Roll up the "'please play again'

Friday, March 23. 2007
Tim Hortons and its roll up the rim campaign is a crock of shit. Let me explain...

So as many of you may know, I am a loyal Timmy's customer. Every day of the week, I religiously line up for my morning coffee. Of course, you'd think somebody like me would be winning some of these roll up the rim cups...you know, based on sheer volume alone. But this is the problem, I don't win. In previous years, I was an exclusive XL drinker, and didn't have that much luck winning. I heard during last years campaign that the XL was less likely to win, but the prizes were better. So I switched to L and relished in the fruits of my finger rollings.

This year is quite different.

I have spread my efforts over all coffee sizes, from big to small, but to no avail! It is now March 23 and I have had a Tim Horton's coffee M/L/XL every SINGLE day this month (sometimes two) and have not won a single thing. Are people actually winning anything? Or are those daily winning counts above the donut display all a ruse?

I better win something in the next 7 days or feisty comes out. I may do something drastic...like go to Starbucks or something. Oh who am I kidding, I'm addicted =D

Wednesday, March 14. 2007
So I’ve decided to take on the repair and resurfacing job for my coilovers. The front pair I have are TEIN HA which have long been discontinued in Japan and eventually became the TEIN FLEX. Well, that’s OK I think to myself, getting parts for these should be no problem. The only parts are really need are some dust boots. Basically, the dust boot on a shock absorber is the rubber cover that goes over the piston. That’s it…nothing fancy, no special materials required.

I hunt down on TEIN’s website the cost for these dust boots is only $5. Heck yeah, I think to myself, that’s a great deal! Unfortunately after contacting TEIN directly, they say I must buy the boots from an official reseller. Sure, that’s also no problem. In town there is Zensport and AutoFX. I email them both last week sometime, and hear no response for a few days. AutoFX did respond and said that since the HA was discontinued, they would look into a suitable replacement part. I responded with the part # for the boots that TEIN suggested and mentioned that they were $5 cost. Of course I expect there to be shipping and handling fees, but nothing would have prepared me for this response from AutoFX:

“We can order the boots on thier own for you but wth all the shipping and handling fees you would be looking at about $100-$125CAD+tax. “

gasp

Are they joking? That is ridiculous. I could understand $15 for shipping, and maybe another $15 for handling? But honestly, 100+ for them to make a call and order a part for me is outrageous. They probably don’t get it that if they get me INTO their store, I will most likely walk out with more than just those stupid dust boots.

Well screw’em, I’ll find some generic ones at Lordco for 10 bucks.

The number between 299 and 301

Monday, March 12. 2007
Oh I'm so witty ..ZANG!

First things first, I was really excited to see 300. I'm not sure exactly why, other than it being super totally awesome looking. Yup, that's description at its best.

So the story goes like this: Three hundred Spartans go fight Xerxes' army of millions. That's it :-) There were of course a few more plot lines woven in, but the theme of this flick was that of violence and rocking faces.

The movie starts off with a back-story of how the current king earned his namesake, and why he rocks so much. Apparently Spartans train their boys like the Unsullied (yea George RR Marin ref) except that they are not eunuchs. Fast forward to king training his son, Xerxes' messenger comes to tell Sparta to bend a knee...proud king says screw dis ... well he actually spat out "DIS IS SPARTA!" like in the preview. From that point on, it's fighting.

The only problem I had with the movie was that some of the creatures were quite over the top and exaggerated. But then again, it IS based off of a graphic novel.

Final line is I give this a nerd rating of 7.5/10. Generally, I only see movies in theaters if IMDB has rated it over 7, so there you have it. Go see 300, but don't expect to be blown away like you were with Gladiator.

ICBC Cracking Down on Aggressive Drivers

Thursday, March 8. 2007
Well for starters, read the article. Now, it's time to comment.

I originally found this article on revscene, which is full of overly aggressive drivers...so naturally a majority of the JDM tite yo civic drivers with cat back exhausts weren't too pleased at this announcement. Most of the arguments on that board were all against the terrible elderly drivers that Victoria is plagued with. Sure, that's true, but drivers going 45km/h tend to do significantly less damage than people flying down McKenzie at 80 in the rain. Do the math idiots...argh!

I for one am glad that the BC government and ICBC are getting together to enforce driving safety and penalizing those people who think that excessive speeding is the cool thing to do. The main reason that these new regulations are great for people like me, is that I'm in such a poor driving demographic. I'm 23 years old and drive a sports car with lots of power. Does this mean I should pay a higher premium than everybody else? No! But I do, and it sucks. Guilty until proven innocent for 8 years of safe driving.

What this new system would allow is to reward those with good driving history. I still have yet to get any speeding tickets and am responsible for only 1 fender bender in first year Uni . I let my foot off the brake in my old automatic car and hit some dude's truck. I wasn't interested in losing my discount so I just paid the $600 repair bill out of pocket. So six years later, I still am not at full discount and it costs me $1300/yr to insure my supra.

And the only reason why I'm paying so much, is because of young males ages 16-25 who think that they are better drivers than everybody else and speed excessively. Then of course, they get into numerous accidents, can't afford to pay the repairs out of their own pocket and let ICBC cover their costs at the expensive that their premiums go up. Get enough people to do this, and everybody's premiums go up! There certainly isn't a shortage of aggressive drivers out there.

Now if this new scheme would take into account how many "infractions" you have on your driving record in order to calculate your yearly rate, I say AMEN! Bring on the savings.

Pan's Labyrinth

Tuesday, February 27. 2007
Talk about a cool, weird, tense and amazing movie.

Ok, let me explain a bit more, now that I've thrown out a few adjectives!

First off, this was a cool movie. It wasn't your typical fantasy flic, where there are stereotypical bad guys and monsters. This movie had great, and I mean great ideas for what you thought were set in stone characters. For example, we've got fairies. You know, the lil chicks with wings? Nope, fairies in this movie started off to be sweet ass looking preying mantis'. They looked SO creepy. Also, a faun - not half deer and man - looked like some weird stone tree thing with hooves and horns. Really cool!

Now let's move onto weird, There were some ODD things which were not over the top gross or startling but more just weird. The dude with eyes in his hands? Oh yeah, that's weird. Or the said fairies and fauns...yup, weird!

Tense only half describes the feeling of - oh what's next edge of seat - feeling. You know, when you're anticipating something so badly throughout the entire movie that you find yourself on the edge of your seat? Yes, this movie is one of those. You never feel the need to check your watch even though this is a two hour flic.

Lastly, talk about an amazing movie. The entire story idea, narration, sets, costume design and acting are top notch. This is the best foreign flic I have EVER seen. By the end you don't even realize you're reading sub titles.

Now that I've praised the movie so much, here is a brief synopsis:

The movie starts off with a young girl and her pregnant mother moving to the country side. You find out quickly that during this post WWII Spain, there is a civil war going on between the army and civilians. I'm not too sure how accurate this is to history, but wikipedia talks of a civil war during this time so that's good enough for me. The pregnant woman recently married a Captain who's fighting against country side insurgents...and is quite the brutal man. There is plenty of gore at the hands of this guy throughout the film, so whenever you see him you tend to go tense =D

On the way to the country home, the young girl comes across a fairy who then follows her to their destination. The story picks up from here where the fairies introduce the girl to the faun who then asks her to complete 3 tests to prove herself. All the while she is doing her quests, there is fighting between the Captain's men and the country side gorillas, which make for a very real and well tied story.

If you haven't already seen Pan's Labyrinth, I'd suggest to watch it in theaters. It's that good.

OK you're awesome, I don't care.

Tuesday, February 13. 2007
Maybe I'm just a bit more grumpy or tired than usual, but what is the deal with people always having to gloat about how freakin' awesome they are? I'm sick of it. I don't care how much you 'own', or how well you did on this or that, or that your virtual wang is larger than everybody else’s. I really just don't care. It's not like I don't sometimes have to brag about being super-awesome or whatever, but when an entire conversation consists about you you you and being the best...

Get over it, you're mediocre just like the rest of us.

7.5 hours on a bus!

Monday, February 5. 2007
There was a brief ski attempt this past Saturday. And by brief I mean 2 runs brief.

Lianne and I went up with her company to Mt Washington for the day, but upon arrival the weather was garbage. The mountain was all ice, the precipitation included RAIN, fog decided to grace us with its presence and the two main chair lifts closed. Blehck!

So, beer beer beer =) Stating it off at 11am (ohhh yeah), Lianne and I went up to the cafeteria and took a 2hr nap until the bus was supposed to leave. At least we got a refund...

Family Time

Monday, February 5. 2007
Incase you don't know, it's crazy busy family time now :-) My bro Pete flew in from Germany to visit and celebrate both my mom and dad's bday. Poppa Mueller turned the big 70, and is STILL rockin' it. There was food. A few beers and saki mixed in. Some family trivial pursuit and a general good time!

The Fine Art of Parking

Wednesday, January 17. 2007
Pop quiz. What does $320 buy you from UVic? The privilege of driving around Lot 1 for 25 minutes looking for a damn parking spot!

Today I rolled onto campus at a cool 11am, thinking I'd just snipe to the back row and get me a parking spot. Little did I realize that the back row was completely full. Not only that, but there were about 10 other hopeless frustrated souls looking to snipe a spot. My usual trick of waiting near the parking lot entrance and following a person to their car didn't work at all - there was nobody heading back to their cars. I then realized the err in my ways. Today was Tuesday, a day which UVic mainly offers hour long classes starting at 8:30. There would be no student following until about 11:30 when the stragglers made it outside of the ring. So instead of driving around for any longer, I pulled into a reserved spot, turned off my car and read a futureshop flyer and drank my timmy's coffee. The first wave of drivers proved fruitful, and I found a spot in about a minute.

Good thing they didn't oversell those parking passes, reduce the reserved parking lots, and chopped a good chunk of lot 1 into residence passes only. Because you know, the reason people live on res is because they have a car.

A new year =)

Thursday, January 11. 2007
Well, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Appearently I've been a bit busy with life 'n such...which directly translates into busy with WoW and shopping! Christmas this year was awesome, the whole family (except Pete :-( ) were all over for Christmas eats and fun. Hat's off to Heidi and me mother for the amazing food; I think I gained 5lbs on chocolate alone! Post Christmas, I tagged along with Lianne's family down to Portland for TAX FREE SHOPPING AND EATS! Yeah, it was amazing. We both spent our limits (and some!) within the first day. I'm such a sucker for shoes (how metro of me I know).

Last but not least, rocking out a LANage lan. We spent 4 days (that's right four!) at Brian's place playing ET, Quake3, Warcraft3 and most importantly, Armegatron - which is simply the best written quick 'n dirty LAN game ever. If you've never seen the movie Tron (shame on you!), watch this 80's classic first, then download it. Simple buttons and fun to play.

And finally here I am back in the lab working on Brimpy. I thought I was done, but appearently not. My mission is to get the sonars working reliable in an RTOS...for anybody who cares I'll keep you updated :-P

Btw, WoW auction house is sooo addicting.

An electronic boat anchor

Wednesday, December 20. 2006
So my hopes of capitalistic grandeur from selling a PS3 have withered into the pipe dream it really was. Basically, I made 30 freakin' dollars once all the shipping/eBay/PayPal fees were subtracted. Woopdi freakin do. I guess people are coming around and realizing that the Wii is way better than anything Sony has to offer. The PS3 has basically turned into an expensive boat anchor. Here, let me make a list of recent reasons why I now hate Sony (more):

CD Rootkits
PSP viral ad. scandal
PS3
Bluray
Sony Ericsson phones
Betamax


Ok, I'm done here.

An update on addictions

Sunday, December 10. 2006
I think it may be time to sleep. The last few nights have been spent rockin' out p4x (level 42) riddles and WoW (level 9). Between those two narcotics and Nintendo gaming (go Donkey Konga!), I have very little time to get anything else done. Eeek! I need to get my butt to school and finish this dang blimp project.

3am bedtimes are killing me.

The ultimate in time wasting

Friday, December 8. 2006
So last night, just before I was about to go to bed, Lianne sends me this link. A harmless little link. Rather short in length, a foreign extension. Sure, I'll click this link.

What was so exciting about this link that would make me want to talk about it here you may ask? IT'S THE MOST ADDICTING GAME ON THE PLANET.

Go ahead, CLICK!

This series of riddles is fantastic, and is easily more addicting than WoW. I've wasted nearly 7hrs of my life, and see no end to it. Level 27 as of this writing....argh!

PS3 FTW!

Sunday, December 3. 2006
Yup, I am holding one right now! (Well, it's on the floor...if I was holding it that'd be pretty creepy!)

So, time to wait a little bit longer for Christmas to near, then eBay time. Come on PS3, get me through college :-)

Adventures with SATA

Monday, November 27. 2006
Should Windows be renamed to Windoesn't? Let us begin.

Last weekend I went over to Vancouver to meet up with fellow supra nuts, shoot the shit, and buy some computer parts. I thought it would be a good idea to finally get a new hard drive. I mean, I've got a pretty nice 10k RPM scsi drive, but it's loud. Lately, I'm all about quiet so that sleepy time is not interrupted by my computer. I was ready for the quiet setup, but was missing the HD, 92mm fan, and video card fan. If you've never heard a SCSI drive before picture this - two walnuts being ground together. It's loud! Secondly, I needed an intake fan to blow cool air over the drive to keep it cool. The fan I had was an older Coolermaster fan which is well, awful. And last but certainly the MOST annoying loud is the fan on the video card. This thing was on its way out so I figured hey, let's buy a replacement.

So I get back from Vancouver with a new 320GB Seagate SATA drive, a 92mm Antec fan, and a new 18x DVD burner. I'm stoked - I love goodies :-)

Being an experienced computer nerd, and having dealt with SATA many many times before I knew full well that Windows is the suck. You'd think that by SP2, the ISO's would at least contain SATA drivers for some of the more common chipsets. Negative. So I booted up the Win98 box, downloaded the drivers from the ASUS website and threw it on a diskette. Ripped out that diskette drive, put it in my machine and booted up the XP setup. I get as far as "Loading driver SIL3802" or whatever when the install complains about missing a .sys file. Well I says, wtf is up with that? I take the disk drive out of the system, back into Win98 box and download a different version. Inside this zip, there are no .sys files...wtf? I go to the Silicon Image website and grab their newest version...ok .sys on their tarball. Throw it on the diskette, repeat the process and load the driver. I get to the point during the install where you select your target drives...NOTHING THERE! Oh, I'ma feisty now.

Finally I discovered that my Win98 box is fracked. It wasn't untaring all the files correctly and neglected to even mention anything of the sort. After booting a Gentoo install disk, I use links to download from the asus website, untar, mount the diskette and copy the files. Back into the XP setup and all is well.

Sorta...

Ok, so I now have a fresh install of XP on my SATA drive, but I'd like to get all my data off of my SCSI drive. Apparently neither Windoesn't nor Grub has ANY idea wtf to do about this situation. As soon as both drives are plugged in, I cannot boot from either drive. I tried running the XP recovery console, fixing the MBR...no dice. Every possible combination of BIOS settings...nope. Evnentually I just plugged the damn thing into my Linux server and copied over the network.

What a pain in the ass. And on top of it all, my new DVD burner doesn't even fit inside my Antec P150 case. The pretty little CD-ROM covers are just a bit too small for the CD try to go through...grawrrr!