Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My own personal kryptonite.

My nemesis has reared it's ugly head. I've been sick for the past three days with strep-throat. For some reason I get "streptococcus pyogenes" easily; or at least that's what my mom always said. I've had strep I don't know, like at least a dozen times. I'm so glad I live in a world with penicillin.

Gretchen and I are going to go see the new Sherlock Holmes movie tonight, I hear it's quite steampunk! (Maybe we should dress up hmm....)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Facebook is privacy-washing.

Facebook's New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

"These new "privacy" changes are clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before. Even worse, the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data."

Increasing the amount of information you share on line increases the number of facebook page views, which increases the revenue generated by advertising. - These changes are privacy-washing (like green washing...) intended to make them more money, expose more of your information, and improve their image with obfuscation and double-talk.


It has always been true that I would have a tree house. But I'm a grownup now, and a responsible married man to boot. So some changes had to be made:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Computers Everywhere!

I really like my most recent toys, a G1, and a Netbook. But they aren't nearly as mod-able as my desktop. Maybe I can make a pico-itx netbook in a custom case. - Not this year though. Maybe I should just buy a Sager, at least it can be upgraded in all sorts of intresting ways. - Really I'm just annoyed that the EEE PC 1000 uses a special interface to it primary storage, so I can't upgrade with standard parts. The improvements being made to solid state storage are amazing! I simply adore the SSD that I bought for my desktop; it's so QUICK!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Area51 Haloween Party

I have definitly entered the 21st century - finally! I'm posting a blog at a dance club on a device that can fit in my pocket and will play doom.
Pictures to follow....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Return to a previous plan.

Ok, on the weekend of October the 24th I'll be going to Steam-Con in Seattle; not winning lots of money at a LAN party.

This KXCD comic has a surprise ending, kind of sad or possibly bittersweet. I recommend it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


So does Starcraft count as retro gaming yet?

There is a Starcraft tournament at the Protocol42 LAN Party on October 24. Seeing how popular this game is for tournaments I get the feeling that no matter how much I practice between now and then I still won't have a chance. But it's worth a try for a cash prize. So I'll be playing a lot of Starcraft! If you want to join me for a match it might be best to try to give me a call..

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Damage Controll

Anyone know anyone that wants a GTX 285 cheap?

If I can sell it for most of what I bought it for; then I can get the brand new ATI card that I _really_ want.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


So I foolishly left the pump off in my computer a few weeks ago and burned up my video card and motherboard. Not having a huge amount of cash (none) I just replaced the motherboard with an equivalent, but couldn't resist upgrading my video card some.

I now have a GTX285.

And I hate it.


This is why:

I wanted an ATI card in the first place, but the newest ATI cards weren't compatable with my swiftech MCW60 waterblock. And a new waterblock significantly adds to the cost of a video card. So I got an NVIDIA. But today I find out that ATI just announced a new card that is faster than anything out there, and can support SIX monitors all at once! Granted you can't buy one yet; but I could have gotten a _really_ cheap card and started saving. - Cause, well you know, SIX monitors!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gah! E-Mail is back.

But why did it have to leave in the first place! I store my e-mail on a USB stick, for compatibility reasons I left the filesystem fat32. This seems to now be a mistake. Somehow the filesystem got a bit corrupted; maybe I pulled the stick out in the middle of a write; but I doubt it. So compatibility be darned, I think I'm going to change it to ext3.

For those of you who didn't know; Gretchen, Kate, Dad, Austin and I went on a backpacking trip through the Grand Canyon. It went very well. Pictures to come soon.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Customer "Service"

So last night there was shenanigans going on in the World of Warcraft:

A bunch of gold farmers had killed them selves in such a way as to spell out the name of their website - you know to advertise it. Being a good, if infrequent, player I reported the infraction; (Gold selling is not allowed in WOW) this is the response I got:
Greetings Josiah,

Thank you for taking the time to report this issue to us. At Blizzard Entertainment, we encourage and appreciate the role of the gaming community in keeping World of Warcraft a safe and enjoyable environment for all participants.

We will investigate your report and take all necessary and appropriate actions to address this matter. Due to privacy concerns, we will not be able to notify you of our findings, nor of the actions necessary for resolution of this issue.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at or via the in-game petition system.

Again, thank you for your time and effort to keep World of Warcraft enjoyable and abuse-free.

Game Master
Blizzard Entertainment

This morning I received a request to complete a survey regarding my satisfaction; I felt that my response should have been obvious, but replied anyway:

Greetings Blizzard,

Thank you for taking the time to survey you customers level of satisfaction. I encourage and appreciate the role of the corporate community in keeping World of Warcraft a safe and enjoyable environment for all participants.

I will investigate my level of satisfaction and take all necessary and appropriate actions to address this matter. Due to privacy concerns, I will not be able to notify you of my findings, nor of the actions necessary for resolution of this issue.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at or via the in-game mail system.

Again, thank you for your time and effort to keep World of Warcraft enjoyable and satisfaction-free.

Josiah Luscher

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Phone Number!

I still hope to retroactivly post some more pictures from our trip to Germany, so stay tuned. But I'm getting ready for a tip trough the Grand Canyon, and starting school very soon also; so not sure when I'll be able to get those pictures up.

In the mean time, I have a new phone number. If you call my old number you will find out my new number. The short version is that if I want to switch to T-Mobile I have to get a new number. But I've had my current mobile number for at least 11 years! So you can guess I don't want to switch lightly. The solution presented itself just a day or so ago when I got a google voice invitation. My new Google Voice number can be directed to ring whatever phone number I'd like it to; so hopefully this new number will last for even longer than 11 years.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sightseeing Commences

The sightseeing phase of our trip was supposed to begin in earnest on Monday. But due to insufficient planning (Cathedrals, and many museums are closed on Mondays) and some navigational difficulties we've gotten off to a slow start. So I had to squeeze some extra time out of my trip to plan the next few days; and unfortunately this means I'm way behind on blogging and I will be very tired tomorrow.

If I am very tired we will cut tomorrow short and try to have dinner with my cousins; and catch up on documenting the trip.

Today Gretchen and I went to a Roman-Irish bath. I thought of it as over a thousand years of leisure research and technology being focused into the art of rinsing off. Most German cities and towns are named in very unimaginative ways. So it's really no surprise then that the German city of Baden-Baden is a place of many hot springs. We went to Friedrichsbad, and for the low price of 31 euro, each, we took a bath. Today being Tuesday, the bathing was mixed, which was nice - we could stay together. The bath consisted of 15 stages:
Warm Dry Steam
Hot Dry Steam
Soap and Brush Scrub & Massage
Warm Wet Steam
Hot Wet Steam
Warm Bath
Warm Mineral Soak
Less Warm Mineral Bath
Warm Bath
Cold Water Plunge
Hot Towels
Cream/Lotion Application
Quiet Rest

We actually missed the quiet rest thing, we didn't see that stage untill the place was about to close, but that's not a big deal. We liked the steam and mineral baths so much that after our cold water plunge we jumped back to the warm wet steam and started over from there. All in all it was a two and a half hour bath! I highly recommend this if you are in Germany and aren't too squeamish about being naked around a bunch of bathers. For those of you who like to gamble I should mention that there is an amazing casino in Baden-Baden as well, along with tons of black forest hiking trails and such. I could easilly spend a few weeks just in Baden-Baden.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friendly Duel

After a bit of confusion regarding train stations; Gretchen and I met my Mother and Step-Father at the hotel where we will stay for the wedding. It is a very nice little place, that is currently being remodeled. I liked the fact that there was no TV or phone in the room; but it did have wireless internet. It felt just like home. We had a balcony that I enjoyed greatly. Dan and I got our computers out and had a bit of a duel.
Gretchen and I took a walk through the lovely forest that Budenheim is known for; the hotel is right next to it! The forest has chunks of Roman road/wall in it, all covered in vines. For dinner we went out for Pizza at a little corner shop, and ice cream from the bakery next door.

It is so much fun to be in a European residential neighborhood. Everything is built, maybe, 40% closer together. It just makes the houses look so cute/cozy! Arrrgh, I love the windows! I must get some imported for my next house. They open in two different directions, even the balcony door! Unfortunately Gretchens camera doesn't take movies, and I plan on buying one while I'm here, so you will have to wait for a demonstration.


I knew I was renting a small car, but this thing is tiny. It's really just a clown car with a conservative paint job. The trunk is just big enough for, maybe, three grocery bags.


In Frankfurt we rode the train from the Fleughafen to the Hauptbahnhoff and back. It was fun figuring out how to buy tickets from the machine and riding on a "real" train. Really, we did it just to see if we could. Also, I wanted to get my feet firmly on the ground before we picked up our rental car.

French Service

Our flight from JKF to Frankfurt was very nice. It was a Delta flight; but the New York based flight crew, I believe, worked primarily for Air France. The service was excellent! Also being a longer flight some of the things that you have to pay extra for were free. Free movies on a mini TV in every seat, a little pillow and blanket for every person. Two meals with wine, beer, soda, or tea. Usually I deny myself the luxuries of airline travel because I feel like I'm being nickel and dimed to death. But this flight was so nice I spent a bit extra and bought myself a few hard drinks. - Which also helped me sleep which was very important.

You see I didn't sleep at all Wednesday night, I get a bit nervous before traveling. I like to stay up and try to think about everything that I forgot. But when traveling a long way East there is another reason. We loose 6 hours! So if I don't prevent jet lag I can't wake up before two in the afternoon, and I won't want to go to sleep untill the sun starts to rise. So I messed up my sleep cycle on purpose then forced my self to sleep on the second plane flight, and awoke in Germany at about 9:30am. It worked just right! YMMV.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


We are sailing at 37,000 feet, 600 miles per hour; we are an hour and 38 minutes, or 1210 miles, away from landing at JFK airport in NYC. And this, about 50 miles away, is as close as I'm going to get to my old home of Madison WI on this trip.


Arrgh, sometimes a pirate has to go marauding. It gives new meaning and purpose in life. For example: I swear by the higgs-bosons visible in the infinite blackness of black beards beard that if I ever reach the "X" marked on Marty McFly's treasure map. I'm going back in time with his silver gull winged ship and I'm going to beat the small berrys off of the scurvey dog who thought putting gun powder in the heel of his boot was a good idea. Piratical footwear is neither easy nor pleasant to remove.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ahoy there mates!

Thar be seceret pirate ways of finding out how your mates are doing. Piratical networking is very important. If you plan on living to a ripe old age; like 29... you have to keep a weather eye out for corsairs corsairs: I've got mates!
((The average age of pirates in the eighteenth century was 27))

Gretchen and I watched Pi this evening. It was my second time. I did find it a bit eerie the first time through; although now it just seems ridiculous.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Flying High

Arrgh, I usually only get as high as the Crows Nest. I'm somewhat ashamed that my aspirations seem to be less than that of a wee bat; who decided to go to outer space. Although it is nice to know that even the most expensive ship ever created still has problems with stowaways. (Also very funny slashdot comments...)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Papers not just for rolling cigaretts with.

Being a somewhat educated scallywag, I neither smoke, nor do I, usualy, burn librarys. However we have been out to sea for quite a few weeks now without naught for entertainment, and I wouldn't mind a few new books. So if you are feeling generous buy me this: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep or this: Neuromancer

Monday, January 19, 2009

Avast! Phart Fan's!

When patching up the ceiling from where me brigantine had sprung a leak earlier this year, I found that the the bathroom fan was completely buried in insulation and wasn't actually vented to the outside, or anywhere for that matter. So we have been blowing hot moist air into mulched paper insulation. I really can't think of a better way to grow mould, but I don't know much about that...

So I bought two new fans, might as well add one downstairs while I'm at it, and have begun to install them. However this brings me face to face with the wiring in my house. ;( There are no ground wires, but that's not the worst part: I have a main panel from ~1960, and two sub panels; I have been unable to locate any sort of a main breaker anywhere!

Lest this small project spiral out of control, I will for the moment resign myself to only replacing wires that are convenient to replace (and in so doing adding a equipment bonding/grounding conductor); and as soon as possible I will add in a main breaker or fused disconnect or something...

So I guess I'll be gobbling me grub after work while thar' be more work to do in the crows nest.
Parting shot: Flow