Trailer for semi-random short film||April 30, 2010, 2:07 am|