Monday, August 31, 2009

new apartment!

moving to a new place in the same building. it has his and his sinks!

two floors

and roof access! how soon can i recreate the dinner scene in julie and julia?

Monday, August 24, 2009

building a bike, day 2

matt and i are (re)building a pair of bikes. we have been wanting to get bikes for a while and recently learned of an awesome co-op in northside called mobo. last tuesday, we went and checked out the place. it was too late to really do anything, but we just wanted to see how it worked.

we went back wednesday to pick out a bike and get started, but didn't get there until 6:30 (half hour after they opened. that meant all 6 of the workstations were taken. so, we just picked out our bikes and resolved to get there earlier sunday (they have a limited schedule there)

so, sunday we got there at 1:30, half hour before they opened. village green, a community garden is at the same location. i explored a little and found the biggest sun flowers i have ever seen. way taller then me.

after they opened, we went and picked up our bikes from the crazy mess of orphaned two-wheelers downstairs and got started.

i spent about half my time tuning the wheels, and then the other half building the crankset. The bike basically just had wheels and a detached seat, so a lot of the stuff (like the crankset) has to be found and assembled. here is the final crankset:

the most fun part was getting the ball bearings inside the thing. wish i had gotten a pick of that.

before i knew it, we had about 15 mins left to wrap up. it was just enough time to find the crank arms and tie them on so they don't get lost.

and here it is, after about 2.75 hours of work:

i hope to get at least the peddles assembled and attached and get the seat on next time. i don't know anything about any of this (good thing there are kind pro builders there to help out) but i anticipate the hardest part will be getting the gearing repaired.

we will see!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

a desire named streetcar

i recently returned from an awesome trip to san francisco. we were only there for 8 days but it seemed like we were there for a month, with all that we were able to do. there was an incredible exhibit of king tutankhamun at the de Young museum, and the most elaborate science museum i have ever seen, the california academy of science, san francisco.

when were were in the science academy, walking by the discovery tidepool and wishing the tickets to the planetarium weren't sold out for the day, i asked matt 'how is it that some cities have these awesome attractions and others don't?'

i am not a city planner, i have no education with this stuff, but it seems like attractions like this have to be expensive to produce, and probably rely heavily on tourism to maintain. i would think living in the city, you might visit a few times but the majority of the revenue would probably be from the 16.4 million visitors they get in a year. the 'catch 22' of it is you have to have these kind of attractions to attract those visitors, and you probably need the visitors to justify the investment of building something like that.

this is why i get so frustrated when i see progress being hindered in my home town of cincinnati. if you aren't already aware, cincinnati could soon have its own streetcar. but, not if some critics have their way. most of the critics question the funding. but the truth is much of the funding for the streetcar will come from sources only available for a big transit project such as the streetcar. the funding would not be available for other projects if streetcar is not built. the funding would simply vanish.

we need to embrace projects like the streetcar to keep cincinnati thriving. I have heard mark twain said, "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always twenty years behind the times."

whether or not he actually said it, that sentiment reflects a common view of cincinnati. we need to attract visitors and new residents to this city if we want it to flourish. if interested, here are ways you can help:

Monday, June 01, 2009


i finally did it, took the plunge and invested in a g1 (a pair of them, actually).

a couple of months ago, i kinda decided it was time to upgrade us to some smart phones. the most obvious choice was, of course, the iphone. in fact, i was pretty much sold on it from all the hype. like many, the 2 year contract was scaring me away. we have stuck with cincinnati bell for our wireless for like 8 years, ironically because they don't have contracts. also, i learned that a new, better iphone was slated to be released just a few months a way. so, we waited.

while we where waiting, i checked out some other phones. i almost went with the nokia 5800 "exclusively" at cincinnati bell. this was attractive because there was no contract. in the end, i thought better of it because a) cincinnati bell was going to charge me more for it because i wasn't a new customer (whatever logic that is) and b) i have slowly gotten more disgusted with cincinnati bell over the past few years (even more so in the past few months) that i thought it might feel therapeutic to give them my walking papers. that's a topic for another post.

on another random iphone googleing, i came across a phone that seemed to be the first to give the iphone a run for its money. there are/where many touch screen smart phones that have come and gone, but none seem to be a match for the iphone until the G1: a touch screen smart phone powered by google. i was intrigued.

articles like this one really made the case for the g1. and, some of the drawbacks are no longer an issue, like the limit of 8gigs of storage: i just added a 16gig to mine for a cool $40. and the price: down from $180 i got mine for $140 and waived activation through this discount. amazon has it for under $100 (but then you have to pay an activation fee of $35).

the hardware keyboard and trackball more then make up for the lack of multitouch for me, but then i found a way to 'unlock' multitouch in the g1 making it a non issue. turns out, the g1 does have the capability but it is deactivated by the official firmware due to the lame apple patent. it took a little digging, but i was able to turn it back on (but just for the web browser, for now).

monthly, t-mobile is a little cheaper, but not much. however, that same discount up there gets you 10% off the monthly fees as well (that site doesn't have a discount for att). one big plus for att, at least in this area, t-mobile's 3g network ain't here yet. their standard edge seems to work ok, and wifi is always nice.

all of this was neat, but i kinda put the whole thing on the back burner as matt didn't seem to thrilled about the idea at all a month ago, so i let it go. then like last week, all the sudden, he starts talking about wanting a g1. i guess i bugged him enough about it back then that the seeds started sprouting in his head.

looking back it was kind of a whrilwind since he mentioned it on tuesday of this past week; wendesday we went to the t-mobile store to check it out, then ending up ordering 2 of them online that night; and they arrived at my door friday afternoon. to be fair, we checked out the iphone once more that same day, but side-by-side, playing with both there was no contest. the g1 is just amazing.

i was sold on the totally awesome streetview compass mode. when you use the built-in google maps app and switch to street view and turn on compass mode, you can just move the phone around you and it moves the street view like you are standing there on the road looking around. it's no holodeck, but still pretty darn cool.

to sweeten the deal, all my google info still lives with google. so my email and contacts is fully accessible to me on the g1, but if i loose my phone or something it is still online.

the last bit i will mention is apps. there are tons of apps, and quite many are free. the ones that aren't are usually under $1 or maybe $5. so far i haven't purchased any and am keeping very busy with the free ones. i have spent hours a day finding more cool stuff to add to my phone, like twidriod, meebo, a wifi scanner, android arcade, caller id look up (automatically flags telemarketers) to name a few.

i was afraid i might run into some buyer's remorse (that is what the trial period is for), but after these first 3 days i don't see that happening. i am not going to say the g1 is better then the iphone for two reasons: the main reason is i never owned an iphone and i don't think anyone can make a claim like that for either phone with out owning both for some time, and the other reason is phones are very subjective. whatever i value in a phone might not be what you value. for me, g1 seems to be a better fit over the iphone. check it out, you might find it to be a better match for you as well :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

something i learned today

if you want to append variables to flash, and you have that annoying AC_RunActiveContent.js thing in there, you have to add it to that as well. like this:

...'allowScriptAccess', 'sameDomain',
'movie', '../audioplayer?totalslides=29',
'salign', ''...

in addition to the actual file name ("../audioplayer.swf?totalslides=29")

that was few hours of my life i will never get back

Friday, April 17, 2009

new game for wii fit!

very excited about this new game that works with the wii fit balance board.

i've been using the fit for almost a week now, and overall very happy with it. but there is so much room for improvement. a bit thing is how there isn't any 'plan' built in. there are all kinds of exercises, but you have to select them all one at a time (no way to like set up a list of them and press 'go'). so, working out for for maybe an hour might have you spending about half that time going through menus and finding excercises.

this looks like it might have a little more structure to it and be more effecient. might need to go place a pre-order :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

wii fit, day 2

this morning, i weighed in again. my body weight was down 2.5 pounds and, after another balance test, my 'fit age' was down to 27! obviously, the difference in weight is thanks to the difference in time of day, but what about the age?

a simple search on them internet pages explained that this age is calculated solely on how you perform on that exercise or test alone. it was a different kind of balance test today then it was yesterday, and i fared much better with it, so, my age was lower.

also found today an unlocked 2-person race mode (that i was looking for yesterday). you can race another person with a wii remote, but it only logs info for the profile that is logged in. not great, but still cool.

side note: i have to move the sofa to do most of the fit stuff, trixie decided i moved it for her:

wii fit! finally picked one up :)

i'd been thinking about getting a fit since even before i received my wii. even after christmas they were still kinda hard to find (not that i tried very hard). yesterday i decided to go out and find one. the first store i went to was gamestop, and there was a sign in the window that advertised they were in stock! (and, they were having a 50% off sale on some other games of which i found ratatouille for psp for $9, i picked them both up :)

i like gamestop, i have a card with them and try to check there first before heading to bestbuy, usually. only drawback was they weren't able to offer any warranty. i need to find something, i'd hate to have another rockband incident :(

i did the initial body profile thing and wasn't to happy to see my 'fit age' was 42! no big surprise. it also showed my bmi as *cough*. anyway, since it doesn't account for muscle (only considers your height and weight) i think i will keep checking my bio-impedance scale i have in my bathroom.

after 'weighing in,' i went through all the available strength exercises. there were probably about 6 unlocked at the start. by the time i got to the lunges, i ended up stopping in the middle. at the end, i got 0 points for that one, and my 'trainer' said he knew i gave up in the middle. creepy :/

the last exercise i did was running. i thought this was cool, i didn't use the board at all. you put a wii remote in your pocket and run in place (like a pedometer, i guess). on the screen, you see a ghost of yourself and another mii in front. the idea is you keep a steady pace and stay behind her. it was awkward, to say the least. i kept getting warnings that i need to steady my pace. when i was done, i couldn't breath. it was all i could do to lay on the floor and catch my breath! my limited knowledge of physical education tells me this is not a good thing. i've read the rule of thumb is you should be able to carry a conversation during aerobic exercise. i am sure my uneven pace had something to do with it.

since this doesn't use the board at all, it would have been cool if this was included in either the sports pack that came with the wii, or the wii play game i bought (because it came with another controller). the wii fit game doesn't allow for any multi-player activities. it would be fun do have a race in real time. and it seems very possible, since you should only be limited by the number of wii remotes. there is probably a game out there that does this, but between the 3 we now have, seems like it should be in one of them :/

after i recovered from the jog of death, i tried a couple yoga poses. i did ok, but need to work on my balance a little (no big surprise there).

this later in the evening, before dinner. i was so worn out that no food sounded the least appealing. the last time i felt this way after exercise was the first time i did laps in the pool at the Y. crazy that i got as much of this buzz playing a video game.

i will not be turning in my gym membership any time soon, but the wii fit will be a fun tool to use on days i don't want to / can't get to the gym, as well as an over all daily reminder to be conscience of my overall health.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

screwed over by "melody" of ruby tuesday in alexandria


so, i don't head this far south often, but today matt was craving ruby tuesday's salad bar (which is a really good salad bar, as far as salad bars go) and this was kinda on the way to class at NKU where he is teaching tonght. when we sat down there, i saw the table tent thing listing their happy hour specials and had the idea that we should get liquored up before class.

each time we ordered a drink, we pointed to that tent and read off of it. when we got our bill,, i thought it was a bit odd that all our drinks were full price.

i brought this to the attention of our lovely server, melody, and she pointed out that we had to order them at the bar to get the special. i explained my surprise that she hadn't brought this to our attention sooner, seeing that we had ordered from the tent advertisement every time. she said the bartender told her about it when we got our second drink. again, i asked why she didn't tell us this information she had learned from the bartender she said, to my face (i am not exaggerating), "when i tell people the happy hour specials are only from the bar, they get up and leave"

so, apparently, melody decided that it would be better to hold the truth from us and hope we don't notice then to come clean and risk us leaving (which we wouldn't have done, we probably would have just moved to the bar). and, it seemed she didn't just learn of this from the bartender upon ordering our second drink as she said, since she obviously has this come up before.

it was shady, and i don't think i will be going back there anytime soon (not like we went there a lot anyway)

so, if you are ever blessed with melody at the ruby tuesday in alexandria, be warned. or, even better, stay away from chains in general. it's better to support small businesses anyway :)


Friday, March 27, 2009

youtube video in gmail/gtalk

i've been using gtalk in gmail for a while now. i like having chat without having another program open. today i got sent a youtube link, and this happened:

So, basically if you type in a youtube link and send it, it adds that thumbnail automagically and when it is clicked on, the video plays above. keeping everything in the same window. this is neat, i can see gmail growing into like a virtual desktop where you can do more and more from within the same window. fun stuff!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Niños con cancer - asosiación afanoc

don't need to understand the words to know what it is saying. what a cool short. this shows the power of pantomime. thanks to carlos baena for sharing the link.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rainbow Road

a touching tribute

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

rock band, a love/hate relationship

this is just a rant, more about me having a need to write it than any delusion i have that anyone will want to read it. never the less, here it is!

the best purchase i have made since my actual ps3 is rock band. it is not my favorite game, lego star wars will always fill that spot in my heart, but it is a party favorite. there have been a few get-togethers where rock band as been a great hit.

this week, disaster stroke. i hadn't gotten the drums out in several weeks, and after i dusted them off and plugged them in, i realized the pedal had stopped responding. there was nothing visibly broken, no cracks or shorts in the cable or anything, it just didn't work.

i purchased it maybe 4 or 5 months ago at circuit city. i hate circuit city but it was on sale there, so i with with it. as annoyed as i am by best buy's pushiness when it comes to service plans, i wish circuit city had offered one. i didn't think about it until after i had completed the purchase, and eventually it was too late to add it on. so, there i was, way out of the 60 day warranty. sol.

as an aside, what kinda crap is it that a company can get a way with charging almost $200 for something and say it should only last 60 days?! something is very wrong with that.

anyway, as pissed as i was at electronic arts, i didn't last a day without my drums, i high-tailed it to my local best buy where i found the rock band 2 drums in stock. and, i asked about a warranty on this one before the nice best buy gal had a chance to offer it. i can now rock on!

andrew's birthday

here is a video of andrew's birthday (this past saturday)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

my colorcode (stereoscopic) image

i found a tutorial about making a 3d image to work with the weird 3d glasses we got for the super bowl (yellow and purple, not red and blue). it ain't perfect, but it was fun to try.

Monday, February 02, 2009

'some assembly required' - blocking done!

here is my blocking pass for my short for animation mentor, 'some assembly required'

there are lots of notes to sort out, updates to come :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Friday, January 02, 2009

mini tutorial: how i finally got green happy faces in azureus with two routers

the holiday season, and more vacation days then i knew what to do with, left me with some free time recently. i decided to take another stab and improving my torrent download speeds. having two routers complicates things a bit.

if you are reading this and are in my situation (dealing with frustration of two routers), check out before you read any further. that site even has a page talking about working with two routers, but i was just not clicking for me. the rest of the site got me started though and it is full of excellent information. this post will just focus on explaining how i was able to finally put the pieces together. i am posting this in case anyone else has the same trouble as i did and might benefit from another point of view.

i have two routers because my high speed internet comes in though the phone into a router with no outlets other then one port (it is not a hub). i will have up to 7 devices that need to be connected on a wireless network at any given time, so i have the phone router plugged into a wireless (and wired) router (it has wireless as well as 4 wired ports).

the first step was to set my first router (the one that i connect to first as i go out on the net, not the second one that is actually connected to the phone line) to a static ip. i did this with that router's admin page.

you can find your router's admin page by doing a tracert (in windows, command prompt) to an address like this:
this returns a list of ip addresses and locations that your computer is taking to get to the first address is the first of your routers, that is where i set my static ip.
it is important to note that this is an internal static ip only for the local network, so don't be afraid you are breaking any rules with your ISP, this is not an external static ip.

you can check for instructions on how to configure your brand of router to a static ip. i may have been lucky there, because when i switched from automatic to static, it filled in all the fields for me.

then, i opened the opened the port for azureus to my computer running azureus. again, does a great job covering this. make sure your computer is set to a static ip as well, otherwise the port you open won't work when/if your computer gets a new ip.

this next part is where i had been stuck (embarrassingly, for years). i figured out where my second router was (the second ip in that tracert list) a while back, and i knew i had to open that same port there as well but it didn't click until recently that i had to open that port to THE FIRST ROUTER, not to the computer (i know, duh!)

so i opened the admin for the second router, opened the port and pointed it to the static ip that i set for the first router and, tada! green happies!

i don't know if this will help anyone else, but i know that if i had found a post like this a couple years ago, it would have saved me a lot of time. i hope it helps someone else :)