General Updates

Before I get into it, I just wanted to stop and say HELLO to whoever it was that made a syndicated feed of this website on LiveJournal. I kinda wish you’d told me, so we could better keep it updated (it hadn’t updated since the site restructure 3 months ago), but I futzed with some redirects and got it working again.

On to the real updates. My parents flew out last Wednesday to spend a week visiting us. It’s been good fun, and I’m glad to see them. They got to meet our puppy, and we’ve done some basic touristy stuff (Science Fiction Museum, went out to Port Townsend and Port Angeles, etc), and in general have had a pretty laid back week. It’s amusing, since they get up before Mickey does, and generally by the time I come downstairs, they are sitting in the green chairs Mickey found on Craigslist for free, reading. We’re meeting with Uri for dim sum this afternoon, which I’m sure he’ll appreciate, since he’s unfortunately shouldered most of the driving burden in coming down here to visit us rather than us drive up to visit him. (As a side note, Freya LOVES Uri. Initially we were unsure how she’d handle him, since he’s A: male, and B: 6’8″. We needn’t have worried, she thinks he’s the best thing since doggie treats.)
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Avast Ye Bastards!

Sitting around in Hanover, freezing my ass off in front of Collis (we could go in, but we’re waiting til we’re actually “cold” to do so, since it’s otherwise quite lovely out). They’re building the bonfire for homecoming right now, which will be this weekend at some point (I have no idea actually when, nor do I especially care). I’m drinking my second copy of chai (out of a paper cup, plastic lid, and a corrugated cardboard “sleeve” so I don’t burn my hands), and hanging out with Eli. I have The Pixies “Where is my Mind” stuck in my head, and am in a cheerful, almost manic mood (finally getting to do some blogging, WOO!).

The past week has been busy yet largely fun, involving meals with friends and family, and lots of good conversation. I’ve got my Online Communities thesis up on Critical Games now, so if you wanted an alternative to downloading a 51 page PDF, you can read it that way instead. I do realize that I SHOULD be posting some more (there and here), especially some newer material that I’ve been talking about but not actually writing for the past several weeks. This should happen soon (heh, honest).
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Hello I’m Updating

If you haven’t seen it yet, Sockbaby has finally released the conclusion to the Sockbaby Trilogy. If you haven’t seen these movies, I would highly recommend checking them out… “That Sockbaby is a Sockbaby Jesus, the Sock Saviour of the Sock People,” need I say more?

I haven’t updated in a while, and I apologize for that. In my defense, I’ve been pretty busy. For instance, I am now back in Vermont for a few weeks, UberCon just wrapped up, and so did my semester. On a more geeky front, I managed to break my server severely enough that the CTO of the company had to step in to patch things. Basically, in my recent site renovations, one of the changes I requested concerning the subdomains and how things get redirected managed to create an instance of a bug that hadn’t cropped up in 3 years. I would like to publicly thank Terra, the CTO of FutureQuest, for not only fixing the issue, but doing so quickly and professionally. He (and the rest of the support staff) are the reason I keep on recommending FutureQuest.
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Less Than Two Weeks to Closing

Sorry I haven’t been posting regularly recently. Part of it is hecticness involving school and packing for the move and financials, but the other part is a lack of motivation to post. The weather is back to being in stasis (clear blue, mid-80s, every day), I haven’t been working much (not that I can really talk about what I play, anyway), and I haven’t really done anything interesting in a while. That’s not to mention the roofers banging on my ceiling as they retar the roof of the apartment and the mind-numbing heat actively conspiring to keep me from getting anything productive done.

That said, here are a few updates as to what’s been going on and how things have been going. I’ve managed to keep up with school, and have two packets left to the semester. I’ve been taking a beginner figure drawing class over at University of Washington for the past few weeks each Saturday (my last class was this past Saturday), and I’ve got a sketch-dump up here. (For what it’s worth, that’s an entire sketch dump of my sketchbook, not just classes or even since class started.)
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Crazy Wacky Cool

I’m in the process of collecting my stuff to mail my packet for school down at the coffee shop Eli and I found in downtown Bellevue. The fact that everyone is so amazingly friendly and laid back suddenly makes more sense… turns out that easily 75% of the folks who work there are Baha’i. Chris was talking to them while I was working, and mentioned that my name was Nabil… they all kinda arched an eyebrow and asked me about the name… “Oh, yeah, I’m named after an early historian of the Baha’i Faith”, “Yeah, we’re all Baha’i’s here.”

Blink, blink. Cool! They’re all really interesting people, and interested in art and philosophy and other nifty shit, and aren’t nearly as… hmm (how to say nicely), fundamentalist/overzealous as some of the east coast Baha’is I’ve met (this is not saying those people are bad people… it’s just that I disagree with that level of zealousness, even for religion. It’s not for me.) Turns out there is a substantial community in Bellevue, and another large community in Seattle proper… from the sounds of it, the Seattle group would probably be the best fit to go hang out with, as they tend to be a bit more laid back, like this group at the coffee shop.

Just thought I’d share, because I thought at the very least Mom and Dad would be amused. Hi guys!

Chase Me

You have dishonored my dog! (Why? because it’s fun. Apologies to those on dialup.)

I’ve gotten pretty used to the new Movable Type at this point, though there are still a few tweaks I need to do (like adding internal site navigation again). Expect those back up sometime in the not too distant future, but in the interim, I’ve re-uploaded my Online Communities essay[PDF], so if you missed it the first time, feel free to check it out.

I’m actually a little irked about that essay. The PDF as it stands is just the core essay and the bibliography. The cover letter, the cover page, the table of contents, the appendices… are all gone. For some strange reason, I didn’t manage to save them last time I reformatted my hard drive or something, because it’s all GONE. I only have the PDF that used to be on the website left, because I had it in a tarballed archive I’d made of my site prior to the last major housecleaning. This is extremely upsetting, and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. The only idea I have is to borrow the copy the school has next time I’m on campus, and scan it all in as text. (This might involve an intermediary step of photocopying it all, since they’re not willing to release those essays from the building.)
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Status Update

I sent out my packet today, which I’m pretty pleased with. The annotations turned out well, I think, and while it was two days late in going out, I’m satisfied overall with the results. I may post some of them up here later… we’ll see. Might nice to finally have SOMETHING up in my articles section.

My computer is behaving rather oddly… the Expose feature of OS X is randomly turning on… I think I’ve managed to isolate what’s happening, thought I’m not entirely sure why it’s suddenly happening now. Basically, when I’m typing with the computer in my lap, the whole thing bends juuust enough that the number lock and F9 keys are triggered. It’s very bizarre, and very VERY annoying.
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Dartmouth, Revisited

So, just a quick post because I’m hanging out at Collis once more, after six months. It has finally become warm (currently 73 degrees and cloudy with the potential of thunderstorms), and I have been missing the particular mood and atmosphere that occurs when hanging out in Hanover.

Residency went well, and I’m looking forward to really diving into drawing every day (I’m due for a drawing today, and will get to it, but haven’t yet). It feels good to be back in the area, though I have been missing Mickey desperately. I got to see all sorts of folks last night, including getting to meet Eli’s friend Pia, whom is still hanging out with us (which is fine, as she’s cool), and is currently drawing across the table from me. Uri is on one side of me, Eli is on the other, and we’re all not really talking all that much. In other words, it’s another day in Hanover.
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I’m currently back east in Vermont, attending my one-week-every-six-months residency for school, and it has been an interesting experience thus far.

First off: I did not finish my prior semester. I came very close, and could have taken an extension, but I opted to instead just start a fresh new semester instead (since either way you look at it, either would push my graduation from April 2005 to October 2005). I’m feeling pretty good about that, especially since I should be able to reapply some of the work I did last semester and thus still get credit for it after a fashion. I was kind of dreading coming back for the residency, because (and this is, in fact, how I’ve been describing it), I haven’t been feeling very smurfy about it. It was NOT a smurfy semester.

It hasn’t been very smurfy for a lot of people, apparently. A considerable number either didn’t finish, barely finished, or are taking a leave or extension. The residency has had a very odd (and in some ways creepy) vibe so far (I’m four days in, and I’ll get to why I haven’t written up to now in a second). That said, I’ve had a chance to socialize and even make some new friends, and that feels really good after being a bit of a shut-in for the past six months.
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SLOW: Children at Play

I’m currently sitting in the Redmond Town Center Mall, which is this very rich, very ritzy outdoor mall. It is in the mid to upper 50s, and sunny, which means that it is mildly busy with housewives and small children. Not horribly by any means, just enough to be noticeable. What is remarkable about this to me is that none are screaming, crying, or having tantrums. It reminds me that children can in fact be delightful fun when they are happy, playing in the fountain (one obviously meant to be played in, no less). There is a collection of 3 or 4 children, none of whom are over 5, playing in the water (the fountain is flush with the ground, and rather remarkable, with a large brass bear (and two smaller cubs playing) sitting guard over it all.

Teenagers have also started infiltrating the mall, as school is out. They are well dressed and pretty clearly the children of some of the wealthier denizens of the area. They are also hanging around the fountain, and are being remarkably well behaved and friendly to the small children. After visiting east coast malls, this is a refreshing change, and I’m fairly impressed. I’m a big fan of people behaving respectfully to everyone around them, leaving the chipped shoulders elsewhere. After all, the sun is out, now is not a time to be pissy.
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