No Power Tuesdays

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Every Tuesday this summer our family has done something we call “No Power Tuesday.” On Tuesday, no one is allowed to use electricity. The kids can’t use the computers, they can’t watch TV, they can’t turn on lights or listen to the radio. We also can’t use the microwave or the toaster. We do, however, keep the refrigerator running and the AC. We can cook using the gas stove or the propane grill. But that’s about it.

Erin and I liked the idea for several reasons. First, it gave the kids a break from the constant entertainment that electronic devices seem to provide. No television, no DVD movies, no computer (which meant no or Club Penguin). The kids had to learn to entertain themselves on their own. They also had to learn to play together and get outside more.

Another benefit was that it taught the kids about conservation and we did conservation activities (and when I say we I mean my wife because I was at work).

It also taught the kids about how to do things without electricity so that if we ever had a power outage they would know what to expect and be able to handle it. Emergency preparedness in a way. I have seen kids, and adults, fall apart and go hysterical when the power goes out. Now my kids will not even bat an eye.

The first week was hell for my wife. The kids constantly complained about being bored and whined constantly. The second week went better and each subsequent week.

The kids are thrilled, of course, that we won’t be having any more No Power Tuesdays. I think Erin will be relieved too. But I think we’ll do it again next year. The kids really did learn a lot through this.

Hot Wheels World Race Cheat Codes (Gamecube)

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One of my son’s favorite games of all time is How Wheels World Race for the Gamecube. In fact, he loves anything to do with Hot Wheels Acceleracers. And I mean ANYTHING to do with them. If they made an Acceleracer Barbie he would want it.

But the game is hard. I’m not going to kid you. Thomas and I used to play it every Sunday morning for an hour to try and unlock his favorite car: Power Rocket. But we never could get far enough in the game to unlock it.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to search the Internet for cheat codes. Perhaps there was a code that would unlock all the cars? Well, I didn’t find anything for the Game Cube but there WAS some cheat codes for the PS2. So I started with those as a base and I managed to find some cheat codes through sheer brute force.

So here they are! Remember, you have to do them from the title screen where is says to press start.

Unlock All Cars
R, L, Y, Y, X, X

Unlock All Tracks
R, L, X, X, Y, Y

Unlock Kurt’s Spy Car (Zed-36) and the Smash Mouth Car
L, R, A, B, Y, X

My developers are so cool!

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Yesterday I sent all my developers an e-mail with an unusual message. The entire message said only:

SELECT developerName, dayOfWeek FROM Developers WHERE regularTeleworkSchedule = 1;

To my utter delight, I received the following responses:

“1 result returned
[name removed], Tuesday”

“(0 row(s) affected)”

“developerName               dayOfWeek
————–          —————
[name removed]               Tue”

“0 rows fetched”

“It’s on Thursday”

My developers are so awesome! Every one of them knew exactly what I was asking for and they all returned some kind of answer. Although the guy who wrote “It’s on Thursday” didn’t keep with the spirit of the message.

So for those who would like to know what the message said, it is a database query that basically asks “If anyone has a regular telework day, please send me your name and what day you telework on.” But I liked my method much better!

The NEW LDS Articles of Faith (humor)

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I was sent this list through office e-mail. I though it was funny enough to share.

1. We believe in SUVs and minivans, as the form of transportation, and in knee length shorts, which are always nice, and in the multilevel marking.

2. We believe that church ball players should be punished for their own fouls, and not for unsportsmanlike aggression.

3. We believe that through bread crumbs, cheese, creamy soups, and rice all casseroles can be saved-though obedience to ward cookbooks and creativity in the mixing bowl.

4. We believe that the first layers and ingredients of the Dip are: first, beans; second, cheese; third, chopped tomatoes; fourth, the gift of sour cream; fifth, olives; sixth, salsa; seventh, guacamole-that is, if you have it.

5. We believe that a Mormon should have a distinguished or a cute name, that it is appropriate to name a child after a church leader or a historical figure including an ancestor, that alternative spellings and French prefixes only add to a name, and that when referring to the names of General Authorities, middle initials should be a part thereof.

6. We believe in the same wall decor that exists in many Mormon homes, namely, framed family proclamations, vinyl lettering, inspirational word signs, family photos, pictures of temples and Jesus, and so forth.

7. We believe in the gift of the re-gift, church books, crafts, family photos, baked goods, emergency supply kits, and so forth.

8. We believe in sparkling grape juice so long as it is nonalcoholic; we also believe in bringing root beer and sprite to ward parties.

9. We believe in all that we have scrapbooked, all that we will now scrapbook, and we believe that we will yet scrapbook many great and important things pertaining to our family, friends, pets, and vacations.

10. We believe in the literal mixing of ketchup and mayo and in the generous application of ranch dressing; that CBAs (church-based acronyms) will be used to describe YM/YW, PEC, the Y, NCMO, and CTR; that Mitt Romney will get Mormons to vote for him any time he runs; and, that the Mormons will enjoy reading Twilight and The Work and the Glory.d
11. We claim the privilege of trying to identify common acquaintances with any visitor at church, and allow all other people at church the same privilege, and let them name drop the names of FaMos and general authorities how, where, or what they may.

12. We believe in being subject to scoutmasters, pampered chef hostesses, and the writers of the U.S. News and World Report Rankings for professional schools, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining Glenn Beck.

13. We believe in being above average, good at crafts, optimistic, and being fifteen minutes late everywhere we go. Indeed, we may say that we follow BYU football. We believe rumors about famous people joining the church, we hope to meet the three Nephites, we have endured many pyramid schemes, and hope to be able to endure all pyramid schemes. If there is anything cheap, free, sold in bulk, or given away when somebody is moving, we seek after these things.

I Love All Things ATARI

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For whatever reason I love all things ATARI. Not that ATARI of today which just does video games but rather the ATARI that intoduced the first home gaming console, the first round of 8-bit home computers and even their 16-bit computers. As my wife will remind me from time to time I have a collection of ATARI 8-bit and 16-bit hardware in my basement that she would consider huge but I consider modest.

I still have all my old computers, my floppy disks, joysticks, tape player (used for storage) and different disk drives. It’s funny to think that my USB drive that I carry in my pocket is big enough to store 46,000 ATARI floppy disks. My how times change.

I keep intending to finish my ATARI collection. I’m missing an ATARI 1200XL which was the computer I always longed for. I also don’t have a Happy Enhancement on any of my drives. I also keep intending on hauling out my old ATARI 800 and plugging it into my TV and play Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.

I was super excited that there is an ATARI 800 emulator for the Wii (by way of the Homebrew channel). So now I need to transfer my floppy disks to images I can manage using today’s storage. Us used to have an APE cable that I build myself but now I’ve found an SIO2SD that looks like the way to go. I’m just trying to decide if I should buy it and transfer my games and data.

Just as a point of interest, at work the cover of my “work notebook” is a color print of Atari Age magazine featuring the Swordquest scene. The icon on my home coputer that I use for my windows badge is the ATARI logo. If I ever got a tattoo (which I won’t) it would be an ATARI symbol. I guess I’m a pretty big fan, eh?

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