Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Game Day: 2008

I am finally recovered from a LAN party I attended on Saturday. It was my second-ever LAN party so I kind of knew what to expect; a bunch of guys who bring over their tricked out PC's along with a card table and chair and geek out on some intense games. I was pretty tired come Sunday (the day after) probably because I crashed so hard after eating junk food and a few cans of Amp energy drink.

My attendance was with about 20+ other dudes all crammed in the basement level(s) of a friends house. Guys showed up to move furniture, setup an ongoing food buffet as well as to setup and wire everyone in. Guys brought and donated various hardware such as Cisco switches, network cables and dedicated game servers to get this party started. As geeky as its sounds, this was a blast!

My near 12 hour stint had me playing an ol' classic with a new twist: BattleField 1942 with the Desert Combat mod. This was the game I played the most mainly because I knew how to play it (from my 1st LAN party) and some of the guys didn't have any other game to play. At times we had over half the guys playing it; half the guys were on team Axis (the bad guys) and the other half on Allies (yup, the good guys). Other games I jumped around to throughout the day and night were Counter Strike: Source and Day of Defeat: Source. Both these games I had downloaded via Steam but hardly had a change to get to know the controls. Needless to say I wasn't as good on them but the were still a blast. I got schooled in Counter Strike: Source but managed my own in Day of Defeat: Source.

Since my Xbox is out of commission and my wife being out of town the country for 2 weeks, I think I may be playing these Windows games on my Mac utilizing Bootcamp. Wish me happy gaming!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Peanut Butter what?!

Have you heard of this place? Its called PB Loco and there is a cafe located in the MOA on the 1st floor near Sears. Well, I saw the cafe while shopping/killing time before a Vikings game last December and it reminded me of a Munchcast podcast episode I listened to a few weeks back. The podcast was about peanut butter (PB) and all its glory (what people make with it, etc). It mentioned this store in it so I decided to stop in and take a look.

After staring at the menu for about 5 minutes, kind of afraid to try one of their samples, I went for it. I samples their peanut butter- curry/thai flavor...Wasn't bad! I then tried the peanut butter-sun dried tomato flaor...Not bad either! Well after debating it in my head, I thought, "what the heck", and ordered a PBBLT which was their version of a PB and BLT sandwich.

The sandwich had the PB-sun dried tomato flor on it with bacon, lettuce and mayo. I took my sandwich to go and sat near the Rachel Ray book signing line. I tried the sandwhich and....thought it wasn't too bad! You could kind of taste the PB and kind of the sun-dried tomato...Overall the sandwich wasn't bad!

PS: no I did not get anything signed by Rachael Ray, I hopped on the LRT to the Metrodome before she came out.

Friday, January 18, 2008


My dreaded nightmare came true. What is supposed to be the Ring of Light has produced the infamous Red Ring Of Death lights.

After about 3 times during online matchmaking with Halo 3 today, my Xbox had enough. Games would freeze, the box wouldn't boot up, all sort of different issues were going on. I called tech Xbox telephone support and after troubleshooting for about 5 minutes, it was determined that I would need it to get serviced/replacesd through its covered warranty plan.

A friend of mine just had this happen to him (along with about a million other people) and it took him 3 weeks to get a replacement. Good thing I didn't go out and drop money on the new Call of Duty 4 this afternoon...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Movie Review: Mr. Bean's Holiday

Title: Mr. Bean's Holiday

Plot: According to IMDB.com - "Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes where he unwittingly separates a young boy from his father and must help the two come back together. On the way he discovers France, bicycling, and true love, among other things."

My Review: I'm not much into the British comedies but I kinda like this guy called Mr. Bean (played by actor Rowan Atkinson). He doesn't talk; just mostly facial and physical humor. I must confess that it took me a few night to completely watch this flick (of course that may have been because I was watching this about 11pm at night). I think if you like silly movies with not much else this might be right up your alley.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My favorite podcasts

For 2008, I thought I would post some of my favorite podcasts in case your were interested. For the most part they are tech related shows; some video and some audio only. These are shows I listen to on my iPod/Zune at work, in the car or while working out. The video shows, I usually watch on my computer or Zune.

1. The Tech Guy - Link
2. Joe's Podhole - Link
3. This Week In Tech - Link
4. Diggnation (video podcast) - Link
5. MacBreak Weekly - Link
6. Tiki Bar TV (video podcast) - Link
7. Hak.5 (video podcast) - Link
8. Tekzilla (video podcast) - Link
9. Dinner with the Band (video podcast) - Link
10. KFAN Video Games Weekly - Link

Some of these I'll go into further in the coming months. Make sure to check back!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Back to the Mac: my Macbook Pro is here!

I finally got it! After a few years of saving, dreaming, saving some more then spending it on something else, I got the Macbook Pro I've been dreaming of.

Yep is a Mac. And proud of it.

After working with one of the first Apple IIGs at home when I was a kid, the G3/PowerPC models in college and the first few years of my professional career life in the Printing/Publishing industry, I've always been a fan of the Mac. Even after 6+ years working in I.T. supporting, maintaining and even designing the look and feel for the Windows XP for over 5,000+ machines, I still wanted the Mac. Why? I have an answer in three words:
reliable. secure. easy-to-use.

Ok, so the last word is actually three but you get my drift. After seeing all the issues with the Windows registry, viruses, spyware, adware, 'defragging', etc... the Mac is by far a superior machine and operating system. I could go on giving you my Obama/McCain debate on the subject but I digress.

I picked up the Macbook Pro at my local Best Buy store. Why? Well, I bought it there as opposed to online or at the nearby Apple store because I could a.) finance it on my Best Buy card and b.) earn Reward Zone cash so I have an excuse to go back and buy some more techno-gadgets!

I've already setup this 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (with 160Gb hard drive, 2 Gb of RAM and 256Mb video card) machine loaded with VMware Fusion which allows me to run Windows XP as a second operating system at the same time as Leopard as well as a BootCamp partion so I can simply boot to Windows XP on a second had drive partition for an upcoming LAN party I am attending. My biggest hurdle is moving all my Outlook items (Calendar and Contacts). I have a phone that won't sync with the Mac (unless I purchase a third party application) so I am utilizing my VMware machine to handle my Outlook duties until this March when my wife and I switch back to T-Mobile. At that point I will get a phone that is Mac compatible for syncing or better yet maybe I will get an iPhone and hack it. I'm not at all concerned about not being able to open files from work, etc because there's Office for the Mac or better yet, free alternatives to Office such as OpenOffice.

While the sales of the Apple/MacOS computer take more more of the consumer marketshare, I still use Windows XP for/at work (and probably always will). I like the idea that my machine at home is safe from hackers and most of the world. So while most of you will be worrying about viruses, spyware and all that other stuff, I'll be sitting back, relaxing and enjoying my new Mac. Have fun!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Movie Review: Shoot 'Em Up

I thought I'd start another type of post; a quick, down and dirty movie review. I don't consider myself a movie 'buff' but I do like to watch one at least one a week. As a matter of fact I hardly see any movies except at home on DVD or through satellite. Well, here's my first down and dirty review:

Title: Shoot 'Em Up
Plot:The title says it all; the first scene to the last - gun shooting. Here's the plot according to IMDB.com:

"A man named Mr. Smith delivers a woman's baby during a shootout, and is then called upon to protect the newborn from the army of gunmen."

My Review: A movie I would say is a cross between Sin City and Die Hard: Live Free or Die Hard. The first scene from this movie had me thinking twice about even watching this. I struggled to get through Sin City do to the violence and cinematography and laughed at the predictability and outrageous scenarios "John McClane" had to deal with in the latest Die Hard flick.

Like it sounds, it was dumb. The other thing was regarding the scenarios that "Smith" (who was played by Clive Owen) encountered and got through 'untouched' was absolutely ridiculous! This movie is for someone who likes straight-up shoot 'em type movies. I did end up watching the whole thing but not sure how I did considering it was 86 minutes long.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Hapy Nu yr

Happy New Year! I had the site down for awhile as I was attempting to clean up some old posts, reformat pictures for consistency but I realized I have to many other things going on. One of these days I will change the theme of this site, I just need the time to futz with the PHP code to get the exact look and feel I want.

I have some cool things to post about, especially new toys the family and I got over the past holiday. Make sure to come back and check it out!