perfecting the fine art of failure

wednesday i got the order of two items that had originally been seven items. i got a black neoprene half mask (bottom half, nose and lower ears and jaw) with the bottom portion of a skull printed on it, and an all-black neoprene full face balaclava. thursday i took my motorcycle to work and wore the half mask. although it looks kind of cool, i’m not sure i’m a fan of the design. it doesn’t fit all that well on my face, and there really isn’t much to keep it in place other than the wrap tension…which doesn’t matter much if you ever have to move your head or jaw.
since i’m supposed to be getting some highway miles on the car to see if the knocking/pinging goes away, thursday night i decided to drive to clear lake to get some take-out from village pizza and seafood. while driving there, the heat never seemed to function. which sucked since that’s one of the things i paid to get fixed. also, the knocking/pinging didn’t go away.
before i left for food, i’d decided to reboot my powermac. i leave systems on 24/7, and i tend to leave them up for long periods of time. but eventually things like firefox and other stuff make things get slow or a bit wonky so i reboot to clear the memory, tmp, etc. when i do this i usually also install any software updates, since most of the time at least one of the updates requires a reboot. this evening, there were 3 updates: java, safari, and a security update. i ran the updates, then told my machine to reboot, then immediately left for clear lake. when i got back, my powermac’s fans were howling. this usually means the processors have been pegged (something is creating heat in the box) or the system locked. i got to the screen and it’d crashed during the update installs. uh oh. i held the power button to do a hard reset, then watched the system come back up. which it did, thankfully. and i logged in. everything looked okay, thankfully (again). but when i tried to start software update it wouldn’t start…just crashed. same with safari. same with most other programs. uh oh. in the system preferences menu i could see the java and security updates listed, but not the safari one. so i figured maybe it died on one of those, before it got to the safari update. after googling some from my laptop, i decided the best course of action was to download the standalone versions of the two updates on my laptop, then pull them over to my desktop and run them. so that’s what i did. the security update installed successfully and i rebooted. the java update installed successfully and i rebooted. i tried software update and some other programs…same problem. *sigh* so i went to terminal windows and started looking through log files. it looked like maybe it had started the safari update and crashed during it, so i decided to install the standalone safari package the same way i’d done the other two. i did that and it installed successfully and i rebooted. i tried software update and some other programs…and everything worked fine. *whew* i guess the safari code has hooks into the gui display of a lot of things or something.
friday it of course snowed. i took the car to work. we got out early, even though we didn’t really need to. jay postponed the geek gathering, so i was left alone at home for the evening. i decided it was too cold to go out, so i stayed in and rented a 99 cent movie from itunes. this time it was permanent midnight. i’d seen it some years back, not long after it was on video. i remembered liking it more than i did this time around. not that i didn’t like it, but i didn’t think it was great or anything. it’s kind of a depressing story about a guy sliding down the crapper due to drug addiction, told as memories while he is recovering. one of the lines i always remember from the movie is owen wilson saying “if i were percodan, where would i be?” (when he’s looking for a lost bottle of pills.)
at some point i thought i figured out the heat in the car, but no — it just decides to work once in a blue moon for awhile.
saturday i went by half price books and picked up some stuff for my brother, then later i went down to the potts. i took the car. i ate supper with them, then hung out and watched the rest of coraline i hadn’t seen. on the way home, the car started making some new weird noise which was troubling, plus the engine temperature gauge started going high fast. i pushed the clutch and let it coast. this caused the temp to drop and eventually the noise to stop. once i engaged the engine again, the sound would come back and the temp would go up. i exited 59 and went on the feeder so i could go slower and pull over if necessary. after a few miles of this, i decided maybe it wasn’t going to overheat, so i got back on 59. the temperature was hotter than it had been, but it fluctuated between 190 and 200, rising then dropping. i got home and turned the engine off, then watched the temp gauge rise to about 220. so i’m not sure what the heck was going on with all that. just more things to make me feel pretty dissatisfied with spending so much money on something that seems pretty crappy. and it shouldn’t, because all the stuff i bought myself was quality, higher end choices.
today i went and picked up the world of warcraft battle chest (which gives you the original game plus the burning crusade expansion on a single dvd, plus some books) for $20 at game stop. it’s normally $40, but a few places have put it on sale for $20 since black friday. the only annoying thing is you have to pay a monthly fee to play, and i’m not sure how consistently i’ll play it. but i bought it anyway.
then the potts came over and picked me up in their new (to them) vw bus. it’s an old vw bus. we stopped at autozone to get new wipers, then to get gas. then at the gas station it wouldn’t start. so i had to get out and help push start it. we went to pei wei and ate, then i had to help push start it again. it’s a typical old vw, which means it has all the attributes that make some people love them…and me not love them. or even like them.
tonight i went over to the potts for a few hours. they were decorating their house for christmas, and then we watched christmas vacation. they decided to put up a stocking for me. it’s nice to feel included, don’t get me wrong, but it also is sad because it makes me feel like a loser that has no family of his own. (and by “family of my own” i mean wife or significant other or children or such, not me being a son or brother.) yesterday when i went over there, i took a bunch of the stuff that had been tamara’s or that i didn’t want anymore. one of the things i gave them was a small animated christmas tree tamara and i had bought. i got it out and set it up in their boys’ room. i guess i’m going to give them my regular christmas tree too. there never really seems to be much point in me putting one up myself. my belair didn’t seem to do anything out of the normal problems it’s been showing. it is of course still knocking/pinging.

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