Thursday, December 29, 2005

Top 10 Tech Toys of The Year

Since im a self proclaimed Technophile, i thought id list out the top 10 cool gadgets i got over the past year. Heres the list!

10. Nextel i836 - this pulls in at 10 because its a cell phone. Not that im not a cell phone fan, but its just a cell phone. I got this when i decided i didnt want to lug my blackberry around as a cell phone. Probably a bad decision, since i realized having 2 mobile devices takes up more space than 1. As far as cell phones go, its probably my 2nd favorite so far, still 2nd to the black LG510 i had while in college. This one is sleek, small, easy to use and has decent battery life. Its got some sound quality issues, and the silver coating is starting to peel off. Oh well :(

9. Vonage IP Telephone Service - Vonage has been a good addition, IMO. I never was a big person on having a home phone AND a cell phone service, but once i started working from home more at my old job, it was nice to have a decent speakerphone for long conference calls. I still use it, since i like having a home number i can give out to people, as well as the fact that i can forward my vonage calls to my cell. Using the smaller vonage appliance box rather than the replacement router they initally sent has been more helpful, since its nice to have wireless capability, which the router they sent didnt have. All in all, ive been happy with vonage. Good price, sound quality is a bit low, otherwise, good value.

8. Elgato EyeTV - I was so excited to get this back in the spring. It is a PVR device for Macintosh that pulls cable signal directly into the computer for viewing or recording. It can also export what it records in almost any quality, which is incredible. Honestly one of the coolest devices i have ever used....until lately. Since upgrading OS's and hardware, this device has gotten worse and worse. It runs through a firewire connection, and lately it just keeps flaking the point i disconnected it. About every 30-45 minutes, it would lose signal and just stop working. I was getting less and less impressed with the titanTV interface and the lack of support from Elgato over the known crashing bug. Hopefully they can get it fixed soon. It has a ton of potential.

7. Sony Cybershot DSC-W5 - Just got this camera for christmas. Its a nice upgrade from my old cybershot, 5.1mp, 3x optical zoom, nice big LCD screen...however, im having alot of trouble getting used to the auto focus. Id say about 90% of the pictures ive taken so far with it are blurry. I learned recently(after reading the manual, suprisingly) that to auto focus in certain modes, you need to hold the button down for a few seconds until the reticule on the LCD turns green, then take the picture. Not sure how i feel about this, since most of the pictures i take are of quick things. I.e. babies, cats, cityscapes, etc. Well have to see how it turns out. Honestly, the image quality has been great so far on the images that havent been blurry. Cant wait for my vegas trip to get a good test of it!

6. Blackberry 7510 - Got a good deal on this through my old company. Good interface, very rugged device. I still use it to this day, and really see no reason to upgrade. Im actually thinking of switching back to using this as my main cell phone again, rather than carrying 2 devices around. Great clear screen, easy to use keyboard, etc. Its very very cool.

5. iPod Mini - Cant go wrong with an ipod. I switched to a mini when i started travelling more for increased battery life, and its a bit more rugged than the last ipod i had. The screen was incredible, great backlight, and the clickwheel was so much better than the old touchwheel i had. I also got it on discount from apple, which wasnt bad. It is now being used by my dad, hes testing it out since he still has a 2nd gen ipod...:P

4. Sirus Sattelite Radio - Last year for christmas my folks got me a blaupunkt sirius head unit for my car. Honestly, sattlelite radio is one of my new favorite things. Great reception, awesome channel selection...only thing is i dont drive enough now to use it as much as i used to. Sirius is doing a great job with this, and this device is top notch. The only complaint i have is that the unit gets EXTREMELY hot after a short period of use. Other than that, it is a wonderful device!

3. ATI X800 - What a video card. I debated spending the money on a video card, since it was around 250$ when i got it, but hot damn. Worth every penny. Playing games like WoW or SWG with full settings as well as with doing video work, this card roars. Ive never had a high end video card like this, but it is simply amazing. With the 19in Dell LCD i got for my PC, it finished out my gaming rig, and this machine seriously is incredible. Id like to see how good it looks with a widescreen DVI LCD, but that is a long way off. With playing as much WoW as I do, this card makes that such an amazing experience.

2. Powermac G5 1.8ghz - Ive been wanting to upgrade my mac for a long time, and ever since the G5's came out, i knew i wanted to have a machine with that kind of horsepower. If it werent for this machine, i wouldnt have ever started podcasting, website work, audio editing, digital video and so much more. The sheer power of this box is amazing, and of course Tiger is a magnificant OS. Im running 2 monitors on this machine, and i wish i could run more, from all the things i want to do with it. Anyone who hasnt used a mac should really try one. I dont care what model you use, but try them out. They are one of the most pleasant user experiences ive had. 1.8Ghz, 80gb HD, 1.25GB RAM, Superdrive and digital audio ports, this machine is the perfect digital media machine.

1. iPod Video - Hands down the most amazing piece of technology i have seen apple put out since i have become a neo-fan of apple. Ive had just about every model of ipod and this by far is the best. The screen is beautiful, the device is thin and the interface is amazing. I cant stop messing with this thing. Watching video on the train is great. Perfect usability, and the screen is very comfortable on the eyes. The itunes video store is amazing, as all the shows that are on there are in spectacular quality for the ipod. I cant wait to test it out on a TV using the dock and AV cables. It would be nice if they made the device more scratch/fingerprint resistant. I have taken great care of it and it is not scratched it, but i have heard alot of complaints that it scratches easily. However, it is almost impossible to handle this thing without getting fingerprints and smudges all over it, which on a normal ipod isnt really an issue, but when you smudge up the screen, it makes it kind of difficult to watch video. Other than that, this thing is a 10/10!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Nothing can stop the signal, Mal....

So.....a show that was cancelled because of "lack of interest", a movie that was said to be a failure because of "lack of interest" and the dvd of the movie is #1 and series is #3 on amazon's sales list for the week of christmas?

The numbers dudes are smoking something in the film industry....

Top Sellers

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are all surrounded by loved ones, or at least know how to deal with the ones who annoy you! :P

All in all, i had a great christmas this year. I was able to make dinner and host Christmas Eve festivities here at my apartment. It was nice to have mom and dad over. We had a nice dinner(lasagna that i made from scratch) and exchanged gifts. It was an all dvd christmas for them, and we watched Serenity(one that i gave dad) after we were done opening gifts. I got possibly the best present ever, a 60gb black Video iPod....and i am so happy :D My parents are the best :D

Christmas day was nice, including talking to a special someone i havent had the ability to really talk to in a was nice. Spent the rest of the day over at mom and dads with missy, matt, lil emmy, and grandma and grandpa. Was a nice day :P

Hope you all had a nice christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 Going Offline?

Wow. How bad does this have to be for them to shut off star trek's website. Paramount is screwing this franchise over BIG TIME. 0 Star Going offline

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Overused Word Of The Year

Blogosphere: The totality of all blogs. A culture heavily overlapping with but not coincident with hackerdom; a few of its key coinages (blogrolling, fisking, anti-idiotarianism) are recorded in this lexicon for flavor. Bloggers often divide themselves into warbloggers and techbloggers. The techbloggers write about technology and technology policy, while the warbloggers are more politically focused and tend to be preoccupied with U.S. and world response to the post-9/11 war against terrorism. The overlap with hackerdom is heaviest among the techbloggers, but several of the most prominent warbloggers are also hackers. Bloggers in general tend to be aware of and sympathetic to the hacker culture.

Im tired of this word. Its so annoying.

I love my Aussie Friends

Gunsoo(pod people name), my friend from Australia kills me.

[08:12] waggoner98: what did you think i looked like
[08:12] waggoner98: seriously
[08:12] PokerBillionaire: to be honest, i thought u kinda looked like that guy from stargate
[08:12] PokerBillionaire: the sergeant guy
[08:12] waggoner98: HA
[08:13] waggoner98: wait
[08:13] waggoner98: richard dean anderson?
[08:13] PokerBillionaire: not general hammond
[08:13] PokerBillionaire: the grey haired guy
[08:13] PokerBillionaire: yeah
[08:13] PokerBillionaire: thats the one
[08:13] waggoner98: HAHAHA
[08:13] waggoner98: HAHAHA
[08:13] waggoner98: i wish
[08:13] waggoner98: id get all t3h ladies then
[08:13] PokerBillionaire: yeah, he looks coo
[08:13] waggoner98: hes friggin mcguyver
[08:13] PokerBillionaire: but he is 1337

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Interesting week so far...

Been an odd week. Been pretty slow, weather is shady, cold and snowy. Tryin to get through the slow days in order to get home and have some fun WoW times. Its pretty awesome talking to people all over the globe, especially lately a certain aussie :) Right now i have more "game friends" than real friends, and its very different. Most people frown on that type of stuff, but for me it is gratifying. Sure, we dont go sit in a bar and talk about our days....we play a game we love playing and talk about our days. We may not be physically in the same room, but we are all doing something we enjoy. It is really cool.

I get friday off. Things are really slow at work, my boss is on vacation, so i got the OK for the day off. Maybe i can get my super secret taverncast segment edited and ready for the christmas show. Maybe i can do a GCO micro cast. Maybe...ill play WOW all day :P

Talk of friends aside, im starting to feel the emptiness again. That emptiness you feel after the surge of independance and pain of a broken heart fades from a serious relationship. It seems anyone i would be interested in, there is some stupid situation. Distance. Age, etc. Nothing can be easy. More often than not, it seems like im destined to be a bachelor. That not so bad. I got a callie. Shes all i could ask for.

I kind of wish i was back in college in that regard. So easy to meet people then. Friends of friends, classmates, etc. Now, everyone i spend time with is either married or a coworker, or both. I seem to be the only single guy in my immediate group of peers. How lame is that. Guys younger than me have been married 1-2 years. Some even have kids. Im starting to feel like that crazy old dude everyone saw sitting on a park bench as a kid. Old and lonely, would feed the birds just to stay busy. Blah. Times have changes, as im blogging this, and people will read it, but it doesnt change the time honored feeling of emptiness single people feel.

Is it better being by my family? Of course. But they cant fill the gap in my heart right now, no matter how much they love me. No matter how many lunches i have with mom downtown, no matter how many times i play with emily, no matter how many times my dad and i will go to Fry's to look at electronics, it doesnt change the fact that i come home to an empty apartment, and sleep with a shadow of nothing next to me.

2 years ago, i had everything planned out. If i only knew the truth of what my life would be right now. Am i complaining? Not really. it will happen if it is destined to, but it doesnt mean that the pain of lonliness wont go away. So i guess i keep doing what i do to feel good.

Pet a cat. Play some WoW.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I Am Happy.

The Bears can clinch a playoff berth this weekend with a victory over the Falcons coupled with losses by the Giants and Cowboys.

Vick is hurt as of last night. He is most likely questionable for sunday.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Goose Is Getting Fat

Good weekend. Well, uneventful. Lets just say that. Friday, had dinner with the folks, tried to avoid more snow, then WoW'd untill the wee hours of the night. Been fun since i hit 60, been able to just play without worrying about grinding, leveling, questing, etc. I've been able to do the higher level instances, and actually will be tagging along with the server's largest horde guild this thursday to hit Molten Core, the largest and (potentially) hardest dungeon/instance in the game. Should be fun :D

My brother in law's high school had their madrigal dinner on sunday. Was pretty neat, kids did a good job, i could tell they worked really hard. Unfortunately, i ripped my toenail off my right pinky toe....if youve never done that, let me tell is one of the most painful things ever. The right half of my foot hurt. Ugh. Still not feeling that great, but damn. Ow.

Getting ready for christmas as well. Christmas eve will be at my apartment this year, and it will be me, mom and dad...and of course callie. Shes getting excited, and showing me by attacking the tree skirt around my christmas tree. Naughty animal. Im only asking for a few things this year for christmas.

1. My soulmate. Must be accepting of my hobbies and interests. Callie must also approve. Also must not live far far away.
2. Black Dragonscale Armor - my WoW char could use this right now.
3. Financial Freedom. nuff said. Will accept gold bullion.
4. Apple branded DVR/Home Theatre/Game Console/Reality distortion field.
5. Laser Gun - PEW PEW
6. Bottom replacement teeth for callie. Cmon. Its sad to see a toothless cat....

That should really do it. #1 is most important. Lonlieness sucks.

Make Your Own Zombie....

Roxi sent me this...

GOOD GOD. /scared

Friday, December 09, 2005


So....after my last post, i just wanted to follow up.

Yep, we got a bunch of snow. A good 5-7 inches from what the weather folks say. It was bad because it came down around 3-4 local time, right during rush hour. When the roads are packed with cars, plows cant get through, and things just get worse.

Worst part of the huge storm is this, where a southwest plane skidded not only OFF the runway, but all the way on to 55th street, the main road that goes past Midwar arpt. It hit a car, killed a young boy and injured 11 others. Sad story :(

Looking forward to a quiet weekend. Need peace and quiet, and most of all....sleep.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tom Skilling Makes Me Scared...

Chicago Tribune | Chicago area's 8th snow of the season heaviest yet; 2-6" on the way:

"Frigid temperatures interact with the season's most potent snow system to date to produce a 'fluffy' brand of snow Thursday likely to lead to impressive snow accumulations --especially in light of the limited moisture available. In most cases an inch of water produces approximately 10' of snow."

Smells like.....

Chicago stinks today. Not stinks as in "is bad", but litterally smells.

I have 2 blocks to walk from union station to where the Sears Tower is....and i thought i was going to vomit from the stench. I wish i knew what it would take that could make an entire city smell like rancid ass.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Apartment Photo


New apartment with my tree....and the nice fiber optic Chicago Bears Wreath :D Posted by Picasa

New Camera


Doesnt she look loverly with the new camera? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Anyone Ever Used This?

Sounds pretty cool...might have to try it out...

Xfire - gaming simplified

Adam Curry Caught Changing Podcasting History

How retarded could he be?

I cant stand adam curry...and for no good reason. This guy just seems to want to take credit for all of what podcasting is today. I am NOT a fan.

Cold Times In The Windy City

Im looking to get a new digital camera in the next few days/weeks, and am thinking of making this more of a photo blog. Picasa is becoming one of my new favorite apps(yes, even more than iPhoto) and being downtown, I get to see some really interesting things. More to come soon.

Speaking of downtown...its been nice being back downtown. Been working here at my new job since Halloween, and its been great. Nice environment, good boss, nice pace...doesnt hurt that i work 715-4 either. I do have to say, one of the most disconcerting parts of working downtown is seeing the homeless/panhandlers around union station. I have sympathy for those less fortunate than myself, however, when i see the same people begging outside union station day in and day out, i really wonder if they are even trying to turn themselves around. Seems that asking for handouts is all they know how to do. Sad, really.

Podcasts are going strong. Taverncast keeps going, up to almost our 14th episode. GCO is on hiatus right now because of some wierd goings on with the crew. We are working really hard to revamp the show, find some new staff, get things going again. Im estimating about 7-800 listeners at the moment. Not bad, im happy about that for something that i pretty much created, recorded, edited, hosted all on my own. Look for GCO Season 2 to come in January.

Bears are kicking ass and taking names. 8 game winning streak. Beat the packers. #1 ranked defense. #1 in the NFC North. #2 in the NFC. I couldnt be happier. /tearsofjoy

Going to vegas again middle of january with the folks. Should be a good time. Star Trek experience, here I come! We are staying at the Orleans for the weekend, going to see Tower Of Power again, and will bask in the warmth. I cant wait :D

Christmas is coming, and it seems that an iPod Video is in my future....cant wait! Will let you all know if it is new hotness or old and busted after december two five.

Back to work now, hope everyone is doing well! Stay warm out there, and have a good holiday!

Monday, December 05, 2005

DING 60!