Archive for July, 2005

Last Post For July

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

This was a fairly lazy weekend here in North Hollywood. Megs and I re-arranged the furniture in the living room a bit, and I’m quite pleased with the results. For those of you who’d like to see the new look, and for those of you who have never visited, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a little video tour of the apartment. The file is on YouTube, so it should be fairly attainable, even for my readers on slower connections. It’s three and a half minutes long and should be playable with most browsers. Enjoy!

GTA vs Football

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Here is an interesting article in the LA Times I found linked over on Slashdot about the recent national attention violent video games have been receiving lately. I think it’s an interesting opinion on the situation with “the kids today” in our nation.

Hot LAN Action!

Monday, July 25th, 2005

Last weekend Megs and I had company! Kim, Matt, Chris “Ozzzy” Osberg, and Megan “Other Megan” Marshal all accepted our invitation to visit us for some exciting computer gaming action! The battles on the screens were nothing compared to our ongoing battle with the weather. It was hellova hot out last weekend, and it’s still rather warm out now. Our A/C was running constantly, which has the downside of creating a lake outside our front door. Not sure if everyone out there knows this, but air conditioners produce common H20 as a byproduct of their operation. After a day and a half of contstant use, we had produced a good-sized pond that we had to ford to get in and out of our place. Regardless, we all had fun playing World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Warcraft III, and even a little Unreal Tournnament 2003. I think Kim and Matt may have played some Bust-A-Move II: Arcade Edition on the N64, but I had just woken up when I saw that take place, so I might have just imagined it.

For dinner Saturday, we had a the mad burrito bar: taco meat, refried beans, pan-friend peppers & onions, home-made guaccamole, beer-fried chicken, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, and some grated sharp Tilimook chedder cheese. Good stuff. Thanks to Other Megan for making the gwock, and thanks to Ozzzy for doing the dishes.

Lastly, here is a picture of Matt and Kim bellydancing. This was obviously not last weekend, and is in fact from a couple weeks ago. My thanks to mom for e-mailing me the picture this evening.

Damn, It’s Hot Out!

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

I did not sleep well last night. It was so bloody hot out that even the sheet was too much. Today I was a bit more proactive in countering Mother Nature by turning on the A/C unit before I left for work this morning. I’ve got fans to help move the air around, but when I went home for lunch it was not quite the chilly winter wonderland I’d hoped for. It was cool inside than out, but not as cool as I’d like. We’ll see how things progress into the evening.

Wednesday was Megs and my three-year anniversary as a couple. How time flies, eh? We didn’t do much Wednesday since it was the middle of the week, but tonight we’re going out for dinner at a nice place in Pasadena. We’re looking forward to that after a fairly busy week at work for both of us. She had her boss tell her that she’s resigning (her boss, not Megan), which means more work for her until the company hires someone else and he or she gets into the swing of things. As for me, we had a big milestone here on our project, which required a lot of work on everyone’s part to make it happen. I’m still working on some of that stuff now, so while my computer converts 3D models into something our game engine can understand, I write to you here. The more models we get made, the longer this build process takes. My poor computer. At least the office is climate controlled so my machine and I won’t overheat.

Right-Click on My Computer

Thursday, July 21st, 2005

OK, so get this–I’m gonna write about computer stuff! No kidding! I’ll do it, too!

So, the other day I had not one, but TWO seperate and independant computer issues at home. I couldn’t be satisfied with just having my Internet be back, nooooo I had to go and add more pain for myself. I’m just like that when it comes to my computer, I think. If it ain’t broke, it’s time to mess with something, that’s more my motto. Anyways, here’s the sitch: a while back I took my 200GB HDD out of my old computer and moved it over to the new box. I then reformatted the old box and put a fresh copy of Windoze and Linux on it. However, what Chris didn’t realize was that someone had switched his regular coffee partition format with a NTFS Dynamic partition. Let’s see if his OS notices! Well, it did and it wasn’t happy with the results. Apparently Dynamic partitions don’t like to be moved between computers. The end result is I had to actually buy a 3rd party program called “Recover My Files” to get my stuff back. It’s a very clever marketing plan these guys have, too. It goes something like this, “Here, download our trial version. You can use it to find TEH FILEZ on your box! Look! See your files! They’re right there on the drive! Wanna save them? Oooo, bummer, dude. That feature requires you to pay us TEH MONIES.” After a fruitless hour of trying to find a crack for the trail version and battling spyware in the process, I caved and gave them money. In the end it was worth it, I got my filez back.

So, I told you that story to tell you this one.

The other morning I booted up my computer only to have the screen go blank when it normally asks me for my Windows username and password. Now, the monitor was still on, it was just blank. I could reboot into VGA mode and even increase the resolution to a point, but not all the way to 1280×1024. Kinda weird. I reinstalled my video drivers a couple of times to no avail. I then switched my monitor with Megan’s monitor and it worked at 1280×1024. I switched back to mine and it continued to work. Too weird. This lasted a day or so, but then I booted up and it did the same thing. This time I resolved it by simply unplugging my monitor’s power supply and reconnecting it. Turning the monitor off and on again wasn’t good enough. I have no idea what’s going on, but at least I now have a workaround. Anyways, I was so happy to finally have my video back to a proper resolution, that’s when I broke down and bought “Recover My Files” so that I could have both my problems resolved.

Huzzah!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

For the literal meaning of the headline, check out the definition in the Urban Dictionary. I say it here because on Friday I went to Medieval Times for dinner and a show. You sit in this arena and while you eat people fight each other using horses and swords. There’s a bit of a story to hold the show together, and it’s good fun. I went with Megs, mom, dad, Matt, Kim, and Kelly. Did I mention that Kelly was in town?

So, Kelly came down to LA for Kim’s birthday last week and on Thursday she went to Disneyland with me, Kim, mom, and Matt. We went ALL DAY. From opening at 8:00 to closing at midnight. We were on Space Mountain at the stroke of midnight, which by all accounts is an exciting way to end one’s day. This day of Disney in addition to the half-day of Disney the previous Sunday with the same crew, sans Kelly and adding Megan. I’m all Disneylanded out for a while, which works out because I’m in a “blackout” period for my free pass until midway through August. Anyways, good times were had by all and I’ll try to get some pictures posted soonish. I’ve written about trips to Disneyland here before so I won’t get into too many details, but just assume we did all the cool stuff one usually does at The Happiest Place on Earth. Although, I feel I should at least mention the fireworks show and the Parade of Dreams, which I’ve not written about before. The parade is quite a production highlighting successful films and characters for the Company. They’ve got Lion King, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and many more. Catchy music too. At night, the fireworks were awesom. Best fireworks show I’ve ever seen. The show’s based around various attractions in the park–my favorite was the Star Tours one. =)

Anyways, I think that’s about it for now. Last weekend was spent playing World of Warcraft and watching old episodes of Monk. Good to have some plain old home and doing nothing time after the busy week of knights and theme parks.

Happy Birthday, Kim!

Internet: Out of Order

Tuesday, July 19th, 2005

In case you’re wondering why I may not have posted recently, it might be because I’ve recently had no Internet access at home for a week after the morning of the 8th of July. This isn’t why I’ve not posted lately (I usually post from work), but I noticed that my last post was the 8th, so it seemed to make for a good excuse. Anyways, here is the sad tale of my lack of Internet:

Friday evening, the 8th, I get home from work and notice that I’ve got no Internet connectivity at home. I call up Adelphia (my shitty cable co) and I’m on hold for so long I say “screw it” and go do other things. Saturday morning I called them again and they tell me they tell me they can’t get a tech out until Monday. I say “fine” and trudge through the weekend without my ‘net. The following week then goes like this: Monday they send over the wrong tech (TV guy, not internet guy), Tuesday the internet tech says it’s a maintenance problem, Wednesday and Thursday maintenance fails to show up and Thursday night I call and learn that it might be upwards of 6-8 days before maintenance might show up. At this point I decide it’s long since time to take matters into my own hands. I’ve been thinking that with all these calls to tech support and technicians dropping by, no one’s thought to eliminate my modem as the possible culprit. Now, usually I’m the last one to suggest that perhaps it’s my hardware that’s at fault, which is probably why it took a week for me to seriously consider the option. So I headed out to the local Adelphia office in Van Nuys to get one of their modems, which of course worked just fine. Apparently one of their recent “upgrades” to services in my area made my modem incompatible. Punks.

Oil Change

Friday, July 8th, 2005

Today on my lunch break I got the oil in my car changed. They replaced the filter and put fresh Mobil Synthetic 10/30 in the car. Oh man, my life is so gosh darn EXCITING these days!

In other thrilling news I made chicken curry w/ rice and veggies last night. It came out quite well and I’m glad we ate it. No regrets were had over last night’s dinner.

Lastly, I’m happy to report that I paid off my Master Card yesdterday. That means I’ve finally finished paying for computer upgrades and plane tickets. Yay! That just leaves approximately $800 I still owe on my car and a few debts to family members. We’re not going to discuss my student loans.

Video Games Live

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

Last night Megs and I went to see a show at the Hollywood Bowl called Video Games Live. In this show the LA Philharmonic Orchestra perfomed various video game tunes for our enjoyment. There were big screens showing video game scenes along with smoke and lasers for added effect. They also had some “actors” on stage doing a little coreography once in a while, but it really didn’t add to the effect. On the whole though, a worthwhile endevor. Here’s a picture of the bowl shortly before the show started.

If I haven’t mentioned already, mom’s going to be visiting next week, so I’m pretty excited about that. She’ll be staying with her folks down in LBC, but she’s gonna come up to visit us and the kitty in North Hollywood at some point. We’re also planning on going to Disneyland for Kim’s birthday, which should be fun. One last time before the summer blackout period begins when I can’t use my free pass. Here’s a picture I found on my phone from the last time I went with family.

Speaking of Kim, I’ve added another friend to Kim’s web site, so go and see if Mirm has posted anything yet.

Out and About

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Over the past Independance Day weekend, Megs and I decided to get out of the city for a while, so we went up to the mountains near Palm Springs to go backpacking overnight. There’s this tram thing that hauls you up from 2643′ to 8516′ in the mountains, and after riding that we hiked another 2 miles up to 9100′ where there’s this primative campground. As far as facilities go, it’s got collected snow melt for water and pit toilets. Good times. We set up camp and just sorta hung around enjoying the lack of noise. All we could hear was the wind, the birds, and the creek. There were a few other hikers around, but nothing I’d consider a crowd. Very nice trip. Here are some photos we took.

In spite being gone for the first half of the three-day weekend, we still managed to get a bit more WoW time in. We finally managed to make it completely through the dungeon Zul’Farak, which we’d been meaning to do for some time. Yay!

Today’s been a good day at work so far. In celebration of a number of cool milestones here, we were treated to lunch at a local park catered by In & Out Burger, of all places. They have this truck that’ll drive to your location and set up shop to fix you burgers. I had a Double-Double and a regular cheesburger. We all agreed we need to do this more often. =)

A couple of interesting links I’ve come across today. The first was sent to me by Carl and it recalls an old web game I played about a year ago, the Kingdom of Loathing. Apparently there is some amusing merch out there now. The second link is this strange and kinda creepy 2D ragdoll physical simulator done in flash. It’s been referred to as “Falling Girl“.