media, music comments edit

I’ve been lamenting the fact that JHymn can’t deal with the latest iTunes DRM. So much so that I haven’t upgraded to iTunes 6 and have consequently been having odd crashes whenever I search the iTunes store. (Why remove the DRM? Because it locks me into only playing the songs I bought through iTunes - for example, the iPod support on Xbox 360 won’t let you play protected songs, and I think I should be able to play the stuff I bought wherever I want.)

Seems there’s potentially a new sheriff in town: myFairTunes6 v0.2b

Might have to get Stu to give this a go. (It’s his turn to be the guinea pig.)

media, movies comments edit

The Wicker
ManJenn and I went to see The Wicker Man yesterday. While it doesn’t seem to be soaring in the ratings on IMDB, I didn’t think it was all that bad.

The premise of the movie is that Nicolas Cage is a cop who witnesses a traumatic accident. While he’s taking some time off to get his head straight, he gets a letter from an old girlfriend (played by Kate Beahan) asking him to come to this isolated commune she lives on called Summersisle because she needs help finding her daughter. When he gets there, he finds that there are all nature of weird things going on and its up to him to figure out what the real story is.

I thought it was OK. I wasn’t blown away or anything, and I guessed the twist at the end with about half an hour to spare. I also had an issue with Beahan’s mouth the whole time - her lips are sort of weird (too large? misshapen?) and I had a difficult time concentrating on what she was saying when her mouth was moving. There was also this odd disconnect between the accident that Cage witnesses at the beginning of the movie and his arrival on the island. What relevance did that have? Was it just a mechanism to get him into convalescence so he would be receptive to getting the letter? A plot convenience? I’m still figuring that out.

That said, I’ve seen some pretty sucky movies lately, so I can’t really bag on this one too bad. I think it’d be a decent rental, but you might not want to pay full price for it at the theater.

Interesting item I didn’t know - it’s a remake of a 1973 movie. Kind of makes me want to see the original to see if it’s any better. It’s got almost double the ratings as the remake, so maybe it’s doubly good.

General Ramblings comments edit

Amp Big Rig (in the
center)I had a pretty decent Labor Day weekend, but I’m tired this morning, so I’m drinking an Amp Big Rig, possibly the largest can of caffeinated beverage I’ve ever seen. Oh, hell yeah.

Friday night not a lot happened, or at least nothing of interest that I’m remembering right now. That’s quite alright, though, as a quiet Friday night after a long week at work is just fine by me.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and headed down to Wilsonville for the Hollywood Video warehouse sale. They opened the main office for a big previously viewed video sale where movies were between $2 and $6 each. We met my parents down there and good thing, too, because they got there far earlier than we did and got a decent spot in line. You should have seen the line! Unreal. And due to fire code, they could only let 100 people in at a time, so the line was moving sloooooow. But we got eight movies of varying cost for a total of $38. Not bad.

After that, we headed over to Fry’s to see what was cool and new. I ended up getting MacGyver Season 1 for $20, which is a total steal.

We then headed to the mall to burn a little time and had someone comment on how they liked my shirt and someone else comment on how much better my car looked than theirs. Can’t say the compliments didn’t boost my ego a bit. Just a tad. I am the center of the universe! Okay, better now.

Didn’t really do much at the mall. Walked around, looked at stuff we can’t afford, etc. Had a little lunch, then headed over to pick up Jenn’s dress from the bridal shop. After that, headed home and… watched movies. Woohoo!

Sunday Stu came over and we put in some units on Oblivion. Actually got several hours in on that and finished quite a few missions. On lunch break we went to get our tuxes measured for the wedding, so that’s an item checked off the list of things to do. We all followed the units up with a Flavor of Love marathon (catching us up to current) and called it a night.

Monday was the downer of the three day weekend. I always have that dilemma on the long weekends of when to do the work that needs to be done. If you do it at the beginning, it sets a bad tone for the rest of the weekend. If you do it at the end, it makes you feel like you wasted the last vacation day available to you by doing work.

I fixed the stupid trim around the front door first thing. Of course, I had to sand the existing paint down to get rid of the majority of the brush strokes the painters left, which made the whole area dusty, so I got out the broom… and promptly fucked up the finish on the front door. I guess I figured the super-mega-paint they were supposed to use would hold up to a brush off with the broom, but not so. Well, nothing to be done about that now. You don’t notice it from far away, but up close, it’s there. Bah.

So, yeah, the trim got fixed. Then I went in and sanded down the tops of two doors in the house that wouldn’t shut (or shut really tight, as the case may be). All doors work, now, but what a messy nightmare.

Jenn had some stuff to do at the mall, so I tagged along and ended up picking up Kameo Elements of Power for like $28, which is pretty decent for a 360 game. I tried the demo and it was OK, and after realizing I will never finish GRAW on hard mode, I thought it might be fun to get a new game. I have a few that I should probably play out on the online modes (I have the stupid Xbox Live Gold membership but somehow rarely actually get online) but just haven’t done it yet. Maybe that will be something to do as the money gets tighter come holiday time.

Anyway, went to the mall, got the game, had some lunch… during which Jenn got something on her shirt, so we had to get her a new shirt at Macy’s. Found the cutest little G-Unit shirt for her, totally on sale, so we got that. My little gangsta baby is hot hot hot. Then we headed to the theater and saw The Wicker Man.

That was pretty much the weekend. Not a bad one, if I do say so myself.

subtext, blog comments edit

I’ve been wanting to move to a .NET based blog package for a while now. I’m currently on pMachine, an old, PHP-based freeware product that isn’t architected super well and is hard to customize or extend. I’m a .NET guy now and it’d be nice to be able to do some cool .NET things on my site, so I’d like a .NET blog.

I started looking at dasBlog, but I don’t think that’s the way for me. It’s got some nice features, but the code on the back end was inherited, patched, fixed, updated, added to, and jimmied together to make it what it is today. It’s not terribly well documented, and looking at how it works from a code perspective is less than clear. Even just trying to install it locally to see if I liked it wasn’t too straightforward and ended with me talking to a couple of other dasBlog users who had this odd proprietary knowledge that they got from still other dasBlog users. I can’t be dealing with that.

Stu and I thought we might just start writing our own blog engine. We went so far as to get a domain name and a project space on SourceForge, but the time required to get the thing going is a little more than we’ve had to allocate to it.

Now I’m really thinking about Subtext, though. With the 1.9 release, they’ve updated to .NET 2.0, they’re getting their unit test coverage up, and from what I can tell, the templates use user controls (like master pages) so I wouldn’t have to deal with the odd template/macro language that most blog engines make use of. I’m all about that.

Granted, I haven’t actually downloaded it and looked at it yet to see if it’s any better than dasBlog behind the scenes. But I like what I’ve seen so far.

General Ramblings comments edit

Wedding invitations were sent out Monday and people are already starting to get them. Thus far it seems that as soon as they’re received, we get a phone call from the recipient to tell us whether they liked the invitation and start talking about whether they’re going to be there.

I’m glad to get phone calls and hear what people think, but let me make one thing very, very, super, extra clear:


Let me say that again for the folks in the cheap seats:


I don’t care if you are family. My mom had best return that damn card. I don’t care if you’re in the wedding party. Stu, you’d best return that card. I don’t care if you mention it to me on the phone. I don’t care if you email me. I don’t care if you instant message me. I don’t care if you send me an SMS text on my cell phone.


I cannot stress this enough, and it may sound like a crazy rant or a ridiculous diatribe, but let me assure you how very serious I am about this. If you don’t send in the card, I can’t get an accurate head count for all the various crap we need head counts for. If we don’t have an accurate head count, we don’t have enough chairs, we don’t have enough food, etc. The only way we can make sure everyone is counted is to have a single point of entry for registration for this thing, and that single point of entry is the RSVP card that comes with your invitation.

So here are the rules. They are very simple:

If you don’t send in the RSVP card, don’t show up to the wedding.

If you send in the RSVP card and say you’re not going to be there, don’t show up to the wedding.

If you send in the RSVP card and say you’re going to be there and then you don’t show up, I will hunt you down.

This isn’t a difficult concept. Either you’ll be there or you won’t. If you say you’re going to be there, be a person of your word and be there. If you don’t say you’re going to be there (or if you say you’re not going to be there), don’t show up and wonder why you used to be my best friend but now I won’t speak to you again for the rest of your life. Seriously, we just need folks to return the cards and follow through on it. I don’t want to be a Bridezilla (Groomzilla?), and on the rest of the stuff with this wedding I’m cool as a cucumber.

But don’t you dare fuck with me on this RSVP thing. This is the one thing I’m going to be a stickler on.

(Oh, and to the folks who weren’t invited, I’m sorry. There are a lot of people we wanted to invite, and when we had the 100% complete list, it turned out the wedding might have required the Rose Garden to be the venue since I don’t think the Empress Palace can hold like 50,000 people. Instead, we had to make some decisions, and it ended up being a far, far smaller affair with many fewer friends and coworkers than we originally planned for. It’s not that we don’t like you or didn’t find you worthy, we just had to make some hard choices. Sorry.)