AAM's company picnic was this last saturday afternoon, and that was a lot of fun. I like my coworkers, so hanging out with them is always a good time, but this year Tim also presented us with a pretty awesome activity: archery. There's apparently a mobile service in the area that comes out with basic equipment and sets up for anyone and everyone to shoot. We did archery skeet shooting and a ball-target competition. I personally found it was very easy for me to come very, very close - but I hit basically nothing all day. Still, I haven't shot a bow in more than 20 years. It was a lot of fun, regardless. Enough that I've even wondered if there's anywhere in my yard I could set up a target.
I also enjoyed taking quite a few photos of everyone shooting. I'd brought my camera along, but didn't know if I'd use it. I don't own a lens wide enough to capture any kind of "group" event, and in the past there hasn't been much of interest to look at going on. The archery thing, however, provided a cool and interesting new subject, so when I wasn't shooting with a bow, I was shooting with my camera. Sheri commented that I was less likely to "miss" with the latter.
A few weeks back I was having some trouble with my work computer's windows install. (And, oh hey, I've been at this job over a year now. I think they like me. :)) As luck would have it, I also had a machine in my "custody" that was no longer needed.
I swiped the harddrive from it, stuck it in my machine, and installed Linux Mint 12 KDE on it. Now, it had been a while since I've used Linux as a primary machine (about 6 years now, actually), so some things are...different.
I'm not sure what I think about KDE 4/Plasma. The cashew thing is a little annoying, but maybe I just don't understand how to use it (which is to say, I don't). Also, current support for ati + dual-head is terrible. Xinerama (which i understand is deprecated) won't play nice with desktop effects modules (xcomposite & xdamage...or randr), but I can't get both displays recognized as one unified desktop without using it (even though I think that's theoretically possible). I mess with it at lunch occasionally (edit: figured this out - requires downloading ati driver w/ catalyst control from ati, running aticonfig --initial -f, disabling xrandr in xorg.conf (can be done with aticonfig), restarting and running amdcccle to use catalyst to set up monitor configuration). Since I seem to be pointing out the "bad" things first, I also haven't been able to get Likewise Open to let my PC join the AD domain. I keep getting an "OU format is invalid" error. What's weird is that the connection attempt actually does add the machine to AD in the correct OU - it just won't establish/use the connection. I also wish there was a mail client that would play nicer with Exchange 2007 (actually, I wish we weren't *using* SBS & Exchange, but hey).
On the upside, however, I've discovered a few cool things linux now (or things that are easier). Support for RDP is good. Samba sharing is less of a headache. USB plug-&-play support is more reliable (at least with external storage, etc). I've also discovered Sun's Virtual Box is pretty awesome for virtualization. One of my biggest grievances with The Gimp has always been the fact that it doesn't have photoshop-like layer manipulation & effects... ...but I've now found this plugin which mostly solves that problem (and, in some ways, is better than the photoshop equivalent). There's even an open source xen manager.
Despite some minor issues and limitations (as mentioned), I really like being on linux again. It's nice to be able to have more direct control over what my machine is doing. Multiple desktops are extremely useful. The ability to easily find a program to do almost anything for free is awesome. And, even on our sbs network, there's nothing I could do on my windows machine I cannot do on this linux platform (some things are harder, some things are actually easier).
Well, Feb. is almost at an end, sadly. As usual, I had had hopes for doing something with RPM again this year since I actually have my own gear now, but it has turned out not to be. I've had too many other things pulling me in different directions. I think i've basically reached the conclusion that now isn't a good time in my life for a hobby project with those kinds of time constraints. I actually struggle more than I used to just to get a rp session planned.
That's not to say I haven't been doing a lot with music & recording stuff - i have. I'm really enjoying my new setup like I said before. I just haven't been able to spend 4 hours a day with it. It's more like 4 hours a week - and that's if I really try.
Earlier this month I also went on my first-ever "business trip" (it's like I'm all grown up or something) down to a web design conference in Orlando. I didn't learn anything earth-shattering, but it did point me in some new directions and shift my focus a bit. Overall worthwhile.
Also, Sushi day has come and gone. The site is 7 years old now. On a similar note, if some hypothesize that a new version of the site might be forthcoming, they wouldn't be completely wrong.
Hannah is 9 months now - and still super cute. Tony and I have been enjoying some Zelda. Talk has begun about the 6th OotsCon meetup this summer.
Things have been.
Well, Baby Shoe is 3 days overdue - she seems quite content where she is. The doctors aren't going to let her hit the snooze button past friday. One way or another, she's coming this week.
The job is going pretty well I think. Of course some days are more fun than others. Also, I'm growing to hate MS SQL Server - things that should be simple... ...aren't.
Gaming has been sparse lately, which is sad. We've kind of hit upon a time of "hurry up and wait" where we can't really make any plans, but we're not really doing much. I've spent most of my free time lately mowing and/or working on refinishing a dresser we bought for Baby Girl. That's been pretty fun and relaxing. Still, I'm looking forward to a return to normalcy - even if it is to be redefined in the process.
Oh, and we saw a pretty amazing rainbow in the sky over our house this last weekend.
|Wednesday April 20, 2011 at 1:46pm||state of the penguin, munchkin, work, friends, gaming, photography, writing||Comments (2) »|
Edit: New Photo. The iPhone is nice, but it doesn't quite hold up to what I'm used to...
First off, we're getting close to Sheri's due-date - only about a month to go before the Bunguin's arrival. We've been trying to get things ready as much as we can, but we don't exactly know what we're doing. We *have* inherited a wide array of baby-related "stuff" from several friends and acquaintances - for which we are very thankful. We also went to some child birth & infant care classes at the hospital, which were somewhat helpful and informative.
Second, I finally found a new job with a local company here in JC (I'm actually posting this on my lunch break). Still doing web-work, though in a rather different context than before. The position is temporary through June, after which time they'll decide whether to hire me on permanently. It's good to have something again though. Less stressful, especially with the munchkin coming.
Since RuchtCon, gaming has returned to its "normal" schedule. My Sandstorm game has continued to progress nicely, and I'd say the PCs are on their way toward the resolution. No word yet on how much longer it will go. I'm developing thoughts on what to propose next. Still working on several gaming projects.
I've taken a few more photos since I last mentioned it, but nothing amazing. Still haven't posted a 2011 portfolio, but it'll come.
The weather here's been warming up as we head into spring, and my yard is already ridiculous. I've mowed it something like 1.5 times - which is to say the front yard has been mowed at least twice, and I have waged a war with the forest in the backyard which is beginning to look favorable for my side. I did grill out for the first time this year last sunday afternoon though.
Sheri & I watched something like 30 hours of LotR extras (all the bonus features on the 3 4-disc sets) over the course of the last few weeks. Some pretty cool stuff in there - I recommend it to any fans.
Finally bought the Red vs. Blue: Recollection and looking forward to watching that with Llama and also listening to the commentaries sometime. I also heard that Dead Gentlemen is going to be re-releasing The Gamers: Dorkness Rising - this time with commentaries (I actually asked them why the first dvd didn't have them and they told me that they ran out of space on the disc). That would be cool.
I also picked up a new CD, but I think I'm going to make a more specific music related post soon, so I'll save my comments on that.
Ginger and William are in town even as I'm typing, and we've had a good time with them this week. Also, Liam is fun - and he likes me. :)
I've continued to kick around some ideas for some writing projects. I'll defer to voltaire (by way of Dan from Fear the Boot) for how this is progressing: the perfect is the enemy of the good.
Also, I've been having a pipe dream about opening a gaming store in JC - we need one, and that would be a lot of fun... ...alas...
|Thursday September 30, 2010 at 1:30pm||state of the penguin, work, family, bunguin, gencon, parties, jamming, website||Comments (5) »|
If you're the superstitious type, you might suggest that the title of my last blog entry was tempting the fates... ...but then, I'd probably have to pat you for it.
Much is different since my last blog entry, and some of it is responsible for the gap between posts. Most relevantly, I am no longer working for Legend Web Works. I have a wide array of thoughts on this particular matter, but I do not wish to belabor them here. Further, if you're reading this you probably already know about it - I simply wished to state it for posterity. This is generally the case for most things on my blog and this entry is no exception.
So now I'm looking for a new job. Unfortunately my particular area of expertise is rather narrow in scope and directly-related opportunities in this area are somewhat limited. I've found a few leads, but things seem to be slow in developing. I'm not entirely sure what to do and I'm a little stressed about it, but I haven't hit a brick wall yet, so I'm still trying to be optimistic.
Anyway, on to happier things:
First and foremost, Sheri is pregnant! We're going to have a Bunguin! We actually saw the first ultrasound yesterday, which admittedly doesn't look like much at this point - but still. The expected due date is May 14th 2011. We're really excited!
Secondly, as I mentioned previously, I finally got to go to Gencon back in August. It was pretty awesome. The Exhibitor's hall was an amazingly geeky mall full of cool stuff, but the most fun was hanging out and playing games with the Playgrounders and a bunch of guys from the Fear the Boot forum. I have a few souvenirs from the con including a new set of dice, the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition, and a lanyard from the Fear The Boot guys. I really liked it, and I'd like to go back at some point, but my favorite parts were things that didn't have anything to do with the con itself - things like Chris's Battletech game. I think i prefer less commercial and more gaming - things like our local mini-cons. Also, I'd really like to go out to Fear The Con one of these days.
On that note, we had Gamesplosion back in late August - our third local mini-gaming-convention. This one, I believe, was the biggest one to-date. It was held at our place for logistical reasons, and took place from friday-sunday as usual. I ran a session of Mouse Guard and one of my own homebrews called Bot. I played in a Weird War II (Savage Worlds) game, and played Agricola during one of the other slots. It was definitely a great time.
And of course, I've been continuing my normal gaming. We started a D&D game using the Sandstorm rules/setting (along with some stuff from Unearthed Arcana), and that's been interesting. The WoD game has resumed and is starting to build in the "action" dept. I've also spent quite a bit of time reinterpreting the Battletech rules into Savage Worlds - this is intended to make 'mech combat a bit more fast-paced and also tie a roleplaying system directly into it. Sheri and I playtested it a bit, and I was quite happy with how it played.
We were finally present for Robb's "Talk Like A Pirate party" this year, which was lots of fun - and the location of perhaps the most epic nerf war we have witnessed to date. Another item of note related to this is the piratey shirts Sheri's mom made us for it - they're really cool and I think they'll be handy for a few different costumes should the need arise.
Robb and I have been jamming with Josh & Bill again, which has been cool. I think we're supposed to do that again soon. We've picked out about 5 cover songs and we're just going over them again and again as we try to gel as a group. It's been a lot of fun - I really missed getting to play with a band.
Finally, as I'm sure you've noticed, my site has been reincarnated yet again. This is partly due to my job situation - I really didn't want to keep it on any framework related to my former employers. It just felt...odd. This rebuild is being constructed purely according to my preferences. As of now, it's still under construction. The blog was the first piece - additional pages will come online in the coming weeks as I'm able to build them to my taste. Also, there is, as of now, a very modest mobile site (which looks awful on a pc), currently only capable of reading and commenting on the blog - but I'm sure I'll start working on it after the main site is completely set. Accessing www.penguinsushi.com on a mobile device should direct you there.
Wow, s'been almost a month since i've keyed something into the ol' blog.
Probably not much to talk about has happened in that interim. Let's see...
I previously mentioned a podcast called Fear the Boot, but at the time it was only with respect to their interview with Matt Vancil. I'm going to bring them up again because since that mentioning, I've really become a fan of the show as a whole. I should mention again that Rucht actually told me about this podcast a while back and correctly guessed I'd enjoy it, but to this point I hadn't given it much of a try. As someone who likes to listen to amusing group commentaries on independent projects (often listening to the commentaries on the first Gamers movie as well as those for Red vs Blue) and someone who loves talking about gaming in general, this thing was indeed "right up my alley", so to speak.
Now, when I get hooked on something, I tend to go all the way - so a few weeks ago I manually downloaded all of their stuff (at the time, 8.2 days worth). Generally, when I'm doing whatever (work, mowing, driving, working on my own projects or just playing on my computer) I tend to listen to music, movies and/or (especially) commentaries as a fairly constant backdrop... ...so for the last few weeks, I've been listening to the guys at Fear the Boot. It has been quite enjoyable to my taste - and I've made it through almost 3/4 of the show's history.
Anyway, looking back...
On Monday I started my World of Darkness game, and I thought the first session went very well (as always, there's a synopsis on the gaming page). We had 4 players and a 5th is planning to come next time, so we've got a pretty full table. I'm pretty excited about this game (and the current WoD system in general). I have some interesting ideas for where this campaign might go so I hope it sticks together.
This game was started in the interest of doing something a bit more regularly than our Mouse Guard game, which has some pretty severe scheduling limitations. Still, I in no way want to abandon Mouse Guard since that game is pretty awesome too...just...sparse.
Our friend Nick is finally back from Saudi and he introduced us to a new game called Citadels last weekend. It's a pretty cool, simple & relatively quick little card game. He also has Dominion, which I've been wanting to try, but we didn't get to it last weekend.
Edit: Played Dominion tonight (May 1st). *Great* game. We'll probably pick it up at some point.
Way back on the 10th I got to playtest an RPG I previously mentioned having thought up and written in about a week. This game is called Bot. There's a (very) brief mechanics-less description of the concept and a synopsis of the session on the Gaming page. I thought it went very well, everyone seemed to catch on quickly and have fun and I was very happy with it.
Way, way back on the 7th our GitP friends Stacy & Tracy stopped in on us JC folk, wherein we played some games and ambushed Llama with nerf guns (this is becoming something of a tradition). It's been a while, so I don't remember what all we did, but we I know had a good time.
In terms of the less interesting, we've come upon the lawn mowing time of year again, and I've been doing a bit of that. I actually enjoy the exercise, but it just takes so long to do. We've been talking about getting a rider for some time...maybe sometime this year.
We lost our company this morning, and that was sad. Ginger, William and Liam left around 9:30 or so. They'd been hanging out with us for about the last week. We had a great time.
They arrived here last Saturday evening. On Sunday we went to the coffeehouse at WAPC and chatted with some of the native Wataugians who wanted to catch up with Ginger since she'd been gone. On Monday we had a game night at the Hippie Hut Mk. II, complete with 3 munchkins. Cash & Guns was entertaining. Thursday Patrick ran his Star Wars game and Ginger's old character got to return for a cameo appearance in it, along with William's "Bill Redshirt". Last night we met up at Mid City for dinner and came back here for a very enjoyable game night featuring Time's Up. Much fun was had. Samara came out to join us - which was cool since it had been a few years since we'd had her around - and Rucht brought Duane who was in town and is always a lot of fun to hang out with too.
So this last week was lots of fun and games. We now return to our regular existence. I have posted some pictures on the book-face.
Well, the first mowing of the front yard for the season has occurred. It was like a small forest in places. While doing that, I was listening to and enjoying an interview with Matt Vancil (writer/director of The Gamers movies) from Fear the Boot.com, which Rucht sent to me - and now I'm passing on to anyone here who might like it. I was actually sad that the Gamers II dvd didn't include any commentaries (they ran out of room on the disc), so it was cool to get to hear Matt talk some about it. Also, he and the guys that do Fear the Boot have philosophies on gaming/roleplaying very similar to mine, and I enjoyed their articulation of some of those ideas.
Working backward toward the last blog, we had a game night over at our friend Casey's place a few weeks ago wherein we got to play another great Days of Wonder game called Small World. Tim was in town for that, and it's always good to get to hang out with him. Also, we had another awesome Mouse Guard session (which has been posted on Gaming page) on the 19th. We left off in the middle of some action & hopefully we'll get to continue that one soon.
In slightly related news, I recently spent about a week designing a new table-top rpg. It's considerably different than any other rpg I've ever played. I think it will be a lot of fun. I'll probably post some stuff about it on the Gaming page at some point, but I don't want to talk about it in any specifics yet. I intend to "spring it" on a group of players as a one-shot without any prior disclosure or explanation - I think that approach will suit this game and its setting quite well. I'll probably be trying to put that together soon.
In other gaming news, my World of Darkness game has enough foundation to get it started whenever we choose to bring it up, so I've shelved it until I have an opportunity to work it in - which may be a while. Still very interested in it though.
Now that the weather has been warming up, I've been thinking a bit more about photography again - pulling out my camera more often and looking at the lenses I wanna pick up at some point. I'll probably end up buying the really expensive one next - but that might not be for some time. I had a great time taking a *lot* of pictures of Liam this week - most of that album may be him, with other people thrown in.
Work is going alright. Business is quite good, all things considered. I'm still/again working on some systems for the next version of our model. It also looks like we're going up to OH for a "business trip" later this month. Yay rah. It'll be good to see Kedrick, Addie, little Jack and my other coworkers, but other aspects of the trip are much, much less exciting. Oh well.
|Friday February 19, 2010 at 3:17pm||friends, church, holidays, movies, gaming, work, family||Comments (0) »|
It's been a rather busy week. Unusually so, actually.
It was good to see Nick again on saturday, and to meet Jen. She seems pretty cool. Unfortunately, they weren't able to stay as long as originally planned and we only got to hang out for a little while.
Sunday Sheri & I went to Grandview for church. That was cool. We saw quite a few people that we knew (but hadn't seen in quite a while) and I was reminded how much I really like to hear Aaron Wymer speak.
Sunday was valentine's day, but Sheri and I don't usually do much *on* that day. Instead, we wait until the 19th - which happens to be today - to 'celebrate', since it was on the 19th ten years ago that she and I started dating. Happy Valentinanniversary to us. Or something. :-D
Monday we got to see Jerry & Amanda and little Jared as they stopped through at the Hippies' on their way home from a trip to FL. It's always cool to hang out with them, and their munchkin is exceptionally cute. I didn't have my camera with me, but I should have...
Tuesday was significant this week only in that it was the only evening I *didn't* have something going on.
Wednesday Rucht had a group of us over to watch Aliens. Prior to that time, I hadn't seen any of the Alien movies (and I still haven't seen any others). This was seen as somewhat of a problem that needed to be remedied. I enjoyed the movie and it's always cool to get together with friends.
Thursday (yesterday) was Patrick's Star Wars game. This game has been very enjoyable for me. It may be the first time I've actually had a character's personality, motives, actions, etc evolve *in game*. At Patrick's prompting, I've written up a bunch of stuff (probably more than he really wanted) for/about him with respect to his development in the story.
Tonight Sheri and I are going out to dinner and then over to see Milligan's production of Little Women - maybe not in that order...
Work has been kind of crazy lately as we're *still* trying to tie up some stuff before the end of the day... ...unfortunately, I'm currently waiting for a crucial piece of info to plug in - without which, I can't do much.
Next weekend our friend Thes is coming in for a visit and I'm supposed to run a couple of gaming sessions (after a month-long interim). That should be fun.
Also along the gaming line, Rucht is starting a Rogue Trader game next week that I'm gonna be in. I'm looking forward to this as I haven't got to play in one of Rucht's games before.
A couple weeks after that, Sheri and I are heading to AR to help her mom out after her upcoming surgery.
I think we're getting more than our fair share of snow this year. Or, more than we've ended up with the last 10 years or so anyway.
Usually I talk about my friends, my hobbies and stuff that's been happening on this thing. Not too much fits that bill lately.
Aside from picking up the acoustic from time to time (occasionally with friends), I haven't done much with 'music' lately. I have a recording or two that I could post, but I'm really not completely happy with them. In fact, I've become increasingly critical of my writing & composition. I think when I finally do get some stuff that I like recorded, it will probably be a bit different from past projects. Who knows.
I've wanted to take some pictures lately too, but I think I've photographed everything in my general vicinity and I haven't been anywhere new... ...and I haven't been particularly inspired by any 'new angles' on things available.
We've had some more scheduling conflicts with our gaming. These aren't all bad, but I'm still trying to figure out when we can play again.
We have done a little hanging out with a few friends lately. Robb & I got together to play some guitar last week and then went out for pizza (and sandwiches) and the hideously-colored Generous George's.
I've also been hanging out with Steve a bit lately, helping him record some of his songs. I've also recently dug out my Magic cards and he & I have played a few games of that. That's been fun, though I haven't been able to convince Sheri to learn it yet. I've always enjoyed that game, but most of the people I know stopped playing it quite a while back. Others I know have moved on to only playing it on the 360, but, like Carcassonne, I'd prefer to play the actual, physical game - and then there's the fact that I don't own a 360...
In other news, as she mentioned on her blog, Sheri has resigned as choir director for our church - mostly because the choir was pretty much dissolving anyway. This puts us somewhat in 'limbo' with regard to what we'll do next. It feels kind of awkward in Erwin, and we've talked about visiting some other places closer to where we live. Nothing's actually be decided though.
As she *hasn't* mentioned on her blog (as yet), Sheri's also been doing some writing. She's about 60 pages into a story, and I think she's doing a great job with it - which is why I mention it.
Work is work and, aside from a few frustrations, has been pretty good. The last month or so has been a continual swing from really busy to really slow and back again. Not too much going on at the moment, so I'm just looking over some stuff. I know some other things will be on their way to me soon, though.
Last week was pretty cool. On wednesday, Sheri and I headed up to OH for a couple of reasons.
The first reason was for work. Kedrick and Addie wanted me to take a trip up there to see the new office and to have at least a couple days in the office with everyone else. It was actually a lot of fun. I like working from home, but I enjoyed being in the office too - getting to hang out with my coworkers who are, i must say, pretty awesome. We got a lot done, but there was a fair amount of laughing and general goofiness as well. The work environment there (for those of us in the back room, anyway) was really laid back and relaxing. For someone like me, it was just about perfect for productivity.
So Thursday and Friday were spent at the office, finishing up a project which most of us are quite excited about and going over some general practices and methods. It was a good time.
On saturday, Kedrick and Addie took us to the Cincinnati area. We had tasty lunch and Graeter's ice cream - which was funny because i'd actually had the very thing i ordered before, I just hadn't realized it. Edie gave me some of their Black Raspberry Chip ice cream the last time we were over there playing Talisman.
After that, we went to Ault Park. They had wanted me to take some pictures of them as part of a yearly tradition. It was the first time i'd *really* tried portrait photography. I don't typically do 'posed' shots of people, i think candid shots are so much more natural. I also don't "direct" - I basically just let them sit or stand however they wanted or thought would look good, and I simply tried to make the most of it. I won't say they turned out fantastically, but I think there are a few in there that would look nice on their wall. It was a good time. Most importantly, I now have a little xp in this capacity and I learned a bit about what tends to work and what doesn't. I'm still far from considering myself particularly qualified for this yet. A little of my difficulty might be equipment-related as i don't really have nice portrait lenses (a nice 50mm prime would have been good), but I suspect it's mostly technique that needs practicing.
We were also talking about all of us going to the Ren Fair later in October if we can at all manage it... ...that would be awesome. :-)
Later Saturday afternoon we headed to my grandparents' in Greenville - which was the second reason for our trip. We hardly ever get to see them, which is kind of a shame. My parents and my uncle had also headed there for the Easter weekend, and the group of us had a great time talking together. We even got to sit out on their deck Sunday afternoon, which was really nice. We didn't do a whole lot, but it's always cool just to spend time with family. I'd like to get to see all of them more often than I do. Hopefully when we have a car that we trust a little more (and don't necessarily have to rent for trips like this) we'll be able to see some of them a little more.
|Sunday July 27, 2008 at 3:12pm||anniversary, gaming, work, friends, music, video games||Comments (2) »|
No, really. The past week+ has been fairly uneventful. Despite this, I still have several things to do around the house that I haven't made it to yet. I feel like I've been busy, but I also don't feel like i've done/accomplished much - how does that work?
Sheri & I did have our 4th anniversary on thursday. :-) That was a good day. We went for a walk around sycamore shoals (cause it was such a nice day), and then went out to dinner. We then went to look for a movie to watch (we were going to go see Wall-E, but our theatre wasn't showing it at a time that worked well) and bought disney's The Sword in the Stone. I love cartoons.
I guess in terms of my hobbies' time ratio, gaming has gotten the lion's share lately. I've put a significant chunk of time into continuing to develop my new(ish)/experiemental system/setting but i'm still not happy with my progress - it seems to be going much too slowly. Hopefully I'll get a little more momentum soon. We had a last-minute game session last night for my surviving d&d group, which was quite fun - though it took the party about 3x longer to get to where they did than I figured it would.
Apart from that, i've been working on some large projects for work - even some on my own time. There's one in particular i really want to get done, but I never get enough time to spend on it. It's going to make things a lot easier on several of us once I do though.
Got to hang out with Sam a little on friday. That was cool. Haven't seen him much since he's been at Berea. Got to hear a couple new songs of his - they're pretty cool (as was to be expected). I've been sadly neglecting my music stuff lately. I did play a little yesterday and discovered my fingers are way out of shape. My callouses are still there, but my index finger cramps on bar chords pretty quickly. I need to start compiling ideas for a new album for next year's album recording month too. If i can write most of it beforehand, i might have a prayer of actually finishing one.
Tony & I (and Sheri, to some extent) have been working through the obsessive-collecting madness that is Lego Star Wars. There are minikit pieces on some of the levels i swear don't exist: i've gone back and forth through some of these levels like 12 times and they're still nowhere to be found. It's a fun and funny little game though.
Anyway, that's pretty much it.
After last week, i was ready for the long weekend. The downside is, I've now been back at work for two days, and I don't think i'm ready for it yet. I'm not sure if I needed the long weekend, or more of a vacation.
Well, it's not that bad really. This week has been a lot better. Just. Eh.
Anyway, the weekend was fun. We had a couple of cookouts - one here for Kevin's birthday/graduation and one at Robb & Edie's for Memorial Day. Much fun was had and many kinds of games were played. We introduced a couple new people to Kubb and played some rather epic games (the second time where we've been down to no kubbs and come back to win!).
We've also started finishing Spare 'Oom. Last week sheri cleaned out pretty much everything in there (no small feat!) and so far we've primed and got one coat of paint on it. I'm planning on putting the second on tonight (if it dries in time - it's really humid/rainy here). I'll put a picture up when we get it done. I'd put an 'in progress' picture up, but i'm feeling too lazy for that atm.
The yard really needs mowed too, but it's been raining. Gonna be pretty rough once i'm able to do it, i'm afraid.
So I'm currently sitting in our company office in downtown Lebanon, OH. It's kinda cool, actually. On the second floor; has a nice set of windows overlooking the old downtown area. I like the buildings around here - they've got character.
Matt, Barb, Addie and I have been having a good time (Kedrick/Warren has mostly been gone or on the phone in the other room). Lots of random, funny, sometimes work-related conversations. It's been fun to be all in the same room and I've enjoyed getting to know them in person. It actually reminds me a lot of hanging out with my friends much more than being in an "office". Still, we've managed to accomplish quite a bit, I think. I got to go over my system with them (which was the point of this journey) and they understood it all pretty well. They'd been doing a good job already though. I think we make a pretty great group of coworkers.
I'll admit working from home is a little lonely sometimes... ...though I enjoy having Ally around. And I miss working from my Mac. I should also point out that the office here is in dire need of some audio enhancement - preferably in the form of some nice speakers and good coding music. True it might make phone calls a little more difficult, but still, there's two rooms. Work it out.
The plane ride up here was... ...alright. A little nerve-wracking. I don't care much for flying. I'd been on planes twice before - all with groups of familiar people in large planes in and out of major airports about 10 years ago. Much. Different. I'm figuring Tri-Cities doesn't see too many 727's and the plane I rode out on was actually a prop aircraft. Yeah, *lots* of vibration on those things. Kinda freaky. The jet i took from Charlotte the rest of the way was much smoother and more like i remembered (though still small) - that is, after it got off the ground. It was delayed for about 1.5 hours. I say the flight was smooth - yes. The descent into Dayton, however was quite rough as there was some incoming nasty weather. Also kind of freaky. I'm at least a little familiar with flying now though - and that's nice. I didn't want to bring my camera on the trip because i didn't know what to expect in terms of the flying arrangements. I'm still thinking leaving it was for the best, though i'm sure it would have been ok and I do wish I had it.
On the way to Kedrick & Addie's house (where i've been staying), we drove through a bit of a monsoon. It was crazy. Oh sure, it rains like that in TN too. About twice year. For 15 seconds. Total.
Kedrick & Addie's house is pretty cool. I've even had my own room and bathroom for this trip. They have two dogs - a huge golden retriever (and i mean huge. Like, "i've-never-seen-a-golden-retriever-this-big" huge...) who *loves* me (mostly because they love everyone), and a tiny little terrier-like dog who i've yet to get to come anywhere near me.
It has been weird being away from home by myself. I miss Sheri and Ally. Still, it's been a pretty good trip so far.
For the first time in about 3 months, my to-do list for work is clear!
It'll be back up to a nice healthy frenzy on monday, but for now, I'm feeling pretty good. I much prefer being ahead of the game than feeling behind.
|Tuesday October 2, 2007 at 11:56am||work, coffeehouse, dogs, gaming, church, family, golf||Comments (2) »|
I've had quite a bit of fun the last few days.
On friday I built the framework for a sort of work side-project. I'm pretty excited about this one - it'll be really cool, I think. Yes, this counts as "fun". I'm a geek like that.
On friday night we went to the coffeehouse at Ginger's church. Not much was going on, but it was cool just to hang out and talk to people. I watched some friends play Go. Interesting little board game. Some of them were also talking about the world traveling they'd done. I kinda wish I had been / could go to some cool places like that...
On saturday our dog Ally got the bath she needed. She wasn't such a fan, but she's a good little beagle and so it wasn't a terribly difficult task - even by myself. After that Sheri and I walked her around the backyard for a bit and sat in the shade (of our neighbor's tree) for a while. It was a beautiful afternoon.
On saturday night we continued and wrapped up a d&d game I'd been running for a few sessions. I think it went pretty well. I've now started some work on the two new games I'm starting. With the Liimar game and Robb's Exalted (see below), this makes 4 rpg's I'm in or running. I think I'm insane. It's a fun insane, but still...
On sunday, we went to church in Erwin as usual. I'm very glad that we have a wireless net connection at the church now - since we're kinda stuck there all day. I spent most of sunday afternoon working on putting the finishing touches on the project I mentioned working on on friday. Very excited about that. Sheri was working on choir stuff. We did go outside and play a couple of games of Kubb (which happened to be in the jeep), however.
Sunday night was also the 'all-sing' - where the area churches get together and sing together and for each other. It's not my favorite thing in the world, but Sheri's choir sounded pretty good. Plus we got to hang out with people and have snacks after.
On sunday night my mom came back through from visiting my sister in SC. I'm always glad to see family. Don't see them much since they're all quite far away.
On monday morning, mom and I went out and played 9 holes at Pine Oaks Golf Course. That was lots of fun. Beautiful morning. I played better than I think I ever have - which was pretty impressive considering it had been almost exactly 4 months since I'd played - and I played terribly that day. As it turns out, I think my grip was most of the problem. A simple tip that mom happened to mention that she saw on her video completely transformed my game. I've never had a piece of technique make such a difference. I birdied a hole for the first time ever, and I par'd the 8th and 9th. Total score for the round was 48. I could have dropped a couple strokes if i hadn't made a few chipping/putting mistakes. More than that though, my shots just felt better - more solid. Of course now I'm setting myself up to do terribly next time, since I'll be expecting much more than I was yesterday...
I also thought about how lucky I was that I have a job where I can just kinda take time off to hang out with my family if they happen to come through.
On monday (last) night, we finally got to play Robb's Exalted game. I had a lot of fun. It's a pretty interesting premise and system. Plus I get to play a shapeshifter. I have a soft spot for shapeshifters. Also, there are some people in that group that I haven't gamed with in years. I'm looking forward to continuing this one.
So yeah... ...the rest of my week looks pretty boring compared to the last several days...
A quick '"here's what went on" entry, because I have another to post -
This week's been pretty good, all things told. Pretty busy work week - working on a big project.
Sheri started her new job friday and survived her first day. Yay on both counts! :-)
Friday night we had another good gaming session. I'm reallying enjoying this particular game. It's intended to be short and contained, but I like the fact that I had almost all of the scenrio mapped out ahead of time and it's a pretty good story for a game.
Saturday we went on a picnic to Sycamore Shoals and hiked around a bit after.
Today we went out on Boone lake on a pontoon boat with some people from church - spent the day tubing and swimming and generally having a good time. Even saw some people and boats in piratety garb!
|Sunday August 12, 2007 at 6:05pm||summer, gaming, music, recording, yard work, work, dogs||Comments (2) »|
...which is almost over. Doesn't seem like it should be this late already.
So the summer has been pretty good. Pretty busy in places. Schedules of people have tended to be less than predictable as well. I mean more than usual.
Not enough gaming went on this summer - perhaps the slowest on record since graduation - i'm not sure. We've got a couple few sessions together, but nothing major. I have been working on quite a bit of gaming stuff, however.
I've also been continuing work on my recording project again recently - which tends to go in spurts. Before this last week I hadn't touched it in at least a month, maybe more. I'm kinda stuck on the words to the song I'm working on atm.
I am further convinced we need a riding mower. That grass just gets too tall too fast for my poor little push mower. It's not so much the pushing I don't like, it's the must-stop-every-five-feet-to-keep-the-mower-from-dying that annoys me. I suppose I could merely upgrade the pushmower to something a bit more heavy duty, but i'm not sure what i'd need or how much of a help it would actually be.
Sheri starts her new job at Milligan this week. :-) That'll be great. She'll actually be able to do stuff in the evenings now instead of working 2-11pm (the 'no life' shift).
My job is going pretty well - though we're about to be very busy. Getting a couple few large projects, though I am happy the boss-man turned one of them down. It would have been quite a bit of money for the business, but it would have been very difficult and resource consuming. He decided it just wasn't worth it, and I agree.
Also on the subject of work, Andy's doing a great job with us. I've been really impressed with his graphic work. I mean, he went to school for that, but he seems to have a lot of innate talent as well.
We've also had a couple of cool family visits this summer. Speaking of, Jamie sent me an email a while back saying she might be able to come visit this month, but I haven't heard from her since... ...that would be cool. She even promised to give Ally a bath. heh.
It's been a while since there's been a blog.
I'm currentlly sitting upstairs at our church in the youth room on the couch. They finally got a DSL connection here, and I have the wireless key.
It's kind of odd to be hanging out here, writing a blog and seeing my office over in the sushi-cam. Odd in a cool way, though. Heh.
Now, if only I had a macbook, this would be even sweeter.
Not much has been going on lately, actually (hence, the bloglessness). Work's been pretty busy/hectic. We've been pretty impressed with Andy's work though. We just have a lot of big development projects coming in. Some I'm excited about; some not so much.
My parents came by a few weekends ago on their way down to Myrtle Beach. They met us over at Ginger's place and played Apples to Apples with us for a while. Then we went back to the Igloo and talked for a bit. Saturday morning, dad replaced the dash in my jeep (the speedometer was broken). Yeah, he's in here for all of 12 hours, and he manages to fix something. He's cool like that.
I've been working quite a bit on my d20 campaign setting for Liimar. It's been a pretty fun, yet challeneging experience, because there's so many mechanics i've decided to play with. I've changed my mind about how I want most of the stuff to work about 16 times. I can't wait to get enough of it done so that I can try some more on my guinea p- ...er...i mean "players"... ...so that I can change how it works a dozen or so more times.
Got to meet another, local gamer the other night. Name's Nick. He seems pretty cool - he's already made the quote list even. We'll have to put something together to play sometime soon.
Well, eventually we broke down. It was sort of bound to happen. I think we just felt a little too sorry for the poor little doggie. If we'd have found a no-kill shelter or something right away, that might have been one thing - but we didn't want to just turn her over to the pound. I guess we would have felt a little guilty. Also, I have to admit that, after she'd been around for a week, I'd kinda miss her if we gave her away.
So yeah, in case that wasn't clear enough, we've decided to keep the her. We've decided to call her "Ally" , which is short for "Allegro" - a musical term that means something like "fast", "lively" or "happy". It seems to suit both her and us.
Now we get to go about taking her to vet, etc.
In other random news, I finally got to see Pan's Labyrinth. I consider it to be a very good movie, but it's not one I could watch a lot I don't think. Its pretty graphically violent, and is very, very sad. It made me tear up at the end. (Actually, a fair number of stories do that to me.) Also, it's in spanish with english subtitles - which is perfectly fine by me, but it makes it a poor 'background noise' movie (which is how I usually watch movies - i don't often have the attention span to sit through entire movies).
I other, other random news: I have got the weed eater out and cleared out our side ditch. Our yard is about as well kept as it can get at this point. You all should come see it sometime in the next week - 'cause I'm sure after that it will be overgrowing again.
Lawn games are fun. Particularly when you have a lawn to play them on.
Tony finally taught us to play Kubb last week. It's a fun little lawn game of 'throw the block, throw the stick'. On wednesday, we played an augmented version - involving munchkins running through the field whilst playing. The object then became 'throw the ball, throw the stick, miss the munchkin'. Anyway, by saturday, 7 new people had been introduced to this particular swedish lawn game.
On saturday we taught tony how to play Bocce - since he'd somehow managed to escape playing that game with us to that point. We had fun with that one on our hilly and lumpy backyard.
Other than lawn game mayhem, we had some other fun times this weekend. A bunch of us got together at Mike & Steph's on friday to play Wii and generally just hang out. That was fun.
On sunday we got to do a little gaming. That's always fun - particularly this game, since all the players do such a good job roleplaying these somewhat odd PC's.
Oh, also I got the backyard and a good chunk of the front yard mowed (again). I've also procured a weed eater that I may smite down the tall grass in the ditch on the edge of our lawn sometime soon.
|Monday December 18, 2006 at 11:06am||friends, choir, work, funny, birthdays, holidays, long freakin post||Comments (0) »|
This is going to be a long one.
I'm not entirely sure why, since I slept in a bit this morning, but I'm still tired.
My only theory about why I don't seem to have any energy today is the amount of running around we did this weekend.
On friday I had work as usual, then we went into town to finish up our christmas shopping.
After that, Sheri needed to go to Erwin for what was supposed to be a practice for the kid's program that was to be put on sunday night. Unfortunately, only 2 of the kids showed up so there wasn't much point to it. Keep in mind, there'd only been one other practice for this thing the previous wednesday.
On the plus side, Sam & Erin were there and I personally had a great time getting to talk to them.
After we had returned home, my sister arrived. She was on her way to IN for Christmas break and didn't want to make the whole trip in one day.
The next day we had a rehearsal for the choir cantata that was to go on on sunday morning. It went pretty well.
After returning from that, we went out to lunch with Jese before she left to continue to IN.
We then went to the JC Chorale's Christmas concert. Sheri was sad that she didn't get to sing in it, but she enjoyed watching and talking to some of the Chorale members. They miss her. I got to talk to Rucht a bit about gaming and other assorted things. I also ran into Sue and we talked about the website i'm doing for Watauga a bit.
After that, we went to the Crazy Tomato for our 'company christmas dinner' with KW (boss-man), Addie (coworker, boss-man's wife), Brandon (coworker) & Randy (brandon's wife). We talked about how we did this year and what we're looking to accomplish next year. Pretty much all good news. Brandon & I also got spiffy old navy fleece pull-overs with our company logo. Sheri and Randy each got throw blankets (because Addie didn't think it was fair that the boys got stuff but the girls didn't). Brandon and Randy gave us a cool cinnamon candle and a penguin ornament. I felt like kind of a bum - since we didn't even think about christmas presents. I wasn't expecting anything and we were so busy that I didn't have time to wonder. I'll remember for next year though.
Another thing I wasn't expecting was the bonus that Brandon & I got. I'm planning on putting mine toward a new electric guitar - something I've been wanting to get for a while now.
Sunday morning we had the cantata - which went very well, the choir did great. After church we helped the Rosolina's a little as they set up the set for the children's program that night. Then we went home for the afternoon (something we usually don't do).
We had a relaxing afternoon and then returned to Erwin to practice the children's program one more time. Around 6:45 people started arriving and the program went on at 7. It went pretty well, all things considered. After that we had our resident santa come and give out little gift bags to all the kids - and to the staff. Seeing Dr. Gwaltney sit on Santa's lap was hilarious. After all the festivities we disassembled the set and put the stage back the way it normally is.
Probably the most memorable part of the entire evening was Katie's little mishap with the baby jesus. See, I think the church has had the small, hollow, plastic-formed baby jesus for about 30 years. It was so old, the paint had worn off of most of it so it was mostly just white. And it was ugly. Really ugly. It actually closely resembled a prairie dog - especially the way Erin had placed him in the manger - sticking straight up.
So anyway - Sam, Katie and I were standing in the choir room. Katie was holding the plastic baby jesus saying she should hide it so that they'd have to use something else next year. In fact, she said, if that was her kid, he'd better be the son of god, because that's all he's got going for him. She must have been squeezing a bit too tight as she gestured because at about the time she finished this statement, the baby jesus EXPLODED. It didn't just crumble and fall apart mind you - there was an audible *pop* as little pieces of christ flew out about 5 feet in every direction. Katie's half-terrified / half-amused expression was priceless. Sam stared at her wide-eyed and gasped "You broke baby Jesus!". I simply laughed uncontrollably.
After we finished cleaning up, we departed. Sheri and I then went to Cheddars where we met Ginger, Tony and Justin for dinner somewhat in honor of my birthday (which is actually today. happy birthday to me). We enjoyed some good food and amusing conversation even as my energy level decreased rapidly.
After dinner, we returned to the Igloo where I got to open some birthday presents. They also got me an ice-cream cake that I was way to full to eat any of. I think I'll have some today though.
After that, we had our own little christmas party as everyone is leaving the state sometime this week. It was fun.
I ended up with a few cute, new additions to my penguin army, a ps game that looks like fun and a 10 inch figure of Marvin, the manically-depressed robot from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the galaxy.
I may well have left some parts out of this crazy weekend, but that's what I remember off the top of my head.
Push-mowing the yard in the rain while listening to Rage Against The Machine is an interesting experience.
This is Abby Grace. When asked about me by Ginger, she has said that I am:
A) Not scary.
B) Not weird.
Apparently I am considered to be Sam because I also play guitar. I love little kids. They're so cute. Abby in particular. I'm kinda bummed now that they're going to a different church and I don't get to see them every week. We did get to see them today, however.
Today was our church picnic. Despite the dreariness of parts of the day, it was a lot of fun. Sam and I got in some good practice time, we all got to swim (in very cold water), had good food, and played a 2 hour game of Purple Ball. We are, in fact, the best Purple Ball players in East Tennessee.
The rest of this weekend has been pretty good too. Warren (boss-man) took me & Brandon out for breakfast on friday. Friday night we spent with Ginger and Tony playing mario party.
Saturday, my game (finally) continued as The Party attempted not to get themselves killed by some eel-people and discover why , how and by whom an underground town had been partially flooded. Fun and mayhem.
I've also been catching up with some out-of-state friends I haven't heard from in a while. I came across at least 3 people I hadn't emailed in ages when I imported my address book to my mac. It's been cool.
This weekend we have accomplished:
1) Entire yard mowed. Really, the whole freakin' thing. That yard is too big for push-mower - at least when it's so hot.
2) Living room prep-work finished, primed and given two coats of green paint. Lookin' good. Pictures soon.
3) 3 cars washed - mine, sheri's & ginger's.
4) random house work / bill paying
5) sheri repotted her plants
We did good.
well, penpen's mostly back up in running. as i type, i'm just waiting for the last of my mp3's to be copied back over to this machine. looks like the rebuild operation was a success.
in other news, i spent the better part of the day with Brian West (one of my coworkers)(he's colorblind - can you tell? ;)) going through a bunch of computer-generated php in an effort to salvage it for a migration. this, combined with the fact that i didn't eat anything till about 5pm, gave me a pretty major headache.
on an unrelated note, i've heard that Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side of the Moon' follows the beginning of the Wizard of Oz in some sort of uncanny fashion. thus far i've noticed no such correlation between 'Comfortably Numb' and Return of the Jedi.