Monday, January 31, 2005

The Missing Star

Hey all, me again.

I have been playing a lot (and I mean a lot not that fake work alot!) of Mario 64 DS recently. So much so that I am tipping on the edge of game completion.

I have 149 Stars.
I have all but 1 mini game.

I know I have all the level Stars, and systematically I think I have all the secret stars.

Clearly I am missing one, but for the life of me I can't figure it out.

I know the last mini game is only available after I get the last star, so the bloody question is, where is star 150!

Is it in a toad? Is it in a level? Is there some secret level that if you do it fast you get a second star from it? I don't know and it is maddening. All I hear in my head when I look at my DS is "It'sa me! Mario!" The damn plumber can't even use real words (like I do heh heh heh! :)

So here is my solution, a wanted poster (or post.)

Wanted Star 150
Last Seen: Somewhere in the Princess's castle.
If Found: Please contact Mario, through the comment section of this post.
Reward: The personal satisfaction coming from helping Mario save the Princess.

Take Back the Web

For a while now I have been "Taking Back the Web" with the Fox, as it turns out I was also taking for granted the Fox. I didn't really think that the people around me might not understand what I was talking about when I blathered on about the Fox this the Fox that, even right now people might be confused. So I will elucidate, and in doing so give my respects to one my frequently used tools.

Firefox, or as I have taken to calling it "the Fox" is a browser. Nothing special there, it displays web pages OooOoo Ahhhh. What makes Firefox great is that it is good! There are endless lists of praise and reasoning for Firefox, but to me it all comes down to the experience, and the experience is good. Some of my favorites is the speed. The interface is lickity-split, sure my download speed effects the rate of browsing, but the rendering and load time for pages, plugins and the client itself are very desirable. Next is tabbed browsing, sure to some it is trivial, but to me, it cleans up the task bar, and then when I am actually browsing enhances the experience. Add to that the little loading swirls on the tabs, and I am in browser shangrala. Additionally I appreciate the free legitimacy of it, and would support the developers with the minimum a post and a link (see the side bar template update for said link.)

The prompting for this post came when Erin was using my PC to browse her email and was at first apprehensive at the non-IE-ness of the open browser. Skeptical of the benefits she declined hearing my sales pitch. Yet moments later her laptop's IE was given her grief displaying some images, so she said something to the effect of "If your browser is so great go to this site and tell me if you can see the images/pluggin's" so I did and I could. This immediately made her do a double take and a download (painlessly quick download I might add.) Then an install and off she went to the site, where she was prompted with the polite red panda asking her to download a missing plugin, (the Firefox is the English translation of the Chinese name for the animal we know as a red panda.)

Plugin installed, and poof she got her images, and before long she was importing book marks, setting home pages, and changing her default browser. Long Live the Fox!

So this morning with one convert under my belt I decided to stop taking for granted this wonderment of browsability and proclaim to the blogging community "Take Back the Web" with Firefox.

For a more amusing reason for getting the Fox check out bbspot.

On a side note, while I was adding the fox link on the side bar, I also added Zits and Get Fuzzy, two great toons.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Category Blogging be gone

I have spent way to much time trying to fix my templates, and way too little time filling them with content. Tonight I am going to scrap this whole category thing. I may keep the back ground in one piece, and just fix the main template, and turn off the auto publishing features. The problem was two fold, the first being the auto publishing. It relied on Bloggers blog-by-mail or whatever it is called, it is buggy, and slow, and constantly down. I suspect blogger is going through a period of too big too fast and certain pieces of infrastructure are bottle necking. The second problem was my own deficiency, I wanted a home page for each category, but that relied on me being able to code html with JavaScript. The problem was I was using the generated homepage as a summary of posts linked into the Araska main page, so if you actually went to those pages you just got a list of posts. What I needed was a way to incorporate and RSS feed right into my blog (as both links on the side, and posts.) That way I just have 4 blogs, and one of theme aggregates the rest. I was unable to figure this out, and my alternative was cumbersome. I think with more dedication I could have made it work, but every moment I spent working on it I realized that I didn't have the volume of content to bother, and I wasn't generating any content while I was bothering. So I will be returning to a non-threaded blog until either blogger provides categories, or a gmail like labeling function (I THINK THIS WOULD BE DEAD SEXY!!!)


Friday, January 21, 2005

What You'll WIsh You'd Known

There's no switch inside you that magically flips when you turn a certain age or graduate from some institution. You start being an adult when you decide to take responsibility for your life. You can do that at any age. [10]

--Paul Graham

[House Construction] 1/21/2005 12:13:41 AM

This is silly, but I captured it anyways, the stucco is up, and its starting to look finished, I liked the 10 - 15 cm break in the stucco and the wall, that will make painting a lot easier.

Posted by Geoffrey to House Construction at 1/21/2005 12:13:41 AM

[House Construction] 1/21/2005 12:15:18 AM

Our shower is now tiled, this I really think is great, the colour worked out perfectly!

Posted by Geoffrey to House Construction at 1/21/2005 12:15:18 AM

[House Construction] 1/21/2005 12:15:43 AM

Our towel bar, ooo ahhh.

Posted by Geoffrey to House Construction at 1/21/2005 12:15:43 AM

[House Construction] 1/21/2005 12:12:31 AM

Our ceramics are now down in the front hall, the walls still need work, but the floors are coming together.

Posted by Geoffrey to House Construction at 1/21/2005 12:12:31 AM

[House Construction] 1/21/2005 12:11:30 AM

Here is a long overdue update, but I have been keeping busy. Here is something nice to see, the railing, its unstained as of yet, but I am rather keen on it.

Posted by Geoffrey to House Construction at 1/21/2005 12:11:30 AM

[House Construction] 1/21/2005 12:14:49 AM

They upgraded the sliding glass door with these ones. They have the fancy bar thing going on, I quite like them.

Posted by Geoffrey to House Construction at 1/21/2005 12:14:49 AM

Friday, January 14, 2005

[Book and Movie Reviews] House of Sand and Fog is Superb


This weekend was a movie bonanza for Erin and I, we watched House of Sand and Fog, Mystic River, The Boondock Saints, and The Animatrix. While many of them could receive a review of their own if watched separately, time is sparing, and only the vary best will receive what it deserves.

The House of Sand and Fog has to be one of the least recognized movie wonders of 2003. If you follow the link to IMDB and read some of the reviews you might see why. This movie is wholly depressing. Don't get me wrong its fantastic representation of the artistic craft of film making, but it is heart wrenching.

A brief plot of the summary is this:
Recovering alcoholic girl whose life is in shambles screws up and looses her house.
Hard working immigrant/refugee struggles to realize the American dream, while trying to support a family that is used to living in the lap of luxury.
Guy buys girls house at auction, fight ensues.

To start with the acting by the principles was superb, Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley really demonstrate a phenomenal skill. Kingsley, who was nominated for both the Golden Globe and Oscar for this part, got so into his character it was hard to believe that this character wasn't a real person, and this was his real life. You felt for the character, you had real sympathy for his plight, understanding of his anger, and you felt a guilty understanding for his actions. The character had such class and demeanor in the face of such overwhelming adversity. Kingsley was the star, but the others all shone in their roles as well. The supporting actors, the son, the wife and the cop, fantastic, especially the wife, who was struggling to adjust to a completely foreign life with almost no English skill and really cut off from the world. A tiny part (and I do mean tiny) but well written, and voiced was that of Connelly's characters brother. It was the voice of the good son, who had bailed his sister out one to many times and wasn't going to be dragged back in to her messed up life. Connelly did a fantastic job herself, a far cry from the girl in Labyrinth (1986) her work has definitely been great in the last couple years including this, and A Beautiful Mind. Connelly plays the part of the screwed up girl, and screwed up she is, near the very end you see the seed of hope rekindling in her eye, but its uncertain how much of that gets dashed from her in the tragic conclusion.

Add to the acting some great direction, and cinematography, sprinkle in some metaphors for some harsh human truths, and you have yourself what should have been "Film of the Year" tragically I suspect it failed to capture this much deserved title because it was so damn depressing.

I really would recommend everyone watch this movie at least once in your life, and then ask yourself what is really the most valuable thing in your life, and when you figure it out that its not a thing at all, let them know.

Posted by Geoffrey to Book and Movie Reviews at 1/13/2005 01:40:53 AM

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Category Blogging

Hey all, it isn't that I haven't been spending time on my blog recently, it is that my blog isn't working properly. As I described a few times over the last month I have been building a category system for my blog. From the main page I have added to the right hand nav the category section, and three categories, and you can follow the specific post items out to their individual pages, or the category archives. What I don't really have working is the category main page (which I intended to just point to the current month archive), and the automatic reposting. The idea being that when I post to a category, it also appears in the main blog as well. I am going to continue development here, I think it is a glitch, not a failing in my process, but I will have to verify. Until I can get it working I will try and do it manually, and post more.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Tsunami Relief

I'm pretty sure everyone in the known universe is aware of what happened in the Indian Ocean, so I will avoid explaining what this is all about. Suffice it to say, this is big, and its going to be expensive to help people rebuild, let alone survive the next 6 months. To that end I am asking what few readers who cross this page to donate some money. If you don't have a lot to give that's okay, but if everyone gives a little then it all adds up to a lot. To that end I have linked here to the Canadian Red Cross. Donations made to them will be matched by the Canadian government until January 11th, 2005. So if you can only give a little you can double it if you act fast. Erin and myself, and many of our friends have all dug deep and given what they could, so please find a little something you can do with out for a month, maybe don't go to a movie, or pack some bag lunches for a few weeks instead of buying from a food court. Since I can't give as much as I would like, I'm giving this slice of my blog, it may only reach a handful of people, but if I can convince just one of you to donate when previously you would not have, then I'm happy. So please, search your soul and see the need, and search your sofa for extra change, and give what you can.

Thank you.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Long time no post

I have a really good reason, really, I was on dial up!!!
More accurately, I was on vacation, and unless you want my minute by minute details of relaxation, and puzzle assembly, then I really didn't see the point in suffering through 26k modem connection for it. So the quick quick recap is this:
Christmas was great, lost of family, lots of fun, so new video games for me to play including Prince of Persia 2, Mario 64 DS, and final Fantasy I & II. Other toys for Erin and I include towels, shower curtains, knives, and a Microwave, all very good things for the young and soon to be married. Then I skipped boxing day shopping because the weather was terrible, and then went straight to the cottage.
The cottage being Erin's parents cottage, and now a regular post Christmas ritual. We stay at the cottage from December 26, until the new year. At the cottage we relax, and chill out, this year was mildly stressful, my stress was caused by a 2000 piece monster puzzle, basically the picture is awesome, but the jiggies are sooo small. So I probably invested a good 20 - 30 hours into that puzzle, and there is still about 25% left for next time. Erin was stressed because she had some homework. It was still generally relaxing.
Now that I am back home I am going to hit the gym hard, I put on a typical 5 Christmas pounds, most of that was from general cottage laziness, and cottage gorging, but now it is time to pay the piper / treadmill. I don't actually start work until Tuesday, so tomorrow I will start at the gym, and I will also finish my web page redesign. I think I have the details in my head now. Primarily the site will look unchanged. Added to the site will be categories appearing in the right hand nav. Each category will have a link to its main page and a list of recent posts. Those same recent posts will be duplicated into the posts of the main blog but with the previously described [] category tags. The new blogs will be (names are not finalized) books, games, house (will be retired but not for a while) and fiction. General rants, site news, blather, and everything else that doesn't have a category will just get posted in the root. Once I get everything working and functional, I might tweak out the individual templates, and jazz them up with a little flavour text (time to pull out the old D&D books again.) So that's the plan, and we will see how it goes.

On the topic of movies, I watched Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Extended Edition tonight. I'm afraid I didn't give it 100% of my attention, but it was still great, I don't think I noticed a lot of the extra 50 minutes, but I never found the movie dragging, or boring, so cudo's to Peter Jackson for just making the movie bigger, but maintaining quality. I think I did notice one new scene, I'm not sure, but was the Gimli/Legolas drinking contest in the original? It was worth a chuckle that's for sure. Well I think it is time for me to hit the hay, it is like 3:30 am around here, and I need some Zzz's.

Night all!