Hike, New Living Room HTPC, Cameras, and Setting Up a Car Lift

Wow; none of those things are in the correct order.

Going backwards (and the first event of this blog, considering when it started) is the replacement of my living room HTPC.  It's been acting funny for some time (ignoring a lot of IR input) and locked up mid-week last week.  I opened it up to find the north/south-bridge heatsink laying on the bottom of the case.  I fixed that, but I believe damage has already been done as the PS/2 ports no longer function and USB devices only work intermittently (my IR receiver is USB).  Last night I finally ordered a new Socket AM2 motherboard, Athlon X2 CPU, and RAM to replace the internals due to not being able to find a good deal on a socket 939 motherboard to reuse my existing CPU and RAM (look for craigslist items soon!).

The next most-recent thing was setting up a car lift at my father-in-law's place yesterday.  He purchased one at the Carlisle Corvette Show this weekend and I went along to watch the disassembly and help set everything back up.  The thing is pretty slick, and I already know I need to use it to look under my WRX for an hole in the exhaust.  That took the bulk of the afternoon to tear down, transport and assemble, but given it's job I think that's pretty good!

Friday a lot of my camera gear arrived, but I didn't get to play with it until Saturday since we were visiting my parents Friday evening after I helped Tiffany setup her classroom some.  The Nikon D40 is a great little camera that has some great potential.  Most people's reactions have been "too many buttons" while I find the available buttons great and in intuitive places that faciliates quick and easy changes when you need them.  The Canon SD870is showed up and Tiff thinks she'll enjoy using that much more than my S2 is, so hopefully there'll be more pictures with me in them soon!  I also picked up a Kata DR-467 backpack that ended up being a little larger in-person than I had anticipated, but is incredibly light and well-designed.  I'll try to post a better review once I've had a chance to use it in some more situations.  Right now I'm pretty much using my Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home which is a great bag for an SLR + accessory (flash in my case).  The Canon S2 is should be up on craigslist soon, as well.

Last Thursday Brady and I went for a hike in what I call "North Mountain" (which is actually "Bower Mountain" of the Blue Mountain chain according to the DCNR maps of Tuscarora Forest) on Bower Mtn Road; it was a nice 7ish Mi hike that's relatively flat and has been done a number of times before (one of which is an infamous "pipeline" hike that last well into the night with no flashlights or other ambient light) but was exceptionally dusty this time due to recent roadwork.

I have a doctor's appointment today to renew my allergry meds and have the doctor look at my elbow.  I've had this pain in my left elbow for probably over 1 year and a half now; it seems like it's pressure related; possibly the nerve being pinched.  It's especially problematic when I lean on my elbow (which I do frequently when sitting at my desk) or when I do some prolonged activity like driving for a couple hours.  We'll see what they say.

Our 35/36 week prenatal checkup is this Friday as well as Jocelyn's 18 month well-baby checkup.  She's been relatively cold-free this summer since she hasn't been at day care, but that starts back up tomorrow with school starting.  I imagine she's due for some shots as well, so that might be a "fun" visit.

Tiff and I are looking forward to an evening out after our prenatal appointment on Friday.  We've tried to make sure we go on a "date" once a month since Jocelyn was born, but it typically ends up being 1 1/2 to 2 months.  While we can individually go do things (either with Jocelyn or by ourselves) fairly easily, it's much more difficult for both parents to get away to do things.  Who knows; maybe this is my chance to see The Dark Knight!