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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in CrushPuppy's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
10:50 am
Politics Ahoy!
So as the few of you who are friends with me on Facebook are all-too-well aware, that's my venue for the vast majority of my politickin'. And if by some unlikely chance you read this post and want in on similar action over on FB, drop me a message here and I'll link/add you. But of course FB is better suited for sharing links and short blurbs, rather than meaty substance. And with the 2016 campaign season upon us, I've been meaning to write up a sort of issue-by-issue summary of where I stand, and who my druthers lead me to support in the 2016 contest. Really, it's something I think it behooves us all to undertake as informed citizens--articulate what you believe and why, and see who that leads you to support. You might be surprised, in some ways, or spot areas where you should do a little more homework. This survey is a pretty awesome way to see who you share beliefs with, great place to start (just make sure you expand all the 'Other stances' options to get a better view of the field).

Since this is bound to be superlong, I will cut for those who can't be bothered, of course. :)
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So all that said--and whew, if you managed to read all that you are awesome--who do I like for 2016? Should be pretty obvious, since pretty much everything I said is what he says, but my guy is Bernie Sanders. I've been a HUGE fan of his ever since I came to political awareness and heard the things he was saying, which are really the same things he's been saying for his entire 40 years of public service. The man is awesome, authentic, unpolished, truthful, and principled--everything most politicians these days are not. And he not only doesn't rely on huge donations from billionaires and special interests, he disdains them and wants nothing more than to kill that pay-to-play system. And frankly, even if the rest of his ideas end up being non-starters, if he can get into office and just push through a fair politics amendment, I will regard him as a success and a hero. So if you haven't checked him out, I encourage you to do so, and to spread the word. In my view, a vote for anyone else is a vote for the status quo, when big changes are what we sorely need. #FeelTheBern!

Any questions? :)

Current Mood: thoughtful

(14 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
1:37 pm
Furniture Movin' Time Again!
So let's talk bedrooms. Our house has 4, which makes sense given that we have 3 kids, right? But the girls have only ever taken up 2 of the 3 downstairs bedrooms. Hermione and Hallie were sharing a bedroom at first, and a couple years ago we got another set of bedroom furniture with the notion that Hallie would share with Amy instead, and Hermione as the oldest would have her own room. But neither Hallie nor Hermione wanted Hallie to switch, so they've continued to share while Amy sleeps in what's supposed to be her and Hallie's room, and Heather has used the third bedroom as her sewing room. But now that Hermione is almost 11 and (rather terrifyingly to me) hitting puberty, and starting to spend a little more time with kids her own age, she's suddenly decided she would like to keep her bedroom to herself after all. She also wants her own desk for schoolwork, so she can do it in peace and quiet. Hallie doesn't want to share a bed with Amy, and frankly that probably wouldn't work out well for any of us either since those two seem to love antagonizing each other. So yesterday they all came up with a plan. Heather's going to move her sewing stuff upstairs for now, because our bedroom is pretty big and has a whole wall of space available at present. Hermione's bedroom is on the small side, so the full size bed that's in there now will become Hallie's, as will the bedroom freed up by moving the sewing stuff. Amy will stay where she is, but all of Hallie's stuff in there will move out and that will become her room. And Hermione will get a new bedroom set with a twin bed instead of a full, which will free up room for a desk. And then all the girls will have a bedroom of their own, which was the end goal at some point anyway, of course. And we get to move furniture around all weekend, which is always fun! Though I guess we can't really move the bed out of Hermione's room until her new one arrives next week. We'll see about that. I guess we'll also see if clearing out that room for Hallie turns into painting it, which I don't think anyone has considered. Hmmm.

Either way, our work is cut out for us this weekend, so it's maybe good that a potential hurricane is coming our way which will make us want to stay inside anyway. :)

Current Mood: good

(11 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
3:31 pm
Hey Look, Another Huge Bunch of Travel Photos!

So I went into this thinking I'd just pick a few of my favorite photos from last week's trip to share. But ha! Do you even know me at all? Like I can ever do that. So here's a crapload of photos, as per usual. :)

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Current Mood: okay

(6 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Friday, August 14th, 2015
3:32 pm
Friday Updates.
I was hoping for a more substantial update by now, but the guy I mentioned early this week who disappeared? His truck and surfboard were found at a beach in the Outer Banks, but there was (and remains) no sign of the man himself. So it's still a mystery. Maybe he drowned and washed out to sea? Maybe he ditched the truck and made good his disappearance. Something seems fishy about the whole thing, though. His wife went on television about the disappearance, and declined to show her face on camera. I just found that odd, somehow. Anyway.

Coasting through the rest of the day here at work. I think I'll knock off a little early so I can go home and pack, and comb over the van. I changed the oil and air filters last weekend, but I should check the air in the tires for sure, and make sure the jack and wrench are where they should be and in good shape. The spare looks good and I made sure of where the nut to lower it is, so that's all good.

Road trip to Myrtle Beach starts tomorrow morning, see! Last year we did overnights on the way up and back, to break up the drive. But this time I guess we're planning to go the whole way in one day, with occasional stops. I dunno, I left the planning on this one to the wife. I rather feel like I'm just along for the ride (but as the chauffeur, of course). But that's okay, I'm looking forward to a mostly-relaxing time. Maybe I should bring the Wii. ;)

We do have a few things planned for the trip, of course. There's that botanical/sculpture garden and zoo that we really enjoyed last time. And I booked a spot to climb the Oak Island lighthouse, which actually looks a little terrifying. But that should be fun. Otherwise, though, I dunno. I'm sure I'll take the girls to do MagiQuest a time or two, and we'll hit the little children's museum in town, and probably the beach a time or two. I guess we'll see how the weather is. Hopefully not quite as hot as last year!

Soda cutback is going fairly well. I've been good about sticking with ice water for my morning drink at the office, mostly. So most days I just have one can of soda with lunch, which isn't too bad. I should work on cutting that back to a few times a week instead of every day, but it's been a decent start.

Scored a couple deals on cheap Wii U games lately. Amazon has Batman: Arkham Origins for $10, so I jumped on that. It arrived yesterday and I gave it a try, looks pretty sweet. And then Best Buy had the Ninja Gaiden game for the U on clearance for $6, and I couldn't pass that up. I loved the original NG game for NES, and this one is well-reviewed (though everyone says it's pretty brutal difficulty-wise). Seemed worth the few bucks, anyway.

Okay, gonna pack up and go pack some more. :) Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and a good week!

Current Mood: good

(6 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
3:45 pm
Gaming Stuff.
Score! There was a deal over the weekend for a Logitech USB gamepad for $7.99 at Best Buy. It's not wireless, but for $8, who can complain? But the store near me was out of stock, and when I checked today the deal had ended and the gamepad was back to its normal price of $24.99. But today was a St. Pete day for work, so on the way home I figured what the heck and stopped at the BB in Lakeland just to see if maybe I could get lucky. And I did! First I found the only one of the gamepad left in stock--but it wasn't where it belonged in the game controllers, instead it was hanging out on a random cart of PC accessories over in that department, and with no price tag whatsoever. Then I found the spot where it was supposed to go--and the $7.99 shelf tag was still there! So I took them both up to checkout, and sure enough it rang up at $24.99 but since the shelf tag was out they honored the sale price for me. Nice! I have no doubt they'd have been cleaned out if the thing had been stocked in the right spot. Pressing my luck, I stopped at another BB along the way, and they had plenty of stock but the shelf tag had been changed back to the $24.99 price. Oh well, at least I scored one! I've wanted to get a couple controllers like that so we can do some family gaming on the home theater PC, which isn't a high-end machine but should be good enough for some stuff.

Speaking of gaming, a while back I mentioned looking for PC games for the girls, and got some good suggestions. They play Terraria and Don't Starve pretty frequently, and have gotten quite good at both. The Sims 2 is still a hit, as are the Scribblenauts games. Recently I introduced them to Goat Simulator, which they love because it's so silly (though it doesn't run too well on Hallie's underpowered laptop, unfortunately). Now I'm looking for a game-design software package that isn't too complex for them. I picked up a Humble Bundle with several (RPG Maker, Axis Game Factory and GameGuru), but I think they might all be just a bit too deep and quirky for their ages. Though I haven't really tried them too much myself, so I guess I should do that. I see a few geared more for beginners and kids like Stencyl and Scratch, maybe I'll check those out too. Though if any of you have suggestions, please do share. :)

Amy still plays the Wii U every chance she gets, and still prefers Super Mario 3D World. And is pretty good at it, for a 4-year-old!

We haven't played D&D much lately, I should remedy that. I also got Exploding Kittens, the card game that was a Kickstarter from the guy who writes the Oatmeal webcomic. Looks pretty fun, I think we'll try that tonight while Heather is at band practice.

Just killing time, really--I was a little too early coming back from St. Pete to go straight home, but there's not really enough time to actually accomplish anything here at the office either. Hope everyone is having a good week out there in LJ Land!

Current Mood: pleased

(7 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
4:39 pm
So far I've updated two of the PCs at home to Windows 10--the Home Theater PC and my own desktop PC. So far so good, really. The upgrades went smoothly in both cases, and I was pleased to see that the desktop reports Windows is activated even though it was upgrading from an, er, unauthorized copy of Windows 8. Maybe that's part of M$'s plan, get even illicit users onto a licensed platform, so they can buy apps and whatnot (and might even pay to upgrade when the next version comes along). I normally don't jump on upgrades, but both of these PCs have had some annoying USB issues under Win8 that I am hoping the upgrade fixes. The movies the HTPC plays are on an external HDD, and it has an annoying habit of dropping out in the middle of playback--just enough to make the movie stop, but if I click to play again, it picks up just fine. And the desktop, occasionally it would just stop recognizing all the attached USB devices, which kills the Internet, mouse and keyboard. Makes it a bit difficult to do anything when that happens, as you might imagine!

So initial thoughts, I like the OS. It's not all that different from Windows 8 for me, since I always had my computers go to a normal Desktop instead of the hated Start screen, and I had Start8 installed to provide a Start menu. It's nice that Win10 defaults to the Desktop and restores the Start menu natively. Performance seems fine so far. The HTPC had one ugly crash immediately after the install, but it's seemed fine since. Haven't really tested enough to make sure the USB dropouts are resolved, we'll see. The desktop has been fine, it seems to have carried over all my settings and whatnot, which is nice, and so far all the software I've tried has worked normally. The one issue I had was with the USB WiFi adapter--it's dual-band but the PC was only seeing the 2.4GHz side of things, and for some reason after a day or so it started being reaalllllly slow with the WiFi. But I found a new driver for the WiFi adapter which seems to have fixed both issues.

So anyway, I figure I'll upgrade the girls' PCs soon as well, and Heather's. She hates Windows 8 so I think she'll like the idea. :)

Current Mood: okay

(4 Sages | Enlighten Me)

9:10 am
America's Oldest Tourist Trap!

The weather didn't look too unbearably hot this past weekend, and the girls were having some vacation withdrawals and wanted to explore, so for Sunday we decided to take a little day trip up towards St. Augustine. It's only 90 minutes or so away, but we haven't spent much time there for some reason. And we kinda realized why on this trip, but I'll get to that.

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Current Mood: okay

(8 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
11:57 am
My name is cp, and I'm a Dr Pepper-holic.
Okay, not really, and I do not mean to belittle AA or struggles with addiction. But I was reading a bit this morning on how to quit drinking soda, and much of it was like, look, yes, this is an addiction, so treat it like one. I was reading these things because I really do feel like I should mostly quit drinking soda. It's not like I'm crazy with the stuff, but for a long time I averaged one can per day, and now it's usually 2 cans, or a can and a 20-oz. bottle, and sometimes big cups (with free refills!) at lunch, and.. yeah. Even though it's my one vice, and maybe not THAT bad in the grand scheme of things, I worry that I'm going to Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew myself into diabetes, and it's not helping my waistline, and it's bad for my teeth and bones, and there's just no good reason for it. So I'm totally babbling. But I'm also currently eating lunch and drinking water, so it's a good start. :) Rather than cold-turkey, I'm going to go back down to 1 can per day on average, stick with that for a few weeks, and then try to cut it out further. My end-goal is to get to where soda is just an occasional treat rather than a daily part of my routine, you know?

My problem is finding alternatives to replace the soda. The addiction angle in what I was reading said that ideally I can find something more healthy but which still supplies the endorphin rush soda provides (and my brain expects). But so far that's been a tall order. I've tried lemonade and sweet iced tea but they didn't do the trick--and are still sugary, so not really good replacements anyway. I've tried flavored (but unsweetened) sparkling water, and found it rather blech. Diet sodas cut out the sugar, yes, but still have the other bad effects, and apparently studies have shown that they just encourage people to seek out more sugar elsewhere instead. Plain water is the healthiest option, of course, but I just want SOME flavor in there, you know? Maybe mostly water with a splash of fruit juice would work. Anyway, the struggle continues. :)

In home geeky news, the girls are now all on laptop computers, which is nice. Hermione is generally very resistant to change on anything, but finally the computer she'd been using became too clunky for her patience. A while back, my Mom had given us a little 12" laptop she wasn't using, and Heather adopted it since all she really does is e-mail and Internet. But the screen died, and we replaced it with a 15" laptop, but she preferred the little one since it was much lighter and easier for her to travel with. So long story shorter, we picked her up a new 12" laptop and gave the 15" she was using to Hermione instead. So far so good. Heather's sister gave us her old laptop, and I set that up for Amy. And we'd gotten Hallie a laptop a few months ago, which unfortunately turned out to be pretty underpowered--but last night I installed 8GB of RAM instead of the 2GB it came with, and that seems to have helped quite a bit.

And Amy still loves the Wii U, of course. Though she also has been wanting to play War of the Monsters on the PS2, and my PS2 seems to have kicked the bucket--it'll start up and I hear audio, but get no video. And that's important. Might have to track down a new (old) one.

All right, I should get some work done today. It's not been a good few weeks in that respect!

Current Mood: okay

(11 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
12:22 pm
Trip Recap, Part 2!

Okay, got the rest of the trip photos done, so here you go!

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And that was our trip. Could have been better in places, but certainly could have been a lot worse too. :) And since the main (or Maine?) idea was to escape the Florida heat for a week and see some cool stuff, mission definitely accomplished.

Now in a few weeks we head up to Myrtle Beach to hang with the in-laws for a few days, like we did last year. Not an especially interesting area, that. But still, oughta make for some good photos. :)

Current Mood: accomplished

(17 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Monday, July 20th, 2015
4:10 pm
Back to the Real World.

I has returned! The trip was pretty good, all things considered. We wanted to escape the brutal Florida heat, and for the most part we did. I was concerned about the rain chances up where we were going, but aside from 2 semi-rainy mornings, everything held together pretty well. The worst thing about the trip was all the driving. I guess I was pretty ambitious in my itinerary, which covered a lot of ground over 6 days, and we ended up spending several hours a day in the car--about 900 miles in total. I didn't mind the driving (probably because I was doing all the driving), but everyone else got pretty sick of it, plus it sorta felt like we were rushing through some things because we knew there was a drive to the next stop (and to our hotel at the end of each day). So lesson learned: next time be a bit more conservative, concentrate on a smaller area, and leave more time to enjoy each destination unless I know it's a quick hit-and-run stop.

So anyway, I've got the photos from the first few days of the trip edited, so I thought I'd go ahead and do a Part 1 recap. So here you go! Lots of photos, of course. :)

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Current Mood: okay

(15 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
2:00 pm
This is hard!
It's turned out to be a bit of a challenge to plan next week's New England adventure!

I thought I had the itinerary all laid out, and the hotels were all booked, but for some reason I wasn't thrilled. And today I finally realized why. We're flying into and out of Manchester NH, and that's all set. But from there I had us heading over to the coast to go right into Maine and up to Acadia National Park, by way of Porstmouth, Portland and Boothbay. From Acadia I had us looping up a bit to Bangor and Augusta--but then back down to Portland and Portsmouth on the way back to Manchester and home. And that seemed like a waste, to travel through so much of the same territory twice. Plus it meant going nowhere near the Franconia Notch area, which I really wanted to revisit--we didn't spend much time there on our 2013 trip, and I wanted to explore the area a bit more. Plus, waterfalls are quite literally a nature photographer's wet dream. :)

So today I searched and mapped and tinkered and mapped some more, and drafted up an alternate itinerary. I couldn't completely start from scratch, because one of the hotels I booked was a non-refundable advance rate (that'll teach me!). But even with that one restriction, I was able to come up with a new plan, and I think I like it. So now I think we'll head north from Manchester to the White Mountains and Franconia, swing over to Grafton Notch (which was another place I was sad to miss), and then over to Bangor. From there down to Acadia, and then back towards Manchester, down the coast via Boothbay, Portland and Portsmouth.

I was afraid doing a loop like that might add a lot of driving time, and it does make for some longer stretches on the road--but in sum it only adds a couple hours onto the total, which isn't too bad spread over the course of the trip. Especially since it looks like those longer stretches will be in the afternoons, when the girls can nap anyway.

So I haven't cancelled anything yet, but I did go ahead and book the two new hotels for the loop route. I'll show the wife tonight, though she's said she doesn't really care as long as we have places to stay lined up. Everything is free cancellation, so no worries there. But I'm pretty sure we'll go with the loop. I'm certainly more excited about it!

Current Mood: excited

(6 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
4:40 pm
In other news:
LEGO City: Undercover for the Wii U is pretty awesome. I guess it's best described as Grand Theft Auto, if the world were mostly made of LEGO and (naturally) it's friendly for kids. It's 1-player only, so I hadn't gotten to play it that much. But lately we've been playing it more, and it's so good the girls don't even mind watching and/or taking turns at the controls.

We're not very far into it, but part of the plot involves going into an Alcatraz-style prison, and it's rife with Shawshank Redemption nods, so of course I am loving it. There's a NPC named Blue, who sounds a lot like Morgan Freeman's Red, and even has a little sidebar where he denies being "Freeman", kinda funny. Then later, in a prison cell, there's a LEGO-fied version of the Raquel Welch poster that hid the tunnel in the film. Good stuff. :)

Okay, time to go home.

Current Mood: amused

(2 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
9:37 am
So. Hot. But!
It's been damn hot around here. I mean, it's mid-June in Florida, that's to be expected. But even more than usual--we've been caught in not just the normal heat, but a relatively dry air mass as well, which means an absence of the the usual afternoon/evening thunderstorms that keep things cooled off a little. We got some rain over the weekend, thankfully, but on Friday Orlando hit 100F for the first time since 1998--hot and muggy though it may be, we usually don't get THAT hot. The highest temperature ever recorded here was 103F, in 1921.

So anyway, yeah. Hot.

But there's a silver lining! In her desperation to escape the heat for a little bit, the wife approved a family vacation! So 3 weeks from today, we'll be winging it north to spend a week roaming around Maine, with maybe a few days in New Hampshire and Vermont as well. I'm just getting started on the itinerary, but I naturally have a long list of possibles. Probably highest on my list is Acadia National Park. I want to get back and explore more of Franconia Notch State Park in NH as well. I don't want to revisit too many places from our NE trip a couple years back, but there were a couple places I wouldn't mind seeing again.

Anyway, so that's exciting. Any suggestions for must-see destinations in the area, while I'm planning?

Current Mood: excited

(14 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
8:53 am
Well, it was nice while it lasted.
My boss pulled me into his office after our staff meeting this week, and dropped something of a bombshell on me. Our company is (again) in the process of trying to merge with some other cable companies, so he's thinking ahead as to how we should be structured when and if that happens. And he's right to do that, and I appreciate that he's trying to get everyone into safe spots given an uncertain future.

Presently my job is primarily to support what we call our outer markets, the 4 cities around the US where we have a presence and which I go to visit twice a year. But we've been making some company-wide changes, like moving to a single consolidated billing system, which makes it pretty clear that eventually those markets will probably be supported from here in Florida, maybe sooner rather than later. At any rate, we're moving to a level of integration where we don't really need a dedicated manager to support them, they can just be worked in with the folks who support the larger Florida markets. And that makes me a bit redundant, or at least it might look that way to the folks we're merging with.

So instead, he wants to move me into a more analytical role, looking at customer and employee activity and the impacts of the work we do to our network, how special events effect us, staffing stuff, etc. A lot of things I've been involved with looking at over the years, but which have always been occasional, off-to-the-side efforts. It actually sounds like fun, and I'm okay with that part of the change.

But it will mean an end to my business traveling days, and that does bum me out a little. The business parts of the trips are dull, but I've really enjoyed the chance to get out and explore some places I never otherwise would have made it to. And I guess I can look back and appreciate that I had the chance to do so at all. But I was hoping it might keep going, at least for another round or two. Plus the frequent flyer miles were great. :)

Ah well, the important thing is that I still have a job, right? Not that I doubted that, at least not yet. And it's not a demotion or anything, just a different role. Gotta make the best of it, that's all.

Okay, back to work. Hope everyone is having a good day. And I hope we finally get some rain around here today!

Current Mood: bummed

(16 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Monday, June 15th, 2015
10:20 am
cp 1, Pool 0
Well, I should probably say Pool $250 or so.. But anyway, I got the replacement pump housing to finally fix that leak. I was a bit apprehensive because I feared some re-plumbing might be involved. But I was very pleased to find it was an easy job. The outlet pipe on top was secured with a screw-on collar, so that was a cinch. And once that was off and rotated out of the way a bit, I had juuuuust enough room to rotate the whole housing around to unscrew it from the (also threaded) horizontal inlet pipe. Reverse process to install the new housing, and voila! There was a teensy leak from the outlet pipe connection, so I unscrewed that again, dabbed on some teflon sealant and put it back on nice and tight, and that took care of that.

Now I'm just concerned about the filter housing. It has a long metal rod that screws into the base, and which the top part then screws onto. It's supposed to stay screwed into the base, but the past few times I've needed to get in there to clean or replace the filter (which happens fairly often), it's come unscrewed from the base, which makes it difficult to remove--and then it's an ordeal to get it back in, and getting a little tougher every time. Not sure what I can do about that, some threadlock compound, maybe? I hope so, that's an important part of the system, and rather pricey to replace!

So that was the productive part of the weekend. Didn't do a whole lot otherwise, we went out shopping a time or two, spent plenty of time in the pool because it was HOT this weekend, played some video games, the usual.

I should mention Friday--I made a trip out to Celebration to meet up with my wedding photography clients for next month. They're having a very small ceremony at a hotel down there, and then we'll roam around for photos before they head to dinner. So we met at the hotel and took a walk around the area to chat. I was a bit miffed, since it's a long drive down there and I really don't charge enough to justify client meetings and all that rigamarole. But it turned out to be fun, they're nice folks and it was a fun to walk around and talk. And thankfully the weather wasn't uncomfortably hot. I hope the same can be said next month, but we'll see. Outdoor weddings in Florida in July? Craziness! Hopefully it will be a fun day, though.

Ooh, nice! I'm still planning the NYC trip with the girls in October, of course, so now and then I look to see if the hotel prices have come down any. And today they did! I know which hotel we're staying at, but the price was a bit more than I liked. But it dropped by around $30 a night, which is not nothing, so I cancelled and rebooked. Hopefully it will come down even more between now and then!

Okay, better get back to work. Hope everyone is having a good Monday so far!

Current Mood: cheerful

(5 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Friday, June 12th, 2015
11:28 am
So How's Things In The Butterfly Garden?

This spring seemed a bit slow in the butterfly garden, but it looks like it's getting busier! I spotted a few things recently to snap photos of, anyway.

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Current Mood: good

(6 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
3:29 pm
This is kinda sad.
So the Steam Summer Sale kicked off today. This is a bad thing, because I am way too tempted to buy more games to add to my already-insurmountable backlog. But the few I've been tempted to buy so far today.. I'll see the game, see the price, and say to myself, "Hm, that looks pretty good for the money!" Then I click through to the store page, and.. "This game is already in your Steam library." Heh. I think if I don't even have a clue what I already own, I probably don't need to buy more, right?

Especially since I'll be picking up my copy of LEGO Jurassic World tomorrow. Exciting!

Current Mood: amused

(4 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Monday, June 8th, 2015
12:10 pm
Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays.
Well, the pool pump was a bust. The plastic goo I got is pretty neat, but it only forms a chemical bond with certain types of plastic, and I guess the pump housing isn't one of those types. So it felt nice and solid at first, but when I tightened the bolt it came loose again. So on to Plan B, which is to replace the whole pump housing with a new one, with factory-fresh bolt inserts and all. This will involve a bit of re-plumbing, but I am hoping it will be within my skill set. And if not, it would be a quick (and hopefully cheap) job for a pro.

Weekend otherwise was so-so. The wife and middle kid have both been fighting off some mystery ailment or another, so they were both a little under the weather. But we went to the American Girl store as planned Saturday morning--and now need to go back again, because I didn't think I needed to check the box of the thing we bought to make sure the thing we bought was actually in the box. But it wasn't, which we discovered when we got home. Might use my lunchbreak today to drive back down there and rectify the situation.

Last night I took the girls to EPCOT Center. It was our last chance to hit a park before the summer blackout period, and between Heather's illness and general busy-ness she could use a break from the kids, so off we went. It was a pretty good time! We did more rides than we normally do, including Soarin' (which Hallie and Amy went on once before, but it was Hermione's first time). That was a hit, of course--I think that's one of the best experiences at WDW, though we don't do it much because the line is always long. They're planning to add a couple more theaters to expand the capacity, and I think they're also going to change the film to Florida instead of California, which certainly makes sense. So we rode that, Spaceship Earth, Living With The Land, the Mexico boat ride, and we checked out the store in China and had dessert at the bakery in Norway. Mmm, good. It was a bit warm, but there was a nice breeze so overall it was a very pleasant evening.

I've been splurging a bit on games for the Wii U--I see it as playing catch-up. :) But not too bad, I've mostly been getting good deals on pre-owned games. Let's see, I got LEGO Batman 3 (good game, but now we find it a bummer that the multiplayer on LEGO games is only 2 players--hopefully LEGO Dimensions will rectify that!), LEGO City: Undercover (which is as awesome as I expected, but only 1-player), Wii Party U (we enjoy the minigame collections, lots of variety and quick to play as well), The Wonderful 101 (neat game, but pretty difficult and entirely chaotic), Rayman Legends and ZombiU (haven't even gotten to try those yet!). This Friday is the release of LEGO Jurassic World, which I think I must get immediately. :) Then I'd like to catch up on a few other LEGO games, and grab things like New Super Mario Bros. U and the Zelda games. Just checked, the new open-world Zelda game (which does sound amazing) was just pushed back to next year, that's a bummer. Oh well, lots to get in the meantime!

Amy still only ever wants to play the Mario Cat Game (Super Mario 3D World), of course. And I must say, she's getting better at it! Yesterday we were playing, and she actually outscored me on a couple levels! Mostly because we died midway and had to continue with reset scores, but still. I'm a proud gamer Dad. The other girls aren't quite as into it--they'd rather play on their PC, where Terraria, Don't Starve, and Scribblenauts are the order of the day. And Sims 2 sometimes.

Speaking of gaming with the girls, I taught them Poker recently! When I was a kid I remember lots of fun nights spent playing penny-ante Poker with the family, so it's cool that we can do that now. I started them with 5-card draw, of course, but next time I'll introduce 5- and 7-card stud. I don't know the varieties like Texas Hold 'Em, maybe we'll try that later on. I also showed them Blackjack real quick, but they didn't like that as much. They like getting more cards, they said. So I guess 7-card stud should be a hit. :)

Otherwise I've been feeling a bit blah. I dunno, every now and then I let the 10% of stuff that isn't where I want it to be distract me from the 90% that's truly wonderful, and I stew in those negative juices for a bit. Mostly I blame myself for being the cause of my own discontent, and for not seeing how I can make it better. Same old, same old, I suppose.

Okay, back to work. Or maybe I'll hit the road for the mall, grumblegrumble. Hope everyone is having a good Monday!

Current Mood: okay

(1 Sage | Enlighten Me)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015
3:52 pm
Today's dragging, for some reason. There's work I could and probably should be doing, but.. just not feeling like it. There's nothing pressing, anyway. Kinda nice to have a slow day, but I'm ready for it to be over!

Home stuff.. this past weekend we noticed the A/C was on but not cold. June in Florida, that's Bad News. Usually it's just a clogged condensation drain pipe, easy enough to fix, but that didn't seem to be the problem. So I futzed around with it for a bit, and I don't think I actually did anything, but it started working again after a bit. I think something electrical got confused, so just turning the breaker off and back on (which I did while troubleshooting) must have reset it. Easy enough!

The pool pump, though.. I mentioned the leak in my last post, as well as my attempt to fix it with a new insert in the pump housing. Somehow I botched that, so now there's a bigger hole but the insert is still loose and the leak is even worse. Go me! Replacing the pump housing would cost a couple hundred bucks (more if I get someone out to do the work), so I have one more thing to try before I take that step. I ordered some binary acrylic plastic stuff--it's a powder that mixes with an activating liquid, and the mixture then progresses from liquid to paste to putty to hard plastic in the course of 15 minutes or so, and it even sets underwater. So I'm hoping I can use that to get the insert to get a good grip, and/or just entirely plug the hole and re-drill for the insert. I'm not entirely hopeful it will work, frankly, but it's worth a try. I'd really rather not have to re-plumb the whole pump, I'm not great with that sort of work.

I can't get used to how quiet my office is now. For the past 8 years or so, I've had this huge PC next to me--I needed it to run a bunch of automated data jobs and whatnot, plus it functioned as a file server for all my documents and whatnot since it has a RAID setup. But it's old, and was getting pretty clunky, and our IT people have been on me to decommission it since it's too old to upgrade the OS and they're phasing out any machines with XP that can't be upgraded to Win7. So finally this week I found a home for the few automated jobs I still needed to have run, and shut it down. I didn't realize how used to its rather-loud fan I'd gotten! It's eerily quiet in here now. I guess that's good, though.

Seemed like there was something else I've been meaning to post about, but now I can't think of it. So have a song instead!

The Damnwells are a band out of Brooklyn that I came across several years ago--I found their stuff a little hit-and-miss, but the tracks I liked I liked a lot, and the rest grew on me. Unfortunately I discovered them right as they were breaking up! But they got back together to record a new album recently, and it's pretty solid. This is the first song I heard from it, which remains one of my favorites.

Hope everyone is having a good day! Finally almost time to go home!

Current Mood: good

(5 Sages | Enlighten Me)

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
2:41 pm
I feel like an update is overdue, but I dunno what about, really. So let's break out the bullets.

• The Wii U has been a big hit so far! Mario Kart 8 is awesome, of course, but we've also really enjoyed Super Mario 3D World and NintendoLand, both of which were in the console bundle I got. At first the girls didn't care too much for Super Mario, but it grew on them. Amy especially loves it, for some reason--she calls it the Mario Cat Game, because one of the power-ups for the characters is a cat suit. In fact, she loves it a bit TOO much. As soon as she wakes up and as soon as I get home from work, she's asking if we can play Wii. Don't get me wrong, I dig that she likes it so much, but sheesh! I can't even play anything solo--if I try, she pops in and grabs the controller like she owns the joint. Silly kid. I also got it playing old GameCube games--that was actually even more viable on the old first-gen Wii, but for some reason I didn't do much of it. But since the ghost game in NintendoLand was such a hit, I figured they'd appreciate Luigi's Mansion too since it's more or less based on that. So far so good!

Then this week Humble Bundle did the first console-based bundle I've seen, and it happened to be Nintendo (Wii U and 3DS) so I jumped on that pretty quickly. Mostly platform-style indie games, but there looked to be some pretty neat titles, with more being added next week so I can look forward to that as well. I've only tried one (Guacamelee) so far, but it looked really good. Amy kept stealing the controller, though!

• Been having a little trouble with the pool lately. The pump has had a trickle leak for a while, which recently turned into more of a mini-geyser. Not a lot, but enough to be annoying. And it's salt water, so I really don't want it spraying all over the pump motor and other stuff over there. So I figured out one problem was a loose bolt insert, and I fixed that--but the leak persists. So I'm thinking the plastic plate that attaches and seals the motor and impeller assembly to the rest of the pump got warped at some point and isn't sealing completely. So I have a new one on the way, hopefully that will finally do the trick. With my luck, though, probably not!

• Photo session tomorrow, not entirely looking forward to it. Some clients I feel great about, some are more iffy. This one is just a tad on the iffy side. But hopefully it will all be good. I only took a half-day from work, so I'll have to come in to the office afterwards. Probably after I go home for a shower, that is--gonna be a toasty one, as usual.

Hm, I can't think of much else, so.. have a good afternoon/evening, wherever you are!

Current Mood: okay

(4 Sages | Enlighten Me)

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