November 30, 2004


I turned on my computer today and was greeted with a Windows explorer error that prevents me using my system at all. I'm going to attempt a repair first, but in all likelihood I'll need to reinstall Windows AGAIN! I hate Microsoft. I already had to rebuild my address book due to Microsoft oversights in the Outlook backup system, and now I'll have to do it, (and everything else), again. If I were healthy this would be a minor inconvenience I suppose.

Fortunately I had the foresight to partition my hard drive into more than one piece. This means I can reinstall Windows and my programs without having to worry about my data, (such as pictures and card files), which is contained on a separate partition.

Posted by Andy at 04:51 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

November 28, 2004

XP Installed

My Windows installation was successful, and I'm getting close to restoring all of my old programs as well. It's nice to be able to boot up without seeing an error message every time, I must say.

Posted by Andy at 06:06 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

November 27, 2004

The Next Step

Well, my BIOS update seems to have worked despite two rather terrifying hiccups, and it mysteriously removed my RAID array in the process without compromising my data or boot process. Now I have to reinstall Windows XP to get rid of an annoying registry bug. Once that's done I should be set for a while, though I seem to encounter problems nobody else can identify or explain regarding all things computer and non-computer related. I've decided not to reinstate the RAID array due to quirks with Windows XP and RAID 1 (thanks for the info on that Ryan) so hopefully I won't have to do any more total overhauls.

Ok, let's get to it. I'll see you on the other side.

Posted by Andy at 11:19 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

Heart Attack Averted

I flashed the BIOS and was greeted with a boot error, but my system still works. I think the boot error had to do with settings being erased during the flash. Now I have to wind down and check my settings. Talk about scary.

Posted by Andy at 05:34 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

Forget RAID, Let's Do BIOS

Well, my RAID recovery went nowhere last night, though I'm no worse off than before. Now I'm going to attempt to update my seriously out of date BIOS, which could help with the RAID issues as well. I was all ready to flash the BIOS a while back but couldn't find any documentation on how to get the job done. Fortunately I happened upon some great resources today while searching on RAID topics, and think I'm ready to go. Trick is, if I fail, the computer could be dead. Forever.

Here's to success.

Posted by Andy at 05:19 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

I'm Going In

Well, I've backed up what I believe is everything of importance on my hard drives, and I'm going to attempt to repair my ailing RAID array overnight. Last time I did this I had to reformat and start over, but I think I know why that is and can prevent it. In any event, if you see any large explosions on the horizon, you know what happened.

Posted by Andy at 01:48 AM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

November 26, 2004

Another Great Thanksgiving

As usual, Jim and Susanne hosted a great Thanksgiving feast for all of us at their place in Belair. They not only make the turkey and all the usual trimmings - they throw in a ham as well! I think they're trying to kill us or something.

I couldn't handle the ham, but I couldn't get enough of what I understand is Susanne's mom's stuffing. I really need to get that recipe for at-home use.

Posted by Andy at 01:13 AM to the General category | Comments (1)

November 19, 2004


My health prevents me from doing a lot of things. Working, dating, exercising, driving - the list goes on. It's turning out that one of the biggest losses is my ability to make phone calls and hold phone conversations. I was never a big phone person per se, but now I have a hard time even picking it up to get a call started. It's kind of hard to explain really, since most people would think of making a call as second nature and easy to do. I suppose the best way to describe it is to imagine you have to learn how to play basketball in the middle of a marathon. It's a one or the other scenario for me in this way. Either I fight through the many physical and mental obstacles my health puts before me, or I fight the difficulty with phone conversations. Thankfully I can handle email and instant messenger conversations with relative ease, so I'm not totally cut off from the world.

Over the years I have done my utmost to maintain a close network of friends at the cost of my health on many occasions, but I increasingly hear from them less and less. I'm at the age where my circle of friends is getting married and finding stable work, so I understand that I may not see them as often as I would like. I feel that my lack of phone capabilities gets in the way as well, but my friends all know I have a hard time with phone calls.

Over the past year or so, however, I find that my emails go unanswered more and more frequently despite this, and frankly, it hurts. My friends all know about my health and that I do email far more easily than I handle the phone, so I feel like they should have the courtesy to answer messages I send in that medium even if it isn't their primary means of communication. 90% of the people I know check their email at work or otherwise have daily access, so unless I'm missing something, that's not a valid excuse. Am I wrong to be bothered by this?

Posted by Andy at 03:08 AM to the Health category | Comments (0)

November 17, 2004

War Coverage Outrage

In all likelihood you have heard at some point today, whether in print, on television, or online, that a soldier was videotaped shooting an unarmed insurgent believed to be playing dead during house-to-house fighting in Falluja on Saturday. In and of itself, an in-house military investigation on a matter such as this shows good judgment, but the nature of the resulting media coverage, fraught with implications of war crimes, shows a complete lack of concern towards our military as a whole.

Our troops face daily traps in which insurgents, bent on killing US soldiers in any way they can, fake death, lace their dead with explosives, and otherwise ignore every rule of international warfare one can name. Our news media simultaneously ignores these dangers in order to continue their subtle and sometimes not so subtle anti-war agendas under the guise of impartiality, without any consideration for the safety of the men and women facing them. If fault is to be found, it lies with those in charge of communications, not with a soldier indoctrinated to the tactics of a deceitful enemy faced with a split-second decision.

Those implying otherwise need to seriously rethink the importance of substantive reporting over the ratings to be had whenever scandal is paraded before news-hungry citizens. The news media is the only resource we have if we wish to remain informed about the world around us. Does the media then not bear the responsibility in reporting hard news over attention-grabbing drama?

Posted by Andy at 02:21 AM to the Politics category | Comments (0)

November 11, 2004

The Saga of Huckersley and Honeysuckle

HuckersleyHoneysuckle Born to a Priestess of Arvoreen and the community beekeeper, Huckersley took after his parents from an early age. Despite his honest love for the beekeeping profession, he exhibited a boldness that urged him to do something greater for his people and his patron god. As a defender of his Luiren home, he time and again led the charge against invading gnolls and their ilk. When news of the grave threat to Cormyr reached Luiren lands, Huckersley journeyed north to lend aid, hurriedly traveling through strange nations and cities to reach his destination before his sword-arm was no longer needed.

Before taking up arms or beginning his long journey, however, Huckersley apprenticed with both his father and mother and was, in effect, a “beekeeping acolyte of Arvoreen.” When not studying with his mother in the temple or among the community, he learned the joys (and pains!) of honey collecting and hive maintenance. One spring day, an adolescent and foolhardy Huckersley decided to shoot for the “big prize” — honey from the hive of nearby giant bees. (Huckersley was emboldened by stories of the deliciousness and supposed restorative powers of giant bee honey as well as teenager-sized desire to impress the local girls.) After several hours of careful hiding, he nearly succeeded in his mission, only to be stung at the last moment by one of the hive’s inhabitants. Luckily for Huckersley, cries for help were heard by a community patrol before the venom could finish its work. The patrol rushed him to town, but not before he demanded the same treatment for his now stinger-less and dying bee attacker. Both were healed with great haste, and the duo formed an unlikely bond that has lasted to this day.

Huckersley’s journey into paladinhood brought great strength to “Honeysuckle”, as he came to call his giant bee companion, granting her preternatural power and intelligence. (Unlike most paladins’ mounts, Honeysuckle is not summoned from the celestial realm, instead remaining with her rider through thick and thin whenever possible.) Honeysuckle prefers to sleep on a bed of flowers, and Huckersley is all too eager to please his friend whenever the situation allows. Never has a Luiren or Cormyrite seen a better-groomed or cared-for giant bee!

Huckersley and Honeysuckle’s unique talents put them into many dangerous and unpredictable situations as soon as they enlisted with the people of Cormyr. The quirky but brave companions quickly drew the attention of knowledgeable military commanders in the region including prominent members in the “Silverblades” unit. After being approached by several representatives of the Silverblades leadership, Huckersley and Honeysuckle were eager to enlist and join other individuals possessing equally unusual or extraordinary abilities.

The team was assigned to a variety of duties during the war due to their tactical versatility, though most frequently they were to provide “punch” to scouting teams or achieve quick decisive strikes in key locations. It was during one such strike mission with Aelys Myrthanea, whom the duo had “rescued” on a scouting mission years prior, that Huckersley and Honeysuckle met Radley Hidewell.

At the height of the Goblin War, Huckersley and his companion were sent to the besieged Fort Crag in order to join with a few other Silverblades assembling for a pivotal mission. With the future of the fort hanging in the balance, this strike force was to penetrate the goblin lines and eliminate their brutish and intimidating ogre leader, thus weakening the goblins’ organization and resolve. In order to keep the lowest profile possible the team, consisting of only three members, (or four if you ask Huckersley), took differing routes into the goblins camp, with Aelys creeping through the woods while Radley and Huckersley used the cover of night to skulk through or fly over the goblin ranks as their particular talents allowed. The ogre’s cave-base in sight, the team moved in on their target, removing goblin opposition on the way until they reached the hulking leader and his bodyguard. Radley, in a daring stroke, taunted away the ogre’s bodyguard on a reckless chase, leaving them to be picked off one at a time by the sniping Aelys while Huckersley dispatched the leader himself with the help of Honeysuckle’s elusive speed and charging power.

Byron Silverblade took notice of the team’s accomplishment, assigning them together again and again throughout the duration of their service. Huckersley and Radley became fast friends, remaining in contact as much as possible after the breakup of the Silverblades despite the vast physical distances often between them. When Lord Silverblade begain to fail physically, Aelys went to great lengths to contact the others of the team and occasionally called upon the services of Huckersley and Honeysuckle to retrieve soothing unguents and salves from nearby lands.

In the aftermath of the war, Huckersley visited and aided Cormyrite hin communities all around the kingdom. The retrieval of supplies for his enfeebled former-commander often coincided with the delivering of important messages or the escort of hin merchants, though Honeysuckle was often pushed to exhaustion by such efforts. Never one to ignore the sacrifices of his friend, Huckersley made certain to provide Honeysuckle with the finest flowers on which to sleep and dine.

News of Lord Silverblade’s death reached Huckersley immediately, and though he did not know the commander particularly well, his grief was no less than any of the others in attendance at the funeral proceedings. Huckersley has vowed to continue the legacy of his commander by aiding the weak and leading men to right injustice across Faerun.

Posted by Andy at 10:23 PM to the Roleplaying category | Comments (1)

Arafat is Dead

Well, Yasser Arafat is dead, and to be honest I don't know how I feel about it. I think it will depend entirely on news of his replacement in the coming weeks. I do not believe Arafat was a particularly good man, but he may end up being better than the alternative.

It is undoubtedly beyond our experience how any Palestinian leader can react to the rest of the world given the conditions in which the Palestinian people live and their resulting attitudes and beliefs. We sit here in America and look upon Arafat's overall lack of cooperation in mid-east peace talks with distain. Perhaps we should, but I doubt any of us know what would have happened to him had he cooperated more fully. The possibility certainly exists that peace could have been achieved, but an equally probable Palestinian coup or civil war and the consequent refusal to comply to any agreements made my Mr. Arafat in the first place may well have resulted instead. For what it is worth, I will try to keep as open a mind as I can and pray for the next leader of the Palestinian to be as progressive as his people will tolerate.

Posted by Andy at 02:11 AM to the Politics category | Comments (0)

November 08, 2004

False Alarm

Well, the appointment I was depending on to be even remotely functional isn't until next week. That means I can't visit local card shops and Christian bookstores as planned to see if they would sell my cards and bookmarks, not to mention having any shot at thinking clearly, being able to see straight, or not be in a great deal of discomfort. I was really counting on this.

Posted by Andy at 03:47 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

November 06, 2004

Politics AND Gaming

For any of you roleplayers who also profess interest in politics, you simply have to check out this list of D20 feats.

Posted by Andy at 07:47 PM to the Roleplaying category | Comments (0)

Total Wreck

Wow am I screwed up today. I'm lightheaded in waves, my heart rate is constantly in flux, and I'm having a hard time with vision and balance. I think this all started last night when I had to wait for an hour up at the road house on those benches with the pointy backs. Luckily I have physical therapy scheduled for Monday which will probably alleviate this problem, but I still have somewhere to be tomorrow. I'm a little worried.

Posted by Andy at 06:48 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

November 03, 2004

RAID Degradation Again!

Augh! My RAID 1 array with my two hard drives has degraded again, and I unfortunately do not know nearly enough about RAID to know what to do. I'm beginning to think nobody knows to be honest, as I have yet to receive any replies to my calls for help on the Tom's Hardware forums, perhaps the top resource on the net for computers and computer building. Do any of you have experience with RAID setups?

Posted by Andy at 12:48 AM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

Greece - Total War

Ha ha, I finished the game with the Greeks now. Those Spartan hoplites are tough units, but overall the Greeks were a more difficult route militarily. Fortunately, I was always flooded with cash from sea trade, so it was mostly a moot point. Who to play next... Hmmm... Perhaps the Carthaginians.

Posted by Andy at 12:46 AM to the Games category | Comments (0)