Archive for September, 2004

Final Fantasy Pisses Me Off

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

So I’m at this stage in Final Fantasy X where I need to dodge lightning to get a secret item. To dodge a lightning bolt in the game, one must press the (X) button immediately after the screen flashes and before the bolt comes down a half second later. To get the secret item I have to do this 200 times in a row without being hit once!!! This is really hard and surprisingly stressful. The bolts come down about 1 or 2 every few seconds. I got all the way up to 182 last night before I bit it, which I was in a foul mood, so I went elsewhere to go battle powerful monsters for a while. Too powerful, unfortunately, cuz they got me killed. This left me in an even more pissy mood then I was already in, so shut off the game. girrrr…

In other news, Sam and Gus have both updated their respective pages recently, so go take a gander. Sam’s side is a bit wider than Gus’ because of a really long hyphenated word in the first section.

Regarding the site, Megs was kind enough to identify a bug I was having with the new pics pager, so I went ahead and fixed that this morning. I doubt anyone actually encountered it, but all should be well now. Oh, and I also added a random pic of the moment to the sidebar when in the pics section. Eventually this will be on all the pages in place of the stupid counter.

Lastly, once again I’m looking for ideas on new stuff I can add to this site. If anyone has any new layout or feature ideas, please drop a comment off and I’ll see what I can do about implementing those I like.

Rockin’ and Rollin’

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

Once again, it’s earthquake time again down here on the fault line. This time it was a 5.0 about 23 miles east of Bakersfield. I actually felt this one, but it just felt like someone walking heavily nearby in the building. The lights and exposed circulation ducts swayed slightly and that was about it. California’s going to break off from the mainland to go hang with Hawaii. Alaska can come too.

In ChrisWeb news, I’ve updated the pics section a little more. Now, when you click on a picture thumbnail a new window will come up with the picture, the caption, “next” and “previous” arrows, and some other information. This should make quick browsing easier. Also, I’ve just run some quick and dirty stats, and Annie is the Top Comment Poster by a fairly wide margin. She is followed by my brother, Matthew, and then myself in 3rd place. Fun facts for all.

Los Angeles at Fault

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

Ah, the joys of living on the geological fault lines of California. About 10:15 this morning there was a perceivable earthquake in our area. I didn’t notice it, but most everyone else did and the lights were swaying slightly for a bit. It seems that it was actually centered up in Central California, and CNN reports the magnitude at 6.0. No injuries or damage reported.

In Oregon, we have levels of rain that are not worth making a fuss over. For instance, you could be going out for a walk down by the river and say “Well, it’s not raining that hard.” or you could be going fishing and say “At least it’s not hailing at the moment.” In California, I just heard “Well, it wasn’t that big of an earthquake.” There’s safety protocols for earthquakes, and we’re supposed to gather at a location to check in after the quake’s over. However, for this one people were just “Meh. Not big enough to care about.” Boggles the mind.

I’ve recently gotten back into playing Final Fantasy X. I figure I should beat this thing someday, since there’s now Final Fantasy X-2, Final Fantasy XI, and Final Fantasy XII around. Anyways, I’m near the end, but there’s so many little loose ends to tie up before I go finish my biz for the main plot. Right now I’m gathering up all my character’s legendary weapons and other cool abilities. Kelly, did you ever beat this game? Anyone else?

Lastly, it seems that there’s actually activity going on in the forum now, so click the forum button there on the side to go check that out.

Mom is home now

Monday, September 27th, 2004

I’ve received word that mom is back from Europe as of 1am last night. We are all glad the trip was uneventful and we look forward to hearing all about her trip. She took lots of pictures with her digital camera, so we’ll see if we can’t post some of them somehow so folks can see them.

Last weekend I went with Megs and Reg to a pancake place called The Griddle down on Sunset in Hollywood. There was good food to be had there. I had the Oreo Cookie Pancakes. After brunch, we went to Burbank and saw Shaun of the Dead, and I must say it was actually quite an enjoyable film. Definitely a spoof on the horror genre, much like the Scary Movie franchise, but I liked it a good deal more. For one, everyone’s British, which just adds to the coolness factor. People tend to be very suppressed in odd situations–“Oh, I say, are the zombies still outside?” “Why, yes, it would seem that they are.” “Oh bother.” Great stuff.

Exciting Developments at ChrisWeb

Saturday, September 25th, 2004

Exciting only to me, however. This has been another one of those updates, where all the changes are behind the scenes. The site should look remarkably similar to how it did before, but after 8+ hours of messing with it, I assure you it’s much, much cooler.

What I did was finally convert the pics section to be database-driven instead of lots of static pages generated in Dreamweaver using templates. All the individual index pages for each of the galleries have been boiled down into one page that sorts out what page to view and pulls the relevant data out of the database. The hard part was getting it all into the database to begin with. I set it up so all I need to do is upload the images and the thumbnails to the server and then tell a web page where to look. It then prompts me to enter in captions for all the pictures, which it displays on the screen in a grid similar to the final version you see. I submit the captions and it’s all automatically added to the database with the filename locations and everything. Pretty slick. This allows for neat stuff like more flexible layouts and searchable content. I also changed it so the full-size images come up in their own window. Eventually this window will have little paging arrows for flipping through the gallery you’re in. All this database stuff allows me a lot more options in the future, so hopefully I’ll add more features more often. It also makes it a lot easier to create new pics galleries, so expect more of those, too.

In other news all is well down here in California. The weather has been quite warm, but it should cool off soon enough for the season that passes for winter in The Valley. It might actually rain!

NBC@CBS?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

On Monday Megs and I went down to Hollywood to go see a taping of Last Comic Standing. Weird thing is the NBC show was taped at CBS Television Studios. I also thought the show was taped at a real theater, but actually it’s just a big studio set made to look like a theater. Anyways, the Director said the episode is suppose to air tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC, so check it out. If they bring out Louie Anderson and Carrot Top, that’s the one we were at. I don’t think Megs nor I ended up on camera, but we’d be off to the right from the audience’s point of view.

In other news I feel that I can declare a victory against the ants in the apartment. I tried the little traps, I tried cinnamon, I kept things remarkably clean and as dry as I could, but at most the cinnamon just redirected the ants, and I think they know better about the silly traps. What finally worked was so simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before: a big can of RAID. That stuff’s awesome! It does just what it says, which is to kill ants on contact (after a few seconds of thrashing/twitching–I liked that part), and to keep them from coming back. I went all of yesterday without seeing a single ant! My life is happiness.

Dad’s down in So Cal on business so he’s dropping by this evening to say hi. He also said he might bring his folks, so I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and showing off the completed apartment. Last time dad saw the place the floor was almost literally COVERED in boxes and furniture. It’s much better now.

And finally, a big shout-out across the pond to mom, Kim, and Kelly over in the Czech Republic! Hope you’re all staying warm and wary of surly Russians. See Sam and Gus web for more details on that adventure. Everyone, please send them your thoughts, your comments, and your extra vowels, and maybe they’ll export us some surplus consonants. Gotta love Eastern Europe!

Ah, the Sun

Friday, September 17th, 2004

For those of you living in Pacific Northwest–say Eugene, Portland, or Seattle–I’d just like to observe that it is currently 78 degrees and sunny out here in Southern California. Been told it’s rainin’ up there. Damn shame, that. 😛

In other news, this weekend is the Eugene Celebration. I won’t be there. That’s a first in good while. I hope everyone who goes has a good time, stays as sober as one can with all the 2nd-hand pot smoke, and keeps as dry as possible. Enjoy the rain, everyone! I think maybe I’ll go to the beach and surf or something after work…

No I don’t surf, but I could if I wanted to! Ha! I hope it’s raining in Prague. Not that I’m jealous or nothin’… Looks like it’s cold in Poland right now. Course, it’s 2am there…

More Home Stuff

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004

So last weekend Megs and I went to Ikea and got some more furniture. We got a bookshelf and something called a “buffet”, which is basically a little freestanding cabinet/counter. We put it next to the fridge and it holds all of our Tupperware-like stuff, plus our dishtowels. The fun part was going to Ikea, which if you’ve never been is an experience unlike other furniture stores. See, they make you walk through this big showroom floor by following arrows on a path. Here you can look from side to side and see nice little rooms the Ikea people have put together using their wares. After going through all this and noting the stuff you want, you go downstairs to the big-ass warehouse and get some of your stuff. Then you pay for this subset along with the rest of the stuff you want at the checkout, at which time they give you a slip for the remainder and you get to wait for a while as someone goes to find it in–I’m assuming–another warehouse! And we had to wait for, like, 20 minutes!!!

If I didn’t create some adventure out of buying a bookcase, it would sound really boring down here.

So yeah, I haven’t been hanging out at the Sunset Strip, or taking day trips down to Malibu. I did drive out to Glendale yesterday for work. Got to flip though a bunch of old books! Field Trip! Ha!! (Old Joke)

In other people’s news, Kim and Kelly seem to be doing well over there in Prague along with my mother. Also, I think I’ve fixed Matt’s page so that he actually can post something new now that it’s up. It was broken before, so don’t give him TOO much of a hard time for not posting sooner. Also, there’s some goings on in the forum if you wanna go check that out.

That’s it for me. If something interesting happens, I’ll be sure to inform you here. If something boring happens, I’ll be sure to inform you here, too, but I’ll make it sound more impressive than it really is.

Couple of Things

Saturday, September 11th, 2004

First thing, tomorrow morning Mom and Kim head out for yet another world tour. This time they’re going to Prague in the Czech Republic. They will arrive Sunday night and they have to change planes in London. Problem with that is that the planes are in different airports! They have a matter of hours to get from Heathrow to Gatwick to make the connection. Please wish them well.

Also, my Internet connection at home is back up! Yay! It was down for almost 24 hours! Anyways, this allowed me to post some more pictures for your entertainment. I’ve added some more apartment pictures to the ones already there, so scroll down to see those. Also, I posted the Crestline pics as promised. These are some of my earliest childhood memories brought back to life. It was really weird. The picture quality is only so-so because I had to take these using normal 35mm film and the digital copies that Fuji film processing generated for me aren’t that great. The prints look nice, though, so if you’re ever visiting ask and I’ll show ’em to ya.

Lastly, Matt’s site is back. Go check it out and see if he’s posted anything.

That’s it for now. Please enjoy the pictures and wish mom and Kim well in their travels.

Had Something, Then It Was Gone

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

Today was a Thursday much like any other Thursday, I suppose. I went to work, I did stuff, I’m still there now. Tomorrow is to be Megan’s last day working for Radio Shack, the end of an era. She’ll be glad to be gone and I’ll be glad to have her be less-stressed out and dangerous. Seriously, if she’s not gone from there soon, there’s going to be emotionally shattered former Radio Shack customers walking aimlessly up and down Sepulveda Blvd soon. Anyways, Megs has an interview at a new place tomorrow morning down in Beverly Hills, so perfect timing, I say! I hope it all works out.

This weekend we’re planing on heading down to Hollywood Center Studios to see an episode of World Cup Comedy taped. It airs Wednesdays at 8pm on PAX and I’ve never seen it, but hey it’s free improv comedy, so I’ll go. Last time I had to pay a $15 cover charge for a show like this.

Otherwise, life down here’s been fairly normal. I did the dishes last night, and I must say that I love having an automatic dishwasher. It gets less effective if you totally jam it full, but on the whole it’s a timesaver. Time I can spend playing video games, obviously. I played FFX last night for a bit and got Auron’s final Overdrive by tracking down all the silly “Jecht’s Spheres”. They’re really all over the world, and your inventory doesn’t show which you’ve already found, so I had to go and check all 10 locations. Done and done. I’m not sure what else I’ll do in the game. I’m near the end, so I might just go ahead and check out what Sin’s up to. Seems that’s where most of the populace wants me to go.

I’ve been feeling a strong urge to blow some steam playing a FPS (First Person Shooter) on the computer these past few days, so I’ll prolly do that tonight. Probably Unreal or Unreal 2k3. Anyone have 2k4?

I just used “prolly” in that last paragraph, which is short for “probably”. Now, in an informal setting such as this web site, I think this is fairly acceptable. IMHO, some more widely-read publications should avoid excessive use of stupid abbreviations, such as “prexy” for “President” and “Mouse House” for “The Walt Disney Company”. I’m speaking of course of The Daily Variety, which is an industry paper down here that specializes in industry “news” and gossip. They have the most unprofessional style-guide in the world, and yet we always have a few on our waiting area coffee table. We actually had some folks from DV here today talking to our Director about something. Maybe we’ll be in the paper for something, who knows.

Not sure why I wrote about that, but for some reason I like making fun of DV’s standards. Now that I live here, I see it quoted a lot. That and The Hollywood Reporter. Our office has subscriptions to both, I think. I need bigger sunglasses and a convertible.