Why Plinko hates you.

the life and times of one jaded motherfucker.

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Uncle Phil

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Penny Arcade


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

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

:. Bands .:
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Jets to Brazil
Promise Ring

Mark Helprin
Kazuo Ishiguro
Wilkie Collins
William Faulkner
Philip K. Dick
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The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien
Frank Herbert
Dan Simmons
The Dark Tower
Stephen King

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Monday, April 29

Another TBCS has come and gone. It was a decent one. I wonder what exactly people played. I mostly did a lot of JK2 and some CS 1.4 but there were never more than 20 people in any of those games and there were 70 or so people at the party. It seeemed like there were a lot of people playing games with one or two people, which leads me to wonder, why go to a big LAN if no one is going to play large multiplayer games? In LANs past we usually had muliple large games going at once, you could hop from CS to DoD to UT to Quake to RCTW at will and find at least seven or eight people in each game, often 18 or 20.
This weekend, there was maybe one game going at once and if I got tired of it, I'd look out to see what everyone else was playing and find that they weren't playing much at all. A little Dungeon Snooze, a little SOF2, some Freedom Force, a little Scientist Hunt maybe but no mass gaming, which is what I really go to the LAN for. Not to trade files (and I did none of that this weekend.) and certainly not to play one-on-one emulated Mario Kart. I think Barren is right about WWII burnout. There's been way too many WWII games lately.
I think JK2 is kinda cool and all, but like every Star Wars game is banks on the franchise instead of good game design. I mean, they did a fair job of getting force powers and lightsabers in, but I found it to be spotty at best for actual gameplay. I guess multiplayer maps that suck complete ass don't help either, not to mention putting a blaster in which is less useful than the glock pistol in CS.

Now let me get off my geek soapbox and talk about things that matter. I am working in Seboygan until Thursday, but I have to commute because either they're to cheap/foolish to put me up in a hotel or because they need me too badly at Oshkosh for an hour or so when the training is done each night. I want to quit so badly it hurts. But I will tough it out and keep hoping that Sean comes through for me.

One good thing about work is that I have a new schedule starting this week. I now work Sunday-Thursday, which means that I now have a weekend consisting of a Friday and a Saturday. That means I can now become semi-human again and hang out with people. It also leaves me excuse-less when it comes to explaining why I don't have a girlfriend. Now I'll just have to admit that I'm a geek.

For those of you who care, I did get a considerable amount of cleaning done yesterday. I will need another day of it yet, but the progress so far has been amazing. It almost makes me want to keep the house clean all the time.


Tuesday, April 23
Okay, okay, so I'm lazy.

Anyway, I am really really tired of work. Mainly because I haven't had a 'weekend' since December, coupled with the fact that until this week I have spent both of my (non-consecutive) days off every week doing forensics. It is, I admit, a choice I made last year when I agreed to coach, but that doesn't mean it's not really exhausting. Anyway, that said, I have just two more days of work before my four-day weekend. I am really really looking forward to it, too, for the aforementioned reasons as well as the arrival of TBCS 17. Even better is that after my four day weekend, instead of working my normal shifts, I will be driving to Sheboygan to train them on their new editorial system, which means I won't have to deal with deadlines for eight straight days!

Back to forensics. We placed fifth (in a tie with Hartford Union) in the state on Saturday, which was very exciting for everyone but me. I ought to be happy with it, I know. However, I can't help but be disappointed. A few kids really tanked, and had we placed fourth or third I would have been much happier. Of course, I have high expectations, seeing as in my 11 years of involvement with the team we never placed worse that fourth, and that was just once.
I am proud of the kids, though. They really stuck out a tough year considering the situation they went through with the suspension and the appeals and the retirement of their old coach.
Despite all my complaining about how tough it is, I will miss it immensly. I love my students and I love being a part of the program, but there are limits to what I can do for the school, and being the coach is beyond that. I haven't told my students that yet. They'll find out in three weeks at the awards banquet.

In other news, I'm going to try really hard to get my house back in order during my hiatus from work. It's been a godawful mess since two events: my brother moving in and the start of the forensics season. The former because there is significantly less space for me to keep my stuff in and the latter because of the time commitment which has left me with little time for cleaning. TBCS will interfere, but I think I can get it at least mostly done.

I think I'm supposed to be bitter about something. Let me get back to you about that.

Thursday, April 18
Well, it's Thursday. That always means a day off. A day off spent scrambling to get things done for forensics and maybe, just maybe, playing some Dark Age of Camelot.
I have been spending my time scrambling to get enough judges for the state tournament Saturday. Unfortunately for me, most everyone I know is somehow *busy* that day. As if Saturdays were a day people set aside for doing things other than working for me. Sheesh.
I really wish I had some kind of interesting news about my eternal search for a new job, but I don't. Send your pity to my home address.

Sunday, April 14
I really should not be allowed to go a week without posting.
See, several times during a week I think to myself, 'better remember to talk about that next update.' You know, as if there's some kind of adoring public at large whose appetite for Plinko is my primary reason for living. In my rare moments of clarity, I know that this site is really just a work of vanity and fulfills only the desire of several friends to read about me so we don't have to hash out every little detail of our lives every time we run into each other. Instead we can talk about important things, like ham. Instead, I end up holding off and then trying to mesh my patience for Blogger with my ability to remember everything I thought might interest my pals (or obsessive The Price is Right fans who become fixated on my twisted auto-wreck diary). I usually end up forgetting all the interesting stuff.

If you can't tell, I'm in one of my introspective moods. I know these always turn out to be depressing. I don't know why, I don't feel depressed, just thoughtful. But be forewarned anyway, My sense of how my posts are interpreted by others is less than keen.

Well, since I last talked to you: I haven't given much serious thought to my new category of things, which I brought up about a week ago. Assuredly, I will think heavily on this some time soon.

As for my lyrical musings last time, suffice to say I had my reasons, reasons which mean nothing to everyone that ever has or will read this site, but some things you just have to do for yourself. That said, I'd feel as if I'm shirking some kind of taste-imperative by not saying that the Dismemberment Plan is one of the greatest bands, evar. Of course, few people share my taste in much of anything, so take two grains of salt with that and call me in the morning. If you like, or perhaps even think you might like, some quality post-punk get your audiogalaxy on.

In the world of work and whatnot: Due to some serious errors, of which I shall not assign blame, but which were, thankfully, very far from having anything to do with me, our new computer system got pushed back at the last minute. I'm sure that how all that went down could be fuel for a week's worth of bloggerizing, but I had the day off on the crucial moment of zen during which everything got all, well, kerfuckelt. So all I could deal in would be conjecture and hearsay, nothing like you usual Plinko fare of hard facts and witty commentary which keeps you coming back time and again.
It looks like I am not leaving the paper to work for my pal Sean, a prospect I believe I have largely kept off this site due more or less to having other things to talk about. I got a letter from EAA today, saying thanks but no thanks as well. Now my prospects of getting away from the paper in the near future have, well, narrowed. I still have some small options, I'll keep you posted.
I want to talk about women later, but since this also falls under 'work' I'll tease you a bit, the new photographer has been off more or less since my last real post and so there aren't any developments for you who get some kind of thrill reading about how I suck at asking women out.

Yesterday was the first of our two state-level forensics competitions. This was the wussy little one where everybody gets some kind of medal and really it's little more than an excuse to enjoy the nice weather and shop in Madison. My kids did extremely well, and I have to say I love them dearly, almost as much as if they were my own real children, and not just some marionettes I made in my shop.
Seriously, though, I am going to miss them a lot after I 'retire' following the season. As much as I complain about having to spend a lot of time doing forensics, my students rule, and there will always be a spot in my heart for them. I'll even try to make room for them as far from the blackest part as I can.

While I was in Madison, I did something dumb. I went to lunch with not only my ex-girlfriend Christine, but also my ex from immediately before Christine, Hillary. Yes, there is no greater disaster waiting to happen than trying to eat a meal with two ex-es at once. Honestly, I dreaded it from the moment I agreed to it.
But you know what? It was boring as fuck. They just gossiped with each other the whole time about this and that class or this and that party or this and that clique of hipster college kids. I could have taken a fucking nap instead of eating.
The lunch did two things for me, the first is it finally nailed for me once and for all that the bright, funny, pretty sweet Christine Lagorio that I once adored, doesn't exist anymore. She has, in fact been secretly replaced by an underweight (yes — for those that knew her — she's thinner than ever) shallow bitch that I would as soon throttle as wave 'hello' to. For this transformation I blame college.
You see, the second thing that I got out of lunch was confirmation that college sucks and is a severely negative influence on people. Not the education part, that's still all cool and stuff. No, it's the 'culture' and/or 'socialization process' of universities in this generally great nation which is largely repsonsible for much of the stupidity which I battle every day. See, college isn't really hard, which is why people in college can spend all their waking hours getting drunk or planning how and/or when to next get drunk. The living on mon and dad's money (or the government's — as I did) with no real responsibilities for four years is little more than an unsocialization process, in which you can and do get away with being an insufferable moron every day and nothing really bad ever happens to you no matter how much you fuck up. At least in high school you had to see the same people every day for four years, so most people felt some obligation not to act stupid all the time. In college, there's that relative anonymity making the consequences even more remote.
I was thinking about this at lunch when Christine asked me, 'don't you miss college?' I said, 'you know, I never miss college. Not at all.' She was surprised at that, I guess most people would be. College was dumb and I would never do it again. I think it takes people several years to become normal again, if they ever do.

Anyway, the end result of lunch was to say I don't miss Christine any more. Not that it was a real big part of my emotional life lately, but that threw away what scraps I had left. All of which is, probably, a good thing.

After lunch I went shopping and spent all my overtime money at a nice clothes store on State Street. I did foolshly spend $130 on a jacket that I adore way too much, in addition to getting a nice shirt and pants. I can be shallow sometimes, too.

With all that emotional garbage out of the way, I have some interesting little things to share.

First of all, I worship Tycho from Penny Arcade. There exists no thing which I would rather be like than he. I bring this up because this is something I think about every time I post. It's also a segue to what I really want to say now. I saw this link on P-A, and though I usually do not click on such links, I chose to explore and was pleasantly surprised. It's basically a clearing house for covers/remixes of videogame tunes. The tune that prompted him to post it, SuperBuckJazz by the Estradasphere (greatest band name, ever) rules so much that it hurts when I contemplate it. They have some excellent other tunes as well, but your life is probably incomplete without that song. Unless you didn't think Super Mario Bros. 2 rules, then you'd probably just think it was cute.

Next, I have yet to do my taxes.

I also have a lot of dishes to do. I did about half of them before sitting down to do this post (which already is more than an hour in the making). Let's see which one gets done first, the taxes or the dishes.

I'm sure there's more, but now I'm getting tired, and I have to work yet today as well. Maybe you should consider reading this post in two sittings, then it's like you got two posts! I guess it's a little late now, though.

Oh, one last thing.

I hate each and every one of you fucking useless suckbags.


Thursday, April 11
There’s a kind of music that reminds me of you
It’s all clear expensive drinks and shiny shirts
And the click of heels as they descend from the taxi
Like the first foot on the moon, oh, and it glows with ache
And if it hits me right it’s almost too much to take
And it’s got right angle razor thin lines
That turn and swerve like perfect sines
As we dress to the nines in an
Attempt to leave it all behind
In a search of the moment between the seconds where
Everything is just fine
That silver thread imbedded deep within our spines
And I used to be kind of weird about this
A fear of dependence on a guilty gilt-edged
Hedged transcendence that makes us liars
And tense when we look down and realize
That nothing really suspends us
But it was never just another Saturday night
Not with you in attendance
So throw your hands in the air
And wave them like you just don’t care
It’s on a whim; it’s on a dare
To shrug away what we can’t bear
And we’re going back and forth
And back and forth and back and forth and back
We’re going back and forth
And back and forth and back and forth and back
And it’s a deep blue see-through membrane that protects us
It connects us, a pulsing cellophane
Party-train skein that helps us and
Envelopes and keeps us locked inside
Forever and ever along for the ride
And we’re moving through a phosphorescent gel
A semi-solid self-lit ocean and it’s a funny notion, isn’t it?
Yeah, but I’m kinda digging it
And it’s rigged and isn’t nearly so big
And it speaks only of its own
Perpetual near miss
Like the uncertain memory
Of a stranger’s mistaken kiss
And faces slide by in glowing shadows
Like snowbound ghosts that go up and down
In epileptic shivers and negative radioactive slivers
In a landscape of endless dull glitter
And a taste in my mouth so sweet, yet so bitter
And we exhaust ourselves trying to get there
Somebody scream—all right
We’ll try to fill the echoless night
So fasten up and hold tight
We can’t give up without a fight
And we’re going back and forth
And back and forth and back and forth and back
We’re going back and forth
And back and forth and back and forth and back
So in the end, whatever, we die, we dissolve
Equations unbalanced, riddles unsolved
And we were never connected or involved
Except for the intersections and crazy mathematics
With no time and no space and no schedule and no place
And we pass right through it without a trace
And sometimes that music drifts through my car
On a spring night when anything is possible
And I close my eyes and I nod my head
And I wonder how you been and I count to a hundred and ten
Because you’ll always be my hero, even if I never see you again

-The Dismemberment Plan, Back and Forth

Sunday, April 7
Well, my week of hell has sort of ended. 56 hours of work (in four days) and one forensics meet later, I am still a crabby whiny jaded motherfucker.

Despite all that, I did flirt incessantly with the new photographer on Friday night while I worked. She makes me all giggly and other such things that you don't like to hear me talk about.

In other news you don't care to read: I installed my new burner and remounted my second hard drive tonight so my PC is in excellent shape for the first time in months. I expect something to catch fire before this post is done with. With my busy schedule, I have yet to even install Jedi Knight II or Freedom Force, even though the next TBCS is hurtling ever closer to reality.

I also sat down and watched Saving Private Ryan for just the second time tonight. It's still good. As a matter of fact, watching it made me think of a new category stuff that bitter elitist snobs like me would talk about:

Suff, such that not liking said stuff makes you a moron.

Saving Private Ryan would definitely be on that list. I don't feel like listing off a whole bunch of stuff that fits this new category. Suffice to say that this web site is definitely on the list, sweetums.

Friday, April 5

Okay Blogger is not publishing, at the moment and it lost my posts the last two times I tried. So I'm going to put up something here now and hope that I can pulish it later.

I'm thinking of switching over to BloggerPro just so I can get a slightly more reliable site and posting tools. The other features are ok, but I'll worry about that later.
Of course, I could always shunt over to my TDS web space which I haven't activated yet.

Anyway. It's Thursday and I already have put in 48 hours of work this week, with a full day tomorrow yet. Needless to say I'm very tired. It is possible that I am so tired that I can't even find it within myself to bitch about anything and everything on God's green earth. Maybe.
I worked so goddamn much because this was the week I had to train everyone else in the newsroom on our new editorial system. All 20 or so of them. Then, when each day's training session was over, I waltzed upstairs and pulled a full shift putting out the paper.
Training was okay, but lecturing for six or seven hours a day is actually very hard, mostly because of the pacing and the stress on my throat. At least I get paid overtime for a change. Of course, now that means I'll be all the surlier when the overtime fountain dries up again, but I'll worry more about that when the time comes.
Normally, I'd take this time to bitch and moan about the utter morons I had to train. Tell some stories about many of the no-talent ass clowns I work with. But I don't feel like it at all.

My recent misogyny musings have elicited some interest from my fellow embittered souls, while some others have scoffed at me. In either case, I may put the whole women-hating thing aside for a little while. Or at least until the cute new photographer we hired turns me down for a date. Then we will be back in full hating swing once again.

Oh, and thanks to Pyro for the IDE cable. Believe it or not, that solved my little CD-drive fiasco.