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Rail's Marbles
cursed repetition
16th-Feb-2011 12:49 am - Music
So in the past I've talked fondly of Ishkur's Guide for its well-researched, easy-to-follow outline of the developments and progression of the varied styles of electronic music. Well, now somebody's done something very similar for metal. Say hello to the Map of Metal.

I like it. It's very informative. I'd posit that it doesn't delve quite to the extremes that Ishkur's Guide does as far as listing, describing, and providing samples for the really obscure niche genres (instead, it lumps far more together). But it's still very interesting, very useful, and a great launching point to discover many bands you never knew you never knew. ^_^ Explore.

In other news, job is going great. Test that determines whether or not I'll actually stay employed is this Thursday, but I feel pretty confident. At least so far, I've not been disappointed or angry or stressed over anything there. Like, I actually want to go to work. That's a great thing. The policies are logical and make sense! Where does that ever happen? :-P So yeah... things are great on that front. Let's hope they continue to go well ^_^

27th-Jan-2011 11:36 pm - Ohayocon
I won't be going to Ohayocon this year, but I did manage to secure a ride into Columbus. I'll be around starting sometime tomorrow evening through sometime Saturday afternoon or evening, so let's hang out and do something. Give me a call somewhere in there and we'll meet up. Cheers.
26th-Jan-2011 10:18 pm - Oh hi.
So apparently I start training for my new job on Monday.


Position is an internet research position at a company called CodeBlue in downtown Springfield. It sounds right up my alley. Full-time position with some mandatory, flexible overtime. 3 weeks of training, of which I start Monday. Second or third shift; I don't know which I'll be given yet (it sounds like second, hopefully). Training Monday will be 10pm to 6am. Dunno if that will be the training schedule the whole 3 weeks or not yet, but I'd guess it is. Gonna have to shift my sleep schedule a bit, in a good way.

http://www.hsgcodeblue.com/ <--there's their website. They just opened the Springfield office. Some links to articles about the new office:


So, could be really cool. Let's see how this goes and hope for the best.
24th-Jan-2011 08:43 pm - Odd Coincidences
I was looking into Sapporo, Japan because I was bored. Then I did a double-take. Check out these odd coincidences between it and Cleveland:

*Both metro areas house about 3 million people (2.8 mil for Cleveland, 2.6 mil for Sapporo)
*Both are port cities that are suffering population losses.
*Both have a river running through them.
*The name of Cleveland's river, Cuyahoga, is a Native American term meaning "Crooked River".
*The name of Sapporo's river, Ishikari, is an Ainu term meaning "Winding River".
*Both are the largest metros in their respective subnational divisions.
*Ohio and Hokkaido are similar in size (Ohio is ~45k sq mi, Hokkaido is ~32k sq mi).
*Both have similar climates: Cleveland's average highest is 81°F in July and its average lowest is 19°F in January; Sapporo's are 79°F in August and 18°F in January...
*Both are snowy in the winter, although Sapporo is snowier.
*Cleveland's located at 41°28′N, Sapporo is at 43°4′N.
*Both contain the highest buildings in their respective subnational divisions
*Terminal Tower in Cleveland and the JR Tower in Sapporo form essentially the same purpose: they're both terminals for passenger rail that contain shopping malls and office space in a tower.

Slightly eerie.

Further investigation into Hokkaido makes me really want to visit the Shiretoko National Park.

21st-Jan-2011 12:18 pm - Timing
So I didn't have my interview or anything. I became very sick in class yesterday morning. Some sort of stomach flu or the like. My brother had it... 3 nights ago or so. I ended up with it yesterday morning, Dad caught it yesterday afternoon, and Mom caught it today. It only seems to last for a day or so though, so that's good. I think I'm *mostly* over it now; just am really tired and keep getting headaches.

Terrible, terrible timing though. If I had to get it, why couldn't it have waited until today or something? -_-;; It sounds like they're going to try to reschedule my interview and everything. I just know that not showing up is about the worst thing anyone can do. Not cool.


In other news, if anyone knows anyone coming from the Dayton or Springfield area going to Ohayocon that would like to pick me up on the way, that'd be awesome. I just want to show up for a bit and hang out with people I havn't seen in a long time.

Hopefully I get to feeling 100% right again soon.
19th-Jan-2011 09:23 pm - Etc
Job thing Monday was a bust. Sales is not something I could do well. In other news, different job thing tomorrow. This one actually sounds REALLY COOL. More on it, and what happens, tomorrow night. Really wish me luck this time. Very possibly the first "real job" that I've ever actually *wanted*.

Panty & Stocking OST is basically amazing. 'Twas a really fun series, too. Gainax is awesome.

I wish there were more hours in a day.

Did you know you can buy a really excellent house in Springfield, OH for $20k? 'cuz you can. It's that... depressed? Well, I guess the best way to describe it is that the cost of living is really, really low. This is a Good Thing. And it's not even like it's a bad city; it's 17 mins from Yellow Springs, really close to Dayton (according to Google, 36 mins from downtown to downtown), pretty close to Columbus (53 mins from downtown to downtown according to Google), and has its own share of all the major chains, as well as its own mall. It's kinda like an unpolished gem in the rough. Or corn. Whatever.

Also the art museum is pretty cool.

So yeah. Stuff. And things. And things. And stuff. Or something.

13th-Jan-2011 08:10 pm - Life
So a quick update. I've been attending a "soft skills" class through Springfield's job services place thing. It was recommended to me as something that could help me brush up my interviewing skills, polish up my resume, teach me to ask the right questions during interviews, and give me a sense of self-confidence for these kinds of things. So far it's been a lot of review, but the real fun doesn't start until next week, so that's that. It really is useful, because just having what you already know reaffirmed somehow builds confidence.

Also, I have an interview Monday. Wish me luck.

Time goes on. We move forward.
9th-Dec-2010 07:22 am - 1000th post?!
Apparently, this marks a major milestone on my LJ. My 1000th post. Not quite over 9000 yet, but eh, 'tis cool. Or something. If anybody want to draw me up some nifty cool arts for it, I'd be most appreciative ^_^

on WikileaksCollapse )

Past and FutureCollapse )

So hoorah, hooray, 1000 posts! Here's to another thousand and more to come! To the infinity of possibilities stretched before us, the infinity of paths, the infinity of the universe! The sky is NOT the limit, for there is never a limit!

(For reference, I live by the ideal in this comic: http://xkcd.com/137/ )
25th-Nov-2010 08:04 pm - Thanks
So it's that day where we fatten up for hibernation and give thanks for all that we have. Or something to that effect anyway.

For on this day I am in fact feeling thankful for a number of things. It seems like the less one has, the more one has to be thankful about.

I'm thankful for spending the last few hours in the kitchen with Nick and Laura making delicious foods. I'm thankful for having the opportunity to help make said foods. I'm thankful for having a roof over my head and kind people at my sides. I'm thankful for all of our pets around here, insane though they may be: Breeze, Gita, Speedy, Mocha, and Cappuccino de Espresso. I'm thankful for good friends across the street and a fun "living room" of a bar on the corner. I'm thankful for access to the internet, for cheap games on Steam, for marathons of movies and anime, for computer problems and the vindicated feeling of solving them, and for the continued expression of the world via media. I'm thankful for the never-ending amusement provided by international relations between countries. I'm thankful that, for basically the first time in history, I can simultaneously be a part of virtually every culture on the planet (again, thanks to the internet). Global internet culture is the best.

I'm also thankful that, through the heartache and turbulence of the past couple of years, the true friends and family have remained true. I'm thankful that our cats are still alive and well in Wisconsin, and I'm thankful towards Bobby and Becca for their extreme patience regarding the matter. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be close to my brother while being separated by hundreds of miles. I'm thankful for knowing the people that I know and being able to listen to their thought-spew on here or on Twitter.

Things always seem to teeter on the brink of disaster, and yet here I am. I'm thankful for always having the opportunity to move forward, regardless of my ability to recognize exactly how to do such.

Thanks, world. You're really not all bad.
Tubes.Collapse )

It's part of a trend, and it needs to stop, or the internet simply won't have services any longer. Or, services will being to cost ACTUAL MONEY, which will limit the use of the internet to those who can afford it. Which is probably exactly what the big companies that have been pushing into the realms of cyberspace want. Box it up and resell it for profit. Regulate it heavily, so that only they can utilize it and profit from it.

I kinda feel that we should keep concepts of money off of the internet. Leads to far too many problems. In addition to destroying the concept of free information, and the ability for anybody to freely exist.
19th-Nov-2010 01:45 pm - Graphics
So in my long post about the week of computer woes, I mentioned that my Geforce 8800GT died. Managed to pick up a Radeon HD 4650 on Newegg on one of their limited-time super deals for $20. The card itself is nowhere near as pretty as the 8800 was, but it's quieter and seems to have basically identical performance in games. So huzzah! Or something.

While testing settings for optimum performance / prettiness ratio, I realized something. You can get much much smoother gameplay AND make it look much prettier (IMO) simply by notching down anti-aliasing to about 2x. Any higher takes a lot more graphics processing capabilities WHILE making things look blurry. I think I much much prefer "jaggies" to blurriness. Why is AA good again? Also, anisotropic filtering seems to have a huge effect on how nice things look, and doesn't seem to slow down games at all when I've maxed it out. *shrug*

In other news, go play The Path. It's a really beautiful game. From what I've seen so far, it seems to be a very open-world adventure game loosely based on the concept of the Red Riding Hood story. 6 girls to choose from, lead them to Grandma's house, don't stray from The Path (but what fun is that?). Goals seem to be to wander around, explore, discover cool stuff (wait, is this Yume Nikki?), and eventually discover each girls' personal wolf and what form it takes. It apparently gets very "dark" in a horror / macabre sense, but I havn't gotten that far yet. So far, it's quite amazing.

The Prologue chapter is available for free download, and the rest of the game costs a mere $10. So very worth it. Well, perhaps not worth it if you require mass amounts of runnan' and shootan' to appease your senses... but then you're not the target audience in the first place ^_~
19th-Nov-2010 03:43 am - Harry Potter
Just a quick update. Saw the newest Harry Potter movie at a midnight showing. Definitely the best so far, at least as far as proper pacing goes. None of the "rushed" feeling all of the others gave off.

In other news, Working!! got licensed by NIS. That company is seriously the best. They never cease to amaze me in getting both games and anime that I'm actually interested in. ^_^

Blah blah blah, I dunno if I've said it on here before but I started up a twitter. Rail_the_Elf or something like that. It definitely sees more use than my Facebook as it actually serves the purpose I was using Facebook for without all the extraneous fluff and noise.

There's some other stuff to update about, but it's like 4 AM and I'm tired. So maybe more later. *shrug*
So over the past couple of weeks, I've faced a series of recurring computing disasters. And it's all thanks to Windows 7.

A bit of background: at some point over the summer, Nick and I combined the best parts of both of our PCs to make one uber-PC, as his was on the fritz and there is only room for one box in his room anyway. We utilized most of my system, adding in his graphics card, memory card reader, and a couple of his hard drives. Worked quite well for a long time. Until his 250gb SATA drive started randomly not showing up in Windows Explorer...

We decided to boot into a system (Linux Mint) that actually had a drive information and troubleshooting program available (as the tools in Windows 7 are hardly informative), and discovered... not much special. When it was found, it all would mount and run properly, and scanning for errors found nothing. (note: fast forward to yesterday when Nick decided to play around with a Sabayon Linux live cd, discovered some amazing drive info tools, and right off the bat at boot was alerted that there were numerous bad sectors on the drive and that it is going bad and should be replaced...) In any case, browsing the partition tree in gparted, I noticed that I had never gotten around to formatting my 80gig or fully formatting my 500gig after setting up Windows 7 last spring or whenever it was. Reason being, those were set aside for alternative OS partitions that I never got around to installing, as Windows 7 was just too damn easy to use and did everything I wanted. I didn't need to use it "just for games" as was the original intent as it did everything else I needed damn well.

So looking through the partition tree, I decide to extend my Windows partition to fill the disk and format the 80gig as a spare data disk. Done and done.

Then I notice 1mb of "unformatted space"... So I decide to expand the partition to fill it, because I told it to fill the drive dammit >_<

Big. Mistake. Somehow.. It starts, and says an estimate in the half-a-dozen HOURS range for time completion. And I'm like, screw this. So I view the dropdown for full details, and it's running a "simulation" which it does to make sure something is possible before actually doing it, or at least that's what the description said. So I'm like YAY! I can cancel and be safe!


I cancel it, and all hell breaks loose. Windows won't boot. Startup Repair can't fix it. The MFT or something like that is apparently completely fubar'd. gparted refuses to do a damn thing to it, and instead tells you to run chkdsk on a Windows system! WTF, mate? Linux, telling you to do something via Windows? Epic fail. In any case, chkdsk simply won't run on it. The only solution left is a complete reformat/reinstall.

Which I did. That was early last week. Lost everything (well, all programs, settings, and game saves) due to 1mb of supposedly unformatted space.

Fast forward to yesterday. We're discussing computers and technology, and what it would take to get Nick's computer up-and-running in some form so that we could play some multiplayer games together rather than having to take turns utilizing my PC. We decide to hook things up and give it a shot because, well, why not?

So we swap out his hard drives to his computer and attempt to go with my old video card in there, and I loan him my 80gig for OS and backup purposes as his 250gig primary was still very much on the fritz. First issue that crops up is that there's no video. Whatever, not a huge big, it has some crappy onboard graphics and probably just needs drivers. Utilizing onboard video, he gets Windows 7 installed and set up. Then we discover that the video card isn't being detected, even though the fan spins up and it gives all outward appearances of working. Wtf hax.

So we decide to swap in his old video card back to his, even though we're pretty sure the power draw for all of his components was what was causing the sporadic restarting problem that his computer was having in the first place. He wants to risk it because, well, he wants his computer that he paid good money for up-and-running again. THAT card is detected, things go fine, he's now back in business.

I try my video card in my computer... no go. Not even detected. Ergo, somehow whilst sitting in a box from the time we swapped it out for Nick's last summer, it died. Upon further inspection, there appears to possibly be a small spot where a surface-mount capacitor has busted off from the unprotected backside of the circuit board, which could very well explain this noise. Too bad surface mount parts are basically impossible to fix. ;_;

Ergo, now I need to somehow come up with a good graphics card. But wait! All is not lost, for I have a decent Radeon something-or-other as my onboard graphics!

The onboard does work, although I have to use Nick's monitor via DVI cable because for some reason none of the DVI-VGA adapters that we have will work with the DVI port... There's a flat blade-like pin on a DVI connector, and in all of the adapters it's surrounded by 4 smaller pins. There are no holes for those pins in the connector on my motherboard. Whatever, minor inconvenience, I'm just going to need to get a new video card soon. Just as Nick is going to need to get a new power supply and hard drive.

But then... Windows won't boot. In fact, somehow a Linux GRUB tries to load and fails. The last time I had a Linux GRUB loader going was when I dual-booted XP and Gentoo... at least 2 full reformats prior. How exactly the GRUB could still exist makes no logical sense... unless that 1mb "unformatted" partition was actually GRUB, somehow. But then why would it show up as unformatted? And why won't Windows boot, anyway?

Research research research, and it turns out that, as should have been expected, Windows is retarded. It INSISTS, as in does it without even bothering to ask you about it or even let you know it's happening, on adding a 100mb partition on the first drive in the system (or at least the first available space) for the "system". Part of this partition is the Windows boot loader. It just so happens that my spare 80gig PATA hard drive, which is now Nick's OS drive, happened to have that partition, as by nature of the BIOS, PATA hard drives will always be listed before SATA drives.

Yes. Microsoft fucked up so bad that the Windows 7 installer insists on booting from what will, in most situations, be the hard drive on the system that is most prone to failure. And does it without asking, or even telling you that it's doing it.

More research, some panic, some demented laughter, some more panic, and some more research later, and I've tried a number of "solutions" to this problem, which seems to be relatively common among anyone who happened to have a spare drive in their system when they installed 7. I've run Startup Repair numerous times, as apparently it can take up to 4 separate tries to actually work, because it will only do ONE step of the whole process at a time. Also, it takes about an hour to complete, possibly more. I've utilized the archaic DOS prompt on the repair disk; sticking in some obscure voodoo magic codes garnered from neckbeard wizard sites to basically force what Startup Repair was supposed to be doing and failing at. They failed, without fail. Even when I manually created the necessary boot directory and could navigate to it to ensure it existed, the system still refused to acknowledge that it was there.

Why? Generally that happens when the drive partition isn't set to "ACTIVE", as in, a bootable system partition. Except, I already set it to ACTIVE. This leaves the only possibility being that ANOTHER partition, one that is noticed by Windows earlier by sheer fact of being listed earlier from the BIOS, is also set to ACTIVE and is being read first. Except, DISKPART sees no other partition.

My suspicion is that somehow, the ghost of GRUB is refusing Windows. The 1mb pseudo-space, perhaps, is causing all of this noise. Or something.

In any case, my only option at this point was to install Linux to a new partition in empty space on my 500gig, back up the important data, and reinstall Windows. I'm on the reinstalling Windows step now. It appears to be frozen at the "completing installation" step, somehow. This is truly a nightmare.

Oh. And I also realized that I had stuck Kaya, my old 250gig Mac-format drive, in to replace Viking (the 80gig drive). And, even though Kaya was formatted with HFS+ filesystem, and still full of data, data I hadn't had access to in years... Somehow both Linux and Windows saw it as unformatted for some reason, but I wasn't really paying attention to it. Only, about that Windows 7 installer... and its doing things to the first available space without asking...

Somehow, I feel I've just inadvertently wiped Kaya. ;_;

Why is it that the simpler they attempt to make programs that handle partition voodoo, the more complicated and convoluted it actually becomes? Nothing should EVER alter ANY partitions without asking the user for confirmation, and there is no reason that Windows needs a 100mb "system" partition. This... is straight up bs. This is madness. This. Is. Windows.

Moral of the story? Get a Mac. They run Windows anyway, without allowing it to be stupid. They also run better, can utilize Unix commands and build *nix programs from source, and most importantly, won't erase your stuff or get completely fubar'd due to minor hardware alterations.

Also, game developers? Please switch to Mac. Kthxbai.
28th-Oct-2010 09:53 pm - Ugh.
So first my computer died, because I was a dumb. It's... mostly fixed now. Basically, I was looking at the partition tables trying to discern some gleam of information as to why one of the hard drives is intermittently not being recognized, noticed that there was 1mb of unformatted space on my OS/apps drive, and made the dumb mistake of trying to expand the partition to take up the whole drive. The biggest problem was that I was simply impatient; the time estimate that gparted gave was in the 4-hour mark, I checked the logs as they were happening and it claimed it was on a "simulation" run or something like that before actually changing anything, so I told it to stop. And it did, somehow having already completely screwed up the MFT. And it then refused to do anything about it, telling me to run chkdsk /f under windows. Which merely screwed it up even more.

So a reformat later, reinstalled Windows, reinstalled *most* of my programs. Very very glad that I didn't lose pretty much any information, as my docs are stored on a different disk. ..sigh..

Then, disappointing news on other fronts. -_-;;

Robyn and Nick both have interviews coming up though! So that's a glimmer of something good, perhaps. Where's mine? :-P

I kinda just want to hibernate through the winter.
19th-Oct-2010 02:58 pm - So about my other blog...

I started up another blog a while back, specifically tailored towards paranormal interests. Originally, the goal was to possibly earn some cash from the idea, but Google AdSense is a bucket of lies and fail and deactivated my account without giving me a single reason (pointing towards the ToS which basically says that they can cut you off whenever for whatever reason they feel like... oh yeah and also not pay you a dime of anything you'd earned). But I'm still going to post in it, because it's a nice place to muse on things. So anyway, if you're interested in that sort of stuff, check it out.

In other news... well, there's not really any other news. Job places still claim "don't call us, we'll call you" and refuse to even let you speak to a hiring manager. Nick was denied employment at Home Depot (after working at Lowe's previously) for somehow not passing their "personality assessment" part of the application. Starting to wonder if that's not how it's going everywhere for me; no, I'm not your standard happy-go-lucky the-customer-is-always-right smile-and-take-it sheep, and no, I'm not going to fake it for you. If this means I'm "unemployable", well then... I really need to look into ways of making money myself, without any of that corporate BS. I'm not going to be someone I'm not for the sake of some ultra-fake "persona" some cookie-cutter corporate store wants to present. I hate that noise anyway.

Are there any magazines or periodicals or internet sites around that publish short stories and the like?

15th-Oct-2010 12:07 pm - catch-22
I need money to pay off debts, get a vehicle, and otherwise be in a position that will make me someone in which any normal company would be willing to hire. I need a job to get said money.

I've been in this ridiculous situation for far too long, and am starting to understand just why so many people are stuck in the "poor" bracket. It certainly isn't because of laziness, it's merely because being poor is "undesirable".
27th-Sep-2010 07:02 pm - Highschool of the Dead
So I finished Highschool of the Dead. It was a fun romp, but it's not over, and I hear that a second season is already in the works, so yeah. I want to see more, and to see where it ends up.

I love most varieties of zombie scenario media. It always gets me thinking about survival tactics and the like. It's also a much simpler, if not necessarily easier, reality. When your entire existence is focused on helping who you can whilst surviving, your priorities are straight and you do what you have to. Breaking down the convoluted constructs of society brings everybody to a more-or-less even playing field, which is a far cry from the way the odds are stacked right now.

Branching outward, thanks primarily to the anime Shiki, I've also been getting interested in vampire myths and folklore. The traditional, scary-as-hell variety, not the sparkly romance type. So on that note, if anyone has any recommendations of media (books, movies, anime, etc) that deal with vampires, shout 'em out.

18th-Sep-2010 10:14 pm - Dream
Last night I had a dream. There was a grassy car path up a hill off a main road. The path led through a mixed hardwood / pine forest, up rocky outcroppings, and ended at the ruins of a rough-hewn stone structure. A castle or mansion of sorts. The ground at the top of the hill where said ruins were was mostly rock, with ancient, mostly evergreen trees growing from cracks and the bit of soil up there. Through the castle-structure, which featured many rooms and was set up in an odd sort of self-navigated museum sort of way, was a waterfall cascading over a cliff into a lake below. The structure itself was set upon the same precipice as the waterfall.

It was beautiful, but I kept having crazy attacks of simple fear of heights.

Still, I want to explore it more.

Dreams are amusing.
15th-Sep-2010 10:51 pm - Moonbeam
Crisp air returns and autumn is approaching. This time of year brings feelings of nostalgia and bittersweet memories of the past. A couple decades spent wandering, and here I am. But where is here? And why? Answers never appear, and the path is never clear. Struggle and move, press forward. Daily trials to be had; without facing the obstacles ahead one can never progress. Stagnation is as good as death.

Life holds far too many possibilities for everyone, and "society" or "civilization" seems to simultaneously aid in the ability to be infinitely free as well and prevent one from being so. An endless battle of wills and desires, of hopes and dreams and potentials.

I want to write endless tomes of fantasy and mythical fiction, of futures both fantastic and yet possible, of horrors barely imagined lurking in the shadows. I want to paint the song of nature, to run through ancient forests bathed in moonlight, to sing the praises of the sun and moon and the amazing energy of life itself!

In the twilight I will stand, with the silence of the night descending upon the world like a warm blanket. There I will stand, with the endless possibilities stretched before me. There I will take the first step of an infinity of first steps. And there I will know that it was right.
11th-Sep-2010 02:07 pm - Recent happenings...
...checked out Asia Plaza for the first time in years, the grocery is amazing...went to the house, cleaned, took out a lot of trash, still a ton of work to do...in some wanderings, found a praying mantis and shared a moment of time with it...watched Nick play some Fallout 3, it's like "UrbEx: The Game" in many ways...managed to access the Cleveland Trencher Company building, but didn't bring a camera...ate hot dogs over a fire in the backyard with good friends...went to a hookah bar and discussed infinite possibilities...discovered an amazing coffee shop on the west side...drifting forward.
current: Feb 19th 2017, 11:44 am GMT.