11:48 pm, Friday, October 19th, 2007

I finally fixed my bed. IKEA sent me the replacement parts a while back (free of charge, actually — very generous of them considering the package weighed 47 lbs.) but I was lazy about putting things together. Anyway, my back feels loads better. I hadn’t realized how bad sleeping on two mattresses could be for your lumbar whatsits. And the fitted sheet stays on better now, so that’s good.

Yesterday Brett and I drove up to Spokane so he could get his brakes repaired. His dealership sure treats its customers well — 60″ TV in the waiting room, leather sofas, and a courtesy shuttle that drops you off and picks you up anywhere in the city. Since the repairs were supposed to take about three hours, we had the shuttle take us to a sushi place Brett’s friend Al recommended (Bluefish).

Don’t eat at Bluefish. Their menu is extremely limited, the tables and chairs are crammed into small, awkward spaces, and the food is mediocre. Whoever runs the place obviously cares far more about style and decor than cuisine or comfort. We each ordered the “lunch sushi buffet” which turned out to be nothing more than a pot of miso soup, some salad, and a sorry platter of maki that tasted like it came from a grocery store. Less than ten minutes after sitting down, I asked for the check and we walked a few blocks to Raw (a sushi restaurant we’d eaten at once before and liked).

Raw was much, much better. The only thing I wasn’t wild about was their Philly roll — the smoked salmon kind of overpowered everything. But the nigiri (salmon, tuna, albacore, snapper) and the rest of the maki (caterpillar, bomb, crunchy) were great. Here’s a picture:

Maki rolls from Raw

I would’ve snapped one of the nigiri, but I forgot (and we ate it before the maki arrived).

Some home meals we’ve had this week:

Steak, zuchinni, cornbread    Boneless pork chops, corn, pasta   Brett's almond chicken

From left to right: Ribeye steaks with steamed zuchinni (I tried grilling some, but I guess my heat was too uneven) and homemade cornbread, boneless pork chops (baked with fresh thyme and garlic) with corn and pasta, and tonight’s dinner of almond chicken over basmati rice. The last one was all Brett’s doing — he found some great recipes for real almond sauce and a beer batter. You know most “almond” sauces don’t contain almonds? Apparently a lot of them rely only on chicken broth and a few spices for their flavor. Anyway, I think it was the best thing he’s ever cooked. Definitely better than any almond chicken I’ve had in a restaurant.

I installed and played Portal last night. It was amazing. And tremendously funny in a way that only an immersive media with a silent protagonist can be. Nightchrome from MetaFilter said this about the game:

Portal was absolutely fantastic, one of the most amusingly entertaining games I have played in awhile. Also the first game in a very, very long time to make me actually want to buy merchandise based on it.

I totally agree. Who wouldn’t want a Weighted Companion Cube? Fortunately, it sounds like Valve will be producing some sort of Companion Cube toy for sale around Christmas. Can a Companion Cube Mini-ITX computer case be far behind? I’d buy one. Heck, I’d mod my Shuttle into one if I knew how to machine aluminum.

Anyway, great game. Extremely short (I beat it in about three and half hours), but totally worth the 2.38 GB download. After finishing it I felt the same way I did after seing Grindhouse in the theater — energized, jubilant. And that ending theme! I knew it was by Jonathon Coulton, who I love, but I didn’t know it’d be that good. Funny, catchy. Just awesome. I immediately hunted down the MP3 and listened to it for like an hour straight.

Delicious, moist cake from Portal

I hear there’s going to be a Lorwyn booster draft Magic tournament at Adventures Underground tomorrow at noon. I’d really like to participate, but I’m going to be driving down next week to do payroll anyway and I don’t want to go back and forth so much in such a short period of time. That drive is so boring. It erodes a person’s soul.

My current Mafia game, Mini 506: The Siena Syndicate, has been having a rough time; low activity, lots of players replacing out, a small surge in craplogic… But things are looking up. I bit the bullet and did a big PBPA-ish post that I was quite pleased with. It was a risk, since I had to make some firm declarations about my suspicions against some players with a fair amount of Whuffie but it seems to be working out okay. I’m starting to realize that what really appeals to me about Mafia isn’t so much the logic and deduction, but the rhetoric and “spin” aspects. Sadly, I haven’t been able to focus exclusively on those since I’ve gotten townie roles every time I’ve played so far. I mean, they’re a part of the game for every player, but it’s the mafia that get to devote themselves fully to that ambosial, subtle art of manipulation.

15 Responses to “#914”

  1. Krunk:

    Isn’t posting that you’re a townie against the rules? ;p

    Thread Mafia sounds really slow, and half the fun I think in Mafia is looking at people’s body languages and how they speak.

  2. hjo3:

    Nah, you can make any claim. You’re just not allowed to copy-paste your role-assignment PM. At least that’s how it works on mafiascum.net.

    (Besides, I very much doubt any of the players in Mini 506 bother to read my blog.)

    Mafia does go slow on a forum, but it has some advantages. Like, you can read back over everyone’s past statements to find trends and hints that you might’ve missed in the real-time version. I would like to try it IRL sometime though.

  3. Krunk:

    Oh! You’ve never played this in real life! You’ve got to try it sometime, it’s really fun. When I’m the narrator, I usually do a Gotham City routine, where mafia = Joker and his henchmen, cop/detective = Batman, and so on, something like, “Night falls upon Gotham City…”

  4. Logan:

    The tournaments may end up being a regular gig anyways…so you might be able to make it to ~one~ of them someday.

  5. hjo3:

    Well if there’s one next Saturday I’ll definitely be attending it. Lemme know how today’s went.

    Re: Krunk: Hah, that sounds cool. It seems hard to coordinate though — don’t you need at least 10 people?

  6. Peter:

    Caterpillar roll? Bomb roll? What’s that?

    And there’s something about the words “lunch sushi buffet” that scares the heck out of me…

  7. hjo3:

    A caterpillar roll is eel and avocado (on top) with sweet teriyaki sauce. A bomb (or “da bomb”) roll is, I think, crab and tuna rolled up in rice, then dipped in tempura batter and deep fried.

    I’ve had good experiences with sushi buffets prior to Bluefish. Ever been to Todai? I love that place.

  8. Peter:

    Yeah, I’ve been to Todai. It’s the best of the buffets, that’s for sure.

    Then again, I don’t hold sushi buffets in very high regard, so that’s not saying much.

  9. Logan:

    Saturday went pretty great, really. There were 11 guys that showed up, and there was almost zero notice. Caleb sent out a little e-mail on Thursday morning letting people know there was going to be an event here on Saturday at noon – so people just had a couple days notice and it still drew a pretty decent crowd.

    Next weekend is hopefully going to be sanctioned too, so that will probably get a couple more guys.

    A couple guys were kind of irked with the no bathroom thing, but I think most people appreciated the place to play.

  10. amy:

    ooh, so much discussion! i don’t really have anything to add except that the sushi looked surprisingly good for as far from the ocean as you are!

  11. hjo3:

    From what I’ve heard, most of the fish in the US is flash frozen aboard the boats it’s caught on. The sushi-grade stuff is just kept that way until the restaurant thaws it. I.e., the stuff you eat in Nebraska is basically identical to what you would eat in Seattle (assuming the restaurant doesn’t cut corners and proper temperature is maintained during shipping). Could be apocryphal, I dunno. But yeah, the stuff we had at Raw was great.

    Re: Saturday MtG draft: Cool. 11 people! That’s an amazing turnout considering it was AU’s first organized draft.

  12. Logan:

    Probably part of that has to do with Lorwyn being brand new and all, but yeah. Pretty nice. Of course, with Magic, I guess there is almost always a brand new something…

  13. Krunk:

    Not sure if you got a chance to see this:
    The Official Plush Companion Cube

  14. hjo3:

    Heh, yep — came through the news for the last Steam update.

  15. Krunk:

    Not sure if you got a chance to check out the latest VGCats portal animation based on the ending song: