Lessons Learned From Politricks Episode 3

I’d like to offer a personal apology to both the listeners of Politricks Nation, as well as the contributors. I did a really bad job of being the host/moderator of this show. I was under prepared, and should have done a better job of directing the conversation. We also had one of our number join later in the show. That resulted in the repeat of a lot of conversation topics. That was my own mistake for bringing in someone halfway through the show. I learned not to do that again.

This show got cut off a little short of where we were hoping. When we had the other person join in we just had a rehash of a lot of previously discussed topics, and a tiny bit of new content. I decided to just eliminate that part of the show. Sorry George, it is nothing against you.

How badly this show turned out was completely my fault, please don’t let the disorganization of this show reflect badly on the show or its contributors.

Lessons learned:
Don’t put in someone in the middle of the podcast
if you are going to put someone in the middle of the podcast start it over again
have more clearly defined talking points and the order in which to talk about them in, OR conversely just let the conversation take its natural course.

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.