Thursday, January 28, 2010

Been a long, long time.

Wow. The last time I added a post to this blog was nearly three months ago. In that time a lot has happened, some things more notable than others.

At a Mens Club meeting, I *think* the second Tuesday in November, I bet a friend that the Saints would play in the Super Bowl. I didn't intend to make the bet, just sort of got talked into it, and for the stakes of the bet we agreed the loser would wash the winner's car. All season I was worried the Saints would choke. Hasn't happened yet!

At a NAVA last November I discovered a Playstation 3 game called Gravity Crash. I immediately fell in love with the game, and now badly want a Playstation 3. During the last 3 years I felt this way about the XBox 360 after playing Geometry Wars, and later felt the same way about the Wii after playing Wii Sports & Wii Sports Resort. In both earlier cases the urge passed. I assume the PS3 urge will pass sooner or later. I'll get the systems eventually anyway, once new, more advanced models are released.

I was laid off by ISS Group, and immediatley afterward (all pre-arranged) contracted by Cloud Strategies. With Cloud I'm a 1099 employee and therefore responsible for my own healthcare, savings plan, taxes, etc..., but this will hopefully work out well. Cloud Strategies helps businesses implement Microsoft BPOS, a very exciting suite of products from Microsoft including Exchange Online and Sharepoint Online. One perk is that I work out of my basement office now, so I use far less gasoline. I do get substantially worse mileage now, however, seeing as all of my trips are short.

Nate and Maren got far too many gifts for Chanukah (Thanks everybody!) and have been loving them. Nate especially enjoys his Legos.

Our family drove to Orlando in late-December and got to see many relatives that we don't see often enough. On Christmas day a bunch of us visited Disney and had a blast. WDW stayed open that day until 1am, and we didn't leave until closing. My back and feet hurt as much as they ever have, but it was absolutely worth it.

(Pics Plug - I've uploaded pictures of our Florida trip to my Flickr site. I haven't edited or weeded out any of the pictures (haven't even rotated them) so you'll see the raw shots. But some of the pics are nice nonetheless.)

One Thursday in mid-December I signed up for a new contract with T-Mobile and bought myself a brand-new G1. Realizing I was working with a new company that was a close Microsoft Partner and it may be a BAD THING to carry around a Google phone, I returned the phone on Saturday and went back to my old T-Mobile Dash.

Speaking of the Dash, I got my Dash in the summer of 2007. I was excited to have a Smartphone, and hit the 'net to find a z-machine for the phone. Z-machines are programs that run old-fashioned text adventure games like Zork and Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. (Text adventures are now called interactive fiction, or IF.)

Z-machines were available for every computer device imaginable - Palm Pilots, the Sega Dreamcast, PCs, MACs, Playstation 2, etc... I was shocked and disappointed to discover there was NO working z-machine for my T-Mobile Dash. Windows Mobile smartphones were simply excluded from the party.

A few weeks ago I ordered a new HTC Touch Pro 2 (and the expected T-Mobile contract, of course, to get the phone for free). The Touch Pro 2 is a touchscreen Windows Mobile device, so there is a Z-machine for it. In fact, the best Z-machine I found for it is able to run on the Dash too! I wish I'd known about the program when it came out last summer. For anybody interested, the program is called "PocketZax", and so far it has worked perfectly fine for me.

My big Chanukah present was the Beatles Remastered Boxset - Mono. I've been loving it. The set was supplemented with 2 of the three Stereo-only remasters. All that is lacking from the collection is Let It Be, and I'll probably pick that up the next time I'm at Target.

Last weekend we threw Nate a Lego birthday party. I hung various Lego spacecraft from the living room ceiling, I made brownies that looked like Legos, and all of the party guests made their own Lego racer. Pictures were taken and are at the Flickr page.

Lastly, but not at all least, THE SAINTS MADE IT TO THE SUPER BOWL. So as soon as there is acceptable weather and scheduling permits, I'll have a nice, shiny car thanks to the efforts of my friend in the Mens Club. Thank you Drew, Sean, Reggie, Garrett, Mike, Pierre, Deverey, and all of the rest of you. There aren't words to describe my emotions last Sunday night! But I might have pulled something deep inside trying to stifle my screams so I wouldn't wake my kids.

I'm sure there is more to write, but this should suffice for now. Have a happy February. (SUPER BOWL!)