I just want to vlog to the masses. . .

August 20, 2008 at 1:36 pm (munnie spending, technology, the intarwebz)

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.

He looks quite happy, doesnt he?

He looks quite happy, doesn't he?

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.

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Time and Relative Dimensions in Space.

April 21, 2008 at 1:24 pm (geeking out, munnie spending, technology)

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.

2

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. 😛

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:

oOooooOoooo…OOOOoooo…OOOoo…

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!

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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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The Force is as strong as a small pony.

April 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm (gaming, geeking out, munnie spending)

This new site layout is sort of strange. It seems like a step backwards from where WordPress was before, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Perhaps it’s just a temporary thing and they’re making larger changes? We’ll have to wait to find out.

So the other day I went to the Secret EB Games for the first time just to waste half an hour (though it’s been open for probably a year or so now), and man that place is HUGE compared to the EB Games in the mall! Through my feminine wiles (see: none) I managed to obtain a free Phantom Hourglass poster. I went in with the intention of not buying anything, or if ANYTHING I was going to buy Professor Layton and the Curious Village. . . but somehow ended up with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga for DS.

I’m excited for it, because the first game I ever bought for my DS (save from Brain Age 2, which isn’t really a “game” per se) was Lego Star Wars II. I played it regularly for a few days when something went horrible wrong, and every level became glitchy beyond playability. I’ve checked on Gamespot (my new web obsession site) and it’s a problem every cartridge had. Futureshop let me bring the game back after a week, no questions asked, but how could a game even be released with that many glitches? Especially a game like Lego Star Wars which is moderately popular on all systems and by all ages? I’ve noticed the price has dropped a lot, maybe to get them off the shelves, but I feel bad for kids who get that game and don’t reach the glitches until it’s too late to return them. . . there is no way to complete the story mode in that version.

Luckily for myself and everyone else who bought LSWII, LSW:tCS has all of the levels that LSWII had, plus the levels from Lego Star Wars I and the original engine has been scrapped in favour of a new one, which also allows the touchscreen to be used. You can tell this version was made just for the DS. So far it seems mostly side scrolling — there is a fourth wall that you can never see — though it still has depth so you can move on the X, Y and Z axis’, the camera is just relatively fixed and only moves up and down with you. LSWII was a 3D world with no fourth wall, so we’ll see if in the later levels it goes back to that format.

Even though I am enjoying the game thus far, it makes me feel a little bit ripped off in a way, because if it’s all platformy then it’s doing that same thing that The Simpsons Game did. The DS is perfectly capable of handling 3D landscapes (it does it all the time with RPGs) and yet developers seem to think that even if they make the game 3D for other systems, the DS version must be a platformer. On every other system The Simpsons was an awesome 3D adventure! However, on the DS it had absolutely no depth and was therefore very easy, as well as linear both literally and in it’s objectives. Objects were never hiding behind something, or beside you. . . they were always just in front of or behind you. So HOPEFULLY Lego Star Wars is more 3D in the levels to come. . . though I’ll still love it.

Getting away from Lego Star Wars for a bit, but not away from gaming: I challenged myself to finish most of my games before I treated myself to another. So, for the better part of the past few days I have been slaving away (happily) finishing games that would have otherwise sat on my shelf for months to come.

First was Super Mario 64 DS, though I only managed to get 91/150 stars. I beat Bowser and to me that counts as finishing the game. Plus, it’s a really fun game so I know I’ll go back to it and try to get more stars when I’m bored.

Next on my plate was Chocobo Tales. This is a great little game with elements of RPG, mini-games and trading card battles. It’s also in 3D, the graphics are beautiful for the DS, and the controls are simple and intuitive — so Lucas Arts take note. The battles were the most difficult to pick-up again, but I remembered pretty quickly what to do and after 6 hours more of playing it is also complete!

Let’s see, after that I remembered that I was on Bowser in Super Princess Peach, so I went back and had him beat within the half-hour. I left it alone for awhile months ago because he was frustrating me, so I guess all it needed was time.

Finally, I picked up Mario Party DS and FINISHED story mode! Finally!! Bowser took a few frustrating tries to beat, but luckily (because I cheated and turned the game off when something didn’t go my way) I didn’t have to play any of the boards twice. Wario was kicking my butt on the last board, but I showed him! GO YOSHI!

I have beaten Bowser to a pulp 3 times in as many days!

Anywhoo, only after those games were completed, and ONLY THEN was I allowed to start a new one.

This has been long and game filled, so I will stop it there. Nothing much has been happening except for DSing, my Boston Legal Season 2 DVD arriving, location scouting for MIS and me learning French with the help of My French Coach (once again for DS). ALSO I am only TWO more days away from being able to eat a slice of pizza or some tacos. . . I’m pining for them, as well as for the fjords.

Cheers! . . . now where has the bloody Spellcheck tool gone?

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GBA overload.

March 27, 2008 at 12:47 pm (munnie spending)

Well, I caved and bought the copy of Superstar Saga that was at EB Games. It was $20, but after playing it for five hours now I can tell you honestly that it was 100% worth it. Besides, with shipping and handling the other ones on the net would be the same amount, AND I’d have to wait for them. No thank you.

Also, I won Minish Cap! It’s sort of bittersweet because Greg offered me his copy for free after I bid on the eBay version. . . but at least this way I only pay $17 for the game, box and manual and then I don’t have to steal it from Gregory!

I am officially going to stop buying stuff off the Internet as of now. For awhile, at least.

Cheers!

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Dynamic Duos.

March 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm (geeking out, munnie spending)

I’ve begun to buy my new summer wardrobe! With my shopping habits I’ll likely live in the same T-Shirts throughout next winter, but at least they will be newer ones *^_^*. With the help of Lindsay (not me) I have found a nice suit, a work-out outfit and three nice thin colourful summer shirts. Shopping used to make me want to entean eternal slumber — but for whatever reason lately I’ve been 110% up for it. Perhaps even spending TOO much money. I think it’s because I KNOW I need new clothes. . . and I’m always in need of games.

I’ve also been shopping on Amazon a bit, buying Season 2 of Boston Legal ($37 with shipping from Amazon, but $80 at Future Shop?), a game to help me speak French on my DS, and Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenl. I bought R&C: Going Commando last week and it is absolutely amazing. It’s just so fun to play. Yep, I’m buying PS2 games, what’s it to you?

I also tried to buy Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga but then Amazon refunded my munnies with the only reason being “Could not send.” Everywhere only sells the cartridge and not the whole box and everything. . . It’s a GBA game so it’s a bit harder to find in stores, but what really gets me is that I saw it in to stores before Christmas, put off buying it and then it was gone! I’ve seen the cartidge-only at EB, so I may stop by later today to see if it’s still there.

The game is basically Mario RPG 2, so if you liked Mario RPG (I know some of you do!) you’d love Superstar Saga and Partners in Time (which I have for the DS).

I’m even bidding on Minish Cap from eBay, but the person I am bidding against really wants it. Currently the bid is at $15 (with the box and manual included) so we’ll see. I need to stop spending my munnies.

Off to my last class of WSD with my new workout suit. Cheers!

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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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Brush, then use Listerine.

March 15, 2008 at 6:05 pm (life, munnie spending)

Munnies + New Shopper’s Drug Mart = Buying unnecessary items.

Last night I ventured with Mr. and Mrs. Landon to the new Shopper’s location (across the parking lot from their old location). Inside was a consumers wonderland of useless products that SEEM useful at the time of purchase! I had never been more tempted to place zinc tablets, super electronic toothbrushes and travel sized Axe in the brand-spanking-new shopping basket. Why would I ever need Axe? 1. It’s for men. 2. It’s not exactly irresistible.

I only ended up buying Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm, some toothpaste on sale and Listerine. . . I held back — and like most times you just buy any item, no matter how redundant, I was eager to use them! Last night before bed I ignored the quarter full tube of toothpaste on my bathroom counter and spun open my brand new Sensodyne. “There is no way I can wait to use this! I need to treat my sensitive teeth RIGHT NOW!” Plus, it had “Whitening” powers, though any brand could say that. . . I’d never really compare before and after.

Cool Mint Listerine

Ahh, my mouth was minty fresh. But not minty fresh enough!! I needed something extreme. Something so outrageously fresh that it hurt. I needed something I would immediately regret pouring into my mouth. I would not rest until I experienced a feeling similar to that of attempting to ingest battery acid. I needed Listerine. The line on the cap was not visible in the dim light of my bathroom, so I guesstimated, and I’m not very good at guesstimating. . . it burned, yet the instructions told me that I would not kill all of the evil gingivitis and tartar bacteria men until I had sloshed the radioactive liquid from cheek to cheek for 30 seconds. It seemed like a lifetime, and I’m sure I didn’t even reach the 30 second mark, but I felt fresh enough. Now I could finally sleep soundly knowing that my mouth was safe for another 12 hours.

This morning I tried again, with half the amount of Listerine, and it was much better. At least it doesn’t turn my teeth brown.

Off to a shag party tonight. That sounds inappropriate. . . Cheers!

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