Category Archives: Good News

Back With an Old Friend

It’s been a few weeks since the Toronado has been fixed.  But other than some late night test drives and a spin around the block or two, I haven’t taken it far because it hasn’t been tagged or insured.

Well Tuesday I noticed that the Cutlass was a little hard to start on the first try.  Then it would fire right up.  Wednesday, it wouldn’t start at all.  I tested the battery.  Good.  I tested the starter.  Good.  I replaced the negative battery terminal because it was stripped out.  I guess I’ll replace the positive one too.  If that doesn’t do it, it must be the wiring, which won’t be the most fun in the world to pull out, but oh well.  At least I have the Toro to drive!

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Long Day

Man.  What a day.  Our office Christmas party was last night.  We didn’t stay out real late.  Got home at 11PM.  (Geeze, you know what.. yeah that’s real late for me these days).  I was super tired by the time we picked up Luke from the neighbor’s house and got back home.  I pretty much went straight to bed.  I usually listen to a podcast while I drift off, I didn’t even get it started last night.

Then I slept in longer than usual today.  Didn’t get up until 6AM got around and headed in.  I had a remote and ballgames tonight.  I was on vacation Monday and Tuesday, so I was instantly behind for the week.  Long story short, I finally got out of the radio station at 1am.  Ugh.

There was some good stuff today though.  I got all my work done so I shouldn’t have to be in over the weekend.  We aren’t going anywhere.  And we got pre-approved for a home loan!  Kinda exciting though.  We’re in no big hurry to buy.  We kinda just wanted to know what we could do and stay in our comfort zone.  We haven’t even set any goals yet or anything.  But felt like we were finally taking a baby step towards being home owners.

And so that’s it.  I probably would have just gone straight to bed on a day like this, but I wanted to get a brief blog in.  So there, I did it!

VECTREX!

Man, I haven’t been this excited for anything I’ve bought on eBay since the Panasonic Q fiasco.  A long sad story that ultimately ended with me getting screwed out of $400.  Worst case scenario, I’ll get screwed out of a lot less on this deal.

Still holding my breath to see what actually shows up in the mail this week or next, but I still can’t help but be excited.  I’ve said before that the Vectrex is my “holy grail” on my retro gaming wishlist.  Mostly because they have been going for more than we spent on the Wii U recently.  But for whatever reason, it seems like prices have gone down on them in the past few weeks.  I found one that doesn’t look quite perfect, but appears to be fully functional and in pretty good shape for something that’s 30 years old now.

For those not up to speed on what the heck a Vectrex is, here’s a fantastic review from one of my favorite Youtube Channels: Classic Game Room.

My infatuation with the Vectrex is a bit perplexing, even to me.  I never had one, nor known anyone that had one.  Honestly I’ve never even seen one with my own eyes.  So it’s not like it’s nostalgia that is drawing me in.  It’s just so totally different than anything else.  It’s like getting the keys to a time machine and being able to go back and experience these games in exactly the form they were 30 years ago.  You can hook up an NES today, but to get the purest retro experience, you need to hook that NES up to a 25 year old cathode tube TV too.  Well with the Vectrex, the video, the sound, the controller… it’s all still there preserved as one unit.

I’ve played some vector games before.  I most vividly remember a Lunar Lander arcade cabinet that they had when I was at “Space Camp” at the Cosmosphere as a kid.  But most of us are far more familiar with raster games.  Like Mario or Tetris.  Where the images are made of pixels.  On the Vectrex, there are no pixels.  Rather the images are drawn from vectors, or lines from point to point.  At the time this gave designers the ability to do some cool things, like scaling or rotating images, which required more processing power than was generally available from console hardware at the time.  One of the drawbacks was the lack of color, which actually lead to one of the Vectrex’s coolest features: the color overlays.

So yeah, I’m stoked.  Hoping not to get my dreams crushed when I open the box… that hopefully eventually arrives.

 

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.

I Am Ready

It’s been a long wait, but finally the day is coming.  I’ve missed out on the last few chances to play Guild Wars 2.  I missed the previous beta weekend as I was in Wichita, and yesterday’s stress test was only a couple hours while I was at work.  But at least I know that here in a few short months I’ll be able to play any time day or night!  Plus there’s still one more beta weekend event coming up at the end of July that I’m hoping to get in on too.

I’ve been trying to take vacation at work for a long time.  Last time I had scheduled a 5 day weekend, all but one of my days off got cancelled because of scheduling conflicts.  This time I’m telling them I’ve spent thousands of dollars already and I’m leaving the country.  In reality, I’ve spent a hundred or so, and I’m not going anywhere but my house.  Seriously, you won’t be able to crack me loose unless there’s a fire.

The AC finally got fixed.  Turns out it was the thermostat.  They replaced it and it seems to be working.  Though they replaced it with one that isn’t programmable.  Not a huge deal since Andrea’s a home most days now.  When we both worked, it was nice to set it a little higher during the day while we were gone.  But just glad it’s working again.

Honestly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.  We would open up all the windows at night and turn on the attic fan.  It would get down to the mid 70’s at night and really cool it off in the house.  Then before I went to work in the mornings, I would close up all the windows to try to keep the cool air in.  Didn’t work too bad.  I think the highest it ever got in the house was 90 upstairs, which translates to about 85 or so downstairs.  So if we retreated to the basement it wasn’t too awful, even on the days when it got up to 111.  But certianly less convinent.  I guess we’ll save a little money on our power bill from the time it wasn’t running in the sweltering heat.

I’ve started to play Metroid Prime again.  In fact I’ll be heading to do that as soon as I finish this post.  I’m making progress.  The new upgrades I’m getting are making getting around a lot faster.  Which is good because I seem to be back-tracking a lot, probably through my own fault.  But I feel like I’m finally settling in with the game… only 8 hours into it.  =P

So I officially have to beat this game before August 25th.  Because after that, I won’t be playing much of anything else but Guild Wars 2.

Productive Day

One of the things I need to get back to with the blog, is just writing about the small stuff.  It’s been a good day by most accounts.

I had to work a remote today.  I think I’ve written this before, but remotes are one of those things that I dread right up until the first break on the air, after that it’s really fun.  So I don’t know why I dread them so much.  But today’s remote started at 12:00.  Ample time to dread it, but also a nice amount of time to sleep in and ease into the day.  I got up and let the dog out.  Fired up the coffee, and made some rice in my rice-maker.  Kind of an odd breakfast dish, I know, but the cupboards are getting bare and we haven’t gotten to the store yet.  But a little sugar, an a nice breakfast it was.

Tossed some clothes in the wash and folded what was left in the dryer.  Even had a little time to peruse  my regular sites.  So before I even got out of my PJ’s, I felt like I’d already got a good start on a Sunday.

So I headed in to work listening to one of my new favorite podcasts, the GoNintendo.com podcast.  I know you’re not supposed to drive with headphones in, but heck… it was rural blacktop, and it’s no worse than the people that drive around with their stereo’s so loud all you can hear is their license plate rattling on the trunk.  It’s a fun group of people to listen to, and they do a great job of aggregating all the Nintendo news of the week that I haven’t been able to keep up with.

So I get to work in a pretty good mood and get loaded up and ready to go.  As I turned on the station van to head to the remote, I noticed the station I was supposed to be doing the remote on was off the air!  (I might have noticed sooner if I hadn’t been listening to a podcast on the way in!)  So I called the engineer and he was heading out there, but hadn’t quite left yet, so that pretty much meant that it wasn’t going to be back on the air before the remote started.  Luckily the client was agreeable to moving the broadcast to another one of our stations, and luckily a co-worker was back at the station to facilitate things on that end.  So all worked out well!

I stuck around at work a little bit after the remote to get a jump on Monday’s work.  It’s gonna be crazy next week as we have to produce out spots for two sports teams in about 24 hours, that with less than full staff as people are on vacation.  But sometimes it’s easier to get everyone motivated at work when the deadline is looming, rather than having plenty of time to get it done.  Heck, that’s EVERYthing around there.  Ha ha.  We definitely do some of our best work under pressure.  Be that as it may, I’m still hoping for a somewhat manageable pace to the day.

When we decided that Andrea was going to be a stay at home Mom, we put ourselves on a budget (which we should have done LONG ago).  So after work I was pretty hungry, but with the food budget already over for the month, and the cupboards bare, I had to get creative.  See here’s the thing.  When we’re “out of food” we aren’t really out of food.  We’re out of things you can pop into the microwave or oven and eat.  I had some leftover rice, and hot links that were about to expire.  Not a conventional combination, but adding some cheese and tobasco for a little more kick, a couple spices, and one heck of a decent dish.

And look at this!  I got to write a healthy blog post!  Here’s to a fruitful week ahead!

We’re In!

Need to trim some trees.

Living room... already messy.

Hey der, ho der.  We’re on the move.  Borrowed the van from work and loaded it to the gills.  Made two trips today, which really took care of about 90% of our crap if you exclude what we need for day to day living.  It’s looking pretty hollow in the current place.

If you’re worried, I’ve made sure Andrea is on light lifting duty.  But she’s still been more than helpful.  Like when I lifted up our first big box and the bottom busted out from under it.  DVD and Game boxes went everywhere!  She fix the box and got it re-packed while I was able to keep hauling out.

The new pace was pretty big when we looked at it, but now that we are starting to get our stuff in it, it’s really seeming big.  It’s gonna be nice, but it’s going to take a while to figure out what to do with all the space.  Amongst the most awesome features.  A garage opener (only one car garage though), a work shop in the garage, a fireplace in the living room, a nice big den in the basement, and plenty of storage.  It’s not perfect though.  It’s got some blemishes and some of the paint was sloppily done, but we don’t need anything that’s perfect.

Right now Andrea’s plan is to make the upstairs living room TV-less.  I’m all for this!  A nice fire in the fireplace and no TV to distract you.  And all the media stuff is going in the basement.  TV, computers all that going in the den/computer room.  The problem I think we’re going to run into is not enough furniture to sit in!

So the move is going smoothly so far.  All the big stuff like the appliances and desks and such aren’t getting moved until Sunday as we won’t have a truck until then.  But so far it’s good knowing it’s finally happening!  Can’t wait to have ya’ll  over and fire up the grill!

Spring, I greet you with open arms!

It’s been a long winter and the past couple evenings after work have been absolutely GLORIOUS.  So I’ve tried to take full advantage.  Grilled up some brats last night and got the Toronado all waxed up.  Andrea got her oil changed (by herself as always!) and we were going to rotate her tires, but my air hose blew out and I didn’t feel like ACTUALLY wrenching the lugnuts off.  =P

Also took the time to finally go introduce myself to our new neighbor behind us.  The old lady moved out a couple months back and in that time the house has just sat empty.  To be completely honest I had been dreading who would move in back there.  The old lady was nice because you know she wasn’t going to be bothering us.  As it turns out a young gal about Andrea’s and my age moved in.  Not sure if she’s going to the college here or what.  Didn’t want to dive into the life stories on our first conversation.  But she seems alright.  Fairly shy, which makes for a good neighbor I suppose!

Tonight I cruised around a little bit with the windows down.  Then just hung out with Andrea a bit before she headed off to bowl.  Now I’m here blogging enjoying a frosty brew and wondering what happens next.  If it’s nothing, I’m fine with that!

Updated About Me

I made some updates to the “About Me” section.  It’s quite a bit more detailed, so trust me.  Only check it out if you’re really bored.

Scored another interview.

With a different company.  I applied with a hospital doing tech work there and got a call today to set up a phone interview.  Kewl.  They said they’re looking to fill positions in Wichita, Hutch and McPherson.  We’ll see what happens!