Author Archives: Daniel


I was just a one of my favorite websites when I saw that the PowerPak on sale for $125 instead of its regular $135. I got one of these little devices a year ago and I love. In essense it is just an NES cartrige, except for one little thing, instead of having a single game on it, it can have as many as you like. All you have to do is put your legally backed up NES games on a compact flash card, put that card in the PowerPak, and stick it in your NES. Retro gaming couldn’t be more perfect. Other sites have gone into more depth on the device, so I won’t here, but I will say this. I waited for two years, checking the site about once every week or so, until one became available and I snatched it up as quick as I could. Don’t wait to get one. It’s worth it.



There is one other reason why I bring this up now. I recently purchased three NES clone systems, and soon I will be building three different portable NES systems from the clones. I can’t wait to get back to my tools and modding supplies.

Forthcoming/Current projects:

  • GlaDos speakers
  • Portable NES laptop
  • Portable NES in an NES controller – idea
  • NES in an old Gameboy
  • Steampunk gaming headset
  • Couch of Boom! (Couch with three 8″ subs, two bass shakers, and one transducer built in)

The couch will cost about $750 to build, so I will have to save for that one. The NES mods should be less than $100 for all the combined. The GlaDos speakers just need a little TLC and time to be complete (they sound great by the way. I love listening to music with them and encourage anyone to copy or adapt my build). The steampunk headphones will cost about $250, and will feature a built in tube amp.

Memorial Day Weekend

Las Vegas presents Chelsea and I with some opportunities we may not have again. A few weeks ago we went and saw Mystere, a Cirque Du Soleil show at the Treasure Island resort and casino. The show was really spectacular. Mind blowing in a lot of ways. I would recommend anyone of any age to see it. I would also recommend Blue Man Group if you are ever in Vegas or anywhere that Blue Man Group plays. The bad thing about living here now is that Chelsea and I are very poor at the moment. I am unemployed, and nobody wants to hire someone who is going to be gone in six weeks when I move again. The good this is, though, there are also some very free (or extremely inexpensive) things to do as well.

Last Saturday Chelsea and I got up and went to MotorCars of Las Vegas. They are the only authorized seller of the Shelby Super Cars (SSC) Ultimate Aero, the world’s fastest production automobile. The showroom location is pretty far from the strip, which means that idiot gawkers like me probably don’t show up very often to look at the cars. Chelsea and I showed up and asked if we could look around and take some pictures for my website. I was happy to hear that it was fine and Tom Brazill, general manager gave me his card and asked if we had any questions. I asked if they had an Aero, but he said they all sell before they ever make it to the showroom. As it turns out, Tom is a good friend of Jarod Shelby, owner of SSC. Tom was there when the record was broken and the SSC officially became the world’s fastest production car.

To be honest, I am not a car guy, but because the record was broken in West Richland, WA (my backyard), where SSC is located, and because I love to see people pursuing their dreams and succeeding, the excitement of that record breaking moment burned inside me. I could tell by Tom’s excitement that it was a moment he wouldn’t forget, and one he loved to relive by telling others about it. I was grateful for the opportunity.

After talking to Tom Chelsea and I walked around and she took my picture in front of a Bugatti Veyron, the world’s 2nd fastest production car. It was pretty cool. A sign said not to touch. I debated asking Tom if I couldn’t get inside a few of the cars, but didn’t want to take advantage of his generosity. We were there about fifteen minutes before heading off for the rest of the day’s activities.



Chelsea said she liked the doors on this Lamborghini. She called them, “very ’80’s.”


After looking at cars, Chelsea and I headed off to Lake Mead for a hike.  The previous day’s search at located Lake Mead: Railroad Tunnel Trail. The trail is pretty easy since it was the rail line used to bring supplies for building the Hoover Dam. There are five small tunnels, which are decent checkpoints and distance markers in the hike. They also provide much needed shade from the hundred degree sun. Out and back through the tunnels is five miles, but if you stay on the trail it will take you out to the Hoover Dam, and will be a ~7-7.5 mile hike, which is not bad. Chelsea and I decided to go all the way to the dam.

Chelsea in front of two short tunnels.


Some views from the trail. Don’t notice my fly check.



After you pass through all five tunnels, a sign informs you that you are entering government property, and asks that you stay on the trail. You will eventually see signs telling you that anywhere not on the trail is restricted. Fun. The closer you get to the dam, the more evidence you see of a nearby power station. The trail gives you a free backstage tour.


Copy the image source and open it in a new tab to see this one full size. You could hear the buzz and hum of pure energy flowing through the wires. It was pretty cool.


It wasn’t long before we were there. If you are ever at the Hoover Dam and wonder where these stairs go at the top of the parking garage, don’t follow them. It will be a few miles.


Chels and I on the dam. You can’t really see the dam, so this could have been taken anywhere.


Some more dam pictures.




Those driving over the dam don’t actually get to see what they are driving on. This new bridge should help.


Proof that at least Chelsea made it all the way to the dam.


The hike was totally worth it, and the Hoover Dam was a pretty good reward for the miles under our feet. However, I don’t see how anyone could ever feel this is a place worth driving to and spending money on. Tours are ridiculously expensive, and from what I’m told, you have to pay to drive over the dam and to park. Lame. I’m glad Chelsea and I went, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way than hiking.

So, after a long hike, what do you do? Chelsea and I decided that Lake Mead would be a good place to rest our tired feet. We both went completely under in the lake, and I swam while Chelsea read a book on the beach.


Someone needs a diet, and it’s not the girl.


The day was great, and we still had Monday for fun! By Monday I had decided to drive down to San Diego and get an Aprilia RS50 that I found on craigslist. I purchesed the bike and took it to the shop on Tuesday. It’s still there now. It needed some work. I need to go get it titled and registered in NV, which I think also means me getting a Nevada drivers license, which is nothing more than a proof of residency and an eye test. After that I will have transportation. I have a really great paint job in mind too, but that will have to wait a while. Pictures of the bike to come soon.

Disneyland. A report in pictures.

My last post was a quick report that Chelsea and I went to Disneyland, and gave a list of all the attractions we were able to see. Hopefully this will be a little more exciting.

Here’s a picture of Chelsea before we left.

Here’s Mad Greek Gyros in Baker, CA on the way to Disneyland. I saw it on the food network and just had to eat there. The food is really expensive for what it is. That said, the gyro was really really good. The strawberry shake tasted like garbage.

While in Disneyland I met Ryan for the first time. We have been online friends for seven years. We met at junkmachine, owned by Tim Wasson who was featured on Tech TV with his NES PC. Ryan and I became friends with our mutual interest in old school gaming. Ryan started Old School Systems when Tim sold junkmachine and we became better friends there. When Old School Systems died, I started this site and Ryan started Original D, a really great Disneyland website. It was cool to meet someone in person that you have known for a long time online. Not only that, but Ryan and his friends were really cool guys and hung out with me and my family. I’ll make sure we have a meet up every time I go to Disneyland from now on. It was great.

The rest of these are in no particular order.

Chels and I on Tom Sawyer Island.

They’ve added some Pirates of the Caribbean elements to the island that makes it a lot of fun.

A picture of us on Hollywood Twilight Tower of Terror. Row 2, left to right: My mom, dad, sister, and Ryan’s friend Matt. Row 1, left to right: Me, Chelsea, Ryan, and Ryan’s friend Tim.

All of us waiting in line for Toy Story: Midway Mania.

Chelsea with Minnie Mouse.

Here’s Chelsea on the Storybook Land ride. This ride is really cool if you love horticulture and miniatures. The plants are all real, including many bonsai trees that are over 150 years old. It really is amazing.

Chelsea on the Mad Hatter Teacups. You really can’t spin that fast, but it’s still fun.

Chelsea pretending to ride the Dumbo ride. We never really went on this one.

Here’s the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This was my favorite ride as a kid. Now, I’m not really sure where it is on the list.

Here’s the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite ride. The updates aren’t offensive like Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management was. It’s mostly original. I love it.

They have a million versions of these hats now. When I was little all of them were black. You could pay to have your name sewn into the back. It was done by hand in yellow thread. Ah, memories.

A shot of the castle. This one is Sleeping Beauty’s Snow White’s I think, and Cinderella’s is in Disney World, but I’m not sure. [EDIT] I know this one is Aurora’s, or Sleeping Beauty, because of the self guided storybook tour inside of that story. Thank Ryan for pointing out my error in writing the more easily remembered name of another princess who is also cast under an evil spell only to awake from true love’s kiss. I really knew who’s castle it was and meant Aurora even when I typed Snow White. Oh well. Haha.

Chelsea in front of a fake street. The effect is pretty convincing.

Chelsea and I on the train. It was fun and a quick way around the park.

Some pictures of us on Autopia. The ride is not as good once you can legally drive. It was pretty good when I was little though.

Finally we have some pics of ASIMO in the Innoventions discovery area. I thought the demonstration was too scripted. I would have liked to see an audience member give him a command, and I would have liked to see him get pushed to see how well he recovers. As it was, it was too hard to tell which stuff was just pre-programmed movement/speech and what was actually calculated by ASIMO.

Weekend trip to Disneyland

Chelsea and I left Las Vegas around 4:00 and drove to Anaheim for the weekend. We checked into the hotel around 8:30 and got to the park around 9:00. We stayed until midnight Friday, for the full sixteen hours the park was open on Saturday, and for seven and a half hours on Sunday. Here’s a list of all the things we did.

Mad Tea Party
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Indiana Jones Adventure (x2)
Matterhorn Bobsleds (both tracks)
Space Mountain (x3)
Splash Mountain (x2)
We met Minnie Mouse on Mainstreet USA
Main Street Cinema
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Enchanted Tiki Room
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Haunted Mansion
Jungle Cruise
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean (x2)
Snow White’s Scary Adventures
“it’s a small world”
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Storybook Land Canal Boats
Disneyland Railroad (transportation)
Fire Engine (transportation)
Billy Hill & The Hillbillies
Jedi Training Academy
“Remember… Dreams Come True” Fireworks Spectacular

California Screamin’ (x2)
Grizzly River Run
Soarin’ Over California
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (x3)
Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar
Muppet Vision 3D
Toy Story Mania! (x2)
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular
Turtle Talk with Crush

To some, that may look like we did a whole lot with our time. To others, it may look like we didn’t get a whole lot done. That said, we only had about 26 hours in the park and we did 48 things. How did we do it? Well, I have a a few tips for getting around and doing all the things you want to do while in Disneyland.

1. Do some research and make a plan.
Make a list of the rides you want to go on most, and the ones you would like to go on if you get the chance. Make sure you are flexible as well. Anyone who has been to Disneyland knows that a good ride sequence would go some thing like this: Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure. The rides are in the same part of the park and are in that order when walking. If you want to go on all the mountains in Disneyland, you will waste a lot of time walking from one side of the park to the other trying to get to them. You will waste a lot time and walking if you try to go from Space Mountain to Splash Mountain to The Matterhorn to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Make sure you know that before you go.

2. Go with a small group.
I can’t tell you how much better it is when your group is small. You will do so much more. You can get in and out of the larger, slower walking groups much more easily, and you have fewer wants to meet. Larger groups means more bathroom stops, more food stand stops, and more waiting in line so you can all ride together. When you say you have a group of eight, they will stop you at the front of the line and fish the two or three person groups ahead of you and onto the ride. You may only wait two or three minutes more when that happens, but multiply that by ten rides and you have missed out on something else you could have been doing.

3. Learn how to get around.
The map you pick up at the entrance will show you that there is a center hub, and to get to one area of the park to the other, you should go through that hub near the castle. The map is a bit of a liar. If the line is short, the train is a good way to get around. It comes every five minutes and takes you to all parts of the magic kingdom. There are also many secret paths that are much more direct than back out to the center of the circle and across. Cut through shops that connect to two different lands. Find a seldom used path behind a building to beat the crowds. With a little experimentation you will soon know all the best ways around the park. You will be thankful you did and your feet will be too.

4. Speaking of feet, wear comfortable shoes.
I went to Disneyland last month too. I was wearing a pair of shoes that I had worn every day for a little more than one year. That said, those shoes were comfortable. They knew my feet and my feet knew them. I walked around all day and my feet felt great. While on the trip, though, the sole wore through. Because of the holes, I bought new shoes earlier this month and my feet suffered for it in Disneyland this time. After just three hours that first night, my feet throbbed and ached and complained at me, and it didn’t get any better as the trip went on. Even the best experience can be ruined if some discomfort or pain is preoccupying your mind. That said, make sure you wear a pair of comfortable, worn in shoes when you go to Disneyland. You will get more done because you won’t want to quit as early.

5. Be aware of the time.
This is my final tip. There are a lot of shows during the day that attract a lot of people to them. Fantasmic, fireworks, and the parades are the best ones. Because they are the best, the most people are going to go to those ones. If you have already seen them, now is a good time to go on some rides. In most cases, the lines will be a lot shorter. Enjoy two or three rides during this time. There are also times during the day when there will be fewer people. Make sure you are one of those few. Children get up later than adults do, and they call it quits earlier as well. Get to the park as soon as it opens and go on that ride that always has a long line and no fast passes. Save the kiddie rides until late at night. The kids will go home and the other adults will be doing the bigger thrill rides. Go on every ride in fantasy land in little more than one hour. The rides are silly, but a lot of them are original to the park, and if you have never been on them, they are better than waiting in lines.

Pinewood Derby

I hate being that person who never updates their site, but I am. For a quick update to the present, I finished the semester at BYU-I, I went on tour with Vocal Union and Sound Alliance to California, Nevada, and Utah, and I’ve moved to Las Vegas now. I’m looking for a job now, but if I don’t find one, then maybe I will have a lot of time to be productive and make this site what it could and should be.

Flashback to last semester, I was working from 11PM to 5AM on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. One week I wanted to participate in a campus wide pinewood derby event. The race was Thursday, and the only tools I had were my Dremel and a coping saw. That said, between Monday and Thursday night I only got 6 hours of sleep total. I was exhausted, but happy and I went to all my classes and work, so not bad at all. In the end I had the slowest car, but won best automotive design, which is all I really wanted anyway. Pics below.


Weighed down with quarters.


Reed’s Dairy

Reed’s Dairy is a Dairy in Idaho Falls that makes the best chocolate milk I have ever had. Since my wife and I are moving to Vegas in a few weeks, we will never have the delicious milk ever again. Maybe at some point I will be able to replicate the thick creamy chocolate milk I love so much and rarely ever have. You may think that $5 for a half gallon is too much, and I think that is probably right, but it is worth getting at least once every few months. It’s so good.

So what is the ingredient list? Well, Fresh Milk, Cream, Sugar, Potato Flakes, and Dutch Cocoa.

Potato flakes may seem like a weird ingredient, but you can’t taste it at all and I think they help to give that amazing thickness to the milk that gives you a Got Milk ad quality mustache.

I should add that one cup contains 9g of fat, 6g of saturated fat, and 25g of sugar. Those numbers should help me when trying to replicate the milk later.

If you are ever in southern Idaho, make sure to find some Reed’s Gourmet Chocolate Milk. You will not regret it.

When I’m not modding I . . .

I thought some people might wonder what goes on when I am not updating the site or modding in order to update the site. Well, like most of you, I waste my life away with youtube. Youtube gives me inspiration, but mostly I just try to find something to make me laugh out loud. Today I’ll post three videos made by the notorious StSanders who . . . well you will just have to see.

My favorite three in the ‘Shreds’ series.

Jake E. Lee Shreds. Ozzy’s clapping is the best.

Santana brings you the final countdown.

K.I.S.S. This is just amazing!

First Videos of the GlaDos Speakers and Companion Cube Subwoofer

I uploaded these videos to youtube last week and, like the busy person I am, am only now posting them to the site. I still can’t find the camera I used to take progress pics. I’m sure it is at my parents house somewhere. I’ll find it when I go home again. For now, I just have some videos of the speakers and subwoofer together. I’ll do a video tour of the speakers, sub, and new apartment soon. For now, enjoy the videos.

A triumph.

Outkast. The song is called “Intro” from the album “Speakerboxx”

I’m open to requests. Have any?

A new poem.

I’ve had a video uploading to youtube for 48 hours. I’m not sure if I should keep waiting or not. This is really irritating. For now you can enjoy another poem I wrote for creative writing.


Oh if I could be un-
interrupted by wandering eyes
and shifting feet.

I would stop, accept the pain
of disinterest, except I might
expose your offense and offend.

To be aware, yet share,
my excitement of thought extinguished,
extinguishes your smoldering interest.

GlaDos Update and Moving In

Well, a little more than a month ago I got married. We spent Christmas with her family in Hyde Park, NY, had a second reception in Kennewick, WA and then moved to Rexburg, ID to start going to school again at BYU-I. All in all it has been very crazy planning the wedding, traveling, and moving. Hopefully now that some things have been fixed a little on the site I can get some better updates for all of you, including a re-cap of the wedding. For now, let me give a view of our apartment.

We applied to move in, thinking that the floor plan would be like this and that the sq. footage would be ~450. Barf!


Measuring the space though, it seems we only have ~335 sq. feet. I didn’t measure two of the closets, but they are extremely tiny and I’m sure don’t add another 100sq. feet. I’m a bit mad about the advertising of that really. However, the layout of the apartment is about 100 times better. The front door enters into the lving room, which is connected to the kitchen. This total space is 172 sq. feet. It works well and is way better than entering into a hallway/kitchen. The bedroom is smaller, only 126 sq. feet, which is big enough for a bed, and . . . that’s pretty much it. There is a small closet in there (which is part of that total 126 ft), and we put a dresser in there too. Finally, we have a 36 sq. foot bathroom, which is big enoug for a sink, toilet, and full size tub/shower combination. It’s pretty alright.

Move in pictures!

Front room, as seen from kitchen.


Bedroom, looking into bathroom. I should add that not single baseboard heater does anything. Oh well. We have blankets.


Here’s the kitchen. I’m looking in from the living room area. It’s pretty alright, way better than that floorplan. I’ve seen some of the apartments with the other floorplan and they all look, messy, no matter how they are organized.


Here are some pictures of my computer and speaker set up. The speakers sound so good, and it is something you really can’t describe.



I really do have build pics of these speakers showing how I got them to where they are. I will post them as soon as I get them. I’ll need to ask my sister to email them to me. For now, enjoy! I’ll get a youtube video up soon, if only my slow internet will get it uploaded!