Greetings from the Draeker residence bathroom around 6:00a.m. It's been a very full night. First, I woke up and tried to get VMware installed on my laptop. This is a cool piece of software; it lets you run Windows in a window. No kidding. Lots of fun. The thing doesn't install on Slackware Linux (what I've got on my laptop) due to a difference in the init directory structure from Red Hat. So I spent some time hacking their Perl install program to make it work...learning Perl on-the-fly is about equivalent to learning Swahili from watching VH1. I don't recommend it. Anyhow, most of that work is done. (Update from Sunday; it's done, now) Maybe I can get my name in the VMware credits for "adding BSD-style init support to the installer." Woohoo. Watched "Run Lola Run" on videotape tonight. It was wierd seeing it dubbed into English (in the theaters, it had subtitles), especially since Manni seemed more like a whiny bitch than a bad-ass. Plus, after a while you tend to forget you're reading subtitles, but you keep the original feel for the dialog. Not so with dubbing. Anyhow, if you haven't seen it, it's a German indie film largely about chaos theory, but it manages to feel like a 90 minute badass music video. Check it out. After this, I was off to a Jewish community center for "Casino Night." I was invited to this by a coworker of mine, named Loren. Loren's a nice enough guy, but you get the impression he's one of those guys that got beat up from kindergarden on through grad school. The kind that you like talking to, but you know that he's not going to leave when the conversation's over. The consumate 25 year-old virgin. You know the type. Anyhow, he invited me to this thing, so I figure, hey that's a new experience. So off I went. And it wasn't QUITE as comedic as I had hoped. I mean, yeah, there was every single jewish stereotype in the world there, a hand-painted portrait of George Burns on the wall, and a advertisement for a seminar entitled, "Sure, Jesus was a Jew, but a Jew can't be FOR Jesus!" (No, I did not add that exclamation point), but it wasn't like a living, breathing Woody Allen film, like I had envisioned. Mostly, it was a standard casino-type thing. You get your funny money at the door, and you proceed to piss it away on various gambling-related activities. I figured this would be a good place to test out my abilities to control randomess. :) Mostly, I found I didn't do too well at roulette (above the average), but I think it's because I have the attention span of a gnat, and lose my concentration before the wheel stops spinning. Most the hands of blackjack I played came up as twenty one, however, except when a burst of cheering or something would distract me in the middle. I mean, I don't want to say there's a correlation, but it's even starting to freak me out. I tried to demonstrate this to Loren, by having him draw out a hand of five card stud for each of us. I came up with three kings and two queens. You draw your own conclusions. Las Vegas is only a couple hundred miles from here. Hhm... :) Since "Run Lola Run" features a scene with a roulette table that comes up with twenty twice in a row (with 37 slots on the wheel, that's basically statistically impossible), I figured I'd watch for this. It never happened. If you bet 100 bucks on that and it DID happen, however, you'd have 122500 bucks after two spins. I left as quickly as possible after the gambling was over, since the gorgeous dealer I was busy being enchanted with all evening was packing up to leave herself. Her name was Lisa. I know this because she was wearing a name tag and I had spent much of my night staring at that region of her clothing. This is also a good explanation as to my attention span difficulties at the roulette table. So, after the gambling ended, Loren, Stephane (french dude from Loki...it's pronounced Stef-ahhn) and I headed out to "The Spectrum", which was apparently a big movie theater, but being from Philly, I expected something else entirely. Stephane is from Southern France, and you can tell this by three details of his character: 1) His accent. 2) His fanny pack. 3) His driving. The dude drives like a friggin' maniac. Like everyone else in Europe. Thankfully, he stayed on the correct side of the road. I need to tell him that he's gonna end up in the same sexual boat as Loren if he doesn't lose the fanny pack. It was about 1:00a.m., and nothing was playing. Fortunately this is a HUGE mall complex, complete with CIRCUS TENTS, (no kidding: Cirque d'Solaie is performing there...I know, I butchered the spelling...) and a Dave & Busters. For those that have never seen a Dave and Buster's, think a classy, bigger version of Chuck 'E' Cheese's. With no rodent costumes. And alcohol. And virtual reality equipment. I went to one of these in Atlanta for the Slashdot party...they will suck your money like Count Dracula drains a virgin, but MAN, they are FUN. And, I still had my "power card" (the video games have a card slot, no coins) from Atlanta. I "recharged" it with twenty bucks I can't really afford, and since you get a random number with each recharge, you even get to gamble here. That is, if that random number matches the ID number on your card, you get 100% of your purchase in addition to what you just bought (and 50% if half numbers match, yadda yadda...) All three were matches, so I effectively got 40 bucks worth of video games. Sweet! We pissed around in D&B's until 2:00a.m, and then over to Loki to check mail and play some Quake (you know, for a change. hah). Tried to write an email to Erik, but Netscape died in the middle. I dumped the contents of the system's memory to a file and pulled my reply out, but I haven't finished writing it. I am now a system recovery God for that stunt. You'll get the email later, Erik, but I still have it, at least. :) I expect Quake will have the "ice cream parlor syndrome" sooner or later. The theory is this: if you work in an ice cream parlor, you can have ALLLLL the ice cream you want. Tons of it. You may drown yourself in ice cream...bathe yourself in it, if you want. 32 flavors and then some. After about a week of working in an ice cream shop, you would rather eat your own feces than eat ice cream. You burn out on it. Too much of a good thing, and all that crap. I'm hoping Quake is the same way. I've wasted too many hours on DeathMatch. I asked about the theater scene here, but the best answer I got from Loren was that there's a dinner theater down the street from Loki. Of course, Loren also told me that his one true theatrical love is musical theater, so I guess he's a 25 year-old, gay virgin. But then again, he also didn't realize that dinner theater is kinda like making a movie version of a Charles Dickens novel, so I guess he gets filed in the "Waiting for Guffman" category. Thinking about writing "Cryptonomicon! The Musical" (exclamation point added by me). No, not really. Wrists feel almost perfect again. Nothing like a carpal tunnel scare to make you reevaluate your life and install Xwrits. More on this some other time. It was time to chuck the cooler in my car: the melted ice had leaked through the bottom, into the passenger-side carpet, where it could not evaporate, since there was a block of styrofoam on top of it. It has begun to mildew. I opened my car door today and found the interior smelled like the portajohns at the Phish new year's eve show. Highlight of the night: Piano player at the Jewish community center playing "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof to close off the evening. I'm not sure if this could be considered tasteless or not. Night (morning!) y'all...it's about 10:00am on the east coast. See you. --ryan.