Archive for December, 2003

Da na na na na naaa…

I say it’s my birthday! [/beatles]
Well it was, on December 28, and a good one it was. A small groups of my good friends and I gathered at the Hard Rock caf� and had good fun just talking, eating and laughing. I got some cool booty too! Jess got me this thing that I’d had endless fun with in Sharper Image. You hum in it like a kazoo but your voice comes out sounding like either a Sax, Tuba, or Clarinet depending on the setting. It also has backbeats you can turn on to jam with. This goes well with the little toy accordion I got for Christmas. We spent X-mas with me figuring out various songs, and Jess and Casey, my cousin, trying to name the tune I was fumbling to figure out. I eventually got the Spongebob Squarepants theme, One of the Lord of the Rings songs, and a few Weird Al Yankovic tunes down.
Back to my birthday, Jess also gave me the coolest page-a-day calendar ever. Each day has a new origami project, and you use the previous days page to fold it! Very cool. My friend Nathan gave one of those cool glass static electricity discs. It’s currently among the stuff decorating my space at work.
Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes!

My latest geeky find; spam filtering for Outlook

I have been using Popfile with Outlook Express for a long time now. Basically, Popfile allows you to set up “buckets” and then filter mail into them. For example you could have the buckets “mail”, “spam”, “work related”, and “family” to filter emails that fall into those categories. It’s totally customizable, and you can configure buckets for anything you want. It uses “Baysean filtering” to intelligently learn what mail goes into what bucket. If it gets something incorrect, you reclassify it, and it learns. I found it to keep a roughly 98% accuracy after it’s initial learning curve. Very cool.
Well in my recent email client experimenting I decided to give Outlook a closer look instead of Outlook express. One reason was that I could use Pocket Mirror to sync my Palm Vx PDA up with Outlook, thus keeping my addresses and calendar easily synced up between the two. I was thrilled to find Outclass. Which adds this functionality into Outlook. You still have to install Popfile, but that’s it. You don’t run or configure Popfile at all, just merely have it installed. Outclass then takes over and does everything natively within Outlook, including adding buttons to the tool bar to easily reclassify mail and access settings and such. I’ll still be keeping an eye on Mozilla Thunderbird, but for the moment, Outlook, along with Pocket Mirror, Popfile, and Outclass, has definitely taken over as my mail client.

No time for blogging!

So tired. I’m not used to this working crap. So I spent the week training for my new job doing phone support for lottery ticket machines. All in all it doesn’t seem like too bad of a job, but I’m not jumping for joy either, except for the fact that we once again have money. I’m just so frustrated at the whole job thing. It sucks so bad that so many of us have to do something we’d really rather not do, only because we have to survive. More than anything I just want a job even somewhat related to something I love. I can’t think of any job in the entertainment industry that I don’t think I would love. It’s amazing how you can do the exact same job in two different industries, and you may hate it in one instance, but love it in the other merely because it’s related to something you feel passionate about. I feel like I have so many varied talents that could be put to use, but all the things I do aren’t things you can just apply for. I have friends who are movie and sitcom writers, Creative Executives, game level designers, TV/Film crew positions, and so many others. I would kill to be able to pay the bills doing something vaguely creative, or interesting, or just in the general field. So once again, I find myself gainfully employed, yet tired all the time with seemingly no time for anything else but a job that I do only because I have bills to pay. I try to remain an optimistic and happy cheery person, but as of late I find it so hard. I feel so much urgency in getting to where I want to go. I feel like I’ve wasted too much time already and now I’m trapped. Sometimes I feel a bit cheated by life and wonder why fortune has not smiled upon me as it may have on others who may not even really appreciate it or feel the passion for what they’ve been given. Sometimes I feel I deserve more. I always realize afterwords how silly and selfish that sounds, but never the less, I feel like this undiscovered treasure packed so densely with potential that may never be discovered. I just wish that everyone, not just me, could make a living doing something remotely related to their inner passions or interests. Grrrr! Frustration!
I would happily move just about anywhere if an opportunity presented itself. I think I may resume what I call my “Lottery Ticket” technique. This is where I write letters to celebrities I admire hoping that my words will be infused with enough magic to perhaps sway them into taking a chance on me and giving me a job of some sort. Production Assistant, Personal Assistant, Secretary, Creative Consultant, whatever. I’m not picky. Anything. I know Mike Judge is a local here in Austin. I love his work. If anyone has his address, let me know. Robert Rodriguez is a local too, as well as Sandra Bullock sometimes. If you see them, give them my information. I think I’m going slightly mad. er…madder. Well, mad in the not cool and fun way. Damn you life! Where are my just rewards! Cough ’em up!

Whoa. Employment.

So I start a new job on Monday working for G-Tech. Basically I will be doing tech support for lottery machines in many states (the machines that they run your bubbled in lottery card through after you fill it out). Supposedly this is a really great company to work for, so we shall see. While I am a bit scared of re-joining the workforce, I am also excited to perhaps not have to live a life of poverty and financial emergency any more. The only real downside is that, being a support center, I could work a shift anywhere between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. 7 days a week, 365 days a year including holidays.
Also on the job front, I had a second interview this week with a video game company! If I got that job I would be doing support for several video games! Even better, there’s no phone support, only email, chat, and in game support so part of my job would be to play games and be available for support within that game. Very good opportunity, and a cool job, BUT they’re open 24/7/365, so shifts generally rotate every three months so no one gets permanently stuck with a crappy shift. Never the less, it could be a very cool job if it comes through.
We’ll just have to see how my artistic pursuits can co-habitate with either one of these jobs, unfortunately. So, again, I have quite the mix of trepidation and elation. I’m trying to concentrate on the good. MONEY! Besides, once I sell my screenplay for millions, and direct and star in it, I’m home free. [blind optimism]

New “Google” Iterations

We all love Google, the search engine supreme. I recently found out that they have now branched out with Froogle, which only displays sites which sell products. So if you want find, oh let’s say an iPod for your dear friend Heath, you could type it in at Froogle and get nothing but websites that sell iPods. It also comes up with prices, but I’ve found that part can be sketchy sometimes.
This led me to wonder what other iterations Google could branch out with. They could start Zoogle, for example, which only returns pages about animals, or perhaps get even more specialized with Moogle. For us children of the 80’s, there would be MotleyCroogal. Fans of Kevin Smith movies would really dig Snoogle, while people searching for information about ghosts would hit Boogle. If you are looking for scatological information, then the very niche, Poogle, would be your thing. Need some new footwear? Shoogle! Common illness remedies? Floogle (unless the Flugle Horn Players Association wins the lawsuit).
The possibilities are endless. Google, if you’re reading you can just contact me via email to find out where to mail the check.