31 March 2006

Due to a Lack of Pictures Here

Here's some nice fungus I found in the cemetery behind our house sometime last fall-ish.

No Time At All

Aah! The end of semester rush is in full swing -- I have two major projects, some minor ones, and an exam coming up next week. And I'm getting the new About PSP site ready to go live, AND I'm still maintaining the About Teenwriting site until PSP goes live. Talk about no time! I'm still managing to play games (I have to for work now), but I'm not getting much time to read or watch movies, or write to people who probably think I am dead.

So, I'm not dead. I feel like it some mornings, but I seem to still have a pulse. I am still ambulatory and consuming too many chips and too much chocolate. I got my hair cut (Deva's mom Judy cut it, as I am too cheap and have too little time to go to a salon). I seem to resemble my driver's license photo again. Other than that, there is not much happening. School. Work. Haircut. Oh, and it's decided to be spring. I saw crocuses nearly two weeks ago (I think; time does strange things at the end of semester).

Also, I am finding it difficult to not change my major to photography. I really like design, but it is photo class that infallibly puts me in a good mood and makes me happy that I am in art school. Must . . . be . . . practical. I got my summer course schedule (note to self: hurry up and apply for a student loan, you git). I'll have Intro Photo (in case you are confused, I am currently taking Foundation Photo, which is the first year course) and Survey of 20th Century Art (which I am mainly taking as it is a prerequisite for History of Photography which I have registered for in the fall) all summer long. In the first half of the summer, I'm taking Book Arts, and in the second half, I'm taking Computer Image Making. I've ended up with 8:30 classes at least one day a week all summer (yuck) and also one day a week that's really long, but I only have classes 3 days out of 7. So, I guess there was some news. Now I go back to work. Or maybe I'll play Daxter for a while first.

Anime night tonight. Yay!

24 March 2006

PSP Updates

So, I am working madly away to get the new psp.about.com site ready to go live. It's a lot of fun, too. Anyway, I broke down and bought Daxter yesterday. I think it's the first time I've ever bought a new release game for any system. I did trade in a PS2 game, though, so it was slightly cheaper.

Also, I found a place that has PSPs with version 1.5 firmware, brand new in the box. Version 1.5 is the highest version that will run all homebrew programs, which is what I want a second PSP for (because homebrew is probably going to be a significant aspect of the new job, and I can't really report on it without a machine that runs it).

18 March 2006

Birthday Ideas

Yes, I know my birthday isn't for well over two months . . .

Since I'm going to be the PSP Guide at About.com, I'm going to need a few things, and it would be cool to get some of them for my birthday (I thought to myself). The things I'll need include PlayStation magazines, PSP accessories, PSP movies and PSP games. And maybe another PSP.

Even though I get all the latest news online, magazines are still a good source of information, ideas for articles, and so on. The magazines I'd like subscriptions to for work are (roughly in order of importance):

Yeah, there are quite a few. I probably missed some (I purposely left out a really cool, but very pricey, English game culture mag). The top three on the list are the most important -- the first two are PlayStation and PSP specific, and the third is handheld gaming specific. The other three are also useful but not as vital.

Accessories. I'm coveting this case/stand, but essentially, anything other than Pelican's Face Armor and Disc Jackets, Intec's leather case, and the Sony items that came in the value pack woud be useful for reviewing. Things I actually need would include some kind of screen protector (those stick-on fim things) and Logitech's PlayGear Pocket. Oh, and a bigger Memory Stick (Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Pro Duo) -- say 1 GB or larger.

As for games and movies, anything on UMD (that's the PSP format tiny discs that come in a case like a DVD case but narrower) would be great (except for Lumines and Death Junior for games, and Hellboy and Van Hellsing for movies). I will probably have to scrape together the cash to buy a few before my birthday, but I'll keep anyone interested up to date. I don't own any music videos on UMD -- those would be useful for reviews.

And I've been thinking a second PSP would be a good idea. I'm going to be doing extensive coverage of PSP Homebrews, and running homebrew requires some clever hacks. It would be nice to have a clean system for playing approved games and movies, and another for messing around with the frowned-upon-by-Sony stuff. Ideally, I'd either like a ceramic white Japanese system, which would let me review both a different colour and a different version, or an older system running firmware version 1.50 (but not 1.51 or 1.52), which would be much harder to find -- eBay, probably -- but which would let me run every homebrew ever made.

Of course, there are rumours of a slimmed-down version of the PSP coming out around Christmas, but so far they are only rumours, and Christmas is a long way off.

There are always non-PSP things, too, like photography books and anime DVDs, but until I establish good press/pr relationships with companies that make stuff for PSP, I'm going to have to buy things to review and write about, and I can't quite justify so many magazine subscriptions on a limited budget. Sigh.

Early birthday presents are always welcome, of course. (heh heh heh)

17 March 2006


Quite some time ago I had an idea to do paintings on wood in such a way that the wood grain showed through and formed part of the composition. I actually painted one -- a selkie -- but my skills as a painter were not exactly astounding. I also had glued on a sheet of parchment with calligraphy on it, then sanded down the surface so most of the wood grain was visible again before painting on it. I liked the way it turned out, even if it was a bit shaky, and used to have it hanging on my wall. I keep meaning to try that again, but when do I have time to paint? Geh.

Anyway, I was browsing blogs this morning, and came across a link to this artist, who paints lovely people on wood with the wood grain showing through (or else it's very convincing faux grain, but I think it's real). I especially like the one with the coelacanth. And the bug one. Lovely stuff, anyway. (Link via Fabulist.)

Coolest Geek Ever!

I think I mentioned that I'd applied to do the PSP (that is, Playstation Portable) site for About (for whom I currently do the CW for Teens site). Well, I went through prep (that is training that also helps the staff evaluate your ability to do the job). I was almost two weeks long, but I had a blast! So, anyway, I found out Wednesday that I got the job! Yay! So I have another week or two to build up the site, and then it goes live and I am the About Guide to PSP. Of course, I also have to give up teenwriting, but that's okay. I haven't been so enthusiastic about it lately. It's hard to write about writing when the only writing you're doing is writing about writing. I think this will be a good change.

09 March 2006

Quoth the . . . Cat?

I realized I hadn't posted any pics of the kittens. Sam (aka Captain Samuel Morgan), who has thumbs, now lives next door with Deva's mum, so I don't have any recent shots of him. Poe, on the other hand, has become a huge furry black beast (alas, his brain doesn't seem to have grown along with his body) who likes to occupy empty shelves.

And yes, he talks. A lot, and loudly. He doesn't say "Nevermore," though. Just variations of "Meeeeoowwww!" (usually sounding like he's been abandoned and will never know companionship again, even if he happens to be standing right next to you).