Friday, July 28, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sad if True

Tour De France Winner Flunks Drug Test

I hope it was just an error or can be explained by some other means than doping.

In the mood to gouge your eyes out?

Hillary Clinton's "Sexual Power" Captured in a Presidential Bust

Never mind the fact that she has never been (and IMO never will be) President of the United States... Ewwwwwwwwwwww

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This looks like fun

I'd like to have one of those...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back to work

After almost 3 weeks off I'm back to work. That alarm clock wasn't very nice this morning.

On the other hand I had a bonus check and the Winternals Administrators Pack waiting for me!

AMD and ATI merging?

Interesting. What will Nvidia do as there NForce4 chipset for AMD is what you want to run.

A little bit more at Extended64.

    Update:More at AMD

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Side effects

Thing1 and I love adding on our own side effects when a drug commercial is on TV. Not as good as FloraFlor but we're getting there.

We were watching the Miss Universe contest during the swimsuit event (Go USA, Sweden, and Denmark!) and there was a commercial on for a sleep aid. One of the side effects was drowsiness.


Bad Movies

We've all seen at least one. A movie that was either so bad that you couldn't make it the whole way through or you watched the whole thing waiting for something good to happen.

SarahK, who's now over the hill, has a post about a movie her sister-in-law worked on.

That led me to think of my list of bad movies. In no particular order:

The Thin Red Line
Moulon Rouge
Lethal Weapon 4
Napolen Dynamite

I'm sure more will come to me later.

Where do those stairs go?

They go up!

Watching Ghostbusters. First saw it in 1984 at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles after a wedding. Such fun!


Watching the start of the Pennsylvania 500 on TNT. There is a flight of A-10 Warthogs doing the flyover. The graphic states they are from Davis Monthan AFB in New Mexico. The wife starts to laugh. When she was in college in Tucson, Arizona they were in the landing pattern for Davis Monthan. Close TNT but not quite right.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Little Storm

The wife and Thing2 were at a wedding shower at Church. Thing1 was sitting there watching the CFL and I was just doing nothing. Had a little thunder and then some big drops. The wife and Thing2 walk in and the hail starts. And lots of rain. The hail was only pea sized but it stuck for a while.

The rain came down really fast. Water was flowing down our street to the main street and overflowing the storm drain. Cars drove through - some slow

And some not so slow.

The wave must be 8 to 10 feet tall. Somewhere under there is a car.

And it wasn't supposed to rain today...

Waiting in line isn't so bad after being punched in the face

Dane Cook live on DVD talking about the DMV.

The DVD is a little raw but really funny.

An evening at the Fair

The wife decided a few weeks back that we should go to the fair. Ok - I've never been to a county fair and I was still on vacation so off we went.

There was the usual chickens and roosters, pigs and cows, horses and elephants.

Yes - elephants. A African and a Indian. Very well mannered and trained.

Couldn't talk Thing2 into a ride after this.

There was a real reason we were here. His name was Trace Adkins. Both the wife and her sister are huge fans so the wife bought tickets (8th row) for all of us. My sister-in-law drove up from Hammond with her husband just for the show. Nice thing about the field we were in - it was mud. We've gotten a lot of rain the past few days so the fair organizers had put mulch down to that were aisles to walk in. Didn't help the seating that much.

Trace puts on a pretty good show. Mixes it up quite a bit tossing in some blues and classic rock tunes (imagine songs from Foreigner). The crowd got real quiet during Arlington. Very powerful song. He followed that up with a new song that is just as patriotic.

Everyone (even Thing1 and 2) seemed to like it. This was part of a bargain for Thing2 - she and the wife are going to see Jesse McCartney next weekend at the DuPage County Fair. Me and Thing1? We'll be eating pizza.

Wisdom Teeth

Thing1 had the two on his left side removed yesterday. He has learned the value of Vicodin. He's being a pretty good patient. So far...

Carnival of Cordite #66

At Mr. Completely

Thursday, July 20, 2006


One of the nice things about traveling by car (outside of seeing things off the beaten path that others just fly over) is catching up on my reading. Nothing work related at all. Started off with Warlord by Ilario Pantano. Excellent story. I didn't really follow the story when it broke but the writing was well done and gripping. Read this book.

The second book was We Were Soldiers. And Young Once. by Lt. General Hal Moore and Joe Galloway. While I thought the movie was excellent the book, admittily slow at times, continued the story after the movie ends. The batallion that relieved the 1st of the 7th had their own problems on to the way to their extraction. Interestingly enough the Big and Rich song "8th of November" which is about a battle the 173rd Airborne endurred happened just before the battles described in We Were Soldiers. Three battles with heavy losses in the first 3 weeks of November 1965.

Next up was The Devils Banker by Christopher Reich. The story started out like a good thriller but the ending just blew.

Finally I read Day of Reckoning by John Katzenbach. Another good story ruined by firearm related errors. If you ignore those it's a decent read.

The last 3 were from the paperback exchange at our local library. Free is good!

Vacation - Day 12 - July 18th - Home

Took off and headed home. Tried to time around the Hammond traffic snarl but it didn't work out. However traffic moved nicely and we were home by 6:15pm.

After 2100 miles the only traffic accident occurred was 15 minutes from home.

We were on the exit ramp from 290 to Thorndale Avenue. Two lanes turning left. We were in the left lane second from the light. Turns green and after a few seconds we start to move. The car in the right lane and first at the light gets hit by someone running the light. This was 3 or 4 seconds after we got the green.

Made it home, ordered some pizza, and collapsed.

No place like home.

Vacation - Day 11 - July 17th - Youngstown, Ohio

Took off from NYC about 9:30am. Pain getting out of the hotel as the elevator was jammed every time we needed it. The parking garage got the van pretty quickly. Once we were loaded we were out of the city in ~10 minutes. Cruised through New Jersey and Pennyslvania. Stopped in Youngstown for dinner at the Waffle House and found some cheap (for today) gas.

According to some locals this area always has the cheapest gas in the country.

Stopped at a Country Inn for the night. Nice place. The wife had something interesting happen.

First some background. The wife attended high school and college in Arizona. One of the people she knew from there lives in East Stroudsburg, PA which wasn't far from the resort we were staying in. She tried calling the number listed for his parents and got his mom. He wasn't home (on vacation with his family) so she left a message. Well at the hotel in Youngstown she saw someone she thought she recognized. Turns out if was her friend and his family. However the friends wife wouldn't let them talk. Bummer for both of them.

Vacation - Day 10 - July 16th - Times Square

We decided to go out and wander Times Square again. Never know what you'll see. It was a bit quieter than Saturday but still interesting. We came across a painter who had his work for sale.

Pretty impressive considering all he used was spray paint, newspaper, cardboard, and a putty knife. Thing1 bought his first piece of artwork!

I'm a big fan of AMD procs. Both at home and at work. This billboard updated every minute.

We walked around for a bit and called it a night. Our feet were tired. Time to call it a night.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Vacation - Day 10 - July 16th - 5th Avenue

The wife and Thing1 like to take a trip to Michigan Avenue in Chicago every Christmas. Wander the stores we'll never be able to afford. Since we were close to 5th Avenue and its shopping off we went.

Lots of expensive stores. We didn't go into most of them as the people inside, well, kinda looked down their noses at us. On the other hand we did go into Tiffianys and looked at rings that had prices tags on them over $650,000.00. The sales people were quite polite. Incredibly friendly as well.

Thing1 wanted to go into the Nintendo store. They had a musuem upstairs where we found this.

Solid stuff there.

At the upper end of 5th is Central Park. What a oasis. It was 95 in NYC and it seemed like 15 degrees cooler in the park. Beautiful place. Wandered around a bit and decided to head back towards Times Square.

I found a way to park in no parking zones too. Just need the right plates.

Thing2 had found a Build-A-Bear coupon in the local paper. We wander down to the store and she finds the perfect bear.

Since hunger pains were making people cranky we looked for food. The wife and I wanted something local but the kids wanted something generic. Picked a TGI Fridays and went in. After one look at the menu we decided that it was appetizers. A burger that is $7.95 at the Fridays in Hoffman Estates was $18.95. A bottle of Miller Lite was $6.80. What a rip. I'll never eat there again.

Time for a bit of a rest and more wandering Times Square.

Vacation - Day 9 - July 15th - Hotel NYC

Now we had to find our car and head uptown. Did I mention that traffic in Manhattan sucks? Road work at 5:00pm on a Saturday closing 2 lanes for 30 yards? This place has to be a complete disaster on week days. Found the hotel and parked. Three days of parking here will be almost $100.00. Ended up having to use a porter from the hotel. What a rip. Checked in - twice as much as I'm used to paying for a room. I'm sure there are cheaper places but not where we wanted to be. It was entertaining playing dodge-em with taxis ... and surviving!

Had dinner at Ray's Pizza. Very good pie. Good sauce and plenty of garlic. Then we walked around Times Square.

Big and Rich have it right - freak parade. What a strange and wonderful place.

All kinds of people

I must have heard 15 different languages. Lots of NYPD around as well. They have a small station right in the square.

There is also a military recruiting station in the square.

If you're ever in NYC wander Times Square at night. Just dont wander to far off the square.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Vacation - Day 9 - July 15th - WTC

After the trip to the islands we headed over to the WTC site. Hard to believe it was almost five years ago. There were thousands of people around the site and touring the church that acted as a refuge for the workers. It was a very moving experience.

Do you remember the cross that was found in the wreckage? It's still there.

We walked around the site. It was like reliving the day. People were talking about what they were doing on September 11, 2001. We visited Trinity Church. It still has a lot of the memorials that were left when Broadway was reopened after 9/11.

The kids were starting to get a bit hungry. Time to find the car and the hotel. Somewhere near Times Square.

Vacation - Day 9 - July 15th

Heading off for New York City! Only the wife has been there and that was many years ago. We have reservations for a cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. My ancestors came through there a long time ago.

The wife, thinking ahead as usual, made reservations on the first cruise out to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Like an airport you have to arrive 2 hours early to get through security. No knives (how naked can one get. I have four of them with me...) or nail clippers allowed. That means leaving the resort before the crack of dawn. At least traffic should be light getting to Manhattan.

And it was. It was nice that my iPass worked in the toll booth of the Holland Tunnel. I had stopped to give the attendant the fee ($6.00) and she said I had ExpressPass. Cool! Lower Manhattan streets are the pits. Torn up, one lane, cars, and garbage trucks everywhere. Took awhile to find a parking spot near the ferry to Liberty Island. Expensive too.

Picked up our tickets and got in line for the security check. Two USCG patrol boats cruised by. M60's mounted fore and aft.

This line only took 45 minutes. No knives allowed. Such nakedness. :-( I had my CRKT KISS folder in use as a money clip. Took off the blade in PA but the screeners still wigged out. Didn't say anything about the Surefire in my camera bag.

If you have never been to the Statue of Liberty - please go. Between it and Ellis Island- they are incredible experiences. Plan on spending the day ... just waiting in lines. Just kidding. If you want to tour the statue there is a different pass that you have toacquire. Do so ahead of time. Plan on another line for the screening procedure. Another metal detector and a sniffer for explosive residue... 45 minute line. Interesting to find out that there is a NYPD SWAT team there at all times. One can see them wandering around the island.

This is the family on the observation deck of the Statue.

Ellis Island - the history is amazing. My family started in this country through these halls.

Back to Battery Park and the WTC site

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Vacation - Day 8 - July 14th

Our last day at the resort. More kicking back and relaxing! I took the kids bowling while the wife checked her email. She only had 250 messages of which 215 were spam. Need to switch her to Thunderbird after vacation. Had some ice-cream for lunch and went swimming.

All I had was a brownie sundae with some whipped cream. Got a lot of whipped cream!

And then it was time to pack. Most of it was done in 15 minutes. Just a few things to take out in the morning and then we are off.

Vacation - Day 7 - July 13th

Woke up to rain. Heavy rain. At 1:30am. Closed the windows and went back to sleep. When we got up the rain was over so Thing1 and I headed to the driving range while the girls went to a free movie. The buckets were on the small side so I'm glad they were 2 for 1. Borrowed some old clubs and had some fun. Headed off for some bowling. Didn't do too bad with a 153. Then some pool. We both managed to scratch a few times while attempting to sink the eight ball. Oh well. Happy hour and a half is coming soon!

Margarita's. Yummmm. Half price made them taste even better. The kids went off bowling and Thing2 beat Thing1. Thing1 hates losing ... to Thing2.

After swimming we noticed that some folks were using laptops in the pit bar. Hmmm - wireless? Asked at the desk at it was free! Probably a good thing we didn't know as Thing1 would have been hanging out there. After swimming Thing1 and I grabbed our laptops and checked mail. I only had ~3000 messages in my inbox at work. After a few minutes about 60 of them were actually useful.

Vacation - Day 6 - July 12th

A rainy day. Seems like most of the eastern getting rain. We're going to the movies and see Pirates of the Caribean 2.

Twas an excellent movie. The wife thought it was a bit gross in places (Davy Jones has morphed a bit) but the story cruised on. The ending is a good setup for the third movie. Came back and went bowling and swimming. Managed to have a contact pop out so my swimming was cut short. Luckily the wife had her contact case so I took them both out and put then in her case. Twas blurry on the way back to the room. Without tequila...

Watching the local news and we're seeing that some of the things we wanted to do are still having water problems from a few weeks ago. Time to rearrange the plans. Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.

Vacation - Day 5 - July 11th

After breakfast Thing1 and I decided to hit the driving range. We had a 2 for 1 coupon so we figured it would be fun. Took a ride over to the range and they had no balls. At 10:00am no one had been out to clean up the range from the previous day. Went and played pool instead.

We're not huge NASCAR fans but since our resort is pretty close to Pocono International Raceway and they offered a free tour so we decided to go. This was our ride.

It was lots of fun. We couldn't walk on the race track as there was a Indy car class going on but we were able to walk in the pits and see the track from the racers level. Our guide was knowledgeable and seemed to really love NASCAR.

The family in Victory Circle.

The track offers a ride along program - $110.00 for 3 laps at race speed. Unfortunately it's not available this week (Indy Car class) as both the wife and I wanted to go. Top speed is 175mph and the driver gets a few inches from the wall. That would be so much fun.

This is about 1/3 of the stands. They hold ~90,000 people. Toss in all the RVers in the infield and the 2 lane road that leads into PIR can get real jammed.

Vacation - Day 4 - July 10th

Road trip! Well - not a long trip. We headed off to the town of Jim Thorpe. It's only about 30 minutes south of the resort. Well - we would have except for the road work. For some reason the state was repairing both directions of the only road going through Jim Thorpe at the same time. This was causing long backups in both directions. I missed the turn for the parking log the first time through and we had to go wait in the road work a second time. The wife was not happy with me...

At the same time the state was doing their work another contractor was ripping up the main street in Jim Thorpe. Nothing but noise. We wandered around for a bit. Found some interesting stores and lots of friendly people. I love small town America! The town has a civil war memorial that seemed out of place. Interesting but out of place.

There was also a clock tower. It played several songs - mostly religous themed.

Somehow I don't think we'll hear that in NYC next week.

Vacation - Day 3 - July 9th

We spent the first day just relaxing and doing a bit of exploring Split Rock Resort. It's a all inclusive resort - swimming, golf, boating, bowling, a movie theatre, and more. One really would not have to leave unless they wanted to. We did some swimming and just unwound. This is what I needed.

Vacation - Day 2 - July 8th

Since we didn't have far to go to our destination we decided to detour and go to Punxantawney (you know - where the groundhog hangs out). The wife's grandmother used to live here. We had last visited here when Thing1 was 8 months old - almost 20 years ago. The town had changed alot. The groundhogs had invaded.

Rural PA is alot like other rural parts of the country that we've visited. God, family, and country are in the minds of the people who live here. Judging from the various bumper stickers and t-shirts that were on the locals I'd have to guess that they lean to the political right. They even had the Pledge of Allegiance posted on a store window.

Over by the groundhog musuem there is a interesting memorial. Dedicated to those who served in World War II.

We wandered around a bit and headed farther south to Smicksburg. Heart of Amish country. Gotta watch out for the buggies on the back roads.

Speaking of back roads - one of the more interesting things about the roads in Pennylsvania is the lack of signs. A road will appear and there is no sign telling you what that road might be. There is a general lack of speed limit signs as well. On the plus side the back roads are filled with curves and hills. If you have a car that handles well or a cycle you can have a lot of fun! Unless you're searching for a vineyard to pick up some wine as a gift for someone and have to get way off the beaten path and cruise up a few miles of gravel road... That isn't fun.

After Smicksburg we headed off to the resort.Three hours later we rolled in and checked in. We ended up with 2 one bedroom ajoining units rather than a single 2 bedroom unit. The kids got the smaller of the two units. Very nice.

The wife and I went and got some groceries and came back and we relaxed.