Saturday, May 28, 2005

As previously mentioned, it was been ultra hot here the last few days. 92 on Thursday and I think just about the same yesterday. Today is overcast and a bit cooler, but kind of muggy. I like things around 80, not much hotter.

Hmmm, what has been going on? Basically senioritis has taken over my life and I no longer care about anything. Even non-school related things... I don't care. Had a homerun derby today at school... jacked two out of the softball field. Oh yeah.

But seriously, that's all that's happened in the past week or so. I'm just counting down the days not until till summer starts, but I can leave Tualatin.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Too hot to blog. I'll post something this weekend.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Well, something interesting happened tonight. I was going about on my merry way, when all of a sudden Kevin mentions waffles. "Who invented waffles?" he asked. I don't know; and frankly I don't care. Little did he know, that one phrase got me a hankerin' for some good ol' fashioned waffles.

I go downstairs at about ten (at night.. fifty minutes ago) to look for the waffle mix. We don't have any; blast. I'm craving waffles now, I can't live without them. Must.... have.... waffles. So finally I decide I'm going to make them from scratch. I get out our cookbook (circa 1960) and look up waffles. It has something in it we don't have. D'oh. Oh well, some good ol' flapjacks will do. We have everything! Wohoo! So I start mixing the batter from scratch, and before you know it, I'm done.

The results:

(Click to enlarge)

Anyways, it was completely worth it and they turned out REALLY good. The instructions called for one beaten egg... I has making a "half-batch" so I just wasn't going to waste the other half of the egg. I put it all in and it made it extra fluffy and delicious. Yummmm. Anyways it was completely worth it and it stopped that craving. Thanks Kevin. >:(

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Last night was fun. Let's set the stage with a few pictures:

I arrived at 7:00, but one person in my group got there at 12:30.

We ended up being the third group in line for our theater so we got really good seats. The lobby was packed, as five seperate theaters would be playing it at 12:01am.

Giggity giggity alright.

There was a costume contest, complete with six stroomtroopers. A few people dressed up for our show, but not as many as I thought. Lots of people in Star Wars T-Shirts.

Now onto the movie...

Star Wars Episode III
Revenge of the Sith


Finally the movie starts after the previews. The 20th Century Fox logo comes up and everybody lets out a huge roar. Then the LucasFlim logo comes, and everybody lets out a huge roar. Then the "A long time ago..." comes up and everybody lets out a huge roar. Then the "Star Wars" logo comes up and everybody shits their pants. Then the scroll starts and everybody flips out once more. There was this kid next to me, couldn't have been more than 8 years old, who was seriously hyperventilating when the scroll started.

The scroll thing starts out with "War!" which I thought was interesting, since no other Star Wars movie scroll started with a one word sentence. Anywho, once that is done, the camera pans down to a huge battle in space between the Trade Federation (droids) and the Republic (clones). Obi-Wan and Anakin are in little X-Wing things on a mission to go to the control ship to save Palpatine (he was captured).

To me, this whole sequence (they get attacked by other fighters and little droid things that fuck up their ship) looked like a video game. Everything was too smooth and looked like it was made out of plastic rather than metal. Oh well.

So they get to the control ship and make their way to where Palpatine is being held. They have a surprising easy time getting there, but it's because a trap was set. One thing that really bugged me in this episode was R2D2. All of a sudden, the thing can jump out of his little driod hole in a ship and he looks like he's on speed or something. He moves about three times as fast as any other movie, prequel or original. With some of the moves he put on display he could play in the NBA.

So they get to Palpatine and then Dooku and two droid soldier things show up. Obi and Anakin take care of the driods and then start fighting Dooku. The Count owns Obi, he gets knocked out, but Anakin is able to beat Dooku. He decapitates him at Palpatine's command in the first of many head/limb chop scenes. You can tell even then Palpatine is manipulating Anakin and everything that is going down.

Then, back down to Coruscant, where Anakin and Padme hook up for some forbidden love. Padme tells Anakin that she's pregant, and Anakin seems happy. He doesn't really seem to care if people find out about them, even though it would mean being expelled from the Jedi. Anyways, a crappy love scene ensues, further proving George Lucas can't write such scenes with crap. It goes something like this.

"You're beautiful" -Anakin randomly

"I love you." -Padme

"OMFGROFLMAO I love you too" -Anakin

Anywho, things start getting foggy at this point because the pace really picks up and it was like 1:00am and I don't remember too well. Next, they go to Kashyyyk, the Wookie planet, where the driod armies are trying to take over. The clones are there fighting with the Wookies to protect it. On the planet is General Grevious, a driod that can fight with four light sabers at one time. One thing that's really strange is the mofo coughs... a driod coughing. Sounds like a forty year smoker or something. He's really creepy, all hunched over and evil looking. At first you're kinda like "wtf," but he becomes believable.

Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent there to kill the driod leader, Grevious. Obi and Anakin take him on, but this time it is Obi-Wan who steps up to the plate. The manner in which he dies is really lame. They start fighting, him with like four lightsabers, and its really crazy. How Obi-Wan is able to fend him off I don't know. Anyways they're fighting and just randomly two of his lightsaber hands are cut off. I really didn't see Obi-Wan do much to deserve that, but I guess it made things easier for the animators. Grevious pins Obi-Wan, but he manages to get a laser pistol and shoot Grevious. He just kinda stands there looking surprised and lets Obi-Wan shoot him. Kinda lame, like Darth Maul's death in Episode I.

Anakin starts having all these dreams about Padme dying during childbirth and he's really upset. Palpatine senses this and tells Anakin that the Dark Side of the force can be used to save people's lives. He could be powerful enough to save Padme, but never being just a Jedi. It is here we learn Palpatine is really Dath Sidious, and controlling the Senate. He's been plotting for this since Episode I and some 15 years later, hey, it's all going to plan.

Anyways Anakin debates whether to go to the Dark Side or not. The Jedi want him to spy on the Chancellor (Palpy) and he won't do it. The Emperor convinces Anakin that the Jedi are just trying to take control of the Senate and fear he might stop them from doing it. Anakin bites on this, along with the fact Padme can be saved.

This convincing process actually probably takes like an hour, but I don't remember much detail. Pretty soon Anakin is on the Dark Side and Palpatine orders all Jedis dead. All the clones, which the Emperor actually created and made sure they were programmed to know this certain order, turn on the Jedi and kill them. "Order 66" it is called (how ironic).

Anywho, so Anakin helps with the Jedi killing spree. In probably the most disturbing scene in a Star Wars film, he walks into a room in the Jedi Temple with a bunch of younglings (Jedis in training... like 6 years old).

"What is happening Master Skywalker?" -little kid says, scared at what is happening and thinking Anakin is here to save them.

Then Anakin turns his lightsaber on and all the kid's eyes open real wide. The scene then wipes to something else, but you are like "wtf". And later on, Yoda and Obi-Wan observe all the dead kids on the floor, and see a security tape where it shows Anakin slaughtering them. At this point I didn't even feel bad for him, he was totally consumed with evil.

Anyways, somewhere in here is a shot with Yoda crawling along a duct and it looks really friggin' fake. Especially when he pulls the lever.

Anyways, then the final scene comes up, Obi-Wan and Anakin duking it out on Mustafar, a lava planet. Obi-Wan gets the best of his former apprentice, chopping off both of his legs and his other arm. So, limbless Anakin is squirming near the lava and then his clothes catch on fire. And he burns. Obi-Wan leaves, distraught at everything. Pretty soon Palpatine rolls up and finds Anakin still alive. He is completely disfigured and burned, so they attach artifical legs and arms on him and put a mask on. Dun dun dun, Darth Vader. Oh, and he needs help breathing, thus the "iconic breathing" noise he makes.

And thus ends the movie. It was easily the best of the new series, but I'm going to have to see it again when I'm not tired as hell. There are some cheezy scenes, cheezy acting, but overall it is fun and a pretty good movie. At this point, my rating is:


After reading a few reviews, maybe I got my hopes up a little bit, but it was still pretty awesome. I would recommend it, but you have to know what's going on. Watch the first two movies or you will be helplessly lost. If you understand all the politics and relationships, and how Palpy has been playing them all this time... it just makes it that much better.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

That's meeeeee. Actually, hopefully it won't be. A group of us all bought the midnight showing tickets... but I think one is staying the entire time so I won't have to wait. We were going to do "shifts," but if he stays the entire time, that frees up my evening from 6:15-8:30.

I should have a review up tomorrow. I definetly won't post it right after the movie, considering it will end at like 2:45am and I have school in the morning. So yeah.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Well, the past few days I've just been trying to get this computer to function properly, get everything installed I needed installed. I was going to hook my other hard drive up and transfer all my music and stuff... but with the problems I had just hooking this main hard drive up I've abandoned that idea. So about 6GB need to be transferred on 650MB CDs... you do the math. It's not THAT much but each CD takes about 20 minutes to burn and then you have to transfer it... oh well, it will get done.

There is a picture... it isn't working right now becaues it appears ZN might be down, but it'll come up. A nice mix of five year old beige parts with the new stuff.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Well, got to go to work soon. My goal is to be watching Survivor on MyTV by 8:00. So, that gives me just under three hours to figure out what the hell is up. Hopefully Kevin will be online. :)
Okay, well the video issue has been resolved with the new drivers. The program will still not recognize my antenna which is plugged into the appropriate spot on the tuner card. What was this about the "E-Home Wonder" being the best for MCE when it doesn't even work?

More troubleshooting and program set up tomorrow. Oh boy, I can't wait!
Well, it took nearly six hours but I built my computer. It was way over my head... hopefully if I ever try that again I know what I'm doing. A big headache that caused about two hours of confusion was the fact a bad IDE cord was included with my motherboard. Once I transplanted an old IDE cord from my 1994 computer, everything started to work. So whatever Asus.

Right now I'm not enjoying myself because I'm just trying to get everything set up. Download Firefox, download MSN Messenger, AIM, blah blah blah. The Flash server is down right now so I don't even have the flash plugin. Things like Paint Shop Pro... Painter 8... all gone.

Furthermore MCE isn't impressive so far. The TV won't work and it won't play videos properly. I thought maybe because of codecs or something, but the videos play fine in the normal media player. I plugged in my antenna and told MCE that I was using an antenna.... it can't find the signal or anything. I have the latest drivers and my TV Tuner card is installed properly.

I'm currently downloading the latest drivers for my video card. Don't know if that has anything to do with it, but it's worth a shot. So far I have just been using the "Plug-in-Play" drivers from Microsoft, but it recognized the card and set it up for it. So I dunno. I should have gotten a Mac it seems.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The computer is a comin'. Of the three packages, two have arrived at the Portland sort facility and are ready for delivery tomorrow. One package is still at the Los Angeles sort facility. It arrived there at 9:21 last night and it has yet to leave, some 26 hours later. Weird eh? Meanwhile the other two made the journey today and are here. Bah FedEx. The missing package is either the case or the monitor... since all it tells me is that's it is a single item shipment. I hope its the monitor, so I can assemble and test out the beast with my current monitor and use it until the new LCD display arrives. If it's the case that is stuck, well then I can't really do anything until it arrives.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Well, I've decided to finally take the step and get a new computer. I was going to buy one for college anyways, but decided might as well do it now and get out of the way. My intial budget of $600 was smashed, I kinda realized to get what I wanted I'd have to spend more.

Thanks to the help of my good friend Kevin, a design was hacked out and ready to be built. I decided to go to Fry's Electronics to compare the prices against those on the web at NewEgg. Everything was cheaper at NewEgg and they had a much better selection (despite Fry's being a huge ass warehouse with everything imaginable). My orignal plan called for buying the keyboard and mouse locally, but I didn't like what they had to offer so I just decided to buy everything online.

Really the only thing left was the case. I had orignally thought I'd buy that at Fry's too, to avoid the $15 dollarish charge for shipping. I didn't really see any that I liked very much there, and when I compared a similar one on NewEgg, it was $25 cheaper. So I went home and spent about two hours on NewEgg (the shit people will buy) looking through one fugly case after another until I found one I liked.

I breathed a sigh of relief. It was all over except for the purchase. I added all the items to my shopping cart and calculated the shipping. Twenty eight bucks. Not bad considering how much I'd be saving on all the parts. I put in for a bank transfer online to my checking account so I can purchase it, but that won't go through until Monday. So, I'll probably be ordering it tomorrow night and hopefully it will arrive by the end of the week.

I present to you, Thomas' new computer:

Also, my new keyboard and mouse (my first ever optical... heh):

Detailed Description:
-EVER CASE 4292B-M35 Silver/Black Metal ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ 350W Power Supply | link
-ASUS P5P800 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 865PE ATX Intel Motherboard | link
-Intel Pentium 4 520 Prescott 800MHz FSB 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor | link
-CORSAIR ValueSelect 512 (2 x 256MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM PC3200 | link
-Sony Black DVD-R/CD-R Combo Drive (4-in-1) | link
-Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 | link
-Samsung SyncMaster 715v Black 17" 25ms LCD Monitor | link
-Microsoft CA9-00001 black keyboard/mouse | link
-AMC AICR-01-BK 6-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader | link

General Overview:
-P4 520 2.8GHz
-160GB Hard Drive
-GeForce 4 Ti4200
-Sony DVD/CD Combo Burner
-17" LCD Display
-TV Tuner Card
-6-in-1 Memory Card Reader
-Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

Normal Person Overview:
-Decently good!

If you didn't notice, I'm transplanted a few things from the current computer. The 160GB hard drive I bought a few months ago will be the main hard drive for this computer (parents will have old 20GB from original) and my graphics card, GF4 Ti4200 will also be transplanted. Parents will be stuck with the old TNT2, but they won't notice obviously.

Also, I'll just be using the current speakers even though they don't really mesh with the current design. When I go to college, I'll be on a "quiet floor" so there'd be no point in loud speakers anyways. Headphones look to be the main source of audio.

Furthermore, I'll be taking my video capture card I got along with Pinnacle Studio. The new TV Tuner card will probably do the same job though, I could just route my camera through the TV. We'll see.

The main reason I'm spending an extra $110 for Media Center Edition and a TV Tuner card is so I can watch/record live TV on the computer. Kenny and I are going to split the cable, so my TV will essentially be the computer. The possibility of recording live TV (aka football games) then burning them onto DVD in near broadcast quality is what lured me.

Overall, I hope it's worth the $920 dollars (you've been dying for that, eh?). I also hope it will last until about junior year in college before I start having to make any major upgrades/replacements. The current computer is four and a half years old, we'll see how long my parents will clutch onto it before they decide it's time to replace it.

Friday, May 06, 2005

That is so pathetic I'm not even going to get into it. WWJD? Certainly not that I would think. What a prick.

Anywho, yesterday I had my AP English test. If I passed it, I get to skip Freshman English in college and another class, forgot what it was. Anyways, it started at 7:40 in the morning so I was very tired. It lasted four and half hours, but the first 45 minutes or so what just bubbling in ridiculous forms. It had a multiple choice section... 55 questions in 60 minutes that was really hard. Then we had to write three essays in two hours. So yeah, it sucked. But, I think I did well enough to pass so I saved myself a lot of work in college.

Not much happening at school... our softball team looks good again. Last year they made it all the way to the finals... me and Kenny drove down to OSU to watch but they lost in extra innings.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

We had a follow up to the "Kevin" talk today at work. They basically said we could ask questions or voice concerns. Nobody said anything.

I'm feeling much better, basically all well.

Spring football is over... Beavers are looking okay but they have to solve their running woes. I'm thinking Gunderson will start against PSU but Moore might take over by season's end.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Well, somehow I caught a cold on Friday and so this whole weekend I've been kinda stuffy and sick. That sucks because, for once, it was actually sunny outside. I did play tennis, but I didn't do very good or enjoy it very much because I didn't feel good.

Family Guy finally came back on the air tonight and it was good as always. It was amazing how they just picked it up after three years and you can't even tell. They also seemed to go back to the first season formula of random flashbacks and allusions (Bed Bath and Beyond, when he forgot how to sit) which was good to see. Towards the end of the third season they started losing that and it wasn't as good.

I read a bunch of my English book and am almost done. Four hundred and thirty pages of small print takes a toll on you. It was a good book, but in today's short attention span society, it should have been a 20 page picture book. Oh well.