Been a while! I guess I’ve been focused on other stuff like my Animay site and kind of forgot to post here heh. I’m over the flu though it keeps threatening to return. There have been many complaints at work due to the terrible air conditioning conditions on our floor. Today the freezing air that was blowing on me from the vents above began irritating my throat again and I was coughing most of the day. Its a real pain. They have some new guys down on our floor every now and then checking the vents and monitoring the air-flow but not much has changed. A lot of people on our floor have been getting sick, its just ridiculous. So this week should be quiet at work. My boss is away for the week, and the bulk of people know though those that don’t seem to be the ones that ring up and pester us the most. I’m taking Friday off (it was actually recommended by my boss lol) though I probably don’t need the time off. At the moment I’m working out what leave I’ll be taking of the coming Christmas Holiday period. The office does officially shut down in the three day period between Christmas and New Years, though there are some staff that choose to work that period (or have no choice in some cases). Its usually fairly quiet though, even after that short shut-down time so a lot of people at work tend to take a few weeks from Christmas onwards. Schools don’t go back until late January/early February, though school staff are usually back at school a week before the kids go back. This usually means that we’re in the office from about two weeks before the kids go back lol. Its always recommended to take a few weeks as its really the only time of the year that they don’t mind how long you take. I usually take about 3 weeks off in total though once I did take off 4 weeks. That was bliss 🙂 Tomorrow is Melbourne Cup Day. Ah this brings back memories. When I first started working for the Education Department, it was the day before Melbourne Cup Day (October 31 fell on a Monday and the MCD is always the first Tuesday in November). I remember being brought around to where the other office workers were enjoying some festivities before the event. Man that was a long time ago!!! Anyway, I’ll probably go in the office sweeps but I don’t intend to go down to the local TAB to place any bets. Some co-workers group together and get one person to head down early before the TAB gets packed with punters. If I win something in the Office Sweeps then that’s fine for me, I’m not too fussed this year for some reason. I guess because tomorrow is an important day for different reasons. I’ll be waiting in the afternoon for a phone call from my bank telling me whether I got an extension on the home loan or not, and if I did, what the repayments will be starting from next week. Its really sad to see my old rates go 🙁 John Howard has got a lot to answer for regarding interest rates – no rate rise under his leadership?? There’s been six! Well there will be by the end of this week anyway. My previous rate was something like 6.75%. It hasn’t been below 7% in a long time. I’ve locked my new rates in at 7.89% which is about as good as I can get it for now. Fixed home loans are definitely the way to go, though I decided to stick with a three year option instead of five. It just means that should the interest rates go down by that time, then I benefit from it. Its hard to guarantee though, we can never see that far ahead anyway. Spending is another issue that’s a problem with me. I keep saying “I’ll be better at this, I promise!” but I always break that promise. I really do need to be a bit more stricter with myself and not open up my purse so willingly lol “OOH LOOK THERE’S SOME NEW NARUTO FIGURES!! AND A NEW FINAL FANTASY FIGURE!! WEEE I SHOULD BUY ALL OF THEM!!!” lol that’s the habit I have to get out of.
If you passed by the site today and saw all sorts of weird things happening – themes changing every 2 seconds; new pages added and removed; images appearing and disappearing – no need to worry I haven’t gone mad… yet. I’m just messing around with Word Press to see what I can do. Although I’m happy with Animay as it is, its not really user-friendly for me, so I was thinking of shifting to a CMS so that its easier to update etc. Joomla! doesn’t work though on this host, and I’m not really all that keen to try it anyway. Drupal was the next option and it worked really well – except I still ran into some problems that I couldn’t resolve and got a little frustrated with it in the end lol. So I thought I’d see how far I can push WordPress so that the site is still a site and doesn’t turn into a blog like this one is. So far I’ve found things that will make it work and things that won’t but WP seems to be the better option at the moment. I have picked out a theme, worked out some ways to play with the widgets and played around with pages to create for sections like the Avatars and Movie Clips pages that are currently on the site. The forums are dead, very little activity so I’m not touching them at all. I was intending to update Animay yesterday which was my day off, unfortunately a day that I was supposed to use to do lots of things for all the websites, ended up being a day where I was having to fend off a flu again. I still have it, I had to take today off of work as well. I’m still feeling like crap and I’m pissed off that I’ve got it for a third time (thanks to a co-worker for coming in when it was obvious they were extremely unwell). I’d like to take tomorrow off but I don’t think its a good idea. 🙁 In the mean time today I spent some time outside in the fresh air since it was nice weather today. I feel better when I’m outside. At work we have terrible air-conditioning that just spreads germs (and the flu) like wildfire throughout the office. And Monday when I was starting to feel like crap, I really felt like I needed to go outside to clear my head and clear out the bugs, but was too busy and didn’t get the opportunity to do that (plus it was a bit too hot outside anyway). The other reason for staying at home today was the pollen count was ridiculously high. I get pretty bad hay-fever and whilst I’d still suffer at home from it anyway, at least I can sleep and relax and try everything to get rid of it while I’m at home. There’s some good anime series coming out in Japan at the moment. I like Rental Magica, Clannad and Hero Tales so far, but my favourite would have to be Mobile Suit Gundam 00. It has some similarities to Gundam Wing, which was probably one of the best Gundam series out there. I did like Gundam Seed and its sequel, but I think this one is going to be one of the best in the Gundam universe. Of course its still early days so obviously the story could go whacko and it’ll end up being just another mech series, but so far its really good! (Gah I’m not making much sense to myself – too much congestion makes it hard to concentrate!)
Screencapping DVDs isn’t as easy as I first thought. For some reason when I did the BLEACH DVD it turned out fine but that was probably because I didn’t really grab that many clips. When I tried to do another DVD of mine, the screencaps came out awful! Some of the DVDs are widescreen but they come out in GordionKnot as pan&scan. When you try to convert them to the final product though they go all pixelly it ends up being rubbish. For some reason it won’t convert to MKV either so I searched around the net until I could find a program that would do it for me. Its making it a really long process but I’ve come up for other uses for it at the same time. Basically I use DVD Decrypter (old program no longer being updated but still one of the best) to rip the single episode from the DVD. Then I use another program called StaxRip to convert the VOB to an MKV file. Instead of me ending up with a file that’s over 450MB in size, the biggest sized file I’ve created so far has just been over 100MB. Not that I end up keeping these files! The conversion to MKV takes between 35-50 minutes long. After that I use FrameShots to grab the screencaps, then I have to go through each image and delete the ones I don’t want (this can take up to 10 minutes depending on how many images I’ve capped), and then I use a program called Bulk Rename Utility to rename all the files at once so that I don’t have to do it manually. If I added in the time it takes to upload these images to the gallery you’re looking at around 1.5 hours max per each episode! Actually its longer lol that would only be if I was uploading the images as soon as I’d screencapped them. I was intending to upload some DVD screencaps tonight but I just ran out of time. Instead I used the StaxRip process to convert some creditless (or textless – same thing) openings and endings from some of my DVDs. Converting the raw files to MKV means I still keep the original resolution, but at a quarter of the file size (or probably even less!) Its a long weekend here in Australia. Today is the last of the public holidays before Christmas. I’ve got tomorrow off – we’re in school holidays here at the moment so taking a day or two off during them is not a bad thing. I’ve not been doing much other than playing Tales of Phantasia on my SNES emulator. Its a lot of fun! Though it can be a bit confusing lol. I’ve downloaded a bunch of other ROMS too so if I get the chance I may play one of the other games but… *ahem* …I really need to update the RBM website again. (SLACK!!!)