Month: June 2009

2 down, one to go

Watched the end of BattleStar last night, watched the end of Lost the other week, and now I’m working on Heroes.

TV on the XBOX is awesome. Makes my life that much better.

For those that want to know, I’m using TVersity to stream the stuff from my computer to the Xbox. It makes life easy. The XBox sees the computer without any problems(except in Windows 7, gonna work on that) and streams without any problems.

From the looks of it it’ll stream to almost any device, and I have to see if it’ll stream to XBMC to see if I can stream to the laptop. I can view the server via a web browser, but it doesn’t stream, it just tries to download. Not that helpful really.

You know, I’m not missing cable one little bit. Not having to pay an extra $60/month to watch junk is just fine by me.

The only problem we have right now is trying to download all we want and still come in under our bandwidth cap. I’m also tempted to move away from Rogers because of that, but that’s another issue.

Granted, you would think that 95 gigs  a month should be enough, but you’d be surprised(or not) how quickly that gets eaten up by torrents.

Support

So I had my 6month review with my manager yesterday. Well, not so much a review as a ‘check in’ to see how things were going, if there was anything that I wanted to bring up, etc.

For the most part I was doing just fine, there was one hickup that was already addressed and all was good.

One of the questions that was asked was the usual ‘where do you see yourself in 3-5 years’?

Ummm…working?

This is a problem I’ve always had, I don’t have a 3 or 5 year plan. My plan in 3-5 years, regarding work, is to still be working. That’s the way it’s always been, I’m just a worker bee.

I like to be kept busy, because if I start to get bored, I’ll slack and that causes problems down the line. So I work.

Just after that question was a statement from my manager: “Most people don’t want to be working support forever, sure, some might, but most don’t”.

I do. I like support. I like helping people. Makes me feel like I’ve done something. But she was partly right. I don’t think I want to do software support the rest of my life.

So that’s what I said. I don’t think I totally blindsided her, but I think I grazed her a little 😉

Mostly because I said I was thinking of deskside support. I did that job for a few months when I worked for EDS, and I really liked it. Now, that could have been because of the team, but still, it was more personable(which was good and bad) and I was actually doing things.

The problem she had with this is that she wasn’t sure how she could help, since there were no direct links from software to deskside. In fact it was a whole other major division of the company. But she did throw in a few suggestions that I hadn’t really thought of, like server support, performance support, hardware support, that kind of thing.

All of which did intrigue me somewhat. I think the most important thing was change. And not just the usual change. I’ve worked software support for the last (OMG) 6 years, and during that time with 4 different teams/products. And it’s really the same old thing. And I think I need a departure from it somewhat.

Mind you, for all I know, hardware/server support isn’t what I want to do, but now it’s sounding interesting.

It won’t really be a step up as it’s more a step to the left, and then I get to move up.

But I’m not really all that concerned with that. I’m concerned with being happy at work. I don’t see the point of being totally miserable or unfulfilled at work no matter how much money I make. I mean, this is 8 hours of my day, 5 days a week, for the next 30+ years. At the very least it’s 62,400 hours, and all the money in the world isn’t worth it if I’m miserable for that amount of time. Being miserable for that long will bleed over into my personal life, and I don’t want that either.

No job will make you happy all the time, but if it can make you feel good or at least keep you interested most of the time, then that’s the ideal job.

In my mind anyway.

So yea, nothing right now, but I’ve put the bug in my managers ear, and she’ll keep her eyes out for opertunities for me. I’ll try to do the same.

1:1 Gundam

Those of you savvy enough on the internet, or at least the kind that might care about this kind of thing, probably already know about this, but just in case:

They’ve built a 1:1 scale Gundam in Tokyo!

I’ll be linking a bunch of different articles about it, mostly from dannychoo, but suffice to say, it looks awesome and I wish I was rich so that I could fly there and see it in person.

Not 100% sure who financed it, but I suspect it was Bandai mostly. It’s for the 30th anniversary of the original Gundam and I think it’ll only be around for another month or two. Maybe someone can start a petition to keep it there for good 😉

Anyway, here are the links to many wonderful pictures and a little video:

http://punynari.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/assembled-life-sized-rx78-gundam-part-1/

http://www.pinktentacle.com/2009/06/gundam-night-pics/

http://www.dannychoo.com/adp/eng/1717/Gundam+Odaiba.html

http://www.dannychoo.com/detail/mac/eng/image/20239/Gundam+Lit+Up.html

http://www.dannychoo.com/detail/mac/eng/image/20261/RX-78.html

It’s soooooooo cool!

Wonder if they’ll make a resin kit from it…. 😉

One thing breaks another

So I’ve been having this problem with my Sansa e260 and Winamp. Everytime I plugged in the Sansa, Winamp would crash. Every time.

I searched the forums and google and apparently my googlefu wasn’t good enough until today when I found the answer.

At one point I must have installed the Sandisk media converter, which in turn installed this MediaPlayer 11 runtime. Apparently that’s what was killing Winamp. Not sure how exactly, but rolling back WMP and uninstalling the runtime did the trick. I can now use Winamp again with my Sansa and I don’t have to learn anything new, or deal with things that aren’t good enough(for me without a lot of effort).

Woo internets!

All that being said, I wish iTunes would open up their player support to things other than Apple, but I understand why they don’t.

Too bad, it’s a nice player(for the length of time I played with it).

Printing, I stab at thee

The problem that I have with technology is that it thinks it’s better than I am.

To it’s credit, it’s often right.

Take last night for example. Tara asked me to make this little image so that she could print it out. We were downstairs at the time so I grabbed the lappy, installed Paint.net, and off I went creating a 4″x4″ image. It had to be that small so that it would fit on something.

No problem, all done, off to go print. I rush off to the printer, realize that the work lappy is hooked up to the printer, but not worried as paint.net is already there.

Sweet. So I load the image, hit print, and some stupid ass wizard thing pops up.

Not sure where it came from, but my options were:

  • print at full page size
  • crop it so that it was bigger than the page(not sure about this one)
  • start choosing random sizes(3 3×5, 10000 1×1, etc)

Know what wasn’t there? Print at it’s normal freaking size. That’s what.

Thinking that it was just something stupid on the lappy, I moved over to the desktop, did the same thing and got the same result.

Even with Picassa. No option to print at normal freaking size.

So I fire up Photoshop, and lo and behold, I’m able to print it at the size it was intended to print at. And all it took was a $1000 piece of software.

It shouldn’t cost that much to print something at it’s native size.

There has to be a setting somewhere in windows to disable to stupid-ass-we-know-what-you-want-even-thought-it’s-not-what-you-want wizard.

But I was dammed if I had the patience for that kind of poop at the time.

And now the work lappy is being stupid after a mandatory update from Windows…this should kill the day nicely.

A day of me

Which sounds like an awful lot for anyone to handle, but Tara did it well 🙂

She wanted to do this to show me how much she loves me. I know she does, and I love her so much, but today was just her special way to show it to me.

The day started with almost breakfast in bed, but breakfast at the table with peanut butter pancakes (awesome!) and fresh fruit was a great way to start the day. She also gave me a little gift that would have been for my birthday, a Star Wars Mighty Mugg. I really wanted to get more of these at Anime North, but no one was selling them at a reasonable price(about $10 MORE than at a normal store). And this brings up the collection to 4.

Then she massaged my tired old body all over, and I returned the favor. This is something Tara and I like to do a lot, it helps with any stress and just makes us feel good. We even went a got ourselves a nice massage table.

Then a nap, because a good day is a day that includes a nap.

Our next activity was to have some lunch at Moxies so that I could get myself a Vindaloo. I don’t make great Indian food, so to have it properly prepaird and tasty is great. And Moxies does a really good job on this dish, and I think it’s the only thing I get from there 🙂

A movie was in order after lunch, and we went to see Up. Hands down one of the top three Pixar movies. But it did make us cry during the first 10 minutes. Tara elbows me and says, with a hint of sarcasm, “Great movie selection Bill!”. I think you had to be there.

And if it wasn’t for the wild child who insisted on dancing and carrying on at the front of the theater, it would have been perfect.

I know that kids are hard to control sometimes, but people don’t seem to be respectful of all the other people that had to pay the same amount. The mother was initially trying to calm her down a little, but seems to have given up at one point and just let her carry on. Not the way I would have done it, but then again, I don’t have kids.

Most of the rest of the day was spent playing one game or another. I had rented Army of Two, and while fun, also kinda frustrating and too much like Gears of War. If it was cheap I might pick it up, but it would have to be real cheap. Then I started on Mass Effect and I’m trying to get past the point I got playing it on the PC. Not that it was too far, and the console controls are no better/worse than the PC controls. Just a little different. And I have to get used to no mice when I aim. That’s gonna take time.

Tara made some amazing chili today, which is mostly funny because she doesn’t like chili. She made it just for me 🙂

After a little playing with the animals, I think it’s finally time to call it a day.

It was certainly an amazing day and one that I will owe her for some time 🙂

Random Updates

Cheap 360 games at Futureshop. Picked up Mass Effect and DeadSpace for $10 each.

Which I think is a good start. Also picked up Thrillville for $10, which I think will be fun for both Tara and I.

Can’t wait until I can buy games online with real money and not MS Points or whatever they’re called.

Jim had his baby yesterday! Well, Steph did, but he helped I’m sure 😉

I keep meaning to write something about Anime North this year, but keep putting it off. I twittered the important bits, so maybe I’ll just recap that in a post. Should be a real exciting read 😉

Tara has her root canal next week, then we go to the PMs garden party. I’m being snuck in as a volenteer. It’s all very covert and whatnot. Well, not THAT covert as I wouldn’t be writing it here if it was.

Back to work…

More of everything

So yesterday wasn’t the root canal. That’ll be next week.

Yesterday was just cutting into her gums to releive the infection. Still gross and stressful, but she does feel better now, which is mucho better in my book.

I’m taking next Thursday morning off so that I can be here for her after the root canal.

So thank you all for the good vibes, but I’ll be asking again next week so keep those good vibes handy 🙂

Playing with Songbird at the moment as a replacement for Winamp. I like Winamp, and always have, but it’s having a weird problem with my MP3 player at the moment.

For some reason now Winamp crashes everytime I plug in the Sansa. Not sure what’s going on. I suspect it has more to do with Windows or some other app doing something wonky. Even new installs of Winamp is causing this issue. So I’ll try something else.

I tried Media Monkey, but I didn’t like the smart playlist thing, at least not the free one.

Songbird has the better smartlist function but it can only monitor one folder for changes. This would be alright if I didn’t keep all my music/podcasts kinda seperated. But I think I can live with it for now. Or at least until they change it.

Or if I change my setup. Which would be easier to be honest.

Having fun with the Xbox, and Tara likes the fact that we can watch the downloaded TV/Movies on it as well.  And friends will lend me some games, which should keep me busy.

MS just announced that they’ll start a game download service like Steam but with actual money and not gamer points. Which is nice, I think I would prefer that. I want some of the little arcade games, but I don’t want to run out and get a gamer point card(lazy that way) and I really love that they don’t offer discounts on the higher point cards. Nice of them 🙂

And they’ll have facebook and twitter on the dashboard, which will suck until I get a keyboard thingy. Not that I likely will.

Anyway, back to work.

Emergency Dentist

Started this portion yesterday, todays update is after it 🙂

—–

I’m sitting the in the waiting room at the emergency dentist.

Tara has some tooth problems, and it’s possible that a root canal might be required. That’s not a good way to spend a Sunday 😦

She feels bad because it’s my birthday, but it’s not like teeth problems make appointments ahead of time, so it’s no big deal to me. I just hope that they can actually do something for her to relieve the pain.

I have the XBOX all hooked up. I’m using TVersity to stream movies/TV to the box and it was rather easy to set up.

—–

The emergency visit really didn’t last all that long. They just poked her tooth and said “yea, you need a root canal”. And that was that.

Not that she was able to get one yesterday, her normal dentist would have to do that. Or at least, so we thought.

We saw her normal dentist this morning and they refered her to a specilist for tomorrow morning. So she has one more day of normal pain and then who knows how long for pst-root canal pain.

I’ve never had one, so I have no idea what it’s like, but it’s early tomorrow morning and I suspect she’ll be out of commission for the whole day. The upside is that I work from home so I can tend to her every need 🙂

Back to the Xbox, I’d really like the ability to ‘back up’ games to the hard drive to play them without the DVD, but I also don’t want to rip the damn thing apart and take the chance in killing it. If anyone has experience with this please let me know 🙂

My birthday was mostly spent at home tending to my poor Tara. She feels guilty about this, but I don’t mind it. These things happen.

I did get to go over to my folks and enjoy some Rubarb pie, and that was awesome! My mom makes the best pie.

Thanks to all of you on FaceBook that sent birthday wishes, and to everyone else as well 🙂