Thursday, April 28, 2011

Toronto Airport

  by notme2000
, a photo by notme2000 on Flickr.

I'm on my way! Still have a pit stop in thunder bay then it's off to Winnipeg!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tattoos

Tattoos by notme2000
Tattoos, a photo by notme2000 on Flickr.
My tattoos so far... Thinking of getting a new one soon!

Stars

  by notme2000
, a photo by notme2000 on Flickr.
A building downtown, pretty neat!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Halifax Instagram Walk

It was +20 today, so I decided to go for a walk.  Once I was walking in the sun, with my headphones in, taking in the beautiful Halifax Sunday afternoon I decided to take some photography using only my iPhone and the popular app Instagram.  It was a great afternoon, and reminded me how beautiful Halifax is.  I moved here right before winter, so this will be my first summer in Halifax, and I’m beginning to realize that’s when it really shines!

Life In A Day

Saw this trailer posted on a friend’s Facebook wall.  It’s such a good idea.  I’ll let the official description do the talking:

On July 24, 2010, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their lives to YouTube to take part in Life in a Day, a historic cinematic experiment to create a documentary film about a single day on earth.

Now, it's time to watch their story unfold on the big screen.

Directed by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald, Life in a Day wowed audiences at the Sundance, Berlin and SXSW film festivals and during its YouTube world premiere in January. This summer, you'll be able to watch the movie in a theater near you.

Life In A Day

I’ll definitely be seeing this.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Return Of The Crushes

Yes, it’s been a while.  But alas, some more celebrity crushes!

Anne Hathaway

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She’s very pretty, no question.  I have a female friend who looks a lot like her, and we’re just friends, so this crush is mixed with weird feelings of guilt.  But the best ones usually are.

Emma Stone

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She’s got a quirky look and a quirky personality.  And she seems like the kind of girl who’d actually have opinions, which is a big turn on!

Keri Russel

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She’s not in many things I watch, though she was good in Mission Impossible 3.  But every time I do see her I find her very attractive.  I think her looks are under-rated.

Mila Kunis

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She’s pretty popular these days.  I will go on record as saying Black Swan was the ONE Darren Aronofsky movie I did NOT like.  But watching her make out with Natalie Portman was pretty nice.

Natalie Portman

Portman

Speaking of Natalie Portman, I go back and forth with her.  But every so often she has some scenes like this one in Closer, or her nude scene in Darjeeling Limited, not to mention the aforementioned infamous scene in Black Swan.

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen

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And who can forget Kelly from Saved By The Bell!  One of my first celebrity crushes ever!  Used to watch this show with a few other kids and my brother after school at the babysitters.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Get Around

My friend Ashley posted a pic on her blog of all the places she’d taken pictures on her iPhone.  It made me curious so I checked mine.  I get around!

That's a lot of travel!

The Cake Was NOT A Lie!

Today Longtail gave everyone cake!  In honor of Portal 2 coming out this week and stealing everyone’s lives!

Om nom nom

Desk Switch!

So on the day of my wisdom teeth removal, after I left for the day, the office was rearranged.  I was put with the designers, which can’t be a bad sign!  It’s a pretty sweet new setup!

Old desk:

Taken an hour before I left to get my wisdom teeth out :(

New hotness:

With strategic censorship...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Winnipeg-ho!

Just bought my tickets to Winnipeg for my Dad’s wedding!  Going to be there April 28th – May 4th.  Just under a week.  I leave bright and early May 4th, and of course my Dad’s wedding is April 30th, so it’ll be a shorter Winnipeg trip than usual, but it’ll be good times!

Here I come!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

+2 To Healing

So I’ve spent the weekend healing from my wisdom teeth removal.  I never thought I could miss chewing so much…  So far no smoking since Friday at noon.  Maybe I actually managed to quit!  I’ve spent most of the weekend watching tv or playing games.  I beat Dragon Age 2 and played a lot of Rift.  I’m still loving this game!  Such a great MMO!  Here’s some more cool screenshots!

Log Bridge!

Desert Area!

 Behind enemy lines!

Second instance run, Darkening Deeps.

A major air rift.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dragon Age 2 Plaque

I got my DA2 plaque in the mail!  Looks pretty spiffy on my wall next to my DA:O plaque!  Here’s some pics:

DAII Plaque

That's me!

DA:O and DA2

-75% Wisdom

Got my wisdom teeth out yesterday.  I’d been dreading it for a while.  I bussed to work in the morning, and at noon I walked down the street to the dentist.  I was really nervous.  I knew I was being sedated with laughing gas, but the dentist gave me 3 Ativan to calm the nerves.  I took them and sat in the waiting room.  By the time I was up, about half an hour later, I was high as a kite.  When I stood in the waiting room to walk in, I almost fell flat on my face.  They led me to the dentist chair and gave me the gas…

Man, I was GONE.  I remember they had a radio playing but to me it sounded like the same 2 second loop getting louder and quieter.  I was awake for the entire procedure, but completely wasted.  I actually remember feeling my wisdom teeth being broken in half and slipping out of my gums.  I remember thinking “Wow, this really hurts” but I was so high I didn’t care.

I don’t remember much after that.  Around 9:30 I found myself watching Arrested Development in my bed, drinking an Iced Tea.  I don’t remember how I got home, putting on the DVD or anything.  This morning my downstairs neighbors told me they’d witnessed me get home yesterday.  Apparently the cab had pulled into the driveway and the driver had sat there for 5 minutes waiting for me to get out.  I guess I was so out of it the driver finally got out of the car, opened the back door, unbuckled my seatbelt and practically carried me to my front door.  Then, according to the neighbors, I took over a minute to unlock the door.  I don’t remember any of it, but when I looked on my phone this morning I did find this video:

I don’t remember this at all, but I guess I had the hiccups!

Now begins the healing process.  It’s not so bad, the pain isn’t bad unless I don’t take some ibuprofen.  A few weeks ago I went grocery shopping and picked up a ton of pudding, yogurt, jello and ice cream.  Still, I’m really missing real food.  And smoking.  I can’t smoke for at least a few days.  I’m going to try quitting since I can’t smoke for a few days anyway, hopefully it sticks!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Magicka Sprint

A friend at work got the game Magicka and played it at work today.  As soon as he launched the game her burst out laughing.  One of the first things he saw was this:

Heavy on the left...

This game was clearly made by a bunch of people who love the industry they work in and have a sense of humor.  For those who don’t know, that’s a sprint board behind them, used in Scrum, a form of Agile Management used religiously in game development.  As someone who uses this every day, I found this a great nod to others in the industry.

An actual sprint-board.

Six Feet Under

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I started watching my way through Six Feet Under again.  For those who don’t know, it was an HBO series that ran for 5 years, and is one of the highest rated, most critically acclaimed shows of all time.  And well deserved.  I just watched the series finale tonight.

I first watched Six Feet Under 5-6 years ago.  Some friends and I got into it and watched it religiously on DVD together.  I remember us watching through season 3 in one night.  When the series finally ended after its 5th season, it blew us away. 

Re-watching it now, with more life experience, was just as great, and my opinion on the show has only gone up.  It’s a character drama that follows a family who run, and live in, a funeral home.  The entire series is a spiritual, philosophical and often frank look at death, a subject our society largely shies away from. 

In fact, when you watch it you really start to realize how absurd it is that we almost universally ignore the one certainty about life, that it ends.  Death is perhaps the most personal thing we’ll ever face, and we will ALL face it in time.  During the Making-Of I watched afterwards, there is a statistic that the average person sees over a hundred thousand simulated deaths by the time they’re 21, but are not prepared for the reality of it at all when it happens in real life.  I think this show is one of the very few things in media today to convey the realities of death and grieving.

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It’s not all doom and gloom though.  In fact it’s one of the most life-affirming pieces of fiction I’ve ever experienced.  And it’s filled with clever dark humor.  The ending is, suitably, one of the best endings I’ve ever seen, to any form of story-telling.

Six Feet Under Season 5It frustrates me how many people haven’t watched this show.  They may be offset by the sometimes pretentious nature of the show, or perhaps the subject matter is too hard to handle for some.  But it’s one of the few shows that surpass entertainment to become true art.  Something that is not consumed and forgotten, but stays with the viewer, inspiring them. 

Anyone reading this, I implore you to watch this show.  Like any good character drama, it takes a few episodes to really get into it, because you have to get to know the characters.  But once you do, I guarantee you’ll feel like you’ve known them your whole lives.  And it will remind you that life passes by in an instant, so make the most of it!

Favorite show of all time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shark In The Water

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A new playlist for the weekend!  This one is a little longer than I normally like, but I just couldn’t bring myself to cut any of the songs.

  1. The xx – Intro
  2. Angels & Airwaves – Shove
  3. Unicorn Dream Attack – Pill0w F0rt
  4. Mother Mother – Problems
  5. Noah and the Whale – Give It All Back
  6. Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On
  7. Rise Against – This Is Letting Go
  8. Mother Mother – Chasing It Down
  9. V V Brown – Shark In The Water
  10. Death Cab for Cutie – You Are A Tourist
  11. Radiohead – Separator
  12. V V Brown – Bottles
  13. Lupe Fiasco – Shining Down
  14. Black Lab – This Night
  15. Rise Against – Satellite
  16. Angels & Airwaves – The Moon-Atomic (…Fragments & Fictions)
  17. Black Lab – Sun And Moon
  18. JJ Grey & Mofro – The Sun Is Shining Down
  19. Elbow – The Birds
  20. Peter Gabriel – My Body Is A Cage (Arcade Fire cover)
  21. Elbow – The Birds *reprise*
  22. Damien Jurado – Everything Trying
  23. Angels & Airwaves – Soul Survivor (…2012)
  24. Daniel Lanois – Fire
  25. Noah and the Whale – Just Me Before We Met
  26. Noah and the Whale – Paradise Stars

Playlist can be heard on Grooveshark!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Entropy

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So many people I know are in dark times right now.  Struggling just to make it through the day, to make sense of their lives and hold together a narrative that makes it worth it.  I get so frustrated with life sometimes.  Is it supposed to be this hard?  Those good times and care-free memories seem so long ago.  A different life, or a dream.

I don’t care how unrealistic it is, or how na├»ve it makes me.  All this change and progress was supposed to be for something better.  But we’re all living in the reflected past or the seductive future.  The present is just something we bare.

When are the barbeques where we all get together and laugh and smile?  When are the long drives and sporadic adventures?  The late nights and long weekends?  This journey had a goal.  There was supposed to be a destination.  When do we get to meet each other at our best? 
What happened to the love that used to fill our lives?

I can’t stand seeing the people I care about so tormented by their demons, or their circumstances.  Worse, I can’t stand seeing it from a distance.  Everyone’s waiting.  There’s so much separation.  I miss them.  I miss who I was with them.

Everything is so different now, we’re all so fragmented.  We left it all behind to find something better, but now we’re just looking to get it back.  I want it back. 

I miss my friends.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

BioWare Sequel Celebration!

Own Dragon Age 2?  Congratulations, you get a free copy of Mass Effect 2 for PC!

Some fan love.

Go here to see how to get your hands on a free copy of Mass Effect 2 for PC, but only if you bought Dragon Age 2!

HB Studios: Small Studios in Small Towns vs Big Studios in Big Cities

Today we had another film crew in the office filming a segment about women in non-traditional careers.  It focused on a few of my very talented female co-workers.  I ended up getting recruited to dance with them in some  wii games and have a Nerf war with them in slow motion.  Should be good.

This is after a few weeks ago a different film crew was in doing a segment on us for Studios in Nova Scotia.  I posted a video by them before about the industry here, and it focused mainly on HB Studios, another studio here in Halifax.  Here’s another video by the same crew about HB Studios and what it’s like working in the industry here in Halifax.

HB Studios

I can’t wait to see the one they do about Longtail with my co-workers and I in it!  I’ll post it as soon as it’s up!

Love

Angels & Airwaves is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.  I love them, and their music puts me in the best mood.  They’re not normally the type of music I’d listen to, but for some reason I love their spacey punk-rock sound.  Anyway, apparently they did a movie and the early reviews are saying it’s excellent and it’s already won a few film festival awards even though it’s not publicly out till November. 

The description sounds awesome.  An astronaut is at the International Space Station and all contact with earth stops inexplicably.  From orbit he watches Earth go dark, and spends years trapped up there.  Until one day he wakes up and finds something else in orbit with him.  During an interview one of them said he goes through a worm-hole and meets God.  Plus another story 100 years earlier during the civil war.  The trailer makes it look right up my alley.

Love

The movie’s music is of course done by Angels & Airwaves themselves.  It comes out in November, and I am now officially excited for it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

UBB

If you haven’t heard about this yet, and even if you have but are a little shaky on the details, watch this video about something that could negatively and severely affect Canada:

If Usage-Based Billing goes in to effect, you’d have to decide up front if clicking play on this video was really worth the data-cost.

In a flagrant act of corruption, the CRTC betrayed the Canadian public by letting things get this far.  100,000x markup is insane.  If this goes through, Canada will literally be at the bottom of the list for internet rights.  And there are several serious implications that may not be immediately apparent.

Imagine a world where you were paying for every link you click.  You’d second guess clicking every link, and only the safe ones would be used regularly.  This means true online innovation will slow down heavily in Canada.  This is what UBB is.  Charging the user for every gig of data they use, forcing the user to ‘ration’ their internet usage.

Services like Netflix would probably eventually be forced to pull their services altogether, because a single movie is over a gig, sometimes several.  If you’re on a meter, that’s a hefty chunk of your monthly data allowance.  Many people who watch their media online would go back to Television (who those same Telecom companies own, what a coincidence…)  If you DO continue to use Netflix, you’ll only watch the movies you KNOW you want to see, no more experimenting with that weird indie movie that looks kinda interesting, not worth the risk.  All this would mean less income for Netlifx.  And companies/services that have yet to set up shop in Canada would now know it wasn’t worth trying.

Online gaming on your pc or console would go towards your monthly usage allotment.  This may not be much for gameplay, it means every time an update comes out for your favorite game, sometimes over a gig, you’ll have to bite the bullet.

Video streaming sites like Youtube and Vimeo become dangerous time-killers.  Streaming your music on Grooveshark is suddenly too expensive.  No more using Dropbox for syncing files between work and home freely.  In fact, the fast approaching “Cloud” based future of the internet would be a burden to Canadians instead of evolution.  Every time you do something online, you’ll feel your wallet lightening.

It goes against everything the internet is supposed to be.  Unlimited available information.  Freedom of exploration and expression.  An open market for new ideas.

This is on top of the points the video made about UBB being designed specifically to run independent ISPs out of business and place the major Telecom companies into a full on monopoly, to then increase prices however they want with no competition using an age old technique called artificial scarcity

And these companies have been at war with Net Neutrality forever.  If they were the only companies left to offer internet, they’d have no reason not to petition against Net Neutrality further.  For those who don’t know, Net Neutrality is a principle that ISPs cannot discriminate services based on content.  ISPs should not have any say on what sites you are “allowed” to visit, what files you are “allowed” to download, or how you’re “allowed” to download them.  There are legal exceptions to this of course, but that’s up to law enforcement to deal with, not a major Telecom company that has a vested interest in which sites you visit and which you don’t, or which files you download and which you don’t.  It’s a major conflict of interest.

This is becoming an election issue.  While there are several factors that decide who I vote for, this will definitely be one of them.  I do not want to see Canada become the backwater of digital progress.

If this concerns you like it does me and many I know, and if you haven’t already, sign the petition that brought this issue into the spotlight, half a million strong!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hooked

Beautiful world-design.

Nerdgasm to follow:

So when I first got Rift it was just cause Chad was pestering me to try it, and I figured I was pretty bored on the weekends anyway since Ryan moved so I’d give it a shot.  I did not expect to get into it much, I thought I was done with MMOs.

Wrong.  I am hooked to this game.  It feels like the first game to do MMOs RIGHT since WoW.  And it’s learned from WoW and other MMOs along the way.  It has the best of WoW, Warhammer, Aion, etc all in one with beautiful graphics.  And it does a few new things really well.  The fact that you can have 3 “roles” and re-spec on the fly out of combat is great.  And the rifts are awesome.  Rifts open up throughout the world and they’re like mini raids / public quests. 

Rifts can be pretty epic

It was a free-play weekend so Chad and I convinced Brett and Linda to give it a shot and they’re now seriously considering picking it up too.  Over the weekend we all played together and it was a ton of fun.  Facetime on iPhone is an awesome addition to gaming together! 

It just seems everyone is at a weird time in life where they have a lot of free time.  Chad doesn’t do much on weekends other then spend time with Olga, Brett and Linda are biding their time until they move to Vancouver, and I have a lot of free time on weekends now that Ryan has moved.  It lets us play without any guilt!

Playing with Chad and Brett.

Today Chad and I did our first instance.  It was hands down the coolest instance I’ve done in an MMO to date.  It starts in summer and as you progress the seasons change.  At the end you’re climbing a mountain in an insane blizzard where you can barely see in front of you, adding to the epic feeling and sense of confusion.  Incredibly well done instance, and it was only the first.

Halfway through the instance it goes from Summer to Fall...

And the end is a Winter blizzard at the top of a mountain!

The world is beautifully done and the graphics are amazing.  The game feels amazingly polished and balanced, especially when you consider it just came out and from a no-name studio!  There’s always something to do as well.  Plus my friends are playing.  Not just close personal friends, but friends from BioWare and Longtail play too.  I think I’ll be playing this game for a while…  In fact, I’m considering getting a new PC next month to run it better.  My PC is 5 years old, it’s been time for a new one for a while, and I can afford it.  But it’ll have to wait until after I pay for my wisdom teeth coming out and then my plane tickets to and from Winnipeg for my Dad’s wedding.

It’s exciting to be into an MMO again.  Forgot how fun they can be.
Nerdgasm over.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dance On Broadway PS3 @ HMV

One of my user-stories for my sprint was to get a picture of our game on retail shelves Smile with tongue out

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Status:  Completed