General Ramblings comments edit

It’s Halloween once again, and this year I went as a knight from the 1982 video game, Joust.

Joust! Complete with
ostrich!

I’m pretty stoked with this one, especially considering it came together so quickly. I didn’t have a chance to make anything this year with the wedding and such, so I had to put my costume together from all store-bought bits.

Earlier in the month I had thought about being a Joust knight and making the ostrich, but it was too much work for this year. Then when we got back from the honeymoon, I hit Party City and holy crap they make an inflatable ostrich costume. Sold.

Picked up the knight costume separately (also from Party City) and the gauntlets and sword are from Target. (They don’t sell lances, which is understandable from a safety standpoint but does make things a bit less authentic.) I think all told I did spend about $80, but come on, it’s frickin’ Joust.

Won the “most original” award at the party I went to on Saturday and got “coolest” costume at the contest at work today. I’d say that’s a success. I think I’m going to wear it while handing out candy to the kids tonight. Of course, none of them will get it because the game is from 1982, but maybe their parents will get a kick out of it.

We had 155 trick-or-treaters last year so we bought more candy this year. We’ll see how many we get.

General Ramblings comments edit

Well, it’s official. On Saturday, October 14, 2006, Jenn and I finally got married.

Jennifer and Travis Illig: October 14,
2006

The ceremony was held at the beautiful Empress Palace at noon, followed by an on-site reception with some of the greatest food ever. If you’re thinking about getting married, do it at the Empress Palace - the staff there is amazing, and the price can’t be beat for the loads of stuff that comes in the package. And go with Premiere Catering for the food - it’s awesome (I can’t tell you how many positive comments we got about how great the food was, which is key - crappy wedding food makes a lame wedding).

After the reception, I, Jenn, and some close friends and family went back to our place for leftover cake and conversation, gift opening, and general celebration. It didn’t run too long, though, as early the next morning Jenn and I left Portland for Aruba.

I’ve never been anywhere before, and when I say that, it’s not hyperbole. I’ve never been to Canada or Mexico. I’ve been to Hawaii once, a long time ago, and to Washington DC even longer ago than that (so long ago I barely remember). Other than that, I’ve stayed on the west coast of the US. For the honeymoon, Jenn and I figured we should break out of that, so we went for Aruba.

The beach just outside our room in
Aruba.

We flew first class on Continental Airlines, which is also a first for me, and I have to say I’ll never fly anything but first class again. It’s not just the seat size, it’s the service. Suddenly you’re a person. Doesn’t hurt it’s all-you-can-drink mimosas in the morning, either.

Aruba is wonderful but hot and humid. I’d never really grasped the whole difference between “wet heat” and “dry heat” before, and having been to Las Vegas several times, I thought I understood heat. I was sooooo wrong. Aruba heat - humid heat - is a whole different beast altogether. It really just takes it out of you, and I can see why island cultures like that shut down business for two hours midday and just don’t open on Sunday. You have no energy.

Iguanas run around on Aruba everywhere. Walking down paths at the resort (we stayed at the Divi Aruba All Inclusive), it was hard to avoid stepping on all the baby iguanas running around. Full-grown iguanas are out there, too, but they stay more clear of the paths. That’s something Jenn and I never did get used to - just walking around and seeing an iguana sitting out in the middle of everything.

An iguana hangs out in
Aruba.

We took the local bus (the “Arubus”) from the hotel to the nearby city of Oranjestad a couple of times ($2US round-trip per person), both times proving to be exciting and educational. The bus in Portland has clearly marked stops so you know where to get off and get on; the Arubus is more a situation where the driver lets you off wherever you want, and if you want to get on, you just hang out into the road and flag the bus down.

Oh, and it rained every day we were there. Not much most days, but it did rain. One night it rained so much our room flooded (about a half-inch of water on the floor). That was pretty crazy. The manager told us they weren’t really prepared for rains like that. They had a pump that had to drain the swimming pool because it overflowed. The entire island was on some odd “alternate schedule” because of the rains. The buses ran on different roads because the main roads had water knee-deep on them. It was pretty crazy, but didn’t ruin the trip. Rather, it made it more of a story to tell. I’ve never seen rain like that.

The rain flooded out the paths at the resort in
Aruba.

All in all, we had a great time for six nights in Aruba, but we’ve decided that we’re not “do-nothing-but-relax-on-the-beach” kinds of people. We loved visiting and wouldn’t mind going back for a three or four night stay, but we really are weak when it comes to heat tolerance and we need to be entertained.

I think the next vacation will be to a big city like New York. Or maybe we’ll hit Washington DC now that I’m old enough to appreciate the things to see there. Regardless of where we go, we’ll be in first class. It’s the only way to fly.

As far as the marriage is concerned, I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. Jenn and I have been together for like six and a half years now, so getting married didn’t really change much. The novel stuff is in helping her change her name on her paperwork and updating my paperwork to reflect my new marital status and her name. When I get back to work, I’ll have a lot of insurance-related stuff to update. Probably in a year, when it’s our “first anniversary,” then I’ll really “get it.”

Regardless, it was great, and I’d like to thank all the folks - close friends and family - who were able to make it to the wedding and share our day with us. We had a great time, and we hope you did, too.

The Illig Wedding Party (Left to Right): Stu, Apryl, Jenn, Travis,
Danelle, and
Aaron.

build, net comments edit

There is a set of plugins for CruiseControl.NET out on SourceForge that lets you serialize tasks. Handy for those long-running resource-intensive operations that need to run exclusively of other instances of the same operation (like automating UI windows during test).

I haven’t tried them yet, but they look cool.

General Ramblings comments edit

Well, today’s my last day of work until the 30th of this month. I’ve got tomorrow and Friday off to get any last minute preparations done for the wedding, then Saturday’s the wedding and Sunday morning we’re off to Aruba.

Aruba!

A lot of people have asked if I’m nervous about the wedding. No, I’m not. Jenn and I have been together for about six and a half years now, so this isn’t something we’re jumping into blind - I know what I’m getting into. We’re pretty much already married; the paper and the ceremony are more of a formality than anything else. Granted, it’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to the food and the vacation, but it’s nothing to be nervous about.

I’m a little stressed about work, since I’m leaving right in the middle of a pretty big part of the project. I trust that the other folks on the team can get it done, but it’s still hard not getting closure on it. Plus, they know I’ll beat them senseless with a wet noodle if it’s not done to my precise and exacting standards. Oh! There’s the obsessive-compulsive perfectionist rearing its ugly head.

That’s actually the part about the wedding I’m stressed about - not the actual getting married, and not even the numerous vendors we’ve coordinated (well, Jenn has coordinated) to get stuff done. It’s all the people who want to help. I totally appreciate that folks want to help out, and I really do thank everyone who’s offered. Jenn did a really awesome job getting the whole thing together, though, and really all we need is for people who returned their RSVP cards and said they’d be there to just show up. Show up, have a great time, enjoy the food, and share the day with us. That’s it! Plus, you really don’t want to put yourself in my critical path right now. Everything is primroses and peach trees until you tell me you’re going to get something done and then don’t do it exactly the way I need it done right now immediately. Problems arise, awkwardness ensues, peoples’ tires get slashed, and it’s just a mess.

I’m normally not like that, I promise. It’s the wedding that’s doing it. You get one, and I want things to go without issue so I can just take it easy and enjoy it without having to chase things down and make sure everyone’s doing what they need to be doing.

So this is my last post for a while, until after I get back and recuperate from the honeymoon in Aruba. It’ll be my first trip outside the US (yes, even counting Canada and Mexico) so it’s a momentous occasion on several fronts. It’s also a test - the first vacation Jenn and I have gone on where there’s not something to do or see the whole time… just relaxing on the beach. The test is to see if we’re bored or if the relaxation does us good.

We’ll see some of you Saturday. To the rest - see you at the end of the month!

gaming, playstation comments edit

I’m digging my PSP. I’ve been playing videos on it, games on it, having a great time with it. I generally use my iPod for music, but I thought I’d try out the ol’ PSP to see if it’d be a good substitute in a pinch.

I grabbed a couple of files at random from my iTunes collection and dropped them into the PSP’s “MUSIC” folder. One file was an MP3, one file was an M4A (AAC). Fired up the PSP, headed over to the music section, and started playing.

The MP3 played fine. It also displayed the artist name, track title, and cover art for the song playing. Very cool - I’ve spent a lot of tme getting my song metadata updated so it’s nice to see something using it.

The M4A (AAC) also played fine… but it didn’t display any of the metadata, just the name of the song file. Lame.

I contacted Sony support and, after several rounds of email (where they helpfully copy-and-pasted a long discussion of how to get music to play on the PSP - not the problem at all), I got on the phone with a support person who didn’t really know what the word “metadata” means.

After explaining the situation in great detail and using very small words, the support representative walked me around in circles for a while until I realized one of two things must be true: either the PSP supports it and the rep still has no idea what I’m talking about, or the PSP doesn’t support it and the rep isn’t allowed to say so. (“There must be a problem with your song file, sir.” No, there’s not - it plays fine, iTunes sees the metadata, iPod sees the metadata, Xbox 360 sees the metadata… either the PSP doesn’t support it or it reads it from a different place in the song file than every other player I’ve got.)

I finally cornered the rep and got her to admit the PSP doesn’t support it. This morning I filed a question/comment on the issue with Sony requesting an update to the PSP system software to allow display of the AAC metadata. Hopefully they’ll resolve it for the next release.