Computer is back in order (for the most part)
theopolis
his_spiffyness
I got a friend of mine to make a boot disk of Ubuntu for me, and I spent this morning installing and updating. Now I'd say the computer is about 80% functioning the way I want it to. The biggest stumbling block remains my scanner/printer. It's one of those unfortunately cheap models from Wal-Mart, and it's hard to tell if it's just quit working or if the damn thing is just not Linux compatible. Being a low end HP from Wal-Mart I'm thinking it's just it's disposable nature and trying to use it with an atypical OS is giving it fits.

As for Ubuntu itself, I've been playing around with it all afternoon and I'm fairly happy with it. It's interface is not too far removed from what I'm used to, and it doesn't have much of a learning curve to getting up to speed with it. For the most part I am a low end user, I don't play a lot of games, and the main use I have for my computer is for internet accesss and occasional image editing. So except for installing Gimp, I can get by with what Ubuntu has given me with the basic package.


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100 Sci-Fi Movies: Abraxas: Guardian of the universe
theopolis
his_spiffyness
And picking up again with my reviews of the 100 sci-fi movie pack . Today I sat through Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe. It stars Jesse "The Body" Ventura as a pan-galactic cop who has lived for over a thousand years and is tracking his ex-partner Secundus played by  Sven-Ole "The Accent" Thorsen who has gone off the reservation. He's tracked to Earth, where Secundus rapes a woman as part of some weird plan to get the Anti-Life equation. Yep, it's some real choice material when they are clearly ripping off Jack Kirby's Fourth World. Secundus does the deed, but Abraxas stops him, and sends him back to prison. Braxie is also supposed to terminate the woman, who is going through a 30 second pregnancy, but he chooses to spare her and she gives birth to a boy alone in the woods (really nice guy huh?)

Fast forward five years, the boy is growing up, and Secundus escapes to collect his prize from the kid's brain. Braxis naturally follows, and we have the big show down in a nondescript Midwestern small town. At the heart of it, the movie runs like the obvious Terminator rip-off that it is. Braxie and Secundus both talk in that oddly technical android speak. It's even worse with Secundus, since he has a thick foreign accent, which makes him sound even more like Arnold.

Overall, it was a lot of stilted and goofy melodrama. There was a distinct over use of internal monologue by all three primary characters, especially at the beginning of the movie. Though on the bright side I would say it was paced pretty well and there wasn't the massive amount of padding like I saw in Galaxina. It had it's moments, but it clearly suffered from a badly written script.


It's only about hlaf a crap now...
grrr!
his_spiffyness
I bought a replacement hard drive for the computer today.  I went ahead and upgraded to a 1 terabyte drive, just so I won't have  all the space limitations I had with that 80GB drive. I also found a copy of Windows XP pro amongst all the discs I got from my brother, and so I thought I was all set to reinstall.

Of course, there are problems. First I realize my copy of XP is only an evaluation copy (limited to two weeks.) Worse than that, the copy appears so old it's having trouble recognizing my hardware. It says I don't have a sound card, nor does want to believe I have an internet connection. So I can't get it online to update itself and right it's problems. And in 14 days what little functionality I have will disappear anyway.

Unless I can lean on some friends for another copy of the software, I may just see about switching to Ubuntu.

Crap Crap Crap!
theopolis
his_spiffyness
When I got up this morning, I went to check my email and such before work. All the computer gave me was the blue screen of death, so I shut down and rebooted, hoping it would right itself.

No such luck, I get stuck on the boot screen being told there is no hard drive. Dammit.

So now I get home from work and think maybe I can salvage the hard drives out of the other computer we have lying about. I open the case on my Dad's old computer and I realize it uses Parallel ATA (IDE) drives and mine uses Serial ATA, so no dice.

Right now, I'm using the iMac in the living room to get onlie, but I really need my computer working again. I'll see about scrounging up a drive and some Windows XP discs so I can try and get it going again.
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Day 2 of the Six Day Grind, and a MSTing possibility
theopolis
his_spiffyness
The truck was practically identical to yesterday's truck, so we got done pretty quickly. It seems I'm headed towards being assigned trash duty. Mike has been pushing to get everything done quicker, especially since the cardboard has a habit of accumulating and no one bothers to take care of it. It's a job that does need someone working on it full time, and it's what I did back at the old store, so I wouldn't be surprised of they stick me with it.

Also today, I found a movie that's just jumped to the top of my "movies I want to make a fan MSTing of." It's called Starship Invasions and it stars Christopher Lee and Robert Vaughn in a totally slumming-for-a-mortgage-payment performance. Chris Lee doesn't even speak in the whole movie,  the aliens were all telepathic and all his words were dubbed in post. 
It was part of that Canuxplotation movie trend of the 70s and early 80's. Canada had a really generous tax code to encourage the Canadian film industry at the time, and lots of people pulled a Max Bialystock taking advantage of the system.

But this movie is screaming for a MSTing. It's so perfectly cheesy and bad. In fact, I might try to convince some of the Fencon team into helping with this. After all, Fencon's resident mad scientist Professor Otto Von Schnapps, is exactly the type of person who would continue the infamous and inhumane experiments of Doctor Forester. He also has a personal grudge against Joe Dalek. So maybe he gets his revenge on them by trapping them aboard the Satellite of Love or some equivalent and subjecting them to some god awful movie.

I'll have to discuss this with the gang at the next opportunity.
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Day 1 of the Six Day Grind
theopolis
his_spiffyness
Because of the annual inventory, the flow team got Monday and Tuesday off. So today more or less marked the start of a new week for us. It also started a run of six days straight we will be doing trucks, so my next day off will be Tuesday, which feels quite a long ways away from right now.

My main concern is whether this is an accident, or if our schedule might be shifting back to having trucks on Sunday. Mike thinks next week schedule might be in error, since there is also a midnight start time on Friday. It could be the schedule was automatically set from one of the last weeks we had a similar set up. We'll probably find out later this week, our department manager Josh will be in tomorrow and we'll figure it out then. Hopefully it's a mistake and we will have Sunday free.

On the upside for today, I got my new glasses from Coastal.com. They had a promotion on Facebook of giving away a pair for $15. They seem to fit a bit snug, but then my other pair was rather loose since it didn't have the nose pads. The prescription seems a bit strong, but I think that might have more to do with the frames. This pair has wire frames, while the previous pair I bought was solid plastic frames. It feels like I have a much wider blurry peripheral area around my eyes now. Not surprisingly, when I bought that plastic framed pair (switching from my previous wire frames) I felt like I had blinders over  the sides of my eyes. So a lot of this is simply personal adjustment.

Fun with Mashups
theopolis
his_spiffyness
I've had this idea for a Galaxy Quest/Inspector Spacetime crossover comic for a while. Or at least I've had the itch to try it for some time. There's just something about these kind of meta-textual fandoms that interest me. While someone provides this framework for the fandom to exist in, it's all up to the imagination of the fans to fill. 

So I started a crossover comic a while ago, and I only got as far as the first page. My idea involved the Omega 13 device they referred to in the "series" cliffhanger ending they showed at the beginning of the film. I really didn't have any plan where to go with this, so I was stuck there. I've now come up with a much better plan, by using the utterly simple method of ripping off the source material one step further. I'm going to be blatantly borrowing from a well known Star Trek episode, with the extra angle of the Inspector and Constable Reggie making an appearance.

And the suck once again returns.
theopolis
his_spiffyness
It seems things are going downhill once again at the store.

Ever since Fencon the schedule has been kind of screwy. My time off from the con lasted till the following Friday, and when I get back to work, I find the truck for Saturday is cancelled. And the boos in his infinite wisdom decided to take a truck on Sunday and move the  start time to 1:00am.

This week is turned out equally nonsensical, since we are heading into inventory. So we are taking trucks all weekend since inventory will take Monday and Tuesday (which means we will be off) and we'll be working  straight through the rest of the week. 

But I saw the schedule for the week following that, and that really has pissed me off. The only non-truck days that week are Tuesday and Thursday. So that means a truck Sunday and Monday, on top of the four straight truck days we already worked. 

This means I haven't had a Sunday free since Fencon, and it looks like we are going back to the much loathed working all weekend schedules we had up until this year. It's bad enough we are likely to deal with it around Christmas, but if they are already starting I'm expecting it means we are getting shafted out of any free time on the weekend.

Combine that with the realization of what a dick our current assistant manager is, I'm really inclined to get back on the job hunt again.

Finally
theopolis
his_spiffyness
It's been a couple months since I really got behind the drawing table.  But I finally got a bit of inspiration and I've started something new. It's a fan comic idea that's been percolating in my head for a while, and it's high time I got it out. The first page is drawn and in the computer, and I'm now coloring it.

But it's likely to be a while before it shows up though. I'm  taking this a little slower, and I'm going to have a number of pages finished before I start posting. I might even try to get the story done before it's posted on DA.

Delving more into Space:1889
theopolis
his_spiffyness
I've been reading through the game manual for Space:1889 and find I'm waffling on whether I should use the rules as is, or use an alternative system. The game system is inelegant, with a number of complicated charts for each weapon and a lot of rules for running a game. I think I can make the system work, if I make a new character sheet that makes referencing all of the combat information a little easier. Even then, I expect to keep the actual battle to a minimum. This isn't a hack and slash dungeon crawl full of easily dispatched goblins, after all. Gentlemen and Ladies of the Victorian era wouldn't do those sort of things.

The other possibility I've considered is using the Cubicle 7 "Saturday Afternoon Tea Time Adventure System" at least that's what the guys at C7 informally call it. It's the game system they developed for their Doctor Who game, and later adapted for Primeval. It's got a lot of features I like, and isn't the complicated mess of rules the classic system uses. The only limitation I can see might be how social status is handled in the game, but then I think I can work around that.

I found some scans for a number of the supplements for the game, and most of the material deals with Mars and only a smattering of information on Venus, Mercury or the Moon. While it is the most frontier like to play in, the lack of detail on the other worlds (and no consideration of Ceres and the asteroid belt) and it's focus on British Imperialism makes me want to try and work a few other angles into the game. 

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