The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

Archive for October 2008

All systems normal

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Okay, got all the re-installs done and have slowly put everything back onto my computer. Took me about a day and three quarters, with breaks in-between to deal with other stuff. Tested out everything I could think of and it all works perfectly. The internet/firewall problems I was having are all gone.

I have to say that it’s nice to have my computer back, especially heading into the weekend. One thing I realized is that I think my graphics chip must have been bad.

They did a recall on my model of MacBook Pro because some of the graphic chips weren’t working right but I never thought I had any problems. About a day before the whole thing crashed out, I did notice that the game I like to play was playing very, very strangely. It was stuttering and not working well. The game is also probably the most graphics-intensive thing I do. The next day I tried to boot my computer but all I got was a dark screen.

I suspect that the chip was bad from the beginning because with the new chip in there, the game plays so much better. Everything is much faster and smoother. So that’s a big plus to come out of all this.

Now I can go back to bunker mode this weekend and depend on my computer to connect me to the outside world. Sadly, this will be a return to normalcy and I’m looking forward to it.

Written by the bee dub

October 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm

My baby’s back…sort of.

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Got my computer back on Tuesday! It’s almost perfect again…almost.

For some reason I’ve got all these problems connecting to the internet. So I’m going to Def-Con 1: wipe my computer clean and totally rebuild it. Should take about a day and a half. Not something I’m looking forward to at all. But it will be worth it to start fresh without any issues. I’m about halfway through installing everything right now.

Hopefully, all the problems will disappear once this is done. They better be.

Written by the bee dub

October 30, 2008 at 4:47 pm

The Non-Functioning Hermit

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My computer went dead on Thursday and it really opened my eyes to the embarrasing fact that I’m completely lost without it.

I never intended for this to happen but I pretty much do everything with my computer now. The computer and the internet are the biggest enablers for hermit-like behavior. They really minimize any need to leave the house.

It’s really dulled my enthusiasm for a lot of things, including blogging. I don’t have the usual software I use to get my photos ready for the web or pretty much any other thing I like to do for that matter.

About a month ago I bought Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and have gotten completely hooked. My hands are almost shaking from not being able to play.

On top of all this, I’ve had huge problems arranging for a repair. All my previous repairs have gone without a hitch but this time, different story. Basically, Apple will overnight you a box that you then use to overnight it back to them. They usually receive it, repair it and then overnight it back to you all on the same day. So the whole process usually takes four business days. Only DHL apparently lost the box they sent me which has brought the whole process to a halt.

In fact, DHL has given me a different story every time I’ve called and though it seems like they’re trying, I’ve sort of lost faith in the situation. Basically it sounds like the label on the box that was sent to me came off and they found the label stuck to some random package but have no idea where the box is. This has added several days to my computer downtime.

Today I sent it in to a local Apple authorized repair center instead. Looks like they’ll be able to turn the thing around fairly quickly. Hope so. I really don’t feel like myself without my computer. Not exactly something I’m proud of, yet I’m big enough to admit it.

Written by the bee dub

October 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm

NFL Week 8 Menu: I Punted (Pork Tenderloin)

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It was a hectic weekend here at Hermit HQ.

My sister came for a visit on Friday and naturally, she flew in on one of the very rare days we had rain. In fact, the whole town was totally fogged in so her flight was pretty delayed. Then my wife flew back into town on Saturday. All in all it was a great time even though we had to eat vegetarian for my sister the whole weekend. We took her back to the airport to fly back to NY Sunday morning.

Because of all this, I didn’t really have time to put much thought into a big Sunday night meal like I normally do. So I threw a couple of pork tenderloins into some marinade and grilled those up during the Giants – Steelers game. We’ll probably get at least two meals out of it.

I use a marinade called Stubb’s. Actually, I use their marinades a lot. They have a different one for chicken, beef and pork. What’s weird is the label is pretty misleading. All the marinades have a very strong Asian flavor but the label looks like it’s some down-home, country-inspired marinade.

I’ve learned it’s key to spray down the grill with some cooking spray before cooking because this pork is really lean. But they don’t take long. The only real danger is leaving them on too long and letting them get really dry.

Next time I need to come up with some kind of sauce for the pork. It was a little plain on its own. It all works out though because the Giants won a tough game on the road, though they didn’t necessarily deserve to, and I’m looking for a likely fantasy victory tonight. Next weekend I’ll get back into the normal routine of a bigger, more ambitious meal to go with football.

Written by the bee dub

October 27, 2008 at 7:25 am

Bad Listeners

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I’m convinced that some people are unable or unwilling to listen to what other people have to say. These are the folks who either wait for a chance to talk themselves or simply think about what they’re going to say while they pretend to listen. The following is a great example of this phenomenon that took place in the kitchen at work.

Girl we hate:  (overly chipper) Hey Bill! How was your weekend!

Guy we like:  (a little forlorn) It was fine…fine.

Girl we hate:  (mocking) It was fine…fine. (overly chipper again) Well, what did you do?

Guy we like:  Well, I spent most of the day yesterday at a funeral in Newnan.

Girl we hate:  You were in Newnan! What were you doing in Newnan?!!

Guy we like:  I was…at the funeral.

Hilarious. Truly hilarious.

Written by the bee dub

October 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

Posted in Daily Happenings

Hermit Essentials: Fantasy Football

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I’m a huge fan of the NFL. Though I live in a region dominated by college football and love watching football of any kind, the NFL will always hold the top spot of all sports for me.

The great thing about fantasy football is that it just gives you a whole other way to obsess about football. If you’re going to be a hermit, it’s good to have a few things to obsess about. I was already at a point where I couldn’t get enough NFL coverage. If there was an article about different kinds of grass they play on, new trends in the three-ring binders they use for playbooks or a new, revolutionary kind of water bottle, I’d read them all. If you don’t like pro football, there’s no point in even trying to wrap your head around fantasy.

When you have a fantasy team, you always have to keep tweaking it and that’s the beauty of the whole thing. First off, there’s the question of which of your players you start and which ones you sit. Then there’s the whole waiver issue. Some players you draft inevitably end up being dogs. And like the losers from Michael Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels, you have to put them down. Then there’s the inevitable rash of injuries. Some of your key players will also be on a bye week eventually so you have to find someone else to use. So who do you pick up? There’s always some unknown player who ends up having a big year and those are the real gems. There’s also the ones most people think are washed up who end up having a huge comeback.

It can all get pretty complicated, but only as complicated as you want to make it. That’s the key to the whole thing. It’s as much fun as you want to have. You can’t predict what happens in football but you do need a strategy based on some voodo-like mix of knowledge, instinct and stats.

Right now my key players are Drew Brees at QB. Michael Turner, Marshawn Lynch and Michael Pittman at RB. Calvin Johnson and Santana Moss at WR. I don’t have a good defense though. Carolina’s is definitely coming around but I’ve made the mistake of playing Dallas’ D and they flat out suck right now (sorry again Dan).

One weird thing about the whole setup is that you may have a player on a team you hate and that brings mixed emotions. But it all works out in the end. I still have yet to draft a single player from the Eagles and hope I never will.

I started out the year strong but have taken a few big losses, one to my friend’s team who hadn’t won a single game. Each loss was one where I simply started a wrong player or two and paid the price. But as long as I can make it into the playoffs, I like my chances. Stay tuned. Maybe I’ll start posting fantasy football updates every week. If the three people who read this blog don’t object anyway.

Written by the bee dub

October 23, 2008 at 7:49 am

Hermit Cinema: Iron Man

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So as you may have guessed, I’m not one to go out and see a movie in a theater anymore. I used to and really enjoyed it. It just lost its charm for me. Nevertheless, I love movies. I can’t watch enough. So DVD’s are clearly the way to go for the hermit.

One movie that really stood out for me lately was Iron Man. I’m really more of the independent cinema type, so this was a departure from my usual fare. For me, this was the best of all the superhero movies by far. I’d say Batman Begins was a close second.

For starters, Robert Downey Jr. is perfect in the Tony Stark role. He’s got the ‘genius turned partying playboy’ thing nailed. Jeff Bridges is a great foil to Tony. It’s hard to believe that this is the same person who played the lead role in my favorite movie of all time: The Big Lebowski. I’ve never been much of a Gwynneth Paltrow fan, but she’s fine playing Tony’s assistant.

The special effects are flawless. For me, that was crucial. None of it came across as cheesy or unconvincing. A lot of it made me rewind it to watch it again.

Right from the beginning, the movie jumps right into the action and then does a good job of giving you lots of background info in a very entertaining way. If anything, I only had one complaint with the plot.

I’m going to go ahead give a huge plot spoiler here so stop reading if you haven’t seen it or don’t want to know. But when he’s being held captive and he’s supposed to be building a missile system, would it be really all that difficult to realize he’s building something entirely different? How hard would it be to see that, gee, he’s not building a missile he’s building some sort of human armor/suit thing? But that’s really a pretty minor point as far as the whole movie goes.

If you’re looking for a good DVD, I’d say Iron Man is as close to a sure thing as you can get from a huge Hollywood kind of production.

Written by the bee dub

October 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Posted in DVD Reviews

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