Toys, Trips, and Other

Sitting back, toying with my new toy.

A little bit of a redundancy there, but that’s the mood I’m in at the moment. A few things have happened since I last wrote.

Okay, well a LOT has happened since I last wrote. That’s what I get for not writing for a while. I spent two weeks with Mickey, which was good, even if we did argue from time to time. I refuse to let myself get swept away with my feelings for and not be pragmatic about the whole thing: we fight. Nothing wrong with that, lots of healthy couples fight. But I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that we don’t, or that it’s always sunny days and happy memories. It would be unfair to me, and, worse, unfair to her.

Still it was a good two weeks. I drove down and spent a week and a half or so staying with her in her apartment down in DC. This was a mixture of good and bad. It was good because I got to see Mickey each day. Bad because she was working 10-12 hour days, so she’d be on the road by 7am and wouldn’t be home til 8pm. So I didn’t exactly get to see her that much. The weekends were good though, and it DID afford me an empty apartment to do my work in. Then came Thanksgiving. She and I drove from her place in DC up to her parents’ place up in Chicago, where we stayed at the Hilton in Evanston (her parents paid, woohoo!).

Of course, while we were in Chicago, I came down with the flu. I caught it relatively early with oscillococcinum, but not quite early enough, and had mild-medium flu symptoms for the rest of the trip. That threw my plans right out the window. Instead of getting some more writing and reading done for my study, I ended up curling up in bed and tried to keep from being irritable when walking around in the windy city.

Some good stuff was going on too. I met Mickey’s family for the first time (except her brother, who was out of town. I did meet his wife and baby though, who are both delightful). They seem to like me well enough, and they are decent enough people that marrying their daughter shouldn’t cause too much grief for anyone. Also, I actually started doing some 3d modelling while I was staying at Mickey’s place, which proved to be pretty darn fun, even if I was using makeshift equipment (Maya requires a 3 button mouse… which I did not have with my laptop. I ended up driving out to a best buy and bought a USB mouse). At least at this point (it IS still early in my work with it), I think I could actually really enjoy doing it for a living. The trick I think, will be to not fall into the same trap I have with my writing and my photography of nothing being “good enough”.

When I got back into town, I had several checks waiting for me (a dividend check, plus two refunds on my insurance as the rates dropped from when I wrote them a check for the year). Between the two checks plus a LITTLE bit of extra money from my other funds let me buy this spiff PDA, the new Palm Tungsten T, as well as a new PC desktop for gaming (managed to shave $600 off it… did have to buy a graphics card for it though, so in actuality, I only saved like $400). Of course, it isn’t ACTUALLY “saving” money. I was in this strange loop in regards to my pc desktop. It’s a gaming system, and a method to test compatibility for websites and stuff. That’s all I use it for. So it’s been hard to justify spending the money to go get a new “good” system (not even “great”). I needed a system that would be a “base” gaming system in 6-12 months, but without spending the money for such a system in current technology. So when they shaved off that cash, I found what I was looking for, FINALLY. Unless there is a major theoretical leap in technology before then (possible but HIGHLY unlikely), this system should last me another 3 years (around what my previous system lasted). This is an acceptable lifespan for the system, imho. Well, acceptable ENOUGH. In 3-5 years, I’ll be in a different position, whether through the convention (I’ll get to that), or through finishing school and getting a JOB (or both), plus the whole being married and adjusting expenses accordingly. Unless we get wicked filthy rich, I won’t really be able to afford buying things at my leisure, just because I “want” it. I guess I’ll just have to make sure that I pull it off.

Okay, the convention: while I was staying in Mickey’s apartment, I made some calls, such as to Penny Arcade (, and managed to line up a really kickass deal for advertising UberCon on their site. Then I proceeded to design an ad, submit it to our design team, who worked off my idea and came up with a really nice ad. The campaign started 12:00am Sunday morning (as in the crossover from Sat to Sun). We pulled in 65,000 views the first day, and 1500 click throughs (nearly 8000 unique impressions). We’ve done even better today, (which is an “update day” for the website, ie a day they add new content, and thus visited more… they even mentioned us in their rant on the main page) as of 11am this morning, we had 105,000 views and 2,200 click throughs (and I can only imagine how it has done over the past 9 hours since then).

I’m VERY happy how that all turned out, and look forward to people actually registering over the new few weeks. HOPEFULLY we’ll hit at least 1100 from this alone, which is our break-even attendance. At 1500 it is feasible to do another, and at 2000 people attending, we’re actually profitable enough to grow effectively (hence why it is our target size for this initial con).

We’ll see, though.

BY THE BY, I’m going down to New York tomorrow to spend some time with Mickey. We’re going to go see La Boheme down on Broadway with some of her friends they got us cheap tickets.. $35 for decent balcony seats), and she’s going to do some dress shopping for her wedding dress… which means that I’ll most likely be sitting back and working on con stuff with Kevin(Snikt), with whom we will be staying. This is handy on a number of levels: 1) Kevin is cool, 2) It makes it count as a business trip, which means I can write off at least some of the travel expenses. I’m bringing down some posters for him that Dad printed out (mustn’t forget them!)

Okay, enough for now :).