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.