Sunday, 31 December 2006

Ending the old year with a bad case of Nintedo Thumb

Well, not so bad, as it turns out. Starting Christmas morning--well, early afternoon--I popped Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess into the Gamecube and started mashing buttons. Now a full week and 54 hours of gameplay later, I've finished the game.

Well, "finished" in the sense of beating the final enemy. There's a bunch of side quests that I haven't completed (at least 25 heart pieces and another 30 Poe souls, and I'm still not sure how to get at that chest outside the south gate of Hyrule Castle Town. And I just can't bring myself to mash buttons just to get to the bottom of the Cave of Ordeals, having made it to the 40th level. And who knows what all else I missed along the way). But it's done. Game Over. The End. I never have to buy another video game again as long as I live.

At least until "Phantom Hourglass" comes out. But I have to get a DS before I can play that.

For the record, I didn't just play Nintendo over break. I also played some poker on the computer. I've marked some papers, read some drafts, almost finished the reviews of one paper and one grant, set up next month's spectrogram for the website, and even made a good start on the stack of letters of recommendation I wanted to get out before Christmas. Okay, family-wise, I'm still working on getting Xmas 2004 out the door, but that's so back-burner I can't even work up the guilt over it any more.

So all in all 2006 will end well, with tight, but not seized up and swollen, first MCP joints on both hands. 2007 will begin badly, with getting yelled at by the endocrinologist, but that's my burden.

Hippo Gnu Ears from Blue Teddy Central.

Monday, 18 December 2006

So, two-and-a-half years later ...

I've said elsewhere that I'm basically a Nintendo guy. I've also decided that I'm in serious fiscal responsibility mode, for reasons which readers of this blog should find obvious. So new game systems are absolutely out for the time being. Nonetheless, some games cannot be overlooked.

So it is with "The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess". Released last month for Nintendo's nextgen system (Wii), it has now been released for GameCube. Which is a good thing, since it was first announced for GameCube a looooong time ago. And then delayed. And dithered about. And promised that it would not be released only for the nextgen system (then known only as "Revolution"). So early in 2004, as I recall, when they first announced it would be out "this fall", I went to a local games place, plunked $5 down, and reserved a copy.

So on December 16th of this year, I got a long-awaited phone call. It's in. I had to fight down the urge to go running off to the mall all weekend (but it is the weekend before the weekend before Christmas, after all). Finally picked it up this morning.

And now I'm at peace. I don't hear it calling to me from the trunk of my car. I just know it's there and am comfortable. I'm planning to rip open the package on Christmas Eve (cuz you can open one present on Christmas Eve, right before bed), and drift off to sleepyland reading the manual (because I always read the manual). And I expect to spend Christmas Day in a frenzy of gaming, not to be interrupted (except for food and assorted critical functions) until my right thumb is swollen until at least three times its normal size. I call it "Nintendo Thumb". It's painful, it's debilitating (I can't write, type, drive, or just about anything else useful with my dominant hand) for days until the swelling goes down, and it could just be one of those things that you recover from when you're young and not so much when you're older. And it's how I plan to spend much of the week between Christmas and New Years.

Which means I have to get all my papers marked and letters of recommendation written before Christmas. Eve. And this shouldn't be a problem. Except that it's what I meant to spend all of last week doing, and didn't. So we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Ah, unrequited love

I'm in love. And true to form, the object of my affection is slightly unattainable.

I looked at a townhouse last night. Technically, I might be able to afford it, but it would mean not affording anything else, possibly ever. So probably no go. But ...

Perfect location. Two bedrooms + 'bonus room' (larger than my first apartment in LA). Master en suite with walk-in (larger than my first office) and balcony. 2nd bath on bedroom floor. Washer/dryer on bedroom level (where the h*ll it belongs).

Main floor is mostly open concept. L-shaped kitchen with large island. Hardwood dining/living rooms with screened in 3-season room. Powder room. Two-car garage with direct access to the house. Full freakin' basement.

I tell ya, if the cooktop had been in the island instead of the against a wall, I'd be at the mortgage broker's right now. But it's not, and anyway, I can't really afford it. Just shy of $280K. Yeesh.

But it turns out the apartment condos in the same development do have underground parking (which is a requirement for me) and may be more affordable. And there's a less expensive development going in on the next block (all apartment condos, and most one-bedroom one-bath affairs, and I promised myself if I moved it would be into at least two bedrooms and at least two baths, which might be possible and said to be less expensive over all. So maybe I can scale back expectations (for a while) and move into something slightly less than 'perfect' (sob) soon, and then revisit the whole thing in 5-10 years.

But *sigh*. Me wantee. Me wantee bad.

So if anyone can put me into an interesting space, in the S/SW section of the city, at least two bedrooms, at least two baths, underground/garage parking, W/D somewhere useful, for something I might be able to afford (or at least live with for 5-10 years), let me know.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Hmm, archery

Although I must say I'm a little concerned about the 60% Hephaestus thing....

You scored as Apollo. You are most like Apollo - god of the arts, archery, and divination













What Greek god are you? (Males Only) (pics)
created with

Monday, 4 December 2006

Ah, the myth of the unmarked West rears its ugly head again

Thanks to ol' buddy Mike Flynn (no, he's not dead) for this one:

hat American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland

North Central


The Inland North


The South

The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizz

(The blog software doesn't like the markup for this one. Suffice to say that those lines are supposed to be a cute little bar graph.)