tv, gaming, playstation comments edit

Yesterday started out great but long about 4:00p turned into the $2 sucky-sucky.

I’ve been getting up early lately since Jenn’s gone back to school to become a pharmacy technician and her classes start early. That’s not too bad, since getting up 15 minutes earlier means I’m on the road 15 minutes earlier, which, therefore, also means that I beat the bad traffic I normally hit when I leave at my normal time.

Around noon I took off to go to the local Game Crazy to sell back a couple of PS2 controllers. There wasn’t anything functionally wrong with them, but the pad that sat on top of the left analog stick wasn’t glued down anymore and would spin around while you moved the stick. I can’t handle that. It doesn’t bug Jenn, but my thumb just seems to slip off if that’s the case. So I traded in the two controllers for a total of $18 of store credit. That’s a good portion of the cost of a used game, so I started looking at those. I narrowed the decision down to Dynasty Warriors 3 or Virtua Fighter 4. I’m still sort of torn, but I’m thinking I’ll go with DW3. I already have Dead or Alive 2 for a fighting game, and while I wouldn’t mind picking up VF4, I think I should get something Jenn and I can play cooperatively so there’s less of a competition going on. Besides, my dad loves the DW thing, so he’ll come over and play.

Then around 4:00p, I decided to try to do some work on an upcoming project - you know, to maybe get a head start. So I opened up Office XP Developer and… it wouldn’t open my project file. I know it was a valid project, because I created the framework for it, then closed it. Done. But now it gives this “Store Type Not Valid” message which means pretty much jack squat as far as I’m concerned.

I figured it was maybe a problem with the Office XP Developer program, so I uninstalled it and reinstalled it. No go. So I uninstalled and reinstalled again. Still no go. Noticed that there were some patches available for it, so I patched it. Uh uh. Tried to uninstall again, but this time it wouldn’t uninstall. Tried to do the “reinstall/repair” thing, that didn’t work either. Decided maybe I could just delete the thing manually then run the repair, so I deleted the files and registry keys for it and ran the repair utility… and it failed.

Something was definitely hosed on my laptop, so now I’m in the process of totally reinstalling Windows and all my apps. Crap.

I did, however, get my records from GEMM, and I’m stoked. I’ve been listening to PWEI remixes all morning long (on my good computer). Yay, me.

Today is Fred Meyer employee double-discount day. That means Fred Meyer employees (my mom) and their families (me) get 20% off everything in the store but food. I’m going to pick up some attachments for my Dremel tool and a new DVD player since ours is, I believe, heading out the door. (The sound on it is sort of dicey anymore; the center channel fades in and out.)

I still haven’t heard from Magnolia Hi-Fi on the television I am planning on purchasing, but hopefully I will soon. I may give them a call today and see if it’s in and they just forgot to call me.

Went to my parents’ house to watch Survivor last night, and let me say I was a little less than impressed. Maybe the show isn’t living up to the hype, or maybe I’m just burned out on it. Either way, I guess I expected a little something more but I didn’t quite get it. I don’t know exactly what I was hoping for, but whatever it was, it wasn’t there. Hopefully it’ll get better.

tv, media comments edit

I continue to research large screen televisions. The biggest problem I was having for a while there is that, frankly, I’m a cheapskate. If I don’t need it and it costs over, say, $20, I probably won’t buy it. So when I started getting jazzed about the possibility of a plasma screen, that excitement carried over into the big screen TVs. We really don’t need a new TV, but we’ve been looking at them for a while, so I’ve moved over to the “gonna buy a TV” realm, especially after having seen the Sony KV-40XBR700 (last year’s version of the TV I’m looking at, the KV-40XBR800).

Now my big issue is: Where do I put it?

My current entertainment center isn’t remotely big enough to hold the TV, but it holds the rest of the components well. The TV comes with a stand, but the stand it comes with isn’t big enough to hold the components. So I’m going to have to deal with the sales guy and see if he’ll throw in a larger stand.

I was talking about this with my friend Mike at work this morning and he was all, “You’re one of those people who gets buyer’s remorse after making large purchases, aren’t you?” Yes, I am. Unless I research it and I’m sure that I’m getting exactly what I want for the price I’m willing to pay. I’m working on doing that research and whatnot so when the sets come in to the shop, I’ll be ready.

In the meantime, I’m actually losing a little sleep over how I’m going to make the TV stand thing work. Which, in the scale of things, is the small stuff. I know you’re not supposed to sweat the small stuff, but I do. I think it’s hereditary; my parents sweat the small stuff, too.

The thing that keeps me on track with this thing, come hell or high water, is the thought that on October 22 I should be receiving a package in the mail containing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and that bad boy needs to be on a better television than what I have right now. Plus the fact that we watch a lot of movies, and a nicer set is definitely called for.


Aside from that, not much going on. Survivor: Thailand starts Thursday, and while I’m not the hugest Survivor fan out there, Jenn and I have a good time going over and watching it with my parents. My dad gets really into it. We’ll be going over there Thursday to hang with them and play the Survivor board game, which I got for my birthday but haven’t yet had a chance to play. Then we’ll watch the show, followed closely by CSI.

Hey, we’re saving money, right? Watching TV at my parents’ house is free. Chalk one up for Frugal Trav.

music comments edit

The new Kelly Clarkson single is out: Before Your Love and A Moment Like This, the songs she sang on the last American Idol show. I’m not a big fan of the songs, but I love Kelly, so I picked one up. Besides, Jenn would’ve killed me if I didn’t. I got it fresh out of the shipment box first thing this morning at Fred Meyer.

Now I’m waiting for the techno dance remixes. I guarantee they’ll be better than the originals. :)

personal, activities comments edit

This weekend was… wow. Too much happened and not enough got done.

Friday night, as mentioned, I went to Jenn’s ten-year high school reunion. It was at McMenamins Kennedy School and I’m not sure that was the best place to have it.

For the uninitiated, McMenamins is a local brewery that buys up historic buildings and converts them into brewpubs and/or hotels. They do a dynamite job, too. Kennedy School is an old grade school that now houses rooms you can stay in, a theater, and a restaurant. It’s a nice place to visit and hang out, so you’d think that would make it a good place for a reunion. Not so.

They stuck us in the old gym, which wouldn’t have been too bad except the lighting was exactly wrong. They needed to either turn it up to be light enough to see by, or turn it down so it would be closer to a school dance. Instead, it was this sort of pseudo-twilight that made it just dark enough to be unable to read name tags but light enough for everyone to watch you squint at them and wonder who they are.

I hung out most of that time with Tony, Jenn’s friend Apryl’s husband. Tony is the bomb. He told me some stories about his high school reunions in Springfield, OR. Too funny. Anyway, that was the only real redeeming factor. I hope my reunion is not as lame as that, but I’m sure it will be.

I think my expectations were set slightly high. After seeing Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion more times than I care to count, I guess I expected things to go down like that. Trust me, that’s not what happened. It was just sort of lame. Like a bad high school dance.

So that was Friday night.

Saturday morning Jenn and I were at my parents’ house by 7:30a so we could have a garage sale. We went through all of our stuff, combined it with my parents’ stuff, and came up with actually quite a decent sized sale. We ran it until around 3:00p. My mom was sort of disappointed with the turnout for it; I guess more people usually show up. We choose to blame it on Oktoberfest - too many people out eating wienerschnitzel and not enough garage saling. Oh well. I came out $41.15 ahead and a lot lighter on the junk, Jenn got $9.00 and didn’t get rid of as much junk. My parents did all right with somewhere around $285 of garage sale proceeds. I wonder what it would have been like if we had a better turnout.

Saturday night at 6:00p Jenn and I went to Jenn’s grandma’s house for dinner in celebration of Jenn’s parents’ anniversary. We had chicken cordon bleu, twice-baked potatoes, and corn on the cob. It was a very good, quite tasty dinner, but, man, it was heavy. I haven’t eaten like that for a while.

Sunday Jenn and I had planned to do the laundry and clean the house - the stuff that didn’t get done during the week.

I should never answer the phone.

Jenn’s dad called up at like 8:45a and asked if we wanted to go to breakfast. Sure. He said they’d be at our place at 10:00a to pick us up. Cool beans, right?

10:30a they showed up. Four hours later, we were in Issaquah, WA, eating Krispy Kreme donuts.

Now, I love Krispy Kreme as much as the next guy - probably more, actually - but I really didn’t plan on being gone all day long in the name of donuts. We got home at 6:00p that night, exhausted, overloaded with sugar, and nothing done.

I should never answer the phone.

So today’s Jenn’s birthday and she’s at home on her day off doing the cleaning that we never got done yesterday. Happy birthday, baby! :)

I did see, while at the Issaquah, WA, Fred Meyer, that they now carry plasma televisions. I’ve wanted a new TV for a long time, especially one of those, but I haven’t gotten around to it, mostly due to price. They’re so exorbitantly expensive! But they had a pretty decent deal on a Panasonic 42” one, so I got motivated to research them since this Friday is employee double-discount day and I could potentially get 20% off the already low $5500 price tag.

After researching the sets, though, they don’t look like they’re all I thought they were cracked up to be. Most are just monitors, which means you have to get a separate tuner box for them. All of them have fans, which it seems, according to the reviews I’ve read, can be noisy. Not all of them are HDTV compatible, which I feel is a load of shit because if you’re going to pay that much for a TV, it’d better be HDTV compatible and maybe even serve you a drink while you’re watching the crystal clear picture. Not so.

Thus, I’ve continued on my quest and discovered the Sony KV-40XBR800

  • a 40” beauty that is HDTV compatible. Love it. It’s a tube TV, though, so it’s not going to be hanging on my wall any time soon, but it’s just awesome. I wanna see it in person, and I’m sure I’ll be forced to buy it. I’m going to see what Fred Meyer can do for me on THAT set.

personal comments edit

Tonight’s Jenn’s 10-year high school reunion, and I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I’m stoked to go. I’m not. I didn’t like my high school experience, so I’m not expecting to love hanging out and discussing other peoples’ experiences.

There is a redeeming factor, however.

See, Jenn’s got this high school friend, Apryl. Apryl’s cool and all, but she’s not the point here. (Not to belittle Apryl or anything; love her to death and all, but that’s not where I’m going here.) The point is, Apryl married this guy, Tony, who is a total kick in the pants. We’ve hung out with them and I just have the greatest time talking with this guy. I think we just work on the same wavelength or something. He’s just really cool and fun.

So I’m doing my best to look at this less as “Jenn’s High School Reunion” and more “Trav and Tony Hang-Out Time.” Maybe we can ditch and go home and play PS2. Heh.

I found a cool volunteer job that I totally would dig on over at - they are currently in need of a movie reviewer. I think I could fill those shoes, no problem. Hey, you’ve seen the work right here on this site. No problemo for the old Trav, if you know what I mean. And maybe I could get a little extra traffic in here, too. The only issue is that they want one person to do ALL the movies, and I don’t have time to do that. So I’ll drop ‘em a line and see if they might want a person on the side. Maybe they can split the job into two pieces. Can’t hurt to ask.