atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#353: Scenes from the coldest April since 1874

It snowed this morning.

It's April 11. It snowed. There is snow on the grass and in the street, though the stuff in the street is slushy.

This is, by the way, after nearly ten days of below-freezing weather, with daily highs barely breaking the freezing mark. Yesterday, finally, it was 57°, and it was the first time I could spend more than a few minutes outdoors without wearing a winter coat.

"Global warming".

* * *

Monday morning I watched the first episode of Okusama wa Joshikousei and the last episode of Ichigo Mashimaru.

As for the latter, the story ended nicely. I was pleased with the overall feel of the series and it was nice of them to provide us with a glimpse of how the girls were doing some 3 months after the events of the last episode.

OwJ shows promise. The first episode was entertaining. The producers of Ichigo 100% could learn a thing or two about pacing from that one episode of OwJ.

One interesting thing about OwJ is that, when I saw the main character talking with her friends, I experienced a moment of deja vu--where had I seen that character design before? The friend's name was Satomi but I know I'd never seen the series before....

Then it hit me: it was the character design for Princess Selene, from "Magical Angel Selene"--my nascent magical girl comic. The hair, the character of the face, everything; the only thing missing was the costume. I mean, damn. I haven't experienced such a sensation of anime-related deja vu since seeing Marmalade Boy and seeing how similar the art style was to mine.

* * *

I was awake for 21 hours yesterday. I got up at 8 PM Monday night, went to work; then I came home and ran errands. I finally got to bed around 5 PM Tuesday. But I got my hair cut, passport photos (for my upcoming trip to the Philippines), and a new 160 GB SATA hard drive. ($95 with tax. Yay me.) I also took Mom to the roller skating rink; picked her up from it; and took her over to Kinko's so she could get a package sent to Maine. I put over 90 miles on my car yesterday, including driving home from work. Lord have mercy.

The hard drive is still uninstalled, because after I got home and ate dinner, I went to bed.

* * *

One neat thing I saw at OfficeMax yesterday: TurboTax software now comes on a USB dongle. You can buy it on CD-ROM or USB dongle, which is extra-cool. Considering how cheap Flash RAM is getting, it even makes sense to do it that way. You can buy a 32 MB USB drive for about $5 these days, and that's at retail. (At Target.) What do they cost in bulk, wholesale? $1? $2? And it would take longer to plug it in and unplug it than it would to "fill" it with the program.

That gives me a fiendish idea for copy protecting the program. Flash RAM devices have "blocks" which can be swapped by the on-board controller, to fix problems with failing memory cells. (One of the disadvantages of Flash RAM, besides the relatively slow speed, is that the cells are only good for a certain number of write cycles. Something on the order of a few multiples of 100,000 or so....) The on-board controller has its own memory space for storing which blocks are where in the memory space; it would probably not be technically impossible to use some of that space for storing the program key. The average user wouldn't be able to extract that key, but the program itself could look for that key in the protected memory area, and refuse to run (or run "crippled") if it couldn't be found.

While I'm generally opposed to copy protection, I think that's an interesting idea....

* * *

I have noticed that when I have uTorrent running, Netscape periodically coughs up an anatomically unlikely organ. The screen jumps about 1/8" to the upper left and I get the rotating circle "busy" cursor. Keyboard does nothing, and if I click, the window goes grey and the title bar adds (Not Responding) to the window title. Arrgh. All I can do is wait for the computer to get its head out of its ass.

It's really annoying when you're trying to update your blog, let me tell you, and you have to pause mid-thought while the computer sorts itself out.

* * *

I have started feeling an odd "click" in the Escort's clutch. I'm wondering if something is beginning to wear out. After 147,000 miles? Naah.

With the exhaust system properly connected, it's like a different car. The engine is quiet and smooth. It still burns oil at the rate of a quart every 100 miles. Now, however, I can see the cloud of blue smoke I leave behind when I accelerate from a stop.

I can't wait for Earth Day! I think I'll dump a pint of transmission fluid into my crankcase to make the car run extra-smoky that day, and drive around with the windows open and the air conditioning on. I hate Earth Day.

Go someplace where they're holding an Earth Day rally and look at the place after the event is over. I bet you see gobs of litter and crap all over the place from all those "environmentally concerned" people. Nothing emphasizes your eco-friendliness like refusing to walk an extra ten feet to drop your half-empty diet Coke bottle in a trash can.

Oh well.
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