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Month: October 2003

at least I’ve done the stupidest possible thing

Ech.

I’m starting to suspect I might be old.

At least I’ll get in some last-minute roller coastering this weekend — a few of us plan on visiting Six Flags St. Louis. Yay. I hope it doesn’t suck although I am pessimisitic.

I suspect my iPod is broken. It doesn’t seem to want to shut itself off if nothing’s playing, and a while back the backlight timer didn’t time — it just never shut itself off.

I suspect this is all psychological because I want a new iPod. I should not buy a new iPod.

Too much I should post but can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, or don’t want to post.

Some Vegas stories and perhaps a story or two from this upcoming weekend if anything interesting happens… next time on here.

it was worth leaving, so I could come back

Well I’m back from Vegas kids, and on my first day back I get my very first City of Urbana parking ticket. Yay for me!

I’ve got roughly 1500 emails to filter through, just waiting to be deleted, so I’ll go ahead and make this one quick.

It was my birthday the 27th so if you haven’t wished me a happy birthday, it’s not too late!

Vegas was — as the kids say these days — spiffy. Aside from some rather large and very, very dumb last-minute wagers I would have left just about even. I left down about $100. Math will let you know almost exactly how dumb a certain last-minute wager was.

But, really, who wants to leave Vegas even?

Not me.

I won’t post any huge stories, at least yet, but a good time was had by most. I’ll have to post about the extreme location of my room and various other fun tidbits later. I’ve got birthday tidings to thank people for.

natural, irrational, and very important.

Of all things, I believe I’ve become addicted to downloading music legally. Swoon.

I’m not entirely sure how, but my phone menus are now pink. I suspect foul play on behalf of a certain person that will rename nameless — but lack the proof necessary to prove it. For the life of me I can’t figure out how to make my display NOT be pink.

I might have to get a new phone.

Pink.

I won’t know who I am without it

Weekend.

It’s a paradox of life that the weekend must both start and end the week.

Deep, huh?

A while back I had planned on going home this weekend to visit the wonderful Six Flags Great America theme park, thereby using my season pass once again and thereby dilute the cost-per-visit value.

For the first time coming or going from Urbana, I was pulled over by an officer of the law.

Yup, the police pulled me over. It was down a road that links 57 and 55. I was going roughly 71 (or 68, depending on which cop you’ll take the story of) in a 55 MPH zone.

The first squad was actually driving the opposite way I was. Right after passing me he turned his lights on, did a rather illegal U-turn, and pulled me over.

He asked me for my name and registration, pointed out he clocked me at 68, and that I was exceeding the speed limit which was 55. He asked the typical speeding-ticket questions, where are you coming from, where are you going, and so on. He grabs my license and insurance and departs.

Then the other car pulls up. He had, apparently, been parked somewhere I drove by. He comes to the window, mentions that I was definately speeding and that he clocked me at 71. I repeat the same thing, more or less, I told the other officer — I understand I was speeding, I must have been paying less attention to my speed than I should have. I also say I understand it’s a wildlife conservation area and that it’s important to be careful in areas like this. I mention that I used to work for a park, and understand the dangers. He belittles my experience but agrees that generally it’s necessary to be very cautious where wildlife could be present.

Cop number one comes back and tells me he’ll just let me along my way once he runs my license number — as long as I haven’t had a ticket in the past year, I’ll be on my way.

Oopsie, I’ve had a ticket in the past year. I don’t have time to think about this though, oh no!

THUD.

My car violently shakes and I realize that something has struck the front driver’s side of my car.

Rather hard.

It was the second cop.

“Yeah, looks like your tire up there’s a little low. You might want to look at that and get some more air in there.”

I thank him, although I think it’s obvious at this point I’m clearly startled because he just kicked my car with no warning.

He kicks it again.

The first cop comes back, hands me my license and insurance and says I’m free to go along on my merry way. A small relief, but at this point I still think the other officer might be insane.

I thank them both, assure them I’ll check my air pressure, and I’m on my way without a ticket.

Yay! Yay for no tickets! Yay for ME!

I got home shortly after that (around 1:15 in the morning — late). I went more or less right to bed; I had to get up at 7 to get ready to go to Great America. To drive to Great America. Because 4 hours back and forth to Urbana is just not enough driving for me.

Great America was packed. Insanely so. Especially for a rather cold day, and also because fright fest sucks more than it did last time I went, and it was pretty crappy then.

At the park 8 hours, rode 4 rides (Superman, Eagle Backwards, Deja Vu, Superman again). Superman is super-fantastic in the absolute last car. Somehow it manages to be completely different than any other coaster.

Eagle Backwards (the car all the way in the back, which is the ‘front’ car because it’s on the track backwards) actually surprised me. Despite the massive number of times I have ridden it — I just didn’t know what to expect. Several of the hills caught me off-guard. Always a good thing.

Deja Vu is the most unsafe feeling roller coaster ever. There’s just far too much ‘dangle’. Despite being similar in that aspect to Vertical Velocity, V2 feels so much safer (same, actually, for Superman).

Speaking of Superman again — Superman has these leg restraints that actually hold your legs in place — you’re basically shackled in. Some idiot decided it’d be funny to make it look like he was shackled without actually being shackled.

They noticed this when the car was halfway up the hill.

They had to emergency stop the ride, raise up this little cart so they could get to him, release his foot holds, and re-engage them with feet. This took roughly a half our because he felt like riding on the edge.

Mostly everyone was cursing at this man, especially the people on the train with him, who were basically dangling face down over, well, a 150 foot drop to the ground. Kind of spooky and really uncomfortable.

To make it up to them, they let them ride twice — they just ran them straight through the station and up again. Of course, Idiot McI’mAJerk who left his feet to dangle got to ride a second time as well. A most profound injustice, if you ask me, because he wasted a half hour of my life.

Bah. Oh well. I asked the attendant when we were boarding if there were any rules I could break to ride twice, but he didn’t really like my question.

today is not enough for me, I want them all

I’ve been DDRing a bit more since I got new pads. I picked up the generics (of course) of these pads — two generics being half the cost of one ‘authentic’ aftermarket part. I was worried the soft insert would cause problems but, as it turns out, they’re surprisingly awesome. No bunching or sliding, really, makes for a much better dance.

I finally got a copy of Drummania… which I’ve wanted since before the PS2 even came out in the US. Good times, good times.

Unfortunately not all my crazy purchases work out so well.

Case in point below:

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The Lemonader. A mere $5 shipped from Amazon, I figured delcious lemonade was finally in my grasp.

Oh, a naive fool be I!

I feel foolhardy for not having pictures from the debacle that was brewing our first pitcher of lemonade. Words will just have to do.

First of all, it’s a strangely complicated procedure for making a drink that consists only of water, sugar, and lemon.

First the exact amount of water it tells you to add changes. I was told by fellow lemonade brewers that I just didn’t read well, but does this really seem a plausable reason for me screwing up? Doubtful.

The result of this was I poured in far too much water. “Oh no!” you might think “the pitcher is going to overflow and spill hot lemony water all over you! You’ll get burned!” No, kids, don’t worry. The fine people at LemonCorp knew of this danger and for that reason put a rather sizable hole where you pour the water in. So instead of having watered down lemonade you instead get water all over the place. The best part about the hole is it just comes straight out the back of the contraption. Not into any type of fail-safe mechanism which would catch the water pouring out at a rather rapid pace (seeing as they tell you to put in triple the water you actually need to).

Good design.

Well, whatever, we got that figured out so we turn it on and it starts to ‘brew’ the sugar water. I didn’t expect this but the Lemonader is much like a coffee machine, except instead of coffee grounds, it uses pure uncut sugar. Mmmm.

While this is going on you’re supposed to put some lemons onto that juicer at the top (this is where you could put, say, rats, if you were a vampire) so as to add essence to the Lemonade.

I start doing so. Everything’s fine until around the third lemon.

This is when the machine shoots hot steam at whomever is close enough to it to get painfully burned. Yep, if the water all over your kitchen doesn’t piss you off, they burn you too.

Nice.

So after tending to my third-degree burns and realizing I can no longer ream any more lemons (too dangerous!) we let the lemonade maker do its thing.

Aside from a pitcher of rather regular tasting lemonade, there was a nice pulpy mess that made me just want to jump up and make another pitcher.

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MMMMM!