Sunday, September 26, 2004

How I spent my 35th Birthday...

I know I'm long overdue, and I'm going to have to post some of the pictures later, but I thought it was time to get something posted here... seeing as it's the last hour of my birthday celebration, which I kind of celebrated the last couple of weekends... in entirely different ways.

First, as I described in a previous post, I went over to Denver to spend the weekend gaming with a friend of mine. I had invited a few others, but Darryl was the only one with the time off and could afford to go... but that worked out just fine for us.

I rented a car for the trip (I'll post the picture of it tomorrow), and picked it up late Friday night. This would allow me to return in late Sunday night... which turned out to be a good thing. I think we made it back within 15 minutes of the time it was expected back.

So Saturday morning we headed out early-ish, after a mandatory stop at the new Krispy Kreme that has opened in Grand Junction during my absence. Actually, I saw that it was being built when I was home in February, and fully expected it to open shortly after I left... which indeed turned out to be the case...

So we got on the road around 10:30am, with an over-abundance of sugary sweets, drinks, and a cooler that Shelley had thoughtfully packed for us. Have I told you how cool my wife is lately? Well, believe it... she is one of the coolest people I konw! Just ask my son, he'll tell you (though we're both a bit biased...).

The first stop of the weekend was at a place in Glenwood Springs called Dragon's Lair, which is the place I first discovered Dragonsport a couple of years ago, just before I took the job that took me to New Jersey, then eventually overseas. I've always wanted to get back there, and this was the perfect opportunity.

You'll really have to spend a few minutes browsing the website to get a better idea what Dragonsport is about. If you've seen the movie Paycheck with Ben Affleck, you've already seen it in action. The websites are a bit cluttered, and of the couple of times I've visited there, it seems to me the website very much reflects the organization of this place. I really think this thing has a lot of potential, if the owners get a little more focused. Personally, I wish they would completely get away from trying to inject Star Wars themes (use The Force) into the realms of magic and dragons, but I get the impression that the owner is a big sci-fi fan, as well as fantasy (much like me), and can't resist the dream of becoming a Jedi... and who can blame him?

So after a couple of hours burning calories, we stopped at an Italian restaurant and put some back on, and resumed our trip.

Now something I haven't shared with you at this point was a bit of my last-minute planning. As I said in a previous post, the plan was to go to Dave & Busters and then go to Maximum Gamer the next day (a gaming LAN cafe). The night before we left, I was online and found that there was a D&B and MG right next to each other, in the same complex... there was also an AMC 24 Theatre in the same area. I thought it would be PERFECT...

... not so much.

First, we found the complex without a problem. The directions I had printed from Mapquest were dead-on, and as soon as we arrived, we spotted a hotel directly across the street. So far, so good...

A quick call to 411 and I was talking to the front desk of that hotel... $165 a night??? If that didn't include dinner, late night snacks, breakfast, lunch, and a foot rub, there was no WAY that was going to happen. So we jumped back in the rental car, and begin scouting things out. Fortunately we found La Quinta Inn a couple of miles a way, and it was a bit more reasonably priced. We checked in, changed our clothes (3 hours in the car after 2 hours of Dragonsport tends to make two tubby guys a bit ripe smelling...), and begin our night of fun and gaming!

It's going on 5pm, so we figured we could spend a few hours in D&B gaming and get something to eat there. Unfortunately, after about an hour and half, we were completely bored. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. You see, this D&B didn't have the biggest attraction (in my opinion) that the other one has: Battletech simulators. This is another experience that you'll have to get a better idea of what these are about. Basically they're a "pod" that you sit in with MFD (multi-function displays) and large viewscreens that simulate piloting a 'mech against other pilots, or as a team.

Since this D&B didn't have these simulators, we briefly toyed with the idea of driving to the other one ... but when we were told that it was about 45-60 minutes away (with traffic that you can expect on a Saturday night), we decided we would just make do with what we had... There was something called the Derby Owners Club, which looked like a betting on virtual horses, but we didn't get hooked on that until the next day. More on that later...

So after we decided we'd had enough of this particular gaming venue, we decided to get some dinner at a Thai/Sushi place we had seen around the corner, then go see the movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse. These choices would just continue our string of bad choices during the course of this adventure.

Interesting side story: when we left, I (of course) left my Hard Rock Cafe Munich hat at D&B ... this is not interesting except for two reasons: (1)Shelley had specifically suggested I NOT take this hat because I tend to leave my favorite hats somewhere... and (2) I returned there some 3 hours later after dinner, movie, and realizing I had left it there and one of the employees had actually found it and put it at the front desk.

Dinner wasn't completely terrible, nor really was the movie, but neither were they shining gems in this saga, and at this point in our evening, it really wouldn't have taken much to catapult either of them to stardom... but such was not the case.

We did have a brief shining moment of seeming victory when we found out that Maximum Gamer was planning a "Lock-In" for that evening. Basically it means they will be open all night, and will keep the minors (under 18) from wandering the streets. However, there were only 5 total people signed up (including us), and the other three didn't show up. So it was just us and the guys running the shop, and with the exception of a few brief matches of Jedi Knight, it was pretty much a dud.

Even our "run for the border" was a complete failure since the Taco Bell was closed... we had to settle for McD's.

So that's how the first official day of my birthday celebration was spent. Nothing was really as we planned or expected, but I made the best of it, and despite it all, had a pretty good time. I didn't think this would turn out this long; and this is only the first day. I've still got the next day, then this weekend to tell you about! I'll post those in the next couple of days, along with some pictures! I promise that it gets better!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

... I could have SWORN I was a bigger nerd...

42.857142857142854% of me is a huge nerd! How about you?

and a couple of years ago Shelley and I got into a friendly online battle... actually, it was a Battle of the Sexes type thing. This was shortly before we were officially dating, I believe.

Anyway, I found this the other day, and that's what reminded me of it...

Finally, the guys side of the story. We always hear
"the rules" from the female side. Now here are the
rules from the male side. These are our rules!

*Please note... these are all numbered "1" ON PURPOSE!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl.If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday = Sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want us to answer, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this: Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men really don't mind that, it's like camping.

Sorry honey, I just couldn't resist!

Email fraud... and a few movie thoughts...

Anyone else receive something similiar to this recently?

I especially like the warning that "failure to update your profile will result in account deletation." It's almost amazing how people that are smart enough to work a scam like this are too stupid to run a spellcheck.

If you gotten a similiar email, do NOT click on the link. It's a "phisher" trying to get your information... No matter HOW official it looks, do not fall for it. If you want to pursue it further, call your bank and ask them about it.

In other news, I went and saw Aliens v. Predator a few days ago. It was just "ok", and pretty much as expected. There were absolutely no surprises. As I was seeing the previews for other movies at the beginning, it occured to me that I hadn't seen a preview for AVP, so I had no real pre-conceived imaging... which made it even more interesting that it was almost exactly what I expected it to be...

However, I did see a preview for a movie that looked surprisingly good, and that I didn't know was coming out. Blade: Trinity is the third (and supposedly last) Blade movie. I really liked the first one, despite my intense dislike of Wesley Snipes. In my opinion, he's made a LOT of bad movies, and only a couple redeeming ones. Something about him just bugs me...

Here's a snippet taken from a contributor at IMDB:

Wesley Snipes returns as the day-walking vampire hunter in the explosive third and final film in the Blade franchise, Blade: Trinity. When the Vampire Nation hatches a plan to frame Blade in a series of brutal killings, he must join forces with the Nightstalkers, a clan of human vampire hunters, in an extreme battle in which the trail of blood leads directly to the notorious vampire legend, Dracula. Written and directed by David S. Goyer, Blade: Trinity also stars Jessica Biel as Abigail, the daughter of Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who inherits the vampire-slaying duties that once belonged to Blade (Wesley Snipes); and Ryan Reynolds (National Lampoon's Van Wilder) as Hannibal King, one of the Nightstalkers.

I don't remember much about the second Blade movie, but I think I liked it. Guess I'll have to dig it out and watch it sometime.

And the last bit of movie news: I found The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart! I know, I know... you're all VERY jealous!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Another week gone...

Not much to say, another great week. I get to go to sleep and wake up next to my two favorite people in the world... what could be better?

Between the waking up and going to sleep I've been trying to accomplish things. It's really hard to get out of vacation-mode ... but I'm getting a little antsy too.

My Mom and Aunt are down in Florida visiting my Grandma and Grandpa right now. I don't think they planned on making their visit between hurricanes, but it looks like Florida is going to be feeling the wrath of Ivan next week. I honestly don't know how long they're staying down there, but I'm sure one of them will reply here and let us know how they're doing (hint hint).

So it looks like I'm going WAY overboard for my birthday this year. The weekend before I'm going over to Denver with a few friends. The plans include Dave & Busters, LAN party gaming, a movie or two, and possibly paintball. The weekend OF my birthday Shelley's mom is visiting from Arizona (now officially the SECOND hottest place on the planet (in my experience)) and we're going to runaway for a night. I think it will officially be Shelley's first complete night away from the kiddo... I'll let you know how she does!

That's all I've got for now... been a while since I gave you any C&H so...

Also... I just realized that my blogger is still set for local time in Kuwait, and it says it's 7am on September 11th. I honestly didn't realize we were coming up on the anniversary of the attacks. Personally, I think that's a good thing. Not to play down the significance of the date, as we should "Never Forget", but I also think we should move on... we've given the terrorists more than their fair share of "airtime"... "Never Forget" applies to the victims of the heinous attacks, and the sacrifices that people have made to prevent it from happening again. We should honor those sacrifices, and not elevate the perpetrators importance beyond that of troublesome bugs. Squash them and move on.

Love to all ...

(except the bugs, of course)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Home sweet home...

Well, after nearly a week home, I'm barely back to normal. Normal being a relative measure, of course. It's going to take some adjustment, to say the least.

But, so far so good. As a few of you were aware of, I had a surprise planned for Shelley. To say that she was surprised is an understatement...

Suffice it to say that she reacted pretty much as predicted. I'm still allowed to sleep indoors, but none of you should be surprised if I call and ask to sleep on your couch for a day or so.

More on that later...

I actually did get something a LITTLE more practical. It's funny because while I was overseas I drove an Ford F-150, and Mike (one of my co-workers) always said that it brought out the "latent Redneck" in me. Well, I guess it's official now...

... and what true Redneck would own a truck that didn't have at least one side painted in primer?

So besides many, many enjoyable moments with the amazing Ryan (and his amazing mother), that's pretty much been the last week or so. My sleep schedule is normalizing (again, a relative term), so I'm not waking up in the middle of the night or falling asleep in the afternoon. Well, at least not as often.

So all in all, I'm just enjoying the much-needed time off, and the time with family. I've taken a bunch of pictures and video, and I'll get it online this weekend.

Love to all!

PS... FLORIDA! ... ouch

If you want to see some other amazing photos, check this out!