Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

The kids got these new bikes for Christmas, so I was videotaping them on my super duper camera (you couldn't tell from the youtube encode) when I got inspired. It's nice to not be so tired of editing that I can be inspired again. Anyway, once the kids went to bed, I got to low level copyright infringement and started editing it. Everyone rather enjoys it, I hope everyone does too.

The new year so far has been okay - Watching the Space Needle fireworks on TV sputter after two false starts is hopefully not indicative for the year to come, but it's been going okay so far. My tooth hurted when I woke up this morning, and that's usually accompanied with a killer headache. I took some drugs which subsided that headache, but I reckon my teeth aren't quite done with me. They're quite mad from the excess amounts of candy and chocolates consumed over the holidays. Also, I've been chewing on chips and stuff that I really shouldn't be attempting, so for now I gotta lay off the sugar, at least until my teeth forget to punish me.

Got "Metroid Prime Corruption 3" for the Wii, after exchanging two prior purchases for it. The first time the game had no replay value so I returned it unopened, then the second game I got had terrible reviews, so I got Metroid instead because of the high ratings. Initially I wasn't a huge fan, but I don't think after the Wii I could really play any other shooter games without a Wii Remote. Metroid for the Game and for the Wii is such a huge difference. The Wii just feels more natural and entertaining.

Don't really have new years resolutions, but my wife and I are trying to budget a little better but actively cutting our funds to just an allowance, and also trying to avoid sugars and junk food. It can be a little tough, especially since on Monday I ate a whole bag of chocolate pretzels at 5 in the morning. If it weren't so damned cold in the morning, I'd lay off the eating. I blame that.

We got the Honda back and although I'm sure they did some actual maintenance on the car, it still feels like we paid over a grand to get them to turn the engine light off. And looking at the invoice is always a pain, seeing how the parts only cost about 200 bucks and the rest was for labor. I wish there was a way for me to supervise their work under my dime. Anyway, I suppose credit cards are good that way, they cover my ass while draining more money from my livelihood.

Back to work tomorrow, hopefully for only three more days of work. Unfortunately, Saturday won't be a sleep in and do nothing day, rather it'll be a drive 100 miles for more holiday related visiting. I don't necessarily mind the drive, I'd just rather be chilling at home. The long drives usually wear the kids out, and eating is always a problem for some reason. The eating timetable gets thrown off or something so we'd either eat too little or more than usual.

I also went through one of my favorite earphones on Monday, I was listening to music when I could hear the right side crackle a bit, and then just go mute. I have a few others, but the Sony will always have a special place in my heart. I'll likely go to the iPod earphones and see how they work out for a while. I like my rubber tip ones but not for work - they isolate too much sound and make a rather disturbing wet "pop" sound when I pull it out of my right ear. So I use them just for home.

Anyway, the above was mostly just for stalling while I got a better encode for youtube, and now it's done! Happy New Year again!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

An actual post! Not just Pictures!

Yeah, I'm long overdue for some kind of real post, and seeing how I have a wee bit of free time (actually, it's past my bedtime) so I should update a bit. Even though I'm relatively sure that nobody reads anymore. But that doesn't stop me! I'm vain!

So, that whole holiday debacle is almost behind us. I had four days off last week but I had to work Saturday instead, so I actually only had one day off, work tomorrow, and then I have New Years Day off. Kinda like taking a sledgehammer to my internal clock. But I'll take whatever I can get I suppose. I don't actually mind too much overtime, being how I have to recover from Christmas and now, the stupid Honda.

The Honda isn't dead, or anywhere close. But since it's been a while since the last maintenance, the check engine light prompted me to bring it in, and then the timing belt was getting worn (7 years) and it was due for its 60,000 miles maintenance. Anyway, the damn thing is going to run me a grand, which is decidedly less fun than getting a 46 inch HDTV Vizio at Costco. That's where I'd rather spend the grand, thank you very much. But no, I suppose some mode of transportation is good. I suppose.

And for Christmas, yes, I scored me a cheap little GPS, but it's actually pretty decent. Now I just have to google the address, and that's all I need. No more writing down directions, no more having millions of index cards floating around in the car. What I do have is a nice little GPS that hasn't really failed me yet. It's gotten me the scenic route a few times, but I haven't gotten lost or driven into a wall yet.

The other big thing I got was a Aiptek camcorder/camera/mp3 player/PMP/Blender. I really just wanted it for the camcorder bit, supposedly encoding in MP4 but is actually .AC3, so I have to still convert the video file. That officially brings my video camera count to 4. I really just wanted something I can fit in my pocket, easy to bring, and mostly for clips of everyday life. I used to do that with my Minolta but because it had some serious clicking noises, I stopped using the video bit of it. The other features of the Aiptek are virtually useless, but it's interesting to have.

So the kids have been really growing out of toddlerhood now, and they're like kids. Combative, argumentative, overstimulated little monkeys. I love them, don't get me wrong, and they're fun a lot of times, but there are times whereby I just wish I was more patient with them. Zoe's turned into this soap opera star - anytime you disagree or refuse one of her demands, she turns on the tears and cue the wiping away the dry eyes. Her face contorts into a wrinkled bun and she'll just pout and sulk and sniffle and whine. Alex is about the same, except less frequent but more extreme. Mostly when you tell him no on videogames or something like that. He'll just get all emotional with no real emotion behind it.

My wife and I have been having a bit of a tough time, mostly because we haven't really spend much quality time with each other or with them. Between working too much and fatigue, the kids are overwhelming us. We're afraid to take them out alone because of the aforementioned whining, and sometimes there's just too much drama between them.

Oh yeah, my wife went to the ER on Christmas - that was fun. At around 8, the rib area that she was complaining about escalated into full blown agony, so we went to the hospital and got in pretty quickly, because it was apparent that she was in pain. They suspected a blood clot or collapsed lung, so they ran X-rays, CT scan... turn out it was costochondritis, so we got sent home with a treatment plan of ibuprofen. So, I guess it takes a while to fully recover, so we'll see how that goes.

As for work, I don't know if I mentioned this, but I got to be a full time employee, and it's odd that now that I'm making more, I'm taking home less because there's deductions for medical, dental, vision, 401K, ADD... I may have preferred being a contractor since I got to keep more of my money. Oh well, at least now we're covered healthcare wise. Work got a little strange too, since one of my co-workers got fired, one went to Cambodia for a month, and the remaining one has been grossing me the hell out as of late. He's been sick, so he's spitting in the garbage can where we work and walk by. And the garbage isn't lined. Then the other day he took off his socks and propped them on the cart, putting antiseptic cream on his toes and attempting to force bile out of my ears. Needless to say, I was very careful about what I touched for the rest of the day.

Anyway, there's been more going on, but it's late and I'm really not that interesting. I have to get up in about 5 and a half hours, so I'd better split. Lickety.

Christmas Present #2

DSC_0190, originally uploaded by diegomcnamara.

My cheapo 88 dollar video camera, encodes in mp4 (not really) and is great for on the fly video for me. Takes okay photos as well, and also has an mp3 player, video recording capability, for unknown reasons. But I still dig it.

Resident Evil

DSC_0188, originally uploaded by diegomcnamara.

An on-rails shooter. Compared to RE4, it's a little less visceral, but still a relatively fun game. I wish they had better sound effects and also better zombie effects, but still loads of fun.

Christmas Present #1

DSC_0187, originally uploaded by diegomcnamara.

Got this GPS from my Mom for 129, and then just 99. I suspect it was an aging model, because it had a discontinued feel about it. It's the Mio C220, and it's hard to find this in stores anymore. Nonetheless, it's a godsend - I never get lost anymore. I've used it the last few trips to places I was unsure of, and sure enough, I find myself everytime. It is awesome.