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360 Degree picture of Paris January 27, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Photography.
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Beautiful High resolution 360 Degree picture of Paris. Probably been around the net forever but I just found it. Nice to see there are some pretty things out there to look at.

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These Kinda Freak Me Out January 27, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity.
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Listed on Digg as the oddest doll ever. I tend to agree. It feels funny. They really shouldn’t disturb me but there is something creepy about them. Miniature baby dolls. No really. Miniature. Baby. Dolls.

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The City as Avatar Itself January 27, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity, Movies, Photography.
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This guys photos are amazing, he creates an effect of an extremely accurate and super detailed models but they are real photos with an effect on them.

I’m reminded of a line in one of my favorite silly movies, “Joe Versus the Volcano“.

Upon seeing LA for the first time Joe is asked what he thinks.

“It looks fake. I like it”
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Updates January 26, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Creativity, News and politics, Personal.
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Well I made a test page in iWeb and posted it to my .mac site. I’m still not sold. I’ll play with it some more tonight. I still have 10 days before my .mac account expires. I’m not even going to put a link to it here yet. It took forever to upload even the most basic changes. So I came back to do a little work here and see how much I liked working with WordPress after iWeb.

I decided that it was time to clean up some of the stuff that was still just being placeheld. I finally started putting up some links and I made catagories for every post. I also updated my About page. I’ve decided that I’ll let the internet decide who I really am. Just click it you’ll see.

I have more bookmarks to put up. Sites I like. But the ones I put up today are truly daily reads. I watch no TV, the only newspapers I read are print editions of the two links I listed. I subscribe to the New Yorker and Esquire and pretty much read them from cover to cover. So these links give you a good look at what my media filters are.

How to Be Creative January 25, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Creativity.
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An excellent read detailing 30 ways to be more creative! This is one of the best things I have read on the internet in a long time. And his cards are very cool. I’m thinking about having a few made up with my blog address on them. Of course I would need to decide what that address is going to be first. It’s funny I feel like the person he is describing inside of me. I just don’t think he likes me very much sometimes.

read more | digg story

Arrg! I’m Doing It Again! January 25, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Creativity.
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Can’t seem to let things go with the whole which blog to use debate. I’m starting to lean back toward the .mac solution. I feel like I’ve got 10 days to make up my mind. That’s how long I’ve got left on my free membership. I got ahold of a copy of iWeb and I still can’t tell if it’s the perfect thing for me. Is it simple enough that I will just worry about content rather than the technical side of learning web page development? Or will I find that I’m going to outgrow it just when I’ve started to invest real time into it? I’m going to keep posting here until I can make up my mind and maybe get some content done on it first.

Speaking of providing content. My weekend is just about over. I’m back to the store tomorrow. I can’t believe I just had two days off and didn’t actually post anything. It hung over me the whole time too. I had that whole “school project is due after three weeks and I haven’t cracked a book” feeling these last two days.

What I have been doing is screwing around with my computer. I copied all my New Yorker DVDs onto one of my hard drives so I can just virtual disk them and keep the DVDs fresh. That was part of a whole morning of re-doing my folders on my hard drives. That and I’m trying out still another web browser. Camino seems very fast and very stable. I like my Firefox but lately it has been unstable. More than that. It has been crashing all the time on the site I’ve been spending most of my internet time on: digg.com. I miss some of my extensions but less so since I installed Tiger and most of their functionality is just F12 away.

I’ve started gaming on my mac too. After a bit of a backlash from when I quit selling video games for a living I’m back to enjoying them. Mac has my favorite series: Age of Empires except for the new one. I have Age III for my PC and I like it a lot but it’s not enough to make me want to keep my PC. I’ve been playing Warcraft III and it is a lot of fun. An RTS with a story, cool. I’ve never played it before but I did give up a couple of months of my life to World of Warcraft. Now I’m starting to get the story background. I may even turn my account back on after I’m done with Frozen Throne. (Yea, I’ll have time to blog then, sure I will.)

So tonight I took a break from all the review and tips and tricks on the internet. I took a break from renaming files and cleaning out what I don’t use but trying to keep space for what I might use. I took a break from weighing the integration of the Apple products and the automation of them working together with the fact that Apple wants a hundred bucks from me for stuff that I can piece together cheaper. What stupid things to worry about. Very silly.

iPod Update January 22, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Music, Personal.
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Yes, on Thursday my iPod did recover to work another day. Well half of another day at least. Friday morning found me facing my morning commute with my trusty tunes. No worries.

Friday night I left the store with my headphones on. The living Elvis started in about the Angels wanting to wear his red shoes. By the time I reached Starbucks on the corner my iPod had frozen again. Having lived through the rollercoaster of the night before I did not panic. I might as well have. Elivis Costello would make the last sounds my iPod would ever produce.

When I got back home I started in on the web. The Apple site had good instructions on how to unfreeze my drive. The trouble was that it wouldn’t reboot. At all. No matter what I did. All I got was an icon with a picture of an iPod with an unhappy face on it and the address to the very same Apple support site I was already looking at.

Well let’s just say that my iPod wasn’t the only one with a sad face. I the unit only a month ago on ebay. It was defiantly used but until Thursday had worked perfectly. Of course I knew next to nothing about the history of my iPod. I looked up my options on the Apple site. If it is covered under the warranty they will replace it no charge. If it is beyond the warranty period there is a small service fee of $249. Oh yea plus $6.95 in shipping. No charge or $250. Not much of a middle ground there. I wasn’t too excited about my prospects either as I had only paid $215 for the machine. Heck the Apple store had the same unit refurbished for $249 with free shipping.

So for the next two days I fretted about it. Yesterday and today I even dusted off my old Creative Zen Micro. (Absolute piece of garbage) for the ride to and from work. The Zen freezes with regularity but is very easy to reset because of it’s external battery. About once a week I would lose music for about half my commute while it ran scandisk. The headphone jack also wont maintain a good connection with the plug and has to be held in an absolutely still manner with two fingers pressing it in place. That combined with the fact that it simply wont update with iTunes for the Mac or PC and won’t register on my mac with any software makes me real enthused to buy a Creative product again. They even have the nerve to rename Podcasting to Zencasting?

So today I got off of work early and made my way down to the Apple Store for the moment of truth. I told the greeter at the door my woes hoping I would be lucky enough that he could point me in the right direction or tell me who to talk to. I must have forgotten where I was. Thought I was in Target or something. He took me right away to a computer and punched in the serial number or the support website. (How did I miss that?) This is where my luck kicks in strong. Although the initial warranty ended in late November the original owner had paid for AppleCare Protection. He sent me upstairs to the Genius Bar.

Upstairs I signed in and checked out the software for about 10 minutes until my name was called. (I couldn’t resist picking up my old favorite PC game Age of Empires II on mac) I explained why I thought the drive was fried to the guy who took in into the back for about 3 minutes. He came back to say, “Yea, it’s gone”. He reached behind the counter for a sealed box with a pre-made shipping label, filled out a form on his computer and then asked me to sign the page that printed out. He still hadn’t asked for any personal information. I signed the form and he handed me a brand new 40GB iPod. That was that. I slipped it into my back pocket and went downstairs to pay for my game. What else can I say: Apple, you rock. You really do.

My iPod Froze Today January 19, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Music, Personal.
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Not a nice way to start the day. I was coming off the end of the Mason Street Cable Car line when right in the middle of Sinatra singing “You’re Getting to be a Habit With Me” it just stops. Backlight still on, middle of the song will not respond to anything. Will not shut down, will not, well will not do a damn thing expect display that at 1:20 into the song everything was just stopped.

Over the course of the next couple of hours I would try every kind of button combination that I can think of. Plugged it into two different iBooks, ficked the hold button back and forth to try to free up the scroll wheel. Nothing. Finally I realized my next best hope was when this damn thing ran out of juice. Sure enough four hours of constant backlight finally shut the thing down. And to my relief after a little playing around with it I got it to mount on my iBook.

Whew! Not a nice feeling. Sure I have multiple back-ups of all my music, but that’s just not a device an urban commuter without a car wants to face life without. It was good the whole way home and is happily linked up with iTunes from the dock right now. I just hope that was an isolated incident. Feel like I dogged a bullet on that one.

Washington Mutual Account Compromised January 19, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Personal.
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Ok, so maybe it wasn’t their fault but, boy they could have told me about it. Remember Monday when I said that I signed up to register lacadaz.com. Well that didn’t happen. The reason was that my debit card got denied. This struck me as pretty odd as my debit card never gets denied. This is not because I am so on top of my finances but rather my bank being so anxious to cover my overdrafts as fast as they can for a small $22 fee. I have purchased more than one $25 bagel in my life.

Well I shrugged it off. Maybe I had imputed a number wrong. Maybe their billing was screwy. I checked my account online and saw that I had a healthy balance. Healthier than I should I thought. Seems my rent check hasn’t gone through yet. Then last night my re-bill for my Backpack account was kicked back. Now I’m worried. So I call my bank. “Is my rent check in some sort of banking limbo unpaid but holding all my money?”

“No everything is fine. Your balance is good. No checks returned.”

“Then what’s going on with my debit card.”

“I’ll check for your.”

“Yes, your debit card has been cancelled”

“Oh.”

“Why?”

Then we proceed into the part of the conversation where she tells me that a merchant service has had their database compromised and that they cancelled all of the cards that were potentially affected. That sounds great to me. Except for the part where they hadn’t told me about it, hadn’t phoned me, mailed me a letter, sent me an email or even put up a message to me in their little internal email system with their online banking. Her response was that they were sending out replacement cards that should arrive by next Wednesday. And that when these things happen. (made it sound like it really isn’t all that uncommon) it’s usually thousands of cards.

Listen I’m glad that they are on top of this security issue. I would have hated to prove that I hadn’t made a bunch of fraudulent charges. And frankly it worked out ok, I have since realized that I’m pretty happy with WordPress.com and I wasn’t using the extra space in Backpack anyhow. But the thing is, I have direct deposit and an ATM card. I’ve only been to the bank once since I moved to the city. It’s not convenient to where I live and work. And I feed myself with my debit card. Like all my food is derived from that one piece of plastic. This is a big inconvenience for me. Somebody should have at least let me know that this was going on.

A Pretty Productive Weekend January 17, 2006

Posted by Lee A Haynes in Computers, Creativity, Personal.
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I’m back to work this morning after a couple of days off. Taking stock of those two days off shows that they were pretty productive. The big one was setting up this blog. True there is still a lot to do. If fact I haven’t even written a “I’ve Moved” post on my Blogger page yet because I want this site to be in better shape first. But I’ve thrown up ten entries and being that I haven’t posted anything in two weeks that’s a big step forward for me.

The other big thing is the back-posting. I decided to make up the missing dates in 2006 here only because I felt I had the notes to capture my moods and what I was thinking about during those times. I knew I had that in my personal journal. My journal however had gone through a big change last week. On Thursday the twelfth I stopped writing in my Moleskine and switched to keeping a journal on my computer on a program called Notebook. Notebook from Circus Ponies is simply my favorite software on the Mac. It indexes everything. Automatically. Everything.

Anyway before I was able to start posting here I decided to transfer over the pages I wrote longhand into my Notebook. I finished that project yesterday. With the addition of those twenty-five pages I now have a completely updated 2006 journal. As I expected this made it much easier to do my blog posts. I did not finish those, but should be able to in the next couple of days. If I catch up two days a day I’ll be done by the end of the week.

I have to take this opportunity to gush about my Mac Mini again. She preformed beautifully during this work. Never hung for even a second with tons of browser windows and tabs, Notebooks, and of course the ever present iTunes. My PC never would have been that stable.

Oh, and a quick shout out to Flock. A new browser still in development that I downloaded on Friday and am starting to grow fond of. It is already my browser of choice when blogging. It’s based on Firefox but has built in features to access your blog and flicker as well as a social bookmarking integration that is just too easy.