Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lunch time!

Had lunch at Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers in Lewisville.  Not bad. Their sauce has a whole lot of black pepper in it, but aside from that, I didn't really find a whole lot to differentiate them from other chicken joints.  But they were good and close, so I'm feeling quite a bit better.

Day 2 of our stay-cation.  We're heading down to the north end of Dallas today.  Going to hit Ace Mart, the restaurant supply store, and the Hong Kong Market.  Right now, I'm about ready to start gnawing on the handles of the car door, because I didn't have anything to eat this morning.  I guess Shelly is waiting for me to figure out where to eat...

Friday, May 18, 2012


Well, I'm busy re-installing my computer after the hard drive failed.  I've decided that I'm going to try to do a little more blogging about what I'm doing on the computer and in my life in general.  One of the utilities that I installed right off the bat is IrfanView, described on their website as "one of the most popular viewers worldwide."  I discovered this utility probably almost ten years ago, and it's continued to be improved and had a number of plug-ins added.  For general image viewing and manipulation, this is the one program that I go to.  And, best of all, it's free!  You can create thumbnail webpages, you can create self-executing slideshows, and you can do batch conversion of whole folders of images at a time.  Cropping a section out of a photo is a snap, as it resizing an image.  There's a package of plug-ins and filters which is also available for free.  Some of those plug-ins allow you to open seemingly nearly any kind of graphic on the planet.  And as far as filters, the built-in ones will let you do all kinds of things like red-eye reduction, color adjustments, and artistic effects like embossing or making your picture look like an oil painting.  You can also use Adobe Photoshop filters within IrfanView, which expands that manipulation capability to nearly endless levels.

One weakness of IrfanView, if you can consider it a weakness, is that it isn't a very good drawing or painting tool.  It really was never intended to be such, so it's hard to hold it against the program.  They have added a paint dialog which allows you to do some basic drawing, fills, and the like, but it's certainly not going to replace a serious drawing or drafting program.  But I don't think that was ever its intent, so not really a problem.

Anyway, if you want a utility that can easily convert a JPG to a BMP or vice versa, which will allow you to open that 40 megabyte graphic and resize it to the point where you can e-mail it, or which will let you view a bunch of files that were created in some program that hasn't been supported in ten years, and which won't break the budget (or cost you a dime, for that matter), IrfanView is definitely a must have.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Me vs. Everything

Sometimes I feel like the universe just conspires against me achieving any real success.  This time, my computer has died on me.  I have no money with which to get it fixed.  I was just getting myself into one of those phases where I was seriously working on getting some music done, and now it's just gone.

Fuck you, universe.  Just, fuck you all to hell.  I'm going to take this as an opportunity to try to work on some of my other projects, save up some money and buy a good desktop to be the core of a new music studio.  It might be a while with no computer, but I don't care.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

You never update your blog anymore...

For someone who writes as much as I do, I certainly don't update this blog very much. There are reasons for that... I like reading blogs that are either informational, themed sorts of reading (science, music, etc.), or blogs that are entertaining reads about the things people do (cooking, travel, making music, etc.). I come across a lot of "personal blogs" that are either incredibly down in the dumps, woe is me sorts of affairs that make me feel like stabbing my eyes out with a rusty fork. Or, they're the exact opposite, making me feel like someone is trying to shove rainbows and unicorns up my ass with all their perky happiness. I don't like either of those extremes. And, quite frankly, much of my writing is toward that more negative side of things. Well, if I don't like reading it, I don't imagine a whole lot of other people do, either. So, while I write it, I generally keep it off the interwebs. It has, however, been pointed out to me that if I'm going to bother to keep a blog at all, I might as well update it now and again. I do sort of wish I had some kind of theme, or that I did a lot of entertaining stuff that I could write about. I suppose I do a few things on the weekends, and I could get out of the house a little more and write about things going on in town and places that I go to. So I'll try to do that a little more than I have been recently. For now, though, I have to get myself ready for work, so that's all you get for today...