Thursday, June 28, 2007


We're giving Netflix a try, and I find that I'm much more likely to slap a movie I'm not sure of into the queue than I was to pick it up at the rental place. I think it's because there's no immediate expense when I queue up a movie at Netflix, so it reduces the perceived risk of renting something I don't like.

(So far, we're happy, but it's only been, what, a week? I'm sure we'll find *something* to kvetch about.)

edited to add: now, if we could get a combo Netflix/Gamefly membership? *That'd* be nerdvana for sure.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Good to go

I've officially out of brain camp, aka counseling. Now I've got to stay sane all on my own... I think that's achievable. :D

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thumb update, part whatevs

Since I spent the weekend doing nothing (darn summer viruses), my thumbs feel great! That's a little hard on the ol' work ethic... Yesterday I read tech docs, today I'm watching code in the debugger. That's work, ennit?

You know you're a grup when...

... you can sing along with the oldies music they play outside the bank to get the teenagers to move along. ("Don't Ask Me Why", Billy Joel, Glass Houses, 1980.)

Friday, June 22, 2007

We won (mostly)!

With much grumbling about Microsoft and how this would be so much easier in Linux, my compatriot J got the wireless network running. Our main technical difficulty: The used router I got back in '05 really wants to be connected directly to broadband, and we're running dialup through one of the PCs. So we had to go static IP instead of DHCP, just to get things up and running.

And, for some reason, the NIC on the motherboard on the PC with the dialup doesn't even show up in the BIOS, so it's talking to the router wirelessly. I found an old 10/1o0 card in "the pile", and may whack it in there.

But, by the end of the night, all the PCs we had on were able to see each other, share the internet connection, and share the printer. Victory! And the multi-player in HoMM III (the whole point of the exercise) looks like it'll run happily over TCP/IP.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Don't you just hate it...

... when you find a flaw that's been in the code since 2002? The kind that makes you say, "That's not just a bug, that's a Madagascar hissing cockroach!" Maybe it's time to pursue my career in the ballet...

LOLCat needed

Has anybody seen a "PMS Cat will claw out your eyes" cat macro? :D

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gaming, sweet sweet gaming

Thinking back, my computer gaming career started with Diablo, in autumn 1999. Patrick introduced me to it, and over the course of the next few years I literally wore out the CD-ROM drive in my laptop playing it. I think I can find our printout of Jarulf's guide... I usually played a Rogue, Patrick a Warrior, and Edgar a Sorcerer. Both Edgar and I racked up a good number of ears from Patrick's Warrior, because he kept wandering into our lines of fire, the silly boy.

I almost wore out my anticipation gland waiting for Diablo II. I asked for it for my birthday, as it was close to the predicted release date, and actually received it six months later. (Darn software developers.) Played the snot out of DII and DII: Lord of Destruction, though we didn't get as much multi-player goodness out of that.

About the time I got tired of DII (Gasp! yes, it can happen) I found Dungeon Siege. (Oddly enough, I saw Patrick playing it... there may be a pattern developing here.) Hmmm, hacking and slashing (and spell casting and bow shooting). Plot? Whatevs. Tasty. :D Same goes for Dungeon Siege II. Now I just need the expansion pack. And the PSP game. (Not sure about the movie. Pluses: Jason Statham! Ron Perlman! Minuses: Burt Reynolds! Uwe "worst movie director since Ed Wood, and I think Ed might have been better" Boll!)

Then, in December 2002, came the big one... Neverwinter Nights. Though I'd only played 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons once, I fell in love with this game. Made a point of trying to play all the main classes, prestige classes, and interesting class combinations. Bought all the expansions. Started writing maybe 13 zillion mods. Got involved on the forums. Seriously thought about getting a job with BioWare in Edmonton. (I was tickled pink to be able to put "Started playing D&D in 1978" on a resume. And you said gaming was a waste of time, Dad! ;) )

Then we got an Xbox. So much BioWare goodness! Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic! Played thru light side and dark side, tried all the character classes. (Haven't finished KoToR II yet -- ran out of thumbs.) Bought Jade Empire the second it came out and finished it almost as quickly. Gave Morrowind a shot, but it was almost *too* big. That and Fable await me when I return to gaming.

I shan't even mention the PSP. :D

Our latest project is to get the kiddo's PC set up and networked for family gaming. Dang, I've got to get well...

Monday, June 18, 2007


My sinuses hurt more than my thumbs! Um, yay? ;)


For some reason, I'm out of go today. (Couldn't really muster much excitement this weekend either.) Time for the Geritol... okay, maybe a multivitamin. :D

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm a graduate too!

I've been seeing a cognitive-behavioral therapist since late April, and she thinks I'm ready to go on an as-needed basis for appointments after my next one... Yay! I'm going to graduate from brain school!

Let's hope I don't jinx it by talking about it... :D

Thumb update

My right thumb was doing better, until I unwisely typed for an hour Tuesday night. *sigh* And my appointment with the hand surgeon has been rescheduled for the *end* of August. My manager has recommended another clinic, which has a hand surgeon that Denial Care will pay for; I'm steeling myself to call and see if he has any appointments available before end of August.

End of an era

Today is the kiddo's last day of middle school... we've already received her schedule, booklist, and summer reading assignments from G-Prep. (Oh, and the payment schedule *flinch*) Big changes are a-coming, and I'm actually feeling pretty good about it. (Weird, ennit?)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dear Spokane

First in a series of rants...

Dear Spokane,
When attending a public event, such as a high school graduation, there are a few social guidelines to follow, which you seem to have forgotten:
  • Remove your hat for the national anthem
  • The band playing is not a cue for you to start talking loudly with your neighbor
  • Ditto for the speakers
  • When your baby starts crying or your infant starts fussing, that's your cue to leave the room
Crikies, people, weren't you socialized as children?

Positivity? On a *Monday*?!?

Things to be positive about:
  • As part of my commute, I'm walking about an hour a day. I'm also trying to use my exercise bike at least three days a week, with a goal of five days a week.
  • There are a lot of squirrels in Riverfront Park, and squirrels make me smile.
  • The thumb thing gives me a plausible excuse for a mid-life crisis. :D
  • Home made sandwiches for lunch.
  • Other advantages of riding the bus: I can't get a wild hair and drive to the store for snacks. Somebody else has to worry about traffic. Being near people I don't know helps build up my stranger tolerance. :D
Hey, that wasn't that hard! ;)

Friday, June 8, 2007


Well, my right wrist/thumb is *almost* back to where it was before the cortisone injection... 2 days to 2 weeks, 2 days to 2 weeks, she mumbled, trying to think positively...

I've a big bucket of nothin' scheduled for the weekend, which has helped in the past. Now, if I can figure out how to stay entertained w/o using my hands... last time I watched the Lord of the Rings Special Extended edition. Maybe this weekend I'll watch Firefly/Serenity... have to get the offspring to change the discs for me. :D

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Posted without comment

Breaking the rules

I figure I can post about work if they're in the news, right?

Synopsis: a guy driving a stolen Jaguar walked into the building very early Wednesday morning and made off with some stuff. Two of my teammates saw him leaving. Now we have a security guard. Oh, the feeling of safety makes me swoon. ;)

(might just be my connection, but these links load s-l-o-w-l-y, be warned)

KREM thinks we're a computer store

KXLY stuck with "local business"

The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What? Already?

Crud, I can't post about work, and I've given up 98% of my hobbies because of the dang thumb thing -- I appear to be out of topics already. Well, at least I got past 1 post... :D

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Doctor visit

Well, I seem to have survived my visit with the doctor yesterday. For some reason, I let him talk me into putting the cortisone shot into my right wrist; his reasoning was that it it has by far the worst symptoms and we'd be better off to find out if the cortisone works on the bad paw, so to speak. The problem is I am RIGHT handed, and the shot has pretty much taken my right hand out of commission. My fumbling attempts to cope using my left hand would probably be funny if it was happening to somebody else.

He was fairly clear that the best I can expect improvement is two days after the shot, and it can take up to two weeks to take effect. That's a long time to think positive. :D

I also asked for a referral to the hand specialist; they appear to be rarer than unicorns, as I was unable to get in before the middle of August. The person scheduling the appointment said she would notify us if anybody canceled, but I'm sure she says that to all the folks just keep them from coming over the counter at her when they find out how long they have to wait for an appointment. So, given the lag time between appointments, I'm probably not going to get surgery, if I need it, until some time in the fall. I'm sure we will all be tired of my whining by that point in time. :)

(edited for word-o. still mastering the voice dictation software...)

Friday, June 1, 2007

And now for something completely different

A happy post! 'cause I'm trying to make "happiness takes practice" one of my operating assumptions...

I've started taking the bus to work (as my carpool expired -- dang you, Patrick, why'd you have to move? ;) ). Since "you can't get there from here" best describes attempting to commute directly between home and work, I end up at the Plaza downtown, and get to walk the rest of the way. So I walk through Riverfront Park twice a day, which is nice, especially now that the river is turned on. (Repeated solar exposure does threaten to turn me a color other than fish-belly white, but I guess I can adjust my self-image appropriately.) The walk takes 20 minutes to half an hour, depending on how much I feel like hurrying, and is a good way to wake up. The bus ride itself is just long enough to read a little. Best of all, since it's an express bus, it runs limited hours, so I can't stay late at work. :D

So, walk == nice, park == nice, not having to park here == nice (the cars only get broken into occasionally), self-limiting work hours == nice, reducing gas usage and emissions == nice -- more than offsets having to get up a little earlier to catch the bus.

Petty, maybe...

... but, yes, I did change my template because I'd picked the same one that Kim had used. :D

Insert Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show here

I'm sure we could have a wonderful and enlightening discussion about education here, about the pros and cons of year round education, pedagogical variants and techniques, differences in learning styles, heck, how the schools have to serve neuro-diverse and neuro-typical alike...

But I'm going to kvetch about my daughter's schedule. Yeesh! She's in the last two weeks of middle school, and I swear, they've got something scheduled every night until we reach sweet, sweet summer vacation. As a family, we've always sought to avoid overscheduling (it doesn't look very fun for anybody involved), and now the school district is doing it for us! (One could call that service, I suppose... )

Gotta admit, though, the bands sounded really good. It's so nice to not dread the concerts... ;)