Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry... Christmas.

It certainly doesn't feel like the holiday season this year to me and I have no idea why. There's snow, it's freezing, we have a tree, the consumerism of Christmas is here as always, and I'm happy. But it's not that jolly olly ness I used to get. I guess I'm growing up. And I don't have Isaac here with me.
But I am excited to try Jaffa Cakes!
Don't feel sorry for me because I don't feel sad about not being in the Christmas mood. I just feel like I do any other day of the year, really. It doesn't even matter.
But just because I love these songs:

I know some people find it kind of depressing but I don't.

Of course :)

Update on Peter: He now stands on my finger on demand and gets to come out of the cage every day. I'm really happy about his fast learning. Now I just need to continue on to build that trust.

I have a job interview thingy on Monday. I really hope I can get enough money in time to visit Isaac.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas cookies!

Here are the pictures I said I'd post... click for larger image.
I have no idea why we are hunching over like that. Lindsay and I were doing weird dance moves, I believe. Like our aprons?

Jen and Lindsay talking about whatever. I was already done decorating mine while they were still going at it!

We had hot chocolate with marshmallows AND whipped cream. We also listened to christmas music. Oh the fun never stops!


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Jen's cookies. She made a 3d frog!! And that little man reminds us of her dad.

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Mine. I especially like my snowman. :)

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These two of Lindsay's were particularly funny to me. That first one is supposed to be an angel! And I love the snowman's rosy cheeks and the expression on his face!

So yeah, there's the cookies.

It has also been snowy the last couple of days. I fooled around a bit with Windows Vista panoramic photo thing and got this messed up image:
But hey! It did the best it could do. It's not like my camera has a stable spot to sit to move from picture to picture smoothly.

I did something else the other day too. That time it made my closet doors look awesome!

Oh yeah and Peter stood on my finger tonight! For quite a long time too. It wasn't hard, millet spray bribing really does the trick. Oh and here's a picture of Peter! The lighting isn't great, I wish it would show his true color...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Peter peter pumpkin eater

Peter ate out of my hand for the first time today. I'm pretty excited. It's nice to see a new bird relax a bit and trust you enough to eat out of your hand. :)

Lindsay and Jennifer came over yesterday and we made sugar cookies. It was fun, and messy. I will try to remember to post a couple pictures here some time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peter the budgie!

I got a new budgie today!!! I am so excited.
So he's a violet colored parakeet, kind of like this one:

Only just SLIGHTY darker.
He's clearly a male, not making the same mistake as last time. He's also very young.
So want to hear the name?
Sounds like a very simple name: Peter.
But where did it come from?
It was actually Isaac who came up with it.
So the drummer of Siouxsie & the Banshees goes by the name Budgie. So naturally, we just took his REAL name (Peter Edward Clarke) and that is my new keet's name. Yeah, I have a musical set of birds now!

Peter is currently just sitting in his cage trying to relax. He's very scared in his new environment. Ziggy doesn't even seem to notice him yet.
In case you are wondering, yes they are in separate cages. Ziggy probably wouldn't like it if her home was suddenly invaded by some annoying newcomer. After a while, I will move his cage closer to hers and then eventually hopefully they will live happily together. I know Ziggy would PROBABLY enjoy the company, but who knows? I can't wait until they start talking to each other. Ziggy enjoys "talking" to budgies on YouTube so I bet she would like to talk to another bird whenever she pleases, in stead of waiting for me to play a video.

Yes. That's all. I'm happy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Skype vs. SightSpeed

Isaac and I used to use windows messenger for video and voice chat but were annoyed by horrible video and sound quality. You basically saw a bunch of random jumpy images and heard about every 3 words so you had to try to figure out what they were trying to say.
So then we decided to try something new. We tried a few different programs and Skype was one of them. Skype totally beat the others, at the time.
Relatively clearer image, normally not jumpy, and you could hear every word they said.. about 80% of the time.
Problems I experienced with Skype:
  • Pixelated image and GHOST ISAAC. Sounds weird but sometimes as I would be talking to him, the image would suddenly jump to something he was doing a few minutes before. Often times it would show both the former image on the screen along with the current streaming image. Trippy stuff. And when it got pixely, it was often so extreme it would lead to a distorted and just creepy face. The weird thing is he would just have to wave his hand around a bunch to get it to go away so it was kind of like it was physically there, right in front of him.
  • Pee face. Ok I know I need to come up with a better term for this but I can't help but think of it this way. About 50% of the time, there was this thick yellow strip going right down the middle of his video, where his face was, and a big yellow blob off to the right. I soon grew used to it but let me tell you, you almost start to believe the yellow is part of their natural skin.
  • DROPPED CALLS. Oh my gosh dropped calls. Those things were the most stressful things... ever. And you would know when it was going to drop because the image got extremely pixelated and sound got CRAP so you just wait a few seconds and you would hear that lovely "bloop" sound of a dropped call. So we would call each other back only for it to happen again in a few minutes. This happened way too often. Some days the call would drop countless times until you're ready to scream and some days it wouldn't have a problem.
  • Camera would often random flash. I am not sure why it would do this, it never did with any other program. What it would do is it would turn on and off while we were talking. The light would flash on and off and my computer would freeze up. This happened every about 5-10 minutes, it seemed. Really annoying because sometimes it would take a few minutes to go back to normal but during the time of waiting, I couldn't talk to Isaac, he couldn't see me, and my computer would freeze. Very strange!

This is just an example of weird ghost images Skype would do. This isn't the weirdest I've seen, it just happens to be the only one I've ever screen captured. That face is one I don't believe Isaac can naturally do. He didn't even have his mouth open at that very moment! It some how got him yawning or SOMETHING he did long before and morphed it with his face. His mouth/cheeck/chin just don't look right at all! Crazy stuff.


I finally decided to do more research online. Basically find something BETTER THAN SKYPE.
I came across two major options. ooVoo and SightSpeed. I decided to go with SightSpeed and try it out. There is a free version, for simple one on one, but you could also get their premium for multiperson conferences and other features.
My first impression:
Installed pretty quickly.
Computer didn't slow down apon installation.
Configured camera quickly.
Doesn't drop calls!!!!
Camera doesn't flash!!!!
No weird pixelation problems, ghost Isaacs, or strange colors.
My one problem is echo. Skype had an echo reduction thing but this doesn't.
I also was annoyed by IMs I was getting from random people wanting to know my age and sex but finally one person was nice enough to tell me that it was because I was on the community list and told me how to get off of it. Thank you!

The end.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Guitar Lick #1

Isaac made his first guitar shred video. If you have seen his acoustic stuff, I think you should also watch this. I'm glad he's finally starting to show more of his range. The mask is because of this idea he has about guitar shredders. Oh and because I make fun of his cute guitar playing faces. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We are taking care of this wonderful dog named Pedro...
Here is my niece with Pedro.

By the way, I have a new channel to post random videos that no one cares about but myself. Mostly Ziggy videos (my budgie, not Stardust). If you DO happen to care to check it out, it's here:
I really don't expect any of you to care, so don't complain.


What a beautiful way to decorate the city!