VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Men In Black 3 (2012)

We’re fans of the first 2 movies AND the animated series (which is friggin’ awesome), so of course we’d be watching this!

Carolyn: 5/5 stars, 9/10.
Clint: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10. Maybe I should give this 5 stars. It was pretty awesome. I love time travel.
Parthena: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Eli: 4/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: Netflix: 4/5 stars, IMDB 7.0/10.

Carolyn: I’m a sucker for Men In Black, and I enjoyed it immensely.

Parthena: I really really liked the movie, but one tiny thing I noticed- in the beginning, when Agent J went to the young guy in the store to get the time-travel device, the guy shouldn’t have acted surprised to see those weird jelly-fish things on the tvs in the background- he seemed surprised, and said something like, “Oh, yeah, I guess me sending Boris back did change things,”etc.  But if Boris had succeeded in changing the entire timeline, Dude in Store would have no idea that anything had ever been different than the way it currently was-hopefully that makes sense.  Not a huge deal but just a tiny timeline-continuity thing that I noticed. :)

Eli: I really enjoyed it.  Surprising for a third in the series.

Matthew: It was pretty good. The whole time travel thing was confusing to both Julie and I, but those types of situations in movies always seem to be a little hard to follow. Overall it was a good, fun experience. It didn’t really lag or drag on, it was pretty smooth flowing throughout. There were some holes in the plot, like what happened to those motorcycle type things they were riding and the Ford Galaxie that was on fire? How did the bad guy get from the moon to earth? Did he just swim through space? Whatever, it was still fun.

Julie: I liked the movie. I did like the fact that I didn’t have to have seen the first two to figure out what was happening. I really hate when movies in a series require you to have seen all the previous ones to follow the plot.


VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Clash Of The Titans 2 – Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Clint: 3.2/5 stars (compared to 3.4/5 for the first remake), 7.2/10 (compared to 7.4).

Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars (same as what she gave the first remake), 7/10 (compared to 7.6/10 for the first remake).

Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars  (compared to 3.5/5 for 1st remake) (guess for us=3.7/5), 5.9/10 (compared to 5.8/10 for first remake).

Yeah, our numbers and everyone else’s are kind of wonky for this one. Nostalgia clouds all of our judgement.

This movie LOOKED great, and the battles were nothing short of epic.

Yet, it was missing something. The story and characters could have been more developed. At 1hr39min, it felt rushed. I probably would have liked this more if they could have fleshed out an actual 2.5-hour movie out of it.

Kronos was nothing short of spectacular, and seeing him incarnate is reason enough to see this. But the story? Kinda meh.

The plot reminded me of the last season of Xena:Warrior Princess, where she ends up perma-killing most of the gods from most mythologies. This is about the death of many gods. I guess they aren’t doing a sequel…No.. wait.. they ARE?!?! Where are they going to go from this?

Either way…. At least it doesn’t look like an old episode of Land Of The Lost, which is what the 1983 movie looks like nowadays.


I’m adding a command-line spell checker to my blog process…. It runs on a file, and modifies the file in realtime, as you give your accept / ignore / add to dictionary / replace-with input in response to the prompts. I’m purposely typing this post up wit a lot of spelling errors to see if it catches them. So if some get through, I’m leaving them, because they are test results. This is mostly a test post. (more…)

I got to be part of an emergency scene…sort of. After the oral surgeon x-rayed me (biopsy consult)… All of a sudden someone RUNS down the hall. “Call 9-1-1!” “Is she breathing?!” Big scene, people obviously freaked out. I’m freaked out, running around. “Does she have an inhaler?” ….”DOES SHE HAVE AN INHALER?”

The medworker is on the phone calling 911… Holding an inhaler in her outstretched hand that someone handed to me (later they tried to return it to me, haha). Everyone is running around, nobody is taking it.

Finally I ease up, reach up, body-language-ask “Should I take this?”, she body-language-responds “Yes”, I take it, run top speed down the hall, yell “Who needs the inhaler?”.. someone grabs it from me real quick.

also overheard: “DOES SHE HAVE SEIZURES?” “No”

“Thank you Mr. $MyLastName.”
Yea, my adrenaline level wasn’t down even an hour later.

Later the girl said I was the coolest patient ever, but that was also because I was like “no you don’t have to move me out of this room just because the ceiling leaks! i don’t care!”
Then the ambulance couldn’t find the fucking place (gee, *I* could, and I’ve never been there, or even to Upper Marlboro, Maryland in my life I think. people are trashy there, you’d think it was Culpeper or something)… Me & another lady are out in the streets looking for them to no avail. I forgot my jacket and tablet; glad no one took advantage of that moment because that would have made me even more cynical.

The girls mother, tho, was not heated or worried at all. She was playing with a baby (that was her granddaughter). I didn’t learn until later that it was a fully grown woman who had asthma. But yea, they didn’t tell the Dr about a bunch of things they were asked and supposed to tell her about.. Herpa derpa.

I’d like to think, if she was otherwise going to die, that maybe I 0.01% saved her life. That might be a generous percentage, given what the trained professionals do.

The other time I came close to that was when a drunk hit our telephone pole (maybe the 3rd of the 4 or so times?)… Electric wire fell, burned so brightly that the reflection off the trees in our back yard, through the cracks in our black-velvet-covered bedroom windows, lit up the inside of the bedroom bright enough to read by. And dat sound. Scariest sound I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard it a few times. Like a ground loop buzz going through a concert-level subwoofer.

Went outside, people were literally screaming. I saw a passenger *bail* from the car he was in [it was stopped, duh] and just run the opposite direction. People were turning around. Power lines were across the sidewalk. Someone was walking up to rubberneck. “STOP! STAY BACK! STOP! LIVE POWER LINE!” .. They stopped. I’d like to think I get more than 0.01% for that one.

Oh, me? They didn’t actually perform the biopsy. Apparently those bumps on the back of the base of my tongue are something everybody has; They just make me gag when eating now because I am so dry (possibly Sjogen’s syndrome). This oral surgeon is going to coordinate with my shitty dismissive rheumatologist, who didn’t even fucking call me back today. I’m supposed to buy lemon drops

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix guessed 4.1 for us), 6.7/10.

An exception to our usual focus on modern offerings.

This movie had funny moments, and the Ramones were fun.  It was very much what people would think of as a stereotypical 1980’s highschool/teen-comedy movie. Except it had The Ramones in it, which is something few other movies can boast.

Most of the main characters in this movie still have acting careers today, which is a change compared to most b-movies. As for the “Riff Vs. Kate” debate, It’s almost a tie. Riff’s clavicle is the tiebreaker. I want to see cleavage, not Skeletor. Kate wins.

Interesting that CBS censors mentions of DDT in Teenage Lobotomy when this movie airs on TV, but cocaine and swastikas are just fine. Can’t mess with Monansanto!

And how the fuck are they remaking this? I guess this movie could be remade for every band out there that has a fandom, but it’s never going to be something as seminal as the fucking RAMONES!

It will probably still be better than the sequel I just found out about – Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Forever (1992) – staring Corey Feldman (feat Mojo Nixon). Or the 2nd sequel, Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994), starring Renee Zellweger and Howie Mandel (feat Paul Anka). God help us all.

At least the 3rd one has some of the original characters and actors from the first one (including P.J. Soles).

Still though — good times!


So, after a period of not using John’s Adventures Desktop Background Switcher for a few years, I started using it again. With 3 screens. I realized there are a lot pictures that I don’t really need to remember anymore.  I want to keep them on my harddrive, but I don’t want to see them.

So I rename them from .jpg, but keep the file.  The way I do this in my system is to “deprecate” the file, renaming it from whatever.jpg to whatever.jpg.deprecated.  The file is still on my harddrive, but no longer viewable because it doesn’t have the correct extension anymore.  This is the archivist’s way of deleting.  Some people use the .bak extension, but I tend to delete those automatically sometimes, so I want something different.

I knew I would be doing this many times in my life. I wanted an easy way to do this. Minimal keystrokes.  3 key presses to activate. 1 keypress to choose which of my 3 screens I am referring to. I would settle for nothing less.  The command I use is “pd.bat” for “picdep” or “picture deprecate” or “picture delete”, if you want to think of that way.  P, D, Enter.  Three key strokes. Then you pick a number for which screen it is on That’s what I want.


So here is the necessary scripts. You have to run TakeCommand / TCMD to run these, and have some implementation of perl such that you can run perl scripts at the commandline without prefixing them with “perl”. Otherwise, you’ve got one line to edit in my script.  If you’re using Windows, use Strawberry Perl. Cygwin’s perl should be fine, too. These are the only setup requirements.  If you’re not under windows, how the hell are you running TakeCommand scripts? Contact me immediately!

It’s one file, picdep.bat, which you would need to edit one part of: The SOURCE. It must point to your John’s Adventures Status.xml file.  The other 10 BAT files are just variou utility BAT files that I already use in my environment.

Also – my screens are in reverse order. There’s this whole perverse internal mapping that makes it so that when I have 3 screens, 1=3, 2=2, 3=1, and when I have 2 screens, 1=2, and 2=1. It was handy that TakeCommand had an internal automatic environment variable to tell me how many monitors I have. DisplayPort monitors disappear when you turn them off, which is VERY annoying.

Also, you can type “oops” or “undo” to undo what you’ve done when you do this.  Just a handy thing I do. I set an UNDOCOMMAND in the environment, if one can be generated automatically. It’s very handy for when you move things to an incorrect place. Just type “oops”.

It all looks like this:

20150626 - picdep.bat example with undo

@Echo OFF

::::: CONFIG:
 set DEBUG=0
 set STATUS_FILE=c:\Users\oh\AppData\Roaming\\Background Switcher\Status.xml
 call validate-environment-variable STATUS_FILE

 :: prepare
 call setTmpFile

 :: tell
 call debugprint * STATUS_FILE=%STATUS_FILE%
 call debugprint * TEMP_SCRIPT=%TEMP_SCRIPT%

 :: do <"%STATUS_FILE%" >"%TEMP_SCRIPT%"
 call validate-environment-variable TEMP_SCRIPT
 type "%TEMP_SCRIPT%"
 call "%TEMP_SCRIPT%"

 :: validate variables for total pics, first pic filename, last pic filename (rest are too much work):
 call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND
 call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_%BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND%
 call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_1

 :: create set of valid keys to answer with
 unset /q INKEYMASK
 for /l %key in (1, 1,%BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND%) gosub PrepareInputKeys %key%

 :: prompt
 cls %+ echo. %+ echo. %+ echos `` 
 color bright yellow on yellow %+ echo ***** CHOOSE ONE TO DEP: ***** 
 color white on black %+ echo.
 for /l %pic in (%BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND%,-1,1) gosub PreparePic %pic%
 echos ``
 color bright yellow on yellow %+ echos ***** CHOOSE FROM:
 color bright red on black %+ echos %INKEYMASK ``
 color bright yellow on yellow %+ echo !!!!!!! ***** 
 color white on black %+ echos ``
 color bright green on black 
 :: deal with answer
 if "%1" eq "" goto :AnswerNotProvided
 if "%@REGEX[%1,%INKEYMASK]" eq "1" .and. "%@LEN[%1]" eq "1" (set CHOICE=%1 %+ goto :AnswerProvidedAlready)
 inkey /c /k"%INKEYMASK%" %%CHOICE 
 goto :AnswerNowRetrieved
 echos %1

::::: DO IT!!!:
 gosub processChoice %CHOICE%
 keystack Ctrl-Alt-N %+ REM Makes JohnsAdventures go to the next picture

goto :END

 :PrepareInputKeys [picNum]
 :: add the filenum to our valid choices

 :::: This is mostly a multi-monitor-numbred-incorrectly kludge.
 if "%DEBUG%" eq "1" echo * picNumToUse[0]=%picNumToUse [picnum=%picnum]
 goto :Adjust_%NUM_MONITORS%
 goto :PicNumChangeDone

 if %picNumToUse%==1 (set picNumToUse=2 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 if %picNumToUse%==2 (set picNumToUse=1 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 goto :PicNumChangeDone

 if %picNumToUse%==1 (set picNumToUse=3 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 if %picNumToUse%==3 (set picNumToUse=1 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 goto :PicNumChangeDone

 :Admitttedly, adjust_2 and adjust_3 are both the same thing, but with 2 and 3 substituted, and that's just num_monitors,
 :so they could be refactored into a single thingy. Sigh.

 if "%DEBUG%" eq "1" echo * picNumToUse[1]=%picNumToUse 

 :PreparePic [picNum]
 :: fork parameter
 set picNumToUse=%picNum%
 gosub adjustPicNumToUse

 :: color to display filename in:
 set fg=%picNumToUse%
 set bg=0
 if "%picNumToUse%" eq "1" (set fg=3)
 if "%picNumToUse%" eq "2" (set fg=7)
 if "%picNumToUse%" eq "3" (set fg=6)

 :: display the filename
 color 0 on %fg% %+ echos ``
 color %@EVAL[%fg%+8] on %bg% %+ echo %picNumToUse%: %@NAME[%[BGPIC_%picNum%]]
 color %fg% on %bg% %+ echo %@REPLACE[%PICTURES%,,%[BGPIC_%picNum%]]|cut -c1-%WIDTH

 :processChoice [choice]
 color white on black 
 set picNumToUse=%choice%
 gosub adjustPicNumToUse
 set filename=%[BGPIC_%picNumToUse%]
 set command=call dep "%filename%" 
 if "%DEBUG%" eq "1" set command=echo * IF NOT IN DEBUG MODE, WOULD HAVE DONE: %COMMAND%
 color bright blue on black 
 echo. %+ echo.
 echo - Your selected %choice%
 echo - PicNumToUse is %picNumToUse%
 echo - Filename is %filename%
 echo - Command is %command% 
 echo. %+ echo.
 color white on black




@echo off

::::: USAGE:
    :: call validate-environment-variable VARNAME_NO_PERCENT [option]
    ::      where option can be "skip_validation_existence" to skip existence validation

          set         VARNAME=%1
    :echo if defined %VARNAME% goto :Defined_YES
          if defined %VARNAME% goto :Defined_YES
          if ""  eq  %VARNAME% goto :Defined_NO

        echo *** Environment variable %1 is not defined, and needs to be!!
        call alarm-beep
        set ERROR=1
        goto :END

                                                     set IS_FILE_LOCATION=0
    call   car>nul                                   %+ rem Lets us use carrot in next line
    if "1" eq "%@REGEX[^[A-Z]:,%@UPPER[%VARVALUE%]]" set IS_FILE_LOCATION=1
    call nocar>nul                                   %+ rem Restores original state
    if "0" eq "%IS_FILE_LOCATION%"                   (goto :DontValidateIfExists  %+ set  VARVALUEDRIVE=%@INSTR[0,1,%VARVALUE%])
    if "0" eq "%@READY[%VARVALUEDRIVE%]"             (goto :DontValidateIfExists)
    if "%@UPPER[%2]" eq "skip_validation_existence"  (goto :DontValidateIfExists)
    if exist "%VARVALUE%"                            (                         goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if isdir "%VARVALUE%"                            (                         goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if exist "%VARVALUE%.dep"                        (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if isdir "%VARVALUE%.dep"                        (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if exist "%VARVALUE%.deprecated"                 (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if isdir "%VARVALUE%.deprecated"                 (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    call alarm-beep * Environment variable %@UPPER[%VARNAME%] appears to be a file location that does not exist: %VARVALUE%       

goto :Past_The_End_Of_The_Sub-Routines
            echo. %+ echo. %+ echo.
            color bright magenta on black
                echo * Environment variable %@UPPER[%VARNAME%] points deprecated file: 
                echo            "%VARVALUE%"
            color white on black
            beep 73 3
            beep 73 2
            beep 73 1


use strict;

#  <current_pictures>
#    <BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture position="scale" Info="20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o
Thursday, November 25, 2010" Name="20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o" Identifier="S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_11_25_Thanksgiving at Britt's\20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o.jpg">S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_11_25_Thanksgiving at Britt's\20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o.jpg</BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture>
#    <BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture position="scale" Info="20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog
Saturday, March 24, 2007" Name="20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog" Identifier="S:\WWWPICS\2000-2009\2007\2007_03_24_Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's\20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog.jpg">S:\WWWPICS\2000-2009\2007\2007_03_24_Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's\20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog.jpg</BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture>
#    <BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture position="scale" Info="20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708
Tuesday, August 03, 2010" Name="20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708" Identifier="S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_07_30-2010_08_07_Cape Cod\2010_08_03\1_North Island part 1\20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708.jpg">S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_07_30-2010_08_07_Cape Cod\2010_08_03\1_North Island part 1\20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708.jpg</BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture>
#  </current_pictures>

#	1) Environment variable sequence for each  filename  (BGPIC_1, BGPIC_2,etc)
#   2) Environment variable value    for total filenames (BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND)

my $num_pics_found=0;
my $line;
my $picture_directory;
my $picture_filename;
my $IT;
while ($line=<STDIN>) {
	if ($line =~   /<current_pictures>/) { $IT="on" ; }
	if ($line =~ /<\/current_pictures>/) { $IT="off"; }
	chomp $line;

	if (($IT eq "on") && ($line=~/BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture/)) {
			    $picture_filename = $line;
			    $picture_filename =~ s/^(.*)(Identifier=")([^"]*)(".*)$/$3/;
			    $picture_filename =~ s/&amp;/&/g;
			if ($picture_filename eq "") { die("pic is empty"); }
				if ($ENV{DEBUG} > 0) { print "echo picture_dir[0] = $picture_directory \n"; }
				$picture_directory = $picture_filename;
				if ($ENV{DEBUG} > 0) { print "echo picture_dir[1] = $picture_directory \n"; }
				$picture_directory =~ s/[\\\/][^\\\/]*$//;	#remove the last slash and ever every non-slash after it, until the end of the line


			print "set $VARNAME1=$picture_filename"    . "\n";
			print "set $VARNAME2=$picture_directory"   . "\n";
			print  "pushd      \"$picture_directory\"" . "\n";
			print "call validate-environment-variable $VARNAME1\n";
			print "call validate-environment-variable $VARNAME2\n\n\n\n";
print "call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND\n";


@echo off

::::: SETUP:
    if not defined USERNAME (echo *** FATAL ERROR: USERNAME NOT DEFINED! %+ pause +% goto :END)

    window flash=2,8
    :window flash=4
    if "%1" eq "" goto :NoErrorToDisplay
        color bright white on red   %+ echos *** ERROR: %* *** 
        color        white on black %+ echo.

    if "%SLEEPING%" eq "1" goto :done_klaxoning
        gosub klaxon
        gosub klaxon
        gosub klaxon
        gosub klaxon

goto :END

goto :klaxon%USERNAME%

        beep  2000 10
        beep  1000 10
        call sleep 1

        beep  2666 2
        beep  1333 2
        beep  2666 2
        call sleep 1

        beep  1333 2
        beep  2666 1
        beep  1333 1
        beep  2666 1
        beep  1333 1
        call sleep 1

    :stop continuous flashing:
    :window flash=0
    :start non-continuous flashing that, in theory, goes until the window is in the foreground again, but, in reality, doesn't always if new commands are issued in a BAT file:
    window flash=2,8
    window flash=2,2

car.bat (this one is stupid but sometimesnecessary, leftover from 1990s laziness):

@echo off
setdos /C~
color bright blue on black
echo You can now use the carrot key for things other than command stacking.
color white on black

nocar.bat (this one is stupid but sometimesnecessary, leftover from 1990s laziness):

@echo off
setdos /c%=^
color bright blue on black
echo You now must use the carrot key for command stacking only.
color white on black


call alarm-beep %*


call validate-environment-variable TEMP
call validate-environment-variable USERNAME


if "%DEBUG%" ne "1" goto :END

        color green on black 

            echo %&amp;

        color white on black



@echo off
set                              NOQUOTES=%@STRIP[%=",%1]
set        LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW=%NOQUOTES.deprecated
if exist "%LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW%" call alarm-beep LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW of %LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW% already exists and should not! Why could that be, hmmmmmm??
if exist "%LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD%" call alarm-beep LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD of %LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD% *still* exists and should not! Might want to run 'handles'.
:: add this command to eligibility for undo/oops.bat:
set        UNDOCOMMAND=call undep
unset  /q  NOQUOTES


@Echo OFF

if not defined UNDOCOMMAND goto :nothing

        :: If this pattern seems weird, it's because I want to unset UNDOCOMMAND *before* running it,
        :: in case we Ctrl-Break out of the command.  If we don't want it, it needs to go away. 
        :: Undo commands should only be run once. They should never be run twice.
        :: Therefore, we must unset UNCOMMAND *before* running it.
        :: Which neccesitates saving the value to a separate variable...
            unset /q UNDOCOMMAND
                color bright red on black
            echos * Undo command is: ``
                color bright green on black
            echo %TMPCOMMAND%
                color white on black
    goto :END

        color bright magenta on black 
        echo   * Nothing to undo!
    goto :END



@call undo %*


@call dep %*


call validate-environment-variable LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW
call validate-environment-variable LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD skip_validation_existence


@call picdep %*

UNNECESSARY BONUS: DP.BAT OVERLOAD TRICK. I have a dp.bat, and I kept running it instead of pd.bat. Sine I pre-load the number of the image i use (“dp 1” for monitor 1, “dp 2” for monitor 2, etc), I check if a number between 1 and NUM_MONITORS is entere, and then pass control over to pd.bat, the one I meant to use. I basically had to out-program my own brain’s frequent mistake. I do it insanely tightly, even checking %_MONITORS, so it will only work up to the number of monitors I have. “dp 3” will only transfer control to pd.bat if my 3rd screen on i :)

(from dp.bat)

    SET ARGV=%1
    if "%ARGV%" eq "" goto :NoOverload
        if "%ARGV%" ne "" .and. "%@LEN[%ARGV%]" eq "1" .and. "%2" eq "" .and. "%@REGEX[[0-%_MONITORS],%ARGV%]" eq "1" (pd.bat %*)

Anyway. I just wanted to go through the motions of publishing some kind of functionality of mine, to start thinking about if I want to publish things, and how to do that in a more automated fashion as well — but without unveiling private information accidentally, and decoupling it from some of my more interesting anti-maintenance scripts. For instance, above, I gave one line that is:

SET STATUS_FILE=c:\Users\oh\AppData\Roaming\\Background Switcher\Status.xml

In reality, the code I use internally is much more complicated:

    call validate-environment-variable   APPDATA
    call validate-environment-variable   SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS
    call validate-environment-variable   DRIVE_C_%SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS%_VAR
    call validate-environment-variable %[DRIVE_C_%SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS%_VAR]
    set STATUS_FILE=%[%[DRIVE_C_%[SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS]_VAR]]:\Users\oh\AppData\Roaming\\Background Switcher\Status.xml
    call validate-environment-variable STATUS_FILE

But it assumes a certain kind of environment that only I have defined.

%[%[DRIVE_C_THAILOG_VAR]] which eventually evaluates to 
%HD240G                   which            evaluates to

…. This is all abstracted in such a way that works on every machine in my house regardless of what the actual drive letter ends up being (definitely NOT C for all the machines except 1).  Ask me about my harddrive driveletter environment and reverse-lookup variables sometime.  I even have an environment variable called %THE_ALPHABET% which I use frequently.

This is a sequel to a post I made 7.5 years ago, the last time I built a computer (“Hades”) from scratch. The only parts that failed from my last build are all built by companies that are now out of business (Abit, OCZ), so that’s good. (I don’t count harddrives, those must eventually fail.) My new computer will be named Thailog, and will be composed of:

NZXT Phantom 820 Series Full Tower Chassis
$199.99 @
A light on the back! Color-configurable internal lights!

ORIGINAL CASE ORDER (cancelled due to lack of stock): 
Thermaltake Chaser A71 Full Tower Chassis
$129.99 @, but their “2-4 week shipping” actually meant “in 27 days we will start shipping” in my case, so I canceled my order and bought it again for $ @ .


Enermax ERV1000EWT-G 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92, v2.8 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
$140.98 (after $45 rebate) @


ASRock X99 WS EATX (Extended-length ATX) LGA2011-3 Motherboard
$280.48 (after $40 rebate) @


Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.3GHz LGA2011-v3 140W Desktop Processor BX80648I75820K
$381.54 @


Arctic Freezer I30 CPU Cooler for Intel LGA2011/1155/1156/1150
$34.98 @


RAM: 24G:
1) Crucial 16GB Kit Ballistix Sport (4x4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 2400mHz (PC4-19200) CL16 (16-16-16) 1.2V non-ECC unbuffered Memory Kit (Model BLS4K4G4D240FSA)
$174.17 @
2) Crucial 8GB Kit Ballistix Sport (2x4GB)
$71.99 @

G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (2x8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM 2400mHz (PC4-19200) Memory Kit (Model F4-2400C15D-16GRR) DID NOT WORK AND WAS RETURNED
NO: $200.98 @

Crucial 16GB Kit Ballistix Sport (2x8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 2400mHz (PC4-19200) CL16 (16-16-16) 1.2V non-ECC unbuffered Memory Kit (Model BLS2K8G4D240FSA)

TERTIARY RAM (PURCHASE #5) THAT WOULDN’T WORK: Crucial Ballistix Sport (1x4GB). Computer could run 1 of these, 2 of these, 3 of these, 4 of these, and 6 of these, but NOT 5 or 7 of these, goddamnit. And my CPU cooler blocks one of the 8 slots.

HIS iPower IceQ X² Boost H270QM2G2M Radeon R9 270 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
$151.98 @


Crucial M500 240GB M.2 SATA3 Internal Solid State Drive (MLC) (CT240M500SSD4)
$123.99 @

$1,514.92 ($1559.92 initially with $45 back in rebates).
CPU, CPU cooler & SSD from SuperBiiz.
Case, Power Supply, Motherboard, RAM, & Videocard from NewEgg (2 items only cheaper due to rebates).


CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6-Core 3.3GHz (BX80648I75820K) with Arctic Freezer I30 cooler
MOBO: ASRock X99 WS EATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ( Intel X99 chipset)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 (2x8GB) DDR4 2400 (F4-2400C15D-16GRR)
VID:  HIS iPower IceQ X² Boost H270QM2G2M Radeon R9 270 (2GB 256-Bit GDDR5)
SSD: Crucial M500 240GB M.2 SATA3 Internal Solid State Drive CT240M500SSD4)
PSU: Enermax ERV1000EWT-G 1000W

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