March, 2006

Spyware is uncool

Feeling: Okay


Okay, so I lied about getting a cool update out any time soon. I've added another Roland MT-32 soundtrack to the Videogame Music Preservation Foundation. I recorded the SIM City 2000 soundtrack. I've had the ripped soundtrack online for quite some time, but I finally got the MT-32 one now.

My work computer has been infected by an amazing piece of spyware. Usually, I can just do a quick run through and wipe it out, but this one is a doozy! It runs itself several times in memory, and if you try to kill one, it respawns another. It constantly updates itself in the registry to autoload, so you can't remove it that way, and the program uses a dll that prevents you from deleting the exes, and the exe uses the dll, so you can't remove those either. Best of all, it even runs in safe mode! I even tried booting with a separate NTFS program and deleting all the files (which worked), but when I booted again in XP, they all came back. Impressive, annoying, but impressive.

Copy and paste errors

Feeling: Overwhelmed


Tooth is still sore to the point where I can't chew gum very much. I swear, as soon as I'm through all of this crap I'm going to buy a couple pounds of gum, the real hard stuff, and just chew until my jaw falls off.

My place of employment is currently undergoing a massive work shift. We are partnering with a very large company to sell our product. This will effectively double my workload for the next few months, and majorly cut into my free time. Don't expect any groovy cool updates every day. I'll be happy if I have the time to get a major update once a week.

And for the record, turnips taste better raw than cooked.

Come on baby make it hurt so good

Feeling: Injured


Okay, the root canal... All I can say is, OUCH! Sure, I've heard people all over say how much fun they are, and that they think that everyone should experience the joy of a root canal, but I'm telling you, it sucks! Having someone drill inch-long metal screws into the gaping hole that used to be your tooth's nerve root is not all it's cracked up to be. So anyway, after about three solid hours of having to keep my mouth open and occasionally jerking in pain, I got to pay $230 out-of-pocket. That's nothing compared to the $500 crown that I'll be getting next month. Whee!

Of course, you didn't come to my site to hear me complain, did you? ... Well did you?... No, I didn't think so. To prevent my site from being solely a blog, I add content from time to time, and this time I've added something really cool. My first ever videogame soundtrack using my Roland MT-32 synthesizer has been added to the Videogame Music Preservation Foundation. The soundtrack comes from the lovely game Ultima Underworld.

So it seems the Beatles are suing Apple Computer for the third time. The Beatles's record label is Apple Corps (clever) which was founded before Apple Computer. When Apple Computer came into being, Apple Corps sued, but they made a settlement that Apple Computer could keep their name provided that they stayed out of the music industry. Well, a few years ago, Apple Corps sued Apple for breach of contract over their custom music hardware and won. Now that Apple Computer has gotten huge with their iPod, Apple Corps is suing again. Personally, I don't care. I don't care much for Apple Computer, and I'm only a minor Beatles fan. Let them duke it out to the death in a steel cage grudge match!

In this case, pain will -not- be close to pleasure

Feeling: Anxious


Last night I spent a few hours logging some more videogame music. The only difference is that this time I'm sending it through my Roland MT-32. Soon I'll have a series of much more impressive PC soundtracks. I'm working on an Ultima Underworld soundtrack, which already exists on the Internet, but not in OGG format. Plus, it's a pretty darn cool soundtrack.

I watched the first Ewok Adventure movie last night. I remember back when I was six or seven, I though the movie was the best thing in the world... I guess it's true about what they say, you can never go back. The movie was almost painful to watch. The acting is terrible, the effects are terrible, it was just... terrible. Even still, I have to admit, there is adventure that couldn't be forgotten regardless of how many times I cringed. I know that the movie will still be great for children, but I have to say I'm sorry to my parents for watching it so many times over and over again.

I'm leaving early from work to get my root canal today, and I couldn't be more pleased. And by that, I mean I'm dreading it.

Breathing in lighting, tonight's for fighting

Feeling: Happy


I have plenty of weird dreams, and granted I adore them. The dreams I love the most tend to include lots of women and little clothing. My alarm clock woke me from one of those dreams this morning. I don't like my alarm clock anymore.

The move was a success. Everything was moved rather quickly and without injury. Sore muscles was the worst thing that happened. After we all finished moving Katie's apartment, we got to Nikia's and found that her basement was flooded and had to move all the stuff upstairs, so we ended up moving twice. Kind of funny in an expensive way. We also went to the museum and saw several artifacts from the Egyptian empire, some dating back to 1500 BCE. It was a very humbling to see pieces of carved stone and gold that have survived for several millennia. It's amazing to imagine that a civilization of people who didn't even have cell phones could make such intricate sculptures.

There was also hail over the weekend. I love hail. It happens so rarely, so it's kind of like a weather holiday.

I received The Salmon of Doubt in the mail on Friday. The last book by Douglas Adams, released posthumous. They use a Hitchhiker related tagline, but the bulk of the book is about the Dirk Gently series and Adams's letters.

Tomorrow I get my root canal. I'm thrilled about it, let me tell you.

May I help put aside your moral fiber?

Feeling: Happy


I played DDR last night at the bowling alley. There were a bunch of high school jocks giggling in the corner while I played. Cute really, I guess they thought that I would be offended, but I had to struggle not to laugh at them.

Last night I successfully recorded SysEx data from my Roland MT-32 synthesizer for the first time. Well, I think it was successful anyway. If this works I'll finally be able to get high quality music for several games to add to the Videogame Music Preservation Foundation.

I've converted the film pages to 1024 width now.

Does it bother anyone else that when you go to amusement parks and see people dressed in costumes of cartoon characters, it's as though they're wearing the skin of them? Think about it. Someone took Mickey Mouse and skinned him alive, wiped off all the blood and gore, and made a happy little rat-skin suit. Then, they make some poor teenager prance around in it like a fairy and hug small children. That's just sick. I wonder what they did to get the Snow White costume. Disney went all Wild Bill on its characters.

This weekend I'm heading off to Grand Rapids to help Katie move into her apartment. I'm not a huge fan of moving, but it will be good to finally get to hang out again.

Teeth are evil little punks

Feeling: Injured


Okay, so the cavity had worked its way into the nerve, and although it wasn't infected, it will require a root canal and a crown. Sigh. Although the final cost is going to be around $300, my dentist did give me a free temporary, which would have run me $150. It bled out nicely last night for awhile. At first I was wondering what the strange taste in my mouth was. I didn't know that I was even cut, so I took aspirin for the pain, and with aspirin being an anti-coagulant it had to keep gauze in my mouth for awhile before it finally clotted. Next Tuesday I get the procedure, and it's supposed to be quite painful for awhile. I can afford the process, I'd just much rather use the money on bubblegum and pop.

The games pages have all been increased to 1024 width. I also broke out the videogame font page into three separate pages for faster load time. I'll probably have to do the same for the review page.

Time to break a leg on DDR.

Teeth are our friends

Feeling: Anxious


I've increased the size of my music pages to use 1024 width. I also threw in some random additions of content.

The consumer version of Vista has been delayed past Christmas which has totally got the computer manufacturer's panties in a twist. They claim that by not getting Vista out by Christmas, they'll be losing money because people will just wait until after Christmas to buy it. Morons. First, if the people are simply going to wait a few weeks, the companies aren't losing any money, they just have to wait a few weeks to get it. Second, how many people even know what Vista is, let alone the release date? Third, the people who do know what Vista is will probably just pirate it anyway. Fourth, the business version of Vista is still supposed to be released on time.

Today I meet with my destiny... at the dentist. I get to find out if I need a root canal or not, and if I do, I'm out 300 bucks and in a whole lot of pain.

Count the stars above, wonder when the heavens will subside

Feeling: Sleepy


I played some DDR last night and watched a few more episodes of Lost. I'm almost through the first season.

I've updated my Goo Goo Dolls page in anticipation of their upcoming album in April.

Also, I've decided to increase the viewable area of my web site. I've been running a page designed for 800x600 resolution monitors now for about six years. 800x600 has long since been forgotten, and nobody uses that resolution any more, so I've increased my site to a 1024x768 standard. Obviously, 1024x768 isn't even used much any more either, but I prefer to stay a couple of years behind in terms of size just to keep things backward compatible. Obviously, by doing this I'm going to have some strange looking pages until I go through them all and rework their sizes.

Birds do it, bees do it; it must be nice to fly

Feeling: Drained


Long tiring half-asleep weekend. Good stuff. The lock-in was fun. It didn't seem to have the same feel as usual, several regulars weren't there, but a couple of new faces were. I ended up leaving around 5:30 AM. Although I took several pictures, I ended up deleting them all before I copied them onto my hard drive, thus losing them all. If I were in the Dungeons and Dragons world, it would be the equivalent of failing my wisdom check. Alas.

Saturday and Sunday was spent hanging out with Heidi. We went to the mall and did some clothes shopping and then did a nature walk on Sunday. After she left I watched about eight episodes of Lost. I'm trying to get caught up. I think the show is very interesting so far.

Anyone who knows me also knows that New Agers bother me. Not because they act all fruity, but because their lack of needed scientific validation for their "treatments" causes them to do more harm than good. An interesting short story has been written and it gives a look into a future where the scientific method has been outlawed, and only New Age thinking is allowed. Take a look.

Today at 18:26 UTC (1:26 PM Eastern) is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring and the time I celebrate the New Year. I choose this day because it actually has a seasonal and astronomical meaning, unlike January 1st which is just another day. So happy new year everyone; failing that, happy spring.

Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze

Feeling: Excited


I've written up my concert experience.

Lock-in tonight. Still no DDR, but I usually don't play it at the lock-ins anyway.

In news today, the Pope caught avian flu! Apparently, one of the cardinals gave it to him. Damn that's funny!

Cause institution's like a big bright lie

Feeling: Sleepy


Even though I like Jenny's solo work, I'm not gung-ho about it. However I must not forget the joy of seeing music live. The concert was spectacular and I didn't get home until 2:00 AM. I'll have the full write up and pictures tomorrow.

I've increased my lyrics page to 1,950 songs. I originally thought that I would have run out of songs at around 1,000.

I also have the lock-in at the arcade tomorrow. Sheesh, my sleep cycle is going to be all over the place this week.

Beware the ides of March

Feeling: Excited


What is the ides of March? Why is it on the 15th in March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of every other month? What the heck does ides mean? Well, you are on a site called TheAlmightyGuru, so I you will get an answer. In the Roman Calendar, sometimes referred to as the pre-Julian calendar, the ides was the middle of the month. Longer months used the 15th as their middle, where shorter months used the 13th. The ides of March is the most commonly heard of because it was the day that Julius Caesar was murdered, thus the famous line from the Shakespeare play, "Beware the ides of March". You're feeling smarter already aren't you?

Today I've taken half a day off from work to go and see my lovely Jenny Lewis on her first solo tour. That's right, MY Jenny Lewis. You can't have her!

Reputation's changeable, situation's tolerable

Feeling: Happy


Today is 3.14, AKA Pi Day! Celebrate by eating pie and computing the circumference of circles and the area of spheres.

What search engine do you use? MSN, Yahoo!, AOL? Well, if you use those three you should know that when the FBI demanded that search engine companies hand over their searching results, only one major search engine denied them. Google is currently being attacked legally by the FBI for honoring their client's privacy. The FBI will most likely win, and force Google to hand over their search results, but at least they put up a fight unlike the first three listed.

My platform game is still in the works. I created code for three enemies, a snake, a spider, and a slime. I also added some nicer graphics for some of the items and made them a bit more interactive.

Jenny Lewis concert tomorrow! SQUEE!

I'm gonna give you some of my good time

Feeling: Cheery


Monday the 13th. Way more unlucky if you ask me. But then I don't believe in the concept of luck, so don't ask me.

Well, despite the falsified data in South Korea, scientists have verified that the cloned dog "Snuppy" is legitimate dog. I'm quite pleased with this event because it forces people to reconsider how far we can go when it comes to cloning. Obviously, we're getting better at it, and obviously it will extend to humans. The question isn't whether or not we should, the question is what are we going to do when it happens.

I'm now the proud owner of one hard cover copy of Good Omens. I was disappointed that they released the different covers the way they did. I ended up getting the white cover because I think it looked better.

I also have new pair of boots. Unable to find a pair of black ones that I wanted, I switched to the tan colored work boots. I'm still breaking them in, but they should suit me well.

There is a new Ask a Guru question as well.

February has been pushed to the old news page a little later than usual.

What I wouldn't give to find a soulmate
Someone else to catch this drift

Feeling: Cheery


I wrote up an essay on a perspective of mine called Charity as Advertising.

Mythbusters are my heroes. I love their show and I hope they continue to shoot down all those morons who like to claim to know certain things when in fact they don't (kind of like me). Anyway, I love the fact that they make me smarter, and I wish I could blow stuff up too.

The Microsoft Origami project--now know as The Ultra Mobile PC--is about lame. I was expecting a tiny hand-held device that would allow you to listen music, watch video, call friends, take pictures, surf the web, and all the normal stuff you would want in a hand-held. Instead, they make another tablet PC that can only do half of those things and it's so big you'd have to carry a large purse to hold it. Right now you can expect to pay $1000 for something with less power than a laptop of the same price. In a world where people are complaining that mini cell phones are too big, this is like carrying around a woolly mammoth. Junk, that's what it is.

My gums hurt

Feeling: Pouty


It's time for another good idea, bad idea. Good idea: visiting the dentist every six months. Bad idea: going over four years without visiting the dentist and then finally going and having them gouge at your gums making them bleed all over trying to clean the tartar and also finding out you may need a $300 out-of-pocket root canal.

I've got the character jumping, going up steps, falling, walking, and sliding on a quick turn. There are still a few bugs that I need to work out, but I'm quite pleased with the movement.

Inner children lost their way

Feeling: Excited


I awoke this morning to a rather odd dream involving zombies.

I added another would be girlfriend, the lovely Kari Byron from Mythbusters.

Still putting a lot of work into my game. I've finally got a lot of the character programming rules done. Now I need actual graphics for him. I love drawing static sprites and backgrounds, but I hate drawing animated sprites.

Some people think that Americans are too self-centered and care too much about their outward appearance. Hogwash. Why just look at this young, beautiful, and thin woman who would never be materialistic enough to start a blog to raise money for breast implants.

If I am cultured my words will somehow garner respect

Feeling: Annoyed


Being in a conference call with General Motors is right up there with repeatedly slicing your tongue with a razor blade while drinking lemon juice and putting salt in your eyes. I had to listen for over an hour while a person with a thick Indian accent and a severe stuttering problem babbled about not being able to connect to an FTP server. Kill me now!

My current game project is showing promise. I'm currently working on the character movements which are a lot harder than most people realize, especially in an action platformer.

Oh oh Telephone Line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight

Feeling: Happy


Still haven't beat Zelda 2. However, I did get a bunch of stars in Super Mario 64 which is currently less frustrating.

I've been putting much of my time recently to working on designing a game. I'm sure I'll get bored of it soon, but it's coming along nicely right now. I swear, some day I'll finish one.

For future reference to anyone else who wants to try, if you are sending me abusive emails I will report you to your ISP. You know that terms of service contract that you clicked ok on, but didn't read? Well, it says that you won't send derogatory emails and that you can potentially lose your account because of it.

Have you never been mellow?

Feeling: Cheery


Oh yeah, the thunder spell. That's what I forgot. Okay, now that I can actually damage the boss I may be able to kill him. Also, I forgot how amazingly great Mario Kart 64 is. Even in one player mode, it is one of the most exciting racing games there is. I made a mini review for it as well.

I've added several more unusual city names. I'm still a bit behind on the updates, so don't feel bad if I haven't gotten to yours yet.

Ahh, the weekend is finally here. Now I get to waste it getting my car fixed. That isn't ruining my good mood though, I just feel happy today.

A stranger to the concept of reciprocity

Feeling: Happy


I now see what people mean when they say that the ending of Zelda 2 is freaking hard. I made it quite a ways into the cathedral, but I was unable to get to the first boss. Now that I have a decent amount of knowledge of the way the cathedral works I'll probably be able to get further now.

I posted a poem that I wrote last Friday.

For all you money freaks out there the new $10 bill has been put into circulation today. It's more colorful and cartoony than ever before!

How can I like Apple Jacks cereal when it doesn't taste like apple?

Feeling: Happy


I wasted the dragon and destroyed the sixth cathedral. Now all that remains is the final showdown. I've heard that it's extremely difficult to do, so we'll see how it goes. I also got my Nintendo 64 emulator working with analog joystick and everything.

If you're a font geek like me you probably have a huge collection of fonts. However, due to the old days of 8.3 naming conventions your font file names are probably worthless. I found a free program that will sort through your font directory and rename them to the font name that is displayed when you open them. This makes it much easier to sort through your font archive. Check it out. Since I renamed my archive I now have to sift through the giganhugemongus list and eliminate duplicates and old versions. This will take awhile.

March is finally here, which means that spring is getting dangerously close. Score.