Poison Ivy

Back from my Minnesota trip. During the Duluth leg, I hiked to the end of Park Point. Poison Ivy loves sandy soil. It also loves to spread its oils on unsuspecting hikers as the walk through. I tried to stay on the trail, but apparently I strayed. I’m back in Anchorage right now with a poison ivy gift from Duluth. Apparently I was walking backwards when it happened. The rash is near my right Achilles tendon.

All sorts of treatment at my disposal. There is anti-itch ointment at the top of the list, but also fun home remedies. Like taking an oatmeal bath. Applying baking soda to the rash can draw out the poison. Also yogurt, tea, coffee, apple vinegar, etc. all are rumored to suck out the oils and act as an anti-inflammatory.
So many options, but I likely will end up scratching it until the blisters burst. I always to the wrong thing.

Witch Hunt

Poor Adrian Peterson. Not the brightest bulb in the Home Depot lighting department. Definitely needs a life coach to follow him around, to help with personal choices.

I have empathy for him. He was raised by a Dad that regularly beat him growing up. After 7th grade, he received guidance from his father through a prison phone system. His Dad was jailed for trafficking cocaine. Apparently beating your child causes developmental problems. So does absence of a parent. So if Adrian is missing the full spectrum of life skills, we have a leading suspect.

So now that we know that Adrian beat his kid, we, as a society, should step in and teach Adrian the proper techniques of parenting. It may be too late, Adrian may be unteachable in this area. But we have to try. This is what is best for his kids. The best scenario is having Adrian around, and being a good Dad.

So take Adrian out for a few games. During this time off, develop a strategy for rehabilitating Adrian. Once he is allowed again to be around his children, make sure it is a controlled environment. After a passage of time under supervision, if it is determined that the parenting lessons aren’t taking, he should never be allowed to be alone with his kids.

Just my opinion on how things should transpire. Even if the proper parenting skills don’t take hold, and he isn’t allowed to be alone with his kids… it will be good for his kids to have him around, and not in jail.

Beating a 4 year his horrible. We know that because Adrian was that 4 year old 25 years ago.

Nick Threat – Pirate

I pirated a Twitter account today. Pro-tip: Don’t use someone elses email when creating a Twitter account… or any account for that matter. All I had to do was request a password reset to my email address, and the account was mine. I renamed it and changed the avatar and header images. The account hadn’t been used in over a year, so I wasn’t totally evil… just partially evil. You can see it here – @NickThreat

Revival

I have revived an old Twitter account… first time I have used it in over 3 years. @ZoyxTunes is now reporting songs that I play via Google Music on my android devices. This Twitter account is also posting my weight whenever I step on my new Withings weight scale.

I am using the Tweet My Music android app for the music posting. It is an IFTTT recipe that is doing the weight posting.

I’m not really dieting. Skipping dinner is the only diet-like activity that I am doing, but I suspect my calorie count is still fairly high.

Computer Project Time

One of my New Years Resolutions should be to blog more. That’s not going to happen. Sorry. There is a distinct possibility this will be the last blog post of the year.

Belch.

I purchased a 960 GB solid state drive (SSD) for my gaming computer. The goal was to load up Windows 7 on this thing, transfer the games over from the old SSD, then convert it to a “Steam Box”.

The SSD arrived about 10 days ago. I attempted to install Windows onto this drive. After 9 hours of churning away, I declared the SSD defective, and went through the return process with Amazon.

The 2nd SSD arrived 3 days ago. This time the install of Windows 7 took less than 30 minutes. Yay! A working drive. While installing the extra drivers and patches, I started to dink around with the old SSD. It started to act flaky, then finally quit all together. So I had to transfer my games from my laptop via my LAN network… a much slower process.

Next day after the transfer, I attempted to fix one of the fans. A couple of wires came loose and I soldered them back on. Unfortunately, I did it wrong. When I turned on the computer with the fan connected, smoke poured out. Fortunately only the case fan controller got fried, the rest of the computer was fine.

After the fan mishap, it was on to configuring this computer so it was Steam Box. Here are the steps that I took (using this guide).

1) Configure Windows to boot-up without a Windows log in. No windows username/password needed.
2) Set up Steam (Valves Game/Application distribution software) in “Big Picture” mode.
3) Change the default shell from “explorer.exe” to “steam.exe”. What this means is the computer will not boot to the Windows desktop, but will go directly to Steam.
4) Changed the logon screen so it doesn’t look like Windows. I chose a black screen that looks like it has the portal eye looking at you. Also got rid of the “easy access” and “shutdown” buttons from this screen.
5) Changed the initial Windows boot screen to the Steam piston logo.

This took a little bit over an hour to do. Now this lovely gaming PC boots directly to Steam, with all its treasures of time wasters. Steam also lets you link to games that aren’t in the Steam catalog. World of Tanks is one of these, the game I am playing most right now.

One more project is to install an alternate dock that will let you call up other applications, like a web browser or a music player. RocketDock looks like a really good fit for this kind of set up.

I am going to do more tweaking, then perhaps make a video of the final product. I am sure you are all anxious to see that.

Additional Notes:

1) That broken SSD is two  years old, and is still covered by a 3 year warranty. So it looks good that I’ll get a replacement. Which is good… this old one is a half terabyte and not cheap to replace. You would think that with the lack of moving parts, SSDs would be more reliable. Not really the case.
2 ) I will get a new case fan. I could just de-solder and swap the wires then solder them back on, but my trust of this fan is very low.
3) I didn’t go linux or SteamOS because I have an AMD graphics card (7850 HD), and there isn’t good support for those cards yet. Also most of the games I play aren’t supported in Linux. Hopefully soon.

Annual Weigh-in.

ARGH!

2009:  201.5 lbs
2010:  192.5
2011:   185.6
2012:  183.2
2013:  203.5
2014:  207.9

No, this is not a good trend. The goal for this year is to be down to that 2010 weight. I would really like to be BMI 25 (184 lbs), but that seems to be too hard for me to maintain.

My Meme Participation

I’m archiving this here… a meme related post I did on Facebook.

“Like” and I will *NOT* give you a number. I am a meme dead-end, sorry. The number I was given was 20. 20 things you may or may not believe about me…

  1. I have not been endorsed for “coin-snatching” on LinkedIn, but should be.
  2. I feed the neighborhood yard gnomes and animals ham sandwiches.
  3. In order to avoid the bird flu, I wore a hazmat suit.
  4. If I’m in the middle of a long crying spell, I call up morning radio shows and act fucking crazy.
  5. I like to give pep talks to people when they’re down… except Ned, he can just wallow in his own tears for all I care.
  6. When I was a kid, I took apart a cat to learn how it purred. When I put it back together, it walked funny and had a speech impediment.
  7. When I was 23, I built a holodeck. A defect resulted in the holodeck producing naked ladies that were mushy and jello-like.
  8. I decided to make bitching about the weather my profession.
  9. I ate some cake with my bare fingers while face-to-face with Kurt Vonnegut.
  10. In 1978, me and some friends started a multi-acre grass fire. Then I got hit in the face with a golf club… on the same day.
  11. While living in Hermantown, MN in 2005, I thwarted an uprising of astronauts in our neighborhood.
  12. I am not human, I am dancer. You can tell by my feather shoulder pads.
  13. I coded a mod for Tribes and Tribes 2 that had jetpacks with turbo boosts, cloaking devices, and fire. Lots and lots of fire.
  14. In my early teens, I used to ‘air cowbell’, “Don’t Fear the Reaper”. My opinion, the song would have been better with a wood block.
  15. I moved to Alaska because my brain is considered a delicacy in certain states.
  16. I once bought a bucket of cool whip on the guidance from my relationship counselor.
  17. When I was in my 20s, I was in favor of the Dingley Tariff. I have since seen the error in my ways.
  18. I have nearly purged everything I know about Tom Arnold from my memory.
  19. Sometimes I feel like I am part of the societal collective thought. Other times I feel like Donald Trump. Depends on how much chocolate milk I’ve had.
  20. My life was shattered when I was 19 when my parents confided to me that all of my relatives were TV sitcom actors.