Hughes Family July 23rd – July 29th

Last meal in France at an amazing buffet. Look how excited the kids are about their food… well, most of them.

Here are a couple of pictures of the aforementioned “amazing buffet.”

Time to head back to the USA. That’s a lot of time in an airport and in planes.

Fran and the kids made it back in time for Pioneer Day. The kids were asleep until around 9:00pm, but woke up in time to light some fireworks.

Chloe was especially captivated by some glowsticks and the fireworks (they are the first ones she’s ever seen!). The neighborhood had aerial fireworks going off all over which were fun to watch.

Fran and Cam celebrated their 11th anniversary! Fran lost her camera while vacationing so Cam got her a new one (lucky girl!). Fran gave Cam a spa treatment (that’s mud, in case you were wondering).

That night Cam and Fran went to eat at Ruth’s Chris for dinner. Cam has been buying fillet minion and cooking it on the stove (he calles it “Skillet Steak”) and said it gave his Ruth’s Chris steak a run for its money. But regardless, both the dinner and company were excellent.

And what weekend would be complete without a fort? The kids liked the fort so much that they played in it all evening and then slept in it! Thank Dad!

July 16th – July 22nd

After having a great time on Mauritius Fran and the kids flew back to Reunion Island.

For the next few days Fran, the kids stayed at her parent’s beach house (along with most of the family).

They played on the beach, enjoyed each other’s company, visited the city and…

…frequented this amazing bakery (within walking distance of the beach house).

Cam went to see a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. He thought it was exceptional. 9/10.

After a few days in Reunion is was time to start the trip home. The first leg of the journey was from Reunion to Paris, France.

Cam went for a drive through the Alpine Loop. He didn’t realize how steep some parts of the road were (although he might have been going way too fast) and his car bottomed out ripping his boost hoses. Good thing he likes to fix stuff.

On Saturday night Cam went to Jason’s birthday party at Noah’s. Jason & Rachel provided sushi and other treats for the party goers. Does anyone throw better parties? No.

The kids and Fran arrived safely in Paris and are enjoying a brief layover.

Tomorrow they head back to Utah. Do you think they’ll miss Reunion Mauritius and France? It looks pretty nice over there!

July 9th – July 15th

Here’s the condo that Fran and the kids stayed at in Mauritius. Fran’s sisters and bothers (and their families were there too). Pretty nice!

Eating meals (some take-out & some home cooked)

Check out that gorgeous pool (at the condo).

A few aerobics to burn off those vacation calories.

A boating adventure.

Capturing wildlife, playing games and chillaxing at the condo.

Plenty of time for fun at the beach too.

A trip to the zoo. Checkout the zoo map here!

Going to Church on Sunday.

Nothing much going on at home. On Sunday Cam ate dinner with his Mom, Dad, sister and brother. It’s been a long time since just the five of them have gotten together!

Tomorrow Fran and the kids head back to Reunion for another week of family fun and adventure. Cam will head back to work… for work adventures (?).

Work Desktop… Why Did I Wait So Long?!

Over two years ago I caved in and got an extra screen to hook up to my laptop (here’s my old setup). Now I have caved in again and gotten a desktop with two larger screens. All I can say is, “Wow. Why did I wait so long?” For two years I hunched over staring at a 13″ 1080p screen or sat with my head perpetually turned left to look at my larger monitor (I was developing neck problems). Salvation is here!

Originally I didn’t care what kind of a desktop I got. After shopping around for a bit I discovered that I could purchase a computer from the well regarded for nearly the same price as a comparable Dell system. I know some very happy MainGear owners so I decided to join their ranks. is easy to use- nice and straightforward. Lots of flexibility with regard to hardware options. The wait for my computer was a little more than three weeks (on par for custom builds). The system is beautifully constructed (check out those colors!) and super quiet. I’m really happy with it.

I have had one issue with the computer- I’ve gotten a blue screen twice in the last week. It appears to be a problem related to the video card. I updated the driver and so far no crashes in the last few days. Fingers crossed. I’m worried it might be a power supply issue.  But I’m sure if there are any further issues MainGear will take care of it.

Setting up a new computer always takes some time. There’s lots of software to install, lots of programs to customize and configure, and gigs of files to transfer. And then there’s the hardware side. I picked out a Logitech keyboard & mouse and two P2770HD 27″ Samsung monitors. When it was all set up I decided that I had to do something about the cables so I got Monster’s Cable-It and spent a good portion of a day organizing things (check it out!). Finally I decided that I had to use the integrated speakers on the P2777’s… no easy task.

Each monitor has a left and right speaker with a 1/8″ stereo input jack on the back. I wanted both speakers on the left monitor to be the left channel and both speakers on the right monitor to be the right channel. Off I went to Radio Shack. This is the monstrosity that I rigged up to get me what I needed (this was the best option, since I wanted the bulk of the mess to be behind the computer). For the amount of money I spent on these adapters and cables I could have gotten some pretty nice speakers (the ones on the monitors are so-so). But I’m still really pleased as it eliminates additional clutter on my desk and makes me feel cool.

Overall I’m really happy with the new setup. Getting work done is much easier on my back, neck and eyes (both physically and aesthetically). If you’re working on a sub-par setup then change it! I know the temptation is to wait, but I wish I had done this right from the get-go.

For anyone curious (and my own reference) here are the specs of my build:
∙ Chassis: Vybe 2012 Chassis – Red on Black Color
∙ Motherboard: Asus® P8Z77-V LK Featuring Lucid Virtu MVP, CrossFire and SLI
∙ Processor: Intel® Core™ i7 3770 3.4GHz/3.8GHz Turbo 8MB L3 Cache HD 4000
∙ Processor Cooling: Coolermaster Hyper TX3 Heatpipe Cooler
∙ Memory: 16GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 (4x4GB)
∙ Graphics and GPGPU Accelerator: AMD® Radeon HD 7850 2GB GDDR5 w/EyeFinity 3D
∙ Power Supply: 600W Seasonic® 80+ Certified Power Supply ROHS
∙ Hard Drive Bay One: 256GB Crucial® M4 SATA 6G (w/TRIM) [500MB/s Reads]
∙ Optical Drive One: 24X Dual Layer DVD RW Drive w/ LightScribe Technology
∙ Audio: 7.1 Channel High Definition Surround Sound Supporting S/DIF Optical Out
∙ Memory Card Reader: USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Memory Card Reader (CF, MS, SD, xD, M2, MicroSD) with front panel USB 3.0 Port
∙ Ethernet Adapter: On-board Gigabit Ethernet
∙ Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
∙ Productivity Software: Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Business
∙ Etc, etc.

Posted by Cam, July 11, 2012

Boostless is Useless…

So the other night I was driving along and I thought to myself, “Boy, my car sure is slow tonight.” I didn’t give it the attention it deserved because I was listening to the New Linkin Park album Living Things (I highly recommend it, by the way). Anyway, at some point I noticed that the car didn’t just feel slow, it was slow. I had zero boost!

I’m sort of a worst case scenario guy. Even though I hoped it was going to be something simple – like a hose that had come off – my mind ran amok with all kinds of dooms day possibilities. I parked the car on Saturday night and didn’t have a chance to look at it until Sunday evening.

Anyway, it did end up being something super simple- just a hose that had been pulled off (it was just like this when I jacked the car up). The clamp was gone and the hose was pretty scraped up. I have no idea when this happened. The clamp in the second picture is from the hose on the other side. It was nearly ground off. I cleaned everything up, replaced the clamps, and took it out for a text drive.

So much better! I think that the hose may have been leaking for awhile – even back when I got my dyno at Premier. I’m going to take it back up and dyno it again so see how much power I was missing. Anyway, simple solution. I’m happy about that.

Posted by Cam, July 9th

July 2nd – July 8th

Monday – time for Fran and the kids to head to France. On the way up to the SLC airport the family ate at Sweet Tomatoes, Fran’s favorite restaurant. This will be the last family outing for a few weeks.

Cam had taken a bunch of pictures of the departure, but lost them when his phone reset itself after drinking part of a Sobe (bad phone). Luckily Fran took a picture of a few of the Hughes Family adventurers.

With the family Gone Cam hosted a LAN party in the basement. Quake, Unreal and Age of Empires ruled the night’s agenda. 20 and 30 year old boys playing 10 year old games.

Fran and the kids made it safely to France. Their final destination is Reunion Island, but they stayed in France for a few days to acclimate to the time change. Check out their adorable cabin!

Cam, Greg and Hal went to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. They agreed the movie was fun, but had some historical inaccuracies. 6/10

After a few days in France the Hughes family flew to Reunion Island (it’s off the coast of Madagascar). After a very long plane flight they arrived safe and sound. In a few days they will all travel to Mauritius for a giant Family Reunion (no reunion on Reunion this time).