Category: Life

Happy Birthday To Me! Here’s My First Blog Post!

Posted by – March 29, 2010

Cake. Yay.

Cake. Yay.

I found this blog entry amongst my files, it was apparently written on my 18th birthday and I started a blog.  Judging by the file format and how it was formatted, it looks like when I wrote my own blogging software.  In any case, I found it an interesting read, and maybe you will too.  Also, I’m now 24.  Damn, I feel old.

It’s finally my birthday. I’m 18 which means…absolutely nothing. This is exactly why I decided to start this weblog. This will hopefully become a great way for me to keep track of what I’ve been doing, and hopefully reminding me of tasks I want to and should be working on.

I do need to keep in mind though, that this is written for me, when my mind is worse then it is now (give it a few years, tops). Then I know I’ll enjoy having such a great record of my life from age 18 on. I need to keep this style

I do not intent for this to be looked at by others; in fact if you do read this, then you will probably be bored to tears at the meaningless drivel I’ll spew out in my free time. However, by all means feel free to browse around as you see fit, I wouldn’t make it public if I didn’t want some people looking at it.

I plan to include news about myself, as well as many other entries I write talking about from anything from daily observations I want to make a note of to debates about philosophy with myself (you know your a hermit, when you begin arguing with yourself).

Which reminds me, this backend for this weblog has taken me more then I once anticipated but I’m glad to have it at least working, even if it is screaming for features and perhaps a few bug fixes? It’s taken me about 6-8 hours spread over quite a few days and is still just bare bones as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully I’ll be able to add categories to the backend as well as a few features here and there to help me publish and work with entries, maybe even allowing myself to have a section for manuals I have written and am currently working on.

That’s about it for my first entry, short, and I think quite a bit off topic. Maybe this will be a good outlet for working on my writing skills. Then again, this is published without revision, maybe I should fix that…oh well maybe later.

Why I Don’t Play New Releases

Posted by – March 25, 2010

Video Games: Why waste good technology on science and medicine?

Video Games: Why waste good technology on science and medicine?

In my previous post Finally, I’m Back In Business I mentioned that I planned on doing video game reviews, and to not expect new releases.  I thought I’d take the time to explain why that is, as many people may not think like I do.

Cost

Assuming you buy a game fairly new (within the first few months) and don’t opt for the collectors edition you’re looking at about $60.  That’s a lot of money to drop on just one game, especially when you haven’t played it.

You might buy a game like Dragon Age: Origins and end up with potentially a hundred hours of gameplay.  Or you mgiht end up with Halo 3 ODST which is only 5 hours long.  One would have a good cost per hour, the other would be dreadfully low.  Even if you attempt to avoid short games, or poor games, how can you be sure?  Most gaming sites and magazines almost feel rigged.   If a publisher advertises in a magazine, then they seem less harsh on them, because the last thing they’d want to do is lose a big name publisher like EA or Activision.

If you wait awhile, you might be able to score a platinum hits edition of a game, which would bring down the price to $20.   Or even better, buy a good copy of it used and save even more.  That means for every ONE new release you buy, you could potentially buy THREE or more releases.  It’s really a no-brainer.

Bugs

When the wife and I pre-ordered Fable 2, we were excited.  We had played Fable Pub games for hours, raking in money and items to use for the game.  However only a few shot hours into the game, I ran into what is called “The Abbot Glitch” which made it so I had to start a new character and follow precise instructions to avoid this glitch again.  Meaning all my time I spent in the pub games was a complete waste as it was now unrecoverable.

To make things worse, I ran into more glitches that were rather annoying and prevented me from playing the game the way I wanted to, which is pretty bad considering that’s the whole experience they were trying to sell in the Fable franchise (choice!).

If I had waited a few months, I would have played this game with all it’s patches and thus avoided all the pain I endured.  And considering how many game developers are pushing games out before they are fully done or tested it’s not like Fable 2 was an exception by any means.

Annoying Multiplayer Experiences

I think everyone who has ever played on Xbox Live has run into hordes of screaming pre-teens who do nothing but use profanity, suck at the game, or simply team kill and become a nuisance.  They tend to get their parents to buy them new releases, especially in long-franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty, etc.  If you give them a few months to move on to the next big release, you will usually come across some good players who genuinely like the game, and still play, or new people such as yourself who picked up the game on sale.

Of course, this isn’t really possible if you have friends that HAVE TO play new releases, and if you don’t get it at the same time, you miss out.  If this is the case, I’d say to find some new friends, or simply stop caring and have fun on your own terms, not theirs.

That just about sums up my thoughts on new releases.  I personally don’t really notice a difference, the games don’t get any worse, only better.  You also tend to avoid the bad releases that tend to get good reviews due to fanboyism.  I’d like to hear what others think though, can you think of a reason why I would want to play titles hot off the press?

Finally, I’m Back In Business

Posted by – February 27, 2010

Newspaper with headline of "I'm Back"

That’s right, I’m back.

It’s been awhile since the last update, and it’s honestly not ALL my fault.  We switched hosting packages to a reseller account, and the domain propagation was stuck for my ISP and my ISP alone, which required me to wait forever and then call my ISP, explain the issue in detail (Their secondary DNS server wasn’t refreshing it’s cache, it was stuck) and then wait till they called me back, stated I was right, and that I’d have to wait normal 24-72 hours for the domain to propagate.

So I’m finally back, and I have quite a few more ideas and goals.  For one I want to get better at writing reviews, whether it be movies, podcasts I listen to, and the addition of video games I play (although don’t expect me to play new releases).  I’m going to be experimenting with some review stuff, so bare with me while I flop around like a fish.

In other news, it’s still cold, everyone is sick of the weather.  On the plus side, it’s making it so everybody wants to hang out, because everyone is getting depressed.  Personally, I can’t wait till my friend Georgia gets back from Egypt sometime today.  I probably won’t get to talk to her till tomorrow though.  It’s been weeks since we have been able to talk, and by the sounds of it, her trip has been a heck of a ride.

So yeah, this downtime has not been all my fault, and hopefully I’ll expand on a few ideas I have going.  Expect updates soon.

Another Friend in the Blogosphere

Posted by – December 30, 2009

Two Kittens.  One with their arm over another.

Awww Kittens!

A lot of strange stuff has happened over the last few weeks which I’ll get to in the next following posts.  However I wanted to welcome my good friend Georgia to the world of blogging.  I helped set her up a WordPress install and now she’s well on her way to hours and hours of stress of trying to proofread posts as well as staying motivated to keep posting.

It’ll surely be fun and interesting to share posts with each other from now on though as there aren’t a whole lot of people I can casually pingback.

Good luck, and don’t sweat the small stuff.  It gets easier and better the longer you do it.

Georgia’s Blog

Emergency Texas Trip 2009

Posted by – July 12, 2009

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t updated in awhile, this was not completely my fault.  Sara’s grandfather past away at the beginning of June (I think it was the 5th, the timeframe is a blur in my mind), so we had to make an emergency trip to Texas.  Two weeks prior we had just bought our first car; a brand new 2009 Toyota Matrix, so we had the means, but we really didn’t think it was going to be as big of a journey as it was.

So we found out at about 2am June 6th, and were on the road about 4pm the same day.  We didn’t have a really big plan, we used Google Maps to set a course, and off we went.  We recorded most of the trip and I’m compiling a DVD of the whole thing, which will be one of the biggest video editing projects I’ve done (not saying much), more on that later.

When we got into Jamestown, ND we discovered that Google was trying to drag us more east than we felt necessary and started charting our course (which was easy) which was to take the 281 HWY all the way down into San Antonio.  Here’s a picture of the voyage, keep in mind those dots (additional destinations) are there to show you the course, and don’t actually mean anything.

This shows our trip down (HWY 281) and our trip up (Interstates).

This shows our trip down (HWY 281) and our trip up (Interstates). (Click on Image to Go to Google Maps)

This image sort of does it justice, but having actually experienced it, it’s pretty insane we even made it.  We did however sustain damage to the vehicle from wildlife.

While driving we ran into (literally and figuratively) a lot of wildlife, mostly sparrows, crows, a turkey on the loose (which really deserves a post on it’s own, I have video and you’ll have to see it), armadillos, fireflies,  and a lot more.

We hit a female, which is the one on the left.

We hit a female, which is the one on the left.

However the damage occurred when we came into direct contact with a Prairie chicken.  It’s a fairly large bird, and they were all over, yet they all knew to move when we got even remotely close.  One of them however happened to run INTO the road and attempted to fly but didn’t make it even an inch off the ground before it got hit with our vehicle going 65-75MPH (forget the speed limit).

Needless to say it died probably instantly, leaving feathers in our grill but also it cracked our front “bumper” and ripped off a big chunk of our mudflap.  It’s probably not going to be cheap to replace either.

We got to see quite a few sights just passing through (just rivers, and such) and I’ll try to get some of the pictures up as well as pictures of the car damage and maybe even some video.

I just wanted to get this up here to explain where I’ve been and I’ll hopefully get to writing a lot more.  I’ve also been throwing some ideas around on posting links to other things I’ve read and commenting on them (providing I feel they’re important and something people would generally miss).  If you’re out there let me know how you like the idea, do people really want my commentary or me reading and deciding what they may be interested in?

P.S.  The reason why the loose turkey is so awesome is because he just darts into the road, runs through fields, ducks under fences gets attacked by some random bird (swoops down upon him several times) and disappears into the horizon all to the soundtrack of “Danger zone” from the radio (through no doing of our own, didn’t notice till the playback).  It might not be funny to all, you might need to be sleep deprived, road weary and have been there.

Lack of Updates

Posted by – May 14, 2009

I’ve been sort of busy lately so I’d like to apologize for the lack of updates to this site as of late.  All this week I’ve been running on very little sleep so I’m getting massive headaches and I’ve been having some crazy auditory hallucinations lately.

My goal is to post at least once a week starting next week.  I’ve got a lot of stuff sitting in my draft box that I’ve been meaning to edit and post, maybe I’ll do that.

Anyway, thanks to the like five people out there that support me by reading.  I’ll try to not keep you waiting.

Odd Hobby: Fake Titles

Posted by – April 1, 2009

I’ve had this article bouncing around for awhile now and finally thought I should get around to posting it.  I was originally just lazy, and then it occurred to me that what I may be doing could be a form of fraud.  However since I’m not actually doing this for any actual gain and don’t do it for documents that actually MATTER for anything I shouldn’t worry about it.

Some time ago I had a discussion on the UplinkIRC Network with a good friend of mine (Darkk Rage), and I explained one of my very odd hobbies.  Everyone signs up for memberships for Movie rental places, grocery store club cards or even movie theaters for the additional discounts you can receive. When filling out the applications however I tend to add titles to my name that I don’t actually have.  Such as ‘Dr’ “Sir’ “Gen’ ‘Capt’ or a wide variety of all of them combined.

Not only does the card that I receive look cool to the point of being comical (Sir Dr Capt John Smith), but when I need to call in to these places or when I’m at the store and they call me “Mr” I tend to correct them.

“I didn’t go to school for so long to be a Mr” or “I didn’t kneel before the queen to be a Mr” etc.

I got the idea when I was working for a horrible American cellphone company where disgruntled employees would add titles to random caller’s phone oders for no reason but to get a laugh for the next representative and maybe a confused call from the customer.

I got the second part (correcting people) from the fact that if you happened to have a doctor on the line and called them ‘Mr’ they’d freak out and almost start screaming, (which may be a symptom of an inferiority complex), but there was no way for us to tell their titles or not as the applications used didn’t have such a field (probably due to they were coded before such a thing were invented, fuck they were old.).

The important thing to note for this however is to NEVER do this on a tax form, or resume, or anything that it may actually MATTER if you have a title.  Not only would it be unethical, but it’d probably be fraud.

Anyone else do anything similar?  I’d love to hear other things I can do too.

Fixed: RSS Feed

Posted by – March 28, 2009

It was brought to my attention of a good friend of mine that the RSS feed was broken.  The problem seemed to ahve been caused by a wordpress update that required a change to the .htaccess but it wasn’t writeable.

It’s fixed now, so everyone can enjoy some good syndication.  If you notice any more issues please let me know.

Special thanks to Gzaector, or iamjrich or dododestructor or whatever he wants to use fulltime now.

Canadian Copyright & Neutrality Wars

Posted by – February 17, 2009

This is what Net Neutrality means.  Imagine paying for websites like you do TV Channels.

Scary Isn't it?

There have been a lot of attempts by the current Canadian Government to change Canadian copyright and Internet Neutrality law.  I personally believe that neither law needs any changing at all at this time, they are both fair and lead to the best solution for the Canadian people at this time.

I was reading my RSS feeds and stumbled upon a post on Michael Geist’s Blog:

Net neutrality is frequently re-characterized as “network management,” with ISPs arguing that they should be able to manage their networks in a manner that distinguishes between certain applications (and potentially content).  Funny, though, what happens when groups ask that the same network management tools be used for alternate purposes such as Canadian content rules.  When that happens, Rogers, the same ISP that acknowledges traffic shaping,  now says “We’re a dumb pipe. We don’t know what you’re downloading . . . so how can we be responsible for the content?”  In other words, when Rogers appears before the CRTC during the new media proceeding it runs a “dumb pipe.”  When it returns several months later for the network management proceeding, it runs a smart pipe engaged in deep packet inspection to identify the traffic on its network.

I really couldn’t put it any better than that.  ISPs in Canada want to have their cake and eat it too.  Luckily my M.P. is the Hon. Ralph Goodale who seems to have the intellect to know that both changes to the Copyright Act and the loss  of Net Neutrality spell disaster for Canadians.

Regardless of who your MP is I STRONGLY urge you to write your MP of your riding to inform them of your personal view as well as getting the word out for others to do the same.  Not to be overly dramatic but this decision will affect our children and our children’s children.

2008 Vacation

Posted by – February 12, 2009

The Alamo

The Alamo

Well I’ve been back from my 2008 vacation to San Antonio, Texas for awhile now.  I’ve been super busy since then as I found that a few people were hanging around the Freedom-Uplink IRC servers and decided that we should redo the website and everything.  Thus far everything is working excellent and we haven’t hit any snares and we’re even running our own Internet Radio Station now.  However, before I delve into that, I’d like to share a bit of my vacation here.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife is from San Antonio, TX.  I tend to spend quite a bit of time there every couple years, Christmas 2008 was one of these times.  It’s always nice to get away from home, especially during the cold winter, by going someplace warm.  I really need to do it more often, or simply move to where it’s warm year-round.

The Tower of the Americas

The Tower of the Americas

I spent the majority of my time lounging around with my wife’s side of the family.  Whether it was being over at her sister’s or hanging around with her brother from Portland, OR.  We hit a few museums together where I was able to view a few Picasso’s and an exhibit on the Nightmare Before Christmas (My wife’s favourite movie) which was indeed awesome.

I happened to go to this Bass Pro Sports Shop or whatever it was called that has so many mounted animals, it very well could have been a mounted animal nature trail.  From there I was able to not only admire the rifles that cost more than a car, but they had a little infrared shooting range with minor animatronics to make pots spin and doors open etc.  It was pretty cool considering it was a sports/gun store.  I should have taken pictures, it had a glass elevator and lots of stuff, it’s no wonder why Americans loves guns if their shops are that much fun.

I don’t have a whole lot of photos of all the stuff I did, the most exciting bits were near the end and we bought a video camera so a lot of it is on there[Larger Daylight View of the Tower, View from The Tower].  Unfortunately I don’t have the cable nor the time to transfer the video to my HD to edit it yet.  Hopefully in the future.  On the last few days however we to a few places including the Tower of the Americas, The AlamoThe Mexican Market, The RiverWalk mall and other miscellaneous attractions I can’t remember off-hand.

Grackle Invasion

Grackle Invasion

The Tower of the Americas was pretty amazing, being so high (and getting there in a glass elevator), in a rotating restaurant and man was it expensive!  I snapped a poor picture of it (as well as the Alamo above) as it was dark at both locations and long exposures make it a little blurry as I didn’t have my tripod with me.  Anyway, the tower was pretty cool being able to see all the lights and locations I ahd visited throughout the day.  Luckily my father-in-law knew how to get to the observation deck without having to pay the admission.  For those of you wanting to go, here’s the secret: Ask to go to the lounge, have a drink or two, then they’ll elt you take the elevator up.  It works out to be cheaper or about the same as paying admission, but you got food out of it too!

One rather odd thing I noticed while traveling this time is that San Antonio is have an Invasion of Grackles.  Nobody parks under any trees, power-lines, nothing overhanging because EVERYTHING is covered in hundreds of these birds.  It reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, although with a lot more fecal matter.  Not sure how I missed this the past few times I’ve been down there, but I guess it shows that there is always something I miss on each trip.

Well, I shouldn’t say that was the only odd thing, while in a Dollar Tree store, (where EVERYTHING is one dollar, no exceptions) I found some pregnancy tests as

One Dollar Pregnancy Test.  Only In America...

One Dollar Pregnancy Test. Only In America...

an IMPULSE BUY at the front till.  I of course had to snap a picture of it, which I’m sure made us stand out, but hey this stuff is interesting.  I think the only way these would work is if you buy enough of them to make a good average of the results and derive from there.  To do this though, you’d probably have to buy 10-20 at least, which means you might as well buy a more accurate one at a pharmacy.  Then again, screw it.  Best two out of three.

One of the best things about America though, is the dirt cheap fast food.  Man, I am in love with America in this regard.  Canadian fast food has smaller portions and costs at least twice or maybe 2.5x more.  When I can go and get a HUUUUUGE milkshake (seemingly equivalent to a litre or two of ice cream) for like 4 dollars, I’m one happy Canadian.  I love how the “large” in America is 2-3 times the size of the Canadian “large”, and how it’s a deformed cup so that it fits in the cupholder, because that is what America is about isn’t it?  Way oversized unhealthy portions that are crazy cheap and fit in your cupholder.  I miss America already.