Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Zoned Out

Not in the Zone, but out.

I created a new tune in an effort to teach myself how to use a mixing board. I have a ways to go before I can master it, I also need to dive further into the realm of compression. The compressor is pretty cool. Check out my latest tune on the experiemental page. It's called Zoned Out.

I thnk I'll try a Jazz tune next. Something that isn't so electric.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I have no musical talent, and I don't care.

I have been f#@king around with music creation software, just to see how it works. While trying to figure it out, I actaully created some stuff that I find interesting. Are the tunes any good? Probably not. Why aren't they? Well, I have no real training, have odd musical tastes, and lack direction.

So if you are curious what kind of shit I created lately, take a look at my tunes page. Just remember, I am NOT a musician. I just like to experiment with stuff.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Does Bethesda Softworks suck?

How could a company that creates games containing so many good elements, ignore an ever growing list of bugs and huge annoyances?

Do you want examples? I have only played a few Bethesda games, but already wonder what the hell is going on. I actaully enjoyed Fallout 3 very much. It had great quests and a cool storyline. But....
it had some real annoyances, such as bodies twitching or getting stretched out, all spidery and spinning about the sky. Or the celebrated VA.T.S. combat system locking the PS3 solid every once in a while. It also had NPCs sticking part way through walls, etc. Oblivion had the twitching bodies too, but also added annoyances like NPC dialog without audio, and system lockups when leaving cells like rooms or caves, etc. Of course there was the ver annoying issue with any NPC on a floor above you having its shadow cast through the floors. What they didn't see that before release? Sure the forum was populated with examples of these issues, but not much was ever mentioned about fixes or patches.

Now folks like me, who bought the latest Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition got screwed. It was hailed as Fallout with all the great downloadable content on one disc. How great is that? All the DLC finally for the Playstation. Sure the other platforms had it a long time ago, but we pS3 owners are patient. Sadly, I can't resume where I left of in Fallout 3, as the ability to load a previously saved game is broken in the new Cnadian version of the GOTY. Real nice Bethesda. Looking on the forum or sending a support email didn't result in anything that would help. So maybe I should be patient and wait for a patch (not like Bethesda is exactly quick with any patches).

So I do a little research and find that there are hundreds of complaints about the added content anyways. People are suffering from even freezes/lockups, frame rate issues, save problems, graphic problems, and an assortment of other problems. The rumor out there is that Bethesda isn't going to provide patches for these, as they are concentrating on upcoming releases.

So now I have a $68 game I can't continue and I not even sure I want to continue, as I would be bothered by even more Bethesda bugginess. Perhaps Bethesda doesn't deservemore of my money, and a better game company does.

Can anyone recommend a decent action RPG, with a sandbox I can explore in first person?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A new addiction -- Oblivion

After playing the hell out of Fallout 3, I needed something new. I have only played on a console (PS3) for a little while, unlike millions of others who have enjoyed console gaming for years. I found that I actaually liked the role playing idea behind Fallout instead of all the shooters I have played over the years. It is so much more than the standard first person shooter. So I figured I would try and find something similar to Fallout 3.

I picked Oblivion (or The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion).

Wow, what a great game. It's huge. I can wander aimlessly or follow the numerous quests. The game is simply eye candy too. I was so used to the bleak, post-apocalyptic world of Fallout, and found myself blown away by the beauty of the countrysides in Oblivion.

The game is a real challenge too (for me anyways). There are some serious puzzles to overcome, and the game also has aspects available to those that simply don't want to just hack and slash their way through the game.

It does have it's bugs though. It's interesting to note how similar the glitches are to those in Fallout 3. Even with bugs, this game is well worth it. Too bad it took a year for the developer to support the PS3 (like many other game makers).

I'll be playing this game for many months (r at least until a new Fallout emerges).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Range Dicks

What is a Range Dick?

I couldn't think of a better name for those particular types of people that go to gun ranges and piss me off because of their attitudes. Can you smell a rant coming?

Here are some examples of Range Dicks:

You have invested time and effort working up some new loads for your rifle, and are anxious to see how well they shoot. So now you're sitting at the bench shooting and recording, but get interrupted every 5 or 10 minutes by some Range Dick who wants everyone to stop shooting so he can walk the 100 yards and look at his target yo see how his 5 shots printed. Go get some optics, and stopping thinking entirely of yourself. Do we all really have to stop just for you?

You are enjoying a nice morning shooting a large bore cartridge, until you hear some Range Dick a few benches over complaining about how loud your rifle is. Hey man, it's a gun range. Go home.

Gun snobs are Range Dicks. You know the type. They are the guys that invested thousands in a gun that doesn't shoot any better than your rifle (which costs a fraction of theirs). They are also ignorant enough to think I want to hear them criticize the make or model of the gun I am using. Piss off Range Dick. Maybe I own multiple firearms of good quality, but felt like taking the $139 chinese SKS out for some cheap fun today.

Guys who complain about semi-automatics are Range Dicks. They are the jackasses that think that there is no reason for anyone to want to shoot (let alone own) a semi-auto. They are always quick to add that you can't hunt with them. First off, not everyone hunts. Second, I hunt with an M14S. You got a problem with that? I don't spray 50 rounds at deer, I use one round in a rfle that simply outshoots the prehistoric, rusty, lever action rifle that the old Range Dick was abusing all afternoon. Not everybody shoots the same thing for a reason. That's why we're considered individuals.

People that come to the range, and don't realy shoot, but instead stand behind me and yak all day are Range Dicks. Give me a break. I like to socialize at the range a little too, but I am not about to stand behind someone who is trying to get in the "zone", and talk my ass off for an hour and distract him (or her).

People that complain because a shooter brought his kid to the range are Range Dicks. Every time I have seen someone bring their kid yo the range, that kid has been quiet, well behaved, and courteous. That's alot more than I can say for some Range Dicks I have encountered. Why not support people that bring their kids? The same jerks that complain about kids are the same Dicks that bitch about the fact that there just isn't enough interest or support for firearm sports anymore. Make up your mind gramps.

There, my rant is over. Thanks for hanging in there. Now get out there and go to the range and have some fun. Take a kid.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It was like Mecca

Tammy, Maxwell, and myself spent a few days in Calgary last week. We did the typical tourist thing, shopping, the Zoo, and the usual sleeping in late at the hotel and eating great food. The one special thing we did was go to the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Store. Wow, what a place!

The Bass Pro store has to be the best shopping experience I ever had. I was concerned before going in that Tammy and Maxwell would be bored stiff after a few minutes while I wandered around looking at firearms and stuff. The opposite occurred. Tammy and Maxwell loved the place. The store is simply great. Walking in, I was surprised at just how well decorated and laid out the store is. It's gorgeous. There are examples of great taxidermy everywhere, some of it perched on beautifully created scenes of woods or mountain rocks. The center of the store, in front of the elevator, has a massive aquarium full of huge, healthy looking game fish. A waterfall spills over a pseudo rock face , falling into a stream that holds a figure clad in fishing garb, rod in hand, fighting some unseen fish. Very cool.

The staff were excellent and the store has piles of great merchandise. Tammy was impressed to find the store containing lots of clothing and other items aimed at her (or females in general). The store has everything from guns to stoneware dish sets. There were toys for the kid and a nice place to sit and have a meal too.

The whole time we were there (hours actually) I couldn't help notice how well planned the place is. Every place you look you'll find that someone made an effort to have store areas designed in a way to make them very attractive. The landscaping, woodworking, knickknacks, lighting, and sounds all lend to a very enjoyable stay. Looking down at the floor I could see that someone took the time to add animal tracks to guide shoppers along. The entire store is all about details. It is like they thought of everything. I only wish I had more money, as I could have stayed there most of the day.

Thanks Bass Pro. When we visit Calgary again, we plan on spending even more time at the Outdoor Store.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I am still working on the Titan

I bought the Mazda Titan (mentioned in a previous entry) without any maintenance history. I felt confident though, as the truck seemed well cared for, and research showed that most JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) vehicles are well cared for, due to strict government inspections and regulations.

To be sure, I had the truck's drive train inspected, brakes checked, and exhaust examined. I ended up replacing the exhaust, but was happy to find out that the engine is in great shape. With all those klicks on it (over 90K when I bought it), the engine checked out perfectly. I really just needed a oil system flush, and fresh liquids in the crank, tranny, and differential. I found that in the future I will only need periodic maintenance like oil changes.

This summer I plan on ensuring that all the venting and heating works. I need to get more of the dash out figure out the ducting to be sure that when winter rolls around, I will be blowing hot air real fast, and that no little leaks will allow cool air inside.

I love this truck. The more I drive it the more I love it. This May 24th I will join a bunch of mini-truck drivers on a little get together rally sponsored by Minibrutes. Who knows, maybe I'll meet another Titan owner.

Hostingpuppy Still Sucks.

It's been over a month since I asked that they cancel my account. They haven't even bothered to respond to that support ticket. I can still log in and use the control panel, etc. It makes me wonder if they even bother to update their Linux servers with new security updates.

I can't stress the following enough, "Don't do business with Hostingpuppy.com"

Don't just take my word for it, try emailing them at info@hostingpuppy.com and ask them how long it takes them to respond to support tickets. I doubt they will even respond to emails.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What is it with web hosts? a.k.a. HostingPuppy sucks

Seriously, how hard is it to provide good web service?

I have only changed web hosts 3 or 4 times in the years I have had websites up. I can handle a fair amount of problems before I jump ship, but I have quit a couple hosts due to slow or erratic connections. That has to be the biggest concern for me. I need the pages to load fast. There is not good reason (excuse?) for a slow page load. I am an amateur, and as a result, have simple pages with no database back ends, and just present simple Php or html. This simplicity makes for fast pages, so any slow loads are typically the host.

One other thing I can't stand is bad support. I am not the kind of guy that constantly bothers support, and realize they are busy. I just can't stand hosts that advertise quick response times, but don't keep their word. One example is Hosting Puppy.

HostingPuppy.com's front page brags about, "First class support!" and "1 hour tech support". They used to actually deliver on that, way back before Jon Watson sold the company to someone else. Now, they don't even answer support requests. I created 2 new tickets (first tickets in many months) and they still sit unassigned or unanswered for over 7 days. I accepted past outages, but I can't accept the rude lack of response.

Come on HostingPuppy, I know I didn't pay much for your 2 gig package, but it doesn't mean you should annoy me. Now you've pissed me off and I am already transferring to Downtown Host.

Ignoring customers is simply wrong. Hostingpuppy sucks!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Perfect Truck

Okay maybe not perfect, but almost perfect for me. If you read my last post, I mentioned how I needed a truck to fulfill multiple roles. I found a vehicle that will:

  • Haul practically everything I need for work
  • Haul a camper (when we get one)
  • Seat at least 4
  • Provide a fair size box
  • Get decent mileage
  • Have a manual transmission (I find autos boring)
  • Not new (Brand new is just too expensive)
  • Power steering/brakes
  • Air conditioning (I'm spoiled)
So here's what I came up with...

This little baby is a crew cab designed to seat six, but I think 4 North Americans is more comfortable. It 's a 2.5L diesel with a pile of available torque. It has a box that is slightly larger than most trucks with a quad-cab, and has a payload capacity of 1,500 KG. (This photo makes the box look much smaller than it is.) I also lucked out and got a great heater and AC. One more thing, the tailgate and sides each drop down for super easy cargo access. I am thrilled. Hell, it even has duallies.

Sure it needs a little TLC, but I can manage a few updates and repairs myself. The vehicle has been checked out thoroughly and runs like a top.
Are there any drawbacks to this truck?

Of course I will struggle to find info on this, due to it being imported from Japan. You simply can't go to a Mazda dealer and get things you need, like parts and service (as far as I know). There is service available at the place of purchase and perhaps in a few more locations. As well, Internet research (fancy name for Google) comes up with very little in helping me determine what some of the Japanese symbols mean. I think I like the challenge.

I am tempted to create a webpage and fill it full of anything I can find, in the hopes that it might help other Titan owners.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A bit of an update (Can't think of a good title...)

A quick update to what's going on.

Not much. (That's must read like, "Stop reading here. Not worth it.") Seriously not a whole lot going on. The weather isn't exactly perfect for shooting at the range. When it's minus 29 with the windchill, I don't really want to crawl behind a rifle on a frozen bench. I guess I can prep some cases until things warm up, whenever the hell that is. I did go to the monthly Muzzle Loading Club meeting. That at least made me feel somewhat involved in firearms for at least a couple of hours. I am now a full member (probation is over, yah!) and can't wait to get out there this spring and develope my skills with my new Traditions front loader. Tammy is now strangely interseted in going to. I think she appreciates teh simple beauty of the range facilities, with it's clubhouse, camping/RV area, and other amenities.

Work is going well. I have a lot to learn. I am picking things up as I go along that help a great deal (no, I'm not stealing tools), I am beginning to see that carpentry is huge area, and finishing/cabinetry area I mostly work in is really involved. Spend some time working on a new door without any routing or prep done in advance and you'll see what I mean.

One issue I have with the job is the tools. I'm not crazy enough (or rich enough) to run out and get all the needed tools, which would costs multiple thousands, but I already possess enough tools to make carrying them from job to job or just getting them in and out of my tiny Kia Spectra a pain in the ass. I need better tool boxes, a large job box on wheels, or a bigger vehicle. Hell, I'll take all of the above. Placing tools in multiple, easily carried boxes, and placing those in a large truck toolbox and rolling that large box in and out of a truck would be perfect. I need a truck.

On that note, I have researched trucks and finally decided on a used vehicle. I need to have a decent box size (it has to fit a table saw, job box, tools, etc.), possess a large cab, provide decent efficiency. Getting anything large enough to seat 4, and have at least a six foot box turned out to be very expensive, and this also means that this sort of truck would have a huge, gas sucking engine. So I looked around and actually found a good, large truck that seats 6 (4 very comfortably), has enough box area, and has an efficient engine. What is this magical truck? Sorry, but you'll have to wait for the next update, as I plan on taking photos and describing it in more detail. I'm proud of what I foulnd. Here's a hint. it's foreign.

Work has been rewarding in that it isn't always the same place day after day, after day. I don't return to the University campus for some time, and have already been involved in the completion of a new bank in Prince Albert (just a few days of driving, we don't work out of town much), and installed beautiful cabinets at the Credit Union Center too. I like the variety.

Valentines was okay. I typically hate Valentines day, as I think that I don't need a prescribed day to tell me to treat Tammy special and buy her shit. But... Tammy treated me to a gift so I picked up a little something for her. Tammy got me the Planet Earth set on Blue Ray. Wow, what a jaw dropper. It is simply amazing to watch. It is an awesome production showing the beauty and complexity of Earth, and does it with breath-taking cinematography. I could watch this over and over.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter, and all this fresh powder.

I got lucky and found a few cans of Varget powder at the local gunshop recently. They usually get cleaned out pretty fast so I grabbed four 1 pound cans. It was either that or get some via mail-order, and that is expensive due to hazmat fees and the cost of shipping.

So now I realize that I actually have powder for a change. I am normally too broke to afford anything other than a couple of pounds a year. So here I sit with enough IMR 7828, H 4895 and Varget to get some serious reloading happening. There is a catch...

It's freezing out there. The windchill in the last few days actually freezes exposed flesh in as little as 5 minutes. It also snowed a fair bit and I don't feel like snowshowing my way to the 100 yard targets. I have braved the cold in the past to get in some range time, but this cold snap is too much for me.

Living in Saskatchewan, you'd think I be used to the fact that some activities are just not going to happen from January through February. I wish I was rich enough to have a winter home, maybe somewhere down in Texas or new Mexico (whoever has he friendliest gun laws).


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Okay, so it's not an iPhone...

I grabbed a new phone.

Does the world need another cell phone review?
NO !!

This is just for people who may be a little like me.There are those out there that haven't got great eyesight, and love a bigger, more readable cellular phone screen (Hell the LG Voyager has 2 big screens). Maybe you are like me and hate typing messages or notes on the dinky little numeric keypads most phones offer. Well then, you will probably enjoy the nicely sized QWERTY keyboard on the Voyager too.

Here is an obligitory picture...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I finished Fallout 3

I played the hell out of Fallout 3. It was such a great game, I just couldn't stop playing almost daily. Bethesda designed it so well, that if I didn't want to follow the main quest, I could just wander around the massive world of Washington DC and explore. I did just that. I played every side quest I could, and explored 95% of the massive map.

I won't spoil it for anyone by describing the ending, but will only say that it was awesome. I highly recommend this game as a completely fun RPG. I'm pretty sure this game may be the most enjoyable game I have ever played. I have to admit that I'm sad that it's over