Splooten

New Blog: I talked to some folks over at gamespy, IGN, whoever is in charge, and they gave me access to my old planetquake site. This planetquake web site celebrated my Quake 3 modification, Ultra, back in 2001. With this new access, I installed WordPress on that site during this past afternoon. I am all set to start up another blog! Since this blog is being hosted by a video game site, I should probably limit the topics to video games, eh. So without further ado, here is that new blog. Expect changes, first and foremost, a new name.

Infected: One of my favorite video netcasts has been canceled over at Revision 3. That show is Infected with Martin Sargent. Pretty boy Jim Louderback, the new CEO at Revision 3, is the one responsible. As it so happens, Jim is one of my “friends” on Facebook. So I was privy to his status messages yesterday while the shit was going down on Infected. Here is the series of status messages…

  • Jim Louderback is doing morning yoga and yogurt.
  • Jim Louderback is checking through email. Lots of fans of Infected, ha-ha.
  • Jim Louderback is viewing latest Infected episode. Very disturbed by negative energy being released by this show.
  • Jim Louderback is watching very inspirational short movie, FISH! Philosophy. Begin masturbating to this corporate porn.
  • Jim Louderback is typing memo that announces cancellation of Infected show.
  • Jim Louderback is checking e-meter personal reading. Up 1.3%… probably due to purge of the negative body flow stemming from viewing the Infected ‘cast.
  • Jim Louderback is dry humping motivational poster found in break room.
  • Jim Louderback is avoiding sniper fire, probably coming from some disgruntled Infected fan.
  • Jim Louderback is leaving office for a rousing game of racquetball.
  • Negaholic

    Went to an “Excellence in Leadership” workshop all day today. PowerPoint hell. Did this presentation inspire me to be a leader? No, made the prospect quite depressing. I have no urge to have control over someone else’s life.

    The highlight of the day was that this occurred at the Chanhassen Rec Center. During breaks, I was able to go into the empty gym and shoot baskets. Very peaceful. Nothing like the zen of shooting buckets.

    During this presentation, I learned I am a Negaholic. That is a fun, made up word! Use it today! To prove that I am negaholic, I will now list my recent disappointments: 1) Not finding someone to install new granite counter-tops for the kitchen. 2) Getting a Mame front-end program to work properly on my Ubuntu computer. 3) Getting my OCR software to work properly.

    My life isn’t a total drag, I was able to do some two mile jogs recently, relatively pain free. The pain in my right leg seems to have subsided. Back remains pain free, although it still feels tight.

    The other fun thing is the web application I composed seems to have piqued some interest. A national test of the program is proposed to begin by next spring. A software engineer is tweaking it to clean up some of the “hacky” code I left behind. My boss’ persistence paid off. He finally got someone with some influence to look at it. Many thanks!

    I have a Facebook account now. Now what do I do? If you know my real name, and you have a facebook account, you should be able to easily “friend” me. My only celebrity friend so far is Leo Laporte. Being a friend in Facebook, does not immediately mean you are friends in real-life. But I think Leo and I should hang out.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I received an email from someone on a dating site. I think it epitomizes what is Thanksgiving. I will share this email in hopes that you will all take something from it.

    Very much I love a life and with the great pleasure I enjoy to it every minute! Cheerful, cheerful, with fine feeling of a rhythm and humour and huge vital energy. Sometimes lovely and tender, sometimes strict and serious, sometimes careful and gentle, sometimes exacting and firm!I do not play a life – I in it live!

    Have a good Thanksgiving everyone! … and don’t litter.

    Imagineering

    Painting: I painted the basement pooper and the living room over the past week.

    The theme was blue with the downstairs bathroom. Besides the paint, I laid down blue carpeting over the tile. I don’t have the luxury of in-floor heating, so carpeting is the next best thing for keeping the tootsies warm. Just have to be extra careful with the pee splatter.

    The thumb image is the living room in lovely blood red. Actually the color I asked for was magenta, which is supposed to have a purply hue to it. Looks rather bloody in that picture, though. I might as well go with it and complete that blood/vomit motif that I was going to do in the Little Canada condo. So I am going to hunt for an appropriate color for the trim… a bile green. Make sure that the new window treatments match! Oh, and why not install micro-pumps into the walls and at the click of a remote, have blood drip down the walls. Make that real blood, with an anti-coagulating additive so the flow is extra creamy.

    Lap-Board: I would like to have my laptop on my lap, a simple request. Unfortunately, the new laptop I have has high-end desktop components in it, so it is very uncomfortable. Maybe I am a wuss… I should man-up and take the second degree burns without a whimper.

    All right, l made my own lap board. So this is how it was made. I took a slab of 1/4 inch plywood, and cut it down to a size so that my laptop and a full-sized mouse would fit comfortably. Took a rotary sander with 100 grit paper and sanded down the surface, and smoothed the edges. Then I slapped on two coats of black paint. After that dried, I took a rag, and lathered up some green paint, and streaked the top surface. The next step was to take some water based urethane ($2 special for a spray can at Lowes, glorious) and spray it on both sides. Very liberal with this, I did three coats of urethane. To smooth it off, I hand wiped 400 grit sand paper for a slippery mousing surface.

    So how do I expand this idea so I can mass produce these and make a gazillion dollars? Time for bullets for your listing benefit.

  • Put a hinge in the center so it folds neatly into your notebook carrying case. Now, The board can also be used as a self-defense nun-chuck.
  • More colors! Visit a bowling alley and look at the rental balls for eye-catching color combinations.
  • Sparkles added to the Urethane. Shiny glitter helps optical mice track better. At least thats what I am going to tell potential customers.
  • A catchy name. Ah damn it! Lapinator has already been taken.
  • Develop a need. Somehow impress upon the population that their life is an empty hole, unless they buy my lap board.

    Laptop Support: One of the problems with laptops is that you can’t install the generic drivers that are meant for desktops. Try as I may, the latest Forceware drivers from Nvidia will not install on my Asus laptop. So I have to rely on Asus to hack the Forceware drivers, so they can be installed. Asus hasn’t updated since April. The graphics drivers for Vista from back in April are buggy, and resulted in the occasional BSOD. Through forum browsing, I was lead to laptopvideo2go.com. These fine folks hack at the drivers so laptop folks can be a little more up to date on their drivers. I found the latest Nvidia forceware drivers with a hacked .inf file, and was able to install them on my laptop. Much faster speeds and no BSODs (yet).

    When I mention that I own an Asus laptop to a non-geek, I get a quizzical look. What is this Asus? They have been around since 1989, mainly making motherboards. They have since expanded into other fields. Recently they have been making stuff for Apple… the widescreen MacBook and Ipod components for some examples. It is in recent years that they have been expanding their brand. The eee PC has been a big hit during this Christmas season.

  • Role Your Own Music Video

    Looks like it was 5 months ago when I made my own homebrew music video. I took the song, “The Storm” by Front line Assembly, then plugged in some effects and public domain videos into BeatHarness, and then let Camtasia capture the result. Looks like it was well received. A fun little project.

    Now there is a site that simplifies the process. That site would be Animoto. Just plug in some of your favorite pictures, add a sound track, and let the site take care of the rest. Here was my attempt. If you don’t pay anything, you are cut-off at 30 seconds. You have to lay the money down for a full-length video.

    The results tend to have a similar look to other videos made by this site. But they promise to add features, so hopefully more customization features will be added.

    Speaking of customizing your videos… you can now add that much needed pizazz to that video conference. You need to get YouCam. While you gossip with your friend or foe, you can add little birdies, balloons, kissy lips, etc. to your webcast. One word for this… cute.

    Update: I hit the remix button… this is another version.

    Metro Driving

    The local paper took a peek at problems of driving around the Twin Cities metro. This would be the video that the Strib’s Roadguy put together. He doesn’t mention the dangers that construction sites present. When I was at the Little Canada Condo, they were working on the ramp that took you from Little Canada Road, onto I-35E going north. There was next to no acceleration lane. You had to be up to speed and in line to merge into an empty spot, before you reached the interstate. There was no shoulder to bail out into, just a hard concrete barrier right next to the road. Very scary. So scary, that after doing this maneuver twice, I began taking back roads in order to get past this hazard. All is fixed now at this intersection, thankfully.

    Not all hazards are on the road. The sidewalk presents its hazards. James Lileks walks you through the hazards of walking in the cities. A nightmare!

    A personal note. I finally made an appointment with an orthopedist. He will have a look at my crooked pelvis. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen until the 27th. Besides the nudging of my brother and the scare tactics by the Zoyx Physician, what convinced me to call an orthopedist was one of the managers at work.  He’s a runner also. He described his past problems, and they sounded almost identical to mine.  At the time, he was pounding the Advil like I am right now.  He said to call an orthopedist… to get the pelvis looked at. He also recommended that I keep seeing the chiropractor.  This guy, after getting things corrected, is back to running marathons without having to hit the Advil.  I’m guessing he is around 50 years old.  I don’t think he was inspirational, but he gave me some hope.

    Color Experiments

    Most shows on HGTV preach to their audience to not be afraid of color. So I experimented with color in the basement. What added to my bravery is the extreme use of brown, beige and more brown by the previous owner. The first thought that comes to mind went entering my house is poo.

    This is the before picture of the south side of my basement, and here is the after picture. Since pictures I take have problems with color, the after picture has a grass green with blue striped curtains for the right side of the picture, and the left side has a cream for the trim with black on the wall. The green might be too much, but it definitely brightens and cheers up the basement. Initially I was going to go green for all of the trim. But I added the cream because the green was so overwhelming. The black on the back wall was lots of fun. Really pleased with that.

    The thumb picture with this post is the other half of the room. I painted the fireplace mantle cream as well. The projector screen (painted 4′ x4′ sheet of plywood) is held up with “industrial” velcro. This covers up the hole that used to have the wagon wheel in it (you can see the wagon wheel in this old picture). Painted the trim around the screen black.

    So the de-browning of the house will continue. The upstairs will be the next target. I plan on painting the kitchen cabinets into some other color than brown-simulated-wood-grain. The laminate counter tops are a beige, they should be replaced with a nice granite. The dirty beige carpeting in the living room will be replaced as well. I am thinking of painting the white walls in the living room a regal red of some sort. The wall between the kitchen and living room will disappear all together. I am hoping that this renovation will get done this winter.

    Classic

    Mike Hanson: I know this guy. I have been to parties where Mike Hanson was also a guest. He is a piece of work. This story is just another example. People like Mike seem to attract these kinds of things. The article is fairly tame, but to see the true character of Mike, watch the video. As far as what he’ll do with that money… probably invest it in some far-flung dream.

    Winter Prep: I am in the process of winterizing. I brought the car into the VW dealership, and had them do the 40k mile work, even though it was only at the 38k mark. I had them slap on new tires up front, so I would have better winter traction. I have started adding an anti-gel to the diesel at fill-up.

    Other winterizing activities include, taking out the battery out of the riding lawn mower. Stock up on firewood. Started burning the pallets that the previous owner left behind. Painting the decking in front of the basement walk out. Placing markers around my driveway so I know where to drive the snowblower. Bring in the rain gages. Had the furnace cleaned and tuned.

    LAN Party Debrief: As advertised, we played Quake 2 all day yesterday. No, I didn’t wear a wet suit or a space diaper. I know you had your hopes up.

    Eight people showed up for this basement party. I’m always amazed how fast time passes when gaming. I arrived at 10:30 AM. Set up and started playing. In what seemed like just a few hours, it was suddenly 5:30 PM. When you are in “the flow”, this is how time moves.

    I left at around 10 PM. I had a sick tummy from all of the chips and other junk I ate during the day. Resulted in some insomnia at 4 AM. Watched the movie, “Payback” on TBS, while my abdomen settled down.

    Sciatic Nerve: My back is still fine. According to my chiropractor, it is my sciatic nerve in my right leg that is the problem. Something in my right hip is agitating the nerve resulting in some discomfort. This also prevented me from sleeping last night. The chiropractor gave me some stretches to do to help relieve the pain. Doesn’t seem to help a whole lot.

    I took ten days off from jogging when the back problems were at their worse. Since then, I am only doing two or three jogs a week. This is down from 5 or 6 jogs per week before all of these problems appeared. I have also slowed down… 8:30 to 9:00 minute per mile pace.

    LAN Party!

    Big Quake 2 LAN party in Golden Valley tomorrow. Only my second LAN party of the year. I better check my list!


    – Two laptops with mice –
    – Network cables –
    – Headphones –
    – Power Strip –
    – Extra Frakking mouse pad –
    – Atari 2600 stuff (joysticks, paddles, PC adapters) –
    – Mame Arcade stuff (joystick, track ball) –
    – 6′ table –
    – 2 chairs –
    – Snackies (chips and granola bars) –
    – Drinks (6 liters of Mountain Dew) –
    – Wet suit with large cod piece –
    – Astronaut Diaper so I don’t have to get up to piss or poo –

    That should do it…

    Spotted!

    A Weighted Companion Cube Plushy has been spotted in the wild! I must get one of these for Christmas. Actually I hope to get twenty of these. If I do not receive a Weighted Companion Cube Plushy, I will pout. This is NOT an idle threat my friends!