Monday, June 28, 2004
posted by dave at 11:03 PM in category website

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I've been find it harder and harder to pick an image to eliminate, when posting a new image, to keep myself down to five galleries total.

To help ease that pain somewhat I've gone ahead and added a sixth gallery.

Actually what I did was add a fourth Terragen gallery and rename the old galleries four and five to five and six respectively.

posted by dave at 10:59 PM in category gallery

Damn I'm feeling creative lately. My third image in as many days has some of the most complicated surfacing I've done yet:

Sunday, June 27, 2004
posted by dave at 5:46 PM in category gallery, website

Instead of doing things I should have been doing, like mowing my lawn, I worked with Terragen today and came up with this:

On a related note - I've got so many images now that I'm finding it harder and harder to find one to eliminate before I can put a new image in one of the three Terragen galleries. I really need to start thinking about adding a fourth - and maybe a fifth - gallery for Terragen images.

posted by dave at 12:23 AM in category gallery

Today I saw an image that used Terragen's "glow" feature in a way I'd never even thought of before.

I copied the style and made this:

posted by dave at 12:21 AM in category daily, drink

1. Immoral or unchaste; lewd.
2. Gratuitously cruel; merciless.
3. Unrestrainedly excessive: wanton extravagance; wanton depletion of oil reserves.
4. Luxuriant; overabundant: wanton tresses.
5. Frolicsome; playful.
6. Undisciplined; spoiled.

I need to learn to keep my mouth shut.

I kind of like this word of the day thing I've been doing in my 'blog. It really cuts down on the creative pressure.

Anyway, tonight several of the regulars were at Rich O's. Let's see, there was CoffeeDude, the dude from last night, LaptopGirl, MisunderstoodGirl, TrainGirl and RealTrainGirl, plus a couple of others that don't warrant special mention - except that one of them had a really hot girl in tow.

I had a pint of the Arcadia Ale, which was quite good. No, really, I liked it a lot. It's just too strong to safely have more than one.

Next I had a pint of SwithWick's (apparently the "W" is silent) and I liked it but after the Arcadia it tasted a little bland.

My next beer was a 2003 Alaskan Smoked Porter, and my last was a half-pint of NABC's Beak's Best ESB.

There were several conversations, but I don't feel like relaying any of them.

Just about the only thing I will point out, to those people reading this for social advice, is that every time a massage is given, at least one of the two people involved is having sexual thoughts about the other person. Perhaps some of you people should remember that the next time you decide to get rubbed down in a public place. For an hour and a half.

Saturday, June 26, 2004
posted by dave at 3:08 AM in category daily, entertainment, ramblings

1. Being beyond what is required or sufficient.
2. Extra, spare.

First of all I cheated.

I went to Rich O's on Wednesday to get a pizza and was delighted to see that they had Smithwick's beer on tap. So I had one while I waited for my food to arrive. I didn't make a Wednesday Beer Report because the one is all I had.

Tonight I went back to have some more, and also to try another Scotch Ale they had on tap whose name I can't remember. Arcadia or something similar.

Anyway, I arrived at Rich O's, ordered a pint of Smithwick's, and sat in the living room area with LaptopGirl, some dude I didn't know, and BossyBitch and her husband.

The Smithwick's is a pretty good beer, though the watery/peaty characteristic I detected in Las Vegas seemed to be pretty elusive tonight.

After my first pint, I ordered a half-pint of the Cicada or whatever. I liked this beer, but I could tell immediately that it had at least twice the alcohol content of anything I felt like drinking.

Now this is the part of the report where I need to be careful what I write.

What followed was not the best night of my life.

LaptopGirl had been talking on and on about some band that I'd never heard of that was putting on a free concert in Louisville. Apparently someone had stood her up and now she was looking for someone to go with. She hinted pretty strongly to several people - none seemed interested - and finally asked the dude I didn't know to go with her. He agreed.

At some point - and I really don't know how this happened - it was decided that I'd go and do the driving. Right after agreeing to this I knew it was a bad idea, but I'd already said yes. I took the other guy aside and told him that I had no interest in being a third wheel and that he should feel free to tell me to butt the hell out. He assured me that there was nothing going on and that I was quite welcome to join them. What a dick.

Again, I have to be careful here. I don't know who reads this thing.

We went to see this band and arrived in time to hear two or three songs. The music I could live without but the bass player was fantastic.

Once the mini-concert was over I thought we'd be heading back to Rich O's.


The next four hours were pretty much the opposite of fun for me. I became invisible yet I couldn't leave because I was their ride. I didn't feel like I had a say in any decision as to what to do next. I was at the mercy of these two people who seemed much more interested in being out (and, dare I say, in each other, though I don't believe that interest was a romantic one) than in whether or not I was having a good time.

All I wanted to do was get back to Rich O's and salvage a normal Friday night, or failing that, to just get home.

After several aborted attempts to do something near the concert site we eventually ended up at some bar in Louisville where LaptopGirl and the guy had a couple of beers and I had one because LaptopGirl was buying and I really wanted to at least pretend like I was enjoying myself.

I spent the entire night feeling like I'd gone on a double-date but my own date had stood me up.

Two things kept the night from being a complete waste for me.

First, earlier at Rich O's BossyBitch had decided to try to lord it over LaptopGirl and they got into a little argument. Going to see the band and then to the bar helped LaptopGirl's mood immensely and I'm always glad to see her smile light up her face.

Second, after the concert we were walking with the crowd and I heard my name called out. My friend Eric and his wife had attended the same show. That was pretty cool - I go someplace I'd never normally go and run into one of my oldest friends.

Eventually my passengers decided that it was indeed time to return to New Albany. Rich O's was of course closed by then so I just came home.

On most occasions when I become invisble I can, and will, simply leave. Tonight I couldn't do that. I had to endure it for hours, and I'm quite sure that my displeasure was readily apparent to LaptopGirl and even to the guy I'd just met.

Hell, at one point I almost started babbling about things that I've managed to leave unsaid for months. Due in large part I'm sure to the overall lack of beer I'd had I was able to shut myself up before everyone got as uncomfortable as I was.

They both made several joking comments about how I would never want to hang out with them again. The unspoken part of those comments was the part where it'd be a cold day in hell before they'd ever invite me again.

Oh yeah, Note To Self: Try to not piss LaptopGirl off. She called the friend that had stood her up and pretty much went ballistic on him.

Another Note To Self: Do not, you dumbass, ever discuss anything remotely political with LaptopGirl again. She's too passionate about her beliefs and you'll end up, once again, being treated like you're the cause of all the world's problems simply because you don't share all those beliefs.

Thursday, June 24, 2004
posted by dave at 11:37 PM in category hotd

I watched LOTR:ROTK tonight and was once again wowed by Liv Tyler's beauty - pointy elven ears and all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
posted by dave at 7:11 PM in category ramblings

1. The act of anticipating.
2. An expectation.
3. Foreknowledge, intuition, and presentiment.

1. Fearful or uneasy anticipation or the future; dread.

1. A response to a stimulus.
2. The state resulting from such a response.

1. Conscious perception with full awareness.
2. The process of understanding by which newly observed qualities of an object are related to past experience.

1. The act or process of accepting.
2. The state of being accepted or acceptable.

1. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.

posted by dave at 8:01 AM in category gallery

Here's a new image that didn't quite live up to the potential of its terrain. I may have to change the sky completely.

Monday, June 21, 2004
posted by dave at 11:17 PM in category family

One of the neat things about my childhood was that my Mom's birthday often fell on Father's day.

That happened again this year, but with both of my parents gone it's just not as cool as it used to be.

My mom died in 1988, and my dad died 10 years later, both at way too early of an age.

Last Fall, on the 5th anniversary of my dad's death, I wrote a pretty lengthy entry about it.

I was planning to do the same thing this year, on June 20th, to say some nice things about my mom.

It's just too much.

I'll get to it eventually, but the thought of digging through memories that are over 15 years old just doesn't appeal to me right now.

I know Mom would understand. The last thing she'd want would be to have me sitting here at my computer getting sadder and sadder while dredging up all those old memories.

Thanks for understanding, Mom. And Happy Birthday.

posted by dave at 11:02 PM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Owah Tagee Kiyam.

Last week I was in Las Vegas for an IT storage conference. I attended the same conference at the same time last year.

During last year's trip I also did something that I thought was so cool I just had to share it.

The problem was that none of my friends or family would think it was cool at all.

They would think I was a geek.

So instead of telling people in person what I'd done I decided to start a weblog, and make my account of that experience the first entry.

Well one thing led to another and that entry never got made. My 'blog didn't get started until the Fall.

I will correct this injustice now, for that cool thing I did last year, I did it again last Thursday.

The cool thing I did was to shell out $29.95 for the main attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton - The Star Trek Experience.

Yes that's right. The Star Trek Experience.

Actually this year they'd added a second experience so I got to see something new as well as relive what I'd done the year before.

There's only one problem. Besides, I mean, the obvious social conclusions one might draw from reading about a person attending anything with "Star Trek" in the title.

Aside from that 900-pound gorilla named "Nerd" that everyone notices but pretends isn't there.

I was bored. What had been to exciting and new a year ago, this year for me at least, revealed itself to be what I should have known all along.

A geek festival.

The simulated motion parts of the attractions were very cool indeed, but they were so wrapped up in cheesy sets and wooden lines that even the actors couldn't take it seriously.

And forget about us tourists. We all seemed, for those 18 minutes or so, to finally understand how the rest of the world views us Star Trek fans.

Just about the way we ourselves view the Buffy fans.

Actually, "The Buffy Experience" sounds intriguing.

Mmmmm, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

But I ramble.

posted by dave at 10:43 PM in category travel

One of the questions always asked about a trip to Las Vegas is "Did you do any gambling?"

I got asked this question several times, and I answered in the affirmative.

Last Wednesday I arrived at Treasure Island a couple of hours before Mystere was scheduled to start, so after picking up my ticket I sat at a blackjack table.

In about 45 minutes I won $500 dollars, playing mostly $25 per hand.

Once a rowdy crowd took over my blackjack table I moved over to a $25 pai gow poker table and, while I didn't win at the same pace, I did win.

I ended up leaving TI with $640 more than I'd started with.

That was the only gambling I did all week. There was no way I was going to gamble at the Rio.

They'd given me room number 13013. If that's not a bad omen I don't know what is.

posted by dave at 10:37 PM in category drink

Regular readers may notice that I've added a new beer to my list of favorites. Obsessed readers will also notice that I've placed it first, before even my beloved Alaskan Amber.

Yes, I have a new favorite. The Pyramid Tilted Kilt ale I enjoyed so much in Las Vegas has unseated my favorite of over a decade.

Put an Alaskan Amber and a Tilted Kilt in front of me right now, and I'm going for the Alaskan. Put the same to beers in front of me in six months, however, and I'm pretty sure the Tilted Kilt is the one I'll be drinking first.

That's why I've ordered them the way I have.

Sunday, June 20, 2004
posted by dave at 8:50 PM in category website

It seems that every time I go back and re-read some of my 'blog entries I catch at least one - and sometimes several - spelling and grammar errors.

I go and correct these errors, knowing all along that I'll just find more in the future.

I'm not really this horrible at writing. I blame the fact that my brain often outpaces my fingers, and also that the spellchecker on my 'blog software is apparently for decoration only.

posted by dave at 2:37 AM in category daily, drink

I didn't expect much to happen tonight.

I went to Rich O's after my family reunion, and ran into ElPresidente and his wife. We spent a couple of hours talking about the recent storms and just passing the time.

After a while LaptopGirl surprised me by coming in. I'd seen InfatuatedGuy earlier but LaptopGirl had indicated that she wouldn't be in on Saturday.

Anyway, while talking with the FirstCouple I had an NABC Beak's Best and a 2003 Alaskan Smoked Porter. Once they left I moved to the living room with NotGeorge and sat with LaptopGirl and InfatuatedGuy.

Though I had been planning to leave after my smoked porter, LaptopGirl's appearance changed all that. I ended up having a couple half-pint's of Rogue's Dead Guy Ale. I really liked this stuff, which was weird because Rogue's beers are usually too over-the-top for me. This was a mild ale that tasted quite good and didn't seem too high in alcohol.

To close out the night I had one of the Sprecher Cream Sodas.

For the second night in a row I closed out Rich O's with LaptopGirl. Tonight we didn't go to the other bar. This was probably a good thing, as my blood-alcolol content was undoubtedly eating away at my sense of restraint.

posted by dave at 2:01 AM in category daily, family

Today marked my annual family reunion, celebrated in June each year, at least since 2001 or so, and held at my sister Dina's house.

I wish I could sit here and write about how fantastic these get-togethers are, but I can't.

For the most part we all just sat around talking about various fluff. We also played a couple of games of horseshoes.

I'm glad that Dina has started holding these things. I just wish people would take them more seriously. Several of our cousins didn't make it, again, and I can't help but wonder what happend to the old days when family - even extended ones - were important to everyone.

Not that I'm perfect when it comes to family appreciation. Far from it. The annual reunion of my mother's side of the family has become more of a nuisance than an event I look forward to.

Anyway, I'm rambling here, so I'll stop.

Saturday, June 19, 2004
posted by dave at 4:46 AM in category daily, drink

Tonight marked the seventh night in a row that I went out drinking.

This is rare for me, but being in Las Vegas is also rare, so everything works out.

Tonight, back home in Indiana, I of course went to Rich O's. I went even though I was still hungover from the previous night. I went even though the last thing my body needed was more alcohol. I went because it's what I do on the weekends. To stay home would have been to surrender to the forces of boringness that I've been fighting for a decade.

So I went.

And I'm glad I did.

My beer selection last night remained pretty tame. I had a couple of pints of NABC's Community Dark, an ale that's only good when I'm hungover and when it's the first beer of the night.

Near the end of the evening I had one of NABC's Beaks Best ESBs.

The story of last night was not, however, about the beer I had. It was about getting back into my groove and leaving the Las Vegas mindset behind.

It was also about getting to see LaptopGirl, who was a real sight for sore eyes after spending a week in Silicon Valley.

I spent most of the night talking with LaptopGirl and ExBartender about nothing in particular. ExBartender can be a little abrasive when he's been drinking, but LaptopGirl didn't object so I just minded my own business.

Once Rich O's closed LaptopGirl and I went to Jack's where, for the first time ever, I did not become invisible. Hard to believe, but for one night I was the most interesting person around.

posted by dave at 2:58 AM in category drink, travel

As I write this I'm back home from my week in Las Vegas.

I could probably write a pretty long entry about the week - and I may still write about a couple of the smaller touristy things I did - but I can sum up the week with two main topics:

1: Pyramid Tilted Kilt Ale. This beer continued to surprise me all week long. Every night I went into The Tilted Kilt bar at the Rio, intending to sample something from their array of a dozen or so good beers, yet most nights I ended up just drinking one Tilted Kilt Ale after another.

Just fantastic. So good, in fact, that on Tuesday the bartender accidentally gave me a Newcastle and I could immediately tell the difference and I could immediately tell that the Tilted Kilt was a better brew.

2: I missed LaptopGirl. It started during the long drive to Death Valley, and continued through every show and event I attended, and every attraction I visited. I thought about how much more enjoyable things would be if there were someone to experience them with, and my thoughts invariably went to LaptopGirl.

Thursday, June 17, 2004
posted by dave at 2:48 AM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Tonight, continuing my quest to eventually see every big show that Las Vegas has to offer, I went to see "Mystere" at Treasure Island.

Wow. How cool can a show be?

Everyone from the clown to the strength guys to especially the "baby girl" was just awesome.

I have to give a nod to "O" for the best show I saw this week, but that's mainly because of the set. For sheer performances and awesome stunts I have to say the "Mystere" is the best I've ever seen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
posted by dave at 2:42 AM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Tonight I went to see the Penn & Teller show at the Rio.

I was really looking forward to this show, but I found myself bored to tears.

Part of my boredom was no doubt caused by the stark contrast between the "O" performance I saw last night and this rather tame show, but the main reason I was bored was simply because it was a boring show.

Penn basically told a bunch of stupid jokes, then would continue to ramble on for what seemed like hours, then they would both do a trick.

Repeat five times.


Monday, June 14, 2004
posted by dave at 2:27 AM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Tonight I went to see "O" at the Bellagio.

The show itself was a bit overwhelming, but when I decided to focus on whatever the current main attraction was I really enjoyed it.

I mean it was really really cool.

The contortionists grossed me out a little though.

Also, one of the zebra girls had such a nice ass that it was distracting me from the rest of the show.

posted by dave at 2:24 AM in category daily, travel

This burning question has finally been answered.

I can go to a depth of 282 feet below sea level without getting wet.

Today I rented a car and drove to Death Valley from Las Vegas. I'd planned to also check out the Hoover dam but the Death Valley trip took up way too much time.

I thought being at the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere was very cool, but I like that kind of stuff.

posted by dave at 2:18 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Just a quick report on the beer I've been drinking here in Las Vegas.

My bar of choice is The Tilted Kilt here at the Rio. They have 24 draft beers, and only a half-dozen or so are piss.

My favorite discovery here, by far, is Tilted Kilt Ale by Pyramid. I think the name is just a coincidence. This scottish ale is just flat-out good.

On Saturday I tried a Boddington's. I'd heard some good things about this, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. This was water with a couple of drops of beer flavoring added. It reminded me of the Abita Amber I tried several months ago. I only drank about an inch from the glass.

On Sunday I started out with another Tilted Kilt. I also sampled a John Courage Amber, which had an applely taste that I didn't find disgusting but I didn't like it enought to have a full pint.

I also, on the bartender's recommendation, tried a Smithwick's. This beer was intriguing enough for me to order a full glass. There was a slight watery taste that at first turned me off, but after a few sips I started to imagine, believe it or not, a slight peaty characteristic to the water. I won't go so far as to say that I liked the Smithwick's, but I so think I'll try it again this week before I leave Las Vegas.

Friday, June 11, 2004
posted by dave at 10:45 PM in category general

Here's what I think about the past few days.

1. I think the nation lost a great man in Ronald Reagan. I don't say this because he was the first man I ever voted for (which he was). I don't say this because he was instrumental in bringing The Cold War to an end (which he was). I don't say this because he seemed like a hell of a nice guy (which he did). I say this because of the optimism he had about the country he led. He truly believed that America was a great country, and that Americans were right to be proud of her.

I'd think a lot more of today's politicians if they'd show just a little bit of that optimism instead of telling us that America is spiraling down the toilet and they're the only hope for a recovery.

It pisses me off to no end to think of the ultra-liberals, hating Reagan for no reason other than his political party affiliation, furiously masturbating to the images of his flag-draped coffin.

2. I also think that Ray Charles, one of the greatest entertainers ever, really got ripped off when he died during the week that the Reagan memorials were taking place. This man deserved his own time of mourning as much as, or more than, anyone I can think of.

3. I also think that, as despicable as Terry Nichols is, to have circumvented his plea-bargain and sentenced him to death would have caused possibly irreparable harm to the existing plea-bargain system. The man made a deal with the government, and I'm glad that at least part of the jury saw fit to force the government to uphold their end of the deal.

Sunday, June 6, 2004
posted by dave at 12:33 AM in category daily, drink

I'm typing this after returning home from Rich O's on Saturday night. For this reason it may be full of spelling errors and/or other problems.

I don't care. I just want to get the thing typed so I can watch a movie.

This weekend started out early as far as beer was concerned.

At lunchtime on Friday we had a little farewell luncheon for my old boss who is leaving for a new job.

We had this luncheon at Brownings in Louisville.

I've never been a big fan of Eileen's brews. I'm sure she's great and everything but I just have never been impressed with anything she's put out.

MysteryLady really liked the Stout, though I found it watery.

Everything at Brownings is either too watery or too bitter for my taste.

On Friday I first had an "Unfiltered Rye" that tasted bad. I then tries an "ESB" that was so bad I could only have an inch out of the glass. Finally I had a "Nut Brown Ale" that was decent. I've had that before and as brown ales go it was watery but at least drinkable.

On Friday night I went to Rich O's and started out with a new beer from NABC who's name escapes me. I didn't like it very much.

I then had a Beak's Best, returned after a several-week absence, and enjoyed that a lot. To end the night I had a couple of Alaskan Smoked Porters.

When I got home I realized that I'd had way too much to drink. It was one of those nights where I wished I'd just get sick but I didn't.

On Saturday all I had were a couple of Beak's Best pints. I spent some time talking with NotGeorge who is at least as much of a pervert as I am so I no longer feel the need to convert to Catholicism just so I can confess my impure thoughts.

I didn't get to see LaptopGirl all weekend. It feels like such a waste.

Plus I'll be in Las Vegas next weekend so I won't get to see her for at least two weeks.

It's a good thing I've gotten over my crush or I'd really miss LaptopGirl.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004
posted by dave at 7:51 PM in category gallery

I actually did this one yesterday, but my hosting company has been sucking lately so I couldn't upload anything until this evening.

mysterious gray box mysterious blue box mysterious red box mysterious green box mysterious gold box

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