Friday, December 28, 2007

Bug in Chessmaster DS

I got myself a Nintendo DS Lite and a chessmaster program to go along with it. It is a nice piece of chess software, as far as chess program goes. The playing style is natural, unlike the PC version. However, Ubisoft does have bugs in their program. Idea-wise, they're great. Implementation is lacking.In this case, there seems to be an error in their en passant move. It's okay if you preview the game move by move. But hitting rewind/start button will reveal the bug.And for some reason, they have multiplayer chess variant, but not game analysis. I'll have to keep looking. I wonder if Fritz or Hiarcs has a DS version?

video

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Musical Dolls

TRAVEL
I saw this on R-place. Ramone. It turns into a TA truckstop on I 80 exit 112. The sign says 25 cents. I ask someone there. She doesn't know whether it still works. "so, nobody ever put a coin in there?" I guess not.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nascar Racing

EA Sports Nascar Racing Daytona International Speedway. The game is kind of too easy. Only drafting in a relatively straight course. I guess I'm spoiled with drifting.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A snowy day

A nice cold day is best met with hot chocolate in a warm bed, and that's just what I did! I'm not feeling particularly energetic this morning although that's changed once I took some showers. I realize that maybe I should put more entries in my blog, but travelling all the time does have its disadvantages. Kept running low on phone batteries for one. I should get me one of those extended battery pack.

Winter driving is a lot riskier than normal. I saw no less than 7 cars all piled up half hour after it starts snowing. 3 big trucks are out as well. Having my truck dancing on ice once it hits 65 mph made me realize the importance of staying out of cruise control. But please don't drive 25 mph on freeway if you can't help it. That's just plain dangerous for everybody. It shows either you're not ready or your car is not ready or both. About the only time I drove 15 mph on freeway is when the snow covers everything so the I can't tell where the road is, except by the grating sound my tires make when it's off the road. Of course I pulled over as soon as possible!

So, enjoy the snow. Relax and be safe!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A New Beginning

ZEN THOUGHT

Sometimes the hardest thing is to start. What if you one day wake up and realize that you hate your job, your life, and your future? What if you dream of a good life out there? I think the hardest thing to do is to start fresh.

Think about it: no matter how bad your job is, at least you have it. At least you have a secure income. At least, even if you are miserable in your current job, you still have it. You still make money and pay the bills.

And yet, you are miserable in your job. My attitude is different. I think life is too short to be spent on a job you don't enjoy. Even if everybody thinks your job is great, if you disagree, then change your job. I had a string of unsatisfactory jobs. However, as soon as I paid off my loans and put some attitude money, I quit those jobs. I also took my time in finding a good job. It took a month, but I think I've found it. My stress level is way down. I think it's worth it to pursue a job you love without regards of monetary rewards. If the job is something you truly love, and it's a good job, then the money will take care of itself.

Sometimes it's hard to start over completely without a safety net. Charles Boorman found out that he wanted to be a motorcycle racer, but found out too late and now he's too old to do it. I say that if he really wants to race, he would have. How old was Steve McQueen when he raced? Jay Leno?

There are many reasons not to act on a dangerous endeavor, but old age is not among them. Helio Gracie still does Jujitsu. Richard Brandon still goes adventuring. Sir Richard Harris does it til the end and so do so many masters. Even if you can't possibly be number one, that no reason to quit or not to start. Do the thing you love, and the money will ttake care of itself.

Yesterday was my birthday. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Today, I will begin anew, with the wisdom that I have of my past life.

So the big question is: What do I do now?

Since I was safety concious in the past, maybe it's time to start living dangerously. Well, a little teeny tiny little bit more. :) When it comes to danger, always be prudent and minimize risk. But with the new comes the unknown. With the unknown comes the risk. With the risk comes danger. You can't have the new without the danger. So be brave and face the whole new world!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

R2D2

COOL TECH
I was at this Sharper Image store and saw these droids for sale. I was sorely tempted! There are actually several models available. Some actually functions as webcam. Also check out Target as I believe they also have some. How many would agree that 2008 will be the year of R2D2?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Travel: Winter Blues

Nothing says cold like frozen flowers. Temp is about 20 degrees.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Winter is coming

I saw a bunch of geese yesterday. They were flying rather low. I was thinking, maybe they decide to fly south just about the time the trees went bare. Later on, I also saw quite a few of them chilling out in a little pond. The pond was really quite full of them geese.

So, why do they do that? Why not sleep in some bushes somewhere? I mean, it was just a little pond. It doesn't take much to just pounce them in the water like that.

I also saw quite a few dead deers on the side of the road. I wonder just how many generation does it take for the deer to evolve enough to learn crossing the street safely. And just how long does it take for people to learn to stop hitting these deer?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trip Quincy, IL

I think it was Kino who said that 3 days and 2 nights are good enough to know everything there is about a place. Personally, I disagree about that, but that doesn't mean that I didn't get anything out of it.

My hotel is located to Washington Park. I took a picture of a wall there, but when I loaded my blog, I noticed an extremely large loading size. Obviously, the pictures taken by my camera phone (a Treo) clocks in rather large. Ideally, I should use a photo retouching program to shrink the image size a bit. I remember when 9600 bps modem was the rule, I ended up resizing the pictures to 20 KB. Obviously, picture quality suffers greatly. Ah, well. I'll just skip posting that picture.

I ate in a Sushi restaurant by the park, called Sho Mi. The prices are reasonable, and the food quality is rather high. I ended up giving them a good sized tip. I really like their salmon roll. I was surprised that they cooked the salmon. Breaded salmon. But it affected the taste only slightly, although I can tell the texture is very different than what I expected from a sushi roll.

Also, a few blocks down, there is supposedly some dangerous corner when several people have been seriously injured or killed near a bar. Apparently, the bar is a haven for some fight loving patron or something. I did see some kids playing skateboard around the place, and some people just hanging around there doing nothing. Loitering, so to speak.

There is a very nice church and a Mason building as well. I took some pictures of it, or rather a video. The lens isn't wide angle enough for a picture.

The hotel that I'm staying has a restaurant, and I'm kind of surprised to see a priest is eating there. Their price isn't exactly cheap. Whatever happened to the vow of poverty? I'm not saying you can't eat good food. I'm just saying that maybe a little cheaper fare would be better. Eating in a hotel is rather expensive. Personally, I prefer Dennis, which is having a $3.99 Grand Slam special right now.

The weather is cold and although there wasn't much wind, I still feel cold even though my jacket is lined with fleece. Maybe I should be gearing up for cold weather gear. Hycreek Sportsman clothes is supposedly good for winter. I'll have to look into it.

There was also a chinese restaurant, but although the food is better than fast food, it isn't incredibly better. Say, above average. Generous portion, though, so I can't complain. I also ate at Hardee's. It's great. There was some pictures of polo girls on the wall. Also a poster exhorting generous people to donate dead and tagged deer to the local Salvation Army chapter. I guess they'll take just about anything. I wonder, though, just how they'll price the deer. By antler points, maybe?

Quincy: population 40,000. Small town wth some amenities. Some bikers, with girls who love them. The girls would find a cool looking biker and honk the horn on their car. Hmmm. Maybe I should get some cool bike riding gear.

Well, that's about it for Quincy. I can't say that I'm too excited about it. It does have good points. The old architecture is especially interesting. Fascinating, even. However, the future looks bleak. Except on the main road, I see various stores are closing. Abandoned. Not many people are traversing the area I was in. Looking at so many closed storefront saddens me. That gets me thinking: what would it take to revive a city? Shall we tore up this old place and put on a Mall? Or would a nudie bar be better? The way I hear it, there's not one within a hundred miles. Personally, though, I don't think plopping a mall bigger than the existing Quincy Mall will help. Just because you build it, doesn't mean people will buy it, especially if it was build by ripping local resident's life long housing. They don't need new mall, they need new mayor. Someone with business acumen who can balance the budget and attract customer.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Trip to Quincy, Il

Leaving Denver. Will stopover at St. Louis. I was thinking going through I-80, but since I'm riding a bus, I'm going through I-70 instead. It's been a while since I'm riding a bus. Schedule says leave at 11 am, but the bus is just leaving now.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Staying late at the library

So here I am staying late at the library. Basically, the Wifi connection is free. I don't really have Cable or even phone line at home. I do have an Internet account for on the road, but the one on the library is faster and cleaner.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Just a little picture I like to share. Yes, it's about chess.

First Post is Always the Hardest

Hey, is there no spell-checking on this thing?

video

I caught this on a chess competition. :)