Thursday, February 23, 2006

101 List

Many of my friends (Beau, Jim, Jim 2.0, Peach) have been working on 101 things in 1001 days lists. Well I started my list on the 1st of February, I have just been to lazy to actually complete the actual list. I wanted to get the fact that I am working on a list out there, so that when it does go online, I get less shit for having stuff crossed off on the first day.

I also want to introduce an exception that I am putting on all of the timed and quota items. I am not counting the time that I am out of town for work against myself. For example when I am in California on a startup, I won't be required to build a Lego set that week.

Things I'm working on/completed:

  1. Get a cat
  2. Work on at least 500 pieces of Lego a week until all of my unbuilt sets are complete.
  3. Build a Lego Mosaic (included as part of 2)
  4. Build a Lego Sculpture (included as part of 2)
  5. Watch at least one more DVD then I purchase in a week
  6. Buy an exercise bike
  7. Use Number 6 every work night for 3 months
  8. Finish Setup of Comic Room
  9. Move to new hosting company
  10. Setup Blog for Mark so that he can add pictures of Nieces easier
  11. Modify Number 10 so that the Thumbnails are larger.
  12. Rebuild DVD database so that it has more functionality
  13. Create a Web Magic deck database for George and I.
  14. To either eat at home or eat with someone else for one month.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mirror Mirror on my DVD Player

Today on my DVD player: Mirrormask
I could not believe how cool this movie was. I knew it would look beautiful since it was based on Dave McKean's art, but I was not prepared for how well he would make his bizarre art make sense in the story. I had seen stills from the movie over the last two years and they were all pretty strange, but when you are watching them in contexts it does not seem bizarre at all.

It is kind of strange how life works. Last weekend I watched 3 movies that all kind of blew... This weekend I watched three movies that were all really cool.

Grey's Anatomy

Holy Crap!!!

Grey's Anatomy has really turned up the heat. I can't believe how good this show has gotten. If this was not the second season I would say that this show was Jumping the Shark. It seams like they are putting all of the fan desired storylines in all at once. First we have Izzy and Alex hooking up, then we have George and Meridith sleeping together. I am worried that they won't be able to keep this up but I am enjoying the ride.

Long Weekend

As I sit here on Monday evening, I have come to the realization that I have not left my condo since I got home from work on Friday Afternoon. I have mixed feelings about this. It was nice to get stuff done around the house but I am never going to get a women in my life if I don't have one. A life that is. :)

Things I got done:

  • Finished Lego Globe
  • Started DVD database rebuild
  • Did Taxes (I owe 4k )
  • Started Repair of Globe
  • Laundry
  • Clean House
  • Play Axis and Allies with the guys
  • Play Super Mario Strikers with the guys
  • Watch 3 Movies of DVD and 4 disks of Highlander episodes
  • Watch the last of the Masters of Horrors Episodes
  • Finish sorting of Lego Plates
  • Study for SQL Server Design test
  • Burned 3 audiobooks to CD

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I Saw II It

Got up this morning it threw in a movie instead of motivating.

This mornings film was Saw II.

I picked up the first movie off of the cheep DVD rack on a whim. I was presently surprised that it was a gory yet very entertaining thriller with some cool plot twist that I never saw coming.

The second one was great as well. Although since I was expecting twist, I was not as surprised but they still managed to pull the wool over my eyes once or twice.

Unpronounceable Name: A Space Adventure

So if you rip off your own story is it still plagiary?

Zathura: A Space Adventure is based on a book by the same guy that wrote Jumanji and has the same base plot of two boys being thrown in to an adventure by playing an old board game. I can't think of a better reason to throw those suckers out right now.

Even though the story has a familiar ring, it was a better movie than the original. There were some really cool twist that made this movie a lot of fun. Since this was a family film it is not a deep movie but it was a great adventure.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Mr President We've lost Western Europe

It's been a busy few days. Thursday night I got an emergency service call at a plant in Kent. I did not get home until 1:30 in the AM. Long night. Below you will see where I got to on my Lego globe when the call came in.
The next day I went in and organized a pizza day for the office. After the food I went home because I was tired and had already put in a bunch of time this week. I took it easy for a while and tried to take a nap but it did not stick so I worked on the globe. Here is are two pictures of the midway point.

Here is where I stopped Friday Night.
Here is a view of the inside.
It was at this point that I realized this is going to be a lot tougher that I thought. The instructions that I found on line where just a starting point. They only show the bricks that are seen from the outside. So I had to design my own support for these bricks.

My 1st failed attempt involved making a solid base of the remained of the globe. That worked great until I tried to put the two pieces together.

My second attempt was to build the last nine layers as shown on the plans, but build a support structure at the same time. This worked out much better. The toughest part was building the base for the last two rows. I had to be very carefully because until it was it was complete, if i used to much force I would push the supporting bricks into the interior of the globe and I would have to make a hole and shake them out.

Here is the finished globe:

OK not quite finished. When I was looking over the finished product I noticed that one of the pieces was not aligned well. So I tried to fix and ended up destroying Western Europe.

Looks like I've got some work to do :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Allergy Update

Spent Tuesday night on Dust Mite eradication. I switched to a new brand of Cat Litter, gave Gary C. a bath, vacuumed the condo and changed the linens again. And after two days it looks like Gracie will be getting a reprieve on the eviction notice.

Funny story: when I first found out about this Dust Mite Issue I went out and bought a new bagless vacuum with a HEPA filter. I seem to remember it was about $75 for the Dust Devil model that seemed to fit my needs best. I liked the fact that it had a powered attachment for stairs. Well last week when I finished vacuuming I took the canister downstairs to empty it. I opened the trash can and turned my head away so I would not get a face full of dust. I though that might be a good idea with the allergies and all. But because of this I did not notice that the filter went with the dirt. So Tuesday when I went to vacuum I ended up with a cloud of dust in the spare room. I'm glad I had not got to the bedroom before I noticed or it would have invalidated the entire experiment.

It's My World and I'll Build It If I Want To

Started my next Lego project. This time it is a sculpture. I am cheating some because I found the instruction on-line. It is a 15 inch, 2,400 piece Globe. Here is a picture after my first night's work.

At this point, I have 7 of the 39 layers done and it has taken me 2 hours. Most of that time was spent sorting the pieces. It is MUCH easier to do a project of this magnitude if you are not looking for that 1 piece out of a six possible in a bucket of 2,400.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm Allergic to Allergies

Got home last night from LA.

I am worried that I might have to get rid of Gray C.

Last year, I went to an allergist that Scott recomended. After an afternoon of test he determined what I was allergic to and that list did not include cats. That is why I got Gray C. Mainly my allergies were to Dust Mites. So I did the doctor's recomendations and after a settling in period noticed a Huge improvement. The problem is that since I got Gracie, my allergies have come back with a bullet. Being in LA for the weekend, only drove the point home, because I feel like poo today.

I am not giving up yet. Tonight I am going to get some new cat litter and cat shampoo. I will see if there is anyway that I can make this work.

By the way, Gray C. made it ok on his first weekend alone. He was a little jumpy when I got back but quickly forgave me and moved on. Thanks Beau and Maryanne for the stop by visit on Saturday.

That's just Wild

Finished the latest book in the WildCard series. Volume 17 Death Draws Five for those of you scoring at home. WildCards is a Shared Universe series of books that are all edited by George RR Martin. This book was written by John J Miller, who has collaborated on many of the other books.

The basic premise of the WildCard's Universe is that at the end of World War II an alien virus was released that instilled super powers on the effected. The catch is that you probably would not survive. The Basic rule of thumb goes like this

  • 90% of people infected die
  • 90% of the survivors are Jokers (Freaks and Mutations {See thru skin, Four Eyes})
  • 90% of the non-Jokers are Deuces (have worthless powers {can change an objects color to pink})
  • The rest are Aces (the Super Powered Folk {teleportation, increase an objects mass)
The books roughly take place in the year they were written, so since the first book was written in the early '80s, it takes place then. This setting in "real time" makes it interesting since characters that were in their 30s in the first books are now in their 50s and have kids old enough to be causing havoc.

This led to an interesting feeling for me. I am so used to the sliding time frame that is applied to many of the comics published today, that when I read that the driving force of this book is the fate of the son of two of the characters in the first trilogy of books, I felt their son is too young to for the story they were selling.

Overall I enjoyed the book. I am constantly surprised how they are able to make stories that I enjoy while using characters I don't like. This time the plot was heavily religious centered. I prefer to keep religion away from my fiction and the dinner table. No such luck here.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I take it almost all back

I just watched the second episode of New Voyages and it ROCKED!!! While the effects were not as good as the first, the story was very cool. It include a special appearance of William Windom reprising his role as Commander William Decker from the episode The Doomsday Machine.

In case you are wondering the Pompadour lives!!!

These are the Voyages of the Pompadour

Watched the first episode of New Voyages. A fan made continuation of the original Star Trek series.

First the good:

  • The Effects: They are done in similar style to the original series but using a computer instead of models. While they are not as good as a professional series like Deep Space Nine but they are an improvement over the original series.
  • The concept: New stories that take place after the canceling of the original series. Plus since they have a knowledge of the future (of the future?) they can drop hints like mentioning the Dominion.
  • The Sets: They rebuilt many of the old sets and the ones they did not they used original footage and placed their actors on top of the originals.
And now the Bad:
  • The Hair: The new actor playing Kirk has the most hideous Pompadour.
  • The Acting: OK they are not professionals but they still sucked. The only one that I did not cringe every time they talked was Spock. But it is fairly easy to not have emotions. BTW Southern slang only works with a Southern accent.
  • The Story: There is no excuse for this. If you are going to go to the time and expenses to make a 45 minute homage, you should at least have a decent script. In one part Kirk is bitching about seeing the Bad Guys three times but they had only appeared twice!!!
  • The Hair: Wow it is so distracting

How bad could it be?

Pretty freakin' bad!!!

Things went better at the plant today. My movie selection did not improve.

Tonights selection: Bewitched
I mean Nicole Kidman is Hot. Will Ferrell is Funny. This should have been a fun movie to watch on a Lazy Sunday Evening. But it was not. They tried so hard to come up with an original take on the concept that they lost the charm of the original.

On the plus side, Steve Carell was great as Uncle Arthur. And Nicole Kidman was hot.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Toy Fair 2k6

I guess I now know why the earlier Star Wars Lego announcement. This weekend is Toy Fair!!! Here are some pictures from the From Bricks to Bothans. No pictures of any new Star Wars stuff or Batman sets, but the Spongebob Squarepants looks cool. I hope they make the Sculpture available as a set.


Today has not been a good day.

I am in LA working on a Visual Basic application. My plan was to try and upgrade the application to Visual Basic 2005. That did not work because of some changes that seem really stupid. Stupid Microsoft. Next I had Scott put some ISOs of Visual Studio 2003 on a FTP server. It took most of the night to download the ISOs but when I tried to install, I got an Internal Error 25003. I found a bunch of posts about this error on Google, but they all were basically "I have this problem too, anyone have a solution." I guess it has something to do with installation file corruption. Back to the Drawing Board.

After getting back to the hotel but still trying to install software, I decided to watch Doom.
The basic Plot SUCKED. But the Rock was cool. I really think he could be "The Next Big Action Star". I think he is a much better actor than Sly or The Govenator ever was. The only thing he is lacking is the ability to pick scripts.

Star Wars Lego

According to Jake, Lego has extended its contract with LucasArts until 2011. :)

So there have been 125 different sets released... The scary thing is since I have only not purchased the last 5 sets, I have purchased 120 different Star Wars Lego sets. And in a few months when I find a sale I will have them ALL.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Don't miss Exit 60B

I am writing this entry in my hotel room in California (Holiday Inn Select Room 504 in La Miranda). I'm here for work, not fun :(

I usually take work trips alone and this weekend is no exception. I often make friends with the people I meet on the job site but they generally have lives. What this means is that I usually have the evenings to myself. After a long day on the job site, I really just need to relax and kick back. Because of my Tivo and other DVRs, I can't stand watching "live" TV anymore, so thats out. Before City of Heroes and Free High Speed Internet in most hotel rooms, I used to watch DVDs during this downtime. I have many fond memories of discovering some fine DVDs while sitting in indistinguishable rooms. Since I am rationing my CoH playing, I thought I would revive that tradition on this trip, so I loaded up my case and will see what comes.

Tonight I watched Elizabethtown by Cameron Crowe.
Boy this review is tough to write...

I have long been a fan of Cameron's movies. The were parts of the movie that I loved, but this movie just never came together for me. It seemed like I was watching three different movies with the same characters. It was like it could not decide if it wanted to be a romance movie or a coming of age movie, so it decided to use some screwball comedy to try and cover up the cracks.
Plus I'm expected to believe that Claire can put together a 47+ hour PERSONALIZED mix tape with accompanying scrap/map book together overnight. I will admit that this is the only way I would want to take a solo cross country trip, but seriously. Seriously!

I do have to say that the soundtrack did rule.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Have a Heart

I have long been a fan of Conversation Hearts. I might even go as far as to say they are my favorite candy. Well I have found the site for me.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"It's a kinda Magic"

For the last few months, I have been going to the Comic Stop in Lynnwood to play Magic: The Gathering with George. Basically we each pick out a pre-constructed deck, then play a best 2 out of 3. Then I go to Qdoba to pick up some grub. Then we switch decks and do another best 2 out of 3.

Last Friday, Guildpact, the second set of the Ravnica Block was released. I played the Izzet Gizmometry Deck and George played the Gruul Wilding Deck. The Gruul deck was a fairly standard Monster Smash! deck. The Izzet deck on the other hand was really fun to play because it was spell heavy. There are a bunch of cards that let you send your opponents creatures back to their hands. The first game we played, I just whittled George down as I returned every creature he summoned right back to his hand.

Next week we are going to play with the other new deck and one from the first set, then the week after that we are going to try our hand at building our own decks. We will be requiring that we only purchase the same amount of cards for both of our sideboards to keep it more fun.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Life Lesson 217: Cheating will only get you so far

In the past, a bunch of us used to get together on Mondays to play games. Then it moved to Sundays when the Comic Stop North opened. Then when Scales and Jim moved away it kind of petered out. Well do to popular demand Gaming Night has made it triumphant return!!! With a new location and day. New location: My condo (as opposed to my apartment) New day: Saturdays.

Last Saturday was the first Gaming Night 3.0 and it was a blast. Jim 2.0 and George came over and we played George's Super Mario Strikers

The basic concept of the game is an 5 on 5 arcade soccer game with the standard Mario touches (Power Ups, Over-the-top Special Moves). One of the cool thinks about this game is that the single player portion that unlocks more teams and stadiums can be played in co-op mode. Because of this we were able to unlock new content while having a blast.

It was quite humorous watching the three of us play. The computer tends to play like a "real" player and would stay in their zone. We on the other hand were like a bunch of seven year olds all chasing after the ball. This leads to a lot of fast breaks for the computer. Good thing he could not make an easy goal to save its life.

We all got into a bad habit while playing through the first tournaments. On Easy mode the computer does not use the Special Items very much. This is important because every time you lay a "big hit" on a player when they do not have the ball they get another Special Item. If I'm not mistaken our record for number of "Bit Hits" in a game was around 120!!! Well in the Professional Mode which is the default mode for the Super Tournaments, the computer uses the Items and with the way we play he uses a LOT of them. It was hard to believe we had a chance to ever do a "Big Hit" the way we kept getting the Smackdown laid down upon us.

I am off to LA this weekend, so the next Game Night 3.0 should be the 18th with the game of the day being Axis and Allies. Looks like it maybe a Long night.

Super Bowl XL screenplay by Akiva Goldsman

OK I know I am late on the bandwagon but that is only because I was bitching to George, Beau, and Maryanne in the "Real World" on Sunday night and Blogger was down last night.

I have long held the pseudo belief that all professional sports is scripted just like Professional Wrestling. Well Sundays game just added another log to the gas fireplace. It defiantly felt that every time the SeaHawks made a big play to keep a drive alive, the zebras were making another Bullshit call. It is not a hold if the defender is falling onto you!!! Grabbing a ball out of the air and changing directions while a defensive player hits the ball out of bounds is not an incomplete pass!! Where was the call on the Offensive Lineman that was Holding the Seahawk FROM BEHIND on Heinz 75 yard run?!?!? (BTW I don't think this should have been a penalty but it should have been called since it was more blatant then 2 prior calls on the Seahawks).

It also seemed like the Steeler coach had written his halftime leaving the field comments BEFORE the game. He was complaining about penalties?!?!?!? He only had 3 for 20 yards for the WHOLE GAME!!!! Maybe the refs should have gotten him an update copy of the script.

By the Way when I said that it felt scripted, I do NOT mean that it was fake. It is quite clear that the PLAYERS are athletes that are giving it their all.

Screw them all!!! Pitcher and catchers report in 7 days and 23 hours.

Stupid Blogger

Was going to post last night but Blogger was down for Maintenance. How dare they maintain their system!!!! They should just let it go until it crashes like the rest of us.

You can't see it but my Fist of Fury(tm) is shaking right now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A lotta bit of wrong

I have no idea what the story is behind this, but there is just something not right with that first one.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Burton Goodness

Sat down and watched the Corpse Bride with Beau and Maryanne today.

Tim Burton is a freaking genius. This movie worked on so many levels. The stop motion animation looked so great. I could not believe how smooth the animation flowed. It almost felt like CGI instead of Stop Motion.

It is a shame that the Dark Core of Tim Burton that makes his movies so cool makes them so hard to find an audience. If this movie had not been about necrophilia, it could have been as big as a Pixar film.

Tangent Warning:
The main character's name is Victor and his alive wife is Victoria. Every time they were introduced I thought of this movie. The things that roll around in my head. It ain't pretty.

No Sleep 'till 40

When I started playing City of Villains, one of my City of Heroes' Supergroup (The Rock and Roll Death Patrol) teammates and I had a little competition for who would reach level 40 first. Well he had real life slow him down for a while, but recently his scheduled shifted so that he was quickly rising up in level. Well that was NOT going to happen. So last night I started playing when I got home from work and had Ima V. Illain make the last push to level 40. The best part was that my buddy (Bad Guy) was on the time as I got the Ding. He was about 1/2 a level behind me.

Now that I have met this goal, I am going to lower my play time. Not because I am not still enjoying the game but because I am wanting to spend sometime doing other things... like writing this blog.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Women Are So Stupid

I have two categories of TV Programs that I schedule on my DVRs. There are the shows I like to Watch (Veronica Mars, Lost, Battlestar Galactica) and the shows I like to Listen to (Fear Factor, Survivor, CSI). To be a show I like to listen to it has to be a simple show that I can tell what is going on just by listening and when something cool is happening turn to it to watch. Usually these are the shows I have on while playing City of Heroes/City of Villains.

Well I made a New Years Resolution of a sort to cut back on the CoH/CoV time, so I don't have as much time to watch these second tier shows. One of the shows I was going to avoid this year was Survivor. Since my the people that I watch at work have already giving up on the show I thought it would be a good idea for me to do the same thing. Well the best laid plans...

After finishing LoZ, Gray C. was asleep on my lap. I did not want to wake the cat so I decided to checkout Survivor: Exile Island. And was sucked in the the evil Reality TV abyss.

The twist on this seasons start of Survivor was that they formed four teams of four: Older Men, Younger Men, Older Women, and Younger Women. The interesting part is the they stacked the deck against the older women. One of the older women survivors can best be described as a surrogate for all those couch potatoes that watch this show and go "I could do that". If anything it will get those idiots to Shut Up 'casue You Cant Do It. The one thing that this lady has going for her is that she can bend the will of the weak so that they do her bidding. There is no other explanation for how she could possible convince to other women that are over their collective heads to vote out the only person on their team that has a clue how to survive outside of their city deweling lives. Lucky for them it appears there is going to be a merge next week because there is NO WAY that this team would ever will an immunity challenge now.

When I went to visit my dad over Christmas, I found out that my Sisters are big time in to Survivor and that they had formed a forum to talk about it.

The Legend of Zeta-Jones' Cleavage

Since this is the week before the February Sweeps begin, this tends to be a slower week for new TV programs. So when I got home last night the Tivo cupboard was bare.

Since I am making a point to spend more time sitting on the couch so that Gray C. and I can spend more time bonding, I picked up the Legend of Zorro to watch.

This was a fun movie but not as good as the first. I did have one major problem that made it very hard to suspend my disbelief. There were numerous instances that when I was watching the movie I kept thinking "Just Shoot Him!!!" Why on Earth would you run up to a guy with a sword when you have a perfectly good gun? Often the a "good" writer will make this issue moot by having the Hero protected by close quarters or in amongst the shooter's friends. But not this movie, It's like "look there is Zorro lets put these Boom Sticks down and pull out our swords. I'm sure he is not very good with one."

I also got the feeling they were setting up the storyline for another sequel "The Son of Zorro" I would almost be interested in watching that because it would bring the storyline full circle, since the first movie was about the changing of the guard Zorro-wise

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Insert lame iJoke here

So a year and a half ago, I discovered With my subscription, I received two Audio Books a month for my listening pleasure. I have really enjoyed listening to books while driving here and there. So much better than the Seattle radio scene.

When I subscribed, my subscription plan came with a Creative Muvo. It was a fine player but was lacked a screen and a battery indicator. I spent quite a while investigating different players to find the right one for me. I had long held that Apple was the evil empire when it comes to audio players, mainly because of there restrictive Digital Rights Management. That is why I was surprised when I found the perfect device for me when Apple introduced the iPod Nano. I love that little guy.

So as part of getting an iPod, I was introduced to iTunes and it too rocked. I love Party Shuffle. Well when I was bumming around the iTunes store, I discovered the Podcast section. I like to describe a Podcast as a talk radio program on a subject you enjoy but without any commercials. I have found myself subscribing to more and more Podcasts every week. So much so that I have not listened to a book in OVER TWO MONTHS!!!!!