Archive of <November> <2004> [chronological]

9:59 AM Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Went swimming this morning before work. Kind of nice. I feel pretty awake. Except for the chlorine smell. Not sure how it stuck around after the shower. I'm definitely finding my groove, although my breaststroke needs some serious help. Got plenty of sleep last night, so that's another reason I was able to get up and go this morning. Put some new pictures from Thanksgiving up in the gallery. I'll try and be a bit better at posting stuff. If you haven't noticed, Danger Party this weekend at Sarah, Lorra and Akira's. Also this weekend, Evanston Public Library is having a book sale. I'm looking for Ludlum books personally. Yesterday saw the release of ApeironX, a shareware version of centipede, the arcade game. It's awesome, and the old classic version was loads of fun back in college.
10:37 AM Monday, November 29, 2004
Went to the Shedd Aquarium Saturday with my parents and aunt in town for the day. Haven't been there in forever. Made me really want to eat sushi though. Got some Chinese food at my family's standard, Szechwan Restaurant off Michigan. Finished up watching Veronica Mars episodes, so I'm all caught up there. Structure is beginning to remind me of X-Files, with monster of the week vs. mythology episodes. But good stuff. Got some jammers for swimming, board shorts don't actually work that well. Made it over to Bryan, Tony, and Carlo's for a quality turkey dinner. Quite good. Good food and good company. People I hadn't seen in months. Tried to fax for the first time under Mac OS X last night, I'll have to ask my mom if it went through all right. Not getting enough sleep, so I've got to work on that. December's right around the corner though. And then the year's gonna be over.
9:27 AM Friday, November 26, 2004
Yup, I'm here at work. Took me 15 minutes to get up here though, since everyone else isn't working. Anyway, Thanksgiving was good in Woodstock. Weather made it a bit difficult to get out there Wednesday night, 2 hours instead of the usual 1:20. But it looked quite pretty driving home. I like winter. Watched the Bears lose in High Def before heading back into the city last night. Of course, I brought back some leftovers. Mom's cooking is just too good. Family's headed in to the city tomorrow, so that means I should do a bit of cleaning tonight. The one thing I'd like to find out is if my laptop can drive my TV as a second monitor since it has an RGB VGA port. Hopefully, which means I won't have to transcode those Veronica Mars and Jack & Bobby avi's I got off bittorrent to watch them on the TV. Oh, met with James and his wife, Meadow, Wednesday night. They look good together. Congrats.
3:00 PM Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Thanksgiving's tomorrow. My friend James is in town, down from the AK, so I get to see him tonight. Been a while, approximately 15 months or so. Weather's taken a turn for the worse, or better, depending on your view. Watched the first couple of episodes of Veronica Mars this morning. Finished getting all 10 episodes of Jack & Bobby. I'll be back in Chicago tomorrow night, seeing as how I've got to go back to work on Friday. Finally went swimming last night. Ugh, I'm really out of shape. But good. Didn't quite make me want to go to sleep right away though. I just realized that MPEG Transport Streams, which is the broadcast format of HDTV, is roughly 5 GB/40 minutes for full 1920x1080i, and 3-4GB/40 minutes for 1280x720p. Enough to fit on Dual layer DVD's now. Interesting, isn't it?
12:26 PM Tuesday, November 23, 2004
I'm in the process of getting all the episodes of Veronica Mars. On tap are all the episodes of Jack & Bobby. If I can properly figure out how to transcode these avi's to MPEG Transport streams, I'll be able to watch them all on TV, otherwise, my computer works just fine. A new version of ffmpegx was released yesterday, so maybe that will help. Very exciting. I watched another couple of episodes of Lost last night, I'm now just 2 behind. It's so good. Headed out to Woodstock tomorrow night for Thanksgiving. Back to work on Friday though. Just found out I get Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve off.
9:46 AM Monday, November 22, 2004
Saw Chronicles of Riddick Friday night at Bryan's after dinner at Darwin's with Kevin and Bryan, and seeing Russell and AJ with separate groups there as well. Bucktown, small neighborhood. Chronicles should have been written and performed Shakespeare style. I thought a lot of the ideas seemed very familiar in that sense. Laundry and School of Rock on Saturday before heading out to Bucktown again to see Marla. Ended up watching Elf over at Bryan's before heading home to watch Rock Star. Went and watched National Treasure on Sunday, good stuff, and finally watched a couple episodes of Lost. For all my effort at trying to get the DivX files from Bittorrent transcoded to MPEG Transport Files for use with the Roku, I just gave up and watched them on my computer. They kept getting out of sync. Too much work. The episodes from the EyeTV work great though, and that's all I've got left. That's just an awesome show. Caught Jack & Bobby on regular TV yesterday as well. That's also a really good show.
11:33 AM Friday, November 19, 2004
Christmas decorations are going up all over the place, well, at least on my commute. The big Christmas tree at the Orrington plaza is up, they were putty lights on the lamp posts this morning, and I saw someone's Christmas tree through the window at the Howard El stop. And to think it was pretty warm the last couple days, too. Bittorrent rocks. I've got the episodes of Lost that I missed already, and I'm just having some issues getting them to a format I can use with the Roku. Video's great, but no sound. I'm using ffmpegx. After that, I still have to figure out how to easily split them up into Roku-sized chunks. Apparently mpgtx doesn't like MPEG transport streams. I'd like to not do it manually with MPEG Streamclip, but we'll see. Watched Tomb Raider last night to prep for National Treasure on Sunday. More hanging out in Bucktown/Wicker Park this weekend. Still need to do some laundry. Frozen food's great. Stouffer's Macaroni & Beef with tomatoes brings me back to my childhood. Good stuff. Oh, and the Sports Guy? Genius.
9:46 AM Thursday, November 18, 2004
Finally got my Roku HD1000 working perfectly, well almost perfectly. I wish they'd release a new firmware that updates NFS to see files bigger than 2 GB. But in the meantime, I just have to cut Lost episodes up into about 3 segments to get it to work well. But HD almost on demand. It's pretty cool. I had to run cat5 to the powermac, as 802.11g wasn't fast enough. So I've got 4 episodes on disk, waiting to be cut up and watched. It's not on next week, stupid Bachelor something, so maybe it's time to get caught up. New version of Delicious Library is out. So my next step is to start seriously putting my stuff into that. And I've got to clean up again, as setting up things always messes stuff up. No laundry, I'll push it off to the weekend. National Treasure opens up this weekend. Might actually be time for me to start exercising again.
12:29 PM Wednesday, November 17, 2004
So I've got a problem. With sleeping. Or, more accurately, not sleeping enough. I was doing pretty well there for a while, but I fell off the wagon last night. I didn't get to bed until 3am. Why? TV, DVD organization, dinner, mostly TV. Not so good. Feels like I could have an illness coming on if I don't get more sleep. But I did start on importing my DVD's to Delicious Library. DVDProfiler still only stores the 10 digit UPC code, even if you put in a 12 digit one. But the iSight scanning with Delicious Library is sweet. However, I'm probably taxing my old Powermac a bit too much when I've got the EyeTV500, 2 Hard drives, a Compact Flash card reader, and the iSight all over Firewire. Using the iSight anyway with all that causes what looks like a video card failure that popped up on me last week. If I get around to it, I'll try and narrow down what exactly is causing the problem, if possible. I've started reading non-fluff, The Quark and the Jaguar by Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel Prize winner. I don't remember where or how this ended up on my bookshelf, but I figured I'd give some "real" books a try. And it's good stuff. So far, about 60 pages in, I see it as an intro to Information Theory kind of. I thought it'd be too dry or boring, but I'm enjoying it.
4:23 PM Tuesday, November 16, 2004
2 mentions: Rachel Ray, of 30 minute meals, $40/day, and Inside Dish on the Food Channel is in town, hanging out at Piece for the night. Things supposedly start around 7pm. And I just read today that Wil Wheaton will be giving a presentation at MacWorld San Francisco. I'm thinking I might have to get his book, too. Don't think I'm gonna get out to Piece tonight. Probably gonna be packed anyway. I know, just making excuses. But Elf came out on DVD today too, so, it's not like I don't have something waiting for me at home.
11:11 AM Tuesday, November 16, 2004
The Manhattan Project is a great movie. Smart kids. Love 'em. Anyway, I figured out how to put together a tab delimited list of UPCs from DVDProfiler for import to Delicious Library. But I found a problem. DVDProfiler accepts 10 digit UPCs for region 1 DVDs. Delicious Library expects the full 12 digit UPC. So, I think I'm gonna update all my DVDProfiler entries to the full 12 digit UPCs. There might be a way to do it mathematically, instead of manually, but some research required on that. Ugh. I blame DVDProfiler for this one. It should required all 12 digits of the UPC. So that might take a while. Might try and do some laundry tonight.
8:43 AM Monday, November 15, 2004
Dog and house sitting for the Russells was fun. Marla's a great dog. Very chill. Pretty much spent the weekend with Marla, with the only time out heading to the dog park. That's a whole other subculture that's really interesting. Caught up with a couple people on Sunday; threw with Carlo and Bryan, dropped by to chat with Akira, watched some more football at Carlo and Bryan's, and went to mass at St. Mary of Angels in Bucktown. Big church, ornate, old world. A little too old school for my taste. I might have to try a couple other churches round Chicago, there's tons out there. Also dropped by Leah's to do some more personal object exchanges and to say hello. So I wasn't home from Friday morning to Sunday night. Rather interesting. Puck's camshaft sensor is on the whack, so that's getting fixed. Didn't get Jack & Bobby recorded, my antenna placement is only good for UPN and ABC right now. I'll have to do some more work to get that setup properly.
2:26 PM Friday, November 12, 2004
A couple things might be dying on me. Last night as I was trying to burn last week's episode of Lost to DVD from the HD transport stream I had, my desktop seemed to crap out, like the video card died or something. But after shutting down and leaving it for a bit, it started up just fine. Which is too bad, cause it's like 4 years old, which is way too old in my book. But it's still kicking, so no need yet to go into debt. And then this morning, driving to work, ole Puck stalls on me. Now, I know I need an oil change, it's roughly 2 months overdue, but still only 1500 miles since the last one, and it crapped out. So I'm sitting there, corner of Sheridan and Sheridan by Loyola, at a light, at roughly 8:30 in the morning, you know, rush hour. So the honking starts, the blinkers come on, and in a couple minutes, Puck starts up again. It's going in for a checkup on Monday. So, where does that put me? Nowhere different. Definitely start saving the pennies for a new G5 most likely, probably when they go PCI-Express. Might even happen at MacWorld in San Fran. As for Puck, I start to question how much I need a car in the city anyway. But iDVD and EyeTV is pretty cool. I was able to burn a nice DVD with the episode of Lost with no problems, except that it's 4x3 letterboxed and not 16x9 widescreen with DD 5.1. But I'm learning. I think I can use ffmpegx to transcode the MPEG Transport Streams to 16x9 NTSC 720x480 MPEG2 Program streams for use on DVD. I think.
12:32 PM Thursday, November 11, 2004
Dinner with Whitney, Russell, and Bryan at Darwin's last night. The meatloaf was quite good, and the sweet potato fries were awesome. I got Lost recorded no problem, which is good. Now I've got to just figure out how to watch them, or, burn them to DVD. Baby steps, as always. Happy Veterans Day. Banks, Schools, and other randoms get the day off. Oh, I'm dog-sitting Marla and house-sitting this weekend for the Russells. Should be fun. I get to find out what it's like to live in Bucktown. Tired today. Not enough sleep, after getting a good amount the night before. Ugh.
3:40 PM Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Got an episode of Veronica Mars in HD. Sweet. Hopefully will record Lost tonight. Haven't actually gotten around to watching any of the recorded episodes yet, but hey, it's only a matter of time. Watched Truman Show last night instead. I guess it's sort of a bridge between Real World and Survivor, right, in that reality television kind of family. On to the third and final book of the Thrawn trilogy, The Last Command. Fluff reading goes by fast. And it actually makes me want to watch more Star Wars movies. Ankle's still bugging me, probably will bug me forever. Got plenty of sleep last night, which is good.
12:38 PM Tuesday, November 9, 2004
Baby steps. I think UPN is broadcasting in HD now in Chicago, and I finagled the antennas to pull the signal in, so I think I'll be recording Veronica Mars tonight. I figure I need to set it up to pull in UPN, WGN, and ABC for now, Veronica Mars, Jack and Bobby, Lost and Alias respectively. We'll see. I do have the desktop setup finally, it's in the bedroom now. It's loud though, so I think I've got to figure out a way to quiet it down. Added what I hope is a good sound buffer for the TV room, finally making use of the cement blocks, plywood and rug from the stadium seating experiment. I think I'll need to add something behind the screen as well.
9:38 AM Monday, November 8, 2004
I've been pretty successful in not using lip balm. I was pretty much addicted to the stuff, carmex, or one of the many UPA 2003 Club Nationals lip balms that I have, using it after every time I brushed my teeth. But I'd say for the past month or two, I stopped. And then, yesterday, I caved. Maybe it was the drier weather, or the fact that I had to turn my radiators on, but I needed to use some. Anyway, the parents came out, we cleaned, reorganized my place. Looks, well, pretty different. I'm actually cleaning out and reorganizing drawers and desks that haven't been touched, well, since I moved in a long 5 years ago. Went and saw the Incredibles on Friday, great movie. Star Wars Episode III teaser at the start, the one thing that got me pretty excited? A bunch of angry looking Wookies. That's pretty scary. Watched a bunch of DVD's. Found out that my old Think Different posters are worth a pretty penny. Caught a bit of Jack and Bobby on WGN, realized that I should be watching that. No plans for the week.
11:59 AM Friday, November 5, 2004
Went and saw Team America: World Police with Russell and Bryan last night. Good funny stuff. Ah, parody. Going to see The Incredibles tonight, City North, 8:30 show with them as well. I was supposed to be doing more clean up and organizing while watching American Beauty last night, but I just got caught up in the story. I've moved on to Dark Force Rising, Book II in the Thrawn Trilogy. Not much else. Family cleaning tomorrow. No plans for Sunday. And that's all.
11:19 AM Thursday, November 4, 2004
I realized something about Delicious Library and my idea to replace DVD Profiler with it: Delicious Library doesn't have one of the main reasons I love DVD Profiler so much, the ability to choose an cast or crew member and see what other movies I own that they've been in. And after installing it at work since my VPC install is hosed in which I was previously running DVD Profiler at home, it's great. It's much faster, responsive, and a joy to use. Decisions. It's wet, and continues to be wet here in Chicago. Nice and cold and grey. Haven't made any movement on more cleaning and organizing at home, I guess that's what happens when the first thing to get connected is the home theater. I've now got Lost 1.6 on my hard drive in 720p High-Def glory. It's only 6.5 GB. And they're showing a rerun on Saturday of I think last week's. This only means good things for the upcoming Alias season 4.
8:57 AM Wednesday, November 3, 2004
I voted yesterday. No problems, wandered downstairs at 6:15, only 1 person in line. They didn't ask for photo ID or voter registration card, which I found a bit odd. But relatively easy and straightforward. I'd have to admit that I got a little bit of a rush from it. But of course, my Libertarian/Republican votes didn't quite matter. Moving on. My HDTV antenna woes continue, as the SquareShooter provides no magic cure, neither do the rabbit ears from Radio Shack and the attenuator. So now what? Good question. Might try and get some splitter/joiners and just put all of them together and hope for the best, but that's just wrong from a scientific standpoint. But whatever. Going to try and record my first HD broadcast over EyeTV tonight, Lost. Granted, I haven't seen it for a while, and will have to completely catch up when it's eventually released on DVD, but it'll be a good test. Oh, and I found out that UPN in Chicago isn't quite broadcasting in HD yet. So no Veronica Mars either.
9:30 AM Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Windows are in, blinds are back up, everything's been plastered, primed and painted. So last night I started the unenviable task of redecorating, or whatever you want to call moving furniture around. Sleeper sofas are heavy. I still have to figure out a place to put my computer desks, which as of now will be without a computer on them. But I almost immediately got the home theater back up and running. And, Sony had a special rewards program discount, so that 400 DVD changer I've been eyeing for a while? Completely free through my Sony Points. That just rocks. But definitely still have lots to do, to clean up, to organize. Still got to vote today, will try tonight, but I expect huge lines. At 8am this morning there were probably 20 people waiting in line, outside the door to my polling place. Sweet. I'll bring a book.
9:23 AM Monday, November 1, 2004
Wow, so Seattle pulled it off, winning Open, Women's and Mixed at the UPA Club Championships this past weekend in Sarasota. That just rocks. Only 1 non Northwest team in the finals (sorry, but I'm not really counting Masters, even though I should). Oh, and that non-NW team? Chad Larson Experience from the Central Region. I'm waiting to hear some first hand observations from friends who went, but the only thing I'd really want to know is if it was windy. But spilt milk, right? Got in my Halloween movies, The Frighteners and The Sixth Sense, fairly related movies with main characters anyway. Didn't realize this until later. Got a bluetooth Apple keyboard, which rocks. Wireless everything rocks, except of course for the power, but it's really nice, and clean. Brought back a bunch of my mom's food from Woodstock. Got a couple new DVD holder things, something instead of the homemade cardboard thingie I was using. I do need to figure out how to quiet down my G4 desktop. It's quite noisy. Brought back a bunch of books from home as well, and I'm on Heir to the Empire, Book 1 of the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn, set 5 years after Return of the Jedi.
Archive of <November> <2004> [chronological]