Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Since I'm probably not going to be posting again here soon I thought I'd take the opportunity to wish everyone a politically correct Merry Christmas RamaHanuKwanzMas!

I hope santa leaves you something...
...well, something good!


I also wanted to post this for an unsuspecting friend that I was thinking about when I saw this today.

Gorgar, 1979 Williams: $650.00
Clean machine. All boards are in great working order, playfield and
playfield parts are 9+, backglass 9.5+, cabinet 9, 100% functional. I've
never shipped pins, and would prefer local pickup. I would be willing to
meet somewhere agreeable. Pictures available if serious.
Bruce Clothier, Midland, Michigan


Until later.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I'm dizzy. Still trying to catch up...

I'm sick, and have been for a few days.

Check out my wife's blog, last couple posts... been a rough few days. Spending almost 36 hours at a hospital isn't the funnest thing I've ever done.

Today, though I didn't go, we're moving locations at work to a new building. I think they packed up my desk (or rather, the table that was used as a desk) and everything on it and moved it over for me. Glad I cleaned it up last week.

Nobody was nice enough to send me a gift in the mail. Thanks nobody!

Remember the monitor stand that I had replaced? Or rather, that they shipped me an exchange monitor, and I got a new one? Well, that was the original plan from the web ticket I got from samsung. I called 2 weeks later after hearing nothing, and they said they would cancel that and ship me a stand. Well.

Wednesday last week a monitor stand came in the mail. Yeah, 12 weeks after I called about it. I'm not impressed.

Good thing the guy messed up cancelling the monitor swap-out, otherwise I'd have been stuck using 1024x768 for an extra month.

Christmas shopping is almost complete. I have no secrets left form my wife regarding gifts -- she knows everything. I've done pretty well for birthdays, but I never can seem to surprise her for Christmas. Maybe because my budget is more flexible around June than December. But.... we're about done there. Oh, unless someone wants to come finish my basement for me? I'd love to have Santa do that!

My next thoughtful post has been started and stopped about 6 times now. Maybe next time I'll just start off the cuff and let it fly. At this rate I probably have about 3 people checking my blog with any regularity, and unless I want to start just sending emails, I'd better do something about this poor blog. =)

I hope you all are getting exactly what you want for Christmas, and that everyone has a great holiday lineup!

Until later.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Quick update

Yes, I'm not dead.

No, I've not found any of the pictures of my wife in her punk rock days. I think she's hidden them. She denies any exist, but I don't believe her.

Lots has happened in the last few weeks. Christmas decorations went up just after thanksgiving. Lots of family get togethers have happened. Today it snowed 6 inches at our place. I've been working a ton, our company is moving locations and I'm part of the team that gets to help rewire the networking in the new place. In my spare time I've been playing a little bit of world of warcraft, but I've also re-discovered Dungeon Keeper 2. I'd recommend it if you like halloweenish themes and real-time strategy games. The basement has all but ceased in the last 2 months since I've been doing similar work.. at work. The light wiring is pretty well done, I jusdt have to wire the switch in the hall. The boxes are mostly up and ready to be wired in the extra rooms and the wire just needs connected to the outlets in the main room. I'm waiting on some of the duct work to move forward with that due to how the ducts may effect the wiring. Pinball is played 5-6 days out of a week on average, good stuff there. I'm so not ready for it to be Christmas yet. =)

I've swapped to the new blogger. We'll see how it goes, looks about the same so far.

More later.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

All I want for Christmas...

Is my uh... two front teeth?


We'll have to see what happens.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Been a while...

....since I shared a somewhat useless post. So here you go.

Some guy's kid wanted to build his own arcade machine, so his dad helped him out a bit.

Here's a site you can go to to get hooked up with the patterns.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


The above about sums it up for me right now.


I've been avoiding my blog lately because... well, it's in flux. Or rather, I am. I'm watching a crossroads in my life come up and I'm desperately trying to ignore the fact and continue on my merry way living life how it has been for some time. (That's a good thing if you weren't sure...)

It's just about time. I'll let you know what happens and when. It's much easier on the other end of things.

That said, things are actually going pretty well. Everyone is healthy, I've not run out of money (yet), and I even got to work on the basement today.

Life is good, I'm just... running at the moment. It's not permanent, but it may be a few weeks before I get things back in order around here.

Until then.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Yes, I am officially a blogging slacker.

I've got a few posts mulling around inside and will be posting more substance in the future. Most of my free time has been spent messing around on the computer (i.e. ignoring life), watching 24 with my wife, or watching kids. I hear from my wife that because I'm a dad I don't babysit, I just spend time with the kids. Not sure I agree. =)

Anyhow, my dad sent me this a couple of days ago. I thought it was good enough to share. It's pretty funny.

until later.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


So, I stumbled upon one of my favorite games from "back in the day".

It got me to thinking... it's a lot of fun playing these games. I should set up an old computer just to play dos games. I'm thinking about it. And then I remember that that would be way too much effort. But it was a fun nostalgia trip anyway.

As a bonus, my kids really liked the ones I have played.

I also thought about posting some ascii artwork, but I'll save that for another time.

There are 3 games I want to show you today. They are all available to download, you are welcome to do so and give them a try.

The first is (in my opinion) the best. It's called snipes. The goal is to take your eyes and mustache and kill the snipe nests that are all over the place. I've always liked maze crawlers and this one is fun enough to just pick up on a whim, yet challenging enough that you can play it for a good long time and not get bored with it. I don't remember where I got my hands on this, but I had a lot of fun playing it.

The next game I'd like to show you is Jumpman. This game is a lot of fun and has pretty good sound effects to boot. They are all PC speaker-ish sounds, but my kids liked this one the best. You can grab it (at least an easily playable version) here. I spent a lot of time with the CGA version of this on my dad's XT (or wahtever the pre-286 machines were, I forget) on Dos 6.22. I had a good friend who lived a few houses away and he was lucky enough to have an EGA monitor with his computer. I was always jealous of that.

This is Willy the worm. I had a ton of fun with this also back on that old machine. You're a snake and you have to collect presents while bouncing around on springs and avoiding tacks. Kind of fun if you're into that sort of thing. There was a level editor with that and I happily made all sorts of levels for this game. Yeah, I was a geek even then. My scout leader when I was 12 was a programmer I think (or at least worked on computers all day) and he had all sorts fo shareware and free games he would lend me to copy on my computer. I think it kept me going to scouts. heh.

I may post old games on here now and then as I "rediscover" them. I'm a big nostalgia gamer, so that kind of thing is fun for me. I'm also a self-proclaimed game designer/theoryist wannabe, so it's fun for me in that respect as well.

Oh, for what it's worth, I set up these with dos box, a dos emulator, and d-fend, which makes running these games as easy as a double-click once set up. (The setup has a wizard with it that makes it simple also. defaults work for many old games)

Maybe for nobody's sake I'll do a review of some of the old C64 games I played another time.

Until later.

Friday, October 06, 2006


So, this is what us World of Warcraft losers do in our spare time.

It took us about 90 minutes to get to the portion of the dungeon this guy is in. You have to have 10 people to do this, so we all hop on a ventrilo server to talk to each other while we are playing.

I'm not sure if I said anything during this portion of the video.

But now you know how big of a geek I really am. =)

Edit: This took place last night and one of our guildmates used a program called fraps to record it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

teh MAME!

Installment number one.

Fair warning, I'm not sure I agree with the writing style here, but this is pretty well original and I didn't think that I should wait to have you all read it. Otherwise, well, you may never. =)

Took me long enough... On with the post.

Have you ever wanted to play the old 80's arcade games? Are you crazy enough to want one in your home? Have you ever thought it was possible?

A lot of people have worked hard at allowing you to do so, at least on a computer.

Someone immediately found a way to build their own arcade machines with a computer in it.

Of course there's always the real deal, and that's not a bad idea either. (Though to derail a bit, you're better off looking on ebay and craigslist to get a better deal on these, and especially around your local arcades. You'd be surprised what people are willing to sell for cheap if you look around.)

But what if you could play hundreds of games, on the same machine? That's where a home built arcade machine truly shines -- you don't have to be stuck with just one game you can have an amazing selection, and all housed in one arcade cabinet.

I started down that road over 3 years ago. I'd like to share a little of the journey with you.

It began with an old web friend, slashdot. Specifically, this story, if I'm digging up my links correctly. I decided to try my hand at making my own as well because hey, I thought, if I don't do it now, when will I ever?

So. First I needed to find out what I wanted to build. This took a good 6+ months of dreaming and scheming. Take a look here to see just some of the pictures I saved in my research phase of the project. I didn't add all of them because I'm lazy, but it should give you some idea of what I was looking for. This included what kind of cabinet I wanted, what controls were involved, deciding to use a coin door or not, using a TV or a real arcade monitor, and may many more decisions. (Check out the "guts and how to do it" link for a good example of what's inside a MAME cabinet, sort of a sneak preview for the people like me -- impatient.)

And after all that, I never really built what I originally planned. I wanted a machine that looked very nice, similar to this as far as construction.

And a control panel that looked something like this... I could play ALL of the old games. Well, with the exception of driving games, though you could use the spinner for a steering wheel for those. I'm not a huge fan of driving games other than pole position and maybe super off road anyhow.

So, I settled on a design. Dream big, as they say -- I took the design from Lusid, who had freely available plans and would be a good first project for a novice woodworker.

So I got a friend with a truck and headed off to home depot to buy some birch/maple plywood to build my own cabinet. $30 each. I bought four 4x8 foot sheets. I even bought a circular saw to cut them with, which has been very nice to have around.

The following Thursday my wife was looking at a thrifty nickel (print version, not online) and saw some pinball machines in a town near ours, about 45 minute drive away.

I still wish I'd have listened to her that day.

The ad had 3 pinball machines, $400 each. From memory, I believe these were the 3: Creature from the black lagoon, The Getaway, Terminator 2.

I'm still kicking myself. At the time I had no idea how much pinball machines ran and was pretty poor besides. If I had known I could have bought all 3 and then sold 1 for most of the money I'd have done it.

Anyhow, enough of the self pity. =)

There was also an ad of some guy here locally who bought/sold arcade machines. I gave him a call and arranged to go by his place and take a look saturday morning. I borrowed a truck and went down there. I'll get into that story another time, but I returned home $100 poorer with an empty defender cabinet.

Or rather, a Yie-Ar Kung Fu cabinet that was originally a defender cabinet. I went to work on the side art and ended up that evening with the yie-ar sticker removed and.... some of the defender side art showing.

So, the inspiration happened. I was going to make this game look like a defender machine. I just needed a few parts and it would be finished. I already had a computer I was going to put into it. No problem right?

Next time.... The Restoration.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


...I got a new computer. Including monitor.

It's been 6 weeks. The monitor stand is already broken. I've created an RMA ticket already with samsung. I hope it won't be too painful. It's already pretty wierd going back to a 15" 1024x768 monitor from a 20" widescreen 1600x1050 resolution.

Played lots of pinball this weekend. Worked on my wiring friday a bit, only 1 switch left to wire and all the lights are done. About time.

I'm thinking of posting a bit about the good old days of computer games. I ran across a game I used to love back in the day. It's still pretty fun, but not quite what I remembered. If anyone's interested I'll post about it.

And my MAME post is taking forever. You guys want me to post what I have so far? It's nothing spectacular, but I could od it in installments. Or something. Anything to move forward. Let me know.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Pinball

Life is good.

No really.

I've been thinking a lot lately. Or meditating. Or something.

I've got a wonderful thing going. I have three beautiful children. I've got a wife that still blows me away with how amazing she is. I married up, even if she doesn't know it. I've got a good paying job that, while I have my rough times, I enjoy it immensely. My opinion is respected there and I have a lot of freedom. I've got a house, soon to be a good sized house once the basement is finished. Good parents (and in-laws) and great extended family. And a few toys, including a pinball machine. I've got a car and a van to haul my family around with. I live around great neighbors, in a good area of town. There are stores around close that I can get everything I need and even most of the things I want. I've got the internet to get those hard to find items and to meet good people like you. Among other things.

I've got it good.

I was thinking on the way home from Arizona, with a pinball machine in the back of the van... Where am I going to be in the future? Am I going to be happy? What will I be doing? Who will I be with?

Before I go further I should give some background. I believe that I (and all of us) existed before we were born. I believe that we have a spirit and that our souls are eternal. Being born and dying is just a phase, there was more before and will be more in the future.

With that context, I wondered, where will I be in 100 years? What will I be doing?

I'm not really sure how to put into words what I was thinking... Indeed, I think that English isn't a first language for me. It feels so... Inadequate for communication much of the time. I'm a better writer than a speaker, and I don't think I write all that well. Adequate, but not well. Many emotions, impressions, and nameless feelings later, I realized a truth, though I didn't have the words for it at the time. The best I can convey is to refer to the saying... You can't take it with you. I get it.

There I was with my dream in the back of the van. While it was--no, is--wonderful, it isn't life defining. Sure, I was excited to have it... But I realized more than anything I was excited to share it with my family. I didn't NEED this pinball machine, though a few months ago I think that I did, and for many wrong reasons. Or at least wrong in the sense that those reasons took me away from where I want to go in my life. This machine doesn't make me who I am. I do.

Paradoxically, I think that the pinball machine very much communicates who and what I am. I am a person who likes a challenge. Someone who likes, even desires, to work. I'm not afraid to admit it; I don't mind working, as long as I feel something is worth doing and have a reasonable understanding of it. I enjoy accomplishment. And I enjoy the ride, the journey from point A to point B. That's pinball -- it's about the ride, not the score at the end, though that can be rewarding as well.

A pinball machine... Well. THIS pinball machine especially represents a number of things, is a type, a symbol, a metaphor for many things, both personal and ideal. A passing of innocence from an estranged teenager. Camaraderie and friendship. Understanding action and reaction, simple and complex systems. Systems that are both simple and complex at the same time. Immersion of thought, of placing your mind within a context, of thinking within boundaries. Physics and along with that magnetics, the inevitable and the unexpected. Disappointment and failure, accomplishment and success. A point of reference, a landmark of the past. A landmark that I'm now sharing with a new life, with a new generation... To help them towards what I hope is a better future. And to have some fun along the way.

I hope everyone gets their own pinball machine in their lives.

I've crossed a milestone in my life, though I don't think it was this past weekend. A few months ago I needed a pinball machine to help me be whole. And, due to the circumstances I was in, I gave it up. I was able to move forward with my life, to continue, to progress without it. It's interesting to me that once I was able to truly give it up and put it behind me a pinball machine falls into my lap.

I'm sure it's not chance.

The thought process that spawned this post lasted less than a minute, but really tied off some loose strings I've had floating around for a while.

This is the last of the pinball posts for a time, barring requests. I'm afraid I'm getting pretty singular on this blog. I'll be mixing it up a bit here in the future, though not as much at first. (I still have a number of video game related posts in the works, heh...) I may post a little less frequently, but I'm going to try and post a bit more meaningfully. Or constructively. (haha, basement posts and constructive...Oh nevermind.) Or whatever you want to call it. There will be less 5 minute posts, though you will continue to see entertaining links here. There will just be more than that here and there.

Until later.

(Apologies for the watermarks, not sure what's up with that)

Friday, September 22, 2006


Today is the day! In less than an hour I will be on my way to AZ!

Did I say I am excited yet? Well, I'm excited! =)

Since it's friday, go check this old post out, (or just a direct link here) it's always good for a laugh. =)

I've been a slacker with the camera, but sunday sometime I'll force myself to take some pictures of the machine in my home and share a bit. Wohoo!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Hey, you all have seen troops right? Right?

Good stuff.

More later. I'm lazy, what can I say.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today is a great time to talk like a pirate!

I may do another update today, depending on how things work out. Busy week this week.

Run your blog through this link. =)

Thursday, September 14, 2006


So, to continue my (somewhat ridicules) saga of pinball and yanking y'all's chain, thought I'd post and clarify a bit.

Wednesday morning I got up and decided to check my email early. Not really sure why, maybe it had something to do with the pinball machine I missed the other day that was a great price and local to boot. In any case, there was a guy in Arizona who was selling a twilight zone pinball machine a very reasonable price. I thought hey, may as well check on it so I fired off an email to him.

By the time I was at work I had an email waiting for me with a bunch of pictures of the machine. Nobody (or should I say no single person, heh) had beaten me to it this time! You could have knocked me over with a feather. This is where some of the shots I posted below came from.

My wife has been feeling sad/guilty for quashing my pinball dreams for some time. Earlier this summer I was planning on sinking upwards of $4500 into a TZ machine. That's kind of a scary amount of cash. I was so delirious at that point though that I was willing to do it. Real life came knocking however, and we just couldn't have done that and finished the basement both. Go figure.

Anyway, the point here is that Bon was quite excited by the fact that we suddenly had a shot at a relatively nice machine for about half that price. My "Pinball Jar" has right around half the funds for the price of this current machine, so including driving down to pick it up (gas, food, hotel, etc) we'd be out $1500 or so on top of that. Not a horrible deal really.

The deal cincher was talking to the guy on the phone. He's rebuilt this machine from the ground up. "cool" addons include the gumball machine has a light and gumballs added and the 3rd magnet is installed on the right ramp. (The 3rd magnet was in prototype machines and removed for production machines due to cost issues). He also listed a number of other things he has added, such as replacing the clock circuit board, a diverter magnet to reduce ball bounce on the power ramp and a few other small changes. All of the top few that I wanted to have done were already finished. Can't beat that. (For anyone who is interested, you can look at some of the mods here)

So, long story short (too late!) Saturday September 23rd I should be in Flagstaff Arizona picking up my very own Twilight Zone pinball machine!

It's going to be a long drive, but I'm okay with that!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Saddest part...

Steve Irwin's death was more to me than just a sad story.

Check it out at Pinball News.

A company other than stern finally starts making a pinball machine and look what happens. Maybe pinabll is fated to die or something...

quick update...

'What will your obituary say?' at

I've got a post to do about the past weekend, a basement update, as well as a few other posts coming. So little time. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

And here it is....

Yeah, two posts in one day. The world may be ending....

I finally found this again. I was thinking about it today and I realized I never did a search on yahoo, just google. It's 17 minutes long, so make sure you have time to watch it. It's pretty darn hilarious. You know, in a sad, sick and twisted sort of a way.

Fair warning, it has a couple of bare breasts in it (on a computer screen). May not be safe for work.

Per usual, you will have to push play yourself.

Thanks to Fox Searchlight Pictures for keeping this around.

Coming soon?


I got this back from the guy. DOH!

I am meeting a guy from SLC in a little while to show him the machine.
I will let you know if he doesn't buy it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


So, I admit it. I'm a boring blogger. Not much I want to post about, other than things that would require more than 10 minutes to post. So, like everything else, they don't get done. Go figure. If you're lucky that will change.

I've been struggling lately with what a friend termed "peter panning". You see, in some ways I'm barely holding life together. In others I'm doing very well. But really, what it all comes down to is that I'm mostly surviving right now instead of living.

Yes, there's a difference.

In the process of building a new computer I realized just how much fun I have doing that. And how much fun I have doing other things. The problem seems to be finding the time. It seems like I'm always trying to get the "important" stuff done and there's never enough time for leisure, with some exception in my computer gaming. (Note that while computer gaming is fun for me, it's not exactly a lasting experience -- once the game is over the fun is gone as well. There's a challenge there that I find satisfying but ultimately hollow. Probably one reason why my gaming is on a downward swing... but anyhow. That's a whole other post)

This is reflected in my job as well -- I'm frequently taking it in the shorts to get some of the necessary stuff done. Part of it I suppose is that I'm too dependable for that kind of thing. Part is that because I'm knowledgeable in certain areas that others aren't. And I'm starting to wonder if part of it isn't my own choices biting me.

So. Where do you draw the line between what you want to do and what needs doing? How do you even determine what really needs doing?

Yeah, I have some idea, but I'm not sure I could express it well at the moment. With a few "Aha" moments lately for me I think I am beginning to change. But I'm not sure where that change is taking me, or even if I fully understand that change myself.

What I can say is that I'm realizing I've been pidgeon-holed by my corner of society's expectations and rules and my standard has met those expectations. I haven't made my own for myself, or in some areas, even understood that there are different/further boundaries to press towards.

This is kind of a vague post, but I'm not really sure how to name what I'm experiencing. There's a lot to be said for naming something -- it makes it real for your own little slice of reality, touchable, explainable, understandable. But regardless. I want to understand. And I desire change.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


So, some decisions have been made. The computer parts are purchased. I am using the monitor now. The CPU and RAM are all that are left to create a functional machine, and they are both on the truck for delivery. I'm going to have to find an excuse to go home from work early today! Ahh, who needs an excuse. I'll just take the time off. =)

Another time I'll go into how and why (fun and less $$) I build my own computer.

Today I'll jsut tell you all what components I'm putting into it.

As I stated in my post a while back, I was really thinking that having a core 2 duo would be fantastic. Once I saw how much they go for, I decided to build a computer around it. (check here for some general pricing)

I decided to get the mid-range 2.13 Ghz core 2 duo chip that (I think) I linked to in my previous post. I ended up getting this one, though I ordered it for a few bucks cheaper previously from another company. This was last thursday evening. On monday morning the CPU still hadn't shipped and wasn't going to until tuesday, so I called them and cancelled. ZipZoomFly had it for free shipping, so upgrading it to overnight (so it got here today, wednesday) was only $12. Worth it to have it a day or two early.

So, I had the processor, but which motherboard to choose? I looked around a bunch, but couldn;t find many straight answers until I came to a good article on AnandTech. They did the hard work of testing the viable options of motherboards and such. I believe it was in that article that helped me NOT make a couple mistakes buying a motherboard and at the end they suggested this motherboard for a reasonable price. I was sold.

The other tough choice was the video card. I selected a GeForce 7600 GT after everything else was ordered. Again Anandtech had a great article about current video cards. For the price, the 7600 can't be beat right now, at least in my price range. I just refuse to spend more than $300 on a video card.

Most of the components are easier to find and not as essential.

I wanted good RAM, so I picked up two gigabytes. This wasn't lowest or highest price and seemed to have very few bad reports. Two Gigabytes seem like a lot, but especially while playing games I've hit the wall with my current 1 gig, so I thought I'd push it to two. Last time I only bought half of what I wanted at first and regretted it -- eventually upgrading to the full amount. May as well start with the stuff I want since I'm spending money like I have too much of it.

The rest was pretty straightforward. I needed a new case and a power supply that was 400 watts or greaeter, so I chose this one. A blue neon tiger. Wooooooo! Kind of silly, but hey, I'm sure it impresses someone. The kids like it anyway. =)

I got a super duper all in one DVD/CDR burner that appears to do it all. I thought about getting 2 drives, but it was cheaper to get them all together. If I burned more CDs or DVD's I may have gotten two, but it'll mostly be for backups and such. I'm really not much of a pirate anymore.

My old computer had a 40 gigabyte hard drive that was in 3 partitions -- Two 10 gig partitions and a 20 gig one. Boy was that cramped. It'll be nice to have a 250 gig SATA drive and not worry so much about space.

The Mouse and Keyboard are pretty standard.

And the monitor. Just... WOW. I never realized how big a difference going from 1024x768 to 1680x1050 could be! Good stuff. I can't say enough good things about this monitor and it's one of my favorite parts of all of this.

I'll post more about the software side later, due to this post's length and me actually making another post this week. I'm too busy playing to do much else...

until then.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I hate these things.

Due to pressure from a number of people I'll be doing this. BUT! I make no promises that it'll happen in the future.

4 jobs I've had:
1. Current -- Phone book publishing software programming. We make and sell software to help people get 2-3 phone books in an area instead of just one. That may be good or bad depending on your take.
2. Little Caesar's Pizza
3. Paper route
4. Computer tech support. (Anyone remember, Pionex, Cybermax or Inteva computers? Yeah, I did support for those)

4 movies I could watch over and over:
Kind of different than all time favorites, but good overlap I guess on that with these:
1. Ocean's 11 (and maybe 12)
2. The Negotiator
3. U.S. Marshall's
4. The Bourne Identity

4 Places I have lived:
1. Lots of places in Utah (7 different cities/towns)
2. Detroit Michigan. (Downtown Detroit, not suburbs, but only for 6 months)
3. Various other places in the Detroit Michigan area (8 I think including detroit, but only a few months at any given place)
4. Online

4 TV shows I love to watch:
This is a bit out of date, I rarely watch real TV anymore. Movies mostly, but even that not so much.
1. Law & Order
2. Everyone Loves Raymond
3. Firefly
4. Farscape

4 places I have been on vacation:
1. Disneyland
2. Bear Lake
3. Las Vegas
4. Midway, UT (Bed & breakfast for a getaway)

4 websites I visit daily:
Not sure if there are 4 that I visit daily, but here goes.
1. slashdot
2. WoW guild forum
3. My Yahoo Page, Mostly for mail (Mr. Pinabll Classifieds listing)
4. My blog links, and of course, this blog.

4 favorite foods:
1. Pizza
2. Bread
3. Popcorn
4. Pumpkin Pie & Gingerbread cookies (this was a tie)

4 places I'd like to be right now:
1. At home building my new computer
2. An uninhabited pacific island. With internet. And a laptop. And my wife.
3. On Vacation (with kids).
4. On Vacaion (without kids)

4 people I am tagging:
I'm such a rebel. (According to my wife I'm a tag loser, but I prefer rebel)
No tags 4 U! However, if you read this feel free to play and post about it here.

Check this out! That'd be a fun toy to play with.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


... I've known that I am an INFP since I was an early teen. Knowing this helps me to know myself.

But it's also fun to see what other people think I am.

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Thanks to sushi for reminding me. =)

Here is a link that may explain more about an INFP, which is basically the type of person I am. I chose one that's closer to me than others, if you google "INFP" or any of the other personality type combinations, you get a ton of results. And they don't always agree.

I have ordered a number of computer parts. Everything has shipped except the keyboard and the CPU, most parts arriving next wednesday.

I also worked some on the basement today.

Happy weekend.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

uh, what?

So I heard this story on the radio yesterday on my way home from work.

Apparently 2 U.S. border patrol agents are getting up to 20 years in prison for... chasing after an illegal alien who attacked one of them and then made a run for the border. The illegal had a car/truck/van/whatever with about 700lbs of marijuana in it.

The illegal got his medical expenses paid and immunity for testifying against the border patrol guys. Check here for a better explanation of the story. This happened 18 months ago.

Assuming this is true... just wow. How lame is that.

I also heard today (unconfirmed by another source) that the army reserve that are patrolling the border are unable to have their M-16's loaded even though they are carrying them around. So they have border patrol guys guarding them. How screwed up is that?

This country amazes me sometimes.

In a completely unrelated note, I will be building a new computer in the next week or so. I'm thinking of starting here and moving on from there. Any advice?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So, I'm a computer programmer.

Some days it's great. People love you because you help them get their job done easier.

And some days it makes your eyes bleed.

But I can't complain, I get paid well and can basically set my schedule. We get free drinks and goodies in the break room. I don't have to deal with a ton of corporate BS in a small company. I'll probably never be rich doing this, but I will be able to make enough to keep my wife at home (as long as she chooses to do so) with the kids.

I'm an apple developer, so it's a little different than in the windows world. I get to use the cooler looking 17" Mac laptops and we get to watch Steve Jobs work his magic with crowds. And because we are paying apple for the "privilege" of being developers they are nice enough to send us t-shirts, new copies of their upcoming operating system and give us discounts on new machines. Among other things.

If you've got a little time you can check out some of the new exciting things apple is going to be coming out with in the next 6 months or so. I'm really excited about the virtual desktops they will be coming out with, which they call "spaces". If you've never thought about or don't quite understand virtual desktops check out this link here.

Anyhow, I don't want to be taken as a zealot, but I am excited about some of the upcoming changes for apple's new OS. And since the switch to intel processors for apple, I'm considering buying a Mac -- you know, and dual boot it. =)

On a vaguely related note, someone contacted a friend and I about a game that we programmed in high school. It was for an old bulletin board system called Hermes. If you don't know what a "BBS" is click here. Anyhow, the guy set up his bulletin board with our (somewhat feeble, unfinished) game. He also set up his bulletin board here if you'd like to log on, create an account, jump into the externals section, and try out the game. There are a lot of inside jokes in there... Maybe I'll post about it if anyone is interested.

More later.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Am I?

So am I addicted?

Work is progressing on the basement. Slowly. I hope to have the family room lights powered and ready (at least for temporary light fixtures) this weekend, though extended family activities may preclude that. I'll post pictures when there's something interesting to post. =)

Oh, and I've been ignoring my MAME post for a few weeks now. Gotta get back to that.

See you later.

Friday, August 04, 2006


So, I have actually been working on the basement some. Yes, some of the wire is actually run. Nothing's hooked up, and it needs stapled down, etc. but I've run some cable. That was easy.

Getting my drill to fit in some of the places where I need wiring holes isn't so easy.

I thought briefly about purchasing a right angle drill -- how much could they be, right? (hint: I guessed wrong, they are usually more than $250)

After shooting that idea down I did some more looking and found this. How cool is that?

I ordered it July 29th. I finally got around to checking the tracking number today. Yeah, it will be here August 11th.


Time to start something else down there while I wait. Maybe the lights in the family room need strung up. We'll see how far I get tomorrow on that.

Until later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

??? 0.o

If you like brain teasers...

This is an interesting link that you may like. I thought it was pretty cool. Fairly easy to get to lvl 4 (all of a minute), it gets harder after that.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Sometimes I wonder what I'm thinking. Here I am, absent for over a week and then I taunt you all with a teeny post.

Ohwell, you'll ahve to get over it. I already have.

I'm not sure it's a good idea but... regardless, I'm going to post this anyway. Too bad they won't be out until later in the year or I'd pick me one up for my birthday.

Happy Tuesday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Bear Lake

Every 24th of july (or at least the Monday thru Wednesday falling on that week) my family goes to visit bear lake. This is the closest thing I've ever had to a family vacation outside of the odd trip to disneyland growing up. Ever since I can remember I've been going to bear lake in the summertime.

What could be better than food, family, water, and... pinball. Yeah, they've also had an arcade at the condo's we stay at. Good times. We stay at a place called Ideal Beach Resort. It used to be called Sweetwater back when I was a kid. here are some pictures.

One of the cool things about bear lake is that it has white beaches and that cool aqua colored water that you see in all of the pacific ocean pictures. You know, without driveing to the ocean. The water is pretty cold though.

There's plenty to do. There are tennis courts, a pool, sauna, mini golf course and other activities where we're staying. There's also the pickleville playhouse down the road. You can renting a boat, waverunner, paddleboat and more. Hiking through Minnetonka Cave is a lot of fun if you don't mind a bit of a drive. There's also a golf course across the road.

And beware of the Bear Lake Monster!

Enjoy next week. I know I will.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

MAME preview

So my MAME post is taking forever. Part of it is that it's... well, some work to sit down and do. Part of it is time. part of it is pure laziness. But part of it is thee perfectionist coming out in me. I want it to be good. I want it to be something that means something. And as a bonus, I hope it's entertaining.

Now, all that said... I came across this link while doing some research on the MAME post. It's a pretty difinitive guide on what NOT to do as a MAME project. I wasn't going to include a section on how not to do a MAME machine, so it's probably fair game for it's own post. The guy gets a bit colorful, so 'ware the ears if they burn easily.

And assuming you are interested in building a MAME machine, check out this book that's got a lot of the initial learning covered.

I'll try to post something more interesting later. Maybe something about ninjas.

Yeah, ninjas are cool.

Until then.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Boob toob

So, our TV finally died this week.

It's been an interesting ride with that television. It was a 27", decent picture, reasonable inputs. My parents bought it for us when we got married 6+ years ago for somewhere around $200 at a local grocery store chain. One of the standard ones in our state before Wal-Mart was around.

Shortly after our first child was born (or maybe just before, I forget) the remote stopped working. It was a pain, but we were poor and I'm cheap, so we made do for a while. About a 18 months later the power button imploded, so there was just a hole there. No big deal, it's got a black screen when on and not in use, we'll just pipe everything through the VCR and leave it on all the time. We get a remote back and we're good to go.

Shortly after our oldest learned to walk (another 12-18 months after the power button implosion) she used to hide behind the TV and yank on the wires. The coax connector broke due to this. Easy fix right? We'll just buy a cable and use the AV inputs, then pipe the standard coax cable through the VCR for cable TV.

Monday our volume buttons broke. I suppose we had it coming, though I was hoping the TV would last until Christmas so I could buy a new one as a sort of family present. Oh well.

I did some looking around and picked up a new 27" replacement. Hopefully it will last a long time and the kids won't destroy it in the first 6 months. It's pretty cool, does all the new (well, new to me) HDTV stuff and even supports evil media DRM via HDMI connections. It's no flat screen, but the picture and sound quality is excellent, lots of input types and jacks, it was a reasonable price for an HD TV, about the right size, and... well, because I can. Or something. All in all, so far so good, I'd recommend the model.

The crappy thing is this wasn't in the budget, but at least it comes out of the basement money, so I can't complain too much -- we actually have the money to get a new one instead of going into debt or something for it.

It's a heck of a note, to steal the phrase from my wife, that we don't actually have a VCR or anything with a connection better than S-Video to use the HDTV capabilities of the new TV. I think maybe we can get a box from the city for our cable. And maybe I'll ahve to buy the HD adapter for my xbox.

I'm also borrowing my dad's truck to haul crap to the dump and the goodwill equivalent, hauling broken pieces of cement around the yard ("You want to use those for WHAT?"), doing voulonteer church work, reading some more Raymond E Feist, working on the MAME post a bit, (still) avoiding the basement project, still showing up to work and generally keeping pretty busy. I've neglected my blog a bit but I'm not leaving anytime soon. I don't think.

Until later.

Oh, and apologies to anyone who was expecting boob pictures vis a vis the title.

Friday, July 07, 2006

No, I am not dead...

...yes, I've been busy. Or overwhelmed. Or whatever you want to call it. =)

I've been pretty useless lately. In order for me to not be useless at work I'll keep this short. In fact, that's it. No really, nothing more to see here.


Quit looking at me like that. okay, here you go for some nostalgia.

What, not a gamer? Then you can check this out. Or even this, though it's somewhat technical.

Happy weekend.

Friday, June 30, 2006


The pinball machine that was supposed to be here sometime next week has been killed. It was a gristly battle, but the between the plumbing and drywall it didn't have a chance.

Someone do a BBQ for me this weekend in memorial. I'll be at work. :P

In keeping with the death motif of today's post, I just got this link sent to me from SushiBoy. Kind of funny the first few times.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Quick update... I'm nearing a huge data merge for a weekend at work. If I'm lucky all will go well and I'll get monday and tuesday both off. But I'm not counting on it. So maybe expect a post this weekend as I watch progress bars.

Made some headway on the wiring, I've got a plan, know the breaker layout and just ahve to actually wire the thing up. And make a trip or two to home depot. The wiring boxes are hung for the plugs in the family room and I know where I want the rest of them to go. Some (small) headway has been made! Huzzah! Hopefully I'll be working on it more this evening.

We're going to be pouring a back patio here in the next week or so. My brother in law does cement work and is kind enough to give us the labor for free and set us up with all the materials, though we have to pay for those. My wife is more or less heading this project up so you'll probably see pictures on her blog about it. I think she had dreams about it last night, I woke up to questions about color selection and pavers choices this morning.

I got sucked into the Riftwar Saga series again and have almost finished silverthorn. I'd recommend it if you've not read them and, you know, like to read.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Ran into a song I haven't heard in a while, thought I'd share, called "I'm OK you're OK". It's live, but not really so you'd know after the forst 15 secs or so. It's by the band MxPx.

It's an AAC file, playable with quicktime. I had to convert it so I could host it on a free site. I hate that crap. Maybe I should buy a domain so I can host my own mp3 files. Not sure if it'll work in internet explorer, someone will have to let me know.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


So yeah, been a while.

The wiring is eluding me. I've had a bunch of family obligations, and between watching [sick] kids, visiting family, a WoW patch, and various miscellany, I've not gotten a lot of stuff done on my list. Just in survival mode.

Been thinking about the MAME post, I'll get that done here soon. Yadda yadda, promises promises. =)

Per usual though, I can't just make a useless post and leave you, so here's something to help keep you entertained.

Edit: the link wasn't working for some people (hey, it worked for me!) so try this link or this link if you need to.

Someday I'm going to figure out how to embed a .swf with blogger.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pinball is cool

More is better. Or so they say.

I visited the pinball hall of fame this evening.


•Twilight Zone. Good stuff. Good enough to own. 'nuff said.

•Addam's Family. Still my favorite, though TZ is a close second. This was the favorite of those who attended with me.

•Super Mario brothers. Not worth the money.

•Pinbot. This reminded me a lot of space mountain at disneyland for some reason. Very well done, I can see why it's considered a classic. One of the best I've played from that era of pinball.

•Star Wars: episode one. Really cool idea there, they had a video image overlaid on the back third of the pinball machine, and you could "interact" with it. Impressive technology, and fun to play a few times. I wouldn't want to own it though, it would get gimmicky after a while.

•Creature From The Black Lagoon. I hear a lot of people like this one, but it felt off. I think the table wasn't quite balanced right, maybe the legs weren't centered properly. It made cheezy chick moaning sounds when you inserted the quarter and hit certain targets. Maybe that's why.

•Tempest. Okay, this isn't a pinball machine, but this is good stuff! Just as fun as I remember, and I still stink at it.

•Stargate. I could definitely live without this one.

I was looking forward to playing attack from mars, but they didn't have one. Or a Who dunnit, or an Indiana Jones. Or a Getaway, or a Medieval Madness.

Games I missed:

• South park. This one was played almost all night.

• Lord of the Rings. This also had people on it the whole time.

• Funhouse. Another "classic", I wouldn't mind having a go at again sometime.

• Terminator 2. Just couldn't quite make it to this one. never really interested me.

• High Speed. Never played this other than on Visual Pinball. If you've not tried this I'd recommend it. And you can try Visual Pinabll's new offspring Future Pinabll. Anyhow, I woulda liked to try High Speed, but I didn't get to it.

Overall it was a cool place, a real dungeon reminiscent of the old 80's arcades. I talked with the owner a bit. He's hurting I think, they haven't made the rent since opening, though they came close last week. (Weekly rental? not sure) They have power consumption issues as well, I can see why. I bought a "this old pinball" DVD, twilight zone edition, you know, in preparation for my machine. $8.00 well spent.

For a vacation cenered around pinball I'd have to recommend Lyons Classic Pinball instead, better quality machines and smaller shop with a much better collection of games. They are in the Denver area, just a bit to the north. That said, I still had a blast going. =)

Kind of funny, most people go to vegas for gambling or sex, I end up going for pinball. How sad am I. Maybe I'll get some of the rest when I get home. Talk about a gamble! :D

I should go to bed. I have a presentation tomorrow. Until later.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Microwave

So, for my wife's birthday she got an over-the-stove microwave. (Happy birthday Bon!) We picked it up Tuesday evening. No problem right? Just unscrew the old hood and screw in the new microwave, should be a snap.

Well, lots happened between when we picked it up and when we were finished.

So, we got back from Home depot around 6:30 PM. Great! I want to tear into this project and get it done. Should be an hour or so worth of work. Right?

So, an hour later I'm cussing out the guys who installed the hood. Apparently it is hardwired to the circut. After flipping off most of the house's breakers and resetting all my clocks, I got the power to the hood shut off. I unwired it and stuffed it into the garage. Now, the problem from here, is that the microwave has a plug on it. I'm pretty hesitant to just chop off the plug of a brand new, never used microwave, so I had to get a bit creative. A trip to k-mart later, I had an outlet for $1.49 that did the job perfectly. Oh, we're about 3.5 hours into the project at this point. This is about when I started taking pictures. =)

You can just see the edge of the old microwave in the pictures above on the left there on the counter.

The screws that you see hanging down were tricky to get aligned, we did it though. Only took two tries. I should mention here that at around 11:00 PM we were ready to re-drill these holes. Of course my stupid cordless drill had it's batteries run out, due to drilling a hole in the "spacers". (Yeah, the spacers go between the underside of the cabinet and the microwave. They account for the space under the cabinetry so the screws wouldn't tweak things going through air or some such. That's a story in itself -- I had to dig up some wood, cut and drill it to use for spacers... probably a good hour in and of itself.) anyhow, so I got a good 45 minute break to watch TV and talk with my wife. Anyway, these screws barely fit, it's a good thing our cabinets weren't an inch shorter or the whole thing would have had to go back to the store.

This is off the cuff and a bit disjointed write-up, but there you go. Better than a sharp stick in the eye, isn't it?

And the final masterpiece:

I love you Bon, hope it was worth all of my cussing, cursing, and general grumpiness. Maybe I should get a construction loan after all and hire someone to finish the basement. =)

Until later.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


So I want to post. I really do.

Not much is happening though. I currently have a sore throat and I'm easily angered. Especially yesterday, the baby (poor thing) has an ear infection, so I got around 4.5ish hours of sleep.

I'm headed to vegas for a "user's group" event for our software. except that it's turning into training because the users don't really want to be involved or make suggestions.

I almost have one of my coworkeers convinced to go to the pinball hall of fame with me. I'll let you know how it goes.

The basement wiring is still making me feel guilty. I admit it, I'm intimidated. =) I'm going to call my neighbor this evening, he has offered to help me get it figured out. I think I know what I want to do, but it's a matter of knowing if I really can, and especially what I ought to do that has me concerned. I'm probably being too conservative on this... I should just do it and get it over with. It's not THAT complicated.

I wish someone would have told me that 250 feet of wire would be $103. Talk about sticker shock...!

On a side note, here's an interesting way to waste some bandwidth. I've not used it a ton yet, but it's an interesting idea.

Until later.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ever since I was a young boy...

Got an email today. I'll post the relevant portion here.

Hello DadGuy. I will be getting a TZ in about 2 to 3 weeks. That's the one
for you.

Out of 5 that I am getting this summer, 2 are already presold.

Either way, your machine will probably be done by the 4th of July, so you're
cool there. Once it's here and I start working on it, I'll keep you int he
loop and shoot some photos of the refurbishing process.

I should have a pinball machine in my home within a month or so. And the really cool thing is that I get to celebrate with fireworks! heh.

In that light, I've dug up a song link for you. Out of respect to those like me who hate web sites makign sound out of nowhere, you'll have to press play yourself.

In other news I'll be actually purchasing some real wiring material this evening. If I get around to it I'll take some pictures of the newly "wired" network closet. I'll probably have to move the shelf already. Due to the way the wires come in, the half-pound cable modem and similarly weighted wireless router want to jump off of the shelf when I'm not looking. I've moved them to the floor for the time being. I (still) need to crimp an end on the remaining short ethernet wire as well as ends on the cable so that I can attach an extension. But since it's not currently used I think that's why it hasn't gotten done. I may actually get a box for those connections so I can put them in the hall ceiling instead of inside the wall. We'll see.

I've been thinking about my post in regards to teh MAME machine and I'll try to get at least an overview going in the next week or so.

Summertime is busy. Looks like It will especially be so this year.

Until later.

Friday, May 26, 2006


...I'm a flake.

Not much happened with the networking stuff. I still have to buy the rest of the parts to extend the cable stuff, but I'm not using a wireless bridge to get netwrk to the bedroom computer anymore, that's a plus.

I was going to do some stuff this weekend, may still get some time to do so on friday. My Parents and sister want to get together this evening, and Monday will be at my grandparents.

I did get the MAME machine back up adn going again, so the kids are excited about that. Bon is more OK with an arcade machine in the front room if it's, you know, actually working. And there's an end in sight for that, so that's helpful as well.

I didn't want your visit to be wasted on a more or less useless update though, so I dug up a link i was thinking about today.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Today is a Happy Sad day.

I think that's a short story or children's book. Forget where the term comes from.

Today I am happy because I put a deposit down on a Twilight Zone pinball machine yesterday. Wohooo! Here's hoping the guys at


Today is a sad day because a good friend of mine that works with me is getting a new job elsewhere. :( Good for him, not so great for me. We were great friends in high school. Dave, you will be missed.

At least he's staying in town. And I'm sure he will be over to play Twilight Zone on occasion.

More about the basement and the tangle of wires I'm pretending are my network hub tomorrow or friday.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I feel like such a blogger flake. =)

I spent my last 2 blogging times looking for that stupid popup movie. 2 hours later, I couldn't find it. So I'm settling for an alternate. (specifically the stoneflies movies) but I'm afraid my family would hate me for it. Gingerstory, please don't go look at that. I'm afraid you'd never forgive me for making you gouge your own eyes out. Trust me, you won't like it.

Everyone else, have fun.

I have sort of also started the wiring. I've moved all of my network and cable TV and sprinkler wires to the closet under the stairs. All that's left are 4 wires that I need to extend, 2 ethernet and 2 cable wires. After that I'll start on the real wiring.

For those that are following my World of Warcraft saga, a little update. I now have a level 57 Mage (soon to be 60, another few weeks probably) and a level 35 warlock that I'm moving ever so slowly upwards. It's strange, I never would have thought I'd play a pay per month game, let alone for almost a year now. And like it.

Guess it really is as good as they say. Wierd.

Oh, in other interesting news that I haven't mentioned... they are making a Halo movie. (If you don't know what Halo is... well, you'll have to lok it up. =) )

I'll try to take some pictures of the basement in the next few days and show you more.

More exciting news to come hopefully a bit later this week. Until then.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Not much...


Moved some networking wire around to the closet. I still have 2 wires I need to extend.

I am thinking of tackling the bedroom wiring first, I hear that's the easiest and I can get my feet wet there for starters. We'll see how that works out.

I wanted to make this more interesting... I looked around for 20 minutes or so for a short film I saw a while back about how popup ads ruined this guy's life. If I find it I'll post it. This guy's friend sends him an email with a link that says "click this!" he clicks it and some animal porn popup ad pops up. He's at work and some co-worker sees. He gets fired. That's the beginning, it goes on for almost 10 minutes and is hilarious. If anyone knows what it is let me know, I'd love to see it again.

Yeah, I'm boring. Deal with it. =)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Basement pictures or...'s about time!

I'm lazy. What can I say. I've had the pictures since tuesday evening.

There are a few shots I want to take additionally, so I'll post the bedroom later. (That's the one on the right as you go down the stairs)

Feel free to open my old post in a new window for some comparisons.

The first thing you'll notice is that there's a hole in the wall to the left. There will be a banister there. It's already turned into the high traffic doorway, we don't go right much anymore.

Looking into the family room at the bottom left of the stairs. You can see the south wall on your right. Looks... framed.

Rotating to the left you can see more of the room. You can also sort of see the arch that will be at the entrance to the hallway there.

Our new stairway down! looks pretty good. Here's a better picture.

And the tangled mess of wires that is my sprinkler station and internet hub. I really don't want to move this stuff, primarily because I'll have the internet down some while I do so. I'm pretty sure nobody wants that to happen around our house so I've been putting it off. Maybe I can get it done saturday.

The room across the hall from the arch was the extra room we had framed. It's going to be my room, and as such, finished last most likely. Our oldest is practicing to help me with the plumbing.

I'm at work so I'll post more later!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Been a while

I've been caught up in WoW land this past week. The family has been out of town and since it's E3 this week there's been some things going on there.

I saw this today and thought it was quite funny. You have to be familiar with super mario brothers to really appreciate it though.

I'll be posting pictures of the basement tonight or tomorrow sometime, I've not had a chance to take them in the daylight yet. Wiring first draft is almost done, I'm just about ready to go buy the stuff to do it with.

More later.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Star wars and a burger anyone?

Check this out. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

quick update

I'm not dead. But I have been sick since thursday. I'm getting sick and tired of it. ha ha.

The basement has one room left to be finished, it's going to be done this evening some time. We decided to do that extra room that would be after the laundry room looking into the family room if you go by the tour I posted. Not that we have the money for that, but it's the thought that counts right? =)

My wife and kids are out of town this week and took the camera, so it'll be a bit before I get the finished framed pictures up. I'm doing a bit of research on wiring at the moment. If anyone has any words of wisdom on that or the ventilation system, I'd love to hear it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Uh.... wow.

I'm speechless.

Just... wow.

look here for amazing amounts if ignorance

I'm not sure if they are serious or not...! I hope not. No, there's no way that can be serious. At least the author didn't write it seriously. I'm sure some people will take it seriously though. The author of that blog, shelley, seems to have taken it seriously. =)

Basement framing started tuesday morning. It's almost complete. I'll post pictures soon!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"The Basement" or "My longest post ever". You decide.

So. Soon most of my free time while the kids are awake will be spent working on the basement. As I mentioned in my last post, by the end of next week the framing will be complete. Or at least what I've hired out will be done, there's no telling if we will make modifications to that after the fact. heh.

I mentioned pictures, so I thought I'd do a sort of virtual tour. Let's head downstairs through this door.

Watch your step. You'll have to excuse the laundry down at the bottom that is 100% my fault and reflects in no way upon my wife. Really, I should be ashamed of myself.

That wall to the left with the handrail will be punched out. We will be putting a banister down the side and have it open up into the family room. I'm not sure yet if we're going to do railing on a slope or the stairstep method where the rails meet the stairs, we'll see. My wife probably has an opinion on that but since I'm doing in I'll probably get to choose. =) I've been assured that it's a doable project by yourself and I'll have to trust that. If not I'm in trouble!

This is the room to the right at the bottom of the stairs. You can see that there is a little 3 foot landing or what have you on the stairs into this room (on the left). That stuff there is garbage to be hauled out. It should be a nice room with 2 windows. This will most likely turn into a guest room. I also wouldn't be surprised if my 2 arcade machines went in here, but that's yet to be determined. They may live in the family room. It's around 13x10 feet not including the closet, which will go up against the stairs, so not a small room.

This is the storage area, you can see the edge of the table there in the previous picture -- it's going to be behind the guest room. As you can see, we have at least half of it full already. Most of that stuff was spread around the basement previous to this. And I'd like to point out that those blue crates (about 8) have little girl's clothes in them. One has only shoes in it. And that's just the crates, there are a couple other boxes. Almost half of our storage is kids clothes. That scares me. =)

Just to the right of the storage area will be the bathroom. It sits flush (har har) with the laundry room. It will likely mirror our upstairs bathroom, having a tub/shower combo against the wall, a toilet and then a sink. You can see where the drain is for the toilet there sticking up. I think we need to punch a hole in the cement for the tub drain, hopefully they have something in place under where it's marked. We want to put cupboards or shelves or something in the corner near the laundryroom door as well, but we'll see how that goes. The bathroom will likely take priority over the guest room as far as spending goes so it's more likely to get done first. And lucky for me my cousin is a plumber, so I should be able to get a good deal and some professional help with that.

Moving on, this is the hallway that will connect the laundry room, storage, bathroom and the guest room with the family room (right side on the end) and future bedroom (left at the end). Under the stairs will be storage as well as all my ethernet cables and router among other things.

Under the stairs. Yahoo! Not much to say here, I almost didn't post this. =)

This is the laundry room. Not much will change here other than having a door installed so you can't see all of the dirty clothes. You know, hallway aesthetics and all.

This is the future bedroom. We'll be leaving this unfinished for a few reasons. Money being one, we don't really need it finished, and the biggest reason is that when it rains a lot at once the window to the east leaks. That's another project for another day.

This is the future family room. You can see the staircase where the banister will go and where the wall will be removed. This could have been made into two bedrooms and the guest room/storage area made into a family room, but we liked this layout better. More light in the family room and a little more space. The doorway from the hall that you see will have an archway to help keep things more open. That's also why the hall needs to be finished with the family room -- it would look crappy having it open up into unfinished basement. Not that I care so much but I know my wife wants things to look nice and I can't really argue much with that. Other than financially. heh.

Last picture... This is the wall that we're knocking out. The 4th stud from the right is where the opening will start. It should look very nice while still giving us some wall space. I'm hoping to but the bookshelf on the right under the stars and get it out of the upstairs bedroom. There has been some discussion about a landing that sticks out at the bottom, but I'm not certain what will happen at this point there.

I better quit, I've been staving off my eldest for almost an hour doing this post. I think we'll go make some pizza dough and have pizza for dinner. I am really loving having 2 Sundays in a row more or less off for church stuff!

Have a good week. Until next post.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Yay it's friday... again?

Time flies.

I had a great weekend last week. Very little actual responsibility and lots of freedom from stress.

The beginning of the work week was full board back to the grind, but things are easing up. I've gotten a few other people involved and that's helped let up the stress a bit.

In other news we've decided to have a friend of ours come in and frame the basement for us. He's giving us a really good deal from what I know, materials plus $0.80 per square foot for labor. We're not going with the metal studs due to cost but I'm feeling pretty OK about the whole deal. it'll be around $1250-1300 when it's all said and done which for most of a basement framed really isn't bad. Oh, and it'll be done by the end of next week assuming all goes well. Wohoo! Then I'll get to play with the wiring and duct work.

We will be finishing cleaning this weekend to prepare for the start of construction. I'l see if I can snap some photos and put them up here this weekend. I'm sure my wife would much rather have it clean before I post photos. =)

Oh, and I sprayed for weeds in the front yard this week. Just about everyone I know will be doing yard work this weekend. Time to borrow the tiller from my parents to till the garden again.

I also need to put a note in here to say that my wife is the best! She's been really supportive through all of my work headaches and has really let me work at my own pace to keep things going sanity-wise. I couldn't do it without her.

Pictures later. Until then.

Friday, April 14, 2006


It's friday.

It's the friday before a holiday. A holiday in which I won't have church meetings other than the stock standard stuff that normal people go to.

A holiday which begins for the money customer TODAY, it being good friday.

Work was wonderfully peaceful.

Oh, and did I mention I got a raise today? Yes, it's been a good friday.

In other news there was a big discussion in the office today about food and drink. I thought this video was a good sum up and pretty entertaining. =)

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Work sucks

Customers with a lot of money that want the impossible


A boss who likes money


I am asked to do the impossible.

Well, improbable at best. Transfer 55 phone books worth of data flawlessly in a weekend with no support in our software to do this. Yeah, there are going to be some problems. They knew this and agreed to it. Now that there are probvlems guess what? They don't want to deal with them.

At least I won't have to worry about this after a month or so, the big big nasties will be done then.

I apologize to all 1-2 of you who check my blog with any regularity. I hope to get back to posting, I have 3 posts rattling around in my head that I'd like to make.

I hope everyone else is enjoying the turn in weather lately, I don't seem to be. =)

Wah wah wah, I'm so picked on. heh.

until later.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


So I have this post that is rattling around in my head. I'm going to type it all out. Really. I just need the time to do it.

Now isn't the time.

This evening I got home for the 2nd time around 10:30 PM. My wife and I watched the first episode of Law & Order season 3 at this time, as the baby is up and grumpy. (another time I'll go into this -- we have watched the first 2 seasons of Law & Order together, starting the 3rd now.) I lay down to go to sleep around 11:30. five minutes later I'm on my laptop scrambling to get into a computer at work to do the job I left "until later" tonight. Oh, and I need to be done by midnight, before the auto-backup happens for the customer's database.

I think I may have had 30 seconds or so of room to spare on that one. heh.

There was one other thing I needed to do as well, but I'm zipping some files up so that they transfer faster over the internet to a customer up in Canada. Really, gigabytes of data shouldn't be sent over a 150k DSL connection. :/ I had about 15 minutes to spare while the archiving happened, so you get an update.

Lucky you!

I have more interesting stuff coming really. But for now we wait.

If you're bored have a look at timbuktu software. It's amazing stuff, saved me a number of times working off-site.

I'll probably have more friday or saturday. Tomorrow if things go really well. I promise not to be as boring as dirt sometime soon. Really.

Until then.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Decision: No

Well, looks like now is not the right time for one of those machines.

I'd love to go into details as to why I decided against it or some big story about why I couldn't get it after some big ordeal.

I never got an email back from the guy selling the machines.

So, decision is made for me. I keep looking.

Oh, and on the basement, I am waffling on doing the framing myself or getting someone to do it. I'm cheap so I want a low price, but I really don't want to do it all by myself. heh.

I have more to say but I'll say it later.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Do I do it? Which one?

So, my wife and I discussed pinball machines (again) this week.

We decided that we reasonable money to start looking seriously. If the right thing came up soon, we should seriously look into it.

So this morning I checked my email. I am subscribed to the mr. pinball classifieds, so I get a daily email of pinball machines that are for sale all around the world. this morning contained two listings which caught my attention.

Addams Family, 1992 Bally: $3175
Very nice, new GOLD cabinet decals, GOLD side rails and lockdown bar
and GOLD legs, GOLD ROMs (LX-3) new cloud header, very little wear around
electric chair an scoop protector installed, full playfield mylar with
no insert wear, clean plastics and unbroken ramps. This is NOT the 1994
some email addy, Mesa, Arizona

Twilight Zone, 1993 Bally: $3100
Stunning playfield, clear unbroken plastics and ramps, gumball and
spaceship mods. This is a clean machine and 100% working, including
original unbroken clock and undrilled clock housing.
some email addy, Mesa, Arizona

Now, these are not particularly cheap machines. But the price is reasonable. Or rather, close to the going rate, if not a bit better. So.

I have a few decisions to make. Is now the time? If it is the time, which one do I get? (I'd love to have both, but that's not going to happen, no way I can spend that much) When do I pick it up?

All I had to contact the guy was a hotmail email address. Of course I emailed him almost immediately fo rmore details.

If you know me in real life, feel free to give me a call or email me at my work address on what your thoughts are.

I'll keep you updated on what happens. I'm guardedly hopeful, but I'm not going to get my hopes up yet. They could be sold already. heh.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meant To Live

Song of the day.

Meant To Live, the lyrics are here.

I wanted to link the actual song, but I found the music video instead. I'm not a big fan of music videos but I'll settle for this as a way to let you all hear the song without actually purchasing it. (Linked from the band's home page)

I also hate webpages that make sound, so you'll have to hit play below. Enjoy.