Fri, Apr. 24th, 2015, 08:34 am
That was quick

Fledgling bands are fragile things. Logistics, commitments, and perhaps some drama have ended the band before it really even had a chance. I was really looking forward to the next practice so I could show them how much I have improved. Daily repetition is naturally the path to proficiency. Now without any motivation, I'm sure that I will once again lose interest and fill my time with more stable hobbies.

Sun, Apr. 19th, 2015, 07:21 pm
Moonlight Mechanic

I've been spending some time and money toying with and fixing up the Audi I recently bought. Nothing too major needs to be repaired. Just a bunch of little things that might be expected of a car 10 years old. My neighbor commented that he sees me working on it more than driving it and that's certainly true.

Still, I actually enjoy working on it. At least, I think I do until the blood, sweat, and tears start to flow. When that happens, I just walk away and come back to again when I'm healed up. I'm in no rush here so I can take my time and work on it when I want to. When it's all patched up again, then I'll drive it more. Afterwards, I can get to work on my Ford.

I'm sure someday I'll tired of such needless physical labor and suffering and just pay someone to do the grunt work. My time may be better spent on endeavors more career oriented for example. As I often think, "Time that you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Mon, Apr. 13th, 2015, 10:03 am
Time is Relative

Yesterday was Lefty's 5th birthday. When I convert that into his human age, I find that he and I are nearly the same age (37). From now on, he's going to be older than I.

Owning a dog sometimes give me some deep thoughts (by Jack Handy).

In just 5 short years, my dog has caught up to me in age. I feel that because his life is so much shorter than my own, that I should make his the best that I can. For this reason, I walk him every day, take him to dog park every week, and other spoils that other dogs might only dream of.

He may not be aware of this own mortality but I am. Happy Birthday and Happy Trails to you Lefty.

Sun, Apr. 5th, 2015, 08:27 am

Inspired by an episode of the Simpsons and encouraged by a friend, I joined a band last week. For 5 years I've been playing the bass in the loosest sense. Mostly it sits neglected overshadowed by work, Lefty, and other interests. On occasion I'll pick up my bass to take a class or just to remind myself that it's there. I suppose I've done that enough over the years to accumulate into some basic level of proficiency.

So it is that I searched Craigslist and responded to a request for a bassist. I warned them of my shortcomings but they assured me. Still, I was really nervous having never played with a real band before. The group is easy-going and patient with me. The guitarist especially is well-versed in his craft and teaching me how to play along. Most importantly is I now have a strong incentive to practice regularly.

Sun, Mar. 22nd, 2015, 11:10 am
New (used) car

I've been driving the same car for 15 years so I pulled the trigger on a new (used) car to add a dash of variety to things. My original intent was to buy a new 2015 Mustang but I couldn't justify the cost given how little I actually drive. My work commute is just 10 minutes each way and I work from home twice a week. In summer time I ride my bike to work so I drive even less.

Instead I picked up a used 2004 Audi TT. While it has 100,000 miles, it runs just fine. I kept my old Ford since the trade in value was so low. I'll use that as my daily driver / dog taxi and the Audi as a weekend / project car.

Even being 10 years old, I'm really impressed with the quality and technology Audi builds. There are some minor repairs it needs but they are mostly cosmetic. Spending hours and hours reading car forums for advice and tips. I'm enjoying learning all the ins and outs.

Sat, Mar. 14th, 2015, 07:09 pm
Good news, Bad news

My grandmother on my mother's side is not doing well and been in the hospital for serious problems. She is my last surviving grandparent so I'm hoping that she'll pull through okay.

In other news, I scored well in my annual review at work and earned a 4.5% raise. On top of that a promotion is pending some HR red tape. My chances of going to Germany have become very low so at least I feel boosted in my current role.

Mon, Mar. 2nd, 2015, 12:23 pm

Living out in the suburbs isn't very convenient for getting out and being active. I finished the level 2 improv class but I'll wait on level 3 simply because it's a long drive to the theater. Music lessons and other classes are also often in central Denver.

I'm about 30 minutes from downtown (without traffic) and that may not seem that bad to many. 30+ minutes of driving is a typical commute for lots of people. I've been spoiled by living close to the office and also working from home. My tolerance of long drives is low and I'll be glad when self-driving cars (putting the auto back in automobile) are the norm.

So when considering a new interest to attempt, proximity has taken a priority. I'm much more likely to attend class regularly if nearby. My county offers community courses and such however many of them are for old people or kids. That's the suburbs: Families and retirees.

With limited options now, I signed up for a wall climbing course. Although I have little interest in this, at least it's convenient.

Mon, Feb. 16th, 2015, 11:02 am
Holding Pattern

February has been an uneventful month. Part of that is because I'm staying parked. The opportunity to work abroad is still a possibility so I'm not doing much until I hear a decision one way or the other. When I get the news, I'll get back into drive mode (or even overdrive).

Mon, Jan. 26th, 2015, 10:54 pm
Answer for question 4210.

What is your favorite motto or motivational message? Why do you like it?
"Don't try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgements." -Star Trek First Contact

I remember this quote when I feel like my life has amounted to nothing.

Mon, Jan. 26th, 2015, 04:31 pm
PAX South in San Antonio, Texas

When limited to scheduling a geek convention in Winter, better to put it someplace reasonably warm. I had a great time in San Antonio last week for PAX South and miscellaneous tourism.

Arriving a few days early permits me to calibrate my compass and explore a bit. Without a car, I was limited to the downtown area with the Alamo at the epicenter of it all. This historic landmark is somewhat lackluster in truth. There isn't all that much to see with most of my time spent looking at old rifles and pistols. Even taking my time, the entire site can be explored in an hour or so. Perhaps because of this, numerous tourist traps are abound. Some good, some bad.

The Riverwalk is pleasant place if the weather holds. The area is lined with mediocre restaurants and bars and little of anything else. Still, the riverboat tour is cheap and interesting enough. Also, there are many cute ducks here due to irresponsible diners feeding them.

I also spent some time at Hemisfair park and the Tower of the Americas. This monument was constructed for the 1968 world expo held in San Antonio. Having attended a World Expo in Japan, I have an interest in such events. Sadly there is little to learn about the fair itself replaced instead with a history of Texas.

While it might seem like a dull time, I enjoyed these tourist traps mostly because I was in a group of fellow PAX travelers. Together we talked about games, joked, and bonded over geekdom. My good friend johno was not able to attend this PAX so I was relieved to make some new friends to hang out with.

Being the very first PAX South, some areas of the con weren't quite as elaborate as PAX Prime. The Expo floor, for example, didn't attract the same level of big companies. The panels too were weaker in general. To make up for this, I joined up with my new friends and played board games frequently. As a board game rookie, I learned how to play some great new games. Perhaps I'll join some local game nights too.

It was a great surprise to find an old acquaintance there demoing his new video game. Since he was working, I stopped by often to play the game more and chat. During one such session, one of the creators of Penny Arcade (Jerry) stopped by to check out the game. I gladly passed him the controller so he could play. I held in my inner fanboy and played it cool so as to let him enjoy the game without distraction. Standing there pushed back into the booth a bit, between Jerry and my friend was quite a thrill. That may be as close as I'll ever get to being in the game industry.

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