Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's Resolutions

I know that New Year's Eve is still a little bit away, but considering that I'll be working, I figured that I'd post this now.

My New Year's Resolutions, in no particular order:

  1. Actually post at least once a month week at the site. I know that all of you with only believe this one once you see it. These past few have been a bit hectic. Getting used to the new home schedule (Denita and I only have every other Saturday off together now). Also, the absolutely crappy dial up service out here was putting a crimp on even checking the weather forecast. But life is starting to settle down into an almost manageable routine for me and Denita's family got sick of the busy signals while we were online, and hooked us up with a broadband connection... so I should be able to post more frequently.
  2. Get a headset with mic for the computer to take advantage of insanely cheap VoIP calls (seeing that everyone we know is long distance). For those who know my Real Life™ name, you can find me at first name.last name on Skype.
  3. Post more humorous contributions to life from Zane... pictures, videos and stories.
  4. Come up with a damn moniker for the new town we live in... This has actually been a very tough one for us. TinyVille just popped to mind for the town we used to live in, but we just haven't been able to come up with a fitting one for where we are now.
  5. Plug more cool shit I find online... such as Pandora.
  6. Perform only one wipe-and-reinstall on the computer. Honestly, this one is in Bill Gates' court.
  7. Keep in better contact with my relatives. I've never been very good at keeping in touch with anyone outside of those I see on a regular basis, and I need to get off my lazy butt and remedy this. My family deserves MUCH better.
  8. Get back into occasionally writing letters and sending them to people, instead of typing out a sterile e-mail. There is something more satisfying (in my opinion), in getting an old-fashioned, written letter in the mail.
  9. Finally, get a slide rule, and learn how to use it... just for shits and grins.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A little Christms cheer for eveyone...

...for when you just cannot take another minute of Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby. And hearing "Santa Baby" makes you want to go into a homicidal rage...

*We are not responsible for any emotional damage this video may cause.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Settling In

Well, now that the move madness is over, we've managed to start being able to enjoy the new house... beyond the "holy shit, we bought a HOUSE!" reaction.

I don't even know if pictures will be able to convey even a small sense of the peace and calm out here, but now that I think I know where all of the camera stuff is hiding, we shall soon find out (just give me a bit more time here).

Most of the boxes have been sorted (what needs unpacking within the next month vs. what can just find a comfortable place in the closet). Less than a quarter of our bedroom still has boxes stacked up. With the current lack of shelving for books, movies, music and such, there will still be a bit of a box pile for a bit longer (but when the room is about 15'x30', it is not that big of a problem). We still have to do the washing machine switchout (swap our compact one for the full-sized beast the sellers left), but that is the last of the heavy stuff... inside.

As to the neighborhood, you could not ask for better neighbors. The gentleman across the granite dome from us has already offered the use of his riding mower to help with the yard (definitely will take him up on the offer in the future... the yard is an all-day project with a standard push-mower).

Zane has settled in nicely as well. He's learning the boundaries of the yard quickly, and have almost zero traffic on our street helps set our minds at ease when he's playing outside. We still have his swingset to assemble, but other than that, he has no complaints.

We'll, that's about all for right now. Stay tuned for the next episode:

Darth Vader visits the local Home Depot

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Deed is Done

Well, we finally got everything moved out to the new house (with the exception of a few cleaning supplies to clean up the old house tomorrow). Denita's mom has offered to help Denita out while I'm at work.

Now that the move madness is over, all I can say is... DAMN, I didn't know I had this many places that could ache at the same time.

We had several people lined up to help us move for the original closing date of September 19th, but everyone already had plans during the week following the new close date. It turned out the the bulk of the move was to be handled by Denita, her mom, her brother, her father and myself only. A kind friend from work would have helped out more, but ended up having a massive back spasm start up about a week before we closed, and he is still recovering (thanks for the plant move help Jeff, we appreciate it).

This last week has been hell, running back and forth between the two houses and work (about 130 miles of driving per day on top of a grueling 12 hour shift). It all was capped by a mad, 2 day U-Haul dash Friday and Saturday. I think all of us will have just one huge bruise covering our bodies for the next week or so (hell, even the tops of my toes ache like hell).

Now everything is here in the new house, to be unpacked at our leisure (thankfully all of the important stuff is already unpacked). Next weekend has been set aside to relax and get to know our neighborhood better. We have nineteen area parks to learn where they are located, and many new neighbors to meet. The neighbors we have had the chance to meet so far have been wonderfully friendly people, including a couple on a walk this morning (who had to be in their early sixties), who offered to help move the washer, dryer and freezer out of the U-Haul and into the house!

The peace and quiet out here cannot be matched. Already we have had several deer, skunks and grey foxes go through out yard, and coyotes can be heard calling in the distance. Zane is just beside himself with excitement.

As this next week progresses, I hope to have the digital camera unpacked so we can share more pictures with you.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

One o'clock in the afternoon.

Friday, October 6th.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

WARNING: Geek Rant

Further proof that George Lucas is an ass and a liar.

From the original Theatrical Version of Star Wars:

Notice the lack of a reference to Episode IV or "A New Hope".

Seeing that I was weaned on Star Wars (the Star Wars madness started in '77 and I was born in '74), I have been thoroughly disgusted with the constant changes GL has made to the original story. It's one thing to clean up some technical issues and remaster the video and sound, it's another thing to completely rewrite parts of the story to fit a changed world view.

Thankfully GL is at least giving fans of the original versions (who don't have a laserdisc player) a digital version of the un-bastardized movies. Mind you, it's a somewhat low quality scan of the laserdisc versions, in Dolby Stereo (instead of the remastered Dolby Surround/Digital which was done for VHS before GL started screwing with things) and with widescreen display issues (with our widescreen monitor, you can see that it is formatted to a standard display and doesn't scale to a native widescreen display).

Until these versions were announced, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to introduce Zane to the true glory and cheese that was/is the Star Wars Trilogy (don't even get me started on the so-called Episodes I-III *spit*). Thankfully, with the purchase of Star Wars this week, I was able to share with my son something that had a lasting impression on me. He LOVED it! Then he promptly asked to watch the original Gojira movie (Godzilla to most of you).

Thankfully, my disgust with GL's tinkering kept me from forking out money for the first DVD set of the Star Wars Trilogy, so I did not end up paying double for what my geeky soul craved. Now it is time to budget for The Empire Strikes Back (best of the series in my opinion) and The Return of the Jedi (Ewoks must die!) before the evil GL takes them away from us forever in December. Posted by Picasa

Crunch Time

Well, Friday afternoon brought us a call from our realtor....

To find out what time of day would be best for us, to schedule a time this coming Friday with the title company!

It was too late in the day to call and confirm with the mortgage company that all hurdles had been officially cleared, but Denita will do that first thing Monday.

With that news, Saturday was spent packing some of the last miscellaneous things around the house. We are now at about 95% packed and it shouldn't take too long to get the last of everything thrown in boxes at the end.

The bad thing is that with closing on Friday (and me going back to work Saturday) we won't be able to stay in the new house until the following week.

 Now on to what most of you have probably been waiting for (well, those who have been following the house stories)... More information and more pictures!

If you follow this link, you shall be rewarded with more pictures of the future Chez TwoDragons.

*begin announcer voice*

Chez TwoDragons is a lovely little two storey home located on almost a football field sized lot (actually 5 lots total, for a grand total of 25,000 sq. ft.). It's unique retro design reflects the decade of the 80's, when it was built. It's generous size of 1856 square feet contains only two bedrooms, but what bedrooms they are.

The ground floor consists of the bedrooms (taking up approximately, two-thirds of the space), a full bathroom, laundry room and nicely sized closets. A small foyer (if you could even call it that) off of the front door leads to the stairwell.

Taking the stairs to the top, you will be greeted by a generous sized living room that takes up almost half of the second floor. The half-bath, kitchen and dining room take up the rest of the floor.

There is an almost constant breeze off of the lake, which the East-West positioning of the house takes full advantage. A quick opening of the living and dining room windows brings a fresh breeze through the house on demand.

As if all of the room (inside and out) wasn't enough, the neighborhood has over 13 parks scattered throughout, including one with lake access about a ten minute walk away. Two and a half miles away is a park with a playground, fishing piers, boat launch and swimming area.

Another great thing is that we only have three houses total on our street and at least a third of the entire neighborhood is not developed so everyone's houses are not squished together.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Asbestos Underpants

Well, round one with the house didn't go well... Word to the wise, don't trust ERA Mortgage...

Things are looking like you will be able to close two weeks early...

Eight days before close... DENIED!

On to round two... with a different mortgage company.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Flaming Hoop Tricks

OK, it's finally time to break the silence on what's been going on around Chez TwoDragons...

We are currently working on the MOTHER OF ALL BIRTHDAY PRESENTS for Zane. Trust me folks, if all goes well, nothing should ever beat this gift...


That's right, we're currently trying to close on a house in the Hill Country of Texas.

Now, before you go off on a debt rant AJ, we understand what we are doing. We have very seriously considered your financial advice and weighed the pros and cons of this decision and I'd like to thank you for all of the advice you've given us.

As to the title of the post, we are currently in the "jump through the mortgage company's flaming hoops" stage of the process. It's down to clearing through the last of the paperwork, and we should be able to close by Zane's birthday on the 19th.

Unfortunately, we will be having to say goodbye to TinyVille if everything goes as planned. TinyVille is in the process of being crushed by unwanted development that is driving house prices to ranges well out of our means. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rejected Bedtime Story

You all have heard of "The Princess and the Pea"...

Well, we have "The Prince and the Raisins" going "Live-Action" here.

I walked into Zane's room to get things ready for him to go to bed (while he was munching on a tortilla and drinking some milk) and found his giant Thomas the Train floor-pillow covering his bed and raisins scattered all over the floor.

I hope he doesn't get it in his head to do a "Live-Action" interpretation of "The Three Little Pigs"....

Thursday, August 31, 2006

More FREE Geek Toys

It's nice to find sites like this when we are SERIOUSLY paring down what we are spending.

Lots of new toys for me to play with:

  1. Notepad++ (finally, a neat and easy editor that supports .XML very easily (several programs I have been wanting to tweak use .XML and the previous editors I had were a bit messy when handling .XML))
  2. PowerShell (already been playing with this one. Kinda like the standard cmd.exe shell crossed with a Linux shell)
  3. TaskSwitchXP (eye candy for the ol' ALT-TAB)
  4. Windows Desktop Search (BETA 3 finally works with x64 XP. Google Desktop sometimes hoses up Google sites in Opera)
  5. Tidy Start Menu (priceless little gem that's FREE)
  6. Launchy (cool little app/file launcher)
  7. Run++ (another app/file launcher, takes up very little screen real estate)
  8. InstallPad (handy auto downloader for OS tweakers like myself who tend to wipe and reinstall systems on a regular basis, or configure systems for others)
  9. Foxit Reader (been using this one for a few months... Bye-Bye Acrobat!)
  10. 7-Zip (great little (and I mean little) archiver program. If you are still using WinZip... get this one, it handles all the major compression standards except for .SIT, .SITX and .ACE and compresses .ZIP smaller than most)
  11. Process Tamer (great for those times that I have 50 million things running at the same time, license key process is free, but a bit convoluted)
  12. Windows Live Writer (what I used to bash out this post (let's see how long it takes me to break this one... I killed the Vista OS Beta in less than a week!))

Chez TwoDragons is currently jamming to The Ballad by Testament

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Real Word move update

Well, it looks like we might have a move time frame.

Barring unforeseen complications, we should be moving out of TinyVille to and even smaller town (moniker undecided at this time) just after Zane's birthday.

Things are not fully finalized at this time, but so far it looks like everything will fall into place nicely.

The negative side it that we officially have about 4 weeks to get everything packed up for the move, which means that we must humbly ask that our friends who have been trying to make it out for the past several weekends bear with us until the move.

...Sorry HDD... One day the stars WILL be right and R'lyeh shall rise again.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Move is Official

Well, the old site has been placed in park and will be sent to the scrapyard after the 14th.

Hopefully, the server work at MuNu will go smoothly so we can restore all the drivel we have posted before. But until then, you've got what you see here.

Expect posting to be quite light for awhile as we go home hunting. Not that we have been posting with any regular frequency... Most of our free time in the coming weeks will be dedicated to this (and what time we have left over, will be spent packing).

Friday, August 04, 2006

New email address

With the shutdown of the old site, we've had to setup a new e-mail for our blogging.

We can now be reached at whotendsthefires at gmail dot com.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Freebie Digs

Well, time to start prepping this space to get it ready for when the main site comes down in August.

Please pardon the dust as we get ready for the move.