Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday hooray!

Hey it's Friday on a three day weekend :-)

I'm working hard on the new and you should hopefully see the fruits of my work in the next week or two.

We're going to the Phinney Farmers Market tonight when Angela gets home. We're going to get some fresh veggies for dinner tonight.

Valve upgraded Half-Life 2 and Episode One to the most recent build of the source engine this past week when they released the Half-Life 2 games on the mac platform. They also added achievements to HL2 and Ep1. I'm kinda burned out on RPGs so I think I am going to replay the entire Half-Life series when I finish Dragon Age.

Speaking of which, I haven't had any time to play DA in the last few days which is kind of frustrating because my save is about five minutes into the battle of Denerim and I'm pretty sure that's the end of the game. When I finish it I will post a review and some thoughts.

I finished a short story recently. The first draft was completed a few months ago and it's been aging since then. Last week I opened it up and did a second draft. I cut about 7 pages from it, rewrote a bunch of dialog, fixed a ton of grammar and punctuation errors, fixed a bunch of consistency issues and added a ton of character development. Angela is going to hit it with the editor bat sometime in the coming week and then I'll send it off to some magazines and see if I can make a few bucks off it.

I am *very* happy with the story even though I am acutely aware of many ways that it is lacking. I've got few other stories that are ready for comprehensive second drafts in the next month or so and I'm really looking forward to finishing up my current top secret project so I can get back to working on the fiction.

Well, I'm gong to make some coffee and put on some laundry now :-) Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Home Sweet Homo Erectus

Finally, here is the painting I did while I was on vacation. Pretty fun, right? Well, I had fun with it anyways. I really like the eye sockets. This got me excited to do more painting, too, which means I might finally get around to doing something with poor little Umbrella girl.

In a couple weekends, we are going to do a craft fair with Abe's mom. Abe will have more information tomorrow, but it is in Lake City from 9 to 5 or 6. We will have knitting needles and other knitting stuff, cards (blue lady), and comics (Bus Stop). We will see how well the comics sell and then put them up for sell on etsy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

More Dragon Age

I played dragon age on sunday. Now that I'm into a part of the game that I haven't played before the voice acting is much less annoying. I am concerned about replaying the game though.

I had a weird situation where the game was crashing to desktop every time I killed a certain boss. It turned out that there's a big explosion with a bunch of particles and stuff that happens when the guy dies and that's what was crashing the game. All I had to do was turn off "post processing effects" and it worked like a charm.

The game is buggy as hell though. Not Bethesda buggy mind you but buggy nevertheless. It crashes to the desktop randomly which is pretty annoying. Most of the time it takes a few hours but sometimes it crashes after just a half hour or so. The one that bothers me the most is that when combat starts, the volume of the music jumps up by about 30%. So I am constantly adjusting the volume because if I turn it down enough that the combat music isn't painfully loud I can barely hear the characters talking when I'm not in combat. The other bugs I've noticed are that some quest npcs don't lose their overhead indicators when the quest is turned in.

I'm really enjoying the story though. And the characters in my party are mostly interesting and are very well voice acted. I find myself actually enjoying talking to them.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Funny Video

This is really funny. It looks like any other pair of talking heads at the beginning but you'll soon realize that they are mercilessly lampooning the state of the worlds economy :-)

Angela went to Portland for a few days with a friend so I've been playing Dragon Age which was actually a christmas present I got for myself. I had started playing it when I first got it but I was not enamored of the party mechanics and I got frustrated with micromanaging stupid bots and gave up. This time I made a group composed entirely to support my main character who is a rogue and I'm having a great time.

I've got to say that the voice acting gets pretty tedious the second time through though.

Last I checked I had about 22 hours in to it and the game says I've completed 33% of the game. I'm doing every quest I can find and I'm exploring and talking to everyone so I expect it'll be a hefty chunk or time before I'm done with the game.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coming Changes

So, there are some changes coming to the blog in the near future. For now, the only thing that's going to change is that is NOT going to automatically take you to the blog anymore. Instead you will need to go to and, because I'm nice, I'll set up a page on with a link to the blog :-)

In a little while there will be more changes and I think you'll enjoy them.


Vacation is fun. Now I remember.

So I guess I never posted about my vacation. Here goes.

We started out packing my mom's VW bug (new version) with tons of art supplies and promptly driving south to go to Lake Quinalt. And promtply taking the wrong highway and going on a huge detour to Hoodsport, if that means anything to you. But once we got back on track all was well and we got to the Lochaerie Resort without any further problems. We did stop at a gas station so my mom could make sure she was going the right way, but we were.
The Cabin was very nice, though we had to make about 5 trips down two or three flights of very steep, uneven stairs to get all our stuff down to the cabin. I like the stairs when we weren't carrying all our stuff. And I thought to myself, "Well, I would rather be carrying all this down than up and Abe and Jim will be here to carry it all back up..." The Cabin itself was nice. Small, but nice. And I thought to myself, "Abe might have a hard time here since it all seems to be size for mom and myself." My mom and me are within a quarter inch of each other in height. Abe is almost a foot taller than me. The bedrooms all look out on the lake. The porch faced the trees, but we did sit out there and drink cocoa one evening. That was fun. Mom got some great pictures of some birds. Yellow Thrush? She got pictures of a loon swimming in the lake and some common merganzers taking off from the lake. In the morning, the hills around the lake were covered in fog. Absolutely gorgeous.

Our little cabin with the red painted wooden floor.
We spent our evenings in front of the fire place (they give you firewood for each night) doing crossword puzzles mom had brought with her from the newspaper. We wanted to get more because we were running out, but not a single store in teh lake quinalt area carried them. Doh.

I spun only once on the trip. Well, twice, I ruined it that night and fixed it the next morning.
During the day, we intended to do a lot of art. I apparently don't know how to do that yet. It is hard to switch from a cubicle for work to a couch. :) Anyways, we didn't do much because on the first day, mom had heard mice in the walls; and on the second day, we found mouse poop; and on the third day, a mouse came tearing ass out from behind the fireplace. So we spent a lot of time trying to work out that problem.

We went on a hike through a historic farm and found this big bowl.
In addition to the "pets" we had not requested, mom forgot her watercolor paper block, so we called Abe and him look up the nearest art store, which was in Forks. So we spent a few hours and drove to Forks. Oh, and for the first few days, mom had a very sore back. She thinks it was from the stress of actually taking a working vacation, which I tend to agree. So in Forks, we found the art store pretty easily. Small town, so it was not the most varied art store. Mom ended up getting some cheap watercolor paper in sheets because they didn't even sell watercolor blocks. When we went up to the counter, I noticed a bunch of Twilight fan art and twilight merch, like notepads and pins. I giggled to myself. When my mom asked the art store lady where we could go for lunch, she mentioned the Twilight restaurant. And then a Mexican restaurant, which is where we went. We did drive past the Twilight restaurant, and I giggled again. The window displays were a bunch of stuff from the book covers. Anyways, the mexican restaurant was a converted gas station. The food tasted ok, but made me a bit sick.

Then we went grocery shopping. The grocery store had a section devoted to twilight with rain boots and hoodies and bumper stickers. Things like "The rain and the vampires both suck in Forks, WA." Yikes. I ended up getting some corn that was cookable in the microwave because that is all they had. And it was really gross. Tasted like chemicals.

On the way back from Forks, we stopped by a beach. We would have walked more, but mom's back hurt too much. We grabbed a cool looking bottle that had little things that had grown on it, like clams or something. Cleaning up the beach.

I posed on this bridge (which actually came before the big bowl).
Anyways, the cabin was fun, but what with mice pooping in our dishes (so unsanitary), we decided to leave and ended up spending the rest of vacation at my moms. We ended up having to lug everything back up, including about 7 days worth of food, without the aid of our men. While we were at the cabin, I had started a painting for Abe, "Home Sweet Homo Erectus," and a pencil of Arthur and Georgie.

Isn't this clover huge? It's almost as big as my palm!
On the way back home, we stopped by our apartment so I could say hi to Abe and the dogs. And grab some things, like more crossword puzzles. We spent the entire drive up to bellingham doing the crossword puzzles.

In Bellingham, we also didn't get much done because we had all this money and I wanted to spend it! (Refund) I got an Ashford 16" rigid heddle loom from NW Handspun Yarns. And then I made mom a scarf (with her help). It was super fun. I can't wait to make another, but it has been SO HOT. It is cooler today, so I guess that is what I will do. Yay for rain. The loom came needing to be put together. It is a good thing I didn't wait to do that until I got back home because it was so hard to get the screws in we ended up having to use mom's drill as an electric screw driver. A few comments on the directions. The two pieces that are both marked H are not identical, they are the exact opposite, so they should have different letters. The pieces are not labeled, so you have to figure it out. The tools that are optional, like wood glue, should be marked optional in the tool list, not just in the instruction steps. There was something else, but I have forgotten now. And with about an hours time, we had the whole thing put together and were starting the scarf.

Anyways, we also went to Goodwill, where I got some shoes for $7 that I had been eyeing at Fred Meyer's for $35. I also got an awesome green cardigan (smaller guage than I can do with awesome buttons and a great color), a herringbone sweatshirt (no hood! Yay!), a white button-up shirt (which turned out to be too big, but I will see what I can do to fix it), and a box with drawers (black and painted with moon and stars). I went back with Abe later and got a 99 cent green v-neck t-shirt and an awesome green goblet. Abe hates it (the 70s goblet).

In all, I had a great time. Abe came up Friday to pick me up. That is when we went to Goodwill. That was the day we did my birthday celebration with my family.

For my birthday, Isaac gave me a bone large-eye blunt needle that he had made with the information he learned in the Bone Carving class that was his birthday present from mom, jim, abe, and me. The bone came from a porkchop he'd had for dinner. Haha. And mom bought me some books at Hendersons: Weaving things you can use, The joy of hand weaving (though mine was printed in 1950), How to draw and sell comic strips, How to draw and sell comics (which I just realized is the by the same guy who did the previous book...), and Aubrey Beardsley: Sixty selected drawings. The Aubrey Beardsley one might be my favorite. Turns out one of his drawings was used as the cover on one of my favorite books, The Einstein Intersection.

For my birthday and Mother's day, we had a GREAT dinner on Friday. Jim made polenta, which I could never complain about and nearly have to force him to make everytime. Man that stuff is good. We also had the Brussel Sprouts Braised in Butter from the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And from the same book, we had chicken breasts in mushrooms and onions. That might just be the best chicken I have ever had or will have in my life. Holy cow. The whole chicken thing took about half an hour. The sauce (butter, mushrooms, green onions, vermouth, chicken stock, and cream) was amazing. It was good on the polenta and brussel sprouts, too. I am drooling just thinking of this meal. For dessert we had some delicious pistachio/almond ice cream with chocolate syrup. Yummy.

I had such a great time for a week and a half hanging out with my mom. She apparently spends a lot of her time saying mixed metaphors. About every other time she said something was a mixed metaphor. And it was contagious. I couldn't get a metaphor right by the end of the trip. Her studio was awesome, so we had a great time working our butts off there, even if we could only really agree on Frank Sinatra for music. No complaints here. I love Sinatra. I hope to do it again sometime. I could see mom and Jim running an art-themed bed and breakfast. :)

Here I am pointing at a big tree on the one hike we took.
On Sunday, it turns out I had left all my birthday books at my mom's so we met her at my grandma's for tea and scones with my aunts. Before that, we went to Fluevog and I finished buying the shoes I had on layaway. They are comfortable and awesome. These are great shoes. We also went to Third Place Books in Lake City. I got the first two volumes of Walking Dead for Abe. I haven't read them yet, so no comment there. I also got myself Amphigorey and Amphigorey Also, and a book on Gothic Art. The Gothic Art book is just for reference. I might read a bit, but probably not much. I got it for the pictures. Gorey is amazing. I think these books will be a much-used reference.

After all this, I still had Monday to recup and Abe and I played Borderlands, which I really enjoy. I am playing Mordecai, the hunter, and I have to say, I am loving the snipers. I can kill a Rakk (flying thing) from halfway across the map or so. If I can see it, I can kill it. Totally awesome.

On Wednesday, we went to Outback for dinner and Abe gave me the two CDs previously mentioned. They are really good. I knew I would like Regina, but I really like The Reverend Horton Heat. That is some upbeat music. Great for a sunny car ride home with the stereo and A/C blasting. The first song has a start that reminds me or reggae, which gets my hackles up, but it only lasts a few seconds and then she starts to sing and I am comforted.

Anyways, back to the near present. This last Saturday, we went to the NW Cartoonists group and Abe told everyone I was shy and I put a comic of Arthur up for voting for Best of teh NW. It was pretty funny. If I can, I will get a copy or something and post it here. It was just Arthur being scared in a way slightly inspired by anime/manga. The guy who was supposed to come talk never showed up, but we did watch a video of Scott McCloud on TEDtalk. That was still fun. At least one person voted for Arthur for Best of the NW. And it wasn't me or Abe. (I think part of the rules involves not voting for yourself.)

So next time I post, I will put up the Home Sweet Homo Erectus. And this image makes me laugh every time I see it. The whole thing is great, but that one is the best. Haha. Adam West.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We now resume our regularly scheduled programming

Now that Angelas vacation is over we can get back to our regular posting pattern.

Yesterday was her birthday. I got her a few cds. Far by Regina Spektor who is just Regina in our house and Laughin' and Cryin' with the Reverend Horton Heat by The Reverend Horton Heat. I chose Far because Angela loves Regina and Laughin' and Cryin' because she's been really interested in rockabilly music recently.

We listened to Laughin' and Cryin' in the car last night and it's pretty awesome. The musicianship is excellent. The music is fun and interesting and the lyrics are often very funny.

I'm hoping to listen to Far either tonight or tomorrow.

I got the first two collections of The Walking Dead this past weekend and it's awesome. I'm not usually into zombie stuff but this is more of an apocalypse story that happens to have zombies. Apparently there's going to be a TV show based on it as well. Weird.

At the end of her vacation, Angela bought herself a copy of Borderlands and we've been playing it together. It's a fun game to play alone but it's fantastic to play with a friend. I'm looking forward to a few months of good times playing it with her.

In other news, I'm still writing, looking for a job and playing the bass. Now I'm starting to try to learn to play the guitar as well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My heart bleeds for them

Those poor unfortunate rich folks. It's such a tough world that they're worried that they won't be able to continue getting richer.