Spring Alton Ride (2008)

This year’s Spring ride was great, albeit a bit chilly! It was only a high of around 60 for the day, but we’d had these plans for a couple months now and didn’t want to try and get another weekend nailed down that everyone had free. I think we all decided that there will be a temp cap in the future of 70 or above.

But overall, it was a great ride! No run-in’s the police, and everything went smoothly. Once we got to Perre Marquette it was pretty decent out, but cooled back down again on the way home.

We ate at Finn Inn in Grafton, very neat place. If you like fish and have never been there, I highly suggest it.

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Windows Mobile – Broken Beyond Repair

I have been using WM for nearly 2 years now. I started on WM5 and have been using WM6 for over a year now. I have had 2 different devices, both are PDA/Phone combination devices. The first was an HTC Wizard, and the second (and current) is an HTC Hermes.

I have loved these lil phones. They do literally anything and everything. Besides a phone and contact manager, you can surf the web, play games, emulate NES games, keep up to date on Weather, sports scores, RSS feeds, navigate using GPS, calculate anything you can imagine, take notes, photos, Exchange sync email, calendar, surf via Wifi, stream music and tv shows, or watch tv shows saved to your storage card…. etc… any way, you get the point.

These devices can do it all. If you want to do it, chances are some one out there has written a program that will allow you to do it.

But that’s where the glamor ends. Sure it may do all of these things, some of them well, some of them not so well, but it does not do them gracefully, or with ANY amount of style or intuition. The interface is a clunky disaster and navigating option menus and configurations is all but impossible at times.

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Never ever buy Asus

Shortly after Christmas I upgraded my gaming machine’s video card from a now-outdated ATI X850XT to a top of the line Asus 8800GT TOP edition card.  The card seemed to run great for less demanding games, and even on more demanding ones for shorter periods of time.

The first time I got to really punish it at a LAN party the card failed.  I started getting a lot of artifacting along with system lockups.  After looking in to it I found out the card was overheating.

Now, I had to ask my self why the performance video card I just shelled out $300 for was OVER HEATING.  Long story short, Asus majorly fucked up when designing this card.

1) The card has ZERO ability to control the speed of the fan.  Not only that, but the fan isn’t even a dynamic speed fan, it has 2 wires going to it.  It turns on, and that is it.  This means the card has NO ability to ramp up fan speed as the card heats up from intense 3D game play.  WTF?

2)  The memory chips on the card have ZERO cooling.  NEITHER ACTIVE NOR PASSIVE.   You read that right.  There are not even small heatsinks on the ram chips.

Asus really screwed the pooch on this one.  They put out a performance video card, then fail to give it adequate cooling, causing the card to over-heat and eventually lock up non-stop.  Why would Asus do this?  Well my theory is the company’s apparent ever-declining lack of quality.  They have had massive problems with other products they make (specifically the Striker Extreme motherboard… another performance piece of hardware that has XBox-360 levels of failure rates).  I should’ve known better then to buy Asus after their Striker incident, but the card had the highest numbers of any 8800GT and I couldn’t pass it up.  Now I am paying for it.  My machine is sitting silent with out a video card right now as I send the piece of crap Asus back to the lovely folks at Newegg (best company I have ever dealt with BTW).  As soon as I get my refund I will be buying the EVGA 8800GT SuperClocked edition card.

From what I’ve read online EVGA actually did things right.  You can control fan speeds and the heatsink covers the whole card.

Never again Asus.  Never again.

Happy New Year!

Not much to say here besides wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

I had a good one!  What better way to end 2007 then helping your friend get his truck out of the ditch?  Haha!  I will hopefully get a couple pics from my other friend who took some while we were standing out there freezing.

Check back soon.

The German Christmas Pickle: FAKE

Hiding a Pickle ornament is NOT a German tradition, nor did it even originate in Germany.  Shocking, I know.  Well… not really shocking at all when you use a little bit of German knowledge and look a bit more closely at this “tradition” whether then accepting it at face value.

The fallacy-laden story goes that it is a German tradition to hide a pickle-type ornament deep in the branches of the Christmas tree Christmas Eve.  The next morning whatever kid found the pickle hidden by ole St.  Nick would receive an extra present.  As I mentioned, with a little knowledge of how the Christmas Holiday works in Germany it is easy to spot that in Germany, St. Nick comes on the 5th or 6th of December, not Christmas Eve.   In addition, children in Germany do not open their presents Christmas morning as is the tradition in America.  They open them on Christmas Eve.

These details aside, the biggest problem with the Christmas pickle story is that NO ONE IN GERMANY HAS HEARD OF THIS TRADITION! 

That’s right.  The story is yet another FRAUD perpetrated on the gullible American public by marketing companies across the country just foaming at the mouths to sell you 12 cents worth of painted plastic in the form of a pickle for $9.99 so that you can hide it in your tree, while needing to buy an extra present to give away with the magical pickle.

Fell like a sucker, don’t yah?

Wine “experts” are scam artists

You know… I always thought wine tasting “experts” were pompous snobs that just pulled stuff out of their butts, but now there is scientific proof.

In 2001, Frederic Brochet, of the University of Bordeaux, conducted two separate and very mischievous experiments. In the first test, Brochet invited 57 wine experts and asked them to give their impressions of what looked like two glasses of red and white wine. The wines were actually the same white wine, one of which had been tinted red with food coloring. But that didn’t stop the experts from describing the “red” wine in language typically used to describe red wines. One expert praised its “jamminess,” while another enjoyed its “crushed red fruit.” Not a single one noticed it was actually a white wine.

The second test Brochet conducted was even more damning. He took a middling Bordeaux and served it in two different bottles. One bottle was a fancy grand-cru. The other bottle was an ordinary vin du table. Despite the fact that they were actually being served the exact same wine, the experts gave the differently labeled bottles nearly opposite ratings. The grand cru was “agreeable, woody, complex, balanced and rounded,” while the vin du table was “weak, short, light, flat and faulty”. Forty experts said the wine with the fancy label was worth drinking, while only 12 said the cheap wine was.

So remember that next time you’re out looking for which Wine is best. Just buy what you think tastes good. The experts don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.

Reality TV is Shit.

Alright, I know all the writers for TV shows and stuff are on strike, but this rash of shitty TV existed even before this. It’s existed for years now and I’m sick of it.

Reality TV is nothing more then a bunch of talentless hack ideas thrown together and turned in to a “show” for the rest of this ignorant country to lap up while they eat [Insert famous cheesy chip brand here] in front of their TV’s while they ignore their children.

I hate reality TV. It is NOT entertaining, and most of the time REALITY TV IS FAKE. Chris Angel is fake. Open your eyes. All of his tricks are done with special effects, and all the “general public” people in his shows are hired actors. Ok, not ALL, but they do have what they call in the industry as “plants” in the audience. Actors who work with Chris, and he “randomly” picks out of the audience. Don’t believe me? Here is an example of special effects. But Chris Angel can levitate on the street with nothing around! No he can’t.

This rant isn’t really about Chris Angel (however big a fraud he may be), but reality TV as a whole. Garbage shows like “American Idol”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” are all terrible terrible shows. They are not entertaining and make you want to change the channel at the sheer though of having to sit through one of these horrible shows.

Mean while, GOOD TV shows get canceled like Fox’s Drive. A fantastic Emmy Nominated show that got to run all of 4 episodes on Fox. 2 of which were the premier and the other 2 were played at random gaps in Fox’s lineup. Fox canceled it because of low ratings… of course it had low ratings, no one knew when the damn show would be on next! Yet Fox has plenty of room in it’s lineup for shitality… errr reality TV. Fox has a habit of canceling great shows and letting terrible ones run on way too long, but that is again off subject here.

I hope my few examples of why reality TV sucks has made a point to you. Stop watching it and they’ll stop showing it and be forced to actually be creative, write shows with good story plots, and rescue TV.

If it hasn’t, kiss my ass.

Still alive…

I haven’t made any progress on the site lately because things have been really busy and I kind of got stuck on making progress due to issues with the server not allowing me to install plugins. I still haven’t worked around that one yet and am still trying to decide what to do.

Please take 30 seconds and watch this… then visit http://www.ronpaul2008.com to learn more about who our next president needs to be to save this country.