Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

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Uncle Phil

:.News of the World.:
Washington Post
NY Times
Howard Kurtz
Leonard Pitts
The Onion

:.On Wisconsin.:
Milwaukee J-S
Wheeler Report
Gannett Wisconsin

Penny Arcade


:.Current Book.:
Woman In the Dark - Dashiell Hammett

:.Last 6 Books.:
The Catcher In the Rye - JD Salinger
Grendel - John Gardner
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha - Roddy Doyle
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Theft - Peter Carey
Saturday - Ian McEwan

:. Bands .:
Dismemberment Plan
Jets to Brazil
Promise Ring

Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
Dashiell Hammett

The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frank Herbert
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

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Friday, March 30

Just when I thought I was growing out of my childhood love of videogames, I fall right into a veritable obsession with playing lately. What's worse is the recent release of two games that are tempting me like foul demons! Now, being dirt-poor is a great way to avoid the tempation to buy these games, but we'll see how long I hold out, eh?

In other news, we have a forensics meet tomorrow, yes, we added one. That and, well, work. You know, man, work.

Thursday, March 29
Well, despite my usualy easygoing manner, this has been a very important week for me, decision-making-wise. I have decided against pursuing employment elsewhere for now and to get a second part-time job, and. . . drop out of school (!) and stuff. Unfortunately, I am running out of money, and I need to work more.

While gone, I managed to develop a crush on a girl who wasn't even on the trip, shows the power of the human mind, eh? I will have to think of what I am gonna do about it.

Girls suck, by the way.

In other news. . . I have wasted far too much time playing in jimmysbox, if anyone knows of a good CS-aholics support group please e-mail me here.


Wednesday, March 28

Today was my sister's birthday, but I didn't see her or anything, go big brother, eh?

Today also was the last day that my fine employer (the Northwestern) prints at the nice new press plant in Appleton and went to the shitty old one in Fond du Lac, which, to make a long story short, makes my job technically obsolete. This is a brave new world for me, since I didn't lose my job, though I am still highly pissed that I still work part time after 8 months . . .

Tommorrow I get my photos back from my UK trip. I'll scan the good ones and see what i can do about posting a few. . . more exciting than a slide show.

Monday, March 26
Well, I hope you didn't think that just because I'm back from my trip that I'm gonna quit posting here.

Not much up, I jumped right back in the thick of things, school, work, forensics, CS, etc.

mGIMP destroyed nBk at the clan warz 10-0 in UT, it was a smearing in every sense of the word. Now I gotta practice Rogue Spear for next week.

Without Europe to post about now, I wonder what I should focus on? Probably girls, but I'll try not to get too mushy (for Barren). Ummmmmm. . . still don't have one! Go me!

Saturday, March 24
B-b-b-b-back in the USA!

Ahhh. . . its so relaxing to be back at home. Now I have 5 rolls of film to develop, and a lot of cleaning to do, apparently my roommate doesn't know that we have a dishwasher.

After my last update I walked about Trafalgar square (the one famous for all the pigeons) and shot a roll of film, and the I went to the National Gallery of Britain, where I saw some really really famous art. They're right out where you can touch them, amazing since I saw a couple Renoirs, a Picasso and some Van Goghs plus a lot of Dutch types, that I really liked but whose names I can't remember. It was raining, pretty hard, too.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company didn't have any seats that were any good so we went to the Comedy Store, THE Comedy Store, too see the Midnight show, it was hilarious, all the guys made me laugh so hard it hurt. I wish I could remember the names in case any of them go on to be famous or something but I'll remember the faces.
A lot of it was 'local' humor, meaning it was very British, making fun of accents, towns, the Queen Mum, Americans (including the guy who took us there who was foolish enough to volunteer that he was from Minnesota during the warmup). I get the feeling that the Brits dislike George W. quite a bit, can't say I blame them too much eh?

So, we rembled back to Matt (the Minnesotan)'s place and slept on the floor, then flew back to Chicago early in the morning, and now I'm totally messed up on time etc. I think I'm gonna run some errands and shtuff. . .

well, it's back to non-trip blogging, that'll make them short and sweet (I hope) again.

Oh: best thing I learned in Britain: "fuck-knuckle"

Friday, March 23
So, my plans for yesterday were thrown for a loop when I woke up at 5:00 a.m., sick as a dog. Apparently, eating Pizza anywhere in the UK is a bad idea because we're batting 1.000 so far on getting someone sick after eating some. It was relaxing, I guess, to sit in bed all day instead of prancing about in the rain, which is my usual day on this trip. I sat in bed, not eating or drinking and just waiting for the next time I got to throw up: quite a day. I did manage to finish Rainbow Six last night, but now I might need a new book to read. 897 pages in 3.5 days, yeah, I'm on vacation.

Tomorrow is the day we go home, I'm actually quite excited, provided I manage to keep track of my luggage the whole time.
So, since I last updated. . . Katie and I had a good conversation about all sorts of philosophical stuff at Pizza Hut. All the while some small ball of evil was (unknown to me at the time) starting to take over my intestines. I think I trounced her quite well, since I view all philosophical discussions as debates which

Then I tried to explain modernism and post-modernism to Katie, which wasn't easy because I don't understand it fully myself. Well maybe I do, I can't tell. It was cool to use big words like simulacrum and dialectic again, though.

This post may seem fragmented (like every other one, you're thinking) My excuse is that I am talking to my good pal Dave on ICQ right now. I highly recommend ICQ to any of you that don't have it. It can be a memory-whore, but so is Windows in general, and I know you're all running at least 128 MB right??

So, now's the time to relate my 'Ryan is a moron' story (I know you all have one).

It's Tuesday and We are taking the bus (a double decker) into Edinburgh from the airport, I have stowed my luggage in the compartment near the driver while Katie tries to figure out how we get to Millfield. I get waved over by a very sweet old woman who is trying very hard to help us, explaining how Dalkieth road works and all, when all of a sudden we get to what Katie decided is the best stop for us to get off at and I rush out, taking my backpack with me. The bus takes off and we walk the wrong way, the old lady who was talking to me waves at us, and we notice that we have walked in the wrong direction, wave back, and find Marchhall right next to us the other way.
In a minute we find Millfield, ring the bell, and I realize that my other two bags are on the bus yet. I don't say anything because the bus is gone, and I figure I'll call the bus station so I can pick it up later. The woman who runs the B&B shows us to our room and gives us our key and then I explain to her what happened and I ask her if she can help me call the bus station and see what I have to do. She ruins my faith that I'll get them back soon enough by exclaiming "Och! Ya'll never see them again!" But she calls anyway, only to be given another bumber to call. She calls the next one, talks to them for several minutes, and is told to call another number. She calls it and it turns out to be the first number again. This time she waits for the assistance to pick it up (its one of those press 1 for. . . press 2 for. . . electronic services), and explains it again. They say ask for some info from my bus ticket and a description of my bags, then they try to radio the driver, who doesn't answer. They say his must be broken (!) But that if they're there at the end of the night, they have a lost items box from which I can get them tomorrow.

After pacing around nervously for about an hour, keep in mind that at this time I have lost my two bags, all my clothes and my camera, we decide to go eat. Being the Americans that we are, we go to Burger King. It's a long walk, and I am totally paying attention to the buses, reading the numbers on them, waiting for the one we were riding to come by so I can try to flag it down and get my stuff back. Now, Edinburgh has about 500 buses, each with a 3 digit number on the side, and I see a bus go by about three times in a minute while walking up the road.
While eating at Burger King, THE bus goes, by #847. I tell Kaite to wait there and run out of the joint. I just miss it at the large interstection nearby, and have to run the long way around, since in the UK they prevent jaywalking by putting fences for about 20 meters around each intersection. I try to run it down for about a mile, but this one doesn't have a stop anywhere along that line, so I catch the one behind it that does stop, explain my situation, and ask if there's any way the driver can contact the other one. He tries, but it seems the guy's radio actually doesn't work, which I did not believe orginally. Nevertheless, I am stuck, so I thank the driver and get off the bus.
I get back to BK several minutes later. kaite tells me she didn't believe me when I said I would run after the bus if I saw it, and I laugh. Though I wasn't completely successful, I did see my luggage still in the compartment, which makes me feel much much better.
So we finish the day, and I try to not think about my luggage. I have my credit card and I can buy some new clothes and a new back if necessary. My paren'ts camera is gone, which will put me in a bad state, but I have my film, at least.
That evening I saddle up for bed (does that make sense?) but out wonderful host knocks on the door and in her hands she has my bags, and since I've already told this part, I'll finish, but whew! I can be a real wanker sometimes!

So, this is a long post, and I am disappointed that the luggage story isn't as amusing as I thought it would be, oh well. I'm not here for you're amusement, it just seems that way.

So, kudos to my namesake pro-sports franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks, since I just found out that they completed a season sweep of the defending-NBA-champion Lakers the other day. One thing I haven't missed, my two favorite sports franchises have played about four games between them since I left, just two each for the Bucks and the Ottawa Senators, not bad since their usual schedule is to play every other day.

Oh, BTW: the sick day ruined my Scottish-girly seach, about which I have gotten more than a few e-mails, sorry laddies! You'll have to get out here yourselves sometime.

Also, my good buddy Adam, is inquiring about what he should name is boat, so do me a favor and tell him not to name it 'l337 b0atz0r', please, as I want to be able to show my face while riding in it. If you don't speak "l337 h@x0r", all the more reason to suggest a change.

Yeah, I know I ought to be about, seeing all sorts of cool London stuff, but I'm not, I'm tired and almost broke and anyway, we are going to see the real 'Reduced Shakespeare Company' tonight, which should totally r0x0r, sorry, I mean it should be fun. . .

Good luck to my dear forensicators at what will probably be the last regular-season meet of the year at Sheboygan North. I wish I could be there, I may actually get back to Oshkosh in time to be at the Alberta Kimball lot when they get back, but no promises. Well, my internet funds are running low and I still have e-mail to send, It's been fun, folks, but my next post will be from the U.S.A., so the UK edition of Plinko (don't ask about the nickname if you don't already know)




Wednesday, March 21
Okay, so for everyone worried about my luggage, I got it all back last night. The wonderful, wonderful saint of a woman who runs the B&B where we are staying made her son drive her out to the busing company's HQ in the industrial part of town and get it last night for us. I was absolutely shocked at how much she did for me when all I wanted from her was help calling the company so I could get it back today, with luck.

So, now losing my luggage is just a funny story in which I shall ever praise the wonderful people that own Millfield House on Marchhall Place (yes, its really spelled that way) off Dalkieth Road, Edinburgh Scotland. I will highly recommend the place to anyone I know journeying to Scotland.

So, I slept well last night, thanks to the presence of my own clothes and trinkets.

Today we visited Edinburgh castle, which was pretty cool, literally. It is very cold and windy today, and I neglected to pack gloves, my hands are still little stiff after typing in here for half an hour. I bought more gifts for friends back home, so now I need to decide what sort of method by which I'll decide who gets stuff, especially considering my very tight budget. I have got stuff four four people and I need things for at leats two more. The tough part is getting stuff that that individual will like, since everything is just tourist-ish stuff anyway. I am too poor to afford, for example, the £2000 bottle of 50-year-old-scotch whisky that we saw for sale at the Scottish whisky experience museum gift shop today. Keep in mind that two pounds is about three dollars American. . .

This particular internet cafe offers online gaming, but I couldn't get into jimmysbox because WON is telling me that the halflife cd key is currently in use, which tickes me off big time. I am guessing that the owner installed HL with the same key on all these machines, because there's a guy playing CS next to me. . . I ought to report him to Sierra or something. So, I might try to get in sometime tomorrow if possible, so keep an eye out for me.

I'd like to post more, but I can't think of anything at the moment. I still have surfing to do, checking out how everything is back home, etc. Friggin email me for chrissakes!!

Love, Me.

Tuesday, March 20
Okay, so Edinburgh is beautiful, but I have something else on my mind.

Particularly what is on my mind is that I LOST MY FREAKIN LUGGAGE today, all of it except my backpack which contained precisely zero clothes unless my leather shoes count. Now, I don't mean the airline lost my luggage, which I would be fine about because they would reimburse me. No, Mr. Smartypants here left his luggage on the bus. I don't particularly feel like recounting all the amusing stories that go along with this. Suffice to say that it was, apparently, the only bus in the Edinburgh system whose radio doesn't work, that I almost ran down that bus later but coudn't catch up but that at that time the luggage was still on the bus (I saw it) and that I was assured twice by the bus company that I could get it tomorrow. Whew. I will recount it in better detail later, but for now I am paying to type this at my slow, mistake-ridden pace, so I'll save it for now.

Congratulations to team mGIMP, who, despite being Plinko-less, won 11-6 last night against -=ROF=-. They are disappointed to have *only* won by that margin (after being 18-0 in rounds up to that point in CS) but I think they did just fine, especially considering they didn't have an ideal team for backalley, which would probably have had me replacing Boogie, not out of vanity, but because I love Backalley and Boogie hates it. Ah well, I love the fact that we can be so disappointed when we almost double-up the opposition.

Okay, so my last post was mistake-ridden, this one is, too. I am going back to correct it now. Not that anyone is complaining, I really think only Barren reads this anyway, but I am anal about it.

No mad sex romps took place in the room next door, at least not that I could hear.

Monday, March 19
This is my last night in London, well, until Friday when we'll back for one day before we travel back to the US.

Okay, I think I've gone on too much about how Katie and I get along. Like I said, we have different ideas of whats fun, that and I think I make her incredibly uncomfortable (since I'll go four hours without saying anything unless asked a direct question - go figure!). Ah well. Today I went off and did my own thing and she did hers and while I felt like a dork traipsing (sp?) about by myself in a foreign land, I was a lot less stressed out. I took the Underground downtown and walked all around. I crossed London Bridge and then wandered around Bankside for a while. Eventually I managed to find my destination: the New Globe, which as you may know has nothing to do with the now-defunct Oshkosh restaraunt. Rather its the newly built replica of the original Globe theater built by our beloved Shakespeare. I bought some souveniers, not much really, just swag for a friend who loves Shakespeare more than I do.

I'd like to take this moment to refer you to earlier post regarding my poor typing before anyone gets all snippity. It's in the archive.

I sent out two pieces of mail this morning, which I am hoping will arrive before I get back. I'll give it a 50-50 chance. I wanted to send everyone at least a postcard but I neglected to bring my address book. Don't worry: I'll show you my pictures later.

I decided I needed a page-turner to read while I'm bored, instead of the wonderful (but challenging and, therefore, not-good-traveling-material 'The Hours') so I bought Rainbow Six, of which I have already put away 70 pages in about an hour of reading, that's more like it for vacation!

WARNING: the nest paragraph may make some people uncomfortable with its subject, don't say I didn't warn you.

So I talked about how I couldn't sleep the other night, well, It's because our 'hotel' has paper-thin walls and for two nights in a row -with DIFFERENT people staying in the adjoining room- I have been kept up by the feverish moans of a couple 'going at it' like we were rooming next to the honeymoon suite. They were freaking LOUD and they had to stop and start agin every ten minutes or so, for three friggin' hours, and this wouldn't be that bad but I am the lightest sleeper I know -people tip-toe-ing in the hallway wake sme up, much less the orgasmic screams of some vacationing Brits. If I have to put up with it again I think I'm going to go outside and throw rocks at their feckin (local slang) windows.

Okay, better now.

This post is huge because I am not sending out one large mass e-mail tonight. I am gonna send replies to those who've written to me and also one to my parents, who haven't checked their e-mail since I left, even though I told them I'd e-mail them as soon as I got here!

Tomorrow morning we travel to Edinburgh. I don't know what to expect there. I suspect foot-and-mouth disease will put a damper on what we can do there anyway. From the good-timing department: the search for Scottish girlies has been called off at the request of my pals, they now claim that they were only kidding ;)

It's about 4 p.m. Central time right now and I can't get on ICQ or into jimmysbox right now, which disappoints me. I can't tell if they're really down or if its easyeverything. Ah well.

Hmmmmm. . . not much else to say. I have to save something to talk about when I get back, don't I? This may well be the last post until Friday because I don't know how easy it will be to get internet access in Edinburgh, which is big but no London. So, I may be incommunicado for the next four days, hopefully not, I am truly addicted to the internet. Hey- at least its not heroin!

Sunday, March 18
Okay, I have but 8 minutes to update before my credit at easyeverything expires. Ha, Stew would like the alliteration (if it were a headline). So, I'm gonna be quick. Walked around a lot today, and it got cold. I did see some truly awesome architecture and sights. I only wish that I was having more fun doing it! Yeah we aren't getting along at all, and it's probably mostly my fault, as I said in the last post. I think we have completely different ideas of fun. Let this be a warning to you travelers! Anyway, I'm supposed to look for Scottish girlies for my pals back home, so I'm off!

Yesterday was kinda wacked. The Cathedral was awesome, probably the neatest thing I've seen since I've been here. Of course, I love big old churches, so no wonder. I think Katie and I aren't getting along all that well. I've been rather sullen, which is actually normal for me, but Katie doesn't take to it very well. It makes for some unnecessary tension.

Got to see the crown jewels of England, too. They were pretty cool. I bought a lot of postcards.

So, I had severe insomnia last night, and Katie got food poisoning from the restaraunt we went to, but I was fine. I think she's still sleeping, and its 3 pm. I fell asleep around 4 or 5 am myself and slept until 1. I am just about ready to go home because so far this hasn't been as fun as I wanted it to be, but things could be better today. There is actual sun outside. SUN! Man, sunlight!! woo hoo!

Apparently Celebrity Big Brother is the biggest TV hit here. Yup. I don't want to hear anyone talk about British cultural superiority EVER again.

Last night was St. patty's day, but I didn't fel like drinkning, but apparently everyone else in London did, and they were freaking loud about it on the way home.

Note to self: British keyboards suck. The @ is above the apostrophe, the Shift key is not double wide and has the forward-slash next to it so I type \i all the time instead of I, which I spend a lot of time fixing. It all makes a lousy typist even worse, which is compounded by the fact that this keyboard has a very sticky backspace key. Grrrrrrr.

So, in summary: suck it.


Saturday, March 17
London is a wet, wet place.

Today will be tourist day, I'm going to see the Tower of London, the National Museum and some giant Cathedral. Time to take photos!! Anway, a reminder to e-mail me if you love me, and I know you do.

Friday, March 16
Okay, I am posting this from a supermarket somewhere in London, so feel connected to a foreign nation right now. Unfortunately I am not carrying my e-mail list at the moment, so I can't send out the e-mails I promised just yet. That's okay because I've only been here for like four hours and therefore have nothing interesting yet. I will have plenty of tales to regale (?) you with soon.

Thursday, March 15
Tommorrow is the big day. I am totally unready for the trip, too. Oh well, I'll manage. I plan on sending some e-mail home from the UK if I can find my way to an internet cafe of some kind, and I'll even update the old Blogger page, for my one or two faithful readers (you do exist, don't you?)

Anyway, my boss pointed out today that I have an e-mail account for work that I ought to have been checking for, say, four months. I checked and found out that I had 37 unread messages, mostly virus alerts and warnings of e-mail outages. Ah well. I may start to use that address, as it sounds more professional than my fullanme at yahoo account which I currently prefer. Certainly this could have turned out to be a much more amusing antecdote, but I dont' feel like trying very hard.

So, in conclusion, I hope to post from London at some point in the next four days, but don't get your undies in a bundle if I don't.

Yeah, save the wisecracks.


Monday, March 12
Three days to go until i depart for the mother country.

Thois was a decent weekend, despite the stress of Saturday. I crawled back up to fourth in jimmy's, talked to some people on the phone blah blah blah.

This week will be very very busy as I prepare for my trip and take tests etc for school, plus, of course, work.

P.S .if any of the hot chicks that Barren referred to are still interested in getting in my pants: feel free.

Saturday, March 10
Today was a rough day. First I had to chaperone a bus of unruly kids for forensics, after getting just four hours of sleep last night. Then I got roped into working in the tab room all day, which is enjoyable but also tiring (tab is the tabulation office where scores come in and questions are answered at the meet). Then we managed to lose a tournament for the first time this season. 'Lose' might be strong, since we took second-place, but its the first time since this same meet last year that we haven't taken first. Dang, now I am tired and working. It's been stressful despite the fact that I have no layout duties on a Saturday. Ah well.

What was really sad for me was knowing that today was, in all likelihood, my last (regular-season) meet as a coach. Few of the kids know it, and there's still both State meets this season (after my England trip takes me away for the last two meets), but it's not easy at all. As tough as it is on me, I love it and I love the kids. But the old career won't allow it, so this is it.

I've been so busy that I've managed to fall back to 8th place on jimmysbox the premier NE WI Counter-strike server. I guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow!! Shwell. Take care, kiddies!

Friday, March 9
Please be aware that, though I work on the copy desk of a newspaper, I am a horrible typist. Please be forgiving regarding typos, as I rarely spell things incorrectly out of ignorance of their correct spelling.

Feel the love.

Okay, so my good friend Adam "Barren" Steineke posted a link to my page from his, I guess that means I have to get more entertaining. He referred to my site as mushy. I guess this is true in a Steineke sort of way. I have just had a lot on my mind lately concerning the frustrating-ness of women. Now, this will not go away, but I can see it getting to be lesser for the forseeable future. Adam's site is much cooler than mine, as he has his own true "site" with his own graphics and links and whatnot. Supposedly Blogger allows this but I am too lazy to figure it out. Hopefully I will put a permanent e-mail link up soon, until then here it is: ryanreidbuck@yahoo.com. I did manage to figure out how to post links in my Blogger entries, so expect to see them starting soon.

I am not thinking enough about my England trip, over which I should currently be so excited that I can hardly maintain bladder control. I suppose maybe that will start next week.

So, I have been working hard at the paper, making sure that all the citizens of Oshkosh have a quality paper to read daily, but I have started looking for a new job. My resume is almost complete, now I need to compile a portfolio of design clips. Mine will actually be pretty sparse, but its better than nothing. IF (that's a big if) I find a new job, it'll likely mean that I will have to move out of the area, and as much as Oshkosh generally blows, I would miss all my friends.

If you read the Northwestern tomorrow, you will notice that our lead story is that 6-year-old in Oshkosh was charged with sexual assault. . . you decide.

Tuesday, March 6
Again, I've been lazy, but at least I have been busy!

Last night team mGIMP defeated another candy-ass team in the proverbial "clan warz." Though your friendly host was only a cheerleader, it ended up being a lot of fun, and afterward the entire group went out and had really greasy sandwiches and joked around. It was, I admit, a lot of fun.

I have started to feel much better since I had my run-in with the old ex-. She called today while I was out, and I even called her back, but she wasn't home. So I'm off the hook for a while, I think. The real problem is that the totally cute girl in my science class is still totally cute and totally taken. Totally. That and any other girl in whom I am interested is either unavailable or unapproachable. This reminds me of high school, ick.

Had a long day at forensics District. Now I have a ton of homework to do, but that's just me. I'm still thinking about looking for a new job "somewhere else" but I am not sure of what I want to do or where I want to go but I'm tired of being dirt-poor. Ah well, my dream of marrying a beautiful rich bimbo is dwindling by the day . . .

Saturday, March 3
It's been a few days, but I don't think anyone reads this site as it is, anyway.

If I was cool, I would try to find some space somewhere to post this and then have a cool links page and pictures and files and stuff like my other friends. Of course, the aveat there is that I know nothing of HTML, so that's out the window.

So, it turns out that the totally cute girl I've been hitting on for three weeks has a boyfriend, thanks for letting me know now! I would think girls would have enough sense to weave that into the flirting a little ealier, you know "yeah, I totally agree . . my BOYFRIEND says that all the time too. . . yeah, so what do you think of. . . " see, then it would make things so much easier, and we boys wouldn't have to feel like an idiot so much, no comments, please. This is why I can't stand not being in a relationship, because it's so danged awkward and confusing.

In other news, I leave for England in 12 days. yay!