Monday, November 28, 2005

Lobotomy History

You think I'm kidding, but this is the most stomach-turning, heart-wrenching story I've heard. Ever. Follow this link and download the MP3 and listen to it. . . alone and not in public. I doubt the car is even an appropriate place. Wow.

I found this because it was the NPR Story of the Day a couple of weeks ago and I finally got around to listening to it on my iPod. You should subscribe to it, too, at the iTunes store.

I will comment more on this whole podcasting (I hate that term for some reason) thing soon, but I want to leave this post to addressing the story above. It's very powerful.

Have an Animated Holiday!

One of my guilty pleasures (okay, maybe not so guilty) at this time of year are the animated/claymated holiday shows. I especially love the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy, and a handful of others. So, for your viewing pleasure, I've included a partial list of the upcoming shows.

• "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, CBS.

• "The Happy Elf," 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, NBC.

• "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, ABC.

• "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!" 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, ABC.

• "Rugrats Chanukah Special," 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, Nickelodeon.

• "Frosty the Snowman," 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, CBS.

• "A Rugrats Kwanzaa," 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, Nickelodeon.

• "Arthur's Perfect Christmas," 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, PBS.

• "Chanukah Stories," airing on PBS stations in December (check local listings).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mission Accomplished

I'm very happy with the fact that I managed to get a few things done over the past couple of days. I think I mentioned last time that I set up the bookshelf I got from Kevin and Kim and put some books on it. This weekend I decided to swap out some of those books in favor of some from my room. Not a big deal, but it made me realize that I really need another bookshelf to help organize things.

In addition to that, I went through a bunch of photos and organized them into photo albums. That's actually a big project done and I'm really happy about it.

Then, Sunday afternoon I went over to my storage unit, moved to a new, larger unit and moved some things from work into storage. Not just random things from work, but some of my things from work to storage.

I went to see Walk the Line on Friday night and Good Night, and Good Luck Saturday night. They were both very good. Walk the Line was a very good biography of Johnny Cash. Cash is one of the few country musicians that I like. Surprisingly, the movie wasn't all sunshine and roses about Cash. He comes across as very human, very flawed, and very much in love with his wife. It was really an interesting story, actually.

Whereas Walk the Line was a bio-pic (I should comment on my spelling of that term, I always misread the word biopic as something like myopic, hence the dash), Good Night, and Good Luck wasn't a bio-pic, it was a social propaganda piece. I don't mean that in a bad way, I just walked into it thinking it was going to be about Edward R. Murrow and really, it was about a government obsessed with rooting out evil and curtailing our liberties to do it. That said, I really liked the story, I enjoyed the performances -- especially the actor who played Murrow. The anti-Bush, anti-Patriot Act stance was clearly the main thrust of the movie and I think it got the point across within the context of its subject -- and without hurting its subject matter.

I watched all of my Profit DVDs this weekend, as well, including the commentary tracks. The series was very, very cool, but I'm not sure it's worth owning on DVD, at least not for me. I enjoyed watching it, but I don't know if I'll watch it again, which is my requirement for buying a DVD. So, if you'd like to watch the series, let me know, I'll be happy to lend it out.

I'm about 300 pages into A Feast for Crows and I'm liking it so far, which is good because I have another 384 pages to go. Speaking of that series of books. I recommend the Guardians of Order roleplaying game based on A Game of Thrones. It has a wealth of information and artwork, it does, however, carry a $50 price tag (hmm, Amazon has it for about $33, apparently). If you have the cash, pick it up.

I've been very good about going to the gym for the last couple of weeks and I even dropped a few pounds. Right now I'm doing cardio and that's going well, but I'm having a hard time moving over to weights again. I have no clue why.

Okay, more later.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Chugging Away

My computer is chugging away in the background as it's doing all the legwork required to download podcasts that I just subscribed to. Here's the list:

Digital Flotsam

Daily Source Code

As well as another super-secret podcast being done by a good friend. But you don't get that link unless you're one of the enlightened few.

I'm already subscribed to a number of NPR podcasts via iTunes. Speaking of which, I really need to get caught up on those.

So, how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great. I had a relaxing morning, watched the pilot of the Profit series I picked up on DVD a while ago. Then I did some shopping and made food for the festivities over at Seth's. My cheese, broccoli, and rice casserold thingy turned out really well, as did the mashed potatoes.

The star of the dinner, however, was the mighty turducken that Seth spent the day preparing. What's turducken? Follow that link and you'll know -- and you can order one yourself. You really won't be sorry. I say that, but can I back it up? Yes, I can. Unlike the traditional turkey dinner, turducken is a combination of deboned chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey with the added bonus of some cornbread stuffing and spicy suasage in the center. The end result is a very tasty and very filling loaf of vaguely turkey-shaped meat that's easy to serve and eat. There's always a different flavor waiting for you when you take a bite. I enjoyed it quite a lot and so did everyone else at dinner. Good work, Seth!

Oh, earlier in the week I saw the fourth Harry Potter movie. This was the first one for which I hadn't read the book and I really wish I had because it was clear to me that they cut out a lot of important bits in order to cram it into the roughly two hours alotted it. Some of the missing pieces probably didn't matter, but others were so obvious that they really hurt the narrative flow and made it feel as if you were missing part of the story. Overall, it was an okay movie, but I'm disappointed in it more than anything. But hey, free movie and a couple of hours away from work, so it wasn't all bad.

For some extra fun, check out the various submissions sent to hex168, which was done to promote the new XBox 360 -- which is apparently suffering from frequent crashes and hardware problems. Bummer for the "must have" buyers.

More later.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What's With Me?

I mean seriously, what's with me? I'm only updating once a week now? I mean, apparently I am, but why? It's not like my life has become either that much more exciting that I don't have time to post, or that much less exciting that I have nothing to write about. Anyway, I'll try to be a bit more regular about things.

Thinking about it for a moment I think I know what the deal is; I think I've been making decisions about things in my head, but I haven't been posting about them. F'rinstance, I started eating better and going to the gym again, but I haven't said anything about it. Partially because I was pretty disgusted with how lax I've been in that area recently and partially because I'm tired of talking about it. I feel like a broken record, "I'm redidicating myself. I have to eat better. I have to eat less. I have to excersize more. I'm tired of being fat. I want to be in good shape." Blah, blah, blah. I'm tired of hearing myself talk about it, so you must be tired of it, too. So, I won't subject you to it anymore.

Other than that things have been going well. Last weekend we had a birthday thing for Shana which carried over to lunch on Tuesday and a dinner that night.

We didn't game last Tuesday, but I'm supposed to be prepared to run the next session of Star Wars on Tuesday, so I'll have to give that some thought tomorrow night.

Work is going well. I have a number of things that I have to spend time testing this week, from a card game by another company to a submission from someone else to a new game we're working on internally. The testing sessions should be interesting.

Friday night I played poker with a bunch of people from work. That was a good time even though I lost. Early in the evening I was playing more aggressively and it actually paid off pretty well, but then I loosened up and ended up losing for the next couple of hours. Ah, well. Next time I'll have to stick with tight and aggressive at the same time.

Saturday I met a friend for drinks in Bothell, then went to Katie's show at Tost (pronounced like 'toast'). She did a great job and it was great to see her, Jonny, and Guy again. They're fun. After her show we went for a late dinner at the De-Luxe on Capital Hill. Wow, was I hungry -- and salmon quesadillas are much better than they sound.

Sunday I had a hard time motivating myself (no thanks to an interesting episode of Mythbusters), but I finally managed to get to the gym. Then have an early dinner with a friend at a Wallingford pizza place I forget the name of. (It's the one right by the Guild on 45th where they serve the "dome" pizza.) It was excellent. Then I went to see Shana, since I was in the neighborhood, and she and I went to see the apartment Michael is trying to sell me on.

I should explain; Michael is a co-worker who recently moved out of his basement apartment and into the upper floors of the same house, and he'd like to rent the basement apartment to someone he knows. So, he talked to me about it and I said I'd take a look. It's a nice place, but it's too much like a college apartment for my liking. Sure, it has a lot of storage space, which would be fantastic and probably allow me to get rid of my storage unit, but it's just not my style.

Okay, enough updating for now. I'm going to go watch a movie or read my book or play some City of Heroes, I haven'd decided which will win out.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Party, Party, Party

Friday night I spend a frustrating couple of hours playing City of Heroes to help Jim finish off a high level mission. It was problematic, to say the least. Apparently everyone except me had fun and I have a hard time seeing how it was fun. It was far too frustrating.

Saturday I was up early to help Kevin and Kim move some things into storage. I often think I have a lot of stuff -- and I do -- but those two really outdo me. Really.

After a nice lunch to thank us for helping, I went to get comics with Shane. He hasn't been feeling well, so it was a quick trip.

That evening I went to dinner at Thaiku in Ballard and actually found the first spicy Thai food in Seattle. I was amazed. And it was damn tasty. Dinner was in honor of Shana's birthday. It was a fun dinner with a wide assortment of people. After dinner we had cupcakes from Cupcake Royale and went bowling. Unfortunately, we had no idea how popular bowling is, so there was over an hour wait. I know this because after about an hour I decided I didn't want to wait any longer, so I motored.

Sunday I slept until I woke up, which was nice. I'd planned to go to the gym right away, but I started watching the DVDs of Battlestar Galactica that Kevin lent me. While I watched all of those I finished orgainizing my Magic cards. That's a good project done. And now I have significantly fewer cards to store, which is a good thing.

I made it to the gym a bit late, but I had a good workout. I noticed a sign on the way out that the gym will be closed from Tuesday through Thursday, which kinda stinks, though.

Now I'm going to go read A Feast for Crows which came out last week. More later.

Friday, November 11, 2005

What? An Update?

Why yes, fair reader, I'm actually updating during the week. Sure, it's late Thursday night, but still, you should take what you can get.

See, the thing is, I don't have too much to write about. Just normal everyday things that are so normal and everyday that they're actually a little depressing. Work is good, but I can't really write about anything going on there because it's not appropriate. Although I am a little excited about testing out a new game tomorrow with a bunch of kids. (I have to ask, is it annoying that I say things like that, but I don't explain? That's the sort of thing I worry about when I post here, that I tell you something, but not anything meaningful.)

I had a nice lunch with Shana today and we got to talking about weight and I said something that I think I shouldn't have. That is, I don't think I'll ever be "thin". That is to say, I don't think I'll ever get down to what my doctor thinks is my ideal weight (235 lbs. for those playing at home). I'm going to the gym, being good about my food, am perfectly healthy, etc., etc., but I really don't think I'll ever get there. The problem is...have I given up? Does it matter if I have? Is this the first step to just accepting that, yep, this is what I'm going to be like for the rest of my life? And is "accepting" that just the first step to rationalizing a way to deal with that fact? All I know for sure is that it sucks. I'd like to know what I'd look like and how my life would be different if I were fit. (Note that I didn't say better, mostly I think it would be interesting to see how it would be different.) The problem is that my age and my body aren't working with me on this quest. It's odd to say, but I'm definitely into the range of middle-aged (sorry, Mom, it's true, your kids are middle-aged). Even so, I will attempt to stay at least as healthy as I am for as long as I can.

I've been a sleeping fool lately. I go to bed at mostly reasonable times, but if I get anything less than eight hours of sleep I'm exhausted. Maybe it's due to the weather, or how much light we have (or lack) every day, or maybe it's because of working out, but no matter what I've really needed a full eight hours lately.

That said, I think I'm going to watch part of a DVD and go to bed.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Lost Weekend

I've been watching a lot of the first season of Lost on loan to me from a friend and it's really amazingly good. See, I don't watch a lot of television, maybe -- maybe -- an hour a week on average, so despite a number of my friends talking this show up, I haven't seen it. So, please bear (or bare, I can never remember) with me while I soak in its excellence. Seriously, if you haven't seen it, watch it. The storytelling and the characters are really fantastic. Plus it had a completely off the cuff reference to The Office in one episode.

Friday night I played Magic at a local game store. That was pretty fun. I managed to draft a fairly successful deck, so I had a good time.

Saturday night I went to dinner with Sharon and then to see the Red Elvises at the Tractor in Ballard. They were remarkably good -- as was their opening band. I want to say they were called the Black Crabs, but all I really remember is that their bass player was really cute in a Tina Fay kinda way that I know Seth would have liked.

I'm not forcing myself to go to the gym as often as I'd like. I really need to make it part of my schedule and just do it. I think I'll do like when I first started; leave work at a normal time, go to the gym right away and then have whatever's left of the evening to do other things. That will involve gettng up and to work at a decent hour -- something I've also been remiss about lately. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

And They're Off!

Work hired a company to make some convention tables for us and here's the table for the new racing game we're putting out. I have to admit that I'm a big fan of this game despite it's subject matter. Really. If you see it around (it should be pretty widely distributed) pick up a handful of packs, I think you'll enjoy it.

More later.