Monthly Archives: August 2003

mind boggle rating: 7

So I got a piece of spam today that I just had to share. Prizes, accolades and honors to the one who comes up with the best explanation of whatever it is trying to sell me. Or is it even selling me anything? You decide.

(after you decide your own interpretation, you can read the spoiler that I babelfished for your entertainment and further bogglicitude)

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held hostage by stupidity

So this morning on the way to work, the radio news mentioned that a school somewhere near Chicago is getting metal detectors to protect the students and teachers. But it didn’t end there. No, apparently the students and teachers were “being held hostage by the NRA” up to that point.

What?!? Typically it’s considered impolite, at the very least, to make baseless accusations about a third party.

Now I assume that the purpose of installing the metal detectors is to prevent guns and knives from entering the school. That seems like a good thing. Where does the NRA come in though? Further, where does the commentator get the impression that the NRA takes hostages?

Sheesh. I dislike the media more everytime I encounter it.

Grrr

It’s amazing how completely visciously angry I can feel when I have to do something I don’t want to do, and don’t actually think I should have to do either.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

House Pictures!

Yesterday, Dave and I went to see our house one more time before closing. This was the first time we had been in it since we knew that the home would one day be ours. It was very fun and exciting. We measured for the new huge fish tank we would like to get. I took note of the colors in the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and living room so I know how to decorate and all that other wifely stuff. We took lots of digital pictures too, until the camera died. =(

The longer description of the house is that it is just shy of 2,800 sq ft (not including basement). It has four HUGE bedrooms, and 3 full bathrooms and sits on an acre. It has an amazing laundry room (drool), and kitchen. The entire house is done in beautiful custom cabinetry, and it has a central vacuum system. YAY!!! The bedroom that we are gonna convert into Dave’s office is the biggest bedroom I have ever seen. The house also has an attached two-car garage.

The house is in a really nice country town and is surrounded on two sides by cornfields. I hope one day to be able to purchase a few more acres from those farmers but until then an acre will do. I can still have some animals on it. And I want chickens first! The front and backyard of the house is fully landscaped and there is even a little treehouse in one of the backyard trees that I hadn’t noticed last time we visited. Cool!

The basement is unfinished, but all the plumbing is roughed-in for another kitchen and a bathroom. The chimney (flue?) for the fireplace upstairs runs all the down to the basement. We were told that it would be fairly easy to add another fireplace down there. One day I hope we can finish it all, but until then…ROLLERBLADING sounds fun! I told my sister-in-law that I’d put a couch down there so we can crash into it when we want to stop, and we’d listen to CD’s while skating. Yes, I am serious.

Anyways, for those who would like to see what we have gotten ourselves into, just click this link.

(update: I shrank the pictures down to a slightly more reasonable size. They’re still on the big side, but they’re not huge now. (: -dave)

Am I supposed to buy her a gift for this?

Well, we’ve made it. As of tomorrow (the 23rd) we’ll have one full year of marriage under our belts. Melissa and I are quite happy about that. We’re gonna go celebrate at a little bed and breakfast near Shipshewana (the hub of one of Amish settlements in northern Indiana).

God be praised, and we hope for many more good years like this one. (:

if you cannot stop him tonight, then I fear tomorrow may never come

Just downloaded the trailer for Revolutions, the final matrix movie. Looks sweet. Hope they can back up my nagging thought that reloaded was just a little sticky peanut butter that I had to get through in order to get back to the sweet jam on this matrix sandwich.

I’m really, _really_ hoping that they don’t canabalize the Adam and Eve storyline for the final matrix. Hopefully they can do something other than “the world is detroyed, remade, and the only ones remaining are Trinity and Neo”. I also hope that nothing philospical happens with regards to Trinity’s name.

I suppose my fears can be summed up by saying “I don’t want the matrix to be subtly modified Neon Genesis Evangelion”.

viva la vida grosse

First, go see what should be done with pets that die.

Ok, that was a bit sadistic, even for my taste. Hehe, taste… whoops. (: Anyway, if you need to, ahem, cleanse your palate, go pet a kitty.

Then, just wanted to put up a few news items. Melissa and I are going to Detroit to visit her family and take them supplies. We’re also going to go get our new little kitty’s boy parts “wh4x0red”, to use my lovely wife’s term (a technical term known only to animal medicine insiders, no doubt). (:

Also, I think it important to note to all you loyal paintedpig users and readers that whenever Melissa and I end up moving to our new home (assumably sometime in the next month), the pig will be down for a little while. I’ll have an exact date later on. For now, I just wanted to warn everyone that bloggenspiel and all of paintedpig will be down and out for probably several weeks whenever that time does come.

I’m working, really I am

Here’s a picture of Jerry and I at work. I’m not really sure why I have that look on my face. My only excuse is that I was completely suprised when my picture got taken. Enjoy!

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(careful! This image is big (about 500k). If you’re on a modem, it will take you a little while to see it)

a tisket, a tasket, an offensive little basket

Just so that everyone is clear what they should and should not be offended about, let me clear a few things up:

  • This blog is about Dave and Melissa. Our thoughts, reasonings, ideals, etc. This blog is not our platform to cut people down, at least not implicitly. If we want to publically mock your way of life, we’ll say it explicitly, we promise.
  • Melissa and I live our lives, the best we know how, to the glory of God. Sure, we’re not so good at it a lot of the time. Some of our friends have a habit of not making that pursuit any easier though.
  • We got married young and fairly soon after we met. We like that choice. Feel free to be offended, afronted, or appalled by that. We’re not asking you to approve, agree, or act in a like manner.
  • We think guns are useful tools, mainly because they aid in poking holes in the human body in an efficient manner. Again, feel free to be offended till you’re blue in the face.
  • If we’re blessed with children, we’re planning on homeschooling them. This choice is based on our views of the [lack of] efficacy of public schools, our [sometimes limited] experience with public schools, etc. I think it safe to say that Melissa and I know more about public schools and the people that have gone to them than most of you know about homeschoolers though. Simple logic. If you don’t like this opinion, you’re again encourage to be offended, outright enraged, etc.
  • We believe in one Almighty, Unchanging, Holy God who sent His Son to be a material, living, worthy sacrifice for our sins. Take offense all you like.

I could go on and on like that. There are going to be people out there in internet land that are going to be offended by one or more of those statements. I don’t really mind, though. Each of those things I listed is a personal belief. By personal, I mean that it pertains to Melissa and me, not to you. Any of you. I’m not forcing anyone to agree with us. When we talk about our lives, we’re doing just that. Talking about our lives.

If you disagree, bully for you! The world is full of disagreement. Whoop-de-do. If you want to be vocal about your disagreement, then you have two choices, really. First choice is to excercise a little self-restraint, and politely present your own opinion for consideration. This is really the only choice, if you want your opinion to be taken seriously. The other choice, of course, is to fly off the handle, lay down a flaming trail of choice insults, proclaim your superiority loudly, and then look down on all that oppose.

Now granted, those two extremes are seldom seen. But please people, if you really do care for Melissa or me at all, then consider the way you’re offering your opinions to us. Do you really expect to gain anything through a full-on verbal assault?

Stand down from red alert, realize that when we talk about our own beliefs, they are just that, our own. We’re not out to get any of you. We don’t mind if you disagree with us. We’re not trying to win you over. We’re not even asking you to read our posts.

In closing, since this IS my forum, I encourage people to prayerfully consider what their purpose is when posting to my blog. If you’re just presenting your own opinion, wonderful. If you’re lovingly correcting me, have at it. If you’re going to read between the lines, imply the worst, etc, then please, do not bother.

Move along people. Nothing to see here.

fun fun fun

I’ve just had a really interesting bout with Microsoft tech support hotlines. Over the course of six different conversations, I was routed in a complete circle. I talked to six different MS representatives who were unable to help me. Let me outline the situation.

I bought a copy of Asheron’s Call 2 for my wife while we were at EB games Sunday afternoon. When we got out to the car, she noticed that the sticker sealing the bottom of the box was sliced. Since everything was in the box that should have been (manual, two quick references, three cd’s, one product registration key), I didn’t think anything of it. When we got home, she installed it and tried to register it for play using the enclosed product key. A warning message popped up at that time stating that the product key was already in use. At that point, things started to percolate in my brain, but I still had to check a few things before I was ready to point any fingers. In retrospect, it seems that someone opened the box, wrote down the product key (or, smarter yet, snapped a digital pic of the product key), put the box back on the shelf, and then walked out of the store.

Trying to figure this thing out, first I clicked the “click here for more information on your product key” link in the warning window. It gave the standard sorts of “you’re only allowed to use this product key once, please buy another one now” sorts of things. I tried calling the tech support line that was listed on the web as being for Asheron’s Call (866.672.4551). I explained my problem, and he forwarded me onwards to another help line, this one being the billing department for the game, supposedly. They didn’t know what to do either. That person told he that I should wait until Monday (today) and then call a different support line (800.936.5700).

I called that help line this morning. The person there said that I should definitely talk to the piracy hotline there at Microsoft (800.785.3448). So I called the piracy hotline. The piracy hotline was _definitely_ the most interesting. When I explained my situation to the woman at the piracy hotline, she politely informed me that unless there was something missing from the box, they did not consider it to be a piracy issue. Now I’m sure that the implication there was that “when it comes to end-user purchases” should be tacked on the front there, but I’m glad to know that as long as nothing is missing from the box, no crime has occurred in Microsoft’s eyes.

At this point, I’m starting to think that the person who opened this game’s box and wrote down the product key (my guess as to what happened) has committed the perfect crime. They saved themselves a few bucks by not having to buy a copy of the game. The lady at the anti-piracy line then forwarded me back to the games support line. The games support line (a different voice, but the same place I started) was still unable to do anything to help me. He forwarded me to yet another support line. This person was quite unfriendly, but, like all the others, just wanted me to take the product back to EB games for a different copy.

In all, I talked to six different people and spent about an hour of my life chasing a wild goose. None of these support agents were able to offer me any help with my goal, which was to get the person who stole this account number banned from AC2, or at least investigated. All of them just wanted me to take the game back and forget about it. Now I’ll grant you, there’s the possibility that something far less annoying is going on here. Occum says that someone walked out of EB games with a number scrawled down on the back of their hand though, and I tend to believe him. Just thought everyone would like to know not only what constitutes a near perfect crime, but also that MS doesn’t care about it.

On the plus side, I found a rebate for the game while I was digging around on microsoft’s site looking for help.