Thursday, November 20, 2008


Crazy global warming.

Pictures here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1 of 3 = me

One of three equals me.

More explanation via Blogger = never.

Monday, November 10, 2008


On how to descend a hill on a bike. Video.

Last night my Xbox 360 experienced the Three Red Lights of Death (aka, 3RLOD). So today I attempted to fix it using the X-clamp removal and repair method. Pictures here. I completed all the steps in about three hours.

I plugged everything in, overheated the Xbox to re-solder the GPU/CPU to the motherboard, cooled it off, and attempted to turn it on. The 3RLOD were gone!

However, my Xbox 360 then experienced what I would call the One Red Light of Death. The lower right quadrant was flashing. I queried this error, and it is apparently due to a bad ANA chip, or something related to the video output of the Xbox 360. So apparently, every component in my Xbox 360 decided to fail at once.

So all in all, I got to see the innards of the Xbox 360, bought a cool new screwdriver set (complete with Torx T6 through T25 hex heads), and corrected the 3RLOD. But alas, it still is broken. Tomorrow I will be buying a new Xbox 360 and the newly released Call of Duty 5: World at War. At least I can buy a cheap Xbox Arcade and upgrade the harddrive. As long as my old harddrive isn't broken too.

Yay for technology.

And my phone wasn't working today either. I had to call IT so they could fix the Enterprise Activation so I could send and receive network email.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday Bike Ride Adventure

Today I drove myself and my bike to the Colebrook trail head of the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail (LVRT). On the way, with my window down, I was thinking that I perhaps should have brought along a sweatshirt, but when I arrived and saw hunters en masse I was glad I had not, and was only wearing my bright yellow T-shirt.

My trip can be viewed here. Pictures are here.

I began by heading west on the LVRT. I passed by what looked to be a hiking trail, and decided to turn around and take a closer look. The trail was labeled as the Horse Shoe Trail, which is a part of the Mt. Gretna network of trails. I had read about this trail online; it was rated as a beginner level trail, but the many comments said that it was more of an advanced trail and the rating was completely wrong. Regardless, I decided to take the Horse Shoe instead of the flat, packed-gravel LVRT trail.

The trail definitely wasn't beginner; there were loose rocks the size of baseballs and steep hills. The first section shown on the map (the little part that goes directly south) was probably the hardest part as it was the steepest hill on the trip (turn on the terrain feature on Google Maps). After that, there were some ups and downs, but it was relatively easy except for one small steep section right before reaching the road.

After crossing the road, I rode through a field like area. Once completing that section, there was a steady incline to the point that I decided to turn around at a trail split (this is also where I saw around 10 orange vests walking around with high powered bows). Total one-way ride distance = 3.15 miles.

The trip back was more intense since it was almost all downhill. It was extremely bumpy due to all the rocks, and I almost flipped my bike once when I hit a large loose rock hidden in the leaves (in retrospect, having only one close call was pretty good). Going back down the steep hill I encountered during the start of my trip was pretty fun. I nearly had my chest on my seat on the way down to maintain some balance.

Once reaching the bottom, I returned to my car, had a drink of water, and continued east on the LVRT a little bit. Overall, it was a good trip. Though I really ought to exercise more.

Next trip, Governor Dick Hill?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


There are certain points in one's life when one checks on the status of said life. It makes me wish that Pure had been built with checkpoint functionality. But nay, it is track oriented, and whenever you went off the "track" the game made you crash and would reset your ATV. I would have much preferred the game if it had built similarly to Smuggler's Run for Game Cube and PS2. In Smuggler's Run, the entire environment was navigable, and the races were accomplished via checkpoints. I must say, Pure pwnt when it came to a track list.

1. There is no plan.

Check. This I wholeheartedly agree with and am living as such. While I do have a loose plan, I realize that it is all subject to change. Now that I will soon be living in a Blue nation, who knows what will happen (the same could be said for a McCain nation as well though).

My job is comparatively secure, but even if it's not I feel confident that with my experience and skill set finding a job would not be entirely difficult. I have all my options laid out in front of me, and will progress, all while at least preserving the status quo.

2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.

Check. This is something I've somehow developed into doing my entire life. I like what I'm good at, I do what I like, I'm good at what I like to do. And repeat. My entire career has actually meshed very well with my strengths and likes. Though one could argue my career choices were based on my strengths and likes. So which came first? It actually doesn't really matter which came first, only that I know #2 and preserve the check in this box.

3. It's not about you.

Check, sort of. Sometimes I forget this. Though honestly I think other people forget it more often. Everyone seems so concerned about preserving their own life, their own job, that they will do everything in their power to preserve said things: lie, cheat, make excuses. But I've come to realize that for the most part if first attention is given to the collective, the company, the team, others, that this is respected far greater than the best excuse in the world.

I try to live my life now following rule sub 3: Never make excuses, even when at fault. There is normally no reason that it would ever benefit someone to make an excuse. Most times excuses are readily recognized as an excuse. If one makes a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on.

4. Persistence trumps talent.

Check. While I may be talented, there is nothing more important than persistence. Even the hardest of problems can be solved when consistently persisted at. Plus, anything is possible with Excel, unless you have more than 65,536 lines of data.

5. Make excellent mistakes.

Check. Though I really try to avoid making mistakes altogether. It's not so much about making mistakes, or even making excellent ones. It's about learning from them; what went wrong, how can that be avoided next time.

6. Leave an imprint.

Working on it. So far so good.

Checkpoint complete.