Sunday, September 30, 2007
I'm in the first video after the orange line, "Cowboy Roy meets an SDE." I'm at the back left of the conference table. Watch me (from a terribly unflattering angle) pretend to have a meeting right before the singing cowboy follows the frightened young developer into the bathroom.
You can also meet someone on my team in the video "Cowboy Roy meets an SDET" and the follow-up "John's interview."
Well, yesterday was the first time I've had anything of any real value stolen from me. I mean, a kid stole a brown Crayola marker from me when I was little, but that was decades ago. Yesterday, while I was visiting Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, someone broke into our rental car and stole the following:
- Four CDs*
- An opened bag of assorted cookies
- An umbrella
They didn't steal anything else or damage the vehicle—they left behind backpacks, road atlases, beef jerky, Red Bull, water, and my dad's butterfly net. Oh well... it certainly could have been worse. At least the thieves had good taste in music.
Currently stolen: * Keane—Under the Iron Sea, KT Tunstall—Drastic Fantastic, Muse—Black Holes and Revelations, Mute Math—Mute Math
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
That one surprised me. I love meat. I eat a lot of it. But, apparently, I'm not getting enough protein. So, I've been adding a little chicken breast to things that didn't have meat before, like pastas, and other little things like that. Also, every day as a snack I've been eating these concentrated soy protein bars.
I didn't have many options for meat-free protein supplements since I'm highly allergic to whey, the most common source. The second-most-common is soy, and there are a lot of revolting soybean products that pass off as edible by humans. I've tried various powders and bars, and found a lot of horrid things, but I've also found a couple products that actually taste pretty good. They've got quite a decent amount of protein and other vitamins and minerals in them, and I'd almost eat them even if they weren't healthy. The worthwhile products I've tried have been various flavors of protein bars by GeniSoy. I recommend the fudge flavor and the mint flavor if you ever feel like increasing your protein intake.
GeniSoy just really seems like an unfortunate brand name. I mean, clearly I get the Soy part, but where does Geni come from? The only word that immediately comes to mind is "genitals." (If I think hard and long enough I can come up with "genius" and "genial.")
Sunday, September 23, 2007
In comparison, only three tracks from last year made it onto my top 25:
Anggun—Cesse la Pluie
Linkin Park—Somewhere I Belong
Michelle Branch—'Til I Get Over You
Competition is getting fierce.
But I do remember the first image that came to mind this morning. This morning, the very first thing I thought about after waking up was... one of the cashier girls from my building's cafeteria, and the guy who runs the grill. They were leaving about the same time I did on Friday, around 9:00, and I ran into them getting into the elevator as I was getting out of it. I have no idea why that image would have been the first one in my mind this morning.
There are some refinements I'll want to make over time, but I decided it was good enough to replace the old theme right now. I hope you enjoy it. Special thanks to Rohan, Sean, Marc, and Matt for your feedback while I was doing my last-minute tweaks.
Currently listening: Mute Math—Break the Same
Saturday, September 22, 2007
~ ~ ~
It is not easy for the Travis to express their internal images, insights, and abstractions. The internal form of the Travis' thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand.
Travises spend a lot of time inside their own minds, and may have little interest in the other people's thoughts or feelings.
Indeed, the Travis is not overly demonstrative of their affections, and is likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire. That doesn't mean that he or she doesn't truly have affection or regard for others, they simply do not typically feel the need to express it.
Travises are usually difficult to get to know well, and difficult to get close to.
Travis... can be really good at telling jokes, and exhibiting a sarcastic wit with a poker face.
* Not threatened by conflict or criticism
* Usually self-confident
* Generally extremely intelligent and capable [well, Mom says...]
* Not naturally good at expressing feelings and affections
* Tendency to believe that they're always right
* Tendency to be unwilling or unable to accept blame
~ ~ ~
Currently listening: Mute Math—Typical, which made me want to listen to Mute Math—Transformers Theme
We wandered around in the crawl space, hidden passage, or whatever it was for quite a while. We came across broken stairways, twisting passages, and all sorts of adventure movie stereotypes. At one point we had to climb into a heating duct that was dangerous to get into, and it was then that the dream contained Dramatic Adventure Movie Escape Cliché #1: I found myself reaching down from the duct, pulling the next person up after they had slipped and were at risk of falling down to certain death, while the person ahead of me held onto my feet so I didn't fall down myself.
Movies have ruined my brain. In fact, if you were to argue that the random blonde woman was only present because she herself is a movie cliché: the pretty but helpless female who needs constant assistance from the men, but likely proves herself to be strong and self-confident after all by the end.
Anyway, like most of my dreams, there was no real point and no real resolution; I merely woke up instead of actually escaping the treacherous passage.
Currently listening: Muse—Starlight
Friday, September 21, 2007
I was fortunate enough to start buying movies right around the time that DVDs began to become popular; I only purchased three movies on VHS, and I just replaced those with DVDs and gave them away. The format that will win my heart, and likely the hearts of more American consumers, is probably the first one that can manage to offer movies at roughly the same prices as standard DVDs. Right now there's a significant premium to buy high-def discs versus standard DVDs, though it's decreasing all the time. Probably the most interesting development I've noticed is that the HD-DVD version of 300 includes the standard DVD version. The Blu-Ray version doesn't. So, for about eight bucks more than the regular DVD, you can also get a high-def version. That seems like a reasonable deal, and if I decide to buy 300, I'll probably buy that version.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
(Examples: "Sleepless in the Seattle Metro Area" in the image currently to the left is handwritten, and "blog.travisspomer.com" is using the font I created. All of the handwritten text on travisspomer.com is currently using the handwriting font.)
Monday, September 17, 2007
Hey, a few hundred years from now, will people who want to look dignified and intellectual listen to Britney Spears because it will be classical music?
Sunday, September 16, 2007
1. "Huh? Jejeje?"
2. "Oh yeah. Other languages are funny." (smile)
3. Then, I continue smiling, because I think of that Simpsons episode where the students are laughing at Lisa, and the French teacher instructs them to laugh at her "en français" instead.
- It's approaching dinnertime, so I decide to go downstairs and relax and make dinner.
- I remember that I need to set up a guest account on my PC downstairs so my parents will be able to watch TV without needing my admin password (my TV works through my PC).
- As I'm in Media Center anyway, I decide to get rid of some of the things I have recorded and never watched.
- I decide to watch an episode of The Singing Bee, and skim a few others.
- I'm now in a musical mood when I return upstairs after eating dinner, so I decide to finish my music awards for 2007.
Usually when I follow a chain of distractions this long I forget to do the things that I originally intended. In this case, I'm particularly proud of myself for remembering to actually make and eat dinner before getting distracted and listening to music for hours and hours.
Most ridiculous and pretentious intro track
Basement Jaxx—Intro (Crazy Itch Radio)
Most upsetting stark realization that this album isn't going to be as good as I had hoped
Linkin Park—Given Up (track 2, right after the intro)
Most offensively awful album
Bubba Sparxxx—The Charm
Weirdest video for a weird song
Basement Jaxx—Take Me Back to Your House
And that does it for the 2007 Sleepless in the Seattle Metro Area Music Awards. Here's to 2008! I've got a few more interesting-looking CDs coming in the mail, and Black Holes and Revelations by Muse that I've just started to check out. ES Posthumus finally has a new album coming out soon, as well as Hooverphonic, and I can practically guarantee that tracks from both will make the next list.
Amon Tobin—Always (top 5)
Anggun—Cesse la Pluie (top 5)
Anggun—Être une Femme
Basement Jaxx—Hush Boy (top 5)
Basement Jaxx—Take Me Back to Your House
Death Cab for Cutie—Title and Registration
Garbage—Bleed Like Me
Keane—Atlantic (top 5)
Keane—Is It Any Wonder?
KT Tunstall—Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
KT Tunstall—Suddenly I See
Linkin Park—Bleed it Out
Linkin Park—In Pieces
Maroon 5—If I Never See Your Face Again
Maroon 5—Little of Your Time
Métisse—Boom Boom Bâ
Newsboys—Wherever We Go
Rihanna—Umbrella (top 5)
Scissor Sisters—I Can't Decide
Shea Seger—Last Time
Tom McRae—A Day like Today
Tom McRae—Karaoke Soul
In the end, I think that the best song from 2007 was:
Best song of 2007
Under the Iron Sea
Atlantic certainly helped bring Under the Iron Sea to the coveted Travis Spomer's favorite album of 2007 spot, but the rest of the album would still stand extremely strong without it.
Basement Jaxx—Crazy Itch Radio
Keane—Under the Iron Sea
Amon Tobin—Foley Room
David Arkenstone—The Celtic Book of Days
Death Cab for Cutie—Transatlanticism
Delerium—Nuages du Monde
KT Tunstall—Eye to the Telescope
Maroon 5—It Won't Be Soon Before Long
Yann Tiersen—Les Retrouvailles
I reevaluated my ratings of the 7+ albums, and these all still seem appropriate, except for the David Arkenstone album, which is probably pushing it. Any of the 9/10 albums would be great choices for the Travis Spomer album of the year, but the award goes to...
Best album of 2007
Under the Iron Sea
The criteria for making it onto these lists is merely that I had to have heard the song since the last time I did this, about a year ago. I'm calling that time period "2007." So, without further ado, let's start with the best albums of 2007.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Air—The Virgin Suicides: 6/10
Rihanna—Good Girl Gone Bad: 5/10
Global Underground Afterhours 3: overall recommended
This time I've been listening to yet another Air album, the soundtrack to the movie The Virgin Suicides. As a movie soundtrack, it's a little more bland "background music" in its style, and while it has the laid-back attitude that I'm expecting from Air, there's not as much weirdness or variety as their other CDs. Still, if you like Air, you'll probably like this too. It sort of makes me want to watch the movie (1999, Sofia Coppola). Unlike most CDs, all of my favorite tracks are in the second half of the album: Ghost Song, Highschool Lover, and Dead Bodies.
Since I don't listen to the radio (or internet radio) or watch MTV, I'm usually pretty far behind when it comes to hit songs. I'd heard Umbrella by Rihanna from her latest album Good Girl Gone Bad a couple times, but I think most people my age have probably heard it about a hundred times, so it's still new to me. That said, there's a reason that it's such a popular song; it's entrancing. If only the rest of the disc were as good. It's not bad, just not too interesting to me—it's similar to Beyoncé's Dangerously in Love, but more electronic and less R&B. The best songs on here besides Umbrella are Breakin' Dishes and Lemme Get That. Breakin' Dishes in particular reminds me of Nelly Furtado's last CD, but Rihanna doesn't pull it off as well.
Finally, I've been listening to a three-CD compilation by Global Underground with the creative name Afterhours 3. Not bad; you get a lot of variety for your money. I think it would be good at exactly what it says it would be good for: late night background music at or after a party. One of the CDs is mostly just club music, which I'm not really a big fan of, but the other two are chillout and ambient (roughly speaking), which I'm more friendly toward. Like this set, my favorites from the collection cover a variety of different electronica styles: The Cinematic Orchestra—Channel Suite 1, Andrew K—No Hay Banda, Ticon—In Stereo, and Charlie—Spacer Woman. Recommended, though I can't really rate it since every track is different.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Ctrl+Q code Enter
to wrap your selection in <code></code> tags. If you want to, you can even do something like
Ctrl+Q span style="code" Enter
if you wanna get all complicated. I knew that you could do this for existing tags (if, say, you wanted to enclose a div inside of another div), but not for just random text. I'm gonna use this all the time.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Even if you don't have enough people to break up into multiple teams and do a scavenger hunt, you can still rent out the boats and sail around on your own for about $18 a person, which seems like it might be a fun party idea for ten people.
Currently listening: Mark Snow—Threnody in X
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
First, start with the unaired pilot. Hmm, the show is a bit enigmatic and overwhelming with so many storylines right from the start, but no big deal. Looks interesting enough.
Then, move on to the second episode. You may notice at this point that there are already serious story and continuity errors. By the end of the episode, you should be scratching your head. This is normal.
To clear everything up, now watch the first episode. You'll note that, like the second episode, it's very similar to the unaired pilot, except different in subtle, confusing ways. Wait, that guy lost his hand a few minutes ago; how does he have two hands now? What was all that stuff about cancer? Why is that painting different in this one scene? We just saw that scene, and it was a different painting.
Request for future DVD producers: if at any time it is not 100% clear what order to watch things in, please include documentation either in the packaging or the DVD menu.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Currently listening: Unreal Tournament 3 theme, alternate version (both downloadable)
Friday, September 7, 2007
If you liked the questing in Oblivion, Shivering Isles won't disappoint. If you're the type who liked to get lost in the game world, there's plenty to explore here, with all-new enemies and architecture, though the raw size of the world is small compared to the base game. Of course, "small" in Oblivion terms is still quite a sizable island to play around in. The quests take thirty hours or so.
Anyway, if you played Oblivion, there's no good reason not to get Shivering Isles unless you're totally sick of the game by now. It's been out for quite a long time on the PC and Xbox Live, and the Xbox 360 DVD is coming out in a few weeks if you prefer that route.
(I always assumed they worked through bolts that were difficult to get to and adjust.)
I can't even recall the last time that this was not true. There should be a rule somewhere that if you order something that isn't "meat lover's" or something fairly similar, you have to only eat from that pizza until it's gone or spoken for. It is not be a coincidence that the mushroom-pineapple-olive thin crust pizza that you knew would be awesome is still there in the box.
(I like "regular" meat pizzas, with the exception of pepperoni, which I detest. My ideal pizza is something like sausage-bacon-onion, though a plain sausage pizza is delicious enough too. Ground beef as a topping is rare here, though it is another delicious option in Nebraska.)
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Currently listening: Muse—Starlight
So far they haven't made any effort to come pick it up. I've informed them that I have it and that they can have it back whenever they want. Nobody has contacted me yet. So yeah, free handtruck.
Biggest applause: a particular new Windows Live beta feature (seriously)
Second biggest applause: Bill Gates dropping a microphone (I guess—I didn't see it) resulting in what I think is the loudest ear-shattering screeching noise I have ever heard (even louder than Steve Ballmer's trademark screeching)
Third biggest applause: seeing BioShock in the E3 2007 Xbox 360 games montage
Now sit in an uncomfortable chair for eight hours and fidget while reading Microsoft press releases. There; it's like you were there.
Fourth biggest applause was when somebody's paper airplane made it all the way to the stage.
Monday, September 3, 2007
The Mars Volta—Amputechture: 3/10
Dennis McCarthy—Star Trek: Generations: 3/10
Recently I've been listening to a couple albums, including Amputechture by The Mars Volta. It's pretty mediocre. I wasn't a huge fan to begin with, but their last couple CDs were interesting enough that I bothered buying this one. I think I'm done. I like that it's creative and unusual music, but they're just too high for me. The best tracks on here are Vermicide and Viscera Eyes—Vermicide is pretty good, but it doesn't keep the album afloat, and the rest of the disc is nothing to, well, blog about.
I also have been listening to the Star Trek: Generations soundtrack by Dennis McCarthy, which is also pretty mediocre. McCarthy is the guy who they get to do Star Trek soundtracks when Jerry Goldsmith wasn't around, apparently; he also did a lot of the TV music. And, TV music is really what this sounds like. There's not a lot of punch, and almost everything on here is forgettable. The best stuff on here is Deck 15 and The Nexus / A Christmas Hug, both of which are pretty to listen to but not particularly exciting, and most of the rest is even more bland.
Neither disc is awful, but I'm not feeling very generous, so I give them each three out of ten, though four would probably be almost as fitting.
I have finally almost emptied my music queue. At one time I had forty unlistened CDs, and now I'm down to two: The Virgin Suicides by Air, and Afterhours 3, a compilation that I am hoping may lead me to more interesting artists. I've got several more discs on order, though, so I won't run out quite yet...
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Tonight, for the first time, I assembled a bookcase for which I actually did get an incorrect piece—the piece I got had the holes drilled on the wrong side. Luckily I'd purchased a drill in the last couple months, so I was able to fix the problem, but it was certainly frustrating. And now that sacred trust of assembly-required furniture has been breached. Now every time I assemble something, I'll no longer have that assurance that no, they didn't screw up, and I just need to figure out what's upside-down. This one little error will have permanently warped my mind to the detriment of all future furniture assemblies, perhaps for the rest of my life.