Journal Entry

Wednesday, October 17th
Last Wednesday I got sick.

Well, on my drive home from work, I got a call from K– asking if I could help him try something out on D–‘s 360 (which was temporarily sheltering at my house) when I got home. I did, and the long and the short of it is that he and I spent all evening playing Halo 3 over the network. That was a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, the minute I walked in the door T– asked if she could just order pizza for dinner, and I met that suggestion with enthusiastic agreement, but as the night wore on she kept second-guessing herself and thinking something else might be tastier than pizza. I never disagreed, and in the end she so-kindly offered to go pick up some Braums for us both, and left me home with a sleeping AB, which also let me keep killing alien scum with K–.

She brought me a burger deal and a medium chocolate malt, and it was all (of course) delicious. She stole some of my fries, but by the time I was done I didn’t much mind because I could tell I’d had way too much malt, anyway. I felt over full, and kinda queasy, and that didn’t go away as T– and I watched Heroes (or something of the sort). I stretched out on the floor, and as soon as the show was over, I went to bed.

Thursday, October 18th
That’s weird, see, because it was relatively early and I didn’t have to be up on time Thursday, because I had a doctor’s appointment. Still, I felt sick, so I went to bed early assuming it would pass and I’d feel fine by the time I woke up. Somehow, though, I didn’t. I woke up feeling worse than I had the night before. I was queasy, and my stomach hurt.

I got dressed around 8:30, and headed up to my doctor’s office at 9:30. The appointment was just a follow-up to my annual exam that I got a month ago. He wanted to discuss my labs (fantastic), and see how the blood pressure medication was going (really good). It was definitely a positive review, but while I was there I mentioned the nausea and he noticed (and commented) that I was feverish, so he went ahead and prescribed a nausea medication for me, along with my BP refills.

The day just got worse from there. I spent the next eight hours in bed or in the bathroom. Around 6:30 I finally felt up to going out in the living room to lie on the couch for a couple hours, and I watched some of our Thursday night sitcoms with T–, then went back to bed by 9:30.

Friday, October 19th
Friday, I was back at work. I still felt a little off, but nothing like Thursday had been. I made it through the day at work, then went home to watch some TV with T–. I also did some of my homework for the week, and I worked on some music stuff on my computer while T– was pushing AB in the backyard. Just a general sort of busy afternoon/evening, while we waited for T–‘s parents to show up.

D– and K– and N– went out to Kang’s for sushi and karaoke for the night. They wanted me to come along. I kinda wish I could have, because I like spending time with all three of those people, but I don’t like doing either of those other two things, so it wasn’t too bad. We talked with T–‘s parents for a couple hours, then everyone went to bed.

Oh! I also got a new game running sometime in there, and started playing Portal. It’s awesome. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, October 20th
Saturday was supposed to be a Fall Festival at the park across the street from our house, and T– had big plans for it, but when we finally got everyone ready to go and drove over there, we saw the sign indicating that the Festival was, in fact, next weekend. No good. So we went garage saling instead. We ended up splitting up, and John and I went down to the south end of town to check out a hobby shop while T– and her mom went to the mall to buy some shoes.

Just as we got to the hobby shop, I got a call from Dad about his writing project. He’d hit his first big speedbump, and he was worrying about the implications of it. Luckily, the only reason he’s hitting it now (instead of this time next month) is because I’d predicted that sort of thing could happen, and I set him an assignment to help him track it down now. That worked out even better than I expected.

Anyway, we talked for over half an hour, about writing and the writing process and what to expect. I loved that. I’m really excited about next month, and all the opportunities it implies, for connecting with Dad and Heather, on things we haven’t really had in common in the past.

More than that, I’m excited about Dad and Heather and Gwyn all finally getting their novels finished. That is going to be awesome.

After the call, though, we headed back to the house to pick up D–, and took him with us over to K– and N–‘s to watch the OU game. It was a tense one, but we pulled it off. I don’t need that level of drama, though. Ugh.

After that, we came back home and had enchiladas for supper, and then watched Evan Almighty. Frankly, better than I thought it would be. I think I said the same thing about Bruce Almighty, now that I think about it. Same reaction, really.

Sunday, October 21st
On Sunday, after church we went to Texas Roadhouse, because T–‘s parents wanted to take me out for a birthday lunch. It was delicious, nevermind them making me get up on a saddle on a sawhorse so they could shout “Yeehaw” by way of “Happy Birthday.” Forget about that. It was nothing. The steak…the steak was amazing.

Then I went over to K– and N–‘s a little late in the afternoon (after seeing off T–‘s parents), to watch the Cowboys game. Not quite as bad as the OU game, but not a lot better, either. It was fun getting to see Adrian Peterson on the field, but when we got a real lead on the Vikings they had to pull him (for reasons made clear in an article I read last week), and then we just cleaned up. I’m not a fan of the trailing-for-the-whole-first-half strategy, even if we are usually pretty good about winning-out-in-the-fourth.

Anyway, we won, and T– came over and K– bought us some always-excellent barbecue from Steve’s Rib, and you just can’t beat an evening like that. T– and I went home and talked about doing our homework, and watched some TV instead.

Monday, October 22nd
Yesterday was back to work, and my big deal for the day was coming up with a plan to restart the Remnant project as a web game. B– made the mistake of asking me about that project, and I talked at him for like two hours. But, yeah, if you’re interested feel free to ask. For now, suffice it to say that you can expect me to spend a lot of time in the near future complaining about having too many projects to work on. The Shepherd and Oberon’s Dreams were already going to make that happen, but adding in a Sims version of an MMO that’s web-playable isn’t going to help the situation any.

I got home from work, checked the mail, sat down on the couch, and then B– called and asked if we could come over. T– was jumping up and down, she was so excited about the opportunity. So we went over to their place last night (they just got rid of the in-laws yesterday afternoon), and spent some time with the new parents giving our advice and (as aforementioned) regaling half of them on the nuances of a web interface for a highly-automated role-playing game.

We also had pizza, and ostensibly watched MNF, although we really only saw the kickoff. We had a great time, though. It was nice to get the invite, and great to see them.

Afterward, we came home and talked about doing our homework, but watched some TV instead.

Journal Entry

Ugh, I hate these long catch-up posts as much as you do, but part of my goal with the diary-style blog is to be able to look back a year in my life to see what was making daily news for me, and it helps with that for me to put in everything. I don’t remember much terribly exciting apart from football games, though, so maybe this will be a short one.

Wednesday, October 10th
Oh, see, look how wrong I was! Oh, wait, never mind. But, yeah, something extraordinarily exciting happened last Wednesday, but I’m not going to tell the internet about it. Sorry, internet.

We skipped church for it, though, and ended up at the hospital, and it was awesome, so you can probably draw inferences. Congrats, guys.

Thursday, October 11th
Thursday, I took off work early because I was just ready to be gone. I had Friday off as an RDO, so I decided to get my weekend started at 2:30 instead of 4:30. Definitely a good call. I spent some time playing with T– and the baby, then played on my computer some, and ended up making us some chili for supper. It was fantastic.

Then I suggested that we watch one of the Thursday night sit-coms, and save the rest for Friday (I had the whole day off, right?), but we ended up watching all three. It was a lot of fun, for a quiet evening.

Friday, October 12th
Friday really flew by. I slept late, I mowed, I went grocery shopping with T–, and…I dunno, one more thing useful. Oh! I helped her with a lot of preparation for her scrapping thing on Saturday. Apart from that, though, I spent most of the day playing Heroes. It was fun.

Saturday, October 13th
T– had a scrapping thing with Rebecca down in Norman from 9-3 on Saturday, and I’d agreed to watch AB so she could do that. As I always do when I’m watching the baby, I sent out a rather general request for help, and D– brought over his XBox and some breakfast at 9:30, and stayed around to help with the baby. While she was napping, we played Halo 3.

I’d invited K– and N–, too, but K– was stuck at work all weekend, out of town, and N– had no vehicle because they’d had to drop her car off at the shop for some maintenance. So, noon-ish, D– stayed with AB and I ran N– up to the shop to pick up her car, then she came over and hung out, too. D– got us all some lunch, and we watched the pilot of Chuck and a little bit of King Kong on his new HD-DVD player. King Kong was unimpressive, but the D was definitely H.

J– called a couple times inviting me to go to the OU game with him, but I just couldn’t figure out a way to make it work out timing-wise. T– had a good suggestion when I mentioned it to her, but by then it was probably too late. It’s a shame, though. The game was awesome.

Anyway, we went over to N–‘s place to watch the OU game, and it was kinda sad that K– couldn’t be there. Working weekends sucks. The game was awesome, though. Fun stuff. T– left partway through, to put AB in bed, and after the game D– asked if I could go to the blues bar downtown with him. We did that, and it was a pretty good time. I got in late, though.

Sunday, October 14th
Sunday…ugh. It was second Sunday, so we had a pot luck fellowship lunch at church. D– came with us, which was pretty cool, and I actually managed to find a full plate of good food that met my ridiculous demands, so that was a pleasant surprise. After lunch, N– went to a parade downtown and we were planning on going, too, but T– started feeling pretty bad (allergies), so we went home instead and she and AB took a nap.

D– and I watched some TV, and when T– woke up, we watched V for Vendetta on the HD-DVD player. Awesome, awesome. So awesome. I’d go so far as to call it boss.

All of this was while waiting to watch the Cowboys game. Ugh. It started at 3:15, but around 2:00 we started hearing rumors that K– might be back in town 5-ish, so we all decided to wait to watch the game with him. Ugh. That game….

Anyway, so, we watched the movie and just sort of burned the afternoon, then met D–‘s mom for dinner at Abuelo’s (so good), and then D– and I went over to K– and N–‘s place to watch the game.

Ugh. Y’know, it’s not like college where, when OU lost a few weeks ago, it seemed like that had put them out for the season. An undefeated season in the NFL has only happened once, and I wasn’t particularly expecting us to get one, but it was fun having that streak while we did. It’s just…argh, I hate the Patriots so damn much. Why’d we have to lose to them (and let them keep their streak going)? Bah. Ugh. I went home with a bad mood.

Monday, October 15th
Yesterday…I dunno, I had a good day. Work went well, in some indefinable way. Afteward, T– and I worked on our homework for our marriage seminar, and that was pretty unpleasant, but I think it was ultimately very productive. After that, we watched Heroes, and that was my night.

Journal Entry

Friday, October 5th
Friday night, I’d agreed to watch AB so that T– could go do some scrapbooking with her friend. Said friend ended up changing plans a little, but T– still went out to see a movie, and I had the baby for a few hours.

D– came over to help out, and brought his new XBox. B– and E– came by, and mostly they watched me set up the XBox, because I didn’t have the necessary cables in place and my TV is a monster. So, I’m sure that was a lot of fun for them. It was fun having them around, too.

We tried to convince K– to come join us, but N–‘s family was in town, and he chose to be a good husband. Good for him! The bastard….

Anyway, D– and I played for several hours, which was a lot of fun, then he left to go visit his grandma in…I dunno, starts with “Chick,” but I’m not sure how it’s spelled after that. Some place boring, anyway.

Saturday, October 6th
Saturday, of course, was the OU/Texas game. N–‘s visiting family happened to be from Texas, and big Texas fans, so that added some drama to the day. We went over there to watch the game, and they made a big party of it. K– cooked up some awesome hamburgers and hotdogs. T– provided some bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed jalapenos that, by all accounts, were delicious. Everyone brought something, and everybody had a good time.

Of course, the Sooners trounced. Fun times.

Then we all split up for the evening, and I was doing some work in my office when I got a call from D– saying that USC had lost its game, and LSU was looking questionable. That was almost as exciting as the OU game, because it put them back into contention for the national title. Whoop! OU is now ranked four spots above USC, if I remember correctly.

Seriously. I hate those guys!

Sunday, October 7th
Sunday afternoon, we met with my high school friends Joe and Liz. I got back in touch with Joe through MySpace, and then learned that Liz was living down here in OKC. Anyway, Joe was down for a birthday party this weekend, so we got together. AB’s schedule kept it from being overly long, but it was still nice to get together and get caught up some.

Some of you think I’m lying right now, because I’m not the social guy. Oh, and we met at the park near our house, so that just seals it, because I’m really not the outdoors guy. But it was good. Definitely good.

Anyway, after that we watched the first couple episodes of Chuck (fantastic show, by the way — you must watch it), and then went over to K– and N–‘s for leftover burgers and hotdogs, and to watch Stargate Atlantis. That was fun. We got home late-ish, and T– and the baby went to bed. I stayed up late playing Heroes, because Monday was a federal holiday.

Monday, October 8th
Of course, I’d agreed to spend Monday watching AB so T– could go to Tulsa for work, so I ended up severely regretting that decision.

On the whole, AB was good, but do you remember what I was saying last Friday about turn-based games? Watching a baby is exactly like that. There so many things you have to get done, and their schedule is so rigidly defined, that you’re just constantly completing some strategy and making arrangements to complete another one, and before you know it, nine hours have disappeared.

That was basically my day. I did finish a ton of homework for our class, mostly while the baby was crawling around the kitchen floor, and watched Knocked Up, which is an awesome movie. Just incredibly raunchy, but awesome. It’s like Keeping the Faith for the married people.

Oh, I also did four loads of laundry.

Then T– got home around 6:00 and brought a pizza with her, and I spent an hour catching her up on everything AB had done during the day before heading over to K– and N–‘s to watch the Cowboys game. At the last minute, B– called to invite me to watch it with them, and I so wish I could have, but I felt like I’d already made a commitment.

And, of course, knowing what I know now (sorry, B–), there’s no way in hell I would’ve done that. The game was not at all what we expected, going into it. If you care at all, you’ve probably already heard, and I’m not going to go into the details here, but it was the most exciting last two minutes I’ve ever seen in a football game.

B–‘s DVR stopped recording with 6 minutes left in the game. Poor guy. I can’t even imagine the rage.

Anyway, yeah, awesome game. Unbelievable, and a really good time in spite of all our mistakes. It was fun. I got home around midnight, and crashed.

Tuesday, October 9th
Last night, then, was considerably quieter. After a long day of work, T– made me a quick sandwich before we headed off to our marriage seminar. Class went pretty well, we had excellent snacks (peanut-butter-infused fudge brownies and home-made vanilla ice cream), and then K– and N– came over to watch Heroes with us.

At the house, D–‘s mom and grandma were there, visiting. And they were at our house, as you probably know, because D– was watching the baby. They told us what a doll she’d been and we all visited for a while, then they headed out and we watched that Heroes episode.

That’s enough to catch us up to today. Sounds like we’ll probably be paying a visit to B– and E– tonight, assuming we’re invited, but other than that I don’t see it being a very dramatic evening. We’ll probably watch the third episode of Chuck. I might mow. We’ll just have to see where the evening takes us.

Journal Entry

Wednesday, October 3rd
Wednesday night, after supper, T– took AB to church. I went to Best Buy with D–, because…well, I left that bit out of Saturday’s story, but when he went to research his options on TVs, he picked the model and size he liked best, and then learned the Best Buy was offering it at a competitive price, and that they had a promotional package which included an XBox 360 for $100 off.

So he got that, but they were out of 360s on Saturday. Wednesday, the new shipment came in, so I ran up to Best Buy with D– and waited around while they made the necessary arrangements, then he picked up the console and Halo 3.

We took those to his apartment and got them hooked up. It was the first time I’d seen the TV set up in his place, and it’s a really nice one. We played some Halo 3, and it was quite awesome. I’m liking his current setup.

Anyway, that took until about 9:00. Then I went home and watched some TV with T–. That’s all for Wednesday.

Thursday, October 4th
T– spent some of the afternoon yesterday at my little sister’s place, making some cards. She was still there when I got home, so I went back to the office and played some Heroes. Around 6:00 she got home, and a few minutes later D– showed up with some buffalo wings for dinner. Awesome.

We spent most of the evening watching TV. We watched the last two episodes of Psych, which we’d missed, and 30 Rock, which was really good. Probably something else, too, but that’s all that comes to mind.

Then I stayed up late playing Heroes. It’s one of those turn-based games, where you’re constantly working on a long-term strategies (usually 3 or 4 different strategies at once, many of them that will take more than an hour to complete, game-time), end each turn only accomplished a small part of what you’re trying to do, and even if you do get to a milestone in one of your strategies, it’s probably when you’re about two turns away from another milestone in one of the others, so it’s hard to stop right then, and a 4-minute turn turns into a 4-hour session.

Just like Civ, for those who are thinking that. I think what I really enjoy about Heroes is that it’s not so much a Strategy game or Role-playing game, but a Logistics game. You don’t see a lot of those.

Anyway, yeah, I was up until midnight, but it was fun.

Journal Entry

Wild weekend. I’ve said before, and I’ll stand by it. I’m doing too much on a weekend to keep my blog updated. I don’t really apologize for that. Problem is, if I let Wednesday and Thursday slip, then that easily becomes a weeklong backlog.

Err…not that any of you really care. I’m just explaining that to me, probably.

Friday, September 28th
I called Thursday’s relaxing evening a calm before the storm. I was being silly, but Friday really did end up being a hell of a thing. Well…as much of a hell as you can get, spending ten hours motionless in front of a TV.

Halo 3! That’s what I’m getting at. K– got his free 360 back when, and this is really the first game any of us have been excited about for it. And, really, most of the excitement was K–‘s. Sort of like the Harry Potter finale, I didn’t much care about Halo 3, in spite of the fact that we’ve all had some really good times playing the Halo franchise over the last five or six years. Those times even got a starring role in the early parts of Josh’s Story, actually.

But, yeah, I thought it’d be fun, but I wasn’t that thrilled. K–, on the other hand, has been bouncing up and down on his toes in the throes of his excitement, for at least a month now. And, eventually, that got infectious, so when he started talking about having an all-night Halo 3 party Friday night (it was released on Tuesday), that actually sounded like a lot of fun.

We got B– and E– involved (E– is a magnificent bastard when it comes to Halo multiplayer), and D– showed up for a while, and we shipped the wives off to a night of cropping photos, and K– even got some of those gamer chairs just for the occasion. Sweet. Pizza and soda and alcohol finished off the rest of the required supplies, and we settled in to play.

I actually showed up around 6:30 Friday afternoon. K– ordered the pizzas around 7:00, and got enough to share with B– and E–, who showed up shortly after. We ate and talked with them for a while, then played while they watched for a bit to give them a feel for the game, then they left and K– and I settled in to seriously cover some ground.

We’d heard that the game had about 6-10 hours of gameplay in the main campaign, and it was our goal to make it through it. Now, we’re not as young as we used to be, but hey, we’d have the whole weekend to recover, right? So he bought about six gallons of the limited edition, marketing hype Mt. Dew Halo 3 Game Fuel (just Mt. Dew with extra caffeine and some ginseng), and I brought over some Sugar Free Redbull (and about a gallon of Vodka) and we started out the night with Vodka Game Fuels (or Rocket Fuels, as B– was calling ’em), and ended the night with Redbull Game Fuels, when we got to that 1:00/2:00 zone where we couldn’t afford alcohol if we wanted to stay awake. But, yeah, all around we were just gulping down the toxic chemicals.

We won, though, and that makes it all worth it. Around 4:00 AM, we finished the story, watched the credits, and then decided to play some multiplayer instead of going to bed. That kept us up until about 6:00, when we finished a first-to-25-kills game of infinite rocket launchers. Then we went to bed.

Umm…remember I mentioned a couple posts ago about my high blood pressure? Well, I’ve been entirely off the caffeine for three weeks now. Then, in one night, I drank all of it. So, even though I crashed in the incredibly comfortable guest bed around 6:00, I didn’t get to sleep. I was too busy ODing on caffeine. My heart was pounding, I could feel my pulse in my head, and there was no way I was going to fall asleep.

So, I dunno, there’s some moral to the story there. I finally fell asleep around 7:30, then woke up at 11:30 to head home. Oh, I guess that makes this Saturday.

Saturday, September 29th
So, yeah, I got home around noon, had lunch with T– and played with AB, and learned that our reduced cable lineup wasn’t going to be showing the OU game. (Oh, if I’d known then….)

T– had had a pretty long night with AB waking up (more on that later), and so she suggested I take the baby over to K– and N–‘s to watch the game with them, and leave her with an afternoon to nap and watch movies. So D– came by and picked me up, and we went over to watch the Sooners get humiliated by Colorado, and that was no fun.

Then we dropped the baby off with T–, and D– and I went up to Best Buy because he wanted to buy a new TV. Cool, cool. That took more than an hour, though, and kinda pushed our dinner plans back until they became lunch plans on Sunday. Well worth it, though. He got a very cool TV, and we were even lucky enough to have E– swing by with the van to help us get it to his place (so he didn’t have to wait three days for delivery). Sweet.

After that, I went back to the house to watch some TV with T–, but I faded fast, and ended up in bed around 9:30. I slept.

Sunday, September 30th
So. Sunday morning I woke up for church, helped T– get AB ready, and then discovered during the sermon that I had finished my story and didn’t really have a new one to work on. Instead, I finally wrote out AB’s dedication poem that T– asked me to start working on a while back.

I didn’t quite finish it, and wasn’t ready to show it off yet, but when I got out to the car, T– asked me what I’d been working on. For humorous effect (and not at all to actually deceive my wife, I want to make that clear), I told her that I’d been working on a poem about how cool the Cowboys are. For your classical entertainment, I’ll provide a copy of the verse I recited off-hand:

Romo, Tony Romo,
He’s no homo
No matter what Dan says.

This year, maybe this year,
Watch without fear,
As we make all the plays.

Playoffs, in the playoffs,
Without a loss.
Superbowl starts today.

Man, I’m good. Okay, I didn’t do all of that off-the-cuff, but I got a chunk of it, and T– thought it was so funny that she asked me to finish it. All of the sudden I’m Alexander Pope up in this piece.

Anyway, I was actually working on the dedication, which I’ll likely post here once it’s done. I’m happy with it, so far.

Lunch was Texas Roadhouse, which really hit the spot. Then we came back to our place to watch the Cowboys tear the Rams to pieces, which was fun. It’s looking like a good year, even with the injuries.

After that, K– and N– went to the song service at church, and T– took a nap while I worked on my homework for the marriage seminar. Then we all went up to Poblano’s for dinner, because T– said she needed some margarita and everyone suddenly caught the bug. That was fun, and most delicious, and N– had a “Buy One Entree, Get the Second Free” coupon, so it was even reasonably priced (until you count the margaritas).

Then everybody headed home, and T– and I watched some TV, then headed to bed pretty early.

Journal Entry

I can’t say it was good to be back to work, but I had a good day nonetheless. As you saw, I had time to do an update for the weekend. I also had some time to take a lunch at Taco Bell, and got four or five pages written on Royal Holiday.

Here’s what I have left: sprint to the docks, Corin scene, pirate scene, brawl scene (straight from the movie, with all ending up in the river), escape scene, full disclosure in an alley outside the palace (also straight from the movie), the Commission of the Swords the following morning (adapted from the movie, but with a much happier ending), and then the words “The End.”

That’s it! Not so bad. I discovered today that I’ve been writing Royal Holiday at exactly the same pace I used for Sleeping Kings, and then I immediately wished that I’d been publishing it in the same way. I miss the feedback, and the format. Anyway, it’s nearly done and I should have it available for review shortly. You can all expect a big homework assignment when that’s done.

Yeah, but most of my day was spent on research and paperwork. I’ve got to get a bunch of Safety Risk Management documents done, or planes are going to start falling out of the sky. (No, not really).

After work, I stopped by the chiropractor and he made me feel less bad (I wouldn’t go so far as to say “good”). Then home to play with the baby and chat with T– until she left to pick us up a pizza from Mazzio’s. It was fantastically good.

Then we got the old band back together to get Dad his mount in Scholo. We packed 323 levels worth of characters (and 13 years of combined gameplay experience) into a Scholo run that only took us to Rattlegore. Umm…for everyone who hasn’t tried that, it’s basically the equivalent of pitting OU’s football team against Utah State. Anyway, it was fun. Still took two hours because the event is slow-paced, but we all had a good time.

That took until 9:30, and then D– and I went for a walk. One of his friends is starting to make noises about a business idea that will develop into what NewMyth was. So I’m trying to decide whether to get all excited about it again and bring that guy in, or review my depressing list of Reasons It Won’t Work, and then email him a copy.

Anyway, that was an hour walk, and then I came home and wrote a description of a boring weekday that ran longer than my review of a pretty eventful weekend. Go figure. I’m off to bed.

Journal Entry

Okay, that’s another long week without updates. The sad fact is, I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t really do much on computers at home. I’ll play a video game if I’ve got hours to burn up, and I update our finances regularly, but I don’t really do a very good job of doing the daily sort of chores on my computer at home. I do that stuff in between work projects at work.

I don’t think I’m admitting anything particularly damning there. I have a pretty gappy sort of a job, where how busy I am, at any given time, is entirely dependent on breaks in the engineers’ meeting schedules. If I’ve done my work (and I’m a remarkably fast worker, when it’s just a bunch of work for me to do on my own), and everyone I’m supposed to be working with is in meetings, then I’m looking at free time, no matter how packed my schedule is.

Anyway, sometime in July I got into the (good) habit of posting regularly in evenings, following my daily walks (another short-lived good habit, but more on that later), and in the process I stopped doing my blog posts while I was at work. Probably a good thing, because a blog post is a little more dedicated personal time than, say, paying an electric bill, but if I did it daily the blog posts didn’t take that long.

(Oh, yeah, I’m stuck in a nothing-to-do-until-I hear-back-from-any-one-of-four-different-engineers gap right now, that’ll probably carry right through to the end of the day. So here I am.)

Anyway, I haven’t been writing much at home, and what I said about not doing chores on my home PC compounds depending how much of a chunk of home time I’ve got at once. Weekends, I barely do anything (not even the finances). Holiday weekends, less still. So you lost me for five days straight after my last blog post. Of couse, I can only blame laziness for the two days since that.

But here’s my roundup:

Thursday, August 30th
Work, as predicted, was awful. But I also predicted having a pretty good weekend following that, and that came through as well. In fact, in spite of the somber tone of my justifyin’ and excuse makin’ up above, I’ve had a really great time since last I posted.

Thursday night was the final preseason game for the Cowboys, and it was against the Vikings. I don’t think I explained last week why that was a big deal, but B– is a big Vikings fan, and the Vikings also picked up Adrian Peterson (amazing OU running back) to start for their team this season, so all of us were really looking forward to the game. We even convinced B– and E– to come watch it with us.

So, after work, T– and I packed up the baby, hit Wal-Mart for me to get some Cowboys gear (can you believe I didn’t have any? I got my first ever jersey) and then we headed over to K– and N–‘s place. B– and E– and D– all showed up a little while later, so we had quite the party going on. Vikings put in Adrian Peterson for the first play, he ran for, I dunno, six yards, and then they took him out for the rest of the game. Cowboys had their third string in from the start. That was kinda lame. But the group was fun, and we all had a good time.

T– took the baby home relatively early, as they were both pretty tired, and the B– and E– followed a little while after that. D– had agreed to drive me home, so we stayed through the end of the game. There was some talk of going to watch Transformers (mixed in with making fun of K– for having to work on Friday), but then D– and I left and just went driving. We talked about hitting a bar, but it was midnight on a Thursday. Everywhere was closed. We talked some, drove around for a couple hours testing out the new car, and then I finally got home around two in the morning. I crashed.

Friday, August 31st
Friday morning I mowed, after two weeks without it. It was quite the ordeal. I didn’t bother doing it the smart way, either. I just kept cramming the mower into too high grass, letting it die, and then backing up and starting it up again. Rinse and repeat, for over an hour. That was no fun.

I spent some of the afternoon playing video games, then some of the evening watching TV with T–. Most of that time I was on her laptop, because I decided to finally update the ID3 information on all our mp3s. We have a lot of music, and almost all of it has either no meta information, or completely wrong information. I never much cared about that, but it was really undermining a lot of the usefulness of her iPod, and I hated to see that opportunity wasted, so I decided to put in the hours to get everything up to date. I ended up working on that all weekend.

A little after 10:00 that night, Mom and Dad got in. At that point, I pretty much expected them to just crash, but we sat up talking until easily midnight, maybe later.

Saturday, September 1st
I was planning to wake up pretty late on Saturday, but didn’t really make it. I got up a little after 8:00. I blame the waffles.

Mom and T– went shopping, looking for ideas for new furnitures for Mom’s redecoration. Dad and I stayed home with AB, talked some, and I showed him the new version of Heroes of Might and Magic (well, new to us — it’s over two years old at this point, so antique). Then the girls got back, and D– showed up, and it was the men’s job to go buy groceries and liquor for lunch. S– called to say she was coming over early, so we waited for J– and took him along.

Wal-Mart gave us all the groceries we needed. We were standing in line, unloading a cart full of groceries (mostly soda), when D– noticed that the only meat in the basket was a bunch of chicken breasts. He insisted that it was wrong to say we were “having a barbecue” if we were only cooking chicken. He was horrified at that, so he talked Dad into grabbing a package of brats. Whatever.

Then the liquor store. Now, for some of us (mostly me), the idea of us having to “buy groceries and liquor for lunch” is completely normal, but in case it sounded weird to you, I should point out that we were trying out a recipe for Friday’s Jack Daniel’s dipping sauce. So, y’know, that was where that came in. I did end up having a Jack and Coke while I was grilling, but that’s no great sin. It was after noon, anyway.

The dipping sauce turned out great, as did all the food. B– and E– came for that, too, and K– and N–, and we had my parents and my sister’s whole family, so it was a full house. Everyone had a good time, though. Around 4:00 Mom and Dad had to leave.

After that D– and I headed over to K– and N–‘s to watch the season opener for OU football. T– said she was just too exhausted after the day’s work hosting the party, and I can’t really blame her. The rest of us went to get snowcones, though, on our way up to Edmond, and while we were waiting on the snowcones K– noticed a restaurant in the parking lot there called Ron’s Burgers and Chili, or something to that effect. He mentioned it, and D– and I mentioned that we’d both heard really good things about the place, but never been there. So K– checked the hours (it was after 6:00 by then, but we’d had a late lunch), and then we went to their place to watch the beginning of the game.

At 7:15 we paused the game (thank Heaven for TiVo), and went for chili burgers. N– went next door to Mr Sushi (or Sushisandesyo, as the Japanese would say), because she’s a girl. I tried some, and it was foul. Whatcha gonna do? The chili burgers were amazing, though. Best I’ve ever had. Yumm.

Anyway, then back to watch the absolute thrashing that was the rest of the game, and I could go on a rant about not going ahead and scoring one more touchdown at the end of the game to set a school record, but I won’t. Not here. Ask me about it anytime, though, if you want to hear me seethe.

After the game, it was late, so when D– dropped me off…well, naturally I stayed up catalogueing my mp3s. It was the only reasonable thing to do. I think I got through the M’s before sleep called me.

Sunday, September 2nd
D– joined us for church Sunday morning, which was a pleasant surprise. Afterward, we went to Jason’s Deli for lunch by an equally surprising consensus among the decision makers (read: girls). Then as we were closing that up, K– asked if I’d be willing to help him check out some grills at Lowe’s or Home Depot. He has a natural gas hookup right on his back porch that would be perfect for a grill (and he’s thought that since the day he moved in), but he hadn’t gotten one yet.

So a quick lunch stretched into an all afternoon commitment, but it was a fun one. We hit both places, and K– found the grill he wanted at Lowe’s, and then we had to make arrangements to get it moved (he borrowed a truck from a friend from OC), and then we decided to install it. Initially he had intended it to be more a research outing, intel gathering style of thing, but somewhere along the way he decided he wanted to do a Labor Day cookout on Monday, so that’s what we worked toward.

So, sometime around 5:00 we all ended up back at K– and N–‘s place, reading through the directions of the propane-to-natural-gas conversion kit and trying to figure out how to connect a 3/8″ hose to the 1/2″ pipe sticking out of the wall. Still, with surprisingly little difficulty we got his grill set up and attached and tested, and it worked great. We went to Falcone’s for some New York-style pizza, and then Johnny’s for some delicious-style gelato, and then to the dollar movie to watch Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard. D– was the only one watching it for the first time, but it was still a really good movie. T– stayed home with AB, but I promised to take her out to a movie tomorrow to make up for it.

Monday, September 3rd
On Monday, I slept late. When I woke up, T– and I ran to the grocery store for the week’s shopping, then K– came over to help me drag a two-month-old pile of branches out to the curb for Big Trash Day (which was Wednesday), and he took AB home so T– and I could go to the movie. We went to see Stardust, which was even more fun watching with her.

As soon as that ended we headed over to K– and N–‘s for the cookout dinner. D– showed up a little later. We had inch-thick steaks and grilled veggies, and grilled Bananas Callypso for dessert. It was all perfect. For his first try cooking on his new grill, it went as well as it possibly could have. After that, we hung around and talked for a while, then finally headed home and let the long weekend come to an end.

I spent an hour or two working on the mp3s, and mostly finished up that process before heading to bed.

Tuesday, September 4th
Work on Tuesday was pretty brutal. I spent most of the day chasing down info for the project of the engineer who I’d neglected during all the day-long meetings of the previous week. I also learned yesterday that I’ll be spending full-time on that same project next week (including overtime), because the deadline for the manual has been bumped up from “before the end of the year” to “close of business next Friday.” That is a significant change of pace.

Anyway, I went home from that exhausted. Tuesday night we started a two-month marriage seminar at church based on the book His Needs, Her Needs (which my Dad highly recommends). The class went pretty well, and I’m pretty optimistic about the rest. There are about eight couples, including K– and N–, several families from our small group, and T–‘s chiropractor and his wife.

On that note…she’s been trying to talk me into trying out the chiropractor for a while. I periodically wake up with just severe lower back pain, but I just kind of thought of it as one of those things that comes with having a back. I’ve never had a great deal of faith in the chiropractic practice, since I’ve never known anyone who seemed to get fixed by it. It didn’t seem to have any more long-term effect than, y’know, a massage. But T– insisted I was wrong about that, and I just happened to get some bad back pain in the last week, and, hey, my insurance covers most of it, so why not try?

So I made an appointment with them while we were chatting after class on Tuesday night.

After that, we went home, watched some TV, then went to bed. There were weird noises, and I just wasn’t comfortable for some reason, and, basically, I didn’t get any sleep all night. Pretty much the same thing for T–.

Wednesday, September 5th
So, when the alarm came on and I shut it off, I crawled right back into bed and told T– that I was staying home for the day. She had to do some work and had had trouble finding a babysitter, so I offered to watch AB while she went to work, and that somehow justified my skipping a full day. I dunno.

Anyway, I got up around 9:00 when she left, and I played with AB all morning. It was fun. She didn’t eat well when she was supposed to, but she was laughing and smiling and we crawled all over the living room, exploring. I put her down for a nap that she didn’t really take, and I went to try to take one which she prevented (by way of crying), and so I finally got up and took her out of her crib and tried to feed her again (and she still didn’t eat well), and basically I kept doing that until T– got home and took over.

After that, I tried to take a nap but couldn’t get to sleep, so I played some Overlord. Best use of an afternoon I’ve made in some time. At 4:25 I remembered my 4:45 chiropractic appointment, so I headed down to the clinic. He took XRays and did a preliminary adjustment, and asked a lot of questions that all had the same answer: “Well, it comes and goes, but sometimes my lower back really hurts.” He said it would take some time for the results to come back, and made an appointment for the same time next day to discuss my treatment.

I rushed home from there and picked up T– to meet K– and N– for dinner at Arby’s (we’ve seen a lot of them in the last seven days — it’s been nice). Dinner was okay, but not a patch on last week. We expected D–, but he never showed.

After that, K– and N– went home so K– could play with his new HD TiVo. We went back to the house, and probably watched some Dead Zone. If not that, then I played some Overlord. Or, in all likelihood, both. I got to bed early, though, and we set up a fan in the room for some white noise. It did the trick. I slept like the dead.

Thursday, September 6th
Hmm. I already told you about my big bombshell schedule change for work. That was the big news for yesterday. T– took AB to the doctor for some shots, and she said AB handled it like a little trooper. So that’s good news. After work, D– offered to bring us something for dinner, but he had to work out first so it was going to be late.

That worked out for me, anyway, because I had to visit the chiropractor and then run another errand before going home. Chiropractor said that I have two pinched nerves at the base of my spine, and rated my condition as serious transitioning toward severe, and it’s going to take twenty-four office visits to fix it. Ugh. He showed me some XRays, but for all I could tell, they could have been stock photos of a spine. Anyway, he did an adjustment, I agreed to pay a whole lot of money, and then I ran by Blockbuster before heading home.

D– showed up a little while later with boneless buffalo wings for all, and we ate and watched Simpsons and King of the Hill. After he left, T– and I watched a Dead Zone, and then realized with surprise that the night was already over. I played half an hour of Overlord, then headed to bed.

And now it’s today, and I’ve burned a significant portion of my afternoon, but I’ve still got an hour left until I get to go home. I’m going to see if I can find something useful to do. Everyone have a good weekend.

Journal Entry

Meanwhile, our heroes….

Ugh. I thought I was two or three days late on posting. Maybe four. But no. It’s worse than that.

I have a sore ankle tonight. That’s why I’m not walking right now. Not sure how it happened, but I noticed it walking out to my car after work today.

Work? Work has been awful this week. I’m in all-day meetings all week. Monday I had free (no meetings, that is — I still had to work a nine-hour day), and Friday I have free free. It’s my RDO. It comes on the Friday before a Monday holiday, too, so I’m looking at a four-day weekend (Kris’s dinnertime request notwithstanding).

Anyway. Last weekend was a lot of fun. I’m trying to remember back that far. I don’t really know what happened last week. I finished reading Calvin and Hobbes, I know that for a fact. And then…I dunno, I had pretty short evenings. I don’t remember if I was feeling tired, or if I was busy. Oh! I did play some WoW with Mom and Dad. Most of Tuesday night and most of Thursday, too.

Then Friday night I’d set aside to go help B– drown his sorrows in some of his expensive whiskey, but he ended up taking a nap or something, so I watched some TV with T– and then went over to D–‘s to check out some cool new video game he’d gotten.

Then Saturday I helped T– with some chores in the morning, then went over to K– and N–‘s for the afternoon while T– took AB to one of her Saturday crops. I introduced K– to my favorite new game, Overlord, and watched him play for five hours or so. It’s that sort of a game. It’s fun and funny. Apparently at some point it gets challenging, but I’m not really there yet. It’s quite unique, though, and I enjoy that.

Then at 6:00 we headed to B– and E–‘s for their long-awaited housewarming party! It was worth the wait, too. I may have mentioned before, but they have done a TON of work on their house since they got it. N– mentioned that she was jealous of it. I can’t blame her. They’ve made a really cool home.

E– decided to pick up some meat for the guys to grill (we made it a team effort, too, all four of us out on the patio giving B– instructions). So we had hamburgers and hotdogs and chicken and all manner of grilled vegetables. There were also two cheesecakes courtesy N–, and chardonnay champagne to boot. We all had a really good time, got thoroughly smashed, and discussed very private matters in a public sort of way, into the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday, somehow, I made it to church. Got three pages of “Royal Holiday” written during the sermon, then picked up D– for some lunch at Schlotzky’s. He’d left his car at B–‘s place (N– drove us all home), so he needed a ride to pick it up. We took him to lunch, then came back to the house to pack up a few baby things that we’re loaning to B– and E–, and then we went over there (and, yeah, woke B– up for our short visit). I introduced HIM to Overlord, too, and dropped off the stuff, and we chatted for a bit before he chased us out of his house so he could get back to sleep.

That evening, we met K– and N– for dinner at Casablanca American Grill, a new-ish restaurant here in town, and had some delicious dinner. I’d been meaning to take T– on a date, and she picked the place. I had my filet mignon for the year, and it was well worth it. Yumm.

Afterward, we went to their place to watch some Psych, and then finally got home 9-ish. I don’t remember if I walked or not. For most of the last week, I didn’t.

Monday, I spent most of the day honing my programming skills. Specifically, I wrote a script to cheat at a really cheesy, free, multiplayer web-based flash game that I’d encountered while at work on the previous Friday. Over the weekend, K– and I were discussing that “we” had figured out how to control HTML objects from within a Python script, and I was forced to point out that it was all him.

So I took some of his sample code on Monday, read through it and modified it until I understood what was going on, and used this cheesy little online game as a project to learn through. It’s been a blazing success, too. I’m tearing up. I’m more excited about the skills I picked up, though. Web-manipulation through Python is terribly useful. If you can’t immediately guess why, you’ll probably just have to trust me on that.

Monday night, T– didn’t feel like cooking and I didn’t feel like eating leftovers. I suggested P. F. Chang’s. She went out and picked up a cheap but amazingly good pizza from Mazzio’s for dinner. It was good. Sometime later, D– and I went for a walk together.

Tuesday, yesterday, was my first all-day meeting. It was just awful. Basically, it has nothing to do with me, so I have to just sit in the meeting all day, nine hours straight (with a thirty-minute lunch break in the middle), and listen to engineers argue about things that aren’t going to change. About a year from now I’ll be responsible for maintaining the documentation that will be generated after this meeting is over, but I can tell you for a fact that almost nothing discussed in these meetings will have any impact on the product I receive. Ugh.

So, yeah, I didn’t enjoy yesterday at work, or today, and I won’t enjoy tomorrow. But I get Friday off. So that’s good.

Yesterday I came home in a bad mood, and T– asked me why, and I told her all about my meeting and then I felt a little better. Then I played with AB for a while, and she giggled for me (finally), and then I felt a little better. Then D– came over and we finally had a leftovers night, finishing off some of the food in our fridge (which was way better than “leftovers night” makes it sound). D– had hurt his knee somehow, so he skipped out on our walk, so I went to the office to pay our bills and play Overlord instead of going by myself.

Then today, well, same as yesterday at work, but about halfway through the day I decided what I wanted to do for dinner. We often get together with K– and N– (and usually D–, too) for Wednesday night dinners, because K– and N– go to the church right next to our house, so it’s convenient. But, we have to find somewhere pretty quick and pretty close, because the earliest they can get over to this part of town is 5:45, and church is at 7:00. We’ve generally gone somewhere Mexican.

But, as I may have said more than once, I’ve been craving Changs for a week, so when I got out of meetings at 4:40 today I called everyone involved (including B– and E–, but B–‘s in Dallas for some reason, so couldn’t make it), and told them instead of going to some Mexican place, they should head to my house. Then I went and picked up a bunch of Changs and brought it back to the house for everybody. The timing was almost perfect, and the food was SO good. Then I prevailed upon all to hang out at my place and watch a movie (Blades of Glory), which turned out to be hugely fun. We laughed and had a good time.

So…yeah, today has been a really good day. Really, all week I’ve managed to have good enough evenings to make up for just awful days. Tomorrow’s looking encouraging, too, because there’s a Cowboys/Vikings preseason game, and then no work to follow. If I can just make it through the day, I’ll be in really good shape.

Anyway, sorry for the long silence. I hope everyone’s doing well. I’m off to kill a few unicorns, and then I’m heading to bed.

Journal Entry

Same story as yesterday, really. Had a sore back, went to work, wrote a couple pages on “Royal Holiday” over lunch.

When I got home, I played with AB a bit until T– made supper, and then I called my dad to see if he and Mom wanted some help in WoW. Turns out, they were both in the midst of a pretty busy evening, but he got free around 8:45, so I ran his character around Hellfire Plateau instead of going for my walk. In the process, I got his character caught up with Mom’s, so they’ll be able to play together more easily. So I consider that a good deed done.

While I was waiting for him to get available, though, I dug out an old, broken wireless keyboard, dismantled it (by which I mean, removed all the keys), cleaned it and all the keys (which were pretty filthy), and then reassembled it for AB to use as a toy. I did the numpad and some of the function keys by myself, and ended up popping a key off, hard, right into my eye. It hurt! So after that, T– kindly volunteered to help out, probably mostly to keep an eye on me. Between us we were able to get the whole keyboard finished during an episode of Jim, though, so that was fun. AB loves it, too. She just bangs on it with both hands, as hard as she can. I don’t think she quite gets human interface devices yet, but you’re never too young to start learning. That’s what I always say.

Anyway, that and then WoW, and now I’ve got to feed the cats, then I’m off to bed.

Journal Entry

Is it really only Monday? Ugh. I’ve got get that best-seller sold.

Today went pretty well. I think I’m finally feeling better. I did have a sore back from scooping water yesterday, and we had several awful things come up at work, but they were just things, y’know? I got two pages written on “Royal Holiday” (that one’s turning into a novella), and I read some Calvin and Hobbes, and by the time I got home I was able to forget work, so those are all good things.

T– made chicken parmesan and spaghetti for dinner, which was delicious, and we played with AB some, and I played some Civ and put the door back up over the cabinet under the kitchen sink, and then we both read while eating ice cream, and then I headed over to D–‘s for our walk.

Only, he didn’t really feel like walking after going to the gym tonight, and it was muggy enough that I was easily convinced to skip most of my walk (I still had half a mile walk there and back again), and instead I watched him play Civ for half an hour. That was fun. He started a war and lost it, and his economy went to pot. Poor guy. “That’s what you get for trying to play Civilization as the Native Americans,” I told him (only with more racial slurs, probably). And then I went home.

An odd sort of day. I didn’t really accomplish anything. But I’m feeling better, so that’s got to be a good thing.

Off to bed.