December 22, 2008: Sara Turns 21

Today is my cousin Sara’s 21st birthday.

I really did not want to get up this morning to head down to the office so that I could work but it had to be done.  The sun is really out today and it is gorgeous outside.  We are still buried in snow from the two big snowfalls this weekend, but it is so pretty.  Exactly what you want for Christmas week.

Work was, as you can well imagine, extremely slow this morning.  Christmas week might as well be a holiday between the freeze, the holiday itself and the weather.  And this year Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day all occur during the week so we only have two days of the entire week that are not some form of a holiday.  Most everyone is probably on vacation all week.

Our schedule for this week, we think, goes as follows.  We are leaving Peekskill to travel to Frankfort tomorrow (Tuesday) after work so we will be arriving pretty late in the evening.  Then Christmas Eve (Wednesday) and Christmas in Frankfort.  This will be our first Christmas together that Dominica and I are not traveling from my parents’ house to Dominica’s parents’ house late on Christmas Eve.

Then my father will be coming out to Frankfort on either Saturday or Sunday to spend a day with the family.  Most likely on Sunday but we are not yet sure.  I think that I am heading back to Peekskill with Oreo on Sunday night.  Oreo and I will be alone in Peekskill for three days and will then return to Frankfort early on Thursday morning (which is a holiday for me) to pick up Dominica and Liesl and to drive them back to Peekskill.  In theory that will coincide with the Ralstons driving down to Peekskill on Thursday.  They are coming down to visit for the weekend.  I will need to leave before them since with my driving to and from Frankfort my drive is longer than theirs but not by too much.  Only by an hour or two.

The time alone at the house should work well.  Three days for Oreo and I to attempt to get caught up on cleaning and unpacking (and probably enough time to complete Fable 2.)  That will make a real difference around this place.  There is additional stuff that will need to be unpacked too since dad is going to bring a large carload with him out to Frankfort that Oreo and I will then haul down to Peekskill and attempt to put away before Dominica and Liesl arrive.

Work was very slow today; it was great.  I spent a lot of the day hanging out in the living room with Dominica, Liesl and Oreo.  I popped in Fable 2 and completed it!  Today was really my final chance to have any hope of completing Fable 2 before we leave for a week and being so close to the end I didn’t want to leave it.  Dominica seemed to enjoy watching the story unfold as it got towards the end of the game.

Altogether it took me approximately 38 hours of gameplay to “finish” Fable 2.  In a game like this there is no clear ending but I decided my ending happened when the main plot line finished, all “completable” quests were finished (including those that cannot be finished under after the main quest is done and those that only appear after the main quest is done), achieved mayor and king status and completed the search for all of the gargoyles.

I still have some ongoing things that I could do if I was really bored but nothing that will add anything to my game experience except, perhaps, to track down every last silver key in the game.  There are fifty and I completed the game with only forty of them which means that there is one final awesome treasure that I did not get.  But it is just a treasure to get for the sake of being very complete.  There are several achievements for which I could spend time pursuing as well but that does not interest me very much.  I played the real meat of the game and was extremely thorough in doing that.

I am excited that there is a downloadable “expansion pack” for Fable 2, called Knothole Island, that was supposed to release today (I finished right on time) but has been pushed back until January to give the team time to complete it.  That expansion is supposed to add one new region to the game (the main game has thirteen) and three additional quests which, I expect, will add four to five hours of gameplay but that is totally a guess.  It might be much more or less.  I really hope that there is something similar to the gargoyles included.  Both Dominica and I had a great time hunting down all of the gargoyles.

I wrapped up the game in the middle of the afternoon.  We got to relax for a little while.  There is a lot of stuff that needed to be done today, though, including some last minute Christmas shopping online (we are now all done), packing for tomorrow, laundry, dishes, etc.  We seem to be in pretty good shape for tomorrow.

After Dominica, Oreo and Liesl went to bed around one thirty I went down to the basement and did some work that really can only be completed when I am the only person awake.  Both Liesl and Oreo need my attention so often that there is no way to get anything extra completed (including getting SGL updated.)  So I worked until a quarter after four in the morning.  I got some good work done, though, and I feel good about the way that I spent the time.  I am working very hard to remain productive while still spending tons of time with Liesl and trying not to neglect Oreo and keeping Dominica company upstairs.  Having a laptop in the living room all of the time is really helping.  We use that constantly all day long.

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