Monday, December 15, 2008

Boxee

For those of you on the bleeding edge and love what's going on in the tech world these days, check this out: It's called Boxee and its a very cool application for your computer and/or Apple TV) which allows you to play media from various sources..including streaming web video from various sites... all through one interface! And like most of my posts about software, this is absolutely FREE!

Now granted this is still in closed alpha release and you can only use this if you get in invite (if you want to try this out, leave a comment and I'll hook you up). But this thing is FREAKIN' COOL! The best part of this is the off the Internet Video portal. It pulls in sites such as Hulu.com, CBS.com, MySpace TV, and many others that have full TV episodes (both new and retro) as well as a limited selection of full movies! There are a few minor downsides: 1. The video quality is nothing near DVD or HD quality (I would say its what you were used to on an old analog picture tube TV or what you would see on the web) and 2. There are a few short commercials you have to sit through but for the price, this is simply great.

Even though this idea/technology/way of thinging is in it's infancy, this will be the future of TV/media distribution in the years to come.

* Check back for a post I'll have after I play around with Boxee on my hacked Apple TV!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My "Move" to Windows Vista!: part deux

OK, it's not really a 'move' but If any of you have been reading my blog for some time, you may remember when I
upgraded my Dell Optiplex GX260 from Windows XP to Vista (if not, check that post out here). Well, I quietly reverted back to Windows XP about 3 months later (check out that post here), mainly because of a combination of small hardware and software incompatibilities.

(Fast forward to now where I am comfortably using a Macbook Pro (MBP) which is very fast and has some up-to-date hardware.) Even though I am using my system with virtually no concern of vicious spyware, adware, malware, viruses, trojans and worms, I still have the curiosity (and desire) to learn about the Vista operating system. Thus, after I recently updated my VMware Fusion on my Mac to the latest 2.0.x version, I had the prime opportunity to replace my Windows XP virtual machine (VM) and start fresh with a brand new, clean install of Windows Vista Home Premium, 64bit edition.

Well, I ran into an issue from the start. Evidently most (if not all) Vista x64 DVD media discs have some EFI booting logic burned into the disc which is not recognized by my MBP. Why did I choose the 64 bit (x64) version of Vista? Well, from what I've read and heard, x64 offers a bit more security and is where the Windows OS is eventually heading across the board. Back to to my EFI issue: I scoured the net and found instructions posted by cpcarrot here on how to get by this problem. Basically the instructions had me create a new Vista x64 boot DVD, stripping out the EFI information... So after a few hours of figuring that out, burning a DVD and testing it out, I was on my way to loading Vista on my Macs' Bootcamp partition!

Going through the Bootcamp setup and installation was fairly straightforward. I did however run into another snag when it came to installing Windows drivers within Vista for my MBP hardware. The supplied Bootcamp installer failed/errored/hung up in a few places, so I had to search (yet again) for what was going on and how to fix. After finding this post, I was able to download some 'hacked' drivers and get my system loaded with all devices recognized by Vista.

The last issue/hangup I ran into was enabling the use of dual monitors when I booted into the Vista/bootcamp partition. Essentially, I was not able to use my external monitor port on my laptop. It wasn't even being recognized. <Ahem>Knowing a thing or two about Windows</Ahem>, I immediately focused on the driver set I had. I knew those 'hacked' drivers would not be supported by Apple but after much internet searching (with no solutions) I gave a shot and called apple support. BOY, WAS THAT A MISTAKE! I basically got the run-around like no tomorrow on the issue I posed to them. I even got escalated to a 'senior tech' whom suprisingly told me they don't support Windows drivers. By the end of the call I was fuming. They don't support drivers for Windows on their hardware?  Why would one need to install the bootcamp application then? THE REASON YOU INSTALL BOOTCAMP IS TO GET WINDOWS TO INSTALL COMPATIBLE DRIVERS FOR APPLE HARDWARE! Sorry. It still gets me mad to this day. Eventually I found this set of unsupported drivers, which when installed, allowed my to use my external LCD as a separate additional monitor. I was in business!

Aside from these few hangups, the system has been running great both in VMware Fusion and via the Bootcamp partition for well over a month now. As a matter of fact, I've just installed Steam and am downloading Counter Strike Source, Day of Defeat and Battlefield 1942 for an upcoming LAN party in January!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

RawkHosting move

I am almost out of the clear. This past weekend I had a server move/upgrade for many, many websites I current host and manage. After a few security breeches on a few of the sites, I requested to be moved to a server with the most updated MySQL, PHP and many other back end web services. Not only should this be more secure but it should also provide more reliable and faster web page rendering.

Although I had a few hang-ups, mainly e-mail related, most of the web sites I oversee are up and operational, including this one you're currently on! I may have to tweak a few things here and there during the week but overall my MySQL database moves went smooth (I was most worried about those).

Oh and I was pretty happy with the support from my server provider. The few times I ran into question, I was just a call away from getting some help.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Facebook

So you have more than likely heard of it. And you'll probably be surprised who is using it.

Unlike MySpace, Facebook is a social networking site that I really like. I use MySpace (although not as much until recently) but I use it for a much different purpose. I use MySpace is for music-oriented gatherings; checking out bands and music. I use Facebook in my day-to-day life which gathers many friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. If you don't know what Facebook is, let me attempt to describe it for you:

Facebook is a FREE website in which you create a online profile of yourself. This profile includes information about yourself such as your name and where you live; you can be as specific or generic as you want. Most people include their hometown, high school graduating class, college, place of employment and birthdate; the common stuff. OR you can leave things like this out and just have your name. While on Facebook, you add "friends", who can anybody from old high school buddies to current/former co-workers to complete strangers if you want (I don't encourage that though). Once you are 'friends' with people you have a "Wall" which shows what other Facebooks 'friends' are doing, writing, etc. Every person on Facebook, can post things such as what they are up to, post video links, post photos and much, much, MUCH more.

Whats even more cool, is that Facebook ties in with other things in my life, such as being integrated into my iPhone, captures and posts via my Twitter entries, etc. This is a great place to have somewhat of a blog without needing to have the technology, resources and know-how behind you... Just signup and go! (Shhhh: Don't tell anyone but I can tell you I've slowed down a bit with my blog posts here because of Facebook.)

If you're not currrently on Facebook, you may be worried about your online identity, right?, Well, here's an excellent resource that has recommended Privacy Settings to keep your Facebook identity safe and visible only to those people you want: http://www.sophos.com/security/best-practice/facebook-profile.html

Overall, Facebook is pretty cool and is a great place I check throughout the day; just as much as e-mail. It's a nice way to see what your friends and family are up to without sending an e-mail, calling etc. If you have any interest in this type of stuff, I highly encourage you to sign up and add me as your friend! Be careful though, some people get caught up in all the groups, games and non-stop tom-foolery that is out there as well!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Podcast Pick(s): TwIT network

It's been awhile since I've last recommended a podcast, so I wanted to share a BIG one that I listen to. Well, its not just one that I listen to but rather a handful of them. The network is called TwIT (www.TwIT.tv) and it hosts many (like 12 or so) different podcasts. The main person behind the TwIT network is Leo Laporte. Leo is the general host but, depending on the podcast, has a guest (or guests) that are subject matter experts that contribute in a professional and entertaining way. The shows cover various topics... everything from gadgets to security and food to law. However, the underlying topic in most of these podcasts is tech.

The 'casts that I subscribe to and listen on a weekly basis are: This week In Tech (a podcast that covers tech news in general), The Tech Guy (a podcast version of a weekend radio show based out of California), Munchcast ( a food-based podcast that covers a different food topic every week), Windows Weekly ( a podcast that covers Microsoft and Windows operating system topics), and MacBreak Weekly ( which covers Apple and Mac OS topics).

I know thats alot isn't it? Well, I usually get a chance to listen to these every single week; typically I listen to a few a day at work on my iPhone or on my commute back and forth to the office. If you have any interest in the latest news, topics regarding tech, TwIT.tv is definetly a must have in your podcast player!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

IRS Episode 001

Welcome to my 1st podcast on the SiaNet Radio network. Sianet Radio is an independent, online radio show/stream/podcast put on by my old friend, Chris. We've shared the stage many, many times back when I was in an all original rock outfit here in the cities. Chris still plays and is very much active in the local music scene and has put together a nice following of his show. So a few weeks I called him and pitched him an idea I had for a show - The Independent Rawk Show. I'll be referring to it as IRS (cuz it sounds cooler) and I hope to put one out about once a week or so. I'm sure the show will evolve from it's current form as I'd like to incorporate more talk in some form. For this first show, I've featured some cool bands I know, have met, played with or seen. Here's the list in order of appearance:

Dropnickel, Redoverlunar, Casanatra, Kwang, Pretty Far Gone, Condo

I don't talk a heck of alot, but I at least make my vocal debut. I guess that year working at the Winona State University radio station, KQAL finally paid off! This innagural show is a short 20 minute one which can be listened to here or subscribed to via iTunes hereHope you enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Old Music: Chevelle - Point #1

Here's another classic disc I've been listening to again: Chevelle - Point #1. This somewhat unknown album is the 1st by the this Chicago trio. This album goes back to 1999 but heck, I didn't even know about it until I actually heard one of their breakout songs from their sophomore album, Wonder Whats Next in 2002. The reason this disc is so good is because it has a mix of modern rock with some of the old grunge. Some of the songs sound very much like Tool, but with more of a straight forward rock sound than them. Tracks such as Open, Point #1 and Mia are simply must-listen-toos, especially if you're into hard rock.

If you haven't heard this disc, here's your chance. I'll leave this link up for a week or so. Shhhhh.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"The car key." - A short story.

Here's a little short story with a not-so-good ending:

Last weekend, I saw my car keys in the garage on the floor near the door where our boys take off their shoes before coming in the house. I passed them several times throughout the day, as I was going in out of the house doing various things. I didn't really think much of them because I hadn't planned on going anywhere. Finally, Sunday afternoon as I was picking up (man, I'm such a good husband aren't I?), I finally lifted those keys off the floor only to discover the key to our new GMC Acadia was snapped in half!

Well, seeing the car was pretty new, I didn't want to just run to the hardware store and get some generic key made. I wanted to 'keep up appearances' by geting a factory GMC key. So during a lunch break during the work-week, I went to the local GMC dealer just down the road and showed them my dilemma. I was shocked to hear that the only way I could get a replacement key was through them or another GMC certified dealer ! They said the key had some ant-theft chip built into it so a normal hardware store made key would not have worked anyway. "OK.", I thought to myself before I took a bracing breath, calmly realizing I was at their mercy. I proceeded to asked, "So what's the cost of replacing it?". My heart sunk as the gentleman said, "$49.33 with tax". "Wow.", I thought to myself as I proceeded to open my wallet and hand over my credit card.

To this day, I don't know how that key was broken. I may never know.

The End.

Feel sorry for me? Leave a comment to help cheer me up. ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Drobo

Check this out, it's called a Drobo and it's now handling all my backup needs here at home! After nearly losing my main server/drive about 3-4 months back,  I've been keeping my eye out for a easier, simpler and better backup solution. Before, I had 2 tandem external USB drives; one was was for daily, primary use, the 2nd external USB drives was used to backup the first. Backups were done on an irregular basis via a script I put together utilizing Microsoft's Robocopy (a tool part of the Windows 2003 Server Tool kit). Sure, I could have taken it a step further and automated the Robocopy script to run on a daily schedule or something, but I've heard some cool things about the Drobo ( through some of my favorite podcasts Isuch as Tekzilla and Macbreak Weekly). So when I heard the price dropped on the 1st generation models, I scooped one up!

Data Robotics, Inc has put together a nice looking yet power piece of of technology. This is much more than a simple hard drive enclosure. The Drobo can take up to 4 independent hard drives and accumulates the storage capacity along with allocating proprietary space for data protection. The idea of this is you load this up with normal, everyday 3.5" SATA drives that you can get everywhere theses days (like Best Buy or Target) slide them in the drive bays and virtually forget about it the rest! If a drive gets full or a drive dies/fails, simply pull it out and replace it with one of equal or greater size and your good to go, you don't even have downtime when this happens!

It's a bit spendy but still reacheable for most households (It's about $350 bucks). If you want to learn more, just let me know. I definetly recommend this for anyone that wants to store their digital photos, music and/or movies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Carver Steamboat Days 5k results

OK so I am a bit behind on this one. This race was a few weeks ago and was before my inline marathon but  for the sake of you, my loyal readers, I had to post this one.

This was my 4th 5k race ever and wasn't feeling to great with the amount of energy (or lack thereof) I had during from the very start of this race. The weather was cold, on the verge of raining and no sun. The race took place at 8am at a local Park in Carver and started in the park on the trail system. The route was a bit weird; it started on the trail, weaved through a residential neighborhood then to a dead end which meant you simply went back the same way you came!

I think it was a combination of the 18 holes of golf I played the day before but like I said, the energy wasn't there. I managed through the race, pretty much on my own (no one nearby) except the end where someone came up on my fast (hell yeah, I sprinted the guy! To the finish line in fact!). Even though I wasn't feeling to greta about the race, it was a personal record for me! My time was 25 minutes 20 seconds, which beat my 1st race of the year in New Prague by a whopping 11 seconds. Check out the results here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Northshore Inline Marathon - 09/13/08

Wow, what a difference a year makes. This years' Northshore Inline Marathon was great! The weather was near perfect (for an early Fall morning race). Not too cold, no rain and especially no wind! My better half and I both had our doubts coming into the race (as we didn't train a whole heck of alot; maybe 3 times in the last 3 weeks or so), however, we kicked last years time by over 45 minutes! We both came in within seconds of each other: 1 hour and 55 minutes. See the results for this years race here.

I would like to say it was a smooth, easy ride but honestly it wasn't. Yeah, we were pushed a little bit cardio-wise but I would say the hardest part of the marathon is leg-work in combination of riding on the roads/highways and all the vibrations it causes on your wheels thus to your legs and body. You get spoiled training on the smooth, debris-free trails. In contrast, try riding you blades on 35W in downtown Duluth! Needless to say my leg muscles were tired and sore as well as my lower back by the end of the race.

This year we ran into our neighbor down the street during the race and ended up going most of the way with her before she proceeded on without us. I told my wife it was kinda nice; a little friendly competition kept us going! This year I also saw a few more spills and evidence thereof. Within the first few miles of the start, there was someone in the ditch covered with a space blanket along with a few race volunteers. Eeek. I also saw a few people with road rashes and bloody scrapes on their thighs, chins and hands throughout the race. I was just happy that hasn't happened to me yet. The worst spill of all was near the last stretch where we were within 200 meters of the finish line when we passed a 'bigger' fella who was having a hard time standing much less on blading. As I passed him I said, "Keep it going. Your almost there!". As I was about to cross the finish line, I looked back to see him take a spill nearly hitting my wife. Ouch! I felt bad for the guy.

After the finish and seeing our final time, we were both surprised and very happy. Needless to say we signed up for next years' race and are looking forward to possibly beating that personal record we now each hold. I guess we plan on good weather, that seems to be the key!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Twitter

Here's a cool app that I've been using for some time now. It's called Twitter and it a sort of Instant Messenger/micro-blog/text messaging tool. What's cool about this tool, is the ability to just post something you have on your mind, what your up to or a question. If you noticed on the top right-hand side of this site, I have my Twitter posts displayed. Whats also cool about this app is that I have it linked into Facebook! So every time I post something on/through Twitter, My blog gets updated as well as my Facebook status!

You can use this tool is several ways. You can use either the web based application (www.twitter.com), install a 3rd party application locally to your pc/mac/linux machine or have it tied in with your text messaging service on your mobile phone. Once your setup, you simply post something. Anything. Things that your doing, thinking of or simply something you want to share with others. The limitations are 140 characters or less, so make the post nice and sweet. You can see why is is used for short messages, just like a chat or micro-post. By logging into Twitter.com, you can search and add as many friends to follow as you want. So using the web based app or 3rd party app or mobile phone, you can get notified and read all the 'Tweets' that people you follow post. Obviously the more friends or people you follow, the busier things get. There are some people out there that I follow that have thousands of people they follow! Oh and all this is absolutely FREE.

If you want to follow me, add me by signing up for a free Twitter account and follow me. Here's my page on Twitter

Friday, September 5, 2008

Michelob Ultra - Lime Cactus

It's been awhile since a beer review...and that's probably because I haven't indulged as much this summer because of the training and races I've been part of... However, I've hear good things about the new Michelob Ultra beers, so I thought I would pick up some to try. I picked up a 6 pack of the Lime Cactus kind at my local liquor store and was impressed! Flavor was good, not too 'juicey' like a wine cooler or a Berry Weiss, it was a nice blend of beer, lime and cactus essence. If this one is any indication, the other flavors (Pomegranate Raspberry & Tuscan Orange Grapefruit) would be worth a try as well.

As in a previous post, I really dig the Miller Chill. I've had the Bud Light Lime a few times as well and like that too. I put this brew right up there in the mix. The good thing about this Cactus Lime is it has fewest calories calories (only 107 calories) of the other 2 and tastes just as good as well. On my next liquor store run, I'll probably get some of the other flavors (to try of course) but only when I have an excuse... This type of beer could ruin my reputation of being a man, I guess more 'manly' beer reviews and suggestions to come later!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

AC/DC - "Rock N Roll Train"

As you know from this post, I'm an AC/DC fan. I have to spread the word that I am absolutely LOVING the new song called "Rock N Roll Train" from their forthcoming album called Black Ice. Check out the vintage AC/DC sound in their newest track:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Concert Review: 3 Doors Down, Staind and Hinder

So I got the chance to see a couple of bands that I really like as well as 3 Doors Down. Don't get me wrong, I like 3 Doors Down (3DD) but find most of their tunes kinda the same thing; rock ballads. Once I heard of the show months ago, I immediately told my wife (as she loves 3DD) and we called and snatched up 6 tickets the day they went on sale.

The show actually started at 6:30pm on the nose with a opening band that I wasn't aware was on the bill (Jet Black Stare) and I didn't get to actually see them. I was busy meeting up with old friends as well as getting a cup of the summer nectar/drink called Summer Shandy. We all made it back to our seats on the main floor (about 30 rows back) in time for Hinder. Now I've seen these guys once back in August of 2007 and have listened to many Hinder interviews on Joe's Podhole so I knew what to expect. Not only did Hinder give a great show, they pulled out a new tune that will be on their forthcoming album, Take It To The Limit, coming out later this fall.

After those guys were done, Staind came out. They started out strong but as I expected, they went for the radio hits and mellow tunes that more or less broke the band into mainstream music. I was a little let-down as I remember seeing these guys way back when at those 93X-fest concerts where every tune ripped and they played with intensity. The final encore tune they played was their hit, Mudshovel which really disappointed me. Even though I love Aaron Lewis as a singer, he put no effort into this final rawk performance; he was casually walking the stage, flipping picks into the crowd as he should have been showing some passion into the song to really end the set with a bang.

Finally was 3DD. As far as stage show, these guys definitely put on the best out of them all. Well, when your the headliner and have the whole stage to yourself that what happens. They performed all the hits you would hear on the radio in sync with video on dual jumbo-trons, pyrotechnics as well as a LCD backdrop for the band. The sound for these guys was spot on; they sound just as good live as they do on the records. Crowds both young and old were there to enjoy their near 1.5 hour set. I like how these guys gave tribute to our military on a few songs by showing some video while they were performing songs. My only wish was for these guys to really rip with their heavier tunes; overall just too many rock ballads for me.

The final question: Would I see any of these bands again? Hinder- Yes, Staind - hmm...Probably, 3 Doors Down - Maybe (if the price was right).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Apple TV

OK, I am not quite an Apple fanboy, but I must admit, I am extremely pleased with my Macbook Pro and 1st Gen iPhone purchase last year. So with my Best Buy Reward Zone cash (I got by buying my Macbook Pro from Best Buy last December), I contemplated between getting a new Xbox 360 game or the Apple TV. Well, It didn't take too much thinking (with the thought of me watching alot of downloaded video and podcasts on my Macbook) for me to opt for that Apple TV!

I've had this for about 4 months now and simply sits next to my 42" LCD. Its very slim, (about the size of 2-DVD cases stacked on each other tall) and very quiet (unlike the fan-blowing Xbox 360 that I have). And aside from its sleek look, one of the coolest feature this baby has is the ability to download DVD and HD quality movies for rent/purchase directly from the Apple iTunes store! You can rent movies at $2.99 and HD quality at $3.99. So far I've downloaded a few old school movies (such as Groundhog Day and War Games) for 99 cents which was very conveinien. I could pause, fast forward, rewind and all that stuff. Other cool features are the ability to browse/play podcasts on-the-fly as well as browse and stream YouTube.com videos. All this happens over a wired or wireless network connection!

Overall, the Apple TV essentially syncs with your iTunes application running on your Mac or PC. You can access and play music, music videos, movies, tv shows, podcasts, audiobooks as well as look at photos. So far its been a good little investment. There are some downsides such as hard drive space, lack of file formats you can play, but overall I give this 2 thumbs up. I have already been ripping a bunch of my DVD's and syncing them up with the AppleTV... another excuse reason to plop in front of the LCD TV!

Check out more info on the Apple TV here!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Movie Review: The Dark Knight



Title: The Dark Knight

Plot: According to IMDB.com - "Batman and James Gordon join forces with Gotham's new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, whilst other forces plot against them, and Joker's crimes grow more and more deadly."

My Review: First off I have to admit, I am a huge superhero fan in general (and I've got the comics from back in the day to prove it) so I tend to like most of the superhero movies that have come out thus far. I own most of the old school Batman movies on DVD as well as the prequel to this one, so I knew going in, that I would more than likely be happy with this movie.

The verdict: This movie is darn good. I agree with some of the critics and reviews out there that it was a wee-bit too long but thought the storyline, action sequences on top of some great acting (mainly by Heath Ledger as The Joker) made this a must-see movie, especially in the theater. Initially I wasn't sure but after thinking about it overnight, I would put this a notch above the original Batman Begins. Characters such as The Joker, Gordon and Harvey Dent make this movie what it is. Sure Batman is what the movie is named after, but these characters make the storyline what it is.

Oh, and I did catch this movie at a local IMAX theater. I've seen Superman Returns there in 3D, so I know what a difference it can make for a big-time movie such as this one. The IMAX experience made the action sequences absolutely phenomenal.



Monday, August 11, 2008

Green Lake Triathlon results

I am now officially a triathlete. I finished my 1st ever mini/sprint triathlon yesterday in Spicer, MN. My wife, I and 3 other neighbors took part of this years'  Green Lake Tri. One of neighbors (whom has a summer home out near Spicer) told us about this race many months ago and said she wanted to do it. Asking some of that were around at some point, several of us volunteered. We trained for about 3-4 months doing various aspects of the race: swimming, biking and running.

The day of the race was chilly. It was a balmy 51 degrees when we took the short 4 miles drive to Spicer from the cabin which we stayed 2 nights beforehand. We got out 'station' setup with things we would need - towel (for drying off), shoes and socks (after the swim),  bike and helmet (for the biking portion) as well as water, sunglasses, etc. The first wave of the race took place at 8am sharp.

I was the 1st to go out of our group which was heat/wave 3. I was put in with the 34 yr old men and younger group so I was mixed in with all the young ones; guys ranging from my age down to 15 years old. We started out with the 1/4 miles swim. The swim was bad, except for all the people! I could have kept up with a front crawl stroke, but as we neared the first turn, the constant bumping and lack of space kept me from keeping a crawl going; I resulted in doing other strokes to keep some distance between me and the other competitors.

I was tired after the swim but I completed it in 9 minutes or so. I then had to run from the beach back to my transition station to get into my clothes for the biking portion of the race. I dried off my feet, put on my socks, shoes, shirt, sunglasses and helmet and ran out of the transition area to the road. I was breathing pretty good and realized by bike was not up to the competition as far as weight and streamline-ability. I was passed up by many people throughout this portion. I think I only passed one other guy...who was also on a 'off road/mountain bike'. The bike was 12 miles around Green Lake and I finished that in about 43 minutes.

The end of the biking portion landed you back into the transition area where you would park your bike and then do whatever to get ready for the last leg of the race which was the run. I dumped my bike and helmet, stretched my legs a bit (which in hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have done as it ate up precious time) and headed out the for grueling part. The run was 3 miles total; 1.5 miles out and then back. The run was almost all hills which made me feel like I wasn't running at all but rather walking with a running form. On this portion as I was heading back towards the finish line, I saw the other folks in our group. I ended up finishing the run portion in about 28 minutes...3 minutes slower than my previous 5k races this year.

Overall the race was as expected. I wasn't shocked by anything. I am fairly pleased with my time. IF I do this next year, I may want to reconsider what I ride for the biking portion...oh, and get better at running of course ;)

View the results of the Green Lake Tri here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New ride: GMC Acadia

We picked up our new family vehicle a few nights ago. We went with a GMC Acadia. It took us almost 2 weeks to track one down but we managed to get one through a broker, called CU Auto Advocate. (We've used this palce to purchase 3 cars so far.)

The Acadia is referred to as a "crossover SUV" (whatever that means) and it is not as large as a Suburban or Expedition) but does have a 3rd row seating. The one we ended up getting was a Black exterior, charcoal leather interior that is fully loaded; not by choice, but it was the only one we could  find get. We tried to make a move on several other Acadia(s) that were more stripped down but every time we went to "lock" into them for purchase, the vehicle was already taken or spoken for in some way or another.

Besides 3rd row seating, our Acadia has navigation, DVD, tow package, 19" wheels, remote start and power everything (power rearview windows, rear hatch, sunroof, you-name-it). This vehicle is by far the most elaborate and sophisticated one we have ever owned. I would say this is probably a bit too much for what we would need but the extras are kind of nice, I am definetly not complaining. Oh and the gas milage isn't too bad - it's rated to get 16 in the city and 22 on the highway.

This will definetly be nice for our drive to Priest Lake, Idaho for a family reunion at the end of the month.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New bike: '08 Giant Rincon

This past Father's Day I was granted with a 'virtual voucher' for a new bike from my wife and kids for a present! I had been wanting a replacement for the "hand-me-down" bike that I inherited from my wife several years ago (after I bought her a new bike for Mother's Day). She had a 1994 Schwinn Moab SS that she got in college about 10 years ago that was simply old and not working well. I had taken it out a few times already this year and was about to embark on some serious training for an upcoming triathlon in August and simply did not want to mess around with it anymore. (Last year I had decided to get it tuned up, upgraded with an odometer, etc... thinking I could use it for a few more years but after doing that then this year realizing I was having the same issue shifting, etc as last year, I didn't want to sink anymore money into it.)

So on Father's Day, I hit a few stores such as REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, and the Sports Authority only to realize the bikes were either too cheap (3rd tier brand) or too expensive. I was looking for a name brand bike with  good hardware on it. After eliminating one of the items that was making my search hard ( a locking front suspension fork), I opted to go with a bike from my local bike shop, Get Your Gear.

This is about the 5th bike we've bought from this place and we know they take good care of us. The guys that work there are nice, knowledgeable and always helpful. After looking at what they had and taking their recommendation that fit my budget, I went for a test ride on a 2008 Rincon by Giant. I liked it. The look and the feel of this one was what I was looking for and it was much better than what I had. Once I discovered the price was going to be knocked down because the bike had been returned, I simply couldn't pass it up!

So far, I've put about 50 miles on it and besides a few adjustments (which Get Your Gear gladly did free of charge), the bike is riding good! Click here for a nice pic of my new ride.

ps: Along with the new bike, my wife and I decided to invest in a hitch mounted bike rack so we could easily take the bikes with us when we wanted to. We went with a rack from Thule. Nice.

07/11/08 - Had to bring it in for a loose left crank. It has loosened up on me 2 times already. Sounds like they will be replacing the crankshaft guts; should have it by tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mosquitos!

So this year, in the great state of Minnesota, the mosquitos hatched and began attacking in our area/yard a about 3-4 weeks back. I had been procrastinating setting up the 'holy grail' of mosquito control, the Mosquito Magnet (I had it in the garage storage and knew I had to get some replacement parts as well as propane). Well it didn't take me long after those 'squitios hatching that I made a run to the local home improvement store and my nearest propane exchange location!

I got a few propane tanks exchanged and got some new Mosquito Magnet attractant packs. Along with clearing the propane line per the suggested maintenance tasks, I cleaned out the filter. I set this bad-boy up in the backyard (same place as last year) about 15 feet away from our deck. After about a week I figured I would check out the net/catch cap. HERE IS WHAT I FOUND:
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Yep, about a few thousand of 'em! I was so amazed (and disgusted) I just had to blog about it. Needless to say the mosquito problem is nearly noticeable. All I need to do now is check things out, make sure the tank is full and keep emptying the net! If you're unfamiliar with the Mosquito Magnet, click here to see how it works!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

2008 Gridiron Gallop 5k Results

My 3rd race this summer and this one about the same as the last one. I did better time but it was tough. This time it wasn't hills, it was the weather. The race started at 9am and it was a warm one! This race put together by Chad Greenway of the Minnesota Vikings, was a fundraiser to help raise money for the Vikings Children Fund. Out whole family participated - the kids ran in the kids fun run and the wife and I ran the 5k.

This was a pretty cool event because it gave the kids a chance to gaze and awe at some of the MN Vikings players. Needless to say they got many autographs and pictures.

As far as the race, like I said before it was warm and humid! I trailed behind my wife for all of the race...my plan to catch up to her at the end failed and finished 11 seconds behind her. My official time was 25 minutes 46 seconds. You can check out the results here.

Well, this is the last one for awhile, my legs need to recoupe. I think I may get a few things checked out to help identify the cause of some pain and soreness but my plan is to enter in a mini/sprint distance triathlon in August with some neighbors of mine. I'll have the rest of June and all of July to train. Wish me luck!

Here is a little article on this years event.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fat Tire

Attention! I have a beer you need to go get. Its probably my all time favorite brew called Fat Tire Amber Ale produced by the New Belgium Brewing Company based out of Fort Collins, CO. I've been a fan of this beer since a college friend and I made the trip out to Fort Collins for spring break back in '95 (I think).

This beer has only been out since 1991 and has finally made it to the local liquor stores on a regular basis. If your a fan of beer, I definitely recommend you put this on the top of your list!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Deck Project 2005: Complete!

It's been 3 years, but I just got the deck inspected and approved this morning!

Last Sunday, I buckled down and got to finishing the trim pieces rather than going to the Grand Old Day parade with the family (yes I'm a bad father and husband). After breaking a few Dremel bits, I got into the groove; the final steps of attaching trim pieces to the deck wasn't as bad and painful as I first thought!

I hammered out about half the trim pieces before noon then took a nice beer break (because it was very hot of course). Once it cooled down and the sun wasn't out so much, I finished the rest before supper-time. The reason I was dreading this was because I had to use a Dremel tool and route/drill slotted holes through 2 layers of trim pieces. There's a reason for all this extra work but to make a long story short, my whole deck is made out of composite material (EON decking material) which expands and contracts depending on the temperature outside. I needed to calculate and plan for this throughout the whole build process; which included drilling/routing out slotted holes for nearly every screw I attached to the material.

Overall I am OK with the deck. I've definitely seen some nicer looking material since. And although I am not 100% satisfied with the material I chose (due to the gaps I had to leave due to the expansion/contraction thing as well as scratch-ability, staining and some fading), I am proud to have done with on my own with hard work from some family and friends along the way.

I am not sure what project I will take on by my own next; I was thinking of a tree house. Maybe something like this?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Humor: Best Buy Dance Off

This is simply too funny not to share. Check the dude out in this Best Buy security camera. Not sure if the guys actually works there or not.


Best Buy Dance Off - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hacked!

So I was enjoying my long Memorial Day weekend when I got a text message from a buddy of mine whom I host and manage a website for. He said in his text that his website was hacked! Within minutes I checked into it. Indeed the main page was changed; not only for his site but others as well (including this one!). I called my web site server company about this and they confirmed this. The good news is it was only the main index.htm pages that got 'hacked'.

As to how the person(s) got into the site; well it could have been many things - a keylogger on a clients' machine, a security flaw in an online application such was Wordpress or a simple password crack/guess using automated "robots" (scripts). First thing I did was changing my root passwords and immediately changed the FTP and e-mail passwords for my friend. Needless to say in the coming days I will be looking into this further. A good time to cleanup old Wordpress installs that were used for testing as well as other scripts no longer used.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chaska Veterans Memorial 5k results

My 2nd 5k EVER in 2 weeks. Not sure if it was overkill but it was something to shoot for. This one was in Chaska, MN and was a run/race to help raise money for a Veterans Memorial at a local park.

This run was quite different than the New Prague one - basically it was downhill for the first half and uphill the other half. Not as many people which made it a bit harder to keep up a competitive pace.

Overall I finished in 17th place with a time of 26 minutes 51 seconds (Results are posted here). Better than I thought given the condition of the course and how I was feeling! Not sure what race I'll do next, but plan on doing at least once a month and think I'll be doing a mini-triathlon at the end of summer!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Prague 5k Results

Well, the results are in. And the results were better than expected! I finished in 99th place with a time of 25 minutes 31 seconds. There was no rain but it was a bit chilly. My friend Jason ran it in under 20 minutes and his wife was just a few minutes behind me. See the official results here.
Overall it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. At least I have base time for my next 5k this weekend!

I guess i slipped from the initial postings. I placed 101th place. View my results here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DIY: Flyrod case

With the coming and (passing) of the Wisconsin and Minnesota fishing openers, I thought I'd post a little Do-It-Yourself thing I did a few fishing seasons ago. I made a few custom fishing rod cases out of PVC pipe. Although I made a few of them, I only use one because I can fit all 3 of my flyrods in one case! Check out the materials and instructions below:

1 - 2" PVC pipe
1 - 2" cap
1 - Female adapter
1 - Plug
PVC cement
Spray paint

Cut the pipe to appropriate size (I made one of mine 5' long) and connect and cement all the fittings (except the plug of course). I bought all my materials from Home Depot and the guy in the dept actually glued the female adapter and cap on for me in the store! Once they were dry, i bought some green and tan spray paint and painted the body one color and the end caps the other color. I made 2 of these rod cases for about $20! Only downside is the paint seems to scratch off the PVC somewhat easy. I may try and sand down the pipe then paint it again. Good luck!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hard Drive - Close call.

The other night when I was scrambling to practice some songs I needed to get down for a audition, I realized something wasn't right. My whole iTunes Library wasn't being found! Well, I didn't panic because I've seen this before and was fixable. All I need to do is reboot my computer; sometimes network issues wack it out the connection between iTunes and my network share temporarily. Anyway, after rebooting my computer it still wasn't finding them! At this point I made the semi-sprint trot downstairs to check out my server. It was then I realized something wasn't right. My data was there but performance trying to open the drive was slow and on top of that I was hearing some noise from the drive itself! "Uh oh.", I thought.

After playing (yeah, thats the technical term) with it for about 20 minutes I decided I better try and pull off data while its still running (fearing as soon as I powered it off it would never come back to life). So I scrambled to find any large capacity drives that I had available and immediately went to critical files. Seeing this drive had both my music collection and my life backup of pictures, documents and other stuff, I went straight for backing up the the critical stuff like photos.

I was able to pull them off without issue. However the rest of the data was a long tedious process. I had to constantly monitor sometimes the copy would fail sometimes it work work. At several points, I had to power off the drive so I could try and re-copy files off! The good news is I did have a full backup already on anotehr drive, but it was from a few months ago. I am now using that full backup (from 2 months ago) as my starting point and filling in all the new photos, files and MP3's from what I pulled off the bad hard drive.

After I pulled everything off the bad drive I downloaded and ran some diagnostic tools from Western Digital (the manufacturer of the bad drive). After confirming the drive had some bad sectors on it and was basically trash, I looked around on their site for warranty info. My drive out of warranty but discovered they offer a discount on a new drive as long as you enter in the previous models' serial number. Check that info out here.

Needless to say, I have a replacement 500Gb drive on its way! So by the time I get it, I should be back up and running and will be able to use this new drive as a redundant drive backup source.

You got to love technology eh?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Rickrolled"- Defined.

Have you ever been Rickrolled? Have you ever heard of it? If not, I'll get you up to date. Actually, by the time you read this is probably old news. Anywho, according to WikiAnswers, Rickrolled is best described by the following:
"A rickroll is a prank played on an unsuspecting web surfer. To be rickrolled is when browsing a website (especially a discussion forum or comment board), one comes across a link expecting it to lead to one thing, but finds something completely different when the link is clicked.

The name Rick refers to 80s pop singer Rick Astley. The standard rickroll generally involves someone posting a link claiming it leads to something quite interesting (e.g. hot chicks in panties), but actually linking to a video of Mr. Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up." This is usually considered a major let-down."
Just so you're clued in to it (before every Larry, Moe and Curly try to pull this over on you), click on THIS LINK to be officially Rickrolled.

Monday, April 21, 2008

MN Swarm vs. Rochester Knighthawks - 04/19/08

The family and I went to our almost yearly trip to go see the MN Swarm lacrosse team take on the Rochester Knighthawks (whom are also from Minnesota). We scored these tickets pretty cheap as part of a ticket bundle when we went to the MN Wild game a few weeks back. If you don't know about lacrosse, it's a pretty violent and full contact sport! I'd say it combines elements of hockey, football and soccer.

We had close seats (maybe too close) in the 6th row near the corner of the Xcel Energy Center so we were able to alot of action (including some fights) up close. The Swarm lost but we had fun. The kids enjoyed the popcorn, pop, mini donuts along with the shear sight of being in that huge stadium. The next day my littlest couldn't wait to play catch with our lacrosse sticks and ball at home...maybe he'll be a future player?!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

PortableApps.com

Ever wanted to take certain applications on the go with you without taking your computer? With PortableApps, you can install a set of applications directly to an external media device such as a USB jump drive and take these programs with you. You could then be able to run these programs on any Windows-based PC!

Why would you want to use PortableApps? Well I've been using them for awhile and the reason I use them is so I don't have to install anything on a friends, parents or (in my case) a work machine. I simply plug in my USB jump drive and launch the 'starter' application window and choose whichever app I want to run! So for instance, I have Firefox on it so I have some common bookmarks/favorites saved on there so I can easily browse the web wherever I want and don't have to remember url's. The other main app I use is called PuTTY. It allows me to establish a direct, encrypted connection back to my home network in turn allows me to remote control or surf in complete anonymity. For example, it keeps me secure while using an open wireless access point at a coffee shop or something.

The only real downside I see to this is it may be a bit slow simply because you are restricted to read and write speeds of the jump drive, but you could always use a small external drive that is high speed. I know this is alot of geek talk but this would definitely be useful for most people these days. If you have a spare jump drive laying around, give it a shot!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

5k or bust!

I just signed up for a 5k run. I am kind of second guessing myself but have been wanting to try one for the last few years. I signed up to run the the New Prague 5k run next month with a guy I used to work with at Black Box. I'm not a huge runner but this is a good reason for me to exercise and hopefully drop a few pounds. Depending on the outcome of this one, I may do more all in prep for the big Northshore Inline Marathon I'm signed up for already. I'll let ya'll know how well/bad I did.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Blue Velveata show

t's been almost 6 months but I'll be joining the Blue Velveata lineup this coming Saturday, April 5th at the Dahlgreen Golf Course for an evening of "Music You Can Chew". I'll be making my special appearance during the second set. Music starts at 9pm.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wild Game 2008: Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks - 03/38/08

I know this is a few days old but I am finally getting some time to post. We took the boys out to their first NHL/MN Wild hockey game last Friday. The littlest one loves hockey so he was very excited to get their. My wife and I worked from home so we could head out a bit early to make the trek to the Xcel Energy Center to make the 7pm game. Well, little did we know we would encounter one of the biggest traffic jams on 494 eastbound that evening; it was all over the news.

We ended up taking the alternate route and made it to the game with about 15 minutes to spare. We had nose-bleed seats but were grateful as we got 4 tickets to the game, a free hockey puck for each of use asl well as field-side tickets to the MN Swarm in a few weeks. Our first grader was funny as he was pretty hesitant on going up the 2 story high escalator ride to ge to our assigned seating and was even more scared when he got there and realized he had to walk down some stairs to get to our row. (For those of you that know sitting in the nose-bleed seats, you can practically look straight down) I think he was afraid of falling. Well we got him to come down and we all enjoyed the game. We had the usual foods consisting of soda, hot dogs and ice cream which the kids enjoyed. The game itself was awesome. The boys got to witness an all-out team brawl as as well as almost-typical Derek Boogaard (aka The boogie-man) one-on-one 2 fisted throw-down. To top it off, the Wild won 4-0! I love going to Wild games, just wish tickets weren't so darn $$!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

iPhone!

You've heard/seen some of my 'sneak-peak' posts. You also seen my Twitter posts on it. I've had it for about a week now... I figured I could post my 'review' of it thus far. But first a little history:

With the 2-year contract running to an end with Verizon Wireless a few weeks ago, the time had come to make a switch from my Palm Treo 700w. Both my wife and I were not necessarily dis-pleased with Verizon, but we both had our eye on certain phones we'd like next time around. Mine was the iPhone. Like my post back in the summer of 2007, I've been very much interested in them and constantly hear about them on several tech podcasts I listen throughout the week.

Going to the iPhone was basically a choice between going with AT&T Wireless and using the iPhone 'out of the box' or 'jailbreaking' it and using it with T-Mobile or some other GSM carrier. Well, seeing my better half wanted a Blackberry, AT&T was a option and went for it.

I must say this phone is very slick. It's very easy to use, intuitive, and entertaining to use. I went for the more expensive version, the 16Gb sized version which was the same size as my 3rd Generation iPod that recently died (yet again). I am now able to carry one device that acts as my phone and MP3 player. It syncs all my contacts with OSX Mail and calendar items with iCal. A sweet bonus with this phone is built in wireless for web browsing, text messaging, Google Maps, a weather widget and camera.

There are a few downsides to this device as opposed to my old Palm Treo 700w, but nothing critical. I am truly liking this phone... A LOT!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Landshark Lager

New beer alert!

I heard about Landshark Premium Larger on one of my podcasts, Diggnation, so I went online and looked up their website. It looked cool, sounded like something to try so I did a search within their site to see where the nearest retailer was that stocked it. Cool, there was a place nearby.

Well, I went and got a 12 pack while I was running some errands today and cracked one open with a neighbor over some Papa John's. "Hmmm." I thought it. Not horrible but not too great. I must say its mediocre at best. As far as taste, it says its an 'Island style lager' so I would put it in the category of a Corona/Corona Light, Red Strip Light or something to that sort.

I now have 10 left and don't plan on taking them on anytime in the near future...Maybe they'd go better with a slice of lime... Oh well. At least I have my Miller Chill.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mii and the Wii

ANOTHER VIDEO GAME SYSTEM? Yeah, but this one was for *the kids*. We gave them the ever-popular Wii this past Christmas.

Although this was probably the hottest gift this past holiday season, we got one. I actually stumbled upon it. Wifey and I were already talking about getting this for the boys but were planning on just picking one up at our local Sam's Club or something. Well, as a avid listener of KFAN's Video Games Weekly, I knew these things were hard to come by so when I walked into a nearby Gamestop just browsing for used Xbox games, I was surprised to hear the guy say to me, "Are you here for a Wii?". I said, "No, but I was thinking of getting one. How many do you have?" He said they had a few (as UPS was dropping of numerous boxes that were taking up about 1/4 of the store floor). After a quick call to 'the boss', I quickly snatched up the Wii, as well as another game, wiimote and a nunchuck.

The gift turned out to be a great game console set! Even the 4 1/2 yr old picked up this game! I must say I was very impressed that the kids picked up on this and had a great time. Personally, even I was surprised that the games were are as fun as they are. The interface is simple, the games are simple. I think thats why this game is so popular. Even though the graphics aren't as good, no online co-op play, this is a great way to get together with the family and play against each other or even play on the same team.

I highly recommend getting one; even the adults can have fun with this thing! I like playing the Wii Sports, which is the game that comes with the system. I'm actually a 'pro' ranking in the Tennis, and Bowling games!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guitar Repair

HOLY COW! I just got back my 2 guitars back from the repair shop and I am completely blown away with what was done with my Yamaha acoustic FG-410A. This thing is like a brand new guitar! Leonard Shipiro Guitar Repair did an amazing job transforming this 10+ year instrument into a brand new, easily played acoustic!

I know I am not the best player, but having this guitar re- setup and re-strung, I am now inspired to pick it back up again and perhaps do some recording with it! I only wish it had a built in pickup so I could go directly into Garageband with it. Perhaps, you'll get to hear some audio snippets out here at some point?!

Stay tuned I guess!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Book Review: Michael J. Fox - Lucky Man: A Memoir

So I decided to download and listen to some audiobooks. Seeing I listen to alot of podcasts and music on my ipod/Zune at work and in the car, I though an audiobook would be something to try out. The first audiobook I've sync'd up with my portable player was written and read by Michael J. Fox called Lucky Man: A Memoir. This audiobook was only about 6 hrs worth of listening and finished it in about a week (which probably would have taken me several weeks to physically read) .

This book covers everything about his life starting with him growing up in Canada (bouncing around from Military base to another due to his fathers career in the military) to his latest life struggles and challenges. The underlying subject line in this book revolves around him discovering, struggling and ultimately coming to terms with Parkinson's disease. There were times during this book that brought a tear to my eye - when he talks about the passing of his grandmother and father for instance.

I learned a few thing about Michael J. Fox. First off I didn't realize he was a big smoker and boozer during his prime. He confesses that he probably had a slight problem during the 'haydays' of the Family Ties sitcom and Back To the Future movie series (which I am watching with my 1st grader at the moment) and ultimately gave up both nearly a decade ago. Overall, this is a decent book. For me it is always interesting reading about someone else's life.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Budweiser Chelada: part I

As some of you may or may not know, I am a fan of beer. Big surprise huh? If in doubt, just check out this previous post. If you know me even better, you know I am a big fan of the Bloody Mary cocktail. Well, when I came across the Budweiser Chelada drink in the liquor store, I had to get one two (one a Bud Light version and the other a Budweiser version) of these and give it a shot.

At first, I tried it straight out of the can. Hmm. Not sure what do think. It definitely had the carbonation of a beer and slight taste of a bloody...So after finishing a snort, I went on an decided to pour it over the rocks, add a twist of lime and top it with some celery salt. It was better, but I am just not sure what to think...

Tune back in for part II when I give my final rating on this odd drink (I need to try the Budweiser Chelada flavor yet).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Waterpark of America

I'm back after a short overnight trip to the Waterpark of America this past weekend. You've heard of this place right? It's the HUGE waterpark located near the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. I've been to a few waterparks in my time and yes, his is the biggest indoor waterpark that I've been too (even bigger than the Wilderness Resort located in Wisconsin Dells, WI).

Not only is the waterpark huge, but the line to check-in when we got there was huge as well! My lucky wife waded through the line to get us checked in and about 30 minutes later we had a room...well so we thought. We went up there only to find out they were still cleaning them! Oh well. We waited about 15 minutes (along with all the other families we went with) and eventually got in in order to change into our swimwear.

After getting on our wristbands, we all headed down to the waterpark and tried to stake claim to some area to put our towels, shirts and sandals. We were lucky - we found a few empty chairs. The boys proceeded to hit the water playground area for awhile followed by the lazy river and eventually a bunch of us hooked up to go down the family-sized raft/tube slide. The line for this was huge but its was pretty cool. Once was enough for the 2 rugrats.

After rotating from the water playground, lazy river, hot tub rotation about 20 times I got a neighbor friend to go wait in line for the surf simulator! The wait for this was long as well but it was fun to watch people try and do this. For the most part most people could some managed to do a few tricks even. Well needless to say by awesome natural surfing abilities kicked in and was able to ride the wave for a few minutes then graciously surf off to the side where I exited without issue. After a few times at this, the neighbor and I were attempting barrel rolls! Eventually, the rest of the group saw us and joined in on the fun. Even my 6 yr old did it a few times!

I could go on and on but overall the weekend was good. The waterpark is busy with alot of lines for the bodyslides, tube slides as well as the surf simulator but well worth the wait (especially for the surfing). We all had fun and look forward to going back. If you want to see a quick clip I put together of some boogie boarding, click on the quicktime icon (sorry I seem to be the only one who is able to operate the camera so no video footage of me tearing it up).

Humor: Do you dress like a d**chebag?

Another great pic I got off my favorite social news site, Digg.com. Click this link or the pic to the right for the full thing.