Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Plumbing the Depths

I spent a number of hours Monday and Tuesday going through two pallets of my belongings that have been residing at my Mom's old workplace for four years. For those keeping score, that's been as long as I've lived in Seattle. I was hoping there was more that I could get rid of, so I could move everything into my parents place, or ship it to Seattle. No such luck. Despite the fact that I spent, um, ten hours going through everything, all I managed to do was throw away 23 boxes worth of stuff and ship seven boxes to my place in Seattle -- oh, and I managed to reduce the two pallets to only one. That's all very good, but I was hoping to do more because I know I can't keep that stuff there forever. Anyone want roughly 4,000+ unalphabetized, uncataloged comics from about 1992 through 2001? Yeah, who am I kidding, like I'd get rid of them?

I'm quite proud of the fact that I got rid of a number of books and magazines without really blinking. Lester inherited quite a few for his daughter and some to sell online. I wish him luck.

Speaking of Lester, we had a nice lunch today and chatted about gaming and work and all sorts of other things.

Because I was going through all of my things I didn't get as much time to visit with my nephews as I (and they) might have liked, but I'll be back for the holidays. My sisters both think I can't wait to get back to Seattle because they think being home drives me crazy, but they're wrong, I really enjoy it. It's a different sort of busy, but it's nice.

My parents bought a RV a while ago and they're talking about making the trip out to see me (despite the price of gas). I think traveling in the RV would be a blast for them, so I hope they do it before the snow comes. Or maybe in the Spring.

I'm all packed and I'll be back to Seattle by around 5:30. See some of you then.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Trip During My Trip

I took off early Friday for Madison, but I stopped for lunch in Janesville to have lunch with my friends from LSS. We had a darn good time and Donna was happy to let me know she's moving to a new job in the next week. It was especially good to see Greg... and tell him in person not to post pictures of his daughter's waste on his blog anymore.

I met up with Scott in Madison (he drove in from Green Bay for the day) and we checked out all the game stores and stopped at Westfield to pick up some comics. Around 6:30-ish we met with Kevin, Aimee, Stephanie, and Phil for dinner at the Nitty Gritty. Dinner was filled with many odd conversations -- I especially enjoyed overhearing Phil going on about some specific parts of WWII with Scott while he was watching the Packer game on the T.V. over Phil's shoulder. It was great to catch up with Kevin and Aimee, too. It sounds like her quilting thing is doing well and continuing to make progress, plus she's lost a lot of weight and looks better than I've ever seen her. I'm totally jealous, but good for her! After dinner all of the people with spouses had to head home, so Scott and I walked Steph back to her car, then went to see Glenn and Liana for a few minutes before going to The Brothers Grimm, which was enjoyable and good. That's as high of praise as I can give it. Oh, and I liked how the wove all of the different parts of many (all?) different fairy tales into one story. After the movie I crashed at Kim and John's and Scott drove home.

Saturday I met Tim for lunch and we talked about work things, including how things are going, where they're going, where we think things should go and all that sort of thing. It was good to get a chance to sit down and chat with him a while.

I tried to get in touch with Steve, as we'd talked a bit at GenCon, but I didn't remember until I returned her and checked my email again that he had a wedding to go to this weekend -- which undoubtedly fell exactly when I had some free time to get together. Instead, I spent the afternoon buying some gifts for my nephews and visiting with Kerry and Kristin. Then the three of us and Kim, John, and Kitra went for dinner at the Great Dane Pub on Cahill Main. We had a blast. I think Kristin actually hurt herself laughing. I hope Kerry and Kim and their significant others get together again when I'm not around, because they really had a lot of fun together.

After dinner Kim, John, and I went back to their place to watch Shaun of the Dead. They happened to have it lying around and I thought they'd like it -- plus John kind of looks like Shaun and he has that whole English thing going for him. Prime Halloween costume material there.

Sunday I drove home, had a nice little birthday get-together for me, Jean, and Jess and Reid.

The next couple of days I get to play with the nephews some more and try to root through all of the things I have in storage at my mom's old workplace. I'm sure I can whittle that down to significantly fewer items by turning some of them into garbage or donations. Wish me luck.

Note to self: Check out Nine Shift.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Well, them Duke boys...

I managed to get a lot of sleep the past couple of days, so I'm feeling really good. Not completely healthy, but basically back to normal.

Today was very exciting, I got up, mowed the lawn for my dad (on the riding lawnmower, even). While I was doing that my nephew, Nick, ran down the hill and said if we were going to make it to the movie we had to go soon. Logistics were the problem; I had to get the car from my mom (who was at Grandma's) and get back to town in time to get to the movie. We just managed that -- by sacrificing my shower, which I really would have liked considering how sweaty I was.

Anyway, Nick, Jake, Mitch, and I made it to the movie just in time. If you couldn't guess by the title of this post, we saw The Dukes of Hazzard. It wasn't what I'd call a cinematic acheivement, but it was the perfect movie for a 13-year old (like Jake). Admittedly, I had a good time watching it, but it was completely over-the-top, mindless fun with some great driving. Oh, and I appreciated seeing most (if not all) of the members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (the guys behind Super Troopers). It was worth matinee prices in Burlington.

The theatre had something I hadn't seen before at the concession stand. You buy an empty tube from the concession stand and then you can fill the tube with colored/flavored suger from a huge vending station they had in the middle of the entryway. This goofy invention allows you to create customized pixie sticks, crazy, eh?

After the movie the boys and I had a late lunch at a Chinese buffet, which was good until the boys sunk into giggle fits, then we left.

The rest of the day was filled with showering, getting the car's oil changed, and watching poker with my parents. Sounds like a nice relaxing day, huh?

More soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

GenCon Recap Part II

I have a few more minutes, so I thought I'd write a bit more about the last week.

Wednesday I flew to Indianapolis, met up with some friends, had a late dinner, and went to bed at a reasonable time, so I'd feel rested for the convention. My travel was greatly aided by my iPod. Lots of music that takes up a little bit of space.

Over the course of Thursday, Friday, Saturda, and Sunday I had a number of meetings, some of which were very interesting. I especially appreciated meeting some of the people I've had email conversations with as well as meeting some of the contractors that I'm currently working with. I'm happy to report that they were all very personable, friendly, intelligent, and really rather fun.

I walked the floor a lot more than I have in the past seven or eight years, too. In my new position at work I now have the job of playing demos and finding the "new, cool thing". My vote for Xig was already logged below. Since then I see that Robin suggested that Battleground was the cool, new thing, but I have to disagree. While Battleground is definitely cool, the designers really missed the mark (in my opinion) by making the game overly complex -- especially considering simple and attrative format. I may also be slightly biased against them because I've worked on something very similar more than a year ago that hasn't seen the light of day, so some of Battleground's "innovation" was lost on me.

Most of the show I was feeling a bit sick. Actually I felt like my weird throat infection thing was coming back, but I managed to avoid that. By Sunday I was tired, but mostly feeling okay for the drive back to Wisconsin with Kerry and the people with whom he drove. They dropped me in Janesville where I picked up the car that had been left for me and I drove home and went to sleep.

I forgot to mention, Sunday afternoon I received a call from my mom telling me that my grandma had fallen and broken her ankle. (Double compound break. Yeah, ouch.) The challenging part was that she was in a hospital in Marinet -- North of Green Bay. I was going to go, but mom and dad decided to make the trip, despite the fact that they'd just returned from near the Dells that morning. Anyway, after they stayed overnight, they brought Gram home and we installed her in her new (lifting) chair, so she can rest.

Hopefully things will be back to normal now and she can get better in the comfort of her own home.

Oh, the new edition of Mutants & Masterminds released at GenCon and it looks great. I'm looking forward to getting a copy when I get home.

GenCon Recap

I only have time for a short post about my pick of the show because I have to put a chair together for my grandma (who broke her ankle rather messily on Sunday). Anyway, here's what you get right now:

The thing at GenCon that really impressed me with it's innovation, gameplay, and appeal was a jigsaw puzzle game called Xig. I picked up a copy -- as did a number of people from the office -- and I'm interested in sitting down to play some more games to see how it replays. I hope they do really well and can get the distribution they deserve.

More later.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Week of Firsts

I tried to post Monday night, but Blogger was acting up and wouldn't let me log in. Plus, I was tired, so I didn't try all that hard to get back in after a few minutes. Actually, it was weird, I was very sleepy yesterday and I don't know why. Anyway.

This past weekend I had a very good time. Saturday I went to the Seattle Aquarium for the first time since I've been out here. It was very busy and very good. The first room as you walk in features some faux tidepools with critters in it that you're free to reach out and touch. This room also had an O-shaped tank with jellyfish in it that swam round and round all day every day. But I think the giant octopus was probalby my favorite. "Giant" really seems like an aggressive word, but it had a head at least as large as mine (physically, not egotistically). I wish the thing had moved around more, it was very cool.

Saturday evening Seth and I went to see The Island, which probably should have been called The Suckland. Too bad, too, because Scarlett Johansson (I'm completely infatuated with her and have been since Ghost World). Hmmm, I realize now that she was 16 when she did that film. I will now hang my head in shame as I reflect on that -- luckily she's all of 21 now.

I don't really feel like going into why The Suckland sucked, let's just say you've been forewarned and call it a day.

Sunday took care of things around the house -- including going through my various gaming books and selling a number of them to Half-Price Books to the tune of $102, but only $75 after picking up two other books. This money will only make the smallest of contributions to what I will spend at GenCon this week. Well, maybe. I don't really know what I want to pick up at the show. Wil is having me get him a number of books, so I'm sure I'll pick up some of those for myself, but other than that I'm ready to be surpirsed by what I find.

Sunday evening I went out to Bainbridge to visit a friend and we had a great time talking over dinner and looking at pictures of a recent trip to Sri Lanka (before the tsunami).

I'll have irregular access to email for a while, so don't fret. I'll update when I can. See you soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fun Week

I had a good time this week. Tuesday I went for lunch at (one of) the local Subway(s) next door to which is a store for teachers. I've always meant to go in, so I stopped by after lunch and wandered around. I walked out with two things that I really like. The first is a handheld kaleidoscope made of wood (glass lens, obviously), the other thing is a Brazilian rainstick. You know, those semi-annoying small logs that sound like fairly intense rain is falling when you tip it from end to end. Personally, I've always like them and it wasn't very expensive, so I bought it. Very cool. It's sitting next to me now.

A month or so ago Liz had a birthday party at which I heard a band named !!! (yes, they're name is three exclamation marks). They're often referred to as chk chk chk. Anyway, I heard them and really liked their stuff, so today I managed to find a couple of their CDs. They sort of sound like a modern (slightly techno -- slightly) version of the Clash. Very, very good stuff. I also picked up the new Clould Cult CD. I heard them online a while ago and I really like their stuff, too. If you're in the mood to check out some new music, both bands have some mp3s available on thier sites. Then go buy their CDs. Seriously.

I'm having some great success at work with some projects, but really struggling with the simplest game. I really need to spend some time on it, but the basics are sooooo simple that it's hard to inject the individuality the playing pieces really need in order to reflect their "personalities." Argh. I'll probably spend some more time on it this weekend.

I found someone online yesterday with my last name, so I dropped him and line to find out if we might be related somehow. I also did a little searching for information on Kassel, which is where my dad is from. I found some great sites -- and Mom, you should get Dad over to the computer and show him these links. Great 360 degree shots of some landmarks in and around the area. Apparently Green Bay has an exchange program to Kassel. Funky.

I'm curious how much the city has changed since that last time my dad was there.

Monday, August 08, 2005

What's With Me?

Scott called today and said I hadn't been posting regularly, so I figured I ought to say something. It was great talking to him today. We chatted about the possibility of him coming out for a visit sometime soon. I'd really like that -- and I think he'd have a great time out here. Hopefully we can hook up when I'm back in Wisconsin. I miss Scotty, and I'm sure all of you who know him feel the same way.

Oh, Saturday I kept my appointment to get a new car stereo installed. It was relatively inexpensive (well, the new system cost as much as getting the old factory-installed one fixed, so there you go) and it's super schmancy with a detachable faceplate and it plays CDs, MP3s, and I paid $10 to have a hookup installed so it can play music off my iPod. Pretty dang cool.

I had the work done in Issaquah (it was recommended by the dealership the car came from) and while they were working on the car I sat on the curb by the nearby gas station and read comics. Even at the time I thought that was pretty funny; a grown man reading comics behind a gas station.

Speaking of which, I've been catching up on my comics and in the past couple of weeks I think I've read about 200 comics. In some cases I'm catching up on a year's worth of a single title's books. What?! I was busy... with City of Heroes.

I had my thyroid checked this week. It's normal. I had my resting metabolic rate tested. I burn 2300 calories a day, just sitting there. So, what that tells me is this -- my weight is my fault. apparently I eat and live unhealthily. So, tomorrow it changes. I did this 5 years ago and it made a big difference in my life and tomorrow (today as you read this, probably) I start again. Not a diet, but a lifestyle change. That's a better way for me to think about it. Diets are lame and restrictive, this is more about shifting they way I think about things. Eat less, eat more healthy food, cut out empty calories (chocolate, soda, etc.), get more exercise, that sort of thing.

Hopefully it goes as well this time as it did last time.

Okay, time for bed. I'm sleepy and I have to figure out what I'm doing tomorrow for food and exercise.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Another Step Into the 21st Century

At Wilhelm's suggestion, Nothing Good Can Come of This... now has a syndication feed. Enjoy!

Admittedly, I have next to no clue as to what this will enable you Web-savvy folks to do, but he asked for it, so I did it.

iPod. RSS Feed. New Stereo. Criminy, I'm goin' new stuff crazy!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Thank you to everyone for all the cards, emails, phone messages, and in-person birthday wishes. I am very lucky to be surrounded by great people like you.