Extreme Day

This really started last night, so maybe it should be titled Extreme Days. I was at work trying to figure out why some desktop handles weren’t being released and left work around 11:30pm. I started making dinner and my sister calls me on the phone asking me how to convert coaxial to network cable (RJ45). I spend a good chunk of time saying that’s not possible, but she kept insisting that the hotel had internet access and that was the only thing available. After enough convincing, she believes me. I asked her if it could possibly be wireless internet access, but she says she wasn’t able to see an access points, and she’s wandered up and down the halls looking for a signal.

So after dinner, I took a big dump. A BIG DUMP. So big that it didn’t flush. This wasn’t the normal clogged toilets I usually deal with. Normal clogged toilets still trickle down. This did not move down even an inch when I woke up this morning. It did when I got home tonight at 12pm. So going back to the story, I have this weird plunger I got from Fred Meyers called the Master Plunger. It’s worked plenty of times before, but this time, it wasn’t even pushing any water away besides out of the toilet bowl.

The good thing about this whole incident was there was really only 1 big piece of poop so there weren’t any small floating pieces. And since I added Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner tablets, the whole bathroom smelled like bleach.

I had a bottle of Liquid Plumr (which I always thought was spelled Liquid Plumber) I purchased from Costco, but it specifically states for not usage in toilets. It’s because of the trap design on toilets. Liquid Plumber and Draino work by pushing down. There were also sites that warned that that once Draino started working, it got so hot, that it cracked the toilet bowl.

I began searching online for home remedies on how to unclog the toilet. Here were the suggestions I saw:

  • Add liquid detergent
  • Pour a lot of hot water
  • Add Draino/Liquid Plumr and use plunger to push liquid past the trap

Adding the liquid detergent was suppose to make the poop easier to slide, but all I got was bubbles. It did make my bathroom smell like lemon instead of bleach.

Since the water line wasn’t moving, I wasn’t really able to add a lot of hot water.

So I tried the Liquid Plumr suggestion, though as an afterthought, that may have been a bad idea. First, this method did not work either, but since my water was mixed with bleach, I remember reading somewhere that mixing Liquid Plumr and some other chemicals may result in deadly gases. I immediately turned on the vent and left it running for sometime. I’m not sure if bleach + liquid plumbr = deadly gas, but I’m still alive.

I decided to give up at 3:30am and went to sleep. I decided I’d get a better plunger tomorrow. For some reason, this morning I had the idea that I heard the toilet flush this morning and was actually excited to come down to see a working toilet, but only to be disappointed that the water line had not moved at all. It isn’t like this is the only toilet in the house, since I have 2 other toilets which I hardly use (since they’re on the 2nd floor), but I just felt uncomfortable having a clogged toilet.

This morning, I had planned to get the rock chip on my windshield fixed. However there was some major accident on the 520 this morning: Truck Crashes Into Sammamish River. It took me 20 minutes to reach the traffic jam and 40 minutes to get through 2 exits. I was pretty pissed.

I had actually gone to this glass shop on Tuesday morning, but apparently someone took the resin and they weren’t able to patch it. They apologize for the inconvenience and told me to come back after 2. I told them I’d come back Wednesday morning. The place I went to was called Evergreen Auto Glass and they did a pretty good job filling the rock chip. I had actually gotten this on my trip back from Mt. Shasta, and finally decided to get it patch now. Another reason was that I found out we had Prime discount at this place, so the fix only costed $15 (vs $45 w/o Prime discount). The nice thing is I found out this repair comes with lifetime warranty, which I thought was nice. You could still see some scars, but I’ve seen what can happen to these rock chips if you don’t fix them.

Afterwards, I dropped by Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a “toilet” plunger. Apparently, a regular plunger is for sinks since they’re flat and toilet plungers have this little extra pouch which gives a tighter seal on toilets. This plunger is amazing! It must be the special knob. Just 3 or 4 plunges, and my toilet was unclogged. Stupid Master Plunger, don’t you guys fall for it too.

Anyway, back to work. I was just working on some test code when suddenly my display begins to act funny by drawing weird stuff on the screen. I tried rebooting the machine and then it would freeze trying to log me in. I logged in as the Administrator and windows were missing titlebars. Opening display properties resulted in it telling my display driver was made for a previous OS and my current resolution was set to -1 x -1. I finally was able to log onto my account and then it tells me my profile was corrupted and they’re creating a new one for me. This all points to signs of my hard drive dying. I had a spare IDE drive, but as I found out, my computer only has 1 IDE port and 1 SATA port. The slot for the hard drive is also custom fitted for a SATA drive. They also only have 1 standard 12V power adapter which was used by my DVD-ROM drive. So I ended up unhooking the DVD-ROM drive and now the hdd is just sitting on top of my floppy. Installed Windows Server 2003 and everything seems to be fine now. Been busy setting up my machine for the rest of the day now that all my programs are gone. Good thing I could still access my previous hard disk and grab the data off it. A scan disk on that drive did end up freezing though, so I don’t think that’s a good sign.

I also got my review back today. The review is this thing that happens once a year at Microsoft where they determine your raise, stock award, and bonus. I won’t be saying any numbers, since I don’t think I’m allowed to. I forget what my lead exactly first told me, but it scared the bejesus out of me. I think it was something like, “So I tried…” The thing is, when I submitted the review, he had told me that I had done well and he was going to suggest/recommend X and Y. So when he started out saying “So I tried…”, I was like shoot, that means I didn’t make it. But turns out he was just going to mention what I did well and what areas I could improve. Honestly, I don’t remember what he first said, but that was the most tense 30 minutes I’ve been in awhile. He finally told me my #s and I’m happy!

My OfficeMax order also arrived today. One of the glass L desks I’ve been eyeing finally went on sale again: Pisa “L” Workcenter (normally at $150). I went searching around for a $30 off $150 coupon and thanks to some friends at B$, I got one. To fill my order, I purchased a lamp because the master bedroom currently has no lighting and I’ve been meaning to get a lamp. The lamp turned out much nicer than expected:

new lampnew lamp

I haven’t had time to setup the desk yet. It’s still sitting at the bottom of my stairs. That thing is heavy. So it’s been a pretty extreme day.

Akismet Spam Detector

This is just awesome! Wow, Matt Mullenweg (apparently the brainchild of both WordPress and Akismet) actually left a comment on my blog regarding this issue. He even apologized for the problem and informed me it should be working now. There’s really nothing to apologize for as this is an awesome free service. But now that it’s been fixed, I’m happy! Apparently a code change had triggered a bug which broke the API calls, so spam on our side wasn’t correctly marked.

12 more did slipped before the code was fixed.
8,995 Caught / 99 Missed / 0 False Positives (98.9% accuracy / down 0.13%)

Friends With Money

So this movie got some new reviews and I was bored one day last week and watched it. The movie was a bit slow, but was funny and worth the watch. Story’s basically about 4 friends (3 rich and 1 poor and workng as a maid) and a snapshot of their life.

Official Site
IMDb: 6.5/10 (1,541 votes)
Yahoo! Movies: The Critics: B / Yahoo! Users: C+
Rotten Tomatoes: Rating: 69% / Average Rating: 6.5/10
Apple Trailer
Amazon.com DVD
Amazon.com SoundTrack

friends with money posterfriends with money posterfriends with money poster

Spoilers: (Show)

Brokeback Mountain

Finally got around to watching this movie. I don’t know what all the “excitement” was about, but the movie was pretty average. It did show the complex relationship well, but the storyline… was there one?

Official Site
IMDb: 8.0/10 (53,978 votes)
Yahoo! Movies: The Critics: A- / Yahoo! Users: B
Rotten Tomatoes: Rating: 86% / Average Rating: 8.2/10
Apple Trailer
Amazon.com DVD
Amazon.com Soundtrack

brokeback mountain poster

Spoilers: (Show)

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

Just watched this movie today. It’s a pretty old movie that’s been on my queue for some time. The movie was somewhat interesting, but the ending totally confused me. In simple terms, the movie’s about a boss ganster that has left coming back to figure out and avenge his brother’s death.

Official Site
IMDb: 5.8/10 (1,819 votes)
Yahoo! Movies: Yahoo! Users: C+
Rotten Tomatoes: Rating: 44% / Average Rating: 5.5/10
Apple Trailer
Amazon.com DVD

i'll sleep when i'm dead poster

Spoilers: (Show)

pya! FLOOD

* Bolded ones were the most fun


Random Crap:

Clever Advertising (from Kira) – some pretty interesting ads. I really like the Folgers Coffee one.

I was going through Apple Trailers yesterday and some interesting ones I saw:

  • The Motel – this movie looks awesome! the Chinese kid is hilarious.
  • Infamous – they’re making another Al Capote movie? Storyline looks exactly the same as the other one.
  • The Ground Truth – another documentary-like movie, but I thought this quote was interesting: Science has proven that you can live approximately 72 hours without water, but spiritually, you can only live a few minutes without hope.

Outsize shoemaker flies to world’s tallest womanA German outsize shoemaker said he will fly to China next week with three pairs of size 57 ladies shoes as a special and much-needed gift for Yao Defen, believed to be the world’s tallest woman. She’s big!

Ripped 2 clips from 結婚できない男 (Kekkon Dekinai Otoko – Man Who Can’t Get Married):

Lineage II: Chronical 5 – CG movie (from Tera at Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle) – as Tera states, we’ve all been jaded with the Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children, but this CG clip was still pretty amazing. If you want to stream it in a browser, you can watch it here.

Free Texas Hold ’em for Xbox Live Arcade

If you have an Xbox 360 and an internet connection, Xbox Live Arcade is giving away Texas Hold ’em for free for the 1st 48 hours of release.

Texas Hold ’em Free in Arcade for First 48 Hours (from SD):

Microsoft isn’t bluffing: Log on to Xbox Live® within the first 48 hours after launch and download Texas Hold ’em completely free of charge! This full-featured poker title for Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360™ will launch on Wednesday, August 23, at 0800 GMT (1:00 A.M. Pacific Time).

For 48 hours only—through 0800 GMT (1:00 A.M. Pacific Time) Friday, August 25—as a special limited-time only promotion, all Xbox Live Gold and Silver members can download (and own) the game at no charge. Starting at 0801 GMT (1:01 A.M. Pacific Time) Friday, August 25, Texas Hold ’em will be available for 800 Microsoft Points.

Since this was a limited time offer, I actually went and cracked open my Xbox 360 from the storage area and set it up.

After downloading it, I gave it a short whirl. The animation and graphics were actually pretty nice. However I did lose $1200 already (from my initial $2000). Hehe. The game is fast moving and the buttons were easy to figure out, though I would say that holding onto the controller at lengths of time got tiring given the fact I pushed a button or two every 15 seconds. With an Xbox Live Silver account (free), you can play the single player mode. With the Sbox Live Gold account, you can play online with other players. I doubt they’ll ever make a version that allows playing with real money, though you never know.

Enjoy!

Speaking of which, I just realized you can now buy Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting through Xbox Live. It’s actually quite tempting for only 800pts (~$10). According to the newsflash, Street Fighter II Best Seller in ArcadeSunnyvale , California—Capcom® today announced that Street Fighter® II’ Hyper Fighting, the company’s first title for Xbox Live® Arcade, has seen a phenomenal record of downloads since its debut on August 2. Within the first 24 hours of its unveiling, Street Fighter II’ Hyper Fighting has become the fastest selling Xbox Live Arcade title to date with hundreds of matches being played every hour.


Random Crap:

Beloit College’s Mindset List for the Class of 2010 (from MS newsgroup) – A rite of autumn is under way with the arrival of first-year students at thousands of colleges and universities for registration. Most 18-year-old students entering the class of 2010 this fall were born in 1988. They grew up with a mouse in one hand and a computer screen as part of their worldview. They learned to surf the internet as they learned to read. While they were still in their cribs, the 20th century started to close as the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet bloc disintegrated, and frequent traditional wars in Latin America gave way to the uncontrolled terrors of the Middle East.. The list is interesting and I even went back to read the Class of 2005 Mindset List.

No, that’s not a penis pump, Mom. ReallyCook County prosecutors say a 29-year-old man traveling with his mother desperately didn’t want her to know he’d packed a sexual aid for their trip to Turkey. So he told security it was a bomb, officials said. Sigh… How dumb can people get?

An interesting thought from Deadlock: I was looking at that penis pump thing… I didn’t read the full article, but I think the airport misheard the guy. I bet he would have said BONG, because that would make more sense.

Police crack down on striptease funerals…Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai’s rural areas to allure viewers,” it said. “Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored.”

Ant jaws break speed record, propel insects into air, biologists find (from /.) – A species of ant native to Central and South America is entering the annals of extreme animal movement, boasting jaws arguably more impressive than such noteworthy contenders as the great white shark and the spotted hyena. Biologists clocked the speed at which the trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus bauri, closes its mandibles at 35 to 64 meters per second, or 78 to 145 miles per hour – an action they say is the fastest self-powered predatory strike in the animal kingdom. The average duration of a strike was a mere 0.13 milliseconds, or 2,300 times faster than the blink of an eye. Do check out the videos showing the ant achieving heights up to 8.3 centimeters and horizontal distances up to 39.6 centimeters.

Dear Sir Bill Gates: invoice enclosed (from /.) – Please find enclosed my invoice for £1,200 sterling for administrative and consulting work, caused by the need to repair Microsoft sabotage. I dare say you’d like details: An funny and interesting, yet so true complaint about Windows Update and the automatic “forced” restart.

San Francisco in Jell-O (from MS newsgroup) – a gallery of photos of a model of San Francisco made completely in Jell-O done by Elizabeth Hickok. She actually has a video of the jello city.