Monthly Archives: August 2012

Vacation Concludes

 

Well it’s obvious that a big chunk of my time was spent playing the launch of Guild Wars 2.  It’s phenomenal.  You don’t need to go all out like me, but if you want to get on board, it’s $60 at buy.guildwars2.com.  No I don’t get any kickbacks or anything.  I’ve just really been having a lot of fun, and it would always be cool to play with awesome people like you.  And compared to the price of a Wii/PS3/Xbox360 game, I think it’s an incredible bang for your buck.  I wish my computer was beefy enough to Livestream some of my gameplay, but I’m only getting about 35 FPS as it is… so if you want to watch some action, head over to www.guildwars2live.com.

Luke and I played a lot this weekend.  He sleeps until about 11AM so I’ll hear him wake up and go to greet him, and it’s so cool watching the big smile on his face every time he sees me first thing in the morning.  Usually it’s 6PM or so until we see each other for the first time, so it’s been really cool spending more time with the family.  I was able to give Andrea a little help with the daily household stuff, so it was KINDA a vacation for her too.

He is officially walking EVERYWHERE.  He will rarely crawl at all anymore.  I think he realizes his little fingers can reach more stuff when they’re off of the floor.  Andrea took him to the store to use up the rest of his giftcard he got for his birthday and got about 20 different Hotwheels cars.  He has a blast with those things on the coffee table.  He’ll roll them to you, and you’ll roll them back.  And he’ll pick out a car he wants you to play with and hand it to you (and usually take from you whatever car you WERE playing with).  It’s gonna be so fun when he’s a little older and we can set up a bunch of the race track and go down the stairs and over furniture.

While I would be feeding Luke I had the laptop set up on the counter in the kitchen.  I got to watching Tabletop, a show that Biebs turned me onto a while back where Wil Wheaton plays various boardgames or card games with internet notables.  It’s a pretty fun show, and if nothing else introduced me to some pretty cool games I didn’t know existed.  Or maybe it’s my social substitute for real people coming over and playing real games.  I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve used the poker table for actual games of cards.  But that’s just part of being busy, and having busy friends.

The repaired lawnmower is still working fairly well.  Though I noticed there’s a crack where the wheel mounts on that same corner of the mower.  It’s just a matter of time before it reaches its end of life.  Until then I’m going to keep mowing on.  The garden is out of control.  Or rather the grass in the garden.  I don’t know how you’re supposed to grow stuff like pumpkins and watermelon.  The pumpkins are okay, but the watermelon vines have almost completely been swallowed up by the grass.  I can’t mow it, or I’ll mow over the vines.  We’ll see what happens.  I’ve got about 3 watermelons on the vine right now, and had a recent explosion of pumpkins.  I was worried we were only going to end up with 4 or 5 small ones, but since the heat wave ended, there’s probably 10 new ones and a couple are getting pretty big!

I never did get around to rotating the tires on the cars, but there’s always next week for that.  There’s a lot of stuff I can do car wise, especially on my car.  But it’s all minor stuff.  As it cools off earlier and earlier I get more excited about working on the cars.  It’s just hard to get motivated when it’s 90+ outside.

So all in all it was an awesome vacation.  I didn’t play GW2 continuously, and honestly, I’m going to take my time with the game and relesh every bit of it.  Like I talked back when I was playing Skyward Sword… you only get to play a game for the first time once.  Most of all, it was a great mental refresh.  Work can get the best of me sometimes and I really was starting to feel burnt out.  I go into tomorrow knowing that it’s going to be crazy and hectic, but I’m almost ready to deal with it.  I mean heck, I could probably hang around here for another week and not miss that place, but eventually… I would.  I really do enjoy what I do.

So I’ve got a few more vacation days in the bank for the rest of the year, which feels good too.  Might take some long weekends, or save them for the holidays, I dunno.  Maybe actually go somewhere on the next vacation… but honestly… my favorite place on earth is home.

Willed Into Reality

Context shot so you get a sense for how friggin’ massive this thing is.

Guild Wars 2 was announced 5 years ago.  To put that in perspective, when this game was announced, the Wii and PS3 were brand new.

Then shortly after the game was announced… nothing.  Years of nothing.  To the point where you wondered if the game still existed.  Arenanet would be asked when the game would come out and they just would say, “When it’s ready.”  And then a couple years ago information really started to flow.

When it was finally announced that you could buy the game, it STILL didn’t even have a release date.  Nevertheless I pre-purchased… in full… the Collector’s Edition (which you see above).  I never in my life have spent so much money on a game, let alone a game that will come out… “someday”.  Luckily today is that day.

I’ve written extensively on my early Guild Wars 2 experiences and if you follow this blog I’m sure you will hear a great deal more in the months and years to come.  What you’ll find here are some detailed pictures of the Guild Wars 2 Collector’s Edition.  There are ALOT of pictures so be sure to click the link to continue reading if you want to see all of them.  Otherwise it would take up the whole front page!

The Box

Looking through the window.

You’re next!

Keep reading to find out what’s inside this lovely treasure chest.

Read the rest of this entry

Rants of Two Old Dudes – Episode 6

 

We talk a lot about computer repair and how the average joe just doesn’t trust us.

Also Guild Wars 2!  Fun stuff!

And more general merriment.

We are considering changing the name of the podcast, as the only episode with two dudes (regardless of age) was the first one.

DOWNLOAD HERE

For if you like the iTunes.

This is the world I live in…

So I’m mowing the yard the other day.  I’m on my last couple passes, and I go to turn around and the mower doesn’t budge.  I push down on the handle to try to get the front wheels off the ground so I can pivot, and nuthin.  Upon breif investigation, the handle was moving up and down, but it had now become independent from the mower deck!  $(*&#!  So awkwardly pulling the mower across the lawn to finish the last couple swatches I finish the job.

Back to the garage with the mangled machine reveals the full story.

Rust…

The giant rust hole above is where the bracket for the handle attaches to.  This mower isn’t that old.  We bought it in 2007 I believe when we moved to the house in Ogden.  So let this be a lesson to you.  Clean out all those old clippings that get matted up on the deck on the inside.  If I had done that regularly this probably never would have happened.

So the problem now was, grass grows, I can’t cut it.  I can either get a new push mower for $130 or so at Wal-Mart, or get a riding mower.  Which I SERIOUSLY contemplated.  I’ve wanted one for a while and this seemed like the perfect excuse.  But I went with cheap-bastard option 3: fix this one.

Time for some ‘riggin!

So I looked around my scraps to see what I could come up with.  I’ll warn you this is almost one of the most redneck fixes I’ve ever done.  So with some scrap metal and $3 worth of hardware from the hardware store I had a game plane.

Quick aside:  WTF is the deal with prices on nuts and bolts!?  I went to pick up the stuff I need and nuts bolts and washers ranged anywhere in price from 10 cents to 18 cents APIECE!  We aren’t talking major hardware here.  Just 1/4 nuts and bolts… I have since started savaging old stuff for all the fasteners I find.

I wish I had a welder… and had a clue how to weld.  But nevertheless, I attached the new metal to the deck of the mower.  Now I have a new surface to attach the handle to.

And now the new bracket is attached.  We’ll see if it is solid enough to hold up to the rigors of mowing my divot filled yard.

Let’s mow.

So far it made it through one full mowing of the yard.  Felt pretty solid.  But the rust is pretty extensive in that area, and I fear it’s not long before it happens again.

But for now, the yard looks good.  I always liked a nice yard, and even if it’s just weeds, I love the look of a freshly cut even lawn.  Like a lush green carpet laid out for your house.  It can almost make an ugly house like mine look good.  Almost.

There’s just something about fixing something that makes me feel invincible.  Other people might have spent hundreds of dollars on a new mower had this happened.  And I threw something together and it worked.

Fixing stuff like this isn’t a matter of skill… the Frankenstein appearance of my solution should tell you that much.  It’s just about coming up with an idea in your head and saying, “Well it probably won’t work, but I’ll try it anyway.

Lazy Weekend

Well I really wanted to get a lot of stuff done this weekend.  Probably NEEDED to get a lot done.  Then I came down with a stupid cold.  Not a debilitating cold, by any stretch, but enough to say, “Ah, screw it.”  So instead of doing things like rotate my tires, I spent a lot of time on the computer, hanging out with Luke, and napping.

I did get the yard mowed.  But upon finishing the last section, the bracket that mounts the handle to the mower itself complete cracked and came loose.  The metal on the deck of the mower had rusted so much that it had no strength left.  So I’m tasked with either fabbing up a bracket to replace it, or get a new mower.  I’ve thought real hard about getting a riding lawn mower… but just can’t justify the expense.

Finally got around to installing WordPress on my server here in the basement.  http://web.bgwillers.com  Been thinking about doing that for a long time since I had just a basic placeholder page there.  It’s password protected for now, but don’t worry, you aren’t missing out on anything, it’s just a blank template.  I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it, if anything.

The one thing that I didn’t get done this weekend that I really could have was beat Metroid Prime.  I can’t believe I’m still talking about this game.  What I’ve done is put myself in a circumstance where I’m not getting any games played.  I don’t want to admit that I don’t like Metroid Prime… I think it’s a fine game.  But for some reason it just feels like work to play it.  And I don’t want to play any other backlogged games until I beat that one.  The problem is I’m getting to the point that if I don’t play it again soon, I’m going to forget what’s going on and have to start all over.  I don’t know if I should just give up on the game or what.

Back to work next week.  Then the week after that VACATION!  I can’t wait!

Rants of Two Old Dudes – Episode 5

Alleged Xbox 720 Dev Kit. Would you spend over $20,000 on that? What could possibly be inside?

Sorry for the delay getting this posted.  This week it was just Biebs and me.  Topics include the supposed Xbox 720 Dev Kit that sold on eBay for $20k+.  Wii U innovations.  Maleware and how to avoid it.  And lots more!

DOWNLOAD HERE!

iTunz Here!

1 Year Old

Lucas recently turned one.  Instead of getting professional pictures done, we bought a nice camera.  I wanted to see what we could do ourselves.  We don’t have much for a studio.  Still not enough light without a flash indoors.  I’ll have to get more experimental.  And somebody wasn’t liking his outfit too much, so the photoshoot was shortlived.

I can finally talk about it

We just launched a new radio station at work on Wednesday.  I’ve been working on it for quite a while, but haven’t been able to say anything.  It’s pretty cool because they kinda just left it up to me to go make a radio station.  Not that I’m really qualified to do such things, but I gave it a shot, and it’s at least a radio station by definition.  Whether it’s a good radio station will remain to be seen.

I had a lot of freedom.  Infact I designed the logo for the station myself.  I hope I don’t come across as much of a bragger on here, but I am pretty proud of it.  The logo, and the station itself.  And for probably the second time ever, my artwork is on display somewhere in real life, not just the interwebs!  I designed the the banner for the electronic billboard we’re leasing for the next few months.

I have a show on the station 3pm – 8pm Monday through Saturday, so feel free to tune in if you are around.  We aren’t streaming yet, but we will be next month.

Mom went to the store

While she was gone, Luke and I wanted to put a smile on her face when she got home.

Sunshine and Rain

It’s been incredibly dry around here lately.  Probably 3 or more months since any significant rainfall and 100+ every day.  So these rain clouds were a welcome site!  These pictures came from about a week ago, but we also got a nice steady shower this morning!