Sunday, December 31, 2006

"You're Mauling Your Face to the Beat."

Julia said that to me tonight while we were out for a romantic New Year's Eve dinner at Volterra in Ballard. I can think of nothing I'd rather hear, can you?

Actually, she was right, I had my hands over my face and was moving them in time to the music we could barely hear in the background. But it made for a funny comment.

Okay, so what's been going on?

Julia and I left for Wisconsin on the 19th, visited family, did the whole Christmas thing in Burlington, then went to Madison to stay with Kim and John for a couple of days. Their pair of Boston Terriers had had puppies earlier in the month, so we enjoyed playing with the clumsy, little pups. Dang, they were cute. When we returned from Madison, we packed everything up and flew back to Seattle on the 29th.

Overall the trip was very good. We had a great time visiting with everyone and even though I had a spot of the flu and now I have a nagging head cold, it went alright. Heck, one of my nephews liked Julia and I so much he wanted to come back to Seattle with us, but that didn't happen for a number of reasons.

The dinner we had tonight was a special event that we were able to attend because our realtor sent us a nice gift certificate for Christmas. We wouldn't have gone if we hadn't received the gift, so it was pretty special. He's a good guy and I'm sure we'll send him a thank you very soon.

I still have a lot of work to do on my freelance work, but my head cold is making it difficult to sit and concentrate for long. Hopefully I'll be back to speed tomorrow as I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Okay, it's the end of the year, so I thought I'd do my second annual recap of the books I've read this year. Here they are:

Homeland: Book 1 of the Dark Elf Trilogy, R.A. Salvatore

Shadowrun: Poison Agendas, Stephen Kenson

Shadowrun: Fallen Angels, Stephen Kenson

Tunnel in the Sky, Heinlein

The Golden Compass, Book 1 of His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

The Traveler, John Twelve Hawks

Shadowrun: A Fistful of Data, Stephen Dedman

The Subtle Knife, Book 2 of His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

Gotrek & Felix Omnibus, Book 1: Trollslayer, William King

Only nine books this year (compared to a dozen last year), but I think that's pretty good considering the fact that I have a girlfriend, a new house, and a new company. Oh, and lest you think I'm resting on my laurels, I'm currently reading The Amber Spyglass, Book 3 of His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. Shane recommended them to me, so I sped through them this year so we could discuss them.

For the roleplayers among you, I picked up and read (more like devoured) The Esoterrorists by Robin D. Laws this past week. It's slim, but it's excellent, with a nice, simple game system that introduces some great new ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the Gumshoe system and more books in The Esoterrorists line.

Okay, that's all for now. I'm going to go spend some time with my girl.

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 15, 2006


From the "I know there's a joke in this somewhere" file, here's a headline from Yahoo news today:

"More than 300 sickened after eating at Indiana Olive Garden"


Blow Me Down

This seems to be the year for pretty extreme weather in Seattle. (I know, I shouldn't talk about the weather, but it's been unusual.) We've had an inordinate amount of rain, some snow, some cold, and this week the heavy rains returned, then yesterday the winds picked up and apparently knocked down trees and powerlines all over the city and surrounding areas. I hear about a million people are without power. Somehow, our place is brigh and warm and connected to the world through the wonders of cable; well, fine other than the garbage cans being strewn about the yard by the wind. And now tonight they're saying we could have snow showers again. Crazy. I'm sure we'll make it through.

With the help of Julia's dad I got the washer and dryer up and running, so for the first time in a month we can do laundry in our own house. Hmm, I guess it's the first time we've ever done laundry in our own house now that I think about it. That was a big of a project because the house isn't really up to code in terms of water pressure and power outlets. Regardless, I figured everything out, didn't electricute myself even a little, and now we're all set.

After about two months or so, I made it to a new local barber shop to get a haircut, so I'll look nice and cleancut for the holidays. On top of that, I'm very happy to report that earlier this week I finally dropped below 300 lbs. for the first time since I don't know when. The closest I can remember is weighing 280 as a Freshman in college. Maybe I'll get there soon. This diet certainly appears to be working. Now I just have to watch how I eat while I'm off it for the next few weeks. No matter what, I'll be back on it in the new year. I can't tell you how happy I am to finally drop below that plateau -- and to break a landmark like 300. Very cool.

The last few days have been very busy with work. Things are going very well, but I have a lot of advertising stuff and editing to do, so my time has been filled during the day. In addition, my evenings are filled with writing for my freelance project. That's going slowly, but well. I think I see the end in sight. This weekend will be a boon to that project.

See you soon.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Working Away

A week ago Sunday (while Julia was doing a show downtown) I met up with Seth, James, Dylan, and David (the last two from James' work) to sit down and make characters for a new D&D game (set in Eberron, which was a surprisingly easy sell to everyone involved). That went well and we all agreed to meet up again on Friday for the first session.

On Tuesday, Seth and I went to Jason's to play his new Wii. That was pretty cool. It was interesting to see a new way to play games and interact with what was going on on-screen. If you get a chance to check out this console, you should, it may surprise you. Oh, and Jason will be joining the D&D game as well, so he worked up a character, too.

Wednesday morning I woke up with really cold arms. That was weird, so I layed there and started thinking about whether I'd heard the furnace turn on recently. I waited long enough to make certain that my suspicions were right; no furnace. I got up, checked the thermostat which was at a rather chilly 60 degrees. So, I went down to the furnace, made sure it was one, then make sure that a fuse wasn't blown, then hit the reset button. The furnace started up, but then stopped a few minutes later. Bummer. I called the oil company that's serviced it for the past, oh, I dunno, 70 years, and told them something was wrong. They came out later in the day and it turns out we were out of oil. So, they refilled the tank and we were off and running again. It was quite a little adventure.

Thursday, Julia and I went to her grandfather's so she could pick out some things from his place before he moves into his new place (which won't accomodate everything he has). We picked up some very good things for the house including gardening equipment, various tools, nails, screws, etc., and some other vases and such.

Afterward, we worked on a household budget -- which was really good. Now that we're in the house and we know what some costs are looking like, we needed to plan things out a bit. That went well and it looks like we'll have to watch our expenses, but things should be pretty good for us, which is nice.

Friday night I ran the first session of the new D&D game. The characters were Gan (Seth), a changeling rogue, Grace (Dylan) a warforged fighter, and Quae Ror (James), a human artificer, in addition, Jason will be playing a human wizard when he joins us. The game generally went well, but the handful of zombies I threw at them turned out to be a bigger challenge than I thought because the weapons they were using weren't the right choice for zombies. Ah, well, 23 rounds of combat later, they'd defeated the zombies and were on their way to hunting down a warforged raiding party.

I spent most of Saturday working on various things, including a bunch of time spent on my freelance writing assignment.

Sunday, Julia and I happened upon a great little estate sale and ended up picking up two bookcases, a bureau, some clothes, and some other tidbits for around the house. We got some great deals for everything and all the big pieces look great in the house.

Now, I have to head to Julia's parents' place for our Christmas gift exchange becaues this is the best chance for everyone to get together.

More soon!

Monday, December 04, 2006


I'm back from a long week of travel. I took off last Tuesday morning at 4:00 am. My cab called at 4:03 to tell me they couldn't take me to the airport due to the weather. See, it'd snowed, so the cabbies all called in sick. So, I drove to the airport on my own.

I flew to Chicago, but the weather there was bad, so we had to land in Rockford to refuel, but there was something wrong with the plane, so we waited on the tarmac for 4 1/2 hours while it was fixed. Then we flew the 18 minutes to O'Hare and landed.

I met up with Jim, picked up our rental car (a nice new Taurus with only 6,000 miles on it) and drove up to Madison. The traffic was fine, but we ended up getting in too late to meet up with people for dinner, which was too bad. Luckily, I had time to do some laundry and then got a good night's sleep.

Wednesday we had our morning meeting, then hopped in the car and drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana, which took a lot longer than we thought it would, so we didn't get in until about 11:30pm (which was actually 12:30am local time because we crossed a time zone).

Thursday's meetings went well, then we drove back to Rockford, Illinois by way of Chicago, so that took a while longer due to traffic. We stayed at a place called Cliffbreakers, which is a local place that's decked out with a plethora of antiques and curiousities recovered from Chicago-area historical sites. It made for a nice place to stay. We started hearing that snow was going to fall overnight and that we might be out of luck flying out the next day.

They were right, it snowed. A pretty good amount of snow, too. My Wisconsin driving skills were still sharp, so we were able to get out of the mostly-unplowed parking lot and to our meeting, then make our way down the highway to O'Hare. My flight was cancelled, but Jim's was heading out, so he took off and I found a hotel that could take me for the night and I flew out on Saturday, 24 hours after I was supposed to.

The trip was productive, we introduced ourselves and the company, showed off our first two games, and were pretty happy with the feedback we got. I also managed to get a lot of reading done in preparation for my new D&D game.

Speaking of which, I met with the players on Sunday afternoon to write up characters. We have a couple of people who are new to the group, but it looks like eveything will work out. We're going to play our first session on Friday.

Julia had a two-day show over the weekend, and that went very well for her. People looking for gifts are definitely a good thing for her business.

I have a headache, I'm gonna go. More soon.

Friday, December 01, 2006


I was on the road and made a post on the 1st that ended up not showing up. Sorry about that, but technical issues are to blame.