Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm still blogging!

Apparently my post below was not clear enough, I still blog and more consistently now (MWF):

Mostly bikes, gaming, reading and photography.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Closing up shop...

Over the past month I have been in pain. My hip, knee and lower back have been mildly soar to will bendingly painful at times. I think it is a product of poor lower back genes coupled with some strenuous lifting in the gym. In any case I haven't really felt like blogging here and haven't had much to blog about. Today I laid on the coach in pain...the end. If you get my drift. Oh I really miss my bike too!

I have been managing two blogs for a while now and have a total of 100 plus entries between the two of them. I still like my gaming (mostly WoW) blog and plan to concentrate solely on it going forward. That means that this blog gets to hibernate. Maybe I will wake it in the spring when the air is warm and my body is 100%. Only time will tell.

Of Note...

- I plan to write three times a week on my gaming blog and expand the content covered.
- I went to the Pittsburgh game this weekend and it was the coldest I have ever been.
- I start the biggest loser contest again this January, hopefully I can reach my goal like last year (30lbs).
- I'm reading blink and it is very good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Child's Play 2007

For going on four years now Crystal and I have been donating to Child's Play. I have never been much for charities, call it lack of interest, selfishness or a lack of income in grade school and then college. When I first read about Child's Play though I was intrigued on a number of levels. Firstly it is run by the guys who create Penny Arcade, my favorite web comic to date. Second the charity takes no administrative fees off the top. Every single dollar, toy, book and game goes directly to the children's hospital of your choice. Finally it is easy to do, it is an Amazon wish list that is a point and click transaction, maybe 1-2 minutes out of your day tops.

It is also an opportunity to give gamers and geeks a good name. Video games and the people who play them are so often portrayed in the media as violence minded drones. The reality is that gamers are people too, we have families, friends and heart that pumps blood just like yours. Child's Play is an opportunity for us to show off how caring we can be. It gets some media coverage, but for an organization that has raise over 2 million dollars for children's hospitals around the world from individual donations, it should get a lot more.

Even if you are not a gamer, which I think most of the people who read this aren't (hey family and friends), you can donate. The wish list make it easy to donate toys, books and games that hospitals are requesting. That or you can simply make a cash donation.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My friend Pete makes games

Being a hardcore video game fan since I was a wee lad it is always a treat when I get to know someone who creates the medium that I love. Enter Pete, wicked Day of Defeat sniper and video game industry extraordinar. I have known Pete for going on 6 years now through the above mentioned DoD and he is a stand up guy that I consider a good friend. He currently works for Ubisoft in Canada and has previously worked for other Canadian game companies. His list of titles include a number of license based games for the GBA and his most recent work My Word Coach for the DS and Wii.

My Word Coach is the kind of game that should give Nintendo's Brain Age a run for it's money. It is edutainment, but not the kind of edutainment game I grew up with. This one actually looks fun and the multiplayer mini games look like they could get intense. As I said Pete is a good friend and he is passionate about video games so if you looking to expand your mind and have some fun My Word Coach comes out November 6th. I'll be picking up a copy sometime in the near future and I'll let you know how it pans out.

Walkthroughs and Previews @ Gametrailers
Preview @ Nintendojo

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween in the office

While I love dressing up for Halloween no one we hang out with does the costume party thing. Maybe we need cooler friends or maybe we can put off rearranging our friendships for costumed personal gain since I get my fix at the office. Every year my company holds a costume contest for individuals, groups and combined group and department decoration. They also have a Halloween breakfast for all the employees. In years past we have done Austin Powers, Harry Potter, Thriller, Titanic and the circus just to name a few. This year was no different, after much email tag back and forth we decided to do a time machine into our companies past.

We decorated our department entrance to look like a time machine with one of our salesman playing the role of Doc Brown style mad scientist, who would lead the judges back through time. We did a homage to different time periods, product lines and departments in each cubical. I played the geeky IT guy complete with open computers and bundles of wires. My outfit wasn't as outlandish as others and my cubical wasn't the most decorated, but I spent most of my time on the time machine entrance and other decorations.

Our department ended up winning best overall and tickets for everyone to the movies. Below are some of the pictures from the days events. We had a great time!
Our Time Machine
Our Mad Scientist
Martial Arts Insurance
Outdoor InsuranceMotorcycle InsuranceUmbrella Insurance

Monday, October 29, 2007

Go West, Young Man!

I have traveled up and down the east coast my whole life. There is a lot to see for a history geek like myself, the revolutionary and civil war alone could easily fill up a lifetime of vacations. What about the rest of this fine country though? The farthest west I had ever been before last year was Kentucky. Last year I went to Texas on a business trip and my eyes were opened, my interest was peeked and my appetite was wet. I want to go west!

Not move to or take an extended vacation to, but at least see the other side of this here America. My ideal trip would be a four week drive across the country and back with a lay over in California, Oregon or Washington. The reality is that we would probably fly and skip the headache of driving for weeks on end. Using all my vacation time for the year to see what many have termed "fly over country" doesn't sound that appealing either. It would have to be in the summer as that is when teachers run wild, but two other opportunities make the summer perfect too, PAX and Comic-Con.

While I don't think Crystal would be super motivated to go all the way to the west coast to spend 3-5 days in geek heaven. I do think that I could swing at least a day or two at one or the other while keeping her happy with less geek oriented activities the rest of the week.

Update: Now if we could cross the US in less than 32 hours that would be a different story.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shedding my desktop husk

I have been planning a computer upgrade or rebuild since the last computer I built almost two years ago. I love following tech gear news and building my own rigs to suit my personal needs. It tends to be cheaper than going with a prebuilt and the power per dollar ratio just can't be matched. There is great satisfaction in building and tweaking your own machine and the pitfalls of being your own IT guy can teach you volumes of useful knowledge.

I have always focused on desktop computing though. Laptops never seemed to have enough power to make them practical and their price put them just out of reach. In recent years though laptops have gone down in price and gone up in computing power. I have also increased my net worth to the point where raman noodles just down seem like a necessity any more. So now my interest is peeked, but I still don't see any reason to leave the desktop. Until we got a laptop in the house.

Crystal, as a teacher in Henrico county is issued a laptop, just like the students. Ninety nine percent of the time she uses it to make lesson plans and other do other teachery things. Once in a while I will get a hold of it and check my email, write a blog post or watch the newest episode of Diggnation. This got me thinking about not being in one fixed location for all the other computer stuff I do. Gaming, web design, video editing, etc. Why be stuck in a dark room upstairs when I could be outside on the patio or sitting at the coffee table.

So now I want a laptop that can fill all my computing needs, but there is a twist. What if it were a Mac? My fingers burned just typing that. Crystal's laptop is a Mac though so I have grown to love the OS. But what about gaming? Boot camp seals the deal, I can have my cake and eat it too with gaming on Windows and everything else on the Mac. Wednesday night we went to the local apple store and I fell in love with the Macbook Pro. I feel dirty, but I think I can accept feeling dirty as long as my needs are filled. Kind of like a sailor on shore leave.