Tuesday, March 04, 2008

God playing dice is OK, D&D is frightening, (two words: "critical miss"). GURPS? Look in a biology textbook, and tell me that's not what He's playing

Applied Failure

Even as a reasonably tech-savvy geek, I sometimes find myself a little out of my depth. Going on a date is an excellent example, but rather non-pertinent to my present situation*. On this particular occasion, I remained blissfully unaware of just how out of my depth I was until it was far too late to do anything about it. After the disaster that was my search for a vendor who would supply me with a bare-bones laptop, I decided that it was time to return to my element, the clunky un-portable, much more cost-effective world of the desktop. At this point it had been several months since I had expressed the desire for a new computer, so naturally I wanted to make the end result worth the wait. It would be a quad-core, it would have enough graphics muscle to put the boots to UT3 and Crysis, and it would have more RAM than a 32-bit system could handle! Oh, and it would be liquid-cooled! Well, fast forward two months of watching prices fluctuate, a switch from crossfire to SLI, and then to just a single graphics card, hacksawing, drilling, AND wire-cutting my way through metal to make everything fit together and play nice, searching four local stores to get just one tiny part for the watercooling system, and....

...Nothing. Not one beep of protest, not one on-screen error message...nothing really. Somewhat ironic is the bit where my watercooling system is well-sealed and leak-free. Sure, inflexible tubing and a slightly cramped case forced me to abandon the idea of using a chipset waterblock, and I'm out $30, but at least my $50 non-conductive liquid coolant isn't dribbling out all over the floor of my case. The fans are spinning, the motherboard's "I can has power" light is on, my 8800GT's fan has spun up, but even a spare LGA 775 processor on loan from work has yet to coax any real life out of this thing! While my current gaming rig is completely functional throughout all this, I still resent being the owner of a $1600 liquid-cooled doorstop! I would normally be pushing and pulling at every component under the sun to discover the source of my misery, but to be honest I've left the tangle of wires and tubing well enough alone. There's something alien and unfriendly about it that I never really felt about my Athlon 64 system (which I think POSTed on its very first boot, thankyouverymuch), and so I go back to the security of my old standby, and wait for some kind of silicon miracle to breathe life into the silicon corpse splayed unceremoniously on my basement floor.

And to think that once this stubborn beast has been coaxed into fighting form, I'm going to be using WINE/Linux, which is a potential nightmare in and of itself. Still, I promised myself I'd do it, and here I am.

...Or here I would be, if my damned computer worked!

*Actually, I'm single right now, so going on a date wouldn't be so bad.

...And while we're talking about Failure

Remember when I said that St├ęphane Dion was a P'tagh? Well, as much as I'd love to give the guy a second chance, he's done nothing but dig himself deeper and deeper into a dangerous hole. So the polls don't suggest a Liberal majority if an election were to be held today, so what? If Dion can't think of a way to turn one or all of THREE recent Conservative missteps into some kind of foothold, this guy is NOT FIT TO LEAD A POLITICAL PARTY! You have allegations of bribery, blatant censorship, and thinly-disguised preparations for an all-out assault on female reproductive freedom...what more can you want? A little corruption and a big hidden agenda are about all you need to make the Conservative party look scary again, but what does Dion do? He brings just enough Liberals into the House with him to make sure there aren't enough votes to defeat the Government on a confidence motion (and what isn't a confidence motion these days?) and then votes against the government, with bold defiance written all over his smug little face. In other words, the little pissant doesn't even have the balls to match his recorded vote to his actions. While I can't say it's conduct unbecoming of a Parliamentarian (what would that even be? Keeping a civil tongue? Refusing to indulge in boneheaded partisanship?), I can say that it was cowardly, that it was not good for the Liberal party (or it SHOULDN'T be), and it was not good for Canada.

I want to see the Liberal party win a federal election about as much as I want my wisdom teeth to come in crooked, but when I'm faced with a decision between ineffective, corrupt, but largely benign government, and the erosion of my civil liberties, well, clearly I'll vote Green and hope for a Liberal minority, but that's not the point. What I'd like to say is that the present Liberal opposition is baked fail garnished with looser sauce, with a healthy sprig of dickweed on top.

I would probably comment on my own immaturity, but it seems kinda apropos given the kind of vitriol that gets bandied about in the H-o-C. I thought we already had an institution devoted to mentally underdeveloped pricks trash-talking each other for money, and it was called "Television"?

Of course, cpac is kind of like TV, if TV were only ever about stodgy old white people and British tradition, and even then we already have that; it's called "Coronation Street".

Finally, for the sticklers who will tell me that even Canadian Parliament was around before Coronation Street, I'm pretty sure cpac wasn't.



CheeseLikeSubstance said...

The title of this post is sadly appropriate, seeing as Gary Gygax died recently.

Daydream Believer said...

Bah. Oh the pain of ideas that could be so good, but turn out so wrong...

Loud said...

@Cheeselike: I know...sad, isn't it? You miss one saving throw, and there isn't a paladin or cleric handy...

He was Gary Gygax, man! He should have had a Paladin on call for such emergencies!

@Daydream: Well, you know the whole "you have to know evil to know what good is" argument? Well, at least bad outcomes let us know what good outcomes are...

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