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

02/01/2001 - 03/01/2001 03/01/2001 - 04/01/2001 04/01/2001 - 05/01/2001 05/01/2001 - 06/01/2001 06/01/2001 - 07/01/2001 07/01/2001 - 08/01/2001 08/01/2001 - 09/01/2001 09/01/2001 - 10/01/2001 10/01/2001 - 11/01/2001 11/01/2001 - 12/01/2001 12/01/2001 - 01/01/2002 01/01/2002 - 02/01/2002 02/01/2002 - 03/01/2002 03/01/2002 - 04/01/2002 04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002 05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002 06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002 07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002 08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002 09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002 10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002 11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002 12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
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Sunday, March 28
I've been busy.

Seriously though, I don't have much of anything to say. The Prom soundtrack has 87 songs on it right now, and the goal is 90, so we're almost there.

The little leadership group I mentioned a few weeks ago is annoying me as well. It's like the thing's being run by a sorority. I swear. Details to follow, maybe.

I'm writing a story for Rolf this week, money which I will find enormously useful once I receive it. So, if any of you are experts in the field of advising small businesses how to secure their computers let me know and maybe I'll interview you. I could make you famous!!

Tuesday, March 23
I was totally going to do some work on the Prom soundtrack tonight. But I got sucked into some BF: Vietnam instead.

Since some people feel the need to ditch me for IKEA tomorrow, I am going to have lunch with my mom tomorrow.

Sunday, March 21
Dear Microsoft:

I am a frequent customer of yours. I have bought hardware and all sorts of software from you over the last several years since quitting the Mac circuit about five or six years ago. I mostly like your stuff, though it's not like you have a lot of options sometimes.
Today I am writing to you to say fuck you and your damn dirty lies. I hope the EU takes you for a few billion dollars and forces you to stop selling products that aren't computer operating systems in Europe. And then I hope that the US follows suit and fines you for as much money as it takes to run you right out of business.

What has prompted my anger is your Windows Messenger "service." I really love it when a program runs itself and tells me other programs 'need' this 'service' to function when, in fact, they do not need it at all. I love it even more when this 'service' automatically starts up in the background and tells the whole world I'm online whenever I turn my computer on. I really love it that despite the fact that I use a different version of this 'service' every day, I cannot remove the old version. But what really, really makes me feel the joy that is almost like seeing boobies for the very first time, is when I force the old service to close, use the new service for a while, log out of the new service, start playing a game and while I am off doing something else, your service decides to start running once again and broadcast to the world that I am online without telling me or even opening up a window.
Wait, did I say I loved all those things? I mean to say that they make me want to pirate your products and strangle your firstborn children. I suspect you would prefer I stuck to the latter.

It is awfully nice of you to have instructions somewhere on your support page for making the 'service' stop running permanently by manually adding registry entries. I mean, you could have just added an option to the program menu that lets you tell it you don't need to run it. But really, what fun is doing anything with your PC if you don't get to spend some quality time dicking around in the registry?

Now I can finally turn on my PC without being signed into a program I do not use. Of course, now other programs of yours that 'depend' on the old 'service' start up much slower, because they're sad I'm not using old versions of software any longer. You guys are a real crackerjack bunch.

I hope you all get rickets you fucks.

Plinko aka Lord Sweetness.

PS. I hate you.

Saturday, March 20
I am always here, trying to provide a little intellectual stimulation for you.

Surely by now you've succumbed to common sense and registered at the NYTimes, right? Good, because this is a pretty interesting story. The kind of thing I really like to read on Saturday mornings. Just a nice cursory (if you can call 6 pages 'cursory') on the globalization of names.

My Internet service has been substandard since moving to my current apartment. However, it has been considerably less than substandard lately. It has decided to take periodic breaks from resolving domain names, say every five or ten minutes or so. I am seriously considering going back to the evil empire, which would have the added benefit of getting my dad off my case about not using SBC, which has given him gainful employment for about thirty years. I suppose I can wait on the phone to be told to reboot my modem and computer as easily with them as any other provider.

People are going to have to forgive me for being crabby about work for the foreseeable future. I am fairly certain this will be the general attitude for a while. I do not feel at all confident that things will be going my way for a while, and that upsets me. And while some may say that I should be happy to have a job and to remain patient, it's very very hard for me.
It doesn't help that I looked back at my illustrious work history since college and I see a consistent theme of broken promises and outright lies from my employers with an eerie regularity. My first job out of college was offered to me on what I could only describe as false pretenses, and it just went downhill from there.

My first job was at the Outlet mall, at a household goods shop that promised me the opportunity to apply for the assistant manager job in two months (they just lost the entire management staff) and told me they had offered me the highest wages they could for my job. Six weeks later, the job was filled without being posted from outside the and I found out that the other person hired at the same time as me was given significantly more money than me despite having considerably less retail experience.
I quit after that and eventually landed at my security job, a pretty common thing for males we know.
That was always a stopgap job and I don't think I was treated any worse than anyone else, which is to say lousy, but that's security.

Eventually, I caught on at UPS, where I worked in package security. I absolutely hated the job, but was fairly good at it. What I really wanted to do was move into a slightly different job, and when the woman who had moved out of my job into the one I wanted quit, I was asked if I wanted to move into her job. Of course I did, but the job never materialized and after several months I left to work at the newspaper full-time.

Since I was part-time at UPS, which is how pretty much everyone starts, I also had been working part-time at the newspaper doing page flow. Because of my degree and experience with page layout, they allowed me to also do some proofreading and some basic page layout. After a few months, they asked me to come on full time and promised a Jan. 1 date to go full-time. So, I put in my notice at UPS. Of course, as the time came, the full-time job wasn't anywhere to be seen, but they work a few more hours a week and kept telling me 'soon' for four months. During that time I registered at UW-O and started working on my education degree. When the full-time job finally showed up, I quit school, possibly foolishly considering the job was doing the professional job for clerks' pay.
Shortly after that, one of the copy editors quit, which would have allowed me to take the position and get paid as a professional for a change, but it took four months from posting to actually start getting paid for the job I was doing, and shortly after that they were offering more money to interns to take the same job.

So it wasn't much thought for me to go into business on my own, heck nearly everyone I liked had quit already.

Of course, I've chronicled my version about that elsewhere, but it certainly fits with the theme if you remember it.

Of course, here I am, in the job I took because I saw it as an opportunity. I could have waited, stayed within my experience and probably done better, in the short term for certain. But, I figured I'd get my chance and I gave myself a timeline I thought was reasonable. I'd take the opportunity that was in front of me rather than wait for something more sure.
Now I see the vagueness and hesitation I saw everywhere else, so naturally I frame it in the light of my previous experiences. Everywhere I've worked, promises and somedays have been more or less meaningless, why should I think this will be any different?

On the other side of things, it's easy to see me as someone who's never happy. I admit, I am impatient, it's my nature and half the reason I do pretty good work. But I tell you, it's hard to sit around and wait to see if this is going to be the same story as before or not.

Ugh, sorry to put that to you. Now that I've typed it all out, I'm sure I'll feel better about it. That, or I'll get into some online BF: Vietnam and let that anger me instead.

Wednesday, March 17
I suck at Golden Tee.

In other news, it snowed and I drank some Irish beer in honor of this joyous holiday of emulating the drinking habits of the Irish.

Other than that I have made minimal contributions to society as a whole today. I suppose I should get on the motherfucker.

A few of us from work went to a seminar today that was supposed to teach us a little more about the kind of business we do. All I learned we that consultants are tricksie little liars and you would be wise to never do business with them. That is all.

Tuesday, March 16
Ugh, glad the hockey game wasn't broadcast tonight. So instead I looked around in futility for a copy of Battlefield: Vietnam, was comforted by discussing work politics (thanks Miss Velveten!) then sat and criticized web sites for Rolf for a couple of hours before retiring for the evening immediately following this post.

I got a new computer at work this week, so no more constant bitching about Citrix for me. I also did some training of people in other departments today about what we do in ours. I took it as my chance to do a little indoctrination. I think it went generally well.

I wish there was other news, but I'm spent.

Sunday, March 14
Inspired by "The Barkin" (people use AIM?) I decided to do a survey of people sharing my name. A quick Google search for Ryan Buck will yield a number of interesting results.

Naturally, the owner of ryanbuck.com comes up first. This Ryan seems to like classic cameras and was in some kind of band for a while.
He doesn't seem to have updated his page in three or four years, maybe it's time to stop paying for that URL, huh?

You'll find that the Texas-Pan American Broncos have a player by the name of Ryan Buck who does not seem to play much. If I were 6-6 I think I'd have done pretty well at basketball, certainly well enough to get some minutes on a Div III team.

A Ryan Buck of somewhere in Indiana has a pretty exciting webcam going.

There's not much info on Ryan Buck of Athens High School, I assume somewhere in Ohio. He seems to like Yahoo! and Star Trek, I guess.

The #2 men's tennis player at Wayne State appears to share my name.

Ryan Buck of Madison, WI, really wants to buy a moped. I'm glad I'm in college any more, people would have been mixing us up all the time!!!

Another Ryan buck in Indiana, this time he's located in Bloomington ( it another instance of the same one??) directs plays at a regional community theater.

yet another Ryan buck devoted unspecified resources to He-Man.org.

Naturally, there were a lot of high school athletes sharing my name, but nothing seemed as noteworthy as these results.

So my name doesn't really share with too many illustrious folks at all. Fortunately, you wouldn't find much about me by searching Google, outside of the very site you're reading right now.
If you narrow the search to include our fair city, you'd easily learn about the magazine, that I was once promoted at the Nowhere, that I coached West High to a 5th-place finish at the WFCA Coaches' Tournament in 2002 and that I was interviewed by the P-C about blogging once.

Now wasn't all that exciting?

I knew you'd say that.

Good morning. I'm not entirely sure sleeping until 10 am is all that much better than sleeping until 3:30. But since I was tired all weekend, I guess this is good for me, for today at least.

Had a good time watching the Senators beat the Canucks last night, with a little assistance from our friend the Crivitz drink. It was an entertaining game, the kind of hockey game that might have converted a few new fans to the sport. I guess the suggestion that the best way to improve hockey's image in the US would be to broadcast Hockey Night in Canada here isn't a bad one at all. Of course, they'd have to find something else to show during Coach's Corner, since nothing would turn America's stomach faster than Don Cherry.

Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones and I have finally getten to sit down and play some Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. The game is pretty fun, but filled with bizarre gaming mechanisms that take away from the experience as a whole. Why is it I need to send money or items home so my family will like me better? Aren't I out there braving the terrible monsters to bring home the stuff that protects our village from being overrun? Is anything enough for these people?

Friday, March 12
Hello, 5:30 am, how are you doing this morning?

Once upon a time, I was a really light sleeper who had trouble falling alseep. Fortunately, way back then I used to think of 6 hours of sleep as a lot.
Nowadays I get to sleep stay asleep more easily, but every once in a while I get to play with the insomnia and it's just like old times. I doubt I'll ever sleep normally. Well, unless in the crazy space future I can live on a planet with 26 hour days. You know, since I want to be awake for 18 hours and sleep for eight. Stoopid work here on Earth won't cooperate with my plans for a slowly backpedaling daily schedule.

I blame all this on my six months or so working third-shift security. It fucks you up for life. Once you try sleeping while it's sunny and staying up all night, alone, in a dark guard shack every day, you never quite sleep the same. I bet my man Pyro can testify, though his years have made chemical changes to his sleep neurology that modern science may never fully understand.
It's like eating the hot wings at Africa Hut, once you've done it your body is not the same - for the rest of your life.

Last daddypants day coming up in two hours or so. I'll be glad to be rid of them for a while again. I better be leaving them for someone else next time. Grumble grumble.

And who turned the heat off? I'm freezing and I have the space heater on. Great new furnace I got, I'd rather they spent the money on some fucking insulation, if you ask me.

Tuesday, March 9
I didn't want to wear any daddy-pants at work this week, but they've been forced upon me once again.
It seems like every time the bosses go away for a few days, I get stuck making sense out of some big deal stuff that goes on. It's probably just me making mountains out of molehills, I suppose, but I just wish people could save their crazy announcements for a week when, say, our whole division isn't traveling.

All I can say is, I darn well better be getting some real happy news in the next four weeks at work or I will be one pissed off Plinko.

Back to the realm of thing you may be interested in.

I've been trying to read the news more. And by that I mean read more news stories all the way through. For a while now I've mostly been scanning headlines and blurbs, rarely reading the whole thing. I forget that there is some pretty interesting stuff in the papers I like to read, and sometimes its about things that I didn't immediately feel the need to read based on the headline.
I'd provide links, but most of the papers I read require registration, and its frustrating to click on a link only to have to fill out a form just to read the goddamn story. Take my word for it and start reading more.
Because reading is fundamental.

Last night I went to an organizational meeting for a group that is starting a young professionals organization for Oshkosh. I, contrary to what you might think, believe it's a pretty good idea. Verily, I did go to the gathering.
Of course, my enthusiasm was quickly countered by my intense disrespect for some people that somehow found themselves installed into positions of authority.
But, rather than give in to my own frustration, I decided to join up on the committee with the dumbest seeming leader and promptly vowed to take it over. It's good to know that I have a co-conspirator, in the form of a like-minded guy who happens to employ two of our dearest friends. Maybe I'll wow you with details, or maybe I'll just grumble, you never know what will be coming up in the next exciting episode of Why Plinko Hates You.

Back to the news, don't go all crazy about how you knew this sort of shit all along Shaft.
I'm just saying.

In hockey news, I was extremely happy to see the Sens pick up Greg DeVries from the Rangers. Now they have two defensemen who've won Cups with the Avalanche. . . So, over the last month the Sens sent away Rachunek, Shastlivy, Hnidy and a couple of decent prospects for Bondra, Simpson and DeVries and a 3rd round draft pick. I'd call that a win-win-win.
I was appalled at the whole Todd Bertuzzi nearly killing Steve Moore of the Avalanche last night.
I hope they do suspend him for at least twenty games, and I hope he gets convicted of assault to boot.

Sunday, March 7
Well, it's time to start thinking about Prom. I suppose we're going to be more open with it this time.

I've been cleaning up and improving the links list, in case you noticed and were wondering. Some new folks in, some old ones out or moved around.

This weekend has mostly been cooking and cleaning, I'm well resigned to my own domesticity by now. I have made an angel food cake and baking powder biscuits from scratch, strawberry sauce, whipped cream (thanks Velveteen), scrambled eggs and bacon, saffron rice and curried lamb with tomatoes so far this weekend and I think I'm baking cookies yet tonight.
The saffron rice was the only stinker in the bunch. I bought some rice seasonings from World Market and it kinda makes rice that tastes like, you know, the behind.

So, everyone at work is going to be gone all week in Vegas, while I sit around and think about how much I have never wanted to go there and how much I hope next year they hold it somewhere else. Also, I think I'll be picking up a bottle of SoCo to stash in my file drawers.

This week it has dawned on me how incredibly boring things must seem. I have definitely fallen back into the waiting-for-something mode. Maybe it's good, as it stems frustration waiting for certain things that ought to happen soon (work related). But, on the other hand, it's no good for the things you need to be proactive about (non-work related). I did remark to Mother today (and by 'Mother' we do not meam my mom, by the way) that I have not really been feeling the urge to hit on the ladies lately, for which they are probably generally grateful. But that seems so strange to me, I'm not usually like that at all. If I'm not talking about it usually because I'm being considerate of your own stomachs, but not lately, it seems to have slipped my mind for the most part.

So, instead I will lounge about while I rip a cd or two and maybe take a nice nap.

Friday, March 5
Good evening.

Made a great beef stew tonight, had some great beer, witnessed the game with the most penalty minutes in all-time NHL history tonight (not necessarily in that order).

I didn't post yesterday, but the New York Times ran a piece of video game journalism that more like I really wish would be done way more often. It's too bad no one who runs a video game magazine would ever run something this thoughtful, it's not like they'd upset and advertiser or something if they ran it.

I'm sure there are other things I'd like to mention, but I'm a surprisingly galooly from the two beers tonight. So I'll stop before the typos drive me insane.

Tuesday, March 2
Good evening, ladies and/or gentlemen.

For those of you at the egde of your seats, waiting for an update as to the status of my cold, I will not disappoint. My head is still full of gunk.

For the rest of you, the saner crowd, there sin't much noteworthy. I don't know why I do that, telling you there's not much and then going on to tell you things anyway. It's rather stupid, don't you think?
Even if there is nothing worth reporting, one shouldn't make a point of talking about it.

Anyway, I have gone to the video store and rented some films. So far they were just okay. I was really disappointed in Pirates of the Caribbean, somehow the acclaim it received led me to think it somehow was going to be more exciting and interesting than a movie based on a theme-park ride. Alas, it approximated my guess as to what movie with such a genesis would be, generally clumsy with a few moments of entertainment.
I also watched Matchstick Men, which was a slow starter but got a lot better further in. At first I was disturbed by the overload of tics and obsessions of Mr. Cage's character. But once the story got moving and the tics fell to the background, it got much better. And the movie manages to do the end better than I expected, since it pretty much ends as one would expect, if one had half a brain cell going in.

If I feel up to it, I'm going to watch the Maltese Falcon before bed.

Sometime tomorrow, we'll have a presidential race between the parties, can't wait for that media vomitorium.