Monday, December 31, 2007

My Last Post

My last post of 2007 that is! Wishing everyone the VERY best for 2008.'ll be a good year only if you make it one. Do things your passionate about...find the time that you never seem to have to follow your dreams. Just do it.

It's time to turn a chapter...not just a page this time.

Ready or we come!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Update On Pimp My Ride

Check out the post below. I managed to "coat" my decals so their life span would be longer.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New England Patriots

They won tonight against the New York Giants to finish the regular season at 16-0. Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning's throwing touchdown record while Randy Moss beat Jerry Rice's receiving touchdown catches in the regular season. New England also broke a single season points scoring record. It was quite a memorable football game and it was very entertaining as it went right down to the wire. The final score was 38-35.

I am a huge Seattle Seahawk's fan though. So with a little luck my team will make it to the Super Bowl. I suspect we'll see this New England team there.

For now, my hats off to a great team.

The Perfect Wii Gun

I purchased the Wii Zapper when it first came out. Overall the gun is ok but the game Link's Crossbow Trainer that comes bundled with it makes it a decent pick. The following games utilize guns. Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, and Ghost Squad which are all available now.

I just finished watching a review on the Nyko Perfect Shot for the Wii. I like that it's spring loaded and that the nunchuck is not connected to the gun physically. I believe one gets a better shooting feeling with this type of gun.

Before the Wii Zapper hit the market I saw the Wii Light Gun which is comparable to the Perfect Shot. I purchased the Light Gun but was disappointed when I brought it home and found out I couldn't use it for my Resident Evil 4 game as there is no way to configure the shooting button to be "B" instead of "A". I have since purchased Ghost Squad and am happily shooting bad guys with no problems at all.
Again, this Light Gun has the connector at the bottom for the nunchuck controller so handling the gun is easier, or at least I find it easier. Red loves the Zapper for handling. The only real difference other than looks between this gun and the Perfect Shot is that the Perfect Shot has a clip that goes over your Wii Remote to hold it in. I had to rig up an elastic band around mine to keep the Wii Remote secure. I get a little too excited when reloading and the remote tends to go flying across the floor!

Do some research and find the perfect gun for you. You'll soon be set to go on a shooting spree like Rambo.

Now That's Alot Of Wii's!

When the website had Nintendo Wii's in stock this holiday season they sold at an astonishing rate of 17 units per second!!! That's just insane. Well over a year since it's launch the Nintendo Wii is still hard to come by. Once a store gets a shipment in they are usually snatched up within hours by a few lucky retailers. When we got ours we carted it all over the place to show friends and family. Every last person we displayed this little marvel to is now a proud owner of one also! I think Red and I should have purchased Wii stocks when it first came out.

Pimp My Ride

Ok, so it's not my ride I'm pimping. It's my guitar for Guitar Hero.

Supplies needed: Guitar, Clear Decals, Scissors

I found a picture of Spidey online and printed it off. You'll want to play with the size a bit to get it right depending on where you want to position your picture. We had some sheets of decal paper around the house we had used to print some Oilers stuff off for the car window. One thing you'll need to change when printing is to choose "transparency" in your paper options. This is an important step so don't forget! Once it's printed off it's just a matter of cutting it out. As you can see I didn't cut exactly around it but close enough. Peel the backing off and presto, you've got a pimped out guitar! These are reusable and can be taken off and on quite easily so if your mood changes you can change your picture too! Now because it is printed and there's no coating to protect it they probably won't wear well so I suggest not sticking it where your arm rests on top of the guitar. I think my first attempt turned out very well. I have to play with the decal a bit more to get some air bubbles out but other than that it looks awesome.

What do you think?
Update: I found that the ink smudged a bit when even slight touching was happening while playing the guitar. So I decided to use a second piece of clear decal to cover the printed object. Before cutting out your decal cut a new piece larger than your picture. Remove it's backing and press it onto the picture. Now cut both pieces together. It's a simple solution but it act's as a great barrier for those sweaty hands! Go ahead, pimp out your guitar...or anything else laying around the house for that matter!

Friday, December 28, 2007


Too sick to post anything. Come back soon baboon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Good Night

Another great day with my extended family. All 20 of us. We rocked it out on Guitar Hero. Listened to Christmas tunes. Ate far too much food. Opened our stockings. Took a million pictures. Laughed. It was a fabulous way to end the Christmas holiday. Makes me a bit homesick though. Wish I could be around my family more during this time. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later.

Good Night everyone!

Boxing Day Blowout!

Boxing Day is here and that can only mean one thing. SALES! I wish I could say I wasn't venturing out for that today...but that would be a lie. We are leaving shortly to look for new furniture. If we see something that catches our eye and the price is right...we'll buy buy buy. If not...our hunt for new furniture will continue. It has to happen fairly soon though. I'm tired of looking at our old leather's defiantly seen better days.

After the shopping trip we are heading over to family's for the Swanson Boxing Day Bonanza!! Adults, kids, food, toys, gadgets, pictures, presents and of course Guitar Hero battles!!! Let the games begin!

Happy Day all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's Christmas Day And We're Burning Rubber!

Red and I don't really exchange Christmas gifts but I decided to put a Wii game in her stocking so we could have something different to play today. I was actually trying to find one she wanted called Mercury Meltdown but it was nowhere to be found. My second choice was Star Wars Lego cause I've heard that's a blast to play but I couldn't find that one either. So, I picked up Need For Speed - Pro Street. Basically it was the only racing game that was left on the shelf. It's not bad but it's definitely no Excite Truck. I find the menu interface completely horrible. The actual racing isn't too bad. Again, you turn the wiimote sideways but it's weird that the steering utilizes the wiimote up and down instead of side to side. It's easy to get used to but I just find it a little quirky. So we're leaving a lot of rubber on the road this Christmas morning. Red's managed to total a couple of cars which is always a good time.

I hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas Eve

I'm home from work and in my PJ's already. Being sick for the holidays was NOT on my Santa list. Speaking of Santa, check out the places he's delivered to already tonight! Norad is tracking his whereabouts and updates his position every 5 minutes! Go Santa Go!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Handbell Hero

Go Ring Some Bells! It's actually pretty hard. Red did quite a bit better than I. My left hand just didn't seem to respond well to my commands. I'll have to practice up when she's not looking.

Rock it out like Mama Christmas.

Wireless SD Card

This has a coolness factor that's right off the charts. A 2 gigabite SD Card that features a wi-fi transmitter? This has geek gadget written all over it. Sometimes I find myself scratching my head at technology and where it's going but than there are times like these that I find myself grinning like a Cheshire cat at one of Red Lobster's fish tanks. Two thumbs up from me on this one!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Ok, it's not Artic cold but it does feel colder than usual here in Alberta. It may be do to the dampness in the air or it may be because I'm sick. Either it's cold outside.

I'm in Camrose for a few days. This city is like a ghost town compared to Edmonton. I had an appointment that I had to cross town for and I gave myself WAY too much time thinking I would have to deal with bumper to bumper traffic. There was none of that. Instead I found myself wondering out loud...where the hell is everyone??? Probably indoors curled up by the fireplace with a tea and a good book. At least the thought of that warmed me up a bit. For now, I'm in a dark cool basement wanting to scream upstairs to crank up the the heat!!! I won't be taking any layers off in the near future.

We're going out for supper. I hope we are eating in a sauna tonight. If not, I'll ask if I can sit by the open stove. Worth a shot.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Accordion Hero

Now this is just plain funny. Not fond of the Guitar Hero? Do the strings get in your way? Why not try Accordion Hero! Coming to a store near you...or not. This is just a gag that came out last April Fools day. Q at work had the ad proudly displayed in his cubicle. I thought it was just hilarious so of course I had to look it up. I showed Red tonight and she was sad to hear it wasn't for real. I can see it now...we'd be rockin' it out to "Roll Out The Barrel" and "The Chicken Dance". Would that mean in career mode we'd have to battle Roger Miller or The Andrew Sisters with a killer polka riff?

Oh who am I kidding. If they manufactured this thing I'd probably own two. Check out one of the many websites found on it. A fair bit of work went into this puppy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let It Snow!

My brother sent me some pictures from home (Kitimat B.C.). It's been snowing for the last few days there and the sun finally came out today.
Ahh, it's pictures like these that make me homesick. Mind you, when I was growing up we didn't get a snow blower for a long time. That snow is HEAVY and a pain in the you know what to shovel. I still miss all the fun in the white stuff though. Good days bro...good days.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Red Light Means Stop

Oops. I was driving home from a friends place tonight and I went through a Red Light. Ok, maybe it wasn't red when I entered the intersection but it was damn close. Do they call that a Pink Light? *sigh* If you know me at all, you know that I am a granny driver and this is so not like me to not be paying attention. I guess I am pretty tired and not as alert as I could be right now but it goes to show you how accidents really do happen. One little distraction and poof, it could all be over. One minute your having a leisurely drive with your partner listening to a cd and the next minute you're looking at a bright light getting directions on what you can or cannot take with you. I'm carry on's on this'll have to check everything at the door. What??? I thought I had a First Class ticket?'ll be riding coach this eternity.

Am I overly dramatic? Possibly. It could be I'm just tired. *s*

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Learn To Play Guitar

I've talked about Guitar Hero and Rock Band a few times here. And although I thoroughly enjoy "rockin' it out" in video land there is still a huge part of me that really wants to learn to play the guitar for REAL. So it's time to get serious. No more wishing I could magically's time to put the blood, sweat and tears into learning it.

I've got a couple of books, Guitar for Dummies and Guitar Manual which I have looked through. I've been to various websites that offer some pretty good material but I was recently shown a website by a friend from work that I wanted to share with you. The website is called and it's free or if you feel so inclined to contribute for his helpful stuff, you may do that as well.

My first step is to buy a new guitar. We didn't know that a cheap guitar would actually add to my frustration with buzzing and how hard it was to play. Who knew? We really should have done our homework. I'm lucky enough now to know someone that knows guitars and music well. We're going shopping for a Fender or whatever catches my eye and falls into my price range!

I should be causing my partner plenty of reason to use her ear plugs soon enough! To be continued...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Go Elf Yourself

Ok, if you haven't created and sent off your Christmas cards to friends and family than you just have to Elf Yourself! Heck, even if you were proactive this year and actually got your cards off in time, head on over to this website and Elf Yourself. It's sure to make any scrooge giggle.

Click here to see Red and myself doing a little jig just for you!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rastered Picture

I blew up our work team logo using the Rasterbator program. Don't let the name distract you because it's a really fun program to fool around with! You can take any picture you have and blow it up to as many sheets of paper as you like. This one used a total of 12 sheets of standard size paper. I printed "The Collective" afterwords as I wanted it to be clear. The rasterization of your photo will make up the picture with pixels. The size of the dots is dependent on what size you choose during the setup. The smaller the size the clearer the picture but be prepared to use some ink! The program will create the file as a .pdf so you'll need Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. I recommend you download the raster program to your computer as you will get better results than doing it online.

It's time to Raster and remember to post your finished picture to their website!

Rock Band: Songs

I'm counting the days until the launch on the Wii. I am so looking forward to belting out a few tunes and pounding on that drum set. At the end of the video it states there are going to be songs you can download and entire albums. I say YES YES YES!!!

I don't think I've been this excited since...well...Guitar Hero.

Bright Night's at Hawrelak Park

We went to see all the Christmas lights tonight. You drive through for $15.00 a car load. We seem to make our way down there every year...just because. As usual they had some great displays but I was really disappointed with the amount of advertising they had. It just doesn't seem right to have a great Santa display all lit up and right beside it in the same shining lights is the words Enmax or Tim Horton's. I guess this really shouldn't surprise me nowadays as we all know that everything and everyone is for sale.
So if you haven't jumped into the car to check out the Bright Night's display you might as well go for it. Just eat before you go cause once you see the McDonald arches you're tummy will be yelling Ba da ba ba ba...I'm lovin' it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Corner

This is a photo I took back in April of 2004. Terry Vaughn's pub is no longer on that corner here in Edmonton. It is one of my favorite pictures. I removed the colour because I think the shot looks a lot better without it. Have a look at the larger size by clicking on it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Build your Monk-e-mail

A friend shared this with me today. It's just plain funny and I had to pass it along. Tonight after work I found myself typing in all kinds of shit to hear how it sounded. Call me crazy but this stuff gives me the giggles.

Go here for some midly entertaining fun --> MONKEY MAIL

Disclaimer: No monkeys were injured during the making of this blog but there was some very obscene language used once or twice.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nintendo Wii Light Sword

Ok, this made me do a double take tonight. I was just flipping through the Zellers flyer and came across what's basically a Star Wars Lightsaber! I had to check it out online of course and sure enough there it was in all it's glory. Although it's definitely got a "coolness" factor I don't think I'll be investing in one anytime soon. Zellers is asking $34.99 not including the Wii remote or the multitude of batteries required to power up the LED. Nah, I'll wait until they launch a Star Wars game that will actually work well with this little gizmo.

May the force be with you.

James Blunt - All The Lost Souls

I was listening to the radio on my way home from work tonight and they happened to play a song from James Blunt's new cd called 1973. As I listened and enjoyed the song once again I began thinking of all the great songs on this cd. I have this cd and it's on my "Some of what I'm listening to this month" list on the right column here. This is one of those must have albums (album: now I'm showing my age). Far too many times these things are pumped out so fast the quantity of quality songs just isn't there. That is not the case with All The Lost Souls. Are you having a difficult time thinking of that one Christmas present to get? Think no more...this would be a fantastic gift for someone on your list.

An added note: It was a few weeks back when I was listening to the radio station JoeFM when a song came on that I liked the sound of but I missed who the artist was. Ahh...I hate when that happens. Anyway, I actually got home and went to the website and easily found the name of the song and artist (Melissa O'Neil - Alive). So if this happens to you just go to the JoeFM website and click on the drop down box on the "now playing" and you'll be able to find it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Northern Lights, Magnetic Ropes and Tigers...Oh My!

Nasa scientists say they have made some key discoveries about the Northern Lights. Without going into this deeply they have found the presence of "magnetic ropes" linking the Earth's upper atmosphere to the sun. Whatever happens technically it is a phenomenon like no other!You can read one of many articles found on the web at Wired Science.

I witnessed my first aurora borealis in Arran Saskatchewan. Having grown up in B.C. the mountains didn't allow for such a view. Since moving to Alberta I have been lucky enough to see the Northern Lights many times. One of my fondest memories is a night huddled around a camp fire looking up at the dancing sky for hours. I'll never forget how the light seemed to fill the entire night or as far as my eye could see. It was a spectacular show and way better than any movie I'd ever seen in a theatre.

Where were you when you first saw nature's fireworks? If you haven't seen them yet, make sure to mark it down on your "to-do" list.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wii Gifting

Get the latest Wii update and you'll be able to purchase virtual games on the Shopping Channel for your friends and family.

Now that's great marketing...just in time for Christmas!!! Who wouldn't like to receive Donkey Kong in their Wii Stocking?

Snoring: The Pain In My Bed

My partner has been snoring at night for the past few years which makes every night an adventure for me. Considering it only takes her minutes to be sleeping once her head hits the pillow, it doesn't leave me much time to fall asleep BEFORE her and have chance to miss all the unique and unusual sounds that spew beside me. This in no way is my attempt to slam my girlfriend. She has no control and I know if she had a choice she certainly wouldn't keep me up night after night with her musical chatter. Besides, I don't believe the individual that's snoring is getting the best rest they can achieve either. *shrug*

So we finally bought some Breathe Right Nasal Strips. We purchased a box of 10 clear ones and right on the front of the package it states that it "reduces snoring". Well, I'm here to say that it was a huge success on night one! She read the instructions carefully and strategically stuck one on her nose before we retired for the evening. It did not eliminate the snoring but what was left was negligible. There was very little snoring and it was in a much lower decibel than regularly. I am hoping this is not a one off and will give this a good few weeks before I post about it again.

For anyone that suffers from thinking "evil thoughts" about their snoring loved one just inches away I definitely recommend this product. It's worth it's weight in sanity.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Cutest Kitten Ever!

Sometimes you just have to smile.

Be a Rock Star before Christmas...for a price!

I ventured to West Edmonton Mall today. It wasn't as busy as I thought it would be but definitely busy enough. The traffic going home though was quite horrific so it's obvious the Christmas rush is on.

That brings me to today's findings. I wandered into a store called "Play Me" where they sell new and used video games. I couldn't NOT stop. There were a stack of Rock Band boxes as high as the eye could see. Now this game is all the rave and I know it was recently released for the Playstation and Xbox. If you're like me and own a Wii we're still going to have to wait because it hasn't even been launched yet. Even though it has been launched for the PS and Xbox try finding one in the city right now. You'll have better luck finding a Tim Horton's with less than ten people in line at the counter. So this brings me back to the STACK of boxes they had at this store. Upon closer inspection my eyes focused in on the price tag. EEEE GADS! That couldn't possibly be correct...could it? There it was in plain black and white. You give them $499.99 and you'll be the envy of all mall walkers as you tote your big black box to the car! Now let me rewind a few weeks back when I happened upon an add from a local flyer (can't remember which store). They had Rock Band advertised for $189.99 so you can imagine my shock and horror at the price tag I saw today. Apparently the store had special ordered them from Australia. Hence the hefty price. So if you have money to blow and really want to surprise that certain someone for Christmas head on down. At that price why not pick up two? I know there's a Rock Star in you just waiting to pound on the drums or sing that ballad like no other. *s* Don't wait too long though. At that price they'll be gone quickly. LOL

Update: The Canadian launch for Rock Band was actually delayed from Nov. 22 to Dec. 17th. There were rumors that the Canadian game did not have the French version installed. Looks like this game will be very scarce for the Christmas season. Maybe the Play Me store will sell out of their overly priced products after all.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Calgary - 5 Dead, Trucker Charged

These are the headlines on The Edmonton Journal this morning. Apparently a cement truck was weaving erratically and ended up T-boning a vehicle stopped at a red light on Friday night. The car was underneath the grill of the truck and was pushed 300 meters from the impact. Two adults and three children died at the scene. Alcohol and speed are presumed to be a factor but the truck driver refused to give a breath sample. The driver remains in jail and is charged with the following:
  • Refusing to provide a breath sample
  • Five counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death

Why is it even a choice to give a breath sample? If witnesses and police first on the scene suspect there was alcohol involved it should NOT be a choice. I say handcuff the party in question and strap an apparatus onto his head until we get one. We are far too lenient in this country when it comes to drinking and driving. This kind of needless death just shakes me to the core. Now I know parties are innocent until proven guilty but it looks shady to me. Why would anyone refuse a breath sample if nothing was "up"? It just automatically makes one look bad.

Bottom line is things need to change. We need new ways of getting breath samples and extremely tougher penalties for convicted drunk drivers. Maybe than people will at least give a second thought about getting behind the wheel after having a few. Until than we will continue to see an abundance of needless waste of life.

Merry Phreakin' Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Telus Ringtones - Green Eggs and Scam

Like most people in North America I have a cell phone. Nowadays these things do so much more than enable you the ability to call someone. My Nokia 6265i for example has a 2 megapixal camera. It takes videos. It has an FM radio. It plays MP3's on it's micro SD card. It has bluetooth so I can easily connect to my computer to update my contacts (Note: added software is needed). There are countless other applications on the phone like games, alarm clocks and of course your internet fix if you're in a pinch. Who hasn't checked the scores on their favorite sports team when you're away from the tv? So apart from my cell phone not being able to make me some toast or vacuum the kitty litter up that the cats endlessly drag about the condo, this phone does it all. Or does it?

Nope. I cannot play my own homemade ringtones, or any ringtone that you don't buy from Telus. I find this quite maddening. I can legally purchase a song from iTunes and create a 30 second ringtone from it, upload it to my phone and when I go to use the tone I get the lovely "Not Allowed By Activation Key" message. This has to do with DRM (Digital Rights Management) and I understand about piracy and copyright issues but this is crazy.

Here's why I think this is all a money grab. I just went to the Telus site. The ringtone I want is Galaga. It's an old video game I used to play...and yes I'm a geek. The tone is 10 seconds long...yes I timed it. Telus is selling that diddy for a cool $3.50 + Applicable Carrier Charge (whatever the hell that is). Now, I have recently purchased music off the iTunes website. One song is 99 cents there. Considering that the average song is 4-6 minutes long you can see my disgust in the obvious robbery that's happening with ringtones. And just to add to the two x four in my side I recently had to send my phone away to get it reset. I had a few ringtones on there but alas, they are gone. You'd think Telus would know which ones I purchased so I could download it to the SAME phone again but no. I have to buy them. You've got to be kidding me right? No wonder hacking and piracy are such large issues nowadays.

I do have to mention that when I had to send my phone away Telus gave me a loaner. It was the exact phone and even the same colour. I uploaded my contacts from my computer and everything was pretty much business as usual. I didn't have to learn a new phone which for me is like winning the lottery. So, nicely done Telus but come on, give us a break on the ringtones if you're not going to allow us to use our own. If you'd charge 25 cents each I'm sure I'd have hundreds.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Ultimate RC Gift!

This has got to be the coolest remote control device I have ever laid my eyes upon! Who needs a car, a boat and plane when you can easily get all three with the Hydro Flyer? I sure wish I could justify a $250 toy because I would be all over this puppy!

Guitar Hero in full surround Mono?

I came across this article at Digg's website this morning. Apparently Guitar Hero's Wii version is not in Stereo or surround sound as it so states on the packaging. Hmm...I guess I was so engaged in the game and getting my fingers to do what my mind was actually wanting them to do I didn't even notice. I had more important things to focus on than if the music I was listening to was in stereo. Getting the timing of my strum with the note flying down the screen was and is more important to me! I'm sure there will be a fix coming soon but until then my partner and I will be rockin' it out in mono...besides...the cling, tang, ting that we hear from our guitar is in mono. Might as well be consistent. *s*

You can read the full article here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Guitar Hero III

I have a Nintendo Wii and on the day Guitar Hero was launched (Oct. 28th) we were lucky enough to snatch one up. I had only played the game a few times at work on an Xbox we have in our games room there. I like many others was immediately hooked and have since gotten slightly better at rockin' it out but am nowhere near some of the people you see on Youtube. I don't think I will ever master Hard mode never mind Expert! Having said that, I still love the game and am looking forward to more song releases in the future.

Now here's my beef with the gaming industry in general. Why do they make it so difficult to get these games and accessories? I am desperate for a second Wii Guitar but they won't even be available till January sometime. I so want to try and kick my partners butt during battle mode or we can try working together through a co-op career mode. Either way we need a second guitar. *sigh* I could buy the whole game bundle again if I really wanted it but try finding one of those at this time of year! The only ones that seem to be available these days are for PS2 or the PC. I don't see why GH makers couldn't have had a 2 guitar bundle with the game in the first place. Makes sense to me but then again the gaming industry only bundles one game controller with their consoles. So I guess they're just trying to keep it consistent.

The journey of a thousand words begins with the first blog!

So here I am...finally. I've wanted to start a blog for several years now. A place where I could share my thoughts with the world...or more realistically the few that cared to read it. It just seemed that procrastination was always the winner. What would I write about? How would I start? Would I really have THAT much to say? I guess we'll all find out. Let me warn you in advance though, it may not always be clean. If I feel the need to make a point I will emphasize it the best way I can using some "descriptive" words. Please feel free to be as descriptive as you wish when you leave a comment.

Enough said. Let the games begin.