Running About in OKC
My wife and I first got hooked on Half Priced Books during a random trip to Dallas Texas. I had heard of the chain before, but had never been to one. At that point we had a Garmin GPS and we punched “book” into the POI search and happened to find one nearby. From that point onwards when we went to a new area we immediately searched to see if they had any of the stores. During a trip to Madison Wisconsin we managed to hit three different stores up there, and on our last trip to Dallas I think we hit around fifteen of them. Tulsa unfortunately does not have any yet, but an hour and a half from Tulsa in Oklahoma City they have three of them in the metro area. So every now and then we make a trip down there just for the purpose of hitting all three of them.
I was trying to explain to my coworkers what makes them special, and if you have never been… and especially if you not a bibliophile it just would never make any sense. One of the most magic things about the store is they have a rather large used role-playing games section. On past trips I have found all sorts of wonders, but just the simple fact that a store exists in Oklahoma with this sort of stuff makes me happy. This trip I honestly didn’t walk away with much from HBP. I picked up a Minecraft book by scholastic, that is obviously targeting children but manages to explain Redstone wiring in a simple enough manner that I think I can “grok” it. Additionally I picked up the second book in the Odd Thomas series, and the Silent Hill Collection for the PS3 since I have never actually played 2 or 3 in that series but loved the hell out of the first one.
Another thing we did yesterday was run around to a series of pawn shops in my search for “cheap” Xbox 360 and PS3 games. I managed to stumble onto a cache of $5 a piece PS3 games here in Tulsa at a Cash America pawn shop, and I knew that in OKC they had at least 11 of them. We tried to hit as many of them as we could while weaving across town to hit all three of the HBP stores. The lesson of the day seemed to be that OKC wanted more for their stuff than I was willing to pay for it. Locally the most you will ever pay for a game in a pawn shop is $15, and while wandering across OKC I routinely saw them for as much as $30 in the same pawn shop chains we have here in town. I even managed to hit a Game XChange which is a chain that used to be really big around here… and there they were selling PS4 games that you can buy brand new at Target for $39.95 for $54.
When I see a price like that, maybe it is horrible of me… but the first thing that goes through my head is “that’s adorable”. I feel like maybe Oklahoma City in general just doesn’t know how to price things. During our travels we stumbled across a fairly nice looking thrift store and the carpet jesus picture above hails from it. Among the various baubles is a brand new sealed box for an Intel EtherExpress LAN Adapter. The one pictured above is an ISA card… designed to go in an IBM 286/386 machine and Novell Netware that is advertised on the back side. This is pretty much the best technology Intel had to offer in 1992, and seems to be pulled off the shelf of someone’s closet and donated to charity. The pricetag is not a mistake… they apparently do want $59 for this mint in box artifact of the pre-internet age. Oklahoma City apparently lives in a bubble where they don’t have a clue what anything is actually worth.
We Kill Routers
This morning I woke to the fun surprise of having no internet in our house. Apparently between the time that I recorded our podcast and edited it last night, and this morning our Asus router died. The thing is we are exceptionally hard on routers it seems, because it seems that at least once a year I end up replacing one. I have to think it is because we have so many internet connected devices. We have 5 laptops, 3 desktops, 2 phones, 2 tablets, 3 chromecasts, and 5 gaming consoles connected to our wireless router pretty much all of the time. That is a lot of strain on any device and they seem to just explode after awhile. So this morning I connected the internet directly into my main desktop and got on long enough to do some research and write this blog post.
I found a device at our local Best Buy that looks like it might do the job. It is supposedly designed to handle multiple devices at the same time, so we will see if we end up killing this one as well. The last one only manages to survive 6 months… and honestly it might still be under warranty and I will try and dig that information up and try and replace it. It would make a nice little router for the lake to be honest. I did the in store pickup option on the new one, so right now I am just waiting on the email to let me know it is ready to go. I had heard really good things about the Netgear Nighthawk, so we will see if it lives up to the marketing hype.
Last night we managed to get the entire AggroChat podcast crew together once again for another broadcast. Tonight we talk at length about the various things we have been doing including Minecraft, VVVVVV, Adventure Time Battle Party, and a few other things. The bulk of the show however is a discussion about various subcultures. Gaming and geekdom in general can be a very exclusionary place. Not that we solve any of the worlds problems, but we at least have a discussion about them. We ran a bit longer than normal this time, but we had a lot of stuff to talk about.