Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting the Circuit Ready for Upgrades...

Today I had Cathy help me do some "benchmark" testing on the stock ElectrixRC Circuit truck so that I can get a good grasp on what exactly the upgrades that I'm getting will do for the truck.

What I did was mark of an area that was exactly 100 feet long. I then did a couple of runs of that distance and had Cathy time it with a stopwatch. After getting an average for the times, I was able to convert that distance over time equation to miles per hour.

It ended up being 15.49 MPH for the average speed, but the car is probably a little bit faster than that because the spot I was testing on was actually uphill. So if it were flat, I'd guess another 1.5 MPH or so.

But that doesn't matter, because as long as I use the same parameters when testing with the upgrades, I should still be able to easily see what the upgrades actually do for the car.

What I'm thinking is that when the motor comes, I will throw that in and instantly do the same test to see what the motor ONLY does for the car. After that, I will put the stock motor back in and use the LiPo batteries and see what ONLY the batteries do for the car. I'm guessing that both the batteries AND the motor will provide about the same performance upgrade...basically, the LiPo batteries OR the upgraded motor would be about the same as each other. But together, I'm guessing that I'll see quite a significant speed increase.

I'm also following very closely a thread on a message board where a guy claims he has found metal gears that will work for the Circuit. If he has indeed found them, then I will be buying them and putting a brushless motor system into the Circuit, which should get me up into the 45 MPH or more range.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Found the Motor...

I had been waiting for the 15 turn Dynamite motor for the Electrix Circuit to show back up in stock at the manufacturer's website pretty much since the day I bought my car.

At first, it said "Back at the end of May." Which would have been right around now.
Then the next day, it said "Back in early June." Which would mean next week or so.
Now it says "Back at end of June." Which means another month.

I was able to find a vendor online that had it in stock...and best part, it was actually a few bucks cheaper!!!

I ended up snagging one because I'd like to go with the new motor as soon as I get the LiPo batteries...just to see how much faster the truck is.

I'm still planning on eventually going to a brushless setup...but that's got to wait for a few more hop-ups to show up first.

I'm loving just learning about this truck. Driving it is even better. Too bad record rainfall in Michigan has made that difficult in the short time I've had it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More RC Truck Awesomeness...

Well, I bought that Traxxas charger from a guy named Dane and got it in the mail the other day. It works great.

Here's the problem. The two batteries that I wanted to buy, some 8.4v 5100mah Ni-MH packs, were going to cost me nearly $60 shipped.

The place I was going to order them from had the LiPo batteries on sale this weekend for dirt cheap. So, to get two LiPo batteries would have only cost me $35...but I would need a new charger for them, which cost another $60.

So what do you do when you just bought a charger and a battery and find a great deal on an upgraded battery set and charger??

Easy...you offer the charger and batteries you just got to your friend that just bought a truck with no battery or charger for exactly what you paid for it.

Alex is going to buy my charger and battery from me for $50, and I went ahead and ordered the awesome LiPo set for $100. So that's a total expenditure of $50...which is actually $10 less than what I was going to spend on the Ni-MH batteries...but it gets me into a much better battery setup and an absolutely AWESOME battery charger.

The charger has all the stuff you could ever want...including the ability to plug it into your PC and monitor just about every possible statistic of the battery.

Here's the charger here...

The batteries are Gens ace 2s LiPo packs in hard sided cases. Pretty nice batteries and should work great in the Circuit.

Next up will be a possible upgrade in motors. I'm looking at a couple of faster motors, including one entirely new setup that will be less maintenance in the long run, but might be a bit too fast for the transmission setup on the car.

Here's a quick picture of the car with the Associated body that I got from my coworker Mike for $5. I don't like it quite as much as the stock battery, but for $5 it will work if the stock body gets destroyed in a crash.

Of course, it's been raining nonstop this week, so I haven't gotten a chance to drive the truck in a few days. Oh well, it's supposed to be nice this weekend for me!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some Randomness...

Weather--Well, it literally poured rain today. Our drain in the front yard was having trouble keeping up, and the entire neighborhood seems like it was water logged. Quite a few yards had several inches of standing water in them. Luckily it was nice out on Tuesday, so I was able to get the lawn mowed and actually cleared out some bushes and weeds in front of the deck. It still needs to be "landscaped," but it looks quite a bit better now.

RC Truck--I've been talking quite a bit with the guy that I bought the charger from. I ended up buying a battery from him as well for a good price, and he hooked me up with a site that has GREAT deals on more batteries. I'll probably be ordering two 7 cell batteries soon. Those will not only have great run times, but they also will have more voltage which should make the car a little bit faster. I had been planning on getting the upgraded motor this week, but it's out of stock. It should be back in early June, so I'll get one as soon as it's back in stock.

Music--A while back I ordered Lady Gaga's new CD "Born this Way" from Target's website. I ordered it there because it came with a free download of the original single from the album. It came in the mail on Monday, which was the release date, and I think the album is pretty good. But here's the bummer...the day it released it was for sale as a download on Amazon for 99 cents. Yup, the entire album was less than a buck. Granted, I got the special edition, but I would've gladly paid only 99 cents for the thing. Also, to add on to that, when Cathy bought her new phone today Best Buy had a sale where they were giving away a copy of the CD with any new phone. So not only did I spend nearly $20 on the CD and then see it for less than a buck, less than a week later we got the CD for free. Oh well.

That's about it. Just some random nothingness that I didn't think warranted several posts on their own, so I threw them all into one!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cathy Got a New Phone...

Cathy has been eligible for an upgraded phone for a good long time now. She's been using the same LG phone for a while now, and hasn't ever really liked it. She never really enjoyed the touch screen on the phone.

I think I finally talked her into a new phone when I showed her how the GPS worked on my phone when I was helping her find a location for an appointment.

So we went to Best Buy today to look for a new phone for her. She was set on getting a Motorola Droid X. It would have cost $99 and gotten her into one of the most popular Android phones out there. But of course, they were sold out of that one.

So she then checked out a Samsung Fascinate, which was free, but Samsung has a bit of a reputation in the Android world for being slow to release updates to the operating system.

She then moved on to the Motorola Droid X 2...which is a brand new phone. It's basically the same thing as the Droid X but with a dual core processor. Basically, it's about as bad ass of phone as you can possibly get right now.

She ended up getting the phone and a nice Zagg screen protector. It cost a bit more than she was planning on spending, but I think she likes it quite a bit.

Stuff for the Circuit...

I've got a few things on the way for the Electrix Circuit.

First off is a new battery. It's a 3800 mah battery, so it should give me at least twice as much run time as the current battery that I've got. That means I should get right around 30 minutes of run time. I will probably end up ordering at least one more of these, because I found them for a GREAT deal on Amazon.

Next is a new battery charger from Traxxas. I bought it from a guy on UltimateRC.com, which is a message forum for RC stuff. It's a nice charger that charges at 4 volts and has peak detection software in it. What that means is that it charges the batteries quickly AND to 100% without damaging them. The current charger I have charges at 300 milivolts, which means it takes six hours to charge my 1800mah battery, and would take nearly 13 hours to charge the 3800 battery. The peak charger should charge the 3800 in about an hour, and the 1800 in about 30 minutes or so. Obviously that's quite a bit faster. This is the charger here.

Both of these things were really good deals. I now have a nice charger that will last me a good long while and a second battery. I should get nearly 45 minutes of run time out of the car now, which is pretty good.

Next thing I order might be the upgrade motor from Electrix. Costs $15 and should be quite a bit quicker than the one that came in the truck.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

EPIC Marriage Proposal...

This guy has just set the bar...really high...for all the other guys out there.

I'm glad I'm already married...I'd hate to have a girlfriend see this, because there's pretty much no way to top it.

One Year Ago Last Night...

My favorite TV show of all time came to an end.

Yup, "LOST" ended one year ago last night.

It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since the series went off the air. I still remember most of the episodes as if I had just watched them.

What's fun about the show for me right now is that my friend Elon at work is currently watching it on DVD. He never watched it on TV, and it's funny to listen to him talk about characters in certain ways that I know aren't exactly accurate...like Henry Gale, for example.

I still don't really have a show that I currently watch that is as "must see" for me as "LOST" was. "Hawaii Five-0" is VERY close, but not quite there...mainly because I can skip a week or two of "Hawaii" and get caught up On Demand, but I would have never skipped a week of "LOST."

I'm pretty sure there will never be another show like it...and that's what makes it so great!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It Rained Again Tonight...but Before it Did...

You may wonder why I have a picture of a baseball infield posted here??

Well, it's because tonight I took my Circuit car to the baseball field by my house and tore around on the infield in the dirt for a while before it started to rain!!

I thought driving the car around in the driveway and on the street was fun...it's got absolutely nothing on driving it in the dirt!!

It literally flies around, spinning out and kicking up dust everywhere it goes.

I even managed to crash it a couple of times while jumping the pitching mound. It flipped and rolled and kept right on going.

The only problem with the truck so far is the stock battery only lasts about 15-20 minutes. I ordered a Traxxas EZ-Peak fast charger today that will charge the batteries in about an hour, but I will definitely be ordering a couple of new batteries as well this week so that I can run it for longer periods of time.

This thing is an absolute blast. Now that I have one, I wish I would have bought one a long time ago. It's great!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

WWE All Stars...

I turned in a bunch of games at GameStop the other day. I was expecting to get around $50 or so for the stuff, but I got some good promotions and ended up getting nearly $135.

I had initially gone in to get the new "Mortal Kombat" game, but only if they had the special edition.

They didn't.

So I looked around for a while and found "WWE All Stars," which is an arcade style wrestling game. Cathy and I had tried it at Best Buy a few weeks ago, and we had fun despite the fact that we had no idea what we were doing.

I decided to go with it, and that left me with a significant amount of money left over...so I saw a pretty cool looking "WWE All Stars" fight stick. I've never had a nice fighting game joystick, so I figured if the price was right, I'd give it a shot.

The price was right, so I snatched it up.

It's REALLY cool looking. It's also really heavy and seems to be built really well. Best part?? It will work with every fighting game out there, so if I find that limited edition "Mortal Kombat," I'll have a pretty nice arcade stick to work with.

I still haven't gotten a chance to play the game...but I know it's going to be fun. Arcade style wrestling games always are!!

Anyways, here's the stick. It's got The Rock and HHH from the game on it...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Drove the Truck Again Tonight...

It rained this evening, and the truck isn't supposed to go out in the rain. But luckily, it was warm enough that around 10:45 I was able to go out and get some time at the controls.

I had a LOT of fun driving it around, even if it was only in the street. With the battery fully charged, I could get the truck to wheelie by going in reverse for a second that full throttle forward. It's pretty cool to see it running around on two wheels.

I got about 15-20 minutes of run time in before the battery was exhausted. Not too bad, but I will definitely be looking for a larger capacity battery. The company that makes the car sells two larger batteries, so I'll be looking into possibly getting a couple of those so that I can have more run time by swapping out some batteries. I also have found a charger online that will charge the batteries much more quickly than the one that came with the truck. That charger takes six hours to charge my small battery, and would take nearly 15 hours to charge the biggest capacity batter that they sell!! Yikes!! The quick charger should get the biggest one done in about an hour, though, so that's MUCH faster.

I've already planned some upgrades for the truck, but probably only a few any time soon. I will probably order the faster engine...it's only $15, so that's not bad, and maybe the better shocks. Other than that, I will eventually be getting a nicer radio...mainly because the one that is in there will only work for one car, and for $35 you can get a really high tech, really long range radio that can control up to ten different cars.

I also have a different body coming for it this week. A guy I work with has an extra stadium truck body he said he'd sell me for $5. Not bad, considering bodies are generally about $30 or more.

Overall, I'm still really happy with the truck and I'm definitely glad I got it. It's been a lot of fun, and I can't wait for a chance to get together with Jay and bash them around.

My other friend Alex is going to be buying a used truck from the same guy that I'm getting the body from, so he'll have one in a week or so, too. We should be able to have an awesome time with three cars going at once!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Today, it was absolutely GORGEOUS outside.

I'm talking perfect. The kind of day that nobody should actually have to go to work. But sure enough, we had to be at work. Figures.

It's also supposed to be pretty nice out tomorrow...until, of course, we get out of work. It's supposed to start raining right around the time we're getting out of work. Figures.

So maybe it will be nice on our days off next week?? Nope. It's forecast to rain pretty much all week long, which seems to be our luck lately. Figures.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Got a Truck...

I decided to stop by The Toy House here in Jackson to see if they had any options for RC cars.

If you aren't familiar with The Toy House, it's definitely a cool toy store to go to. They claim that they are the largest independent toy store in the country, and they have a great selection of toys that you wouldn't really find at many other stores.

I had been in there a while ago and remembered seeing a couple of RC cars, but didn't really look at them. When I went in they did have some...but they were by a brand that I had never heard of. Something called "ElectrixRC."

I liked the look of one of the trucks a lot, but I wasn't sure about them so I headed home to do some research on the brand.

Turns out, a company called Horizon Hobby had decided that they wanted "to change the RC electric world" in the same way that they had changed the RC helicopter world. See, a few years back Horizon Hobby introduced a line of RC helicopters called "Blade Helis" that came in at price points unheard of but also offered great performance and quality. Basically, they changed the world of helicopters by coming out with a good product at an unheard of price. Well, they wanted to do that with cars as well.

They teamed with Losi, a longtime RC manufacturer and released this new brand, ElectrixRC.

I started finding reviews, and basically every one of them said the same thing: For the money, you simply can't find a better beginner RC truck.

What kind of money, you ask?? $120. That's $80 less than the Redcat I was looking at, and about $100 less than the Traxxas that I was looking at.

The best part?? EVERY part on the vehicle is upgradeable with parts from other cars. Basically, if you break something there is a replacement part from another big name company that will fit. Many Traxxas parts fit, HPI stuff fits, Team Associated fits, and Losi fits.

But apparently, breaking parts isn't in the trucks vocabulary. I couldn't find a single example from anyone that had actually managed to damage something unless it was their fault...like driving the truck into a wall.

So it had everything I was looking for...durability, low initial cost, upgradeability. I figured what I would do is scoop one up, and if I really enjoy this then this fall I can buy something a bit more expensive...or go all out modifying this one.

Tonight I got a chance to take it for a quick drive...and it's definitely awesome!! It's much faster than I thought it would be, and it controls so much better than all of the toy RC trucks I've had.

Best part is that The Toy House can get replacement parts for anything I break, and I already found a thread on a message board that details replacement parts from other cars that will work.

Overall, I think it was a pretty good purchase. The price was right, and this way if I don't end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would, I'm not out several hundred dollars. It also gives me a chance to tinker with stuff...which is one of my favorite things to do. I've already got a few things lined up that I want to get to upgrade it!!!!

Here's a picture of the one I got. I liked the white body better, but the red was all they had in stock. It's alright, though, it looks cool regardless.

Five-O Season Finale...

I watched the season finale of "Hawaii Five-O" this week and I have to say that I was pretty impressed.

If you watch the show and haven't yet watched it, skip the rest of this post because there will be some spoilers.

I had read that the end of the season was going to leave the team fractured, but I had no idea that it would leave the team in the state that it did.

Steve is being held for the murder of the Governor. Kono is being held for stealing the money from the asset forfeiture locker. Chin has rejoined HPD as a lieutenant. Danny?? We've finally found out that he had gotten back together with his ex-wife and had agreed to go back to New Jersey with her and his daughter...but then when Steve got arrested Danny started working on setting everything right.

See, we know that Steve didn't kill the governor, but he's being set up for it. We also know that Kono was involved in stealing the money, but that's been an up and down story all season. They stole it to pay a ransom to save Chin's life, then when they thought they were going to get taken down for it things changed and somehow the money was no longer missing. Now that things are falling apart, the money is back to being gone again.

All in all, the team is literally in shambles. It was a great cliffhanger and a perfect way to end the first season of the show...

...which brings me to other news about the show. It was renewed for a second season this past week. So we'll get to see what happens to the team as they try to get out of this jam.

I really enjoy this show. Like I used to do with "LOST," I will be counting down the days until it comes back this fall. The characters and actors are perfect...and the only thing better than them is the setting. I really enjoy the way that Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan work together on the screen. Daniel Dae Kim was always a favorite of mine on "LOST," and he doesn't fail to impress on this. Over the last several weeks I have really started to like his character. Grace Park also has grown on me quite a bit as the season has progressed. At first I wasn't sure about her, but she's gotten progressively better at the role as the season has gone on.

Hopefully this one will come back in the fall...I don't want to wait till next spring for it!!

Trouble Sleeping...

Well, lately I've been having some trouble sleeping.

I haven't been getting many hours of sleep, and the hours that I have gotten seem to be restless and broken.

I'm not really sure why, but I think a lot of it has to do with something that I'm allergic to. Of course, I have medicine for it, but I quite literally ALWAYS forget to take it.

Hopefully I can start getting better at taking it, and that will help me get some better sleep.

I also am constantly thinking about how I need to get more sleep, which is probably not really helping the situation at all.

I just really hope this whole thing goes away soon. I'm tired of being tired...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To The Vet...Again...

Cooper has a couple of spots on his back where his hair has fallen out and they look like they are wet and infected.

I'm not a vet, obviously, but they seem to be hot spots. I understand that hot spots can show up quickly and grow at a pretty rapid pace, so getting him to the vet as soon as possible is important.

They aren't bothering him. I was able to pull the fur off of them without him even noticing. The fur was matted on top of them. I'm pretty sure they weren't there yesterday when I was petting him.

Hopefully it'll be something easy. I feel bad for him...he seems to have so many little health issues and he's definitely spent more time at the vet than ANY of the other animals.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Movie Time...

Today Cathy and I are going to go see "Brides Maids."

It's getting AMAZING reviews and is supposed to be absolutely hilarious. It's made by the guys that made "Superbad," "Knocked Up," and "The 4o Year Old Virgin." Those are three of the better comedies that have come out in the last several years, and this one is probably going to be right up there.

I have a feeling it's going to be a bit like "The Hangover" but with girls as the leads instead of guys.

It should be fun.

Monday, May 16, 2011

RC Car...

I have always liked radio controlled things.

I even had a really nice RC airplane at one point in time. It was a gas powered one with a really nice radio and everything. I never even flew it, though, because I was always scared that I was going to crash it. So I had it for about six months and then just sold it on Ebay for about what I had bought it for...so I didn't really loose out on anything.

Ever since then, I've owned cheap little RC things...but I always liked the bigger trucks and cars. However, I always felt that it wasn't really a good way to spend any money because I didn't know anyone else that had them, and I figured I'd get bored relatively quickly just driving it around by myself, so I never ended up buying one.

Then a few months back my buddy Jason and I were talking about what he was going to do with his Christmas bonus, and he said he was going to buy a nice RC car. I told him that I had always wanted one but never had anyone to race with, and that if he got one I'd consider getting one.

Well, he got a pretty nice Traxxas Slash a couple of weeks ago. So I started looking.

I still don't really want to spend a ton of money, but to get about anything that's going to be upgradeable, repairable, and actually fun it gets up around $200.

So that's what I set my limit at...$200. I've been looking around the net and reading reviews and everything for a good while this afternoon and evening, and I think I found the truck that I want to go with.

It's by a relatively small company called Redcat Racing, but everywhere you look on the web they get pretty good reviews. They also have a good warranty and replacement parts are available for purchase on their website. The parts can also be upgraded if you wanted to spend more money to make it faster or handle better.

The best part is it's actually got pretty good components for the money. The total is about $195 with free shipping and the components that it has are found in trucks that are more in the $300 range. So basically it's a pretty good truck for the money.

I'm thinking that I might order one up pretty soon and get to bashing around in the yard with it.

Here's what the truck looks like in blue, which seems to be about the only color that I can find. There's also red, but it must be more popular because it's pretty tough to find.

It's called a Caldera10e and it's a 1/10th scale truck, so it's nearly two feet long. It's top speed should be up around 30-40 MPH...it should be a blast!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ready for the Weekend...

Man, it's been a long week at work.

Tomorrow is our Friday, and it can't get over soon enough. I'm looking forward to just sitting around doing nothing.

If it's nice out, I'm definitely going for a bike ride, but like I posted yesterday I'm not thinking it's going to be very nice out.

We have a lot of shows and movies to catch up on, so bad weather might actually be a welcome thing for us this weekend.

Either way, I can't wait to sleep in on Tuesday!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More Rain...What a Surprise...

So, it's supposed to rain on our days off again...which isn't much of a surprise, considering it's been raining what seems like nonstop this whole week.

I mowed the lawn last Tuesday when the weather was fine for a bit, and today it looks like it hasn't been mowed in weeks.

On top of that, it was 80 degrees on Friday...and today it was like 51. Nothing like going from sweltering to cold again in one day.

I'm ready for it to just be nice out...like in the 70s and sunny...

Friday, May 13, 2011

It Was an Epic Series...

Well, the Red Wings bid to move on to the next round came to an end...after coming all the way back from down 3-0 in the series, they lost in game seven by one goal.

It was a fitting end to the series. For the first time ever a seven game series had six games decided by one goal. The only game that wasn't decided by one goal was game six, which the Wings added an empty net goal at the end for a 2 goal win.

Really, either team could have won the series. The Sharks won two games in overtime, and both goals were actually tipped in off of Red Wings' sticks.

This is the first time in several seasons that I haven't been disappointed with the playoff exit, though. Coming back from down 3-0 to force a game seven has only happened a few times in major sports history...so that's something to be proud of.

On top of that, the Wings never gave up. They fought till the very end of game seven and even had a pretty good scoring opportunity near the end.

I've got to give it up for the Sharks. They played well and moved on. Now we'll see how they fare against Vancouver.

And besides...in a way, we still have the Wings in the playoffs. Steve Yzerman is the manager for the Tampa Bay Lightning...and we all know that Steve Yzerman was, is, and always will be a Red Wing first and foremost.

So for that reason alone, I'm cheering for the Lightning. They have the heart of a Red Wing, and that's reason enough for me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

New Seat for the Bianchi...

About the only thing, other than a fresh coat of paint, that the Bianchi still needs is a new seat.

The one that is on there is falling apart, literally. The leather cover has come unglued or unstapled or something and is constantly coming off of the bike. The foam underneath it is also very warn. It's also a fairly heavy seat.

I'll be ordering this eat for it in the next few days, and then the Bianchi will be pretty much done until this fall when I tear it all apart and work on painting it.
I'm thinking of going with a bright orange color when I paint the bike this fall. Something that's really bright and noticeable. At that point in time, I'll probably replace a few other parts on it like grips and the chain with some other really bright color, like yellow. I am thinking of going with yellow as the "trim" color on the bike because you can get tires in yellow, so that would look great with all the yellow stuff on the orange frame.

Of course, if I decide to go a bit more subdued with the color, and leave the black parts in place, I would probably go with a light blue color for the frame...something like a Tarheel blue.

Either way, the seat will be the last piece of the puzzle for the time being. The nicest part about it will be it's weight. It should weigh significantly less than the seat on the bike now. I've already got the bike down to 22 pounds, and if I can save some weight with the seat I'm thinking I can get it down to 21 pounds. Then maybe another upgrade here and there over the summer like a new chainring and a new seat post and I should have it down to about 19 pounds...a featherweight compared to what it was just a week ago!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Did We Do That???

Last night my friends Li, Scott, and Alex all came down to the house and we went for wings at Rocky Top.

I loaded up on wings and breadsticks and then Alex wanted some ice cream. Unfortunately, they didn't have the sundaes that we liked at Rocky Top any more, so we decided to to go The Parlour...a local ice cream joint that is pretty famous around here.

We stopped back by the house and picked Cathy up because I knew she would want to go, and then we headed over there.

Alex ended up ordering a brownie sundae...for only $6.49 it was pretty impressive...four scoops of ice cream and two brownies...here it is...

As for myself?? I went with a Black Cow...which is a five scoop float with 32 ounces of root beer. It comes in a mug that you get to keep when you are done. Here it is right here.

Somehow both of us managed to finish our treats...but not without problems. Alex immediately said he'd never eat another one, and I definitely was more full than I've ever been in my life. In fact, as I sit here typing this two hours after getting home I'm STILL feeling like I'm full.

We put the dollar bills in the photos to show the size of the items, because just a picture of them probably wouldn't do them justice.

Now the only question is...why did we do this to ourselves???

Drinking the Kool-Aid...

In the United States we've come to use the term "Drinking the Kool-Aid" when someone really buys into something for some reason or another.

I realized something recently about myself, and the Kool-Aid that I in fact drink.

What Kool-Aid flavor is it?? It's Google.

Yup, I drink the Google Kool-Aid.

For as long as I can remember...probably close to 10 years now...Google has been the homepage that I have set on EVERY computer that I have owned.

When Gmail came around, I got an account as soon as I possibly could, and to this day it's still my primary e-mail address. I've been using it for over four years now, as I got an invitation to it before it was released for the public.

I have an Android powered phone, which is Google's mobile operating system.

My Archos A7o Internet Tablet runs on Android.

I'm wanting to upgrade my tablet to a Motorola Xoom or Acer A500, which both use Android Honeycomb, Google's tablet specific operating system.

Recently I have been using Google's Chrome browser as my primary internet browser on my laptop.

So basically, everything that I possibly can uses Google in some form or another.

I don't know how exactly I got to this point...but I realized it the other day when I opened Chrome and it went to Google.

I guess if you're going to buy into a company hook, line, and sinker...you'd probably be able to find much worse companies than Google...right??

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome to Detroit City...

There's a song out there by Eminem and a rapper named Trick-Trick that's called "Welcome to Detroit City."

The first chorus goes like this:

"Where's my gangstas and all my thugs?
Throw them hands up and show some love
And I Welcome you to Detroit City
I said welcome to Detroit City
Every place everywhere we go
Man we deep everywhere we roll
Ask around and they all know Tricky
That's whats good man they all say Tricky"

Now, you might be wondering why I'm posting about that??

Well, they play it at Red Wings games...as a kind of way to welcome visiting teams and make them feel at home.

Just like the Wings did to the Sharks tonight.

Just a few days ago even I was ready to write the Wings off. I was sure that down 3-0 in the series that they would win game four but them give up the ghost in game five.

But instead, they surprised me by fighting back in game five, even when they were down 3-1 in the third period. They scored the next three goals and won the game to send the series back to The Joe and make sure that the Sharks got to hear that chorus a few more times.

Then they showed up for Game Six and delivered. The fans were NUTS. I very seriously considered going to the game, as when I looked before game five tickets were being sold for about $30...but then when they won game five those ticket prices all jumped by $100 to $130 for the cheap seats.

But man, I wish I would have bought them. I only watched a bit of the game...I've been trying that out, because it seems that whenever I watch the whole thing they end up not playing well, so I watched the last 10 minutes and a bit of the beginning of it. But what I do to keep up to date is set up the Archos Tablet on ESPN.com and have it on the box score with 30 second auto updates...so even though I'm not watching, I know what's going on. But the part that I did watch?? The atmosphere seemed absolutely electric.

The Wings won the game 3-1 to pull even in the series at three games each. What looked like a team that was ready to start it's summer vacation a week ago now gets a chance to go back to the Shark Tank and keep on skating this weekend against Vancouver.

I should have known not to write the Red Wings off...they've got too much talent and experience and the Sharks seem to be that team that just never quite plays up to their potential.

Now I get to look forward to Game Seven on Thursday night. Should be a good one...the previous six have been!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Days Off...

This work week seemed like it lasted forever.

I'm really glad that the weekend has finally arrived for us. It's supposed to be nice...or not...outside for us. It's supposed to be warm, but there's a pretty good chance of rain on both days for us.

On Wednesday my buddies are coming down and we're going to go out for chicken wings. Cathy has dinner with her godmother and the guys were asking about it when we went to the movie last week, so it will be a good day to do it. I'm not sure who all is going to come, but I know for sure that Alex and Scott are. Elon and Li might not make it.

Either way, it's about time this weekend rolled around!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hawai'i Five-0

Well, the season of "Hawaii Five-O" is coming to a close.

There's only two episodes left this season, and unfortunately I haven't heard yet if it's been renewed for a second season. It's consistently had right around 11 million viewers, so I would hope that's enough for them to keep on going.

I've really enjoyed the show this season. A couple of times I got behind on it, but once I watched one I ended up watching the rest and getting all caught up.

It's been a really fun show...lots of good eye candy, from the sets, to the cars, to the people. It's also had some really good humor, GREAT action, and the chemistry between Scott Caan and Alex O'loughlin has been spectacular.

I'm hoping it comes back next year...I really want to see where they can go with it!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Got the Single Speed Out...

...and took a nice ride tonight.

I have to say...it's a TON of work, but it's great.

I added the SPD pedals to it tonight and they work flawlessly on the Bianchi. A great addition.

I ended up riding nearly 6 total miles according to Google Maps. It took me about 30 minutes, give or take, and when I was done I felt like I had gotten a pretty good workout.

I cut the ride a bit short because although it didn't rain, it sure seemed like it was going to. I wanted to make it home before it started.

Overall, I had a lot of fun riding the bike. I'm going to start taking it different places when I go for rides...that way I won't get bored riding the same route every time I go out.

I'm hoping to keep up the riding so that I can get in a bit better shape to get out on the Diamondback sometime this month...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Rainy Weekend...

Well, it's again supposed to be rainy all weekend long.

I was planning on going for a nice bike ride when I got home from work tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll really want to in the rain.

Not that I can't ride in the rain...it just seems like it wouldn't be very enjoyable at all.

Hopefully the weather will be wrong like it seems to have been so much lately, and it will actually stay nice. I really want to get the SPD pedals on the Bianchi and take it for a nice long ride.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Funny Billboard...

So, I'm sure by now that any of you that follow NCAA football have a bit of an idea as to what's going on with Ohio State Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel.

If not, here's the quick version. His players traded autographs and memorobilia for benefits like tattoos and such, and he claimed he didn't know about it. Then it came to light that he did know about it. As the investigation continues, it looks worse and worse for him. And he lied about it, which the NCAA hates.

But anyways...everyone that follows college football at all knows who Tressel is, and they also know that he goes to EVERY game with a Buckeye red vest on...which makes this billboard between Ann Arbor and Detroit (near the University of Michigan campus) hilarious.

Clearly it was put up by someone (or some group) of fans or alumni from Michigan, who is Ohio State's rival in just about everything.

I thought it was pretty amusing.

Picture of the Bianchi...

Here's a quick picture of the Bianchi after converting it from a dropbar road bike to a single speed.

Today I got some riser bars to replace the drops, some Tektro brake levers to replace the aero levers, removed the rear brake caliper/lever/cables, and replaced the double chainring bolts with some single ones.

Again, I really removed a significant portion of weight. The bike is like a feather now.

I then took it for a quick spin...and wow...what a workout. The fact that you can't switch gears really forces you to work to get places...especially going uphill.

I have some SPD pedals for it, but I didn't get them on when I was working on it. I'll put them on sometime later this week, though.

I'm still not sure if I want to add a new rear wheel with a flip-flop hub to it so that it can be used as a fixie or a single speed. I don't know if I want to put that much money into it.

Later this summer I'll be stripping it down to the frame and painting it. Not exactly sure what color yet...I'm thinking about maybe going really basic...like just white or something, but I'll probably just go to the store and pick out a color that I like.

I like the way it's turned out so far. Fun to ride!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Uneventful Weekend...

Well, the weather didn't end up being quite as nice as it was supposed to be on our days off.

It was supposed to be really nice today, up around 70...but I think it only got to about 55 or so.

Which means that other than the movie yesterday, I did pretty much nothing on our days off.

I worked on the bike a little bit, but I didn't get anything done outside in the lawn at all. I guess the grass didn't grow too much since I did it on Saturday, but I was still planning on mowing the back and probably just doing the front again.

Oh well, I guess it's alright to have a couple of days where you don't really do much of anything.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fast Five...

...was pretty awesome.

It had some great chase scenes, some great fighting, some humor, and a whole lot of fun.

I loved that it didn't try to take itself too seriously, and it even had a few inside quips for fans of the series.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and will definitely be adding it to my DVD collection when it comes out on DVD this summer.

Good stuff.

Next up?? I wasn't planning on seeing it, but "Thor" is getting pretty great reviews...so maybe I'll have to give that a shot!!

After watching the movie, the five of us went to the Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe. The food was great...the service?? A little bit lacking. Our waitress just seemed really disinterested. Oh well, that didn't take away from the fun time that all of us had.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Box of Parts...

I went to the bike shop today, and got a BMX freewheel.

When I got home, I started working on the Bianchi.

When I was done, I had a box of leftover parts. In that box?? Front derailleur, rear derailleur, shifters, cables, rear gear sets, and some various other little parts.

So, now that those parts were in the box, what did that leave me??

A single speed Bianchi roadbike that is significantly lighter, simpler, and in my opinion more elegant than it was before.

I have some more work to do to it over the next couple of days...and it was too dark to get good pictures of it...but as soon as I can get some pictures I'll get them up.

I decided that since I wanted a single speed bike, the easiest way to get one was to convert the Bianchi into on. Why spend $250 on a new singlespeed bike when I could spend $20 and make the Bianchi into one?? I can then spend the rest of that money getting another road bike that is a bit more modern than the Bianchi...maybe with some more (and nicer) gears and components.

Love It...

Sunday, May 1, 2011


...when I got home from work, I mowed the lawn for the first time this season.

The "warm-ish" temperatures and rain this last week had caused the lawn to get out of control. I generally know that mowing MUST be done when the dogs don't want to go out in the grass because it's too long, and for the last few days all three of them haven't really wanted to be in the grass.

So when I got home from work I started what will inevitably become a weekly chore...but that's alright. Ever since we got the Craftsmen riding mower, I don't mind mowing. It gives me a chance to get some nice fresh air and sun, and I throw my headphones on and listen to some music.

I only did the front lawn yesterday, because the back still wasn't too bad. But I'm sure that by some time next week the back will be ready, and I'm looking forward to getting out and mowing again.