Poor WordPress, I have left you entriless for a long time. I may not be back for good just yet, but let me try to explain!
IN VLOG FORM!
I’ve finished my first Vlog (video blog). I decided to record it on my Kodak, then transfer it to my Mac and use FCP6 to edit it. It seemed to work out well, though it took longer than expected. At least from now on I’ll have the title cards and lower thirds made already so it won’t take AS long.
Compressor was doing something weird at the end there where it went out of sync. It’s not like that in the timeline, but I couldn’t seem to fix it when I compressed it several times. Oh well, at least it’s at the end!
I just spent an hour sitting in front of the TV flipped to CNN waiting for Alex Albrecht’s interview. . . only to find out that it was on the CNN.com livestream. Damn! Well, at least I got to hear about Sarah Palin for once. /sarcasm
Since I first started watching Diggnation a month and a bit ago I have been catching up by watching from the more current eps (Episode 165 being the newest) to the oldest (Episode 1). I’ve been steadily watching around 1 to 3 episodes per night, and am proud to announce that I am now on Episode 56. I’ve skipped the “Best of” eps for later, but I have still watched over 100 of them!
If for some reason you have not heard of/haven’t seen Diggnation but you like technology, the Intarwebs, Digg, to laugh and to drink then I highly suggest this podcast. Check out all 165 (soon to be 166 as of tonight) episodes here: All Diggnation Eps
Now that September has arrived the weather here has been frigid at best. It seems that the Earth thinks that summer is over for us, but it should at least have some pity since we didn’t really start summer until mid-July. We had nice 29 degree weather last week, and then as soon as September came around it immediately turned to rainy or cloudy 12 – 19 degree days. Let’s hope it’s just a phase and we get at least one more week of nice weather before the leaves start changing and Autumn makes its not-so-eagerly-anticipated (by me) return.
For most cat owners there are times when you seriously start to question why you got a cat in the first place. They sit on anything you are trying to read, they stand in front of anything you are trying to watch, they lay on the table and they wake you up at all hours of the night as they tear through the house at 30 kilometres per hour. Not to mention they leave clumps of hair on the carpet and upholstery, before vomiting up the wet food that they love so much.
Alternatively, there are moments when your cat is the greatest thing in your life. For instance: when they sit near you if you need comforting, when they kneed your stomach before they lay down, or most importantly the fact that they provide endless entertainment at family gatherings — if they can be bothered to show themselves during one.
Then there are the times when your cat does something so odd, so absolutely out-there that you feel a totally different emotion towards them. I’d set the mix as 50% entertained, 36% cautious and 14% frightened for your well being. You begin to wonder if they have little kitty voices in their heads telling them to DESTROY ALL HUMANS (much like the game of the same name, but with fewer aliens and more lasers. Laser cats.) Every cat owner has thought of it. We have all had that knowledge in the back of our minds that if, for whatever reason, our cat wanted to take over the house, then they very well could. They’ve got teeth, they’ve got claws and they know our sleeping schedules better than anyone. They pretty much own the place anyways!
That said, this is my cat. Her name is Chloe, she is 6 years old and she is unstable. Some of my friends would say evil, but I know her cuddly side and it is the predominant one — though when she is tired of being cuddled you’d better know when to quit because she’ll tense up and take a swat at you. . . before grabbing you with her front paws, kicking you with her back legs and biting your hand. All at once, and all with her claws out.
I love her. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I talk to her regularly (as anyone who loves their pet does) and she will occasionally meow a reply. She comes when I call her name, she follows me all around the house (including into the bathroom which is something only cats can get away with), she takes up half of my bed when we sleep and she loves to go outside on her own to explore the wilderness! By “wilderness” I mean the “backyard”, but she stays close to the house and always comes back within a few hours. She also enjoys running-then-sliding on wood or tiled floors with her hairy paws, fighting with my dad, eating green olives and licking our hair after we have a shower. Yeah I know, that last one is strange but true.
Anywhoo, the whole point to this post is this: Two weeks ago, when my parents were in Italy visiting my brother, I was staying home alone and I woke up to what I tried to convince myself WAS NOT my cat trying to set up a booby trap. With thumbs only half way up her legs she had to improvise with its construction, but I think it was meant to strangle me. It seems she was hiding nearby waiting to test her trap’s success. She was foiled, of course, and she acted innocent. You be the judge!
I’m sorry for the terrible cellphone quality image. Cheers!
I’m trying to make a vlog, but everything is against me. The number one problem is that I have a Mac, so only a very select few cameras work with it correctly. There is the iSight (which is $200 at the very least) and then there are a few other cameras that I can’t find anywhere.
I have been trying the Macam driver route, which allows you to use practically any well-known webcam brand on your Mac, but it has been giving me a bit of trouble. Yesterday I bought a new Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX with a built in microphone (because you can only use USB mics on this computer). Macam recognizes it and will let me use it in some programs — BUT I can’t find a decent program that records video AND audio so that I can make a video blog! I’ve been trying Quicktime Broadcaster, but even when I set it to 30fps it only records at 5.
Then the bottom half of my camera feed randomly turned into coloured pixels and the only way to fix it was to put my hand to the lens, but once pulled away it would go back to its coloured craziness. I think that part has something to do with the RightLight technology that the camera has, but since I can’t install the actual driver that came with it (Windows only disc) I am out of luck. Why do things have to be so difficult?
I suppose I could do vlogs only on weekends when my dad happens to bring his laptop home from work. I was thinking that I could do them on my PC, but then I remembered my parents had it reformated and for some reason the guy doing it install Windows 98. That’s right. . . we had it reformatted just over one year ago and it has WINDOWS ’98! He couldn’t install 2000 even? Or ME? Something that programs can be installed on? Nothing works on Windows ’98.
The only other solution I can think of is running Windows on my PC, which I am not against doing. I have VirtualPC downloaded and working, I just need a Windows OS disc. If anyone can help please let me know! I MUST VLOG!
Cheers! If you wanted to follow me to watch for future vlogs, here I am on Vimeo.
I know that I’m a terrible blogger. I do. What makes it worse is that I am only blogging in this instance because I’m testing out the WordPress app for my iPod.
I want to take a page from the book of Xal and do vlogs, but first a need a working microphone.
That’s that. Cheers!
P.S. Below is a picture of my 91 year old Papa on his computer. He probably blogs more that I do!
We Thunder Bayers (Thunder Bayites?) thought that our flash flooding was pretty crappy, take a look at what’s happening in Wisconsin:
Yes, that is an entire 3-storey home being swept into the Wisconsin River. Yikes. Could you imagine all of your belongings — your entire life — just taken away like that? All you can do is watch helplessly as your home floats down river. My thoughts go out to them.
There are crazy storms happening all across North America in the past few days. Hail in Quebec; floods in Mexico and the North Eastern States; and severe thunder storms in Alberta. What a lame June.
So a few friends and I bought tickets to Video Games Live months ago, and the day finally came this past Thursday! The few who didn’t already live in Winnipeg drove there for the event, and was it ever worth it. Three of us didn’t make any coolio costumes, but look at the ones Xal made for her and her buddy Laura! They are Moogles, of course, and all night long people were asking them excitedly to have their pictures taken with them. They’ll even be in a Youtube video starring all of the in-costume attendees, rumour has it! KUPO!
You may also notice the drinks in this picture. . . that bartender really knew how to make a delicious Rum & Coke!
I call this picture “1337 |\|3rD5!!!!1!“
The audience was made up of a lot of stereotypical nerdlingers, which is perfectly alright! What else do you expect at a video game concert? All of us who went are a bit on the nerdy side. I had just never seen that many in one place before, so it made for an interesting atmosphere. Everyone was having a blast though, and that’s all that really mattered. Looking at this picture you can probably notice that the male:female ratio is a bit off. Female gamers FTW! Hey look, it’s Master Chief! That guy ended up winning the costume contest.
Here are more dressed up people. The pink girl, who is someone from some Dreamcast game (Jeremy told me this, I had no clue) was getting super into it, but in a way that was annoying. That’s all I have to say about her: she was annoying.
There are also people I don’t know up until Cloud, then more people, then LINK! And MARIO! Not pictured is a guy dressed in a cardboard box painted like the Companion Cube from Portal. It was shoddy, but oh so wonderful at the same time. I think next time I go I’ll have to dress up. I really liked my Chocobo idea. . . too bad I can’t sew.
And now for the videos! These are ones I found that are actually from the Winnipeg show!
This is the music from Kingdom Hearts. Square Enix wouldn’t let them use in-game footage, so they cut together Disney clips of all of the characters that appear in the game *^_^* You can hear me woot at the first glimpse of The Lion King — the person who took this video was sitting probably a row or two in front of me because that was pretty much our view of the stage. Thanks, light stand!
This is World of Warcraft, for those of you who play it. I have to say, the music is great! I thought since my other two examples are Square and therefore have no video game footage I should add one that does. . . and I also wanted one that incorporated the choir, whom were spectaculant.
Then, of course, there was the first encore: One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII! I really only know the song because we used it in a play in Grade 11. . . but still, it is a good song.
Watch for the bass/cello(?) players headbanging in the middle of the song. It was wonderful. You could tell that the orchestra was loving all of the feedback they got from the audience — it must be a bit out of the ordinary considering the audience they’d usually play shows for is a bit older and likely less responsive to orchestrated music.
In the end it was a fantastic show, and apparently they have 50 songs and only play about 20 per show so I would love to go again to see what’s new. It was all a bit overwhelming, to be honest. . . the music really gets to you, especially when there is a live choir singing, and it can get emotional
It should be mentioned that in every town that VGL goes to the orchestra from that town is the one who plays in the concert. I assume they are given the music well before-hand to be ready for when the Video Games Live people arrive. It makes sense, since touring an entire orchestra around the world would take bus-loads more equipment and people. . . Playing our show was the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as well as the choir who’s name I sadly can’t remember. All locals from Winnipeg, and all very talented individuals.
We also got the special treat of the Blindfolded Video Games Pianist playing Final Fantasy music! Here, I’ll find a video for that, too:
He obviously was not blindfolded here, but still. Beautiful. Yes, he was actually on the stage, but the feed was also going to the screen.
The area in which Greg and Xal both have apartments is called ‘Osborne Village’ and it’s beautiful. I can see why I thought the city was ugly in the winter: all of the trees are deciduous thus making for no greenery come November. But, in the summer it’s a wonderful place. Everything you’d ever need was within walking distance, and even walking into the city itself didn’t seem that far because there is always stuff to see. The first night we had amazing nachos at a place literally across the lane from Xal’s called Carlo’s & Murphey’s (a strange Mexican/Irish Pub), and last night Greg showed me this amazing movie rental place called Movie Village where you can basically find any movie you have looked for in Thunder Bay but have never found. I found two Ewan movies I’ve been dieing to see, but I could never watch 2 movies in one night AND wouldn’t make Greg watch 2 Ewan movies so he rented Lady in the Water and we watched that. Rather, he watched it and I watched half before falling asleep.
Driving is crap there, no matter what season it is.
We’ve decided that Thunder Bay very much needs an area like Osborne Village and a place like The Forks. The little shops and restaurants there were spectacular, and I even got The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales! I read the first one (The Frog Prince) aloud to Greg and Jeremy one morning. . . those Grimm brothers don’t really know proper story structure. In any case, I’m excited to read more. There are at least 100 fairy tales in the book. Coolio!
Anywhoo, I thought I’d be stuck in Winnipeg for a few extra days, but it turns out today was a perfect driving day so away I went! I left at noon Winnipeg time, and I have to saw that it was a pretty nice drive. It was sunny, but the car wasn’t too hot. I only stopped once for gas (at a Full Service station which freaked me out) and then once for Timmie’s in Dryden to buy a Large 2/2 and 20 honey crueler Timbits!!
I know a lot of you drive to Winnipeg a lot, so I will ask you this: Have you ever grown sort of attached to certain vehicles whilst driving? What I mean is — have you ever been in a small convoy of two or more vehicles, and you get to a passing lane and all pass one super slow transport at the same time, and you sort of feel like giving everyone a high-five? The you drive in a line for awhile (maybe playing leap frog a bit). If you are driving alone, or perhaps even if you are with someone, you begin to talk to this vehicle as though not only the driver but also the vehicle itself can hear you. “Go ahead, you can pass me! I know I will only catch up again.” or “Oh no, white truck, you have a terrible case of rust. Poor thing.” Then, suddenly you look in your rear-view mirror and the white truck has turned off onto a side road and for a moment your heart sinks like you’ve lost a close friend. . . You soon gain other relationships with other vehicles during the eight hour drive, but you never forget that one white truck that you drove along with for two hours. I’m sure it happens on all long drives, maybe just to insane people. . . but it happened to me on the way to and from Winnipeg. Today it was a silver car from Saskatchewan and a white transport. They both left me :(
Oddly enough, I saw no deer either way on this trip. I saw rabbits in Winnipeg, red-winged black birds, a wild turkey on the way home today, and the scariest: a wolf! At first I thought it must have been a statue because it was standing at the edge of the woods alone and regal. Then I kept an eye on it as it did the same to me, following me with it’s soul-piercing gaze until I finally was able to break eye-contact with it — it helped that if I didn’t look away I’d have veered into oncoming traffic. I have never seen a wild wolf before, and I guess part of me always thought that it would look like a friendly Husky, with it’s tongue sticking out and most likely two different coloured eyes. No, my friends, wolves do not look like Huskies. They are larger, their eyes can be defined simply as ‘devilish’ and they only stick out their tongues to wipe your blood from their jowls. I was shaken for about a minute after seeing it, and I was in a car driving 100km/h down the highway! I was driving a Kia, mind you, so I’m sure if the wolf wanted to it could have opened that thing like a tin can full of Lindsay flavoured sardines. He’d probably just eaten a moose or something.
Anywhoo, woot for updating! When I returned home my dad told me that e TBayTel guy came out and fixed our Internet so it’s normal speed now! Apparently I was using the wrong AV adaptor for the modem and fried it, so that explains a lot. That’s not all that happened since last time I updated, but deal with that however you can. I’m not updating about every day since then.
I know, I know. . . I have to update. I’ll tell you what: If I feel in the mood to update after my walk this evening than I will do so. Deal? Deal. If not expect one in the next few days, at least!
I was a bit worried on Friday when I looked at the DHL Delivery Tracking site only to see that my package was in Winnipeg and “Available on payment by recipient”. Were they expecting me to drive to Winnipeg to get it? Do they not realize how far away that is? I sent a concerned email to Customer Services and they replied this morning with a “I’m [not really] terribly sorry to hear about this inconvenience. How about you call this number here *gives number* to talk to someone else rather than bother me?” sort of response.
Turns out I was just too anxious, anyways, because this morning came a knock on my door/a ring of my doorbell! I rolled out of bed at 10:30 wearing my man-pajamas (which are comfy as all sin) and treked upstairs. I hadn’t yet decided if I wanted to answer the door in this state. . . but after peeking out the window and seeing a man holding a box that read “Think Geek” my answer was a resounding YES followed by HELLO DELIVERY GUY! MAIL PLZKTHX! After scrambling around for $11.31 to pay him I finally have. . . DUN DUN DUN!
A TARDIS USB HUB!! I have included a video of me showing it off. It was shot on my cell phone which is sadly the only form of video camera I have. . opposed to my actual digital camera which I forgot about until right now. Damn it all.
So cool! I will be obsessively plugging in USBs all day so don’t bother me! *^_^*
I wish it came with The Doctor and Martha! Mostly The Doctor, though, Martha could come and visit every so often if she so wished. :P
AWW. Look at him! David Tennant should marry me!!1!one!! For those of you not in the Who-Know, he also happens to have played creepy Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. [/rabid fangirl]
Look at all this empty space. . . I shall fill it with the Doctor Who Theme:
Can you hear it in your brain bone?
Really, though, I have to go work on some MIS stuff. . . but this was a good start to the day. Cheers!
Oh boy. . . I may have to do this blog in sections. There is just so much happening in my life! At least I like to think there is, when really it’s all basically video game related. Surprise?
SECTION ONE: CLEANLINESS
More than a week ago now I had the sudden urge to clean out the cupboards in my kitchen. I was sick and tired of opening them, closing them, opening them again, then closing them only to open them once more to see if there is a morsel of food that I may have missed. Most of the things were expired, or had just been sitting in there for literal years.
On the left here you will see the “garbage” pile, meaning the stuff that I did not place back into the cupboards. Those waffle (ROFFLE!) cones have been in there since I was about 15 or 16. That’s nothing compared to what I found next. . .
These two boxes of delicious salad toppings were found in a wicker basket (no lie) in the very back of our lowermost cupboards. Before you look at the picture below, my dear reader, take a stab at it — just guess what year these are from. Judging by the packaging I figured they may have been from the early to mid 1990′s. . .
Both of these products expired 22 years ago in April and June of 1986. If they expired then, who knows when they were actually purchased? They’re older than my middle brother, and possibly even older than Devin who is 24! ‘Great Beginnings’ indeed.
Among all of the spices and sprinkles of the “spice cupboard” I found some old Apple Pie seasoning from when Thunder Bay had a Loblaw’s*, two ancient boxes of Tabasco, and one bottle of Red Hot that had mysteriously turned brown on the top and remained red on the bottom. It’s called decomposition, I think.
*My spell check told me that Loblaw’s was not a word and that I must have meant “Lobular”. LOBULAR, of course! Thank you, Spellcheck.
SECTION TWO: PIRACY
I finally received Minish Cap in the mail!
Upon looking at the envelope it came in, and noticing that it said “Hong Kong” I knew I was in for some trouble. I was right. It is a bootleg, OH NOES! I wouldn’t have minded terribly if I’d have been able to play it no problem, but the cartridge was a tight squeeze into my DS and the memory is simply a battery that once dead will erase my game.
I have many pictures of it, but so that this entry is not filled to the brim with pictures I will only show you this one. I have used the professional image editing abilities of Photoshop to draw perfect circles of red around the problem areas.
Here I am comparing the inside of my Superstar Saga to the pirated copy of Minish Cap. Notice the Nintendo copyright on the Superstar Saga. The battery in Zelda is evident and the foreign blue label a bit worrisome. I did notice that my perfectly legal Pokemon Emerald also had a battery, but apparently they were used in some games and not others Minish Cap not being one of them. I’ve also circled the code on the front of the Zelda cartridge. Why? Well, when I found out it was a bootleg a bunch of sites told me that I should contact Nintendo, and so I did. The first man I talk to told me as long as that code was on the label than it is legit. Really? You don’t think pirates in Hong Kong can print boxes, player guides and the labels themselves without being able to figure out how to put a certain number on it? Everything else pointed to piracy, but it was obvious this guy didn’t know what he was talking about. After a bit more research I called back, and this time got a very helpful lady who didn’t know the process, but admited it and found a form she needed to fill out — where I bought the item, if I thought I was getting a Nintendo product, etc. I also reported it to eBay and to Paypal and successfully got a refund *^_^*
I know this probably happens to people all the time and they just let it roll off of them, but I am not that person. I am a person who likes JUSTICE!
SECTION THREE: PARTING WITH MONEY
I’ve been trying to be good with money, but I took a trip to Cash Converters yesterday and that never ends well for my wallet. I found Dark Cloud and Dark Cloud 2 for a good price, and so I bought them. I had been researching what PS2 games were good, and they both seemed to get a great rating and were recommended for people who like Zelda! What I like most about it (though I haven’t started to play them yet) is that as opposed to turn based fighting you just walk up to the baddie and swing. No cut scenes, no epic music, just swing and death (for the monster hopefully, not yourself). I’ve been told that’s probably why I would not like the Final Fantasy series: too much turn based fighting.
Plus, not to judge a game by it’s cover, but look at it! It looks like just the right mix of awesome and adorable. What’s with game characters fighting with wrenches?
I’v also been playing Lego Star Wars a lot more, ad it has turned a bit more 3D. In any case I am in love with it.
FINAL SECTION: LIFE IN GENERAL
My month of eating healthy is over! Last night I celebrated by going to Wendy’s, and you know what? It was pretty unpleasant. Nothing tasted as good as I remember. Maybe it was guilt, maybe it was because I looked it up and it was 880 calories, or maybe it just never tasted great. Even the fountain pop, which I loved, was sweet and almost unbearable. I don’t crave it anymore, so that’s good news. Now I’ll eat chips and stuff occasionally, but I think I will still generally stay away from fast food. I’m going to try to eat it once a week or less.
I still crave pizza. The first thing I ate on Monday was a slice. That is one food that’s not only good because of evil fast food chemicals. Pizza is genuinly DELICIOUS!
Anywhoo, I should get working on a shot list etc. for MIS. It’s coming up really fast, and we must be prepared for it.
P.S. I made this for my siggy on the Gamespot forums, and now I will put it here because it excites me: