Scariest Witch In the West

Darrel Plant is not a witch. He is you.

I got an early call to Tuesday’s Pub Quiz at Shanahan’s from Nathan but he didn’t know what was going to get the team bonus points until Monday. Naturally, it was a costume, it being Halloween season. I haven’t really done the costume thing for a few years and sort of forgot about it until just before I was ready to make the drive to Vancouver. Barbara wasn’t going, but she offered up the witch hat she uses to hand out candy. I got to the venue and grabbed a table. Nowhere to set the hat, so I just wore it for the next couple of hours.

After one of the rounds, the host announced that there would be awards for the best costume in several categories: Funniest, Best All-Around, etc. The first one up was Scariest, and the only entry was a Friday the 13th hockey-mask guy. I (figuratively) tossed my hat into the ring and yelled out “I’m not a witch! I’m Christine O’Donnell!” Judging was done on clap vote and the first round came out more or less even. I got a little more love on the second round to clinch the title and ten points for the team. You can see in the photo above with Nathan’s wife Sara that the likeness was dead-on.

We were ahead all the way to the final round but came up short in the question about movies derived from the Tales From the Crypt franchise. I made a good guess with the Dennis Miller epic Bordello of Blood but couldn’t come up with Demon Knight. Wrong decade for my horror knowledge.

Banded Brothers

I’m just not sure there should even be a patron saint for the last of these (according to Wikipedia):

Saints Crispin and Crispinian are the Christian patron saints of cobblers, tanners, leather workers and, since it came into being, of the leather subculture.

Band of Brothers

I predict a good night for poker on this, St. Crispin’s Day.

And Crispine Crispian shall ne’re goe by,
From this day to the ending of the World,
But we in it shall be remembred;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
For he to day that sheds his blood with me,
Shall be my brother: be he ne’re so vile,
This day shall gentle his Condition.
And Gentlemen in England, now a bed,
Shall thinke themselues accurst they were not here;
And hold their Manhoods cheape, whiles any speakes,
That fought with vs vpon Saint Crispines day.

Henry V, William Shakespeare

Best wishes, too, to Tomer Berda who’s off to Vienna for the latest leg in the European Poker Tour, which begins tomorrow. You can follow live action reports from Austria on the web via Poker News (they also have a great iPhone app).

What Can You Say About a Seven-Year-Old Printer That Died?

I bought my first color laser printer back in October 2003 to replace a monochrome Texas Instruments machine that had printed thousands of pages of code and documentation for me since 1991. The TI was compact, even for that long-ago time (though it had nothing on the Diconix), and cost something like $1,200 dollars.

My printing needs had grown more sophisticated by 2003 (so I thought) and while I’d been sharing a large-format Epson ink-jet printer for color work with one of my office partners on Hawthorne Blvd. there was no way to shoehorn both my computers, office stuff, and two printers into my home office when I scaled back after the pulmonary embolism that followed my broken leg (not to mention a radical slowdown in the amount of work coming my way since the tech bubble burst). The Minolta-QMS 2350 that replaced it was a comparative monster — though far smaller than the first color laser printers I’d encountered a decade earlier — and seemed incredibly fast. It cost about $1,400 because I got the optional duplexer unit for it (ASSIGNMENT: Calculate the cost savings on paper factor against the price of the duplexer unit).

A couple of months ago it started jamming — initiall on the first page after startup and then on everything — and though I’d just replaced the OPC drum (whatever that is) and ordered a new black toner cartridge (which I couldn’t install because suddenly the color cartridges stopped rotating) it looked like the fuser unit was dead and even that may not have been the end of my problems. So, though it wasn’t exactly in the budget this month, new printer.

So the new unit was picked up last night and installed this morning. It seems to be doing what it’s supposed to (although I have to try printing from the Windows side of things yet). It prints PostScript 3 like the old unit did. It has Ethernet like the old unit. It’s probably two-thirds the volume of the 2350. It’s got a built-in duplexer. It cost me just under $400, which is what the magicolor’s duplexer cost.

Not-So-Happy Columbus Day!

To atone to the natives of North America in some small part for this day on which we remember the first steps of some European (not the first) onto the shores of one of the many islands in the Caribbean (which one we don’t really know for sure) I offer this, an x-ray of my ankle broken eight years ago today while putting some gutters up on my garage. It is a small penance, I know, but the same leg has since nearly killed me with blood clots, had a table saw dropped on the knee, and been slashed by a guy wire.

An ankle, broken with screws

The Check Is in the Mail—Er, Bank

I went to balance my business checking account yesterday and saw that there was a $30 deposit on the last day of September that I certainly didn’t remember. A quick check into its origins showed that it was from Apple, of all places. And by signing into my iPhone developer account I was able to determine that it was, indeed, a disbursement from sales of Bedeviled, which has been out now for fifteen months (as of Sunday).

So I’ve finally made some money off the iPhone boom. Thanks to those of my friends and colleagues who bought a copy! Only a couple thousand dollars more and I’ll have broken even on the new computer, the copy of Unity, the iOS devices, the books and other stuff that made it possible!