New York City Vacation, July 2016

New York City Vacation, July 2016

Between July 26 and 28 I was not home.  That is because Jack, Dad, and I were taking a vacation to New York City.  It was a lot of fun, and we got plenty of exercise.  We walked ten miles in those three days.

Day 1

We took an Amtrak train to Penn Station.  Amtrak operates a track that runs behind our house.  We got on after the train passed that stretch though.  It was a very comfortable ride.  We took a break in Albany and I took these pictures.

The front of the train
The rest of the train

We got off for good after about eight hours on the rail.  We were underground in a very hot Penn Station.

When we got out, it was hot outside.  We walked a mile to Times Square.  Dad rented an apartment near Times Square through Airbnb.  It was on the third floor above a barber shop.  It was a small but nice place.  There was a kitchen, TV, bed, couch, AC, and fast WiFi in that one room not much bigger than our living room.  The couch was one that you could unfold into a bed.  We chilled out there for a while.

Then we went out on Fifth Avenue.  We saw a couple cool shops there.  At one we got some souvenirs,  I got a miniature Taxi cab, Jack got two display plates with the Statue Of Liberty on them.  One was for him. The other one was for Mom.  We also got Walter a rubber duck that looked like the Statue Of Liberty in the form of a rubber duck.

The next place we went into was very cool.  It had jewelry, fossils, and rare minerals on display.  It was very interesting in there.

Fossilized Dinosaur Egg.
New York City 041
Fossilized Dinosaur Teeth.
New York City 037
Jack in front of a crystal cluster.


At this point, we were very tired.  We decided to find a place to eat out and ate at a British restaurant.  It was loud in there, but it was also nice.  I ordered mac & cheese, and got a huge bowl that was very hot, as well as enough for two meals.  After we ate, we went back to our apartment and went to bed.


Day 2

On day two, we woke up, and went to a grocery store.  We got bacon, sausage, cereal, eggs, milk, and yogurt.  All of those were in small amounts.  We had breakfast at that point.  Then we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   We stopped at some places along Fifth Avenue between the Met and our Apartment.  One of those place was the Microsoft store. There was some pretty awesome stuff.  The second floor had a library of games and free to play Xbox One setups with giant TVs.

Jack and I in front of the Microsoft store.

We also stopped at the Apple store and a huge cathedral before we arrived at the Met.

Our Visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

We started in the entrance room. It was huge and crowded in there.  We went to the main staircase area.  we got lost within the first five minutes while looking for the arms and armor room.  I eventually led the way there.  In between where we got lost and arms and armor there were some cool rooms,  such as a room with woodworking art.  Dad was really interested in it.  Here is my favorite picture from that room.

This is just a picture of a panel with wood art in it. Looks very realistic, huh?

After that room we saw a room that had a few different things in it.  The most eye catching for me was the 400 year old violins.  I had my picture taken while I was in front of them.  I play violin myself. Click here to see a video of me playing Bach.

There are the Violins!

We then saw arms and armor.  It was amazing in there:  a brightly lit room with armor, swords, old guns, and old weapons of other sorts.

This display of knights on horses was amazing.
A more detailed view.
A little arsenal.

For more pictures, (Link will be added soon)

We saw a lot more in the museum.  We saw a temple from Egypt.  That inspired me to take the featured image for this post.  Dad noticed a story that was chiseled into the stone of the temple.

The temple.

We saw an Egyption sarcophagus too.

A sarcophagus

We saw much more; however, we were tired at this point and didn’t pay much attention.  There was lots of other cool stuff we saw there.

We went to Central Park.  It was a good deal quieter there.


We chilled out for a bit. Then we went to Brooklyn by subway to see Dad’s friend.  We ate pizza there, and then we went back to our apartment.  That was a very exhausting day.

The next day, we ate breakfast, and then took a subway down to the World Trade Center.  We saw the memorial and the new World Trade Center.

The memorial.
The World Trade Center.

We walked for a while and ended up at the ferry place.  We took a ferry to Brooklyn and back.

The ferry coming to pick us up.
Of course we saw the Statue of Liberty.
The skyline view from Brooklyn.

And that was our trip to New York City.  We had a lot of fun.  We walked, took a subway to Times Square, picked up our luggage, and went to Penn Station.  We arrived home at 12:30 AM.


A little recording I made

Today I had some extra time on my hands, so i turned on my recording software and hardware, and took a recording of me copying a 1,000 Linux disk.  The DVD drive did bump the mic a couple times, and near the end, I used the EQ settings on the mixer to channel out some hiss.  The order of events in the recording went like this: Insert old disk, copy old disk to ISO, Eject old disk, Insert blank disk, burn the copied iso, eject final disk.  Here is the recording.



My Birthday

My birthday was on April 25.  It was a lot of fun.  I had planned to have a party with some friends on April 24, but they couldn’t come.  I still had plenty of fun.  In the morning,  It was a typical day.  I did chores and took care of Walter.  The only thing that wasn’t normal in the morning, was that we baked cupcakes.  That was basic too, just mixing various flowers together, adding liquids, and putting it in the oven.  I was taking care of Walter when Mom and Jack made the frosting.  Then, I put the frosting on the cupcakes.  After that was done, Mom arranged everything very nicely and we opened presents after taking some pictures.

Getting ready to open presents.

I was starting to open a birthday card when Pastor Beutel who had a giant present for me.  Even though it featured several trash bags, duct tape, and rope, I liked his wrapping job.  in the first layer, I found a card.  It had a dancing monkey and played a electronic version of “Happy Birthday to You.”  Walter liked that.  Then I dug deeper into the package.  Two layers later, I found a quadcopter.  It had a 2MP camera and several other nice things.  I opened the rest of my birthday cards.  there were 3 cards to open.  Then it was time to open presents.  I started with the flat and highly rectangular one, and revealed a gaming keyboard and mouse combo.  Then I opened up a 8-port gigabit network switch, then a lens for my homemade monster led light.  After that I opened the main thing:  A GTX 950.  I helped pay for it, so I knew it was coming.

What i got.JPG
The stuff I got for my birthday.

While we were opening presents, my pizza came.  So because we were done opening presents, we ate pizza and chips.  Then we had cupcakes.  Of course we sang happy birthday.

Unable to put video here due to copyrighting of “Happy Birthday to You.”

The cupcakes were very good.  Then I went downstairs to my workshop, and installed my network switch in its preset place.  Then I installed the new graphics card.  I had just enough time to benchmark it.  Then we did our usual Monday afternoon skating.  It was a good workout.  When we got home, I cleaned up my pc setup, and played on it.  It was great compared to my old GPU.  The most the old one ever got was 60 fps.   Thew new one gets 200+ fps with optifine, and 20-30 fps optifine and shaders.  The only game I have played on it is Minecraft.  I had alot of fun on Monday, and really enjoy my new stuff.

Here are a couple more pictures:

Jack is lighting my candles.
Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
Just the Mouse.
Graphics card
GTX 950

Talk to you later!

Creepercraft 1.0 – The Minecraft server of Thomas Duke

Hello, today, I am proud to announce my Minecraft server launch!  I have worked hard on it, and I think it is ready to go public.  It is called Creepercraft, with only five staff members including myself.  While the server may seem lame, I have major plans for it.  One thing I think various servers fail to do is to tell their users that donations are important.  How else would big servers run.  My current 12 player server plan costs $3/mo.  A bigger plan might cost up to $20/mo.  So, in theory, I would need 5 MVP users on a monthly plan, or lifetime MVP to pay for a 100 slot server.  That brings us to rank prices.  I have two ranks that will be for sale, MVP and VIP.  MVP will be $5/mo or $20 Lifetime.  VIP will be $2/mo and $10 lifetime.  What is on my server?  My server will have Factions, Peaceful Survival, Creative, Parkour. and more.  The spawn is built by me and my friend and moderator, Galaxy_man66.  I think the spawn looks great.  All the other info you will need can be found at the Creepercrft Website

By the way, People who join during the first week get $1M in-game money.  Thanks for reading and see you on the server.

Olympus Ws-821 digital voice recorder review

Hello, Today I will be telling you all about the Olympus Ws-821 digital voice recorder.  It is highly lightweight, and has several features.  It requires one AAA battery to run.  It has decent battery life and a standard user interface for everything.  On the front, you have an LCD, Record button, Stop button, Volume + button, Volume – button, Rewind button, Fast forward button, Erase button, List button, F1 button, F2 button, Menu button, and a recording light.  The LCD is backlit for ten seconds once you press a button.  On the back of the device, there is an odd shaped cover for the single AAA battery and a micro SD card.  On the top of it, there is a Headphone jack, Microphone jack, and a pair of microphones for stereo recording.  On the side, there are two sliders, one is the hold/power slider, and the other one makes a usb plug pop in and out of the device.  The recorder has 2 GB of internal storage.  The price for this is around $60 at the time of me writing this.  The audio sounds great for that price.  There is not that much static at all,  and the audio sounds clear.  It does, however, make bigger areas sound like a much bigger area.  Overall, I’d say this recorder is 10/10 and if $60 is your budget, then you should get this.

Tomtrax 7

Tomtrax is my personal tracklist of music I am currently into.  one tomtrax list is 45-80 minutes long.

Tomtrax 1-6 have unknown  dates

Tomtrax 7 was made on April 7, 2016 and has 17 tracks.  All Monstercat.

Tomtrax 7 tracklist

Track – Artist

The Force – Halo Nova

Game Changer – Day One

Laguana – Eminence

The Other Day – Insan3Lik3

Bad Pitched – Insan3Lik3

Top Of the World – Stephen Walking

Android – Obsidia

Formless – Feint

Dust Devil – Muzzy

Backlash – Noisestorm

Breakdown – Noisestorm

Renegade – Noisestorm

Disconnected – Pegboard Nerds

Follow Me – Tristam

I Remember – Tristam

 Who we Are – Tristam

The Alchemest’s Nightmare – Varien

Easily convert any Youtube to mp3!  I love this service and think they deserve that shoutout.

That’s all for now!

Terraria – It’s like Minecraft and Super Mario Brothers Combined

Terraria – It’s like Minecraft and Super Mario Brothers Combined

Well, It was a $10 well spent.  Well, What else could I possibly say in one sentence?  Terraria is a game that seems to me like Minecraft and Super Mario Bros. combined.  I mean, I’ve only had this game for like 3 days, and I have seen so much.  It is 2D with so much to do.  I like this describing quote from the Steam page

“Dig, fight, explore, build! Nothing is impossible in this action-packed adventure game.!”

There is plenty of information on the official Terraria website as well.  My first thoughts are upon seeing the game in a video are, “That game looks epic!”  I mean most videos about Terraria show epic fights and cool weapons.  It also runs on a laptop from 2010.  That laptop hardly runs anything stressful anymore.  The first goal of the game is the same as Minecraft.  Get wood, and build shelter before night.  You also have an npc that spawns.  He will search for shelter at night.  He defines shelter as a properly walled, roofed, and door’d up shelter with a table and chair inside it.  If you play Minecraft, once you survive your first night, you will be thinking, “This is alot like Minecraft, I should make a mine.”  Well that thought is as false as at may seem true.  While it is true that there are useful materials below the surface, you want to get below the surface through caves.  But beware,  caves are the home of monsters, And loot that you get in reward for killing them.  Caves are full of structures that hold things from statues of monsters to chests of loot.  There are TONS of items, too many to name.  I have not even scratched the surface of this game. There are different landscapes throughout the game.  You spawn in a forest like area.  to the left is the desert, and to the right is Antartica.  This is, for small worlds.  When you log off of the game, you teleport to your spawn point.  So build your house over that point.  This review has only scratched the surface of the game.  The rest is yours to discover.

My name is Thomas Duke, Thank you for reading this review of Terraria.

P.S. Did I say that Terraria has an epic soundtrack? Because it does.