11.30.2010

Beat Box Master

Alright, time for another quick browser trip. Head over to Google Translate at http://translate.google.com

When you get there, Change the To and From fields both to German (hehe)

Paste the following text into the big text box:

pv zk pv pv zk pv zk kz zk pv pv pv zk pv zk zk pzk pzk pvzkpkzvpvzk kkkkkk bsch

Now click Listen! Isn't it wonderful. Your own personal Beat Box Machine. Try your own combos.

Oh, yeah, also try: pvvvss bsch wwww bsch bsch kkkkk bsch bsch wwwww kkkkk bsch bsch kkkkk bsch bsch pzk bsch

11.29.2010

Example

Do me a quick favor. Go to gmail.com in another tab. Go ahead, I'll wait....

Serious, go there.

Okay, not look right under the username field on the page. the example for a username is 'pat@example.com'. Ha. Poor Pat. Pat must receive a lot of junk mail.

After a little further exploration into this slightly random quandary I found myself in (exploration meaning that I typed example.com into my Chrome browser address bar, struck the 'Enter' key on my 104 button keyboard and waited impatiently as my overpriced, snail-paced 1.5 (0.3 in reality) Mbps internet connection retrieved the results. The results actually made me laugh. Go ahead and try it. I would bet that the results won't make you laugh like I did.

The fact is, example.com is used in about every book I've read in the past 8 years of my life (excluding those books I've read which contained plots - a small minority of my reading library) and I have never once thought to check the domain for content.

When I checked my email this evening, I noticed poor Pat's email address and wondered... what if I'm missing out on something spectacular. Boy did I get my hopes up. If you click through the one link on the resulting webpage, and scan to section 3 where the 'rules' for the example SLD, it reads simply as follows:

3. Reserved Example Second Level Domain Names
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) also currently has the following second level domain names reserved which can be used as examples.
example.com
example.net
example.org

So, if you were ever interested, or even if you never will be, there you have it.
FYI, SLD or second-level domain refers to the 'name' of the website as most people know it. For example, in facebook.com, 'facebook' is the second-level domain name, being the name of a company or an organization. In our same example, facebook.com, the FLD or first-level domain name is 'com' which refers to the type of company or organization (or at least that was the original intention).

9.18.2010

Embrace Your Inner Geek

I want to share something that I found quite a while ago and enjoy very much. I encourage you to try it out. Its fun and doesn't take too long. Its a geek test at http://www.innergeek.us/geek-test.html. Don't worry, its not a test of knowledge or anything like that. Its just a list of Geeky things people do that you mark off to determine just how much of a geek you are. Some of the things on the list will not surprise you at all, while others are just things you may do an not even notice it.

Post Your Score as a comment!

My score: 32.84133%
My Classification: Total Geek
I don't think I scored too badly. There are a lot of crazy things on that list. That being said, I am still not totally happy with my score. The classifications are listed at the bottom of the geek test: Geekish Tendencies, Geek, Total Geek, Major Geek, Super Geek, Extreme Geek, Geek God, Dysfunctional Geek. I would like to be more in the Geek God category, or at least an Extreme Geek.

Awesomely enough, the Geek test provides a list of topics to blog about, while educating myself and you about different aspects of Geekdom.

I'll start today with the very first question on the test: I have programmed a calculator in math class.
In the 10th grade, Math was my very favorite class. My friend Jacob and I were the only students in the class that could stay awake in out 7:30 am class, and apparently the only two students that understood what numbers are. Anyway, I did really well with math on my own, but decided to purchase a TI-89 calculator to 'spice things up'. Now, the TI-89 calculator is different than most graphing calculators. Most people think that it will just do all the math for you. That isn't really true... I always learned how to do the math without the calculator before I learned how to do it on my 89. I guess the idea that the calculator will do everything for you came from the fact that you can Program it to do ANYTHING you want.

I read the entire manual (another item on the Geek Test list!) and learned how to do absolutely everything. In class, after I learned the concepts, Jacob and I were done with assignments before the 15 minute daily lecture was over, then POW, we'd start up one of several games I had downloaded or programmed on my TI 89. That calculator could run Final Fantasy, Chess (even with awesome AI) and 3D mazes. I made a few battleship games and word games, nothing too fancy.

Code Sample:
Graphic() 
Prgm 
Clrdraw 
FnOff 
Setgraph "Axes","Off" 
RplcPic ts Loop For B,1,4 For E,158,1,-1 
StoPic d,0,1,E,77 
RplcPic d,0,0 RplcPic #({"O1","TS","O2","TS"}[B]),0,E 
If Getkey()=264 
Goto Out 
Endfor 
Endfor 
Endloop 
lbl Out 
Clrdraw 
Setgraph "Axes","On" 
DispHome 
FnOn 
Endprgm
The language I used to program is BASIC. The program I most enjoyed using and writing was one that solved the Quadratic equation. That really sped up my assignments. I had lots of fun with my TI 89, but for obvious reasons it was never allowed on tests. Thank goodness I actually knew the math too :)

9.17.2010

Suit Up

A new Challenge! I'm pretty excited for this one. I may or may not continue or restart my water experiment during my new challenge, but I haven't decided. It didn't seem to change my weight, but I think I was better off drinking only water. Soda doesn't hit the spot like it used to.

So, anyway... My new challenge is at http://hundredpushups.com/. The basic gist is that withing 6 weeks following the program at that link, I will be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups. I am interested to find out how tough I can get. Remember, I am not in shape at all right now, but I hope this helps get me motivated.

There's a little twist: My friend Sam is doing the program at the same time. Its a contest of sorts, to see who can complete 100 push-ups after only six weeks. I will be doing the initial test this weekend, and then starting the six week challenge (among other exercises etc) on Monday September 20. Bring It!

9.13.2010

H2No

Water. That's all I drank for two weeks (minus a glass of Kool Aid and two glasses of milk). The results are in, and I have to say, I'm surprised. No, I didn't lose 100 lbs, or even 10. I don't even think I lost any weight come to think of it. This morning I weighed in at 221 lbs, which is about a pound less than when I started. But that isn't the whole point of my 'experiment'. I want to be healthier. I want to be strong and I want to look GOOD. (I'm a long way from that right now).

So, the result, I guess, is more about the way I feel than the way I look or how much I weigh. To tell the truth, I don't feel much different, nor did I this morning. I did through the two weeks have a desire to workout, but never enough to actually do it. I had a greater desire to see if soda (or a lack thereof) would make a difference. I do want to start working out soon, but it is still going to require some good motivation. One big thing that changed was my desire for soda. I really didn't want it too much considering. And water doesn't taste half bad anymore! I did buy a Pepsi today, but I left it in the car on accident and it took me 45 minutes to go get it. I guess I didn't want/need it too badly.

Chick-Fil-A has it out for me and accidentally made me too many drinks, but gave them to me anyway! Two Root Beers for dinner (don't tell them, but I only drank part of one, and the bigger one is in the fridge getting old already). While I was eating dinner, I actually wanted some water instead of my soda.

So, what is next? I need a challenge! If one of my three readers would please challenge me with something awesome, an experiment or some goal I can prepare and work for, I would appreciate it and I can blog about it. Please comment. If I get comments, I am more likely to blog. :)

9.06.2010

The Chemistry of Wanting

Craving. Hunger. Frenzied desire to survive. Its amazing how we become attached to an idea, or to a need or to something we have come to expect. Addiction is simple the refusal of the mind to acknowledge that what one wants is not necessary. A craving is just a chemical imbalance in the brain that can only be overturned by that one thing the body is currently focused upon. The funny part, the imbalance was created by your brain. At that point your body has fooled itself into temporary addiction.

Its what makes us survive. It is what binds us together. It is what makes us different from the animals. Yes, they crave and they become addicted, but the difference lies in our ability to become addicted to feelings, to crave friendship, love, companionship and approval. We are different because we can fool ourselves into needing things like comfort, organization, fitness, health, mastery of skills foreign to our bodies, and many more tiny things we don't think about. We are addicted. Each of us craves something different.

What do you crave? What have you become addicted to. What are you challenged by? What have you fooled yourself into needing?

I know this is a strange topic and it may not make sense, but as I sat down today, I felt the need to just write. To explain how I feel about my nature. As I have craved Soda, or specifically an ice cold Pepsi, over the las week, I think I have felt the addiction pulling at me. I have felt the craving grow. I know I don;t need it. I know above all else I need to be healthy: for my posterity, for my own safety, and especially for my wife. No one around me is forcing me to be healthy or has made me feel so bad that I've cried or felt like I wasn't good enough. No one has forced me to feel that way. But I still have felt that. I need to be able to protect my family. I need to be able to play with my children for longer than a minute before I inform them that I am simply too tired for play-time today.

I know its kind of weird, but drinking only water this past week has made me want to change other aspects of my life. I want to exercise. I want to be strong. I want to eat better (still working on the addictions and cravings on that one). Don't worry, nothing much has changed in the last week. I still don't like water. I still want a soda. I am still weak sauce and chubby. But I guess the most important thing has changed: my desire to be better. Lets hope that desire turns to addiction and crazing really soon.

9.03.2010

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Well, four days in now and I have to say, This is Freaking Hard. No soda for four days, when I'm used to two liters of Pepsi (at the very least).

After one day of drinking only water, I went down to 221.8 lbs. Not a huge change, and considering how much fluctuation occurs in body weight each day, i may not have really lost any.

But this isn't just about weight or even size, its about getting healthy and feeling better.

On Wednesday Morning I was at 222.0 lbs.

Thursday Morning, 220.4.

Things seem to be going well. I feel good, but I'm tired, but I don't think that has anything to do with what I am drinking. On Wednesday I helped my Dad move a bunch of dirt and I am not as fit as I used to be. We carried 118 5 gallon buckets full of dirt. We shoveled it into the buckets, then hauled it up a ramp and across the yard, and into a truck with a shell. After we loaded the truck we drove to our drop-off and unloaded the dirt. (then we did it all again for another load). Good for health, but I am still sore.

Also, another event I guess, this one is directly related to soda; I had the biggest withdrawal headache. I took a three hour nap before going to bed early. Its amazing how bad I felt when I stopped drinking soda. Its obvious that I shouldn't be drinking something that does that. I am still craving sometimes though, but water is pretty good I suppose. Its an acquired taste for sure :)

I haven't been eating the best, but I never said I was changing that. I also have to note that tonight, Thursday September 2, I drank a small cup of Kool-Aid. It was an allowance at a party so, I don't consider if a failure. I have to allow some give or else I'll just crack and chug a bunch of soda.

8.30.2010

You Must Do the Thing You Think You Cannot Do


I have found a reason to blog: I have been issued a challenge that I must meet. Its simple really, if I want to do something, I just have to assume that someone thinks I can't, and then I will be seven types of motivated to follow through. I basically need to feel that what I am doing is a challenge, then I can give it my all. The reward for winning doesn't even have to be great, just the satisfaction of winning is all I need (most of the time). Note: Some say I'm pretty competitive when it comes to games and the like... I don't know what they are talking about :)

Okay, so back to the challenge: Water. That's right, Water. More specifically, Only Water. For the next two weeks, I am giving up all high sugar, high calorie and high sodium drinks that I normally consume and replacing them with water. The goal is to see how big of a difference that single change in my diet and lifestyle will effect me and my body in only 14 days. There are a few guidelines I am following to keep me on course and to help me out:

- I can consume water, milk, and low calorie drinks such as light lemonade and Powerade Zero (of course water must be my primary liquid)

- I cannot change anything else about my lifestyle or diet unless I feel compelled to (If the great desire to exercise, for example, comes to me, I will attribute the desire to my water consumption and thereby any results from my exercise will have resulted from drinking water)

- I will drink at least a glass of water upon waking in the morning to get my metabolism going and to help generate a habit for water.

- My fallback drink will be Powerade Zero, Lemonade and if I must, Juice (in small quantities). All of these must be reported and must be a backup only. By this, I mean I must have something to 'fall back' on so that I don't just go buy a Pepsi to quench my craving in a moment of weakness. I must have a few allowances.

- I will post something about water, soda and my experiences every day for two weeks.

- I will record my weight everyday to see incremental progress

So there you have it. I have started today, August 30, 2010 and I will go until Monday September 13, 2010 (or maybe even longer).

Today's Weight (7am): 222.4

7.04.2010

Droid in Pictures


And here we are with the pictures I promised. I wanted to post them quickly so I didn't forget. Note that not all Droids look this cool, We have an added red hard case that mounts to the device easily and should protect it. We have also installed a screen protector.


The Phone has a 5MP camera with a flash, and a standard audio jack for listening with standard headphones.


The Droid has three keyboards; Two software keyboards for then the phone is held in portrait and landscape mode, and a physical slide keyboard.



For a closer look at what a Droid can do, here are a few screenshots of some apps in action. This is running an Operating System called Android 2.1. (An Operating System is like Windows or Linux, except Android is made by Google for phones)

Here we have the three home screens on the Droid. These are highly customizable and can contain Apps, widgets and folders. On the left you see several Apps, in the middle a Google Search widget and a Facebook widget, and on the right, a settings app and a System Toggle widget.


Here we have the contacts list, and a phone call in progress. A must have for a phone. Calls work even when you hold it like a phone :)


On the Android Market, there are about 65000 apps to date, with more being added daily. Some are free, some are paid. Some are useful, some highly productive, and some just for fun. Below we have a screenshot of the Android Market, in the middle a shot of multiple apps after being installed on the Droid, and to the left, we see Google Maps GPS Navigation, mapping our trip to Snowbird Ski Lodge.


YouTube is a must, as well as a Light Saber app that makes the official light saber humming noises as well as fighting sounds when your phone is held like a light saber and swung. Labyrinth is a game that is controlled by the position in which the phone is held. Poke a mole is pretty self explanatory.




Here we have the Gallery app, which lists the photos on the Droid in a fun and organized way. Select an album and flip through all your memories.



Browsing the internet is also an awesome feature of this mobile device. The Droid features a full browser that can also be used to view the mobile version of each site. My preference is the full bowser experience. 



And last but not least, Pandora is a must show app. The music service streams music right to the Droid and the music can be listened to from the amazing external speakers or through standard headphones.


Please post your comments or questions about the Droid. In my opinion, this phone rocks. What do you think?

Droid


Shalynn and I decided to purchase new phones this year for our birthdays. Of course it is time to upgrade to something awesome so on a whim we headed to Verizon to take a look. Don't get me wrong we have been researching for a while.

We are holding off for a few weeks for my phone but we went ahead and got a Droid for Shalynn. I am posting from it right now actually. The phone it really cool: 65000 applications tons of which are free, free GPS navigation, mobile browsing and a million other cool things. I will post some pictures and more information soon.

I will be getting a Droid X which will come out on July 15th and I will give you a full review then. I'm pretty excited.

6.28.2010

Vanilla Twilight

The stars lean down to kiss you And I lie awake and miss you
Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere 'Cause I'll doze off safe and soundly
But I'll miss your arms around me I'd send a postcard to you, dear
'Cause I wish you were here


I'll watch the night turn light-blue But it's not the same without you
Because it takes two to whisper quietly
The silence isn't so bad 'Til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers Are right where yours fit perfectly


I'll find repose in new ways Though I haven't slept in two days
'Cause cold nostalgia Chills me to the bone
But drenched in vanilla twilight I'll sit on the front porch all night
Waist-deep in thought because When I think of you I don't feel so alone
I don't feel so alone, I don't feel so alone


As many times as I blink I'll think of you tonight
I'll think of you tonight
When violet eyes get brighter And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again And I'll forget the world that I knew
But I swear I won't forget you


Oh, if my voice could reach Back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear Oh darling, I wish you were here



This sounds like a pretty sad song, I know, but hear me out. I heard this song on the way home from my parents house this evening. It had been a long day of teaching primary and gaming with my little brother, and I had not seen my dear wife since 6:30 am. Because she had not felt well, she had headed home instead of coming to my parents house which is the regular for every other Sunday. As I drove home I flipped the radio through several commercial laden stations and rested the 'dial' on this song. I had never heard it before, but I was totally touched. No, I haven't lost Shalynn, but I did miss her badly and couldn't wait to get home to her. I hurried home, knowing that if a speed trap lay between me and her, there would surely be a car chase.

I love my wife more than I can really express or show, though I try to daily. She works so incredibly hard as a nurse, a student, a wife, and my best friend. I honestly don't know how she does it all, let along how she puts up with silly old me. She is my Hero. Whenever I am sick or need help, whenever I even just need to talk, she is there for me, faster than I can ask. Beyond the things she does for me, my wife is so amazingly beautiful. Ask her and she will argue her way out of that description, but it is definitely accurate. She often catches me staring at her starry eyes and perfect lips, and I am made to come up with an excuse, though the only accurate one is that she still amazes me.

With only words it is hard to describe my wife. Marriage to her has been, and I am sure will remain, the best decision I have ever made. She is my entire life; everything that makes sense and everything that I want. Sometimes, I just miss her, and I have to rush home so that her fingers can fit perfectly between mine.

I love you Shalynn

6.22.2010

Tell Me


I love motivational quotes. I love to read inspiring stories and I love the feeling I get when I witness an incredible feat. I love hearing and seeing people go beyond their limits and destroy all assumptions. They make me dream. They make me wish I were better, and imagine that I can be.

There are many Videos on YouTube that motivate and inspire. Among them, some of my favorites are Michael Jordan Commercials. If you watch the video above and follow the related videos links, you will find all sorts of awesome speeches and commercials with Michael Jordan. Some may not remember or know how exceptional he was at basketball, but I do. I hated him when he destroyed the Utah Jazz seemingly on his own. The thing that frustrated me the most was a game late in the playoffs one year. The Chicago Bulls were here in Utah to play against the Jazz. Michael was sick and looked pretty awful; I felt a bit of joy as I pictured the Jazz beating the Bulls without him. But, he played. An he dominated! That game, when he felt crappier than ever, he pushed himself, moved himself, and to spite his illness, he conquered!

The reason I hated Michael Jordan back then is the same reason I look up to him now: He was great. And he worked for it.

I have the most difficult time following through on the motivation I receive from quotes, movies, sports games, etc. I just seem to have a hard time remembering. Don't get me wrong, I work hard and do as good as I can on a lot of things, I just don't feel great most the time.

My sister and I have an ongoing list of quotes in the form of about 50 text, HTML, and Word documents on the computer. I am going through them now in some of my spare time to pull out favorites. Maybe I'll be great someday if I apply what I learn.

4.16.2010

Shame

Dangit GameStop, bane of my existence! Why tempt ye me? Knowest thou that the righteous yieldeth to no such temptations? Okay, okay actually I have been tempted and I have yielded. I stop in at that store quite often and I honestly don't know why. I guess I like to find a deal on a used game or two, or just bask in the glory of the gaming world. The problem: I can always find about 100 things I want and I either can't get them, or I end up getting them anyway.

Most gamers have what is called their "Pile of Shame" which is basically a list (or pile) of games that a gamer owns or has played (borrowed) but has not finished. Some games in a gamers pile of shame include games that are not opened yet (which doesn't sound bad but it is when the game has been owned for months or even years). My pile isn't as big as some but it is big enough that I feel shamed. So here is a list of my UNFINISHED games:

Army of Two
Assassins Creed
Call of Duty 4
Condemned
Crackdown
Dance Dance Revolution Universe
Fallout 3
Forza Motorsports 2
Gears of War
Gears of War 2
Halo 3
Halo 3 ODST
The Impossible Game
Lego: Batman
Lego: Star Wars
Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Need for Speed Pro Street
The Orange Box
Pure
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Resident Evil 5
Trials HD
WET

Sadly, there may be more that I am not remembering at the moment.(Some of these games I have finished, but I had to reset my xbox and lost all my game data, so I'm going to play them again)  My goal is to work my way through this list and complete each game so I am no longer shamed. These are some great games and I want to play them. The hard part: there are always new games and new deals to distract me.  I'm going to make a Pile of Shame box on the side of my blog to show my progress and I'll upodate you every so often. Ready, Set, GAME!

Shame - Matchbox 20

What we learned here is love tastes bitter when it's gone
Past yourself forget the light, things look dirty when it's on
Funny how it comes to pass, that all the good slips away
And there's no one around you can remember being good to
You

Shame, shouldn't try you, couldn't step by you
And open up more
Shame, shame, shame

What we lost here is something better left alone
Second steps have been forgotten, will you tell me how
They go
Set yourself, situate, like a fool try again
There's no one around you can remember being good, for you
So

Shame, shouldn't try you, couldn't step by you
And open up more
Shame, shame, shame
Shame, shouldn't try you, couldn't step by you
And open up more
Shame, shame, shame

We never thought we'd get so troubled
We could never think that much
It should never get this bad

So let the wind blow ya, across a big floor
But there's no one around who can tell us what we're here
For
Funny in a certain light, how we all look the same
And there's no one in life you can remember ever stood
For you

4.14.2010

Can You Hear Me?

This blogpost is being dictated using windows speech recognition.  It has taken a while to get used to dictating to the computer.  I think even typing one hand may have been faster, but hopefully the computer will learn my voice and this will soon become much easier.  I do think it is quite brilliant that we're able to convert speech to text so quickly.  Most people would have given up by now but I guess that's what makes me a geek.

I sat down with the intention to write about something different and remembered this awesome feature so my other topic went out the window.  It will have to wait for another day.

Speech recognition is not a new thing but it is still in its early stages.  So many improvements can be made and eventually may not even need a keyboard or mouse.  The days of star trek, star wars, minority report and iron man with eventually come and will become even more lazy.  But until then, speech recognition will be my little toy.

Years ago my friend Sam and I messed around with speech recognition and left it running through an entire conversation with some of his friends.  Some of the dictation was perfect.  Some was OK.  Some were downright hilarious.  We laughed for hours about that and it never got old.  I want to give you a sample.  I'm going to read my last geek tip so you can get an idea of some of the funny things speech recognition will hear.  Here goes:

Keep chip: do not injure yourself.  Ever.  The reports are what make you a key.  The hand for example is required for the use of a keyboard, mouse, Xbox controller, tables, and many more vital pieces of tech equipment.  The fun is needed for opening soda cans.  Lakes; transportation to GameStop.  The west can go on.  The orange when breaking any part of your body will require more effort and willpower to complete even simple key tasks.  King with one hand is possible, but she may be permitted to only one or two games.  Java into the video game stores possible without legs, but will require the invention of depression over that.

There you have it.  Some is pretty good but you can probably pick out some pretty funny stuff.  Hopefully the computer will learn my voice and faster otherwise typing with one hand may be the better option.

Can You Hear Me

Hey can You hear Me
Are You really out there
Oh I am trapped in the cages
Of the scars I must bear
And I can't tell and I can't speak
I can't even repeat what it is
Hey can You see Me
See these hollowing eyes
Don't You think something is missing
In My calm peaceful smile
But I can't tell and I can't speak
I can't even repeat what is

4.01.2010

U + UR Hand

So, they have to take the hand off. I broke it beyond repair and all my efforts to heal like Wolverine have failed. One cool thing, I have claws now too! I'm sure using them would hurt like none other, but if I am attacked in the parking lot, I'll know what to do. Here are my attack weapons:


There is no need to waste a great opportunity to figure out what I would do if they did end up removing my hand. Having nothing at the end of my arm is a waste and just isn't right. So here are a few of my ideas for useful replacements. Tell me what you think and any other suggestions you may have. And mind you, the editing was done with my left hand (with which I am currently very happy but with which I am usually displeased).

3.31.2010

Still Alive






 Geek Tip: Do not injure yourself. Ever. Your parts are what make you a geek. The hand for example is required for the use of a keyboard, mouse xbox controller, cables, and many more vital pieces of tech equipment. The thumb is needed for opening soda cans. Legs: transportation to GameStop. The list can go on. Be Warned: Breaking any part of your body will require more effort and will power to complete even simple Geek tasks. Gaming with one hand is possible, but you may be limited to only one or two games. Traveling to the video game store is possible without legs, but will require the invention of the Personal Hover Craft.

My title is perfect for today. Enough said. I'm typing with one hand so I'm going to assume that my audience is smart enough to understand what I mean.

Yesterday I was able to pop in a game I finished almost a year ago. I had forgotten how incredibly awesome and hilarious it is. Portal is way fun and only takes about two to four hours to conquer.Its a first-person puzzle game that takes place in Aperture Science Labs and requires the use of a portal gun to jump walls, evade robots and basically reach the exit of each level. Throughout the game you are accompanied by a robotic female voice who encourages you and help you on your way. SPOILER ALERT. At the end of level 19, you are told you will be rewarded with Cake (hinted at in earlier levels) but instead you are case into a furnace for disposal. You escape and eventually have to fight the computer mainframe while being poisoned by neuro-toxins. 

The game is brilliant to me because A) it bends your mind. Using portals and moving back and forth flipping upside down etc is just way to crazy to be missed. B) The voice I told you about (which by the way freaks Shalynn out and causes me to have to play with headphones when she is home) is utterly hilarious to me. As soon as you escape the furnace, the taunting begins and I love it. Near the end of the game, you end up destroying her Morality Core, and she begins to tell you that you are adopted, that you are just a clone and her impersonations of you are ridiculous. I seriously and literally have to pause the game for minutes at a time to finish laughing. Ask Shalynn, she thinks I'm crazy!
So, my song for the day is actually from Portal. the computer sings it as the credits roll. I suggest listening to it while you read the lyrics.

Portal Game Trailer and Still Alive


This was a triumph
I'm making a note here
HUGE SUCCESS
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction
Aperture Science

we do what we must because we can
for the good of all of us except for the ones who are dead
but there's no sense crying over every mistake
you just keep on trying until you run out of cake
and the science gets done and you make a neat gun
for the people who are still alive

I'm not even angry
I'm being so sincere right now
even though you broke my heart and killed me
and torn into pieces
and threw every piece into a fire
as they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data make a wonderful line
and we're out of beta, we're releasing on time
so I'm glad I got burned
Think of all the things we learned for the people that are still alive

go ahead and leave me
I think I prefer to stay inside
maybe you'll find someone else to help you
maybe black mesa
that was a joke, haha, fat chance
anyway this cake is great, it's so delicious and moist
look at me still talking, when there's science to do
when I look out there it makes me glad I'm not you
I've experiments to run, there is research to be done
on the people who are still alive

and believe me I am still alive
I'm doing science and I'm still alive
I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive
While you are dying I'll be still alive
and when you're dead I'll be still alive
STILL ALIVE, still alive

2.17.2010

Who Needs Sleep

How to Sleep like a Geek:

If you are going to make it as a geek, you are going to have to learn to make it without a lot of sleep. Don't rely on caffine and make sure to keep yourself occupied. Setting your bedtime at 10 PM is not going to cut it unless you plan to get up at midnight. Be prepared to fall asleep ANYWHERE. Remember: three hours a night should be plenty.

Who Needs Sleep - BNL


Now I lay me down not to sleep
I just get tangled in the sheets
I swim in sweat three inches deep
I just lay back and claim defeat
Chapter read and lesson learned
I turned the lights off while she burned
So while she's three hundred degrees
I throw the sheets off and I freeze

Lids down, I count sheep
I count heartbeats
The only thing that counts is
that I won't sleep
I countdown, I look around
Who needs sleep?
(well you're never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep?
(tell me what's that for)
Who needs sleep?
(be happy with what you're getting
There's a guy who's been awake
since the Second World War)
...
My hands are locked up tight in fists
My mind is racing filled with lists
of things to do and things I've done
Another sleepless night's begun
...
There's so much joy in life,
so many pleasures all around
But the pleasure of insomnia
is one I've never found
With all life has to offer,
There's so much to be enjoyed
But the pleasures of insomnia
are ones I can't avoid

Weightless






Yay! How exciting! right?... Except not really. I never expected to reach this all important and completely defeating way-point. For some, this doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but believe me, I feel like a pretty big deal in a very bad way. When your family automatically grabs your belly in their hands and shakes it like a Jello Jiggler and your innocent little nephew quietly whispers in your ear 'Your belly is big!' and follows it up with a genuine 'thought you should know so you can do something about it' smile, you know it is time to shape up. Not to say I don't have a shape.

225. Not a huge number really. Not that bad I suppose. Some people look great at 225 or even more, but this body wants nothing to do with it. Ha! That sounds kind of funny, doesn't it? After all, it was my body that ate all that junk. It was my body that drank more Pepsi in the past six months than most people have in their whole lives. No weights, no exercise, and the very sad fact: I am out of breath by the time I reach my third story apartment.

Whoa, hold the boat! I am no wuss! I can still bust a move and I can still handle myself. But who am I kidding? Dancing for more than a few minutes finds me passed out on the floor or at my desk very quickly. I used to be able to move. I used to dance, run, fight and compete. I wish I had my age to blame but at 24, I don't think there is a chance that anyone would sympathize. I need to move more. I need to get my energy back, or by the time I'm 30, getting out of bed will actually qualify as my workout for the day.

When I was 17, I was pretty darn fit. I can't say exactly how strong I was but I know I was tougher than I am now. My junior year of high school, I spent a period a day in the weight room and I had just finished Martial Arts lessons. I could bench press (a commonly misconstrewed measure of one's actual strength, but I remember the numbers so I'll go with it) 250 lbs. Yeah, that's more than my Fat a weighs now. And a glance at my drivers license (last updated at 17) reveals that I was a mere 152 lbs. Wow! I kicked som serious trash back then.

Flash forward to early 2009. I had just come to own the fabulous program P90X. I loved it. Because my body had fallen by the wayside just a bit, I spent several months preparing to fight my way through the intense 90 day program. I spent over an hour every day working out, tried to eat the best foods possible and I was pretty darn strong when June came around. Unfortunately, I was laid off and lost all motivation to continue the lifestyle. (During the program I lost some 20 lbs going from 209 to about 187 and my strength nearly doubled according to the fitness test associated with the program).

Present day: I'm pretty big now. Not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but bigger and weaker than I ever wanted to be. Now I know, I know; I haven't been too entertaining today, but today I am not writing for that purpose. I am writing to say just one thing: Its time to Bring It!

I want to share my journey with you (the three of you that will read this post). I made this journey last year (Boog Fitness) and I succeeded. The difference this time? I'm not quite sure. I am hoping that I will remain motivated. I am hoping that once I get my awesome bod back I'll keep pushing myself to my limits and have a blast doing it.

What suggestions do you have for me? How can I go from out of breath walking up the stairs to awesome athletic macho man? How can I keep motivated? Feel free to share your experience of suggestions in a comment.

 Weightless - All Time Low


Manage me, I'm a mess
Turn a page, I'm a book
Half unread

I wanna be laughed at
Laughed with, just because

I wanna feel weightless
And that should be enough

But I'm stuck in this f-ing rut
Waiting on a second hand pick me up
And I'm over, getting older

If I could just find the time
Then I would never let another day go by
I'm over, getting old

Maybe it's not my weekend
But it's gonna be my year
And I'm so sick of watching while the minutes pass as I go nowhere
And this is my reaction
To everything I fear
Cause I've been going crazy I don't want to waste another minute here

Make believe that I impress
That every word
By design
Turns a head

I wanna feel reckless
I wanna live it up, just because

I wanna feel weightless
Cause that would be enough

If I could just find the time
Then I would never let another day go by
I'm over, getting old

Maybe it's not my weekend
But it's gonna be my year
And I'm so sick of watching while the minutes pass as I go nowhere
And this is my reaction
To everything I fear
Cause I've been going crazy I don't want to waste another minute here

This could be all that I've waited for
(I've waited, I've waited for)
And this could be everything
I don't wanna dream anymore

Maybe it's not my weekend
But it's gonna be my year
And I've been going crazy
I'm stuck in here

Maybe it's not my weekend
But it's gonna be my year (it's gonna be my year)
And I'm so sick of watching while the minutes pass as I go nowhere (go nowhere)
And this is my reaction
To everything I fear (everything I fear)
Cause I've been going crazy I don't want to waste another minute here

2.05.2010

Outside

How to stay healthy:

It's important to stretch your legs, move around, exert physical energy and to get fresh air. You may have a lot of work to do on the computer, or games to catch up on, but a simple walk outside will clear your mind, invigorate your senses and actually make you more productive. If you absolutely can not make it outside, a game will do, provided you choose the right genre. War games are great. Sports games are ideal, as they provide exercise.



Outside

And you
Can bring me to my knees
Yeah


All this time
That I could make you breathe
Yeah
All the times
That I felt insecure
Yeah
And I leave
A burning path of flame

I'm on the outside
I'm looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
Cause inside you're ugly
You're Ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you

2.02.2010

Let's Make This Moment a Crime

How to avoid a digital heart attack:

When making modifications to an electronic file of any kind, make sure you know what you are doing. If you don't understand the terminology, the language, or if the tutorial you are following doesn't match your project completely, chances are you will end up wanting to throw up because you just lost everything except your lunch. The best thing you can do if you get confused; call a 'professional'. If you have no other choice but to tackle the project alone, back up your files BEFORE you start.

 
Geek Tip influenced by I am Not a Volcano.

I VOID WARRANTIES. Found on the next awesome T-shirt I want for my collection, this statement is not only funny, but absolutely true. Whenever there is something that can be modded, fixed, explored or simply taken apart to see what is inside, I'm in line with my little tool box. I love it. It's part of who I am and what I do. I also repair computers for family and friends, install printers, troubleshoot networks, and edit pretty much any file format I need to. It seems that's why people like me around. Lets face it, I'm not loved for my personality (I'm a doof), nor am I adored for looks. I am, as my sister often says, loved for my skills... 'like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills...' (oh, I actually do have nunchuku skills ;) )

A short lesson in Hacking

You hear Hacker, Hacking or Hacked and you think Illegal. You hear mod, and lets face it most people probably don't think anything at all (it means modify). I need to set the record straight.

Hack-er [hak-er] -noun : a programmer for whom computing is its own reward; may enjoy the challenge of breaking into other computers but does no harm; "true hackers subscribe to a code of ethics and look down upon crackers

Cracker? What is that?

Crack-er
[krak-er] -noun : a programmer who cracks (gains unauthorized access to) computers, typically to do malicious things; "crackers are often mistakenly called hackers"


There you have it. Hackers are not the bad guys. They actually rock and if you are good friends with one, you are in luck. (oh yeah you owe me tuition. Hackers vs Crackers 101 is an accredited course. Dang! I need to get that coin slot installed!)

Okay, so I VOID WARRANTIES (so you know, you have just seen the conversational technique know as 'The Hook' in action. More on that in another post). As my dear wife would attest, I often have electronic parts strewn about our small apartment. On many occasions my wife has told me she would not enter my little 'office' because "It looks like a robot exploded all over the place". I'm glad she loves me and doesn't have an extreme affinity for warranties and assembled electronics.

I VOID WARRANTIES = Hacker = Messy Apartment = Happy Friends = Happy Geek

My friend and neighbor (we'll call him John) recently came across an original XBOX console and was offered a small sum of money to mod it, which in original XBOX terms means 'to make the console useful instead of a locked outdated hunk of hardware refuse'. He was given the task to install a media center onto the console so that the owner could enjoy his free video downloads on a large TV.

This may sound crazy to some, intriguing to others, but I think it opens an entertainment center to a whole new level of awesome. In fact, almost a year ago, I did the same to my original XBOX.

The XBOX mod can be done several different ways. Note: putting a new operating system on an XBOX is not illegal (as I see it) but it does void any sort or warranty you may still have (um, original XBOX warranty? yeah right. That's like still having a warranty on your umbilical cord). Also, if the mod is done wrong, your XBOX may become a brick.

Enter John

Hardware up the Yin Yang and patience beyond what anyone can stand, John the solider worked on the XBOX mod for weeks. Don't get me wrong, I was at the sidelines looking for ways to get around the infamous hard drive lock and the bogged down hardware restraints of the would be Media-gasm machine. There was simply no way to mod the XBOX on John's modern hardware and without the donor parts from another similar machine. The XBOX was given to me for a few days to see what my primitive hardware might accomplish.

NOTE: I want to make it very clear that 'John' is a very talented individual and has all the skills to have accomplished the mod had the XBOX participated. John is an uberGeek much like me and surpasses my skillset in almost every way. We worked on the mod together and failed several times, hindered mostly by unavailable file downloads.

Enter Biege


Needless to say, awesomeness was had by all.

Let's Make This Moment a Crime

We've just got to take our time its like nothing really matters, so lets make this moment a crime I know, I know you're left
Behind but I'll do my best to feel broke down its been a minute, a second, I'll wait for you to come around but I know, I
Know you're taking time maybe its just too late, I've got to get away when everything feels the same, I've got to get away tell
Me its not too late

On and on and on you wait and oh the days they fade away and all the nights they've never felt
The same if I was wrong then I was wrong and on and on and on and on the things we do are never going to change well you
Haven't got a lot to say but you never want to stop you always want to feel this way I know I know you're taking time

We wait forever, if ever and you're too hip to saying never I'll never get it, oh I shouldn't sweat it not
Like it matters, its over, yeah at least till you come over so much for shutters, we're living under covers

1.29.2010

New Shoes

How to Act Natural During a Break-in

Never run around in the bushes in a ski mask when you're breaking in some place. Somebody catches you, what are you gonna say? You want to look like a legitimate visitor until the very last minute. If you can't look legit, confused works almost as well.

Burn Notice is a great TV series available on USA. The main character, Michael Weston, is a spy that has been black listed from his service as a spy and spends his time tracking down the person who burned him and carrying out operations for those in need. Needless to say the show is awesome. Throughout the show, Michael gives the audience Spy Tips.

Enter Geek Tips

The day your damaged XBOX console returns from the repair shop make sure you have plans and prior commitments. If you don't chances are you'll end up losing half a day and all your sleep.

It happened! It actually happened! I didn't believe it was possible, but now I know its true. My XBOX was resurrected!

(Image 1: UPS tracking - couldn't focus at work once I knew the package had arrived and was waiting for me)

(Image 2: Alive and returned to me at last! My healthy XBOX makes its triumphant appearance)

So, what happens when you take a complete geek who has been going through XBOX withdrawals for the past several weeks, a recently returned XBOX, a 12 pack of Cherry Pepsi, an XBOX LIVE subscription, Assassins Creed 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1 and 2, and complete disregard for the Geek Tip above? No sleep. That's right, the evening my dear friend returned itself to the warmth of my apartment, plugged itself in, and put on its new shoes. 9 hours. That's how long it took. To break in the new shoes. Excuses, I have plenty. But no care to use them. I'll tell you flat out. From Modern Warfare on LIVE party with my brother to solo missions with Ezio in Assassins Creed, worlds flashed before my eyes. Entirely different dimensions appeared and I was utterly lost in the magnificent of it all. It was delightful. Food didn't exist, nor did time.

Until 4 am rolled its eyes at the fact that I was still awake. Still burning the calories out of my starved body (which I wish could have been Fat calories, but for some reason our bodies don't see fit to burn fat and pull all nighters at the same time). I suppose you could call it sleep, this short visit I paid to my sheets. I don't recall any unconsciousness (but then again, isn't that the point?). Not long after my head jammed itself into my tired scratchy pillow did I jerk awake to the annoyingly necessary shriek my alarm. Shortly after that, the snooze button had anger forced upon it and I swear to you, in the five minutes that followed, my total sleep time that night doubled!

Then off I was again to work, dreaming inside my cubical of the joys that would come once I arrived home again.

The day the XBOX passed away, January 11th 2010 (curse the day).

The day Microsoft received the XBOX, January 19th 2010.

The day the XBOX returned to Salt Lake City Utah, January 23rd 2010 early morning (37 minutes into the day).

The day the XBOX was returned, delivered, plugged itself in and took its new shoes for a spin, January 26th 2010.

1288800 seconds had passed.

276 hairs had been lost

14 movies had been watched.

0 games had been played on my XBOX

I can only describe the 26th by quoting (and modifying) the following line: "It was the best of times, it was the [best] of times".

Woke up cold one Tuesday,
I'm looking tired and feeling quite sick,
I felt like there was something missing in my day to day life,
So I quickly opened the wardrobe,
Pulled out some jeans and a T-Shirt that seemed clean,
Topped it off with a pair of old shoes,
That were ripped around the seams,
And I thought these shoes just don't suit me.

Hey, I put some new shoes on,
And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
It's so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
But long on time,
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
And I'm running late,
And I don't need an excuse,
'cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes.

Woke up late one Thursday,
And I'm seeing stars as I'm rubbing my eyes,
And I felt like there were two days missing,
As I focused on the time,
And I made my way to the kitchen,
But I had to stop from the shock of what I found,
A room full of all off my friends dancing round and round,
And I thought hello new shoes,
Bye bye them blues.

Hey, I put some new shoes on,And suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
It's so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
But long on time,
Slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
And I'm running late,
And I don't need an excuse,
'cause I'm wearing my brand new shoes.

1.24.2010

Right Here Waiting

1. This post will never be as cool as the first post for ONE of the following reasons (Pick One):
  • When I wrote the last post, I was high on AWESOME
  • When you read my last post, you were HIGH like Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
  • This post is true whereas the previous post was filled with lies
  • This post is filled with lies whereas the previous post was true
  • This post is a list of unrelated items in no particular order for no particular reason
  • I'm not wearing a suit. Barney would be disappointed
  • Your socks are too tight
2. RROD had an asterisk in my last post but I never explained why. For those of you without the patience to look back, RROD stands for Red Ring of Death. It is a common ailment of dying XBOX 360 consoles. It is manifest in a few symptoms: XBOX won't start, the ring of four lights around the power button turn red (not always all the lights, but some combination) and the XBOX owner begins to cry even though they just got some of the coolest games ever. In my XBOX's case, three of the lights were red, I did cry even though I just got some of the coolest games ever and my XBOX didn't start*. Three lights means that the console has to take a trip to Tennessee to be repaired which takes a few weeks, but feels like months to those left behind.

3. Did you notice that I put an asterisk next to the word 'start' above? I'm not going to wait until my next post to explain this time. I'm referring to the magic touch of my wife and it's effect on the XBOX's dead body. When I first told Shalynn that my XBOX was dead she was at work and because of how I had acted before about my brothers XBOX 360 Elite she thought I was just trying to get a newer XBOX. After convincing her that I was indeed telling the truth, being the awesome wife that she is, she told me I could get a new one if we 'needed' to. Of course that idea was bitter sweet to me. New console equals new expenses. So I researched and ended up getting a free repair order from Microsoft.

As soon as Shalynn arrived home from work that evening, I tried to show her what was wrong with my XBOX seeing as she had never seen a RROD and she was curious. I made a big mistake however... I let her turn it on (she's good at that sort of thing) and of course, the XBOX lights up to life, no red lights or anything. She went immediately to believing I had been pulling her leg the whole time. I played a round or two of Modern Warfare 2 on Live before turning it back off. Then for extra measure I tried again to turn it on: FAIL. I tried again and again and it would not turn on without the RROD blocking me. We decided that Shalynn should try to turn the console on again... and it worked! Shalynn's magic touch turned it on again! We were only able to repeat that a few times before she couldn't make it work again and we eventually sent it on its way the next morning. But I am still convinced that Shalynn could have revived it if she had wanted to. She just wanted a few week break from the thing, which is understandable.

4. Shalynn's sister Megan just had a baby boy this week! His name is Logan and he is absolutely adorable! He is 8lbs 8 oz and 21 inches long. We got to see him the evening he was born (January 21st) and again on Saturday evening (the 23rd). He gets to come home today and that will be way cool for his parents and for us (he'll be closer now).

We also got an amazing announcement yesterday: Corrine, another of Shalynn's sisters, is Pregnant! Its so exciting to have more babies on their way.

5. I am upset. I know that the previous 'tidbits' of information have been generally happy, this will not be. Please observe the image below:


This is the UPS tracking of my dear friend back to me. This emergency shipment was sent UPS GROUND, which is infuriating enough, but take a closer look at the image above. What is even more frustrating and saddening is that even though my XBOX returned to Utah on Friday night, I still do not have it in my hands. The XBOX arrived on early early Saturday morning and there is no way for me to get it. I called, I begged, I threw my money in their faces and I even threatened, but there was no way I could get my XBOX on Saturday. Instead, I have to wait like a good little boy and hope that UPS decides to deliver it Monday instead of postponing its arrival another day for no reason.

6. Did you know that in 1998, Sony accidentally sold 700,000 camcorders that had the technology to see through clothes?

Oceans apart day after day
And I slowly go insane
I hear your voice on the line
But it doesn't stop the pain
...
I took for granted, all the times
That I though would last somehow
I hear the laughter, I taste the tears
But I can't get near you now
...
Wherever you go
Whatever you do
I will be right here waiting for you
Whatever it takes
Or how my heart breaks
I will be right here waiting for you