Monthly Archives: February 2009

Pixlr

Quite a few of the pictures here are run through a Photoshop wringer before they get uploaded.  Most of the time it’s just cropping something, or making adjustments to try to make up for my crappy picture taking.  Now there’s a great website out there that has all the basic functionality of Photoshop.  It’s free.  And you don’t need to install anything, so you can use it on any computer with internet access.

Pixlr

Here’s a quick example of some editing that took just a couple minutes.

First pick the image you want to edit.  You can either load a picture off your hard drive, or use the URL of any image on the web.  I used a picture from my Picasa gallery, but you could also use an image you found in a Google image search as well.

Heres what you see once your image is loaded.

Here's what you see once your image is loaded.

You can easily crop images, or adjust levels to make up for bad lighting.

Cell phones dont take the best pictures.

Cell phones don't take the best pictures.

While not as powerful as Photoshop by any means, there are a few more advanced tools you can have fun with!

Now she looks more psycho than she actually is.

Now she looks more psycho than she actually is.

So there ya go.  Head over to the site and piddle around with it, and have some fun!

Mini Gwen

She follows me wherever I go!

She follows me wherever I go!

Well I’ve been stock piling gold in Guild Wars for a few months now and finally got enough to buy one.  But apparently I had enough a long time ago, as the mini Gwens are going for about half what I thought the were!

There’s really no point to the mini pets other than to show them off.  Some are more rare than others and this one happens to be one of the harder to find ones.  It has appeal to me, because it harkens back to the early days of Guild Wars when I first started playing.  You meet Gwen in the first area and she follows you around oblivious to all the enemies attacking you.  Somewhat comical.

So now I need to figure out what the heck I’m going to do next in this game!

Haven’t posted lately…

So I decided it’s about time to post about SOMETHING!

Honestly, there’s really not much to report on.  Things are plugging along as usual, and to be honest that’s how I like it.  No news is good news right?

I built a little directional Wi-Fi antenna that was posted on Lifehacker.com For some paper and tin foil that I already had laying around the house the return on investment is well worth it.  We ditched our old router for this one a while back and it made a big improvement.  But we’d still lose the connection once in a while.  But since I added this, I’m getting 95% – 100% signal strength to our server in the living room!  Not bad!

I’m plugging along on my next N64 re-review.  I don’t really want to say what game I’m working on, but to at least half the folks that read my blog here, probably know.  I will say that so far after all these years, the game has been compelling enough for me to want to beat it again before posting about it.  A true testament to how great the game is.

I remember being a kid and loving and living for winter.  All the snow, it was so pretty and so fun.  But I’ll be honest, I’m ready for spring.  And this has been quite the mild winter even!  I’m excited to get out and work on the cars.  We’re looking to repaint Andrea’s car next month, and I need to get my front end rebuilt on mine.  I am looking forward to getting some flowers planted out front.  And maybe even some grass to grow in the back yard!  But I’m trying to stay realistic here!

I think Andrea and I have found ourselves a nice church that we both like.  An interesting story…  The first day we went apparently they had a “guest pastor”.  All well and good, except the guy ended up SCREAMING at the congregation for the whole sermon.  Truly one of those “fire and brimstone” preachers.  It was an…. intersting experience.  For example, part of his sermon included talking about a young guy he wittnessed to and later that week got in a car crash with (and I quote) “brains all over the car” and he sure hoped that boy had taken Jesus as his savior.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I agree with him in message…. but that’s a little more graphic than I go for on my Sunday mornings.  The regular preacher seems like a real nice guy.  He’s a little charasmatic at times too, but he seems a lot more sincere about it.  Make it more tolerable I suppose.  For now we’re going to keep attending, and someday soon we might chat with them about membership.

I do know it’s nice to be going again though.   I was really involved in church back when I was in school in Ingalls.  But I think I got in over my head.  I was leading the youth group there, and even preaching sermons when the pastor was gone one Sundays.  Shoot I was only 16 or 17 at the time.  And it seemed like the church always kept asking me to do more and more.  To be honest my memory is kinda vague as to how it happened, but over a short time, I just sort of got frustrated, burned out, and fell away.  Getting back into it has been harder than I ever imagined.  But now that we’re going, it’s so much easier!  I don’t know about Andrea, but it’s a refreshing feeling.

That’s about it.

Well shucks.

For the first time in the 4 years I’ve owned it, my car left me stranded.  It’s mostly my fault though.  It was about 18 this morning when I went out to start the car.  Pumped the pedal twice and it fired right up like always.  Instead of letting it warm up like I should, I let it idle high for about 15 seconds and kicked it down and headed over to the My Town stores to do some computer work.  That is only about four blocks away from the house, so the car still didn’t have time to get warmed up.

I go in and work for about 45 minutes and come out to leave, pump it twice again, and it starts, but stumbles.  Pump it a couple more times to try to keep it going but it dies.  In trying to start it again I pump it AGAIN and now it won’t start at all, just turn over.  Pop the hood and you can REALLY smell the gas.  Flooded.  Damn.  I let it sit for about 10 minutes, but she still won’t start.  Took the cover off the air cleaner and there’s liquid gasoline on the choke plates on the top of the carb.  That’s REAL flooded.

So I got a ride to work and will go try to start it again over lunch.  That should be enough time for the gas to evaporate.  As long as I didn’t kill the battery with all the cranking!  Lesson learned.  Should have let it warm up.

My new toy

I finally got my laptop. Actually, they call it a netbook. They’re not made to do stuff that involves a lot of memory or graphics, just the normal checking your emails and stuff like that. Unless you want to try to get it to do all of that stuff.

It went down in price, so I broke down and bought it. Heck, when you’ve been watching something for a month and notice that the price dropped $100, you’re gonna get it right? Here’s a few pics of it.

Isnt she purrrdy!

Isn't she purrrdy!

Now, this pic might show the beauty of it, but not exactly the size.

And this isnt a mini bottle!

And this isn't a mini bottle!

Yup, she’s only got a 10″ screen. Not too bad, I actually really like it. I just mostly wanted it to be able to sit in the living room, watch tv and chat/surf at the same time.

Built for gaming.

Well I had a decent amount of lumber leftover from the workbench.  (I bought 10ft. 2×4’s instead of 8ft. ones)  So I’ve been thinking what I was going to do with the extras.  We’ve had our old TV sitting down in the basement since we moved in, and I enjoyed my old N64 setup for the few short weeks I had it set up at the old house.  I decided I would like to get it going here, but didn’t want to rob one of the nice glass top end tables from the living room if I didn’t have to.

I didn’t have any build plans for this, but it might look familiar.  I used much the same idea as the workbench.  Just smaller demensions.  I think it turned out well.  And like the workbench, this thing is solid and HEAVY.  Guess I’m used to particle board furniture.  Ha ha!

Bottles

Not sure what possessed me to get bottles this time, but I realized how long it’s been since I had a nice chilled bottle of High Life.  I dunno why people freak out about clear bottles and beer.  Tastes just fine to me.  I blame marketing.

EDIT:  Rodney, if you’re reading this, don’t make fun of my wood paneling.  Micheal Anthony hooked me up.

Time capsule

For those that follow my Twitter, you heard that I bought a “new in the box” N64 controller off of eBay last week.  When it comes to eBay, I’m always skeptical by default.  But at the price of $27 I figured it was worth a shot.  I only have two good working controllers for my N64, and even if this was isn’t BRAND new, I’ll just be happy if it has a nice tight analog stick.  So after work today there’s a package waiting for me.  I tear it open ready for some disappointment.

So far so good.

So far so good.

The box wasn’t in pristine shape, but I’m not too worried about that.  I used to save all my boxes for all that stuff but eventually I decided to throw them away.  The controller looks good so far, but someone could have easily repackaged a used controller in a box.  But the nice crisp warranty card is a good sign that this might actually be the real deal.

Im calling it new.  Or at least good as new!

I'm calling it new. Or at least good as new!

After removing the plastic and a thorough inspection, I don’t see any signs of this old thing ever being used.  There’s no real proof that it isn’t used, but as far as I’m concerned it’s better than 95% of the controllers that are still out there.  I tested it out and it works perfectly.  And now much to Andrea’s chagrin, I repackaged it in the box and it’s sitting next to my computer.  To stay “new” as long as possible.  Ha ha!