Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

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New Digital Camera: Canon PowerShot D10

(photos below)

My beloved Canon IXY (ELPH) digital camera has finally (mostly) died, thanks to me putting it in a bag that had falsely secure liquids. (It got beer on it and now it behaves very strange and lacks some features, such as playback.) Oops. Anyway, I don’t like having to be so careful with my camera; it interferes with my lifestyle. So, a logical choice for my next camera would be… a waterproof camera? 🙂 And since I know I like Canon cameras already, a waterproof Canon would be great! Luckily, Canon released their first waterproof camera, this year.

I’ve had the Canon PowerShot D10 (youtube, dpreview, dpreview group test) for 2 weeks now and taken over 100 photos. The interface and features are a nice refinement over my old Canon camera, but there are a few notable things that irritate me. It’s a little larger and heavier than I would like for a point-and-shoot; most importantly, I can’t put it in my pocket. 🙁 It lacks HD video, which I would love and is common for digital cameras this size and price point. It seems to select a rather high ISO setting, compared to my IXY, when on Auto and in lower-light situations – I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or not, but I have to get used to it. And, of course, making a camera waterproof puts some restrictions on the physical interface: no sliders, no knobs or dials… just buttons. But overall, I have tested it indoors and outdoors in different lighting, in the pool, the ocean, and the rain, and it seems to work pretty good. It turns on really quickly, and the battery life is fantastic (it’s just started flashing for the first time, and I’ve taken a lot of video, as well). In addition to being waterproof to 10 metres, it’s shock resistant and cold-resistant, so I will definitely be using it on the mountain, this ski season. It’s certainly not perfect, but I think I’m going to keep it. 🙂

Here are a selection of photos taken with it:

2008 In Review


This year has been pretty big. Naturally following up with lots of events from last year, these are some quick memories. My nephew, Rayden, was born on Feb 12th, six weeks early! This caused the father (my brother) to be indisposed for my dad’s (2nd) marriage on Feb 14th. I got bumped up to best man (but didn’t have to do much) and had a rather empty hotel room to myself in Vegas. I attended the Open Web Vancouver conference. I went to Whistler mountain for the first time in years and plan on going again soon. I went on a fantastic road trip down the west coast of the United States, something I will never forget. I slacked off most of the summer but managed to do quite a bit of rollerblading and outdoor activity hanging out with Kurt (visiting from Brazil). My brother, now a father, married the mother of his child on August 3rd. I was best man at this wedding, as well – with more responsibilities, but they were well received and totally worth it. Our beloved cat, Sky, met an early and terribly unfortunate end. We had our first encounter with bed bugs who are now the sworn enemy of our household. Vancouver, a city that sometimes doesn’t get snow all year, had its whitest Christmas ever with 60cm (2 ft) of snow! Perhaps we should have seen snow in April as a sign….?

That reminds me: Happy Holidays for 2008! Guess I was a little late on that… Here are some pictures of our insane weather in Vancouver.


With my free time, I think I was able to really exercise my geekiness in 2008. I released a couple updates to the Rhythmbox Jump-to-Playing plugin, which led me to submit my first patch to an upstream project! Said patch was accepted and will be in the next version of Rhythmbox! Yay. 🙂 It was just for some XML UI description, but it feels nice to have helped improve (even a tiny bit) a project that will be installed on thousands of computers in the next cycle. I also released a usable proof-of-concept GNOME Panel File List Applet which has stayed on my panel and I find quite useful. And I’ve done a couple little scripts and how-to’s that fall under the “nerd” category quite nicely. Oh yeah, and significant website updates. Next website todo item is to customize the attachment page for my theme, I think…. Also, I joined Twitter. And And LinkedIn….


Not many artsy things done this year. But with the significant improvements of tablet handling in Linux, I did some random doodles and a birthday card. I may not do it very often, but I still enjoy drawing, thank goodness.

Blog Stats for 2008

My Blog is by no means high traffic, but stats are fun! (These stats were obtained using the Stats plugin, and exclude the Feed stats, because I use Feedburner for that… although, I’m thinking I should revert that, now that I mostly use Stats.)

Top 3 Referrers:

  1. (402)
  2. (209)
  3. (126)

Top 3 Posts and Pages:

  1. Pidgin 2.1 UI Ideas (1,053)
  2. 2D Game Art and the Virtual Console (580)
  3. Rhythmbox Plugin: Jump to Playing 0.2 (455)

Top 3 Search Engine Terms:

  1. rhythmbox (327)
  2. bug (174)
  3. pidgin (165)

Top 3 Clicks:

  1. Pidgin UI screenshot attached to a bug (57)
  2. Pidgin UI mockup (50) by Hylke Bons
  3. SF2 HD Ken (42)
  4. The fourth was with 38 clicks, so it’s kinda cool I helped advertise a small project a little. (A project I’ve submitted patches to, no less. 🙂 )


Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful 2008. It’s been interesting, and despite a failing economy, I’m looking positively toward 2009.

Happy New Year! (????????????????) 🙂

A Gloomy Bear’s Life

Yesterday was Shirley‘s birthday. We went out for dinner with a bunch of people and drank. It was fun. I also decided to play with my tablet, yesterday. So a birthday ecard was a natural gift!! I sent this to her a day late.


Similar to my A Bug’s Life post, I’ll give a little overview of the process that went into this picture… I do this because I tend to enjoy reading these types of posts, myself… and… I can’t be the only one! 🙂

First, the idea: I know Shirley likes Gloomy Bear… but I know almost nothing about it! After a little searching to get the idea of Gloomy Bear’s looks. I gave it a first attempt:


I watched an informative and entertaining 3-minute video.Usually with Gloomy is the boy, Pity. Pity loves Gloomy, even though Gloomy’s a bear and attacks Pity, sometimes. I wanted the boy giving Gloomy a cake… then Gloomy reacting. Let’s try for more action….


Well, I was content with the idea… but that still didn’t look like Gloomy, at all! Did a couple sketches of Gloomy and Pity for a little practice:



Alright, these were looking a bit better. The perspective I wanted was a little awkward, but I’d give it a shot. The following resulted from drawing a lot and erasing a lot on the same sketch. That’s why it looks “smudgy.”


Awesome. It was starting to look acceptable. Now I had to make a nice outline. Using the Pen tool in Gimp, I added a new layer above the blue sketches. On this layer, I created paths and then applied strokes to the paths. (This kind of art should really be done with a vector program, like Inkscape, but I was tinkering in Gimp.) When I was done, I had a clean outline sitting on a layer above the blue sketch:


Next step was adding colour. This was really easy because the style for Gloomy Bear doesn’t have any shading – a single solid colour is applied to everything. Alright, then! Just had to hide the messy blue layer and add colours to a couple layers beneath the outline layer (we want the outline to be on top).


Add some text, a few touch-ups here and there, and that’s basically it! 🙂 Yay!

Originally, I did have a more elaborate idea of doing a stylish multi-panel comic:

  1. Pity gives Gloomy a cupcake.
  2. Close-up of cupcake.
  3. Close-up of Gloomy’s face, colours inverted.
  4. Gloomy reacts violently.
  5. Back to original scene, with after-effects.

This was my sketch for the reacting violently panel: 😉

Would have been fun. But I decided to keep things simple. 🙂

All images are under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. And I would appreciate being told if you use anything. 🙂

Road Trip

In less than three days, (this Monday) I will pick up Maki at the Vancouver airport. The following day we will be leaving, southbound, for California. The plan is fairly free-form, but places I want to hit are Florence (do the Oregon sand dunes with dune-buggies!), the Oregon Coast (obviously), San Francisco, Monterey (supposedly hosts a really good aquarium! – hells ya!), and Santa Monica for the sweet sweet beach. I have reserved a Pontiac G6 (The Bravery does the theme music??? – sweet) and got some maps and a “TripTik” through BCAA. I figured (and heard) a GPS navigator would be very useful on a road trip, but renting one for two weeks is simply not worth it – you might as well buy one. If I had a car, I probably would. But I don’t. Jeremy and his wife, Leanne, were kind enough to lend me theirs (though I did kind of beg). 😛 So last night, I headed out to Richmond and visited and picked up their GPS. Sweet. Things are coming together, but I still got lots of stuff to do. Pack. Clean my room (long overdue). Um… some more planning stuff.

While I was at Jeremy’s, we ate tacos (delicious) and played some XBOX 360. (His two daughters are becoming bigger and much more talkative.) Now, this may sound strange, but I’ve never actually really played an XBOX 360 before. We did some Guitar Hero 3 (which I have played before, and is great), Bioshock, Ghost Recon 2 (I think), and Call of Duty 3. Aside from GH3, the rest are all first-person-shooters. The graphics on the 360 are obviously way better than Wii, but I do find myself missing the Wii remote for FPS controls. The games are still fun, and I do like the 360 controller, but it’s not the best suited for FPS – which is ironic since those are the most popular.

Anyway, I gotta get back to cleaning and stuff.

This trip will be awesome and I’m really looking forward to seeing Maki again! 🙂


After a nice brunch with Ben and Mayu (and Emachan!) in the Cove, today, I went and picked up Smash Brothers: Brawl. I called EB and asked, “Do you have lots of copies of Brawl in?” They replied, “Yep!” So I said, “Great!” and went to pick up a copy. When I get there, they say unless I reserved a copy, they’re sold out. Wha…? They had 170 reserved copies and got 24 extra, so they sold out of the 24 extra, but not everyone had picked up their reserved copy yet. Anyway, the trip wasn’t totally in vain, as I signed up for a tournament. (Yes, 10 year olds will hand my ass to me.) Luckily, Superstore (which received 88 copies), was on my way back and had a few left. Whoooot!!

Find me online! Here’s my friend code: 2964-8264-9474. I’m not great. Yet.

Say Uncle

A lot of things have happened over the last month or so that I haven’t really mentioned, as I’ve been fairly busy, tired, lazy, or all of the above. Let me see… a (mostly) chronological bullet-point of events:

  • I went snowboarding at Cypress with my brother (Jan 23). Was awesome.

    My brother and I on the lift

    Here’s a couple videos my brother took of me snowboarding. Impressive camera work, actually! Not as impressive boarding. Notice my arms are pretty active. 🙂 But not bad. Keep in mind, I think this is only my 8th time snowboarding in like 7 or 8 years? Video1 (more of a trial, 6MB), and Video2 (24MB)

  • I’m now 27 years OLD (Jan 25th). Managed to let that one slip by, somehow….
  • Went to the Ruby Barcamp in Gastown. Met Shirley and an old classmate there. Saw some Python groupies, as well, scoping the competition. (Jan 26th)
  • I also briefly went to Prince Rupert (Jan 29-31), which was interesting, in a small-town kinda way. Really beautiful looking out across a foggy Tuck Inlet at dusk. Didn’t get out and about as much as I would have liked. Funny (terrible?) method to get there (plane, bus, ferry, bus).

    Coming into Rupert on the Ferry

    Looking out across Tuck Inlet

  • Went to the Brickhouse with Jesse and his friend, John. Really cool atmosphere in a not-so-cool area. Also cemented my dominant status. Again. (Feb 8 )
  • I’m now an Uncle! … er… Biologically! At 4:20am on Feb 12th, my big brother and his girlfriend had a baby boy. He’s very tiny and cute. And tiny. Congratulations guys! Not sure how my brother will be able to use his other Cypress ticket now…. he’ll be busy!
  • On Feb 14th, I gained step-family when my dad remarried. More congratulations! The wedding was in Las Vegas , so I was there for a few days (Feb 13-16), hanging out with siblings and losing money – which was pretty fun.

    Vegas at night

    Huge Alcoholic Slushies!

    My sister and I are holding huge alcoholic slushies with extra shots that come in test tubes!
  • Failed to meet up with Shirley for the VanUE meeting. Walked around downtown for an hour with the wrong address in my head. Doh. Went to Guu with Shirley and John, after. (Feb 21)
  • Oh, and I did a day-long course on Aircraft Ditching and Underwater Egress. It’s not every day you get to be dunked in a pool with all your clothes on! Really good experience, actually. I Hope I never have to use what I practised. 🙂 (Feb 18)

Anyway, it’s been a pretty crazy month. Some more pictures forthcoming. Maybe.

2007 in Brief

Despite no grand plans of getting pleasantly inebriated tonight, 2007 was actually a very eventful year. I finally finished up my undergrad in May; something that was long overdue. After, I enjoyed some free time in Vancouver’s fantastic summer (and then Fall), and I just recently started making a much needed dollar. (I got Jesse to thank for hooking me up with that.) My big brother and his girlfriend of six(?) years announced their engagement AND that they were expecting a little one. My dad announced his (2nd) engagement. My cousins are expecting their first and second kids. One of my best friends, Kurtis (who I’ve known since forever), moved to Brazil and got married! Alex married Dez. Ben and Mayu had a baby (whom I’ve still yet to meet).

But one person in particular made this year very memorable for me: you know who you are. 🙂 Thank you.

And to all my friends and family, Thank you! And Happy New Year!


2008 will be interesting, I’m sure. ??????

Update: I went to the local watering hole for a drink and some chat with our homestay student, who also had no plans. We even got champagne! 🙂

Love is in the air…

Two of my friends got married on August 25th, 2007. Congratulations to Kurtis and Nubia in São Paulo (sorry, I wasn’t able to attend), and Alex and Desiree in Vancouver (it was a very nice wedding). I’m happy for everyone! 😀 Also, within the same week, my big brother announced that he popped the question to his girlfriend of 6 (?) years and she said yes! The wedding will be next year. Not only that, but they’re gonna be parents! (I wanted to wait a little while before posting that bit.) This is pretty big news in my family! 😀 On that topic, Ben and Mayu should be daddy and mammy very soon… Happy times. 🙂

Hmmm… ‘Guess I’d better start swimmin’, or I’ll sink like a stone, For the times, they are a-changin’. 😛

short term past/present/future


Had a nice get-together with the gifu-crew, on Sunday. Chinese-Taiwanese-Japanese fusion hot-pot shabu shabu. 😮 The pot was courtesy of Shirley (thanks!), despite her not being able to make it. Unfortunately, I don’t think there were are any pictures captured in the digital medium to show. But it was good times!

Ubuntu Feisty

My Desktop PC was not able to complete a dist-upgrade of Ubuntu from Dapper to Feisty, and consequently has trouble booting. Yes, I tried skipping Edgy, and I advise you not to do the same. I’ve decided I’m just going to start with a fresh install, because my system was very cluttered with stuff I don’t use or need. So I started going about backing stuff up, from a live CD boot onto my external USB drive… it was becoming very apparent that this would be painfully time consuming, as I was quickly running out of space. Easiest solution? Get another hard drive. I did that and am now running Feisty. Most of my settings and everything have been transferred and I must say I’m very impressed with the latest Ubuntu. Videos seem to “just work” on Gstreamer Totem, and many things seem much snappier. It will be making its way to my laptop soon, as well.


When my computers are all back and healthy, I plan on regulating a few short-term goals:

  • Reading a chapter a day in my Python book, Dive into Python. I think I’m on Chapter 6 or something, at the moment.
  • Blogging every 2-3 days. I don’t need to have earth shattering news to report (do I ever?), but if I can’t say a little something every few days, then I’m certainly not doing enough with my time.
  • Update blog aesthetics. ’nuff said.
  • Enjoy the sunshine, when it comes.

I was planning on making a nautilus extension for easy image resizing, but someone beat me to the punch. It uses ImageMagick, is pretty much what I had in mind, and seems to work great. 🙂 I just tested it out with my meal from the Cloud 9 rotating restaurant, on March 8th. (I went there to take advantage of their extended Dine out Vancouver with a couple friends.) I now demand that you become hungry, with pictures of FOOD!

links of the day

holy crap, I have a blog!

Ah right. Forgot about this. Okay fine, I knowingly neglected it. Not completely, though… I had a partially written post from a few months ago, but it never made the transition from Tomboy to WP. Things to report:

First thing’s first. January has come and gone (along with a few other months…):

I got a pretty sweet blazer from my brother. It’s a little big, and almost too warm to wear now, but I like it. Saw Children of Men with Kurt and Jesse. Great movie. Longest, craziest takes ever! Have also since been to a restaurant called the Foundation (on 6th and Main, I think). I had an awesome dish of beans and rice with papaya and lime sauce… so good, I must go again and try making it myself. We also went to an Ethiopian restaurant on Commercial and stuffed ourselves silly with our bare hands. Like men are meant to do. Food and service were really good. Price, ironically, was a little steep. Oh yeah, and now Kurt is in Brazil….

Speaking of travelling. I will not be going to Japan. I did not get accepted into JET. I had a bad feeling after the interview in February, so I’m not terribly surprised, but I am disappointed. I was looking forward to going to Japan again… even if I got stuck in some remote place. But more importantly, I must now decide what I will do. Do I look for a job? In Vancouver? 😮

I don’t really have any plans, at the moment, aside from enjoying my summer and learning up some computer stuff (in preparation for job interviews, i guess). I just finished my History exam, last night, so school’s pretty much behind me. Have a couple meetings left and that’s it! Felt kind of elated on the bus home, last night – I guess I’m happy to finally be finishing school. 😉 I plan on lots of rollerblading. Too bad the seawall will be closed. Really… that sucks. 🙁 I’ll have to go back and forth in English Bay or something.

I also meant to apply for Google’s Summer of Code. And, on the very last day, I had an idea and figured, “sure. why not?” So I put together an application as fast as I could not expecting to be chosen, and I wasn’t. My idea was really “out there” too. 🙂 Still, like JET, disappointed. That woulda been awesome. I’ll see if I can put together my idea for another post… and I may work on it anyways, this summer.

For some cheap amusement in Wii Weather channel, zoom into the Turks and Caicos Islands, to the north-east of Cuba. 🙂