Blog'n the night away...


Saturday February 10th 2007
Lots of stuff to post today. This really should be like 4 separate posts, but hey, it's my dang site. Shut yer trap! First off. Welcome to the New Year, only a month late. All I can say is wow! Is it really 2007 already? I was still just getting used to 2006. It still had that new year smell. 😊

Christmas was excellent as always. We had another successful "Newman Holiday Extravaganza". Big BIG thanks go out to everyone that stopped by for some winter cheer. The surprise HIT at this years party was the Nintendo Wii. Friends and neighbors hooted and hollered while rounds of Wii Sports Tennis and Bowling were played. It was amazing to witness.

In January, my good friend Rob came over from England for a week. Just in time to catch our best snow of the year. Up to this point, we hardly had any to speak of. We all went downhill inner-tubing at this hill in Wisconsin. The hill had a tow rope, so you could just grab on and not have to walk up the hill. Being pulled up was almost as fun as sliding down. I had many flashbacks of Calvin and Hobbes flying sleds of of hills. The snow was really coming down that night. Fresh powder and tubes == many face washes. My beard had icicles hanging off of it by the end of the night.

Speaking of icicles, it has been butt cold out the last week. We are talking temps dropping below -15F, with windchill reaching -30F. Colder than a Witches titty for certain. I guess we still can get a real Winter here in MN.

World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade was finally released this month. Finally I can level up my main character Splortch from level 60 to level 70. Granted, I only just made level 60 a few months ago. Some have been waiting to level up 60s for over a year. Contain your aggro kids. I also joined a new guild back in early December. Keel Haul. They are a great group. Thanks Dana and Deb. You pirates rock! Yaaar!

Lastly, I broke down and bought a PS3. At this point they are in stock everywhere. Hard to believe only two months ago these things were going for up to $2500 on eBay. I thought the regular price of $600 was high. Ouch! To get the PS3 I finally cashed in the pocket lint money I have been hanging onto for the last 10 years. I had about 50lbs of silver coin that I took to the bank and had just enough to get the PS3. At the moment there really are no good games for the PS3. I'm thinking of the PS3 as more of a media center system than a game system these days. I have no idea how the war between HD-DVD and PS3 will turn out. So having both the HD-DVD add-on for the 360 and the PS3 will allow me to not worry about which will win this stupid format war and just buy the movies I want to see in HD. It will be a long time until downloadable movies reach the quality of the HD disks. I'm not sure Sony will recover in the game market. I only see 2 game coming on the PS3 that interest me in the next year. Metal Gear Solid 4, and Rachet and Clank. At this point I feel the 360 is winning the next-generation (now current generation) battle. Microsoft is putting forth a good effort, and the 360 is really a fantastic all around gaming system. The PS3 has a lot of catching up to do.

Wii Mii

Tuesday November 28th 2006
Check us out! This is Karen and I in Mii form. Aren't we just adorable? Well, at least Karen is. Sorry about the bad quality photo. It is the best I can do with my Cannon pointed at my TV in low light with a flash. You can actually just have fun creating Mii people for everyone you know. The best part is that everyone you create will appear in Wii sports as opposing players or background fans.

I've been playing with my Wii for the last few days and the more I use it the more I enjoy it. Getting off my arse to stand and play some active games is just good times in the making. The only downer is that I have been unable to find a second Wiimote. So Kitten and I just take turns with Wii Sports and Excite Truck. There has not even been any stamping of the feet or crying or anything. πŸ˜€


Sunday November 26th 2006
After my third attempt at waiting in line at Best Buy I finally manged to snatch up a Wii for myself. As Stimpy would say, "Happy Happy Joy Joy!". My first attempt was last Sunday on the launch day. I was under the impression there would be enough consoles to go around so I only arrived 20 min prior to store opening. Needless to say, I underestimated demand. The Best Buy employees already handed out tickets before I even got there. No dice. Next I thought I would camp out on Black Friday starting at 3:30 am to get a Wii. WRONG! No consoles that day. According to a Best Buy yellow shirt they were holding the shiny white Wii back until Sunday. FRICK! Well, Sunday it is then. This time I was not going to hold back, I arrived at the gates the the blue devil at 6:20 am. Store opening would be at 10 am. It was going to be a long cold wait, but at least I met some nice and interesting people in line. I was number 11 in line. YES. At 9 am an Angel with a yellow ticket name badge handed my golden, err blue, ticket. Finally!

My Wii Launch Lineup:
  • Wii Sports
  • Excite Truck
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii Consoles use a System code as a way to contact friends online. If you want to add my Mii to your Wii just add my code to your Wii address book:

6979 6251 0093 9066

I spend a good chunk of time today playing my Wii games. About 5 hours in total. The Wii actually reports and tracks your game playing time. A nifty feature. So far I am very impressed with the controls. Everything is easy and intuitive. It just feels "right" to me. Nintendo is onto something big here.

Level 60!

Saturday November 25th 2006
I did it! After 14 days of game play I have attained the max level in World of Warcraft with my Dwarf Hunter. W00t!

O.K. Now what?

Website Updates A-Go-Go

Sunday October 22nd 2006
Updates! Small updates to report on the site. The My Computers page is updated with my latest addtions and modifications. One, I've upgraded my display to a 22" Widescreen LCD (sweet!). Two, CodeWeavers replaced my crappy Toshiba Laptop with a shiny black MacBook. Awww yeah. Actually, the MacBook I had with me on the trip to the UK, but this is the first chance I've had to mention it.

Game DB Updates:

I am still playing loads of WoW these days. In fact my may character Splortch is up to level 52. I may just make level 60 before the expansion hits. But, I'm not getting my hopes up, nor will go out of my way to grind my way. I'll try to keep my playtime to normal limits.

Back on the new LCD monitor. Starting with World of Warcraft, I will be taking screenshots at the new preferred resolution of 1680x1050. This gets my PC gaming close to HDTV res 1080i (1920x1080). Though, I still think games look better on the PC versus the Xbox 360.

Welcome home Kirby!

Saturday October 7th 2006
Kirby!That's right!
We adopted a new member of our family today. Kirby was rescued by Homeward Bound Dog Rescue of Minnesota. We found the website while doing puppy research online. They bring the dogs to Petco stores each Saturday. This is just a great way to play with and see many different breads if you are unsure of what works for you. We had some ideas, but until you go and see the dogs you may be surprised at which ones grow on you. Kirby is a mix of Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) and Welsh Corgie. He is about 10 months old. Their best guess is that he was born around February. He is just a bundle of fun.

Tally Ho!

Monday September 25th 2006
'Ello We are back from our trip to jolly ol' England. Karen and I left from Minneapolis airport September 14th on Northwest Air for a 8 hour non-stop flight to London Gatwick airport. Our good friend Rob was our host for this trip. He picked us up and drove us to his home town of Reading. We stayed our week long trip with him and his Mum. I just gotta say 'Thanks' to them for being so great. We had a fantastic time. The first weekend was work related. WineConf 2006 was being held at the University of Reading. Rob was also the bloke who organized WineConf this year. Good job mate! After WineConf we took a day trip to London. We rode the train from Reading to Paddington Station. From Paddington we took the London Underground. I was particularly impressed by how extensive this subway system was. Talk about good public transportation. Something our city here needs to work on. In London we walked the Thames, rode the London Eye, and many other sites. "Look kids! Big Ben, Parliament!". 😊

A few days later we drove down from Reading to Portsmouth. This city is a port town. So if you are into boats, big and small, this is worth checking out. I'm a sucker for the salty sea air. We checked out 3 historic ships from Her Majesty's Royal Navy. The H.M.S. Warrior, and the H.M.S. Victory. Both are just beyond impressive. I just wanted to run around on the decks for hours yelling "Batten down the mizzen mast!, Hoist that Dog from the Yardarm! YAAARRR!".

Most people don't come back from the U.K. talking about the food, but I will. MMmmmmmm. Guy food. Since we spent a good chunk of time tasting quality Ales at pubs, we also partook in some great pub food. Bangers and Mash, Toad in the Hole, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and who can resist the traditional English Breakfast - Meat, meat, potatoes, meat, oh yeah, and a fried egg. Damn tasty!

I look forward to our next trip.

Summer Slump

Saturday July 1st 2006
Not much going on right now. Just the usual work, eat, sleep routine. Something I really need to break out of. Need to get out and do some travel other than our regular summer trips to the Cabin. We did take a drive down to Rochester, MN and went on a 3 hour bike ride down there. That was a good time. I needed a good bike ride since I've lapsed on my exercise a bit. I have not been out on my blades in over two weeks, bad Newman!

At CodeWeavers we recently started to get World of Warcraft running on Linux. So natually we all got accounts and started playing. This may or may not prove to be a good idea. Time will tell. In the meantime I am having a good time getting sucked back into an MMORPG. I have not played one since my days of Ultima Online back in 1998 or so. I've created two characters on the Aerie Peak server if you want to look for me. A Dwarf hunter called "Splortch" and a Dark Elf hunter called "Dracowulf". I'll try to get some screenshots up sometime.

Oh, and you haven't done so already, check out the demo for Prey. It's really f'd up in a good way. I played through the demo about 4 times already. Twice on my PC, and once on the 360. I even installed the demo in Linux using CrossOver and it worked perfectly. Though, if you get even a little bit motion sick playing FPS games this one will really churn your guts. I've never had that problem. A big thumbs up from me. Now I just need to decide if I'd rather play it on the PC or the 360. I'm leaning twords PC.

Enjoy the summer, and like me, try to get out of basement a bit. Mmmmkay?.

Camping, Newman does not Camp! Does he?

Monday May 22nd 2006
I went on a weekend car camping trip with my brother in-law Eric, and his good friend Matt. We stayed at a small campsite just north of Two Harbors, MN. About an hour or so north of Duluth. The goal was to simply get away for the weekend and possibly get some good photos. It was a great time. We actualy had some good weather save for the few hours of rain on Saturday morning. MMmmmm bacon log! πŸ˜€

PC Hardware Weekend

Monday May 15th 2006
It was a PC hardware weekend. After a week of drooling over the next generation of console hardware at e3, it seems ironic that I would spend the weekend upgrading and rebuilding my older PCs.

First task: Upgrade Sonic. The website should be more responsive now. I notice the biggest speed difference on the GameDB with entries that have more the one large screenshot. Since the shots are dynaically resized that takes some CPU horsepower.

Second Task: I planned on simply upgrading the hard drive in Clank. I wanted to copy over the data on the fat32 partion of the 2.5 gig HDD over to a newer 30 gig HDD. But the bios would not see a drive bigger than 8 gig. I found what I thought was a compatible bios update. The version number matched what was imprinted on the mainboard. It did not take. In fact it ended up "bricking" the motherboard. It no longer would even boot. Doh! So since I have the leftover P3 from Sonic, I used that and re-installed Win98se from scratch on the 30 gig HDD. I copied over the save games from the old HDD. I then spent the rest of the weekend re-installing games. The upside is that Clank now runs more games than it did before. The older DOS games that freak out due to the speed of the P3 are now run on Garfield through DOSbox instead. I mainly want Clank for older Win9x era games that are 3dfx only titles and pre DirectX 8.

The reason it takes me so dang long to reinstall games is that I have to tweak and test each one after installing them. I usually will play through the first level to make sure they are running fine. It helps that I keep an archive of all the old game patches on Sonic as some are getting hard to find these days. I also keep a collection of all my old save game files. I have learned far too often when upgrading not to keep the save games.

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