Happy Day after Halloween?

I wasn’t home last night until almost midnight, so no bloggings on October 31.

After work I came home, and passed out out for about a half hour and then showered and went to Carlos’ house. Me and Janelle and Carlos were hanging out there all night with other people coming and going at random times. At one point the house was quite full. We hung out on the front porch most of the night. We gave out some candies to the kids out for Halloween along with Bridge cards and invited them to come check us out. We also had hot chocolate or tea with cookies for the adults who were there with their kids.

It was pretty cool. A good handful of kids came around. Most of the night we just hung out with each other. I got Carlos’ computer antivirus updated and got him some spyware protection and cleaned up his system. I also got his iPod hooked back up. He has the original iPod Mini… though as compared to the new Nanos, it’s not really that “mini.”

In other news, I’m writing a teaching series on the cross that hopefully we will be able to use in 2007. I had the idea for the 4-part series while at Quick Check across from the Rahway Motor Vehicle building. I think it will be really cool. I have some ideas for approaching different areas and ideas associated with it that I think will be impactful. I’ll post more about this once the series is actually written and there is something to speak of.

In honor of last night, though, I leave you with a cartoon from HomestarRunner.com. They always have a great Halloween episode every year.

HomestarRunner: Happy Hallow-Day!

Gaming 3.0


So the PS3 is going to be released on November 17.  If you really feel the need to get it early, you could always book a flight to Japan as it will be released there on November 11.

It look’s like it’s got some pretty nice specs.  20Gb harddrive, bluetooth, Blu-Ray compatible.  They have new wireless controllers that take advantage of the bluetooth capabilities.  You can surf the web on it, download and rip music.  You can also opt for the higher-end model that boasts a 60Gb harddrive and WiFi capabilities.

It looks really nice.  Of course, it’s ridiculously priced.  ::start sarcasm:: The low-end model comes in at a modest $499, while the high-end model is practically being given away with the low low cost of only $599.  ::end sarcasm::

Yeah, I think I’ma stick with my PS2 that I play so infrequently it’s practically still in out-of-the-box condition.  I have my three games I like and will play when I get a free moment, as sporatic as they are. 

Of course, all of these pale in comparison to the greatest gaming console of all time, boasting some of the greatest games ever.

Super Mario BrothersMike Tyspn's Punch OutThe Legend of Zelda

Nintendo's Wii | Available 11.19.06If you want a more reasonably priced new console, go for Nintendo’s Wii, for only $250.  I hear they have a brand new Zelda game to be available on the release date.  You can get your Wii on November 19.





Shoutout to Jessie. Cause I told her I would and cause she’s just so amazing that she gets her own blog post dedicated to her.  She is mad cool and lets me know it all the time.  She’s my little sister, and if anyone ever tried anything with her I would probably have to break them in half.


The end of an era

Acme as seen on Magie AveFor as long as I can remember, the Acme has always been sitting there on Magie Ave in Union as the neighborhood supermarket. We’re talking over 20 years of being the community store for groceries and the like. That all is about to change, however.

Twenty minutes ago, at 4pm EST on October 30, 2006, Acme closed its doors for good. They announced about a month ago that the store was shutting its doors and that it would thereafter become a CVS or Rite Aid or something.

Where'd all the Hot Sauce go?For the past month it has been a very depressing atmosphere in there. Slowly, the store’s stock has declined and the shelves became emptier and emptier. The store workers stopped smiling, and even though they continued to play the same old Musak, there was a somber atmosphere about the place.

No more chicken.  How sad.  :(Me and Michael went there about a half hour ago just to see what was going on during Acme’s last hurrah , and also to see if we can get any “Super Closeout Pricings.” Well, nothing was on sale, but it was even stranger in there today. The shelves were almost completely empty. There were about 2 employees there and one Acme Executive-type person.

And now, as the store has closed, they are packing up the remainder of the inventory and shipping it off elsewhere. Tomorrow the last traces of the old Acme will be gone forever, and the lot will become a construction site.

Here’s to you, Acme, and your years of service and sales to our neighborhood!

Farethee well, Acme

The eternal debate

There has been a debate raging for as long as I have been alive. A debate of mammoth proportions. A debate between two ideas that could change the very course of human history. Sometimes it gets more heated than others. Sometimes the two seem like the could co-exist, side by side. Other times it seems as if the two seek only to destroy each other. You know of which debate I speak of. Of course, it can be summed up in three simple words: “PC or Mac.”

Seems like their friends, doesn't it.I recently bought my first Mac, a 13″ MacBook, a few short months ago. I will admit that I love it… very much. There is so much you can do with it. So many awesomely cool little apps, not available for PC, that can just do the coolest things. Not life-changing things. But things that make the computing experience even slightly more enjoyable and that give the feeling that you are somehow special and part of a special group to have these things available to you. I understand where the “Mac people” are coming from. But I love my PC. Make no mistake. It’s home built. I grew up with it. I know how to make it do things that many Mac people I know can’t even do on their “elite machines.”

But things have come up recently that make me question the future of my computing environment preferences. I think that there is a good likelihood that I may switch to 100%, or near 100% Mac. The major reason for this thought process is based on the news I’m hearing about Windows Vista. Pure evil?Rumors, yes, but they make me wary. Rumors of all the new security blocks they put up to protect from Spyware. They’re needed, I understand. I tried to install a 3rd-party program add-on a month or two ago on my PC, and upon opening the file I saw a small black command prompt open and close within a microsecond and instantly realized, “I’m in trouble.” I’ve been fighting this piece of Spyware since and cannot rid myself of it. It’s nasty. And annoying. So I understand these added security measures. But they sound a little too over-the-top for me. They sound like they will annoy me and slow me down too much from doing actual work. All kinds of password verification requests and a thousand confirmation boxes to do simple tasks.

But the most troublesome rumor I’ve heard is how WGAis going to handle possible illegal copies of Vista. As it stands, If WGA finds your copy of windows to possibly be illegal, it will annoy the crap out of you to get you to register. Reminders over and over and over again. Maybe it contacts Microsoft. I’m not sure. With the new Vista WGA, the OS will lock up, only allowing you to surf the web for a max of 1-hour and not allowing you to do much more than copy and paste files within the actual OS. It will hijack your computer from you and, basically, shut it down.

Now, I understand that too. I have a legit copy of XP. I got it in college while there, and have kept it ever since. And you may say that this new protection won’t affect legitimate Windows users, but the truth is that WGA is so buggy in and of itself that there are thousands of false-positve and false-negative piracy identifications. People who have legit Windows are said to have bootleg copies. As it stands, they can still use their legal Windows, albeit while being annoyed every day with reminder bubbles, but with the new Vista WGA, these legal users will have their computers locked because WGA “thinks” they’re pirates.

Goodbye Xp, hello VistaThere’s more. I just don’t like how it sounds. I mean, I like my XP. I will continue to use it. But I don’t think I’ll be switching to Vista. And as such, eventually I’m going to have to move on to a new OS because XP will get too outdated. So it’s either Mac OS or Linux or something. I like Mac. I think I may buy a new iMac or Mac Pro with my next bonus/tax rebate checks. We shall see.

New beginnings

So here’s something new.  WilliamHartz.com, huh?  Yeah, I decided that it was time to get my own “real” website.  So I registered my own domain.  Creative URL, isn’t it?  I thought so.

Anyway, I don’t know exactly what will become of this.  I orginally registered a MySpace account back somewhere near the end of 2005/beginning of 2006 in hopes of reconnecting with high school friends.  I knew about this phenomenon known as “blogging” but really wanted not much to do with it.  Then I started posting once in a while, and enjoyed it.  I like the MySpace blog.  But I realilze that using MySpace’s blog is about as effective as using the AOL-Browser instead of IE in the 1990’s (JavaScript, anyone?)  Great tool with useful features, but completely limited in its ability.

I learned a bit about RSS  and XML and broadcasting things in recent weeks.  I learned just some of the awesome technologies available to us, here in the year 2006, thanks to great podcasts such as MacBreak Weekly.  I decided it was time to take this to the next level.  So I registered this new blog here, to start off with.  What else will be added on to this page?  A forum?  A fully-functional website with all kinds of cool content – audio, video, etc?  I don’t know.  Time will tell.

For now, we have this nifty little blog available, which will be updated periodically.  Possibly daily.  Maybe bi-daily.  (Is that a word?)  Again, we shall see.  I’ll talk about the things I learn about God, as I am always questioning, probing, and searching for greater and deeper truth of him.  I shall post about the latest and greatest in technology as I learn it.  And, of course, as one would expect of me, look forward to plenty of random and pointless “crap” to appear on here as well… anything that catches my fancies or makes me laugh.  I’ll post of the odd circumstances that beset me or my experiences while at work or play.

One thing that I really am excited about is that this very blog is RSS-enabled.  What does that mean?  Well, look down in the very bottom-right corner of the page to the little button that says “Simply Headlines.”  Click on there and subscribe and you can receive an email every day on what is posted here or changes or other things.  It’s setup in a convenient newspaper format.  Really cool stuff.  There’s a Google button there as well, which will allow you to add this Blog feed onto your main Google search page.  I’ll add more items in the near-future.

One thing that will really make this fun is if people comment and ask questions and discuss.  I’m not fishing for attention a la so many millions on MySpace who define their character by how many pic comments they have, but rather I want to encourage open discussion and interaction.  Again, I will add more in the near future to promote this.

You can always check my older blogs via myspace at http://blog.myspace.com.  I may try to transfer the others over here, but I haven’t reached that decision yet.

Until then, I take my leave.