I'm not huge on New Years Eve. I dont really like to go out and party all night anyway - so an entire night where that is the tradition doesn't really appeal to me.

As a kid my family always stayed in and we did movie marathons with candy and blockbusters VHS tapes. If my parents ever did a New Years without us kids, I don't remember it.

As an adult I've not done much either. Every year I get invited to parties and every year I think that this year I may actually go - but when it comes down to it. Naw. I'd rather just veg and stay at home.

So since Chris did not have a burning desire to go out and cut a rug, we stayed in. He cooked a tasty dinner, and we watched TV while I messed around with the netbook more, trying to get it to triple-boot.

It was a great night and just what I enjoy doing - a whole lot of relaxing nothing for New Years Eve.

Chris drew this awesome sketch on the chalkboard. He's awesome like that.

Wednesday night is a blur. I'm not entirely sure what I did - outside of saying to Chris that I wanted to play some New Super Mario Bros (which thanks to me, never happened). I got so absorbed in the hackintosh triple-boot project that I completely ignored him for most of the evening (and week, actually)... oops. On the flipside he's been totally cool with how absorbed I've been with the project and totally patient and understanding.

I even forgot to take a picture. Honestly, I'm pretty sure all that happened was massive research and reloading of OS X, Windows 7, and Ubuntu on the netbook. Getting that bastard to triple-boot has been time consuming.

Sometimes I make thinks overly complicated. Take the following example: I purchased a 1000H netbook with the sole purpose of putting OS X 10.6 on it. After research and dinking around for several weeks, I successfully loaded OS X on the netbook.

Then I decide it would be awesome to dual boot. Quickly that morphs into triple booting.

So I spent the entire evening and all of my lunch break installing OS X, Windows 7, and Ubuntu - twice. Currently the only OSes I can get to boot are OS X (via USB stick boot loader) and Ubuntu (via grub).

I have a tutorial on how to make the machine triple boot, but its a little beyond my comfort zone on some things so its a learning process for me...a slow...painful learning process...

Still, I'm enjoying the challenge. I may even feel a little empty when this is working properly. This project has been in some form or another for over a month.

So here's Leki, guarding the netbook while it re-installs OS X 10.6.

On a lighter note - there were tasty foods at work I nommed on while trying to tweak the netbook. Hooray for Craig's wife!

Monday was interesting. Work was like a ghost town - which is to be expected in the time between X-mas and New Years. I rocked the hackintosh on lunch, picked up a larger bag for the netbook and all the accessories (which have grown since x-mas). I stole the idea from Chris - who calls his netbook bag a "go bag." Clever, really. Has everything in it you could need - including cables for charging electronics, the netbook itself, usb/sd cards, etc etc. In mine I've tossed in the mp3 player, the external DVD-ROM drive I got from Chris, USB wireless mouse, and some additional accessories. They more or less go around use of the hackintosh, but there are a few odds and ends.

At home I worked further and finally got a working, bootable USB drive with Snow Leopard on it. Finally, I was able to use the retail copy I picked up. OF course I discovered that Snow Leopard is rather insistent on having a GUID table vs. an MBR, which is what my current hard drive is. So that opened up a whole other issue since I'm not too keen on reformatting the windows partition after getting the pre hack software and tethering software to work perfectly with it. So I backed up the partition and am hoping to restore it once I have everything formatted properly.

Of course, I would also like to put linux on the box so I haven't decided which item to install first. I was assuming that Mac OS X would go last and I could use the Chameleon bootloader to choose between OSes but I'll have to check and make sure nothing funky will happen with that before installing Windows/Linux/Mac OS.

Palm came out with a new WebOS update - so Chris and I spent part of the evening uninstalling a few patches and updating the phone, then reapplying the patches. Actually downloading and installing the updates took the most time - as it always does. Of course, its not that surprising since I'm sure a lot of people were all trying to download those 13MB at the same time....

Last were the odd series of Martha Stewart quotes in each dove chocolate I ate today....

....kinda... Not everything is working 100% right, but almost. I can't seem to get the wi-fi working properly. At first, I thought I missed a kext when installing it, but I noticed that OS X 10.5 recognized the adapter... Now I just think its a question of configuring it right and well..I've used PC's for so long not everything is obvious. Everything says to use AirPort to configure, but I know with the Hackintosh you don't do that. Admittedly, I've not spent a tremendous amount of time poking around - I'm slightly obsessed with Dragon Age: Origins.

The install was easy. Chris gave me an external USB DVD-Rom for X-mas, so I simply booted up the iDeneb ISO I had and voila. Of course, I did buy a Snow Leopard DVD and want to run that as opposed to Leopard, so I will need to do some tweaking in OS X to get a bootable USB drive working that works with the Asus hardware.

Outside of getting this awesome breakthrough (in a project that has taken me ages trying to do it without a mac, and without a USB DVD-Rom), I played a little Dragon Age and made some tasty sugar cookies. Complete with frosting!

Awesome, productive day - even with a 3ish hour nap! :D

One of the x-mas gifts Chris gave me was a quesadilla maker. I was so fascinated with his sandwich maker and like Mexican food, so why not? So for dinner we made tasty chicken quesadillas that came out great. I'm looking forward to experimenting with different recipes.

Another awesome gift I used (and received) today was Dragon Age: Origins for PS3. Leki and I have been enjoying the afternoon, listening to the story of Dragon Age unfold and watching armor be continually bathed in a spray of blood. I can see where this would have replay value - your race & gender influence how people treat you, as well as your responses to NPCs.

Looking forward to wrapping up the day snuggled on the couch & watcing a movie with Chris.

You would think as an adult I'd be able to sleep in a bit on x-mas. No. Though I can honestly say that this time the cat woke me up, demanding that I wake up and do things. Chris was already up and wrapping gifts in the other room and he was really bothered by the fact that one person was up, and the other was not.

All the pets received something from Chris, which they are all enjoying, especially the cat. Though at first he was much more interested in wrapping paper than anything else (it is his first official x-mas with presents involved - he missed it last year).

After opening awesomesauce gifts, we each retreated to tinker with gadgets and the like for a bit. Later we headed out to the Rivertown to see Sherlock Holmes. Neither of us had been to see a movie on x-mas in ages, so were curious to see what sort of crowd there was. Amazingly (at least to me) the theatre was packed pretty well.

So today is Christmas eve. I have the day off so most of the morning has been spent baking (with not so usable outcomes) and wrapping gifts I've been too lazy to address up until this point. And just in time for them to get shredded later tonight at my parent's house.

The most awesome thing so far today has been this drawing Chris did. I was walking past the bathroom where he has a small chalkboard on the counter to write notes and see an awesome Wolverine sketch. Hawt. <3

Wednesday was dead at work, as it usually is in offices for the christmas week. So not a whole lot went on. Still, being at work means you dont have time to chill, relax, and enjoy things in your own home.

When I saw the cat stretched out under the dining table tonight like this, I was happy that I'd soon get a chance to do the same.

Hooray for 4-day weekends with loved ones.

After work on Tuesday, a few current and old co-workers headed over to the bar across the street to hang out for a bit.

So here's a shot of Melissa with her not-so-awesome Blue Moon (Oberon is out of season ;( ...)

Not a whole lot went on Monday. Downtime between projects and a pretty uneventful day at work....

Honestly, I completely forgot to even take a photo...but I did manage to snag a screenshot while goofing around in Warcraft (again?! yes...again...) today. This is the first major character I ever played, still stuck 20 levels below the cap because I swapped to horde once she hit 60...

Yeah, I'm nerdy.

I used to play World of Warcraft without interruption to the subscription for years. Then about two and a half years ago I canceled my account.

Then the Burning Crusade expansion came out...and I had to see if it was awesome. It was ok. But, in reactivating my account I found a bunch of old guildies who had migrated to a raiding guild and so I was sucked in, this time actually raiding 4ish nights a week, for several months.

I got burned out and took a break.

Then the Northrend expansion came out...and I had to see what that was all about (stupid email with free Northred trial sucking me in...). So I leveled my way from 70 to 80, this time alone and not being terribly picky about gear. Because honestly, at this point I just wanted to see the zones and didn't need to gear up for PvP or raiding. So I hit 80 and canceled my subscription again shortly thereafter.

Then there was the 5th anniversary of WoW...and I wanted the exclusive pets (because for whatever reason I still cared about the pet achievement I had been working on). So another email from Blizzard sucked me in. Though admittedly this time since activating I've barely played. Most of the group I used to play with doesnt seem to play anymore and I have enough going on elsewhere in my life that I don't need to fill the void with Warcraft.

But on a Sunday after the last final of the semester...yeah...I'm gonna run around and check out the holiday quests. I like their Winter Veil events more than any of the GuildWars ones so while the subscription is active for a month I might as well poke around...

by comparison, Friday was a walk in the park in terms of a packed schedule.

Chris's friend (whose name is Chris, coincidentally) was in town from China. Plus, my little brother has just moved into a new apartment with his fiance, so I needed to check that out. Then there was the matter of the hackintosh and needing a mac to create the bootable USB image. Plus studying for a final the next morning. Busy agenda....

So we headed out early in the morning, greeted with a nice covering of snow on the car and roads.

We met up with Chris in Novi and had brunch. Nice guy. The dude sports an XPS laptop and knows a ton about video games. Who wouldn't think he was awesome?

After a little while the Chris and Chris headed out to do their thing and I headed to my parents house to work on getting my netbook to book OS X (Snow Leopard). That particular venture turned rather sour. While I have a bootable USB stick, it still won't boot on non-mac hardware. I will have to return after doing further research... Hopefully I'll have it straightened out by xmas eve.

Then it was off to see Jeff and Karen's new apartment. I was surprised at how big it was (massive closets) and how close it was to my friend Kati's old apartment and Universal Mall. They've only been there 8 days, but they're almost completely unpacked and it looks like all that is left is a little organizing. They've even got a snazzy setup where the computer feeds into the TV so they watch movies that way.

All in all, busy day but worth it to meet Chris's best friend and see the little bro's new apartment.

Friday was a busy day. First there was a mini-field trip across the state at work. That took up a rather large chunk of the day.

After I got off work I was greeted with tasty White Chili Chris made for me and we headed out to see Avatar in 3D with some of his friends.

We got there early and waited in line to make sure we got seats that weren't right up at the front row.

Since the movie was in 3D we got awesome polarized glasses to watch the film with.

All in all the day was busy but the evening was great, even though the 3D film gave me an awesome headache (which, apparently, is because I didn't spend the entire time staring only at the characters faces).

It was a very pretty film, though the plot follows the typical cliche beats of romance. If you dont mind the formula, and like sci-fi/fantasy, you'll probably like the movie.

Nothing terribly exciting happened on Thursday....

After I got home from work I spent a little bit hanging out and getting used to the netbook.

Because I was off work for a few months, I missed watching the slow change from driving to and from work in the light to driving to and from work in darkness...

So today on my way to work I decided to snap a shot of the sky once it became a little lighter (and closer to 8am).  Today's been mostly overcast, but that seems like nothing new in Grand Rapids for the winter.

On lunch at work the pre tethering worked magically. So I probably did have everything set up right yesterday but just needed to reboot/reset some settings.

Of course I quickly learned I need some web cam drivers installed if ever I want to skype at lunch. And I've been less than impressed with asus's driver download setup on their page.  Tonight I may have to hunt around further, as I spent 20ish min on lunch and never did find any webcam drivers...

While I wait for the week to come to a close and my imminent trip to metro Detroit approaches so that I can create a hackintosh finally (gave up on trying to do it w/o a mac/dvd drive and just going to use my dad's mac to create a bootable USB drive), I've been keeping myself busy with other smaller tasks I've been putting off.

First and foremost, I updated the filecoaster software (and loaded a new one called preware) on Monday. This lets me browse on the fly any homebrew applications and patches I'd like on the pre.

So Tuesday I decided to finally tackle the tethering issue. Its rare I'd like to use my cellphone as a modem for my laptop, but its happened. So I'd like to have that ability in those rare moments. So I spent part of my lunch break today working on getting the netbook and pre to communicate. While I dont appear to have it working 100% yet, I did get the drivers installed on Windows 7 (pain in the butt) and the machine will now recognize the pre as a ethernet adapter.

Slowly but surely I inch toward completion of this project I've been putting off for months...

Since I’ve lived in Grand Rapids it seems like I’ve only worked with one set of people, but done multiple jobs. That’s almost true. I’ve worked as a contractor (and eventual employee) on and off at the same place for 4 years, on 4 different jobs. They’ve mostly been back to back with only a few weeks to a month between the contracts.

Earlier this year, however, I was an employee and was laid off. So I figured that was a prefect time to switch gears and work somewhere new. And I did for several months on a contract. But when that ended I was back searching again. And somehow the winds of fate swept me up and I’m working a new contract in a new department at an old job with roughly the same group of people I’ve known for years. This time there was a 9 month gap between jobs.

It’s pretty convenient to start on your first day and know everyone’s names and faces. Hey, even my cube sign tag was still up and all I had to do was move it to the new cube, complete with the fancy handwriting of a co-worker (it was never officially printed up and I think this is more amusing anyway).

At least that's what a friend on facebook said it looked like... And I can see that. Today I tried my hand at home-made toaster strudels. I added a little too much jelly, or didn't seal the edges right, and they leaked a bit. Still, they're not bad. Room for improvement though.

Sunday wasn't super eventful. Chris let me know Leki had finally tackled the tree while I was at school, breaking some ornaments and the topper.

In the afteroon we went for a walk and later watched Syfy's Alice, which was disappointing. I used to watch and enjoy ABC's made-for-tv movies like The 10th Kingdom, so I just sort of assumed that a Syfy one would be awesome. I mean, Dune wasn't that bad. Apparently, I was wrong. Bleh.

A few weeks ago I purchased a used Asus netbook for around 160. My intent was to craft a hackintosh. Why? Because....

So, I've spent the better part of the last week and a half researching and attempting to circumvent the need to create a bootable disk with out a mac. All the steps and tutorials out there basically start with "Step 1: Use OS X's Disk Utility." Hardly helpful when the entire reason you're creating a hackintosh is because you dont have a mac (and dont want to pay for an overpriced machine). Plus, since the netbook doesnt have a DVD drive, another layer of complexity was added - creating a bootable USB stick (or SD card).

Then I discovered that there was an image out there I could use to load OS X onto my dell 600m. Once that was installed I could use the OS X install to create a bootable USB drive with the Snow Leopard DVD I purchased.

Of course, I didn't want to reload my actual hard drive, so I tried to use the SATA one for the netbook.

Of course the Dell wont boot off of the USB hard drive and the SATA drive wont boot in the netbook since its configured to work with the Dell hardware.

Now I'm debating on whether or not I want to reload the original 40gb IDE hard drive that came with the dell, or just wait until next weekend when I see my dad and use his Mac to create the USB drive.

It didn't snow much today. But, there was all that snow that fell yesterday to deal with. Even though I had cleared off my car yesterday in the afternoon, it was still coated in snow. In fact, it looked like I had never touched it. So Chris insisted on cleaning off my car when we went out to run errands.

Snowpocalypse! Ok, not quite. But today's weather is probably as close as Grand Rapids is going to get in the next few days to the predicted snowpocalypse.

After being cooped up for days trying to get a hackintosh working on my new (to me anyway) Asus eee 1000H netbook (without using a Mac) with no success, and after trying to get an old linux box working (with no success either...) I decided to venture out. I've been intending to get out and about since the snow first fell, but just kept finding excuses.

The trail was nice and virtually untouched, which meant wading through 5+ inches of snow. But I was willing to do that for just a change of scenery. The part of Kent Trail near my apartment goes by a small stream, which was pretty nice to watch for a bit.

The walk was great, but very cold. Even though I had two pairs of everything on (even pants), I could only make it so far in 14 degree weather. Next time I should venture out with some thermal pants or something.

Later this evening should be fun, so long as the weather doesn't get worse. Chris and I will be headed out to see Art & Copy with a co-worker of his.

Wednesday was the predicted day in which the snowpocalypse was to hit. There was a blizzard warning for the area that went into effect at 1pm and wasn't to be lifted until 4pm on Thursday. The weather was going to get bad. Terrible. The world was going to end.


And then nothing happened. No bad weather. A few snow flurries (and a shit ton of school closings just in case). Since Chris didn't have much going on at work, he spent the day at home and we did some errands and he setup for Hero Clix before some friends came over for the evening.

So in the evening (because there was no snowpocalypse) I took the final for my Research and Writing class, which only lasted an hour. After that I headed home and hung out with Chris, Jeff, and Dan while they played New Super Mario Bros and Hero Clix. I spent most of the evening researching more hackintosh solutions (creating a bootable USB drive without a mac is a pain in the butt) and watched Leki terrorize everyone.

Tuesday was a busier day for me. I had lunch with an old coworker and caught up on old times. And then, after working to get a hackintosh running (no success yet), I met a friend for drinks and dinner, as we do every month.

Then in the evening Chris and I ran out to see Big Trouble In Little China at the Wealthy Theatre. It had been YEARS since I'd seen the movie and really only remembered that green eyes were important.

When we got out the snow had started to fall and the anticipated bad weather looked to be finally setting in...

Monday evening Chris and I headed over to Dan and Sherry's to celebrate Sherry's birthday (which was on Saturday).

Was a fun night. We had pizza and brownies, and even watched a movie.

After I got home from class, Chris put up his small christmas tree to test it out on Leki.

At first, the little monster chewed on the thing. But after it got moved to another table it has thus far managed to survive unscathed. Here's hoping he doesn't touch it all month.

Saturday was another great, relaxing day. Chris and I spent a large chunk of the day hanging out with Adam & Comfort (The Uniques). We watched TV shows, chatting about a wide array of topics ranging from politics to relationships.

So here's a shot of them drawing while The Daily Show is playing and Leki is contemplating getting closer.

Today marks the first full day of the winter season with snow. And not a little dusting. No. A whole heap of it just dumped over night.

Today was also the day Adam & Comfort (TheUniques) came out to Grand Rapids. We had a great afternoon watching movies and just hanging out. Then in the evening it was time to go over to Dan's house (and see their cute Pippin) and enjoy his Fun Shit Movie Night event. We watched a terrible movie (New Warriors, I believe) and it was a fantastic night.

I spent most of the morning running errands, since Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were spent working on my research paper for Research and Writing.

So while I was bouncing around town I saw these dudes updating a Redbox with new dvd's.

This pose Leki was in today only serves to reinforce the need to exercise and diet the chunkster.

So another day of writing and reading for my research paper. This time the papers have overflowed onto the floor and there isn't a whole lot of room for the cat, either.