Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Late All Encompassing Post

This is what happens when I don't blog for a while, all my memories become a mass of information that's difficult to digest.

First off, I'll just start off with the kids, so my wife can just read the first part and skip the rest. I know she loves me a lot, but for the most part, my tech and geek rambles probably bore her to death.

So I guess Alex has been a bit of a bear this week, whereby he likes to find something to be upset about. He'll laser focus on one thing that he knows is out of his reach, demand it, and when we can't offer it, he'll pout and repeat over and over again how much he really likes it. He had a one-two punch yesterday when I ran into the video store while the family waited in the car - he wanted to go in with me and when my wife said no, he got really sad about it and also complained that he couldn't see out his window because it was raining.

Actually, on my birthday eve when we were eating at a Chinese restaurant, he noticed that it was getting dark and he said that he didn't like it when it was dark, and acted panicky. I probably dismissed it. He's been going through a few fears, like going to another part of the house during the day by himself, and yesterday being in the bathroom with the automatic flush. After the toilet auto flushed, he clung onto me and told me he was afraid and I had to explain to him that there was only one possible outcome when he comes into a stall. After he pees, the toilet flushes. That's it. If he expects it to flush, he can just prepare for it.

I'd like to give props to What I thought was a rather silly venture for the networks has actually been a godsend. We caught episodes of Life and Heroes when we missed the initial airings, and despite having to sit through repeated commercials of "Eagle Eye" over and over, the streaming is pretty nice, even on a older computer like mine. Nothing to download, easily searchable. And the content is actually pretty strong, with some clips, and a pretty respectably library of movies, including uncensored R rated movies. Whereas youtube is like sifting through the trash for some good stuff, Hulu is probably more like going to a really good public library. In fact, when I missed the VP debate, I caught part of it on Hulu until I was so creeped out but Palin winking at me I had to stop.

This holiday season is going to be tough for me namely because I don't have that much money to indulge in all the great games that will be coming out. For sure, Rock Band 2 and Little Big Planet, the latter because it's something creative and the kids could sorta get into it, and the former, well, because it's raped my brain and it's all I ever think about. But I played the Bioshock demo and it is sick good. I'm not a big survival horror guy but I appreciate the really good games like RE4, Bioshock, and even Dead Space, which looks like fun even though I'll likely be playing with the volume at a subdued level.

Oh, another geeky thing. For a moment I was considering getting an external battery for my iPod nano because unlike most normal human beings, when I use my iPod daily, I use it for almost 11 1/2 hours, the moment I start work and listening to music and podcasts, to my breaks when I watch game trailers or diggnation or the news. It is always on. Anyway, it wasn't lasting the whole day during my regular use, dying during the last stretch of my shift. But after some experimentation, I'm getting it to last the whole day by doing the following.

1) Turning off the EQ, which I guess is actually a battery suck when it has to correct your original track by adding more oomph.

2) Turning off the preview panel and the cover art.

3) Turning off the backlight.

Oh yes, #3 is a last resort, because although the screen is still visible, without any overhead light it is close to impossible to see. But even when I had it on 2 second backlight, it was still draining the iPod. So I operate it without the backlight while listening to music, and during my breaks when I watch the video, the backlight would be at half the brightness and that would be just fine.

Geek geek geek.

Rented Lego Batman. Alex is real happy about that. I'll have to see what we can do today, it's my wife's last day of vacation, so we should probably do something.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Dark Side

The Dark Side, originally uploaded by diegomcnamara.