Monday, March 10, 2008

First video blog

You know, I've been on broadband for almost 3 weeks now, I think, and I have only just made my YouTube account today. Click the link, if you'd like to go to my YouTube profile, which should contain links to all my videos, not sure what all it'll have at this point as it's still pretty new to me.

So without further adue, here's my first video blog:

And the follow-up to it, which is incomplete, but provided anyway:

My sincerest apologies to those on Dial-Up. Trust me, I feel your pain. I used dialup for about 2 years before getting on DSL. If you can get on broadband, trust me it's worth it. Even if you don't use filesharing (BitTorrent, e.g.) just the fact that your pages load quicker and you can take full advantage of sites like YouTube and other video-powered sites, it's worth it. And these days you pay about the same; if you don't mind, a little shout-out to my ISP, Embarq; for about $65 a month (first bill hasn't come yet) we're getting 3MB DSL and home phone, which is awesome compared to $55 a month for basic home service PLUS $22 a month for Dialup - as you can see we're actually saving money by getting broadband. If it's not available in your area, you need to hound the cable and DSL providers in your area. They want to make money, so they need to know about potential customers.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

May 2008 Check-In (misc. stuff)

Wow, it's been a while since I've wrote up here. Well, a lot's changed, got a lot to cover. Kept meaning to post, but never got around to it. My normal practice would be to write 4-5 separate blog entries, but what ends up happening then is, one gets written and the rest get forgotten, so here goes.

So far I've lost about 25 pounds, in a little over a month. I gained about that much after the holidays, and I've worked hard to get rid of it. I had a bit of a panic at the end of January; after eating a whole pizza to myself, I weighed 330 pounds. I now weigh 305 and I'm losing about 1-3 pounds a week between a lowfat diet and regular exercise. Oh, and those Alli pills Jen takes, but I'm not so sure they work so good into my plan as diet and exercise alone. Maybe they are, maybe not. I pretty much replaced regular soda with Coke's "Zero" line, drinking more water, etc. When I do eat candy, it's the lower fat ones. There's a big difference between a 3 Musketeers (7g/fat) and a Hershey's chocolate bar (13g/fat) and a York peppermint pattie is better still (4.5g/fat). And I've sworn off seasonal candy starting with Halloween last year. No candy corn, no Christmas candy, no Necco hearts for Valentines Day, and no creme eggs for Easter. I put back an embarassing amount of that stuff the last couple years. I'm not really on a diet, I'm just making better choices. It's a gradual process but I am making progress.

We got DSL the week before last, and it's awesome. We're paying Embarq for DSL and home phone about what we were paying the local phone company for just the home phone service, PLUS we were paying EarthLink $23 a month for dial-up internet. So we're saving money and our Internet is about 100X faster. Maybe more maybe less, but about that. I've downloaded a ton of cool stuff, and we can watch video on YouTube without waiting.

We've been playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band over at Jen's brother's place, and getting into it. I downloaded Guitar Hero III on the PC, and it's crap. Just a really bad game, and people with computers twice as good as mine have the same problems. It skips, it lags. We were borrowing my brother-in-law's guitar (he has an extra one), but we bought Guitar Hero III for the Xbox 360, so now we have our own guitar, and when we get out 360, we'll already have one game for it. And we can delete the download. I feel sorry for anyone who paid for the PC version. It was shipped broken, and shame on Aspyr and Activision for selling faulty software. It's fine on the 360 and the PS2 and PS3, all inferior technologically to my computer, so it should play on the computer just as well. The only thing we can do on the PC is play on Easy - Medium difficulty is unplayable because the extra notes lag the game to the point of making it unplayable. This is a common problem over on the GameFAQs board for GH3 on the PC. People with godly computers have this problem. Everyone's saying at least get a cheap PS2 and play it on that. Well, we're getting a 360 anyway (Jen says by the end of March we can afford it) and we have the 360 version of Guitar Hero III, so we're set.

I was a complete idiot and cut my finger, bad. I was crushing soda cans at the same brother-in-law's place, ripping the pop tabs off and saving them (apparently they're worth more recycled as they're purer aluminum or something) and then crushing the cans. Well, I got some Mountain Dew on my fingers (it's practically all he drinks, heh), and went to pop a tab off, and my finger slipped in, and hit the lid of the can at a bad angle. Blood everywhere and it wouldn't stop bleeding. Almost a week later and it's not quite healed. I'm not even sure it's closed up! I've had band-aids on it, I've even been doing chores, even though every impact hurts like hell. I just did the dishes, luckily we have finger cots to keep the soapy water out. I can put rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on a cut, but I can't put a cut hand in dish water.

Back on the topic of Guitar Hero, I helped our four-year-old niece play bass guitar in Rock Band. If you've been living under a rock for the past four years, Guitar Hero is a beat-synchronization game where you press colored buttons in sync with colored lights that appear on screen, travelling down a "road". When the colored light goes under your "fret bar" you hit (or be holding) the colored button that matches it, and strum the guitar. It doesn't have strings, but it does have a switch you can flip up or down to simulate strings. It's not an easy thing to do, and it's harder to master. Rock Band is the same thing but with two guitars, a drum set (4 drums and a foot pedal), and a microphone to sing into - you have to match pitch and tone with your voice. Anyway, I traditionally play bass. I put bass on easy; lead guitar, drums, and vocals were all on Expert, I think. I sat her on my right leg and let her strum (when I told her to) and I handled the colors. That worked OK for one song, but for the next two she sat on my left leg and held the colors I told her to, and I took over the strumming. On the third song, we got 90%. Not bad for a 4 year old being helped out by an adult.

The tradition of me doing the laundry continues for the third week in a row. Jen and I used to do the laundry together, on Sunday, but now on Monday nights, I go to Greenville and do it myself. I have a routine down and everything. I thought that we would do it yesterday, as Jen took the day off, but she stayed at her brother's place to play Rock Band (and drink) while I went off on my own and did laundry alone. On one hand I wish she would have been there to keep me company, but on the other hand it's my time alone and I have fun.