July 21st, 2005

Halloween 2008- Captain Hammer

Family Matters

My parents came to town this past weekend to visit me and see the new apartment. They haven't been up to the Twin Cities in about four years or so. I think it was cooler during their last visit, except that I discovered as we were leaving CONvergence 2001 to meet them at the airport that I had a flat tire and had to change it and put on a spare. Once monstersocks and I finally got to the airport we split up, she went to baggage claim and I headed into the terminal (this was back when you could do that) but got hung up in security dealing with metal in my pockets. I got out of security when monstersocks called me to let me know she'd found them. Anyway, none of that happened this time, it went much more smoothly.

Instead of meeting them at the airport my parents picked up their rental car (a PT Cruiser, the rental place ran out of cars of the type they'd reserved) and came directly over to the apartment. We went out to a number of good meals. Midori's worked better with the weather than Moscow On The Hill and Glockenspiel did. Poor planning on my part, but they were all well enjoyed. On Sunday we went out to see Batman Begins. Very good, even though we couldn't see it at the Zoo since they're down to one evening showing a night now and it's after the time my parents usually go to bed.

My parents have gotten into listening to podcasts lately, something I haven't really explored much. My mother has three iPods now, two of which are fully functional. (The one that my brother and I gave her a while back finally gave up the ghost, she now has a mini and a shuffle.)

We played a few video games while my parents were here. I got out the PS2 Atari compilation so we played a little Combat, Pong and Yar's Revenge. We also played some Lego Star Wars and Donkey Konga. I think my father enjoyed Donkey Konga the most (the Donkey Konga theme music gave monstersocks Vice City flashbacks). He'd played DDR with some of his students before so he had a basic idea of how rhythm games work. I don't play enough video games. On a completely different note, I buy too many video games. It's almost like I'm stocking up for some mythic time when I'll have too much free time and will need to entertain myself for hours on end with lots of unplayed games and unwatched movies. One problem is that I'm a sucker for bargains. I find it very hard to resist games at $15 and under.

I'll see my parents again soon when we hike up LeConte this summer. My brother, sister-in-law and niece won't be there this year, hopefully they'll be able to make it next year. I'm working on another trip out to Acton, maybe in September. In theory I'll also be heading down to San Diego in October but I haven't gotten any significant details on that trip yet other than a single Save The Date card. To continue the rambling travel thoughts, I may go down to Kentucky for Thanksgiving and North Carolina for christmas. This would be the first christmas I've ever spent in North Carolina. (My family has previously always traveled to my grandmothers' houses for christmas but Durham may work out better for my brother's family than Tennessee would this year.)
Halloween 2008- Captain Hammer

Working It Out

I feel like I'm finally getting back into the right routine with the gym even though some upcoming travel and other stuff will disrupt it once again. On Wednesday I managed to do a workout at the level I was at last year before I took my moving hiatus from the gym. It was tougher than it had been before the hiatus but at least I did it. I've also been trying to do a little more non-gym exercising in addition to the stuff at the gym. On Tuesday I walked from my apartment over to my old apartment, then swung by alisgray's place but she was out carousing. I continued back to the new apartment. I think I'll go for another walk tonight but I'm not sure if I'll walk over to the lake or do something else. Hopefully I'll remember to check the weather before leaving to make sure there won't be any unpleasant surprises. (Rain might help to prove the waterproofness of my new boots but wouldn't really help my general demeanor or the longevity of my Treo and iPod.)

The whole GTA Hot Coffee thing is getting ridiculous. It's not quite on the same level as suggesting that you can take words found in the latest Harry Potter book and rearrange them to make something offensive, but it's in the same area. You can't get to this new "objectionable" content without downloading and installing a special patch or buying a special device for your PS2 or xbox to let you enter a convoluted magic code to make it appear. I wonder why this was so objectionable but God of War got away with its little mini-game without any problems.
Halloween 2008- Captain Hammer

One Small Problem

Shortly after my parents left on Sunday our air conditioner made some unpleasant noises and died. We called the office and left a message, hoping that someone would be able to fix it on Monday. Monday came and one of the maintenance guys came out and lubricated the motor. He left us instructions to run it on the High setting and told us that he was ordering a replacement motor in case it eventually broke. Sadly it still didn't work at all. The new motor showed up Tuesday and was installed. The air conditioner now worked, just not very well. On the highest setting there was a little air coming out downstairs and nothing really coming out upstairs. So, more calls to the office. Maintenance came out the next day and confirmed that even though the new motor was the "correct" one it wasn't moving enough air. So, an other motor has been ordered. We're currently waiting for that new motor and I'm sweating more than I would if we had decent air conditioning.

monstersocks and I have also been watching a series on PBS called Guns, Germs and Steel. It's pretty good so far. Apparently there's also a book or something, I wonder if it's any good.