11:20am Jan21, 2002 
John Oakley on CFRB1010Don't know how many of you out there listen to the John Oakley Show on Talk News Radio CFRB1010 in the Southern Ontario region, but it's actually a great show and I encourage you to check it out if music at work is not your bag.  I've been a frequent and opinionated caller to the show and have been on the air about a half dozen times now after being turned on to the station by Steve (Sgt.Slaughter) McCoy at MTC Computers about a month ago.  Every Friday before 5pm they have the “Best of Oakley” where they sift through the hundreds and hundreds of callers from the week and pick the top three…  You guessed it!  Check out this little sound byte if you want to hear me bash on “over eaters” who are tying to get Handy Capped Parking Permits using the rouse that a “Beer Belly is an Eating Disorder”  (…those of you who know me, are well aware of my hatred of over-eaters…).  Flame on!

Well it's finally BTM week!  We've still got a full house even though we've had a few cancellations…  An automated notice will be mailed out soon (…for those who've never been to a BTM…) confirming your attendance and providing contact numbers, our address and directions to the Abattoir.

A big FYI here, although I'm always the first one to speak about the “Murphy's Abattoir Rule”, which of course states “Everything possible will go wrong if you reload, upgrade or otherwise alter your computer on a BTM week”, but I've broken that rule.  As of yesterday morning, the Abattoir Lab effectively no longer exists!  Over the years, the Lab's seen a lot of traffic, not only in people, but peripherals and such.  It's been far overdue for a “clean-out” and the only way to get on top of a job this huge is to start from scratch!  That started Sunday morning when every single item in the Abattoir Lab was dragged out!  I don't need to tell you the magnitude of this job if you've seen the room…  Suffice to say, we're painting it up and “re-loading” it as quickly as possible, but it's going to take a little time.  The reason we're mentioning this is because the SuperFTP+ Server and Game Servers are all stacked neatly in the Media Room and will be taking a couple days off while their new home gets a scrub-down.  That means, no FTP, no games, no MeatCAM, and no Abattoir Portal Web Servers for a few days (…I'll also be a little “slow” getting to my email of course...)  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but it just had to be done!


10:55am Jan17, 2002 
Ohh!!  30 today!Oh my!  It's my Sister Tracy's 30th Birthday today! (…Oops, did I type that out loud?..)  Happy B-Day, Tracy!  I'll take you out for lunch today, spare no expense…  You're choice where you want to go, any drive-thru you like!  (…I'll even SuperSize since it's your big Three Oh!..)

Although still very tight lipped about release dates, or pretty much any forthcoming information, the folks at Epic are keeping us all guessing about UnReal2.  They have, however, recently popped out a few more nice little screenshots and tidbits to nibble on…  Personally, I think it's cruel…  Kinda’ like waving a hot Pizza under Evan (DieJester) Smith's nose then taking it away.  Regardless, take a peek at the new engine's great features!

Who loves Pop-up Ads?  It's a fact that the Internet is Ad driven, go to any site that hosts even a remote amount of traffic and that becomes blatantly apparent as X10 shoves their pop-up SpyCam ads in your face, Casino ads by the millions, the list goes on forever.  There are solutions, some better than others.  One applet you can run will simply stop spawn window ability, thus preventing a pop-up from even stating to pop.  Yes, that gets rid of the ads, but it can also hinder your surf experience by stopping “legitimate”, useful pop-ups from starting (…the Bonus info box that the Abattoir might pop-up from the LAN Minutes occasionally, it contains site specific news about the Abattoir, but you'll never see it!..)  Thanks to Jeff (Viking/Madball) Walker's submission this morning, we're thrilled to give you a great alternative!  Go after the source!

Ad pop-ups can be “turned off” directly at the source, the following are a collection of links that hammer directly into the top Ad Servers and Opt-Out your machine's pop-up ads!  That's right, and it works!  These advertisers use cookies on your machine which literally say to the website, “Yes, I'd love to see that X10 ad again for the 1,000th time!”.  Well, this will tell X10's own ad server that you've turned them off!  Click each of the following links below, that's all you need to do!  This will turn that company's ad pop-up cookie OFF!  It even eliminates some banner ads!  It won't stop ‘em all, but it'll sure as hell put a dent into the number of windows you'll be closing during the run of a day.  I've tested these out…  Start clicking!

One of the larger adservers. Serves Gambling and Casino ads. Often seen on Lycos, Excite, Yahoo and others. Opting out of doubleclick will also disable many in-line banners.
Many different type of ads. Seems to go down frequently. If it fails, try later.
Ads for the X10 camera. This link should opt you out for 3000 days even though the message says 30 days.
Serves "click to win" type ads. Opting out of this one seems to kill a lot of in-line banner ads too. Might fail on the first try.  If it does, you'll be given an alternative link at the bottom of the page they direct you to.
Often serves movie ads. Seen on movie sites.  I'm not too sure, but I think this will also kill-off several of those nice little Flash Ads too!
24/7 Media
Popups and banners, seen at Yahoo! and others.
Avenue A
Another ad server. Handles a lot of different companies.

Thanks to Technoerotica for these links!  Their site has a few more obscure pop-up killing links so take a visit and click like a friggin’ mad man!  If you think this was a useful LAN Minutes UpDate, just wait till the Abattoir executes a few “Homies” later this week!  (…We're not kidding, stay tuned, it's going to get ugly…”Yo-yo-yo-yo, Boizz!”…)


04:20pm Jan08, 2002 
Rest in piece...  On a fresh bed of lettuce and tomato.What a shame!  Dave Thomas, 69 (…the founder of Wendy’s…) and senior chairman of Wendy’s International, Inc. passed away early this morning at his home in Florida from cancer of the liver. Thomas had a carcinoid tumor, which is a slow growing cancer, for more than a decade.  “Dave was our patriarch, a great, big lovable man,'' said Jack Schuessler, chairman and CEO of Wendy’s International, Inc.  “He was the heart and soul of our company. He had a passion for great tasting hamburgers, and devoted his life to serving customers great food and helping those less fortunate in his community.''  Thomas founded Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurants on November 15, 1969 in downtown Columbus, Ohio. He named the company after his second youngest daughter (…Who oddly enough, was not named Wendy…).  I know that Evan (DieJester) Smith will miss him, he eats the stuff daily (…or hourly, so it would seem…).

Do you feel that?You want to know why we have BTM’s?  Here’s the answer: “To have as much fun as possible before we’re killed off by space rocks.”  (…Huh?..)  An asteroid that could pulverize a country zipped close by the Earth on Monday, only weeks after astronomers first noticed the big space boulder heading in our direction.  The Near Earth Object brightened enough for even simple telescopes to spot just before it raced past our planet on Monday, only two times the distance of the moon, according to spaceweather.com, a NASA-affiliated Web site.  The range might seem like enough to breath easy, about 600,000 km (375,000 miles), but many scientists classify it as a relatively close call (…I’d call it a near hit to quote George Carlin…)  The asteroid, officially known as 2001 YB5, measures between 300 and 400 meters (…1,000 to 1,300 feet…) in width.  If such a rock were to smash into the planet, it would unleash the same amount of energy as many nuclear bombs, astronomers estimate.  "The impact would be quite tremendous. It could essentially wipe out a medium-sized country," said Benny Peiser of the Royal Astronomical Society in Great Britain. "The environmental consequences would be regional but the social and economic consequences would be global."  Close encounters with giant space rocks are not uncommon. Asteroids comparable to 2001 YB5 could strike the Earth as frequently as once every 5,000 years, Peiser said.  Hmmm, anyone seen Armageddon?  If you want to see the pass, check out this handy little applet!

The X-Box from Microsoft made an appearance at the Abattoir on Friday.  We gave the game console a go-over with four games, including Halo.  My impression?  Great.  Would I buy one?  No.  (…will Microsoft donate one as a BTM Door Prize?  Buahaha!!  We all know the answer to that one already…)  Spend the money on your computer…  At $450 and about $70 a game, it’s really not a bad value for what it is, but something just rubs me wrong about “buying another computer for games” that you can’t run your own applications on.  We did put it on the 250” Wall of Quake though, I don’t have to tell you, Halo looked great on a screen that size and Star Wars made just about everyone in the theater room sick when we were flying though the asteroids.  Too much fun.

Come and get me!Oh my God!  New excitement has now arrived.  Looks like we’re now going to have “MeatMan vs. 407ETR”!  I’ve just been called from a collection agency claiming I owe the 407ETR $68.34!  “Pardon!?  I have a Transponder that’s paid from work?”  Oh boy…  I think I’m going to have fun with this one!  I’m calling now…

In other news, it would appear our Chameleon Eggs are duds…  Sadly, they were removed from the terrarium and put into a bed of vermiculite to incubate.  The next morning they were flat as pancakes!  Someone (…who’ll remain unnamed at this point…) didn’t add any water to the tray and the vermiculite sucked them dry (…or at least, that’s what I think happened…)  Doesn’t matter really, they were “blanks” anyway.  We’ll let you know when she loads up again.


06:28pm Jan30, 2002 
Leaving, on a Jet Plane!Well Folks!  The New Year is here and with it new hopes, aspirations and dreams.  In my case, it’s simply having a machine that will be able to run UnReal II (…Yes, I’m that shallow…)  I hope everyone had a great holiday (…is it over yet?..) and we’re looking forward to 2002 and all its challenges and pleasures.

Our next BTM is long since sold-out and now we turn our attention to deciding what to play at BTM29.  As it stands, we’re going to have our first organized tournament of 2002…  Red Room vs. Blue Room, it’s also time to dust off UnReal Tournament for just such an occasion, so make sure you’re up to speed!  If you’ve not already done so, sign-up on the Abattoir BBs and join in on the discussions about what you would like to see at BTM29, make your voice heard!

Also, it is with a very heavy heart that just a few moments ago (...at the time of this writting...), I said goodbye to John (CreacH) Creaturo who has just left for Pearson International Airport for his flight to Winnipeg.  John’s been a good friend and we love him dearly and wish him the best in his adventures.  I know I’m playing this up a tad and making it sound like I’ve lost a friend and brother whom I’m never going to see again, or making it sound like he’s dying or something, but did I mention he’s moving to Winnipeg?  Regardless, have fun John!  We’ll see you in March when you pop back down to civilization for a few weeks, we’ll try to schedule a BTM around your trip back. <SniFF!>

Going back to UnReal Tournament for a moment…  Have you seen the latest screen shots of this up and coming masterpiece?  (…I don’t even want to know how many polygons it took to render the breasts on one of the models!..)  I’m really looking forward to this game!


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