Trials and tribulations of a tech-head…

I do like my “toys”. Big screen TV…computers that are faster than Michael Phelps…Why-Fye…right on. However, in my quest to be cheap about it, I usually take to piecing these types of projects together, since I have no desire (or income at the moment) to drop 10 grand on a new home theater. So, I tend to research and study these types of things in hopes that I can be the smartest guy in the room. This is not one of those times.

I decided to purchase a birthday present for myself. A new receiver to hook up to my HDTV. Part of the reason is that my old receiver was almost 15 years old, and was a throwback to analog. I’m working on totally digitizing my life, so this was an albatross around my neck. Also, as per my wife’s instructions, she wanted far fewer cords and cables sticking out of the back of the TV. I however, never saw the problem, as long as I had Football in Hi-Def.

I dont see the issue...do you?
I don't see the issue...do you?

 

So, I went and bought a new Sony receiver on sale. I was under the impression that said receiver only needed the one cable (an HDMI) back to the TV, regardless of how many things were hooked to the receiver. I could not be more incorrect. After hooking it all up, I turned on the receiver and TV. DirecTV…check. That was hooked into HDMI. Everything else…nada. No DVD, No VCR, No shirt, no shoes, no dice. Apparently, I did my homework, but was burned by what the DO NOT TELL you in the research. That this receiver only used like cables for like components. So I needed not one…but 4 DIFFERENT cables back to my TV to see it all! Uhhhh, no. Not gonna happen (my wife would ensure that for me…) So, rather than return said receiver and upgrade to the one that WOULD handle my single cable concerns, I took the easy way out. I went and purchased a new DVD player WITH HDMI outputs… We have liftoff. I know have DVD’s in their natural state, as well as my DirecTV. Beautiful…but, I am now kicking myself, should have gone with the Blu-Ray. Maybe in the next house…I’ll get the PS3, watch incredible Blu-Ray discs in HD, and bust out my inner “Slash” on Guitar Hero.

You’ve Got Mai……no, you don’t.

I hate this. I have no e-mail service. I have had the same e-mail address for 11 years now, and have never had a service interruption…until now. The company that hosts my e-mail had a, well…boo-boo. So, it now appears that I will not be able to receive any e-mail until about Saturday. Crap. And, it’s at the worst possible time. Having decided to declare free-agency, I have been using e-mail as a primary way to communicate with potential new destinations, and now feel totally cut-off from the world. You never realize how reliant we are on technology, until it slaps you right square on the butt.

So, if you have sent me an e-mail at lance@ballance.com without a response…you now know why. I will get your e-mail, “when” seems to be the question. But, I have been assured that it is being fixed. By a guy named “Milton”, no doubt.

I will fix your e-mail when I get another Pina Colada...
I will fix your e-mail when I get another Pina Colada...

Plus, I’ve been expecting a lot of e-mails with new opportunities to come from overseas dictators who have stashed millions of dollars in a coup of their countries. How will I be able l to help them get their hands on the money and receive a modest 10% fee if I cannot send all of my personal info to them RIGHT NOW????? Sucks for them…my e-mail is down. Can’t help you, Mr. Djimbe Mutuwatawanga of the Royal Family of Zimbonakeshamar…you lose.

I’m sorry, Jedi.

I’m sorry, but once again another great photo that I had to steal and share. Thanks to the gang at FilmDrunk for this one…waaaaay twisted, but awesome.

My apologies, fellow Jedi…

Is that a lightsaber in your pocket?
Is that a lightsaber in your pocket?

Now we know why he had that cool space bikini that Princess Leia wore, it was just something he’d grown out of…

This is what happens when my e-mail is down for long periods of time. I get a little funky.

Finally!

Those must be the words my neighbors are using today, as I have successfully…mowed my lawn.

Wheeeeeee!

Wheeeeeee!

 

Yes, I am…accomplished. Why do I say “finally”? Well, let’s think about that. For starters, up until a week ago, I had somewhere to go everyday. Now that I am on “vacation”, I can actually get stuff done. Like cut the grass and fix my toilet (that may be another post for another day…or maybe not). Also, up until a few days ago, it has been over 100 degrees with 8000% humidity, making the heat index somewhere near the melting point of aluminum. No go. So now that the temperatures are an unseasonably cool 80…time to break out the blades of death. The biggest challenge about the yard work was a tree that had decided to leave the planet (figuratively…otherwise that ANOTHER post for another day). WE planned on replacing it…but when you remove a tree, they tend to, how you say? ROOT? Yep, it was dead, and had tree-ground rigor mortis. I grabbed a shovel and proceeded to try to wedge it out. Suddenly, I started to hear this “crrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaacccccccccckkkkkkkk” sound. I thought it was the tree giving way. Think again, Tarzan. My shovel snapped like a twig in my hands. For a moment, I stood in amazement at my physical prowess (Wow…I snapped a SHOVEL in two!) then faced the realization that the tree was not going away without a fight. After digging no less than 2 feet straight down and seeing the clay surface (I dug straight through to Wimbledon, apparently) I gave a mighty heave and the tree slid out of it’s home. It now has a new place of residence…inside the trash bags on the curb.

 

If that’s not enough, I actually fired up the charcoal kid and decided to smoke some ribs…Memphis style. 

Inside...Porky Pig never knew what hit him.

Inside, Porky Pig never knew what hit him.

Low and slow…brother! Actually…a little too slow. After 6 hours in the smoker, I pulled the Krusty-brand pork products out and set them to rest. However, when we cut them apart we noticed something. The insides were near room temperature. Crap. After a small freak out about dinner not happening until about…now, we placed the ribs in foil and put them in the oven. 45 minutes later…we had some South in our Mouth…

No! Not the Mouth of the South! The other way around!!

No! Not the "Mouth Of The South"! The other way around!

I am…accomplished.