Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Not much blogging, because not much has been happening around here recently. I did get my canaled tooth crowned yesterday, which was perhaps the easiest dental procedure ever. I have also been at home for a week, between taking a day off work after the root canal and then being on a project where I was given permission to work from home, which I totally took advantage of. On the entertainment front, my recent installation of Diablo II on the home computer has pushed me back into digital games for the time being. I am currently working to finish the second Act in Diablo II, in chapter 6 in Sakura Taisen 3 (which I've owned since late 2002 and never played, incidentally), and over the weekend I installed the 2001 version of Eastside Hockey Manager and it has completely consumed my brain. That is the downside of working from home, fighting the temptation to go upstairs, forget the work, and pretend to be a hockey club General Manager. That's not an easy temptation to fight, but I've been successful so far.

Speaking of hockey games, my younger brother got me the Strat-O-Matic hockey board game for my birthday (28 days late, but who's counting?), and now I need someone to play it with, because I want to try it out. Hey, Ben, what are you doing next weekend?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ain't Life Grand?

So, I had a root canal yesterday. It wasn't really part of the plan, but I had been having some pain in a tooth that had a filling put in it a few months ago, and I had made an appointment to see my dentist to have it checked out. Over the weekend I got a phone call from his assistant telling me to go see a specialist, because my description of the problem made my dentist think it could be something serious. So I called the specialist on Monday morning, and they had an opening at 11:00 AM, which worked out great. So I headed over there for a diagnostic check and by 12:10 they had scraped the root out of the tooth. The odd thing is that supposedly root canals hurt. However, I have had no pain, just some lingering soreness in the jaw, which totally makes sense considering what was going on yesterday. Still, what a way to start the week, eh?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Busy Days

Yesterday I spent most of the day at Game Nite at South County Center, where I played a couple games of my new game (just got it in the mail on Thursday), The Kaiser's Pirates. It is an abstract game of German commerce raiding during WWI. It is abstract because each player has both German raiders as well as Allied and neutral merchant ships. You try to sink the other player's merchant ships and raiders, without losing your own. It is a lot of fun, though the first hand was totally screwed up because I forgot a very important rule. D'oh! While driving to the store, I noticed that there is a new El Pollo Loco that was put in on Tesson Ferry just south of Lindbergh. I realize that most St. Louisans have no idea about El Pollo Loco, but let's just say that they were doing great grilled chicken decades before KFC decided to give that idea a try. Needless to say, as someone who spent a majority of his childhood in California, I had to get dinner there. If you can get past the greasiness of the chicken, it was a pretty healthy meal. The mixed veggies I got didn't even have any butter on them, they were just lightly steamed, which is the perfect way to prepare that kind of thing.

I have also been knee-deep in the process of thinning out my game collection a little bit. I've got some good money in return for my efforts, which I'm trying to keep from spending on new games. It will probably be a losing battle. I did buy a copy of Carcassonne while at Game Nite yesterday. My brother, Mark, has owned a copy for years and I've played his copy maybe a half-dozen times. I like the game, so I figured I should get my own copy. I hope to break it out and get it on the table fairly soon.

On the work front, things are slooooooowwww. Nothing is happening, and very few people are actually there. That's summer for you, when most people take vacations and clients don't run many projects for us to work on, because, you know, all their people are on vacation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

All-Star Fun

Last night I got together with my friend Mark, his wife Christy, and some of their friends (one of whom I had met before) to watch the All-Star Game at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Olive west of I-270. It was a fun time, even if the place was packed to the rafters (which we expected to be the case). Mark was rockin' his retro Astros tee, Christy was all done up in Cardinals gear, and I was sporting my Blue Jays jersey and cap, so we had all the bases covered. And in case the day wasn't basebally enough, Mark brought his Cincinnati Reds scrapbook and showed us all of his autographs and newspaper and magazine clippings from the last 8 years. My favorite was the fact that he got Bud Selig to sign an editorial cartoon about him keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame. In a book with a bug Cincinnati Reds logo on the front. Priceless.

I think my highlight of the night was the probably inevitable conversation about our personal all-star team from players we had seen play in our lifetimes. I had a hard time remembering the positions of the big names from the '80s, but I was able to hold my own. I got props for bringing up Orel Hershiser in the pitching spot (we went with a 5-man rotation for that position), and nobody could argue with my choice of Mike Schmidt at the hot corner. Man, I loved Mike Schmidt, even though I don't care about the Phillies at all. I caught a lot of grief about wanting to go with McGwire over Pujols at first base, but what can I say? I started watching him as a child in Oakland so I don't see him as just a Cardinal like a lot of locals do. Anyway, it was a good time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kickin' It Old School

So, recently I find myself pulling out old computer games and installing them on my computer. I blame finding my CD of Combat Mission, because I installed that thing and found that it was just as fun as it was when I stopped playing it back in 2002. So, what do I do yesterday? Install my copy of Diablo II. I hadn't played that since 2003, I think, but I had never really played with either of the expansion characters, see, and I wanted to try that out. Diablo doesn't hold up so well in the graphics department, since its maximum resolution is 800x600, but it still runs fine. And now I thinking about breaking out the 'ol Dreamcast to replay Skies of Arcadia, or maybe some more Sakura Taisen. Who needs modern equipment, anyway?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

American Airlines actually acknowledges when they screw up

Remember when I was miffed at American Airlines for the ridiculousness of my Chicago connection last Monday? Well, today I got a "mea culpa" email from them acknowledging that they screwed up bad and giving me 5,000 extra frequent flyer miles to try to make up for it. it doesn't make up for it, but it is good to at least know that they are aware of the problem. As G.I.Joe used to say, "knowing is half the battle."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Random Things Found While Cleaning

So I decided to do some cleaning this morning. I really meant to get more to the downstairs living area, but I pretty much got stuck in the guest bedroom/computer room, as that one was pretty much a mess. I threw a bunch of junk away, put books back where they belong, moved a couple games back to the basement, etc. But that was not all. I also decided to do some organizing of my computer game discs and boxes, which I don't think I had done since I moved in over 4 1/2 years ago. I found a number of old computer file backup discs dating from 2002 and 2003, and actually bothered to look at them and see if there was anything on there worth moving over to my main machine. I found a lot of old stuff that I had forgetten I even had, including articles from when I wrote for Lone Warrior and a folder of graphic images, including the one below. I have no idea where I got this from, but truer words were never spoken, I'm sure.

I also finally found my disc for Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord, which I bought ever nine or ten years ago. I had been looking for that thing for months! I had found the rulebook, but not the disc. I found it in a CD holder hidden under some computer game boxes. No idea what it was doing there, but to this day that is still the best small-scale WWII combat game I have ever played. So I immediately loaded it up and played a game, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I remembered how to play it.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

One of the things that got beat into my head very effectively during my recent trip to Toronto was the fact that July 1st is Canada Day, representing the day that Canada became an independent country in 1867. Another thing that I was made very cognizant of while in Toronto was the fact that the NHL free agency period starts at Noon EST on July 1st. Coincidence? Knowing what hockey means to Canada, I doubt it.

EDIT: Super special Canada-specific link just for you!