Shaun of The Dead, Ultimate, No Baby (Yet)


So it’s been a fun couple past days. Last night I hung out at Amy and Erik’s with Nora, Cam and Melissa. We watched Shaun of the Dead, a spoof on the zombie genre. Definitely worth a rental, if you get a laugh out of that kind of thing. I know I did. Must… eat… brains!
Thursday night’s Ultimate game was great; we took halftime 8-0 and it was 10-0 before they got a point. A comeback was made in the second half, but it wasn’t enough, and we ended up taking the game 15-5. I’m pretty sure we just had experience on our side. We were playing New Colllege, and their team was about four or five veterans, plus a bunch of players who had only been playing for a year or so. Contrast that with our team, where all the players had played for at least two years, and some for much longer than that. Still, I think all involved had a good time — even New College — and Monica brought out chips (about 60 28-gram bags!), cookies, brownies and beer for the entire field! How cool is that?
Other than that, life’s been full of excitement surrounding the upcoming birth of Cam and Melissa’s little one. Yesterday was Melissa’s due date, but no baby yet. Contractions — of the real kind — are nowhere to be seen. But I’m sure she’ll be going into labour in the next few days. Cam’s been keeping everyone up-to-date on a daily basis via his blog — go check it out. Tonight his brother Kurt arrives; I can’t wait to meet him.
That’s it! Have superawesome weekend 🙂

It’s this one thing that got me trippin’


Well! Had my first dental cleaning Monday morning. Boy, was that painful. Probably the first time I’ve had a cleaning in 3 or 4 years.
But, it was a good pain, you know? And they even “polished” my teeth, something I’ve never had done in all my years going to the dentist. Basically sandblasted my teeth with some kind of baking soda mixture? I think that’s what it was. Very quick, maybe 20 seconds to do my entire mouth. Neat.
And so far, I’ve been a good boy; I’ve brushed, flossed and brushed/rinsed with Periodent (prescription mouthwash for which there’s amazingly little on the web [Update: That would be because it’s called PerioMed, but there’s not a lot on it, either…]) each night. That’s a whole two times! Only three months to go till my next checkup! 🙂
I can already feel my gums improving. Now I just need to drop the $39 on a Waterpik.
Today’s picture is of my parents’ kitchen back in Victoria — that’s Mom in the background. The shot was taken back on Labour Day weekend when I came down to take in the Hybrid show Davin opened. Ah, good times.

Confession


After completing the paperwork necessary to get into my work’s 401K plan, I spent a large portion of Saturday on the Interweb looking for pictures of Alyson Hannigan. She plays [“played”…. *welp*] the character “Willow” on TV’s Buffy. I have the most ridiculous crush on that girl. I even printed one of the pictures; it shall spruce up a lucky wall somewhere in the apartment.
That was the confession, and here’s the epiphany. The Internet can chew up large portions of time!! !@#$*(!@& Looking through those photos took pretty much all afternoon and evening. Damn you, broadband Interweb. Damn you, Alyson Hannigan!
And because it just wouldn’t be fair to say all this and then not provide linky goodnesss, clicky: here, here and here.

Downtown waterfront, sunset

So I guess those photos I took Wednesday night turned out after all:

About 3 minutes to sunset.

I’m pretty sure this guy was no longer living. So sad. Foot provided for scale.

I sat on this ledge to take the sunset shot.

Not sure if it’s always like this, but I found the amount of media coverage on the new Pope kind of overwhelming.

Graffiti.

I think the the G.WIZ Science Center is here, too.

An old friend.
That’s it for the Wednesday night shots. Here’s one I took today. I’m sure glad I can recycle these somewhere (Publix takes them). This is just from the past three months:

April 21st, AKA “The day after the day after the day after Adobe purchased Macromedia”


So, I raced downtown tonight straight after leaving work (~7:45pm), with the intent of capturing some of the surrounding area while the light was still horizontal. Now I know where the G.WIZ Science Center is! Unfortunately, I don’t think many of the shots came out, though I don’t know for sure, because they’re still on my camera. But I did stop by the library, and, sure enough, they had Young, Fabulous and Broke — something like eight copies of it, six of which were out. Obviously in demand! The two which weren’t checked out were at a different library. But a number of Ms. Orman’s other books were there, including the 1997 “9 Steps to Financial Freedom”, so I checked it out. I guess we’ll see if I can get through it in two weeks. I should add here, that yes, I did finish Eats, Shoots and Leaves 🙂

Suze Orman and Don Norman


So I took a trip to the Main Street bookstore last night, with the intention of picking up a book by noted celebrity financial consultant Suze Orman. I had never heard of Orman before Zameer [website down at time of writing] mentioned her name over MSN Messenger, and I exclaimed, “Who?!”
The book, entitled “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke”, promised financial advice for high-priced-coffee drinkers in their 20s to mid-30s. “Perfect,” said I. “That’s me.”
Except, it wasn’t. Flipping to the table of contents, as the back cover implores, I discovered a large portion of the book was devoted to how to get yourself out of debt and pay your rent AND credit card bills. Which would be fine, except I’m not in debt, have no trouble paying my rent, and I don’t have a credit card. I just want some solid advice on how to do something reasonably intelligent with the money I’m saving. There were a few chapters I was interested in: notably, those about 401K (retirement) plans and why sometimes a Rothman IRA is a better idea, but — perhaps somewhat ironically — I couldn’t justify the $24.95 I’d have to fork out to take the book home with me. Maybe it’s available at the library.
I went to the back of the store — the business section — to see if I could find anything else by her. I found “Suze Orman’s Financial Guidebook: Put the 9 Steps to Work”, but could not find the book to which it was a companion: “The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom”. And although the Guidebook was cheaper than “Young, Fabulous and Broke”, it didn’t seem to stand too well on its own. There was a third book by Orman available: “The Courage to Be Rich : The Financial and Emotional Pathways to Material and Spiritual Abundance”. And although the back cover sounded like a book I should want to purchase, I just couldn’t get over the title. The courage to be rich?! Courage? Being rich isn’t the be-all and end-all of my existence. I just want to know how to do something relatively non-dumb with my money. Keeping it in zero-interest chequing? Dumb.
I didn’t leave the store empty handed though. For whatever reason, also in the business section, a couple books over, was Don Norman‘s “The Design of Everyday Things” — one of the few books I can say I’ve read and loved every word of; I read it for a software engineering class as part of my Computer Science undergrad. Of course — being a cash-strapped student — I sold it to a classmate the minute the course was over. Heh. But I think “Design” is an excellent read for anyone involved in designing anything someone is eventually going to ACTUALLY use — be it a piece of software, a car’s dash, a door handle, whatever. “Design” covers all sorts of stupidity you encounter in everyday life, WHY these things are stupid, and attempts to motivate a better way through user-centered design.
I think the cover pretty much gets right to the point.

Seen any stupid design lately?

Fvaciltiries


So, I know I’ve been slacking a little on this here blog. Somewhere along the way, I fell out of writing it completely for myself and, at least in part, I started writing it for the feedback. And lately, well, there hasn’t been much of that, and I think my writing has suffered.
But I’d like to change that and start writing for both these things. First things first — last time (Hump Day, Apr 13th) I had a grocery list of significant things which have happened to me, but I didn’t give any explanation. Let’s take a look.
“I’m no longer using hairgel” — Yes, it’s true. It was time for a change, and about two weeks ago, I just stopped using it, cold turkey. Thus brings to a close something like 3000 days of using product in a row. I’ll probably still throw some in now and again, if I’m going out somewhere fancy, but for day-to-day, I’m taking a break. It’s been fun so far (though, now I’m noticing that I have a few white hairs).
“Battle on the Beach 6 was good for my soul” — this hat tournament was unlike any other in recent memory, in that all the people I met were good people (word up Chicago), the atmosphere relaxed, and the games fun. Kind of why I started playing Ultimate in the first place.
“I’m done with Buffy Season 6” — Yep. That was a very, very dark place. It was necessary, but I’m glad it’s over with. There’s only so much “character development” a fan can take!! Heh. Season 7, ho!
“Watching last-place Victoria Salmon Kings beat the second-place Florida Everblades rocked my world” — What can I say? Nothing like seeing the underdogs win. Especially when they’re from your home town. Cam has pictures.
“Dad turned 60” — This one is pretty self explanatory. Amazing to think that I can remember when he was in his mid-thirties — especially now that I’m getting close to being thirty myself (still have a year and a few months).
“The Tampa hat tournament, Bay Area Ultimate Helps Asians Tsunami Victims (BAUHAT V) went well (though attendance could have been better)” — Well, here’s another story about attendance at Ultimate tournaments. As I said in my last post, I have a few ideas for revitalizing the scene yet.
“I’m getting financially-active (so to speak)” — Haha… well… we’ll see. I’m getting my savings into accounts that yield better interest, but I’m thinking I’ll be shopping around for a better rate soon. Also getting involved in my company’s retirement plan.
“I have a new computer chair!” — It’s true! $39 + shipping from Staples. It could be a little softer, but hey, now that I’ve found the tilt mechanism, the rest is gravy. 🙂

Manatee County Hat


Ah, my lovely bed. I got 13 hours out of it after yesterday’s tournament
So, the Manatee County Hat Tournament was yesterday. The turnout was a lot lower than I was hoping for (27 vs. 50), but I think everyone had fun still. We made four teams (three of 7 players, one of 6), and played an “everyone plays everyone”, round-robin style tournament. After the three games, my team, the “B” team, came in second place, and Cam and Darren’s team — “D” team I believe — came in first. First and second place got igloo thermos-jugs! That was a pretty sweet surprise; I’d been involved as an organizational consultant for the tournament but I hadn’t heard about that part. Everyone at the tournament also got another shirt. After the round-robin was over, the plan was for the A team to combine with the D team, and the B and C team to combine for one last big game — but everyone was far too tired, and we sat around chatting and munching on pretzels, Pringles and Gatorade/beer instead.

Darren, Butch, Cam and Steven look on as Tournament Director Deb hands out shirts and jugs

“Big City” Brian models his prize
Definitely a good time, but it’s too bad it was so sparsely attended. How often do you see a local governmental body supporting Ultimate Frisbee? Answer: almost never.
One thing Leonard pointed out, and I think it’s a somewhat valid point — is that, given notice, Ultimate players will go great distances to attend a hat tourney. This particular tournament was not promoted outside the Sarasota and Manatee County areas, but it *was* promoted at places I didn’t expect inside those counties, like the YMCA out by Lakewood Ranch. We had at least a couple new faces out because of that.
But by and large, the people out yesterday were the same gang of longtime players from local area. Which got me back to thinking: there really isn’t any place for a new player to start playing the sport in Sarasota/Bradenton/Tampa. Lakewood Ranch on Sundays is a good start, but it’s inconsistent. For example, I’m unsure whether there’s going to be a game there today, since at least two folks who regularly show up are burnt out from yesterday’s tournament. There’s usually only about 10 people who show up, so that can hurt.
No-one ever said global domination would be easy. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve yet. 😀

Hump Day


You know how, last week, I said I had a bunch of catching up to do? Well here’s that catching up, bullet-form stylee:

  • I’m no longer using hairgel
  • Battle on the Beach 6 was good for my soul
  • I’m done with Buffy Season 6
  • Watching last-place Victoria Salmon Kings beat the second-place Florida Everblades rocked my world
  • Dad turned 60
  • The Tampa hat tournament, Bay Area Ultimate Helps Asians Tsunami Victims (BAUHAT V) went well (though attendance could have been better)
  • I’m getting financially-active (so to speak)
  • I have a new computer chair!

Those are the big ticket items I wanted to get down. More explanation to follow (this is being written on my lunch break).