Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Customer Is Always Stupid

I just wasted almost 40 minutes of my life with this piece of shit, and I just wanted you to enjoy a taste of what every day of my life consists of:

________________________________________

jimmy: when ur down loading game it stops on regersting why

Mark: Hi there

Mark: Are you using a firewall or antivirus program?

jimmy: hi

jimmy: what

jimmy: i got a Q

Mark: Firewalls and antivirus programs are security measures that can block the installation of the game.

jimmy: i got got antiviris im runing an windows me

Mark: Try disabling that while you install the game.

jimmy: kk w8

jimmy: ok i did

Mark: Now try to start the installation again.

Mark: If it gets stuck, it may also be caused by internet traffic or the server being busy. If it still doesn't work, you might want to try it during a different time of the day.

jimmy: well im downloading gmae but it stop and it say registering c: files\kumawar\missonhelper

jimmy: now it doing any thing

jimmy: not mavi

jimmy: it not moveing

jimmy: wat now

Mark: Either something on your computer is blocking it from completing installation, or the server is too busy to finish right now.

jimmy: so wat should i do

jimmy: i neer end of download

Mark: Make sure nothing else is running, even a chat program like AIM, and try installing again. Or wait until later to make sure the server isn't just too busy to complete.

jimmy: ok

jimmy: ok it says selceced componet to install

jimmy: wat do ii coose

jimmy: ???????

Mark: What are the choices

jimmy: install directx or gamespy or desttop item

Mark: Where did that come from?

jimmy: wat i coose

Mark: Installing the game shouldn't ask you that

Mark: http://company.kumagames.com/clients/KumaWarSetupFull1A.exe

Mark: Use that link

jimmy: i clicked download and clicked open and i came up

Mark: Use the link above, and SAVE it to your desktop. Then double click the icon it creates when it's finished.

jimmy: i did and now its back

jimmy: ???

Mark: It shouldn't be doing that. It should go to the web and start downloading files.

Mark: Try restarting your computer, then disable the antivirus, then try to start the installation again.

jimmy: i clicked next and now its downloading

jimmy: so now wat

Mark: Is it installing or not?

jimmy: yes it is

Mark: So let it go and don't touch anything unless it prompts you to.

jimmy: ok but it al way will stop at the one part

Mark: We won't know for sure until it happens.

jimmy: ok

jimmy: one sec

jimmy: AFK

jimmy: im back

Mark: ok

jimmy: it stoped

Mark: All I can suggest is trying again at a different time of day when there may be less server activity

Mark: Or if you DO have a firewall, find it and disable it.

jimmy: i dont

Mark: Ok
jimmy: waht the fuck

jimmy: ok it loading agaIN

jimmy: it stop at registering c: files\kumawar\missonhelper

jimmy: wats that meen

Mark: I told you already, either your system is stopping it from finishing or the server may be too busy or have an error preventing it from finishing. At the very least, restart your machine. At most, try the download again later.

jimmy: u were no fucking help bitch ill neever play ur fucking gay ass to herd to down load game fuck ass hole

Your party has left this session.
________________________________________

If any of you would like to write to "jimmy" and tell him what you think, his email address is zman_ one@sbcglobal.net

Also, his IP address is 70.238.151.195, which according to GeoBytes and InternetFrog doesn't exist. Way to mask your IP "jimmy," you complete douchenozzle!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Back in Black

I know it's a morbid occasion, but I thought some of you might want a newer pic of my ugly mug....in a suit. Ladies, it's okay to drool (you just have to tell me you did!).

http://www.torricane.com/pics/BackInBlack.jpg

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Viagra Is For Women

The ads and promotional crap all make it out like Viagra is a product designed to benefit men. I disagree, and if any of you doubt me, try wasting one of those pills just to get a blow job. Methinks she'd be none too pleased. :)

In other news, I'm gradually returning to World of Warcraft and just learning to live with the horrendous lag (often 1500ms or higher). I just don't care enough to avoid playing it anymore; I can learn to cast things 3 seconds before I need them to actually happen. Who knows. It might actually make me a better player.

Caught up with Sean for a few last night and he intro'd me to Guild Wars. My inner cheapskate likes the idea of a no-monthly-fee MMO, but that also (as he even pointed out) draws a lot of assholes to the game, and I may end up playing mainly with parties made entirely of A.I. non-player characters (NPCs to my niggas in the know).

If nothing else, I miss my faux-social life. WoW was a part of that, and the MySpace outage didn't help, and now Tally has gone completely MIA for the last several days. I miss my e-friends!

I'm beat and feel a little sick, so I'm gonna go take a nap. The rest of this week is still gonna be pretty busy, so I need to rest while I can.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The End of an Era

Sometime around midnight, early in the morning of July 23, 2006, my dad passed away at the age of 77. Frankly, I was more relieved to hear it than upset. After what I saw of him yesterday, it really is for the best.

I'm okay with it at the moment, just sort of pushing ahead, trying to stay busy. I think I got most of my emotions about it out yesterday and I'm ready to be the one my mom and sisters can lean on if need be.

I'll be around. Take care, one and all, till next we meet.

Friday, July 21, 2006

O, How the Mighty Have Fallen

I went to see my dad today. Re-read yesterday's post first, since it somewhat constitutes the "before" in this "before/after" scenario.

Ok, done? One of the nursing home ladies showed me to his room, which consists mainly of a hospital curtain, a knee-high bed, and a mat on the floor next to it (presumably to roll him out of bed). I walked around the curtain and looked at him. If I'd not known that this was in fact my father of the last 29 years, I'd have thought it was a leftover prop from a John Carpenter movie. My sister had been telling me for a while now that he'd been "declining," but that's a serious understatement. It's like saying Hiroshima was a little smoke and a couple of fires.

I hadn't seen him in person since Thanksgiving, and in the last 8 months, to see him now, you'd think 20 years have passed. Walking into the room and looking at him hit me like a truck. It was chilling to see him in his present condition....he doesn't talk, can't move, has lost a lot of weight, and his jaw has drooped down on his face to the point that it just hangs open. His eyes were sort of open but completely vacant while I was there, and he was completely unresponsive the whole time. His eyes moved a couple of times, but it seemed more random than focused. I'm not even sure he had any idea I was standing there.

It's a sight I may never forget. I wouldn't wish his current condition on anyone. Just laying there, immobile, unable to even speak, only vaguely aware that he's alive. I wasn't sure what that would feel like, how I would react. I went in there to see the man who annoyed and frustrated me to no end for years, and in the blink of an eye, seeing this gaunt ghost of what's barely a human being anymore, all of that resentment vanished. I couldn't be angry or upset at this person anymore. He's a mind trapped inside a body that's lost the will to live. I can't imagine anything worse than that.

So I knelt down beside him, took his stiff, unresponsive hand in mine, looked into those vacant eyes and said, "I wish things could have been better between us, but I know you did the best you could."

I said I was going to go for a while, but that I'd be back later. It was all I could do to get outside the building before that choking feeling grabbed me like a vice and the tears started coming. It's almost 7 hours later and they haven't fully stopped yet.

About My Dad

The last I heard, he's not walking, not talking, rarely eating or drinking, and really looks like he's about at the end of the line. One would logically assume that I'd be kind of broken up about it. Yes and no.

Yeah, there are a lot of things he and I have never seen eye to eye on. We generally don't get along, don't understand each others' interests or outlooks on the world, life, politics, or even religion. There are times he seemed to deliberately make my life more difficult and stressful than it needed to be. I can't remember him ever playing catch with me, or showing me how to ride a bike, or teaching me the finer points of dating. He doesn't know ANY of my girlfriends, or my other friends for that matter. There are two things I firmly do remember about him:

1. He used to fight with my mom a lot, often in the car on long trips to some vacation destination where me and my brother were trapped in the back seat, forced to listen to it all. Then they'd fight some more when we got where we were going. My brother actually stood outside in sub-zero weather after swimming practice one night until he heard the screaming stop. I'm not sure if he was more afraid to get involved, or that the blame would suddenly shift to him.

2. My dad always brought his work everywhere he went. On holidays, birthdays, anniversaries...no occasion was sacred. Christmas morning he'd stick around just long enough to open presents, then he'd go into the office until at least dinner time. My fondest memory was making paper airplanes out of his extra tax and accounting forms and flying them into the fireplace, maybe subconsciously in the hope that if he ran out of papers to fill out, maybe he'd pay as much attention to me as he did to his adding machine.

I don't have many positive memories of the few years he was "in" my life (mostly at the office), and once I grew up and started gaining my own perspective of how he lived and what his priorities were, I liked him a little less with every passing day.

I'm not fond of him. I think everything about his parenting was wrong. He was never there for me, especially if it conflicted with his schedule. And yet, he could be dead in less than a week, and the gravity of that is hitting me harder by the minute. Why would I suddenly worry about losing someone I never really had?

I think there are also two reasons for this, neither of which will ever be possible, but the permanence of death seals off any chance, however remote, once and for all:

1. I want him to say he's sorry. I know he won't, because I'm sure he doesn't think he ever did anything wrong.

2. I want the dad I never had. I see kids at the park or the ball field or getting piggy back rides or getting help learning to ride a bike. If he willingly got involved in any of these ways with me, I don't remember them (mom did it a lot, not him). I wanted someone to show me how to be a decent man, to stand up for myself, how to charm a lady, how to shave, how to fix machines, how to make your mark on the world and be a good person (those roles all went to my friends and fictional characters in books and movies). I'd like for him to say I did the right thing instead of telling me everything I do wrong, and to admit that I turned out all right despite his best attempts to screw things up and never be there.

I'm going to see him tomorrow, maybe for the last time, and the only thing worse to me than him NOT saying he's sorry is him actually saying he is and meaning it. What then? What have the last 29 years of feelings of frustration and anger and resentment and disdain and abandonment been for? Suddenly everything I believed and felt in my core would be wiped clean, my base eradicated, and my life unsteadied. What if he didn't mean to be a prick, but there really was someone trapped in there all along who wanted to be the role model I so desperately needed all those years? And now there's no time. It's too late.

It's stuff like this that makes you re-center your life, think about your choices and what you do with your time. It's a realization. We're ALL going to die someday. He's my dad. I don't have to like him or look up to him, but he's still my dad. And in maybe a month or less, one of my parents will be in the grave. Forever. Think about that.

Tell someone you care about just how much they matters to you. I did exactly that. Talked to my mom for about three and a half hours tonight and said plain as day, "When you go, it's gonna mess me up. I know I give you a lot of crap sometimes, but you're the reason I turned out anything like I did. You made all the difference." She didn't say much, but I think I got the point across.

I'm not looking forward to the day she or my uncles or my sisters or my brother pass on, but before that happens, I can make sure to tell them they matter a whole lot more to me than they'll ever know.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Regarding Next Summer's Transformers Flick

Ok, so I was a little aghast at first at the idea of Optimus Prime being a longnose cab, but I withdrew some of my loathing and spite when I realized something. We're staring down the barrel of 20+ years of Transformers evolution. Just look at this:

http://www.tfu.info/2002/Autobot/OptimusPrime/optimusprime.htm

There are so many crazy redesigns and configurations there, I don't even think the guy has an identity of his own anymore (not to mention he's already died and been resurrected at least TWICE). The problem is, the hardest of the hardcore fanbase are the people who were there from the beginning. However, those people are all grownups and parents and are having mid-life crises by now. So who's going to love this movie? The recent fans, ones who started with Generation Two and the Minicons and all this other stuff that the purists spit on. Just look at the PS2 Transformers game. Prime is a longnose cab in that, and I didn't even bat an eye when I saw it there. That's just what he's become, and frankly, if they tried to go back and make a movie solely of Generation One characters and designs, they would make that cupful of hardcore TransFans orgasm repeatedly, but no one else would get it. They'd say "That's not what Prime looks like" or "I thought Megatron was a tank not a piddly Walther handgun with a--of all things--SILENCER on it." They'd be making the same complaints that we purists from the olden days are making about the new stuff.

And I gotta admit, whether I like the redesigns or not, the Dreamwave series of Transformers comics that came out in the last few years--at least artistically speaking--was freakin incredible. Everything down to the last scratch, glint, and rivet was in every frame. I just stared at each panel and drooled. I didn't get enough of the issues to really evaluate the story ($3 per issue? Yeah right...I remember when it was $0.25 or $0.50 per issue!), but there might be something good there to base the upcoming movie off of.

This flies in drastic contrast to the Alien Vs. Predator movie. There were tons of novels and comic series they could have drawn upon for inspiration, but they didn't. Paul W.S. Anderson is the American equivalent of Uwe Boll, in my opinion. The AvP canon hasn't changed a whole lot outside of the printed page in the last 10 years, so it's not like his issue was picking which generation of fans to please, like Michael Bay has to do with Transformers. Anderson just made a humongous turd of a movie, and I'm ashamed I paid to see it in the theater. Way to cash in on brand loyalty, Hollywood.

So I'm not going to grill Transformers to death just yet. Bay is known for making movies with pretty explosions and effects and minimal story, and frankly, if any movie could rely on that formula and still please its fanbase, it's one involving giant robots waging war on one another. I'm certain some part of it will disappoint me on some level, but it's such a tricky equation, I doubt ANYONE who sees it will be completely satisfied.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How To Use A Fleshlight.

I guess some people out there actually need to be TOLD how to use this, which would be the core market for this sort of thing, I suppose. Guys who don't know how to fuck, and thus do not attract women. For them (and your amusement), I present this how-to:

http://www.fleshlight.com/main/video_byo.cfm?aff=67415

Don't worry, it's nothing too dirty, probably PG-13 at worst, but if someone sees you watching it, they might wonder.

Wanna see what bullshit looks like?

First, the profile, perfectly sculpted to be every guy's wet dream:

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction
=user.viewprofile&friendID=37388416

And now the compltely generic message I got (I usually just get a friend invite), designed to be the every-woman with no personality included, not even a shred of proof that they read my profile:

Hello there! This site seems kind of cool. I am on my best friends account right now. I think that I will create one for myself now that I see how this all works. Just so we don't lose each other, here is my email. fastykitty1313@yahoo. You can contact me there any time that you'd like.

I like your profile. I couldnt even think of what I would write. LOL Let's see. About me, I am blonde with blue eyes, about average height I guess. I am slim and petite, and very fair skinned. I can send you some pictures. I enjoy things like just haning out, or going to bars and or clubs and doing some dancing and letting the freak in me out. I really like dancing.

I think that would be just about it. We can discuss my "dream man" later. If it all works out, you can help me explore the freaky side of me.

You've got my email, so write me anytime...

bye

Ahh, the portrait of a spam-bot.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I can't wait...

...till science builds me a girl who'll have sex with me whenever I want. Lord knows none of you "real" women will. Yeesh.

http://www.gizmag.com/go/2545/

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Required reading.

Ten Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed: great insight into the Star Wars prequels, Alien 3, and the Matrix Flicks.

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/film/scifi.html

The Great Internet Porn-Off: are you an addict? Read and find out.

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/pornoff.html

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stupid Fun Time Waster of the Day

Click, play, have fun.

http://www.lostvectors.com/bowmaster/bow_rel9.swf

I'm on level 50-something and am about to pass out, but it's just so addictive!

Male Contraception

Fair is fair, and I don't think the pressure should be on the ladies to prevent all pregnancies. Odds are, the majority of the time it's the GUY'S idea to stick his thing in her place anyway, so why not take a little responsibility fellas?

Well, this reads like it has good potential, but sounds a little, well, more invasive and potentially more damaging than just taking the pill:

http://www.malecontraceptives.org/methods/risug.php

Blockage inside the vas deferens? You ever put your thumb over the end of a hose turned on full blast? Yeah, I don't want that happening to my dick. I'll wait for more testing before I sign up, thanks.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hear it live, loud, and NOW

Well, I went and made it all official. You wanna hear some of my music, go here:

http://www.myspace.com/markbuckingham

Only 4 songs can be posted at a time, so I may swap them in and out (I have about 18 total) depending on how people are ranking them. Also, the 4 I posted probably won't all show up until late today or sometime tomorrow since they have to "process" before they're playable on the page. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

We're Under Attack

I used to joke that we live in a DMZ (de-militarized zone, a place the police won't even brave to travel because of the social and personal hazards) akin to those in Vietnam in the 1970s, but today it feels more accurate than ever. Every clown in a 20-block radius has gotten their hands on fireworks and other low-grade explosives and is blowing them up all over the place. They're going off around our dwelling with the regularity of exchanging gunfire in the steamy southeast Asian jungles 30-some years ago. I expect any minute for Charlie to come crawling out of a tree and into my third-floor window and run me through with his bayonet.

I fear a bit for my safety, because:

A) I've seen the kind of people who live around here, and let's just say they don't strike me as that BRIGHT,
B) there's a greatly increased threat of flaming debris shooting in through my window or landing on my car, and
C) the fact that some of these nearby sonic pops and cracks could actually BE gunfire. Brooklyn was never this scary, folks. Worcester is eventually going to collapse under the weight of its own crapulence.

I'm gonna keep my head low, pop a marker flare, and radio for an evac. With any luck, the chopper will be here soon and I'll make it thru the weekend earning nary a Purple Heart.