Thursday, August 28, 2008

Long Time No Update

I haven't made a post in about a week and a half, and that is because nothing exciting has been going on. Back to school next week as a junior in college. I'm taking enough technology classes to drive anyone insane, and I'll have one or maybe even two jobs, so I'll be busy. Busy is better than bored, that's for sure.

As for upcoming events, Boston SOS is hosting MP3 EXP on September 20, 2008. The exact details are still being determined, but everyone is welcome to come! Check out the website for more information and specific updates. As usual, I'll be covering the event, so expect something more about this as we get closer! www.mp3exp.com

In other news, I've been playing with Adobe Photoshop lately. My most recent project was changing the body color of my 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT to various colors. Although not a complicated process, its rather tedious, but in the end the results are completely worth it. Many of these colors actually look like they were original. Here's a little collage of some of them.

Over and out!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Boston SOS - Slow Motion & Tag

Today I was back in Boston. This time for the improv event organization Boston Society of Spontaneity (http://www.bostonsos.org/). Instead of finding out a month beforehand what an event will be, we are just told that there will be an event, and given the time. The "what" of the event is usually emailed to the RSVPed participants the night before, but this time we didn't even get that luxury. A few more than 40 unknowing people showed up at 2:00 sharp this afternoon at Government Center. I was appointed cameraman, and took a high-def video camera into my possession. Right before we left our meeting location, we were instructed that at 2:15 we were going into slow motion behind Quincy Market. It was a time crunch and we showed up just as our cell phone alarms went off. A few people shopped, and I walked around the back to get some video. I put the camera sticking out of my pocket and walked in slow motion towards the center of our group to get some good footage of a slow-motion fight. I turned to my left and saw someone taking their time lighting a cigarette, so I faced his direction to get a good angle and slowly put on my sunglasses. After our 5 minutes was up, we returned to our meeting location.

Our next stunt was to play tag with random strangers. We tried to sit around and not look suspicious (but really, 50 people standing around a normally non-populated area is a difficult task). The non-involved people were pinched through a narrow area, where one of our participants would tag them, and then the lot of us would run and hide. Most of the strangers just kept walking, but some joined in after some hesitation.

Once we were exhausted, we decided as a group to go to Wendy's for lunch. Most of the group dispersed, but about 20 of us headed out. Our director, James Cobalt, got to the front of the line and bought 13 Frostys. It was very funny to watch the expressions of the workers when they heard that thirteen were ordered all at once. After we finished, seven of us stayed much longer and had very random discussions about future events, possibly involving cows. We'll see if that makes the cut, but I'm sure hoping it does.

The next Boston SOS event is scheduled for September 13th, 2008, and will be a global event, and not just in Boston. To find out more, go to http://www.mp3event.com/!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Revolutionary Water Gun Battle - Recap

(YouTube video and photos below, don't get impatient!)

After days of shopping for water guns, my search was coming up rather barren. It was finally at CVS where I found the first gun I could buy! (last place you'd look for a water gun, right?Conveniently, at least I thought, my neighbor and my step-brother also had some I could borrow. So I took them all. I ended up with 6. I thought that was awesome, but apparently that is too many to use efficiently, who would've thought? I couldn't sleep last night, and I was too excited this morning, so I ended up leaving early. Sporting all blue to represent the American Colonists, I drove all the way from Nashua, NH down to Boston at 11:00 in the morning. I parked under Boston Common and hauled over to my assigned meeting location: behind the Hatch Shell, the stage where the Boston Pops Orchestra plays every Forth of July. I was a bit early, but surprisingly not the first one there.

A while later, everyone finally started to show up. It was a great day, and to think, I actually expected it to rain! Right after 1:30, the scheduled meet-up time, Banditos organizer Ethan Feuer, outfitted as General Washington, stood up in front of the colonial troops and gave his motivational speech. We loaded up and marched west along the south bank of the Charles River to the beat of a drum (or at least tried to march). Over yonder, we could see the British Redcoats marching towards us. As they filled out, we realized we were heavily outnumbered. As everyone chanted "Huzzah!", I let out a much needed "THIS IS SPARTA!". I was just about to help a fellow troop load his musket (and by musket, I mean neon colored plastic water rifle). I lunged forward into the wall coming towards me, completely blinded by the surge of water in my face. After the initial few rushes, both teams fell back to reload. Luckily I brought over four liters of water, so I quickly got back to my feet. Dodging sprays of water, I ran through enemy lines with my camera, as you will see in the following video. At some point, I turned to the center of the action, to be greeted by robots blowing bubbles, and got a very nice close-up shot. That was short-lived, and people started forming small assault groups. Some even betrayed their countrymen and struck up conversations with the British.

As the fight was turning to a close, Banditos organizers took action and cleaned up battlefield. No bodies had to be dumped into the Charles; however, several trash bags were filled with empty water bottles and broken weapons. Good job again, Banditos Misteriosos! I hope your next event lives up to the level I've come to expect! Now, you can enjoy a selection of my photos and a video I put together from the event:

(You can hover over a picture to see its caption, or click it to see it larger)

A wonderful day. Not a cloud in the sky.. well, except that oneThe Colonists grouping up
He must be FrenchThe Colonists' musical accompaniment
The Colonists grouping upThe Colonists marching to battle
The British Redcoats lining upSome nasty redcoats thinking they're hot stuff (kidding! its my friends)
Special Agent Colonists
General Washington peacefully blowing a bubbleProud to be an American Colonist
Myself post-fighting


(Click once to play, or twice to open its YouTube webpage)


( Photography and Video © Chris Andrews , Video Music © Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Upcoming Water Gun Battle

I haven't updated in the past week, but that's because nothing has happened!

So lets take a look into the near future. Boston, Massachusetts's "Banditos Misteriosos" is hosting a "Revolutionary Water Gun Battle" this Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at 1:30pm.

I'm definitely going. If you, whoever you may be, want to attend, you must sign up on their website, misteriosos.org, by this Friday! More details (such as which team you will be on and where your meeting location will be) will most likely be released Friday evening!


Check back for a recap blog sometime this weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Build-a-Computer

Today's project was building a computer for my mom from various parts I ordered on NewEgg for $250. As soon as I woke up, I checked my UPS tracking number. It said "Out for Delivery", timestamped 8:38 am. I was so excited to build a computer from scratch, that every time I heard a diesel engine, I'd run downstairs and look out the window. I never knew how much went on outside during the day! Trash truck, recycling truck, mail van, various big pickups... but no UPS truck! Watching my day slowly waste away, and becoming sick of running downstairs (in fear I'd miss them, because my doorbell is broken), I threw an extension cord out the window and hooked a security camera up in our apple tree out front. Yes, I actually did that! I didn't get a picture though, surprisingly. Finally, with most of the day blown by, there it was. A large brown truck right in the middle of the camera's view. I ran downstairs past my uncle who was on the phone, and right up to the truck. I pointed out the camera to the delivery man and he laughed. Maybe I was just too excited? I took my box upstairs, and sifted through the packing peanuts to get every last part out. At the time I ordered my parts, there was a sale on 80mm fans; one with shipping was about $9, but if you got ten, there was a bulk discount and free shipping! I ended up getting 10 fans for $12, just 3 dollars more than if I had gotten one! I took my gutted "Ninja" case downstairs and layed out all the parts. I've worked on computers and disassembled many, but I've never completely built one from scratch. It was pretty fun, and quite easy. Everything fitted perfectly! I even used twist-ties inside to neaten it up a bit. I even made a custom "StaleNet Computers" logo sticker for the case, which fits perfectly! Next on the list is installing Vista, and getting it set up for wireless access.


I hope you all appreciate my enthusiasm! Keep checking back for more posts, I'll try to update at least every few days, as I have so far. In upcoming posts, expect to see some free-running, homemade fireworks, guitar, and my spontaneous outings in Boston!

$250 Computers's Specs:
  • Processor: Intel Pentium E2180 2.0 GHz dual-core
  • Motherboard: Zotac N73V-Value ATX
  • Video card: MSI nVidia GeForce 8400 GS 256MB PCI Express x16
  • Power supply: CoolMax 400W ATX
  • Optical drive: Lite-On 20x DVD±R burner
  • Cooling: Dynatron 92mm CPU cooler, 2x Masscool 80mm case fans
  • Memory: Corsair XMS2 1 GB w/heat spreader (already had)
  • Hard drive: Hitachi 320 GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0gb/s
  • Case: "Ninja" (compliments of Daniel Webster College ITS Department)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Busy Work Day

I seriously can't believe how busy today has been at work.



I work at a place called HoloDek Gaming (http://www.holo-dek.com/). It's a pay-to-play gaming center, where you, the customer, comes and pays for time to play our games on our systems. It's $6/hr or $20 for all day. We have 34 high-end gaming computers, 2 XBOX360's, a PS3, and a Nintendo Wii. It's located at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH so if you're in the area and have a craving to play video games, come on by!

Anyway, so the original plan was for me to work the whole day by myself from 3:00pm to 8:00pm because its a mess right now with people wanting vacations and getting sick. Someone didn't get the memo, though, so when I showed up right before 3:00, we were already open with 3 customers set to "play all day". I asked him what's up, and he said he wasn't sick anymore so he came in for his shift. I came back at 6:00 to pick up when he left, and I couldn't believe how busy we were. Lets be honest, its a tough market during the summer, and usually we have around 2 people playing at various times during the day. However, I looked in the room and was surprised to see it almost full. Both of our projection screens were taken with XBOX360, and tons of people on PC. Originally we were supposed to close at 8:00, but it looks like I'm going to be staying until midnight. Oh well, the needy people left so I have some free time. Maybe I'll watch a movie, or maybe I'll watch in amazement at the number of people still playing tonight. Just wait until the students come back this fall. I might as well just not have a chair at my desk because it'll get in the way when I'm moving in and out so often. I guess I should go back and keep an eye on these kids, because its like an un-supervised daycare center in there!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Car Show

Today I went straight from work to a car show at Target!
I got there about a half hour early when it was fairly empty and found a good spot to park my 1987 Pontiac Fiero GT. When I first got there I stood around my car and checked for wireless signal; the only two available were encrypted, what luck! I waited around for more people to show up, and then a nice man named Don parked next to me in his 1987 Pontiac Trans Am. Our cars were from the same company and same year, so from a distant glance, they could've been twins. I talked to him for most of the show, he knew alot about my car, as his was so similar, and gave me many suggestions for working on mine. Within an hour the parking lot had filled up! My mom eventually came by and hung around for a little while. I was surprised at the variety. Someone told me more Fieros were on their way, but they never showed up. At least it was still an awesome experience. There were more Corvettes, Mustangs, and GTOs then I could keep track of. Many of which appeared to be in perfect condition!

Nearing the mid-point of the show, a brand new 2008 Dodge Challenger drove by, with its huge 20" wheels and 6.1 litre engine. What a fantastic re-creation of the classic this is; not like the new Mustang with its pseudo-retro look. I plan to make this a weekly visit, and if you're in the area, you should drop by; every Friday 5-9 at the Target in Nashua on Amherst St. Right before I left, they had a raffle for the drivers in the show. They called off about 10 people with the tickets like I had, and almost got me. Mine was 5467 and they called 5465 and 5468. Seriously, is that just bad karma? It was just as cool leaving the show, too. There's nothing like driving down the road with at least half of the cars in your proximity being shiney classics. I was at a red light and the two lanes to my right were full of 70's muscle cars that all took off when the light went green. Simply fantastic. The official count at the show was 225 cars. That's quite alot for a little show in the parking lot of Target!