Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I'll see USA vs. Russia in 2005 if at XCEL Energy

Yesterday was the USA vs. Russia Hockey game at the XCEL Energy Center (first time the Olympics were played there). I want to see the Russians play the USA in 2005 if it’s at the XCEL center. XCEL Energy Center is in St. Paul, Minnesota, 40 miles away from where we live. The XCEL center is huge with a lot of lights. It opened before the first session of the Minnesota Wild. Dad and I aren’t hockey fans, but the US was playing RUSSIA, and I wanted to see the Russians play. RUSSIA is a big hockey country. 10 years ago the North Stars left Minnesota for Dallas. Many hockey fans were local to the North Stars now follow Dallas until recent years when Minnesota got a new expansion team. It’s interesting the Olympics pick the XCEL Energy Center as a place to match world leagues with American All Star Team. It’s exactly that, USA All-Star Team against world major league hockey. USA plays teams from foreign countries on the 10th too at the XCEL Energy Center. Not too say that other countries hockey arenas aren’t impressive. The Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden looks very big and state-of-the-art from what I saw on the Internet today. I did a little research. It is the largest sphere-shaped dome in the world. I personally prefer the XCEL Energy dome. Unlike the Minnesota Vikings, which are my favorite team of any sport, the city of St. Paul owns and built the dome for 130 million dollars. It was built by the St. Paul Arena Company. They knocked down the old Mets Hockey Arena and replaced it with the Mall of America. The Mets Hockey Arena was where the old Minnesota North Stars hockey team used to play in. In recent years the St. Paul Civic Center has been destroyed to build the XCEL center. XCEL was funded by the city of St. Paul, and state of Minnesota to deliver a very nice hockey arena for home-sick hockey fans.

Well it’s about 1 ½ months away from my birthday (November 01). I don’t know what I’m getting yet, of course. I’m asking for another computer for Christmas. That leaves my birthday free for anything. Maybe I’ll get allowance.

1. Soyo CK8 Dragon Plus nForce3 Skt 64 MB w/ Athlon 64 3000 310 dollar /w tax
2. Speeze / Socket 754 / AMD Athlon 64 / Ball Bearing / CPU Cooling Fan
3. Norcent DWD840 / 8x4x12x DVD+RW / 4x4x12x DVD-RW / 40x24x40x CD-RW / Sonic Software / DVD Burner (50 dollars)
4. 200 GB to 250 GB 7200 Serial ATA hard drive (200 dollars) 512MB is about half this
5. 1 GB of SDRAM (roughly 300 dollars with tax) Takes PC2000x series DDR or too ease up the cost pick 6.
6. Ultra 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory 130 dollars
7. Mercury TIGA Black/Silver ATX Mid Tower Case with Front USB Ports and 400 Watts power supply. (50 dollars)
8. Nvidia Geforce FX 5700 256-bit
9. 100 dollars to put everything together at “Computer Gurus”

If I get this than my processor might be an Athlon 64 3000! I think my dream machine is more powerful than my Dell Dimension XPS although it has about 1 GB less of RAM and a less powerful video card. Athlon 64s run hotter and aren’t ideal for servers, but for gaming - I think high spec games will look better on the Athlon 64 vs. my XPS. Building a PC is cheaper than buying a name-brand one and I get my choice of tower style. I like the transparent one with lights inside. Plus, I can upgrade from 1024 MB SDRAM to 2048 MB SDRAM again myself. I really want another ATI Radeon 9800XT, but I need to cut 600 dollars so my parents can afford a satellite receiver for high-speed Internet. I’m guessing my speed will be 512 kbits per second on a satellite.

I bought Square-Enix’s latest RPG, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, like I said I would. It was the last copy at Target. Wal-Mart says they have it at their website – although I haven’t seen the tag labeled Star Ocean on the shelf. says this game has the best game play of any RPG out for PS2. The game really is two DVDs long. Apparently, Sony doesn’t use dual layered DVDs – only the standard ones.

Oh ya! Happy Birthday Dreamcast! Sega Dreamcast turns 5 on September 9th. People say Dreamcast is dead - it's just that mine still works. I know what you mean (a dead system no longer gets new games). Mine is still in operational status. I had little inner-conflict with myself whether or not I wanted to continue collecting games which would almost immediately be shelved or to continue on collecting - at a slower rate. I believe it's similar to smoking - got to kick the habit of buying cigarettes just as it would videogames. I have a long history of owning whatever I want - and for me - money does not grow on trees.

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