Steve Jobs

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for the Apple II Plus, aka the Apple ][ Plus, which I spent roughly 10000 hours with from the early to late 1980s. On that revolutionary machine (a precursor to the better-known Apple IIc), I enjoyed…let’s see…

Apple Writer, which I believe may have been only version 1.0 or 1.1, since I distinctly remember the 1979 copywrite date, and I think I did have the press the ESC key to toggle CAPS on and off.

Writing BASIC programs. The one I was most proud of was a Mad Libs program, because it combined the logic of Mad Libs stories with what I thought were cool 40-color graphics (using tags like HCOLOR; that’s all I can remember).

Micro League Baseball

I’d create leagues and play through schedules and keep stats with paper and pencil, and at the end of the season, I’d type up the standings and statistics on Apple Writer II. I’d even calculate the batting averages, since all I had were hash marks of at-bats and hits.

Olympic Decathlon

Thousands of hours on this…


Wow, I am truly delighted by what one can find on YouTube…
Let’s say hundreds of hours on this…

Cannonball Blitz

Hundreds? Thousands?

Some more:


Mystery House

Ok, so this wasn’t really about Steve Jobs. You’ve probably already read plenty about him.

The state of things

WEEKEND – Work – Dialysis – Work – Free Night – Work – Dialysis – Work – Free Night- Work – Dialysis – WEEKEND

This is basically my life. With tonight’s free night, with endless possibilities for personal betterment and common-sense tasks to be accomplished, all I can point to is breaking 2000 2250 points on iPhone Skeeball.

Toastie Plays The Blog Tag Game III

Except this time, the tagging was done on Facebook. I was asked to list 25 random things about me. I had already done the same exercise twice in this blog in the past year. So I just copied ten items from March 24, 2008 and six from November 30, 2008. That left me with nine more original items to come up with…

17. My first car was a 1986 Carolina-blue Chrysler LeBaron (sedan, not the pretty convertible); I bought it in December 1992 and probably ordered New Jersey personalized plates – “DUKE 97”

18. I took my prom date to Tavern on the Green in New York City’s Central Park. She was not impressed. “I hope we’re not going for a carriage ride, because I don’t like them,” she said. We didn’t, but I had been planning on it.

19. When I was around seven, my family ridiculed me on a car trip to the Poconos because I said that the mountains “looked like scenery”. Until that point, I had thought scenery only meant fake art resembling landscapes, used on TV and in plays.

20. I have kept some sort of journal since February 1989. For the first few years, I wrote as if the whole world would be reading it years later.

21. I hate having a last name that most people pronounce incorrectly. I hate that I myself know I don’t enunciate it well when I have to give it out to others.

22. Since my father was adopted by his step-father but he considers his paternal family to be his birth-father’s family, my surname doesn’t mean a whole lot to me.

23. I didn’t vote in any election until 2000. (I was 24 years old).

24. I have a recurring dream or element of a dream in which I am still in high school or college and know I am about to fail a final exam or similarly embarrassed because I have been missing class all semester.

25. I desperately want a girlfriend, a serious long-term relationship with a woman that leads to a partner for life. I want this more than anything. This may be quite obvious…but maybe it’s not. And so I’m just stating it for the record. I realize items 1-24 offer ample explanation as to why I may be coming up short in achieving my goal.

Toastie Offensive to the Mii Community

On the “Check Mii Out Channel”, which I recently discovered, I kept getting an error message every time I tried to set my main Mii as the artisan I’d use on the Mii Out Channel.

I could not find a solution to this error message anywhere on the internet:

This Mii Artisan’s nickname cannot be used in the Check Mii Out Channel. Choose another Mii or change this Mii’s nickname in the Mii Channel to continue.

The implication is that the nickname is already used by someone else and, therefore, cannot be used. I created a new Mii with a new name just to try to get passed this error. No such luck.

I kept missing the note that says “your Mii has to be visible to users worldwide”, which means, although the usually-way-too-literal Wii fails to tell you, the Mii is not to set to be able to “mingle”. Maybe it’s obvious to everyone else. Took me a while to figure this out, though.

…except I didn’t figure it out. I assumed it would work now, but nope. Maybe ‘toastie’ is actually offensive. I had tried a friend’s Mii with a normal name, and it took, so Wii can’t be looking for unique names.

I’ll call my new Mii ‘Dave’ and see if that works…

Yup. So “Toastie” is offensive, apparently.

Toastie Plays The Blog Tag Game II

The wonderful Ashley Sue tagged me a couple of weeks ago, and I have yet to play, until now. I was tagged back in March for a similar task, upon which I listed 10 fun facts about myself.

The rules go something like this:
Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself in the post – some random, some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

So now I’ll try to think up 7 things that I don’t recall having mentioned here in 2000+ previous posts…

1. I worked at a Pathmark supermarket as a cashier while in high school in North Brunswick, NJ
2. I collected TV Guides a child for a few years in the mid-80s. I used to reread them over and over again, thus learning vast amounts of useless trivia that would serve little productive purpose in years to come. I threw them all out in a dramatic fit sometime aroung eighth grade.
3. I don’t grow stubble and beards because I’m trying for a particular look. I just despise shaving and have never found a razor that provides the ideal combination of comfort and efficiency.
4. On Valentine’s Day circa 1991, I walked a mile in the snow to put a dozen roses in the mailbox of a girl I had had a crush on. Some reading this will no doubt wonder if I’ve learned my lesson regarding such behavior in the ensuing years. I probably haven’t.
5. I hate the movie The Matrix.
6. I was very upset when the television show Benson was canceled. I wanted to know who won the election. For some convoluted reason, Benson was running against The Governor. (I found some healing information on Wikipedia).
7. I’ve finally upgraded WordPress after two years on 2.1. I’m now running 2.6.5. I’m probably going to change themes shortly and try to take advantage of some newer WP functionality. How I go about organizing with both tags and categories will be an interesting challenge. This WP upgrade is not something fun or interesting about me, but I’m throwing it out there for lack of a seventh item jumping out at me.

Now, as for tagging seven other people/blogs…it was hard enough to find five people last time. This is a cop-out, but if you are reading this and have a blog, consider yourself tagged!

Toastie plays the blog tag game

I’ll play. I need the diversion. I’ll make all my things “fun facts” instead of “ten physical ailments that I have,” because I think we’re all a bit sick of that. I have been graciously tagged by the “general knucklehead” at The Durham Bull Pen. (Am I the only person in town who doesn’t actually know his identity?)

Here are the rules:

    Post 10 random things about yourself.
    Choose five people to tag and a reason you chose them and make sure to tell them.
    Don’t tag the person who tagged you.

My 10 random things:
(these might be referenced somewhere in my pre-Toastiest blog archives, but I don’t expect anyone is reading those)

    I named Aremid after the fictional town of Aremid, which was the locale of a mysterious storyline on Days Of Our Lives in 1996
    In November 1999, I failed to reach the Hot Seat on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire by three-tenths of a seconds during one of the Fastest-Finger Rounds; I missed another question by six-tenths; I blew the unprecedented third Fastest-Finger by failing to have studied my Kentucky Derby winners out of the World Almanac I had purchased in Manhattan the previous day. (I do have this Polaroid memory of sitting across from Regis Philbis during a practice round).
    As a child, I played lots of Micro League Baseball on my Apple ][ Plus. I’d have leagues with both real teams and teams I had created featuring rosters of television characters. (Any further details would really be TMI).
    I…internet-streamer of Barry Manilow and Air Supply…had a show on WXDU…seriously…back in the Spring of 1994. I had the prime 5-7AM slot on alternate Sundays. It was an accomplishment; freshmen didn’t get their own shows to often. I played all the crap I was supposed to, with what cheesy stuff I could mind sprinkled in. I was “The Cheese Whiz”. I made a stupid mistake one day that probably could’ve been easily remedied, but I didn’t, and that was the end of my DJing career.
    When I was six or seven years old, my family had a pet white rabbit named, very creatively, Snowy. But my father was allergic, and Snowy stayed in the basement, until we gave…him/her/it…to a nursery school
    The first CD I ever purchased was Bryan Adams’ Waking Up The Neighbours. Yeah, I did get it for “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”, but there are several other awesome tracks, such as “Do I Have To Say The Words”.
    My first job was as a Burger King cashier at the age of 14. It sucked…a lot. Still trying to break out of that 0-for-67 slump. (Just kidding, I love my current job).
    I represented the state of New Jersey at the 1992 Future Business Leaders of America national convention in Chicago, having placed first or second (can’t recall) in the state’s Business Calculations competition(!) From this, you can infer that I was a member of FBLA. I never did nor do I have any ambition at present to become a BLA.
    I own a Duke Lacrosse sweatshirt. It is over 14 years old. I bought it from freshman dorm-mates. Shucks…they were great guys, first-rate all the way.
    In April 1999, I was on the waiting-list for a psychology masters program at the University of Richmond; I didn’t get in.

Now for tagging others. Everyone I read has either already done this or will loathe the idea of doing it or doesn’t write about himself much and probably won’t want to now:


Facebook’s Scrabble app (called Scrabulous) is my newest game addiction. I had been addicted to an “official” online Scrabble game a couple of years ago until I read Stefan Fatsis’s Word Freak and determined I had no desire to memorize an official Scrabble dictionary in order to elevate my game to a truly competitive level. I had played Yahoo’s imitation for awhile. I forget what it’s called. It has different point values and score bonuses. Now I’m playing Scrabulous, and I got more than I bargained for.

So Scrabulous isn’t intended to move quickly whereby you’ll sit down a finish off a game with someone in an hour. You could, conceivably, but there is not real-time posting of moves (you need to enable either a game or browser window refresh), nor is there a clock option. It’s normal, I’ve found, to have several games going on at once, and they can take days or weeks or longer to complete, presumably. I made one request to find an opponent to play a game (as opposed to answering a request). I don’t know how the request function is supposed to work, but I thought I was putting out a request for one opponent that would be open for 15 minutes. But before I knew it, I had 15 games started with 15 different people. And then I had 20, then 30, then 40 games! I eventually found a way to withdraw the request, probably well after that 15-minute mark, and I had 63 games going on in which I was expected to make a move!

As of now, I have yet to make my move on about half of these. A couple of people canceled the games, but I guess most people are used to having so many games going on that I don’t particularly mind waiting for me.

I don’t user any “cheat” software or web pages. I just want to see how well my brain as-is can do. I would’ve never though in a million years to come up with OXYPHENBUTAZONE for 1778 points.

My stats at the moment (I’ll mark ’em down now so I can see if I improve over time):

Rating Playing Completed Won Lost Drawn Best Bingo
1371 49 3 3 0 0 UNSWoRE for 93 points.

My Bingos (I like hotties, apparently, and I’ve learned that unswore is a word)
Date Word Score
15-Dec-07 HOTTIES 73
14-Dec-07 UNSWoRE 93
14-Dec-07 STORIED 72
14-Dec-07 TACkLERS 68
14-Dec-07 hOTTIES 64
14-Dec-07 TASTIER 70

Desktop Tower Defense

I don’t play video games. I haven’t owned a console since the original 8-bit (or was it 16?) Nintendo with its original Super Mario Bros. (I played on friends’ N64s in college and beyond). This isn’t to say I didn’t used to play an awful lot and can’t get addicted. (I spent a great deal of my senior year playing Wave Racer and too many free evenings in later years playing Tetris. I think my preference may be for simple games. I came across a link to this flash game Desktop Tower Defense while reading the Livejournal of mcsnee. I’ve probably spent about ten hours on it now over the past few days. Experience game players might quickly realize the best strategy, and it’s taken me awhile to figure out how to get better, but I keep improving, and I suppose that’s what makes any game addicting.

Should you read this and begin playing yourself, I created a group called “Toastie”, which, regardless if anyone else ever plays, I can use to keep track of my own scores.

I really ought to be doing a thousand other things, like figuring out what to do with the remainder of my life. But I can’t stop playing this damn game…