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ARCHIVE - February, 2007

Lately things have been crazy busy! I got a new computer and had all kinds of trouble with it once it was built. It turned out to be bad memory, but that was after the motherboard swap and many many hours of troubleshooting. So, I'm back up and running, making my first post from my dream machine. Technically, this is my 2nd post. I just finished a huge long-winded post and included all kinds of details about the trouble-shooting process. And then, I plugged a USB key in to the top, which is located next to the power button. Sure enough, I hit the power ever-so-lightly and brought the box down hard, before I had a chance to spare. It's fate! YOu were just spared from a dull, technically packed update. One that I won't be re-writing..... So, on to some fun stuff!

Jen & I each had a big day lately. Yesterday was hers and today was mine. Yesterday she appeared on TV on a show called "Animal Housecalls", that aired live at 5PM on CP24. I recorded it on her computer for her using an external capture device that we use to convert her monitor into a TV. I compressed the show down to 2 MB's and have it available here in low res (2 MB) or click here for a higher res version (8MB). Sure, the quality isn't great, but you can still make it out. Besides, you may have the bandwidth for an HD version, but it doesn't mean I have the bandwidth to host a huge video! Anyway, I think she did a great job and I'm really proud of her! Enjoy!

And my big day? This morning I spoke at a VMWare Disaster Recovery seminar on how we used VMWare to leverage our DR plan. My presentation was 30 - 40 minutes and was in front of almost 200 people. And not just any people... they were my technical peers. It went really well and I had a lot of people come up and talk to me after to say I did a great job... and then of course hit me up with technical questions. I enjoyed my time in the spot light. In fact, this is the 2nd seminar I spoke at, with the first one being a year ago.

Anyway, all's going well and now that my new PC is up and running, I am itching to push it on a new game! Speaking of new games, keep your eye out for "In Crysis", a new game coming out this summer by the makers of Far Cry. This one is going to punish systems!!!! It's one of the first games to leverage directX 10 and looks AMAZING! Click here to check it out! That's all for now... see you in March ;)

----- 02.20.2007 --------
1 down & 7 to go! Last night was my last class of my first class on my way to obtaining a digital photography certificate from George Brown. The focus of the first class ("Intro to Digital Imaging") was pretty much photoshop. One a week, for 3 hours a night, we'd play with it in class, achieving different results on various assignments. I've posted a lot of my assignments on my "digital fridge" (read my into to this back in the beginning of January), and I hope to keep posting stuff for the subsequent classes. So our final project was to make a composition. I went for a creative approach and never really got what I was hoping for. However, since the class was limited in time and I had already put too much time in one direction, I had to keep going that way. So I did. If nothing else, it is definately unique. But probably a little too busy since I was trying to demonstrate all of the techniques we learned (except of course the 'KISS' rule), and even some we didn't cover. As shown are some of the icons of the images we needed to incorporate, and it was mandatory to incorporate all objects.

Now, on to something I've very pumped up about: Tony Robbins is coming to town! In fact, I found a link that can get you 2 tickets for $99 US!!! I ended up paying more then that for 2 because I didn't find this link because the server was having problems. Once registered and paid, I found it lingering in a popup in the background from "The Donald" himself. Pity I couldn't change after! Anyway, I am really looking forward to hearing Tony live since I've been listening and reading so much of his stuff over the past year. Am I out for a get rich quick scheme? Of course not... but I am out to get "charged" by Tony so I can figure out what my aspirations are and motivate myself enough to take the necessary action to turn them into realities. Anyway, here's the link for the show in Toronto. It takes place March 24-25. I'll be sure to fill you in on how it was if you don't make it. OK... I'm off to bed now. Take care!

----- 02.17.2007 --------
Good morning! It's about 7:30 on Saturday morning and the biggest shocker to me is the fact that I'm up. I have to bring my car into the dealership for a voluntary recall (something to do with the steering column in certain conditions) at 8:30. I woke up at 6:00 somehow and Trixie (my dog) needed to go out. I took her down and then realized there was no point going back to bed so I figued I'd get an early start. I like this early morning stuff on weekends.... I should really do it more often. I guess over time, as my body needs less sleep, I can expect more of this :) So, no point in wasting it!

After the car's done being worked on, my buddy Steve & I are going to hit the gym, as we've been doing quite a bit lately. If I can find it, I'm going to dust off my squash raquet and play a few games. It's been a couple years since I played. I stopped because my knees just didn't like it. Well... there's no point in "saving them for later". If I wear them out, I wear them out. I'd rather do that then save them for when I'm an old man and the rest of me doesn't have the energy to put them to good use (besides walking of course!!!). And with advancements in science & medicine, I can get new ones :) I'm excited, but at the same time, I realize how frustrating it's going to be. I haven't played in quite a while and will have some sort of expectation of how I should play, what kinds of shots I should be able to hit, and what I can't. I'm going to be a little disappointed to find out how bad I suck because I haven't had practice! But that's alright... just means I ned to play more. Similar to lifting weights. I took a few months off starting around August and never really got back into the gym until the beginning of this year. It was a little frustrating not being able to lift what I could, and even more so to find out that what was really easy warm-up material was my max load. But hey, I stuck with it and blasted through it. I've come a long way this year, but I figure I'm still a couple months away from my peak. I'm really looking forward to hitting new levels with the weights, the kinds of weight I've NEVER been able to lift :) All in good time. All in good time. Well... I got some laundry to work on before I have to take the car in so I'll end it here. Hope you're all doing well!

----- 02.14.2007 --------
It seems like a lot has happened since my last post. Last week, I went out with a few friends from work for a pub night. We had a great time, but my body sure doesn't bounce back like it used to! For this reason, it's probably why I don't put it through the ringer as much as I used to! But I guess the weekend was an exception when Jen & I went to visit our neighbours for a "Swiss Night". Since Andy (our neighbour) used to live there, and all of us have visited for varying lengths of time (in my case: 3 months!), we thought we'd get together and remenice (sp?). We dug up our old photos and had raclette for dinner, accompanied with swiss wine and beers for the neighbourhood. Since I could not find any swiss beers, I went for German, French & Austrian beers, since they are neighbours. I couldn't find any Italian beer, or else I would have included it so we had Switzerland surrounded. The meal was delicous, and so were the beers, and the company was fantastic! A fun night for all of us!

Sunday Jen & I went out to Dundas (outside of Hamilton) to visit "Sally", the beagle we brought up from the Windsor Humane Society. The one that "looked" pregnant but apparently it was a "pseudo-pregnancy" (a fake one) according the the xrays the humane society did. Well... it wasn't so pseudo!! Last Thursday, she gave birth to 5 pups! All looking quite different too! Since she was a stray, there's a good chance there's more then 1 father. Shannon & Rich, members of Jen's rescue group, are foster sally & her pups. Unfortunately the runt didn't make it yesterday, but the other 4 are doing great. I took a bunch of pics, and hopefully, I'll get around to making a small album. In the interim, here's a teaser:

On Monday I had my digital imaging class. I can't believe it was my 2nd last class!!! Next week is my last class, and then I have a week or two off before the next one starts in March. We worked on stitching panorama's in Photoshop. I had done some before using another program (ptGUI) which I liked better, but Photoshop does a good job too. In fact, my other ones can be found here, in my September 2005 archive. Here are the 2 we did in class, scaled WAY DOWN! The island airport was a pretty massive file, comprised of about 10 or so photos. Not nearly as big as my 66 photo job of Toronto (on the archive), but still pretty huge. Stay tuned for more next week... and hopefully some more puppy pics (not just from Sunday, but future ones as well once their features develop).

----- 02.06.2007 --------
February's here! That was quick, but I don't feel like it was too quick. Somehow, it even seemed to come at the right time. Stange! Sure, January's a total blur, but that's not the point. The point is I had a very happy, fulfilling January and I don't feel the regrets I've felt in the past of missing a month and not feeling like I've gotten anything done. This time around, I'd say I am pretty proud of myself through January. Like a true "resolutioner", I set my resolutions around New Years, and executed them in January. Work's been going well, I feel great, I'm back in the gym, I've quit smoking (again.... but this time it'll last longer then the 3 years I quite last time), started taking a course at George Brown, started a diet (and it's working!).... and the list goes on. Yes, 2007 is off to a good start :)

So, what's new? Quick wrap up since my last post: Work, gym, work, gym, work, rest, poker, rest, gym, work, Jen's relatives over for dinner, Waterloo for Interviews, school, work, gym, update site. There.... that about covers it :) Jen's Aunt and Grandmother are in town from Vancouver for a week so we had them + her Uncle & family over for dinner. It was a nice chance to relax and catch up. It also kept me in from going out for the superbowl, a true blessing in disguise!!! I had to get up early to pick up my coworker & head down to Waterloo to interview for our summer co-op student. We had 20 interviews scheduled, and over that, only 1 no-show. Needless to say, it was a busy day! And the the drive back seemed smooth until about Mississauga, and then everything stopped. A combo of rush hour + bad weather = parking lot. I was getting worried I'd be late for class, but I ended up not too late... only about 5 - 10 minutes.

The that brings me to class. It was another fun class where we spent the whole time working with Photoshop. I've getting a lot better with it and I'm starting to amaze myself a bit. I just need a big project to work on and look out, I'll pour my all into it! I'm really excited for the outcome, I just don't have the thought yet. I do have one... but I'll keep it quiet until I decided to do it... and it's more of a matter of "when I do it", not "if I do it"... unless of course I get struck by a bus on my walk into work. Then it's a big "if" ;) Anyway, we had pictures of ourselves taken in class and then prof gave us a huge background to put them on. The background was 8000 x 6000 and in .PSD format. After a bit of work and quite a few layers later, my project was weighing in around 350 MB's!!! Needless to say, I've shrunken it down and compressed it to .jpg to show you all. And the other, the tape measure, was an exercise in patience I think. We had to take the numbers off the tape measure. There was also some writing I removed. I was pretty happy with it, even though I didn't get to the 6 in the time given. Well... that's about all. Hope you're all doing great. And if you're still reading this, drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you. It doesn't have to be a long email... just a quick Hi would suffice :) Thanks! K... bye for now...


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