Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The New Hotness

I spent part of Tuesday and Wednesday moving things to my new desk. I haven't mentioned it here before, but I outgrew my old desk, so when some of the people in the office moved away I claimed a double-desk for myself. The computer guy moved my computer and telephone today and I stuck around after work to move things over. I still have a lot of straightening and organizing to do, but I think I'll be much more comfortable -- although I do lose the nice view out the window. I'm only ten feet from the same window, so I'm not too concerned.

I had a good time coming up with some ideas for new special abilities for a new game today at work. I love reading rules and coming up with things that tweak them or change them in some way. Tomorrow we'll test some of them and I'll see if I went overboard on any of them. Mostly I'm very happy with what I have.

I picked up the mini-series of Battlestar Galactica earlier this week. I've been hearing a lot about it, so I wanted to check it out. I remember the show from when I was a kid and it's sort of funny to see it resurrected. I'll let you know what I think once I've watched it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Things You Shouldn't Write About

I feel compelled to write something about this woman from whom they've removed the feeding tube (I know her name, but I'm not typing it here for fear of fanatics posting annoying things here) but I think it's a bad idea. Why can't I let it go? Why do I feel compelled to comment? Because for the last month-ish it's been one of the top stories. The media feels this is an important issue because they know human drama tied to religion tied to politics makes for good, gut-wrenching, white-knuckle drama -- especially in this case where someone's life is actually on the line. Hell, it's like Survivor and The Real World combined into one power-packed and free bumdle!

It's really kind of sick.

This whole thing should have been handled quietly between the family members, but in this age of info-tainment (by that, I mean the "news") the family members know that their plight makes for good television, so they escalate the conflict in hopes of getting their way.

It's really kind of sick.

My opinion is the unpopular one. But that doesn't really answer the question of which position I take, does it? Both (every?) side is unpopular in this one. If you want her to live you're being impractical and most likely overzealously religious in your reasons for why she should live. If you want that she be allowed to die, then you're being immoral and cruel. Yeah, both positions suck.

Should both positions suck? Yes, they should. She has no chance of recovery and making someone live in a bed with no reasonable ability to communicate, learn, or interact is cruel. In addition is seems opportunistic and petty to hold this person up an example of how all life is precious. While on the other hand it's impossible to know what's going on in the woman's head and it's cruel to starve her to death.

Behind all the political maneuverings somewhere is the real central issue of 'what do we do with people in situations like this?' Is euthanasia acceptable? Is it murder if we kill her by starvation instead of some injection? Is it crueler? How is starving someone not murder? Is killing someone acceptable in some cases?*

Actually, killing by starvation reminds me of the ancient Greek tradition (at least in the myths) or hobbling a baby and leaving it for the elements to kill. Since, after all, it wasn't murder if the kid didn't survive; all the "hobblers" did was injure him. Oedipus, right? Yeah, that was it. So, now we have the modern equivalent. "It's not our fault if she starves to death."

I guess it's a good thing that this is even an issue. It gives people something to think about -- something that's actually meaningful. I know where I stand.

How about you?

*Well, it seems we've already answered this one with a yes in many states, since we do have capital punishment. So, yes, it's okay to kill someone in some instances.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Most Amazing Thing

The most amazing thing from this weekend had to be the stright flush I got in the poker game Friday night. It was 2 through 6 of diamonds. Apparently the probability of being dealt such a hand is 3 in 200,000 according to this site. Everyone at the table certainly stopped and was amazed. I was especially surprised because I was the big blind and managed to check into the pot with a three of clubs and four of diamonds, then on the flop I had two pair so I stayed in, then more and more diamonds showed up until I had a straight flush and managed to pull someone all-in behind me. It was cool.

I should point out that this was also the first night at poker in which I walked out with more money that I went with.

Saturday I chatted with Jean (my sister, for those not in-the-know). She was feeding the new baby, named Grant Adam O____. He' s healthy and she's getting around just fine. A little sore still, but she says she's better every day. Grant is sleeping well, but is down for three hours, up for two, so she's getting an okay amount of sleep, but I'm sure it's different than she's been used to for the past few years. I can't wait to see him.

Saturday night I had a fun dinner with Shane, Cathy, and Shana at Cedars. I love that place.

Sunday morning I went to Volunteer park to the Easter party Shana put together. She's an Easter freak, so she always does something for it, this year was a picnic with lots of unhealthy food, badminton, an Easter egg hunt, and croquet. It was a blast and we all had to laugh when a squirrel discoverd one of the plastic eggs, carried it off, took the candy out, then went back for more. Needless to say, we had the egg hunt sooner than we planned for so that the squirrels didn't make off with more of the candy. It was a big drizzly, but we'd set up some pavillions and strung a tarp between them, so we had plenty of room for everyone to stay out of the rain and socialize.

I managed to get some 50th level characters in City of Heroes for a number of us at work, so we did some bookkeeping on them and spent this evening running around experimenting with powers and beating up powerful bad guys. It was fun, but I mostly did it so I could create a shapeshifter on another server (that only makes sense to people who play the game, I know. Lemme 'splain: When you get a 50th level character the game allows you to make a new type of character that can change shape. Did that help?) Anyway, now I have Youngstar through his first couple of levels.

I'm very, very tired for some reason, so I'm going to go read and then sleep. Night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Uncle x 7

My older sister had her newest child Tuesday afternoon (I guess it was early evening for her), so I'm now an uncle seven time over. Yikes. And they're all boys. My poor sisters.

I figure eventually I'll get around to having kids. Sure, I'll have to find a long-term girlfriend who I'd like to marry and all that good stuff, but once that happens I'm sure kids are just around the corner. No problem. I don't think I want to be a father seven times over, however, maybe twice. Twice would be fine.

I ran the third session of my D&D game tonight and it was interesting. Part of me feels I may have thrown things that were too powerful at them, but part of me feels that the more chaotic characters are messing up any ability the group has to plan and that's throwing the whole party off. Hopefully things will improve and the difficulties won't scare any of the players away because that would suck. Anyway, it was a good time and I've introduced a character that will hopefully be able to rope the characters into helping him out -- which will give me a way to give them "missions" to perform. I'll have to think on that more before next week.

I had to drop off Mike after the game, so it's late and I'm going to bed.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggetty Jig

My flight back was delayed by, hmm, I don't remember exactly, but not more than an hour. It might have been only half an hour, actually. Anyway, I arrived back at my apartment by around five (just in time to hit traffic on the way back from the airport) and I'm happy to report that my plants are still going strong. I'd forgotten to have Seth water them while I was gone, but they looked none the worse for the neglect.

A slight recap of the week and a half in Vegas: I know I covered some of this last time, but I forgot to mention that I went to see two shows -- the first time I've ever gone to any shows in Vegas (other than the pirate show in front of Treasure Island (which is now annoyingly renamed just "TI") or the fountain show in front of the Bellagio) -- they were Zumanity on Sunday night and Penn & Teller on Monday night. They were both very good shows, but the more I see cirque de soliel-style shows the more I think they're not worth the eighty to ninety dollars they charge. They're good, but not that good. Penn & Teller were great, but I felt like their show was too short... which, I guess, is probably quite a compliment now that I think about it. I would have loved to have seen another hour of them. That would have been great.

Apart from those shows I did a lot of walking around, got to see some of the craziness that is NASCAR, and lost a bunch of money at the blackjack tables. I also have a new editing project which will start tomorrow and should be a pretty fun even though it's the heftiest project to date. I was happy to hear that the guys at Green Ronin are very happy with my work.

That's the majority of the news from the show. Things at the booth went how you'd expect; lots of people, lots of talking, moments of boredom and sore feet, but mostly it was fun and went by quickly. The most disappointing thing I heard was that roleplaying games are apparently really in the pits currently. Hopefully they'll make a recovery and small publishers won't have to worry too badly about their upcoming products.

Speaking of roleplaying, I'm really looking forward to running my D&D game on Tuesday. It was on hold for a few weeks due to travel, absences, and other such things, but now we'll get it rolling again and I can wrap up the storyline that's been on hold with the game.

This weekend I've been mostly resting. I managed to get a good amount of sleep in Vegas, but the show and the place really tired me out -- and did I mention the sore feet? So, Friday night I had a nice evening out with Seth, Matt, Shane, and Cathy. We went to Wasabi Bistro for some of the best sushi (Why do I always want to capitalize sushi?) in Seattle. It was a long wait for a table, but wow, was it good.

Saturday I woke up early and caught up on email, read some blogs I'd missed over the last week or so, did laundry, and then went for comics with the gang. Afterwards I did a lot more laundry, finished reading The Phoenix Guard and then got ready for a night out with Katie, Kate, and Beth to celebrate some birthdays and a graduation. It was fun and I stayed out too late, so I didn't wake up Sunday until about 11:00. Sunday I drove down to Burien to Wonderworld and picked up a couple of comics and books I'd been looking for. I also grabbed a copy of Castles & Crusades. C&C is a new roleplaying game that I've been hearing a lot of good things about, so I figured I should judge for myself. I'll log a review when I've read it a bit more thoroughly, but it seems good at first blush. Lots of similarities with classic D&D but with an easier task resolution system that will help to keep things moving quickly.

After the run to Burien I took care of some things at work, answered emails, checked my schedule of meetings for Monday (solid from 10:00 until 4:30 or 5:00), and loaded up my car with all the product that had been dropped off while I was gone. I was pretty happy about that because we received some great stuff (including a full set of Pirates cards, which we heard we might not receive). Then I played some City of Heroes with Matt, Seth, Kerry, Kevin, and Kim.

Based on Glenn's recommendation, I picked up The Deed of Paksennarion a while ago and I started reading it today. I figure I'll read Book I, then read something else and come back to it later. I forgot to mention that I picked up Sethra Lavode in softcover this weekend, plus I found an old Magic: The Gathering novel by Mark Sumner called The Prodigal Sorcerer. I've never read any of the Magic novels, but I really enjoyed Sumner's novels Devil's Tower and Devil's Engine, so I thought I'd check this out.

Okay, that's all for now. I'll post more this week. Hopefully it will be equally informative.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Almost Home

I'm getting ready to do some packing before heading home from ten days in Vegas. That explains the long absence -- mostly. I've had a laptop with me the whole time, but I didn't have access to the internet until Tuesday of this week when I finally received and hooked up the wireless adapter to my computer.

Anyway, I've played a fair amount of blackjack between meetings and working the booth and touring the city. The first few days my boss and I spent a lot of time traveling to and from the local racetrack where I saw my frist NASCAR races. I was surprised to actually find it interesting. There's a fair amount of strategy that goes on in the driving that isn't obvious when you watch it on T.V. We also walked a hell of a lot to get where we needed to go both around the track and when we explored the city.

The weekend was a lot of fun because Jen came in from L.A. She was bummed because she was let go from her work last week, but that meant she wanted to get away for a few days. I had to work most of the weekend, but we got to hang out and have some fun over the weekend. She left Monday morning so she could get back to look for work again.

This week we went to the the GAMA Trade Show. I really like the show, but I didn't get as much time to socialize this year because we seemed a bit light on help in the booth, so I was there most of the time. I made the annual trek to the Star Trek Experience. They have a new show that runs alongside the old one and I saw both of them with some different groups of people.

I also found my new favorite bar and restaurant in Las Vegas, it's the Peppermill. I'll find a link for it later, but it's an amazingly cheezy amalgamation of the '70's and the '90's in restaurant form. I'll definitely be going there again when I come back.

I'll write more later when I get home. Hopefully all my plants aren't dead.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Poker Weekend

This last weekend I played a lot of poker. Friday night I went to a co-worker's place and played in a weekly game, then Saturday (after comics and cleaning) I went to work to play poker with a number of people who will be going to Vegas soon for a trade show. In addition to all that, I picked up an electronic poker game last week and over the weekend I played something like 1,600 hands. I even played in the simulated 2004 World Poker Championship and came in 11th out of about 2,600 participants. That was cool.

Sunday I went to Liz and Madalyn's for a "Free Martha" party. It was a goofy theme, but we had a good time chatting and playing with Mike and Sharon's kids. Right after that I headed over to Chinook's for Hays' birthday dinner. That, too, was fun. A bit low key, but fun.

The last couple of days have been busy with meetings and trying to make progress on a new game. It's been fun, but it's very behind schedule. It's mostly off my plate for a couple of weeks now, so others have to worry about it more than I for the moment.

That's about all for now. I'm going to get a good night's rest now.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Go See This Movie!

I went to see Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior tonight with Seth and Chris. Wow, is it good. It's a martial arts movie in the vein of Rumble in the Bronx, but it has a better story and the martial arts are at least as good. Tony Jaa plays the lead role and he's an amazing fighter. His screen presence has clearly been influenced by Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, but his style is so different that it's really entertaining. Not only will I buy this movie, but I'll probalby go see it again soon.

It doesn't look like Jen and I are going anywhere, which is fine. We had a good talk tonight and we're both good with it. So, now I can think about looking again.

Work is difficult. I'm feeling stressy about a project (which never helps) and I have a ton of work to do on it, but my schedule is clearing up due to some other projects being transferred to others, so that will help. A lot.

Time for bed. Very sleepy.