Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

non-eBay item: Nintendo Game Boy Advance Home Brew Kit

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Game Boy Advance Home Brew KitNotice that this is a non-eBay item. I tried to list it on eBay, but eBay won’t accept it because it could be used to circumvent copyright. But last time I checked, a general purpose computer could be used to circumvent copyright. I wasn’t using it to circumvent copyright. I wrote a program that would display pictures on the Game Boy. For instance, right now, the cartridge has a program that I wrote that displays two baby pictures of Sydney. I was also looking at the Game Boy hardware as a potential for some sort of visual display, like a gauge or something. It could be hooked up to the computer and display additional information on its screen, like the current number of unread emails, the current temperature, or something. I never went much further with this though because the screen was relatively hard to read in low light conditions like my normal programming environment. Hmf. DMCA and the ilk strike a blow against using hardware that you bought how you want to. Anyway, this is what the eBay listing would have been…


  • 1 Game Boy Advance – used, but in very good condition. Only used by adult in home brew software development.
  • 1 Game Boy Advance SP – used, but in very good condition. Only used by adult in home brew software development. Includes cord for recharging Game Boy and original box.
  • 1 Flash Advance Pro Linker – Includes the actual Flash Advance Pro Linker used to transfer programs to 256M (bit) card (included). The 256M card is used to store home brew software on. The card can then be inserted into the Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance SP. The game system will then run the software stored on the cartridge. The Flash Advance Pro Linker is designed to attach to a parallel port. An original floppy disk includes Windows software for transferring files to the cartridge. A power cord for the Flash Advance Pro Linker is also included.
  • 1 MultiBoot Version 2 – Includes the MutltiBoot device for downloading software to Game Boy internal memory. Designed to connect to a Windows parallel port for programming and serial port for debugging. Includes the original floppy disk.

I haven’t actually used this hardware for a couple years. But when I was using it, I wanted to create my own programs for the Game Boy Advance. For instance, I created a little program that would display digital pictures on the Game Boy Advance. This system, along with software and information available at sites like can provide information on how to get started programming for a portable game system.

eBay item: Garmin GPS 25-LVC

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Garmin GPS 25-LVCI have just posted an eBay auction for a Garmin GPS 25-LVC. I bought this component from Garmin a couple years ago. I was going to use it a home automation device as a source of accurate time. But I never got around to using it. (I can blame it on becoming a father. Or just my own laziness.)

[Updated 2/24/2008: Item sold for winning bid of $11.00.]

eBay item: Lego Writing System 1999 Adventure set

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Lego Writing System 1999 Adventure SetI have just posted an eBay auction for a Lego Writing System 1999 Adventure Set. I used to use the pen at work. It was a bit geeky, but I am a computer geek, so it worked. After I left that place of employment, I put it back in it’s case and didn’t take it out again. I found it in a box in the basement. Since I wasn’t using it, I thought that someone else may like it.

[Updated 2/17/2008] The eBay sale ended with no bids. So, I still have the pen set. If anyone wants it, feel free to contact me directly and we can work out something.

The Mickey Mouse dual balloon returns!

Friday, February 1st, 2008

I had forgotten to write about this. While we were down at the Walt Disney 2008 Marathon Weekend, I was surprised and excited to see a balloon in our hotel lobby: it was two balloons in one, one colored balloon shaped like a Mickey Mouse head inside a clear outer balloon.

I was reminded of this encounter when I read Jeff Pepper’s recent post; “Souvenirs: The Return of a Classic“. He includes a picture of the balloons in his post.

This style of balloon was the type that I remember when I first visited Walt Disney World when I was about 7. 🙂

I got me some comment spam from Nina Moric

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

So, my sleepy little blog, published from Iowa (and the spotlight has left Iowa for another 4 years, as the Presidential caucuses are now over and all of the candidates and the news trucks that follow them have rolled out of the state by yesterday afternoon), got a comment from Nina Moric!

Here is what she had to say about Grindhouse:

Nina Moric | | IP:

Hi there…Thanks for the nice read, keep up the interesting posts about coming attractions..what a nice Saturday .

Yeah, right.

I did a Google search on “wwedivasws” and found this post, “Bill Nighy Spam“. I added a comment there about my post from “Nina”.

Sansa Express Upgraded

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

Sansa Express in Windows ExplorerI have been using my SanDisk Sansa Express for about 4 months now. I still really like it. I used the MP3 player feature while running until the ice came to Iowa. Now I use the radio feature to listen to the audio portion of the television shows.

One of the features of the Sansa Express is that it can be expanded by adding a Micro SD card. Yesterday I picked up a 2 GB Micro SD card. But when I installed it into the Sansa Express slowed way down and was very unresponsive to input. Also, when plugged into the USB port with the external memory installed in the Sansa Express, Windows Explorer didn’t show the “External Card” node, just the “Internal Memory” node. Hmm. At first I thought that I may have gotten too much memory; maybe 2 GB was too much.

I went to the SanDisk site for the Sansa Express. I noticed a link on the right side of the page that said “Firmware Update“. This location provided a link to download the Sansa Firmware Updater program.

I noticed that before running the updater, the firmware on the Express was at 1.1.1. After running the firmware updater program, which went very smoothly, the firmware was updated to 1.1.5.

Now, with the updated firmware, the Sansa Express display was very responsive with the extra 2GB added. User input was also very good. And, when the Sansa Express was docked into the USB port, both the “External Card” and “Internal Memory” nodes were available.

I now have an MP3 player with 3 GB of memory!

Eyebrows waxed for the first time

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Yesterday, I took the day off of work. I have some extra vacation that I have to use up before the end of the year. And Nancy was able to score a baby sitter unexpectedly for the day. So I took the day off to spend time with Nancy.

We both got our eyebrows waxed. (I don’t know if this is what you would call a “typical” couple thing to do when you don’t have the kids for the day.)

Eyebrows Waxed - Before and After

(So, yeah, I really didn’t get a picture of my eyebrows before. But Nancy would say that this is a good illustration of the “Before” eyebrows.)

Sydney Got Her Ears Pierced

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Sydney’s Pierced EarSydney got her ears pierced Wednesday of last week, 12/5/2007. Nancy had taken her to the mall after she was done with gymnastics. They were walking past claire’s boutique. Sydney has been into putting lots of hair accessories in her hair lately; pony tails, pig tails, clips, headbands, etc. While they were looking around, Sydney asked to get her ears pierced.

She did very well. She was very excited. Nancy had both the video camera and still camera handy, so she was able to capture the moment. I was there too, along with Adelaide. The two employees at the store worked together to pierce Syd’s ears. In this way, they pierced both ears at the same time. Sydney, who needed two nurses and Nancy to hold her down to get a shot, didn’t cry at all when her ears were pierced. I guess it all depends on if you want it (earrings) or not (shot). 🙂

Sydney picked out pink flower earrings. (I think that she picked them because they were pink.) She is excited that she will be able to pick out earrings from Walt Disney World, as we will be going there soon. Once we get back, she will be able to take her starter earrings out and put in whatever she wants. She wants Mickey and Princess earrings.

Arguably, The Best Christmas Display On My Block

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Leg LampOne of my neighbors down at the end of the cul-de-sac has one of the best Christmas displays. It is very simple, but it is a highlight of our Christmas light tours. Their house only has this: a leg lamp. (The picture is blurry. I had to use night mode and my knee as a mono-pod to steady the camera.)

The leg lamp, which is like the one in the movie “A Christmas Story“, is displayed in a window above their garage.

And that’s it. They don’t have any more Christmas lights, just the leg lamp. Simple, subtle, pretty cool.

[I have found that you can buy a lamp like this yourself at]

Why I _love_ “Pushing Daisies”: reason #4

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Pushing DaisiesIn tonights episode of ‘Pushing Daisies‘, “Bitter Sweets”, we discover that a candy store opened across the street from the Pie Hole. The new owners of the candy store, brother and sister Billy and Dilly, are ruthless small business owners who stop at nothing in the name of competition. The candy owners do all sorts of nasty things to the Pie Hole and Ned. Ned doesn’t want to retaliate though. But Chuck and Olive do; and they do (retaliate, that is). Chuck and Olive break into the candy store (Olive puts on her riding helmet, she used to be a jockey, and runs head first through a glass door) and let rats loose. When Ned finds out, he goes over to the candy store to clean up the mess. He unfortunately finds one of the candy store owners, Billy, dead. Ned gets caught holding the Billy’s body and sent to jail for the murder. Chuck, Olive, and Emerson investigate to find the real killer and prove Ned’s innocence. Olive tries to distract the living candy store owner, Dilly, so that Chuck and Emerson can sneak into the candy store and look for clues. Dilly sees Emerson sneaking around in the candy store though, and tricks Olive into becoming a hostage and pushes her into a trunk of the car. Eventually Dilly confronts Chuck and Emerson in the candy store. Chuck and Emerson talk to Dilly and convince her that they are trying to help find the real killer of Billy. Dilly is convinced to let Chuck and Emerson go. She also says as she let’s Chuck and Emerson go, “And take your trunk monkey with you!”

Did I hear this right? Yep, she said “trunk monkey”. Awesome. Haven’t heard about trunk monkey? Trunk monkey was featured in a series of commercials for Suburban Auto Group. The commercials are pretty funny and were an Internet viral video.

Back to ‘Pushing Daisies’. Everything turns out all right and Ned is freed from jail.

Back to the trunk monkey. Here is the first “Trunk Monkey” video, “Road Rage“.

[Updated 11/29/2007]: Here is another perspective on the Pushing Daisies episode “Bitter Sweets”.