Archive for December, 2008

Crap! My Laptop Won’t Start: The Sequel

Nearly a year ago, I went through the dilemma of having an inoperable laptop.  Read about it here, here, and here.  Well, the five year old Toshi (that was the name of my laptop) finally kicked the bucket yesterday at a little after noon.  I knew something was amiss when the USB ports were going all wonky on me a couple of days ago.  So, a part of me wasn’t surprised when the whole thing suddenly became inoperable.  I took it to GeekSquad and was officially told what I’d expected: Toshi was no longer in the land of the functional.  And do you think I learned my lesson about backing up my files?  No, siree, bob!

Sigh…

I asked them if there was anyway to revive Toshi and was informed that I would need a new mother board (among other things), which, according to GeekSquad, was going to cost me as much as a new inexpensive laptop when all is said and done.

Thankfully, they can recover my files…

So, now I’m in the market for a new laptop.  I’m tempted to buy a Macbook because I’ve always been talking about it, but I really don’t do much on the laptop that would warrant such an expensive piece of equipment, and there are a lot of great deals going on right now with notebook PCs– some even as low as $499.00.

I guess I have some shopping around to do…

What Dreams May Come

Awful movie. But certainly indicative of my nights as of late. I guess I’ve been sleeping very soundly and deeply since my vacation began because I’ve had vivid dreams nearly every night. Gone are the distinctively hotel-related dreams, thankfully, but these new ones are the proverbial mash-ups of themes– from amusement parks to grocery stores to subway trains. I suppose such randomness is par for the course in the land of dreams, but the variety is making my figuring out what the dreams meant a very difficult task.

One common theme is the notion of extraordinary abilities. Whether it’s enhanced cognitive skills or flight or street fighting, my dream self seems to often have a little something extra in the ‘able to do’ department. I suppose that could only mean that I want the same in my waking life– of course, in the figurative sense. Does it show discontentment, I wonder. Or are these wants just a normal part of our daily struggle?

I’ve got another week of dreaming ahead. I wonder what dreams may come…

Life on Mars

No, I’m not talking about the TV show that I’m not watching but maybe should be.

I’m talking about believing that life also exists somewhere other than this beautiful rock we call home.  I know that certain dogmas and religions would prohibit that thought.  But can we truly be that conceited?  Or naive?

I’m one to talk.  Whenever I come to questioning our own creation, I would feel like such a bad Catholic.  As if St. Peter is truly keeping score up there and marking a dash under the Eternal Damnation column each time I waver from the popular Garden of Eden mentality…

I can’t help it.  Every time I look up at a bright blue sky or a clear, starry night– and imagine farther than what my eyes can see– I succumb to an acknowledgment that I am but a mere speck in the grand scheme of things.  Yes, I’m talking about beyond the 6.7 billion thinking bipeds that I am among.  Indeed, beyond all life on Earth.

Then, I get extremely frustrated.  Why, with our collective intelligence, haven’t we found concrete evidence beyond our own evolution?  And if I hear about fucking ice on Mars again…

Then again, I remind myself: ‘baby steps’…

Yes, I must recognize that we’ve gotten far as a civilization, as a technologically-advanced species.  This portable equipment on which I’m typing this blog entry is just a small example of that.

But I still get disheartened.  I still think that we should have gotten further by now.  And, yes, I’m taking some responsibility for it.  I mean, I could’ve studied particle physics or advanced robotics in college and would’ve, therefore, been a potential contributor rather than a simple spectator in this quest for knowledge, for exploration, for advancement.

Alas, my impatience will always get the better of me.

I want science fiction to turn into science fact, stat!  When those Sci-Fi channel station ID ads ask “What if?”, I want a damn answer now!

I blame Gene Roddenberry.  May he rest in peace.  It was his mythology that helped to fan the flames of my thinking beyond— beyond the here-and-now; beyond what we are capable of at this moment; beyond what we know to be true today.

Damn him…

Bullet Thoughts // 12.28.08

Parents who tote their noisy kids to coffee shops are the most skillful sadists ever.  They could care less if other coffee shop patrons are bothered by their kids’ unruly behavior.  Oh, and yeah, I really wanted to hear you all prattle on about your breastfeeding techniques.  Thank goodness for Pandora, a pair of headphones, and a talent for apathy-on-the-fly.

*****

The snow started melting a few days ago.  In many parts of Portland, Arctic Blast 2008 is but a memory.  In other parts, however, huge globs of frozen, icy snow still riddle the streets and sidewalks.  And in yet other parts, some of the old, melting snow actually look like rootbeer flavored Slushee that I constantly had to fight the urge to break out a straw and start slurping.

*****

There are over 2000 listings for “thai restaurants” in Portland, Oregon, according to Google.  How insane is that?  Seattle has nearly 4800.  This makes finding a really good Thai restaurant nearly impossible as one would conceivably have to visit a ton of Thai restaurants in order to accurately gauge it.  What’s the next best thing to doing this?  Yelp!– a website that lists and rates businesses according to user-generated reviews.  According to Yelp, Baan-Thai Restaurant could possbily be the best in Portland.  Now, of course, this is based on other people’s palates, but you take the average of the ratings, and chances are that Yelp! is right on the money.

*****

I went for a run today for the first time in over two weeks and it felt wonderful.  I took it easy, though, and ran for only 3 miles at a relatively slow pace.  The last thing I want happening is to re-injure the pinch nerve that my doctor believes had sidelined me to begin with.  Tomorrow, i’m going to add another couple of miles to the distance, and the maybe go for a long run by next weekend.  I can’t wait!

Merry Christmas!

For The Truly Bored…

[Make sure your volume is on/up…]

http://www.thetyser.com/

If Your Life Had a Soundtrack…

…what songs would they include?  Here’s how it works:

1. Open your iTunes (or Rhapsody, etc.) library
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie

Here’s mine:

Opening Credits:
Goodbye? – Grandaddy

Waking up:
Son of Shaft/Feel It – The Bar-Kays

First Day at High School:
Outta Mind (Outta Sight) – Wilco

Falling In Love:
Believing is Art – Spoon

Fight Song:
Forget Myself – Elbow

Breaking Up:
Gotta Jibboo – Phish

Prom:
Live to Tell – Madonna (don’t ask…)

Life:
Two-Headed Boy – Neutral Milk Hotel

Mental Breakdown:
Waiting For a Star To Fall – Boy Meets Girl (again, don’t ask…)

Driving:
(Making) Teenage Faces – The Exploding Hearts

Flashback:
Phyllis’ Frindge – Evolutionary Jass Band

Getting Back Together:
Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts

Wedding:
Ode to a Butterfly – Nickel Creek

Birth of Child:
Could It Be I’m Falling in Love – The Spinners

Final Battle:
Como Duele – Victor Manuel

Death Scene:
Escape – Metallica

Funeral Song:
The Beauty of Who You Are – Marc Broussard

End Credits:
Faceless – Godsmack

Idea totally stolen from:
http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=66512