Category Archives: Saweet!

A new generation, and rebuilding of the Retro Room.

Jake Me N64

My little brother Jake came up this past weekend.  For the past two weeks, he’s been calling me every couple of days asking about GoldenEye.  What we can do, what levels we can play, and most importantly, what cheats we can use.  Haha.  I don’t think he typically plays a lot of games, but for whatever reason he’s really latched on to GoldenEye.  In fact, I haven’t seen anyone this excited about GoldenEye since… me.

So we spent a large amount of time playing that.  I was content to spectate.  As I’ve said before, I almost like watching people play games, more than actually playing them.  Which is why I still nag Andrea once in a while to play through Final Fantasy X.  It’s just so fun watching people discover the game as they play.  It’s as close as I can get to playing it again for the first time.

More than anything, I found it remarkable that an 8 year old kid in 2013 is at all interested in a game that is literally twice as old as he is.  Compared to games today GoldenEye must some mundane to some extent.  But I appreciated and enjoyed our shared enthusiasm.

Jake GoldenEye

If you’ll notice the TV on the floor in the picture above.  Luke has since moved into the old Retro Room.  So we moved that TV upstairs.  It is a heavy bastard.  Much more than one person can handle alone.  So in a time crunch, I had to set everything up like that, because I knew I’d be at work, and Jake would NOT want to wait until I got home to play GoldenEye.

Later this weekend, Andrea was able to help me get the TV up on the stand, and I started rebuilding the Retro Room.

Seems like a nice spread to me.  =)  One thing to note, is that little of that has been actual collecting, for collecting’s sake.  A vast majority is just accumulation over time.  Most people garage sale old games and systems once they are bored with them, I just never did and now I have a ton of this stuff.  This is all pretty much everything before HD consoles.  The only things missing are the Wii games which we still keep downstairs to play on the Wii U, and the ridiculous amount of controllers.  Everything else from 1987 – 2012 is pretty much right here.  Kinda weird to see all that history and all the memories in one place.

Gameboys

I like this arrangement better than what I had in the old room.  Rather than a straight line from left to right.  Looks pretty good I think for some free cards from Club Nintendo, and $1 frames from Dollar Tree.

Andrea Gameboy

You can’t be around all these classic games and NOT pick one up!  Andrea found Super Mario Land 2 and decided to give it a go.

Andrea Luke SMB3

And there’s pretty much the current setup.  I like it better than the previous arrangement.  I still have to swap some cables out to get some of the systems playable, but for the most part, it’s all within 60 seconds of being ready to play.  I have an idea for controller storage I’m excited to try and I want to try to find a few more things for the walls.  But the Retro Room is back!  That’s the important thing.

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It’s Not Dead Yet

Toronado Resurrection

Hells yeah.  The Toronado is BACK!  If you missed it, the Toro has been out of service since September 2012.  A bracket that secures the output shaft busted so there was no way to hold the passenger side axle in place.  Thus, the car wouldn’t go.  After spending a few months hunting around for parts, I finally took the broken part to Dad to have him weld back together.  A couple weeks ago I got the part back (a long with a bunch of old work shirts to securely pack it) but I haven’t had time to put it all back together until today.

Toronado Cut My Thumb

In the process of getting  everything lined up, I sliced open my thumb pretty good.  Not enough to need stitches or anything, but I could have helped out the Red Cross with all the blood that came out.  The above is the best I could do bandaging it up with one good hand.  Andrea was able to help me later get a better wrap.  After this I almost considered calling it a day.  But I wasn’t going to let it beat me.  I figured if I gave in, it would see my fear and know it could get away with muscling me around.  I wasn’t going to let that happen.

There’s not much to report as far as the work that went into it.  It’s all been documented here before in more detail than anyone besides me cares about.  The only part that matters is when I got it all put back together, it works!  HUGE thanks to Dad who was able to do what I wasn’t in welding up the old part.

It took quite a while to start up.  The carb was dry from sitting so long so it took a while for the fuel to get all the way up from the tank.  But once it started, it was as smooth as always.  I put the car in gear, just waiting for a gruesome noise and for all my work to be for naught.  But it firmly grabbed.  I lightly gave it some gas, and it moved!  Like a grand ocean liner sliding from its ways.  It was a good feeling!  So quiet, so comfortable, so smooth.  Ever since I got that car, it always had this feeling about it that it could almost drive itself.  Everything about driving it feels so effortless.  I drove it around town for a bit and really wanted to take it out on the hiway, but the thing hasn’t been tagged or insured since its been out of service.  So I reluctantly drove it back and parked it, right where it’s been for the past 8 months.

So now that it’s running, here’s where I’m at with the car….

We don’t need it.  We’ve got two cars and a pleasure car already.  What we really need is an old work truck.  But I can’t really justify getting one of those when we’ve got so many things with an engine already.  If it weren’t around, that might make room for something like that.

It’s not worth anything.  Realistically I figure I might get $500 for it.  It has 260,000 miles, hail damage, rips in the seat, and the vinyl is really starting to show its age.  It’s just an old car.  So considering it’s worth so little, I just as well keep it around.  I DO really like the car.  It’s comfortable, until the axle busted it was remarkably reliable.  So right now the sentimental value outweighs its intrinsic value.  I wasn’t motivated to get rid of it when it WASN’T running.  So I’m even less now.

So… what the Toronado might do, is help preserve the Cutlass.  I figure, especially during the winter, when the weather is nasty, the roads are all salty and idiots are sliding around, I’ll take the Toronado.  It will keep the salt from eating up the Cutlass and if some doofus slides into the Toronado, so be it.

In the mean time.  There’s a few things it really NEEDS done before I can confidently drive it out of town.  1.) Ball joints.  The lowers are SUPER worn out.  Might as well do the uppers at the same time.  They’ve probably been like that for a while, but now that I’m aware of it, it really bothers me.  2) I need some thread lock on some of the fasteners I used.  I have deduced that the reason the bracket broke in the first place is that one or both of the bolts came loose.  Then as the torsion caused the axle to wobble, eventually the bracket broke from the vibration.

Then there’s the long list of little stuff that needed done before all this.

At any rate, it feels supremely good to have it mobile again.  If we want to play basketball in the driveway, all we have to do is move it.  It’s not just a broke down old car any more, it’s an OLD CAR again!  I love old cars!  And I really love that old car.  It’s been the best car I’ve ever had.  And having it going again is like being back home after a long vacation.  It’s… comforting.

It got there under its own power!

It got there under its own power!

Reunited

No one else can possibly see what I see when I look at that car.  That right there is my first car.  Not a car like my first car.  That IS my first car.  It’s a 1979 Caprice Classic.  To most people, you look at it, and you see a pretty cool car.  But to me it represents so many things.  And now it’s mine again, thanks to Dad.

I see history first of all.  My history.  A “flash before your eyes” kind of moment when I stop and really look at that car.  The places I went as a teenager, the stuff we did, the friends I hung out with, my job, school.  All of it comes rushing in too quickly to take it all in at once.  It’s like a focal point where so many chronological paths cross.

I see freedom.  I was never really guarded as a youth.  For the most part I stayed out of trouble… my parents trusted me because of it… and because of that, I got to do what I wanted.  So that car for the first time in my life could take me where I want, whenever I want.  But suddenly my borders were expanded.  I wasn’t bound by the city limits, or having to ride my bike home before the streetlights come on.

I see independence.  No longer did I have to rely on my parents to take me places.  I didn’t have to wait until Mom had to go to the store to see what new games were on the shelf.  I could get a job, I could make money.  And if I wanted to go to a movie, as long as I had gas and the money to do it, I could go.

I see people.  A lot of people that bluntly aren’t a part of my life anymore.  Nothing personal, we’ve just all lost touch over the years, which makes it all the more surreal to see this car again.  After a while you gain a sort of acceptance that relationships aren’t what they used to be and you accept it.  But this is just like an old friend that you haven’t seen for years, but you can instantly strike up a conversation with the moment you are reunited.

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Spring at Last!

Well the weather the past couple days has been cold and dreary, but this past weekend was absolutely beautiful!  I for once didn’t have many commitments to worry about, so we spent a lot of time outside.  It’s like the beginning of Bambi where all the animals start crawling out of their holes for spring.  One by one, all the neighbors on our street started coming outside to do yard work, or just enjoy the day.  Wasn’t long before we were standing in the middle of the street yakking.  Gotta love the small town life.

Getting outdoors is great for Luke.  He has so much energy now, that it’s good to get him out of the house and burn off some steam.  He loves exploring the yard and especially playing with the sand from the street.  I know it’s only a matter of time though before he’s ready to start exploring past the confines of the yard.  Gotta watch that kid every second!

Here’s some pictures we took of Luke’s weekend adventures!


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Unboxing the Vectrex

80 Hours of Fun

This past weekend we wrapped up the last of the family Christmases.  I was generously given some Best Buy gift cards from my Grandma and Aunt & Uncle.  Thank you!

In the past this would have been a bit challenging, since the closest Best Buy is 2 hours away.  But thanks to their website and free shipping I scored these awesome deals!

These are two amazing games that I’d had to pass on when they came out but now are on the “Nintendo Selects” line which is Nintendo’s “Greatest Hits” pretty much.  Each of these games was only $20!  Brand new!  I love it!  And there’s a ton of content.  Hell, at the rate I’m going it will only take about a year for me to get through these.  Actually, that’s a pretty good entertainment value if these last that long.

I’ve made some progress on the retro room.  Got the NES hooked up in there finally.  Gave the console a thorough cleaning which it probably hasn’t ever got more than a dusting in the 25 years it has existed.  So I played a bit of Dr. Mario last night before I headed to bed.  Also downloaded Balloon Fight on the Wii U Virtual Console for 30 cents.  Andrea and I had a blast playing that for probably an hour!  Unfortunately outside of that I haven’t had much time to play games.  Hopefully with these two epic additions, that changes soon.

 

 

Keepin’ it Simple

Well I spent some time on the roof and put up some Christmas lights.  I haven’t strung up proper Christmas lights… well ever.

Finding the lights was a royal pain.  And I ended up settling on these.  I like the old big bulbs.  You know the ones that can burn down your Christmas tree if you leave them on all night?  That’s what I want.  Big incandescent bulbs.  But just like my CFL problem… it’s hard to buy Christmas lights that aren’t LEDs anymore.  Especially in the big bulb form.  Honestly though, these didn’t turn out too bad.  They are still a pretty warm white.  I suppose I can handle that.

I have one more strand to put up on the front porch, but I goofed and bought 125 lights, and only 100 clips.  So I only had enough to do the roof.  Which was the hard part anyway.  I should have the rest of it finished up tomorrow!

A Great Day For U

We got our Wii U yesterday.  I haven’t spent a TON of time with it yet, but so far it’s pretty sweet.

Luke and I got to Gamestop at about 11:00am, and it turns out they said we were the first person to come pick theirs up!  At first I thought, “Well that’s lame, when I was younger, I would have been waiting at the door for the store to open!”  But then he said that Wal-Mart got a ton of them and decided to do a midnite launch, so a bunch of Gamestop people cancelled their pre-order and went to get it at Wal-Mart at midnight.  That made me feel better.  There’s still some gaming and Nintendo fanaticism left in the world.

We decided to go with the “Deluxe” package.  It comes with some extra stuff like stands, a charging dock, and the game Nintendoland.  Along with (I think) double the internal storage space of the basic bundle.  So for the extra $50 it’s certainly worth it over the life of the console.  Which is pretty much forever I guess, seeing as how my original NES is still in working order.  Nintendo makes some quality stuff!

I asked Andrea before she left for Wichita this weekend, “Do you want me to wait until you get home to open it?”  She said “Yes.”  And it’s a good thing I asked, or else I would have just tore into this bad boy!  But as I’ve written before, and as lame as it sounds, opening the package on this kind of stuff is a big deal for a geek like me!  And actually it kinda made me happy that I’m married to somebody who thinks its kinda a big deal too.  I mean she did want me to wait, right?

When she got home Luke had just woke up, and it didn’t take long for us to pop it open.  Everything was perfectly wrapped.  I didn’t document any of it… if you want to see what’s inside, just go to Youtube and search for “Wii U unboxing” and pick from any of the 2300 results.

It didn’t take long for the contents to get strewn all over the basement.  We had to move things around.  Unhook old stuff, hook up new stuff.

The keyboards on the floor were Luke’s doing, haha.

We decided to move the Wii to make room for the Wii U.  Since the U will play all the Wii games anyway.  The Wii console will now be queued for installation into my current backburner project, the “retro” room.  More on that in a later post though.

Luke was trying to be helpful.  Or… just trying to figure out what all these new thingys do.

There’s Luke with the gamepad dock…. in his mouth.

Here’s that queue I was talking about for the Retro Room. Years of fun on this table!

So we got it all set up, and after about a 90 minute wait for the System Update… we FINALLY got to play!  Boy, I don’t know how excited kids on Christmas morning are going to be able to handle that brutal system update… It was about to drive me nuts!  But alas, we are up and running!  I’ll do some more gameplay impressions soon!  For now, I gotta get to work!

Wow. OSU Marching Band plays video games

Super Fun Weekend

After all the stress lately, this past weekend was exactly what was needed.  Some family came up and we went out to the Great Bend Airfest.  I was really worried that I would be dissapointed by what showed up, but it was completely awesome.  There were several vintage planes out there from the 1940’s, mostly WWII trainers and such, but the really cool ones were the B-25, and the P-51, both beautiful planes.

I took a bunch of pictures, but here’s some of the highlights:

Whoops… didn’t see that until later.

I have to say the P-51 is one of the most beautiful planes ever made.

 

There’s a lot more pictures, so click through to see them, or check out my gallery to see A LOT more.

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