Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Year Later

So 355 Days ago I made 7 New Year's Resolutions. How well did I do?

  1. Get Trained in CPR. Failure. Will be adding this to my 2010 list.
  2. Setup an IRA and get finances in order. Success. Started up an IRA this fall, and though I wasn't able to contribute the maximum it was a good start. Also with this last paycheck I've saved up enough for a 6 month Emergency Fund without depleting the rest of my moneys. But getting ones finances in order is a marathon, not a sprint, so this will continue with aplomb into 2010.
  3. Start Doing Habitat for Humanity again. Failure. I didn't even do any volunteering this fall/winter, sadly. I shall carry over this one into 2010 as well.
  4. Skydiving. Failure. Had plenty of opportunities to go, but this summer was so busy with different things going on that by the time I had some free weekends it was October, and jumping out of a plane in October seems mad to me. 2010, here we come.
  5. Get up to 200 lbs, and stay there. Eh, kind of failure. As I mentioned when I did the halfway year check up that with minimal working out and eating alright I tend to stay around 195, so unless I want to starting drinking muscle milk and weightlifting 3 times a week I'm happy with where I'm at.
  6. Visit another country. Success. Bahamas vacation was very enjoyable, and hopefully more out of the country trips follow in the next couple of years.
  7. Get back into computers/take my job more seriously. Success, with room for improvement. I built my own computer this fall, and that was a heck of a learning experience. But now I've got a spare desktop (plus Ric's old tower) to fool around with, so this will allow me to continue fooling around and learning some new things. In regards to my job, well, things have been rather busy. I've finally received more responsibility, but I still don't have the leeway or clout to do what I want on certain things, so that will continue to be worked on next year. Much like the finances, this is a life-long goal.
All in all, not too bad. The big life changing resolutions were completed while the smaller "personal development" ones were cast aside, but there's always time for that next year.

Here's to 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Empty Nest

I think I know how my parents felt when my two brothers and myself were finally all moved out of their house. After directly living with a houseful of people for the past 4 years, now it's just down to me and Ric living in the big house in Shorewood. And it's weird. We're pretty much living out of one room, one bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room, but the house has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 3 floors, 2 living rooms, and a den. After you get used to having all of these other people to talk to, to watch movies with, and suddenly it's quiet.

The funny thing is that I could count the number of times I had been alone in either the place in New Berlin or the one in Shorewood on both hands, and relished in the chance to have the place to myself for once. Now it's empty every time I get home from work.

So who's up for moving into a nice populated hippy commune? I can't handle this being alone stuff, not in the dead of winter!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Randomings Vol. V


I can't stop watching this .gif file. She gets absolutely DESTROYED. Plus the guy gets bonus points for splash damage by hitting the guy between them. It's from MTV's new show "Jersey Shore," which is like the Real World except filled with Guidos and Guidettes. Watching it will make you feel better about yourself, but not necessarily the human race as a whole.


Here's a very good way to determine where to eat. Flow charts make everything easier.


We went to the Comedy Club on State Street in Madison on Saturday and had a great time. Tickets were only $8 with a two drink minimum. The opening acts were nothing too special, but the headliner Bryan McCree was very hilarious. Somehow we got sat at the front table so we were only a few feet away from him, and thus were pulled into a couple of his routines. The table next to us was a few couples in their 40s and 50s, and Bryan mockingly had to explain some of his jokes to them, but they were eating it up too. All in all, it was a great time. Next time you want to do something different instead of just the old "go out to the bars" I'd suggest going to a comedy club to get your night started.


Afterwords I had a hamburger piled with bacon, a bratwurst patty, carmelized onions, lettuce, tomatoes, sharp cheddar and Peck's Pilsner mustard on a pretzel bun. It was awesome. I fear the day that my metabolism starts slowing down. (Pic from here)


Some Holiday classics are better left untouched. Not this one.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hey Kid, I'm A Computah

So after almost a year of talking about it I finally took the plunge in early November and built my own PC.


I wanted to say thanks to Blaze, MrB, and Assailant.9 for their help in picking out what to go with. It was interesting to see differing opinions on what to go with, but in the end I had to make some compromises because of parts being out of stock, or my own wishes. I also used Ars Technicas Hot Rod guide as a base line of what I was interested in. I wanted to remain pretty close to what they recommended, just to see how it would turn out.
Here's the part list.
  • Case - NZXT Zero Black/Silver Aluminum ATX Full
  • Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-P55-UP4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX
  • Processor - Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66ghz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 Quad-Core Processor
  • Graphics Card - EVGA GeForce GTX 275 1792MB
  • Power Supply - Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V
  • RAM - Corsair XMS3 6GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1333
  • Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB 7200 RPM
  • Optical Drive - LG Black 22x DVD+R
  • Grand total of $1,250.

It only took about three hours to assemble, which surprised me. The basement of strewn with parts and pieces, and I was admittedly nervous when I hit the power button for the first time and nothing happened. However, MrB reminded me that there's a toggle button on the power supply that needed to be flipped as well. I installed Windows XP to start off with, but will probably switch to Windows 7 in 2010 sometime. The case is very quiet, I hardly notice when it's running, and it's big enough to expand and upgrade in the future, since I see myself owning this particular case for at least 5 years.

But the best part? I can play pretty much any new game at 1920 x 1280 with settings nearly maxed out. It's AWESOME. I've never tried benchmarking before, but I ran 3DMark 05, and it came up with scores of 23731 3DMarks and 15116 CPUMarks, which seems pretty good since I haven't overclocked anything yet. But both Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 look and run perfect. And that's what matters to me.

So yeah, there's my baby. Check another thing off my resolutions!