Fogo de Chao...

My co-workers treated me to my favorite resturaunt for my B-day lunch...

Mmmm, meat....


Nice Place to Hang Out in Buchead

(note: there is a little sarcasm intended by the title)


Component 'amplifier'

I think I finally found out why all the displays on HD TVs in stores look like ass..


Another GPS Route Post (Bush, LA Trip)

I still haven't found a way to embed this into my blog, so here is a link:

Bush, LA Trip


Louisiana Pictures!

I have edited my pictures and they are in the process of uploading! (a little with 388Kbps upstream). So far I have uploaded:

My Trip from Covinton, LA to Atlanta, GA

Here is a neat mapping program I discovered on Manglox.net. This sit allows me to take GPS logs from my Mio Digiwalker (exported in .gpx format) and overlay them on a map to show my trip times and speed (can be some incriminating evidence there):

Even cooler is this data overlayed on Google Maps- but I haven't figured out how to make that work as an embeded part of my blog...



Back in Covinton/Mandeville

A fairly uneventful trip- save for something not agreeing with my digestive track... I hate public restrooms, but I had to stop twice on the way here. Arby's: Clean and top notch. Burger King: looked like that restroom from the beginning of Trainspotting... :o)

I think I will make some phone calls and grab a few things from Walmart (grooming items forgotten on purpose- I need some new stuff and this gives me the chance to do a little quick shopping) and call it a night...

under 50 miles to go!

I had to make a 'pit stop' in Daimondhead, MS- hopefully my last stop before I get to the hotel!

Blogging on the road...

I was trying to upload posts at stop during my trip- but something isn't happening...

230 miles/ 3:32 to go!

Leaving for New Orleans in the morning...

Vacation time!

My first week of vacation for this year starts tomorrow (technically it started on Saturday, but I have been slow to get on the road) and I am headed down to New Orleans/Covington, LA to see some of my friends and re-experience Mardi Gras (for the 20th or so time...)

I decided on a hotel room at the Best Western in Covington (some strange nostalgia about that place) for Monday and Tuesday night- Wednesday is either head home or crash at someone's place (depending on my mood).

Things to do while I am there:

  • Take some pictures of my former homes in Bush, LA (yes- that is a town name) and Covington, LA.
  • Have lunch at The Times Bar and Grill and Semolina's
  • Pick up some King Cakes for the guys at work
  • Hang out with old friends

  • Try to look up old girlfriends/crushes (from way back in my high-school days)

I also fixed up my laptop and actually got World of Warcraft to run at a decent rate (most of the graphics turned down); I tried under Windows XP and it sucked- but I installed Vista (Home Premium) and it runs like a champ! (No areo glass. I even have it running via a Verizon wireless broadband EVDO card (setup instructions for Vista)- so I can play WoW if I get stranded somewhere with no internet! (yea, the word 'obsessive' comes to mind).

No packing yet, put clothes are washed and a list of everything has been made (gotta love MS OneNote); I will do all the gear stowing tomorrow and leave around 11ish EST. Drive time is about 7 hours (doing the speed limit- lol) and I get an hour back going to CST- so I am estimating hitting Covington around 7:00pm (gas and restroom breaks added in).

I hope the new podcast downloads are decent- otherwise I may be fairly insane by the time I get to Louisiana! :o)

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Vista, Vista...

Vista was running great- until I tried to install Alcohol 120% this morning (at 5am as I couldn't sleep).

I needed to burn an ISO of Ubuntu 6.10 server and the built-in tools for Vista do not seem to allow this (and Nero still does not work 100% because of the codec conflict)- so I decided to try out old reliable Alcohol 120%.

On install I got an red warning that the drive was unknown- do I want to continue? I (of course) said yes and the computer rebooted a few seconds later. I assume this was for the virtual CD drive (which I really do not need).

I rebooted and within 3 seconds of logging in it finds and unknown device and tries to load the driver again- and gives me a great BSOD.

I tried booting in save mode- but I still get a BSOD.

Rather than fighting it, I wiped the drive and installed Windows XP Pro (I tried a parallel install and it dies as long as Vista is on the drive- maybe there is a new NTFS format?).

Luckily I decided a few installs ago to move all of my documents, pictures, etc. to a network drive (which is also being backed up once a month to a different physical drive on my impromptu server).

I guess I may wait until Vista SP1- I am getting tired of re-installing WoW and The Burning Crusade!

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Plasma TV Power

Whew- I thought my 42" TV was getting ready to fail on me- the one that I purchased in late 2005....

I was getting a strange 'chirp' when I powered on my TV in the morning- one that sounded kind of like a capacitor getting ready to die. In addition, my TV was 'background' power cycling every morning at about 8:00am- I would hear a click and the above mentioned chirp and then it was off again.

It looks like I had too small of a UPS in-line with the TV and it was starving the TV for power. I use the UPS for line conditioning and they have a little better chance of absorbing a power spike than a normal (ceramic capacitor based) surge suppressor strip.

Occasionally the UPS would start beeping like a fool and I would have to power cycle the UPS to silence it- this usually occurred right after a utility power blink. This was a sign that the power supply was too small as the battery could not support the return load.

I was using an APC desktop power strip (325VA); last night I purchased a 500VA system and the TV now sounds like it is should; no chirps and no random power cycles (at least so far)!

Lesson for the day: don't under-rate the battery backup you need for a device- it is always better to over-rate and have a little extra!

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