In China, an online video game player was stabbed and killed by another over a dispute over a virtual sword. Apparently, the sword was lent to the victim and he then sold it for $870 without informing the other guy. When the other guy found out about the sale, he went to the police to report the “theft.” However, there are no laws for virtual theft in China or elsewhere for that matter. The victim promised to pay the guy back, but he didn’t pay it back fast enough. After running out of patience the wronged gamer stabbed and killed him. You can’t make this stuff up!

Guess what I still don’t have–wait for it–that’s right, a TV. And adding insult to injury I just found out that this Tuesday will be a special two-hour Amazing Race 7 episode. Okay, so I got a chance to catch up on posting photos and shit, but c’mon! Two weeks is way to long to be without. Yes, I admit it, I am addicted to TV. There, I said it.

Broken Wrist After Surgery

Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, taking into account the emergency room visit in Tahoe, the surgery at UCSF, and the subsequent visits to the doctor, my new wrist cost me, or my insurance I should say, about $20,000.

The image shown here shows the hardware within my wrist. A t-shaped 4.5″ steel plate that has a total of nine screws attaching it to my bone. At the top, you can see the four screws that attach the plate to the distal area of the radius. The plate then bridges my triangle-shaped fracture and has a total of five screws attaching it to the shaft of the radius (the dark circles going down the shaft). The five screws aren’t very visible from this angle, but you get the general picture. Bottom line, I broke this bone in the worst way possible! Oh, and it’s a gnarly scar too–it’s about 4.5″ long–the same length as the plate.

The fracture has yet to completely heal and is still very visible on this Fluoroscan image that was taken on Thursday afternoon. As the fracture heals the triangle-shaped “fracture” lines on the bone will disappear. For now, I am wearing a cast that will come off on April 7th and then I’ll wear a removable Velcro splint after that for a while until I regain my strength. Piece of cake, right?

For years I’ve been using my old 400MHz Pentium III as a file server on my home network. I had installed an ATA RAID controller and a couple of mirrored 80GB drives. A couple of years have passed and we have totally outgrown the 80GB. With Mama’s music collection and my photographs it’s a wonder that it lasted this long. Besides, it’s a pain in the ass to have to turn on a desktop machine to get to a file. Do you know how long it takes a Pentium III to boot up?

So I broke down and bought a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server, the Buffalo TeraStation. The server comes with a terabyte of storage space that when mirrored is equivalent to half a terabyte, or 500GB. It was easy to setup on my network with a web-based GUI interface and it is quiet enough to leave on 24/7. No more waiting for a machine to boot up to get to data. For redundant storage at home I highly recommend it.

A woman in a Wendy’s in San Jose bit into a human finger while eating a bowl of chili, I assume it was beef chili. The woman spit out the “well-cooked digit,” told the restaurant staff, and proceeded to throw up. I am sure this all happened in a matter of seconds, but it may take weeks to figure out where the finger came from. All of the workers at the restaurant had all of their fingers, so the authorities believe the finger probably entered the food at the manufacturer. Crazy.

Well, as many of you know I am without a television right now. Actually, I just got off the phone with the shipping company and found out that the TV I ordered will not arrive until Friday afternoon of next week! April Fool’s Day. As such I won’t be able to do full episode summaries for a couple of weeks.

Until then I’ll have to get my AR7 fix from the CBS website–pretty sad indeed. However, I am happy to say that I called it this week. Rob & Amber are back in 1st place and Susan & Patrick were eliminated. Told ya.

I am tired of hearing about this! I want news about issues that change the world not just one family. Surely there are happpenings around the world that are more pressing for our society. Aside from this lady’s family and the evangelical Christians, who want to be in everybody’s business, who really cares about this? I am not trying to be mean, but damn!

It’s pretty clear that if you live on a street that has the work “creek” in it, bad shit can and will happen to you. A man in Scotts Valley who just recently bought a house on Bean Creek Road barely escaped with his life after a mudslide “moved” his house downhill. More evidence? We had good friends that lived on Creek Road in Fairfax and their power would continually go out during storms, the creek adjacent to their backyard would sometimes overflow, and their garage was also sometimes flooded by rain runoff.

Below are articles I found on Google by typing “Creek Road” and the words mudslide, flood, or fire:

Mudslide Wednesday closes road, McIntyre Creek Road, Canada, 02/2004
Gypsum Creek Road Mudslide, Eagle, CO, 07/19/2004
Floods, Juneau, Alaska, Montana Creek Road, Date Unknown
The Old Fire, Hook Creek Road, San Bernardino, CA, 10/25/2003

I hope my friend Larry doesn’t take offense to this post–he loved his little house on Creek Road. Thankfully now he lives in a beautiful home in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii which will help him forget the good times and bad times in Fairfax. Hopefully he’ll just forget the bad times.

The British Department of Constitutional Affairs has said today that Camilla Parker Bowles would assume the title of queen should Prince Charles ascend to the throne. This contradicts Prince Charles’s earlier statements that Camilla Parker Bowles would assume the title of HRH Princess Consort if and when he succeeds to the throne. According to the government, legislation or amendement to the constitution by parliament would be required for her to assume the lesser title. Seems like small news, but expect a brouhaha over this shit.

No television isn’t dead as a medium, but mine is. My trusty 1993 27″ Sony Trinitron Flat Panel CRT died last night as Mama watched Oprah and Dr. Phil off the TiVo. According to the eyewitness account, in its final moments the TV snapped, crackled, and popped for a second or two and that was it, it was dead. Today I ordered a new TV, but it won’t be here for about a week or so. These things are so heavy that they only ship ground apparently. I also got a good deal for it too, much cheaper than the price at the Sony store at the Metreon. Still, waiting a week or more with no TV sucks for me.

Old School
Apple rumor sites are all abuzz. AppleInsider claims that Apple will be releasing a two-button mouse. Many are speculating that Steve Jobs wants to woo more Windows users with the more familiar device. Honestly, adding another button to the Apple mouse won’t be sufficient since many third-party pointing devices work very well with Macs. What will they think of next? Perhaps a backspace key. [Link]

Debbie & Bianca, Eliminated

In this leg of the race, teams made their way from Santiago, Chile to Argentina. Teams had to drive across the Andes Mountains from the country of Chile to the country of Argentina, which seemed like an awesome drive. The road was filled with huge switchbacks to get over the mountains and the views looked stunning. It definitely looked like something worth doing the next time you vacation in South America. I definitely want to drive across them.

Before teams could depart on their drive, they had to wait for an underground car park to open. Rob and Amber were so far ahead from the other teams that they went back to the hotel to get a little shut-eye before taking off. When they woke up, they stole Debbie & Biancas taxi that was waiting for them while they got directions in the hotel lobby. This was an omen for things to come, as Debbie & Bianca would have a really bad day. The cab stealing didnt afford Rob & Amber any lead on the race, but it managed to annoy Debbie & Bianca.

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Bernie Ebbers, the ex-CEO of Wolrldcom, was found guilty of nine counts of accounting fraud and will face up to 85 years in prison under tough Sarbanes-Oxley sentencing guidelines. At the heart of the case was shady accounting masterminded by Ebbers to protect the company stock and his personal fortune, and $400 million in personal loans made by Worldcom to Ebbers right before filing for bankruptcy. This is the first CEO to go down hard under the new SOX rules and surely more will follow. Stay tuned.

Whose house?
Although I live in a state surrounded by water on three sides, I have yet to go diving. During a foray into cyberspace, I stumbled upon Divester, a bomb-ass blog about, you guessed it, diving. A recent entry discusses an article about some sunken U-boat near Norway that is a popular dive spot. Pretty sweet. So now I’m trying to get some co-workers interested in getting scuba certified. Then I’ll be on my way to finding One-eyed Willy’s treasure.

Dateline just did an investigation on counterfeit Live Strong bands and found that fake bands are being sold anywhere, from eBay to grocery stores, and even in gas stations. People are so desperate to get the bands as a fashion accessory that they are buying fake ones that don’t have anything to do with raising money for cancer research. I don’t mind the original ones being sold for a profit since the Lance Armstrong Foundation still makes $1 off them. But selling fake ones seems pretty screwed, what do you think?

Judd at TechnoTaste created a Google Maps plugin for Firefox. Now you can use the search bar in Firefox to find places anywhere on the planet. Need some Cuban food in Pembroke Pines? I recommend Padrino’s. They have an all you can eat lunch buffet. Tasty. And the next time I’m in San Fran, I need to stop by Sun’s Cafe. They claim to be a Korean Teriyaki House. ???
Via The Open Source Weblog.

In case you haven’t noticed, the comments board is gone and has been replaced by thumbnail pictures of my photo collection and Jimmy’s mobile blog photos on the sidebar. Also gone are the Amazon ads that appeared on the front page. Although the Google ads on the individual blog entry pages will definitely remain. All in all, I think that this is a change for the better. What do you, my six devoted readers, think? Let me know.

Mama and I went to Europe almost six months ago. We went to Germany and Spain, and while in Germany we attended the wedding of friend and ex-coworker who happens to be a member of German royalty. Well, I just posted the photos on my Flickr account for everyone to enjoy. I guess it takes a broken arm sometimes to catch up on stuff like this. Let me know what you think of them.

Erik Jendresen, writer for the next Star Trek film broke silence yesterday and gave some news about the new film. The story of the film will take place approximately 160 BK, or about 160 years before Kirk. However, the film will not feature anyone from the Enterprise series cast.

Instead of focusing the action around an Enterprise crew, the story will center around the Romulans attempting to start a war with Earth. Jendresen also hinted that by the end of his film, “everything isn’t fine.” Good, we need some change. Unfortunately we’ll have to wait a while since it isn’t going to be ready for release until 2007.

In Michigan, a cat shot his owner by knocking down a 9mm handgun off a kitchen counter. The gun discharged and shot him in the ass, hmmn, the lower torso. I guess the cat was pissed that the owner wasn’t cleaning his litter box.

I missed the premiere of the Episode III trailer last night, largely due to the fact that I refuse to watch the OC. However, our fellow netizens have provided a torrent for your downloading pleasure. I must say, Episode III looks awesome! Of course, I along with many said that the last two times George Lucas premiered trailers only to be severely disappointed by the films. Odds are this film will be just as disappointing, but no matter. The dark side is powerful and I shall succumb to its treachery on May 19. Thanks to kottke.org for the hook up!

My annual subscription to the Zonkboard comments board software expired and I don’t want to pay the $10 per year to keep it going. Sadly, I found out that they no longer have a free version of their product. So after three years of service the Zonkboard is gone. As always though, please feel free to leave comments on the blog entries.

Megan & Heidi, Eliminated

In this leg of the race, teams made their way from Peru to Santiago, Chile. Prior to getting on a plane, teams had to make their way via bus to Arequipa, Peru. All of the teams started in the middle of the night and headed to the bus depot with $480 in cash. The bus ticket counters did not open until morning, so once there Boston Rob asked for information from a security guard. Rob found out that the bus that left at 7:00AM arrived quicker than the bus that left at 6:40AM due to the number of stops and decided to bribe the guard to not tell the other teams.

Needless to say, the other teams found out about Robs plan and were not happy. Several teams confronted Rob and he, of course, denied all wrongdoing. In the end, all of the teams boarded the 7:00AM bus to Robs dismay. Not to be outdone, on the way to Arequipa Rob bribed the driver to only open only the front door of the bus and not the rear door. He got two other teams that were sitting near the front to pitch in money for the bribe. The icing on the cake was that Rob used only the other teams money to bribe the driverhe didnt put in any money of his own. I must say this was brilliant. This type of politicking has been missing from the race for years and it took having a Survivor on the race to make it happen. Great idea!

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I had wrist surgery yesterday morning and I am high as kite on pain medicine called Hydrocodone, a Vicodin generic. I was supposed to be back to work tomorrow but from the looks of it, I will be out the entire week. Newsflash, when someone cuts you open an drills screws into your bone it hurts, it really hurts. It hurts so much that you can barely sleep. So not only am I high, I am really sleepy. Add to that the drug side effects, which includes constipation, and the healing process, which includes lots of swelling and ice packs, and you have a party [insert sarcastic smirk here]. This sucks.

P.S. It took me about 15 minutes to write this crappy post and I fell asleep twice while doing it. Sad.

Update: Also, here’s an x-ray of my wrist two weeks after surgery.

While watching the Amazing Race 7 premiere off TiVo today I noticed a commercial in which the Amazing Race is encouraging families of four to send audition tapes to register for the next race.

Here is info from a recently held audition for The Amazing Race 8:

All types of families may audition: traditional, families in the making, blended families. Our description of family includes non-traditional families and families in the making. Some examples include an engaged couple paired with their in-laws-to-be or a blended family.

All four family members must be present at the open call.

Team members must be at least 8-years-old, and one team member must be at least 21-years-old.

Any team that has a minor (anyone under 18) must also have as a team member at least one of the minors parents or legal guardian.

The race is pretty taxing in pairs and in groups of four it would seem nearly impossible–especially with kids. I am interested in seeing the new concept though. I think it will be really funny seeing kids break down from the stress.

I was contacted by the San Francisco Film Festival last week. This in itself wasn’t out of the ordinary since I am a member of the San Francisco Film Society. However, this was different. I received an email from the publicist of the festival because in the past I have posted information and reviews of the festival on The Daily Nugget. She apparently searched for online press in Google and found my past blog posts and reviews. Due to my previous “coverage,” she offered me press credentials to cover the event officially this year.

This is proof positive that bloggers are being recognized as valid news sources by many industries, including the entertainment industry. I assume that my blog isn’t the only blog invited to attend the event. However, needless to say, being recognized as a news organizaton is very flattering and exciting. As official press for the event I will be able to schedule one-on-one interviews with film directors that will be attending the festival, see advanced screenings of the films, and obtain full-access to opening night and closing night ceremonies. Look for official SF Film Festival coverage soon.

Well, you all know I broke my wrist this weekend. I’ve been in a temporary splint since Saturday and today I had my follow-up appointment in the city. I thought the doctor would just take a quick x-ray to check the alignment, remove the splint, and put a big cast on. Unfortunately, the size of my fracture and the distance of the fracture from the joint will make it very difficult for it to heal without surgery. I’ll have to get a metal plate and six screws (three on each side) to bridge the fracture and facilitate healing.

The good news about all this is that I will be getting a much shorter cast, which will not include my elbow. Also, this smaller cast will be relatively straight and will not require my wrist to be bent sharply, as it is now in the splint. This means I’ll be able to type with both hands sooner rather than later. Lastly, it may mean that I will be able to get my hands around my Xbox controller. Hey, at least I have my priorities straight! Wish me luck in surgery. It hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it will be sometime early next week.

I installed an extension to Firefox called stumbleupon 1.9992. After installation, it asks for your interests and directs you to websites you may like. Today I stumbled upon ‘Time‘, a photo-chronology of a family in Argentina. They’ve been taking pictures on the same day every year since 1977. The scrapbook is pretty amazing.

Gizoogle! Now this is a search engine. When you do a search, ask it to translate the page. You gotta see it to believe it! Via TPILB.

Ryan & Chuck, Eliminated

In the opening leg of the race, teams started off in Long Beach, California and made their way to Lima, Peru. Rob & Amber were almost immediately behind when Rob had problems opening up the trunk in the marked cars. They were nearly last in reaching LAX airport and managed to get on the second of two designated flights to Peru. The second flight was scheduled to land one hour and twenty-five minutes after the first. In case you haven’t already figured it out, I am rooting for Rob & Amber.

Rob & Amber met someone on the plane that recognized them from Survivor and offered to help them navigate their way through Peru. Their guide managed to get them on buses and negotiated in Spanish to pay the drivers extra not to stop and pick up passengers, only to drop passengers off. This gave Rob & Amber a huge advantage–it was like all of Peru was on their side. In contrast, many of the other teams had problems with the language barrier and it took them a long time to arrange transportation. And it was only Spanish!

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Apple I Replica Creation by Tom Owad
Tom Owad wants you to learn about computers. So he wrote a book to show you how. What kind of computer, you ask? How about the first personal computer ever, the Apple I?

The book isn’t just a ‘howto build your own Apple’. The book goes into detail about fundamental digital computer design. Now anyone with $100 can restart the home computer revolution in their own garage.

Honestly, I’ll leave the high-level computing chapters for Larry. I just want to know how to build the damn thing. There is a foreword by Steve Wozniak (the other Steve behind Apple) and the book is available at Amazon or any local bookstore.

via Wired News

Everyone has been asking me exactly how I broke my wrist. I would love to say it was while attempting to land a huge 720 Mute Grab off a jump in the Alpine Meadows Terrain Park. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite that spectacular. Here’s the whole story from start to finish:

The Fall
My friend Alice and I were coming down a downhill run that lead into a flat area. The flat area was followed by a small uphill “ramp” that curved left into another relatively flat fire trail before continuing downhill. These flat areas were not a problem for Alice, since she was on skis and had poles to propel her. However, every snowboarder will tell you that the worst thing about snowboarding is being stuck on a flat spot and having to pedal, or skate, until there is sufficient slope.

Seeking to avoid this, I picked up as much speed as I could out of the run. I was doing what was a very comfortable 25 miles per hour right behind a small 12-year-old girl on skis who was also picking up speed in a tucked position 10 feet ahead of me and to my right. Right before hitting the ramp, the girl swerved left directly in front of me causing me to brake. Unfortunately, I had too much forward momentum to brake as hard as I did causing me to flip over my high-side edge and face plant right onto the ramp’s negative slope. Seeking to save my face, I must have instinctively put my arms out instead of tucking. It didn’t really matter. I slid about 10 feet on my face and even swallowed a little snow in the process.

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