Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Garrett's Hallowe'en Haul

Garrett got dressed up in the same pirate costume he wore last year (thanks again, Faith!) and got loads of compliments on it as we traversed the neighbourhood. This year, we got two bags full of candy and hit up all of the townhouses in the area as well as a few duplexes on the nearby cul-de-sac.

Pirates say, "Aaaaaar!"

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Let the flights of fantasy begin!

I'm on vacation starting... about an hour ago.

Just got done almost 12 hours of work, but it just flew by. It's amazing how having the right frame of mind and being busy wrapping up loose ends before your vacation can make that much time just disappear.

Tomorrow, 10am... I'm at EB picking up my FFXII Collector's Edition box and then it's just a matter of waiting for Garrett to have his nap in the afternoon before I can start to revel in the glory of airships and intrigue. Woo!

Of course, there's that Hallowe'en thing going on tomorrow too, which is cool. I love Hallowe'en as much as the next guy, but I'm looking forward to it being over if for no other reason than that the idiots across the street will finally take down their yard o' spooky junk. They've had the front yard decked out in tombstones, fake cobwebs and orange Christmas lights since about September 15th. It's almost as bad as leaving Christmas lights up until May... actually, it's worse. It just looks junky. At least wait until after Thanksgiving before starting the rush towards tooth decay!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My TV needs your input

For those who are curious, here are the inputs and a few other technical details about our snazzy new TV).


2 regular RCA/S-Video
1 coaxial
2 component

And I think there's one more, but I forget. I think those are all of the inputs.

As for the resolution, it caps out at 1080i but given that very little is even broadcast in 1080p and that none of my game systems even come close to 1080i, let alone 1080p, I'm ok with that. I'm still trying to get the PiP to work properly but I honestly don't care about it at the moment.

I'm just trying to find new things to watch on it. My god, Last Exile looks eye-poppingly fantastic. It always looked great on a regular TV and now it looks so good I almost can't look directly at it for fear wanting to just reach out and touch the airships.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Does This Pumpkin Come With DVI Inputs?

We were down in Milton today at the mall to carve pumpkins. They had some really big pumpkins to carve... FOR FREE! We got a perfect round pumpkin and got it all nice and carved...

Then, in a fit of what must have been mid-pregnancy insanity, Julie was found in The Source today, talking to a salesman about HDTV's. We've been pricing TV's of late given that the cost of LCD's are dropping to rather low levels AND there are some good deals on.

So we ended up the proud owners of a brand-new 32" Widescreen Flatpanel LCD Acer HDTV. Woo! Not only that, but we're finally upgrading to digital cable and it's free for a year (due to the TV purchase and some deal they were having at The Source).

I usually shun The Source (aka Radio Shack) with a passion, but this was one of the few times I actually felt like they knew what they were talking about. We had an older salesman there who took the time to answer our questions and even talked us out of buying some things that would have cost us more money. Anytime you get a salesman who can talk you OUT of a purchase, you know he's not just trying to foist off stuff on you.

Plus they had a pretty good deal on the TV ($950) and even threw in a free heated ice scraper :)

I haven't had a chance to fiddle with it too much, but it's quite nice. The analogue signal we're currently getting looks a little grainy, but that's going to be rectified once the digital box arrives next week. Woo.

DVD's look amazing on the new TV and having the PS2 hooked up with component cables is quite yummy. Oh, and look... Final Fantasy XII is out next week, along with my vacation! Hooray!

I'm glad we weren't greedy though. We got the 32" even though the 37" looked mighty tempting. We were just barely able to squeeze the TV into the car trunk and it fits our entertainment centre just right. Plus it's bigger than the 27" TV we've had for the last 8 years, so it's not like we're getting a smaller TV.

Of course, we're not forgoing birthday presents and Christmas presents to each other for the next, oh, year, while we pay this off. But it's worth it.
What I'm Reading: Proven Guilty
What I'm Playing: Clubhouse Games, Contact, a bunch of stuff on the new TV
What I'm Watching: Shiny new programs... yummmy

Risin' above the city, blocking out the noonday sun
It dwarfs the mighty redwoods and it towers over everyone
I still remember when that delivery truck came down our block
What a lucky guy, I hear he got the last one in stock
And the neighbors are just green
They say, "That's the biggest screen we've ever seen!"

Friday, October 27, 2006

Goodbye Brain, I hardly knew ye.

My brain is already starting to go into vacation mode. I'm working a 12 hour shift today, but after it's done, I'm essentially off until November 13th. WoO! I guess that I'm technically working on Monday, as I have to teach a course and then go into work for a few hours, but aside from that, I'm already checked out, brain-wise.

Maybe I'll finally start to take a chunk out of my vacation time that I accumulated during the parental leave when Garrett was a baby. I'm not going anywhere, as Julie's still working, but I have somehow timed my vacation to fall right on the first day that Final Fantasy XII comes out. Coincidence? I think not.

I'll get put to work emptying out my office so that we can tear out the carpet too, but I'm just excited to have a new Final Fantasy game to lose myself in and time to actually play it.


I want an X-Ray machine

Check out these cool videos. The first is a very cool short film by ILM called "Work In Progress".

The second is an awesome commercial for a 360 game called Viva Pinata. It's just funny.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Garrett is SPIDERMAN!

Tony was in Toronto this week and we went down to the Science Centre for the Marvel Super Hero Science Spectacular exhibit.

It was very cool. Garrett loved the spider silk swings, the Daredevil alley and the Iron Man car-lifting simulator.

He also found out that HE IS SPIDERMAN!
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There was also this thing where you could trigger the area in the brain that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk and that's what we ended up doing the most. Fun the first time... not so much the 33rd time...

There was also this pretty snazzy infrared camera showing how hot people were as they walked by the Human Torch display.

There was a really weird goth dude who kept staring at it and doing weird things like roll up his sleeves, etc. while looking at the IR feed. I think he was amazed that he wasn't showing up as a vampire. Then Garrett would walk up the stairs behind him so he could see himself on the display. Nothing like a little 2-year old on thermal vision waving to the creepy goth dude to ruin whatever weird gothy vibe was going on :)

All in all, it was a pretty fun day. Tony & I were pooped after walking around with Garrett and going to all the different displays. Garrett had to be dragged kicking and screaming from this musical display where he could play with a little plastic guitar and watch himself on TV while all sorts of funky effects streamed by. Sigh.

Thanks, Tony, for the tickets! 'Twas fun!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Well, this outta be different..."

Ah, thank you Youtube for providing me with many, many examples of Galactica's atmo jump.

This one is pretty good and has a snazzy song that drives the whole rescue attempt along.

But for those of you who just want to see what I'm rambling about, here it is. I've watched this scene about, oh, 20 times and it STILL hasn't gotten old.

As for why this scene is so amazing, understand that the Galactica is a capital ship never meant to enter a planet's atmosphere. This is like having the Enterprise emerge from warp a few thousand feet above the Earth and falling like a rock. While under attack. And launching a full complement of fighters while doing so.

It's nice to see that the special effects crew from Firefly and Serenity have made a new home for themselves with Galactica. Gotta love sci-fi guys who actually make a passing attempt at applying real-world physics to a show like this.

Oh, here's a cool shot of the Pegasus (another Battlestar) taking out a few Cylon basestars. Mmm...

Stupid Sleep

Why is it that on a night like tonight, after having just worked a 16 hour day and faced with the prospect of having to be up at 6am to head to work... Why is it that on a night like this, I AM UNABLE TO SLEEP!?!

I'm not tired in the least. I'm sure I'll conk out once I go to bed, but I'm in that sort of jazzed-up wide-awake mode where I don't feel tired, either mentally or physically.

What drives me nuts is the knowledge that tomorrow night I'll be nodding off at 10:30pm and I'll probably be a zombie all day Monday and Tuesday (my days off). I never seem to be wide awake on the nights when I have nowhere to be the next day and can actually sit down and read or play some games. Those nights are the nights when the narcolepsy kicks in. It's only on the nights when I have to be somewhere first thing in the morning that I get ye olde insomnia.

Oh well. I'll just go and read for a bit and then see how exhausted I am in the morning. Grumble grumble grumble...

Come to think of it, it was probably the sheer awesomeness of the aforementioned Battlestar Galactica episode that has me zipping. Mmmm... intra-atmospheric FTL jumps always wake me up.

At least my blog gets a few new updates. Woo!

The Jump

Everyone needs to trundle on over to Mininova, download Episode 4 of Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica and then be ready to be amazed. This was probably my favourite episode of the entire series thus far. As BSG is a show that consistently ups the ante from episode to episode, that's really saying something.

This episode had some great character moments, some good plot development and above all else, one hell of a fantastic space battle.

Oh, and it had THE JUMP. You have to see this sequence to believe it. It lasts all of about 30-40 seconds, but it just sends shivers down my spine every time I watch it. I'm waiting for my torrent to finish and I'll post the exact time, but man.

Anyone who is on the fence about BSG should give this episode a try. Sure, it'll ruin a few surprises (you'll see who lives, who dies, what ships make it and don't) but I'd bet you'd be hooked.

Oh, and BSG has now officially surpassed Lost as my favourite show on the air. Actually, I've found myself enjoying Prison Break more than Lost lately too, but I'm crazy that way.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Hate Luke

My bestest friend in the whole wide world, Luke, won an Xbox 360 off the Pepsi/Doritos "Win Every Hour" contest the other day. Grr. I had received an e-mail about it a little while ago but never gave it a second thought as I don't tend to drink Pepsi or eat Doritos.

But first Luke goes and wins the 360 and then he has to mention that you can get a free pin every hour to enter the contest. So I ended up staying awake FAR too late last night waiting for every hour to expire so I could get a new pin number and enter a new draw.

Thus far, no wins. But seeing how the contest runs for another 2 months, I'm going to be busy entering this thing as often as possible.

And no, I'm not giving any links because I'm greedy and want to keep all the pin numbers to myself!

Oh, and Luke, if Anne decides that she doesn't want that loathesome piece of tech in her house, I'm sure I could give it a nice berth next to the other consoles here at my place :) I'll promise not to correct her spelling for a month!

What I'm Reading: Proven Guilty, a pile of comics, The Watchmen
What I'm Playing: Bully, Contact (hopefully), Yakuza
What I'm Watching: Firewall or Fun With Dick & Jane

turn off your computer and make sure it powers down
throw it in a 43-foot hole in the ground

Monday, October 16, 2006

What You Get When You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands

Someone really had some free time when they made this:

An ultra-detailed map of Springfield, USA from The Simpsons.

Oh, and Julie's pregnant again.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cause To Worry: Reason #489

I just ask Garrett what he wanted to watch.

He sat there for a second, said, "um... Colbert. Yeah. Colbert COLBERT COLBERT..."

Should a 2 year old WANT to watch the Colbert Report?

I think he just likes the eagles and bears moreso than the biting irony and political commentary.

At least, I HOPE that's the case!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Way To My Heart

This video is too funny to pass up. It's like they sat in on my community college class "Be Like A Katamari: How To Pick Up Girls With Your Awesome Videogame Knowledge".

"Wet. Cold fish. Eat!"

Garrett fell in the creek by the library today.

He was rolling down this hill that ended at the creek. He rolled down, stopped before he rolled into the creek and stood up, all proud that he wasn't wet. Then he wobbled a bit, took a step backwards and fell in the creek.

Suffice it to say, he wasn't too pleased, given how cold the water was and the fact that the air's a little chilly today. The ladies at the library thought it was funny when I trundled him in there with no pants or shoes so I could change his soggy diaper before we headed home.

On the way home, he started saying something about getting wet and eating a fish... maybe he was just hungry and decided to get his lunch fresh. Who knows?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Don't Open It!

If you listen to music on your computer, I demand that you go to Pandora, set up an account and then install Open Pandora.

I just found out about Pandora by way of Penny Arcade and it is one of the neatest things I've ever used on the net. It's basically an internet radio station that lets you pick the type of music that you like and then it finds other songs in a similar style to that song or band. You can then recommend or pan songs depending on your tastes.

Plus you can set up multiple stations depending on what you're interested in at a given time. For instance, I have an MC Frontalot station for my nerdcore fix, Dire Straits for when I need to rock and Amon Tobin if I want some trippy techno. I've barely used the service yet, but I'm definately going to put it through its paces in the next few days.
What I'm Reading: Proven Guilty (The latest Dresden book)
What I'm Playing: Valkyrie Profile 2... or Rule of Rose... or Yakuza
What I'm Watching: Battlestar Galactica: Season 3 premiere

I'll sure kick your butt at a game of ping pong.

Future Comic Book Guy

I'm not sure if I'm impressed or scared.

Julie called me because Garrett was getting into my comics.

I come up the stairs and I hear, "Deadpool. Thing. Hulk. Spiderman."

He's busy looking at the Civil War Files cover again. I think I should be concerned when a 2 year old knows who the Punisher is. Of course, if I was REALLY scared, I'd stop teaching him the names of all the heroes :) Posted by Picasa

Guitar Hero?

I asked Garrett the other day if he was a guitar hero and he said, "No."

He's just a guitar man. Posted by Picasa

I can't think of a good caption for this...

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Fall Clean Up

Garrett was helping great-grandpa do some yardwork today.

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Hmm... Who would win this?

This is a pretty cool video.

I wonder who would win. BSG has the power of actual physics on their side while Star Wars has the Force.

This makes up for the possibility that NBC might be buying Battlestar. I'm scared that if they did that, they'd end up neutering the series of all of its punch.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Adjustment Period

I moved my computer downstairs to the shiny new Ikea computer desk we picked up a couple weeks ago. It's nice to actually be downstairs and able to putter on the computer without having to sequester myself away from humanity. The only problem is that there isn't a lot of room for my mouse AND keyboard. I have to juryrig a mouse pad in my drawer until I figure out where to park my monstrous keyboard.

Sigh. I almost miss my giant board on 4 legs... almost...

Sarnia on Colbert (kind of)

Did anyone else catch Sarnia's brief fling with fame on The Colbert Report the other day?

It's in this segment (very funny on its own) where the Sarnia Sting show up. Very cool. Not that Stephen mentions Sarnia or anything, but it was neat to see Sarnia almost highlighted :)

Sarnia's around the 3 minute mark. At least we're doing better than Windsor! *spit*

Best (Worst) Fight Scene Ever

Ok. I saw this on Extralife and have to agree that it has got to be the funniest thing I've seen in some time.

I've seen some bad acting in my day (most of my friends in University were Erindale Drama folk) but this takes the cake!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lost: Season 3

Ooo... awesome opening for the first show of the season.

Looks like the Others aren't quite as savage as they'd like the Losties to think they are.

I'm thinking that this season is going to be a showdown of the cultish, but more civilized Others vs. the individualistic but more 'savage' Losties.

Be one of the cult and enjoy luxuries (well, luxuries for the island at least).

Be true to yourself and suffer a very rugged existence.