Monday, December 22, 2003

Blah


Should you go see The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King? Only if you want to see the greatest fantasy movie ever. All three of the movies have been wonderfull, but this one is hands down the best of the three. We are going to see it in the theater at least once more.

Started playing Planetside again. They did a funny thing for the holidays. All of the soldiers helmets have been turned into Santa hats. When a player is killed their backpack turns into a stack of presents and some of the trees have Christmas lights. I still like playing this game alot. It provides me with a simpler game than Everquest, which always requires a great deal of attention to play.


Current Music: Days of the New "Left for me?"

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It's like some kind of freakin plague.


Everyone is sick, L is home in bed. Everyone at work is sick or has been sick. I woke up this morning with a headache and I'm more tired than normal. It's like some kind of freakin plague.

I can only hope that the intense need I have to see The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King will keep me healthy. The reviews are in and everyone loves it. That additional push has sent me into a frothing at the mouth frenzy to see it. I must see it, my precious.


Current Music: Genesis "Keep it Dark"

Friday, December 12, 2003

Nightmare Before Christmas


Lyrics: What's This?

What's this? What's this?
There's color everywhere
What's this?
There's white things in the air
What's this?
I can't believe my eyes
I must be dreaming
Wake up, Jack, this isn't fair
What's this?
What's this? What's this?
There's something very wrong
What's this?
There's people singing songs

What's this?
The streets are lined with
Little creatures laughing
Everybody seems so happy
Have I possibly gone daffy?
What is this?
What's this?
There's children throwing snowballs
instead of throwing heads
They're busy building toys
And absolutely no one's dead
There's frost on every window
Oh, I can't believe my eyes
And in my bones I feel the warmth
That's coming from inside
Oh, look
What's this?
They're hanging mistletoe, they kiss
Why that looks so unique, inspired
They're gathering around to hear a story
Roasting chestnuts on a fire
What's this?
What's this?
In here they've got a little tree, how queer
And who would ever think
And why?
They're covering it with tiny little things
They've got electric lights on strings
And there's a smile on everyone
So, now, correct me if I'm wrong
This looks like fun
This looks like fun
Oh, could it be I got my wish?
What's this?
Oh my, what now?
The children are asleep
But look, there's nothing underneath
No ghouls, no witches here to scream and scare them
Or ensnare them, only little cozy things
Secure inside their dreamland
What's this?
The monsters are all missing
And the nightmares can't be found
And in their place there seems to be
Good feeling all around
Instead of screams, I swear
I can hear music in the air
The smell of cakes and pies
Are absolutely everywhere
The sights, the sounds
They're everywhere and all around
I've never felt so good before
This empty place inside of me is filling up
I simply cannot get enough
I want it, oh, I want it
Oh, I want it for my own
I've got to know
I've got to know
What is this place that I have found?
What is this?
Christmas Town, hmm

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Careful where you point that Bluetooth


Somewhere, sometime, when you least expect it, you could get Bluejacked.

Heh, kinda cool idea. Send random people anonymous messages over Bluetooth. Ignoring the potential for real hacking, I think I'll send a few random people a bluejack message.


Current Music: Tahiti 80 "Heartbeat"

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

More phone talk


Been playing with the new phone more. I put this GameBoy Emulator on it. Very cool. Hard to find the roms, but there are some cool public domain games out there.

I have been looking into developing a few Java apps on it. J2ME looks pretty interesting. It should be pretty easy to write an app using it.

The camera in the phone is not very good at all, but its fun. Here are a few recent images:









Current Music: PJ Harvey "We Float"

Monday, December 8, 2003

Cool Phones


We both got new phones. Man these phones are cool. Intenet, email, cameras, pda functionality, games, etc... I got the Nokia 3650 and L got the Sony Ericsson T616.


Current Music: Heart "Hijinx"

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

'tis the Season

Finished playing Prince of Persia, the Sands of Time on Monday. What a great game.

I simply can't stand waiting for The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King later this month. Early reviews make it sound like the best of the 3 movies. There are also rumours that Peter Jackson may be making The Hobbit when he is done with King Kong.

Current Music: Siouxsi & the Banshees "Happy House"

Monday, November 17, 2003

Looks like someone is having a case of the Mondays.

Played Prince of Persia, The Sands of Time all weekend. Eighty percent thru the game and my hands hurt. Great game, like an advanced version of Ico.

We are both looking forward to the release of The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers Extended Edition release tommorrow. Sounds like the bonus footage drastically improves an already great movie.

Current Music: Yaz "Situation"

Monday, October 27, 2003

Pearl Jam - You Are


This broken wheel is coming undone
And the roads exploding
But you're keeping me strong
Rolling along with you, ...

Love is a tower
And you're the key
Leading me higher
When you let me in

Keeping us close, ... so close
On down the line

Sometimes I burn like a dot on the sun
With no one knowing
But you're keeping me strong
Rolling along with you

You are a tower of
Strength to me
The darkening hour
Sees light again

Ooh wah, ooh wah, you are...

Love is a tower
Of strength to me
I am the shoreline
But you're the sea

You are.



Current Music: Pearl Jam "You are"
Current Mood: Cranky

Friday, October 24, 2003

Working for the weekend...


Just read this short article on charlotte.com about how much Americans work compared to Europeans. According to this article on this day we have already worked as much as they will for the entire year. They get more vacation than we do and they work fewer hours total. I don't think the extra work is worth it. Normaly around this time of year I'm busy trying to get some super important project done, while wishing I was any where but at work. I really think I would enjoy my job more if I had a little more time off. I believe that I would be more productive in the long run.


Current Music: David Bowie "The Hearts Filthy Lesson"

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Happy Birthday Jeremy


Sending Happy Birthday wishes to my Brother today. I Love you.

Personally feeling like utter garbage today. Been stuffed up all week, and the Allegra is not helping much. I think I must be fighting a cold. Damn snot why doust thou vex me so?

Been playing Everquest lately. My wizard is now level 64 and has his epic weapon. This information probably means little to anyone that does not play Everquest but to us freaks it means I have been playing too much. Its going to be interesting to see how the MMORPG genre changes with the upcoming releases of Worlds of Warcraft and Everquest II.


Current Music: Todd Rundgren "Never Never Land"

Monday, October 13, 2003

Biltmore


The company I work for took me on a corporate retreat to Biltmore last week. Apart from a few crappy team-building exercises the trip was great fun. I can't imagine living in such an amazing place. That kind of lifestyle is so far removed from my reality that I can't even begin to understand it.

Lisa and I will have to go there for a weekend trip sometime.


Current Music: Orgy "Fiction(Dreams In Digital)"

Thursday, October 2, 2003

A Perfect Circle - Pet


A Perfect Circle - Pet

Don't fret precious I'm here, step away from the window
Go back to sleep

Lay your head down child
I won't let the boogeyman come

Counting bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble

Head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind what other voices say
They don't care about you, like I do, like I do
Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils,
See, they don't give a fuck about you, like I do.

Just stay with me, safe and ignorant,
Go back to sleep
Go back to sleep

Lay your head down child
I won't let the boogeyman come
Count the bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble

Head down, go to sleep to the rhythm of the war drums

I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons

I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason

I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices son
They're one in the same
I must isolate you
Isolate and save you from yourself

Swayin to the rhythm of the new world order and
Count the bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drum

The boogeymen are coming
The boogeymen are coming

Keep your head down, go to sleep, to the rhythm of a war drum

Stay with me
Safe and ignorant
Just stay with me
Hold you and protect you from the other one
The evil ones
Don't love you son,
Go back to sleep


Current Music: A Perfect Circle "Pet"

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Work, The Wall, and Music



Even though I enjoy my profesion. I like developing software. It's often very enjoyable. However, sometimes
I get really fed up with the whole thing. Sometimes work just sucks the fun out of everything.

A few things I have come to realize over the years:

  • Every project will be poorly spec'd out. You will never get all the requirements.

  • Every project has a dead line that in no way reflects how long it will actually take to get the work done.

  • Never believe it when your manager says that things will be better handled in the future.




Pink Floyd - The Wall
What an amazing movie. I have seen it several times now and everytime I watch the movie or listen to the album it affects me. Something about the story really hits home. I think we have all spent too much time building our own walls.


Got some new CD's recently that are worth mentioning.

Reverend Horton Heat - Space Heater
Wow! I had heard of them, but I never even thought I might like them. I can't wait to get back to the Used CD store and get more of their albums.

Southern Culture on the Skids - Zombified
I have and enjoy "Dirt Track Date". This album is just as much fun to listen to.

David Bowie - Reality
Another great disc from the always great Bowie.

A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step
Double WOW! As good as, if not better than "Mer De Noms".

Current Music: Spock's Beard "The Light"

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Monty Python's Meaning of Life


Why are we here, what is life all about?
Is God really real, or is there some doubt?
Well tonight we're going to sort it all out,
For tonight it's the Meaning of Life.

What's the point of all these hoax?
Is it the chicken and egg time, are we all just yolks?
Or perhaps, we're just one of God's little jokes,
Well ca c'est the Meaning of Life.

Is life just a game where we make up the rules
While we're searching for something to say
Or are we just simple spiralling coils
Of self-replicating DNA?

What is life? What is our fate?
Is there Heaven and Hell? Do we reincarnate?
Is mankind evolving or is it too late?
Well tonight here's the Meaning of Life.

For millions this life is a sad vale of tears
Sitting round with really nothing to say
While scientists say we're just simply spiralling coils
Of self-replicating DNA.

So just why, why are we here?
And just what, what, what, what do we fear?
Well ce soir, for a change, it will all be made clear,
For this is the Meaning of Life - c'est le sens de la vie -
This is the Meaning of Life.


Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Tattoos for everyone.


I have been getting a new Tattoo for the last few months. Still have another trip before its finished enough to show a picture.
I'm really happy with how its going. If you live in the Charlotte area and your thinking about getting some ink, you should check
out Nikki's Tattoo Studio. One of my co-workers has gotten two
tattoos there and he is just as happy as I am.


Current Music: Rob Zombie "Pussy Liquor"

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

IT Outsourcing


By now everyone has read at least one blog or article about all of the US Technical jobs being shipped
to India and other places. This trend has hurt us directly. Lisa was laid-off when pretty much her whole
department was outsourced. Don't bring up the fact that the department was poorly managed in the first place.
Also, don't mention that expensive projects were routinely started only to be canceled weeks from roll out, add to
that the fact that the company in question posted great earnings for the year. Sorry to all the people that worked
hard, because they thought they had a stable job. Grrrr.

I'm not too happy with this trend. In what seems like just a few months the whole Software Industry has shifted.
What was once a promising career that everyone wanted to get into has suddenly turned into a mess. Most of these
companies will not see the kind of savings they think they will. The overhead costs and slow turn around times can
eat away at the expected savings.

All most everyday now someone at work mumbles something about outsourcing. However unlikely it is that our jobs
will head overseas, we are still worried. You never know what could happen when the whole industry is looking at
outsourcing as the magic pill to cure all their woes.

I don't know what the answer to this problem is. Too be honest I'm a little scared. What kind of job am I
going to have in 5-10 years. I think the real problem here is that companies have never viewed employees as people.
We are just another resource to be moved around and allocated in whatever manner they like. Making some profit with
happy people should be more important than making a lot of profit with fewer people. Constantly trying to make more
money should not be the goal that everyone shoots for. Sure you have to stay innovative, sure you have to have
new and better products, sure being efficient and not wasting money is important, and sure some people don't
know what they are doing and need to be let go. But, indiscriminately firing people so the officers of a company
can add another zero onto their income is pretty damn lame.


Current Music: Neil Young "Old Man"

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Online Games and Hobbies


I canceled Planetside and Starwars Galaxies. Both games got boring after a while. However, I started playing Everquest again. It can get boring also, but I so far I'm having fun with playing. I have invested so much time in EQ that my character is pretty flexible. I can only hope that EQ2 has the same depth as EQ. Galaxies was nice to look at, but it just didn't have that something extra to make me keep playing.

I have also been messing with Polymer Clay again. I have so many hobbies that I feel guilty spending money on this one. I really want to buy a bunch of tools and equipment to make things easier. I just hope I'm able to stay interested in it long enough to justify the cost.

The Babylon 5 Season 3 box set comes out today.


Current Music: The Cars "Candy-o"

Friday, August 8, 2003

Take my blood please.


Yesterday at the Doctors office the tech tried multiple times to take my blood, each time failing. I was not a happy camper. I had to go to Lab Corp today to have blood taken, which was a quick and easy process. I really need to change Doctors.


Current Music: Cat Stevens "Life"

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Being Sick Is Not Fun.


I don't know what I had, but it kicked my ass. It was either some sort of Intestinal Flu or possibly Food Poisoning.
I'm still weak, but my system is getting back to normal.

Last week I had the pleasure of watching most of the demo movies for HalfLife2. This is going to be an amazing game. Doom3 is going to have a hard time impressing me after I play HalfLife2.

I'm starting to get back into Polymer Clay again. It is a real shame that the only local Guild is based in Ashville.


Current Music: Todd Rundgren "Feel It"

Monday, July 28, 2003

New Music


We got a few new CD's that are worthy of mention:

Jane's Addiction, Strays
This album is great! I'm liking it better than the older Jane's stuff.

Audioslave
Chris Cornell and Rage Against The Machine together in a perfect blend.

Electric Six, Fire
A whacky mix of Rock and Dance music, with a humorous twist.


Current Music: Jane's Addiction "Price I Pay"

Monday, July 7, 2003

Meeting


Picture a typical College get together to watch a movie, play some pool, and eat pizza. A bunch of Computer Science majors goofing off. The movie was Freejack and the pizza was Geno's. There were a few people there that I did not normally hang out with.

I was completely caught off guard by this girl I did not know. We did not talk much, but we kept looking at each other just in time to see the other turn away. I wanted to talk to her for days afterwards, but I just couldn't get up the courage. One night at work at the Computer Center lab, the girl and a friend of hers showed up and I made a fool of myself trying to find excuses to talk to them. Later that night I called her friend so I could get her number.

We have been married now for a little over 9 years. And my only regret is that I did not talk to her the night we first met.


XTC - "Then She Appeared"

Then she appeared, apple venus on a half open shell
Then she appeared, the first photograph on Fox Talbots gel
I was a little frightened
Flying with my senses heightened
Cherubim cheered
Then she appeared
Then she appeared, as the giggling crew of Marie Celeste
Then she appeared, pale Atlantis rising out of the west
I was a little dazzled
Catherine wheeled and senses frazzled
Know it sounds weird
Then she appeared
And the sun which formally shone
In the clearest summer sky
Suddenly just changed address
Now shines from her blue eyes
Then she appeared, brittle shooting star that dropped in my lap
Then she appeared, dressed in tricolour and phrygian cap
I was a little troubled
Hookah with my senses bubbled
All Edward leared
Then she appeared
And the moon which formally shone
On the marbled midnight mile
Suddenly just packed its bags
Now shines from her bright smile
Then she appeared
Out of nowhere


Current Music: XTC "Then She Appeared"

Monday, June 23, 2003

Order of the Phoenix and the not-so jolly green giant


Well I read the new Harry Potter book this weekend. Wow, another great book in the series. I already can't wait for the next book in the series. The only thing I can find to complain about is that once I started reading I couldn't stop.

The Incredible Hulk was very good. I was not expecting it to be any good at all. I kept hearing people say negative things about the lack of action, bad animation, etc... But, what I found was a pretty good comic book adaptation. I think I might actually like this one better than Spider Man.


Current Music: Monster Magnet "Negasonic Teenage Warhead"

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Lyrics


Rush
Different Strings

Who's come to slay the dragon?
Come to watch him fall?
Making arrows out of pointed words,
Giant killers at the call?
Too much fuss and bother,
Too much contradiction and confusion.
Peel away the mystery,
Here's a clue to some real motivation.

Chorus
All there really is,
The two of us
And we both know why we've come along.
Nothing to explain,
It's a part of us
To be found within a song.

What happened to our innocence,
Did it go out of style?
Along with our naivety,
No longer a child.
Different eyes see different things,
Different hearts beat on different strings.
But there are times
For you and me, when all such things agree.

Chorus


Current Music: Rush "Different Strings"

Monday, June 9, 2003

Random Thoughts


Watched the AniMatrix this weekend. Great stuff! Its worth it just for the background info that is provided in a few of the clips.

Radiohead's new album comes out this week.

A new season of Stargate SG-1 starts this week. We are really looking forward to this. There is very little good Sci-Fi on now.


Current Music: Rush "Fly By Night"

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Tivo Multimedia Fun


We have gone thru the process of Ripping almost all of our CD collection to MP3, creating playlists, and serving the files via a file server to our Tivo. This lets us play whatever we want at a moments notice. Its strange to have 12,000 plus songs available to play without touching a CD.


Current Music: ZZ Top "Concrete and Steel"

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Planetside


I have been playing PlanetSide
almost every night since I bought it. What a fun game. Everquest was getting
very frustrating as I gained in levels. Planetside does not suffer from that problem as far as I can tell. Its so
easy to just jump in and have fun without getting concerned over details. I give it two thumbs up.


Current Music: Nine Inch Nails "Please"

Friday, May 23, 2003

ClayMation


Last night we attended a discussion on Claymation at the Matthews Public Library.
The presentation was given by John Lemmon of John Lemmon Films. I had no idea there was a animation company right here in Charlotte. The whole thing lasted only an hour, but I still managed to learn a few things. Stuff like this always gets me interested in doing more art.


Current Music: A Perfect Circle "The Hollow"

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

What is the Matrix?


I have now seen The Matrix Reloaded twice. All I can say without spoiling anything is WOW! I really liked it.

I'm looking forward to getting
PlanetSide tommorrow. I have been playing the
Beta for the last week or so and I liked it alot. I don't know if it will have
the power to keep me interested for a couple of years like Everquest, but so
far I enjoy the faster pase.


Current Music: Joy Division "The Only Mistake"

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

It was the dawn of the 3rd age...


We got the second season of Bablyon 5 on DVD yesterday. I know I have said it before but man this is a great Science Fiction Series.

I am now 70 percent complete in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I have completed all the major storyline missions. I have 98 out of 100 packages, and I own all of the properties in the game. Not much of an accomplishment, but one of the things I can do now in the game is too get the Hunter Helicopter from the Military base. Its way too much fun to fly around blowing up cars and pedestrians.

I can't wait for the new X-Men movie this weekend. I was never a follower of the comic books, but all of the cartoons and movies have been great. I think I might have to check out some of the comics.


Current Music: Morrissey "Seasick, Yet Still Docked"

Friday, April 18, 2003

Hurt


If you have not had the chance to hear Johnny Cash's version of Hurt, you should go listen to it now.
It's a very sad song, but Cash's version is painful and beautiful to hear.
You can see the video at Amazon

Nine Inch Nails - Hurt

i hurt myself today
to see if i still feel
i focus on the pain
the only thing that's real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but i remember everything

what have i become?
my sweetest friend
everyone i know
goes away in the end
you could have it all
my empire of dirt
i will let you down
i will make you hurt

i wear this crown of shit
upon my liar's chair
full of broken thoughts
i cannot repair
beneath the stain of time
the feeling disappears
you are someone else
i am still right here

what have i become?
my sweetest friend
everyone i know
goes away in the end
you could have it all
my empire or dirt
i will let you down
i will make you hurt

if i could start again
a million miles away
i would keep myself
i would find a way



Current Music: Nine Inch Nails "Hurt"

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Everquest


Everquest, Why hast thou forsaken me?

I used to be a pretty big Everquest nut. Lately I just can't seem to have fun playing. I usually only plan on playing for a few hours and once you get to my level, thats just plain impossible. My character has been progressing very slowly lately, I can't really justify paying for a game that I don't enjoy playing anymore. Having said that tho - I just can't bring myself to cancel my account. I wish Starwars Galaxies would hurry up and come out so I could start playing something new. Hmmm, this will be the third time I have quit this game.

I have been messing around with my Genetic Algorithm example program again - not sure if it provides a nice eye candy example or not. I'll post it in another week or so. I am going to try and start doing more side development projects again. I miss the satisfaction of making something new.

There is a new edition of the Polymer Clay Polyzine up. Another hobby I have not been doing much with lately.


Current Music: Sneaker Pimps "Kiro TV"

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Its off to work I Go...


Time flies when you are busy as hell.

I have been so busy with work lately, not much time to goof off. Just when I thought my schedule would get back to normal, Lisa is laid-off. It wouldn't be so bad if the job market wasn't completely messed up right now. I'm so glad my job appears to be stable, for the rest of this year at least.

I have been doodling quite a bit lately. Whenever I have a few spare moments I pick up my Table PC and draw whatever comes to mind. Most of the doodles sitting on my Table right now are of silly cartoon faces and other strange things. I should be able to get much better at drawing with the practice. The program that I'm using to draw with is Alias SketchBook. It is a free download that gives you a good feel for the basic features. You can upgrade to the pro version for a considerable amount of money. The free version is pretty good tho, and works with both my tablet PC and my Graphire at home. Its the same as drawing on paper, only better.




A few doodles from my tablet. These are pretty crappy but at least I was brave enough to share - heh.



Current Music: Tahiti 80 "A Love From Outer Space"