Hi there. It's Saturday morn'. Settle in. I think this is a long .plan update (hehe).
--I think my current life would be unbearably austere to a whole lot of not only 'normal' people, but 'poor student' types as well. No transportation, no cash, no television, no air-conditioning, slow dial-up, the minimum of food, and little to no 'nice' things or 'new' things or 'fun' things. For entertainment I: read the slow net, listen to the radio (no music, only ESPN 103.3 and Newsradio 1080), ride my bike (bicycle), listen to MP3s, shoot baskets, and read books. I suppose sleeping and eating could be considered entertainment at this point. Sometimes I do 'fun' things outside with friends. And yet I have so damn much compared to most of the world's people. Creature comforts. Lights. No fear of daily car bombings. And the opportunity to change my circumstances.
--I see these fellow bicyclists around cement city and UNT and they're going about 3 mph. I mean they're just poking along. I saw one guy try to take off from a stop the other day. He went through the intersection, then I had to stop, then I started up and blew by him and he was still just pedaling in slow motion. I can get home from my class on Fry street in just a minute or two (probably the fastest way home possible when compared to driving) because of the constant downslope in that direction. But I often pass someone going the same way who looks like he (or she) is struggling on an uphill. Part of the problem might be that people don't know how to shift. It's dang near impossible to start out in seventh or eighth gear. And it's hard to really go anywhere in first or second gear. It just seems a little sad to go walking speed (well, MY walking speed anyway--that's another story) on a bicycle.
On a related note, I left the bike at home the other day because I thought it might rain (and I was going to be gone for six hours), and realized quickly how much I disliked having to walk and enjoyed being able to hop on the bike after class and cruise home in no time. Ideally, it would be downhill both ways, but it's not too bad.
--The draft went down. Ming went #1. Denver got 'Skittish-Feely' and 'NayNay Hilario' (I'm just writing phonetically based on what I've heard more often), the two top Euro guys, so they're going to be scary. Mavs? We got a #55 pick! Named 'Sheckle-Larick'. He won't even be playing here for at least two seasons. Meanwhile, the rumor is we're getting Kurt Thomas for Van Exel. My thought on that? NOOOOOOO!! Kurt Thomas is CRAP. He's yet another budget soft player. Dang, I love Mark Cuban, and I heard his interview with Dan Patrick the other day, and he's a very smart guy, but we need someone like Michael Olowakandi who's an unrestricted free agent. Do whatever it takes to get him!
--There is definitely going to be a baseball strike. Maybe for more than just the rest of this season. What if baseball went away for three years? Would anyone care if/when it finally came back?
--World Cup soccer is so stupid. For lack of a better term, many of the rules are ghey. The best player in all of Europe got two yellow cards in the last match, so now he doesn't get to play in the championship game. You should see the FLOPS these little girls take. They get barely touched by an opposing player and fall to the ground as if shot in the kneecaps, writhing in agony as if bones are sticking out of their legs, and then when the referees either ignore them or assess a yellow card to the opposing player, they jump up and start running, strong as ever. The announcers accept this as normal. They even critique the amount of time a player spends acting hurt before leaping up to rejoin the 'action' (I use that term loosely) and the quality of the acting performance. Get up, stop acting like a sissy boy, it's supposed to be a professional sport played by men. There's another rule about offsides where the defense waits a certain amount of time and then all at once they run forward and start screaming and pointing and jumping up and down. The strategy is based on 'tattling' as far as I can tell. And the crowds? Over here, our crowds react boisterously when there's a great slam dunk or a touchdown or a home run or a hockey goal. Over there, a player makes a meaningless kick somewhere in the middle of the field and they're going NUTS. If the interest in soccer in the US increases as a result of the World Cup this year and that in turn causes an increase in 'Soccer Moms' in SUVs, it'll be too bad, because soccer SUCKS (and I played soccer for three years in little league).
--My apartment is clean. Well, it's almost there. It's neat, anyway. Sparsely decorated and furnished. Still have some wiping and buffing and polishing to do. I think I'm going to move the computer back to its prior place which is more work-friendly than beside the couch where it is now. I think I'm quite ready to imagine more inspired surroundings than these. My parents are coming tonight. Feels strange, but they're 'in town' (actually staying at the Radisson!). So I wanted the apartment to be clean. I mentioned that my brother got a Rebel 250 a few weeks ago? I think my father is going to buy a bike as well. It's still a toss between the ZRX1200R and the lighter, smaller, slower, but more nimble (and maybe more fun) SV650 (too bad he's not going for the Busa--can you believe that thing?). He's finally deciding to do it I think. So my brother and father will be riding together and I won't. Of course, the ZRX will exceed the Rebel's top speed in first gear. But I doubt my brother will be on the Rebel for long before he's looking for something bigger. He's only fourteen. I do feel left out. My own damn fault. I put myself here. I've failed. And I bought a bike and it turned out to be a lemon. Still, I've been dreaming about riding for two and a half years now, and thinking about it *hardcore* for a week since experiencing the Bandit at full tilt, and now this with my brother and father, and so it does sting a tiny bit. How did I get in this position of being a massive underachiever?
You could have it all
And you want it bad
Never had the range
And you want it bad
I'm at an awful age
If I sell my heart
--So did you hear about the Pledge of Allegiance? Listen, I'm pretty much an atheist. No, not an agnostic. I'm an ATHEIST. Why? Because I have no FAITH. I simply don't believe. Faith is one of those things where if you don't have it you don't get it. But anyway, I try to be respectful of those who do believe, who do have faith. I've never felt the need to push my atheism on anyone else, and I've never been so thin-skinned that I've been offended by another religion (well, maybe when the Muslim extremists say that it is their destiny to destroy all other religions and cover the earth with Islam, but that's another story). Well, a father in... wait for it, wait for it.........SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.......... (really, where else??), a self-righteous atheist, brought a lawsuit against the state, saying that the Pledge of Allegiance shouldn't be spoken by his daughter in school because it contains the words 'Under God' and he's offended. I heard his interview, and he sounds like some robot reciting some lines, or maybe some child who's just learned how to play his 'I'm offended' card and feels the need to flash it at everyone. And then, the judge, in San Francisco, agreed and ordered that the whole Pledge of Allegiance cannot be taught and spoken in government schools in his jurisdiction. What the fuck? I pledged allegiance to our flag as a child and adolescent, and said 'Under God', and I'm an atheist, and I MEANT what I said when I made that pledge. What is it with all the hyper-sensitive people? We have got it so good here that we have to manufacture our own problems! People like this give tolerant atheists such as myself a bad reputation. Well, let me tell you, I intend to celebrate on Independence Day the love I have for my country (at least the country it's supposed to be, the one which was created by great and visionary men a couple hundred years ago). I think that's still legal.
--I got my Computer Gaming World, E3 edition. I'm thinking one sink in the bathroom on Doom III has more polygons than an entire Quake3 map. I mean good grief, the detail is mind-boggling. How'd dey do dat? And it manages to not only look nearly photorealistic, but it also looks like ART. It still looks like a GAME, instead of some pretensious 'realistic' rendered 3-D Studio Max scene. Very well done. UT2k3, of course, looks like a massive leap over UT. They only had a couple pages on it, but next month they'll have a big story on it. Comes out in four weeks. Cartoonist Scott McCloud has a new cartoon series in CGW called 'Discovering Games'. They said the City of Heroes demo went over very well at the show. Too many extremely cool games to mention. I'm jealous.
--Next month, not one but two major Quake tournaments will be held in Dallas--Quakecon 2002 and the CPL (Cyberathlete Professional League). I wonder if Kornelia is going to be at either one of those. She's so cool. At stake? Over a million dollars.
--In two weeks the big race comes to Laguna Seca. The World Superbike leader Troy Bayliss, who looks unbeatable, comes here to face the AMA Superbike leader Nicky Hayden, who looks unbeatable. Irresistible force and immovable object and all that. We'll see who comes out on top. I'd give my left nut to be there, and I'm not EVEN joking (course, it would have to be a painless surgical procedure).
--The other day I was hanging around school trying to study (heh), and decided to hang out in one of the labs for a little while. I ended up reading a couple diaries (yes, diaryland diaries) of people I think I've met (i.e., in person, as they live in Denton, where I live). I read back into February or March of this year. Interesting pespectives.
--I have a problem viewing Renderosity pics. See, I feel compelled to view and comment on those pictures that haven't gotten any responses or (if they're new) that I think showed a lot of effort and probably won't get many responses. I mean, you see these images, and somebody worked HARD on them, and poured their heart into the idea and execution and getting it all just right, and then they post it for the world and nobody says a damn thing. I feel a little bit of I guess pseudo-pity, and I'm drawn to tell them they did a nice job (and I almost always mean it). This does not apply, however, to the majority of Poser pics. Because eighty percent of Poser pics just suck and they require ZERO talent. I mean, all you have to do is render some default Poser female body with default hair and default features with a default pose, flash some thigh in the thumbnail, and call it 'Erotic Longings' and you'll receive four hundred viewings no problem. Sitting right next to it are brilliant pieces of art that should be in a museum or at least opening night at a university gallery, and they're largely ignored.
--Hey did I mention my nextdoor neighbor is a dick? He reminds me of some third grader trying to assert himself as the Alpha Male. Why do pea-brains feel they must SHOUT their phone conversations into the courtyard? I haven't gotten a lit cigarette thrown at me in years, but since the fuckbag neighbor moved in, I now have that pleasure. Yah, I love college students.
--And another thing. What is up with drunk people breaking bottles on the streets and sidewalks? Is that some kind of tradition? Part of the Zen of being an asshole? And I go shoot baskets in the mornings sometimes for exercise, and there are three garbage cans surrounding the court--but what do I find every single morning? All kinds of garbage that people were too fucking lazy to put into one of the cans. So I do it myself. Fucking slobs. I didn't agree with every dire prediction of my Environmental Science lab instructor, or every recommendation (live without electricity, don't use paper, etc.), but I'll be damned if I'm going to litter. The ground is not your trash can, shithead.