another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Monday, September 25, 2006

Knights of Triskelion

I got the following video from Mark Evanier's blog. No introduction would do it justice, it just must be seen.

Other short update in the READ MORE section

After day one in St. Louis, we can tell that we're going to be busy, though today was a slow start. We did get a chance to meet the RF Optimization team down here, though, and they now know the types of things they can feed us to get more information. We'll probably be working a bit late every evening, but it shouldn't be too bad.

I'll plan on having dinner with the Gerdes's some time next week. This Friday I'll probably take off a bit early (say, about 3pm) to get back to Normal for Flatcon, but we'll make that up the rest of the time down here.

That's it for now. I'll try to write a bit more tomorrow.

Read more!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

No Monsoon

It's been a busy weekend, and I'm capping it by recapping from here in St.Louis ...

First, yes, I'm in St.Louis. I don't remember whether I mentioned it here (oh, yeah, I did), but I'm here for three weeks. Sort of. Since it's close enough to home, I'm going to be doing some driving back and forth. More on that as the week progresses.

Anyway, I worked from home on Friday so that I could do laundry before having to take off for the weekend. I went in for a little while on Friday afternoon so I could pass off the hotline phone (yay, I got rid of it!). I did a little planning with the people from my team who are to be here in St.Louis with me (Carlos and Ming), and then left again about 4pm. Before heading home I needed to stop at Ace Hardware in Warrrenville to get the screwdriver I was going to need for the evening's activity (more on that shortly): a #10 Torx screwdriver (hex/star head). Anyway, they didn't have one, at least an individual one. The clerk said someone had been by earlier and bought abunch of Torx screwdrivers - they had ONE left on the whole rack: the wrong size of course.

But, as I started to leave, I noticed a screwdriver set. 21 screwdrivers, including a Torx #10. Well, since I either needed to get one or abandon the job-that-hasn't-been-mentioned-yet, and I didn't want to drive 20 minutes south to the other nearest hardware stores, I bought the whole set. I guess I could use some fresh phillips drivers anyway.

As I left the hardware store, I looked west and noticed the gathering clouds were pretty dark. I looked north/north west and the clouds were .... BLACK. Really, really, reallyx5, black. Slightly south-of-west (i.e., towards home), the clouds weren't bad at all. I got in the car and started driving home, and heard about the tornado warning. They'd spotted a funnel cloud just north of I-88 at Kirk Road -- i.e. 1 mile straight west of my house. The whole thing was moving northwest, and by the time I was listening to the radio, the worst of it was -- straight north of me by a mile or so. Since I was driving south and then east, and there didn't seem to be activity that direction, I drove home regardless, and all was fine. Though the rain started in earnest just after I got home. That meant no chance to mow before I left (Hey, Tony -- go talk to Ellen and I'll hire you to mow the lawn).

Anyway, I got home and started that yet-unnamed task: Tivo surgery. Earlier last week we had a strong lightning strike not horribly far from the house. That caused a brief power outage, a couple seconds at most. At that time I was upstairs and had the TV&Tivo on in our bedroom, and I noticed that Tivo reboot. Well, I think that it must have caused at least a minor head crash on the Tivo disk, because a bit after that Ellen noticed that the Tivo picture was stuttering, pausing, and pixellating. We googled the symptoms and found that the likely explanation was the hard drive going bad.

So, with Torx #10 in hand, I opened the Tivo and extracted the harddrive. I plugged it into Kalen old desktop, and also plugged in a new 160 gig drive, and booted it from a CD image I found on a Tivo how-to website (by this time, the really severe weather seemed to have passed, so no lightning surge likely). Two hours later, the disk copy completed and we had the old image on the fresh new drive, and the problems had resolved (as well as having at least twice the recording capacity).

Anyway, that took a good chunk of Friday night, though while the disk was copying I could gather and pack clothes for the trip.

Saturday morning, bright and early, I set off for Normal. There I picked up Kalen and we drove to Urbana to Matt's apartment. From there, we went over to park near Matt's old dorm, and walk to the stadium for the Iowa/Illinois football game. We got there WAY too early -- an hour before, which I didn't really think would be way too early, but the crowd was late arriving due to threatening weather and a sucky Illinois team. I told Matt and Kalen that Illinois' best chance at a win would be if a monsoon hit during the game. Unfortunately for Illinois, though good for us, the weather held off despite being cloudy and windy. Iowa beat Illinois fairly soundly, 24-7. A happy result for Kalen (and me, I was sort-of neutral, sort-of for Iowa), and Matt held no illusions of adequacy for the Illinois team (he'll just wait for basketball season for a decent team to cheer).

After the game, we drove back to Normal, me in my car and Matt and Kalen in his. We met Ellen, Kathy, and Ryan at our hotel-for-the-night, chilled out for a while, then went to dinner. We then waited interminably (at least an hour and a half, though the reported expected wait was 35-45 minutes) for a table at Outback. The food was good, except they failed to actually fix a meatless dish for Kathy. In fact, Kathy and Ellen suspect they just tried to take the meat off the top of her pasta dish, hoping she wouldn't notice the pieces of chicken an ham that were deeper in the dish. So, it'll be a while (read: millenium) before I decided to go back to that Outback, maybe any Outback.

We then went to the girl's apartment to chill out a bit before Kalen and Ellen both started getting sleepy, so we left Kalen and Kathy, took Ryan to his dorm, and Ellen and Matt and I retired to the hotel.

We slept in a bit on Sunday, then went back to the girls' apartment before going to a later breakfast, early lunch at IHOP. Then it was time for the girls to report for their concert, while the rest of us went to check out Ryan dorm room. I like the way he got it set up, though it is a single guy's dorm room (i.e. kind of messy). We relaxed there for a while then went to the girls' choir concert. The girls choir was good, and I enjoyed much of the concert (though I started drifting off toward the end, where the concert choir was doing some more classical pieces. One group sang "Begin the Beguine", which reminded me to pull out Michael Nesmith's "... tropical campfire's ..." album (yes, he does that sond on the album).

Anyway, from there we all split our separate ways ... Matt to Urbana, Ellen home to Aurora, and me to St. Louis.

I got to the hotel a bit less than three hours later. I checked in, and then set off to find something to eat and scout a bit of the area that I'll be driving to-and-from the Lucent office. I found a grocery store to get some Diet Mountain Dew and crackers, found a Subway for a sandwich for dinner (kind of a default choice .. that or McDonald's), and then got lost on the way back to the hotel. You have to do some weird turns to get around this area. Anyway, after a half hour lost I got back to the hotel, got everything out of the car, unpacked, and sat down to right this. The end. Until later, anyway.

Read more!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Today is the Day

Today is the day to wish Matt a happy golden birthday. He's got a post up that you can add a birthday wish to.

And, that's it.

Read more!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Meme of the Day

You Are From Eris

You revel in chaos and strife. You'd feel right at home in Iraq.

Socially, you like nothing better than playing one person against another, then sitting back to watch the fun. In such a situation, it's good to have a bag of popcorn ready to munch during the festivities.

You're known for confusion and a love of the surreal. You are a fiend to all.

You have no need for conformity. Let those other planets clear the neighborhood of their orbits. You're happy a a dwarf. The other stuff is just there as your entourage.

Everyone else has been doing this, but this one is a fake. Or is it?

Read more!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Watching for the Lines

Yarr, it be time to finish the tale of the trip to the rugged coast of California.

No, I won't try to continue in "Pirate".

Friday we relaxed a bit, didn't try to get out the door too early. We left the hotel sometime close to 9am and drove south to the Monterrey peninsula. We only had a bit of information to go on -- some vague recommendations from Kalen and a little bit I gleaned off the internet. Mainly, I got the Wikipedia page on Monterrey, and from there I had a link to the convention and visitor bureau. So, I had some idea how to get to Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row in Monterrey, and figured we'd play it by ear from there.

Two hours later, after driving through some of California's agricultural land (I saw workers harvesting something, I think it was artichokes), we got to the northern edge of Monterrey. Slowly, we could see ocean closer and more frequently through the hills on the right side of the highway.

The signs on the interstate indicated a tourist information center at the Monterrey exit (didn't I just do that the day before?), so we followed the signs. As we got in, there were also signs pointing us to Fishermans' Wharf and Cannery Row, so that part would be easy. We found the info center, but I didn't spot a good parking area right there, so we drove on a bit and found metered parking a bit further along, just at the near end of Fisherman's Wharf, and right next to a beach.

The first order of business was to do something Ellen wanted to make sure she did -- get her feet into the Pacific. She'd already swum in the Atlantic, so she had to hit the opposite coast. We took off our shoes and socks, rolled up our cuffs, and took a walk along the beach for a short ways, maybe a quarter of a mile. The water was too cold and rough here to be good swimming, so I'm glad we hadn't planned anything like that.

At the far end of the beach we came back inland, got our feet cleaned of the sand, and headed for the information center which I knew was pretty much in-line with that point on the beach (despite where Ellen thought it was :-)). We picked up a bit of information there, including a directory for Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, and Carmel, and a map of 17-mile drive. Other than that, the info center seemed to be aimed at passing along lodging information, which we didn't need.

We skipped Fisherman's Wharf because we didn't see anything we wanted to do there. Instead we headed for Cannery Row and the first order of business -- lunch. Ellen picked out a place called "The Fish Hopper", which was pretty good. We got a table right by the window looking out onto the ocean. I had a chicken sandwich with melted cheese and grilled onions (very good), and a cup of clam chowder (excellent).

We shopped around Cannery Row for a while. Ellen got a couple of new penguins and some fudge, and I got a batch of saltwater taffy, picking out a couple pieces of each flavor that sounded good.

From there, we took off toward 17-mile drive. I hadn't known about this before getting the information at the info center. This was a drive along the ocean and winding through four golf courses, including the famous Pebble Beach golf course (home of the Bing Crosby pro-am, when he was alive). We spent a lot of time (almost three hours) going along the coastal part of the drive, maybe 10 miles of the total 17, stopping at most of the scenic views and taking a ton of pictures.

At the far end of the drive was the town of Carmel-by-the-sea. Here's where the plans went a little awry, but I blame the map. I knew that there was a beach at Carmel (Kalen had talked about it), and I figured we could watch the sun set there and then have some dinner, or maybe do both at the same time if we found an appropriate eating establishment. The map I had made it look like the business/restaturant section of Carmel was right by the beach. We found that section of town, and parking seemed to be a bit of a premium, so we parked and walked toward the ocean.

The map was MISLEADING. The beach was actually probably a half mile, maybe a bit more, from the edge of the business district, and down a fairly steep hill. Oh, and there was a parking lot RIGHT THERE. By the time we actually got to the beach the sun was half-way set. We watched the last of the setting sun, then watched the beach at twilight for a while. Ellen called her mom to say she called from the beach, and then when she was ready we hiked back up to the restaurant area, way up the hill.

Anyway, Ellen picked a nice place for dinner, and I had a very nice cut of prime rib that they had as a special. I didn't check the price when the waiter was listing the specials, but it turned out to be surprisingly reasonably priced.

Then it was time to head back to the hotel in San Bruno. I got a little lost around Monterrey gettng back to the highway, but once I realized I'd gotten off track I found my way back OK and got back to San Bruno at about 11pm. At which point I crashed into bed -- really hard.

Saturday we slept in a bit, got everything packed, and headed out. We stopped at the IHOP in San Bruno and had a good-sized breakfast because we knew we wouldn't have a good chance to eat again until that evening around home. The flight got off on time and the pilot even promised we'd be in early due to a tail wind (he turned out to be right).

At one point in the flight, Ellen looked down from the window of the plane and asked me what we were over. I told her I didn't know, because I hadn't been watching for the state lines down below, but if she found one then they usually had the state names on either side of the line, so she could tell where we were. Of course, she didn't believe that. Later, when I was sitting by the window, I told her I was watching some of the lines below. She asked if I could see the state names, and I told her "no, they were too small". I then went on about how the state names were on signs beside the lines, and that they were really there for the people on the ground, not to see from the air. But the people down below did find the signs useful.

Of course, here I was telling the truth, because I was talking about highway route markers. :-) But I kept up obscuring what I was talking about, and she just thought I was telling stories. I guess I was just in a mood like that after reading "Anansi Boys".

More on that in the next post.

Read more!


Arrr, today be Talk Like a Pirate Day! This link ye should follow fer more.

So, anyone got any software or movies I can copy?

Read more!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Back to Work -- Surprise!

I got back to work this morning and was greeted by two unpleasant surprises in my e-mail:
  1. First, I have the Hotline phone this week. That means I'm on call 24/7 to answer if there are outages anywhere in our customer networks that need our group to address. I was figuring I had this duty two weeks from now, but the guy who was supposed to have the phone this week is out-of-town instead. So, my boss says "Well, Tim will be back on Monday. Pass the phone to him". Of course he didn't leave the phone in my office, because he thought it might be locked (it wasn't). He left it in his office, which was locked, until his office mate got in and I could retrieve the phone. So far, so good, no calls.

  2. Then I got to the e-mail entitled "Need you in St. Louis". So, starting next Monday I'll be in St. Louis for three weeks.

This messes with plans for the next two weekends, but doesn't totally cancel them. On Saturday, Kalen, Matt, and I are going to the Illinois/Iowa football game in Champaign. I'll pick up Kalen in Normal before we go on to Champaign. Then Sunday we're going to go to Kalen and Kathy's choir concert in Normal. Then I'll drive from there to St. Louis. The main pain here is that Ellen and I will each have to drive to Normal seperately, and she'll have to drive herself back on Sunday.

The following weekend I'd planned to go to Flatcon in Bloomington (twin-city of Normal) for a few rounds of D&D play. Then that Sunday I'd planned to go to the Cubs final game of the season with Bob. Assuming that they're not expecting us to work the weekend, I'm still planning to do those things, then drive back to St. Louis after the Cubs game. If it was anywhere else I wouldn't be able to do this (maybe Cincinatti), but St.Louis is only a 4-4.5 hour drive, 2-2.5 hours from Normal, so I could pull that off easily enough. Assuming once again that we're not working the weekend I'll even drive back home the last weekend as well.

Anyway, that was the joy of the morning. Since then nothing major, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. Maybe the last leg of the San Francisco trip. Oh, and a few words about Anansi Boys, my reading material for the trip.

Read more!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's All Grape to Me

We're back in Aurora now, but I'll continue the California trip report. This should be part 3 of 4.

Thursday we set off from San Bruno at about 8am to go to the Napa Valley. It takes a while to drive, since we had to drive through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then a ways north through Marin, Sonoma, and finally Napa counties.

Right after crossing the Golden Gate there is an exit for a Vista View, which gives a nice view of the bay and of the bridge. I got a number of good pictures of the bridge, though it was a bit foggy for any other view. This was also the point where I began to wonder if I'd made a bit mistake -- I forgot my jacket in the hotel room, realized it as we were getting into the car, and decided not to bother going back up to get it. Here it was cold and WINDY! It wasn't a problem the rest of the day though.

We hadn't made any tour or tasting reservations, and I thought it wouldn't be a big issue since this was a Thursday and not yet peak time. Ellen had picked out three wineries that she thought would be good to stop at, and we decided to start at the one in the north and work our way back. On the way Ellen noticed that in one of our information packs our first planned stop was listed as "by reservation only", but Ellen called and made a reservation for about what time we figured on getting there -- no problem. She also then called our second stop, and they said we wouldn't need a reservation, that they weren't that busy that day.

On the way up I saw a sign for Visitor Information, which I think wound up mostly being an excuse for them to lead us through half the town of Napa. We got to the information area, though, and got a better map of the area which was useful for the rest of the day.

First actual stop was at the Joseph Phelps winery. They don't do production tours, so this was just a tasting. Ellen and I shared the tasting (rather than pay for each of us). This was an informal tasting where we got to sample five wines, and they were poured as we were ready for each rather than with everyone tasting at the same time. The guy leading the tasting was informative enough, I suppose, and was interesting, but as usual the subtleties of the wine were lost on me. The $165 bottle didn't taste 'better' (or pricier) than the $40 bottle, and if I'd had a $5 bottle nearby I can't say it would have been different. The views were nice, though.

The next stop was Robert Mondavi wineries, where we got a good tour of the production facilities and tasted several grape varieties that we picked right off the vine. Then there was a tasting of three wines, which was led a bit more formally (our group of 15 all sampling at the same time). The Pinot Noir tasted the best, but again I can't say it was amazingly different than other wines I've tasted. I think the whole thing is lost on me, and I'm better off just having a decent beer and forgetting about the wine.

We stopped for a late lunch at a place that was not quite the informal place that I was planning on (hint: anywhere that lists an executive chef isn't exactly informal), but the offerings also weren't expensive ($15 for each of our lunch specials) and were very good.

Our last stop of the day was to the Gloria Ferrer champagne cave, which the guide we had listed as having a good tour. I figured we may be getting there too late for a tour though, and we got there and there was a sign that said "No public tours today", so it wouldn't have mattered if we got there any earlier. We decided to pass on getting a tasting there, as we'd had enough for the day (and I've never had a champagne that I cared for anyway).

We called it a day, drove back to the hotel, and picked up a pizza from a place right next to the hotel and ate it in the room that evening. Then crashed for the night.

Tomorrow I'll finish the report with our trip to Monterrey and Carmel.

Read more!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Intercepted! / Cubs Fans by Default / Quest for Shoes

This post has been updated/fixed, as there was some corruption earlier.

Walking along Fisherman's Wharf yesterday, we approached two kids playing catch with a Nerf football. They were only about 15 or 20 feet apart, and as we passed the kid facing me threw the ball. I reached up and shouted "Intercepted!" as I grabbed the football, then pulled the ball down and handed it back to the kid in the same motion. The kid was stunned, but his parents and everyone else around thought the whole thing hilarious.

Just adding a bit to the street theater.

Anyway, more stuff on yesterday and today after the break.

Last night we went to the Giants/Rockies game at AT&T Park. I did my usual routine when visiting a new ball park, walking all around the concourse level and getting pictures from a variety of angles. We eventually headed upstairs to our seats in the club level, right between home and first base, seven rows deep in the club section. Very nice seats that we got for face value off stub hub, along with the parking pass (by the way, it was as easy to get to and from that ball park as any I've dealt with -- getting to the game aided a bit by us being early and most of the crowd arriving late).

After we found our seats we went back up to the concessions to find dinner - a panini sandwich for Ellen and a slice of Abbondanza pizza (pepperoni, sausage, olive, onion) for me. After we finished those we topped it off with what is obvioiusly the signature dish at AT&T Park: Garlic Fries, a large order of fries covered with garlic and basil (and SO MUCH GARLIC -- there's no such thing as too much garlic, but the garlic fries put that to the test).

Anyway, the game was pretty good. The Rockies jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Giants scored six in the second inning. Oh, and we were in the stadium full of people rooting for the Cubs to win that night, because the Cubs were playing the Dodgers back at Wrigley. In San Francisco, the Giants slowly padded the lead, and it was 10-5 when we decided to duck out in the middle of the bottom of the eighth. Actually, I'd intended to just start down and out of the stadium, but pause in or behind the right field stands to watch the end of the game, or most of the end. However, the way things are set up there once we hit the escalator going down from the club level we couldn't get back to the concourse, we were just shuttled right outside. That was OK, though, as there wasn't really much doubt left in the game, and we listened to the end of it in the car on the way past the stadium while getting out.

This morning we didn't have anything scheduled, so we slept in a bit. Eventually we got going and to the mall next to the BART station in San Bruno. I went to the Target to get some more batteries for the camera, and Ellen waited a few minutes until the Foot Locker opened so she could fail to buy shoes. See her blog for a bit more on the shoes, but we chased them from there to the mall at the base of the Nordstrom's in downtown San Francisco (attached to the Powell BART station, so at least it was close), to the shoe department of Nordstrom's itself, and finally to a sporting goods store "across the street". Well, it was across the street, but Ellen didn't get better directions than that, so we walked all around the block before figuring out which store they were talking about. At least it didn't turn out to be a wild shoes chase, and we found a pair that, while not exactly what she was planning to get, was suitable for walking around today.

From there we started to wait for the cable car at the turnaround, but it wasn't obvious when the next one would be starting off so we started walking instead. We walked up Powell a couple blocks to the Betty Boop Diner. Fortified, we again started walking and I managed to figure out a route that involved minimum amount of up-and-down hill walking (yes, it was up-and-down, but it was unavoidable regardless). We got to the Chinese gate at Bush and Grant, then walked up Grant street through the heart of Chinatown, mainly to absorb the atmosphere, though, yes, we also did some shopping. We took a left at Washington though another leg of Chinatown (this part lined mostly by restaurants), and then continued up Washington (UP being the operative word) to the Cable Car Museum. We spent about a half hour there and got a lot more of the history of the cable car system. I didn't realize it was quite so extensive at the end of the 19th century, but largely wiped out by the San Francisco fire. The museum is at the cable car powerhouse, so we were also able to see the turbines and watch the four cable lines spin.

From the museum we intended to take the cable car down the hill, but then decided just to walk to where we could pick up a bus up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower. Fortunately, the trip was pretty much all downhill at that point, and not horribly steep for most of it, so the walk was pleasant enough. We found the bus stop and waited about 5 minutes (the couple also at the stop said they'd been waiting about 15 minutes when we got there -- which just told me that the wait shouldn't be that much longer).

We got to Coit Tower, rode the elevator to the top, and got a number of goot pictures of the city and some of the Bay Bridge, though fog on the bat obscured Alcatraz somewhat, and the Golden Gate were pretty much totally lost.

We rode the bus back down the hill to Fisherman's wharf, where the plan was to do the souvenir shopping that we'd put off in past days. By this time it was getting fairly cold and breezy, and I'd foregone my jacket today (since it wasn't worth bringing most of yesterday). Before I got too cold, though, we got up the Ciopinno's, a restaurant across from the old Del Monte Cannery along Fisherman's wharf. Ellen got Salmon Linguini, while I had Fettucini Aglia y Olio (garlic, olive oil, sun-dried tomato, and black olives). Very tasty, exactly what I was in the mood for tonight. We then got to the cable car turnarond and waited for not-too-long in the breezy, cool evening. Cable car -> BART -> rental car -> hotel, and now we're settled in for the evening.

Tomorrow - Napa Valley. Something about grapes.

Read more!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Public Transportation as a Tourist Destination

Greetings from San Bruno! We're now at the beginning of day three in the area.

We're staying out in San Bruno, south of San Francisco and right next to the airport because ... well, because it's cheap. Not just cheap, though, as I ran through several reviews of places out here that basically said "No, god no, don't consider staying there". We're at the Super 8, and this had decent reviews and I usually have decent luck with Super 8 (rahter than another chain in the same family -- Travellodge -- which I've always thought sucked).

Anyway, by staying here and using some of the extra money to rent a car, we're well positioned for the next couple of days when we go to Napa Valley and then to Monterey (two separate days).

But, the other reason to stay where we are is that it's pretty close to a BART station, and taking the train into the city is the way to go (much as it is in Chicago).

By the way, BART rocks. The trains are comfortable, with wide bodies and upholstered seats, fast to get into the city, and relatively clean (surprisingly so for public transport that has been around for a number of years.

And, BART dumps us downtown directly next to .. the cable car turnaround. The cable car is not really necesarily comfortable, but it is pretty cool to ride, and we've been doing it every day in each direction, because it's also the most convenient way to get from downtown to Fisherman's Wharf, where we've done most of the stuff.

Monday, after the flight, we went to Fisherman's Wharf and I showed Ellen a few of the places there that I'd been to before. We explored Pier ?? (must be 45 or 47, I forget), which is more what I consider old-school fisherman's wharf, crowded with restaurants with outdoor crab-stands. Then we walked up toward the old Del Monte Cannery and Ghirardelli Square, both converted into collections of little shops and restaurants. We walked back toward where we started, ate dinner at Nick's Lighhouse, strolled a bit more, then took the cable car and BART back.

Yesterday was our tour of Alcatraz, which was kind of cool -- worth spending the time (about three hours). Then we walked toward Pier 39, which is the yuppified Fisherman's Wharf. :-) We did some shopping, ate aquick lunch from a stand there (fish and chips for me, BBQ salmon sandwich for Ellen), then walked back along Fisherman's Wharf to the west-most cable car turn-around (nearer Ghirardelli Square), and rode that to Lombard Street (the world's crookedest street, though it's really the second crookedest in the city -- it just gets all the press). There I introduced Ellen to the reality of San Francisco hills. :-) We walked down Lombard Street and took some pictures, then continued down the hill to pick up the cable car on the other line. Which meant we walked down the next street, which I guess was deemed not-quite-steep-enough-to-make-croooked. It's pretty damn steep, though, so Ellen had to pick her way down the hill carefully.

Then we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit before going to the ball game, which I'll talk about in a later post.

You can read Ellen's side of all this in her blog.

And that's it for now. More later.

Read more!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

My Prevenge in Complete!

And "Retribution" is at hand!

OK, so I've switched the quote in the header of the blog -- thus my prevenge is complete. The new quote is from Order of the Stick, specifically strip #344.

Kathy told me last night that when she read that strip, she imagined the gnome speaking with a voice I use for some gnome characters when I'm judging D&D. So, I then did a dramatic reading for her. It took me a bit to get into the voice, though. At first I was accidentally doing more of my raven voice, then more like Wallace Shawn, and finally I found the gnome voice (which is more nasally than Wallace Shawn).

"Retribution" is the D&D game I played this evening. I was going to play it with my Rogue/Acrobat (level 6), but the group had no one who could do any healing. Not even anyone who could use a wand of Cure Light Wounds (aka "Happy Stick"). So I switched to my Ranger/Scout character (level 9), who can use a wand, and played down to APL 6. We we a strong table for the APL, so we got through the mod with no problem at all. It was a better fit for my Ranger anyway, so it worked out well.

I went to the Cubs game with Bob a week ago. At least most of the game was fairly interesting, though the Cubs lost and the challenge they mounted at the end was rather weak. Since then, they've managed to win exactly one game in the past week (in looking back, I see they've won three games in the past three weeks), and have finally fallen into last place.

Other than that, I got almost everything at work ready so that nothing was hanging over my head (I have at one thing to finish from here tomorrow), and so I'm ready for a week of vacation. More on that in the coming week -- maybe during the week but definitely by a week from today.

Read more!