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June 2006

Library of Memories

I've been taking the Library of Memories class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking recently, taught by Stacy Julian. We're at the end of week 3, and it's definitely a whole new way of thinking about how to organize my photos for scrapbooking. I've had to go through my photos, sort them *all* chronologically, put them in easy-to-pull-out albums, pull photos for categories from the ones I just sorted, find random connections between photos that otherwise didn't exist, and finally go through all my existing scrapbooking layouts and determine what type they are from an existing list given to us. Phew. All in 3 weeks.

I'm having a blast so far though since I've seen some photos I completely forgot I had. My parasailing pictures from the one time when I went. I called my parents after the fact. Pictures of Leif dyeing his hair blue and then getting a call the same day saying he had to go meet a client for work RIGHT NOW.

Besides that, I finished reading The Dam Book, and have decided to rename and reorganize all my digital photos using that method. Oh I can still do my Library of Memories stuff, but first I have to rename all the digital pictures, then sort them by year, and then I can bring them into a program like Bridge and start tagging them. This is going to take months, but I feel like I definitely have a process for this.

Big Joe Has Hart

Yeah yeah, cheesy headline.

We just finished watching the NHL Awards show aired on OLN.

The big MVP award (Hart trophy) goes to...JOE THORNTON OF THE SHARKS!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

A good story on this on the Sharks website.

Yahoo Hack Day

I participated in my first Yahoo Hack Day yesterday and today. Coding was from noon on Thursday to 1pm on Friday, with hack submissions closing at that time. Basically the idea is what cool Yahoo thing can you write in 24 hours, be it something useful, something fun, or just something you've always wanted to do. The demos started at around 1:20 on Friday, and ended at 4:30, just in time for pizza and beer. While I can't talk about anything publicly since it's Yahoo internal stuff, mine had something to do with how long employees have been at the company. I didn't win anything of course, but I was not only impressed that I got something finished, but it looked decent, and I got a large round of applause when presenting (and several laughs as well), and it's something I can cross off my "must do" list. I've never participated in anything like this before because my coding skills...well...haven't been up to snuff, but as this was all web based (my code was Perl, PHP, MySQL, and an AJAXified (is that a word?) UI) I was able to hold my own without any problems.

6/21 - I found the NBC 11 video of the Hack Day story they did on their website. Unfortunately it's in Windows Media player format (asx actually), and my Intel MacBook Pro wouldn't play it, my parents couldn't play it, and few of my friends could, so I moved it over to YouTube for easy access.

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Foul Beast, Thy Name is Microsoft

Like every other single person who's bought a Windows PC over time, those PCs have come with a copy of Windows. Computers the past few years have come with Windows XP. With upgrades and such, I think between the 2 of us we have about 5 Windows XP licenses - 3 of which are currently in use.

With the announcement of the coming Parallels for the Intel iMacs, I figured this would be a "nice to have" thing. I don't really need it since I have a PC already, but still would be something cool. I downloaded Parallels, installed it, installed a version of XP that I wasn't using, ignored the activation request (heck, I had 30 days), and went on my way.

30 days passed, and now Windows wouldn't let me log in without activation. "No problem!" I said as I went and grabbed the corresponding license key and typed it in.

"Incorrect license key"

Uh..ok. I tried a few more times with the same result, and finally called the activation phone number I was given. After reciting a 50 digit number into the phone at some computer, it transferred me to a real person. Said real person informed me that you are unable to transfer Windows XP to another computer if it came bundled with that first one. I looked around a bit on the web, and sure enough, last year along with the whole activation thing they made it so the copies which came bundled on computers could not be moved to other computers. "Piracy" was the claim, because people would get computers bundled with Windows XP, then either sell the license key or give it to a friend because they installed Linux or something.

I guess the fact that I already paid for the copy with my computer doesn't matter, and I was still the legal owner of said computer and said copy. I must be a pirate!

Sad to say I won't be using Parallels on my nice Macbook Pro since I do have an XP machine, but it just would've been cool, dammit.

Published in Time Magazine

Every once in awhile I'll send in a letter to the editor for one of the various magazines I subscribe to. Usually they don't get published because I bash on how everyone likes American Idol, or something unpopular like that. Imagine my surprise when at the end of last week I received an email from Time Magazine mentioning my recent letter was going to be published. I couldn't locate the original at the time, but I knew it had something to do with gaming.

Here's what they published:

Aiming for New Gamers

"A Game for All Ages" [May 15] reported that Nintendo hopes its new game controller, which senses a player's hand movements, will appeal to girls and grandparents. As a female gamer who has been playing video games since the days of Pac-Man, I am always amused by game companies that feel the need to target female gamers. Not one of the games aimed at girls has appealed to me. You know what I want in a game? How about realistic female characters instead of bouncy, skinny, half-naked ones? I've given up playing female characters in any game because of how they look. Does anyone really believe female warriors ran around wearing little more than a metal brassiere? If Nintendo is serious about wanting to reach the female audience, it should treat us with some respect. We like questing too!

MICHELLE HEDSTROM Santa Clara, Calif.

They definitely changed a few things, and made it look like I was commenting on Nintendo's new controller, which I absolutely wasn't. I can't find the original I sent since I didn't send it from my main email account, but either I used the word "skanky" and they took it out, or maybe I censored myself. I definitely know I used the term MMORPG someplace, and that's what I was referring too, since now my last sentence doesn't make a whole lot of sense without it (and the letter is out of context) but hey, I'm still published.

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Michelle's New Mugen

With our weekend days spent at the RC track, Leif was getting increasingly frustrated because I always wanted to drive his car. My mini LST batteries didn't last that long, he never could get the LST2 to work properly, so that left his buggy. We took turns driving it, but obviously that wasn't a good solution, so he hit upon the bright idea to just build me another one!

Working on the car

So it was a project we started working on together. The directions were in Japanese translated to English, and I think the translators just didn't get the concept. It would point to a part and then list "Bag F" as the place to find the part. Well huh, Bag F doesn't even exist on the parts list, and it would turn out to be in Bag J. I think it took us roughly about 3 days on and off to finish the car, but we eventually did! The problem with that was that I still wasn't able to drive it immediately since I was going to some scrapbooking things for 2 weekends in a row, and then we flew to Denver for Memorial Day weekend. While I was at the scrapbook things, Leif broke in the engine so at least I didn't have to do that, and finally on Memorial Day, I was able to drive it. It was everything I hoped it would be - fast, sleek, and I didn't break it.

Check out Leif's amazing paint job - before I drove it through the dirt and mud!

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