Wednesday, May 29, 2002

-- Tip of the Day --

Power Drinks - I can't vouch for Red Bull, as I've yet to try it, but I have tried two others; Mountain Dews' AMP and SoBes' Adrenaline Rush.

For those who don't quite get the concept of these drinks. They are not like Gatoraid or Poweraid which are intended to rehydrate the body and provide electrolytes and salts that your body uses up while working out. Energy drinks are usually highly caffeinated and contain various levels of sugars, some refined, others not. Some have other herbs and vitamins as well.

My tip, comparing AMP and Adrenaline Rush is to skip AMP and go with AR. If you compare the ingredients alone, you will see a striking difference! AR has fewer unpronounceable ingredients and the nutrition label shows much more bang for your buck.

That brings me to the next reason AR is better than AMP. It's CHEAPER! Here it's about $1.50 for AR, vs. almost $3.00 for AMP. That's a big difference and NOT worth it.

Lastly, but no less important, AR tastes MUCH better. There is a crisp natural fruit flavor, which I have yet to identify. The sugar content, while high, does not leave your mouth feeling sticky and wishing for a glass of water.

I hope this helps save some people from wasting their money on Mountain Dews' AMP. Sorry guys, it's a crappy product, stick with soda.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

-- Tip o'da Day! --

Buying batteries for digital cameras - for those who have had the misfortune of having to purchase alkaline batteries for your digital camera, in a pinch, you know just how poor thier performance can be. You are lucky to fill an entire memory card before they die. Especially so if you use the flash a lot and/or the LCD screen on the back.

My tip is actually two:

1. Buy rechargable batteries! Yes they are more expensive at the onset, especially when you buy a charger as well, but in the long run you will save a LOT!

2. If you MUST buy disposible batteries buy Lithium! Energizer makes some great AA lithiums called E^2 (E Squared). The will last EASILY 3-4 times what even the best alkalines will, in a digital camera. They are difficult to come by, but often easier and cheaper than camera specific lithiums.

If you have a great tip, send me an e-mail and I'll consider your idea for the Tip of the Day.

Testing 1, 2, 3...

I played with rearranging things here on the main page. I need more room for links and additional "features". For example, I'm seriously considering adding a new daily feature, "My Tip of the Day." I'm thinking perhaps I might as well leave it on this main page though.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002


My first dream is a little odd, but there are some themes in it that keep repeating over and over again. Themes that I have yet to understand.

I was on an ocean beach. The erosion of the land created this beach, and the land was about 10 feet higher than sea level. Unlike the sharp cliff like features you would expect from the tide eroding way at the base of the land, the erosion was more like that of a desert mesa, wind erosion. There were also many deep recesses, making the wall look similar to the grand canyons many branches.

I don’t remember much about what I was doing until I started to climb. I was climbing up the side. The rock was very hard and easy to climb, but it was a very unusual rock. Honestly it had the color of fresh meat. It was blood red with bit of white. However it WAS rock. Hard and easy to climb. Like a red marble with veins of quartz.

That was about all I remembered, but it was quite vivid. I have had many dreams around beaches, oceans, lakes and rivers. I have also had a number of dreams around worn eroded landscapes, especially desert-like. I haven’t a clue what they mean though. There is almost ALWAYS a body of water in my dreams, or some sort or another.

The second dream is very different and I’m not entirely sure what made me dream it. I had a little baby girl. A woman that I didn’t know basically gave her to me. Or I adopted her shortly after birth. It was a very short dream with few details, but I remember she was very happy with me taking care of her, and I was very nervous, not knowing what I was doing.

So there you have it…interesting yes, but I’m afraid I don’t quite understand them at this point.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Computer Update

Those of you who are regular visitors to my site have no doubt noticed that my home webcam pictures haven't changed in awhile. Well as i noted a few blogs ago, my computers motherboard died, leaving me without my computer. I'm working off a temp from work, but its limited functionality does not allow me to play with my cam. Ah well.

My replacement motherboard (under warrentee) should be here any day now, FINALLY! I've been chomping at the bit to get it back. Once i get it back I expect to do a bit more art as well as a couple other things i've been considering doing or putting off.

For instance, I have yet to create my tutorials page. I only have one tutorial prepared, but I have others I want to create. This would, in theory give more draw power to my site.

That brings me to my next delema. Do I join a couple web-rings or not. A ring is basically a collection of similar websites which have a navigational control, usually at the bottom of the page, to allow a user to surf various similar websites. I've refrained thus far because frankly I find the navigational tools a bit ugly. However this is one great way to get my website see more. The basic rule on the net now, unless you are willing to pay for search engine placement (yea right!) is you have to link to a lot of websites and they have to link to you. The more valid links, the better. Of course the sites you link to have to be well visited/ranked as well other wise its kinda moot.

Mostly I want to share my artwork more. There are a number of art websites out there such as, Renderosity and DeviantART, which is currently down apparently. Gee maybe I should find another! heh! The great thing about these sites is that they allow anyone to upload thier art to be displayed and judged by other artists. I like getting comments from others, it helps me improve my work. On the flipside to that however, there are some real jerks there that will not offer constructive critisim. The bad thing is that your work can easily become lost or seem less significant in the sea of images. While here on my site, they are alone together. Judgement is less subject to the bias that one might get by looking at a much better artist. I think i'm pretty good, but there are many other artists out there who have worked thier skills even harder and have impressive works. It is hard to judge a nice $25000 car when there is a $150,000 exotic sports car sitting right there next to it.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Attack of the Clones Review

Well I was able to talk my old roomie into going with me last night! We arrived at about 10:30 and the line was already quite long. Luckly I purchased my tickets online so that wasn't an issue. We stood in line for only about half an hour, just chit chatting with others. It was a pretty "normal" group. There were a few people running around with plastic lightsabers and "jedi" outfits. Luckly they were few and relaxed.

At 11 they started letting people in. This was a good thing. They had five screens open at this theatre, each seating about 450 people. As you can imagine it takes awhile to seat that many people and give them time to waste thier money on consessions.

After a short wait, the seats were comfy at least, everyone was seated and the reviews started. Then finally the movie! I will not spoil the movie at all. I don't like when people do that.

In a nutshell, the naysayers were wrong. The movie is MUCH better than the first, of course that in itself is not saying much. It isn't quite up to par with New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, but I would have to say it is better than Return of the Jedi.

In Episode1 they really focused a great deal on developing the characters who would shape the Star Wars world. There was a bit of plot development with Senetor Palpatine, but it seemed minor to the grand scope. George Lucas learned his leasons from this movie.

Ep2 - Attack of the Clones may have a terribly unimaginative title but it makes up for it in substance. We begin to see Anakins trip down to the dark side and his love with Padme, that eventually results in Luke and Leia. That portion of the movie is probably the worst part of the movie. The acting is convincing on the part of Hayden Christensen (Anakin) but Natalie Portman's (Padme) performance seemed a bit cold, but perhaps that was the idea. But for a woman that was supposed to be falling in love, she seemed very uninterested. Her action sequences were quite good though.

There is a great deal of action as a matter of fact. Some of it is a tad rushed though. What I mean is the camera work/editing. The cuts are too fast sometimes and you loose your perspective of the scene. There is one instance were this works very well. Towards the end during a lightsaber battle they do a bunch of quick close-up face shots while in the middle of the battle. The blades cut in and out of the scenes making for a visually compelling series of images.

Visually this movie is even better than Ep1. Watto, Anakins old boss and owner makes a cameo and I was very impressed how much better he looks in this movie. We all know of course that he is computer generated, but his realisim is great. All of the CGI characters are exceptional actually.

The audio and music was excellent as well. But we wouldn't expect anything less from the group that gave us THX would we? It was nice to hear them reusing and revamping the original scores for this movie as well. They were not drastically modified, but you could tell that additional depth was added to them. The results were VERY good. They remained very true to the original score.

Unfortunatly there were a few corny lines in the movie. They were not made by Jar Jar either. Thankfully he had a minor and short role in this movie. It was actually C3-PO that said some dumb things this time. Many of his lines were amusing and fitting. But there was one in particular that I felt was completely unnecessary and just plain stupid. R2-D2 is dragging C3-POs head across the ground (don't ask) with a little grapple and 3PO says something to the effect of, "This is such a drag."

There were a few faults, as any movie with this many eyes on it can expect. It is hard to compete against the pure and simple nature of the original movies. The plot is getting thick and complex, but it needs to be. There is a LOT of story to tell. Taking that into account, this movie is right up there with New Hope and Empire, no question. I'm certain there will be those who will disagree with my assesment, but I supect they will be the minority.

My recommendation: Go see it! It is well worth the money for both hardcore fans and new viewers alike. I supect this movie will spawn a new generation of StarWars fans!

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Star Wars

Ok I'm a geek. Proud of it too. I wanna go see Star Wars! There are a total of 7 midnight showings tonight. I should be able to get tickets to one of them certainly. I just don't want to go by myself. Geez! I'd look like a total geek in a theatre full of them! heh!

I'm trying to get my ex-roomie to go with me. But he's married now and he has to get permission first. I do understand his situation, but it is still a lot of fun to raz him about it.

I honestly didn't plan to go on opening night, but....well I've gotten a little bit excited about it. As for those who are worried that it'll be as dorky as the first one, I think you'll be wrong. I hope I'm right.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Taco Bell

I think people have forgotten what "couple" and "few" mean. A couple is only 2! A few is 3 to 5 or so, that one isn't so precise. I got to the Taco Bell drive-thru and they ask if I want sauce. I said, I'll have a couple hot and a couple mild. Two of each. What do I get? I get three of each! That's a FEW of each. Sheesh!

*GRIN* i know i'm being silly, that's part of the fun of bitching about it. ;)

Thursday, May 02, 2002

What happened to "quality"?

Well here is the scoop on my computer. The IDE controller on the motherboard is bad. In simple terms, this means that the hard drive cannot properly speak with the rest of the computer, rendering it virtually useless.

Good news is that this means all my data, that I thought I might have lost, is safe and sound.

Bad news is that it'll take at least two weeks for the motherboard to be fixed or replaced. So in the meantime I'm borrowing a work laptop. It sucks cuz it's not very powerful and I can't really make art on it.
Other bad news is that I bought a new 60 GB drive to replace the other drive, which I thought was bad. I can use the drive space, but it seems like a waste of money now. I considered taking the drive back, but CompUSA charges a 15% restocking fee. Sorry, but that's not worth it.

ASUS, the manufacturer of my motherboard is being very easy going about repairing/replacing it, but still, this is supposed to be one of the top-tier motherboard companies. I'm quite disappointed that this board has failed. Generally if a piece of hardware, without moving parts, is going to fail, it'll fail in the first few days or not at all. For it to fail suddenly like this, months after it's been installed, working great, is unusual.

Well at least I'm not completely dead in the water.


There are days when you really shouldn't roll out of bed. Today has become one of those for me. It started innocently enough, but as I went to turn my computer on to check my e-mail...........nothing.

I got a kernel error. In otherwords the main part of an OS, the part that talks to all the hardware, was corupted. I've tried to repair it, only to be unable. I'm afraid that the drive may have become corupt. God I hope not. I have a LOT of data on there that I cannot replace.

I have some backups, but they are about 6 months old now, guess it's time to make some more!

I've gone and bought a new 60 GB drive and I'm installing Windows 2000 on it right now. I should be able to slave the old drive and pull the data off it, if the coruption is minor. So it's not a total loss, but it is a pain in the butt.

I've also desided to try installing RedHat Linux. I'm still not 100% certain about that as last time I tried it was a total failure. We'll see this time. But first things first....get Windows up and my data safe.

Oh the other crappy things today:
1. It's raining.
2. I always seem to get behind idiots and really poor drivers when I'm in a cranky mood.
3. My linux test box I was working with at work (not my personal PC) didn't install right and the mouse is all screwed up. Since I dont know Linux I cant fix it without reinstalling.
4. John, my old roomie, some how lost his user profile on his computer here at work (we work together). I don't know how he did it, but he completely lost it and had to recreate a new one from scratch. That is a pain and he's been calling me most of the day. I don't mind that, it's not his fault, but it's still not something a person want to deal with when they are already screaming about two other computers.

oh yea..
5. I ordered, online, two serial numbers for Dave (my boss, see the boss cam 3rd link on the left) and myself so we could run Nero 5.5 CD burning software. I was running EZ CD Creator 4.0, but now i'm running Windows XP and it is not compatible. So I'm sitting here unable to burn CDs. What a pain.