The Digital Archive Project

Hey Loyal Readers. I was looking at the server logs and noticed I had 15 people active on the site that were not web robots. Which I thought was pretty darn cool considering I have been failing as a blogger lately.

Honestly I have just been feeling a bit overwhelmed and I just need to rearrange parts of my life to get into the swing of things. I really want to get back into the gym thing but life has made that hard. But lately I have been working on archiving the media that my family has created over the years. It can be a long process to watch a tape and sit there with a notepad and mark the parts of the recording that I need to fix later. So I do a tape or two a weekend and almost have all of the tapes recorded that are worth saving.

I am going to work on a bit of a clip show and post it on my personal blog. But again all of this requires time and I don’t find myself wanting to spend it on my laptop as much as I used to. So I will make a clip show a priority of mine.

I also would really like to get back into podcasting again. Get a few other guys or maybe some girl to get on Skype with some microphones and beat out a 30-40 minute show maybe twice a month. Doesn’t really have to be about by dating life as I have had a serious girlfriend for almost 3 years now. Again just more time.

So look forward to a clip show and will see about starting up a podcast again. I stopped at 12 episodes and recently just got delisted from iTunes.  Sad times indeed. But please follow me on twitter if you want to keep up on the pulse of Tristan.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Viva the Digital Overlords

I was sitting here at my desk working on building an HTML version of a digital scoreboard to show who is awesome at Air Hockey. I used to play with my coworker Greg and we both just got extremely busy at work. So we are going to start it back up again. When we left off I was ahead like 131 games to 126 I believe. We would play 3-5 games a day.

But the title of this blog post doesn’t really mean anything. I was listening to iTunes and had it on Random and Octopuses Garden came up on iTunes. For some reason it inspired me to open up MarsEdit and write a click little blurb.

I have been working on converting all of my families home video tapes to a digital format. I must say it has been a rather intensive process. A bit more expensive then I imagined.

The first expense was the Elgato Video Capture device. Scored that for $84 off Amazon with the free 2 day shipping ala Amazon Prime. Another expense was actually getting a VCR. My girlfriends mom had one to lend me. It works pretty well. It has some tracking issues so I ordered another VCR off ebay and now have two VCR’s on my desk.

I remember being a kid and thinking VCR’s could possibly be the coolest thing ever. Now they are just large annoying black boxes on my desk. I picked up the other VCR for $30 from eBay. The lady that was selling lied to me on its condition. But it works as expected.

Also I needed a place to save all of this video as most videos come up after compression to be 2-3GB of data. Then a DVD version ends up being another 4GB or so. Then I make 2 different formats m4v and Divx AVI. Not really sure how my family is taking this. But oh well I am happy to have digital copies of all the tapes. But this all takes up space so I now have 2 1TB Firewire 800 HDD. I have 2.5TB of data hooked up to my laptop for all of these home movies.

Good times. Well I better get back to work. Just thought I would blog some random thoughts.

Happy Valentines Day

So last night I had one of the better Valentines Days on record. My girlfriend told me she didn’t want any gifts or presents. I thought that was perfect. I had some flowers set to deliver to her work so I backed out of that. I later told her this and she was glad I didn’t send them. Sending them on some other day would mean more to her. She made an 8.5”x11” little collage of pictures of us. I will put that on my desk as soon as I can get some frame for it. But it was just a really lazy Sunday.

I slept in until 11am or so just as she was getting home from her errands. She had some doughnuts. We chilled out for a bit and then she went to take a nap. I watched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. I had it on the TiVo. It was kinda crazy that it took up 22.7GB for 4hrs and 30 minutes. But overall it was okay. Not my cup of tea for an ultimate TV viewing experience.

But anyways that night was going to go meet up with my friend Preston and his lovely lady Mindee. We went to the Cheesecake factory in Southcenter. That place was a total hell hole. Driving around the parking lot with all of those idiots is rather nutty. Manners go out the window. Tempers rise. Good times.

So we get to the cheesecake factory and the wait on the Sunday was about 90 minutes. This seemed to shock and surprise people. But people are idiots and it made me laugh at their stupidity. One group came in wanting a table for 17. I think the hostess told them to piss off. But after much waiting we got a table and ordered some drinks and had a good time shooting the breeze and catching up.

I got a little drunkard and had a good time. They did make me the wrong entree. But that was quickly fixed and they ended up comping my dinner. I felt kinda bad about it and the manager asked if I wanted anything else. I said some mashed spuds sound pretty good instead of soup or salad. He was more then happy to hook that up.  So a few minutes later I had a bowl of mashed potatoes. My girlfriend then asked me “Can I have some” not to be one to say no to a simple request I said “sure” or probably more like “sbhure” in the drunken state. She dips her fork into the hot potato mash. Part of my arm happens to be on the table. Some hot potato falls off and this is what happened.

Tristan: “Ouch, That is really hot. It’s burning”
Girlfriend Laughs
Tristan: “It’s Burning! It’s Hot”
Girlfriend Laughs

At this point I was like she isn’t going to take it off so I grabbed my napkin and took care of business. Typing it out makes it seem like it was incredibly rude sounding. But it was rather comical after all was said and done. Everyone at the table had a good laugh.  Here is a badly painted diagram to show how it went down.

But the meal was delicious. Cheesecake was awesome. I hadn’t had cheesecake at the cheesecake factory in a very long while. That night went home and passed out from exhaustion and began Monday and then got incredibly busy and now we are here over a week later finally getting this post out.

Thanks again to Preston and Mindee for a fun evening out. Double dates have been incredibly enjoyable with old friends.

A new project and a rant.

So over the past year I have been trying to bridge the gap between my family and technology. I can hardly get my family to do a thing in regards to technology. Send them an e-mail I never get a response. They seem to want to use technology but don’t want to put the effort into learning how to use it. The other day I got a call from my mother saying “I lost everything on your stepdad’s user on Windows Vista! HELP!” I don’t know anything about Windows Vista. It’s the operating system I totally skipped over. I could probably do some navigating and figure it out. She hadn’t backed anything up but luckily a reboot solved her problem.

This prompted me to write up a long detailed e-mail on good backup tips and some free tools and general good advice about saving data. I didn’t get a thank you. I didn’t get one response.

E-Mail is my thing. I love e-mail I find it 100x easier to solve problems with an e-mail then a phone call. I am always on e-mail. You send me an e-mail it gets forwarded to my Mobile Me account which instantly puts it on my iPhone and boom I know you sent something and i will get back to you ASAP. To make things easier for my family I setup a Google Group so that you can just send an e-mail to 1 address and everyone gets it. But people seem afraid to use it.

Here are the current stats on the group.

185 Tristan
118 Mom
49 Aunt
31 Grandpa
31 Uncle
27 Cousin
20 Family Friend
20 Alex
15 Family Friend Old Account
14 Grandma

This has been up for over 2 years and doesn’t seem like it’s getting that much use. Getting people involved in the discussion on things like planning birthday’s is near impossible. My girlfriend her family seems to have e-mail and planning family events in the digital realm down. I don’t get why it’s so hard to reply to an e-mail or click a link and fill out a form.

I finally got my grandma hooked up with a Jitterbug cell phone. That is the oddest phone I have ever seen. Only cell phone I had ever used that has a dialtone when you flip it open. And that everything on the phone is either “Yes” or “No” Do you want to call Tristan?

My family has a ton of videotape so I got the means necessary to work on converting them to the digital format.  My desk is kinda loaded at the moment. Two Apple laptops got some VCR’s going here and just piles of technology at the beck and call to get all this done. Here is an picture of my desk at the moment.

Sent out an e-mail for that no response not a person in the world seems to care. I tested out the technology with my High School Senior Slideshow. I wasn’t in it but it was the only video tape I had around the house.

You can view that at the following link North Kitsap High School Graduating Class of 2001 But I would be careful. It’s 46 minutes of a slideshow of people you probably have no clue about. It was really just a visual test to see how well it worked. I also changed the audio to be a bit better quality.

But I hope to get on this project there are tons of funny. (Well I would find funny) videos that we recorded over our childhood years. That I would like to convert to a digital format. I don’t think I would want to convert them to DVD. Since would be easier to grab a video file and make a DVD if you so choose.

But anyways I guess I just wanted to rant that my family doesn’t use technology in a way that seems to be the most productive. Or seem to care about any of the efforts that I put forth into helping them. But what do I know. It’s late I am going to bed thanks for reading.

2010 – What a year..So Far…

So looking back at 2009 it kinda just flew by. It seemed like there was always something to do or somewhere to go. But yet I always found myself saying “Nothing much going on. Same stuff different day” I sometimes worry that I am becoming incredibly boring. Like lately been having to work with Raleigh and her grandma just getting out the hospital. Which has been kinda taxing but it’s what the good boyfriend does. So I am happy to be there for her.

But I am still I am never sure what I can talk about or mention. People say “How have you been since I have seen you last” I could talk about my trip to Maui which was awesome. Or the video I made with my sister that at last check was almost up to 400 hits on YouTube. But all I can ever seem to find myself talking about is work. Nobody really cares about work. It’s something we all do. We all have different jobs but it just seems easier to talk about.

I could talk someones ear off about all things tech. But I always assume people would find that boring. I think I need to quit thinking of myself as boring. I need to just assume that if someone asks what I have been up to that I should just tell them. I will also do a better job of telling the readers that still come to and now that these get imported in Facebook those readers as well.

But as January winds down to a close. I hope everyone is ready for February and the lovely marketing holiday of Valentines Day where single people feel guilty about not having a mate and people in relationships worry about not making their partner as happy as they could be.

I would love to hear what’s been going on with you since our last chat.

Paper Towel Dispensers

I wanted to provide some social commentary on this trend of automatic things in bathrooms. I am not sure when exactly everyone started to become afraid of every single germ or disease in existence. But I feel like that this trend is starting to make some general things in life shittier. Automatic Toilet flushing okay I can deal with that. Walk up to Urinal and don’t need to touch anything. But I wash my hands anyways so meh. Urine is sterile so I am not worried about it. But my annoyance comes with the hand washing and drying procedures in the bathroom.

You used to walk up turn on the sink pump out some soap. Grab some paper towels out of a normal dispenser. Dry your hands toss it in the trash and move along with life. But for some reason people decided to get greedy with the paper towels, water and soap. We used to have an awesome system like this.

But we went from having the greatness of taking care of things ourselves. To the man saying “Hey there! thanks for spending some money in our store. But we don’t trust you to dispense the proper amount of soap water and paper towels”

Now you walk into the toilet take care of business go to wash your hands you need to maneuver them under some sensor. Then hope the water turns on. Or you have the sinks with the push down button and you get a teaspoon of water and it shuts off. Most soap is still manual. The soaps that are not you get the same problem with the sink. Find the sensor and hope you get some soap. But my gripe with bathrooms is the paper towel dispenser since they have switched to an automatic system.

You have seem them right? They look something like this.

You run your hand under this thing and you get some paper. Has anyone ever found that the amount of paper you get on your first swipe to be worth anything? This is supposed to save money or something is all I can figure. But just seems to make the overall bathroom experience a very crappy one.

Instant Rimshot Drum

I love that sound effect. Always good for a laugh. But I feel like all this germ phobia has gotten out of hand. Nobody wants to touch anyone or anything and it’s just making life shittier overall. I think we need to ditch all the automatic crap in the bathroom. Because the only thing left is toilet paper. I don’t want to be sitting there for minutes running my hand underneath the dispenser getting two sheets at a time.