Monday, June 25, 2007

Twelve (point Eight) Days Later

This evening I finally got Internet access back in my home. I don't want to go into the details, suffice to say that when things are going right, Verizon is fine as bandwidth vendor. When they go wrong, they go spectacularly wrong. Verizon can be staggeringly incompetent when the wind blows the wrong way, and this is such an occasion. I've had busloads of frustration, trying to get correct answers, and get back online.

Tonight, I plugged in the ATM modem they finally sent me, and the first thing it did was redirect every, single, URL to their DSL registration page. Following the directions just started a stalled download for software I don't need or want. I called them up, steaming, and got a tech to walk me through steps to turn off some kind of firewall that's on by default in their router (and undocumented in the PDF they sent on the CD, as far as I can see) which was responsible for it wanting to download and install software from the mothership.

I tell you, if I hadn't heard even worse horror stories about Comcast from some of my friends, I would have jumped ship by now. If ever there is a third bandwidth vendor in our area, truly interested in selling me bandwidth at a reasonable price, Verizon is on the trash heap!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Quick note from work, as I'm still Internet poor at home.

Yesterday was Renee's twelfth birthday! I went to work, but in the evening, we went to John Barleycorn, a McMenamin's pub/restaurant. Renee wanted to go there because they serve Oregon Country Beef, which is grass-fed, and hence lower-risk than the already low risk of mad cow contamination. Jean won't let Renee eat grocery beef (grain fed) because of that risk, so Renee has to go to extra lengths to get a cheeseburger.

Afterwords we went home and opened prezzies. Renee got three books, some earrings inspired by the serotonin molecule, a digitizing pad for her computer artwork, an album from Snow Patrol and a tennis racket. She's been bouncing a ball ever since. I think she was happy with what she got.

Oh, and Chichi was an early present. Another early present her mom gave her, of which I don't approve, is pierced ears, hence the new earring present. I'll just have to live with that sort of thing, I guess.

Monday, June 18, 2007


While I haven't exactly been prolific in posting recently, I've been offline for a more direct reason of late. Verizon has royally mucked up my internet connection, such that I've had no connectivity at home whatsoever from last Wednesday morning. I won't go into the incompetence or the massive voice-menu mazes I've had to deal with, but at best, I don't expect to have Internet bandwidth again until this Wednesday. And I'm not laying any bets on that.

Just a short post from work, for those of you who care.

And Tom, I'm still a kid. I took that Tachikoma toy to work, and it's sitting under my moniter, distracting me repeatedly.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tom's BBQ

It's been something like two months for me since I last got together with the gang, so it was kinda neat that Tom threw a BBQ. I don't care that it was overcast, as I actually prefer rainy weather, and Tom has a nice canopy over his patio, so he's still able to do the cooking so long as the rain isn't horizontal.

There were burgers and hotdogs and skewers with shrimp, as well as lightly cooked bell peppers, yum! And, as I threatened, I ran over to the Beaverton Farmer's Market early that morning and found lots of fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro. Other ingredients, like jalapenos, were not really growing locally yet, so I made do with grocery store imports for those.

Pretty much the whole Oregon crowd, and Bo and Lisa from further North, were there Saturday. I got the usual pop culture and gaming immersion, including hints from Alan on how to pick up the Japan-only demo of Eternal Sonata, an RPG featuring 'Frederic Chopin' and musical themes throughout.

I grabbed it yesterday evening, and played through the sample scenario with Renee. It seems like a lot of fun, and I continue to plan to get it. Renee was adamant that she wanted it, so I told her "start saving your money, and we'll split the cost."

She agreed, but said, "if I'm sharing the cost, I get to play equal time." I agreed, knowing of course that with all my other RPGs she's ended up playing more time than I have, even when I'm still interested in the games. So agreeing to half-and-half is a win for me!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho

The bad news: I've finished this series. The good news: July will see the second season (of unknown length) called The Martial Fist Chapter (the first season was called The Dark Law Chapter). While this is really just another average mystic fighters show -- gifted fighters, some of whom have never met, others who barely know each other, band together and use their gifts to protect Tokyo from a demon incursion -- it entertained me very well. There was an actual story, not just fight of the week.

Given that the second chapter is called The Martial Fist, it may devolve into a fight of the week show, but I enjoyed the first season enough to invest some time in the second. Fingers crossed!