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Lucky's Log
My favorite author, skzbrust on his main character, Vlad in his next book:

I do not trust Vlad

He is wandering about, meeting interesting people, having interesting conversations, poking his nose into interesting problems, and just generally handing me plot hooks right and left, whistling like he doesn't have a care in the world. I just finished Chapter 5, which is much too fast for this stage of the book. He's behaving himself much too well.

I swear to Christ the son-of-a-bitch is planning something.
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So last week I learn that Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, finally released original XBox games that I actually own to the Backwards Compatibility list for the 360. In case you don't know, BC means that you can play the old console's games on the new system. Most new systems automatically have this feature, but the 360 requires special software for each old game, and not all of them will be playable.

Anyway, I decided that this was finally my cue to buy a 360. So I surfed eBay and the best deal I found was a nearly new system for $380 that had six games, four controllers and other neat goodies all worth about $300 thrown in for free. So I bought it.

Today I find out that for some reason Sprint didn't think it was neccessary to tell me my phone bill was two months past due. True, it is my responsibility to keep up with this information, and it is not Sprint's fault. But I would have liked some more warning other than a text message warning that my service would be cut off if I didn't pay.

So long story short, I haven't even recieved the XBox in the mail yet and already i'm just going to have to turn around and sell it again. But at least I can sell all the stuff seperately and possibly turn a profit, ne?

Operational Status: grumpy grumpy

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Well, it's done ... for now. I just turned in my last final paper for this semester. We'll see how I do later on. I'm not expecting a very high grade on it. But then again the last time I felt that about a paper in that class, I got an A+. Who knew?

Any way ... I'm done with school until August. I can't really take any summer classes because my honeymoon cuts into the first part of the summer session and there's nothing in the second session that will benefit me towards my major or minor. Oh well.

Also I'm thinking about hitting up the zoo on my way home to fill out an application. We'll see how that goes. I'd like to be a Ranger like my good friend Ranger Cherie who is an awesome Ranger! Seriously, I've employed her services before. She almost got my friend raped by a big black bird. Isn't that awesome?

Also also Spiderman 3 kicks ass! If you haven't seen it yet then go see it! I saw it twice, once at the midnight showing with my friend Yoder and some of his friends and then later with Jess and my brother and nephew. We saw it at Alvin ... the movie was an hour late because the last showing overran ours. So there were 200+ people pissed about that. But the movie was still awesome again the second time around.

And I'm sure I had more to blog about, but since I don't get to hop onto the internets as often as I'd like I forget a lot of what I want to blog about. So there. Take what you get.

See you all!

Operational Status: relieved relieved

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To recap, I left my car at the mechanic's shop at 8:00am to have my AC fixed. They told me they would have it into the shop in half an hour.

To continue, I call them at about 2:15pm to see what was up. The guy, Tim, told me that they hadn't looked at it yet. I didn't like this answer, but there wasn't much I could do.

But I needed my car last night for a job at the Zoo. So I call up my super awesome friend Joey who works the night shift in Alvin right across the street from our apartments and I asked if I could borrow her car. She immediately said "Yes." She said that she wouldn't be using it at that time, so it was ok if I used it.

So she comes over and drops the car off. Turns out a friend of hers at work lives in the same apartments, so she got a ride over with her. Then Tim, the Mechanic calls me.

Tim tells me that there was a problem with a air gap spacer thingy in the compressor of the AC. He replaced the spacer and filled it up with Coolant. The estimate was $120. Which wasn't the price I was hoping for, but was a lot less than I had expected. I wasn't estatic, but it was still not unreasonable.

The timing sucked because I had to leave for work, but they held the car overnight and I picked it up this morning. The AC works and is positively FRIGID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ... LOVE IT! Now that the air in my car makes me shiver, and when I get out of my car and the air outside is warmer than inside (which is a reversal from last week) the $120 I paid for the labor and parts doesn't seem that bad at all.

He said since the coolant wasn't full that meant there was a leak somewhere. But since it wasn't empty that meant it wasn't a bad leak and would most likely work through the Summer. They put a special dye into the coolant that you can see under UV light. If the AC weakens I can just take it back in, they'll put a black light over it, spot the leak and fix it. No worries.

My dad had a similar leak several months ago and they did the dye thing. His AC is still working just fine. So I'm thinking that maybe mine will too.

And that's the news, I'm Patrick Hankamer. Thanks for watching.
2 deelishus souls Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
... hopefully. ... eventually.

This morning I left my car at Superior Auto in Alvin at about 8:00 this morning to have the AC fixed. The AC has not worked for a while now. I discovered it was inoperable around March when I needed to turn the AC on again.

Long story short - It's got plenty of coolant, but there's a short in the electronics and the compressor won't kick on. Therefore no cool air.

I'm a little worried, though. It's now 11:00 and I've gotten no call from the mechanic. That's three hours. When he said at 8:00 that he'd get it into the shop in half an hour. Yeah ... not OUT of the shop, but at least into the shop. Three hours at a mechanic's labor rates isn't sitting well in my stomache right now.

And it'll probably just be a fuse. A $3.00 piece of plastic and metal ... and he'll charge me without petrolium jelly if you catch my drift.

In other, more better news: I replaced the battery in my car yesterday which had been failing slowly for the past two months. It took my car a few seconds to turn over when I turned it on. And it died twice in two days, which was the last straw. So I went to Wal-Mart and they installed a new one for me. And apparantly I still had warranty on the old one. Not the full warranty, but it did knock off about $30, which was rather nice.

So now my car turns over nearly immediately when I turn the key. Is it not wonderful?

*le sigh* Ah well. I'll post again when I get my car back. And I'll give you a damage report.
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This morning on my way to skool, I witnessed what may be the stupidest thing any one human being has witnessed ever in the history of humankind.

I pulled up to a red light on Highway 6, and in the left lane next to me pulls up a Chevy Astro, probably late '90s model. In case you don't know, this is a Minivan. Keep this in mind. A MINIVAN.

He had spinners on his hubcaps. Oh yes. Spinners on a '90s model Chevy Astro minivan.

Also my SonicStage software is behaving, so I'm taking advantage of this by transfering as much music to my MiniDisc player as is humanly possible. I stuffed a dozen CDs into my backpack this morning and I'm transfering them to MD during my break inbetween classes. YAY!!! I can finally compile my archives the way I've been wanting to. Woot!

See you guys later!
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So you scoop out some much needed and deserved ice cream after a semi-long day. You're finished scooping from the carton into the cup/bowl/cone and no one else is going to have ice cream after you. There are great big gobs of ice cream left on the scoop that you don't want to put back in the carton and you're too lazy to spoon them into your cup.

What do you do? You lick the scoop ... and promptly say "huck" as both your tounge and upper lip freezes to the scoop.

So there I am holding the ice cream scoop in my right hand, scrambling for a cup to put some warm water in so I may pour it over the scoop. I realize this is difficult to do (I know, it sounds easy, but it really is a bit difficult). So I utter "Essie .... elp" And my fiance, Jess comes to the rescue and pours warm water over the scoop while trying not to laugh.
1 deelishus soul Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
So I get to UH about 20 minutes before class and commence the search for a parking space. I drive around the lot for about 5 minutes until I find one at the very back corner of the lot furthest away from my class. This is fine, I'm use to it.

The part that is not fair is that as I am walking through the parking lot towards the building, about TWENTY people pour out into the parking heading to their cars near the front of the lot to leave.

4 deelishus souls Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
Ok. So I filed my Tax Return online though a service called TaxACT. It's a fairly good service, I've used it for the past three years, and this year. Never had a problem until now.

The thing is when you submit it through the website to the IRS electronicly, you have to digitally "sign" it. The website asks you several questions regarding your SSN, date of birth, your adjusted gross income from last year, etc. to make sure it's really you.

So on one page it asks for "Today's Date" and for you to create a PIN number for your 2006 return. On the next page it asks for your "Date of Birth" and either your "2005 Adjusted Gross Income" or your "2005" PIN number if you used the service last year. However I must have missread it as the second page asking me to confirm my 2006 PIN number, because that's why it was rejected. So I resubmit it with my "2005 Adjusted Gross Income" because I don't remember the PIN I created last year.

It gets rejected by the IRS again. Because I didn't say I can be claimed as a dependant on my parent's Return. My dad claimed me as a dependant ... so I resubmit it saying "Yes, I can be claimed as a dependant on someone else's return" ... which, because it lowers my deductable, bumps my refund from $390 down to a grand total of $18 ...

I guess it's just god's way of telling me I don't really need to get the AC in my car fixed.
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Do you read webcomics? Do you miss MacHall? Check out Three Panel Soul, created by Matt and Ian, those responsible for MacHall.com
1 deelishus soul Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
I understand the thought behind this and the nobility of saving mothers and babies ... but ... it's a little ... calous, don't you think?

Baby Slots
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Ok, so since I don't have internets at home, my blogs are few and far between. i think of things and things happen to me that I think to myself "I need to blog that!" And it just doesn't happen. I try to remember these things and blog them later, but they leave my head.

For instance, last week I learned three very important life lessons, but i can only remember two of them.

Lesson 1 - You cannot make Jell-O instant pudding with Soy Milk. The soy milk doesn't contain the proper ensymes that cow's milk does that react with the pudding powder to congeal it into a tastey wobbly treat. YOu just get soy milk with lumps of pudding mix in it.

Lesson 2 - Three packets of Splenda is WAY too sweet for a cup of coffee! I'm use to putting about six packets of sugar in my coffee at restaurants to make it close enough to sweet to be tolerable. However comma artificial sweeteners pack more sweetness in that sugar does. I did not know this because thusfar on my Weight Watchers diet I've only encountered things that had sweetener built in such as diet sodas and sugar free syrup and Blue Bunny ice cream. I had, up until this point, not actually put sweetener into anything. So just one packet of Splenda is neccessary. Remember this.

And of course, i cannot remember the third lesson. it actually happened before the Splenda incident, so it's REALLY lesson number two. But that's how it goes. I'm sure it had something to do with food as well, but I cannot be certain.
3 deelishus souls Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
So we're back from our vacation. We went up to visit Jess's granfolks in Arkansas for a few days. Then we hung out with our awesome friend Amanda in Denton, TX near Dallas for a couple of days and on Saturday we went to the Dallas Comic Con Fan Day.

I met a bunch of other guys in Ghostbusters Gear:
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See? I TOLD you guys that I'm not the only one who does this!!

And in case you don't know, the guy in the middle in the black Ghostbusters shirt that says "Winston Rules!" is Ernie Hudson who played Winston in both Ghostbusters movies. He ... was AWESOME! Really nice guy. He was very interested in all of our gear, asking questions about them and all that. You could tell that he really truly loves his fans.

Oh! And here's a slideshow from the rest of the Con:

2 deelishus souls Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
And this is why:

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That's right. I now own the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Vol. 1!
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Tonight I've been enjoying the euphoria that comes from a major life and career altering decision being made over the course of a few short days.

The past semester or so I've been fretting about my future. My fiancé, Jess has her life set. She graduated in December and was immediately offered a job that she gladly took. She is now working at Mark Twain Elementary School as a Special Ed Preschool teacher, which is her dream job. Next week we'll be moving into an apartment together. In a few short months, we'll be married. And all this time, she will be supporting us.

For all the time that I've been involved in theatre in college, I still don't have a solid idea about what I actually WANT to do for the rest of my life. I've always answered that question with stuff like "I haven't made up my mind" , "Something in the entertainment field" or "I'm going to see where I end up". None of which have been very reassuring.

On Thursday in my Alley in Production class, our teacher Kevin Rigdon was 'splaining to use the economics of working for LORT theaters. (League Of Resident Theaters). Basically if I were to choose design as my career, I would have to design (realistically) 6 shows a year for LORT theaters at $5000 a design. This ends up being $30,000 a year. That's BEFORE taxes. And benefits were never brought up. Plus you can't realistically design for the same theatre year round. You'd have to do work at theaters all over the country. There are only about 30-50 of these theaters in the United States. And there are hundreds of thousands of people who want your job. Plus I don't want to have to hop from city to city all the time.

So this lecture on Theater economics was VERY disheartening and discouraging to me. In the days since I've thought about, discussed with Jessie and finally, this afternoon, decided that I want to look up information on changing my major to train to become a middle school science teacher. I know … HUGE jump. And it's not as if my time spent working in theatre has been wasted. I have had such a great, fun, and enriching experience in the many theaters and productions that I have worked on or at. But I cannot seriously see myself making a good living in theatre. But like I said … five and half years later and I still don't know what I want to do with my future?

I'm a wee bit irritated at myself for taking this long to realize this isn't for me, but at the same time, the conversation I had with Jess earlier today brought me SO MUCH relief. This is also possibly another reason why I hated it so much here at UH. The feeling that I had NO IDEA what I wanted to do with the education I'm getting her. I'm glad that I actually have some real direction now. Even if I'm just now starting down this path, the light is much more visible than any light a career in theatre could have offered me.

Theatre has been very fun and I will bring some valuable skills and lessons from it. But it's time for me to think about real world responsibilities and the like. And if you've read this far into this blog entry, then bless you. ^.^

Theme Music: Barenaked Ladies - Maybe Katie

3 deelishus souls Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
I unexpected made my first puppet the other day! Yay!

I'm on props crew this semester, and the student production of The Boys Next Door aparantly has five puppets in it. Like, the five characters each have one.

So we made sock puppets the other day during crew. Here's mine:

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He doesn't have a name yet, but in case you didn't guess, he IS a Rastafarian. His body is a red oven mitt. I tucked the thumb in, and glued the hat over it. The dreadlocks are made of this stretchy net tubing. The kind fruit comes in? There was miles and miles of the stuff. And the John Lenon shades are soldering wire with light gels.

I'm very proud of him and McKay, the Props Manager has promised to try to let me keep him when the show is over which I believe is next weekend.

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You are no longer worth the effort.
So I'd like to let you in on a secret: Those of you who bummed out on Subject to Fits yesterday missed one of the most entertaining productions I've ever seen at the Alley. Teryl and I had a blast watching it! It was was quite bizzare and irreverent and pretty and wonderful. And the lead actress reminded me of a young Kate Mulgrew who played Captain Janeway on Star Trek Voyager.

So it's not just me now. Remember how I keep trying to get people to go see things with me? Plays at the Alley and Stages? Stomp? Teryl's my witness. These things I want people to go with me to see are as great as I say they will be.

So my friends and 'specially all you ACC kids: You should think about it harder the next time I bring up a play or something that I want to go see. Next weekend is the last chance to see A Streetcar Named Desire at UH. Student Tickets are $7. SEVEN DOLLARS! You canNOT tell me you can't afford $7. I will laugh at you. I'm a poor college student as well, and I have $7. If after I laugh at you and you start crying because you honestly DON'T have $7, I will give you $7 so that you have the chance to go see Streetcar.

And Hitchcock Blonde goes up at the Alley Theatre February 23 and runs til March 18. I will post more details about this sure-to-be-amazing production at a later time. But as a student, you NEVER have to pay full price for theatre in Houston. Most nights student tickets are a mere $13. Which is DIRT CHEAP compared to their general admission of $45. So stay tuned to my blog and bulletins.

Operational Status: Snarky

3 deelishus souls Would you like to sell your soul for a cookie?
Ok, so last wekk I got the HDD for my 360 in the mail. And yesterday I got the 360 console itself. I plugged everything in and sure enough, I got the 3 red lights of doom. (Sorry no pictures of these two important components, I've been stupidly busy this week.

So anyway, I took the 5 minutes this morning at midnight when I got home, to unpack the console, and plug it in. There is a method of determining the specific hardware error code in which you hold the sync and eject buttons at the same time, and the pattern in which the lights blink lets you know which error code it's giving. So mine has a 0110 error code meaning it has a memory failure.

The first thing I'm going to do when I get home from school tomorrow is to call Microsoft and determine if the console is still under warranty. Doubtful, but it's worth a shot. If it is, then i can send the machine in to M$ and they'll fix it for free. Woot. If it IS NOT under warranty, then there are a few methods of repairing the problem that I have found online.

Like I said, it's worth a shot. Worst case scenario: I can't get it fixed and I sell it on eBay again. I get my monies back, and no harm will come of the experience.

More updates and pictures will follow in this breaking story.
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A Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends on El Jay! Or Happy VD if you prefer. Or as my friends and I call it : SAD Day (Singles Awareness Day). Just remember that Love comes in many shapes and flavors. Just because you're single doesn't mean you're not loved. Take the time today to appreciate those who love you. Friends, Family, possibly even coworkers or classmates. Buy a bag of Hershey's Hugs or Kisses and pass them out. That's what I normally do. A Hug and a Kiss. Cute, yes. Sickening? Quite possibly. But it lets everyone know you appreciate them by giving them the best possible gift: Seratonin inducing chocolate!

And while I can't give out Hugs and Kisses to you guys physically this year, remember that I love and appreciate you all for being my friends. I don't say stuff like this often enough, so consider this blog your 6 month supply! ^.^
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