Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Indicative of Corporate America errr... Germany

As with all things in the news, the most humorous ones are the ones that hit closest to home. Basically a theatre had to cut 3 of the 7 dwarves in a production of Snow White to keep production costs down. But they did not rename the story, so 4 Dwarves and a prince had to account for 7 Dwarves and a prince.


Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas and stuff

Well, yesterday we saw Ocean's Twelve and also I got to jam with my friend. I will be putting up a review of the movie when I have some time, but today is Christmas which means I have to clean and cook. So busy busy busy.

May all of you have a Holly Jolly Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas History

I thought as a little bit of Christmas Cheer, I would look around and post a link to something that someone somewhere wrote and called the History of Christmas. Enjoy.

Review: Halo 2 come and gone


I beat it. My friend, AY, and I went through the entire game in 10 hours of game play and no, not at one time. And I will have to agree that they isn't an ending per se. More of a segway to more maybe. But as for game play and mood and all other things that you went through up until the end were friggin' awesome. Wow. I love the general sense that I am badass with one job. Savetheworld.

So where does that leave us. Well it leaves us with my theory of what they are going to do next. It is similar to crack model. Sell us on $50 worth of crack based on the first drug we were given (Halo) and then make it so that we NEED more. They created an ending the leaves us craving more. So those with Live! accounts will be able to download new single player levels for $5. Just a theory.

So, don't get Halo 2. It's too fun for its own good.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Review: XBox Datel Team Talk

Alright. I wanted to just come out and say it sucks. I really do. But it doesn't totally suck. It just didn't meet my expectations.

First off, what is it? It is a headphone splitter for the xbox controller. Basically there is a device that you plug into the second slot of the xbox controller with your normal headphone device in the first slot. You then use the jumper cable to run from the splitter to the headphone slot. Once you connect that, there are 4 headphone slots on the splitter.

Does it work? Yes. You can talk along with 3 other buddies over xbox live. Evidently the voice came through a little more stuttered and quiet.

Ok. What didn't you like about it? Ok, the real crux. I first off did not expect it to split the signals to the appropriate controller. I knew it would not do that. The truly annoying part was that I expected to hear the chatter through the headphones as normal, but that was not the case. I could talk and so could my friend, but neither of us could hear, until I changed my settings to pipe the chatter through my TV speakers.

Cost: $19.99
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas 2 of 4

Did you know that Christmas comes many times a year? At least for me it does and if it were really my choice there would probably be a 5th and 6th time instead of just 4. So how does this work you ask. I am glad you asked. The first one is always my larger family, aunts and uncles, etc. The second and third ones are mostly interchangeable. They are my friends from high school and my friends from work. Yes, Ish, I did say FRIENDS from work. One of the ones that I would add is friends from college. I know Ish usually throws a part at the Mossport, but due to other family obligations, I can never attend. So I am at 4 of 6. The fifth one is christmas day that I spend with my close family. The final one is possibly family up north aka my wife's family. But due to the amazing distance and the weather, it is very difficult to make it up there.

So last night was Christmas with my high school buddies. It is a small group and doesn't include some of my other high school friends that hung in different circles. I really should invite them, but we never plan this evening out. It always just sort of happens in a couple of days. So this year, I got my friend Robbie a all in one game controller with genesis games on it. I got AY a check towards a new mobo. JimKat got Halo 2. I received some CDRW, a DVD case, bass strings for my 5 string, and a game called Smart Mouth.

So after the grand gift giving, we hung out and played Smart Mouth. The game is surprisingly harder than expected. The basic concept is that the group is presented with two random letters (which does not include the entire alphabet) and the first one to come up with a word that is at least 5 letters long and starts with the first letter and ends with the second letter, wins those alphabet tiles. Where you get into fun is that you can then make variations, like geography based or people's initials based. We played through a couple of variations until the final one which included much beer and little sleep where everyone came up with porn phrase that included words that started with the two letters.

So if you see it at the store, you may want to pick it up. Although I don't give this a gunge endorsement more of a 4 stars out of 10.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Starting to pull an Ish

Slowly and slowly my posts get farther apart. I think a lot of it is the loss of anything particularly useful to talk about. I am going to then jot down ideas for new posts in my current posts so I don't forget...

  1. Review the TeamSpeak product for the XBox
  2. Talk about moving my African Peacocks to their new tank
  3. Review Fable when I complete it
  4. Review Halo 2
  5. Review BF Vietnam
  6. Talk about the cooking class I took this week
  7. Discuss my adventures in php with modifying Mediawiki and B2Evolution blog engine
  8. Talk about my Palm Tungsten W I picked up off of EBay
  9. Talk about Bluetooth and it's impact on my life
If any of these sound particularly interesting or stupid, let me know and I will gladly avoid the one that falls in said category or move the other up in the list.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

RIP My Linksys Switch, you SOB

As with most customers, I don't really talk about a given product unless it completely does not meet my expectations. I mean, what fun is saying a product met expectations. So when something does exceptionally well or does very poor do I put anything down into the kitty. So I will briefly tell my router tale.

In college, my housemate and I split on a DLink 5 port switch. It was expensive at the time, somewhere in the $165 range. But I never really thought about it until it died about 4 months ago. Which all said and done, lasted about 5 or 6 years. Didn't think it was anything special. So I had to replace it. So went to Best Buy and instead of being loyal to the brand that lasted so well, mostly because anyone in technology can tell you, that brand names switch manufacturers all the time. I bought a linksys. The damn thing lasted me a whooping 4 MONTHS. Hmmm 90 day warranty out the window. Don't buy their crap. I wouldn't be so harsh except all products I have bought from them (post Cisco buy out) have not lasted 6 months. So now I am left again without my switch.

Time to pick a new one. I have selected the DGL 4100 from Dlink. It is a router specifically geared to gaming. So, I am now excited again. But it is not really a switch but a router. I am totally ok with that.

Well enough typing, time for my bi-weekly bowling.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Review: Blade Trinity

Well, me and my wife went to see Blade Trinity this weekend. To set up, I really did not have any expectations going into the movie or had I really seen anything than the crappy set of trailers that they had sent around that had spent more time staring Ms. Biel, than to try to pump you up about an action flick.

Let's move on. Based on my last statement, that is what I would classify this movie as. There is plenty of action in the movie and the bad guy is not that bad. Call it in D&D terms as the bad guy is lawful evil. But again, we see more of Ms. Biel's midriff than we do of Blade's sword, so in terms of the trailers, you are getting what you expected. The foreshadowing is extremely painful. You would expect it to be shadow, to predict the future. Nope. We are looking at the louieville slugger of foreshadowing. Bam! This is what we are going to do.

Now after I have given this movie a lot of grief. I still enjoyed it at what it was, a fun popcorn flick. None of the things above detracted from the movie, it just didn't feel to be in the same vein as the first two. So, go see it, but don't pay full price on it. And try to be drunk before you go.

GOOD: 2 out of 5
FUN: 4 out of 5

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Video Game day over

Well I completed my day o' video games and I didn't finish up Fable. I got through two more quests before my friend AY showed up. I will reiterate on yesterday, that Fable is fun, but I have a little bit more of my read. The polish of the story just seem to be seamless into the game play. If feels like things sort of pull apart to make it almost work. Don't know if that makes any sense.

So after my 2 quests, we moved on to older and newer things. We put in about 3 hours into Diablo 2 multiplayer on a local TCP/IP host game. Very fun. Finished off Act 1 and did a little of Act 2. I have to say, I really enjoyed Acts 1 and 4 but Act 3 was the most horrendous act. Just irritating. And I have never played Act 5.

After that is was Halo 2 campaign. Totally immersive and a blast. Now that is a game with a polished feeling story line. We lost track of total time and ended up playing that for about 4 or 5 hours. Not sure how far we are in, but doesn't matter. We tried to hook up with MatchesMMalone for a little multiplayer action, but Bungie/XBox Live decided that we wouldn't be doing that. We kept getting network problems and failures to connect. It is a real shame because I wanted to try out my new headset splitter for multiple team speak. From the initial testing, we could speak but we couldn't hear, so I will see if I can resolve that.

On an additional note, I picked up Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls for the GBA. Read through the booklet yesterday. What a blast from the past. So I will probably play that when I head up to the U.P. over New Years.

And on a final note, I added a link on ModiLabs to my Halo 2 statistics, so you all can see how bad I suck.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Week complete

Well, the week is and work complete now I must see to some slight bit of enjoyment on the weekend. Sometimes I wonder if the completion of week after week of work is worth some of the not so enjoyable parts, but I realize that all must work and even with no work, things would probably not be fully enjoyable. I guess I am saying everything is what we make of it.

So I will make of it today to finish the XBox video game Fable. I have spent much time avoiding it, but not for how good it is. I really enjoy it, but Halo 2 came out and that put a crimp in it. The graphics in the game are superb. There is a general sense that is created with the sounds, music, and images that gives it a 50's Camelot sort of feel throughout. That righteous images with a Leave it Beaver feel of quest running. However my view of that may be because of I play the good path. In fact I find it nigh impossible to play as evil. Just goes against my nature.

So anyway, I have completed a number of quests and some off side quests. They have been enjoyable and not overly taxing. That may not be a good thing. However the choices you get to make and portion of a life you get to live are very interesting. You get to live life and some times it feels like it gets in the way and sometimes it feels like there is just not enough. I do recommend the game.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Been a long time, been a long time

Well not really that long. But I was trying to get in the habit of writing something everyday. Soon I am going to be starting a programming project for a friend of mine. He is working on automating his home so that he can control lighting, hvac, and whatever else he can throw in. He is getting closer and I am really impressed. So I am going to write a some server code that will allow him to post his home status and also retrieve any state changes that need to happen. I am planning on putting a little bit time in tonight. My guess is 4 hours and I will be complete.

Why I have not worked on it to this point is that I have been doing more practicing on my bass guitar. My buddy JimKat is coming over this weekend to have band practice and I am trying to memorize the songs before he gets here so I don't need the sheet music. Worth a try. I also need to get all the music moved to my computer so that I can mix it down. I don't think that I am going to be able to get it all over. Not to mention that I have forgotten what we have changed. Not fun.

On a fishie note, one of the strip lights died on a tank, so I have to go out and purchase lights. Since the previous light was an abomination, I purchased some much better hood options as well. I went with 2 twin lamp 24 inch strips. Should provide more light to the fish. Rock.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Fish Migration part 2 and Movie Knight

Yesterday, I finished part 2 of 3 of my fish migration. I moved out the remaining fish from the one 55 gallon to bags. One bag, containing 2 clown loaches and a julii corydoras, went to the 55 gallon in the bedroom. The second bag went to the fish store for reintegration. That bag contained the blue botias.

So that is complete. Then the real headache began. I drained the tank, removed the ornamentation and removed the majority of the blue sand and silver rocks. I used that in my ivy garden, as that sand contains some really good plant food. Once that was complete (no easy undertaking to remove 35 pounds of sand. I moved onto adding the 20 pounds of black sand, some crushed coral and rock from my basement tank and some small pebbles (natural coloring) to the black sand. I added water and all the ornamentation and behold, the tank was up sort of.

For some reason, the sand particles clump together and float. Plus they attached to any air bubbles in the tank as well. So you have a big mess. I started up the powerhead and kicked on the heater and they do eventually go away. So if the tank parameters are good, I will move up some of my fish before the bacteria all die. Fish stories done today.

So, last evening, we got some buffalo wings and ordered some pizza later, but it was movie night. In preparation for Blade Trinity, we watch Blade II and the Knight household. Once that movie was done, we moved onto watch a futurama or two and also 2 episodes of Farscape season 1. Just remember ladies, Mr. Knight is single. Dashing, generous and well rounded human being. Act now, supplies are limited.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Mozilla Thunderbird

For those of you that do not know the power of thunderbird, please take note. I know that many of you are bloggers and that all of you utilize email, although some may not have access to it via pop3. So what I offer is not a solution to the second.

Thunderbird is a great email application that has superb junk mail filters as well as some other fun features like RSS feed reading. So in one single place I can check my email and see if any of my friends have posted new items to their blogs. Brilliant. I can't endorse this product enough.

So try it yourself. If you have problems leave a comment on my blog. I will help you...

As a first hint, the RSS feed address for my site is: http://reverend0.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Friday Complete

We finished our Halo 2 match last evening. No clan matches. I ended up quiting out because my broadband connection got really bad. Lots of good plays out there. It looks like a lot of the guys are getting better. It is good to see that there are some Tech grads in with the Work folks.

House of the Flying Daggers.

I just watched the preview for that on IMDB and I have to say, I HAVE TO SEE IT. It looks stunning. Another fantastic movie by the creator of Hero. I had to say that I thoroughly enjoyed his first endeavor. It was the opposite of what I thought it was but I felt that the emotions that he painted with color was fantastic and imagery of a myth were superb.

So given all that, I now have to wait till it makes it to this area before I can enjoy it. Terribly tragic. Sometimes I wish that I did not live in a backwater community. At the same point, I prefer the small town living to that of high density. I can do the density thing, just prefer not to.

On a fishie related note, I am going to be starting my fish migration hopefully soon. I still have not talked to the fish store owners to see if they will take in 3 wayward botia modesta. But my fish cleaning supplies arrived in and I already tried the algae scraper which worked wonderfully. Now lets see if we can keep up with the algae since it is still hard work to clean, just easier than the brush.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Chili's and Halo 2

There will probably be lots of post with Halo 2 reflections. I typically play every friday night, but we got a jump on the weekend by playing last night. But before that, a couple of us from work, and my wife went to Chili's. I ate too much. I know I should have just taken my food home, but I always eat what is on my plate.

I think America could lose some weight by exercising the same self control. The portions that we give ourselve and the portions what we are served in a restaurant are absolutely huge. Plus it is so easy to take part of you meal home. Plus it makes it very cost efficient. But look at the crazy phenomenon that is ripping up the bellies of America. Buffet's. You see people in there eating a ton of food because they want to get their money's worth. It is just crazy. So why do they go? Selection? I don't know.

So anyway, enough phat ranting. Halo 2 was fun. Matches, OutSorcerer, and Bucko played in the beginning, before jv joined us. Who won? It depended on what we were playing but it was usually Bucko. But in the end it was a blast. I am noticing that sometimes I get on bad streaks where I get busted up frequently. And then others that my routes turn into gold runs. I will have to do further engineer analysis to figure out what is making me do well.

Well, it is time for my morning exercise routine. Peace out.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I hate Bowling

Ok. I say the same thing every year. I hate Bowling. I really don't hate bowling so much as I hate the time that it takes. It just feels like it is there for the sole purpose of taking up a night that I would normally have spent on other things.

The other main reason for hating bowling is the sheer amount of personal competitiveness that I exhibit. I don't think I get as angry as I get with myself. I can lose at most games and be ok. I can lose at bowling and be ok, but if I am not bowling at least as well as I expect BLAAMMM! there goes my temper.

For the same reason, I will never, ever play golf. I could learn, but as soon as I figure it out. I would end up killing someone. Myself.

Self-competitiveness or Perfectionist....

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Fish moving, Nice dinner, and book failure

Well I have a couple of topics to talk about tonight. I was able to move the majority of my fish yesterday with only a minor amount of me getting soaked. The fish love to throw the water in my face, although they probably think I am dork for moving them from their home. Will probably move the clown loaches on Thursday, but I have to be more careful with them as to their barbels.

I ate a nice dinner with some of coworkers/friends. It was a good time. We sat and talked for a quite a while. Need to have more of those. I ate horribly though. I had seared mahi mahi in rasberry sauce and pumpkin cheese cake for dinner.

My book for nanowrimo has bombed. I completed 17,000 words out of the 50,000 I needed. But I am pleased with what I did accomplish. Will try again next year.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Another one bites the dust

Well I lost another Fish. Another tragic loss from the Botia Modesta. I mean, look at all the other pets you can have. You don't have to tell a dog to not eat its roommates. Jeez. So moving the fish may take a higher priority so that I isolate the evil fish until I can talk to the fish store and return those that cannot get along.

Sounds like I hate my fish, but when you have 70 fish, I have to think of the greater good of my mini community. Well off to do more work.....

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Well, I did some cleaning of my fish tanks today. I noticed yesterday that two of my rainbowfish had been attacked in one of my 55 gallon tanks. So I went down to get my net and remove them to safety. I came back up to remove them and low and behold, I am one less fish. So I remove what is left of Boesemani Rainbowfish and flush it. I retrieve the Australian Rainbowfish and move it to one of my ten gallon tanks. I also medicated the tank. But alas, she didn't make it either.

So I am two fish down. But I think I know who the culprit is. Or culprits. I believe it is the 3 blue botia's that I have. They took down ten of my wife's neon tetras and I moved them over to my tank. I believe they took out my corydoras catfish and my bristlenose pleco. So next week, they are going back to the store, for it was the final straw. I am now down to 2 Rainbowfish, one Australian male and a Boesemani.

I am probably going to redo that tank to support African cichlids and move some of the ones from my basement up. The survivors from the 55 will get moved to my bedroom 55 with my Angel fish. Eventually the basement African cichlid tank will become a South American cichlid tank. I toyed with the idea of making it salt water, but I think that it may be too much work. I have heard many people like the SA cichlids so I will try them, plus the tank is big enough for them at 110 gallon. But let the slow process begin with a quick. Out, out botia's.

The Incredibles and more

Really vegged out yesterday. Took it easy as I was completely worn out for some reason. Might be getting sick. Probably just not enough sleep. So I played some video games. I went to the movies. Went to Chinese buffet. Came home and watched some TV and some more video games. The most useless, I want my time back, part of yesterday was TV. Watched G.I. Joe. The new movie. It was horrible.

The Incredibles. Awesome. It was a blast to see, there were many human moments that made the statement in the movie that no matter how super you are in your abilities, you are definitely still going to have human moments. Never saw the bad guy coming either. Crazy. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. A definite family treat.

As for video games, I am mildly dissatisfied with Sega's ESPN NFL 2k5. I finished my second season where I set the rushing record and the sack record. Won the superbowl too. Pretty darn awesome. The problem is that both my record holders' player ratings went down. That is the stupidest player progression I have ever heard of. Completely ridiculous.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Oh yeah, almost forgot.

I was so busy playing games, I forgot to mention that my redhat install went fine on my old computer. I took out all my differential scsi and left in my single ended dvd and cd-rw drives. Then I found an old 40 gig that was empty and put that in. Of course I couldn't boot off of scsi, so I had to hijack one of my ide cd drives. All said and done it is completed. Now I can sell all my old scsi drives all though I should wipe them clean first. That should be a blast. Lots of time wasted. If I would have been smart I would have wiped them clean when the drives were in it. Oh well. I plan on using the box to play around with. Nothing serious. Mostly just leave it off unless I feel like using linux.

Speaking of linux. I would use linux all the time, if it weren't for the games I play are on Windows. On top of it, the windows applications I use to record tv are pretty darn nice. So overall, I like linux and it's efficiency. I miss windows for it's games and media options (with ease)

More Halo 2

Being that it is Thansgiving weekend we didn't have a whole heck of a lot of people online. Jammer 69, Overhandaxe, BlackDogJake and friend, and KillerStew. Jot3 was online but playing football. Bastard. So we played some king of the hill and some capture the flag. Mucho fun. I did ok. Brought my ranking up a tad. Just have to keep working on it. But now I am worn out.

Recipe for Stuffing

This is a recipe for stuffing that I got from my father-in-law. Tastes great. I have to make this or else my wife will kill me as this is one of her favorite dishes. The only modifications that I can remember making to it (I have forgottent the original recipe) is that I use 1 lb of spicy sausage and 1 lb of pork sausage instead of 2 lb of ground beef. I also use less poultry seasoning. Click here for the recipe. Sure to a hit.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turkey day done

It was fun. What can I say. Of course I ate too much and didn't have enough fluids. Mmmm dessert. Now heading for food coma.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

First Snow

Well, we have our first snow of the year. We have about 5 inches down on the ground. Enough to make things miserable to JimKat, who is driving in to Jam. He should have gotten here about 2 hours in good weather. Now he is stuck somewhere on the road in a traffic jam. It really isn't bad to drive in snow, but for some odd reason, some people just don't know how to do it.

At the same time, I hope that Matches is having a good drive down to Indy. That is a much longer drive that could be just as nasty.

I, for one, hate snow. I am ok with the cold, but that shovelling thing is not really up my alley. Something about backbreaking labor that makes me unhappy. I much prefer what I did later this afternoon. Played some video game football and got BF: Vietnam working again. However I broke the TV input on my computer so there is something else I am going to have to work on and fix. Always fun fun fun.

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving I will be making Stuffing. U.P. Stuffing that is. Way better than any other stuff out there. Lots of meat and yummy goodness. But that means that I have to get up at a fairly early time to get cranking on cutting and stuff. So a late night tonight, which I am sure is coming, is going to kill me. C'est la vie. I will put up the U.P. Stuffing recipe later after I make it. I am sure I should ask my wife's family for the right recipe instead of winging it. But I think I am going to wing it.

Cleaning break

I wouldn't say it is time to do fall cleaning. I just clean when it needs it. Or more, I can't deal with the mess anymore. And I reached that point. Of course, I am pretty exhausted now. I have only partial cleaned two rooms. That sucks. On the bright side, I have only thrown out two bags of trash and I think that they may be the VAST majority of the trash.

Somehow, my wife needs to figure out what to do with her books. Her bookshelf is completely full, with a bag of books besides and box of books too, and I thought that I read a lot. Of course the cookbooks are on her side, so I may move those over to my side.

Right now, just sitting back on the couch, listening to some old Tom Waits. There is really something to be said for Tom Waits as an artist. What I really like about his music is the vivid images he paints with his lyrics and the absurd that makes sense at another point of view. The current song is Late Night Evening Prostitute.

I think that I own about 5 Tom Waits cds. I ended up getting my brother hooked and he has a different set of Tom Waits albums than I do. Speaking of my brother, I really need to find him something for Christmas. Just about everyone else is taken care of. Christmas is a fun time of year, but unfortunately a lot of people don't have the time to be courteous. And once you have one foul mood, it transfer so quickly. I kinda wish that a smile moved as quickly and easily.

I typically hide from stores during the Christmas time period. I much prefer the busiest server to the busiest store. It might be partly cause I am a computer nut. I figured that I would spend Friday doing my linux install in my old computer. Of course I need to format all the drives. The bad part is now I am going to have to figure out how to boot off of scsi and from ide so that I can add linux to it than to make boot disks. I hate boot disks. I was thinking that may be my test bed for some of my installation ideas like stuff for my friend Matches house. He is doing a fully automated house. Just taking time and he needs some form of centralization....

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

On Line Suckage

The best laid plans of mice and men.....

I get the best laid coax of green county cable. But it isn't green county this time. Well other than they are really slow. It seems I have run into other pains. Can't play Halo 2 tonight online. Tried failed. So I switched over to Battlefield: Vietnam on the PC. I had downloaded and installed the patch months ago, but it did not work. Plus there was something else screwy so I am redownloading the patch and I am going to reinstall from scratch. I couldn't even get into single player. Just bizarre.

Got a call from my cousin. Looking to have me check out one of his PCs. Seems I am somewhat of an expert. I have a feeling that one of my 7 current PCs gets me close to that name. It should just be closer to crazy. I took the day off of work tomorrow, so I am going to do a little house cleaning as it could really use it and then start the installation of Linux on one of my old machines. Plus I plan on selling all the scsi stuff inside of it. I have run scsi for a while and really truly love it, but it is just not cutting it in terms of space available. Of course it doesn't help that I have differential scsi which is even more difficult to find.

So what is the difference between singled ended scsi and differential. Well Differential has a basic difference that in normal signal lines, 0 tends to be no voltage across the line. This is more prone to errors so they created differential where you have two defined voltage settings for zero and one.

What that gets you is not a speed enhancement as much as a distance enhancement. I got into it cause you could get the drives online for pretty cheap versus normal scsi. And we all know that scsi is better. Now it is time to get rid of this stuff. I will someday go back to scsi, but it will be the ordinary stuff.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Update: Uploaded pictures

Well, I have uploaded the pictures that I took from the Moose woodworking project that I made as a gift. It turned out pretty good and makes a great tissue box holder. Ah the wonders of a lot of time.

As associated with this I am dropping out of nanowrimo. I am unable to finish in time. That does not preclude me from finishing what I started, but not in the time frame that they have chosen. I may end up adapting it as a screen play or ordinary play. One endeavor may be a musical. Although I seriously doubt that. Only slightly more likely than me doing a rock opera.

Christmas concluded

Well, it seems that the large portion of the family christmas is complete. And before Thanksgiving. We did the gift handout. We ate some lasagna. We laughed. We watched the Lions. It was fun. I got a gift card and my wife got a blanket. Both recepients of our gifts liked what we got them. Altogether successful.

On the way home, I stoped at the fish store to see about getting a BN Pleco. To which they didn't have any, but they said they can get them in. One of my 55 Gallon tanks is pretty thick with Algae. so time to get a fish to remove it. Can't see the fish.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Ah, my first suffered lapse

Ok. I took some time off of my book to do a christmas project. I will put pictures up next week after I have given it as a gift. The person does not know about the blog, but this is the internet and I would rather not take a chance.

At work this week, we are playing with the idea of blogs at work as a means of status updates. This offers a bunch of challenges that we can't have them be public because we have data that is confidential. Now in my search for freeware blog tools I went through a number of them. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease to which most of them could be installed. However I came across one blog server software that stood out amongst the rest with the amount of features that are built in. B2Evolution. Simply amazing. Granular rights. Self registration. Multiple blog and bloggers. Darn sexy plugin and skins. Awesome. The only draw back for the ordinary bloke out there is that they would need their own linux server to install on.

On a second note, we had our second round of clan matches last night. We still sucked. We tied 2 matches and lost the rest. So we are getting better, but we need more practice at operating as a team. Which comes to my new followup to last weeks post. We need to run a few more simulated clan matches. So we run a 5 on 5 match using similar rules that others are using and attempt slow down and try some different strategies. Got to get better some how.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

non-book > First clan match Halo 2

Well, we got out buts completely stomped. But we were still learning the rules of the game. I think we now have it figured out. Although I am not saying that we will win.

The first problem we really ran into wasn't the rules of the game, but the rules of clan matches. It turns out the major matches had a cap of 8 players. We had 10 clan members in last night. I think it may pay off to split into two clans.

What I am thinking is that we do Psyk clan and either Psyk Premiere or Psyk Junior. And whichever one is the "top" team, we have weekly tryouts for. Let's say that, every friday we have decided is our primary match night. We all get online between 8 and 9pm. Our "seeding" match happens at 9pm sharp till 10pm we hold the try out. The top half of our guys get invited to the "A" team, the remaining sit in the "B" team. The "A" team stays until next friday when we do this all again. Maybe every two weeks. This should give us our strongest for the clan matches and it still allows those that are still learning to learn some more. This isn't to say that clan B doesn't get to do clan matches. they get to do this as well.

The problem with this plan is that I don't know how much work it would be to handle the clan switching and all that jazz.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Chapter 8: Dearest Love

So we drop our cups, plate and forks into the empty bin next to the counter that contained a label for dirty dishe and make our way out through the jumble of chairs and tables to the front of the shop. The guy behind the counter wishes us a good night and we close the door and head up the street. Angie again puts her arm in mine and we set off and a brisk pace.

We make it back to where Angie parked pretty quickly and start off on the road. As we are driving out of the parking area, I turn to Angie and say, “Is there a dvd that you would like to pick up from the video store?”

“It sounds like you have a decent taste in videos so if you have a video collection, let's just go with that.”

“I have a few movies. Maybe about 200 dvds.”

“Good lord. How do you have so many?”

“Ummmm. One word. Single.”

“Well, I have one word for me. College.”

“College does drain the funds, but once you are done, it seems to get a bit easier.”

“So are you renting?”

“No, I bought the house.”

“Wow, rich.”

“I might have been, but house payments can really drag down your bank account.”

With that, I start giving her directions to my place. It takes about 15 minutes to get to my place which is actually pretty fast compared to when I drive. Maybe I drive too slow. Or maybe it's because it's late and traffic is fairly light.

When we pull into the driveway, Angie pops the trunk. I grab the leftovers and hand them to her and head back to get the illustrious bowling ball from her trunk. After shutting it, I walk to the door and unlock it and let Angie go in first.

I walk into the living room, set down the bowlng ball and turn on the lights. I guess it is time to start the tour. So I turn to Angie and say, “Well would you like to start with a tour?”

“That's a good idea. But let's stop at the bathroom last.”


So I lead her though the house, through the living room and kitchen slash dining room. I point to the door to the basement and walk her around to the front room and point to the stairs that lead up to the bedrooms and upstairs bath. At last I lead her back to the bathroom which is between the living room and the dining room.

After Angie enters, I walk over to the living room couch and lay down. As I stare at the ceiling, I can see patterns in the paint job that was down. It looks like little mini sunsets all over the top of the room with the half-moon circles that overlap. It also reminds me of the overlapping scales of a reptile.

I am sitting near my campfire outside of the jungle. I look to my right as I hear a rustle. Suddenly out of the brush explodes a gecko as it races toward a tree a little ways a way. Nothing like an exploding gecko to get the heart racing.

I reach into my pack and pull out the letter from my love.

Dearest love,

I know what you are doing is important, but I miss you so. The time that I have spent with you these last couple weeks have brought a new meaning of joy to my life that I never thought possible. My life was like the rose that has not bloomed, bundled up against the cold night, afraid to look out. You were my sunshine, who's warmth let me show my true feelings and colors to their brightest.

I am afraid. The sickness is so painful. I fear that I will not live to see you again. I cannot decide which is worse, having to die but having you near, or hoping and dreaming that you will arrive back with the cure, but dealing with you not by my side.

Never forget that I do love you. I am praying for you right now. I know I am and I am not just praying for my own life's sake but for yours as well, for I have heard of the treacherous trails that you now have to pick through.

Till when I see you next again,

Lady Angie

I will not fail you, Love. I will bring back the cure. I will do whatever it takes to arrive soon. Bless her heart for this letter. It gives me the strengthto continue on, when so much trials have I defeated already and it has began to wear at my soul.

I carefully tuck the letter into my pouch and sling my pack upon my back. Let me not delay any longer. There is a bloom out there that I need to save my flower. I will make it and spare the life of my heart's truest love. I will see to . . .


Oh, yeah. I shake my head to clear away the cobwebs. I wonder what type of movie she is in the mood for. I was never very good at picking out movies that everyone will like. I will ask her, but I should have a back up plan. I can't go wrong with Princess Bride as a back up plan. What could be more perfect than True Love. And that darn hilarious preacher.

I hear the door open and Angie comes out.

“I'm in the living room, Angie.”

“Pete, I really love your house. It's just such a big house.”

“Thanks. I really like it myself. Say, which movie would you to watch?”

“I don't really care what we watch.”

“Well, how about the Princess Bride?”

“I love that movie, that sounds great. But where is your TV?”

“It's down in the basement. Better viewing in a darker room.”

So we head down to the basement and I grab the dvd from the shelf on the way down the stairs.

“Wow, you have a ton of dvd's.”

“It's less of a collection and just a . . . well collection.”

I reach over above the couch and turn on the projector.

“You have your own projector.”

“Yeah. It was more of a financial decision than anything else. Price per square inch of surface.”

“Do all nerds talk like this? Square inch and price?”

“No. But it is less nerd as really cool to have your own projector.”

“So your job is in engineering?”

“Yeah, but you can make money is almost any field.”

We sit down on the couch and I turn on the projector, sound system and the dvd player. Angie sits down a little bit away from me. I hope I don't smell. Or maybe it is because I am squirming getting everything started up.

After everything is setup, I lean with my back against the couch. At that point Angie cuddles up against me. It is so easy just to wrap her up in my arms. There is something so relaxing and comforting to feel another human being breath and to feel their warmth against your chest. Who cares what movie we are watching, this is the definition of bliss.

I don't think any movie starts with such a romantic undertone as the Princess Bride. It is amazing the feeling of love that is portrayed in the simple words that were spoken. As you wish. So simple. So many meanings depending on the tone. But there is love there. Another amazing thing is the slow realization of Buttercup that she loves Wesley.

As we watch the movie, I feel Angie to start to kiss my neck.

Am I falling in love? Not again...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Chapter 7: Viva la Nerdalution

Angie sits back in the chair and looks at me in a curious manner. After about a second, she says, “Well, this might surprise you but, I hate bowling.”

“I don't know if I should be surprised or not.”

“Do you like bowling?”

“Well today was the first time I'd been bowling in a very long time. I guess I used to like bowling until I got to a certain point. All of a sudden, it wasn't fun because I could never bowl up to my expectations. Was that how it was for you?”

“I don't think I ever liked it as a sport. Rolling a ball at some pins and pray that you knock them down. I think the only reason I went for a while was because my friends went and I just wanted to spend time with them.”

“Well do you have any hobbies that you don't hate?”

Angie again sinks back into her seat and looks at me. After a moment, she says, “I don't know if I have any hobbies.”

“Sure you do. What do like to do or what do you normally do?”

“I like to read.”

“Any particular genre?”

“I like the mysteries. Sometimes I like a good adventure novel.”

“I like to read, but I am definitely into the fantasy genre.”

“So you're the dorky type?”

“I think you could say that, but I prefer nerd. It has a slightly better connotation. Dork to me sounds like someone who does something nerdy but has not the knowledge to do it right. A nerd has passion and knowledge in the nerdy things. Big difference.”

“So you are in it for Nerd Rights.”

“Sure. Long live the nerds. Viva la nerdalution.”

“Yep, you're a nerd.”

“I don't know. I like reading fantasy because it is about events that have never or probably won't ever happen. The characters have these fantastic adventures and exotic lands and their lives are . . . well, romantic.”

“So you want to be in them?”

“Nah. I just want to be more important. Feel like even if the world doesn't revolve around me, I should play a part.”

“Well, at least you don't believe that the world revolve around you. But you can be someone of importance. It is talk like that, that can make your less than what you could be.”

“Very true. And I try to make an impact if only in a small way. But most of the reason why I enjoy is for about 12 hours of total reading time, I'm someone else with problems that are much bigger than my own. I suppose I could read regular fiction, but I feel to close to someone that lives in a world that is our own. Makes it almost as stressful as having to live it here.”

“So what else do you do?”

“Besides work?”


“I like to work on my house and I like to play music.”

“Really. What do you play?”


“Really. Don't hear of many people playing the mandolin.”

“It's why I picked it. So what else do you like to do?

“I like volleyball and swimming.”

“Same here, but I also like tennis too.”

“I never had the hand-eye coordination to play that sport.”

“I don't know, I think that volleyball takes quick a bit.”

“But you aren't swinging a racket. That's the hard part. The ball tended to hit my hand rather than hit the racket head.”

“So what else do you like?”

“No, no. I started the last one. You start this one.”

“I'm not really a movie buff, but I love to watch Hong Kong action flicks. There is just something about them.”

“So which one's your favorite?”

“Once Upon a Time in China, the first one.”

“I really prefer 'The Ultimate Trickster'.”

“I've never heard of that one.”

“It was made in the early 90's.”

“So you like Hong Kong action flicks too?”

“Uh, yeah. Most of the time I don't want to think I watch one. Sometimes I want a deep, thoughtful movie, and I watch one.”

“Yeah, they are pretty versatile.”

“So let me guess. Your favorite movie of all time is The Matrix.”

“Yeah. Something about it. Did help, the directors ruined the next two.”

“You felt that way too.”

“Probably everybody did,” I say as I sit forward in my chair. “If you look at the first one, there is a tremendous story there with some phenomenal special effects. And then we move on to the second one, where the story continues on but doesn't go too far astray till the end. And then things start seeming weird. Everything up to that point was semi-plausible in sci-fi. Then the third hits. And everything seems to be about the effects and not about this rich beautiful storyline that was created in the first one.”

“Yeah, it seems like they thought that people came cause of the effects not the story.”


“I sometimes wish they would go back and remake them right. It just seems like the third alien movie where they kill off two awesome characters from the second one between the movies.”

“So what is your favorite movie?”

“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.”

“Nice, that's a fun one. Ok so it's your turn to start again, but this time I'm changing the question. What is the thing that you would like to do next?”

“Is this an interview?”

“I guess in a way it is.”

“Am I going to get the position?”

“I can't answer that now, but I have to say you're the best candidate I've ever met.”

“Well, thank you. I suppose I can answer your question. I would really like to go sky diving. I've always been afraid of heights and I think that it might help me.”

“Wow, that's a hard one. I'm afraid of heights too. I don't know if I could do that.”

“Ok, so you get to answer the next one. Same question.”

“I would like to visit Australia and go scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.”

“You like fish?”

“I find fish amazing to watch. They're beautiful and relaxing.”

“Do you own any?”

“Nah, just Panthro.”

“I'm glad we went out for coffee. I still would have liked to see a movie.”

“We can still head to the theatre if you want.”

“Can we watch one at your place? Plus I want to meet Panthro and get the tour.”


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Chapter 6: 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine; 1,3,7-trimethyl- 2,6-dioxopurine

With everything paid for, we sit back and let the food digest a bit. Angie then asks, “So which movie would you like to see?”

“Well, would you like to change the old routine?”

“What do you have in mind?”

“I was thinking about bowling.”

“Uh . . .”

“Just kidding. Actually I was thinking about going to a coffee shop and chatting over a cup of joe.”

Angie makes the disgusted face and says in a apologetic way, “Sorry, but I don't really drink coffee.”

“Well do you like Italian sodas? Or maybe hot chocolate?”

“You said the 'c' word. Actually that sounds really good.”

“Excellent. Do you have a cafe that you have mind to go to?”

“You're choice again.”

“Ok. I know a perfect one and it's only a couple of blocks away. I'll direct us there.”

With that, Angie and I get up and leave the restaurant. As we walk down the street, Angie puts her arm in the crook of mine. I can't believe things are going so well. Where is some wood to knock on or a four leaf clover to kiss? Plus I am having a great time.

It wasn't too long after I had arrived here that I had completely given up on the female gender. I figured that I was a complete human and did not need a 'better' half. I was the perfect whole. Ok, maybe perfect is going a bit too far. I had my hobbies and my routines, and I was getting to the point where I would be afraid to change them.

Being here with Angie right now, just walking on the sidewalk next to her, I was seriously having to re-evaluate my prior statements and convictions. At the same point, was she at the state that I am? Is she emotionally stable and personally set? Is she too set in her ways? Am I just being paranoid?

Wow, and I am totally not made uncomfortable by the silence. I figured there might be butterflies, but it seems that all the pollution and smog is killing them off. I can live with being calm about it. And if it doesn't work out, what have I really lost? I might as well spend some time revelling in the lust that is working it's way through my system. Trust will come with time, if it is given time to bloom.

I look over at Angie and she is looking down the street watching the various people on the sidewalk. As if she feels that I am looking at her, she turns to me and smiles. She starts to ask me something and then pauses and then continues on, “Penny for your thoughts.”

“Just thinking of all the things that I want to know about you but probably won't be able to find out in a single evening.”

“Like what?”

“To single anything out would do it injustice and more injustice to all that I haven't selected. I feel like I am just seeing a flower garden from a block away. I know that it is pretty but I don't know what makes it up. But then again understanding others takes a lifetime and then you still never understand all.”

Angie continues to walk down the street with me dangling on her arm although any other person passing by would see just the opposite. She faces forward for a bit before turning back to me and saying, “I'd gladly give you more time to learn if you'd give me the same opportunity. As long as what you are saying does not mean that you're asking me to marry you.”

I stop and Angie stops to as I start laughing. It was one of the mixed laughs although this time it is not for sadness or fear mixed with joy. I can't help be feel happy that she is having a good time and amused and crazy humor she has. After I regain my control, I look at her and say causually, “Are you proposing to me?”

Angie slugs me in the arm and laugs, “No, and I take it you are just checking to see if I'm even considering you second date material.”


Angie grabs me by my ears and pulls my lips to hers and holds me there for all of a second before pushing me back.

“Well Pete, you should take that as a yes.”

“Uhhh . . . I will.”

“So how much further?”

“It is right there on the corner.”

“Whoa, not a Starbucks.”

“They aren't my favorite. I like the ma and pop shops.”

As we enter the shop, the smell of coffee permeates the air. It is almost like taking a bath in coffee with some expresso beans shoved up your nose for good measure. We make our way through the maze of chairs till we get near enough to the counter to make out the tiny lettering on the board announcing what they have available at their establishment. As I look down the list of coffee solutions, I chuckle at the names that have been chosen. Cup of Latte Heaven. Mocha Good Stuff for the Soul. Pontificino. Hellasciously Hot Cocoa. Eye Talon Sew Da. After staring at the menu for a little bit of time, I finally come to my weapon of choice. Mocha for the Soul. Why? Because you can't go wrong with a mocha.

I turn to Angie and ask her if she has made up her mind. Angie looks back and me and asks what I am going to get.

“I was thinking about the Mocha.”

“The mocha?”

“Yeah, the Mocha for the Soul. So are you going to get the soda or the cocoa?”

“I was thinking about just copying you.”

“Really? I thought you didn't like coffee.”

“Mocha has coffee?”

“Yeah, it's chocolate and coffee.”

“Well, I 'll get it anyway.”

“Ok, do you want to order?”


I watch as Angie goes up to the guy working behind the counter and she orders a mocha grande and I come up and order the same. Angie then leans with her back against the counter and looks at me seriously almost like she were trying to dissect my mind with her eyes. Slowly she starts peeling through my fears and loves and blahs.

“You like coffee?”

“Not really.”

“But you got a coffee drink.”

“So did you.”

“I ordered one because you did and you are avoiding my question.”

“Coffee drinks are ok. I don't like straight coffee very much. Latte's have too much milk in there. Mocha's are just right.”

“Chocolate can cure everything.”

“I've heard it releases chemicals in your brain that are the same as some euphoric events. Also shrinks testicles.”

“Well, I don't have to worry about the latter. Aren't you worried?”

“From what I read, I would have to consume the entire world supply of chocolate to even make a dent, and then I would have other problems.”

“Yeah, I would have to kick your ass.”

Just then, the clerk brings over the two cups of mocha. While he is there I have him bring over a piece of chocolate mousse cheesecake and two forks. Angie chuckles and says, “You evidently know the soft spot to my heart.”

“Just making sure you are having fun and chocolate seems to help.”

“Why, yes. I have noticed the same thing.”

We make our way to the back of the shop and find a table in the corner. After setting the cheesecake in the middle, I go over to the table where they keep the coffee additives and grab the cinnamon. I come back put just a dash in mine and look at Angie. Angie gives a nod and I put a dash into her cup.

After putting the cinnamon back, I take a seat at our table and take a sip of the mocha. The best thing about a mocha, which makes it superior to all other coffee like drinks is that the chocolate helps smooth out the bitterness of the coffee but leaves the velvety taste of it behind. Plus the coffee balances out the sweetness of the chocolate to leave you with a wonderful complex drink that I make a tad more complex with a spicy dash of cinnamon.

“So Angie, what do you think?”

“I like it. A bit too much of a coffee taste for me, but not overly sweet. And the cheesecake is my slice of heaven.”

“Cool. So what are you hobbies? What do you like to do?”

Monday, November 08, 2004

Chapter 5 > Death by . . .

We arrive at the restaurant without much trouble. Traffic wasn't bad and a lot of people were leaving the restaurants so it was easy to find a parking spot within a block of the place. It turns out that she had never been here and has also never had Thai food. I am always glad that I provide an excuse to try something that they have never tried before. We got to talk about why she went into Biomed and why I went Industrial. Turns out that she originally went into Chemistry but switched when she enjoyed some of her other science classes more.

I find out that she is one of two with a younger sister. And we talk some about her family and about mine. She mentions she is amazed that between me and my younger brother that we are still alive. She didn't seem to have the level of adventures that invited themselves so easily into the world of my brother and me.

We walk into the restaurant. There are about 12 tables in the place with high backs to the booths. About half the tables are full in the place. We get a booth in the corner of the restaurant near the front window.

“I would offer to pull out your chair but it's not that easy with a booth.”

“A gentleman?”

“Well, call it an overinflated sense of honor. Plus I'm really happy that you came out tonight. You must be exhausted after work and studying I am guessing.”

“I'm pretty sure this will be relaxing. You're not going to make me think to hard are you?”

“I wasn't planning on it.”

“So what do you recommend?”

“Well I haven't been to this one, but at other ones, I have liked spicy boat and pad thai. It really depends if you like seafood or not. Rice noodles or rice. Spicy or creamy. Both if you want it.”

“I like seafood but I don't like to have it that often, so I think I will go with your second recommendation.”

“I was thinking of doing the same thing. Well maybe I could get . . . “

“No don't change what you were getting on my account.”

“That's true, there's nothing wrong with getting the same thing. I was just thinking if we get something different then you can also try what I get so you get to try two thai dishes while only ordering one.”

“Well that's nice of you.”

“Do you want to get an appetizer?”

“I don't know. Don't you think we will be too full then?”

“We can always take home leftovers.”

“Ok. Pick which ever one you want. I would have no idea what to get.”

So Angie ordered the Pad Thai and I ordered the Kai Tom Kha. I also order Mee Krob as an appetizer. As I handed the menus back the waiter, I could not help but smile at Angie.

“What is it?”

“I'm sorry. Just thinking how glad I am that you agreed to come out.”

“I can't say, I don't normally do that. I have never done that.”

“Really. Wow. I'm honored.”

“You should be.”

“So do you have many friends in the area?”

“I have a couple that I have made at school. But most of my friends from high school didn't go on to college. What about you?”

“I have a couple coworkers that are pretty nice, but in terms of close friends, there is Jack who was bowling with me. We went to high school together but went to different colleges. Then one day I ran into him where I work, and it's been great since.”

“So do you hang out with Jack a lot?”

“Not that often. About every other weekend we hang out and we go to lunch during the week. He's a professional dater on the weekends.”

“Popular huh?”

“Evidentally. He only calls when he is date free for the evening which isn't that frequent.”

“So I ruined your date with him?”

“No. Absolutely not. This is way better, but I can always hang out with him later.”

“Are you sure?” Angie says with a smile.

“You can quote me on it.”

“So are you a cat person or a dog person?”

“Cat. I have a cat named Panthro.”


“He looks like a panther. Probably weighs as much as one too.”

“I can't wait to meet him.”

“What about you?”

“If the apartment allowed it, I would have a cat. Never really got into dogs.”

“I like the self-sufficient nature of the cat. Mostly the leave me alone unless I need some food or attention. That tends to work for me.”

“Same here. Plus they always seem to know when you need attention.”


The waiter comes up with our appetizer and sets it before us. He removes the cover and asks if we need anything else before departing back to the back of the restaurant.

“So what is this?”

“The menu said that it is sweet fried rice noodle with tofu on top.”

Angie holds her fingers up to her nose and says, “It smells kinda funny.”

“Do you want me to try it first?”


I move it over to my plate and take a bite. It has this amazing combination of flavor and textures. I could not help myself from making the yummy sound.

“That good?”

“Well it's crunch and sweet like toffee but not that sweet. The tofu is pretty good too. Pretty firm.”

“So it's good?”


“Would you eat more?”

“Here I'll gladly have another bite.”

So I eat some more of the Mee Krob making sure to savor all the essense of the dish. With that Angie pops some into her mouth. I can only guess that she likes from sound she makes.

Angie finishes chewing and says, “This is awesome. I don't know why I ordered Pad Thai, this is good enough for me.”

“But the Pad Thai should be excellent, “ I remind her.

“I love food. There's so much enjoyment that can be had through a well prepared meal. Look at crème brule. Difficult to make but eating it can bring about a religious experience.”

“Or just chocolate.”

“Yes plain chocolate is good. But what about when you cover a pretzel with it or if you have ice cream with chocolate chunks in it.”

“So when is there going to be a religion around chocolate?”

“Looking for a chocolate Jesus?”

Angie thinks for a second and says, “Well, maybe not. I don't think I want to take my chocolate obsession that far.”

We both have a good laugh at that. We continue to talk about favorite foods for a while as we finish the appetizer. Luckily it wasn't too big of an appetizer. I might have feared that we wouldn't be hungry when the main course is here. Before we know it, the main dishes have arrived. The waiter again takes the lid off the top of the dish and presents it before us. Before leaving he asks if we need anything else.

Angie tries the dish without the questioning and curiousity she had before.

“Pete, this was a great suggestion. This dish is awesome.”

“Thanks. I'm glad that you like it.”

“So how is yours?”

“It's great. I'd never tried this one before but it is great. I think Pad Thai is still my favorite, but I can easily see myself ordering this again. Would you like to try some?”

“I thought you would never ask.”

I take a scoop of food and present it up to Angie who talks a bite of it. After several moments of chewing, Angie says, “Oh that's good too. I don't know if I would be able to pick between them. I think you're right, that Pad Thai is excellent.”

We both continue to eat and talk. I am always amazed at the amount of time any two people can talk about food. I think that there would be a lot less war if we would spend more time talking about food. There are a lot of cultures where people really won't talk about anything until they have dined together. Food and eating really tell a lot about people and adds a new level of trust.

I am pleasant surprised to find that Angie has other favorite foods other than chocolate. My personal favorite dish would have to be lasagna, while Angie's is Boston Creme pie. Again with the chocolate. She also mentioned grilled portobellas. Wow. Great looking and superb taste in food.

I reach a point that I cannot eat anymore. They provided so much food, but I don't think that the appetizer helped me finish my plate either. Angie ends of having the same problem as me.

“We can always take this home.”

Angie asks, “Does it reheat well?”

“It reheats pretty good. At least, it does for me.”

When the waiter comes back, we ask for carryout containers. The waiter brings back some styrofoam containers and boxes of the leftovers in them. The waiter asks if we would like to have anything else to which we decline.

The waiter brings over the bill and sets it before me. Angie looks at me and asks, “Are you sure you are going to pay for this?”

“Yeah, it's no problem.”

With a laugh, Angie says, “You know this won't make me put out.”

“No, no. This is my treat for the ride home and the company of a beautiful lady.”

“So a taxi and escort service?”

“You are just trying to get me into trouble.”

“Maybe,” she says with a devious look in her eye.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Michigan Tech vs. GVSU

Well I am going to add a non-book post. I went to Bash at the Big House with JClem this weekend. Also did the Youth Engineering and Science expo as well to help out. Got a lot of interest from the kids into what we do and also what you can do in engineering and sciences. That was a lot of fun. The football game however was painful. MTU decided it wasn't going to play football till the last 3 minutes and still couldn't do any sort of clock management. But the real goal was accomplished. I ran in to Ish, Mike and Becky. And that was terribly cool. Plus we went to some Irish pub in A-squared and drank good stout and ate some pretty good food. At least from my stand point.

As for my website modilabs, I added some pictures up there from a halloween party I went to. I also loaded one more song up. I am not all that happy with it right now, I think there is too much twang on the guitar and also the rythm doesn't exist and tempo keeps changing.

Well see if I can get a bit more of the book done.

Getting to Know You

I look up at the clock. Almost 8:30 and perfect time to call it quits.

Jack looks at me shaking his head, and says, “I don't think you have ever bowled that horrible and that good.”

“I know. You were consistent, but I wasn't even close.”

“Yeah, a 132 and a 257. I will stick with my 172 and 177.”

“I don't know. Those explosive games are fun.”

“Thanks for coming along Pete, it was fun.”

“Hey Jack, don't take off yet. I want to make sure I still have this date thing.”

“Sure, no problem.”

So I work my way back up to the counter. Angie is there.

“Hey Pete, I'll be done in just a bit so just have a seat over there.”


I signal Jack over and say, “Go ahead. I will talk to you later.”

Jack waves to me as he walks out the door. I scan the room to find something, anything, just to keep m mind from wandering and shattering my brittle confidence. I mean, I don't know anything about her. She could seventeen for all I know. She could be seeing other people.

Ok. Just calm down. Look at that fat guy on lane 4. Ok. Wow, he has seven strikes strung in a row. Not bad. He is stepping up on the alley for his eighth and . . . oh no. He got a gutter. Ok, this is not helping. Maybe there is a TV in the bar. Of course, Angie said to sit here. Maybe she is taking pictures for some vast internet joke. Maybe she is running a background check on me.

Enough imagination, she doesn't have my last name and so what if she wants to make a fool of me. I want to have fun. I want to try and see if I can get something to work. You have been on dates before. You know what not to do. Do some reconnaissance. Shoot you have gotten so far.

Angie walks out and comes over to me and says, “I let the next shift know who's still bowling, but I need to stop at home to change. Is there anything you need to stop and do before dinner?”

“If you don't mind a bowling ball in your trunk until after the movie, I think I am fine.”

“Not a problem. But I'm going to ask you to wear a blindfold. I really don't need any stalkers.”

“Ummm. Ok.”

“I'm kidding. If I had that concern I wouldn't have went out. Shoot I don't normally go out with people that I have met while I have been working.”

We start for the door. So what should it be? Light conversation or should I start probing for information?

“So do you like working for a bowling alley?”

“Just there to give me a little extra pocket change. College really drains the funds.”

“Wow. So what's your major in?”

“Biomed. So what do you do?”

“I'm a engineer for one of the firms in town. I studied Industrial Engineering in college. So what year are you?”

We find her car just around the corner of the building. As we are getting in, I remember what another one of my friends had told me about cars and people. The car and the state of the car will reflect the owner completely. He said a lot of it would break out their psychological profile plus some of their needs. So as I get in I start doing the look around. Everything seems to be fairly clean but no spotless. There were some leaves on the floormat and on the backseat was a jacket. Oh and there was no hint of smoke in the air.

“I'm a senior. So when did you graduate?”

“Two years ago. And not a minute too soon.”

“You didn't like college?”

“No, I loved college, but I'd reached the end of my funds. Each year it kept getting closer to what I had left in savings and every summer I would boost it up the best I could doing any internship I could find.”

“So are you originally from around here?”

“No, I used to live about 500 miles south of here.”

“Don't you miss the warm weather?

“Sometimes. But also went to school in Minnesota. Now that's a frigid state. So are you from around here?”

“Basically. I have lived within this general area of the country for quite a while now.”

So as we drive to her place we talk about some of our favorite things in college. Turns out that she has taken a lot of history classes on top of her normal classes. She also listed some of the professors and their quirks that had helped her through various classes. And there was the big surprise that she didn't want to work at a bowling alley forever, but , she didn't really know what was in her future. So we get to her place, which is a fairly large apartment complex.

“Wow, you live a long way from work.”

“It's closer to campus. I prefer to walk to class and drive to work. Cheaper parking. If you want to come in you can. I don't expect you to wait outside.”

“Ok. So not living in the dorms?”

“No, I decided to move off campus with my college roommate. Seemed cheaper at the time.”

“It's not?”

“Well it is, just there was a high initial setup type expense hat I didn't expect.”

As we walk in the apartment, Angie says, “Make yourself comfortable, I will just be a minute.”

I walk over the couch and sit down. Things are going really great. I don't feel nervous anymore. I feel comfortable. I don't know how this forbodes. This may be bad. Look Pete. Don't think about the future. Just have a good time and let the future take of itself. Of course that is easier said than done.

She seems to have a pretty nice apartment. It has all the usual attributes of a college apartment. The kitchen is the size of a closet. The living room is decent sized but there is no dining area. It looks like there is a hall leading back to what I guess would be the bedrooms and bathroom. So what about the zest? I look behind me at the wall and there is a Magritte print in a frame. Ok. That is something at least. Of course with two people can you really personalize in the 9 months that you are in an apartment for school.

Angie comes out from the hallway looking stunning. Of course, she looked stunning at the bowling alley too. She is wearing a well cut grey shirt and jeans. But her smile just adds so much more to it.

“Ah it is so much better to get out of the work clothes. I really hate the hawaiian shirt we have to wear and the tight black pants. Just not comfortable.”

“Wait till you have other work dress codes. They're all different. So do you live here year round.”

“No, I have been going home every summer. When you do that it doesn't make any sense to decorate the place.”

“Oh, I was just going to ask if that Magritte is yours or your roommates.”

“Yeah it's hers. One of her favorite artists. I'm more preferential to some of van Gogh and many other painters that do landscapes.”

“Same here. It is so much nicer to look at a crowded street, a lake with sea gulls near it, or even a solitairy haystack in the middle of a field at dusk than to look at a bowl of fruit or case of Miller Lite on a table. I'm not really into portaits of people I don't know either.”

Angie laughs and asks, “Have you seen a painting of a case of Miller Lite?”

“Uh no. But maybe I should do one?”

“You're a painter?”

“No, I wish I was. My talents don't range into skilled arts, just into arts that I can wing it through with as little pure talent as can be.”

“Well are you ready to go?”


“Any place in mind?”

“Do you have any thing that you can't eat?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Ok, how about Thai restaurant downtown?”

“No, that sounds horrible.”

“Uh well how about . . . “

“I'm kidding. That sounds great.”

“You had me there.”

“Let's get going but you're going to have to help with directions. Don't go downtown very often.”

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Perfect Strike

I grab my ball and head out the door, remembering to lock it up. Make my way down to the car. Jack pops the trunk as I get near and I toss the bag in the back. As I get to the passenger side of the car, Jack opens the door from the inside.

“Well thanks Jack for being such a gentleman. I bet even your lady friends don't get that kind of service.”

“Actually, they do.”


“Well, door broke two days ago and now no one can enter the car from the outside.”

As we start to drive away, I turn to Jack and say, “Isn't it time to get a new car?”

“Pete, do I look like I am made of money?”

“Driving this car, no.”

“You see that is the plan. Drive this piece of crap until it dies and then buy another. That way no one will car jack me or rob me or ask me for money.”

“What about impressing you dates?”

“It is only what's under the hood that counts.”

“Huh, that's usually not the case.”

“We could take your car. Oh no wait, it's in the shop.”

“So I take it we aren't planning on impressing any of the ladies?”

“Dude, we are going to a bowling alley. Either we won't find any chicks, or they won't care about what a piece of crap car I have.”

“You said that you have the new Blumpkins CD, let's listen to that... Geez, someone stole your radio.”

“Yeah. Only thing of value in the pile of steel.”

“Well evidently they didn't break in through this door.”

“Very funny, butt munch.”

“So how was your date last night?”

“It was ok. I don't know if I am her type.”

“Hey isn't that backwards.”

“Well kinda, but I think she is looking for a more image conscious person.”

“Then how did you hook up in the first place, Jack? I mean, the torn jeans and faded hoodie that you wear usually attacts those high-powered business women.”

“Well I met her at my brothers wedding and she just happened to be in town this weekend. So she only saw me in the suit.”

I burst out in laughter, “Oh that is rich. So is she hot?”

“Well, yeah, I went out with her.”

“Uh huh. How about smart? Funny?”

“She had an ok sense of humor. I think. She laughed when I picked her up.”

“Did she keep on laughing?”

“No. When she realized this is my normal car and this is my normal garb, the laughter stopped.”

“So, would you change to keep her?”

“Me change? Heck no, Pete.”

“Finally here.”

Jack pulls into the nearest parking space. We both grab our bowling balls and head into the alley. As we head in, I notice the exceptionally hot little lady behind the desk.

“Pete, stop staring the girl behind the counter!”

Oh man, Jack can be such a jerk. I quickly turn away. I just know that my face is like the side of a fire truck. Jack grabs my shoulder and pushes me up to the counter.

“You go ahead Pete and get us a lane.”

“Gee thanks. Um, can we get a lane?

The girl behind the counter smiles and asks, “Do you need shoes?”

Jack turns to her and says, “Nah Pete doesn't need shoes. He had to order his special since he has such big feet.”

Now it was the both the girl at the counter and my turn to get red in the face. I look down at my feet and say, “No thank you, we are good.”

I look up to see her smiling. She says, “You are on lane 7. If you need anything, just ring up.” And she slides the score sheet over to us. Wow an old-fashioned manual scoring place still exists.

I grab the sheet and accidentally touch her hand. We both smile at each other. I feel so much like I am still in high school. Alright Pete. It is time to break out of this crap and be the full fledged adult that you are. Or at least I should continue to call myself that. So I hand the sheet to Jack.

“Hey Jack can you go down to the alley and get setup. I'll get us something to drink.”

“Sure, as long as you're paying.” Pete says as he walks away.

So I turn to the girl behind the counter and say, “Hi, my name is Pete.” Geez what horrible start, what am I going to do. I know that I am going to screw this up. She is going to blow me off and laugh with all her friends about this.

“My name is Angie.”

“Well Angie, can I get a pitcher of beer and your phone number?”

“Uh sure. Come on over to the bar.”

So as we walk to the bar, I am shaking slightly. I can't believe that used a pick up line. I don't even care if she shuts me down right now. Maybe I am not so much of a wuss after all.

We near the bar and she slides around to the other side and grabs an empty pitcher.

“What do you want?”

“Uh, do you have Killians?”


Angie walks over to pour the beer. I know I blew it. I wish I knew what was going on in her head. Did I say everything right? Or should I have been smoother? Why do I even try? Even if we did hook up, she would think I am such a dork.

She comes back over and sets the pitcher down with two glasses. She looks up and says, “I am finished working at 8:30 tonight, if you want to go out.”

“That would be great, but my car is in the shop this weekend.”

“That's alright. I can drive. I don't mind.”

“You want to do the old-fashioned dinner and a movie thing? My treat.”

“That sounds like fun, but I get to pick the movie.”


I look down at my watch. 6:20 PM. Perfect again. This is working out too well.

“Well Angie, I will be here when you are done.”


So I pay up for the beer, leaving a nice healthy tip. I know that I am already going to be dishing out for this lady, I might as well get a head start. I grab the pitcher and glasses and head down to the lane. I set the glasses and the pitcher down on the table nearest our lane.

Jack turns to me and says, “Took you long enough. While you are up there, why don't you pour us some beer.”

So I start pouring the beer out making sure his had a little extra foam head on the top. Making me pour when I haven't even had a chance to get my shoes on. I finish pouring, pop off my shoes and head down to the alley with my bowling shoes in tow.

“So did you get her number?”


“Really, with as hard as you were trying, I would expect that. No girl likes a stalker.”

“Well, I don't need a ride home tonight, I have a date with her.”

“No way dude. That is so cool.”

“So we can drop it and just bowl.”

“Ok. But I figured you would be happy and want to talk about it.”

“I am happy. But I don't want to get nervous. Well, more nervous than I already am.”

“Ok. Ok. Well, I put you up first so roll down those pins big boy.”

I walk up to the alley and grab my ball. I turn towards Jack, “You know, I shouldn't ever tell you anything.”

“What do you mean?” says Jack, feigning innocence.

I start my approach, swinging the ball back and gliding out toward the lane. There is a slight pop and the ball releases from my thumb and glides effortlessly out over the boards. It lands and the ball starts spinning counter clockwise and bounces across my mark. It keeps sliding down the lane and gets within a couple of boards of the gutter before it starts to hook back as it dives toward the pocket. As the ball connects with the pins, there is a loud crash and pins explode across the alley. A strike.

I turn around to walk off the lane shaking my head.

Jack says to me, “What are you shaking your head about? Afraid you are running out your luck?”

“Nah, it's just been about 4 months since I last bowled and that ball looked damn good.”