Site News Archives - 2003
|Sunday, December 14th, 2003
Misutka Appears on BruceArmstrong.net!
Network. The most recent upgrade in the computer arena has been
a wireless network. I went with the 802.11g D-Link
Xtreme G products because of an advertised speed doubling
capability called "Super-G". Supposedly it will allow a
maximum transfer rate of 108mbps as opposed to 802.11g's standard
of 54mbps. By using this with the HTPC, I was finally able to get
rid of an Ethernet cable that had been lying in the floor for a year
and a half. I have a PCI card in my HTPC and a PC-card in my laptop. In
testing without Super-G, I can take the laptop to the farthest point
in the house (4 walls away) and get 48mbps. I still need to do some
more testing to see if the alleged speed-doubling really does
anything, but either way, I got an excellent deal at buy.com, so
even if I don't use Super-G, this system was worth it.
|Sunday, December 7th, 2003
||Holly's 9th Birthday. Lots of relatives came
over Saturday night to celebrate Holly's 9th Birthday. Later in the
week, she had another party with her friends at a glamorous makeover
place in the mall called Libby
Lu's. As usual, we've got web galleries with lots of photos.
Click either image see the corresponding gallery.
Simple Halloween Costume. Click this small image for a
Also check out the Boomerang
Expo Photo Galleries again. I now include links to several
|Monday, October 20th, 2003
|USBA National Boomerang Expo in Houston.
Though I flipped and flopped about whether to actually attend this
thing, boy am I glad we went! We had planned to merely spectate,
take part in workshops, and help out wherever we could, but on the
night we arrived, I ran into tournament director Tony Brazelton, and he
convinced Andrew, Holly, and me to sign up for the actual
competitions. Andrew, or "Ace" as he was known by the
other boomerangers, is now the National Champion of the both
the Novice and Junior divisions. Holly won several silver medals,
and I even managed to score a few medals myself in the Intermediate
division. Check back soon for a longer write-up on this super-fun
event, but for now enjoy
the photo galleries.
You may also be interested in these articles from the local
Couple of New Lists. I was looking through a drawer and was
astounded by just how many computer parts receipts were stuffed in
there. After I pulled them out, I realized they dated back pretty
far and decided to see how accurately I could list my computer
purchases over the years. It's not done yet, but it's pretty close.
I think this list could come in handy for some of you guys to show
your wives and say, "See Honey? I don't buy that much
computer stuff." Click here for the Armstrong
In that same drawer, I found quite a few concert ticket stubs. My
first thought was "Man, I used to have a lot of fun." My
second thought was "Hey, there's another list I can make for Bruce's
Self-Indulgence Page." This list has lots of missing dates and
venues, and probably lots of missing concerts, but I've put out the
call to friends to help me fill in the blanks. Click here for my Concert
||Holly's Biography of Annie Oakley. Holly's big
school project recently was to read a biography of a famous American
and prepare an oral presentation where she dressed as her subject.
She chose Annie Oakley and she did a fantastic job. She was
obviously very well prepared and spoke at length on Annie's life
without having to consult her notes.
Kudos to Holly's Nannie, Aunt Debbie, and Mom
for helping make sure she looked the part. After Andrew's Meriwether
Lewis costume, and now this, I think they could enjoy careers as
Hollywood costumer designers.
|20-Year High School Reunion. Though I took an
embarrassingly small number of photos at the June 21st reunion, I
have finally put together a web photo album. Click
here to check it out.
Wax Museum. This happened way back on May 15th, but I have finally got
the newspaper article scanned in and the new web gallery software working,
so here you go:
Andrew's 5th grade class (and the 6th grade class) participated in a
huge project in which they wrote research papers, prepared a museum
exhibit, and finally dressed and performed as a historical figure they
admired. It was very impressive and it was easy to see that all the
students had put tons of work into it. The kids would stand still as
statues (WAX statues) until a patron walked up and touched them. At that
point they would "come to life" and give a summary of their life
and accomplishments, possibly with a little dramatic acting thrown in.
This was a large enough event that it was written up in the Oak Cliff
Tribune. Click here or on the image at
the left to see a color photo gallery of the 5th grade kids in character.
New Phenomenon. Years ago, when I used to do a bit of
home-brewing, my best batch was named "Bruce's Naked Ale"
and subtitled "A Strong Creamy Nude Brew". The
reasons for these names are unimportant to this story. What is
important is that rearranging the letters (as an anagram) in "A
Strong Creamy Nude Brew" gives "Bruce Dewayne
Armstrong", my full name. Some of my friends theorized that my
mother must have known that I would eventually become a beer-brewer
and had to have taken that into consideration when naming me.
this next phenomenon is amazing, but not without precedent. As many
of you know, Andrew's nickname at school has been "Ace"
for a few years now. For many years
throughout my youth, I used my initials "BDA" for signing
artwork and had a particular stylized version which was all straight
lines and angles. Recently when the kids were playing with some
sidewalk chalk, I drew my initials in that style, and since Andrew
liked how it looked, he wrote out "ACE" in the same style.
I didn't think too much about it for a while, until over the weekend
we were painting some boomerangs and were trying to think of
something cool to make a stencil of. We decided that he would make
an "ACE" stencil for his boomerang and I would make a
"BDA" stencil for mine. Imagine my shock when I realized
that the same stencil would work for both! Freaky!
didn't get around to using our stencils yet, but I did whip up a
quick animation to display this Amazing Phenomenon!
Andrew's Sleepover Birthday
Party. For Andrew's 11th birthday party, he wanted to have a
sleepover with some friends from school so they could play video
games, watch movies, and basically goof off. The boys had tons of
fun and Michelle and I were worn to a frazzle. Having 5 computers
networked for Motocross
Madness 2 was the hit of the evening. The boys would've chased
each other around on motorcycles all night if we hadn't dragged them
off the PCs.
see a small gallery of photos from the night, visit Andrew's page at
|Tuesday, April 15th, 2003
|"Spring Musical" at
the Kids' School. Both kids worked hard memorizing their songs
and hand-motions. Andrew even had a small solo and was the standout
voice of the show (in my personal opinion). We got the still-shot
camera out a little late, but there is a photo
gallery of what we did get. We may even put a video clip of
Andrew's solo on here if he authorizes it.
New Bluebonnet Photos Added. On the way
home from the musical, we stopped on the side of the road to take a
few more Bluebonnet shots right before sunset. Click
here to see them.
Andrew at the mic for his solo.
||Texas Bluebonnet Photos. After
an aborted attempt yesterday (forgotten memory card for the camera)
we went over to Mountain View College this evening and took some
photos among the bluebonnets. Click
here to see a few of the shots.
|Thursday, April 10th, 2003
|Female Boomerang Phenomenon. Check
out Boomsmith.com for a new
article telling of Holly's
latest boomerang exploits. She's really getting good! OK,
there's a pretty good story about Andrew, too, but Holly really was
the star of the day.
|Saturday, April 5th, 2003
Another Whack to the Head.
Michelle called me up Saturday afternoon and said in a
none-too-enthusiastic voice, "I'll give you two guesses where I
am." I missed my first two guesses, but when she hinted that we had
just spent some time there in December, my heart sank and I knew she was
at the emergency room. She said it was Holly this time, but she quickly
assured me that it wasn't nearly as bad an injury this time. Her hope was
that instead of stitches, the wound could be closed with glue.
It turns out Holly had been hit in the
head with a putter. She was at a birthday party at a miniature golf
course, and apparently one of the girls attempted a non-minigolf style
tee-off, swinging her putter like a golf club. Holly got hit pretty
much in the middle of her forehead, and luckily it really wasn't as bad as
Andrew's horrific wound. After triage and a several-hour wait at the
emergency room, it was determined that glue could indeed be used instead
of stitches. Strangely, they said to leave the bandage on until it fell
off. Now I thought that a wound should be allowed to "breath"
some, so leaving the bandage on seemed odd. And I don't know if that was
really a contributing factor or not, but unfortunately, by the time she
went back to see the doctor a few days later, the wound had become
infected. That is likely to make the scarring worse than it might
otherwise have been. We'll just have to wait and see.
And for all you morbidly curious folks who want to
see pictures: Sorry. There's really nothing to see since there's always
been a bandage on it when she's been around a camera. The original wound
wasn't spectacular enough that a plastic surgeon would want it for his
"memories" book like Andrew's was. You can see in the boomerang
shot above exactly where and how large the injury is, but what you're
really seeing is the bandage.
<Insert Child Protective Services joke here.>
|Wednesday, March 20th, 2003
||Catoosa Class of '83 Yearbook Photos. After
looking through old yearbooks with a high school chum a few weeks
back, and considering that my 20-year reunion is coming up this
summer, I decided that it would be neat to have some yearbook photos
available online. I started scanning in our senior photos, but
decided that I could do better than just a basic scan of each page.
What I wanted was to have all the pictures like they are in the
yearbooks, but also give the viewer the opportunity to see how many
of these people they can remember. It's not a quiz actually, but you
can look at someone's photo and then hold your mouse over it to get
a pop-up message with their name. Click
here to see who you remember..
|Sunday, February 16th, 2003
Weekend. I finally bit the bullet and bought all the parts needed to
rebuild my destroyed computer. The
motherboard I got is an excellent
Asus model with lots of good stuff built-in to replace various fried
components. The CPU is just a bit faster than my previous one (XP 2200+
vs. XP1700+) and I ended up with another brand of video card, but with the
same GeForce4 Ti 4200 chipset I had before. I bought two 256MB PC2700 DDR
RAM modules. The old ones were PC2100, so there's another slight speedup.
I've only bought one 80GB HD so far, but those are getting real cheap and
I'll get more storage space soon. Craziest of all, is that I also bought a
DVD burner! More on this as I get more experience with it. (I also need to
update the hardware page with all these
The weekend was spent not only putting
my new system together, but also putting both Holly's system and the HTPC
into different cases. Previously, in the futile hope that a new power
supply was all I would need to get my computer back up and running, I had
purchased a new case and power supply from Fry's. The case was a
nice-looking bronze case (pictured here) and it had a quiet power supply,
so it became the new home of the HTPC. It's not nearly as conspicuous next
to the rest of the home theater equipment as the old beige case was (new
photos coming soon).
After transferring the guts of the HTPC
into this new case, there were still a few jobs left to do. Andrew was at
a sleepover with a friend, so it was time for some father-daughter
geek-out bonding. Holly was very happy to help in moving the HTPC's old,
loud power supply to my PC's case. She enjoyed that screwdriver work so
much that we decided it would be a good time to get rid of her junky old
PC case and move her PC guts into the old HTPC case. She did all the work
of removing her power supply and installing it in the new-to-her case. I
had to do the motherboard transfer, but she helped install the hard
drives, floppy drive, and CD-ROM. Basically, every screw in her PC, she
put in herself. She did an excellent job!
Computer Disaster. There was a
power outage yesterday, and the electricity came back on, my computer was
destroyed. Read way more than you want to know about
Updated the Xbox
page. Added a Playstation 2 page and a lengthy Grand
Theft Auto: Vice City review.
|Friday, January 17th, 2003
|Happy New Year. Well, it's been awhile since
I've updated the page. (I blame Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for
stealing all my free time.) Now I have finally put together a
gallery of Christmas 2002 photos.
Not as many photos as last year (we
kinda forgot to get the camera out while opening presents in
In other news, Andrew got a
Playstation 2 for Christmas. So much for all my research and why
I think an Xbox is superior. But it was from Santa, and you
can't argue with him. We also got several new Xbox and PS2 games
both for Christmas, and at Blockbuster's
"buy-two-get-one-free" previously played games sale. Check
back soon for an update to our Xbox page,
a new PS2 page, and/or a new Xbox vs. PS2 page.