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12 June 2006 @ 10:34 am
I went to Pennsylvania to accompany my friend Beth to a wedding this weekend and had a great time. Beth is doing very well, as is her mom, and I got to meet her dog Dexter (I had heard about Dexter before but was a bit taken aback by his size, and as you all know I'm not exactly a stranger to big dogs).

The wedding was a lot of fun, although the band was highly questionable. If anyone wants, there are some pictures up at my fotki site. Several of them are panoramic shots that I did using my camera's "stitch" function. All but one of these turned out really well and it was shockingly easy to do (once loaded on the computer you just put the pictures in order and hit "stitch" and the computer does all the matching work). If you have a decent connection click on the original size (the pictures are HUGE, so bear in mind what you're getting into) because some of the shots are really beautiful.

In other news, I've been talking about an alternate psionics system for D&D for approximately 1 billion years and I genuinely began to work on it during this weekend. I'm going to pick up the psionics handbook today because I realized that I really need it as a reference document to gauge power levels.

Finally, my DS Lite should be appearing today, I'm greatly anticipating its arrival.

As a coda, I found this great quote while stumbling around the web today:

As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.
M. Cartmill

I have no idea who M. Cartmill is/was, but since so many of my friends are scientifically minded (I sound like something out of "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" there, but whatever) I really felt the need to share this.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
29 May 2006 @ 11:01 pm
As I mentioned, I was looking into getting an online photo sharing account so that my efforts with my new camera can be spammed across the world. I will put this onto my links on this account, for those of you who forget to bookmark the site, but it can be reached here.
23 May 2006 @ 09:22 pm
Sort of!

Time has finally freed up in my life to actually do stuff in, but at the same time I seem to have come down with a cold. So far it's just a head cold, and I've been using the medicinal equivalent of the U.S. nuclear arsenal against the cold equivalent of a lone soldier from the Napoleonic Wars. I particularly feel that I went above and beyond the call of duty by risking my sense of smell with Zicam. Hopefully all will be well within a day or two.

In the meantime, various updates in things I've been doing:

1)Books: Wow, I've read a lot of these lately. Tor gave me a giant stack of books about a month ago, more or less because I spent some time geeking out with them and as a result I got to read two excellent novels and an excellent short story. The novels are:
Old Man's War by John Scalzi is set in a future Earth where the actual world governments are sort of second fiddle to the Colonial Force, which is the spacegoing portion of humanity - and in order to join them you have to be 75 years old. It was a damn good book and I'm relieved that there's already a sequel.


Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, which is a fantasy epic but not really in the Tolkienian scheme (tragically rare these days). The world has a very fresh feeling and the magic system is both innovative and interesting. It's also well paced and the man has a definite flair for action scenes. Plus, this is going to be a trilogy, plus he has already written another (according to my friend) non-Tolkienian fantasy standalone novel that is possibly even better called Elantris. And this guy is only 28, which makes me feel confident in saying that I've found a new author to read for a while to come (since J.K. Rowling and George R.R. Martin are both nearing completion). I really feel that I cannot pimp this guy's work enough, it was the best fantasy fiction I've read in quite some time.

The short story is called The Ice Dragon and is by George R.R. Martin. It's really intended as a children's book and is a beautifully crafted fairy tale set in his Ice & Fire universe.

2)Video games: I've gone on a bit of a buying spree lately because I was able to snag a few games for very cheap (XIII, X-Men Legends, and Wind Waker - which is really just a replacement for my lost copy). Despite this I'm still playing mainly DDO and I've started on Metroid Prime.

3)Movies: Saw "Over the Hedge" on Sunday and it was a fun time. Not one of the most memorable movies ever, but I didn't regret my money (although if I had decided to wait and rent it I probably wouldn't have regretted that either). Seeing X-Men III this weekend, and I'm also eager to see the new Superman movie (which I'm just as surprised by as the next person).

4)RPGs: Nothing really going on here at the moment. Exalted has been on an unintentional, lengthy hiatus. I have come up with a cool idea for an Exalted one shot that I'm working on characters for. I am also looking forward to Dowd running his D&D one shot.

Well, I got distracted by roomates, which means that it is now later than I meant to go to bed (what with being sick and all), so I'm going to cut this short. Besides, posting will give me something to do if I wake up tomorrow feeling crappy and don't go to work.
Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: The Divinyls - you can probably guess which song
18 May 2006 @ 10:06 am
I have spent an obscene (by my standards, probably not by Bill Gates' standards) amount of money in the past week.

First I purchased an exercise bike via Amazon (mainly for the free shipping - probably not the best reason to choose a retail store, but whatever) and then yesterday I bought a digital camera at Best Buy.

So let's take these one at a time, so that I don't hyperventilate.

Exercise Bike: The plan here is to trick myself into developing a good habit. I've realized that I am never, ever going to manage to instill a "exercise for 1/2 an hour to an hour every day" habit. On the other hand, I realized when I started watching Babylon 5 again that I very easily fall into a "sit in front of the TV until this show is over" habit. It occurs to me that while the couch is comfy, an exercise bike also has a seat and I desperately need some cardiovascular activity. The difficult part will, I think, be to make sure that I move my legs while watching the TV. That's where the obscene amounts of money come in - purchasing an exercise bike is like blackmailing myself into exercise, I think that on those days when I'm feeling really wishy-washy about the whole affair the thought of my lightened wallet will push me back over the edge and into the abyss of health.

Digital Camera: This is an issue with several layers. At root there is my newfound fascination with web design and the (I think rather obvious) realization that any sort of web publishing needs to involve both words and images. Words I've got (English Majors Represent!) but pictures I don't got (indeed, my artistic skills are roughly on par with that of a two year old). So the camera would help with that. On top of that I've got a number of friends who seem to have an inordinate amount of fun with these things, so that seemed worth a shot as well. Sometime soon I will get some online photo sharing account and will post the link here so that my disgraceful antics can be documented for all time. Currently I don't have enough photos to make it worthwhile (only got the camera yesterday).

In other news, class is over and life is good.

Ice cream is better.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
26 April 2006 @ 01:32 pm
Quick update since I've realized that I haven't posted in quite a while and I desperately wish to procrastinate for a bit.

I recently purchased a CD from the group Shaimus entirely because I liked the song they did that made it to Guitar Hero (for reference, it's "All of This" on the myspace player). The CD really doesn't do anything particularly spectacular for me, except for that one song. Which kind of got me thinking about my somewhat . . . selective? . . . taste in music. I realized that if you take away the music that's sort of "culture consciousness" (i.e. Queen, David Bowie, random 80s music, etc.) most of the music I own and enjoy is something that I performed, either in band, jazz band, orchestra, or (more recently) Karaoke Revolution, or Guitar Hero. The latter two I think we can say are more of a facsimilie of a performance, but as the entire purpose of these games is to trick you into believing that you're performing (and as I am the most gullible person I know), I think I can be forgiven for blurring the line there.

So my realization is that I simply don't seem to bond with music unless I have performed it at some point - just listening seems lame in comparison.

I'm pretty happy with this conclusion, not because it's correct (because I have no idea if that's true) but because it is a reasonable answer to something about myself that has always kind of confused me.

Also, I have started reading two graphic novel series, one called "Fables" and the other called "The Invisibles".

The premise of "Fables" is that an underground community of fairy tale characters are living in New York because a mysterious Adversary conquered Fairy Tale Land during the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Quite aside from the amusement one gains from seeing fairy tales operating in the real world (e.g. Prince Charming turning out to be a total cad who gets women into bed and then leeches off them for as long as possible) the actual long term story is quite good so far and some of the characters being cited are really obscure - similar to the god-cameos that occured in "American Gods" or "Sandman".

Meanwhile, "The Invisibles" is pretty much what Mage would so desperately like to be. Probably about all the description I can give, it's a very odd series, but definitely gripping.

Anyway, school obligations are driving me into crazy hermitude, only to be broken by visiting Steve this weekend, but by this time next week all will be well (or at least all will be over, which is just as good).
17 April 2006 @ 09:35 am
What could be cooler than a McGriddle's Fanfiction Community?

In my opinion, nothing.

So now that we have reached the limits of cool, where to now? I suggest we finally get around to world peace and the elimination of hunger.
05 April 2006 @ 11:17 am
Courtesy of alcidae...Once you are tagged you must write a blog entry about 6 weird habits/things you do as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next six people to be tagged and list their names. (Though I will only be doing five, since that's all I know)

1) I don't remember when I started this, maybe middle school, but I got into the habit of reading all the text on electric hand dryers in public bathrooms while using them, making it sort of a contest to see if I can read it all before the dryer turns off. Dryers with electric eyes that only turn off when I walk away make this very easy.

2) Convinced that I am drying out too much over night, I invariably sleep with a glass of water by my bed. Which I never drink from, and give to one of my house plants after I get up.

3) I am a chronic text-highlighter when reading web pages. I just randomly click my mouse on various blocks of text (not necessarily the bit that I'm reading) for the aesthetic change. My recent acquisition of a gesture recognition extension for Firefox has only exacerbated this.

4) I have come to think of Eggo Waffles as a sort of evolution of sandwich bread - it is sturdier than regular bread, and therefore more capable of standing up to the rigors of life in the 21st century (particularly under my harsh rule).

5) I pull my keys out of my pocket like half an hour before they're supposed to be used and then proceed to jingle them around in my hands all the way to the door/car/whatever, in a manner that even I find annoying.

6) According to our high school AP physics class, after I tell a joke I laugh at it and then repeat the first line of it again. Not sure if I'm still as bad about this or not.

So, tagging:

13 March 2006 @ 11:09 am
Anyone who likes music and hasn't been to Pandora needs to go check it out right now. Make yourself an account. It's free, and so far they haven't spammed me (or it has been caught by my spam filter). Advertisments are unobtrusive and the service is incredible.
10 March 2006 @ 11:04 am
"It" is actually not the right word to use there. The subject should probably read "They're alive!" 'They' being approximately 50% of the contents of our fridge, which I had the honor of cleaning last night. The smell has mostly abated now, but I'm going to pick up two little boxes of baking soda (one for the fridge, one for the pantry - which didn't give birth to life, as the fridge did, but is certainly a pioneer in the field of undead onions) to help the cleansing process. The scary part is that I meant to clean the whole kitchen last night. I was able to clean the fridge (inside only) and the stovetop, which are admittedly the two worst parts of the job.

Other than that, life has been fairly good this week. I improved my eating habits considerably (except for last night's dinner, James, you're not permitted to comment on this) and got a bit more exercise than I have been getting. I picked up a wireless router last night (we get the interweb on Saturday) and Bestbuy had Harry Potter DVDs on sale, so I was able to get 3 + 4 for about $20.

The downside is that I think I may be developing a milk allergy. Anybody familiar with my eating habits knows that this is a BIG issue for me. I actually have nothing against Soymilk, so it's not total disaster, but I'm not really eager to make the switch either. We'll see, maybe it's something else that's causing the problem, but when I have a glass of milk this morning and my throat immediately swells up I take that as a bad sign.

Still not quite a real employee at work, but I am perilously, perilously close. Hopefully in a week or so.