Friday, December 31, 2004

Twas the night before New Years

We just wrapped up Halo Party X. We had a ton of people here (I think it ended up being 21 or so) but you have to subtract the 5 of the 6 girls that didn't play (or played one or two games and then went back to chatting). We had a few no shows, but a couple of people I wasn't expecting filled all 16 seats very quickly.

We didn't really have any great matches like Halo parties past, because the teams were pretty darn unbalanced no matter which way we tried to balance them. Not that we actually tried that hard, but most of the time it was 5 or 6 good people and a couple of average players against 2 or 3 really decent people and 6 more that were playing their first couple of games tonight. :-)

I ended up being on the losing team most of the time, but as frustrating as that was...I still had fun. Chalk that up to a lot of good friends and their friends coming over. We had pizza, drinks and all sorts of other great stuff to round out the evening, and when everyone started filing out at about 2am, we switched over to DDR for about half an hour.

All and all....a good night.

And now I should get some sleep, because I have another party tomorow night.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I've said it before

That's right.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Halo 2 has my soul.

Yet another long night online. My "last game" was going to be at 2am. Then 2:30. And somehow, here I am.

You'd think it's because I'm not getting enough Halo 2 lately, but I've had the whole week off so I've been getting plenty of games in. You'd think it was because I might not be playing for awhile, but we have a big party scheduled at my house tomorrow night.

Nope. Halo 2 just has my soul. Good thing I'm on vacation, because I am going to SLEEP in.

In other news.....there is no other news. That's the good thing about vacation.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Secret revealed

Ok, so enough time has passed since Christmas that I can now reveal what the toy was that caused all the trouble last week. If you'll remember, in "The Quest for the Screw driver"... I spoke about a present that had some complications and needed to be fixed.
The present in question was none other than a pair of Lord of the Rings talking plushes. One was a Smeagol and one was this Gollum.

Smeagol was the one that was working fine, but Gollum was unable to talk when I unwrapped him from his packaging. When I took out the voice-box and went to the store to find the wasn't working. It started working at the store (as I mentioned in the post linked above) and the things it was saying was pretty funny.

I don't know if you've ever done this, but when you take the voice box out of a toy, it becomes extremely loud. So imagine being at a Fred Myer at 8am while people are Christmas shopping and have this thing in your hand suddenly start yelling: "MY PRECIOUS!" and other Gollum sayings. It was pretty darn funny.

Friday, December 24, 2004

One more Christmas Image

I really like this picture from Christmas morning.

Bigger version here

Christmas Time

So far, it's been a great Christmas.

On the 22nd, I went up on the roof and finished putting up all the Christmas lights. I also decorated this tree in our front yard. I decided it's fun to be the house with the most lights on the block. Next year, I'll have 3 times as many....because it's a lot of fun putting them up. :-)

Last night my Dad came over along with Marilyn, Zac and Juniper. They were joined by Heather's mom, brother and Stepdad for dinner. I also invited John and his sister over to join us. One thing I'll say for the new place is there is plenty of room, because it sure didn't feel like we were having a big crowd over. Still, it was a pretty big group and it was nice to have everyone over. It made our first Christmas here a really good one.

Heather made a really great turkey, plus a bunch of side dishes. I made the pumpkin pies and a few of the standard dishes. We had all three extra leaves in the table, and then set up one of my Star Wars crafting tables to hold all of the food like a buffet. People had seconds and thirds, so I guess everything turned out right. We had dinner and a fire for hours, then did presents until about 10pm. It was a nice evening.

Afterwards, Heather's family left, but mine went downstairs and played some DDR. I have some great pictures of my Dad, Marilyn and Zac playing on 3 mats. It was definitely one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. I also think Dad and Marilyn are big fans because they played until after 11.

This morning, we got up and had another fire, did the rest of the presents (it was just like Christmas morning a day early) and had hot chocolate. I bought a bag of those mini-marshmallows and they made it all the more tasty. After the gifts, people had leftovers and then started packing up to go back to PA. It was a really fun morning, and I've spent the rest of the day just lounging.

It was really nice to have the holidays at the new house and this marks the first Christmas I don't have to drive 90 miles and spend the night on a couch at my Dad's. Actually, I suppose this marks the first Christmas I haven't spent at my Dad's since I was born. That's a little sad in a way, but they came here so it ended up being really cool.....and I think everyone had a great time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Quest for the Screwdriver

Warning: The names and/or descriptions of the present in the following entry have been changed to protect innocent eyes that may or may not be reading this Blog. The actual names and/or descriptions of said present will be revealed after the gift is given to it's intended recipient.

I ordered a present on the internet over a week ago for some lucky person. This present is electronic in nature and without giving too much away, is quite noisy when working properly.

The present came in two pieces, both of which make noise. Before wrapping them up and placing them under the tree, I decided to check whether or not they work (seeing as how I had never shopped one the website I bought them from). One of them worked splendidly. I tested it's various functions to verify that they all worked correctly, then placed it back in it's box. The 2nd present did NOT work, so I opened it up to find out why.

Inside the present is a battery compartment that powers it's speakers. It was transparent, so I could see that it had batteries in it, but I could also see that the spring inside contacting them was bent. I figured a minor adjustment would be all that was needed, but the stupid thing is sealed with the smallest screw I have ever seen. I had no tool in the house that could turn this tiny screw. I could make a really obvious "dick" joke right now, but I refuse to stoop to that level.

I drove off to Fred Myer, where I hit the he jewelry section. I was sure they'd have a screwdriver small enough. No dice, but they directed me to the vision center where surely a screwdriver could be found. The lady there did not have one I could use, but did have one I could buy for 1.99.

Reluctant to buy a screwdriver that may or may not be small enough, I asked her if I could try it out there. She agreed and so I opened the packaging and gave it a go. The screwdriver fit! She was unable to take cash, so she charged my credit card a whopping 2.13.

While she was ringing up my purhcase, I proceeded to unscrew the battery cover and fix the spring inside. While I was doing this, the thing decided to start working and proceeded to emit extremely loud noises right there in the Vision Center of Fred Myer.

I cannot describe these noises without giving away the nature of the present, but let's just say it was an extremely humourous morning. In a future entry, I will take a picture of this that everyone can see what it was that was making so much noise.

Damn Halo 2

"One more game" I kept saying.
"Well, this one sucks. Maybe one more after this."
"Damn, that win felt good. Ok, ONE more, but this time I mean it!"

Then it was a Clan match. You can't quit a clan match.
Oooh. Some new people just signed online. Better play a few with them.
Kiss goodnight from Heather.
What time is it again? Oh....11:30pm. I'll play one more, then join her in bed.'s midnight. I should really stop.

1am: "Ok, this is REALLY my last game!" (Several people agree that it is theirs too).


2am: I finally quit.

Instead of going to bed, I have to come here and post this.

I am a freakin' weirdo.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The incredible Exploding Christmas Lights

This weekend was a rather productive one. Saturday was the toy drive. We collected about 3000 bucks in toys which we then carted off to my house. They were stored in my Star Wars room until Monday when I removed them.

Saturday night was a Christmas party at Jason's. It was laid back and fun, they did a gift exchange with fun little presents and a few other games. Gave me some ideas for the next Christmas party I have. :-)

Sunday I started out with lots of shopping. I hit Alderwood mall, where I bought most of the presents for my sisters and a few other people. By about 4pm I was done with that and proceeded to take a nap. I probably should have wrapped presents, but I was really burnt out from all the shopping and the weekend in general. I woke up at about 7pm, had dinner...then played DDR for awhile. I beat every song on Ultramix 1 and proceeded to play Ultramix 2. That Cobalt Flux really helps my scores, as I got a TON of AA's on songs I had never finished that high on before. At about 11:30pm, I stopped that, and started wrapping presents. I didn't finish until 1:30am, but I got everything boxed up and shipped out on Monday. The shipping was 90 BUCKS!

So, yesterday, with the help of someone from work and Jason from GT, we took all the toys from the toy drive on Saturday over to Treehouse and unloaded them into their store. It was pretty cool, they had an area set up where kids could pick out clothes or toys for themselves. There was a pretty darn good selection of things for them to pick out there. It made all those hours spent out in front of Toys R Us begging for donations all the more worthwhile.

After that, I had a little fun putting up Christmas lights. I got about 6 or 7 of them up, and then they went dark. So, I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out which strand was blown, and finally tracked it down to the very first one. I replaced the strand, and immediately blew the fuse in the new one. So, I figured I better read the instructions. It seems that you can only string 3 or 4 of them together before you blow the stupid little fuses they now have inside of them. I wish I would have known that, because I would have wired it much differently.

I had to take a break around 7pm to have dinner with Heather, Craig and their cousin who was on a 1 night layover. We went to Claim Jumper and on the way home, I picked up a bunch of extension cords so I could try and tackle the lights some more tonight.

Luck....I need!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Running out of time

Time is just FLYING this month. I'm at the point where I can count the hours left until certain deadlines. The deadline to mail my presents off to my sisters in CA. The approaching deadline for my office holiday party and the various Christmas and New Year's parties that are creeping up. Christmas dinner, my last shopping day...even putting up the lights. Everything is on a timeline and most of the deadlines are coming much faster than I'm ready to admit.

Anyway....I'm off to go home, get dressed up (at least a little) and head out to the office holiday thing. Then tomorrow is the Toy Drive and another Christmas party after that. Sunday is EVERYTHING ELSE because I'm working all week next week.

One thing is for sure. Even though I have all these things to do with all these deadlines....I'm still going to find time for the Halo 2 and DDR. :-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Several Omissions

I noticed just now that I have forgotten to enter quite a few cool things that happened over the last month into this Blog. Here they are in no particular order:

The trip to Vegas was fabulous and at one point I was standing next to 5 Vipers. I have pictures somewhere.

I have set a wedding date (but it's still a secret at this point). Both my wedding chapel and reception venue are picked out...and we still have almost a year to go. Not too shabby.

I eventually made it onto the "American Stinkhole" radio contest and was savagely degraded by both the listeners and the "Celebrity" Judges. It just goes to show that you should never pander to the audience and always be yourself. The clip I created was what I thought was going to get me the votes, but definitely not demonstrating the kind of show I would have liked to have done if I won it. Still, I think it was of a much higher quality than it got credit for, and I damn them all to hell for criticizing it so harshly. I kid of course, it's all just part of life. You live and learn. I learned never to do that again. :-)

For my birthday this year, my sole tangible present was a Cobalt Flux dance pad. It is also one of the best birthday gifts I've received in a long time and was part of a collaborative effort between Heather and my parents. It was a real surprise and something I really wanted (as evidenced by several entries in this blog). Check out the setup here: Cobalt Setup

I also received several intangible gifts while in Las Vegas including drinks, food and strippers(not neccessarily in that order).

My family decided that for the first time (ever) they're going to leave the house and come over to my place for Christmas. Well, not really for Christmas, but for December 23rd, which is good enough for me. That's definitely going to be a fun night next week, and we get to make turkey again. I'm wondering if I can try a deep fried version this time?

Oh yeah, and it's 5pm which means it's about time for me to leave work. Ciao!

Christmas Shopping Blues

They say the best thing about Christmas is the "giving" of presents to your friends and loved ones. While the old saying "To give is better than to receive" may be true in many ways, you still have to shop for them. This is the part I can't stand.

First, I have no idea what many of my friends or family members want. My requests for people to write me some shopping lists reaped a few responses, but mostly I am on my own here. As the day draws closer (and it doesn't help that I have out of state relatives I have to SHIP the gifts too) the chances of someone getting a gift certificate or other totally meaningless present are getting higher.

One thing is for sure and that is: I can't wait to be done with the shopping. Once that part is done, I can enjoy badly wrapping presents and watching people's faces as they smirk at the way one side of my packaging always looks different than the other side. Or watch someone's complete mock surprise when they open a gift that their aunt just gave them.

Of course, I kid. I love Christmas and I actually like buying presents when I know what to buy. I just hate the freakin deadlines which are quickly approaching. We have a toy drive this Saturday which leaves me with Sunday to finish ALL my holiday shopping (plus I have to hang the Christmas lights at some point when it's light outside but before Christmas). That limits me to Sunday or next year.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A week has passed

So, that cold I felt coming on hit pretty hard last week. I was out Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday morning I felt bad, but by Thursday afternoon, I was feeling a little better. Then I over did it by staying out late at a charity dinner/auction that I had tickets for Thursday night....and going to work on Friday. Saturday I spent most of the day taking it easy (Saw Ocean's 11) and today was pretty busy.

We got a tree, we went to a Microsoft sale (got some GREAT deals) and had a bunch of pizza while watching the Survivor Finale.

It's definitely been a fast couple of weeks....and I can't believe Christmas is about to hit. More later, I just wanted to touch on today....and the tree, which I thought was awesome.

Check it out. I especially like the "Angel" on top, complete with his Halo.

Here's a close-up, just in case you missed it.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The cold

I think can feel a cold coming on.

So far I made it past my birthday and Thanskgiving without a cold. I thought I might FINALLY have one winter in my life where I didn't get whatever it is that's always going around. Alas, today I started to get the sore throat that is like the "yellow alert" that a cold is coming.

I'm going to fight it with denial and hopefully I won't get sick.

This weekend I didn't do a darn thing. Well, that's not true. I watched several movies, played some Halo 2, mostly lounged at home (many hours in front of the fireplace). It was quite enjoyable. This was actually my first weekend "off" in a long time. Last weekend was the toy drive, the weekend before that was the movie shoot with Jason, the weekend before that was Vegas...etc, etc.

I got a few Christmas lists from my nephews and one from Marilyn. It was very nice to see some people respond to my wishes for Christmas wish lists. Now....I just have to shop. Yahoo!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Christmas List

What do I want this year? Seems that Blogger has a built in spot in your profile for a Christmas list.

So I filled one out and here it is:

My Christmas List

It's cool cause you can sort it by price (least to most) or by date I entered it. Hint...the stuff I entered first is probably the stuff I like the best. :-)

That's it for my shameless Christmas list plug.

Stupid Stinkhole

Ok, so this bugs me.

I entered my damn demo for their contest back in the middle of November. I never got a call back. Went to Vegas. No emails when I got back from that glorious trip. So earlier this week, I finally bite the bullet and email the guys to ask if they'll be entering my clip on the air. I'm absolutely confident that it's better than a good 50-75% of the stuff they've been playing. This isn't just my opinion either, Jason seems to think so too.

So, I'm listening to the contest and I hear that Sir Mixalot is going to be the guest judge. What random luck it would be if my tape made it on the air today. He'd love it. On top of that, I hear BJ complaining that they have no Sir Mixalot music in the studio at all. So I call to tell them that "Tada!" my tape features that in the background. Double R asks if I can send him the background music. I say "No, I'm at work" and I start to ask him if he can enter it today because it would be perfect.....but he hangs up on me.

So, I say WTF and write them a letter. I forwarded my demo to BJ and Double R and let them know it includes Mixalot music. No response.

They then proceed to play one decent clip and two really crappy ones, both of which my demo was better than. On top of of their other guest judges starts going off on the last contestant, and then starts talking about what he wants to hear. What he requested is bascially what we recorded.

And next week is the last week of this contest.

It's not meant to be I guess. Pisses me off though.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Finally the migration is done

Alright, I've done it.

I moved just about every post I ever made on Livejournal back over here. I can't stand that stupid site. If you want to format your page a certain way or do any of the other cool things you can do here for free, you have to upgrade your account. I don't use this thing enough to pay for it.

It's a stupid online journal I keep so that I'll have something to look back on someday when I'm feeling bored and wondering what I did on November 9th of this year.

As far as what I did on December 1st, let's see:

Went to work.
Watched people shred a bunch of a hardware in the back of a big truck built for such things.
Played 2 minor clan matches of Halo 2 during my lunch break. Won one. Lost one.
Had a Cup 'O Noodles out of the vending machine for lunch because I forgot to leave time between my meetings to go get food.
Paid several bills.
Attended some meetings.
Migrated my posts over here.

What's still left to do:

Go home
Play Halo 2 and/or DDR
Have dinner
Watch Lost and/or South Park

Exciting day, yes? No.