Crusty Chris (27b)

I completed the entire set – sans Bonus pack card(s) like Paintball Paul – without opening a single pack. I stumbled upon this auction the other day and was the only bidder. The guy gets a thumbs up from me. $50 spent on a complete (non-bonused) set and NO duplicates. That has to be a first. I'll probably wait to see just how many “bonus” cards Topps decides to spill before paying an arm and a leg for any or all of 'em. Seems really lame for them to do this to collectors, especially given how much we've supported them over the years. Anyway, THIS is the only way to collect cards (IMHO). Instead of wasting my time driving all around town, I can pick up an entire set without any of the headaches and disappointments. Buy the full set if you can (if you're a fan); you won't regret it, and you won't be wasting your money on individual packs and billions of untradeable / unsellable dupes. Was your name included this time? What about last time? If your name wasn't included, what would you choose for yourself?

Switching. Again.

I'm dropping Palm and going back to the Pocket PC. I miss it too much. Before I place my excellent-condition Sony Clue UX50 with a 256MB Lexar Memory Stick on eBay (and all the nifty PC software I picked up along the way), anybody care to send me a serious offer or two?

Dropping AT&T Wireless

“The 'Email Us' link is unavailable at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you, and ask for your patience while we work to restore this service as quickly as possible. Once restored, we hope that you will return to using email for future inquiries!” Right. See ya! I'm off to Verizon now. Losers.

She Bangs BitTorrent and RSS

I heart BitTorrent. It's a poor man's TiVo! In a single day, I was able to catch up on my Scrubs and Simpsons seasons. Frasier, Friends… they're all here. That, combined with RSS, makes for a wonderful broadband experience. Props to rayg for helping feed my new addiction. Now I can stay abreast of all of William Hung's appearances. Here's to hoping they give him a card in an upcoming GPK release. FWIW, Topps just announced an all-new 2nd series the other day. Too bad they don't have an RSS feed, eh?

Superhero Cinema

Spider-Man didn't impress me much. DareDevil seemed too short. The only super thing in Superman III was the computer at the end of the movie. X2 was almost close to okay. I haven't seen LXG yet – and we'll see how wellPunisher fares. I didn't have much hope for Hulk, but… it's about the only one I've been impressed with so far. We found a used 2-DVD set for $10 at Blockbuster the other day – and the package is definitely worth twice that amount. The cinematography is fantastic, the special effects are realistic, and the story is well balanced. Give it a spin if you haven't already. I hear the game is just as good, too.

James K. Polk?

In 1844, the Democrats were split. The three nominees for the presidential candidate were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist; James Buchanan, a moderate; Louis Cass, a general and expansionist. From D.C. came a dark horse riding up: he was Ralph Nader, Independent of the Stump.

Stuck with a PIN

“Ah, yes. I had had the same brain system failure that Chris described – staring at the ATM and just not remembering that PIN! So now I write the PIN number on the back of each card, in the signature box. WAIT! No, I don't write the actual PIN. I use one 'formula' for all cards. For example, a formula could be to add 3333 to the actual numbers of your PIN. The new TOTAL is then written on the card. If this was your formula, you only have to subtract 3333 from the PIN written on the back of any card, and you will have the actual PIN for that card. Now, does anybody remember where I left my wallet?” (A. John Gallant)

NCLAUNCH

I was checking for the unwelcome, Acrobat-launched WISPTIS.EXE when I spied something strange. At some point during the past day, 'NCLAUNCH.EXe' had found its way into my Windows directory and was running ever-so-silently in the background. What's worse, I found it via MSCONFIG set to autolaunch on startup. Not knowing where this process came from, I killed it immediately and searched for clues online. Alas, there were no helpful sites to be found. Diving into the Properties for the file, I found the answer in Comments field on the Version tab to be quite informative: “File launcher used by SWF Studio screensavers on Windows NT, 2000 and XP.” Turns out this was a remnant of some lousy-ass eye candy I tried (and immediately uninstalled) yesterday. Consider yourself informed and forewarned.

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