Thursday, December 29, 2005

Links at 1 a.m.

Nothing like staying up til 1 a.m. painting the living room. In my current cracked-out state of mind, I thought I'd share a few tidbits I ran across today...

Studio Confirms Tekken, Castlevania, Pac-Man Details
My favorite bit of this article... "Tekken and Castlevania are both names familiar to millions of videogamers around the world, and Hollywood is far from exhausting the pool of potential that exists in console games, despite numerous flops at the box office."
Listen. If you're seriously considering making movies based on Tekken and Castlevania, I'm sorry, but the "pool of potential" is a pool of dust. Give up now, please, before you ruin any more fond memories of my childhood.

An awesome article on the Team that won the DARPA Grand Challenge by creating a car that could drive itself successfully across 300 miles of desert. And they make it sound so simple...

I'll give that it's a cool gimmick. Nissan has a concept car with a built-in XBox 360, that allows the driver to use the controls (while in park, thank you), to play games like Project Gotham Racing 3. If it wasn't for this gimmick, I never would've noticed that Nissan had a concept car, so I guess it's served it's purpose. Doubly so, in that now you know about it too. The first time I see someone sitting in a parking spot downtown acting like they're racing in the Grand Prix though, I'll think they're a fruitcake, just like if I saw someone downtown talking into thin air... hmm... wait a second.

On September 26, 1983, we almost died. A little blurb on Dkos that brought to my attention Stanislav Petrov, a Soviet Commander who deliberately disobeyed orders in 1983, thus saving the lives of pretty much everyone on the planet. What's more, he wasn't supposed to be on duty that night. Don't let anyone tell you that software bugs aren't dangerous...

'nuff said, goodnight...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Adventures while driving...

Was a heck of a ride home from Mattbear's (and Jenbear's) awesome Christmas Party. Was a clear dry night when we left. After about an hour on the road my mom calls:

Her: "How is the weather there?"
Me: "uh, fine. Why?"
Her: "There's been snow & Freezing rain in Portland all day. The roads are all icy, and traffic is backed up because of accidents everywhere."


So we get a ways south of Centrailia, and there starts being slush & ice on the road. There's a truck a ways ahead of me, and someone ahead of him. Suddenly the truck spins over to the right, then spins back to the left. I get busy trying to stop, and look up just in time to see him in the ditch rolling over as I pass. I stopped on the side of the road, waking Cynthia up with a "Call 911!", jump out of the car, and run over through the snow.

I was fully expecting to see someone in that car seriously injured or dead. The truck had finish ed up upright, and just as I ran up, the driver's door opened, and someone surprised me by stepping out. Asian guy, looked about my age. "Are you all right?!" "I'm alright", he said, looking around as if to make sure. The dome light was on, and there was a passenger, and two women in the back. I kept looking around for blood or injury, but eventually all of them got out of the car and seemed fine, although the women seemed in a bit of shock. One immediately got on her cell phone. None of them spoke very good english. The back of the truck was sitting on top of that steel-cable fence that runs down the middle of the divider ditch, and the rear window was broken, but that seemed to be the worst of it. Amazing, since they were probably doing 60 when they went off the road.

At some point the guy who had been in the car ahead of them came up, and one of the guys told him there was a Consul car coming to get them, so they must have been foreign diplomats or something, although they were driving an older model Isuzu Trooper. Since everyone seemed okay, the other guy was there, and 911 had been called, there wasn't much for me to do, so I left. Had to sit behind the wheel for about five minutes before I trusted myself to drive off though.. too much adrenalin.

Finally hit Portland about midnight, and all the freeways were big sheets of ice. Traffic was backed up for an accident right as we were crossing the I-405 bridge, so we got to sit on the bridge for an hour while they cleared that and sanded the road.

So anyway, I feel lucky that we made it home alright, and nobody skidded into our shiny new car. :)

Take care driving this holiday season... nothing like a car accident to muck up your Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

You are not the car you drive.

There's a Doonesbury comic out there somewhere. In it, Mike is talking to his teenaged daughter Alex about being wealthy, since they recently made a lot of money running a dot-com, and bought an SUV. Alex accuses him of being a sell-out, to which Mike replies "I didn't sell out, I bought in!".

If I could find a copy of this particular strip, I'd get it framed and put it on my wall. It's become my motto in life. When I first saw the strip in college, I identified more with Alex. Now, a number of years and a couple of kids later... well, I'll just say that I can see where Mike is coming from.

I only bring this up now because I'm now the proud owner of a Honda Odyssey. Yep, you got it. It's minivan time. And to tell the truth, even though the last vestiges of my youthful idealism are slinking away in shame, I'm not really all that sad about it.

There are certain realities that become extant when you have two kids. A lot of them revolve around getting everyone in and out of cars and hauling around lots of stuff. Strollers, wagons, bags, toys, car seats, kids, groceries, you get the idea. And all of Cynthia's business stuff on top of that... So, for some reason, some company decided to make a vehicle that makes all this crap easier. Lots of room, seats that fold into the floor, doors that open and shut for you, a DVD player, wireless *freakin* headphones... crap, I'm a yuppie. Wait a sec, lemme go look in the mirror... yeah, damnit. There's really no way around it. I worry about airbags for chrissake.

So Honda made this thing, and, well, I'm nothing if not practical. It's a nice piece of engineering, even if a sportscar it ain't. They didn't quite think of everything, but pretty damn close. To plagiarize from Real Life, it's like Honda is personally apologizing for emasculating me.

What the hell, with two kids you can justify anything.

But just in case, I still have my bus.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Long time no see...

I guess it seems fitting to switch to a new site when I write my first post in like 9 months. At any rate, I'm going to give Blogspot a shot, see how I like it. If not, I'll be back to LJ. But Blogspot looks cool, is much more customizeable than LJ, at least unless you want to fork out some cash. And hey, all my friends are doing it. Yes, I would jump off the bridge. I'm a sheep. Baaa.

Let's see, a quick summary of my life for the last nine months: About eight months ago I sold my house, bought a new house, moved to Portland, started a new job, and had a baby. That whole process took about two months, and we've pretty much been recovering ever since.

Now, the rest of that has definitely caused much chaos in my life, but those last three words are the most important: had a baby. Technically I didn't actually give birth, but you get the idea. At any rate, Cedar Elijah Lucas was born at home (our new home) on May 28, 2005. He's six months old now (man the time flies), and is truly the happiest damn baby I've ever met. He's rolling himself around on the floor, which means he'll be crawling in no time, and is currently chattering away to himself. His sister (who is 3 1/2 now), loves him dearly, although that might well change when he gets old enough to mess with her stuff. :)

I look at the pictures, and can't really believe it's my life. I mean, it's so domestic. But I tell you what, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I feel extremely lucky, and thankful every day. Sometimes life gets really hectic and I forget, but really it's your family and friends that are important, having people around that love you and care about you. The rest is just details.

Portland's pretty cool (actually we live in Beaverton, which is basically the Bellevue of Portland), although we don't really know anyone here. We've met a few people through my work, and through Sage's preschool, but haven't really clicked with anyone. I hope that'll change a bit when Cedar's done breastfeeding and we can get a babysitter and go out to places that aren't necessarily child friendly. In the meantime, we'll just have to make a lot of trips up to Seattle.

Guess that's all for now, short and sweet. Next time I'll rant about something witty and insightful, I promise.