December 21, 2009

New Compy/Water Tower Hybrid

I've constructed a new computer.  It's a watercooling setup, which seems a little counter-intuitive for electronic equipment.  It's been a fun project, and I've been enjoying learning more about water cooling.  While I did construct a mostly new computer, I didn't upgrade the videocard, yet.  I'm thinking about waiting until Starcraft 2 comes out, and upgrading around then.


I've recently been playing Torchlight.  It's a classic dungeon runner, made by ex-blizzard employees.  It's like a cross between Nethack and Warcraft 3 and Diablo II.  Though it is funny to say, unlike online multi-player games, you can pause or stop playing the game whenever you like.  This has really been the defacto for computer games since quite some time, but seems to be changing with MMORPGs and online FPS games.

November 8, 2009

Bear Valley, Burgdorf, Goldfork

     In the past few weeks, we've visited Bear Valley Hot Springs, Burgdorf, and Goldfork.  As the weather cools down, visiting the different springs becomes a great outdoor experience.

     Burgdorf Hot Springs is under new management, they have added a septic system, and electric solar panels to heat the the changing rooms and provide electric lighting.  As well, they've put some paving stones around the edges of the pool.
     Goldfork was a relaxing visit.  One of the lower pools has a sandy bottom and a waterfall from the upperpool, that made for a perfectly relaxing enviroment.
     My first trip to Bear Valley hot springs was probably one of the last trips to bbe made to the hotsprings without the aid of snowshoes or crosscountry skis.  The walk was a little treacherous, as we didn't take the footbridge the first time, and ended up fording the river a few extra times.  But it was a worthwhile trip and the springs there are gorgeous.

September 24, 2009

Books and things

I've recently finished the Great Book of Amber, by Roger Zelazny.  The Great Book of Amber is great because it is 10 books combined into one.  Zelazny crafted a fantastical universe where the powers of order are pitted against the forces of chaos, and all the above are continually plotting intrigues.  The book is written in a first person perspective, which sometimes leans into stream of consciousness styling.  A fun read and an interesting universe.

September 10, 2009

New/Used Car

Recently swapped out the Explorer for a Toyota FJ Cruiser.  This vehicle has four wheel drive, which should ferry us around the parking lot in the ski hill better than the Explorer.  We've already taken it camping and broken it in a little, and it's definately a fun SUV to drive. Yay!

Monkey Island

I've recently been enjoying the computer game Tales of Monkey Island.  It's a fun game in the vein of Kings Quest or Space Quest.  It has precursors from that era, too.
The 3D rendered game brings a new aspect to those past games of puzzle questing.  It looks like they have a Sam and Max game that also is available in installments, though I haven't looked at them yet.  The Sam and Max game from long ago was one of my all time favorite for the sarcasm of the characters, and zanyness of the plot.

August 4, 2009


Rules: Don't take too long to think about it.
Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

1. the count of Monte Cristo by dumas
2. the city of god by augustine
3. three musketeers saga by dumas
4. the black tulip by alexander dumas
5. les miserables by victor hugo
6. shannara saga by terry brooks
7. lord of the rings saga by tolkien
8. white company & Sir Nigel by arthur conan doyle
9. Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stephenson
10. Hocus Pocus by Kurt vonnegut
11. hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy saga, by douglas Adams
12. the good samaritan strikes again by patrick macmanus
13. Quentin Durward by Walter Scott
14. the haunted mesa by louis l'amour
15. tom sawyer by mark twain

July 9, 2009


We recently repainted our China hutch, built a pirate chest/deck box, and expanded the reservoir pool for the water fountain in the back yard. The sailboat has been repaired and had the missing pieces replaced. The wisteria seem to be slowly edging skywards towards the pergola. I'm enjoying watching the plants of our yard and garden grow during the summer. Our grapevines are doing really well, and next year I am expecting to get a fair amount of grapes.
We went up to McCall for the days before the fourth, and went hiking near Lick Creek summit, as well as rode an ATV to the top of one of the ridges above Payette lake and Blackwell lake.

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June 17, 2009

Reading 6-17-2009

One of the books I've been reading lately is Hope Has Wings by Stuart Sendall-King. After World War II, pilots concerned with reaching the remote parts of the world created MAF. Stuart Sendall-King was instrumental in MAF-UK, and details his adventures in Africa and elsewhere. It's an interesting look into the change that continually grips Africa. As well as how modern civilization creeps into the backwoods, mountains, and bush areas of the world.

Another book I picked up from the library, is the autobiography of Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight. Pattie details her tumultuous life from living in Africa, to being part of Beatlemania and being married to George Harrison, and then to Eric Clapton. It's an interesting read that give insight into the lives of famous rock and roll musicians. It also details some of the complex and deep emotions involved with being famous, and the pitfalls of dissolute rockstar living.

May 29, 2009


Recently took down the sailboat that has been gracing the ceiling of a garage for the last two decades. We put together all of the requisite parts, such as: the jib, the mast, the boom, the sail, the trapeze, the trampoline, the tiller, the rudders. It's interesting how sailing has its own parlance. I am hoping to take the catamaran sailing this summer. I think the boat needs a name; I was thinking of "Aim for the rocks!"

April 29, 2009

Pergola, Balanced Rock, and Indian Bath Tub H.S.

Recently finished up our pergola project in our back yard. That should make the patio much more pleasant in the sunshine. Spring is here and it's been raining alot. The changing weather's exciting, as our plants around our house are starting to grow.
Last weekend Melissa and I went on a day trip down to Balanced Rock state park, near Castleford, Idaho. We drove back through some dusty side roads and stopped at Indian Bath Tub hot springs; a fun trip.

March 31, 2009

Arizona, California, Mexico, Colorado, and Oregon

We recently arrived home from our vacation to the South. We went to Arizona, California, Mexico, Colorado, and Oregon. Although we weren't expecting to spend much time in Denver, and Portland was a complete surprise. The temperature in Meridian dropped into the thirties and fourties while we were gone, which was fortuitous for us to be in the warm southern climes.
     Went to San Diego, and met with some friends at Seaport Village and then toured the Aircraft Carrier Midway, a floating museum. We then headed to Los Angeles to meet with Melissa's brother and visit the Getty museum.
     The next stop of our tour was at Disneyland. It was busy due to spring break, but we optimized our time there with the help of and had a wonderful visit. The fireworks display was especially nice due to the large crowds, I think.

March 30, 2009

iPhone Retrogaming: Rogue Touch

I recently picked up Rogue Touch for the iPhone. It's basically a port of the old text character based adventure game, Rogue. I played a version of Rogue called Epyx (download) extensively when I was bored and disconnected in Nigeria.  Then there is Nethack.  Here is a good version of Nethack.

March 11, 2009

Snow Skiing

Melissa and I have season passes for the 2009/2010 season at Bogus Basin. One of the benefits of buying next year's pass near the end of the season is that you can use it for this year (if you don't have one already). So we've managed to get to the hill twice so far.

I've also started to run a little for exercise. I am hoping to make a habit out of it. I am using to help me keep tabs on my progress. The weather has been bouncing around lately, which makes some days good for skiing and other days good for running. As Spring pops up shortly, hopefully I will get a chance to get out to the hot springs.

February 12, 2009

Echo Rock Revisited

We went back to Echo Rock hot springs last weekend. We brought an ATV with us this time. We had an excellent trip, the reservoir had risen about four feet from the last visit. As a result there was a few parts where I had to ride the ATV on the steep angle of the sides of the reservoir in order to bypass the waters and mud. It was a muddy too! Anyway, if the reservoir keeps rising, it should now be accessible by boat only until the Reservoir empties out again.

I'm in the middle of reading The silver Chalice, by Thomas Costain. I've read a few of his books before and enjoyed them. This one is historical fiction about the creation of the Antioch Chalice. It is set in the New Testament period of Acts of the Apostles. I libraried some Rock and Roll biography books, Watch you bleed and Old gods almost dead by Stephen Davis. They weren't as interesting as I had hoped.

I've also been enjoying Fieldrunners for the iPhone. It's a great Tower Defense game. I also played through MySims Kingdom for the Wii, which was mildly entertaining. I recommend a few online flash games, Battalion Nemesis and Gemcraft

January 17, 2009

I recently cataloged the books that have been residing on the shelves in my office. After trying different things on and off for a couple years, I decided to use a website called: librarything. The librarything website is essentially an online library catalog, where you can store and share lists of books. Inputing a hefty number of books was amazingly fast with the help of a cuecat barcode reader, which I picked up a while back for just such a project. You can check out the 'books' link on my website to browse through my library.

January 6, 2009

A Table, Apple TV, and Bamboo

My office recently had an injection of greenery in the form of a bamboo plant. It certainly helps to break up the monotony of the khaki colored cubicle walls.

Earlier last year, Melissa found a nice looking table in a magazine, and we decided to build one similar to it. After drafting up some measurements and adjusting the table height to be a little taller, it was time to saw and sand. After a few days of sawdust and paint, the table is now done. However, it might still end up with a different color, and another coat of paint.

We also recently got an Apple TV. I immediately began to modify it. It now features Boxee and XBMC (xBox Media Center). These additions allow the Apple TV to play almost any form of multimedia content from multiple types of servers, such as Hulu. I had installed XBMC on an original xBox and enjoyed that project thoroughly.