30 May 2012

Fourth Week in May 2012

Monday after work I enjoyed a little Diablo 3. I realized it's going to be really hard to document my progress writing a week after the fact ... so, at the time of this writing, I'm level 28 with my Demon Hunter. Although I am happy with my display, I do recognize that Troy's video is much better. I think it's strange that Troy (or any other friend) can just jump in my game at any time. I am getting used to the new skill tree, and I think for my class the 'companion' feature is underpowered.

Tuesday at lunch I went on 2012 run #16: just one mile, but in 8:27. After work Maggie and I went to eat at Lil Burro in Bellevue. Afterwards we went the backroads over to Shadow Lake to do some shopping. She wanted me to fall into the 'shopping for a swimsuit for her' trap ... but I wasn't falling for it at all. I got a BPA free cup for work, some groceries, and then we went to Dairy Queen in Papillion.

Wednesday after work was the final meeting for RCIA, and it was a picnic ... literally. I brought a green salad and Joe. I am going miss this group of people they are so nice.

Thursday after work I met Maggie at Jonesy's Tacos and then went over to Christy's house for the JIVE meeting. I thought it went really well with Maggie running the show. There was a lot of good conversation and more beautiful weather. When I got home, guess what? More Diablo 3.

Friday was a pretty slow day at work, what you might expect for a pre-holiday Friday. Immediately after work I went out to the track and ran a 5k, that's 2012 run #17. I ran the 5k in 29:41, so my first one sub-thirty minutes. I came home, rested for a bit then got ready to go to the dance.

Really I'm back in there somewhere. Photo credit: Matt

It's okay, I've seen most of the adults in this picture
on one of the tables at some time or another. Photo credit: Matt

Clint celebrates his last night at Donut Stop in a while with a milk.

Saturday during the day I was pretty lazy. I like to treat three day weekends as Saturday being the 'free' day, and Monday as though it was Sunday. This way I don't feel like I need to do anything on the first day. After hanging out all day, maybe playing a little Diablo 3, I got out of the house around 1630 and went out to golf. I tried Eagle Hills (no actual eagles or hills are involved with the naming of this golf course) first, but they had an event. So I phoned ahead, and I ended up at Willow Lakes. Surprisingly, it was empty, or virtually so. I played 36 ... okay, I played 18 once with two balls. I had a 80 and an 83 from the whites. I played the nines backwards. On 18 I played the best drive of the day into a double bogey. However, on 9 I just missed an eagle putt and ended up with my only birdie of the day. It was one of those strange days when I was happy with the score, but not how I played.

Late in the evening I finally showed up to play a game of Bases, after missing several ones I was invited to. While somewhat easy to describe in theory, sort of a cross between hide and, simon says, and red light, green light, the actual play was different. I started off playing a little too intensely, then I got smart and played at a pace that was better speed for someone my age. I went from a speed tactic to a hiding unexpectedly tactic, it worked. All this being said, OMG I am sore, right through Wednesday the following week. I need to play myself into shape.

Sunday morning I was up 'early' and off to church at Saint Bernadette's. After church, I came home and took a nap so I could be well rested for the last event of the week; Kaleb's game night, now with extra nice weather ... oh, and my camera.

Hopefully this will keep me out of trouble with Maeg for a while.

It's funny, we have pictures from when we play badminton,
but almost none from around the world ping pong.

The first game I played was Stone Age. Despite my bad position in this picture, I won.
Oh and maybe Lizzy does not want her picture taken.

The second game was To Court the King.
I thought I had a good strategy, it just didn't have time to develop, Maggie won.

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Some of the many fabulous faces of playing Werewolf. I was out pretty early in the first game as a villager. In the second game I was a Werewolf, and I thought things were going pretty well until another team member made a calculated play against the villagers that didn't work. We then quickly lost.

The evening also included plenty of badminton, ping pong, Rock Band, and playing with the camera. You can see all my pictures from Kaleb's game night here.

Next week: Memorial Day.

23 May 2012

Third Week in May 2012

About halfway through my work day on Monday, I received a message on Facebook that Insignificant Other was going to be playing downtown in the evening on a street corner in the Old Market. Yay! I have plans. I rode downtown with Frank, we picked up Heidi on the way. We met Maggie downtown; there was dancing, good music, ice cream at Ted and Wally's (Ginger Ale and Strawberry mixed), and beautiful weather.

Oh, and did I mention a alien puppy? Get away from that thing Frank!

Tuesday at lunch was 2012 run #14. 1.74mi (2.8k) in 16:58 (9:43 pace). This was my first time trying to run with only one day off between runs, maybe not as long as I wanted.

When I arrived home my copy of Diablo 3 was on my desk. I'm not sure I like any of the character choices, but I ended up playing a Demon Hunter. I'll try to give some updates as I play. I played for about two hours the first night. Troy and I played some together, but for the most part I played alone. It played just fine on my computer. So far I think it's beautifully rendered and I only have had one glitch.

Wednesday I went to RCIA, where we watched the movie Saint John in Exile. I had seen this movie before, but probably not in fifteen years.

Thursday I went to Mass in the morning at Saint Columbkille, then to work. While I was at work I got a sudden migraine and ended up going home. I slept for about three hours and then felt better. I did play some Diablo 3, but it wasn't any stupid human trick, I really felt bad mid-day. Maggie came over in the evening, we ate dinner and went for a walk. It was a watershed walk for the year, I made it over 100 miles walking for 2012.

Friday morning I got on the internet and looked up prices on new cameras. I found a sale at Target, so at lunch I went over to the store to look (Maeg said I was buying the whole time, she was right), and I mean just to look. I walked out with a new camera and second lens for a really good deal, less than I saw on the website.

Where did all my money go?

Immediately after work I ran on the track at work, 2012 run #15, 5k in 32:10, that's a 10:22 pace! I would rate this run as too windy, I mean really too windy. Afterward I went home all sweaty, ate, cleaned up and went to the regular Friday dance with the new camera.


New camera, still the same problem with shooting inside the Eagle's Lodge
... bad lighting.

Grand Marquis was playing.

The best, or, my favorite picture, from the night.

You can see all of the picture that I, and others, took with my new camera here. I went home right after the dance.

Saturday I got up 'early' and went out to the Prosanctity camp to help clean up. This may be a regular item, or at least I'm planning on it being so. I did some heavy lifting and some gardening. It's good to help out. I came home, napped, and then played Diablo 3 for several hours in the evening. I got my Demon Hunter character up to level 20 by the time I went to bed, sort of early.

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There was one other event for the evening.

Sunday morning I met Teri and Frank at Holy Cross for church, and then we went our separate ways, sort of ... Teri went to the same place I did, the Farmers Market at Stinson Park, but we went for different reasons. She was going to shop, I was going to Lindy in the Park.

Reason to Lindy-Hop #17: anti-gravity.

Vivian, what kind of bug is that on the ground? Photo credit: Matt

Aw, it's all the jitterbabies ... and Brian.

After the dance we went to Jones Brothers Cupcakes and we, um, we ... uh.

Yeah, I took pictures, you can find them in a group here, Matt took pictures too, you can find those here. I came home, took a very short nap and then got ready to go to Shannon and Scott's nursing school graduation party. Maggie had a little trouble finding the place at Lake Zorinsky, but finally we met up and had some fun and food.

The graduates! Now just a couple boards to pass and they'll be rolling in cash, right?

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What's up with those McNamara girls?

There was an eclipse! But I don't know how to use the camera yet!

Help me! Help me ... too late, they got me.

Sunset came, and the party broke up, and I went home. You can see all my pictures from the party (and a walk with Maggie) here. It was a magical weekend thanks to everyone who I hung out with.

21 May 2012

Second Week in May 2012

Monday was the end of on call. You can tell it's my blog because every eight weeks I say the same exact thing. And then I say the next thing immediately after that. I was tired and I went to bed early. Oh, and I went running at lunch, 2012 #12: 2.49 mi (4.0k) in 24:08 (9:43 pace), and it was not nearly far enough.

Tuesday after work I met Maggie at Stinson Park. We ate dinner at Jones Brothers, I had the Cuban sandwich, and was very surprised at how good it was. Afterwards we went and saw the Avengers. It was really good, but I'm probably not telling anyone anything they don't already know. Bruce Banner / Hulk was my favorite.

Wednesday we had a very short RCIA class.

Thurdsay at work was more physical labor. I kind of liked it.

Friday was a half day at work. I left two minutes early, really, I did. I drove from work down to Papio Greens and played 36 holes of Par 3 golf: 63 & 58 (par 54). I did really well during the middle of each round, not so well at the start or the finish. I think I'm still pretty good at this game though. I went home cleaned up and drove off to Maplewood Lanes for Beth's birthday party. I bowled two games, 112 & 140, so my usual stinkyness. After bowling, we went to DJs Dugout for Blazin' Pianos.

All I wrote on the request slip was "It's Beth's birthday, embarrass her".
They did a fine job.

Maggie and I stayed with Beth and Jared until after midnight, so no dance for us.

Saturday morning I ran errands and then headed over to the Nebraska Renaissance (a word I can spell without looking it up) Faire. I threw on my Miracle Max hat just for fun.

Yes, I think we get this same picture every year.

The mushrooms are surprisingly comfortable.

I have no doubt that these guys are crazy.

After we left the Ren Faire, Heidi, Maggie, and I went over to Culver's. While we were eating, Sarah B. walked in (we had seen her at the Faire) and we all sat around and talked. Later in the evening, Maggie and I took a walk over the BK Pedestrian Bridge (maybe I should just call it the BKPB). It was a lovely night.

Sunday I was up and off to church. I went with Teri to Saint Columbkille at noon, but we didn't hang out afterwards. I came home and had run #13 for 2012: 3.35mi in 35:25 / 10:34 pace. I was partly motivated by Spanky. He started running recently also and said he ran a 5k in 35 something, I had to beat it. In the evening, I went over to Menard's and finally got my 'garden' planted.

(R to L) Tomatoes, peppers, more tomatoes, flowers, and future chives.

I noticed no one at Menard's was particularly interested in helping me. When the counter person finally showed up, I was standing at one of the two registers, and she went up to the other one with out a word and just stood there looking somewhere else. Then, before I could get over to the other register, another Menard's employee went up and struck up a two-three minute conversation with her while buying a light bulb while I waited. It wasn't really bad customer service, it was just indifferent. Although Menard's was the guilty party this time. I have noticed some employee indifference in more than one big box store lately. I got a couple different theories, but they are just as good as guesses probably.

Next week: A new camera!

16 May 2012

First Week in May 2012

On call week, and for a change of pace, actual, physical labor at work.

I'm kind of noticing that I am running on Mondays and Thursdays. I want to run three times a week in May, but I don't know if I'll get to that goal. On Monday I ran 1.49 mi (2.4k) in 14:41 (9:51 pace) and it didn't go so well. Although I felt motivated, as I got to lap 10, I felt a twinge in my left calf. I went two more laps running, then just slowly walked until I had to get back to work.

Tuesday after work I cut the grass, and then made dinner. I was pretty sore from all the activity. I don't actually mind being sore, it reminds me that I am being physically active.

Wednesday right after work I went to RCIA, but work 'called' just as I got there and I went home to help someone out instead. After I helped to resolve the issue and eat, I participated in a little dance practice. I decided to bake some cookies for the people who remained, but this wasn't the only thing that baked, the kitchen got very, very warm.

Thursday evening after I got home, and the work calls settled down, I went running - 2012 run #11 - 3.32 mi (5.34k) in 37:11 (11:12 pace). It's the furtherest I've ever run! It was a good pace, I felt like I could run further without too much difficulty. The hills around the house are more challenging than the track at work. Between walking and running, I covered nearly six miles in one day.

Because I was on call, on Friday I waited until after 2300 to go to the dance. I swung by Donut Stop after the dance, but around 0100 the on call phone started ringing, and I had to go home and work.

Saturday morning the work continued, but stopped long enough for me to run errands. Most of the afternoon and evening was spent alternating between work, video games, and napping.

Sunday morning I wasn't too disturbed by work, and woke up around 1100. I went to church at Saint Columbkille in Papillion at noon, and then made the short trip over to the downtown park in Papillion for (the other) Lindy in the Park. Amazingly, there was not a single work sighting at all. The weather was cool and and breezy, inspiring Matt to call it "Windy in the Park".

I'm right there in this photo, no there, in the gray building! Photo credit: Matt


R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Photo credit: Matt

We already knew she'd grow up with a camera in her face,
so I guess she's already used to it. Photo credit: Matt

I like that location, because you can walk over to the Dairy Queen, so Maeg and I did. Matt took a bunch of pictures, you can find them here. I took four more pictures in addition to the one above here.

The rest of Sunday was pretty much a repeat of Saturday night. All in all, it was not a good on call week, one of the busiest I've had in five years.

Next week: no on call.


Photo credit: Matt

02 May 2012

Last Week in April 2012

I got a case of the crazies. It's probably not particularly bad, like say, this was 1997, but I've been feeling all over the place. Fortunately, by this point in my life, I have plenty of experience in dealing with myself and my mental foibles.

Monday during lunch I went for run #8 of 2012, 2.49 mi (4.0k) in 24:16.1 (9:45.8 pace). My motivation decidedly was missing, but the pace was good. I might have gone one more lap, but meh. After work I made dinner for the week. Troy was watching TV, and I finally looked up and blurted out "What are you watching?" I could see he was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I was so surprised that I just said something stupid, and got a well deserved dumb look from Troy about it.

Tuesday Maggie came over and I made dinner for her. After dinner we went for a walk. It turned out to be a bad idea because Maggie didn't have the right shoes for walking, but we had a nice conversation before she began to get sore.

Wednesday was National Walk at Lunch Day, and I participated, fourteen laps around the track in about a half hour. I got swag out of the deal, a keychain light.

Thursday I went running again during lunch. 2.49 mi (4.0k) in 25:56 (10:26 pace), I started off fast, but the pace really fell off near the end. While I was driving home, I felt hungry, but I didn't know what I wanted, when suddenly I was inspired, by Swine Dining. I drove down to Old Towne and then home to eat. Troy was watching some more Buffy, and so I did too. After dinner I did some chores and headed to bed kind of late.

Friday after work was the usual dance. It's social dancing, but I don't really feel like being social sometimes. There are many moments that I like just dancing, saying thank you, and moving on. I enjoyed myself, although I wasn't dancing particularly well. After the dance several of us went out to the Donut Stop. Ben brought in his game of Cards Against Humanity, so we played. It wasn't as much fun the second time ... and we were interrupted while we were playing by another Donut Stop patron.

Saturday at lunch Frank, Maggie, and I went out to lunch at Swine Dining. Yes, that's twice in 48 hours. I'm eating less now when I am there, so that is good, but I'm still waiting for leftovers. Then Maggie and I went and meet Chelsea about getting finally getting the pictures she took of us printed and delivered to us. We met in a parking lot and I handed her money, I'm surprised the cops didn't come and bust us.

In the late afternoon I went out to golfing for the first time in a few years. I triple bogeyed the first hole, but then was only eight over for the rest of the round. Actually, the last seven holes I was even par. I didn't think I golfed particularly well, I just didn't let myself get into big trouble. My secret to good golf, no 8s!


Sunday 'morning' I went to church completely on my own, picked a pew randomly from the back of the church, and of course, sat down right next to Joe. After church we went out to lunch. That was my week.

Next week: On call, probably more of nothing.

01 May 2012

Third Week in April 2012

Monday at lunch I got out to the work track for run #6 in 2012, 2.10 mi (3.4k) in 20:50.7 (9:52.6 pace). It was way too cold. In theory I think I should be able to run about 28 minutes at lunch, but I ran out of time (and frankly motivation) on lap 17, three short of my goal of 20. After work I ran some errands, then came home and worked on processing pictures.

Tuesday after work Maggie and I went to (Omaha Jitterbugs friend) Jocelyn's senior year piano recital at Creighton.

Not a good picture, but a good performance.

Afterwards we went out to eat at Alvarado's. I ate too much, but that's no surprise.

Wednesday after work I went to RCIA. Came home and started cooking. Ben and Maeg were at dance practice and when it was over, they came upstairs and we talked for quite a while.

Thursday during lunch it was raining, but I ran anyways: 2012 running day 7 was a little different, three 0.5mi (800m) segments broken up by walking a lap. The totals were 12:56.3 / 9:40.8 pace. Half mile number one 3:59.5 / 8:01.8 ... fast! Half mile number two 4:12.9 / 8:28.8 ... not quite as fast. Half mile number three 4:53.5 / 9:50.4 ... um, at least it's under 10:00. The rain got pretty cold, and I eventually gave up more for the weather than for the running. In the evening, I worked on more of the photos from the reception.

Friday was the beginning of PretzCon and an active weekend of gaming and stuff. After work I headed to the convention, checked in, and played one game of Small World with several expansions mixed in. I didn't win (a theme for the entire weekend). After one game, I went home, cleaned up, and went downtown for the dance.

Saturday morning I headed over to Pretzcon for the start of all day gaming. The first game played was Fluxx. I actually won this game, but it was kind of a fluke, but with Fluxx, what isn't a fluke with Fluxx?

Next I sat in a game of Race for the Galaxy that Kaleb was running, two games actually. I chose the wrong strategy the both games, the first game someone else had the same strategy, and the second one I never saw an alien technology card after the first two I played.

The next game was Settlers of Catan: Cities and Knights. Another non-win. I have fairly well decided I don't particularly care for Catan, I would say it is the amount of luck involved, but I certainly like many other games with high luck factors. It's hard to win when you lose three cities to the barbarians.

I left and went home for a very short nap, then headed over to Kaleb's for game night. Originally, there was a game of badminton planned, but it was too windy. So we stayed inside instead. We played a game called Cold War Agents, it is in development by some of Kaleb's friends. I thought it was a pretty interesting game, I was on the winning team for this game.

I then played a game of Qwirkle Cubes with Maggie, Tom, and Roslyn. Okay, I won that game, but it's fairly well expected.

Maggie and I left and went over to a martini party at Billy and Lindsay's house. I was horribly underdressed, and almost cared. We stayed for about an hour and a half and then headed back to Kaleb's house arriving just in time for the second game of Werewolf.

Beth ran the game, and I was the Spellcaster. The Spellcaster is able to 'silence' someone every day, and that person can not talk. I picked myself the first day to throw off the trail, and then started to pick people to have fun with it. I was able to use it to not get killed by just saying I was the Spellcaster, no one disputed me, the villagers left me alone and the werewolves looked for someone more important to kill. We won, so ... maybe I did better for the weekend than I thought I did.

Several of us went down to the basement and a half dozen of us played a fairly intense game of Around the World Ping Pong. Oddly enough, neither Scott nor Kaleb played. We were playing with the new modification about starting with a point for each win you get. Only one person did not win five games, it was Maeg, but I won't mention that because I don't want to embarrass her.

We came up and played two games of Cash 'N' Guns. I enjoyed it, but it might be a 'twice a year' game, too much of it is a bad thing.

The final game of the night was Cards Against Humanity. It was a fabulously horrible game not unlike Apples to Apples, but really twisted. I laughed so hard, probably partially because it was stupid o'clock. I did notice that they have an attribution, non-commercial, share-alike license on the game, good for them. It is really, really twisted, and as such, I heard people say things I never thought they'd say. I don't know about the replayability of this game, but for a one time play, it was as fun as it gets. Then home and sleep.

This is what a room full of board game geeks looks like.

Sunday I was back at Pretzcon. The first game I played was Shadow Hunters. I got Daniel, but since I was playing with people who weren't used to the game, I didn't scream very loudly when the first person was killed. I almost pulled off the solo win, but really, I didn't know enough people at the table to have people try to kill me. The Hunters won, so I shared in the team win. The group played a second game, but I sat out so others could play.

Scott and I sat a table nearby and he taught me a very simple game called Castle Panic. Simple doesn't equate to boring, and I really enjoyed it. It's a cooperative game, probably little kid friendly, and fast paced. We won the first one game we played, were mostly winning the second one when...

...Kaleb broke out 7 Wonders. We played twice, I didn't do anything particularly spectacular in the first game, but the second game I developed a fabulous strategy ... and was foiled by a lack of resources. I ended up being more or less forced to pass my strategy to Tseyu, who took the cards I gave her and dominated the game. Sheesh.

In case you weren't counting, that was a dozen different games in 48 hours. It's not even a record, but it's a good start. I give PretzCon a big thumbs up, I can't wait until next year.

Next week: back to a quiet life.