Frustrating day

This morning my day was great, super great…then lunch tried to happen. I was getting ready to leave, to meet Sarah for some Chinese food, when I noticed a flaw in the payroll. This morning there was one little mistake…right before lunch there was about 55 extra hours of overtime that magically appeared. So I got back from lunch and spent two hours  fixing the time clock and the hours so payroll can go great tomorrow.

Then, one of my office staff got kind of sassy with me about the overtime that appeared on her time card, saying that it was wrong and that it shouldn’t be there. This was after I sent an email about cutting overtime and that we where going to have meeting about overtime on Thursday. Makes me wonder.

Yesterday was also kind of frustrating since I came up with a great community site for Harper and I to wok on that was foiled by a certain domain not being available. It made me so mad I had to go clean stuff. So Mad!!

I have once again redesigned my site, at Harper’s suggestion, to be a little less busy and less clutter free. I am hoping to continue my streak of updating a lot as well as touching on a wide variety of subjects.

Biometrics

So the company we use for some of our biometric building security has stopped supporting the models we are using. So we have to get new systems…So Mad!!!

Adwords

So I started to work with adwords at work. I spent the past hour or so going through and updating us in Google local, designing a banner ad as well as setting up mobile search and text ads. It is a pretty smart system though at times I found it tedious. I think that it would be better if it was smart enough to grab information from you previous ads. Like grab the target URL from your previous text ads when you are making another one.

Really

So today I had one of those moments where I was like….’Really!!!’ I found out we had some people squatting in one of our building and stealing stuff from the basement of the building.. I mean.. Really!!.

So to amuse my self I went to all of my fun websites and found these videos. First from threadless it is this video. It is a fun video about bears. I love bears. The second is from Ctrl-Alt-Del, this is the online comic that I enjoy. It is a video of the process he went through to make the X-mas filler graphic. It is pretty neat. So these made me laugh and what not. Now off to work some more.

But the winner is awesome. Seriously. Made my day

Crack-A-Lack

There is a game that came out recently that had so much potential and possibility that almost belly flopped. I am speaking of course of Crackdown. This is a futuristic third person shooter that is a lot of fun to play. The problem is that it is a was, rinse, repeat game. You run around, find a boss, kill a boss and then find another boss.

What saves this other wise poor game play choice is the skills. There are 5 skills: Driving, Strength, Agility, Firearms and Explosives. The skills are progressed through a system the games calls “skills for kills”. This means that every bad guy that you kill with a gun increases your Firearms skill. However, every civilian you kill with a skill decreases that skill. The only skills not increased strictly by killing are Driving and Agility.

Driving is increased by completing races and stunts. These are spread out over the three main islands. The races are pretty straight forward, though I would suggest completing them at night since there are less people out to accidentally run over. The most enjoyable way to increase your driving skill is to run over gang members. It is pretty straight forward and yet secretly enjoyable. As you increase your driving skill the Agency vehicles (Super Car, SUV and Truck Cab) transform and there power increases.

Agility is you ability to run and jump. Once you max out your Agility it is easier to get around on foot then in any of the agency vehicles. You increase your Agility by finding Agility orbs or shooting people from extreme heights. I had the most fun running around finding orbs over any other activity in the game. Oh, and there are also foot races that will increase your agility. Sweet.

Strength, Firearms and Explosives are all increased by using those skills to kill bad guys. This means kicking, shooting or using grenades or missiles on people will raise those skills. As your strength increases you can pick up bigger objects and throw them further as well as being able to kick the living shit out of any bad guy. As Firearms increases you are able to target vital areas faster, which allows you to kill people faster. Explosives is second to Agility in most fun to play with. Basically as your skill rises your explosions get bigger, this leads to bigger and bigger chain explosions.

Overall I think this game is a lot of fun and is a great way to waste a few hours. If you are looking for a long playing game that requires a lot of thought or strategy look elsewhere.

Cat Fight

So our cat Reno was outside last night with Sarah when along game two dogs. Long story short, Reno was smelled by the dogs, which he didn’t like, so he hit them. This led to a royal rumble of sorts with Reno coming out on top in the battle royal.

The annoying thing is that in Greeley all animals are supposed to be on a leash if they are outside. Our cat was on a leash and these dogs where not. Doesn’t that seem wrong to you? I mean if this dog owner would have had his dogs on leash this wouldn’t have happened. Reno received only a small bite on one of his arms but other wise seems to be ok.

This is one of the dogs claws that he lost in the battle as well as some dog hair.

This is our doormat with clumps of dog hair showing Reno’s victory.

This is Reno up on his fortress of solitude shortly after the fight.

This afternoon I am planning on going and checking on the dogs as well as making sure they are up on their rabies vaccines since they did bite Reno.

Stupid Dogs

Rebreather

The information in this post is what I remember from dive school as well as what I have gleaned from the internet…it is not 100% accurate and will be fixed\updated as I learn more. Oh and remember rebreathers kill!!

A Rebreather is a form of life support that is typically used either for Diving or in mines and the like. The type that I am interested in building is one for use underwater instead of traditional SCUBA gear. There are two basic types: CCR or OCR. CCR are Closed Circuit REbreathers and are called such sense the breathing loop (or circuit) is closed allowing now gas to escape. This type of rebreather is great for underwater photography and research as well as for sneaking into the enemy base and killing people (assuming of course that the enemies base has water around in ot even better if there base has some direct connection to the ocean.) Open Circuit rebreathers are just the oppisite, they let off bubbles and are basically a great way to conserve gas as well as dive deeper and safer.

The basic purpose of all rebreathers is to recycle the oxygen that you breathe since you use about 25% of the th oxygen that is inhaled. that other 75% is exhaled and wasted. This means that a typical tank of air (21% O2) will last about an hour at 50 feet of seawater. Whereas that same amount of air used in a rebreather might let you dive that same dive 3 or four times. In some cases you can dive even longer since a lot of rebreathers adjust the partial pressure of oxygen(PPO2). This is percentage of oxygen that is going into you blood. (MORE INFO). This means that as you move around in depth you are breathing a higher percentage of oxygen then normal air. This means you are breathing less dilutant gas(nitrogen, helium). this means that the chances of Nitrogen Narcosis and Decompression sickness(DCS) are less but not elimatnated, Also when you start messign with the PPO2 you increase your risk of CNS (central nervous system) Oxygen Toxicity. This is when the PPO2 increases to 1.6 or better, this causes certain parts of your nervous system to shut down and can ultimatly lead to death.

The type of rebreather that I am going to try to build first is a closed circuit oxygen rebreather. This is a rebreather that allow you to breathe 100% oxygen all fo the time. This set up while limeting the depth you can achieve it gets rid of the DCS and Narcosis risk. You maximum depth is around 20 feet, basically great for ponds or tropic diving, espseically if you are a photographer. FOr me the main reason I want to build one of these is for the fun of building my own life support equipment and the experiance so I can attack bigger rebreather projects in the future.

Web Projects

Here are some of my web projects that I have been working on:

  • ClownsAreAwesome.com: This is a site I started to discuss my feelings on entertaining and clowning. I write about everythig from clowning basics all the way up to performance mechanics.
  • IMADEIT: This is my shop where I sell purses, hoodies and scarves that my wife and I make. Check it out, we make awesome, awesome stuff.
  • ClownUsability: This is where I discuss my feelings on making websites more user friendly.

So many good video games

There are so many good video games coming out this year. Here is the list of my top five for XBOX 360 and the Nintendo Wii.XBOX 360:
1. Stuntman: Ignition–> I think that this game will be quite enjoyable in the fact that, like the previous games in the series, all you have to do is drive and make checkpoints by a certain time to complete the scene. It is basically racing the clock. Nice visuals witha simple story line.
2. Bioshock–> Even though I tend to not play the horror genre of games, this one strikes my fancy since it takes place underwater. After watching the videos for it, I pretty much decided that I need to play this game. I hope that it lives up to its potential as a creepy, yet fun, game. Check out this design contest for a BIOSHOCK inspired t-shirt.

3. Grand Theft Auto IV–> While this is not really the fourth game in the series I think this game could potentially be what Saints Row and Crackdown should have been. Typically the GTA series hasn’t had a lot of competition within its own genre, however, this year has been a great year for the sandbox type games and hopefully RockStar step up to the plate and kicks everyone elses ass.

4. Spore–> Although this is an Unconfirmed game I have to add it here because I feel that this is a game that I need to play and that will change all aspects of gaming. I think that this game is going to rock and be a game that will create a Pseudo-Learning genre where you learn theories of something without any actual facts.

5.Halo 3–> This game is going to be great. They did such a good job with the first two and I hope that continues. Whenever I play the Halo games I am reminded of Duke Nukem 3d. Mostly because your killing aliens. But that memory alone could sell me lots and lots of video games.

Nintendo Wii:

1. Mario Party 8–>This game is in the same vein as all of the other Mario Party games only better. Since it will use Wii-mote it will be awesome. Since the Mario Party folks can learn from the pitfalls of Wario Ware and Raving Rabbids. All in all I think it will be a great game.

2.Super Mario Galaxy–> The new Mario game. Hopefully it will be cooler then Mario Sunshine. I found that game to be to repetitive to be enjoyable. Of course as I write this I remember some of the fun I had playing it and want to play some of the levels again. Curse you Nintendo.

3.Spider-Man 3–>I love super hero movies and have had pretty good luck playing the games based on them. Even though this game comes out on both XBOX 360 and Wii, I feel that the controls on the Wii will make this game awesome. Plus Spider-man 3 = Venom. Need I say more.

4.Space Station Tycoon–>A great game that is going to be a download only. This game brings together the sim-whatever concept and mindless sillyness into the same game, it going to be awesome.

5.Ready 2 Rumble Boxing 3–> This has potential to be an awesome boxing game. Hopefully 10TACLE Studios Asia learned from the mistakes of Wii Sports Boxing and take this up to the next level. The cartoon style and great gameplay of the first Ready 2 Rumble will make this a great game.

I found today…Annoying

Today was one of those days where I wanted to slap stuff. One of our office people was going to be gone due to a death in the family. I was fine with that. I understood. Then as I was driving to work thinking how annoyed I’d be if someone called in sick my phone rang. Yep. Someone called in sick. So our normal staff of four office folks is down to two. This is on top of our HOA liaison being out of the office due to a surgery. This means my week was supposed to be my walk around tours in the beautiful Colorado weather. Instead today was run around like crazy covering the office as well as helping with HOA stuff and covering the HOA office for lunch.

All morning I tried to call Sarah to change our lunch plans since I was going to just stay around the office and help during lunches. Well since Sarah is not hooked to her phone like an umbilical cord she dosen’t check for missed calls but once every couple of days. Since I was unable to get a hold of her I went home to meet her for lunch. This was good because I got to see the cats and relax. This afternoon has been better though it is really nuts right now with only three of us to cover the phones and I think that the crazies are coming out today.

All of this is forgotten when I think of the trick that Sarah played on me yesterday when I got home. As you might already know we have three cats. One of those cats is Reno, the ginger, he is a fat orange tabby who likes to go outside even though he is an indoor cat. I pulled up to our compartment (our name for our condo) and I noticed Sarah and her mom standing near the neighbors balcony looking up. I though to myself: ESCAPE!! I was sure that the Ginger had escaped. As I walked over to them they said something along the lines of: “look at this cat” or maybe they just pointed. There he was this ginger cat, he looked freaked out and was up on the ledge of the neighbors balcony.

I called his name… he took one look at me and hopped onto their balcony and I noticed that the sliding door on their balcony was open. The cat headed right into their condo. I started to head to the door to knock when Sarah started to laugh. Apparently the neighbors also have a ginger cat and he is allowed on their balcony. I was so tricked. Sarah hasn’t let me forget it. Man, payback is going to be sweet.

All That Jazz

So having started the store I wanted to get some opinions as well as spread the word about the store. I have just started using Consummating.com and it seem like a good place to get an opinion since it was my first post of any sort.

I have gotten some interesting feedback so far but I don’t know what to do. The most helpful comment was that I needed to include dimensions and care instructions for the purses, which got me thinking about including a size chart for the hoodies. The most confusing comment has been about the front page. Should it be a paragraph explaining stuff with links interspersed to help with navigation or should the products be big links of their own to blast people with where the stuff can be found.

I personally think that having the links in the sentence leads people to the place they need to get and overstating them makes it look crappy. I changed it to the list of items to see what the people who have commented think so we shall see. Let me know what you think.

Oh and for the cuteness.

Scam Alert

I have read a lot online about people who receive emails from random people in Africa about helping launder money and have been disappointed in the lack of those emails that I receive. Well not anymore. I have received two offers to launder money in the past couple of weeks and have been just itching to talk about them. One of them is the typical African one with the I am royalty and need help getting money out of the country so the rebels don’t get it. That one was ok. The best one… The one I will share with the world was from a Williams Smith Lee.

I am apparently his friend and I need to be patient with him. He works at some bank that does business with the Chinese ministries and they invested 28.5 million USD…This was in 2003. Then In 2004 he wanted to withdraw the money and then unexpectedly died in a car accident. Awesome.

Basically the gist is that I can pretend to be this guys next of kin and split the money with him. Right. I am of course betraying my friends trust… I hope he isn’t mad.

Here is the letter:

Dear Friend,

Thank you for giving me your time. Please be patient and read my email to you.

I am Williams Smith a staff attached to a reputed bank Private Banking services in. I am contacting you concerning an investment placed under our banks management 4 years ago; you are contacted independently out of investigation in the bank. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.

In 2003, an international consultant with the one of Chinese Ministries came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our Private Banking Services Department. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of 28.5 million United States Dollars to deposit in our bank for investment.

In mid 2004, he requested disinvestments and direct the bank to channel the funds to its affiliate. In line with our business discussions he told me he wanted the process and documentation finalize before his arrival from business strip later that week. This was the last communication we had; this transpired around 25th August 2004.after two weeks no response from him I immediately passed the task of locating him to the internal investigations department of our bank. Four days later, information started to trickle in, that he was apparently dead for an auto accident.

The bank immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving next of kin. If you are familiar with private banking affairs, those who patronize our services do so for the unconventional processes and anonymity. In his bio-data form, he listed no next of kin. Account in private banking is held in secrete and depositors use code make it anonymous. Private banking clients apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most cases leave wills in our care, in this case; he died in testate. The bank has investigated for months no family found the file, which on my desk is assume temporary closed by bank management.

What I wish to relate to you will smack of unethical practice but I want you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world aberrational. The world of private banking especially is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. My proposal; is present you as the closest surviving relation and beneficiary to decease estates. You will be properly guided for the bank to nominate you as the next of kin. I cannot claim fund by myself or rather involve any past associate putting into cognizance my involvement in the deposition and upon the released, we share 60/40.

I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I am not a criminal and what I do; I do not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only come ones’ way once in a lifetime. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank.

Note there no risks involve on your part, as your claims will be referred to my desk to ascertain; good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Let’s share the blessing.

Do not betray my confidence.

I await your response.

Yours sincerely

Williams Smith.

IMADEIT

So recently I have started an online store. It is where I am going to sell all of the stuff that I sell. everything will be made to order as well as everything is availible for custom orders. Please spread the word so I can make lots and lots of money as well as have an excuse to sew and make all sorts of awesome things. Right now their aren’t a lot of pictures up but this week the pictures will go up.

Also, thanks to the taxman, our money problems, while not over, may be more under control. It will be awesome.

Boy is my face red

So I mentioned in my last post that I had talked briefly with a friend about playing some Rifts and that he seemed less then excited. Apparently that is untrue. I talked briefly to him the other day and I guess his girlfriend who is one of my good friends read that on my blog then told my RPG friend about it and he wondered if it was him I was talking about. It was, though he is excited about playing and was just distracted by school or something. Stupid school. On the plus side we are going to start playing sometime in the future. We just need to find some more people to play.

What I need to decide now is if I want to be the game master and design the Ultimate Campaign or if I would rather try to trick someone else into doing the hard work and just let myself play. Probably what I will do is work on making a campaign and then if Sarah’s brother wants in and wants to GM by all means I will let him.

Soon it will all start and my dork transformation will be complete. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the dorks I have made fun of over the years and soon I proudly once again be a table top gamer…shudder.

Today

I have been typing up and inventory list for work. It isn’t the most fun but is relatively mindless so it gives me time to think. Here is what I have been thinking.

1)That I need a non cluttering hobby. My current crop of things I like to do are sewing, video games, entertainment related skill practice. The problem is that sewing involves setting up a sewing table, my Bernina and all the other accessories needed to sew. Plus while I am sewing I tend to make more and more messes with the scraps, little pieces of string and pins everywhere. I am sure that it makes Sarah crazy. My video game hobby, which shouldn’t clutter, tends to clutter as I leave me controllers and what not out all of the time. One way I could un clutter this is to pick one system (Wii) and get rid of the other. The problem with that is there are still games that I want to play that are only on the XBOX 360. So until I can play those games on my Wii I will have to keep both systems. The practicing my skills involves digging out all of my juggling stuff or balloon stuff or magic stuff and using it. During the winter this tends to happen inside and that leads to bigger messes inside and also to scared cats. Once summer hits I am able to practice juggling outside, but the balloon and magic work still gets practiced inside. The least messy is the Magic since it typically is just a pack of cards. Of course once I get started cards end up everywhere.

2) I realized that while I think that it would be fun to play Rifts again, I still find it hard to admit. Finding people to play with has also been a problem. I have found some of my old books and have been enjoying reading them in between showings and what not. I talked briefly to a friend that plays tabletop games and he was less then excited. Well maybe later. I think what I need to do is get Sarah’s brother to GM the game and just do it in a protected forum of sorts all online. We can us Computer dice rollers and do it all online. This way there is less meeting face to face admitting we have a problem. We shall see.

3) That I need to check up on my spell check. This is from my last post “Once you get a supervisor tell them that you think that the Rape and Pillage that their company practices on their costumers is appalling.” As you can see I think that they Rape and Pillage the people who make their costumes not the people who use their service. I want to know why my computer dosen’t just know what I am thinking. –Thanks to Sarah for pointing this out.

4) That as much as Sarah and I’s money woes suck, they could be worse. A lot of people are in the same boat as us or worse. We have a place to live and we have a plan. Sure we may not be getting our matching Mini Coopers yet, but we are also not deciding which cat we are going to roast this weekend. So enough bitching about money, now its time to kick money’s ass. Consider yourself warned money.

Darth Sarah

That is pretty much all I thought about that I can remember. Well breaks over.

I hate credit card companies

Here is the backs story and what happened last Friday:

Sarah and I have gotten ourselves into a little bit of a debt problem mostly stemming from the health problems that have we have been experiencing these past few years. So basically we paid our bill late. This is our fault… totally. We are very sorry about it. So we got our next bill we noticed that our minimum payment had gone up and all of the extra money we had sent to pay down our balances went all towards interest.

The problem they ran into right there is that while I am normally not a macho man that needs to protect my lady. When people make Sarah mad I get mad. I hop on my white horse and ride off into battle. Unfortunately for Chase I have a lot of patience and I am a smart-ass.

My call was connected to Herschel in Bombay India. A relatively nice fellow who insisted that he couldn’t help me and that we where basically stuck where we were on APR and that if we had a perfect payment history for 6 months we could maybe receive a reduced rate. These six months would only cost us and extra $700. So one day past grace period equals a late fee of $739, our mortgage company charges $45 or so for a late payment. So what’s up with the $739 for a $7000 debt? That shit is wack.

So after Hershel could no longer help me I was politely transferred to a supervisor who at first I thought was going to be very helpful. We talked and I mentioned that we had opted out of a rate increase and had the paper to prove it, so we rushed to the shop and faxed it on over. She called us back about 20 minutes after the fax was sent to say that she needed to talk to her supervisor who wouldn’t be in until Monday. She said she would call us around 7:40pm our time. We waited. All weekend. Monday finally came and no call. None. Zip. Zero. So I call back.

After getting another person in India with a strangely western name I was transferred to a supervisor not the one I was previously transferred to but another one. He was a smug little shit whose name I cannot remember. He basically once again told me that our rate wasn’t up for adjustment and that if we kept our payment in good standing for 6 months…you get the idea. I tried to reason with him, pointing out such things as the fact that we had transferred balances to them in the past and that we wanted to keep their card and other things that up until that moment where true. All this was no use. Basically it was like talking to the no machine.

When I asked for the original supervisor I was told she was unavailable which I hope means she had a case of the screaming shits and was stuck on the toilet. I told him that they could expect to see our account paid off in a week and that we would never use there company again and we would do our best to get as many people to leave their company as we could. That’s what this is. A call to battle.

If you would like to help cancel any and all cards that you can with Chase Visa…if you can’t do that call 1.800.945.2000 type in a bunch of numbers (at least 16) and get to a customer service representative. Once there, tell them that you where talking to a supervisor in Orlando, Eva Tseros. Once you get a supervisor tell them that you think that the Rape and Pillage that their company practices on their costumers is appalling. If they ask why give them my website. Here is their website.

Thanks

Pick a Card

So a friend of mine has started to learn slight of hand and we got into an interesting discussion about magic and doing magic for people. We came to a couple of conclusions. First that there are three types of people in the world of magic. Those who like to be tricked, those that have to figure out how it is done and those who know how it is done and don’t care.

The first group, who like to be tricked, are the best people to perform for, especially if you are nervous about a new trick. They are more likely to look forward to the end of the trick then to get caught up in the mechanics of the trick. Most of these people are very content to let the magician do his trick and get caught up in the story of the trick and they allow themselves to be tricked. Luckily for magicians most people fall into this category.

The second group, while trickier to perform for, are infinitely more fun. Just make sure you know you material. They will stare at your hands, trying to catch you and when you fool them they almost get mad. They are the kind of people who will grab the cards or coin out of your hand and expose the trick if they can so beware.

The third group is performing for a fellow magician. They will offer constructive criticism in a one on one setting and have your back if someone gets out of control in a performance. They also make great plants if you need one for a trick. If you can fool the third group you are good to go with a new trick.

My friend also stated that he finds it funny the magic is just lying about what you are doing and getting away with it. This is true to an extant however, I prefer to think that I am not just lying but telling a story that both amuses and amazes the people I am performing for. This is why I have a hard time doing any of the street magic tricks in a street magic context. If I can infuse them with humor and admit that I am tricking people and dare them to catch me it becomes a game. A game that I win.