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Not dead.

Also not really writing on this again for whatever reason. Obviously this has changed it. Damn you Heisenberg!
I grabbed the new Batman game for my birthday, which is rapidly approaching.

Damn, now I want to go home early and play it!

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Project Documentation

Project documentation is a chore to write. I am not convinced that anyone will actually ever read it and, if it is read, it will be read by people well above my pay grade. Consequently, I need to write in such a way as to be both interesting and informative but in the most concise manner possible.

In the time it takes me to write this stuff, I feel like I could have reworked the system to match the documentation.

Release!

All major systems were upgraded last night and I had only one piece of code out of sync (5 minute fix today). Fingers crossed that our first bill run this weekend against all the new stuff continues to work so well.

My brother and I joined up to PUG a Naxx 25 run last weekend with surprisingly good results (until The Instructor and Patchwerk smashed us into oblivion). I got a fancy new hat out of the deal, too. The raid content is really very well designed. I'm really looking forward to being able to run it at 10 man with friends!

Dawn of War 2 comes out this week and I've got it on pre-order. I'm not great at RTS, but I really enjoy them. Based on the beta, I don't think it will push Company of Heroes (Relic's previous RTS) off our fun radar. But I am hopeful that the single player experience will be just as awesome as CoH's was. Company of Heroes is seriously badass, though, so I have high expectations.

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"I wouldn't wave around a stick made of non-Euclidean plutonium cursed by 50 generations of emo snowman witch doctors either, unless I knew exactly was doing with it."
-Argyle

Obamerica!

Best of luck to the new Commander-in-Chief. This is an exciting time!

Wheeeeeeeeeee!

testing ... is this thing still on?

Went straight from Christmas vacations into billing system release time here. Hopefully the 2 months I spent analyzing tax variances will help this transition. I get to put my first code for the new system into production today, and the releases will continue through February. Talk about an extended schedule ...

Anyway, as stress has been at such a high I've been doing quite a bit to mitigate it.

1) Hanging out with Rachel! Totally helpful.
2) Animal entertainment! Our dog and cat are hilarious, so much so that we've stopped going out as much to instead be entertained by their antics.
3) Guitar! Still plugging along on this. I'm not where I want to be, but part of this stress makes me want to play instead of practice. Hopefully musicians know the difference there.
4) Biking to work! My new Trek Portland is completely awesome. Except for one week of sub-freezing temperatures, I've been biking to work every day since last February. Almost a year!
5) Video games! My new main Death Knight is, um, a little piece of overpowered awesomeness. I was looking around yesterday and realized that 5 of my gear pieces are the best pieces I can get for my build without raiding through Naxxramas. I don't think I did that intentionally, but it's nice to see my innate optimization abilities are still working.

Anyway, back to work here!

The Rainy Season

The rainy season is here and I love it. An interesting side effect is to make me want to stay in and avoid live human interaction.

Fortunately, I have World of Warcraft (and its soon to be released expansion), Fallout 3 (a highly worthy successor), Team Fortress 2, and the upcoming co-op zombie fest, Left4Dead.

It's a good time to be a shut in.

By the way, Obama won. Hope we see something awesome come from it.

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momentum to not post

So ... I never finished my discussion of our European trip from May/June and it's now the fall. Guess that one's only getting finished in my head.

I turn 30 here in a few days and I'm not finding anything different and exciting about it. Life's just going along, and is mostly going well! Work has gotten relatively stressful, as well as busy.

We did get a cat and a dog, waaaaaay back in June. They are awesometastic in many way. The dog, unfortunately, was probably abused while a stray or used as bait in dog fights. He basically can't get along with other dogs, but is perfect around us, our cat, and other people. The cat is a cat and does cat things. He's a bit of a biter, but is pretty amazing.

PAX was also fantastic. I now have Rock Band 2 as well.

This month starts the mega release season. Coming up over the next month alone are Fallout 3, Left4Dead, and Wrath of the Lich King. On top of that, I've gotten hooked on the Fall from Heaven 2 total conversion mod for Civ4. Dark fantasy conversion with all kinds of good things going on with it.

Life's pretty good, overall.

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Our sixth day we had nothing planned. As we got back in late and got up early, Simon and I decided to hang out with his dad and read while the girls went into Surrey and saw the sights, history, and shopping!! For me, it was a pretty uneventful morning.

By the afternoon, we had hired a car to transport us all to the airport, Simon's parent's car being far too small for four adults and their luggage. Eventually, though, we made it to the airport and, as NI is part of the UK, made it to Belfast without any problems.

The Belfast airport is waaaaaaaaay out in the country and the taxi we hired to get into the city apparently knew the best possible way in to the city that also avoided major roads. It was an extremely picturesque drive in to Kate's friend's house.

We met up and managed to lug all our bags into her house and then were off to dinner! Along the way to dinner, however, we got our first sight of one of Belfast's famous murals - literally right outside Tracey's door. A bit disturbing to see, but a reminder of the local recent history. Fortunately, dinner was the best Indian food I have eaten anywhere. It was an amazing combination of flavors and atmosphere.

The day ended well, with us ready to take on the Irish sites and sounds!

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No, I haven't forgotten the entire trip yet. The first picture from our fifth day is of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, newly remodeled and completely awesome. That picture, though, was taken in early evening (the 9 AM timestamp is Pacific time). So what happened that led up to an amazing experience with A Midsummer Night's Dream?

A knitting store for Kate, obviously! The rest of us sat around dutifully while Kate devoured an entire knitting store. There was nothing left but some shorn sheep. And the rest of the store.

From there, we made our way up to a hipster shopping area whose name again escapes me. Lunch consisted of interesting covered bazaar style food and a trip to Cyberdog for some shopping. I even found a shirt!

Unfortunately, we spent so long in the shopping mode that we were a bit late for our only appointment that day: tickets to the Globe Theatre with Simon's parents. The run from the tube station through the south bank of London pretty well destroyed my feet. We made it to the show about 15 minutes late, and proceeded to enjoy the hell out of it.

Simon's parents took us to dinner at an excellent Middle Eastern (mostly Lebanese) restaurant. We got the family course, which consisted of all kinds of tasty appetizers before the main course.

We wound the evening down with a trip on the London Eye, The 135 ft ferris wheel really gave an excellent view of a great many of London's sights. The location and view were really fantastic. We could see Westminster Cathedral, Abbey, Buckingham Palace, tons of river traffic, the Tower of London, and plenty of other interesting buildings that we couldn't identify!






We ended the evening with some silliness and a bit of a pub crawl. Tasty strawberry beer.

That was our last full day in England, and the whole experience was wonderful. Great people, great times.

Coming soon - Northern Ireland!