I need to find $2000 on the street

I am the world’s worst blogger.

I see many great people who blog daily, weekly, biweekly, or whenever they feel like it. And usually, they feel like it every few days! I always feel like I will, yet somehow I just run out of time. Perhaps I should just be more disciplined and allot a block of time every few days. Work out a schedule. Put to use this iPad of mine, perhaps?

What I like to believe in my head is that it’s unproductivity as a result of poor tools. The Dell laptop I’ve had since 2008 is really on its last breaths (not even, since the fans don’t work properly. To use my laptop in this crazy hot summer, it has it’s own oscillating fan), and I’ve been postponing lots of projects until I get a new computer. Podcasting. Blogging. Video. Photo even.

At this point, I’m ready to embrace the full Apple ecosystem: iPhone, iPad, iMac. I’ve wanted an iMac ever since those futuristic, blue, all-in-one machines started popping up in my middle school. Thankfully, they’ve evolved quite a bit since those CRT days. I can’t help but go and play with them whenever I find myself in an Apple store or one of those blue and yellow monstrosities of an electronics store.

There’s just one small problem: I need a good 200 unmelted Bordens (we don’t use that in Canada, do we?) to get one. They start at just $1199, but add a few hundred for better performance, and may as well add a few hundred for extra inches (insert size joke here), and before you know it, you’re looking at the cost of a crazy awesome adventure – that sits on your desk.

Fall. 2012. So long as nobody announces thinner lighter iMac with Retina display (because I know it’s coming).

Photos

I went on a little adventure looking for an Ottawa installation called Balancing, only to discover it’s been gone since 2008. Oops. So I found a couple of new sculptures (and a couple of classics) to enjoy instead!

201207_18_01 - Tall Cello

201207_18_03 - Twist Up

201207_18_04 - Two of Three Watchmen

201207_18_05 - Under a Spider

Beautiful, but not for me. For now.

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The new iPad.

Like many, I sat comfortably in a chair, clutching my iPad 2, wondering how much life my 8-month old post-PC device has left in it as live blogs refreshed with breaking news from Apple’s event. Predictably, the company touted a fancy high res screen, souped up innards, and an (belated) advanced camera system. Unpredictably, “HD” and “3″ were not mentioned following the word “iPad.” that was perhaps the biggest surprise about the new iPad.

That, and the new dictation feature that will let me be a starship captain as I tell my iPad what to blog for me.

Still, it was exciting! I normally reserve this level of excitement for Nintendo E3 presentations. I hopped onto the Apple site shortly thereafter and watched the presentation, even after knowing the script. I tried many times to update my iPhone to iOS 5.1 over the air, until I gave up and did it the old fashion way through iTunes. I wonder just how slammed Apple’s servers got…

Really, since I’m going to continue to love and cherish my now-antiquated iPad (until the next new iPad, most likely), the biggest delight was the iPhoto announcement. I couldn’t download that fast enough. I’m excited to see how much I’ll use it for quick photo edits. I’m more excited to use journals to share content, like this Parliament Tour.

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This is clearly Apple wanting to increase iCloud subscriptions.

Also, why continue 16GB devices? They’re useless, especially if apps and videos will take more space as they fill up that screen. I’m always trying to create more space on my 32GB iPad now as it is! This makes me curious actually… People complained when they discovered the iPad 2 warmed up with heavy use. Will this be a bigger problem?

I’m hoping this year to get an iMac to basically fill out my Apple ecosphere. That, and I really need to replace my dying laptop… For that reason alone you can have my place in that line that’s sure to form at the Rideau Centre next week.

116 – iPad

I bought an iPad.

I hadn’t wanted one until fairly recently when it just clicked that i would use one as more than an oversized iPod. I could use it to write and read comfortably in the couch or out and about. Up until now, my iPhone has been indispensable, and the iPad would allow me to do even more in an easier fashion.

So far, i’ve been right. It’s a much more comfortable platform for iBooks, which allows you to add PDF documents. I haven’t checked my Google home page, which is crammed with rss feeds I read, with my computer because I’ve moved (most of) them to an app called Pulse, which simplifies reading via RSS while making it a more visually appealing experience. Also, browsing the Internet really is a better, more intimate experience on a touch screen device. I thought that was all hype and spin. It isn’t.

Pages was the first app I downloaded, and used it to rewrite an entry in a brand new blog series I will hopefully one day soon start. I also used it to take notes during a CFFN meeting. Typing on the iPad is something I’m still getting used to, but hey, I’m doing it right now, thanks to BlogPress, which will hopefully allow me to update this blog more often as well! Email is nice on the iPhone, but it’s so much better on the iPad. As is Twitter. And the calendar.

The hilarity that PhotoBooth creates is astounding, when mixed with a bunch of teenagers, a toddler, and a mother who had no idea what was going on.

The photos get crazier, and the laughs escalated. I hadn’t laughed that hard in ages.

I can’t just do away with my laptop — I need it for photo editing, storage, and anything that still uses Flash. However, this iPad effectively kills my netbook. I can’t wait for iOS 5 to be released to make it, my iPhone (and eventual, inevitable iMac or MacBook purchase) that much more amazing. Not too bad coming from someone who bought his first apple device less than a year ago, eh?

The iPad does have its dangers though. I accidentally bonked Serene in the head with it as she was taking pictures (at almost 2 years old, she’s surprisingly adept at navigating and using the camera and photo apps). While she didn’t talk to or even look at me for maybe 10 minutes, she didn’t shed a single tear. Impressive! Here she is, recouping, ignoring me:

115 – The New Canon

201103_14_03 - Canon Rebel T3i

201103_14_04 - mud

201103_14_17 - Sun and Needles

201103_14_25 - LOL Butts

201103_15_05 - Thai Pipe

201103_15_07 - Peep Hole

201103_16_03 - Flight

201103_16_13 - Helicopter in the Window

201103_16_16 - Chatr

201103_17_02 - Again in the Snow

201103_17_04 - Bus at an Intersection

I got a new camera! It’s amazing! All the pictures above were taken with it. Whenever I get a new camera (which has only happened three times, including this one), I suddenly see the world differently. Now, I see footprints in mud, and sneakers hanging from phone wires, and unusual pipes that don’t seem to be doing anything other than look important. One thing I miss with my previous camera is its zoom though. I’m going to need to go and get a lens soon. And those are pricey.

I just need time to go out and play with it. Mysteriously, I have a family of small mannequins that I really want to use for a set of photos… I can not wait! But they are heavy. If you want to help, let me know.

This Canon T3i (ESO 600D) purchase is just one (albeit the biggest) of many purchases that I think has made this March a crazy expensive month it seems. But, thanks to me doing my taxes very early, I can afford it for the moment! Of course, the next big thing, also coming this month: Nintendo 3DS. That one I can’t wait for! I’ll take a picture of it with my camera, then turn around and take a 3D pic with the DS. It’ll be epic. Or not.

And yes, those are shots of Toronto.

088 – TV in 10 syllables

School + work + work is starting to get very crazy in those proportions. School + work + work + new tv season… I don’t know how I’m still alive! I wonder if I can summarize what I think of the following shows in 10 syllables:

Heroes
Bryan Fuller put great things in motion.

How I Met Your Mother
Soft start to a funny season, I hope.

Castle
Less murder, more Beckett… ok for now.

Bored to Death
Have to see more to see where it will go.

Community
Strong pilot, funny could live, or could die.

Big Bang Theory
Oh no they didn’t! Plus Star Trek spoilers!

Survivor
Season 19 started off pretty great.

I probably won’t watch survivor anymore though because it gets boring after 2 eps. I’ll need to watch Dollhouse everntually, too. Most of these shows I might have to just watch all at once in the winter, though, because school is going to be tonnns of work.

The Source, in my opinion, has the best mobile internet stick deal. You get the stick for $0 on a 1-year term. I wouldn’t get a 2-year term (where it is everywhere else)… so I got it! We’ll see how much I get to use it, probably lots because of all the downtime I seem to have when I’m going to work, or just after when I need to wait for the bus. Suddenly, the netbook just got a bit more valuable. However, The Source people told me they had the 21mbps stuck when the one I got was only 7.2mbps. Meanies.

084 – Netbooks and fanboys

I’ve had one problem since my first laptop died on me a number of months ago – my mom would have to use my newer laptop when she would want to access the internet. To help remedy this issue, I bought a new computer! I use the term “computer” lightly – I bought a netbook. It’s small, it’s loaded with Windows XP, and my left shift key is half the size it should be… \when \i type, \i keep not hitting it. However, the increased portability that I’ll get from this 10″ device will more than likely make up for the need to adapt to a new keyboard. Hopefully.

I’ve spent the last few days trying to get over some sort of cold. Helping me to do so is Heroes Season 3. I bought the dvd set this week, hoping to refresh my mind on what’s happened in the last year. I found the show somewhat annoying to watch it week by week, but viewing a few episodes at a time is much more fulfilling. In re-watching, I can see why some had been complaining about the show, but in the best spirit of many fans of various things, I think their idea of what the show should be is so high that any practical reality for the show seems to disappoint. All kinds of media outlets have had “what Heroes should be/do to be awesome again” articles (ahem 1, 2) prove my point. And it’s not limited to our primetime mutants. Take a look at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog comments to see fans up in arms over a show that won’t even air for another month, or any Nintendo community that has become pretty much anti-Nintendo.

J.J. Abrams and co. have a huge task ahead of them for the next Star Trek movie. That’s all I gotta say.

Oh, and Disney is buying Marvel. Crazy ducks. There’s even more purists (on either side) who can’t sleep at the thought of Snow White befriending Wolverine. All I know is that I have a cool Wall-E lunch bag and it wouldn’t hurt Disney to learn how to attract a male audience. Maybe then Pixar won’t have to be the boy’s section all by itself.

072 – Disney’s (second) Oldest to it’s newest! Plus Money!

The Canadian dollar is being my hero! It’s been on an upswing for the past week, more or less. While i doubt it’ll keep that pace, I would absolutely love it it went up a bit more and stayed there until mid-May. Analysis have been saying the dollar’s good fortune wouldn’t last too long, so I paid off half of the balance on the hotel and bought some US money for spending purposes. I also went through all my change and found 95¢ worth of US coins, plus another 50¢ in pennies. About 5% of my pennies were American!

This sudden interest in US currency prompted me to check out my quarter collection. I had been keeping US State quarters that I find at work, but wasn’t sure how many I had. Turns out, I have 22 different states represented overall (and I scrounged up another dollar in duplicates). If anyone has ones that I’m missing, please can I have them? I’ll give you my address and everything (just please don’t come and stalk me).


[Click to view my collection]

The new American bank notes are awkward. The newest Canadian designs embrace the colours of the notes of the past. The American ones, are slowly moving beyond their Original Gameboy green-and-black look, and are stuck in a middle “look i have some colour!” state. A note to American currency designers: purple and green are not so nice-looking together.

I’ve had over 1000 visitors to my blog. I’m no Joseph Mallozzi, but I bet I could be if I ran sci-fi show, ate a lot of exotic food, and had scary, yet adorable puppies to show off. In fact, if that were the case, I would in fact be Joseph Mallozzi. I suspect most of them arrive via google image search finding pics of T’Pol from an entry I made way back. But thank you if you’re one of the ones who follows the blog, whether on Livejournal, through my site, RSS feed, facebook links, or any other source that I just can’t think about at the moment.

Recently, I watched two movies (in hi-def Bluray!)


I hadn’t seen Pinocchio (1940) since I was very young, and I wasn’t a fan then. I’m still not a fan. Even though I don’t get excited over the movie, now that I’m older, I’m able to appreciate the movie a lot more. The animation is spectacular. The underwater scenes and the scenes inside Monstro are beautiful and detailed, to the point where I can’t even believe this movie has been around for 70 years! Also, Figaro has become my favourite Disney cat (sorry, Berlios). He’s just so amazing and expressive and little!

The hi-def transfer was very nice, but it wasn’t as spectacular as I was expecting; Sleeping Beauty raised my expectations too high. It makes me wonder why Disney is re-releasing two huge old classics one after another (Snow White is due this fall) and not something more modern, like Lion King or Beauty and the Beast to really show off the platform.

Bolt, however, was a fantastic hi-def watching experience. It was just like watching it in the theatres, only on a smaller screen, and three people instead of 70. I actually think Bolt’s a great movie, Disney Proper’s best CG movie to date. It’s not quite on par with a Pixar flick, but in terms of visuals, story, characters, and everything, it’s much better than Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. I wonder how much of that is John Lasseter’s influence.

The opening sequence, which shows the filming (with real-time editing and special effects I might add) of the Bolt show is spectacular, as is the set disaster bit. The region-specific pigeons deserve a lot of credit. They’re all hilarious! Also, this movie boosts my love for Malcolm McDowell (Mr. Linderman, the guy that killed Kirk, for you sci-fi nuts), the voice of Dr. Calico, the green-eyed Man. Rhino, the little break-out hamster starlet from the movie gets an all-new short, much like how Pixar makes shorts for their feature releases. This one was pretty forgettable, but cool while it lasted.

055 – Day 30

Over the years, my wallet and my bus pass have developed a great relationship where they stick together. This help me, since I always know where my bus pass is (unless of course, I don’t know where my wallet is, which happens on occasion). It also helps my wallet and bus pass, since the two of them can talk and cuddle in my pocket.

I’ve only recently decided to split the two up, if only to protect the pass from accidental loss or cold-related fracturing. Plus people make fun of me when they see it! Turns out that my leaving it behind wasn’t premature – Transit workers voted to reject the city’s offer. I’ve had an inkling since the beginning that this strike would last a while, but I’m really starting to get scared at how long it may be before all is well.

To add to my troubles, my laptop needs to be sent away for servicing. Supposedly, my laptop has a fan, and that fan is not spinning at the speed that it’s supposed to be. As a result, my computer can become a makeshift hotplate when needed – and it just turns off sporadically. I’ve already been in the middle of videos or trying to burn disks or in the middle of fun conversations when it has just turned off without as much as a cough. I would hate to be in the middle of an assignment, or online quiz, or presentation.

On a somewhat related note, I must say that I’m impressed with the phone support that I’ve had to deal with of late – with Dell and with TD – the former in dealing with my computer issue, and the latter with a work-related issue. Top notch, helpful bunches of oats those guys are. Perhaps that isn’t exciting as some of the hellish stories you can read about incompetent, rude, unhelpful joes servicing you needs from who knows where, but it’s still very important to praise the good guys when they help.

Now, city and transit unions, please help me to get buses back. Or pay for driving lessons and car insurance.

047 – Wind Gods and Ringtunes

October is here, and my room is freezing cold. I really think I need to reinsulate the window area, and possibly get a new window. My plan is to go, hire the worst guy possible, then complain to Mike Holmes. In response, he’ll come here, ask how on earth someone whose job was to insulate a wall and replace a window used 17 junction boxes in the process. After a few words like “unbelievable”, he’ll fix it for me, add a shiny new seat and electrical surge protector, and proclaim that he “love his job”. Simple, no?

In other news, I’ve dusted off my Wii. It’s sad how I’ve become accustomed to not having the time to play such fandangled devices. In a rare spurt of energy, I went and beat Lostwinds, a WiiWare game that I bought back in May and stoppe dplaying after all of 41 minutes. It is a great little game, one that I’d love to have seen more of (seeing as I beat it after another 3 hours). Hoping to continue the trend of actually playing the games that I’ve bought, I moved the Wii back to the living room. It gets more light there.

My DS is far from neglected though. After I get to finishing Kirby, I’ll get back to The World Ends With You until the new Castlevania arrives. I hope there’s a last minute pre-order bonus with it, though.

Which leads me to movies. The last ones I saw were Bee Movie (cute, but not Pixar by a long shot), A Dog’s Breakfast (funny, but not as amazing as I was hoping, despite Rachel Luttrell yummy cameo), and National Treasure : Book of Secrets (much better than the first, surprisingly). I’m working on Hello, Dolly. Walter Matthau is about 30 years younger than what I know him as. It’s quite something.

Lastly, I have a new ringtune for my phone, in celebration of Halloween. Listen.

045 – I think I’m Going to Need a Bigger Box

The new TV season has kicked off with a pretty epic set-up for Heroes’ third season, as well as a nice start to Big Bang Theory’s second. I love when shows don’t pick up right where they left off, but that’s often hard to do when the vast majority of ‘em have cliffhanger season finales. Heroes cheated a bit last year by throwing you a few months after the events of the season 1 finale, and then taking a later episode to answer ‘how did they get here?” Those are perfectly exciting. I expect a similar filler this year too, at least on a couple of storylines. Up next: Dexter, Californication, Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Corner Gas, and Little Mosque on the Praries, though I have no idea when that one starts – or where I”m goig to find the time to watch all of those. Despite my crazy-expensive cable package, torrents and my PSP may become my best friends.

In the meantime, I need to prepare a presentation of sorts for work. There’s a staff meeting this weekend, and I get to discuss, well… magic. I do have a basic guide form which to work, but I hope I’ll have the time to really add my own perspective to it, if at all possible.

One big accomplishment I accomplished earlier this week: I finished ripping all of my music to my computer – that’s about 220 cds! I’ve never had such instant access over my entire library (including songs downloaded form iTunes, Puretracks, and other less legitimate sources). I just have to decide what to do with it all. Twenty-five gigs of music might merit the purchase of an iPod, not because I don’t have a fabulous mp3 player already (8 Gig Creative Zen Microphoto), but because I use iTunes anyway, and I need something bigger so that I don’t have to pick and choose. Apple did just release a cooler, cheaper 32-Gig iPod Touch – but it’s still over $400. Maybe after Christmas…