The Mole #4

Monday, June 30, 2008
Well, here are my predictions since LAST week's episode:

Craig (he is lovable, but is costing money)
Alex (he still still still looks suspicious!)
Mark (I think he is a good actor)


40 hours

I have worked over 40 hours in the last four days! And that doesn't include working three church services today!

OK, I am going to go crash now! Thankfully I am not taping with Cathy Monday morning, so I get to sleep late! DON'T CALL!



Saturday, June 28, 2008
It is 6 AM.

I left for a job yesterday at 1 PM and got home an hour ago (5 AM).

The sun is rising, and I have yet to get any sleep.

Getting paid rocks! Working sucks.


Recipe Time!

Thursday, June 26, 2008
OK, I have posted several of my recipes here, and I have a few more to post, but I want YOUR recipes! I am tired of eating the same old thing, so send me your recipes, either via a comment here or to my e-mail.

If I use them, I will post how much I like it! Yea, yum, wee!


In other news...

Sunday, June 22, 2008
(Just to note: I wrote this post last night, but wasn't able to post it until today)

Well, I need to update you guys about my Jeep, but first some other "news".

Most of you know a little bit about my new job, but let me explain it here for everyone. I work for BlueMoon Cinemas, who specializes in setting up inflatable movie screens for events. They come in three main sizes: 16 foot, 26', and 40', where the 16 foot screen is sixteen feet wide by nine feet tall. Here is a picture of a sixteen foot screen:

Here is a picture of me standing in front of the forty foot screen.

Ya, it is big! This job is fun, I work for two hours to set up the screen, then sit back and watch a movie (from Dumbo to Transformers, from The Wizard of Oz to Big), then spend an hour taking the screen down. It pays well, and is good physical work for me. It does hurt my sleeping schedule, but it is paying the bills for now.

Moving on... I want a 3G iPhone. This is no new news. I have been wanting an iPhone for a while now. But many things have made it more of a reason for me to get one now:

My current phone is starting to act flakey. IE: sometimes I can't hear others on the phone. Very annoying.
My current contract is up.
The price just got cut in half!
The App Store/SDK will be an amazing addition to the phone.
The new one has GPS, so I won't need a separate GPS unit (like I was thinking about getting).

But everything ain't rosey about getting one. For example, $300 is a lot of money for me right now, and the extra $30 a month (for the data plan) is a hard swallow. And...

Frankly, I am having "religious" second thoughts. Sure I would like it if I had one, but does the Bible call us to do what we want, or to serve the poor? I mean, how selfish am I to want an overpriced phone when others are hungry? I am not even speaking of "some random people in Africa," I mean people in my community, people in my neighborhood, people that walk by me on the street every day.

In the past I have spoken about my worries about greed, and this is a great example of that. Sure I volunteer at my church, and I give some money to organizations that I like to support, but when was the last time that I poured myself out for the poor?

Am I a bad person if I get an iPhone? I would hope not. But should I "fast" from an iPhone to learn some humility, or if I go back to work (I have ben thinking about going back to UPS to help pay for a new vehicle) would it be OK if I paid for it?

(I hate "religious" quandaries, because most of the time there are "right" answers and "wrong" answers, but I feel like often there is no way to absolutely know which is which. Sure, one can speculate and read the Bible, but transferring the Bible to modern times is an inaccurate science at best.)

Speaking about a new vehicle, I posted yesterday about two Jeep Liberties that I thought would be great for me. I originally wanted the 2003 (less expensive, more miles) but others convinced me that it was worth the extra money for the 2002 (less miles). Well, I went to the dealership, and they had already sold the 2002, so I looked at the 2003. The first thing that I noticed was that it smelled of smoke... that is, the kind of smell that says "someone who smokes lived here" (yes, the smell of "cigarette smoke" and the smell of "someone who smokes lived here" are different smells).

Then I noticed another kind of smoke. The dealer opened up the hood, and I saw white smoke coming out from behind the engine. It was at this point that he was all like "I just talked to my boss, and I told him that you were coming by, and because I said on the phone that I still had both Jeeps and one was sold last night, so I asked him how much I could take off of the price, and he said to take it down to six thousand." So right there on the spot he took one thousand dollars off the price, which just makes it a better deal... if it is a good deal in the first place.

I took it on a test drive, and it drove OK, but the "someone who smokes lived here" smell bothered me more than I thought that it would. I brought it back, and told the guy that the white smoke that I saw worried me, so he let me take it to my mechanic to look it over. Thankfully, my guy didn't charge me anything. He said that there was nothing mechanically wrong with the Jeep, except for a leaking valve gasket cover (or something like that) which was leaking oil on the manifold which was causing the smoke (turns out it would only cost a few hundred dollars to fix).

So I went back to the dealership, and I told him: "I know it sounds cliche, but this isn't the car for me." I didn't like the smell, it had too many miles, and there were other little things: like it had been in a fender-bender (cracking the plastic front bumper), and there were smudges on the inside of the plastic over the gauges.

So I didn't get either Jeep Liberty. I am still looking for a Jeep Liberty, but as Sara put it, this will just make me appreciate even more the Jeep that is "right for me."

Well, that is about it for now. Wish me luck (or something). As I write this, I am sitting here at a job watching Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (that is the original, not the creepy new one). The TV boy just got shrunk, and Charlie is the only one left, so I need to go get ready to take down the screen (the second picture above was taken tonight). Ta ta for now!


Which one?

Thursday, June 19, 2008
So I found two great Jeep Liberties listed on Craig's List. Both are from the same dealership, both are below KBB price. They are both (basically) the same except for what is listed below:

Jeep Liberty #1
"Limited Trim"
4 Wheel Drive
68,000 miles
"Flame Red"
$9,000(KBB: 11,800)

Jeep Liberty #2
"Sport Trim"
2 Wheel Drive
97,000 miles
"Light Khaki" (which I think I like better)
$7,000 (KBB: 8,500)

So, I could go with #1 which has 30,000 less miles and 4 wheel drive, or get a year newer and save myself $2,000 by going with #2. What do you think?

I am going to test drive them tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!


Top Ten

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
OK, the following will mean nothing to most of you. In fact, I can only think of three of you that would understand this post, but I am going to post it anyway! Presenting:

The Top Ten WarCraft III Online Maps
(of all time)

10. Red Light Green Light. This is the original WC3 online map. It is the first one that I can remember playing, and it was all the rage... for a while.

9. Cube TD. As far as "hours played", this map is high on the list. I spent many nights perfecting my maze, a one of a kind maze that made the creeps walk past the starting line like seven times... even if I did have to "cheat" to do it (I had to use the spot next to me).

8. Green TD. This TD proved to be very tough. I don't think we ever beat this map, even though we spent many hours trying to do so.

7. Battle Tankz. I wish that this were higher on the list, but there are so many great maps, this one slipped a bit. I am still a big fan of this game, but it takes so long to win a good game that I don't play it much any more.

6. Hero Line Warz. Somehow I always picked the over-powered hero, so this game was always fun for me. I remember when it used to be hard to find a decent team to play against (3v5 anyone?), but now others have gotten down good techniques to games last longer.

5. Battle Ships. RUSH MODE! Another great map that had a lot of options, a lot upgrade paths, and plenty of skills to perfect (once you perfected a normal ship you went trader!).

4. WinterMaul. Right up there with Red Light Green Light as a classic. The first good maul, it spawned a category of it's own.

3. Tree Tag. I still miss tree tag. I miss chants of "UR CHEATING!" and "OMG HOW DID YOU DO THAT?" (and then having to reply "it was totally legal"). I still dream about being a rock gollum running around in the woods, chasing ents, chopping down trees to make a path big enough....

2. Alcohol Maul. This was the original "I am going to play this map until I beat it!" map, and we did... in fact, we got so good at it, we had to move on to something harder. I still want a poster on my wall of a big pink tower shooting out seals...

And, the #1 WC3 map of all time... can you guess it? It is...

1. WinterMaul Warz! That's right! The classic WinterMaul taken to the next level. Once again, this spawned an entire category of "Wars" maps that still live on today.

Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):
Zoator TD
Poker TD
Line Tower Wars
Air Strike TD
Tower Wars

Any others? Have I forgotten any? What would your list look like?


The Mole 3...

Monday, June 16, 2008
After the third episode, here are my Moley predictions:

Craig (still my #1)
Alex (he still still looks suspicious!)
Paul (I am bumping off Nicole this week because I now think that she is trying to look moleish and is doing a bad job... in the meantime, Paul has been acting more suspicious this week)

Two other notes:
1) I am glad that this episode my #1 pick wasn't kicked off... he wasn't even on my list! Yea!
2) Note that all of the above are guys... I think that this is because they are focusing more on the guys than the girls.


Apple taking Microsoft's place

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I have hinted at it before, and I have told family and friends this point, but I fully believe that:

The only way that Microsoft can avoid destruction is to start over. In the above-linked post, I talked about the problem that Windows has: legacy issues. I believe that the only way for Windows to beat the legacy issue is to start from scratch. They can say "we are coming out with Windows X in five years. If you want to run our software, you will need to abide by these codecs and regulations." They would, in a sense, force people to conform to what THEY say, instead of what they do right now, which is conform to what everyone else says.

I understand that this is not "practical" for Microsoft, but I still believe that it is the only way for them to survive after ten years. However, the above is not what this post is about (the above is not even a fully developed explanation of my point).

Today, Apple announced the next version of their Operating System: Snow Leopard/ (due out "in about a year"). As they say on the site, in their recent OS Updates they have delivered "more than a thousand" new features (an exaggeration, IMO), but in this version, they are not focusing on features, they are focusing on performance.

That's right: Apple is doing what Microsoft SHOULD be doing! They are stepping back and saying "What we have is good, it has a lot of good features, but it is a little top heavy. Lets stop and focus on a few key items: performance, security, and developers." By doing this, they are securing an OS footprint that will last for the next ten years, while Microsoft can't see past the next bad update of Windows. Apple is once again proving to be a progressive company, while Windows just tries to keep up with it's own success.


PS: Sorry, this is not a fully developed idea/post. It is 1 AM, and I just had the above thought, so I thought that I would get it out ASAP.

The Mole 2...

(spoiler alert, if you haven't seen this week's The Mole, stop reading!)

Arg, foiled again...

After watching 55 minutes of this week's The Mole, I was ready to come here and post the exact same three names again. But alas, in the last five minutes Liz was kicked off. She AGAIN this episode seamed like she was making stuff up in her interviews, but even if she was, she isn't the mole. Here is my revised list:

Craig (again, he is too lovable... and something about his Spanish...)
Alex (he still looks suspicious)
Nicole (she made herself obvious in the first episode, but she was so sly about it... "I don't want to sleep outside, so I just won't sleep..." nice ploy, I thought that her doing that would reduce the pot, but they let her do it)


The Mole 1...

Monday, June 09, 2008
So, there is a new series of The Mole on TV, and I thought that I would offer my opinions on who the mole is. After the first episode (last Monday), they are as follows (who I think is the mole is first, who I next think is the mole is next...):
Liz (she was trying to make an excuse for not doing something good, and it sounds like she was making it up)
Alex (he just looks suspicious)
Craig (as someone said, he is one of those guys that everyone just loves, so no one would suspect him)

This early in the game it is hard to actually pick "The Mole", so these are mostly just guesses based on first reactions to the first show.


they are up to it again...

Friday, June 06, 2008
I have to say, Microsoft has an amazing marketing strategy: "Don't support our old stuff, so when it doesn't work any more, you have to buy the upgrade!"

On a totally different subject: anyone have $200 that I can borrow to buy the latest version of Microsoft Office?