Awesome and Crappy

Today’s bit of awesome comes to you courtesy of AIM’s OSCAR protocol spec, and courtesy of Ian.

The spec defines a message type SNAC for sending protocol messages.
And what do they call the different kinds of SNACs? Why, foodgroups, of course.

Also, the error codes:

TOO_EVIL_SENDER  	17	Sender is too evil
TOO_EVIL_RECEIVER	18	Receiver is too evil

(where “evil” is the warning level of the user… remember when you used to have warning wars?)

Today’s little bit of crappyness comes to me courtesy of Bank of America.

I found some games on Amazon that I wanted to buy this morning around 8:45. Didn’t bring my wallet to work today, but that wasn’t a problem because my BoA credit card has the ShopSafe feature, where I can generate temporary credit card numbers for online use.
I log in to the site, however, and find that my credit card details are “temporarily unavailable.” Naturally, there is no other way to access ShopSafe other than through the details. So I wait.
Three and a half hours later, details are still unavailable, and the items have almost sold out. I finally get Greg to buy the items for me, paying about $10 more than I would have at 8:45. (For a final price of $28, $10 is very significant :P)
This is absolute crap. If you’re going to have downtime, you should send out notifications (which they never do) or at least have your downtime during times when people aren’t going to be trying to access credit card details (like 2 AM or something). This isn’t the first time either… I find that once or twice a week, my credit card details are unavailable (usually at similarly inconvenient times like early evening).
*sigh*
I hate BoA so much. Why do I use them?

Random thoughts

Random thoughts of the moment:

  • Relationships seem to last longer the older you are. In middle school, I remember people changing boyfriends/girlfriends every few weeks or months. Now it seems every other Facebook status update is, “Yay one year!” or similar.
  • Last night’s PSO game is what PSO should be. Despite being an open game, the 3 people I played with were awesome. They shared items openly, were good at their respective jobs, were extremely supportive (resta, anti, moons), and just generally fun to adventure with. None of this “Mage, buff me.” (just because it’s my job doesn’t mean you have to be rude about it) or rare hogging stuff.
  • Relatedly, my newm can survive Falz in ultimate now. Well, except for his rabarta wave of doom. Boo rabarta wave.
  • Facebook is getting creepier. There are now apps that aren’t served from the site itself but external locations (through Facebook Connect?). As such, they still have scary amounts of access to your private data, but there is no apparent way to block them (as you can only block Facebook apps, not external ones). Also, I found a bit of my private, visible to “No One” data in an ad this morning. WTF, Facebook.
  • Seafood is tasty. Last night’s dinner was really tasty. I want scallops.
  • I seem to have fallen out of touch with all of my friends from middle school (sometimes purposely, on their end… seriously, wtf is your problem?). This makes me sadder than it should, sometimes. This is primarily on my mind because I had a dream about this last night, and woke up rather upset.
  • My ribcage hurts. I think I’ve been sleeping on it wrong. Bleh.
  • If you send me a “kind of urgent, please respond ASAP so we can set this up” email and I respond, not responding back for days is kind of rude.

Poop.

Dreams

My dreams have been awesome lately, leading me through tons of different emotions every night. I find myself often waking up in a panic, or completely content, or really upset.
I keep intending to document some of these dreams.
Unfortunately, the instant I wake up, I forget almost all of the content. Sigh. So it goes.

Tried PSO’s challenge mode yesterday and ended up failing 1C1 twice (AKA the easiest challenge in the game). Fail.

My hard drive has less than 10 GB of free space. I need to buy a 1 TB drive soon, but I’m trying to delay until Thanksgiving sales.

My laptop is being even less cooperative, freezing when I try to launch windows explorer. I should perhaps do something about this, but meh.

Work is good.

Life goes.

More computer fail

The PC version of Grandia 2 I bought a couple weeks ago arrived. (It actually arrived last week, but the front desk didn’t send a package received notification like they usually do…)
Tried to install and play it and proceeded to get blue screens of death and/or various other crashes. From the internet, this seems like a very common issue with the game if you’re not running Windows 98 or ME (ewwww). Various fixes were suggested, but I don’t want to try them until I (somehow… probably when I get a new computer) have a VM up so I can mess with it all I want.

So yeah, the attempt at getting Grandia 2 screenshots for RPG Get! kind of failed. (At least I only paid $4 for the game.)
I think other game expansions will have to wait until I (somehow… when my parents next visit or when I go to visit them) get my Dreamcast and Gamecube here and have a usable video capture card again. Ugh. I guess it will be PSO TCG v3 for now. That’s not entirely bad, but kind of against the entire point of RPG Get! :P

I suppose, in general though, work on RPG Get! is going to slow down. I tried making more cards the other day and my computer was doing a weird thing where the desktop and taskbar (explorer.exe) seemed to crash, then the entire computer would reboot. I’m hoping it was some weird fluke, but I haven’t really had the desire to try it out again since them.

Computers are so frustrating. Why can’t they just work?
It seems like the more technology “improves”, the less reliable it is. I never used to have issues with programs not working and hardware misbehaving. Now it seems like everything I try to do just causes computer problems.
Just because I have the technical knowledge to work around or fix problems doesn’t mean I want to have to do so constantly. (And, as many people can attest to, having computer problems tends to cause me severe emotional issues… the last computer I had that completely died caused me to cry for something like an hour, and simple things like doing a clean OS install stress me out way too much.)
(I suppose this is part of the reason I find myself so reluctant to spend money on a new computer… I’m not convinced it will actually improve anything, and I’ll simply be out several hundred dollars.)

Also, annoyingly, it seems that LJ syndication is broken as it has not picked up yesterday’s entry yet.
Error Message: 500 Can’t locate object method “new” via package “HTML::HeadParser”
That makes no sense. Livejournal epic fail.

Also also, had a bit of an annoying experience on PSO today that basically made me stop playing for the rest of the evening. I was in a vhard game (level 65) playing with a level 85 Racast and we were doing fine. A high level Fonewearl (level 140) joins the game, complete with a Simple merge and Summit Moon (meaning she deals something like 1500 damage to enemies with her simple techniques) and proceeds to mow down entire rooms of enemies before the Racast or I can get a hit in (and therefore get experience from the kill).
As if that wasn’t bad enough, she gains a level and proceeds to quit a couple rooms before the boss fight (where her tech strengths would have actually been helpful) without so much as a “Thank you” for having her in our game.
Seriously, if you’re going to enter a game that you are overpowered for, you are there to *help* the players in that game, not steal all the experience for yourself. Whenever I join such a game, I limit myself to buff and debuff spells (that don’t deal damage), and only kill enemies when told it is okay to do so (and, even then, only after the other players have tagged them).
I should really stop playing in open games. Most gamers are just so rude.

As if that wasn’t enough to make me unhappy, the world just feels extremely wrong right now. Hopefully this will remedy itself on Monday when there is communication again, but for now I just feel like there’s a huge part of my life that’s missing. Blah.

Money

I find it slightly strange that, the more I go from having no money to making enough to live comfortably, the more reluctant I am to spend it.

As a kid, the money I made was basically my (admittedly large for the time) allowance and birthday checks… yet I loved to spend it and had next to nothing in savings.

In middle school what meager savings I had was eaten up by the Pokemon TCG craze, and I spent way too much money. Still no income.

In high school, I started working a part-time job. Spent a little less, but still had rather large purchases relatively often (such as dropping $300 in one trip to Best Buy to get lots of games) and would splurge on random things like CDs and cafe items at Barnes and Noble.

In college, I worked more regularly and gradually spent less and less each year as I made more and more money from internship experiences. I self-imposed a $50/month spending limit (excluding essentials like food and toiletries, and excluding larger purchases like my DSLR and laptop) and stuck to it (at times dropping it to $30 when I wasn’t actively making money from jobs).

Post-graduation, I have an awesome job that pays well, but I am extremely reluctant to spend it. I still stick to the $50/month spending limit and, if anything, include more items under that now than I did in college (generally resulting in me buying even less now).
I’ve wanted a new computer since I started work over a year and a half ago. My laptop, at this point, is relatively unusable due to its lack of internet and ability to randomly turn off or reboot. Yet I can’t justify the $700 purchase to myself because, after all, the laptop *does* still work, and I can accomplish things on it like making cards and tagging photos.
My DSLR is rather broken, as I can no longer shoot with it at shutter speeds over 1/50 (or zoomed in at all) unless I turn it upside down. Yet I can’t justify the $1000 purchase for a new camera. Instead, I purchased a small, crappy, point-and-shoot camera for $80. It doesn’t really do what I need it to (although the portability is excellent), but I was much more willing to deal with the sub-$100 price tag. At this point, it’s kind of my replacement for the SLR.
Food-wise, I used to eat out a lot in college, and even when I first moved here. Now just about every meal is cooked at home (or provided as leftovers free from work courtesy other peoples’ lunch meetings) and I am extremely reluctant to order at restaurants (even when I go with friends).
As far as the groceries go, I no longer go to the store and pick up whatever looks good. I now scour the weekly ads and make a list and effectively buy only sale items (or items that I have coupons for). I buy chicken on sale and freeze it. I buy 10 jars of pasta sauce when it’s cheap. I have saved at least 50% on each of my grocery bills in the past 6 months, with only one or two exceptions (mostly when I’m feeding other people like my parents). On the plus side, this results in me eating healthier as I tend to buy more vegetables and staple foods rather than snacks. But it’s still a huge change from college.
(As far as my large trading card purchases go, the cost gets spread out across subsequent months, so I effectively borrow ahead a couple months’ $50 budgets, then don’t buy anything else in those months. I did the same for my point and shoot… it will be paid off at the end of this month.)

I’m not entirely sure what this says about me.
On the one hand, it’s nice building up a nice savings account in the event that something goes wrong. It’s a good feeling to know that there isn’t much that can hurt you financially at this point, and that you have enough saved up to maintain your standard of living for well over a year should anything happen.
On the other hand, it seems silly that I’m not really using the money I make from my job to buy and do things that make me happy (besides saving it, which I suppose makes me happy), especially because I already have a nice savings account built up. It’s not even about luxuries like a TV (don’t need) or eating out all the time (don’t want)… but little things like a new computer or a printer that I’ve been wanting for over a year and can’t justify to myself.

So yeah. I guess I’m just really strange or something.

Am I the only person who does this (spends less and less as time goes on)?

(Also, seeing as it is almost 3 AM, I should probably try that sleep thing again.)