Just a little blog about me and mine.

State Fair and Cotton Candy October 5, 2009

Filed under: family,fun — Katie @ 8:01 pm

This past Saturday we took my cousin Dee to the North Georgia State Fair. I haven’t been to a fair since I was a kid, and haven’t even been on any carnival type rides since going to Six Flags in college, but when I heard the fair was in town it sounded like fun. We always say we should go to one of the strange little fairs they have in parking lots sometime, but this was probably much more fun and safe.

After paying for admission, and parking, we bought a package of ride tickets. We had seen a schedule of some free shows, we we toured the grounds and decided to wait for the shows to start. We visited the petting zoo and saw baby ducks and baby chickens, along with some beautiful Japanese Silken Chickens. We fed goats and petted an emu, and PL told me I couldn’t have a baby chicken for my birthday, even though I begged and whined a little.


Then it was time for some of the shows to start. First we saw The Penguins of the Arctic High Dive Show. It was people dressed in penguin costumes performing diving and acrobatic tricks. I was a little embarrassed for the actors (ok a lot since they had to dance around a little and flap their penguin wings), but as the show went on was also impressed by their athleticism. I guess there isn’t a professional high diving circuit, or even a diving version of the ice capades for retired divers to join, so this was it. Next we saw a BMX bicycle stunt show–totally the kind of thing Dee loves, and we actually all enjoyed watching it too.

Next were some rides. I’m not scared of rides, but I tend to get a little motion sick, and PL tends to be scared of rides, and we were a little too overeager in selecting our first ride given these factors. It was called the Ion and had a bit too much spinning around–PL had to keep her eyes closed and I got a little queasy, but it still was fun. Dee didn’t want to ride this one with us. We then took Dee on a slightly less scary ride, and I got seated with an 8 year old girl while Dee and PL sat together. The little girl was really sweet though and didn’t throw up on me, which is even better. Dee then had some funnel cake, and we had a few bites but were still not brave enough to eat and then ride. Next up were the bumper cars, and we got some great photos of all of us:




We also went on a tall slide which seemed to for kids or for adults with kids on their lap, but it looked like fun we we went on it anyway. Next up was the Ferris wheel. Somehow PL had never ridden a Ferris wheel before and we all enjoyed it–especially since we could all go in one car together. It was actually a pretty cool Ferris wheel-it was designed by the same folks as the Seattle space needle for the world’s fair there in the 1960s. PL tends to be afraid of heights, but I really like to be on top of tall things for the view, so being able to see everything seemed to not make her too scared. (I still doubt that she’ll ever get on our roof to help me clean out the gutters.)



Last but not least, PL and I rode the Tilt-a-Whirl together, which was a ton of fun and really seems like one of those really “couple-y” things to do. Once we spent all of our ride tickets and were done for the day, I got some cotton candy, perhaps my favorite food ever.

We ended up spending a really long time there (not to mention having spent a lot of money!), but it was a great day. On the way back home, we even saw the famous Big Chicken. PL had never seen it before, so she made me take a picture. If you’re not from the Atlanta area, the Big Chicken is a local landmark–his beak opens and closes and his big beady eyes spin around.



Project Nintento Rescue–Win! September 23, 2009

Filed under: computer geeks,fun — Katie @ 10:47 am

I received an original Nintendo for Christmas many years ago, but after several years it stopped working. I think most people with a Nintendo were familiar with the blinking screen, and usually this could be fixed by blowing on the cartridge. Eventually even this failed to work to fix the blinking screen, so my Nintendo just sat around broken for the last 20 years.

On a recent trip to visit my parents, I cleaned out a lot of childhood things from their house, and I found my old Nintendo and a few games. I only had a few games total, but all that’s left is Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt, Super Mario 3 (my all time favorite) and Tetris. Rather than throwing everything away, I decided to bring it back to my house and see if it could be fixed. I figured I could search online for a solution, attempt to fix it, and if I couldn’t, I would finally get rid of it.

I found several useful You Tube videos and web postings on fixing the original Nintendo system and learned which parts need to be taken off to get to the actual piece of hardware that reads the games. The main problem with broken and blinking screen Nintendo is that the game cartridges are read by a connector with lots of metal pins, and over time they get worn down and also covered in grime. Sometimes the whole part–the 72 pin connector–needs to be taken off and replaced (less than $10 to buy a new one–so much cheaper than a Wii, and 1000% more awesome), but I decided to first try just to clean it really well.

I finally made time to work on this project this weekend, and start to finish I probably spent 45 minutes on it–and that includes taking it back apart again since the game slot wouldn’t click into place when I reassembled it all, so I had to loosen a few things to fix that. I also cleaned the cartridges themselves really well with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips.

Here are the steps I followed:

Take off the cover.


Take off the metal shield.


Remove the game cartridge holder.


Clean the metal pins with rubbing alcohol, a toothbrush and Q-tips. I didn’t remove the 72 pin connector, just cleaned it in place. If it does need to be removed for more cleaning or to replace it, it just slides off–but I did read it might be on there pretty tight.







My Facebook friends got a sneak peek of this since I was so excited I had to take photos with my phone and post them immediately. But I wanted to turn it into a blog post since it wasn’t all that hard to fix, and it actually worked.

Guess what we’re doing for my 30th birthday party? On the same trip home, I found my New Kids on the Block, Vanilla Ice and Debbie Gibson cassette tapes—soundtrack? Check! Entertainment? Check!