Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Staining the Deck

The last couple days I have put another coat of stain down on my deck. Specifically, another coat of stain on the base boards. When I totally re-did the deck last autumn, I knew that I really needed to put two coats on the base boards, but after hours of pain-stakingly staining the vertical railing by hand I just didn't want to do it anymore. So, come this summer, the deck started to look really weather-beaten, as it sits in direct sunlight all day, 365 days a year. Also, certain areas with burls and other raised areas got most of the stain wore off of the boards. So, on Monday I cleaned off the deck and on Tuesday I took my can of left over stain and went to town on the boards. And then, with about maybe 3 square feet of boards left to do, I ran out of stain. This was very, very annoying. So today, after work, I picked up another gallon of stain, and after about 20 minutes of work I was done. And I have used maybe 2% of the new gallon of stain. Joy. Obviously, my estimating skills need work, as I was sure that the old can had just enough in it to finish the job.

In the interest of looking at the silver lining on this, I noticed that the handrails also probably need another coat, and now that I have essentially an entire gallon of stain, I should be good to go until two or three years down the road when I will need to completely strip and redo the entire deck. Still, I wanted to do this project for free, rather than having it cost me $30. Ah, well, such is life.

Be Afraid. Be Very, Very Afraid

It has come to my attention that a number of my coworkers have discovered this blog. To all of them, I say "welcome!" I will also say that this blog includes a number of in-jokes that you will only get if you have known me for a long time. It was originally put together so my family and friends could keep up with me on my many travels around the country, or "adventures in auditing" as I liked to call them. Now that my current project has had me in St. Louis for almost the entire last year, I'm not having as many adventures as I once did. Still, enjoy your stay here and feel free to add comments on posts that interest you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

He's been my favorite player for Arsenal since the start of the season, and now it has been confirmed; Cesc Fabregas is awesome.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

10/27 Blues vs. Capitals Game Summary

The second game of my ticket package this season was not the over-powering performance that I saw two weeks ago, but a win is a win. Brad Boyes scored two goals, and Eric Brewer and Christian Backman also put pucks in the net to seal the win, 3-4, over the Capitals. The game wasn't really that close, with the Capitals scoring their third goal with less than 2 minutes left after they pulled their goalie for a man advantage. Still, the Blues looked pretty good, though the constant problems of too many penalties and sloppy clearing (I'm looking at you, Barret Jackman) haunted the Blues all game. The Blues had to kill off two separate 5-on-3 situations during the game. Yes, they were able to do it, but eventually they will start losing games due to junk like that.

I went to the game with my friend George. We ate dinner at a new pseudo-Japanese place close to where I live that I had been wanting to try, Samurai Jack's. It was really good, I am happy to report. We parked at Union Station and walked to the arena from there, and I learned that when you do that the entrance that you go into literally leads right into my section, 110. No walking around the arena to find your seats, you just keep walking straight. I will have to remember that one for the future.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fall Foliage, or the Lack Thereof

The high temperature in St. Louis today should be about 63 degrees, so this is the first day that it really feels like autumn. It only took a full month to get here. Anyway, late October is usually a great time to go hiking in local forests, in order to look at the wonderful fall foliage. This year, however, things are not looking so great. Here it is, the 22nd of October, and most of the trees around where I live are still totally green. My tree in my front yard is going a little bit red, and one of the trees on the top of the hill behind my house is a nice orange/red, but that is it. What happened to my fall? Will it not occur until mid-November? Or is it going to be one of those years where I wake up one day and all of the leaves will have died and fallen overnight? I would blame global warming for this, but I have no idea if that would be factually correct. So, instead, I will use my standard environmental bogeyman and blame El Niño.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lone Wolf

They're here! They're here! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the two first Lone Wolf books (hardback collector's editions, naturally) are in my grubby little hands, and I am happy. These are reprints of the original books from the '80s, though with some changes. First, they have all new art, due to legal issues and so forth. Second, the books do have some new content. The first book, Flight from the Dark, has been extensively re-written, and now consists of 550 sections, instead of the standard 350. The second book, Fire on the Water, is the same as the original edition, but there is an extra solo adventure in the back featuring a minor character, which was not in the original edition.

So, thank you, Mongoose Publishing! It wasn't easy dropping $600 all at once for the mega deal offer (all 32 books, in hardback collector's editions, plus the new novel trilogies, shipped for free once they are printed over the next ~5 years), but it is great to see Lone Wolf in print again, especially since this way I will finally get the books that were never printed in the US during the original publication run.

10/12 Blues vs. Avalance Game Summary

Last night was my first game of the season. I went with a new friend of mine, Ben. We met in Clayton and ate dinner at P.F. Chang's before riding the Metrolink out to the Scottrade Center. It worked out quite well, actually, for someone who hasn't ridden on the Metrolink since 1996. And on the way back after the game we rode in the same rail care as Bill Clinton did in 1994! At least, that is what the commemorative plaque said.

As far as the game goes, the first period was an evenly matched affair, with both teams having solid offensive pressure and good defense, with the score ending 1-1. The second period was definitely Colorado's period, as the Blues played quite poorly during this period. They had three separate power plays, and only mustered two shots on goal in all three of them. That is pathetic. The only thing that wasn't pathetic was Manny Legace's play in goal, stopping all sorts of Colorado shots and keeping the Blues in the game. In the third period the Blues came out flying, and they scored three more goals, to end the game with a 4-1 score. The game was fun ('cuz we won!) and I got to hang out with a friend, so it was definitely a good time.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hobby Games: The 100 Best

The title for this post refers to a new book out by Green Ronin Publishing, wherein 100 game designers write about one of their favorite games. I just picked it up today, and it proves to be a fascinating adventure. Many of the games I have heard of, but not all. However, before really diving into the book (as you can imagine, a game with separate essays on 100 different games isn't going to be small), I thought it would be fun to join the meme and denote my own prior experiences with each of the 100 games in the book. In the end, it turns out that I have a lot of games that I need to play!


Boldface if "I own this game".
Italics is "I have played this game".
Italic and Bold are "I both own and have played this game"

  1. Bruce C. Shelley on Acquire
  2. Nicole Lindroos on Amber Diceless
  3. Ian Livingstone on Amun-Re
  4. Stewart Wieck on Ars Magica
  5. Thomas M. Reid on Axis & Allies
  6. Tracy Hickman on Battle Cry
  7. Philip Reed on BattleTech
  8. Justin Achilli on Blood Bowl
  9. Mike Selinker on Bohnanza
  10. Tom Dalgliesh on Britannia
  11. Greg Stolze on Button Men
  12. Monte Cook on Call of Cthulhu
  13. Steven E. Schend on Carcassonne
  14. Jeff Tidball on Car Wars
  15. Bill Bridges on Champions
  16. Stan! on Circus Maximus
  17. Tom Jolly on Citadels
  18. Steven Savile on Civilization
  19. Bruno Faidutti on Cosmic Encounter
  20. Andrew Looney on Cosmic Wimpout
  21. Skip Williams on Dawn Patrol
  22. Alan R. Moon on Descent
  23. Larry Harris on Diplomacy
  24. Richard Garfield on Dungeons & Dragons
  25. William W. Connors on Dynasty League Baseball
  26. Christian T. Petersen on El Grande
  27. Alessio Cavatore on Empires in Arms
  28. Timothy Brown on Empires of the Middle Ages
  29. Allen Varney on The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  30. Phil Yates on Fire and Fury
  31. William Jones on Flames of War
  32. Rick Loomis on Fluxx
  33. John Kovalic on Formula Dé
  34. Anthony J. Gallela on The Fury of Dracula
  35. Jesse Scoble on A Game of Thrones
  36. Lou Zocchi on Gettysburg
  37. James Wallis on Ghostbusters
  38. James M. Ward on The Great Khan Game
  39. Gav Thorpe on Hammer of the Scots
  40. Uli Blennemann on Here I Stand
  41. S. Craig Taylor, Jr. on A House Divided
  42. Scott Haring on Illuminati
  43. Dana Lombardy on Johnny Reb
  44. Darren Watts on Junta
  45. Greg Stafford on Kingmaker
  46. Lester Smith on Kremlin
  47. Wolfgang Baur on Legend of the Five Rings CCG
  48. Marc W. Miller on Lensman
  49. Ted S. Raicer on London's Burning
  50. Teeuwynn Woodruff on Lord of the Rings (boardgame)
  51. Mike Breault on Machiavelli
  52. Jordan Weisman on Magic: The Gathering
  53. Steve Kenson on Marvel Super Heroes (Jeff Grubb version)
  54. Gary Gygax on Metamorphosis Alpha
  55. Greg Costikyan on My Life with Master
  56. John D. Rateliff on Mythos
  57. Chris "Gerry" Klug on Napoleon's Last Battles
  58. John Scott Tynes on Naval War
  59. Erick Wujcik on Ogre
  60. Marc Gascoigne on Once Upon a Time
  61. Mike Bennighof on PanzerBlitz
  62. Steve Jackson on Paranoia
  63. Shannon Appelcline on Pendragon
  64. JD Wiker on Pirate's Cove
  65. Richard H. Berg on Plague!
  66. Martin Wallace on Power Grid
  67. Tom Wham on Puerto Rico
  68. Joseph Miranda on Renaissance of Infantry
  69. James Ernest on RoboRally
  70. Paul Jaquays on RuneQuest
  71. Richard Dansky on The Settlers of Catan
  72. Ken St. Andre on Shadowfist
  73. Steven S. Long on Shadowrun
  74. Peter Corless on Shadows over Camelot
  75. Dale Donovan on Silent Death: The Next Millennium
  76. Matt Forbeck on Space Hulk
  77. Ray Winninger on Squad Leader
  78. Lewis Pulsipher on Stalingrad
  79. Bruce Nesmith on Star Fleet Battles
  80. Steve Winter on The Sword and the Flame
  81. Jeff Grubb on Tales of the Arabian Nights
  82. Shane Lacy Hensley on Talisman
  83. Douglas Niles on Terrible Swift Sword
  84. Ed Greenwood on Thurn and Taxis
  85. Mike Fitzgerald on Ticket to Ride
  86. Thomas Lehmann on Tigris & Euphrates
  87. Warren Spector on Tikal
  88. David "Zeb" Cook on Toon
  89. Mike Pondsmith on Traveller
  90. Zev Shlasinger on Twilight Struggle
  91. Kenneth Hite on Unknown Armies
  92. Sandy Petersen on Up Front
  93. R. Hyrum Savage on Vampire: The Eternal Struggle
  94. George Vasilakos on Vampire: The Masquerade
  95. Kevin Wilson on Vinci
  96. R.A. Salvatore on War and Peace
  97. Jack Emmert on Warhammer 40,000
  98. Chris Pramas on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
  99. Steve Jackson on The Warlord
  100. John Wick on Wiz-War

We Will Now Interrupt This Blog For... Hockey Season

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the long-awaited time of rejoicing is at hand, as the St. Louis Blues begin the '07-'08 campaign today. Unfortunately, the game is on the west coast, so I will not be able to watch all of it live, since my bedtime is at 10:45. Still, I have hockey again, so life is good.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Things

This past weekend I re-arranged the furniture in my living room. The original set-up had the couch about 60% of the way back to act as a "wall" between the living room and dining area (it's just one big room on my ground floor, with a living area in front and a dining area in back). I ended up shifting the TV into the corner between the window and the stairs, and I moved the couch so that it faces the window, so it acts like a hallway between the stairs and the dining area. It makes the room feel a little more open, but I have to run the lamp's electrical cord along the floor, which looks silly. I have part of it covered with the coffee table, but still. Time will tell if I really like the new layout or not, but it was time for a change.

Also, I would like to report that on Monday night I blew my previous bowling high score of 128 out of the water when I scored a 162 in a game with coworkers in Seattle. It certainly helped that I bowled a turkey (3 strikes in a row) in my first 3 frames!