So, a lot has definitely happened over the past few days. There was a slew of storms which pelted north Alabama on Thursday. There were at least six tornados which spawned from all of that nonsense. Fortunately, neither I nor Ruthie were caught up in it. Ruthie stayed at home that day, which was nice–she started looking online for roofing estimates 🙂 I got home just before the final wave came through, which just so happened to be the most violent one. We we hunkered down in the hallway for most of the evening. The power fluctuated all that time, until finally going out completely.

We spent the rest of that evening reading by candlelight. I found it a bit difficult, mostly because all we had were little votive candles, hardly sufficient for such a task. But, in the end, they did alright. I listened to the radio a little bit in the Mustang before going to bed, seeing how the world was faring since cell reception, and therefore Internet access, was completely down. They were saying power would be down 3-5 days because basically the main lines out of Brownsferry Nuclear Plant had been cut.

So, it was the next morning that we decided to hoof it to Louisville…there was power, hot water, and Ruthie could get the paper done that she needed to write for class. We went to visit mom and dad before leaving. Their house hadn’t been damaged, fortunately, beyond a bit of gutter work from a tree next-door. We asked if they wanted to come along, but they decided to stay behind and guard the fort 🙂

It took us over 8 hours to get to Louisville. We started out down 565 to make our way to 65. It was at that particular interchange, however, that traffic was a total zoo. In the 15-20 minutes we had been sitting there, it hadn’t seemed anyone on 65 had actually moved. So, we got on 65 south, which had relatively no traffic. We decided to make our way through Decatur and then to Florence, where there was power, so that we could gas up before making our way back east to 65 at a more northerly point. When we emerged on the interstate, there wasn’t too much traffic at all until we got to Nashville at rush hour.

And, so, today has been spent relaxing. Ruthie did some shopping with her mom a bit. And then we got a new iPad…I was finding the 16GB one a little cramped for space, so I got a 64GB one and handed off the other one to Ruthie. She was most appreciative to have such a cool little device 🙂

It looks like we will make our way back on Monday, since it sounds as though power might be restored that afternoon. We’ll see…it’ll probably be a good idea to bring down a loaf of bread or two and some extra peanut butter and jelly, just in case 🙂

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

So, I got a new heli. It’s a Blade mCP X. It’s the second micro heli I’ve had, the first one being the Blade mSR. Going from fixed-pitch to collective-pitch is totally a night and day contrast. I’m still getting used to it. The little guy saw some hang time yesterday and today, but a lot of today was fighting the wind. The night I first got it, it was flopping around on the ground like a fish a lot.

I’m still liking the iPad 2. I think it’s inspired me into seriously considering getting the iPhone 5 when it is out for VZW. Android isn’t pissing me off, necessarily, but what the carriers and manufacturers do to it does. They pretty much rape the platform, putting bloatware and custom interfaces on it…personally, I prefer AOSP. Fortunately, there’s a ROM for my phone, though it’s not fully functional (e.g., doesn’t do video at this point or MMS).

Anyway, that’s all for now. Time for some sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

I have been so bad about keeping up with LJ. All of the other social outlets tend to keep me distracted 🙂

I just found a very nice app for the iPad, though, by LJ. Maybe that’ll get me going on again. Typing on this little beastie can be harrowing at times, but the new cover which comes with the iPad 2 orients the device such that typing can actually be quite comfy on the thing. Speaking of the device, I waited in line for four frickin’ hours on Friday night to get this thing from the Apple Store. Nice device to have, and all, but I really don’t think it was worth that wait. Oh, well…I’ll have a story for the grandkids about how I braved the fanboys on the release date. lol.

I had been pondering waiting for the HP TouchPad in the summer, but I really have bought a lot of iOS apps to abandon the platform, at least at this point….it would’ve been nice to give WebOS a spin, though…maybe if they ever make a touchscreen only device 😀

Today was the most beautiful day in a long time. It was sunny and 70ish. Couldn’t ask for any better weather to wash the old Mustang 🙂 Of course, that means it’ll prolly rain tomorrow. lol. There’s a 30% chance, so maybe we’ll just dodge that bullet 😛

There is a Cubs game on WGN tomorrow. This is happy time. There was also one last week…odd that they’d be doing two weeks in a row for spring training, but it looks like they’re going to do three telecasts this year.

Ruthie is up in Louisville for a Dinner Derby musical with her mom. I’m not much into musicals, but I am into plays…so, I usually go up there with her for those 🙂

I have been watching through Star Trek Voyager via Netflix. I had forgotten what a decent series it was…though, it really got going in it’s fourth season, the first three definitely had some decent story lines. I can’t say I was too wild about the Kazon, but the Vidiians were some pretty sinister and good nemeses.

Been playing WoW a good bit, of late. My main character, a Mage, needs some new armor…poor Dubi’s resilience is quite low and he needs a bit more to be able to kick some booty in the Arena 🙂 I started a Worgen not too long ago, but haven’t been on him in a while…I may let him see some action tomorrow.

So, now that I have this new iPad, I’ve been thinking of rearranging my hardware…getting rid of a laptop and building a desktop again. I had sold my last one off before the wedding when we were saving up for our epic Alaskan honeymoon. I am thinking that the iPad sorta precludes the need for a laptop. In many ways, it makes for a fairly decent thin client, particularly in pairing with the media server I have. A desktop could handle WoW better than my aging little MacBook Pro, and it’d last a bit longer, too, given the modular nature of desktops 🙂

Then again, there’s something to be said for the mobility of a full desktop environment. I know, either way, that I could get more for my money with a Dell than an Apple. Apple hardware is nice, and all, but OS X is really getting long in the tooth in comparison to Windows 7.

I think I’ll ponder a bit more 🙂

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Dragon*Con 2010 was awesome, of course. The costuming was a bit tame this year compared to others. pktaxwench and unclemollari had some excellent Star Trek II era uniforms, though, for the World Record attempt…it was a successful attempt, BTW 😀 hapflygirl and I went separate routes; she dressed as Major Kira and I was new movie Kirk. All-in-all, it was a great time both at the record attempt and the rest of the con.

The best panel was probably the Stargate panel we went to on Sunday. Futurama was pretty good, too, though…I never would’ve imagined that’s what the dude who plays Bender looked like.

The best costumes, I think, were pktaxwench and company when they dressed up and put themselves in doll boxes. Very frickin’ cool.

I have a whole slew of pics up on my site:

Speaking of my site, I’ve created a mobile version for it. I have yet to find a mobile version of Gallery, though, so that’ll have to remain full-blown for now.

Anyway, about the only big beef about everything this year, for me, was the Hard Rock Cafe. The wait was not only obscenely long, but half of our orders were frakked. However, after some talking with the manager, rynnweber was able to get us a free meal. Not too bad at all 😀

I’m still very much liking the Droid X that I got back in July. Of course, I’ve hacked the hell out of it by now 😀 I’m sure there will be some bigger & more sparkly phone in the next year or so that I’ll drool over and pony up full retail for. Seems to be inevitable with the way I upgrade electronics. lol! Not to mention the iPad…as soon as there’s a decent Android tablet out there, and Netflix is on Android, I think I’ll prove to myself that the iPad can blend 😉

Not much else going down around here. I got a promotion at work, which is pretty cool. I’m now a Research Associate III – Step 3. I don’t think even Gordon Freeman got to that level. LOL!

I’m enjoying the heck out of Starcraft II. It makes for a good diversion while I wait until Cataclysm comes out for World of Warcraft 😀 I didn’t get to play much of the original Starcraft, certainly not as much of the campaign as I’m playing in the second one now. Good stuff, though. I hope they come out with a Warcraft 4–not an MMO, but an RTS. Of course, they have to come out with Diablo III first 😉 Hopefully, that’s not going the way of Duke Nukem Forever…seems like the first time I saw screenies for Diablo III was at least 2 years ago 😮

I married the most wonderful woman in the space-time continuum one year ago today 😀 One year and two hours, but who’s counting? 😉

It has been a wonderful year since. We celebrated our first anniversary with a little road trip to Santa Claus, IN. We went to a place called Holiday World. It was a pretty awesome place which reminded me a bit of Opryland. It’s a smaller park with nothing more than wooden roller coasters (actually, one was made of steel but still had merely straight dips and curves…no loops). They also had a pretty awesome water park integrated into it.

I definitely had a very wonderful time, and somehow kept the sun from pwning me. Vive le sunscreen! lol. It seems like I did get a little tan, though…maybe I’m not as white as a vampire anymore.

I got Ruthie a nice starfish holly double pendant from Swarovski, the same place I got her heart pendant wedding gift a year ago. She certainly seems to love the heck out of it 🙂

Unfortunately, while we were gone it seems the Cubbies started losing big to the Rockies. Meh. Same ol’. Maybe next year 😉 I do hope that stories of Joe Girardi possibly becoming manager next season are true. With the departure of Pinella at season’s end, obviously there are going to be changes of some kind. It’d be nice if those changes included Girardi; he’s been to the World Series and is a former Cub. Can’t go wrong there.

Wow, July is full of a lot of birthdays. We celebrated my dad’s birthday this past week, countzero2k7‘s was this week, Daniel’s is tomorrow, and Lucas Meacham’s is Tuesday. The later was celebrated yesterday. I think it was really the first 1st birthday party that I’ve been to since my own brother‘s way back in the day. There wasn’t a much diving into cake as I would’ve figured. In fact, he seemed kind of hesitant 😀

The quality of the video is kinda “meh”. I was experimenting with my new phone a bit. Apparently, it does 720p far better than it does QVGA:

(Lucas Meacham’s First Birthday Cake)

In other news, it’s still hot 😐 High 90s and plenty of humidity. Boo.

Ruthie’s coming back from Louisville today. Yay! 😀 She was up there for a dinner theatre presentation that she was going to with her mom. I don’t like musicals much, so she goes up for all of the those, and I go up with her for all of the plays.

Here’s an interesting one for ya. Apparently, Britain is now moving away from the direction that we’re going with that whole health care thing:

Britain Plans to Decentralize Health Care

I shudder to think how much my paycheck is going to shrink this coming January with the expiration of the “evil” Bush tax cuts and the anticipated increases in premiums for insurance, what with a program that was supposedly going to “help” with them 😐

It’s definitely one of “those” Alabama summers. We’re having nothing but days in the 90s, with humidity in at least the 80% range. Quite miserable. Ruthie is training for a marathon she’s running with Keith in October in Chicago, and found she had to segment out her 7 mile run yesterday. Running while trying to breathe in what is effectively water is no fun at all.

I’m getting a new phone, supposedly this week. We’ll see. I pre-ordered a Motorola Droid X from Best Buy late last month. I am kind of ambivalent that I will be getting it the day of the release (the 15th, this week!). If it’s a popular phone, I’m betting supplies will be as spare as they were (and still are) with the likes of the HTC Incredible. Anyhoo, this is my first jaunt into the world of Android, so I’ll probably post a review when I’ve had some time to try it out and hack the snot out of it 😀

We saw Despicable Me on Friday. It was a cute movie. We didn’t see it in 3D, which is certainly quite fine with me; I tend to get headaches either because of the glasses or because of something with the rendering. I really don’t know which. The only movie that didn’t happen with was Avatar. Before the movie, we gave Cheddar’s a whirl; it was both of our first times there and we loved it.

I’m currently reading a Star Trek novel, something I hadn’t done in a while before my last couple of novels. It takes place in Archer’s era, during the Romulan War. What’s most interesting is how they have to step back in technology on newer starships (Daedelus-class ships, like what the Archon presumably was). It essentially gives some reason in the storyline why Kirk’s Enterprise (from the original series and original timeline) looked the way it did. A rather unique Romulan weapon necessitated this reversion. It sort of reminded me of why the Soviet Union used vacuum tubes for decades in their aircraft long after solid state became big; to escape the ravages of an EMP in a nuclear attack. Anyway, it was a rather interesting element of a very engrossing plot. If you’re a Trekkie, I’d highly recommend it.

Cubs keep suckin’ it, but that’s just normal 😀 They actually had a pretty good game against the Dodgers yesterday, but I’m not being lulled into a false sense of a streak here. If they’re not .500 by the All-Star Break, then I’m pretty sure all bets are off.

My mom actually *GASP* got a laptop 😮 It’s a hand-me-down from my brother. I refitted it with a new optical drive and RAM and gave it to her, in better shape than it was when Keith had it in its prime. It’s such an old lappy, though, that it’s pretty much nothing more than a netbook as far as caliber of power goes. Celeron M with 2GB of 766MHz DDR and an integrated Intel vid card. It’s running XP, of course. Good enough for email and basic stuff.

So, I got an iPad. It is not an awful device, so far. The lack of Flash is not all that bothersome, to this point. Typing on it is a smidge awkward, but not too bad. I would definitely refrain from writing the great American novel it, though. I think once I get used to the spacing of the on screen keys, i will get a bit better with it.

Courtesy of an iTunes gift card so thoughtfully given to me by my mom in law, I bought a few apps for it. The coolest game I got is a racing game called Asphalt 5. I also got Worms HD, a star chart program which is quite full of spiffy, mahjong (I have yet to have owned a mobile device on which I didn’t have a mahjong game)…there is an iPad version of Scrabble similar to what I have on my iPhone, but I didn’t thunk that was worth the bucks for it. I installed the iPhone version of SimCity, but it seems that most non-ported iPhone apps look rather terrible when upscaled.

Surfing is very similar to a desktop experience, given the resolution of the screen; no need to head to mobile versions of sites on this puppy. For most sites, I also don’t feel the need to zoom in as I do on the iPhone.

What is majorly awesome, though, is the Kindle app…mainly because I bought some Kindle books already, on my old Kindle (which has now found an enthusiastic user in Ruthie). What I am really looking for is an iPad version of Stanza, another eBook reader that reads plain txt files, something that this iPad app doesn’t do.

There is supposedly a jailbreak on the way which I will certainly partake in. At least I will be able to multitask in that way until fall when the iPad gets the 4.0 OS.

All-in-all, not a bad device, so far. I wouldn’t mind checking out a ‘droid tablet, too, as they step up, but this has been a very nice first tablet in the meantime.

The Health Care Bill passed the Senate. It really makes no sense; they’ve taken out a Public Option and Medicare reform to compensate for the lack of a Public Option…and yet when I was waking up this morning, I heard that Obama wanted the Senate to “make sure the taxes are structured so that they don’t harm middle class workers” in regards to taxes and fees for so-called “Cadillac” insurance plans.

It’s a crock on two fronts. For one, he doesn’t give a damn about the middle class–his Marxist ideas will likely destroy the middle class and create a highly stratified society of haves and have-nots.

On another front, assuming that there is no Public Option or Medicare reform in lieu of a Public Option anymore, then why do they need taxation of “Cadillac” insurance plans anymore at all? What the hell are these taxes going to pay for, if there is no public insurance of any kind in this bill? I’m pretty sure that the taxes and fees were set in this bill with that in mind so, without it, where the hell is the money going to go? Do they still have those stupid government cooperatives in there? Do they have some other regulatory tools in there? Even if that were the case, why the tax increases on the plans for something regulatory? It just makes no sense. And of course, for it to make any sense, you have to troll through thousands of pages to find something that probably implicitly lays something out.

Of course, it stinks of a dirty Chicago politician. The next decades are really going to suck. People didn’t want this; a great majority of Americans did not want this bill–whether they wanted something more Conservative or more Liberal, NO ONE is happy with it. And, of course, they passed it anyway. Representative Democracy has failed us. And, pretty much predictably, no one seems to care. I hope that not only does the Congress pay for this in the coming elections, but also the Presidency. That’s pretty much our only hope, at this point.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The weekend is going by fairly well here. We had a wonderful little family get together on Thursday. It was certainly good seeing the bro, visiting from Chitown. My mom cooked a whole turkey–the past few thanksgivings has been just a gigantic turkey breast, but this time it was a whole bird. It was quite yummy; it was so juicy that it didn’t even need any gravy–though, I’m not much of a gravy dude, anyway.

Today was really cool, too. Ruthie had a Black Friday sojourn up to Opry Mills. I remained home and held down the fort…and shopped on Amazon instead 😉 hehe. She got in at about 5:30ish this morning. I mean, just…wow. lol. I did experience a smidge of Black Friday later today, though, when we went to MovieStop and checked out their sale. It wasn’t too awful, though, and we did get a few cool DVDs/Blu-rays. w00t.

Tomorrow is a 360 LAN. w00 h00! We haven’t had one of those in a while–since July, I think. Too long! We’ve all been busy here and there with something, I suppose. Should be a h00t.

I may be looking for punishment, but I’m attempting to install OS X onto my laptop. I’m using an iDeneb mix that supposedly works fairly frickin’ well on most computers. I think that it might even work on my eeePC, but I’m certainly not going to try that at this point–I want to have at least ONE working compy at all times. lol. Besides that, I don’t know that OS X would work all that well on that particular hardware combination, certainly not in comparison to Windows 7–which almost seems to be made for it.

I just got a new server this week, and I got it up and going in fairly short order. Something funky went on after I tweaked selinux; TTY errors which made me do a rescue of it. When I got it back up, though, it was all good and it has been running quite spiffily since. It’s a LAMP server where I also store files and media. I may make it an HTPC at some point, though certainly not until I can get a tv capture card for it. It’s amazing how quiet it runs; I can’t even tell it’s there, whereas the old server was getting to be like a jet engine.

I had a very awesome idea for a BSG story. I might kick it around and possibly write it; it has literally been ages since I wrote anything in terms of stories…end of high school, really, I suppose. We’ll see if I can get the willpower going to write it 🙂 I think it’s an intriguing idea, but I don’t know if I can/will go anywhere with it.

Anyhoo, iDeneb is about finished cooking…time to go geek out a bit more on this Friday eve 🙂