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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Snow, Pics, and Tests

Been busy working and sleeping, but I was able to play with my camera for a bit. Discovered how reliable and easy using the "Best Shots" selection is. My camera has presets for almost any photo situation, and it does really improve the shots.

Also, Tuesday night we had the first Snow Fall of the year! Yay! I always like the snow, and even if it wasn't a lot it was still nice. Too bad it's going to warm up again and send it all away. There should be more though - this is Canada.

I've also been testing some media posting options. I would like to post more pictures and maybe (gasp!) video, but I want it to be easy in the posting and quality in what's posted. And we all know how "good" YouTube quality is. Anyway, here's what I hope is a Flickr slideshow. We'll see how this posts.

Back again later...

...and that worked great! Way to go Flickr. Of course, it does use flash, so if you're not into that, you can go here to see the pics.

Here is one pic that I really liked. I took a shot down my street and set it to Black & White and went with the night scene best shot setting. Had to hold the camera really still as the shutter stayed open way longer, but it came out nice. Then I tweaked it a bit in iPhoto to bring the clouds out more. Worked well. Who knows, I may just figure out how to take a decent picture yet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Best Movie of '08 = Rambo?

Holy cow, you know what I just realized? Its the end of October of 2008 and I have only seen one movie that came out this year. That movie was Rambo which came out in January, and I didn't see it at the theatre either. I read something on a website (Row Three) about voting for best movie of 2008 and I tried to think of what I would vote for and realized there could only be one, as thats all I've seen. I knew the job this year was going to obliterate a lot of the things I like to do, but this is just weird. And it isn't like more than a few of the ones I wanted to see aren't out on DVD cause they are. I just haven't gotten out to rent them. Hmm, I'm going to have quite a list to catch up on if I ever get around to it. Gotta get on that.

Btw, off the top of my head, here's a list of what I want to see that's still coming before the end of the year:

Passchendaele (in theatres)
Appaloosa (in theatres)
Max Payne (in theatres)
Australia (November)
The Wrestler (December)
Gran Torino (December)
Punisher: War Zone (December)
The Spirit (December)
The Brothers Bloom (December)

Place your bets whether I'll get out to a theatre to see any of these...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gran Torino - Now That's A Poster

UPDATE! Trailer is online! Check it out at Apple Trailers. Have to say - awesome trailer. This is Clint's first turn in front of the camera since Million Dollar Baby and he hasn't missed a beat. With a permanent hard eyed squint and a growly voice, he's just as Bad-Ass at 78 as he was as Dirty Harry or the Man With No Name. Can't wait to see this.


I'll have to say that the synopsis for Clint Eastwood's next movie, Gran Torino, didn't really grab my attention. Then I saw this poster online today. Consider attention grabbed. Most movie posters these days are floating heads and big fonts with no style. This however, is a simple poster that pretty much says "don't mess with Clint's car. Ever."

Disgruntled Korean War vet Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possesion: his 1972 Gran Torino.


Testing Marsedit & Watching TV

I'm just testing out the Mac blogging software MarsEdit. Should be something that's easier and quicker than Blogger's web based interface. We'll see.

woat_cast.jpgThere aren't too many TV shows on these days that I follow anymore. However, there are two that I will watch - House and Without A Trace. Both happen to be on in reruns on Bravo when I get home from work in the middle of the night. I'm now in the middle of a really good story arc on Without A Trace, and I've been sucked in. It follows an FBI team that concentrates on missing persons cases. I don't know what season I'm watching reruns of, but they've steadily built an ongoing story that started with a missing girl which turned into a human trafficking case which turned into a personal fight for Agent Malone. The stakes keep getting higher and I wonder where it's going to end up, and on top of that the individual episodes keep coming with the missing person cases as well, worked by the rest of the team. It's pretty good writing and quickly paced with excellent use of music as well. Been awhile since I've been sucked into a TV series - kinda fun.

Been touring around the web and reading about the Macbooks and seems like sentiment is pretty divided. Some love them, some hate the glossy screen and the lack of firewire. Some things in reviews that did catch my attention:
- Battery life is excellent. 4-5 hours with screen on full brightness and WI-FI on. That's pretty good.
- Battery, RAM, and the hard drive are now ridiculously easy to swap, no tools required.
- The trackpad takes a little getting used to, with only the bottom half actually clicking down like a mouse button.
And, of course, these things are expensive. Duh. Maybe the government can give me some bailout money to buy one of these to stimulate the economy. I'm sure it would help ;-)

That's it for now, time to post this up and see if MarsEdit works...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kid, Say Hello To Karma

Every now and then the universe gets one right. I've watched this like ten times and I can't stop laughing. I mean, you'd have to be an idiot not to realize something bad was going to happen here (brick wall jump, sidewalk drop, poles, cars, - um, not a good mix) but this is just such random perfection. Any number of things could have happened, but this is classic. Turn up the volume and enjoy.

Note: I will give him props for getting back up that quickly, but dude, next time take note of your surroundings.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Macbooks

The Apple Notebook event happened today, with all 3 laptop incarnations receiving some updates with the Macbook being the most significant. A switch to a machined aluminum unibody and glass over a backlit LCD display, a significant bump to a new NVIDIA GPU (gaming on a Macbook, finally!), and a multi touch trackpad without buttons (I dig that) - well, the trackpad IS the button. The Air got the new NVIDIA graphics as well - should help with that lag watching YouTube videos. The Pro finally got a new look with a new keyboard (same as the Macbook and Air - black chicklet keys), and the 15 incher is now only available in glossy glass screen - no more 15” matte. With the new GPU’s, they’ve switched to a Mini Display Port that will be standardized over all new products and can even power 30 Inch Dual Link displays. Apple also debuted a 24 inch Cinema Display monitor that basically looks like a new iMac display and comes with built in iSight, speakers, mike, 3 port USB hub, a magsafe power adapter to power you laptop when hooked up and the Mini Display Port. So basically, you won’t be using this monitor with anything other than a Mac product unless there’s a way to rig cables to it through the port.

Anyway, the Macbook is definitely the major change, with 3 different models. They are keeping the base level, white plastic Macbook everyone already knows and loves at $1149 ($999 US). The new beauties start at $1399CA for the 2.0 GHZ and $1749CA for the 2.4. Looking at it, it’s interesting that the high end Macbook is now almost the same as the low end Macbook Pro - only $400 cheaper and smaller screen and no Firewire.

I can’t wait to get my hands on these and play with them for a bit, but after reading around the web, here’s some of the thoughts that caught my eye:

- The glass, glossy displays. Reports are that they aren’t just reflective, they’re downright mirrors.
- The Macbook is thinner and a half pound lighter.
- The MacBook and the Air finally get a decent graphics chip. About time Apple.
- The new unibody case design (made from a single block of aluminum) is reported as feeling incredibly solid, and yet the unit is lighter.
- The buttonless trackpad. I really dig this, and I like the whole idea of multi touch. The pad itself will click down when you press it, but with the buttons gone you have more room for the multi touch gestures. I think it’ll be one of those things you love or hate, but if you love it you’ll really, really miss it when you move to another laptop.
- Price. Almost seems to me prices went up a bit, but I could be wrong. Even so, there’s no price break here. However, this day should mean lower refurbed prices, so if you want a matte screen, that’s where you’ll find it.
- A much overdo update to their Cinema Displays, but then only with a Mini Display Port and at $899? Seems a bit much. For that price, I could buy a Sharp 32” 1080P HD TV with multiple inputs and hook up (if I had them) a laptop, PS3, Apple TV, cable box, and more. And watch Blu-Ray.
- No Blu-ray drives. No real surprise, but still. Quote of the day goes to Steve Jobs who said “Blu-ray is a bag of hurt” in regards to licensing and passing the cost to consumers. They’re waiting for better, mass adoption apparently. Still, it’d be nice to backup 50 gigs to one disc.

Well, that’s it for now, but maybe I’ll have more once the local Best Buy brings in the new machines. That usually takes a week or two or three. Then I’ll see just how reflective these cool looking machines are. That’s about the only drawback I can see. Oh, that and the money I can’t afford...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Random Quote from Seinfeld:
Kramer: You buy enough meat, they’ll give you anything!

Had a good Thanksgiving, and any day away from work is a good day. Spent Sunday with family and had a good dinner too. Wound up in a game of the old board game Game of Life. Anyone remember that one? After careening around the board and collecting a wife, a kid, a house, and some dollars, I didn’t win the game and wound up in the poor house, destitute. A little on the nose for today’s economy, eh?

Elsewhere, tomorrow is an Apple event, with the laptops getting some updated love. Rumors seem to be pointing to a cheaper Macbook, and new designs for the Macbook and the Pro - including aluminum and glass and multi touch touchpads. Maybe even doing away with the touchpad buttons? Could be interesting, we’ll find out tomorrow.

And now I’m finishing up my holiday weekend by watching the movie The Shootist. It was John Wayne’s last movie, eerily drawing parallels to his real life as he played an aging gunman dying of cancer.
He holes up in a boarding house with a widow and her son, played by Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard. Their interaction make up most of the movie as the gunman, JB Books, faces his last days and decides how he wants to go out. The movie is littered with good lines and solid performances as The Duke makes his last stand. Catch it if you can.

Mrs. Rogers (Bacall): "Nonsense, the church doors are always open."
JB Books (Wayne): "My church has been mountains and solitude, no doors at all."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Poor Sales or Just Lazy?

Spent some time with a friend tonight. We walked around Chapters and went for some pizza and desert. Managed to cheer her up a bit and I had some fun doing something other than work and sleep. I didn't wind up buying anything at Chapters, but I did snap this shot of the front sign:
I wonder if things are getting bad for the company money wise to the point where they can only afford six out of eight lit up letters. Will that be the sign of tough financial times? Big companies shutting off their lights one by one? It'd be good environmentally, but when McDonald's becomes McDoad's, will the Big Mac special sauce still be as special?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Coming Around

Well, a couple months have passed and I'm thinking of getting back into this blogging thing. Hear it's quite popular with the folk on the internets and all...

Seriously though, while it's been kind of nice not thinking up new posts, I've also been missing it. True, my creative palette is still a blank these days, I think I need to get back in the game. I think I'll start back in slow - if I manage to get one or two posts up a week, I'll be doing good. I hope to get my hands on an iPod Touch, which will make composing posts on the go quite a bit easier. That way I could compose a post on my lunch break and just post it up when I get home instead of trying to type stuff up at 4 in the morning when I should be sleeping.

And yes, work is still dragging me down. However, I have put in the first six months and probably the worst of it. A slight shift change in September has helped a little bit, but I've come to realize it isn't really going to get any better anytime soon as I had hoped, so I have to make the best of a bad situation for the next year or so. Since this is as good as it gets for now, I have to try to find some enjoyment in life here somehow and roll with it.

However, a week or two ago, the work misery did give me an idea and I wrote a story for the first time in months. I've had an idea pop up and have it rolling around in my head these days. If I can crystallize the whole of it, I may be able to put together a new ongoing series. We'll see.

Anyway, thanks to those who have popped by from time to time to check the Roost out here in the last couple months, and hopefully I'll get back into a groove here and maybe even try a few new things out...