Archive for October, 2008

#961

1:01 am, Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I’m stuck at the clinic for twelve hours tonight while the floors get stripped and waxed. Apart from the sleep deprivation and ammonia fumes, it’s not bad. At least I’ve got wifi and a freshly downloaded Castlevania ROM in my NDS. Though tomorrow night (I get to do this again, yay) I’m bringing energy drinks. I’m barely awake and it’s only midnight.

Oregon was fun. Went to a lot of beaches, ate some good meals (oyster sandwiches, roast beef, crab pasta, sushi), heard a bunch of great stories from my grandpa about Korea, Vietnam, and his time in the merchant marines, debated religion with my grandma, and took lots of pictures. And the train ride on the Empire Builder 28 was very scenic. Here are some highlights:

The train ride:

Mountain near Columbia river   Mist over hills near Columbia   Moon & mist near Columbia   Portland train station 1

Newport:

Sea lions at Newport, OR 2   Yaquina Bay Bridge 2   Harbor at Newport, OR 1   Fish at Oregon Undersea Gardens

On Highway 101:

Beach near Yachats 3   Patch of sunlight out in the ocean   Rocky outcropping near shore   Umpqua River Lighthouse 1

Coos Bay (and surrounding areas):

My grandpa's boat 2   Boat cruising by the shipyards   South end of Sunset Bay 1   Quiet stream near Sunset Bay 2

Charleston marina 2   South Cove 2   South Cove 1   Bastendorf beach, sunny & hazy

And some neat bugs, food, etc.:

Drydock spider 2   Tiny red beach spider 1   Lunch at oriental restaurant in Coos Bay   Elk near Elkton, OR 2

‘Course there’s tons more in the 2008 Oregon Trip set.

After I got back some stuff happened, but I forget what cuz I didn’t bring my notebook with me. Haven’t uploaded those pictures yet. I do remember Hanwool came down again; that was a lot of fun. There was much board gaming and drinking. A new, ruinous form of Jenga was invented. Sadly he might not be back till spring due to pass conditions.

The house next door (this time on the west side) is getting built really quick. The neighbors in the other one are doing some landscaping and fence-building. Did I mention them? Older couple, very nice, moved in like three weeks ago. The guy has a couple brothers in the area, one lives just a few blocks away. Been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 (I’m obsessed with payload maps ATM). Beat World of Goo. Tried (and disliked) Spectraball.

That’s all I can think of for now. More later.

#960

1:11 am, Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Some cool stuff I’ve found recently:

  • Outlet Shirts > District Threads. District Threads is my absolute favorite brand for casual shirts and sweaters. Till now, I’d bought them from Andrew Christian via Amazon. But Andrew Christian sucks — they charge too much, don’t tell you what’s out of stock, delay shipments for weeks without explanation, and employ some people with poor English skills. Outlet Shirts, on the other hand, is cheap and responsive.
  • Glukoza. Really great Russian singer. Listen to her Schweine song and tell me that’s not catchy. Everything on her Moskva album is pretty good.
  • Cube Farm, Hamsterrolle, Polarity, Unexploded Cow, Jacob Marley Esq., Agricola, Treehouse. Some board games I picked up. Here’s a Flickr thumb of Cube Farm:

    Cube Farm

    Oh, and I started tracking my board game collection — see the new link under “Stuff” in the sidebar?

  • World of Goo. Awesome game. They just released it on Steam today. It’s like a real-time version of Armadillo Run with Gish embellishment. Or if you’re not familiar with those, it’s like Loco Roco with bridge building. Right now I’m on the second level of Chapter 3 and my Goo Corp. tower is 17.5 meters tall. The music is great too, very Danny Elfman-y.
  • Little Britain USA. Hilarious continuation of the BBC series. It’s on HBO — the third episode aired last night. They’ve had some neat cameos; Paul Rudd was on the last one.

I’m going to Coos Bay, OR for four days on Wednesday. My mom and I are taking a train to Portland (at 5:30 AM!), then switching to a rented car for the second half of the trip. I’ll take lots of pictures.

Heather made some really fantastic taquitos for dinner tonight. I’m not normally big on them, but these were excellent. Especially with the sour cream, lettuce, and guacamole. (Lettuce and guac? I never would’ve thought of combining those with taquitos, but turns out it’s very yum.) Also, my mom made some terrific turkey pot pie for lunch today so I ate especially well.

Oh! Hanwool came down the weekend before last! He moved to Redmond (from Los Angeles) cuz he got a job with Nintendo and he came to visit for a couple days. It was great. We played games pretty much nonstop and brunched at IHOP. He even played in our Saturday night D&D game (and picked up the 4th edition rules really quickly). A couple pics:

Bunch of us playing TTR    Hanwool smirking

Also, Logan made me this amazing painting about a month ago. It took a while to get it framed, but now it’s hanging in the living room. He said he got the idea from my blog’s header art. Pretty great, right?

Logan's Upsidaisium Painting

Speaking of art stuff, here’s a Venture Bros. commission I got from Stephen deStefano (art director/storyboard guy on the TV show):

Venture Bros. commission by Stephen deStefano

And some random Jenga/my new desk pics, why not…

Matt and Logan playing Jenga    Built-in desk in the den    Matt and Logan playing Jenga 2

What else? Brett and I staked (guywired) all the trees because we were having some big winds a little bit ago. I really like making stuff with 3/32″ steel cable and ferrules. Did you know a bolt cutter works just as well as a swaging tool? The trick is to crimp with the metal stop. Alright, time for bed.

#959

1:05 am, Saturday, October 4th, 2008

The sod is all in! Pics in the Landscaping the New House Flickr set. It was a lot of hard work. My parents and Brett helped a ton. Most of me still aches. But it’s done. Now I just have to finish the fence and a little brickwork and the exterior projects will be finished.

It’s a good thing we got it finished before the 7th. In the city of Pasco you have to meet certain landscaping requirements within 90 days of the start of occupancy. Pasco Municipal Code 25.75.050.4:

At least 50 percent of the required front yard area for all residential property including right-of-way but, excluding driveways, shall be treated with live vegetation.

I took some photos of a praying mantis today. Flickr thumbs:

Green Mantis 3   Green Mantis Head-On   Green Mantis 1   Green Mantis 2

Also, Jones, Heather, and I did some pumpkin carving.

Oh, and after three weeks (a month?) of delays, we’re finally resuming our Saturday night D&D game! I love 4th edition. For what D&D is supposed to be — easy, fun, single genre, and coarsely granular — it’s fantastic. Right now I’m running an 8th level human wizard (“Malfeasance”) in Jones’ Forgotten Realms game. The rest of the party is made up thusly: Logan’s a dragonborn warrior, Matt’s a human warlord, Heather’s an eladrin ranger, and Freddy’s a tiefling rogue. It’s been awesome so far. There were some minor issues with slow combat early on due to sloppy record-keeping, but we had those ironed out by session three.

#958

1:42 pm, Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

The trees are planted! Digging the hole for the sweetgum in the front yard was horrible — the dirt was just shy of becoming sandstone. But it’s done. I put a mix of mud and manure (my mom brought me some primo stuff from the arena next to the barn) at the bottom of each hole; I think that’ll help a lot. Here’s a Flickr link to the photos.

Oh yeah, and I built an HTPC during the summer — got most of the parts for my birthday. This Flickr set has pics and stats. It only has an 80 GB HD, but that’s okay cuz it streams everything off the 750 GB NAS. That Antec case (Fusion 430) is so fantastic to work with; quiet, sturdy, compartmentalized. Next time I rebuild my main system I think I’m going to use another one of those. It’d be nice if they made one without the VFD and volume knob, but with the thick aluminum bezel and a second external 5.25″ bay.

K, gotta run to the bank. 4,800 sq. ft. of sod arrives tomorrow!