Friday, November 03, 2006

Halloween Pics.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Let me get the dorky things out of the way - The media center that I've set up just got a helping hand by my newfound knowledge of how to use the VNC, which stands for Virtual Network Computing. Basically, I can now control my Mac Mini with my laptop, which really helps increase my workflow and allows me to use my iBook as some kind of souped up remote. Very cool.

Alright. The day before Halloween, we took the kids up to the Fairmont Hotel because my Mom's workplace had a thing for kids, so we went downtown and got the kids dressed at the hotel, because their tails were kinda in the way when they were sitting in the carseats.

The function itself was bad organized, because they had decided to start the whole shindig with the movie, "Monsters, Inc." Now, not a bad movie itself, but since I myself and a lot of parents probably own the movie anyway, it was silly to start off a kid-friendly thing but sticking in a movie. They had popcorn and whatnot, but they were supposed to have other activities too, which probably happened after the movie ended. We didn't stick around too long to find out, because we had dinner reservations at 7:30 at Schuckers, which is really what I wanted to post about.

I've never had filet mignon before, and since my Mom had a gift certificate for 150 bucks, I didn't feel too bad about ordering a 13 dollar bowl of chowder and a 43 dollar plate of filet mignon and lobster. We also got a warm plate platter, with calamari, shrimp, oysters, and clams. Weren't too crazy about the clams or the oysters, but even my wife who doesn't like seafood much more than me liked the calamari. The chowder was good too, though when I was done with the appetizer and chowder, I was already fullish. Then it seriously took almost another hour before the main course came. And I'm sorta glad that the main course was smallish - I expected bigger portions, but it was good. Tender as a baby's bum, not that I've taken a bite of that either. The lobster was good too, though the portions were a little slim. And I think it's odd when they cut the lobster out to look shrimp-like. Odd. But man, that was a good dinner. I was waddling home that night.

Yesterday was of course, Halloween, and the kids had a pretty good time. I think it's odd that all this month leading up to Halloween, the kids have been obsessed about Hulk (Frankenstein, really. He's green, so...), Vampires, Witches, Boneheads, and then when the day of Halloween comes, it's really about candy. I've got some photos that I'll post later, but they did have a ball. Grandma had a bit of the nasties, so she stayed home. Alex was having fun going from store to store saying Happy Halloween, and sticking his hand into candy jars when he's not supposed to. The boy just beelines to the jar, obilivious that most times that the person is handing out the candy by hand. Zoe got a lot of "Awww"s, because she's just that beauty age between infant indifference and toddler cheekiness. Cute but completely unaware of it. They both made out like bandits.

My wife and I have been philtering their candy all day.


Oh, I did forget about the court date yesterday. We wanted to get a hearing for my wife's expired tabs. About a month ago, she got pulled over for expired tabs and it was almost two hundred bucks of a fine. Well, we managed to get it waived since we didn't really know that it was expired and we fixed it the following day, but the interesting part was listening to all the other court cases. Driving without insurance, without license, causing 5 car accidents... Just a little bit of everything, it seems like. There were a few other expired tabs, and my wife was nervous getting up there and talking to the judge, but it was dismissed and my wife did good. It was pretty interesting though, that the judge was pretty no-nonsense and her job was pretty much having to sit through all these people and their excuses. Some were pretty lame. Some were relatable. There was a lady who claimed that her 9 year old son made bad choices, and could be classified as handicapped, but she parked at the handicapped spot without a permit, and she never had a permit. So her excuse was that she wanted to make sure that he could get to the apartment safely, so she parks close. The judge imposed the fine because she didn't see how come she had to remain parked at the handicapped spot, once her son was at the apartment. And yeah, c'mon. It's really not cool to steal a handicapped spot.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Maybe God was a procrastinator.

In classic Diego mode, I spent most of the weekend doing what I do best - embarking on weird little adventures in my limited little world. This weekend, I was consumed to the idea that damnit, I'm going to turn my mac mini into a little media center.

But of course, I wasn't really going to do it the correct way, which was to spend hundreds of dollars getting a server, extra storage space, software for recording Tv shows onto the hard drive, a LCD with a HDMI connector, or a Dolby surround sound. Nope, just hooking it up to my Mom's 34 inch Analog TV using a 20 dollar DVI to Video adapter.

So the results are a little mixed right now. It's still not completely user friendly - reading text off the TV is like trying to read fine print through vaseline glasses. It's doable, but certainly not fun. The bluetooth mouse I had laying around (yes, I do have mice laying around. It's something I do.) works fine with the bluetooth that's built into the mac mini, and I can connect to the internet using airport, but I'm still limited to punching in text onto the onscreen keyboard. I'm going to remedy that soon with a boothtooth keyboard, which after rebates should be around 18 bucks.

But it's nice having all the photos in one place, and I have my mac use the photos folder as a screensaver, so it goes into screensaver mode after 3 minutes of idle and all the thousands (yes, thousands!) of photos I've taken gets a second viewing for the whole family. In addition, the video clips and the music collection is now more accessible, so that's cool.

Most of all, it's great to have iTunes as a central app. I couldn't imagine forking out 299 for Apple's iTV which is coming out next year, but my 50 dollar solution seems to be working out just fine. By the way, I do most of my work on the iBook, which is partially why I thought the Mac mini could get a day job. I can still have it run apps in the background, which is great too.

Well, weekend's over at any rate. Back to work.