Sunday, November 30, 2008

Still Trying to Find a Good Cold Weather Hobby...

So I've still had very little luck trying to figure out something other than browsing the net and playing video games to occupy my time in the winter.

I had thought long and hard about setting up a train, but they are absurdly expensive. I also thought a bit about doing some more modeling, but I really don't want to start building a ton of models just to have them take up space in the house. We've got enough random stuff laying around the house without having to worry about setting more things on shelves and such.

Oddly enough, I have also been looking at things like hydroponic herb gardens. The ones that grow inside the house. I've been trying to do a bit better at cooking, and I thought it would be interesting to grow my own herbs and such.

Either way, I'm still looking for something to take up some of my time. Still looking for some suggestions!!!!

Sold the Pitbike.

So I sold the pitbike to a gentleman from Indiana. He's on his way to pick it up tomorrow morning.

I regret making the purchase. I had thought I would ride it at the local racetrack, but the switch to the PM shift really put a damper on that...seeing as now I had to work EVERY time that the track was open.

So it's basically just sat in the garage for the last several months. I've started it every now and then, but not really ridden it at all. I'm not getting much for it, about half what I paid for it, but that's alright. I'll use the money for some Christmas presents for family.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hamster Found!!!

So I was up pretty late the other night. Really right after I posted about the hamster being missing.

So I figured I'd just go sit in the room that the hamster was probably in. I sat for about 15 minutes, and right when I was getting ready to call it quits, I heard something. So I went and got Cathy up...keep in mind it's about 4:15am at this point.

We both went into the room and I started moving things around where I had heard the sound. After getting everything moved, I hadn't found him. Then Cathy yelled "There he is!!!" He scurried under the bed.

We cornered him underneath the dresser, and then finally got the dresser all moved and captured the little guy. He's safely back in his cage now. I'm glad we found him, I really didn't like the idea of finding his lifeless carcass several months down the road.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

So Cathy and I were up really late last night. We decided to just stay up and hit Kohl's for the sales. When we got there, there were probably about 300 or so people in front of us. The line wrapped around the store.

When 4am hit, the store opened. We got in pretty quickly, and got the stuff we wanted. I bought a projector and Cathy bought a bed spread set. The bed spread set is really nice and was a great deal. It was normally $99.99, and she got it for $30.00. The projector that I bought was a good price too, but it turns out it was too good to be true. I took it back later on in the day because it just wasn't working very well. The picture was way too dark.

After Kohl's, we went to Toys R Us and Cathy got a couple of Wii games that she had been looking at. We then went to McDonald's and got some breakfast. We were home and ready for bed by about 6:00am. So we got all of that stuff taken care of in less than 2 hours.

That was the first time that I've ever gone out early on Black Friday. It was amusing, but I don't know if I would go again. I guess if I wanted a really good deal.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Missing Hamster

So today I was changing clothes, and I noticed that the top of the cage that the hamster lives in had come off.

Of course, the hamster was nowhere to be found. We figure there's no way he got out of the room he was in, but wouldn't you figure the room he's in is the one room in the house that seriously has just been used for us to pile random stuff in. So there's probably about 1,000 places he could be hiding.

We've got the cage on the floor with some good treats leading up to it, to try and get him to come back in. Hopefully he will...I don't really want to find him in 3 months when we're doing spring cleaning...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So Rock Band... pretty fricken awesome.

Cathy and I played through probably 40 0r so songs today, and I must say I'm pretty impressed with the game.

The ONLY thing that let me down was during initial setup, I realized the stock guitar doesn't come with a neck strap. Lame. So we ran to Best Buy and bought a neck strap so that I could hold the guitar more easily.

Cathy loves the singing part of the game. I love the guitar part, but even more fun are the drums. However, I'm not very good at the drums at all. I was consistently getting about 90% of the notes, but that's not REALLY that good. Especially on easy.

I think with more practice I'll get better at the drums.

But the bottom line. Rock Band rocks.

I'm already thinking about what I can get to make it more fun to play. I'd like a custom guitar, and a drum kit stool, and maybe the wireless microphone for it. And the two discs worth of track packs will be a must.

This game is awesome.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rock Band for Wii

So last night I had gone to Meijer to get some quick groceries to make dinner. While I was there I was checking out the video games. Cathy and I had been talking about picking up "Rock Band" for one of the consoles. She likes singing games ("Singstar" and "American Idol") and I like the guitar games. So I figured that "Rock Band" would allow us to do both at the same time...not to mention give us a drum set to actually try playing!!!

So anyways, I checked it out and Meijer had the cheapest price of all on the original "Rock Band Special Edition." Other stores are still selling the Wii version for $110, but Meijer had it for $99. So tonight we went back and picked it up.

We got the "Special Edition" of the game which comes with the game with 63 songs, the guitar, the microphone, and the drum set. So basically the ONLY thing you could add would be another guitar to use as a bass.

I didn't get a chance to set it up tonight, but definitely will get it up tomorrow so we can try it out!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Presents

So I'm starting to think about things that I will be getting people for Christmas. I have a few ideas for things for Cathy. A couple that she has mentioned in the past that I'm sure she's forgotten about. But a few good ones in my opinion.

My parents are the other people that I buy gifts for, and I have NO idea what to get them right now. My mom reads the blog so I won't post any of the ideas out there...mainly because they aren't very good ones just yet!!! I have one idea in mind, but I've been having trouble finding it, so I may have to abandon that idea for the time being.

As far as what I've asked for...well, nothing really. I really don't know what I want at all this year. I've asked Cathy for a couple of random odds and ends...including one really cool model of a working trebuchet (ancient catapult).

I've also asked for an RC boat, but the one I wanted isn't at the store anymore so I don't know if that's something that I'm interested in. I had originally intended to take it out on the kayak with me to have some extra fun while I was out on the boat. I might end up asking for some accessories or games or something for some of the many game consoles we have laying around the house. One other thing that I could use is a nice life vest for the kayak. But I think I'd like to try those things on instead of just buying from the web, and seeing as it's winter now, it would probably be difficult to go and try them on. So basically, I really have no idea what I want for Christmas. I'll try to come up with some things in the next few days. I've been looking through some of the numerous catalogs that we've gotten recently to find some cool things that I don't normally see in stores...and I've got a couple of things in mind to at the very least go back and check out again.

As far as what Cathy AND I want (in case you're reading mom!!!) is the same type of thing you've done for the last few years. We like the idea of having a small trip somewhere. Chicago, Niagara Falls again (we had an absolute blast there), or just about anywhere. We really like that type of gift because it allows us to get out of Dodge for a few days without having to break the bank ourselves!!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Samba De Amigo

So I got "Samba de Amigo" for the Wii tonight. It's a game where you use the Wii remotes as maracas and move them around to the beat of the music.

It's pretty entertaining, but I find that it doesn't really register the movements very well. It seems that it would be a really fun party game...something that you can just start messing around with and having a good time when you've got some friends over.

All in all, even though it frustrates me, it seems to be a pretty good time. And Cathy seems to really enjoy it, so that's cool!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cathy Got a Wii.

So Cathy had been wanting a Wii for a while. I personally am not a huge fan of the Wii. I don't have anything really against it. I got one on launch day with HUGE expectations. Six months later and not a game purchased in 4 of those months, I sold mine for more than I paid for it. It simply didn't seem to be coming with games that a player like me would be interested in.

But with that said, I can see the appeal of the system. It is fun. It's not hardcore like my beloved Xbox 360. It doesn't have amazing HD graphics like my beloved Xbox 360. But what it has are fun, interesting, niche games for people to play.

She bought the Wii with some of the bonus money that she got from work. She also got a game, which unfortunately she wishes she didn't get. It's "Animal Crossing" for the Wii...and although more than likely a good game, she has it for the DS and didn't realize when buying it that it is virtually the same game.

She will probably get the "Rayman" game soon, as she seemed interested in that. I think that both of us are interested in "Wii Fit" and there's a few games that I'm interested in...but the main one is Rapalla Fishing...but it seems to get just okay reviews.

All in all I'm glad she got it. She has been talking about one for a long time, and I knew she wanted one. So I'm glad she treated herself to it...I didn't think that she would.

Friday, November 21, 2008

SCA Combat

So this spring my buddy Alex and I might be interested in getting involved in some SCA armored combat.

SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronism. They are basically a relatively large group that are a living history group. They put on renaissance festivals, study the medieval times, and teach and participate in medieval "combat."

The armored combat is basically exactly what it says. You put on some armor that you have purchased or made and grab a sword and shield that you have made and basically just whack away at each other. Of course, there is much more to it than that if you actually put the time and effort into learning some techniques. Alex and I would probably both be interested in BOTH parts of that combat...just whacking with sticks would be fun, but so would actually studying and learning some real techniques.

Of course, all of this is just speculation right now. I know I'm interested, and Alex has said he is. But I'm not sure if he's really ready to put some money down to start up. From what I can tell armor alone can cost a pretty penny. Of course, like many hobbies, you can put a lot more money into it than you need to. I am planning on purchasing my first set of armor and then making my own sword and shield. The armor I've found ranges in price for full sets from around $150 all the way up to about $5,000. Of course, I'd be on the lower end of that spectrum.

Either way, I look forward to having some fun trying this out this coming summer. It will give me something to do when I don't want to take the kayak out!!!!

Black Friday

So next Friday is Black Friday.

From looking at the early ads, it looks like there might be a couple of good deals to be had...on Blu-Ray DVD players specifically. Meijer has a player by Sylvania for less than $150, which as far as I can tell is going to be about the best price that you will be able to get one for at all for a while.

Another store, maybe Target, has a Sony player for $199.99. That's another good deal, but I'm not a huge fan of Sony.

Either way, I don't really know if that's what we'll be interested in or not. Cathy is getting a pretty good sized bonus for doing well at work this past year...a bit more than I am getting at least...and she's planning on using some of that to maybe get herself a Wii. I haven't seen any deals on Wiis in any of the ads I've looked at so far, but who knows.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fantasy Football.

So Fantasy Football has been pretty up and down this year. In two different leagues, I've got the best overall record...but I'm only assured a playoff spot in one of those leagues. In the other one I need like one guy to lose, or a win or a tie for myself, and then I'm good to go.

In my third league, I'm currently in third place...but I've got a HORRIBLE record. I'm 5-4-2 which is good for third overall in that league...but the entire league seems to just be pretty bad, save for the guy in first place who is 11-0.

And in my last league, I'm 4-7 and really only assured of one thing...and that's not having the worst record in the league. However, the worst record in the league belongs to a guy that isn't playing, that the commish went in and put his entire team to benched so that he couldn't possibly get any kind of win.

So my overall records are as follows:
4-7 and in 7th place in the Yahoo league
5-4-2 and in 3rd place in my first Public Yahoo league
9-2 and in 1st place in my second Public Yahoo league (this is the league that I'm already in the playoffs.
8-1-2 and in 1st place in the CBS Sportsline league

That makes me overall in all leagues for the season:
26-14-4 which is actually a pretty good overall record for four different leagues. That's a .636 winning percentage, which would equate to about a 10-6 record in the NFL for the season...and I seem to remember a certain team that won a certain Championship over a certain undefeated team last year who finished the season with a 10-6 record...

I'm trying right now to pick up some guys that might be difference makers over the next couple of weeks. I especially want to get the playoff spot sealed up in the CBS league...that league has been the most active on SBN and with it comes some pretty major bragging rights!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So "Left 4 Dead" is...

...everything that I could have hoped for and more. It's an absolute blast, whether you're playing by yourself or with other people.

But the fun really kicks into high gear when you're playing with other people. See, the game is designed almost primarily as a 4 player co-op adventure. So when you get three other humans with you, the game really, REALLY starts to shine.

I seriously haven't had this much fun with 3 random players in a game EVER. Usually in a 4 player game, if you're not playing with "friends" you get a bunch of idiots running around doing whatever they want to do. But in "L4D," if you try to do that, you WILL die. And the funny thing is...if you go off on your own all the time, your team mates will eventually stop trying to heal you and help you. So basically, the game FORCES you to play as a team.

I've never played a 4 player game with 3 random others where we actually communicated like a team. However, in "L4D" I found that both times when I was with 3 randoms tonight, we all communicated as best we could to help each other get through the levels. Things like "Ammo is over here," "Do you need some health, because there's a few packs here," "Watch out to your right," and "I need some assistance here" were very common place.

I can only imagine how much more fun it's going to be when I get to play with 3 friends. This game has seriously earned a spot in my heart after only one day. It's an absolute blast, and probably exactly what I was looking for in a game lately. I think this one is going to have'll be in my Xbox for quite some time!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow and Ice...

So tonight on the way home from work I probably averaged about 45 miles per hour. It was snowing and the roads were already starting to get bad.

I saw several cars in the ditch, and on the other side of highway US-127 (heading north) there was one spot where there were several fire trucks, a bunch of police cars, and at least three regular cars that were really mangled. I don't have any idea what happened, but from the looks of it, it probably wasn't very good.

I'm not looking forward to the winter. I'm more of a 70 degrees outside kind of guy. But I guess I better get used to it, this is probably just the start of things to come...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fresh Bread

So Cathy and I got a bread maker from her father. It's pretty cool.

I had a bread maker once before, but this one seems a bit nicer. She made a 2lb loaf the other night and it was excellent!!! I had a grilled cheese sandwich with the was really good. The slices were huge and it tasted awesome.

She is making a 1lb loaf right now. It's smelling pretty good. She thought it would be better to make the 1lb size because the slices might not be quite as big.

Either way, it's a pretty awesome gift and I'm glad we got it. Hopefully we'll use it at least once or twice a week, because fresh bread is really good.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Selling on Ebay.

So I've got several items up for sale on Ebay right now. I don't enjoy selling on Ebay as much anymore as I used to. I've been a member for nearly eight years now, and when I first started selling things were easier and the sales went a lot faster.

I always, ALWAYS sell with a Buy it Now, and it seems like back then things got snatched up right away with Buy it Now. But anymore, people don't seem to like to use that.

Also, Ebay seems to be over run with businesses that are using it as basically a digital store front. That makes it quite a bit harder for just an everyday average Joe (like me) to sell things. I sell high quality used products, usually video games, for what I think are competitive prices...but I don't want to spend the extra money for gallery images and bold I think that sometimes my auctions get just kind of lost in the shuffle.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Shift???

At work the other day they started talking about a new shift that might be an option for Cathy and I. We have been working the night shift, 12:30pm to 9:00pm for the most of the last year or so. But they have started some talk about a possible 11:00am to 7:30pm shift for a small number of people.

I'm not sure if we would really be interested in it or not, but it is an enticing option. It would get us out and home in time to actually go to stores and restaurants that aren't open all the time, but we would still get to sleep in.

We're not sure if we will take it. We aren't taking it very seriously until management says they want it...because things like this at work have a tendency to come about but then never actually get done...

Friday, November 14, 2008


So while I was in Las Vegas I had the two best drinks I've ever had in my life. Two appletinis at the Aurora Bar inside the Luxor hotel and casino.

I think I've become addicted. I got some stuff to make some at home myself. I like the mix quite a bit, but I think I need a bit higher quality vodka to make the mix work the best.

Any good recipes for them?? Share if you've got them!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Video Game News...

So that "Gears of War" collector set that I got from for $149.99...I ended up selling the stuff already. The game itself was put on Ebay and sold within about 2 hours. I got $63 for it. I had a Buy it Now for $60, figuring that would get it sold quickly. The Lancer rifle took a bit longer to sell, but it still sold. Total price including the shipping was about $165. So that means that I got $228 for the package...not bad really. That's a $78 profit for really not doing anything at all.

I shipped out the game today, and the rifle will be getting shipped out on Friday more than likely. I'll have to hit the UPS counter inside Office Depot to ship that, but that's not that big of deal.

So with the $78 profit that I've made from the game package (more like $65 or so after shipping of the Lancer) I'll be purchasing another that I'm more interested in actually owning...

"Left 4 Dead" is the newest game from Valve...yah, the guys that did "Half Life" and it's family. It's a first person shooter, but it's a bit different. It's very specifically designed to be played as a co-op game. You play as one of the four characters, and you're basically fighting against an endless mob of zombies that want to kill you. Everything I've read says that IF you DO NOT work together, you will die. From playing the demo last night, I can safely say that this seems correct. I was playing by myself, and anytime that I got separated from the group, I was instantly in a world of hurt. The demo of this one has really made me want to have it.

Like I've said before...I've still got to beat "Fallout 3" and "Deadspace." Both of those games are absolutely awesome...but I've been itching for some online play with other people. Both of those games are single player I haven't actually played a game online with others in a while. I think "Left 4 Dead" will be the answer to that!!!

Got The Chairs...Got Some Other Stuff...

So we got the chairs put into the house tonight. They look great!!! I think they're pretty comfortable...Cathy thinks they're a bit taller than what she is used to, but thinks she'll be able to grow accustomed to them. They look really good though, and with the furniture rearranged a bit, the living room looks a LOT bigger than it did before. That's a nice side effect of basically only having two love seats in the room now instead of one love seat and one giant couch. The two chairs, when hooked together, are smaller than our love seat was. The ONLY issue with the chairs is that they recline too far backwards, so we set them up so that only one can be reclined. That doesn't matter that much, because Cathy doesn't particularly like to recline...but I do, so it works out pretty well!!!!

We also got some other small things for around the house. We got a ring to hang our hand towels on in the kitchen. We got a coat rack type thing that's pretty small...and we'll use it to hang dog leashes from. That allowed us to take one of the tables out of the room. We also got a nice little shelf to put our phone on, which will allow us to remove another one of the end table type things from the room.

Tonight, Cathy also made her first loaf of bread in the new breadmaker. It's almost done right now, and it smells really good!!!!

She also got herself some new games for the PS2. She got "Sing Star 80s" and "Sing Star 90s" which are both karaoke type games. I like them quite a bit more than the karaoke game we used to have for the Xbox. They just seem to be better all around games.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Day Off...

Today was my first complete day off of everything in a LONG time.

It was nice.

I slept until almost 2 o'clock, then I watched a movie in bed until 4. I basically didn't make it to reality until almost 5pm.

Then we went to Pizza Hut for dinner and hit up Target and a few other places to spend some giftcard money that we got for our wedding. Unfortunately we didn't find anything at Target to actually buy. We had been thinking of getting a microwave, but we didn't find one that we really liked...and it's hard to decide to buy something when the one you have still WORKS just fine, just LOOKS a bit out of date.

Tomorrow we should be going to get the that will be fun!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Furniture for Living Room

So Cathy and I have decided to use a little bit of the money we got for the wedding for some new furniture for the living room.

Currently we have a love seat and a couch in the living room, but the animals (all of them...maybe not so much the cat) have done a good job of pretty much ruining the couch. The love seat is still pretty serviceable, but the couch is just bad.

So we have decided that we are going to get a couple of theater chairs to replace the couch.

The nice thing about them is, one of them has two arms like the one in the picture, but the other one has only one arm. So the two chairs go right next to each other and share an arm in the middle, just like a movie theater!!! Only a bit more plush.

We will move the love seat to where our couch currently is and put the chairs where the love seat currently is. That's probably the best setup for our home theater setup in the TV room right now.

Hopefully we'll be going to pick them up on Tuesday or Wednesday. I really want to see what they look like in the house!!!!

We'll be saving most of the rest of the money we got for this spring...then we'll be installing a fence in the backyard so a certain set of coons and a beagle can run rampant without bothering us!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remember Those Special Edition Games...

Well, I ordered the limited edition of "Gears of War 2" for the Xbox 360. It came with a replica of the "Lancer" which is the assault rifle in the game and the limited edition of the game. The total price for it was $149.99.

Here's the game

And here's the limited edition replica of the "Lancer" rifle from the game (that's the one on the cover of the game shown above)
That Lancer replica is 36" long, made out of weapons grade plastic (the same stuff that M-16s are made out of), and has a motor and speaker in it that make it shake and sound like a chainsaw when the trigger is pulled.

Like I said, the total cost of the package was $149.99. The game retails for $69.99, and that Lancer sells on for $139.99. So basically I got $210 worth of products for $150. Like I stated before, I'll be selling them on Ebay. I don't really particularly care too much for the "Gears of War" series, but the idea of being able to turn a bit of a profit on these items was pretty enticing.

I currently have the game up on Ebay for $60, and when the Lancer gets here I'll probably put that up on Ebay for $140 plus shipping. So hopefully I'll end up getting $200 for the two items, which will be a $50 profit for doing practically nothing. Not bad.

I see the Lancer going for quite a bit more than that on Ebay...same with the limited edition of the game. The average sale price of the game is $82, and the Lancer is going for about $175. But I have priced mine for quick sales...which is important to me to get the product moved.

If they end up going for more than my Buy it Now prices on Ebay, then heck, awesome...but if not, I'll still make enough money to buy another game or something basically for no out of pocket money...not bad!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Looking for a New Hobby...

So with the winter months quickly approaching, I'm thinking of taking on a new hobby. I would like it to be something interactive...i.e. not collecting things. I would like it to be something that can last a long time. I want it to be something inside.

I have a few hobbies during the, the kayaks, and I'm going to be taking up SCA heavy weapon fighting with my wife's father's partner. Seems pretty cool.

But I need a winter hobby. I play a lot of video games, but recently I've been getting a bit disinterested in them. I enjoy playing video games online much more than playing by myself, but unfortunately there aren't any good online games out right now...nor are there any good ones coming out anytime soon.

So I'm trying to come up with some other things to do during the cold winter months. I've come up with a couple of models, build model rockets, set up a train set. The train set is the most intriguing to me, but it's also the most expensive which is a hinderance.

Any ideas???

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We're Back!!!

Well, after not having any internet connection at The Luxor, I didn't get any chance to post to the blog while we were on vacation...and I've been pretty tired since we got home, so this is the first chance I've gotten to talk about the trip.

What can I say?? It was awesome. The plane ride there was smooth and uneventful. The room was nice. The weather was great. The shows were fun. The shopping was wonderful. The food was great.

Everything about the trip was really fun...and Cathy and I will definitely be going back. We are planning on trying to go back for our one year anniversary next October. We'll be looking to stay at possibly the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino, as it is a bit more centrally located on the strip.

That was really about the only thing that we really miscalculated when planning our trip. Staying at The Luxor was nice, but it was at the end of the strip and we ended up doing a TON of walking. So staying at someplace a bit more centrally located on the strip would be we're thinking PH would be good...or NYNY...or possibly The Mirage.

Either way, I'll try to get some videos and photos posted soon, but right now they aren't loaded on this PC. I have a few videos to upload to YouTube so that I can get them on the blog...but that's all for another day!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On Our Way!!!

In about 12 hours we will be sitting on a plane heading to Sin City. It's going to be GREAT!!!!