Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Don't Wanna Work

Well, Julie is off work now until January. We put the baby car seat in her car today and I've been charged with ensuring that I always have the cell phone with me now when I leave the house, just in case.

Julie was in to see the doctor the other day and when she said, "See you next Wednesday," the doctor said, "Maybe you will, maybe I'll see you a bit sooner."


I'm scheduled off work from April 14th to the end of the month and while I'm not holding my breath that the baby will wait until then to come, I'd like him/her/it to wait until at least this weekend, if not Friday the 13th...

We're still trying to pick out a boy's name. I have one that I really like but Julie hates it. The rest of the ones she floats by me either seem too trendy or I know people who have that name and I don't like them :)

We're settled on a girl's name though, so we're set if it's a girl. Who knows...

April Fool's!

Here's a pretty spiffy list of the top ten April Fool's pranks.

Sadly, I haven't thought of any good jokes for this year. Our luck, the baby will decide to come today for its April Fool's prank.

Otherwise, Garrett's got a cold (he's all stuffed up) and that has made him such a pleasure to deal with over the last day or two. He's alternating from sucky sicky to abominable monster way too fast. It's kind of cute to watch the medicine kick in and have him go from crying and yelling at us to asking for stories and being rather pleasant :)

Sigh. Kids...

And speaking of April Fool's, I can't believe it's already April. What has happened to this year? CRAZY!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Paulo Lies....

So, who else loved last night's Lost? It was very cool to see all of these various momentous occasions from the last three seasons through the eyes of someone who wasn't wrapped up in the mystique and mystery that the main characters are so involved in.

And it also sucked to be Nikki & Paulo... I loved the ending.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Welcome Back, Commander

Command & Conquer 3, baby. I had a $15 off coupon for anything from Electronic Arts since my birthday was a week or so ago and so I pre-ordered C&C 3 a few weeks back. It came out yesterday and while I was down at EB, I saw a stack of boxes for the game and was kicking myself for ordering it from EA directly.

I expected it to take a good week or so to arrive, given that it was shipping from the States. I also figured I'd end up getting dinged for duty or some such nonsense. Imagine my surprise when I showed up home after work today to see a great big box in the front hallway. Lo and behold, my copy of C&C3 was inside! Woo! That was pretty fast, especially given that it was shipped from Kentucky yesterday.

Command & Conquer is one of my favourite game series of all time and from the demo that was released a few weeks back, I have high hopes for this game. Plus it has some pretty big name stars in the full-motion video bits. I'm talking Billy Dee Williams, Josh Holloway, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park and Michael Ironsides, amongst others. Yup. Two people from Battlestar Galactica and Sawyer from Lost are in my game (plus I just noticed that Billy Dee was in Lost tonight as well, which made me chuckle).

Can't wait for Lost to finish so I can dive into the green glow of Tiberium that is Command & Conquer.

Oh, the one sad note is that the installation program is a boring Installshield loader instead of the awesome ones from back in the day.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Zombie Alert

I had a VERY long weekend this past weekend. Work was fine, but the shifts were long and BORING.

The kicker was that after working a 12 hour shift on Sunday, I had to be up bright and early yesterday to do some training. I made it through, somehow. My biggest problem with the day was that when we broke for lunch, I suddenly realized that I didn't have my house keys with me. That meant that I'd either dropped them in the parking lot or worse, left them in the front door...


I got on the phone with Julie and had her call a neighbour and thankfully they were able to get the keys out of our front door and secured in a safe spot, but man... I was worried my TV or some other piece of electronics was going to have sauntered out the front door because I was half awake when I'd left in the morning. Sigh.

Now the funny thing is that last night I received a phone call from some company trying to sell us a security system. I wanted to say, "I just left my keys in the front door for half the day and everything is fine." Gotta love small towns.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Eve!

Wow, she's one already, eh? I was thinking about it last night and thought she must be turning two... but that wouldn't make sense.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Crossing the Uncanny Valley with a Jetpack

Check out this video.

Now, aside from the fact that the guy is missing THE BACK OF HIS HEAD, would you have guessed that he was a robot? Yeesh!

There's a theory called The Uncanny Valley which basically states that the closer something artificial gets to looking like a human, the more unnerving it gets for people to see. You can have something that looks just like a live person but it's the little things that are missing, such as facial tics, the way the eyes move, etc. that cause someone to think that there's something off about that robot or animated model.

This 'guy' really seems to get past that stumbling block... the fact that he's NOT creepily realistic is the creepiest thing about him!

Don't say you never learn anything while reading my blog. It may be geeky, but it's also educational!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Saga Continues

Remember how my tooth was deteriorating on me about a month or two ago? How I went in and got it looked at and fixed?

I'd concider a deteriorating tooth to be an emergency. Obviously the dentist didn't, since it got put through as a normal check-up, even though they only looked at two teeth (they found a cracked filling while they were in there).

So here I am, knowing I'm on a 9-month wait between examinations but as far as I know, the last time I was really examined was early 2005. Now I find out that the emergency check they did in February wasn't billed as an emergency and now I have to foot the cost.

Oh, I'm going to give someone a tongue lashing... when they get back from lunch. I just hope they can sort this out and I won't have to end up paying the full cost of today's check-up.

Crappy Day Just Gets Worse

What is going on today?!

First I have the whole glasses issue. Then the optometrist is closed.

Now I go to the dentist, get a check-up and examination done and thankfully have no cavities. It turns out that I grind my teeth a lot, so I might need one of those fancy mouth guards, but that's cool.

So anyway, no cavities, cool mouth guard, what's not to love?

Well, it turns out that my insurance company is saying that they're not going to pay for my 'new patient exam' as it is too soon after my last one.

My last 'new patient exam' was in 2002!!!! I mean, come on! Given the fact that it's been almost 2 years since my last check-up, you'd think they'd cut me some slack and pay for this, since it's a new dentist in a new town and all.

Sigh. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find someone to yell at up at ye olde insurance place, but it still sucks that I had to pay the full cost of the visit. No wonder I don't like going to the dentist. I can handle the pain, just not the cost.

On the upside of things, I did get my glasses fixed. There's another optician in town and I stopped by her office and she put in a new screw, replaced the nose-pads and even straightened the frame out for free! Woo! No more squinting for me today.

Ah well. At least someone is having a good day today.

Oh Come On!

So I take Garrett to the babysitter and on the way back I stopped by the optometrist to get that screw replaced.

Only one snag.




Julie just let me know about a little screw replacement kit that she had, but of course, the screws don't fit my glasses.


Death by Chocolate

This is a cool site. You can figure out how much caffeine or chocolate or mints it would take to kill you.

According to their stats, it takes somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4500 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to kill me :)

I've Got A Screw Loose... Literally

I picked up my glasses this morning to clean them and suddenly *poink* out popped one of the lenses.

Annoying, yes, but not the end of the world. Julie has a little screwdriver kit on her dresser so I headed over there to get it.

That's when, for some strange reason, my butterfingers dropped my glasses. Of course, when I picked them back up the screw was missing. ARG! I spent the next 10 minutes rooting around under the bed and through her pile of books, etc. to try to find it, even enlisting Garrett's help to shine the flashlight under the bed. All to no avail. Sigh.

So now I have to drive over to the local optometrist and get a new screw. On the upside, I have a dentist appointment this morning two doors down from the optometrist, so it's not like it's out of my way. I just can't wait to drive Garrett to the babysitter and then back to Acton without my glasses. My head is going to kill me.

Cod of War

Wow. I just finished God of War 2. What a fantastic game. There are a few annoying bits near the end of the game, but all in all it is one of the best gaming experiences I've had in quite some time.

I'm not usually happy when I am able to finish a game in a week, especially if I paid full price for it, but that said, this was worth it. Plus I can go back and play through it again at a harder difficulty to unlock more goodies, so it's cool.

The only downside to finishing it is that it sets up perfectly for God of War 3, which will inevitably be on the PS3. Sigh. Of course, GoW3 won't be out anytime soon, so I'm in no rush.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Post #3000!

Yup. I hit my 3000th post on Not L33T today! The sad thing is that it only took me 2 years to hit close to 7000 posts on Evil Avatar, sigh.

That's kind of why I was posting so much today. That, and I had some interesting stuff to yap about AND it is my birthday, so I can do whatever I want!

Except show up late for work tonight. Sigh.

The Incredible Colbert!

Found this image on der intertron and thought some of you would get a kick out of it.
Posted by Picasa

It's Getting Rotten Here...

How long can you keep salami in the fridge before it goes bad? I've got some german salami (the best and only kind, thank you very much) that has been in there since March 7th. It looks ok, but I don't want to die young... but it's salami... arg!

I just don't like the idea of throwing out perfectly good meat but on the flip side I'd rather not eat rotten food. It's hard to tell with a spiced meat like salami if there's no slime or fuzz growing on it.

L'Hopital De La Rue Mort

We went for our pre-natal hospital tour at Credit Valley Hospital tonight. Woo.

What did I learn?

There's now a 24 hour Tim Horton's in the hospital (woo) and the pictures of the ol' Wager farmstead seem to have vanished. I figure that'll give me something to harass the old ladies at the info desk about when I'm back in there in a month.

I'm Going To Die

The only way I could get something approximating a day off for my birthday was to sign up to work the overnight shift tonight. That means I'm going into work for 11pm and staying up until 7am tomorrow. ARG!

On the upside, I have a nice little stack of movies to watch and some games to play. On the downside, I still have to try to stay awake until 7am tomorrow and I've been up since 6:45am and going all day!

Ah well. I've got some yummy fair-trade coffee beans (thanks Codeboy & Blitzy), a nice mixed bag of candies from Bulk Barn (thanks Julie) and a sub for supper sometime overnight (thanks Quiznos). I'm going to come home tomorrow and crash for the day.

I will be quite angry at the sky if it's sunny tomorrow. I need a nice grey day so I can veg out for the day while Garrett is at the babysitter's place.

Border Issues Resolved

Found some wood glue, slapped it on the back edge of the offending sticker/banner and voila. So far, no fallen borders.

I think that the sticker adhesive got a little worn from Garrett manhandling it yesterday and that, more than a systemic flaw in the sticker itself, was the reason for the collapse this morning.

It's a pretty sharp looking room though, now that we have all of the borders and posters up. Garrett's room looks like, well, Garrett's room, not a room we made for Garrett. My little boy's all growed up!

Border Issues

I hate adhesives.

We picked up a Cars sticker border for Garrett's new room a week or two ago when we were doing the whole renovation dealie. So yesterday was the big day and Garrett and I spent a bit of time putting the border up in his room. Hooray!

Until an hour or two later when Garrett realized that it was fun to pull the border OFF of the wall.


Now, it wasn't a HUGE deal as the sticker was made to be easily removed from the wall if you want to reposition it. The problem is that for some reason this border REALLY wants to come off the wall now. I guess it fell down overnight while Garrett was sleeping. Sigh.

The wall is clean and dry and more or less smooth. The border also seems to be sticking up on the other side of the room, just not over his bed. I am trying to figure out what I can use that will help keep the border up without having to take it down and exchange it. I also want something that will keep it up without my having to worry that the paint is going to pull off when/if we ever decide to remove the border. As I said before, I hate adhesives...

God of Freakin' War!

Oh man. God of War 2 is spectacular. I know Dave has played the first one and I'm sure Grant has too. If you want to play the BEST action game on any system, period, play both of the God of War games. I'm a good 6 hours or so into the second one and am absolutely loving it. I'm finding it requires me to actually block, dodge and use more strategy than slash slash slash like the first one did, but man, it's still a huge pile of fun.

How fun? Check out today's Penny Arcade. That about sums it up. I mean, what would be a final boss fight for almost any game EVER is just an intro/tutorial level for the God of War games.

My only beef is that everything I'm hearing from people on EvAv who have finished the game say that it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Not Pirates of the Caribbean 2 cliffhanger, not Halo 2 cliffhanger and not Matrix 2 cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger nonetheless. Sigh. You know that means that a PS3 will likely be in my future (unless the series goes multiplatform to the 360, which I can see myself getting a lot sooner than a PS3).

Ah well. I don't know if I'll get much playtime in tonight but I'm definately spending most of tomorrow slashing my way through ancient Greece. It's rare that I'll have a game that I can finish in a week after purchase and feel that it was worth it, but even if it ended right now, it would be worth the price of admission.

Red Plastic Pants Are Bad For You

I have video proof!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I just noticed that as of Feb. 13 of this year, I've been blogging for 5 years. Yikes!

I could have written 3 books with the amount of text I've plopped down on this thing...


You have to see this.

It's a bunch of LARPers (Live Action Role Players, for those of you not nearly as nerdy as me) who are dressed up as characters from the God of War games. The site is set up so you can do little Mortal Kombat-style battles between characters. It's pretty funny and extremely nerdy.

The interviews are pretty priceless, especially Chubby Kratos. He likes violence, but doesn't want to hurt anybody. Hee hee.

Midnight Party! (In July)

Well, I preordered my copy of Harry Potter #7 today. I am buying it at the same place I bought the last book, The Freckled Lion bookstore in downtown Georgetown. They're having a midnight release party (much like they did with book 6) and this year they're closing down the whole street and are going to have about 4-5 stations set up to hand out books instead of forcing everyone to cram into the tiny store. Woo!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's Mason's Triannual Saleabration!

Happy Birthday Mason!

We got you a moose for your birthday... not just any moose, but Bullwinkle!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tune In For Spartan Week!

What a week to be a shirtless warrior of ancient Greece.

First we had 300 hit on Friday (and in case my last post wasn't clear on the subject, it's 18 kinds of awesome!) and today I got my hands on my copy of God Of War 2! Woo!

The release of GoW2 is kind of bittersweet though. It's great that it's out and I'm sure it'll be at least as amazing as the first one, if not moreso.

The sad fact of the matter is that God Of War 2 is essentially the last major release to hit the PS2. Now, the system HAS been around for 7 years now and it has a fantastic library of games, so it's not like the PS2 is going the way of the Dreamcast and disappearing years before it should. That said, the PS2 was the first console that I had ever picked up on launch day and it was basically the system that got me back into console gaming in a hardcore fashion.

Hmm... maybe I shouldn't be sad that it's seeing its final game. I'm afraid to think about how much money and time I've poured into it (and the other consoles I've picked up since)... yeeps!

Ah well. I'm counting down the hours to Garrett going to bed. Once he goes to bed, the TV is all mine and I'll be slicing up harpies and destroying the Colossus of Rhodes like nobody's business!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Go see 300.

Go see 300 NOW!

Oh my, that movie was awesome and I already knew how it ended.

Just know that you'll walk out of the theatre 38 times more manly than you were walking in.

And you'll have a strange urge to poke things with sticks for a few days.

What Did YOU Do On Your March Break?

We were bored out of our tree this morning and had nothing to do. Garrett's music lesson was canceled for the week and the Early Years Centre wasn't open either. Grr...

I was chatting with Doug and explaining our plight and he suggested Mountsberg down near Campbellville. It turns out that they are doing their sugar bush thing all week long, so 10 minutes later Garrett & I were piled into the car and on our merry way.

It was a pretty fun few hours that we spent out in the bush. I've put together a little Web Album with the pictures from our trip and you can see the stuff below.

I tell ya, it was worth going just for the monstrous pancakes and maple syrup and delicious butter (best butter I've had in ages). I'm still full.

Mapletowne 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Movie and a heart attack

Man, I really want to see 300. I was almost going to drive down to Mississauga to see it at the IMAX last night at midnight, but I didn't think I'd make it since my shift finished at 11pm... I also don't think that they'd look too kindly upon me bringing Garrett in to see it during the day today.

Speaking of movies, I found this recipe on the net and it is mighty tempting. I need someone braver than me and less prone to keeling over after eating this to try it and let me know if it's any good.

Behold: Bacon + Popcorn = pure awesome in a bowl.


There are a few threads floating around out there with some really funny cat pictures. I think this one is the best I've seen so far, and some of them are really funny...

And this one is just too cute.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert!

So, Civil War, the comic mega-event that ate up WAY too much of my time and money, is finally done... well, as done as it'll be for me. Of course, what do they do right after it finishes? They KILL CAPTAIN AMERICA!

Well, I doubt he'll be dead for long... He did get rather shot up in the latest issue of Cap but it's nothing someone like Cap couldn't live through. Still, he seems rather dead to everyone in the Marvel U.

Ah well. I'm just happy that Civil War is finally over. There's a new ongoing series called The Initiative but it seems to be going the same route as Civil War... ie To get the whole story, you have to buy 300 issues. Sigh.

Now that we have the kid coming soon, I'm scaling back my comic purchases significantly. I'm also very happy that this whole mega-event is finally finished so I don't have to read so many comics every week. I'm actually reading a real book these days! Eek!

What I'm Reading: Going Postal, the wrap-up issues of Civil War
What I'm Playing: Hotel Dusk, Chulip, SSX Blur
What I'm Watching: Lost, some crappy movies

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hop in the Way-Back Machine!

Ok. I spent too much time tonight on YouTube playing Find The Obscure 80's Cartoon with my buddy.

Behold! The TV shows that messed me up as a kid and also ensured that I'd never need to take psychotropic drugs since I'd already seen what an acid trip was like! (I'm looking at you, Dr. Snuggles...)

Willo The Wisp!

Dr. Snuggles

Read All About It (not a cartoon, but I loved that show)

Jeremy The Bear! (Who it turns out is called Barnaby Bear in the UK... who knew? It's scary how fast I had the words to the song running through my head when the song started even though I haven't heard or seen that show in about 20 years...)

and Homer & The Sugar (not an obscure 80's cartoon, but man, that's probably my favourite clip from the entire run of Simpsons :)

Ah, this was just what I needed after work.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Darth Maul's Last Stand

Thought to have perished in the firey fusion furnaces on the planet Naboo, Darth Maul lived on, relegated to a series of menial tasks on several backwater planets. After several years spent guarding a treasure trove of broken knick-knacks and junk in the basement vault of a local politician, Darth Maul took his last job.

He was Darth Maul: Guardian of the Giant Junk Pile of Acton.

We will miss him and his delicious taun-taun steaks.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Psstt... Want A Free Piece Of Wood?

So I'm sitting here tonight at 11:30pm and the doorbell rings. I'm thinking to myself that at this time of night I either have a crazy heroin junkie on my doorstep who will kill me where I stand OR maybe my neighbour lit his house on fire and is coming to warn me so I can grab my DS, PS2 memory cards and the Wii and run out the door and then go back in and wake up Julie and Garrett... I KID I KID!

Anyway, I get close to the door and behold and lo, it IS my neighbour. This is good because I doubt I'll be getting gunned down tonight, but I'm really curious about why he is ringing my doorbell at 11:30pm.

Turns out the guy had a spare interior door in his house and wanted to know if I wanted it. You'd think that kind of question could wait until DAYLIGHT. Sigh. Obviously not.

To be fair, the guy was hauling a lot of junk out to the curb for our BIG JUNK DAY and he figured he'd be a nice guy. This IS the same guy who walked over one day and handed me a box containing a Dreamcast, controllers and a bunch of games with no prompting whatsoever. It's just weird to be offered a door in the middle of the night.

Oh, by the way, this is the first post on Not L33T to get the NEW BLOGGER treatment. They finally figured out a way to accomodate my 2900 or so posts. There's not much of a difference that I can see, though I like the inclusion of labels.
What I'm Reading: A bunch of comics and Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
What I'm Playing: Chulip, Rogue Galaxy, The Restaurant Game, FFVI Advance, Lumines Plus, a bunch of games on the Wii with Dave
What I'm Watching: My eyes droop... I'm tired.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Brock Wager: Game Designer

This is really cool!

There's an independent game called The Restaurant Game. You can check it out here.

What is so cool about it is that the developer has made some great games like F.E.A.R. and No One Lives Forever AND everyone (that means me and you) who plays it gets a credit in the game as a game designer.


This project attempts to address two frustrations I experienced as a professional game developer. 1) Convincing human social behavior is difficult to model with existing hand crafted AI systems. 2) Play testing by people outside of the development team typically comes too late to have a major impact on the final product. This experiment aims to generate AI behaviors that conform to the way players actually choose to interact with other characters and the environment; behaviors that are convincingly human because they capture the nuances of real human behavior and language.

Friday, March 02, 2007

29-30 days is still pretty good!

So I snapped today. Blame it on the rain, ya ya. Or on the snow or my lack of sleep from last night or something.

I went to EB and picked up a couple games. On the plus side, I got 3 games for ~$100, which is a bargain. On the downside, I just couldn't keep myself 'clean' until March 12.

Oh well. Of course, I should never have mentioned that whole "March 12" thing because Julie is insisting that I'm a horrible person for raising false hope in people. Puh-lease :)

I picked up Final Fantasy VI Advance (my favourite of all Final Fantasies, for those of you keeping track at home), Chulip (a very rare and wierd sort of RPG/Adventure for the PS2 where you have to go around kissing people)and lastly, but not leastly, Lumines Plus for the PS2. Ah, sweet, sweet Lumines. I've been waiting for that game for months and it's finally in my hot little hands. I'm going to concider it an early birthday present to me as I'm hoping not to buy any more games for another while. It'll be hard though... God of War 2 is out just before my birthday, as is Command & Conquer 3. I need to stick to my guns and rent GoW2 before I buy it and also wait on C&C 3 until I've finished C&C 2 and the expansion.

So there ya go. I have SOME willpower, but not quite as much as I hoped. On the plus side, I didn't do any impulse buying today, although the 'sport accessories' set for the Wii was mighty tempting.