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Mark Space's Journal
20 most recent entries

Date:2009-06-29 12:49
Subject:Spot the scam
Security:Public

Alice wants to move into an apartment on August 1st. Bob is offering one month's free rent. Bob agrees to give Alice a lease start date of July 31st, with August's rent free. When Alice goes to give Bob a holding deposit on the apartment, Bob gives Alice this "deal": To "make sure the place is off the market" Bob will give Alice a SUPER deal on the security deposit ($99) but she'll pay July's rent, then August will be free. So it will be "the same" as if Alice moved in July 31st and got a free month's rent, since the money Alice would have been paying for the security deposit just "becomes" July's rent.

It's a good thing I had my morning coffee before I went to put in the holding deposit this morning, that one almost got me.

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Date:2009-05-05 17:26
Subject:
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My car is at the Nissan dealership (again) for a problem with the steering. I just had this conversation with the service dept.:
Service: Mr. Baker, you're all set. There was a problem with the joint between your steering wheel and the steering column. We replaced the joint.
Me (thinking):You fuckers just did some $500 repair without my authorization, I hate you retards
Me (talking): Ok
Service: It's covered under your warranty, no charge. You can pick it up anytime before 8.
Me (talking): That's great, thanks a lot.
Me (thinking): I still have warranty coverage!? I'm over 60,000 miles. I guess fighting with the dealership manager for that extended warranty actually DID come in handy. Sweet!

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Date:2009-02-20 08:27
Subject:
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Happy birthday Amanda!

(neptune2208 for everyone who doesn't have Amanda as an LJ friend)

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Date:2009-01-22 17:10
Subject:
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Amazon.com has a gift page "for the one who has everything" here. Just a bizarre collection of stuff, but what caught my eye were the "whipped cream chargers". Now you all know what you should have gotten me for my birthday, although I wouldn't have turned my nose up at an Amish cookbook or a pan flute.

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Date:2008-07-28 07:59
Subject:35-second update
Security:Public

I've been dating a girl named Amanda for 6 months. She's awesome.

Work is awesome. I play with UAVs. I also bought an RC helicopter which is almost ready for its first flight.

I bought an electric bass (just not enough demand for trombonists). I hope to be looking for a band in about 6 months. I need music back in my life.

My mom may be moving to Houston for a job opportunity. It would only be for 2-3 years.

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Date:2008-05-29 12:45
Subject:
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Although I like Rock Band/Guitar Hero, I keep wishing there was a better music game out there. A game that had all the great music that I actually like to listen to. A game with a more realistic, open control system where you really felt like you were playing the music. A game with a controller that actually mimics what the real instruments feel and sound like.

Then I suddenly remembered that they used to have a game like that when I was a kid. It think it was called "Buy Instrument, Learn Instrument, Play Music". I seem to remember buying the piano, drums and cello versions of this game, spending a lot of time with the "Brass Instruments" package deal, then going back and getting the Double Bass game. Which makes me wonder why I'm spending time playing music video games while my trombone gathers dust.

EDIT: Anybody have a bass guitar or amp? Or a double bass for that matter :)

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Date:2007-12-20 20:00
Subject:
Security:Public

I woke up this morning feeling Christmas-y. Maybe it was knowing that I only had 1 and a half days of work left. Anyway, Merry Early Christmas!

2 days until Festivus (observed). 5 days until Christmas and the return of Jeff. 8 days until the death of Jeebes. 9 days until LB. 11 days until NYE 2K8. 16 days until Little Christmas. I love the holidays, and not just because I'm off work for the better part of two weeks.

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Date:2007-11-28 11:06
Subject:The Blueprint for me putting my foot in your ass....
Security:Public

Just to be clear, the Eagles did not unveil some magical "blueprint" for stopping the Patriots. The basic strategy, as far as I can tell, was to get pressure on Brady, keep Moss from making big plays, and pray the other receivers don't kill you. I've read about a dozen pieces this year on the "blueprint" to stop the Patriots offense, and they've all said exactly the same thing. In fact, if you replace "Brady" with "Manning", "Moss" with "Harrison", and "evil cheating coach who makes his players play with concussions" with "God-fearing coach who's the nicest guy you'll ever meet" you'll get the "Blueprint to Stop the 2003-2005 Indianapolis Colts". I believe the "Blueprint to Stop the 1999 St. Louis Rams" was also similar.

The real key to stopping Brady is to only give him 8 offensive drives in a game (I don't count the one-play kneeldown). Some of the tactics the Eagles used included long offensive scoring drives (good), onside kicks (good, but not repeatable), and throwing interceptions that get returned for touchdowns (Eli Manning should be able to hold NE to about 3 offensive possessions).

Nothing magical, just solid planning and good execution.

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Date:2007-11-08 07:35
Subject:
Security:Public

So what I want to know is, when are the new Hungry Hungry Hippos with Slow-Release MDMA coming out? Since kids like to swallow things, I don't understand how a toy that's basically Candy Dots that don't taste as good didn't get tested to make sure they wouldn't, say, metabolize into GHB when ingested. Also, how valuable did those toys just become on Ebay? I'll have to look it up when I get home, I'm not so sanguine about making repeated Web searches from work for "GHB".

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Date:2007-10-19 14:31
Subject:1001 Well-Footnoted and Correctly Cited Nights
Security:Public
Mood: hyper

Whoever thought up harems clearly had some good ideas, in a febrile-15-year-old-boy sort of way. When Jeff is Commissioner of the World, and I'm Executive VP in charge of Slowly Torturing Ex-COMCAST Employees to Death (STEED)*, I'm going to grab a course catalog from the nearest college. My harem will be composed of large-breasted** PhDs and PhD candidates, one from each area of study. Instead of spending their days learning to compose poems and do silly dances they'll perform original intercoursedisciplinary research with each other. Other than having sex and getting at least two papers published in refereed journals every year there would be no other requirements for being in my harem.

Also, I will have the first mansion that includes indoor tennis courts, an indoor pool, an adult-size Sesame Place replica, a medium-size launch pad and a Large Hadron Collider.



*I swear I wasn't even trying for that acronym, it just popped out
**With exceptions made in comp sci and chemistry, where I suspect the most suitable applicants may come from Asian countries where women tend to be slight of build

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Date:2007-09-17 07:55
Subject:
Security:Public

For everybody who was reading the Wheel of Time series, Robert Jordan passed away yesterday. The final book was slated for release in 2009, which means someone will try to finish it from his notes. At least he was kind enough to pad the middle of the series with those 3 or 4 incredibly frustrating books that had minimal plot advancement, I'd much rather have that extra 3000 pages of crap then a series with an actual ending.

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Date:2007-08-27 13:23
Subject:New car
Security:Public

On Buy-A-New-Car-Day 2007 (aka last Saturday) I bought a 2005 Nissan Altima. It's the SE package, 5-speed, silver. It's fast and fairly agile for a larger sedan. I like the way it looks, I like the way it handles, and I like the way it parks (although the turning radius isn't great, it's not terrible either).

There were a few reasons I wanted to get a new car even though the truck is still running fine. Gas mileage was part of it. Driving and parking in the Cherry Hill area is also a little tough in a truck. And the Altima looks nicer than a pickup, especially since I never fixed the body damage on the passenger side.

I'm installing a computer system to handle audio, GPS navigation, and a bunch of other stuff. The console was designed to take the optional factory navigation system, which means it's laid out perfectly for a CarPuter. I can get a solid 800 MHz Linux system plus a custom controller box and 7" touchscreen into that space with no problems. I won't even have to actually cut anything off the car except one little plastic separator bar.


Current weight: 268
Target weight: 250

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Date:2007-08-03 11:04
Subject:
Security:Public

From an article on the Birds training camp:
. . . For no apparent reason, the crowd in the bleachers started dueling "E-A-G-L-E-S" chants about an hour into the afternoon practice . . .

Ummm... and this article was written by a Philly sportswriter?? What town has this guy been living in for the past couple decades?

Today is a good day.

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Date:2007-06-22 08:58
Subject:I knew it
Security:Public

This piece explains a lot about Kevin, Dave, Neil, Cass and Chris...

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Date:2007-06-06 09:20
Subject:
Security:Public

I tried to post this four times on Monday. LJ sucks...

Awesome three-day weekend. Plenty of sun, sleep, drinks and even a little shore time. I slept for like 23 hours yesterday. Also, those Telly Nut drinks they serve at the bar in Wildwood are ridiculous. I don't know how the girls can knock those things back without passing out, I only had two and could barely walk straight.

You know why I don't like crowded bars? Because you can't talk to anybody, that's why. Andrew showed up with a couple people I haven't seen in a decade and I barely managed to say "hi". In related news, I've been out of high school for 12 years now... that's just not right.

On tap for this week? Hopefully a new job. I have to give a 20 minute presentation at the interview tomorrow. I probably should have spent more time on it this weekend but I think it's more than good enough. For an engineer I'm a very good public speaker so that really shouldn't be a stumbling block. In related news, PowerPoint 2007 is... different.

The LCD display on my phone is crack'd and completely unreadable. So I can't send or receive text messages and I can't see who called me when I have a missed call. So if you need to get in touch with me you should leave me a voicemail since that's the only thing I can still check. My current Verizon contract expires June 7th so I can't get a new phone until Thursday. In related news Kevin and I tried to activate one of his old phones on my number and Verizon sucks.

EDIT: Interviews and presentations went very well yesterday. These are definitely my people. Hopefully I'll hear back from them this week.

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Date:2007-05-10 14:54
Subject:Vegas
Security:Public

That was a good vacation. Plenty of sights, gambling, and alcohol. Lost some money but not as much as I had set aside for gambling so it didn't ruin the vacation or anything. Penn and Teller were great. Even though we were in Vegas we didn't see the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight or David Hasselhoff making an ass out of himself. And between those two entertainment spectacles, I would have much rather seen Hasselhoff.

I'm not sure what the signature moment from this vacation was. Might have been staggering through the Star Trek exhibit after crazy dry-ice drinks at the Star Trek bar.

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Date:2007-04-18 15:42
Subject:
Security:Public

Man, there are at least 10 things I've been meaning to write about and haven't gotten around to them. So you're getting the 2-page digest version.

Robot Day: thanks to everybody who came out, Robot Day was pretty awesome. I think we had about 10 participants plus some spectators, nobody got hurt, and the robots pretty much worked. I'll have the collected pictures and videos up this weekend. I'm thinking about doing another robot-related activity maybe this summer, if anyone has ideas let me know.

Work: I'm still working about 5 hours of OT a week. I think everything should be slowing down near the end of May.

Music: I bailed on the last band I was in a couple months ago, but I'm playing a gig with another one this Saturday. It's another big band, 12 pieces (5-piece rhythm section with 2 percussionists, 3-piece horn section, lead vocalist + 3 backing vocals). It's a fun band with some really good players. If you're not doing anything else this Saturday we're playing the P.J. Whelihan's on 70 in Cherry Hill.

House: Spring cleaning is complete. The basement will probably also get cleaned this spring, and I think we're (and by "we" I mostly mean "Chris") doing the same type of landscaping we did last year. Kevin's room and my room both sprung leaks in the last storm, so within the next month we're gong to be throwing on a new layer of shingles.

Only two weeks left until Vegas! Only 11 weeks until Jamaica!

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Date:2007-03-26 10:38
Subject:Sports news
Security:Public

Theisman is OUT, Jaws in IN for MNF!

Also, the Sixers have moved out of the "Al Horford" range and into the "Spencer Hawes" range. If they can't find a way to lose some games down the stretch we're looking at about 5 years of 9-10th place in the East: just bad enough to be unbearable, not bad enough to actually rebuild through the draft.

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Date:2007-03-16 14:25
Subject:
Security:Public

Jesus, the ride home today was one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever had. The roads are covered in about a half-inch of icy slush. I passed no fewer than 6 accidents and at least three of them involved cars that ended up pointing the wrong way at the end.

Even with icy roads people are still tailgating at 50 mph. I don't care if you have 4 alloy-disc brakes, $300 performance tires and a parachute. If you're tailgating someone doing 50 on ice/slush and they hit the brakes you're buying them a new car.

Be safe getting home tonight, and if you can leave a little early.

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Date:2007-03-14 10:54
Subject:Robots and Beer
Security:Public

Hey, Robot Day is taking place on Sunday April 1st. Detailed information is below the cut.

What: First annual Robots and Beer day
When: Sunday, April 1st (no, this is not a joke)
Where: Vince's house, Pine Hill, NJ
Who: Everybody who loves robots, beer, or just hanging out
What you should bring: yourself, a friend, beer, robot kits/parts/decorations if you have them
RSVP: vince45 AT gmail.com if you've got any questions or suggestions, but regular RSVPs not necessary

The theme wil be "Robot Lemmings". Like the 80s video game, not like little suicidal robots.

First Annual Robots and Beers DayCollapse )

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