Thursday, May 27, 2004

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

The love of my life is going to be in my arms in less than 9 hours. God I can't wait! It's been too long.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Photo Printer

Despite the cheap 'photo' printers that are out in the market today, I still prefer to have my digital photos printed professionally on quality paper at a price I can live with.

I have been using Shutterfly for 2 or 3 years now and I've been happy with their quality. However, I recently ordered a beautiful photo from Hunkabutta recently and he uses a service out of Washington state called PhotoAccess. Their prices are great and they offer a number of different products, aside from simply printing to photo paper (the canvas prints should appeal to the artists out there).

What stood out for me was the quality. The photo I received looked amazing. Of course a lot that had to do with Mike's (Hunkabutta) photography skill. But the reproduction was beautiful!

They also didn't trim the photo to 'fit' the page. Mike's photo didn't fit the 11x14 ratio perfectly so they just printed it to the 14" and let their be a white border on the left and right. Shutterfly has a tendency to crop your image to fit the format resulting, quite often, in chopped heads and the like. I'd much rather have a white border that can be trimmed manually or masked out with a nice frame mat than have my photo cropped.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Can you tell the difference?

A recent discussion on Hunkabutta about how people can have a hard time telling the difference between other cultures brought up some interesting information. For instance, it's not just that white people have a hard time telling Asian differences apart. They have the same problems. It's just natural to make generalizations, even visual ones, about things (and people) that we are around a lot. Just as many a redneck Ford/Chevy drivers couldn't tell the difference between a Kia/Suszuki/Hundai, if the tags were removed, the same can be said for people.

Enough of my blathering, just go take this test for yourself and see how you do. I was surprised at my results I honestly believed I could tell the difference between Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. With a score of 7 out of 18, apparently I can't as well as I thought. I wonder however if the author of the website picked difficult faces on purpose though. Just like any other close cultures, there will be some mixing and the differences will blur. Could you tell the difference between a German and a Swede, even if you were from one of those countries? In some cases perhaps, in others the differences would be so small if they existed at all that it would be impossible to tell.

And for anyone who reads this as something racist, please believe me when I say it's not. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Asian peoples and cultures. I also hold onto the fact that there is as much genetic difference between my father or my sister and I as there is between me and any stranger on the street, regardless of their skin color or region of birth. The difference between me and Jackie Chan is that he is a kick ass movie star and I'm just some dude with a blog. Well, it's more than that, but our skin tones don't mean a thing.

Enviromental Irresponsiblity Generator?

According to the Unitied Nations University and printed by Computer Shopper, in the June 2004 issue, "Building an average desktop PC with a 17-inch CRT monitor requires the outlay of 1.8 tons of raw materials - the same amount that goes into manufacturing a midsize automobile."

That is a shocking number to me. But what is more shocking is that a lot of PCs and monitors end up just being tossed into the landfills. Recycling aluminum cans may be easier, but this is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Right now, primarily, corporations are doing computer recycling, but in the consumer market there is no easy way to recycle your old PC.

Dell will take your old PC and will make this available to you at the time of purchase, of your new PC.

"You may recycle up to 50lb for $15. For example, the estimated weight of a PC is 30lb and monitor is 42lb, for a total of 72lb. The PC and monitor will need to be boxed separately, for a total price of $30."

Others have or are taking this approach as well, but many consumers wonder, "Why should I pay someone to take it when I can throw it away for nothing?"

Well Gateway customers have another option. Gateway has a trade-in program for customers who are looking to upgrade. Unfortunately, according to the customer support rep I talked to, this is not availible to owners of non-Gateway systems, though they have a donation program that will take any brand of PC, though I suspect (I didn't ask) that they'll require you to purchase a PC, asfter all they have to recover their costs some where. Recycling PCs is a very expensive process.

What about just throwing them away? I know some of you have thought that and wondered what the big deal is. Well aside from all the poisons and nasty materials in the computers, a heafty fine may be part of your 'free' dump. Depending on your state/locality you can get hit with a heafy fine.

Be responsible with your computer and monitor. It's an enviromental mess just waiting to happen. Donate to family, friends, the less fortunate, schools, a church or recycle it!

Check these Web sites for more recycling and donation options:
•? IAER (The International Association of Electronics Recyclers)
The IAER has a search engine for recycler companies and locations.

•? NRC (The National Recycling Coalition)
The NRC has an Electronics Recycling Initiative that includes a list of state and local collection programs, as well as a list of some donation sites.

•? NSC (The National Safety Council)
The NSC also has a list of recyclers that is broken down into states.

Thanks for Gateway Computers for the links above.

Dell - How to Recycle
Gateway Computers - In the Enviroment

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Let's make craters!

I haven't played it yet, because i'm at work, but Scorched Earth is back! Yeehaw! And now it's in 3D. This rocks my world.

Go get it!

Thanks to a boy and his computer for the link.


I wish I would have read this about 6-9 months ago when I started to build my HTPC. I have an ATI AIW 8500DV currently and I don't have a problem with it, however there are some issues I'm stuck with. My processor is only an Athlon 950, so I don't have a lot of processing power to spare. The Hauppauge PVR-250 does all the encoding/decoding on the card itself, so I could record at higher qualities without killing my system or causing dropped frames/audio glitches in the recorded video.

Anyway, I'm just passing this info along since I've recommended the All-In-Wonder a lot and now I wonder if that was the most sound advice.

Cinco de Miracle Whip

I didn't pay attention and missed another Cinco de Mayo celebration. Not that I have any cultural reason to celebrate, but millions of people celebrate St. Patricks day and there aren't THAT many Irish running around the country.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to try next year. Good Mexican food and margaritas sound good just about any time of the year to me!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Would you like to try our...

I know they have been around awhile now but man I find them annoying. What I'm referring to are the fast food pre-recorded greetings when you pull up to the speaker in the drive-thru. It's just odd because you can't tell if its a recording or not until you say 'no thanks' and then someone else's voice asks what you'd like.

I DO understand why they do this though. It's marketing. These fast food places want to push their latest new sandwich or salad. When I worked fast food we'd be requested by the main office to push a particular item in person. In essence the drive-thru operator had to remember to say the lines every time. If you've ever worked fast-food, especially in the drive-thru you know how difficult and tedious this can be, especially during the lunch rush (the best time to do any marketing however).

So now we, as customers, have to listen to automated greetings first, then talk to a real person. It's a shame, but I understand it. It's still irritating though.

Monday, May 03, 2004

I'm OK

I thought I better post that I'm ok now. The problem has been sorted out and I'm happy again. I hope I didn't scare anyone.

Now back to work I go. Don't worry Dave I'm not spending all my time on here. :P

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Everything sucks!

The shittiest thing about being depressed is everything you like or lave just sucks. Nothing is any good. Things that don't normally bother you are mutiplied 1000 fold until you dispise every irritant.

I hate the way I feel right now. I hate how i'm feeling so negative. I'm supposed to be the one who can look past the negativity and embrase the positive, no matter how small. Right now I just dont give a fuck and that scares the hell out of me.

I dont know why i write this. It'll probably make people worry and then I'll have to deal with that too. But if I dont do something I'll explode. I don't want to blow up.