So, chilling at home. Thursday night. Doing laundry and watching “Hackers” for the first time in something like 10 years. Jeff loaned it to me; I think I’m going to buy it. Yeah the tech is a little dated, but it’s charismatic, the soundtrack is great, and Angelina Jolie is freakin hot. It’s also a time capsule of sorts.
Brought my work desktop home. Out of space. So I’m repartitioning to get some room back.
Tomorrow it’s an off-Friday; I am volunteering at the Ultimate frisbee national championships, AKA “The 2007 UPA Club Ultimate Championships”, which run today through Sunday. It’s a mostly-US-based tournament, but Canadian teams are allowed to compete, and both Vancouver and Toronto are representing. So far Vancouver’s team, “Furious George”, isn’t looking so hot; they went 0-3 today. We’ll see how they do tomorrow though. I’ll be radioing in scores for the games and taking care of other business at the fields — you can keep track of all the action at the tournament website.
After the day’s games end, I’ll be heading to dinner with the volunteers, then off to HIllsborough River State Park with the kru. I’ll spend the day there, then back to Sarasota for Sunday’s Ultimate finals. I can’t wait 🙂
I had a great time this weekend thanks in large part to the good organizational skills of my friend Eric G. He was heading up to Orlando on Friday for a business trip; the following day was the Hurricane Hat tournament. He figured, why not invite some people to the hat tournament, and go to Halloween Horror Nights the night before?
Sounded like a great idea to me, and to Carolina too. We carpooled up to Orlando and met Eric there; went for dinner and hit Universal Studios. It was surreal at first; they were pumping out fog into the street in broad daylight — that was spooky enough by itself. But by the time darkness hit, things got into full tilt. We went to several great haunted houses, which were great. We didn’t manage to make it to Friday the 13th haunted house by the 2am close time — which we were saving for last — but that’s okay. The ones we did make it to were great. There were staff in costume running about spooking people out with taps on the shoulder, “boo!” or whathaveyou. If you’re wondering how that’s supposed to work, well, they’ve got a no-costume policy for all visitors. At one of the haunted houses, some of the staffers zombies had working chainsaws, except without the chains. Believe me, when it’s dark and you hear a chainsaw going and can smell the gas, and can see it being waved towards you, you don’t spend too long figuring out if there’s something spinning on the end.
Got to go on the Mummy ride twice, which was awesome. The only way we managed this is that when we first got there, they had technical difficulties, so we went to another haunted house and came back later… to them just opening! No line at all. Awesome ride. Liked it so much we immediately ran through the gift shop and back to the entrance, where we ran through the maze-like waiting area and almost made it all the way through line-free. We had to wait about 15 minutes. Not bad, but I’m sure glad we did it early in the night, because there’s no way we would have made it through later on.
So yeah, Halloween Horror Nights was fun. We caught the shuttle back to the hotel and caught a couple winks and then it was off to the hat tournament.
Arriving shortly after 9am, we all ended up on the same team — Yellow, aka “Goldenrod(s)” — which was unexpected and fun. There were 8 teams total, and two divisions. Though we didn’t end up winning any of our games, we played hard and I did meet a lot of really cool people, a number of which I’ll be adding on Facebook shortly.
Speaking of which, if you’d like to add me on Facebook, you can do so by searching for my first and last name, and my profile should come right up. From there, just click “Add to Friends” and you should be good to go.
On to the pics!
Main entrance to “downtown” area; no admission required to get in here
Sitting in Patrick O’Brien’s having hurricanes
We tipped him and he played us a few tunes
She was after my head
Entering Halloween Horror Nights
The streets were really done up well
Du nuh du nuh du nuh
This haunted house was the best we went to all night… talk about totally tripped out
Jack the ringmaster and his assistant Chance at the Carnival of Carnage
Video from the Carnival of Carnage
Mel’s Diner looking a little different tonight
Making a backhand pass
Breaking for the endzone
Getting a pass to Sam through a hole in the cup
Dave going down low for the throw
Team Goldenrod(s) after our 4th and final game of the day. Exhausted but happy.
On Thursday, after spotting this post on MacRumors that some people had already been able to purchase iPod Touches* from the SoHo Apple store in NYC (a full two weeks before the official release date of Sept 28th), I shot Jeff an email; I knew he was already interested in getting one, and so was I. We were going to make the trip up to the Tampa Apple store Friday morning (we get every second one off), but he was really busy and had to work, so we pushed it off until Saturday instead.
Saturday morning arrived, and Jeff and I drove up to Tampa, picking up Kosi along the way. They didn’t have any left in stock. They did however, have some on display, so we got to play a bit there. I’m going to copy and paste this from a MacRumors post I made about the experience:
This morning I made the drive to the Tampa Apple store from Sarasota with a work buddy of mine.. they didn’t have them in stock; we were told to come back Monday. They *did* have them on display, though. It seemed like only half the staff even knew they were on display. Anyway, I ask one of the staff near the iPod touch area if I could take a photo, and he sneers,
“What, are you gonna post it on Digg or something?”
Me: “Nope… this is old news for Digg. I just drove an hour to come up here and buy one, I’d like to go back with something.”
Anyway… guess who just got back from Best Buy 😀
So yeah. And after a day and a half of using it, while I haven’t exercised all of its features yet — like, purchasing a song from the Wifi iTunes music store; I got an error when I tried last night — I have got to say I am really impressed. The built-in web browser is the best I’ve ever seen on a handheld device, the photo/slideshow experience is great — flicking between photos is fun 🙂 — the battery life is still surprising me and the thing is so thin it’s ridiculous. And my fears about the screen, brought on by this DaringFireball post, have gone largely unrealized. The screen is a little dark on its default brightness setting, but for the most part, I like it. Blacks are SUPER black. I haven’t seen it go negative yet.
I have yet to load a lot of music onto it; slightly disappointing is the fact that it doesn’t seem to want to sync via Firewire, and my computer doesn’t have USB 2 built-in. Easily solved however; I’ve got the Sonnet Allegro 5-Port USB 2.0 PCI Card on order from my favorite third-party Mac-related online computer store, Other World Computing, which should arrive sometime next week. So I’ve been able to sync things to it, just at USB 1.1 speeds, which — for those who don’t know — is like pulling your fingernails out slowly.
Anyway I’m really looking forward to using it more; all I need now is a case 🙂 Here’s some pics (clicky)!
Photo I took in the Apple store
Me and Jeff with our new acquisitions
Carnage as I ripped the box open
Gonna need to make some tough decisions, haha
The now famous green syncing screen
*Yes, I know it’s “touch” with a lowercase “t”. For the sake of not needing to say “iPod” every time I want to reference it, I’m going to be capitalizing the T.
Mini post! Another good weekend; work, then out to Snead Island and dinner at Thai Palace Friday with Justitia; all day Saturday at Adventure Island with Cam and Melissa and Joe and Owen; worked Sunday and met Greg and family in the evening for a bite at the Old Salty Dog.
So, last week I took a trip out to Myakka park on my bike and met up with Louis, Tori, Nkosi, and a few other friends. Above is a pano from the end-portion of our bike trip. You can click here to get the super-large version (5882×1421), which I created using Henrik Dalgaard’s $23 utility, DoubleTake.
I’ve posted a gallery too, which you can check out by clicking on Mr Butterfly:
Here’s a video I took of Deep Dish at Ultra 2007 last Friday. You might recognize the lyrics. The anticipation was palpable… I can’t think of a better way to kick off the festival. Please pardon the distorted bass, it was just too much for my lil Powershot G3. 😀
Had a great time on Sunday afternoon at “Jazz in the Park” at Phillippi Estate Park, the opening event to the 27th Sarasota Jazz Festival, put on by the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Eric, Angela and Morgan, Donna and Marie, and Nkosi were there, and now you were, too 🙂
Picture this: left work at 7:15 tonight and it was still (very) light out. Went to dinner with Cam at Firehouse Subs; a conversation about software design takes us right to close, 9pm. A further conversation in the parking lot goes to 9:30. It’s dark but at 81 degrees, warm. I drive home, window down, radio on.
A great many things have happened over the past couple months I haven’t had time to share with you, so I made the decision on the way home to get a few of them down.
First: Gasparilla. An annual parade in Tampa in late January that simulates a pirate invasion of the town. Basically an excuse to get dressed up and drink in public. Oh and fire fake guns. And collect beads. A lot of fun, and, now, it seems, an annual tradition of sorts. Clicky for biggy.
There are many other photos and videos from that day, but those should give you an idea…
Brief interruption while I fight with Moveable Type’s cookies… there.. seems to be working now. There really isn’t anything much more annoying than needing to log in every second page!
Next up, a beach bar crawl organized by my friend Kris in St Pete in early February. I pick up Kosi and we head to St Pete Beach. At first, we couldn’t get a hold of anyone. Then, Big City spots us and Mankow answers his cell; we find him, and, simultaneously, so do about 15 others. We crawl four bars and retire to Mankow’s, where Leonard’s got a good fire going.
And finally there was hockey, courtesy work. Nice perk! Unfortunately the Lightning lost in overtime after tieing it with a shorthanded goal with 12 seconds to go in the 3rd! Great fun anyway 🙂
Anyhow I’ll leave you with those for now; it’s well past bedtime 🙂
Well, I’m going to try and get in as much here as I can in the next ten minutes, no, nine minutes. I’m up at 5:30 these days, trying to get some extra work finished. Not sure how much longer I can keep that pace up.
In any case, here’s the update on me: Friday night, headed over to Cam and Melissa’s to watch Capote. There was a slight moment of fear when Cam couldn’t get the English subtitles working, but we got them going. Thank God. I love Philip Seymour Hoffman, but his character in this film, Truman Capote? Mumbles like a mofo. Good film, recommended.
Saturday I had photography class at Ringling Museum. Wait. Before I get to that, I should point out that the class before Saturday’s was on Wednesday, when Louis and I took a field trip out to Siesta Key. Got some great photos there (I think so anyway) and discovered a brand new spot on the beach I’ve never been to before. So that was a lot of fun. Zoom back to Saturday, Ringling Museum centers around the clown and amusement park history that is deeply grained in Sarasota history. The Ringling Circus? Yeah, it’s that Ringling. Sarasota has been their winter home since the 1930s. So there were many exhibits around that. In addition, we (and by we, I mean Cam, Joe, Tori and Louis) saw the Ca’ d’Zan (“House of John”), a waterfront mansion owned by John and Mabel Ringling, and, stupendously, only lived in for three years. But it’s gorgeous, and it seems like they brought the entire thing over on a boat from Italy.
Oh.. time is up. Pictures, hopefully tomorrow. Bedtime!