The Deed Is Done
It has been a long time coming. The decision was not particularly hard to make, but it was difficult to pull the trigger on. Then finding the time and energy to actually do it, well, that was a feat in and of itself. But finally, finally, it was accomplished.
I have a new computer.
Unlike many, perhaps all, of you, though, I am not frantically hooking it up and getting it running. Believe me, I understand that urge, and as recently as a year or two ago, I would have been a whirlwind of activity, cables and widgets and dongles flying everywhichway in my haste and zeal to get the new gadget rockin'. No, I've still too much to get off Chiyo-chan and stored onto the external drive, and too many logins to recover from too many websites to hurry into this.
So tomorrow,the whirlwind will occur. And the world will finally meet the computer that will take over for Chiyo-chan.
I hate Dr Pepper, I wouldn't even try to imagine what the Japanese version tastes like, and the screencap is from Kamisama Memochou, the driving character of which is a "NEET detective" with an addiction to Dokupe and computer equipment.
It's the first series I've encountered where Ep01 is 48 minutes long, with two eyecatch breaks... kinda like the old American TV habit of making a new series' pilot an hour long, but the rest of the episodes a half-hour.
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 31, 2013 09:05 PM (Zg0Yp)
"I hate Dr Pepper"
Aww, who's not up for prune-flavored antifreeze?
Posted by: RickC at August 31, 2013 10:03 PM (swpgw)
I actually had surprising luck when it came to getting my bookmarks and such back when I re-installed Firefox on Himawari. Firefox had a bookmark archiving tool that restored them equally well. I think I was able to restore cookies and passwords the same way.
Other programs worked by cloning their data folders after a reinstall.
Posted by: Mauser at August 31, 2013 11:49 PM (TJ7ih)
A coworker got a new laptop recently, and they bought a copy of Laplink PC Mover for her, and it did a pretty good job of moving apps and documents. I didn't check to see if it got stuff like her browser history and saved passwords and what not.
Posted by: RickC at September 01, 2013 03:16 PM (swpgw)
I am sorry that you heretics don't understand the glory of Dr. Pepper, but that just means there's more for me. Also, it's technically blackberry.
Actually, there are very few flavors of pop that I don't like. I thoroughly approve of things like Dad's having about six different cream soda flavors/colors. But I'm going low carb right now, so I've only had a single soda in about a month.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at September 01, 2013 10:43 PM (cvXSV)
This Is The One Where Wonderduck Complains
Just giving you fair warning, is all. As far as complaining goes, it probably won't be too terrible... more like a quiet yet persistent whining sound, exactly like the one emanating from the empty apartment downstairs. Anyway. If you're not interested, here's a nice picture that has nothing to do with anything, and might I suggest choosing from a category on the sidebar?
Last week, as I'm sure you all realized, I broke the 60-hour mark with plenty of time to spare. The week before, I nearly did the same thing, though that was with six days. This week will probably be right around 60 hours... things are kinda slowing down, but there are things other than customers that take up my time, as well. As it is, I'm coming in early and staying late just to get stuff done... stuff that by rights I should be doing during the day.
Look, here's how wiped out I was. This past Saturday, I woke up at 645am, as usual, and by 11am, I had fallen asleep twice as I was browsing the web or reading a book. After waking up the second time, I gave up and went back to sleep. I woke up five hours later, watched the Quals for Belgium, did the writeup, then went back to bed. While I was intending to wake up around 1130pm to work on the next Eva 1.11 writeup (which I haven't touched for a couple of weeks), I blew through two different alarm clocks, only to wake up at 3am Sunday. After piddling about, I went back to bed and slept until 10am Sunday. And I'm still tired.
What I'm saying is, all this stuff at work may keep me away from blogginating for a bit longer. I know this is terrible news for all of you, and some may even feel depressed about it.
However, and this is big big big... a new computer will be coming into my life this week. Y'all will be introduced as soon as I actually, y'know, get it. Wish me luck the rest of the week.
(Mini) F1 Update!: Belgium 2013
There were grey skies above Spa all race, but not once did it rain. That's a shame, because a bit of rain might have turned this into something of a race. THIS is your (Mini) F1Update! for the 2013 Grand Prix of Belgium!
*THE RACE: For roughly thirty seconds, it looked like we had a good race in stock. The lights went out, polesitter Shiv Hamilton made a good start and stayed in front of hard-charging Hannibal Vettel into La Source and through Eau Rouge. At the start of the Kemmel Straight, however, the Red Bull got a tow from the Mercedes, swept past, and never looked back. By the end of the first lap, even though he had to pass to take the lead and thus didn't have the entire lap to work with, Vettel had a 1.5 second lead. A few laps later, it was up to seven seconds, and it became clear that Red Bull had a ridiculously low downforce setup on the car. That's a safe gamble at, say, Monza, where it almost never rains, but at Spa? A single drop of rain would send the RB9 sliding into the Ardennes Forest.
But it didn't rain, and Vettel just ran away with the race. His tires lasted longer than anybody else, the lack of downforce didn't hurt him at all, and he had a 15 second lead at one point. It would have been bigger, but the team told him to dial it back, and for once, he listened. The final podium was Vettel, Ferrari's HWMNBN (who had a great race from 9th), and Hamilton.
*SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?: Nothing good. Red Bull's weakness in the past has been the faster tracks. Their naturally high downforce levels have always meant they've been slower than most everybody in a straight line. If they can run with almost no rear wing and still have enough grip to survive in the fast sweeping turns of Spa, what are they going to be able to do at the next race at Monza?
*ALL THE REST: Kimi Raikkonen retired from the race today with brake failure. This was his first retirement since he returned to F1, some 38 races. It was also his first non-points-paying finish in 27 races. This dropped him to fourth in the Driver's Championship race, from second. He's now behind Hamilton in 3rd, and HWMNBN in 2nd. Mind you, that's 46 points behind in 2nd.
Greenpeace protested the SHELL sponsorship of the race and tried to disrupt the podium ceremony. They managed to trigger two small remote-control banners, one of which made it on-camera for a moment. If you're curious, there is footage on youtube of it; we won't link to it.
*FINALLY: We here at F1U! appreciate our readers' patience as we go through this most busy of times at work. We'll do better next time, two weeks from now at Monza! See ya then!
Just as Q3 began, with nine cars on dry tires lined up at the Pit out light, it began to rain. The nine cars immediately leaped onto the track and tried to get around and complete a hot lap before the track became too wet for dry tires. They didn't succeed. It took them until roughly halfway around the four-mile-long circuit to realize it, but there was no way a flying lap on slicks was going to work. Quickly, the situation became one of pure survival as nine cars slipped, slid, fishtailed and twitched their way back to the pitlane.
Then there was Force India's Paul di Resta... the 10th car in Q3. He and FI waited for everybody else to start rolling out of the pitlane before they came out... on Inters. It was a gamble to be sure. If the track had stayed dry-ish, everybody else would set flying laps in much better conditions than he'd ever see. But if the rain kept coming, he'd be on Inters at the best possible time: that golden period where Inters were superior to slicks, but before the rain tires started to slow down a touch.
And that's exactly what happened. For nine minutes and 55 seconds of the 10 minute session, Paul di Resta sat on provisional pole. But the rain had stopped a couple of minutes earlier, and Nico Rosberg had managed somehow to pip di Resta just as time expired for the session. Disappointing, but it would still be a front-row start for Force India, nothing to sneeze at for a midpack team.
Except both Red Bulls and Shiv Hamilton had begun hot laps just before time ran out on Q3... and the track was drier still for them. Webber was in front of Vettel who was, in turn, in front of Hamilton on track. First Webber beat Rosberg's time for pole, then Vettel beat Webber's time... and then Hamilton took pole from Vettel. Suddenly, the great gamble taken by Force India and Paul di Resta, which looked like such a winner, was gone in an instant. But for a brief shining moment, Force India controlled the Formula 1 world.
A big cheer to Marussia, who for the first time ever got both of their cars into Q2! It was also the first time since 2010, when they were Virgin Racing, that one of their cars had made it out of the first round.
There's more rain predicted for Sunday's race, which means that anything could happen. If you're gonna watch one race this year, make it this one. It should be awesome... see ya then!
F1 On NBCSN: Belgium 2013
In the Walloon Region of Belgium, tucked away in a valley in the corner of the Ardennes Forest, there is a small village that has lent its name to a form of beauty salon, personal care resorts, or places devoted to overall well-being through a variety of professional
services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit. That little town is also known for a very, very big racetrack. Of course, I speak of Spa, home of the Grand Prix of Belgium, which also encourages renewal of the mind, body and spirit through the heavy use of high RPMs and carbon fiber. Let's take a look at this most favorite of circuits, shall we?
Yup, still the same old Spa of the past years. I could gush over the wonder that is Eau Rouge, the daring that is Blanchimont, the glory of La Source, and in my older "F1 on SPEED!" posts, I have. Instead of regurgitating all the same things, I'm going to pause for a moment and pay tribute to the people that taught me how to be a fan of F1, then motorsports in general.
SPEED was where my adult fandom of Formula 1 began, back these... eight or nine years ago. They showed me the nuance and detail involved in a way that only baseball before it has hooked me. From F1, it was a small step to the two 24 Hours races they programmed, at Daytona and LeMans. From there, I learned about the brilliant V8Supercars series with the magnificent Mt Panorama circuit. Then onto the world of high-end car auctions, lesser Formula races, and even the NASCAR Truck Racing series, all of these were introduced to me via the Charlotte, NC-based channel. And while they never turned me into a fan of NASCAR, they sure gave it a good try.
SPEED is gone now, turned into something called "Fox Sports 1", but for me, they'll always be a part of my motorsports fandom. Thanks, guys. You'll be missed.
But now, F1 is on NBCSN, so here's the broadcast schedule for Belgium: FRIDAY:
P2: 7a - 830a SATURDAY:
Quals: 1130a - 1p SUNDAY:
Grand Prix of Belgium: 630a - 9a
You'll note that Quals is out of normal time; that's because NBCSN believes that something called "Premiere League Football" is more important. I had no idea Adobe was sponsoring football teams!
At this point, I'd normally say something along the lines of "F1Update! will be all over all the coverage like a cheap suit on rice," or something like that. Not this time. There'll only be something for P2 if groundbreaking news occurs, like injuries to drivers or something like that. Hopefully, there won't be. Quals and the race should get normal coverage, though. See ya then!!!
I worked all day Saturday, as the new fledgelings moved into the Duck U dorms that day, then had dinner with Ph.Duck immediately afterwards. I got home around 7pm, and by 8pm I was crawling into bed for a nap. I set the alarm clock AND my cellphone to wake me around 1030p, and I was out cold before my head finished sinking into the pillow.
Hydraulic pressure woke me up at six in the morning on Sunday. I had slept through two hours of Sports-Talk Radio and my cellphone's alarm (twice), which normally will kick me out of bed like a train had hit the headboard. Groggily, I purged the hydraulic lines and debated with myself what to do: go back to bed? Do laundry? Sleep? Laundry?
Laundry. I was nice to my neighbors, however, and waited until 8am to do it. After that was done, I had lunch while watching the NASCAR race and falling asleep. By 2pm, I gave up and went back to sleep... and woke up at 7pm. And I'm STILL sleepy. Next week is the start of classes at Duck U., so there's no rest for either the weary or for the Duck U Bookstore's manager.
"...Without You Suffering From Burnout."
Those were the last words my boss said to me on the phone today before I burst into a manic sort of laughter, high-pitched and brittle. The sort of laughter that inspires ultimate confidence in the listener.
I have nothing else to say, I guess. A couple more weeks and it'll all be over...
The Nightmares Have Begun
The stress of work is leaking into my sleeping brain, causing nightmares beyond telling. This one, though, is at least a little humorous. The other night, I dreamt that I was the only person in the world who remembered a particular song from 1992, and I HAD to preserve that memory, no matter what.
Now, the way I learned about this song in real life was interesting enough. I was home from Grad School, and had a few bucks free to spend on stuff. I had become the unofficial master of the mixtape for just about any party held by the theatre department, owing to my ginormous cassette collection, supplemented by a small but growing assortment of CDs. Add in the collections of the two roomies, and I had a ridiculously eclectic range of music to play with. There was only one problem: none of it was new. I jumped on my folks' computer (a 386, maybe) and swear to god, connected to Prodigy.
THAT was cutting edge back then, folks. Anyway, I headed to some of the message boards to ask for help... mostly for dance music. I got a few good song titles back, including the track involved in my nightmare.
Oh yeah, remember that? The nightmare? I woke up from it, thinking I REALLY WAS the only person in the world who remembered the song. I stumbled into my living room and started going through my CDs, trying to find the maxi-single... and I couldn't find it. The boxes in the closet didn't have it either. Actually desperate now, I called up yourfaceinatube, hoping beyond hope that someone else out there knew the tune! As it turned out, I need not have worried.
In fact, it was rather stupid of me to have been half-scared out of my wits; this was actually a Billboard Hot 100 hit, back when that meant something, and I KNEW that. Of course people weren't going to have forgotten it. Still, nightmares aren't supposed to make sense, are they?
And now, just in case something really DOES happen and everybody else forgets "Love U More" by Sunscreem, it'll be here.
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 13, 2013 11:25 PM (QsGp9)
When I was at Drexel One of the first classes to be equipped with Mac 128's, (Bastards the year after got Mac Pluses for the same price, and the upgrade would cost US as much as the computer), anyway, back then, some folks from Prodigy wanted us to help them beta test their Mac version. And only certain modems would work with it (they would monkey with the Hayes commands to try to improve bandwidth or something).
I tried it. It sucked. Terribly. I didn't bother logging in a second time.
Posted by: Mauser at August 14, 2013 02:48 AM (TJ7ih)
Ah, the arrogance of Prodigy in their early days! We had some folks at the university ask us if it would work to get them online, and so I tried it out. To his credit, their phone-support guy not only managed to keep his voice under control when asking, "did the manufacturer say that your modem was Prodigy-compatible?", he politely waited until my howls of laughter died down.
Posted by: J Greely at August 14, 2013 03:21 PM (fpXGN)
My opinion is that for the last few years, it didn't make any sense to go with a desktop computer. I buy big notebook computers and they work really well.
What I've been buying is gaming notebooks, computers designed to be taken to LAN parties. They thus have lots of compute power, excellent graphics, big screens, and they're self-contained and preconfigured, so there's no problem with drivers or anything like that.
My current computer is an ASUS G75V: 12G RAM, 2.3GHz I7 quad core, half a terabyte of disk, built-in high quality optical drive, and a 1920*1080 screen. I think it was about $1600.
You could use my post about Himawari as a shopping list. It has so much power most of the time it doesn't even notice me using it. I'd get a stronger card though. for just a little more cash I could have had about 50% more oomph, and maybe, just maybe, less of a jet engine on the GPU fan.
Etna, on the other hand, is not as good for watching movies in bed as I thought. Aside from the terrible crick in my neck, the viewing angle on the screen is terrible up close.
Posted by: Mauser at August 13, 2013 01:50 AM (TJ7ih)
Wish I could help. Ordered parts off of Newegg and had the g/f assemble it (she enjoys that). Dropped about $1500, but I went a little crazy here and there.
Posted by: Avatar at August 13, 2013 02:50 AM (GJQTS)
Steven, so it's a laptop without the ability to move around or to easily upgrade, but with the extra price of a laptop?
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 13, 2013 06:31 AM (RgjI9)
DR laptops are nice, but Wonderduck could probably build a nice gaming rid for about half what Steven paid, which is why people still do it. A few months ago, right before Haswell came out, I bought a core i5-3570K (on perpetual sale at Micro Center for $40 below what everyone else charges) with a Gigabyte PCI3 mobo to go with it and 4 gb of ram for under $400. You can buy a case as low as $30, but you probably wouldn't want to.
The 650ti boost I just got plays WoW at Ultra at 1920x1080 with 70+fps (in less expansive places, I might see 140 fps) and I paid about $170. That CPU+GPU combo can hit 200+ fps in Minecraft.
FWIW, I thought about waiting for Haswell, but I suspected Haswell parts would cost a little bit more (the roughly equivalent cpu+mobo would have cost maybe $50 extra) and I was coming from a 2007-era 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, so either was going to be a *major* upgrade, so I didn't wait.
A Trinity or Richland A8 is a pretty nice deal, too: quite a bit cheaper than an i5, and the built-in graphics are serviceable, although not nearly as good as a dedicated card. For my son, I coupled the A8-5600K with a micro ATX MSI motherboard for about $150. The only real drawback is the unfortunate SATA port placement under the footprint of the video card slot; you need to get right-angle SATA cables and make sure you get low-profile ones. It's also not as overclock-friendly as a bigger board would be, because you can't adjust the CPU voltage, so it runs a bit hot, but an aftermarket cooler helps with that.
Posted by: RickC at August 13, 2013 06:31 AM (WQ6Vb)
I don't have any good advice here, at least not better than what I've seen above. (I'll note that the active and useful duty life of any laptop-shaped object is about half that of a good desktop, and thus endeth my rant thereupon.)
Posted by: GreyDuck at August 13, 2013 07:20 AM (CUkqs)
I will second the recommendation to look at AMD for your CPU. I just bought a new Richland system, and the CPU with integrated graphics was dirt cheap. I think I will get a couple of years of use out of the integrated graphics, and then to upgrade to a separate discrete video card - but that should let me extend the life of the rest of the system considerably.
Posted by: Insight at August 13, 2013 10:46 AM (OY+nB)
With Trinity/Richland, if you want to game, you should buy a discrete card, if you don't want to turn the settings all the way down. But if you can live with lower settings, you don't NEED the card. Minecraft with Optifine on a Trinity is playable. Minecraft with or without Optifine on a Core i5 is barely playable. (Optifine is an add-on to Minecraft that increases performance and adds some nice graphical features.)
Posted by: RickC at August 13, 2013 10:49 AM (WQ6Vb)
Honestly, I gave up on upgrading (as opposed to building with all-new parts) a few years ago. Just not worth the hassle, most of the time - there's always that chance you'll get a part that, while compatible on paper, just isn't going to work with your current setup. It's generally easier for new hardware as everyone's testing with everyone else. Last time I just took the old box, nuked the drive, and gave it away to a co-worker who didn't have a box of his own. This time I'm thinking I'll pack the thing to Hawaii and set it up as a home theater PC.
That said, I had an unusual need for two running boxes at once (i.e. g/f coming to visit for a month) and someone willing to blow a day assembling and testing parts (I'd put it off for months because I just didn't feel up to it on the weekends when I wasn't working). With as much of a time crunch as Duck's gotta deal with, that's not as good of an option.
Posted by: Avatar at August 13, 2013 01:37 PM (GJQTS)
CPU: AMD A10-5800K or A10-6800K (the newer chip is a little faster and a bit more expensive). Fast, inexpensive, and has the advantage of having built-in graphics that are actually good enough to game on, albeit at medium-to-low settings as RickC noted. ($129 / $149)
(AMD's FX series, which is what Mauser got, and I have here at PixyLabs, is the same design, but the A10 has 4 cores plus graphics, where the FX has 8 cores but no graphics.)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4. ($119) Everything you could want in an FM2-socket motherboard; includes VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, so you can plug it in to pretty much anything.
16GB (2x8GB) Corsair or G.Skill DDR3-2133 RAM. (Around $130) The memory market is in a funny mood at the moment, and while prices have gone up overall, the price difference between low-end and high-end parts has shrunk dramatically, and speeds up to 2400MHz are now relatively good value. (The A10-5800K supports up to 1866, the 6800K up to 2133.)
SSD: If you can easily separate your OS & apps from general file storage, get a 120GB Samsung or Intel SSD. (I'd suggest the Samsung 840; I'm running a pair of 840 Pro drives, but that's because I do database stuff.) (Around $100) Or if you think you want a bigger C drive, go for the 250GB version ($200).
Disk: Seagate Barracuda 2TB. ($100) Easy choice.
Video card you have, and the system will work pretty well without one. Power supply.... Well, you might not want to pull it back out again, but the one you have is a fine choice.
Add a DVD-ROM or BD-ROM and a suitable case and you're done!
Posted by: Pixy Misa at August 14, 2013 01:52 AM (PiXy!)
+1 on Pixy's choices. AMD continues to make solid, low cost CPUs with very good performance and excellent integrated graphics. If you decide the mb graphics just aren't up to snuff, I'd recommend a ASUS or Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 video card; they're very reasonably priced at $120-140 now, play nice with the Gigabyte's chipset and run pretty quietly. Most of the 7770 cards use at least 1 GB of GDDR5 memory, have core and memory speeds in excess of 1GHz, and max resolutions of 2560 x 1600. Really good bang/buck ratio on these cards.
Posted by: JT at August 14, 2013 10:01 AM (iStSI)
I have the 650 card, and wish I'd sprung for the 650ti. They really don't have any good benchmarks on the boxes these days.
Posted by: Mauser at August 15, 2013 04:26 AM (TJ7ih)
I chose the 650ti boost based on the Tom's Hardware GPU bang for the buck list. I had planned on getting an ATI 77x0 or 7850 until then.
Posted by: RickC at August 15, 2013 09:06 AM (A9FNw)
I bought the $200 Walmart Emachine special. (Not recommended for gaming.)
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at August 15, 2013 12:30 PM (cvXSV)
Heh, that's hardly recommended for anything.
I've been annoyed for two years because to save a few bucks, the company I work for skimped out when buying us developers new PCs. While I don't need a Core i7, it would've been nice to get something better than a Pentium dual-core. (If I could afford it I would buy an extra computer to use at work instead of the company one! I had an HP core i5 laptop I used until the defective POS stopped working and HP declined to fix it.)
Posted by: RickC at August 15, 2013 04:52 PM (WQ6Vb)
The USS Woban, YTB 138. No real reason for me posting this picture, except it's a great picture of a tugboat. Sure, it's not the most glamourous vessel ever, but without it (and ships like it) navies the world over would be in serious sheepdip.
I wrote about this "series" a few years ago. At the time, I reviewed just the first two installments, as that was all that was available. The remaining two were released shortly thereafter, and held up nicely to the standards set by the the earlier OVAs. For whatever reason, this evening I decided to rewatch the series, and lo and behold, there's a set of red half-frames in it. More for Steven!
Y'know what? MnK might be one of the nicest shows I've seen recently. It's not great by any stretch of the imagination. There's dozens of better series out there. But you watch it with a half-smile on your face for the entire time, and when it's over, there's this little sigh of contentment that you'll inevitably emit.
It's very much focused on a certain fetish... glasses are hot!... and if you're one of those people who don't "get it," you'll probably have a substantially different reaction, but for those that fall into the correct niche? It'll be half-smile and sigh time.
They don't all have to be high art, folks. In fact, it's probably better that they aren't.
An Origins Tale
No, not that Origins, as we were more of a Gen-Con group growing up... naturally enough, since it was (metaphorically) just up the road in Kenosha. THIS origins tale will be something a little more prosaic. Those few of you who didn't sear the post out of your memory will recall a little passage in the latest Eva 1.11 post, about how longtime friend Vaucaunson's Duck ran me down with his bicycle and ground my youthful face into the brick street. Ah, those wacky hijinks!
As with most good fiction, some bad fiction, and the occasional bit of writing you'll see here on The Pond, there is a germ of truth behind the story. In this case, while Vauc didn't actually run me over, he did have a bicycle, like many kids our age, and by "our age," I mean 12, which would be approximately three years after we first met. I was already infamous at Q.S. Trotter Grade School for having been the first student demoted from third grade to second in the middle of a school year. Of course, this naturally meant that I was as dumb as a box of hair, when the truth was somewhat more... strange.
See, my education up until my family migrated to Duckford was... um... well, I was part of an alternative schooling program known as the "Free School Movement." For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the short version is that, instead of having a schedule of classes that I had to take, I learned what I felt like learning. I believe I attended the Free School for three years, from the ages of 5 through 8, until the Great Migration in '76. Now, I want you to imagine being five years old, and you're being told that you can learn whatever you feel like learning, and you don't have to learn what you don't want to. EVER. As it worked out, I was reading at a high school level when we moved to Duckford and I began attending QS Trotter... but I couldn't math my way out of a paper bag. The thing is, nobody had any idea where to put me when I got to conventional school. So I was placed into third grade... and within a month or so, everybody discovered that I didn't have a single freakin' idea of how to school, either. I never turned in a piece of homework, ever. Don't get me wrong, I did it all... but I just left it in my desk. That's what I did before, after all, how was I supposed to know any different?
In a lot of ways, the whole Free School thing was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, I still love to read, and writing? Well, there's eight years of crap here at The Pond to look back on. On the other hand, though, I still can't math worth a damn and I have no interest in learning to. So that's how I came to be infamous at QS Trotter...
...anyway. Met Vauc sometime afterwards, became friends, and somewhere along the way, he had a 10-speed bicycle; guess that would have been around 1980. I, on the other hand, had a somewhat clunky three-speed bike, painted a truly lovely shade of brown, and by "lovely," I mean something completely not lovely at all. I do mean "brown," however. I'm not denying that brown can be an appealing color, though it makes me look like a pile of dog poo with a pile of red hair on top, I'm just saying that my bicycle was nothing special to look at. Or ride, come to think of it.
In any case, I don't remember which of us came up with the nickname "Tenspeed and Brown Bike." Probably Vauc. Maybe you, earnestly bored reader, remember the short-lived Steven J Cannell show, "Tenspeed and Brown Shoe," starring Ben Vereen and Jeff Goldblum? I will admit to not remembering it at all, save for that it gave us the nickname that I remember so clearly, despite it being 33 years old... and judging from the response to a text I sent a few hours ago, Vauc remembers not at all.
Well, that's the way these things go. What my brain remembers as important are not the same as Vauc's, surely. I'm sure he has vivid memories of... I dunno, playing MAATAC in the Game Room, for example, that I don't have any recollection of.
In any case, that's the long-form explanation of the "bicycle over the face" gag. Pointless, wasn't it?
(I still remember modifying the rules to MAATAC to allow OGREs... good times, good times...)
Memory is a tricky thing. I have vivid memories of riding around the neighborhood with you on our bikes, but not that. And true, I got a ten-speed before you did, but it was a Sears Free Spirit upright ten speed, without those ridiculous bent-over handlebars that were so popular. And more importantly, it didn't have one of those tiny seats that threatened to split larger riders in half.
But I remember that you got a mountain bike long before I got one. One of the first mountain bikes I'd seen. Replaced your brown bike, I think.
Hadn't thought about MAATAC for a while. Dang. Those microgames were great. But for me, nothing stands out in my memories like FITS. And your group of Sopwith pilots, the Snoopies.
Posted by: Vaucanson's Duck at August 10, 2013 02:34 PM (OFJiW)
Look, Here's The Story.
Over at the Duck U Bookstore, the Run To Rush has truly begun in earnest. While classes actually begin on August 21st, next week is when, historically, we take the next step in sales traffic. Right now, we're doing... oh, let's call it X in sales per day. Next week, we'll be doing 2X, maybe 3X. Rush Week itself, though, will see us doing 6X for a couple of days, 5X the rest. That's busy enough when you've got a full staff, but I don't.
My boss was in the store on Monday, and as always, he asked "what can I do for you?" My reply was simple: give me an experienced employee for a couple of weeks. Doesn't even have to be a new assistant manager, just someone I can have cover the sales floor while I do admin stuff. Unfortunately, pretty much every other store in our region starts classes within a week of me, meaning they'll be at least as busy as me, and loathe to release a trained staffer as well.
Which leaves me doing two jobs, though as the manager, it's all really my job. Anyway, I've got to cover the floor, unpack boxes, put incoming stock on the shelves, customer service, all that sort of thing... which I love, don't get me wrong. But at the same time, I've got to do paperwork, reorders, receiving, keeping the Home Office happy and the vendors paid... and only so much of it can be done after the store is closed.
As I'm hopping around like a frog with its head cut off all day, by the time I get home, a lot of what I want to do doesn't involve the computer. It does involve having a meal, watching the TV, and sleeping... and if I ever get that stupid graphics card back from EVGA, playing video games. ANYTHING to keep my mind off work.
So what I'm saying is that I'm going to be a little quiet here for a while. I'll probably post a random anime picture every day, or every other day, or something, so there'll still be content (or content-like substance), it just won't be the deep, probing, intelligent, thoughtful, erudite material you've grown used to from The Pond.
Mr. WONDERDUCK: Please pass on to the boss, I need more men...
REGIONAL SUPERVISOR: Perhaps you can tell it to him yourself
Mr. WONDERDUCK: The boss is coming here, to Duck U....?
REGIONAL SUPERVISOR: That's right, and he's most displeased about your apparent lack of readiness!
Mr. WONDERDUCK: We shall re-double our efforts! Tell the boss that the store will be ready as planned!
REGIONAL SUPERVISOR: I hope so -- for your sake. The boss is not as forgiving as I am.
Posted by: Pete at August 07, 2013 03:30 PM (RqRa5)
The "regional supervisor" is my boss, but your point remains.
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 07, 2013 06:35 PM (vgfzZ)
When I worked retail in college (Software, Etc.), our regional manager would "help out"* whenever we were short-handed.
*He would ask us what needed to be done, ignore what we said, help one customer (female, cute) then remember a call he had to make/take and wander into the back room for a few hours.
Posted by: Ben at August 07, 2013 07:48 PM (/Mdmg)
The Evangelion Movies: 1.11 You Are (not) Alone, pt 3
A couple of weeks back, we discovered that the giant robot designed to save the world, Unit-01, didn't actually need Our Hero, Shinji, to be able to defeat the attacking bad things, The Angels. In fact, considering his performance up until that point, he probably just hindered matters. Oh, and we also met Pen-Pen, the rare Hot Springs Penguin who is also God. That last sentence isn't written very well, is it? What I meant to say is that Pen-Pen is a rare Hot Springs Penguin. Pen-Pen is also God. As opposed to being the very uncommon Hot Springs Penguin that is God, which makes it sound more like a reoccurring thing, or that with enough Hot Springs Penguins you could have two that are God. Wouldn't that be a hoot?
Uh... right, no, sorry, not a hoot. Before He gets all pissy, let's move onto the real story... Shinji gets beaten up again!
I do find it somewhat amusing that the writers of Eva seem to hate Our Hero as much as we do. Let's get him beaten up whenever possible, by whomever possible. I'm surprised Pen-Pen didn't take a swing at him. In this case, it's a classmate who's little sister was injured in the fight we saw last time. Presumably when Unit-01 bled on her or something.
Pow, right in the kisser. Shinji goes down like the sack of tomatoes he is, and his two new friends leave him there, bleeding into the dust. That's often how I realized I had made a new friend. I still remember when I first met Vaucaunson's Duck, how he ran me over with his bicycle, taking extra-special care to grind my young face into the brick street outside his house. Nowadays we look back at it and laugh, but even then it was a special moment in my life.
Mauser, it's strange, but the biggest problem with the long-term viability of the P34-type design had nothing to do with the chassis itself. Oh, to be sure, the FIA changed the rules to state that a F1 car can only have four wheels, and that put an end to that, but that took six years to occur, in 1983!
No, what killed the P34 as a racer were the tires. Goodyear had to make each set of 10" front tires by hand specifically for Tyrrell only. Of course, every other car on the grid could use conventional-sized front tires, so that process was much easier. Goodyear didn't develop the tire design at all, which meant that in 1977, the P34's second year of racing, it wasn't nearly as good as it had been the previous season, when it had 10 podiums and one race victory between the two cars (17 race season, but it didn't compete in the first three races).
In fact, in the race it won (Sweden, 1976), the P34 finished 1-2. The following year, there were four podiums total, no wins, and the car was in all 17 races. It also became fragile, though F1 cars notoriously were in that time.
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 03, 2013 07:52 PM (dc/G/)
I imagine a thin layer of fiberglass isn't all that much protection, but riding around without it just took away the illusion of protection.
I recall a few Road and Track type magazine articles about other 6-wheeled cars, with the other two up front. But the car I'm thinking of seemed to have them just to support the load of an enormous engine.
Posted by: Mauser at August 04, 2013 07:21 AM (TJ7ih)
Mauser, would that have been the Covini C6W? Because, strangely enough, all the other F1 cars that had six wheels had four wheels at the rear: the Williams FW08b was the one that caused the FIA to finally create the 4-wheel rule; the March 2-4-0 was a four-wheel-drive car... with all four powered wheels at the back; even Ferrari tried something with the 312 T6, with four wheels on the rear axle...
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 04, 2013 11:18 PM (dc/G/)
Hmmm, no, this was much longer ago, and more sedan-like. Fortunately, the commenters on another article on that site led me to the "Panther 6" which might be it.
Posted by: Mauser at August 06, 2013 01:25 AM (TJ7ih)