Thursday, June 30, 2005


You're 60 years old and someone tells you you'll live at least another 55 years. It amazes me what the human body can do. She's the aging equivalent of a Cirque du Soleil cast member. She stands out from those around her because of what her body is capable of.

For some reason that I can't fully explain, I was fascinated by this Website today. I understand that it has an edge to it that makes it a little distubing in a weird way, but it struck me as very dreamlike. I really had a strong "sense of wonder" reaction to it. I think it felt to me like I was watching what it's like to dream of falling; never stopping, no context to it, just falling and falling. I like it*.

I just watched some amazingly excellent episodes of the third season of Northern Exposure. I'm pretty sure I could watch them again right now and enjoy them just as much. The Christmas episode really stood out as an amazing piece of writing.

I'm having a very good time working on some new things at work. Sometimes it's slow-going, but then I get on a creative jag and it flows almost effortlessly. I came up with a couple of things today that I really liked. Now I'll have to see if anyone else thinks they're cool.

* A couple of questions, though: Why a woman? Why a bikini?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Many Things and Goodbye to Rob!

Thursday night I ran the latest session of my Mad City game. For as much as it clicked the week before, it really didn't click this week. I dunno what I'm gonna do.

Friday evening I went to a co-worker's house and played poker with him and a group of his friends until 2:00 am. I had a very good time. It was entertaining to see how they all got along. As for the poker; I went from down over $20 to ending the evening about $3 ahead. So, a long evening of fun and I made a couple of extra dollars.

Saturday I did comics solo because Seth had a day of boardgaming to go to and, I found out later, Shane and Cathy were in Urgent Care because Shane hurt his knee badly on Friday. When I returned from running errands I walked down to the park in the center of town to check out the Bellevue Strawberry Festival. It was small and craftsy and lame, but I did get to have a good blackened salmon entree with salad and some chocolate-covered strawberries. Then I went to the gym. Good for me. After showering I met up with a bunch of people for dinner at the Broadway Grill.

Sunday I met Jason and a number of other people from work down in Seattle to watch Land of the Dead, the latest in Romero's zombie opus. It was okay. Probably worth a matinee, but it wasn't particularly worthwhile. It was more of an action movie than a good, psychological horror movie about survival. Then I went to the gym. Good for me. (That's three times this week for those of you counting at home.) Then it was time for the weekly City of Heroes game. Now I'm going to read.

Finally, Rob left yesterday for his hitch in the Navy. Crazy. I haven't lived around him for a while, but I always had a good time with him. It will be interesting to see how he handles the military. And then it will be interesting to see where he ends up living after the training and schooling. I have to say, he really got serious about getting in shape, he went from a few pounds overweight to being in very, very good shape due to a regular schedule of running. He even ran a marathon earlier this year after about a year of training. Crazy what dedication will do.

Anyway, good luck to you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Back At It

I went to the gym with Seth tonight. It was my first time to the new location in Bellevue and it was very nice, large, and (so far) underutilized. Those are definitely good things, because it was no problem getting the machines I wanted and they were all brand-spankin'-new, so they worked great. I was pleased to find the experience enjoyable. That's the first time I've been able to say that about going to the gym in, um, a year and a half... no, more like two or two-and-a-half years. I'm going to try and go more regularly. There's no poker game Friday, so I may go then.

Work is good. I'm busily trying to get up to speed on things I haven't been involved with int he past, but am now, and working on new things that won't see the light of day for a long time. Some of it is very cool, but none of it has anything to do with any of the games I've worked on in the past, so it's a little weird.

Kim started a blog a week or so ago. You can check it out here, or follow the link I've added at the right of the page. She will, I'm sure, regale us with many interesting things.

I will finish reading the copy of the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rulebook tonight. I've commented on this to some friends, but it really does a good job of differentiating itself from other fantasy roleplaying settings, while still offering all the tropes and opportunities of a fantasy roleplaying game and setting. It's much darker than most fantasy settings (even ones that purport to be dark) because its system lends itself to making just about any critter dangerous. I'm interested in trying it out.

That said, I'd love to try to pervert the system a bit and turn the game into a high-fantasy game in which the characters have a lot of Fortune and Fate points, so they wade into fights. I think the system would be fun to try that with.

Tuesday night was the first session of Seth's new DC Heroes game. I worried that we might have too many players, but we'll only have five with any regularity; that makes for a good group. The characters (and players) are: Red Dwarf: super-speeding shrinker (Jason), Cougar: cat-woman (Leslie), Pack: changeling with duplication (James), The Rattlesnake Kid: mystic gunfighter from the Old West (me), and Mike will join us next week with an as-yet undefined character. So far it's a really good time.

I forgot to mention that the Website for the game Shane and I came up with launched today. It's very cool to see that coming to life. There's not much on the site now, but more will be added. Oh, you can check out the cartoons, though.

More later.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

In Texas Only Texans Can Rob Banks

I'm watching The Magnificent Seven and that was the line the bad guy just said. It thought it was funny, so now it's my headline.

Friday night I played poker for the first time in ages and I lost, but that made up for the last time I played and won, so I'm good.

Saturday I did all the normal things, then Seth showed me where Uncle's Games is in the Redmond mall. It's a pretty nice store. I picked up some high-quality plastic playing cards and some Top Trumps decks which were on sale 2-for-1. Apparently that game sells like crazy in the U.K., but over here it's a real dog.

Oh, I also picked up a wireless controller for my Playstation. Hopefully that will make me want to play it more. Actually, I'm really looking forward to it.

Sunday I cleaned up some, then went to see Jason and Liz's new house. I was really impressed. It's a nice place with a ton of space. It was much larger than I was expecting. I also got to play with their new kitty. She was a cutie. We watched a movie from Australia called Undead, it wasn't as horrid as the name seems to indicate, instead it was pretty damn funny and very well made. Jason said it will be released in the States sometime soon. Check it out if you're in the mood for a zombie movie with the same attitude about itself that Tremors has.

I was supposed to go out Sunday evening, but that didn't work out, so instead I've been watching movies and working on my character for Seth's DC Heroes game, which starts Tuesday. It's made for a pretty exciting evening.

My new job starts tomorrow... that makes me think, have I mentioned this here? I have a new job. Now I'm the Executive (or Senior, it's undedided at the moment) Director of Research and Development. So, I'll be spending most of my time coming up with new concepts and fleshing them out as much as possible before passing them on to Game Design. There's a lot more involved there, but that's the gist of it. I'll let you know how it goes.

I know he won't see this, but Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Long Day

I was up early Wednesday morning so I could get over to near Lake Union for a full day of CPR and first aid training. Very, very interesting stuff and hopefully I'll remember all the salient bits if and when the time comes.

After returning home from the training session I had dinner and went for a good, long walk. I'm very pleased with that becuase it's the first day of working out again. I'll let you know how it goes.

I had planned to go for a walk on Monday, but I wasn't feeling well, so I went to bed early instead. That was probably a good choice because a number of people have been sick lately at work. Tuesday night I played the last session of Jason's zombie game. Somehow my incompetent character managed to survive.

Thursday night I have to run the next Mutant & Masterminds game in my Mad City setting. I'm not too pleased with how it's going so far, but we'll see how it goes. I just don't have a good idea of where to go with the story and it's really showing. I think that's strange because I have a pretty good idea of what's going on in the setting, but I'm having a hard time giving the players a plot to follow. Eh, we'll see how it goes.

On another note, we let go of one of the guys at the office today as well as a handful of people in the Cincinatti sculpting studio. It's a shame to see them go.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Still Here

Yep, I'm still around, I just didn't update last week. I can't even say that I didn't feel like updating, I just didn't sit down and do it. The week was pretty normal on all fronts, so I won't reiterate the boring parts of it.

This weekend I manged to get a lot of things taken care of. I took things to my storage unit, got my car's oil and transmission fluid changed, I stopped by the office of the new 24-Hour fitness in town and upgraded my membership to all the gyms because they're waving the fees and it'll only increase my monthly fees a bit.

Speaking of the gym, I've decided to start going again. I was doing so well a while ago with my weight and I've completely screwed it up now. So, no more screwing around. I'm going to make it part of my routine again and see what I can do.

I'll try to update more this week.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I've Made a Decision

I think all weekends should be three days long.

I know, not a controversial decision, but it's all I got. Last weekend's three-day break spoiled me and I want tomorrow to be a day off, too. Ah well, you're probably reading this at work anyway, so I'm sure I'll be at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.

I see in the comments regarding my post about my visit to the Battlestar Galactica set, that everyone is appropriately jealous. I have to admit, I'm not one to get starstruck. It was cool to see the sets and meet the actors, but they're just people doing a job; sometimes it rocks and sometimes it's just work. I often get people who think I have the ultimate in cool jobs, but sometimes it's just work. I know everyone who has a cool job must feel the same way.

The weekend? It was good. It was another relaxing couple of days that involved hanging out with Katie and Beth Friday night at the house Katie was housesitting. (I won't mention that we locked ourselves out and had to break in. We'd make good thieves.)

Saturday I did comics with Shane and Cathy, got a $35 parking ticket because I was about two minutes late getting to my car, and then checked out a bunch of game stores I haven't been to in a while; Gary's Games in Greenwood and the Game Wizard in Ballard. Regarding Gary's; how much do you have to spend in order to have the clerk actually thank you? I spent $60 and the woman "helping" me didn't say a word to me. I doubt I'll go there again. I bet Gary would be upset to hear that.

Here's the thing. The gaming market is a niche. If you don't offer your customers a reason to come back to your store, they'll find someplace else to go. When I walked into the store the clerk and her friends were all gathered around a counter chatting. She didn't say hello, didn't ask if I needed help, didn't ask me if I'd found everything I wanted, and didn't say thank you when I paid for my books. She offered me absolutely no reason to go back there, so I don't think I will. How many specialty stores fail because of too many instances like that? Heh, considering that I constantly hear that at any given time there are roughly 3,000 specialty stores in our industry and roughly 500 close every year, I guess I know the answer.

Anyway, Saturday evening I had a late dinner with Shane and Cathy at the B&O. And Sunday I read, watched DVDs, and went for a walk. There you go.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, I forgot to tell you that on the phone Sunday.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Coolest Day

I got a call Wednesday (yesterday as I write this) from a friend who wanted to know if I could go up to Vancouver Thursday (today) to tour the set of Battlestar Galactica. Um, heck yeah! (By the way, you can look up the characters and the ship on the site linked to in the previous sentence.)

So, I was up early and we were on the road by 7:00. The trip went well and we were in the lot of the studio by 10:00 and hooked up with the assistant to the producer. She walked us around for the day and showed us the two or three building that contained the various sets. For those that watch the show, I walked through the many hallways, the command center, Adama's headquarters, the mess hall, parts of the prison ship, and we even got to see Boomer and the President film a scene that will come out next year in season 2.

Plus, we saw the hangar deck set and were able to walk around in the Raptor (Boomer's ship) and sit in the Vipers they had there. Very, very cool. I won't describe everything in detail because it'd really lose some of the coolness. You'd be surprised to see how some of the things are constructed -- but you'd be amazed by how good they look considering what they're made from. Even up close the wooden and plastic sets look like metal, but once you touch them the illusion is broken.

As we toured everything we ran into a bunch of the actors, including those who played Starbuck, Apollo, Helo, Gaeta, the President, and we saw but didn't get to talk to Boomer. Everyone else was really, incredibly nice. We chatted for a long time with the first three, and we had a nice conversation with the President.

After all of that fun we got to see the special effects studio and see some of the scenes they're working on for some of next season's episodes. I am, of course, sworn to secrecy, but it was some cool stuff.

Tomorrow I'll have to make up for missing a day and I'm sure everyone will be horribly jealous of me when I tell them about it, but hey, it pays to have friends, right?

I've been up a long time, so I'm going to crash -- although and episode or two of Samurai Jack sounds pretty fun first.

We also had lunch.