Friday, August 17, 2007

Second Life Homes

The NYT takes up Second Life home design. Personally, thats why I particiapte in SL at all. I enjoy building, designing and selling homes and, frankly, I dont have enough liquid cash in RL to take the exposure you have when working with real homes. I have made a minor business out of buying, improving and selling properties, just profitable enough for me to build the next one.

It's nice to finally have a hobby that doesn't involve counting aces and 10s.

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee that thine energy is as thine mass times the speed of light multiplied unto itself."

... things Jesus should have said if he wanted me to believe.

This is an excellent essay, pointed out to me by another Pastafarin, Brian.

Interestingly, the theist response is completely based on the logic of proving negatives, e.g. prove Jesus didn't exist, prove all religions are false etc.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fun with Wiki!

From the always wonderful, Wonkette!

...some rakish Wikipedia vandal erases the entire entry for Harry Potter and replaces it with “Snape is the half-blood prince and kills Dumbledore.” This hilarious prankster’s IP address was logged, as in all Wikipedia edits, and it turns out it came from the Republican Party of Minnesota. This is just one of the many little treats revealed by a new site that lists all edits made by any organization you can think of whose offices have internet access. Wired is tracking the better ones, and here are some of our favorites...

Wired's list here

I have to admit, it 's a little more bi-partisan than I thougth it would be.

The Same Color Illusion

A little mind-blowing...

In case you were wondering, one of the guys at work shows they are, in fact, the same.



Hooray for my people!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I finally completed my move this weekend, collecting all the stuff I've had in various forms of storage for the past 18-60 months, and putting it in one condo. It's a very nice 1200, penthouse in Belltown, exactly 12 feet above the apartment Microsoft corporate housing had placed me in.

I've started to purge stuff, but I have found all sorts of unexpected surprises including:

My old Astronomy 101/201 lectures (still good!)
Old photos from different phases of my life
A whole cache of Geoff's baby pictures (birth -> 8 years old)
An unopened box (still sealed in myler) of 3rd Issue Magic the Gathering cards (circa 1994)
A whole cache of old MtG decks I had built.
A full set of calaphon cookware
Old art I made at the beginning of my art career.
A custom tailored, blue sport coat I had made in 1995 (not even close to fitting but I did salvage the gold buttons)
A bunch of King Richard's Faire stuff I bought in the mid-90s, including an elvish looking wool cloak (itchy), a pirate shirt (moth eaten), a vest (colorful but now ill fitting), and an elf-hat.
Tax returns galore!
An old Galactic Cannibles T-Shirt from my grad-school softball team.
Diplomas from Penn State (B.S. Astronomy) and Seoul National University (Ph.D. in Mathematics)
Stock Certificates from Kurzweil AI, CertCo and Lernout and Hauspie (all defunct).
My original offer letter from the University of Massachusettes.
Pictures of various New Years Eve and Superbowl Parties from when I lived on Ringgold Street.
An unopened card from my mother dating back to the late 90's
Pictures of my Grandfather (now deceased 20 years).
Pictures of the $10,100 home my then sister-in-law purchased for our small family in Altoona.
My stone from Old Main at Penn State (chipped out of the foundation of the building during a drunken binge in 1985, this thing weighs 30 lbs if an ounce).
My ancient Bose speakers.
Insulin with an expiration date of Nov. 1988
A picture of me from my brief (2 session) modeling career at UMass.
Old computer programs from the VAX.
Ugly, ugly shirts from a time in my life when I had even *less* style than I do now.
A box of Christmas Presents for my sister I never sent (they are from Tiffany's and I'm going to send them this weekend).

more as boxes get unpacked...

And He Build a Crooked House

For those few of you who a) aren't furries but b) have a passing interest in Second Life, I have finally designed and built a house from the ground up.

Kings Bishop (80,80)

Also, I am selling non-existant land for non-existant Linden Dollars and make a real US$ profit:
Bundz (224,96)

Warrior Forge

I picked him up at Fort Lewis on Friday. He did well, is in good shape and pretty excited about his future career. They must have exhausted him because he slept for 5 hours once I got him home, despite the hub-bub of moving. He's also told me he slept 15 hours the first night back.

He left me a cache of all his pictures from the camp, which I'll post up or host this evening. (unless he beats me too it).

All in all, it was pretty good. I have to admit, I thought it was a bit of a rubber stamp, but cadets were dropped as late as the day before graduation. He told me the tale of "Scrunchy" a "guy in his troop who had been enlisted in another branch before and was being a jerk to his teammates the whole time. He failed Land Navigation four times and was on his final attempt the day before graduation. He was lost, naturally, and asked another cadet (to whom he was a jerk) for help and was refused. "Please, you gotta help! If I fail out, I'll have to go live with my Mom!" Poor Scrunchy.

Their training also included "cultural awareness" which caused me to raise an eyebrow. He explained,

Geoff: "Well, they had to after what happened last year. See, we do these role play exercises where privates and other enlisted pretend to be civilians in villages. We are given a mission, say, capture a terrorist, and we have to work with the "civilians" to achieve the objective. There are a lot of variables and so sometimes the missions change mid-way through, and the privates are generally jerks to us, so they love it.

Apparently last year one of the cadets was a little too "gung ho" with one of the sessions. A private was playing the part of a village elder and the cadet was supposed to persuade him into giving up some information on the position of some insurgents. The cadet was rude and obnoxious so the private wouldn’t tell him what he wanted to know. The cadet solved the problem by putting a bag over his head and mock-executing him!"

Me: "wow!"

Geoff: "The cadet was expelled and off the base in under two hours, which is pretty impressive since they were deep in the wilderness."


Geoff: "And now we have to have cultural awareness training instead of hand grenade training"

Me: "actually, it's the same. These are just verbal grenades"

Also, his camp was called "Warrior Forge" which made me think of something Klingon. Geoff noted that this was the latest in a string of continually improving names.

Geoff: "It started as Summer Camp"
Me: "Where you made wallets?"
Geoff: "Exactly! so they improved the name in the '90s"
Me: "Kamp Krusty?"
Geoff: "no, to Adventure Camp"
Me: "hahahahahahahahahahaha sounds like it ought to have a water slide and a man in a Batman costume"
Geoff: "So you see, Warrior Forge is actually a huge improvement..."