June 30, 2002
Baseball Cap

How do you wash a baseball cap? I think tossing it in the clothes washer would be bad.

What is the correct method?

Posted by michael at 09:03 PM
Sunday Afternoon

It's Sunday afternoon and I have lots to do. Instead, I'm on the computer.

OK, time to get some things done around here. Damn internet...

Posted by michael at 05:13 PM
June 27, 2002

As I wander around the net aimlessly, I see lots of cool things.

Some of these things are cool in a way that most would not think cool, like this and that.

There are plenty of things like Homestar Runner that everyone should laugh at heartily.

I see other weblog sites that have style like geekychick.net and brassjarproject.com.

When I look at Cruft it lacks the same kinda style. Not that I want to copy those sites. This page looks a little locked into the whole late 90s IE vs. Netscape era when the last vocal minority of pre-WWW internet users still held back the relentless assault of Flash and CSS.

I checked and the current cruft page has been basically the same for 2 1/2 years.

I guess I still believe in Jakob Nielsen's ideas on usability, but it's so fucking boring sometimes. I don't like to be fucking boring.

The time for change has come.

I don't know exactly what, but the wheels are in motion. It will probably involve the cruftbox.com domain I've had waiting in the wings for a while.

Stay tuned.

Posted by michael at 10:06 PM
The Linux Truck

I forgot to post this earlier.

I drove past The Linux Truck last weekend. Looks like kel-tek.com and linux-911.com are doing some advertising.

So if you need Linux help in the San Gabriel Valley, you know who to call!

Posted by michael at 09:27 AM
June 26, 2002
Am I evil?

This email exchange made me ponder my future as an eccentric ranter...

Posted by michael at 12:10 PM

I played multiplayer Neverwinter Nights last night. I met up with a group of Yoshi's friends and we started playing on some server they knew of somewhere. We were all basically clueless as to what to do in multiplayer.

We found our way into the jail level and started killing. I could tell that most of them were EQ players since the wanted someone to 'pull' the monsters. We UO players never developed the 'pull' technique because it doesn't work so well in a isometric perspective game. In the NWN perspective, you have a good view of your surroundings and can see who's inbound from every side. In first person perspective games like EQ & DaoC, you can't see what's behind you easily, so everyone worries about pulling from the right direction.

Another factor is that the monsters typically cannot be soloed in EQ. In NWN, most of the low level monsters are easily soloed, but tend to attack in groups. UO players would have designated two players to the attack of the most powerful monster straightaway, while the rest of the group cleared the low level monsters and tossed heals.

After a while, the server simply evaporated. My wicked cool deer hat was GONE! Earlier, I had brought a NWN server on the girls computer. It's a 1GHz box, so in dedicated mode it's fine for running a server. It's called "The Kitty Server", since it runs on the girl's Kitty server. Everyone logged into the server and we started to play. I had to boot a random player that was killing all the NPCs and turning everyone evil. Muah-ha-ha-ha, the power of the console...

Enough, it's time to head to work...

Posted by michael at 07:08 AM
June 25, 2002
Cheap Camera

I saw that there was a $10 digital camera on sale at OfficeMax today.

You can see the camera here.

There's a OfficeMax nearby and I called and indeed they had them in stock. They are $15 with a $5 mail-in rebate.

At lunch, I headed out with Brad and Yoshi in search of this 'too good to be true' deal.

I bought two. Yoshi bought one.

They are basically webcams that allow you to take up to 27 320x240 pixel images without being connected to the computer.

Here are the images. I converted the 225k bmps to jpgs for web viewing. There is no degradation in quality from this conversion.

We tested webcam mode and it works as well.  So if you want a cheap webcam, this may be your answer.

Posted by michael at 03:28 PM
June 24, 2002
Minority Report

After reading a few more reviews about Minority Report this morning, I am firmly convinced that America is being drugged.

People seem to think this is a "great" movie.

Unless I passed out and missed 20 minutes of the film where are the plot flaws were fixed, I can't see why people thnk this was so great. Cool special effects, but the story lets me down.

Posted by michael at 09:35 AM
June 23, 2002
The long hike

I wrote up yesterday's geocaching adventure in the usual story form.

My legs are quite sore today. I need to exercise more if I'm going to do this regularly. Here's a view from near the top.

Last night, I saw Minority Report with Len. It was OK, but it doesn't deserve the praise it's getting from critics. Cool special effects are great, but a plot with huge holes in it is less than I expect from Mr. Spielberg.

Posted by michael at 09:35 PM
Helpful Tip

If your wife is out of town and took the tweezers with her, trying to use a needle-nose pliers instead is a bad idea.

Posted by michael at 12:07 PM
June 21, 2002
Game or Reality

It's just after 7PM and I'm still at work. I'm done with what I needed to do, but I'm in no hurry since Michele and the girls are out of town.

I got a little stressed at work today over part of our budgeting process. In normal person speak what it means is that the comapny plans out how much money we are going to spend next year. Seems simple, but it's not.

I routinely deal with plans and projects that involve millions of dollars. Projects that are under $100,000 aren't scrutinized heavily. We spend around a million dollars a day in just my part of Disney. The money takes on a unreal feel. It's like a game.

In private life, the difference between $50 and $150 is huge in my purchasing decision. At work, money flows out like water. I regularly sign invoices for $10,000. Today I signed for a $30,000 piece of software. I gave it no more thought than most people would give the bill at dinner.

We need it, we got the money, buy it.

But when you stop for a second and consider what that kind of money would buy in 'private life', it boggles the mind. $30,000 would buy Michele the new Volvo she's been eyeing. As it is, it will probably take 5 years to pay off a new car.

It's a strange disconnect with reality. The money doesn't seem real. It's a strange game.

Today we got delivery of a few boxes of hardware. Sitting on the loading dock was around $250,000 worth of gear. That's a fucking entire house sitting outside waiting for us to wheel it inside.

Everything inside the corporation seems like a game. There are rules. There are winners and losers. And most amazingly, there is the rejection of reality. People make decisions based on not what is the best idea, but based on the politics of the company and looking good. For all the financial analysis we do, it's basically ignored in large part.

The company will issue cost cutting edicts that lower morale and productivity over trivial things like "No doughnuts on Fridays!" while at the same time losing $35 million dollars on a film that any thrid grader could have told them would suck. How many doughnuts do we have to forgo to pay off the decision to make a bad movie?

It's simply not reality.

Posted by michael at 07:26 PM

It is June 21, the first day of Summer, and it is raining in Southern California.


Posted by michael at 06:55 AM
June 20, 2002
An empty inbox...

This is an amazing sight:

This is my work email inbox. Typically, I get 200-300 emails per day and my inbox is constantly full. Last week I had more than 300 items in my inbox.

I have busted my ass to deal with mail and amazingly have emptied it.

I rock.

Posted by michael at 07:53 PM
Neverwinter Nights

I picked up NWN yesterday.

I got home around 7:30 and let it install while I was making dinner and puttering around the house.

I started playing at 8PM or so. The next time I got up from the computer, it was 11PM. The game is very well done.

I'll have more to report after I finish the first mission.

Posted by michael at 07:07 AM
June 19, 2002
Off my lazy ass

Alright, I got off my lazy ass and wrote up a few stories.

First, I did a little Benchmarking. It's an offshoot of geocaching. You can check out the first and second benchmarks I found.

Next, I planted a new geocache called the Big Dreams Cache on Saturday. You can read the story.

After planting the cache, I did a did a little hunting myself on my seventh and eighth geocache finds.

On Fathers Day, I went down to my parents house. My parents handed me a small present to open. I couldn't imagine what it was. I opened it up and it was a new Garmin eTrex Venture. I've was quite surprised. Remember, I've been using a GPS Companion with Michele's Palm.

Me: Wow, thanks.
Mom: You like it?
Me: Um, yes. It's great. But...
Mom: What? You don't like it? You want to take it back? A different color?
Me: No, it's just that I already have a GPS...
Dad: Yah, we know.
Me: Huh?
Dad: We asked Michele what to get you. She said to get you a GPS.
Me: Huh? She knows I have a GPS...
Mom: Do you want to take it back? Wrong color? [etc...]
Dad: Michele said to get you it so she can have her Palm back.
Me: Oh.
Dad: She said ever since you started geocaching her Palm is never in her purse.
Me: I see. A conspiracy!

I'll write more on the new GPS once I get a chance to use it.

Lastly, I wrote up a story on my father's knife obsession. More to come on this topic as I get time.

OK, that's enough content for tonight. It's bed time....

Posted by michael at 12:03 AM
June 18, 2002
Picture of the Day
Mac haters unite in glee over this image.

This picture was take at work, where a Mac found it simply too tough to boot up.
This isn't running an app, it's just booting the OS.


Let the hate mail begin!
Posted by michael at 11:51 PM

Neverwinter Nights is simply unavailable in LA today. I have tried and tried to find it to no avail.

I'll have to wait until Wednesday.

Posted by michael at 07:57 PM
Blow out

I got home yesterday and began filling the spa with water. I had made arrangements for a spa guy to come clean the filter and check out the system. He said to go ahead and fill the spa with water.

After the spa was mostly full, I turned the switches on to get the jet/filter system primed with water. The system started chugging and whirring as usual. After about 5 minutes, the jets bagan to spurt and everything looked good. A bit of debis blew out of the jets, but that is normal for a startup after a long time off.

I looked over toward the pum/heater/filter gear and noticed a bunch of water coming from that direction. Suddenly, the jets sputtered and died away. More water came from the equipment that is usually dry.

Upon inspection, I found that the water was coming from the heater unit. To heat the water, there is a coil of tubing (kinda like a radiator) over large gas burners. Water is pumped through this tubing while the gas flame is on and the water is heated. It's simple really. Well, it looks like the tubing broke and water was pouring down on the gas burners. Big mess.

This put me into a bit of a funk. I was going to do some work on geocaching stories, but instead watched some TV and went to bed early.

Hopefully today will be a better day.

Posted by michael at 09:18 AM
June 17, 2002

Yes, the site has lacked good content recently. Crappy pics and brief captions just don't cut it...

An actual tourist wearing black socks and shorts.
Why won't his wife tell him he looks like a fool?

I'm planning on better stuff to post, but you'll have to wait.

Posted by michael at 07:23 AM
June 15, 2002
Where in the world?

I decided I need a fanny pack of some sort to carry my gear when going geocaching. The only problem is I don't know where you buy a fanny pack. Do I need to go to a sporting good store? Are there fanny pack stores?

Posted by michael at 09:22 AM
June 12, 2002
No news

I have no interesting news, so I will entertain you with a picture of me with the boss.

My mind is still fried from budgets at the office.

Posted by michael at 08:10 AM
June 11, 2002

I received a rebuttal to my Apple satire by some guy.

"glories of Macintosh"? I think someone needs professional help. It's just a fucking computer...

Posted by michael at 09:02 AM
June 10, 2002
Apple's New Campaign

Apple has a new campaign on switching from PCs to Macs.

Here's my perception of the reality...

Posted by michael at 05:42 PM
Busy weekend

We had a busy weekend...

Here are four stories for your perusal:

1) Zoe loses her training wheels
2) A small hot dog eating contest
3) Our fifth geocache trip
4) Our sixth geocache trip

Time for bed now.

Posted by michael at 12:04 AM
June 07, 2002

I was getting ready for work this morning and noticed this sight.

Let's see here, there are four people in the house. My toothbrush is the one on the left. The rest are for the girls. Between Michele, Zoe, and Mira, they have SIX toothbrushes.

It is quite confusing to me since they seem to all use each others. I've looked for a pattern, but there is none. Pure girl confusion.

Ever since I began living with Michele, I've had to deal with sharing the bathroom space with her. I have a small shelf under the showerhead for my soap & razor. The rest of the space is filled with various lotions and potions she uses.

The countertop sees regular incursions of 'her stuff' onto my side. I agressively rearrange the countertop to regain my lost territory. For eight years of marriage, I have fought this battle with general success.

Here's why this concerns me. Instead of facing one woman, I am now facing three. At first I thought it was triple the amount of stuff I would be dealing with, but now I see my foolishness.

The photo above shows the potential assualt these wily women are planning. I have 1 toothbrush, they have 6. This tells me to expect not a tripling of 'girl stuff' but truly an astounding SEXTUPLING (six times) of the amount I currently deal with.

Going from having one HALF of the counter to a probable one SEVENTH of the counter is terrifying in it's implications.

Basically, I am doomed. Unless I build a secret bathroom for my own personal use, I risk being enveloped in a pit of creams, lotions, and strange plucking tools.

Posted by michael at 05:16 PM
June 06, 2002
An email

I received this email:


I have to take a counter-point position to your biased
and uncalled for attack on the MAC:


Posted Saturday, June 1, 2002, 8:40 AM by michael

My parent are going on a trip and my mother sent
me an email just before she left. Here's an excerpt: Hope this doesn't make
you sad, but I have decided that my next toy will be a laptop so I can take
it when I am away. And, because of all the awful viruses, I think I will get
a MAC. Have a great weekend. Love, Mom"

With all due respect to your illustrious career as a
Cookie Salesman, I have to disagree with the implied distaste you're showing
to my weapon of choice.

MACs are cool. Chicks dig MACs (especially the silly
colored iMacs, which I really hate even mentioning). MACs are great for
graphics - I create all my webcomics on a MAC G4. If it weren't for the
better games available on the PC, I wouldn't even own one of the damned
things. Windows - YEUCHH! Thankfully, with the impending release of both
NeverWinter Nights and ShadowBane, I'll be able to take my PC into my
backyard and shoot it like the hideous, unnatural beast it is, and leave
room for more MACs in my house ... to work on, to play on, and to avoid all
those awful viruses! (Kudos to



All the best to you and the family - I always enjoy
reading Cruft, and Matt's CrookDimwit
as well.

Take it easy! (And be nice to my MAC)

Logan DeAngelis
"Ebonsteel" of SP, ex-OGD/DTM, retired.
KU-2 Comics!



First of all, go visit Logan's page,
KU-2 Comics .  He's been doing great stuff for years.

Too bad he doesn't understand view on Apple
Macs.  I've never said that Macs are bad computers.  People can create
all kinds of great stuff on Macs, just like they can on Windows & Linux boxes. 
Actually, Apple makes some good computers.  I have the highest respect for
Apple's hardware designers.  It's their software designers and business
practices that I have trouble with.

Most Mac users must agree that Mac OSs from 6
through 9 were crap.  Crap.  C R A P!  The simple fact that when
Macs crashed they displayed an image of a bomb and only gave the user the option
of rebooting alone is worth years in purgatory for those responsible.  Lack
of multi-tasking.  Extension conflicts. Closed hardware standards. 
Single button mice.  I could go on...

The current Mac OS X is nice. Too bad it's a
complete rip of unix/mach with a pretty GUI bolted on.  Apple got back to
their roots by stealing ideas again.  Just as they stole the idea for the
initial Macintosh from Xerox PARC, they stole the idea of modifying unix from
the open source community.  Apple tried to write a next generation OS in
Copeland, but failed.  Failed miserably.  And their users suffered. 
Sure, todays's Macs are nice, but after being treated poorly for a decade, I'm
not ready to forgive.  There are many Mac fanatics that are in love with
Steve Jobs again for OS X.  To me, they are like battered wives who make up
with their husband after he brings home a bouquet of flowers after beating her
up the night before.

I bet the Mac users reading now are foaming at
the mouth.  Settle down, it's just a stupid computer.

Here are the reasons I was dreading the idea of
my mother getting a Mac. 

Support - I am the primary computer support
person for most of my family.  Trying to help my mother through problem on
an OS that I don't use is a huge pain in the ass.  Helping my mother with
questions about using AOL on a Mac are tough when I use neither the software nor
the OS.  Imagine trying to configure a computer OS you've never used over
the telephone.  It's horrific.

Upgrades - Macs are basically locked into the
initial hardware configuration.  There are no industry standard Apple
designs that allow owners to easily upgrade parts of the computer.  In the
PC, almost everything can be upgraded at a low cost.  Try to put your Mac
in a custom case.  You can't.  You are stuck with what Steve Jobs

Cultism - Many Mac users act like they are in a
cult.  I'm not joking. I previously posted this:

Is Apple a cult?
Every cult can be defined as a group having all of the following five

1. It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its
2. It forms an elitist totalitarian society
3. Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not
accountable and has charisma
4. It believes 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds,
recruit people
5. Its wealth does not benefit its members or society

Let's run through the numbers shall we?

1) Yep, see
2) Yep, see http://cult-of-mac.utu.fi/
3) Yep, All hail Steve!
4) Yep, check with Apple legal on this one
5) Unless you own stock, Yep

Looks like a cult to me.

It's simple.  I don't want my mother in a

I've ranted enough.  Time for bed.

Posted by michael at 11:49 PM

I, like many people, place enormous trust in technology. We fly in airplanes, use telephones and have ABS brakes.

Recently at the office, they installed auto-flushing toliets. There is no lever to pull. When you are done with your business and walk away, it automatically flushes.

For some reason, this technology makes me more nervous than flying on a plane five miles in the sky.

Posted by michael at 10:41 AM
June 03, 2002
Planting a Geocache

I planted my first Geocache this weekend. You can read the story here.

I placed it on Sunday afternoon. By the time I got home from work on Monday, it had been found not once, but twice. Woo hoo!

Hopefully the Juju Travel Bug will make it to Washington, DC, where my brother can retrieve it.

Posted by michael at 09:13 PM
My ten most favorite movies

In no particular order:

Blade Runner
Monty Python & the Holy Grail
Apocalypse Now
Full Metal Jacket
The Godfather
The Usual Suspects
Seven Samurai
Princess Bride
Blazing Saddles

Posted by michael at 08:29 PM
June 01, 2002

My parent are going on a trip and my mother sent me an email just before she left. Here's an excerpt:

Hope this doesn't make you sad, but I have decided that my next toy will be a laptop so I can take it when I am away. And, because of all the awful viruses, I think I will get a MAC. Have a great weekend. Love, Mom

Posted by michael at 08:40 AM