23 January 2000

Boy… its been a long long weekend. I finally decided that in EverQuest, as much as I want to roleplay, I realize that some flaws in game design force you not to.
Flaw in question… items. Some items are dropped only by a single creature… and then not dropped every time. And with rougly 100 or so people all wanting the same item, sometimes you have to get there first and camp it. Therefore destroying all roleplaying.
But that is exactly what I did this weekend. Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday I was up into 8am trying to get one item. And I still don’t have it. So I continue to camp.
In other news… nothing is going on. I still work the same job, and still don’t have a girlfriend (hard to believe after I explained how I spent my weekend, eh? ;p ), but with the advent of EverQuest, I have finally found time for one thing… writing. I had been putting off doing any creative writing down to the doodle level (i.e. – I’m in a meeting at work that doesn’t hold my interest so I doodle out lyrics and things), but playing EQ and roleplaying EQ has sparked me. I’ve been working on pages here dedicated to the characters I play.. and now I’m even getting into organizing events for the guild I’m in, and for the server that I play on.
Anyhooble… I’m off to play more of my EverCrack. See ya soon.

12 January 2000

I’m still alive… and still .plan’ing.
Mostly all I do these days is play EverQuest, so that’s really about all I tend to talk about. That’s why I have dedicated 2 pages to it, and am working on a third.
Outside of EQ though, I still do have the random thought, and I’ve jotted a few down. I’ll get to fleshing them out and putting them up here when I get the chance.
Also outside of EQ, I downloaded the Quake source code, and pour over that when I can. Its very interesting actually. John Carmack is a god. He throws out more (and better) code than I’ll probably ever write.
But anyway… off to play more EQ.

2 January 1900

Well.. Y2K came and went like the main page said. I worked a little on friday December 31st for the GMT rollover, then remained on call for the rest of the night. Nothing happened. In fact, they even paged me at 5:30am to tell me not to bother coming in at 7am because everything was fine.
My New Year’s was a little less than I thought it would be. There was a party I was supposed to go to, but I didn’t know exactly where it was. I tried to call and page people there to get directions, but to no avail. I ended up dropping by the apartment of a good friend who was home with the flu and passed the midnight mark with little hoopla.
Perhaps next year, when the millenium really ends, will be better.
I meant to do an update before the big non-event, but never found the time. Too much work and too much EverQuest absorbed all my time.
So what do I think is in store for the world in 2000?
Same old, same old.
I really don’t think much will change in the least.
Unless of course, the world really did end, and this is heaven… or is it hell? Or maybe somewhere in between…

3 December 1999

Many moons ago, I used to play Ultima Online. And it sucked. Unless you cheated in some way shape or form, or were a college student who could play 18 hours a day, you could barely get anywhere.
Which of course means that I cheated, killed other players, and did all the evil stuff to get better characters since I couldn’t play more than a dozen hours a week. Eventually I got so bored of being able to do anything without repercussions that I cancelled the account and moved on.
Last week I finally broke down and bought EverQuest.
Game should be called EverCrack. I’m still trying to find a way to mainline it.
For one, the game is beautiful. Full 3D graphics that rival some of the best shooters on the market… for now. UT and Q3A will blow it away. Second, you can actually play. You can talk to people, do real quests, form parties, the NPCs are cool in that if you help some people other people will hate you, help some people too much and the others will try to kill you on site. Its just cool, cool, cool.
Even cooler when you don’t cheat. Whereas in UO, if you didn’t “cheat” in some way, you ended up making hats for 3 weeks so you could buy a sword only to have a rat kill you when you step outside of town.
With actual classes and races (UO everyone is a human with just about the same chance in every skill as everyone else), EQ provides a rich world to explore and be a part of. Its just… well… cool.
Anyway… I’m been playing EQ alot, this is why there haven’t been many updates. But this weekend, I promise I’ll find a few hours and do more on the web page. I actually have some stuff to post… and since I’ll probably be putting up something dedicated to EQ, I’ll have a reason to update more often.
In other news… I work with computers, so the next whole month is going to suck ass like nobody’s business. Y2K will be the biggest non-event computerwise that has ever been. All the power will remain on, no nukes will fire, but all the grocery stores will still be out of bread and milk… nothing can be done about that. Oh… and there will be stupid people who fight. I predict a large scale riot that begins in Times Square and engulfs New York City.
Anyhooble… I’m off to play EQ now. More tomorrow.

23 November 1999

… sometimes its just hard to keep the smile on your face.
I’ve missed a number of days for updates, and there is a long long story behind it. The short of it is: my younger brother was in the hospital, he underwent heart surgery, twice, and now he still will have to go to a clinic far away for a third, failing that he goes for open heart surgery, and failing that he gets a pacemaker.
He’s 21 years old, he has a good life, he does not need a pacemaker. It’s these kinds of things that make me realize why I don’t believe in God.
I mean, I’m a slacker. I don’t go after what I want, I don’t pursue my dreams. I don’t live up to my full potential, I rarely even try. I was the one born with heart trouble and not breathing. But he’s the one who has a bad ticker.
Fuck all trying to understand any of it. He’s got confidence, gets good grades, has a wonderful girlfriend, smart, funny… pretty much everything I’d love to have in myself, but I’m a schmuck.
You know what?
I give up. I am no longer going to try to understand the universe. It takes too much time, and you never learn the important stuff until after the moment has past you by.

14 November 1999

Yesterday I spent most of the day going through papers that I have saved for various reasons. Bills, receipts, awards, warranties… everything. It’s odd looking through an accounting of your life on paper. Things go through your head like: “What was I thinking when I bought that? Do I even still have it?” “Wow, it never occurred to me how much that date really cost..” “I made HOW MUCH last year?? Where is it all??” “Now there is someone I’d like to talk to again…” It’s just odd.
And then to sort all of it into 2 piles: ‘Need to Keep’ and ‘Goes in the Trash’. When you are a packrat like me, it takes all day. Even longer when you watch DVDs while doing it.
Then, after deciding what to keep, I had to sort it all out… put my life in order, if you will…
But its all done now, put it behind me, close that door, move on. Until the next time the papers pile up.
It brings forth a thought though… when you die, you become only the fading memories of others and the things you leave behind. Neither one is really you. The things you leave behind are only keepsakes of what you have done (and there are tons of things I have done and don’t have keepsakes for), stuff you bought, and the paperwork of your life. The fading memories of others… inacurrate at best.
No one could ever really know me from what others remember and from my stuff… and I guess thats what life is: everything else.
Sometimes I ramble nonsense, don’t I?
One of the movies I watched yesterday was ‘Tombstone’ and there is a line in there I like.. okay, there are a bunch of lines I like, but one that pertains a little to what I’ve been rambling about here. Doc Holliday is dying and he ask Wyatt Earp what he’s always wanted. Wyatt says “A normal life.” Its what most people say to that question, alot of us anyway. But Doc’s response to that is “There is no normal life, just life.” And that’s really true.
If there was a normal life, who would decide what ‘normal’ is? Who would you compare to? Who would you strive to be? But there is just life.. compare to no one, strive to be you… and don’t worry about the papers you leave behind… in the end, no one will really care that you purchased the Sobakawa Pillow.

13 November 1999

Someone, anyone… if you read this page, email me (jasongpace@squadleader.com) and help me out.
How can you tell if a girl is interested?
I have a blind spot when it comes to women, most nice guys do. If you are not attracted to a girl, then you know right away when she is flirting with you, but if you do like her, she could be hitting you in the head with a baseball bat screaming “I LOVE YOU!!” and you still would notice.
I never notice, so tell me… how can I tell?
Please… I’m begging you… help me.
Okay… enough of the pitiful whining, on with the rest of the .plan.
I wrote a list of topics on my mind a while back (October 15th .plan) and decided to actually do another one of the list… Swearing: the power of words.
I actually wrote a paper for an essay class in college on this subject. It all stems from the fact that people swear… alot. Me too, I’m not exempt from this. Sometimes I swear like a sailor, but occationally I try to make a concious effort to stop, or at least slow down.
You see, the power of a swear comes from its infrequency of use. If you say ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ and all the rest all the time, people will come to expect it.. and they won’t people able to know when you really are mad.
Think about it. When some friend who swears all the time starts swearing, you’ll just think “This is normal.” But if someone you have never heard utter a swear word yells out “FUCK!!” you’ll be stunned because… well, you’ve never heard them swear.
My first experience with this came many years ago back in the days of dial-up Bulletin Board Systems. People generally didn’t swear (except on the hacker BBSs) so no one was used to it. As usual people got into an argument… people being me and someone else. And when he didn’t have a leg to stand on, he went for the usual personal digs. Making fun of me but still not swearing.
Hold on… pause. I need to cover something else real quick about how I feel. Insults. When it comes to insults they usually don’t bother me much. You can sit and insult me all day long and I’ll either match you insult for insult, or I’ll ignore you. In my opinion, this can often be just standing up to someone. They are right there in front of you and they can defend themselves. But as a matter of honor, you never ever insult a man’s family when they aren’t present to defend themselves. If its all joking, like ‘Your momma’ jokes, that’s fine, but you never make a serious insult about a man’s family. You never go beyond your target and strike his home.
That said… the first swear word used in the argument came from the other guy. He called my mother an ‘overflowing cum sack’. As a result, at the next face-to-face party, three of my friends and myself were waiting for him to show up so we could kick the crap out of him. A bit of an overreaction to be sure… but he insulted my mother AND used a swear word.
Later, I would run into the same wall myself, when on another BBS during an argument, to emphasize a point of an already heated debate, I used the word ‘fuck’. Because no one was used to hearing that strong a word, everyone joined into the argument. I got alot of flames for using the word, and some people threatened to beat me up. But in the end it actually served its purpose: what had been 3 guys talking about a subject was now about 50.
Some people feel that swear word should have their taboo removed, after all, they are just words. You hear kids and even grown ups filling the air around them with these forbidden words. But I think they need to be more taboo, if you get overheard saying one, everyone should stare at you in shock. This way, swear words can once again have the shock value they once did, and be useful.

11 November 1999

The joys of having your own place…
There are a few good things about having your own place that I thought I’d spout off about.
First… The TV. You always get to decide what to watch because you always get the remote. And if you get too tired to go to bed while watching the tube, just sleep right where you are.
Second… Storage and Product Placement. Put everything where you want it. No “My Space” and “Your Space” because it’s all “My Space”. All the closets, all the shelves, all of it. Any poster or piece of art you want up… it goes up. Wanna put the TV on that wall and the couch on the one over there… done. One cabinet for glasses, one for plates… One shelf for chips, one shelf for canned goods… done, and done.
And finally… Clothing. Put dirty clothes wherever you want. I happen to WANT to put mine in the hamper in my bedroom closet, but if I felt the need, I could leave them on the living room floor it I desired. Most importantly about clothes with a place of your own though… they are optional. No roommates to look out for, no family to be wary of… your own personal nudist colony.
Now I just need a few female members to visit now and again and I’m set.

9 November 1999

Damn… missed a day…
But I did watch “A Fistful of Dollars”. That is a damn good movie. I’ll need to watch “For A Few Dollars More” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” later this week or next week.
For a moment, let me share with you the pain of many of my work days… Microsoft.
Now, I’m not one of those people who slam MS every chance they get… I happen to like many of their products. My true pain is http://www.microsoft.com. This is probably one of the worst designed web sites that I have seen a corporation put up in a long time.
Their site used to be good, you could just browse around and find what you wanted. Most importantly you could pull up the list of all available downloads and drill down to what you needed.
Now everything on that dag blamed site is using Active Server Page rendered search engines. If you can’t find the archaic encrypted keyword combination to pull up what you need you end up with one of two results.
1) No results returned.
2) 900 billion products served.
You either get nothing, or every article about every product they ever put out. And even if you pull up a page that tells you how to install the files you are looking for, odds are that there is no link to actually GET THE FILES!!!
Time and again I have to go looking for files or information at their site only to spend 4 or 5 HOURS!!! looking for what should take a handful of minutes at best.
You want an example of the bizarre layout of Microsoft’s webpage? Go there and look up the MS SNA Server 4.0 Service Pack 3 (search for keyword ‘sna4sp3’). Then find the list of Fixes included in the Service Pack. They refuse to give you a single document that explains the fixes, they insist of breaking it out into a separate page per fix. And even then, they usually only give you a two line description of the problem (not enough to tell if it is the problem you are having) and then the fix… the fix, of course, always being: “Install the latest service pack.” Did they really need to waste this much space and time when for all I (or really anyone in the technical field) care to see is a text file listing as much info as possible. I don’t need the beautiful graphics and “user friendly” ASP designs… I’m already an MS product owner, lay off the hard sell!!!!
Now I’m going to take my pills, relax, and blow people up in a friendly game of TeamFortress.