Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lego Castle

Castle Legos have long been a favorite of mine. I even got some of my
own for Christmas this year. But I wasn't the only one in the family
to get some; Clara received her very own!

Duplo has come a long way since I was a kid. Her castle set is very
awesome and even came with a catapult! So now we are building our own
custom castles. In a few short years she be ready to play with my
legos. Then I'll have an excuse to buy even more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Have Pocky!

I was walking past the secretary's desk and I noticed she had a box of
pocky. One of our sales people gave it to her. She had never heard of
it, so she gave it to me. Awesome!

Until I went to mega con I hadn't heard of it either. It's a Japanese
snack food. Little cookie sticks with chocolate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Snow

Today we had the first snow of the season. I love the snow! I wish it
would snow a little every day in the winter. Nothing gives me more
energy and makes me feel alive more than a good snowfall.

Let's hope the rest of the winter continues in this fashion.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Happened to Civil Rights?

America is filled with bigots.

Yesterday California passed proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. I feel sick to my stomach. What country do we live in? What year is it? Throughout the entire election we've heard a million times how America is the greatest country on earth. Really? Because not so much if you happen to be gay.

When I was in high school I was fascinated by the civil rights movement of the 60s. I watched so much news footage of college sit-ins and the march on Washington and Martin Luthor King Jr's speech, and I was simultaneously invigorated and disgusted. I was so happy that people were able to bring about change and give people what they deserved, but at the same time I was angry that they ever had to fight for those rights in the first place. I wanted so much to go back in time and join the march and the protests.

In this country's declaration of independence are the following words:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

What part of ALL and EQUAL is so hard to understand? How is it even possible that after all this country has fought for, that we are still denying basic rights to our citizens? Is it religious beliefs? I thought we were supposed to have a separation of church and state? I thought Jesus tought tolerance, respect, and love for all people? It doesn't seem, to me, to be very Christian to cast people aside and deny them equality.

My youngest brother has Down Syndrome. Nary a day goes by that he doesn't experience some kind of discrimination. Whether it's an unsavory glance at the mall, or a snide comment from an ignorant teen, he's the victim of bigotry. For 22 years my family has been dealing with this and hoping for a better America, one that doesn't mistreat its citizens. Yet some of the same people that would find it so dispicable to make fun of a retarded person, are the people that find it so easy to crack a joke about a gay person or are the people that are quick to cast a vote of inequality.

Today I should be elated by the election of a man the country sorely needs, but instead I am sick to my stomach. I cannot believe that in this day and age, in the United States of America, we are so unaccepting of our fellow Americans. I hope, with all my heart, that one day soon we can put this all behind us and start accepting everyone for who they are.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack the Vote!

I hit the polls first thing this morning. I got there right at 7:00 am
and there was already quite a line. I was number 81.

I've never been quite so excited to vote before. The US is at a very
important place. The future can continue to look bleak, or we can
stride confidently into the next decade with a sense of hope. This
country can ill afford another four years of terrible leadership.

Maybe I can be proud to be an American for once in my life.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Night in the ER

So I awoke last night at about 2:00am with the incredible urge to
pee(nothing new for me), however when I was trying to do my business
nothing was happening.

This went on for 45 minutes, and I knew what that meant: kidney stone!

Sure enough, at about 3:00am the pain hit. I jumped out of bed,
hastily got dressed and race to the ER before the pain was too intense
to see straight. Normally I would have had someone drive me, but Tasha
was in Pittsburgh and my parents were camping.

After I got to the hospital I was quickly attended to and the pain
medication was administered. The pain in waves over the next 10 hours
until finally I passed the stone.

It was 3mm, which doesn't sound big, but it was the largest of the now
4 stones I have passed.

Let's hope it's another 8 years before I have to deal with another one
of these things.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Has Arrived

Of seems to have taken forever this year, but autumn is finally upon
us. I wait all year for this season. I absolutely hate summer. Heat is
my mortal enemy. I spend all summer cooped up inside.

Now with the chill on the air I can finally return to the outdoors.
Our yard, so rife with neglect, will finally receive some much-needed
attention now that the threat of sweat is gone.

My drive home from work, usually so dreadful and monotonous, has been
made a beautiful thing thanks to the colorful leaves.

So perhaps I will see you outside. Look for the guy with his jacket,
hat and scarf, and the big smile on his face.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Awesome Game Store

So a friend of mine clued me in on an amazing game store in New
Holland, PA, Six Feet Under Games.

First of all, the place is huge. Enormous. They have so many games I
have never seen.

What's really awesome about this place though is their game library.
They have a room in the back with a couple hundred games that you can
just grab off the shelf, take to a table and play. For free. So you
can sample games before you buy.

I went last night with some friends for open gaming night. We played
Railroad Tycoon. It was a gray game and it's now on my to-buy list.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Reading Science Fiction

I do a lot of reading.  A lot.  I go through many books a year and countless comic books.  There is always a stack of reading material at my bedside that is at least a foot high.  

My reading is split pretty evenly between fiction and non-fiction.  I read history books like they are going out of style.  When it comes to fiction I enjoy mostly fantasy and spy novels, with a few slice-of-life stories thrown in here and there (John Irving being my favorite).  

Most of my science fiction reading comes in the form of Star Wars novels.  Most will not be winning any Pulitzers, but as a big fan of Star Wars, the books feed my need for more stories in the universe.  

But every now and then I break out of the mold and go for something else.  Back in 1994 when I was just breaking into the computer programming scene I read William Gibson's Neuromancer.  It's required reading for all computer geeks, especially web developers as Gibson coined the term cyberspace.  

I went on to read a bunch of novels by Gibson and I'm currently half way through Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.  This is another classic book among the programming crowd.
I'm enjoying it quite a bit, but there is one problem.

When I read sci-fi books I always feel like I never quite know what exactly is going on.  I can follow the story, but I can't follow the world.  Because these novels are set in some psuedo-future world where things are all just a little different, I can't quite imagine how they are supposed to look.  I have no point of reference.  Star Wars books don't suffer from this because I have the movies to go to for look and feel.  Fantasy doesn't have this problem because we all know what castles and dragons look like.  But whenever I read sci-fi I feel like I'm in a dream where everything is a little hazy.  

I'm sure it's just me and my inability to paint a mental picture.  Which is probably the reason I'm not an artist.  I can't picture it in my mind.  

So does anyone else out there have the same problem when they read science fiction?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Picking Pumpkins

Today we headed over of Weaver's Orchards with Adam and Layne to pick
pumpkins with the girls. It was aperfext cool fall day, although there
was an over abundance of gnats. We managed to have a good time despite
the bugs in our ears.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

2nd Birthday

Today we celebrated Clara's second birthday. She woke up in a bad mood
and it never got any better.

But she enjoyed her gifts and her cake.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Autumn Camping

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn, bit the weather we have today is
just perfect. It's Hazel's first camping trip and the whole family is
here to share the fun.

We headed to Gifford Pinchot State Park for a quick weekend getaway.
We took a bike ride and tomorrow we will put the kayaks in the water.

I wish there was no such thing as summer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Empire Has Invaded

The 501st came to the Super Show today. I love Stat Wars, so having
them here makes me very, very happy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dinner After the Show

The first day of the Super Show was a great success. Now we're
starving so it's time to eat. We headed over to the works for some
dinner and hanging out.

Friday, September 5, 2008

3rd & Spruce

It's the big pre-show party is underway. The bar is packed and
everyone is having a great time. CGS listeners are the greatest people
in the world.

Setup has started

The Super Show setup has started and is going very well. The room
looks great and everyone is very pleased. Tomorrow morning the real
fun begins.

Breakfast of Champions

We hit Shady Maple this morning before heading to the convention
center to setup. Start the day off right with a full stomach. Delicious.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jam Piece Started

Every artist at the Super Show will contribute to tjejam piece. It was
me raffles off to generate money for next year's show.

Let's get this party started

It has begun. The basement is crowded and the fun has begun.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Game Night

It's party time! The gang's all here and the games are happening.
Nothing beats Friday game night.

Friday, August 15, 2008

At the Beach

This weekend we headed to Stone Harbor, NJ. Our friend Adam Murdough
has a house here and lets all the comic geeks stay for free. It's a
lot of fun and a nice diversion from the regular routine.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Old Friends

We met Fred and Alyson at the ren faire today. Alison used to be a
cast member here. Since we both had kids we don't get to see them as
much as we used to, but today we are making up some lost time.

Renaissance Faire

Today we decided to go to the opening day of the ren faire. Two for
one admission. You can't beat that.

The weather is perfect, only 80 and no humidity. We got very lucky.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pandas Are Cool

We waited in lime to see the pandas, and it was worth it. It might
seem cliché, but there really are fun to look at.

Zoo Time

Today, Jamie, Murd, Tasha, and I headed to the famous San Diego Zoo.
It's such a wonderful place. Of you are ever out here you must visit.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Blues

It's 2:00 on Sunday afternoon. Only 3 hours of the con left. It's
always melancholy when a show is about to end. It doesn't matter how
tired I am, I never want then to be over.

David "Eisner" Petersen

David scored big and won two Eisners on Friday. I couldn't be happier.
My favorite book is getting some much needed publicity.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday at the Beach

After the qucik draw panel today, Tasha, Charlito and I headed to
Coronado for a relaxing afternoon at the beach. Time to give the con
floor a breather.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Party at the Hyatt

As usual, the Hyatt is hopping. Steve Bryant and Julian Lytle are
entertaining us with crazy debates. Long live Jubilee!

Dinner Time

It's been a long day and we are starving! So we found Petrini's
Italian restaurant. It smells delicious. I'm about ready to pass out.
The salad just arrived, so I have to go.


I'm not really a big fan of the book, but I'm getting pretty excited
about the movie. The Owl's ship looks pretty sweet.

Lego Mania

Like a moron I'm standing in line to get a Lego Joker head so that I
can complete the Joker figure in order to receive the Batman figure.
What else am I supposed to do today?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Con Craziness

Day one of the con is in full swing. It's packed with people and
freebies and it's so much fun.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hanging After the Con

Preview night was a success. Now the whole gang is having dim at The
Titled Kilt. It's an awesome bar that isn't packed, so it works for us.

Chillin' at the Beach in Rosarito

We took a taxi ride from Tijuana down to Rosarito. When I was there 14
years ago it was a tiny quant Mexican seaside town. Now it's a fully-
developed spring break Mecca. But we managed to find a really nice bar
on the beach and sat and talked for over an hour. It was a wonderful

Trip to Tijuana

Today Murd and I and two CGS listeners, Ralph and Troy, headed down to
Mexico to meet up with Juan Castro and his father for a tour of Tijuana.

It was a beautiful day and we really had a blast.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fine Dining

It's not expensive and it's not fancy, but it's good.

Dinner With Kat & Josh

Good friends and cheap, tasty Mexican food. You can't go wrong.

Trolley to Old Town

We are to meet Kat & Josh for dinner in Old Town. There is a
delicious, inexpensive Mexican restaurant there that has been begging
our return for three years.

There is also an excellent gaming store that we will be checking out.

Our Hotel

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the rooms are very
nice. And for only $99 per night when of was supposed to be $299, we
have nothing to complain about.

Salt Lake City

We are waiting in the terminal for our flight to San Diego. Utah is
probably the most beautiful state. Too bad there are so many Mormons.
And moths!

Pants is Reading Marvel?!

It may be the low oxygen levels present at 36,000 feet, but Pants is
reading some Marvel comics.

Could this be one of the signs of the apocolypse?

Hazel's First Flight

If you don't count her trip to Italy while in the womb, this is
Hazel's first flight. She handling it like a trooper so far.

Waiting for Departure

In 15 minites we'll be taking off for San Diego. The con is so close I
can taste it. Let the fun begin.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Book Bonanza

Every year our local flea market has a giant book fair. Thousands of
books for only 50 cents of one dollar. Gotta love it.

I didn't find too much I was looking for, but even one or two for this
cheap is a good deal.

Bed Head

Clara is in that awkward toddler hair stage where her hair isn't long
enough to do much, but it's long enough to look a mess.

Now, whenever she wakes up it looks wild and crazy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finishing the Basement

It's only been 1.5 years since I finished the first half of the
basement. So now I have finally finished the bar. It's a huge weight
off my shoulders.

Tasha's dad is helping me with the baseboard. So all the edges will
look nice soon.

Once the baseboard is complete we can think about the carpet. We
priced it out, and it will cost about $1,500, so we might have to wait
awhile for that. But at least everything else is finished and the room
looks great.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Action Isn't Over

When I walked out of my front door this morning I was surprised to see
a news van parked outside.

Apparently it was a policeman who did the shooting last night. The
suspect fled the mini market up the alley towards his car parked on
the next street. My dog Greta was in the back yard at the time and no
doubt barked at the guy as he ran up the alley.

He be pulled a gun on the cop waiting for him so the cop shot him
three times. He was awake when they took him to the hospital.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gunfire In The Night

So just moments ago the mini-market at the corner of my street was
robbed. Somebody then fired three times at somebody else. The shooting
occured just about 300 feet from our house.

We don't know any more details yet, but I saw them load the victim
onto the ambulance.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kicking It In The Sun

Today we went to Harrisburg to visit with my best friend, Tom. Tom's
wife Rachel's parents live there. Tom's whole family came from all
over the country to visit. It's been a year since we have seen each

Early Morning Trip To Home Depot

I'm putting the finishing touches on the bar I'm the basement. It's
the only part of the finished basement/family room that isn't complete
yet. I woke up at 6:00 am so I figured I would walk over before it got
too hot.

They didn't really have what I needed so now I have to drive over to

Friday, July 11, 2008

First Post

I am testing making a post with my iPhone. This is pretty rad.

This is one of the first pictures I took with the new phone.