very dying laptop

Monday, April 21, 2014

dead laptop
My laptop is essentially dead... or at the very least so close to dying that it makes no nevermind.

I'm currently typing this using Safe Mode... I've been using Safe Mode for two days now.

After the trauma I suffered back in October I've been treating the laptop slightly more gingerly. I mean it's had some issues because the hard drive was filling up (mostly due to my photos), but on Sunday I'd booted it up first thing in the morning, same as always... and then left it to it's own devices while I took some photos of the Lego Easter Bunny.

Halfway through I happened to look at the screen and saw that it had somehow turned into a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)... not the permanent one, but it was enough to freak me out. Then it tried the "can't find the hard drive" trick it pulled back in October... but I wasn't having any of that, so I just unplugged it and plugged it back in again and it found the drive just fine.

However now when it's booted up normally it seems to be okay for a little while, but as soon as I open a program or a window (or it may just be after it's been turned out for a while, I'm not completely sure) it completely freezes up.

But it works almost perfectly in Safe Mode... you know, other than the whole "ability to watch any video or open Photoshop" thing.

Fortunately Safe Mode meant that I could get in and dump all the photos and stuff that I'd accumulated in the last six months onto the external hard drive I bought during the October panic.

Which means that I'm going to be forced to go shopping for a new laptop... which is problematic for a number of reasons, not least of which is the cost, but also the fact that I loathe Windows 8.

Plus I don't completely know what I actually want... I know I want:
  • something with the largest hard drive possible, since that's usually where I run into trouble with all my devices
  • it should be able to run games, but it's not a rig specifically for that purpose
  • a big screen is good, although I know that on laptops they only get so big and I'm okay with that
  • it needs Photoshop (although I think I'm going to have to settle for Photoshop Elements due to the costs)
  • Speed and memory are good, if only due to the requirements of using Photoshop and doing a lot of photo editing
  • I'd prefer not to have Windows 8, but I know that's an unlikely proposition in the current environment
The only thing I haven't tried is to do a System Restore, but I can't see that doing a lot of good, since I didn't actually install anything new or even update anything as far as I can remember... it seems to be a randomly occurring fault.

As always though it couldn't have come at a worst possible time.

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easter shopping saturday with unexpected kites

Saturday, April 19, 2014

blue butterfly wingswhite sail, blue sky
Can you guess what we did today?

Everything started out the same as usual... Technically I broke my record for getting downstairs just as Ma was arriving, but literally only by about two minutes.

The supermarket portion of the morning was fairly standard... completely coincidentally and not because of the public holiday, I discovered at the end of the week that I'd run out of a number of different things, or didn't have things in the cupboard that I thought I did... so we ended up with a fuller trolley than usual.

Which didn't help when we got the other new check-out boy who cannot pack a bag to save his young life. I think Ma possibly traumatised him though... since she doesn't tend to suffer bad bag packers particularly well.

yellow bird photobombsyellow bird
When we got back here there was much unpacking and filling of cupboards.

Beyond that we didn't have any plans for the day but while Ma was looking at part of the paper she happened to notice that the Adelaide International Kite Festival was on again this weekend (not really all that surprising, since I think it's usually been on over the Easter weekend, at least for the last few years).

So I dug out my Angels Play kite and grabbed my camera and we headed off down to Semaphore.

the crowd along the jettycoloured feathers
The Kite Festival is often a crapshoot... some years there's plenty of wind and the sky is full of colour, other years the kites just don't seem to want to stay in the air. Unfortunately this was much more the former than the latter. And as you can see from the photos, it was fairly grey when we first got there, although the clouds did break up somewhat later.

From a spectator perspective it also works better when the wind is going from left to right along the beach. Otherwise you just tend to see the kites from the wrong perspective.

It was also a shame because there seemed to be a whole bunch of new kites this year.

pink geisha in a line of geishapretty pink wings
I always find that the music they have blaring along the jetty is way too loud... but then my default opinion is that any public address system should be turned down by half and everyone would be better off. And then there's also the prattle of the announcements/announcer which never gets any better.

Because the wind wasn't particularly strong we seemed to spend as much time waiting for the kites to get up in the air as we did watching them while they were up.

The public side of the beach was actually doing pretty well, kite-wise... but then they're just trying to get small individual kites in the air rather than the nylon behemoths that the professionals were dealing with.

rainbow wingropework lamp post
Eventually we decided to wander up Jetty Road, maybe get some lunch and see if the wind picked up at all.

I do have to say though that Semaphore's Jetty Road isn't really all that exciting or conducive to wandering, so essentially we only checked out one store and that was more because it was there than anything else.

We'd decided to grab some fish and chips (well, in my case a burger), but when we stopped off at the fish and chip shop it turned out that the wait for food was about 40 minutes... which was definitely more to do with the crowds than the relative quality of the food.

But we decided that forty minutes was way too long to wait, plus it didn't look like the wind was going improve that much, so we decided to head along the coast until we found somewhere else to eat.

little black owlowl trio flag
We ended up down at Grange... more due to the fact it was the first place that I knew there was a fish and chip shop rather than anything else.

Although we didn't got to the same shop we've been to before... it used to be really good, but the few times we've been recently it's been kind of dodgy, fortunately there's another shop one block over, so we went there instead.

Turned out to be a decent idea. The chips were pretty good and although I keep swearing off burgers as a food idea, one of the couple of exceptions is a good chip shop burger... there's nothing fancy or pretentious about them, and are usually pretty damn tasty. And this one was no exception.

octopus redred gekko
We drove around the corner and found a bench to sit on right by the beach, which was very nice.

Once we were done with lunch I grabbed the kite out of the car and spent the required week and a half putting it together (actually it wasn't that bad, but it's been a while since I did it and was convinced that it was busted) before we headed down onto the beach.

Unfortunately there still wasn't all that much wind around, and while I got my kite up in the air for a while, it wasn't long before it was taking all my effort to keep it off the sand, so at that point I called it quits and we headed back home again.

bright wingbuddah feather
So definitely not how I was expecting to spend the day, but as Ma said on the way home, it was nice to get out in the fresh air... and it wasn't especially too hot or too cold... although it could have been windier.

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photo friday: breaking words

Friday, April 18, 2014

if i cant be yur lover the ill be yur brotheryea sounds cool another day would be sweet

contemporary artist anthony listerits a shame we cant be anything more than this
You know what, I want my old life back. Not my old apartment and my old neighbours obviously, because I love my new place so very much... but I want my old job back and my old routine and most importantly, my old paycheck.

Because there really isn't much fun to be had in public holidays if you're not actually getting a holiday from anything.

Anyway, the images in today's post are from Newtown in Sydney, and they were actually some of my favourite pieces of paste-up street art... I love the way that the text is laid out and the simplicity of the whole thing.

I got some bad news yesterday... nothing that relates to me directly, and nothing I can talk about yet, but when I can there will be a blog post about it. But it threw me for a loop and pretty much dovetailed into me wishing that things didn't have to change and that I could have my old life back.

It's also why I forgot to post a Random Hotness yesterday... by the time I got back last night I totally forgot about it.

I randomly got inspired this week to finally break open the two canvases that have been taking up space since I broke my thumb and finally have a crack at creating a Macbeth themed text artwork. My inspiration came from something I saw online... this post on Alisa Burke's website.

Weirdly mine came out mostly grey, compared with the mostly black of Alisa's version... no idea what they hell that's about, it may just be differences in shoe polish or the fact that I didn't prime the canvases with anything since they were supposedly already primed. I may need to take another crack at it at some point... maybe paint over the canvases with some white paint or something. But they look pretty good paired on the wall with the UATG Macbeth poster I sneaked off a wall somewhere.

That really is one of the things that I love most about my new apartment... I actually have artwork on my walls... things I've made myself, things by my favourite artists, just things. Things on walls are good.

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movies: captain america: the winter soldier

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

captain america: the winter soldier - in heroes we trust
I swear that Marvel just goes from strength to strength with their movies... and Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the strongest entries in the catalogue.

I think a couple of the reasons (which I only found out afterwards) is that the directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo insisted on live action over visual effects wherever possible and the fact that producer Kevin Feige described the film as "a 1970s political thriller masquerading as a big superhero movie".

Which absolutely shows within the movie. It's less about superpowers and gadgets and more about what happens when Steve Rogers' world is turned upside down yet again.

Thanks to the internet I knew about the Hydra related twist in the tale (which I won't repeat here... but thanks internet, this is why we can't have nice things) and about the identity of the titular Winter Soldier (which is one of those things I just knew without really knowing how I knew it)... but even so it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story.

The story is definitely where the movie is strongest... not that it doesn't have it's issues here and there... I still can't get past the fact in any of the "post Avengers" movies, that the characters don't cross over more. I mean, I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't have called in all possible favours/help for the big battle at the end. But I also understand that that's not going to happen for reasons that have nothing to do with the in-movie universe.

Unsurprisingly, the cast is excellent... I mean a number of them should be since they've been playing the same characters for a number of movies now. Chris Evans is brilliant as always as the World's Biggest Boyscout, and manages to show the fact that while Captain America has adjusted to the modern world, he's still adjusting to how much people have changed, and knowing who he can trust.

I'm pretty sure this is also Scarlett Johansson's best portrayal of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow so far. Part of me would love her to get her own movie, since I think both the character and Johansson deserve it, but at the same time this version of Romanoff is a really mysterious character (I'm not sure if she's the same in the comic books) and it would be kind of a shame to ruin that with a lot of backstory. Plus Johansson gets most of the dryly comedic lines, usually at Rogers expense, which she delivers perfectly.

Newcomer to the Marvel Universe, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon is my new favourite character... and not just because, you know, wings. There's just something about Mackie's performance, which I can't quite put my finger on yet... but he makes Wilson seem like he has a lot more going on than I think the character really does on paper.

To be honest I wasn't completely sure that Sebastian Stan was the same actor who played Bucky Barnes in the first Captain America movie since he looked so different. Although weirdly in the earlier part of the movie the Winter Solider has weird black makeup around his eyes, which then completely vanishes later on. I did like the fact that they didn't take the usual route of having the character do a total 180 within the space of a single movie. But since Stan is signed on for nine movies, so this isn't the last we've seen of Bucky.

It was also nice to see Samuel L. Jackson given a chance to do more than just deliver exposition in one of these movies.

It'll be interesting to see how the events of this movie affect the future of the Marvel movies, especially the Avengers sequel.

yani's rating: 9 Helicarriers out of 10


riverbank photo wandering

Monday, April 14, 2014

pelican domeoval curves
I took my camera on my walk with me this morning... and what is usually a 40-50 minute walk turned into about a two hour jaunt. I did a lot more wandering around than my usual walk though, including a lot of poking around the upgraded Adelaide Oval and all that lovely copper covered architecture. I do love bright copper so very much.

But this more one of those visual tone poem type posts... so enjoy all the visuals...

oval signagerobran bronze

duck bankduck family sign

shady bike lanepath up the hill

camo dragonflycopper curves

pop-eye mirrorreed fluff

shadow birdtorrens bridge lamp

autumn texturecopper corner

pampered puppypink petals

backlit goldrippled mirror

grey waderwhite supports

purple foorailing curves

bee bootaypro christo et ecclesia

heritage shadebronze whips

sitting prettystriped awning

angel profilepaper boat duo

sqwakerstropical bloom

morning arch windowoval corner detail

black swan shineaisle signage

city standingparkland lines

little brown beeeast gate shine

taxis and trains oh myhi-viz guys

bright duckcopper window

sir edwin smith standglass colours

black diverblue spire

copper workerscopper mesh

hidden pelican beakleaf shadows

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