Category Archives: Uncategorized

BotCon Early Registration and Wings of Honor

So after finishing dinner at Pinks, we headed back to the hotel and then over to the convention center. On that Wednesday evening, we had the privilege of getting in line for BotCon early registration. Since I had a customizing class the next day, we were able to get registered and pick up my box set before the regular attendees.

We got in line around 7pm for when they opened the doors at 9pm. The convention as a whole was being held at the the Exhibition Hall and Ballroom portion of the Pasadena Convention Center. Although the line outside was fairly short, it was foreshadowing what was to come.

Early RegistrationOnce inside, they split us up by last name. Dealers received special treatment and got their own instant service line. It seemed that lots of these folks had purchased multiple sets, and many small groups were walking out with 4-5 of the Wings of Honor boxes. Some fans also decided to open their toys right there in the center immediately after obtaining them.

Getting my boxed setAfter about 45 minutes, it was my chance to go up and claim my first convention exclusives.

We were greeted by a very enthused convention worker who pulled together everything that I got with my Primus Package. Included with my whole package was:

The final item I received was the very limited lapel pin of the Elite Guard faction symbol. I was able to be one of first 100 people to order a Primus or Iacon Package, and for doing so I received this pin. It was an unexpected benefit of faxing in my registration on the first day several months ago, and it is nice little unique trinket that I ended up pinning to my badge’s lanyard.

Limited Edition Lapel Pin

Having finally completing the registration for my first convention, let alone a BotCon; we took at my new toys in hand and walked back to our hotel.

Once back in the room, I quickly opened the Wings of Honor boxed set to get a look at all the figures. Now these figures were somewhat rare in that you couldn’t get them in stores, but I open and play with my toys. This box was not going to remain untouched.

Each one was carefully taken out of the foam box and transformed. Only one of the toys (Scourge) was from a mold that I previously owned, and so each toy initially dumbfounded me as I attempted to transform them. At first I wondered where all the tech specs / instructions were at. How was I supposed to correctly transform these guys?

Wings of Honor toys in foam

Luckily underneath the foam inset were the instructions and all the remaining pieces of the boxed set including several cyber-planet keys, weapons, and missiles. I also opened up the bagged Leozack and transformed him.

Wings of Honor toys

By this time it was roughly midnight and we very tired after a long day of driving. This constant tired feeling ended up being a common theme across all the days of the convention with the long, late nights.

Wings of Honor boxed set and souvenirs Primus Package souvenirs Day 0 Haul

Needless to say after having these items in hand I was getting stoked for the convention. I finally had my first exclusives and was convention ready. The next stop was some sleep and then my customizing class early the next day.

You can see more detailed photos of each toy and item of the Wings of Honor / Primus Package by visiting this Flickr gallery.

BotCon toy count to date: 20

Five Great Years

A Wedding Rose Today marks the fifth anniversary of the day I was privileged enough to marry the love of my life Jessica.

These last five years have been great, and she is definitely a lovely lady whom I enjoy spending my time with.

I don’t know of anyone else who would be a better match for me other than my wonderful wife.

Making Halloween Lemonade

Well when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Tonight that is what Jessica and I did. Except we did it with fire, and lots of it.

Yesterday evening around 9-10pm, someone or someones decided to steal all of the outdoor Halloween decorations that we had previously put up. What our Halloween display was supposed to look like can be found on Jessica’s blog. Also what happened last night can be found there too.

Our motivation to celebrate this Halloween diminished tremendously after the theft, but we couldn’t let that ruin the holiday for the kids that had nothing to do with it. So we decided to at least hand out some candy and have a bit of reckless fun while doing so.

Kneeling before my blazing jack-o-lantern
So Jessica put a sign up explaining why we didn’t have our standard display up (as a notice to our neighbors), and we set up shop in the driveway with our front porch bench.

I sorta dressed up in my monster costume for a little bit, but I really didn’t stay in character for very long. I did manage to spook a kid or two with my glowing eyes and dragging chain, but it wasn’t long before the mask came off and I was no longer scaring the kids.

Instead, what was amazing the kids were our flaming pumpkins of death. Using a tip from, we decided to set our jack-o-lanterns ablaze. Simply soak some toliet paper rolls in kerosene, place in the carved pumpkin, and then light it. What you get is a 3-foot tall flame that lasts about 30 minutes per roll. Once it dies out, simply shift around the ashed paper and add another flammable roll.

Jessica got some amazing pictures of our impromptu art display, some of which can be seen below:

Towering infernoClose-up shot

Other photographs can be found at her post about tonight.

We also got some video footage that Jessica brilliantly compiled into this short little vid.

So while next year we probably won’t be putting up lights again anytime in the near future, at least I feel we had a semi-successful Halloween in 2006.

Toasted RAM

Corsair Platinum RAM module

Note to self, don’t toast the RAM.

Eventhough I was enjoying it, my time with the Vista RC1 was quite short lived. This was because my 75GB finally gave up the ghost and I installed the replacement 400GB drive this weekend.

As it turns out, in order to install the new hard drive into the drive bay, I have to first remove the memory from the motherboard. This is so they can slide in and not get caught. That part went fine: the memory came out and the HD’s went in.

Unfortunately I must not have been paying attention as I accidentally installed one of the RAM modules upside-down!

I noticed that it didn’t quite seat into the clips like normal, but I felt that it installed just like it was supposed to be.

Time to power up. Two full seconds pass…

“What’s that burning plastic smell? Why won’t the PC boot into the BIOS? My screen is still black. Uh oh…”

So I quickly unplugged the power cable from the back of the case and began my inspection.

A mark against the motherboard’s yellow plastic catches my eye. “What is that black spot along the RAM stick?”

Turns out that while the memory did not seat (it’s not supposed to when its upside down), it did happen to connect with the slot. It had apparently sparked across part of the slot to one of the contacts on the RAM stick. A tell-tale sign of a black starburst in both spots uncovered the source of the burning smell and my new found problem.

So, with little hope in my pessimist heart, I reseated the RAM correctly and booted back up.

I hear the motherboard beep.

“Wow, it’s on. And it’s doing the memory test… and it’s passing!”

Then quite normally, the Windows XP logo appeared and I was back online.

So surprisingly, I am currently working on said computer with said burnt RAM. My office did stink for a few hours after the “incident”, but the computer is back up and running with a clean install of XP.

I’ll just have to wait and see if the toasted RAM (and singed motherboard) can continue to perform in a normal fashion for the forseable future.

Looking forward to Vista

Yesterday my main hard drive decided to start doing the “drive death dance”. Clicking sounds emanating from a piece of computer hardware is never a good thing.

So what did I decide to do first? Why install Windows Vista RC1!

My Vista Desktop

The new Aero interface with slick transparent windows, transitions, and widgets is pretty amazing. If my machine of 3+ years was any faster I’m sure it would be even better.

It’s nice to see such a clean and more efficient package from Microsoft. It’ll be a much better user experience for users when it is finally available for sale.

So until I purchase a new main hard drive, I’ll be computing in the wonderful new world of Vista.

30 Day Update

Ah, it happened again: Procrastination. Amazing how strong its hold can be on you.

So the short list of what I’ve been up to:

  • Saw the first motorsports event held at the new Cardinals Stadium, Monster Trucks Live
  • Saw a monster truck at said event ruin one of the walls of said new stadium (doh!)
  • Went camping on the Grand Canyon’s south rim with friends
  • Stunk after 2 days of not showering
  • Saw the travelling Cirque Du Soleil show/concert Delirium
  • Was surprised at how much the music matched the CD of the same name.

So, let’s see if I’ll write again in less than 30 days.

What I’ve been up to

Hello there.

Can you still see this site through the remaining cobwebs? It’s been a while since my last post, so I had to evict the resident spiders who moved in this past May. I’m sure they’ll be back soon enough…

As far as updates, it’s not like there wasn’t anything that has happened this past month. Instead it was almost like there was too much information to post… and then I’m lazy.

So here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to:

  • Went to Mexico for the first time
  • Casually and cautiously strolled the streets of Los Abogados
  • Ate in Mexico with Jessica and an old friend
  • Purchased and consumed the south-of-the-border delicacy called Pepsi Gold
  • Walked on the bare asphalt on a new stretch of freeway (the extended Loop 202) a little over a mile from my house
  • Went to California with Jessica, my mother, and her friend Barbara
  • Visited the Getty Villa in Malibu, CA
  • Visited the Santa Monica Pier
  • Visited the Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA
  • Visited the steps in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
  • Drank a beverage called Love Potion No 69
  • Felt no ill effects from said beverage
  • Although I did enjoy the taste immensely
  • Celebrated five years of employment at my current job
  • Got a decent raise because of my work this past year
  • Finally added Previous and Next buttons to the individual post pages (mostly for my own sake)
  • Sat on my rear for the gaps in between everything else

See, I did a lot of stuff. I wasn’t completely useless.

Anyway, the family and I are heading on a whirlwind tour of the British Isles in the coming weeks. I should have more to write about then.

Childhood Fear

Yip Yip Yip Yip

I watched a lot of PBS growing up. Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, 3-2-1 Contact, and of course Sesame Street.

For the most part, I loved Sesame Street. Grover, Big Bird, even Oscar the Grouch were entertaining and interesting.

Unfortunately, there was always one skit that scared the crap outta me: those blue and pink Sesame Street aliens.

Their wacky mouth movements, voices, and special effects would force me to turn away.

But now thanks to the popularity of YouTube, I can watch those little bits with no fear at all. Quite funny to see them in this new light, even if they are still a bit scary.

Yip yip yip yip uh huh…

4 Years of Marriage

First rose given to Jessica

Today is the fourth anniversary of the day I married my lovely wife Jessica. We got married in a small ceremony in Florida just four short years ago. I’ve actually known Jessica since January 27, 1997 when we met at ASU during a computer class. We’ve been together ever since.

It feels just like yesterday that I met her walking into that class, and I can’t imagine who else I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. She truly is my soulmate and best friend.