Friday, May 29, 2009

An unexpected trip?

Out of the blue, my college roommate, Mike, emailed me to see where I was at.  He's visiting his sister in Nashville.  Robbin from BCBSFL in Jacksonville is also in Nashville, so if I can work out a few details, I may be driving down to Music City tomorrow.  If so, I'll add to this update.

I did in fact end up driving to Nashville yesterday.  The drive was going well until 40W split off 65S/40E.  I'm not sure what kind of construction or accident was up ahead, but coming to a virtual standstill actually forced me off the interstate at a very convenient downtown exit for getting to The Flying Saucer.  I met Robbin and Scott Thomas who worked at Blue Cross with me, and we had fun dishing the dirt on some former co-workers and on Blue in general.  Had some excellent beer.  There was Murphy's stout on tap, which is very similar to Guinness, but I actually like it a bit better.  I also had Stone IPA, which was the best IPA I've ever had (sorry Sierra Nevada) and something called Brooklyn Brown ale, which was a very nice nut brown ale.  Robbin and Scott needed to head home to take care of their rabbit, while I stayed downtown to meet Mike and his family.

We met at Jack's BBQ near 4th and Broadway, which was about 6 blocks from where I was.  I just walked, and I have to say, I've never seen so many street corner musicians in all my life.  The food was good, and Mike and Margaret's kids were cute, but pretty tired from a day at the water park and not sure what to make of me.  After the BBQ, we walked down to Mike's ice cream, a coincidence which made the kids smile.  From there we headed to a park that has a replica of the Parthenon, of all things in it.  It's made of concrete and not marble, but still, a replica of the Parthenon was pretty cool.  We were actually close to the campus of Vanderbilt while we were at the park.

From there we headed back to Mike's sister, Meg's house.  She's located near Oprieland, and has a house with a huge deck overlooking the Cumberland river.  It's really nice.  We just hung out and took it easy.  Meg's dog, Cooper, didn't know what to make of me, and if he hadn't heard me talking for a while would start barking at me.  He even barked at me this morning after I changed shirts.  I guess I looked different.  Avery and Naomi had gotten used to me at this point, and would talk to me this morning.  They headed out about 11:30 to see a great aunt who lived in a convent and I headed back home.

It's probably been 9 years of so since I've seen Mike, the last time was when he was in Louisville on a business trip when I still worked at Humana.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Too Many Nobles

Well, my fortress seems to have stabilized from the cave bat deaths.  No one threw a tantrum or went insane in the spring of 205.  I queued up a lot of jobs, and the dwarfs even worked on some of them.  I probably have jammed up workshops or something.

No one showed up in the fall because of the deaths being caused from psychological stress.  However, the message this spring was that immigrants were arriving despite the danger.  With the immigrants I got the Baron, a consort, a tax collector and the Hammerer.  It's probably good that the Hammerer wasn't in the fortress six months ago, he's have probably wacked some of the pouty dwarfs upside the head with his hammer.

Another production problem I had was that I ran out of trees.  I bought a bunch from the elves, I need to see if they are sitting in the trade depot.  I had to tell my woodcutters to do nothing but cut trees.  That seems to have helped, but I used up all my refined coal, so I need to cut trees and put them in the wood furnace to create charcoal.  However, I also need to turn the trees into beds for my new nobles to sleep in.  I don't have doors for setting up their rooms right now either.

All in all, the spring went better.  I still feel like my workers are way out of hand, in that I don't know what anyone is doing or where the work is happening.  I also feel like my farming is completely out of control.  I need to look at my fields this summer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I want to ride my bicycle

I got a new bike from Dick's last night.  It's a fairly simple hybrid w/ seven speeds.  I'd probably need more than 7 gears for the Tour de France, but for riding around the neighborhood, seven seems to be sufficient.  I still need to attach the watter bottle, and the handlebars might need to be an inch higher.

I rode down to the street I grew up on, and it doesn't look much like it did 20 years ago.  The house I grew up in now has a garage on the lot, and the sapling I ran over when originally learning how to ride a bike has been removed from the front yard.  My lack of understanding about breaks didn't kill the young tree, but it grew with about a dozen small trunks instead of a large single trunk.  There was an old man who had about 4 lots when we were kids that grew a fair amount of food on them.  I believe the whole subdivision was his farm at one point.  That's all been sold off and converted into normal sized lots.  Another thing I'm not sure I'd do these days is cross the railroad tracks behind the house to get to a park on the other side.  The whole area is pretty much overgrown with vegetation now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Watching the twins

I watched Lauren and Taylor last night.  After the short car ride to my house, they declared that we should have walked.  I agree.  I was teasing them about them cutting the grass at my parents house, but they said they didn't know how to use a lawn mower.  Then I asked if we should get my parents a goat to eat the grass.  They thought that was a great idea since it would eat the grass and it could play with my parents two dogs.

They wanted to watch Princess Mononoke, so I've already instilled them with some good taste in anime.  They also like Inu Yasha.  While they were watching the movie, they said that Blake was a good big brother, but Regan was a bad big sister.  Regan, you'll have to work on being nicer to the twins :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back to the Dwarves

Lord this game has a steep learning curve.  I hadn't fired it up recently, and I had completely forgotten what my plans were.  I did get to see something I had never seen before, I found an underground cavern.  Immediately after tunnelling into cavern, a nasty bat flew into my tunnels and killed a dwarf or two.  From there, probably 10-12 dwarves have died directly or indirectly of depression.  Someone would get upset that their friend died, then they would go mad and starve then their friends would get upset.  On the plus side, there are quite a few nodes of gems along the cavern walls, and there is lots of spider silk.

I think the fortress mood has pretty much stabalized.  I had been tempted to abandond the fort, but I think I'll forge on.  Fortress productivity is way down though, hopefully I have enough food and booze to get by until I figure out what I was doing and where my workshops are again.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Beating up on kids and co-workers

I haven't started picking fights with people.  I started playing in chess tournaments again.  I've gone 3-0 the last two Monday's at Meijer's chess tournaments.  Granted, these are small tournaments, but I have just doubled my number of undefeated tournaments.  Again, to be fair, I've been playing grade schoolers and kids, most of whom who are on paper quite a bit less skilled than I am at chess.

At work, people laughed when I said I beat one of my co-workers, an 8th grader, and a 4th grader.  However, the 4th grader was the only player who was basically an even match for me.  My game against him was the one it took the longest to win.  I've got my rating back over 1500 for the first time in ages.  My goal is to get back over 1600 so I have to play in the open section of the tournament.

The games on Monday are short, G30, so I'm planning on playing at Barnes and Noble next weekend.