U-Haul goes to the dark side

Wharehouse Sale
At least the word “Sale” looks nice, and it’s just some local guy scrawling on a chalkboard so maybe the misspelling’s not too surprising.

U-Haul used to have on the side of their trucks the name of a state with a relevant mural. They were attractive and it was always nice seeing another U-Haul with state art that I hadn’t seen before. They’ve started to get rid of the paintings and replace them with an insipid, unremarkable $19.95 per day message. It’s bad enough they eliminated the creativity, but the spelling error is inexcusable…

U-haul only $19.95 plus milage

Leap Year Thoughts

When I start having little eggs, I’m going to time it so they’re born on Feb 29. That way, I only have to buy birthday presents for them once every 4 years.

Being a salaried worker, I’m working an extra day this year, but being paid the same. There needs to be a little compensation for my extra time.

McDonald’s is selling hamburgers today for 29 cents, as if that makes up for them selling Egg McMuffins.

Tournament of Lepers, Week 3

Week 2 Results

White Black Result
drunknknite LEP 1-0
Rocky Rook Wahrheit 0-1
Polly l3rucewayne 0-1
Tacticus Tom 1-0
chessloser gorckat 1-0

Week 3 Matchups

White Black
Tom chessloser
l3rucewayne Tacticus
gorckat drunknknite
LEP Rocky Rook
Wahrheit Polly


                  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10  T
1  drunknknite   xxx --- --- --- --- 1.0 --- 1.0 --- --- 2.0
2  Tacticus      --- xxx --- --- --- --- --- --- 1.0 1.0 2.0
3  Wahrheit      --- --- xxx --- --- --- 1.0 1.0 --- --- 2.0
4  l3rucewayne   --- --- --- xxx 1.0 --- 1.0 --- --- --- 2.0
5  Polly         --- --- --- 0.0 xxx --- --- --- 1.0 --- 1.0
6  chessloser    0.0 --- --- --- --- xxx --- --- --- 1.0 1.0
7  Rocky Rook    --- --- 0.0 0.0 --- --- xxx --- --- --- 0.0
8  Liquid Egg    0.0 --- 0.0 --- --- --- --- xxx --- --- 0.0
9  Tom           --- 0.0 --- --- 0.0 --- --- --- xxx --- 0.0
10  gorckat      --- 0.0 --- --- --- 0.0 --- --- --- xxx 0.0

Everyone seems to be very nice and respectful to each other, which is a major downer. We need to start spreading the seeds of a Yankee-Red Sox type rivalry that will rock the chess blogging world. Like smashing a beer on someone’s head and some good trash talking.

My game against drunknknite turned out not to be over on move 9 (unlike last week’s debacle). But maybe it should have been. I didn’t resign when it was time, but it led to a relatively exciting ending which he won in the end anyway. Gotta post it soon.

Computer-fu: winmail.dat

At work, I use the Thunderbird e-mail client (I cannot recommend it above Microsoft’s Outlook, although you can’t beat the price), and every so often get an e-mail which is supposed to have an Excel attachment. However, there’s only a winmail.dat file, which is full of gibberish.

The problem is with (at least) some versions of Outlook, which don’t necessarily get along with other e-mail clients. It’s not politically expedient for me to say “Y0r email client sux, n00bler”, so I used the following solution:

1. Open up the winmail.dat attachment in a text editor.

2. Search for the string “ÐÏ” (without quotes) in the file, and delete everything before it.

3. Save the file as an Excel file.

Presto; you now have a spreadsheet.

However, upon doing some actual research on the problem, there’s a program called Winmail.dat Reader which will do the conversion for you. Mac users can use TNEF. Please note I haven’t tried these out.

If you are the one using Outlook and don’t want to bother your friends with the mysterious winmail.dat attachment, send a plain text e-mail if you’re sending an attachment (configurable for each recipient in address book, or use the Format menu if it’s a one-time thing).

Hyperinflation + food shortages = electability

Mugabe’s Strong!

84-year-old Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, is holding a birthday party, and to celebrate, he’s going to run for a 6th term in office. Of course, when your country has been suffering for years from inflation (now 100,000% annually), unemployment (80%) and mass emigration to South Africa, that doesn’t mean you’re unfit for office–it’s obviously the fault of the West.

There will be some token opposition from those like Morgan Tsvangirai and former ZANU-PF finance minister Simba Makoni. (Mugabe derided Makoni as a political “prostitute”.) Of course, most voters will “see the light” and determine that Mugabe is simply bringing the country the long way around to economic prosperity. Or Zimbabweans have long been convinced of the mantra that “might makes right”.

In other news, a bunch of Saudi men were arrested for flirting, “accused of wearing indecent clothes, playing loud music and dancing in order to attract the attention of girls”. Now this seems harsh, but there are some men here who probably deserve to be arrested based on some of the pick-up lines they use.

All the female LEPers I’m aware of are already attached, so unfortunately I will not be able to try some of those lines here.

Round 1 review

First note: Polly and l3rucewayne, just play your game when you can; it’s not going to be the end of the world if it’s late.

My opponent in Round 1 was kind enough not to rake my game over the coals in his post on our match. Frankly, he could have said “I can’t believe how badly Donnie sucks at chess!” and it wouldn’t have hurt my feelings, because I demonstrated not a modicum of skill in our match.

Move 7 killed me psychologically, and move 9 probably put the game out of reach.