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Tuesday April 15th 2008

Took this picture yesterday. I don't know what kind of bird it is. Not that it's rare or anything, I just don't know birds.

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Tuesday April 15th 2008

The Bank Job (2008)
Supposedly based on a true story, this movie depicts the events surrounding a bank robbery in London in 1971.

This wasn't your typical robbery, though. The crooks dug a tunnel to get into the vault. Once in they emptied most of the safe deposit boxes. One of the crooks, Martine, goes right for box 118. This because she was actually put up to organizing this heist by MI5. It seems a black power leader figure (Michael X) was in posession of nude/sexual photos of some British royalty, and as such nobody dared try to prosecute him in fear that the pictures would be made public.

So all they have to do is go in and use their MI5 power to get the contents of the box, right? Wrong. This has to be kept totally secret, so they devise a plan to have some local petty thieves rob the bank. Martine grew up with these guys, so she's the messenger (in return for not going to prison for drug trafficing).

This was a very enjoyable movie!

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Monday April 14th 2008

SAW IV (2007)
I can't believe they left an opening for a SAW V! The saw brand has been wore out. The "contraptions" are less and less creative, and the possibilities of getting out of them increase. Of course, none of the victims actually do anything other than what the contraption was specifically designed for. Nah, the original mastermind is dead, so let the movies be dead too.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Didn't see it, so I can't tell you much. Red watched it this weekend, though. I decided to play some Crysis instead.

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Friday April 11th 2008

Computer upgrade.

It had been a while since I'd updated the innards of my computer. I was still running the same Pentium 4 HT @ 2.8GHz that I've had for ages (since they came out). I've upgraded the video card, sound card and memory over time, but stuck with the same MB/CPU. So it was time to do an overhaul.

In went an abit IP35-e m/b, an Intel C2D E8400 CPU (dual core @ 3GHz), 4GB of OCZ DDR2 memory (2 x 2GB dual channel), and a BFG GeForce 8800GTS-512MB video card. I kept the old Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum sound card. The power supply was upgraded to an 850W unit from Rosewill (the best paint job I've ever seen on a computer component, btw).

The new m/b didn't have any parallel/serial ports, so I put in a PCI 2xSerial, 1xParallel card. I need these ports for my PIC and EEPROM programmers.

The case is the same Antec I've had for a while. It's cramped, but does the job.

Hard drives are a 500GB and 320GB Western Digital. CDRW/DVDRW-DL drive is a NEC unit.

The modem (yes, dial-up modem) is a cheapy no-name winmodem based on some Lucent chip... Hey, dial-up is the only option in my area (and no, I don't consider satellite an option.. too laggy and much too expensive). I might look into wireless broadband from Sprint at some point. Not sure how good of a signal I'll have in my area, though.

The inside. Yes, I know the power cables look like a rats nest, but they're not blocking air flow. A different angle would show that they're really not that badly mangled.

In this picture you can almost make out that one of the SATA cables actually goes through the heat sink on one of the memory modules.. Like I said, cramped, but does the job!

Just another angle.

The front. Still sports an "old school" "P4 HT inside" sticker.

The power supply and the many leftover connectors (wish it was a modular unit). Picture doesn't show it, but you can see yourself in the finish!

The back.

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Thursday April 10th 2008

Google trends on boobs:

Apparently boobs are growing in popularity. Click picture for google link.

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Thursday April 10th 2008

Now this brings back memories...

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Wednesday April 9th 2008 (Entry was updated on Wednesday April 9th 2008)

My first attempt at an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image. This is accomplished by taking 3 pictures of the same item. One slightly under exposed, one at normal exposure and one slightly over exposed (made easy with my camera since it has a setting for bracket exposure). Then you combine the 3 and use the detailed areas of each in the final picture.

The under exposed picture will have good detail in light areas while the over exposed image will have good detail in dark areas.

The end result is a picture with overall good detail and little to no under/over exposure.

Here's the "normally exposed" image for comparison. Notice the lack of detail in the dark and light areas. I purposely left the HDR image a bit low on saturation, simply because I liked the look of it.

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Tuesday April 8th 2008

I'm stunned....

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Monday April 7th 2008

Vantage Point (2008)
The president of the USA is shot during an appearance in Spain. We get to see the events unfold from several different "vantage points". Fairly good movie, but you do get sort of a Groundhog Day feeling after a bit..

The ending was summed up too quickly and easily, as if they were in a rush to finish the movie.

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Thursday April 3rd 2008

More vending machine freebies!
I wanted a snack, so I went to the vending machine.

As always, I look for the item that's most likely to give me a freebie. This time it was Apple Danishes. I put in my dollar and pushed the buttons. Darn, it fell down. On the bright side, the next one in line was feeding crooked, meaning the next purchase of Apple Danishes would probably get 2 for 1. So I put in another $1 and pushed the buttons again. The machine fed the Danishes forward, and the first one (the crooked one) did not fall (as was expected). Push the buttons again and the two front Danishes are now both feeding forward.

The first one teeters on the edge of falling, but takes too long so the machine refunds me my $1 (thank you Wend Wizard!). A second later it falls down. The other danish is close to falling too, and a little bump of the machine causes it to fall!

So 3 Apple Danishes for the price of 1 ($0.90). Sweet!

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Monday March 31st 2008

Noteworthy things that have happened to me since my last blog entry..

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Tuesday March 25th 2008

Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
Thinking this movie was too stupid to watch, I never did. But last night I did. Yep, it's definitely stupid. Kinda funny too, though! :o)

Death Sentence (2007)
I think casting Kevin Bacon was a bit of a gamble. I don't know why, but I just never did feel all that excited about anything Kevin Bacon did.

He was good in this movie, though. And the movie was good too!

It's basically the same old story: Bad guys hurt good guy's family, good guy goes out to get revenge. And as far as that story line is concerned, the movie more or less sticks to it from beginning to end.

I think the least fitting actor in this movie was John Goodman. He just didn't fit in. Fortunately he doesn't have a lot of screen time.

Here's a clip from the movie, with the ending song by Pilot Speed called Alright:

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Thursday March 20th 2008

So it's been a week without a blog update.

Nothing to say, really.. Not a lot going on.

Got a new tool chest combo. It's a 15 drawer unit to replace my old 5 drawer. 5 drawers just wasn't enough. Now I can find the tools I need easier. Well, once I get used to the new arrangement. I'm thinking I'll have to label the drawers!

It's nothing fancy, just a cheap Craftsman unit.

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Thursday March 13th 2008 (Entry was updated on Thursday March 13th 2008)

Not what I wanted it to look like because the camera kept saying memory card error, and by the time I got that fixed the scene had changed...

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Tuesday March 11th 2008

The Brothers Solomon (2007)
It's a comedy.. Has some funny to it, but overall it's just dumb and not very enjoyable. I guess if you like movies like Dumb and Dumber and such, then you might enjoy this too.

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Friday March 7th 2008 (Entry was updated on Friday March 7th 2008)


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Thursday March 6th 2008

Thought this was cool and thought provoking at the same time...

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Thursday March 6th 2008 (Entry was updated on Thursday March 6th 2008)


That's the sound I heard as some woman decided she would back her Dodge Caravan onto my hood. She was stopped at a stop sign, and I was stopped behind her.

Sheesh.. women drivers!

Fortunately no damage other than some scratches on the nose. No damage to her steel bumper, of course.

She said she didn't look behind her and just backed up.. no duh! I almost had time to put the car in reverse and back up myself, but by the time I'd looked in my rear view to make sure I didn't do the same thing she was doing, it was too late.. I had gotten the car into reverse already, but just a second too late.

As for why she was backing up? Your guess is as good as mine.. She said it was because she was turning left... not that turning left required any kind of backing up.

She asked my if my car was okay.. I pointed out the obvious scrathes, and she starts talking about calling the cops and getting her insurance info.. Since I was on my lunch break I didn't have that kind of time, so I told her not to worry about it.

It'll pretty much buff out anyway.

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Thursday March 6th 2008 (Entry was updated on Thursday March 6th 2008)

Animator vs. animation

Sweet flash animation: Click me!

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Thursday March 6th 2008 (Entry was updated on Thursday March 6th 2008)

The return of the Hellrolet
Red's car left her stranded a couple nights ago. Seems the alternator died.

So last night I got the job (or voluntered, I guess) of replacing it. AllData says it's a 0.8 hour job. Turns out AllData is wrong.. It was quicker. I think the alternator is the one part on the Blazer that's actually easy to replace. 3 bolts and a nut, and it's out (with the help of a pry bar). Her car now charges the battery again, and she's a happy camper.

She also tried her hand at welding last night... She's got some learning to do. We'll see if we can't make a decent welder out of her yet.

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