Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Coolest Job

My Mom seriously has the coolest job. Well, not for her, but more for me. See, she is in charge of the lost and found, and when an item comes in and none of the hotel staff had reserved it, my mom will claim her name on it. After three months and if no guests claim it, then it's hers. So the last big claim she's gotten was the 20 gig iPod, so that was pretty cool.

Yesterday she came downstairs, and with the same indifferent nonchalance, she handed me a case and asked me if it was useful to me. I opened it and just about flipped out - it was a Nintendo DS game case with 8 DS games and one dubious "Elf" GBA game. Although there were a couple duplicate games I already had or have, and a couple of weird card based kiddy games, the rest are actually top shelf games. New Super Mario, Star Wars Lego 2, Viewtiful Joe, and Mario 64. And since I've been unable to actually play these games because Alex is using them for potty training, I did what any rational person would do. I took the duplicates and lesser liked games and traded them in, and got a used DS at EB Games for around 58 bucks. So now I actually have two DS-es, and I reclaimed my red DS which has, so far, no scratches yet on the touch screen. The used one has some barely visible ones. Not too bad though.

Anyway, now I can actually have my DS again, which is kinda nice. I stopped playing it because it was always in the bathroom.


My uncle and aunt are going to visit from Canada - they moved out to Canada about a year before I did, and though I do have three younger cousins, they opted out of the trip so I won't be seeing them. I don't know how to really feel about it, since my uncle was always one of them uncles who would not really talk to their nephews, just give them money once in a while for their birthdays. I'm less of a nephew and more of my father's son, I suppose. My aunt has left a bit more of an impression on me, but not much more. They're pretty nice as far as I remember them. When we first moved to the States, we did go visit them for about a week or so. That was 17 years ago. Of my three cousins, one of them I haven't even met yet since he wasn't born yet.

Oh well, better get some work done.

Oh yeah, I think I'm still gunning for the PSP. At least for now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Work is weird

I'm sure the company is a viable, great company, despite the fact that it's been bleeding money all year because of a government issue right now. It's evidently a Fortune 500 company, but if you brought a camera crew to where I was working right now, it would be easy to mistake it for some production line in Asia or something. Times like yesterday when a couple White folks were supervising and helping all the other colored folks how to move things - it just felt odd for me.

I wasn't much help today, when a couple of my co-workers wanted to move some stuff around. The supervisor asked why we wanted to move stuff around, and I mentioned that it would make the process more efficient. And he looked at me as if I had just mentioned some magic word, so he said, "ok."

But this company, man, it's just a odd situation all over. How weird? It's my third week, right, and so far I have replaced someone who's left with no training. Then after about 3 days of doing that, a new replacement comes in and they want me to train the guy. I'm like, "This is my third week. I don't know anything." Nonetheless, I trained him, and he's tremendously careless about the work he does, ignoring my instruction which could possibly lead to a lot of issues in the future. Anyway, he latches onto me for things to do, but it's like - there's nothing to do. Production was halted for about two weeks, and they decided to move the whole department to a new area, so it could be out for another week. I've had 2 and a half weeks of being at work and I've honestly done maybe 3 days of real work, and maybe 4 hours of work that's related to the position I actually applied for.

To further distract me, I noticed there was a voicemail on my mobile while I was on my brake, and it was another contractor job, this one as a video game tester. They wanted a hasty interview ASAP, but since I'm working tomorrow, I stated the first day I was available for interview for Friday. Still haven't heard back, but it started the gears in my mind for wanting another job. One that actually puts me to work.

Yeah, and to make matters worse, my co-workers are quite... different. One is a conspiracy-spouting, government disbelieving, police hating dude who likes to brag about his different girlfriends. And the new guy I'm training has a 10 year old kid (he's a year younger than me), and he just got married in his homeland 2 months ago, and didn't tell his wife that he had a kid after the marriage. When asked why he didn't mention it, he said, "Well, then you wouldn't marry me!" Naturally, my disdain for the both of them is probably not well hidden - I tend to ignore them for the most part unless I have to.

The two regular guys are pretty nice to me, and I like them ok. One of them has a distorted sense of time, always watching the clock and saying, "No, do it later, it's almost time to go." and it's like half an hour before quitting time. I had to demand rather insistently yesterday for my way when we were moving pallets, and he said "We'll fix it later."

"Why don't we do it right the first time, so we don't have to do it again?", I huffed.

I probably come across as really anal and eager to work, but really, it's just that little thing called a work ethic. When I have to spend 10 1/2 hours at a workplace, I'd like to leave with a sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, don't know what's going to happen right now, pretty much doing this thing day by day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rethinking the iPod Lust

I like my iPod, I really do. It's the 4th gen iPod with photo capability, with 20 Gigs of storage, and it's just perfect for me. And bonus! It was free. My mom had found it months before at the hotel and nobody had claimed it, so she did. I know, somebody had to lost their iPod for me to find it, so I do feel a tad guilty that I'm not its rightful owner. But I sure am a grateful owner.

Anyhow, the only thing I wished that I could change about it was some video capability. I'm sure all this iPod needed was a video codec or something in order to play video, since it could technically run some video in Linux, but still I wouldn't shell out the extra money for the current video iPod. The screen is just too meager.

That said, the rumors that a wider, probably touch screen iPod has got me salivating... until I looked it up on Wikipedia. The last price points were initially 299 and 399, steep considering what I really just want is a bit of video to kill time at work, or in between doctor's appointments. I really don't need that much more space, nor am I particularly unhappy with my current iPod. In fact, I cringe to think that my speaker dock might have to be rejiggered to fit a newer design, along with the power adapter.

Then this morning, a unrelated gadget that I've been aware of popped into my head. In September, the PSP will have a newer design - though not a complete overhaul. Just slimmer, lighter, and faster, with an assortment of colors. But more than that, the price point of 169.99 plus the cost of a memory card might be the ultimate answer to my portable media problem. The PSP plays mp4s, and some other files, and most of the podcasts I watch are already mp4s. Some movs, but that's easily fixable. That way, I have no redundacy in my gadgetry, plus I have a portable gaming device. And since Alex has hijacked my DS for his pottytime, it'll give me something to do while I ignore people. And despite of what I've read about PSP games, the tweaky one analog control, and numerous camera issues with a lot of games, it's still got a nice big screen with crisp colors. Can't really fight that too much.


I had a dream last night that I was either homeless or unemployed. I was trying to work at Safeway or something, and then I was sleeping in the pews at a church. The pastor would tell me that I couldn't sleep there, I'd apologize and get up. Anyway, that's plenty weird in itself, imagine how I felt when I came to work and it felt familiar. It's my third week and there was a sense of comfort showing up for work. I dunno, a lot still in transition, though I have to say that a three day weekend is pretty sweet. Now if only the kids acknowledge that, it would be supper. Yes, I meant to say supper.


I keep thinking about what I have to do with my life, and I think the thing that I really still want to get accomplished isn't more school, different jobs, or selling of souls to anyone. It's about making movies, as it's always been about. I could try to jet off to CA and start off as some lowly production assistant or grip and try to work my way out, but I think I'd just like the freedom to be able to make movies without worrying too much about what I say and how I say it. Woody Allen has a great job, a movie every year, low budget with artistic clout that anyone will work for scale for you, and no pressure from the studios to perform exceptionally at the box office. I would love that job. Of course, I would need writing talent too, but that would just be asking for too much.

Well, back to work.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Loose Ends

Blogging from work during lunch, and though I'm basically emailing this entry to myself, I don't reckon that they'll go so far as to keep a key logger of some sort to monitor employee activity. At any rate, the blog isn't really mentioned and I'm not about to talk about work, so I don't think it'll be a problem.

Just thought about a few loose ends...


So we went to the Bite on Friday, and now that Alex is potty trained, we have to constantly make him go to the bathroom because he either doesn't think about it until it's too late, or he ignores the warnings. Anyhow, I had to take Alex and Zoe each to the bathroom at least once that day, and the results are mention worthy...

When I took Alex, he went first, and then I went after him, and he said something that I always wanted to hear, except in my mind it wouldn't be my little son saying that. More like a hot blind girl with no nerve endings on any of her appendages. But he said, "You got a big peanut, Dad." And I just laughed. Then he reached over to touch the toilet bowl and I said, "Don't touch that," and then realized how terrible it sounded to everyone else in the bathroom.

Then when Zoe went, she asked what I was doing, and after I told her, she exclaimed, "You got a peanut like Alex, huh? I don't have a peanut."

And by the way, we do use the actual word for that body part - they just hear it differently.


We ditched a sleeping Zoe yesterday and took Alex to see "Transformers", which was actually better than expected. I've heard that reaction with other people, and I have to agree that it's pretty much true. It's better than most Michael Bay movies, which always include a thing or two that doesn't seem quite right. Like how Pearl Harbor had that really cool, yet inappropriate tracking shot of a bomb going into a ship. And his romance scenes are always icky, like Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler playing out some deranged infantile safari with animal cookies. Or the body tossing chase scene in Bad Boys 2. Just not quite right.

The thing I liked about this movie was how diverse the cast was. The top hacker was a black kid, the girl was a grease monkey, and both their stories didn't seem forced. The plot moved the story right along, and the supporting cast and even Shia was actually not bad. The graphics of course, were fantastic. Completely seamless CG.

The things I didn't like with the movie was when the Autobots talked, it seemed weird. They were also too human to be alien. During a comedy bit, they were even going out of their way to hide from Sam's parents - quite silly if you've seen the rest of the movie. And the whole alien technology being able to make metals and machinery expand and contract to transform seem... suspect. And I'm being nitpicky here, but why would these robots fire traditional ammo? Like rockets and bullets? Wouldn't they be better off with lasers? Ammo has to be reloaded and rearmed, and it's not like there's a ammo dump for alien robots that's accessible to them. Maybe, but I don't think so. That said, I do prefer real world ammo. Lasers would just seem cheesy. But just the logic of it doesn't stick.


Well, finishing up the blog from home since a few paragraphs ago.

I think one of my issues about work is how overeducated I feel at the place. I mean, I'm not implying snobbery by any means, but thinking that I spent all that money for tuition to work here? Makes me feel a bit peeved. And I think one of the biggest problems with being educated is that now I feel unchallenged. Nothing at work takes more than simple mechanical memory to complete. I'm currently working under someone and he still doesn't call me by name, just "hey" or "you". Nice.

On the good side, it is a M-T work week, and I have three days off after four ten-hour days. It makes me tired and short on time on the weekdays, but it's nice to have a regular schedule that my wife can work around.

On the downside, it is a contract position with no medical, and the pay is only slightly better than most. But by and far, the biggest obstacle is that it is not challenging. Oh well, it'll do for now until I get those blueprints for the bank.


Ok, this is mostly for the one Apple geek that reads this. But there's been rumblings on the rumor mill about the iPhone nano, and the 6th gen iPod. There were some screenshots that were on a website, but Apple legal had them taken off which either means they're fishing for moles with intentional leaks, or they were on to something.

Here's what I'm hoping it'll be. I want a widescreen iPod with touch screen. That's all I want. But I think they're going to hold off on the widescreen. I think they might still have touchscreen, but who knows. To have an iPod with a touchscreen may be a bit goofy - it'll be hard to just skip a song without having to look at the screen. But they could very well do the opposite of iPhone, and just release an iPod with basic phone capabilities. But man, I'm really dying for a widescreen iPod. I don't even mind if it isn't touch screen. I just want a wide screen to watch my podcasts... August 7 is the rumored date for news. Just gotta be patient.


I've been a geek for the History Channel recently, watching a ton of their documentaries but I was cemented as a fan when they showed Band of Brothers over a weekend a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, I missed 3 episodes, but the first 5 have been exceptional. If you've forgotten or not cared, it's a 10 part mini-series that revolves around Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during WWII. What makes the stories amazing is that it's mostly based on real people, and the History Channel was true enough to leave the documentary uncensored. I think that's outstanding considering how touchy the networks can get.

But if you've got a chance, rent that mini-series. Every episode has so far been stellar, and each stands well on its own.