Brain Fart Hiatus.

March 25, 2009 at 1:00 am (life, vlog)

Poor WordPress, I have left you entriless for a long time. ย I may not be back for good just yet, but let me try to explain!

IN VLOG FORM!

Cheers!

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The first of many. I hope.

September 5, 2008 at 2:12 pm (geeking out, life, the intarwebz, vlog) (, , )

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

The hilarious hosts of Diggnation.

The hilarious hosts of Diggnation.

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.

Cheers!

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Cats are geniuses.

August 26, 2008 at 9:14 pm (life, pets) (, , )

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!

Thats my dads arm, if you were wondering.

That's my dad's arm, if you were wondering.

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!

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Into the River Wisconsin.

June 10, 2008 at 10:22 pm (life) (, , , , , , )

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.

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On the road again. . .

June 7, 2008 at 10:35 pm (gaming, geeking out, life) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

VGL

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!

|\|3rD5

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.

Costumes

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Wolf!

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.

Cheers!

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I am not dead yet!

May 29, 2008 at 7:12 pm (life)

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!

Cheers!

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The cleanliness of pirates.

April 10, 2008 at 2:19 pm (gaming, life, munnie spending)

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. . .

Ready?

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.

Cheers!

P.S. I made this for my siggy on the Gamespot forums, and now I will put it here because it excites me:

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Goodnight, sweet Mario.

April 1, 2008 at 12:58 am (life, technology)

My DS has officially died and gone to DS heaven.

I was playing Super Mario 64 on it tonight, got up to get a drink,ย  and for some stupid reason I put it down on the chair. When I came back I guess I assumed it was on the table and plopped myself on the chair. . . and onto my open DS. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have money to buy a new one right now. . . why can’t I just remember where I put things and not be so idiotic?

The game was unharmed, but the top screen was cracked and I guess my big bum bent the hinges because even the case is a bit cracked where it went back too far. Do you think there is a warranty for that?

I guess I should go to bed, because it’s officially April 1st and I have to get in the right mind set. That’s right. April Fools. My DS is alive and well, for now. I may have jinxed it.

Cheers!

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When you Rock & Roll with me. . .

March 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm (life, technology)

It looks like it might be a bit awkward to play, but I would still really love to try it out. I present to you: Guitar Hero: On Tour for the Nintendo DS.

The actual game cartridge seems to be attached to the keypad, and the video promoting it is so lame that I won’t even post or link to it. . . but still, I am intrigued. My friends and I were wondering how they’d bring Guitarย  Hero to the DS — would the DS system plug into a normal GH sized guitar? Will there be a special stand for it? But no, just this odd little addition to the side of your system. Attached to the keypad is a pick that you can pull out and use as the stylus to strum, as opposed to using a normal stylus which is significantly less Rock & Roll.

In other news, I am very happy to announce that I was officially offered the position of Director for Make It Short 2009. I’d written a script, Lee liked it and voila! I was only up against 3 other scripts. . . but I try to keep that part of the story quite. Except for right now when I published it on my [not-so-]very-regularly-read blog. . . hem. We have a lot of work ahead of us, especially since this film revolves around kids, but I am super excited about it. Also, I may get to actually speak to David Cronenberg on the phone, as he is one of the producers. Pretty neato indeed.

I bought delicious groceries today, so offย  I go to grab a few bites. Cheers!

Okay fine, I’ll link to the video: Guitar Hero: On Tour! Please keep in mind that I warned you about the excessive lame-itude!

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The Great Flood.

March 21, 2008 at 12:26 am (life, munnie spending)

I spent the night out on St. Patty’s, and needless to say I wasn’t feeling 100% when I went home the next day. I had planned on having a bit of a nap to be rested up for Self Defense that night, maybe get a bit of exercise in, but that all changed when I reached the top of my stairs.

From upstairs I could see a puddle of water on the floor of the laundry room. It was only around the drain, so I assumed that it had backed up with all of the snow that has been melting outside. I HOPED it was that, and I really wasn’t expecting the reality when I turned the corner.

That door you see leads to a set of stairs that lead to ground level. Every winter we cover that stairway with a large wooden slab to stop the snow from collecting in it. Every winter but this one, when we got more snow than the last few winters combined. My mom knew it was going to happen, she warned me to shovel out the stairway before it started to melt, but I underestimated water accumulation and how — much like and octopus — it can go anywhere due to its lack of skeleton.

As you can see, it only used my room as a path on its way to the drain in the laundry room, but it still left my carpet sopping wet (including an actual puddle by the door itself.) So instead of napping in my soggy room, I went out to tackle the snow-blob. It’s probably not at all surprising if you know me, but I didn’t last long. It was a monstrous layered lump made up of heavy snow, ice, and then more than 5 cm of water happily insulated by the layers above so it could melt more.

Luckily it just seemed to miss my computer set up (including my powerbar), my TV and my bookcase. That night while I was defending myself in class my parents sucked up all the water with the Rug Doctor, which sounds completely awesome, and moved all of my furniture so the carpet underneath could dry. I was able to sleep in my own bed that night, and the next evening I very slowly and heavily moved all of my furniture back.

At least it gave me a chance to clean up the clutter in my room! Also, like my friend Mr. Feduniw said: At least it wasn’t a sewage flood. Thank multiple heavens for then!

In other news, I found Boston Legal and Dexter TV DVDs on sale at Future Shop and promptly bought them both. I have seen most of the Boston Legal, but seeing as I finished Dead Like Me this afternoon (woe.) I can start watching Dexter. I’ve also decided that even when Blu-Ray is inevitably the only format you can buy TV shows on, I will still call them TV DVDs. It’s at least 15x more fun than calling them TV on Blu-Ray. It’s almost too bad that it won’t be TV HD DVD. Or HD TV HD DVD! Damn, we just missed out on some seriously good times with that! Curse you, Blu-Ray!* I will not buy your players until it is necessary to do so!

Anywhoo, I need to get back to writing. Cheers!

*I’m sorry Blu-Ray, I love you.

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