Archive for August, 2001

I feel the need

Thursday, August 30th, 2001

The need for speed, baby! If you don’t get that quote, then shame on you! Go watch Top Gun, for gawd’s sake! It’s a staple of 80’s cinema not to be missed! It’s got F-14 dogfights for the guys and a shirtless volleyball scene with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer for the ladies! At any rate… yeah. Where was I? Where am I?

As you can tell I’ve been tweaking the cosmetics of this site. You’ll notice above that I changed the look of the "Latest News" header. I think it looks cooler this way. I also added a rounded lower-left corner to the sidebar to soften up the pages, especially in pages where the content is shorter than the sidebar. As far as behind the scenes goes, I’ve retro-fit my pics template page to all my old pics pages. What this means is that now when I update my pics template page, all of my pics pages will change to reflect it, not just the newer ones created based on the template. W00t! As always, let me know what you think of the look and feel, and please tell me immediately if anything is broken. I try to look over everything, but it’s gotten to become a big site, so it’s hard to catch it all. Ideally, I’d like to have this site more PHP-oriented and do more nifty things with that, but one thing at a time. If you have any ideas, tell me about that too. =)

New sidebar

Monday, August 27th, 2001

Just a quick note to mention, that yes, I’ve change the sidebar on all my pages. It took me a long time because I was using a new program called Fireworks to do it, but I think that this is a cleaner sidebar and it’s much easier to update in the future. Please send me any comments you might have about this. Thanks!

Stayin’ Alive

Sunday, August 26th, 2001

Just a quick message to let everyone know I haven’t fallen off the planet. Been busy with matters, but I’m still around. I’ve now seen two more movies at the theater: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Rush Hour 2. Both of these I found to be quite amusing, however the former is funniest if you’ve seen Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma first. I recommend these movies.

Changes in the wind

Monday, August 20th, 2001

As you can see, I’ve decided to add a day of the week field to the date on the news here. I’ve also gone through and added them for the month of August. I don’t think I’ll do that for previous months; you can figure it out if you really care.

Last weekend we took Matthew down to Berkeley, CA to attend school at the University of California at Berkeley. When last I checked, he’s online now, but away from his desk. It’s busy the first few weeks. Anyways, he has a nicer dorm than I do, but he also has to share it with two other people, so that’s a bit too tight for me. Driving to and from the bay area in a weekend was a tiring experience, but I’m glad that I could go. I really like the area down there. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t stay in the Motel 6 in Pittsburg, CA! Terrible place with poor service. We moved rooms at 2am because our A/C wasn’t working right and the heat was unbearable. We also discovered that we weren’t really in a great part of town when we saw that the parking lot was well fenced and had a security guard at the gate.

Not really much else to talk about. Oh, and if you wanna talk to Matt, his SN at Berkeley is Lep003. 😛 Say hi and stuff if you can catch him! Later, all!

“When I was younger, so much younger than today…”

Thursday, August 16th, 2001

“HELP! I need somebody! HELP! Not just anybody! HELP! You know I need someone! HELP!!”

Guess what song I’m listening to? =D Yeah, I’m back at work again. I like updating my website here instead of at home because the net connection is faster here. Ahhh! The need for speed! *WOA!* I just sneezed so hard I’m seeing stars! It’s a weird feeling, I must say. I didn’t used to know what that really meant back in my Tom and Jerry days as a kid, but appearantly it’s true if you sneeze hard enough. Where was I? Where am I? Who am I? Oh yeah. I’m Chris Brunner. How quickly we forget!

Last night Matt had his going away party, which was held over at Kelly’s house because her parents were gracious enough to let us stay up late on a work night. Oh for the day when I have an apartment of my own! Until then, it’ll be the dorms by day, and home by summer. Of course, since it was Wednesday night, I had work the next day (today), too. Anyways, we had a good time last night hanging out playing Soul Calibur on the Sega Dreamcast, eatin’ pizza, playin’ Pictionary, playin’ chess, and watching an MST3K episode.

Let’s digress a bit and play How Chris Keeps Busy at work in his downtime. Now of course when there is work to be done, I do that first, but oftentimes here at the FITT Center, there aren’t any clients coming in, so I get some time to do some of the other things listed here:

  • Sit and stare. OK, so this isn’t always the most fun or exciting, but it gets the job done! When there’s no clients here to help and I’m simply too tired to do anything else, this works. Most of the time, I will get bored with this fairly soon and move on to other things…
  • Tunes. I have Winamp and an Internet connection here that rocks! Basically, I have an infinite supply of music at my disposal, so there’s always tunes to be had and stimulation of the nerves to be found. Of course, while I have music, I can do other things at the same time…
  • Random surfing. Like I said, I’ve got a net connection here and it’s damn fast. The Internet provides a limitless field of things to see and do, although the large majority of it is useless crap and Punch the Monkey ads. I prefer to narrow down my searching some more…
  • Web comics. If you read this page at least semi-regularly, then you know that I’ve recently become a bit of a web comic phr34k. I keep up to date on nearly 10 of them, and they can provide at least a good half an hour of entertainment provided they are all updated on time by their creators. Speaking of updating…
  • This rant page. Yes! As you know, I spend some time updating this thing for the six of you who actually read it. Updating an average news rant takes me about half an hour, so there’s that time used up. Oh, and incidentally, I write the timestamp at the top when I start to write it, not when I finish.
  • Email. Hey, everybody does it. There’s always good ol’ email, but it’s usually just always there and I can clean out any new messages pretty quickly, so it doesn’t take long to take care of and I usually do that first thing. I leave the mail program running so I deal with new mail as it comes in.
  • Guestbook and forum. Like email, I usually check my guestbook and forum for new entries to see if any of you took the time to write something back after all this writing I have done for you! 😉
  • Chat. Right now I have AIM and ICQ up and running so folks can contact me here if they feel the need. However, since I am technically at work, know that if you’re talking to me here and I suddenly and unexpectedly disappear it’s because I actually had to do something productive. Still, it’s nice to have some company so to speak from time to time. When I’m looking for more random chat with people I don’t actually know in real life, I’ll go to the IRC server irc.megatokyo.com and hang out in the #megatokyo channel to chat with folks.
  • My accounts. No, I don’t have a stock portfolio, but I do have a bank account, so when I’m feeling the unearthly need to feel depressed, I’ll go see how much debt I have there and how bleak the future of income looks to be. Don’t know why I check that. I also check my Duckweb account for my financial account here at the University of Oregon just to make sure they haven’t hit me with more fees or something when I wasn’t looking.
  • Learn stuff. Sometimes when I’m just feeling cranially lacking, I will actually teach myself something useful, like PHP scripting and MySQL for example. There’s always more to learn, but it’s often hard to motivate oneself to go do it when you’re tired.
  • Talk to people. Sometimes I have co-workers and/or other friends here I can talk with, so that certainly helps to pass the time. This is fairly uncommon since we’re not often double-staffed, so usually I’m the only one here.
  • Bejeweled. Someone here at the FITT Center once showed me a game on the Microsoft Gaming Zone called Bejeweled. Before proceeding to click on the link there, I should warn you that this game is really addictive and I’ve spent more time than I realized playing it. It’s simply a web java game and you don’t have to download anything to play it. It’s really simple and really fun. Give it a try if you’ve got an hour or so to kill.

Well, I think that’s it for my “activities” here. Please feel free to try these at home–or better yet, at work! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some serious sitting and staring to do!

Just call me “Sparky”

Tuesday, August 14th, 2001

I think that the best part about writing these rants is coming up with the headlines. I’ll get to explaining this one in just a sec, but first let me tell you about my day. Got up at 8:15 (late) and went and got ready to head out. Left the house around 8:50 and went to work at the Office of International Education and Exchange where I got a whole lot of work done which had piled up from last week. Just a few things left to do and I’ll take care of them when I go back on Friday afternoon. Anyways, I finished up that at 11:30, so I had half an hour to go get a bite to eat, drop off a DVD at Blockbuster and make it back to work at the ITC at noon. I was successful on all counts as long as my watch is five minutes fast (it’s not.) No one seemed to mind, so I chilled at the ITC for two hours and took off shortly after 14:00 to grab Matt and Kimi for errands. They were waiting for me outside of the Knight Library, so we left from there with my car to take Kimi to the DMV to get her license. After we left her there to take the written section, Matt and I went to go get mom and her car from work so Kimi could take the behind-the-wheel test. After that, I went and bought some new spark plugs for my car, hence the headline of this rant. Matt and I then went to the dentist so Matt could have his damaged tooth looked at; don’t worry, Dr. Martin said it’s nothing to worry about. After the dentist, Matt and I went home to discover that Kimi is now licensed to drive a motorized vehicle on public roadways! Dear God, no!!! But seriously, she’s a good driver. At this point, I dared to install my new spark plugs into my hot engine block. Not as bad as it sounds, you just have to be really careful what you don’t touch in the engine compartment. I was successful with that, and after dinner I drove the car here to work at the ITC, so this is why you may call me “Sparky”.

That was rather long-winded, wasn’t it? Ho-hum. This weekend Matthew is moving down to UC Berkeley, so mom, Kimi and I are helping with that. Once again I will be out of town, but this time only for one night, and this time I’m bringing my laptop! You’d better believe they have ethernet access at Berkeley, so I will check email at some point, probably on Sunday sometime. Still, can you believe it? Matt’s going to college!! That’s my job!! I feel so old… Nah! Not really! Kimi’s gonna be a senior in high school this year, and I guess that makes me a junior or something. As much as I may try to deny the passing of time to remain in a comfortable present, time does move on regardless, and it can be a slow process to realize this. I try, but it just seems so surreal sometimes, like at some point I left my present and just hit a preview of what the future would be. Sometimes I still feel like it hasn’t set in that this is the present and that this is reality. It’s just so much so quickly to absorb. Almost everyday is a slightly new lifestyle, and after an entire lifetime of simply being a schoolkid, it’s hard to adapt to constant change. This is especially difficult when the changes can have much more serious consequences, such as money and school. I currently have $0.14 in my wallet and $29.62 in debt on my VISA card. I think Matt owes me $4.80 for lunch the other day, but he just bought me lunch today, so I feel bad asking for it now. I’m concerned with my grades as well. While I did get an A in a class, and did not receive a non-passing grade in any others, I need to bring my GPA back up a bit. Remind me to work on that in the fall, K? I remember I used to be smart when I was a kid, but at some point in high school, I wasn’t anymore. College more so. Maybe it comes from going from being a big fish to being a smaller fish, and maybe it comes from having an actual social life to distract me more, but I just don’t have the focus for schoolwork as I once did when I was smaller. Don’t worry though! I’m not about to give up yet; it’s mostly just food for thought and a new reason to work harder!

OK, by now you’ve probably noticed that I’ve once again gone a bit buck-wild with the links. I guess I just get some kind of sick pleasure of of it, who knows. My shift is now half over, and I only work here once more ever again this Friday, and that’s just for one hour. I think I can make it. It’s been a good ride so far. Enough news of me for now! Until next time, stay tuned!

A very merry half-birthday to me!

Sunday, August 12th, 2001

G’day to all y’all! I am today 20.5 years old, so you know what that means–SIX MONTHS TO GO!!! *Ahem!* Not that it’s important or anything. I mean, what’s one more birthday, really? 😉

Been at work here at the ITC for the past 4.5 hours. Did I mention how nice it was to be on vacation last week? At any rate, I’ve been dinking arond with this and that with the web page, and I’ve added a list of banners for my favorite web comix. You can get to it from my links page or right here. It’s mostly for me, since I always have to try to remember all the URLs for the comics I read, so this is just so I can keep track of them all from any computer I happen to be using. However, just in case you are looking for more reading material than this page can provide, I suggest you check them out. As you know, it’s how I kill time at work!

Did I mention I was on VACATION last week??? Well, I was, and it was great! I went up to the San Juan Islands for a week of biking and camping with my family and my old Boy Scout troop. We had lots of fun hanging around the islands and playing cards. I took a roll of pictures, too, but I had to use actual film rather than the digital, so the pics will have to wait until I get that developed and I can scan them in. I wasn’t about to bring my $399 digital camera camping!! At any rate, I had a great time despite the fact that I am horribly out of shape and I was dying the first day of riding. But by the end of the week, I was doing much better, having warmed up some, and in the end I think I’ll live. The whole week I didn’t step foot in a tent once–I slept under the stars the entire time! I love doing that; it’s so refreshing! Except for the goddamn mosquitos!!! girr… I HATE BUGS!!! At least I didn’t wake up with a slug on my face like last time…

Three weeks from Tuesday I move back into Carson. OH! I just remembered, I got a letter from Housing giving my room assignment–I’ll be living in room 202-C in Carson Hall. That’s just four rooms down from my old room of almost two years!!! I’m very psyched about this. No more getting off the elevator/stairs at the wrong floor or walking down the wrong wing! I just have to remember to stop at room 202 and not continue on to disturb the poor guy living in 206. =)

That’s it for now. As always, please leave notes in the guestbook and write stuff in the forum!

I fixed the counter

Friday, August 3rd, 2001

As you may or may not have noticed, I have once again got the counter on the left working again. It’s really basic and it just counts the number of times the page loads. It’s a site-wide counter, so it reflects how often EVERY page has loaded. Not really sure what it’s useful for, but it helps me get a feel for the load this site receives.

More importantly than the stupid counter is the fact that I’m going to be going away from August 4th through late August 11th when I return. There will be no further rant updates until I return! This is it! Not that anyone really cares, but I thought for the three or four of you who read this page, I owe you that information. I will be taking lots of pictures this trip, but not with the digital camera because I don’t want to haul that expensive device all over the islands on a bicycle while camping. Just too risky. So, you’ll have to wait until I get the film developed and the pictures scanned in before I can post them here. It’s gonna be a really fun trip, and this is the third time I’ve been up there. Very nice area up in the San Juan Islands of Pudget Sound. Lots of expensive boats and trendy things like that. I still need to get packed, so I’ll be doing that after work today. I’m still on job #1 today. I also work two additional locales on Fridays. It’s a living. I mean, where else can I get paid for working on my web page? Now don’t think I’m just slacking; all these web building skills I’m practicing do apply directly to my job here at the FITT Center. Just today and yesterday I was helping a gentleman with his first web site, and my skills with Dreamweaver came in quite handy.

I guess that’s it from me for now. In the meantime, feel free to make notes in the guestbook and play with the forum! I’ll catch y’all later!