Last Friday I was sitting at my desk, looking up directions to a friend’s house so I could meet my brother, who was giving his snake (and the last of my tanks) to my long time friend who first got me interested in reptiles, when I heard a loud pop. I asked Holly if she had made the noise, she said she didn’t hear it, but it was possibly her doing something (I forget what now). I thought it came from my computer, but everything seemed to be just fine, so I left. When I returned home half an hour later, I came upstairs and saw my machine attempting to post. I had left it idle, so I assumed the power had gone out, or Holly had used it and it crashed. She said she hadn’t touched it but noticed it started beeping a few minutes earlier. I tried not to panic, since this machine has acted weird like this in the past, and I had definitely saved before I left.
I did however have a hard time getting over the fact that I was mere hours away from completing the layout of the post and beam, as well as the bents. I couldn’t help but think that if I’d just kept working I would be done, and none of this would even bother me. Now I have to figure out what is the problem? did I lose data and subsequently my paycheque? how much will replacement parts cost – and can I afford said parts without the paycheque I can’t confirm I have earned over the last week? All these things were eating at me, as well as the stupid questions I can’t avoid asking myself – if I hadn’t have gone to meet my brother and friend would this have happened? if I woke up earlier or stayed up later the night before, could I have avoided feeling like I fucked up once again?
Until I can figure out what went wrong, I can only assume it was a million things I did (or didn’t do). Unfortunately I exhausted all my troubleshooting skills by Sunday morning, when something much more important arose, before I had a chance to call in the big guns (Jon and my dad). Jon was the first person I called when things went bad. I got the machine from him when I was in desperate need of something that was decent enough to work on. He was generous enough to slap together a bunch of random bits he had lying around and set me up with something better than I ever imagined. Unfortunately he’s an hour and a bit away. Luckily for me, I have the man who taught me a lot of what I know about computers – my dad. He gave me support over the phone, but there is only so much one can do to solve a problem they can’t see. I was able to eventually get an older machine of mine working and at least confirm that none of my data had been lost. I could now submit my hours, and did so as soon as possible. I got my machine to my dad a day later, and that evening he found the blown capacitor in theÂ photo above (the cylindrical thing with the shiny top on the left). This explains the noise I heard, and confirms that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this happening when it did.
My dad had an extra motherboard that would work as well as the one I just killed (minus the dual video card SLI bridge), which he had intended on using to upgrade his own machine. Instead, he generously donated it to the “Incredibly Hurting, Somewhat Disappointing Son Fund”, and I am now back up and running with the book a few hours away from completion. In the end, the worst part of the computer bullshit is the unnecessary emotional stress I put myself and those around me through. It also didn’t help that James decided to give me a guilt trip about meeting deadlines again, which in reality is still all his fault, but whatever. I have bitched enough about that in the past.
I’m glad I have such kind, generous friends and family to help me when I need it. I’m even more glad that I can stop worrying about my computer and focus on helping the people who need it most right now. I can’t expect amazing people to be there for me if I’m not there for them, which makes me wonder how I got such amazing people looking out for me in the first place. I suppose that answer is less important than making sure they stick around though.
For the last couple weeks Gage has been grounded from the xbox because he hates homeless kids. Since Roan has grown bored of it (which I believe is strictly because everyone else is so into it, he wants to be different – I understand), Holly and I have had plenty of opportunities to kill dudes together. I’ve completely converted her into an online gamer (a n00b, but not for long), and think she’s soon ready to move on to trash talk and teabagging. She is so proud of how good her avatar turned out, she made me redo mine so it looked like me, and then I had to take a photo (above).
I never bother to try and make my avatars look like me since so much of me is my big dumb ears, which is never an option in any create-a-character. Instead I tend to create two different types of dudes, depending on the options – a ridiculously tough looking brute in inappropriate clothing, or a really creepy gay-leather-daddy type with an awesome moustache. I suppose if I buy a black hoody for my guy it would look more like me, but butt fuck digital micro-transactions. Microsoft already has too much of my money.
Is it sweet or creepy that I think a video game version of Holly is gorgeous and kind of turns me on?
As I previously mentioned, I’m loving COD: Black Ops and all it’s new features. Yesterday I played a few matches before work (as I usually do – I love to kill dudes while I’m drinking my coffee) and I managed to max out my character. I decided to “Prestige“, then spent a few minutes messing about in the Theater. I made a montage of a killing spree I went on (7 or 8 dudes I think!) but didn’t realize it had to be shorter than 30 seconds if I wanted to upload it to my Youtube account. Oh well…
Here’s my first screen shot. It’s me calling in a mortar strike on hostile territories my squad is attempting to capture (just after killing those 7 or 8 dudes mentioned above), and not me trying to order a new pair of pants from Sears because I pissed myself (it kind of looks like I pissed myself). Clicking it will take you to the full version.
Here’s my first video. It’s just a short clip of me diving (my new favourite thing to do in COD) into a prone position, and neutralizing a hostile tango attempting to capture and destroy an allied headquarters. I swapped the audio with some lame techno song offered on Youtube. Enjoy!
This clip is my first successful attempt at making a montage of clips in the COD Theater. Think of it as a trailer or ad for a killer for hire, showcasing my awesome skills and battle tactics, set to some beautiful melody provided by 2 seconds of search in the Youtube audio swap “instrumental” libraries.Â I think it fits just fine. The kill at the end of the clip was a game winner / ender by yours truly. Unfortunately when you render the clips so they upload to Youtube, some of the details are left out. For example, that car I dive beside… it was on fire and smoking like mad in the original clip, making it look infinitely more bad-ass.
The top photo is my Player Card Emblem. I designed it, and it’s proudly sported on all my guns. I’m guessing a million people have seen it by now, since it flashes up on their screen while I’m dipping my nuts in their mouth after killing them.
Holly and I went to St Catharines on Saturday (turns out she doesn’t hate me) to find some of those diodes Shawn needed to jtag my xbox. Then we went to the market and got some local fruit for us and eccle cakes for my dad. We had to kill some time before we could drop off the diodes to Shawn, so we had lunch at Strega before heading to Welland. We gave Shawn the diodes, then hung out for a bit. We smoked a joint and played with his new dog, until a giant spider caught my attention and we started throwing huge mosquitos at it’s web, watching it race over and wrap them up before they got away. I left my camera in Holly’s purse, which she left in her car, so I didn’t get any photos or video. Shawn’s mom brought her camera out, but I couldn’t get it to focus very well. If he uploads them to youtube I’ll post a link to them. It was pretty neat.
We left Shawn’s and headed over to my parent’s place to drop off the eccles and pick up the saw. I decided to show my dad the renderings I did of the first shelf, and he seemed pretty impressed with both the design and the renderings. I showed him a few other things I’ve posted here, but didn’t show him the blog (he still doesn’t know about this site, or my bad habits and it’s probably better that way). He really liked my little robot I call Goggles, and even asked me to send him links to it so he could show it off to someone else. I’ve decided I should get another domain where I can host a portfolio of all my work.
I also mentioned to my dad the possibility of me designing more furniture similar to these shelves, and compiling my own $5.00 ebook for D.I.Y. crafters to download. I’ve already got two different (although highly similar) shelf designs, complete with dimensioned shop drawings. I can easily think of a few other small projects I could include to make it worth someone paying $5.00 for. Although I’ll be holding off until I prove that this design works by building it for real.
My dad was a bit worried that I had posted the shop drawings online in case someone uses them for free, but I would be flattered if someone thought my design was worth stealing. I also did give the go ahead in a previous post. So I’m going to share this redesigned version too and if someone decides to also make it, I’m fine with that. I just ask that you send photos.
Click on the shop drawing for a bigger version that is easier to read.
That video right there, that’s my original 360 – the one that was given to me personally by Silicon Knights for being the best gamer in all of St Catharines (and for being one of the 4 actual fans of Too Human) which I then had modded by The Shawnz only to have it RROD a short time later and subsequently suffer a failed flash resulting in a bricked disc drive. After sitting on a shelf for nearly five years (wow, seems like it hasn’t been out nearly that long) it has been successfully repaired (minus the disc drive) and with any luck, it will have a Jtag installed before the weekend is over.
Shawn was recently motivated to get his 360 back up and running due to the upcoming release of Dead Rising 2, and he decided while he was in there fiddling he might as well look into installing a Jtag. Luckily for me, he’s super handy and always willing to share his skills with me. He called and asked if I still had my box (which I recently almost tossed – thank god I didn’t) and said he wanted to try fixing it. If it works, the boys will be stoked. They’re constantly going nuts when they get into a hacked game. I’m confident Shawn can get it working (as is he) but that doesn’t mean we’ll be able to modify games. It will mean we can do some other fun things though, and we’ll have a second working xbox.
…Are about as good as the chances of one of my peripherals lasting more than six months. My previously unexplained remedy to an unknown problem decided to completely fail on Sunday morning, leaving me with no choice but to make a trip to Future Shop and buy another new mouse. I picked up a Logitech LX8 which fires red lasers with deadly accuracy. It, mixed with the fact that I’ve been repeatedly listening to The War of the Worlds on my mp3 player (it would appear that I have yet to mention how much I love this album on here… weird, it’s one of my all time favourites) while working on the book, lead to me needing to model some tripodal Martians with deadly heat rays. I also needed a new desktop background since mine got deleted recently.
I also decided to mess with some animation things,Â and see if I could create one where the lasers appeared to be firing. I only spent a few minutes, but I have figured out how I could make some cool animations fairly easy. Currently I’m rendering a version of the above image in Indigo, but it probably won’t be ready until tomorrow.
I have finished rebuilding all the tools I lost last week, and now I just have to redo all the structural engineering crap for the last part of the appendix. James has started sending me photos he wants to appear in a spread somewhere in the middle of the text, but so far none of them seem appropriate. I’m going to get Naomi to send me all his photos, then I’ll have to go through them all and find some that will work. I may even just end up using my own photos from when I took P&B at the ISBA. I wonder if I do, if I get credited as photographer as well?
I also sent James an email yesterday with links to sites where he can secure an ISBN number (or series of numbers since we’re creating multiple volumes now) and UPC codes. Hopefully he gets that sorted out soon, because once the appendix layout is complete it’s just a matter of correcting some text and redoing the Table of Contents (booooo!).
*click either image for a larger/cooler version, unless the small ones already have you crapping your pants (in which case, you better go change your pants).
Well last night I got my new work load from James at around midnight. I was in the process of defusing an enemy I.E.D. when the phone rang and I had to let the terrorists win. He wanted to go over the text edits he’s decided to make after spending a few months with my layout.
He suggested we go about it page by page since he doesn’t want to give me his copy and then not have one. I don’t care one way or the other (although I suppose I should bill him for the hours and hours it’s going to take to get this all done over the phone) but I am surprised at how much a tiny amount of writing (with a pen??? wtf??) can start to hurt my wrists and finger joints. We spoke for a little over an hour and a half and got through about 38 pages of edits.
I now have plenty of work to do for a few days, but it’s only the beginning. I also have to add a bunch of photos to the layout, but I’m still waiting on James to supply me with them. On top of that there is still a butt-load of appendix and glossary information that needs to be added yet.
And as my luck would have it, just as I get a new workload my mouse decides to stop working with no explanation at all. That’s it up above, still in pieces but fully functional. I’m not sure how, but I managed to fix it. I won’t be surprised if it dies for good soon, as in the last 12 months I’ve been through 3 (although one of those broke with some assistance when I smashed it into pieces).
Since I got Holly addicted to killing Nazi Zombies, I’ve tried to expand her interest in games her and I can play together. Last week I downloaded a bunch of Xbox Live Arcade demos and had her try a few with me. We fell in love with an Indie game called I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1NIT!!!1.
It was only about $2 to buy ($1 if you’re American), and the entire game takes about 8 minutes to complete, but it’s 4 player co-op and tons of fun. The song from the game is awesome too. I keep getting it stuck in my head, and fell asleep singing it to myself last night. When I got up this morning, the first thing I did was download the song. I highly recommend watching the video, downloading the song, and then buying and playing the game.
It’s only downside, is the lack of online play. But for an 8 minute game, who cares.
We got tons of snow the last two days (and it’s not stopping), and that means I managed to talk Holly into killing Nazi-zombies with me for a little bit. She’s never willing to play because she “hates the stupid toggles” (she means analog sticks), but she was just bored enough the other day to try. She did pretty good for someone who has never played a first-person-shooter before. She still refuses to use her pistol and get points, but she’s evolving. Soon we’ll be pwn’n nubs together on the onlines. We can now get to level 11 or 12 on the easiest map, but she has yet to survive the zombie-dogs on my favourite map. I’m sure with more practice though, she’ll be as good or better than I am, and we’ll be singing Pack-A-Punch jingles together, while we splatter zombie guts all over each other.
I tried to get Holly to play Co-op Campaign on World at War, but it’s not a good game for seeing the enemies. You basically have to look for muzzle flare, and shoot dudes you can barely see 75% of the time (even without split screen it’s pretty tough to see dudes). I figured she needed more experience with the basic FPS controls, so I suggested we try Gages new Halo 3 ODST game. The enemies in Halo games are either bright colours or 10′ tall, or a combination of the two. We threw it in last night for about 30 minutes before deciding it was worse than Halo 3, and incredibly boring and frustrating. We gave up on Halo and agreed to never play it again.
I’m glad Holly was willing to try killing zombies with me, and even more glad she loves it. I like that she gets the adrenaline rush I get when she plays (maybe even more than I do – I never scream, ever). Hopefully it helps her understand why I have a hard time tearing myself away from games, and end up awake until 4am most nights.