February 1, 2006

Normally I sleep in until Dominica gets up to go to work but I got a couple of phone calls right at 8:00 this morning so I just got myself out of bed and got to work. Almost immediately Oreo wanted to go out for a walk so we took a twenty minute stroll down the street. He was very happy.

I remembered this morning that on Sunday when driving to church Dominica and I noticed a sign that said “Welcome to the Town of Leicester – Circa 1802”. This sign was set up, presumably by the town, on routes 20A and 39 as they cross from Geneseo into Leicester. Circa 1802? Are they trying to tell us that they have turned the town into a museum of buildings that looks exactly like it did in 1802? The town might be established 1802 but it sure isn’t a replica of the way that it was in 1802. There are few if any buildings dating from before 1850 anywhere in that town or even Geneseo for that matter. I think that people in Leicester don’t have a good grasp of the English language and don’t know what the word ‘circa’ means. The sad part is that Leicester is the village that my high school was for (but not in.) Even sadder is that if you use the term circa then the town was called Leister in 1802 and not Leicester until 1805.

Interestingly, the town of Mt. Morris was separated from Leicester in 1813. And the town of York, where I went to high school, was created out of land taken from Caledonia, Leicester and Covington (where I grew up.) Covington really got the short end of the land deals. It is the second smallest town in Wyoming County and has a tremendously low population but its two largest population centers were both removed from it. The largest being the Village of Pavilion to the north (where I went to elementary school at Pavilion Baptist School) which was annexed to Genesee County and then Greigsville to the east which was annexed to Livingston County. Even now there is no remaining village in the town of Covington. Our largest population centers are Covington Center (maybe twenty homes on a cross road), Pearl Creek (maybe twenty houses and no cross road) and Peoria (less that twenty houses on a cross road – where I grew up.)

Speaking of my high school, which is York Central just north of the town of Leicester, here is a nice web site from the York Historical Society. You can find out more about the history of Livingston County by visiting the Livingston County Historical Society.

I continued working on scanning in the legacy slides today. I have been making really good progress and I am almost through everything that I have.

Okay, now here is a web site that everyone has to visit. Find out about the army of feral robotic dogs!

Two nights ago I dealt with Dominica’s 401K that she had amassed when she was working in Ithaca. It was moved to a safe harbour and then I had to work to get it actually invested into some sort of investment. That was a lot of work but I got it moved over and now it is actually invested and today we even earned $10! Okay, that isn’t very much but it is my first day of investing since I was 18 so give me a break.

Dad came over for lunch today and we went over to the Omega Grill. After lunch we went to Walmart and did some quick shopping. I got the latest Enya CD as well as the DVD rerelease of A Bug’s Life which I have seen without sound more than twenty times but have never actually sat down and watched so I don’t actually know what the story line entails. Dad was looking for a treadmill but the one that he wanted was out of stock so we were not able to get that today. Then it was back home for me.

I was reading Wil Wheaton’s rememberances of video games in his childhood and I left this comment “The best ever was Double Dragon. My buddy Eric and I used to save up quarters and walk down to this little small-town deli (The Oatka Deli) in Warsaw, NY. We would blow $10-$20 at a shot trying to beat that game. We did that for an entire summer. It took all summer before we were finally able to beat it. That takes me back.” Here are some games that take me back. Castlevania, Duck Hunt, Ghost ‘n’ Ghouls and Contra that I used to play with Jorge Maldonado in the basement of his home in Mt. Morris. He was the only kid I ever knew who actually owned a Sega Master’s system too. I always wanted one of those with the 3D shutter glasses. Super Mario Bros. I, II and III as well as Clay Fighter reminds me of playing NES and later SNES at Eric Millen’s house in Warsaw when we weren’t busy walking down to the Oatka Deli to kick bad guy butt on Double Dragon. Sometimes Eric and I would break out his awful Atari 2600 and play Hero which was the one and only good game ever made for that system. At home my favourite games to play on my own were on the Commodore Amiga 1000 that my family got in 1987. 1987-1990 were my really big video game years. I loved the games of that era. The Bard’s Tale and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Pool of Radiance were awesome role playing games. Deja Vu and its sibling Uninvited by Mindscape were ground breaking in adventure games. Sierra Online (what kind of weird name is that) produced King’s Quest and The Black Cauldron. The Faery Tale Adventure was awesome as well. It was truly amazing because they managed to make a game that fit on a single 880KB floppy disc that had over 19,000 monitor screens full of isometric landscape to wander over. It would take a really long time just to walk across the map. Exploration was really possible. Speaking of exploration – Seven Cities of Gold was super cool combining history, geography and game play. Boy do I miss those days. I think that the late 1980’s might have been the pinancle of the single player video game era. I don’t really feel like we had any major breakthroughs except for the advent of 3D rendered gaming until networked games came into popular being in the late 1990’s.

Dad IM’d me shortly after he got back to the house to let me know that my new Nikon D50 digital SLR (single lens reflex for those of you who are not photography buffs) had arrived. This is my big present, mostly from dad, purchased by the collective purchasing power of many birthdays and Christmas’ gift money that I had saved until I found something that I really wanted to purchase. So Oreo and I drove over to dad’s house and picked up the camera. The battery has to charge (it uses a special battery and not anything normal that you can pick up at the store) so we took it home to charge it up so that we could play with it. The manual said that it would take two and a half hours to charge but the thing was totally charged in just over an hour. I got the camera with a lens because digital cameras have different sensor sizes that 35mm film cameras do (the sensor in this camera is closer to the size of APS or 120mm) which causes lenses from 35mm cameras to act as if they are different lengths than they are meant to be. So I got an 18-55mm lens (which, for those of you used to 35mm cameras that is roughly the equivalent of a 28-85mm lens – you can figure out the difference by multiplying the digital lens length by 1.5) which should do a good job for me for the time being. There is a matching 55-200mm lens that I would really like to get as well so that I will have the same lens range, roughly, that I did on my analogue Nikon 5005 SLR. Originally I had a 50mm fixed length lens and a Tamron 80-210mm zoom that I had gotten in 1993 or 1994. Then, much more recently, I had also added a 28-80mm Nikkor. I really wish that I could find a nice 35mm fixed length fast lens for this camera but I haven’t come across one as of yet.

I took a few pictures with the camera. Even in the poorly lit house at night the camera was able to turn out some awesome pictures. I can’t believe the image quality on this thing. I am looking forward to having an opportunity to take some pictures tomorrow using daylight to see what this thing can really do.

Dominica got home and made pad Thai for dinner. We watched two episodes of Star Trek before going to bed.

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