The Healing Properties of Chicken 
Wednesday, 13 December, 2006, 20:33
Monday at about 4:30PM I started feeling a bit off. I got a bit dizzy and lightheaded, but I attributed it to being somewhat hungry and decided to feed my then-noisy stomach. Tuesday came, and I was feeling like utter crap, but I didn't have a fever so I went in to work. I felt about the same all day. Today ... went into work, sat down, worked for about 30 minutes, and left the office. I was in no state to be in there. I don't know where this came from or what it is, but it's annoying. I cough and end up with the hiccups, it's a pain.

So I had a final exam today. As soon as I sat in the car I felt terrible, but I went to campus anyway. When I got there I parked my car and went into CCC (or Student Center East, as they call it now) to do some last-minute cramming. I got a bit hungry (and my nose was running) so I went to Wendy's and got a spicy chicken sandwich.

Let me tell you something: as soon as I finished that sandwich, I felt like a million bucks. I felt as if I could take on the damn world. I don't know what was in that damn sandwich, but whatever it was, it was GOOD. My nose wasn't running, I wasn't coughing, I wasn't lightheaded ... fantastic! I took the final (and I think I kicked its ass), and while my nose is a little stuffed now, it's nowhere near as bad as it was this morning.

Wendy's Spicy Chicken for LIFE!
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The Bell Tolls for Thee 
Sunday, 10 December, 2006, 13:54
Comcast has pulled the shortest straw.

I do not expect a company as big as Comcast to move mountains for me. I do not expect them to treat me as if I'm the only customer they have. Maybe that's cynicism, maybe it's reasonable, I don't know. But, I certainly do expect Comcast to fix what is broken.

The problem is that their service has been broken for the past 9 days and they haven't fixed it. I understand that the big ol' snowfall a couple weeks ago may have caught them off-guard. I mean, it certainly caught me off-guard because those types of warnings were never met with the predicted results in the past. But it's been NINE FREAKING DAYS, the problems should be fixed now. Furthermore, if the company sends us automated phone calls telling us that the problem is fixed, it should bloody well be fixed, right?

Their customer service reps see that the service is intermittent. They should do more than just say "durrrr, your service is intermittent, I can't do anything about that." If you can't fix it, pass it to someone who can! Schedule a truck roll or something! We're doing something like that at my workplace now and, when we pass it up to the development team leaders, they deal with and solve the problems (for the most part ... Lucas, I think you know the exception). Do not try to tell me that Comcast does not have such an infrastructure in place.

The problem is that this is now occurring regularly. The other problem is that we can't get Verizon FiOS out here (which is a TOTAL bummer, I'd love 15Mbps down/2Mbps up for the price of Comcast cable internet), and that the local ISPs kind of suck. So, Wide Open West is the next best thing. I just gave them a call and, despite the fact that we'd be taking a 4Mbps downstream speed hit (down to 6 from 10), we'd be getting 1Mbps upstream for the same price as Comcast. That, and everything will come on one bill, as we already have WOW for TV.

On a completely unrealted note, I am absolutely in love with Firefox's built-in spell checker.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Trailer 
Saturday, 9 December, 2006, 10:42
Check it out:

I don't know whether to be upset or excited by this. I mean, sure, we have Transformers coming out with the original voice of Optimus Prime, but come on now ... weren't there already two Ninja Turtles movies? Why do we need an animated one?

The next item of the day: R U SIRIUS? U CANNOT B SIRIUS. Yes, I'm getting satellite radio installed today. I ended up getting one of the smaller, less-expensive units (not a big fan of blue backlights), and the FM modulator will be hard-wired into my car's stereo. Good stuff. Bob has been using it for some time now and he's happy with it, and I see they have at least a couple pure metal channels so I'm all over that.

There was snow two Fridays ago, but I didn't mention that. I'm not so surprised to say that driving a 4WD vehicle is much easier in the snow than driving a 2WD one, but it does not mean they're easier to stop :D I was still doing at most 25 on the way to work that day. The one thing I don't like about the snow is that local businesses don't give a rat's ass about clearing out the parking lots. The company that manages the building I work in didn't do much before 2 in the afternoon; they were trying to clear out the snow with a Bobcat that got stuck. To this day, there are patches of snow and ice that haven't been cleared out. Same goes for the company that runs the shops on Golf & Algonquin (Potbelly's, Starbuck's, Buona Beef, etc.) ... there is an incline between two of the parking lots, and it is a solid sheet of ice. I've had to lock my center differential to get up that incline. What a pain.

Friday is the company Christmas party, which will be interesting this year, as I've now been with the company for over a year. I've scheduled a house-hunting expedition with my real-estate agent, and have a list of 9 or 10 houses I'd like to look at with Julie. The time is coming ...
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Black Friday Toaster 
Saturday, 25 November, 2006, 00:07
Black Friday has come and gone, and I was quite a consumer whore. See, you all know I'm a computer geek, so I had to go to some electronics store and buy stuff, right? Here's what I did.

I went over to Fry's Electronics in Downer's Grove. I grabbed a Silverstone SST-SG01 case, an Antec 350W ATX power supply, and a Silverstone SST-NT04 heatsink. I'm going to replace my dad's Antec Aria and stock Athlon 64 3000+ (socket 754, yay!) heatsink, because that stupid Antec Aria power supply is expensive for what it is. Screw that, standard ATX power supply FTW.

Of course, that can't be all. Ended up at Best Buy. They had 250GB Seagate hard drives for $60. I mean, come on, they're 60 FREAKING DOLLARS. I picked up 5 of them, but none of them will be mine. I have no problem with that, believe it or not. Three of the drives will be given as gifts when my parents go to Hungary for my grandfather's funeral. The other two went into a toaster.

See, this is where the "Toaster" in the title of this post comes into play. I didn't literally put the drives into a toaster, of course. Another item I picked up at Best Buy was a Netgear SC101. I know people get pissed off at those, but I figured I'd give it a shot. I mean, $220 NAS unit? WIN!

Okay, that's about it for now ... working on copying a bunch of files to the toaster, I'll see how it truly performs later.
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White & Nerdy 
Saturday, 18 November, 2006, 11:31
No, it's not just a video Bob's sharing on his Facebook page anymore :)

I set up an Unreal Tournament server at work on Thursday, but didn't really do anything about it until yesterday. I got a bunch of other people to install UT (specifically Jack, Lucas, Frank, Ilya, and Levon), but by the time we started playing, only Frank and Ilya joined me on the server. Apart from the fact that the server lags like crazy, it was pretty awesome :D

In other news today, I've found my Virtual PC installation files, and I've installed it. I'm proceeding with Windows Vista setup in the Virtual PC environment. I won't get all of the nifty GUI effects ("Aero" or whatever it's called) because the Virtual PC uses a generic video driver that's compatible with pretty much every OS, but I'll be able to get the basic Vista experience. So far, I have found out that you don't need a product key to install Vista, but if you don't enter one, you have to choose the correct version of the operating system or you will eventually have to reformat or buy that version. Did that just make sense? :D

I'm actually pretty excited to see how this will perform, and whether it'll run the software I use on a daily basis.
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