Jul 312007

In medical news, all systems are nominal and auxiliary support hardware has been withdrawn. *whew*

Despite being on call, it was a quiet weekend: not a single work page. Saturday roadster_guy and I met our friends Kristen and Adam for breakfast in downtown Detroit, at the Detroit Breakfast House, which was really good. If this place is a sign of Detroit’s renewal, I actually have hope for the city.

In the afternoon we hit the movies to see Sunshine. We’d both been looking forward to it, but Aaron didn’t like it and I thought it was “ok”. It started out really good but, at about the halfway point, the plot holes started accumulating too rapidly. Great visuals though, and of course Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans are always nice to look at.

At 6:30 the three of us (including brokenbryan) had reservations at Europa Bistro in Rochester. We waited an extra half hour for outside seating but, since it overlooks Paint Creek, it was worth the wait. The smoked duck and cranberry ravioli in pecan and port demi-glace did not suck.

Then mrimp, odysseyseven, and _kosh_ joined us at our place for cake, ice cream, and Snatch, which was a great movie. I’d never seen a Guy Ritchie movie before this one. It could have used subtitles though; the English accents were so heavy it was like another language entirely.

Sunday was dedicated to City of Heroes and finishing the last Harry Potter book. Eight of us attempted the Statesman Task Force, and started out strong, but called it quits at the Thorn Tree. We couldn’t seem to get organized enough to weaken all the thorn vines before killing them and the whole mission devolved into constant character deaths. Next time we’ll have a better plan. At least I got a good enhancement recipe (Glimpse of the Abyss) and a piece of rare salvage (Magical Conspiracy). I also respeced Screamcore to drop Siren’s Call (sleep cone) and take Shout (single target attack), since we got a free respec yesterday and the ones given by the devs don’t stack. I’m still not sure if I like it better, since sleep comes in handy when soloing. The higher damage output is nice, but Shout needs a range boost when I hit 33.

HP7 was really good, and almost completely different from the bootleg copy I downloaded a couple months ago. So either I had found a very early draft of the book, or a very well-written piece of fan fiction. There were some similar scenes, and some of the same characters died, but it was really two totally different stories. The problem was that I kept wanting to associate what I’d read in the bootleg with the real story, as if the bootleg was the previous book. Got a bit confusing at times.

Yesterday we found out that my credit card info had been compromised, and multiple charges had been made to various websites to the tune of about $1300. Luckily two of the companies had not posted the charges yet, had already marked them as possibly fraudulent, and were very helpful and responsive. One of the three $109 charges to FamilyAncestry.com has already dropped off, just waiting for the other two plus the $900 charge to iKobo.com. Unfortunately a $100 charge to GlobalRoaming.com has already posted, so I’ll have to sign an affidavit at the bank that we didn’t make the charge so they can investigate and return our money.

Needless to say, I cancelled my card right away and ordered a new one with a different number. In the future I’m going to keep much closer track of which websites have my credit card info, and tighten up our home network security. We do regularly run anti-spyware and anti-phishing tools, but it’s almost impossible to stay ahead of the bad guys.

Jul 272007

I’ve discovered that the 659-page bootleg copy I downloaded and read about a month or so ago is significantly different than the final version. Now I actually need to read the real thing. :o/

Jul 262007

Yesterday brokenbryan‘s friend Danny dug out his laptop while in our office. It looked suspiciously thin and brushed-aluminumy.

“Please tell me you don’t have a…”

Danny grins and flashes the Apple logo on his 15″ MacBook Pro. “Not fair!”, howl I. First it was a2andy‘s 17″ MB Pro and 8GB iPhone, now Danny adds insult to the injury. At least he let me play with it for awhile, further inflaming my already scorching case of Mac Envy. The Cipro I’m on is no match for this particular infection.

Despite our intartubes being temporarily down due to a wonky cable modem, I had Danny hook up to our inside LAN. It took literally 3 clicks and 5 seconds before he was viewing the shared folders on my PC. I can’t even add up the time and frustration I spent getting our two PCs and three laptops to deign to speak to each other on an all-Windows network: the frustration, the begging and pleading, even resorting to bribes.

“Please? Just connect to the Music folder? I’ll copy the new Tool album over to you. You like Tool, don’t you? Just one file for Daddy, please?”

“NO! I don’t wanna!”

“Fine! I only loved you for your games anyway! And you were adopted!” *sob*

This concludes today’s venting over my unhealthy obsession.

Jul 252007

Spent yesterday afternoon with Mom at Wyandotte Hospital for a test that she had to have (which came back fine, fortunately). They asked her to come in as early as possible instead of the original 4pm, so I hustled down to Brownstown from work. We both wanted to get it over ASAP: her because it was going to be uncomfortable; me because I was tired and in pain. Unfortunately, because of a scheduling screwup, she didn’t end up getting the test until 4pm anyway. At least SHE got two doses of happy juice while we waited; I had to settle for an apple mini-danish, which wasn’t nearly as happy.

After stopping to get her some Chinese food and dropping her off, I (carefully!) drove back through the I-75 construction zone, avoiding a repeat of Sunday’s ticket. I had every intention of going to the gym then playing with the new content in City of Heroes, but I was so tired, hungry, and sore I couldn’t bear the thought. I made it through the arrival of

 ‘s friend Danny, a fantastic chuck roast dinner by

 , and the rest of Fargo before I took a bath and an Ambien and sacked out at 9:30pm. The antibiotics must be working, because I’m not nearly as sore this morning, but I’m still running a 3° chill.

Hopefully I’ll feel well enough this afternoon to hit the gym again; I already feel guilty for skipping yesterday, despite the extenuating circumstances.

Backtracking a bit, we had a really good time at

 ‘s party Saturday night after I left Mom’s. Most of the usual suspects were there, including



, and our favorite gay groupie Chani, who was in charge of bartending. The mango mojitos needed some tweaking at first, but turned out just fine in the end. We also got to play with Andy’s new iPhone (Aaron is now a convert and wants one pretty badly), and I got to fondle his new 17″ MacBook Pro. *sigh* Someday…

Jul 242007

Spent a good deal of the last three weekends with my sister and her kids Sydney and Gavin, who made their first trip back to Michigan in about two years. Surprised them at my Mom’s house on Saturday the 7th when they arrived, thinking I had gone to Toronto. We hung out and caught up, and the kids quickly got over their shyness of me, as it had been nearly two years since I’d seen Syd, when Gavin was a newborn.

The following weekend the six of us spent at roadster_guy‘s parents’ beach house near Port Huron, where a fine time was had by all. Despite not getting to the gym for four days, I got plenty of exercise chasing after a 4 year old and a 20 month old: innumerable piggy-back rides across rocky beaches and through waist-high surf; endless overhead presses so they could reach up and touch the ceiling of the house or be splashed through an incoming wave; many laps around the back yard chasing after Sydney the Rock-Star Cheetah; panic-sprints whenever Gavin toddled too far away and straight toward water or roads… The Navy SEALs should add “Child Care” to their physical training curriculum, but I think the dropout rate from exhaustion would become unacceptably high.

Yes, Sydney decided that for the entire trip to Michigan she was a rock-star cheetah, and I was the designated cheetah chaser. Granted, she had never even seen a cheetah until I showed her some pictures and video on the intartubes, but no matter! There was a permanent catch-and-release program in effect all weekend. Sadly, however, I was informed that upon returning to California she will assume the form of a horsey and leave her cheetah days behind. Alas, Acinonyx jubatus, we hardly knew ye.

Last Tuesday Mollie and I went out to dinner at Mongolian BBQ, which she had no access to in the Mojave Desert (shocked I am!), then saw the new Harry Potter movie, which we both really liked. The first half did kind of drag a bit, but once the action picked up toward the end it was worth the wait. The battle in the Department of Mysteries, especially between Dumbledore and Voldemort, just rocked. On that note, agent00groovey stopped by last night to drop off HP7: “Harry Potter and the Truckload of Money”. I wasn’t really going to read it anytime soon, because I had found a bootleg copy of a draft of the book about a month ago and read it already. However, after reading a couple spoilers posted by my flist, turns out that the version I have has significant differences from the final version, so I need to actually read it now.

Saturday we had planned to have the family come up to our place, then go on to Quake on the Lake (hydroplane races) at some friends’ parents’ beach house. That fell through when Mom had to work that day and had no ride home if Mollie had the car. Aaron was disappointed, but we canceled going and I spent the day with them while he stayed home. We went to Bishop Park in Wyandotte and met up with Mollie’s friends Kelly and her sister Lisa, plus Lisa’s kid. I hadn’t seen Kelly since our wedding reception, where she was the date of my buddy Jim. We chased the kids around the park for awhile, then went to Stroh’s for ice cream, finally stopping at the fountain on the corner of Biddle and Eureka. Everyone got soaking wet running through and around it, but it was a blast.

Sunday I trekked back down to Brownstown to go with them to the airport, and got a gate pass so I could help haul their stuff to the plane. I didn’t even know it was possible to go to the gate without a ticket, but apparently they make exceptions for one person under certain circumstances (like being five months pregnant and traveling with two small children). After endless questioning, Sydney now knows nearly everything there is to know about airports and airplanes, and how they work, and probably repeated it all to my sister throughout the entire flight. You’re welcome, Sis. :o)

I was overeager to get home and got busted doing 75 mph in a 60 mph construction zone. Fortunately, the cop didn’t give me an actual speeding ticket, as that would have been double fines and double points, but instead gave me one for “impeding traffic”. Coincidentally, the $150 fine is equal to the birthday money I got from my in-laws, so happy birthday to me. I didn’t REALLY need new clothes for work, or a contribution to my Mac fund, did I? :o(

Warning: Medical TMI Ahead! You have been warned!

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