Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Work Schedule...

It's shift bid time at work right now, and it looks like our days off are going to be changing a little bit.

For the last few months we've had Tuesday and Wednesday off, which have been pretty good days off. Now we're going to be having Mondays and Tuesdays off, which I think I might like even more for a couple of reasons.

First off, Monday is the "official holiday" day for most holidays, which means that we'll already have those holidays off, which means that we can get the day before or after our days off pretty much for free.

Second, it's football I'll be able to watch Monday Night Football every week, which will be fun.

Third, it still gives me Tuesdays off, which I like having for new video games and going to the race track at Dirt Burners.

Finally, it means that when we switch shifts we will have a short four day work week. I know it might be lame, but the way the schedule works if you switch to later days in the week, you end up with a LOOOONG week between your days off. So, say we switched from Tuesday-Wednesday to Friday-Saturday, we would have to work eight straight days when it comes time to switch.

We will be moving to the new days off very early in we've still got about 5 or 6 weeks left of our current days off.

Bad Sleep Patterns...

When Cathy and I were on our little vacation last week, I stayed up WAY too late every night and slept in way too late as well.

Now that we've gone back to work, I've been having trouble getting back into a normal sleep schedule. I still am staying up way too late and I'm still sleeping in too much. This isn't a real issue on days off, but when I'm staying up too late on work days it makes it tough to feel very good the next day at work, especially when I've only had a couple of hours of sleep.

So I'm going to start TRYING to get a better sleep schedule going. I'd like to think that getting better sleep habits would be a good way to make myself feel better overall, and if I feel better overall I may actually be a bit motivated to try and do something to lose a little bit of weight.

We'll see how it goes...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Game...

I've had a Gamestop gift card for a few weeks now but didn't really have anything that I wanted to buy.

But I've gotten tired of all of the games that I have, so I figured maybe I'd try a new one out.

So I hit the store and came home with this:

It's a first person shooter crossed with a role playing game. It's getting very good reviews, and it's plot is supposed to be pretty good. It's set about 30 years in the future and it's a crime/noir/conspiracy story.

I played the first level of it tonight and was pretty impressed with it. It's taking a bit of getting used to when it comes to the controls, but overall it seems to be pretty good.

The best part was after the gift card and a couple of trade ins I only spent $4 on the game!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Days Off...

Even though we were only at work for three days this week, they seemed like really long days.

I'm glad it's already our days off.

We don't have anything planned, so it should be nice and relaxing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lions Roar!!!!

Alright, I know it's only preseason, but the Lions performance last night against the Patriots first team offense was nothing short of amazing. The Lions looked like a VERY solid team.

I'm hoping that even though this is the preseason, we are seeing a bit of what's to come.

If they stay healthy, I honestly think that they could have a VERY special season. And they are young, so it's just the tip of the iceberg.

I just want to see more things like this all season long...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Want to Feel Bad About Yourself???

Then just head on over to and find the link to their "Salary Crunch" program.

You enter your yearly wages, then it tells you how much you suck compared to the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Peyton Manning, and other sports stars.

For instance, what I make in a year?? Fitzgerald makes every 2.73 yard receiving.

Tom Brady?? Every 8.81 yards he makes my yearly salary.

Man, this little widget makes me feel bad about myself...but for some reason, I oddly can't stop playing around with it!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 5...

Today was basically just do nothing day.

I mowed the lawn, trimmed the tree, and hacked away at the bushes. I did manage to work on my RC cars a bit as I got two new sets of wheels in the mail. I also went to Best Buy to recycle a battery.

Other than that, day five was pretty uneventful.

If you ask me, that's exactly how a mini-vacation should end.

Now tomorrow?? Back to work. Oh well, Hawai'i will be here before I know it. Well, it probably won''s going to take forever to get to March of 2012.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 4...

Nothing at all to talk about today.

I ended up staying up pretty much all night, and then I slept in REALLY late.

Well, I take that back...Cathy and I watched the movie "Arthur" on DVD. It was actually pretty entertaining.

I also worked on the stainless screws on the buggy.

Other than that, there wasn't anything at all that we did.

Tomorrow is the last day of our mini-cation, and I'm not sure what we're going to do. I am going to try to get up a bit earlier. I have to mow the lawn, and I would really like to work on a puppet...but I'm not sure if there's anything else that we will want to do.

One good thing?? I don't really have any RC stuff to work on, because I don't have any parts!!!! I'll probably try to drive the Backslash a little bit, but I won't be doing any serious work to any of them.

Mini-Cation Day 3...

Today was Day 3 of our miniature vacation, and it was a pretty lazy day.

I slept in a little bit, but Cathy didn't. Cooper woke her up at about 8:30 or so and she just stayed up.

Once I did get up, I headed to town to get some chores done. I needed to get an oil change for the car and go to the Post Office. I got those out of the way and did a bit of quick shopping while I waited for the car to get done.

After that, this evening I dyed some parts for one of my RC cars which was fun, and then Cathy and I had a good time playing "Mario Kart" for the Wii for a little while. We've had the game for a LOOONG time but just finally got around to playing it for the first time ever this evening. It was really fun and we'll probably try to play it a bit more often now.

Tomorrow brings Day 4. I'm not sure what we're going to do, if anything. I want to go to Lansing to try out the little race track, but I'm thinking that might be a better option for Friday because it rained quite a bit today, so I'm guessing that the track might be a bit wet tomorrow still. So maybe I'll think about doing that on Friday. If not, then it doesn't really matter if I don't make it there until next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Somerset Collection...

For the second day of our mini-cation, Cathy and I ended up heading to the Somerset Collection Mall in Troy.

It's a bit of a drive, but it's always fun. It's an extremely upscale mall that reminds me a lot of Las Vegas...definitely more Vegas than Michigan.

We got there right around 3:30 and started looking around the three floors of the mall. We found a couple of stores that weren't there when we were there last year, and a couple that I wanted to visit that were gone. One of the ones that was gone was the Quiksilver store. One of the new ones is the LEGO store. Both Cathy and I got some cool stuff from the LEGO store, stuff that I haven't seen in stores around here. I really wanted to get one of the big hard to find sets, but I didn't really want to spend $100 on a LEGO set this week. Maybe some time later this fall we can go back and get some big expensive sets.

We also found a really cool store called The Detroit Shoppe. Everything in the store has something to do with Detroit, and all the profits get donated to different organizations in Detroit. Cathy got a cool shirt from Bob-Lo Island there, and I got a REALLY cool Detroit Tigers hat that has the Olde Englise D on the back, and says "Made in Detroit" on the front.

We then went to the California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, and it was usual. That's another thing in that mall that reminds me of Vegas...the only two places I get CPK is at the airport in Las Vegas when we are coming home and at the Somerset Mall.

We ended up spending a lot more time there than we did last year, and we didn't get home until after 9:00.

So day two of the mini-cation was lots of fun...still not sure what we're going to do for the rest of the week!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Slash to Backslash...

If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I got a Traxxas Slash a few weeks ago for a pretty good deal. I was really disappointed in the way it handled at the track, so I decided to do a change. There's a custom made version of the Slash called a Backslash, which takes the short course truck and turns it into a 1/8th scale buggy. It ends up handling a lot better, and I really like the way it looks.

This picture was taken before I put the lower chassis that I have on the buggy as well. I bought a low center of gravity chassis to help with the Slash's handling, but then I found the Backslash kit and got that to go with the LCG chassis. It ends up lowering the buggy another inch or so, and it ends up looking even more slick than it does in this photo.

I'm going to get some different tires for it as well, some that will probably run on dirt a bit better...and I'm also going to get new versions of the tires that are on those wheels for when I run it on my little back yard track. But those ones on there are really good for running out in the street.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Furniture...

Cathy and I have had our movie chairs in the living room for quite a while now. I want to say that we got them very shortly after we got married in 2008, so that makes them nearly 3 years old now.

The one that I normally sit in had gotten in pretty bad shape. From me flopping into it, the springs had gone bad, and from the dogs laying in it the vinyl covering had gotten really torn up.

Then the other day Cooper decided to go potty on my side, and it got all soaked into the foam and stuffing that was exposed due to the rips. I know it's not his fault, he's on some medications from the vet that cause him to drink lots of water and go potty a lot, but it still pretty much ruined the chair.

So Cathy and I decided to look for an inexpensive replacement for the chairs, and we ended up at Big Lots and picked up a pretty nice little love seat. They only had the floor model left, so we got an extra 10% off. It's pretty nice looking, and it's nice and comfortable. It's a big bigger than the chairs, but you can lay in it, which is awesome!!!

Here's a picture of it...

What was really crazy was how we got it home.

We just loaded it up on top of the Taurus Wagon, moved the luggage racks in between the legs of the love seat, and then drove REALLY slowly. We must've looked pretty crazy driving down the road with a love seat sitting on top of my car!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Five Days Off...

So, Cathy and I took a day off before our scheduled days off, and two days off after our scheduled days off to give us a nice five day weekend!!

We're not really sure what we're going to do, but it's going to be nice not going to work for a few days.

I'm thinking that maybe we'll go to the mall in Troy, the Somerset Collection, to do some shopping and eat at the California Pizza Kitchen on one of the days. I will probably try to make a puppet, because I haven't done that in quite some time, and I may go up to Lansing and try the track that Alex found to see how it is.

Other than that, we don't really have much planned...we're just gonna play it by ear.

But like I said, a few days off from work is always great!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Working on RC Stuff, Still...

Today I put a really custom piece on CircuitONE.

The Circuit starts out with just cheap plastic links to connect the steering and camber adjustment pieces to the truck. They aren't adjustable, and the plastic tends to bend when under stress, so the truck doesn't handle as well as it could.

Well, by mistake I ordered a set of links for the Buggy that won't fit the Buggy, so I decided to mount the links to the Circuit so that I could adjust all of that type of stuff.

It worked like a charm. Everything feels a lot more solid now. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try it out to see how it worked. Hopefully I'll get to do that in a few days. I really want to see what kind of difference it makes!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cooper to the Vet...and Dillon, Too!!!

Well, Cooper continues to fall apart. He's got one nail that had gotten really bad, and he had some kind of infection that was causing him to break out in scabs on only his back.

So today he went to the vet. They yanked his nail off...and when they did, he made the most terrifying sound I've ever heard him make. He's yelped before when it came to dealing with these nails, but this one was was guttural and seemed full of pain. Much more than his normal yelps. But it was only for a split second, then they wrapped his paw up and that was that.

They gave us some steroids and some antibiotics for his scabs, so hopefully those will help whatever is causing that clear up.

Last, but not least, he got his three year rabies booster.

Dillon also went to the vet, but only for a nail trimming and his rabies booster.

Oddly enough, this trip, even with a lot more stuff done...was the exact same price as the last time we went.

Last time we had Cooper's nails looked at and got the same medicine for his back problem, and it cost us $110 or so. This time, we had his nails looked at, Dillon's nails cut, two rabies shots, and MORE medicine than before (three weeks of treatment versus two last time) for $110 or so.

Seems strange that more stuff costs the same.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jurassic Park...

Just pre-ordered this DVD set on Amazon. It retails for $120 or so, but Amazon is doing pre-orders for $84.

"Jurassic Park" is an epic movie franchise, and this is one of the very few sets that I feel that I NEED to have on Blu Ray.

The only problem with it is that it comes out on October 25th...the same day that "Battlefield 3" comes out. Looks like I'll be spending some money on entertainment with that pay check!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Just a Picture...

I took this picture of the back of my Taurus Wagon before we went to Dirt Burners on Tuesday.

All of our tools, controls, and other stuff is in the back seat...but I thought this looked pretty cool.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Excited for the Season...

Tonight the Lions started their preseason games, and it went pretty well.

Now, I know the preseason doesn't really matter...but for a team like the Lions, it does. The biggest win of the day?? Stafford started and played and made it to the bench without getting hurt.

In the few minutes he played, he looked amazing...everything like the #1 pick in 2009 should look going into his third season.

I'm excited for the Lions this year. I think they have the potential to be pretty darn good, if they can keep everyone healthy. They've already lost a couple of players to injury, but as long as the rest of the team stays intact I think a 9-7 record is achievable, and they should be able to compete for second in the division.

I'm not quite sure they're a playoff team, but they are well on their way...which is more than you've been able to say for the Lions in a LOOOONG time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I have kind of fallen behind on puppets.

I think it's been the better weather. I actually kind of look at puppets as more of a fall/winter type of thing.

I need to get started again, soon, though. I actually have a standing order for two of them, but I was told that there was no rush and that whenever they get done, they get done. I am planning on working on them soon, though. We move back to an earlier schedule on Saturdays at work soon...and I was thinking about working on them on Saturday evenings.

I need to make several for myself, though. I sold one of my favorite ones and had trouble assembling it, so I sent the customer my personal puppet. I need to replace that one. I also need to make a dinosaur puppet like I made for Mike for myself. That one came out so well I need to have one for myself.

I also have several models that are really close to being done, that just need a few more parts to be finished. Hopefully I'll be able to get those finished up and put on my website soon.

I have to admit...I had hoped the sales of them would take off a bit more than it did. It was frustrating to list them on Ebay and Etsy and simply never have them sell. I don't know whether I was marketing them wrong or what...but hopefully this fall I'll get them listed right and have them ready for Christmas, and maybe get a few more sales!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dirt Burners, Again...

Today Alex, Jason, and I went to Dirt Burners again.

This time we were all running our Slashes, and this time it wasn't quite as fun as it was the last time.

There were a couple of reasons for that...

First, the track was a LOT busier than it was last time. The first time, there were only six or eight trucks on the track at any one time. This time, there were a couple of times when I'd say there were about twenty trucks on the track. That made it really difficult to try and practice, especially when you aren't very good and are spending most of your time just getting in the way of the better drivers.

Second, all of us had quite a few technical problems this time. I broke a couple of parts, Jason broke some things, and Alex kept having some issues as well. It was a bit frustrating.

Overall, it was still a good time...just not as great as the first time.

Lucky for us, Alex found a local track in Lansing that we're going to try and go to sometime next week if the weather permits. That should be fun.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Traxxas Slash...

Today I got my Slash.

It's much more pretty than I had originally thought. The pictures on the Ebay auction simply didn't do it justice, and this one is one of those pictures.

On top of getting the Slash, I also got the Castle Creations Short Course Truck combo that I ordered specifically for the Slash.

This motor and ESC are designed specifically for a ton of torque in a SCT like the Slash.

I put it in, and took the truck out to test it out.

I wasn't impressed. It wasn't fast OR torquey. Instead, it was slow and sounded a bit "off."

After a few minutes of driving, I noticed one of the rear wheels looked a bit odd. I drove it back to me and realized the tires had never been glued to the that torque and speed I was missing?? It was there, it was just spinning the wheels inside the tires without the tires spinning.

I went in and glued up the tires and headed back out.

There it goes. The torque is insane. The truck will literally just flip itself over if you just peg the throttle. It's fast, but not super fast...probably because I have it geared the same as stock, so it's got a ton of torque but not a ton of top end.

Overall, I REALLY like this truck. It's amazing looking, and the motor combo is just awesome.

On Tuesday I'm taking it to Dirt Burners with me. It will be cool to see it handle the track.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Recertification Time at Work...

So the last several weeks has been recertification time at work.

I can't really go into the details of it, but let's just say that we have six physical tests and two written tests.

In each test, there are multiple errors that you can achieve (this should be obvious on a written type of test). On the physical tests, an evaluator grades your performance. Not only are there multiple errors that you can commit, some of them are weighed more heavily than others...meaning that you might be able to have three of one type of error and still pass, but automatically fail with only one of another type of error.

So, there are countless things that you can miss and mess up on...and I'm pretty proud of myself this year.

I only ended up with one total error on all eight of the tests...which is about as good as you can possibly get, considering the one test that I did have an error on allows you to have one error and still achieve the maximum possible grade.

I was a bit nervous this year about it, but I ended up doing really well!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Apes Have Risen...

...and it was every bit as epic as I had hoped it would be.

From start to finish, I was completely entertained. The acting was good, the action was great, and WETA Digital shows us once again why they are, without question, the best digital effects team in the world. Amazing special effects.

What I really liked about the movie was the tie-ins to the series that this movie is a prequel to.

For instance, at one point in time they show a news clip where the Icarus is taking off for it's mission to Mars. For those that don't know (or don't remember) the Icarus was the ship that Chartlon Heston's character, Taylor, crashed onto the Planet of the Apes in the original movie. A few scenes later in this movie, a newspaper is shown with the headline "LOST IN SPACE" and then an article that appears to be about Taylor's Icarus. Which shows us the correlation between this movie and the series.

I also liked the use of "Get your paws off of me you damned dirty ape!!" It fit well, and when you see this one you will see why.

Overall, amazing movie, and I'm definitely glad I went to see it when I did. Great stuff!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First 12:01 AM Move in Years...

Tonight my friend Alex and I are going to see "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

It's going to be my first 12:01 AM movie in quite literally years. It's probably been seven years or so since I actually went to a midnight premier of a movie.

I used to go see pretty much every movie that I wanted to see at the midnight premier. But then I switched to the earlier shift at work and it made that all but impossible.

I've been looking forward to this one for a while, though, so I think it's going to be worth it!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I've done a bit more work to CircuitONE...mainly fixing the body by trimming it, and putting the stock tires back onto it.

The stock tires work a lot better on my back yard track than anything else has, so I went back to them because that's where CircuitONE is going to be run most of the time. The trimming I did on the body also helps keep the motor cooler than ever.

Here's a few pictures...

Overall, I'm still really happy with this truck.

With that said, it's going to be built specifically for the back yard track now. I've got some things on the way that will end up being more suited for running on the real track at Dirt Burners...but I'll save those for another post!!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top Speed...

So tonight I was bored, so I strapped my phone to the monster truck after downloading a speedometer program.

I was running a 19t pinion with the 3500kv Tacon and the HW 60a ESC. Stock tires and wheels, with a 30c 2s LiPo battery.

I took it out to the street and hit it.

After a couple of runs??

36 MPH was listed as the "max" speed on the speedometer...and I'm guessing it's pretty accurate, because it was tracking about 8 GPS satellites while running.

That's pretty fast, if you ask me.

The motor was nice and cool, as well. 72 degrees outside, and when the pack was done I was showing 122 degrees on the motor, which means that when it's this temperature I could gear up even more and get even more speed out of the truck...but I think 36 MPH is probably fast enough, considering all I really do is drive it up and down the street at full speed until it crashes!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I know I do this about every other month...or heck, maybe even every month.

But is it seriously already August??

It seems like it was just a month ago that it was still cold and nasty out. Now it's hot and nasty.

I really can't believe how quickly the year is passing. Before I know it, we'll be into the Holiday season!!!