I was thinking, it’d be great to configure the house alarm to work via wireless internet to call a cell phone. Thus, we could get rid of alarm monitoring service.

An advantage of living in the desert…people come to launch rockets here. This past weekend was the Personal Spaceflight Expo in our very own Las Cruces, NM. (Here are some pics.) Alas, I did not think to attend. In other technology events, there was the DARPA grand challenge. The team sent a robotic vehicle driving 132 miles across the desert. I am amazed that someone got a vehicle across the finish line, given that nobody even got close last year. I need to borrow that half million dollar VW that won to brave the balloon fiesta traffic. I’d just sit there playing games as some computer drives me through the horrid traffic.

We went to Albuquerque Old Town this weekend. Oddly, I’d never been there. (I’ve lived here how long?) Anyway, it’s somewhat like the plaza in Santa Fe. It’s probably got the highest tourist concentration of any place in Albuquerque. The main park area in the center reminded me of The Village in The Prisoner. Be seeing you!

They had a birthday party for 1-year old Evan who was visiting. They had a bin with a few inches of water and rubber duckies floating in it. The babies were happily splashing in the water and Sean kept dunking his head in it.

We went to the hot air balloon glow Friday evening. Throughout the evening, they do countdowns and then all balloons fire off their propane. There are balloons glowing all over the place. Too bad digital cameras are usually really bad at night shots unless you buy a really expensive one. If you turn off the flash, they usually leave the shutter open longer to capture more light, allowing for more blur. There was an impressive fireworks display afterward. This may sound pretty commercially, but eat Johnsonville brats. Them are good.

I figured out the problem with slow DVD playback on the media computer was Media Player Classic that I was using. I tried a different program that came with a drive and it worked much better. Now, I can use DVD Decrypt, copy Netflix stuff to the hard drive, and mail them back quickly to get the next ones in the queue. Then, we can watch them and delete them later at our leisure. It’s Operation Netflix Bandwidth Increase. It’s like a super TIVO. I’ve been watching The Drew Carrey Green Screen show (not out on DVD). It’s Whose Line Is it Anyway, except it’s funny. The only change is that they improvise in front of a green screen and animators animate what’s going on around them.

While trying to get cousin Ryan setup for games the other night, we realized that his computer sound was somehow getting channeled back into his mic input. We went through a lot of trouble trying to get it to mic only and in the end, his sound card drivers ended up getting blown away. Poor Ryan said he reformatted his PC to try to fix it. My theory of computer setup comes through again. The time a computer or network will need the most maintenance is when you are trying to play a game.

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