56% Nerd, 60% Geek, 26% Dork, 100% Cool! 

12/20/09 - Seasons Greetings!
Nightbender wishes all of you a Happy Holidays!

Steampunk Xmas

Movie Going
Astroboy - It was OK, but targets at a very young age group.

Boondock Saints 2 - Another one that was OK, but didn't really live up to the first one. I think it could have been much better.

2012 - A bit more depth to this one then I thought, but they could have easily cut 20 minutes from the length as well. Alot of mayhem and destruction on a massive level. Doubt if this will go on my DVD buy list.

Avatar - A very good flick. I saw it at the IMax in 3D. I'll most likely see it again, and be picking up the DVD on this one. I really want to see it without the 3D. The depth of the 3D was incredible, but it also blurs out alot of the close up details.

For those of you looking to get a Anime fix, I highly recommend AnimeFreak.tv.

Till next time...
10/23/09 - Love the fall weather!
I'm really digging this great fall weather. Some people may think I'm crazy, but that's one of the things I love about living in MN, there's 4 distinct seasons.

I finally made it into the doctor and it turns out I messed up the rotor cup in my left shoulder. I also officially have high blood pressure. I guess that just comes with turning 40. ;)

For my birthday this year I did a minor upgrade of the computer system. You can find the new specs under my Gaming Bio page. I've very happy with the 3.6gzh OC I managed to get with the new i5 chip.

I've also updated my library to current as of today. Only 43 more books to go to hit 1k books owned!

Movie Going
I'm looking forward to seeing Astro Boy and Where the Wild Things are. I think I'll do that this weekend. On the flip side I'm rather peeved with Sony for only releasing Boondocks Saints 2 as a limited release. There's not a single show within 150 of the Twin cities. SIGH

The state of Anime basically sucks. I haven't seen anything good in a long time now. This fall line-up isn't looking any better. I guess I just keep watching Naruto and Bleach to get my fix.

Till next time...
08/30/09 - Where to start..
The biggest news first and foremost, Brocade hired me on as a Information Systems Engineer! I'm still supporting the users for my site, but I'm also involved in some interesting and challenging projects. Now I"m truly doing exactly the type of job I was looking to get into.

Along with the good new, there must be some bad of course. Somethings majoraly messed up in my left shoulder, some days it's bad enough to make getting through the day a real chore. I'm just waiting for my health benefits information before I hit the doctor. :(

Movie Going
G.I. Joe - Wow.. just wow. Some of that acting was so bad it hurt. I enjoyed it, but it could have been so much better.

My Bed
I love my new bed! It's a bit unique, but it's exactly what I want. I bought a simple, well built, full sized platform bed. I then put 3 futon pads on it, 2 firm and 1 medium. Best bed I've slept in, ever. ;)

Till next time...
06/27/09 - The astounding illogic of it all...
Lucky me! Because of the date I bought my iPhone, I was able to upgrade to the latest version. I'm really surprised at how much faster it is, and I'm liking some of the new apps coming out.

Movie Going
Transformers 2 - I went to it at mat prices, and I'm glad I did. Some of the fight scenes were cool, but on the overall I was a bit disappointed. The roommate character and the two small cars were a really bad choice in my book. Here's to hoping G.I. Joe is better!

Here we go again...
I'm currently 1 year and 4 months into my current job under contract. In 4 months I reach the contract cap, and I've seen no indication of a any opportunity of being able to move into a standard position yet. With that in mind I've brushed up the resume, and started the job search once again.

On the average it normally takes 8 to 12 weeks to find a new job in the Twin Cities, but that's under normal circumstances. With the economy the way it is, I figured I'd better start looking now. I've updated my online resume here to reflect any recent changes. If anyone comes across any IT Desk-side support or Jr. Admin jobs, please let me know.

I think I'm ready for fall already... ;)

Till next time...
06/07/09 - Life is what you make of it...
Well, I finally did it. I broke down and bought a iPhone 3G. I've had it for a few weeks now, and I must say I'm very happy with it. I was only looking for a good media platform, and communication capabilities. I can say with 100% satisfaction that this phone covers 90% of what I wanted.

Movie Going
I went and saw UP! in 3D, and Pixar didn't let me down. It was a great flick, with a wide ranging level of moral lessons to be learned. I'm positive I'll be going to see it again.

Road Trip!
I spent the weekend in WI visiting Master Pete. I ate too much good food, hung out, and relaxed. It was a weekend well spent!

The studying is coming along nicely so far, but I think I'm going to have to up the time spent reading to meet my deadline.

Till next time...
05/23/09 - Time to Hit the Books!
I've decided it was time to hit the books again, and get serious about taking my knowledge to the next level. I'm a firm believer in self-teaching if you're a motivated enough person. While I have a four year degree, I'd say half my knowledge is self taught.

With that in mind, I've come up with a study plan and time frame to complete it.

Windows 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
Windows Powershell Programming for Absolute Beginners
Outlook 2007 Inside Out
Active Directory Cookbook
Windows Server 2008 Inside & Out
Creating the Secure Managed Desktop

3 to 4 Months - Completion of all books by the end of August.

Planned Course of Study
1 chapter read per day.
1 hour of hands-on learning/practice/fiddling per chapter read.
1 chapter per book before starting the second chapter.

What can I say, I love books and learning! ;)

Till next time...
05/02/09 - Simplicity
I'm very excited about a wonderful 'little' project called Mechwarrior: Living Legends.

Its a full conversion mod of Crysis, and man does it look GOOD. Everything a MechWarrior gaming fan would like to see! I highly recommend checking it out if you used to play MechWarrior Online back in the MW: Merc days.

I went to see Wolverine this weekend. While I liked it, it wasn't anything that I came out of going 'wow!'. I'd have to say it stayed firmly in run-of-the-mill mutant super hero movies.

Summers here, get outside and have some fun! ;)
04/04/09 - Random Wanderings
Random Thoughts
I wish the economy would get rolling and start recovering. I dislike not know if I'll still be employed the next month or not. To drive that home a little more, my roommate just lost his job. The business he was working for is declaring Bankruptcy. I hoping he can find a job soonish, or we'll have to leave the apartment that has been our home for the last 3 years.

Last week the belt on my car went. Thankfully my car has two belts. The one that went only drives the power steering pump and the AC. It only cost me 30 bucks and 1.5 hours of time to fix it, but what a pain to get the new belt on. I hope the other belt doesn't go any time soon. I can't imagine trying to replace that thing. The alternator and water pump belt is basically on the back side of the engine.

I spent most of my Saturday finishing up the spring cleaning. All I have left at this point is to wipe down one shelf of chess pieces, but that can wait till tomorrow.

I went to see Aliens vs Monsters last week and enjoyed it alot. It was a good movie. The 3D aspect wasn't as well done as Coraline, and I think 2D of it wouldn't be much different. I liked it enough I'll be buying the DVD when it comes out. Maybe not a good as the original Shrek, but I'd put it in that realm.

Here's to hoping April brings better news for everyone!
03/22/09 - MMOs and Movies
While there are a few MMOs coming out this year; there are two of them I plan on keeping my eyes on.

Jumpgate Evolution has me a bit excited. Think Wing Commander meets Planet Side. I'll most likely be playing this one for sure.

The other one I'm keeping my eye on is Champions Online.
It looks like it has alot of promise, but I'm not sure if I like the world graphics. I've applied for beta, and if I get in I'll put a post of my findings up after they lift the NDA. I do like the fact that they have full customization in of powers and the looks of powers. Antoher cool thing is you create your Arch Vilian when you make your character. That npc villian then causes you grief throughout you career as a hero.

It's actually looking to be a good year in movies. There's alot of oddball ones that I plan on seeing. Here's a partial list of some of the ones I've been keeping a eye on:
Crank 2 - Planet 51 - 9 - GI Joe - Wolverine - Eden Log - Mutant Chronicles
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Star Trek - Monsters vs Aliens

Till next time!
03/15/09 - Spring's on the Way!
This weekend was nice temp wise, and I made very good use of it. I went of a couple a very long walks and enjoyed the fresh air. I can't wait for my daily strolls through the park on the backside of work. ;)

Here is some oldies but goodies that I found on YouTube over the weekend.
Shok Paris - Steel and Starlight
Lords of the Crimson Alliance - The Sorcerer

Here's some newer music finds that I picked up over the weekend.
I really like the Switchback song!!
Goldfrapp - Strict Machine
Strapping Young Lad - Almost Again
Celldweller - Switchback

Till next time!
03/01/09 - HD Goodness
This last week I added a 26" HD LCD to my computer rig. While some may think that this is overkill; I do use my computer for movie watching, gaming, and work. It sure makes it easy to have a couple Remote Sessions open, and still be able to do many other things at the same time. Not to mention BluRay DVD's off of the PS3 look and sound AWESOME. ;)

I finally was able to see Mushishi (BugMaster) the Live Action movie this weekend. It was pretty good, but the ending could have been better. At least it stayed true to the original anime.

Dan and I opted to sign another year lease with Plymouth Ponds for our apartment. We like it here, and the apartment is huge. So why bother moving?

I also managed to split one of my upper, back teeth in half. It's been a long and painful weekend, but the dentist appointment is tomorrow morning. Just wish my insurance was worth the money I'm paying for it. They basically cover diddly and squat. Makes me wonder why I even bother to have it.
02/16/09 - Tra la la!
This four day weekend was very relaxing, and I managed to catch up on a few chores I've been letting slide. With a trip to the eye doctor last week; I found out that the cataract in my left eye has grown significantly in the last 2 years. It's now blocking about 40% of the vision in that eye. The doc figures I have 3 years before I'll be forced to do a lens replacement on it. I'll be working towards doing it as soon as I can, but I have to get into a job that has better health insurance or save $3k first.

In other news:

Books & Reading
Jim Butcher will be in the Twin Cities for a reading and signing on his latest Harry Dresden novel:
Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55125
7:00 PM: Reading and signing.

I've gone on a campaign to try and acquire all the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony. I was able to get 13 of the 29 novels from the Half Price Books near my apartment, but will most likely have to fill out the rest from Amazon.

Here's a song that Blackmoore sent me. I love the beat and the message of the song. ;)
02/08/09 - Movie Goodness
I got together with some friends on Saturday and did a movie double header. I haven't done one of them in a very long time! We went and saw Coraline in 3D and then turned around and saw Inkheart. Coraline was a good movie, and something I'll most likely go to again. I can't express how much depth there was to it. 3D has come a long ways since last I tried it out.

Inkheart was OK, but I think some of the evil characters were poorly overacted. The movie itelf didn't feel complete to me. I'm still glad I saw it, but its more of a mat flick.
01/31/09 - Library DB - Complete at last!
J.V. Clow's Library

At long last my project to catalog all my books is complete!
Click the picture above to check it out.
While its not a huge personal library, it's starting to get pretty respectable.
Total Books:  862
Soft Cover:  435
Hard Cover:  427
Total Pages:  376968
Total Value:  $12,519
01/24/09 - Digital Gaming Thoughts
I think this week's post is going to focus on digital gaming.

Fallout 3
I really like the game.  It was a good experience and I got 56 hours of play time out of it.  The issues I had was the world was a bit small, and it was way too empty.  I thought the ending of the main plot line of quests, ending your adventures, was a bad choice in this style of game.  I found the replay-ability to be very low.  Just too much sameness, even with the good/evil setup. 

PS3 Controller
I don't know what it is, but the controller completely sucks for anything remotely FPS like.  Either you get the float effect, precision issues, or simply not responsive enough for twitch gaming.  It drives me nutz that the console itself supports other devices, but the games refuse to.  You'd think they'd have learned by now that diversity and options increase sales. 

Earthrise MMORPG
I was very excited about this MMO as a updated replacement for Anarchy Online. It has everything one could want from mechs to cybertech. Then they went and made it open pvp and open looting. Have the devs out there learned nothing in the past 10 years? Game setup involving nothing but open pvp have done nothing other than fail, fail, and fail. Toss in open looting for a game where the time invested is so large, and you may as well never put the game on the shelf. I'd be VERY surprised if this MMO even breaks 250k sales, and I think that's being generous.

Note - For you rabid PVPers out there.  Open looting and Open PVP does not equal realism.    Go out and try gank someone in the real world, steel all their clothes and items, and get back to me from your cozy prison cell.    Opps! Sorry, no instant respawn and we have this little thing called Law Enforcement.
01/17/09 - Another New Year
Here we are once again as another new year begins.  I wish I had more to report, but my life has been pretty full and busy.  I've added another full bookshelf of books to my collection, and I added a PS3 to the gaming setup.  I'm still working as a System Tech at Brocade, and loving the job.

I will be better about updates this year.  My current plans are to put a new post up every Saturday morning.  I just went through the entire site and updated it this morning.  I fixed what was broken, and made sure I'm back in W3 compliance.

Till next week!
2008 Update
It has been awhile since my last post.  Once again I've had a busy and eventful six months.  I'm no longer working for Comcast, and have moved into a Computer Technician job with Brocade Communications.  This job is exactly what I was looking to do.  I'm the on-site desktop support guy for around 180 systems and 120 users.  I've learned a lot since I started there, and there's a huge opportunity to learn a lot more.  I don't have much else in the way of news about myself.  It's pretty much the same-old-same-old otherwise.

On a gaming note, Age of Conan has launched and is in full swing.  I was in the beta for it, and felt it wasn't worth purchasing upon release.  Judging by the lack of media related to it, and the reports from the players who are 80th level already; I don't think I was wrong doing so.  I think they failed to pay enough attention to core details and issues, and focused to much on the PVP setup.

I've updated my computer system and the specs can be found on the Gaming Bio page.  It was a fun experience and I'm very happy with the results.

I'll be updating the site a fair amount over the next month.  I was going to update the theme, but I find I like it to much as it is.  I'll likely just update everything and redo the banner.  I'm in the process of putting all the books I own into a database and will add that to the site in the coming months.

Last years posts can be found here:  2007 Archive