Computer Problem Update

I can’t remember off the top of my head of I’ve previously mentioned my computer problems here on my blog. A quick summary, I built a computer last year and around Christmas time it started having problems. I ran out of patience trying to fix it myself and handed it over to a computer repair tech a month ago. He and I have been going back and forth with it about once a week since.

Today I got the following email:
Hi Randy,

I hit a wall with MSI only getting a “maybe” to most of my questions.

But I did find a chip company that claims to have the original bios chip for your board.
If your willing to wait a bit I can order one as a backup and then try a reflash.

This is just a shot in the dark as I have not ordered from this company before and ordering from china is hit and miss at best.
But it is only a few bucks so may be worth a shot.

Letm e know if you want to try this.

Thank you–end email

I wrote back and asked how much it cost. He told me $15. I’ve just given him the go ahead to do this. As hard as the guy has worked to try to find a resolution, I’m inclined to give him one more chance. He seems to be taking this problem rather personally.

However having said all that, I’m about out of patience with him (I blame the MB manufacturer, not the computer tech). This will however be the last chance, and if it doesn’t work I’ll ask for my computer back and just replace the board myself. You can bet though that I will not ever be buying an MSI board again.

Politricks Nation Episode 2 Is Up!

So James, George, and I recorded Politricks episode 2, our political podcast. The always awesome Nick recorded the show for us. I did the editing on it, and Ashley contributed by helping me get our opening song to the show put in place with nifty fading effects.

I played host to this show, so I kind of stayed out of a lot of the debate, though not all of it of course. Leonard is still very much a part of the show, but seeing as he is on his honeymoon in the middle of a jungle somewhere in Belize he was absent from this show. This was James first podcast with us, it was pretty cool to have him on.

We really need to find more than 1 liberal friend. George is a great guy and all, but with him being the only liberal we can’t do the show without him.

Anyway, here is another neat thing I figured out with Ashley’s help, I can embed the podcast from the politricks nation website directly into my website. So here it is for anyone who would like to give it a listen! Oh and if you want to download the show, you can do that directly from the politricks nation website

Uncle Rhett Came To Visit!

So this is just another weekend post. Not anywhere near as exciting as last weekend, but still a good time. Saturday morning Ashley and I woke up Saturday morning and I had decided to clean out the garage of a bunch of old comic books, and just books in general. Since I’ve gotten my Ipad it has become a lot easier to come across comic books, and I just don’t need a bunch of big books taking up a bunch of space in my garage anymore.

So I went through all my boxes in the garage and filled up about 4 boxes worth of books to take down to the used book store and sell. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of money that I got for turning in all of the stuff. I had honestly only expected about half of what I received.

After I got done selling my books I went and got a hair cut, and after that Ashley wanted to go to the thrift store. I don’t like the thrift store very much, I don’t find a whole lot in there. I used to like it a lot more when I would get books there (25 cents for a paperback!) but since I’ve been de-cluttering my life of books I try not to buy too many more that way, and download e-books instead.

Anyway, we walked in the thrift store, and behind the counter they had a whole big stack of Amazon Kindle Touches. I quickly asked to see one of them. The first one I pulled out of the box didn’t have any power. No way to tell if it worked. The second one had a cracked screen. The third, once again, no way to tell if it would work. The fourth I hit the jackpot! It had enough power to complain about a low battery, and it let me play with it enough to tell the touch screen worked. Best part about it? It was only $50. That is half off of the price of it new.

Later when I got home I discovered someone had already loaded this Kindle with books. They had their account on it. Near as I can figure, someone bought it, tried it out, and returned it. It was otherwise like brand new. I checked out the other persons reading selection (probably an older kid/teenager based on the books) and then reset the Kindle to factory settings. The nice thing about having a Kindle now is that I can read any format of e-books out there.

That pretty much sums up Saturday.

Sunday I went to church with Ashley. Church was only 2 hours, instead of 3. Towards the end of sacrament service I got a text from Uncle Rhett. It said he was in town (he’s a long haul trucker) and wanted to get together for the day. I said sure, and after sacrament service was over I rushed out to the car to go pick him up. Ashley is in charge of the nursery, so she had to stay a little longer. Once I got about halfway home I checked my text messages and saw Uncle Rhett still needed to finish up his laundry before I came to pick him up. So I turned around and headed back to the church to wait for Ashley to get done.

After I picked Ashley up and dropped her off at home I went and picked up Uncle Rhett. He came over and we talked for a bit. On Saturday Ashley’s mom Rebecca had mentioned she wanted to buy my old scooter. (Pictured here when it was new)

With my truck out of commission I needed something to get back and forth to work. Picked this up for an awesome price. It is a blast to ride.

Well I should say she wanted to try it out to see if she wants to buy it. Uncle Rhett was kind enough to help us load the scooter up into Rebecca’s truck. We drove it back over to her house and unloaded it. (I found out after we were done hanging out with her she rode it around the block. I hope she is enjoying it.) It was then decided we were all hungry.

We went to BJ’s Brewhouse and had late lunch/early dinner. Everyone sat around and talked. A good time was had by all. After that Rhett, Ashley and I all came home, and sat around and talked some more. Then I dropped Rhett back off at his truck and came on home myself. Like I said, not as exciting as last weekend, but it was nice to spend a day with family. 🙂

How I Saved The City Of Reno From A Fire

This is a post on my awesome weekend. It includes saving the city of Reno from a wildfire. But I’ll get to that part of the story a little later on in the post.

Friday night Ashley and I got tickets from our neighbor Crazy Bear (yes, that is really his name, he’s native American) to a show in downtown Reno. It was for a band called The Young Dubliners (oddly enough, they weren’t very young…). It was in a newish club in downtown Reno called Cargo.

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(a picture of the re-entry stamp)

I had never been there before, but I have to say I rather liked the feel of the place. It was small without feeling too crowded by the crowd that was there. We were able to get very close to the stage even after sitting down by the back wall in between bands.

The first band up was a “pirate band” called Deadly Gallows. I found a video on youtube that included one of their songs. We did hear this song play, but I’ve got to be honest and say the studio version of this song doesn’t even come close to doing the live song justice. The band was just so rowdy and awesome live. You can tell they really liked each other and were having an awesome time up on stage. (It won’t let me embed the video, so here’s a link) I ended up enjoying the opening act more than I did the main band. Not the first time its happened, but that is a rarity.

The Young Dubliners came on and we watched them for about 4 or 5 songs, but decided it was getting late, and they weren’t as good as the first band so we went ahead and headed on home.

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As we were leaving, in the down stairs lobby of the building we were in we saw the lead singer for Deadly Gallows finishing up what looked like dinner. We walked up to him, said hi, we really liked the show, he shook our hand and we headed on home.

Saturday we woke up, and went and did a few errands. After I took Ashley to Goodwill so she could shop, and I went to Barnes and Noble to browse the books. While I was there I wandered over to the comics section and started looking at all the graphic novels and trade paperbacks. I realized I missed reading comics, but noticed how expensive they were, and decided that getting back into reading them would be pretty expensive.

On my way out I noticed this new thing called the B&N tablet. I already have a B&N Nook and like it pretty well, so I picked up the tablet and started playing with it. It seemed pretty nice, neat, and responsive. I checked on the internet to see if the tablet could be rooted (a.k.a. jailbroken) and it could! It turns out it’s not very difficult to do either. So I decided to compare it to the Amazon Fire while I was at it to make sure I was getting a good deal. The biggest difference I found in the 2 is that with the Fire it comes with a native app to be able to read comic books downloaded from the internet. The tablet I would have to root it, and if for some reason the root was broken then I wouldn’t be able to read my comics anymore. Other than that the tablet is better in pretty much all respects.

I decided to buy a tablet. I talked to Ashley about it to get her perspective and see if there was any thoughts I was missing. She asked me questions and got it out of me that the Ipad 2 is actually the best tablet type device to read comics on. The only thing is the Ipad 2 is about $300 more expensive than the tablet. However after talking about it Ashley convinced me that the Ipad 2 was the way to go.

Interesting note, shortly after picking up the Ipad 2 my friend Donnis commented on my facebook status about it saying that the Ipad 3 would be coming out soon. I kind of kicked myself over that and almost took the Ipad 2 back to the Apple store to exchange it. I decided not to do that because first off the Ipad is going to be mainly used for reading comics. I won’t have any problems doing that on the Ipad 2. The thing that really convinced me though, the Ipad 2 is the last Apple product that Steve Jobs had complete control over. The man knows his computer products, and whenever Apple has been without him, their products haven’t been as good. I’ll be keeping my Ipad 2 for that reason alone.

So I spent the rest of my evening on Saturday getting my Ipad 2 configured. Then went to bed so we could go to church in the morning.

At church another member asked me if I wanted to go shooting with him that afternoon. He said we could mix up some tannerite bombs (big explosion, no fire) and take them out somewhere on the outskirts of town and blow them up by shooting at them. Sounded awesome to me. So Ashley and I went through the church day, then we came home, ate lunch and called our church friend.

We drove out to his house, he showed us how to mix the tannerite.

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Once we were done mixing it, we headed out in his truck to the outskirts of town. We found a nice little spot to shoot just down the road a ways from some other folks who were also shooting.

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We put the bottles up at range, and got out the guns.

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Then our friend shot the first bottle of tannerite. He was a good shot. Then I burrowed his rifle and tried to use it myself.

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After 5 shots I gave up. The scope he had on that thing was just not working for me. I was about to switch over to using my Garand (iron sights FTW!) when our friend said he was going to take another shot. He did, the tannerite went boom, and sparks flew EVERYWHERE!

Something caused an actual explosion. Our friend was hit in the chest by flying debris. The sparks set 4 bushes on fire. Reno has had a very dry winter, and if those bushes didn’t get put out fast there would be no telling how quickly the fire would spread, and how much of Reno it would take with it. Our friend started working on stomping out the bush that was the furtherest away. I went to the next closest one, and Ashley started in on the one near the truck.

We each individually managed to put out our own bush. Then I saw a fire start off to my right. I yelled “Hey there’s another one!” and ran over to it. In the about 15-30 seconds it took me to get over to that bush it went from a small fire to the whole bush was burning. This bush was probably in between 3 and 4 feet tall when it started burning.

I tried to stomp it out and got it a little bit put out on one side, but it was quickly becoming clear I wasn’t going to be able to put this out by myself. I also inhaled quite a bit of smoke while I was trying to put it out. Luckily the people down the way from us saw what was happening and came over to help. Ashley and our friend also managed to make it over to the bush. Finally we got it put out. There were some people who drove by and helped by giving us water and whatever other liquid they could to pour on the bushes to make sure they were good and out, and were not going to start back up.

Here is a picture of the biggest bush after we were done putting it out.

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Here is the damage from one of the smaller bush fires.

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Oh and here is where someone loaned us their cooler water to dump on the big bush to make sure it was out.

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As you can probably guess there were no pictures of us actively fighting the fire since we were all a little busy during it.

Lessons learned during and after the event:
It is against the law to mix tannerite and transport it.
It is extremely dangerous to mix tannerite and transport it.
When going out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a drought to shoot TAKE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.
People who shoot are always willing to help one another out.

I’m sure there’s a few more lessons to be learned somewhere in here, but you get the idea.

Washoe County Delegate For The GOP

So I got the following in my email today. I’ll be going to pick delegates to go to the state convention who will then pick delegates to go to the national convention. The real nice part about this is the place they are holding the convention is right down the street from me. I may even try to be a delegate who goes to the state convention since that is in the next town over.

The thing I wonder though… $40? Really? There’s 3 delegates alone from our little precinct. There’s got to be a lot more in other precincts. I really don’t believe that it costs that much to rent a room and pay for everything. Where’s that extra money go?

End of my post. Email starts below.

DELEGATE CREDENTIAL VERIFICATION
*BRING THIS LETTER TO THE WASHOE COUNTY CONVENTION*

Congratulations on your election to represent your precinct at the Washoe County Convention! Thank you for accepting this responsibility. This letter is your quick passport into the convention. Be sure you bring this letter with you!

Precinct: 204000
Name: RANDY ANDREWS
The Washoe County Convention will be held at the Peppermill Hotel and Casino on Saturday, March 10, 2012 from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

To participate as a delegate you must pay your registration fees to cover costs (room rental, audio equipment and paper supplies) related to the convention. Please register as soon as possible. Registrations for lunch must be made no later than March 6.

Registration $40.00
Lunch with Political Leaders (optional) $23.00
Registration on-site March 10 from 9-10am $50.00 (lunch not included)
Save time and register on-line at www.washoecountygop.org or by mail at Washoe County Republican HQ, PO Box 1886, Reno, NV 89505. You can also drop by the Headquarters at 3652 S. Virginia Street, Suite C-8.

If you have question you may call 775-827-1900. I am looking forward to seeing you at the convention.

Sincere regards,

David Buell, Chairman
Washoe County Republican Party

The Nevada State Republican Convention will be held May 5-6, 2012 at the Nugget in Sparks.

PLEASE RETURN THIS PORTION WITH YOUR REGISTRATION:

NAME:______________________________________________PRECINCT:_________________

REGISTRATION:__________________LUNCH:________________TOTAL:__________________

PAYMENT METHOD: CHECK:__________________

CREDIT CARD NO:________________________________________TYPE:_____________________________

EXPIRATION DATE:____________SIGNATURE:__________________________________________________

(Please record any change of address, phone number or e-mail on the back of this form)

Computer Problems

I have been having problems with my computer since around Christmas time. I’ve tried on and off for almost 2 months to diagnose the problem. I have so far been unsuccessful in figuring out what the problem is. I finally did something I was loathe to do, I hired an outside professional to fix my computer.

I take pride in my computer repair skills. I actually worked in tech support for several years when I was younger. But I called the guy who runs Reno Geek because I was at a loss with no idea what to do anymore. He called me back today to let me know he had tested all the components individually and had come to the same conclusion I had. All the individual components work fine.

According to him there is some combination of components that are causing the errors I’m having. He called today to say that he needs more time to diagnose what combination of components it is that is causing the problem.

It makes me feel a little bit better that even the professional is stumped by my machine. Hopefully he can get it figured out so I can get this problem finally fixed.

Nobody But Ron Paul

I didn’t write the following, but I agree with it wholeheartedly.

“Pay attention Republican voters.

I am a Ron Paul supporter. This election season, no candidate will get my vote for the Office of President of the United States of America except for Ron Paul. There will be no exceptions. If he does not win the nomination, I will write his name on the ballot.

No amount of slick talking, flip-flopping, wooing, cajoling, threatening, or condescending will persuade me to vote for any other contender for that office.

You don’t want to admit it, but you know that the Republican Party cannot beat Obama without me, a Ron Paul supporter. It’s long past time you admit it.

You and I have conflicting goals. I will only cast a vote for liberty, for peace, for small government, for fiscal sanity and respect for the Constitution of the United States and adherence to the oath of office of the Presidency. You however are content merely to vote for whatever Republican the GOP leadership and the media approve of.

I will not move. I cannot be persuaded. You cannot win without me.

I am not here to convince you that Ron Paul’s positions are superior. I am not here to convince you that his foreign policy is in line with traditional conservatism. I am not here to convince you that his understanding of economics put everyone else in Washington to shame. I am not even here to convince you that the positions of the other candidates are not materially different than Obama.

No, I don’t need to do any of that. I only need to tell you that without me, you have lost. If you do not vote for Ron Paul in your Primary or Caucus, you are already defeated. If you fail to nominate Ron Paul to be the Republican candidate for President, Barack Hussein Obama will serve a second term.

This is not blackmail. This is not a threat. This is a simple statement of fact.

I stand firm and I will not accept anything less. You have been warned.”

source

Caucusing And Sport Bikes

So today started off with waking up early so I could go argue politics with my neighbors. My wife calls me crazy for wanting to do this, but despite that she came along and supported me, and my candidate. So we got showered, had breakfast and got dressed. I picked my Street Vibrations t-shirt, since that is a local thing here, and if I was going to be talking up Dr. Ron Paul I wanted these folks to think of me as a local.

We arrived at the caucus place, and went and got a ticket to go stand in a big long line where we would be directed to our room. The long line moved fast. Ashley’s chiropractor took my ticket and directed me upstairs. He’s a big Ron Paul supporter, and we’ve talked about Paul every time I’ve been to his office. I still think chiropractors are quacks, but at least he is a nice quack.

We arrived in our room about 9:30 knowing the caucus would start at 10:00am. There was a bit of worry there that we would be the only people to show up to the caucus. Our precinct got 3 delegates, and we were worried there would only be 2 of us to be delegates. Here’s some pics we took of us in the room.

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Right about 10 am some other people started showing up. We had one guy say he just wanted to vote and leave, so he did that. There were 2 other Ron Paul supporters who showed up after that, one Newt supporter, and his wife a Romney supporter.

We went down the list of names on the ballot and asked if anyone wanted to speak for a certain candidate.

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The one guy spoke up for Newt but his argument wasn’t very convincing. The 4 Ron Paul supporters in the room all took turns telling about why we were voting for Paul. Most of what I had to say focused on his wanting to shut down military bases and bring our troops home. Once that was done we had everyone cast ballots. Then the ballots were tallied and we got the following:

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After that delegates to the county convention and alternates were chosen. The 2 non-Paul supporters in the room chose not to be delegates. I was chosen to be a delegate, and Ashley was chosen as an alternate. Our only alternate. We did have the option of 2 more if anyone wanted to do that but none of the other 2 did.

Once that was done we headed out. On our way out the door we saw Governor Sandoval being interviewed. We stopped to watch the interview and see what he had to say.

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Once his interview was over he came over and shook hands with Ashley and I. I suggested to Ashley that she mention something to him about Cooperative Extension. She did, and asked that CE be placed as a line item in the budget since UNR had taken the money that was given to CE. As Ashley put it UNR “sucked CE dry”. Sandoval said he was a 4H guy and completely supported CE. We shook hands once more and he was on his way.

Things of note from my encounter with the governor. He has very soft hands. He has a security detail that stays near him and his security detail open carries.

After that was done Ashley and I went to her mom’s house and picked up her mom so we could all go eat lunch together. We had lunch at BJ’s brewery. I actually tried something different than the buffalo chicken pizza for once. I got the cheese encrusted chicken with spaghetti. It was very delicious. For dessert Ashley’s mom and I split a pizookie. It was also delicious.

Once we were done there we headed to Goodwill where I dropped mom and Ashley off so they could go shop while I picked up my motorcycle gear. Mom had agreed to let me try out her sport bike. It is a Suzuki SVK650.

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We got back to her mom’s house, I geared up, started the bike and took it for a quick ride down the street.

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That was SO AWESOME! The bike has so much power behind it. It is a full 150cc’s less than my cruiser, but the amount of speed I was able to get on that bike in such a short amount of time was AMAZING.

I was a little rough with the clutch at first. Once I got used to it though, it was smooth as butter. I took it for a ride around the neighborhood and then off to a windy road that was a little further away from the neighborhood. I looked down at the speedometer at one point and realized I was doing 80mph. I had to brake really fast. The speed limit was only 35. I rode that road out to the end then turned around, came back and parked the bike before I got a speeding ticket.

This was my first ride on a sport bike and I have to say I am IN LOVE. I’m going to try to convince mom into selling me her bike, but if I can’t do that then at the very least I will have to pick up one of my own.

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