Dec 31, 2009

Best Buy-2k

Y2K Warning Sticker
Best Buy (1999)
Ten years ago, much of the world had fallen into a mild mass hysteria over the fear of the Y2K Bug.  The panic was born out of the idea that many computers only used the last two digits of the year in their coding.  This meant that when the clock rolling over from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000, the computer would misunderstand the two digit "00" year as 1900 and crash the system.

This story made the media rounds throughout 1999 with "experts" predicting all manner of things, from airplanes dropping out of the sky to a power grid shutdown that would cause citywide blackouts at the stroke of midnight in the dawn of the new millennium.  Stores like Best Buy advised their customers to turn off, and in some cases even unplug their electronic devices on New Year's Eve before midnight.

I thought it was all a lot of nonsense at the time.  The vast majority of computers had switched to a four digit year long ago, and I couldn't imagine it would take a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs to write a code to patch whatever machines or programs that were still in use that operated with a two digit year.  Still, my grandparents fell for the panic and insisted that I remember to turn off the computer, just in case.

I worked third shift at Turkey Hill on Rt. 93 and Airport Road in Hazleton at the time, so my shift that night started at 11 pm on December 31st and ended at 7 am in the new millennium.  After my shift, I came home and turned on the computer.  Sure enough, everything worked normally.  From my understanding, the biggest impact the Y2K Bug had in the United States was a brief shutdown of about 150 slot machines at a race track in Delaware.

Dec 21, 2009

Walking Through Black Diamond

Black Diamond Antiques & Collectibles
Schuylkill Mall - Frackville, PA
Angie and I took a trip to Black Diamond to buy some vintage toys and collectibles as an early Christmas present to ourselves.  This is an almost 20 minute walk-through of the store.

Black Diamond is an incredible place to walk around and spend a few hours.  If you get tired, the other side of the mall has a movie theater to spend a few hours relaxing.

Dec 19, 2009

A Festive Hockey Tradition

Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins vs Toronto Marlies
Wachovia Arena - Wilkes Barre, PA
Over the past several years, it has become a tradition to go to the last Baby Pens game of the year before Christmas.  It didn't go the Penguins way this year, with the Marlies winning 4-3 on the strength of the first career hat trick by Troy Bodie.

The Penguins briefly held the lead during the second period, but the Marlies quickly tied up the game and then took the lead shortly afterward when former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman  Nate Guenin fell to an injury.

Even though the Penguins lost, the game was a lot of fun.  Tux spent the game wandering around the crowd with his female counterpart.  I'm not sure if she was supposed to be his mom or his wife, but either way, they spiced up the game.

One of the traditions the Baby Pens have every year in the game before Christmas is the Teddy Bear Toss.  Fans bring new stuffed toys to the arena, and when Santa comes out on the ice in his sleigh between periods, everyone tosses their bears onto the ice where they are collected to be given to children.  It's a pretty cool sight to see hundreds of teddy bears flying through the air toward the ice.

We bought one souvenir at the game - an autographed Christmas hockey puck.  They were wrapped in red tissue paper, and you didn't know what player you would get until you bought one and opened it up.  My puck was signed by goalie Adam Berkhoel.  The 28 year old is an NHL veteran who played for the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2005-06 season.

Dec 16, 2009

The Pink Stars Are Falling

Under The Dome
Stephen King (2009)
This is right up there with The Stand in my list of favorite Stephen King novels.

Dec 15, 2009

A Day In The Life

My final for Digital Photography was a "day in the life" project in which I was to capture a typical day in a series of images that show some of the techniques taught by Professor Sedor.  I used my grandfather as the subject.  These are my favorite photos from the set.