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Frivolous Profundity

Friv-o-lous: trivial, unworthy of serious attention … Pro-fun-di-ty: wisdom that is profound, difficult to uncover

Greetings all and sundry, my cyberfriends (and enemies) and well-wishers, those who make their home amongst TheMook.Net pixels and bytes, and those who are just passing through in a blink – Hello.

As some of you noticed, if my overflowing email Inbox is any indication, I was offline against my will for about 3 weeks there, as that miraculous little cable that spews data to my home was shut off by The Man, trying to Keep Me Down.

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Head

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Completely apropos of nothing whatsoever – I offer a silly picture I took earlier today:

Head Sac

This is the back of the heads of a couple of my buddies.

It’s been a weird day.

Forum Discussion

Okay, okay – maybe they don’t actually kick puppies over there – but they still suck.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the throng of rabid Microsoft-haters … by and large, I like Microsoft. Sure, they’re the 800-pound gorilla in the PC market, but that’s fine with me. Makes my life smoother in more ways than it makes it rougher. More power to ’em, take over the world, Billy Gates you have my blessing.

BUT – please stop making Xboxes (and from some reports, Xbox 360s) that crap out. This isn’t “Blade Runner” – I do not accept the premise that “the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long”. The Xbox is a great system, no denying that – but they have the endurance of an asthmatic toddler.

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I enjoy all kinds of music, for sure – some of my disparate favorites are “Amy Grant”, “N.W.A.”, “No Doubt” and “Shania Twain”. Nor is the majesty of ‘classical’ music lost on me, or even a good broadway musical now and again (I could watch “Les Miserables” every day).

But the music that really moves me? Really stirs something deep and primal? Really slams me up, down, and sideways and reminds me I’m alive?

Heavy. Fuckin’. Metal.

(Sorry tender-ears; it would just be too un-metal to censor that, I can’t do it).

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(Prior to the post, here is a shameless plug for a real server host!)

As ridiculously incompetent as “DRG Servers” is, I probably would have succumbed to my chronic lethargy and never got around to filing a complaint with the BBBOnline – except that I’m so angry and frustrated (and concerned) about my father right now that I felt the need to channel some aggression. So for those following along at home, below is the Better Business Bureau complaint filed against them, seeking the refund of our $25.00:

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I just wasn’t prepared for how much it would suck.

Things are at critical ’round these parts – I haven’t found any work, all the bills are heading to collection, the car is going to get repo-ed … you know, pretty much the usual you would expect to happen to someone out of work for 3 months. Because things are so bad, I had decided to finally suck it up and ask my dad for a “loan”. My folks don’t even know I lost my job yet (nor do they spend anytime online), since it’s much less humiliating to say “I lost my job in February but now I’m working Someplace Else” than to just say “I got fired in February and haven’t done shit since”. So last night I waded through my debt to see what might help, and this afternoon I took a deep breath and dialed the number.

Except Dad isn’t at home, he’s in the hospital.

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(Prior to the post, here is a shameless plug for a real server host!)

I’ve dealt with a lot of companies in my day. A lot. Online and offline, obscure and mainstream, big and small, I’ve dealt with them all. Steve Jackson Games has been my favorite company for years and years – I buy anything I can through them. Great products, great prices, and, most importantly, exceptional customer service (seriously, the absolute best).

Which brings me to the point of this post. I don’t consider myself a particularly difficult customer – in fact, my expectations for customer service in these days of universally lax civility are actually pretty low. But I have a new “Worst. Company. Ever.” for my list – DRG Servers. I believe that if you read through the following email exchanges I had with the company you will reach the same conclusion. (But get comfy, it’s a hella long post.)

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I was chatting with a friend of mine about movies the other day, specifically about formats: “letterbox” vs. “pan & scan”. It reminded me of something I posted waaay back on the subject, when TheMook.Net still smelled like a new baby, so I dug it up. It was originally posted on May 21, 1999, on my “Soapbox” page:

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“Okay, I know that this rant isn’t exactly a burning world issue, or a hot topic of today’s society…but hell, it’s important to me and this is my soapbox…

Lately I’ve been absolutely swamped with people decrying me as some sort of movie heretic, for the unpardonable crime of…preferring to watch videotapes that are in Letterbox format over the usual “pan & scan” crap.

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I’ve been puttering around “a bit” (read: hours and hours of geeky fun!) with the WordPress theme “Blue Horizon” – I quite like it, but decided I prefer a three-column layout. Since I couldn’t find any three-column themes I like as much as the two-column “Blue Horizon”, I decided to just hack it up and see what I could do.

The result is the theme “Cybermook”, the one you are looking at right now. I’ve tested it a bit on both Firefox and Internet Explorer, at resolutions 1280 x 1024, 1024 x 768, and 800 x 600, and haven’t noticed anything breaking. Please let me know if you notice any formatting issues, broken pages, etc. If the theme seems stable enough, I’ll eventually release it for others to use.

Forum Discussion

My word-output flood has been more of a dribble – but for your entertainment I offer a few tidbits I’ve recently come across:

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or building or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency, he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

— Pearl Buck

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