Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Last post for 2007

Well, another year is nearly over.

There is still a fair amount of time left in this year, I just won't be on-line. This trip should be interesting since I'm going to a convention but I don't yet know whether or not I've been accepted to it.

I might end up kicking my heels in Melbourne with nothing to do for two weeks.

This year was fairly busy but I didn't accomplish all that much.

On the to-do list for next year (let's see how many of these actually get done):

  • Join a gym, and go there.

  • Work on and promote loneverse.com.

  • Get a girlfriend (17% chance)

  • Make myself better in order to improve chance of previous item (see first item).

  • Cut hair.

  • Start giving a damn (24% chance)

  • Go on at least one (more) holiday.

Let's see how I go in the new year. Have fun everyone, look after yourselves and stay happy. :o)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Not a creature was stirring...

Well, it's 10pm on Christmas eve and I'm sitting in front of the computer cruising the internet. How sad is that?

The Wikivella is coming along nicely (which is code for "stuck"), so that project should really take off next year (which is code for "I'm lazy") and I think it'll be great (which is code for "I suck").

Most of the sites that I run are either dodgy little free-host scabs or really basic low-traffic sites that nobody gives two hoots about so they are all fairly stable. Nobody is trying to hack into them because there's no reward for the effort involved.

Maybe I should look into porn or drugs. As in making and selling, not using. That seems to be where the money is, and it's a traditional passtime for my background. Meh, I'm too lazy to become a druglord. My mum says I'm so lazy I'll have to marry a girl that's already pregnant...

Kinda looking forward to this trip with mixed feelings.

It's going to be fun and all, but I don't really fit in with the people that are going to be there. I've never really fitted in anywhere. I don't know what it is, but there has always been this obstacle between me and other people, especially females.

With guys, I can joke around, understand them and carry out a conversation. Females - totally different story. I'm always edgy, on guard. Being careful with what I say, how I act, how I move. It's like I'm trying to move through a lion cage, being careful to say "nice kitty" every so often but with no sudden moves.

After I get back from this trip I might be heading south for a trip with a few lads from work, and later on next year I might wander off over east again on another trip, this time on my own.

I've been living at home for too long, and it's making me soft.

What am I saying, it's not making me soft - I was never hard to begin with.

Man I suck...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Getting ready to travel

It seems a bit strange to be sitting in front of the computer in mid December wearing a jumper. It's meant to SUMMER dammit! At least it is on the bottom half of the planet.

Anyway, have the 'big' trip to Melbourne coming up and haven't done anything about it so I should probably get busy planning and sorting out clothes and stuff. If there's anything that I need to buy, then I've only got another day or so, plus they're be all the normal Christmas crush and madness - yuck.

Everything is humming along nicely - had the car serviced, loneverse.com is coming along nicely and most everything seems to be going well.

*runs for cover*

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

loneverse.com is in full swing

Okay, the latest project is happily churning away. loneverse.com is now up and running and has moved from alpha to beta. At the moment, I'm busy putting up my notes and errata and by around mid February it should be interesting enough to start advertising.

How successful it is will depend mostly on the quality of my writing, which should hopefully polish up as I create more work. I'm really liking the idea of using a wiki to write stories as I can go off on little tangents or just make a link to a non-existent page so as to give me a reminder of what I need to write at a later stage.

I can see how writing stuff in a wiki can be so addictive.

On a side note, I'll be heading over east for a few weeks at the end of the year and that'll mean that my sites will all go pretty quiet during that time (I'm not the type of person to lug around a laptop on holidays just to access the internet!). Most people will be off spending time with their families anyway.

Have fun everyone!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Project! Again!

It seems like I'm announcing these things every damned month! Grr!

Anyways, on to the sadness:

The new Project is what I call a "Wikivella". Essentially, it'll be a collection of short stories (that I haven't written yet) and displayed for all the world to see in a Wiki.

If you want to have a squiz today, you can see it at loneverse.com. Obviously, there's nothing there at the moment.

I tried video, I tried stop-motion, I tried webcomics and now I'm trying this. It's what I was inspired to do during NaNoWriMo this year. I don't know how many stories or what type they'll be, but the main idea is that I'll create a universe (hence the name) and then have my stories set within that universe.

Sort of like fanfics set in the Star Wars 'universe' or the Star Trek 'universe'. The place is set up, and then the stories take place within that place. The advantage being that because it's not locked to the same characters or the same places, any type of story can be written (mostly - I'd like to see me shoe-horn a sword and sandal epic into a Sci-Fi world).

Oh man, how could I have sunk so low...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Next Project ... is on hold

Right here is where I'd be talking about my next project.

Annoyingly, I'm having difficulty with what should be an easy thing to do. I've bought a new domain for this new project from my normal hosting provider and but their server won't let me add it to my existing hosting package.

It's a business package so I should be able to have six add-on domains plus six parked domains (for a total of thirteen domains on a single package, plus sub-domains). But cPanel on my site tells me that I'm allowed zero add-on /parked domains.

Support are looking into it, but they don't work weekends... *sigh*

So much for spending the weekend setting that up... no doubt it'll be ready on Monday morning since I have to go to work and won't have any spare time until Thursday.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day Fourteen, Part Two - Finished!

Woohoo! Finished within the deadline on 50,248 words!

I really didn't think that I was going to make it there for a while. It was really hard going and there was one day that I wrote nothing at all! I thought that that would finish me off, but I was able to claw back on the last weekend.

Looking back now, if I had started planning in October and started writing at the start of November with everyone else then I think that I could have finished quite comfortably well within the deadline.

As it was, I started late (about halfway through the month) and I finished early (in Australia we're about 12 hours ahead of America, so I had half a day less). I would have had a little more time if I'd gone by US time instead of local time, but it was simpler for me.

I'm going to put this event on my calendar for next year so that I don't forget it. It was a lot of fun, even if it did eat up all my free time and cause me a bit of stress at work.

I'll also see about doing something else with writing. This may have left me mentally drained, but it felt really good to be doing something creative.

It wasn't as rewarding as building something physical with my hands, but hopefully at least a few people will read it and enjoy it.

It'll take me a few days to convert to html and get it up on my website, but I'll do that over the weekend (hopefully!). I'll probably also convert to pdf so people can download it rather than staying connected.

Right now - off to bed!

Day Fourteen - 46,071

It's the 30th today and I've got just under 4,000 words to do by midnight tonight.

Why am I not typing right now...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day Thirteen - 42,217

Right on the downhill slide now. Deadline is midnight this Friday, and I'm getting pretty darned close.

Even if I don't finish by Friday, I technically still have until noon on Saturday since the deadline is midnight Nov 30 in America...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day Twelve - 39,455

Ohh... had a bit of a slump. Didn't get much done on Monday (as expected) but didn't get a lot done on Tuesday either! Grr, and it's coming down to the wire. Just over 10,000 words in about three days.

Should be fun.

In related news, this morning I had such a brilliant idea that it woke me up and I was forced to write it down. This will be the start of yet another project, but I have a good feeling abut this one.

More news to come on that one, probably in early December - after NaNoWriMo is over.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day Eleven - 38,515

So close ... so close ...

Inspiration is running a little low. I've crossed the first act and I'm wrapping up the second act but you're not supposed to introduce any new characters in the third act so I want to make sure that its structured properly,

So far, it's not shaping up too badly. I'll definitely want to add it to the site once I'm done, even if it does take longer to convert to html than it will to actually write the thing...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day Ten - 36,213

Wow, put in a damned good showing over the weekend. Was writing solid almost the entire time so now I've caught up to where I was meant to be.

Still anticipate not being able to write much on Monday, but should be able to make it up on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Looking good... (knock on wood)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day Nine - 28,413

Well, I'm past the half way mark.

I'll need to pull in a similar showing again as I did yesterday in order to catch up, and then I'll probably fall behind again on Monday, but it's going to be darned close.

It would have been nice if there was another weekend before the 30th, but I guess it's not to be. I'm going to be pretty close come midnight, but it's too close to call yet.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day Eight - 20,890

Still waaaay behind. I'll need to do about six thousand today and six thousand tomorrow to catch up, but I don't think that that's going to happen.

Still going to give it a damn good showing though.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day Seven - 19,959 (zero)

Aaargh! Couldn't think of anything to type on the morning shift and then was too tired to do anything on the evening shift.

Now I'm about five thousand words behind... hopefully this weekend I'll be able to make up some of the lost words, but I have the sneaking suspition that I won't be able to crank out 50,000 by midnight, Nov 30.

I could easily do it by Dec 15 (thirty days after starting) which would be the same as having started on Nov 1 instead of Nov 16, but that's not the same thing...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day Six - 19,959

can't sleep ... have to type ... can't sleep ... have to type ... can't sleep ... have to type ...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day Five - 16,678

Phew!

Have fallen behind, but that was expected for the monday night. Was able to recover some and I'm back on track as of this morning. So I should be able to stay with it. If I can get ahead during this weekend, then that'll absorb the lateness next Monday.

If I'd started this on November 1st with everyone else, I could probably have finished by now...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day Four - 12,178

Oh dear, falling behind.

Only managed to do around 800 words yesterday, instead of 3,500. I'm supposed to be on 14,200 or so right now.

Gonna be busy tonight...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day three - 11,345

My shoulders hurt, my wrists hurt and my brain hurts.

I don't think I've evr written this much in one sitting, or enjoyed myself so much.

Now, how to get the rest of the month off from work...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day two - 7,036

Ow, my fingers....

Okay, I'm keeping pace so far - let's see how I get along after the weekend.

Back to the writing....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day one result - 3,420

First day and already I'm falling behind.

The good news is that it's now the weekend which will give me more time to type. I'll need to get ahead over the next two days since I won't have as much time on Monday night but I'll be back on track on Tuesday.

Overall, not looking as bad as I thought...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Had the urge, now the result!

Well, in my last post I had this big long whinge that I had a desire to create and no outlet.

Well, this morning I found one - NaNoWriMo!

That's the (Inter)National Novel Writing Month (of November). The idea (if you can't be bothered clicking that link) is to write a novel in one month.

That's 50,000 words in 30 days.

However, since I only found out about this today (the sixteenth) and I'm insane, I figured I'd give this a go starting today.

That's 3,572 words per day as an average.

Why am I still sitting here? I need to get typing!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The urge to create...

It's been bugging me for months.

The urge to make something. Actually, I think that it starter much further back.

Like, a couple of years ago.

At the time I was working in pizza delivery and troddling along happy as a clam. Then I bought a drum kit. It was pretty cool since I bought it out of the tip money that received at work and it was the second big purchase of something that was all mine (the first was a car).

As it turned out, a drum kit was a really dumb idea. It took up a huge amount of space, it had no volume control and was generally impractical. I was reasonably good at it, considering the amount of time that I spent practicing and that I didn't get any proper lessons. Not good enough to make anybody want to sit down and listen, but it was a good outlet.

Once that had sat and collected dust I then bought a bass guitar. I figured that since it had volume control I wouldn't have that as an excuse to not practice. As it turns out, I sucked. Sorry - suck, present tense since I still do. I couldn't get my fingers to respond fast enough to make anything worth listening to.

I probably could have gotten real good if I'd gotten lessons and practiced every day, but I ended up just giving the guitar and amp to my brother (who did practice).

Sometime after that (and still working in pizza delivery) I saw an ad in the paper: "cast and crew wanted for local film production." Seemed good. I already knew that I was bad at acting, but I figured that I might give it a go and apply as crew.

As it turned out, the film was being made by Nextwrold Studios, an independent studio here in Perth. That was an absolute blast! I quit my job and spent five or six months running around the city doing guerrilla film making and meeting loads of interesting people.

As it turned out, the film was never finished but it did teach me a whole load of new skills. I stayed with that studio and made a bunch of video clips with them (some of which are visible on the videos page of the site). I still had to get a day job in order to not live on the streets and eat out of garbage bins, but the road was laid.

After a while, I tried my hand at making my own films. Since I didn't have a camera, I figured that I'd make a brickfilm (a stop motion film made with LEGO for the uninitiated). That turned out ok, but the process was too drawn out and slow. I wanted something with some faster results.

So then I turned to webcomics. I made a couple of different comics (visible on my site), most of which were pretty crap. Some people liked one, but overall I had some trouble with the whole concept of drawing the same thing over and over again.

So lately I decided to try out CGI comics. That would enable me to build the sets and characters once and then use them as much as was needed. I was even set to drop a few thousand on a bunch of computers in order to set up a render farm. Of course, I kinda overlooked the minor detail that I'd need to build everything - and that takes ages! It took me four hours to build a single pawn for a chess board!

*sigh*

Anyway, I had thought about building something physically. Either sculptures or puppets or marionettes or something. I have no idea why I want to create so bad, but it's there and it's driving me nuts!

So far, my main "outlet" has been reading webcomics. But I want to be a producer, not a consumer.

I'll keep you posted (both of you that read this) if I come up with something to actually get passionate about. maybe I'll just join a gym and work out. Or get a girlfriend.

I've heard those can be fun....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First plot on the farm

Just a small bit of news today.

I picked up a new PC which will be the first computer on the render farm. I also now have 3DS Max 7.0, which I have no idea how to use.

So that's the first item on the cards for now.

I figure that this first PC will let me use and experiment with 3DS enough to be able to get something of interest going with it. The final goal of course being to get a CGI webcomic going that has sufficient complexity to be interesting.

It'll be an uphill battle since most people are pre-disposed to not liking 3D webcomics, but that's the ride I'm signing up for.

Let's see how it ends up...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Render Farming...

It seems that I spend a lot of time gearing up towards projects and never seeing them through to fruition (or abandoning them shortly after commencing).

I think it must be something in my psychology that's broken. The latest project is/was movingbricks.com - it's only been running for like, three days and I'm already feeling that it was a mistake to implement it.

It may be very successful later on down the track, but at the moment, I'm not feeling it.

So the newest project is I'm going to try and put together a render farm (a bunch of computers linked and working together) in order to make a 3D webcomic. As far as I can tell, the only things that I need to do in order to beat the average 3D comic is to a: use custom meshes (make my own models) b: have plenty of detail (hence the need for the render farm) and c: have better lighting. The lighting aspect isn't a drama because it seems that I have a decent eye for lighting, it's just the thousands of dollars that I'd need to spend in order to set up the render farm that are the main inhibiting factor.

Probably why most other people don't do it...

Anyway, that's on the cards for the near future, but I'm not sure if I'll actually go through with it or not. Buying hardware is somewhat expensive, and computers are obsolete almost the moment you get them home so there is very little re-sell value.

I could rent the computers instead of buying them outright (pay thousands across several years rather than several thousand upfront) but for some reason it seems like a bigger expense to me to be paying each week rather than paying once and be done with it.

It'd probably be a lot better in the long run, but I still have the mindset against it.

Maybe my brain just hates me...

Monday, October 22, 2007

movingbricks.com open for business

So my evil plans have now come to fruition.

The new site, movingbricks.com is now basically ready to go. There's just a few tweaks left to do and the forum needs some new graphics, but it's basically done.

I have no idea how successful it's going to be, but the first few weeks should be interesting. I'm curious as to just what type of crowd it will attract, but if it fills up with trolls and spammers, I'm not going to be crying about it too much.

In other news, my main site escobar.id.au has been feeling a bit neglected lately. My original goal of writing an article each Sunday has failed miserably, but I'm still busy trying to add content to it. Not sure if anyone is actually visiting it, and I haven't bothered making business cards like I had planned, but that's the way life goes.

The ol' exercise thingy has come to a grinding halt due to niggling injuries in my legs. They feel just dandy when I'm at work but when I try and do something for the exercise, boy - do they start complaining! No idea how to fix that, but having missed the last two weeks of exercise entirely seems to have sunk my battleship, as the expression goes.

In other news, a friend of mine is going over to lower Asia for a holiday, so I might pass him a few dollars and see if he can snag some of the funky bootlegged stuff that's available up there...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Super Secret - nearly finished...

So, this new project that I've been working on for the last few weeks is nearly out of Alpha and into Beta. I'll have more news and a proper url and such soon. Those of you who were part of the "Way of the Lone Road" project will be able to see a bit more about it at that site (if you still remember the url or can use google).

I've got a domain lined up, hosting (a stonkin' 5Gb hosted and 10Gb p/month) and I'm still being tight with the bandwidth. I'll be adding a third-party forum so that the forum isn't using up my bandwidth. How tight is that?

At any rate, it'll probably be set to 'launch' at the end of the week or at the start of the following week. After that, it'll be final debugging and making it look pretty and it'll be ready to start advertising.

Other than that, not much to report...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Php and MySql

Okay, so I have this "super secret" project in the works that I'm telling everybody and nobody about.

In order to get it to work, I need to use php and mysql (neither of which I know much about). So I asked around for some help and was consequently bombarded with three offers to help, maybe, later.

So with that response in mind, I started looking around at the different tutorials that are available for those two systems.

Turns out that it's not as hard as I first thought.

I reckon I could pull off this project by myself. It'd be hard, and ugly, but it could be done. So first thing next week I'll be signing up for my domain and a hosting package and I'll see how it all pans out.

Hopefully I'll have some good news to report soon.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

May head east for a holiday

I'm thinking of flying over to the eastern states at the end of the year for a few weeks. There isn't anyone that I'm really wanting to catch up with, but it'd be good for a little holiday.

Not sure if I'll fly over for the YSA convention or if I'll just hang out on my own. It'll cost a small fortune, but that's what holidays are for - spending money. Or I may just sit at home on my backside and do nothing. I'm lazy like that.

Not much is going on around here. The movie stuff seems to have all died down, the local bands that I like aren't playing and all I do is go to work, come home, log on for a few hours then repeat again the next day.

Damn. I just realized I'm in a rut...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Back to just three cars...

Well, it was a bit of a hassle, but Mum's old car that was damaged in her accident has finally been sold off.

I didn't get a whole lot of cash, but the person that bought it seems to have been happy with it. It's kind of odd, but I never even met the person who bought it. They called me, agreed on a price and then sent a tow-truck around to collect the vehicle. First time that's happened to me.

Oh well, now we have more room in the backyard to ... um ... put another car? No, I don't want to be buying more cars, I already bought three this year!

Still have slightly sore knees, which is a real annoyance. But I'll take it easy over the weekend and then go for a run again on Monday. I think I'll have to eat more protein to help my body recover.

And now - off to eat breakfast!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Let's hear it for those lost pages!

Since I haven't had the time to do the updates that I've wanted to on my site, i figured I'd do at least something. So I spent a bit of time messing around and installed a new 404 page on my site. You can see it here:

http://escobar.id.au/404

And the villagers rejoiced.

Okay, so it's not exactly original or particularly funny. But it's an update! it still counts!

I'm really itching to create a new site, new comic or new something, but I just don't have the creativity to do something interesting or the motivation to keep doing it once I start it.

*sigh*

Someday I'll be famous. Just like someday I'll be rich and someday I'll meet a nice girl who likes me.

Bah, humbug.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Dammit!

Well, the old exercise regime has come to grinding halt. Again.

I've gone and stuffed up my left knee at some stage and now I can't walk properly, let alone run. This is really going to crimp my style... The plan was to get buff (or at least less flabby) by the end of the year but considering that it's October now and I haven't made any progress, things aren't looking good.

In other news, the weeds were finally mowed. They were waist high all around and I hadn't been able to cut them because we have an electric mower and it's been raining. Or more accurately: it's been raining on the days that I was going to mow.

In the end I just hired a guy to come over and do it while I was at work. It cost $90 but at least it's done. Maybe if I do it more frequently it won't be so bad next time...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Arr! I be an audio pirate!

Yesterday, I borrowed a really sweet DJ turntable with a brand new needle. Not that I'm a Dj, what I want it for is to transfer all of my mums old phonographs over to digital. She doesn't have that many (since we had to move so many times) but most of them are twenty years old, and some almost thirty.

They have fairly high sentimental value but have been sitting in cupboards and various other places since we haven't had any players suitable for them for a long, long time.

Since it's a long weekend here, I figured that I'd spend the time transferring all this old data. The advantage of it is that there is so much great, free software available for editing music that I can remove most of the clicks and pops, clean out the noise and hums and generally make it sound really good. not 'digitally remastered' good, but better than how they sound directly off an LP.

I wonder how many people who read this need to go look up what a "phonograph" is...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Meh. Again.

Trying to sell mum's car (the one that was in the accident, but I think that I may be too optimistic and asked too much for it. No calls so far, and if there's no interest I'll have to re-advertise it next week...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still alive....

I've been upped to working full time, so I don't have all the hours of spare time that I used to have to share stuff on the net. I'm glad I'm not running a webcomic at the moment, because I just wouldn't have the time.

Not much to report, other than my exercise regime is coming along nicely.

I've also bought a new keyboard (mmm ... soft) so I think I'll start a 'product review' page.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Family Portraits

Since we were all dressed up nice from going to church, I figured that it would be as good a time as any to take a few family pics with the new camera. I'm pretty sure that nobody is going to find this interesting, but I'm going to share anyway:

family portrait, leo yoly and juan

That's me on the left, my mum in the middle and Juan (my bro) on the right.

I took a bunch more pictures, but I figured that one would be more than enough.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have something that's actually interesting to write about! :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rainy days are here again

Sigh...

Rain, rain, rain - I'm starting to hate the rain. But we need it, so I put up with it (heh, sounds like I could do something about it!).

Since half the forums I visit are mumbling on about the whole 9/11 thing, I'm tempted to add my two cents into the mix. But since I'm quite anti-American, I'd probably get banned. Call me a conspiracy nut, but I still say America did it to themselves. Probably not headed by George "Wanker"Bush, but there are lots of powerful, unscrupulous individuals within the power structure of America, and a lot of people made a lot of money in those weeks, moreso with the whole Operation Iraqi Liberation.

If so many people weren't dying and there weren't so many uninformed idiots around it would almost be funny...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Star Trek XII...

... so very tired.

Am I the only one who finds Blogger's log in system annoying?

It would be nicer if there was a login button on the blog itself that actually let you login directly to your blog so that you could get in there and start typing the latest post without having to run through the main page and the dashboard.

Of course, it is a good idea to have the dashboard there so that if there is any news that needs to be distributed to the users, it's right there as soon as you sign in. Sigh, can't have the cake and eat it too I guess.

In other news, if it can indeed be considered news - I'm now feeling tired.

And on that tidbit, the two people who read this - stopped.

Oh, and kudos to those who got the Simpsons reference.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hail, work and related news

For the first time this year, it actually hailed around here! I didn't crop the photos very well, but those small, grainy white things that look like sand around the edge of the brickwork - that's hail. Granted, not a whole lot of it...

hail in the backyard

It's pretty cool because it doesn't hail that often. Everything was fine, there was a little bit of thunder and then it got real cold real quick. Then bang! it started pelting down.

the rest of the back yard

That happened a few days ago now, but it took me a while to get around to pulling the photos off from my digital camera.

In other news, I've been promoted from casual to full time at work. Most people would say "about time" since it's my first full-time job. Ever! All my jobs have been casual up until now and I'm 28! Whoops, may have been putting it off too long.

It'll be good because it means that I'll be getting more money but bad because it means that I'll have less time to do all the little odds and ends that I always do around here. I'll also need to make sure that I get all the details that I need for my big trip over to the Eastern States at the end of the year so that I know which days to get off. Which weeks actually, as there's no point going for just a few days.

Not much else to report. I'd like to get a new webcomic started, maybe a photo webcomic with some basic images and witty / crappy comments. If I can think of something funny, I'll give it a go. Maybe it'll actually get popular, but only if it's good...

Monday, September 3, 2007

And September rolls around.

It's a few days into September and everything is pretty much the way that it has been for the last ... I don't know - decade?

Not much changes around here. I'm tempted to move states just for something different to do.

Meh, life sucks.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just a Quickie

Last post for August. How time flies...

I picked up a couple of 512Mb SD cards for the camera, so I should be able to take more pics at once. I also got myself a couple of rechargeable batteries and a charger. Now all I need is a decent subject to photograph...

Maybe I'll start a photo-webcomic. The lowest of the low.

In other news, the exercise thingymajiggy seems to be going well. I'm still averaging around an hour for the walk (which I guesstimate is around 5 and 1/2 or 6 kilometers). My left ankle is hurting a bit, but I'm not sure why. I don't recall stressing it and if it was because of the walking, I'd expect both to be hurting, not just the one.

Finally; I use Firefox which has this nice spell-checker built in. What I want to know is, why do words like "okay" and "pics" come up as being wrong but a word like "guesstimate" is accepted???

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Long slow trudge...

Okay, so the new exercise kick isn't really going according to plan. Do these things ever?

Anyway, for those of you morbid enough to follow along, you can do so from this page on my website. I'll probably be updating it every day or so.

On the other hand, I've had a few excuses / reasons to skip a few days. On Friday my mum was in an accident which (for obvious reasons) prevented me from exercising for a few days and today it was pouring with rain.

Well, there's always tomorrow...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day One

Well, today I started my new exercise regime.

Not much to tell. I've plotted out a course, but I'm not sure how far it actually is. I'll need to measure it out to try and work out how far I'm going.

Today was a brisk walk, and it took me an hour (59 minutes, 19 seconds) to cover the course. I plan on doing a lap each day and after a month I'll start jogging it instead of walking. Hopefully, I'll be able to run 90% of the distance by the end of the year. I say 90% since I'd need a bit of time to warm up and cool down.

The idea is that I'll be able to take my shirt off and have the ladies say "Mmm, interesting" instead of "Meh"...

Monday, August 20, 2007

First pics from camera! w00t!

Okay, most people aren't going to give two hoots about this, but I felt the urge to share...



That's my car, and one of the first things I've taken a pic of.

Right now I've only got the basic 16Mb SD card that came with the camera, but I'll get some bigger ones soon. I'll probably also get myself a tripod. Just because I can.

Maybe I'll even be able to get some pictures of me up, or better yet, something other people will actually find interesting...

And yeah, it is rather cold around here. It's winter in the southern hemisphere.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another day, another comic uploaded

It took a while to get all the html coded up, but I managed to get my comic ictoanftc (I couldn't think of a name for this comic) onto the site. It's viewable here, but it's one of those "unfinished" comics. I have quite a long story laid out for it, but for some reason I can't bring myself to continue it.

I was going to put up the complete story (or what I had written so far) but there is a fair amount of good material in there which I may still use.

In unrelated news, I bought a digital camera today. A nice Canon Powershot A550 which seems to be a fairly nice camera so far. I've also bought a tripod for it from eBay (through a friend's account). Hopefully the tripod will be suitable and everything will work well together. If it does, great. If it doesn't, then at least it didn't cost me that much.

I'm a bit miffed about some work I had done on the car today.

Basically, the reverse light was coming on when the vehicle was in neutral, not reverse (it's an automatic). I took it to the auto electrician but it turns out that the part it needed was no longer available from the manufacturer. And the car isn't that old.

So I told the chaps to install a simple switch so that I can turn on the reverse light manually, and to install an immobilizer while they were at it. Told "it'll be $150" which is decent. Final tally, it came out at $230 because the price was just for the immobilizer and didn't include labour or additional bits.

Aaargh.

I hate cars...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Getting a digital camera

In my family, we've never really been that big on cameras. We've had some basic ones, and take pictures on occasion, but for the most part, we don't take a lot of pictures.

Lately, I have been thinking about getting a digital camera. Like everyone else, I'd really like dSLR, but they are hideously expensive and I'd only use three or four settings. So I'd be paying a whole lot for functionality I don't need and probably wouldn't know how to use.

So I've been browsing through the 'point and shoot' range of cameras.

I was thinking of getting some of last years technology. Getting something that was top-of-the-line a while back but superseded nowadays.

Having had a look at a whole range of different cameras, both locally and on eBay, it seems that (in my case) I may be better off buying a local camera and just keeping an eye out for when they are on sale.

I've been looking at a bunch of different cameras, and the one that seems to strike my fancy is the Canon Powershot A550. It has a couple of good reviews, takes AA batteries (rechargeable) and uses SD cards for expanded memory.

I want the rechargeable AA's and the SD card option so that I can buy them from work ;)

I saw some nice Fujifilm cameras, even some SLR-style ones that look nice but they use xD cards. Other types seem to use different cards depending on the manufacturer, so I think I'll be going with Canon, whether I get the A550 or a different camera.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Meandering musings

Just coming down from the tail end of around four days off from work.

Didn't get to do that much, mostly due to my own laziness I suppose. On the plus side, I did take my car to get the lights fixed. Every time I tried to turn on the park lights, it would blow the fuse. Turns out that I had wired it up badly and accidentally connected the earth for the radio to what I thought was an earth but was actually the feed line for the lights.

No wonder I was blowing fuses...

Other than that, it's been fairly quiet for while. Not sure what exactly it is that I want or need, so I've been leading a fairly aimless life lately. Since I haven't had any goals, I haven't been moving in any direction.

Maybe I'll take up Ian's offer and move to Sydney.

Because there's Sweet F A happening around Perth...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

TwaiP now also on escobar.id.au

Wow, I had forgotten how hard hard it was to code an entire comic by hand. It may only be 70 strips, but it took two days to get all the html typed out and uploaded. I'm just glad that it was only 70 strips not like ... 500 or something.

If I do another comic, I'm definitely doing it with either automation (via Comic Genesis) or with php scripts, which are available on my site.

Hopefully I'll have something that's actually interesting soon...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Nebulous has been added.

Just a quick note:

My first webcomic, Nebulous from way back in the day has been added to the site.

Other than that, it's raining, I've picked up a new external drive to use for data backup and I'm seriously thinking of replacing my monitor. It has a really annoying high-pitched whine that is just on the edge of my ability to hear.

And after having to make constant corrections on this post, I'm going to put myself down for a new keyboard as well. This one bites.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Start of the up hill battle

In lame news today, I've uploaded my first essay onto the new site. It's a bit of a discussion regarding body armour in Sci-Fi.

Next, I have all the html to write up for three comics. It's not that much, none of the comics exceeds 100 strips, so it's not a mammoth task. It's just going to be a pain to port over the html from the Comic Genesis standard to more generic html.

I'd like to make my newest comic run on php since my host allows it, but I have no idea how to go about doing that. I also have a bunch of funky optional extras available such as MySql, Perl and others I can't remember but I don't know how to use any of them. Since I don't know what they do, I can't think of anything I would want them for.

Oh well, maybe further down the track.

I think that my forte might be in the essays on various topics. Not sure what to write them about, so as I come up with things, I'll keep note of them and expand them later.

Of to keep plugging away at it I suppose...

Time to get busy

Well, now that the site is all set and bump-free, I'll probably be posting less in here and getting my content sorted on there.

At the moment there isn't much, but hopefully by the end of the month, it'll be a site I'll be proud to have a banner for.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Site is finally on-line

Woohoo!

Okay, so after a bit of a bumpy start (some of it my fault), my site is now up (or at least available) and sort of ready for everyone to see.

It's at http://escobar.id.au and it's pretty empty at the moment. Actually, it's probably not worth the effort of you clicking on that link seeing as I've only just today managed to get it started and there is virtually nothing there.

Unless you like seeing half-empty, unfinished pages. Then go for your life, click away!

I use Jumba for my hosting / registration and they have been quite professional. Answered my queries promptly, have a good community of members who are happy to help each other out and are all-round nice people.

Hopefully I'll soon be able to say that the link will be worth clicking...

The plot thickens

Okay, so it turns out that I made a slight error when making the domain application. I put some non-needed data in a field that didn't need filling and so my application ended up on a 'waiting for reply' queue.

Well, at least I now know for next time.

Apparently my application has now gone through (or is in the process of doing so) so it should now come up in the next 24-48 hours. However, being a .au domain, I would expect that I would see it sooner than if I was doing a regular .com or a .ru domain. However, I think that since it is a .au domain, it has to go off to the big American nameservers, down to the Australian nameservers and then I'll be able to see it.

However, I have it on good authority that domain reg's through this company 'normally' take around 4 to 6 hours. And that's from a client, not a company rep.

We'll see how it's going when I knock off work tonight.

Oh, for the love of...

Well, I got in contact with my alleged host/registrar and they said "don't seem to be registered".

*screams in rage*

I'm glad this wasn't for a business or that it was time critical. How daft is that? We'll take your money, set up your hosting account and start the clock, but won't register a domain since that's like ... work or something.

Hmm, maybe I should have gone with my original idea and had someone with a credit card get me an American .com and hosting. Only a couple of bucks and near-instant set up.

That's what I get for being patriotic...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hosting: why is it so hard to set up?

Oh boy, what a week.

To begin with, over the last fortnight or so I've been looking at setting up paid hosting for my website. Nothing lavish, just a nice place to park the various different things that I have floating around on a multitude of free hosts.

That's fine, but every so often I get the urge to have something I can call my own. And it's not like hosting is all that expensive.

At least, it wouldn't be if I wasn't in Australia. Seriously: if you live in Australia and want to host something, don't get a .au domain. Or at least don't host here in Australia. It bites.

Just to make things that teensy bit harder, I don't have a credit card. 'Cos you know, I like doing things the hard way.

I finally found a decent-sounding host/registrar who had some snazzy plans at a good price. And it wasn't a reseller either. So I had a chinwag with them, dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's and first thing Monday morning I filled in the on-line application form.

Easy.

Next step is getting the money to them which involved getting a money order from Aust. Post and putting it in an envelope. Since it had to cross the country, I sent it via express delivery.

Easy.

Wednesday afternoon I was able to get in contact with the staff and as expected, they got the letter and processed my order. As expected, I received an email with my confirmation, login codes, etc. Since DNS name propagation takes a day or two I didn't expect to see the website (or at least the temporary holding banner) straight away. However, I did get the direct IP of the server so I could do some settings and such.

Easy.

Now it's Thursday night and I'm expecting the website to start showing up so I can start ftp uploads and such. No website. Have a hunt around, go to their support forum, have a chat with some of the people there and what do I find? The domain hasn't been registered yet!

Or at least it appears to not have been registered yet. A Whois lookup gives a "No Data" result, so it may just not be processed yet or something. I hope.

I'll give them a call tomorrow and see if anyone can enlighten me on just what it all means.

Wish me luck!

Google's inverse Turing Test

I don't know if this has ever happened to anyone...

Short version: I was running some searches on everyone's favorite search engine: Google. In this instance, I was interested in the less popular sites. So naturally, I went straight to option 10 on the search page results, then went to go to number 20.

Seems a little weird, but that's what I was doing - avoiding all the first few responses that everyone else follows.

What did I find?

Google told me "your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spy ware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now".

WTF?

It took a bit of haranguing and code-schuking to get the results I wanted, but the process was most annoying: an inverse Turing Test.

Here I was: a human trying to convince a computer program that I was not a computer program!

*sigh*

Don't read as I don't say anything...

Meh, bland day. Rainy since it's winter down here.

Mood: sour.
Listening to: raindrops on the roof. No, really - raindrops on the roof. It's not the title to some obscure indie album (though it probably is...) It's so nice when it rains and you're indoors.
Wearing: Woolly jumper and slacks.
Drinking: Gatorade. Cos, you know, I gotta sleep soon.

Got a bands contest to go to tomorrow. Down at the Rosemount Hotel in North Perth. It's the finals for WA's Next Big Thing contest and we do the video clip for the winners. Except that the head of the company (and the only other member) is away, so I'll have to do it myself. No equipment, no locations and no budget. That's going to be a totally awesome video clip...

We've done some good ones. You can have a squiz at them on this page if you're interested. My personal favorite is 'Dr Mephesto' out of the ones that we've done so far.

Today's Tool: Nobody really stood out as being a bit of a tool today. Probably because there were few customers due to the rain and that I spent most of the day putting stock out rather than dealing with the customers.

There was this one chap, but he was only unsure as to the difference between American appliances (110VAC, 60Hz) and Australian (240VAC, 50Hz) and was wondering why his appliance blew up. But he wasn't a tool, just uninformed.

Mood: A little better. Turns out blogging is a nice outlet. Better than a diary at least.

Might as well eat some dinner and veg out in front of the tv...

And the winner is...

Last night we had the grand finals for the 2007 Next Big Thing contest at the Rosemount Hotel. Basically, looking for new bands and promoting local music. I work with one of the sponsors so I was sent down to check it out and do a spot of networking.

Unlikely that anyone reading this will have heard of any of these bands (unless you live around here), but for those that might be interested:

3rd: The Howlin' Novocaines
2nd: The Chemist
1st: Harlequin League

Keep an eye out, we should have their new video clip out sometime soon (maybe a month or so) and hopefully these chaps will go on to bigger and better things.

Other than that, not much on today seeing as it's Sunday.

Hosting update: Not that anyone really cares, but I've finally found a semi-decent host who responds to emails! I'm going to be going through Jumba, an Australian registry and host provider. It would have been so much easier if I had a credit card or lived in America. But then I'd probably have been shot by now...

Mood: Hungry. Off to lunch.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Radio plays from the 50's

Here's something that you don't see too much of anymore: Radio plays!

These are recordings of original transmissions from the 50's, and include the (in)famous 'War of the Worlds' broadcast.

I love these old plays. They are really good for story telling and the plot structure should be quite enlightening to modern sitcom writers, or anyone who likes to be creative.

Of course, they are quite dated and some of the situations or technology are rather ... quaint, but they are quite good.

If anyone knows of any other sites that host this type of radio plays (old or new) can you let me know?

Another day, still looking for a host...

Americans are so spoilt for webstuffs and they don't even realize it.

So far, I have spent three days looking for a decent Australian host for a basic but decent website. What I'm looking for is 100Mb+ of storage (not that I'm currently actually using more than about 46Mb), at least 5Gb per month of bandwidth and that I can pay by some method other than a credit card.

Dosen't sound that hard, does it?

A quick look at American hosting packages that are available and there are several (reputable) hosts with plans such as 1Gb storage, 300Gb bandwidth, domain included for under USD$50.

Around here, I can get a .au domain for around $30 to $70 (depending on registrar), 10Mb of storage and 500Mb of bandwidth for $40 per month. Wow! Such a fantastic deal, why wouldn't I be jumping at it.

Enetica have so far seemed to be the best of the Australian hosts available, with a basic plan with 250Mb storage, 10Gb p/month bandwidth, domain included in price and $10 per month. Plus php / MySql options available. And as a bonus, snail mail payments by cheque are accepted.

Seems good, right?

Five emails (two through their website's feedback form, one to supprt@ and two to sales@) and so far, zero responses.

I guess that they don't want my money after all...

The next best that I've found (actually, slightly better) is Jumba, which I've heard good things about from independent sources. Their basic plan(s) are 250Mb storage, 5Gb bandwidth and .au domains available. Sent them an email, hopefully should get an answer tomorrow from them.

Okay, I'm getting hungry, so I'm off to eat dinner.

Wish me well!

(Oh, does anyone know of a good place to get business cards printed?)

Setting up my own website...

I figured it was about time that I went and set up my own webpage.

Not that I have a huge amount of content to share or anything, but I do have enough to justify bringing it all togther onto one site. At the moment I have a bunch of stuff scattered across a few different free hosts and I want to get something a bit more ... me.

I was looking at a bunch of different hosting options and I have to say - the Americans are really spoiled for choice. A simple .com can have 10Gb storage and 100Gb bandwidth for only a couple of bucks. The best .com.au provider offers 250Mb storage and 1Gb bandwidth for $170 p/year! I may just use a bit of space on the work site for now before I go and spend my own cash.

Oi, vey.

Sometimes, it's so damned expensive to be patriotic.

Camera tips n Tricks - Part 3

Tip #4: Read the manual!
I know how condescending and anal that sounds, but most people only read the manual far enough to know how to do the basics. Many cameras have some quite powerful software built-in that can do all sorts of funky tricks. By taking the time to read the instructions (and I know how hard this is, especially for guys) you will be able to get the best from your camera.

Tip #5: Learn how to edit.
You go out with some friends. One has a new car. You have a camera. You spend some time drinking, then talk, then go for a drive, then talk some more. Then the person with the new car does a burnout. Everyone talks some more and then everyone goes home. You’ve caught it all on tape and decide you want to share the burnout.

Don’t just upload the entire video! By spending a few minutes with the editing software (most cameras come with some) you can pull out the interesting bits: the person talking about their new car, the burnout and everyone cheering. Slap them together and upload that. Add some music. Don’t add long titles detailing whose car it was, whom ‘directed’, what you had for breakfast and so on.

Another thing: if you’re doing something deliberate (maybe a fake commercial for a school project) and the sound is bad (maybe you were filming outside and it was windy) then take a moment to perform a function known as ADR. This stands for Automatic Dialogue Replacement (commonly referred to as ‘looping’ on DVD commentaries) although there is nothing automatic about it.

Basically what that means is that you record the sound and action on the day, and then later you re-record the sound in a controlled environment. “But I don’t have a sound studio” I hear you cry. Well, you don’t need one. Let’s say you film something and the sound is shocking. Go to your living room (or one of your friends’) and watch the footage (with the bad sound) a few times so that whoever is doing the voice can practice the words and the timing. Then just use the microphone on the camera to record them saying the lines. If you want to be really clever: turn fans, the washing machine and the fridge off (don’t forget to turn it back on!) along with any other devices or people that will create background noise.

Even if the new sound isn’t terribly good, it will still sound better than the original sound. Keep in mind that you will need to record each person this way, along with getting sounds for everything on the screen (footsteps, engines, punches, etc).

Well, that’s all of the tips I have. As you can see, there are many ways to easily give your projects that little bit of extra oomph without spending a lot of money.

Be creative and have fun!

Camera Tips n Tricks - Part 2

Tip #2: Put a hat over the lens.
This needs a little explaining. Have you seen professional cameras and how they have a ‘box’ around the lens? That’s there for a reason. It stops sunlight (or any other bright light) from hitting the lens from an angle. If you look at some security cameras you may notice that they have a lip extending out the front of the top edge. This does the same thing.

Grab a bit of cardboard or plastic and mount it on the top of the camera so it shields the lens from the top and sides. This will help your image look a lot better when filming outside. If you stand with your back to the sun, your image will be fine. But as soon as you start panning to the side, the light flares will make your shot look poor and over-exposed.

Tip #3: Add weight.
Many cameras are really small. Tiny actually. That makes them great to carry around, easy to use and unfortunately, easy to lose. But the biggest problem is camera shake. You see in the movies these lovely steady-cam shots and then in home movies you see these awful, shaky, nausea-inducing shots that wander all over the place. Since very few people can afford steady cams (and even fewer know how to operate them properly), we need a simple way to add weight to the camera.

Why add weight? Simple: inertia. If the camera is very light, it will take a very small amount of force to move it. If it’s heavier, then it takes more effort, effectively making the shot ‘steadier’. The downside is that the more weight you add, the heavier and more difficult to use it becomes. What you are aiming for is a little more weight than the cameraperson can comfortably hold at arms length.

So how to add weight to the camera? Easy: don’t. If you look at the bottom of the camera there is normally a small screw-hole for mounting the camera on a tripod. Even the smallest and cheapest cameras normally have these (even digital still cameras) so that manufacturer can sell you a tripod. Now, if you go to a hardware store (or junkyard) you should be able to get yourself a bit of steel plate with a small hole and a screw or bolt that matches the thread on the bottom of the camera.

See? Use the screw or bolt to add the steel and it’s heavier. Is the extra bit annoying the pants off you? Undo the screw and take it off.

If you want to get really fancy you can get the steel to be long enough to go from the camera to the top of your shoulder. Use tape to add a small cushion on the underside of the plate to protect your shoulder. Bolt some weights to the top above your shoulder to add mass. For that special touch, grab an angle-grinder’s handle and bolt that under the camera. Viola! The finished assembly looks like the cameras the news reporters’ use.

Obviously it’s not too good if you want the camera for a family picnic, but if you’re going to go to the effort of getting some friends together for a project, may as well make it look good.

Camera Tips n Tricks part 1

I was browsing through some videos on YouTube the other day and I was disappointed not to find any decent clips. By “decent” I mean clips that I found interesting. But I was also dismayed at the number of clips that could have been decent but were sorely lacking for technical reasons.

That’s not to say that I was expecting steady-cam colour-corrected CG-enhanced creamy goodness. But there are so many clips that could be so much better with just a little effort. Especially the ones that are obviously “intended”. As opposed to those clips that just happened to catch a moment and are spectacular to watch. I can just imagine some chap with a camera going over to the scene of the crash and saying “Excuse me mate, can you back the bus up and crash again? I didn’t have it in focus.”

Anybody can prattle on about how something was deficient or wrong, so instead of just griping about it, I’m going to offer some basic tips that anyone can use. Hopefully someone will read it and make a better clip than they originally would have. On the off chance that someone actually does, put “Thanks Dr_Neo_Lao” in the comments. Yes, I am that narcissistic.

Tip #1: Use sunglasses.
Have you ever gone outside and squinted because it was too bright? Has putting sunglasses on helped? Well, they can do the same thing for your camera! Find a cheap pair of sunglasses and pop out one of the lenses. Then mount the lens in front of the camera lens. You will need wire, duct tape or insane quantities of chewing gum, depending on the materials you have available and your skill in attaching the sunglass lens. The technical term for professional lenses is “ND filters” (Neutral Density) and they perform for the camera the same function as sunglasses for your eyes.

Most cameras have settings for outdoors / sunny conditions but they tend to be software-based rather than physically allowing less light into the camera. Obviously the more expensive the camera, the better it is. Interestingly: the more expensive, the more ‘optional extras’ that you can buy. This method is quick, cheap and easy. Just be careful that you don’t damage your camera in the mounting process, and that you don’t cover any buttons.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First post from Firefox

For the last couple of years I've been using Mozilla exclusively.

It's great, I love it.

However, it is starting to show it's age since there aren't any new versions for it. So after coming across one site too many that kept crashing the browser (funnily enough, whilst trying to sign up here, at blogger.com) I switched to the new, fancy Firefox.

Actually, I already had Firefox installed since I post stuff to the web. I have various browsers installed so that I can check for compatibility. I even have IE installed (yuck!). Actually, it'd be pretty hard to uninstall it since I run a windows box.

So here I am, on Firefox.

Sweet.

Well, while I'm here I may as well do something interesting. Check this out:



Weee, what a moustache!

That's me, a couple of years ago.

Blogs carved in stone

Blogs are popular. Shocking, I know, but there are actually people all over the world writing in blogs.

Some people write poetry, some write about how miserable their daily life is or even what they had for breakfast. Some are interesting; some are useless wastes of bandwidth. But all are made with the intention that someone would read it. Maybe so the reader would enjoy it, maybe just for the writer vent some anger or frustration. But for whatever reason it was written, the blogs become a type of written history for that person.

Which got me thinking. What if our ancestors had written all their details for us to read? If you happen to find a journal written by your great-grandfather, you find it interesting because it’s family and your curious about ‘how people lived back then’. Now what if you had the journals for all eight of your great-grandparents? Would they still be interesting? Or would they be more nick-knacks, gathering dust on the shelf?

Every so often a document comes along that generates interest. Be it an original notebook of a famous singer where they wrote their great songs, letters from a politician or a discourse from a well-known scientist. These glimpses into the past are interesting not so much for their intrinsic worth but because of their rarity.

Which is considered more valuable: the autograph of a famous person who dutifully signs every scrap of paper put in front of them or the person who only rarely signs anything? In most cases the harder it is to get, the more valuable it becomes. And the more likely to be forged, but ethics is a discussion for another day.

So which is more interesting: the personal thoughts of a famous celebrity or the personal thoughts of John Doe next door? One might argue that the celebrity is more interesting because you ‘know’ them better, but it can also be argued that the thoughts of John Doe would be more relevant. So everyone is writing these thoughts for everyone else to read. Obviously they are not the ‘deep, dark secret’ type of thoughts as they are intended to be read by strangers. But how valuable are they?

After reading for the umpteenth time about what someone had for breakfast it tends to lose it’s charm. Curiously, it’s not the value of what’s at stake that is important, but the quantity of times we read it. You see it during a war: one soldier dies, has their name and photo in the media and there is a huge outcry. The next week, fifty soldiers die and nobody cares. If a ship sank and we read a book by one of the survivors, it’s fascinating. What if we had a book from every person on that ship, even those that didn’t make it?

Now, what if every single person since the creation of the printing press had published notes on their life. Would we find these huge archives of daily life interesting or wastes of space? Maybe we could eliminate the bulk and leave the notes from people that are famous or people that are related to us. Except that everyone is related to everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’re a creationist or evolutionist; we either came from the same couple or the same tribe of monkeys.

Which brings me to my final point. Are blogs worth the space they take up? The bad news is that the answer is both yes and no. Why? Because the phrase “are they worth it” is entirely subjective. For the person who is writing it, there is a purpose; otherwise they wouldn’t do it. For a person who is reading it, they may find it incredibly dull and boring. Or worse: rude and offensive.

But think about this: what if the early blogs for the President where available? By their nature they would have been available since the day they were written. What about a blog from Ja Rule? Or Gandhi's? The people who are going to be famous in ten years are probably writing blogs right now.

You never know how someone’s life will turn out, so don’t make fun of the blog by that guy with the bad poetry. He might be the next years rock star.

One small step for man ... one giant click for a new user.

Well, in order to make sure I sound as noobish as possible: hello world! This is my second post on this new-fangled "blog" stuff found on the inter-do-hickey. I must say, it's both fun and icky to know that complete strangers will be reading this... sort of like coming home and finding out an intruder came in but read all your books instead of stealing anything.

As you can tell, this isn't going to be a very eloquent or thought-provoking entry, but nonetheless, here's hoping that someone, somewhere will take a moment to read this and maybe it'll bring a smile to their face.

Perhaps some archaeologist will be digging through the archives in the future, will find this and think "what a dork!"

Maybe not.

New user: first post.

First time posting to this thingymajimmy.

Let's see how it goes...