Archive: October, 2004

Four year anniversary

posted by Jeff | Monday, October 25, 2004, 8:04 PM | comments: 5
Stephanie and I will celebrate our fourth anniversary this week. Four years! This fall, we marked a ten year anniversary of sorts that we've been together.

Wow. Outside of my blood-related family, I've not known many people that long. On the anniversary of anything you take inventory of your memories, but in the case of your spouse, there's so much to remember.

Of course it has been a little work, as most relationships are, but we've managed to overcome most everything. We still have our "issues," but we never go to bed angry with each other, and even our simple presence is a source of comfort and support for each other. I can't imagine life any other way.

With specific reference to our wedding, I'll never forget arriving on Kauai and driving to our hotel. It was dark by then, so it wasn't really clear what we had arrived to. There was a little uncertainty and apprehension about going there. I had a similar feeling way back in the corner of my mind regarding getting married to Stephanie, mostly because I didn't want to end up like my own parents.

The next morning, I opened the curtains to see a sunrise in the middle of the Pacific, and my new wife in the light of that sunrise. I opened the suite door to see the most amazing mountains and landscape. I was immediately at peace regarding Kauai, and any minor doubt about our ability to function in a marriage was gone. Being married to Stephanie is like being in paradise.

Now if we could just get back to Kauai. :) Happy anniversary, baby!

End of an era, start of another

posted by Jeff | Friday, October 15, 2004, 1:01 AM | comments: 0
Tonight I went to see one of my volleyball kids play in her last home game. Next week I'll see some play their last high school games in sectionals/districts.

It's tough this year because I've become very close with some of these kids and their parents. On top of that, I have a bunch in college now, and they're all grown up. They're involved, successful, well-rounded people. I'm so proud of them.

The kid I went to see tonight told me the other day that I was wholly responsible for her success as an athlete. While I can't accept that as being entirely true, it means a lot to me that she would tell me that. It means that despite all of my normal in-season bitching and moaning about not meeting the goals I set for the team, individually I've had some kind of positive impact on their lives. That's what it's really all about, and I feel blessed that I have the opportunity.

So while this group of kids begins to slip from my hands and into the world, another one is right around the corner. I worry about whether or not I'll get good kids at tryouts, if I can fill all of the positions, etc. I guess in the end I don't need to worry about it, because after four years of coaching J.O. ball, every year has had its successes.

Good luck Caity, Katie, Megan, Rachel, Dana and Jackie! Seniors rule! :)

Hardware upgrade bliss

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, October 13, 2004, 12:10 PM | comments: 2
Against my better judgment and my business income, I bought an Nvidia 6800GT video card last week. At $400, it's more or less their top-of-the-line card right now (save for one higher that gets only slightly better performance). In my history of buying 3D cards, going back to the amazing Rendition cards that threatened 3Dfx at the time, I've generally only bought cards when they came down to the $150-200 level. This time I was planning on the $300 model, which had less memory. Then CompUSA had the sign there about getting Doom 3 for free with it, and Stephanie told me, "Just buy it."

Of course, I theorized that I might be CPU bound with a two-year-old Athlon 2000+, and this was more or less the case. So after great success with a mobile Athlon in my HTPC, I decided to buy one for me.

This thing is so easy to overclock that it's like getting twice the chip for half the price. I'm pushing the 2600+ (spec'd for 2 GHz) to 2.4 GHz without a problem. From the benchmarks I've seen, this puts the performance about on par with a P4 3.2 GHz, only the P4 sells for more than twice as much.

I also have to give great props to the Thermaltake Silent Boost heatsink/fan (along with Ceramique thermal compound). Even though I'm overclocking, it runs really quiet and idles around 45 degrees C. My old CPU idled at 49! Now if I can just get the other five case fans (plus the power supply, motherboard chipset and graphics fans) to be a little more quiet!

I'm thrilled to be getting 45 fps in Doom 3 at 1280x1024, with all options on 4x anti-aliasing. Believe the hype... it's beautiful and scary. This is the most interesting shooter visually since Half-Life.

I also have a preview build of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 that Atari was good enough to send me for review on CoasterBuzz. It runs reasonably well at high resolution, maxing at 100 fps on an empty screen, but it does get bogged down into the 30's with busy maps. I suspect there are a lot of tweaks that were made for the gold release, seeing as how this build appears a month older that the released demo. They really polished up the UI!

This is a great season for games, probably the best ever. Stephanie has a list longer than mine. While I'm geeked up for RCT3 and Halo 2, she's playing Sims 2 and Leisure Suit Larry, and looks forward to Bloodrayne 2 and others.

What happened to my college friends?

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, October 5, 2004, 1:39 PM | comments: 2
I have a nice group of friends now, even though we don't get together enough. These are people I've known now for six years or more, which is the longest any friends have lasted to date (due to school, jobs, etc.). But what happened to my friends from college? Here's a recap, and some of it is some weird shit.

Denise Y. My first "love," though in retrospect it was more first "lust." She was the girl upstairs my freshman year, then my sophomore year, after she dropped out, we "dated," meaning we saw each other on holiday breaks. One more fling with her that following summer and she called to tell me she met some guy the first week of my junior year. So much for honeymoon in Hawaii, as we planned (though I just realized I did end up there, just with a much better companion). I never had closure from that "relationship." Well, until I ended up in Cindy's "lap" shortly thereafter. ;)

Tami L. We hung out a ton through the first part of my junior year, as we thought we'd someday rule the world of radio. Turns out though, she was a fucking loser destined to drop out of school. What's worse is that she was being stalked. Later those of us that knew her compared notes to find out she was stalking and punching herself, and even told some people it was me. Psycho! Fortunately she just disappeared from the college scene.

Scott P. Good friend and academic advisor. He had weird ass requirements for keeping all kinds of secrets, but he was a fairly inspiring kind of guy that left me with a lot of principles I still adhere to. Among these is the idea that a lot can happen in two weeks. Indeed. He moved to Florida into corporate radio and bought houses on golf courses. Haven't heard from him in years.

Bob H. Bob was the shit. He was a psych major (Dr. Bob, today), and a great friend. We were in res. life together, and he always had a way of counseling me into success. We had similar tastes in girls (we both did see Cindy naked), liked similar music, and did some pretty hilarious film impressions. I lost touch with him when he went to grad school at Wright State, and it kills me that I can't track him down. He's apparently working in the Greater Cleveland area.

Stacie M. Oddly enough, Stacie was Tami's best friend. After Tami went back to Whitetrashistan, Stacie and I kept in touch, and I introduced her to my then girlfriend Stephanie. She ended up being our maid of honor. Two years after that she misinterpreted a blog entry of Steph's as being about her, then brought up all of this hostility about the cost of being in our wedding, and we haven't heard from her since.

Frank L. My best man. Of all the people from college I've lost touch with, I miss him the most. Frank was more than my token Asian friend. We had so many good times doing just stupid shit around school. He went to school film and later moved to Hollyweird. We had good times talking about chicks, film geek gear and porn. He did a great Robert Smith and Morissey imitation. He got me hooked on KMFDM. Frank was the bomb, and I hate that I never get to talk to him.

Kam K. I met her as a high school senior my freshman year. I can't explain our friendship, but it was another one of those that somehow made her seem like one of the guys (or maybe I was a gay guy from her perspective, who knows). My sophomore and junior years we hung out a lot, made late night runs to 24-hour stores, and just generally liked being around each other. My senior year, she got very into having a boyfriend and her sorority, and I got into having a girlfriend, so we didn't see much of each other. Today, she has two kids and lives with her husband less than two miles from me. We still haven't seen each other since 1996.

Jen A. Like many of my female friends, at first I just wanted to get naked with her, another res. life training lust. Instead we became really good friends. My senior year we became roommates. Living together put some strain on our friendship, but thereafter we both worked in Medina and had lunch frequently. When she got married, we kind of just lost touch.

Jen P. I met Jen at the same time as Steph, and I guess at that time I looked at her as a back-up interest in case Steph decided she didn't like me anymore. It never came to that, but we became friends anyway and struggled through American Literature together (it wasn't difficult, I just had senioritis). She was also in our wedding, Steph was in hers and I read a prayer. We never had anything in common I guess, but she was just generally good company. We still chat from time to time, but ever since the birth of her daughter, she's in total mommy mode.

Stephanie G. This one I married, and I see every day. She gets cuter by the day and puts up with my shit. Thank God I held on to her!

Time passes, friends change. That's just the way life is. It's just weird that people so much a part of my life are "gone" now. Some of them I could care less about, others I regret losing touch.

Your scrotum

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 3, 2004, 10:41 AM | comments: 0
I don't know if you've ever seen Venture Bros. on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, but this is funny. It's a gag from the show.

I didn't watch the debate

posted by Jeff | Friday, October 1, 2004, 3:21 PM | comments: 5
I didn't watch last night's presidential debate, because frankly it wouldn't influence my vote at this point. Reading the headlines this morning, it appears Kerry "won," but that has done little to alter the polls.

Bush's comments this morning are pretty crappy. Apparently Kerry said that international support in our efforts is necessary, and I tend to agree. We're largely a target because of Bush's disregard for international opinion. In the global economy, you can't go it alone. I don't understand why Bush doesn't get that.

But if that weren't enough, he says that Kerry wants to leave American security to other countries, especially with regards to attacking Iraq. What? I'm sorry, but what did Iraq ever have to do with American security? The people that blow up ships and crash airplanes had nothing to do with Saddam. Invading Iraq hasn't made us safer. The only thing it has done is tell the world that we'll do whatever the hell we want, damn the consequences.

I saw the president of Pakistan on a lot of interviews while he was in the US. Very smart guy, and I think he gets it. He said in almost every interview that the US takes sides where it shouldn't, as with Israel in that conflict, which is perceived more as a religious decision than anything else. I totally agree. Standing by and watching genocide in Rwanda or Sudan isn't much better.

Waving the flag as the excuse to do whatever you want causes other countries to mistrust us. It causes the radical types to outright hate us. That doesn't justify their reactions at all, but the president can't do whatever he or she wants with reckless disregard for the consequences. It's about time we started acting like a part of the world. Doing so doesn't reduce who we are or our independence. Not doing so makes the world a lot more dangerous for us, with nothing to gain.