matt | March 21, 2004
The Tuesday night gaming crew has been dissolved. Basically, there was a falling out amongst three of us, and none of us are friends anymore. This means that I would have been running an RPG for the remaining two people, one of whom is graduating in May and going away. So, I decided it's not really worth it. I already game regularly once a week; that's enough.
So, with my newfound free time, I'm going to go bicycling more, do more computer stuff, and maybe have a chance to paint more miniatures and such.
The Mac debacle continues. I loaned it to a friend of mine who only has a venerable old Mac Performa from like 5 years ago. So, he might buy it off me if he likes it. Otherwise, I'll send it back. But, I still called apple to get a replacement power cable. See, the way that the Apple power adapters are designed, you can either plug the adapter directly into the outlet, or you pull out the adapter prongs and replace them with an extension cord. However, they sent me the wrong extension cord – one that's flat on one side, and notched on the other. I need one that is notched on both sides – otherwise, it will not fit. So, they send me a replacement cable, and it's STILL the wrong one. I need to call them again, but I'll wait to see if my friend is going to take it.
I went skiing this weekend up at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. Liz and I are friends with our Boss's daughter, Christen, and the family has a condo up on the river in Lincoln, about half a mile from Loon. (Oh, I did see Truent's – we went by it on the way to get gas. Unfortunately, we'd eaten already. I made meat pie). I don't think I'll go downhill skiing again, though. I've gone twice, and despite the fact that everyone says that I'm doing remarkably well, and that they were saying that it sucks for everyone at first, I don't really enjoy it. It's like Scuba diving – I don't enjoy it enough to justify the expense and the hassle. I like cross country skiing, showshoeing, snorkling, paintball, etc. All of those things, even when I was bad at them, I still enjoyed them. Not so with skiing. Loon is quite nice, though. Nice long runs. Unfortunately, I don't have enough stamina. About halfway down the mountain, I started to get tired, and that was when I started to fall. I had a bad one and twisted my knee, but by the time I got to the bottom of the mountain, my knee didn't hurt anymore, but my legs were just too tired. So, I sat out for a little while, which was fine, because it let everyone else go on the more advanced trails. We had lunch, and I took another run with Liz and this other friend of the family, Karen, who was also a beginner. Turns out, she was in the same boat as me – one run down the green circle trail from the summit and we were too tired to keep going. We tried another run, and that was it. Just too tired. So, we sat and had cocoa and let the rest of them ski.
I'll probably go back to NH again, just to hang out. Christen's boyfriend, Andy, is a fun guy to hang out with, so we'd probably all go up there and hang out, and the skiing people can ski, and the rest of us can hang around, play video games, or go to the spa up the street, which has saunas, hot tubs, and swimming pools, for something like $15/day. I wouldn't mind spending time doing laps in an outdoor heated swimming pool, then jump into the sauna for a bit.
Simon called me yesterday afternoon, and told me that 's birthday was last night. So drove back (we had planned to anyway) and stopped by. The cops showed up, but the strange thing was that they weren't there about the party – they were there because someone had done the old “flaming dog poop” on someones doorstep a couple blocks over, and they wanted to know if we had seen anything. Strange. It's a shame that the party was the same day as skiing. It was a good crowd there. I wish I could have stayed longer, but Liz and I were both beat, and ducked out of there after about half an hour.
I replaced the old media center PC case (the white case in the rack at the far bottom left of the following picture)
Here is the new media center PC case – a nice black rackmount:
The knob at the center twists 90 degrees, and then the front drops out and down, exposing the DVD-ROM drive, but otherwise keeping it nicely hidden. Another nice feature is the fact that it has space for 4 internal hard disks, so I could use it to run some variety of striped RAID disk for massive storage capacity for a PVR (freevo can do PVR stuff, I just don’t have a PC with enough horsepower – it’s on the list). So, these rackmounts are pretty well done, and are reasonably inexpensive ($239 for a 3U w/ 550W Antec PSU, $259 for a 4U w/ 550 PSU). The PSU’s are high quality and virtually silent. The fans are good, but loud high speed fans. I’m going for quiet, so I pulled them out and replaced them with silent fans. So, I’ll probably pick up a 4U next month to replace the blue one (which can be seen in the above picture). It’s kind of a stupid design – rather than the connectors coming out the back, they come out the side, which makes them rather difficult to get at when inside a rack. These new black ones both match the rack better, and the connectors come out the back nicely. Plus, the blue case has no space for a CD or DVD drive, which means that, if I ever need to boot from some type of rescue CD or whatever, I have to pull it out of the rack (complicated a bit from the lack of handles) and stick it on a desk so I can open it up and attach a CD/DVD drive.
Now I am home, relaxing, doing laundry, and working on computer stuff. Just kind of a lazy Sunday.