Thursday, December 28, 2006

Male or female?

According to the Gender Genie, I am a male. I used text from this blog, and sure enough, it pinned me as a guy. :)

I still get a kick out of looking up at the mountains whenever I go outside here. Yesterday on a drive to Costco I was staring out the car windows like a kid might stare at a roadside carnival or petting zoo. It's awesome to see mountains on every horizon up here, and I could probably sit in the front yard and look at the mountains all day long. Well, except that it's a little cold and snowy right now, but still, one does get the point anyway.

One of the things I miss during the eleven months of the year that surround the Christmas season is the music. I really like Christmas hymns, and when we went to the 10pm service on Christmas Eve we got to sing all the great classics, and it was really cool (ok, so "really cool" is probably not the best description I could use, but it's early and I'm still kind of tired). You know how sometimes a certain song will trigger memories of a particular event or time in your life every time you hear it? I think what I like about "Joy to the World," "Away in a Manger," "Silent Night," et al, is that they always trigger memories of family, friends, presents, cider, warm blankets, and worshipping Christ. It's a good feeling, I tell ya. Sing away.

Oh, and yesterday we totally completed the newspaper crossword puzzle. Yes!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The week between

It's kind of nice being away from easy internet access for a while. In the past four days I have probably spent about 20 minutes on the good ol' information superhighway, not counting the time I was playing with the Opera browser on my Nintendo Wii (and that doesn't really count, since the absence of a keyboard makes "surfing" more like "hobbling around with crutches"). I'm writing this from Helena, Montana, where we are visiting relatives for Christmas, and as I look outside the kitchen door of their house I am greeted with a scene of rolling hills and majestic promontories that one just doesn't often see back home in Minnesota. The visit has been excellent, as it always is when we come up here, and today is looking like no exception. We will be here until the end of the week, that strange middle-child of a week sandwiched between the festivities of Christmas and New Years, during which the country pauses to catch its collective breath after one holiday only to plunge headlong into another and then back to the familiar routine for another 51 Mondays, at which point we will load up the Corolla and head back to the Twin Cities.

So yeah, I hope all of you had a wondrous Christmas and will soon have a happy New Year. :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

So this is how it all went down...

First things first: I am now the proud owner of a Nintendo Wii. Proud and happy, actually. And pleased. And relieved. And other things, too. Suffice it to say, I'm glad to finally have Nintendo's new system, as I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival in my living room for a few years now.

But anyway, here's the scoop: I set my alarm for 4:45 this morning and got to Best Buy right about 5am. By the time I got there, a line of about 20 people had already formed and I was told by the last guy in line that there were only 17 Wiis available. Major bummer, if I do say so myself. There was a sign on the door stating as much, so I cut my losses and hightailed it over to Target where the same thing was happening. The sign on the door said they had 14, and there were 16 people in line. Actually, it looked more like a mass of blankets than a line, as I'm guessing several people had arrived late last night and slept on the pavement. More power to 'em, I say, since this morning was probably the last chance most people will get to snag a Wii.

So off to Circuit City I went, where I found three guys waiting by the front door. Score! I thought to myself, as I started chatting with them. The guy in front had the Sunday circular and in it was advertised the Wii, so we all figured they had to have 'em in stock. Right?

Wrong. The manager came out about 6:15 and told us that they had none, even though it was in their ad. Thrice denied was I! But no matter, I pressed onward and zipped off to Toys R Us near my cousin's house. I had no idea if they were getting any, but as I mentioned, this was probably going to be my last shot for quite some time. I was about the 14th person in line, and decided to bit the just-below-freezing bullet and simply wait it out. Soon the line grew to 15, then 20, and finally about 40 people, when about 7:45 the manager came out and began giving away the video game equivalent of Charlie Button's golden ticket: little white slips guaranteeing the bearer one (1) Nintendo Wii. She passed from person to person, carefully handing each one a four-by-five-inch sheet of bliss, and I held my breath as she neared my position in line. "Eight, nine, ten..." she counted as the small stack grew ever more anemic in her chilly little hands. "Eleven, twelve, thirteen..." I don't even remember what number I was (I'm *guessing* it was around 14) but when my hands gripped that tiny white piece of gaming joy, all else just sort of faded away into digital nirvana.

Ok, so that's a bit melodramatic, and in the time of year when we focus on the birth of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made so that we might have eternal life, it's silly to put so much emphasis on a game system. But the point is, I had finally secured my Nintendo Wii. And having spent some time playing it this afternoon, I can confidently say that it's a really cool system, and all of you should check it out. :) Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Broasted Chicken

Here in Minnesota a lot of people have connections to cabins, either in the northern part of our state or in neighboring Wisconsin. It's not too uncommon for people to take off to go to "the cabin" for the weekend, be it their own or their parents' or a friend's. We have been going to "the cabin" with my friend, his family, and his girlfriend for about two years now, and it's always a great time. The cabin is located near the town of Hayward, Wisconsin, and it's far enough to feel like one has gotten away from the big city, but close enough to drive without having to stop for the bathroom. :)

But one stop is required along the way: a hole-in-the-wall restaurant (and I use the term loosely) called The Brass Rail. It is about a half-hour north of the Cities, and there's no way you would know it's there unless someone told you, even though it's right next to the highway. This restaurant has the best fried chicken I have ever had the pleasure of consuming, along with excellent breaded mushrooms and fried cheese curds. Actually, it almost reminds me of a certain lengthy shiny-grey fourth-gospel kind of eating establishment in that everything on the menu is the same color, leading one to believe one's entire order, side dishes and all, was simply placed on a steel grate and drowned for several minutes in a rather large frying vat.

But cooking methods aside, this place is very very tasty, and a few days ago my friend and I decided to head up there this afternoon, even though we had no plans to go to the cabin. So about one hour past noon my wife and I met up with him and his girlfriend and we made the short trek to the Brass Rail. And oh, let me tell you, it was awesome. We had our usual orders of mushrooms, chicken, onion rings, and waffle fries, and about an hour later with arteries clogging so fast we could almost hear it, we plodded back to the car and drove home stuffed to the brim with chickeney goodness.

So yeah, next to De Leon's in Lincoln and the shifty Packer bar near "the cabin," this is probably the best little place to get your tummy stuffed and your heart stopped. Definitely worth checking out.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Something for Nothing

I got up early this morning and hit up 3 stores looking for a Wii, but none were to be had. So what's good about that? Well, for one, this certainly is teaching me the value of patience. I used to freak out about stuff like this, but you know what? The world continues, and there certainly are more important things to worry about than a video game system. Another good thing about it is that I keep on playing the original Halo (making good progress through "The Library" on Heroic) and re-discovering how awesome it is.

But something really cool did happen today: I got a coupon the other day for a free 1-gig USB drive from a computer store. Free, eh? I thought to myself. There's some sort of catch... It turns out there wasn't. I took the coupon to the store after church this morning and walked out a few minutes later with a free 1-gig USB drive, no strings attached. I think the goal was to use it to simply get people in the store, and it sure worked. I'll probably go back there any time I need computer stuff, just because they gave me a sweet chunk of solid state storage. Aw yeah. :)

Friday, December 08, 2006


Recently, I have...

• Started watching the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (after pausing following the final episode in season five). Several episodes in, it is not nearly as lame as I once thought. Tonight's episode, "The Battle," was downright good.

• Finished a "pint" of Sesame Chicken from Lee Ann Chin. With apologies to Phil Hartman and Fabio, "I can't believe it's an Asian restaurant!"

• Gained a new relative, my cousin's baby Malachi. I'm not sure if that means I'm his second cousin, or first cousin once removed, or what, but either way it's pretty neat.

• Purchased not a Wii, but a Wii controller sans nunchuck. I've taken my first step into a larger world...

• Begun watching Episode III with commentary. What an awesome series.

• Realized once again the value of a good stocking hat in a Minnesota winter. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Grandma's Spaghetti

2 Cans Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 Can Water
3 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1 Pound Hamburger
Spaghetti Noodles

Combine soup, water, and chili powder, and heat until warm.
Brown hamburger, and season to taste with garlic salt.
Boil and drain noodles

Put noodles on plate. Follow with hamburger. Top with sauce.
Serves two.

That's about it, folks, but I promise it's one of the best spaghetti recipes you'll ever find. My dad's mother used to make it, and my mom made it, and two nights ago my wife and I made it. It was one of the best meals I've had in a long time.

(hey tarlo, reply to this with your Alpha Sigma Sigma chili recipe. That stuff rocked the shingles right off our house. And Andy, if you're out there, reply to this with your "it taste just like the stuff we used to get in school" chili recipe. Now if only we could find those cinnamon rolls...)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gaming Trek III: The Search for Wii

The Nintendo Wii was released about two weeks ago, and I have yet to own one. I did have a great time playing my brother's system when we visited Lincoln over Thanksgiving break, and a great time was had by all. So ever since, I've been calling and visiting stores, and asking people I know, and I just can't seem to find one. Turns out the Wii is this year's gotta-have-it gift for Christmas, which is pretty cool for Nintendo and millions of game players who enjoy having fun without spending lots of cash.

So this morning I got up, made some phone calls, checked some message boards, and discovered that a Circuit City near my house was going to get about 15 overnight. Schawing! I quickly showered and ran out in the near-zero temps to snag myself a new Nintendo (thankfully I had my super-warm Cabela's boots my wife's parents got me for Christmas a few years ago, or my toes would have froze).

I got to Circuit City and found that there was no line, which was super cool. Then I found out from a lady standing by the door that there *was* a line and the manager had given tickets to everyone in line so they could come back later and not freeze all morning. The downside: the store only got 11 Wiis, and they were now all spoken for (the lady was #12 in line, and I would have been #13). Bummer, sure, but then I found out that the lady who was waiting by the door needed a ride to someplace warm. Apparently she was waiting in line for her daughter, who had left to go run some errands. So I gave her a lift to a Starbucks, and zipped off to Best Buy to try my fortunes there.

I waited in line there for a while until the manager came out and said they did not receive and Wiis last night. Bummer #2.

But check it out: there's a happy side to all this, and it has nothing to do with games. What I discovered this morning was that there are a whole bunch of really nice people out there. Sure, that sounds cheesy, but everyone I met in line (I did go back to Circuit City after Best Buy to see if they at least had some controllers) was really nice, friendly, and polite about the whole business. It was 13 degrees out, but people were chatting and sharing stories and generally having a really good time. And when we found out from the Best Buy manager that they were out of Wiis, nobody fussed or got mad--they just calmly left and I heard many shouts of "Good luck, man!" and "I hope you find one!" and the like.

Maybe Christmas brings out the best in people after all.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

You got squared!

Eddy and I recorded another podcast tonight, but due to some technical difficulties it only ended up being about 15 minutes long. We had a great time doing it, though, and if you're interested in checking it out, subscribe to this URL in your podcast aggregator:

Eddy is doing much better, and he can now move his left hand with a great deal of agility. He is also able to walk with only minimal assistance. Praise the Lord! It's been so awesome to see His hand at work in Eddy's recovery.

Oh, and I just have to give a shout out to my aunt in Florida who apparently reads this blog. :D Send some of that sunny weather this way, Lottie!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

I'm not sure if it exists, but I've been in pursuit of it for many years. Kraft is the best, of course, though I'm not sure why. When I was a kid my mom used to make Martha Gooch brand macaroni, and it made me physically ill. To this day I get just a slight bit of nausea if I so much as think about it. Any off-brand is pretty bad, actually. I've tried many, and none can stand up to the goodness that is Kraft.

But that's the tip of the butter chunk.

I've played around with adding stuff, increasing the amounts of various ingredients, and toying around with whatever happens to be in the kitchen. And on an A to F scale, this is where things seem to land...

Made-from-the-box-directions Macaroni: C+
Extra milk: B
Lots of extra milk (with extra salt as well): A-
1 Can Tuna (along with extra milk): B+
Extra cheese (chunks of cheddar): B+
Extra cheese (slice of American): B-
Green beans: B+
Peas: B+
Two regular hot dogs: B+
Two Fairbury hot dogs: A
Ground beef: A-
Cooking the noodles for 15 minutes: B
Tarlowski cooking the noodles for 15 minutes*: A

I still haven't found the *perfect* recipe, even though some of these do get A ratings. The A+ remains ever elusive.

Anyway, tonight I used leftover ground beef that we had from when we made spaghetti last night. The good: it had lots of added Tone's garlic salt. The bad: I found out after I started eating that the milk was sour. Eeeewww. It still tasted pretty good, though, maybe because I also used chunks of cheddar. I'm having it for leftovers tomorrow, so here's hoping the milk isn't too far spoiled. :)

On an entirely different note (har!), the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers I bought a few years ago still ranks as one of the best purchases I've ever made. I still can hardly believe how good they sound.

*not sure why, but he just had this special way of doing it back at Alpha Sigma Sigma

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back in town

We had an absolutely wonderful time in Lincoln, and found many reasons to give thanks once again. It was great to see family and friends, and spend time relaxing back at my parents' house for a few days.

(short entry this time...time for bed!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Go Big Red

We rolled in to Lincoln last night after nearly seven hours on the road, which isn't too bad, if I do say so myself (and I just did. Ha!). Our Toyota Corolla actually got a surprising 40.3 miles per gallon between Minneapolis and Des Moines. Who needs a hybrid, asks I. :-) Anyway, it's great to be back in town, and the first thing we did was hit up Amigo's for a healthy dose of soft tacos and a large "The Works" nachos. I'm not kidding, I've had nachos all over this country (well, all over the midwest for sure) and the best ones are found at Amigo's. Hands down.

I also spent time playing my brother Phil's new Nintendo Wii. It's a great system and a whole lot of fun to use. For many games, all one has to do is wave a remote at the screen and things start happening. I'm helping him with/watching him play the new Zelda, and let me tell you, it's vintage Zelda through and through. If you like the Zelda franchise, then you're in for a great experience. If you're not a fan of dungeon-based puzzle-solving, then, well, maybe it's not for you. In any case, this Nintendo Wii sure is cool and I'm excited to get one of my own soon. :)

My mom is working on dinner and in a few hours we'll all be around the table sharing stories and chowing down on lots of turkey, olives, sweet potatos (thanks to my cousin Rochelle for a wicked awesome "sweet potato streudel" recipe), and other yummy stuff.

As the sign states when crossing the Missouri into Omaha this is the good life. Don't get me wrong: Minnesota ain't bad, but there's nothing like taking a vacation back home.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Inner Light

(pre-emptive note to all Star Trek: The Next Generation fans - Feel free to leave a comment on this entry as to what your favorite episodes are.)

Tonight my wife and I watched what I consider to be one of the best Star Trek episodes ever, called "The Inner Light." I'm not much for assigning rankings, but near the top of my "best ever" list would be this one, "Best of Both Worlds" (1 and 2), "All Good Things," and...I'm not sure. I think what I enjoy about the one we just saw is how well-done it all is. In under 40 minutes Picard lives an entirely different life, and it all connects together in the end with the flute that he learns to play in the alternate life once he's back to his normal life. I really get a kick out of stories like that, where a talisman or some such object is brought back long after it is introduced, and it turns out to hold a much greater significance than was immediately apparent at first. The myriad sub-plots (his wife, his friend, his quest to save the dying planet) are treated with a deft stroke that somehow manages to incorporate an entirely different side (not sub) plot regarding the Enterprise crew's efforts to save Picard.

All in all it's just a great example of great writing and character development.

I did not get a Nintendo Wii this weekend, which means I am now sitting squarely in the last generation of consoles, a position I have not been in since pre-N64 days (I got one of those from Toys-R-Us three days before the official US launch, and got a GameCube the day of the US launch). I'm not too interested in the 360, and have virtually no ambition to play the PS3 whatsoever, but the Wii really does intrigue me. I suppose I'll get one eventually, but for now I'm very much looking forward to playing with the one my brother picked up at 12:01 this morning. I spoke with him earlier today and he said our dad was having fun playing a golf game with it. My dad playing video games? Surely there has to be something incredible about this system. :)

And now back to my quest to finish the Library level of Halo on Heroic. FTW!!!111!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Your Shot

On a whim, I decided to send the picture in my "Brigher Side" banner (the original is a much larger image) to National Geographic for their "Your Shot" contest. Each month they select a photo for publication in their magazine, as well as their web site, and anyone can enter. I figured it wouldn't hurt, so we'll see what happens.

I watched the "chariot race" scene in Ben-Hur tonight, and was amazed at how good it was. I had heard a lot about the chase scene from the French Connection, but when I finally saw it, I was really let down. But wow, this chariot race was intense. For a film made in the 1950s, it sure has held up well, and the cool part is that none of it is CGI. They really built that huge stadium, and really raced those horses around like that. The sheer spectacle of it all was awesome, not to mention the tight editing and fast cutting between riders and horses. I'm now only an hour and a half from finishing the whole movie, and hopefully that will happen before the end of the year. :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back to the Wilson

I'm not a huge fan of posting videos like this, but wow, I actually laughed out loud several times while watching this. It's for anyone who's ever seen Back to the Future. :) The first few seconds of the video are all grey, and I don't know why, but just keep watching.

(the above is supposed to be a video from YouTube. If it's not working, just click here)

(Re)new(ed) Orleans

My brother and my father just returned from a trip to New Orleans, and my brother blogged about it here. It's a fantastic story, and there's pictures too, and you really should check it out.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Well, the iPod didn't sell for as much as I had hoped, but all in all it wasn't too bad. I got $61 plus $10 shipping, which in one way is a terrible return on my "investment." Of course, it was never intended to be such, so I can't really call it such. :) Anyway, that leaves me with a little over $100 from the sale of both DS games and the iPod. Not bad, really, since the iPod *was* broken. It's nice to get something, even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I doubt I'll get another iPod unless it has solid-state memory like the nano or shuffle, though I am intrigued at Apple's long-rumored true successor to the 5G video iPod. But we'll see...

It's gonna snow any day now...I can just feel it. And while that's not exactly the most comforting thought (my Nebraska bones can't handle this Minnesota cold very well) there is a degree of solace to be had in knowing I will soon be able to settle in with a good book or video game on a snowy evening after work. Also, it will make the Thanksgiving trip to Nebraska that much more enjoyable. Aw yeah.

To Beth--sorry I missed you and S the other night. I got home about five minutes after you two left. Bummer. It was great to see you both at the play, though, even if only for a little while. It sounds like you had a good time, though, and that's what counts. :)

edit: i was gonna mention (and am doing so now) that we watched a particularly awesome episode of TNG tonight. It was called "I, Borg" and is the third encounter the crew has with the Borg (the first being when Q launches them into the Delta quadrant to prove that they really are not ready for the horrors which await them during true galactic exploration, and the second being the encounter that leads to the tragic battle of Wolf 359 and the near-elimination of planet Earth). I hadn't seen this episode in several years, and the first few times around I missed the complexities of the inner conflicts going on among the Enterprise crew members. Wow, what a great show TNG is.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Taco Time

Last night we had tacos with some friends and they were really, really good. I think the secret is toasting the shells, which was shown to me by my friend Sarah. Basically, you take the shells and find a way to heat them ever so slightly (she uses a toaster oven). When they start to sizzle just a tad, they're done. It sounds silly but it makes all the difference when having hardshell tacos. mmm...

I decided to list my iPod on eBay last night (item 220045680458 if you wanna search for it) because, well, it's been unusable for some time now and I figure I might as well get something for it. I've listed it as broken, and described its condition, and all that, so hopefully someone will buy it and maybe use it for parts or something. My friend Josh once told me about about a broken Palm Pilot he sold on eBay. I almost didn't believe him, but he told me that people will even buy broken things because they often know how to fix them. Hmm... So anyway, thanks to Josh for giving me the idea and to Sarah for letting me use her computer to list the item. I'm hoping to get about $70 out of it, which will be put towards a Nintendo Wii. :)

It's been very cold this week (30's, mostly) but today and the rest of this week is supposed to be mid-50's and thereabouts. Awesome. So between that and the many bags of on-sale candy we got this past week in the wake of Halloween, it's looking to be a very nice day indeed.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Picture

Check it out. ^^^^

The previous image was a photo I snapped in Montana. This one is overlooking the bay at Cass Lake where my extended family vacations each summer. The resort overlooking this bay is named, appropriately, Sunset Cove. :)

(BTW, for all you in the family who read this blog, you will note that the image is, technically, incorrect. I had to flip it horizontally in order to accommodate the title.)


So here's the skinny on a few things I've posted on recently...

- After selling two DS games on eBay, I have finally received positive feedback from both buyers. It's great when you can breathe that sigh of relief after completing an eBay transaction. Your fate rests in the good Lord above and the hands of the US Postal Service below when using eBay, and it's nice when everything works out.

- I beat 343 Guilty Spark last night and have moved on to The Library. Wow, this game is good. It's been close to two years (really?) since I played through this part, and it's just as thrilling as ever, only now I understand what it is I'm doing and why I'm fighting off all these strange creatures.

- I've been jamming quite a bit since I got my guitar back from the shop. I'd forgotten how much I missed it. I even jam out to some of the riffs from back in Nick's basement, and it's still all good.

- New Weird Al(bum) continues to be super good.

The extra hour yesterday was like a nice bonus. Sort of like finding out there's a coupon on the box of Hamburger Helper you were going to buy anyway. And today is looking to be another great fall day--the kind of day that's perfect for a nice walk through the park. :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Zelda Goodness

This morning I watched a "Legend of Zelda Retrospective" documentary courtesy of a web site called "" (I would post a link here, but I'm using my trusty Dashboard widget, and am too lazy to find the link) Part 1 of the documentary focused on the original NES title and its sequel, part 2 was about the SNES and Gameboy games, and part 3 delved into the genius of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Part 4 (and hopefully part 5, 6, etc...) are coming, but for now, it was great to remember what was so cool about those games. I only played the original for a little while, and never played its immediate sequel save for a bit here and there on a ROM I got for my computer once. I played the SNES and GB titles extensively (every time I hear Soul Asylum's "Let your dim light shine" or Weird Al's "Bad hair day" I think of the GBA game, since I listened to those albums almost exclusively while I played it in my downstairs bedroom) and came *this close* to beating Ocarina of Time. My brother Phil was fond of Majora's Mask, from what I remember, but it always weirded me out

The thing with the Zelda games is that they didn't rely on shootings and violence and shock value. They have always been good solid games with good solid gameplay. Wind Waker just feels...comfortable, I suppose would be a good term for it...and I'm very much looking forward to the newest ieration on Wii and Gamecube, due out in a few weeks.

In other news, it seems as though one of those home design shows is taking over a residence in Lincoln only a few blocks from where I grew up. Sweet!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Wow, tonight I beat "The Maw" on the original Halo on "Heoric" setting.  It's tough, but I feel some sort of odd sense of accomplishment in getting past it.  The next level is something else entirely, though, as the "flood" of new enemies was hard enough on regular setting.  I'm looking forward to the challenge!  I'm also starting the book "Timeline" tonight, which should be cool.  The last Michael Crichton book I read was "The Andromeda Strain," which I finished about a year and a half ago, and it was really good.  So yeah, here's hoping good ol' M to the C can still bring it.  :) 

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Well, I sold both games on eBay. I was hoping for about $20 each, and one sold for $18.50 and the other for $22.50. That averages out to $20.50 per game. Nice! I'm shipping them out on Tuesday, since I can't make it to the post office tomorrow. When eBay works, it sure is neat.

In other news, I recently discovered that Comcast has upped my bandwidth from 6mbps to 8. It's nice to get something when you don't expect it, and the speed boost is certainly welcome. And for those interested in knowing their internet speed, my cousin Eddy showed me a cool speed tester at SpeakEasy.

And speaking of getting things when they are least expected, Papa Murphy's gave us a family size pizza when we ordered a large. Now, if you haven't experienced the complete deliciousness of a Papa Murphy's pizza, you don't know the tastiness you are missing. And if you know what I'm talking about, then you can appreciate how cool it is to get the hugeness of a family size when you expect the adequacy of a large. Suffice it to say, we will have leftovers for quite some time now. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Geetar is back!

Almost three weeks ago I took my guitar in to a place called Guitar Zone in order to have the input jack fixed. It had been acting up for some months, and it was high time to get a new one installed. The dudes there were super nice and fixed it for a great price, even though it did take a while. It's the kind of thing I'm sure I could have done myself with a soldering gun, screwdriver, and hefty serving of patience, but I'd just as soon have the pros do it instead. I've got it all tuned up and was jamming a bit tonight, and it's nice to have it back. I got new strings too--some strange ultra-would things that are supposed to be good, but we'll have to see. Blue Steels are the only strings I've found that don't rust out on me, but the guys at GZ said these are great about not rusting, so here's hoping they're right.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Wow, the new Weird Al(bum) is great. So far, I think my favorite is "Don't Download This Song." It's, like, vintage Al. It's got all the great background vocals, it's got a great funny message, and the music doesn't fit it at all. Think of "You don't love me anymore" from "Off the deep end." Go Al! 27 all the way, yo!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Wow, I'm writing this from a Dashboard Widget that lets me update my blog.  Sorry Windows users, but the Mac just keeps getting cooler and cooler!  Viva OSX!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

So long, DS Games...

Well, in preparation for the Nintendo Wii's imminent appearance on store shelves across the nation, I decided to put up two Nintendo DS games for sale on eBay. I got rid of Super Mario 64 DS, which I bought along with my original DS about two years ago, as well as Metroid Prime Hunters. I've been using eBay for, oh, over six years now, but my feedback remains a relatively low 17, mostly because I don't use it all that often. But my score is 100%, so that's definitely a good thing. :) I hope I can get at least $15 for each game, which isn't all that much in the grand scheme of things, but it's $30 closer to a Wii, and there's no way that can't be cool. Less than six weeks to go!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Today was one of those decidedly autumn days which can only be described with the word "crisp." It was neither hot nor cold, and the brownish leaves exploding in a stunning display of natural fireworks, were slowly beginning to decorate the streets and walkways with a soft blanket of earthly color. The ground itself, it would seem, was busy snuggling itself up in its own natural blanket in preparation for the coming winter months. It's also getting dark just a bit earlier each evening, and I happened to notice this tonight when I went into the grocery store under a light blue canopy and emerged not a half hour later to see the wayward white eye of the night staring down at me from a decidedly navy face. Winter is coming, no doubt, but beyond it lies another spring and summer, and that is definitely something to look forward to.

I remember a guy from Russ's way back in the day whose name was "Kenneth Chrisp." I don't remember anything about the man save for his name, and today made me think of him too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Trust the Fungus

As I type this, I am at my friend's house watching what my brothers consider to be the greatest movie of all time. It stars the uniquely talented Samantha Mathis, along with ever-dependable Dennis Hopper, and Mr. One-Man-Broadway-Show himself, John Leguizamo. Oh, and let's not forget Bob Hoskins ("Stalingrad!").

Yes, that's right, I'm watching Super Mario Bros. and believe me, if you've never seen it, you've been deprived of one of experiences ever. It's full of cheesy acting and a terrible plot, but when you have two plumbers struggling to save a city from an evil ruler while the former ruler, who has been transformed into an ever present fungus, also struggles to help the plumbers as they go on their quest to find Princess Daisy and a rock, which will reunite, that...ah...has nothing to do with video games.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I learned a while ago that many foods are acceptable when purchased in "off-brand" form. There's plenty of off-brand chips available, as well as juice, condiments, and even home cleaning products. They pretty much offer the same thing you would find in a regular brand, but without the fancy packaging and TV-friendly ad campaigns. But some foods are simply not acceptable in off-brand form. Martha Gooch macaroni, for example, traumatized me when I was a kid, and even now I can still taste that rubbery, not-quite-cheesy stuff that formed hard crusty edges on the side of my plate. It was nasty, but cheap, so we had it a lot while I was growing up.

Well, the other day at Cub Foods I found a box of cereal that doesn't really fit into either category. It's neither gross nor good, and even the name defies comprehension. It's a knock-off of Crispix called "Crispy Hexagons". At first I couldn't believe my eyes, seeing a product whose name was nothing more than the basest possible description of itself. But there it was, a box clad in blue and white with pictures of (what else?) crispy hexagonal cereal pieces, enlarged to show texture. My friend Sarah had told me of this very phenomenon many months ago, but to actually see a box in person was something of a singular experience. And being a fan of Crispix, I snapped it up and eagerly awaited the next morning when I would get to enjoy a bowl of crispy hexagonal goodness.

And the result? A food that is neither especially tasty nor exceptionally foul. It 's the orphaned stepchild of off-branding. A tumor carved from the body of all that is off-brand, and set aside as an anomaly to ponder. I think I'm going to keep buying it, though, possibly because I get a kick out of eating a geometry lesson in the morning, but possibly because I just feel sorry for the poor box. :)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Aside from being a really cool SNL video, it describes today rather well. Not the adjective, perhaps, but the image it conjures. Today was rainy and cold when I woke up, but after church it got to be quite nice out. As I write this I can see the clear blue sky, the trees rustling in the breeze, and even though the chill of autumn is just around the proverbial corner, it's nice to enjoy the last nice day of summer while it lasts.

I used to take the bus to college, and about this time each year I would have that same thought as I walked home from the drop off point: this must be the last nice day of summer before winter ushers it out entirely. And you know, it always amazed me at how another nice day inevitably followed. A few days of grey skies might come to pass, but the sun always managed to chase them away, if only for a short period of time. So we'll see what happens, and in the meantime, it sure is a nice day out today.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Holy cow, Eddy and I recorded another Square2 show tonite, and it was awesome. It was kind of a last-minute idea that neither one of us really planned on doing, but it worked out great nonetheless. I even got a cool track from Nick to play as our intro music. :) We talked about all kinds of Apple stuff and even the new Microsoft Zune, which could be the kick in the proverbial pants that Apple needs in order to keep its edge sharp. As I write this the show is being encoded, and will soon be uploaded for all to enjoy. Yah!

For dinner tonight I had a massively huge plate of homemade spaghetti and, while enjoying its deliciousness, finished Disc 1 of Ben-Hur. At 222 minutes, that is one *long* movie, but wow, it sure is good. Highly recommended, in case you need a nice flick.

In other news, tomorrow is Friday, which is awesome no matter how you slice it. Sweet!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


One of my favorite things to do is pick out desktop artwork for my computer. I'm a huge fan of 3-D landscapes, and just recently I found some great new ones at Shifted Reality. I've been using stuff from this guy for years, and there's some great stuff up there. I also stumbled across the images of DarthMagus.

There's just something cool and exciting about having a virtual landscape on my computer. It makes me think of times from long ago, perhaps in a galaxy far, far away... ;)

Sunday, September 10, 2006


It's cool to get away sometimes, even if it's just for a weekend. And incidentally, this past weekend I got to spend time with friends at a cabin about three hours away in Wisconsin. No internet, no phones...just lots of lounging, watching movies, and playing Super Nintendo. And for the record, Contra III is a hard game! It makes me think I've been tamed by modern video games. ;)

I don't know why, but tonight I was browsing Darthmagus' Flickr gallery. I really dig 3-D scenery like this, and that Darthmagus dude is a pro!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Free Meal?

How cool is this? Check it out...

Several months ago I bought two cases of oil from Checker, which were on sale with an additional mail-in rebate. I figured I would spend the time (and the stamps) and mail the rebate in, but had no hope of actually receiving any money. As far as I'm aware of, most mail-in rebates are like the tube thing at the bank drive-up: It takes stuff to a magical place, and hopefully you get something in return. Only the mail-in rebate tubes lead to a basin in the Mojave.

But shortly after writing my previous post, I went to check the mail, and lo and behold, I received two checks for $3.95 each! A shifty mail-in rebate form worked!

Very cool.

New Record?

I don't really keep tabs (as my dad would say) on this stuff, but the Square 2 we recorded last night already has 10 downloads. Now, that might not seem like a lot, but it's nice to know so many got it so quickly. We usually get about 30-40 downloads per show, and for one show to have 10 downloads in less than a day, well, that's pretty nice. :)

(for those still not listening to the podcast, you can get it here.)

It's now 5:20pm and I'm having my first Mountain Dew for the day. refreshing... I had a Sprite earlier, but it's just not the same (sort of like when one tries to make a Wendy's Frosty at home). Oh, and Netflix says "Space Cowboys" is coming tomorrow. Yes!

Friday, September 01, 2006


When I was a kid I wanted a CD-ROM drive bad. Like, really really bad. Our Mac LCII was fine, but its tiny internal 80 megabyte hard drive left many things to be desired. So I spent a long time researching drives and decided I really wanted an NEC 3XP:

It was super fast, as the "3X" in its name implies, and spun discs at three times the usual rate. There was even software written to specifically take advantage of the 3X speed of the reader (incidentally, 1X implies a transfer rate of about 150K per second, which is the rate needed to transfer CD audio, but is generally far too slow for most software applications nowadays, which is why CD drives now typically run at 32 to 48X).

Trouble is, these things advance so quickly that everyone started manufacturing 3X drives, and soon thereafter, 4X, 6X, 8X, and faster. I ended up suckering out and getting a regular old 2X drive, which served my needs just fine.

It was, in fact, the only CD player I had, which meant it served to load computer software and play music CDs. Despite the awkwardness of listening to music at the computer (and the computer alone), I went and started buying music anyway. The first CD I bought was They Might Be Giants' album Flood, which I am listening to now, which prompted this blog post. :)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Famous Dave

Can I just say that Famous Dave's has really good food?

I can?

Ok then, I will. "Famous Dave's has really good food."

We had them cater our lunch at work yesterday, and even the leftovers (which I'm enjoying for dinner as I write this) are ultra tasty. :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Done and done

Last night we recorded another episode of Square2, which makes our third in as many weeks. It's good to be back to a regular schedule of podcast recording, though I don't know how things will play out in the next few weeks as things begin to change somewhat at work. I hope to have a regular schedule like we did when we first started the podcast, but we'll see how things go. At any rate, it was nice to be able to record an episode with Eddy once again. He continues to improve, and if you're interested in more details, you'll just have to listen to the podcast. ;)

I started watching another Doctor Who series this morning, called The Androids of Tara. While the show's cheesiness is almost unbearable, that is, apparently, part of its charm and one should not be put off by it. I'm trying to keep an open mind about the show, but good gravy, it's so cheesy! :D The storylines are excellent, though, and that almost makes up for the blatantly cardboard props, often hamhanded cinematography, and mediocre acting. If you haven't seen any Doctor Who, I highly recommend it though. It's good stuff to try out.

My iPod is doing really bad, meaning that I can currently transfer about 100 megabytes to its drive 40 gigabyte drive, but my cousin Beth's 2nd Gen iPod continues to perform admirable in its stead. Thanks, Beth, for the loaner!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ok, so this weekend...

I had a blast at my cousin Matt's bachelor party. And I can quantify this statement with the following bits of data:

- I sort of learned how to wakeboard, in that I went from having never wakeboarded to standing up on the wakeboard while the boat was moving. I'm not good at it, but it was pretty fun. I did get to watch others, who were very good, do some crazy tricks which was really cool.

- I drove an ATV around and got it up to 50 miles an hour. I was wearing a helmet, but those things are still pretty scary at times. It's like riding a jet ski on land, and far less comfortable when one falls off. And speaking of jet skis...

- I rode around on a jet ski for a while, which is always fun. My favorite: going really fast and then spinning out. :)

- I hung out with a bunch of really cool guys.

- I played several rounds of cowboy golf.

- I went tubing behind a super sweet boat.

- I went fishing in the morning, and even though nary a fish was caught by yours truly, that wasn't really the point of going anyway. It's just fun to be on the lake with good folks.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

First Episode?

When I was a kid I would stay up and watch Star Trek: The Next Generation every night during the summer with my brother Andy (how's that for a run-on sentence?). Over the years I watched every single episode of the show, often multiple times, and went on to watch many episodes of other Trek series because of it. And now thanks to Netflix, I am re-watching the show after finishing the entire Voyager series, and without fail after the first 30 seconds of each episode I find myself saying "Oh yeah, I remember this one!"

Well, last night I saw an episode which, I must confess, I do not believe I had seen before. It was called First Contact, and in it, Riker gets stuck in the medical facility of a planet with which the Federation is about to make (what else?) first contact. Problems, of course, ensued, and the episode was, in typical Trek fashion, an examination not of scenarios and events, but how the characters handled these scenarios and events. It was pretty cool overall, but I was amazed that I actually found an episode I had not seen before.

I'm actually hoping it happens again as I continue to re-watch the series. :)

In about 20 minutes we're heading out to Amigo's, which is basically the best Mexican food anywhere in, like, the universe. mmm...meat nachos...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Return of Ed

I recorded a new episode of Square 2 last night...with Eddy! You should all go download it, like, right now. :) Ok, I gotta get to work, stat!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saint Cloud

I'm visiting my cousin Beth and her family in Saint Cloud today, and it's really cool. When I was a kid I got to see my relatives a few times each year, and now I get to visit far more often because I live an hour from several of my aunts and uncles, as well as my grandparents. Hopefully we can go get a McFlurry later. They're what I would call "McTasty". :)

Book Thingey

My cousin Beth told me to do this...

1. One book that changed your life?

The Bible

2. One book you have read more than once?

The Lord of the Rings (series)

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

Aside from #1, I'd have The Wheel of Time series because then I'd have no choice but to force myself to read it.

4. One book that made you laugh?

All the Calvin and Hobbes books

5. One book that made you cry?

I don't remember the title, but some book about a kid who has a puppy or something, and somebody dies. Whatever it was, I read it when I was a kid and cried a lot.

6. One book you wish had been written? Note: I read this as "One book you wish you had written?" Interpret for yourself as you like.

Harry Potter, because it's not very good (and by that I mean the entire series through part of book IV, which is as far as I made it) and I wish I would have been the one to think of it. The same goes for Eragon.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Anything by Michael Moore. Take your pick.

8. One book you are currently reading?

Hamlet, because it's supposed to be really good.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.

10. Now tag five people.

I don't know how to tag people. Does that mean link to them?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Can you hear me now?

I just switched from Sprint to Verizon, and it's a little strange. See, I signed up for a Sprint phone about six and a half years ago, and for a while it was a great time. I could make long-distance calls for free, I didn't have roaming in any major city, and my phone had great features like a four-line display. But over the years Sprint has kind of turned sour on me. Anyone can make long-distance calls for free now, I didn't get Sprint service in my apartment (or lots of other places here in the Cities), and a four-line display is pretty weak nowadays. Verizon, despite having an annoying (but very memorable...I tell ya, those marketing dudes know their stuff) tagline, seemed to have the best service out of the major cell phone companies, and they were running a pretty sweet deal lately. So I signed up, and it's been pretty cool.

My new phone is nothing special by today's standards, but coming from a black-and-blue four-line display it feels like going from an Apple //e to an Intel iMac.

I still have yet to send a text message. To anyone. Ever. But when that day finally comes, oh, what a...uhm...probably not very noteworthy day it will be. :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Latest Rundown...

In the past week and a half...

-I kayaked through sandstone caves on Lake Superior

-I petted a plow horse named Saffrin

-I got my first new cell phone in five and a half years

-I had an amazing dinner at a tiny little Italian place in Washburn, Wisconsin, called Viaggio's

-Apple showed off a ton of cool Leopard features at WWDC

-I painted two closets

-I met some very cool music teachers who live near my workplace

I don't mean to brag or toot my own fiddle, but sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down with all the uncool things that happen I forget to focus on the really cool things that happen.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Don't stop 'til you drop

Ok, so it's super hot here in Minnesota, but it's all good because it could always be worse. And by that, I mean snow. Sometimes on days like today when it's almost 100 degrees I drive with the windows down and the AC off, just because I know that six months from now I'll be wishing it was, well, now. :)

I got another episode of the podcast recorded, and the web site updated too ( I'm using a program called iWeb instead of writing the code myself, mostly because it's just prettier this way even though I don't have as much control as I'd like. It's cool, though, because the site looks good and will be easy to update in the future. Aw yeah.

Tomorrow I'm heading out to Wisconsin. Yay for cheese, and see y'all in a week!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Back in Lincoln

I'm in Lincoln this weekend for a friend's wedding, and even though it's not a super long visit it's nice to be here and see friends and family. And the food is great too. As usual, the first place I went when I arrived was Amigo's, a local taco joint that has the best nachos within a 450-mile radius of town. I also went to Valentino's, a local pizza joint that is almost as good as the taco place. I saw my friend's new baby last night, too, and he asked if I wanted to hold it. It's been a while since I had a four-day-old infant in my arms, but I think I managed OK. :) The wedding I'm here for is in about an hour and a half, so I should probably go shower and get a move on.

There was a series of problems in getting the podcast feed on the new server, but I think it's all set now. It's even updated in the iTunes podcast directory. I found an obscure iTunes tag that forces iTunes to use a different RSS feed, and I also got the old and new feeds properly edited to reflect the change in servers. The cool thing about technical problems like these are I feel as though a) I've accomplished something when I get it all fixed, and b) I learn new things along the way.

Now I just have to record a new episode, which may happen tonight if nothing else is going on. :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Server Craziness

It's been months and months, but one key thing finally clicked today with the podcast. In my visit with Eddy we were able to figure out the password for his account with his hosting company. Now, this sounds like a simple (or even slightly shady) issue, but the password was an obscure and convoluted randomly-generated one, and he could not remember it at all. Because of this, it was becoming very very difficult for me to update the podcast. *face_frown* But after we figured out the password today, things really started looking up. We are now finally able to move the show to another server, and this should really alleviate some of the technical difficulties I've had in getting each episode online.

So forget the podcast as you currently know it, and subscribe to this feed:

The show is the same as always, but just on a new server. :)

I went to SonShine with a friend this past weekend, and it was really, really good. I saw Stryper, Audio Adrenaline, Apologetix, Chris Tomlin, and Toby Mac. The highlight of the entire show was about one minute's worth of Toby Mac's set. Let's just say this: the lights went out, the crowd cheered, and he yelled "Are there any Jesus Freaks in the house tonight?"

Yeah, it was that good. :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rock Over Lincoln

I'm not into the local music scene of Lincoln anymore, but this is really cool. A guy from my brother's church has a son who was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age. Through lots of prayers and medical care he was able to make a full recovery, and this concert is being held to benefit the family and help with their medical bills.

It's put on by my brother Andy and some others from Faith Lutheran, as well as my best friend Nick who was able to gather all the bands through his extensive influence and involvement in the music scene.

Rock on.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I've been playing Half-Life 2 a bit recently, and though it's still hard to play an FPS on a console without thinking of Halo, it's still kind of fun. The graphics and physics are both very impressive, and the plot seems to be interesting too. I just got done with this part of a level where I got a new weapon and got to asplode some stuff. Woo!


I just saw the final episode of Star Trek: Voyager, which was titled Endgame, and thus capped a nearly 17-month quest to see every episode of the show. I'd seen episodes here and there during the series' run on regular TV, but thanks to Netflix, I was able to start at the beginning and methodically forge my way through the mysterious nebula of mediocrity which was the show. It was good for a few seasons, but overall it was just painfully average. It never excelled to the heights of Next Generation, though it certainly tried. Too many wandering plot threads, too many uninteresting characters, and a general lack of direction overall really hurt the show. Janeway was decent, but between her cow-towing to the whims of the crew and Chakotay's near-absence as the second-in-command, it made for a very strange power structure within the ranks of the crew.

Still, though, it was cool to see an entire series, and it did certainly have its high points such as the episode where the ship is frozen on a planet and Kim and Chakotay must travel back in time to prevent...erm...something or other from happening. Incidentally, that episode was directed by LeVar Burton, who was none other than Geordi LaForge on TNG. Appearances by John DeLancie, Marina Sirtis, and that guy who played Barklay (not to mention one guest appearance from Johnathan Frakes) also made for some great episodes.

So here's to finishing one Trek series, and resuming another. Disc 2 of TNG Season 4 arrives via Netflix next week...

edit: the podcast was recorded, partly, but many technical difficulties forced us to abandon it. I hope to record an episode by myself later this week.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Fun Without Fire

The Independence Day celebrations were awesome, even though there were no fireworks or explosions or other such things. I hung out with my relatives, played croquet and volleyball, and had some really good food. Kudos to Beth's dad for doing the grilling (and check out her blog, too. It's linked on the right-hand side of this page).

When I was a kid I liked spending a few bucks on fireworks, but now it seems as though if you don't go big you shouldn't go at all. If you're not going to blow a few hundred dollars on fireworks, you might as well sit back and enjoy the neighbors who do. :)

I'd like to see the new Pirates movie, and may go to a matinee showing soon with a few others. I've heard it's really good, though a bit more intense than the last one. Either way I'm pretty excited about it.

Oh, and I hope to record another podcast tonight with my cousin Jeremy. There's a lot of stuff involved in setting up the recording, but I think I've got it mostly figured out. Check iTunes for updates... *crosses fingers*

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Another one in the can

*whew* It's been a long time, but I finally got another episode of the podcast recorded. It's not very difficult to record one, but there's some behind-the-scenes work involved with editing the file that lets people download it, and that can be a bit tricky. My cousin Eddy, with whom I started the podcast almost a year ago, usually does that work with a program he wrote. But until Eddy is out of the hospital I have to do it myself by hand, which can be kind of tricky. Anyway, it's done and everyone should check it out (search on iTunes for Square 2).

I'm going to see some relatives on the Fourth of July and I'm really excited. Not for the fireworks, but for the good company. Families rule. :)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Isolinear Chips? Almost...

I read in a book some years ago that one isolinear chip could hold over two terabytes of data (though some have disagreed). However you slice it, that is a heck of a digital storage box. Well, I just installed a second external hard drive for my computer, bringing my total storage space up to 450 gigabytes, or almost half of a terabyte. Not bad. :)

My brother once bought a one gigabyte hard drive and I was sure we would never ever fill it up. He even let me have 100 megabytes of storage space for whatever I wanted. Isn't Moore's Law cool? (answer: yes, it sure is)

Edit: Wow, what great timing!

Second edit: Changed the title from "Isoliner Chips" to "Isolinear Chips". I don't even know what an "Isoliner" is.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Moving In

I have spent the last few days moving stuff to my new apartment, and it has gone surprisingly well, for which I have the Good Lord to thank. Despite the fact that my vehicle is a rather small Toyota Corolla, I was able to transport all kids of stuff quickly and efficiently, and even begin unpacking too. My cousin let me borrow his tank 1987 Suburban to move a few large things, which definitely helped.

I also have now gone completely sans-wires, as my eMac how has a nifty little Airport Extreme card installed. It's really cool to be able to turn on my computer far away from the internet router and have it work the same as always, but without any network cords attached. Yeah!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Of Equipment and Bejeweled Jelly

This past week I picked up the new albums from two of my three favorite bands of all time.

-The first is my 15th album, counting singles and b-sides, from a band I discovered in my junior year of high school. Erick Howard once walked to Homer's Music during lunch near the end of my senior year to get me and him tickets to see the band in Kansas City. 16 years after 10 and this band is still amazing.

-The second is the first album from the band in five years, though I would have waited ten thousand days more just to hear it.

-The third band will never release another album. Or, rather, they *should* never release another album, though Courtney Love will certainly try. For Frances' sake, let it rest.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Missing Hope

Some footage was cut from Star Wars: A New Hope before it was released in final form, as is the case with every movie. But this particular piece has an exchange between Luke and his friend Biggs, with whom he interacts briefly at the end of the movie before he dies at the hand of a TIE fighter pilot. It's a famous scene, and though many a Star Wars nerd like myself has heard of it, few (if any) have seen it until now:

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Weekend

This weekend was cool because...

-I went fishing and got a bunch of crappie and sunfish

-I re-learned how to, um...make them edible...with a big kitchen knife

-Tremblay's Candy Store, with about two-hundred varieties of candy

-Lots of Mountain Dew

-Paddleboating = really fun

-Spending time in the company of good people = awesome

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Papa Lasagna

Ok, so many awesome things went down tonight...

-A sweet trip to Papa Murphy's yielded a nice three-pound lasagne, cheesy bread, and a large pepperoni pizza. Triple-yum, says I.

-I saw Toy Story, which I haven't seen in, like, way too long. I remember when the PS2 came out and Sony was saying it would be able to handle Toy Story-like graphics. Well, we all know how wrong that was. But somewhere along the line, the 360 and (soon, anyway) PS3 picked up the baton. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have finally achieved Toy Story-like graphics. Oh, and that movie is still just as awesome as it was long ago. Pixar rules!

-This morning I started watching* Trans-Formers The Movie. This is one of the coolest movies I have ever seen, for many reasons. It has a wicked awesome storyline, one of the best soundtracks ever, exo-suits, a host of guest stars including Leonard Nimor, Judd Nelson, and (oh you betcha) Orson Welles. Oh, and Unicron has to be one of the most breathtaking characters ever conceived. Ever.

-I had a super awesome burrito for lunch. mmmm...

With this many good things in one day, I shudder to think of how many good things can happen the rest of the week!

*usually I watch movies in ten- or fifteen-minute increments while eating breakfast. viva la vhs tape!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

E3 Coolness

Each year about this time it's sort of like a three-day Christmas for video game fans. Yay for E3! This year, we got...

- A great press conference from Nintendo
- Lots of info on the Wii
- To see the Wii controller in action (and it's awesome!)
- Info on a new Mario game, the new Metroid game, and a bunch of other stuff for the Wii
- To see Reggie kick butt and take names once again
- No J!
- Too much Peter Moore!
- More earpiece-mic things than you can handle
- Just a bit teary-eyed for the best game nobody will ever play
- Lots of charts and graphs from Sony
- To hear Kaz Hirai try to tell us that UMD movies are not dead. Bwa ha ha!
- A $600 console from Sony
- A five-hour line to play the Wii
- A good show, mates. A mighty good show.

The next year is going to be amazing for video games. Keep an eye on those wallets, folks. :)

Monday, May 08, 2006


There's something cool about listing an item on eBay.

There's something even cooler when it sells for what you were hoping to get. ;)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New Square2

I just got the latest episode online, and I highly suggest you check it out. :) I'm still not satisfied with the quality of my vocals, but I don't think there's any good way to fix that until I get a mic and mixer. For now, though, my Logitech 350 is working well and I just need to stop being all nit-picky. To get the show, go to or search in iTunes for "Square2".

New Super Mario Bros.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Garage Sailing

I got word of a massive neighborhood-wide garage sale today, so I went down with a friend to see what I could find. I think I got there too late, though, because at about a dozen separate houses the only things left were baby clothes and old VHS tapes. I did see an air compressor for $50, but I don't really need one (nor do I have a good place to store one). I also found a stationary circular saw for about $75, but it was kind of like the air compressor in both practicality and storage. I was really looking for a vacuum cleaner or bookcase, but found nothing.

...until I was on my way home and my friend called to tell me of a $7 vacuum at a sale I had missed. Score! I went by to check it out, and it wasn't the newest of vacuums, but it was definitely cheap and came with a few extra bags too. Shyeah! So now I am the proud owner of a Coleman vacuum--yeah, I didn't know they made vacuums either. Weird, eh? For sure. Weird, but extremely cool nonetheless.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

You Stop at U-Stop

Almost ten years ago the youth group I was in sold these discount card things for a fund raiser. Each card was $10, and got the bearer small discounts at local retailers. It was mostly standard fare--things like a dollar off a pizza, or a free side of fries at know, little things like that. But the hidden gem on each card was a totally free 32-ounce soda at a local gas station called U-Stop.

Each card had a four-digit number and could be used once per day for the free soda. I'm guessing the people at U-Stop figured people would stop in for a soda and get gas or some snacks too.

My friends and I soon realized that because we were each in possession of many cards, which we were supposed to be selling, we could go to U-Stop several times each day and fill up on as much soda as our little hearts desired. Any time we had a hankerin' for some Dr Pepper or Coke we just busted out the cards and headed down to the gas station for a free fill-up on sugary goodness.

The owners of U-Stop had the last laugh, though, because for years after the cards expired we kept on going to the gas station for soda. We would often buy other things too, since we had to spend money to get the sodas, and after we all started driving it became the only place for gas as well. In fact, I went to U-Stop for a soda clear until I graduated from college, and so did most of my friends.

I still go, in fact, though not to U-Stop since I no longer live in Lincoln. There's a gas station just down the road from my house, and about once a week or so I head on down for a 32-ounce cup full of Mountain Dew, Sprite, or some other form of liquid sugar and/or caffeine. And tonight it was a soda and a bag of candy. They even have a cool little deal too: every seventh soda is free. Aw yeah!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


There's nothing quite so yummy as a good set of buffalo wings, and tonight at Applebee's my roommate and I decided to rustle up a side order of 'em as we waited for our dinner. They took a while to get there, which was kind of a bummer, but when the manager brought them out he said they were free because of the wait. Score! So I guess there's something even more yummy than a good set of buffalo wings: a good set of *free* buffalo wings.

It's been raining a lot lately, but I'm really glad. Last summer I actually listened to these long "Thunderstorm" sound effects tracks while going to sleep because I missed hearing the rain. Plus, the wipers on the Corolla are really good. :)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Points of interest

• I did not go to see The Benchwarmers. We stayed home and watched Maverick instead. Best part: Mel Gibson and Dany Glover's characters run into each other in a bank and seem to almost recognize each other.

• A few days ago I found a Washington Post review of Star Wars from May 25, 1977. "George Lucas has made the kind of sce-fi adventure movie you dream about finding, for your own pleasure as well as your kids' pleasure."

• Just this morning I came across a news site that only lists good news.

• Black continues to be awesome. Go play it!

• Last night I finished watching "Howl's Moving Castle". Miyazaki films are so cool!

Friday, April 21, 2006

"I prefer a straight fight to all this sneaking around"

If Han Solo made a video game, it would be Black, a first-person shooter crafted by the fine folks who brought you the Burnout series of games. Having been a longtime of the latter franchise, I was eager to try their first foray into the FPS genre, but was unable to find a used copy for a reasonable price. Thankfully I was able to borrow one for the weekend, and let me tell you, this game is all about teh sh00ting. Your goal, as near as I can tell, is to blow the snot out of everything around you, all the time. The first level has about fourteen seconds of "where am I and how do I shoot?" time before the entire thing just goes all to heck. Bullets fly, buildings explode, the subwoofer thumps, and the entire thing feels like the best parts of any given John Woo movie. It's crazy, and very intense, and so far, it's pretty darn cool.

However, even years after its release, I have to say that Halo remains one of the best examples of a console FPS. Perhaps even *the* best. Black is awesome, no doubt about it, but Halo's response time is quicker, environments are prettier, enemies are smarter, and control scheme is slicker. Black has you switching between the left analog stick and the D-pad just to change weapons, which makes some firefights very tricky when they shouldn't really be that way. Still, it's one crazy time and as soon as I finish this blog post I'm gonna go fire it up.

I'll probably go see The Benchwarmers with my roommate tonight, mostly because he asked me to go with him and his cousin and partly because deep down inside I have a strange affection for Rob Schneider. He was so good back in the day on SNL that I still hold out hope for a funny movie with him, even though the past years have brought nothing but trash in the form of The Animal, Deuce Bigalow, etc. But who knows...maybe one day good ol' Rob will find his groove again, and I hope to be there when he does.

Ok, time to start up the Xbox and freak out the cats. :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Another Succesful Show

*whew* I got another Square 2 put up tonight. It's tough without access to Eddy's "Squarecaster" program which he uses to automatically update the RSS feed, but I'm getting the hang of doing things by hand. It involves some occasionally-tricky text-editing, but for the most part it's not too bad. I seem to be doing shows that clock in around a half-hour, which is nice, because that's a compact period of time for a show. It seems to fit right, for some reason.

Our listener count is really good, too. Right now we have somewhere between 105 and 141 downloads for the April 2 show, and around 100 downloads for the April 11 show. I'm really looking forward to having Eddy back on the show, and I continue to pray for his full recovery. Actually, we're going to give him a visit tomorrow night, which should be really cool. He's improving quite a bit, and it will be good to spend some time with him.

Ok, time for bed. Majorly. :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

That Old Cat

We have a cat at my house who is very, very old. Something like 18 human years, I think. His name is Widda (and there's a mighty cool video of him here) and he's super friendly, but lately he's had this problem with barfing. Not good, says I. I don't know what's wrong with him--he's well-fed, well-exercised, and in a generally good demeanor. Maybe he has hairballs or something, but whatever it is, I feel like I gotta do something for the ol' guy. So tonight I got a tube of "Petromalt" from the pet store, and it's supposed to help with stuff like this. I'm hopeful, that's fo sho, and maybe we'll give this kitty a new lease on life. :)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Teh Rhode Trip

Just got back from Des Moines for a baptism. Lots of driving, chatting, visiting, photo-taking, and Mountain Dew-drinking. Fun stuff. Too

Friday, April 14, 2006

Web Hosting

I just sent the following email to Jim, the owner of Cyberland-USA, the place that now hosts three web sites I help run:

Jim, I just have to thank you for your awesome services at Cyberland. You're not the cheapest, and I wish I had more space for the money, but you have, by far, the best service out of any company I have ever used. I can't stand dealing with mega-companies like Godaddy who try to sell me stuff at every turn. I had one web hosting provider ( go belly up. I had another hosting provider provide rather poor customer service ( Cyberland-USA is reliable, fast, and extremely responsive for its customers.

In under one day I have easily consolidated three web sites into one account at Cyberland-USA thanks to your policy of allowing multiple addon domains on one account, which other companies offer as well, but not with your level of service.

Thanks again.

Yay for good customer service!

That face you make...look I so old to young eyes?

(ten points if you can name that quote, and no fair using Google!)

Nick rolled in to town this evening with JVA, and I went to hang out with him and the band for a while. It was really cool, even though I just saw Nick a week ago. We walked around the neighborhood, chatted about old times (duh), chatted about the band, my work, the tour...all kinds of stuff. I talked with Mikey and Eric (Erik? Erick?) too, and even said a few things to "Dub", whom I don't think I've ever talked to before. It was a really cool time just hanging out with those guys, but especially with Nick. They're spending about 10 days on the road and then it's back to Lincoln for some time off as well as some work on the new record. Schweet!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Junior Jones

I don't often watch movies all at once, partly because I don't have contiguous two-hour chunks of time to spend sitting in front of a box, and partly because I can tend to get antsy and have to move around. So I've been watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for the past few days, and let me tell you, that movie is awesome. It's got probably one of the best on-screen duos ever (Sean Connery and Harrison Ford) and it's so action-packed that you hardly have time to catch your breath between scenes. It's wickedly funny too, and never forgets that it's just a popcorn-ish action movie. No heavy-handed philosophising (*ahem* Wachowski brothers...) here, just lots of rollicking good times and hordes of Nazis to punch out.

(btw, I've seen this movie many times, but it's been a few years)

Resident Gaming 4

A few years ago I snagged a copy of Capcom's Resident Evil for my GameCube, and spent many long night getting freaked out of my mind as I wandered the hallways of its mansion and dungeon. I once got so scared that after pausing the game for a bathroom break and bumping into my roommate's girlfriend in the hallway, I jumped back and flattened myself against the wall because I thought she was one of the zombies from the game. Ahh-some. :) So a few days ago I went and bought Resident Evil 4 to see if it was as good as its predecessors.

I played the original on PS1, as well as bits of RE2, RE: Code Veronica, and RE: Zero on GameCube, and so far this game definitely lives up to its predecessors in terms of raw scariness. It's also way tough, and that's definitely something I need to get used to. It's not for kids, that's for sure, so if you're a parent, read the label and don't let your kids play it. But if you like to be scared...wowie. Definitely grab this game.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Live...from Lincoln!

Matt and I drove to Lincoln today and I got to see most of my family, which is totally awesome. I even recorded a podcast with Phil and John. Yay! Now it's time for bed. Long past time, in fact. *snore*

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Dentist Fun

I haven't been to the dentist in a long time. Far too long, in fact. So now that I have dental insurance I figured I'd give it a go. I got hooked up with a place here in the cities called Sandpiper Dental which sounds pretty lame, but the place was actually pretty cool. I have never really liked going to the dentist, especially since I had my wisdom teeth pulled, but it just seems like one of those maintenance things you should do in order to keep your body in good shape...and, stuff. I dunno. Anyway, the dentist said I had awesome teeth, which was good to hear since I drink at least two cans of Mountain Dew a day.

I watched part of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade today, and will continue watching it during breakfast for the next week or so, and wow...what a cool movie. "It belongs in a museum!" "So do you!" Heh...good stuff, folks. It doesn't take itself too seriously, and it's just a really solid wham-bam-beat-'em-up movie with more heart and substance than you might think. Three cheers for vintage Lucas/Spielberg flicks.

*raises glass of Mountain Dew*

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Got that lovin' feeling

By the time I left work today, I was feeling mighty hungry. I mean hongry. That leftover hamburger for lunch just didn't quite cut it. Then I remembered that on Tuesdays, Buffalo Wild Wings has wings for 35 cents. Score! Then I remembered that Predator 2 was coming in the mail today from Netflix. Double score! I snagged a bunch of wings, hightailed it home, ran to the mailbox to snag the DVD, and had a rollicking good time watching Danny Glover kick alien butt in Los Angeles while munching on the second-hottest wings they offer at BWWs. Ah, what a great way to spend the evening. I realize that it was a mighty nice day, and it would have probably been better to spend it outside in the sun, but sometimes you go outside and enjoy the weather, and sometimes you watch Predator 2.

I finished The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy today (book, not movie) and it's awesome. I haven't read it for a few years and forgot how funny it was, and I'm probably gonna start the next book in the series soon. ^_^

Monday, April 03, 2006


Ok, so this was just about the coolest thing ever. I was listening to Diggnation on the way home from work tonite, and Alex and Kevin were talking about a Legend of Zelda movie and who would play which part if such a thing were ever to be made by a Hollywood studio. As they were chatting, I was thinking that Scarlett Johanssen would be a great choice for the role of Zelda. About 30 seconds later when Kevin asked Alex who would play Zelda, guess what he responded with.

Scarlett Johanssen


The 'bell vs. the 'otle

Today I was faced with a rather dire situation: to Bell or not to Bell. Taco Bell, that is. Not having consumed one of their delicious beef gordita supremes in quite some time, I was thinking about heading off to snag one after teh work. But then a voice inside me started asking about my old friend Chipotle. "Why not go for a massive guacamole-filled steak burrito in a shiny tinfoil wrapper?" it asked. "You know you don't want that Grade-F meat from Taco Bell..." But then another voice started reminding me of the wonderful deliciousness of the gordita that, despite the sheer size of a Chipotle burrito, could not be easily ignored in this situation. Eventually I went with my gut instinct and got two gorditas and a mondo-size plate of nachos. mmm...nachos... It wasn't what I would classify as delicious, or even good, but it was enough to satisfy my nostalgia for the time being.

I had dinner while watching the special features on the last Firefly disc, and I have to say I'm a bit sorry to see this show come to a close. It really is a great series, even though it's only half a season. Despite a few, um...unnecessary scenes (*ahem* Inara...can someone explain why she is even on the show?) it's a first-rate show that should not be missed by anyone. Especially if you like Sci-Fi.

And speaking of Sci-Fi, I started reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again. I read it a few years ago and it was awesome, and now as I re-read it I remember why. Heh...Vogon poetry... :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Square Two Again

*whew* I just spent a half hour recording the latest episode of Square2, and at least another half hour trying to get it uploaded and working just right. I kept on getting an iTunes error saying my file was not a valid podcast feed, but I could not figure out why. Just when I was about to chuck my eMac out my first-floor window I realized there was a problem with the show notes, and a URL I had entered was incorrect by a couple alphanumeric characters. Oh, the frustrations of debugging, but the joy when you finally get it right. Yeah! Now go subscribe to the podcast and let me know how you like it. :)

Candy from a baby

When I was growing up my mom would have a jar of sorts placed in the living room during the weeks preceding Resurrection Sunday and Christmas. In it would be various candies, and my siblings and I would try to sneak a morsel as often as possible. One of my favorite candies was the jelly bean, but not just any jelly bean. I liked the Brachs Jelly Bird Eggs above all others, possibly because of their perfect combination of hard-ish outer coating and oh-so-yummy insides. I really liked those jelly beans, I tell ya.

Weird thing is, as I grew up, I stopped having them. I don't mean I stopped liking them, but I stopped eating them nearly altogether because I was no longer living at my parents' house. During most of college I lived in a run-down brick house with several other guys and never made the effort to plunk down $1.50 for a bag of those delicious jelly beans. I remember going to the store during the season of Lent and seeing them on the shelves, but never purchasing them. I don't know why, but I do know that if I was ever at my parents' house and there were jelly beans in the jar I would eat them until I was sick of them.

You know how some people, upon seeing a food that they remember fondly from childhood, will scream "Oh I love those!" but when offered a bite or piece of said food, either decline it entirely or only partake in the smallest amount?

Well, the other day I snagged a bag of those Brachs Jelly Bird Eggs and you know what? They really are good. Like, very very good. I don't know why I waited so long to spend $1.80 (inflation...what can ya do?) on 16 ounces of happiness, but I'm sure glad I did. I also bought a bag of Robin Eggs which are very very delicious chocolate-covered malted milk balls that I used to eat at work.

So the moral of the story? I'm not sure, except that you should go try some of those things you used to enjoy. Chances are you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Daylight Savings

In just over twelve hours it will be Daylight Savings time, and it feels like Christmas and Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July all rolled in to one big party. Every day for the past few weeks as I left for work I kept thinking "wow, it's going to be this light out when I wake up!. How cool is that?" And then I answer myself. "Very cool. Very cool indeed."

Friday, March 31, 2006

30 years of Apple products

Wired gives an awesome rundown of virtually every computer system released by Apple since the original Apple I (a circuit board, with no external case, which sold for $666.66)

read more | digg story

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Things that were cool when I first discovered them and are still cool now

(in no particular order)

  • Jeans
  • Macintosh computers
  • Star Wars
  • Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Tool
  • Driving
  • Chips and salsa
  • Vans shoes
  • Super Nintendo
  • Riding a bike
  • Going to the lake (any lake)
  • Compact discs
  • Reading books
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Papa Murphy's
  • HTML
  • Chipotle
  • Titan A.E.
  • Humbuckers
  • Woz
  • Halo
  • Steven Curtis Chapman
  • Dave Barry

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Star Wars vs. Web 2.0

There will be no one to stop us this time

I scored a 36. Kenobi would be proud.

Fixing Things

It's cool to mess with something for a while and then finally figure it out. Case in point: I was trying to update our podcast in Eddy's absence, and kept on getting a strange error from the server. Every time I would upload the new RSS feed I got an error message about the server running out of space. It's a very very tiny file, though, so I figured something else was actually causing the problem. After some google searching, lots of frustration, and an email to the hosting company, I finally figured it out on my own, and though the solution was kind of silly, it works, and that's the bottom line. So everyone should go download the latest episode of Square2. If you don't subscribe, just search for it on the iTunes podcast directory, or go to Square2 and subscribe from there.

I did a bit of shopping tonite and got, among other things, a bag of jelly beans ("Jelly Bird Eggs") and a can of Blue Diamonds almonds. My mom used to get those particular jelly beans when I was a kid, and man are they good. mmm...jelly beans... The Blue Diamonds were suggested by the guys at the DVD Weekly Podcast, and they are also mighty good. Mighty expensive too, but whoa...mega tasty.

Ok, time for bed.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The danger of iTunes

When I was a kid I got an album called "The Great Adventure" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and about wore out the tape over several years of listening to it. I didn't know if it was rock, country, gospel, or even rap, but I didn't care. It was just really really cool. I lost the tape several years ago, though, and since then I've had it on my "I gotta get that someday" list. I've looked around at used CD stores to no avail, and did a bit of searching online, but then tonite I finally decided to go for it and snag the album off iTunes. I think the beauty, and the danger, of the iTunes music store is that it's just so darn easy to use. Got an itchin' for a tune? It's one oh-so-easy click away. So I broke down and got the album, and wow, it's so awesome. I forgot how good it was, in fact, and I should have done this years ago. But isn't that how most good stories end? ;)

A whole bunch of my extended family was over today, partly to pray for Eddy who remains in the hospital, and partly to hang out with my uncle Steve and aunt Julie who are moving to Atlanta later this week. I'll miss 'em, but they will be living near their kids and grandkids, and you gotta be in favor that. Well, I am, anyway. :)

and I live in a...

Friday, March 24, 2006


You know what's really cool? Techno. Well, some techno--the kind that has a point, creates a melody, and does it all with a catchy groove. Thanks to Andrea for introducing me to some great techno artists (Oakenfold, Aphex Twin, Orbital) during the past year or so, but I also gotta thank the Ben Hike for driving around in his Explorer with "Reanimation" playing on the stereo. It's an album of Linkin Park songs that have been techno-fied by various artists, and it's super cool. I just thought I'd share that. :) I highly suggest you give it a listen.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Flying Fires

I first read about the show Firefly a few years ago on my former home page, Slashdot (which has now been replaced by the much cooler digg). I thought the title sounded lame, so I never bothered to check out the series. It was cancelled after about a dozen episodes anyway, so what did I care?

Now, thanks to the magic of Netflix, I found out that I really *do* care. After watching the first nine episodes, I have to say that this show is really growing on me. It's often described as "a western in outer space", but I haven't seen many westerns (only recently did I watch Stagecoach, and I like to think Back to the Future 3 counts too) so I don't know if that's accurate. All I know is, it's pretty cool stuff. It focuses on the exploits of a ragtag bunch of smugglers aboard a Firefly-class ship named Serenity. They make a living by picking up odd jobs for cash while trying to avoid the galactic police force (well, that's kind of what they are, but it's more than that) called the Alliance. I really like the captain, because he does what most people would probably want him to do. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy who, unlike other no-nonsense captains, really does what he says and backs it up with bullets. He reminds me of Han Solo (the Han Solo who shoots first, mind you) and Indiana Jones. Or perhaps he just reminds me of Harrison Ford.

Anyway, if you're looking for a really cool TV show to check out, give it a try. I did, and it's a good thing too. :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

SNES Games

So Eve and I have been trying to find a place around here that sells used Super Nintendo games, similar to Gamers back in Lincoln. There's a Gamespot or EB Games everywhere you turn, but so far I have not come across any small-time independent retailers that specialize in non-mainstream and older stuff. I thought I found one last night, though. It's a place called "Game Cauldron" and I drove down there expecting to find a bunch of old games for sale. Turns out the place wasn't what I thought it would be, and their selection of SNES games was really disappointing. The guys at the counter were super cool, though, and I told them the games I was looking for (Tetris Attack and Donkey Kong Country 2) one of 'em said I had good taste in games. But I already knew that. ;) I'll give it another go in a week or so, and see what they have.

Matt's computer royally pooped out on him last night--it was fine two days ago, but yesterday it just flat-out would not turn on. Not good. When it did, he got a dandy little Blue Screen of Death informing him of what was probably an issue with his video card. :( He spent a good two hours on the phone with Dell, whose "award-winning service and support" meant a not-helpful series of people transferring him to different people until we finally found out we had to call Microsoft. I worked in a call center last summer and can sympathize with those people who are inundated with calls all day long. In general they are a nice bunch and they don't want to not help you (does that even make sense?) but they also don't really know *how* to help you because they cannot see what you are seeing. (last summer I took many calls from people whose lawnmowers weren't working. They were frustrated that they could not accurately describe the problem "I dunno, it's making a funny sound and oil is leaking from somewhere..." and I was frustrated that I could not really help them "I'm sorry sir, but it could be one of a hundred different problems...") We eventually did get the problem fixed thanks to a guy named Jim at Microsoft who provided us with a new key code to reinstall Windows. Yay for Jim!

So the moral of the story is: if you live in Lincoln, cherish Gamers. If you have a PC, get a Mac. :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Typing Test

I really, really like this new keyboard I got for my birthday. Just for kicks I went to and found out I can do more than 90 words a minute on this baby! I used the Wizard of Oz test and only messed up on two words in one minute. Shyeah!

I want to send a big shout-out to the guys at who host the podcast I do with my cousin Ed. He was in a skiing accident two weeks ago and has been in a coma since then, and the guys at illusionfxnet let me log in to Ed's account and edit the RSS feed for our show. Basically, I can continue to update our podcast in Ed's absence and let our listeners know how things are going. I have every confidence that the Lord will heal Ed, and my entire family has been praying for his swift recovery. I know the Lord will heal him completely, so that His name might be praised. Now I just have to have patience and let the Lord work on His time scale, not mine.

Cameron Who?

This afternoon Beth, Eve, and I went to Target to get a few things, and ended up sitting in one of those outdoorsey-type gazebo things, which they had on display, for at least a half-hour. We chatted about a lot of stuff and then realized that we were, in fact, sitting in a gazebo inside a Target store, so we took off and headed for home. :)

This evening Eve and I watched a movie with Sarah called Elizabethtown. I had heard of the movie and remembered that something was special about it, but could not figure out what it was. The movie was a wash, and I would describe it as a "hopeless mish-mash of pop culture references strung together with the loosest possible storyline involving two characters who, we are supposed to believe, fall in love with each other" if I were a movie critic. Then when the credits finally rolled, I discovered that it was a Cameron Crowe film, and suddenly it all made sense. He's made one good movie (Jerry Maguire) and a half-dozen really terrible movies (Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky being the worst offenders) but someone in Hollywood must like him or there's no way this junk would end up in the DVD players of unsuspecting movie-watchers across the country.

So where's the good in all this? Well, looking back at the movie I could see how it was a Cameron Crowe film. It's just cool how you can begin to recognize someone's work like that. Some people can look at a painting and say "Oh, that's a Monet. Look at the use of color and texture and blar-dee-blar...", and all I see is a boring picture of a tree. But I thought it was really neat how I could tell that Elizabethtown was a Cameron Crowe production. Too bad I didn't realize it an hour and fifty minutes sooner, though. 'Twould have saved the three of us from a mighty lame movie.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


This dude is awesome:


I got one of the coolest gifts ever for my birthday yesterday: a new keyboard. It, like the Millennium Falcon, might not seem like much but it's got it where it counts. It's a MacAlly IceKey which is basically a laptop keyboard for a desktop computer. So, it's got a really nice and smooth feel to it and is much easier to use than a standard desktop keyboard. hands have been breathing sighs of relief ever since I got it. :)

It's getting much warmer up here which, again, might not seem like much, but when you get 10 inches of snow in one week it's nice to see the sun poke out and do its best to drive away all that fluffy white powder. It's supposed to be in the mid-30's all week, actually. Shyeah!

Friday, March 17, 2006


There needs to be nothing special about it. Just the fact that it's here is cause for celebration. :) The best part is, we get 'em once every single week!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Harsh Cattle

For some reason, I was reminded of an old DN article tonight. I believe it contains one of the most ill-conceived metaphors I, or anyone else, has ever written. :)

Snow Day Part Two?

Ok, so it snowed a whole bunch on Sunday, but it looks like we're not out of the woods yet. We're slated to get dumped on again tonite, which means the morning commute could be a little rough. No matter,'s nearly Spring, and all this white stuff just means more water for the lakes, which means better jet skiing. Schweet!

On a different note, few things in this earthly life are as wondrous as a massive Chipotle steak burrito after a long day at work. mmm...steak burrito...I also am watching Star Wars Episode I again (my VHS copy, since I never snagged it on DVD) and I have to say, it's a really cool movie. I saw it about 12 times in the theatre when it came out, and while I'm not sure I would repeat that today (mostly thanks to rising movie prices), I do think it is much better than most people gave it credit for.

Gavin left for home this morning, and man, it sure was cool to have him visit. You just don't get that kind of personal Anime translation anywhere else. ^_^

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Around here we have a rather loose cleaning arrangement: I do nearly all the dishes, and Matt does the heavier outside work. Everyone does his part in keeping the house more or less neat, though. Sometimes it's frustrating, since I end up doing a lot of dishes, but on days like today and yesterday when there's at least a half-foot of snow on the ground, it's nice to know your roommate/cousin/landlord will have the entire driveway cleared, and also clean off the parked cars on the side of the driveway as well. Aw yeah. :)