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Valentine’s Day

Cupid's beer stash


Every year after the chaos of Christmas holiday there’s a little forgotten holiday that always creeps up on me. You’re reminded of it when you hit the grocery stores and see the holiday section full of red paraphernalia. Once you see the red you know it’s on. Don’t forget the date and certainly don’t forget the flowers. To relieve the stress of couples each trying to come up with something for the other we’ve gone with the flip-flop approach. We each alternate where one of us gets the other person a nice big gift but of course cards are always welcomed for both parties. This year I was totally expecting the traditional chocolate or in my case Reese’s Cups. I was totally surprised to see a stash of beer left in the fridge wrapped in a red ribbon. What an awesome way to start in the new year. For one I love to try new beer and two this will be a great reward after I motivate myself to go mountain biking. Or maybe it will just help in the post-winter laziness. Oh the decisions.

Packing List for Indochina Trip 2014-15

Packing for a full month in a 32L backpack can be daunting but after doing some research we were able to pack fairly light and still have room for souvenirs. Our trip consists of about 30 days spanning 4 countries: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Our travel time was from the middle of December till the middle of January so the weather should be perfect. We opted not to bring any umbrellas or rain jackets since merchandise in Asia will be super cheap.

Men’s List

  1. Shorts x3
  2. Convertible Pants x2
  3. T-shirts x5 (some were wool)
  4. Base Layer long sleeve x1 (Patagonia)
  5. Socks x4 (wool for quick drying)
  6. Underwear x5 (Patagonia’s Capilene1 Boxer Briefs)
  7. Sneakers x1 (light NB minimal shoes)
  8. Sandals x1 (Chaco’s)
  9. Sunglasses
  10. Backpack x1 (Osprey Talon 33L Backpack)
  11. Water bottle x1 (Klean Canteen 27oz)
  12. Messenger Bag x1 (Patagonia MiniMass 12L)


Happy 35th Birthday Apple

I almost forgot another significance to April Fools’ Day, today is Apple’s 35th birthday. I can’t say that I remember them from day one since I wasn’t even born but I can remember the first computer I laid my hands on. This was a Franklin ACE 1200, with a $2,200 price tag, dual 5.25″ drives and 48k of RAM. WOW that was a machine!! I can’t even recall how to work the machine but I do remember my dad teaching me the basic syntax to make games execute. That was enough to ignite my interest in computers for years to come. The rest is history… To many more years of Apple innovation, just be careful not to become “the man.” :)

Thanks dad for making me a tech addict and Happy birthday Apple.

apple macalicious birthday cake



How to reset the WebGUI password for a Highpoint RocketRAID 3522 Card

Here’s a recipe to reset the IOPController password to access the WebGUI of a Highpoint RocketRAID 3522 Card running on OSX.

1. Go to the Mac driver/firmware download page for High Point Raid cards. You will need to get the flash utility that is contained in the EFI Firmware update download. Within the dmg look for a file called ‘flashelf_mac’, this will allow you to flash the bios using OSX.

Driver/firmware Download Page: http://www.hptmac.com/US/product.php?_index=43&viewtype=download

2. Next, go to the main Highpoint Global website and download the Firmware/BIOS driver for the RocketRaid 3522 card (see link below). This download will have the flash utility for the PC but it also contains flash files which can be used in conjunction with the mac flash utility. The file that we’re looking for is called ‘3522fs.blf’. Using this file with the mac flash utility will set the firmware back to its default settings.

Firmware/BIOS driver page: http://www.highpoint-tech.com/BIOS_Driver/page/rr3522_U.htm

3. Once these two files have been acquired I basically used the flash utility in Terminal and specified the flash file. Below is the syntax to get it to work. I also noticed that unless I rebooted the server it wouldn’t allow me to log in with the default password. The default username/password should be RAID/hpt.

./flashelf_mac 3522fs.blf

Flash RocketRAID

Background information:

What got me into this situation in the first place was the fact that out of all the passwords that I try to remember I couldn’t recall what I set the webgui interface for the RAID card. I’m running an Intel Xserve with a HighPoint RAID 3522 card connected to a Proavio 6TB R8-MS array system. I scoured the net for solutions but I could only find bits and pieces of the answer that still didn’t add up to the solution. I found one answer but it wasn’t clear where the flash file was retrieved. This will hopefully help some other person out there who’s trying to desperately get back into their web RAID management system. Good luck!!!


Alvin!!!!!!!!!! in Yellowstone.

It’s halfway into the trip and we’ve already had to ration the Oreo cookies. Ahhhhhh…..
The first night of camping I thought there was a moth caught between the tent and the fly cover, but it ended up being a small chipmunk. Our small friend, Alvin, seemed to do all of his business errands during the night time right outside of our tent. The very next day Jen witnessed a small mouse land on our tent from tree limbs above then quickly scour off to one Elk on the ridge at dusk.gside. Bison have been abundant, so much so that it gets pretty ridiculous when you see traffic stopped just because of one when you eventually see them all over the place. Tonight’s animal excitement, as I’m typing this, is listening to the Elk bugle, or as the campsite hostess said, “trying to get a girlfriend.” As we end our last night in Yellowstone Park I have been amazed of how vast the land is and how many animals roam freely about the place. At the same time, this open land has been modified with miles and miles of paved roads that allow pretty much any vehicle, mainly RV’s to get close to any landmark figure. Gas stations, general stores and restaurants seem to be in abundance here so running out of supplies will never happen, of course that is if you’re not backpacking. One thing I may say is that the Park Rangers and volunteers who live on site at some of the camping sites are happy to answer any questions and love to have engaging conversation. HUH?!?So far at every campsite we’ve had great neighbors and for some reason we keep accumulating firewood since people around us are just ending their camping travels. Living out of one car with all your gear as become pretty systematic now that we have it down on what to get ready when we arrive at the campsite. Food also stays in a bear box so that it can be retrieved later, but always -always store it back when not in use. You certainly don’t want bears wondering around your campsite. One other thing that was bliss today was a hot shower at Grant Village, hopefully there will be more in the future. Oh…and one last note, the days have been fabulous with temps into the 70’s but the past two nights have been down to the upper 20’s. You get use to it!!!

“I would like to have seen Montana…..”

First morning of the trip in Gardiner, Montana.

This was day one of our long awaited vacation. Yesterday was mostly spent flying into Jackson Hole, then hitting numerous stores in the town of Jackson trying to get supplies for our trip. On my third attempt to find this rare cooking propane tank that comes in blue, I was greeted at the register by a Dale Gribble. This guy gave Jen and I a 30 minute schpeel on bears, bear safety, and what to do in 10 different situations with a bear. Really?!? With us finally escaping, we headed straight north to Montana to a small town just over the border called Gardiner. We found a local pizza joint for dinner called K-bar which served amazing pizza and beer, Kettle House Cold Smoke to be exact. The next morning we had breakfast with 2 other couples and heard all kinds of stories. From blizzards that shutdown Yellowstone to bear sitings, it was almost like campfire talk minus the fire. When we announced to them that we were out to do a 7 day camping trip in the woods they must of thought we were crazy. Ok, so first off Dale from the outdoor shop gave us the 10 commandments on Grizzly bars then hearing from past travelers about how dangerous it is tent camping, this really wasn’t giving us the warmest feeling. Yellowstone does want my money doesn’t it?

We said our good byes and started on our own ways. One thing I’ve learned to get use to around Yellowstone is how slow you have to go or made to go because of wildlife. Driving is what we spent most of the day doing but we first hit Tower Falls and grabbed a site then headed back to Mammoth Springs. Mammoth springs is definitely a site if you like to see hot water calcify wood limbs but the sulfur smell was pretty rank. We took all the hot spring pictures we could then headed down to actually swim in a river where the hot springs meet with the Gardiner River. It was kinda like being in a bath tub with two faucets for hot and cold but you just couldn’t get the ratio right. Or maybe it felt like someone flushed the toilet. All in all this was a perfect way to end the day before we headed back to camp for dinner.

The perfect mix of hot and cold water.

Wildlife update: So far we’ve seen up close Bison and Elk. More to come!!

Fun Friday

So what better to do in this eco-lifestyle than to have a Friday night plant project. Last week I Homedepot induced tomato plants.had purchased 3 tomato plants from the Duke Gardens Bi-annual plant sale in hopes to have luck at actually growing something with the least dent in my wallet. Anything you start always
has upstart costs but reaps the benefit of reusing items in the future. My first thought going into this was to get the hardware needed from a pre-used source but I actually got these items pretty cheap. During the hardware scavenger hunt we where looking for some cheap plastic pots, I ended up getting 5 gallon paint buckets from Home Depot for $2.30 a pop, half as much as the cheapest plastic pot. GO JEN!! The whole project minus the purchase of the plants was slightly less then $30 which I thought was great.

Plant project.Now with my new responsibility I’ll have to remember to feed them every morning. Not sure about playing music for them but I guess they get enough noise from the birds outside. Oh, and my back porch is perfect for the amount of sunlight that these green creatures need. The only other thing now is, I hope the little seeds planted in the three herb pots grow!

Herbs that didn't grow.

Back in the land of rules.

IMG_0174.jpgThis has probably been the craziest two trips of my life over the past two weeks. I was first on the west coast attending a wedding for my Cali cousin Michelle at this amazing place in Healdsburg, California. We met with friends and family over this extended weekend and saw much of the Sonoma Country Wineries. It was great to attend such a great event with such good company even though the room Will and I shared had scary porcelain cats that where placed by the fireplace to glare at you. Getting back to the San Fran airport was even pretty cool since we took the Oakland bridge which gave a totally different prospective coming into the city rather than taking big red across the bay. As for my family getting back to North Carolina, it was pretty easy but as for me and Jen it would be a total different experience. Getting delayed at the SFO airport for almost 5 hours then arriving in Atlanta too late for a connection flight, Delta ended up paying for us to stay at a hotel to catch the first flight out the next morning.

Hoping to start off the next trip on a better note, we had arrived at the RDU airport (not a university as someone on the airplane asking me confusingly) not even 48 hours from the flight back in from San Fran. Our flight path would be to first depart Raleigh to Dulles to Frankfurt then into Basel. Frankfurt was a freaking huge airport, we had to get bused both arriving at the airport and debarking the airport. When we left during our long  journey along the airport tarmac, an old man leaned over to me and stated that they might as well just drive down to Basel seeming how long its taking us to just get to the airplane.

Flying Lufthansa was very nice and clean although the small child in front of me was not feeling well. His mom placed a open barf bag next to him in the event he did, Jen at this point left me know too that she would do the same if he barfed…super. When we got to the Basel airport it was nice to know that things looked familiar. We walked outside the airport being careful once again not to walk out into the wrong country. Not a minute went by until we saw this frantic women running to us. It was Gina come to greet us into her hometown! I was again comforted by family in a foreign place but on the bigger picture this was Jen’s first time out of the country. Staying with the Colleluori’s would be the best break-in for her to get familiar with an foreign country.

My car is officially bobo’d

My car as of last week is officially bobo’d (aka tainted). With the car just turning 4 years of ownership and less than 6 months to pay off I get my first hit. While venturing off with Jen to feed our appetites at the local Ganache bakery, we barely made it in time to get a piece of my favorite black cow cake. Upon leaving the store I noticed Jen stalled from getting into the car. I hear a , “ummmm…. Michael, (you can tell it wasn’t good by the tone of her voice….) did someone hit your car???” I think at that time all this blood rushed to my head and a vein popped out. I said.. ” Doo wha(in so many words give or take)???” Yes, lo and behold someone hit my car and left no note. The best I can think of was it either happend the night before in my own parking lot or it happened in the cul de sac where I park it for the days I carpool. So no, my car I love so much wasn’t hit by an Elon student which so could have happened. Whoever it was…thanks for not fessing up.

Mystery car damage.

Spring is in the air.

Gear teeth stairs.As strange as it sounds, this past week had temperatures up into the upper 60’s for the whole week!! I definitely took advantage of the weather by getting out and mountain biking. Before I headed out though I did some good ole cleaning for the start of the new season. I tore down the rear section of my bike and cleaned all the gears in the cassette. Getting the cassette off in the first place was the hard part but with a lending hand, a pair of bird gloves, a chain off an old Raleigh and some muscle it would eventually give way.

Simple Green also helped with getting the dirt out of all the crevices. I never knew how much fun it was to take apart bikes but I love to work on cars too.

Hopefully there will be more warm days in the future than cold…

Pick a gear.PB Penetrating

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