Weekend Near Chicago

So my weekend was a long one, a whole 4 days 😀


It started on Thursday where I drove up towards the great state of Illinois. The drive wasn’t too bad, I had loud music, energy drinks, and the anticipation of getting to hang out with Michelle. The roads were another story though. The areas which were under construction were everywhere. At one point we were down to one lane, and then a bus had driven off the road, which just made traffic worse! I was sitting there thinking to myself, “Great, we’re down to one lane and someone decides to total their car in the only lane left..” Needless to say I was astonished to see a passanger bus in the ditch as traffic crawled passed. I get to Chicago and learn that traffic there is always an adventure. It wasn’t even rush hour and we were bumper to bumper all the way through. I make it to Great Lakes around 3pm local time (they’re Central Time.. i didn’t know that :P). I set up in my room and then went and got some Chinese food.


Friday I was up at 6am, got showered and made my way to the RTC (Recruit Training Center) Gate. There was a line going out the gate, but it was moving slowly. They came through, asked for Drivers Licenses and told us some simple rules of the training area (like no smoking, 15MPH speed limit, etc etc). I find a parking spot and head over to where you check in. After they stamped my hand I headed over to the main drill hall where I found my seat and proceeded to wait. I checked the Itinerary brochure they’d handed out just to see that it didn’t start until 0900. I checked my phone and saw that it wasn’t even 0700 yet. So i waited and waited.

Finally the ceremony began. They showed a little video and had all the recruits march in. Then things got really extravegant! They had a rifle team and band perform and there were some pretty high ranking officers that spoke. This was all much more of a production than when I graduated AIT. After they recognised some of the best recruits in certain areas (including Academics, which blew my mind.. the military rewarding smart people?! ..maybe the Army is the only one that doesn’t do that?), they released the recruits on Liberty. It took me a while to find Michelle, and then we went on a hunt to find her dad.

Once we’d all met up, we went off to find a place to eat, it was lunch time afterall 😛 We went to Olive Garden and had some good food. After that we headed to one of the local malls and killed some time while also looking at nice and shiny things. They put a curfew on the recruits so Michelle had to be back fairly early in the evening, around 1900.  After we dropped her off and made plans for the next day I got dropped off at my hotel (Mike, Michelle’s dad, had been driving us around) and I surfed the internet and watched a movie, War Games: The Dead Code. The movie was actually pretty terrible, don’t watch it. Ever.


On Saturday we went out for breakfast at Denny’s and then went and got ourselves lost for a bit. Mike had to check out of his hotel by 11, so we got dropped off at my hotel and said our goodbye’s. The plan after that had been to take the train into Chicago and spend the day there, but we came to the realization that we had no idea how to get around Chicago once we got there, and we only would have had about 3 hours to do whatever we wanted to do down there before we’d have to head back.

So instead we went and saw the new Harry Potter, which wasn’t as bad as i was expecting. The last few had disappointed me a bit, and I wasn’t really expecting anything from this one. After the movie we got something to eat. We’d seen a Japanese place the day before and had taken an interest in trying it out. The sushi was delicious, but what really surprised me was the fried rice! It was so good!! After we’d finished our food we headed back to my hotel and watched The Hangover. Neither of us had seen it and we’d both enjoyed the movie very much!


Sunday I picked Michelle up and we hung out for a few hours. After we’d said our goodbyes (I hate goodbyes..) I hit the road. The drive back seemed much longer than the drive up. I think it was because I was a bit meloncholy and tired. What made things worse, I’d discovered that I had hit something, like a pothole, or crap in the highway, and put a nice gouge in my rear drivers-side rim. I’m not too happy about that I must say.

Anyway, I made it home around 6pm. 6 hours on the road can really take it out of you. I talked to Sean, offered to help him mow the lawn, and then went into the garden to pick some fresh goodies. We’d picked our first Jalapenos and man were they HOT! There’s more on the way, so I’m sure i’ll be talking more about those later.

I then cracked open my new book and went to bed.

Now it’s monday, and I don’t want to be here 😛


It’s monday again 🙁 And it’s back to the real-life grind. This weekend was a lot of fun. Let’s all hop into the way-back-machine and i can tell you of my adventures!

Thursday – 9 July 2009

I wake up around 7-ish to find that my backup of all my music from my old server (natalie) to the new server (natasha) had failed sometime during the night .. sad panda indeed! So i restarted the transfer hoping that i would be able to get a few more gigs of music over to the new server before it was time to hit the road. As i waited i watched the new episode of Top Gear and Bleach. It was getting close to leaving time so i shut down all my machines and began to dismantle all the connections. Then i remembered that my computer only had a 10/100 NIC in it, and that if i was to do any proper leeching i should probably take the gigabit card out of natalie and put it in my desktop (allison). I did this and rebooted my machine to make sure that the new card worked. Well, of course it didn’t. So i hopped on my laptop, headed over to the DLink website and grabbed the drivers.

I hit the road sometime around noon (instead of 10am like i’d planned). I got to the U of L campus around 1-ish and unloaded my gear. Dark (Vickers) was nice enough to get my stuff up to my seat while i went and parked my car. I get to the main hall and find my seat. I begin to get everything hooked up when i realize i’d forgotten my wireless reciever for my keyboard and mouse at the house!  I quickly went and set up natasha up on server row and then headed out to walmart for a cheap keyboard and mouse. I got a logitech keyboard for 11 bucks and a mouse for 9. Not bad for a quick buy with no shopping around. I get back and set up my computer and start the process of making sure everything works. Internet, check, Steam online, check, remote connection to my server, check. Everything looks good to go! So what’s a person to do now? PLAY GAMES! I played some Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, and a few other games. In the middle of a game of Left 4 Dead we hear this huge POW! Dark’s power supply had blown up! So a few people who were also having computer issues left with him to try and find replacement parts. Sean and Kristina made it up that night to get their stuff set up and played a few games too. Thursday has started to blur into Friday..

Friday – 10 July 2009

I woke up around 6am in front of my keyboard. I’d tried sleeping on the floor, but without a pillow it wasn’t comfortable enough to get a good night’s sleep. Even my day pack wasn’t soft enough. So i just put my head down and got a few hours of sleep. I hopped into the local IRC server and chatted with some of the other gamers that were just woken up/still awake. After walking to my car to get my some fresh clothes and brush my teeth i came back in to grab a quick bite to eat and see what all i could find on the network to leech. Oh so much goodness!

I really can’t keep straight all the stuff i got. Mainly games i’d wanted to try out but never wanted to spend money on due to hearing mixed reviews. I got some movies that i’d wanted to see, but for the same reason as the games i never bought. Maybe i’ll actually get the ones i really like 😕

DODGEBALL!! That’s right, we had a dodgeball tournament. Real life dodgeball, not some weird computer version. We had a team in. The prizes weren’t bad for a for-fun tourney: 6 and 4 GB sets for the first and second place team isn’t a bad deal!! We only made it three rounds before we got beaten. If you want, there’s footage on youtube, just search for “Million Man Lan 8” and there should be a bunch of videos. It was fun none-the-less. Well, back to gaming!

Around 1 or 2 AM i decided that i would catch a ride to the hotel that some of the guys had gotten, a real bed (or maybe atleast nice floor) and a shower was well in order! when we got there it was only me and AK and.. i got a bed! it was so nice to be able to sleep in something like a normal sleeping position!

Saturday – 11 July 2009

I wake up, take a shower, and head with the rest back to the gaming hall. We get there, play some games and prep for the Left 4 Dead tournament we’d signed up for. There were a total of 10 teams, so the last 4 teams to sign up had to battle for actual tournament slots (10 teams don’t fit into a binary tournament setup). we were one of the first, so we got a free pass to the second round 😀 It wasn’t good enough though, our first match we had to go up against another xBS team. We played hard and we came out victorious! Our second match didn’t go so well. The other team got through to the end as survivors and took a huge lead. That was the only time that anyone finished a map, all the rest of the maps the survivors died. But like the dodgeball, we were there for fun, and not so much the prizes.

Moar gaming…

Falling asleep in the back of my car…

Sunday – 12 July 2009

I wake up in my car thinking.. i should have cracked the windows..

I change clothes, brush my teeth, and head back to the hall to find that it was only me, Sean, and Kristina left from our group. I guess everyone else packed it up late in the night. So what should one do about this? Get some last minute leeching done!! I was getting some really impressive speeds from some of the FTP servers people had running. Up to 10MB/s.  Around 10 I started to pack up my computer and haul stuff to my car. Sean and Kristina finally woke up and did the same. We went to Denny’s for breakfast and then headed back home.

Once at the house i cleaned up my area in the office a bit (might as well since the computers were out) and then set my computers up again. I then took a most needed shower and thought i’d take a nap. That nap ended at midnight.

So right now my body is totally confused as to what time it really is. And my sleep schedule will probably be pretty messed up for the next few days. But it was well worth it. I think i’m going to go to the next one in January. 😀

Liquid Money

So over the last week i’ve been spending money pretty freely.. I bought ArmA II, I bought parts for a new server, and just now i bought new wheels and tires for my car. Learn more here www.moneyfall.co.uk

Over all, that’s been a nice chunk of cash out of my pocket. I guess it’s been coming though, i haven’t made a really big purchase in a while. When i mean big, i mean more than 1000 dollars. This should be my fix for a while now. Continue reading www.cashcrazy.co.uk

Anyway, on to what i bought. ArmA II is a video game that’s more like a war simulation than anything else. People, weapons, vehicles, plants all behave as closely as possible lik their real life counterpart. Very Intense.

I also bought parts for a new server. Natalie, my current server has treated me very well for the last 5 years or so. But yesterday when I started a backup of my desktop machine (so i could have a nice clean install of XP for next week’s Lanwar) … … let’s just say it’s still backing up the 220GB’s of files right now. My network is faster than the I/O on my hard drives! So I put together this machine (keep in mind that i wanted it to be inexpensive AND upgradable).

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P Motherboard (Supports up to 16GB of RAM!)

AMD Athlon X2 4850e 2.5GHz Processor (Plan to upgrade to something else later, like a Phenom II or some such)

AllComponents 2GB RAM (2GB to start, i’ll want to end up with 16GB eventually)

ASUS EAH3450/DI/256M Radeon HD 3450 (I don’t need fancy graphics for a server)

2x HITACHI Deskstar P7K500 HDP725050GLA360 (0A35415) 500GB (The plan is to do RAID 0, striping)

COOLER MASTER Elite RC-330-KKR1 (nice case with power supply included!)

And finally the new wheels and tires for my car. I got them over at TireRack.com and I’m having them shipped to Big O Tires in Radcliff (a feature of the site, which i think is bad-ass). They should be there by Tuesday, so i should have a new server and a new set of wheels and tires before Lanwar starts.

This should be an exciting week!

Family Reunion

So we had our family reunion this weekend. People started showing up on friday, and started leaving about… 2 hrs ago. It was really good to see everyone again, even though i didn’t recognize some of the people since the last time i saw them (Yes, you Johnny!). We also got to meet recent additions to the family like Cousin Michael’s wife, Rikki. So all in all there were 10 of us. Some people couldn’t make it due to starting new jobs or having other issues, but 10 is good, i guess. More is always better though 😛

Saturday we took a trip to Bardstown to the Heaven Hill Distillery. My goodness, I didn’t realize that they bottled for so many different companies! Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Fighting Cock, of course Heavenhill, and others. We got a quick history of how bourbon was accidentally discovered and why you can only make bourbon in Kentucky with certain ingredients. We did some taste testing of some different bourbons and then went on a tour of one of the warehouses. Every time the guide would talk about the ricks i would think, “I bet this is where the term Rick rolled initially came from” 😀 (refer here)  Once the tour was over we hit the gift shop and I bought myself a bottle of Elijah Craig 18 year old Bourbon. I really don’t think i’ll open that any time soon, mainly since i’m not a big bourbon drinker. Plus.. it’s a bit on the expensive side. Nothing near the 500 dollar bottles of 27 year old bourbon they had for sale though! After we got back to the house Nick started to cook. He made two pasta dishes, bruschetta, and cucumber salad. We ate outside and it made the whole atmosphere so much better! Man was it delicious!!

Today (Sunday), we took things a bit slower. I came over around 2 and we hung out a bit, went to the lake, came back and played cornhole (or bean-bag toss for some of you) for hours, while dad was grilling up the pork tenderloin, chicken, and steaks. Mom and Granny made their mouthwatering potato salad and cornbread salad (respectively).

Man i’m so tired right now.. waiting for some laundry to get done and then head back home.. I just want to crash already 😛

Pictures will be posted as soon as they’re made available for me!

Father’s Day Weekend

I’m not a dad, oh no sir. But my dad is 😛

Let’s start back on Friday. I really didn’t do much, mainly read, nap, play video games, mow the lawn, drink beers. Speaking of the lawn.. a few days earlier we’d put down some weed killer and it seems to be working. Now all that needs to be done is get the lawn feed out and get that grass back to being the dominant plant in the yard. I’m serious, half the lawn is brown with dead weeds atm!  Anyway, back to the weekend.. I got a call from Michelle! It was the first day they were allowed to use the phone, so that was pretty exciting Friday night i went out with some friends. First we went to BW3’s for dinner, which was delish and then to some bar in Louisville, The Electric Cowboy or some such. It was ‘eh’.. Not really my scene. Lots of cowboy hats and older people and yeah well you should get the picture.  I left pretty early, it was only midnight i think, and went home.

Saturday we had our weekly SoNotSoft meeting. We talked about what kind of moves we want in our game and tried really hard to come up with a lengthly list. There’s only so much you can do with a pencil i guess. After the meeting Josh came over and we played Counter-Strike, we both suck horribly and soon decided that food was more important than video games. We ended up going to Kanzai in E-town. Man i love sushi! The Thai Chilli Roll was exquisit! I was invited to go to a River Bats game with Sarah, but to be honest I didn’t feel like driving all the way back up to Louisville. So I went back home and played some video games and took a nap.

Sunday I was up early and hit Walmart first thing. I’d heard that ammunition supplies were low (besides every gun owner always saying ammo is low). It was true, there were only 4 boxes of .40 S&W left. I bought three of them. I got back to the house and got out my pistol and made sure that it was clean and not covered in rust 😛 My dad came over around 12:30 and showed me his new rifle. A sweet M1903. We headed out and got to Knob Creek Gun Range around 1.  I fired a few magazines of ammo through my pistol (Springfield XD-40) and then tried my dad’s new rifle. Man does that thing kick! After only 5 rounds my shoulder was pretty beaten up.. After i found out later because i wasn’t holding it quite right 🙁 So now i have a nicely bruised shoulder. After we’d finished we went back to my place to clean our weapons and eat some food. Sean started up the grill and put burgers on. Things took too long i guess, so dad left, since he still had to go take the dogs on a walk. And then Kristina came over and kidnapped Sean for dinner. So i was there with a grill full of burgers. There’s no way i could eat them all 😛 Instead i played some Eve. We were trying to run some wormhole plexes.. we didn’t do too well. Apoll0s lost his domi and Scab lost his apoc. I got a bit frustrated and logged pretty much right after that. I went back to reading a new book (Relentless) for a few hours before i went to bed.

Now it’s back to work for a few days before the next weekend, which will be pretty busy too. Family is coming in starting on Thursday for the family reunion my dad is hosting this year. Saturday we get a tour of the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown.

New Case!@

So my new case came in! It’s huge! After I came home from work i pretty much went straight into the transfer. I took out all my old components from the old case, marked all the drives and cables in the order they came out (so i don’t mess up my RAID setup), and put it into the new case. All-in-all it took me about 2 hours.

So far i’m very happy with it! There are a few things i need to fix, like getting the front peripherals hooked up properly (USB, Headphones, etc) and getting a few extra fans for the extra fan spots. But other than that it’s perfect! It’s much quieter than my old case. This is mainly due to the fact that it runs much cooler than my old case and the graphics card doesn’t have to spin up as much.

It’s very nice, very black, and very sexy 🙂

I’ve uploaded a few pics to my flickr, go check them out!


I was hoping to make my new post from my newly re-cased computer and talk about how awesome my new case was.. but nay, I haven’t gotten it yet. Hopefully it’ll be here tomorrow.

In the meantime though, i’ll talk about other things; like the garden. The plants are growing, ever so slowly, and i think there are some blossoms for the corn and peppers; which is very exciting.

I also got some new books; impulse buys really. T-Minus and Hackers. I already finished T-Minus, it wasn’t a very long read. Plus the pictures were nice 🙂 Hackers on the other hand is a bit longers, and not as exciting (for me anyway), though it is very informative and interesting. I’ll keep plugging away at that one for sure.

blah.. I’d really hoped to be able to talk about my new case.

an update and more windows 7!

I suppose I’ll cut straight to the chase. I’m le single again. Michelle left for MEPS yesterday, and i’m sure she’s well on her way to training by now. I wish her all the best of luck! Sunday night was pretty tough. We had said our goodbyes and sat in the driveway for quite a while just talking. I’m going to miss her.

I’ve put Windows 7 on yet another machine! Now it’s running on my Macbook Pro, one of my desktops, and my Eee PC 900! The Eee PC does pretty well even though it’s only got a 900Mhz processor. I’ve been thinking about putting it on my living room computer as well to see how it works as a Media Center. But I think I’ll hold off on that for a bit longer. I’ll want to wait to see what the prices for Windows 7 are actually going to be. If they’re too expensive I’ll have to down grade all my machines to XP (or find a hacked version of Windows 7). Seriously, no OS is worth more than 200 dollars. If I can get OS X for less than 200, and Linux for free, why should i pay more for an OS that comes from a certain company which has consistently produced dismal software? Seriously..

If you want to try Windows 7 on your netbook, you can check out the tutorial i followed: here.
I also read this one while I was in the middle of installing, it looks like it’s geared more towards the Eee PC 900: here. (I’ll say though, that his statement about needing a 4GB USB stick is inaccurate, i used a 120GB Seagate External USB HDD with the first tutorial and it worked fine).

It’s almost 4pm and Brad’s falling asleep at the computer again.. wtf.

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Something I saw online.. It’s not that I don’t like anyone who’s Christian/Jewish/Muslim, it’s just the fanatics/maniacs/hardcore ones that can’t seem to even entertain the idea of intelligible debate over any topics religious.

I thought i’d clarify this, before assumptions were made.

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