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Monday, August 06, 2007
August Blog

Ring of Fire

So I was playing some Super Monkey Ball Deluxe a few weeks back when my XBox 360 stopped spinning the disc and the screen went black. Instead of the normal green light in the upper left quadrant, there were 3 red lights on my console. Uh-oh, that looks bad. So I turned it off and turned it on. Still three red lights. I unplugged it from the wall and then tried it again. The ring of fire remained. Boo! Since I was out of ideas (sort of kicking it), I knew I had to call in the professionals.

I asked Greg (my electronic and technical advisor/god) what to do and luckily enough he knew what to do since this sounds like a common problem. So I called Microsoft, was on hold for 45 minutes with a computer automated system named Max (who I told to 'fuck off' and who told me "I don't have that in my database"), and finally got through to a semi-tard named Paul. He sent me a pre-paid UPS box that I sent my console to Texas in. Supposedly, within 4 weeks, I should have a new console delivered to me. Supposedly. Hopefully. Rightfully.

I really thought I was fucked when it happened. $360+ down the drain. But I guess the warranty is still good and Microsoft is honoring it. Whew.

Greg sent me this video to cheer me up about the situation:

Although all the stuff they say in the video is true, who wants a PS3? Not me. I'll stick by Microsoft. I'll buy the 360 again if I have to. No way I'd slap down $500+ bucks for the console that has very few games for it.

Beach Wrap-Up

My family, Katie, and I went to the South Carlsbad State Beach Campground for our yearly trip. The waves were good the first day, but petered out by the end of the week. The last day was utterly pitiful (shape and size both).

The water was surprisingly warm this year, which is both good and bad. The obvious good is that the water is warm. That makes it easier for me to go pee. But the warm water attracts jellyfish. And there were quite a few jellies by the end of the week. Nearly everyone got in them at sometime during the week. Luckily, they don't hurt too bad and the pain/itching goes away pretty fast. It kind of feels like a bee sting spread out over a larger area. There is very little swelling or redness, but it does sting and is sensitive to the touch.

It was sunny and hot every day, so I did get burnt a few times. But maybe it won't peel. Maybe it will turn into tan. One can hope, anyways.

I only really have one gripe about the campground this year. I didn't have too much trouble getting a shower (cept for one day) and we had an oceanfront site, so the ocean was louder and the temperature was better. But the toilet paper situation just about gave me a shit fit (literally). The state park system bought into the cheap toilet paper. This stuff is so thin that you can see thru it. No kidding. When you try to pull on it, you have to use both hands or else you get thumbprint-sized pieces. And even then, you still get the occasional thumbprint paper. Note all of the confetti pieces on the floor in the picture. Ridiculous.

I mean, I really can't wipe my ass with confetti. I really can't. Sorry. And if there was another roll of toilet paper on top of the one you were working on (in the vertical dispenser), it put weight on it and made it impossible to get more than one sheet at a time.

And even if you were able to get a decent amount out to make a wipe, it felt like you were rubbing sandpaper on your ass. I seriously think newspaper would have felt better, papercuts, ink, and all. This stuff made Scott's look like the lap of luxury. I will be taking my own toilet paper next year (if I have a chance to go and I'm not doing rotations at the time).

Well, I guess I have two gripes. Haha, I lied. The folks in the campsite next to us were loud as hell on one particular night. One of the assholes was a REV student, past or present (they had a bumper sticker for REVHS- Wildcat Pride!). I figured that made sense. Most people at REV were assholes when I was there too.

Break From The Beach

Katie and I went and toured the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego to take a break from the ocean. That was a pretty neat tour. It's an aircraft carrier and it's amazing to see how massive the ship really is. Albeit massive on the outside, the insides are still cramped. I would have hated to have been a low-level grunt on that sucker. You sleep on triple bunk beds with your single drawer immediately below your bed. You shower in a tiny bathroom and there's one toilet for a lot of guys. I could have been the admiral or a high ranking officer though. They had nice rooms with private kitchens and bathrooms. Then you got to look around a bunch of planes and helicopters. Neat stuff.

After that, we headed to something called "Little Italy." I had researched this area because it sounded cool. Also, I'm Italian and I was interested in seeing some wops/dagos/fobs like me. I wanted to see the Italian architecture, art, and try some of the food. We got there and it was a shitty mess to try to even park close to the section of town known as Little Italy. We finally found a spot and walked to the center of the town. There was not one iota of Italian art or architecture, contrary to the various websites I visited. You might say I was in the wrong place, but no. I was exactly where the Internet sites said to go. We walked along all of Little Italy and tried to find anything interesting. There were a few Italian restaurants, but we weren't really so much hungry as we were hot from all the walking and humidity. There was nothing remotely Italian about the entire area. I was pissed, to say the least. So we grabbed a drink and left Little Italy in the dust.

Next on the schedule was the Whaley House, a supposedly haunted old home/general store/courthouse in Old Town San Diego. Now, I didn't see a ghost or anything supernatural, but it was a neat old building and they had really interesting stories about it and all the deaths that had occurred there. Weird stuff.

After that, we walked around Old Town San Diego. I had never been there either, so it was something new for me. I thought it was a helluva lot better than Little Italy, so I had a decent time there. Anyhow, we went back to the campground after that. Although we almost didn't make it there, since we sat at a stoplight for 15 minutes without moving or having our light turn green. There were metros crossing and never allowed our lane to move.

I loaded a lot of my photos from the trip onto the site below. You should definitely check it out. If you don't, I'll be sad. And my kitty will be sad too. And you don't want a sad kitty on your conscience.

We eat out at restaurants twice a day during the beach vacation. Unfortunately, I gained 3 lbs during the trip. You would think that with all the exercise you get at the beach that you wouldn't gain weight, but those big meals sure do pack on the pounds. Well, I guess I will be hitting the gym quite a bit before heading up to Idaho.

Harry Potter Mania

Who else thinks the amount of attention that these books receive is excessive and insane? I mean, I think it's great that kids and adults alike are taking time to sit down and read. Most folks just turn on the TV and numb their brain. So I guess Harry Potter is good in that sense.

I just can't believe how much hype surrounded the release of the latest novel. I mean, there were even articles in the paper about how to help your children cope with loss. Not the kind of loss like a dog dying or a relative passing away, but the kind of loss like that of a character in a book. This shit was geared for Harry Potter!

There were people posting the novel page by page on the Internet days before the release. Really? Why would anyone care that much?!?!?

The media interviewed the actor who plays Harry in the movies about the release of the newest novel. Now, honestly, why the fuck do I care what some illiterate, hyperactive actor thinks about a book that he won't be acting out for years?

Maybe it's just the American nature to overindulge in things, whether it be food, cars, or Harry Potter. I don't know. All I know is that I am glad the series is over and that there shouldn't be anymore Harry Potter mania, at least until the next movie comes out.

I do enjoy reading, so I may work my way to these eventually. But don't count on me getting to them anytime soon. I have a lot of Stephen King's to catch up on, as well as a few from Michael Crichton and a bunch by John Saul. Oh, and I need to read those ones by Dan Brown that everyone was all up in arms about.

'The Simpsons' Movie

Well, I think everyone out there knows that I am a little bit of a Simpsons' fan. Let's just say that I have watched them from their infancy on the Tracy Ullman Show through their 18th season (now). So naturally, I had to go see the movie.

I think the seasons 4 thru about 12 were probably some of the best TV ever made. Then the Simpsons got kinda crappy for awhile. They dumbed down Homer, ditched intelligent humor for physical comedy and celebrity cameos, and got too mainstream.

Let's just say this movie puts them more on track with the good old days. I really enjoyed the movie and it reminded me more of the good years and less of the shitty years.

Spider-pig is awesome, by the way.

Back-To-School Blues

I start school in 3 weeks today (August 27th). I am a little eager to get back to school, but I am dreading the studying and school work already. I like the learning part, I just hate the effort part. Haha. They go hand-in-hand, so I guess I will just have to suffer while I learn.

I will be leaving California for Pocatello on the 18th. The next day, we'll head west to Boise. I will be living in a house with a guy in my class (Josh). He's another new roomie for me. I seem to go through them year by year. Haha. He's the head of the pharmacy fraternity, so this may be an interesting year.

The house is about 10 minutes from campus, so I won't be able to walk to class anymore. But that's OK. Maybe I will throw in a few more days off for myself, eh? Not that that's a good thing for my schooling, but it should help my sleeping habits and my golf game tremendously.

Current mood: ready for bed
Current music:

(The Early November album pictured above has three discs, the final one of which can almost make you want to cry...)
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