Archive for April, 2005

The Big Demo

As you may have heard in the news, we have finally announced what we’re working on here at work. It’s going to be a massively multiplayer online game set in the Pirates of the Caribbean world. The article makes it sound like we’ve just decided to make this thing, but in actuality, we’ve been working on it since before I started working here. Check the news article for more information; it’s gonna be cool.

So with this news announcement, we’re also doing some demos today for a bunch of kids. It’s been kinda crazy here with people checking it out, but it’s been really rewarding to see kids actually playing and hanving fun with something we’ve worked so hard on, so I’m really glad we did it. I doubt I’ll be allowed to post any details on specifics of the game, but at least I can say we’re making it now.

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E3 Bound

I’m very excited, because today my E3 badge arrived in the mail! Obviously I’m not going to scan an actual picture of it here. Wouldn’t want some imposter masqurading around as me that week! I’m pretty sure there’s a word misspelt in that last sentence (and maybe this one, too), but I’m too lazy to go look it/them up.

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Wednesday Afternoon

can find more permanent employment for next year. Luckily Matt doesn’t own a lotta stuff, so we should be able to get most, if not all of it into my car for the return trip. Between Matt, Jacques, Kim, Megs and myself, this is looking like it’s gonna be a fun summer down in sunny southern California!”

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Oh My God!

This is perhaps the coolest thing to happen in my neighborhood–EVER! I’m very excited, and yes, I already have tickets.

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Cars are Fun!

Megs car had to go into the shop last weekend due to an unusual noise we heard Friday night. Turns out the noise was the breaks, which were moderately expensive, but the big kicker was the leak that Megs had them look at while it was in. That turned out to be the front crank seal, which is many hours worth of expensive labor to get to just to replace a $12 seal. All told, the total cost was “$Ouch”, but we’ll manage. Car’s back now, so at least it’s over and done with.

So, other than taking Megs’ car in last weekend we went and saw the hit new Disney comedy, The Pacifier, which hit the spot as a stupid family comedy. It’s basically about what you’d expect from watching the trailers, but it’s not that bad. I had a good time and we had some excellent Chinese food at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro beforehand.

Saturday we went to the mechanic as I’d mentioned earlier, and then we went out to Venice Beach again, this time with Kim. We had fun lying in the sun, walking on the sand, and checking out the numerous shops on the boardwalk that sell hats, t-shirts, and sunglasses. Always a fun outing.

Sunday was much less exciting with a day of World of Warcraft followed by a teardown and rebuild of Megs’ computer. We backed up her stuff to my computer via the network, reseated the RAM, video card and IDE cables, then nuked and paved the drive. We’ll be reinstalling apps and games throughout the week, but I made sure to get it up and playing WoW first; Microsoft Office and other stuff can wait. Priorities, you know?

Lastly, if you’ve ever witnessed the final battle and end credits of Final Fantasy VI (III U.S.), then this bit of entertainment is for you. Otherwise it will just seem strange and very confusing. Regardless, whoever made this is very clever and talented and had YEARS of free time on his/her hands.

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Happy Day

Yesterday was a great day for a Thursday. I had some positive feedback from my boss at work and that just made my day. Not that I don’t usually receive good feedback, but yesterday was a slightly more formal review than usual. Megs and I went out to the Olive Garden last night and I got chicken parm and some splendid deep red wine. She of course got the chicken alfredo, ‘natch.

We were going to watch The West Wing when we got home, but due to human error (mine) I accidentally set the VCR to tape from 20:59 to 21:02 instead of 22:02. You know, an hour show, 20 + 1 = 21… simple enough error. So, why is Chris using a VCR when he has a ReplayTV DVR, you might ask? Because Alias is also on at 21:00 and I’m already recording Lost from 20:00 to 21:00 on the same network, so the NBC show gets bumped to the old-fashioned device out in the living room while ABC’s back-to-back J.J. Abrams block gets the digital treatment. Looks like I’ll have to once again Bittorent The Wing.

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Better Weather for You and Me

I’ve made another adjustment to ol’ Chrisweb here. You may not have noticed already, but I’ve changed the little Weather box on the sidebar to be just text rather than the ugly graphic I’d linked from off-site before. The data there is grabbed dynamically from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration government site. Click on it for more detailed information on the fabulous weather we are experiencing down here in southern California!

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Shorter the Other Way

Our journey home from Berkeley was much shorter on the way home than it was on the way up, even though we stopped to visit Jane for lunch in Mountain View on the way back down south. We took scenic US 101 south to the even more scenic CA 152 east which in turn got us back to the Interstate 5 southbound. On our way out the 152 we passed the San Luis Reservoir, which looked quite beautiful and also scenic. Still, we made it from Mountain View to North Hollywood in five and a half hours, which is much better than our eleven and a half hour journey to Berkeley. I took a picture during the day with my cell phone of the view out the window of where we were stuck for four and a half hours as we drove past it again on the way back down south. As you can see, it was a whole lotta nuthin’.

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In the Berkeley SPS Office

This weekend Megs, Kim and I decided to drive up to Berkeley to visit Matt. We had quite a time getting up here, let me tell you. We left after work, which had us on the road about 19:00 on Friday. This would get us up to Berkeley around 01:00, which we considered acceptable. Our first problem we encountered was at the point where the I-5 and Hwy 99 brach off going north. Somehow we ended up on the 99, but we realized and corrected this fairly quickly. I thought that this was our one screw-up for the trip. I was wrong.

To help pass the time, we were playing Seven Degrees of Separation with various stars of TV and movies. This kept us quite entertained for about 2 hours, however we were so engrossed in our activity we neglected to keep an eye on the gas gauge. Our biggest problem at this point was that we were in the middle of NOWHERE, California and we realized our fuel folly only minutes before it ran out. I called USAA and then when they couldn’t help, AAA, however they couldn’t find us because we couldn’t tell them where we were. There were no signs, buildings, or roads anywhere near us and it was quite dark out at 23:30. The last landmark we passed was the 33 Hwy, but apparently the 33 crosses the I-5 SEVEN TIMES! Eventually I explored around outside and found what California considers to be a mile marker. I don’t know how a plain-looking singpost reading “5 FWY 34.50” means something to someone, but when I told AAA, they were able to figure out where we were. 40 minutes after that our hero, a man named Kurt, showed up with a tow-truck with fuel and a jump start, because by that time we’d drained the battery running the flashers, dome lights, and radio. I’ve never been so happy to smell gasoline. By 03:50 we were back on the road to seek out more fuel. 12 miles up the 5 we found a Chevron and we took 16.2 gallons, which is impressive considering Megs’ car has a 16 gallon tank.

We had considered just stopping at a hotel earlier, but the feeling of elation we felt upon getting the car going again gave us a second wind and we powered it up all the way to Berkeley. We arrived shortly after dawn and promptly slept for 7 hours.

We’re currently up on campus in the Physics building and I’m hijacking a computer here in the SPS Office to write this up. I think we’re going to check out some lab, so I gotta go. I’ll catch ya on the flip side!

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