New blog!

Hey, check out my new Blogger site at:

superiorstudio.blogspot.com

I will be journalling there for a bit, because I like the fact that it can be customized a great deal- I was able to add my webcam, for example. Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Thanks!

The bugaloos, the bugaloos, in the air and everywhere

Yesterday was OK, working at home for the first time in what seemed like ages with the watchful eye of the webcam on me. I revised a flowchart and started a rewrite of the document that is primarily occupying my attention these days. As work wound down I made a pot roast for dinner and hung out with Karen and the baby.

In the evening I watched some TV (Clark Kent came out on Smallville, interestingly), worked on the website some more, wrote some more of the book (up to 40 pages, not bad) and practised guitar for the first time in a while. Turns out OLGA has tabs for Devo, including "Whip It," bless them. I watched the end of the ALCS game, the Twins beat the Angels 2-1, I think. I haven't followed baseball this year but I am glad it's not a Yankees-Braves series. I am thoroughly sick of both of those teams.

I rolled my eyes when one of the announcers on the weekend talked about Bobby Cox of the Braves deserving to go to the Hall of Fame as a manager. Whatever, man. Give me a team with that kind of talent and payroll and I'll get you to the playoffs every year too. Funny how people seem to forget that in their dozen or so years of contention, they have won the World Series all of once. Hell, Toronto did better than that. Had there not been a strike, the Expos might have had one too. Oh well.

I think that will do for now. Have a good one.

Sugar, sugar

I went looking for Johnny-in-the-box and sure enough, he was home, cleaning his knives. I have never seen a guy so meticulous about a set of knives when the rest of his place looks like shit.

"What the fuck do you want?" he snarled at me, holding a knife blade up to the light.

"Not to get stabbed, for starters."

"I can't make any promises," he shrugged, and resumed polishing.

Hulk smash

Puny humans with your guns! I didn't hear until yesterday but apparently there has been a serial sniper shooting people around Maryland since the weekend. The latest victim was a 13-year-old boy outside a school. Reminds me of an episode of HOMICIDE in which the same thing basically happened, only just around Baltimore instead of all around the state. It's pretty fucked up.

Meanwhile, closer to home, my friend Dan got laid off from Media Planet, who I gather is shutting down their web design operation for the moment, perhaps until they pick up some other contracts, perhaps for good. I don't know. It sucks pretty hard for Dan, though, who only recently seemed happier than he had been in a while about working at the Planet. I'm sure he'll find something else, being the talented guy that he is, but it's a gutwrenching thing to go through.

And speaking of web design, sort of, one of my old freelance clients was given some kind of business award in Halifax last week for innovation etc. I'd like to think my site had something to do with that, but I don't know for sure. It's an OK site; I have seen other local developers steal code from it, so I guess they must like it too. ;)

Yesterday was fun on site, not. I worked away at my new process in the morning, then had a meeting after lunch, and another meeting with the project manager, who wanted to impose a new rule keeping all of the tech writers on site at all times. Needless to say I was not impressed and argued that while it may be more convenient for him to manage and give more of an apperance that work is being done, the reality is we are more productive without all the distractions of the plant. So, we get to keep working off site for now, as long as we document our activities more closely and don't abuse it (coming in for partial days due to a meeting, etc.) It's a stupid thing to leave a contract over, but that's why they call it a contract; if someone wants to change the rules, they should expect some resistance. It's not our fault that the project is progressing slower than they would like.

Anyway. Gotta go watch the baby while Karen goes to an appointment. Cheers for now.

Weird

First thing Monday, on site again, fuck fuck fuck. The .Mac server appears to be down so I cannot check the photos I uploaded to HomePage this morning. I am listening to an MP3CD of old APA Centauri audio projects, and at the moment a cover of The Doors' "Hello, I Love You" by The Cure is making its way through my bloodstream. Gak.

The weekend was not very busy, aside from getting up a million times to replace Jack's soother etc. He has not one but two bottom teeth coming in and is unsurprisingly agitated as a result. I made some chili on Saturday and watched TVO's Saturday Night at the Movies, now that the HK movies are no longer available on satellite (sniff). It was some kind of noir triple feature, with a couple of Alan Ladd movies and THE MALTESE FALCON.

I didn't do any writing on the weekend but did finish the HTML and most of the flash navigation for my new site, which is always the most tedious part for me. Made a couple of small design adjustments. I should be able to do most of the content this week and launch it after the long weekend.

Starting a new book today, or I should say resuming one that I put down a while ago: AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman. Next up is probably the last novel by Robert Cormier, which I should be receiving by mail shortly.

That's about it for now, must try and get some work done before I get sidetracked by another meeting this afternoon.

Weekend Reviews: Oct. 6

Still didn't make it to any movies at the theatre this week, but there are a number of possibilities for upcoming weekends. In the meantime I am making my way through a comics shipment, finished a book this week, bought a DVD and some used VHS movies.

COMICS:

The second new issue of THE MICRONAUTS was still quite underwhelming, so I expect I'll be dropping it soon. FANTASTIC FOUR 489 had a bit of a reboot feel to it; the art and story were OK but one has to wonder what can be done to make this series interesting again. My vote: lose or at least reduce the soap opera. The last issue of the HOWARD THE DUCK comeback was an amusing chat between Howard and God; this miniseries has been a worthwhile sequel to the original but was probably not destined to last for long. DORK #10 is the latest missive from Evan Dorkin, whose awkward introspection can be tiresome, but he is a solid humorist and artist, so his work is always worth a look. Finally, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN volume 1 is a charming bit of Victorian retro from Alan Moore and an artist I don't care much for, Kevin O'Neill. I would have liked to have seen the likes of Alan Quartermain, The Invisible Man, and Captain Nemo rendered by David Lloyd, for example. Still, a fun story that should make for an equally fun film when they are done with it.

BOOKS:

I finally finished HOW TO BE GOOD by Nick Hornby and have mixed feelings about it. The concept is a good one- a wife finds she cannot cope with her husband's sudden resolve to be a very virtuous person- but I don't know if the resolution is suitable considering how high the stakes get raised in the buildup. The dialogue is the book's general weakness, with the wife's narration being a little too clever (or not clever enough, as the situation demands). It is certainly worth reading but the characters take a back seat to the situation, unlike the standard set in Hornby's other novels HIGH FIDELITY and ABOUT A BOY.

DVD:

A lot of "new" Jet Li DVDs to choose from lately, including CONTRACT KILLER (aka THE HITMAN), THE MASTER, and a real gem called THE LEGEND OF THE SWORDSMAN, aka SWORDSMAN II, the sequel to the smash Jackie Cheung film circa 1989. This Tsui Hark production is one of the biggest influences of CROUCHING TIGER, pitting Jet and his pals (Michelle Reis and Rosamund Kwan) against the Invincible Asia, THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR's Brigitte Lin in another memorable badass performance. There's a lot of wuxia flying, fun with knitting needles, love triangles and wire fu with an emphasis, not surprisingly, on swordplay. If you enjoy Jet's other films of this type (TWIN WARRIORS, etc.) you will probably really like this one.

VHS:

I picked up some previously viewed movies in a 2-for-1 sale, two good (REBECCA, THE X-FILES) and two not so good (DELIVERY BOYS, COVER GIRL MODELS). So far I have only had time to watch DELIVERY BOYS ("Oh boy do they deliver!"), a bad 80s fad movie in the tradition of JOY STICKS and SKI SCHOOL. This time the fad is breakdancing, and this film is full of it. It's full of a lot of other things too, like gross sexual jokes (a man unsuspectingly has whipped cream licked off his cock by his german shepherd, for example; later, a couple of snooty art gallery patrons drink glasses of piss), bad acting, bad music, bad costumes, a drag scene, Mario Van Peebles as a Jamaican villain. DELIVERY BOYS does indeed deliver a one star experience. I never thought I would see a breakdancing movie worse than BODY ROCK, but here it is.

ETC.:

Finally, for those like myself who have been suffering without an OS X driver for their USB Kritter webcam, suffer no more. IOxperts have developed a beta driver (downloadable from IOxperts.com) which you can try for a half hour to see if you like it, then buy for $15 US, saving a few bucks off the $20 price when it goes out of beta (an upgrade to the final version will be free for early adopters, I assume). It works better than the Kritter's native OS 9 software and is dealing splendidly with CoolCam. Having to pay for both of these shareware items separately is a bit of a pain but worth it. You will see the new, improved, never-timing-out Studio Cam when the new site design gets posted, probably after the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Sit your lying punk ass down

So it's Friday, and surprise! I'm on site again. Keerist. Yesterday was fairly busy at work, spent editing some more documents that should have been done long ago, then having a meeting on my new process. In the afternoon I did a crazy flowchart of said new process and a little work on anothe process that is on the back burner now. Whee, whee, whee.

After work I hung out with the baby a bit and grilled a couple of steaks for dinner, finishing up just before Cathy, Anthony, Lisa and Heather dropped by for a visit. Heather had not seen Jack before and I don't think Cathy had seen him awake before. Jack kind of went from person to person, staring at them and talking a little until it was time for him to go to bed.

Cathy is an old coworker so she filled us in on what's happening at my old job. It doesn't sound too good. They left a little after 8 and I proceeded to Wal-Mart to deposit my paycheque, transfer some funds around, pick up a birthday present for Karen, and (though I was not planning to do so) pick up a Jet Li DVD for myself. It's SWORDSMAN II, though of course the "Jet Li Collection" has retitled it "Legend of the Swordsman" or some fucking thing. I am getting tired of looking at Jet's DVDs in a store and wondering what movie they really are. Like retitling HIGH RISK to MELTDOWN, or THE HITMAN to CONTRACT KILLER. It's not like the new titles are any better. Yarrr.

Got home at 9 and watched the usual Thursday night TV. Am definitely warming up to PUSH, NEVADA; you've got to love a show about an IRS agent who gets "Death & Taxes" tattooed across his back. Got some more writing done too, in fact I think I have written every night this week so far. Yay!

Better go, I guess. I came in for another bloody meeting today and it will be starting soon. I have one Monday too, of course. God, I love meetings. What did I ever do before them?

Looking Busy

Yeah. The days are starting to blur together on site, with one long useless meeting feeding into another. I hope I can work from home on Monday, I am pretty sick of being here. Listening to the REPO MAN soundtrack at 8AM probably isn't helping my mood any.

Yesterday was the Return of the Living Dead Documents again, though I might be able to tramp the dirt down on at least some (if not all) of them today. We'll see. I got home and made a stir-fry for dinner, then went out to improv, which was sparsely attended but fun. I was home by 9 and watched Ed with Karen while doing a little work on the new website. She went to bed and I stayed up to do a bit of writing, changed a diaper for a restless Jack, and made sure he was asleep again before turning in myself.

Next weekend (not this one, the next one) is a long weekend- Thanksgiving here in Canada. My parents are going to come over for the Friday evening and then go up to see my sis in Fredericton the next day. We'll drive up to Woodstock after they leave to see Jack's other grandparents and various other friends and relatives, eat some turkey, etc.

Payday today, yay. Oh, and good news: I found an OS X webcam driver for the KritterCam, and it looks like it works pretty well from the demo, though it did make the iMac a bit sluggish. It's still in beta. I think I'll buy it anyway, then I won't have to fuck around with the incredible dismounting iDisk in OS 9.

Gotta go, work beckons. Later, l33T hAx0R d00dz.

Mad about the boy

Got some work done on site yesterday, and am unfortunately on site again today. While I was working and minding my own business yesterday I got an email from a friend at my last job who wants to come by and see the baby tomorrow after work, so I guess we'll do that. We also had another big useless meeting, in this case some propaganda about station refurbishment and an update on security procedure for accessing one of the buildings.

I read another good-sized chunk of the Nick Hornby novel and, after putting the baby down, read some of the new comics before watching SMALLVILLE etc. While the TV was on I answered Jason's reply to yesterday's post, surfed the weeb a little, and got some more writing done on the novel. I am actually fairly pleased with how that is going, though I definitely have not been working on it every day like I should, once I get back into it I enjoy it. Not unlike drawing, I guess.

Jack woke up for a bottle at about midnight, so I fed him and then went to sleep myself. He is definitely restless from teething, and will gnaw your finger off if you let him. He's also doing a lot of getting up on his hands and knees, so I expect to see him start crawling any day now. I wouldn't be surprised, anyway.