I love huge fines.

I just got a wonderful ticket for $421 today for running a school bus’s red light that was really yellow, four lanes over on the other side of the highway. Good thing that cop a couple hundred feet past the other side, behind lots of cars and three lanes over, had such a great view of what was going on and whether I was actually parallel to the bus at the time.

The most annoying part is that I was in this area with no clue where I was going, trying to read addresses in the opposite direction, and the cop didn’t have an ounce of sympathy. Seriously, my day, no, my month is already ruined, I’ve already been punished. You don’t even need to give me the ticket.

Really looking forward to my court date Oct. 26 and hoping I can get it either dismissed or at least reduced, based in part on my squeaky clean driving record, because there’s no chance in hell I can come up with that kind of money.

This is probably the worst day I’ve had in the past five years.

One more note: Even the cop who pulled me over told me to go to court and ask the judge to dismiss or reduce the fine.

Working on the first Magic deck

For anyone interested in Magic, here’s my first deck idea: U/W control. Now I’ve got some cards to work on getting. It’s designed for a post-Mirrordin-block environment, but doesn’t have any Ravnica cards yet because I haven’t looked through the list.

4x Dampen Thought
4x Millstone
2x Keiga, the Tide Star
2x Cloudhoof Kirin
4x Serra Angel
2x Honden of Seeing Winds
2x Disrupting Shoal
3x Mana Leak
4x Hinder
2x Rewind
2x Twincast
3x Wrath of God
1x Final Judgment
2x Ghostly Prison

4x Adarkar Wastes
4x Plains
15x Island

XOrg commit access

Late last week, I finally gave in to the pleas from everyone I constantly hassle to add my X patches and became a new XOrg committer. I’ll still be asking for your review in many cases, however. =)

Picked up Magic:TG again

For some reason, I decided to bring my album of Magic cards to Oregon last time I was at my parents’ in Minnesota. I thought I was going to sell all my cards and try to recoup a little cash, but apparently I was wrong.

Instead I ended up trading in a few cards, picking up some of the newer ones, then trading a huge stack of POS rares for a quarter a piece and getting some more cards. Figured I’d start working on a blue/white control deck, then morph into a blue/black discard deck later on.

Played in a tournament last night (booster draft) for the first time in four years. For not knowing the cards at all, I think I did respectably: 2/2.

Some history about my M:TG background: I played pretty solidly up through early ’99, then mostly quit. Played a few tournaments in 2001, and dropped out entirely. My rating was above 1800 for a while, but it’s mid-1700s now.

Now I guess I’m back, and there’s a prerelease next weekend that I’ll probably head up to Portland for and see if I can win. I’ll be on an equal footing with everyone else as far as knowing the cards, although I’m definitely a bit rusty.

It’s kinda nice to have a hobby besides computers, even if it’s an equally geeky one. =)

Badly written blogs: Style before content

I’ve come to realize that if I’m running through Liferea reading blogs, I basically don’t read past the first line of any paragraphs that are more than five lines. A cost of the shortening attention spans and lack of time in this world, I suspect.

If your style sucks, people won’t even get as far as discovering whether there’s something to be found in your content. This is pretty similar to writing newspaper articles, where you’re taught to use an 8th-grade vocabulary and keep your paragraphs to a minimal length.

To blog writers: Don’t use long paragraphs. If you’re lucky, people will get as far as finishing the first sentence. There’s another lesson to learn there: make sure each paragraph’s first sentence is truly the most important thing in that ‘graph.

To people who write blogs as one big paragraph with no line spaces: I don’t read your blogs.

To people writing blogs in broken English: Work on your skills, or people won’t read your posts because it’s too much effort.

[Gentoo] The squeaky wheel does it again

I sent shopblt.com an e-mail at 12:40 p.m. By 12:46, I had a reply from their sales manager. By 12:54, I had a PSU being shipped out today. I’ll have to forgive them for how things originally went, because they certainly made up for it.

Now that’s what I call grease.