Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Little Mountain"

Hey Everyone, long time no see. Thanks to everyone who gave me warm wishes for my 30th birthday.

I'm on vacation at the moment so i've actually got a little time to make a post. Believe it or not, I've actually be doing a lot of blogging - just not for my personal blog. If you want to see what i've been up to, check out Its my professional/technical blog - part of the reason that I haven't been making any technical posts on this blog anymore. As you'll see, I've actually be doing a fair amount of posting over there.

Today Wendy and I stopped by a historical site most people in the US should be easily able to recognize from the back of a nickel (the non-state nickels) - Monticello. It was a cloudy day - and pictures/video are not allowed from inside of home, but outside on the grounds.

For those who are not history buffs - this is the home of Thomas Jefferson. Unlike historic Williamsburg in Virginia - this is the actual home - not rebuilt, not a recreation in the proper location. Granted, only a subset of items inside the home are original, but considering the home fell out of Jefferson's family's hands for a large number of years - and it is over 200 years old - its in pretty good shape.

One of the most interesting points you see in the home is Jefferson's love of technology/gadgetry - I was a little surprised myself. A lot of what was in the home was custom designed by Jefferson himself, including a clock that includes hour, minute, second hand, and day of the week. A circa 1800 copy machine - well, it reproduced strokes of a pen as it was written. Jefferson made copies of every letter he wrote according to the tour.

The two biggest disappointments were the fact that it was so overcast today and that a tree that was suspected to have been planted by Jefferson himself died over the last few years and was cut down just 6 weeks ago.

And yes, I did take the photo above. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

In A World Without Infomercials

We're living in a world with two kinds of people. Those who remember that there was a point late in the evening when television stations actually stopped broadcasting shows and those who had no idea.

In conversing with my younger brother, who is 8 years younger than me, I came to the realization that he had never seen a station sign off because most tv stations had moved to a 24 hour format (many complete with infomercials instead).

Here's an example of one from my hometown - and it feels really familiar. Are we better off now to have infomercials? Are you under 35 years old and remember these? If so, you're going to be in the minority soon. Anyone else remember these?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

X-Files: I Want To Believe (That This Movie Will Be Good)

So, if you are the average moviegoer, you're probably reading this blog post in between your 3 and 4th viewing of The Dark Knight. Maybe you're waiting in line to see it in IMAX. Regardless, believe it or not, there are other movies out there right now.

X-Files: I Want To Believe actually opened on 7/25/2008. Thats over 6 years since the final X-Files series episode and 10 Years since the first X-Files movie came out. Now, I was an X-Files fan as much as anyone, and like most I started to lose interest around the same time David Duchovny did (and then shortly thereafter left the show). An introduction of new lead agents (one of them that used to be the T-1000) and at the very end bringing back Mulder in the last episode to try to help explain and wrap up all the mythology that had more or less already been revealed was about as satisfying as the final episode of Seinfeld.

So, with a release date one week after the movie with the highest grossing weekend of all time and existing fan base that is mostly disillusioned with the show, how could this movie possibly do well? And why now? Why release this movie so many years later?

Well, I saw the movie last night - and to be honest, I liked it a lot. Not more than the Dark Knight, and it isn't the greatest film of the year. But to be honest, it is a well written, generally good episode of the X-Files. If you go in with the expectation that Chris Carter and crew had another good, well produced and funded, non-mythology episode set 6 years later than the final episode of the series, you'll be pleased. Parts of it are fun, there are surprises, no major explosions. Fans of the show will be pleased, and it is a good thriller even if you aren't a major fan. As Wendy put it: It was nice to have our friends back again and see them together.

I think its just unfortunate that with the Dark Knight taking everyone's attention that this will be ignored by most people. Granted, we went to an 11:30pm showing, but the other 5 people in the theater seemed pleased. Oh, and apparently there is something after the credits according to what i've read - I didn't stay around and watch, but let me know if you wait for it. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dark Knight - IMAX

Yes, I know I haven't posted in a long time. I'm still alive.

I saw The Dark Knight at IMAX today. Wow, that was pretty awesome. If you haven't seen it yet, go.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Truck Update - As Requested

Yeah, I'm bad about updating my blog. Thanks for the nudge Jen. :) Here are some pictures of my truck taken a few days after the purchase. Its taken a bit of getting used to. Its only 6" longer than my Bonneville was, but its quite a bit higher off the ground and wider. So, i'm honestly not very good at parking it, but i'm doing pretty good on the road now.

I ended up replacing the stereo within a week of the purchase - the stock radio had no way of hooking up an ipod and the fm transmitter just wasn't a good option. The good news is it sounds WAY better now and the ipod works fine.

Its really nice to have the bed of the truck for transporting anything now - and i'm no longer concerned about buying something and the "what if it fits in my car?" I've had so many times. I know its obvious, but when all you have are passenger vehicles, it comes up all the time. I so wish I had this truck when we were moving.

I can't wait for summer now, since I'll actually have air conditioning in my vehicle. Its been almost 6 years since I've had it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Truck Purchase

Most of what I got was pro truck, but i'm getting it on Friday, so please hold any anti-truck comments. Pictures will be up after I get it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shopping for a New Vehicle

Going against my better judgement - there are a number of things I'm looking for a new vehicle.

1. I'm looking for a truck. And by those who drive SUVs, those are not trucks. Those are SUVs. I'm looking for a Pickup Truck. A Nissan Frontier in fact. Now I know i'm not getting a "truck" in terms of 900hp with 1 millions lbs of torque and can haul a house. I'm not a SUV guy, but Wendy and I are tired of having 2 passenger vehicles when trying to pick up or move anything. Every once in a while, you just need a bigger vehicle. It seems to happen a lot more for us.
2. I'm potentially looking at new instead of buying used. The price difference between new and used in terms of the year range and model i'm looking at honestly aren't really that different. We're talking about $3,000 difference - trading for about 40,000 and 3 years (and loss of factory warranty) on the vehicle as well as a few features.

This truck is pretty close to what I want - except the color possibly.

What are the downsides of all of this?

Well obviously the payment, but what i'm sure any sane person would bring up the issue of gas prices these days. My only thought to that is that my commute to work is pretty short - and this is at least a mid-sized truck instead of a gigantic one. It is rated at 14mpg/19mpg highway, which I know isn't awesome, but based on my current driving habits, I drive much less than 10,000 miles a year. If gas prices do go up, I'm obviously going to be somewhat screwed or just have to drive as little as possible. Yes, I've considered leasing and i'm still thinking about it, just in case gas prices to shoot way up.

If I could get the same vehicle in diesel, I'd be all over it. Unfortunately, there are no midsized trucks or compact trucks that come in diesel in the US.

Does anyone have any serious thoughts about this? :)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New URL for Blog and Grand Theft Walrus

I've moved my blog to The old URL will still work (I think permanently), so you don't have to change anything, this is more of an FYI.

I finally saw The Simpsons Movie. As I expected it wasn't going to be AMAZING - more like a longer, more dramatic version of a tv episode. Some of it drew on material from the late 80s/early 90s of the Simpsons (especially the Christmas episode). Anyhow, it is interesting to see how they still have this kind of staying power, but here is a screenshot of the funniest part of The Simpsons, which I can understand how it would it only be funniest to me.

I haven't the words....

And a screenshot from the game. I didn't play any GTA beyond GTA2, but I almost had to stop the treadmill I was laughing so much.

New Song on Left Hand Side as well.