That’s right, it’s 2005 and I’ve done away with the old and brought in the new. First off, I’ve installed WordPress and replaced the old front page. I’m in the process of figuring out how all of the existing stuff (movie reviews, collections, WebChess) can be integrated into the new design. I’m hoping that the whole thing will be a little nicer to look at and a whole lot easier to maintain on the backend. Time will tell.

Grounds for Immediate Dismissal

While listening to music at work, I keep my iPod in the left breast pocket of my shirt to avoid pulling it off my desk and onto the floor when I move around. If you can’t imagine what it looks like when I adjust the volume, you clearly don’t know enough about the iPod. If you can imagine what it looks like, and you’re imagining me doing that, I apologize and suggest sipping some water or coffee to remove the taste of vomit from the back of your throat.

New Claws for the Tiger

Okay, so comparing the MVoD to a tiger is probably a bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, after having driven for more than 43,000 miles without rotating the tires once, I discovered that the front tires were nearing bald, while the back tires were still in pretty reasonable shape. It’s all about the tread, you understand. It’s measured in thirty-seconds of an inch, and when you can count those fractions on one hand, it’s time for some new tires.

We had something of a reprieve from the Hideous Hand of Old Man Winter last week, when temperatures soared into the 60’s. Most snow in the area that was not piled up into hideous, filth-and-trash-encrusted mounds in the parking lot of Target had melted. Previous experience with slippery roads and driveways had kept the need for new tires fresh in my mind, though, so I visited an establishment whose very business is the vending and installation of round rubber.

Alas, the fellow I talked to on Monday assured that the only tire in stock compatible with the MVoD was some sort of bleeding edge über tire, and that other tires could be ordered, but would take three to five days to arrive. When he attempted to order tires that weren’t sent back from the future to destroy my bank account, his efforts were thwarted by the fact that the Office of Tire Ordering was closed for the holidays. On the third of January.

The Old Man turned his attention back to us once more yesterday, and it snowed pretty much all day, making driving conditions rather hazardous. Last night, as I inched my way along a very slippery and unpleasant 271 North, I watched a vehicle behind me suddenly veer to the left, spin out of control, slide across three lanes of traffic and come to a stop in the snow-covered grassy knoll separating the express lanes from something resembling sanity. Über tires it shall be, I thought, and (slowly) returned to the vendor and installer of the same.

I was met by a different fellow, who assured me that not only were the über tires not in stock, but every other tire of size P215/70R15 was. Amazing. In two days, the stock had completely inverted. I picked out a very nice pair of Michelin Symmetry radials. They have a slightly lower DEX than the über tires, but are comparable in both STR and CON. They are also about a double sawbuck cheaper per tire. With new claws installed (in about thirty minutes), my tiger definitely has a better grip on the road, and I’m less likely to be the next guy making an unscheduled stop in a snowbank.

Five paragraphs about getting new tires installed. Why would anyone still be reading at this point? Why am I still writing at this point?

And another thing…

Two or three other things, actually. My trip to the Great Lakes Mall Monday night was pretty fruitful. The “It’s a Puzzle!” store was selling all their stuff at deep discounts, so their inventory was pretty sparse. They were all out of puzzle glue and their selection of puzzles was fairly sad. They did have a few in the 9,000-to-18,000 piece range that looked very interesting, in a “there’s no way in Hell I could possibly finish that” kind of way.

There was, however, a game kiosk that had puzzle glue as well as a Disney Photomosaics Winnie the Pooh puzzle. Our guest bedroom has a combination Winnie the Pooh/Aquarium theme going on, so I thought that it’d make a good addition. Plus, it look suitably difficult without being frustratingly so.

When she found out that I was going to the mall, Laura asked me to pick up a copy of Yourself! Fitness for the Xbox. Oh, not for her. No, no, no. For me. So, I can now use my Xbox as a personal trainer and dietitian. I have yet to pop the disc in the drive, as I’m afraid of what Maya will instruct me to do. Perhaps Saturday I’ll bite that particular bullet.

I also snagged a used copy of Syberia for the Xbox, a game that I’ve wanted for some time now. I believe the genre is technically adventure game, but it could probably be called a story-driven puzzle game, too. It’s very pretty.

That is all!

I’m Free!

My LiveJournal paid account expired yesterday, and despite multiple attempts to pay for another year, I was unsuccessful. When I tried via Firefox, the payment page wouldn’t load. When I tried via Internet Explorer, there were issues with accepting my credit and debit cards. I don’t know if the payments page is broken or if my money is broken. Either, way, I’m wallowing in the land of unpaid accounts today.

In other news, there are rumors that LiveJournal will soon be purchased by Six Apart, the same company that owns TypePad and Moveable Type (the latter of which I installed on my website, but have since abandoned in favor of WordPress).

I installed WordPress yesterday, and I’m quite pleased with it so far. I even imported a couple of LiveJournal entries (though there was some tweaking involved to get the formatting right). That’s right, for no reason other than curiosity, I’ve begun maintaining two blogs. My dork is definitely showing.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

This post serves almost no purpose, save that I want to see how WordPress handles multiple posts in a single day. I’m also messing with the timestamp because I can. So there!

Or can I? There doesn’t seem to be a way to mess with the timestamp, even with Advanced Editing options turned on. Must be an admin-only thing…

[Edit: Yep, it’s an admin-only thing.]

…looming like a shadow over everything we’ve built here.

With the final casualty toll of the Boxing Day tsunamis still undetermined, scientists have begun to take a closer look at how future geophysical events might affect various regions of the world. Seismologists, geologists and other experts have uncovered a number of scenarios that could spell disaster for millions of people.

Catastrophe experts have warned that a 12-mile long shelf of rock weighing approximately five hundred million tons might fall into the ocean when the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma next erupts. This would result in gigantic tsunamis that could potentially lay waste to the eastern seaboard of the United States. One northeast Ohio man, however, thinks there is danger much, much closer to home.

“It could happen right here in Ohio,” says Elyria resident Leonard Dalton. Elyria, a suburb of Cleveland, is one of many towns the would be utterly destroyed by a Lake Erie tsunami, according to Dalton.

“There is a fault line running right under Lake Ontario,” Dalton told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “If a volcano erupted there, all of southeastern Ontario would fall into Lake Erie, creating a massive tsunami that would obliterate everything on the southern coast.”

Ontario: Our deadly northern neighbor.

That includes all of northern Ohio as well as parts of Pennsylvania and New York. “Yes, there is a fault line under Lake Ontario,” confirmed Dr. Alan Meadows of Ohio’s Division of Geological Survey. Dr. Meadows spoke from the division’s laboratory at Alum Creek State Park, north of Columbus—well away from the potential danger zone. “This fault line is very stable, and there is no indication that future earthquakes of significant intensity will occur along the line. Additionally, there is no volcano on that line.”

Dr. Meadows also pointed out that Ontario and La Palma are very different. “The situation in the Canary Islands is unique,” he said. “On La Palma, you’ve got an unstable slab of rock that could very feasibly slide into the ocean. Ontario isn’t an island, and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any part of it could break away, even in the event of a catastrophe of the type Mister Dalton describes.”

Leonard Dalton disagrees. “It’s easy for the bureaucrats and the white coats to dismiss this,” he said. “They’re all sitting warm and cozy in Columbus. They could care less if Cleveland, Toledo and Buffalo were under fifty feet of water.”

Dalton’s seismological background consists largely of watching films like Earthquake, released in 1974, and Volcano and Dante’s Peak, both released in 1997. “I’ve seen what happens when we ignore the signs,” Dalton warned a group of reporters and passersby outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located near the Lake Erie shore. “No one conceived of a volcano in downtown Los Angeles, either.”

Ontario could not be reached for comment.

The Naughties: Now Starting Their Fifth Fabulous Year!

New Years Eve dinner was at a fondue restaurant called Potpourri. Everything was quite yummy, and we all smelled like we’d been deep-fried when we left. Laura polished off most of a bottle of Chloe Sevigny Cabernet Sauvignon by herself, and was a wee bit on the tipsy side. Her condition was upgraded to Downright Drunk after we got home and she drank a strawberry daiquiri. There was a bit of channel surfing and we wound up watching part of an episode of South Park before switching to the ball drop. Afterward, I was very tired, and there was a lot of talking going on, so I didn’t really absorb much of Jabberwocky. I’ll have to watch it sometime this week.

Buried Blueprints: Camelot
It’s a puzzle I’ve had for probably six years, and quite possibly even longer. My every attempt to assemble this puzzle has been thwarted in some way until very early Sunday morning. Taking advantage of my new roll-up puzzle caddy, Laura and I began assembling the puzzle on Saturday afternoon. When it came time to leave for the movie, we rolled the thing up so the cats couldn’t get into it. After the movie and dinner, we came back home and finished assembling the thing. It took rather a long time, and we didn’t get to bed until nearly 5:00am. Methinks I’ll swing by the Great Lakes Mall to see if the puzzle place is still there. I need puzzle glue and a new puzzle.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
I own and have read the first two books (The Bad Beginning and The Reptile Room) upon which the movie is based. I have yet to pick up the third (The Wide Window), but will likely do so very soon. The books are incredibly, horrifically funny. The movie adaptation is a reasonable effort, but doesn’t quite capture the feel of the books. It’s not a problem with the cast (good performances all around) or visuals (very pretty), but rather with the script and editing. Overall, the movie tripped over itself in the process of cramming three (admittedly short) stories into 108 minutes. On more than one occasion, characters casually mentioned some name or event in such a manner that it seemed the audience ought to have heard about it before.

1,023 Songs
I’m using roughly 20% of the capacity of my iPod. I’d guess that roughly one-fifth of that is Christmas music. I’m thinking about deleting all of the holiday tunes, though. Not because I’m worried about disk space, but because I don’t want “O Tannenbaum” coming up when I use the Shuffle Songs mode in July. I have more than enough music at home to fill up the iPod, but my computer time is torn between ripping CDs and playing City of Heroes.

Every (Work)Day
“If I check your [blog] every day, I’m going to expect you to write in it every day.” That’s what Laura said. So, I’m going to try to update once a day, Monday through Friday, whether I have anything to say or not (call it a New Years Resolution, if you must). And, honestly, not having anything to say has never stopped me from posting before.