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Situation brief #3. Go back and read the first two if you like, by clicking on the second red ring to the left.

--My gosh. Out of the blue, my youngest brother, known usually as 'duo' in this diary, bought a motorcycle. Not a dirtbike. He bought a Rebel 250. It's new with 583 miles. In fact, HERE it is. Go figure. The bike makes me yawn loudly, but for a 14 year old kid, it's about right.

--Another interesting thing happened the other night. I was getting ready for a midnight ride, but I saw a computer sitting by the dumpster. It was an eMachines Celeron 466. RAM and the power supply were both removed (odd), but everything else was intact. So I took out the hard drive and slaved it to my system. Result? I now own a full version of Adobe Photoshop 6.0. There's alot of other crap to sift through too. Second, the thing included a Sony CD-RW drive! Crazy! Works, too! Also got another modem, a second normal CD-ROM drive, a Celeron chip in case mine burns out (heh), and a fan.

--I'm trying my hand at creating MP3s. After using a couple of lame programs like GraceAmp and AltoMP3 Maker, I finally went and asked for help and got it. I'm now using a program called Exact Audio Copy and another called RazorLAME. This combo is universally respected as the highest quality around, particularly when using some of the advanced features. I'm making high-quality MP3s for making 'mixed discs' and for personal use, not for sharing on the net (so low file size isn't as much of a concern). All the ones I've done so far sound amazing. I think most of the Napstered MP3s I have had were rushed using inferior software. You can get 128s to sound excellent if you know what you're doing, although I'm using a variable bit rate between 128 and 256. I was surprised that you can't just send an audio signal through and have the thing turn it into an MP3. I'll have to acquire a good .WAV recorder for that. Anyway, with my new CD Recorder I can store eight hours of nice quality MP3s on one disc. That's about sixteen hours of work and waiting though...

--I was reading about the world's largest insects. There's a beetle which has reached nine inches long (not including legs or antennae). They say it is so strong it can snap ball-point pens in two like Cheetos and that it's very aggressive toward human captors. Even worse, it can FLY. There's a butterfly with a foot wingspan and a moth which has a wingspan of eighteen inches! There's another beetle with only a six inch body but long legs which make it look huge. There's a spider with a legspan of thirteen inches. There are centipedes which reach over a foot in length. I'm looking at the tape measure and remembering how impressive (in an uncomfortable way) the roaches were which attained an inch and three quarters in length. I'm remembering the grasshoppers we had to to dissect in biolab. I think they were about four inches long. Ugh.

--Alrighty, the local news had a story on 'dangerous sportbikers' a few weeks ago. Somebody posted it HERE. Now I just found the most hilarious sportbiker/stunter video yet. It contains just about every bad stereotype attached to people who ride sportbikes. But it's not meant to be satirical. They're either the biggest jackasses I've ever seen or some kind of geniuses. They should have a cliche-'o'-meter in the lower right corner. Worst music I've heard in a very long time. Download this brilliant piece HERE and marvel.

--I registered for class. No sweat, I'm only going for three hours for 'Summer 1'. A few hours on Monday and Wednesday nights for a few weeks. Get to learn about all kinds of financial institutions and how they work and all sorts of things about bonds, CDs, stocks, etc. Finally I'm through with science and math and french and philosophy and engrish and speech and all that.

--I thought about buying a detailing job for the Vette for my father. It's like a full day deluxe inside and out carwash. But I think what I'm going to do instead is give him a bunch of trash bags and pledge to help him clean out THE ROOM. Oh yes, there's a room at the clinic which no one has entered for years besides him. It's filled TO THE CEILING with pounds and pounds of sample medications. Pictures will be taken.

--There are three Unreal games coming out for PC in 2002: Unreal Tournament 2003 (notice the misleading title), Unreal 2, and Unreal Championship (the X-Box game being ported to a real gaming platform). Then in 2003 there are two more Unreal games: Unreal Warfare and Dark Sector, the MMORPG set in the Unreal/UT universe.

--This here's a little piece I like to call 'Doing Without in 2002'. It goes like this: No CDs. No new PC. No DSL. No PC games/UT. No consoles/games. No motorcycle. No car. No new clothes/shoes. No magazine renewals. No new bicycle. No entertainment (concert, pizza, movie, sports, dinner, amusement park, etc.). No RPG books. No comic subscriptions. No furniture or 'nice' things. No cable or TV or DVD or rentals. No 3-D programs. No books. No vacation/travel/visiting. No gym/fitness center. No dental visit. No new apartment. Oh yah, no Vanilla Coke either.

This concludes situation brief #3.