Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson
magellanic

Today's miscellany

King of the Hill just cracks me up. It makes Sunday nights worth waiting for.

I'm filling out my taxes this evening. I'm trying out TaxCut this year because TurboTax installs hidden spyware on users' computers without asking, and doesn't fully uninstall itself (ie, doesn't install the spyware) even though it claims to do so. Hey, it just goes to show you that even the most popular player in a market needs to watch out for PR backlash if they ever make a stupid move.

When registering TaxCut, it asked what magazine subscriptions I had. It listed only 8 options, but one of them was the Weekly World News. Hey, right on!

I have the habit of hitting control or shift keys repetitively while thinking about what to type. Something in WinXP thinks I want to turn on "sticky keys" each time I do this, and it makes a cute little bwip noise asking if I really want to turn sticky keys on. If it wasn't for the cute noise I'd get angry by its questioning me each time.

I'm trying to buy an oscilloscope on eBay. Why do people insist on stupid bid-at-the-last-second strategies? Read the theory papers -- the optimal auction is one in which you proxy bid your estimated value for the item and then go to sleep. If it goes above that value, don't rebid -- you already bid your best price, remember? Especially don't bid at the last second. That does make me angry. Worse, it only furthers the problem -- that means I will bid at the last minute for the next auction I care about. And so we go into the cycle. Heh, if I wanted to pay someone 1% of my bid, the Auction Sniper will automatically put in my proxy bid at the last second. Ugh! Evil! *sigh* I can understand these games for stupid toys and junk on eBay, but we're talking about test equipment. You don't just buy that on a whim! Think carefully, bid early, and don't bid at the last second, people! Yeesh. </rant>

I had half of a frozen (and subsequently heated) lasagna (from Costco). It wasn't too bad; anything with 3 kinds of cheese and a meat sauce will make me happy. It wasn't particularly exciting, though, either. I won't go so far as to say I could make a better one myself, but perhaps one day I'll try. Maybe I'll invite someone over to help cook and (more importantly) eat it if I do. Lasagna doesn't scale down to only one serving very well.

I played three (count 'em, three) games of Puerto Rico yesterday. I think I'm finally getting tired of that game. I mean, it's fun to play still, but I've tried out most of the obvious strategies. I'm ready to binge on something else for a while. I also played Funkenschlag (it's German; forgive my doubtless misspelling). You're an energy baron and you're building a power grid to light up cities on the map (hex grid world). You have to bid against other players for power plants and buy resources to run them (the power plants) on the open market. Wires also cost money, depending if you build them through plans, mountains, or under three kinds/depths of water. You win if you light up the most cities all at once at the end of the game. It's about the same complexity as Iron Dragon (in geek: both games' rules have the same entropy -- oh, my, did I really say that?). I'd play it again. Sooner than playing Puerto Rico again.
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