Monday, December 26, 2005

What a gift!

The Lions won. It was a pitiful game but they won.

Hope everyone had a good holiday!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Announcement: Addition, more than just mathematics

Announced on my wife's blog earlier, we are expecting an addition to the family. Michelle is due in April. We have gone through a couple of ultra-sounds which can be seen on her blog. The link to her blog is located on the right.

We are excited and have been working like crazy to get the house ready for more than two. Well more than 2 plus a cat. When we moved in the room that we chose to be the babies room was the room that stored the books from moving. So the office that I have been working on has been more of a library so that I could move the books out. Since that is 90% complete, I can start prepping what will be the baby's room for paint and ... baby-fying.

Last weekend Princess was over (you can see her notes on it to the right again). We ended up not doing much. I was sick and also working all weekend on a feature that is now back up on the website for the company that employs me. Probably will take a couple of hours this weekend and see if I can get more data to read for it. Maybe someday I will share that, I just like to keep it separate a lot of time.

So, a couple of our friends that are out here in Washington, are not going to be in Washington anymore. Being a programmer in the game industry can be brutal and he has chosen to stay in the industry but try a new company. I tried recruiting, but the call of his passions for games won out. So we lose a couple that we love to hang out with. Maybe we will visit them in Utah.

So we are now in the week leading up to Christmas. Are you ready? I think I am :)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Mooch-less Lions


Why am I a Lions fan? It can't be just cause I used to live in Michigan... Or that my family is made up of Lions fans... I don't think it has anything to do with what some fascination with underdogs...

I must like losers.

Well in football. But that same could apply when viewing my liking the Pittsburgh Penguins in hockey. Just baffling. Almost as baffling as the record that Lions have had over the last few years. Or since Ford has owned them.

The release of Mariucci will not fix the Lions. In fact I predict that next year, the Lions will be worse because of it. The fact that strikes me funny is that 9 players (out of 53) make up 45% of the salary. With 9 star players, we should be able to at least make 50/50. Unless ... gasp ... they aren't star players.

Harrington. Sorry dude, but I didn't want you when we drafted you. I wanted them to draft Quentin Jammer or Roy Williams (the one that hits hard for the Cowboys). You just don't have it for the west coast offense (more to come on that one later). You don't have the ability to work your team up. I watch a lot of other younger quarterbacks who are always talking to other players on the team even when they are having troubles. You just sit by yourself on the bench. Where is the fire man.

Charlie Rogers. Amazing talent in college. Turns out to make questionable life choices questionable character. I was happy that you were selected in the draft. But I wouldn't have drafted you. Look at the agent you picked. That to me tells something of your interests in football. Money. Not winning.

Roy Williams. No complaints. Keep on trucking.

Mike Williams. So we drafted you for your possession receiver ability, but you drop 4 balls a game. But you are still young. Work on your hands, man.

Kevin Jones. Dude you could be amazing, but you may want to take a lesson from a bigger man by the name of Bettis. You can't run head first ball like you did in college. Use some moves. Any moves.

Mr. West Coast Offense. This offense should be outlawed. It works in some talent pools, but that is fairly rare. So whatever you want to change it to Pittsburgh, that should be fine. Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Been a long time

Ok. I am not dead yet. Since selling the old house and moving into the new house, I guess I had forgotten the number of hours necessary in keeping a house up. So, when we moved in there was the incomplete room. I was able to get it mudded and sanded although not as perfect and also got it painted. This saturday, I will pick up a mitre saw so that I can finish the trim since the carpetting will be installed next week.

What else have I been doing? Well, I have seen some movies. Played some video games. All instead of blogging. So I will give the super short version of the reviews I wanted to do.

Movie: Serenity

Besides this movie coming out on DVD on December 20th, the movie was phenomenal. This is what sci fi movies should be. There is a rich deep story in a full and enticing universe. If you haven't seen it, go see it.

Movie: Joe Dirt

Surprisingly funny flick. Don't look for any really deep story here, but there is something addictive about the movie even when it has its situational comedy moments.

Game: Fire Emblem (Path of Radiance and Sacred Stones)

The game that will bring out the perfectionist in anyone. The strategy game with rpg elements is addictive because there are many combinations on how to put together your characters (who to level up, etc.). The other part of the addiction is that when a character dies, they are gone, so you always feel the need to fully win a battle as in no one dies. So repeating a battle is not all that uncommon.

Game: Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

I refused to get this game as I am saving up for a 360, but John was kind enough to feed my addiciton. It is a great game. I have had some issues with the game in that I have pulled upa pretty good kill ratio and point gaining ability but cannot go up in rank as I can't seem to get a medal. Alright, might be weird to describe as such, but it is similar to an rpg in that you are assigned a rank based on performance, but you don't gain any new abilities, just prestige. Again. Fun game.

So that is my quickie round up. Let's see if I can keep entering stuff.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Argghh. Sick already

Less than two months here and I get my first cold. A nice friendly sinus infection. Otherwise things are moving forward. I however was planning on being healthy this weekend to finish off the unpacking and also be able to pop out to Ikea and pick up some furniture that we are in need of.

So, the job is going wonderfully. I really enjoy it. And the area still rocks. Very excited about Princess Blognoke's big news about Stink Pants #LA. Rock on.

Finally got propane so the grill is fired and I am officially home. Something about grilled chicken or really anything on the grill that makes things feel better. Of course, I don't feel like being outside right now.

Pretty darn excited about the upcoming Serenity movie. I am worried about being disappointed, but who cares. It is firefly.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Another week

Haven't been writing much as I feel obligated to unpack the house and keep everything running smoothly. The new house is nice. The neighborhood is not too far from anything. So we are just north of Federal Way and just southwest of Kent. Both have decent places to shop.

Last Sunday, went to the Reagan's and watched the Lions beat the Packers, although it was both an ugly win for the Lions and an ugly loss for the Pack. It was great fun.

This week, I got to have the joys of taking public transportation. Actually the train ride isn't too bad. I am finally able to catch up on my reading which is nice and the ride is really straight forward. The coming home is a bit of a hassle as lots of folks get off the train at that spot. But now I have a chance to read Innovation Superhighway. As I have read it, I keep thinking this would perfect for some different functions in my old employer. They really talk about the movement of information and how it pertains to the employees and culture. They should really check it out. Hey John, tell Ms. Winters.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Update on house and more

We still haven't closed on the old house. If nothing else it should happen on the 23rd we will close. I know that the buyer was trying to move it up, but I don't think it was successful. Really have to say that Doug has done well in taking care of this while we have been else where.

As for the new house, all the household goods have been dropped off and the new appliances were delivered along with cable and internet. So now it is just unpacking and putting into place. Except for the company that is supposed to uncrate the aquariums and assemble the swingset. They couldn't on the original time so they have rescheduled.

I am moving out of the apartment on Saturday and hanging with Mr. Reagan for NFL Sunday. Speaking of which, thank good football is finally started. I really truly believe it is the American sport. Forget that boring baseball, give me the real time chess match that is football. I was able to get the fantasy league lined up but I wasn't prepared enough to get more than 6 teams. Next year, I am definitely going to get organized around 3 weeks early and get at least 10 teams going.

I really think that football is the king of sports. Of course I type this as I watch the Raiders vs. Patriots. I mean really you are looking at two types of offensive attacks and then an infinite amount of possiblities within those. Then on defense you can't create a defense that works against all offenses. Then you have special teams which adds it's own dimension. Plus you aren't looking at 80+ games to watch. It is just 16 games per team. I think that adds to the appeal is the video game aspect which is more playable because of the shorter season and the pacing of play picks and downs to break it up. It is hard to pick out the intangibles that are there. I just love it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Aquarium of Seattle

We went. We had fun. I recommend it.

So here is the Seattle Aquarium.

It took us about 2 hours to go through it. So it isn't too big. It was just a very cool in the salt water tanks. The cuttlefish was really cool, but I was afraid to snap its picture for fear of scaring him. Also I starting talking to the Aquarium staff about how often they clean the tanks and their water filtration method and they allowed me to feed some of their fish. Again I wish I would have kept notes, but they were fast. Put the chunk of fish on a stick and BAM it snapped it off. Pretty cool stuff.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

PAX visitation

Dude! So I went to the Penny Arcade Expo on Saturday with Karen's husband Ben. It was a blast. Basically we started the day early by standing in line for an hour. Of course it wasn't really that simple. We ended up walking around the place for a while trying to figure out which line we were supposed to stand in, but got lucky by accidentally going into the building to see about buying a pass. That was what we were supposed to.

I was amazed at the amount of people that were in there. We ran upstairs to sign up for the Double Dash tournament, and headed over to the PC freeplay room which had a single PC left so Ben and I traded off. What was weird was that the immediate line for the exhibit room ran all the way up to the top floor and then down the hall (hence why we avoided that room right away.

After each of us taking a turn at Battlefield 2 on the PC (great LAN experience with the folks there). So now we found our way down to the exhibit room which had quite a few cool things but for the most part it wasn't that exciting minus the Nintendo exhibit. The were showing off the new Dungeons and Dragons online game which has some potential, but we will have to see how much they are going ot charge per month. There was another booth for Red vs Blue, Anime stuff for sale, America's Army (complete with recruiters), XBox playtest crew, PAX gear for sale, Card Games, and some other misc booths.

Ah but the Nintendo booth which was by far the biggest. They had tons of games out to see what is coming up. So really I will center on the ones that I was most impressed with. First off we have Fire Emblem for the Gamecube. Phenomenal graphics teamed up with some solid well tested combat creates a great combination. The second game that impressed me was a new Mario Soccer game (I think it is called Strikers) was there. Ben and I had a quick match against each other (which he won) but it was a blast to play.

We then got in some Double Dash practice since we were on standby for the tournie. So after a little practice (and a realization that we would lose) we took a trip up to the table top game rooms. After rounds of Super Munchkins, Chez Dork, and Illuminati we had then missed our standby time and only ten minutes to make it to the gaming controversy round table.

Lots of good points were made but I found the Q&A painful since all the gamers felt a need to preach to the choir instead of asking the panel about any initiatives toward working together to create a new gaming environment.

We made a final round to see if we could pop into some freeplay rooms but they were loaded to the gills so we went home (it was 9:00 anyway). And you may notice that there was no eating. That would be correct and a horrible decision. We could have easily made it for more game playing, but I was worn down.

Anyway it was so damn cool. Definitely going next year. Way to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Well, we have finally tried Skycity for dinner. In a way, kinda wish we hadn't. For the price we could have had a few trips up. So uh, just do the trip up. It is spectacular.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Great restaurant and neat museum

I have a couple of recommedations for those visiting Seattle. First off, I was under the impression that food in Seattle is overpriced and underspiced. I recently found a place 2 blocks away called Cafe Amore that beats them on both criteria. My wife went with the spaghetti and meatballs and I devided to try the osso bucco. Both were excellent and didn't break the bank. The service, although slow, was still great. The chef was a joy. I highly recommend it to anyone. You can find it in the 2200 block on 5th ave in Seattle.

Yesterday we visited the Pacific Science Center which was a blast. It reminded me of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago only smaller. Michelle's favorite room was the butterfly room. I personally liked the risk exhibit. Basically it was an exhibit concerning probability of death. Kinda neat. Also covered the various safety enhancements that have been made over the years. This museum is totally geared towards 8 - 12 year olds but there is plenty of fun for curious adults.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I put up some pics

Feel free to check out my website for some pics of the region.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Days in the northwest

Well, we are progressing through the purchase of our second home and I think it is going pretty well. Thank goodness that Michelle is not working and can take care of alot of this stuff. Work is good and I really like what my department is targetting. I have to say that this was just a great idea moving out here. I recommend others doing it. I will be adding some pictures in a bit once I set up my main PC.

Plus I have gotten a chance to talk to some folks from home which is nice as well, although now that I write this, the word home is definitely going to change. :)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

One week in Washington

So, I am living in Belltown in north Seattle. Weather here has been awesome . . . if you don't live in an apartment, then it is too darn hot. And now Michelle has joined me out here so she gets to complain about the apartment as well.

I finally get to write an entry as I finally have gotten some internet in the apartment (hence the hiatus). Just glad to finally be able to do alot of my searching again without going to the coffee houses.

Here is the big news: We have put in an offer on a house and they have accepted. Now we have to go through the mountains of inspections and paperwork to make it possible. Of course we still own our house in Michigan which makes things uncomfortably tight, but we should be able to squeak through till someone buys our old adorable house. If you know someone who wants to live about 1 mile from the beach and downtown St. Joseph, let me know...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Leaving on a jet plane

Well today is the day for me. I get to hop on a plane and set sail for a new job in a new town in a new state with some old friends. If I didn't see you, sorry. Wish me luck.

Oh. Good luck Ish.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Some more farewells

Yesterday, my parents invited over some of the family and friendds to bid me off. It was awesome. I never complain about seeing family. Long ago, moving away would have been difficult, but with fast communication, it not nearly as bad. I will miss seeing them, but I will still be able to hear them.

So I have been collecting email addresses of folks around here that I know so I at least have that as a means of keeping in the loop. Grabbed one of Fish Store Don. I know that isn't his primary job but did it to keep his tanks stocked, but I would visit with him just about Sunday until he left the fish store when he became the president of the local FOP. And since I wasn't able to get his contact information before, I got it now.

So yesterday we had a cookout. Good old burgers and dogs. Love that stuff. Although in Seattle I will probably have to go with salmon burgers and salmon dogs. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Move status

Things yet to do:
  1. Finish cleaning
  2. Take care of fish and tanks
  3. Finalize realtor stuff
  4. Get car move finalized
  5. Get stuff move finalized
  6. Pack our necessary stuff
  7. Move
So there we have it. I am sure I am missing stuff. Really feels like a lot to do. Cleaning will take a couple more days. We through out a lot of stuff so now it is just moving to locations so that the realtor can come in and get photos and final appraisal. From what he said, the market here right now is very, very slow. So it really depends on how I work the budget as to it we can wait out a better market. But I have concerns that the market may not get better. Got in my last xbox live for a while so that was fun. I ended up quitting early as my broadband was sucking. Tried to join Matches, but he was playing new maps that I had not downloaded yet. When I got back on, he was not there.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

House sales: Scrub-a-dub-dub

So I have spent the last few days cleaning up my house as best as I can to make it presentable for a realtor and "guests". Let me tell you, more to do than I thought possible. We have filled 5.5 cubic yards of dumpster to date with junk that doesn't work and with empty boxes and other crap. If we could give it away to goodwill or other places, we have done so, but there is always junk that you collection.

Did you know that I had 2 dot-matrix printers? They may work, but I wasn't going to futz with them. Into the trash they go. 2 dead ink jets went in the trash as well. Soon I will cut down my keyboard collection from 12 to 5. Just so much stuff that makes no sense to keep.

Today was another boss's last day. Again, like my last boss, I have a ton of respect for and know that they will succeed in the things they do. Hopefully I can live up to the experiences they have both provided me. My other ex-boss hasn't been fired yet, so cheers!

So I decided to tell a story at my current boss's exit coffee, which covered the time that he came back from vacation and took the whole department down with an illness. Sometimes it is hard to judge the content of the story to be told as the audience is not reacting to much. But all in all, best of luck Jay! Don't let Sara beat you up too much.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Earlier proof of my half-fro Posted by Picasa

Proof that at one time I did in fact have hair! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Start of Something Big

Well, I can finally mention some news of note. I put in my two week notice at Whirlpool Corporation on Friday. I have been working there for about 5.5 years permanently, but I had interned there as well since Feb of 1996. So after almost 10 years, I decided it was time to experience something different.

I would not stop anyone from working for Whirlpool. From what I saw in the time I was there, was most of their employees were treated well. And the experiences you gain are wonderful.

So, now I am moving to Seattle to work for I am very excited and very nervous. I definitely have a concern that I am getting in over my head, going from a web developer in research at a manufacturer to working as a software developer for production systems at the largest online retailer with some of the brightest minds in the business. This is my first real test and I look forward to acing it.

To be honest, the biggest worry for me right now is selling the house. But that is mostly out of my control. I have done what I could in the last 3 years to make changes in the house for the better. But we shall see.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fireworks and video games

St. Joseph's July 4th Fireworks Posted by Picasa

So another July 4th. It was pretty crowded at the beach last night. Sometime when things aren't crowded I should like to take my tripod and try to get some good fireworks shots. Basically I set the exposure to maximum and set the lighting for sunset of my Minolta E500.

So lately I have been playing a couple of new games. First off I picked up Guild Wars. Now I haven't had much time to play, but from what I have, it is a darn fun game. Haven't had much human interaction time, but the quests are interesting and the world is absolutely beautiful. A recommended pickup.

The other will likely bring some ridicule. Battlefield 2. You see, I picked it up and thought I might be able to run it. By the look of the requirements on the box, I was cutting it pretty close. So I went home and checked into my system (in the old days I would have known what every part on the machine was) and it looked like I wouldn't be able to run it due to a inadequate video card. So I bitched and moaned to my friends and coworkers who bought the game with me. Well, after a couple of days, I decided to install it, just to see how bad it would be. It runs. Not great, but it does run. I am running maximum res for my LCD panel, but lowest graphic settings and it runs smooth as glass. But again, haven't done much playing but man is it fun! Ah future addictions...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Death of a water heater

So I have had the last few days off of work. One for holiday and the other to take care of removing a dead water heater. Which I decided to hire done versus having to remove it myself. Would have been able to but it would have taken all day. So I now have a new high efficiency water heater to go with all the other things I have upgraded on the house. Also removed the dead garbage disposal and put in a straight pipe. All this in the name of selling the house soon.

Also I have been trying to get grass to grow where the tree in my front yard used to be. Well low and behold, this morning I have little grass sprouts. I thought I was going to lose that battle as I have tried to grow it for about a week with nothing to show till this morning. Also the other project I tackled was repainting the trim in the front of the house. Thank Lowes and wonder of color matching to make a darn close match to what was there.

Oh yeah. The dead water heater technically still ran, it was just the puddle on my floor that made me upset. It had a leak in the bottom of the tank.

So do you know of anyone who wants to buy a house in southwest michigan? Or do you know someone who wants a fish tank or 5?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Karaoke and Poker

Where can we find a bigger waste of our survival roots than to look at what we do for entertainment? So last weekend, I went out to a Karaoke contest to support my friend. For once I was glad not to have signed up. These folks were pretty darn good. Not really that good, but out of the 17 contestants, I would have looked like some yokel who thought yodelling was back in style. Needless to say, my friend didn't win, although I thought he did well. I am not sure what the judges had for criteria, but my friend was able to mimic the artist he was singing. Or maybe they thought he should have used more challenging songs. If nothing I thought he should have placed top 3. Ah well. I am proud of him for getting up and trying and I think he should continue. If he got lessons, I am sure he could kick everyones butt, just to pick up some good techniques.

Last night I decided to give away my money in a poker game. We did the standard texas hold'em. I wish we would have some other variants. But what can you do. I did not win a single hand all night. It was so bad that I could not have won a single hand all night. It was structured better, so there was no way I was going to bluff anyone out and the only good hand I had, someone else tied me on the river. So in the end, I lost my $20. So after poker nights I am down $21.50. SUCK. I shouldn't have bought in for another set of hands.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Game Review: Jade Empire

What can I say? Just a phenomenal game. Bioware has to be the best RPG / Storytelling company out there right now. KOTOR and this were excellent as well as their roots of Baldur's Gate... but they just keep getting better.

First off, Jade Empire is similar to Fable in terms of combat. Lots of ducking and rolling. But otherwise, this had a story that was enjoyable and the combat was more enjoyable.

I always wonder in a review should I tell you anything of the story? Does it really matter? It may be better to tell you that it took about 24 hours of gameplay to complete it once. Or that they borrowed the light-side / dark-side ideas from KOTOR but placed it in open palm / closed fist. Experience is done in a standard way as well as leveling up, but the real point to leveling up is around your skills and techniques. By the end I had an army of techniques, but I honestly only used 3 skills heavily. And the game was not just a cake walk either. It came with some meat although the beginning is easy.

Simply put, if you have an Xbox, BUY THIS GAME. Unless you don't like good stories or role playing games.

5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, June 20, 2005

For a friend. Emily and her favorite mask. Posted by Hello

The Art of Sculpting a Shrubbery

With a good trimmer and a steady hand, even you can create even lines and a great contour. I have now owned my very own hedge for 3 years and each time I trim it down, I get a little bit better at making sure it doesn't look hideous. It acts as part of the border between my neighbors yard and mine, but definitely sits on my side (so my responsibility).

For all you newbie bush trimmers, I recommend going with the growth of the plant. For me, this means straight up and near the sides, slightly forward. This just makes it easy to take care of the branches that stick out. As for the top, I haven't got any good tips other than to go over it twice to make sure that you get all of it. I usually use a rake on it afterwords to get out any of the bits of plant in it.

Why am I writing about a shrubbery? I am really trying to not write about how my day is. Blogs tend to fall into such a rut of I ate cereal, I love so and so, I am just miserable, or some other diary associated thing. I will occasionally fall into that rut, but try not to.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Movie Review: Batman begins

Well, Batman began and began with a thunder. I was very impressed at the story and visual display of this movie. There was a general feel to the movie that was amazing and thrilling. What I found cool was the ability to set up the backdrop of Batman and Bruce Wayne without it feeling oppressive. Normally when they introduce a character and then move on to a main story it feels like there is two movies smashed together and neither feel right. This felt right.

Liam Neeson was simply amazing. He is just one of those charismatic guys that you can't stop watching. Amazing. Christian Bale however needed some help. He wasn't bad mind you, but I didn't get the feel of randomness out of Bruce Wayne nor did I get the sense of power or fear from Batman. Best Bruce Wayne is still Keaton and the best Batman is still Clooney even though those movies were perhaps the worst movies ever created. Worst. Uggg.

So what do I say? Resounding two thumbs up. 4.75 stars out of 5. Go See It!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Always good to see friends

Although it seems that the friends seem to be further and further away everytime you turn around. I can only look at the way it was years ago and people did not move far from "home." Now it is a regular occurence to do so. I look at what happened when I graduated from high school. People scattered to the four winds. Some folks stayed local, but many went where the scholarships took them. Fast forward to a new bunch friends in a college setting and get the same thing. First everyone is from a vast region and now you have to go where the jobs take you.

But, the good thing, is the friends still find a way to stay in touch even if once in a while, we forget to write for a while. Plus sometimes, like this weekend, one or the other will decide to make a trip. Thanks a bunch for the dinner. It was great.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dad's birthday

Well today is my dad's birthday. So I am going over there to hang out celebrate, as his present hasn't made it in the mail. So much for overnight shipping. Submitted days ago at that.

So yesterday, my parents, grandma and me we to Gingerman raceway which is a small road track in South Haven, Michigan. It was viper day. We had a good time although I got a bit too much of sunshine so I am little bit crispy today. Not as bad as if I hadn't worn a hat though. It was a lot of fun though. I was a little surprised at the price though. It was $10 and I think we were the only spectators. Maybe if it was $5, they would get more spectators.

Anywho, Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another tax payer gets ready to contribute... maybe

Jen's Graduation! Posted by Hello

So Michelle and I just got back from our trip up north, which this time included Michelle's youngest sisters graduation. It was fun. They had me manning the bar with Michelle's middle sister's boyfriend. Oh the headache the next day.

As a note for those that attended the "Firefly" party. Those pictures are gone. I lost them.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Like any good geek

So, tonight I saw Star Wars Episode III. I want to say that I was going in with low expectations. I tried awfully damn hard to lower my expectations fo the film, but I failed. But not completely. I went in just totally confused. And then in a matter of seconds, I had made up my mind and destroyed the entire popcorn staff.

Ok. I kid. About the killing that is. I entered unsure of what would be. Would I hate it or love it and in the end, I say neither. In the end, I enjoyed many scenes. I enjoyed the story. I felt what I think George Lucas wanted me to feel. Deep down Anakin still lived and that he was and still is a confused teenager trapped in so many lies.

What I hated. Dialog. Still. I also disliked that many scenes felt stilted and not fully fleshed out. Like he wanted one more movie to tie it together and just strung together the parts and pieces to attempt something greater, and missed. The acting felt better, but still vast room for improvement and I honestly don't blame the actors but the directing. Sometimes you should let the actors portray what they think the character would. The director is best when they explain the reasons and the actor believes, and vice versa as well. Hard line direction often leads to lack of full characterization.

Will you love this film? How the heck do I know? I will watch this again (on DVD, and pray that they have some extended scenes). I will hate Lucas, if he releases a special edition. Then my view that he has turned to the dark side will be complete. The evil money empire and it's Lord of the Sith.

So what do we have the 4, 5, and 6? We have 3 different versions that all minted fortunes and I fear the same for these as Lucas matures and his vision changes. I may believe that executives corrupted his vision for the films for original release, but I sure don't believe the special rerelease is his original vision. It is just a product of the time in between and the time long ago to create something not quite right.

So. Go spend the money and see. You may be disappointed, but you will at least be entertained if not enjoy it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Plague

Well strike me down and turn me into goo. Ok, it isn't that bad. Seems I went from sore throat to chest congestion in 2 days. Just makes it tough to talk. Not like I need to talk. I blame it on my friends, because . . . I . . . uh, don't hang out with enemies. Yeah, that was lame. Oh well. One of the sucky parts is a work pal is throwing a pirate party. I may have to miss the Pirate Party. Arrrrgggghhhh!

Anywho. Haven't written much. Always so many plans to write, most I just don't want to sit in front of a monitor lately when I get home from work.

Movies seen: Hitchiker's Guide. Good. Captures the spirit but misses the depth. Can't expect that in a short film though. And damn it talk about the towel!!!! Also saw Kingdom of Heaven, which has the surprising theme of tolerance in the guise of a crusade movie. I recommend it. I enjoyed it. Although something was missing, just can't put my finger on it. Cannibal the Musical. Very funny. Except my wife HATED it. I thought it was hot. Like a baked potato.

Home coding done? I am working through a C# irritation, well Windows forms irritation concerning dynamically updating a combo box. You can't do it. You have to use a data view. Not thrilled with that. I tried to code it up without my tutorial ridden web and got 90% there. Will continue it later. Also working on top secret project LUNCH. Will tell more as I get it closer to open source depositing.

Well, that is it. I want to say thanks to my friends that I invited. Sorry I could not invite you all, but well, I am bad at larger shindigs and organization.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Party all done

First off, sorry that I did not invite a bunch a folks from Tech. Kept it small, intimate and limited to the number of sleeping spaces I had available. Although sleeping was not really the in thing to do. What can I say? It was fun. It was about 1 block of fun!

In Aaron measurements.

Well the story goes that we chitchatted waiting for the Blogonoke bunch until Cory needed to solve a much needed FREE frosty fix. So we walked over there, and then separated where some went back to the house and the rest headed to Hollywood Video to pick up Cannibal the musical. Darn funny show. I mean hot like a baked potato. So after that I railroaded a couple of the party goers to watch some firefly. I know I haven't written about it before, but I do consider it a better show than Farscape, in that the characters seem a little more intelligent and as Ish put it best, "The main character has the scoundrel architype. Yeah," although that probably wasn't an exact quote. Folks gradually trickled off leaving my wife and I lonely and missing all the visitors again. You guys are the greatest.

On the stupid note. I forgot to call Amanda. I suck. When Andy and Cory left (which was much too early) I had been drinking and therefore I sucked.

I am going to attempt to write more frequently. And hopefully stuff that will be more useful to internet masses instead of mindless rants and more. Also, I will post pictures up to my main site from the party and if the Princess would like to send me her pics, I can get those up as well.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lions Draft

I had said earlier that I would post my mock draft. I got about half way through it when I realized that I wouldn't have time to finish it, so I dumped it. No biggie.

So let's talk about the Lions 3 picks yesterday. I think they did well in terms of grabbing top talent. All three picks were for guys that just flat out know how to play. What a failed to see was the grab for an offensive line giant. Also ESPN coverage only lasts till 5:00 so we lost the last hour and half of the first round. Of course 5 hours of coverage should be able to handle the first round. Very sad. Next year, you only get 10 minutes and if you want more you need to fill our a 7735 Form B for an extra 5 minutes.

So why haven't I been doing much updating. Well there was my second trip to florida and which was preceded by some massive gastro-intestinal problems that put me out of commission for a week, including a nice visit to the local hospital. Otherwise I really have no excuse for a lost month.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Heinlein's Mars may come to pass

Now I am not by any means a Heinlein expert. But I remember reading a book where he talks that the inhabitants of Mars had died out (?) before we had arrived on the planet. It looks like there is some biological activity on Mars and that alot of the methane must have been produced by decomposing material. In general just interesting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Review: The Street Fighter

You may think that this is referring to late nineties video game movie knockoff. Nope, this is original baby. Back in the year 1974, a series of 4 Hong Kong action flicks came out in the series for The Street Fighter.

The Street Fighter (1974)
Return of the Street Fighter (1974)
Sister Street Fighter (1974)
The Street Fighter's Last Revenge (1974)

All but the third movie stars Sonny Chiba. In terms of action films, the quality of the editting gets progressively better as the films go along, but the feats become more and more implausible. I am also going to say that flat out, if you don't like Hong Kong action flicks or if hate bad editting, just turn away now. I have had a ton of fun watching these 4 movies. There is a style that is so unique in the facial expression of Sonny Chiba's fighting that make this a lovable classic.

In the original, we have Terry Suguri (Sonny Chiba) doing bounty hunting for the highest bidder. At some point, he is betrayed by the bad guys and decides to help out the good guys. He then goes on a one man killing spree. Some of irony in the film is from the fact that the initial guy he helps turns out to be his nemesis because of "bad luck". Terry is paid to save a man, but the family doesn't have any money. The brother kills himself, so Terry sells the girl. In the end it proves to be his greatest challenge. Terry Suguri is not a good guy by any sense, but a man who looks out for number one.

The second movie, finds a slightly more loveable Terry Suguri. Again he is in the Bounty Hunting game, but is more selective in his targets. During the progression of the movie, drugs and the western oppression of the east come into play only to have Terry again triumph after near defeat.

The third movie has Sonny Chiba in it, but only as a bit character. The story centers around a female fighter who is out to save the life of her brother. As she progresses through the ranks, killing assassins, she comes to face the reality of what may have become of her brother, betrayal of family, and other very eastern type themes.

The final movie in this series (as far as I know) has Terry, who I would almost classify as a good guy. Trying to stop drug lords and also make a quick buck. He seems to struggle to find a lasting love that does not try to kill him after or during any love-making sessions. And in the end finds grief again.

What can I say. Just fun films.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Collaboration Tools

After being pointed to this blog site, by a coworker (James Reagan), I have been reading it regularly. One of Dave Pollard's recent entries is on collaboration tools. For me I see to two reasons to need this kind of article. Often time, you can't see all the different tools before you, or they start to blend together to some gelataneous blog of electrons. Dave has graciously put this information into a wonderful table with some strengths and weaknesses.

Business has been getting progressively more cost conscious yet the need to maintain a global presence is still there. How to do you meet with a team when they are scattered across the globe. Well this gives a few options, if you put them together. But now you require people to be tech savvy. But it is a start.

The other part that I saw, was I have tons of friends spread across the country and I have always had the strong desire to do some collaboration on writing (I can give ideas but please don't ask me to write a single line of dialog, unless you want some imaginative insults, Pringle Raper). But their is a revolution brewing where people can communicate, collaboration in a better way and it is darn exciting.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Lions needs revisited

Let's first start with the original list of needs I put together a couple weeks ago and tag any offseason movement into it.

  1. Veteran QB - Jeff Garcia
  2. Safety - Kenoy Kennedy
  3. Defensive End
  4. Offensive Tackle
  5. Offensive Guard - Rick DeMulling
  6. Center - Dominic Raiola (re-signed)
When doing the original list, I forgot about three positions that need help as two were filled by one year contract guys last year.

  1. Wide Receivers
  2. Tight End - Marcus Pollard
  3. Middle Linebacker (?)
So now we have a few more folks lined up. We definitely need to get an offensive tackle this year with the departure of Stockar McDougle. But from my viewpoint, we can now improve the right tackle spot. Stockar did an excellent job last year, but I can't really tell if that was because of Damien Woody or because it was a contract year. Didn't do well before then.

I am not going to praise the Jeff Garcia pickup. I am not saying he can't do well, but I feel like we just upgraded to a better McMahon. Mobile, inaccurate. Although version two is less mobile, but slightly more accurate.

For Kenoy Kennedy. Rock rock on. Great pickup, will be a solid contributer.

There has been no word on the Defensive End position, but maybe pick up Marques Douglas?

From the rumor mills, the first round pick of the lions this year will be on a offensive tackle, probably Barrons if he is available. What I have heard is that the top three picks will be for both sides of the line.

Rick DeMulling is a great addition, but for center, well, I will leave to my last blog on this topic to say. Marcus Pollard as the Lions tight end is a great thing to see, and would be a great mentor for Casey Fitzsimmons.

Which leaves us with Wide Receiver and Middle Linebacker. I think that you may want to upgrade middle lineback this year. I like Earl Holmes, but you may want to trade away or some other bargaining chip. I really think you could go into the draft and pick up someone in the second or third round, to play backup or pick up someone like Edgerton Hartwell in the free agency. The worry there is he is a 3-4 guy all the way, and may not work out in the 4-3 of the Lions.

And at wide receiver, we have the two young guys, then blah. No offense guys. You are talented athletes, but sometimes if feels like you are wearing concrete gloves. Nothing sticks. I wouldn't take one in the draft, but instead would look into the free agent market, which is not that deep. About the best one still sitting out there is David Givens. Pick him up. Please.

Sometime later I will start talking about my mock drafts.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Sun shine and the flu

Ok. I am back. I spent a whole week in Florida, in the Fort Myers area, and managed to feel mighty ill. It was a lot of fun other than that. Let's go for a day by day size up.

Saturday. Waking up at 2:30 am sucks to get your flight. Getting into Ft. Myers before 10am is pretty nice. So the first day, Michelle, Grandma and I went to the Fleamaster, fleamarket. Wow, what HUGE collection of fleas. Really a lot of junk, but some junk was pretty cool. Ate at a nice Italian place for dinner, and had too much wine.

Sunday. Drove down to Naples to visit with my Aunts and Uncles that live down there. Had a casual morning before leaving around noon and found Pat and Red's with no "real" trouble. Had a cook out at Don and Dale's and then meandered home.

Monday. Outlet shopping. Was time to let my wife do some serious shopping, which amounted to not much serious. Hardly spent any money (good) but visited a lot of stores.

Tuesday. Visited Six Mile Cypress Sloughs. Really cool place where we saw tons of native Florida wildlife and some non-native wildlife as well. Snapped a bunch pictures (have to develop as forgot digital camera) and walked around. Went back to Grandma's and played cards. Went out for dinner with my aunt and uncle for mexican. Starting to feel ill. Headaches, etc.

Wednesday. Sat in a boat for almost 8 hours. The result was to spend 4 hours on Key West. Got a tour of the island on "train" and visited the aquarium, and mel fisher treasure museum. It was really cool. Kinda weird. And all together very college spring break like. Except my sickness had NO ALCOHOL INVOLVED. Sad, I know. Definitely want to go back and explore the Keys more.

Thursday. Rained cats and dogs. Some frogs too I think. So being sick, I used it for rest day. Watched some TV. Played some cards. Slept.

Friday. Watched a rain delayed St. Patrick's day parade. Flew home.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Review: KOTOR2

Well I finally beat Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. The game can be easily reviewed. The first 4 planets (depending on the order you take) are totally awesome. Lots of content, fun stories, etc. The other 3. Horrible. Very little story. Disappointing.

Still roughly the same game as KOTOR, they just went on to create a new story. But this was a total rush job at the end of the game. How about a new idea guys. Write your story, then have two teams, one working forward and one working backward. That way at least these stinking games will finish strong. Halo 2, and now KOTOR 2 felt like they got 2/3 in and then the production boss said, "Good enough, let's wrap it and sell it." Well, frell you!

I would still buy it again. But not for $50. I feel like telling them, 2/3 of a game equals 2/3 the price. If you can get it cheap, grab it, enjoy what you can, I totally love the beginning to middle.

3/5 stars

Beginning: 5/5
End: 1/5

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Update: Lions' Safety

Figured I would do this one in text versus audibly. Detroit Lions have picked up Kenoy Kennedy to start at safety. This is very exciting news. I am hoping that Kenoy will continue to be a strong force in the Lions' secondary that he has been for the Broncos. Either way, I say it is good news.

Second the Lions also had an offer accepted by Marcus Pollard, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts. Falling into the older side of the spectrum, it seems that he wants to play his final years here and help out the Lions, and boy can they use the help.

We still need to find that competing quarterback. We also need to find another wideout. The rest of the defense I think that you can pick up folks out of the draft.

I thought more about the Brees option. Yeah, the Lions could probably go get him if they wanted. But for a person who has shown me only one good year, especially only after competition was brought in, doesn't lend for me to have much confidence in him. Now you have to couple that with the need to spend big money on him since he had one good year, I don't think that is a good idea.

Who should they get? I will examine that later.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Audiocast: Lions Safeties

Today I talk about the Detroit Lions offseason with an emphasis on safeties. I talk about Bracy Walker and Brock Marion with a look at potential Lions: Kenoy Kennedy, Arturo Freeman, and Donovin Darius.

Also talk about Trent Dilfer's and Kelly Holcomb's recent trades.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Roku media player and Open Source Community

Well a friend and coworker recently got me for my birthday the Roku Soundbridge M500 Network Music Player. I still think he spent too much on me, but I really appreciate the gift. The thing is totally awesome. Before in my living room, I had a stereo and a 5 disc player. Plus about a 100 CDs. Just a pain in the butt to operate (mostly cause I am lazy). So this morning I decided to connect it up.

Out of the box, most of the work was disconnected my old disc player and running the cable from the stereo to the media tube. Otherwise, I plugged the wireless card into it, plugged in the other cables and turned it on. I walked through a simple wizard to setup the wireless network security. I went down to my WinXP and enabled Windows Media Connect (a UPnP Media server). I came up and tried to connect, no dice, but the error message said to activate my device in the WinXP machines device list. Two clicks later I was listening to MP3's off of my computer. Awesome. I added all my CDs to my PC months ago for this purpose and I finally get to try it. The controls are good. The remote has an awkward feel, but the functions are easy.

Thank you John.

On to Open Source. I have decided to add to the open source community. I first did something that it seems most people forget about. Search to see if someone is already working on my concept. And low and behold, nobody is. Darn. I really didn't want to write the code. I don't code for the joy of coding. I prefer to code with a purpose. So now I have one. At work, we use a project planning and tracking tool called XPlanner to handle that stuff, but I am horrible at updating it just because it is cumbersome ot go out to the planning site everytime I work on something new or change gears. Accuracy is key in this thing. For a while, I was writing down start time and end time on the work that I was doing. It worked, but I thought that I coudl automate this process. So this week I started work on Time Journal 1.0 written in Visual C#. Hopefully we will see version 1 completed fairly soon. Maybe this week sometime.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lack of Updating

I am just going to say that I have been very bad because I have been playing too much star wars: KOTOR2. It is too addicting.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Football offseason 2005

Ahh, the football offseason is here. Not as good as the regular season, but at times better. It is better, because I don't have to see the Lions lose and of recent they have had pretty good offseasons (most noted by slight increases in wins). So with that I always sit there and have an opinion on how things are going. I like to analyze my team and determine what they should really be doing.

Lets start with a basic needs analysis:
  1. Veteran QB
  2. Safety
  3. Defensive End
  4. Offensive Tackle
  5. Offensive Guard
  6. Center
Well, I am talking about revamping that line. Didn't really think so until I went down the list of needed changes. I wouldn't mind an extra linebacker, but for the most part their LB core just misses a bit of speed. As for center, I really have nothing against Dominic Raiola except that he is undersized. I am looking at someone that can help move the pile get more rushing yards. Stockar McDougle may leave the team in free-agency, so you would need a new OT. Offensive Guard, I am looking at some youth and size again.

This leaves us at the top three needs.

The Lions need an explosive Defensive End. I would have loved to have Julius Peppers, but that draft.... So we need one. James Hall has done an excellent job, way better than I ever expected, but who lines up on the other side? Kalimba? At this point, I wouldn't call him a no show, but I would say that he is a wall flower. He showed up, but wasn't all we anticipated. Maybe the Lions should go hang out at the NBA draft, and pick the biggest, strongest guy to shore of the side.

Recently the Lions released on of their safeties and couple that with an aging but good Brock Marion, and you need some help there. I would love to see them pick up Arturo Freeman from free agency. I don't think the draft will cut it in this case as I think you are going to want some experience.

Finally, but not finally, a veteran QB. Sorry Joey. I thought we should have never gotten you in the first place. I wasn't much on Charlie Batch, but the one good qb of that draft went to the expansion team and I felt we could wait another year. I am still saying we should have picked up Quentin Jammer. Great cornerback.
  • Jeff Garcia. Please don't get him. My concern is age in this case. Are you getting someone to challenge for the spot to be starter for 1 year, or is it something more than that? Sometimes I wish FA was after the draft. Then I would say if you get either Smith or Rodgers (QB's) then take Garcia and use Harrington as trade bait to alleviate cap room. Otherwise avoid Garcia. And I say avoid him.
  • Brian Griese. Obvious yes choice, money dependent. Low bonus, mid-high level money. That way if he doesn't pan out and you need to get him to a new home, it is less of an impact over time. But one good year, a good quarterback does not make.
  • Who else? Draft? Not a chance. Kurt Warner? No please, too much of a chip on his shoulder. Jay Fiedler? I like Fiedler, but I don't know if this is the offense for him.
I guess I don't have a definitive on this one. Get Griese if you can. Take Fiedler over Garcia, depending on how you plan on using them. Ugg, I am recommending both Dolphins QBs and it is making me ill.

So, my surprise take that I think the Lions should listen to? Cut Hakim and pick up Jerry Rice. Some veteran experience on some young, talented receivers and the plus is, there are some miles left on the tread to draw coverage and make some tough catches with some of the softest hands in the league. No brainer.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sorry Laura

So I started commenting on Princess's blog and made a point, and then followed that up by supporting the exact opposite point. Damn split personality. To set the story straight, I like CSI (the original series) and I am not really sure why. Never sat and analysized it. Not like Sci Fi shows which I will sit and analyze pieces and parts. I do think this has to do with the genre (I am sorry, but drama is not a genre, but a style). The reason for those parenthesis is that look at more sci fi and it is drama as well, but no one calls it that. In fact, it does sound a little silly at the same time.

"Star Trek: Vulcan" The new series centered around the inner emotional turmoil a vulcan and her family suffer through as they struggle with a marriage to a human. Science Fiction Drama.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Kwings Win! and Hitch Review

Well Saturday was our day for chillin' in Kalamazoo. Did the shopping thing and followed that up by watching the Kwings play the Flint Generals. Chalk one up for the west siders. It was a good time. The way to measure it is I was a little under the weather and still had a blast. Too much rich food.

First off I got to say, "WHO NEEDS THE NHL!?" I would rather see a UHL game any day. More personal, lots of fun. Great action. Plus you have so much passion for game with the young upcomers and the old fighters hanging on to the game. Rock! Support the ";ittle" hockey league.

On to Hitch. Simply, a chick flick that is fun enough for a guy to enjoy. So the hitch is that this guy fixes it so poor smucks like me and other nerds, get a chance at love. The whole crux of this is that given the opportunity and the right conditions, love will form between that wonderful personal inner love delinquent and the beautiful. Made for an interesting, if partial predicatible movie.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Review Fable for Xbox + more

Ok. I haven't done this in a while. Of course, I have been busy. You know.

Fable for the Xbox gaming console is a great game but it is really similar to eating a single cookie versus eating a piece of pie. Sweet yes, but oh so short. On top of that, the vast majority of the game would be considered too easy. You play a boy who's whole family is murdered in a raid for no known reason. You are rescued by a Hero named Maze. Upon rescuing you, you brought into the hero's guild to learn the trade. Now, being a hero does not mean you are good, you can be a champion of evil as well.

The game includes some very interesting pieces where your appearance changes based on how evil or good you are. Since I am a good two shoes, I played totally good and ended the game with light blue eyes, fair complexion, kinda scrawny, with butterflies and a halo around my head. Evil, you would grow horns, etc. Also the time spent out doors will affect if you have a tan... along with the amount of magic that you use will affect the way you look. You can also get muscles by constant use as well as get fat by eating alot of food and not running around.

What I liked was the story and how it evolved. They kept it fairly simple in terms of twists and turns and you find your way to the end without too much trouble. I however was expecting tons of quests to take similar to freelancer or privateer for PC, but usually you get 2 quests to pick from and you can tell the evil ones. The only complex thing in the game was the character and development of the character.

I didn't like that it was too short, and changing your character at times seemed like very tedious work. But the final bad guy wasn't even that hard once I worked into a strategy, and I did not even have really powerful weapons.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
So what else have I done. Michelle and I got a new headboard and footboard, so I drove to Holland to pick it up but lost a piece of my tonneau cover in the process. Otherwise not too much else. Mostly working later of late. Lots to do and lots of exciting thing the 'pool.

So next up is to put together the new headboard tomorrow and get some pictures so that my parents can see it all together (they helped buy it as a christmas/birthday present). Plus tonight we are going to watch the Kwings fly into the future.

Friday, February 04, 2005

More movie reviews

So I watched a couple more movies.

First: Chronicles of Riddick

I know that I will get harrassed for this one, but I actually really like it. It was so much fun to watch, the characters were good. The dialogue wasn't bad. The only thing I really hated was the name of the planets the the "races". Argh, totally painful.

Second: Screaming Tiger

Wow. This was a horrible film and I loved it. I wish I could tell you more, like which actor's were in it or who directed it or even when it was made, but I can't. This is a hong kong action flick and just fun in a bad sense. It is a pretty short movie but you don't get to see the main bad guy till quite late and then there seems to be little if any antaganism between any of the characters. I did have trouble staying awake during the 20 minute final battle. I mean, come on. That is way too long for a 85 minute film.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Movie Review: Seven Years in Tibet

I don't know if to give it a bad review or a good review. It seems to be a movie of middles. Gorgeous scenery, mediocre acting, and beautiful plot lead to a picture that will make you wonder if it 7 years or 27 years. You get to watch as Brad Pitt's character (Heinrich) developes from an uncaring, self centered man, into a compassionate, human that is full of life and wisdom. The emotions of them film seem to run at odds with itself through many parts. I guess, it might be because I just finished reading "A Long Walk" which details the journey of 8 individuals away from the prison camps of Siberia all the way to India. It is one of those stories that you cannot put down.

Seven Years in Tibet is another rich and wonderful story, but I felt that it fell short in when it all came together. Of course this movie may have lost me as I am on cold meds.

Morale of the Review: Skip Seven Years, and go buy or borrow A Long Walk.


Fraggin' muggin' grumble grumble.

I am sick. So that is part of my no post. It is has been all of my nothing accomplished this weekend. Lots of horrible sleep. You know the kind, sleep two hours, lay awake for an hour. Repeat. Seems like a combo hit of the flu and a sinus infection. We'll see what the doc says. My guess: Take some antibiotics, get lots of fluids and get lots of rest.

Aaron out.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Ok. I wasn't fortune enough to have cable when the original airing of farscape was on. That being said, I had heard lots of good things about it. Now I was and still am to some degree a trek focus'd individual (however I would like to some heinlein like series out there, with some although they seem to be heading towards that with each new series). So I rented the first two episodes on DVD. One word: hooked. It is an amazing series with great characters, wonderful sets, and some excellent shows. Now mind you I am not saying that all are good, but there is an epic feeling of the undertaking of the crew that I have not seen in Trek and to some degree Bab5. As to firefly, that is on my to watch list post Farscape.

I am currenlty working on season 3 and have enjoyed the vast majority of it. For a while I was getting let down on certain shows, until I realized that it was the ones after major story arcs. Let's call them filler episodes that start the setup of another arc or are sitting ot in space. Once I saw them for what they are, I regained an appreciation for them as well.

As for the characters, Cricton as played by Ben Browder is just an awesome character. Rich, random, and dynamic with color that is needed in more shows. On a side note, before I go to the next, I am always amazed at the ability for a woman on a scifi show to be transformed into the ultimate geekboy fantasy postergirl. Just a side note. Claudia Black plays Aeryn Sun whose character shows much more stability but a also shows a steady growth path that is just a blast to watch grow. Virginia Hey plays Zhaan and adds a steady character with a rumbling volcano inside that helps play against the others so that when they are sane she is out there and vice versa. Anthony Simcoe as D'Argo is another great character who in the first season seems as though a teenager trying to impress and domineer, but in the later episodes, he becomes more of a pillar to the crew. Rygel's character is your classic thief that believes in the his own greatness as a leader and individual. Very wise, yet rarely puts that wisdom to use and is often seen to others as a nuisance, which is played well even though the characters are completely justified from history, but fail to move passed (to date). Later on they add moreo characters and there are other changes, but there is just an amazing chemistry for the characters and that brings life to what could have been a dead show (ala enterprise which does not seem to have any chemistry).

I guess the telling fact of the power of this show is the fact that my wife loves it and laughs out loud. Not a common feat. So watch it and welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

I have babies

Sorry Princess, but not of the human kind. My Sunshine Peacocks (Aulonocara baenschi) have spawned. Of course that are about 8 mm in length but there is about 20 of them hanging out in their momma's mouth. I would have never seen them except that I was moving the fish to my redone 55 gallon upstairs. I didn't like having them with the mbuna's in the basement so wanted to get them their own tank to induce spawning. In fact I think they may have spawened before but it was unsuccessful (other fish ate the fry I think). So cool. Maybe I will get lucky and catch some on the digital camera.

** Update: I have some pictures.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Another lovely day in Michigan

Ok. Like all good things, our brief dance with good weather has ended. Although to me it just means a nasty 3 mile drive to work...

Well more on that Weather SOAP thing. I was able to connect to it using Java versus .Net. So that leads me to believe there is some incompatibility with the date objects. Cause everthing else seems pretty darn straight forward. So now that I am able to connect to the SOAP service, I need ot unbind the NOAA DWML. Don't ask. I don't even know what it all stands for. However, this does not get me to where I wanted which was a client on my pc to give me the weather without the stupid ads and sit in the systray.

Oh well. I suppose this evening I can work on the media player 10 plugin that will post to a url, whatever is currently playing, along with some of the vital statistics like time remaining, etc. But I really don't feel like coding tonight. But I should. For the children.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bowling night

Again another bowling night is upon me. I haven't accomplished much in the recent time. I took down the tree. Last weekend Jim came into town and we jammed out. Also watched the playoffs. Plus it was kinda a birthday celebration.

But we did not record when we jammed although much is already available, there was an adlib portion that bust me up.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ok I am not going crazy

Ok. I thought that I just couldn't grasp such a simple thing as Web Services in C#. I tried all sorts of stuff, so I was just about to give up when I decided to see if anyone else had tried this feet, specifically with the NOAA SOAP service. Turns out someone at Microsoft has tried with the exact same results as me. I still feel like an idiot, but that is just back to a normal level. However, I may grab the PHP version which evidentally works and maybe do a cached rss feed from it. So where is my visual PHP IDE?

Got a new bed and have a dead appliance

For Christmas / Birthdays, my parents got my wife and me a new bed. Queen size. I, of course, think they spent too much but I really appreciate the thought. So tonight was the delivery night. Which also meant that the last 3 nights we have been cleaning up various areas of the house in preparation. Basically moved some couches around in the basement attempting to make room for a twin bed (failure) and then we moved the full bed to the back bedroom. Then lots and lots of cleaning. But it is in.

Now the bad part is our Washer isn't working. I would mention the brand but it doesn't really matter (technically I work for the company that makes it). So I do expect these things. So I started tracking back the date of appliance. We bought it 3 years ago and it was 4 years old at the time. Hmmm 7 years. Seems slightly short.

The main problem comes that would like to purchase a new washer, but that is a significant cost. Of course if the repairs turn out to be too much, then I will forego the repairs, chuck it, and buy the one that my wife wants. Let me tell you, with normal Christmas costs, this additional costs really makes me wish for a nice big raise. Stupid washer.

On a lighter note, I will continue on tonight with my relearning of Visual C# and web services. Specifically I am trying to create a client that will periodically get the forecast for the national weather service and display that information. Maybe automatically post to a site. If I feel like it. I don't know. Just playing. Next I think I will tackle a "light" weight bayes network. Sounds like a mini-party.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Back from the U.P.

Well we are back from our trip to the U.P. Got to see some family. Got to eat some good food. And got to spend our 5th Christmas with some family. So it was good. So we were up there from the 29th to Jan 2nd.

When the roads are 22 degrees and air is 34 degrees and raining, you can imagine the fun driving that entails. Now I really wasn't in Houghton for very long. Spent most of it out in Bootjack.

Did a little bit of Halo 2 tonight. I really should have been moving stuff, but I wanted to play. Bad me. So now I have to work double time tomorrow night as the new bed will be coming on Thursday night. So lots of large items to move around.

On a more corrective note. The TeamTalk item from Datel doesn't suck as bad. I got it to work from reading other reviews. You reall have to jam the headphone plugs in to get it to work. So it works. Good deal.