Saturday, January 24, 2004

Just sitting here watching Sarah taking here 3rd snowboarding lesson. It's weird going about our normal routine, while knowing Kim is in sask planning a funeral.

it strikes me that by 11 sarah has lost 2 grand parents, i didnt loose a grand parent till my 20s. my mom's
parents are still with us.

I wonder how this will change sarah and i mourn her loss, one she may never fully realize cause she didnt get the chance to know at least 2 of her grand parents as an a teen ager or an adult.

- Peace

PS I'm just home to pack, then we head for Sask to join our wife for the funeral of my mother in law. I wrote this post on my clie while at COP this morning.

Headed to Sask today, for my Mother in law's funeral early next week. So of course there is a snow storm. The rule is we will have to travel in at least one snow storm to or from Sask each year. We've even had that when traveling in May. It was one of the reasons I want all wheel drive on the Element.

- Peace

Friday, January 23, 2004

Kim's mom passed away today. This was not expected, it's come as quite the shock.

- Peace
Salvation Army Revives Famous Doughnut

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

In these quite hours I find my solace - a poem woth reading from Hardcore Poetics.

- Peace
Kroc Leaves Salvation Army $1.5 Billion:
By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer

The estate of the late philanthropist Joan Kroc has given an estimated $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army to build 25 to 30 community centers around the nation in what is considered the largest gift ever given to a single charity, officials announced today.

Kroc, the widow of McDonald's fast-food magnate Ray Kroc, provided $92 million in the 1990s to the Salvation Army to build and operate such a center in a blue-collar neighborhood of San Diego, which will serve as a model for the other centers. Kroc, who was 75, died of cancer Oct. 12 at her home in Rancho Santa Fe.

This is the same woman who left 200 million to NPR at the end of last year.

- Peace
Needed to fix my Andy Hunter Review. I was singing 'Cool is like you', Sarah corrected me, it's 'Who is like you?'. I double checked and the corrent title is THE WONDERS OF YOU, but Sarah is right the lyric is 'Who is like you?'

- Peace
Single Dad for a Week

Kim's mom was hospitalized last night, Kim got on a westjet flight this morning. I'm playing Mr. Single Dad for this week at least.

- Peace

Monday, January 19, 2004

Microsoft lawyers threaten Mike Rowe (17).

- Peace

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Jak II

Sarah and I have been playing Jak II since Christmas, and I finished it this week. She's stuck on the final level. Jak II brings together a host of different game styles into one adventure game while keeping to it's 3D platformer roots. There are great racing levels, elements of Tony Hawk, lots of 3rd person shooting, rail shooter levels, integrated mini games like wack-a-mole, and tons of puzzles to solve. On top of that they add some good story telling, with lot's of humor.

With all these different game styles you will get stuck! There is a level, taken strait from Indiana Jones, where Daxter has to escape a rolling ball... that nearly killed me. Sarah on the other hand zipped through after a couple of tries. On the other hand, she nearly quit on the rail gun levels that I got on my third try. That's made it lot of fun to play in parallel, we've been giving one another tips on how we got through different sections.

The only major draw back to the game play is the amount of time you spend wandering around Haven City looking for your next mission. That got old real fast. Lot's of 3d Plaform games suffer from the need to back track, but they avoided that in Jak and Daxter, so I wasn't expecting it in Jak II. The game marketing made a big deal out of 'Dark Jak' a sort of supper powered alter ego for the main character, but there are only one or two points in the game where 'Dark Jak' comes in handy. The game also uses a mech a couple of places, but those levels were more annoying than fun.

Also there is some vulgarity that's seems to be there just to make the game feel 'darker', but for me it just detracts from the game. I would prefer it if Naughty Dog took a lesson from Sci-Fi and invent a curse, like 'smeg' from Red dwarf. It would fit the fantasy/sci-fi setting of Jak II more than throwing in the one or two four letter words.

Other than the noted weak spots, Jak II is a real challenge and lot's of fun executed with style. Here's hoping Jak III can keep it up.

- Peace

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Andy Hunter Exodus

Exodus is one of the disks I got Kim for Christmas. She found Andy Hunter by searching the net for Christian Electronica. I became a fan listening to Go while playing SSX 3.

This album works on two levels. First is just good back ground techno. The type of music I play while driving or coding and don't have to pay attention to.

But if I pay attention Andy Hunter documents a spiritual journey with Exodus, most of the time using well placed minimal lyrics. One of my favorite moments on the album has the words "Open my heart" played in a loop mixed with laughter. It's just a passing moment, but in context it's sublime.

The song THE WONDERS OF YOU is the one song on the album that breaks the feel of the album by mixing rap with the techno. I don't know if it's the rap sound or the dense use of lyrics that makes it stand out. As a stand alone song it's works, but it breaks the atmosphere Andy Hunter creates on the rest of Exodus.

- Peace

Monday, January 12, 2004 - online confessions

I'm reading Rumors of Another World: What on Earth Are We Missing?
by Philip Yancey and he quotes form in a chapter about falleness, our sense that someting is wrong. It's not pretty, or romantic, and I can't even say I'd recomend it, but linked to it anyways.

- Peace

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Saw School of Rock last night at the cheap theater. A ton of fun, with great performaces from the kids.

What's struck me as odd is how the best definition they could give for rock was anger, sticking it to the man. The movie did it's best to say it wasn't about drugs or sex, this is a kids movie, but all they could come up with was anger. There are some good sub themes about growing up, and taking chances and the desire to create art, but anger was presented as rocks defining characteristic.

I gues we're just to cyncical a cultrue to accept anything else, even in a kids movie.

- Peace

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Stone Skipping Gets Scientific

Toss your stone so it hits the water at the "magic angle" of 20 degrees. The hint comes from a team of French scientists who constructed a stone-skipping machine to find out the optimal speed, spin, and angle for the maximum number of bounces.

- Peace

Friday, January 09, 2004

Wired News: Home Is Where Intel Wants to Be

New [Liquid Crystal on Silicon] displays will give consumers 'film-like HDTV experiences at very affordable prices,' Otellini said. He predicted that by 2005, consumers would be able to buy a 50-inch HDTV for less than $1,800.

'This will change big screen television economics,' he said."

hmm, I've started looking for a new TV, but may hold off to see if this prediction comes true. Our old TV is fine for regular TV, but anything with fine print (games, news tickers for example) are getting hard to read. We're seeing alot of blur on the left and right sides of the screen. If I could buy a good HDTV for $1800 USD today I would, but a good HDTV can be as much as $5000 CDN.

- Peace

Thursday, January 08, 2004

From the the dimly lit room Chesterton on Inconveniences

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered

- Peace
Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Jen does a follow up to Richard's post here at IdeaJoy. There was some email in between from me, but that's was just asking Jen for her thoughts as she was on the road when Richard asked the question.

- Peace

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The Spam Avenger, a Calgarian who calls 1 800 numbers sent to him in spam and plays with the folks on the other end, recods the conversations and releases them on CD. He has samples on his site.

- Peace

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Worth a look before heading to the video rental store: Jeffrey Overstreet's Top 20 of 2003

- Peace
Production of New Honda SUT Model to Begin in Canada in 2005

So the new Honda SUT is being built in Canada, cool eh?

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Over the next few day's I'll be reviewing the CD's I got for Christmas

MxPx - Before Everything and After, they've been around 10 years, doing their pop punk, They even say so [sing so?] in Play it Loud

We weren't the first but were holding our own,
10 long years ago those seeds were sewn

I guess they're feeling crowded by sound a like bands like Blink 182.

I put Before Everything and After on my wish list, cause I got hooked on Play It Loud while playing SSX 3. Also their Punk Rawk Show was one of the stand out track from X: 2003, a totally commercial CCM take on alternative music, by the way.

With Before Everything and After I got what I was expecting, a collection of feel good pop punk. Nothing deep enough to really stir the soul, but tons of loud sonic fun served with a smile. And yeah I like to play it loud.

- Peace

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Calgary Salvation Army kettle campaign raises $475,000

The Salvation Army has exceeded its fundraising goal this year, and is crediting the use of debit cards as part of the reason

I did two stints as a bell ringer in front of wall mart, One woman joking, asked if we took debit. She was stunned when I told her about the pilot project. If you're into people watching then I recommend you volunteer as a bell ringer. Here's some of what I saw

  • lot's of people feel the need to explain why they aren't giving: gave at the office, sent in a check... I'm just ringing a bell you don't need to explain
  • one woman stopped to thank me for the help the Salvation Army had provided in the past
  • parent's showing their toddlers how to put money in the kettle
  • I was given a bottle of water cause I looked thirsty, I wasn't but it came in handy towards the end of my shift.
  • one man gave me a jar of change, I wonder if this a tradition for him
  • surprise on the faces of people I know that I was out ringing for the Salvation Army.
  • can't count the number of people who asked if I was supposed to be in a Santa Suit. That's an American tradition, it's amazing what we absorb second hand via the media.

- Peace