Thursday, January 24, 2008

One more sleep till Friday!

Today started off fairly well. Drove to Target in the morning, picked up about 10 boxes of cereal because I ran out at work. I like to stock up about once every couple of months. Got to work and proceeded to try and get that last weapon in EDF. I did it on the level with all the giant insects (I think it's 47). I was searching for the Lysander Z Sniper Rifle and it took two tries to get it. I got it on the second try, using two controllers. My strategy was to deploy turrets with my backup player....then used the first player to kill everything on the horizon with the "Genocide Gun". Eventually, this worked...except I killed my first player by mistake, so I had to use the 2nd one to run around and collect everything. When the level was complete, I had the Lysander sniper rifle I the last achievement for a total of 1000 gamerscore in Earth Defense Force 2017. That was one of the hardest games I've ever played.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday/Wednesday combo post

Nothing really exciting happened Tuesday or Wednesday.


Today, I went to the gym for the first time this week. Work was really busy so I didn't get there until after 6. Had leftover pizza from the trip to Seattle. Played a little EDF...hoping to get through it sometime tomorrow.


Today, I finally managed to beat the last few levels of EDF on Inferno. It was a major accomplishment, and feels very nice to be done with it. Well...except for the fact that I need to find one more weapon, but I can do that tomorrow. We also had a really large group meeting at work. There were all sorts of good snacks there, and we sat for 3 hours or so to listen to all the good news about the business. Afterwards, I headed to the gym and did a little cardio. I would have done more but my Zune was out of batteries and it's no fun doing cardio when you can't listen to music or the TVs.

Watched some TV with Heather (everything on the DVR except for the Terminator TV show which I'm just not ready for yet) then headed to bed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

On your left, we have....the Space Needle

Started this morning off with meetings at work, followed by more meetings....and then some lunch at my desk. Not exactly my favorite day of the week. I was pretty busy and had to try to finish everything to meet my sister and niece at the airport.

Around 230, I headed down to Boeing Field to pick them up. I arrived about 5 minutes after they got off the plane and we drove up to Seattle so we could take my niece for a trip to the Space Needle. She seemed to like it, but it was really cold up there and we didn't stay long. 16 bucks a ticket for 10 minutes. They're certainly making a killing.

We walked around the Seattle center a little, then drove over to Wallingford pizza so we could have something to eat. I parked in some 1 hour parking, and my niece watched the clock intently. She was very worried that I was going to get a ticket for some reason. Pizza was great, and afterwards we drove over to Queen Anne for some pictures at Kerry Park. I took them around the nicer neighborhoods up there, so they could see where I'd love to live someday....then I dropped them off at the airport.

Came home...finished a little more work that I had put off for this afternoon adventure, then watched some TV with Heather and went to bed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday is the lazy day

Didn't do much today. Woke up late (after staying up very late last night) then lounged around for several hours. Watched a little football and played some video games, then had dinner with Heather. Beyond that, it wasn't a very eventful day at all.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

They call me Whipalicious

Last night after the car stereo disaster (and missing my racquetball game) I drove down to the airport to pick up my sister and my niece. We hung around until around 1am last night and then this morning we met up with my Dad for some breakfast. After a very large meal we drove over to Seattle so my niece could meet her new cousin.

Came back here exhausted and went to sleep for a few hours before waking up to go to the gym with Mike. Came home, had a little pizza and I've been relaxing ever since. There is bowling and karaoke planned for later this evening, but I'm not sure whether or not I'm going.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm super Sirius

Today, I decided to take the plunge and have satellite radio in my car. This is something I've been thinking about doing for over 5 years now and have just never gotten around to. When I bought my Kenwood car stereo, the deck came with the option to have Sirius installed for free, as long as you signed up for a year of service. That seemed excessive to me, so I never did it. I'm kicking my 2002 counterpart now.

For Christmas, my uncle gave me a gift certificate for a Sportster head unit, which is an external Sirius tuner for your car. I went to Best Buy and picked it up a couple of weeks ago...then waited until today for an install appointment. I figured they'd slam it in there and I'd be up and running by this evening. How foolish of me.

First, the Best Buy installer told me I'd need a 35 dollar FM Modulator to make my Sirius Sportster 5 work through my Kenwood CD player. I knew this was false, as I had already visited and verified that my computer had a rear auxilary input open for this already. I told the tech this.

"Have you ever heard of a rear auxilary input in a Kenwood deck?" the installation tech asked one of his coworkers.

"Um, they're only in about 85% of the stereos we sell out there" the other guy replied.

If only he had been the one doing the install.

The tech opened the box up and separated all the components. He told me that he'd need a special RCA to headphone adapter that they didn't have in the install bay, so I should really go the FM Modulator route. I told him that I'm sure Best Buy carried that cable and I'd rather have a direct hook-up to my head unit than have to tune to a FM radio frequency to hear satellite radio. He went out and found the cable.

I walked around Best Buy and looked at televisions, cameras, video games and every other section of the store. If anyone ever wants to buy me a thirty thousand dollar gift card for Best Buy, I could spend it all in 5 minutes. After about an hour of perusing their inventory, I got a call from their install tech. I walked back to the install bay.

"We can't figure out how to switch your deck to Auxilary" the tech told me.

I showed him how to switch the sources.

It's a pretty tricked out deck, so I don't really blame him for not knowing the menu system intimately. It is strange that they didn't have some sort of online or printed knowledge base to check, but I was happy to click a few buttons and get them back on their way. Just to be safe, I decided to wait in the chairs at the install bay for the rest of the installation.

As I read through Time magazine, I saw my windshield wipers go on several times. I thought to myself "That can't be good." Mike called me. I had dropped my car off just before 4pm and it was now 5:45. I told him that I was unfortunately still stuck at Best Buy and I was going to miss racquetball at 6. Nothing I could we rescheduled for Saturday.

The tech informed me that he was done. He backed the car out of the install bay and turned on the new satellite radio. No sound. After fiddling with the buttons a bit, he informed me that perhaps I needed a different cable than the "Y connector" I had suggested using to connect it to the deck. I said "I don't think the cable is a problem but let's try it with my Zune". We plugged my Zune in and that didn't work either.

He checked his connections and then suggested my deck was broken. I knew this wasn't the case. My Kenwood Keg also wasn't working any more. I suggested we bring the car back into the install bay, but he brought a flashlight out and fiddled with the cables in the parking lot. Eventually....he informed me that my satellite radio was properly installed and it was my deck was having a problem. He said I could visit Car Toys to buy a cable Best Buy didn't carry, and if they didn't have it either, then I'd need a new stereo.

He handed me the paperwork to sign, which I wouldn't sign without writing that the installation was not complete. I had him sign it as well. I was now the proud owner of a brand new Sirius Sportser 5 that did not work. I thanked him for the effort and drove to Car Toys.

I described my stereo problems to them and they charged me around 30 bucks to look at it. Their techs quickly discovered all the things the Best Buy guy had done wrong and fixed them. No new products needed. He even tweaked my deck so that I could control my amps from the head unit instead of from the trunk controls (which is how I currently do it). I now have access to more bass than any human ever needs.

I drove back to Best Buy to collect my paperwork and tell them what Car Toys had done to fix it. They didn't seem that interested. I believe I'll be taking the whole thing back to Car Toys to get it rewired sometime soon. I don't like it on the left side of the car where the Best Buy guy said it had to go, and I'm definitely not trusting them with it again.

Technically Thursday

It's 12:41am, so while the clock may say it's Friday, I'm still awake and that makes it Thursday.

Today, I shrugged off my plans to go to the gym and spent the evening playing EDF instead. The Earth Defense Force has recruited John, who aided me in making a lot of progress. I have 11 levels to go now (and my health points are sitting at 11,000).

It is possible that the game could be beaten tomorrow....but I'm not going to guarantee it. It all depends on whether or not the EDF can recruit for assistance at work.

Other than that, had some pizza for dinner....lunch was fatburger. It was pretty much a day of sloth. I will hit the gym tomorrow to make up for it (and possibly again on the weekend).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I travel round the globe, it's keepin girlies dizzy

As a member of the Earth Defense Force, I must make it known that I have accumulated 9734 pieces of armor in preperation for the battles that are yet to come.

Translation: I really hope I'll have enough health to finish this damn game this week.

In other news: Hit the gym after work tonight, stayed longer than usual. Heather made a really good dinner and I played EDF until just now. Work was eventful today, but this is a blog, not a private journal, so that's not the kind of stuff you get to read about.

A bunch of Hasbro figures I'd probably like were announced today. I can't buy em, because I'm taking a break from Star Wars collecting. That should probably go on my other collecting blog, but I'm too tired to put it over there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Homeless people on fire hiding in the tunnel...

Today a few things happened:

I got a message from Jason at that he had some extra passes to the preview of "Cloverfield".

Went to the gym at lunch and lifted some weights, did a little cardio. Then I waited 30 minutes to get a sandwich from the cafeteria....which extended my lunch hour to a grand total of 2 hours and 5 minutes.

At 5, I went over to Andrew's building and John came to pick us up. We carpooled to the Pacific Place theater (saving an hour on 520) and watched Cloverfield. It was a good movie, but it was good because of the gimmicky way it was filmed. Without that gimmick, I'm not sure it's much of a movie....but I still liked it.

Went to happy hour at McCormick & Schmicks for some 2 dollar burgers and 7 dollar drinks. This time around, the drink I had was the better of the two. It's usually the other way around.

Got home and went in the hot tub. The deck was frozen.

The weekend

I can predict the future:

There's no way I'll have an entry for every day like I wanted to. It's just not going to happen. Like most crazy New Years resolutions, this is destined to fail. Even though it's not a New Year's resolution, it's still something I decided to do on January 1st and I'm already wavering. I've missed several days, so I'll quickly recap:

Friday the 11th: Started the morning being part of the "12th man sendoff" for the Seattle Seahawks. Basically, I stood out on a freeway overpass (the one right down the street from our house) and cheered the Seahawks on as they drove towards Seatac in their charter buses. There were about 30 people there and we were on the news. I could lie and say that I'm a huge Seahawks fan, but the simple fact is, it was happening right down the street from my house and during my morning commute, so it was sort of a lark.

Worked all day, hit the Darth Maul for lunch for some Won-Ton noodle soup, then the gym after work with Mike for some weight lifting. Came home after that, played Earth Defense Force for about 2 hours with John...who helped me get up to 5000 or so in health points.

Saturday the 12th: Woke up and played some more EDF (bringing my HP total up to 6000) then I watched the Seahawks lose the playoff game. Our sendoff didn't work well at all I guess. Around 5pm, I was supposed to go play racquetball with Mike, but it turned out he had the game on Tivo and was watching it on delay. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he should leave and play racquetball with me (because they were about to lose 42-20) but I went to the gym alone instead and left him to his misery.

After the gym, Heather and I drove down to Seattle for Toma's second birthday party, this one at Ipanema all you can eat brazillian steakhouse. I am trying to lose weight right now, so all you can eat meat is probably not the best idea....but I did it anyway. Afterwards, we drove over to Craig's to check in on our niece and then drove home. Fell asleep to SNL.

Sunday the 13th: A lazy day. Did a lot of resting, went to the gym for some cardio and Best Buy to buy my Satellite radio (that was actually a Christmas gift, I was just picking it up). It gets installed later this week.

Monday the 14th: Back to work. I did not hit the gym yesterday, mostly because I was tired. I'll go today though. After work, played a little HP is at 7900 now. I need 12,000 to beat the game. Hope to do that before next week. Heather made spaghetti for dinner, we watched some TV and then went in the hot tub after it snowed a little. No snow while we were in there, but I'm still hoping that happens once before winter is over.

Today: This morning was really icy. I managed to make it to work without incident, until I got to the driveway at work. At that point, some idiot decided to stop at a green light, causing me to have to stop faster than I planned to. I honked my horn to alert him to the fact that I was coming and he needed to go...but he didn't budge. My brakes weren't doing much, but somehow....I stopped within inches of hitting his back bumper. Lucky morning.

Hopefully the rest of my day continues to be just as good.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I eat filet mignon seven times a day....

My bath tub's filled with Perrier
What can I say?
This is the life.

Ok, that's not true, but I did have a Porterhouse for dinner tonight. Along with the chocolate cake and ice cream, I'm sure I've erased any good the gym did this week. Oh well.

Today was filled with meetings at work, then I sat in 40 minutes of traffic to get home, only to head out again for Toma's birthday celebration. My niece decided to be the crying baby at the restaurant tonight, so Heather walked her around to keep her entertained.

I packed up two Star Wars figures to send off to Chicago tomorrow. They're going to the happy home of someone I met at a convention last year. I've been planning to mail them since September, but tomorrow I finally will. This marks the first Star Wars figures I've sold in....years.

I suppose that's a good thing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rainy hump day

Looks like I missed Tuesday. There goes my goal of writing a little something every day. Oh well, I'll do the Cliff's Notes.

Woke up late Tuesday morning, called in to a meeting from home.
Normal day at work, went to Qdoba for lunch and had a steak burrito.
After work, hit the gym for the 2nd day this week and did weight lifting.
Finished off the leftover Chinese food for dinner.
Played a little Earth Defense Force 2017, then went to bed.

Today was rather uneventful. Went to work around 9am. Meetings, a little paperwork...then racquetball with Mike for the lunch hour. I had some leftover pizza from Sunday for lunch afterwards. I'm pretty sure the gym cancelled that out. When I got home the dog was excited for some reason. I encouraged him to speed around the yard as fast as he could. He did a lap, then wanted to go back inside. I marinated some pork chops for dinner, then Heahter cooked them when she got home. They tasted like pepper chops.

After dinner, I played Earth Defense Force 2017 for the Xbox 360 quite a bit. I'm going to finish that game...but I think it's going to take at least another week or two. It's very, VERY grindy at this point...but I want to beat it on the hardest difficulty.

Last but not least, tonight, it rained and rained. I took advantage of the wonderful weather and used the new hot tub (without the umbrella over it). Heather says I'm crazy....but there's something nice about being out there in the rain. Now if only it would snow.

Bed time.

Monday, January 07, 2008

First day back

Waking up this morning was dreadful, but I dragged my butt into the office and had some tea to wake up.

Lunch consisted of chicken soup and half a sandwich from the sandwich shop near Safeway, then I grabbed a couple of bottles of that Wellness juice (Naked) at the aforementioned supermarket. They were on sale 2 for 5 bucks...which was about 2 bucks less per bottle than I paid for the same stuff yesterday. I drank one after lunch and I'm saving one for breakfast tomorrow. I'm not sure if it's in my head or what, but I swear that stuff makes me feel better. It's worth the price.

After work, one of my co-workers and I finally beat Earth Defense Force 2017 on his game save. He has over 150 hours into it. It's probably one of the hardest video games I have ever played. Tomorrow....we start on my save. I'm sitting at about 32 hours with 2379 health points as of today. I need to start collecting them (you collect them by killing bad guys and hoping they drop one). You only get them one at a time doing it that way. It reminds me of that Warcraft South Park episode....

After the gaming triumph, I headed to the gym to fulfill my resolution to start going 3 days a week. That's one down....155 to go. Perhaps I'll think of it as collecting health points for myself. :-)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The last day of vacation

I tried to post this from my cell phone, but it would not cooperate.

Today was the last day of my long winter break. What did I do with this glorious day?

Watched "No Country for old men" with Mike at the Bella Bootega theater. I got out to the theater in record time, so I stopped at QFC for a bottle of "Naked" juice and then Jack in the Box for some naked bacon cheeseburgers. I didn't feel like soda and popcorn.

The movie was really good and pretty scary to boot. I enjoyed it, except for the weird ending (which was smarter than I am).

After that, I drove over to Papa Murphy's to get a pizza for dinner. The new delicious all meat stuffed pizza. Meat, meat and more meat stuffed between two different crusts. Yum. Heather and I watched Shrek the Third on DVD, then for some reason...the American Gladiators premiere. It was hilariously bad...and we watched the whole thing.

Finally made it to bed around 1am.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Viral level is orange

Today I'm feeling quite a bit better. I woke up sometime around 11am and slowly made my way to the other room, where I lived for the next several hours watching movies. Halfway through the afternoon I decided that I needed to do something productive with my day, so I played a few hours of Halo with Andrew, Ryan and his dad. For the most part, we were victorious.

Afterwards, I was still in a gaming mood, so I broke the plastic seal on Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii and booted up that game for an hour or so. It's great so far, but I still got bored of it in a few hours and came upstairs to watch a little Braveheart. I think I need to move the Wii back upstairs (I had it hooked up to the big screen so that guests could play when they came over). I've only used it twice in the last 6 months, so I think it should probably return to the land of the office, where all my video game consoles live.

To cap off my day of gaming, Heather and I played a couple of rounds of Scene It on the Xbox (we each won one). That's a fun game. I'm going to have to try it with 4 people sometime.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Condition: Improving

Well, I have part of my voice back.

My Dad brought my nephew over to visit last night. We had chinese food, watched a little TV and played some pool. I won 5 games to 2 but still managed to lose two bucks to my nephew somehow. I find it strange that one of the only games he won was the one we decided to place our bankrolls on. I plan to send him his winnings in pennies, preferably from Canada.

This morning, my Dad drove the young pool shark off the airport, then we had some breakfast. As I am still feeling ill, I had a lot of tea with lemon and honey. Still haven't overcome this cold completely, but I am feeling better than I did yesterday. I suppose that's not saying much considering that on a scale of shit to fabulous, I feel more brown than sparkly.

For the folks that prefer a more traditional scale, I'd say that from one to ten, I'm feeling somewhere around a 4. Sadly, that's about the same number I would have rated myself last week when I first came down with this.

It's been a really vacation-ruiner, that's for sure.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Silence isn't so golden

My voice has still not returned.

It's pretty hard not to talk for an entire day. I tried to be completely silent, but was less than successful. I had to make a couple of phone calls and answer a couple more on top of that. Besides those brief unplanned conversations....the only speaking I've done was a few dozen words to Heather. The rest of the time, I was texting, emailing or instant messaging to anyone that wanted to talk. Around the house, I used the "text to speech" feature on my computer, more for humor than for function.

I've been drinking tea, water, taking vitamins and resting.....but I'm not able to speak any louder than a whisper. Here's hoping tomorrow brings better health.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 is here!

The New Years party just wrapped up about 10 minutes ago.
I've completely lost my voice.
The guests who could drive have driven.
The ones who needed to crash have crashed.
We all partied our little hearts out.
What an awesome way to kick in the new year.

And now....