Month: August 2003

New Dreamweaver, Flash and more!

Wow, Macromedia announced the releases of new versions of Dreamweaver (with full CSS support), Flash, and Fireworks. From what I’ve seen about the new Dreamweaver, it’s pretty interesting, and would be well worth the upgrade to Studio MX 2004 alone, but when you add in what they’ve done to tweak Flash, and the new stuff with Fireworks, it makes it even more appealing.Flash magazine has an excellent Flash MX 2004 Preview with different sections on what’s New for Designers, and what’s New for Coders.

I’m still waiting to find something on DreamWeaver.

One other thing I found while surfing around today. There’s a site called Zino.com which sells electronic versions of magazines. You can get the latest issue of Computer Arts or Digital Photography magazine for $6.00, which is about $14.00 cheaper than the newsstand price! Kick @ss!

Comic Convention part II

I picked up a nice little smattering of trades the last couple of days at the Con. I got Brian Bendis’ “Fortune and Glory”, which is all about his dealings with the Hollywood machine, a great hardcover copy of Dark Knight Strikes Again really cheap, a copy of the Hardcover Hulk “Return of the Monster” collection, J. Torres’ The Copybook Tales, Y: The Last Man – Cycles, and last but not least, the Kevin Smith “Chasing Dogma” trade that I’ve been searching for.

Just as we were leaving the show, I saw this great trade for “Herobear and the Kid”, which I would have picked up if it weren’t $30.00 (and I was down to about $29.00).

All in all though, it was a great show. I got to meet Brian Michael Bendis and J. Torres. I got to buy a bunch of cool stuff for good prices, and I sat in on a couple of good panels.

There’s another show in October put on by these guys, and a show in November that I’m really looking forward to. It’s a good time to be a comic geek!

Conventions and Firebirds

I went to the Canadian National Comic Book Expo yesterday, and it was much better than last year. Maybe because I went later in the day (around 4:00), but it didn’t feel nearly as cramped, and the retailers I spoke to said they were doing just as well as they did last year.

I sat in on Bendis’ Ultimate Universe panel, which was pretty interesting. I also finally got to meet J. Torres, who sponsored the “Comic book of the Month Subscription” that I won back in November. I picked up his Copybook Tales, which I’ve started reading and have really enjoyed so far.

I’m going back today with some friends, yesterday was just for a little solo geek-out time.

Speaking of geeking out. I’m slowly, but surely migrating towards using Mozilla Firebird as my only browser of choice. It’s lean, faster than IE, and works really well! I’ve been incredibly impressed with it so far.

Of course tonight’s my “official” return to Wrestling. I’m writing the re-cap of SummerSlam, tomorrow night I’ll be doing the RAW Re-cap, and on Wednesday I write my first column.

Bullet time ping pong

Bullet time ping pong

I don’t know if this is the strangest thing I’ve seen recently, or the coolest thing I’ve seen recently. It’s a bizzare live staged display of bullet time. I’ve now watched it three times, so I guess it falls into the “bizzarely interesting” category.

No power? No problem!

This weekend’s rolling blackouts, and other various power erratta didn’t really affect me that much.

On Thursday we lost power like everyone else in Ontario, New York, New Jersey, Conneticut, Vermont, and Michegan. It was out at our place until about 4:30am on Friday morning.

It took me about 30 minutes to get home (pretty typical), but it took Char nearly 2 hours. I found that in the East end, people were pretty much obeying the traffic signals as 4 way stops rules, although there were a good number of yahoos who had to be chastized.

Our friends Tiffany, Jeff, Tim, and Nikki were supposed to be on a plane to England around 6:00 Thursday afternoon. They called to ask us what was going on around 6:30, and I explained the situation to them. Since none of them had radios or anything, it was the first they had heard of it.

Antenna signals started fading in and out around 7:00, and I lost my CTV signal that I had pulled up on my portable TV around then.

Char and I went for a walk and it was positively erie to see the city blanketed in darkness. I was actually surprised by how few people were out walking around. Once it got dark, it became practically impossible to see where you were going. Just as your eyes would adjust to the darkness, another car would come around a corner and screw up your night vision.

We got a call from the England bound folks around 9:30 saying that they had gotten their boarding passes, and were off.

Since it was stifling in our apartment, we decided to sleep out under the stars. I inflated an air mattress (with the power of my mighty lungs), and outfitted it with some sheets and a sleeping blanket. Because there was no light pollution, we had a great view of the stars, and in particular the shooting stars which lit up the night sky. I must have counted a good dozen awesome looking falling stars.

We woke up around 5:00am with a ton of dew on us, and decided to dive into our real bed for the last couple of hours.

On Friday morning, Premiere Ernie Eves had declared a “State of Emergency”, so I called in to work to make sure there were enough people to cover a shift, and took it easy. Since I had power, I booted up the laptop and kept an eye on things from home (taking the time to work on a small web project at the same time). Not much productive got accomplished though. We skipped out at one point to grab some cash, just in case the power went out again (I only had about $10.00 on me). The regular bank machines weren’t working, but the “fast cash” machines that cost an extra $1.50 were working fine. I’ve never been happeir to fork that buck fifty over.

Friday night we went for a walk, just as our first rolling blackout came by. It didn’t really do anything to us though, since we were heading out anyway. We went over to Jeff and Tiffany’s and checked on their cat, who was doing just fine. When we got home, we watched This is Spinal Tap, so now finally Char really knows what I mean when I say “I’m gonna go to 11”.

By Saturday morning we were feeling stir crazy, so we went out for a drive, stopping at Home Depot (for some Wasp Spray, because our deck was getting over-run), and Best Buy…where I came to the realization that there are no games I want to play right now! Damn!

Saturday night we went out for Chinese food with Larry and Liz downtown. The place was awesome, and we had fried lobster, this awesome beef dish, steamed scallops, and a curried chicken dish. It was really good, afterwards we headed off to Greg’s Ice Cream, where I finally had some of Greg’s frozen treats (Char and I have meant to go there for about 4 years now). Back at Larry and Liz’s place, we watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail before heading home.

This morning we went to Whitlocks for their brunch, came home, did some laundry (I’m sorry, but we were desperate. I was down to my last pair of socks, and within two pairs of underwear. I figured it’s better today when none of the businesses are on line, the air’s cool enough that A/C doesn’t need to be on, and the subway’s still down than tomorrow or Tuesday when none of that’s the case), I marked some stuff, and generally just vegged.

Tomorrow’s a whole new day, and they’re saying we may experience rolling blackouts again.

Oh joy.

Comics fans frustrate me!

Recently on the Talk@Newsarama boards, some dude asked if anyone was pleased with the fact that “Trouble” isn’t living up to the industry’s lofty expectations.

This of course irritated me for a number of reasons…mostly because of how Trouble was targeted at a different market than the average comic…of which I’m always into.

The guy went on to make comments about how some writers shouldn’t delve into politics…dumb, dumb, dumb. Here’s the part of the conversation that really annoyed me;

quote:

——————————————————————————–

Originally posted by MayorBigRig

(SNIPPED FOR YOUR PLEASURE)

If our kids, 20 years from now, pick up a comic with references to “the Texan” and little snide remarks about the WMD hunt in Iraq, they’re not really going to get it unless they’re really up on their history.

——————————————————————————–

If my kids, 20 years from now, don’t know about the “Texan”, and the Weapons of Mass Destruction fiasco in Iraq…then I’ll personally march to their school and teach the damn history class myself!

Events of the last 4 years, beginning with the fiasco which was the presidential race between Gore and Bush, and culminating with the “war on Iraq”, are the stuff of history, and damn well better NOT be forgotten!

************

Of course in typical troll like fashion, he went on some history rant about how the only thing that matters in the last 18 months is 9-11, never mind that the events of 9-11 were a symptom of how America is looked on by much of the world…and that it was a wake up call. The guy even implied that he’s a phD in history.

Bully for you buddy!

Where were you when the lights went out?

Where were you when the lights went out?

Toronto is slowly getting back on its feet after the massive power outage yesterday which affected Ontario, New York, New Jersey, Conneticut, Vermont, Ohio, and Michegan.

It was pretty impressive as to how easily people dealt with it. Getting home was a little hairy, people didn’t treat stop lights as four way stops…but there was mostly organization to the chaos on the roads. There were a lot of people directing traffic, which was really cool, and there were a lot of police on the major intersections.

Most people sat outside and relaxed. A lot of pizza places were open, hot dog vendors were going nuts.

Annoyed beyond belief

I’ve always known that comic fans in Canada were getting the shaft…what I didn’t realize is how much of a shaft we were getting.

Below is a little list I compiled of US vs Canadian cover prices vs real exchange rates as of today.

This is based on the current exchange rate of $1.38 CDN for $1 USD, and is based on what comics I’m buying on Wednesday to cover last week and this week’s haul.

Kudos to JoeTek for figuring out what was up with the massive space.

TITLE US Cover Converted rate Cdn Cover Difference

I’m Back!

Dunno if anybody (besides my parents, who called from out east 5 times the last four days, and didn’t bother to leave a number any time) missed me, but I’m back. We did ye ole Tri-City tour consisting of Ajax, Kingston, and Montreal.On Wednesday morning we drove to Ajax and checked out our plot of land. It’s coming along nicely. We then headed off to Kingston. On the way there we stopped at the big red apple and took some hilarious pictures. We then headed off to Kingston just in time to check in at The Frontenac Club (our inn), which kicked a whole lotta ass. Peep the pictures at their website.

We spent two days in Kingston, where we poked around their shops, saw some historic battle re-enactments at Fort Henry, and then went on the 1000 Islands Tour. After we had taken the tour, we heard that it’s actually better to go to take the tour from nearby Gananoque because you do away with the 30 minute trip to and from the actual islands. It was still pretty cool.

We then headed to Montreal, where we spent a lot of time in Old Montreal, and a bit of time on Saint Catherine. We also had delicious Smoked Meat sammiches from Schwartz’s. The freakin’ line up for the place was at least half an hour long! Well worth the wait though.

I really blew my reading wad. While we were up north, I read Chip Kidd’s “The Cheese Monkeys”, and when we were in Kingston and Montreal I read 21 Dog Years, which is an hilarious romp about one guy’s time spent at Amazon.com.

It totally inspired me to start writing some memoires, which I’ve begun compiling. The last two years at Bell alone would be a fascinating read, let alone all the talk of dot-com disasters, and stupidity at Alliance Atlantis. My favourite part I think though is the gypsy like lifestyle I lead. In the last four years I’ve had 4 jobs (3 in one calendar year), recieved regular paycheques from 10 different companies, had 14 desks to call my own, and at various times worked in up to 3 seperate offices simultaneously.

That’s a lot of real estate for one man’s ass!