Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Snow? What's that?

Wow, it's already been a week since my last update? So much has happened...

We had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend. The turkey (which was nearly 20 pounds -- for just the two of us) turned out great, as did Hillary's potatoes. I managed to make a passable gravy for the first time ever, and I think I have the technique down for next time. We spent the weekend just hanging out, watching TV, and playing games (Balloon Cup and Gloom both made an appearance from the depths of our game collection), which I think is something we both really needed.

I also started playing World of Warcraft again over the weekend. It's the one MMORPG I never got burned out on, despite playing it to death. The main reason I originally stopped is because of our move to Idaho and all of the extra time sinks that come with setting up in a new job and a new place. I still have a lot of fun taking Jahgah the Mage or Trample the Shaman out with a guild group (Tusk and Talon is doing great, and raiding Molten Core, Onyxia, and even Blackwing's Lair every week). The only downside is that it kills some of the free time I have to spend with Hillary, but maybe I can get her hooked too!

Sandpoint got its first good snowfall of the year Monday night, and the roads had 3-4 inches of snow and ice built up by the next morning. My poor little Lancer just doesn't have the weight to keep good traction, so I was trying really hard not to slide all over the road. Last night I took it over and got some snow tires ($380 I hadn't planned on spending), and things are much better now.

Our plans for our DisneyWorld vacation next month are all set now. The mouse has his dirty gloved hands deep in my wallet, but everything is paid for in advance (including meals), so I think it'll be easier to relax, have fun, and not worry about how much anything costs. I noticed that Orlando hit 70 degrees yesterday (and they're in the middle of a "cold snap"), so I look forward to going from two-foot snow drifts to waterslides.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Gluttony Day!

Ah, my favorite deadly sin.

Today we shall consume mass quantities of deceased avian with coagulated meat juices, while completely ignoring the spirit of the holiday and defiantly taking everything we have for granted.

I hope everybody has a similarly good time today!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fun weekend ends in tragedy

Okay, "tragedy" is far too strong a word... But after Hillary's excellent birthday weekend, I'm getting a nasty cold. I woke up at 5am with my throat feeling like a spiny anteater was using it as a waterslide. I bundled up and made an early-morning trek out to Wal-Mart to pick up copious amounts of over-the-counter goodness.

Speaking of the weekend, it was pretty great. I got Hillary all the way to Spokane without her having any clue what I was up to (and it was driving her crazy). When she saw the Henry Rollins poster in the box office, she got a huge smile on her face that made all the obfuscation worthwhile.

Henry talked for two and a half hours without taking a breath. He told some hilarious stories ranging from his semi-annual tours with the USO to his take on "Wal-Mart people". The guy is just such an amazing speaker, and you can tell that he's up on stage because that's where he's happy (if Hank is ever happy about anything, which he swears he isn't -- but we know better).

After the show, we started the 90-minute drive back to Sandpoint. It was extremely cold and rainy leaving the theater, but I'd thought ahead and packed a change of clothes for both of us. When the rain turned into huge globs of wet snow, we decided to stop for the night in Post Falls. The desk clerk was awesome and gave us $20 off the room rate because "it's late and snowy". Awesome.

The next morning, we puttered around Coeur d'Alene for a while. There's a little "family fun center" called Triple Play on the highway just north of there, so we stopped and played some miniature golf, air hockey, and DDR. It has been forever since I played DDR, and it showed. I managed to get a hole-in-one on the golf course to make me feel better about it.

We picked up lunch at Del Taco (which I'd never had before -- think Taco Bell, but considerably less hazardous to your health) and headed home. We were flying high after a great weekend, so I guess it's only fitting that I'm now getting sick.

Karma's a bitch.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I can't wait until tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Toys for big kids

I ordered my new PC today! My old one was getting up there in years, and it has become increasingly unstable over the past several months. When it started crashing regularly in Civilization 4, that was the final straw.

So now Monarch Computers is building me a nice system:
Athlon 3200+
MSI Neo4-F nForce4 motherboard
ATI Radeon X800XL
200 GB Samsung SpinPoint hard drive (fast and quiet!)
...all in a wonderfully quiet Antec Sonata II case.

Why am I having a company send me a custom system rather than building it myself? After years of upgrading a piece at a time, I decided I didn't want the headaches of configuration and hardware/software compatibility issues. This time, I'm going to front a little extra cash and get someone else to make sure my new system works before I get it (and really, not having to install/update XP Pro myself is worth the extra money).

Hillary and I went down to Coeur d'Alene to do some shopping over the weekend, and I once again spent entirely too much money on video games. Aside from the aforementioned Civ4 (which is, currently, in a not-quite-playable state), I grabbed Metroid Pinball for the Nintendo DS and SoulCalibur 3 for the PlayStation 2.

The pinball game is amazingly well-presented, and I've yet to have an opportunity to take issue with the physics. The only downside is that there are only two full-featured tables in the game, despite the packaging's claim that there are six tables in the game. Unfortunately, the other four tables can only be played as "boss battles", and there's not really any depth other than killing the boss. Still, any game that lets your pinball unroll into Samus Aran and start shooting missiles at giant metroids is pretty great.

As for SoulCalibur 3, I'll just say this... It's a great game, but only if you have people to play it with.