Year: 2002

Merry Christmas to all!

If you’re reading this, it’s after Christmas, so it’s a belated holiday wish, but it comes from the heart none-the-less.

My new year’s resolutions are:

More HeadsDown, less TSN.ca

This past summer I spent a whole lot of time on TSN.ca, and no time on HeadsDown, as a result, I’m claiming exactly $175.00 in HeadsDown revenue this year, as opposed to last year which was almost 40 times that amount. Not good.

Get in shape

2002 was a bad year for me and my weight. I stopped going to the gym, lost a lot of muscle tone, and did very little cardio. This year, I want to get back to a gym and get back in shape.

Save save save

We did a great job last year, and our house fund is nearly half complete, considering we only started in March, I’m quite impressed. Moreover, we’re saving, but not seriously feeling the pinch. More of the same for this year, with an added emphasis on squirrelling away all those little extra nuggets.

Go somewhere cool

We’re going to Vegas in February, but I’d like to take some day trips in the summer to some cool places like Chicago and New York, two places I’ve always wanted to see.

Love my wife more than I did this year

Mushy, and more than a little annoying, but hey, who cares? It’s my blog!

Finally, re-designs for Tales, HeadsDown, and any other sites I own. They’ve been a long time in coming!

It’s not easy having no car

Ya know, I lived for years without a car. Last year when we bought the new Accord, I inherited Char’s 89 Accord (it was deemed no longer fit for long distance travel, but more than good enough for the 30k both way trips I take daily). Other than a new battery a couple of months ago, and an oil change in May, we haven’t done anything to is since June of last year (new brakes).

When the muffler went earlier this week, I decided it was time for some fixes.

In addition to the new muffler, I knew the car needed a tune up, an oil change, and a transmission service. What I didn’t know was that the CV boots were shot…again, and that the fuel injector housing was leaking. I’m not fixing the damn CV boots (too much cash, they’ve been fixed once before and busted almost immediately), and there are a couple of leaks that aren’t getting fixed without a major re-build (slow leak in the oil pan, and some sweat in the tranny), but the rest of the stuff needed taking care of. The sucky thing is that I’ve been without a car since Monday.

The good news? Transit isn’t that much of a pain in the @$$…oh don’t get me wrong, it’s far from pleasant, I need to do 3 transfers (bus from my place to the subway, subway to RT, RT to bus), but it only took an extra 20 minutes.

However, when I picked my car up at lunch, I was so friggin’ elated. It runs way smoother now, and doesn’t make any of the strange noises it was making.

Hopefully it will last one more year. I’m just not ready to let go yet, in another year I’m sure I’ll be sick of it though.

Optimistic again

I don’t know if it’s because it’s the end of another year that most people didn’t think we’d get through relatively unscathed, or if it’s just general optimism, but the future looks bright indeed. Well, the rest of the world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but the world of high-tech has never looked so bright!

I’ve already wrote about Time’s 2002 greatest inventions, but this month I picked up a copy of Wired Magazine. This is a mag I haven’t even looked at in about three years. Finally their layout appeals to me, their stories are relevant to things I’m concerned about (Cloning, the 5 billion dollar video games industry, and Google just to name a few), it’s mostly positive news, and everything seems to be fairly optimistic…

Maybe I’m not in the wrong industry after all!

I’m tired of movie theatres

The unthinkable has finally happened…I don’t want to go to the movies anymore.

It’s not that the movies out aren’t compelling, far from it, I would love to see Adaption, Bowling for Columbine, Comedian, Die Another Day, Femme Fatale, I Spy, Personal Velocity, or Treasure Planet, but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The price is the #1 reason why movie theatres suck. Even with our membership, movies at Alliance Atlantis cost us $10.75 each. Go to a Silver City or Cineplex, and you’re looking at $13.50 each. Two people, that’s $21.50-$27.00 before popcorn and pop. Add in $10.00 (that’s being generous, it’s more like $12-14.00) for two medium pops and a popcorn, now you’re at almost $40.00.

In comparison, the Lord of the Rings Extended DVD is $37.00, four discs, over 3 hours of bonus material.

The second reason theatres suck is the variations in quality you can experience. You can go to a theatre, have the best sound experience in the world, go back two nights later and have the worst sound experience, get the picture out of focus, etc…why? It’s because trained projectionists are a thing of the past…these days theatre managers also unspool pictures, often doing 4 movies nearly simutaneously.

Then there’s the crowds. Movie crowds are just obnoxious these days. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie that I didn’t have to tell someone to shut the hell up…it’s not your frigging living room folks!

It’s just so much more convenient, and so much less of a hassle to watch a movie at home now. I can rent out a movie at Blockbuster for two nights for $6.50…nuke up some popcorn and grab a litre of Coke all for another two bucks. We can still go out for dinner, we don’t have to put up with the idiots in theatres, the incompetent projection, and we can watch the movie when we want to.

Now, what will I do with the $2400.00 that I’m gonna save in movie admissions a year?

Rounded IDE cables

Rounded IDE cables

How lame am I? This is what I did this weekend…I built freaking rounded cables for my PC. Of course we helped Tiffany and Jeff move in the last of their stuff, went out for some Sushi and cheesecake, and there was the obligatory Sunday afternoon laundry day.

I finally wrote out the HeadsDown site map tonight, I built the colour scheme, and the next step is to build the Style Guide (which will be tomorrow night).

Char and I are gonna go see Solaris or the new Bond film tomorrow night (I believe it’s called “Die Die Die” or something equally iterative). Solaris looks like it could be really good, although I’ve heard mixed reviews. We’ll see.

Pretty cool auction win

I’m a bit of an e-bay junkie, and every now and then I win something I bid on. A week or so I won an auction to benefit William Messner-Loebs, a formerly prolific comic writer, who due to unfortunate circumstances lost his house this year. I’ve met him at a couple of conventions, and he was always a great guy, added to the fact that he wrote some of my favourite comics in the 80’s (including Flash and The Maxx), I thought, “Hey, not only do I get some cool comics, but I help a dude out.” that’s a win-win situation where I come from.

I won the auction, and now I get to enjoy a year of Comic Books of the month!

Proceeds from this auction will be donated to William and Nadine Messner-Loebs.

Because you asked for it, we are offering two (2) more “Comic Book of the Month” subscriptions!

In this auction, you are bidding on one (1) of the last two (2) special subscriptions up for grabs. This cool comic book package consists of at least twelve (12) publications which will be sent to you one a month throughout the year 2003.

Here’s what you get with your subscription and when:

Jan – NOWHERESVILLE graphic novel (jazzy comic book noir by Mark Ricketts)
Feb – VENTURE #1 (debut issue of Image’s new superhero title written and donated by Jay Faerber)
Mar – WARREN ELLIS’ MEK #1-3 (a tale of robot love illustrated and dontated by Steve Rolston)
Apr – HAWAIIAN DICK #1-3 (three issues of island intrigue written and donated by B. Clay Moore)
May – CHEAT graphic novel (art and adultery according to Christine Norrie)
Jun – VOLTRON #1 (a second coming of robots courtesy of Devil’s Due Studios)
Jul – PARADIGM sampler (“a mind-expanding tale of epic proportions” from Two Irish Guys Press)
Aug – BIRDS OF PREY #57 (Gail Simone donates her eagerly-awaited debut issue – and more)
Sep – OPENING ACT (another self-published gem from Steve Lieber and Sarah Ryan)
Oct – KISSING CHAOS: NON-STOP BEAUTY collection (adolescent angst on the road by Arthur Dela Cruz)
Nov – BUZZBOY collection (a big dose of “the world’s most upbeat superhero” by John Gallagher)
Dec – JASON & THE ARGOBOTS 2.0 graphic novel (even more robots from J. Torres and Mike Norton)

And some of these creators have expressed wanting to throw in a few “surprises” with their mailing! It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long! You know you want this, comic fan!

Winners will receive the above comic(s) in the month indicated shipped directly to them by the creators who are not only donating their books but covering postage and handling within the US and Canada. International bidders, please e-mail me to discuss shipping arrangements before you bid.

Your first “Comic Book of the Month” selection will be shipped in January 2003 but payment is expected within a week of the auction closing.

For more information on the above titles please visit:
www.buzzboy.net
www.dccomics.com
www.devilsdue.net
www.imagecomics.com
www.nowheresville.com
www.onipress.com
www.wildstorm.com

For more information on William and Nadine Messner-Loebs’ situation click here

Optimizing Video for PPC devices

Optimizing Video for PPC devices

This is a very cool article on optimizing video for Pocket PC devices. Something I really need to get back into, the stuff that excites me.

It’s been a pretty eventful month since last I blogged…lots of changes at work (not all of them for the bad, but not all of them for the good either). I’m still amazed that some people here not only continue to work here, but get applauded for their less than stellar work. Some days I think that mediocrity and incompetence is what BGMi is looking for. Of course those are just the days that I’m feeling bitchy.

Worst…day…ever

What a totally shitty day. Not only was it crappy, rainy, and utterly grey, but my mood matched the weather perfectly. First off, I stayed up way too late last night playing Kingdom Hearts because I got done doing actual work work around midnight…so I played games until 4:30 in the morning…not good.

Then I get in to work, and am told that my good friend, and human resource book, Joe Taiabjee (A.K.A. Joe Tek) was among the latest round of cuts at BGMi. I honestly couldn’t have been more upset if they had told me that I was laid off…I mean at least if it was me, I’d know that TSN wasn’t my problem anymore. All of a sudden I felt like the weight of the world was really on my shoulders, and it’s a weight that I’m tired of carrying.

I went through the rest of the day in a daze of some sort, and left to go home early around 3. At home I did a little work, and decided that I needed to go out and see The Transporter after all.

Worst…Movie…Ever…

How to even start? The first half hour was good, it had an awesome car chase that took 15-20 minutes, some great dialogue, and an awesome premise…the next hour and ten minutes were sheer hell. The car got blowed up, the fighting was just stupid-dumb looking (can anybody tell me why nobody can do an old fashioned Sean Connery punch to the guts anymore? Remember those? They sounded like a head of lettuce being smashed on a wooden box? What’s with all the frigging wires???), and the acting was just ATROCIOUS! Jason Statham was good, but the girl Shu Qi was one of the worst actresses ever! The eurotrash villian played by Matt Schulze was atrocious, and the faceless badguys kept coming at the good guy like baddies from the old Double Dragon arcade game, I was all like “Didn’t he just kill that guy?”, and my buddy Larry was all like “Oh no he didn’t!”, and my other buddy Curtis was all like “Tee Hee Hee Hee”, doubled over in his chair laughing from the sheer stupidity of the “plot” (a plot which makes a Joe Esterhaus movie look like fucking Casablanca!).

Ahhh well, the trip home was enjoyable (if uneventful), I just gunned my car all the way home, driving like a stupid person, albeit a safe stupid person, and let out a lot of frustrations. I really need to install a CD player in my car though…radio just ain’t doin’ it for me anymore.

Well, tomorrow is the first of my days off. I need to just relax and not think about TSN for a few days, and that’s just what I’m gonna do.