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1361  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Merge Microsoft Excel files? on: November 29, 2005, 07:24:27 PM
That's a good idea. I hadn't thought about taking it into a real database program. I have Access on Windows, and FileMaker on Mac. Hopefully, either would be up to the task at hand....

Now the only problem is that I'm not very good with either!

1362  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Merge Microsoft Excel files? on: November 29, 2005, 04:40:24 PM
So, I've got 80 Excel files that represent all the voting precincts in a certain district, and I want to combine them all into one master file for the whole district. Is there any way to run a command to squeeze them all into one file, with one added to the end of the other?

So far, Excel Help has been no help whatsoever.
1363  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Solar eclipse and thoughts of the moon on: November 28, 2005, 06:43:54 PM
The moon likely wasn't captured, but was instead produced by the impact of an object around the size of Mars into the side of the still-forming Earth billions of years ago. The molten planet would have been able to survive the impact, and the material jettisoned into orbit would have been malleable enough to form into a spherical body. Given that some sort of inertial force is pushing the moon farther away from the Earth, this is, I believe, the most widely-held theory as to the creation of the moon.
1364  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Have you ever woke up on an operating table? on: November 28, 2005, 05:49:18 PM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go start IVs and insert foleys.  :wink:

You are a truly terrible human being.  :evil:
1365  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Solar eclipse and thoughts of the moon on: November 28, 2005, 05:43:11 AM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
Normally when I walk outside and see the moon really close to Earth, I scream like a little girl, freak out that the world is about to end, and run inside and hide under a bed.

True story.  Took us a week to talk him out from under there.

And I still stand by my original vote: leave him there.
1366  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Have you ever woke up on an operating table? on: November 28, 2005, 05:36:25 AM
Quote from: "CrayolaSmoker"
Most of the procedure is kinda boring, but when they finally SHOVE the tube in, it's rapid, forceful, and brutal.  The patient grunted like she'd been sucker-punched in the stomach by a professional boxer.  One of my fellow nursing students almost fainted it bothered her so much.

Hah. What a wuss. I never faint at my job.
1367  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST? More like SUCK. on: November 28, 2005, 05:29:46 AM
LOST may be losing me. I hate Ana -- I fucking hate her. I hate almost all "tough gurl" type characters, and I really, really hate this actress. Attitude does not make a character interesting. Attitude makes a character hateable. That's not a word, but I don't care.

Every time that bitch is on screen, I lose interest in LOST. I don't give a shit about her backstory, don't give a damn about her pathos, I just want to see her die a painful, painful death.

I'm not one of those types that demands that a show go the way I want it to go or I stop watching. I hated it when they took my eye candy away (Boone) in the later part of last season, but it didn't impact my appreciation of the show. But if they're going to make She Ra Mopey Bitch Girl a main character, I may just stop watching. She is unwatchable, and she makes the show unwatchable.

I mean, we were finally getting answers, we finally got some progress and movement, the bunker is uber-cool, the Dharma Corporation is shifty and interesting -- but instead of moving that forward I've had to watch that horrid woman walk through the jungle for the last few weeks. BORING. BORING. BORING. Dammit -- DO SOMETHING! Start by killing Ana, and then go back to the bumper. Hell, retconn that entire subplot out -- just drop Ana, and pretend like Eko and Bernard were ALWAYS with the real group of castaways. Do something. Anything. But get rid of the bitch and get the story back on track.

If this show goes down the crapper the way ALIAS did after the midpoint in season 2, I will never, ever watch anything connected to JJ Abrams again.
1368  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Who here blogs? on: November 19, 2005, 11:48:27 PM
I blog on politics, technology and pop culture very sporadically at

I'm also a staffer at Burnt Orange Report, which is Texas's premiere left-of-center political weblog. As of this writing, my most recent post is the top story at BOR:
1369  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / SUPERMAN RETURNS TEASER TRAILER - HOLY CRAP!!! on: November 18, 2005, 10:04:59 PM
Brandon Routh is hot so I fail to see the purpose of this debate.

If I can believe that William Shatner was a starship captain, I can accept that Brandon Routh is what Christopher Reeve would look like after seven years in space.

In fact, this mathematical equation, displayed in graphic form, proves it:

1370  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / SUPERMAN RETURNS TEASER TRAILER - HOLY CRAP!!! on: November 18, 2005, 02:55:16 PM
Quote from: "TheGameAh"
Quote from: "JLu"
I've been away from the books for a while; but I thought since the 1986 reboot he was Clark Kent first, and Superman second since his powers didn't manifest until his late teens?

I believe you're right.  But I'm referring to the movies mostly.  Clark Kent didn't have much of a role in the movies I thought.

Spiderman 2 and Batman Begins I thought were a nice idea of how a superhero movie should be made.  You should care just as much about the human side as the hero side.

Slight OT:  One of the great mysteries of the universe.  How the hell did Margot Kidder land the part of Lois Lane?

I think she kept passing out in the producer's lawn and they gave her the part to make her go away.

One thing I'll give Kidder is that she stood up for Richard Donner, as did Gene Hackman. That's one of the reasons the Salkinds dropped them both from Superman III. In the end, I doubt they minded that much.
1371  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / SUPERMAN RETURNS TEASER TRAILER - HOLY CRAP!!! on: November 18, 2005, 02:53:40 PM
Quote from: "unbreakable"
Another interesting facet about his character is that, unlike just about any other hero, he IS Superman.  His alter ego is Clark Kent.  There really aren't too many heroes who come to mind in a similar situation.

Well, that hasn't truly been the case since 1985. The modern, Post-Crisis Superman IS Clark Kent, that's who he thinks of himself as, and his life as Clark is far more real than his life as Superman. Pre-Crisis Superman was practically the opposite.

Post-Crisis Batman, however, IS Batman, and he even describes his Bruce Wayne persona as his "mask."

That cool speech in Kill Bill revealed that Quentin hadn't read a comic book since 1985... but clearly did read the review of Superman: The Movie that was in the New Republic.
1372  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / SUPERMAN RETURNS TEASER TRAILER - HOLY CRAP!!! on: November 18, 2005, 07:47:42 AM
In the hands of a good creative team, Superman is NOT a boring character. Of all the major superheroes in the DC Universe (the universe which for obvious reasons includes almost all the iconic heroes), Superman has the most genuinely human soul. That means he can be tortured, and torturing characters is the heart of good drama.

He's hard to write well because he's so iconic. And because he's become a very obvious messianic character*, and messiahs can be difficult to present in interesting ways, due to the impulse to make them too perfect. But what makes Superman better than, say, Captain Marvel, is that he's not one-note or one-dimensional. He's a very alien being trying to live out what he believes to be the best traits of his adopted world, but not always succeeding. For example, Superman has on more than one occasion killed his opponents, even though that's a violation of his own moral code.

* - The messianic subtext of the Superman story really gained steam in the late Silver Age, and reached its apex with Superman: The Movie, where Jor-El is presented as a divine figure sending a Kal-El, his only son, to earth as a savior.
1373  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / SUPERMAN RETURNS TEASER TRAILER - HOLY CRAP!!! on: November 18, 2005, 06:02:20 AM
That trailer made me cry, I'm so giddy. Could the greatest superhero movie of all time finally get a worthwhile sequel?

"It is for this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you.... my only son...."

I believe a man can fly.
1374  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 11/16/05 on: November 17, 2005, 06:22:47 AM
I thought the opening of this week's episode was interesting and familiar:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Close up of an eye. Camera pulls back, and it's Ana Lucia. She's floating in the ocean. She scrambles up the beach towards a man who is performing CPR on a woman. She kicks the man in the kidneys and steps on the woman's throat, breaking her trachea. Then she yells at the man.

She stumbles towards the tail section, where the engine is still running. There's some guy there, yelling "I can walk!" and dancing around his now useless wheelchair. She shoves him into the engine, turning him into a fine pink mist, and blowing up the tail section.

The explosion throws her a number of yards, and she lands in a heap right beside a hugely pregnant woman. She punches the woman right in the stomach, then turns to the big fat guy who was trying to help her and insults him for being such a big fat fatty Mcfatterson. Then she pokes him in the eye.

Then she is put in charge of everything due to her obvious leadership skills. (This was written by Dante at the Straight Dope).
1375  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Arrested Development pulled off FOX, effective immediately! on: November 11, 2005, 04:02:20 AM
You can't really say Fox didn't give AD a chance. They pumped a lot of promotional money into the first and second seasons, and tried to find it a safer timeslot. An audience just didn't materialize, and that sucks.

It's still my favorite show on TV. I'll miss it. frown
1376  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Comic Discussion: The Upcoming DC Crisis (Identity/Infinite) on: November 10, 2005, 09:24:49 PM
Issue 2 is out -- and things are getting tres cool:

Spoiler for Hiden:
The body count for last issue was pretty high. But Damage didn't die, which is good, because he's cute. Also, it seems that the "other" Lex Luthor is gathering people from alternate Earths... perhaps his actual goal is not to wipe minds, but to recreate the Multi-verse?

Alternate Lex has the same color eyes as Alexander Luthor from Earth 3.

Our Lex is seemingly struggling between two competing personalities -- what appear to be the pre-Crisis Lex-1 and the post-Crisis Lex.

Power Girl's secret origin is: she's actually Power Girl! That's pretty cool.

And Superman-2, as much as we all love you: Parallax wants his plot back -- didn't you read Zero Hour? This won't end well for you!
1377  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [P] Texans -- Please Vote Today! on: November 09, 2005, 04:29:45 AM
Thank you to everyone who went out and voted the right way on this one. I know voting can be a pain in the ass, and I really appreciate you taking the time to do it -- particularly Crayola and Whiteboy and their respective missuses.

75% in favor. That's the worst result on this issue, ever.

I think I'm going to leave.
1378  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [P] Texans -- Please Vote Today! on: November 08, 2005, 02:09:52 PM

Today is election day in the Lone Star State, and there is a ballot measure up for a vote that MUST be defeated. Proposition 2 would write discriminatory, anti-gay language into the Texas Constitution that would bar the state from recognizing any "incidents" of marriage between same-sex couples, including civil unions from out of state, and perhaps even wills, medicals powers of attorney and joint adoption arrangements.

Under Proposition 2, state agencies, municipal and county governments, Texas universities and schools and public hospitals and fire departments and police forces would be unable to offer partner benefits, meaning they won't be able to compete on a level playing field when seeking to hire many qualified applicants for these sorts of positions.

Turnout for off year elections is VERY low -- perhaps as high as 16% statewide. So far, turnout has been huge in Austin, the Melrose region of Houston and Cedar Springs in Dallas, and very low in most of the rural, conservative counties -- there truly IS a chance to defeat proposition 2, and your vote really WILL count.

Please, go to the polls, and vote AGAINST Proposition 2. Polls are open until 7:00 pm tonight.

Don't know where to vote? Email me at [email protected], and I probably can look it up and tell you. Thank you!
1379  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / King Kong Official Trailer on: November 07, 2005, 03:02:40 PM
Three hours? How much did they pad and drag out this thing? The original was only 100 minutes long. I could see adding another 20 minutes in the form of CGI-fighting on Monster Island, but 80 more minutes in this one? Something's wrong there.
1380  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Every wonder what people on here look like? POST A PIC! on: October 27, 2005, 08:28:14 PM
1381  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Geeky Debate: iPod nanos or iPods nano? on: October 20, 2005, 10:53:06 PM
Quote from: "warning"
Quote from: "Fireball1244"
Perhaps, but Honda is the manufacturer, and Accord is the product, whereas "nano" is merely a modifier of "iPod." The term "Honda" isn't actually part of the name of an Accord anymore than "Apple" is part of the name of the iPod. I think it's a slightly different situation. Interesting point, though.

How about "There goes two Honda Accords DX" vs. "There goes two Honda Accord DX's"?

Yeah, we'd say "DX's." Is it technically accurate, though? This is the closest parallel, though.
1382  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Geeky Debate: iPod nanos or iPods nano? on: October 20, 2005, 07:39:53 PM
Perhaps, but Honda is the manufacturer, and Accord is the product, whereas "nano" is merely a modifier of "iPod." The term "Honda" isn't actually part of the name of an Accord anymore than "Apple" is part of the name of the iPod. I think it's a slightly different situation. Interesting point, though.
1383  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Geeky Debate: iPod nanos or iPods nano? on: October 20, 2005, 07:18:07 PM
Which is grammatically correct? iPods nano or iPod nanos?

I'd think it'd be the former, just like it's attorneys general and passersby (and, as pointed out by the Onion, Whoppers Junior). A friend disagrees. And my copy editor friend isn't online. :-)
1384  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Comic Discussion: The Upcoming DC Crisis (Identity/Infinite) on: October 13, 2005, 09:36:58 PM
It's been a day since I got it, and the last page of INIFNITE CRISIS #1 is still giving me the giddies whenever I think of it. :-)
1385  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Comic Discussion: The Upcoming DC Crisis (Identity/Infinite) on: October 13, 2005, 03:33:05 AM
Quote from: "AgtFox"
The more interesting thing tomorrow is that Mockingbird should finally be unmasked in Villians United.  No clue who that is, but I'm sure they're quite tied into the overall plot.

Okay, I'm a bit confused, but either way

Spoiler for Hiden:
It seems as if Lex Luthor from pre-Crisis Earth-1 has survived into the post-Crisis universe! Between that and the triumphant return of Superman from Earth-2, I'm surprisingly giddy about all the IC stuff that came out this week. Whether it's going to be good or not, IC is sure off to an exciting start!
1386  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Lost on: October 12, 2005, 09:41:14 PM
If you miss it, you can buy it tomorrow for $2 from iTunes 6 and watch it on your computer. smile
1387  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / iPod Video announced on: October 12, 2005, 09:39:13 PM
The nano is all about size, weight and having no moving parts. Jogging with a hard drive iPod is not a smart thing to do -- its be easiest way to destroy your iPod. The nano, however, is perfect for jogging. It's lighter, smaller and has no moving parts whatsoever. Making things smaller makes them more expensive, in many cases. There's always been a large gap regarding storage between the mini/nano iPods and the regular iPods, but both sell very well because they're aimed at different audiences.
1388  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Comic Discussion: The Upcoming DC Crisis (Identity/Infinite) on: October 12, 2005, 09:23:54 PM
All Star Batman & Robin has been really bad.....

So, today's the day. Can't wait. Here's hoping INFINITE CRISIS has been worthy of the build up. biggrin

Crayola, you can borrow my issues.
1389  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / iPod Video announced on: October 12, 2005, 09:19:34 PM
Laner is right about WMA.

Also, individual songs on iTunes can be burned as many times as you please. The only restriction is on song-combination playlists. I believe it's 7 burns.
1390  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / iPod Video announced on: October 12, 2005, 08:59:58 PM
The new iPod is interesting... and they finally have a "low end" real iPod that's hit my next size point -- double my current 15GB model. I'm not quite out of space on my current iPod yet, but when the time comes, I'm totally gonna get one of these fifth generation models.

The video support is cool, but its presently a very tentative step. The files are in very low resolution, so they won't look great if blown up to, say, fill a TV screen. However, if the distribution channel works, then the only question regarding improving the resolution will be bandwidth issues.

I think that the new iMac G5 -- which includes software called Front Row that provides a 30-ft interface to iTunes, iPhoto, DVD Player and QuickTime -- is far more interesting. It's a TV-tuner away from being a true Apple Media Center. Take Front Row, spruce it up, and add it and TV-in and -out capability to a Mac Mini, and you've got Macs in the living room.

So a lot of stuff in the Apple announcement today that interests me.
1391  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How much old mail is in your inbox? on: October 08, 2005, 04:52:33 PM
Quote from: "Calvin"
Quote from: "Fireball1244"

I'm an information horder. I have most of the computer files I've created since 1993, I've got an archive of every AIM chat I've had since mid-2003, etc, etc, etc.

That creeps me the hell out. Remind me never to chat on IM with you. I don't want people keeping records of the random shit I say when Im bored and joking around on IM. This is how future political careers are destroyed. Bad business if you ask me.

Ironically, part of why I do it is because I'm in politics. It's often important to be able to have some sort of verifiable evidence of things people say or claim.
1392  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / S E R E N I T Y on: October 08, 2005, 04:29:45 PM
I loved this movie, absolutely loved it -- for lots of the reasons some people didn't like it. However...

It's not going to do well at the box office. Look, when Firefly was on TV it rarely managed more than around 3 million viewers. Even if all three million or so (let's say that only some of that is overlap, and that about 5 million folks watched the show) go see the movie, at $8 a ticket, that's only $24 to $40 million. Factor in that a lot of people who watched the show won't go see the movie, and that some folks who didn't will, and I don't think that it's going to even break $40 million.

And it certainly won't see its week over week box office increase. It made over $10 million its first weekend? Okay, that's about enough box office to account for almost all of the folks who bought the DVDs (the rabid fans like us) and some new folks. Most of the core audience has already seen the film and its a tough sell to newcomers.

We got a good movie out of the show, and that's enough for me. I don't expect it to be a "hit" movie, and I don't expect a sequel.
1393  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How much old mail is in your inbox? on: October 05, 2005, 11:56:11 PM
I have thousands of back email messages, going back to 1998, in various formats -- Outlook Express databases, PST files, Microsoft Entourage databases, and now most of it in my Apple Mail database. I archive into folders all mail from friends, business associates, organizations I'm a member of, etc. I delete spam and general announcements.

I'm an information horder. I have most of the computer files I've created since 1993, I've got an archive of every AIM chat I've had since mid-2003, etc, etc, etc.

It's a lot of storage, but from time to time, very useful to have.
1394  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Intelligent Design = Creationism on: October 05, 2005, 07:03:51 PM
Quote from: "Arkon"
My problem with this... Darwin's Theory of Evolution, is just that, a Theory at this point as it has not been proven.

As has been pointed out, you're not using the scientific definition of the term "theory." A Theory in science is a way of structuring all available data (facts) into a coherent whole. A theory is not a guess. It is not a "fact" because it's something different than a fact -- it's a way of analyzing and accounting for all available facts.

When people speak of the Theory of Evolution, they are discussing the scientific framework which accounts for and processes EVERY available, confirmed piece of data on the matter of biological development.

Evolution is a "theory," but it is also unquestionably true and its data is factual. It happens. We KNOW it happens. The "theory" part is we're investigating how it happens and what drives it.

Darwin himself recanted the theory after writing it.

This is not true.
1395  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / No fresh start for you! Pay up, 130 years! on: October 05, 2005, 05:57:15 PM
I was worried you might get caught in the terrible new bankruptcy law when we talked about this a few weeks ago. I had thought it went into effect in January, though. You know you've got my support and that I'd do whatever I can. Not that there's anything I can do.

The health insurance system in this country is deeply broken. The number of insured continues to fall, the costs of insurance continue to rise, and the coverage provided continues to recede. There's absolutely no reason it has to be this way.
1396  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / "Shining" Happy People on: October 04, 2005, 08:47:03 PM
From Roger Ebert by way of my friend Ferguson, here's a video clip trailer where someone took "The Shining" and made cut a trailer that makes it look like a touching family dramedy.

1397  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Arrested Development is still great. on: September 22, 2005, 08:10:24 PM
1398  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST Season 2 Premier Tonight on: September 22, 2005, 06:09:26 AM
Okay, some dipshit at ABC listed the bullshit, boring, idiotic, worthless "recap" at 7:00 CDT as "Lost." Seeing it listed at 7:00, my Tivo dutifully recorded it. Since I set Lost to record 3 minutes into the next hour, Tivo doesn't record anything at 8:00. So I have no series premiere.

Fuck ABC and their bullshit "recap." Networks seem to exist to make it harder to watch the shows I want to watch.
1399  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Comic Discussion: The Upcoming DC Crisis (Identity/Infinite) on: September 16, 2005, 08:59:27 AM
JLA was a big issue this week, as noted above. The fraying relations between the major heroes is handled quite well. I hated seeing that stupid new Supergirl (here's hoping she dies in Crisis... yeah, I know, won't happen), but Zatanna's actions were very interesting.

I loved seeing Dr. Light II and Dr. Light I duke it out in Green Arrow. The creation of Dr. Light II was a major point in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Over in JSA Classified (which I Byrne-Stole), Psycho Pirate himself has returned. A few months ago, Harbinger was in Superman/Batman, and last week both Lady Quark and Pariah (!) were in Villains United. Aside from Alexander Luthor of Earth-3, that's pretty much the whole cast of characters to be created for and survive Infinite Earths. Things are definitely converging here!

I'm really enjoying the "unified" feel of the DCU as this story approaches. Seeing similar themes, recurring characters and references to the same moral dilemmas cropping up in books across the company really lends aa air of authenticity to the universe.

Some big questions remaining before INFINITE CRISIS arrives: who is Mockingbird (Alexander Luthor? The Monitor?)? Will the JLA dissolve just as the DCU's villains are uniting? And, of course, which Flash will they kill this time? :-)

The DC Insider column at the back of the books spoiled a bit of the set up for the first issue of INFINITE CRISIS, basically letting the astute reader know the endings of all four of the lead-in miniseries. Regardless, I'm looking forward to these final issues, and I'm counting the days until INFINITE CRISIS arrives.

And what's really nice is that this IC lead in has been so cool, it's almost totally distracted me from the fact that All-Star Batman & Robin is basically crap.
1400  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Y'all seen the new iPod? on: September 12, 2005, 03:20:59 AM
The nano is pretty cool, but I'm waiting for an update to the regular iPod. The low end model is currently 20 GB. I have a 15GB Gen 3 iPod, which is about 85% full. Once the low end iPod hits 30 GB, I'm buying one.

If the price comes down a bit, in a couple years I could see myself replacing my iPod Shuffle with an iPod Nano.
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