Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving Week and After

I've been busy wrapping up my writing assignment, which is officially finished, edited, and turned in, so I haven't had time to write about Thanksgiving or the week that followed. Time to fix that.

Turkey Day was good. Julia and I went to her parents' place and they laid out a nice dinner with all the fixin's. Afterward we chatted, then played a couple games of Fluxx and Ticket To Ride, which they enjoyed immensely even though everyone was very quiet during it.

Since I'd finished my writing on Friday, I was able to spend the weekend relaxing with Julia, which was a nice change that we both enjoyed.

Sunday I ran my D&D game. It didn't go well. One of the problems is that, although I'm familiar with the adventure, I didn't look at the big picture of it and unfortunately I has a lot of "save-or-die" encounters. (We're playing through the Grasp of the Emerald Claw Eberrron adventure.) So first they fought a dire shark and the rogue died. Then they fought the bodak and managed to ambush it instead of the other way around (because the same rogue, a changeling, was disguised as a member of the Emerald Claw) and it's save-or-die gaze attack was ineffective. Then they waded through the drow in the temple. Followed up by an unfortunate incident with the gargantuan scorpion that cost them their hireling cleric. They didn't have their fighter with them, so they recognized they couldn't take it without her. Finally, most of the party was taken out by 10d6 of "trap" damage from a flood of water -- which cost them their other cleric and knocked most of the rest of the party to nearly zero. Plus, the next encounter is supposed to include another save-or-die monster, but I just can't do that to them, so I have to alter the encounter a bit. Anyway, the adventure is a little frustrating, so I'm going to have to work on fixing it somehow.

I'm running the next game on Sunday, so hopefully I'll be able to prepare a bit and make it more fun. Enough about the game! Or at least about that game.

Monday and Wednesday I edited my writing.

Tuesday I played in the bi-weekly Warhammer game, which was fun, but it took the whole evening to finally make some real progress in the game. Again, this was an issue with the pre-written adventure, not the players of the GM. This time I was on the player side of the equation. Still, I had a good time.

Thursday night Julia and I went out for an early dinner to celebrate two years together. Our actual anniversary is December 1st. We had dinner downtown at Barollo's, which we learned is a sister restaurant to Momma Molina's in the U-District. It was the last night of the 30 for $30 program, so we had a limited menu, but it included appetizers, dinner entrees, and dessert -- and all of it was excellent.

And there you go.

Go See the Doctooorrrrrrr...

It's back.

That horrible swelling in my throat.

It's been a number of years since I've had to deal with this and I'm happy about that. I woke up last night (okay, it was actually pretty fitful sleeping anyway) and my mouth was completely dry -- and I mean completely! -- and I had to work to wet it again. When I did it felt like the sides of my throat were rubbing against something, and they were; each other. Nice feeling. Like swallowing fine sand paper. Ah!

When I finally got up and got ready for work and tried to say goodbye to Julia, my voice sounded like I was talking with a mouthful of marbles and it made me want to gag. Sure, sure, you don't want to hear it, beleive me I know!

After I hopped in the car I called the doctor's office in Redmond and made an appointment so they can look me over, then prescribe me a mega-dose of antibiotics. I go at 1:30 today and I hope I feel better quickly. Thankfully, there aren't a lot of other symptoms to my illness and I feel basically okay even if the world seems to shift uncomfortably in front of me every now and again. It almost feels like an out-of-body experience, but in a mildly pleasant way.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


The first part of Robin D. Laws' serialized piece of fiction, Hungerblade, is now up on the Red Juggernaut site. Go check it out.

This is a 15 part series and we'll be posting a new chapter every Monday.


Friday, November 23, 2007


I feel compelled to mark my completion of my freelance project. It turned out to be a total of 54 pages and about 36,000 words that all required a lot of research.

I still have to re-read, edit, find a couple of appropriate quotes, and write up the art order. So I'm done with the heavy lifting, but not the whole project.

That is all for now.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Few Things

First, I received an email yesterday from a friend from high school. He was a good friend then and we've talked infrequently over the years. For those who'd know him (which amounts pretty much to my mom), it was Teddy S. He's now going by Thaddeus and living in Wausau (after stints in Chicago (I think), Colorado, and Texas), and works as a loan manager. I tracked him down online and sent him my phone number. We talked this morning and I'm sure we'll talk again soon.

Last night Julia and I joined Shana for a birthday dinner at Talarico's Pizza in West Seattle. I was in a foul mood from spending 3 hours commuting, but I'd cheered up by the end of the meal (delicious pizza) and was feeling more myself. I should say that the commute was extended a bit because we had to pick up my car from the shop -- but it should finally be fixed now. Whew.

I posted last time about the One Laptop Per Child program and said I was "hoping and planning" to buy one myself. Unfortunately my finances just don't allow for it as much as I'd like to. Which sucks and it makes me very disappointed. It's not that I couldn't scrape together the $400, it's just that if I have $400 to scrape together, it should most definitely go towards my credit card or the house. I'm bummed. But if any of you want to send me money, I swear I'll put it towards the OLPC program. That way we could all contribute together! That's teamwork!

Lastly, today's a half day for me at work, so I can help Julia with some shopping at one of the infrequent gem and jewelry shows that come to town. They're actually pretty cool, so I really don't mind helping out. Plus, half day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Do It If You Can

The Give One Get One deal for the One Laptop Per Child program launched yesterday. I know of one person who's already ordered one and I hope and plan to do the same soon. If you can swing it, please do.

Here's info on the laptop itself.

Here's where you order one for a kid somewhere in the world and get one for yourself.

Monday, November 12, 2007


When I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago I was able to ride a segway. A short video of all of us is now available, so I thought I'd post it all for you to enjoy. I'm near the end. I thought I'd waved for smiled for the camera, but I guess I only swerved back and forth a little. I'm wearing blue. Hopefully you'll recognize me.


Yesterday . . .

Yesterday, the 11th of November, marked one full year since Julia and I moved into our house. We're still loving the place and I can't imagine a better way or place to spend my time than in that house with that woman.

Other aspects of my life may suck (I'm looking at you, work), but my homelife is great and I love walking in the door at night and settling into an evening with my girl. Admittedly my nights lately have been filled with research and writing far out of proportion with what relaxation time, but that inequity will be resolved soon.

So, if you were curious, you should definitely find the girl (or boy) of your dreams and settle down. The housing market may make that a bit trickier than before, but it's so worth it.

To celebrate our 1st anniversary in the house, we went out to breakfast, then Julia napped and read while I played D&D with the boys. Yep, we're definitely settled in.

Now if I could only find the time to go through all those boxes I still have sitting downstairs . . .

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Call

I got a call from the company I interviewed with earlier last month and I didn't get the job.

I know it's not fair, but I feel like a total failure.

I'm sure I'll get over it in the next few hours . . . or day . . . or so.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fly Away. Home.

I left last Wednesday morning to go to Austin for a two-day meeting. The trip was fine, although I ended up leaving about three hours later than planned due to fog, but I still arrived well before bed time and was able to have dinner out with co-workers at a Japanese steakhouse.

Thursday and Friday were meetings and more meetings, but part of the whole deal was a team-building activity. Part of the group rode bikes around Austin and part of the group rode Segways. I was in the Segway group because I figured I probably wouldn't get the chance to ride one again anytime soon. I'm glad I did it -- and if Segways only cost $200 (instead of $5500), I'd probably buy one. They're a bit tricky to get the hang of initially, but within ten minutes everyone was doing quite well on them. Sure, two people took spills, but nothing major, just watch out for curbs.

The company that ran the tour was stretched pretty thin by the 20 or so of us that showed up, but they did a great job coralling everyone and making sure we all had functioning vehicles. That's pretty impressive because I think they were told there'd be 12 of us. Whoops.

Dinner was next and I had a great time talking to the other people who do what I do from around the world, but the food wasn't so good. Honestly, it didn't matter, it was all about the conversation. Although I kept thinking I'd rather be home with my girl.

Friday was more meetings, then the trip back to Seattle, which went off without a hitch. Plus I was able to upgrade to better seats, so my ride was pretty comfy. Nice.

I spent most of Saturday with Julia; shopping, having some delicious Indian food, and trying to see a movie, but nothing really appealed. It was nice to have a break.

Sunday I ran my D&D game. They had a nasty encounter with a dire shark and Seth's character was killed when the shark swallowed him whole. It was actually an interesting session, because we were all laughing and having a good time, but Seth's character died which isn't how character death is usually handled in games I've played in or run. Usually it's a sort of stressful and annoying, but not in this case for some reason. Even though the dice rolls for him to avoid his fate were basically impossible. Maybe that's part of what made it funny. Anyway, they were able to rescue his body and get him raised at their next port of call. Future encounters should be a bit more well balanced, thankfully.

Julia spent the time while I was gaming upstairs in the kitchen (with the recently fixed oven) making pies. She baked two pumpkin pies and an apple pie. Wow, were they good. All of them. I was only able to have a piece of each by the end of the night, so the rest went to work with her, which was fine because Monday I started the diet again. But, yum, good pie.

Monday I continued writing and am making good progress.

Tonight, I go to play Warhammer with the Tuesday crew. It should be fun.