Weekend with Mum

My mum came down this weekend to visit both my brother Stuart and I. Saturday night we ended up at Stuart’s place drinking crates of Bushman’s Lager, and then it turned into what Stuart says was the largest party they’d ever had. Mum and I left early to go see my Uncle Steve and Aunty Rosie Ffrost, leaving Stuart and his girlfriend to enjoy the party.

My Aunty and Uncle were in town for (Rosie’s Mum) Leslie’s 70th birthday party the next day. My cousins Abby and Sam were there too — man they’ve grown and look so different! Abby is now married(?) and has had two kids, one of which was adopted out, but they were both there. My goodness, they look so much like the younger Abby I remember.

I also talked to Leslie herself, and she told me about her trip around South America, and off hand she mentioned going to Easter Island, so I asked her a bit about that… she was only there for two days, but she saw most of the island — remembering that you can probably bike around the island in less than a day.

Mum was crashing at my place, so before we went to bed, we tried to watch Napolean Dynamite, but my computer was having issues and we were both tired; Mum doubly so after a 4 hour drive from Napier.

The next day was Church, and after an ordeal missing late buses back into town, I made it back in time to go to Leslie’s 70th party. It was at the Kingsgate Hotel in Oriental Bay, which is a great venue! After eating many club sandwiches, mini-croissants and drinking glasses of orange juice, talking to the whanau, we got to hear speeches from Leslie’s children telling the attendees about Leslies life. It was really interesting — she used to be in the Lighthouse service, which involved living in and running lighthouses for 18 months at a time. Fascinating!

After the party, Stuart, Mum and myself returned to my place where we relaxed, then we fetched some supplies including popcorn, beer and food for dinner, and Mum cooked up a feast of Potato, Cauliflower and cheese sauce and Porterhouse Steak — YUMMM. Then we retired and watched Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie, drinking beers and eating microwave popcorn. Mum had bought a few fruit-and-nut chocolate bars and said you gotta try this: Put a chunk of the chocolate in your mouth, then grab a small handful of popcorn and put that in there too. I did, and it was great! The chocolate melts from the heat of the popcorn and it tastes great ๐Ÿ˜€

Monday morning I wake up and Mum and Stuart are buzzing the apartment, so I quickly get dressed and we all go to Fidel’s for breakfast. They had a FIFTEEN PERCENT SURCHARGE for a public holiday! SCREW THAT! Well, we ended up ordering and paying for the meal before we realised there was a surcharge, and the food was REALLY GOOD… and we had a good time, so that was good ๐Ÿ™‚

After that we walked to Te Papa where Mum wanted to check out the Holbein to Hockney exhibition of pictures from the Royal Collection, which featured some pieces from Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, along with many others. I think the other Ninja Turtle was in there too ๐Ÿ˜‰

After that, Mum was on her way back to the Hawkes Bay and we said our farewells. Overall it was good sharing the city with Mum, and having a real good time. Love you lots Mum!

Oh, and I scored a full copy of Duke Nukem 3D from the Gamesman for NZD$1.00… pity I can’t get it to run in any screen size bigger than 320×240 under Windows XP. I tried a few HOWTOs but they didn’t help ๐Ÿ™

HOWTO: Save nearly any multimedia file in your web browser to your hard drive

Ever wanted to save that video or flash animation that you found on the web to your hard drive? Well, if you’re using Mozilla Firefox, it’s actually pretty easy.

This tutorial will not work with anything streamed or encapsulated (e.g., streaming videos and quicktime trailers like on trailers.apple.com). Capturing those is beyond the scope of this howto (read: I’m lazy)

Also, remember to respect other’s intellectual property: Saving a copy to your hard drive is fair use; taking that and publishing it on your own website is probably not. Check to see if there’s a Creative Commons licence, or get permission from the media’s owner before you distribute someone else’s works.

Enough with the warnings! I’ll assume you have installed Firefox, and get on with the tutorial:

  1. Open the page that contains what you want to save

    Here we have a movie on NewGrounds that my friend Andrew Kepple made. It’s a flash movie, so it’s embedded on the webpage. There’s no link to the file that I would normally be able to right-click and save from.
  2. Right-click the page anywhere except the video and choose View Page Info

    This will open the Page Info window. Tools > Page Info will do the same thing.
  3. From the Page Info window, go to the Media Tab
    On this tab is a list of all the embedded resources on the page, including images, ads, and convienently, Flash animations and other video files.
  4. From the Media list, find your resource and click it
    If you know what you’re after is a video, try looking at filename extensions for AVI, WMV, MOV, DIVX, and such. Flash animations end in SWF, and music files are usually MP3.
    Chances are that what you’re after is quite large, so you could just go through each item in the list looking at the Size field below, and when you find one that’s bigger than the rest, that’ll probably be your file.
    You could also check the resource’s MIME type, which might have the word flash, video, movie, sound or the like in it, tipping you off.
  5. Click the Save As... button
    Then save your resource like any other file. Remember where it is.

Done! It’s easy when you know how! Happy repetitive watching! If you have any suggestions on improving this howto, please leave a comment ๐Ÿ™‚

Update: Hi to all visitors from digg.com and the diggnation podcast! Hear Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht talking about this blog post on diggnation podcast #002 between 06m50s and 09m01s

Update: Welcome to those visiting from Lifehacker!

New Favorite Movie

It’s probably a bit early, but Garden State is probably my new favorite movie. Directed by and starring Zach Braff, known by most of you as JD from Scrubs, this movie talks to me deeply. Being shut off from your feelings and then discovering them by chance all over again. And falling in love.

I long to fall in love, and when I do, the hopeless romantic in me hopes it’s something like Garden State… It’s probably the warm fuzzy feeling in my chest talking, but I hope I fall in love with someone who’s as equally crazy, if not more crazy than I am.

And ladies, I’m leaving my mind open, so if you’re reading this and you’re interested in the Brettmeister, and you’re not as crazy as Sam, it’s cool, come see me anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I may be crazy, but I’m not insane! Well, at least not clinically… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Overall, I thought the movie was awesome. If you see any movie this holiday season, see The Incredibles (when it finally opens in NZ), and then see Garden State.

On a side note, shout outs to Virgil, who I bumped to on the street — hope to see you again soon sometime matey ๐Ÿ™‚

Movie, Movie, Revolution

Thursday: Went and saw Kombi Nation with Tuatha – good New Zealand flick – 7.5/10.
Friday: Watched Bend it like Beckham on divx – was pretty cool, with hot indian chicks playing soccer. 8/10.
Saturday: Went to “Wanna Play Spacies?” at Valve bar, here in Wellington. Was hoping for some video game remixes but got some pretty awesome rock music from Lollipop Circus and Po-Ha. One Thumb Up. The K1500 Project played too, but I left before they came on. I was walking home through Manners Mall, had some spare Timezone tokens in my wallet so I went and played Dance Dance Revolution for the first time in my life – no-one was around to watch me at 12:30 in the morning so I gave it a shot. I tell you, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it — it’s tons of fun. I currently suck at it, but it’s fun — I’ll definitely play it again ๐Ÿ™‚

Birthday Report

My birthday was pretty cool. Friday night I went out to dinner with Mel. We went to Stellar, a restaraunt inside Courtenay Central. We shared a wood fire pizza (Rotisserie chicken stuffed pizza with camembert, mozzarella, bacon and onions, very yummy), then went and saw Two Weeks Notice, which although it was a chick flick, was actually a pretty cool movie. We came home and Mel had stealthly left a picnic hamper at home, but because it was raining we did the picnic thing in my room – really romantic like ๐Ÿ™‚ Afterwards, we played Risk with Chris and Mark – Chris won (Kill Blue (Chris) or 24 Countries, by the latter), but Mel had Kill Green (me) and nearly won too, on her first game!… :-/ Mel really enjoyed playing, and we’ll probably all play again on Thursday night

Saturday I slept in and then Chris and Mark gave me a present. It was Lazy Sunday 3, which is what I wanted for my birthday (cheers guys!). But even better was the card they gave me – Mark, it seemed, had spent two days making a birthday card featuring a fake letter sent to Strong Bad asking him to send me an email saying Happy Birthday – LMAO! Excellent, guys!

Later that night a few of my friends (Mark L, Jaron, Ben and Steph) came over and we played xbox for a little while, then got Hells and watched Jackass The Movie. That is one classic movie… if you’ve never seen a Jackass, and are not squeemish, you will be after the end of this movie. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, the birthday was overall the best birthday I’ve ever had, and caps off the fact that this is the best era i’ve had in my life (new job, girlfriend, overall happy to be alive motif). I don’t things could get worse ๐Ÿ˜€ but we’ll see ๐Ÿ˜‰