Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two Down...

So let's just throw this out there...

So far in this series, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crysby have a total of one goal.
The rookie for the Red Wings, Justin Abdelkader...has two.

So a rookie left winger has more goals than the two "biggest stars in the NHL." This rookie winger has more goals than the two players that EVERY intermission focuses on. This rookie winger has two insurance goals that really iced each of these games.

Absolutely stellar game by the Wings tonight after they finally woke up in the second period.

Game three is on Tuesday night.

Go Wings!!!

Surf Lessons...

So I have always wanted to know how to surf...but of course I always was in a bad location for that. Or so I thought.

Michigan can't possibly be a good place for surfing, can it?? No. The Great Lakes simply don't have large enough waves. Do they? It's impossible.

I remember once when I was younger I was at my friend Jon's cottage up at Silver Lake. His cottage was only about a two minute walk from Lake Michigan. One morning we got up to go fly kites because it was really windy...but when we got to the beach we noticed that the waves on the lake were probably about 15 feet instead we went and got our swim shorts and hit the waves for the entire day.

But I thought I had missed out on my best chance of learning to surf. When I was in Costa Rica back in early 2008 the guys that were part of the groom's party all went for surf lessons. I didn't know they were going so of course I didn't get to go. Had I known I probably would've tagged along even though I wasn't in the groom's party.

But anyways, to the point...I have found that the southern tip of Lake Michigan can actually provide for some pretty good surfing. So good, in fact, that there is actually a surf shop in New Buffalo, Michigan. Some people have been surfing that part of Lake Michigan for over 50 years.

The best part?? The Third Coast Surf Shop offers lessons!!! It's about a three hour drive for me, so I'm not sure when I'd be able to get there to take some, but it's definitely closer than going back to Costa Rica...or California...or Hawai'i.

I think that maybe sometime this summer I'll try to get there to get a lesson in!!
This Shop also offers skimboarding lessons. It looks like the surf lessons are at 10:00 AM and cost $45. The skimboard lessons are all on the same days as the surf lessons but are at 2:00 PM and cost $35. So what I may try and do is just get $80 together and go over to the beach one day and get both sets of lessons. Should make for a pretty fun day I would imagine.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

One Down...

So the game tonight was unbelievable. What a game. I thought the refs did a pretty good job of letting the two teams play. Malkin had one breakaway that probably should've been called a penalty, but other than that it was a pretty clean and competitive game.

The kind of game that is great to watch. Some great shots. Some great saves. Some big hits. And a few more goals by the Wings than the Pens.

The first two goals by the Wings were kind of flukey...both of them went in off of Marc-Andre Fleury. But that was countered by one pretty weak goal by Pittsburgh. Osgood thought he had the puck under his glove but instead Fedotenko picked it up and threw it in the net.

The best goal of the game, however, went to the rookie...Justin Abdelkader. Now, I know hockey is kind of crazy with how often you play and blah blah blah. But let's just say that Abdelkader is a rookie. He scored the third goal for the Wings, the one that effectively iced the game. He took a pass from another rookie, Ville Leino, and took a shot from just to the right of the net. The puck shot up into the air, and only Abdelkader saw it. He snatched it out of the air set it down and hit the back of the net for his first ever NHL goal.

Now, the thing about this goal, to me, is the fact that it makes me smile every time I see it, simply because they had a mic right on the play and you could hear him throughout the whole play when they showed "Sounds of the Game" a few minutes went like this...

"Ville!!! Ville!!!..........YES......WOOOOHOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

It was absolutely great because as he realizes he's scored he yells "YES!!" but gets knocked down right as he yells it...then gets up and just starts screaming. Really makes you realize how much fun these guys can have when things are going their way.

Well, one down...and it was an awesome one. Game two is tomorrow night!!!

Go Wings!!!!

Step Into Liquid...

So yesterday I watched a documentary. I like watching documentaries. They are great.

This one is called "Step Into Liquid." It's a 2003 documentary about surfing. It's absolutely fantastic. It's directed by Dana Brown.

It takes a look inside the hobby of surfing. I say hobby because after watching the documentary, it becomes obvious that surfing is less of a sport and more of just something to do to have fun and pass time. If you watch it, you'll pick up on what I mean.

It looks at some of the pioneers of the modern era of surfing. It visits some of the most exotic places to surf...including Pipe Line in Hawai'i, some beaches in Vietnam, Chile, Lake Michigan in Wisconsin (yes they surf there, and they are good), and culminates in an absolutely epic shoot at Cortes underwater mountain range 120 miles or so off the coast where when the conditions are right end up throwing 70 foot waves at the surfers.

The documentary is amazing. It really portrays surfers in a different light than most other things show them in.

If you get a chance and have two hours to kill...give it a try. I thought it was excellent.

Friday, May 29, 2009

E3 Starts on Monday...

So if you're a gamer, then the biggest show in gaming is coming up in just a few days. E3 has been the show that all the developers, publishers, and just about anyone else release anything new that they have been working on...or update things that we already know about that they are working on.

I have my eyes on a few things to check out in coverage of this year's show.

One of them is obviously "DJ Hero" as shown in my other post on the blog today. Looks like it's going to be amazingly awesome.

Next up is "BioShock 2." The first game is one of my all time favorites, and this one looks like it's going to be no slouch.

After that is "Mass Effect 2." I still have faith that this game will come out this fall. I think it's one of the game's that Microsoft has been keeping close to it's vest.

"Red Dead Redemption" comes next. The only problem with this is that it appears like it's already been delayed into 2010.

"Borderlands" is another one. A massive open world co-op first person shooter?? Sign me up!!!

"Brutal Legend" is next. A heavy metal adventure game starring Jack Black?? What could go wrong with that??

"Assassin's Creed 2" is on the list. I haven't finished the first one, but the second one so far is shaping up to be a game that has fixed everything that was wrong with the first one.

"ODST." This game is "Halo" from another character's view point. Paint it awesome already.

The OnLive console that I wrote about a few days ago is on my list. As is whatever the new "Ghost Recon" game that hasn't officially been announced yet.

I'm sure there will be tons more that will catch my eye, but these are the one's I'm really interested in...

Now This is Gonna be Cool...

So everyone in the world it seems knows what "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" are. If you've never played them, chances are you at the very least know someone who has. And if you're one of the four people out there that don't eve know anyone that's ever played one of these games, then you HAVE seen them in stores. Basically, they are a phenomenon that has become so large that even people that don't play games know what these are and how they work.

I have "Rock Band" for the Wii. I've had "Guitar Hero" games in the past for my 360. They are great games. I really enjoy playing them.

However, this looks like it's going to be something different...and I think it's going to be great...

"DJ Hero" is slated for release this fall by the same company that brings us "Guitar Hero," Activision.

The game uses the same formula made so successful by the "Guitar Hero" franchise but takes it in a different direction. The falling notes indicate which buttons to press, which way to move the crossfader, and whether or not you will need to scratch the record.

Of course, you're thinking, how do you scratch a record in a game?? The answer...the new peripheral that will be released with the game. This is it here. Behold it's awesomeness...The peripheral will make the game work. The cross fader is the switch on the left of this picture that looks like it fades back and forth. The buttons are on the turn table, and that turn table actually moves for all of the scratching moves. It also breaks apart so that you can play it lefty or righty.

The controller itself is absolutely amazing to me...and the game looks to be really cool. I have always liked hip hop music, and this seems like it's going to be a game for people that are into that type of music.

Here's a quick trailer as well. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


So I got the game "Demigod" for the PC today. Man, I wish I'd have gotten it a while ago!!! It's really fun.

It's kind of like a hybrid real time strategy game. You control a single unit on the battlefield...but your character is quite a bit stronger than most of the other units and people on the field. That's because you're a Demigod that is fighting for the vacant seat amongst the real gods.

The control you have over this one character is just like you would have over any character or group of units in any other RTS...but you can ONLY control this one character. The rest of your army is controlled by the AI and they fight against the other army.

On the map there are certain control points that grant your army a boost based on whether or not you control them. Things like experience, money, cool down times, and just about everything are changed by the flags that are on the map and whether you have control over them or the other team does.

What's cool about controlling a particularly powerful character is the fact that you basically just walk all over the "normal" units in the game. My Demigod was basically just ripping right through the standard armies of the other team in the games I played tonight. Where the challenge comes in is when you start fighting agains the OTHER Demigods that are on the map...I was playing 2 vs 2 and one AI Demigod against two AI Demigods. In the first game I really got my butt kicked. I killed about 8 Demigods but died about 25 times. Not really very good, but luckily my team still won. But I really started picking it up at the end. Let's just say that I was like 2-22 before going 6-3 to finish the game. So I was starting to learn the game a bit and in the second game it really showed. I ended up going 35-3 in kills in that game and my team won decisively in about 25 minutes less time than the first game had taken.

I was playing as the character "Unclean Beast." He is one of eight different Demigods in the game. This is him right here:

Each different Demigod has different powers and abilities. Some are assassins and some are generals. Assassins tend to do their fighting themselves, where generals control minions and have an army of minions fight for them.

The game seems really fun, and I look forward to playing it quite a bit more. There is an online setup to the game that allows you to play with up to 10 people in matches, but I'm obviously not ready for that yet. Hopefully after I get a bit more used to the game and maybe a bit better I'll be able to jump online and enjoy some good matches!!

Went to the Doctor Today...

So when I woke up this morning my throat was still really sore. I did what I should have done and called the doctor to make an appointment. I don't like going to the doctor, so you know it had to be really bothering me if I actually went to see someone about it.

I went at 2:00 PM and the doctor took all my vitals. That was the first good news, I'm still alive. Then he started doing some other doctor things and let me know that I was the first person in there that day that had all of those symptoms but did not have bronchitis. I guess that's good news?? He then took a look at my throat and said that it was looking pretty bad, so he was going to give me some medicine.

He prescribed some amoxicillin and told me to just keep taking whatever pain medicine I like. I guess that's how I had fooled myself into thinking I was feeling better on Wednesday, I had been taking regular doses of Ibuprofen all day long. He also told me to not talk too often and that gargling salt water would help with my voice.

I went and got the amoxicillin and some more ibuprofen from the store and hopefully I'm on my way to recovery now...which is a good thing, because I'm sick of being sick...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


So it stormed quite a bit today. There was thunder, lighting, and quite a bit of rain...for short bits of time.

I think it thundered for about 3 hours after we got home from work. Lightning was going for most of the evning, too. But I don't think it rained for really a very long time...but when it did rain man did it ever come down!!!

I like it when it storms. The only problem with it since I moved from Lansing is that we tend to lose power here quite a bit more than I ever did in Lansing. But we didn't tonight, so I got to sit around and enjoy the game and then play some "Halo" without worrying about it.

I'm glad it's time for days off, too. I need a few days of just laying around. My throat is starting to feel better, but it's still not 100%. So hopefully after a few days rest I'll be good to go!!!

To the Finals...Part II...

So it's a rematch.

The Red Wings finished off the Hawks tonight in OT despite having about half of their team not playing due to injury.

I really wish there were a few extra days before the start of the Finals, so that the Wings could get a bit more healthy...but it is what it is.

To be honest, the Penguins scare me quite a bit more this year than they did last year. They are hitting on all cylinders, and the Wings seem to be just scraping by. Granted, the Wings have played a tougher road to the Finals, but their stars seem to have disappeared a bit in the last few weeks.

Oh well, Game One is Saturday.

Go Wings!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To The Finals...

So they make it back...and more than likely they'll be facing the Red Wings again. Have they gotten good enough to beat the Wings?? I guess only time will tell. They are better...but so is Detroit. Both teams are playing pretty good hockey right now.

Of course, once again, the Wings played a far superior set of teams en route to where they are now, so that might have something to do with these things.

Either way, should be a good series...


So the other evening I went through and renamed all of the videos from our trip to Las Vegas last fall. They had all been named just "Filexxxx" and things like that. So I named all of them based on what they were and where they were from.

It took me a good long time, seeing as there were a good couple gigabytes of video that needed to be taken care of.

But anyways, some of my favorite videos from the trip came from the Shark Reef Aquarium inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. It was a pretty nice aquarium and the viewing of the animals was excellent. It had one of those tubes that you walk through and the fish swim all around you and stuff...pretty cool.

I love the ocean, and I love sharks and other sea creatures. But living in Michigan means that I'm quite a ways from the sea, and as such I don't get to spend nearly as much time at the beach and in the ocean as I would like to. I would LOVE to be able to learn how to learn how to SCUBA dive (and have it not be in a murky lake here in Michigan) be able to go deep sea fishing...but sometimes aquariums are the best that I can do.

Here's one of the videos from inside the aquarium...I thought it came out pretty well!!

I guess the video is a bit too large to looks strange on the check it out at the link!!!


Monday, May 25, 2009

My Back Yard Was Like a Prarie!!!

So it had been a whole two weeks since I last mowed my back yard. I have been trying to do the mowing on two days during the week...Thursday or Friday I mow the front yard, and then on Monday I do the back yard.

But as you all know last week I didn't get a chane to mow because I spent the whole day monkeying with the brakes on my car at my parents house.

So I finally got a chance to do it today, and man did it ever need it!!! The grass in those two weeks had grown to about the height of my knees. It took forever to mow today because I had to go very slowly in order to get the grass cut without the mower stalling out on me. I really need to get that riding mower fixed!!!


Geo Greetings Are COOL...

That's an understatement. What this site does is create a greeting for someone else that you can e-mail them the link to. When they click on the link, it will show them a customized message that you created using Google Earth. The message is displayed by the program as it zooms in on buildings around the globe that look like the letters of the alphabet.

It's very interesting, and certainly cool.

Check it out!!

Here's an example of one that I did.
Example I made.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ready for a Day Off...

So I'm really ready for another day off. We were pretty tired after the party on Saturday night...and I'm still not really feeling very well.

I don't really have too much of a stuffed up nose or anything anymore, but my throat really hurts. It's to the point where I feel like I'm losing my voice.

Hopefully having Monday off will give us time to get rested up and feeling better.


So today, even without several of their key players, the Red Wings dismantled the Blackhawks to the tune of 6-1.

This wasn't so much a way of them telling Chicago that they were done toying with them as much as it was a message to Sidney Crysby and the Penguins.

Go Wings!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Completely Dead At Work Today...

So today had to be one of the most boring days at work in ages. I think that from the time we got there at 9 until we left at 7:30 there couldn't have been more than 100 people through the checkpoint.

When it's that slow, it seems like it's such a complete waste of time to even be there. At least the time went by relatively quickly because we were having a pretty good time and we had pretty good workers with us.

I guess part of it might be because of the holiday. Memorial Day in Michigan isn't the kind of holiday where people do anything other than go up I guess it's not surprising that it was so slow...

I Guess It Will Be a Party...

Looks like the weather is going to cooperate enough for us to have the UFC PPV the way we were planning.

We've added a guest, Elon, but since the weather is going to be pretty good we're going to do hot dogs on the grill for food. Should be pretty cool. Most of the times that we do these things with other people there is pizza or a party sub or something. I figured that hot dogs would be a little bit more original, and it's a pretty good way to kick of the summer if you ask me!!

I even got some good treats to keep the dogs occupied while everyone is over so that they don't spend all their time in everyone's way. They'll get put in their crates with some rawhides to chew on, so hopefully they won't be too much of a problem!!!

Should be a pretty good time. The fight card is pretty good, so hopefully the fights live up to the billing.

Friday, May 22, 2009


So I've been paying attention for a little while to this new gaming console that is coming out this winter. It's called OnLive. Today I signed up for the public beta testing that they will be doing this summer, and hopefully I'll be able to get in on it. I've been in on a couple of betas in the last few years, so hopefully if I get contacted that experience will help me to get chosen for the program.

What is OnLive you ask?? Well, it's a new system that's effectively designed to eliminate the need to actually go to a store and purchase video games. Like Xbox Live! delivers demos and arcade titles to you via download, OnLive does the same thing...but differently. OnLive doesn't actually store anything on your hard drive, other than a small 1 megabyte client file. It actually uses a new and advanced system of streaming to allow you to play the games while they stream from high end servers on the back end of the service.

This means that you can play games on a PC or a Mac, but you can also get what they call a "Micro Console" and hook that up to your TV which will allow you to play the games on any TV. In order to play standard definition games, you need a 1.5mbps download speed and to play games in high def you need a 5mbps download speed. I'm pretty sure I meet the requirements to play at the 5mbps so I should be able to play the HD versions of the games.

I would probable be most interested in the Micro Console, because I would rather play games on a 37" screen than on a 22" screen...but playing on the PC wouldn't be too's what the Micro Console and the special controller look like...You'll notice that the controller has buttons similar to a DVR or VCR on it, and that's because the system is constantly recording 15 seconds worth of game play. Due to this, you can hit the record button when you do something especially great (or especially stupid) and show it to your friends around the world.

All of this is supposed to basically be given to the gamer for a monthly fee...I don't really know if there will be a charge for games or if the monthly fee will get you all the gameplay that you want. I wouldn't mind paying $15 a month for the service and then paying $39 to buy a game...but if it's going to be a monthly fee AND you'll still have to pay $60 for a game, then that's a bit much....

Either way, it seems to be something to keep my eyes on...and I hope I can get in on that beta!!!


So as I sit here watching the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks play Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, it is becoming very apparent to me that the NHL doesn't want the Red Wings to play the Pens in the Finals again.

Absolutely HORRIBLE officiating going against the Red Wings tonight. The five minute major on Kronwall was absolutely horrendous...let alone the holding call after that penalty was over, and the double minor for high sticking. Absolutely horrible.

Of course, this is to be expected. The Red Wings have consistently dealt with the referees not wanting them to win games. I don't know what exactly it is. In every other sport, the best teams are generally given the majority of the calls in their favor...but not in the NHL. Maybe it's because they don't have the star power like some of the other teams do.

It's becoming fairly obvious to me that the NHL WANTS Sidney Crysby to be the Next Wayne Gretzky...and they will stop at nothing to make sure it happens...even if that means making outcomes of games come down to bad officiating, and trying to set up match ups that favor the Penguins when it comes down to it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

UFC 98...

So Cathy and I got a thing from Comcast a few weeks ago where they were telling us that they might not be able to carry the NFL Network anymore. Because of this, they were offering us a free PPV event, or up to six On Demand movie purchases.

We decided to get the PPV event and we'll be getting UFC 98 this coming Saturday.

And instead of just the two of us this time (we've gotten about three UFC events in the last two years) we're having some friends over to watch it with us. Li, Alex, and Dan Vanilla Wafer from work will all be making the trip down to our house to watch the fights with us.

We'll be having hot dogs on the grill...unless it's raining (which it's supposed to) which will cause us to just order a bunch of pizzas.

Cathy has been on a house cleaning rampage trying to get the house ready for the should be fun. Lots of good fights that night.

Oh yah, and Alex has challenged Vanilla Wafer to a match of "Halo 3" becaue Vanilla Wafer has been talking trash about how bad he could beat Alex...should be great.

Going to Star Trek Again...

So tomorrow my parents are coming down to my house. The four of us are (tentatively) going to see "Star Trek." My father wants to see it and I'd like to see it again. Cathy and my mom may skip out on going to see it, though. Cathy doesn't really NOT want to see it again, but she doesn't really want to see it either. My mom still isn't sure if she wants to go see it or not. So she said she'd decide whether she wants to go or not by the time she gets here.

Either way, after we watch it we're going to Klavon's for some pizza.

Should be a fun afternoon.

Fixed the Champ's Fender...

So I fixed the Champ's fender today. As I suspected, it was something that was a really easy fix.

It's nice to have something that really only needs some cosmetic work to get it perfect. The thing was held on by four screws. I took them out, readjusted it, and slapped it back on. My assumption that it was put on last time on the wrong side of the mounting bracket was correct. I moved it to the correct side and now it looks perfect.

The only problem now is the back luggage rack. It's slightly tweaked to the left. And now that the fender is straight it's a bit more prominent. Maybe I'll start haunting Ebay looking for a good deal on a rear rack for it so that it will be 100% perfect.

In other news about the Champ, I definitely need to find some sort of helmet for it. I was riding it up to the store the other night, and I must've swallowed about 50 insects of some type in the 5 minutes there and 5 minutes back. A helmet is a must, I guess!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Tigers...

So the Detroit Tigers are off to a pretty solid start.

This team seems to change philosophies about every season. Last year they were supposed to score 1,000 runs and be one of the greatest offensive teams ever put together...but instead they ended up with a losing record after a horrible start.

This year they have shifted to be a more defensive team, and so far, so good. Here's hoping they can keep it up!!

I Always Get Sick When the Weather Changes...

So this monring I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. That's always what happens right before I get a cold. Hopefully I caught it in time for me to start fighting it before it takes hold completely. I took some of my Zycam this morning and some other meds, so hopefully it won't hit me really hard.

Over the last few years this seems to happen whenever the weather significantly changes...when it gets warmer or colder, I suddenly get a cold.

Maybe it's allergies??

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Found a Few Things to Fix on the Champ...

So I found a couple of little things to fix on the new scooter. Luckily, they don't effect the way that the thing works at all. They are only cosmetic and should be a simple fix.

Basically, what it looks like is the last time someone changed the tire on the back of the scooter, they put the fender on the wrong side. The bike itself has a little mount that the fender bolts on to. The fender SHOULD be bolted to the right side of the mount in order to have it on there straight and even. But when it was changed last, it looks like the fender was mounted to the left side of the mount, and that makes the fender look like it's just slightly off center...because it is!!!

It should really be only a really simple fix, and it shouldn't take me very long. I don't know when I'll get around to it, because it's very minor. Maybe I'll take a look at it in the next few days...maybe not!!!

Team Sweden...West...

So tonight the Red Wings won again against the Hawks...and as the game was going on I started to really think about how this team has changed over the years.

In 97 and 98 when they won Cups, they were basically Team Russia West. The core of their team was made up entirely of Russian players.

Now, in 2009, the team is basically Team Sweden West. The Red Wings currently count EIGHT players on their roster from Sweden. They also have two players from Finland, which might as well be Sweden...

Either way, it's on to Chicago with a 2-0 series lead. Go Wings!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm a Trekker After All...

So after thoroughly enjoying the new "Star Trek" movie, I have been talking about it a lot with pretty much anyone that will listen to me. I found a guy at work that was REALLY into the old series and really enjoyed the new movie.

We talked about the movie for quite a while and how it was different than the original, and how it was the same.

Now, if you remember my other post I mentioned that I wasn't really a Trekker. I have never really followed any of the series on TV. I honestly don't think I've ever watched an entire episode of one of the TV shows.

But after talking with Dan at work, something began to dawn on me. "Star Trek" embodies many of the things that I find absolutely fascinating. Space. Adventure. The technology of the future. Black holes. New planets. Aliens. Action. FTL travel. Exploration. Excitement.

The things in "Star Trek" are all things that are pretty interesting to me. I like imagining what the future will be like. I like believing that one day we'll achieve faster than light travel, even though physics says we can not do it. I like thinking that one day we'll be able to teleport ourselves from one place to another in an instant. I like believing that one day we will discover (or be discovered) by an alien species and learn all about them. I like all of these things.

And because of this, I guess I actually am a Trekker at heart. And I guess I don't have a problem with that.

I look forward to discovering the Final Frontier....

Stupid Kia...

So I drive a 2002 Kia Rio. It's been a good car since I got it brand new back in September of 2002.

I like the car. It's small, and it rattles a little bit, but it works really well most of the time, gets good gas mileage, is fun to drive, and relatively cheap to own.

With that said, I was driving it home from work on Sunday, and all of the sudden my brake pedal went all the way to the floor. I'm fairly knowledgeable about cars and how they work, so I quickly pumped the brakes a few times and I got the pressure back in the system and was able to stop in a normal distance...but it was making some pretty strange sounds. So Cathy and I pulled into a parking lot to look at it, and when we were pulling in it sounded like something broke off of the car.

Upon inspection, it appeared that something had happened to the brake pad on the passenger side. It LOOKED like there wasn't any pad left...which would be impossible seeing as I put new pads on just last fall. So I limped the car to my parents house and borrowed their car to go home.

I went back to Lansing today to fix the problem. When I got the wheel off and the brake apart, I noticed that somehow...some way...the brake pad HAD actually fallen off of the car. There was no pad on the outer part of the caliper on the passenger side of the car. It was just the metal plate that mounts in the caliper that was left there. The ONLY thing that I can think of is that the pad somehow got damaged and broke, and then it flung itself out of the caliper while I was stopping when the pedal went all the way to the floor.

After a bit of a hassle getting everything all back together (I had to go to the store again to get a c-clamp to push the caliper piston back into place) I got everything taken care of and got the car home. I'm pretty sure that it also needs some new rotors, but those are on there with screws that will need a nice impact driver to get them off, so I don't have any way to easily get them off. I think I might end up having to pay the guy at work to do them sometime in the next few weeks or so.

Got the Moped Today...

So the guy that I bought the moped from, Phil, called today at about 10 am and asked if I wanted to come pick the scooter up at his work or if I would rather him drop it off on his way home from work. I told him it would probably be best if he just dropped it off, mainly because I was sleeping still...hehehehe...

Anyways, he dropped it off and I paid him, and to my delight it started right up. I took it around the neighborhood for a few minutes and got it up to a nice 35 MPH.

I then parked it and went to Lansing to work on the brakes on my car...but that's another post...

So when I got back, I actually got Cathy to try it out. At first she was pretty nervous, but she ended up being able to go down the street and back just fine. She didn't go really fast, but she seemed to have a pretty good time on it. She wants to start tooling around on it a little bit more, and if she likes it maybe we'll start looking for another scooter for her.

After that I got to work on putting a basket on the back. I found a pretty nice one that matches the one that's on the front. It's held on with a bungie cord, and it looks pretty good on the back of the scooter.

All in all I'm really happy with the purchase. It's nice to have something that just works, instead of something that I need to work on extensively!!!

I think I'm going to order a helmet for it. I don't really want to wear my expensive full face for the motorcycle while riding it, and you don't NEED to have a helmet when riding a moped in Michigan, so I'm going to look for something that's a bit of a novelty...right now I'm leaning towards a fighter pilot style this one...

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This is the post that I made on the Memorial page of the Lansing State Journal about my grandmother. The names referenced in it are people that also posted on the memorial.

My grandmother and I weren't the closest over the last several years. As I grew up and my life changed I grew more distant from most of my family members. I guess I just felt that it was a part of my becoming independant...moving on and not really looking back. I regret not being around more often over the last 10 years. I regret not getting to know my grandmother better. I regret not having been as big of a part of her life as I could have been. Hindsight is 20-20, though, so instead I will remember the things that always made me smile about her.

Like my cousin Aaron mentioned below I remember going to her house and KNOWING that there was a new G.I. Joe guy there waiting for me. I remember the way that she would swim, all by herself, whenever the kids weren't in the pool just so that we couldn't get her hair wet. I remember her cup always at her side, but unlike Penny and Vaughn, I remember it being filled with Pepsi. I remember that Pepsi at her house always tasted just a little bit better. I remember the summer trip that she went with me to the Upper Peninsula. I beat her horribly in spotting Volkswagen Beetles...but I know I didn't, she just let me win. I remember her going down the water slide at the hotel we were staying in. I remember the police scanner and how strange I thought it was that she always had it on. I remember getting spoiled by her every time I went to visit. I remember getting to her house on Christmas morning and seeing that the living room was literally stuffed with presents. I remember many good things, and I'm sorry I didn't get to know her better as I grew up.

I'm not a religious person. I don't know if there is a Heaven. But one thing I do know...if there IS in fact a Heaven, my grandmother is there waiting for everyone that she cared about...and if there is a Heaven, I know that she's up there with a new kind of scanner...the kind that lets her listen in on all of our lives, just so that she can make sure that we're all always safe. Rest in peace, Grandma Burtch, because I miss you...and I'm sorry I wasn't there more often.

They Match Up Better...

The Wings definitely match up better against the evidenced by the dominating victory today.

It ended up 5-2, but it could have easily been 9-2 if it weren't for some pretty great net minding.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some Games Coming Out this Spring...

So there are a couple of games coming out or that just released that I plan on getting this spring.

First and foremost on my list is "Red Faction: Guerilla." I was a fan of the first two "Red Faction" games and this one is completely different. It's a 3rd person shooter, but it's got a's open world, like "Grand Theft Auto," and EVERYTHING in the game can be completely destroyed. Yup. EVERYTHING. If it's man made and it's in the game, you can destroy it with any of the vehicles or weapons. I actually played in the Beta on Xbox LIVE! a few months ago and was hooked on the game then...but the changes they've made to it make it seem even better. It comes out in the middle of June.
The other one is another game for the PC that I thought looked pretty cool. The reading some reviews suggested that it wasn't worth purchasing because it was "broken." That means that it doesn't work at all, not that it's a bad game, but that it has a glitch that makes it not work the way it's intended. Then I found out the glitch is fixed, and it looks like something I might be interested in. It's another RTS type of game...I find that really the only type of game that I like on the PC is the RTS...or the MMO, but I don't like paying monthly to play a game, so I don't do many MMO type that leaves the RTS. This one is called "Demigod" and instead of building a giant army and destroying your opponent (like in "Sins") you actually have a generic army constantly built by the AI for you. Instead of controlling them, you control a very powerful single hero, called a Demigod, and use that Demigod to destroy the opponents army and Demigods and to boost your own army. It's supposed to be a really good multiplayer game, but the single player looks pretty interesting to me, too. I think I might pick it up sometime in the next couple of weeks to give it a are supposed to be fast paced and can end quickly, which will be a stark contrast to "Sins of a Solar Empire."
I must admit that this will probably be the last PC game that I purchase for a while. It's actually Cathy's computer and I don't want to have too many things that I want to try and play on it. But it will really only be the third game that I have, so that's not that many. I also think that it will compliment my other strategy game by giving me something that doesn't take hours and hours to finish a map. I must also admit that one of the things that I like about the PC is the graphics...they simply blow me away. I know that my Xbox 360 has some amazing graphics, but they just don't seem to really compare. Granted, I haven't played many of the strategy type games on the Xbox, but man, these few that I have (and "Demigod" in particular) look simply amazing!!

There are some more games coming out later in the summer and this fall, of course, but I'll touch on those later!!

Yamaha LC50 Champ...

So I have this obsession with mopeds. I've had it for a few years, but I never really did anything about it. Last summer Cathy and I talked about getting some, but then gas prices came back down and they didn't really seem necessary anymore.

Well, lately with the troubles with the GS (which is still for sale, by the way) I had started thinking about getting one again. It would be a nice way to have a get on and go two wheeled vehicle. On it I don't feel that leather jackets and such are necessary for every ride, like I do with the motorcycle. Also, insurance isn't required and registration costs $15 for 3 years.

So today I got this:

It's a 1982 Yamaha LC50 Champ. It's in GREAT shape. Starts right up and drives like a Champ...yes, pun intended.

I plan on leaving the basket on the front and getting a trunk for the rear. Then I'm going to use it for most of my around town errands!!


So after playing for a good 8 hours or so in my first game of "Sins of a Solar Empire," I finally was able to claim victory.

I slowly began to learn a little bit more about how to play the game. I learned that I needed to expand a bit more of my empire. I THOUGHT that I was playing a small map...and I was...but what I didn't know was that a "small" map in "Sins" still has about 16 planets or more. So I was holding down the fort on three planets while my enemy was holding down 13 different planets.

I finally began to expand, and luckily I was playing on the easier settings, so I won battles pretty decisively on the planets that were in the middle of the two empires and was able to slowly start expanding my empire.

After I began to expand, I really learned some of the intricacies of the upgrading system. I upgraded my fleet capacity and my ships to be literally war beasts. One of my cruisers was capable of taking on two of the other fleets cruisers, so if I went into a match with equal numbers I came out victorious literally every time.

You can only imagine what happened once I had amassed nearly 400 ships. Once I had that, I separated my army into two different units, and proceeded to systematically purge the galaxy of my tormentors. I basically went to the two choke points on the map and worked my way into their territory from there. I was virtually untested until victory.

The crazy part about all of this is that it was nearly 8 hours of real time...and that's a SMALL map. Awesome.

Season Finale of "LOST..."

So I know that a while back I stopped updating on "LOST" every week.

I did this because, honestly, it was exhausting going through the episode and rehashing it in text on the blog. So many things happen in an hour of "LOST" that it was getting difficult to put everything down, and then adding my own thoughts to how things were going to happen made the posts exceedingly long.

With that said, the season finale was excellent. In true "LOST" fashion it left us with the biggest cliff hanger of all time in the series.

I look forward to next (the last) season of the show, and wonder where they are going to go with this.

What happened after the blast?
Who is this Locke??
Where did Jacob come from???

Friday, May 15, 2009

Star Trek

So I forgot to mention on my blog that I went to see the new "Star Trek" movie the other day.

In a word: Awesome.

I really enjoyed it, from start to end. I wouldn't really consider myself a Trekker or anything like that, but I've seen most of the movies. I never really followed any of the TV shows, so I'm not really versed in the canon of the Trek universe, but this movie gave itself the perfect opportunity to reboot EVERYTHING.

The cast was good, the special effects were good, and one review that I read really put it in perspective. It said something like "This is the 'Star Trek' that Roddenberry always wanted to make, but never did."

Posts on Blogger...

So lately I've been noticing something.

When you post a response to a message that someone has made in a blog, blogger prompts you to type a word that it displays. I assume that this is to prevent spamming by bots and such.

But anyways, in the last couple of weeks when I post responses to blogs, I've been getting some very strange words. They used to be normal words...a bit uncommon words sometimes, but normal. Well, for the past few weeks they have ALL been words related to be a bit more precise, they have been words related to Republican politics.

For instance, the last response I made prompted me to type "Palin." Then when I posted today it prompted me to type "Bush."

Very odd.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Original Six...

As I post this, the Boston Bruins are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes at two.

If Boston somehow pulls out this win (and finishes an improbable comeback) then there will be THREE of the Original Six NHL teams playing in the Conference Finals.

That, my friends, is good for hockey.

Phew....That Was CLOSE...

So the Red Wings survived tonight to make it to the Western Conference Finals for the third straight season.

The Wings built up two goal leads twice in the game, only to watch Anaheim and the refs tie the game up. Officiating in the game was HORRIBLE. I don't get come in the other sports, "dynasty" type teams get all the calls, but the Wings are the best thing in the NHL and can't seem to buy a call when it matters the most. Think about it, the Patriots can do whatever they want in the NFL. Lebron and Kobe do whatever they want, and so do their teams. The BoSox get most close calls to go their way. But the Wings?? Nothing. Nada. Zero.

Anyways, they prevailed...and why did they prevail?? Because their role players would be first or second line players on any other team in the league. Who scored tonight's goals for the Wings?? Was it their superstars?? Was it Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Zetterberg, Hossa, Datsyuk, or Franzen?? Nope. None of them.

Instead, the Wings got goals tonight from Jiri Hudler, Darren Helm, Mikael Samuelsson, and Dan Cleary. For those of you keeping track, those guys aren't the "stars" on this team...they are the role players, the workers, the guys that are all guts no glory.

And boy, are we lucky that they were on our side tonight.

Go Wings!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Funeral on Saturday...

So my Grandmother's funeral is set for Saturday morning.

I was hoping that it would be on Friday because I have Friday off, and getting Saturday morning off might be a bit of a problem...but I'm sure that work will understand and make it work.

She's being cremated so there won't be any viewings or anything like that, which is what she wanted anyways.

Sins of a Solar Empire...

So I ended up purchasing "Sins of a Solar Empire" for the new computer. It's a real time strategy game set in space. It's pretty epic in it's gameplay. From what I've read some of the larger maps can take literally weeks to play. It's got no story, but that's alright. The gameplay seems pretty straight forward. You upgrade things and build structures. Then you build an army and blow the hell out of your opponent.

The graphics and animations are pretty cool. I started a game, and it so far has been pretty interesting. Like I said when talking about "Halo Wars," I'm not very good at RTS games, but I enjoy them nonetheless.

I'm sure once I get a bit more of the hang of this one I'll love seems to be pretty large scale, which is really what I was looking for!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stupid Red Wings...Stupid Flat Tire...

So on the way home from my parents house I had a flat tire. The third one in the last 8 months. Same exact problem. I'm beginning to think that my tires hate me for some reason.

Of course I didn't have the spare with me, so I called Cathy and she headed out to deliver the spare to me.

While I waited I listened to the stupid Red Wings lose game six.

What a crappy night.

Grandma Passed Tonight...

So tonight on the way home from work I got a call from my mom. She told me that my grandmother had passed away a little bit earlier in the evening.

So I got home and changed clothes then headed to Lansing to see my family. I ended up finding my dad at my Grandpa's house. I hung out there with them for a little while. Then I went with my dad back to his house and hung out there for a little while.

I feel a lot of different things all at the same time. It's pretty strange. I've never really lost a family member before. I feel sad that she is gone. I feel relieved that she doesn't have to suffer any more pain. I feel sorry for my Grandpa and my father. I feel a bit angry at the circumstances that led to her living the way she did for the last decade. And sometimes I just don't feel anything. It's strange, really, like a complete absence of feelings. I don't think I've ever really felt like that before.

The funeral will probably be this coming Friday.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Guild Wars...

So I got a PC game to play on the new computer tonight.

I was at a bit of a loss for what type of game to get. I don't play games on the PC...I'm a console gamer. I really don't like playing first person shooters or sports games on the PC at all. I also was reluctant to get a strategy game because the one that I liked had quite a few negative responses about the way it had to run two programs in the background anytime you wanted to play it, and those programs didn't always connect the way they were supposed to.

One type of game that I have enjoyed in the past on the PC is the MMORPG. That's a massively multiplayer game...thing "World of Warcraft." I have played "Everquest" and "City of Heroes" in the past and really enjoyed them, so I thought that maybe that was what I should be looking for...but I didn't want to pay a monthly service fee to be able to play the game.

So I found this game called "Guild Wars." It's a free MMO, and it looked pretty cool. I read some reviews about it, and it got generally favorable comments. I was able to pick it up for $20, which isn't bad at all.

I didn't install it yet, so I don't really have any comments on how it plays, but it looks like it's the type of game that you can play for a long time...just like "WoW" or "EQ."

I also did some more research on strategy games because I would really like one of those. I've got it narrowed down to "Sins of a Solar Empire" and "Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II." I really like the way that "Dawn of War II" seems to be set up, but it's the game I mentioned above that got a lot of negative comments based on the way it has to have Steam and Windows Live running whenever you play I'm not sure which one I will end up going with. "Sins" is a bargain priced game now, at about $20 or so, where "Dawn" is brand new and costs $50.

I'll do a bit more research on "Dawn" to see what the real problem people have with it is, and make my decision then...


So the other day I signed up for something called Pandora. It's an online radio service. It's free. It's awesome.

Basically, what you do is you type in the name of a song, artist, or whatever...and the site basically creates a radio station for you based on what you have entered. So you end up hearing songs that fit with the type that you entered.

For instance, I entered Black Eyed Peas...and for about 20 minutes listened to songs that were exactly what I would call Black Eyed Pea type music...

It's an amazing service. I can't say enough good things about it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Presto and the Raccoon...

So tonight Presto (the cat) started making some really strange sounds while I was playing video games. He sounded really upset!!

So I leaned over and when I looked at the sliding glass door where he was I thought something looked a bit unusual. So I pulled the curtain back a little bit and...what do you know??

There was a raccoon out on our deck just looking right in the door at Presto!!

As soon as I moved the curtain Gordon jumped off of the couch and ran over and when he did the raccoon ran away. Pretty funny. Presto makes those sounds every now and then, but I never really noticed anything out there until tonight. Now I wonder if he makes those noises whenever he sees that coon!!!

Let's Go Wings!!

Another dominating performance this afternoon by the defending Stanley Cup Champions. They got a lead in the second period and held on through some tough Duck shots and plays to come up with a 4-1 win.

It was probably one of the more dominant performances of this series, and hopefully it was the Red Wings way of taking control of the series.

The Wings are now up 3-2, with game six on Tuesday evening in Anaheim.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Red Wings Get Back In It...

So last night the Wings put the smack down on the Ducks. To the tune of 6-3.

But even with a three goal win, the game looked at times like it was slipping back into the Ducks favor. The Wings took a 5-2 lead early in the 3rd period. But the Ducks kept fighting and ended up scoring again with plenty of time left to get back into it.

But the two goal lead proved to be too much, as the Wings added an empty netter late.

Now the two teams have an extra day off before playing Game 5 in Detroit on Sunday.

Bike Insurance...

So I checked out how much it was going to cost to insure another bike if and when I get one. Apparently Progressive must have changed their rates and policies.

When I priced out the Suzuki back when I got it, it was going to cost about $9 or so more per month...if I remember correctly. Now today when I checked, it was going to be over $30 more per month...which is more than twice what I'm paying for just the Ninja.

I then checked information about another bike I had been looking at...a Kawasaki KE-100...and even that was going to cost about $35 more per month than what I'm paying now.

So basically, because of this I've decided that maybe I'm not a two motorcycle kind of guy...looks like I might be looking at a scooter again!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Got the computer all set up today.

It's HUGE.

The tower is huge. The monitor is huge. The whole thing is huge. It's pretty amazing looking though. Now everything in my living room looks super modern...LCD TV, new computer, leather movie theater's great.

The only problem I really ran into when setting up the new computer was the keyboard. The one that we had with the old computer didn't work, so I had to run up to Best Buy and grab a new one that would.

I ended up getting a Saitek Eclipse II gaming keyboard. I read some reviews after the purchase and it seems I made a good choice. I really got it because it seemed to do everything that I needed, and it looked cool. It was about $70...but for a good regular keyboard it would have been $50, so I figured I'd go with the nice bells and whistles...

It's got really cook backlit keys that look pretty awesome. It's also got under and side lighting that shows the light on the desk when it's on.

Rained Like Mad This Morning...

So it rained really hard this morning here. It was actually raining so hard that sound of the drops hitting the window woke me up!!

I don't mind the rain. It gives me an excuse to not really do anything at all. I need to mow the back yard, but I can't do it if it's raining!!! Oh darn...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stupid Red Wings...

Now the Wings really have their work cut out for them.

Of course, they were robbed by an absolutely horrible call towards the end of the game, but that's the kind of luck they seem to have. They can never manage to just go in and win a game...they have to let it stay close, and they have to give their fans panic attacks.

Now I hope they just go out and own game 4...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Got the PC...

So the computer showed up today.

We were going to have Cathy's dad come over and put it in the garage for us as soon as I saw that it was delivered on FedEx's tracking site. But the thing is, FedEx never updated the site. As far as the site shows, the thing is still on a truck for delivery.

So who knows how long the $1200 worth of computer and monitor were just sitting on our front porch. Oh well, it's not a big deal. I didn't think that anyone would take it...but you never know.

Either way, on Thursday I'll probably be cleaning up the desk so that we can get it all set up.