Convenience Evolved

September 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Convenience Evolved
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

The biggest videogame in the history of videogames was released yesterday (Halo 3 for those not keeping track) and I bought my copy from 7-11 on my way home from work when I stopped for redbulls and snacks.

Actually I stopped at an EB Games on my way home first and when I asked for a copy of Halo 3 the clerk asked if I had a preorder I could barely contain my sniggers. Then he told me that they only were selling it to people who preordered. I scoffed at the absurdity of that and left. Microsoft is supposedly shipping over 4 million copies of the game in the FIRST WEEK alone, and EB’s company line is they are only selling it to people who preordered?

So I stop at 7-11 on my way home and there is a modest stack behind the counter. I put my redbulls and Halo-themed doritos on the counter and ask for a copy of Halo 3 as well.

The clerk there had no idea what I was talking about. So I point to it and say one of those. “You know that is $60 right?” she replys completely flabergasted that I would be purchasing such a thing.

Whatever. It beats the hell out of parking at Target, giving BestBuy any money, or patronizing EB and their ridiculous preorder scheme. The quickly approaching future of direct-download videogame distribution makes me happy to be rid of the retail albatross.


Annika Grayson!

September 25, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Originally uploaded by scribbledes.

Andrew and Jodi’s daughter Annika Grayson was born yesterday afternoon!

Everyone is doing great and Andrew sounds exceedingly happy and excited.

Drop by their flickr stream and wish them well!

Voros 50th Anniversary Party

September 24, 2007 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Mate and Ilona met at Sunday School in the early 50s in Hungary. One day Mate walked Ilona half-way home, and they fell in love. Soon after Mate joined the Hungarian army and was posted on the Yugoslavian border. He used his post as a border guard to help Hungarian refugees flee from the Communist Government. The Hungarian people staged a revolution in October of 1956, but when the Russian army quashed it and killed thousands of people Mate decided it was time to flee the country as well. He asked Ilona’s parents if he could take their daughter with him and they agreed on the condition that they be married at the first opportunity. A few days later they left the village of Davod in a sleigh and crossed the border into Yugoslavia thanks to Mate’s contacts on the border. They would not return to the village of their childhood for over 20 years.

They spent months moving from camp to camp and were finally able to be married on September 10th 1957. And while their wedding was large, as it was witnessed by the thousands in the refugee camp, it was not the story-book wedding that young girls dream of. Shortly thereafter they made the voyage to New York. Their ultimate destination was California where Mate had dreamed of living since a Missionary from a church in the Bay Area had visited his village when he was a child. They arrived in Redwood City around the new year, 1958 where they stayed with other Hungarian families until they could get on their feet.

The Voros family flourished in the California sun where Mate’s entrepreneurial sprit and DIY ethos made led him to an early ‘retirement’ from the real-estate market, while Ilona, with the help of her daughter, discovered that American women had options beyond homemaker and had a successful career of nearly 20 years working at Stanford university.

Over 50 years after fleeing the Russian Army Mate and Ilona Voros finally had the story-book wedding in their church in Redwood City. They reconfirmed their vows and were joined in celebration by the very close-knit community of Hungarians in the Silicon Valley who have become their extended family.

Their story is an amazing example of the American dream-come-true, and I am very happy to have been a small part of it

I can’t get no…

September 7, 2007 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I can’t get no…
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.


5:30 on a LONG Friday at work and I decided to give the nicogel a shot.

It looks gross and it smells worse (kinda like puss and dogfood respectively.)

And the bottom line?
Inconclusive unfortunately. I’ve waited 15 minutes and can’t detect much, if any, nicotine high. But my hands are tingling a bit and there is a mild euphoric sense (though that could just be that I’m off in 10 minutes…)  I’m now going to go wash my hands.

NicoGel?! WTF?

September 6, 2007 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

During the blackout Jules and I stopped at the local 7-11 for supplies when I spied these small foil packets in a display on the counter. They advertised “cigarette satisfaction in a hand gel” and of course I had to buy a couple (I think they were around $.80 each.)

I’m not sure WHY one would want “cigarette satisfaction in a hand gel” apart from times when you can’t smoke, but the idea of drug-delivery in a topical gel was simply too cool to pass up.  And in doing some research into he product it seems to be marketed simply as a way for smokers to “beat the ban” and get their fix in public spaces, indoors, and anywhere else that you can no longer light-up.  Also, in addition to these single-use packs they also sell a 50-use pump-bottle.

The ingredients are listed as “water, extract of tobacco (40%v/v)…” and a whole host of alcohols and gums.  And the only directions are “open packet and rub contents into hands until gel is gone.”  I have yet to work up the nerve to open one of the packs and try out the gel, but when I do I’ll report back.

Back From the Dark Ages

September 5, 2007 at 9:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Power was restored to our area of Hollywood around 11pm last night.  We had just come to grips with the idea of spending another night w/o cooling fans or light and were sitting out on the balcony enjoying the mercifully cooler weather and listening to the LADWP crews work on a transformer on our street.  Suddenly there was a flicker and then the click-WHOOSH of dozens are AC units turning on simultaneously.  Hoots and applause rung out from the units in our building, but just as we started to blow-out candles everything went dark again.  But HOPE was restored!  And the workers redoubled their efforts and everything was back on in another 20 minutes.  We had some minor food spoilage and some major Popsicle meltage, but other than that everything is now back to normals.

Labor Day 2007

September 4, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Los Angeles Zoo Labor Day 2007
Originally uploaded by OctopusHat.

Jules and I had a very nice 3 day weekend which culminated in a visit to the LA Zoo on Monday. We knew it was going to be hot, with forecasts calling for highs between 90-100 degrees, but we’d been planning the trip for a while and decided to dress for adventure and get to the zoo early.

And while it was sweltering we managed to stay (relatively) comfortable and spend a solid 4 hours photographing animals (first shots are up on flickr now) before the heat stroke became a realistic threat. We headed home, jumped in teh pool for a quick cool-down then lounged for a couple hours with the AC and Fans on full-blast. By 6pm we decided we had to brave the lingering blast-furnace-like heat in order to get some dinner at our fav hamburger joint 25Degrees. Minutes after departing the strained powergrid took a big fat turd and a 24 square block area of Hollywood lost power. When we arrived back home to a dark building at 7:30 it was 92 both inside and outside the apartment. We didn’t get much sleep last night, and I’m both groggy and irritable now. 23 hours later, and still no power to our building.

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