Monthly Archives: December 2005

Bought First House

Kristin and I officially bought our first house yesterday (December 30th, 2005).  We bought a house in Golf Manor (Suburb of Cincinnati), on Bremont Ave. There are some pictures I had taken during the home inspection a week or two ago while the former residents were still there.  I have put those pictures in the photo gallery.  The house has a lot of things (mostly cosmetic) we would like to get done on it, so we’re not going to move in until the lease at our apartment is up.

Our realtor’s name was Rich Thompson.  We have so many great things to say about him that it would be impossible to list them all.  I would highly recommend contacting Rich and his wife (Jen Thompson) if you are planning to buy a home in the Cincinnati area.  They also have a website at http://www.theteamthompson.net.

Starting My MAME Project

I have decided that it is about time to start my MAME project that I’ve been wanting to do.  This was set off because we are actually one day away from signing for the house we bought.  Finally, room to work on the MAME cabinet and some place to keep it.

In case you read MAME and have no clue what it is, I’ll explain.  MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and is software to run arcade games that you would expect to find at arcades over the many many years.  The website for the software is here.  I will more than likely be running the XMAME port for linux, but I have not decided on that yet.

I’m currently in the mode of finding / modifying / tweaking cabinet plans to make the cabinet.  What I do know is that I only want it to be a 2-player machine at the time.  I have already bought 16 buttons (7-red, 7-white, 1-player, and 2-player).  The buttons are all made by Happ.  I’m thinking of going with Happ Super Joysticks next.  Also researching different ways to interface the controls to the computer.  The computer that I am planning on using is an old Dell 500 Mhz.  I’m planning on pulling everything out and just building the motherboard and everything into the cabinet.  I am also planning on using the 25" TV that we have laying around.  It’s not in the best condition (color issues in a corner) but it’s available.  Already have a tv out video card that we can use for the computer.

Added Gallery to Blog

Added the popular photo management software, Gallery, to my blog.  Spent a couple hours this morning getting it installed and configured.  This was not for the faint of heart.  I would say someone with moderate programming skills would be able to do this.  I have been working on the css of the photo gallery.  Not perfect, but good enough to add it to my blog now.

There is a photo link in the side bar now, so you can get to the album link from there.  Quick link to photo gallery

Phantom of the Opera at the Aronoff

Kristin and I seen the Phantom of the Opera at the Arnoff last night.  The show was very very good.  We both enjoyed it a lot.  We were really impressed that they were able to keep a lot of the same show effects that they had in New York.  Really just a good time.  We were sitting close to the top of the theatre, but we could see just fine non the less.

I do have a minor gripe about a disturbance during the performance.  The problem was a woman that was sitting a row below us being on her cell phone.  She was not talking on the cell phone, but was constantly using the text messaging features.  Since we were in a dark theatre, it had the same effect of someone bringing in a flashlight and showing it around.  Very distracting and very bothersome.  If people really did not want to see it, then why do they come.  You could tell this was a family event, so I think she was being dragged along, even though she was in her 20’s.  It was so bothersome for the people sitting next to her, that they moved down the row to two open seats.

After that disturbance, I realized that there are more benefits to higher priced tickets than just a better view.  As I see it, the higher the price to go to an event, the less of a chance someone will be sitting in the seats due to the higher cost.  Earlier this year I thought that prices were a bit high for people to see theatre, but now I think I understand the price better.  In a perfect world, the price should be cheaper for more people to be able to see it, but in reality this would just create more circumstances of people coming that really don’t want to be there (mostly through families or groups).

25,000 Lights Turned Off

As a lot of local newspapers have reported in our area, a pretty spectacular light show that someone put up at their house was recently turned off because of major traffic that it has caused.  He had about 25,000 lights.

The lights would like up (blink) to a song that he was broadcasting on a special FM frequency that could be heard around his house.  It was running every night from 6:00 to 10:00.  You really could not understand how awesome it was without watching it.  I happen to be working at the same company that he is, and he did send out a video of it (which happens to also be on some news sites). I also found another video floating around of a different song that was played.
Wizards of Winter Light Show in Windows Media Format

Jingle All the Way Light Show in Windows Media Format

I think an awesome alternative would be for the Cincinnati Zoo to bring this man in to do the setup at the Festival of Lights.  It would quickly become one of the Zoo’s largest attractions at the time.  As many people could see them, and it would really benefit the zoo.

The show took him about an hour to program each minute of the display.  I’m going to look into more on how he did it so I can post it so others can have fun trying on a smaller scale. 

Here are some of the additional articles about it:
http://www.wkrc.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=F329B3CF-EE51-41BB-95E1-43EF924CEA66
http://www.fox19.com/Global/story.asp?S=4211867
http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/5482009/detail.html

Still Looking

Looked at a couple more houses this weekend.  We were really exited about one house that we had visited, and even put an offer down before we even left the place.  Unfortunetly, we got a call back that night that let us know that the sellers had accepted another offer on Friday.  Bummer, Kristin really liked that house too.  So we will continue on looking for the perfect house for us. 

There was one house that we kind of liked, but did need a bit of work though.  We still have that one as a consideration if we do not find another house in a week or two.  I liked it, but Kristin was not too sure of it though.  If we end up really considering it more, it is one to get the parents to check out for a basic estimate of how much it would cost to fix up.  Has potential.