Friday, September 30, 2005

St. Reznor, Patron Saint Of Carpentry

This ought to be interesting.

Our church uses a variety of multimedia presentations to enhance the sermon or illustrate a particular point that our minister is trying to convey. I'm not going to get into the argument about whether this is good or bad or anything. I have no problem with it because a) our church's goal is to be a church for people who don't go to church (in a nutshell) and b) I'm the multimedia team leader and this gives me a ministry where I can put a lot of the geekery I am adept at to work.

SOOOOO.... as I was saying, this ought to be interesting. We usually have movie clips or things from TV shows such as The Simpsons, Oprah or Malcolm In The Middle, to name a few. This week we're showing the video of Johnny Cash's remake of Nine Inch Nails' HURT.

It's a fantastic version of the song and I'm curious as to what the thrust of the message will be given such a downer of a song. I just never thought I'd see the day when Nine Inch Nails would be played in church!

Hee hee

Too funny.

Get Your Nippon On

I came across this observation about why an idealized Japan is so popular with geeks. I think it's scarily accurate. I'd love to go to Japan but I know it won't be anything like the Japan I think I know and love. Sigh.

"For a lot of Western otaku, Japan fills the same function as Middle-Earth or Starfleet or twelfth-century England does for other flavors of geek: it's a fantasy world where everything is attuned to their desires and, if they could magically get there, they wouldn't feel like outsiders anymore.

In this Japan, nerds are the ruling class, video games and comic books abound, cutting-edge high-tech toys flood the streets, and everyone dresses in cool, crazy fashions. And, of course, hot teenage girls fight each other for the right to hook up with introverted geeks.

This fantasy version of Japan is seductive to a certain young, tech-saavy, socially awkward but culturally aware type -- the type that increasingly dominates the Internet.

Check the article this is from. It's a pretty neat analysis of a variety of webcomics and their importance or lack thereof. The quote is from the section on Megatokyo, a webcomic I've looked at askance once or twice but have never been drawn into like many of my friends have.

Corunna Bike Thief Manhunt

Ah, I finally am updating my blog again. Don't ask why I've been so silent. I just haven't had the 'oomph' to type lately, although I have still been writing my daily events out like a blog entry in my brain. They just haven't translated to the screen like I'd hoped.

Anyway, let the storytelling begin!

Last weekend the fambly all bundled into the car and off we went to Sarnia to visit the folks. Hilarity ensued and it was a fun time... UNTIL SATURDAY!

Garrett & I were headed into Sarnia from Corunna to feast upon the delicious delectations available at Boston Pizza. We were two cars behind Julie's parents and stopped at a stop sign just around the corner from their house.

Suddenly *CRASH*

A pickup truck decided to try to turn left from the far right lane on a four-lane road... It would have worked too, if it weren't for that pesky Neon that was right beside him in the left lane at the time.

By this time the in-laws were way down the road and Garrett & I were in the lovely position of having to do our civic duty as accident witnesses.

Thankfully nobody was hurt and the damage was minimal. The idiot driving the truck turned out to be some teenage kid with a bunch of buddies but they seemed to be scared more than tough, so it was a pretty tame accident scene. Eventually the cops showed up and I gave my statement.

Here are a few funny bits. First off, there was a truck in front of me at the stop sign which had a better view of the accident. After the accident the guy went out and told the driver of the car that he would stick around and be a witness when the cops showed up.

Two minutes later the guy gets back in his truck and drives off, never to be seen again. Hence my promotion to primary witness :P

While I was in the cop car, I had to wait for the officer to call his girlfriend and coordinate a drop-off point for his lunch. Both officers at the Corunna detachment were out at our accident scene and he need his lunch, stat! I also overheard that some kid was going around punching little kids and stealing their bikes. Supposedly this had been going on for a couple of days.

Talk about drama!

So we were fine, our cars were fine and nobody was hurt. I did get a bigger pizza as a reward for performing my civic duty though!

Credit Card, Shmedit Card

I went down to EB today and it turns out that what happened is that I was charged the used price for a new game the other day. This prompted the girl at the counter to charge me the additional $5.75 that I technically owed for the game but was not charged. Of course, she did this without my authorization or even without notifying me (though supposedly she did try to call me... it's amazing how answering machines never seem to work when important calls are coming in.)

I'm in a bit of a dilemma about this whole episode. On the one hand the manager explained what had happened and it made sense, in a 'My Employee Did Something She Shouldn't Have And Is Stupid' kind of way. I did technically owe them the $5 as well so it's not like I can say that it was an unwarranted charge. Plus this shows that there really was no scammer out there, ripping off my credit card.

On the other hand, my credit card was charged without my consent or signature. To top it off, had I paid with debit or cash they would have been out of luck and she would have had to explain why she undercharged me for the game (and I'd still have my $5.75).

I did say this to the manager and was kind of hoping he'd refund my money given that I had never officially authourized it. Unfortunately he just apologized for the incident and said that his employee has been told that it was not the right course of action and that it would not happen again.

So what do I do now? Do I get upset and storm back in there and demand my money back even though I technically do owe it to them? Do I just let this go by and hope it doesn't happen again? I don't want to waste more time and effort on this than I have as I'm satisfied with the explanation as to what happened and feel my credit card has not sprung a leak. I also don't want to feel like a shmuck for letting them get away with what is technically an illegal (or at least very shady) practice of billing someone with no authorization.

Hmm... Maybe I'll call Visa tomorrow and ask them what to do. At the very least they can send a grumpy note to EB warning them not to do this.

All you banker/financial types (yeah, both of you) that read this, give me some advice. My neighbour feels that I should have pressed for $5 back or at least store credit. I personally feel that while I didn't like how they got their $5, I did technically owe it to them and therefore shouldn't press too hard for money back that I really don't deserve. Sigh...

Serenity Now...... Again...

If anyone wants to join me and a few friends for a viewing of Serenity tomorrow (Saturday) in Guelph at the Galaxy Cinema there, let me know and I'll save you a seat. I'm going to the 3:50pm matinee. Woo! I can't wait.

Browncoats, rejoice!

What I'm Reading: The Gates Of Dawn
What I'm Playing: Online Scrabble, Sly 3, Indigo Prophecy
What I'm Watching: What Not To Wear

You can't take the sky from me...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Credit Card Conundrum

Stupid EB.

I picked up Sly 3 at the EB in Oakville the other day.

Today I check my credit card balance today and there are two charges for that day despite the fact that I only made one purchase. It's only for $5, but still...

I call TD and they help me out a bit but essentially I have to call EB and ask for a refund. I call EB and they say I have to bring in the receipt, to which I reply that I don't have a receipt for the thing that I DIDN'T BUY! The guy says that he still has to see the receipt for the thing I did buy even though I have all the information about the other charge (thanks to TD).

Sigh. So now I have to go all the way down to Oakville (which is about 30 minutes each way) to get a $5.75 charge reversed on my credit card. I think I'll burn more gas going there and back than I was actually charged, but I want to plug this potential security hole in my credit card.

Last time I'm shopping at that store... heck, the only reason I stopped in there was because it was on my way back home the other day and Garrett was still awake. Sigh.
What I'm Reading: The Gates Of Dawn
What I'm Playing: WoW, Indigo Prophecy, Get My $5 Back!
What I'm Watching: ER and The Daily Show

oh look, there's the ledger: overflowing with minuses.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cephalophiles Rejoice!

Yeah, yeah. I haven't updated in a bit. I've been busy traipsing around the globe, or at least to places starting with S (Sudbury & Sarnia amongst them).

But I'll leave my tales of vehicular accidents, my time in a patrol car and of whether Corpse Bride was any good to another time.

For now, feast your eyes upon this awesome article...

Holy Squid! They found a Giant Squid... Alive!

Woohoo! I love squids and their ilk and the fact that someone has been able to take pictures of a live Architeuthis just made my day. "The animal—which measures roughly 25 feet (8 meters) long—was photographed 2,950 feet (900 meters) beneath the North Pacific Ocean."

I need to get one of these for a pet. I doubt Julie's allergic to them. In the meantime I'd just like to apologize to our squiddy overlords for ripping off one of their arms. Woops!
What I'm Reading: Minnow Trap (while playing the count the grammar and spelling mistakes game)
What I'm Playing: Indigo Prophecy (awesome!), WoW
What I'm Watching: Lost, Sin City, Nothing (the movie, not nothing nothing)

Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm so lucky

I was just checking the Evil Avatar boards today and it turns out that I was the monthly winner for the comic giveaway for September! Woohoo! I never have to buy comics again at this rate.

What I'm Reading: Death Sentences, Minnow Trap
What I'm Playing: Radiata Stories, We <3 Katamari, Burnout Revenge, WoW
What I'm Watching: Prison Break, that cool Dragon documentary

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lost: Season 2

Soooo... what did you think?

I liked it myself. I didn't feel disappointed at all by the revelation of the contents of the hatch, despite all of the chances that it could have been very underwhelming.

Did anyone watch Invasion after Lost? It was ok but nothing special. I've seen body-snatcher style sci-fi shows on Space and elsewhere. This is just set in Florida. I might watch another episode or two and see how it goes. I really wanted to watch Threshold last week but I missed it and now I'm not sure if I should leap in an episode short or just wait till it is either cancelled or put out on DVD.

Sudbury Sunday Night

In case you were wondering where we've been most of the week, we went up to Sudbury for a little vacation from Sunday to Tuesday. I had never been to Sudbury (aside from a quick drive past it the week before on the way to and from the lodge on Manitoulin) so we went up there to explore and check out the science stuff.

I loved it.

We took the Chi-Chemaun up to Manitoulin on Sunday morning and I was quite impressed with it. They had a big play room for Garrett to run around in and there were enough kids that he wasn't bored. Manitoulin itself was just like it was a week ago when I left. We stopped at Ten-Mile Lookout, which everyone should see at some point in their lives. I've been there three times in a week and was blown away by the vista each time.

Science North was pretty nifty. I got to ride a Segway (as seen below) and would definately pick one up if they cost $500 instead of $5000. The displays were also interesting and the biology level of the centre was filled with great displays of bugs, fish and one sleepy beaver.

Dynamic Earth was also worth the price of admission. Garrett didn't really like the dark elevator ride down to the mine but he fell asleep shortly after we got into the old timey mine shaft. We got him a shovel and rake at the gift shop and he's been wandering around the house ever since, hitting me in the head with the rake, knocking over stuff... ah, kids' toys...

The one thing I can say about Sudbury is that it has supplanted Hamilton at the top of my worst designed cities list. Not to worry, Hamilton still has the top spot when it comes to most confusing downtown and the most egregious use of one-way streets. The whole of Sudbury is a mess of traffic lights and wierd star-shaped intersections, not to mention signs that when followed put you in a parking lot for a convenience store instead of on the highway to Dynamic Earth... I'm sure it has something to do with the awesome topography of the place, but couldn't they have at least TRIED for something approximating a grid? Sigh.

You'd think that I'd be taking it easy and playing lots of games on my vacation. I wish. I did play a bit of WoW last night (Battlegrounds ROCK!) but aside from that and a bit of We Love Katamari (woo!) and some GBA games, I haven't had a chance to touch a controller or keyboard. I spent all day today cleaning my office. 2 giant green garbage bags and a lot of moved boxes later, I can see floor and walls that I haven't seen since I moved in. I think I just increased the useable floor space by a good 500 square feet. Scary. But it needed to be done.

Now it's off to Sarnia for a couple days to hang with the fambly and hopefully see The Corpse Bride. Only one more week till Serenity!
What I'm Reading: Serenity comic series, one of my books...
What I'm Playing: We Love Katamari, WoW, Golden Sun 2, Sigma Star Saga
What I'm Watching: LOST SEASON 2! WOO!

Adventures Over The Weekend: A PhotoEssay

Julie even tried out the Segway briefly. She didn't like it nearly as much as I did. Posted by Picasa
Garrett the Minor Miner, taking a break from a long day of backbreaking napping. Posted by Picasa
We'd heard that inflation had hit Sudbury, but we never realized it was a physical phenominon. Posted by Picasa
Julie & I both tried lying on the Bed of Nails at Science North. I swear that it was more comfortable than the bed at the hotel. Posted by Picasa
I got to ride a Segway up at Science North. I wish they didn't cost $5000... sigh... Posted by Picasa
Garrett thought this bear was pretty neat. He really liked the fact that it had its own tip bucket. The bear does not like to share its tips... Posted by Picasa
Garrett makes friends with a totem pole up at Ten-Mile Lookout on Manitoulin Island. Posted by Picasa
"Uh oh. The bear caught me raiding its tip bucket!" Posted by Picasa
Unfortunately, he didn't even place, causing a temper tantrum not seen since the Emmies. Posted by Picasa
Garrett does his best to impress the judges by causing himself and those around him to appear slightly out of focus. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mmm... Shiny...

I don't usually put up Torrent site links but go here and grab a copy of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. I used this particular link and the video quality was great.

As the kids say, "OMGWTFBBQ!!?!"

I can't tear my eyes away from this movie! What boggles my mind is that Squeeeeenix isn't releasing THIS Final Fantasy movie in theatres. They'd make a killing! I don't even understand what 98% of the dialogue is and I can't stop watching it.

Anyway, if you can, grab the fansub and check it out. The Bahamut sequence alone is awesome. I can't wait for October when the DVD reaches our shores...

On a sidenote, I usually tend to put Final Fantasy VII down as the weakest of the last batch of modern Final Fantasies. True RPG fans know that FFIV, VI, VIII, XI and X are better than piddly ol' overratted VII...

That said, the fact that I can recall, on sight, the names and backstories of all of the major characters in FF:AC despite my not having seriously played the game in over 5 years has yet again reminded me that it does have a pretty strong world and a memorable story. I just wish I could stay on my high horse some more and look down my nose at the whippersnappers who think VII is the best Final Fantasy game ever.

What I'm Reading: Death Sentences
What I'm Playing: Burnout: Revenge, Pandora's Box, Radiata Stories
What I'm Watching: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Friday, September 16, 2005


I'd heard that Nintendo's new controller for the Revolution was going to be different...

I never realized it was going to be THIS different!

It's like playing with a movement sensitive remote control... I have to say that I'm curious, but somewhat fearful...

Come, Be Judgemental!

I almost forgot to put this in.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the Baby Contest and Barbeque (losers will be eaten) at the Acton Fall Fair.

Come on down and cheer on Garrett as he struts his stuff and shows those other babies how a real boy with flashy shoes can stomp around and throw temper tantrums... er... I mean... how he can be a perfect gentleman and smile with class and charm.

If I'm not mistaken, the show starts around 1:00 (pm, of course). Just follow your ears to the tent full of crying babies. Hopefully we'll see some of you there!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Garrett gets a game

I was down in Milton at Microplay checking to see if anyone had any firm date for the release of We Love Katamari, as EB seems to keep shoving the date back every time I ask them (turns out it's coming out on the 20th, not the 6th as previously advertised!)

Anyway, while I was down there Garrett was walking around and started hitting things with these sticks he found on the ground. The Microplay guy said that they were from this game called Taiko Drum Master which I'd seen about a year ago when it came out but hadn't bothered to get because it was hellishly expensive.

Well, it turns out that they had it on sale! Far be it from me to deny my one and only son a game that he seems to enjoy, especially as it was previously going for upwards of $75 but was now a mere $35.

The cool thing is that it has this drum that comes with the game that hooks into the PS2. You can then hit the drum with these big sticks or just kick it (as Garrett was doing while lying on his back) and have a blast. I was actually able to get Garrett to hold one stick and hit the drum while I hit it with another one and he seemed to really like it.

Finally, a videogame that a toddler can play :)

I just think it's cool. And it's made by the Katamari guys so it's not only wacky, it also has the Katamari theme song as one of the songs you can play along to.

Here is a shot of the drums (you can see the game in the background)

Bacteria, Ahoy!

I finally had enough of watching lung tissue go flying out every time I coughed so I took a trip to my friendly neighbourhood doctor and got checked up today.

Turns out I have bronchitis. Yay.

I'm on some funky antibiotics for the next 5 days that are making me feel worse than I did before I took them... Double yay. Ah well. I only have to work a 12 hour shift tomorrow and then I'm off for about 13 days or so.

Triple yay!

I'm off to play some Burnout: Revenge until The Daily Show comes on. I'm just glad I don't have pneumonia!

What I'm Reading: Death Sentences, instructions on my pills
What I'm Playing: Taiko Drum Master, Burnout: Revenge
What I'm Watching: Daily Show

now I'm ghoulishly fraught with a [koff koff koff].

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Putting Garrett To Work

The funny part is that he just picked up the vacuum and started pretending to clean. Posted by Picasa
We finally decided that enough is enough. Garrett's going to have to earn his room and board from now on. Thankfully he's taken a liking to the vacuum cleaner. Posted by Picasa
Here's a shot of the boys in the rabbit ears. Posted by Picasa
Here's another one! You decide which is best. Posted by Picasa
Here's a shot of Garrett looking at one of the chimps at the zoo... or was it an orangutan? I forget... Posted by Picasa


I've been watching the Evolution, Schmevolution series of shows on The Daily Show this past week and it's been a very funny look at the debate between teaching evolution and creationism, er, Intelligent Design in US schools.

Little did I know that this whole debate has opened up a new school of thought. Yup. I'm talking about the FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER!

'But while the "theory" [of intelligent design] relies on the existence of a god, it does not specify which god. It was only when the state of Kansas announced earlier this year that its schools could teach ID in science classes that the Flying Spaghetti Monster made Himself widely known.

In an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education in July, Mr Henderson wrote: "I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

"I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster."

I think it's awesome, if for no other reason than the following:

"...According to the creed of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, every Friday is a religious holiday, while true believers are urged to dress as pirates because of their founder's discovery of a causal relationship between global warming and a decline in the number of buccaneers in the past 200 years."

I dare anyone to prove otherwise!

What I'm Reading: Death Sentences, Minnow Trap
What I'm Playing: Radiata Stories, WoW
What I'm Watching: My ears bleed as I listen to Canadian Idol

Monday, September 12, 2005

I'm not dead yet!

Just a quick blurb here to say that yes, I am alive.

If you were wondering about the lack of updates over the last week, I was up on Manitoulin Island with the guys from work at a resort for 6 days. Yup, I have a tough job sometimes. Getting up and going fishing every morning AND getting paid for it was nice. We saw a lot of gorgeous views and while it wasn't a vacation, it did have its moments (see the above fishing statement).

Unfortunately, I seem to have contracted the rare Manitoulin Mumps which bear a strong resemblance to my yearly death cold. I'm not sure if it was just the crazy long drives back and forth or the fact that I was sleeping in a really cold cabin and sitting on a boat in the middle of the lake for a chunk of the week. Suffice it to say, I'm sick today. It could be this stupid heat blast too.

I'll post a bigger blurb (hopefully) tomorrow as my only real plans are to go to Guelph and pick up We Love Katamari. That seems to be a bust as the EB site now says it's not shipping until Sept. 20 (this despite the EB guys saying that it's in transit to the store and should be there on Tuesday).

As long as I'm not popping Tylenol Sinus tablets like I have been today I should be good to blather tomorrow.

I'm going to go curl up on the couch now.

What I'm Reading: Minnow Trap
What I'm Playing: Radiata Stories
What I'm Watching: Prison Break

let's gobble on that infant. infants are useless.
also very soft, which is good, 'cause I'm toothless.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Straight Talk

I'm sure most of you have heard or seen coverage of the insanity in New Orleans over the last few days. If you haven't, I'm sure you're enjoying the bottom of the rock you've been living under :)

One of the most heartfelt pleas for help that I've heard is this interview with the Mayor of New Orleans.

I'd recommend listening to the uncensored version here on the net as it really conveys how desperate things are.

And that's that with that.

There isn't a cure for what I have...

I think I've got Ludditis.

Between my computer locking up last night and giving me some kind of hardware power warning in the BIOS when I rebooted (I never did find out what the warning actually was for), my internet being down subsequent to that and then my DVD player acting all wonky when I went to watch a movie later on...

Yup. I've got Ludditis.

If the Xbox had belched flames after I turned it on, it would have just been another symptom.

What I'm Reading: Night Watch
What I'm Playing: DS2, WoW, Darkwatch
What I'm Watching: Something on TV. My next 3 days whiz by far too fast...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

It's Your Birthday, Hey Davey, Get Busy...

Today marks my widdle brudder Dave's foray into his 28th trip around the sun (yes, that means he just turned 27).

To celebrate, I shall put his favourite piece of art up on my site.

Dave, feast your eyes upon...


Enjoy what's left of your birthday, bro.
What I'm Reading: Night Watch
What I'm Playing: Sudoku (EVIL!), WoW, DS2
What I'm Watching: Suspect Zero