Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh my

I am very tired and fighting off a sore throat that I fear may turn into a full-blown cold before it's done. For that reason I may not type for as long as I need to in order to cover the last week.

I flew home last Thursday evening for a weekend in Seattle and didn't arrive until after ten. This was my first time traveling with the CPAP (sleep apnea) machine and even though it took up a fair amount of room in my bag, I was still able to fit everything into the one carryon.

Friday we had to run to a doctor appointment, which ended up being mostly a waste of time because their computer system was down. The upshot of that was we were given the number of a specialist and a new appointment has already been made.

That afternoon we met up with Julia's mom to go see Where the Wild Things Are. I hadn't read the book when I was a kid, so all I knew was that the monsters were big-headed and, uh, monsterous. The costumes were great, but the story was a bit slow and ultimately didn't do much for me. Maybe it was an excellent retelling of the book, but to me it was only average and slightly creepy. Julia's mom slept through pretty much the whole thing.

That night I spent some time trying to hook up a wireless network for the house, but had no luck. That was a little frustrating so I eventually gave up and spend some time with Julia. That was much better than working on the computer.

Saturday we ended up having a nice lunch with Kevin, Kim, and their daughter Samantha at an Indian place in Bellevue that recently reopened after moving. Over the course of lunch I talked to Kevin about the wireless network I was trying to set up so Julia could use it to watch Netflix on the Xbox 360 and he said he had a piece I needed, so we went to their place. It was a fun visit. Sam is so much more social than I've seen her in the past and she's darn cute and nice. She really liked Julia. Before we left Kevin gave me a couple of things for the Xbox and I borrowed a couple of games I wanted to try out, then we headed home.

Julia'd started to feel a little sick over lunch, so she headed to bed. Which is pretty much where we spent the rest of the day and all of Sunday. I ran out a lot for medicine and food so we could have something around the house, in addition to finally getting the wireless network set up and linked to the Xbox (which was pretty exciting!).

I flew back Monday morning and have been cleaning up some missions at work. Now I'm on a new project, but that's not going so well. A lot of the tech I need isn't working correctly or I don't have the information I need, which isn't fun, but I think it'll get better when my supervisor returns from jury duty.

And, as I said earlier, I'm tired and fighting off a cold. So, I think it's time to read for a few minutes and hit the sack -- even though what I'd really like to do is go play some Champions since we just launched the "Blood Moon" event for Halloween.

Oh, I picked up Slaughterhouse Five tonight at a used book store. I've been wanting to read that for a while now.

I'm done with this now. More soon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Work and Stuff

Work ended last week on a high note because I was able to finish the six missions I'd been designing for the last couple of weeks. That's pretty slow, but I didn't (and still don't) have all the training and knowledge I need to create missions that work flawlessly. That's not surprising since someone from my department just stopped by my desk this afternoon to say he's been doing this work since the start of the year and he still asks questions very, very often. There's so much hidden information, it's a bit daunting.

Anyway, my missions were sent to quality assurance and they pointed out a handful or errors which I spent most of today fixing, then we had a playtest and a bunch of people played through them and sent me more fixes and feedback. That's good and all, but it was a bummer to see so many new problems come up. I was hoping these were done and ready to ship, but I think I'll be tweaking all day Thursday to get them in good shape. Bleh.

I'm happy they're basically okay, and everyone thought they were fun, so that's good. Maybe that's enough for my first time through, but I want them to be better. Gah, just a little frustrated, that's all.

I leave tomorrow night for a weekend in Seattle and I'm really looking forward to it. The only things on the schedule are to run an errand on Friday with Julia, stop by a friend's house to pick up a book, and set up a wireless network in the house so we can get the Xbox 360 hooked up to the Internet so we can, in turn, get Netflix t stream videos for Julia on one of the TVs. It's gonna be so cool. If I can figure it all out.

Okay, sleepy. Time to relax and hit the sack.

Oh, and notice: new computer results in (slightly) increased frequency of posts!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Time Marches On

My oldest nepher turns 18 today. He was born the year I graduated college. At the time I was working in the basement of Pic-a-Book on State Street in the comic/dart store and I was living in CotU. That was the nickname for the apartment I shared with Scott and Steve, or Kevin, or whomever was living there then. CotU was short for the "Center of the Universe," because my very large group of friends always congregated there for gaming, parties, movie-watching (especially MST3K), and pretty much anything else.

All of those friends will feel very old when they read that Jake is now 18.

I spoke with my sister Jean earlier and she can't believe she has an 18-year-old either. "Weird," was how she put it.

For his part, Jake was out on the land behind the family's tractor dealership building a chicken coop. He's wanted chickens since he was a kid and he finally went out and bought some chickens a while ago.

So, happy birthday to Jake! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you.

Right now I have to stop messing around on the computer (which is working wonderfully!) so I can finish my laundry and go into work for a bit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Big, Happy, Smiley Face!

This is my first post from my brand new computer! I am so very, very excited! I don't have anything loaded yet, but the Web browser is working, so I thought I'd stop by and make a quick post.

I will post a real update soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekly Recap

The Thursday before last I made a trip back to Seattle for the the annual Green Ronin summit. The summit itself was Friday and Saturday, so I was able to spend Thursday night and all day Friday with Julia. I was just home two weeks earlier and somehow it felt like I hadn't even been gone. I can't wait to get back home full-time again.

Friday we spent some time running errands, including the tiniest bit of cleaning at the condo (which is up for rent again, in case any of you are looking for a place in Renton). Then we went shopping to prepare dinner for Shana, Hays, and Lilly (Jen and Hays' baby. Jen was out of town for a wedding.) We've picked up a number of cook books over the past year or two, so we decideed to pick out some recipes to try. We spent all afternoon cooking and here's what we made:

A savory cheesecake with roasted red bell peppers and apricot jam on top. Served with homemade pita chips.

Apple and thyme martinis including homemade thyme simple syrup. (I'm pretty sure it was thyme. I forget my plant names pretty easily.)

A cooked beet dish prepared with lots of garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and ground pepper.

Oven-cooked hamburgers with toasted buns.

Dessert was ice cream.

And let me just say that the food was all awesome! The burgers were a little overdone, which surprised us, but we'd never cooked hamburgers in the oven before, so it was hard to judge. Everyone was pretty impressed. We had such a good time and cooking with Julia was probably the best part.

Saturday morning Julia dropped me off at Green Ronin headquarters so she could take the car for the day. She had a hair appointment that morning. Yes, it's cute and she's lovely. Anyway, I spent the day talking with the Green Ronin folks, planning out the next year of releases, shuffling things around, and generally making some excellent plans. At about six o'clock they all headed out for dinner and Julia came to get me so we could spend the evening together.

Sunday was basically a repeat of the previous day: dropped off, meetings, had a late lunch with the crew, took a group picture, recorded a podcast which will hopefully be appearing soon, and then getting picked up by Julia.

That night we had dinner, I packed for my trip, and we went to bed pretty early because I had to be to the airport by around 5:30 Monday morning.

This week has been very busy between the deadline I was working on at work and the different assignments that came out of the summit. The most pressing things are done now, but work is still pretty busy -- again, mostly because I don't have enough training yet, but things are better day by day.

Jim's car's been acting up pretty badly for about the last week. We've spent a couple of hours waiting for tow trucks and going to the auto shop. That's where the car is now after being fixed and returned to him once already. I know it's been a really big pain for him. I think he'd give up on the car, but he needs it to get to and from work in a reasonable amount of time. Anyway, hopefully that'll be taken care of soon.

Last week, before the trip home, I finally ordered my new home computer. I found a good deal online, talked it over with some of the more computer-savvy people I know and finally took the plunge. It's supposed to arrive in just over a week and I'm very excited. Hopefully I'll get to post a bit more once that's set up. I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, my housemate is leaving as of the end of this month and Jim is thinking of renting that room. I don't know exactly where that stands, but I think it'd be great. The current guy is . . . uptight and actively unfriendly, so any change is good.

I'm off to do some work.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Stop Snoring

I snore. I also apparently stop breathing while I'm asleep. So, I finally went to the doctor about it and they hooked me up with a sleep monitor a while ago. It was a take-home unit that I used one Friday night a while back and then returned to the clinic.

Yesterday I went to the doctor to get the results. Pretty much everyone, when they sleep, get to the point that their body is so relaxed that their tongue and soft palate slide back and block their airway -- maybe as many as five times and hour. Some people, still in the "normal" range might have it happen up to 15 times an hour. For me, on the night in question, it happened an average of 41 times an hour. So, I officially have sleep apnea and will be getting a device to keep my breathing all night long. Whee!

The other nice part about the device is it'll also keep me from snoring.

I'm waiting for the call to set up a time to go pick up the machine, but I'm not sure when that'll happen.

This is definitely a good thing, since, y'know, I don't want to die in my sleep.