Open source really and truly rocks.

If you didn’t believe me before, check this out.  This was done with Blender, which was a commercial app until 2002 when the company who created it went under.  They then offered anyone to buy the source code, and the open source community ponied up — to the tune of $147,000 US.  Six years later, the code is improved to the point where it can create stuff like this.  And I dare you to tell me this is any less than Pixar quality.

Big Buck Bunny from Blender Foundation on Vimeo.

The “screen resolution” of the universe

I don’t know a lot about quantum physics.  I can’t tell you anything about matter or energy at Planck-scale sizes, outside of what I understand on Wikipedia (which isn’t much).  I am, however, fascinated with the idea that the universe might actually have a basic resolution and matter-unit (or wave-unit, as the case may be) that it operates at, and how it ties into my other beliefs about the nature of the universe and what we as humans can learn.

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FIRST POST!!! (from my new house)

Okay, so I didn’t get around to blogging about all my experiences over this, my first week of home ownership, until just now. Chalk it up to my wanting to try to suck the marrow out of my vacation while I had one, given that the majority of it was spent either packing, cleaning the old place, performing the actual move (which took until 10:30pm on the day of the move to actually complete, due to a signature being needed from the mortgage firm that is headquartered in Saskatchewan), or puttering around unpacking and putting this place together.
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Going dark!

Losing the Internet sometime today, and we won’t have it hooked up until mid-afternoon on moving day, not that I’ll have any time to blog about the experience right away anyway. The site will be understandably quiet until I’m settled. (And probably quiet in the comments too, being that the loudest commentator ends up invariably in my spam filter because he insists on putting in a fake e-mail address where none would suffice.)

Wish me luck, folks.

Hacking the Wii

Over the weekend, while I wasn’t working on splicing together and editing a video for work (how I got roped into doing that, I’ll never know), I dug my Nintendo Wii out of the box I had so foolishly packed it in — why I thought it would stay in there for long, I don’t know — and proceeded to install a new channel on it, the Homebrew Channel.  This is a third-party channel that lets you play homebrew games, emulators, and other applications (e.g. Linux, media players, etc.) on your Wii. Yes, you can play a lot of older games without installing this hack and the emulators by buying them on the Virtual Console, but if you already own them, why pay for them again, especially if they aren’t even available on the shop (e.g. the entire Mega Man original series)?  Below the fold, the nitty gritty of the hack, and a video of it in action.

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I’m beat.

Last night, I went to bed at 12:30. Admittedly late knowing that I was to take an hour and a half drive the next morning, meaning I’d have to leave at 8 am to get there in any decent amount of time. I fell asleep pretty well right away, which is unusual for lately, then at 2 am one of our smoke detectors (with CO2 detection) went off… for five seconds. And stopped.

I pretty well bolted out of bed (I remember saying “what the hell?” out loud twice and was halfway downstairs before I was really conscious), searching for any sign of anything that could have caused the smoke detector to freak out randomly, given that it wasn’t a short chirp like the usual warning that your battery’s giving way. In fact, as I was still in a half asleep fog, I wasn’t even sure which of our three detectors had gone off. Also, neither of the other two had registered a even a blip. So, I closed all the windows in case someone was burning something outside (which happens often around here in the summertime), then went back to bed. I was concerned it would happen again, and the adrenaline of the situation was still pumping, so I didn’t fall asleep easily.

And at 3 am, it did happen again, only it kept ringing. I tore it down off the ceiling and pulled it out of the power outlet it was connected to, but it kept ringing. It took me about a minute and a half of turning it over, twisting it and prodding it before I found the battery outlet, on the front of the stupid thing. Having taken it down, I was able to get back to sleep relatively easily this time. Too bad 7:15 came along really quickly.

Got to work, thinking I was doing the job solo, but the IT guy for the site was there, bum knee and all. Sadly, I had to do much of the brainwork, being that that’s why I was called in — the other IT guy couldn’t figure out what it was exactly that was necessary to get all the phones moved, despite being walked through it by folks higher up on the food chain than myself. So he was stuck doing gruntwork, hobbling back and forth using a chair to transport computers back and forth, while I hunted down the correct punchdowns to pull, reroute and re-punch on the proper spots. The whole job had much fewer complications than I had anticipated, given that I was told there was a number of wires that needed special punchdown configurations (which by the way nobody gave to me, so I would have had to guess and test through the process).

The biggest complication, however, came from something totally out of my control. Some idiot apparently wrote something along the lines of, “there’s a bomb in the building”, on the womens’ washroom mirror, using mascara. This delayed our move project significantly — almost two hours lost right after lunch, right after I had gotten everything straight and gotten a plan put together, and right before I actually got to implement it. So there I was, stuck sitting in the parking lot (sitting, literally, because of the amount of standing and walking I’d had to do for quite some time up until that point), needing to go to the bathroom, with absolutely nothing to do but watch the comings and goings of the cops and fire truck and forensic unit, desperately wanting coffee (those two facts kind of go hand in hand — I’d drank a good deal of coffee already at that point), not knowing hardly anyone at the centre, when it started to rain.

Impressed by this turn of events, I marched off to a nearby building (where Clifton happens to work) to find a bathroom and some coffee. The coffee was definitely necessary at that point — I was nearly falling asleep on my feet. It was also horrible. Seriously tasted like it was on a burner for eight hours, even though it was in a carafe.

Anyway, to wrap this story up (as I’m dead at this point), we dealt with the remainder of the phones in roughly five hours after regaining access to the building once the forensic unit had left.  The drive home was a killer as far as awakeness is concerned, though luckily it only sprinkled a bit so I didn’t also have to deal with the elements.

Now.  It’s time for bed.  Once again I push off my draft.  (Not that it’s the only one.  I have two other drafts on the go that I still haven’t posted, because I never really get around to working on them.)

Still haven’t gotten to the supposed two-fer from yesterday

Tomorrow I’m destined for a last-second panic-attack-induced road trip to another work site wherein I will have to perform duties I estimate as being about 30 hours of work in much, much less than that. No cracks about the Scotty rule either — I’m serious when I estimate that’s how much work it will normally take to perform the toning out and migrating of 20 computers and VoIP lines, especially where any number of these lines might be set up to use Cat3 instead of Cat5. That’s right, VoIP (including PoE) on Cat3. Possible, but hairy as hell.

Anyway, I’ll eventually finish that draft I’m working on, but it’ll probably have to be tomorrow night. A teaser — it’s about my thoughts on the “resolution of the universe”. I won’t explain that until you see the post itself.

Wherein Paris Hilton did something that is not completely like a vapid whore.

John McCain gets owned by, of all people, Paris Hilton.

I just found a shred of respect for Skeletor, due to her being able to read a teleprompter, and accepting this gig. I did not think this would happen in a million years.

See Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad and more funny videos on FunnyOrDie.com

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Oh yeah. And I kicked a dog today, just for Bob.

Status bars stuck at 57%!!!

I’m going to try for a two-fer tonight, but I’m going to split the posts up, not only because they’re disparate topics, but also because I’m not 100% certain I’ll finish the second right away.  If not, oh well, I only have three or four regular readers still.  I think I’m putting in a phenomenal amount of effort given the size of my audience, and given that I’ve done nothing thus far to actually grow that audience beyond my “base”, that being people I actually know in real life.  Sure, the search engines are linking me a lot, and I link to other blogs frequently which generates pingbacks, but I’m small-time, a very specialized blog.  I don’t even do much actual Canada material, which is something I’ve been meaning to amend as soon as possible.  Either way, once I get a bit more audience, I’ll probably throw on a Google Ads block on the left column, which you can dutifully ignore.

The house situation is cruising along, but it still doesn’t feel real.  Jodi’s extremely frazzled by the lack of specificity with regard to the timetable of the final few pieces of the puzzle — the final inspection, the trading of money for papers, the keys — and I can’t blame her, but I’d prefer to just take the last two weeks as they come.  I have a U-Haul booked, phone and internet due to be hooked up along with power, all on the 18th, the closing date.  I go get the U-Haul at 7am, pack the truck as soon as humanly possible (with what looks like possibly just myself, ReformedYankee and Jodi at the moment, unless by some miracle anyone else manages to free themselves from their pre-existing appointments), get to the new place in time to meet with the power / internet / phone folks (noon-6), get some food into us all, and get the U-Haul back to the service station I rented it from.  Should be a slice of pie.

Especially since we have one less big appliance to deal with — I sold the dishwasher that I had, just last year, rescued for free from an ignominious death at a curbside during spring cleanup, repaired (replaced the power cord and added a seal that turned out to be unnecessary), having sold it for a decent $30.  I not only got a dishwasher out of it for a year, but I made $15 after the repair supplies.  Not a bad profit margin.

We’ve been packing Jodi’s mother’s things, though she can only move into her new apartment on the 13th, as that’s the soonest power can be hooked up.  Unfortunately we live near a university town, and that means near the start of school, the utilities get swamped with hookups.  We’ve already moved a bunch there, though, and are slowly dragging stuff (like dishes) up out of storage as we bring her stuff to the apartment.

Otherwise, life is going swimmingly.