Monday, September 27, 2010

A fork in the Road

Sometimes in life we come to a point were we have to make decisions about how we are going to proceed with our lives. I will call it a fork in the road. Do we take the right path or do we take the left path. Over the past couple of years I have been examining my life and asking the question "What kind of man do I want to be?". The answer to the question is "I want to be the man God would have me be.". I not only want to be a good example to my kids, but I want to be a great example to my kids. Espscailly my son. I want him to have the example of what "real men" are about. I have made this my number one priority in my life and finding and eliminating anything that would stand between me and God is most important. For the last little while I have been away from blogging and the internet. I am asking my self the tough questions and praying for guideance along the way. Those questions would include, What else do I need to work on? What kinds of things can I watch on TV? Am I taking way from this effort though spending time with my computer via my blog, twitter, facebook, or just plain crusing the web? Does my many hobbies that I enjoy take away and preocuppy my mind in ways the might prevent me getting closer to God? So, I will continue to post to this blog from time to time, but it may be one or two posts a month. In the mean time I will continue to examine my life and make the changes I feel are necessary. I apreciate all those who read my blog and hope you continue to stop by. May God bless you!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ten Commandments tablets in Lagrange Indiana

On Tuesday this past week I was out and about enjoying one of my vacation days. It was a sunny day so I decided I would go out and train chase (take train photo's). Around 11am I decided since I was half way to Shipshewana that I would go the rest of the way and walk around for a while and see if maybe I could pick up a Christmas gift or two. On my way up to Shipshewana I was traveling on highway 20 through Lagrange Indiana. On the corner of highway 20 and highway 9 is this Ten Commandments plaque. You hear all the time how God is being taken out of everything. I was completely stunned to come aross this. I felt it was worthy of a few photographs and a quick blog post as it is on public land. God hasn't quite been taken out of everything. As can be seen in these photographs the concreate below the tablets is fresh so it hasn't been there very long.

Note: Click on the photo's to enlarge them to full size.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One Year Later....

A little over a year ago I started a journey. That journey was to be the man I would like to be. I wanted to be a good example to my children of how to conduct their lives and how to treat people. One year ago today I decided to stop cussing/swearing and using any form of profane words. Not just in front of my kids, but at all. At first it was a real struggle. I had gotten to the point were swearing was almost automatic and had become part of my language.

The scary part to me was that I took the Lord God's name in vain on a consistent basis. Not a good thing if you are a church going person. To say the least it is one of the Ten Commandments. Now, some people might disagree with me, but I believe God will test a person to see how serious they are about things. Or better yet, allow the tests to be conducted if you will have that. I have never stubbed my toes more than I did in the first three weeks of trying to quit. Seemed like every piece of furniture in the house moved out in the way. I also believe God has a sense of humor as well. I am glad to say that I recently got hurt on the job and it never occurred to me to sware or cuss. I will say I did slip once about February and my son was present. I have pretty much eliminated that from my language. This is a good thing as my son was beginning to pick it up and had started using the language at school.

I guess the only thing I am disappointed with is that I haven't yet finished reading the bible. I made it my goal to finish it by the end of the year back in May of 2009. Unfortunately I have read a little bit here and there, but I am no where near finishing it. I started with the Old Testament and I am up to the first book of Kings. Long way to go. My son is reading it as I told him it is the early history of the world. I have a lot more work to do to be the man I want to be or better yet the man I believe God would have me be. I just hope God is pleased with the progress over the past year. I don't miss using that language at all and I am glad I stared this journey.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thanks for the memories?

No this is not a tribute to Bob Hope! He was a great guy and a funny comedian who entertained troops for the USO all over the world. Nineteen years ago today I met the kid’s mom. This post is not to upset her or start something. On Friday she was talking with me thanking me for continuing to do my part in supporting our son and daughter. As I told her it is my responsibility to continue to make sure they get taken care of. I also told her I was grateful for the kids. As we talked she said she never wanted the kids to have to experience a divorced home. She said “We had some good times didn’t we?” She was taking the kids to Disney World in Florida starting today and they won’t be back for a week and she said it was always her dream to do that as a family. I then told her that I cared for her as a person because it is the good Christian thing to do. I didn’t care for her as a Husband would a Wife.

It was never my intent to divorce. I had hoped I would never have to say “my ex-wife” in a sentence. The problem I had with the marriage was really simple. I didn’t feel important to her. It didn’t matter how bad I felt or how tired I was if she wanted to do something it was more important than my health. It didn’t matter what time I had to get up if she wanted to talk I had to talk until she was done. I could have settled for second to the kids, but I was somewhere at the bottom of the pile of things that was important to her. The things that bothered me I discussed with her many times and she would agree at times to work on things, but it always seemed to remain the same or change for a little bit and go back to the way it was. And the very next time we discussed these things yet again she didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. After not being heard and not having my feelings and health respected for a number years I became angry, irritable, and picked up cussing. At the end of the marriage I would cuss to the point a sailor would blush with shame. It wasn’t like warnings that the marriage was going to end weren’t there either. I had told her many times that if certain things didn’t stop I was leaving. It also amazes me that after fifteen years of being married to me she still doesn’t know me. I continue to surprise her. Today I am working on being a better man than when she met me. I don’t believe in divorce and in Malachi 2:16 it says God Hates divorce. In this instance I believe it was necessary and I hope God forgives me for doing what I felt was necessary. I feel bad for my children, but there is no way on God’s green earth I would take her back ever.

Now, after the divorce has happened, my ex-wife has decided she wants to be a totally different person. Nothing like the person she pretended to be when I married her. She has multiple Tattoos’ and has taken up drinking, and an alternative life style. Forgive me again, but she should know I don’t like Tattoo’s, I don’t drink, and wow is all I will say on the last one. If I had met her with all the Tattoo’s when we first met she wouldn’t have gotten a second look. I would not have dated her with tattoos. I also don’t understand why she can’t see how I might feel lied to and used. Yes, we did a lot of cool things when we were together and we should have a lot of fond memories, but since the whole relationship feels like it was a lie how can I look back on any of it with fond memories. The only fond memories I have is of the birth of my children. If I am way off base on this then please someone call me down on it.

You know I could go find another person to be with (another wife). The rumor has already started that I am gay since I don’t actively date. No offence to anyone, but I am not gay. I just don’t know if I want all the headaches that go with a relationship. There is another whole set of headaches with finding a new person. I would have to go through and remove all the pictures in my digital images that contain my ex-wife. Most people might not feel good about their spouse having pictures of the ex around. As of now life is improving and I don’t know if I want to risk messing it up again. Can I really say "Thanks for the memories"?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy 43rd Birthday Sheila

I want to wish my sister Sheila a Happy 43rd birthday. Oh, I guess it is the 22nd anniversary of your 21st birthday. Have a great birthday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Relationships - To date or not to date that is the question

To date or not to date that is the question. After fifteen years fo marriage and three years of being single I am back to this question. I believe if someone finds the right person the relationship could be great. I understand that it will have its challenging moments, but all in all each party will be thankful that they have found each other. The problem is most people have a fairy tale idea of what their life should be like in a relationship or they are looking for perfection. People are not perfect by no means and we all have our faults. No man or woman will ever be perfect. You also have those people who base the relationship on things that maybe they matter, but they shouldn't be the most imporant part of the relationship.

For me a good relationship has trust. Without trusting each other there is no relationship at all. People we are firends with we trust. Ultimately you need to trust this person more than you do your other friends. You need to trust this person expicitly and need to be able to talk with them about anything. You should know your partner better than anyone. And yes, commuication with your partner is very important. The relationship is a partnership with neither party controlling the other. I think each party needs to put their partner first. No one should be selfish or self centered. There needs to be complete honesty in the relationship with no lies. There needs to be mutual respect for each other opinion, feelings, and health both mental and physical. Both parties need to be faithful to each other. And ladies being paranoid about us finding someone else will just drives us crazy. I used to say I was married not blind. However, blind and not married might have been preferable. I was faithful to the person I was with and my marriage vow. I saw things thing and still see things now. I saw it and that was just it. Real men chose their women for reasons and we chose to be with you for reasons. Both parties need to be caring and show how they feel about each other with out saying it. And no, I am not talking about sex here. What I am talking about goes back to the respect issue. If your partner is tired, sleepy, or not feeling well. For Gods sake let them rest and get well. Be willing to take care of them if need. At that moment put their needs first. I personally don't want to argue a lot and want to be comfortable when I am home. I don't want to have to dread coming home because this other person is there. Good relationships are full of give and take. For me I would love it if the person would go out and train chase with me from time to time just because they enjoy being with me. Mabye it isn't their thing, but because they respect my interests they are just happy being there with me. I know when I was married I did a lot of things because my partner wanted to. I could have cared less about doing them or being there or watching what ever it was that was on TV. Maybe I am just delusional. Hopefully all of this just means I have figured out what I want out of life and a relationship if I ever choose to go for it again.

Now, I haven't mentioned what I think this person would look like. I have no preconceived notion of what they would look like. I think people put too much stock in what someone looks like and to much value on that. I do believe we need to keep ourselves well groomed and look as good as we can. However, I don't have a lot to work with and if a person is looking what they can see and saying he isn't the man for me then they are way to shallow for me. I don't want to know them anyway. For me I am looking for a type of person. Someone who matches up with me on a fundamental level. If we don't match on a fundamental level then I don't believe either of us will be happy. The end result will be stress and conflict and untimately the end of the relationship will come. I also haven't mentioned sex. Maybe I am just getting old, but this doesn't seem to be as important to me as it might have been when I was young. Sex from what I have read was inteneded to be a bond between a man and a woman. Between husband and wife. I base this on what I have seen in my bible studies. If the relationship is what it should be then I believe sex would be great. Now, if the only reason for me to have a woman in my life is sex then I am good with being single the rest of my life.

For now, I have convinced myself that dating is the world's biggest waste of time. I am single and no longer miserable. I was completely miserable married. I under no circumstances want to go back to being miserable. My sisister is currently dating and some of the things she has told me is downright appling. Some of the things I have read and equally apppling. For those out there in the dating world. I wish you the best of luck!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Gardener and his Assistant

For the third year in a row my son the Gardner has wanted to plant flowers. This year I decided unless something wa said about it I was going to let this go. I just didn't feel like having to remember to water them and have enough stuff on my plate to do already, but yesterday it was brought up.

Now in the past two years, we have planted flowers from seeds. This year it is too late to plant seeds so today I went out and bought flowers at Wal-Mart. As soon as we got home my son started in on planting them and my daughter was chomping at the bit to help so all I did was stand around and supervise the work. Both my son and daughter did a great job with this and I am sure I will enjoy seeing them as they will remind me all summer of today and how they went about working together to get this done. The only complaint I heard was about how hot it was.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Close enough to "Feel the breeze"

As some may know I am a Railfan. I go out and enjoy some sun when the weather permits and take pictures and video of trains. I have loved trains since I was a kid. Yesterday I didn't know if I was going out today or not. I just didn't feel like going. I set my alarm just in case. This morning I decided it had been a month since I had left the house to do something fun so it was time to get out of the house before I go sturr crazy. Enough just going to work and coming home.

I headed up to Butler Indiana and much to my amazement Norfolk Southern put on a show like I have never seen. None stop trains from 6:30am to around 11am. More were coming as I had to leave. At 10am I stopped just off highway 6 at County Road 79 East of Butler. Train 24M was heading East. I setup the camcorder on the tripod and started rolling.

I took some pictures as you can here in the video. I have told friends and family that I have been close enough to the tracks to feel the breeze when the train rolls by. In recent months I have taken the stance that I will leave the camcorder roll and move to a safer location. Retrieve the camcorder when the train has passed. What happend in this video is the breeze from Norfolk Southern train 24M which was screeming by my location at around 50 miles an hour blows the tripod over. For one heart sickening moment I though my new camcorder was toaste. I bought my sisters camcorder to replace my old one. Much to my delight it was ok and still rolling. It did get a few minor scuffs, but all in all I was very lucky. Have a look at the video you can see the vibrations of the breeze on the camcorder before it falls.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kicking off the Summer

I know the calendar still says it is spring, but for me the summer season offically kicks off in May and ends in late September. This year the weather in April was increadibly nice. Upper seventies many days and even hit the eighties a couple of times. Today my kids and I made our first trip to the Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo. I, as I have in the past several years, bought the pass for the year. This year the cost of the zoo pass is $89. However, I know my kids will want to go several times over the course of the summer. If I had just paid the admission today it would have been $26, but after the third time we go the rest of the time will be free. I figure the cost of the pass will be covered at that point. I bought the wagon shown last year and we recovered the cost of it buy saving money not renting one last year. At first today I didn't think I would take my camera with me, but finally put new batteries in it and off we went. This blog post contains only a few of the photos from today. We only spent a couple of hours at the Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo, but I believe a good time was had by all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Verizon Wireless USB 760 Broadband Modem Review

I guess I must be back into a technology kick. A few months ago I discovered that Verizon Wirelees had several options available for mobile Broadband internet service with no contract. Basically you take a USB modem like the one shown on the right (Verizon Wireless USB 760 Moble Broadband modem) you plug it into your computer and pay for a day, week, or month with out signing a contract. My modem came in on Monday so Tuesday I decided I would try it out. I had been looking at these for several months, but didn't want to spend the money for it. This one happened to be on Ebay for about half the price of a new one so I put a bid in on it and won the auction. Paid for it and wala I have moble broadband internet.

On Tuesday I plugged my modem into the computer and started the process of activating the modem. I decided I would pay the $15 for the Verizon Wireless Day pass. I figured I wouldn't use it more than once in the next little while as I have another project that I am working on that will keep me busy. My use for this will be while I am out railfanning I will have internet access to send email, view the web, and I can also see the ATCS servers that are available. What happens when the the activation process finishes is the modem is assigned a temporary cell phone number. Then I had access to the web where ever Verizon's 3G service is availble. Which is pretty much every where. Bascially it is a constantly connected cellphone connection through Verizons mobile internet service.

I took my laptop and plopped it on the front seat of my car, plugged in the modem, and away I went. I was impressed with how well this worked. The speed of the internet via this modem was very comparable to my DSL connection that I have here at home. I went places out in the country where I didn't think it would be possible for this modem to work (out in the sticks) and I still had an internet connection. The only problem I saw was I lost the connection a few times, but this is typical of cell phones as there seems to be dead zones here and there. All in all I liked Verizon's cell phone service as there were very few dead zones (went to a prepaid cell phone service as I wasn't using mine that much). The 75MB of data allounce that Verizon gave me for the day was more than enough as I think I might have used 6MB all total . If you are looking for a mobile broadband solution for your laptop computer I highly recommend the Verizon Wireless USB 760 modem.

Friday, March 19, 2010

My railfan blog

I finally launched my Railfan blog. I went out Tuesday railfanning and took pictures. The other blog will be to highlight the photographs that I take on my outings. If you are interested in seeing those photos or reading about my rail outings the other blog can be found in my blog roll. Or you can click this link

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When did it get to be "OK"

I have spent the better part of this afternoon feeling like crap, so I stopped at Walmart and bought some cookies and got a movie from Redbox. I brought the movie home and watched it. I decided I would return it to the Walgreens around the corner and just got back from doing that. While I was standing in line, yes there was a line, I saw a woman who had this written on her shirt. Now, I am sensoring the saying as I don't believe in profanity. The saying read "F you you F'n F". My kids call it the F word. She had it at least three times on her shirt and she had two little kids with her. I know this country believes in free speach, but this is just ridiculous. My son gets in trouble at school if he says "Freekin" and we allow people to walk around with sayings like this on their tee shirts. No wonder this country is going in the crapper.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Streaming Video via the internet and the Emachines E725-4520

First off this is my 100th post. I started this blog a little over a year ago and finally reached 100 posts.

Over the past week or so I have continued to test and try out my new Emachines E725-4520 laptop and I am happy to say I am very well pleased with my purchase. Last Sunday I decided to try some streaming video from the internet via the new laptop. I had it sitting on my kitchen table and was able to get cartoons for the kids from different sources via the internet. Other than the band width problems I have because I have a low end DSL the performance was outstanding. Today I decided to take my new laptop with me to breakfast at Mc Donalds and was able to connect to the internet no problems. I ran the computer the whole time on batery power and everything went well. I believe what I have read that the battery would last about 2.5 hours as I have about 2 hours of time left via the meter when I started it just a few minutes ago. One of the other things I wanted to try was an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I just removed the old laptop and plugged the new one in and all worked fine. If you are looking for an inexpensive laptop I would highly recommend this one. So far I have really enjoyed having it over the past couple of weeks.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Emachines E725-4520 Notebook Review

I guess sometimes it doesn't pay to shop. I as a rule of thumb don't shop when I go into a store. Or did it? I usually go down get what I need and leave the store because I usually end up spending money I don't want to spend. This was the case on Monday of this past week. I found my self with a day off and had stop at Walmart for some groceries. I had been wishing that I could get a new laptop comptuer for my self so I thought I might get one after I accomplished my financial goals for this year. Kind of a reward for doing what I need to do.

Now, I like Dell computers. I have owned about 3 or 4 of these Dell machines and they all have worked well. Matter of fact my old Dell D400 laptop still works, it is just starting to fall apart. It is six years old and the battery in it doesn't hold a charge any more. It is missing the backspace keep and it runs really slow. I have a hard time getting the computer to connect to the internet anymore. My son with his new laptop doesn't seem to have any problems. I bought this Dell Used over three years ago. At this point and I really didn't want to spend any money, but I was looking at laptops at Walmart just trying to figure out if I would buy from a store or order one from Dell when the time came. The nice thing about ordering from Dell is I could customize the machine anyway I wanted it. The down to that is it ends up in one spending more money on it because I would add a faster CPU (Processor), more memory, and more hard drive. I probrably wouldn't add much else in the way of frills.

I was at Walmart looking at the laptops when I came across this laptop the Emachines E725-4520. Walmart had this for $298 plus tax. There was a lady in front of me who was telling me she was going to buy two of them. One for her son who was going way to college and one to upgrade her old one. Hers was about six years old. I stood there staring at this machine trying to decide if I should buy one or not. The fact that it was an Emacines computer bothered me, but the price was a great deal. The macine is built by Acer corporation. I have had a two Acer computers over the years and both were good machines. So when I discovered that it was build buy Acer I was a little more statified with my purchase. They two I owned still worked when I sold them. This laptop has a Intel Pentium T4400 2,2GHz dual core processor. The sign said it has 3GB of DDR2 memory, but everything I have read about it says it actually has 3GB of DDR3 memory (even better). It has a 250GB HD and DVD Super Milti 8X drive, 802.11b/g WLAN, Windows 7 home, 15.6 inch 720p HD screen, and a built in memory card reader. Walmart sold two of these to the lady I was talking with, sold one to me, and sold another one just as I was leaving. So they sold four of the forteen they had in about five minutes. By thursday of last week they had sold them all. Even the display model was gone.

The only thing I am slightly disappointed with this new laptop is the sound from the speakers leaves a little to be desired. I, however, am not a big play movie clips or audio clips via my laptop. I basically want this for portaible computing power. In the event I get laid off at somepoint I will need a decent laptop to connect to the interent at say Mc Donalds, Wendy's, or Taco Bell to search for work. I do have a buch of exteral speakrs that I can plug directly into it if needed. Plus it would be rude to be jamming at one of those places when someone is trying to eat. It might have been nice had they added an HDMI port on the computer so I could connect it directly to my 720P HD big screen TV. I am a big syfy fan and there are shows available that at places like Hulu I could stream from the internet to my big screen TV from the laptop. All in all I am happy with my purchase. The good news is I didn't spend a thousand dollars for it. Heck, I spent just a little more than you can get one of those small Netbooks for.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Look Ma no monitor, no keyboard, no mouse? FREENAS

So what can you do with a computer with no monitor, no mouse, or a keyboard?

Here is the thing, I wanted a centralized location to store my files so that if I want to access a spreadsheet from my laptop I could open it up work on it then save it and have it available to my desktop computer. My son also has his laptop here from time to time it might be nice if he wanted to look at photos I have taken if he could do that. I looked into getting a "Network Attached Storage (NAS)" that I could just plug into the router. Basically this networked attached storage is just a hard drive with a network card so that you can attach it to your DSL/Cable/Fios router as another device that all your computers on your home network can see.

My problem was that I have two different versions of windows. I have XP and Vista. The vista machine can see the Xp machine (The laptop), but the laptop could not see the desktop. If I wanted to work on something on the laptop I had to copy it down to the laptop, work on it, then copy it back. Sometimes after work I am just too tired to want to go through all the hoops. I also didn't want to spend any money at this time so what is the solution.

So I did what I always do I search the internet for a free solution to my problem. I had an old HP computer sitting here collecting dust. It had long since stopped working as a desktop computer and I was about to just throw it out. The nice thing is this computer has 260 gigabytes of hard drive space. Not a lot, but enough to get me started. And as you see by the little box sitting next to the computer you can attach USB drives to the system and make them available. The one I own is a 250 gigabyte western digital drive. I stumbled on this operating system call "FREENAS". IE: Free Network Attached Storage.

Now, it took me jumping through some hoops to get this setup. First you have to create a CD from an ISO file which I had never done. The first one didn't work. Second you have to be able to boot from the CD on the intended install computer. Low and behold the primary CD device on this machine had died and the secondary one the software didn't recognize. I had an addtional computer siting around that was way older than this one, but it still had a good CD drive in it so I replaced the CD rom and finally got the software installed. Once installed you can access the machine like a file server and it can be administered from a webgui. For those of you who are mac users it supports apple file formats and itunes. It also allows me to have my own personal website setup on that computer. It will replace the current personal webserver that I had since it was on a older slower machine. Since I have dynamic ip I have to have a service like I am still learning about FreeNas, but at this time I am highly impressed and over the past week has served the purpose I have for it well. The speed of access from that machine is increadable even over my wireless connection. The operating system its self only takes 64 megabytes to run so it is really small. For now I have plenty of harddrive space and if I need more I will buy a USB drive to add to the system. Today I am taking my laptop with me to Mc Donalds for breakfast and will see how the personal website looks via their free wifi. For more information about FreeNas click here. To download a copy click here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Redbox DVD Rentals

Say good bye to your video rental store and say goodbye to the online video rentals and say hello to Redbox. Redbox allows one to rent current release DVD videos for a total of $1 plus tax for a 24 hour rental. New releases come out on Tuesday of each week. I had co-worker who was raving about his one day and suggested I try it. I thought I will give this a try at somepoint. Well, last Thursday was that day.

I went on line to and signed up online. I then went around the corner Walgreens and proceeded up to the box. I selected a movie to rent, entered the information to verify my identity, and swiped my credit card. The movie was then vended out of the slot in the side of the machine.

When I got home I checked my email and there was an email indicating that my total was $1.07 if I return the movie by 9pm the next night. I had rented this around 12pm on Thursday. I watched my movie and took it back around the corner to return it. I selected that I wanted to return a movie was prompted to put the DVD in with instruction on the dvd how to do it. I placed the DVD in the machine and the screen indicated that it was returned. When I got home checked my email and a confirmation was there indicating that it had been returned. I did get an email for signing up and giving them an email for a free rental which I will use this week. I have also read because I gave them permission to send me text messages via my phone I will get one free rental a week. I will wait and see what happens this week.

All in all this is a very slick idea. Very convenient as I have one less than a mile from my house and worked really well. I will be trying this again this week with my free rental code in hand.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taking the HD (High Definition) Plunge

A month or two back my sister suggested that I take my family room and set it up as a family room. Looks like that has worked out to be a great suggestion. When I started work on this room there was a model railroad layout in the one corner with stuff piled around it. I have been working to get rid of , sell off, or throw away stuff to clean out the area. I also moved some of the stuff to a storage area in my utility room. It has been a pain staking process.

The one thing I added to the idea was a 42" plasma TV that I mounted in the one corner of the room. I finnally on Friday managed to get the TVmounted and all the cables run for the antenna connection. This is my first High Definition TV and I am amazed at the picture clarity on the channels that are broadcasting in HD. Sunday my son and I went shopping for the TV stand were the DVD recorder is sitting and the kids Playstation two is located. The old Playstation stand is now a home for my laptop. I purchased an additional recliner from the kids mom so there are three seats in the room. I am using the old convert box as a tuner for the DVD burner which will allow me to record one show and watch a show. The kids seem really pleased with the idea. My son was more than willing to give me input on how to set it up.

This afternoon I got off work early and finished the work. The work I did today involved moving the stuff in the shevles to the opposite side of where they were. The video's behind the TV and the pictures to the other side. I hope the kids are supprised when they get here on Friday.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Netbook

Back in October 2009 my son got a Acer Aspire Netbook. At that time I personally couldn't see what the appeal would be to get one of these, but for him it was the perfect first computer. It basically has the same amout of computing power as my Dell D400. My D400 is one of the smaller laptop computers with a full keyboard. My concern with this smaller computer would be could I type on it if I was using it or would my hands be to big for the keyboard and would this make the computer useless to me.

The first opportunity for me to use his computer came one night at Mc Donalds. He wanted to take it in and try it out as he had never had it connected to the internet. At that time Mc Donalds charged $2.99 for two hours of access (as of January 15th unlimited access is now free) to the internet. I spring for the $2.99 and in a few minutes we were connected.

While he and his sister played in the play area I tried this smaller and lighter computer out and low and behold I could type on the keyboard and use it just like my D400. My son recently wanted me to connect it up and take it on one of our railfan outings and I was highly impressed by how it performed. After we figured out how to make the screen brighter it worked out great.

The Acer Aspire uses a Atom N270 processor running at 1.6 ghz. My Dell D400 is about 1.4 ghz. The Aspire has 1 gb of memory and 512kb cach memory. It also has a 160 GB hard drive. The whole thing only weights 2.44 pounds. The down is no CD or floppy drive as that must be purchased seperately. His mom managed to get this computer for him for a mear $249 plus tax. I happened to have a spare external CD burner that I let him have to use with this that I bought back in 2002. All in all I am quite impressed with how well this computer operates and how light it is. When I decided to replace my current laptop I may just get one of these plus an external cd burner. I am a Dell man my self and I will be looking to see what they have.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blogger M.I.A

Missing in action. This blogger has been missing in action over the past several months. Too much life at the current time. We had a major issue with my son back in December that saw him in the hospital from December 18th until December 30th. He is now on medication. The good news is he is doing a lot better now and is in his third week with no problems at school. I thank God for whatever it was that changed and for the great improvement that we have seen. I also want to thank all of you that prayed for him.

For the past few months I have been working fifty plus hours a week and what little time I have had left I have been devoting to cleaning up the family room area of my house. I am almost there with the family room. After working for a while each evening on that it seems like all I can do then is colapse on the couch and watch TV. The family room I am cleaning out the stuff that was in there. Selling it or getting rid of it if I don't think I will use it. The idea is that it will be a recreation room for the kids when they are here. Yesterday the kids and I went shopping for a 42" Plasma TV for that room. Today I spent some time mounting the bracket ont he wall on which I will mount the new TV on. All in all life is going pretty good at the moment. I am looking forward to getting back to blogging and working on my website. The website hasn't been updated in a year (YIKES!). I am in the process of redesigning the site to make it much easier to update. It currently takes about four hours to process just a little bit of stuff to the site. I am also looking forward to getting back out track side for some rail fanning.