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Im such a softie

I just turned on my wi and checked my wii mail and saw a message that Abby lost her pro status today, and it made me sad because I know how much she loved being a pro and getting a special ball in bowling. It means a lot to her that she made that achievement and it makes her fel grown up. I hope I can help her get pro status back soon.

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The long weekend

This is going to be a long post, so be prepared for some reading…

Firday I took a personal day from work to stay home and watch the kids while Liz went to a conference in Orlando. She actually left on Thursday afternoon, but her parents came earlier on Thursday to help with the kids. So I got home on Thursday evening and she was gone 😦 After some settling in, we decided to have soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches for dinner. This is a simple meal, but very tasty (I make a great grilled-cheese sandwich). I had a bit of a crazy time trying to time everything just right, making soup and sandwiches for so many people at once. It turned out good, which I was a little doubtful about since we were one package of soup short of what I thought we’d have. There was plenty for everyone and it was good.

We got the kids in bed on Thursday night and had some fun beforehand playing the wii. Once the kids were in bed, Liz’s parents played the wii and after a while we shut the wii off and watched a movie. We put on Eragon and stayed up late.

Friday morning, after the kids and I had breakfast, we had a wii tournament. I played a few games with the girls, and then Liz’s parents started a bowling competition. They both achieved pro status and had some very good games. They were beating me and I lost some of my pro points.

Then we decided to run out to a store to try to buy a computer for my brother-in-law’s fiance’ We went to Circuit City in New Tampa and looked around (this was while Sarah was in school). We were there for about 2 hours with Michael and Abby actually being pretty good. We found a computer we all agreed was a good one, for about $400 but it didn’t come with a monitor. They had a package deal with it, but the monitor it came with was a bulky CRT.

Kind of kidding, I said they could buy me one of the nice HP flat panel monitors and I would give them my 19″ dell FP at home and give them some money for the upgrade. They agreed and the rep checked inventory, but found they didn’t have any of the computer we picked out in stock. So my mother-in-law asked if they would sell them the display model. The rep agreed and came back with a price around $330 something. We went to check out and they were going to keep the computer for a few hours and re-image it and then have us come back to pick it up. We were about to leave when Liz’s dad found a problem with the receipt. After probably an hour of waiting and adjusting, they just couldn’t get it right. They ended up getting the computer for about $185 and they got an additional $30 discount on the monitor. All in all, they paid around $460 or so for the computer and monitor, which is an awesome deal!

We went to Wendy’s after that since we are all starving and it was around lunch time anyway. I was in a hurry because I wanted to hook up the new monitor. We got to Wendy’s and got in the drive through line, but the line was moving slow. Liz’s mom suggested it would faster if she just went in and ordered. So I pulled out of line into a parking spot. We waited in the car for what felt like 30 minutes, when finally Liz’s dad went in to check out what was taking so long. Turned out they were out of chicken right at noon (go figure) and had to cook more on the spot. We finally got out of there after 12:35pm and made it home to sit down and eat. I fed Michael and got him down for a nap and started setting up the new monitor on the computer desk. At first, it worked, but was blurry, and didn’t have the software installed for the proper resolution or settings. After installing the right software, the DVI output stopped working. When set to the right resolution, the monitor would go into standby, and the display would just stop. I tried everything, uninstalling, safe mode, new drivers, new ATI software, etc. Nothing worked and I ended up taking the video card out of my multimedia computer and reloading my home computer’s OS. Once reloaded with the other video card, there were no problems and things were fine.

So now my multimedia computer is stripped of its video card and is non functional. I ordered a new video card from TigerDirect online, and it should be here sometime mid-week. I got an HIS Radeon 512MB GDDR3 Pro card, with nice specs and enhanced HD support. This should be a major improvement! I was sad to find out later that my power supply in my multimedia machine is only 250W, meaning that the new video card won’t have enough power in that computer. I may end up for now putting the new card in my main computer and taking the original video card that was in the playback computer and put it back in since I know that works. But ultimately, I want to get new power supplies for both computers, a 500W for the main PC, and a 450 for the multimedia computer.

After spending most of the afternoon working on the computers and getting things setup, I began working on setting up the new computer that my in-laws bought. I managed to re-image the computer to factory, and do all the updates and install needed software. Then I moved all their files and settings off the old computer to the new one. Then I cleaned up the old computer and removed all the clutter and made it like new. (Liz’s mom ran home once we got back from CC and got their existing computer). The arrangement ended up being that they got the new computer, and my monitor. Then my brother-in-law’s fiance’ got their computer and exsting 17″ flat panel monitor. So the arrangement worked out well for everyone.

We had Pizza Hut dippin’ strips pizza for dinner, and I also ordered a large half cheese, half pepperoni pan pizza. It was sooooo good, we love the dippin strips, which is only a seasonal thing from what we can tell. I ordered online and had it delivered.

Friday night, we started watching Spiderman 3 and didn’t finish because it was late and the movie was long. So I went to bed around 12:30 something or close to 1am.

Saturday morning we played more wii, and I finished final touches on the computers. Then we started cleaning up the house in preparation for Liz to get home that evening. We had lunch after Liz’s parents left that morning. We got to play more wii and relax a bit before Liz got home. We had the left over pizza for lunch which was still good, we had just enough left to have enough for lunch.

I was just putting the kids to bed when Liz walked in the door. Must have been after 7:30pm and I had just put Michael to bed. So I went and got him back out of bed to say hi to her. I put him down on the floor in his room, and I think he already knew she was home. He ran out of his door and into her arms and just held her for a while. He is such a sweet little boy!

Got all the kids to bed Saturday night, and Liz and I sat on the couch and chatted about our weekends and relaxed a little. It was nice to catch up and fill each other in on all the goings-on of the weekend. She had a great time at her convention and told me all about it. I told her the long story of the computer work for the weekend.

Sunday we had Amanda and her kids over for lunch and the kids got to play for a while and Lizzie and Lina got to play bowling on the wii. Amanda finished a turn for Lizzie, and said it could definately get addictive.

All weekend I had meant to cut the grass, but never found time, I was busy all weekend and never got around to it. Then I took a sick day on Monday because I was getting over some stomach problems that I seemed to pick up over the weekend. I had thought I could try to at least mow the front yard on Monday, but it kept raining on and off all day. It was a weird weather day, it would be sunny outside, but a rain cloud would be over our house, and it would be raining. Sometimes hard rain would come down and it would get grey outside, but then it would stop and the sun would come back out. All day it was like this, so I didn’t get a chance to cut the grass.

a wii easter egg

I got the bowling training easter egg trick to work last night. Liz and I both tried it, but I managed to get the gold medal and a new record score. Woo hoo!

a wii touch of boredom

I have to admit, that after a week of playing the wii, and playing the same sports games over and over, I am starting to get a little bored with it. Granted we still only have one controller, and haven’t gotten any additional games yet, but honestly, the same 5 games in wii-sports just won’t hold my attention much longer. Its still fun, and I still enjoy playing when we have people over, but interest in playing on my own is dwindling… Time to start thinking about new games and an additional controller.

a wii visit from the in-laws

Last night, Liz’s parents came over to spend the night with us. From the time we got done with dinner, until abotu 11pm last night, they were playing the wii. I find this humorous, but at first they were a little skeptacle; her dad wanted to try it out, but her mom wasn’t as interested at first. We did the bowling game on wii sports most of the night which is fun, because we used to bowl all the time. I watched her mom go from barely interested in the first game or two, to moving around and starting to get some strikes by her 3rd or 4th game. Then we played several 4 person rounds and by the end she was having a good time and saying she was going to beat us.

I gave up around 10:15 or somewhere around there to go get ready for bed. They stayed up later than that and played more games. By the time I was done I was a pro at the bowling game with over 1000 on the chart.

I tried to throw my ball into one of the neighboring lanes, but it just went straight to the gutter. I found out how to intentionally release the ball too soon and scare the mii’s behind you.

a wii fever

Friday was the day, our wii arrived via USPS. I got home from work and began the setup around 6 or 6:30pm. I had it up and running in no time, it was easy to connect, and was just the right size to fit stanging on its side in my entertainment center.

We had some friends over and played for a while and then watched some Star Trek episodes. After they left, Liz and I played some more and stayed up until about 2am playing around on it.

Saturday, we played a lot and almost wore it out. We had gotten our mii characters transferred from another console where we had already created them, but found we couldn’t edit them on our console. So I got some software online that let me connect my remotes to my PC via bluetooth and I was able to edit our mii characters and fix them so that we could edit them on our console. The only problem is that this process overwrote our existing stats, so it wiped our slate clean, and we had to start over with the records for each mii, which is no big deal, but we had some pretty good scores on there!

Sarah is very good at many of the sports games. Although we don’t have two controllers yet, so we are swapping in 2 player games. Once we get a second controller, it will be much easier. I also want to get some better games, such as Transformers and Fastastic 4.

Finally bought a wii

I broke down today and got a wii from eBay. I really didn’t want to spend the extra money and support the price gouging on eBay, but did it anyway. It would probably have taken weeks for me to track one down at a store, and by the time I did get one, I would have spent lots of time and effort in getting it. I don’t feel too bad, because I only paid about $40 or less over retial for the wii I bought. Its coming from Ohio, and I just got the shipping confirmation, so I should have the wii on Friday or Saturday at the latest. Its coming USPS so I can even get it on Saturday, which is one of the reasons I chose this seller.

I still need to look at getting more games, and an extra controller, as it only comes with one, but in time we should have a nice little setup 🙂

Labor Day Weekend Summary

What a fast weekend! Friday afternoon Liz and I spent most of the time on our computers working on stuff. So we didn’t do much of anything exciting then. One exciting thing that did happen Friday night and Saturday morning is that I sold a bunch of stuff on ebay and got the go ahead from Liz to get a wii. So Saturday afternoon I called around to try to find some store that had any in stock. I called Toys R Us on Fowler, and they said they had one. When I got the store not 15 minutes later, the red shirt told me they were sold out. I am kicking myself now, because I bet if I had asked him to double-check he would have found the one the person on the phone said they had in stock. So of course when I get home and call more places and repeated the process on Sunday, no one I called had any!

I’m not going to get off into a huff about the whole eBay thing with all the wii price gouging going on, but sadly, if I can’t find one at a store by this weekend, I may have to buy one online. I hope it doesn’t come to that, as I really don’t want to support the price gouging, but I’d really like to have ours by next Friday, as we are having guests over and it would be great to have for company.

I don’t think we really did much of anything great on Saturday again, just kind of hung around the house and spent time together. I think Liz and the girls watched a movie.

Sunday, we were supposed to get together with some friends, but one of their kids got sick, so we didn’t get together afterall. I did however, go help build a set for MOPS and spent about 5 or so hours over there doing actual work! 🙂

Monday, we had a last minute get together with some other friends, but I needed to cut the grass. So I ended up cutting the grass in the late morning, while the kids went with Liz to go swimming. I got done cutting the grass and had to get a shower, and get something to eat. Once I got there to meet up with my family, they were all getting out of the pool and about to eat lunch. Then it started to rain. So I took Abby home with me in the Miata. The kids love it when they get to ride in the Miata. And its nice to get that one-on-one time with them. Liz put on more of the movie they watched the previous day and then we got them to bed after dinner.

Liz and I had been trying to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy again, so for the past 2 nights we had watched as much of the movies as we could possibly stay awake to watch. We got half way through the third and final movie last night, so we have to watch another 2 hours or so tonight to finish off the trilogy.

I put together a list of store phone numbers within a mile of my work that I plan to call daily to check wii inventory. If I can find a store nearby that gets a wii, I can hopefully run over there and get one before they sell out so I can pay retial price for it. I plan to call every day around noon or just before to check and see what they have. I only want one, hopefully I will be able to find one around somewhere amidst all this mad rush and inventory shortage.

A wii frustration

It really bugs me about all this wii shortgage, none of the stores can keep them in stock and people want one but can’t find one. A quick check on eBay reveals many many wii’s for sale and the prices are of course higher than retail. You see auctions with 78 wii units available and its just not right. People are so greedy that will use whatever means they have to in order to snatch up as many wii consoles as possible and then auction them off for elevated prices due to the shortage they are helping create. I wonder if it weren’t for people like this, if we would still have such a shortage. I would immagine that if greedy people didn’t stockpile them for auctioning off, if everyone who wanted a wii would now have one, and maybe we wouldn’t have this shortage to begin with. I do want a wii, but I will NOT buy one from an auction site and pay more than retail. I wish everyone would boycott them and stick them with their large inventories of wii systems until they had to sell them off for less than retail. I also find the deception in the auction listings very irritating. People will list a wii for sale with 2 controllers, but what they really mean is that the set includes a single controller and a nunchuk. They get irritated when you point this out and are hoping to deceive people into buying one of these only to realize later that they still need to buy an additional controller and maybe more. This is all extremely irritating, and I hope Nintendo learns something from this, and manages their distribution chain better next time with better expectations for production and manufacturing.

UPDATE: I called a Toys R Us nearby, and they said they had one in stock. So I ran down there and by the time I got to the store, they had sold it. Or at least the guy at the counter said they were out. When I called earlier they said the store had one left. I guess I should have asked him to check. Oh well, I went to a nearby Target and they are sold out as well. These ebay people are really starting to irritate me even more now. There are probably thousands available on ebay and you can’t find any in a store, but if you are willing to pay about $100 over retail, you can get one online. This just stinks, and is really getting on my nerves. But when I do find one I will be happy I didn’t have to pay so much more for mine as people are paying on eBay and other online sources.

Fun and fast weekend

We had another fun weekend, but it went really fast!!! On Friday night we had a few couples over to play games and have snacks, etc. We all sat around and snacked for a while and talked. Then we started to play catch phrase, which I’m not good at, but enjoyed watching and participating. We laughed a lot and it was fun. Then we got setup on the wii and I watched them all play boxing and we all got a kick out of watching Liz fight Mike and go nuts trying to knock him out. The night ended a little earlier than we could have handled, but the ladies had an event to go to early the next morning.

Saturday, it was just the kids and me for a while. Liz went to her event in New Tampa and I got the kids up and we started our day. We played the wii for a long time and Sarah was a natural with bowling, we scored me with 126 and her with 122 our first try. On her next try all alone, she got 148! She was also good at golf, baseball and tennis. Later around 1pm or so, Mike came back over with the kids and Sarah and Nathan played against each other for a while, and it was so much fun to watch. They played the practice rounds and tried all the different games, it was lots of fun!

Sunday Liz had Susan over to look at pictures and I worked on our storage situation a little for the computers. I ended up buying a 500GB external drive to keep our pictures and downloads on. This way it only runs when we need it, and we can take it with us. I plan to consolidate our storage onto this external drive, and delete old stuff we don’t need anymore, and maybe burn some stuff to DVD. Once done, I can sell about 3 hard drives that used to either be in a server, my PC or on a shelf. My PC has a 450W power supply which is having problems keeping up with the load. I may need a new power supply at some point as well.

I have Liz ready to buy a wii, we are going to use some money from the sale of computer parts I have and save up a little for it. In a few weeks we should have one.