The blog that's gotten one comment ever! Thanks mom!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What an amazing weekend

Took Janie out to dinner on Friday, then went home and played Gears 2 horde mode until 1 AM. The next morning, made J breakfast, we cuddled and watched movies, put up the Christmas tree, and went out to dinner again with Jer. Then came home and played Left 4 Dead until late. On Sunday, drove to Denver, and watched the Broncos beat the Chiefs from the comfort of a private skybox. I could use more weekends like that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Man, I'm bad at updating this thing...

So, what's new? The Jeep's in the garage, Janie's pregnant, visited my family for Thanksgiving, took a day off to play games, Brose is in town. That's about it. Oh! Found my old high school friend Eli via Facebook. Have yet to actually spend some serious time catching up, but hope to. Schedule continues to be a mess, and I'm not exactly getting much of a break from work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Janie's pregnant!

We've already told some of you (all two or three who read this, in any case), but Janie is around three months pregnant with our first proto-baby. She's doing well, being pregnant makes her both elated and miserable, which I hear is par for the course for this particular biological operation. I'm hanging in there, trying to read up on all the things I know I'm going to need to know, and wondering about all the other things I'll need to know that I don't know about yet.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Date night win

Janie and I have been trying to institute a policy of taking a night off to just spend together, at least every other week. The fact that we have to schedule such things probably informs the reader as to how busy we tend to be. Unfortunately, this also means that we rarely get to put much thought into these outings, as they don't creep into our consciousness until our PDA's bleep at us fifteen minutes before the start of date night.

But last night, I did good. Alerted to date night by checking the calendar to see if last night was free for other activities, I stopped by the grocery on the way home and picked up the fixings for a giant plate of nachos, which I began preparing after cleaning up the kitchen a bit. When Janie walked in the door, I was well on my way to finishing the nachos, served 'bowling alley' style, i.e. on one giant platter piled high to share.

After the nachos, we proceeded to Wii bowling. J won a game, I won a game. We then cuddled up on the couch and finished Speed Racer, which J had started but never finished. Love that movie. All in all, it was a pretty excellent date night for us. J was happy, which made the evening perfect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Work, work, work

My job has been evolving from QA person to Utility Drone. In addition to testing, I now have to launch new sites with the web app we've been building. The schedule is ridiculous, and no matter how hard I try, every day a couple of sites don't work and I've got to spend time figuring out what went wrong and fixing it.

On the plus side, in order to take advantage of the east coast folks, I may start coming in at 6 mountain and going home and sleeping at 3. Oh, who am I kidding. The 360 got back from Microsoft yesterday. I'm due some serious game time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I miss my xbox!

Of course I miss it because of the games I can't play. It would break right before all the biggest games of the year were due to come out. But now, more than that, I realize how much it's the hub of my entertainment center. My in-laws are visiting this week, and dad loves to watch movies. Unfortunately, without the xbox to stream them too, I had to jury rig plugging a laptop up to the TV. I hadn't had a chance to test this, and we ran into all kinds of fun problems, from inactivity timeouts where it would exit the movie playback and go back to the 'this computer is locked' screen, to program popups which would also interrupt playback. Of course, the laptop is also my work machine, so I couldn't leave it there for dad to watch movies while I'm at work. I ended up going back to the first DVD player I had ever bought, back in July of 1999, and rigging that up. Of course, this also means that we're back in the dark ages of remote use. I've got a Harmony remote I use to control all my devices. With the xbox gone, we either had to resort to individual remotes, or in the case of the old DVD player, getting up and pressing buttons. I count the minutes until my 360 is returned.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Last night, I sat on the couch with my friends, and watched my country elect its first African American President. I watched my state join the blue column. I watched John Stewart call the election, and actually teared up. Things aren't great in America right now. And although I believe things can get better, I know it will be difficult. But for the first time in a long time, I felt two things last night. Pride in my country, and hope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Back from Santa Fe

Got back Sunday night from another Halloween with the Ferbers. Had an amazing time. Highlights included Tim and Jeryn as The Man in the Yellow Hat and George, Curious. Sherri had an spot on Starbuck costume from BSG. AB pulled his usual trick of going to the grocery store and finding a child costume to wear. This year, he went as Hannah Montana. Because of the scruffy beard, we dubbed him Hannah's stunt double. There were wings aplenty with Nina as goth fairy, and Bex as naughty librarian fairy? Both were excellent. There was definitely a fall motif, with at least three fall themed costumes, including Janie's aspen tree.

The rest of the weekend was spent recovering, being badgered into DS Mario Kart matches with Vincent, and relaxing with friends. I wish Halloween happened more frequently. Only time it's socially acceptable to dress like my sci-fi heroes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What an extrordinarily horrible day

My boss's boss's boss, and the project architect, are both visiting my offices at the moment. Yesterday, we had a big pep rally sort of meeting to plan out what comes next, all building on the success of part one of the project.

Then we discover that a bug we thought quashed had cropped up again. And we had to shut down the parts of the project that were live while we worked on a solution.

I'm the only QA person in the organization. It's on me that this issue got through, and it wouldn't be so bad if this had happened once. But we've turned this part on and off like four times now because of bugs I didn't catch.

All while my boss's boss's boss was watching.

I'm really starting to question my ability to do this job.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Didn't bring the jeep home yet

The picture above is still showing the top going on in progress. We finished it up on Sunday, but Janie didn't want to drive home separately, so my dad agreed to bring it to me on a trailer once I get the garage set up. I really need to go buy the wheel dollies and a floor jack!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The dreaded Red Ring o'Death!

Just in time for Halloween, that most dreaded of specters to haunt the Xbox 360 has paid me a visit. My 360 is just over one year old, so I'm at least patting myself on the back that I waited for Microsoft to extend the warranty for this issue to 3 years before I bought. Of course, this has happened at the worst possible moment for me in terms of games. I'm nearly done with Fable 2. Fallout 3 releases tonight at midnight. Gears of War 2 is out in early November. The most wonderful moments of the gaming calendar, and I'm left playing all the games for my Wii that I've bought and never played, cause, you know, there was a 360 sitting right next to it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The jeep is almost here

Next weekend, Janie and I are going to visit my parents. With luck, the soft top my parents bought for it (thanks guys!) will be in as well, and dad and I can spend part of the weekend getting it installed. If we finish up, I may just drive it home. I've still got to clean up the garage this week, and find something like this in order to actually get things to fit. But man, am I looking forward to it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back from the in-laws.

Had a nice relaxing weekend with Janie's parents down in Trinidad. I ended up having to work Saturday morning and evening, but got to relax on Sunday, watching the Bears and Broncos lose.

On the way home, I had to make a bathroom pit stop. At the exit, I chose a McDonald's over a gas station, on the premise that the facilities might be less disgusting. It's dark out, and spitting cold rain, so I hurry from the parked car to the door of the restaurant. Just as I get there, a cruel, harpy of a manager appears, locks the door in my face, and tells me that they're closing, to use the drive through instead. I look at my watch. It's 8:37 PM. Who the hell closes at 8:37. I'm tempted to use the drive through and pee on the speaker, but of course decide to better spend the time finding a bathroom run by people who aren't crazy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How not to get a laptop.

At work, I've got a perfectly fine little laptop as my primary system. Unfortunately, it bluescreens fairly regularly, and despite having 2 gigs of RAM, can't handle opening some of the huge files I've been working with at my job. These complaints worked their way up my organization, until I was told I could get a new system, a powerful workstation laptop with more RAM, a bigger screen, it would be glorious.

A few weeks go by, and I get an email from some one in my company I'd never talked to before. They ask how often I travel for work. I think to myself, 'oh, this must be about the laptop'. I glance at the from field, see something about Hank there, so I start the email, 'Hi Hank!'. I answer honestly, that I have not been asked to travel for work, but that I sometimes work from home, and that I carry my system home nightly in case I'm needed to address any after hours issues. I hit send.

A few emails later, I see an email from my boss's boss. He tells me not to respond to the first email, that he'll take care of it. Oh. I respond to him that I had already responded, and apologized.

A few emails later, Hank responds. Danielle Hanks. Danielle tells me that she doesn't think I need a new laptop, and that I'll get some more RAM for my current, Leapfrog of a laptop. Realizing I had called her Hank, I pretty much decide it's not worth fighting about.

To sum up, I advise you to at least glance at all the messages in your inbox before responding to the oldest. I also suggest you look carefully at the from field before addressing an email to someone you do not know. It might also help to not be doing three things at once while you're answering email.

Friday, October 3, 2008

One art please!

This is now hanging in my office above my desk. It's a print by Gabe of Penny Arcade (#42/200!) of Zangief, the presumably Russian wrestler of the Street Fighter universe. I loved Street Fighter 2, but my man was Guile, I never went for the big guy pictured here. But, as Gabe explained when answering why he chose Zangief as his subject, he is 'hilarious'. It needs better framing, but this'll do for now. I view this as an investment in happy. Bad day at work? A glance at Zangief's scary expression, and strangely manscaped chest, and I'm feeling better.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

32 years old

I still don't feel like I'm 'old' by any definition. I still act like a kid, that's for sure. I spent part of my morning placing new office decorations up. They're toys, given to me as a birthday present. Janie'll be at a conference for the rest of the week, and my plans in her absense? Eat junk food and play games until I can barely stand up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Speed Racer Movie...

...was unfairly maligned in my book. Yes, it's silly and cheesy, but it was also surprisingly good, with perfect casting, quite a few wonderful moments of pure geek joy, and it was exactly the kind of movie I was in the mood for yesterday. Thanks for having me over to watch it, Jer!

Monday, September 29, 2008

I apologize for that last post...

...that's more of my torso than anyone wants to see.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Still loving my job...

...despite working all weekend, and late both Sunday and Monday nights. Yay job! How weird is that?

Friday, September 19, 2008


Is it telling that, though I face the prospect of working this weekend, this may be the best job I've ever had?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bad day at work

So the project I'm working on had some major issues today, and I'm feeling pretty responsible for them. It's no fun being the only QA person in an organization when something goes wrong.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dinner theater

J's work took the R&D group out to see The Producers. I felt rather
odd getting served coffee by someone with a swastika armband.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekend update

So we went to J's grandfather's funeral on Saturday. Spent a lot of time hanging out with family. J's doing all right, better than I would have expected, and I hope that lasts.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pix from PAX

I've uploaded the few pictures I snapped at PAX 2008 to Flickr, you can find them here. I wish I had taken more, but I was apparently having too much fun. For my impressions of some of the games I saw there, please head over to the gaming blog I write for,

Kids, don't run untrusted exe's!

I'm smarter than this, but I still got caught. Just finished reinstalling my OS and necessary software last night. The internet is a scary place sometimes, don't trust anything in executable form from its darker corners.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

So amazing


We are this close to the stage for NIN

Back at work

Still recovering from PAX. The funeral for Janie's grandfather is next Saturday. We're going to a NIN concert at Red Rocks tonight. Row 3. Neither of us are as excited as we should be, given the situation. But we're going, and hopefully good times will be had. I just feel like I need a week's more sleep.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In memoriam...

Janie's grandfather passed away last night after a long battle with cancer. I feel completely awful, being away from home right now and not able to be there for Janie. My thoughts are with her and her family, and I hope that her grandfather is at peace.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Freezepop @ PAX

And so it begins

Finally out of line and in the exhibition hall.

In line for PAX

PAX day 0

Hey folks, arrived in Seattle around 7 PM last night. Found our hotel, and then wandered around the downtown/Pike Place market area. Ate at a really nice place called Mike's at the Market, although I can't seem to find it on the web. Fantastic fois gras, mussels, salmon and scallops. We sat at a bar looking into the kitchen, which was a bonus, as the chef gave us an heirloom tomato salad (amazing) and a mini-dessert for free. Came back to the hotel and crashed.

On the plate for today, is the space needle, back to the market to watch folks toss fish, and then PAX!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We're back!

So scottlovesjanie is back on the net, for me at least. Some of the DNS changes may not get out to everyone right away, so hopefully by Friday morning it will be accessible to all. Thanks to AB, web genius extraordinaire, for helping me get the DNS stuff working again after changing registrars.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today has been a bad tech day

So, last week, I mentioned that this site wasn't showing up for some folks. Turns out, my domain registrar went and deleted my custom DNS, essentially taking scottlovesjanie off of the internet. I have a domain transfer to a company that might not suck so much pending. Of course, that takes time, but hey, it's not like I'm going to be getting back on the internet any time soon, might as well make some improvements at the same time.

In other bad tech news, when I got back from lunch today, I logged back into my laptop only to have it bluescreen immediately. After restarting, I now get constant pop ups about how Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host isn't working anymore. No matter what I select (the only options are to close the program, or to look online for a fix, oh, and to close the program), the pop up comes back. I'm currently downloading Ubuntu. Vista sucks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

C and J @ Elliot's

Please ignore the behatted dude in the background.

Batty, send more magic green pills

These are magic green pills from Japan. They help with any number of
stomach related ailments. C asked me to ask Batty for more, hence
this post. Of course, Batty is in Germany right now, so it might be a
while before he can help.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Site outage

Looks like we're having some technical difficulties here at scottlovesjanie at the moment. Working on it, hopefully we'll be back and running and contributing to the world's boredom soon!

I could use more days at work like that

Yesterday, my company took me and my team out for a day of team building, which included arcade games, miniature golf, go-karts, and the movie Tropic Thunder. Despite being what I would consider the most politically incorrect day of team building ever (thanks to the movie), it makes me glad to work for a company that cares enough about my happiness to do stuff like that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

PAX Preoccupation

A week from this Thursday, I'll be boarding a plane for Seattle, to attend an event I've wanted to go to since I'd first learned of it's existence. PAX is like a pilgrimage for gamers, with some doing road trips from as far away as the east coast. Despite having more than enough work to keep me busy for months that all needs to be done in days, I find my mind wandering to panel schedules and concerts and other, equally non-work-related areas. I think Jer and I have a basic schedule figured out. We'll have to leave before the last round of the Omegathon, unfortunately, as we booked our flights before the full schedule had been announced. But I plan on having an epic amount of fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaking of giving Lucas too much money...

...I'm going to a midnight showing of Clone Wars. I need help!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One more note

As a follow up to the last post. Wikipedia has a link about these binaural beats. It even has audio samples. Feel free to give them a listen. If any website played sounds like this, I'd go elsewhere in a hurry. Not to mention that for these sounds to have any affect, you have to use headphones. This is the least worrying thing I've ever come across. But hey, worry if you want to! It's a free country, so they say.

I fear for our world some days.

So, somewhere in my RSS, I found a link to an article that just made me shake my head. Feel free to read it here. Go ahead. I'll wait.

I know, right! Oh noes, won't somebody think of the children! Everyone, go worry! Look. Music alters moods. I listen to music that either fits my mood, or even to change my mood when needed. I'll even agree that this mood-altering property can be a bad thing. Don't listen to some NIN when you're having a bad day, kids. But come on, people. Let's all try to worry a little bit less, and live a little bit more.

The article's author, who's website hails her as "America's Digital Goddess", trademarked of course, has a syndicated radio program and apparently somewhat of a following. However, fear-mongering seems to be high on her list of topics, judging from some of the other content out there. Bleah.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why do I keep giving him money?


It was a wonderful weekend, but I feel like crap this morning. Saw Pineapple Express with friends Friday night. Spent all day at Water World in Denver with my family on Saturday, then came home, got take out Five Guys, and vegged on the couch watching a bad Star Wars movie (in this case, Episode 3). Got up and made pancakes for breakfast Sunday, then proceeded to do nothing else of consequence for several hours, unless napping on the couch watching the Olympics counts. Went out for sushi with some friends that night, before ending the evening at my favorite martini bar, Elliot's. Which is why I feel awful this morning. I love Tobin, the best bartender in the world, but man, next week, I'm sticking with the diet soda.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

#1 on Google!

If you search for Scott Ledet anyways. Still, it's gratifying that I'm the Scott Ledet that gets found should anyone search for that name, and not one of those other presumably nice but lesser Scott's who dare share my name. Just kidding, other Scotts! Please don't be crazy and try to kill me or anything. They're so crazy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dim Sum

J had a craving for Dim Sum, so we found a place in Denver and came
down for breakfast. It's called Super Star, and we approve.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

C's birtday kabobs

We did kabobs for Celeste's birthday. They turned out absolutely fantastic. After the meat and veggies, I made pineapple skewers with vanilla lime sugar glaze, served warm off the fire with ice cream. Yum!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008


I don't have it. Fort Collins for the most part seems to have AT&T's 3G coverage, but I've got worse than none at my house. Why worse than none? It's just enough to register, but not enough to make intelligible phone calls. Luckily, you can shut off the 3G if you don't need it, and since I've got wifi for connecting from home or work, the standard EDGE connection is fine, and had plenty of signal at home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yay, iPhone!

So, I finally got one. And I have to say, it's pretty slick. I've been a Windows Mobile user from before Windows Mobile, before Pocket PC, when the only MS option in the mobile space was Windows CE. So this is a bit of a change for me. But I think I can safely say that it was worth it (from a usability point, let's not discuss monetary). The mobile browser continues to be the best web experience you'll find outside of one of those tiny laptops, and for 90% of what I do on a daily basis, it works. The easy synchronization with my work's exchange server, plus gmail, all right there on the device. SMS prices still bother me, but since they're practically a necessary evil, the SMS app works well and the IM like conversation tree is intuitive. In fact, the phone itself is intuitive to use. I wish some of the apps were a little more polished, Bookshelf especially, as reading eBooks is my primary non-phone use for this thing. But all the other little things it does, it does well, in a very slick fashion.

I will say this. Having to pay for a song in iTunes, then pay for it again to make it into a ringtone, is absolutely rediculous, especially if you already legally own the song from another source. My ringtone isn't a free public concert, it's a way for me to know I've got a call. Heck, my current ringtone is a midi from one of my all time favorite games (Tie Fighter) converted into an MP3 and then converted into whatever format Apple uses for ringtones. There are ways around the silliness, but that doesn't make the situation any less silly. I'm ok with artists getting paid for their work. But I don't see how making a ringtone isn't fair use.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

100 Pushups

So I found this on the Lifehacker blog the other day, and thought it would be worth a shot. The pool I've been going to is closed for renovation, and I don't want to get out of the exercise habit. If I can swim a mile, why not try doing something else I would have thought impossible, do 100 pushups? So far, I'm not doing so hot. At the end of each session, you're supposed to do as many as you can, with a minimum the program thinks you can reach. I didn't reach my minimum today. But that's ok. You can always repeat a week.

The Dark Knight

Wow. It has been one heck of a year so far for super hero movies. I've enjoyed Iron Man, Hellboy 2, and the Dark Knight so far. As far as intensity goes, The Dark Knight probably takes the cake, but I'm not sure if it's my favorite of the three (Iron Man is probably more my style). Oh, and if you haven't seen it yet, go to Apple's trailer site and watch the trailer for Watchmen. I'm very, very excited about this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I usually manage to avoid working weekends, but I'm at the office today. Luckily, this shouldn't be happening too often at the new job. Using the opprotunity between test sessions to get my iTunes library cleaned up for my eventual iPhone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A question

Nik asked this in a comment on the last post:
Why Apple? They have little or nothing to do with phone service activation. They may as well be any run of the mill 3rd party AT&T retailer.
Here's why Apple. They sell the phone in their stores, and the phone requires activation. Sure, that may not be their usual line of work, but if they're selling a product that requires activation, I expect them to know how to do it. They didn't have some sort of list published that said if you're a new customer, come here, but if there's anything at all different about your situation, you better go to an AT&T store, cause we won't have a fracking clue. I would expect the same of any third party AT&T retailer who was selling the iPhone. If it has to leave your store activated, you better know how to do it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

But I'm still getting an iPhone

I went to the AT&T store in town when they opened on Sunday. Got one ordered. No idea how long it will take for it to get here. I'm still pissed about having to do things this way after being camped out in front of the store. But that anger is mostly directed at Apple.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So I don't have an iPhone

I camped out overnight. I had prepared beforehand, gotten myself set up as able to make changes to my wife's AT&T account, so I could just add myself onto her family plan. This possibility hadn't occured to anyone at Apple. They wouldn't let me do it. The only options they gave me were to set up a new, seperate account, which then may or may not be able to be merged with J's plan, or to go get in line at an AT&T store where someone might be able to help. I waited in line all night to get told to go get in line. I drove home.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The new iPhone

So, I'm going to get one. Two things finally did me in, the built in GPS, and applications. Heading out after a work dinner to go camp for one. *sigh* I'm increasingly wondering if there's something wrong with me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

1 mile!

Took me an hour and two minutes to do 36 laps. A mile in this pool is just a hair over 35. AB wants me to swim in a 1 mile race in Horsetooth. Not sure if I wanna. That water's cold!

Monday, July 7, 2008

While I'm at it... are the pictures from Janie and I's trip to Spain. One of my all time favorite vacations. Man, I need to get away again soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


We were out of town opening weekend (and we went to see Wanted on Friday), so J and I didn't get to see this until last Tuesday night. Pixar just has my number man. I swear they have meetings when they're planning their stories where someone says, oh, yeah, that'll really make Scott Ledet cry like a giant, hairy girl! Or something to that effect.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Almost there

So yesterday morning, I was up to 97% of a mile. If I had realized how close I was, I'd have kept going. So look for me swimming a full mile next week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Flickr dump

Man, do I feel like a louse. I went to Flickr to get some prints of a trip to France J and I took back in 2002, only to realize that I had never uploaded those images. So, here they are. Or rather, here are some of them. I used to have quite a few more on my old personal web server, but it died a well deserved death recently, and like the spiteful POS it was, it may have taken some of the images with it. If I can find the rest, I'll upload them, but in the meantime, here's what I've got. J's ok with it though. As she says, we'll always have the memories.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Swimming update

68% of a mile this morning, in just over half an hour. I swim slowly, but I feel like I could keep going easily, just can't spend more time swimming and still make it into work on time. I've been trying to work a few more crawl laps interspersed with my usual pattern of sidestroke lap/backstroke lap so I can get a bit more distance into the limited time. Also bought a little lap counter, worn like a ring on your index finger. Complete a lap, tap the button on it, and it records the count and the time that lap took, along with a cumulative time. No more zoning out and forgetting what lap I'm on.

Monday, June 16, 2008

So we took Janie camping...

...and much fun was had. Janie's birthday was last Wednesday, and much to my surprise, she decided a camping trip was in order. I borrowed my parents pop up camping trailer, got some spots reserved at a nearby lake, and bought way too much food, plus a dutch oven style camp stove.

We went swimming, hiking, stayed up late laughing around a campfire, and made some pretty tasty camp meals. I think folks had fun. I was a little down the first day, when a cooking experiment failed, but redeemed myself with dinner the following night, complete with a pineapple upside down cake cooked in the dutch oven over the coals of the fire. That's got to be one of my favorite camping traditions, and it made for a pretty good birthday cake for Janie.

J also got presented with a gift certificate for a spa day at a mountain hot springs. It actually looks good enough that I'm fairly jealous!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I almost killed a hobo

Ok, so he probably wasn't really a hobo. There was, in fact, no evidence to be seen of a bindle. Yet a hobo he will remain to me. He wandered into my headlights as I was driving north on Shields street, having already crossed the south bound lane. I slammed on the brakes, the Prius did it's damndest to stick to the road, and I came within less than three feet of breaking his legs, at the least. He looked at the car with a rather shocked expression, then continued his shuffle in front of me and to the other side of the road. Why did the hobo cross the road. The world may never know. Ask Mr. Owl.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Got to go see an early screening for it on Saturday. I suggest you go see it when you can. Saw it on a theater with DLP projection, and it really was amazing to watch. But more than just the animation, the story was well done enough to really place Dreamworks as a legitimate competitor to Pixar for computer animated movies. And competition is a good thing for us folks.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So, what's Scott been up to of late?

  1. Got up this morning and swam 0.45 of a mile. I'm not sure if I'm getting better or trying harder. It would probably help if I could learn an efficient swimming stroke, but as AB points out, the worse I am at swimming, the more exercise I get.
  2. There's a huge tent camper parked out in front of my house. It's on loan from my parents, J and I hope to take it out camping for her birthday in a few weeks, with as many of our friends joining us as possible.
  3. So I took a new job. I'm still on my two weeks notice, but in another week and a half, I'll be starting as a QA developer for another company. Benefits are hugely superior to where I'm at, and I get my own office, an experience completely unique in my employment history.
  4. Cure concert was great.
  5. Got tickets for NIN at Red Rocks in September. Third row.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One more pic

The Cure

The opening band is done, and the roadies are setting up for The Cure. I love Red Rocks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Time Bandits

Hey everyone. Want to know how to make all of your friends hate you? Make them watch Time Bandits. It's a movie, released in 1981 apparently, made by Terry Gilliam. If you are like me, you saw this when you were younger, and loved it. If you aren't like me, you didn't see this when you were young, and when viewing it for the first time now, think that it's the product of a sick and diseased mind. I still like it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Three tenths of a mile

That's how far I swam this morning. Not too bad for half an hour. I'm still way too tired for so short a distance, but it's better than last week. Today marks four days of getting at least some exercise in.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Going swimming

So yesterday morning, way too early, I hauled myself out of bed, grabbed a few supplies, and drove to meet my friends AB and Jer to swim some laps at one of the local pools. After a few turns around the pool, I had to start taking breaks on each end, catching my breath before going back. So. I'm out of shape. But swimming was fun. We're going to try and go once a week, see how that goes, and I'm going to shoot for the goal of eventually being able to swim a mile. They used to do that at summer camp back when I was a scout, and the early mornings required for it always defeated me, though I felt sure at the time I could have made the swim. Now, I probably could as well, but it would take days with my floating on my back to accomplish.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The post-label era is beginning

So today, NIN released a new album. For free, on the internets. You can find it here. It comes in several flavors, including Mp3, a couple of lossless codec's, and even a couple of gigs of wav files available via torrent.

Now, Trent is a special case. NIN has been around, his fans are legion and passionate, and on top of that, he's smart. His first album released after he freed himself from labels, Ghosts, I ended up buying twice, once from his site, and again from Amazon, because NIN's site was hit so hard that I could never successfully download, much less tell if I had actually been charged for the music (I had). They've obviously learned from this experience. With the slip, you submit your email addy, wait for the download link (it may take a while, but they're balancing server load), and when you get the email, follow the link and choose your version. Quick and easy, and I'm enjoying the album as we speak.

I truly hope that this is the future, and that NIN is a harbinger. Radio has been kind of a joke for some time now, I'm only likely to find new music via the local college station, or much more likely, via friends, or services online like Pandora. If NIN can make things work without a label, I hope other artists follow.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Iron Man

I've been waiting for this to come out all year. And I must say, not dissapointed in the least. Go see it.

To the person sitting behind my wife and I at the 8:30 show, at the Fort Collins Cinemark on Friday: you, sir, are an idiot. Did you perhaps notice that you were the only one laughing most of the time? That's not a good sign. Did you perhaps see the venemous looks directed at you from everyone around you, as you added your own color commentary to the movie we spent nearly $10 each to watch? When you roughly grabbed the back of my wife's seat in order to heave your bulk from your own, when my gentle wife turned and hissed "What the hell?" at you, did that not clue you in that perhaps you might be acting in some way inappropriately?

Anywho. Iron Man. See it. I will again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Despite our culture's renewed emphasis on living green of late, it seems like every year Earth Day gets more and more irrelevant and forgotten. However, J's company offered this year the service of recycling employee's old PC's and monitors for free. I just took advantage of it, recycling three old PC's that were no longer worth the trouble of trying to make work again. Of course, I was more interested in getting these beige monsters out of my basement, but hey, at least this way I don't have to worry about whatever hazardous chemicals they contain leaking into a local landfill. Unfortunately, they'll probably just end up doing the same in China.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Next year in Jerusalem!

What a great weekend. Our friends Brose and Bex invited us to Santa Fe to share the Passover Seder with them, and to meet their newest child Chloe. We drove down Friday, taking a half day off at work to get down there in time for supper, which was at Diego's, a local favorite. Played a bit of Rainbow 6 with Brose before we crashed late.

Saturday was spent primarily in preparation for the Seder. Brose and Bex wanted everyone to be involved, even us gentiles, so we ran off copies of a script describing the various cups that must be drained throughout the ceremony.

This sort of thing is really interesting to me. I'm not overly religious (sorry mom and dad!), but I also don't think religion is a bad thing. It can provide people with a much needed baseline to compare their moral compass against. And most religions do a pretty good job of setting that compass to a heading that works in the real world. Not all, but most.

In any case, the Seder was great, the food and company was wonderful, and I was introduced to a wonderful version of the Hillel sandwich. We stayed up until two playing games and laughing enough to keep up those who had proceeded us to bed.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Band names

New band names:

Properly Sauced

Gunch Punch

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Eureka 7

So, in case it wasn't obvious, I'm a dork. I like my anime, and although I'm hardly obsessive, when I find a good one, I want other folks to know. I just finished my second watching of Eureka 7 last night. No spoilers here, I don't want to ruin it, but it's become one of my favorites.

Mecha anime (cartoons featuring giant robots) has long been a favorite of mine, probably starting with Voltron and Robotech (I know, it's really Macross, but I didn't know better for years). Eureka 7 deals with a group of rebels called Gekko State, and their battle to save the world. Sound over the top? It is, from the combat to the love stories to the music. But that's what I love about it. This cartoon seems tailor made to manipulate me, and although it can be extremely cheesy, and I can recognize that, it doesn't stop me from cheering, laughing, and tearing up a bit.

Eureka 7 has aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim in the past, which is how I've caught it (thank goodness for Tivo). It doesn't seem to be available through Netflix yet, though I've put in a request that they carry it. Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The new cans

My new headphones came in today. Here's Audio-Technica's page on em. First, they sound better than any headphones I've used before, but understand that this isn't saying much. The best headphones I've ever owned were a pair of Shure e2c's, and while nice earbuds, it's hard to get the same kind of sound out of something like that. The cable on the new cans is incredible, thick and burly, with a spring on the connector end to help protect it from breakage, plus a coiled section to help prevent sudden jerks ruining your player's connector.

All that said, this is my one gripe. They don't go all the way around your ears. When I researched them, they were listed as circumaural. My thought was this meant that they went around one's ears. These sit on cartilage, and no matter how good they sound, that's going to get old after a while. Jer's Sony's actually do fit around the ears, and so you basically don't even realize you're wearing headphones after a while. I'll give these some time to break in and see if I can live with em, but if it stays uncomfy, they're going back. As with the Shure's, if listening to music makes your ears hurt, I tend not to do it, and that sucks.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Anime industrial design makes me buy things

Stupid cartoons. I've watched them all my life, and some have had more than a small impact on my sense of aesthetics. Take, for example, the Mach 5 from Speed Racer, or Mach Go Go Go in Japan. To this day, it is my perfect car. Not so much for the gadgets (although I must admit a little thrill at the number of buttons on the steering wheel of my Prius), but for it's lines, it's look. I must admit to severe misgivings about the Wachowski siblings' live action version. Not least because they've changed the Mach 5.

Now, the Prius has built in bluetooth. This pretty much takes care of the only instance in which I would need a bluetooth headset. But I own a bluetooth headset anyways. Why? Which Hunter Robin. I haven't even seen the entire run of the show, just the few episodes I caught back when it aired on Adult Swim. But the headsets they had were fantastic. At least the one I bought was inexpensive.

My most recent failing at the hands of cool looking cartoon tech is a pair of Audio-Technica headphones. The villain in this case? Eureka 7. All of the pilots wear extremely cool looking headphones when flying their mecha about.

So what does this say about me? It means I take my fashion cues from a bunch of cartoon characters. I suppose it's not all that bad. Everyone wants to look like their heroes. Some people buy ridiculously expensive sports jerseys, with their favorite player's name on the back. Others buy designer clothes they've seen their movie and music idols wearing. I, on the other hand, want to look like a mecha pilot. Now if I only I had a huge robot to drive around. I've already got the headphones...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Best weekend ever

Friday: Ordered pizza. Friends came over to watch a movie, followed by the last South Park. Good times were had.

Saturday: My sister and her family came over, and my nieces played much Rock Band, Skee Ball, and Mortal Kombat. I just followed them around, keeping the various pieces of gaming hardware functioning. After they got back on the road, we met up with friends again, this time to go bowling. Much beer was consumed, along with the largest pile of nachos I have ever seen.

Sunday: Got up early, and made french toast for Janie, her sister, and her sister's boyfriend. Later that afternoon, made some homemade vanilla ice cream. Like for reals homemade. Then played some Rainbow Six Vegas with Tim and Jer. Did really well, until Jer and I got into a spat as to whether "breach" meant simply opening a door and clearing a room, or using a breaching charge. Much fun was had regardless. Finished the day playing WoW with Janie.

Why was this such a good weekend? Because I'm at work right now, and I don't even mind.

Friday, March 28, 2008


J and I aren't necessarily big TV watchers. We have our shows, but I'm more interested in getting in game time than TV for the most part. We did get sucked into the resurgence of Doctor Who in 2005, and then into it's spinoff series Torchwood. Janie and I just finished the first season of Torchwood last night.

It's really a mixed bag. I really, really like the concept, a somewhat secret organization tasked to deal with increasing amounts of alien technology as mankind enters a new age. The ideas for the characters seems good, with some interesting flaws making them almost uncomfortably human. It just feels a little... off somehow. Like the acting is a bit too bombastic at times. The stories don't hang together quite as well as you'd want. The 'good guys' aren't as sympathetic as I'd prefer. But we couldn't stop watching it.

Anywho, I'll hopefully get season two going soon. And I'm already planning on a Captain Jack Harkness costume for Halloween this year.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New band name

The Jeremey Loofah Precedent

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Quiet week

Sorry for the lack of new posts. Work is keeping me busy, and there just hasn't been much to talk about of late. I've got a cold, but who wants to read a blog full of the whining of the sick?

We're supposed to be going skiing this weekend. J's got a friend who's letting us use their condo. Should be fun, except I'm not going skiing, for fear of hurting my back further. So I get to sit around with the other folks not going, watching tv and making food for the able bodied.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Janie and I went to see the show Stomp in Denver this weekend with our friends Tim and Sherri, and much fun was had by all. We had really good seats too. It was really amazing hearing the music produced, especially the parts requiring the entire cast to work in concert. Very much recommended!

Google search poetry

I took a few of my recent Google searches and strung them together to make this poem. Please enjoy.

Where in the world of warcraft is carmen sandiego?
I want to dress like a sci-fi extra.
Domino bond girl.
When the something are outlawed, only outlaws will be something.
Games featuring witches
Space pope

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Last post about my stupid hip!

Ok, the blog is in a rut, and I'm sick of thinking about this. So here's a quick rundown and we'll leave it alone.

  • The "arthritis" seen in the MRI is standard degenerative wear and tear. It probably doesn't help that I'm 6'3" and spend too much of my day sitting at a desk with undoubtedly bad posture.
  • The Doctor thinks that, even though the MRI didn't show a pinched nerve, there is a bulged and possibly torn disc, which likely did impact the nerve at some point.
  • I had a bad pain attack Tuesday night, lasting for around 20 minutes. I didn't have another one until today around 2:30. So they do seem to be getting less frequent. But I'll probably go to see an anesthesiologist at some point to get further anti-inflammatory treatments, and possibly something for pain.
There. The end. No more whiny Scott.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

And the results are in!

Just got a call on my MRI. I have a bulged, possibly torn disc, but they say that that isn't impacting any nerves. I was also told I had arthritis. Ok, I'm going to need more info on that! But the phone person apparently is like the trailer for a movie, refusing to give details and forcing me to set up a dr's appointment to get more info. So that's set up for tomorrow, leaving me to imagine all kinds of horrible possibilities in the mean time.

Monday, March 3, 2008

MRI time

Lying in a metal tube, listening to the magnets make more noise than you've ever heard magnets make before. Worrying about the fact that you forgot to tell the technician about the permanent retainer behind your teeth, or your wedding ring still on your finger. Four inches of clearance between your eyeballs and the top of the shell...

I'm not one to claim claustrophobia, but man, MRI's are almost made to bring it out in you regardless. After a week had gone by since my first talk with the doc, I went back and said that everything I told them on the first visit still held true, plus, I've now endured a week of it. So, off to the MRI, to hopefully figure out what happens next, plus some muscle relaxers to maybe let me get through a full night without having to jump out of bed two or three times when the nerve goes off.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thanks for the good thoughts!

Thanks for the comments guys. Quick update on what's happening with this. I'm trying to finish with the course of action my doctor put me on, while at the same time, seeing a chiropractor/acupuncturist. This way, I've got my quack bases covered. I kid, I kid, if it helps, I don't care if I have to wear a crystal pendant and a pyramid shaped hat. Results so far is that the pain seems less frequent, but more intense. On the whole, I think that's a positive.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This is intolerable

J and I watched a really sweet movie last night, Eagle vs Shark. Throughout it, I'd have to jump up off the couch and limp around, as this damned nerve would twitch and I just couldn't sit still.

When sleeping, I have to lie on my back, not my preferred way to sleep. But anything else seems to trigger it, as I discovered multiple times between two and three last night.

I tried adjusting my desk at work, so I could work while standing, but that triggered it. I can't sit normally without it going off. I have to sit hunched over, with the angle of my torso to my thighs being less than ninety degrees, and even that's no guarantee that it won't happen.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Definition: "In Stock"

It's time for Scott's public service announcement to the internet. Today, we're going to define the term "In Stock". In stock means that you have physical possession of an object for sale, and merely await an order for said stock to be shipped to the happy buyer. In stock does not mean that the item is on backorder. In stock does not mean that the item is no longer available. In stock does not mean that the product does not and may very well never have existed. Until the internet figures this out, is having a unicorn sale. They're in stock!

Pinched nerve update

The docs don't think it's sciatica, but agree it's likely a pinched nerve. They just don't know what to do about it. They just took some x-rays, put me on some steroids, and told me to stop bugging them. So, now what? It triggered again today. And it isn't getting less painful. Do I go see a chiropractor? I'm halfway convinced they're a bunch of voodoo, but if the actual docs can't help, what do I do?

Monday, February 25, 2008

A mostly good weekend

Drove down to Denver Friday, and stayed at Janie's sister's place. Got up way too early the next morning, and began the drive to Monarch Mountain, Janie, Rose, Rose's boyfriend John, and myself. Got there around ten, got through the annoying rental process, and hit the slopes. Ugh, I can't believe I just typed that. Anywho, the skiing was good, I managed four runs or so before I felt too tired/sore to be safe out there anymore, so I claimed a table at the lodge and guarded it zealously from any who dared question my table territory.

When everyone else finished, we drove into Salida, found our hotel, and soaked in one of the hot tubs, until the arrival of a very large family bearing booze chased us from the premises. After a bit of a nap, we ended up at Amicas, a microbrewery and pub. The beer was quite tasty, as was the food.

The following day, we drove back towards Denver, stopping at a hot springs on the way. I find myself mixed on hot springs. I do enjoy sitting in the warm water, especially when the scenery is nice, and doing so while it's snowing is the best. But this remains enjoyable for a finite time, after which I'm done with the activity. I think I also prefer the heated tubs and swimming pools to the rock and dirt lined shallow pools lining the river side, where freezing river water and super heated spring water mix.

Anyway, very good trip, until we got on the road home. At which point a pinched nerve had me absolutely miserable. The pain rarely lasted more than thirty seconds at a time, but it was so intense that I slept very poorly on Sunday night, worrying it would come back. And it did. It's happened about five or six times so far total. Rose, who's in medical school, suggested it was sciatica, and the wiki entry certainly seems to support this. I've got a doctor's appointment Thursday, just hope the pain is infrequent between now and then.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Off skiing this weekend

Well, I'm off for a weekend of skiing. I've not been in years, and I'm concerned for my knees, but we'll see how it goes. Hope everyone has a great weekend, and we'll see you when we get back!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bweep ba do boop!

I found this wonderful bit of knitcraft floating around the interweb this morning. I'm going to see if my sister can make one for me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Finished Mass Effect...

...and enjoyed it muchly. You can see my final thoughts on the game over at, though some of the issues are reposts of content I'd written here first.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Want This

In today's I Want This, we have what could be, the greatest Nerf gun in history. Check it out over at Gizmodo.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's day

I took J to a Valentine's concert put on by Devotchka down in Boulder last night. Absolutely a fun time. The music was great, but I spent way too much of the show staring at the guitars. Also, as we had been playing Rock Band before the concert, we came up with some more new band names. Technical Difficulties, and Suddenly Sushi. Oh, and the image above is Janie's shirt she wore to the concert. I had a matching one, you can buy them here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My latest time sink

My friends and I talk about games a lot. We're a little obsessive about it. And being the level headed folks we are, we've decided to alleviate some of our guilt over this by sharing it with the rest of you. Introducing, a little gaming blog, by gamers. All the writers are real people, with plenty of things going on in our lives besides our favorite hobby, so we aren't going to be rushing to get games reviewed by release day, or to post the latest news we can find. There's plenty of other places on the web that can do that better than us. We will talk about things we find interesting in the gaming world, games we like, or didn't like. I'd like to think that, as most gamers out there live full lives in addition to enjoying games, ours is a perspective that will be shared by many.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fun things found on the net.

While doing a google image search (don't ask), I came across this:That kid looks terrified. "Mom, what did you just put me on?"

I have a problem

I'm not good at fashion. I've got this little voice inside my head that tells me to dress like Crichton from Farscape, like Mal from Firefly, like Han from Star Wars. And, possibly to my detriment, I listen to that voice from time to time. I wear a leather murse slung like a holster on my left hip. I've got a pocket filled black vest that I wear whenever I get tired of the murse. I feel like, at any given moment, I should be able to walk on as an extra in some never to be filmed Blade Runner sequel. Then I found this. If dressing like a sci-fi extra means I also have to look like the guys in these spots, I think I'll stick with jeans and t-shirts.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I want this

A 3D version of the Star Wars movie poster.

How not to do downloadable content

Gaming blog Kotaku has this article, which makes me a bit unhappy. With the latest generation of consoles able to access the net, downloadable content has become an easy way for companies to make a few bucks. Some examples of this were downright awful (*cough* horse armor), but others, like Rock Band's downloadable songs, really add value to a game.

Mass Effect may be Bioware's first console title where downloadable content has been an option, and the way they're going about it is a bit odd. If you've already completed the game, the add on resets your character back to the beginning, forcing you to play through the first planet, and paying your first visit to the Citadel, before you get access to your ship. Only then can you access the new content.

How hard would it have been to simply drop you back in your ship, with the new missions listed on the map? Granted, I've not finished playing the game, for all I know, the galaxy is destroyed by the end of it, and so Bioware had to do this to keep their timeline making sense. But that's still a pain. I may save buying this till I get the urge to play through the game a second time.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mass Effect update

I had a very bad stomachache Tuesday night, and since I couldn't sleep, I got up and continued Mass Effect. I finally did get to bed about five, but upon getting up a few hours later, still felt like crud, with the added benefit of needing more sleep. So I took a sick day. And played Mass Effect some more. So, more thoughts.
  1. The game makes me want to go through and play again on every class. The problem is there's so much content, it would be exhausting. As a veteran of many Bioware games, I try for as many side quests as I can, leaving the galaxy to teeter on the verge of disaster. I'm not sure how many play throughs I've got in me.
  2. The Mako. It's the future. You're driving all over these incredibly mountainous terrains. Let's find the engineer who put this together, and explain that there are times when it's helpful to be able to shoot downward.
  3. The inventory system!
    1. It took me way too long to figure out how to sell extra gear to the Normandy's quartermaster (I know, I know, duh, but honestly, I bet there are others who didn't see how at first).
    2. I was at first impressed that the game actually showed you carrying all of your gear. Most games have the heroes carrying a small army's worth of gear, but never showing how that's schlepped about. However, Mass Effect only displays your equipped gear. Apparently, you're also carrying everything else that you've got, allowing you to change to a different weapon/armor in mid-mission.
    3. The item limit. I had at least one point where I had reached it without realizing, then was given an item upgrade important to the mission I was on. I had to convert it into omni-gel, then reload the game at my last save and do it all over, making sure to convert a bunch of other stuff to omni-gel first.
  4. Elevators. Enough said.
Anywho, I still love the game, and think about it way, way too much, but a tiny little piece of me wants to quit all the side quest crap and get on with the main plot. The story there is so much better. And although the rewards are great for taking the time, it bothers me doing so. Bioware RPG's always put you on a quest where you have a limited time to save the world/galaxy, but then reward your dawdling around doing favors for anyone and everyone instead of getting the job done. It would be an interesting trick to play for their next game to actually have consequences for all the time you spend not saving the galaxy.

P.S. I really do love the game! Really! The only reason I have things to pick apart is that I'm spending a LOT of time with it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New drums are here!

EA continues to impress with their support. Got the new drums in and assembled, and got the old ones ready to ship back. The new set are definitely of the second generation of hardware, and seem very sensitive in comparison to the originals, although the red pad sometimes seems to need a bit more force. Our band "as you wish continued" it's quest to get to unlock the endless setlist. So not sure if I'm ready for that. Some of the songs, even on medium, can be brutal on drums. And no matter how fun the game is, 58 songs in one sitting... Oog.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Super Bowl

Well, that was unexpected! A defensive battle, a great ending, and a big upset! Fixed cheeseburgers, chili-fries, and cookies for sustenance, and tivo'd the game so we could skip the boring parts and commercials that had already aired multiple times. My choice for best commercial goes to the chip commercial with the guy in the mouse suit.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mass Effect impressions

Ok. First, I love me some Bioware games. Bioware has made some of my all time favorites, so I'm a Mass Effect fanboy even though I've barely started the game. Here's my thoughts so far:
  • The 'tutorial' level could be better. Mass Effect throws you into the action, and unless you are being very careful, or are playing a soldier (more on this later), things can get a little frustrating.
  • Play a soldier if the combat is getting you down. I started with a Vanguard, and trying to take out hovering drones with a pistol or shotgun was not much fun. With a soldier, you've got every weapon group available to you. Setting up for some long range sniping can greatly reduce the difficulty of some encounters.
  • The game is fun! Bioware nailed the ScottyAttention formula with games like KOTOR, and Mass Effect continues this tradition.
I just got to the Citadel for the first time, so I have a long, long way to go, but I'm really enjoying things so far. I'm already tempted to play through the game a second time, as an Adept next time maybe. We'll see.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Well, that was short lived.

My happiness at finding a publisher who did right by ebooks has faded. Simon and Schuster, although to be commended for offering some books in ebook form, fail when it comes to the book I choose. It's part of a trilogy. The other two books in the series? Not available as ebooks. I simply do not understand.

On ebooks

My friend Brose and I often discuss the merits, or lack thereof, of ebooks. Brose firmly believes in the wonders of the physical book, deriving comfort from the smell, the feel of the paper. To me, it's always been more about the data contained within than the object itself.

Part of the reason I've been a user of the Pocket PC (now Windows Mobile) devices for so long is their support of Microsoft Reader. It used to be included on early devices, and so when I got ebooks, I got them in the format that worked with it. Over time, I built up a decent library of books. But except for rare exceptions, the books I collected were not entirely legal. I justified this by buying a hard copy of a book, then finding a place to download a digital copy that I'd actually read. But it always frustrated me how few publishers would release ebooks, and the few that did tended to charge a premium for them, which I simply couldn't understand.

So it was with welcome relief that I found the book Uglies available in ebook form from the publisher, at a reasonable price. My sister had suggested it to me, and on a whim, I googled 'uglies ebook' and there it was. Of course, the DRM still makes it a pain. You have to 'validate' your copy of Reader with Microsoft, and you have to use IE to actually download the book, since it uses an active x control to verify that Reader is sufficiently locked down. But DRM annoyances aside, I still applaud the publisher for making the book available in digital form, at a price comparable to a paperback.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Finished Assassin's Creed

I may go back and climb a few more view points in the Kingdom area, which I didn't get to, and which kept me from the Fearless achievement. So, the game was pretty ok. It was gorgeous visually, the fights had me tense, the assassinations were definitely highlights (though they could get frustrating), and overall, I'd have to give it a thumbs up. It was far from perfect though. After putting in all the time and effort, I wanted a better ending than I got. Sure, there'll be a sequel, but I'm less enthused about it now. The ending just left me kinda down on the game.

Our powers combined...

Ok, this required some explanation. There used to be a pet store called Denizens of the Deep here in town. Next door, there used to be a game store. Apparently, like some sort of unholy Captain Planet, they've combined their powers to form...Deep Seize. A store selling games and fish.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New drums on the way!

So I called Rock Band support, and explained the situation, and was told that as long as the drums weren't in a million pieces or burnt, they should be replaced free of charge. Two things. First, that kicks ass, EA has once again impressed me by taking care of their customers. Two, who the heck managed to burn their drums?

My first song! Kinda!

So after practicing for a while (finally starting to get some really nice sounds out of the amp), I drove over to Guitar Center and picked up a capo, which has allowed me to play my first song, more or less. I can now play an extremely basic three chord version of Johnny B. Goode, minus the rocking intro. I'll keep working on it, as it's a decent way to practice chord changes, and maybe I'll start picking out part of the intro as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Rock Band drums are dead.

Yeah, they're not coming back from this one. Jer ended up bringing over his drums after the sensor basically fell out of my yellow pad. Right now, yellow is almost certainly broken beyond repair, and blue is no longer responding, though it doesn't bear the same obvious physical breakage.

On the plus side, Steph and I rocked some expert guitar and bass, and Jer tried some expert singing. AB stuck with medium on drums, but I don't blame him. Expert would have probably lead to breaking Jer and Steph's drums too.


Tech demo for the Force Unleashed. I think this is definitely on my watch list for 2008. My all time favorite Star Wars game, Tie Fighter, had you working for the Empire. I'd be curious to revisit the dark side (in game form).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Band names

Playing Rock Band, one often has to come up with good band names spur of the moment. As this is sometimes tough, I also try to keep track of good names I come up with at off times for use with future bands. So, for your perusal, here's two that I've got kicking around:

Technological Terror - Yay Star Wars references!

Special Guest - Both AB and I thought of this one, while wondering who Devotchka had opening for them at a coming show.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My first level 70...

My friend Brose helped me finish up a few quests, and my first ever character in WoW became my first ever level 70. I checked the /played command, and I have spent just under one month of real time playing him. He's now respecced protection, and there he'll stay, only coming out when my friends need a tank.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Broken drums

Sorry for the lousy pic, my camera phone really doesn't take the best pics.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Got my amp!

Had to stop by Guitar Center on the way home from yoga tonight to pick up a lead and an adapter so I could plug it into some speakers I had, but I now officially suck out loud. That is, I now make more noise than the guitar did all by it's lonesome. The amp has the welcome property of making me sound less bad somehow. I've now added a fourth chord to my list, bringing me to D, A, E, and A Minor.

One failing of the Rock Band drum set... that you really shouldn't beat on them the way you might an actual set of drums. I broke the yellow drum pad while playing through the Who's Won't Get Fooled Again last night. It still mostly works, but you can see the shattered plastic beneath the grey rubber pad, which thankfully is still intact. Pics to come.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back again

Janie's off shopping, and I'm in the basement, with the Who blasting, building a second set of shelves. The weekend was good, though a few things didn't go quite as planned. Much fun was had on the whole. When we got home, we found that Jer had left his media shelf and garage shelving units for us, so my 360 and Wii games have a new home in the living room. I haven't put together the shelves for the garage yet, but I'll get to that after I finish building the shelves for the basement. Hope everyone's having a good MLK memorial weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Off for the weekend

Heading to Denver shortly to meet up with my family. We're taking the ski train tomorrow from Denver to Winter Park. My folks got everyone a snow cat tour, and we'll go tubing after. If I don't post for a bit, I'll put something up Tuesday at least.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Online guitar lessons

Just thought I'd share this with anyone else out there looking to learn but wanting to be a bit cheap about it. is an absolutely great resource! He has quite a few lessons online, along with links to song tabulatures and helpful info about gear. He does ask that if you use his lessons, you donate to his paypal account, something I'm all for, as the lessons have been of great help so far.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Great, just what I need, another hobby :)

I've got a big grin on my face. Playing guitar is fun! Plus, J seems to like it. I showed her my latest discovery (chords!), and I got kisses out of the deal. They didn't seem to be patronizing, you poor dim man sorta kisses either. Long live rock and roll!

So I think I forgot to mention...

...I finished Half Life 2! I know, I'm a couple years behind the curve, but I'm glad I finally did. I've taken a break from Half Life to play Assassin's Creed, but I'll get back to the episodic content once that's finished.

So Janie got her new ring...

I think she's happy with it. I kept catching her holding her hand out and turning to to let the diamonds catch the light. I'm happy too. It feels good to both have wedding rings again. Not sure why, it just feels good.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Assassin's Creed

Despite my intent to go back and continue Metroid on the Wii, the great temptress, my 360, called me back to it's embrace. I had played through a tiny bit of Assassin's Creed when I first got it, but I was neck deep in other games at that point and didn't continue past the first few tasks. Now I'm into the story proper, and I'm enjoying it for the most part. It takes some getting used to. First, it's more violent than I'd like. Maybe I'm doing things wrong, but I'd prefer gathering intel, taking out a target, and escaping without any more killing. But to gather allies and intelligence, you often have to help a townsperson who's being accosted by the town guards. There only seem to be two choices here. Either you ignore the situation and lose out on the allies, or you have to attack and kill four or five guards. Although I've gotten fairly good at the fighting side of the game, I wish there were some other options there. In another case, I took the time to gather every single bit of intelligence on a target that I could, hoping that all the info would allow for a quick, bloodless (except for the target's) mission. Instead, it was a trap. Either I did something wrong to begin with, or the game just doesn't always reward the work you put into planning. In any case, I am enjoying it, and look forward to completing it.

Guitar update

Turns out my brother in law happens to have a 1980 Gibson S-1 that's been sitting in it's case for two years. He's giving it to his brother in a few months, but he's letting me borrow it in the mean time! I've been trolling around eBay for a used Behringer V-amp, but they're a bit pricer than I was expecting. Probably because of all the dorks like me who managed to survive a few Rock Band songs on hard and thinks that means we've got the chops to learn a real instrument.

Friday, January 11, 2008


"Wanted: Used but working electric guitar/amp combo. Untalented novice seeks a basic starter set to allow him to play out sad rock fantasy in basement. Looking for decent, gently used entry level guitar and amp, along the lines of a Les Paul Special II or Squire Strat."

That's the text of the flyer that my friend Brose's mom is putting up around the college campus she works at. She teaches world and contemporary music. With any luck, I'll get some nibbles.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Well, that was more difficult than it had to be. But the end result is a simply amazing experience. The old xbox is streaming content at 720p to my 32" LCD in the bedroom, hooked up to all of my media in the basement, with an xbox 360 lookalike skin to boot. It's doing so in widescreen, of course, and the software is smart enough to display the aspect ratio of the video correctly. SD displays with black bars on the sides, HD takes up the whole screen. It looks and sounds fantastic. It is incredibly nice to have access to my media in any room of the house. Well, any room with an HD television, I guess, but still.

There are only two things that I'd like to fix, but are so low priority that I don't know if I'll bother. First, I still have to hit the power button to power it on. I've yet to find a way to do so remotely. And two, when I power it off with the remote, a PC speaker on the xbox plays an annoying beep. If I'm up late watching tv using my wireless headphones, and J's asleep next to me, my choices are to get out of bed to turn it off, thereby waking her up, or to use the remote, playing a shrill beep which will both wake her up and tick her off. Might be worth removing that speaker ;)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Widescreen fixed...

...but now I've broken my dashboard. Working on getting that fixed. The workaround for now is having to go through the exploit every time you want to run XBMC, or just leaving it booted to XBMC all the time. I also found a fairly workable way to remotely shut down the xbox, but still nothing reliable to turn it on with the remote. Will keep you posted.

Monday, January 7, 2008

So I modded the old Xbox...

And I'm mostly thrilled. I used the direction found here. For the most part, I'm super pleased, but there are a few things that still require fixing. First of all, I bought upgraded AV cables to allow me to go widescreen, but I didn't know that I had to set that in the MS dashboard. So I go and mod it all up, and find that I can't change it, and none of my mods are letting me go back to the MS dashboard. I'm working on fixing that, as this media center would really benefit from using all of the available real estate it can get.

Another annoyance is getting my Logitech Harmony remote to talk to it. With almost every other device, I've had no problems getting the Harmony to work like a charm. For some reason, the only way I've gotten this to work has been by using the Harmony's IR receiver to learn each button press. This seems to work, but it does so slowly.

Finally, although I've found posts mentioning that you can turn the xbox on and off via remote, and have tried to implement them, so far, nothing doing. So for the time being, I've got to schlep over to the tv and hit the button. Not a big deal, but my tv and xbox media center sit on top of a ledge above my closet, which means I can reach the button, but poor J needs a step ladder. Not ideal.

All in all, I love the functionality of XBMC so far. I just want to fix a few quirks. To me, this is how TV should work. I've got my content, centrally located, and I watch or listen to what I want, where I happen to be.

One more reason I love Janie

Context. Janie and I are in Pueblo, following her 79 year old grandfather's wedding. It's 10 o'clock in the evening. We've got a three hour drive home. ALSO OF NOTE! Our friend Brose plays WoW with us. His class has the ability to create portals for their party, allowing them to travel from anywhere in the world to one of several major cities. MOVING ON!

Scott: "Man, I wish we had Brose with us, so he could portal us home."

Janie: "Yeah, or at least to Denver."

Thank you, and good night.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

So, I just changed my Blogger password...


I'm a bit of an idiot. Just yesterday, my friends and I were discussing the fact I have basically one user name and password that I use almost everywhere. This is usually fine, as I've no one but me (and my friends) know it, and my friends can easily log onto my accounts when needed.

*changes mmo account passwords*

Well, today, I logged into ebay, looking for some hard to find controllers for my old xbox that I'm modding into a media center. For some reason, I couldn't actually log in.

*changes email password*

So I went through the process to reset my password. No problems. I didn't think any more about it until I logged back in with the new password.

*changes every other password I can think of*

When I logged in, I saw I had a couple of messages. One was from last November, when ebay shut down my account, as someone had been using it to spam other ebay members.

*changes PayPal password!!*

I'm a fool. Luckily, in this case, the only damage seems to be some annoyed people on ebay.

iPhone envy

So I must admit, the iPhone's interface is intriguing. I've been using PDA's of the Microsoft persuasion since college, when I had a huge NEC MobilePro 770 for taking notes in class. Lately, I've gone the phone/PDA conversion route with an HTC Wizard. And although it does what I'd like, one can't but help being jealous of just how slick the iPhone interface is.

This morning I found Point UI, a fairly decent little app which goes part of the way towards addressing my interface complaints. It gives you a more finger-navigable interface over Windows Mobile 5 and 6, allowing me to leave the stylus in the slot most of the time. Of course, it doesn't re-do every app, and so you can't go stylus free entirely. But for navigating around the PDA and launching your apps, it does a great job.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


So for Christmas, my sister-in-law's boyfriend raided his attic and gave me a Sega Genesis, and an original xbox. I've got a fairly extensive console collection, despite not really becoming what I'd call a console gamer until I got my Wii and 360 last year. I had had an Atari 400 (more of a home computer than a console), an NES and Super NES growing up. But then I graduated into PC gaming, and there I thought I would remain. So I took some time off from console land, although somehow always managing to have the current Nintendo offering on hand.

At this point, I've got every Nintendo console, every Sega except for the Master System, a PS1, and now every Microsoft offering as well. My 360 sees daily use (the Wii, sadly, sees less). My PC has become simply a server for my files and printer, and occasional forays into Azeroth.

In any case, now that I have an original xbox, I'm working on plans to modify it to run XBMC, letting me put a networked media player back in the master bedroom. I've got two HD sets, a 32 in the bedroom and a 60 in the living room, and there's no way the 360 was staying in the bedroom once the big set arrived! But I missed being able to stream my tv shows to the bedroom set. With any luck, I'll be able to once again soon! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Like I'm sure countless others did across the country, my friends and I celebrated the new year by rocking out with Rock Band. I hope you and yours have an incredible year! Janie and I's is off to a good start so far!

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