One Dog Night

It doesn’t really feel like it’s been that many days since I last posted, though I think that may have something to do with how much I’ve been sleeping lately. It’s finally become cold, which makes it remarkably desirable to stay in bed. Freya seems to agree, and has spent a good portion of the past few days curled up next to me on the couch for warmth (while not necessarily cold in the house, you can’t help but feel it). I’m grateful for the company, and will miss her when I move back to Seattle (she’ll be staying with my parents).

Another non-productive thing that has been devouring my time has been World of Warcraft… the expansion came out yesterday morning (or Tuesday night depending on your perspective and availability of midnight launch parties), and I’ve been having fun exploring and trying out the new races. I must say, at first blush I’m really enjoying the Draenei (the new Alliance race), and have been running around beating on things as a paladin. The starting area is lush and interesting, and the quests are fun (the starter fishing quest is called “Red Snapper — Very Tasty!” to give an idea of the sort of geek humor that runs through a lot of these). Definitely recommend it if you’re at all interested in WoW.

In the next week and a half, I have a certification test (getting Apple certified, test is Friday, wish me luck), a developer seminar, and need to pack up… well, damn near everything I own, to prep for moving to Seattle on the 30th. My experience from observing my brother’s move, and then experiencing our move back east last year, it’s arguably less work and equivalent (or less) money to just pack everything in boxes before I leave and then once I get an apartment set up out there, have everything shipped FedEx or UPS. That way I only need to bring some basic essentials with me in the car. It also helps that a ton of my stuff is still in a storage unit in Seattle, which I’ll also be emptying once I have an apartment to put it all in.

I’m looking forward to having all my stuff in one spot again. It’ll be nice to go back and watch some of the DVDs that have been sitting in storage for the past year and a half. I’m also looking forward to being on my own again, with my own place. Once I get things squared away, I’m hoping to also start taking a language class (probably either French or Japanese, both have been on my list), and possibly Tai Chi if I can find it and it works with whatever my schedule turns out to be. It may seem a little silly to talk about wanting to go do things that take money when I haven’t even lined up work yet, but considering I don’t drink, bars and clubs don’t hold much interest to me, which makes classes more than just education — they’re also a way to meet people (something I’m notoriously bad at). So, yeah, excited about the move. A little scared about it, too. I hope it proves to be a good opportunity to clear my head and get motivated.

Moving, Stretched

I’ve been back from Peterborough for a few days now, but I’m just now getting around to posting.  More on why in a moment, but first, a recap on the weekend: Thursday, I left Montpelier and headed to my parents house, where I collected Freya before proceeding down to Peterborough.  It was really great seeing my cousins again, and I know Freya had an absolute ball playing with the other dogs all weekend.  As seems to be tradition, we all packed off to the Peterborough Players on Friday night, where we saw a rather pleasant rendition of Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale. Saturday was spent mostly in the annual meeting, which I think went well, especially considering how much material we had to cover.  After all that wrapped up, we joined the larger Morison clan for a barbeque up by the pond, followed by dessert at the Brick House (which I think is technically called Highland Terrace, but we’ve always called it the brick house).  These were all highly extended cousins (3rd cousins?  4th?), so I hadn’t really ever had much of an opportunity to get to know many of them, a fact I was happily able to remedy at least a little.  To any of you who might be now reading the blog: “Hi!”

Dessert at the brick house was interesting; despite the family connection to the house, this was only the second time in memory that I’ve been inside it.  It’s really quite swank, and the murals inside were spectacular.  I ended up asking one of the older generation about it, and found out that they were painted by a fellow named Otto E. Farhm, back in the 1930s.  Otto had recently immigrated to the US, and set up shop as a house painter in the Peterborough area, but had previously been trained as a painter by the Norwegian Royal Academy of Arts.  When this was discovered, he was quickly commissioned to do murals in several rooms, which have largely survived into the modern day with only a little retouching.  Really neat stuff.

Sunday was quite a bit quieter, spending most of the morning preparing for a reception to be held at the Yellow House after the interment service of great uncle Bill.  The interment itself was subdued and tasteful, his urn buried in the family plot beside his wife Abby.  I departed directly from there.  I hope everyone enjoyed the reception after, however.

Overall, it was a really good weekend, but tiring, and there was more than one occasion where I was about “people’d” out and ready to go hide in a darkened room for a while.  Maybe it’s just a passing thing, but I have found that my capacity for socialization has dwindled markedly in the past year.  Prepping myself to become a hermit, it seems like.

As for what’s kept me from posting this sooner: I’ve been in the process of packing up all my worldly belongings in order to move… somewhere.  Still not entirely sure where, yet.  For now, my belongings are going into my parents house, until I figure out where I’m going next (and how I’m going to afford such).  I started packing boxes and moving them down last week, and have continued to do so this week.  I’ve been keeping it pretty mellow, basically filling the back seat of my car each day and taking it down.  I’m going to probably need to rent a van for a day when the time comes, however, in order to move my furniture.

Of course, given my somewhat scattered nature, I let myself get distracted yesterday afternoon looking at web related foo for several projects I’m either actively or tentatively working on.  Which of course led to me deciding it was high time to actually update Critical Games to use my logo (illustration by Erica Henderson, logo implementation by Nabil Maynard), which I’ve been using on my business cards for months.  (And yes, I’m well aware of the humor over the fact that I have business cards for a business that is currently not much more than a name and an idea.)  Please, check out the new design and let me know what you think.

Taking a Break from Schoolwork

I’ve been working on my preface and introduction for my final product. There is still quite a bit I’d like to do on it, but I promised my advisor I would have them ready by this weekend, so I suspect I’ll simply have to make more revisions later and plow through to finish it for now.

But first, some other news. I’m currently house sitting for my parents while they’re in Hawaii, which has proven to be a nice time for meditation, just myself and Freya. That said, I have made it out about a few times, notably to the new chinese restaurant in town, which has taken over the former Panda House location. The food is pretty decent in a similar style to Panda, and the service is acceptable though still working out the kinks of their first week (they aren’t even done hiring and training yet, which is why they haven’t formally promoted the place in the paper or anything). It’s several levels better than the other chinese in the area, at the very least, so I’m pretty satisfied, and suspect my parents will be as well when they get back from Hawaii.

A few weeks ago, my iPod was stolen out my car (no, it wasn’t immediately visible, I was parked in my parking spot in Montpelier at the time, and yes, I am going to be filing a claim). While it’s unfortunate (and moreso because they stole the car charger too, which was lent to me by my friend Dano), this has meant that I’ve begun looking at the new iPods… they’ve come a long LONG way since my first generation 5GB iPod. I’m currently eyeing the 60GB Video iPod as a (more securely handled) replacement. Now, in the process of this, I’ve also begun keeping closer tabs on the Mac rumors and heard the rumors of new Intel based laptops being announced at MacWorld San Francisco 2006. They were right.

This is damn near everything I’m looking for in a laptop. Needless to say, I’ve ordered one, literally within minutes of the Steve Jobs keynote finishing, and expect to receive it sometime in February when they ship. This is a hasty decision, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad one, nor poorly thought out. With that laptop, I will be able to effectively sell off THREE computers, which should nearly cover the new purchase. (The three are my 800MHz 15″ G4 Titanium Powerbook with 1gb of ram and a fresh screen, hinge, and hard drive; my Windows desktop, a Pentium 4 2.2GHz Vaio with 1gb of ram, 120gb drive, DVD RW and additional CD-ROM, Audigy 2 soundcard, and an ATI Radeon X300 [I think, need to double check]; and my nearly brand new 12″ G4 Aluminum Powerbook with 1.25GB of RAM — essentially the most recent version of the laptop prior to the Mac Book Pro — which I bought in May.) Please, if any of these interest you, make me an offer (pass the word to friends, too, please). I’m really excited about this new laptop, and have been impressed with how much of an impact it’s made on even dedicated Windows users.

Honestly, it’s the first computer to give me serious technolust since the G5 originally came out (2.5 years ago). That and the Nintendo Revolution are really the only techno-goodies that I’m actively excited about right now. While I’ll likely still pick up the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3, that is more because gaming is my interest, not because I’m overly impressed by what they have to offer. (And even then, I’m waiting for “killer apps” out of each… for the 360, those would be Mistwalker’s Lost Odyssey, and Bungie’s Halo 3… I’ve yet to see a “must have” game for the Playstation 3 for me, though Metal Gear Solid fans certainly have something to be excited about.)

Anyway, back to schoolwork.

Canon 5D

I picked up the Canon 5D today… more on that later, but here is a quick (and wildly reduced in size… I could count hairs) picture of my dog Freya. (Mickey, ping me if you want a larger image, I have some others as well.)

Freya!  with a Stick!

The Power of Posting Compels You!

I’m not sure if folks have noticed, but despite my recent lackluster and whiny posting lately, there are several new readers, which makes me happy. As much as having friends and family post, it also feels good to know that people you don’t know are not only discovering you, but finding your work worthwhile enough to comment. It’s a bit of a warm fuzzy, and thanks for it.

This has been one hell of a summer, and I’m frankly looking forward to it being over. It started back in April with my marriage abruptly falling apart, continued on into family deaths in June and August, and has wrapped up with selling my house and needing to drive out to Seattle to finalize the divorce and collect Freya (my dog).

Things are showing the potential of shaping up, however. Maybe it’s the crisp air (my favorite time to be in New England is August into early October), but I’m finally starting to feel like my head is clearing, and I’m feeling a little less desparate for a relationship, and ready to actually focus on the things I want to do with my life. While I’m broke at the moment, we managed to sell the house for a pretty decent profit, which means that I’ll be able to pay for my final semester of school and get things back on track. And before you say it, I know that I should treat that money as capital towards another investment, not spending cash, and I intend to do that with most of it (probably putting the majority into a money market or a short term CD while I finish school).

I came to something of a revelation last night while hanging out with friends, namely to not play the game. The things that bother me I should simply ignore, rather than letting myself get dragged into the same arguments over and over. This may sound like common logic, but it really does feel different when it actually strikes you, and you realize you’re just as much at fault for escalating it as they are for doing it. I’m sort of feeling done with the area, which isn’t exactly a great feeling to have when you’re about to settle in for the winter.

My family reunion was this past weekend; I was sick for most it, and thus not really up for chatting as much as I might have liked. It was still fun though, and nice to see faces from 5 or 10 years ago. I was supposed to start driving to Seattle yesterday, but a few days prior to that, Mickey called me up and told me that we could do a power of attorney for the sale so I wouldn’t have to rush out (which was something we discussed briefly several months ago, but apparently she’d completely forgotten about until talking to her father). So instead of starting my drive and then scrambling to find a place to stay for two+ weeks out in Seattle with no money, in theory I should now be able to stay here until probably the 5th, when I need to leave in order to make it out for our court date on the 12th, and to pick up the dog. This makes things considerably easier, and holds at least the potential of receiving my share of the house settlement before I have to start driving (which would make the return trip not only easier, but possible… one semester’s tuition doesn’t go far when you’re paying for anti-depressants and therapy bills and replacing a dead computer plus day to day living expenses like gas and food).

Speaking of the trip, I randomly heard from my friend Berrian, so I may go visit her on my way out, and if she’s interested, drag her along. It’s been years since I actually saw her, so it’d definitely be an experience. In either case, I’m really looking forward to seeing her again (four years is a long time). I’m supposed to give her a call next week to figure things out.

Rainy in Seattle

Well, since no one else is posting, I figure I may as well keep up the good fight. This is just a general update on what’s going on with me, so relax, no revelations or brain-hurt this time.

My mother-in-law is visiting this week, which is nice, and the puppy is growing like a sprout. She’s largely well behaved, and is too smart by half, as Mickey would say… good because she understands a lot, but bad because it means she’s constantly knows her boundaries and then PUSHES them. Silly pup. We’re hoping to put her in puppy training classes soon.
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Freya and Finding Time

Silly me, when I posted my previous puppy post, I forgot to mention puppy details. Her name is Freya (we named her; her previous name was a generic “Babe”), and she’s 12-14 weeks old (we don’t know precisely… I’m erring on 14 weeks, Mickey is erring on 12 weeks). Looks like she has some husky, some yellow lab, and some german shepherd in her, making her a VERY smart little pup (which has already gotten her in trouble a few times, but nothing too serious). She’s currently napping on the couch next to me, hence why I have the time to write this post.

Y’see, this past week, my life has been largely consumed by the dog. We’re still acclimating her to the house, and she’s still learning the finer points of house training, so I’ve ended up spending most of my days either taking her for walks/potty breaks, or keeping her occupied inside. I’ve found that if I just sit down on the couch and work at my computer, she’ll play for a bit on her own and then curl up next to me and go to sleep. Of course, this took me a few days to figure out (my first dog and all, plus every dog is different on this sort of stuff). The drawback to this technique is that sometimes I don’t catch her making messes as quickly as I would have otherwise. Mostly she just stays within eyesight even when playing. Also, if I need to get up to get anything (even a drink of water), she wakes up and the process starts over again.
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