Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Today was me and Cathy's Three Year Anniversary!!!

We ended up going to Lansing to go to Chili's for dinner, and then we went to the couple of stores in the Meridian Mall that we don't have by us to look around.

After that we came home and watched a movie..."Gamera vs Mystery Science Theater 3000." It was pretty funny.

I think that Cathy had a good day, and I know that I did. We also exchanged a couple of gifts. Cathy got me a Perplexus Epic, which is a cool maze game that is inside of a ball. She also got me a really cool "family portrait" of her, me, and all the pets. She also gave me "Batman Arkham City" as an early gift last week. I gave her a dancing game for her Xbox, and two big LEGO sets that she has wanted.

Tomorrow is Cathy's birthday, and we might end up going to Applebee's for dinner, but I'm not sure what we'll do.

It's been a pretty great three years. Looking forward to many more!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Skylanders Update...

Today I purchased the last Skylander that Cathy and I needed to have all of them that have currently been released, other than the one that is only available with the Nintendo DS version of the game.

Drill Sergeant is the Walmart Exclusive that wasn't sent to stores very well, and therefore is really rare and hard to find.

I've been checking on Ebay for over a week, and the prices on this particular Skylander just kept going when I found a decent deal on one, I went ahead and purchased one for us.

It shipped out today, and it should be here early next week!!!

Garage Door Disaster...

Today I didn't go to work because I didn't feel good.

When Cathy was leaving, however, I heard a huge crash from inside the garage. I thought that the door had come down on her car or something...when I saw that the garage seemed fine, I thought maybe something had fallen on my car, like one of my bicycles or something.

On closer inspection, it turned out one of the tension springs had broken in two. It was broken so that I couldn't get my car out, so I went ahead and cut the broken part and wound the good part back on so that I could at least get the garage up to get my car out.

The problem was when I finally got it out, the cables that actually hook the door to the bar with the tension springs somehow had come completely unraveled from their spools.

My dad thinks that maybe we can put the new spring on ourselves and get it up and running again, but I'm thinking about maybe just getting a new door opener and having it installed and having the technicians fix whatever has gone wrong with the door at the same time. I found some pretty nice openers for around $200, and the installation wasn't too expensive. It looks like to have Sears do the new springs would be $139 for the labor and the parts. I'm hoping that maybe if we got the springs, labor for that, a new opener, and labor for that they would go ahead and just rewind those cables for me.

Hopefully it doesn't end up costing us an arm and a leg, though.

It's Time...

I have to start doing something to get into better shape.

I'm feeling like I don't have much energy and I definitely could stand to lose the weight.

The other night I saw an infomercial (yah, I know) for a new Tae Bo system. I've always thought that Billy Blanks was a pretty good motivator when it came to working out, so I decided to give the system a try.

It's called PT247, and it looks like it will be pretty fun to do. Hopefully it's fun enough that it keeps my attention long enough for me to actually use it.

It should be here in a couple of weeks, because these things take like years to process, but hopefully by the middle of November I'll be able to start giving it a try.

I'm hoping to be able to not feel like a fat manatee when it comes time to go to Hawai'i next year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

9 years, 2 months, 10 days... all it took for me to FINALLY receiver the Employee of the Quarter award at work.

I had started to think a long time ago that I'd never get it, but I was caught completely off guard when my name was announced for it today at the quarterly meeting.

To add to that, I managed to get the maximum possible number of points on our performance evaluation system, so that means that I should get the highest possible bonus at the end of the year. I'm hoping to bring home at least $2,000 for Cathy and I to use as a primary form of "have a super fun do whatever we want" time in Hawai'i.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


A couple of years ago I played a pretty amazing video game called "Batman: Arkham Asylum." It, obviously, was a Batman game and it was one of the better games I've played in recent memory.

So I was pretty glad that they made a sequel, "Batman: Arkham City."

I was planning on getting it, but Cathy surprised me by getting it for me as an early Anniversary gift!!!

I've played through a bit of it, and the story and gameplay has been absolutely amazing so far. It lives up to "Arkham Asylum" in every way, and surpasses it in every way.

I'm planning on trying to get as close to 100% completion as I can in it, which means I'll have hours and hours of game time when I'm finally done with it!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Cathy and I got "Skylanders" for the Xbox 360 the day after it came out. We got it home and gave it a try and found it to be really fun, if not a bit on the easy side.

Either way, it was an enjoyable game. Part of the fun of the game is collecting the figures that go with the game. The figures are really cool looking, but the best part is when you put them on the Portal, they come to life in the game within about two seconds.

So anyways, in the little bit of time that has passed since we got the game, Cathy and I have managed to collect ALL of the available figures for the game right now. We have every one that has been released so far, with the exception of the Limited Edition Spyro that only comes with the Nintendo DS version of the game, and the one that was exclusive to Walmart...which I will be trying to find over the next week or so.

There are still a bunch more characters that are supposed to be released before Christmas, so we've still got plenty of them to collect, but for now we're pretty much complete!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Flexing Muscle!!!!

Spot the number six team in the country and their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback a 14 point lead?? Check.

Start comeback. Check.

Lead by 14 in the second half. Check.

Let that Heisman QB bring his team back after multiple three and outs in the fourth quarter?? Check.

Hail Marry pass to a quarterback turned wide receiver from 44 yards out for a touchdown with no time left, that has to be reviewed, for the win?? Check.


For the second straight year, the Badgers head back to Madison from East Lansing with their first loss of the season!!!

Go Green!!!

Go White!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good Customer Service...

Just wanted to give a shout out to HobbyShack, Hobby People, and Team XTM.

I bought the $400 1/8th scale buggy a few weeks back, and last week the ESC and motor in it stopped working. I contacted Team XTM (who happens to be part of the Hobby People/HobbyShack network) about it and they asked me to send it back.

About one week later (today) I got a brand new motor and ESC in the mail!!

So basically, in one week they got my product, checked it to see if it could be fixed, found out it couldn't be fixed, sent me a new one, and got it to me.

All the while, Kyle from Hobby People was keeping me up to date on what was going on.

Definitely a good customer service system they've got in place there!! Kudos!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Closer to Fire Time!!!!

It's still a few weeks away, but I'm starting to look more and more forward to getting the Kindle Fire.

It won't come out until the middle of November, but I've already got big plans for it.

I've got all of my music uploaded to my Cloud Drive player now, so I can listen to all of my music on it. I've been getting a few books here and there, so I'll have some stuff to read, and I've been getting Android Apps from the Amazon App Store, so I'll have some cool games to play on it.

So basically, as soon as it gets here it's poised to take over as my go to gadget.

Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Good TV...

Tonight Cathy and I watched the series premiere of "Man Up!" on ABC.

I have to say, I don't think I've laughed that hard at a TV show in a while. I can definitely see how it might not be for everyone, but I thought it was hilarious.

Great stuff.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Leaves Falling...

So the leaves are starting to fall, which means it's time to start raking...


You have a mulching kit on your 20 horsepower riding mower!!!!

I went out and just mowed all the leaves this afternoon, and you could barely tell that there were ever any there in the first place. I really can't believe how great of a job the mower does at chewing up leaves.

It's really nice to not actually have to worry about raking. Raking leaves is probably one of the worst chores that I can possibly having a mower that will do it for you is great!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Team's Back Together...

After a rough couple of weeks for Officer Kono Kalakaua, things finally got back on track and Five-0 is back together.

I'm wondering what they'll end up doing with the new girl, Lori Weston, but judging by the end of this episode they may end up just keeping all five of the members of the team together, based on the way that the camera angle was showing the entire team together after the bank robbery.

I'm glad that Kono is back...I think she's a pretty good character, and having her be a bad guy just didn't seem to fit the character at all.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My First Muppet...

Well, as you all know I love puppets.

I haven't been doing very well at making my own lately, largely feeling that I have lacked any kind of creativity. But I have a couple of ideas for a couple of new ones, one in particular that I think is going to be cool. I have also been planning on cutting back on the "hard to build" puppets, and focusing more on the easy to make ones because they are simply more enjoyable to put together. I also have an order for a puppet right now, so I'll be working on him later this week. It's also a good order, and by that I mean a cool that alone has got me a bit excited about working on them again. I also need to finish a couple of characters that I have had "almost done" for months. I also need to STILL finish another Yeti, Jr puppet for myself, and make a dinosaur for myself. So basically, I have to finish two, start and finish two more, make the new character I have in mind, and build the new order puppet. So that's a LOT of puppet making that I'll be doing...but it's alright, because it's getting a bit colder out and that's when it's good to stay inside and make puppets.

But anyways.

Moving on.

Tonight Cathy and I were at Toys R Us looking at some stuff, and I came across a VERY cool thing. FAO Schwarz is a well known toy store that has been pretty much absorbed by Toys R Us. While we were there, I found a Muppet Whatnot...which is something that FAO started a while ago. It's basically a generic Muppet character. The cool part?? They are the ACTUAL Muppets used in the background of Muppets movies and shows. IT comes in a cool box with a bunch of eyes, hair, and other accessories so you can basically make it your own character.

They sell for $40 less than what they sell for on the FAO website, so I went ahead and picked one up.

So now, even though it's not a well known Muppet, I actually have my very first official Muppet. And it's AWESOME!!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


On October 23rd Cathy and I will be heading to Chicago for the day.

We'll be going to the 2011 iHobby Expo.

I'm not sure exactly why, but I actually got invited to the show as a guest of the guy that's in charge of Horizon Hobby's product development, Mark Reed.

He contacted me on UltimateRC after posting a few times in some of the threads. Maybe it was my love of all things Electrix that caught his attention, or maybe it was the couple of "fixes" that I've managed to work out for some of the weak points of their trucks.

Either way, it should be fun. He said he would like me to meet the Electrix team, and that's pretty awesome.

Electrix has a couple of new trucks coming out this fall. I'm hoping that maybe...just the show they have a few of them for sale, so that I might be able to get one before they go on sale to the rest of the country.

That would be awesome!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Night Football...Welcome BACK to Detroit!!!!!!

At Jefferson Avenue and Woodward in Detroit, this sculpture has stood since 1986. It's called "Fist of a Champion." It was built as a tribute to the boxer Joe Louis, who doesn't really need much of an introduction.

But the sculpture has come to stand for something else...the heart of a city that has been beaten down, yet continued to fight back, and always...ALWAYS...gets back up.

Joe Louis had 25 successful title defenses during his amazing career. A record that still stands to this day, and one that probably won't ever be eclipsed. That means that he got knocked down, but back up.

Detroit has taken a beating in recent years. The economic downturn hit The Motor City harder than it did most other cities. Times were tough. Jobs were scarce. And the industry that built this town into what it is, was floundering and largely asking the government to make sure they didn't fail.

So Detroit was down...but remember...Detroit ALWAYS gets back up.

Largely, the Detroit Lions football organization has been a microcosm of what Detroit has been going through. As the economy was falling apart in 2008, the Detroit Lions were mirroring this failure by stumbling to an 0-16 season...the first ever of it's kind in the NFL. Yes, the Lions were the worst team the NFL had ever seen.

Near the end of 2008, the Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick served his last day as mayor. Kilpatrick had failed the City on numerous counts.

Again, mirroring the City, near the end of 2008 the Lions fired their head coach Rod Marinelli. Marinelli had failed the Lions on numerous counts.

The City was at what may have been the worst time in it's history, and likewise, the Lions were in fact at the worst time in their history.

But remember...Detroit ALWAYS gets back up. And like the mirror I've already presented, so do the Detroit Lions.

A rebuilding process began. The automakers were bailed out or made plans to rejuvenate their businesses. The jobs started to slowly creep back, even if they still today aren't anywhere near where they were before the City got knocked down last.

Likewise, the Lions began rebuilding. It started with the hiring of a coach. A coach like the Motor City hadn't seen in a very long time, if ever. A hard nosed, defensive minded coach who seems to love the game as much as anyone and who is animated and celebrates on the sidelines like a player himself. Jim Schwartz started the turn around by saying all the right things.

Meanwhile in Detroit, the automakers were busy getting themselves back on track. Ford ended up not taking any money from the government. General Motors paid their loans back early. And each company ended up making cars that were making a lot of noise in the industry.

At the same time, the Lions continued their resurrection under the new coach. They drafted the stud quarterback from Georgia, Matthew Stafford. They followed that up with a solid tight end, Brandon Pettigrew. Then the next year they added the biggest key in Ndamukong Suh. They also added some help on offense with Jahvid Best.

So the keys to the City getting back up were in place. The auto industry was getting back on track. The corrupt mayor had been removed from power. New businesses were starting to pop up. And the City was starting to get back up.

Again, while this was going on, the Lions were putting their keys in place as well. The stud quarterback missed a lot of games in his first two seasons as injuries took their toll, but the other players were fitting into their positions well and things were starting to look up. 0-16 in 2008 turned to 2-14 in 2009. Not much of an improvement, but the team was different. That turned into 6-10 in 2010. A solid improvement and a foundation to build upon.

So now we make it to today. The City is steadily moving forward. The automakers have cars that are hot sellers and are on the cutting edge of technology. The overall feel of the City is that it's trying it's best to get back onto it's feet, and if you ask people around Detroit they will tell you that things are turning around. The City is getting back up.

And in that mirror, we have the Detroit Lions. Tonight they beat the Chicago Bears at home in what was the first Monday Night Football game in over a decade. They improved to 5-0, which is their best start in 55 years. Those players that were put in place?? All of them are looking like superstars right now. The Lions are getting back up.

So tonight, the City and the Lions can celebrate. They took the "Fist of a Champion" and punched the Bears in their collective faces, and in a way showed the entire country on national television what the City is all about.

The count may have been all the way to 9 on this City.

The count may also have been all the way to 9 on this Lions franchise.

But remember.

The City of Detroit always...ALWAYS...gets back up.

Now?? It would appear that the Lions are learning something from that never say die attitude that this City attitude that has been learned from hard work over countless attitude that is summed up perfectly with that sculpture. So right now, the Lions are trying to get back up...because like the City, they HAVE to get up.

And right now...they're doing a damn fine job getting back into this fight.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saving a Few Bucks...

Tonight I went to HSN, which is where I bought my headphones from to see if anyone had reviewed them, and of course, they were on sale for $20 less than I paid for them.

This seems to always happen to me.

So I started looking around and found out that HSN has a Low Price Guarantee. Any time you buy something, if it goes on sale within 30 days, you get the difference back.

So I called them to ask about this, and within literally 30 seconds I had $20 back to get me the headphones at the sale price.

Now, I thought these were awesome headphones for $150. For $130 they are amazing!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Schedule...

So our new schedule starts tomorrow.

That means that starting on Monday, Cathy and I have Mondays and Tuesdays off.

We'll be celebrating a bit by having a Monday Night Football get together at Rocky Top for the Lions-Bears game.

Actually...that reminds me...I need to go set up some rosters!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Short Course Truck...

Electrix has recently announced a new short course truck, called the Torment.

It's pretty standard Electrix fare, but it's got one huge difference...and that is it comes with a really nice 2.4ghz radio and receiver.

It's going to come in at about $40 more than the other Electrix trucks, but that price is basically for the nicer radio.

I really like the looks of it. I'll be selling my Slash to my friend Jeff this coming week, so maybe I'll start looking for a Torment for a Christmas gift!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

To the ALCS!!!!!

Tonight the Tigers took down the Yankees in what was a fantastic series.

Next up?? The Texas Rangers.

I doubt a few weeks ago many people thought that would be the ALCS match up!!!!


Great article in Sports Illustrated this week about the fact, they are on the cover.

I honestly can't remember the last time I saw them on the cover of any magazine that wasn't from Detroit.

There is a line in it that I love...

"Who saw this coming? The Lions have swagger. The city of Detroit has belief. The NFL may never be the same again."

And there's a reason for that...and his name is Suh.

Earlier this week ESPN named Ndamukong Suh the most important Lions draft pick ever...yes, even over a certain #20 named Sanders (who IS the best running back the NFL has ever seen).

Their reasoning was simple. Sanders was great...electrifying...fantastic...but he was quiet and wasn't the leader that the team needed. Suh, on the other hand, is all of those things and more. he has come to Detroit and instantly made the Lions HIS team.

Sitting at 4-0 and one of only two teams in the NFL without a loss, I am optimistic about them for the first time in a long time. And here's the kicker...I think they will only get better as they get more experience.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So, after building my B4...and spending way more than I had originally planned on it...I just kind of had a sour taste in my mouth for it. It wasn't what I really wanted when I first started looking for a buggy, and again, the fact that I spent so much time and money on it just kind of put me off to it.

So tomorrow I'm selling it to my friend Alex.

With the money that I get from it, I'll be buying the buggy that I wanted all along...and keeping myself in the family of vehicles that I am most comfortable with.

An Electrix Boost.

It will immediately get some adjustable camber links, some VXL drive shafts, and a 2.4ghz receiver.

I will then probably be looking to upgrade to a 13.5t or a 10.5t sensored motor to power it.

I will also be adding the new Electrix all metal gears for the transmission.

I'm happy that I'm getting the buggy I really wanted all along. I had originally gone with the B4 because I thought it would be easier to get race ready...but then it ended up needing a bunch of parts to get itself road ready...let alone race ready.

The Boost will be fun to get into the swing of driving buggies, and it also puts me more in my comfort zone with products that I like to work on.

It should be here next week.

Headphones Arrived...

I got my headphones today. They came packaged in a cool box with a nice case inside it. The only "not nice" thing about the packaging/instruction materials is the little booklet that came with them could have used a bit more proof reading. Lots of little spelling errors and such, which is too bad because the history of Koss and his interactions with Tony Bennett are actually kind of interesting.

I got them plugged in, and with the iPod they SEEMED a bit quiet. I let Cathy listen, and she said they didn't seem very quiet at all. This is when I realized that they seemed quiet because they sounded so good.

When I used to work in car audio, it was a well known fact that loudness doesn't generally "hurt" your ears (I'm not talking about damaging them, but making you think "This hurts my ears!!"), distortion does. When you built a really loud car audio system, it would actually sound a bit quieter than some other systems because it lacked distortion.

That's what I realized about 15 minutes into using the headphones. There is virtually zero distortion in them, which belies how loud they actually are. They seem a bit quiet, but in fact they are easily just as loud as anything I've ever used...they simply sound so much better.

I'm happy with them, they seem like a nice set of headphones. They are definitely for travel and home use, though. I won't be using these bad boys when I'm out mowing the lawn!!!

Now, I just need that Kindle Fire to show up so that I have something to really use them with!!!!

Looking Forward to the Kindle Fire...

The more I think about it, the more I am really looking forward to the Kindle Fire that Cathy and I have preordered.

I've been transferring as much music as I can to my Amazon Cloud Drive, and I've been buying a few books here and there for the Kindle. I'm going to see about possibly getting a Fire Magazine Subscription when it gets here, and I may even try a couple of comic books just to see what those are like on the device.

I'm also looking forward to being able to watch movies from the Amazon Instant Video store. All of this doesn't even mention some of the games that I'm sure are going to be coming out for the device.

I've really liked my Archos tablet, but I don't use it that often any more because it became apparent that it was a little bit lower end after I started using it a lot.

I don't think that will be the case with this Kindle Fire, though. It seems that Amazon is going to be REALLY supporting it, so it will probably work very well with the services that it is going to use.

Only about 5 more weeks before it arrives.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LiPo Fire...

Got to drive this thing on a small track today. It's WAY too fast for the track it was on.

I did get some good bashing in with it, though, and it seems REALLY tough. The only thing I managed to damage was the wing. Got a small crack in it, but that's not really a big deal.

I did, however, managed to kill two of my LiPo packs with it.

Both batteries were on the right side of the buggy and both of them had the right side bullet connection come unsoldered from the pack...basically, it cracked the solder in half. I traced the issue to the harness I had made. The way I had the wiring run it was causing some unnecessary pressure on that exact input, so I'm going to say that was the issue.

Only problem, now, though is that I'm down to only one LiPo, and it's a smaller one for my other trucks.

I had three...two that got damaged and another one. Get this...when I went to crack open the LiPo packs to see what was wrong, I got one cracked open and saw the issue. So I went to crack the other one open and punctured the cell...POOF...LiPo fire.

Now, you might be wondering what happened to the third one...well, as I looked at the pack on the ground that was all melted, I glanced up and...what do you know, the one that I punctured was the GOOD battery. I had mistakenly grabbed it instead of the one that had stopped working.

So I fried my one good pack.


Now I've got to buy two new ones just to get the XTM back up and running.

Man, this hobby is costing me a fortune!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


First team ever to come back from a 20 point deficit in back to back weeks.

The 24 point comeback is the largest ever for a road team in NFL history.

The Lions are 4-0.


New Headphones...

I have never had a really good set of headphones. Sure, I've had some that cost like $50, but those aren't even considered remotely expensive when it comes to headphones.

Now, I don't listen to a lot of music...but I've been listening to a bit more later at night while I'm messing around on the internet. But I DO play quite a few portable games on my iPod Touch and I have a Nintendo 3DS that there are some awesome games coming out for.

I also just preordered that awesome Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which is going to be a great way to watch videos and movies and listen to music from anywhere that there is a WiFi connection.

So I figured it was time to get some nice headphones...and I went with these...

They are Koss Tony Bennett Signature Series metal headphones. They are basically Koss DJ100 headphones that have been tweaked to have the vocals sound a bit better. I got them for a pretty good price and think that they'll be pretty nice for what I want to use them for.

The only catch is they are supposed to work a lot better with a portable headphone amplifier, so I also got one of those on the way. I got an Fiio E5 headphone amplifier which is about the size of an old iPod Shuffle and should boost the sound to about twice the volume that most portable devices can produce, which should make the headphones sound fuller and more complete.

I'm looking forward to getting them and seeing how good they sound, and if I can even tell a difference between them and my $30 Panasonic headphones!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

For the First Time... a dozen years, the Spartans beat the Ohio State Buckeyes today.

Despite shooting themselves in the foot on offense several times, the defense held the Buckeyes to less than 200 total yards, and a bunch of those came on the final drive of the game. The Bucks had 178 yards, 62 of which came on the final drive of the game. In fact, the Spartans pitched a shutout until there were only 10 seconds left in the game.

The defense playing like it did today makes you wonder how good they would be if the offense could hold up it's end of the deal a bit more often.

The Spartans are idle next week and then host the Wolverines the week after that...I'm hoping that maybe in the off week they can get their act together on offense and manage to send Michigan packing with their first loss of the season.

It's About That Time Again...

Like is customary about this time of the month...I can't believe it's already October!!!!

There's a few things that will be going on this month for me.

First of all, on the 9th we switch days off from Tuesday and Wednesday to Monday and Tuesday. That means, that I now have Mondays off for Monday Night Football!! To kind of celebrate that, on the 10th a bunch of us will be meeting up to go to Rocky Top to watch the game and play MNF Bingo, a game that they play there during the game.

After that, it's smooth sailing until the 31st...which is both Halloween, and our Anniversary!!!

I've got a few gifts planned for Cathy, and to follow that up the next day (November 1st) is her I'll have some things going on for that as well. Lucky for us, we have both of those days off already!!! So we don't even need any leave to enjoy the days without work!!!