Monday, January 31, 2005

Crowds

I hate crowds. mostly. Specifically the ones on the canal this weekend. they're not the worst crowds ever, because mostly, theyre nice people out to get some fresh air and have some fun. they're friendly, they'll talk to you. but they'll also go the wrong way and try and run you down on a pair of ice skates. or step directly in front of you, oblivious to anything around them. i guess its the same with ottawa drivers too. twice this week i almost got in accidents, and it wasn't just "oh that guy is driving a little agressively", it almost seemed if they were gunning for me.

first this lady doesn't get into the turning lane all the way with her enormous gas guzzling mini-van, blocking my entire lane, forcing me to brake to a complete stop, while she chats on her cell phone. second, this guy pulls over and cuts me off, and i brake as hard as i possibly can, and barely miss him. he's oblivious to the fact that he almost caused an accident. shoulder check for god sakes! this is the kind of thing that causes road rage.

So in better news, I've gotten my new iPod shuffle. i realized after i ordered it that i should have gotten the 1gig model instead of the 512mb, because it's a better value. but i was very excited, so i was just pressing order buttons as if it was going to be impossible to get in 10 more minutes. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful little music device. im really impressed with battery life, capacity, convenience and weight. its the perfect companion for a short road trip, or a long cycle/jog/skate/ski. it comes with a lanyard to wear it around your neck with, and a set of white earbuds which are quite comfortable and stylish. if you get one, put the foam covers on your buds, they're not just for comfort, they help the sound quality.

and in other purchases, after a breif and painful skating session on the canal on saturday.. loralei and I decided that it was time for new skates. so sunday we went shopping for new skates, and got a couple of really comfortable pairs that should last us for 20 odd years or so. till they come out with hover-skates or something at least. this weekend was actually my first time on the canal skating, and the first time I had been on skates for about 8 years. so it was a learning experience, but no major spills or anything. the weekend weather was nice and warm to allow just about everyone to get out and enjoy a breif break from the cold to enjoy some winter activities. speaking of other wintery activities, winterlude starts next weekend. I'll be all set to go out with my new canon and the tripod. I kind of have to restock my pictures folder after having the HD crash a while ago, so this will be a good opportunity.

Work is getting a little hectic. finishing up reports here and there. communication is a real problem here at work, getting everyone "on the same page". so often you're working on a document that the requirements have changed for, but you have no idea. kind of frustrating, but I've just learned to accept that kind of disorganization here. what else can i do really? get upset? im afraid other people here are doing enough of that, and it never seems to get them anywhere, except one step closer to a coronary.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Picasa

The photos below were just to test out the new toy I downloaded today. Picasa. It's this REALLY nice photo program that lets you optimize, edit, blog, share and do whatever to your photos.

It's so nice, words can't even describe how nice it is. You should just go get it yourself. It did such a nice job of organizing all my photos and publishing them, and fixing the color/contrast, etc.

The best part is that it's owned by google, so it ties into my blog on blogspot, my gmail account, and another program called "hello!", which lets you share photos and chat.

Get it! That is all.
the rear end Posted by Hello
Whoops! Posted by Hello

Friday, January 07, 2005

Holiday recap

Well, the christmas tree went down last night. I guess that signifies that the holidays are officially over with.

I've been in holiday mode for an entire month. I've had my fill i think by now. every year theres so many families to visit, and too many friends to make the rounds with. I drove back to PEI for christmas again, which was a little tricky driving in some parts.

I keep saying that the next time I drive to PEI, I'm just going to get a big cushy rental car with unlimited kms for a week. just to make the drive more pleasant and comfortable, and to save wear and tear on my own set of wheels. maybe a big suv, or a cushy luxury sedan. heck even a minivan would make for a great roadtrip ride.

Anyways, got a lot of snow dumped on me on the monday of the PEI trip. 30cm in one day. the trip was very short to begin with: driving down friday and driving back tuesday. so monday was really the only day when i would have had a chance to visit with friends, since christmas and boxing day are always spent with family. so i didnt get a chance to see any of my friends really. I also didnt go to any boxing day shopping due to having no sunday shopping in PEI, and then the blizzard on monday. So I missed out on the future shop sales. Usually the future shop in charlottetown on boxing day is like a techgeek reunion. Usually Joey and Steven are there, and Sarah and Justin, and a bunch of people from Holland College.

Ate way too much. Especially at the Ottawa family get-togethers.

Couple of good things in the present dept. this year. I got Cranium, a neat board game which is sort of a combination of a bunch of other games, so it has some variety. it's well done. I actually ended up playing this at Jeremy and Laurie's place about a week before, but now I have my own copy :) My family and I are giving donations again this year instead of the commercial christmas the rest of the world seems to be following. which is cool. I'm giving away my donation this year to tsunami victims. last year it was the heart and stroke foundation. I already explained giving away christmas donations in another post in my journal, although that post is now gone because of the HD crash, so maybe ill explain it again next christmas, or some other time when im less lazy.

I also scored a breadmaker, a blender, and a rice cooker. I've been keeping busy in the kitchen making loaves of this and that, and a pizza crust. its quite nice. it may eventually fall into the "i never use this kitchen device" dept. but it's fun for now. as far as the blender goes, I havent tried it out yet, but I'm really hoping it crushes ice well. you know for margaritas or other girly drinks. there was this blender casper's dad had at his house one year that was amazing! it was like 5 horsepower, and would suck ice down and shred it in about 2 seconds. really impressive.

that's it for now. maybe more later. back to work. zug zug

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I'm a convert!

Allright! you mozilla geeks win. its been a long uphill battle, but you finally won me over. I'll admit that firefox rules, and is now my default browser.

They finally got the rendering right. i have to say it does just about everything perfectly.

security, bam! its all about security. most people develop their hacks for IE, so firefox is tight right now, and IE is old and busted. no popups, no sneaky script backdoors, no spyware, no bogus activex controls, total control over what can be done via scripts. etc.

and people are actually programming useful extensions for firefox. this is what really won me over. there are lots of great extensions that make your browsing experience a whole lot nicer. lots of "it would be great if i could..." type of things.

theres also lots of tweaks to it, such as the pipelining and the inline autocomplete. and lots more i havent found yet.

Another great thing I've started using since i switched to firefox is RSS feeds, which are hooked into live bookmarks. you basically maintain a list of your links online, with tags to categorize things. which ends up being better than bookmark folders, because some things will fit into more than 1 category sometimes, and you can just add more than 1 tag to reflect that. it's a little difficult to wrap your head around at first, but its very nice. best way to have your bookmarks with you at all times.

I'll post later on about the holidays, i just had to put that blurb out there.