Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Freezing in Seattle

This week finds me in Seattle, WA. I flew in Monday morning, so I was around for all of the snow that came in Monday night. I was around last night when it was 15 degrees waiting outside for the hotel shuttle, and I will be around tonight when it snows again. It wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that I didn't bring appropriate clothing for such cold weather. Definitely not much fun, though I have to admit that in Bellevue where I am staying the weather was never that bad. Maybe an inch of snow. We'll see if we get more than that tonight.

I am trying to enjoy what should be my last out of town business trip for the year. There are a lot of other PwC people out here with me so we have pretty large groups going everywhere. I am staying at the Hilton in Bellevue, which is quite nice. My room is pretty big, so I have lots of room for doing my exercises. Some hotel rooms are really small and cramped, but the Hilton is working out well. Their restaurant could be better, though. I wasn't really impressed with it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Giving Thanks

I had a good Thanksgiving holiday. I spent ~3 days in the Kansas part of the KC area visiting with family. I have 7 aunts and uncles and 10 immediate cousins in my Mom's family, not counting my cousins children, so there are lots of people to see. I also worked on staining my deck, which is now complete and awesome looking, and other such projects. I also got somewhat caught up on my reading, which is good, as I was falling woefully behind. This week I am flying to Seattle for business, so that should give me some more time to catch up on my reading, as I have always had a hard time working on airplanes, and I don't even have much that I could do on the plane in the first place, except for a couple performance evaluations that I really need to write.

Anyhoo, it was a good holiday. I played games (and won them all!) and ate food and worked on the house and lounged around. I also visited my brother and sister-in-law's church yesterday, Windsor Crossing. It is one of those non-denominational, "seeker-oriented" churches based on the Willow Creek model. It was interesting. A little different from what I am used to, but not too much. An interesting experience, and they definitely seem to have no trouble finding top-notch musicians to lead worship.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Rams are Losers

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!

You know it is a bad season when the San Francisco 49ers have a better winning record than you do. Shoot, the Niners are 5 and 5! It is the year of miracles!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


So the eBay auctions I was running last week were very successful. After eBay and PayPal take their cut, I will clear over $250 in revenue, which is great. Yes, I have already made plans for how most of it will be spent. :) I spent most of last evening boxing and packaging all of the items and will be making a huge post office run this evening to mail most of it out. I have a stack of boxes that is about 4 feet tall to have mailed. Have I mentioned that making money is fun? Because it is.

Other than that things have been pretty quiet, which is usually how I like things. I played some Shadowrun on Saturday with the guys, and on Sunday I went to my first Blues game of the season, and watched my boys beat Edmonton 5-3. They have played really lousy over the past couple weeks, but they played quite well on Sunday and it was a joy to get to be there. My seat this year is in section 110, lower bowl behind the goal where the Blues attack twice, so I definitely have it good this year. My next game is in 3 weeks when the Blues retire Brett Hull's jersey, so that should be an excellent game.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The obligatory election post

So, big changes are going down in Washington. Or, at least, the parties in control of Congress look to change. Whether this will lead to significant legislative change is open to debate. Democrats tend to like higher taxes (or, at least, higher inflows of cash) and bigger government, and the Republican congress over the last six years has overseen huge inflows of cash (mainly due to increased tax revenues) and a huge increase in the size of government. That last point traditionally isn't a Republican strength, so I'm not sure how much the Democrats will really change.

Truth be told, I voted for Claire McCaskill on Tuesday. I have nothing against Jim Talent, but I am a small-government conservative, and the current batch of Republican leaders were very much not in line with my thinking, so my vote was less of a pro-McCaskill vote and more of an anti-Republican leadership vote. Other than that, most of the positions I voted for were losers. Todd Akin won, but Sandra Thomas lost (she was really underfunded in comparison to Sue Montee), the stem cell amendment passed, the tobacco tax amendment failed, and the Valley Park-district property tax increase passed.

I take solace in the fact that national Republican leadership was really quite lousy, and seeing them out the door isn't causing me any pain and suffering. Seeing Democrats in charge may cause pain and suffering, but only if they treat their leadership period as an opportunity for endless recriminations and political payback. If they are serious about responsible government, then God bless 'em, as they would have to try really hard to be lousier than the latest Republican leadership.

And for the record, the "mainstream media" (whatever that means, but that is the term everyone is using these days) is saying this whole election was a referendum on Iraq, but I think that is only a minor part of the whole picture. Republicans had become so corrupt that for many of us red-blooded Republicans votes for Democrats were in the books for the first time in years. Look at Virginia: exit polls show that ~4,000 die-hard republicans voted for Webb, which was more than the margin by which he beat Allen. We just got sick of dealing with our own team, so we decided to help them lose to teach them a lesson. Will they learn it? Only time will tell.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Making the Money

For the last few months I have known that it was time to dig through my comic boxes, identify the duplicate books and stuff I don't want anymore, and sell it all on eBay. So, what did I do this last weekend? I went through the boxes of my old games and put those items up on eBay, instead. As someone who has sold over 100 items on eBay over the past few years, I can safely say that it is a major rush to put something up for auction and watch the price get bid up. It can also be rather depressing to put something up for auction and after a week realize that nobody wanted it. However, I am having pretty good results with my latest auction, and stuff hasn't even been up for 2 days yet, so I hope things will turn out pretty good and I will make some good Christmas spending money. If you want to see what I am auctioning off (old minis, board games, and some old RPG books from back in the day), click here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Quiet Week

It has been a pretty quiet week, in general. I was at a brand new client this week, which is only a 15 minute drive from my house, so it has been nice and no-stress going to and from work. Work has been good, as I learn the Real Estate process at this company. All told, I am feeling quite relaxed and happy with things. I am in one of those situations where I have been doing a lot of one of my hobbies (in this specific case, playing computer games), but that is waning and I haven't yet dived into the next thing yet, so I feel like I have lots of time to take care of business, like raking leaves or general clean-up stuff around the house.

Another aspect of the downtime is that one of my old hobbies, which I have not entertained for years, is threatening to make a comeback. Yes, all of those wargaming miniatures in the basement have been on my mind this week. It all started when I got the idea to buy some minis for the RPG game I am running and have a professional paint them up like the characters in the game. In doing that, I was perusing the Reaper site, as well as The Miniatures Page, and man there is some really cool stuff out there. I also found my old Kill Zone game and realized that the minis in there would work well for the Shadowrun game I play in, and I am now threatened with dropping hundreds of dollars on cool miniatures that I will most likely never use. *sigh* It's all so cool in my mind, though. It is probably a very good thing that I am back on my budget austerity plan after the summer, or I would have already dropped $150 on miniatures games this week.