Started a new little gig today. Looks pretty decent, but as always, the rough part is getting stuff set up and getting into gear. Ah, work.
Cousin Alex and Tiffany came over today for a little visit, and we got my sister Katie to show up, and we all headed over to lunch at Shady Grove, which was super tasty as always. We got a piece of mint chocolate chip ice cream pie that was as big as my torso. Fortunately, it tasted better. Or something.
Man, the telemarketers for American Express sure are rude. There I am, practicing on the banjo, when they call me up. I've been selected for a special offer, blah blah blah. So I go back to working on my forward-backward roll, and his drone is starting to match up with the rhythm, but not exactly. I didn't really catch what he was saying, anyway, so I asked him to repeat it. He did, but it still wasn't quite there, so I asked him to repeat it again, but to try to stay in step this time - and he hung up on me! Recorded for quality purposes, my ass!
Bernie likes to drink her coffee in the shower. That just seems wrong to me.
Last night, we had an organizational meeting at the Spider House Cafe for this year's Strange Leisure Scavenger Hunt. It was pretty crazy last time around, and I think it's going to be a whole bunch of fun this year, too. It's feeling like we've got stuff a bit more together this time - we've got a couple more meetings to get stuff together before the weekend, and if things shape up the way it looks like they're shaping up, we might have a whole lot more people than the dozen or so teams we had last time. And then, the after-party at the Dawg Ranch. Woo!
I finally sat down today and collected a bunch of junk that I've done to fill out the code and project silos on the new version of majcher.com. I know I've done a lot of stuff, but it's been scattered all over the place, and actually, I can't put a lot of it up because it's associated with contracts that I'm not 100% sure that I can make publicly available. Anyway, I think there's a half-decent cross section of junk, so maybe someone who wants to pay me to do stuff will see that there's stuff to be done here. Err, or something. Which is good, because I'm dead broke.
And now, banjo lesson.
Also, I need to find a new dentist. One of my molars is starting to hurt a lot again, the same one that my last (current) dentist was supposed to take care of. I don't think it's a cavity - although it does feel pretty chipped or something - because it was just filled. It's really tight up against the next one back, though, and I think it's moving into that one or something. Anyway, that's sort of where it was before, so you'd think that'd show up on the pantsload of x-rays they took (and botched) during my last visit. Yay, time to play man-with-sharp-things-in-my-mouth roulette again...
Oh, yeah, and I guess I should try to buy my unemployed ass some dental insurance, too, huh?
Well, Icky and Emily are back in Philadelphia - but not for long. They put a bid on a house today before they left. They had two or three picked out, and went for the most expensive one, which is also the one closest to town. The others were way up north in yuppie-ville, so, they should be pretty happy if they seal the deal. ("Expensive" is a pretty relative term here. Theirs isn't too terribly much more than ours was, and ours cost about half of what a one-bedroom apartment was going for when we left San Francisco. Austin plus plus!)
We also made it out to see Hellboy last night. It was okay. The script was really weak, but the acting was pretty decent overall, and it looked real pretty-like. Plus, it's Hellboy, so, that makes up for some, dammit.
Dave's been playing City of Heroes lately as well, and today he pinged me to let me know that he was in. So, I caught up with his hero - the Widow Maker - and we possed up with a few other likely looking characters and kicked some ass in the park. Our supergrounp - The Drifters - is now actually a group, instead of just me. Whee!
After futzing around on the computer some, I went out back to my big pile of culled dead bamboo, and got to shucking. Cleaned off the crappy little stalks from forty or fifty canes, and wound up with a good sized pile of various-sized bamboo poles, in pretty good condition. I reckon I can figure something to do with them around the yard. Then we - meaning I - made a Home Depot run, got some wasp killer and hosed down a couple of wasp nests, got some tree sealer and sealed up a few bad cuts on one of the trees we had trimmed last year, and managed to get a bunch of it all over myself, requiring me to shave some beard to get the sticky gunk out. The big project was a big-ass curved and raised vegetable bed for Bernie. It's about fifty feet of cedar all around, a foot or so high. The ground is pretty rocky over that way, so it was sort of a pain to get it staked down, and the sun went down about half an hour before I finished, so there may be some stuff that's half-ass that I'll have to go back and fix up tomorrow, in daylight.
For me now, it's time for a shower, and then some pie and chai. Might play CoH some, read some, go to bed before too long. I've been beating myself in the brain with melatonin over the last few days, and I managed to get myself on a somewhat human schedule - sleep at one or two in the morning, wake up at nine or so - for a while, anyway. Let's see how long this spurt of wakefulness and productivity lasts.
Icky and Emily are here again, sleeping on the living room floor. They're in for the weekend, trying to nail down the housing situation before they move down for good in May. We had dinner at Magnolia - it was their first time. I am chagrined that it took three visits for us to drag them over there. No big plans - they're going to be out house-hunting most of the time, and I think we're feeling pretty lazy. We'll see if anything good comes up.
I am realizing that I'm going to need a new laptop, and probably a sparkly new cellular gizmo, sooner than later. I mean, I have to keep up with all the other cool nerds, right? So, someone get on that, okay?
I picked up my monthly dose of science fiction yesterday - the newsstand around the corner, which has a dizzying supply of pornographic magazines and DVDs also carries Asimov's, Analog, and F&SF. There was a big kerfuffle a couple of months ago, where some atavistic moron in Michigan was snooping through her daughter's mail, and saw a bad word or two in a story in Asimov's, and went into a shrieking frenzy about how the school was allowing children - CHILDREN! - to buy "adult magazines" as part of some book fair or something. I have the issue in question, and while some of the stories may deal with mature matter, it seems like perfectly reasonable material for a fictional story in a publication written by adults, for adults - or, at least, adults without their heads up their asses.
The story, which was quite well written, involved a troubled, broken youth, who eventually became sexually involved with a scumbag dealer of some sort in order to get something that she wanted - it was not explicit in any way, but sure. Not Judy Blume, but certainly not Hot Tranny Asian Sluts #17, either. Anyway, the upshot is, since the red-blooded, white-bread bluenose is obviously far too busy to actually take interest in what her children are reading, maybe sit down and discuss it with them, she took matters into her own hands. After haranguing the school for a while, forcing them to remove the offending matter from their sales curriculum, she called up the publisher, and demanded that they put warning labels on all of their stories, so that the children of America would be safe from harm. Yes, you did read that correctly. Now lazy parents everywhere can rest easily, knowing that the final line of defense is in place - a warning, in bold print, which says, "THIS MATERIAL UNSUITABLE FOR MINORS - FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT READ. (unless you want to be totally cool)" I'm feeling safer already.
Anyway, I have a subscription card for Asimov's filled out, sitting right in front of me. The warnings are reported to start in next month's July issue. If that report is incorrect, this card will go in the mail, and I will enjoy the modern convenience of fresh science fiction delivered to my front door every month. If the next issue I buy contains this warning, it will likely be the last issue that I buy from them for quite some time.
Also, I saw a purported recent picture of the former Baby Jessica today - the one that fell down the well in 1987 or so. If it's not a fake, holy crap, she's hot now. (It's a fake, duh.)
The insect assault is beginning. Mostly benign critters so far - junebugs carrying out their little suicide missions into the house, some fat moths here and there - but I'm going to try not to be completely surprised when the first wave of cockroaches shows up. There's really not much to do about it, short of exposing the entire property to a hard vacuum, barraging it with a strong dose of radiation for a week or two, then hermetically sealing the house and instituting a clean-room system for the coming and going. I guess that'd kill most of the plants, too, though. Well, no matter. There's bugs out there, there's all various manner of breaches in our perimeter, and they're going to get in.
After a little video game binge - Whiplash, and some City of Heroes - and the according schedule shift, I'm more or less heading back towards a human sleep cycle. As much as I enjoy staying up all night and sleeping through the sunlight hours, especially now that it's starting to warm up a good bit, it's just becoming impossible for me to get anything done like that. Too tired to really concentrate on anything that's not on a screen, or maybe get some reading in, but as far as producing anything worthwhile, no go. I've been working on the banjo some more too, which is also pretty much shut down at night, seein's how we got sleepers here and stuff. Ironically, the thing that forced me back into the real world was an appointment to do some blind user testing on the new Thief build at Ion Storm down here - it's coming along pretty well, lots better than last time, and it looks like there'll be a decent game there come summer.
But, I guess there's still plenty going on in the late hours - we got out to catch Jerm's show at the Carousel on Tuesday night, which was a blast. He played with his new band, the Total Foxes, who are very solidly ruling, and he also did a set with a keyboard player and a violinist, as the Flips, doing Flaming Lips cover songs. In between, there was an all-girl accordion/metal band, called the Darling New Neighbors, and John Erler bought me a beer, so I bought him one of their CDs. Jerm keeps saying, "hey, we should hang out!" and I keep being too lame to pick up the phone before the next show. Reckon I should do something about that.
Man, it feels like someone stuck a knife in my shoulder. Stupid computers.
Well, that was a reasonably productive day, all things considered. I woke up kind of late, (but before noon), read a bit, fiddled around with the internets, then put myself together, mixed up a batch of buggy death cloud, and gave the yard a good spray-down. Hopefully, that'll put a smack of preemptive mitigation on the ants and likewise critters this year.
After I washed all the poison off, we went to Chez Zee for Aunt Kathy's 50th birthday dinner. All the folks were there, and the food was darn good, so that was pretty fun. Looks like she's moving up our way, to South Austin somewhere, so, that's pretty ruling. I think I talked myself into chaperoning my cousin Laura to Las Vegas for a Star Trek convention in September or so. Wooo, Vegas! Also, I learned that my sister Katie is going to be coming down this way for a few weeks in the middle of this month sometime, so that should be fun for a bit, then she's off to Maine for god knows what. Lobster fishing, or some kind of medical school, or something. Who can keep track.
After rolling home and taking a short food coma nap, I checked to see if the CoH servers were back up, and they were, so I popped in for some thug-burning. I'm not super social with random online game dorks, so I usually wind up playing these "multi-player" games solo, but I actually managed to run into a small team of people who didn't suck, and we caused some havok in the Paragon City crime scene for a little while. More superheros equals more head-busting. Which is a good thing. And BURNING! Some screenshots:
Salamandor standing around looking heroic.
Sal hovering around near the energy barriers.
Sal, the Liberateur, Tinker Belle, and the Repo Man, out kicking ass.
Busting up some zombie thugs in the sewers of Paragon.
Salamandor back up in the air, burninating rooftop bad guys.
So yeah, fun game. Pretty doomed, here. Sleeptime now.
I was cruising along pretty well for a while there, getting stuff done, going outside, basking in the silver glow of the productiv-o-ray. Then I got the email - the City of Heroes beta is open, and it's time to get my crime-fighting on. Signed up, logged in, played around with the character generation for a while - because it's pretty darn neat - then spent the rest of the afternoon, evening, night, and early morning setting bad guys on fire.
This is putting a serious dent in my "get back on a normal schedule, and do stuff at a normal time" plan, which was fully in effect this morning, before I packed up and moved to Paragon City. I think they're in a different time zone or something. Anyway, good thing I don't have a job or anything, huh?
Also, April Fool's day is stupid.