Finished Da Vinci Code Quest on Google
I have completed the Da Vinci Code Quest on Google. This was basically a 2 part advertisment campaign by Sony (maker of Da Vinci Code the movie) and Google. For 24 days a new piece of the quest was available to be conquered. These were usually some flash games mixed with some oddball questions. You know, translate this psuedo-language into English or answer this trivia question or watch this movie.
Some Google service was used to view/search for every answer. Google Video, Google Books, etc. Anyway, they weren't exactly impossible, but they weren't easy enough to answer without looking most of them up. At the end, if you were one of the first 10,000 people to finish the 24th puzzle, you were considered a "Finalist". The servers hosting the game (or something) had some hiccups...so perhaps some of the ordering of those initial finishers were out of order. Plenty of people complained...but who really cares?
Well, by making it into the final 10,000 you were promptly shipped a Cryptex in the mail. It's this sort of combination locked storage container. It's supposed to have vials of vinegar which will dissolve the parchment found within to prevent any attempts at breaking it open without using the correct code. Anyway, the one I got has no vinegar, and it doesn't even have a complete code. Even though the password says it requirs 5 letters...only the last 2 letters are truly necessary.
So, as a finalist I was permitted to take on the final challenge: a 5-part test that did not include any of the oddball trivia questions. After all was said and done I completed it in about 6.5 minutes. Many people took well over an hour to finish the same test. Did I win? No. A couple of people managed to finish a hair under five minutes. But maybe that's a blessing in disguise. The prize is valued at $140,000, which at 40% tax means I would owe $56,000 in taxes next year (just for this prize). Of course there are ways around paying that full amount...but it would still add up to probably $20,000 in taxes. That's definitely money I would not have planned on spending (even for trips to New York, London, Paris, Rome, flat screen tv, mp3 players, laptop, etc).
Housewarming Party on Saturday
I will be having a housewarming party at my house on Saturday. I sent out a couple of emails, but I hijacked some lists of emails to do so. That means that I have more than likely forgotten a few. That doesn't mean I don't like you and it doesn't mean you can't come. Just call me on my cell phone and ask about how to get there (and I just might give you the actual directions).
For now please ignore the phone number that I sent out with the first email...they have disabled our phone and will re-enable it soon with a new number. Apparently we got some Denny's number and we were getting calls all day long about it. When we complained they said they didn't think our number was supposed to be activated yet. Anyway...
7:00 PM, Saturday May 13th, My new house. Oh oh, let me give Kelly a hand with food by saying this: "You are permitted to bring some food if you would like to". Anyway, just remember that we don't have a yard so this will be indoors only (and the house is not exactly HUGE).
And I'll Cry If I Want To
It was my birthday yesterday.
26. What an uneventful day. 26 sounds "old". I mean, I don't feel old. Also, 26 is fairly young. But, I was thinking about what I thought "old" was when I was eleven. When I was eleven 26 was officially an old age.
At 26 you have passed some invisible threshold. See, at eleven you are looking forward
to most of your birthdays. At 26 you can look forward to a few milestones (30, 40, 50, whatever-birthday-gets-you-senior-discounts). But, for the most part, you can only look back at the major birthdays. Twenty five is the last time you get
something cool. It brings cheaper insurance rates and the ability to rent a vehicle in every state. After that you don't get anything
until the senior discounts. But how much can you look forward to senior discounts when you consider how wrinkly you'll be and that you are now shrinking and growing weaker.
Anyway, 26 arrived with a thunderous silence and will probably be remembered for how forgettable it was. My mother, on the other hand, said she distinctly remembers 26 as being one of her favorite all-time ages. You still have your youthful vigor yet you have shedded that "18 year old immaturity". I've got 364 days left to decide how right she is.