Archive for February, 2007

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Thankfully it’s all over…

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

It’s been a long and stressful day – luckily it’s pretty much over. The day started late with taking Brien to the auto shop so he could get his bumper re-wrapped, and finished with a minor production emergency at work (which I just saw through to resolution now at about 9:30) with all sorts of stress, struggles, politics, and other trials at work.

After struggling to get my network up and running yesterday it just seemed to continue on into a full 24 hour saga of network, application, and other issues at work. Thankfully it all seems behind me and I can get back to focusing on writing specs again tomorrow at work – one of the few things I really do enjoy about being a PM. Analyzing requirements and writing them into the living spec is fun!

Now I’m curled up in bed with Skype about to settle into one of life’s true joys: Chrono Trigger. I have my trusty (and newly updated) version of Snes9x for the mac, and my rom image. And yes – before anyone comes and knocks in my door I do actually own the cartridge (thank you eBay). And yes – as I was just reminded on IRC this is the 5th time I’ve played this game in my adult life – it’s just that good!

I would play on an SNES if I had one. I wish they would release Chrono Trigger for the virtual console on the Wii, but from what I’ve heard thats unlikely due to the IP owners splitting paths years ago. Oh IP law and your silliness.

IT struggles

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Today has been an IT heavy day. My old 802.11g wireless access point died so I bit the bullet and upgraded my entire network. I now have only gigabit ethernet for my wired connections (both the router and the hubs) and 802.11n to go with my Macbook for fast data transfers and longer range.

POTD 02/26/07 - Network domination

After getting this little corner bookshelf to act as my ‘network hutch’ and contain the many pieces of networking equipment began the multi-hour saga to get it all set back up, all my ports forwarded correctly, and everything else working like butter. Sadly I couldn’t get the old AP working so I’m 802.11n only for right now – no more free wireless for my neighbors until I go pick up another cheap AP.

The mail was also kind to me today: it delivered my Wii component cables. Unfortunately there is something weird going on with my receiver and I couldn’t get it to pass through the component signal so I have a somewhat janked setup right now with the Wii going directly to the TV (still). At least I was able to route the audio through my main AV setup and the big speakers.

All in all I’m somewhat frustrated having spent nearly 3 hours fighting with network equipment, but it all seems to be working now (sans 802.11b/g for the Wii to connect through), and I should be set for fast happy networking bliss.

Network domination” by sparktography

Sunday brunch

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

POTD 02/25/07 - Sultry Alissa 02

My friend Alissa (pictured above – another shot is here) has a crepes brunch at her house today. It was simply delightful! I got to meet a lot of her friends, as well as hang out with my old recruiting buddy Ron for a while. Everyone brought a crepes topping and we all talked, took photos, and played Settlers of Catan for about four hours.

After the brunch I had Mike and company over for some video games, bad movies, and pizza – all in all a very satisfying end to my weekend. We played some Crackdown and watched the worst movie in history: Mazes and Monsters.

Speaking of Crackdown it’s a fantastic – if not short – game. I beat the final boss today and discovered it’s twist of an evening. I kind of wish they had delayed the launch slightly and added more content – but that can’t be helped. It was well worth the money I spent on it to get a week of fun running around on the rooftops causing chaos.

Sultry Alissa 02” by sparktography

Crackdown!

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

I have to say: I’m impressed with Crackdown. It’s the great game – the polar opposite of Grand Theft Auto and other similar games. Rather than playing a thug you get to play a genetically modified supercop charged with ridding the city of it’s many crime bosses and gangs. Mind you – the more violent the approach to ridding the city of crime the better. Having a license to kill rocks!

Normally I detest shooter games because I lack the ‘twitch factor’, but Crackdown features a unique targeting system that lets you focus more on movement than on aiming. This combined with the matrix style running (think jumping from rooftop to rooftop during a firefight) makes for a fun and addictive gaming experience.

The downside: I’m so addicted to the game that I haven’t posted a POTD since I got the game. Hopefully in a few more nights I’ll be able to tear myself away from Crackdown long enough to go shooting and take some more shots.

Project Re:M1xed

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

My friend Mike and I had an idea of creating a movie mashup entirely from other movies. Fair use gives us the right to use up to 8 seconds of another work without violating their copyright, so why not make a short film (5-10 minutes) made entirely from 8 second or less clips of other movies.

So far we are thinking doing a homage to cult Sci-Fi movies by making our own from the leavings of others. We have a library of 750+ DVD’s to pull samples from, and access to decent video editing tools to make our job easier. We may interleave audio and video from different sources simultaneously to allow for more dialog and action options, but only 8 seconds per sample will be allowed.

We are looking for help in everything from envisioning to helping polish the final project. Obviously this is not for money, but it should prove to be a blast. If you have creative ideas that might make this better we want to hear them – join us in our creative endeavor – just leave a comment or drop me an email!

Twitter: just another fad or here to stay

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Ohs Nos – not another phone based social networking site! I didn’t like SLAM, I positively hated Googles Dodgeball so why should the new clone Twitter be any different? I’m not sure, but as always I’m fearlessly giving it a try. So far it seems to be less annoying and invasive than other solutions (it let’s you use IM rather than your phone if you prefer) and has a pretty configurable personal page feature.

Check out my Twitter page for updates, or just add ‘sparktography’ as your friend if you have an account.

All done!

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

YAY! I’m done with my antibiotics (and hopefully their gut wrenching side-effects)!

That is all.

Dog hiccups and other fun things

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

I lay here on my couch exhausted from the goings on of yesterday. Skype is equally exhausted and is passed out in a little ball next to me. He’s hiccuping in the cutest possible way – there really is very little on this earth as a sleeping dog that’s convulsing uncontrollably in the throes of hiccups.

Someone recently commented to me that my blog was very beige. They didn’t mean the color scheme, but more the fact that my life is rather boring. I actually appreciated that more than the person intended: I like the boring quiet life! Luckily I still do have the occasional splash of color in my life as yesterday exhibited:

The afternoon movie showing was quite exciting! I had 8 people show up for drinks, movies, and other sorts of orgastic excess. Skype of course had a blast – it’s almost more than he can bear to have that many drunk people show up and play with him. For an idea of the happenings check out the (dark and long) Quicktime timelapse I made.

Take that beige! Now back to our regularly scheduled beige.

Oh yeah – and I’ve developed a love affair with Tilda Swinton! She’s just so good at being bad!

MEGA POST (now with more Pirates!)

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – after updating the site design to the blog on Tuesday everything became rather busy. Wednesday night was the most romantic possible of valentines: I did usability testing for my friend Troy’s upcoming Pirates MMO, and then went home to drink wine and cuddle with Skype.

Pirates of the Burning Sea actually looks like it could be quite a fun game. I most likely won’t get sucked in (I’m not the MMO kind of guy) but I mean who can argue with Pirates? The game still needs a little UI polish (they are not even in beta yet), but it’s got a solid base for a good combat system and what looks to be a giant world to run (sail?) around in.

Thursday continued my Pirates theme with a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest with Ken at Le Cinema Sparks. I really do have to admit that the special effects are simply amazing – regardless of the sheer ridiculousness of the rest of the movie. ILM used a new technology called iMoCap (Image Based Motion Capture) which allowed actors playing the pirates to be replaced in near realtime with CG characters using motion capture technology. This is way cool and an indicator that within a few years actors as we know them will likely be replaced with the infinite tweak-ability of computer generated actors.

Thursday also brought the first day that my jaw really felt better. The antibiotics are working a number on the infection and my bowels at the same time. I’m certainly glad they are working and I won’t have to have surgery, but the constant search for more bathrooms is starting to get old. Oh well – it could be worse: my jaw could have swelled up more and left me horribly disfigured for the foreseeable future. In other news my pills are more than half gone:

Shot of pills

Friday brought laundry, cleaning, and way too much laziness. I spent the entire evening getting ready for the weekend. Below is a shot of my pants drying in the bathroom. I had hung them up to dry and was just getting ready to go to bed when I noticed the shot and had to go get my gear together really quick so I could shoot it. I then got sucked into Photoshop playing with various treatments until I finall came up with the below. GO PANTS!

Jeans

Now that it’s saturday I’m wearing slightly damp pants, and finishing my preparations. I’m actually rather proud of myself for waking up early enough today that I could take Skype to the dog park and still have time to finish cleaning. He had a blast running around this morning (too fast to shoot sometimes) and now is being cooperatively lazy – hopefully that will continue through the evening with my company.

Skype with ball

In a few hours a ton of my friends are showing up for movies. I finished cleaning this morning and went to the liquor store to pick up enough booze to sedate an entire frathouse. I forgot mixers but after making a few calls I think that problem should be taken care of by my friends when they show up.

Shot of pills” by sparktography
Skype with ball” by sparktography
Jeans” by sparktography

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