Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Productive Day

It took me six hours to do my laundry. I'm just not paying attention. Instead, I've been musing on the route to take to get to Houston. All sorts of options, really. That means that there isn't a good way to go, just a lot of not-so-direct ones. It's like flying somewhere that will require two layovers, and you're not even leaving the country. (Or, even worse, the second layover is in Toronto, but then you head back across the border.) It looks like I'll go through Spanish Fork Canyon (a beautiful drive, but no radio reception--good thing I've got a working CD player this time), through Moab and Monticello, then to Cortez in SW Colorado, and it's off to the Res. (or are those of us that are not from the Four Corners allowed to call it that? I'll have to check on that one), passing through Shiprock, and eventually reaching Gallup. From there, I've got plenty of interstate 40, the soulless replacement to route 66. And I'll be moving pretty fast, just like all the poor sods in Cars, ignoring the natural beauty of New Mexico. Through Albuquerque, then to Amarillo, where I'll switch to 287, which cuts ESE to Dallas, then the 45 SSE to Houston. Sounds good, don't it?

I got some important Civilization IV time in. The Arabs need me. They can't prosper without my guidance, and I've been away too long. I'm sorry, little digital Saladin. With five opponents, I've founded Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, and Taoism. I'm about to get Christianity, and probably will get Islam as well. For those of you keeping count, that's all seven religions. None have been or will be founded in a foreign land. Yeah. I'm awesome. My economy has recovered from building so nine outlying cities, and most of them are growing quite rapidly. (The two that aren't give me access to gems and fish, so that's worth it. Now, I'm churning out Great Leaders regularly, I'm ahead technologically, have iron and horses, and I'll be surprised if there are two more wonders that aren't built by my people. All I need to do now is wait for knights, then wipe out the Germans. I could probably even convince the Romans to help. If I can get that done before meeting the other three civilizations, then my advantage will go from clear-cut to "start the next game on a higher difficulty level." And before any of you mention it, yes, I am sad for those that have not had Civilization in their lives. (And if you're not familiar with it, look up Tolkien Boy's blog. It's the funniest one I've read, and definitely worth a read, whether you know him or not.)

Moving Away

I no longer have an apartment in Provo. I don't have an apartment anywhere, actually. This is cause for concern, as it would be nice to have one before beginning work in nine days. I am also awake when I should be asleep. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's one of those "important" things. Darn. At least I don't have an ulcer again.

I did get to toss horseshoes a couple days ago. I'm not bad at it. The trick is to keep the shoe from rotating while aloft. Hence, toss. Not throw.

I also got to play X-Box. I usually don't. My thoughts: Halo 2 is pretty good. Star Wars: Galactic Battlefields 2 is not. Usually, I'm not angry at a game for being bad. However, I'm making an exception for this one. I'm predisposed to liking SW games. The various games I've played in the past have often been treated especially well in my mind because I like the characters. However, this was too much. I like to play shooting games in a methodical manner. This game is intended to be played in completely the opposite way as much as possible. The controls are poor, the weapons seem too much alike and take too long to charge or reload, it's difficult to know how much ammunition you still have, there are poorly designed flight segments, enemies are respawned when killed... it seems like the game designers found a list entitled "things The Franchise hates in first-person shooter games," and decided to cram as many in as possible. If that was the objective, they succeeded.

At least I got to play with a dog best described as "fetching awesome."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hey! A comment!

Due to a comment appearing from him, I have decided to link to Bawb. Since he was the first to do so, I also linked to Ambrosia's blog, which gives more updates on him than his own does, anyway. Here's the lesson, kids: if you want to be linked to, post a comment. Hopefully, it will amuse me. If I'm amused, I will give you a link.

Yes, I know. I'm a giver. What can I say?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Major League Baseball. Why I don't like it.

The league is not actually interested in preventing players from using dangerous and illegal performance-enhancing drugs or HGH. Everything they've done thus far to supposedly combat this problem has been slow. I want the game to be pure, but the league loves having fast pitches and home runs. Two things: I want the players to perform well because they are able to combine natural skill with great training, and I don't like to watch that sort of game, anyway. Smallball is a more enjoyable game to watch, with a greater demand on strategy, which is especially important in baseball, a game that is really quite simple for a team sport.

I'd also like ties to occur. I like tied games. There's a certain beauty in recognizing the equality of two combatants; overtime games in most sports are too often ugly; there is a clear winner, and often in dramatic fashion, but too often it is due to mistakes by the losing team rather than greatness by the winners. This is especially evident in long extra-inning baseball games. Of course, that problem is not limited to baseball alone, but is rooted in the American sports psyche, which sees sport as a surrogate struggle for personal supremacy. (Or some such psycho-babble.) Some days, though, there shouldn't be a winner and a loser.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not unimportant

Yes, I'm breaking the guideline in the title. I state quite explicitly that my musings are "unimportant." Currently, though, I feel like explaining that. There are big things going on in my life. As most of the readers that actually know me are aware, I had been married. Now I'm not. However, we still care for one another. I want her to be happy, and she wants the same for me. If either of us felt like telling someone more than that, we would. (Or have, in some cases.)

As mentioned at the close of the last post, I'm now seeing someone--Cinderella. While I have been on dates with several women in recent months, and even saw one exclusively for a short time, things with Cindy seem like they could be long-term, even though I'm moving away in a couple weeks. I doubt I'll be using this as a platform for examining my relationship with her, though, so that's something not to look forward to, dear readers. (All three of you.)

I don't examine these issues here for good reason. I don't think blogs are a good format for self-examination. This is not a private journal. It's not even a small chat with close friends. It's a call to the world, and as such, I don't believe intensely private experiences, thoughts, or feelings are quite appropriate. However, it is a great place to talk about the random amusing (or infuriating) events of my life. So that's what I do.

Here's something odd I noticed yesterday: in the early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the main cast members have started wearing a new style of uniform, while extras are still sporting the old ones. The old style is ugly. And of course, Will Riker looks a lot better with a full beard.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

While I was writing that last post...

A young woman called me. A friend of mine. We'd gone on a couple dates, but not serious--the dates were three weeks apart, and a couple months ago. At the end of the last one, she dropped the "just friends" line. It was awkward and somewhat unpleasant, (after all, who enjoys rejection by attractive people?) but I figured that she's a smart and perceptive woman; if she didn't think it would be best to date each other, I trusted her judgement.

Since then, we've talked a couple times, but haven't seen each other in person. So today's call was out-of-the-blue, while she was at work. I vaguely wondered why she was calling. (She's on my IM list, so if she just wanted to congratulate me on the NASA job, it was possible to have done so already.) We talk for a while, catching up, when she mentions that we should "go out and celebrate sometime." To me, this sounds like kind-of-shy-girl code for "you should ask me out again." However, since she didn't explicitly mention the potential event as a date, it was difficult to mention I was currently seeing Someone. Oy Vey.

My car. I love it, and hate it.

The turn signal broke. Not really the turn signals, though. Just the lever that activates the turns signals. I was pushing it up to signal a right turn, and it snapped in half quite unexpectedly. Quite bizarre, really. I've never seen anything like that happen to a car. It's rather difficult to use just the stub of it that I have left, though. I'll see if duct tape can fix it, but I doubt it.

This comes on the heels of the crankshaft breaking, which caused the power steering and water pump to lose power, which put the car in serious peril. However, the engine did not fully overheat, which would have been a disaster. Nor did the lack of power steering lead to a collision. Thus, repair costs were limited to merely $450. This was weeks after replacing the air conditioner's compressor and the stereo. Combined cost: $1150.

Maybe it really is time to start looking for a new car. (Or, it will be time, once I actually start working and have a certain amount of money.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It absolutely, positively got here overnight.

So, this morning, I was cleaning the apartment. Oddly, I was naked. This was because I had intended on taking a shower, but then felt like cleaning the living room and washing dishes, so I started doing that. I didn't really see the point in putting clothes back on again, since I was still planning on that shower. (And, it's summer, so the apartment is warmer than I like it to be, so not wearing clothes was more comfortable.) The doorbell rang. Due to the aforementioned circumstances, I didn't open the door right away. I know that wouldn't stop a German, but it did stop me. Or delay me, at least.

After covering my nakedness, I discovered that the doorbell-ringing individual had departed already, but had left behind a package from NASA. Plenty of paperwork stuff; mostly signing papers that I only read in a cursory manner, signed, then felt self-concious and actually read. Fortunately, I have not promised to sign over any of my future children to my employer. That's good. However, I am left wondering if I actually returned the selective service (draft) card I filled out all those years ago. I'm pretty sure I did, but I don't recall mailing it. I bet I did--I should be impressed that I even remember filling it out at all.

Then, I finished the cleaning (now clothed) and took that shower. Like many showers, it was great. Does anyone else like washing their hair as much as I do?