"an ology for the new millenium"
Why, it's the vanity site and weblog of Eric Tilton! [*]

Bernie says hello. He'd like to know if you have any wet cat food for him.

Welcome to ology.org! This is the personal vanity site of Eric Tilton and Carrie Jones. It mainly exists so that we can laugh heartily at our clever e-mail addresses (like tele@ology.org). Ho ho ho!

Please wander around, and feel free to enjoy my fine Corinthian web log.

Monday, April 30, 2001

[Posted 4/30/2001 12:33:06 AM by tilt]
As I use the Mac, I keep being pleasantly surprised at how easily I am adapting to the (in many ways substantially) different UI. And then I catch myself, and remember that this is because I've used Macs for twice as long as I've used Windows machines. I used my first Mac in 1984 and I used them steadily until 1995, when I bought my Intel box for Linux and the MS Office suite. I've become so used to the Windows world that I'd nearly forgotten, but the old learned memories and behaviors are still there.

[Posted 4/30/2001 12:26:56 AM by tilt]
My current desktop image (full size):

I was pretty pleased with how this one came out. I took it a few months back; it's the dome of the Texas capitol, from the inside, looking up. It's pure serendipity that the "T" in "Texas" (surrounding in the star in the middle) lined up just right like that.

Many of my favorite pictures have been the result of good fortune, which I find kind of fun ;).

Saturday, April 28, 2001

[Posted 4/28/2001 04:15:50 PM by tilt]
Star Blazers eps on the web. Follow the "enter" link into the Reactor site, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Gotta have Windows Media Player 7, which I just installed, groan, under Mac OS X, and which means I have to use the Classic IE 5.5 app in order to watch the damn things. But oh what a nostalgia rush.

[Posted 4/28/2001 03:23:17 PM by tilt]
The main thing that sucks about my current configuration is that I've got my big monitor plugged into my PowerBook, which means my Win98 tower is only accessible through VNC (a slick, free remote desktop access system. There are several Mac OS X clients; I'm currently using VNC Thing).

Now, since I'm moving more into the Mac realm, there's only one reason I regret this -- it makes it harder to play games. D'oh! Hopefully I'll have a KVM switch soon, but right now playing any games (even Oni, which I have for Mac OS 9.1) requires either a reboot or some manual cable switching. Hardly a recipe for casual 15 minute gaming endeavors.

[Posted 4/28/2001 08:31:54 AM by tilt]
BTW, I'm happy to report that I can get an easy two and a half hours of DVD watching in on the plane; that's just enough to get from Dallas to Pittsburgh. With a second battery, I'll even be able to keep busy in the DFW airport while waiting for my connecting flight.

[Posted 4/28/2001 08:01:19 AM by tilt]
Panda Porn.

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

[Posted 4/25/2001 03:36:35 PM by tilt]
I watched the fourth (and final) disk of Dual on the plane ride out to Pittsburgh. I love this series! By the end, I found myself missing some of the characters -- so I'm a bit of a sap. I'm happy to report that the ending of the series is, in fact, satisfying, and resolves the loose ends in a compelling and plausible way. There's even a bonus "special" (also in a half-hour) that shows what happens to our heroes after the series' resolution.

Sunday, April 22, 2001

[Posted 4/22/2001 09:20:37 PM by tilt]
We noticed that tonight's Sopranos was written by Michael Imperioli, the guy who plays Christopher on the show. We were very impressed with the snappy dialogue -- that boy can write!

Have I mentioned yet how much I love my damn Mac? Take note, Microsoft -- you had a good six years to reprogram me, and you were doing pretty well, what with the Office suite, the incremental (but clever) improvements on the Mac theme, and allowing me to access my Hotmail from my phone, Outlook Express, and the web. But two days with a Mac, and you've lost me again. OS X was what I was waiting for -- I just didn't realize it.

It doesn't hurt that the Titanium PowerBook (mine is named Tiltanium, natch) is a sweet piece of hardware. I'm looking forward to watching a DVD on the plane trip on Tuesday.

[Posted 4/22/2001 05:22:38 PM by tilt]
I just finished watching Samurai X: The Motion Picture. I haven't seen the OVA series yet, but the movie was impressive on all levels. I've been having a good run lately of renting excellent stuff, so I may sound like a broken record in my recommendations :). For what it's worth, the story and characterizations here are first rate, on par with some of the better non-animated films; the fact that the visuals and fight scenes are also breathtaking is merely icing on the cake.

(Amended note: it's also worth noting that the english translation and voice acting are both very well done; far better than the stiffness in most anime. Although I think Princess Mononoke probably reigns supreme in that respect.)

I also continued on with my watching of Dual -- I watched Disc 3 (of 4) this morning. I'm getting a lot of enjoyment out of this series, but the persistent themes of "women as catfighters and emotional manipulators" (not just here, but in much of anime) really detract from my overall satisfaction. Still, Disc 3 packs quite a wallop, and follows up on the promise of Disc 1 (Disc 2, while providing some characterization and background, was largely irritating and forgettable). I'm looking forward to seeing how this thing ends.

Saturday, April 21, 2001

[Posted 4/21/2001 10:29:27 AM by tilt]
Hey, folks, this is my first post from my sweet OS X-runnin' TiBook.

My only frustration so far? If I'm pressing down with my palm when trying to use the trackpad, I get jumpy mouse behavior. (I've always hated trackpads, though.) The screen is crisp, the machine is responsive, and hey, it's got BSD 4.4 under the hood. I'm lovin' life.

Friday, April 20, 2001

[Posted 4/20/2001 11:55:45 PM by tilt]
Also, I'm two disks into Gasuraki, and it rocks my world even more than Key. Too bad Encore doesn't have disks three and four!

[Posted 4/20/2001 11:49:55 PM by tilt]
I just finished watching the last two eps of Key, the Metal Idol. This series was not at all what I was expecting, and I mean that in a good way. Here's the short verdict: this is an excellent, if somewhat over exposited (but what anime isn't?) series.

I almost didn't pick this series up. I'd originally rented it from the usually reliable NetFlix (based on the site's "smart" recommendation system), but the copy I received had a big ol' crack in it. I returned it, and used the online form to mark the DVD as damaged (and to indicate that I wanted an un-damaged copy shipped to me). Guess what? A week and a half later, I got the same damn DVD back -- it's hard to miss a crack of that caliber. I was truly pissed at this point, and indicated with a very bold black permanent marker on the disk sleeve that the DVD was damaged. I chose not to re-rent it from NetFlix.

I didn't think any more about it (especially since the short description of the series -- a robot needs the friendship of 30,000 people to become human -- sounds kind of trite and cheesy), until I ran across it at Encore, the local indepedent music/movie place. Out of curiosity I grabbed it, and I was intrigued. The plot is twisty, the animation is gorgeous, the characters are well fleshed out, and the mysteries ultimately get resolved. This is twice as good as the visually stylish but ultimately pointless Lain; many people have compared the two series, but I think Key is the clear winner.

Another nice bonus: each Key DVD has about three hours of programming on it (and the third and last DVD only has two episodes, each about 90 minutes long, so most of that three hours is actual content. In most anime DVDs, about 20% of the content is the opening and closing credits, repeated over and over again...).

[Posted 4/20/2001 11:30:46 AM by tilt]
I'm pretty proud of my small, but growing collection of artistic photos:

You can also see the entire list of Zing albums I have online:

Sunday, April 15, 2001

[Posted 4/15/2001 07:02:00 PM by tilt]
Blue's News has featured one of the monsters from Undying on its masthead logo this week, which caused me to finally get back into playing the game. I'd bought it at the same time as Blade of Darkness (in a moment of weakness -- the store had not yet received its copies of Blade, so I instead picked up Undying, which had also been released that day). Since they came out at the same time, and since I was more intrigued by Blade at the time (due to the gorgeous graphics in the demo), Undying ended up sitting on the virtual shelf for about a month. It didn't even get revived after I finished Blade, since Black & White had just come out.

I'd enjoyed the little bit of it that I'd played before shelving it, although a part of me was -- to be fair -- a little too scared to pick it back up. At the point I'd left off, I was facing some nasty monsters that were kicking my ass, and these monsters had a tendency to come out of nowhere from behind me. Still, I dusted it off, and I've been enjoying playing through it over the last few days. It remains scary, and my progress is slow -- I can only stand to play it for about 20-30 minutes at a time, before I can't take the thought of facing one more gibbering creature hopping out from a foggy and dark recess. And this game also has the distinction of being the only game that regular makes me go "hyaya-aah!" on a regular basis.

Strangely, though, the horror (at least so far) is all "merely" immediate. Thief, for example, was a scary goddamned game because it was so slow-paced, and yet you always felt like there was something watching you at all times. The laughing noise in the "The Sword" level was a perfect example -- the never-seen laughing entity never reveals itself, and it never harms you, and yet even after you stop playing, you're still a little scared to start the game back up again. And "The Cathedral" scared the crap out of me so badly that I didn't play the game again for a year. Nothing ever jumps out at you; you just are always expecting it to. Jedi Knight wasn't scary, but it was deeply affecting as well -- after playing it, I would have moments of false deja vu where I'd remember something that happened in the game as if it actually happened to me.

Undying's horror isn't like this. Sure, my pulse is still pounding a little as I type this, but ten minutes after shutting the game down I'll be chill again. It's a subtle distinction, but an intriguing one. Don't get me wrong -- this game is great, and well done. It's just a more overt kind of terror, that shows its hand more often and thus defuses itself bit by bit. The horror doesn't mount slowly or inexorably; it actually jumps out at you frequently. The occassional screaming actually has a kind of defusing effect.

(Of course, I could be completely wrong -- it's entirely possible that the overall plot will start to eventually creep me out. Time will tell.)

Friday, April 13, 2001

[Posted 4/13/2001 10:30:27 PM by tilt]
Our dishwasher blew up about four weeks ago, as they do from time to time. We called the apartment complex to get it fixed, which they did promptly, but they didn't come back around to clean out the carpet. It slipped my mind, and I finally got back around to calling them, at which point they realized that there was water in the walls, and that the pad underneath the carpet was also damaged. So here's our dining room right now:

I can't express how thankful I am right now that I live in an apartment, not a house, and that this isn't actually my problem. However, the stink of the exposed water (there's currently a loud fan blowing it dry, which will be running all weekend long) and mold is pretty miserable. Thankfully, it'll all be fixed by Monday.

(The stench is what drove us to the movie theater, so that we could observe the delightful marquee art in the following post. We went and saw Along Came A Spider, which was yet another Morgan Freeman movie that could have been great, but was just too deeply flawed.)

[Posted 4/13/2001 10:26:38 PM by tilt]
Seen on the local movie theater marquee:

It warms my heart to see this kind of subversion.

[Posted 4/13/2001 07:21:39 AM by tilt]

Hey, guess what? I work for Apple now. How crazy is that?

About a month ago, this seemed like the strangest idea in the world, but here I am. I have to say, this whole cool "Unix meets Mac" thing has no small part to do with it. It's like traveling back in a timewarp to when NeXTs roamed the dreamscape like stylishly insane beasts from the widdershins dimension.

Here's the short version of my revisionist history, eating-crow speech: at some point in the past few years, all of this "the browser is part of the operating system" and "the network is the computer" crap actually reified. The Internet (and the constellation of related open standards) has become the important infrastructure; not the operating system. So how cool is that? It means there's a chance for shift to happen again. So it's like being with the biggest goddamn startup in the world.

Expect random phone calls from me where I shout, "I'm thinking different"!

Saturday, April 07, 2001

[Posted 4/7/2001 08:26:35 AM by tilt]
This link is a test of the emergency nonsense system. It is only a test. But click on it if you value your life.

Had this been anything but a test, I would have pointed you to a web site that actually reached out from your monitor and slapped you around some.

[Posted 4/7/2001 08:21:08 AM by tilt]
Weird. I never hit the "publish" button for the previous entry, apparently.

I've been doing a lot of business travel lately, which might be part of why I haven't bothered to pick up the old digital pen to inscribe any of my recent wacky adventures. And wacky there were -- but you'll have to take my word for it. Sadly, while I was in Pittsburgh just this last Tuesday, I had no time to stop off for a cheesesteak. Perhaps I'll have one FedExed.

Bernie has been possessed by the devil; or perhaps it's the other way 'round. Either way, he's taken to wandering into the bedroom at 7am in the morning (I don't know about you, gentle reader, but I think that's early) and making as much racket as possible. And due to the necessities of apartment living, we can't shut him out of the bedroom because we had to stash the litter box in the "master" bathroom. D'oh!

See earlier stuff in the archives


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