December 10, 2007

Death is Depressing (And Many More... on Channel Four)

So I just got done listening to the latest SModcast (yes, the same thing my fellow Blogger fell in love with this summer. I'm addicted now too). They spent a decent chunk of time discussion what they would do if they found out they had 48 hours left to grieve. Being who they are, it got into some random shit, but it was still a rather depressing topic.

The very concept of death scares the shit out of me. I'm still on the fence about the whole religion thing, but what happens to me after I die will not be a deciding factor. When I was about 10, I cried for about half an hour cause the idea of living forever, even in heaven, terrified me to no end. It still does. But the idea that you die and that's the end of our conscious being isn't much better.  That's some heavy shit for me.

And for whatever reason this keeps popping into my head as of late. It's probably the most depressing thing I could think about, and it keeps pushing its way in these last couple weeks for whatever reason. I always tell myself, "You're only 20, get the hell over it. You're supposed to be scared, its a long way off." But at the same time it's been really hard for me to get my head around the fact that I'm no longer a teenager (As of 4 hours ago. Happy Birthday to me!!!!). Life is coming up fast.

I've been waiting my whole life to get out there and be my own person on my own terms. I don't want to leave my mark on the history of the world. I just want to enjoy life.

Maybe it's cause I've never been allowed to grow up gradually like a normal kid. I tend to get huge doses of reality shoved at me all at once, forcing me to grow up early and fast, and then lock into that for a while. Suddenly I can understand more clearly why people want male children to pass on the family name, why people panic about not having accomplished what they wanted in life yet, that sort stuff. I'm having an early mid-life crisis. So more of a quarter-life crisis.

People around me tend to wave off twenty. "Oh, 21 is the important one." Just cause I can't legally consume alcohol now, doesn't mean 21 is gonna be a big deal. That shouldn't be a news flash to most. Twenty for me is more of a milestone in the same way 40 is. It's a mile marker. An even 1/4. The end of childhood quarter. I'm 25% done with life (assuming all goes as expected). Perspective is an odd thing, huh.

Here's the next twenty years, I guess. Probably my most productive. And here's to dreams. Both the ones I'm about to have, and the ones I'm about to try and achieve.

P.S. Being legal in Indiana strip clubs is a bigger deal than alcohol. I'm legal now in Kentucky, though.

September 8, 2007

The iPod Touch is MINE!!!

UPDATE: Finally shipped!!!!

That's right. Apple has announced the iPod Touch. It's essentially an iPhone without the microphone, speakers, and phone capabilities. The iPod comes with build in WiFi, Safari, Addresses, Calendar and all the other goodies we've come to love.

It gets better. Reportedly, the applications on the iPod touch are the "same damn binaries" as those running on the iPhone. This means that all those wonderful third-party iPhone apps will require little to no iPod touch translation. I'm sure it won't be long until there are full-featured webmail apps, VoIP (if there's ever a microphone attachment) and wonderful touch-screen games.

Apparently there's also rumblings that the new version of Xcode contains hints at an official iPhone and iPod touch SDK. That would open the floodgates and make the iPod touch an amazing PDA that happens to be damn good at playing movies and music.

Best news is, I'm getting one!! As a present from my wonderful girlfriend, and brand new iPod touch is being shipped out when the first wave hits consumers near the end of the month.
I couldn't be more excited. Reviews to come.

July 20, 2007

I HATE rich text editors

I have wasted hours of my life thanks to the "convenience" of text editors that allow you to post formatted text online without learning a lick of HTML. Here's why they suck.

1. Limited usefulness

It sounds great, doesn't it. You can finally put yourself out there on the web without having to learn any coding. WOOT! . Ok, now how can I change those bullets from circles to squares. Hmmmmm. What?!? It's not possible and/or easy in the rich text editor of your choice? Well with the power of HTML and CSS, I can change those boring circles into Batman logos. Rich text editor ain't got shit on that.

2. The temptation

Confession time: I'm using a rich text editor right now. It looks so convenient. "I'm SURE it'll work fine this time." So easy to align text and pictures, change fonts, make things bold and add links. That's what you think. Unlike the (usually) intuitave behavior of Word and other document editors, rich text editors still define their styles in the background with .html, which is NOT a formatting language. This often leads to erratic behavior and frustrating situations where what you're telling it to do, and what it does are two completely different things. This is because of #3.

3. They suck at writing .html

One of the advantages of using a rich text editor is that you can see your visual styles and changes before you post it. You can switch fonts until you find what you like and sometimes even copy text from Word and paste it, leaving the exact styling intact. Try editing text copied from word, particularly lists. It's usually a bitch. That's because the text editor tries to copy exactly what you gave it, with no regard for intent or often more concise methods. That's why, even though I'm using a rich text editor, I'm editing the HTML. I'm making things bold with >strong<, and adding my own links though the HTML. This ensures I get only the code I want, and it's easy to change on a whim.

4. They suck at writing .html

No, that wasn't an accident. I wrote it twice. Cause this is another problem coming from the same reason. Look at the code below. This is code created by a rich text editor in a real-life situation (my job). See if you can find the actual text. Now see how many different fonts you can see.

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 1in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in"><span ><span ><span >1.<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal"></span></span></span><span ><span >>Overtime pay for all billable hours worked</span> <span >over forty(40)hours in a work wee</span>k<?xml:namespace prefix = o /><<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 1in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in"><span ><span ><span >2.<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal"> </span></span></span></span><<span ><span >Recruiting bonus @ $1,000.00 per each new hire, minimum ninety (90) day </span><span >hire<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><p></p>

Now, all that, produces the following.

  1. Overtime pay for all billable hours worked over (40) hours in a work week.
  2. Recruiting bonus @ $1000.00 per each new hire, minimum ninety (90) day hire.

That's it. And I did it using three tags: define the font style, declare a list, declare each list item. Point made.

5. They lead to stupid people getting blogs

I'm not saying this means if you don't know HTML or don't use HTML, you're stupid and don't deserve a blog. I'm just saying is one of the most trafficed websites on the internet. You can't tell me I'm the only one who finds that sad.

SPECIAL: 6. They can't interpret .html

This one is special cause I wasn't going to write it until I tried to post this. Most rich text editors come with the option to view and edit the raw HTML. WOOHOO! Something they do right. What? The fuck that up too? SHIT!

When I put HTML code into the "edit Html" section, I expect what comes out to be EXACTLY what I put in. I can forgive some formatting that applies to the general text such as colors that are explicitly defined in the CSS that comes with the template. But interpreting my hard returns as a <br /> or <p> is just wrong. Particularly when it only does that part of the time, not every time.

July 2, 2007


For all you Kevin Smith fans out there, I recently discovered the wonderful thing known as the SModcast. Each one is about an hour long and consists of Kevin and his producer Scott Mosier talking about whatever comes to their minds. Needless to say, it is extremely funny. Check it out here. You can scroll down and listen to all of them from that page.

Personally, I think this is a great idea and I wouldn't mind having something similar of my own... Something to think about.

Blame the iPhone...and iPod Racism

Alright, I've got a couple things here at the moment I want to ponder.

First. Here I am, writing on a blog open for the public to read. Where's my damn iPhone. Gizmodo got like 12. So did Engadget. Show some love, send me an iPhone. And the money to pay for the plan.

Second, a short story. Apple yesterday released a firmware update for the SuperDrive (aka CD/DVD drive). But there was a glitch. If you installed more than one update at a time, the install process dialog for the firmware was hidden. So I do my software update with the firmware and iTunes 7.3 (damn iPhone). It gets done, and I had just re-set up XP so I could play Neverwinter Nights 2. Right after I hit restart, a little window pops up that says "You're firmware is being updated. Do not restart while in progress." Progress bar is at 60%, but it's far too late now. My computer shuts down, and my DVD drive is now a bricked. It won't even pretend to accept discs. And every bit of info I've found says the only cure is to get a new drive.

Which brings me to my question. Doesn't it seem odd that a software problem could render hardware permanently useless? I mean, since it was software that messed up, there should be a software fix. Just putting in a second identical drive should yield the same results? I have perfectly good hardware, slightly messed up software, yet it's the hardware that needs replaced. Discuss.

Finally, this is just funny. I would to. What would each color mean (besides white = racist).

June 26, 2007

Get a life!

So, yesterday evening I was sitting around after work, extremely bored as usual. I've been juggling several ideas for things to do in my off time. My schedule, in a time sense, is work roughly 6 hours, sleep 6-8 hours, and then roughly 10-12 hours of free time. Last night, because I was so bored, I went bed at 7. Yes, 7 p.m. I woke up around 2 a.m., put on my pajamas, turned on a fan, and fell right back to sleep to wake up at 6 am. I wake up this early in order to go running but did I this morning? No.

Mon-Wednesday I get a 3 hour break between shifts and I used to go to the gym. However, I feel like a tool going to the gym by myself and not being able to lift a lot. I enjoy going to the pool with my friend to learn to swim, but she's busy most of the time. I would spend more time at movies or something but I'm trying to conserve money for a ticket out of here for a week.

So, July comes up in a few days and if I put all of my willpower into it, I can truly do something different all month. But, let's be realistic here. Using the same time tables as before regarding work schedule and sleep then nixing ideas like "get another job" (no one wants to hire for just a month) let's look at what I've got.

Sleep-6 Hours
Work-6 Hours
Free Time - 12 Hours
If I were to go to the gym for an hour a day(alternate exercises so I don't die), swim an hour a day, read for an hour a day (I can only take so much reading at a time), study both spanish and japanese for an hour a day, and then watch an hour's worth of TV what am I looking at? 6 more hours of time to waste! And I can't take sitting on the computer all day and let's be honest, I doubt I'm going to study my spanish and japanese each for an hour... It's summer. Who wants to do that? Please, give me suggestions for things to take up time that cost no money.

A Rant, in One Act

I'll try and keep this short and to the point. No better way to be concise than programming language.

Assuming immorality AND illegality as the basis for comparison.

blowjob < murder;
blowjob < torture;

if (president == Clinton)
offense = blowjob;

if (president == Cheney)
offense = murder + torture + lying + rapeOfConstitution;

if (offense >= moralLimit)
president = impeached;


Clinton == impeached returns 1
Cheney == impeached returns 0?!?!?!

Would someone please debug this for me, cause I sure as hell can't figure it out.

/* Brought on by Bush and Cheney claiming not to be part of the executive branch. There's only so much one can take */

June 24, 2007

An Introduction

Hello readers. I'd like to write a quick introduction about myself. I am 19, I have a lot of interests but no drive to pursue any of them. From that stems my complete lack of talent in all areas of life. I have an extremely wild imagination but have no outlet through which to express it other than through superfluous words. I enjoy reading and writing and will someday enjoy a Playstation 3 assuming I get 600 or so dollars to purchase one. I am an ROTC cadet and hope to be a Foreign Area Officer in the Air Force. Ideally, I will speak Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean fluently within the next few years. That's about it.

Well, shows me what I get for not checking in.

Well friends, it seems the little blog has been turned upside down. I haven't spoken to Tweak about this yet, but what the hey, I'm up for whatever his mind wants to write down. I guess an update is in order, I am Emperor Ryan, and as the obvious may point out, I have not posted here in some time. Well friends, that is because of sheer laziness. Sorry 'bout that. I guess I could do this thing more often, so here it goes, a summer to telling people about my life, and what runs through my head.

I guess to catch up, I have been working at a summer camp job for the summer, and freelancing artwork and commissions for those who want them. I am currently doing a job for a designer in New York, working on commission. That and designing webpages here and there, though that not as much. Currently, my girlfriend, is in France and I miss her a lot, so the artwork has been helping me get past that. Life has been pretty simple, and I hope it continues that way until I get back to school. Either way, I'll start finding little things here and there to report on, until then, I'm going to sleep.

Movie Studios, Why Must You Make Me Spite You So

NOTE: Original Posting on May 4, 2006.

So, I'm in love with my MacBook Pro. Even more so with Boot Camp, because now I have a small partition for gaming and other such Windows-only activities. One of these activites that excited me recently was the realization that I can finally look at DVD-ROM content available only to Window's users (my previous PC didn't have a DVD-ROM drive). So, after today's purchase of Mission Impossible and Mission Impossible 2 I decided to try and get into some of the DVD-ROM content on the later.

So, I pop in my shiney new M:i:II disc, and guessy what I get. A program installation notice to the effect of "In order to get the goodies, you have to install the program we want you to install." It's a very nice sounding program called PCFriendly. I do a quick Google search and get about a thousand hits title "PCFriendly Enables DVD Backchannels." For those of you who don't know what this means (as I was previously unaware), it boils down the the program opening up back doors into your computer so it can send out all of your personal information and computer use habits without being caught by spyware, firewalls, and most other security devices.

I filled out some bogus information and was going to try and go ahead and look at the content and see what the program might have had to offer, but there was some error and the DVD wouldn't play. So, looks like Ethan Hunt is going to have to be viewed sans DVD-ROM features for the rest of eternity.

But, I have quite a DVD collection if I do say so myself, and so I grabbed another I knew had "interactive content." American Pie got to be attempt #2. Yet again I have to install their software. But it's something different: InterActual Player. Hmm, that sounds familiar. Oh wait, I remember why. It's because the liscense agreement for PCFriendly said it was related to InterActual Player. So now the movie studios are trying to two seperate programs, both of which have the save DVD-playing cover, to moniter my activity and sell it to the highest bidder. InterActual Player tried to get tricky on me too. It makes you enter in your ZIP code and age range. There's a couple other tabs with various information. One has their Privacy Statements and checkboxes next to statements declaring the computer user's agreement to share their personal information (both of them set to be checked by default and hidden where most users won't even notice their exsistence). I of course uncheck this and proceed to browse to the other tabs, seeing what else there is (not much of note). I stumble back onto the tab with the checkboxes. Lo and behold, they've magically decided they want to be checked again. That has to be illegal in some way or another.

In the end InterActual Player really didn't offer anything of value. I'll stick to watching DVDs on my OS X parition. The quality is SOOOOOO much better then anything I've seen on the various PC options (VLC, Windows Media Player, other various and often spyware related other players).

Hollywood, I love movies. So why must you make me spite you so. I really do want to get along. You gain very little by forcing people to jump through these hoops. I understand and can even completely support content available only on a computer, and even content that requires some common and non-spyware related plug-ins or programs. But what you're doing is just shameful.

So, what you should start doing is integrating content that will play on any standard DVD playing software. If I can hit button on the menu that says "Play Movie" on the computer and then proceed to watch the movie, I should be able to hit the button that said "DVD-ROM Content" on the same computer using the same program and proceed to watch the DVD-Rom content. I would even support the studios rallying behind or creating a new DVD playing program (but just one, none of this crap having multiple programs that are really all the same thing and even related to each other) that supports this extra content and doesn't invade user privacy. A DVD playback program should do just that. All you're giving me is spyware that happens to also play DVDs.

Why Google Apps Could be Better then Office (And Why They're Not There Yet)

In honor of my new (unofficial and possibly temporary) policy of general blogging, I'm going to re-post a couple of things I've done for my other blogs. The first one will actually show up above this post on blogger view, but ah well. I was proud of these, so I'll move them to my main blog.

NOTE: Original Posting on February 23, 2007

Way back when, Google snatched up, closed registrations, and left it at that for months. During my hiatus, Google opened up Google Docs and Spreadsheets as the product of that deal. It's an online office application that edits documents and spreadsheets (no charts), but wider support seems to be coming. But it's more then just a document editor, particularly when when you look at the larger Google picture.

Google just released a Enterprise version of Google Apps. For $50/member, you get 10 GB of storage space, Gtalk, Google Calender, Docs and Spreadsheets, Extensibility APIs, 24/7 customer support, and 99.9% guaranteed uptime. Fifty bucks each is a great price when you compare it to buying a copy of Microsoft Office for every employee. And even though the service was just launched (and is free through April 30), several major businesses have already signed up.

In a world moving away from paper, Google Apps is the ideal organizational solution. I'm a college kid without a printer. Now I don't have to worry about cluttering my inbox with emails to myself so I can download them on another computer, or even bother with flash drives that don't always play nice. I can just walk down to the lab, log in to Google Docs, and it's right there. Google's powerful tagging and archiving, combined with the complete content searching, makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.

Google Docs also gives you the "revisions" tool. Click on drop-down menu, and select the date/time you changed the document, and you can see how the document looked when you started, and what you added and deleted. This goes for every change since you first opened the document. I've used this feature writing papers, and it's nice. It also prevents you from accidentally saving a copy of your document in which you may have somehow deleted all the content, or really screwed things up. I know I've wanted to roll back the clock in Office before, and now Google lets you.

And Google Docs and Spreadsheets fully supports document types for both and Microsoft Office. It also lets you export in .html, or .pdf. You have a print function in your documents toolbar, opening the document in a clean, printable window and invoking your browser's "Print..." command. And right in the editor you can email the document, share it with other Google Docs users, and even chat live with others looking at the same document.

Moving away from docs and spreadsheets, Gmail is amazing, which the tagging features to help you organize, 2 gigs of storage space (which is huge for email), Gtalk built in, and easy email searching. I still use Mail for OS X, but Gmail is my provider. The spam filter works incredibly well (those sometimes too well, as companies sending legitimate notices may be filtered).

Everyone seems to be singing Google Reader's praise. I've messed around with it, and it's better then any other free RSS reader I've found, though I still prefer Newsfire.
Google calender is another feature I personally haven't used much. It's very iCal-esque (which is a plus). Lots of calendar goodies. Check it out sometime, it's better then almost any of the alternatives I've seen.

Oh, and all of these also have personalized homepage integration.

But I'm not a walking Google ad. This post at heart isn't so much about what Google has, as it is what Google needs.

As useful as Google Docs and Spreadsheets is, there are limitations. Previously mentioned lack of support for presentations and charts (those both appear to be forthcoming) is a painful blow to the service. Charts are vital to a spreadsheet application, and presentations are a must in any office suite.

Also hurting Google spreadsheet is the limited support for formulas. Don't get me wrong, they have everything most every average Joe is gonna need. But there's some fairly basic ones I'm surprised they don't include (like =ROMAN() for converting to Roman numerals). In fact, if you look at the help for formulas, it's merely the list of functions provided by, with a column added specifying whether or not Google supports it too. Providing the document is a good move on Google's part, so you can enter in an formula that will translate if you later open it up on a desktop client. But looking at the list, that's a LOT of unsupported functions. The list also gives rather technical explanations for the formulas, making it harder for the average user to figure out exactly how to use them. If you're paying for a service, it should have all the bells and whistles. And it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out how to add these other functions down the road.

Next: as soon as Google announced they were going to start charging for a more advanced service, all of those services should have moved out of the beta stage. Generally speaking, no one pays for betas. You may only offer beta versions of programs to certain people, or have some selection process, but it is almost invariably free. The whole point of a beta is getting help from the customer in finding flaws you may be overlooking. The customer is providing a service to the company. Beta should not be an excuse to say, "things may screw up or we may change things at will, but it's just a beta so you can't complain," and I'm afraid that's what Google has been doing. Gmail has been out for over a year now, with Gtalk not too far behind it. It should be well out of the beta stage. I can understand Google Docs still being a beta, but they should get away from that quickly. Moving away from beta shows you're confident in your product, and should help draw in more customers. Also, this means that features you add in later on down the line can be just that: new features, not beta changes.

Finally, I think Google Docs needs a desktop client. I know, I know. That does defeat some of the purpose. But I'm not talking about a full Office Suite made by Google. It can even require an internet connection to log on. Google Earth is a desktop application that works well on both Macs and PCs (it's possible) and requires you to be online; Google Docs should have one too. I'm not saying get rid of the web browser version. That's perfect for getting documents anywhere, which is a major selling point. But with a desktop client you get the full use of your keyboard, without a web browser taking up valuable common shortcuts. It's also easier to make menus faster, more intuitive, and flow better (that's not to say I'm saying Google did a bad job with the online toolbars. It's far more then I should expect from a web-based client. It's amazing).

Google has seriously invaded Microsoft's turf here, but I'm not suggesting you throw out your NeoOffice,, or Microsoft Office package quite yet. Let's let Google flesh out this service a while longer. With the right development, Google could become the new Office standard.

Summer Daze

We are slowly but surely expanding this blog. Possibly have a 3rd editor shortly (but shhhh, I haven't told Emperor Ryan yet). Anyway, but of an update on the summer thus far. At the moment I'm working at a small Indianapolis-based computer consulting company doing professional web design. Yeah, it's cool. I'll post links to those as they go live.

But because of Indy job, I'm living with my aunt for the summer so I don't have to drive hours daily to get here. But that also means not much to do in the evenings, and so I'll hopefully start posting some now that I'm all settled in.

Oh, and I've discovered in a BIG way now. Their stuff is the shiznit. But to facilitate the expansion of this blog some, and hopefully more posting, I'm unofficially instituting labels for posts. That way, we can write about whatever the hell we want, and you can read only the parts you want. Sweet, huh (again, maybe I should update Ryan). So, this is our first official labeled post. This'll be a Life and Update labeled blog, updates for the site, and updates on life. Anyway, here it goes again.

May 4, 2007


Good sweet zombie Jesus, there are a lot of banners down there. Yes, we are Joost users, and as such have a plethora of invites now that Joost beta users have unlimited, so please ask away, and you might/shall maybe receive. Wow, what a year it has been... Many sleepless nights, much like this one have occured, and I'm going to be honest, college has kicked my ass. At last though, I am at the end of my first year as a college student, and I am glad that it is over. As I go home for the summer, I just want to say, that no matter what classes I may have failed, I have no regrets. This semester, while being one of the most stressful times of my life, has been one of the most rewarding and best times of my life. I would'nt change a damn thing. I have been wanting to blog and add to all my internet life this whole semester, but I never did, so this summer I vow to start over, and change my slacking ways, and you, the reader, will get the hopefully decent product from this. Either way, Astronomy 264 beckons, and I must leave you. Have a good read out in these interwebs my fellow travelers.

April 18, 2007

We're Still Alive...Just not Kicking Very Hard

Well, kicking plenty hard day to day (for the most part), just not so much on the blog part of our lives. I honestly have some desire to do more blogging, I just have lots of things I would enjoy doing with my free time and little time to do it. But that's briefly going to change, since I'm no longer employed (my own choice).

Thanks to my fellow Deep Dish Life blogger, I'm not an official Joost Beta Tester. Courtesy of Joost, I have some promotional material via their website. And just cause I'm that kinda guy, I'm gonna share all of this material with you. (If you haven't the slightest clue what I'm talking about, check out this video). Go ahead, ask if we have invites.

Joost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internetJoost™ the best of tv and the internet

EDIT: While I personally am a HUGE fan of invisible banners and banners that completely screw with how a page renders due to size conflicts, I can understand how *some* people may find that to be an annoyance. That being so, I've removed a couple of banners that fit these critera. Enjoy the almost-complete gallery anyway.