azurite: (cat and mouse)
So. I went to the Apple Store and to PowerBook Guy (third-party Apple product repair) today. I picked up my MacBook Pro from the Apple Store, where they reiterated what the guy told me on the phone: it's Tier 4 damage, must be sent out, and will cost $1240 flat for all repairs, which would include the keyboard, logic board (most expensive part), connection cables, CD drive, hard drive, etc. Apple has to replace anything they see damaged: there's no part/parcel replacement, and heck, even if there were, it would probably cost more.

The guy even showed me the internal damage: chocolate milk and dried-up sugar (?) in small splotches throughout the entire thing (so much for my prompt and level-headed clean-up and reaction). I went to PBG and told the guy this, but for him to open it and give me a different diagnosis would have cost me $125. Based on what I told him, he estimated $1025 for repairs, and even had to ask me to plug in, because the power cable internally and the port for it on the outside had chocolate milk damage.

The next computer shall be named Chocomac (or something like it) )

It sure would be nice if Will (#repomen) would show his face here in San Francisco so I could collect the $7500 bounty on his head. *sigh*
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
I've uninstalled Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium. Not just Photoshop, which was really the only application giving me issues, but all of it. I have the trial of CS4 and should be getting the CS4 backpack that is my graduation present soon-ish (it's on backorder from, but the problems...they aren't going away.

I uninstalled CS3 using the uninstaller in the Applications/Utilities folder. Everything was a success. Then I ran the CS3 Clean Script from Adobe's Support Center--twice. Everything seemed to go smoothly there, except it also apparently removed Shockwave Flash (Safari is now protesting I don't have the right plugin for some websites) and InDesign CS4. I re-installed CS4 and then Photoshop said it was missing components. So I reinstalled Photoshop. And everything seemed to be fine (again) for a few minutes. I opened some documents and prepared to get to work.

And then it crashed.


Same error as before EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP).

I have tried everything at this point short of fully uninstalling Intego (but you'd think if that was really behind it, the error messages would say something relating to Intego, right?) and wiping the OS and reinstalling. I have NEVER had to do this with a Mac OS, so I'm obviously a) very worried and b) very reluctant.

This has happened with Photoshop, while I got another Initializing Extension Data... hang with Dreamweaver CS3. It only happened sporadically, though, and hasn't happened with Dreamweaver CS4. Only Photoshop seems to hate me, and I don't know why. (Why, Photoshop, why!? Was it something I said?)

Oh, and then there's Firefox. So after I couldn't get into my Photoshop for class, I thought I could use DeVry's iLab environment, which is run by Citrix. Blah blah, got the latest extension, went into Firefox because supposedly it's more compatible with Firefox than Safari (lamesauce, Citrix, LAMESAUCE!). Firefox didn't even seem to recognize it. So I uninstalled and re-installed (after a bit of a scuffle with a crappy beta). I let it be shiny-new, as is, for a while. Citrix seemed to be there (though not in the Add-Ons list, the way 1Password is despite being an external install), but the second it tried to launch Photoshop via Citrix, CRASH! The Citrix online plug-in, that is--not Firefox. Actually, it happened with ANY of the Adobe suite programs I tried to launch via Citrix (didn't bother trying Microsoft gunk--should I?), so it doesn't seem to be just Photoshop-related.

However, since that fresh install of Firefox, the app itself has crashed--repeatedly. It looks like the same error message as the Photoshop one, which is to say: not helpful at all. This tells me that whatever Adobe tells me to do to "fix" Photoshop won't actually help, because this is starting to look more and more like a system issue. I disabled XMarks, since that would cause freezes that would force me to quit Firefox, but the problem isn't really solved: Firefox takes around three "clicks" to get it to start. I can launch it from the Dock or via Quicksilver, but either way, it'll be in the Dock for a split second, even have the "running app" indicator below it, but it'll still just vanish without a word. No error, no crash reporter, nothing. And I'll try again. And again. And again.

And then it works, acting like nothing's wrong. It doesn't APPEAR to be as slow as it used to (which is why I switched to Safari in the first place), but it may depend on the website. And I still do have a lot of extensions, because to be frank: if there's going to be a limit on Firefox's number of extensions, then TELL ME SO from the outset. Give me a suggested number, or tell me how much memory each extension will hog up, or whatever. Because most of them I got because they're actually USEFUL and I need them in some fashion.

I think I'm going to have to make another appointment at the Apple Store. Hopefully I'll get someone who actually knows that Snow Leopard doesn't have Archive & Install as an option anymore, and that dust can't creep into your computer and make your hard drive explode (Yes, it's been said).

Another thing to add to The List of Mer's Computer Woes? My Time Machine is definitely on its last legs. My lovely new-ish Western Digital MyBook Studio has begun ticking, a bit like a soft clock. It doesn't always mount, and even when I do the whole unplug-to-power-cycle thing and re-plug, it doesn't always work. And I'll hear a soft a clock, only not as regular. Maybe every few seconds. This one might still be under warranty, but what's the use if I'd just end up replacing it with another WD drive? WD doesn't seem to be nearly as reliable as I thought. :( What are the HDs the "Geniuses" use at the Bar, I wonder? They look pretty compact and sturdy...
azurite: (cat and mouse)
My Western Digital 500 GB hard drive started CLICKING today.

I was still able to get it to mount, but I get the feeling that data isn't moving from my laptop to the drive; normally when it does, the light on the front of the drive will be going up and down. Right now, it's just still, with one little segment near the top "burnt out" (it's not really burnt out, as it does light up every now and again, but lately that section doesn't light up).

I've tried stopping the Time Machine backup, ejecting the drive and remounting it, but that doesn't always help. Even power-cycling doesn't always do the trick, which has me a bit worried. Previous SNAFUs with this or other WD drives have caused me to switch from USB to Firewire for the port of choice, and make sure that it's powered directly into a wall socket, versus a surge protector (which seems stupid, but meh, it's what they told me).

Anyway, after it started to click this morning, I got worried, so I looked into whether it was still under warranty. It is, and in fact, I can upgrade to a 1 TB drive for $20 off the MSRP, provided I ditch the current warranty on my existing drive. Thus, a quandary: do I wait for the drive to asplode before getting a new one, or do I act preemptively, assuming that no click is a good click?

Idea that just got thrown out the window: use a new 1 TB for a data external and use the old data external (250 GB) for Time Machine. That won't work, because if my internal is 300 GB, then I need at least that much (double is better) for a Time Machine. I'm actually kind of cutting it close with the 500 GB Time Machine I'm currently using.

I also have conflicting "to do" stuff with the laptop itself. See, I was worried about losing my iTunes library, so I moved the larger one to my external hard drive. That means it doesn't get backed up with my Time Machine. So if I do something stupid, like delete files off my external, I'm S.O.L. I've been thinking about moving my complete iTunes library back onto my internal HD; I have the space for it. It'll start getting backed up with Time Machine (unless the clicks really do spell bad news), and that should all be gravy. I don't really need two libraries, one iPod-sized and the other not. I can just manually sync what I want through checking and unchecking tracks and playlists and such.

What confused me was that the Genius at the Genius Bar (honestly, at this point, I'm starting to think it's a rather lame title) suggested moving my iPhoto library onto an external! But then I can't access it when I'm out and about, which is why I'd always kept it on the internal. Plus, it's getting backed up by the Time Machine! Apparently using Backup for these purposes is bad, due to the format Backup uses or something.

And don't get me started on the whole battery thing. The laptop's BEEN plugged in, and yet it's mysteriously at only 97% charge, which probably is a little over 2 hours. I'm sure the battery life is supposed to be longer than that, considering I bought it just a few months ago. And yet it still passes Apple's tests.... I've stopped using Firefox 3.5 for now, since it was proving to be a major CPU hog and probably didn't help with my battery problem.

So, yeah, lots of things to do and I have no idea how or where to start. Grr.


May. 5th, 2009 12:13 am
azurite: (firefox vs. ie)
Finally got my MacBook Pro back from the Apple Store. I think I mentioned how the graphics card or something somehow caused the logicboard to fry, and the whole thing had to be replaced? Yeah, but at least it was part of a "program" where they knew about these defective boards, so I didn't have to pay a dime. Looks like it may have been partially related to my battery issues, too, as my battery life seems to have improved a bit. I only bought the new battery back in December, so there's no reason why it should be horribly unhealthy by now (even with the fact that I use it every day and leave it on A LOT... but in Sleep mode, mostly, and almost always plugged in, too).

I also finally got the annoying issue with getting a self-assigned IP resolved. None of the usual fixes (renewing the DHCP license, turning the AirPort wireless card on and off, restarting the computer, switching to Ethernet, etc.) were working, but I dug around in the Apple Discussion forums (on the old iMac and at school) and found a fix: switching the Firewall to "Allow all incoming connections." Ta-da! Of course, I'm hoping to switch back to my more selective mode, but in the meanwhile, this'll do. Now just to see if it works at home, too.

ETA: It does, but at school, it doesn't. V. annoying.

I was also having issues with the computer just generally being slow, and I don't know if it's time for me to see if I can upgrade the memory in this to 4GB. This is an older model MBP, so I don't even know if it CAN hold that much. Plus, it'll cost (lots of) money, and with the way my previous attempts at installing additional memory have gone, I'd rather do it at the Apple Store-- pay for for the Apple Certified stuff and get the product warranty and in-store customer service that comes with it.

Firefox is still apparently a memory hog, but it doesn't help that I'm one of those people that has hundreds of tabs open (some of them duplicates). I tried to close a bunch down today, write them down if I need to, and bookmark a bunch of others. Hopefully it'll help some. I'm also testing out Firefox 3.5 beta 4 because I wanted to play with Weave, a project from Mozilla Labs that allows for TAB SYNCING. I never thought I'd need it, but geez it'll be nice to open up my tabs on my now-slow MacBook Pro on the speedy Windows (eeeeew) machines at work. Mayhap I can get more done that way.... Now, I wonder if there's something that can sync extensions?

This entry's actually been sitting here for a few days; I just didn't post it. I have a lot more to say, but it seems like it ought to go in a separate entry some other time...maybe after finals or at least after tomorrow, when I have my Table Appointments (read: table setting) quiz in my Contemporary Issues in Nutrition class and my Yoga final (physical and written). I'm kind of nervous about the physical Yoga final, because even with a class of 30+ people, last week the professor said she WOULD be working with us one-on-one, which has me thinking she'll be sitting there and go "okay, get into X pose!" and I'll just blank and forget how to do it!

...My Time Machine external HD is mounted, but it won't back up, even if I manually tell it to. When I go into Time Machine preferences, it says the back-up drive cannot be located. WTF!?
azurite: (Default)
The sign for California State University Northridge on Plummer and Darby has mysteriously vanished (the frame is still there, though). I'm starting to worry-- we're not really going to change our name back to San Fernando Valley State College, are we? SFVSC doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "CSUN." Maybe it's a bad frat joke?

Prices have gone up at the Arbor Grill, but only 15 cents for my favorite breakfast burrito (no meat, sour cream instead of salsa). I think it's to make up for the sales tax increase from the other day. I don't mind though. While I was getting my burrito, one of the chefs and I talked shop about future breakfast options: pancakes and French toast! I suggested they try some challah or raisin bread, and he said he'd look into trying it, considering Rye's not suitable for French toast and the wheat didn't taste very good. We also talked about varieties of vanilla, but it occurred to me that even though I like the thicker Tahitian extract, I doubt they sell that in large jugs good for a school! Oh well.

I'm in San Francisco as I type this; the weather is beautiful and I still can't microwave enchiladas without fossilizing at least one corner.

I posted WDKY26 at FFnet, Dragonfayth, and MediaMiner. Dragonfayth was giving me some issues with a fatal mySQL error, but I think I resolved it. Problem is, the site is still spitting out mangled/incorrect update dates, so my fic isn't on the Recently Updated page, nor does the story in My Stories listing show the right updated date. But believe me, it is updated there. I've checked it while logged in under both my admin account and a Test (non-admin) account.

Where else to upload it to? FicWad is apparently broken, I think I need to upload more chapters at AnimeXX before I can upload this one, DeviantART sucks for fics (actually, almost anything fan-made, but that's another story) and it's much easier just to link than post it on LJ (but I will if people want me to; it's not as long as some previous chapters that I had to span across numerous posts, but that's no guarantee that I WOULDN'T have to for this chapter).

(Aside: now that I've seen the music video for this song, I'm never going to think of it the same way again. I think I'll always be grinning and imagining Workout Barbie dancing. Or something like that.)

I don't want to spend my entire Spring Break indoors. I may be broke, but I did get a 7-day MUNI pass, and I intend to use it! (I should have already used it today, but I didn't. Does anyone wanna catch a movie with me later tonight? I think I could manage that....)

Couldn't find my :CueCat. I think either I or Mom got rid of it, unaware of the intrinsic value of a barcode scanner for organizing our lives. So, a birthday wish: a good barcode scanner. Maybe another :CueCat, which I'd have to modify (eep!) to work with Delicious Library 2. Probably not a big deal, but I don't want to waste even $15 if I might screw up. Better to invest in something I don't have to play with?

It's boogie time! *dance dance*

 Call on Me by Eric Prydz from YTMND Soundtrack, Volume 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (star trek: head bop)
No, not really.

But I could be an apprentice for drug cocktail waitressing... er, that is, I went to the doc's today and walked away with not one, not two, but three medicines! One's for the weird super-dryness of my skin that just started a few days ago (and has started to fade ever since), one is another dosing of Prilosec, because this morning I had another heartburn-attack-from-Hell and no amount of Maalox or Gas-X helped (well, not THAT much, anyway) and the doc recommended I up the dosage to one before breakfast and one before dinner. The pain from this morning still hasn't gone away completely. Oh, and then there's a muscle relaxant for my "around-the-head" headaches, which the doc said are probably caused by muscle tension. Hm, sounds like me-- always tense.

And I had a blood test on top of all that, because my "cold feet" might be caused by a thyroid problem. Stupid thyroid-- causes so many problems in the body! On the one hand, it'd be nice to know there's a cause behind my problem and that I'm a) not imagining it and b) can do something about it, but if it means MORE meds or something... ugh. So, two days from now and we'll see.

Oh yes, we got the new Airport Extreme Base Station today, and I set it up. So we've still got Earthlink DSL, but thanks to an APPLE product, we have wireless (no thanks to Earthlink) that is reliable (same), secure (same), and easy to configure (same). Problems? Well, for some lame reason, Gary's wireless printer doesn't seem to see the new network or accept the password. Technically the name is only two letters off of the old network name-- all I did was change the capitalization of two letters. The password's nearly the same too, but I made sure to retype it in perfectly and the printer still won't connect. I don't know why. When I tried to print using the printer already configured in my preferences, it only got as far as 62% (spooling), with nothing actually coming out of Gary's printer. In any case, I'm sure that bit will eventually work when we get Comcast this weekend.

We connected Mom's HP PSC 1210 All-In-One to the Base Station, but my install of OS X 10.5 doesn't have the drivers for it, and the HP website and assorted Mac websites don't have them either (because they're supposed to be on the OS X 10.5 install disc, which I stupidly didn't bring with me). The 10.4 driver doesn't work, as the HP Setup Assistant doesn't even see the printer via Bonjour when I try to set it up. So when I have to select a driver, the one for our model doesn't come up, even though I set it up via USB before. What doesn't make sense is, I probably set it up using the disc, which is only SUPPOSED to work with 10.4 and below, but because it was USB and not Network, it DID work. Or something like that. So I picked another HP PSC driver, but who knows if it'll work.... (the printer queue seems to think it finished sending a test page, but I haven't seen/heard the printer respond!)

So, on the bright side, I'm back in the 'Net game... for now. I have some late papers and such to turn in, school work to catch up on, personal projects I'd like to make headway on, etc., but no shortage of things to do, places to go.... Like LJ. Must catch up on LJ. Way behind. But also-- way tired, because I was up way early for me considering when I got to sleep last night (new bad habit: not finding a good place to stop in my books, so staying up until 3am to finish reading them) and the pain was not a fun thing to try and sleep through. So I might just take a nap before CSI: now.

Speaking of CSI, the writers damn well better use this episode with the return of the Miniature Killer as a reason why Grissom finally up and leaves Vegas and goes to find Sara. The idea of him hooking up with Heather again --when both of them know better!-- is patently absurd, and I can't stand how Grissom can go through so much and be willing to throw it all away because of inaction. So, I hope Grissom gets a happy ending (with Sara, dagnabbit!) within the next few episodes, if not this one.
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
So, I haven't updated in what seems like ages (that HSM post doesn't count, because I'd written that more than a week ago and just saved it, hoping for a time when I COULD post it) because The Powers That Be were conspiring against me or something, and Murphy's law was in full effect-- all that jazz. So I decided to start doing something about it.

Keyboard Mayhem! )

Michael Moore is hard to find )

A little lost memory card and some movies )

Noconnectlink )

An HTC Dream G1 deferred )

MELTING, MELTING! and other problems )

Fics that like to f*ck with your brain )

And that, as they say, is that. For now, anyway.
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
Well, I restarted my computer THREE times and each time, the keyboard/trackpad was frozen or non-responsive. It's been getting more and more frustrating, and I don't know what to do. There's no single solution from other users that have experienced the same thing on the Apple Discussion Boards, and the fixes from the "Genius" at the Genius Bar and the "Expert" from Apple that I called didn't work permanently.

I'm obviously concerned, because, like the last time I went to the Apple Store with a serious problem (the memory card pin-holder in the old MacBook Pro), the Genius made it sound like it all boils down to the logic board, which is a $1300 repair. My laptop's out of warranty because I didn't have $300+ to spend at the start of September, and I didn't think to put it on one of my credit cards on time. So that $1300 might actually be MORE, because I don't know if that's the in-warranty quote or not. Last time, that price tag convinced me to buy a whole brand new laptop, this time... I can't afford that. I don't know what to do, especially since I'd never risk opening the top case myself to see what might be wrong with the keyboard/trackpad (assuming I could even tell by looking; I'm not a hardware person by any stretch of the imagination).

I'm hoping to take it to the Apple Store again and find out. Maybe they can open the top case and diagnose the problem, but not necessarily charge me for it unless I ask for a repair? That might be too optimistic, what with how busy the Genius Bar usually is.

This sucks, because it's another major incident that renders my laptop unusable by itself, but it's not enough to get me to switch back to the hell that is Windows. Right now, I'm using a USB keyboard Mom found (turns out the plug I'd examined in the back of one of her dinosaur PCs was actually an adapter-- good thing I didn't run out to Radio Shack to pay $16 for something I already owned!), along with my usual Wacom tablet.

Smell my feet! )
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I don't like to think of myself as a "pessimist." Hell, I don't even want to be a "cynic." Maybe an "optimistic realist," if it's possible. But why is it that the one credo I hold to for optimistic purposes ("Anything that can happen, will happen") always revolts on me and ends up being a source of negativity?

It becomes "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Gah!

This weekend I was at my dad's house, and I had NO issue with the Internet. No problems getting my mail, accessing my sites, none of it. Fabulous. I got my Biology studying done and thought the practice questions this week were even easier! And I got them all right!

Then last night/this morning, as I was putzing around on the Internet, doing my own thing, the keyboard... mysteriously stops working! Trackpad too, because I didn't have my tablet and mouse with me. Nothing I did helped, save restarting the computer... and it happened again an hour or so later.

Before I left, I managed to boot up the system again and (with a temporarily working keyboard) make an appointment at the Apple Store in downtown S.F. I got home fairly quick, rescheduled my appointment, and saw a guy at the Genius Bar. He didn't give me a straight answer as to why the problem could have happened, though he did mention that the keyboard and trackpad were connected to the... DOOM DOOM LOGIC BOARD.

Freakin' logic board. That's wha (homg, it actually cut off working; I had to restart. I don't even think the PRAM reset worked. Why is it that every time I go to the Apple Store, they show me something that I can't duplicate at home? ANYWAY--!)

...That's what was the major problem with my LAST MacBook Pro. One of the pins holding the memory cards in place popped out of the logic board, and to get that replaced would be $1300 (I'm assuming out-of-warranty, which I am with THIS laptop too, because when the expiration date rolled around, I didn't have $300+ to renew it with! And you can't buy a warranty once it's OUT of warranty!). So needless to say, I'm rather upset, because I'd rather deal with software issues than with hardware ones, which tend to be costlier and take longer to fix.

*sigh* Apparently externals still work though, so I could theoretically always use an external keyboard. It'd make the entire laptop useless for travel though, unless I got some sort of folding/travel keyboard. No matter how you dice it, I don't think a decent keyboard would be cheap. Plus, THE FREAKIN' HARDWARE IS JUST SUPPOSED TO WORK! It's not all supposed to crap out on you the month after your warranty expires... but oh, wait, if you're a cynic realist or whatnot, you EXPECT that. :(

It's not that bad though. It's really not. This minor stress is nothing compared to what I went through on a PC. It's not that bad. And I'll bet it'll be much simpler than I think, easy to fix. Sure, there were no software updates or keyboard firmware updates to be had, but there's got to be SOME way to fix all this. Which is why I have a call with an "Apple Expert" tomorrow morning at 11am before my doctor's appointment.

*pray pray pray*
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
Greetings from... Santa Cruz, CA. Incidentally, the day I came to S.F., I completely spaced about having a Biology quiz, so I missed it. I'd already gotten one extension from when I got mugged and I knew the professor wouldn't give me another, so... argh. It's not as if it'll be a big dink to my grade provided I keep up with everything else, but it's not as if keeping up is EASY. We're well into the "tough stuff" of this "basic" biology class.

Anyway, I'm in Santa Cruz because, like forgetting my biology quiz, I also forgot that my cousin Brooke's baby shower was THIS WEEKEND rather than "the 7th," which is Tuesday. Because Brooke and Shaina are driving down to Fresno (where the shower is located, at their mom's house) on Friday morning, I had to meet Brooke here in SC *today.* So I took a bus downtown, a Muni train to the Embarcadero, the BART train from the Embarcadero to Fremont, a bus from Fremont to San Jose, and then another bus from San Jose to Santa Cruz. I stuffed myself with 3 horribly unhealthy tacos from taco bell and stared at all the pretty shiny books at the Borders I met Brooke's hubby, Honis (aka Mike) at.

And so here I've been at their place pretty much ever since, studying my geology (which I've been slacking on; I've already taken 2 quizzes but have 5 more due within the next 24 hours; 4 of those are probably fairly easy, but only if I do the reading and make an effort to concentrate and take notes). We did go out for a quick bite at this homey diner called Jeffrey's and talked family, jobs, and the evil brainwashing that is Disney.

We have to wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning tomorrow to head to Shaina's, but she's the one who's going to be driving, so Brooke and I can conk out while we drive to Fresno and do who-knows-what while we're there a full day before the actual shower. I know in my case I have to stay awake and STUDY, sucky as that is. Actually, what's truly sucky is I'm more or less relegated to sitting at some table near an outlet, because my MacBook Pro has been suspiciously sucking with keeping its charge. A few days ago, I noticed that, even after it was supposedly fully charged, it only had a life of 40-55 minutes, rather than a good hour and a half or more like it used to have. I got the iStat Pro widget, and it says that even though my battery's "fully charged," it's at 97%, not 100% (or even 99%), and the "battery health" is at a dismal 45% (it was at 38% at my mom's house). I don't really know what's going on or why; I tried the SMC reset, but it didn't seem to help. I'm really worried...

Staying at my mom's house is a bit awkward this time around; rather than staying in the "Tovstin," aka what used to be my room and is now Gary's study/bedroom (he never sleeps in there though), I stayed in my mom's room. Bigger bed, but... er, not as comfortable. Maybe it's me and my picky back (destroyed by Disney), but I couldn't lay flat on that bed. The only way I could sleep (and not even comfortably, because I kept tossing and turning all night, and woke up with the comforter all haphazard) was on my side. Staying in the Tovstin would mean "inconveniencing" Gary, because his closet is in there, and unlike my mom, who's on her leave, he still has to work everyday and access his clothes. And I've seen the closet in my mom's room, there's just no way Gary's stuff'll fit in there. -_-

So, it looks like when I go back on Sunday I'll be sleeping in the living room on the couch. Awwwwkward.

Speaking of awkward, did anyone catch the vice presidential debate tonight? Things I found amusing, somewhat sad (read: pathetic), and kind of weird:
* Joe Biden referring to himself by name, rather than with a proper pronoun such as "I" or "me" or derivatives thereof
* Sarah Palin being kind of "cutesy" and saying stuff like "you betcha" and "darn right" (don't get me wrong, some people think that her speaking to the "average American" and coming across like a "soccer mom" is a good thing, but I think it made her sound very unprofessional and most definitely un-vice presidential-like)
* Sarah Palin saying "um" a lot (no, really, she did. If you re-watch the debates, you'll notice she said it OFTEN. Speech coach, much?)
* Joe Biden looked like he had an eye lift
* Sarah Palin looked like she had Botox (cheeks!)

I guess what it boils down to is, are vice presidential debates supposed to be about the candidates selling their running mate, or about THEIR personal opinions, policies and actions should THEY get elected into the office of VP? Maybe I'm mistaken for having thought it should be the latter, but the bulk of the debate came off as "Obama this" and "McCain that," and I was like "Yeah, but what do YOU think?" I know that Biden wouldn't be Obama's running mate if they didn't agree on a lot and share the same policies, nor would McCain have Palin if they didn't agree on at least some fundamentals (they at least have some more clear-cut differences though, which is interesting... sadly, for other things, she's more or less his parrot, and can't talk about her opinions because she doesn't have the knowledge to have formed any substantive ones).

The thing that pisses me off about both candidates: they agree that gays should have the same rights as committed heterosexual couples (read: a man "married" to a woman), but they refuse to redefine the word "marriage" outside of the traditional "man" and "woman" sense. This is bullshit. It's a WORD, you nimrods, it has nothing to do with politics, ethics, the Constitution, etc. You don't OWN a word. You don't get to say who uses it and how. The more you say a group can't/shouldn't use a word, or the more you use a word in a derogatory sense, the more people will rise up and do just the opposite: they'll use the word, and they'll use it to empower themselves! (See: Nigga, Queer, Colored). It just sounds ridiculous, the thought of a governmental body saying "this word is going to mean THIS in our country" even if it has a different or more general meaning elsewhere. Of course, definitions in general are subject to societal standards and values, as I'm sure is apparent from other words throughout the centuries, but to get everyone's knickers in a knot over the use of the WORD "marriage" just seems a waste of energy.

For me: marriage is the sealing of a lifetime commitment between two PEOPLE, regardless of gender. This allows them to be listed on each others' insurance, have visitation rights in hospitals, adopt a child (or children), have shared property rights, joint bank accounts, etc. Sure, politicians can say that a "civil union" between gays should have all these rights, but then why not just call it what it is: A MARRIAGE? Why is it "necessary" to create a different word, process, paperwork, etc. just because X couple is gay but Y couple isn't? That's hardly equal rights when there's a simple snit over WORD USAGE, of all things!

*sigh* I need to get to bed. My brain is fried.
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
Wow, it's been a while, huh? I guess my excuse is just that I've been busy with work: pulling around 40 hours a week (though last week I had only 28, which SUCKS when it comes to paying the damn rent) and then dealing with slowness on the computer.

In fact, I finally shelled out a load of money to get my internal hard drive on my MacBook Pro upgraded to a 320 GB. Or maybe it's a 300 GB, because OS X can only see 297 GB of that as my drive's capacity. I know that you never really get the full usage out of any given HD, but 20+ GB seems a bit excessive to me. Anyone?

With my laptop out of commission due to an Apple Tune-Up (all the way in Newport Beach, because I'm very occasionally dumb and figure that it's better to make an appointment with a store many miles and 2 hours -by bus- away rather than use my ProCare card to go on stand-by at a store that's much closer) and then for the upgrade, I spent a ton of time playing Kingdom Hearts. I'm at the point where I have to defeat Maleficent's dragon-form, but she thrashed me pretty badly once already, so I want to level up a bit more (my characters are mostly in their mid-40s, level-wise), upgrade my Aero spell, and so on.

Problem? I can't seem to beat Herc in the Hercules Cup tournament. Sometimes I can't even get to him, because every now and again, Cloud's a bitch and I can't beat him, either. This does not bode well, as I need to beat Hercules to get the ability to use Yellow Trinity marks, so I can return to Neverland, upgrade my Aero spell to Aerora, free the poor little puppies, and possibly beat Phantom (assuming he appears prior to Hollow Bastion being sealed) to level up before kicking Maleficent's dragon rear. Anyone have any tips for beating Herc, other than the usual: throw barrels at him from close range to make him lose his invulnerability, jump/dodge roll/glide a lot to evade his attacks, and have a LOT of items on hand, since you have to fight him alone, without Donald or Goofy?

So, while I'm avoiding playing the game because "lather, rinse, repeat" is never fun when it comes to playing one boss/tournament over and over again, I've been trying to clean out my mailboxes. I made the switch from Thunderbird to Mail 3, since I want more integration with OS X, and I don't like the Lightning add-on. I've opted to switch from POP3 (downloading all my emails) to IMAP (leaving all my emails on the server, and having the same folder structure wherever I am; this also means that if I delete something, it's GONE FOR GOOD), but now I need to figure out how to sort out all those thousands of emails that are already on my computer. It seems as though the best case scenario is to sort through them, somehow, and then for whatever ones I really do want/need, move them to IMAP so I can access them from anywhere, whether or not I'm on my laptop.

And for those of you that know me in IRL, sorting computer junk is just as hard, if not harder, than sorting real-life junk. Having a messy room most certainly equates to having a messy mailbox, except I try and establish rules/filters to somewhat sort things out...

I might post an F'Locked entry a bit later about work and people-drama, but for right now, that's it. I'm alive, okay (well, broke, but that's not exactly surprising), and hopefully going to Northridge tonight. :}

azurite: (i'll be bach)
Last night I went out with Mel, Nancy, our advisor Vicki, and Joe B from NSCS to meet the Scholar Ambassadors who are "in town" (more like "in the region," because they're visiting a ton of schools in the SoCal area in a matter of days), so we went to the Elephant Bar in Burbank and had a rather nice dinner (Shanghai Cashew Chicken, garlic bread, and Apple/Blueberry Walnut Cobbler for me) and some very looooong conversations about everything from ethics and integrity to the sad and sorry state of "my" generation, which has a vast majority of students who have "entitlement issues."

Rewind a bit: on my way to meet Nancy and Joe (because we were carpooling to Burbank), I was right near one of the Science Buildings (the one with the planetarium in it; I can't remember which one that is off the top of my head, because I haven't had science classes IN YEARS) and I felt like I was about to bump into someone. As I was turning my head, I saw this movement of not-quite-white-- you know, almost a florescent bluish color? It looked like a skirt or a scarf tied to the side of someone's hip or something. By the time I finished turning completely, whatever "it" was was gone-- and there was no one (no lamp posts either) anywhere NEAR me.

I think I saw a ghost.

O_O It wouldn't surprise me, really-- I mean, I kind of "sense" stuff already (and you can call me crazy, it wouldn't be news), and I'm pretty damn skilled with my Tarot cards, if I do say so myself (and so I've been told by others-- I have done readings for others, never for a charge, and even without knowing the question they're asking, apparently the cards and the way I interpret them is always spot-on).

Read more... )

Moving forward again, yesterday all the discussions reminded me of one of Yakko's songs from the Animaniacs. I struggled last night to remember some of the lyrics, and at last, I remembered the whole first verse and chorus... well, here's the song, for your nostalgic enjoyment:

That reminds me, I should get an Animaniacs icon. I've filled up almost all my icon slots, but so many of them just have such RARE uses... I'd like more "general" icons that are fun and can be used at any time. Like the one I'm using now. :D

That said, a few more random blurbs:
(1) I finally got approved to build the Star Ocean 3 shrine at RPGClassics! Yes, I'm biting off more than I can chew again and I know it, but I'm so excited! I've already built the Items page and am working on that now-- I figure since there's more text throughout the shrine, I'll finish that first and then worry about ripping images from the game using my EyeTV. You'll be sure to hear more about this as I progress.

(2) My laptop is STILL acting weird-- if I close the lid and it goes to sleep and is "sleeping" for more than 30 minutes or so, when I open the lid, the screen will flicker as if I can resume work, but then it'll go black and then not turn on. The keyboard will be responsive, but the screen still won't go back on. If I close the lid again, the keyboard becomes unresponsive. Battery and power-swapping tricks have failed to work, and often when I restart the computer, I'll get the loading screen (the Apple icon with the "wheel" timer) and then a light blue screen-- sort of like the default desktop (which I don't have set), but then nothing else loads for over 10 minutes. It's very frustrating and I don't know what to do, and when I took it to the Apple store Genius Bar to try and replicate the error, I couldn't! Any suggestions?

Eye see!

Jan. 16th, 2008 08:37 pm
azurite: (ygo - mokuba's 1024)
Finally got my financial aid check today, and it looks like the Chase Loan hasn't been applied, so I don't have to worry about that-- yet. But nonetheless, I went shopping with what I did get-- I bought the EyeTV 2 Hybrid TV Tuner for my Mac (a nifty USB stick with a coaxial tuner end, and a tiny sort of USB end that I can use for the Composite red, white, and yellow cables, plus... some mysterious other cord that might be for HDMI) and some books, including Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne 4, which I'd been missing. I'm glad I waited to get that before reading KKJ #5! The plot THICKENS! Oh, it's so tragic...! I mean, I cried a lot when reading and watching Full Moon o Sagashite, but KKJ is certainly power-packed with emotional turmoil! Ahh...

I kind of want to read I.O.N. too, but I don't think it's been translated yet... has it? I really like Arina Tanemura's work. But I've been avoiding Gentleman's Alliance+ because I've run out of space on my bookshelf... and I heard it has some shonen-ai in it, and that just... hm, doesn't appeal to me. I'm a sappy shoujo fan at heart. :)

Anywho, I managed to get something MAGNANIMOUS done as soon as I got back to the house with my EyeTV... I connected the composite cable from my PS2 to the female ones on the EyeTV add-on, and I got Star Ocean 3 on my Mac screen! Huzzah! So now I can record videos AND take screenshots of gameplay! Hip-hip-hurrah! I haven't actually TRIED to take said screenshots yet, though...

I also managed to get TV via the coaxial cable. Now here's the tricky part... the TV I've been fiddling with is the one in the rec room, which gets cable channels, but nothing above channel 100. Technically, nothing above channel 98, which is QVC. :P That's okay, all the good stuff is on lower channels anyway (Spike TV = 48 FTW!!!) . But here's the weird bit, and I hope someone experienced with these kind of electronics/home appliances might be able to help me out...

The rec room has always had cable TV, but not always anything else (e.g. a VCR or DVD player). Now, my PS2 acts as the DVD player, but Scott had to give me a VCR. :P Well, yay VCR for all my old-school tapes (like Ranma, the Sailor Moon movies, and Clue!) What's weird is how the wiring works. The TV is old, but not ancient-- there's something on the back that SAYS S-video, but I don't see an actual S-video port. It seems to be covered up by some sort of panel, but said panel can't be taken off too easily... there are two holes on the right and left sides that look like they have some sort of pinching prongs in the middle (as in, pinch the prongs and the plate might pop off... problem is the prongs are INTERNAL and I tried using tweezers and they didn't pinch anything), and on the bottom, some sliding things... with no room to slide!

So the coaxial cable coming from the wall (and routed through the cabinets) connects to the VCR, because there's no apparent way to connect said cable to the TV. There's another cable that connects the VCR to the TV and it looks SIMILAR to a coaxial cable, but there's no "twisting" screw-on part; it just sort of plugs in (but it has the single needle in the center like the coaxial cable does). I'd tried that second cable first with the EyeTV, but no luck; it was only with the coaxial that I actually picked up any channels.

What I want to know is... is there a way to have the TV plugged in at the same time as my computer? Is there a way to find out if that back panel of my TV can be taken off to see if there's an S-video port? Because that way, I could plug in the S-video cable to the EyeTV add-on, and still have the TV routed to the VCR via the coaxial cable... I think. I tried a similar hookup using the composite cable (e.g. the non-PS2 variety; I used the ones plugged into the TV going to the VCR, but routed the VCR end to the EyeTV)... it didn't work.

Also, do you suppose there's a way to use this EyeTV TV tuner wirelessly, somehow? Like, I don't HAVE to have it plugged in to watch TV? Or would such a set-up only work with digital (ATSC/HD TV)? Or can it, even with HD TV? We have the other TV that's HD, but we don't have an HD set-top box from Time-Warner (even though it's free)...

But we're getting one tomorrow! Now if only we had an HDTV for the rec room... because then I wouldn't have to worry about a heavy-@$$ TV with all sorts of weird blocked panels and switches and not enough ports for the cables... but then, "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" which is why I want to figure out the mystery of the labels on the back of the existing TV to see if there's some way to accommodate two things at once. After all, it's a bit of a pain to have to keep changing things around like that... Of course, nothing'll ever compare to the wired mess at my mom's house, but at least her situation is made easier by the fact that she never watches TV out there anymore (even though it's got killer surround sound) because the TV infrared is busted. :P

In short:
Help? Even if it's just with recommendations for small HDTVs (smaller than 36", the space I have in the bookcase in the rec room) or what cables to buy or something...

ALSO! I want to change my cassette tapes into digital files. Anyone know how to do that? There's a Macworld article on it, but it's not very descriptive...
azurite: (roses are red)
New desktop. Oh yeah. )

Man, I wish I were in S.F. right now. I read the Macworld Expo update, and... gawd, I am so stoked for 2008. Not like I'm going to dash out and buy an iPhone (not until it's no longer attached to AT&T without hacks involved) or a MacBook Air (...this laptop is new enough for me. Until it breaks, I'm using it. Plus, I happen to like having an optical drive and a huge hard drive...), but DAMN. Apple just... kicks ass. Have I mentioned lately? You really oughta switch.

I personally think if I could have gotten a single measly day there and been back here... it would have been worth it, just for Steve Jobs' keynote speech. Sure, he flubbed a few times, but it sounded SO fun. And a play-by-play just isn't quite the same as being there, in the flesh. (Yes, the play-by-play had to suffice; it made me jealous) So I have a goal for 2009 (besides graduating in the Spring, that is): Go to Macworld Expo 2009. Network, network! (Who knows, maybe I could impress someone important and get a job at Macworld? Tee-hee.)

What else I'm excited about: the Time Capsule, the companion hardware to Leopard's Time Machine. It basically acts as the AirPort Base Station I spent $179 on, but it comes with a hard drive, supports 802.11n Gigabit Ethernet. A 500 GB (the smallest version available) is $299. I think I paid $250 for my 120 GB MyBook Pro external hard drive, so in terms of pennies per GB, it's very much worth it, in my mind. For die-hard downloaders, there's a 1 TB (!!!!!) version for $200 more. It ships out in February... around the same time as the new student-licensed version of Office 2008:mac, which I've been wanting, because Office 2004 on the Mac is kind of a bitch. Plus, I want more templates than Pages can offer. I didn't realize until today, when I had to make a flyer, that Word is really better than Pages for that. I hate still being Microsoft's bitch in any respect... but with all the years gone by, they have made a powerhouse of a word processor.

What I'm dreaming of: it would kick ass if more companies (including the ones that make $9.99 cheap games for Best Buy, Target, and the like) got on board with Cider to make games Mac-compatible. With Cider, there's only one source tree to manage (from what I read), so it's not like there's a whole overhaul involved. Basically, you take your game and wrap it in something that's friendly to Macs. Nothing changes about the game, the interface, etc. Of course, Cider has its limitations, and since it's not for end-users, it's not like I can just download something and all of a sudden be playing Doom again (*sigh* I miss killing Imps! And NO, I don't want Doom 3! >_< I like my pixellated pigs, thank-you-very-much). But I'd love to be able to play Riddle of the Sphinx, Pharaoh/Cleopatra, and similar Egypt-puzzle games (my favorite) again without going into Parallels. In reality, Parallels has felt like a waste of money to me, because... well, what the hell was I using Windows for? I hardly ever go into it. Blah. I hope there's an update that gets my games working again (in the meantime).

What I should be doing: the [ profile] 30kisses update. I've already got the T-Z stuff from [ profile] a_white_rain, though I have to sort through it all to put it in the right order-- by fandom. Today's the first day when my sleep schedule's semi-normal (and my computer hasn't been overheated), so I'm going to get it done-- especially since I said I would do it by yesterday. I'll also have to combine that with Phase Five of the Claims List Purge-- but as for the actual completion of the Tags Removal and putting the dead claims into the Memories, I'll need help. Mod Squad, you still around?

What I'm testing the waters with: Scrivener, a... humungo writing program JUST FOR MACS (eat that, Windows biznatches!). [ profile] dqbunny, you might like this one. If you try it too, we can compare notes. :D I'd also like to try MarsEdit2, a blog publisher. I use xJournal now, and have Phoenix as a backup, but frankly, one of them is always lacking SOMETHING. I wonder if MarsEdit would make a difference. I already know it's compatible with LJ; the question is if it supports all those tiny little features that aren't necessarily blog-platform-cross-compatible (e.g. stuff you'll only see on LJ and its off-shoots, not other blogging platforms like Blogger, etc.) For some reason, I'd get my panties in a wad if I couldn't change security settings or screen comments by default. I'm still kind of PO'd that xJournal doesn't support Location (okay, my location hasn't changed in the past two weeks, but still).

Anywho, to work, to work!
azurite: (xmas purple ornaments)
Yay, two out of three finals done! Believe it or not, my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) final didn't really feel like a final so much as a normal class session where she was lecturing and asking for discussion. I asked her after class how I did, and if I was looking at the right line of her gradebook, I got two checks, and one check-plus, which translates into a B, I'd say-- that's just for this portion of our grade, 10%; more of it is made up by the media deconstruction, the media critique (50%), 30% by other tests, and 10% by participation/performance. Overall, I'd say I'll probably get a B, which makes me happy, especially since this was a particularly difficult class.

Moving on, I also got "conditionally approved" for a Chase loan, which means I can go to Washington if I get the money on time. If that works out and I get the appropriate academic credit (hopefully 12-15 units worth; at least 6 from Journalism; it's working out just how the other 6-9 will be applied), then YAY, WASHINGTON D.C. HO!

But if not, I'm going to try not to be disappointed. I think I might be biting off more than I can chew again, even if WII and ISLP are both great opportunities for a number of different things. The great thing is, it's not like if I don't go to WII, I'll be doing nothing here at CSUN-- I got accepted into Take XX, part of the New Student Orientation Leaders team, and I'd still be working with NSLS and NSCS. I definitely don't want to stop being involved with either of them, even if I do go to Washington.

Now, if I do, there's another choice to make: to go to Macworld Expo, or not? If I do, not only can I see my friends and/or parents (most likely the latter, since... to be honest, guys, would any of you want to want to go to a Macworld Expo with me? Dad I know would, MAYBE Mom --but not together, no way, no how) again, but it's just plain fun. Plus I could always cover it as a Special Contributor to the Sundial, maybe? I applied to be a Copy Editor there, too, but I didn't officially GET the position even though the new editor-in-chief asked me. Basically, everything hinges on WII.

If I do go to WII, I'd only have Jan 14-16 to be at the Expo, since I have to check in in Washington, D.C. between 9am -5pm and be at the informal mixer by 6pm. Two days at an Expo isn't bad... but again, it's about money. Then again, if I go to WII with a loan backing me, money won't be so much of an issue anymore. It'd be icing on the cake if I managed to get a paid internship.

Speaking of icing, I really want some cupcakes... Baba said we can buy cupcakes and/or cupcake mix on the way home. I think my holiday baking spirit is getting kicked in. And crafting, too. A certain someone shall be receiving a handmade card soon (hint hint: that person is on this FL!)...

What else? Well, I've gotten some of my Secret Stalker gifts from Aria's Ink-- I decided to participate this year on a whim, and it's got me not only working on Epiphany, trying to revive a better version of Mare Serenitatis, but also looking over my old SM fics (let's be honest, except for maybe "24," and the beginning of "Quicksilver," they ALL suck; my writing has come SUCH a long way). I also did some fanart, but ssh! No one can know my secret stalker identity until the event is over... I might even try to resurrect an old idea and work on the 2003 Aria's Ink holiday competition contest.

Well, what with my tablet semi out-of-commission, coloring anything in Photoshop's a real bitch now (doing it with a mouse is... ugh, it's like taping my fingers together and trying to paint), so the fanart might have to wait until I get a new one, or unless I take the marker-colored version I did AFTER the scan and fiddle with that... but personally, I'd rather Photoshop the color in, as my inking process... well, let's just say it didn't go as well as I wanted. I'm not too much of an artist... ;_;

I'm feeling a bit more hopeful today than I was yesterday, so I hope I can channel that into studying a bit for my last final and then working on some creative (and possibly cleaning) endeavors tonight, whatever form they may take... there's always a lot on my plate, frosting or no. :)
azurite: (azureshipping - fantastic)
I blame [ profile] ceruleansan for this one. Her and [ profile] an_ardent_rain for providing me with Azureshipping to make me jealous of, and [ profile] guardian_kysra for writing "Clean" and "Unclean," which will forever be stuck in my head. THUMBS UP, LADIES!

This isn't Grimms Fairy Tale, folks... )

Tonight wasn't too bad at all. I finally met up with Erin and Joyce (actually, they picked me up after getting lost here in S.F. Haha! I don't know SF driving-wise at all. I think of everything in terms of bus routes) and we headed to IKEA in Emeryville and then got a bit lost trying to get to Dad's place in Alameda. Erin and I played with Roy a bit (Roy still loves me :D :D) and then we went to dinner at this small Thai place with a "cute" young waitress (Joyce kept saying she was "cute," even though I thought the girl wasn't that young; she was probably between 16 and 19, which I think is beyond "cute" age in the usual sense of the word). The food was good, though I had leftover Gai Yang, so I brought it home.

We went back to S.F. and I got to see Erin's new apartment (in which I broke the toilet somehow, because it was running/not flushing and my opening the lid and dropping some tube thing didn't help), which is small, but very nice. And when she gets all the stuff she put together from IKEA set up, it'll look very nice. I helped her schlep all the furniture up the 2 flights of stairs, since she doesn't have an elevator in her place yet (but it's still nice, even though it's tiny as all hell and she's paying $400 more than my mom is- and my Mom has 2 bedrooms and a sunroom!).

Anywhoozles, tomorrow I head to the DLP in Moraga-- alas, the people I was going to carpool with either switched DLPs or are going on Saturday, so I'll be going all by my lonesome (hah) on the BART and bus. No biggie, been there, done that. The hard part's always packing light, especially since this is supposed to be a big important business-type event, so I have to ONLY bring what I need. And I still "need" to figure out some way of using Gary's printer (an HP Photosmart C6100) wirelessly. I figured how to do it Computer-to-Computer (ad hoc), but then it messes up any computers that DO use it wirelessly via Mom's router. Anyone have any idea how to do this? The instruction manual seemed pretty useless on this front.

I hope I can get up early enough tomorrow to still get my nails (and maybe my brows) done, and if I'm feeling bold, I can swing by the Metreon to grab that Writer's Toolbox from Chronicle Books that I want. Maybe the more craft books/kits I have, the more inspiration I can get/dish? [ profile] akavertigo and I are supposed to be challenging each other to get writing, but 1) her challenges were HARD HARD HARD (and I don't see how to fit them into WDKY at all, let alone WDKY25), and 2) I can't think of anything to challenge her back with atm.

Of course, I don't even know if I'll have Internet access this weekend, but regardless, I want to have my laptop so I can at least "write" things down. I would hate it if inspiration DID strike and I had nothing to write/type on but little scraps of paper like I did back in the day.

That said... I should probably get to sleep. :P I kept napping throughout today, which explains why I'm always so tired in the daytime, but relatively perky at night. If I just force myself to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour, maybe I won't feel so compelled to sleep in the daytime-- which, this weekend would be Very Bad (meriting caps, you see).


Oct. 13th, 2006 08:43 am
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
So I'm sitting in my room here at 10 till the time when I usually leave to take my "leisurely" walk to the International Center where I have my early morning Japanese class. I've gotten used to waking up early (I've even been waking up around 7:15-7:30 the past 2 days), so that doesn't bother me, but it's the little things I always took for granted that I miss here.

A mom or Baba to take care of me when I was sick.
Comfort food like Macaroni and Cheese.
Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

I'm staying in because I've got a killer sore throat. Jaclyn gave me some Sudafed (the legal kind, thank you very much), and I've been drinking/gargling saltwater like my mother's always directed me to when I'm sick. I'm not feeling any better though, which sucks- because today is actually my free day, with only one class, one tutor session, and one EC session-- compared to yesterday, when I had class, EC, class, EC (EC being English Conversation, or my "teaching," if you haven't picked that up from previous entries).

But obviously, I have internet-- at last. The first two months are free, and since I'm renting all the equipment, there's more of a charge for that... but I don't mind. I'm certainly getting paid enough to handle a measly 2 months after the campaign is over. And if my speed is as fast as it's supposed to be (50 MBits/sec), then they might even send me a BBTV pack, so I can watch TV~ Maybe not American TV, but hey, something's better than nothing. I'd love to see more of the drama we've been watching in Japanese class, "Chuura-san" or the new Hana Yori Dango. Or heck, NANA (the anime)!

I have yet to get the whole printer thing for XP worked out-- need some composite USB device driver or whatnot, and the guy who wrote the Ultimate Guide to Sphere Break may have very well disappeared off the face of the planet. But one can hope things will work out in time-- just like this sore throat, I think things will get better.

I didn't have access to Apple Software Updates or even the iTunes Music Store at first, but I'm good now. Matter of fact, now that I have a Japanese billing address, I suppose I could theoretically even find a way to access iTunes Japan, but I'm not really THAT desperate for any particular song. Sure, CDs are expensive as heck here (unless you find them at discount stores like Hard-Off, and yes, that really is the name), but iTunes Japan doesn't charge 99 yen for a song-- it varies between 150 and 200 most of the time, and I can't really think of anything off the top of my head that THEY would have that a CD store of some sort wouldn't. Unless they have anime soundtracks, in which case, how do I access it?

We're (being the exchange students) are supposed to go out to Tsuchiura and see the formerly-postponed fireworks competition tomorrow night, so I really hope I'm feeling better by then. Especially once I get my paycheck-- which I have to get today, even if I start turning green and spewing flames. Weirdly enough, Erica, Daisuke, Holly, and my Criminology teacher invited us all out to dinner tonight-- we're supposed to have EC until 6:40, and I think he said meet him at his office at 6:30, but if I'm feeling like crap, I don't want to go to either, nice as the thought is (assuming he treats, otherwise, no point).

I suppose soon I'll be uploading pictures and the like for everyone to see. I have postcards in the wings for many people, though others have to wait for me to find the right omiyage for them... yes, I'm looking at you Mr. Gotta-Have-Haruhi!

I'd like to find some sort of Alarm Clock widget, since I'm lacking in a workable alarm clock anyway, and why can't my computer be an alarm if it can do everything else except wash my underwear? I found this Widget that will wake me up, but this morning's test didn't exactly work out- I think I need to figure out how to work the program. But what I want is something that will play streaming radio (via iTunes, probably, or QuickTime) for a set amount of time before I go to sleep (and if possible, dim or turn off the screen in that time, since you can't have music playing with the lid closed/computer in Sleep mode), and will beep or play another song when I wake up. If anyone knows of something, let me know. I'm sick of listening to my air conditioner's whistling to try and get to sleep.

Ugh, I probably should get off this thing and sleep for real... or eat something. Maybe I'll update later if I feel better. At least I got my homework done...

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