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Category Archives: Personal

Anything of a personal nature. Usually stuff related to my non-tech, non-animal interests or activities.

Current progress on the MG RX-77-2 Guncannon.

I just finished my first serious papercraft model.

It definitely not perfect, but I think it turned out decently.


Source is here.


Any idea what it is?

Still here. Just limping along without an internet connection at the moment.

Just a quick teaser post for today’s Friday Fix. It is of a personal nature as well.

About two or so weeks ago, I began looking for a house. What should be a fun and exciting life event, has been marred by the incredibly frustrating and stressful process of trying to get a loan. I am going to do a proper write-up on my situation shortly and the challenges involved. But in the mean time, I want to point out that not having a credit score, even if you have no other debt or delinquent payments, is a huge deterrent to getting a home loan. Without a credit score, a person is automatically deemed a high risk individual until proven otherwise (via manual underwriting).

My laptop is back up and running thanks to my new AC adapter from

I was operating under the delusion that I needed an OEM adapter for my laptop. Dell thinks that $56 is a fair price for the adapter I need. However, being the cheapskate wise consumer that I am, right before I was about to buy, I took a last look for some alternatives. I am so glad that I did. My trusted source for electronics,, bailed me out with an awesome adapter for under $20 ($24 w/ shipping)! They have this superb battery finder tool that I used to find an adapter that they carried that was compatible with my Inspiron 1521. The cheap G Skill RAM I bought from them  back in April for my home PC is still going strong as well.  I had to buy 2 x 2Gb sticks to replace the two stick of mega-shit Super Talent RAM I got from a local computer store here in Greenville that died about a month after I installed. I am just waiting on the other two sticks to fail any day now.

But back to the topic at hand, the laptop has been running for 4 days consistently with this new power supply with no issues. I don’t anticipate any problems, but I’ll let you know if things take a turn for the worse. The ‘worst’ being that my shitty Inspiron electrocutes itself and I get to buy a new laptop. crosses fingers

As a vegan and a programmer, this article I recently read, horrifies me on a few levels. In my line of work, its so easy to just think about the bugs in my code as harmless, annoyances for customers, or, at worst, maybe some giant company loses some money. Never really thought about how anything I could write could actually lead to the death of anything…

I did some household chores this weekend.  A little bit of laundry, some cooking, grocery shopping for the upcoming week, and cleaning the guts of my laptop and Xbox 360.

It all started with a kink in my neck. A kink that developed because I had to lay on my stomach in the floor, in order to use my Dell Inspiron 1521. I had to use my laptop in the floor because the damn thing gets way too hot if I use it anywhere but directly over an A/C register. I finally got fed up with having to deal with this and decided to investigate the cause.  I haven’t cleaned it since I bought it in 2007, so I figured maybe there was at least some dust accumulation inside. So I set about opening up the laptop to check things out.

Holy crap! The screws used to hold this thing together! There are so many screws to remove in order to get to the motherboard. I suppose it might have been a bit easier, had I had a guide. But I couldn’t find one (Makes me wish I had taken photographs, so that I could help other Inspiron owners), so I had to wing it. After removing approximately 20 tiny Phillips head screws, I finally got to the internals of the system, and, sure enough, the heat sink was almost completely clogged with dust. I don’t have any canned air, but I blew that out easily enough with just my breath. Turns out, all of those years of blowing Nintendo cartridges were good for something. This resulted in a huge plume of dust being ejected from the main-board and directly into my face. I know, I’m so smart. So after I recovered from a sneezing fit, I proceeded on to phase 2 of my cleaning mission. In my search for the nonexistent Inspiron 1521 dis-assembly guide, I happened across a forum mentioning Dell laptops and the shitty thermal paste that is used on their CPUs. I popped the heat sink off of the Athlon 2800+ and checked. True to the forum poster’s word, the bottom of the heat sink (and top of the CPU) were covered, not with a paste, but a coagulated grey solid. I don’t know if it was age or heat or just an inferior product, but there was no way this junk was going to transfer any heat in its current state. I easily scraped off the crud, cleaned the area with a bit of isopropyl alcohol and applied a thin line of Arctic Silver that I had in my tool kit. Knowing that I had at least reduced some of the problem areas in the internals, I excitedly reassembled the laptop. After having run it consistently for a few days now, I can tell you that the results have far exceeded my expectations. Everything is running much much cooler now, and quieter to boot because the exhaust fan isn’t working overtime any more.
With that cleaning successfully under my belt, I wondered if the same thing would help the xbox 360. I easily found this guide and set to taking apart my beloved 360. Once I got to the insides, yep, heat sink was clogged with dust.  Using a bit more caution this time around, I blew out the dust from this heat sink as well. A quick reassembly, and I can now report that the Xbox is noticeably more quiet.

Hopefully these cleanings will allow me to squeeze a little bit more performance and longevity out of these devices.

So I popped the question to my girlfriend this past weekend and she said ‘Yes’!

It was an awesome day.

I planned a semi-elaborate ‘treasure hunt’ for her. I gave her the first clue that told her where to go to get the next clue. She had to visit each location on the clue in order to get her next clue. A lot of help from some Greenville retailers was involved, and they all performed their part of the ‘treasure hunt’ fantastically. Everything went as smooth as silk and it seemed that everyone was genuinely excited for us.

A BIG thank you to The Spa @ West End, Coffee To A Tea, Expressions Unlimited, Greenville Beer Exchange, Barkery Bistro, and the Greenville Hyatt for all of their help in making our day so special!


Finally uploaded something to the ComicCMS that I installed a little while ago. I am at work, so I am not going to spend a lot of time on it. But it does seem easy and intuitive to navigate and post and tag content. It even keeps an order, so my “Rescue Mission” can be displayed in order.

This is definitely more appealing than writing blog posts on Liferay or attempting to get Piwik to track my traffic correctly. I’ll probably be focusing on this for a while. Its easy and fun.

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