The Animal Farm

July 31st, 2005

Crusade Blade

I spent most of the day programming. I described my adventures in the Crusade Blade Development Journal (located in the Writing section, for those of you clamouring to find it).

I saw the new Willy Wonka movie, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s not the original by any stretch - Depp plays a radically different Wonka, and the whole movie screams of Burton from the set designs to the color selections. The characters and visuals were really the highlights of the movie. Things were different enough to be interesting but not so different that you lost some of the purpose of the story. I don’t think it will achieve cult status like the original, but that doesn’t make it a worse movie.

I’m setting a nasty precedent for liking the movies I watch lately. I may have to go see Sky High or Must Love Dogs to restore the balance.

Do you know what the chain of command is?

July 28th, 2005

Dear John Travolta

I would appreciate if you learned another dance. That number you do with Uma Thurman - the dance brought back in Be Cool - has been terribly overused. I’m not saying your movies are bad. I’m just saying maybe you should invest some of that wealth into dance lessons. I hear the four-step is becoming quite popular these days.

Regards,
–Brian Sowers

Let’s just be cool everyone.

July 24th, 2005

Dell can Die

Here’s a brief description of how an order with Dell will be handled:

1) Order laptop. They will give you a wildly inaccurate estimate of the shipping date. Don’t be alarmed. It’s just because they’ve never done this before, which you’ll discover later.
2) Wait for laptop to arrive, checking the shipment status online. This, too, will be terribly unrepresentative of the actual shipment status.
3) Receive laptop. Turn it on. Or rather, try to turn it on. But it won’t work. Not in the slightest.
4) Bang keys and fiddle with A/C adapters like a monkey until you get exhausted and go to bed.
5) Call Technical Support the next morning. Get a good breakfast first, because this is where things get fun.
6) Wait on hold. A lot.
7) Talk to the little Indian guy who is reading straight from a user manual. He will tell you you need a replacement laptop - something you undoubtedly could have told him already. He will then transfer you to the people who will setup this replacement.
8) Only he will transfer you to the wrong department. They will lead you on for five to ten minutes before they transfer you to the people who will setup the replacement.
9) Only they will be wrong, too. In fact, you will be back at technical support.
10) Wait on hold again. A lot more.
11) This time a little Indian woman will pick up. She will ask you the exact same things the little Indian guy asked. Then she will go to look through her manual.
12) Only you will end up back on hold. Wait some more. Probably a good hour.
13) Get frustrated and hang up. You can try again later.

Really, I don’t know where Dell received their awards for customer support. I don’t even know who is giving these awards. I bet Dell is just giving them to themselves, like a little pat on the back for raking in a gagillion dollars from unwitting saps. They make me sad.

F-ing Dell

July 19th, 2005

Night Life

At around 12:30 this morning, I heard a jarring at my door that shot me out of bed. My first guess was that someone had managed a way into my room or that I had simply forgotten to lock the door. I had half a mind to grab the bazooka I keep under my pillow for such situations, but I kept calm. Instead, I chose the Solid-Snake sneak-around-the-room-and-snap-the-neck-of-anyone-unfamiliar. I said, “Hello?” first, which I imagine most covert operatives wouldn’t do, but we each have our own ways. When I managed my way around the corner, nobody was there. I looked out the peep-hole and nobody was there. I opened the door to see if Alex (whose door was open) saw anything, and I didn’t need to go any further. On my door handle was a care package containing all sorts of ‘get-well’ items left by sweet, sweet Christina. There were sore throat relief strips, Campbell’s Chicken-Noodle Soup, and a box of Green Tea. I was supremely touched and happy.

It was, unfortunately, the last moment I would be happy last night.

I went back to bed, tossing and turning, but I did finally manage to fall asleep. At 3:30 AM, I was back up. My sore throat was giving me all sorts of trouble. I tried the sore throat relief strips, which unfortunately have the same effect as a powerful mint - they leave a cool, refreshing feeling in my mouth, but they do absolutely nothing for the throat. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, so I tried a good seven or ten before the night ended, but they just didn’t do it for me.

I finally fell asleep at around 4, which wasn’t too bad until I woke back up at 5. This would be the last time I would need to wake up. I stayed in my bed for a good while, rotating and throwing blankets around and being all manner of irritated. Between having a sore throat and screaming, “F-ing sore throat,” sleep wasn’t going to happen for me. At this point, I was popping the sore throat strips like candy. At about six or seven, I decided to give up. I got up, took a shower, downed some ungodly DayQuil, and went to Kroger to try to find some better cough medicine.

I found something else at Kroger which makes me feel rather goofy. Kroger stocks these little boxes of orange juice in the same packaging that milk is delivered in elementary school. These boxes come pre-packaged with a rather inadequate straw that, whenever I go to take a drink, forces me to get right up to the carton. I’ve never seen such inept packaging before. At least the orange juice is good.

So yea, that was my night. I got roughly no sleep, and I still feel terrible. I seriously considered not going to work, but brushed the idea aside on the notion that I like the people at work, and it’s not like I’m going to be getting any rest here.

And one last thing. I find it funny how many people got all worked up about the new Harry Potter book and stood in giant lines to acquire it. I can walk into Kroger and easily buy ten copies today.

SoBe Yourself.

July 14th, 2005

Development Journal

I added a new bit in the Writings section - the development journal for Crusade Blade, a game I’m working on with Dustin. I’m hoping that keeping this journal will help my development efforts. If you’re a big computer programming geek, you might gain something from reading it.

I had a dream too. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and some frisky green aliens were involved. It was a little scary. Strangely, I was able to wake up consciously from it when I had decided I had enough. I’m glad, because I’m pretty sure things were going to get scarier if I had allowed events to continue. Just before I woke up, Brad Pitt was preparing to try and kill me.

Furthermore, I, too, may be going on a vacation (a mini-vacation, of sorts). There are talks of going to New York and seeing Spam Alot with various coworkers. I don’t know when or even if the plans will come to fruition, but it’s an interesting thought.

This is just confirmed: Whitney is coming down to see me next weekend. Huzzah. :-)

I know you hate me.

July 13th, 2005

Uncreative Update

I learned last night that Ginnie is back online again, this is a good thing. She recently moved to Colorado and just yesterday got the intertr0n. We talked for a good bit and caught up on things; I am glad she is back, Ginnie was a rather hip cat to talk to.

This update is really only here because I haven’t updated in a very long time. The last interesting dream I had was only a few seconds long and it involved a spider in a spiderman suit biting me repeatedly while I was on a seedy New York Subway car. The dream apruptly ended and switched to me making plans for the Olive Garden with Morgan, so I don’t know if I got the powers or not. Could’ve been a prequal to the one dream where I was spiderman with open, bleeding holes in my hands( we in the biz call it “Stigmata-Spiderman” )

I am leaving for Florida on August 7th, so that should be fun. I am looking foward to going a lot but that vacations really means the end of the summer. I come back on the 14th and have a mere 5 days before I leave for college. I don’t really mind college all that much, in fact I quite enjoy it. The only problem is college is not here, and Morgan is here. Oh well, there is always the weekends. Brian isn’t really the best substitute though, he’s a guy.

Alright, I’m out.
~Zach

Not enough cash, gangsta.

July 12th, 2005

Southern West Virginia

If ever there were a place where the government could test zombifying viruses without the world taking any notice, southern West Virginia (specifically the Union and Lewisburg areas) would be the ideal location. This place is dead, and if you have knowledge of the places I’m accustomed to occupying, you understand just how extreme things are. To give the rest of you some sort of idea, Arby’s is the busiest restaurant, the cool hang-out spot for youth is the library, and I was actually surprised to see they have a Wal-Mart. I have yet to enter it. Based on what Wal-Marts are like in more populated areas, I’m afraid the people in this one may eat me alive.

I’m down here for business. Specifically, two co-workers and I are here teaching middle-schoolers various technologies we’ve learned. We’ve been teaching Photoshop, Premiere, and stop-motion animation. It’s been pretty boring, actually. The students are mostly well mannered aside from one, who nearly found his arm removed from his body after touching my shoulder. One of the major benefits of this trip - realy, the only benefit - is that we get free food. We’re monopolozing on this by eating as lavishly and expensively as possible, and Applebee’s may never recover from our gluttony.

Last night, I viewed Tech TV for the first time in years. I don’t know what this channel was like before, but I know now it’s completely worthless. All of the shows I saw were game review shows hosted by the same two people who, coincidentally, have no business reviewing games. It’s as though they managed to get videogames to irritate me. A pox unto them all.

“I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.”
–Dr. Seuss

July 7th, 2005

Myspace

About a month ago, I joined Myspace. I did this for one reason - Dee has a profile there, and I wanted to see it. I filled out the required information quickly, not bothering to put up an elaborate profile or a picture or anything to that effect. I don’t care for Myspace at all, but that’s not relevant. What is relevant is that sometime yesterday, I received a message from a guy named Ian. Ian was an old friend of mine - someone I met at TA Lowery in 4th or 5th grade. We played video games together, and he was the first one to show me Magic: The Gathering. Eventually, he moved away and communication ceased. The final communication must have been over seven years ago. I was very surprised and pleased to receive his message. It almost - almost - convinced me to take MySpace more seriously.

Today I saw Madagascar. It was a pretty good movie that, unfortunately, ended all too quickly. There were a lot of references to movies/TV - Cast Away, American Beauty, and even one of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone (To Serve Man is a cookbook!). If you have a spare hour and a half, you should seriously consider a viewing.

The next 72 Hour Game Development Competition has been announced. It should be great fun for everyone involved. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to participate - I’m really hoping, though.

I nearly bought web space from PowWeb not 15 minutes ago. I have heard nothing but good about them, and their deal is the best I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I was misguided in believing that they would accept Paypal, where my spare money happens to be resting at the moment. If anyone would like to exchange currencies - that is to say, you pay for the web space with your credit card and I compensate you via Paypal, by all means contact me.

Bloody hell. My only respectable pair of headphones just broke.

I brake for geese.

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