Well I do actually have some time to post again. How are all of you? Things have been going well here. First, a blogroll update. As my sister-in-law recently added me to her list, I’m happy to do the same. There is now a link on my roll to the one, the only Madame Bluestocking. What else is new? Click to find out.

Just for a taste of the good-old-days, I’m sure y’all have been wondering: what’s going on with the New Horizons mission to Pluto? Well I’m glad you asked! I watched its launch last January (2006) knowing that in a mere 10 years it would provide never-before-seen data regarding Pluto. Of course that’s a bit of a wait, but considering how little we know about Pluto (including what it looks like!) it’s worth the wait. About the mission; at the end of February it came to it’s closest point to Jupiter where the craft recieved a gravity boost which cuts the trip time from over 11 years to just under 10 years. You can see the pictures it took (including the highest-resolution photo of Red Spot Jr. to date) here.

In other astronomy news, the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity have started their fourth mission year in full swing. Though they are showing definite signs of aging, these little robots have done so much more than anyone could have hoped! Remember they were only designed to last three months. And, lastly Cassini is still churning out gorgeous shots of Saturn. See the latest here. And you thought Saturn was monochrome.

So what’s the one other thing that’s generated enough impetus for me to post? Home theater, what else! First here are two shots of my bonus room after we moved in last Labor Day. This was what would become my home theater.

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And it didn’t take long to get the whole thing set up, because I’m a dork and I can’t live without it for very long. So here’s what it looks like today.

after1.JPG after2.JPG

Things of note: That 65″ Mits Diamond series RSP TV was top-of-the-line when I bought it, but now it’s antiquated. So I think it’s fitting that I use rabbit-ears antennas on it. I don’t have cable or satellite because that would make me watch TV. Right now I waste enough time with movies and video games, so I don’t need high-tech TV. The other odd thing in on the top of the TV. Not one, but two Star Wars collections on – you guessed it- Laser Disc! Someday I will watch them and compare them to the “Theatrical Release” DVDs and see how they compare. My activity of choice while watching the three movies twice over would be assembling this. The scary thing? My wife actually thinks it would be fun to put that together – together! I never though she’d even consider that as a decent idea. I’m a lucky guy!

The last thing of note can be seen in the bottom right of the last picture. That unassuming-looking subwoofer. Here’s a close-up:

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That bad boy is a work of art! It’s a Velodyne HGS-10X. Yeah, it’s just a 10″ sub. But not just any 10″ sub! It’s got a sweet negative-feedback servo circuit that detects and eliminates any distortion cause by speaker cone motion. What does that mean? Fast, tight, hard-hitting bass, baby! But that’s just the beginning. Yes, this nutty sub is packed with Velodyne’s Class D amp, something they developed that’s ultra high-efficient (though only good for low frequencies). The end result? 1250 watts RMS! Peak is over 3000 watts! BOOOOOOM! Probably the most amazing thing is they fit all that amp and a 10″ sub in a cabinet that’s 11″ x 11″ x 13″. But it weighs 45 pounds, wow…

I can say it has made a night and day difference in my system. It’s actually the first piece of my dream system that I’ve actually been able to buy. The next upgrade will have to wait until the next gen DLPs (laser vs. high-output LED) duke it out and a victor emerges. Then I will get a DLP projector and make the wall behind the TV a permanent screen. Then that whole flippin’ wall will be my TV! 12 feet wide hahahaha! Well, there you have it – more info than you could have ever cared about my home theater.

And last, but certainly not least, something for my friend Rick who used to collect fish on the back of his car. Not real fish, but the ‘Jesus’ (Ixthus) fish parodies. Oh, sure, he had the regular Jesus fish (for contrast I assume) but he also had the Darwin fish, a UFO fish, a gefilte fish (my favorite), but he never had one of these fish.