Monthly Archives: January 2007

The worst port of Super Mario Bros. Ever.

This is a port of the famous game from the NES (where it belongs) to a NEC PC-8801 computer (where it clearly does not). The colors are horrendous, the sounds are tinny even by mid-80’s standards, and the screen does not scroll! Like Zelda for NES, you have to reach the edge of the screen before it moves onto the next screen, ruining 90% of the action of the original.

Here’s the video: “Super SPECIAL Mario Brothers”

By the way, the story was originally posted here, and then I found it on

Quick trivia fact: Donkey Kong was originally supposed to be named Monkey Kong, but was messed up in the translation. Also, the creators of the game wanted to use Popeye and not a then-unnamed plumber as the main character, but did not want to deal with the legal hassles involved in licensing the Popeye character. Popeye eventually “did” get his own game, a fun game in its own right, but has since seen only a tiny shred of the popularity that Mario has. So my disdain…

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My favorite website, for the moment

Dark Roasted Blend is a great site that Jason clued me into, but I’ve since seen it featured on the likes of Fark and BoingBoing as well. It’s a collection of different photos representing like-themes. Today, they have vintage advertisements of women and cars. Recently there have been historical fractal designs, awesome photos from a Russian airline pilot, and North Korean Anti-U.S. propoganda posters. This site is a must-see, especially if you have high-speed. I, alas, have 56K, but I still go here, even if it takes 10 minutes to load one page of photos.

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Jesus that’s a cool graphic!

This is a graphical representation on the relationships between the figures in the New Testament Bible. I stole this post fair and square from BoingBoing. It is, truly, a directory of wonderful things. Go here for the full story: New Testament Graphic

(Can you think, with all the “This guy begat that guy begat that guy”, how enormous the Old Testament graphical rep would be? It’d have to be 5 screens long, with one long skinny chain between the Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses clusters.)

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Another Star Wars perspective

…on how the Jedi are a bunch of low down lying jerks. Or something to that effect. Here’s the scoop: JediJerks

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Take two…blogger decided to puke me out of it’s gullet just now, so my paragraph-long post went to text heaven…so, here we go again.

I should say, semi-drunken rants aside, this hasn’t been too bad of a week. Tonight was alright…Tuesday on the other hand was just…weird.

Tuesday was a them night at work. My job, if you haven’t read much of this blog, is at a nationwide office supply chain store. As this store delves more and more into non-office-supply…supplies, they continue to get more of a base of customers reflecting non-professional attitudes, rather than working-class folks who have, well, Manners.

Tuesday was a winner of a night. Every hour-to-90 minutes, there was a change in theme. It started out, as has been the case lately, with the difficult customers. Either they’re really nice and they have a totally convoluted request…or they’re total jerks and have a totally convoluted request, and they don’t thank you when you’re done.

The more convoluted the thing is, the quicker I want to get that person done. It’s like juggling, and then you want to stop. You want that last ball thrown to make it to your other hand as quick as possible, so you can move on to the bowling pins that next customer has. I want to make sure that I don’t mess up anything, so I try to move them through fast.

Here’s an example: the person has a points-card for the store. Fine, dandy. Wait, they also have a tax-exemption card for their job. Okay…but they also have 5 coupons for products. Fine, but not all of those coupons will work, since they will collide, and the system won’t accept them. Cool, okay. Wait, they have a product that they purchased before, and you need to exchange that so it goes toward the products they want now. Great, now I have to back up out of this order. Starting over, get to the end…crap, I forgot the points card! No wonder, they put it back into their wallet after you scanned it before! CRAP, third time…get to the end…wait! They have an empty ink cartridge that they can turn in, applying $3 toward the purchase! MOTHER *#(*#@(#!!! FOURTH TIME….

And so on. The next hour was made up of stoners. Stoners…they’re funny. They have “I’m a stoner, dude.” written all over their face. They want scales. They complain that the scales aren’t specific enough. They also try to buy 4-5 packs of the DVD-roms on sale, when the limit is 1-2. It’s just part of the theme.

The next segment was the angry old ladies. They’re angry because they need to make someone feel small. It makes their sad, pitiful, lonely lives seem that much better, to make someone who’s paid to be happy and helpful, feel like shit. I wish bad things upon these people…like hoping their children don’t visit very often. Beyond that, I simply feel sorry for them.

I don’t really hate anyone who walks through the doors of work. The chronic shoplifter that we have to put two employees on whenever he comes in. The deaf jerk who uses up ink cartridges until they’re empty, then claims they’re defective, and you’re supposed to help him because otherwise he’ll start to yell deaf-like until we “do” help him out. I just feel sorry for him, that he’s that freaking pitiful, that he has to use his condition to throw tantrums, that we somehow don’t see right through his lowly excuse for living.

Thankfully that guy doesn’t show up very often these days.

We had a going-away party for someone tonight. He’s about the median…see, folks aren’t very happy with the Vice-Store-Manager lately, and they’re leaving in droves. I don’t totally blame them…but again, I don’t hate the guy. I feel sorry for him, his attitudes, his lack of being a grown up, his throwing of tantrums.

I don’t like feeling sorry for people in authority though. I need to know that I’m working for someone who deserves to be where they are, that they aren’t there simply by default or providence. I need to know that the people in charge actually know what they’re doing, that they don’t push around those beneath them, and that those beneath them don’t push them around.

I guess I made a point somewhere in this little rant. I don’t like having much form to these posts, really. It makes it more fun (or “funner” as I’m wont to say) to just spill my guts, to say what I’m thinking.

Have a great week, all. I’m off to finish writing a page in a story.

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Futurama Returneth

Before I pass out, as my eyes are closed I type…anyhow, here’s some good news for fans of that Simpsons pseudo-spinoff: Futurama returns to TV on Comedy Central in 2008. Here’s the dirt on that: Futurama

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I never present poetry to anyone except to my old friend Mel in New Jersey, a fellow poet. However, since I am thoroughly drunk from playing the State of the Union Drinking Game, I felt it wise in my state of the drunkeness to throw out something I wrote at work a few days ago, based on minor hallucinations I tend to have.

See, there are 3 determining factors to the hallucinations I have. 1) I wear glasses. 2) I use my peripheral vision an awful lot, and 3) I have an ample imagination. The changes in the fuzzy side-vision to the semi-clear frontal-vision leads to fun little specs turning into living things. I shall let the poetry commence now.

Plastic butterflies from the sacks follow me.
The shadow specs follow for a time, but do not pursue.
The timers strike at noon, and knell the end.
A clock ticks, but the shadow specs merely watch waiting…
anticipation is too much, and the butterflies cease.

…I didn’t say it was any good. It was mindlessness that occurred when I was working last week. But there it is.

It was a slow week. Very few customers on account of the snowfall. It made me think of timers, and how it’d be really keen to have a timer, a graphical timer, that would slowly drop sections of the city into an abyss as the timer ticked, and the last 10 minutes would be the destruction of the Woodmen building and the First Nat’l Bank building in Omaha.

Now now, I don’t “really” want them to go away. But c’mon. The only cool thing about that worthless piece of crap movie Independence Day was the flying saucers trashing New York and Washington. Actually…the best parts of Armageddon were the destructions of various cities, including Paris. Though of any city I wish to visit, Paris is tops. I’m sure I’ll hate it when I finally go, but I do so want to go.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is I HATE SAURKRAUT. Kudos if you got that one, Weird Al fans.

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Star Wars Episode IV: A New Perspective

Someone put a bit of thought into this. It takes into account episodes 1-3, assumes that all 6 movies in this series are canon, and asserts several things including the fact that Chewbacca and R2-D2 are actually both spies for the Rebel Alliance. It’s actually an interesting and good point, and if Lucas had made these points a little more obvious, maybe I wouldn’t bash the “new” movies quite so much.

Here’s the site: Star Wars 4

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Paging Dr. Atkins

So…at a horrid weight of 242 pounds (when I left the Air Force a year ago in the 2-twenties), I’ve decided to TEMPORARILY go on the Atkins Diet. Heck, it got me “in” the Air Force to begin with, why not roll with it to reach my target weight range again?

After that, I’m switching to Body For Life, which is truly a great long-term diet plan.

Here’s my Atkins progress so far:

Wed 1/17 – 242
Thr 1/18 – 241
Fri 1/19 – 240
Sat 1/20 – 239
Sun 1/21 – 238
Mon 1/22 – 237

…see a pattern? Don’t be too hopeful however. Every time I’ve done this, I’ve lost about a pound a day, until about day 10. Then it slows to a crawl with medium-sized jumps along the way. I figure I’ll be in the 220’s again by March if I’m a good boy, and maybe hit the 190’s by August. Wish me luck.

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Oh yeah, before I forget

I started a new blog called, RandomHelpfulHints. Check it out, and throw me some suggestions if you like. Thanks.

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Sad News

Well, Sarah’s Grandma passed away yesterday morning. The whole fam was there, minus us since we live 120 miles away. I’m told that Grandma Fannie went very fast and peacefully, and did not suffer in the end.

It’s sad…but I’ve also been through this a couple times before. Some of my earliest memories are of visiting hospitals where dying relatives were slipping away. I went to 3 different funerals between 1984 and ’85, and I went to a series of funerals about every 5 years ever since. Death is a part of life. I’m not super happy with that fact, but it is a fact of life.

I will be one of the pallbearers this Friday when Fannie is laid to rest. It will be interesting…see, I used to be a professional pallbearer. When I was in the Air Force, I was a proud member of the Honor Guard. My main focus was to bring as much dignity and grace to funerals as possible, partly in the form of being a great pallbearer. I hope to bring this experience with me this Friday.

Thanks for the well-wishing all. Also, I’ll be finally able to celebrate Christmas this weekend with my family. By that point, I’ll need a few holiday drinks. I simply can’t wait to get up to Sioux Falls again, to just relax for a bit.

That’s about it for now. Braindump complete.

Jason Heath said…
I’m really sorry to hear about Sarah’s grandma. It’s good that she went peacefully.

12:27 AM

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How to Turn Off the Color on Your Printer

Hello folks. The nice printer companies out there are charging more and more for their cartridges. Well, if you want to survive a little longer between buying the color cartridges, here’s what you do: temporarily shut off your color cartridge! Seems easy, right? It is. Here’s how to do it.

(First, I should note that I have a Hewlett-Packard printer, and I’m running Windows XP. If you have an older version of windows or a non-HP printer, the steps are going to be similar, but not quite the same. I’ve attempted to list the alternative steps along the way in parenthensis.)

1. First, Click The START button:

2. Second, Click CONTROL PANEL.
(note: if you have your windows layout set on Classic View, or if you’re running a version of windows older than Windows XP, then click Settings, THEN click Control Panel.)

3. Now, double-click PRINTERS & FAXES. (NOTE: On some older computers, it may be labeled simply as “PRINTERS”.)

4. Next, in the Printer & Faxes window, click FILE, then PRINTING PREFERENCES. (You can also reach a similar window by Right-Clicking on your printer’s icon, then selecting Printer Preferences.)

5. And now, you’ll be in the Printer Preferences window. Click the “COLOR” tab at the top.

6. In this window, you’ll notice a couple different areas. This is where you turn the color off when you print. I recommend creating a Quick Set, where you can quickly set it to black printing, and just as quickly turn the color back on. To create a quick set, click in the white Text Box in this area here:

Delete the text in that box reading, “Type New Quickset Name Here”, and type “BlackAndWhite”. Also, click SAVE before continuing.

7. Next, a little further down, you’ll see this area:

Here, put a checkmark in the box labeled, “Print In Grayscale”. Also, put a dot in the white circle labeled, “Black Print Cartridge Only”.

8. Click the save button again. It was next to where you typed “BlackAndWhite” earlier.

9. Finally, click OK at the bottom of the window to close the window. Continue to close all of the open windows until you’re back at your main screen.

Congratulations! You are now printing in black and white, without the use of your color ink cartridge. I hope this saves you a little money in the long run.

(Note: to change back, follow the same steps to reach this window. Then click on the down-arrow next to where you typed, “BlackAndWhite”, and select, “Default Print Settings”. Then, click OK at the bottom of the window. That’s it.)


Dr.Strangelove said…

I was @ “Wally-World” last night & saw something really odd. It was a printer on sale. That wasn’t the odd part though. It came with a color cartridge, but you have to buy the Black cart. separately.

Ohh, wait, it gets better……

I walked around the corner to check the ink prices, and guess what.

The cartridge was more expensive than the printer!
June 23, 2007 2:43 PM

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Quick update

Well…it’s been a while. Sorry. Sarah’s doing better, she went back to work this past week. While the leg is a little gamey, the “road rash” look of it has greatly diminished. When I figure out how to get the pix from my phone onto here, then I’ll have a nice gruesome experience for you.

Other than that, Sarah’s grandma isn’t doing real hot. She’s out if ICU, but is having quite a rough time in the hospital. Prognosis ain’t the greatest, but she’s been dodging a health-bullet for a long, long, LONG time.

Anyhow…that’s about it for now. Sorry I don’t have more for you. Peacefulness and all that happy crap.


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