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October 11, 2006

Ninja Car

I'm in love with my caaaar...
Gotta feel for my auto-mo-bile...

Look at it. Isn't it pretty?

Click it. It gets bigger.

That is my new ninja car, a 2007 Saturn Aura. I bought it on Saturday (Terri's birthday!) and I love it beyond all measure. It's my new boyfriend.

To bust out with the biggest cliché ever - it's a sweet ride.

I got the XE base model with the preferred package (8-way power adjustable driver's seat, heated outside mirrors, wheel-mounted stereo controls) and tinted windows. The stereo controls on the wheel are awesome - I was pretty sure I'd like them (I got the package mostly for the heated mirrors; they're invaluable), but they are so, so convenient.

The stereo does that weird thing where it adjusts the volume based on outside noise, but I'm probably going to turn the option off, because it's messing with my head.

From the front and back:

Yesterday when I was taking photos I noticed something so freakin' cool. In my L200 I was always somehow pushing the driver's side floor mat up underneath the brake/gas pedal. It was, how do they say? ANNOYING.

When I was taking photos of the Aura's interior I noticed a black circle in front of the driver's seat on the floor. After a brief freakout that I had already marred the carpet, I more closely inspected things and saw this:


There is a HOOK on the FLOOR that attaches to a GROMMET on the MAT which HOLDS THE MAT IN PLACE!!1one

Coolest! car! ever!

*hugs ninja car*

Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:59 AM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2006

It Has Begun


Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:14 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2006

Good WoW Hunting

Or, The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together.

I didn't want it to come to this. In fact, I didn't want to admit to this at all, but I think I have to say something now because this thing is taking up a good chunk of my time (not to mention infiltrating my dreams).

For the better part of a year now my family - starting with my father and nephew and then extending on to my sister-in-law - have been pestering me to start playing an online game called World of Warcraft (WoW). There's a technical name for this thing - MUD? MORG? Somethinglikethat. It's one of those games that you play online with people who are also online in the game at the same time.

You fight monsters and humanoids and demons and stuff, and you get money and treasures (of varying degrees of worth) while doing so. I figured it was basically an online version of the Dungeons & Dragons that my brother and I used to play when we were kids.

(Yes, I was a D&D geek.)

Anyway, I resisted my family's constant and unrelenting pressure to play WoW for a few reasons. First, I didn't want to spend $15 a month on a game. Second, I just didn't have time to devote to playing the game - I'm a busy girl with a busy life. Finally, and most importantly, my computer did not have a good enough video card to handle the game software.

So these were my outs every time someone would start trying to pressure me to play. "I can't, my video card isn't good enough." Then my dad said he'd buy me a new video card, but I countered with "I don't want to disconnect everything and bring my computer down to you so you can put in the new card."

HE countered with the suggestion that he'd just come up to my place and install the card there. I volleyed back with my "no time" excuse.

But they kept at me. Whenever we'd all be together for dinner, or at one of Alex's football games, they'd all be talking about WoW. ALL of them - my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephew. They all played, and they often played together, helping each other out with quests and battles.

So after awhile I started getting curious about it. One day when I was over at my brother's house I asked Alex to show me what the game was like. He signed on as one of his characters, and I signed on as one of his mom's characters, and we walked around killing things. I'm not a natural at video games, so it was overwhelming and difficult to understand, I couldn't really navigate around very well using the mouse, and I didn't know what the hell I was doing.

But, it was also fun.


So then I started thinking, maybe. Maybe I'd be interested in playing. But still there was the video card problem, and the money problem, and the time problem. I solved the money problem by dropping my Netflix account to the bare minimum (according to my sister-in-law, once I started playing WoW I "wouldn't have time to watch movies, anyway" - or, as it turns out, much of anything). My family solved the computer issues for my birthday, buying me the game software and a new video card, AND coming up to my place for my birthday dinner and installing the card in my computer.

Then I had no excuse.

We went to dinner at Old Chicago on my birthday and we started discussing which names I should use for my characters. We made a list, and when we got back (after all of the game updates and patches had finished downloading/installing), I created my account.

Then the hard part begins - what do you want to be? First you chose the race of your character - human, dwarf, gnome or night elf. Gnomes and dwarves were out, on account of being vertically challenged and in the case of dwarves - blindingly ugly. Humans were kind of boring, but night elves looked super cool, so that's what I chose.

Next, you select your class, and my options for night elves were Hunter, Druid, Warrior, Priest, and Rogue. Given my shifty nature, I chose to be a rogue.

Finally, the moment of truth - selecting a name. I was very happy to get my first choice, Amygdala.

And thus began my descent into the most time-consumingly obsessive activity I currently have in my life.

I should have taken a screenshot of Amygdala when she had head-to-toe black armor and red glowing daggers, because she looked SHARP (other players in the game would constantly whisper, or message, me to ask how I accomplished the all-black look). But I didn't. So here's what she looks like right now, at level 28 (out of 60):

My World of Warcraft character, Amygdala

Dig the ears and the tribal face markings! She's rocking a sword in her right (main) hand and a poisoned dagger in her left.

One oddity I ran across last weekend - some random player whispered me and asked if I'd give him a lap dance. Yeah, I know - the hell? So that was my response - "The hell?" He said he'd give me 5 gold (decent coin) if I'd unequip all of my gear (basically stripping my character down to underclothes) and dance for him.


(Incidentally, the Tauren female and Gnome male dances crack me up.)

But anyway, none of this is why I'm actually composing this post. I'm writing about this because of the strange, and yet undeniably positive, way this has bonded my family.

As long as he's playing this game, my nephew and I will always have a common bond to talk about. I call my dad or brother for tips on how to do things that I don't understand. Both my sister-in-law and nephew have met up my characters (I have second character now, a human paladin named Strictnine) in one of the worlds within the game to help out with quests that are too difficult for me to accomplish on my own.

And yes, maybe we're talking about imaginary fantasy characters and CGI monsters that we "kill," and "loot" that we "equip." Maybe we're not talking about our feelings, or our philosophical views on life, or the geopolitical state of the world. But we're talking. More importantly, we're sharing an experience that is giving us lasting memories that include each other.

Like the night that Terri helped run Strictnine around between two continents so I could get flight points and finish the Children's Week quest so I could get my very own pet piglet (whom I renamed "Hamhock" rather than the game-generated "Mr. Wiggles").

Or the time that Terri, Alex and my dad all helped me go through a place called the Deadmines ("Mommy, mommy, can we do Deadmines today?!"), an "instance" (sort of a game within the game) that would let me pick up a lot of decent loot that I could either use or sell to build up my cash reserve. Alex also ran me over to a world that I'd never been to before so that I could complete a quest specifically given to rogues.

And on and on. Right now my dad's paladin and Amygdala are in Duskwood working on a multi-part quest (Stalvan) that has us killing a lot of undead things. That's right - I'm gaming with my dad.

In fact, my dad said something very sweet one night when we were slaying undead warriors. I was getting dogpiled by some undead and he came over and helped kill them. So I thanked him for that and he said, "I always try to protect you."

Me, his kid. Not my character.

Like I said, when I first started playing I didn't know what I was doing and depended on the kindness of strangers (other players) a lot. Now that I'm a decently high level, it's fun to repay that help in kind. I was off in a very easy place (Elwynn Forest) for my level, because I had picked up the skinning profession and wanted to level it up quickly by killing stuff with one blow. So I was happily beating the hell out of level 5 boars, when two people asked if I could help them finish a quest.

I went in, smacked around the beasties that were giving them problems, and was their hero ... if only for 15 minutes.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:54 PM | Comments (3)

March 28, 2006

The 40 Questions Meme

Shamelessly stolen from Rappy:

The 40 Questions Meme

1) Who is the last person you high-fived?
I don't think I high-five people, but perhaps if I've been drinking. I would never, ever "fist bop" someone, though.

2) If you were drafted into a war, would you survive.
Hell yes. If it comes down to "kill or be killed" I have no ethical issues with defending my life.

3) Do you sleep with the TV on?
I don't have a TV in my bedroom, so no. I very rarely fall asleep while watching TV in the living room.

4) Have you ever drunk milk straight out of the carton?
If by "carton" you mean "jug" then yes. Frequently. I live alone, I'm allowed.

5) Have you ever won a spelling bee?
Third grade!

6) Have you ever been stung by a bee?
Yes, and I'm allergic to them. So if you're with me and I get stung by a bee, please rush me to the nearest emergency medical facility.

7) How fast can you type?
Faster than you can read.

8) Are you afraid of the dark?
Yes, but only when it comes to chicken.

9) Eye color:
Baby seal eyes brown.

10) Have you ever made out at a drive-in?
I've only ever been to the drive-in with my family. So that means "no."

11) When was the last time you chose a bath over a shower?
When I broke my arm last year.

12) Do you knock on wood?
I think I better.

13) Do you floss daily?
I most certainly do. Good oral hygeine is key (to what, I'm not sure).

15) Can you hula hoop?
My hips are spring loaded and move like a gyroscope, so yes.

16) Are you good at keeping secrets?
When I want to be.

17) What do you want for Christmas?
Special plans for New Year's Eve.

18) Do you know the Muffin Man?
Yes I do.

19) Do you talk in your sleep?
Only when I have someone laying beside me to talk to. Cats not included.

20) Who wrote the book of love?
Salman Rushdie. Fatwa!

21) Have you ever flown a kite?
Yes, on the beaches of both Florida and North Carolina. I've also politely offered that others should go fly one, too.

22) Do you wish on your fallen lashes?
Do I what? Why would I wish on fallen lashes?

23) Do you consider yourself successful?
Still alive? Then yes.

24) How many people are on your contact list of your cell?
My cell is in the car and I don't want to go get it to answer this. But I know I have 17 numbers in my home phone. (I noticed that Rappy answered "About 100" to this question, which I refuse to believe considering that she hates to talk on the phone.)

25) Have you ever asked for a pony?
All the time, but only sarcastically after someone asks for something they know they'll never get ("And I want a pony - but life isn't fair, is it?")

26) Plans for tomorrow?
Gym - work - talk - sleep. With some eating thrown in for good measure. Just like every other day (except Sunday).

27) Can you juggle?
I can cutely pretend to juggle, does that count?

28) Missing someone now?

29) When was the last time you told someone "I love you"?
On Sunday.

30) And truly meant it?
On Monday. Ha! Just kidding - I meant it on Sunday, of course.

31) How often do you drink?
When someone offers to buy me one.

32) How are you feeling today?
Cold, as usual. And my left big toe hurts because I stubbed it yesterday. I'm feeling kind of blah physically (hormones) and my trouser cuffs keep sliding under my heels because I'm wearing my new loafer mules, so that's kind of annoying. But other than those things, I'm fantastic.

33) What do you say too much?

34) Have you ever been suspended or expelled from school?
Close, but no cigar.

35) What are you looking forward to?
April 21.

36) Have you ever crawled through a window?
Yep, I crawled through my bedroom window with Glen when I was 16 and ended up falling backwards and cracking the window with my heel.

37) Have you ever eaten dog food?
I've eaten Chinese, so it's possible. Oh wait, dog FOOD. Then no.

38) Can you handle the truth?
As long as it's not Tom Cruise's truth, yes.

39) Do you like green eggs and ham?
I would eat them in a box.

40) Any cool scars?
I've got a small scar across my forehead from being literally clotheslined when I was a kid, and a small scar on my right index finger where my mom's parrot bit me.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:20 AM | Comments (9)

February 15, 2006

116 E in the P T

Are you a genius? 'Cause I am!

I eventually got 31/33 of these right (although it took a few hours). I had to cheat on 30 and 31 (thank you, Google), and I maintain that 31 is quite near impossible unless you're in a very small demographic.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:55 AM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2006

I'mway Eelingfay Uckylay

Google in Pig Latin
Google in Swedish Chef
Google in Elmer Fudd
Google in Hacker

All from the Google Language Tools page.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2005

Over Easy


Me: www.eggandmuffintoaster.com
Me: we simply MUST get one of those for the office
John: that may be the greatest invention I've ever seen
Me: I'm telling you, that could revolutionize my life
John: just like Tivo has?
Me: exactly! only with food rather than entertainment.

You can purchase this wonderful little gem for less than $40 from Walmart.com.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:52 AM | Comments (1)

July 18, 2005

What Jake Looks Like

This is how I sometimes feel when I am tweaking HTML/CSS code, testing software, or recapping the Big Brother live feeds:


(Stolen shamelessly from the TV Junkie.)

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:01 AM | Comments (1)

July 02, 2005

MySQL Test

I think I just converted my Berkeley database to MySQL. I'm not entirely sure. I did get the "Done copying data from Berkeley DB to your SQL database! All went well." message, so I think that part of the conversion worked.

I'm just not sure if I am currently using MySQL or if I'm somehow still hooked into the Berkeley database.

And I'm not sure how to tell.

Uh ... yeah. But STILL - I converted my damn database (mostly) all by myself (thanks, John!).

ETA: Dear god, I think it worked. I just checked my SQL database and the last row in the table is for entry #689 - and that's this one.

I am honestly STUNNED.

Oh, and for anyone on GoDaddy who is attempting to upgrade Movable Type from Berkeley to MySQL, the glitch I found was that the password for your MySQL database must match the password for your Berkeley database. At first I was using two different passwords, and I could not get access to the server. But as soon as I made all the passwords the same (i.e. the SQL db had the same password as my GoDaddy user account), everything went swimmingly.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:01 AM | Comments (3)

May 23, 2005

The Death Melon

OK, I think the whole Star Wars homage thing has gone a little too far:


I guess you can't get too mad about a reinterpretation of the film based on organic produce. That takes some creativity. The voice of Chewbroccoli isn't half as good as Ben would have made it, though.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:01 PM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2005

AI: Artificial Ignorance

Last night, Eric and I decided to test the limits of ... artificial intelligence. He set upon me an IM bot, which I then played with for 10 minutes. With this bot, the person sending it creates the initial IM message, to make it appear more realistic (and to make it seem like this "person" sending you the IM really does know you). From there, the AI takes over.

(Note: My initial opening line in this is not my standard IM greeting. Just want to make that clear.)

Lem0nadeStandy28: Hi Remembre me?
Highwaygirl: no I don't, so fuck off, loser!
Lem0nadeStandy28: was tha tan insult?
Highwaygirl: yes it was. are you stupid?
Lem0nadeStandy28: no i'm not
Highwaygirl: yes you are
Lem0nadeStandy28: o hok
Highwaygirl: god, it took you THAT long to type four letters?
Lem0nadeStandy28: i thought so
Highwaygirl: you are a monkey
Lem0nadeStandy28: the stupid phone keeps ringing and I dont wanna answer it lol
Highwaygirl: maybe you should eat it?
Lem0nadeStandy28: em? no
Highwaygirl: EAT IT
Lem0nadeStandy28: i have been so tired lately, i cant wait till i can sleep in for once
Highwaygirl: you can sleep when you're dead. suicide IS an option - for you.
Lem0nadeStandy28: leave me out of this. i did nothing wrong
Highwaygirl: you're alive. your life is wrong.
Lem0nadeStandy28: ???
Highwaygirl: you should kill yourself right now
Lem0nadeStandy28: leave me out of this. I did nothing worng
Highwaygirl: do you like Nietzsche?
Lem0nadeStandy28: m?e no
Highwaygirl: he hates you
Highwaygirl: he thinks you should jump off a bridge
Lem0nadeStandy28: im not that interesting, lol
Lem0nadeStandy28: :-*
Highwaygirl: I think you suck pretty badly, yes
Lem0nadeStandy28: lol
Highwaygirl: are you dead yet?
Lem0nadeStandy28: no. what about you?
Highwaygirl: yes, yes I am
Highwaygirl: My name is Jesus, by the way
Lem0nadeStandy28: ok then
Highwaygirl: It's nice to meet you
Lem0nadeStandy28: im not that itneresting, lol
Highwaygirl: I'm the son of God
Highwaygirl: bet you can't top that
Lem0nadeStandy28: really?
Highwaygirl: Do you have any bacon?
Lem0nadeStandy28: nope
Highwaygirl: I smell ... burning. Do you smell burning?
Lem0nadeStandy28: shut up, like your one to talk
Highwaygirl: YOU'RE
Highwaygirl: YOU ARE
Highwaygirl: YOU FUCKING ARE
Highwaygirl: ME!
Lem0nadeStandy28: ahh my computer keeps freezing on me!
Highwaygirl: (Jesus Christ)
Lem0nadeStandy28: oll
Highwaygirl: oh my god, are you dyslexic?
Highwaygirl: that's so sad
Highwaygirl: Jesus can heal that
Lem0nadeStandy28: im not that interesting, lol
Highwaygirl: *mocks openly*
Lem0nadeStandy28: r u online a lot?
Highwaygirl: I'm omniscient and omnipresent
Highwaygirl: I'm everywhere, a lot
Lem0nadeStandy28: really?
Highwaygirl: SERIOUSLY
Lem0nadeStandy28: You have been talking to a computer! One of your friends is reading the whole conversation and laughing it up right now! GET EVEN! Have the bot talk to all your friends by visiting cyberprank(dot)com

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:52 AM | Comments (3)

May 17, 2005

Rob Wins the Prize


Just don't ask me what the prize is, OK?

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:52 PM | Comments (7)

40k Remains

As of 7 a.m. this morning, my hit counter stands at 39,946. Which means that sometime today, some lucky person is going to be the FORTY THOUSANDTH visitor to me site.

I wonder who that lucky person will be? And what riches will they receive for being so fortunate?

Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:04 AM | Comments (4)

April 28, 2005

Smile For the Camera

I think it's really nice of Google Maps to provide detailed satellite imagery of U.S. Naval Bases, including the placement of aircraft carriers. I can't imagine any improper use for this information whatsoever.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:38 AM | Comments (3)

April 19, 2005

All I've Got Is a Photograph

I am currently in the market for a new camera. Primarily because I want to have a really good piece of equipment when I go to Ireland in October, because I plan on taking millions of photographs of the scenery (including cute Irish boys) while I'm there.

I currently have a Canon A20, and while it works just fine and takes decent shots, I want MORE.

So I've narrowed my choices down to two, and I'm remaining brand loyal to my beloved Canon - the A95 and the G6.

The G6 is definitely the "better" camera in almost every way (megapixels, functionality), but it's also $200 more than the A95 (although still within my price range). My only hesitation is that I'm just not sure I need that much camera. I like being able to play with settings and tweak things - I'm not content with just a point-and-click camera - but I'm also not a professional by any means.

In other words, I like the option of fully manual control of the camera, but honestly, I'm not sure how often I'd use it.

I need someone to sway me one way or the other.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:00 PM | Comments (3)

April 16, 2005

Better Living Through Photoshop

I don't know how most of you access this page - whether or not you've bookmarked directly to this portion of my site, or if you come in through the root URL, highwaygirl.com. If you've linked directly to this page, you may have missed the facelift that I gave the home page this evening.

Well, actually, it was a joint effort. Eric and I spent the better part of two hours working on it. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we're both total perfectionists when it comes to things like this. The bulk of the work was done within a half hour or so, but then we spent the rest of the time tweaking it and making sure it was absolutely letter perfect.

Here's a before and after, starting with the old home page:

Old home page

And here's the new one:

New home page

I have to admit - I am in love with it. I think it looks so much more inviting and warm and dynamic. There's a sense of movement in it, whereas the original version was much more static in comparison.

Eric gets most of the credit, though. He found the photo, and came up with the idea to use three unequal panels (since the main portion of the road was on the right side). He also did the actual splicing of the photo, and in a triptych like this that is really the most difficult part.

I only tweaked the code, did a little cropping, and redid the small "highwaygirl" logo at the bottom. The finished product is about 65% Eric's work and 35% my own.

Still - we make a damn good team. The dueling perfectionism paid off nicely, I think.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:09 AM | Comments (8)

April 13, 2005

Julie Julie Bo Bulie

This was stolen from Roo (who stole it from MissKatelynne), but it's mainly for RandomBen, who is addicted to these things (silly punanny).

Highwaygirl's Aliases

Your movie star name: Hummus Kenneth
Your fashion designer name is Julie Dublin
Your socialite name is Gerchin Amsterdam
Your fly girl / guy name is J Goo
Your detective name is Cat Largo
Your barfly name is Apple Woodys
Your soap opera name is Lynn Ezelle
Your rock star name is Fun Dip Sneeze
Your star wars name is Juldaw Gooben
Your punk rock band name is The Giddy Dildo
The Amazing Meganame Generator

Best! Rock Band Name! Ever!

Oh, and my Girl Parts Name is "Delta of Venus" and my Penis Name is "Ivan the Terrible," which is unsurprising.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:15 AM | Comments (10)

April 12, 2005



Who knew almonds were hallucinogenic?

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:16 PM | Comments (6)


Me: I am SO HAPPY!
Me: Eric downloaded that new Idlewild CD and sent it to meeeeeeee
Me: *rocks out*
Me: well, sorta
Me: they don't really rock out
Rappy: Eric is all kinds of awesome, isn't he?
Me: pretty much, yeah

I'll still buy it in August, because I love this band and want to support their ability to make future CDs. But the impatient harpy in me no longer has to wait four months to hear the tracks.

Aaaaand now I've been introduced to the wonderful world of torrents. Rappy hooked me up with Bitcomet, and a site that lists torrent files, and I've just finished downloading the Idlewild CD that I found inexplicably broken yesterday.

I am going to stay away from file sharing programs like iMesh, because they are of the devil. I tried to uninstall iMesh, and four anti-spyware/adware programs later there was STILL remnants of it on my computer.

I had to go wading into my registry. I think it worked ok.

This time ...

Posted by Highwaygirl at 12:41 PM | Comments (2)

April 11, 2005

Ill-Tempered Trout

This afternoon I'm going to be trying out the Skype free internet telephone service. Anyone else use it? Right now I've just got a cheap microphone hooked up, but I think if I like it, I'm going to invest in one of those adapter boxes that let me use my regular cordless telephone to make/receive the free internet-based calls.

Speaking of my regular cordless phone, on Saturday I dropped $100 on new ones - the Panasonic KX-TG2357B (2.4 GHz DSS Cordless Phone with Dual Handsets, Answering System, and Talking Caller ID). It is freaking FANTASTIC. The antenna lights up when I have an incoming call, which means no more missed calls because I've got my music playing too loudly.

The antenna also flashes slowly when I have a new message on the answering machine. I don't even have to LOOK at the baseset to see if I have messages; I just have to eyeball the antenna.

The talking caller ID is pretty nifty, too, but only works well when the incoming call has name-and-number caller ID. Cell phone calls all seem to be limited to number only.

Aaaaaaaaaand my boss is gone all week.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2005

That's Mah Bannah

Heh. That phrase is never gonna get old. Long live Krusta!

About the banner change. Yes, there's been a banner change. Didn't notice it, did you? Look up there at the top of the page, in the black image that says "highwaygirl." Underneath that. That's what is new.

I was talking to RandomBen last night (on the phone, no less - and he is mean because he wouldn't explain the significance of all the bells and whistles that I kept hearing in the background), and we got on the subject of how The Military Branch That Will Not Be Named randomly blocked my random little website.

Me: It's not like my site is porn or something.
RandomBen: It's ... intellectual porn.

I thought that statement was both a.) wildly flattering, and b.) way cool (man). And since this site exists purely for my own amusement, I decided that from now on, I will randomly (there's that word again) rotate different things my friends have said into the banner. Funny things, poignant things, wry things, and smartass things - they're all fair game.

Don't worry, I won't embarrass any of you.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:43 AM | Comments (6)

April 07, 2005

I'm Everything I Would Like To Be

(Edited to add a more colorful, kickass rendering below.)

I've made my very own superhero:


I'm getting ready to punt the little dog for putting paw prints on my fancy boots.

I don't have a name for her yet. Maybe something like "Princess WRAAAAUGH!" or "Princess I KILL YOU."

This is the colored version. I started with a black & white line drawing.

ETA: Here's another one for Eric, since he thought the sword was "way too blasé." I also figured out that most of the elements have two color selections (a base color and a highlight ... the first try only has one selection colored in on each element).


Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:46 AM | Comments (9)

One. MILLION! Dollars.

Stolen off The Ben's site:

I am 69% Evil Genius.
Deceitful & Crazy!
Evil courses through my blood. Lies and deceit motivate my evil deeds. Crushing the weaklings and idiots that do nothing but interfere in my doings.
Take the
Evil Genius Test
@ FualiDotCom

It just cracks me up that Al Gore is used to depict a level of EVIL. *scoffs*

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:38 AM | Comments (5)

April 06, 2005

See You Me

Eric and I spent an hour playing around on the Globe Explorer website last night. Just plug in an address and you'll get a satellite image of the area in question. The images are so detailed that I could see my car outside of the building where I work. Military bases, amazingly, are not blacked out.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

Still So Smrt

The Commonly Confused Words Test

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 93% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:39 PM | Comments (5)

April 02, 2005

Apple is God

Maybe it was the overabundance of Woody's Blueberry Ice. Or maybe it was the boredom. Either way, I spent a good 60 minutes in the wee hours of this morning watching the visualizations on iTunes. They're just so ... hypnotic.

The first is my favorite; I might use this as a background image at some point.





Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:17 PM | Comments (1)

April 01, 2005

The Leeeeeeeader

Emperor penguins look up at a giant imposter at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, Japan. Zoo director Teruyuki Komiya dressed up for a stint in the penguin enclosure for the annual April Fool event to display a human being at the zoo. (AFP/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:38 AM | Comments (4)

March 29, 2005

Fun With Tech Support Guy

Last night I installed a chat client on my site in order to try and circumvent Eric's "corporate" firewall. It doesn't work all that well - it's buggy, error-prone, and right now registering a username is impossible - but it'll do in a pinch.

So I emailed my website host's tech support desk with the error message I was getting (it's related to mail quotas, somehow), and a few hours later, while Eric and I were chatting, we were graced with the presence of a visitor:

System: Guest_90724 joins the chat.
Me: this might be tech support
Guest_90724: yeah this is tech support
Me: were you not able to register either?
Guest_90724: I didnt try. I'm going to have one of our admins look at your alloted mail quota and see if it's broken
Me: ok, I've never had any sort of mail quota. I'm also not getting notifications when people comment on my site.
Me: which must be a related issue
Guest_90724: well usually there is a 1000 email limit so we are going to check if you have used that or if its broken
Me: 1000 per what? ever?
Eric: heh
Eric: this month...
Guest_90724: should be per day, sometimes it gets stuck and doesn't reset
Me: Eric, this is your fault
Eric: bite
Eric: me
Me: oh, then it's broken
Eric: 1000 per day??? Who all do you talk to???
Guest_90724: actually I'm looking at the logs here and it's definately Eric's fault
Guest_90724: actually I'm joking
Me: hahahahaha
Me: I love tech support guys
Eric: hehehe
Guest_90724: we are going to look at this and get back to you
Me: great, thanks for your help
System: Guest_90724 leaves the chat.
Eric: that was cool
Eric: he blamed me...
Me: you got BURNED

And then later, Tech Support Guy comes back:

System: Guest_11081 joins the chat.
Eric: uh oh
Eric: *censored*
Me: hahahaha
Me: you're a dork
Me: it must be tech support!
Eric: grrr
Me: back to burn you again, I hope
Eric: yay!
Guest_11081: ha, I thought about it.
Me: hmm
Me: you're not in here, Eric
Me: but tech support guy is
Eric: yes I am
Me: I think this is a philosophical crisis for you
Eric: I'm heeeeere
Me: do you actually exist?
Eric: I do I do!
Me: I think Tech Support Guy will get this all ironed out
Me: all the bugginess in this chat client thingie
Eric: that's what they do
Me: I would test out the private message feature, but uh, your name isn't over there
Guest_11081: this site is slick, what's wrong with the chat?
Me: I don't know, that's your territory. I just installed it from your list of available toys.
Guest_11081: oh great.. this is ours? figures.
Me: oh, that gives me pause
Eric: lol
Guest_11081: no no, I kid I kid
Me: hahahaha
Me: tomorrow Tech Support Guy will be featured prominently on my site
Me: anonymously, of course
Eric: hehe
Eric: "Here's to you, Mister Chatroom tech-support fix-it guy"
Eric: "Real American Heroooooes"
Me: I just love how he totally burned you, Eric
Eric: eat
Eric: me
Me: oh
Me: kay

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:39 AM | Comments (5)

March 18, 2005

*Dies a Shawty Inside*

I shouldn't be laughing as hard at this as I am, but ...

Gizoogle's translation of my site

Basically, it's my site as translated by Snoop Dogg. The thing I'm finding funniest at the moment is that it converted one of the lines in "Mad World" from And I find it kind of funny to:

"And I find it kind of F-U-Double-Nizzy"

The translated conversations between me and Rappy sent raspberry iced tea right out my nose. Oh god, I have to quote these for posterity:

Rappy: oh GOD
Rappy: go away
Rappy: so show some love niggaz: gizzay you kniznow how sometizzles you meet someone n they immediately think you're they best nigga n call you constantly?
Rappy: well, imagine thizzay wit a sexual overtone.
Rappy: EW
Me: *dies a shawty inside*

Jakes: I can already T-to-tha-izzell this is gonna be a long n painful day
Me: I am frontin' at 2:30, bitches!
Me: *izzy hizzle toothy smiley*
Me: I'll call you every hiznalf hour
Me: ta see how you're doing
Jakes: I hate you
Me: it must be opposite day
Me: coz tha truth is that you lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrve me

Me: I wonda if tha lead cracka is stiznill hot?
Me: he was hot in tha B-L-to-tha-izzack metallic video
Rappy: uh, he's blunt-rollin' hot.
Rappy: I saw him in person.
Rappy: YOWZA
Rappy: right around tha time tizzy Adam & Eve came out.
Rappy: Which would hizzy been...
Rappy: around 97/98?
Me: I should find a photo
Rappy: he couldn't have aged badly.
Rappy: oh, you mizzy you wizzle me ta find one?
Rappy: ok!
Rappy: http://www.popchild.com/issue_10/images/catherinizzle
Me: he's gots an intense face
Me: I wizzay ta smooch it
Rappy: aye

Me: how tha hizzy does he manage ta be in tha Navy?
Rappy: I kizzy! Those is like REQUIREMENTS!
Me: coz mizzy of them is hardcore booza n sex fiends
Me: but he's like Mickey Mizouse ...
Me: on South P-to-tha-izzark

Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:22 PM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2005

William, It Was Really Nothing


This just cracks me up for some reason.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2005

En Garde

A friend showed this to me earlier, and it's too cute not to share. I just wish it worked on AIM.


Teem, look - they've got CUTLASSES!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:16 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2005

Cutting to the Chase

I know there are new people visiting who probably want to fast-forward through all the mundane, trivial stuff - there are, after all, over 500 entries on this site - and go straight to the "good stuff." So for these people I've created a new section over there on the right nav.

*points at right nav*

It's called Greatest Hits, and the entries I've collected there are the ones I think are most revealing if you want to know what kind of person I am, what things are important to me, etc.

So don't say I never gave you anything!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2005

Deep In the Heart of Geekdom

I've got two new projects:

1. Uploading and captioning all of my photos in my new photo gallery.

2. Figuring out how to best take advantage of the coolest free software program I've ever seen - Picasa, Google's newly-acquired photo management tool.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2005

Darth Tater

Mr. Potato Head dressed up as Darth Vader

I absolutely have to have this for my desk at work.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:39 PM | Comments (2)

January 13, 2005

Jesus Fish

One of two 19-year-old fish with human-like facial features in Chongju, about 140 km (88 miles) south of Seoul. The hybrid species fish were born between a carp and a leather carp in the pond of a personal house in Chongju. Each of the two female fish is 80 cm (32 inches) long and 50 cm (20 inches) in circumference. The owner of the fish said on Monday that their faces have begun to look more and more human over the last couple of years. REUTERS/Chungcheong Today

I just don't see it. I mean, I see the little blob that I guess is supposed to be an eye, but it just looks like a fish to me. More to the point, though, how long do you think it will be before someone starts seeing Jesus in this fish? Or maybe since it's a female fish, they'll start seeing Mary Magdalene.

This fish is destined to end up on eBay. Or mounted to the back of someone's car.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005

The Shirt On My Back

I found a really cool new blog called Preshrunk. It's a blog highlighting the most interesting t-shirts available for purchase online. The guy writing up the descriptions is amusing, and the shirts are so very cool. I will likely purchase one (or all) of the following:

Click on the image for a larger version; click the link for more information


Obviously, uh, that last shirt would be for wearing at home only.

I especially like that Toothpaste for Dinner site because they have their pug, Chubby, modeling their shirts.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2005

Lomo Love

I've been playing around with Photoshop Elements 3.0 tonight and decided to test out its ability to create a LOMO effect on photos. Kinda like this:

Eye in LOMO

Pretty cool, I think. LOMO photography gets its name from a type of Russian camera that renders photographs in a very brightly colored, highly saturated way, with dark edges. I've always liked the look of them, so it's fun to be able to mimick the effect with software (rather than having to buy me a small Russian camera).

Here are some before and after examples:

Leaves before

Leaves in LOMO

Iraqi boy before

Iraqi boy in LOMO

Iraqi sunset before

Iraqi sunset in LOMO

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:05 PM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2005

Just What I Needed

Hello, this is Circuit City. We've received authorization to exchange the DVD player you brought in for service. Please bring any accessories that came with the player to the store, so we can process your credit.

A $138.60 gift card later, and I'm the happy owner of a Sony DVP-NS775, which was actually only $99.90 in the store.

SO. Not only did I get a brand new DVD player out of this, but I got a better player that is cheaper than the one I bought two years ago. I hooked it up immediately upon returning home with it last night (ooh, shiny) and it works beautifully.


Posted by Highwaygirl at 06:23 AM | Comments (2)

January 03, 2005

Aragorn and a Dead Guy

Lookit what I can do with my fancy new DVD player/burner:


Yah! I can take screencaps of movies! I don't know why I'd ever want to take screencaps of movies, and I don't think I'll probably ever do it again, but ... if I want to, I can. And that makes me cool.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:32 PM | Comments (3)

December 26, 2004

Fun with Photoshop Elements 3

I made the mistake of searching for free plugins for Photoshop Elements, and ended up finding a link to a free 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements 3. So for the last several hours I've been screwing around with the assorted filters and effects that the program includes ... and I am so going to have to upgrade to version 3 when my free trial is over, if for no other reason than that this version allows you to toggle through all of the 100+ filters/effects while seeing them applied to your photo (rather than having to access each filter/effect manually).

Here's some of the stuff I've been experimenting on:

This is the source photo, taken at about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 23. This is me after spending many hours drinking with Ian and his brother. I am very drubnk, so I'm sitting on the floor in the doorway of my bedroom, with the only light being that from the Japanese rice paper lamp on my nightstand. This is why I appear so very orange.

It's funny that Ian was able to get a photo of me with my mouth closed that night, because I was sitting there singing Franz Ferdinand's "Jacqueline" the entire time he was taking photos, specifically the line I'm so drunk I don't mind if you kill me. It was that kind of night.

Here's the photo after I've used the Image Adjustment tools to tweak the saturation of the colors and add more yellow to the image. Now the skin tone/hair color is closer to being lifelike, although the lighting is still "warm."

This photo shows the Film Grain artistic filter layered over the color-corrected version above. According to my Photoshop Elements manual, this filter "applies an even pattern to the shadow tones and midtones of an image. A smoother, more saturated pattern is added to the image's lighter areas." I just think this filter looks cool.

This is the original photo with a Film Grain filter and the Horizontal Color effect. Keep in mind that all of these filters/effects modify a photo with one click, but they're really preprogrammed "recipes" made up of multiple basic commands (i.e. brighten, add noise, change contrast, etc.). This is just another effect that I think looks really cool, even if I can't think of an actual purpose for it.

Here I've used the Shear distortion filter to move the center of the color-corrected photo to the left. Normally you use the Shear filter to bend the photo along a curve - I initially had my face bent into an S-shape, but it was too scary to leave like that. So I just used it to move myself over, then had the pixels on the left side of the image wrapped around to the right. To me this looks like an album cover.

Look! I'm the green dancing chick from Star Trek! This is the Solarize filter, which "blends a negative and a positive image - similar to exposing a photographic print briefly to light during development." Okay then. Good to know.

This is new in PSE 3 - the Offset Quad effect. This shows the default settings of the effect, but you can tweak both the horizontal and vertical splits of the image, as we will see in the next photo...

In this photo I changed the horizontal percentage to 0, which resulted in no horizontal split of the photo. I also tried to adjust the vertical setting so that it would render as a perfect split of my face into right and left halves, because I think it's kind of cool to see how our faces, in some ways, are not perfectly symmetrical.

Here's the Center Color effect, which is also new in PSE 3. It seems to be similar to the Horizontal Color effect shown earlier. The difference in this one is that I've used the color-corrected photo with no Film Grain filter added; for some reason, though, the color in the center of this photo is much redder than it is in my source, so this effect is adding saturation in the middle.

This is sort of similar to the previous photo, although this one has been adjusted using the Lighting Styles filter, specifically a Soft Omni light. I have no idea what that means, really, other than it appears to lighten up the center of the photo and darken the background. I was actually able to move the lighting around on the image and simply placed it right in the center; you can place it anywhere you want. There are about a bazillion lighting styles in PSE and I have no idea what you can accomplish with most of them.

This is the Dark Strokes artistic filter used on the color-corrected image. Interesting, eh? This is another one that's new in PSE 3 so I don't know what exactly is being accomplished with this filter, or why you'd want to use it (other than being geeky and spending hours experimenting with various filters in PSE, but only really weird people ever do that).

With one click you can rip the edges of your images. This is the Spatter Frame effect used on the original photo that has had a Film Grain filter added to it. As you can see, I'm a fan of the Film Grain.

Okay, this is ... (takes deep breath) ... the original image with Film Grain, Horizontal Color, and the Foreground Color effect added last. The Foreground Color effect lets you frame your image with the color of your choosing. I used a dark grey that I picked out of the right side of the image using the Eyedropper tool.

This is the Quad Color effect, which I'm showing on a photo of a pink flower that I took in Michigan, because the effect wasn't as interesting looking on a photo of me. Basically this effect does exactly what it looks like - it renders the original in greyscale, then cuts it into four equal quadrants and layers color over each one (I'd say the opacity of the colors is around 50%, so you get a sepia-tone kind of effect, only not in amber).

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:31 PM | Comments (2)

December 21, 2004

Approaching Gandhi

20 Questions to Being a Better Person

This is gonna be good...

*answer, answer, answer*

Your score as a human being is 89.6.

You are close to ideal. So close, and yet so far. Amusing, really, to watch someone squirm so close to the vaunted ranks of perfection and still remain so very, very ordinary. It is all one can do to keep one's ingratiating smile from polluting one's perfect face.

Actually, one recommends you take the quiz again and lie a little.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:55 PM | Comments (4)

December 11, 2004

Burn, Baby - Burn

I need to stop buying things for myself. Yesterday I bought a DVD burner. I blame Phil. He said, "You can own copies of all of Suckface's films," and that was pretty much all I needed to hear. That and the fact that DVD burners are incredibly inexpensive now.

On Phil's recommendation I bought this Samsung burner (which was only $57 when I ordered it yesterday). So if it's not wonderful and amazing, I get to blame him.

But the even better thing I bought - the thing that, like Tivo, will revolutionize my life - is an external enclosure. This will let me take internal drives (hard drives, CD/DVD drives and burners) and plug them into my computer through the USB port. I don't have to open up my computer and install them inside. This is exactly the kind of thing I've been looking for, because it will allow me to access all of the files I have on my two old hard drives (from previous computers) whenever I want.

AND, it means that my new DVD burner is portable. I don't know that I'll ever need to port it anywhere, but it's nice to have options.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 07:51 AM | Comments (1)

December 09, 2004

Cool Stuff That Rocks

I've superglued my thumb to my shoe.

It's a very good thing I don't have a Container Store anywhere near me, because if I did, I'd be whoring myself out on the street corner every weekend for mo' money to purchase all the cool stuff they have available.

Like these mini hot water bottles in three stupid cute patterns. And only $5! I need at least 20.

I also need (need, mind you) the Pro/Con Notepad. I don't think I can make another decision in my life without it. Like, I don't know if I want to go home for lunch or go to Subway, but I think if I had the Pro/Con Notepad at my disposal I'd be able to work it out.

While you're there you can also buy me some cute li'l key caps, paper soap sheets, and the Mr. Happy gel pack (which I'd give to Jake as his new mascot and inspiration).

But I REALLY must have the Survival Kit in a Sardine Can™. Just look at it!


It is chocked full of emergency medical supplies, nourishment, navigational aids, and more ... this compact, crush-resistant, watertight can fits perfectly in your backpack, tote, pockets, luggage, purse, glove box, or boat so it's convenient and ready when you need it. Inside you'll find over 25 items, all of which have primary and secondary uses. Go fish with the hook and line, find your way home with the compass, boil water in the can for your tea and sugar, use the first aid supplies to survive the wilderness. Even duct tape, matches, whistle, signal mirror, razor blade, fire starter cube, chewing gum, salt and a safety pin are included. And the list goes on.

Dear LORD, people!! How have we lived without this??!? All of those times when I felt like my life was missing something, I thought the answer lied in spiritual enlightenment. But I was wrong - the answer lies in a sardine can filled with survival implements.

Also want the Multi-Function Hammer Tool. I cheated, it's not at the Container Store. But gaze upon its loveliness:

Multi-tool includes a hammer, claw, long-nose pliers, wire cutter, knife, slotted screwdriver, serrated blade, file, Philips-head screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener and three sizes of nut driver.

THREE sizes of nut driver?!?!?! *squeals*

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:42 AM | Comments (6)

November 14, 2004

RIP Big Baby Jesus

There's been a flood of honoraria for the dearly, and recently, departed Ol' Dirty Bastard, late of the Wu Tang Clan (and prison). Apparently he was kee-razy. I downloaded a few ODB and Wu Tang Clan songs, in order to post a track in his memory, but ... well ... the lyrics are a little, how should we say? Rough.

So instead I give you the What Is Your Wu Tang Name? generator.

Mine is Ungrateful Ninja. I also did the names for certain other people:

Teem – My Cousin the Wife-Beatah
Roo – Sullen Choirboy
Rappy – Masta Cow
Nancy – Violent Toilet Thing
Mr. Magically Delicious – Fiendish Observational Comedian

I think Blurry's is the best. From henceforth he shall be known as ... Cybernetic Tiger.

(By the way, Teem made me post Nancy's name!)

Posted by Highwaygirl at 10:32 PM | Comments (6)

November 11, 2004

Show Me Your Twangers

I can't decide if this clip - ostensibly from a 70s British children's television show - is real or fake. On the one hand ... it has to be fake. Has to be. Balls, twangers, and "The Plucking Song"??

On the other hand, it looks very, very real.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:07 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2004

Vicious Viscous

*waves to the visitors from Luxembourg*

Just a couple of interesting sites to tell you about, that I plan to add to the right nav over there *points* later tonight.

Who loves Jessica? If you don't already, you should. Jessica recaps shows for TelevisionWithoutPity.com (aka TWoP) and is the sole reason I ever got into Big Brother. Both her personal website, Ultratart, and her site devoted to the fashion victimhood of both minor and major celebrities, Go Fug Yourself, are hysterical.

Ultratart recently linked to a blog that provides commentary about the people inhabiting the New York Times' weddings pages - Veiled Conceit. I think I am in love with the creator, the lovely-named Zach.

Looking for a way to kill time (at work or elsewhere)? Bust a nut with this game from Flashgames.com. And turn the music up LOUD.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 02:37 PM | Comments (19)

November 01, 2004

99.44% Pure

Full Disclosure: I stole this from Steph's website.

You Are Not Scary
Not Scary!
Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?
How scary are you?
Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2004

The Bitch Is Back

Thank you, web host who shall not be named, for once again restoring support for the Berkeley database type that my site uses. Without you I am nothing.



Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2004

Deconstruction and Derrida

Prepare to have your mind blown. Well, if you enjoy philosophy.

Clover turned me on to this French philosopher named Jacques Derrida, who died last week. As it turns out, Derrida espoused the same sorts of beliefs as Nietzsche, which is probably why I took to him so quickly. I haven't had time to read much of his writings, though, but then I stumbled across this excellent tribute and decided that I have to make it a priority.

I really, really "get" his theory of deconstruction, and I can see it so clearly in play in my own life. Creation through exclusion - amazing. Anyway, here are a few excerpts from the tribute that have inspired me to read more about the man and his theories:

The guiding insight of deconstruction is that every structure - be it literary, psychological, social, economic, political or religious - that organizes our experience is constituted and maintained through acts of exclusion. In the process of creating something, something else inevitably gets left out.

These exclusive structures can become repressive - and that repression comes with consequences. In a manner reminiscent of Freud, Mr. Derrida insists that what is repressed does not disappear but always returns to unsettle every construction, no matter how secure it seems.

Like Kant, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Mr. Derrida does argue that transparent truth and absolute values elude our grasp. This does not mean, however, that we must forsake the cognitive categories and moral principles without which we cannot live: equality and justice, generosity and friendship. Rather, it is necessary to recognize the unavoidable limitations and inherent contradictions in the ideas and norms that guide our actions, and do so in a way that keeps them open to constant questioning and continual revision. There can be no ethical action without critical reflection.

Mr. Derrida reminded us that religion does not always give clear meaning, purpose and certainty by providing secure foundations. To the contrary, the great religious traditions are profoundly disturbing because they all call certainty and security into question. Belief not tempered by doubt poses a mortal danger.

Fortunately, he also taught us that the alternative to blind belief is not simply unbelief but a different kind of belief - one that embraces uncertainty and enables us to respect others whom we do not understand. In a complex world, wisdom is knowing what we don't know so that we can keep the future open.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2004

Stop! Hrcak Time!

The enterprising wench known as Slaebo has discovered that there is a Big Brother: Croatia and it has free! live! feeds! Apparently, these live feeds put the US version to shame - they're crystal clear. It also happens that these particular hrcaks - that's "hamsters" in Croatian - love to get nekkid.

The intrepid Hamster Time recappers have already starting giving these foreign freaks the Fisty treatment. Go read their work in the BB: Croatia thread; you'll see why I truly believe that HT has the most talented BB recappers on the 'Net.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:10 AM | Comments (3)

September 13, 2004

Speak No Evil

The comments, they be fixed. So fire at will.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004

Letters To, Well, Not Cleo

I get some very interesting e-mails in a given week. Most are from friends, but some are from people who have visited this site and for one reason or another decided to contact me (which I enjoy, don't ever be shy about e-mailing me).

I was trying to think of what to write about today but I'm coming up blank at the moment (actually I'm having a major internal conflict with myself. Like Helm's Deep, only ... prettier, with less gore), so instead I will give you some of the more poignant moments from a week's worth of e-mails.

No names will be revealed, except for the one quote that belongs to frazzledglispa (but I asked for permission, so it's OK).

I am going to go make me some maple and brown sugar oatmeal with skim milk. Because oatmeal with water is NARSTY.

Dirty girl! Yay!

I got to see your picture the other day and you are beautiful, too (as well as brilliant).

You have seriously raised my stature amongst my geekier friends.

BOO HOO. *points at river of tears* Sad, no?

It's really important that you put yourself first. It's such a difficult thing to do.

Donal Logue? i have met him a few times over the last several years and he is a very cool, very amusing, very real person.

People are horrible, so nasty to each other in the most casual ways. Not that everyone is that way all the time, but everyone has the potential to be, and moments when they are just vile, myself included. - frazzledglispa

Has anyone told you lately that you're the coolest?

People who are always happy and perky and bouncy make me want to kill myself and take them with me.

Now like, um, rub your balls for me and stuff.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2004

Tip Your Cap

Best caption wins a box of ... cookies. And yes, that is a condom on the waiter's head.


Posted by Highwaygirl at 04:57 PM | Comments (8)

June 30, 2004

The Digital Divides

By papal decree from Pius Overg I, a webcam was purchased last night. By me. And set up. By me. To run on a Yahoo Messenger account. Which was downloaded. By me.

So I set up this webcam and I can't really find an angle where it doesn't make my head look ENORMOUS. I might have to play around with where it's positioned. Right now it's on top of my monitor, which is what the guide recommended, but I dunno ... I'm not sure I like something that makes me look like I have a giant freak-head.

"I'm a walking candy apple!"

Plus, I look very orange. The lighting where I have my computer is dim, and it's in an area of my apartment where I painted the walls brick red. So I look like I'm fire. Or like I'm channeling my inner Oompa Loompa.

Contrary to what Overg believes, the fact that I don't really dig having my photo taken is not because I'm self-conscious about what I look like. The reason I don't dig it - and the reason why the webcam, at this point, makes me feel very anxious - is because it makes things seem so real.

There's no artifice. I can't pretend. I can't fake it when you're viewing me on a webcam. If you ask me if everything is okay when we're instant messaging, I can lie and tell you, "Yes! Of course! Life is a slice of cherry pie!" But I'm one of those people whose face betrays them - it shows how I feel, even if I don't want people to know how I feel.

So I'm comfortable with the buffer that the Internet creates. I don't have to let you know me. You know only as much as I want you to know. It creates a distance that not only can I control, but that I need. The digital divides.

It's all about self-preservation.

My computer is unhappy with the webcam, though. It got very slow when I was both viewing Overg's webcam and letting him watch mine. I'm pretty sure I have a decent amount of memory, but maybe not. Maybe I need to disable my firewall and other programs that run in the background when I want to go webcammin'.

It was interesting, though, seeing live! Overg! action! You can talk to someone almost every day for over two years and still, watching them in real time, see something totally new and wonderful about them. I enjoyed it. I just wish my computer would play along better.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 08:42 AM | Comments (3)

June 22, 2004

Speed Demon

 typing test (c) typingcheetah.com 

I type a speedy 85 words per minute!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 05:10 PM | Comments (10)

June 20, 2004

Self Portrait

I found this interesting little website that lets you create a self-portrait using pre-drawn pieces (nose, hairstyle, face shape, etc.). Here's mine:


Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:51 PM | Comments (3)

June 15, 2004

*Stabs Spammers*

This morning I had more than TWO HUNDRED comment spams from "gAy sEx pOrn Scandal" on my site. TWO. HUNDRED. One on almost every entry.

Now, it's not that big a deal to have to delete 5-10 comment spams in a week. But two hundred in a DAY? No. I spent two hours this afternoon and only was able to delete half of them.

And then I decided to download/install this program called MT-Blacklist, which is a comment spam filter for Movable Type. It took me about 5 minutes to install it, and then it took about 3 seconds to delete the last 104 comment spams.

So now the Recent Comments section is back! Woo!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:28 PM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2004


_Dear_ citibank_ Cleint,

ThIs email was se-nt by t_he _Citibank serevrs to veerify your_ _e-mail_ adress. You must complete this process by clicking on the_link _below_ and enttering in the small window your Citi-bank Debit full Card Nummber and PIN_ that you use_ on Atm_Machine. That_is _done_ for-your protection -l- because some_of our members _no_longer have access to their E_Mail addresses and we must verify it.


To verify _your EMAIL address and _access_ _your_ Citibank_Online account, click on the_link _below_.

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Posted by Highwaygirl at 01:54 PM | Comments (4)

March 29, 2004

My New Assistant

His name is LINKS, and he's available to anyone who uses such fine Microsoft products as Word or Outlook. Here's links doing a variety of little things:


Posted by Highwaygirl at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2004

Would I Lie To You?

You know how everyone used to say that the Internet was this big, bad, scary place, where oddballs and losers and social deviants lurked around every corner, just waiting to sink their claws and teeth into some poor unsuspecting innocent who would believe all of their lies and then meet them in a hotel/buy them expensive stuff/sign over their life savings?

Remember when your friends used to tell you it was "weird" to talk to people online, because there was no way of knowing if the people really were who they said they were? "They could be lying about everything, and how would you know?," your friends would scream. "They could be a serial killer!"

Well, as it turns out, a recent study suggests that those dirty rotten liars might not have been dirty rotten liars after all. At least if they're writing in a blog or other public forum.

Now, granted, this is but one study and the survey sample was small (30 college undergraduates, not exactly paragons of virtue from the get-go). But I found the NYTimes.com story fascinating.

To wit:

(T)he students had mishandled the truth in about one-quarter of all face-to-face conversations, and in a whopping 37 percent of phone calls. But when they went into cyberspace, they turned into Boy Scouts: only 1 in 5 instant-messaging chats contained a lie, and barely 14 percent of e-mail messages were dishonest.

... What it is about online life that makes us more truthful? It's simple: We're worried about being busted.

That is so true. I have thought about that on more than one occasion when I've thought a little embellishment might make for a better story. Fortunately for me I understand the reality of posting things on the Internet - they will be online, in their original form, forever. It doesn't matter if I edit my words, or even delete a page entirely; because of services like Google, the original page is still accessible by viewing a "cached" version.

That realization is running through my subconscious whenever I post on this site, post on a newsgroup, talk to people in an IM or chat, etc. Because while everyone has their own interpretation of an event – stick 10 people in a room and make them interact with each other for an hour and you'll get 10 slightly differing recollections of the same basic facts – if there was any second-party witness to what I'm writing about, if I'm not completely truthful I run the risk of getting called on it, publically.

And that just gets messy.

And it's not only e-mail that records our deeds for future scrutiny. Before going on a first date, people Google their partners to see what they can learn.

No way!! Now that's just crazy talk.

Still, it's not only the fear of electronic exposure that drives us to tell the truth. There's something about the Internet that encourages us to spill our guts, often in rather outrageous ways. Psychologists have noticed for years that going online seems to have a catalytic effect on people's personalities. The most quiet and reserved people may become deranged loudmouths when they sit behind the keyboard, staying up until dawn and conducting angry debates on discussion boards with total strangers.

Yup yup. I've always thought that most people wouldn't say HALF the crap they do online if they were speaking directly to someone. You can be meaner online. It's like it's okay in some ways to be a total bastard, especially when you can always fall back on the "it's hard to convey tone when you're just using words."

I hate that excuse. Because NO, it's NOT hard to convey tone online. It just takes a little craft and skill and thought.

Another researcher, an Open University U.K. psychologist named Adam Joinson, conducted an experiment in which his subjects chatted online and off. He found that when people communicated online, they were more likely to offer up personal details about themselves without any prompting.

I believe this, although I'm completely the opposite when it comes to most personal things (my experience having had cancer is the one exception). Other than that, I don't post a lot of personal details or thoughts for complete public consumption, and the details I do share online in IMs or emails are with people who - even if I met them online - have become my good friends.

Although there have been a few times in HT chats where we've all related personally embarrassing stores (like drubnk stories, or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend stories, etc.).

Bush himself can't put old statements about W.M.D. behind him partly because so many people are forwarding his old speeches around on e-mail or posting them on Web sites. With its unforgiving machine memory, the Internet might turn out to be the unlikely conscience of the world.

*hugs the Internet*

And I really want one of them there terabyte-sized hard drives.

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:10 AM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2004

Star Light, Star Bright


This image released by NASA, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows spirals of dust swirling across trillions of kilometres of interstellar space. This image is Hubble's latest view of a distant star, named V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon)(AFP/NASA/HHT)

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:41 PM | Comments (3)

January 05, 2004

Guten Tag

Would you like to read my prosetic words in a different language? Of course you would!

Posted by Highwaygirl at 09:27 PM | Comments (2)

November 28, 2003


Alrighty, I've made a few modifications to this site.

First, the calendar days that have entries now have a light grey background behind the day.

Second, in the Recent Comments section, the entry that the comment is related to is now listed by name.

Third, I tweaked the link colors a little bit:

Links for pages you have not visited are this color.
Links for pages you have visited are this color.

Also, I will occasionally need to use highlighted text. When I do, it will look like this:

Think of this text as an editorial comment of some sort, or an aside, or an explanation of something.

Posted by Julie at 10:55 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2003


Just ... wow. I predict many hours spent looking at every little detail of this in my immediate future.

Posted by Julie at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2003

Blame Roo


Posted by Julie at 01:33 PM | Comments (2)

November 18, 2003

Another Hit Off the Pipe

Oh, look! Roo gave me crack, too!

Posted by Julie at 03:19 PM | Comments (6)

November 17, 2003

Color Me Bad

Hey Ka Ching, I found an even better color picker (that automatically displays a palette of nine complementary colors). Hours of fun!

Posted by Julie at 06:29 AM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2003

Changes Afoot

Alrighty, this site now has two new areas of content along the right sidebar:

A Thousand Words – An area where I will be posting my photos. Sometimes I will post other people's photos that I like (you'll know they aren't mine because the copyright will be replaced). Once the photo has been archived, I'll include a description of its composition. This will be a semi-daily feature.

Random Reading – An area that includes links to what I feel are interesting stories. This will (hopefully) be a daily feature, archived once per week.

Posted by Julie at 07:04 AM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2003


I need to do this 26 Things challenge this month. I wonder how many of the 26 things I can depict using Caygeon?

Posted by Julie at 11:15 AM | Comments (2)

October 20, 2003

In Jokes Are Fun


Click the photo, okay?

Posted by Julie at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)