November 3, 2002

Tomorrow, Eric and I are heading down to Maryland. We are going to be spending the entire week there working out of the DC office. It is going to be a really busy week for us.

Dominica and I headed on out to go to church with my parents and then I went and practiced marching with Kelley’s Heroes. Leanne (whom I haven’t seen in two years and was last month’s Llama of the Month) was marching and so we got to visit and catch up. Leanne stopped by at my parent’s house after practice and got to finally meet Min. Then we headed on down to my grandmother’s and then out to dinner in Perry. After dinner, Min and I stopped by at Scott and Leanne’s new house in Perry and got the grand tour. The house is a really nice 1890’s Victorian right in town. They have a lot of space there.

Little Canadian FlagMiranda arrived late this afternoon. She will be staying all week. She and Loopy are planning on watching the first four seasons of As Time Goes By on the projector while she and the projector are still here. Loopy had to cancel his upcoming trip to Hawaii because of the current financial situation. That is really sad.

Dominica and I are planning on giving each other a trip to Las Vegas for Christmas this year. We are thinking about going in January.

November 2, 2002

Laundry day. Min and I have a lot of laundry that needs to be done. And we have a lot of video games that need to be played. So those tasks will take up most of the day. Min started off the day playing AoM (Age of Mythology, see the write up from yesterday) but she quickly decided that it wasn’t fun enough to really keep her interest so she switched back to Age of Empires 2 which has been consistently fun for an entire year (now that AoE3 is out, everyone better run out and snatch up a used copy of AoE2 so we can all play in one big huge LAN hosted showdown!) Bob has been playing AoE2 a bit now and is starting to get a lot better.

I finally got around to installing Min and my Microsoft Sidewinder Game Voices on our computers. These are the really cool headsets with base untis that allow you to talk to other gamers in the middle of a game. It is a really neat idea. The base unit lets you select who you want to talk to (players 1-4, everyone or just your team) which is really handy because the game doesn’t handle that ability. It is especially neat because you can use it in Internet games as well (and it saves on telephone costs.) We tried it in AoE2 and it seemed to work pretty well. The sound quality isn’t the best but it sure beats having nothing at all. And you can understand what is being said, it is just very crackily.

Little Canadian FlagMiranda is due to arrive in New York tomorrow afternoon. She is staying for an indefinite amount of time. Maybe a week, maybe a month. No one really knows.

November 1, 2002

Today is the official release date of Microsoft’s long awaited sequal to Age of Empires 2: Age of Kings, Age of Mythology. So, for lunch today Domincia and I went out to the mall and stopped by Electronics Boutique to see about picking up the new game. They had a large pile of them sitting on the floor so we gave it a try. The graphics in the new game are pretty amazing, especially the water scenes. It is done in the same style as Empire Earth but without the changing camera zooms like EE had. Overall, though, the game just doesn’t live up to its predecessor. AoE2 was just too good of a game and we all agree that they should have focused on bringing out a really good expansion pack to AoE2 rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. EE had already covered a lot of this ground and basically they have managed to make easy and hard versions of very similar games. Overall, I think I prefer to play EE over AoM even though AoM definitely has better graphics and sound (however, it is newer and EE has a new expansion pack out that I have not had a chance to see yet.) AoM is easier to play than AoE2 from a total game complexity stand point which is the opposite of what I had been hoping for. Instead of making the next big thing for hardcore AoE and AoE2 players, they simply managed to make a good beginners RTS. Definitely not what we were looking for. And all of the mythology stuff is just really silly and not impressive at all. At least to those of us who have tried it, the mythology just doesn’t work that well in game play. It is such a hard to understand and silly thing that it isn’t really all that much fun.

In addition to playing AoM today, I also downloaded the demo disk from Gentoo of Unreal Tournament 2003. The demo disk is really neat because it boots off of a CD just like a console (or older computer a la Commodore 64, Amiga 1000, etc.) so you don’t have to worry about whether or not your software is compatabile, just your hardware. Anyway, the game came right up and it looks totally amazing. This has to be the best 3D graphics that I have ever seen in a game. You could see individual blades of grass. This game is going to be really popular.

After playing a number of games this evening, Dominica and I sat down and watched Paint Your Wagon. What a great movie. My parents were huge fans of the musical and I grew up with the music from it always playing so the movie is very reminiscent for me. I have only seen the movie a couple of times but I know the music really well. Especially because I used a couple of the songs for audition pieces back in my college days.

October 31, 2002: Happy Halloween

Pretty busy day today. I started off working for Dell over at Cayuga Med Center first thing in the morning. The work was fine but like so many little tech jobs, something dumb wasn’t wrong and there wasn’t really anything for me to do. So, I stayed there for an hour and a half and headed from there down to Horseheads were Eric and I like to meet at the Original Italian Pizzeria which has some excellent New York Style pizza for cheap. We ended up running really early for our scheduled meeting so we spent a long time sitting at the restaurant. The meeting went well and the day seemed to move pretty quickly with all of the little things going on.

Happy Halloween everyone. Snow is starting to fall today. Winter is finally upon us.

October 30, 2002

Site maintenance today. September has been moved to the archives rounding off another quarter. Summer sure did fly by this year. And now we are already seeing some snow.

Very slow day today. Tomorrow is halloween so don’t forget to pick up some candy and to get all dressed up.

I finally got called back about that senate job that I was supposed to do over a month ago that got cancelled after I showed up at the job site. We are back on in two weeks (yup, it took Compaq two months to figure out how to do the job!