Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If only for a scanner

I'm in a bit of a rut. I need a scanner quite badly, quite badly indeed. But not any type of scanner, oh no, one with a document scan size of up to 11x17". For you see, in my field this happens to be a pretty standard size on which to fit a typical comic book page. And yet, most scanners that will work that large are about $500-$5,000 each. Quite out of price range for a poor little college student like myself.

I do like that my roommate has a scanner, and our school does provide excellent ones (they recently got some Epson Expressions, which are incredible, but like to crop my scans without asking. Rather rude of a scanner.), however I wish to have something that I can use for a good while. And without walking more than 2ft to, and at 3 a.m. or something.

Yeah, I'm lazy, and cheap. But there is hope.
I was able to find one scanner that is about $200 and does larger formats. Yes, the Mustek A3 appears to be the only scanner on the market that fits my criteria. It's not the best, but it'll work. My professor has owned his for many years and he's worked on Spider-man, that's how I know I can trust his opinion.

Bah, it doesn't look all sleek and fun like scanners now.

I'm sure I'll learn to love it, I mean, what choice do I have anyway?

Now I just have to pray that it won't have any problems with Vista.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bad Bathrooms Make for Boring Baths

Ugh, I hate the showers here in the dorms. While I am grateful that we all have private bathrooms (one per room, as opposed to shared bathrooms like other colleges), they leave much to be desired. The shower faucets alone are as bare as possible, and probably haven't been changed since this motel was revamped into a dorm. The bathrooms are tiny, there is only enough room for the toilet and the shower/bath, though I can't imagine anyone actually taking a bath in there XP. The sink is outside the bathroom, much like a typical hotel/motel room. It's a very cramped setup though inside, so we've been smart and added a "door" (i.e. shower curtain hanging on an extendible rod) to separate the bathroom area from the rest of the room.

The real deal is inside the bathroom, the dingy floor and wall tiles are paired perfectly with the permanently stained brown toilet and bathtub. Ugh, everytime I shower I think about my seemingly fantastic setup at home, with the detachable shower head and clean tub. I'm not being dirty when I say I miss that shower, especially since it's the perfect set up for when I need to rinse dye out of my hair or clean a very nervous and unwilling kitty.

Whenever I see a commercial come on t.v. that talks about bathroom fixtures I kind of dream of the day when my boyfriend and I can make that our priority. To get a good and proper shower faucet. I've even taken it so far as to browse sites like that features a wide range of bathroom fixtures. I could easily get lost in that site and design my dream bathroom.

It's almost ridiculous as to how many types of faucets there are out there, but it's nice to have a better selection than just "old rusted faucet that shoots in one direction and one direction only".

I know a lot of women say the kitchen is the best place in the house, but I'm all for making the bathroom look best. It's the simple elegance of a lovely bathroom that can make showers and other typical bathroom activities enjoyable, rather than taken for granted. A lot of that elegance comes from proper fixtures, and to get proper fixtures you have to be willing to browse.

It's all for the Cake

****Warning, robots have found possible spoilers in this post, but you should play the game anyway so what does it matter to you humans?****

As promised, I did finish the awesome and highly entertaining game, Portal. Not being as big a gamer as my boyfriend, who was the one to purchase the Orange Box and has subsequently finished all 3 Half-Life episodes as well as Portal several time, I wasn't quite sure I could make it through the game. It is suspiciously easy once you get the hang of it though, and little details about the game make it quite fun indeed.

Portal starts out with you in what can best be described as a beanie baby-like container, waking up to begin the long series of tests for Aperture Science's newest little toy, the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. You have to complete a series of puzzles using this handy machine that resembles the gravity gun from sister game, Half-Life 2.

This little video probably is the best way to show these fabulous tests in action:

Simple, right? Well kind of. The game really has two sections, the puzzle-solving test mode and the escape mode. Without ruining the ending I'll just say escape mode feels a little longer than the testing, but this may also be because it's the action part of the game.

While I was able to get many of the tests on my own, I also found myself in some very aggravating spots. I imagine if I were a bit smarter and a better gamer I wouldn't have that much difficulty, as the boyfriend easily swept his way through the first time he played. This is an excellent game to play with people, where both of you can decide where and what portals to use.

It isn't a game that is too short, I thought the testing portion gave me just enough experience to understand how to use the portal gun well so I was prepared for the escape section. It's also rather nice how the portal gun resembles the gravity gun, in that you are able to pick up and carry objects (sometimes quite heavy)with it.

What really stood out for me was the humour in the game. It's comforting to know that Valve has a sense of humour about themselves and that is a huge part of making this game enjoyable. With the nonsensical polite chattering the auto-turrets make (they say things like "hello? are you still there? I promise I won't hurt you..." in a sweet high voice, then proceed to shoot you with all their little might) to the hideaway areas where you can view "behind the scenes" parts of the Aperture building, as well as great graffiti, Portal is an entertaining romp for science.

The ending itself is far more action packed then the rest of the game, and it still contains little snippets of humour that make you forget you're going to die in 5 minutes. The ending video is great, and gives the possibility for a sequel (maybe?). Even the end credits are entertaining, as you are serenaded by a familiar mechanic voice to a tune called, "Still Alive". I highly recommend downloading it here, as you can be sure the intoxicating melody and simple verses will get stuck in your head in no time.

In the end, Portal was a great game. Challenging enough to keep you playing and funny enough to keep you entertained. Perhaps the greatest bit of the game is that you are taking part in all of these tests because of the promise of cake and a party.

Just remember, the cake is a lie.

Cartridge Madness!

I'm seriously considering getting a scanner. I need one, and it's somewhat difficult to find an affordable one in the size that I want (at least 11x17" scan size). This comes about because of my major's actual dependence on such a product, as well as being able to print said scan correctly. For that I have a printer, it's not perfect but it's mine.

It's also kind of useless at the moment because I never bought more ink for it >.< Call me lazy or cheap but I just never got around to it. Searching desperately for a good Cartridge Finder online is kind bothersome, but I was able to happen upon a good site that is easy to navigate and price out cartridges. has one of the most basic interfaces I've seen for a printer website and I love it. You can start by searching directly or browsing the larger brands. What's even better is that each printer has a photo accompanying it, which makes identifying your own printer simple. They utilize Price Grabber to find the cheapest place online that will sell your cartridge.

This really is a useful site, and I kind of wish the creators could make one that tells about different scanner types and where to buy. I'm certainly going to use it to find printer cartridges though, now I don't have an excuse for letting my little printer sit all alone.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lazy Saturday Night

My urge to post is dampened much by the overall tired feeling I've been having lately. Perhaps it's the weather, it's finally turning cooler in Savannah which is quite nice, or perhaps it's because the quarter is winding down. There's that heavy feeling I always get a few weeks before the end of quarter, where I doubt my abilities and tend to dislike almost all of my work.

Oh well, nothing to do but keep on truckin' through it.

Tonight is the Masquerade apparently. We didn't realize this was going on and it explains the eerie emptiness of the dorm. As much as I enjoy creating costumes, I've grown quite lazy when it comes to wearing them. I don't really enjoy wearing make-up on a day-to-day basis, Halloween is no exception.

I imagine it would help if I had some friends who really wanted to go, or knew anyone who wanted me to go with them.

I do feel a little bad about missing out on a lot of the social activities that go on here, but it seems like there are few that actually interest me. And of those few, even less that my boyfriend will want to attend with me or that we'll remember.

I hope I'm making up for this lack of SCAD activities by actually seeing a few films at the Film Festival that starts this week. I'll miss out on the evening shows (which sold out within the first day tickets were available), which means I won't get to see any of the cool guests. But that doesn't matter, I'm really excited to see the films that we are. There are several good films being shown but I'm specifically seeing Suffering Man's Charity and Netherbeast Incorporated

As a big fan of Dave Foley and Alan Cummings, you can imagine I'm rather looking forward to this coming week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gone for too Long

Dreadfully sorry about being so MIA these last few days. I've had a bit of a busy week, what with teachers deciding to change the due date for projects so it's earlier than expected as well as dealing with my computer being slow as hell.

Nonetheless, I shall try to update more this week. And hopefully post a few photos too.

I recently finished Portal, a lovely game that comes in the amazingly overstuffed Orange Box, so I do believe I'd like to write about that.

I've also got a few new pieces of art to show I suppose, although I must say that this quarter I keep feeling kind of crummy about my work. None of it is really all that impressive and I'm not very happy with it, I don't know. I think it's become trite crap but well, you can see for yourself.

Now, it's a bit too late to fully post and I'm quite tired and my computer is being eerily creaky, it sounds like all its joints are cracking, like some sort of computer arthritis. Oh well, I guess it's another sign that it's time to get a new one >.<

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My brain has run dry of good topics to talk about.

This week has made me quite tired and I'm considering ignoring all homework and just sleeping a good...hour I guess.

Bleck, school is halfway over, I really only have another month left. Can't wait for that 10 hour drive home >.<

Monday, October 15, 2007

Long Weekend indeed

Ooof, sorry for the lack of updates, it's been a bit of a long weekend. Starting with my birthday and ending with doing real homework.

Though I must say, overall the weekend was quite lovely.

I'm rather excited about my storyboarding project, we got into groups and had to come up with an ad featuring a real product. My team went over the required 16 shots and did 20 instead (5 per person), and we used Lifesavors. I'll post pictures of the completed ad (still drawings, of course, this is storyboarding after all)tomorrow once I see everyone's all nice and mounted.

Mmyep, easy weekends go over quite well with me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Birthday nights are best spent with the one you love.

Twas a good birthday this year, far better than the last <3

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Secret Ingredient is...

I've been watching Iron Chef America all day and it's really making me wish I had a kitchen >.<

The've had some great ingredients garlic, and shrimp. Mmmmm.

Damn, I miss cooking.


Well, it may be months away but the boyfriend's birthday is coming up and I need to think of something to get him. It's always hard to find great deals on Xbox 360, PS3, Halo 3, and other game related merchandise, but there are solutions. There are some really great websites out there that cut prices enough to make it worth buying online instead of going to stores like Gamestop or EB Games, which charge full price for every new game or console. We always want new electronics, of all the things to buy used I know that video game consoles are at the bottom of his list. Which is quite understandable, unlike a used car, you can't really ever tell what was wrong with a used console. Or why that person is selling it.

They might have the same problem that my boyfriend (J), has. Having to send in your Xbox 360 3 times because of problems (most recently being the dreaded red-rings)is not comforting. And while he has been able to do it for free, since it's still under warranty, it's still a big hassle and I know how sad he feels during the times when the 360 is in the shop.

Which is why he's thinking about trading in the ol' Xbox 360 normal and getting an Elite, which has better hardware attached to it. And the nice black colour doesn't hurt either.

So, I think I know what I want to get him, but well, Elites are rather expensive you know? Finding one that comes with a bundle online for a discounted price is my goal. Which is where TechlineStore comes in.

It has a bunch of good categories specifically pertaining to Xbox 360s, and primarily focusing on hardware instead of games. Which, in my case, is good. The games they offer are discounted, so I might want to check back later if I feel the urge to browse...especially the DS section of the store.

While discounted prices on bundles are great (the 360 Elite is about $350 cheaper through TechlineStore than in a retail shop), I do wish I could navigate the site a little easier. This is honestly a very big pet peeve of mine and I do feel the need to point it out, as I hope it can help advise shoppers planning on visiting.

The categories on the lefthand side of the screen are very useful in telling me what exactly is featured for sale here, but unfortunately, they are very hard to actually click. I know they're links because of the mouseover highlight effect, but I simply cannot click them. Also, having categories called "Electronics 1-5" is far to general for someone who comes shopping knowing exactly what they want to look for. There is no specific tab labelled "video games" and this left me a bit confused.

I do enjoy discounted items, no matter if the navigation of the site is a little iffy, and I love to browse all things electronic. Like Ipods, cell phones, t.v.s, and other random items. This site seems like an especially good resource for small hardware pieces, like cables and computer guts, that are a pain to buy elsewhere.

I'm keeping this bookmarked for a while...maybe I'll surprise J with a lovely new Elite to replace his poor, battered Xbox 360.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What a night

Last night was probably the most "collegey" night I've had so far. Last year, when my boyfriend had his own room, we were fairly antisocial and liking it. Now, with the addition of a very social roommate, there's rarely any time we get to spend alone together.

So of course last night was no exception.

Apparently, his roommate (who we shall refer to as "M") broke up with his girlfriend. He decided to go out and get wasted with his friend (and my neighbour), so give it a few hours before both come stumbling back in with traffic cones on their heads. Yeah, traffic cones to go with the stop sign and exit sign that they had stolen before when they were drunk. So, my boyfriend and I are just quietly enjoying a night of television and tasty sandwiches while M's friend is rambling on drunk while M himself is outside talking with the ex.

About 1 hour later and M is back with his girlfriend and his friend wanders out completely shitfaced, after playing a bit of Halo 3 online of course.

The rest of the night the now current girlfriend of M sleeps over while my boyfriend and I watch a fantastic movie (Sunshine), and just play the part of a bored college couple.

At least it wasn't too noisy and there wasn't a lot of drama but I'm betting we'll see more of the same over the next year.

Ah, college dorm life, how brilliantly terrible.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Set Your Radar to Games

As I'm typing this the boyfriend is busy playing away a new demo for the game Bladestorm on his Xbox 360. This boy is deep into video game culture, so much so that he's even studying it at school. Yep, SCAD has a video game major, and a real one too, just another reason this school rocks.

As a gamer he spends a good portion of his free time checking out review sites for his current and future Xbox games as well as the PC ones, and (someday) PS3 ones. It's very important to have game review sites around, how else would you know when to expect the next installment of GTA? Or be able to watch super exclusive secret videos of said game. But to have a really successful game website you have to offer competent reviews, interesting content and great FAQs/ Cheat sections.

Now, I'm not nearly as big a game nerd as my boyfriend, I do enjoy playing video games and I am rather excited about my most recent purchase (a lovely Onyx Nintendo DS) but I look like a novice compared to him. Looking at Xbox cheats is a daily thing for him, so I know how much it matters to find a good concise version.

I've been playing Animal Crossing: Wild World as of late and I was quite pleased with Game Radar's cheat/FAQ section. Was was most interesting is that the two featured FAQa were written by the same people who submitted some of the best FAQ/Walkthrough for GameFAQs, but here is also the added cheat, pictures, and review sections. Which are all quite nice.

Last summer I was quite addicted to God of War for the PS2, I am quite happy with the amount of Playstation 2 cheats they offer for the game. This really makes me want to go back and replay it.

GamesRadar is a pretty comprehensive site, and it's very easy to navigate through, which is a big plus. This is one to bookmark, especially since I see they have a little guide for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass in the works...quite lovely indeed.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

blah blah blah blah

God, this week has been tiring. I guess waking up at 8 a.m. doesn't help my situation.

I'm quite happy the weekend starts now (yep, we get Friday off here), I need those 3 days to catch up and rest.

Some new though, I believe I'm all done with the VisArts layouts. There is, of course, one tiny problem that plagues almost all the sites, which is an image is a fraction of a pixel off. I've been trying to fix it for a while now, but at the moment I want to focus more on adding real content and putting the layout on the backburner. Content is, in some cases, more important than the design. Especially when you're working on breaking down one huge website into 6 smaller ones.

Glurg I say, glurg.

Future Insurance

I pretty much hate dealing will all aspects of driving. The MVA, other people on the road, taking care of your car, auto insurance, and having a nice drive without something terrible happening all suck. Let's face it, without the convenience, driving a car in this day and age sucks. There's all kinds of terrible drivers out there, and perhaps it's my location but I seem to run into a fair number of them.

So far, in my short few years of driving, I've been pretty safe. I've had a few close calls, and at least a couple little bumps but nothing serious. Most recently I got in a bit of a kerfuffle in a parking garage out by my work, but thanks to my auto insurance provider, that all was taken care of in a timely fashion.

At least right now, I'm still on my parent's insurance, but I know that very soon I'll have to switch to my own provider. At least I can look up insurance quotes online, this makes my search far easier.

It's impossible to imagine living my life without some sort of insurance to back me up, even if it's homeowners insurance, which, finances willing, I'll be able to get someday.

My current career choice offers little to no company-issued insurance plan of any sort. So I have no choice but to go through independantly and find my own insurance. Maybe I'll be lucky and my boyfriend/husband/whoever takes care of the cat with me will get a good job that provides its employees and their families with insurance options. I can only hope.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Love for Discovery

The Discovery Channel seems to be a staple on our t.v. It's the first channel myself, my roommate, my boyfriend and his roommate all turn too. I'd like to believe it's because we fancy ourselves intelligent folk with a love for knowledge. In reality, we all just love a few staple shows.

Dirty Jobs


and the occasional casual viewing of Cash Cab or How it's Made.

Seriously, who doesn't love Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs? How can you not like these hosts?

Who here loves learning?!

Last year, we were one a Dirty Jobs kick, successfully downloading and watching all 5 seasons of it in less than a year. That's a lot of jobs to consider. So far we haven't started that with Mythbusters, but I'll give us a few years before the boyfriend decides we should actually start watching it more.

We're not completely crazy about catching these shows, but it is nice to have some sort of tv schedule. Basically, I have two important tv nights, Sunday and Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday are also welcome to join the schedule, but it seems to be harder to watch shows that night, when his roommate is busy trapped in (well, now) Halo 3.

If you haven't seen the shows, you are missing out on one fabulous hour of television. Discovery Channel has proven to make good choices in their feature shows, and as long as they keep picking up interesting specials (Planet Earth anyone?), they'll continue to be the intelligent college kid's go-to channel.