November 28, 2011: New Playroom Setup

Medifast Status: Day 210, Down ~70lbs

I slept in a little this morning not getting up until nearly eight.  The sun is out and bright but there is a chill in the air.  We have been running the heat pump much of this past week with the Grices and their cold, Texan temperaments and we have gotten used to having the house a little warmer than we use to.  We are spoiled wanting to have our house at seventy degrees now but with Liesl potty training and Luciana being so little it makes sense to have it a little warmer, I suppose.  I do enjoy that I get to wear my fleece all of the time again.

I got to play with Luciana a little this morning before going to work.  Liesl woke up just as I was heading out the door.

This morning was pretty slow at the office.  After the long holiday weekend everyone is dragging.

I had to run home over lunch to help Dominica and Danielle deal with some stuff.  It made for a busy lunch break.  But at least I was able to help so it wasn’t that bad.

The afternoon was actually pretty slow as well.  I’m surprised that it is this slow heading into the December financial freeze.  Just two weeks to go before the freeze is on and we have a bit of a “vacation.”  The afternoon was slow enough that I was able to just leave at five which was great.  Often I get stuck late but I needed to run out and do some quick grocery shopping for Dominica as we have nothing in the house to eat and going out to eat every day is untenable.  Mondays are the toughest day since Brookhaven is closed.  Otherwise Brookhaven is so cheap, convenient and healthy that it is pretty hard to justify anything else.  But on Mondays we are left fending for ourselves.

On the way home from work I stopped off at Walmart and did some quick grocery shopping.  Mostly just frozen veggies, veggie burgers and coffee.  We both felt like a nice, lean dinner today and neither of us wanted to spend any money or to leave the house either.

I spent much of the evening hanging out with my daughters while Dominica worked on her laptop.  She has been doing a lot of Microsoft Office installs and even though the work is easy it takes forever doing it on remote laptops on slow connections.  She ended up doing this all night.

We did some furniture moving tonight.  We cleaned out the play room and we got the couch that Dominica and I have been using in our bedroom for the past nine months and moved it into the play room to replace the theatre furniture that we had crammed in there previously.  Even thought the couch is larger it fits into the room better and actually provides for more free space than the two seater had.  Now we can seat at least one if not two more people into the room and can do so much more comfortably.  The couch is way better for having Liesl and Oreo on it, for example.  The biggest win is getting the massive theatre ottoman out of there which was just so large that it took up all of the available floor space and actually made it impossible to get over to the love seat to sit down.  You had to “fall” into place every time.  Now it is much more comfortable to actually use the room.  It looks much better too with matching furniture that is appropriate for the space.

Dominica did have some work for me to do tonight but it was not all that much.  I did some work for her while she made dinner and fed Luciana and then she had maybe forty-five minutes of other work for me to do as well.

Around nine I sat down to play a little Dragon Age II.  I had to spend at least half an hour just downloading updates to the game and installing them.  There have been a number of patches since it first released and this is the first time that we are playing it on this PS3.  Dominica has her game started on the one in our bedroom but I am playing it out in the play room.

I did not get a lot of time to play but I did manage to get through all of the introductory background, get my characters created and get the actual storyline started.  Basically I did all of the game setup portions and am really ready to actually start playing now.  It took me quite a bit of time but, at most, it was probably about one hour of actual game time at most.  Next time that I play I can just sit down and get into the meat of it which will be more fun.

So far Dragon Age II looks interesting.  The graphics are a step up from Dragon Age Origins but only so much, I am still playing on the PS3 after all.  I am really looking forward to the next generation of consoles.  The current generation was not very impressive when it first released and it is certainly long in the tooth now.  The biggest complaint that I have is the complete inability to do anti-aliasing which is where the systems are really showing their weakness compared to PC gaming.  Oblivion, for example, looks awful when you get up close from all of the “jaggies.”

This is exacerbated by the fact that most games can only run at 720p so not only do we have the game running without anti-aliasing (a critical factor in making rendered games look good) but also running at a resolution that does not map conveniently to modern television monitors which almost universally run at 1080p today.  So magnified jaggies!  Not ideal at all.  Hopefully the next generation of consoles will have the requisite horsepower to run games natively at 1080p with a high refresh rate and do so with a lot of anti-aliasing.  Maybe we will get really lucky and they will come up with a way to play the current crop of PS3 and XBOX 360 games with an upgrade in rendering – but I find that to be incredibly unlikely.  It is just sad that because I want the convenience of Oblivion or Dragon Age on the console with the handy remote that I lose the amazing graphics of my workstation.  These games could look so much better just running on other machines that I already have in the house.

I’m excited to be into Dragon Age II now.  I’ve had this game for almost a year and it has been taunting me all of this time.  And I am glad to finally have Dragon Age Origins out of the way – or under my belt, so to speak.  That is my fourth game “completed” since we first got the current generation of consoles (and since Liesl was born.)  My fifth game if you consider Dragon Age Awakenings to be its own game which, in a way, it was.

Liesl was very excited to watch me play my game although she found it to be rather scary.  So she snuggled next to me on the couch.  It was very sweet.  This is the best way to play video games.  She was really into it and asking questions about what was going on.  She really paid good attention.

Liesl watched for probably an hour before her head drooped and she put her head on my lap and in a few minutes was asleep.  It doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

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