another misAdventure

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All Japan Watches

This post is not about a store selling timepieces.

Ryan and I went to the Cubs game last night with Bob and Diane. It was cold and very windy, with the wind blowing right in our faces. And, due to scheduling (mainly with Ryan's work) we arrived just at game time, so we didn't get to the stadium club buffet.

But, that worked out just fine -- we just decided to watch the first two innings from our seats and then head to the club to get sandwiches for dinner. We were then able to watch the next 5½ innings in the warm comfort of the club, watching on the HD TVs while we ate and lounged around. Ryan and I went back to the stands for the last two half-innings, but we just grabbed a couple seats down the right field line rather than go back to the regular seats. Thus we were positioned to get right out to the train station when Kerry Wood got the last batter to ground out to Derek Lee. Cubs won 3-1.

Someone on ESPN said "All Japan watches", probably around the first fourth inning, because the game had two big, recent signings from the Japan playing, the Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome and the Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. I said I thought "All Japan Watches" was a little shop down the street. Then throughout the rest of the night, anytime anything major happened, especially with Fukudome or Kuroda, we'd just way "All Japan watches!".

Hey, I could have named this post "Stinky Mattress Weekend", but Bob would have to tell that whole story.

I was also at the Cubs game on Memorial Day, that time with Ellen, Kalen, and Cody as well as Bob and Diane. The Cubs won that one by the identical 3-1 score. It was warm that day, and we could get to the stadium early enough for the stadium club buffet, so no side trips out of the stands on Monday.

One other small note from Monday -- in the 7th inning Chin-lung Hu pinch-ran for the Dodgers. After he was announced, Wayne Messmer (Cubs PA guy) followed up with "Hu's on first". I'll bet he gets a lot of that. He did from us.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

This is a Test, this is Not ONLY a Test

It's time for another quick update, but this one is more motivated by a new feature added to Facebook, that should pick up the blog post and add it too my notes automatically. I've had an application that did that (a couple different attempts), but they haven't been totally satisfactory and this new one is more integrated with Facebook. We'll see.

We're making a quick trip to Iowa and back for part of the weekend. We're doing the ceremony committing my mom's ashes for burial Saturday afternoon, some business at the bank earlier, and then dinner with Beth's family a bit later. Then we'll drive back Sunday and go to the Cubs game on Monday afternoon.

I finally caught up with the last three episodes of "Smallville" for season 7. My main thought throughout was how we were never going to get a satisfactory resolution to the storyline, what with the creators/story editors leaving and Michael Rosenbaum not returning to play Lex. I've also heard they we're bringing back the girl who played Kara, so we've got two cliffhangers where the actor is not returning: Kara probably stays <spoiler>trapped in the Phantom Zone</spoiler> and we'll probably get a poor excuse why we don't see Lex again (because, for the mythology, they have to at least be able to hint that Lex is still around). This shos is probably going to get demoted OFF the Tivo list next year, maybe to be caught occasionally if nothing better is on -- and it competes with both Survivor and 30 Rock most of the time.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Random Notes - 5/19/08

Something small I noticed today: a newer building on my way from home to work (and vice versa) is named CityGate Centre. With the "Centre" spelling obviously meant to make it a bit more exotic and or sophisticated. But I don't think the same thing happens in reverse -- no place in England, Canada, Australia, etc, are likely named "Center" to give it that exotic American feel.

(yes, I know that it does happen in Japan, but that's a bit different)

It's happening: I just got e-mail notice from Amazon that my order had shipped -- the first D&D 4E adventure. So, I'll be able to read a bit and run a game shortly after we get the core rules. I've got LG to play and then prep for first, though, for Last Weekend in Verbobonc.

It's happening: Wizards of the Coast is sponsoring GenCon, so there will certainly be RPGA events there after all. Now to see when they plan to open RPGA event registration, and see if they're ready for a new surge of registrations.

It happened: Ellen and I bought 200 points in Disney Vacation Club on Saturday. We get 200 bonus points that have to be used in the next year at Saratoga Springs Resort (our home resort is Animal Kingdom Villas), so now we need to get into vacation planning mode. Probably (almost certainly) two trips to Disney World in the next about 8 months. I certainly can't complain about that.

It didn't happen: or very nearly didn't. I didn't get any real problem calls when I had the hotline this weekend. The phone rang once, but it was for an issue that wasn't in my area, so I got dismissed from the call quickly. Pretty damn cool.

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You Will Find True Love on Flag Day

Random bit of fun I found today, after we ate at F&R China Buffet yesterday:

Not that xkcd ever lets me down.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

It's Like a Whole Other Country!

The long delayed post on Ottawa.

The trip to Ottawa was brought up on short notice. I'd hoped NOT to be doing as much traveling, or as much STUPID traveling (for no point). But, this one was for an assignment that I very much wanted to do, to spend more time on. Plus, I knew I'd actually be meeting with people there. Interacting! Unlike my trip to Philadelphia earlier in the year.

Anyway, not so much to report on the work -- both because it was fairly unremarkable and because I probably shouldn't post much about it on an open forum. Not that any of the stuff I was working on hasn't been announced, just not as good a policy. The week was productive, though, and the colleagues pleasant to work with.

The hotel they put us in was too-fancy by half for my taste. Too upscale, but it was right next to the office. This is the kind of place where they charge $200 a night and then also charge for parking, and for internet access. I can get free internet in any Super 8 in the world, but they can't do it here? They can, but they also know they can get away with charging. And, since I was doing some work from the hotel at night, Alcatel-Lucent will just have to put up with paying for it. Another colleague, who is traveling this week, decided to go down the road a ways to a Days Inn because his taste runs about the same as mine.

I was up there with another co-worker, Kris. He and I went downtown in Ottawa on Tuesday night of that week, to the Byward Market. The density of restaurants in about six or eight square blocks was pretty astounding. The only type of restaurant that I didn't note in that area was a Greek restaurant (later, I saw one a couple miles away). One the other hand, there are a LOT of Lebanese restaurants. We wound up that night at a seafood restaurant, upstairs in their grille areas (three separate restaurants? or three separate brandings of basically the same restaurant in one building? -- upstairs, main floor, and cellar).

I also spent a night where I went back downtown and met my friend Dwight for dinner, at a pub in the large mall near the Parliment. I love pub-style food, and that's one thing that I've never seen replicated well in the U.S. In Ottawa there were a number of pubs (and, in fact, Kris and I ate in two others), no doubt due to the far-longer English influence in the country. Just in general, being in Ottawa was far more like being in England than like anywhere in the U.S. Other than driving on the proper side of the road!

And, since the timing put us there right at the beginning of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there was hockey everywhere in the evening. On the TV in every place that we ate. One three or four channels on my room TV. And, instead of being parked on ESPN as I often am when on the road, the TV was most often on TSN. TSN was pretty obviously owned, or part owned*, by ESPN since the graphics are the same, the music the same, the style the same. Only it was "SportsCentre" rather than "SportsCenter". And, hockey took about 80% of the broadcast, with baseball tucked into the corners, so I had to work a bit harder to get the Cubs score each day.

* TSN is 20% owned by ESPN, I see from Wikipedia.

I need to force myself back into more frequent posting, as I have ideas back up in my head that I never get committed to bits!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008


It's Spring! (no, Ellen, it's not summer quite yet)

I finally got a chance to start "springifying" around the house (or whatever the opposite of "winterization" is.

Mowed and trimmed the lawn for the first time this year (probably could/should have done it last weekend, but I was busy and it was rainy), put the screen in the storm door replacing the glass, got the fountain set up, got hoses back out to their stations, uncovered the patio table and got the chairs re-set around. And I fired up the grill for the first time tonight to grill some vegetables (not entirely successfully).

Slightly late in the spring for all this -- I probably would have done all this two weekends ago if I hadn't been in Iowa. But, it's done now.

Besides that, I got the leak from the shower in the kids' bathroom fixed, finally, and it was not IN the wall as I thought, but a back-flow from a bad connection with the hose from the hand-held nozzle. The bad news is that I figured that out AFTER I knocked a couple holes in the wall -- that'll just hasten the bathroom remodeling that we were planning anyway.

And, I got some stuff moved around in the garage to begin to make a dent in the mass of stuff brought back from Iowa, and I cleaned out the area that Matt had claimed (now that he's in Florida) and started moving some of my stuff back into there.

All in all, a busy and productive weekend. I'll see how well I can keep that up over the next weeks.

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