Thursday, October 26, 2006

On The Way!

Julia and I drove around on Sunday to look for houses in Georgetown. That's an area of Seattle that's small, but up-and-coming. I've really liked it ever since I learned of it, so we were looking for places for sale there. Unfortunately there wasn't much. However, as we were driving slowly through the neighborhood someone pulled up next to us and asked if we were looking for houses for sale, we said yes and he said he was going to list his place soon -- and that we were welcome to go look at it. So, we did.

It was a two-story house divided into upper and lower units. The current owner was doing some work on the upper floor, but it looked basically okay. While we liked it, we decided to keep looking.

On Monday, Julia found a great place in West Seattle and we asked to go see it, but there was an offer already under consideration, which typically means it's off the market, and it was...until the next day! So, we quickly had our agent write an author for us and we were off and running. Because we got in so quickly, our offer was already on the table when a few other people tried to write offers -- and really, this house should have had an offer-review session -- but since we were already in there, we got the place for asking price. And asking price had just been reduced by about $15,000. So, we win!

Here's a couple of pictures to check out. Let me know what you think.

Above: View from the curb.

Above: The front porch. Oooo, pretty.

Above: The living room as viewed from the far SE corner. Note the cool built-in cabinet.

Above: The kitchen with the breakfast nook and backdoor at the opposite end.

We had the inspection today and that went well. So it looks like we're due to close in the early part of next month. By the way, there's more to the house than this, but I didn't want to innundate you with pictures. Besides, this gives you a good idea of what it's like.

More soon!


Friday, October 20, 2006

Back and Busy

I took off early Monday morning to go to Toronto. I don't think I'd mentioned the trip previously, so I apologize for the surprise lack of postings.

The trip was for the new company. I got together with the other people who are helping us out with fundraising and such. Everyone was very cool, we had a couple of good days or meetings, and we're off and running. It's nice to have a plan in place.

Monday I had dinner with Robin (link at right) and his wife, Valerie, at a restaurant near their home. He's doing some work for us and it was good to be able to sit down with him, get some work done, and socialize for a while. I'm really happy with the work he's done so far and I'm looking forward to receiving the final product in a couple of weeks.

I'd never been to Toronto before and I thought it was great. It's definitely a city I'd move to if the opportunity ever came up. It has good energy, a good mix of people, a large university, and is all-around attractive.

I had a bit of extra time on Thursday morning, so I walked around Bloor Avenue (Street? I forget.) to do some window shopping and to look for a new book, had lunch, and then went to the Royal Ontario Museum (or, the ROM, as they say). That was nice to wander around in for a while. I hadn't been to a museum in a long time. They're putting on a new addition, so some of it was closed, but the displays I saw were great.

On the trip I also read the newest Shadowrun novel, A Fistful of Data by Stephen Dedman. It was fun to read because Seth and I had recommended him to the editor as a good option for working on some books for WizKids. Seth was even thanked in the front of the book -- certainly because Dedman actually knows who Seth is and doesn't know me at all. Regardless, I feel as if I had a hand in the novel's creation, so I was happy to see it. Plus, I enjoyed it. Personally, I felt as if there were too many characters, but it was handled well and good fun.

I'm also a little more than half-way through Phillip Pullman's The Subtle Knife, and I'm enjoying that quite a bit, too. I'm hoping to finish it soon, so that I can get close to reading a dozen novels like I did last year even though I've been distracted by the whole girlfriend thing.

More later.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Exciting Stuff

Last night, Julia and I went to Jen and Hays' place to watch CSI:NY with Shana, Shane, and Cathy. It was pretty exciting because Shane and Cathy's company, edoc, was the focus of the show. The episode was called "Hung Out to Dry" and all the shirts in the show were created by Shane and Cathy. If you go to the edoc site and check out the clothes, you'll be able to check out (and even buy!) shirts that were made specifically for the show. Pretty cool!

There's information all over the place about the company, but the basic rundown is that there are hidden messages encoded in the clothes. They hide them in pretty inventive ways and once you find the secret messages you can plug them into the edoc site and it will show you clips about the band -- with the eventual hope that someone will discover who killed one of the members of Poor Richard. Here are a couple more sites to check out if you're curious.

The clothes are damn cool and I hope you like it well enough to support my friends.

In related news, Jordan, my old boss, who is one of the brains behind edoc, also has a new book out in a similar vein. It's Cathy's Book (featuring art and graphic design by the aforementioned Cathy with help from Shane). It's also named after her...which is only fair because she really poured herself into this a couple of years ago. See, the book was being worked on while we were working together at WizKids and when she was done with work there, she'd go home and do all the Cathy's Notebook (as it was called then) work until past midnight every day of the week for months on end. See, it's not that hard to lay out a book, but she had to design all the clues that come with the book, lay everything out, and draw all the pictures (Shane's a great artist, so he helped with the last bit). She worked herself to tears many, many times. I'd be buying a couple of copies of this book for her sake even if it weren't excellent, which it is. Go buy one!

Okay, enough about Shane and Cathy.

Things have been going well lately. I'm busy writing and editing a couple different things. I came up with a story idea that I'm fleshing out. With the added bonus that the story really seemed to come together in my head in a way that hasn't happened in a while, so I'm eager to work on that some more. In addition, I had a good time Monday night playing poker with some friends and acquaintances and walked out with more than twice the money I bought in with (only $11, but still, a win!), which brings my winning streak to four in a row, maybe five.

Roleplaying on Tuesday has been fun. Mike started a new series of Shadowrun games and things really seem to be coming together. Eveyrone is engaged and the story is interesting, plus there are some good unanswered questions that we're all trying to figure out how to answer. It's been fun and we've only played for two weeks so far.

By the way, National Games Day is coming up and some of the Seattle area gamers have put together a Seattle Games Day fest. If you're in the area, check it out. I know a number of the people who are involved and they're all good folks.

Julia and I are still busy househunting -- and we've been preapproved for a loan -- so if we find something good, we're going to buy it.

Okay, enough for now. Gotta work.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dodging Bullets

My car's brakes have been noisy for quite a while and I've been in twice in the past few months to get them looked at and fixed. Every time they tell me that they're not ready to be worked on yet despite the horrendous noise they make. Finally, on Tuesday I went in again and they said it's a good thing I came in now becasue there was only about 5% left on one of the brake pads. Lucky for me.

They took the car for the day and Shana and I went to breakfast (she was nearby getting her front headlights replaced because they'd both gone out). Later in the day I went out to pick up the car and they said it'd be $390. Ouch. Then the guy helping me said, "The brakes have a two-year or 25,000 mile warranty..." and I think, didn't I get my brakes done here before? Shouldn't this be covered? So, I run out to my car and pull out the paperwork and sure enough I'd had them done about two years ago. They looked at it, did some bookkeeping and handed me my check back. Woohoo. Dodged that bullet. So I'm $390 richer than I thought I'd be.

Wednesday I went to see Julia's brother, who works at the Verizon store in the mall, so I could maybe get a new phone since mine's more than a couple years old and maybe increase my monthly minutes. Sure enough, I walked out with a great new phone (with a camera) and a plan that should cover the number of minutes I'm typically using now. All for less than $5 after the rebate. How awesome is that? Another bullet dodged.

Also in the last couple of days I've been going through all my gaming books and I've managed to pull out about nine feet-worth of books (okay, it's three 3' stacks) that I just went to sell this afternoon at Half-Price Books. They have quite a business going. I sold roughly $2000 worth of books for $164. That was a little painful. Anyway, if you're in the area, you'll find that the Crossroads store has a lot of obscure games now.

I have a trip to Toronto coming up in a couple weeks. I've never been there before and I'm looking forward to seeing the city. Jim and I are hoping to meet up with Robin (see link at the right) at some point. In addition to all the daily work stuff, I've also been working on my freelance stuff. I haven't had a lot of time to do that because my days are filled with work for the new company and in the evenings I'm at Julia's. In order to help me out I've taken a few more steps toward buying a laptop. Thankfully I have some fairly tech-savvy friends who've helped me out regarding what to get and how much it should cost.

Okay, more later.