Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shuffled around

Work has been pretty insane lately.

I was moved over from my support role to fill in for someone who was working in a development role. I'm there because management fired that guy. no knowledge transfer, no nothing. just "get out.. now". then, after i spend another week on the new project development and start getting up to speed with whats going on, management fires ANOTHER guy. 2/3 of the original design team, and the people who actually know whats going on.. are gone. again, no knowledge transfer, just "get out".

So here I am with the one remaining guy trying to put the pieces together, and come up with a workable solution. try to figure out where someone was at, without ever actually talking with them. wonderful.

Also my days are now filled with meetings. half of which have no actual direct relevance to myself. also the guy driving the meetings doesn't actually drive the meeting, he just meanders and mumbles and doesnt get to the point. one poor guy in the meeting this morning was asleep most of the time. justifiably so, he had no input to the meeting and nothing to take away, so why even be there? I'm going to lobby to be proxied at some of these meetings. why should i sit through an hour long meeting when i have no input, and no takeaway? there literally is no point or purpose to these meetings.

On top of all that, the whole department is shuffling around. the guy who was on production is now working for the project exclusively. One of the helpdesk guys was on the citrix support position for about a week and then got moved to the project. then he got moved back to citrix support after a week of us training him. the insanity never ends!

Ugh, work.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No Love for Atari

Well, after getting through the horrendous 7 CD install of neverwinter nights 2, i've discovered that it doesn't run well enough to play.

I have all the latest drivers, an awesome (and expensive) month old gaming PC, etc. but it runs around 5 FPS. completely unenjoyable. core2duo 6600 @ 2.4ghz, 2 gb of DDR2, Nvidia 7950GX2.

people in the NWN2 support forums echo the same problems over and over. this is strange because the release of neverwinter 1 was exactly the same way. the game engine was complete shit for at least a few months after release. utterly unplayable. and they've done it again. I guess they're trying to get it pushed out for the christmas buying rush. which is likely more of a publisher thing than a developer thing. so i have sympathy for the developers who were probably forced to push out an unfinished product (that never happens, right?).

So Atari.. die in a fire.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Open letter to Obsidian/Atari

I hate you.

I recently puchased a copy of the game neverwinter nights 2. the ebgames guy tells me the words I dread to hear. "only the CD edition is left".

7 CDs. I'm going through the install right now and it doesn't even auto detect when the next disc is in there so i have to click the ok button OVER and OVER.

When will you come to the realization that everyone HAS a dvd drive. MAKE MORE DVDs! the CD edition should be the hard one to find, not the dvd edition. everyone that has a really expensive gaming PC to meet your system requirements, already HAS A DVD DRIVE!

The days of digital distribution over the internet are here.. are you suddenly going to leap from 7 CDs to downloading, and pass over DVDs altogether?

What were you thinking?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hip Government?

Someone in the government is evolving. how can this be? the government is.. has been the most backwards, most traditional organization.

Garth Turner gets it. he's using the "new media" to communicate with the public at his website, via blogging and google video.

I'm sure most people have heard the story, but here it is again. hes been kicked out of the conservative party caucus. his views are not the views of the conservative party. he IS however representing the views of his constituents, which i think is more important. this event has gotten his weblog a plethora of publicity. every canadian radio and tv station reported this story, so there are very few canadians who haven't heard about it.

which is great! in so many ways. He's pretty much guaranteed himself as an MP forever. the publicity was SO good for him, its genius. if he actually planned it to happen this way, kudos to him.

The nation gets a look at how hes interacting with the public. using the "new media" provides him all kinds of benefits. the public gets easily accessable information about what their MP is doing. he attracts a younger crowd of voters by using new technology making him future proof. he gets to have whats more of a "conversation" with the public via the weblog, where people can leave comments and direct feedback for him. this new media also allows him to speak unedited unlike TV, radio and newspapers, who can frequently take things out of context. he's created his own context.


now if only the rest of our MPs would take this kind of initiative and evolve.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Plethora of Photos

Just uploaded tons of photos on Flickr, including wedding photos, kitten photos, and some buck 65 :)

go have a look.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Autumn Sweater

It's freaking cold. Its almost sweather weather again.

This weekend was very productive. I got my WoW mage up to 54, hosted the mother-in-law for thanksgiving, went for a walk in gatineau park, and had friends over to resume our D&D sessions.

I'm always causing trouble. So I decided it would be a good thing if we hosted Loralei's mother and Ghislaine for thanksgiving, rather than going all the way out to her place. Loralei's sister lives right next to us, so it sort of makes sense. Plus it was a clever way to get out of washing dishes at her mothers place (she doesnt have a dishwasher). Everything went really well.

Loralei spent a day and a half cleaning the kitchen up from the disaster area it was, and cooking all kinds of things. I wanted it to be very informal, and relaxed, and i didnt want anyone to do a lot of work, so i thought a potluck would be good. I suggested at first that i prepare some kind of dinner rolls, and the potatoes. loralei said something like "if you want to fuck around making dinner rolls you can, but thats too much trouble for me". So I said fine, I won't. And the next day, shes in the kitchen and decides to make pies, pumpkin seeds, dinner rolls, and cookies.

I also managed to dig up a decent looking recipie for stuffing that involved walnuts. Loralei is always crazy about putting walnuts into everything. cookies, pies, soup, bread... whatever. everything has to have walnuts. so i bring this recipie to her and she says "walnuts in stuffing? thats just wrong!"

Our groups D&D sessions resumed again, after a fairly busy summer (mostly due to the wedding i think), our schedules are starting to calm down again. I was busy for part of the session trying to find some electronic D&D tools to help me out a bit. I came across the hypertext D20 SRD. very useful. I'm suprised noone has tried to create an AJAX app for D20 yet. a character sheet is the perfect application. Maybe I'll give that a go as "my first AJAX application"

I finally got some proper hosting for my website. I'm not using it very much, but its there and I dont need to maintain it. It was pretty cheap, their introductory offer was $20something dollars for a full year, 200gb of space, 2tb of transfer per month. after a year i think the rates go up, but it'll still probably be worth it. I can also host multiple domains and install a bunch of PHP/Mysql software in a couple of clicks. Pretty spiffy.

Anyhow I guess I should actually start work now, this week my only co-worker is home in Regina, so I'm holding down the fort myself. This is gonna suck :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Now I've got a fork and knife, I'm cut and carried.

Well, like the title says, now I'm married. it went off relatively smoothly. much more fun and less trouble than i thought it would be. I cried during the ceremony. Who would have thought that between me and Loralei, I'd be the one to end up blubbering? Pictures to follow.

Just got back from a trip to Toronto to see the Virgin Music Festival. It was pretty awesome, I think my favorite show of the 2 days was probably zero 7. they had some technical difficulties, but it was the most entertaining show I saw, despite all that. Gnarls barkey was ok, but not as good live as i expected. c-lo said it was their first time on the road in a while, so i guess they need to get it together. they got better as they went on. The flaming lips were amazing for the 3 songs they were able to do. the show got off schedule, so they only had a half an hour to perform, before the 11:00pm bylaw kicked in and they had to shut it all down, to the disappointment of thousands. kid koala also had an amazing but short set. i think he got 3 songs in, which is a damn shame, cause i really liked his stuff.

I moved my blog over to the new blogger beta. yay they have support for tagging now! (labels). I'll have to come up with some new template thingy for it soon, but so far its a major improvement. i was just about to switch everything over to vox.com since blogger had been so feature-stagnant. i think the new version even supports flickr integration.

more later, gotta leave work now :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


More fireworks photos up on flickr.


The fireworks competition is on over at casino du lac leamy, and i acutally bought tickets this year. how amazingly organized I am! :) The show was pretty great. apparently germanys supposed to be even better this wednesday. I took the camera and the tripod over, camped out a spot with chairs and all that. shooting fireworks is still insanely hard. its timing, focus, framing, and you have to adapt to the changing brightness of the explosions as theyre going off. i think the next one tomorrow I'm just going to sit and enjoy, and leave the camera at home.

The wedding draws ever closer. everything is going according to plan. more people have actually shown up than i originally thought, but thats a good thing. about 40 people is the final count, which should be cozy. the tuxes are ready for pickup, so i should probably practice dressing. I have no idea how to put on a tux. i hope they give me some pointers when i go pick it up.

My macbook power supply up and died on me this weekend. i guess its a new product so ill give it a bit of space for working the bugs out. they're shipping me a new one by courier, so its not so bad.

I've started a new tech blog about Citrix, and work in general. the name isnt great, but i like the idea. anyone got a better name suggestion?

Hmm, guess i should write about some interesting stuff I've found lately.

Zulupad. its like notepad with a builtin wiki. it even syncs between computers if you sign up for that. great for keeping info organized on a personal scale

Kiko has fallen off of my list since they dont seem to be fixing the bugs that ive reported, or doing any development at all really. so i've moved over to google calendar. it served its purpose, which was calendar sharing during the wedding organizing.

Wetpaint is one of the better new wiki softwares out there. It's got this great WYSIWYG interface. I've tried a bunch, they're all over the place from good to bad, but wetpaint is good for my purposes, and a little more user friendly than the rest. PBWiki was quite good too, having lots more features, its probably easier to manage larger wikis with PB. PB offers a pretty good editor, where you write in simple markup, and has UI buttons for all the features. Also PB has very good security and permissions management. One other thing PB has is the ability to upload all kinds of files to your site, not just images.

Vox is the new web 2.0 Blogging service. It's pretty damned spiffy. it hooks into flickr, amazon, etc. i might be moving my blog over there because blogger is still missing tagging support. so annoying.

And of course Flickr is still in constant use. slickr the screensavers also a good companion, and flickr uploadr. easiest way to organize and store photos hands down. i barely even use picasa now, except for a bit of post processing.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hopping the fence

I switched. I bought a macbook. Its a wonderful peice of hardware. Intel core duo processor, wireless networking built in. it can run windows as well as OSX. its only a 13" macbook, i figured i didnt need the pro version. it will do what i want it to do, and i can still do all my 3d gaming stuff on my gaming rig. OSX is pretty interesting, lots of cool software available. i can do all the productivity stuff i normally do, i can fix up my photos, do stuff in openoffice, create DVDs, and surf the web. and now i can do it anywhere i want. this is actually my first ever laptop, so the thing is quite a novelty for now.

I signed up for this movie service the other day. Canflix. Its quite nice. I've been catching up on some movie watching and tv series. its good. its like $20/month or so, and they mail you 3 dvds at a time. theres no pressure to return them unless you want other ones. they also advance process your returns if you go to the website after you mail them. so when your returns are in the mail, so are your new movies. i figure this is actually a better deal than the movie networks. you get to watch what you want when you want (almost). i was evaluating a bunch of potential dvd mailing services like zip.ca and figured canflix was the best. zip limits the number of returns and checkouts you do per month, and each extra one over your limit is $6. ouch. they also dont rent out games, like canflix does. anyhow, pretty happy with that.

Have a new addition to the zoo. a 4 week (I think?) old kitten. been bottle feeding it for a while, and losing some sleep. its becoming self sufficient now and integrating with the other cats. its crazy cute, I'll post some pics up soon.

for canada day we went downtown to majors hill park and saw buck 65 and a few other people doing a songwriters circle. Pretty cool stuff.
Buck 65 the rockstar

Then we went to my office building to watch the fireworks from the 21st floor. it was a nice break from the crazy canada day crowds, and it was much dryer up there. some of my fireworks photos turned out this year, but not too many. I screwed up my focus about 5 shots in, and didnt recover. oh well, theres always the fireworks for the casino to try on.
Sparkly fireworks

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Back on track

Yeah, ok, long time no write.

I've left my previous job at general dynamics, and i recently started at transport canada supporting their citrix environment. 1 year to 2.5 year contract, which is long term as far as my contracts go. so im really happy about that. and its just in time to finance the wedding. hooray! now loralei wont have to kill me.

so i did something the other day that i havent done in 10 years. i installed linux. ubuntu 6.06 (dapper drake) was the install of choice, since everyones raving on about it. its really great. except the hardware support. it has issues with my ati card on installation, and has zero support for my creative x-fi. i blame creative for the lack of x-fi support. their linux driver project page says theyre going to release closed source drivers for the x-fi sometime in 2007. 2007?! WHAT? creative is the worst hardware vendor ever. seriously, dont buy their stuff, your onboard sound is just as good, and doesnt cost you an arm and a leg.

anyhow, linux was kind of a breath of fresh air. windows has been getting progressively worse from a usability standpoint, with the advent of spyware, and other annoying applications. i think i could actually recommend this linux distro to anyone who wants to get productivity stuff done. e.g., regular office documents, browsing the web, chatting, etc. not a good gaming platform yet, because of crappy hardware support. transgaming.com is doing some interesting things that let you run windows opengl and directx games inside linux. its a subscription based service, and if you have the hardware to do it, you might want to check it out. unfortunately the soundcard support thing was a showstopper for me in that direction.

no sleep for me last night at all. i dont know how im actually able to function today. loralei brought home a kitten from work yesterday that hasnt opened its eyes yet, and it needs to be fed every hour or two, so the alarm kept going off and the kitten was screaming and i got about 3 hours of sleep the whole night. ugh. but its cute. we might have another addition to the family.

I've been trying to track down the alphabet of manliness for a couple of days now. chapters doesnt stock it yet in the local stores. the one down near the ikea has 6 copies on order, but has no idea when they're coming in. how useless. the lady suggested that i keep phoning back to ask if it was in, i said no. online ordering it is. that does it, i'm never going out in public again, i can get better service sitting at my house in my underwear.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Economic impact

Since I've been playing world of warcraft a lot more lately, I've been noticing some interesting aspects to the game.

The game world on a server is a micro-economic system unto itself. people are buying and trading and creating new things all the time. in this economy there is definitely a few places where you can basically be a middleman and profit. Identifying and controlling certain aspects of the economy is key to your success. I think i now find this the most interesting aspect of the game.

I've found a few spots in the economy where I can make a huge profit margin, and a many more where i can make a slight margin. For instance, if i spend my days fishing and cooking deviant delight (turns you into a ninja or a pirate), then its ALL profit, at an average market price of about 1g per stack of 5, thats about 5-10g per hour. but then the market has a saturation point, you can't sell 10g worth of this on a typical day. weekends move things in the market faster because of increased population.

Another good example of how to make a tidy profit is enchanting, or disenchanting. my leatherworker can buy stacks of thick leather on the auctionhouse for about 50-70s per a 10 stack. i can turn 5 leather into a headband, that i can either sell to the NPC merchant for 44s, for a quick profit, or turn around and mail it to my enchanter, who disenchants each headband into about 1-2g worth of raw enchanting materials.

Another market I'm in is bag containers. my tailor can buy the materials needed at slightly less than he can sell the bags for, and make a minor profit. only problem here is that again the market gets saturated. people only ever want 4 of your bags, however people are making new characters each day, which creates new demand at a fairly steady rate.

Its also quite fun to control the market values if youve got spare capital. lets say you do a search on the same item your selling, and some fool is trying to undercut you, seriously below market value. sometimes people will even put things up for less than cost. buy them up, and now your price is the lowest price, and you can resell their things later on for a small profit.

So to keep track of average market prices would be a complete pain in the ass, but there is an addon called Auctioneer that does all the math and statistic tracking for you automatically. its quite nice, and saves endless hours. i doubt id be spending my time as an auctionhouse whore if it werent for this little gem.

PvP is starting to suck, since i hit 60. the horde had incredibly good teams in the 50-59 bracket, but in the 60 bracket, we hardly ever win. I'm not sure why this is yet. it could be many things. lvl 60 players often have access to voicechat, ventrilo, teamspeak, etc. and are therefore more organized in certain instances. one might also argue that because the alliance player population is about double that of the horde, they have larger guilds, and therefore more opportunity to get organized. and it also follows that the more organized they are, the better they do at raids, and therefore they get better equipment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Once upon a time.

Oh and reading back in the blog it seems I never made a post about the tremblant trip this january. It was great, with a few exceptions. we were invited to go to tremblant for a weekend with Aaron (the other aaron), nick, and some unknown number of other people. communicating details wasn't well done this trip, as with other nick-scursions. the "chalet" was a pretty old house, with some pretty busted up furniture, some old used appliances, and about 8 twin beds (without sheets), and a couple of couches, a fireplace etc.

ok it wasn't bad, honestly, it just wasn't what i pictured a chalet to be. i picture a chalet to be a log cabin of some sort, with a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace, with brushed aluminum appliances, comfy beds, towel service, preferably at the bottom of the ski hill, so theres no need to park the car, and you can snowboard or ski to the back door of the place you're staying at.

what it actually was was some cheap furniture thrown into cheap house. you know the kind with the really thin walls. perfect for a college drunk-fest where people are just going to either toss their cookies up on your furniture or damage it. not so good for a relaxing snowboarding weekend.

so the unknown number of guests turned out to be about 12-14 people. ok so, 8 beds 2 couches, 12 people, and one bathroom with a barely-working toilet. needless to say the next morning, the lineup was huge.

and the directions, let me talk for a minute about nick and directions. let me say nick is not the best navigator in the land. he has been known to hold maps upside down, and get confused about which way was north. many many roadtrips with him has taught me this. to start off with, we ride from the perkins in ottawa, where we were all given maps. innacurate maps in several important ways. firstly, the people planning the trip weren't going to follow the map exactly, and this wasnt communicated, because partway through, the route on the map uses a ferry ride across the ottawa river, which doesnt run in the middle of winter. After a few hours of driving this detail emerged from nicks memory. secondly the map was innacurate in that it wasn't a map with a real destination. we follow the map carefully, and arrive at: a stop sign, on a road in the middle of nowhere. it is at this point we figured it would be best if we called Aaron. apparently they didn't know which cabin they were getting till they got there, which seems odd to me.

Anyhow, blah blah blah, long story short, we stay the night we live through it somehow, with a few extra bedbugs due to there being no sheets to sleep on dirty matresses with. my legs completely failed me about 3/4 down the tremblant hill, and i had to walk the rest of the way, loralei had a great time snowshoeing, Phil got a royal flush playing poker, and we all made it home allright. Also somewhere along the way I managed to overflow the dishwasher with detergent bubbles. Never ever transfer dishes from a soapy sink into a dishwasher, without thorougly rinsing them first.

This goes right in the books with the other nick-scursions such as the time he got left behind in algonquin park when we checked out the crater, the invisible chilli, and the guiness stew that never was.

Neighbors? I have neighbors?

And here I thought I was alone in this city.

Since we've moved into the townhouse, I've noticed something quite strange. Our neigbors are saying hello to us, and coming over to talk. Weird. At the apartment, we NEVER saw our neighbors, let alone held conversations with them. well, not entirely true, we occasionally saw our neighbors when they hogged the one washer and dryer every week with 6 loads of laundry.

I'm a little wary of inviting people into my place that i dont know, because ive got lots of nice things that people would love to grab and run out the door with, or come back for later with their friends. I was actually a little afraid of the movers, or the satellite guy when we moved in. honestly, they get to see all of your stuff, your home theatre, your computers, etc. if there was a group of people to "scout out" a robbery, these people would probably be the best qualified to do it. granted i've got home insurance, so hopefully that would cover my ass, but who really wants to go through that?

Snowboarding isn't going so well these days. I haven't actually been to the hill since the tremblant trip in january, and its almost the end of february. the move, the flu, and various injuries and bad weather has kept me away from the hill. I should go this week cause I'm feeling better and I'm mostly done of the move, but I'm finding a lack of motivation.

Snowboarding isn't the social event i thought it would be. i thought we'd get together and have some beers and share the lift together, and teach each other techniques or whatnot. but thats not really what happens when you're learning to board. what happens is you're on your own, your friends are visible for about 30 seconds after you get off the lift, not to be seen again for several hours. no beer consumed, no fun times had. because i'm alone on the slopes 99.999% of the time i figured if i was boarding solo, i'd just bring my ipod. but im afraid someones going to slam into the back of me or yell at me to get out of the way of something, so i can't put earbuds in, and board to the music till ive learned a bit more. Oh well, maybe I'll get better and start having fun someday.

Rotten Apples

I don't know how many of you actually deal with mac users, but they're everywhere. and theyre smug. theyve been claiming for years now that MacOS has no viruses. and there's a good reason for that. noone wants to build a virus for an unpopular platform. everyone wants to write for the mass market where they have a much better chance to spread. The macs lack of viruses and exploits isn't due to it being superior in any way, its merely a matter of popularity.

Anyhow, recently, in the last couple of weeks hackers have taken it to the mac users and developed some trojans and viruses of various sorts. so smug mac users, up yours. you're just now starting a long journey down a road where hackers poke and prod your every orifice. windows users have been experiencing this for ages, and we're adapting. we have virus protection, automatic updates, etc. you have none of this. as my friend frank used to say.. "good luck."

Also in other mac news, apple has switched their hardware platform recently to intel. theyre selling intel notebooks and intel workstations, claiming theres up to a 4x increase in speed. which is completely contrary to the argument that all mac users everywhere have put up, that their old risc processors have always been faster than intel.

Since apple has switched over to the x86 platform, there are a few things to keep in mind. x86 is cheap, anyone can get their hands on one for a couple hundred bones, unlike risc. because its cheap, its the platform of choice for windows and linux users alike. because of the large userbase, the hacking community is also quite large. because the hacking community is quite large, they've already developed a way to get MacOSX to run on just about any old x86 box, and doesn't require apple's special hardware anymore. Linky

This is quite interesting. apple has always needed to tie together its MacOS with its own proprietary hardware, and in doing so, makes a larger profit. however since its development for the x86 platform, theyre going to have a very very hard time preventing it from running on generic non-apple branded computers.

Not to say that this isn't a good thing. its great for the users. budget conscious users get to try out MacOSX on their own hardware, and if they like it, great. more power to the MacOS, windows could use a bigger competitor. Apple also makes some really great hardware solutions, elegant, solidly functional workstations and laptops that anyone would love to call their own, so I'm not sure theyre actually going to lose much business on that end, its just that theyre competing in a larger market now. instead of a big fish in a little pond, they're a medium sized fish in a gigantic pond.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pushing the envelope too far.

I felt a rant coming on, so rather than blasting it at nick, I figured I'd vent on here.

Game developers (some of them) are pushing the envelope in directions and distances it shouldn't go.

I'm pouring over the latest hardware reviews in search of a great new dual core CPU, and they benchmark on some pretty intensive applications, and some new games. what i'm seeing is the latest, most expensive hardware will not run some of the games developed today at high quality settings.

I think some in the game development community aren't hitting the target. they should make their target a beautiful, fluid game that runs on the highest end systems they can buy at the time of release, with all the settings turned on. what some are releasing is games that run like ASS, and dont look any better than the last generation of games, because you have to turn off all the nice stuff.

Look at F.E.A.R. for example. I own a pretty great gaming system, and with decently high detail turned on, it runs about 10 frames per second. thats a slideshow. Another good example of this is call of duty 2. it's based on the ancient quake 3 engine, and it chokes my system to death drawing a few soldiers.

On the other side though, games like world of warcraft, guildwars, unreal tournament 2004, battlefield 2, and halflife 2.. they all perform well on this generations harware, and they're gorgeous. of course the beefier the hardware you get the better it performs, but you never feel like you're compromising if you bought a decent gaming rig.

My theory is that game developers have been running on the theory that processor speeds double every year or so. this hasn't been true for quite some time. sure, systems are still getting faster, but not at the same rate. by the time some of these games get good enough hardware to run them, the game will be old and obselete. how worthless is that?

thats my rant for today.


I forgot to write about valentines day.

We spent the evening at home, and i picked up some salmon, asparagus and wild rice for dinner in by candlelight. I baked the salmon with a maple glaze, very tasty. i picked up some roses and some festive decorations for the table, and it was a nice night in.

For dessert i made poor mans pudding. something marjorie made for us when we were in PEI for christmas. brown sugar, butter, water and vanilla to make a syrup base, then you make dough with flour, white sugar, butter, milk and baking powder. i added some cinnamon and rasins in the dough just to be different. you plunk the dough on top of the boiling syrup and in 20 minutes or so you get this wonderful bready-syrupy mess thats great for dessert. Apparently an old quebec favorite during the depression. Pouding du chomeur.

We also got to catch up on last weeks lost episode, since we didn't have TV hooked up last week. to quote Quagmire "I like where this is going, giggity giggity!". I can't wait to watch the new one tonight.

Moving in.... for the kill?

Almost done moving.

This past weekend just about everything got done for the new townhouse. the movers came and did their thing, the rogers guy hooked up my cable internet, and the satellite installer guy mounted my dish and ran cables.

I was worried that i wasn't going to get everything packed up and ready for the movers to take when they came on saturday, because i had the flu mid-week last week. but a couple of nights hard work on thursday and friday pulled it off, and mostly everything was sorted, boxed, and disassembled. they did all the heavy lifting, and were really good about it, except they werent smart enough to get my giant leather hide-a-bed downstairs. they got it part way without really thinking about it, and then being stuck, just backed out and said forget it.

me: want me to take off the railing on the stairs, so it wont be in the way?
them: no, no, it won't even come into play, you'll see.
ten minutes later, and after much grunting...
them: ok lets take off this railing, its stopping us from taking it down the stairs.

me: what if you turned it around this way, and then that way?
them: listen, we do this sort of thing every day, just stay out of the way and shut up.
ten minutes later... failure.

geniuses they are not. after they left (I told them to leave the railing off), i took out the mechanical bits inside the couch that made up the bed, and with loralei helping, i easily got the couch downstairs. all it took was a bit of forethought and measurement.

the cable guy from rogers was probably the most rude cable installer I've ever had. he comes in and says "where do you want the modem?", so i take him downstairs and show him the demarcation point, and he says "i just need to know where you want the modem". well, i was getting to that. fine, here, in the computer room. figure it out for yourself. and he did. most other cable guys at least try and chat you up for a minute while they go about their install. maybe he was late or something.

the satellite installer guy shows up a little later, which is good, because the movers had finished and i was still getting the tv set up and all that. had to coordinate with the superintendent, to make sure he was going to mount it properly. so its mounted on the brick in front of the townhouse now, quite solidly, and out of the reach of hooligans. its also aligned properly with this guys spectrum analyzer, so we should never have outages in bad weather again, in theory. he used the existing cable running upstairs rather than fishing another cable through the wall. some kind of multiplexer that allows my cablemodem and the satellite feed to work on the same wire. fancy stuff.

the projector room is set up nicely now, but the only problem is the wall im using for a screen is unevenly shiny. someone did a half assed paint job there and I'm going to need to re-paint in the springtime. After some research, I've determined light grey paint will work the best with the projector for good contrast. repainting other rooms is a possibility too, but maybe its better to wait till the wedding is over and done with.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Back to work again, I'm exhausted. I've been moving incredible amounts of stuff all weekend into the new place. I haven't had this level of physical activity since.. well, the last time I moved. Nick was nice enough to lend a hand moving boxes and boxes of stuff saturday and sunday. After more or less moving boxes constantly for 12 hours a day, 2 days in a row, I had to come into work last night to do some server maintenance for a couple of hours, and give my brain a workout. all went smoothly.

So now we've got enough stuff to actually live in the new townhouse. bed, bathroom, computers, kitchen. I'm sort of piggybacked on my neighbors wireless internet router for the time being, until rogers comes to move the internet this saturday. Suprisingly I'm able to twist the anteanna just the right way and get 100% signal now, which is probably better than my neighbor is getting out of it. I also won't have satellite TV till saturday either. I've hired someone to come set up the dish, which seems like a lot less hassle than actually doing it myself.

Went to costco this weekend with the membership and got some storage racks for the basement. my friend here at work has these things called gorilla racks, which are these enormously heavy steel and pressboard shelving units. so there won't be any complaining that we dont have anywhere to put things in the storage room. they can apparently also turn into a workspace too, if i ever decide to become a handyman.

So all we're missing is the heavy stuff. the couches, the kitchen table, the dressers, the bookshelves. thats where the movers come in. there's still lots of utter crap that we don't really need. i think a good lot of the "stuff" thats left in the apartment right now isnt really necessary, and we need to throw it all out.

In other uninteresting news, I've still been playing world of warcraft the last little while on and off. Playing pvp on the evenings and weekends when i have a spare hour. I play the horde faction, and I've noticed something: The horde always wins. My theory goes like this, the horde are played by more mature and skilled game players, who have a sense of need to get organized and accomplish the pvp goals. the alliance faction are played by a larger percentage of children, who run one-by-one, headlong into the hordes organized, ruthless band of bloodthirsty competitive gamers. I can say this because out of the 50 or so pvp matches I've partaken in the last two weeks, I have lost a total of 1 to the alliance. Others might argue that the horde has overpowered characters, but i think its balanced, and the only real difference is player skill.

To those not in the know, the horde is comprised of mostly monster-esque characters. orcs, the undead, trolls, and the tauren. whereas the alliance is mostly human-ish: humans, dwarves, gnomes, night elves. more pink squishy sorts. I think children are more often than not are drawn to playing alliance. its also a well known fact that on most servers the alliance faction is overpopulated compared to horde, on about a factor of 2:1. so we're the underdog, and we still win. go figure.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mustn't sleep... Must monitor core

Work is pretty slow here for the last couple of days. I'm not on the critical path for anything. I've put the ball in everyone else's court. Yesterday after 8 hours of browsing the web I was quite literally falling asleep at my desk. I actually prefer to keep busy, it makes the time go faster, and gives me some sense of accomplishment. But I guess everyone has days like this at some point. Maybe I've been too productive?

We finally got around to playing betrayal at house on the hill this past weekend, which was quite fun. gameplay goes along and you discover new rooms, flipping over tiles, with random events and items and whatnot. eventually the haunt phase begins, and one of you goes insane, and basically turns against the rest of the players. however what that scenario entails is also entirely random. they have books full of about 50 scenarios, and which one is determined by what room you were in and what omen card you drew last. The traitor gets his own book, leaves the room, and the rest of the players read their survival book and try to sort out a strategy to stay alive. Theres a lot of dice rolling, and some easy-to-do stat tracking with little sliders. its sort of like DND lite. very lite. It's also very easy to pick up and learn despite the intimidating number of peices included in the box. plays in about an hour, so we got a couple of plays in that night.

So we got the keys for the new townhouse now. we've been preparing the place and making it livable. replacing lights with new energy efficient compact florescent bulbs, putting up curtains, getting organizers and shelf units for the new space. the movers aren't scheduled till the 11th, but we're slowly moving things over just to get the clutter out of the way. Looking good so far.

This weekend I also got a costco membership. I've missed going to costco. its an interesting way of shopping. most of the time you can never get exactly what you want there, but you can certainly get your needs covered. in bulk. With the new place, storage space isnt so much or a problem, so costco started to look more attractive.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Movin on up

We're finally moving to a townhouse!

Loralei and I have been looking around for one for a little while now, and we've finally decided on a place. Its a townhouse down on craig henry, with 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a huge finished basement, brand new washer and dryer, dishwasher, and just about everything is bigger than our current 2-bedroom apartment. Hardwood flooring throughout. we'll finally have somewhere to store our clutter! the dining area isnt going to be cramped, and the entertainment center is going to be better than ever.

We kind of wanted to move mid-march, so maybe a half month overlap between the 2 places to save rent. however this place is available immediately and its perfect for us. the rental company is kind of anxious to start renting it, and it is a good deal at $948/month. only about $100 more than we're currently paying, for about double the space. so we took it for february 1st. this way we get lots of time to organize and plan things and move at our own pace. Although i think a moving company will be involved to get most of the larger stuff, and anything we can box up for them to take over.

Now we just have to deal with the logistics. how is the projector going to be set up? how are the internet and satellite feeds going to be run? Like to be able to make the switch over as quickly as possible, but its not likely going to be up and running the same day.

I'm excited, as i always am for a move. its always a fresh start. this time its on a grander scale though, it will feel more like a home than an apartment ever could.

In other more boring news, I've been back at playing world of warcraft. Its a fun distraction. You get this "rested" bonus that builds up every time you dont play. its been accumulating for months now and it took me work through it all, but it got my character to almost level 58. they provide the bonus for the casual player so he can catch up a bit easier to his harcore friends who play all the time. With my luck though, I'll just hit 60 when they raise the level cap to 70.