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Archive for August, 2007


Domesticity, persistence and Lea’s 21st

Posted by Leith in News,Play,Work

Well, the remainder of August turned out to be fairly interesting. I managed to get into some fairly domestic routines looking after the place and just being somewhat house-husband-like. Anastasia and I also went to see Stardust and Superbad, both of which were good in their own ways. Robert De Niro in Stardust was a very different role for him and one I’m not likely to forget any time soon. I would thoroughly recommend them both, for very different reasons. Superbad in particular makes no attempt to pretend to be anything but amusing mind-candy, which it does very well.

This week I also was a bit more proactive in my pursuit of obtaining gainful employment at the local game company, Artificial Studios. Since emailing them last year and earlier this year didn’t appear to produce any results, I started calling them up, talking to people and leaving messages. I’m going to continue this more proactive approach until I get something out of them. ^^ I’ve started to look into game development more seriously, both from the technical and entrepreneurial standpoints. I’m hoping to develop my skills in both areas and later see if I can’t start up a game studio of my own. Lots of study and work to do before that happens, however.

Last and certainly not least,we had the celebrations for Lea’s 21st birthday! We went out with her and a bunch of her friends to a restaurant downtown called Dragonfly. Asian cuisine and very tasty at that. The atmosphere was pretty nice, the only thing that I had to complain about was that it was a tad on the expensive side. Places like Bento Cafe or Tatu are probably better value for money in the Gainesville area. That aside, it was a fabulous evening and everyone had a lot of fun, especially Lea, which is of course the main thing. We made sure that Lea had plenty of fun things to drink as well, now that she was legally of age to drink them in public. ^^

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Tampa, work and back to school

Posted by Leith in News,Play,Travel,Work

Well, last weekend was another trip to Tampa. I didn’t really want to go, but neither did I want to be apart from Anastasia. It ended up being something of a weird trip for Anastasia, but then that’s hardly unusual when it comes to seeing her family.

The rest of the week was mainly taken up with doing bits and pieces of work, accounts, some shopping, Lea arriving back and going to The Simpsons Movie. I also managed to have some chill out time and played some games, which was nice.

Today Anastasia started back at university and I spent most of the day doing email and administrative stuff. Fairly ho-hum, all in all. I posted a few things off to people in NZ that wanted things that they couldn’t get shipped to them directly. If anyone wants anything that requires a US shipping address, let me know and you can use my place as a bouncing-point.

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Technology and my interest in Japan

Posted by Leith in News,Work

Well, yesterday I did some emails and computer update stuff, that took a little while. Lots of updates that apparently needed to reboot my computer. I hate it when I get lots of ones like that. You’d think by now they’ have worked out how to do all that kind of thing without having to update the computer. Anyway, Anastasia’s new laptop arrived and I spent a good chunk of time setting it up. This was my first opportunity to have a good play with Vista and so far it’s something of a mixed bag of impressions. It looks a fair bit nicer than XP, I’d say they’ve done a good job with the Windows Presentation Foundation. The whole security thing is fairly annoying, though… seems like every time you install something, or even just to run certain things, it asks you for security permission… even if you’re logged in as administrator, it asks for administrator permission. Very weird. Also it has this thing where it doesn’t run some programs on start-up unless they’re in the list approved by Microsoft (which is growing every day as people submit programs to it, to be fair), so things like BOINC and some update programs you need to explicitly tell your computer to run every time you start up, rather than just having them run automatically. Anyway, Anastasia’s laptop is also a tablet, which has its own set of interesting functionality. It also has a fingerprint reader, although that has some issues of its own in terms of making sure it reads correctly, and not hogging resources during normal operations for some reason. Probably just needs an update, not sure yet.

I also had a conference call with the people I was doing some work for in Christchurch. Since I’ve become remote they’ve been less communicative about what they want me to do. I suspect that it’ll just kinda stop happening at this rate, which is a shame. It probably means I won’t get any money for the time I’ve spent on it so far, which has been fairly considerable. I forgot to ask them about that when I was conference calling with them. Perhaps when I head back to New Zealand I can do some work for them in person (assuming I’m there for long enough for it to be worth it).

Anyway, today I met up with Laura and Paris. Now, Laura is in charge of the local property company in Gainesville that I was going to be working for. After seeing my resume, she thought I’d be a good candidate for the business manager position, if you’ll recall. While that opportunity didn’t pan out, Laura also asked me if I could meet up with her and her daughter to talk a bit about my experience with Japanese culture clubs, since I have the various officer positions I’ve held listed on my resume. Bit of a quirk of fate, to be sure. In any case, I readily agreed to impart some of my experience to Paris, who’s trying to get some more activities and such going at her high school. We talked for quite a while, I gave her a bunch of ideas that I’d seen before, then sent her some links later about anime and some other stuff which I thought would be helpful. It all seemed to be fairly well received and I’m looking forward to hearing from Paris about how things go with her club at her school. ^^

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Movies, mishaps and Mr. Potter

Posted by Leith in News,Play,Work

Well, not a whole lot to report for this week, but certainly some things of significance. I’ve done a bit of work, which was good. I have also seen a few movies: Die Hard 4, The Bourne Supremacy and Transformers again with Anastasia.

A tragic accident also occurred. While enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, Anastasia managed to spill it on her laptop! While the laptop was certainly nearing the end of its useful lifespan, we had expected that it would last a tad longer. This has precipitated Anastasia and I stepping up looking at Tablet PCs for her. We put in an order and expect it to arrive shortly. It’s one of those laptops that convert to a tablet and looks very cool.

I also spent most of Monday reading the entirety of the last Harry Potter book, which I rather enjoyed. I still think that most of the Harry Potter books were in need of a bit more editing before they were pushed out the door, as they lack… something. I don’t know. I don’t think that a lot of the romantic scenes were as well written as they could have been and there were parts that lacked a certain fantastical realism. On the whole though, I rather enjoyed the Harry Potter books and am a tad sad that there will be no more. Although as I understand it, there will be no more about Harry Potter, however that doesn’t rule out any more novels in the same universe. So, fans may yet hold out hope. While Rowling herself might not write them, perhaps some other equally (or more) able authors will take on the challenge of writing about some of the life and times of Albus Dumbledore… or any of the other myriad of characters that have been introduced into the lives of so many. For all we know, Harry Potter could come back…. maybe in ten years or so, they’ll change their minds and Harry will have fast-forwarded to his adult life and will relate better to his grown-up fanbase. Ah well, I’m sure we’ll find out all in good time.

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Another trip to Tampa

Posted by Leith in News,Play,Travel,Work

The start of August saw me doing a bunch of driving, mostly. I drove Anastasia and Lea about to their exams and other stuff, then drove down to Tampa with Anastasia. Anastasia has a SunPass now, that certain makes a big difference in the time it takes to go through the toll plazas.

Anyway, first thing down in Tampa was actually a trip out to the beach. We took Anastasia’s grandmother to a hotel on the beach where we stayed for a couple of nights. The reason that we were going there was to spend time with (and meet, in my case) the Yeaworth family. Apologies to them if I spelled that wrong. Anyway, they were a lovely bunch of people – Jonathan, Judy, Sean and Katie. Katie in particular was very entertaining, and also looks a lot like Maggie Gyllenhaal. The general beach-ing was joined by Anastasia’s mother, great aunt and a few cousins and everyone had a good time (and a few drinks). I needed to take some time out on the Friday to do some invoicing, but apart from that it was a very relaxing time.

While I was in town I also had dinner with Jen, which was great seeing her again. Even though I’m in Florida, I don’t get to see her as often as I would like. Anastasia and I had meals with her great-grandmother a couple of times and also spent some time with her cousin Ryan, who’s always good fun. We went and saw Harry Potter in IMAX 3D with Jules and Ryan, which was awesome. Anastasia and I also moved a bunch of furniture around, moved cars around and generally helped out where we could.

After that we drove back to Gainesville, where I got some more work done. Anastasia finished reading her copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, then we had dinner and chilled for a bit. After that I did some more work and then we went to bed. All in all it was an interesting trip, but certainly what seems to have become and almost routine one.

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