Tag Archives: food

Things and Stuff

This is going to be a rather random post–just a list of some of the cooler things I’ve been up to. I’ve been noticing how this feels more and more like a blog, but I do try to keep the personal details out of it. I don’t think anyone (maybe Kaylen) cares what I had for dinner last night (Pork Lo Mein), what I last watched on TV (CNN), or when I stumbled out of bed today (3PM).

Since the spring semester of college was over a couple weeks ago (one A, two B’s, and a C), Kaylen and I finally got a chance to go camping. Her school, UVA, is only 30 minutes from the lovely Shenandoah National Park, so we went there and stayed at a centrally-located campground called Lewis Mountain. It was a decent campground (well-maintained), albeit pricey (want a 10 minute shower? 2 bucks). It was surprisingly popular, too; most days there were almost no free spots by the evening. I enjoyed making fires and gathering firewood so we could cook the food, but the low abundance of good wood meant short-lived fires. The second day, we went hiking on a trail called White Oak Canyon, but alas we turned around not far from the actual falls and only saw cascades; we’ll be sure to carry trail maps in the future. I’ve uploaded most of the pictures we took (including some impressive panoramas) to the photo album in this directory.

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I said "Don't you like popsicles?"

When we got back home, I uncovered a set of popsicle makers in the basement. Kaylen and I had much fun trying out different frozen snacks such as Dr. Pepper, Code Red, apple juice, orange juice, pudding, and raspberry snowcone syrup. The only problem is the amount of water in the substances. Many of the drinks just have too much water; causing mostly ice crystals and little flavor. So we tried experimenting with reducing the water by heating the beverage on the stove; it works perfectly for sodas. About half syrup and half water is the best blend. Delicious.

With my new time off, I’ve been back to work on several things, of course. I dabbled with the code to my as-of-yet-unreleased alarm program some a few days ago, mainly touching on a few bugs and missing features (buttons that go to nowhere). It’s been a little hard going back to it since I haven’t really looked at the code much since last summer (it’s a shame); I’m wishing now that I had commented the code more. But with any luck, I might be able to finally get the few kinks out of it and release it publicly, maybe even to some download sites. The reason I only gave it out to a select few beta testers previously is that it was proving to be unreliable in a few rare instances, and an alarm that’s unreliable is no good.

But for the last few days, I’ve been putting together a new column on PC air cooling. I took some logs from MBM and turned the data into some pretty graphs in Excel and then analyzed the results. It’s mostly just neat to see how the temperatures interact to certain events, as my conclusions are pretty obvious for any computer professional. You can find it here.

As for entertainment, I’ve been getting back into Rise of Nations after being disappointed with Stalker’s linear, buggy gameplay. I finally finished Alexander the Great’s campaign for the first time and now I’ve moved on to a mod version of the Entire World (Baryonyx’s Extended mod). This could be good news for anyone still playing RoN as I may get into making some more scripts and improvements to my ScriptMaker, as well as finally releasing my map pack mod.

I’ve also been having some fun with the new Sam & Max season. I tried playing some adventure games before, but just couldn’t get into all the walking around and trying every combination of things to progress the story. With Sam & Max, either the puzzles are easier than they used to be or I’m just more intelligent enough to figure them out now. Either way, it’s an amusing little game that I can’t get enough of.

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Ramalicious, bitches!

Yesterday, I received my Christmas gift to myself, a stick of (get ready for some specs, bitches) 1GB OCZ DDR400 (PC3200) CL2-3-2-5 Platinum Edition RAM with a copper heat spreader. Of course, I already had 2 sticks of 256MB GEiL DDR400 CL2-3-3-6 Ultra RAM in a dual-channel configuration on my Asus A7N8X Deluxe v2.0 mobo. I was skeptical about putting three sticks of differing RAM in my mobo and it working. The rule is usually that it’s not a good idea to fill all your RAM banks, even with high-quality memory. Such setups can cause the system to not POST or crash or lock on memory-intensive apps. So I popped the new 1GB stick of RAM into the free slot and left the case in a work position in the likely case I needed to swap some sticks around. However, it posted fine and I proceeded to set the optimal timings of 2-3-3-6, which was as low as the GEiL sticks could handle. It booted into Windows fine and then handled 6 hours of Dungeon Siege multiplayer hosting like a champ. Later on, still dazzled that all three sticks were working together, I booted into Memtest86+ and ran most of the tests. It handled those flawlessly as well. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but on POST, it says that the two GEiL sticks are still running in Dual-Channel. However, it still performs on par with nVidia 333Mhz dual-channel systems in Sandra memory benchmarks. So there were no performance improvements in benchmarks, but you can really see it in the quality of gaming. Now I can max out texture settings in games and have no memory hitching. And games also can be minimized without memory swapping and exit instantly. I can also leave any number of explorer or browser windows open while playing games. It’s nice. I give this OCZ stick of RAM a big thumbs up.

I also got a Saitek Eclipse keyboard for Christmas, but I really could have used some of the other items on my list more (like a UPS, X-fi sound card, etc.). It’s good for gaming in the dark, but that’s about it. I wouldn’t recommend it for use just based on the badass factor of it glowing blue. The glowing actually makes it harder to read in decent or better lighting. I don’t think it’s angled enough and that makes it harder to read in the light or dark, because yes…I hunt and peck when I type. But I may prop it up more to fix the angle. Sometimes the wrist rest rattles, too. The keys feel nice, though. They’re about 33% softer than the ones on my previous MS keyboard. So, I’d only recommend it if you like to use your computer in the dark. Just don’t tell me what you’re doing in the dark if it’s not gaming. ­čśĽ

Also, Betty Crocker Warm Delights are the shiznit.

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