March 2012 - Chris Ullrich dot net
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March 2012

In Other News, Moving Sucks

As someone who’s lived in Los Angeles for over 15 years, I never thought I would live anywhere else. Sure, on occasion, I’ve imagined moving to New York or Austin or Portland (or somewhere even more exotic), but I never really thought I would leave LA.

But over the last few years, something changed. The city I loved started to annoy me. Then, grate on me. Then, I really started to dislike it intensely. It was an odd feeling to be sure and one I was sure I would never have. But, as they say, things change. LA and I had grown apart.

So, with that in mind and looking for new adventures, I packed up my stuff, grabbed Heather and her stuff after selling her place and moved South.

No, I haven’t moved to the “real” South, I’ve only moved South of LA and behind what people like to call “The Orange Curtain.” For the moment, H and I are renting a relatively new apartment that was originally built as a condo while we look for a house or similar.

But I gotta tell you, even though I really was looking forward to the move and really like the place and area we picked (Irvine, if you’re curious), the move itself was a pain in the ass that almost killed me.

I had not moved in quite a few years and the last time I did it I was apparently much better at it (and in better shape) as I don’t remember it being this difficult.

But this time, I really wasn’t very good at it. It really took a toll which I’m just now shaking off almost a week later. Before you ask, we had movers. They did all of the heavy lifting (and most of the light as well). It just seems to be such an overwhelming task this time.

I’m pretty sure almost everyone dislikes moving. Or, lets face it, hates it with a fiery passion hotter than a thousand suns. Even at its best, its very unpleasant. It really throws a wrench into your life even if you’re going to a place you really want to go and you have lots of help. It’s still a pain in the ass.

The unfortunate part is as much as I disliked having to move this time, I’m going to have to do it again this year once we find a more permanent place to live. Plus, I’m also going to have to move my Mom closer to us as well this year and vacate the house she’s lived in for over forty years.

Damn. And I thought I had it bad this time.

There Is No Spoon . . . Or Internet

We are relocating this week and for some reason our Internet isn’t working at the old place and I have not had it set up at the new place yet. Poor planning on my part to be sure.

To keep things moving along as best I can I’ve borrowed an Internet Connection Device from a “friend” and am using it to do a few things online. Thank goodness for friends with free Internet Connection Devices. That’s all I can say.

Dealing with my trauma today I’ve realized not having access to the Internet is very strange, at least in my part of the world. I have to admit when I couldn’t get online this morning I felt like something was missing. It was a strange feeling to be sure.

It’s also pretty weird to think that people in some parts of the county, and the world, don’t have access to the Internet. I feel very bad for them. Although, they probably don’t really know what they’re missing. Hard to miss something you’ve never had.

For me, I’m really not sure how I could live without it for more than a day or two. Although, sometimes I think about taking a long vacation and being unplugged for a week or more.

I wonder how I would handle it. I’m guessing not well at first, but I would like to think I would eventually adjust.

Although, you never know. I might not ever be able to kick the Internet habit.

Huh, I’m starting to sound just like some addicts I know. That can’t be good.

Things to Say

For those who know me well, this may come as a shock . I don’t always have something to say. In fact, finding something so say here, for this blog, is often difficult.

I spend a lot of time writing for The Flickcast and on my other comic book, TV and film projects that by the time I get to this blog, I’ve pretty much lost whatever modicum of creative mojo I had. It’s a sad state of affairs really.

I would like nothing better than to have a bottomless well of creative juices. That just isn’t the case, though, at least not anymore.

I remember a time when that wasn’t true. And it doesn’t seem all that long ago. I distantly recall being able to work hours and hours and not only not be tired, but to have lots of fresh, interesting ideas as well.

Dare I say it but I guess this is one of the things that comes with getting older. I just can’t do it like I used to.

Of course, it could also be that I’m just lazy and this is all just an excuse so I can play Mass Effect 3 or some other new shiny. I guess that’s possible too.

No, now that I think about it, I’m sure it’s getting older. Yeah, that’s it.

Let’s go with that.

Site Stuff, Photo Sharing and More

Looking at the archives list on the right of this page reminds me I’ve had this particular blog incarnation since mid 2004. That’s a good amount of time (almost 8 years) and I’m proud of myself for sticking with something that long.

I have actually been putting stuff online since before 2004 but alas, those articles and content have pretty much been lost after moves into and out of various blogging platforms over the years. I’m pretty sure I could probably locate them if I really tried and perhaps I will someday. But for the moment, I’m content to have this blog’s starting date be in June of 2004.

In the interest of fun, though, let’s step into the Wayback Machine and see what I was thinking on that first fateful Summer day in June of 2004. From that first post it seems like I was talking about a mix of tech and politics and also managed to throw in a quote from Chris Rock too. Not a bad bunch of content at all.

Although, I’m not sure why I felt the need to say “later” at the end of the post. It’s almost as if I didn’t know what I was doing then. So weird.

Anyway, now that I’ve evolved into the highly skilled professional that I am (hey, if you get or got paid to do it, you’re a pro) I can safely omit any of that kind of stuff and just talk directly to the audience. You know, you and you out there reading this.

Yes, there’s probably only two of you but that’s okay, we know something that others don’t know, right? We’re the cool kids now. Suck on that nerds. . .

But, I digress.

Nostalgia and self-affirmation is great but it doesn’t help me figure out if I should keep my Flickr Pro account or not. See that there, that’s what they call a transition. Although, it wasn’t a great one. No, not at all.

My Flickr Pro account expires later this month and my dilemma is that I haven’t been uploading photos to it at all. In fact, I haven’t used it for many months. Granted, it’s only about 25 bucks a year but if I don’t use it at all, why bother? Plus, maybe there’s something better out there with more features, more interaction and the like?

I’m also considering that I have pretty much unlimited bandwidth, space and server power with the Media Temple servers we use for The Flickcast and other sites (including this here blog) that I could just host my photos myself and skip the third party stuff. That’s why you now see a “Photos” tab up there at the top of the screen.

I’m trying out various photo gallery plugins for WordPress to see which one looks the best. Right now, it’s one called NextGen Gallery and I kinda think it’s the best of the bunch. We also use it at The Flickcast so I’ve got some experience with it. I think I will leave it in place for now and see how it goes. I will add more photos I’ve already taken and perhaps some new ones soon too.

I also know that I’ve invested a lot of time and effort over the years to upload stuff to Flickr and it has a lot of photos of mine. It would be a lot of work to start completely over somewhere else. In fact, I’m not sure exactly how I would bulk download all the photos at Flickr and upload them somewhere else. I would need to look into that more.

Given the potential pain in the ass and time involved, I would instead probably want to have Flickr serve as an archive for my old photos and would start anywhere new, like SmugMug, from this point on. However, because of the large number of photos I have (too many for the free Flickr account) I would end up having to keep paying for the Pro version just to maintain the archive.

So I guess that pretty much answers my question, doesn’t it? Yahoo will be getting 25 bucks from me this month. They can probably use it.

Thanks for playing along. Always fun to see the decision making process at work, right?

The truth is no service, free or paid, is going to motivate me go out and take pictures. That motivation has to come from within.

Now where did I put my camera?

Video Friday: ‘The Daly Show: The Daly Superheroes’ with Guests Nathan Fillion and Michael Rosenbaum

With all the content being produced these days it’s pretty much impossible to see it all. In fact, I’m lucky if I get to spend an hour or so a day looking for new things to watch let alone watching the programming I have to in order to write about it or review it for The Flickcast.

Fortunately, that’s one of the many things friends are for. This time around, my pal Rick Marshall pointed me to this particular episode of The Daly Show (not to be confused with The Daily Show with John Stewart) and I have to say, it’s pretty damn funny.

In case you’re not familiar, the show features the exploits of actor Tim Daly and his son Sam. Plus, they have special guests on each show. This episode’s guests? Nathan Fillion and Michael Rosenbaum.

Awesome? Yes.

Inside Where the iPhone and iPad are Made

As I’m the owner and user of many an Apple iDevice, I found this particular video quite interesting. ABC News got to go inside Foxconn, the company in China that makes the iPhone and iPad.

Conditions and such are pretty much what you would expect from a factory in China. In fact, compared to conditions outside the factory, the workers seem to have it pretty good.

Although, the nets around many of the buildings are a bit disturbing.