Sunday, July 31, 2005

Convert Hand-drawn sketches to Scalable Vector images

I've never written a tutorial before. But I figured I would give it a try after I taught myself a decent method on how to take something I sketched on paper and turn it into a very clean, scalable, vector based, image in Photoshop. I'm using Photoshop CS2, but I'm sure a few generations back would work just as well. All you really need to make sure you have is the PEN tool. The only other tools you will need are going to be a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, and a scanner (which now a days is pretty common). The reason I wanted to do this is because I find it much easier to draw something quickly on paper and then clean it up on the computer than it is to draw it completely on my computer. Let's get started, shall we?

The first thing we want to do is draw something. As you can see below, I've drawn up a cow really quick. One thing you can remember is that you really don't have to do into a lot of detail here. Just a ruff sketch will do. As long as you have the basic shapes and it looks somewhat like you would like it to look when your done, you should be fine. Draw this up on any sheet of paper with pen or pencil, your choice, and then scan it in to your computer. You really don't have to worry about the DPI now because you will be drawing the whole thing over again in photoshop. So just get a copy on your computer.

All right. Good job. Now what we're going to do is take that image we just scanned in photoshop and go to the Layer menu, select New..., and select Layer from Background. A dialog should pop up asking you to name the layer and all. You will want to keep your layers organized for this so let's call this layer Original. Also, drop the opacity to about 50%.

Your scanned image will now be semi transparent. That was quick! It's time to get started making that dull sketch look clean and exciting. We're going to start by tracing the nose. This is a pretty simple shape to start with. You may find other methods of what to trace by experimenting on your own, but I love flexibility so I like to have as many different shapes as possible. We'll zoom in on the nose so it's easy to be precise. Just select the zoom tool and drag a box around it. Now we grab the pen tool and draw a very crude shape around the nose. The pen tool is a very easy to use tool, but takes a little bit of time to get used to. Just click once to drop an anchor point, then rotate around the shape your tracing, clicking where ever you think you might need another anchor. I go clockwise, but either way will work. If you notice, I left all the curves around the edges cut off. We'll take care of this in the next step. Also, make sure you click on the anchor point you started with when your done creating your shape. This will close the shape and if you do no do this, you'll find that you have trouble making curves around those two anchors.

Now that we have started our first shape, let's add some detail. How about rounding those corners. We're going to use the Convert Point tool as well as the direct selection tool for this. This step takes patients depending on what object you are tracing. Hold your left mouse button over the Pen tool to find the Convert Point tool. With this tool selected, we find one of the anchor points and click and drag. What happens here is a long line with a dot on each end starts to form through the anchor point. You may also notice that both of the lines that were touching that anchor point are now changing shape.

Above, things didn't go so well. Looks like the curve went the wrong way. No problem. Take your same Convert Point tool and drag one of the small dots at the ends of the line. You'll notice that it's actually two separate lines and each controls the shape on one side of that anchor point. We'll just play with both of these lines until we have the curve we're looking for. If you happen to need to move the anchor point. DO NOT USE THE CONVERT POINT TOOL. This tool will simply convert the anchor point back normal and remove any curve you made. You'll have to use the Direct Selection tool (located under the Path Selection tool).

Now that looks much closer to what we had drawn. Continue this for the other 3 corners and we end up with something like this.

Looks much better. It's not perfect, but that's the great thing about the pen tool. The more time you spend just tweaking here and there, you'll get exactly the shape you want. This will do because I don't have time for perfect. Now there's one big problem. It's just a black square. Photoshop offers a great feature called Layer Styles that should change that. Double click the layer in your layer window and a dialog should pop up with a bunch of options on the left. Let's go simple and just use Stroke and Color Overlay. We're basically going to make this look like a cartoon. Give it a black stroke with a white overlay. Also, use the Center for the stroke alignment as well. Let's rename this layer to Nose as well.

I could go back any time and tweak the nose a little bit. Maybe add an anchor point in the middle of the sides to give him a slightly different shape, or just make the corners a little more perfect. That's up to the artist. The nose is pretty much done though. If you understood that section, you should have no problem finishing. That's pretty much the entire concept. Use the pen tool to start tracing the head next. Just place anchors in various spots (use your own judgment) and then make your curves to shape it exactly like you want with a little bit of time. Below You'll see a me finish a few more shapes. The reason the pen is so great is because of it's flexibility. You can modify the shape whenever you'd like and you can make sure everything looks perfect. Also, because the pen is vector based, you can resize these layers as big or as small as you'd like to without losing any image quality.

Now we've followed the same steps for the nose to finish shapes for the head, the hair, the eyes, and the hay. Every part of this picture has a shape. This increases your flexibility by allowing your easily to modify colors or other things to individual pieces of the image just by changing the layer style. With Photoshop CS2, there is also a new feature that allows you to group a bunch of layers into one super layer so you can keep everything together. I found this technique to be very useful for making logos and other things that require you to make a resizable image. When your completely done with your object. You may size it to any size you want (as long as you don't flatten the image and get rid of your layers) without losing any quality. This tutorial is more to teach you the concept of using the pen to trace your own drawings. The pen tool takes a little bit of time to get used to and a long time to master, so just play around with it and have fun. You will find that with very little effort you can pull off some pretty neat things with just the pen tool and layer styles.

I hope this tutorial has helped out at least one person in the world. If I find that it has, maybe I'll write another one some day. We'll see. I just hope you enjoyed this.

Cubs Game!

I'm goin' to a cubs game. x=P

Friday, July 29, 2005

Storm Chasers

I'm a sucker for storms. Love 'em. Mother Nature at it's best. It's amazing the kind of things the earth can do. If you share a similar passion, head here and see some pretty cool pictures and videos of tornados and various storms. It's pretty cool.

Next Generation DVD Formats for Newbies

I have to say that it's getting to be an exciting time. Blu-ray and HD-DVD are just around the corner. I was quite excited when I had initially heard that Blu-ray and HD-DVD were in talks over a compromise over which standard would become the next generations DVD standard, but when talks were halted and neither of them could compromise, it got me thinking about what's to come. I'm going to try and dumb this article down a bit for people who might not know about the formats at all or might not be all into the technical talk.

Now, in the bluecorner, Sony brings you the format to beat all formats. Blu-ray is what Sony is hoping everyone wants. As you can see by the name, this isn't just another DVD. Although both of the next gen DVD players will use blue lasers (much thinner allowing for much more data to be stored on the same sized disc), Blu-ray uses a slightly different process of writing and reading the disc. Instead of the data being stored in the middle of the disc (DVD's now a days smash the data between 2 pieces of plastic), the data is stored right at the surface of the bottom of the disc. This helps the disc read and write more data because there isn't anything to distort the light from the laser. The problem with this is that fabrication of the discs requires factories to invest in some expensive equipment to replace their current DVD production equipment. Making it great for the consumer but not so great for the factories who will be stamping them. Currently, there is a standard for Blu-ray that offers about 27GB of data on a single layer disc (Current DVD's hold 4.7GB) and 54GB on a double layer disc (compared to 9GB, currently). For HD content, 2 hours could take up about 15 to 20GB. The increase in capacity will allow for much more High Definition video and audio to be passed through to your TV. A 100GB, 4 layer disc has also been created that reads and writes even faster than the other discs but this hasn't been made a standard yet.

In the red corner, Toshiba heads the consortium to put HD-DVD in everyone's home over the next few years. HD-DVD is pretty much just as the name would tell you. It's a DVD (just like the ones you have at home), but it holds more data because the data layer is closer to the bottom of the disc. The fabrication process for the HD-DVD will be so similar to plain old DVD's that Toshiba is stating that any factory used to make DVD's will be able to press HD-DVD's with only a slight tweak to the already existing hardware. This is good news for the factories and slightly good news for the consumer because the process of writing the DVD's will be easier and cheaper meaning the consumer will probably pay less. The problems arise in the capacity arena. A single layer HD-DVD disc will hold roughly 20GB while a double layer disc will hold only 30GB. Blu-ray definitely has the 1st place ribbon for capacity.

In my opinion, Blu-ray is the superior disc format. I was waiting for Toshiba to back down and just pretty much bend over for Sony so that they could at least be part of the next generation DVD race in my eyes. They both move at about 36Mbs (as opposed to 10Mbs for current DVD's) but Blu-ray holds more data and overall changes the optical media process instead of just enhancing it a little bit. Blu-ray will also be included in the PlayStation 3. Does anyone remember when the PlayStation 2 came out? No one had a DVD player. They were just coming out. The prices were just finally starting to drop. But the PS2 was definitely my first DVD player. The PS3 will do the same thing by getting the Blu-ray technology into the hands of the hard-core fans first (i.e. gamers) and there for selling Blu-ray discs faster which will eventually trickle down to the movie studios which will start the ball rolling faster and get more studios involved in making discs for Sony. Very recently a lot of retailers have gone on the record to verbalize their concern for the next generation DVD formats, stating that it would cause a lot of confusion for the consumer to have 2 competing disc formats. I agree with this, but I also wouldn't mind being alive for another Betamax vs. VHS war. It's all about marketing now. Whoever can get the most discs out from the most studios with the most attractive price, wins. I haven't seen any plans from HD-DVD yet so we will just have to wait till the end of the year or the beginning of next year to see.

I'm not quite done yet. Blu-ray and HD-DVD are the next generation DVD formats. Less than 5 years after DVD started becoming popular, it's being replaced. Don't worry, your new player will play your old DVD's. But what's coming next? I don't remember hearing about Blu-ray or HD-DVD when DVD came out. I just knew there was a blue laser that would let discs hold a whole lot more data that current DVD's, but I never caught wind of any actual idea's or any companies actually doing things with it. This time I have. Before this next generation of DVD comes out, there are already a lot of different companies developing the NEXT next generation DVD. Holographic discs are becoming pretty popular by advertising anywhere from 200GB to 1 Terabyte of data on a single disc. Holographic memory is also another idea, which could completely change the size and shape of the format. Holographic memory is on a rectangular piece of plastic. And then there's Pioneer. Pioneer has just started developing a new DVD format that will use an ultraviolet laser instead of the blue laser to reach capacities of at least 500GB. So after were done choosing a format here, we're going to have quite a bigger challenge when the next next generation starts to roll.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How about one more?

Here's another great article written to Hillary Clinton about the whole video games investigation. It's very well written, just like the others I've posted and explains that the parents and the government have it all wrong about the violence in video games today. Give it a read.


To the two of you who actually read this blog, I apologize for not updating quite as often as I did when I started it. This is mainly because my new job has taken over most of my free time for the time being. It's no easy task to become a server at Finley's. There are tests every day and a LOT of information to soak in. We were tested on half of the menu today which means I spent all of my free time studying for that. Tomorrow we get tested on the other half of the menu, so that means I'm taking time away from studying to post this. Until I get a day off, or I end up not having to study too hard for a day, I'll be pretty slow about posting here. I do promise that within a week or so, I will be back to posting regularly. I also guarantee that when I do get a free minute, I'll be right here to post. So check back every once and a while and hopefully I'll be right back on track in a week. Good day to you all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Not so much on the GTA front...

The chatter about GTA has cooled down, but that doesn't mean a lot of the gaming community and modding community isn't still pissed off. A member of the modding community has stepped forth with a very very well written article about the whole situation. Further adding that we are the only county which is so afraid of nudity and sexual content. It's definitely worth a read.

Bare Bones xbox 360.

Microsoft held a conference about the xbox yesterday or the day before and showed off the xbox packaging and a few other things. I think they figured that the gossip and hype for the xbox 360 was wearing off so they need to do something to make people think about it again. The box is plain white and green. Keep it simple. I don't mind that. Seems as though Microsoft is done with losing money on console sales though, since the estimated price for an xbox 360 will be about $300. Not too bad, but what do you get for that? You get a Wireless Controller (all the controllers are wireless), the hard drive (probably 20GB, upgradable later), an xboxLive headset, and an Ethernet cable. What else could you need?

Let's start with games. Amazon is taking preorders for games at $59.99 ($10 more expensive that current generation games), let's add $120 for 2 games.

You're probably going to want to play with your friends. So your going to need at least one more controller. We'll take it easy on this one and just add one controller. My guess, add $40.

Don't have a wired network at your TV? A lot of you might not need this, but let's add another $50. That's a really cheap estimate, current wireless adapters for the xbox are over $100, but we're going for ballpark figures here.

I wouldn't mind using the xbox as a DVD player since the one connected to my TV right now kind of blows. Add another $30.

Wait, you got 2 wireless controllers and you don't have any way to charge them? Let's add $50 for 2 'play and charge' cables. I suppose you can use these to play with the controller wired to the console if you wanted to save batteries as well as charge your controllers

Strange enough, there was no A/V cables listed. This leads me to believe that since they are shooting at such a broad range of TV's, to save money, they won't be including cables. You'll have to buy some. Probably at least $20.

That should be good for now. You could always grab the quick charge cable, and the webcam, and a memory card, and some faceplates later. This should at least get you up and running in style. Also, all the prices I just listed are my own predictions. Nothing has been set in stone as far as pricing is concerned. The game prices on Amazon are also estimates. If the price drops, any pre-orders would be refunded the amount of the price drop. Also assume, I did not include a subscription to xboxLive. Two reasons for this. First, I already have an account so it should just carry over to the xbox 360. And second, there will be a free version of xboxLive. Now if we add all that up. To start playing when you get home from the store. 300+120+40+50+30+50+20=$610. So after all is said and done, by my estimates, you might be paying over $600+tax for your xbox 360. Like I said, Microsoft must have gotten really sick of losing money on all their consoles.

The RIAA strikes again!

The RIAA has struck down on RPGFilms.net. RPGfilms is a website dedicated to hosting movies from various MMORPG's (Massivly Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). People create movies in game, edit them a little and submit them to the site. It's a very fun way to express one self in the MMO community you belong. No harm no foul. The RIAA thought differently I guess. If you go to RPGFilms.net now, you'll see an RIAA notice. They shut down the site because some of the movies they hosted contained copywritten music.

I'm not a fan of what the RIAA is doing. I haven't bought a CD in a really long time because of the RIAA. I don't believe they are right for what they are doing. All i think is that the RIAA is turing their own customers into criminals instead of working something out. It's not like the people were downloading the movies from this site for the music they were put to. That's just something fun someone added when they were done making the movie. But the RIAA has to act all big and bad and I really can't stand it. Whenever the RIAA gets it through their thick skulls that we might download music, but if we like the music or the band, we'll buy it. Not a biggie. If you made more music that was good, we'd buy more of it. But you choose to bully us into it and I don't think anyone really wants that. So go fuck yourselves, RIAA. I ain't buying shit.

10 years of the PlayStation 3

Sony got done having it's annual (I think it's annual) 'meeting' about the PlayStation, simply called PlayStation Meeting 2005. They showed a lot of clips about the PlayStation 3 and what it's going to be able to do. One thing that surprised me, though, was that they decided to announce that the PlayStation 3 would planning on a 10 year life-span. No other system has done thing. Back to the NES, it's always been a 5 year life-span and it seemed to be the defacto standard (before Microsoft decided to push to be first in the market, making them a 4 year machine). The gameboy would be the one piece of machine that endured a 10 year span of life. I don't think the PlayStation 3 is a gameboy. I don't think they can do it. I think in 5 or 6 years from now, something drastic has to change in the way video games are played in over for them to advance in the industry. We've hit a wall as far as graphics power and cinematic computing is concerned, and the only way to go is sideways. We have to think outside of the 'console hooks to the TV, controller plays the game' mentality. Luckily Nintendo is starting that this year with what they call the Revolution, but it's still to be seen how revolutionary it will be.

What did Sony exactly say? How are they going to do this? Sony states that with the upcoming HDTV transition, they plan on offering full HDTV from the very beginning so that when HDTV takes over they will still have the PS3 right there. As much as I want to believe this, It's like they're saying that the HDTV revolution isn't happening for another 5 years. They're saying that in 5 years when MS and Nintendo release a new 'full HD' machine, they wont' have to. I don't know if I believe this because I already think Nintendo is stupid for not jumping on the HD bandwagon this generation. I think HDTV will take over gaming before the end of this generation and gamers will be looking for more by time Sony thinks they won't have to release another system. I think PS3 will be looked at as 'old' and un needed when MS and Nintendo launch new systems in 5 years. I just think this is a mistake on Sony's part and I'm not sure they're going to back down.

The other terrible thing that's going to put quite a dent in Sony's market share and give Microsoft a commanding lead this time around, is price. How about a quote from the Sony big-shot, Ken Kuturagi.

"I'm aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can't be offered at a price that's targeted towards households. I think everyone can still buy it if they wanted to but we're aiming for consumers throughout the world. So we're going to have to do our best (in containing the price)."

Sounds like the initial hopes that the PS3 would be around $400 might not be so true. Wait, what's that? You have something else to say?

"I'm not going to reveal its price today. I'm going to only say that it'll be expensive."

Ah. I see. That explains it then. So all you kiddos who thought you were going to get a PlayStation 3 when it comes out, you better start saving now. Because I'm seeing a number upwards of $600+. Sony wants this system to be the equivalent of two systems so that would be reasonable for two consoles. One of two things is going to happen from this. Either Sony will drown because no one will be buying the system because of how much it costs, or Sony will prosper and pricing of video games will skyrocket knowing that we all just dropped $600+ on just a system. As much as I had my hopes on Sony taking this next generation race, I really don't know if it's going to happen if you can pick up an xbox 360 for about $300 or a Revolution for about $200. I just hope you know what your doing Sony.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Finley's Grill Room - Come eat!

So, I had my first day of work today. I have to say that this place is going to be big. It just opened less than a week ago and already they're getting some business. They also will be rolling out a full page color ad in both the trib and the herald, so that should boost business 10 fold since they haven't even advertised yet. It's an excellent place. I will get to try the food soon. So I'll let you know how that is, but what I've seen looks great. The atmosphere in this place is what blows me away. They are aiming at the older business folks or mid 20's, mature demographic. Getting away from the whole club thing that was Rip Rocks. I really can't express how nice this place is.

So ya, anyways, Day one at work was nice. I'm training with two other people that are very nice people. All the managers and servers seem to be excellent. I really can't wait to get through with training. Luckily, the blunt of the ad they'll be running should start kicking in about the time I start actually serving. So at least business should pick up when I get through with training. I'm looking forward to it. I'm actually quite excited about this job. Everyone come on down and eat!

Youth Violence?

I just found a very good article on youth violence and it's lies right here. It's definitely worth the read, but if you require a recap, here goes. Pretty much, the truth of the matter on youth violence in America is that it just doesn't exist. It's been over hyped and over looked at and the media and government has been lying to us about it. Currently, crime among young kids is the lowest it's ever been. Lowest. Nothing is going up. But the media doesn't like video games because while your playing video games, your not watching TV. So the best way to get everyone to stop? Target the parents who are completely ignorant about video games and tell them video games are the devil. The article brings up another very fun fact that 'Rock and Roll' music, back in the 50's, was in the same place as video games are now. Rock music WAS the devil according to most and was supposably the cause for a lot of violence in America. I don't see Rock and Roll going anywhere. I personally agree 100% with this article and have to congratulate Duke Ferris (writer of the article) for collecting all the data and displaying it in such an effective manner. Really, check it out. It's worth little bit of time. There are graphs and actual stats and facts that say that everyone is lying to you right now and there is no epidemic of youth violence.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Slow news day

It's been a pretty slow news day so I'll update on what's going on in the world of Steve real quick.

Steve has a job. Yay! I've been talking about how hard it was for me to find a job and the reason is because I stole some shit from a really stupid company that I worked for back in 2001. Because I was careless and got caught (actually, turned myself in when questioned.. It's an ethics thing. Don't ask.), I spent the next year jumping through hoops for the DuPage County legal system. A lot of politics were involved in making sure my conviction remained a felony even though I cooperated with everyone and this was my first and only offence. But who am I to complain? I can't do anything about it for another few years (when I can finally get it expunged from my record), so I choose not to dwell. So there's the explanation I promised. I was stupid. I paid for it. It's over. But the felony really does make it hard to get a job. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. People just look at you different when you answer that question with a yes. Luckily, this new job I got is at a very very nice restaurant who never asked and apparently doesn't care that I'm a felon. So I'm happy about that. I can finally start making some money and start helping Therese out with bills and groceries and stuff. And I can finally start up my poker night and buy shit again. I'm happy.

Developmental news? I've got a couple idea's floating around my head and on the computer for new websites I'm going to start working on. I'm also brainstorming some application idea's that I can use to help me (re)learn some computer programming. But I can't really say what I'm working on right now. In due time.

Harry Potter news? I'm about half way done with The Goblet of Fire. Yes, I've read them all. But I chose to re-read four and five before reading six because I've forgotten a lot since last year.

Halo news? I still suck. But I'm getting better.

Therese news? She's still awesome as ever. It's weird though. I wouldn't call myself a loner, per say, but I like to be alone. I don't mind it. Some people can't stand it. But I always find something to do. But tonight, as much as it's no big deal. I'm almost bored. Therese is out for the night celebrating one of her best friends birthdays in Milwaukee. She'll be home sometime tomorrow. Although I've been keeping myself busy and I do enjoy just spending time with myself. I miss her tonight. No biggie though. She'll be home soon enough. But still. I've never really gotten 'bored' when I was home alone before. I love you Therese!

Well. I think that's all I got for right now. I'll keep the news flowing when I see something I like.


I'm not sure what to think about podcasting just yet. I don't really keep track of any. I've listened to pieces of a couple of them and I can't say I'm too impressed. I don't own an iPod (which will change in the very near future) so maybe that's why I don't care to listen to them from the comfort of my computer chair. Not the point though. I think the main thing is that they seem so old. I remember when I was a sophomore in high school and one 'Captain Immy' started an internet radio show called Pointless Audio. It was pretty much him (and sometimes friends) just ranting about stuff that was going on in the world of technology and gaming. This had to have been at least 8 years ago. But this is what podcasting reminds me of. Now I loved Pointless Audio, but the people doing podcasts now a days seem to be 13 year old kids who haven't quite gone through puberty yet. When he wrote in his weblog, I could read that no problem. But the problem comes when I have to listen to him. Pointless Audio was a rare case where the host (now the host of Attack of the Show on G4) was actually witty and funny while still giving news and opinions and playing good music. Not to mention that was live.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is I'm indifferent on the whole podcasting thing. I've heard a couple of them and I don't mind TWiT that much but as far as I'm concerned, more than most of the podcasts out there are out there just because they felt like jumping on the bandwagon. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe my opinion will change when I have an iPod and can take the podcasts with me. I really don't know. Someone jump in if they want to set me straight on what the point of podcasting is.

EDIT :: I should have actually listened to the one person I mentioned in this article before I wrote it. He says it best. Captain Immy himself does run a podcast about Attack of the Show and other stuff. And he mentions the same concerns I have right now. Internet audio HAS been around for a long time. The problem with it now is that it lacks actual production value. That's why I don't get it yet. I understand now and I probably will be checking out a few more podcasts and hoping they actually contain a little bit of production value. Thank you Captain Immy.

Uber Tetrs AI

This is completely useless but kind of amusing. It's an uber AI that plays tetris. All you have to do is download the little program and run it. Then if you press A it turns on the A.I. and you can use the + key (no shift) to up the speed. I had the speed up to 150. You have no idea what's going on. All you see is what looks like a bunch of blocks moving around on the bottom of the screen. After 12,573 rows and a score of 1,078,561. The tetris giant got the big game over.

31337 g00g13

Who doesn't love '1337 speak'? Google doesn't. They have their very own version of google that's in all leet speak. What would be even cooler, would be if your search results were all in the same 'language'. Erm.. Maybe not.

OK! Now I'm pissed!

After hearing everyone tell me, 'It's ok, GTA deserved it. That game has so much bad stuff. It really should be rated AO', and no one understanding a lot of people's (like mine) point about the whole thing is that no one took a big interest in GTA until this sex thing happened. Meaning everyone is just fine and dandy with all the killing and language and carjacking and everything else in the game. But oh no. We can't have the sex. I heard it and thought, 'eh. I'm an adult. I don't have to worry about this.'

It turns out I might have to start worrying. Not for my safety or anything like that. But for my own freedom to play whatever I want! The Sims 2 is the new topic of conversation for 'concerned' parents and one Miami attorney. His beef with The Sims 2? Read the 'Link' below for his 'I'm holier than all of thou, and I will damn thee all to hell for the Sims' comments. But in short, he states that EA and Maxis are well aware that Sims can be naked and the blur can be removed from them when they're naked. Stating that this is even worse than the GTA Hot Coffee mod. He, at first, stated that just a cheat code was needed to remove the blur, but then chose to change his tune (probably when being told he was wrong over and over again) by putting an update on his website that said he knows you can only un-blur your Sims with a downloaded patch, but that EA and Maxis aren't doing anything about it. Blah blah.

I really can't stand ignorance. And that's all this stuff is. The Hot Coffee thing. It was funny. Anyone who knows the games and the company knows it was just a joke. The Sims 2? The whole fucking game is a joke! The blurring is comical, the antics are comical. Everything is there to be fun and funny and childish. I can't say I've ever been turned on by an un-blurred, barbie doll looking, sim. This dumb assed attorney hit the jackpot by getting Rockstar to admit they put the code into the game and got them to recall their game to fix it. But now he's out for more blood. To go after a game like The Sims 2 is just stupid. And to use the same argument, is just immature and uncreative. You have nothing on The Sims 2 and you won't ever have anything on The Sims 2. As much as you like to think that the game is going to help pedophiles practice their abusing ways (yes, he said that), your the only one I know who's ever thought of that. Just with all the bull shit and find something important to fight for. Attacking GTA is fine. It's not like anyone was surprised by that. But this is just ridiculous. Stupid prick.

I'm a little heated after reading this so I'll update again if anything else develops and maybe voice some more of my opinions on people like this Jack Thompson who walk around with tunnel vision and don't even realize what they're fighting for.

Google Maps Hybrid

Google Maps is only the best mapping web application on the planet, but it just got even better. Before we were stuck with two different views for our maps. Either a satellite view or a map view. The satellite view was cool because it displayed the planet all the way down to individual houses, but it didn't offer street information or anything like that. But google's new Hybrid Maps feature enables you to view both the streets and the satellite feeds at the same time. It's really quite neat.

Superman Returns Logo

Look at the new Superman Returns logo. I'm not sure what my views are on the movie yet. Haven't seen any trailers. So I haven't quite fallen into the hype. Although I love all the original Superman movies, I just haven't started to get that excited yet. But this looked cool anyways. Nothing too special. Just a high resolution logo. Probably make a good desktop background.

Windows Vista isn't just a crappy name

Besides Windows Vista being an even more stupid than Windows Millenium, they also seem to have stolen the name from a company not too far from their own headquarters. Vista is a software company founded in 1999. Oddly enough, they haven't chosen flat out sue MS just yet. They want to talk to them first. We'll see where this goes.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wow. I suck.

I've noticed that I haven't included ME in this blog much lately. So I'll start adding my thoughts and experiences as well as the tech news.

This entry? About how much I suck at Halo 2. I figured it was safe to play again since the cheaters had been thwarted again by a patch that was released a couple days ago. So I entered my first Rumble Pit match which ended up being a nice Rockets Only match. I then realized that it's been so long since I last played that I had lost control. Up was up but I kept pressing down, and visa versa. After getting my ass handed to me in that match, I chose to dump out of Online play and continue the campaign I never finished. This helped a lot. I will try and finish the campaign pretty soon. I played a couple more games online. I ended up doing quite well, getting 2nd place by about 10 seconds or so, in the king of the hill match we played. Otherwise, I suck. I'm gonna keep on practicing in Rumble Pit though. I figure most of my friends try and rank up in Big Team Battle's because it's pretty easy. You have a whole team helping you rank. Rumble Pit is all about you. So in the long run, I'll be a better player for it. Keep track of my stats on the right. You can watch me rank as I play. I'm also going to add a list of the most recent games I've played to the sidebar too. Look for that soon.

Scrolling Message Mug

To add to my list of unneeded crap. The Scrolling Message Mug is right there for me. In addition to the Scrolling Belt Buckle. This mug only has 8 preset sayings that it can scroll, but I'm sure someone will come up with a hack to make it say whatever you want. $25. Not bad.

83" Plasma HDTV.. Can you say drool?

Samsung is working on an 83 Inch HDTV display that it's expecting to release around 2007. All I can say is wow. I can't imagine where any normal person would put this thing. But I'm going to save my pennies so I can get one. Definately. *drool*

Porno Bears

I'm sure everyone's seen all the small teddy bears at spencers and other such places that are just plain funny. Like the bear with the chainsaw. Things like this. One up, how about Porno Bears

Longhorm = Vista

No longer a 'rumor' (I don't know if it ever was) Microsoft has unveiled that the next version of Windows will indeed be called Vista. *shrug* That's really all I got. Click the 'link' button below if you want to watch a cute little movie they did to unveil the name and all.

'Ticket to Hell'

This is a very nice (and sarcastic) view on the whole GTA thing. It's worth a read. Made me chuckle.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Nintendo Theme

This is kind of old, but if anyone hasn't seen it yet. It's a 'choir' doing their rendition of a bunch of nintendo songs. It's really kind of cool. So if you haven't checked it out yet, it's worth the click.

Windows Vista?

A new 'rumor' has started about the next version of Windows to be released late next year. Microsoft Windows Vista will be the name according to an 'insider'. The current codename for the OS is Longhorn and I personally would prefer THAT to Windows Vista. Again, only a rumor. Take it with a grain of salt.

Resident Evil 5 Trailer

Head on over here to check out the brief (but rather stunning) Resident Evil 5 trailer for the PlayStation3. The game looks pretty phenomenal. Very cinematic looking. And the dynamic range lighting is very nice. The game will only play in an HD resolution which is one rumor about why there has been no talk about a Nintendo Revolution version of RE5.

Enlightenment LiveCD

I love me some Linux. Only problem I have is that I also love me a lot of computer games. This is a big problem when running Linux as your only operating system on your computer. So until I can buy a new computer that I can dedicate to a Linux desktop environment in addition to this computer, I'll have to settle for things like this. Enlightenment is the best window manager for Linux. It's beautiful and there is no comparison. Even though I don't like Debian that much (I'm more of a Gentoo guy) There is a new LiveCD out running Debian and Enlightenment (Both 16 and the new alpha version 17). LiveCD's are great because they let you test out and run Linux from a boot CD instead of needing to install the entire thing first. I will definitely check this out and see how e17 is coming.

Ass mouse and other hilarious gadgets

Ass Mouse

Some of the things out there that you can buy for your computer are just plain fun. For instance. Ever want an ass mouse? Now you can have one! this thing is hilarious. I may get one just for shits and giggles. There are plenty of other uber cool gadgets for all the 'gangsta' nerds out there at Gangsta Gadgets. It's worth the click. Check it out.

Warning: To my knowledge, all these things are fake. Let me know otherwise if I'm wrong. But I still think it's quite funny

In the spirit of the GTA craze

This GTA thing has spread the publicity on pretty thick lately. Bad publicity is still good publicity. But that's not the point. Rockstar has released the original GTA games for free. You can download GTA and GTA2 for free. I personally loved GTA2. Don't expect the game to look quite as pretty as the new GTA games. These are top down games. But the physics and controls in GTA were wonderful. Definitely the game that got me into the series. Give it a shot. It's free.

Xbox 360 Parental Controls

The xbox 360 has been confirmed to have parental controls for it's games. Parents will be able to enter the age of their child(s) and the xbox will read the ESRB rating on the game to determine whether the kid can play the game or not. This is a good step to help parents keep games like GTA out of the hands of their children.

Now doesn't get me wrong, this is a great idea to me and I hope enough parents do at least enough research into the $300 or $400 console their child wants to know it HAS parental controls so they can enable them. There are two things that I don't feel are good about this. The first centers around the internet and the fact that everything gets cracked. The parental controls probably won't change this. Someone will find a way around them and it will be all over the internet. Which ties into the second reason this is bad. Parents will be able to enable parental controls and just forget about it. Meaning that if I thought parents were lazy about what their kids are doing now, it will only get worse in the future. When parents their TV's and their video games deciding what their kids can watch or play for them. It's one less reason for them to get involved. Plus, naive parents will have no problems thinking that parental controls are enabled on their kids xbox when they probably already figured out how to get around it. So I give this a C+ for effort. I don't see it doing much good, but at least it's there.

PSP 2.0 and a new color!

Sony has announced two things at the 'PS Meeting 2005'. The first being a new update to the PSP's firmware. 2.0 will fix some bugs (most homebrew stuff probably won't work any more) and add some features like a built in web browser (no more browser hacks!) and a new mode for transferring pictures to friends PSP's. You should see this update any day now.

Ceramic White PSP

Sony also announced a brand new ceramic white PSP. From the looks of this thing, I may actually buy one. I haven't had the money to blow on a PSP, but this one might make me work a little harder so I can afford one. You should see this one around the middle of September.

There has been a bunch of PlayStation 3 news released at the PS Meeting 2005, but I don't have the time to sort through it all and update here. So if you really want to know about the PS3, head on over to IGN for all your gaming news.

More GTA news!

It just keeps on coming. I guess a news segment on CBS is either airing or did air a night or two ago. Not only is most of the stuff they say pointless and stupid, they can't get a lot of the facts straight either. Head over here to check out the story and the transcript for the segment. Just shows you how stupid and lazy the parents of today are.

GTA Update..

Looks like I missed a part of the news (or it was released shortly after I updated last night) but Rockstar has not only stopped production on the game, GTA: San Andres, they have admitted that they code was always there for the Hot Coffee mod and only needed to be unlocked. Anyone who knows Rockstar already knew this, but I guess they had not commented on whether it was their code or not. The ESRB has given the game a AO rating (Adults Only, Have to be 18 to buy) and will be issuing stickers to any retailer who wishing to keep selling the game. Roskstar is going to release a patch for the already owned copies to remove the Hot Coffee code and will re-release the game with the modified code still under the M rating (Mature, need to be 17 to buy). So it looks like all the parents and congressmen can celebrate and feel like they were a part of something big. Rockstar has apologized to you for filling your kids with such filth, and will continue to let them kill cops and bang hookers in the back seat of their car. Thank you Rockstar.

Fix a 'warped' monitor..

I used to have 3 TV's and a computer in my garage. It was fun times. But all the extra equipment in there, a couple of TV's ended up with nice purple marks and warped pictures because of the magnets around. So if this has happened to you, or some retard decided it would be fun to watch the pretty colors on your monitor, this definitely looks interesting. It's kinda a way to 'rub out' all the magnet warping and things from your monitor. Let me know if it actually works.

My San Andre's 'rant'...

Time for some of my opinions on this matter. I understand the situation. I can see why some people are angry. It's probably why the code was left in the game in the first place. Rockstar wanted the publicity. They wanted to piss people off. Rockstar is very known for pushing the limits on free speech and free art. And they've created a very popular franchise that does just that. Every GTA game pushes the envelope a little bit. It's just what they do.

What pissed ME off about the whole situation, is that this is the same game that was out for almost a year before it was released for the PC and the xbox. No one had a problem with the copious amounts of cop killing, car jacking, gang banging, and slut popping. When it was first released, I heard the usual news story the night before or the night of it's release about how violent the video game was. After that, nothing. Now some guy figures out how to modify it so that you can play a sex mini game and America is up in arms!

Your right, the kids shouldn't be playing this game in the first place. It's rated M for a reason. It's just not a kids game. But what harm is going to come to our kids if they happen to play this game? What will they do if they happen to download this mod and install it and unlock the parts of the game required to use it? Nothing. Nothing different from what happens when your kid sneak into your room and steal your playboy. Nothing different from your kids watching Cinemax late at night, or one of the many graphic HBO sex specials. Nothing different from the insane amounts of porn your son is downloading right now. Nothing has changed. You still won't punish your kids for watching or participating (virtually) in graphic acts of violence. Your still just as ignorant and blind about what your kids hear at school and on TV as far as language is concerned. The only thing that's changed is you've finally opened your eyes long enough to see what your kids have been doing and the only thing you know to do is to pretend you care.

In conclusion, this article won't do anything. I won't reach anyone with this. No movements will start for free speech in video games. Nothing will change. Just like nothing will change after this whole Hot Coffee thing blows over. When I really start getting pissed is when all of this comes around and starts to infringe on MY rights as an ADULT to buy and do whatever I want. Then you'll hear it from me.

Latest San Andres News...

Take Two and Rockstar North have decided to stop production on Grand Theft Auto: San Andres. The 'Hot Coffee' mod, which unlocks an interactive sex game which you can play with your girlfriends after you date them for long enough, has sparked quite a bit of pressure from congress. I know Hillary Clinton and Lieberman were both getting the ball rolling to have the game examined. I seems as though the production halt is quite temporary though. They are just waiting for the ESRB to decide whether they want to give the game a AO (Adult Only) rating as opposed to the M (Mature) rating it has now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mozilla Firefox 1.0.6 and 1.5

I'm a FireFox user and lover. So if anything on this site or any of my others doesn't look good with your browser, it probably means your not using FireFox. Just a quick update for anyone who hadn't heard yet. FireFox v1.0.6 has been released. Anyone who downloaded 1.0.5 is strongly encouraged to download the new version. I think there were a couple of bugs in 1.0.5 that prompted them to release 1.0.6 so fast. Head over to getfirefox.com now and download it!

In other firefox news, for all you beta lovers out there, it looks like FireFox will be bypassing their originally planned 1.1 release (now code named Deer Park, which I'm currently using) will no longer be called v1.1 when it's finished. The developers have determined that the vast number of bug fixes and new features calls for a v1.5 instead.


If anyone has a website or a blogspot or any other type of site that doesn't come with any advanced statistics, you really need to check out StatCounter. Not only is it the first free web site stat tracker that I've found, it's very well one of the nicest I've used. You can check everything from how many unique visitors you had to how many were first time visitors all the way to the amount of time visitors spend at your site or the resolution they were using on their computer. It's really quite detailed. I personally don't like counters. I think they're tacking and pretty gimmicky. But I do enjoy being able to keep track of how many people are visiting my sites and other various things. StatCounter is great because they let you choose what type of counter you want to include on your site, including my favorite, Invisible. Anyone looking for a good stat tracking service for free definitely check this one out!

Halo 2 cheaters.. Beware!

Bungie will be releasing another AutoUpdate this morning. They will be trying to (again) take care of most of the cheating that's been going on and ruining a lot of people's experiences. I, for one, have not really been that affected by cheaters for I haven't had the time to play very much lately. But that's also been one reason I haven't played, because of all the cheating I've heard about. I wouldn't like my first time back in the game to be spoiled by cheaters.

Windows, rain, interviews and pizza...

Today was eventful .. I've been driving around for the last year with only a passenger side window because my driver side motor died and I didn't feel like paying upwards of $300 to replace it at a shop. So my dad and I ended up going through the trouble ourselves today and it was a pain in the ass. But I now have two working windows and I'm happy about that.

I got a job interview tomorrow at Finley's Grill Room. Not too bad, since they said they would call me in about a week and a half or so and instead they called me the very next day. I'm happy about that.

We get to walk 2 minutes away to pick up a pizza from the Lou Malnati's Carry Out place in about 20 minutes. I love living this close to everything. I'm happy about that.

We got rain today! We haven't had a decent rain since the 4th of July, and before that. At least a month. We need it to keep raining, but I'll still be ok if that was all we're going to get. I'm just waiting for it to rain while I'm at home so I can sit on my balcony and watch it. But I'm still very happy about that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tutorial coming soon...

I've recently taken up photoshop and taught myself how to use the Pen tool. I'm going to be working on a tutorial soon about how to make very nice looking vector based cartoons from something you drew on paper. Hopefully this will be ready in about a week or two. Stay tuned.

Finley's Grill Room

Being as I'm 24, I'm old.. But not too old. I remember like it was yesterday when RipRocks and North Beach used to be the 'happenin' places to go. North Beach has stood up against the test of time, but Rip Rocks (sadly) did not. I just walked into Finley's Grill Room (which is standing in the same place Rip Rocks used to be) in Downer's Grove and I just have to say that it looks amazing. Would never have guessed that it used to be Rip Rocks if it didn't happen to occupy the same building. They are opening tomorrow, so anyone in the area who feels trying something new, head on over there. And cross your fingers for my job. Hopefully they hire me.

Google Earth

For anyone who hasn't yet checked it out, Google Earth has released a new beta. It's far from done but it's really cool to see where they are going. Giving you access to the entire earth, you can zoom and fly around looking at everything. You can measure distances between 2 points, or tour the grand canyon. It's really worth the download. I suggest you check it out.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hot Wings..

Anyone ever experience the 'Hot Wings' phenomenon? It's when you eat/drink/do something even though u know it's going to be disgusting or you won't like it. Me and Jeff came upon this phenomenon when we realized that it didn't matter how much we disliked buffalo wings, we still needed to eat them. Weird. And that was random and pointless.

The only reasons I mentioned that is because I just got back from Buffalo Wild Wings. I never used to like buffalo anything. The hotness made me sick and sweaty. I really couldn't stand it. But me and Jeff had our 'Hot Wings' thing going and we pretty much forced each other to eat them and now we actually like them I guess. But anyways. Jeff took me out tonight for my birthday. It was really nice of him. We used to go to Buffalo Wild Wings every Monday, but since I lost my job and moved away.. It's been a while. He knows I don't have any money so he offered to buy for me. My brother came too and we played touch screen, drank, and ate boneless buffalo wings all night. I had fun and I just got home. Therese was 'sleeping' but she was awake when I went upstairs to check on her. I gave her a kiss and a couple hugs and told her to go back to sleep. I'm going to keep reading Harry Potter (Goblet of Fire, not the Half-Blood Prince) on the patio because it's uber nice out right now. Just thought I'd drop in with some random thoughts.

Halo 2 Rank Button

If you'll look to the right, you'll notice a rounded square box with numbers flashing by. I finally found the generator for that. All it does is show you (and whoever else is coming to this site) your ranks in Halo 2. If you want one for your own site, just click the button. It'll give you the instructions for creating one yourself.

Maybe when I get a little more time, I'll actually make my own .. But for now I'll just stick with this one.

BTW. You might be saying 'Damn man! You suck at Halo 2! Why would you even put that up there!?' .. Although you may be right.. The only reason by rank is so low right now is because they reset the ranks a month ago or so and I haven't had much time to play since then. They'll go up.


MySpace.com (link in case you've been living under a rock) has been bought out for $580 million. Just wow. News Corp (aka. Fox) bought it out and although I think MySpace is a pretty stupid site, I can definitely understand their interest. If you want to appeal to the 13-18 years age group. That's definitely a site to advertise on and I can see Fox doing a lot of that now. We shall see.

Another revelation..

One of the things I used to do on LJ is make huge uber long posts. I don't know if that's going to stop here, but one thing I'm going to try and stay away from is putting a billion topics in one post. I don't think that's exactly what a blog should be. But then again, the point of blogging is to do whatever you want and get your own voice heard. But my new voice is going to break down those uber long posts into multiple posts. If I went to see a movie, got dinner, and also did a couple other things over a day or two, I'm going to offer my review of the movie separately from the rest of the garbage. That's all. I just noticed that it's a lot easier to blog that way.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Review

So, I can honestly say that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was wonderful. Tim Burton worked his magic once again and make one of the most beautiful movies you will see. The colors jump out at you and just make you smile. Even the drabbest settings are done in such a way that they still look wonderful. Tim Burton really knows how to make art out of his movies. On technical merit, Burton achieved a lot. Only using computer graphics when really needed, all the sets were built by hand. No scene was shot in front of a green screen. Even the room full of squirrels was done for real. The squirrels were all trained and you would never think so while watching the movie. The adaptation was wonderful and very true to the book. While maintaining that it was a children's book, it still manages to offer the same childhood creepiness that Burton likes to put into all of his movies. The score was done by none other than Danny Elfman who has done pretty much ever movie Burton has made (don't quote me on that). Every song is very well composed and really draws you into the movie. I have to say this was definitely one of the better movies of the year and am very pleased with the great job Burton did taking the children's classic and making it just as great as the book with his own darkness. Definitely go see it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Potter Parties (Part 2)

So the "Potter Party" wasn't all I could ever dream for. It was 'OK'. But it was meant for the kids. I could probably tell why when my brother (21) told me and Therese to have fun at 'Fag Fest 2005' that kids his (or mine for that matter) aren't supposed to get THAT into harry potter. But whatever. Me and Therese had as much fun as we could, got our book at 12:01 (more like 12:40) and were pretty happy with our decision to go.

What could have made the experience better was only stuff that any older person would really appreciate. They did have the entire downtown main street strip devoted to harry potter, but they could have done a little more decorating. Mind you, I understand that the budget for such an event probably isn't much more than .. well.. nothing. So I understand. But I think I was expecting more and that's why I wasn't too impressed. The kids were cute though, lots of Harry's and other wizards. We even saw the cutest little girl dressed as a house elf. It was great. But anyways. Back to my story.

We got our book. Life was grand. We walked on back to my car which wasn't too far away. As we got closer to my car, I had my keys out already and I was repeatidly pressing the unlock button (I always do this just to see how close the car is going to open for me this time). I got closer than usual and thought it was pretty odd that the doors weren't unlocked. Then I got right up to the door and started touching the window with it while trying to unlock the door. My first fear settled in. "Shit! The remote is fucking dead!" .. This would be bad because the alarm system built into my car remembers if the doors were locked with the remote or not. If you open the door without pressing the unlock button, the car will yell at you. It will be loud. People will stare at you. This, I did not want. So after a few moments of panic, Therese asked nicely, "Did you leave your lights on?". Funny how I didn't think about that, but this made me even more angry. I looked inside and sure enough, the little flashy light that usually means the alarm is active was quite.. inactive. So I took the key, inserted into the keyhole (for maybe the 5th time, total, in the 4.5 years of owning the car) and opened the door. No alarm. Yaay! The excitement lasted about how long it took you to read that word. The battery is dead. This furiates me because I hate feeling like a fucking idiot (I changed the stereo in my car and it just so happens that the stereo controls the little beeping that happens when you leave you open the doors and the lights are on). Bah.. You know what.. I wasn't going anywhere with this story. Therese flagged down someone walking back to their car who was nice enough to offer me a jump and we went home. That's all I got. Your welcome for the build up.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory = Great.

Updates about that and other things later. Just dropping in.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Potter Parties...

I'm a pretty last minute kind of guy. I generally put off planning something or I'll just not plan on doing at all until the last minute. It's Harry Potter night tonight. Midnight-oh-one is when the newest Harry Potter book (The Half-Blood Prince) is released. I, personally, can't wait. After seeing the first and second movie, I was finally convinced to try and read the books. A few months later I can gotten through all five and have eagerly awaited starting the sixth. I wasn't really planning on doing anything special tonight. But Therese made mention of going somewhere to get the book at midnight and I started looking for parties. I remembered reading about some parties where towns were decorated like Diagon Alley and stuff. Sounded like fun. So I came across PotterParties.com and was quite amazed at how many there were. We've made up our mind and we're going to the Anderson Bookstore in Downers Grove. There's going to be a lot of stuff to do and we can get there any time before 10 to 'pre-order' our book so we can actually get one at midnight. I'm pretty excited. This is going to be fun.


I'm not a huge fan of the morning. Normally, Therese gets up to go to work, and I just fall back asleep and wake up around 10 or 11. Today, I don't know why I'm awake. Therese had a job interview this morning so she woke up later than normal. When she left, I just didn't feel very tired. *shrug* So I have a full day at my disposal to take care of whatever I feel I need to take care of. A visit to the bank is required. I'll probably browse some papers online to see if anyone is looking for help. We shall see. Good morning.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Beauty and the Geek

My first review is about a show that just ended on Wednesday. Thanks to my lovely TiVo, I don't miss much TV that I want to see now. I just set up a season pass and I'm all good to go. I love my TiVo. I heard about this new show by Ashton Kutcher and I didn't really know what to think. All I saw was the typical reality show advertisement. It looked like a dating show. Looked like they were going to try to hook up these bunch of geeks with these hotties. So I set the season pass. Catching every episode, I can saftly say that this wasn't the best reality show in the world, but it was pretty entertaining. What it boiled down to was being able to see Geeks being stupid about stuff like fashion and dancing and the such, and hotties being stupid about.. well. Anything involving their 'brains'. Each 'beauty' was paired with a 'geek' and they competed against the other 7 teams in various activities that tested the girls about geeky stuff (or guy stuff) and tested the guys about chick stuff. They touted it as a 'social experiment', which I think is fair. There was one real 'hookup' and that was it. I think what made this one so special, is that there really wasn't anything special about it. There were no huge twists. There wasn't a whole lot of backstabbing going on. In general, everyone on the show ended up caring more about the 'point' of the show than the $500,000 prize for the winning team. Although my favorite team didn't win, they got to the final and by then both of the teams were pretty likeable, so it was all good. I say bring on season 2.

Beauty and the Geek

I personally love reality TV. I don't care how goofy it is. I don't care if everyone thinks it's scripted. Of course there are parts that are scripted. Some of these shows just end too perfectly to not have any sort of influence from the network (Joe Millionaire comes to mind, where 'Joe' actually told her that Fox wanted him to pick her.. So she broke up with him after the show). But regardless of that, reality TV fills that human desire for drama. You get to see people more fucked up than you, and it's not even an act! How wonderful is that?! People always complete about how unreal reality TV is. But all it usually is, a game. Games have rules. Those rules have to be followed. The reality comes in from the 'real' people that are playing the game. Not the situation they are in. In general, I just find Reality TV to be entertaining to say the least and I am always wondering what new weird show is going to come out next.

The meaning behind the madness of 'The Title'...

I'm actually having a lot of fun here. I'm thinking of starting a couple more Blogs. I promise when I get situated here, the posts just talking about how wonderful this is will stop. I'm thinking of starting a new blog for my friends and my girlfriend. I don't know how much any of my friends will actually use it, but I'm sure Therese will update with her thoughts and we can just see if anyone else does.

Background time. A little bit about myself. I'm going to be 24 in three days. Yay! Damn I feel old. After you turn 21, all you have to look forward to is a discount on your insurance at 25. Other than that your just getting old. What else do I got for you? I'm a computer dork. Hm.. The title! I wasn't going to carry the title over from my LJ because it's been the same for so long, but I decided I like it. "What does it mean, Steve?" Good question. I used to work at Houlihan's in Oak Brook. Fun times. Pretty much everyone who worked there were really cool. But I was sitting down talking to one of my managers at the time and about how I like rain and I like storms and everything. He proceeded to tell me about how his grandmother used to predict storms when he was little. Some kind of old tale said that when the caterpillar is crossing the road, it meant a storm was coming. Now I don't know how much I really believe the story, but he said that more times then not, there was a storm coming. Seeing as though I could see the 'train wreck' a mile away when I decided to start a new blog, I thought I'd go ahead and keep the title to tell everyone that the storm is still coming. Ironiclly it really fits in a litteral sence here in Illinois, since we've been expecting rain for about a month now and really haven't gotten much of any. So there you have it. The explanation to my title. Hope you all feel very informed and enlightened. I shall write when I have updates about what I'll be doing with the new blogs. We shall see.

So true... x=)

Click the image to see where I got it...

Blogger Stays

So.. I slept on it, and I've been going over the features of Blogger and I've chosen to stay. I've even gotten my lovely girlfriend to switch over to Blogger (I don't think she's going to be exclusive though). I decided to add a section on the right for Blog Links.. I'll put various blogs that I like, and blogs from friends there. You can check them out if you want. The only feature I kind of miss here would be privacy. Now I don't really care so much about privacy. My LJ was always public and I don't mind this being public, but it's a nice thing to have to be able to block certain people from your blog. No worries here. This blog is for everyone.

I still haven't decided on whether I want to keep this as my developer blog, or if I want to start a new one for that. I realized that blogger starts a new blog for you when you send a picture over your phone, so I'm going to wait to start that up for when I get my new phone and new service. That should be fun though.

I suppose I'll start my developer blog right here for now. Currently, I'm working on a movie. No big budget production here. I'm just currently editing together all the footage that I took when I went to Florida with Therese. Nothing big. I want to turn the 4 hours of footage I have into about an hour, hour and a half. There's a lot of junk though, so that shouldn't be a problem. Um..

I'm planning in the planning stages for a couple of normal programming projects. I'm planning a shopping cart, probably written in PHP, that I might even eventually try and sell. I'm also planning a project that would kind of make a 'friends' page for blogger. Shouldn't be too hard. Just have to see what kind of things blogspot lets you do.

In other 'development' news, I'm trying to get a job. I've been looking for a couple months but no luck. LoneStar seems to be my best bet right now. They are right across the street and they sounded like they were actually interested in hiring me. I'll go into detail on why it's hard for me to get a job later on. For now, I leave you with that and wish everyone a pleasant time until the next time I update


w00! Barely an hour and I have 2 entries already! Hot damn. Just checking in again with some of my new discoveries. Blogger is definately much more flexible than LJ. Plus I can upload pictures right from the blog creator page. Which is a VERY nice change from LiveJournal (where I just didn't post pictures very often because of that very reason). I've also discovered that I can update via mobile phone. I can send in pictures from my picture phone for you all to see! How does that sound?! My phone currently blows balls, but I'll be getting a new one just as soon as I get some money (which involves me getting a job. I'll explain that tomorrow). For now, I leave you with a picture of my beautiful girlfriend. That's a full sized image there. Gone are the days of resizing images and makeing sure they are small enough to fit on my blog! HAPPY DAYS! I'm free at last! FREE AT LAST! The best part is, just click the image and it shows u the full sized image. These are all things that are a pain in the ass to do on LJ, but they are nice and integrated into blogger. Thank you google and blogger. Off to bed I go now. Ta ta.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Just bored.. Welcome to me.

Welcome, everyone, to the life of a computer dork. I'm dnite (or Steve, if you wish) and I'll be your tour guide for the next .. um. long time.

I've become quite bored with LiveJournal and I like the overall look and feel of blogger better. Coupled with the fact that I can actually upload pictures and things right to blogspot, I think i'm going to like it here. We'll see if I keep the LJ account. This design is temporary. I picked it out of the list-o-templates when I created this account, so when I get some time I'll go ahead and make something new.

So why should you return? I don't know. You really don't have to. I'd like you to. Makes blogging kind of pointless if you don't have at least a small audience, but I can't force you. I surely won't lose sleep over it either. A couple of things I have planned for this blog would be a developers blog (I might make that a seperate blog thou, but I'll at least keep you up to date on when I've added things) where I can not only tell you what I've been working on (web design, PHP, C, etc.) but I can also have some place to look at to see how things have evolved. I'll also drop in with movie reviews, game reviews, book reviews, music reviews... If it can be reviewed, I'll probably review it. I'll keep you posted on what's going on in my life and pretty much anything else that pops into my head that I might find amusing (or not so amusing) at the moment. Either way, I don't think it would hurt you to come back. I forget if blogger.com has an RSS feed.. Have to check into that...

I will warn you ahead of time. I ramble. A lot.. I, also, don't believe in looking over what I've written. So be prepared for a lot of junk that probably doesn't make sence. That's a good enough welcome post. I'll update again shortly. Welcome to my life!

P.S. If anyone is interested, you can check out my LJ if you want.. I only recommend it if your bored, as I'll probably update here more than there now. But there is a bit of text to read there. Enjoy.