Archive for the 'Misc' Category

Oct 31 2008

Happy Halloween

Published by under Misc

We visited Remlinger Farm in Carnation this year to buy pumpkins and also check out the park. The farm features an assortment of holiday entertainment, rides, a train and even a mini haunted house. The kids had a great time in the park and we picked out some nice pumpkins.  


The next weekend we got busy carving the pumpkins. It’s been many years since I carved a pumpkin and I had forgotten how fun and messy the process can be. Luanna did a great job carving out Spongebob and I decided to carve a rendition of Panda Cub. We put the pumpkins out on the front porch and they lasted nicely through Halloween.

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Jun 10 2008

The Worlds Most Awesome Cashews

Published by under Misc

wasabi1.jpgA few years ago I discovered the most awesome cashews while shopping at Uwajimaya in Bellevue.

While in the snack isle I came upon a 21-ounce plastic jar of wasbi cashew goodness. The product is the Dan-D-Pak Wasabi Cashews which, as the name implies, are wasabi covered whole cashews which are both very spicy (in the wasabi way) and extremely tasty. 

The only problem with Dan-D-Pak Wasabi Cashews is that they are frequently out of stock. I spoke to the stock manager about it one day who told me they frequently have problems obtaining the product from the supplier.

If you’re into cashews and love wasabi, I highly recommend giving the Dan-D-Pak Wasabi Cashews a try.

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Dec 11 2007

Happy Holidays

Published by under Games,Misc,Uncategorized

Below is a card I made to wish a happy holidays to friends in my World of Warcraft guild. My main character (a Night Elf Druid) has a Panda Cub pet which is fairly well known in the guild.

For this year’s card I decided to make a drawing of Panda with a mini-weighted companion cube from the game Portal. I know it’s crossing two games, but given the popularity of Portal and the Weighted Companion Cube I figured it might work.


The above picture was done completely on the computer rather than the initial pencil sketch being done on paper. I got a Cintiq display tablet a few months ago and have been very happy with it.

The Cintiq is a combination 21″ monitor and graphics tablet where you draw with a stylus directly on the screen. So far it has been a suitable replacement for pencil and paper and programs like Painter X and Photoshop really make it shine.

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Dec 01 2007

Awesome Dragon Cake

Published by under Games,Misc

I attended a friend’s birthday party today who was turning 30. john-snow.jpg

The first part of the day was planned to be a time-speed-distance road rally which is where teams (consisting of a driver and navigator) follow instructions to travel a route and arrive at checkpoints precisely on time. 

Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and the rally was called off after the first checkpoint due to snow. We plan to reschedule the rally for sometime early next year.

After the rally we all headed to my friend’s condo in Seattle for the party.  I should point out that he is one of the guys who plays D&D with us each week at my house.  Along that theme, he went all out this year and had a custom cake made by Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Redmond.

The cake was nothing short of amazing both in size and artistic quality:


As mentioned, the cake was D&D themed and what could be more iconic than a red dragon? The dragon sat on a Chessex Battlemat surrounded by gold coins (edible white chocolate) and clutched an oversized D20 die in its right claw.

When it came time to have desert it was almost a shame to cut into such a great looking cake. The cake was delicious and completely set a new bar for awesome nerdy celebration. Thanks for the great party and happy birthday Ignatius!

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Nov 21 2007

Paul Reed Smith Guitar

Published by under Misc,Music

I’m the proud owner of a 2004 PRS Custom 22 10 Top Brazilian Limited guitar. Paul Reed Smith guitars are famous for superb design, craftsmanship, and quality hardware. This limited edition has a carved maple top with tortoise shell finish, Brazilian rosewood fretboard & headstock, and a mahogany neck, back, and sides.


The back plate is signed by Paul Reed Smith and numbered 450 of 500.


The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features abalone bird inlays which are a signature feature of many PRS guitars.

prs3.JPGThis guitar is a bit lighter than either my Stratocaster or Les Paul and has a sound that is somewhere in between the two.

 It has PRS Dragon II Pickups which sound great and I’m looking forward to trying out different AMP and effects combinations.

The guitar has a wide/thin neck profile and feels good in my hand. Likewise, the string setup is almost perfect for me.

This is the first guitar I’ve owned with locking tuners and I must say they are very convenient. I really should have my Stratocaster fit with them.

I bought the guitar from who had it listed on ebay. They were great to work with and I’m very happy with my purchase.

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Nov 19 2007


Published by under Misc

The rats are a little over a year old now. The two sisters are full grown and living happily in their 3 story rat cage with a hammock at the top. The one below is named Pint and the other (not shown) is named Lomi. They were named after a couple in my WoW guild.


The rats spend most of their day sleeping in the hammock but are pretty active at night. Pint loves to run on the wheel while Lomi never goes near it.

They both have great easy going personalities which I think is due to the breeder handling them regularly since they were a week old. Rats in pet stores often don’t receive any significant human contact until they are 5-8 weeks old which is really late in their development.

I’ve had some great rats that have come from pet stores, however, I think from now on I’m going to adopt from local ratteries. 

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Sep 23 2007

iPhone Accessories

Published by under Misc

When I bought my iPhone on a whim a few weeks ago I purchased the leather case that was offered at the Cingular store. The case did an adequate job protecting the phone, however it wasn’t as form fitting as I thought would be possible. Today, while at the mall I set foot in an Apple store for the first time in my life. Being a Windows guy I previously never had a reason to shop there and the pretentious atmosphere had been enough to curb my idle curiosity. This time I had a desire and purpose to visit.

I had done some web surfing for iPhone cases and had seen a few that looked promising. Heading into the store I wasn’t sure if they carried iPhone accessories. The store was pretty sparse in terms of the number of products. A minimalist approach was obviously a priority in the store design. Fortunately near the back of the store I found a rack containing iPhone accessories and the INCASE rubber cover (which I had seen on the web) was there.


I grabbed a box containing a black color cover and decided to open it up and give it a try on my iPhone. It fit my iPhone like a glove and the rubber material both felt good and seemed to provide good protection. It was slimmer than my leather case and feature integrated buttons on the side for the volume control. The thing was awesome and I had found my new iPhone cover.

While there I decided to look around for a mini-stereo cable which I needed to connect the iPhone to my car stereo. I have the phone paired via bluetooth with my Land Rover so phone calls automatically go wirelessly to the car’s built-in hands-free speaker phone. However, for iPod functionality I need to actually plug the iPhone into the audio in of the car stereo. I would have used one of my own cables, however Apple (in their infinite wisdom) decided to recess the headphone jack on the iPhone making it incompatible with most existing cables. Because of this inexplicable design,  I was required to buy a new cable and finally settled on the Belkin Retractable Mini-Stereo Cable. The retractable cable works out very nicely in the car. I can grab the phone from the center console and the cable will unwind as I bring it in front of me. When I’m done selecting music the cable retracts and minimizes cable mess.

The only downside of the INCASE rubber case is that the phone does not fit in the charging stand when in the case. The charging stand has a molded base that exactly fits the shape of the iPhone and it’s not surprising that the phone doesn’t fit while inside any case. Fortunately the charging stand cable unplugs from the stand and can plug directly into the iPhone. That’s a great design and allows the phone to charge while in the case.

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