Monday, January 31, 2011

How Does the Pizza Figure In??

*I find that I am not overly fond of Denis Leary's early stand-up work. Robin Williams' latest special was lacking, too. Bobby Collins just amuses the hell out of me though. Ditto for Jeff Dunham.
*Convert an old workbench into the new bar? Now that's a pretty interesting idea the wife had. A fairly expensive idea, true, especially when you're looking at old woodworking benches in antiques stores. Still, building one from scratch could easily run into a decent amount of money, especially given my tendency to measure once and cut twice. Along those same lines, I had also been thinking about adding more seating downstairs, just to make that space between the bar and the game table more useable. Went out to Menard's and Lowe's, just to take a quick peek to see if they had any patio furniture that I happened to like. Of course, I did find one at Lowe's that would work well. Of course, it's a special order item. And, of course, it was expensive enough to make my stomach roll over when I saw the price. So, I have no idea what direction to go in at the moment.

*The next step in the 'mass' production of my first game is going to be taking place shortly. Mostly it involves taking another long drive and writing out another huge check. Would have been heading in to take care of it on Tuesday, if not for the 'blizzard' that is supposed to be taking shape. Think I may just lay low until that blows through.

*Beginning to think I should look into having that split fingernail removed.

*Thus far, my second effort at creating a game is not moving along quite as fluidly as the first did. So far I've completely scrapped two versions and resorted back to using cards as the primary mechanism of play. I'm trying to not consider that a bad thing, but I don't want to end up recycling Fezquest and just slapping a new theme on it. So, I think I'll end up using the cards as the base mechanism, and then figure out some other way to give it more of the flavor I'm looking for. Maybe that's where I can work in my modular board ideas.

*It's filed under the heading of 'construction lumber', and I can get it at Menard's. Nice thing to know.

*Had quite a lot of fun out at Twins with Lil P and JJ last week. Would have been even nicer if it wasn't so damn cold and I didn't have to drive home. But it was interesting to find out just how universally popular a color blue is.

*It's rarely a good thing when your doctor's office calls you at home out of the blue. Worse yet is when they say 'Hey, we haven't seen you for a while, so we're not gonna refill your meds until the doc can see you'. Oh, yippee. That means I get to have a conversation with Mike that's going to go something like, 'Yeah, I'm gonna need that scrip refilled, and by the way, can you bump the dosage a couple of notches so it's easier for me to stay on the happy bubble and I'm less likely to get fired? And by the way, just out of curiosity, what is the technical definition of 'suicidal thoughts'?' Yup, that's gonna be a fun morning...

*I have recently witnessed the single greatest usage of the word 'meager'. Ever.

*I'm having a hard time trying to get pictures uploaded onto the FOM website. Looks like I may have to post everything to my Flickr account and then back link those images to my posts. Seems like it will be quite a pain in the ass to do it that way, but that 2MB file size limit is just killing me.

*Yes, I know the 5th is the day before the Super Bowl. Yes, I know I live somewhere close to the ass end of civilization. But why would either one of those facts make less likely to want to have some folks over for a good time? If I put those two factors aside, the big wild card this time around may be the weather. Not sure how the upcoming storm will affect the turnout. If it ends up keeping people away, I guess that just means more cocktails for me. Low attendance could also be an indicator that it's time to put this event on the shelf for a few months.

*One big carving is already in the works for Ohana in June. Now, I've been asked to contribute to M3's school fundraiser again. That's going to be in April. Two months is a much tighter timeline for me to work in, especially when I'll be starting from scratch, so I need to get some materials into the house and get going on that one right quick. And, on top of that, I want to have something to kick in at this month's gathering at the Chef. Damn. That means I'm going to be quite busy. Might have to put in a big order with Fire Mountain. And Budweiser.

*I am now the proud owner of not one, but two, vintage Travel Bars. That means I have one to use, and one to trick out! It is also highly suggestive that the signature Blue Moai cocktail will be composed of three ingredients. Possibly three and a mixer. Or maybe six ingredients. Or maybe not.

*Having a hard time figuring out when we can get down to Springfield to see the boys. It's not terribly surprising that S and I can't manage to get our schedules to sync up, but I can't even figure out when I can make a solo trip down to Peoria or over to Indiana by myself. Really kinda sucks.

* "Surrogates"-Not a bad movie. Not a great movie, either. A very light treatment of something that could have been explored on more interesting levels that were only hinted at in the movie.

* "1409"-This is a movie we had seen before, but Sheri really liked it, so I stuck it back in our queue. What I didn't realize when I did that was what I put into our queue was the unrated director's cut of the film. Furthermore, I didn't know that this version of the film had a different ending than the theatrical version. The ending of the theatrical version was the part that Sheri really liked. So, this difference in content led to a rather heated and prolonged discussion at 2 in the morning regarding which was the better version and why. In the end, we were able to grudgingly acknowledge each other's points and then agree to disagree.

* "Candyman"-A horror movie from the late 80'/early 90's that sucked. Go figure. Aside from the unique choice of setting in this film, it was pretty much just another yawn inducing low grade slasher film. I read a couple of the reviews that people had written of the movie, and was amazed by the number people who said that they were 'scared to go into the bathroom' after seeing this movie. Boggles the mind.

* "Deadgirl"-A movie with a creepy theme and a very dark storyline. Definitely not for your average to less-than-squeamish crowd. I am hesitant to say I liked it due to the subject matter, but it is a brain-twisting movie with lots of arguable points embedded throughout. Watch at your own risk.

* "Deadwatch"-War is not a clean or pretty affair. The trench warfare of WWI is a example of how bad it can be. The mud and muck of an anonymous trench is the setting for this subtly creepy film, which saves it's biggest punch until the very end of the film. Well worth watching, just mind the rats.

* "Session 9"-Great setting, interesting story, and just the right amount of creep factor. All you have to do to really enjoy it is pretend that you have no idea who David Caruso is.

*Why is the paperwork NEVER done!?!?

*Didn't really need a $50 tool case. It's not like I get a lot of calls to do on-site tiki carving. Moving from the garage to the studio and back again is something I should be able to accomplish without any expensive accessories. Much like the $100 chisel set that I know is sitting in the antique mall in Creston. Not something I really need at this juncture. The $75 hand adze I saw in the catalog I may just end up getting though.

*I have found the base liquor for the Blue Moai Room's signature drink! Now I just need to figure out the rest of what's going to be in it...


Monday, January 10, 2011

Foam Rubber Vertebra

* 3-5" of snow tonight?? I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. So far, aint nothing going on out there.

*"Shutter Island"- Loved the cinematography and the settings. Thought the story was really good until the very end. Not that it was bad, I was just hoping for something a bit spookier.

*Meanwhile, back at Pegasus Bridge this past Sunday, the Allies carried the day 2-0.

*The Giftmas decorations are finally all back in the hobbit hole. With all of that stuff put away, I realize how desperately the carpet needs to be cleaned.

*"The Ice Limit"- OK, it was a Preston/Child book so I read it. This one didn't really grab me though. Not bad, just not as good as I was hoping for it to be.

*Having a hard time trying to find a good weekend to make our way down to Springfield. The Boss seems to think we can do it in two days, but that just seems like it would be really tiring. So, the debate continues. In the meantime, it will be yet another month before I have an opportunity to meet up with any of the Red Palms folks again.

*There can be a great many downsides to manscaping, not the least of which is annoyingly sharp stubble in sensitive places.

*"Kick-Ass"- A decent popcorn film. Nothing really different or striking. The characters of the two best friends of the lead guy were quite enjoyable, though.

*We all had a good time at the Swordsmen! on Saturday. Even managed to find a Mexican restaurant that Bart and Steph gave a passing grade. Plus, I had no idea that Beck's made tallboy cans.

*Still trying to figure out what to do about production of my game. A run of 50 copies comes in at a higher cost, but I'm pretty sure I can move all of them in a reasonable amount of time. If I were to have 100 made, even though the cost is lower, I'm pretty sure that I'd end up with a lot of leftovers. And, since there's some graphics work yet to be done, I think I'll have to eat all of that cost myself in order to keep the price down. And then there's the issue of needing to make 400 playing pieces. This is proving to be quite a task. At least I will have learned some things should I manage to complete the other game I'm working on in time for Ohana.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Avocado Earrings

*The SIL and the N have returned to the frozen tundra. Once GD returns to the Motor City, things may just settle back onto a more even keel around here.

*The last thing I need to do is get involved in yet another new hobby. So, tempting as it sounds, I am going to leave the home brewing to others and just enjoy being able to sample their efforts.

*I simply have to agree. Being over 400 right before bed is not a good thing. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do about it.

*I can't believe that someone busted one of my vintage rattan chairs and didn't say anything. Now I need to go out to Menard's and get the post kits to fix the frame, and then check the springs to see if they're broken beyond repair. Not real happy about the whole situation. But, if nothing else, it will be a good lesson in antique restoration.

*Got up earlier than I usually do on Tuesday morning and headed out to Niles to meet with Jack from Chicago Game and Card Co. The drive on 90 wasn't too bad and took us less time than we expected, which was a good start. Unfortunately, between us arriving early and Jack running late with another client, we wound up parked in a chilly waiting room with a stack of printing/advertising trade magazines. When Jack did get there, we got down to business pretty quickly. I showed him the game, gave him the files from LePrint, and then we talked some options. One of the major expenses would be making the 2 custom cutting dies to stamp out all the island pieces. The rest (not counting in the playing pieces), should be fairly routine. He said he'd get back to me in a day or two with an estimate. Wednesday came, and I opened my e-mails to find a note from Jack. For a run of 50 copies, the price was going to be around $90 per copy. Better than LePrint could have done, but only by $10 or so. Now, If I wanted to jump up to 250 copies, the price would be roughly cut in half. I don't think there would be any way on Earth for me to move 250 copies, and ain't no one in their right mind gonna pay $90 per copy. So, if the custom dies were at the heart of the problem, they needed to be removed from the equation. I sent a note back saying that the island boards could be printed on whatever size piece of square/rectangular chipboard would work, if that would help cut the cost. The Tourist island would need to have it's graphics merged in the computer and then be printed on a bifold board. So now I'm just waiting to hear back, and hoping that I can knock that price down to a point where people would be willing to pay it.

*The Christmas decorations are still up, and the dogs need a bath. Gee, I wonder what I'll be doing this weekend...

*A blast from the past has wandered back onto the periphery of my general situation. Fewer zippers so far, but quite refreshing none the less.

*Off to Pheasant Run this Saturday with Bart and Steph to see the Swordsmen! Been a couple of years since I've seen them, but it was a pretty good show then, and I'm hoping everyone enjoys it this time around. Will definitely have to make sure I have my flask handy for this trip into burbland, though.

*To get me to talk in my sleep, all you need to do is fill me full of gin and pizza rolls and then let me stay up till 3AM watching Shutter Island and Ghost Ship. Why has no one thought of that before?


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Antelope Elopement Atonement

*The general confusion surrounding the holidays and the weird way they fell this year, coupled with a really bad call as far as the weather went has really put a dent in the time I have gotten to spend with my fellow Red Palms over the past month. That in and of itself is pretty annoying, but it seems that I missed a big announcement at the NYE event. Mind you, I haven't had the chance to confirm this at the highest levels yet, but it seems that a shift in the owner's family could result in the end of the Chef as we know it. More news on this rather depressing development as it becomes available.

*I may have been fairly correct in stating that it would seem to be really difficult to lose a game of Forbidden Island. I should add the clarification that that statement was made based on starting on the 'novice' level. I doubt this would be the case on the 'epic' level.

*OK, I am still having right around zero luck in getting the printer/game developer guy the types of files he needs in order to give me an estimate on doing a production run of Fezquest. So, I may end up physically going to Niles on Tuesday so I can meet with this guy face to face. Maybe then he can get the scans he needs, I can tell him about the edits I want, and I can get this thing moving more towards actually getting into the hands of people so they can play it. If not, then I'll have to start looking around for someone else.

*It had never crossed my mind that I should look on E-Bay for bamboo flats and canes. But now that I know those types of things are on there, when I get to that point of the downstairs remodel (yeah, right), I will have to compare those prices against others that offer the same thing.

*Another month, another fun event. Survivor's Day was a pretty good time. Had a lot of the usual faces and a couple of new ones to boot. Had some call-offs and some no shows, but that's to be expected. The obvious downside to having a party on NYD is that a lot of people have done a good amount of drinking on NYE, so things weren't quite as lively as they could have been. I was really glad that Steve could make it up for the event this time around. I have also decided that there was too much rum in the Miami Snowmen, so I need to tweak that recipe. I think I actually have some mai tai mix left, and I don't even think that I made one for myself last night. The area between the bar and the green chair continues to be a dead space, which I'm hoping that the new bar design (should it ever come to pass), will help eliminate. It also looks like it's time to dig into the stored boxes and rotate the items on display out in the main room. And while you're at it, Fear my spaghetti arm!!

*No, I do not want any more cookies. If you try to give me a plate of homemade fudge, I may well punch you right in the nose. The next person to offer me any type of consumable with a >80% sugar content will get a boot to the ass. Repeatedly. My pancreas is frickin exhausted. No. More. Sweets. Got that? As it is, I doubt I'll be able to eat anything sweet until well into March of next year, and quite possibly later than that. Not to mention that I will have to spend considerable time and resources trying to unload the sugary treats I have already been given by others. Got curry? Hand it over. Salsa? Likewise. Chili? I'll take that too. But, if it's something dipped in chocolate that you're trying to pawn off on me, you just might end up finding it crammed in your ear.

*After a recent vet visit, all three of the Thundering Herd have been given clean bills of health and ideal body scores. I, however almost needed CPR after finding out how much it cost me to get that report from the vet. On the up side, we did discover that getting the beasts in and out of the Element is easier than any other car that we've had so far. Little bastards may just actually get to go more places with us in that case.

*Did I make any resolutions for the new year? No, not really. Never really found them to be anything that really sticks. I mean, if you already have the discipline to stick to a resolution, odds are that you don't really need to make any resolutions in the first place. I'm just going to make sure that I keep doing the things I know I need to be doing. Which, is kinda funny, considering I haven't worked out in a few days, and I'm pretty sure that I didn't take my meds today. But I need to start working out, since I've had a yen to watch The Matrix for like the forty bazillionth time. Plus, all that beer is starting to make it's presence known in ways I am not fond of.

*Almost all the snow that had been deposited around the area disappeared after we had a rather unseasonal stretch of days above freezing, a couple of which approached the 50 degree mark. I think I can also say that this has been the foggiest December that I can ever remember. Luckily, or not, all the mud generated by the sudden thaw froze solid when a 20+ degree temperature drop hit the area overnight. So, it's back to winter for the next five months or so. Did I forget to say wheeee?

*Managed to complete 4 new pieces this week, which was really nice. Not that any of those pieces were anything that I needed to get done, but it was good to just let instinct run and do whatever I wanted to. Didn't really like having to do all the blending when I was using the colored pencils, and the resulting shiny finish isn't quite what I was looking for. Liked doing the pastel piece, but it does make a lot of dust, and that piece will have to be sealed before it can be handled. What's next? I just may do another pastel. Got some black paper I've been waiting to do something with, and this may be a good media to use on it. Want to drag out the tempra again, too. I doubt either of those will be something that goes out for any of the charity auctions I know I'll be getting calls for soon, which means that I need to get to carving.