Monday, June 04, 2012

Records and Xtreme stupidity

Note:  This post is not in chronological order :)

Got to hang out a little bit with Ian on Sunday.  We went to Hound Dog's pizza.  It is always tasty tasty.   I got my usual, Hound Dog pizza (regular crust) with Bacon and Howlin' Hot Pizza Sauce.   I got the small (10") and still only ate probably half of it.  When I was still at OSU, I would get a LARGE and eat the entire thing myself in one sitting.   Things have come a long way since then.  After pizza and conversation we headed over to Use Kids Records.  It's Used Kids.  It doesn't change much.  I still really like the new store.  It's not as cramped and they are being more selective about what they put in the Dollar Bins.  I perused for ... I don't know how long and came away with an odd Barry Manilow album I didn't even know existed which had this terrible promo sticker on it which read something like 'Take the challenge: Listen to this Barry album with any current contemporary artists.  We think you'll see that song for song Barry is still relevant as ever." Or some weird shit like that.   I also got a few more Olivia Newton-John albums, which may complete my 'need' list.  When the albums went bad, I took photos of all the ones I had, so I need to check with the photos to see if there are any missing.  I also picked up five Bobby Sherman records.  I don't know why I pick them up, honestly.  I think it all started when I picked up that (horribly re-produced) Bobby Sherman Christmas album at Big Lots about 10 years ago.  It was so gawd awful that I loved it, so I've been picking up Bobby albums ever since.  I picked up a few more, to the tune of $22 bucks.  I went through the majority of their dollar bin stuff.  It's been a while since I done that (or even wanted to).  Poor Ian doesn't have a record player, so... in rare form... he bought nothing.  After we were done, it was 3pm and I had to head back to M-ville.  It was a good time!


Last Tues, M and I had to head to Cinci to go to a funeral (no fun).  But on the way to Cinci, since we had a little time to waste, we stopped at the Half Price Books in the Fairfield Commons area (fun!).  While there, I found two movie packs I had been looking for.  One was the Burnt Rubber 20 movie pack.  This set features all movies about cars or racing.  I think I probably own 3 or 4 for them already, but I liked the idea.  I got that one for $4.99.  The other was Hollywood Legends 50 movie pack.  I think I paid $7.99 for this one.

Now, normally the story would end here.  I got some more movie sets and that usually would curb my appetite.  However, that was not the case that day.  I had just gone through all my vinyl LPs and found that some of them were toast due to the flood in my sisters basement.  And I was looking to replace them.

So, after the funeral we went to the Half Price Books that is in the Hamilton area.  Don't ask me exactly which one since I'm not from the area and my wife does all the driving.  Anyways, I went in looking for LPs.  And I found TONS of them.  I completed the majority of my Barry Manilow needs from the 49 cent bin, and all of them were in very good condition.  It was awesome.

And the story should end there, but it doesn't.   The last time we were there, I noticed the Warriors 50 Movie Pack, but it was $9.99 and the last time I watched one of the Hercules movies that was on the Sci Fi 50 Movie Pack, I just wasn't that interested.  However, out of curiosity I checked... and they had just reduced the price to $7.99.  *sigh*  I told the wife that I wasn't going to get and she basically "Just get it! Sheesh!".

And the story should end there, but it doesn't.  After (re)finding the Warriors set, I looked up a could of shelves and found another familiar looking box.   It was called Prime Time Crime - The Stephen J. Cannell Collection.  I had NEVER heard of this one.  And I have pretty much liked everything that Mr. Cannell has ever written.  This box set contained the whole of four series that he did which never quite caught on: Missing Persons (18 episodes), Broken Badges (7 ep), Palace Guard (9 ep) and UNSUB (8 ep).  Plus, an episode from a few other shows he did.  You may have heard of some of them: 21 Jump Street, Booker, Cobra, The Commish, The Greatest American Hero, Hunter, Silk Stalkings, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe and Wiseguy.  This one is AWESOME.   The Mrs and I are both giddy to watch these 'failed' shows.  This was also for $7.99 I believe.

And the story should end there, but it doesn't   As we were leaving, something in the discount caught my.  The familiar 'fatty' case.  And there sat another set I did not know existed, Spaghetti Western 44 Movie Collection, for only $5.  So I picked that one up as well.

In one day, I picked up five movie packs.  Now THAT is Stupid Extreme!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

SpaceX Dragon approaching

My wonderful lil N, who I normally curse at 4am, got me up just in time to rush outside and see the ISS pass overhead with the SpaceX Dragon trailing close behind.   AWESOME!!!!!!! AWESOME!!!! AWESOME!!!!  I didn't even plan on setting an alarm because, well if my wife WASN'T up at 4am, I sure as heck didn't want to be the one to wake her lil N up.  But, as habit would have it, Lil N was up at 3:55am (and quickly walked back upstairs).  I was smart enough to set out my clothes and gear and so I was able to quickly put on my clothes, head outside, get my bearings, check my cheat sheet, look up and see the two traveling overhead.

I'm watching the live feed of the rendezvous now!!!!  Live feed started at 4:30am.  The actual 'grapple' is set to occur at 7:59am.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Go SpaceX ... and other stuff

Congrats to SpaceX for the successful launch of the Dragon capsule towards the International Space Station (ISS) on May 22nd.  While the oroginal launch date moved a couple of times, this was due to SpaceX doing their due diligence, once to make sure that the docking software was fully tested and another time due to a faulty valve which caused out-of-range readings 1 second after ignition (which also proved that the auto-shutdown software was working correctly since it is all automated in the last 15 seconds of countdown).

On Weds, the Dragon did a flyby within 1.5 miles of the ISS and responded to commands sent by the ISS crew which are all milestones that SpaceX had to meet.  The Dragon is set to be berthed to the ISS sometime tomorrow (Thursday, May 24th).  It's a 'berthing' because the dragon is only going to get close enough for the ISS peeps to grab it with the robotic arm which will then maneuver it into position.  A 'docking' is when the spacecraft itself connects to the ISS without any physical help from the ISS crew.

Here is a video of Dragon flying under the ISS during the flyby (short 1 minute video)

Here's a link to the full SpaceX coverage of the launch.  I've cued it up to a point after Dragon is in orbit.  My favorite part of this video is seeing how HAPPY the employees are that the rocket launched, the Dragon was in orbit and the solar arrays deployed.  Happiness = awesomeness :)


I got the IKEA shelves put together.  YAY!  I went through my records and am getting rid of aboutr 75% of them.  There were about 4 boxes that were damaged from the flood at my sister's house and, at first, they appeared to be mostly okay (showing water damaged) but quickly it became clear that they were funkilicious with my nose and throat not taking kindly to me unleashing that craziness.  So, I boxed and taped all of those back up.  Unfortunately, among the casualties were my Barry Manilow and Olivia Newton-John collections.  Luckily, before the move, I had separated out all of the albums I gre up with.  Those were all in a box which were untouched by water, thank goodness.  Upon inspection of the damage, I found only a few records which I grew up with that were not separated out (Kiss - Alive, Kiss - Alive II, Queen - The Game).  There were also LPs that I grew up with which belonged to my aunt.  Those too were spared the water onslaught.   All my 45s were also above the flood plane.

Those IKEA shelves are the shiz-nit and are PERFECT for LP storage (and other stuff too).  I found a few chat rooms where LP snobs concurred that the shelves were great.


The Red Bull Stratos project is coming along.  I believe they are doign a test jump from 90,000 ft early summer and then making the world record / super-sonic attempt in late summer.   The site is still at RedBullStratos.  They posted a link to THIS awesome story which also goes over some of the history of high altitude parachute attempts, all the way from Joe Kittinger's still record attempt in 1961, to several other individuals who have attempted and failed, to the current Red Bull Stratos project.  Good stuff!  Best article I've read on it yet.


 I don't think I mentioned that I will be getting a signed copy of Ben Fold Five's new album when it comes out.  They are funding it via PledgeMusic.  I was lucky enough to find out about it only a few hours after the site went live.  Some of the 'levels' of pledging are limited and they run out.  I think they may have ultimately done 100 signed copies of the new CD for $15.  I got in when there were only 50, which sold out quickly and then they posted another 50.  Anyhoo... HERE is a link to the PledgeMusic page for the new BF5 album.  There are still things to be had including some exclusive stuff coming out @ 3pm on Thursday 5/24 (including getting a personalized version of a song, which I'm sure will cost a pretty penny).  

Juliana Hatfield has funded a few albums this way as well.  I think she has one up right now for doing a covers album.  She's done this a few times so she has some unique stuff that you can get when you pledge X amount.  For example, you can have her personally answer 20 questions from you for 20 bucks... AND you get a download of the album when it's complete.  What else... you can get a 'Song to order' which I think means you tell her what song to put on the album.  That'll run you a cool grand.  She also does artwork, so she sells artwork, custom silk-screened T-shits, etc to get pledges.

Nataly Dawn from Pomplamoose did this as well through a different website with a similar concept called KickStarter covers more than just music.  It covers everything.  Want to start a clothing line, set it up.  Today's featured KickStart is from a guy who does cheese and cracker plates called "Cheese and Crack".  No lie. For $5 you can get a personal Thank You on Facebook.  For $100 you can get a Cheese & Crack party plate which serves 10 people delivered to your home... well... as long as you live in Portland OR.


I'm still losing a little weight.  I've kinda plateau'd again.  I was down to about 167, but then in 2 days the Wii claimed I gained 5 lbs, which means that the goal I set up to lose 5 lbs in a month is now more like 10 lbs.  *sigh*  Oh well, that's how it goes.  Luckily, the Wii allows you to change it part way through in case you've set too lofty of a goal, which 10 lbs in a month is at this point in the game.   I'm still shooting for 155, so at 172 (after my weird two day 5 lb gain) I still have a ways to go.  Luckily, I'm not delusional and thinking I can lose that in like 2 more months.  I will be quite happy if I can pull that off by end of the year honestly.  I lost TON of weigh in the beginning (20 lbs in about 3 months).  There are some people who have tried for YEARS to lose that much weight.  I've just taken a road that works for me.  In the beginning I was working out probably an hour a night, 6 days a week.  I work out closer to 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week now.  I have my little routine and when I feel I've been extra bad I'll throw in an hour or hour and a half workout.  The main thing is that I've stopped eating everything in sight.  I was pretty much miserable 24/7 and popping antacid non-stop because my body was unthrilled with what I was continually putting into my stomach.  I've learned to eat within reason and to not 'eat on principle'.  I still need to work a little bit on eating while I'm watching TV, but at least the THOUGHT is there that I shouldn't be stuffing my face, so I'll either eat something healthier (say a whole red pepper with some zesty greek yogurt dip) or I'll just have ONE bowl of chips.  It really is the little things sometimes.


I'm officially yammering now, so I'll just STFU.  I hope all is well with everyone.   Have a happy Memorial Day!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vaca ... and more stupid stuff

The Mrs and I just got back from our little mini-vaca sans kids. My parents watch the kiddos. We didn't go anywhere exotic. Since we only had 4 days, we chose to stay local in the Cinci area. On Thurs we traveled to Cinci, got checked in, did a little shopping, and ate at Izzy's for a Corned Beef Reuben. It was awesome and tasty!

Friday we went to the Waffle House. It had literally just re-opened that month and it was very clean and the people we (as always) very nice. It was super tasty and amazingly enough I didn't stuff myself silly. After that we shopped around and hit a Half Price books store where, for $5 I purchased a still-seal copy of Ultimate TV Westerns (150 episodes) on 12 discs. Yes, the stupidity has continued, and has been added to the stupid movie / tv list. After that, we caught a Cincinnati Reds game versus the Washington Nationals. The lost 7-3 in a game where the Reds went through no less than 5 pitchers (boo), however M got a free Mom's Day purse / bag thingy (yay!), we got a free show from a magical act called 'Quick Change' which was a man and woman who quickly changed clothes (yay!), we got a free fireworks show from THE Rozzi Fireworks company (boom! awesome! yay!), and because of some fluke, our pitchers actually struck out 11 people and therefore we each got a free small 4 topping pizza from LaRosa's _and_ a free one scoop cone from UDF (yum! woot! yay!). So while the game which started with the Washington Nationals scoring 3 runs at the top of first inning was a bit of suckage, there were many wins whihc we gained as well.

Saturday, we went to the mantinee showing of Les Miserables at the Aronoff Center. M got the tickets and knew we were in the balcony. What we didn't know was that we were in the second balcony... and in the very last row. The only thing behind us was the back wall. The sound was great. But if you're asking me how the acting, aside from arm flails and running about, I couldn't tell ya since we couldn't really see their faces. But, despite that, it was still a good show. After the show we went out to dinner for our free pizza and ice cream. Then we went to Jungle Jim's (a ginormous foodie store) where I picked up a few beers and hot sauces. I knew that Cinci had a bottling plant for Hudepohl but I had never actually had the infamous Hudy Delight, so I wanted to try some. First we technically went to Meijer, but all they had were 12 pk cans and I honestly just wanted a six pack to try... so we went to JJ's. At JJ's, I picked up a 6 pack of Hudepohl Amber Lager and a 6 pack of Hudepohl Festival Bock. Neither of which are their primary brands, but whatever. I also picked up a 12 pack of Shiner Ruby Redbird, which is brewed with Texas Ruby Red grapefruit and ginger. I only really wanted a 6 pk but all they had were 12's and at $12 I figured, what the hell. I also picked up some hot cause... one was on sale for $1.99 and I can't remember it's name... but it looked interesting. another is a hot sauce I haven't seen since college and was probably my first true hot sauce, called Gibb's Nuclear Hell. It was hot and chunky and nearly every day I would have a processed chicken patty with a dab of Gibb's Nuclear Hell covered with cheese. And it was awesome as hell. :P

Sunday, we went to her parents house to celebrate Mother's Day and her dad's birthday. We also went to Ikea where I picked up a couple of awesome bookshelves for my LPs. Her dad cooked up some steaks for lunch which were awesome. Then we came back some to our excited kids who missed up very much. Then I worked out where the Wii laughed at me and said 'You gained 3 lbs chunk-o' so I did some yoga and ran for a 1/2 hour. And then I blogged. And now I'm done. Talk to you later!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Even more stupid...

I took back the Suspense 50 Movie Pack because, well, I already owned it. I thought that I saw the Mystery 50 Movie Pack, but I was convinced that it was $19.99 since I seemed to remembered it being in the shrink wrap. So, I checked and it turns out I was mostly right. It was new and it did have shrink wrap... but it was only $5.99!!! W00t 4 Darrin Stupidity!!! Add another movie set to the list.

Egads... when it is gonna stop???

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm just that stupid

I posted before about my love of BAD movies. I have many of those 50 movie packs. Well, I picked up two more. Good golly. On the plus side, one of them, the Suspense 50 movie pack, I already have as part of the Action 100 movie pack... so I will be taking that one back.

The other one, The Way West, I picked up for $6.39 at Half Price Books (Suspense was also the same price). It is what is sounds like, a bunch of cowboy movies starring all of the greats: Tex Ritter, Jack Randall, Bill Cody, Bob Steele, Roy Rogers, Ken maynard, etc etc etc.

I must be stupid since this puts me into the 750 movie range. I haven't calculated out the total hours and all that crap yet. But I'll add it soon enough.


Here's hoping Half Price doesn't have another collection I don't already have for $5.99 again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Go SpaceX

The latest on SpaceX is that the mission to send cargo to the International Space Station is slated for April 30th @ 12:22PM EDT. I am excited about the possibilities if this all goes off without any big glitches. They're already working on making the Dragon capsule man-ready (actually, they've designed it all along as being for human flight, but they obviously can't just throw humans in there and 'see how it goes'.

Here is a 60 minutes interview with Elon Musk (founder of PayPal and owner/CTO of SpaceX). Good stuff.

Monday, March 19, 2012

First step towards the human super sonic jump

A few days ago Felix Baumgartner jumped from 71,581 ft. That's 13.6 MILES up! Only a handful of people have every jumped from that altitude where you can start to see the curvature of the earth. At that altitude you HAVE to have a pressure suit on (unless of course you feel like having your blood boil and all that of that happy stuff).

My favorite statistic from this jump: His freefall speed was estimated at 364 mph(!!!)

New York Times articles HERE

Red Bull Stratos article HERE and a tour of mission control HERE

And, again, the main site HERE

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Satellite #1000

I'm trying to catch up on my satellite backlog (and failing at 100 MPH). I'm still about 2 months behind in just getting the basics with no real details (like what type of satellite it was or what rocket put it up there).

But I have figured out what #1000 is:

December 28, 2011 6:20pm
Name: Tansuo 1 LM2r aka Long March 2C Rocket used for putting Tansuo 1 into orbit
Int'l Designator: 2004-012-C

I was hoping that I would have been more organized and that number 1000 would have been something like the ISS or the X37-B or one of my most often see satellites Resurs 1-4.

However, I wasn't, so it was all kind of random.


Here are the satellites that surrounded #1000:

#999 - ISS (International Space Station)
#1001 - X-37B (OTV 2)
#1002 - Resurs 1-4

I couldn't plan that, but it all kinda worked out that way. I find that to be kind of... cosmic. :-P

Also of note... my next session after the Dec 28th one was Jan 5th 2012, so I just got my #1000 in the year 2011 which was close to my original goal (get #1000 in a year). By getting it on Dec 28 2011, I got it in 1 year 4 months and 1 day (my first logged item was the ISS on Aug 27th 2010).

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Oh yeah.... it's back on. *BOOOOOM*

Did you hear that? That's the sound of a human breaking the speed of sound, without a plane, car or rocket. Just a big balloon, gravity, a pressure suit, and 120,000 feet up in the air.

The Red Bull Stratos project, after being delayed by some legal issues, is back on.

Felix Baumgartner and team are back on the job and planning for this historic attempt. I'm giddy as all get out.