Akin's Journal Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Akin" journal:

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July 31st, 2014
04:06 pm


New luggage
So, few years ago, I bought a couple of new suitcases.  This was back when you could still have two carry-on bags for free with a flight...

Anyway, one of them, the one I put a couple of 'verse travel stickers on, developed major cracks after a year or so, and it's been retired.

The other lasted until my recent trip to Easter Europe.  It's still useable, given a judicious application of duct tape, but it is time for a new suitcase.

I'm thinking of one of these new ones from Pelican.  Yeah, it'll be expensive, but it'll also be more-or-less indestructible.

The only issue is, color.  I'm naturally inclined to stick with flat black, of course.

But, maybe red trim...

Anyone have any opinions one way or another?


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July 18th, 2014
10:53 pm


Stupid mean people

So, I'm staying at the same motel on the way up to Portland as I stayed at on the way down last visit.

Last time, though it was raining, when I pulled up near the office and got out, an adorable little orange and white cat ran out. He was thrilled to see me, and although it was raining, he ran up and when I reached down to pet him he stood up and head-butted my hand, wound around my legs meowing, then ran back under the overhang and meowed loudly at me to get me to hurry up and get under cover so I could pet him where it was dry.

Eventually I went in and got a room, then had to run the gauntlet of feline affection again on the way back to my car. He had a warm and dry kitty house near the office, next to his food, water, and litter box.

When I parked near my room, I discovered that he was lying in wait, and I wasn't allowed in until I had scritched the heck out of him.

The same thing was repeated in the morning before I left.

This time, no sign of Max (the kitty).

Fearing the worst, I asked what what happened to him. Fortunately, he's fine... apparently some asshole cat hater called the county and complained, and the pound was going to come pick Max up, so one of the staff took him home.

Well, it's good that Max is fine, but I kinda feel sorry for him... he loved to meet people, obviously, and he won't be able to do much of that living at someone's house.

What really makes me angry is that some asshole just had to go and ruin it for this loveable little cat. Sure, maybe you just don't like cats or maybe you're allergic, but it'd be easy enough to not pet him and leave well enough alone.

But no, some moron has to ruin it for everyone. All the staff loved Max, most of the guests loved him, but oh no, one has to not only not like him, but call the county.

I really dislike people sometimes

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May 13th, 2014
08:27 am


Memories and fudge
So, over the weekend I finished up the last of the fudge my mom bought me back in September, at the Natural Bridge Skylift and gift shop in Kentucky.

We’d taken the skylift up to the top, and then hiked around a bit until my mom got too tired. We were able to see the really big natural bridge, at least. It was pretty cool... how they were able to form like that is beyond me.

We enjoyed the natural beauty of the woods and stuff, too. There were hardly any people up there, so it was pretty cool. Eventually, she got to the point where she needed to sit, so we rode back down.

Then we drove around for a bit, through the Nada Tunnel and all throughout the Red River Gorge. It’s all in the Daniel Boone National Forest... we went up to several scenic overlooks and a pretty cool visitor’s center.

Eventually we headed back... it was only a day trip. After Dragon*Con this year, I was going to spend a week in Kentucky with mom and we were going to rent a cabin out there for a couple of days so we could do some more exploring. Yet another of the countless things that are never going to happen now.

But anyway, back at the Natural Bridges Skylift... they sell homemade fudge there. I wasn’t going to get any, but mom insisted on buying me some. We got some mint fudge, and some vanilla and orange. The mint didn’t last until I came back to LA, but the vanilla and orange, which was the yummiest, survived. Mainly because I hid it.

I had no clue I would never see her again when she dropped me off at the airport.

Well, when she was in her casket, that doesn’t count.

And now the fudge is gone. It certainly wasn’t fresh any more, but it was still quite yummy. I’m pretty sure that it was the last thing she ever bought me.

I miss you, mom.

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September 17th, 2012
03:10 am


HTML Literate friends? Help?
Okay, so, at one point I knew enough about HTML (or more accurately, using Frontpage) to get my homepage at http://www.akinsworld.com/ to work.  But, it doesn't work anymore...and I don;t seem to be smart enough to fix it anymore.

It used to open to the menu bar, which still works, and my Livejournal page, at http://akin.livejournal.com/.

However, now it simply says "No such user" instead of showing my page...

I've lkooked at the HTML, and frankly I don't remember half of that stuff.

I suspect that this is an easy fix, to anyone with the barest minimum competency in HTML...

Errr... anyone have any ideas on how I can fix it? heh... I *think* the index.html page makes the menu bar, and links to "journal.htm" in the main window, which should load my LJ... of course, I'm assuming that anyone who want's to try to assist can view the source of the page.  Does that still work?


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August 11th, 2012
11:32 pm


The Mystery of the Missing Fiddling
Well, I guess my portable ipod speakers are finally giving up the ghost.  They still seem to be working normally... however, I've noticed that when "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" comes up on my playlist, it sounds weird. It took me a while to figure this out... when I'm driving and my ipod's plugged into my car stereo, it sounds fine. When I tested the original on my PC at home, it was fine, too... I was ready to dig out the old box 'o CDs and re-rip "The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band"... it's like, I knew something was off, but every time I actually tested, it was fine.
So today as I arrived at work, it had just come up and I had cranked it hard... then I shut down and got set up for work. After I was settled, I plugged in my ipod speakers and connected the ipod, and fired it up... and the song was just wrong again. 
Some testing revealed that it did. In fact, sound awesome on my speakers, and it even sounds normal when I plug my ipod into the cheap-ass speakers that are left here in the office... but my little Ihome speaker box, well, when I play it, for some unfathomable reason the fiddles are almost inaudible. 
Seeing as how the song is basically about fiddling, that's just not acceptable. 
At least now I've verified that I wasn't imagining things, and I've localized the problem.
Now, off to watch the meteor shower!

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August 7th, 2012
07:34 pm


Editing video files
Does anyone know of a (preferably free) video editing software I can use?

I recently started using Fraps to record gameplay footage, and it'd be nice if I could edit it... both to get rid of the excess footage that I don;t want, and to edit the pieces together.  Fraps automatically breaks the video clips into four gigabyte chunks... so if the action covers to of them, I'll want to edit them together, hopefully seamlessly.

The files it creates are .avi files...

Anyone have any suggestions?  While a free program is preferred, a reasonably priced one will be considered, too... just not interested in spending hundreds of dollars on some of the programs I've seen out there...

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05:44 pm


Paying for Dragon*Con
So, it's no secret that I really enjoy going to Dragon*Con.  It's probably accurate to say that I like it more than Comic-Con... alas, it's a lot harder to get to.  Airfare, hotels, all the stuff associated with traveling... plus shipping costume stuff and whatnot that won't fit in my luggage on the plane.  Fortunately, I can ship my junk to mom, over in Kentucky... then I fly out, hang out with her and my sister and brother-in-law for a few days... visit dad's grave and leave some flowers, which he would think was a ridiculous waste of effort... and then borrow mom's car and drive down to Atlanta.  Reverse at the end of D*C, and all is good.

Every year, though, I keep telling myself that I need to just put a bit of money aside every payday so that when August rolls around, I'm not desperately scrambling and crunching numbers, like I am now.  I've actually made an effort before, but the problem is, when I can easily transfer money from my checking account (which gets my direct-deposit paycheck) into my savings account, I can just as easily transfer the money back to checking when I want to buy something.  So, every year, I'm broke when D*C rolls around.

No longer!  I quizzed my credit union and discovered that they have a "Vacation Vault" savings account!  I can put all the money I want into this account, but I can't take any out at all!  On the day I designate, the entire amount will be dumped into my regular savings, so I can get to it... I picked August first.  That'll be a little late in the game for airfare, but I usually buy that much earlier in the year anyway... this money will be for the actual trip.  I've set up an automatic transfer so that on payday every two weeks, fifty bucks will go in... so, when next year rolls around, it should be a relatively stress-free experience!

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March 27th, 2012
09:44 am


Tax returns and Ipads
So, when I get my return next week, aside from paying off my car insurance for the next year, I expect I'll likely pick up a new Ipad. While it's not a huge improvement over the Ipad 2, aside from the screen... well... okay the screen is freaking awesome and a huge improvement in and of itself.

Besides, I'll be upgrading from an original Ipad, not the two, so it'll definitely be a step up.

While I'm tempted to go with Verizon since their model can serve as a wifi hotspot, I think I'll wind up going with AT&T after all since I can transfer my existing unlimited 3G data plan over to an unlimited 4G data plan.  They don't throttle Ipad data plans, either... it truly is unlimited.

Which will leave me with an original 3G Ipad... anyone know anyone in the market for one? It is truly in pristine condition... the front and back are protected by Zagg InvisiShield protective films, and the only time it's not in it's leatherish case is when it's in the cradle for charging.  There are no scratches or marks on it a all...

It also has a Jobby Roger on the back, underneath the protective film.

Its AppleCare doesn't expire until June 16th, so in the unlikely event it needs support before then, I could get it taken care of if the new owner can get it back to me.  It's running just fine, though, so I doubt that'll be an issue...

If anyone knows anyone who might be interested, let me know!


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December 13th, 2011
12:21 pm


I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet--a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/6269/uncensor

████ ████ ██████ █████ to be ███████.

Uncensor This

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December 9th, 2011
08:33 pm


Browncoat Backup Bash day three
Saturday, December 9, 2006...

I got up way too early to get down to Burbank in time.  Stopped at Kripsy Kreme along the way and picked up like four dozen donuts... they didn't last long!  We were all lined up to board buses to take us to us to the Pickwick errrr an undisclosed location.  We didn't want word to get out about where we were going, in order to keep folks from just showing up.

I don't believe I really did anything during the day as far as helping out, I just enjoyed the show.

I was wearing my "Boy sure would be nice if we had some grenades" shirt... as I was walking along the line, a girl jumped out with some grenades and we started talking.  She took a picture...

Little did I know, I had just met what would become the love of my life.

And then eighteen happy months later, she dumped me.  Basically, she scared herself into thinking that she was about to get another ex-husband... not a lot I could do.  *sigh*

Suppose I should take down the pictures of her I still have up... one of these days.  I feel like it would be like trying to edit away the past, ya know? 

Anyway, the buses took us to the Pickwick Gardens, where a large ballroom had been rented.  The hotel wouldn't let us use any of the rooms that BE had reserved, despite the fact that BE obviously wasn't there.  All the dealers who had come (none of them were told that it had been canceled) set up their wares... there had been an abortive attempt to turn a hotel room into a dealer's room Friday night, but the crowds and noise led to that being quickly squashed by the hotel.

Now that I recall, the only room the hotel gave us was one on Friday, which I forgot to mention, where the costume display was set up.  it was pretty cool... no flash pictures, though!

So anyway, back to Saturday.  The day seemed to be filled with activity, though now I scarcely remember it all.  I know the Bedlam Bards played, and there was a presentation on Done The Impossible by Brian Wiser and (I think) Jeremy Nash.  A Firefly MMO was announced, and we were all given secret info on how to sign up for the beta test.  That wound up being cancelled a few years later... honestly, I don't think a Firefly MMO can be made.  The show is awesome because of it's storytelling; the setting itself isn't that spectacular.  Ho hum, evil government, evil corporations, little guys get squashed, been there done that... the kind of storytelling that made the show shine would be very difficult, if not impossible, to recreate in an MMO.  What kind of missions would there be? Go to Persephone, acquire ten beagles, bring them to Ariel, watch out for Reavers... *yawn*

I'd rather a Firefly MMO never get made, than for a bad one to come out.  I shan't comment on the current effort being made.  You can play as the "Reaver Faction"? Seriously?

I bought my first two (signed and numbered!) Jason Palmer prints there, this and this.  They're hanging on my wall as we speak.  Also picked up a copy of Done The Impossible and got it signed by Brian and Jeremy, and the Bedlam Bard's On The Drift CD and got it signed by Cedric and Hawk.  It's still a pleasure every time I run into the Bards (typically only at Dragon*Con these days), and Brian and I still hang out and BS when we see each other.

I know there was more at the Pickwick, but I simply can't remember.  It was awesome, but it's blurred together with the years...

We took the buses back to the hotels for a while before going out to secret location number two.  James had pulled me aside and wanted to take advantage of my offer to help out, and assigned me to be The Doorman at what turned out to be the awesome party at La Cantina.  If anyone doesn't know, it was Clare Kramer and her husband's new club... so new that it wasn't opening for two weeks, and they'd spent all day painting it!

I was one of the first folks to arrive, and I grabbed a couple of slices of pizza from the little shop next door... and I warned him to fire up his ovens because three hundred hungry Browncoats were on the way!  He did a ton of business that night!

What can I say about that night that hasn't been said already?  It was just awesome.  So many BDHs showed up... I was out front and I got to greet and walk them in.  Honestly, seeing as how packed it was inside (150 person capacity club, 300 Browncoats...), I think I had a better deal... well, aside from the freezing cold and pouring rain.  It rarely rains like that in LA, not since the great El Nino of 1997-98... man, was I soaked!  And naturally, I'd left my hat back at the hotel... those of you who know me in real life, know how rare it is to see me without a hat.

Let's see if I can try to remember who all came out for the fans that night... Nathon Fillion, Morena Baccarin, Ron Glass, Christina Hendricks, Michael Fairman, Mark Sheppard, Jonathan Woodward, either Yan or Rafael Feldman, I'm not sure which, and Robert Lee, the Fruity Oaty Bar guy... I think I'm forgetting someone, but it's been a while.

It was just way cool.  There were a couple of other people helping me at the door, but one went in after a while and never returned.  There were maybe fifteen or twenty groups of muggles (mainly couples) who tried to get in, not knowing it was a private party, but no problems. This was the beginning of my long history of wrangling crowds and whatnot for the CA Browncoats... I frequently get recognized at various Cons as that guy who kept the crowds in order when Joss or Nathan or Felicia or whoever was at the CA Browncoats booth...

When I finally took the last bus back to the hotel, I was done.  And soaking wet.  I'd gotten a room for the night, so at least I didn't have to drive home.  So, after a hot shower, I collapsed.  I understand some folks stayed at the bar until late and had a great time.

OH something I almost forgot... anyone remember the hi-larious Notes On A Fridge On A Spaceship?  Well, print-outs of a new page were already going around by then... so cool!

And so ended the first "official" day of the Browncoat Backup Bash.

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