Monday, November 10, 2008


So IKEA is doing Free Breakfast this morning and tomorrow. Emily was planning on going, but it is raining and she hates driving in the rain. I can't blame her, people are insane; I can't tell you how many people I witnessed driving with their lights off, invisible to the world this morning. So I was going to ask her on Google-talk if she was going to go, but I had one of those moments—I couldn't remember the name of IKEA.
So I searched for Swedish Furniture and not only remembered that IKEA is named IKEA, but I also found the Sweedish Furniture Name Generator. (Click the Image to try it out yourself) 
I usually hate these things, because Everybody blogs about it and It gets passed around like the Flu, but this was too funny to pass up.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Smells Like.........Memories.

Okay so I left a comment on That's Life about the smell of Slime, and It had potential to be much longer. 

Bonnie has posted a 1977 Comic about toy stores that carried "Slime"
I turned 1 in '77. But I remembered playing with Slime in Grandma's Kitchen with Bonnie.

The thing about Slime is that I really remember the Smell of it. The Stuff you occasionally see now, the stuff that was abundant in the mid 80's-90's is a different mix than that stuff they sold in the late 70's-early 80's. It has to be,  because I swear it smelled different and had a different viscosity.

Every once in a while I smell something that smells like the original Mattel Slime did, and I can never find the source of the smell—but it always takes me back to Grandma's Kitchen. 

In Grandma's Kitchen we played with Slime. We played with Smurfs. 
—Lots and Lots and Lots of Smurfs—
I remember Kim Eating Toilet Paper (or appearing to do so, as I get older I realize that my 4-8 year old self didn't always understand what was going on—I fear I was a somewhat clueless kid, but happy).

I distinctly remember being told about evaporation, and wanting to understand how that worked; I was allowed to leave a small puddle of Orange Juice on the Counter Over Night.

I remember this thing that they showed on Sesame Street where "Kermit the Frog Here, of Sesame Street News" was taking calls. I distinctly recall the number being 555-5555, and I remember calling said number from the phone in Grandma's Kitchen—that old Green Rotary phone—I spoke to Big Bird, Kermit, Mr. Snufalupagus, The Count, and Oscar. (I won't even mention how old I was when it donned on me that it was probably Bonnie on the other phone downstairs)

There of Course is the Infamous Exploding Bottle Incident. Short Version:
Grandma asked me to heat a bottle up in the Microwave.
She asked me to do this through the Bathroom door. 
What she said was 7 Seconds. 
What I heard was 70 Minutes.
Shortly thereafter There was a melted plastic bottle erupting like Old Faithful.

I remember this Frozen Trout that Grandpa would buy by the Box, and I remember how tasty it was fried up in Grandma's kitchen.

I remember Friday Night Sleepovers with cousins at Grandma's 
Generally they started with a carefully executed Flooding of the Sandbox for which we planned all day—building towns, or canyons, or mountains that would all be systematically wiped out that evening. 
Living in Rexburg at that time, everyone remembered the Flood—and we re-enacted it as often as our parents would allow.
After the Flood there was the evening's T.V. Shows: Duke's of Hazzard, Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Knight Rider. I didn't understand Dallas or Falcon Crest until I was older, So I was happy that I could Watch Knight Rider on the Playroom T.V. and for a Short time Automan was on after Knight Rider. (I provide the Link, because nobody I've ever talked to about 80's nostalgia remembers Automan).
Kim introduced me to Friday Night Videos and that became part of the Ritual. 

I believe the First Music Video I ever saw was Weird Al Yankovic in Eat It.

And here's where the Memories Return to the Kitchen.

I remember that Ice Cream and Popcorn were Generally Part of the Friday Night T.V. Rituals.

Grandpa always insisted that he did not like Ice Cream, but that for the Sake of everyone else he would eat it, so that they would not have to. I remember Gallon Tubs of Vanilla and Cake Cones, and I remember one time when Andria and I, in the middle of the night—after everyone in the house was asleep—helped ourselves to some more Ice Cream Cones. It took some team work and some dragging of Stools and climbing on stools and counter tops, but we did it. I don't remember if we got caught, but it was a glorious thing for someone just over 3 feet tall to have accomplished.

No, I don't forget the river of Ice Cream I created. This is how I remember it: There was a Sale at Safeway, so there was a Large Paper Sack in Grandma's Freezer in the Garage full to the top with Half Gallon Bricks. I was sent to the garage to get some. Those of you in the know, know I was not a big kid. The Sack was too big for me to handle, I easily got it to the Garage floor and got out the flavor wanted, but I found that it was too heavy to lift back into the Freezer. Easy enough to solve, just take the Ice Cream inside and ask someone bigger for help. But when I got back in I got distracted somehow by the family (I recall there being a lot of people over) I don't remember what we did at that point. I sure do remember the discovery of Ice Cream River in the morning. It ran all the way down the Driveway and into the Gutter. 

Now the Popcorn. I remember a Friday Night that was just me and Grandma and Grandpa. We were NOT eating popcorn this particular evening. We were watching Dukes of Hazzard, and Boss Hog and 
Roscoe P. Coltrane were trying out a Fancy new Air Popper. Well, we started to smell popcorn. We thought we were the only ones in the house, the only light in the whole house that was on, was the T.V. itself. So we searched the house Top to Bottom to see if perhaps someone else had come home, and if perchance they had popped some popcorn, to no avail. The smell remained, the source was never found—that's right: PHANTOM POPCORN MUAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!

One other Smell related memory that I have had as of late.

When I walk from work to the Bus Stop to go home. There is an old Docking Bay that hasn't seen use in some time, that I walk past. The smell of it however reminds me of the "Happyest Place on Earth"—Disneyland. It smells like a Disneyland ride. I don't know why, but it does. And those who know me, know that I could go on and on about Disneyland and Disney related Memories (and Trivia); so I will end this now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sparky's Halloween "Costume"

Yesterday, 10:13 am
I got a call from Emily that she had again rescued Sparky from an attack by the Neighbor's dog. Apparently the dogs had torn another slat out of their fence and were once again trying to claim jump our back-yard. She had let him out not knowing this and he got attacked by the neighbor's dog. A similar scenario played out several weeks ago, however I was the one that let him out and rescued him.

Emily called and was a little rattled. I asked if he was OK and she said he was acting like he did last time—hiding in his kennel, ignoring commands to move to the other side of the couch when he was sitting where you wanted to sit—the usual cranky dog syndrome we see from time to time. I told her that I would go and talk to the neighbors when I got home.

After work I grabbed the DVD that needed to be returned to the rental store. (Seriously I'm getting to the Costume thing) And then went to talk to the Neighbor. Since the last time I had spoken with this neighbor, she has gotten married. Their Son answered the Door, I asked if his parents were home and he said, "Just my step-dad." —Oh great, was my thought; not only have I just become the really annoying neighbor that comes over to complain, I get to meet a new person to which I live—literally next door—and have never spoken.

I let him know that the Fence was down, and that his Dog had attacked mine.
He asked, "Which dog, the black one?"
Is your dog hurt?
No, just his feelings.

He explained that he was at his wits end because the Dog(s) keep attacking the Fence. He said he would go and repair it.

I then Drove to the Rental Store and returned the Movie.
I came home, we had dinner and got Moira to bed.
We sat down for some television and I noticed the Gash in Sparky's side.
He'd been hurt. It was at least an inch deep, but not straight in.

I took Sparky with me over to the neighbors and let them know what I had just discovered under all his Fluffy Hair.
They felt bad and explained that the Dog wasn't really theirs to begin with, she has rented a room to several different people in the time that they have lived there and the Dog belonged to one of them, and that he had just abandoned her when he moved out.

She stated that they would pay the Vet Bill.

They explained that they had been wondering what to do with the dog and that they conversed about what to do with it. She had apparently been abused—did I mention this dog only has 3 legs?—and that they thought she would die soon; but in light of the days occurrence they would be getting rid of it.

I explained my concern about my Daughter playing in our back yard, and he stated that there was no way that the dog would get through the Bricks, Wheelbarrow, and Propane tank that now covered the hole in the fence until he could get it repaired properly. I thanked them and then headed home to figure out the Vet situation; it was getting late and we don't have a regular vet [Emily informed me, after reading this, that we do—in fact—have a regular Vet that Sparky has been going to since he was a pup; eh—what do I know, I've taken him in for shots twice since we've been married].

I ended up walking over to the Neighbor's one more time, because I wanted to know if the Dog had had its shots—I didn't know if it was important, but wanted to know in case the Vet asked. She said, "I think so, it would have been last year between July and September. I remember because he had been borrowing that car." She then assured me that the Dog would be gone tomorrow.

I remembered that there is a PetsMart just down the road and called them. It was now past hours but the message gave the numbers of two clinics that are open for late night emergencies. I called and scheduled an appointment.

I learned that Dog skin is more sensitive to Hydrogen Peroxide than our own and that it should be watered down before use on a dog. I learned that Dog Skin does not heal like ours and if not taken care of will turn Necrotic (click cautiously, there are graphic images).

I spent roughly two hours at the Veterinary Clinic, and took a somewhat woozy, doped-up, dog home.

Now, the costume part. —I know you've all been waiting.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lots o' Me

Okay, I'll Bite—but only because I found this to be interesting.

  • There are 2,606,219 people in the U.S. with the first name Richard.
  • Statistically the 8th most popular first name.
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.
How many have your name?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Long Awaited Spore

Okay, I guess I need to write this.

But I keep getting Distracted by playing the game.

It's really addicting.

My first game, I played just bumbling along upgrading as I go - No real plan for my species. I named them Skawish. I wanted to see how close to Mr Squishy I could get, but I didn't name them that because I didn't want that name stuck to them if I didn't like them. I played as a carnivore, and pretty much just wiped out anyone that got in my way—it seemed like an easy way to go. Then I got to space.

In space stage all I really wanted to do was explore, but there were all these needy races that occupied the space around me. I was running all kinds of missions for everyone and got tired of it, so I just started to ignore them. Which apparently upset a couple of them—trespassing or some nonsense—and they declared war on me. Which was bad.

I mean really bad. I had no economic system in place, so I had no money. Since I wasn't making money, I couldn't really upgrade my ship with weapons or health. On top of that, every time I turned around, my home-world was being attacked.

I gave up on the Skawish. I found a relatively close star to the Skawish and started the Scrom race. I made the Scrom race Herbivores and added a second mouth as soon as I could so they could be Omnivores. This allowed me to eat Fruit instead of other creatures and led to a race of a peaceful religious nature. In Civilization I took one city by military force, but the rest I converted.

So the Scrom are in space now, and I make friendly with every race I meet. This has made for a very pleasant space stage. By this time I had also sort of figured out the Economics  of the game. I'm not rolling in it—but I have enough to upgrade my ship. I got the Black hole key, so I can jump through black holes. I was just checking it out, and whaddaya know—I ran into the Grox. I was specifically trying to avoid them, because I had heard that they don't make nice, regardless of the situation. I hightailed it back to my home planet, and I avoided going through the black holes for a while, but I ran out of missions from my home planet, sort of, they wanted me to declare war on someone, but I don't want to ruin my reputation, and then they just started bugging me about finding the Grox. So I went and said Hi again. and they pretty much just ignored me, but my dang home planet wants me to find out the secret of the Grox at the center of the Galaxy. Fine, so I went through some black holes and then started to move toward the center of the universe, but My interstellar drive wasn't good enough, so I was running into dead ends, and then the Grox were everywhere. I was just ignoring them, hopping from star to star, but they started to attack. I gave them money to placate them but as soon as I hopped to another star they attacked again, so I went home. I'm current;y trying to get achievements that will unlock the highest power interstellar drive then see if I can do a speed run to the center of the galaxy.

I'm also trying to find the Skawish, in my Scrom game. See if I can help them out a little.

The one thing that surprised me about this game. I was so looking forward to using the editors to create. But Every time I'm playing the game and I have to stop to create, it can be a little annoying. What you can do however is create things ahead of time and then just use them when it gets to that point in the game. I'll probably do that the next time I start a new game.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Geek Test

Every Once in a while I take the Geek Test again.
Todays Score: 56.80473% Extreme Geek

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Happened So Far

The hard drive on my Inspiron 6400 was doing some "clicking"

I, being responsible, used birthday money (thanks Harriet) to purchase a new Hard Drive. I connected said new hard drive via USB and was prepping it to put into the laptop.

Now, Certain Dell Laptops have a cool feature called Media Direct. It is essentially a highly specialized installation of Windows, with it's own specialized user interface, designed only to play Media. It boots up fast and can play media files, DVDs, and Office Files—and that's it.  The Benefit is it uses less battery power to do so than your typical windows environment. If your booting up just to watch a DVD, or to present a Powerpoint—Media Direct is a nice way to do it. The installation of Media Direct 3 is located on a separate partition of the hard drive. Oh, also it has it's own button—so when you want to boot into Media Direct, instead of pressing the Power Button, you press the Media Direct Button; or if you're already in Windows and Want to use Media Direct, press the button and the program loads in the windows environment.

Also, Dell computers have a Partition set aside that has a customized Windows Installer that can restore the system back to what it was when you originally received the laptop. Some people find these partitions that are taking up precious hard drive space to be bloat, and blow them out when they first get a laptop. That's fine - generally that's me too, but in this case I wanted to keep it all.

I was going to use Ghost to copy the partitions "as is" to the new hard drive and then expand the C:\ partition
to take up the rest of the space (the new drive is bigger), then partition off a new section and use Ghost to copy the system restore partition. I was doing some research into partitioning and the way Dell has theirs set up. I learned that Media Direct 2 is insane and I'm glad that I have 3, but 4 would be better, but is likely unattainable. I also learned that there is some special preparation the drive must go through
 for the Media Direct to work. Using the Media Direct CD that comes with the Laptop you can run a program that sets up the partitions as they need to be. Most people that upgrade hard drives seem to run the Media Direct Installer, to prep the new hard drive and then use Ghost to Copy the windows installation to the new hard drive. This is what I thought I was doing.

But What I had actually done, was not prepare the new drive at all, and repartitioned my system drive. Losing Everything.

So I've spent the weekend just building the system on the new drive.
The old drive has not been formatted, just repartitioned, so there is a SLIM chance that I may be able to extract some things off of it—I'm not holding my breath though.

I've been searching my memory to figure out if there was anything really critically important on that drive. And I can only think of a few things that aren't backed up somewhere. There are some things that are gone that I will miss: My Original Photoshop Files of Squishy Comics, and My saved Game from Spore are Notable.
But I can live without those.

I'm going to Give Test Disk a shot, but won't be brokenhearted if I'm out of luck.


Using Test Disk I was able to restore the partitions to their proper order. All the Data is still there. I'll try booting the system later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Tale of Two Canons

When we were in Sun Valley, it finally happened. It's been threatening for a while. But in Sun Valley, it bit the Bucket. This is a sample of what our camera was doing.

And it only looked like that, if there was a LOT of light. Normal Lighting conditions generally gave an all black image.
Well, then Kella was born, We borrowed my sister's camera in the hospital. Well, with a new baby and no camera—that's living in the Dark ages. So I found the same model we already had on E-bay for about $60, it was Just the camera, no battery, memory card, not even a wrist strap. Since it was the same model we already had all that stuff. 
I got repair quotes from Canon and from Local Camera shops and every one quoted $180. Now that we had a replacement I was going to be brave and open the thing up and see if it was just a loose connection. I wasn't about to crack it open blindly so I went online and was trying to find information. I'm glad that I didn't open it, I should have known this, but didn't think about it — the flash holds a pretty significant charge and I can see myself getting a pretty good shock. The other thing I found out when I was researching, was that the problem my camera was experiencing was covered regardless of warranty status, as it was a manufacturing defect. So I sent it in and they repaired it Free of Charge. They even paid the shipping, both ways.
So, now we both have our own cameras. 

UPDATE: I thought all was well, then I started taking pictures with the camera that was returned. The Camera is Near Sighted. With a new Baby in the house Close up pictures get taken a lot; then I was taking some pictures down town and they were all coming out blurry. Every picture I take that focuses past 4 or 5 feet is blurry. 

I called Canon again and they stated they will be sending another shipping label—I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: The Camera Has returned, it's normal vision has been restored. . . . "and there was much rejoicing—yay"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gaming Update

Let's see, what have I been up to (Gaming).

Zombies!!! and Humans!!!

Recently we noticed that there is a new Gaming Store that opened close to our home (Noticed before it was open and attended the Grand Opening). Which is exciting; Hastur is a good store, but I hate driving all the way over there, and the Mall store that is close to us really has a limited selection. The new store is awesome. Since it is close I have made a decision to support a local business. I purchased Humans!!! and Zombies!!! 7: Send in the Clowns from them, despite the fact that it cost a little more.

Humans!!! is great. I'd almost venture to say that I like it more than Zombies!!!. The Mechanic is a little more complex, and I don't think we quite have the intricacies of Humans fighting back figured out yet, but I liked this game. I've played it twice. The first time the first round of moves took. . . forever. The second time I thought it would be much easier, but I didn't remember the rules as clearly as I thought I did, so it took some time to get off of the ground as well.

Zombies!!!: 7 Send in the Clowns, unlike previous expansions really feels different. The setting is a circus and you begin trapped in a "Fun" House, when you escape the Fun house, your placed in the Circus by another player. The goal from there is to get a clown car from the Big Top and escape via the entrance to the Circus. The Zombie clowns aren't any different from standard Zombies!!! zombies, other than the Creep Factor of a Zombie Clown being much higher. I guess what really set this apart was the size of the Map. It's much smaller, and though there are only 30 Zombie Clowns included, we did not run out. The scramble to get a clown car and get out first had us stopping each other at all cost. By the end of the game there were no more Zombies on the map and we were just scrambling to get out before someone could play a card and send us away from the goal — it was quite fun.

Then there is Ticket to Ride the Nordic Countries edition.
This "Expansion" was previously only available in the Nordic Countries. It has now been released in the U.S. as a standalone game. When this originally was released in the Nordic Countries, I read about it and thought it was exactly like the Swiss Expansion, but with a different Map. While that is mostly a correct assumption, there is a key ingredient that makes the flavor very different.

It is well established in Ticket to Ride, that if you want to take a wild card from the visible draw piles, you were allowed to take only the wild card. The Disadvantage here being that instead of taking two cards as normal you only get one; by drawing from the hidden draw pile sometimes you luck out and get a wild and another card, or sometimes you get two wilds, by drawing from the visible pile you can get two colors you need to complete your goals — or one wild. Taking a wild becomes a move of desperation when the colors you need are not coming up.     Nordic Countries changes all that by requiring a wild card on many of the routes — taking a wild is no longer done in desperation, but necessity. It really is different, and it really is quite fun.

Now, let's talk about thrift stores.
Sometimes, when you go to a thrift store, you score.
I have in the past mentioned, that I am no longer a fan of Settlers of Catan. At one time it was my favorite game, but now I can hardly stand to play.
I sometimes get this itch to go to thrift stores and check out what they have. I recently scored an unopened copy of The Settlers of Catan Card Game for a Dollar. That's not something to be passed up. The Settlers of Catan Card game has the same Flavor of the original, without the annoyances. I actually really enjoy it. It is a 2 player game and I find myself enjoying the game. So much so, that on a recent trip to the recently opened Friendly Local Gaming Shop I picked up the Expansions. I bought this because it was too good a deal to pass up, and I have played it enough and am not sick of it. The Set Up is a breeze and the play feels quick, though I don't think we've finished a game in under an hour yet. The Expansions are like different spices on top of the game, it's still the same dish, but each has a little different flavor.

We did an experimental 4 player version of the game, utilizing a friends sets. It lasted too long. It was harder and felt tedious. We may try again with an adjustment to the rules.

One More Catan note before moving on. We played one Scenario from the newly released Catan: Traders and Barbarians, and I still don't like traditional Catan.

Now, on the same Thrift Store Trip, I picked up a mysterious game for one reason, and one reason alone.
The Oddly Shaped D4 that was in the box.
Even if pieces had been missing I would have gotten it just for that Die (I have an obsession to feed).

Then I got it home and realized that there was some sort of Green Stain on the bottom of the Box that stunk like death. The Box (as cool and Triangley  as it was) had to go.

The Game is called: The World According to UBI.
It comes with a HUGE outdated map of the world. (The game was published in 1986)
The first read through of the rules was very confusing, that's part of the flavor of this game.
I had to read the rules 3 times to even get it.
Instead of saying, throw the 2D6. It says Roll the Rubis Cubis.

Ultimately, it is a Geographic Trivia Game, and as weird and impossible as the game is, I found it oddly satisfying. We didn't even finish the only game we played. But it is fun.

You get questions that are phrased like: Ubi Rodin's Thinker Think?
And the Answer is Not Paris. You cannot answer Paris. You have to Take the Rubicon Reticule (A hexagon window) and line it up on the map on the location you think the answer corresponds and state the Hexagon number; so the correct answer to this question is 5, or if you answer with Triangle Precision 5-A.

The rules are insane and make for a really long game for those that are not historical and geographical geniuses. Like I said, we didn't finish, not even really close, and we had to implement house rules to even get as far as we did.

The Rules state that The player Born closest to March 15 begins first. I think I should take this to the next Ides of March Party.

Then of Course there's Spore. But this Blog is already too long.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chrome So Far

So far I really Like it.

It's Fast... No, Really Fast..... Did I mention Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast?

It's only missing one thing as far as I'm concerned. I miss my Google Tool-bar Bookmarks Drop down Menu.
It's odd that there is no Google Tool-bar integrated, at the very least it should have my Google Bookmarks Integrated.

95% converted..

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I Thought I Was in Familiar Territory

Google Chrome Launches today I understand.

It's a new browser.

I was thinking to myself, let's check it out—because I really Like Google products. (I can't live without Google Toolbar, and you shouldn't either)

So I did a search to see what I could learn about this new browser and was eventually led to this site.
It's a comic book that explains the mindset behind the creation of the new Browser, because everyone is thinking, "I already have Firefox (or insert favorite browser here) why do I need Chrome?"

As I was reading the Comic and being really impressed by the thought that went into Chrome. I kept thinking this artwork is familiar... the whole feel of this comic is familiar. I think I even said to myself this feels like Scott McCloud.

Then I got to the end credits. 

Words by the Google Chrome Team. Comics Adaptation by Scott McCloud.


I own Understanding Comics, and Reinventing Comics, and I would Like to Get Making Comics.
I just knew that the whole thing felt like I had been there done that, even though it was completely new.

Friday, August 22, 2008

This is old technology

This will change the world.

But Tesla had free energy long ago.

There's nothing new about the repression of technology.

Friday, August 08, 2008

New Font

Some of you may have poked your head over onto my other "blog" where I keep Mr. Squishy Comics. I started it in 2006 with one comic and have since then posted. . . a second comic. 

I always start these projects and then get hung up on something I want to do of which I am no master. 

I finally got around to creating a font that is based on my handwriting. I'm still tweaking the font's default spacing, but I have re-done the two comics posted at (Mr.) Squish(y) so if you want to see a sample you can take a look. Luckily I only had to manually adjust the letter-spacing in 2 places.

I actually have quite a few comics drawn that I had intended to post on the site, I even spent a month fiddling with CSS trying to get the site to look like I wanted. I was going to try 3 times weekly, but that didn't happen. Maybe I can do once a week. But I need a better process for getting the pencils into the computer; my scanner is painfully slow and my digital camera worked pretty good for the first two, but the third is not working out so well.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

War of the Worlds on my mind.

It's funny how the mind wanders from time to time. 

I was walking home from the Bus Stop last week, listening to my Zune. I have so much on there and I find that I am so indecisive that I just always put it on random. On came one of the songs from one of my favorite albums of all time. An album that few people I have met have ever heard, let alone heard of. It was a "track" from Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds
I don't know what it is, but I like Concept Albums immensely. 
I was musing the War of the Worlds over in my head and thinking about what an amazing Work of Fiction it is. 

Think about it with me.

H.G. Wells wrote the War of the Worlds in 1898. 
He predicted Chemical Warfare, Military Vehicles, Flying Machines, Space Travel.
The Book reads like Moderns Science Fiction, all the trappings are there, but when it was written this was cutting edge stuff. The very idea of a "Martian" invasion was so Alien to the world. (Pardon the Pun).
Since then it has been adapted time and time again. Orson Wells famous 1938 adaptation for radio. George Pal's 1953 film, Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds (1978), the 1988 TV series, and the 2005 Steven Spielberg film
are among my favorites.

What I find interesting about all the different adaptations is that it is almost always Modernized and set in the present day, also the location is generally changed as well. In fact, the Jeff Wayne version is the only one I have experienced that still has it set in Victorian England, though the music is a Progressive Rock Album from the 70's and has thus been modernized in that sense, of course using that argument any non-book adaptation is a modernization.

I would like to see a Period film made, an A budget movie that is. There was a low budget direct to DVD version released concurrent with the Spielberg version, that I have never seen. 

I think it is interesting that certain stories just kept getting told Time and Time again.
It makes me wonder what of today's Pop culture may be remade in 100+ years.
Does anything made today have the longevity?

Friday, July 18, 2008

More about Spore.

Just Watch This. (It didn't work for me in Firefox — Use IE)
When it finishes it will automatically play another, and another, and another, etc. I think there's 6 or seven.
Seriously, this is the only PC game I've wanted since 2005.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Eyes!!!

I need bleach for my eyes.

I mean - I know it's hot and all, but seriously!!!

The Incident happened here.

The bus I was riding was entering the freeway. I was trying to browse the internet, but the page just wasn't loading fast enough; sometimes the internet is a little slow on the bus. So I glanced out the window. I looked over the edge of the freeway (You can do that on these tour style busses, the passengers are litterally sitting higher than Big Rig Truckers) and what did I see?

A completely Naked Guy

Luckily the bus was moving at freeway speeds and the incident was over with before I even realized what I had seen.

Guh - I think I'm a little sick.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Gates can't be that bad.

First, Read this Blog.

I have had the exact same frustration with trying to download something from the Microsoft downloads site.
I'm glad that Bill Gates has experienced this first hand and yelled at those responsible to get it fixed. 
Seems like he's just as much an end user as any of us. 

The thing that blows me away, is the fact that someone thought that no one would be trying to Download a Microsoft Product from the Microsoft Download site.

There's an adage that goes: The Combined I.Q. of a committee is that of the Lowest I.Q. in the group, divided by the number of members of the group. I don't know if there's any truth to that, but it seems true-ish. (There is an interesting Thread on the subject here, the final post may surprise you a little.) 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spore Creature Creator

I have been waiting for Spore for Three years now. Tuesday, the Creature Creator was released as a demo, as well as a way to make sure that the Universe is populated by all kinds of creatures when the Full product releases in September. I HIGHLY recommend downloading the trial version of the creature creator. The trial version comes with a limited palate of creature parts. But it is still very very fun to play around with.

So far most of the creature's I've created are pretty standard fare — I haven't really really branched out like I have with the Wii Miis.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

More about Wii Fit.

Last time I mentioned this, I explained that I had been foolish and had not pre-ordered. I was under the impression that I would not have a Wii Fit until the 16th of this month (that was when new stock shipments were due). Tuesday my friend that works in a warehouse called and told me that he was bringing one home for me.

First — when you are just playing this on your own and not messing around with a group of friends, you can really work up a sweat. Second — the game thinks it's funny. Since I had played it lightly a couple times and then the device went home to my friend's house, when I started into the game again it made fun of the fact that I had not played in a while, it acted as though it had forgotten my name. Third — it's a lot more fun to work up a sweat to Wii Fit than any other exercise program I've ever tried.

Thing is, I hate exercising, it's boring; but this makes it into a game — and I love to play games (sports do that too, but. . . I hate sports). So an hour goes by fast. When I'm jogging in place and my legs are hurting as my Mii is running all over a cartoony island jog park, I have to keep pushing forward, because it is a game that must be beaten. I keep saying to myself keep going, you've done this before, this "level" cannot defeat you. I really hope that they make more fitness titles that use the balance board.

So now that I've done it just about every day for nearly a week I can truly say I'm really pleased with the product. It's fun and will help me get in some much needed physical activity; I've really been turning into a couch potato.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


This is old news, but I wanted to mention it.

A couple weeks ago (see, old news) we had a game night at the home of a friend of ours. — I may have mentioned before that I like Games— We started the evening with some light chatting and then when it was time to bust out the games, we started with Zombie Fluxx.

The only reason I have the original Fluxx, is that I found it on clearance at Barnes and Noble. They had marked it down to $10, and if you bought one, you could get a second free. I quickly read the back and the concept of a game where the "Rules" were in constant Fluxx appealed to my Inner Demon that Loves all things Random. I picked up two. I gave one to my sister as a gift, and for a while it got thrown in to the Game Rotation.

As a game however it was lacking in something. Strategy and Goal setting mostly. Since it's always in "Fluxx," It's a total Crap-shoot as to who wins. So it gets a little boring, though I still like the concept.

I'm glad I got that original game, because it led to getting Zombie Fluxx when it was released (and anticipating the upcoming Martian Fluxx). Zombie Fluxx introduced a new element to the game: cards you do not want. This introduced a (small) element of strategy, as you are attempting to get rid of (or collect in some cases) said cards.

The Zombie theme itself adds to the game as well. Though it must be played with the right group of people, some people just can't get into the Campiness of a Zombie theme, but some can. Which is what happened a couple weeks ago. Everyone was having fun with the Theme, which puts fun into overdrive.

Naturally when the random winning wore thin (it always does eventually with this game) we busted out Zombies!!!.

It was one of the best sessions of Zombies!!! I've ever played. This game definitely has to be played with the right group. First of all, everyone has to kind-of "get" the whole zombie thing. I mentioned how I feel about zombies on my Sketch Dump Blog. I think if everyone playing has a similar attitude, and also understands that the rules of Zombies!!! are more Video Game than Ultimate-German-Style-Board-Game-Extravaganza, then everyone involved can have a good time.

Something I found Interesting, with previous groups that I've played with there has been a tendency to forget that you have cards in your hand. The cards, when played properly really enhance the game.

One thing I've noticed that happens in a lot of games, not just Zombies!!!, is the tendency for everyone to still be having a lot of fun when someone gets close to winning, so they gang up on that person —Realistically, I was only half way there (10 zombies in my pool) but cards were a flyin' and I found myself standing bewildered back at town square after all that had been thrown at me— That in and of itself is all part of the fun. However then what happens is that everyone spends the rest of the game ganging up on that person, regardless of who is now close to winning the game. That person becomes the person not allowed to win. I don't know what causes this behavior, but in competitive games where you can "stab-your-buddy," this seems to happen frequently.

I have to apologize to everyone we were playing with, I made a mistake concerning the rules. Don't worry, we ended up playing it right. I must have been thinking about another game (though I still can't figure out what game that is — Zombietown maybe) when I stated that you could combat another player. Someone asked how, and I couldn't remember exactly how (because you can't — though I know exactly how it could be done based on the current rules) so we continued on without even trying. The following is from the F.A.Q. located on the Twilight Creations website:


Can I kill other players?
Uh, no! You are trying to escape the zombie horde, not trying to become a world class murderer.
Source: Kerry June 16, 2005

But I really want to, can't I please?
NO! Now knock that off!
Source: Kerry June 16, 2005

Monday, June 02, 2008

D&D 4th Edition

For the past few years I have had jobs that have downtime. I've had to wait for a call to come in, in order to do anything. My current job is much more hands on, but it also has an element of waiting for things to break — as a result I have familiarized myself with a number of web comics.

One of the comics I read is Penny Arcade. (My only disappointment with PA is that they use strong language from time to time.) The artist and writer are very much involved in Video games and tabletop gaming, though they have very different taste in games. I also read PVP, which is written and drawn by the artist. PVP is video game/tabletop gaming related.

Dungeons and Dragons is coming out with the 4th edition of their rule-set in less than a week now. It's interesting to watch how people respond. Some act with apprehension (My GM for instance, because he has invested in well over $200 on 3/3.5 edition[which I totally understand, this is the very reason I do not even toy with the idea of CCG's]). Others are excitedly anticipating this new upgrade to the most well known Pencil & Paper roll playing game.

A few months ago Tycho and Gabe (a.k.a. Jerry and Mike) of Penny Arcade and Scott Kurtz of PVP got together with some marketing folks from WotC (pronounced wot-see: referring to Wizards of the Coast, publisher of Dungeons and Dragons) and played some 4th Edition D&D. They played Keep on the Shadowfell, which as of this writing is the only 4th edition product on the market. At the time they played it, it had not been released yet.

Background information given, here's what's interesting about all this. They recorded the game. They played for a good eight hours, they are breaking it up and distributing it in podcast form. The first of which has been released.

I listened to the episode. Here's what I found interesting:

As far as experience goes. One of them is a D&D veteran and has been playing for years. One of them is a Noobe and has NEVER played, and one of them used to play back in 2nd edition. They all picked it up very easily.

The magic system has been revamped, and there are 3 types of spells: At will, which can be used as often as wanted; some that can be used once per encounter, and some that can be used per day.

It seems that they have tried to simplify things a bit. No one ever did spot checks or listen checks; it appears they've lumped all such checks into a single perception check.

Healing. Everyone has a number of self heals they can do per day. These self heals are for a certain number of hit points and can be used once per encounter. If you have a cleric or other healer class in your party they may assist during an encounter to set off one of your heals on your behalf even if you have already used one during the encounter.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the podcasts in the series. There is some language though.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Last Night's Gaming Session

No fights, very little rolling of the dice, and a Mission that seems eerily familiar.

While I don't mind the High RP nature of the session, in fact I prefer it, but there's just something about the random number generation of a die skittering across a tabletop that excites something primal within me. What's going to happen? I don't know, but let's allow this die to determine the outcome.

I have now a mission from a ghost to seek out and find missing spell-books. Which is odd, because I had to do that in another game with a different GM.

I'm a little concerned that my GM has turned my character into Luke Skywalker/Harry Potter. I won't get into too much detail as to my meta-gaming thoughts, as he reads the blog.

I had a very set idea of who my character was when we started this campaign. I had a very fleshed out character to begin with because last campaign I felt like I had no motivation. I do not enjoy playing FI TOR. So I came up with a background. Nothing overly creative, more an amalgamation of several cliche's. But GM has expounded on my unknowns and I have no idea what my character is anymore, at least it's still interesting.

A friend of ours came over late into the game. Generally he's a munchkin, but last night he had pretty much missed the last 3 gaming sessions, and was really confused as to the nature of the current situation, so he reverted to his munchkin ways and his character just stayed in his room at the inn and made potions. There was only about an hour left in our gaming session when he showed up with his brother. Due to things my character had recently learned my character had a run in with his brother's character. It was late and I was quite tired. I fell asleep for a bit, while the two of them were conversing with a ghost.

I've noticed that in our group, when our characters are getting along we don't speak as our characters; but as soon as our characters have a disagreement, regardless of how small, we jump right into character.

This is when we have the most humorous gaming moments.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bus Blogging

I am currently sitting on the bus, riding home from work. I am riding a fast bus. The fast buses are the same type of buses that are used for tour buses. They have a lot of Cargo space under the seats, and they have used that space to install networking equipment. I must say, it works rather well.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Do objects teleport?

Stardate - years ago when we were first married. We were living in a basement apartment, and it was time to go to church. We got ready and headed out the door. When we arrived at the car we discovered that neither one of us had the keys. Not only were we locked out of the car, but the house as well. We could not get let in by the owners, as they were at church. So I started checking if we had left any windows open. We did not.

So there we were stuck. We were attending a Student Ward and the church was much too far to walk. The Owner would not be home for several hours. I came walking back to the front yard after checking the windows in the back yard (Again), and what did I find in my pocket? The Missing keys.

No, they were not there before. When something is missing, I check where it is supposed to be every two seconds, because there is no possible way that I left it elsewhere. They simply weren't there before. Now they were, 20 minutes later.

What brought this to mind was the fact that Yesterday, my wife was holding an open house for a client of hers (she's a Realtor) and I decided it was time to delve into the Flopside Pit of 100 trials, and get it over with. I powered up the Wii, but a friend of ours had been over and he had been playing Metroid. In fact, I recalled seeing him pop Super Paper Mario out of the Wii and place it gently on the entertainment system while he put Metroid in, however I did not see what he did with the disc after that because I walked out of the room.

I checked the Obvious place first, the case for Super Paper Mario. Empty.
I checked the Zipper Case in which I keep Wii and Playstation 2 games. It was not there.
Then I checked the Entertainment system where I had seen him lay the disc. Nope, not there either.
Then I checked ALL the Wii cases on the shelf. It was not in any of them.
Then I checked ALL the slots in the Zipper Case. No. . . not there.
Then I checked the extra, empty DVD case that sits on the shelf for lending DVD's to people. Still empty.
Then I checked all those places again. . . . . and again . . . . . and again.
Then I called my friend's brother, because my friend was at work. He checked the Wii game cases at his house. Nothing of mine was found in their cases.
I checked All the DVD players because we had had a Babysitter over the previous evening, and you never know what kind of Hijinks are going on when that's the case. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Then I checked All the Wii cases on our shelf and the Zipper Case AGAIN.
It was nowhere to be found, and I gave up looking.

This morning I was sitting here and I was mulling over where in the world the game disc could be.
I walked over to the shelf and checked the Super Paper Mario case again.
The first place I looked. (And the Fourth, and the Eighth, and the Twelfth, etc.)
I'm standing there feeling rather . . . odd. Kind of like that cool floaty feeling I get when I'm really zoned into an art project I'm working on, except twisted and weird. I don't really know how to explain.
Confused times several.
There it was, right in front of me, acting like it had been there the whole time.

I think that sometimes objects teleport.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wii Fit

I've been meaning to mention this for about a week now.

A friend of ours that works someplace that sells electronics obtained an early copy of Wii Fit. (This would have been a much cooler post if I had actually posted before Wii Fit was released.)

So, early impressions.

The Yoga and Strength Exercises are more workout than I thought they would be.
For an Obese fellow I have excellent balance.

The Balance and Aerobic Sections are just plain Fun; and I can see actually burning some fat playing. Mostly because I read this. I played for about 45 minutes and didn't feel like I had really exerted myself that much.

I have a C-note from Christmas that has been patiently waiting for Wii Fit to arrive. But I think I may have been a little too complacent about the whole pre-order thing. I went to purchase it Wednesday and it was sold out at the 3 different locations I tried. I'm having my friend check if he can pick one up for me.

I think why I delayed writing about this was that I wanted to have my own copy first, so I could play it a few days consistently before I made any judgement. Since my obtaining of the device has been delayed, and I have been prodded by more than one person that I need to make a new post, I have decided to comment regardless. As you can see however that has made my thoughts on the subject a little bit disjointed.

One of the balance games is a Ski Jump, and another is a Slalom. Both very fun, if somewhat short, though I have not played long enough to unlock longer/advanced versions of all the games.
One of my favorite arcade games of all time, was Alpine Racer. I dropped many a quarter into that machine. While it's not quite the same, it's similar enough to make me nostalgic, and now I really really want to Pick up We Ski.

Also skate it has been announced for Wii, which will utilize the Balance Board.

I will probably have more to say, but my thoughts are too disjointed to say more at this time.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Zune 2.5

Yesterday the Zune software and Firmware were updated. And I must say. I'm loving it!!

Let me tell you how I got a Zune. At the beginning of this year I was working as a telephone technical support technician. The project to which I was assigned, was to support Microsoft Employees. This was a new project and they planned to have us train for one month starting December and start taking calls early January. Training only took 2 and a half weeks, and the phone system wasn't ready for prime time until Late February. That's a LOT of time sitting around doing nothing. Now, as an incentive they put our name in a pot each day we were there for training. Now the funny thing is that I only missed one day of training. The day they drew names out of the pot. That's how I knew that my chances for winning would go through the roof, it's always the guy not there that wins. Luckily this was just after the 2nd generation Zune was released. So I found myself the owner of an 80 Gig Zune.

I had never even considered getting a Zune. But now that I have it. I can honestly say that I like it lot more than the iPods with which I've played. If the Choice is between a classic iPod and a Zune, get the Zune. If the choice is between a Zune and an iPhone/iPod touch that question is harder. The iPhone/iPod touch is definitely the cooler gadget, but comparatively has a dinky hard drive.

Anyway, I loved just about everything about the Zune. There was a little learning curve as far as the synchronization (shortly after I filled up the Zune, I plugged it in and it promptly removed All the movies I had loaded). Once I learned how this worked, it was no longer a problem. It's the one thing that I did not find intuitive, well that and the way it sorts Albums is a little odd. Albums that have Multiple artists (mostly Soundtracks in my case) end up being broken up by artist so you can't just play the Whole Album without a play list. But a little research on my part discovered that it sorts by a metatag called Album Artist, so I just had to edit those tags.

This brings me to the first part of the update that I like. Previously, I pretty much ignored the Zune software and used it solely for syncing my Zune to the Computer. I could not edit the Metadata with the Zune software. I used iTunes for that. However this new iteration of Zune software allows for metadata editing.

The Second thing I noticed is that the Status bar at the bottom of the software that tells you how much space is used, has more divisions. Previously it told you how much space was used by music and how much was used by video. I've noticed that now it has a separate section for Podcasts, I don't know if it has a section for Images, I have so few on my Zune that if it did the bar would be far too small to see.

Speaking of Podcasts. It now will play podcasts like it does music. When one ends it immediately goes to the next in the series. I no longer have to tell it to start playing the next one, which was the only thing that I didn't like about the way it handled podcasts. It was a very very minor qualm, that none the less has been resolved.

One of my biggest annoyances with the Zune software, was the way it handled the Thumbnail image for Videos. It didn't cache them and had to regenerate them every time you scrolled up and down the list. That has been fixed and it speeds up dealing with Videos. Also the Metadata for Videos can be Edited as well, which is Awesome.

You can now create what iTunes called smartlists, dubbed Auto playlists.

When the Zune Synchs, it now displays the percentage on the Zune screen as well, which is a nice touch, so you dont have to go back to the Device Status screen in the software to see how far along it is in the process.

They added some features to the "Social" section as well, but I'm not even part of the Demographic that those features are aimed toward, so I've never joined the "cult" I don't share what I listen to with the Internet. The Internet should not know. Stay away from me you lousy Internet! Get off the Lawn!! . . . Dang Kids.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I Am Iron Man

I caught Iron Man this weekend. Unlike all the other super hero movies that have come out in recent years, Iron Man is a story with which I am not familiar. I loved every minute of this movie. I loved Robert Downey Jr's portrayal of Tony Stark. Comic Book movies that are done right, take the source material seriously. In fact they act as though the source material were classic literature. They make sure that all the classic Icons and trappings are in place, though the only one I was even remotely familiar with was S.H.I.E.L.D.. That is not to say that you cannot make fun of the source material. The scenes where Tony was testing the technology were hilarious, in fact, a lot of this movie was hilarious. But unlike some recent Marvel Comics Movies (Namely Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, X-Men: The Last Stand, Fantastic Four, & Hulk [i.e.nearly every Marvel Comics movie made since 2003]) I was never pulled out of the moment because I lost my suspension of belief. This is one of the greatest super hero movies ever made, which surprised me. I was excited for all of the above listed movies and was let down in varying degrees by all of them, so much so that I didn't buy any of them. I will be buying Iron Man.

Go see it, it's fun.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I got trapped

The company I work for has a new building that they are moving people into. As part of IT I am helping set up phones. Usually when we head over to the other building my supervisor drives. Today he asked me to check out the car.

So we were driving and then I saw a cop behind me. So I pulled over. And he pulled behind me. My supervisor asked how fast I was going. I said 35 (which was the speed limit). I hadn't run a light. Needless to say, I was confused.

He asked me why I didn't yield to a pedestrian. I told him that I had not seen a pedestrian. When he went back to his Car. I asked my supervisor if he had seen a pedestrian. He said he saw a guy standing on the sidewalk.

Now I must point out the fact that the person behind me was pulled over by a Motorcycle Cop. OH! and the person behind her was pulled over by a Motorcycle Cop.

Yeah, how convenient that 3 people in a row didn't stop because a guy was standing on the sidewalk, and there happened to be 3 Cops watching.

Edit: I forgot to mention. The handwriting on the ticket is so horrible, I have NO idea of the amount of the fine. Frankly, I can't even tell if there is an amount listed. It hasn't been posted on the website yet either.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Dice

This is just a tangent of a comment from the the last post. As I said, I have a bit of an obsession with unusual Dice. The Bottom View's color is a little off, because I had to take it without a flash and I was just too lazy to try to actually get enough light in the room.
(Click for Full Size)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Gaming Realization

Several years ago I was introduced to German style boardgames. The first game I played was at a the home of a friend to my wife. Carcassonne a tile laying game. It took about 20 minutes and we played a couple times, it was very fun. Some time later we visited their home and we played again, but with an expansion pack that added some new rules and extended the game playing time.

Then there was a family gathering where we played the Ever popular Settlers of Catan. I was so intrigued that I looked into it more and found that there was a whole new world of board gaming that had nothing to do with Milton Bradley or Parker Brothers (Both owned by Hasbro these days apparently).

We bought Settlers of Catan and it became the game of choice at parties. When we were introduced to the game we were also introduced to a house rule. The house rule says you can buy, sell, or trade at any time. With our college friends this made for a Fast paced trading game that rarely lasted more than half an hour. We bought all the Expansion Sets for it (except the difficult to obtain German releases) and I enjoyed it very much, in fact it was my game of choice for a long time.

We then started obtaining all the Carcassonne expansions. It is no longer a quick game. With all the expansions Carcassonne now averages 3 hours. While this is very enjoyable for me, it does not get out of the box as much as a result.

After finding that there are specialty game shops we tried a number of games including, but not limited to Bang! (and Expansions), Zombies!!! (and Expansions), Ticket to Ride (and Expansions), Fluxx (and Zombie Fluxx), Munchkin (and Expansions), Guillotine, Battle Cattle, Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot (and expansions), Colosseum, Cranium, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects, The Dread Pirate Games, Loot, Mystery of the Abbey, Pirate's Cove, Shadows over Camelot, The Haunting House, MidEVIL (and Expansions), Zombietown, Cartagena, Puerto Rico, Descent, Arkham Horror, Heroscape.

Anyway, the point is I recently had an experience playing Settlers of Catan with a group that insisted we play with the actual rules. I do not see what people like about that game when playing with the actual rules it takes Sooooooooo Looooooooooooong, and Frankly is quite boring. Then I got to thinking about the last few games of Settlers that I had played, and I realized that I now hate Settlers of Catan, with or without the house rule. I just don't enjoy playing it anymore.

My current favorite game. Hard to say, but almost anything is better than Settlers of Catan.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My battle with The Flopside Pit of 100 Trials, a Mouse, and a Skunk (Over Explained Version)

I did much battle last night.

My wife was conducting business at the dinner table after we put the little bean to bed last night. So I did enter the Flopside Pit of 100 trials. (For the uninitiated, the Pit of 100 trials is a beast of a challenge that the folks at Nintendo included in the game "Super Paper Mario." It is 100 Small Rooms that must be defeated sequentially. There is no saving; you have the option to leave every 10th level, but if you leave you must start over again. There are two pits. One in the City of Flipside and one in the city of Flopside. I thought Flipside was tough to defeat. You get to the end with hardly any life left and then you have to defeat a Dragon. Then I found the Pit of trials in Flopside and realized how easy flipside is. I stopped playing the game for a long time because this thing is so hard to beat, and boring at that.)

I learned of a little cheat in the game that allows you to Level up quickly. (Those not into the Gaming lingo, that means your character is more experienced. i.e. You can deal out more damage and can take more damage without dying, and you have more Skills.) There is a level in the game with a tube that spits out a bad guy, and when it had been defeated, it spits out another. To take advantage of this you go there with Bowser and blow his fiery breath, as they fall out of the tube they are defeated, you gain XP (experience points) and level up. The thing with levelling up is the amount of XP needed to get from level to level continually increases. So now that I'm into the upper levels, this method takes longer and longer. I have tried taking on the Flopside Pit on with 50 HP (Hit Points [technically Super Paper Mario calls it Heart Points, but it's the same thing], i.e. the amount of damage you can take before dying) and 60 HP multiple times. But the furthest I made it was about level 61. Over the past couple days I have spent a little time exploiting the levelling cheat and reached 85 HP.

I was leveling up Last night. As I was playing I saw a Mouse looking at our DVD collection. It looked and then jumped toward the shelf and then jumped back. It was odd for two reasons. 1) Mice usually don't venture out in the open when there are 3 people in the room with normal noise/conversation levels; Sometimes if everyone is watching T.V. with the lights off they will venture out briefly. and 2) It seemed really agitated. It was curved, like a cat that is trying to look bigger than it is. Its body was up off the ground; usually you can't even see mouse legs because they are hidden under the body as they scurry about. But this was raised up and it was jumping around a bit. I paused the game and ran over. It hid under a backpack. I lifted the backpack and it was scurrying back and forth in the space between the entertainment center and the DVD shelf. But something didn't look right, it was happening so fast that I couldn't tell what, but it was almost as if it was being rolled back and forth rather than running. Then it ran in the direction of the living room, I dropped the Backpack on top of it, and it disappeared. I went back to the game and hit 85 HP.

Then Justin came to the door, prepared to play a game of Ticket to Ride. Emily was still helping her client. I was Levelling so he dove into an online game of Ticket to Ride. I filled my inventory with Items that refill HP and tackled the Flopside Pit of 100 trials.

Ten or Fifteen minutes later Emily squealed a bit and moved to the other side of the Kitchen. I asked what was going on and she said, it just popped out from Sparky's food and was flying through the air. I spotted it in the Kitchen near the DVD shelves. It looked like it was having a seizure and it was literally bouncing around the kitchen floor. It bounced under the microwave stand and disappeared. I grabbed a flashlight, but could not see it under there. I moved the trash can, but it was nowhere to be found.

I returned to the Pit, Justin returned to his Rail Baron ways, and Emily and Josh returned to the selling of his house.

The mouse emerged again, this time it was moving like a normal mouse and went under the door that leads to the Garage. I paused the game, ran over and opened the door. There he was, standing on the second stair. I tuned on the light and it Jumped to the top stair and began to run towards me. If I had been wearing shoes, I would have stepped on it. I was not wearing shoes so I slammed the door on it. Slammed doesn't accurately describe what happened though, because that door has a weather strip there is too much drag and it doesn't slam. Nevertheless when I opened the door it was halfway down the stairs, a little dazed I think. I chased it down the stairs and it ran toward the bottom stair and thus just out of my sight. It was moving to the right and I thought it was cornered, but when I got to the bottom it was gone. It must have gone through the tight squeeze between the stair and the wall, DARN RODENTS AND YOUR COLLAPSIBLE RIB CAGES!!!

I set a mousetrap at that corner. Nothing could get out without being trapped.

I returned to the pit. Josh had gone, and Emily and Justin were enjoying a nice game of Switzerland Ticket to Ride. I reached room 100. I expected to have to defeat another Dragon. Instead I was told that I had Fought Valiantly, but I was not worthy to face the foe there until I had once more reached the bottom of the Flopside Pit of 100 trials. I was then presented with an Exit tube.

I was happy to have defeated the pit, but annoyed that I have to do it again. I saved and shut down. Emily wanted to wind down a little before going to bed so we watched some T.V. When we got up, Sparky wanted to go out. The door was locked for the night (by Emily), and in hindsight I should have just told him that he was done for the day. I let him out, he was barking like Mad, I figured it was just a cat. Then I started to smell something foul.

I poked my head outside. He had been sprayed by a skunk. At least I think it was a Skunk. It smells a bit different than what you smell driving down a Highway, a little more musky, a little more like burning rubber. This was at 11:30ish at night.

I found a concoction on the Internet that was apparently developed by Chemist Paul Krebaum
(Chemical & Engineering News , October 18, 1993, p. 90)

Here is a Paul's website.

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
1/4 cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 teaspoon of liquid detergent.

For the record I just used what we had and did not mix the formula exactly as stated and it seemed to work just fine. But maybe that's just my nose getting used to the smell.

I did much battle last night. A Pit, A Mouse, A Smell.