Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is what Ubuntu can look like.

It's not the best looking setup I've ever seen, but I like it because the picture is original, and it's not in a Windows environment.

Another video blog (vlog)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

no wate... oh, never mind, it's back

Woke up yesterday, went into the bathroom, put on my birthday suit and, guess what! Yep, you guessed it, NO WATER!!!

I was not happy, to say the least. The last time I woke up to no water, it lasted 2 days. The time before that, 22 days. So, anytime my water goes out, I fear, and expect the worst.

Across the street, they are replacing some windows and their frames. Looks like they're going to do about 5 or 6 of them and they're going to use really loud hammer drills and saws to do it with. The first 2 they did took them about 2 hours, so I'm probably looking at another 4 hours, at least, of this noise. My windows are closed and they are nearly 200 feet away doing this, but there is no insulation in these buildings, just concrete, paint and single pane windows. Might as well go across the street, attach a microphone to each saw/drill, plug the mic into a 500 Watt amp and turn the dial all the way to number 11 :D

Now, let me complain about work a little. A week ago, I was asked if I could stay after work to attend a meeting and I said, going to quote here, "Not a problem as long as I have a day or two's notice." Last night, at 1am in the morning (I work night shift), I get an email with a request for this meeting. Guess when it's supposed to take place. 4 HOURS LATER!!! I started to refuse, on principle alone, but I went. The part that sucks about this the most, the meeting only went 1/2 hour past closing time and to get O.T. at my company, you have to work at least 1 hour past. I'm requesting anyway.

Ok, done with my bitching and moaning. On to lighter subjects. I just wrote a 3 or 4 page letter to my sister today. I even sent her a notepad and preprinted address slips so she wouldn't have to try to write Chinese characters when replying, if she replies. By the way, MOM or DAD or anyone else in my 'tribe,' if you read this before she gets the letter, don't tell her, I want her to be surprised. The letter was originally about 3 paragraphs long, but then I didn't get to take it to the post office that day... so I continued to write the next day and the next until it ended up being quite a few pages.

Wow, I just realized, I have a lot more to bitch and moan about than I do to be cheerful about. Hmm, gonna have to change that. Like I mentioned in my last post, I'm looking to get my own website. My friend at work, Rick, has a couple of his own websites ( is the only one he shares with the public at large) and he said he could possibly get me a pretty good deal. So, I think that's the route I'm going to take. I was going to go with another company with a local guy (or at least someone Rick knows personally), but using this other company will allow me to post more media and I'm wanting to post a lot of pics (IF I ever start taking them again).

So, enough for now. Have fun.

P.S. I'm only going to put one or two video posts on here a month. The parental units still have dial-up and I don't want them to have to wait 20 minutes to open the page to view it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another episode of why I prefer Linux to Windows

I was playing around with some pictures yesterday. I had one picture of some goldfish (coy) in a pond that I Gimped (Linux equivalent of Photoshopped) and made the fish look like they glow (you can see it to the left of this post in my TwitPics). I then made it my desktop in Ubuntu. Ubuntu Hardy Heron (version 8.04) has transparencies, like Vista, and it looks so cool as my desktop. I then brought the picture to work to make it my desktop background here as well and it looks like crap in Windows XP. I tried it on my work laptop's display and my monitor, looks dull in both. I'm sure it would look really cool in Windows Vista, but to enable Aero Glass in Vista (Vista's fancy name for transparencies), your computer had better have at least 1GB of memory or it will be quicker to hand write a letter and mail it overseas, than it would be to write a simple email.

To get technical, to use transparencies in Vista, your computer will consume 700+ MB of RAM with nothing open (meaning no internet, no Word/Works, no solitaire, etc). In Ubuntu, with two tabs open in Firefox 3, a program called Twhirl ( - Twitter client), and Pidgeon (Linux's version of MSN messenger), my computer is only using 380MB of RAM. That's almost half as much as a Vista machine, and it looks cooler (don't forget my previous post in my MSN space, software's free).

Anyway, on to other things. I'm going to buy my own website. I haven't picked a name yet, but I'll let you know. There are a few reasons I'm doing this. First, I don't have to use Microsoft with my own website. Second, there will be no limitations except what I'm not capable of doing. Last, this website is blocked in China (unless I post from work) and MSN doesn't work in Linux. So, that will be happening pretty soon.

I'm gonna get back to my work here, make it look like I'm doing something constructive.

(Correction: My title was worded incorrectly, updated that)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Quick Video Hello

Iron Man

Went to the movies tonight. This is only the 4th movie I've seen while in China and the 5th in the last 2+ years, but I will have to say, it was worth it. As you have probably guessed by the title of this post, I saw Iron Man. It's a damn good movie and Robert Downey, Jr. plays Tony Stark amazingly well. The only thing I didn't like is that the subtitles were in Chinese and I don't speak whatever Arabic language that was spoken quite a bit in the first part of the movie. I'm not going to go into details because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who has not seen it yet, but if you go see a movie this month, see this one.

Went to the movie with a few friends, Rick and his wife Rika, Ron and his wife Andrea, Devin (sorry if I spell your name wrong), and Celina. We showed up about 10 minutes late, but I don't think we missed anything (gonna check on later just to make sure -- there's a cam loaded there already). After the movie, Rick, Rika, Celina, Devin, and myself went to pizza hut. We had a pretty good time.

Anyway, it's a good movie, two thumbs up from me.