Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Friday, July 30, 2004

Mom’s Coming Today

After spending the week in LA visiting a friend there my mom is coming to spend the weekend with us. This should be interesting. Planned so far:

  • Bake a pie, since she’s never had any of my baking
  • See a movie, probably
  • Go see the shark exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
posted by neil at 8:55 am
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A hypothetical question

Let’s say you were organizing some event, and at this event pizza was going to be provided. A lot of people will be coming to this event, with a variety of food preferences and restrictions. You believe that it will take about 20 pizzas to feed these people.

posted by neil at 8:11 pm
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Friday, July 23, 2004

Death Chemical for Mildew

One of our bathrooms, the one in the master bedroom, had taken it upon itself to become infested with mildew. Infestation is probably to light a word to describe the horrors of this bathroom. The shower door bottoms and top were black with the stuff. I’ve never seen something so horrible in a bathroom in my life (and I’ve seen some pretty skanky bathrooms!). I know that they previous residents didn’t clean it, and I know that the landlords didn’t hire a cleaning company in between… who knows how long it had been since that shower was cleaned. Of course, I didn’t realize this until a bit later, when I started to clean.

Anyway, this infestation had begun to take up a gigantic and putrid odor. This miasma was not content to remain in the bathroom itself, but it had begun to migrate into the main part of the bedroom. Something had to be done, and done fast.

I went to the store and got some anti-mildew cleaner, sponges and rubber gloves. This was war, and I wasn’t going to go in unprepared. 40 minutes later, with me light-headed due to bleach fumes, I finally finished scrubbing things down. By no means was all the mildew eradicated, but I am certain I lowered it’s presence by an order of magnitude or more. At the time I wasn’t sure what this had done to the smell, since the aforementioned bleach fumes had overwhelmed my olfactory sense. I had to go lie down and recuperate, and then eat dinner.

Later that evening it appeared that the smell was greatly reduced, but still present in the bathroom itself. Thankfully it seems that the new, lower power versoin of the odor does not have the power to distribute itself into the rest of the bedroom. I think I will make another pass with the deadly chemical over the weekend, cleaning up around the toilet as well as the shower this time. NO MERCY!

posted by neil at 9:50 am
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004


The Chicago trip was good. The weather was actually quite pleasant through most of the time I was there.

Here are some highlights, and also some pictures I took. They aren’t captioned or anything, but at least some of them will be readily understood from my highlights.

Well, I got in just before 1AM… which ended up being a problem. Alamo, who my car rental was from, neglected to tell me that closed their bus down at 1AM sharp. I ended up sitting around futilely until 2:20 before I decided to call them and see what was up. Clearly not one of my smarter moments, waiting that long. Anyway, they then told me that they were shutdown from 1AM to 5AM. This annoyed me, so I went back in the terminal to get a soda.

I noticed AVIS had people at the counter, so I went up and asked if I could rent a car. The woman told me she was forbidden to rent to walkups by their boss. But she gave me their phone and had me call the 1800 number, and I was able to reserve a car for “right now” via the phone. Then when I was checking out she asked me if The Lost Boys was set in Santa Clara. I told her that it was set in Santa Cruz, even though they called it something else. Then both the women behind the counter talked about how there are vampires in Chicago, and they stalk Midway in the late hours of the night. The woman who was helping me also said that I was the first Neil spelled with an ‘i’ she’s come across since her father, and she’s been working at Avis for 20 years. Weird!

Anyway, I made it to Glenview at about 3:30AM, talked to my mom a bit, who was waiting up for me because she’s weird, and then went to sleep.

The next day I went out to get brunch with my Grandma and then went back to her place and chatted with her for the afternoon. On the way back to my parents’ I bought the new Polyphonic Spree album, Together We’re Heavy. I then took my parents out to dinner for their anniversary at Nonno Pino’s, a good Italian place on the North Side. After that they took me to see I, Robot at Old Orchard, and it was worse than I could have possibly imagined. It was so bad that it made “The Outer Limits” version of it that I had seen the week before seem quite decent.

We got back from the movie to find my younger brother at the house to get his old TV. He had messed up the coax connector on his girlfriend’s tv and he was taking his as a replacement. He also had her dog, Gracie with him. She’s a great dog, more on her later. While Keith was there he ate the remnants of my dinner.

Saturday I went to brunch with my parents, futzed around and then headed over to Jamesy’s place over in the city. Unfortunately he lives quite close to Wrigley and there was a Cub’s game going on. Parking was not possible near his place, so I picked him up and we headed EVEN CLOSER TO WRIGLEY to meet up with for dinner. Strangely we found a meter spot with almost 2 hours left on it right near Clark and Belmont. Wonders never cease. We had dinner and chatted. It turns out that PBAL costs $0.00. WMUR has a picture to prove it! After dinner I went back to Jamesy’s place and he showed me City of Heroes. Woo.

Eventually his girlfriend came over and we took a cab to ‘s going away party. A highlight of the party was her describing and demonstrating to us a certain incident involving a certain other friend masturbating in front of her in a park. After the party I went back to Jamesy’s and slept on his futon.

The next morning (Sunday) I dropped Jamesy off at near his girlfriend’s, which was conveniently near Keith’s place in Wicker Park. Keith and I then went and got brunch, but on the way we ran into the Columbian Parade, and were forced to do some evasive driving to make it to our destination (which happened to be on the parade route).

After eating the french toast, I went back over to Keith’s and met his girlfriend, Sarah. While he was in Spain earlier this year he had picked up a Gangsta Rap coloring book, and I colored 50 Cent in. We also climbed a rickety ladder through a hatch over their balcony and went up on the roof. I took some skyline shots from there. We then headed up near my childhood friend Jason’s place, to hang out with him and his wife Jen (due to moving I had to miss their wedding at the end of May :(). Because it was so nice out we sat on a patio at a neighborhood tavern and had a couple of beers, and then went and got ice cream.

My parents were going to come down to the city to take us out to dinner, so we headed back over to Keith’s and I took some picture of Gracie. She’s part whippet, part lab and really an excellent dog. The parents took us out to a Latin American place down the street that Keith wanted to try, and it was pretty good. After dinner I headed back up to Glenview for the night. We watched a very disappointing episode of Six Feet Under and then I stayed up a bit too late finishing the book I was reading.

On Monday I made myself Jewel Chef’s Kitchen Frozen Cheese pizza for lunch (the most excellent frozen pizza of all times) and then went for a drive with my mom around The Glen, which used to be the Glenview Naval Air Station. Rah-rah.

After that I headed back over to Keith’s and I just hung out. It was pretty hot and humid so we just hung around the apartment, and he cooked dinner for some friends that were coming over. I had some of the salad he made and some guacamole, along with one of the Ciders he bottled last fall and then headed back over to Midway. This was at about 6:45PM and there was absolutely no traffic. My flight wasn’t until 9:00 so I called my Dad and talked to him for a bit and then sat around and read. The flight home was decent, and then I took a cab over to work to pick up my car and drove home.

And that, as they say, was that.

posted by neil at 8:42 pm
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Sunday, July 11, 2004

Funny Email

Subject: oh to differ
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 03:20:21 +0100
X-Mailer: Microsoft Office Outlook, Build 11.0.5510

On your site I read:

“Q: So what is Niblick, if he’s not a golf club or a turtle?
A: As far as we can tell, Niblick is unique in his world.”

I would beg to differ, since I too am a Niblick:-)

Can I have royalties if the character goes big?


James Niblick

posted by neil at 8:55 pm
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Monday, July 5, 2004


I went for a bike ride on the Sunnyvale Bay Trail today. Part of this trail goes through Cargill salt processing ponds. This is where they evaporate salt water for 5 year in order to make table salt. Good Eats fans who watched the Eat This Rock special about salt would have seen this. Anyway, there is also a bunch of salt marshes and sloughs there. And birds… lots and lots of birds. The ducks and seagulls were properly respectful of a bike moving at a moderately fast velocity, but the geese that I ran into near the end of the loop were fearless. The stood their ground until the last moment and lazily walked out of my way, if at all. I had to steer around at least a couple of them. This is a map of where I rode. The loop I am talking about is the ticked area in about the middle of the map. It is about a 4.5 mile loop. I only ran into one group of three people the entire time I was on that leg of the ride.

After I finished the salt pond loop, I still was in the mood for some more riding, so I followed the path parallel to the bayshore to the Sunnyvale Baylands Park. You can see this is a darker line on the map. While riding down this trail I had to furiously brake and swerve to avoid hitting a squirrel. Luckily this part of the trail was hardpacked earth, instead of gravel, so that was no big deal. Eventually I made it back around to the park proper and I did see a few people there. I then rode home, and it was uneventful until about 20 feet away from the driveway to my complex a silver Altima almost swerved into me.

Sometime in the near future I will go on the longer 9 mile loop off of Alviso, which is on the right-hand side of the map.

posted by neil at 4:55 pm
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Monday, July 5, 2004


I made some buttermilk biscuits this morning. YUM!

Here they are spread out and cooling:

posted by neil at 12:02 pm
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Sunday, July 4, 2004

Phone Post

I made some pie today! Here are some pictures, and sound of me eating it.

The pie, right out of the oven. I really do need to teach myself to roll out round pie dough….

Here is the first slice of the pie, which I soon ate:

And here is me eating that slice!:

posted by neil at 1:13 pm
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