Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My dad is okay

For those who asked or were wondering, my dad is okay. He had initially considered braving the hurricane but changed his mind when he heard how bad it was going to be and drove to Lafayette to stay with some friends. Now he's on his way to North Carolina, where he'll hang out at home until New Orleans gets the all-clear. No idea how the apartment is, of course--it looks like the Quarter didn't get too much flooding but he does live on the first floor so it might still be waterlogged, not to mention looted. He's okay, though, which is the important thing.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Back again

We are now officially back from our trip—we actually got in last night but now we're recovered enough to be functional again. I was going to post a full journal of our perambulations. but my lovely wife has already done so on her LJ—beat me to the punch again—and done an excellent job, so I'll just post the link here
We had a great time, got some good food, and got to see both family and good friends. I did get a mild cold, but nothing severe and it didn't slow me down noticeably. It was an excellent vacation—and I count it as a real one, since I barely checked email, did no writing, and did not have to sell anything. :) My only regret is that now we have to wait until the people we saw can come visit us, or until we can take another trip to see them again.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Off and away!

We're leaving on our Midwest vacation in seven hours (off to the airport in under six) and we'll be gone for ten days. Not sure I'll get a chance to post while I'm away, in which case I'll put up a trip log when we get back. If you're in our path hopefully I'll see you soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

More trip details

Okay, so we're finalizing some of our trip details, which is good since we're leaving this coming Friday:
We will be in Lawrence Wednesday morning through Thursday evening, including a night at the brand-spanking-new Holiday Inn Express (3411 SW Iowa).
We are having dinner at Mad Greek Wednesday night. All are welcome.
No specific plans beyond that--we're keeping it flexible. Several of you said you're available during the day, which is great. We'll have a car, of course, so hopping about will be easy enough, and I'm sure we'll stroll down Mass. at some point. I might pop up to campus as well--we'll see on that one, but if I do I'll visit Wescoe (need to thumb my nose at Doty and Sullivan and say hi to Chris and to Gunn). I'll have my cell phone with me and on so people can find out where we are at any given time--if you don't have the number email me. If you already know when you'll be available email me or reply below.
We'll be in KC Saturday but not doing anything specific--people are welcome to come out and see us. We'll be at my in-laws', same place we were last visit.
See everyone soon!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Exercises in Frugality?

As some of you might know, I'm not a wallet fan. They always seem so bulky, just added weight and mass. So I carry my ID and other necessaries loose in my pocket. It also makes things more fun if anyone tries to pickpocket me-the human equivalent of those claw-and-toy thingies you see in arcades. “Oh, I'm sorry, all you managed to grab was an old business card from a limo service-but hey, it's got a 2004 calendar on the back!”
That's all well and good. Every so often I pare down what I carry, striving to bring only the essentials-driver's license, Metrocard (that's the subway fare card, for those of you not from NY), my company ID, my debit card, one credit card, and then some business cards between them (since you're not supposed to lump too many magnetic-strip cards altogether). These live in the front left pocket of my jeans, along with cash-my keys are in that silly “what do I really need this for again?” coin pocket on the right side.
Last night we booked our hotel for our Kansas trip. I had changed to shorts when I got home so I went and grabbed my credit card from my jeans. I pulled most of the cards at once because it was easier.
Can you guess where this is going yet?
This morning I left for work as usual. My daughter was particularly clingy this morning-she really didn't want me to go-so I was running a hair late. At the front door I checked for my keys. Check. Locked the door behind me, returned the keys to the coin pocket, patted my other pocket for ID, felt the clip on my company ID. Check. Hat, check. Cell phone in side pocket (I love carpenter pants), check. Off we go.
Ten minutes later I get to the subway station, climb the long flight of stairs, reach for my Metrocard-and it's not there.
That's right, it's with the rest of my cards. Back in my shorts. Whee.
Now, I had my company ID, the one thing I would absolutely have to go back for if I left it behind (okay, I have forgotten it once before and managed to get in but it's a pain, esp. since we have the kind of doors you need ID to get OUT of as well). But no Metrocard. And no mon-wait, what's this? I had a twenty in my other pocket, where I keep emergency cash. I'd actually known about that when heading out, because I thought to myself “I've only got two bucks left here [left side] but I've got the twenty here [right side] for lunch.” I had my keys, my company ID, and a twenty. And that's it.
So, rather than go back home to get my cards again, I'm making due today. I bought a FunPass-that's a one-day unlimited Metrocard ($7). I'll be having lunch with friends ($9-10). I'm going to the comic store, but I think I have credit there ($20)-I hope so because otherwise I can't get anything. And the FunPass will get me home again.
If this works, maybe I should stop carrying everything else altogether. Or maybe I should manacle them to my ankle so I don't have to worry about it.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Kansas Trip Question

Hi, everyone! This is aimed at our friends and family in the Kansas City/Lawrence area.
We are making the final plans for our trip, and we're thinking we'll actually stay in a hotel in Lawrence one night so that we can spend a full two days hanging out with people up there. And it's a toss-up as to which night. The options are:
1. Wednesday night. So we'd be there all day and all night Wednesday (the 24th) and all day Thursday (the 25th).
2. Friday night. So we'd be there all day and all night Friday (the 26th) and all day Saturday (the 27th).
Please respond and let me know which of those would work best for you. The other days we'll probably be in KC with the in-laws, though people are welcome to come visit then as well.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Act now and get a free . . .

White Wolf finally has Carnelian Flame up on their site:

White Wolf's page

They’re listing it as available on October 31. And yes, you can preorder it from them.

Amazon hasn’t updated their info yet (apparently you may now refer to me as “Exalted”), but they do have a page for it:

Amazon's page

So you can order it from them as well.


From: Chekhov To: Potter re: Gun!

So last night I finally finished reading Harry Potter 5. It was a fun read, as were the previous ones, and I still like the characters, plus I think Rowling did a good job of capturing teen arrogance/angst. BUT:
I have long since resigned myself to the fact that Rowling survives via the Idiot Plot. For those not familiar with this, it’s when a writer cannot figure out how to keep the action moving without the protagonist being an idiot. It’s like in slasher films, when there’s a killer running loose and the teens decide to split up. That’s stupid but without it there’d be no movie. This book is no different, in that Harry is still a moron. He misses everything around him—you spend several hundred pages waiting for him to catch up with what you already know.
This book was different, however, because not only was Harry an idiot, everyone else was, too. Particularly one of the book’s other central figures. And without his idiocy the gut-wrench at the end would never have occurred.
Anton Chekhov, the celebrated Russian playwright, once said “If there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last.” In the Harry Potter books Harry routinely walks right past these guns—half the time he trips over them and bangs that stupid scar on their barrels, but keeps right on going. This time, however, not only does he not notice the gun, the other character ignores it as well—and he put it there! I felt like saying “um, hello, sir? Did you perhaps notice the gun you’ve been carrying around all this time? You know, the one you were polishing with almost unseemly enthusiasm just a few minutes ago? Oh, you did remember it? Then could you tell me why you went after that burglar with nothing but a butter knife!”
No, I won’t go into more specifics, for those who have not yet read the book. Yes, I could put it behind a cut. If people really want me to I will. But for now suffice to say that, while I like reading her books for the characters and the setting, Rowling is a prime example of someone who desperately needs a strong editor, someone who can go over plots and point out all those massive potholes—and the woolly mammoths who have become stuck in them.
Perhaps they could borrow Chekhov’s gun to put the mammoths out of their misery.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Well sure it was FUN . . .

This weekend was busy socially.
Friday we had our Amber game, as usual—good friends, some good food (we tried a new Japanese place and were pleasantly impressed), a few game surprises, a few new details, and rolling closer to a plot resolution. Good stuff.
Saturday our daughter’s playmate came over with both his parents—usually it’s just the two kids and the two moms, so it was fun for all six of us to hang out. We grilled some hamburgers, ate, and just chatted and watched the kids chase each other around and play together. Nice.
Sunday we went out for lunch with some of our friends—a couple we haven’t seen in ages and another friend who lives in the area. Good pizza, followed by ice cream and hanging out for a while.
My wife and I also watched House of Flying Daggers Saturday night, which was great—beautiful stuff—and I finished Sideways last night—fun movie, quirky, good lines. And we caught up on our sleep a little, at least on Saturday.
I’m still working on finishing Harry Potter 5, which the wife already finished, so that we can bum 6 off someone.
I got very little done work-wise all weekend. But I think I needed the break. Of course, come next weekend I’ll probably be kicking myself for said break, but so it goes.