2 Months

Gabriel hits two months tomorrow, he seems to be leveling along nicely.  Only 10 more to go before his first level up.  Hes been working on raising his skills in rolling, standing, and coo’ing.  I hope soon he will start working on his nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, and computer hacking skills, so he can get a girl.  (Gwendolyn watched Napoleon Dynamite for the 453rd time the other day)

Some other stats on little Gabriel:

  • Height: 2 feet
  • Weight: 12lbz 13oz
  • Time crying after a shot: 10 secs!
  • Favorite sound: Farting; that’s my boy!

Now for some cute pictures….  I’ll have to get a video on here too soon.

BlizzCon 2008

blizzcon 2008 098Two weekends ago I went to Anaheim California, for Blizzard‘s annual BlizzCon.  BlizzCon celebrates all games developed by Blizzard.  Those games being Warcraft, Starcrat, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, which I know I’ve talked about before.  The convention shows off their latest games, and is host to numerous panels about game developing.  For two days its a geek heaven.

One of the two new games they were showing off, and letting us play, was Starcraft 2.  Starcraft is considered an RTS (real time strategy game).  Two or more players are put head to head, to create an army to destroy the other player.  I’ve always been a big fan of RTS games, starting with Warcraft.  When Warcraft 3 came out, I was actually volunteering to host tournaments for a Blizzard fan site.  We would have weekly tournaments and I would arrange the games, and track the players.  Starcraft 2 looks to be turning into a great game.  I just hope I’ll have enough time to play it. 🙂

The other game that we were excited to play was Diablo 3.  Diablo is more of an action/RPG (role playing game).  The diablo series was another game that hooked me in for a long time.  When Diablo 2 came out, I had actually taken days off work, so my friends and I could all play together for days on end.  Ahh those were the days.  We were the first to play Diablo 3, and what a pleasure that was.  With its improved graphics and game play, its a huge improvement over Diablo 2.  I can’t wait to play it again!

blizzcon 2008 091Other than waiting in lines, BlizzCon had some good entertainment.  I saw a few of the panels, which were always entertaining and informative.  Also there were plenty of eye candy, with dressed up characters from all their games.  One of the panels featured actors from an online web show called The Guild.  Its a comedy based around WoW.  Its star is Felicia Day, who recently also appeared in the tv show House, and I believe we will be seeing more and more of.  It was very entertaining seeing them, and hearing their stories about filming.  During the closing ceremony Saturday night, they had a few comics, L70ETC (blizzard employee rock band), and the always impressive Video Games Live.  Video Games Live is a group that gets a local orchestra together to play music from all genres of video games.  Gwendolyn and I were lucky enough to see them recently, and I was glad to have the opportunity to see them again playing Bizzard music.

Overall it was better than I imagined.  I’m sad I missed the first two years.  I hope I can go again at some point. 🙂

Photos

The Cure rocked my world!

We got to see the Cure last Monday night. It was a highly-awaited concert for me. It was supposed to take place last October, but it was rescheduled for some reason. So I’ve been waiting for a year for this great event! And it was awesome. Jay didn’t feel that he could do the concert justice by writing about it, so he left it to me. 🙂 And I had the best time. It was basically the concert I’ve wanted to hear my whole life. Well, my whole life since I loved the Cure which has been since 1992. That’s right. It’s been a 16 year love affair! So the concert. First of all, we had great seats. They weren’t the best seats in the house, but they were still pretty awesome. The concert was at the Toyota Center, and we had floor seats. And they were right on the aisle, so I could stand in the walk way and have a fantastic view of Robert and the gang. The set list was so great. It was a mix of all the albums I love. They played a ton of old stuff…most of my favorites. It was really cool when they played Pictures of You. Everyone was singing along. It was like the whole stadium was singing. Even Jay said that he knew many of the songs. And there were a lot of them! The band played for 3 hours. The encores were the best! They were definitely my favorite part of the show. They had three of them, and during the last two, they played about half the songs from Boys Don’t Cry. It was so much fun. I just couldn’t stop dancing. I think Jay had fun too! The lighting was also really cool. During a few of the songs, they had these twinkle lights glowing that just made the place magical! Here is the set list:

Intro (Adagio For Strings), Out Of This World, Want, Fascination Street, A Night Like This, The End of the World, Lovesong, A Boy I Never Knew, Pictures Of You, Lullaby, Maybe Someday, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, The Perfect Boy, Kyoto Song, Hot Hot Hot, The Only One, The Blood, Sleep When I’m Dead, Push, How Beautiful You Are, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, A Letter To Elise, Us Or Them, One Hundred Years, Bloodflowers

1st encore: Plainsong, Disintegration
2nd encore: Boys Don’t Cry, Jumping Someone Else’s Train, Grinding Halt, 10:15 Saturday Night, Killing An Arab
3rd encore: A Forest

So after such a great show, I went to work on Tuesday to see where else they are going on this tour. It turns out that they are going to be in Charlotte, NC while we are in Tennessee. It’s only four short hours away from Gatlinburg. I asked Jay if we could go, and he said no. But I’m still asking. I think we should. What do you all think? 🙂

Radiohead

The following weekend, we tried to take it easy. We went over to my parents house on Friday for my mothers birthday, we had dinner and cake, and jumped in their hot tub. The rest of the weekend, we spent resting and laying around. It was our first weekend in a while we didn’t have to do anything. Well we did have a concert on Saturday night.

Saturday was the Radiohead concert. It was at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion in the Woodlands. We had lawn seats and sat pretty far in the back. It was nice and cool though, and the concert was awesome. The stage was set up with suspended LED lights in a tubes, which were in a giant grid over the stage. Each song set a different mood with its colors and lighting effects. It was a perfect night of relaxing to some Radiohead. Amazingly at one point we saw a shooting star fall directly over the pavillion. It looked like it came right along with the music. It was pretty awesome, and a lot of people saw it.

Deal or No Deal

We just got back from my parents house, and I just have to make a post now.  We went over there to celebrate Gwendolyn’s birthday.  We also haven’t been there since they’ve installed their new Bullfrog Spa.  Let me tell you, its the king of hot tubs.  With 4 seats, and interchangeable jet packs on each seat, you can customize your own spa.  Another feature I enjoyed was the mood lighting.  You can set the underwater light to a number of settings, changing its color, or having it cycle through colors at varying speeds.  Finally after spending about an hour in the spa, they had to force me out.  I’m still so relaxed as I type this.

When we came back inside, my parents said that they had a game for us to play.  I couldn’t think of what they could be talking about, and as it was getting late, I hoped it was a fast game.  We sat around the new kitchen table and they bring out a bunch of folded index cards with numbers on them.  They then say we are going to play Deal or No Deal!  The game was set up so they had 10 index cards (the briefcases) numbered 1-10.  Inside each card they had written an amount from $1-$100. (1, 2, 5, 10, 20,25,40,50,75,100).  Whatever money we won, was going to be our anniversary present, as our 2nd year anniversary is next Tuesday.  So to pick our ‘briefcase’ I thought of using one of the #’s 4, 2 or 9 (4-29 our anniversary).  I didn’t like only being able to choose one of those 3.  So I combined them:  4+2=6; 9-6=3.  We took briefcase 3.  To pick our next cases we went with #2.  Inside was $75!.  ouch.  Each turn my dad was playing Host, and the Banker.  My parents say he is really good at guessing what the banker will offer on the show.  I’d like to know how they come up with the bank offers myself. The banker offered us $22 on the first round.  No Deal.  the game then went as follows:

  1. Opened case #4 = $50! Banker offered $17.  No Deal.
  2. Opened case #9 = $40! Banker offered $24.  No Deal. We just lost 3 top amounts. 🙁
  3. Opened case #8 = $2! Banker offered $27.  No Deal.
  4. Opened case #10 = $10! Banker offered $36.  No Deal.
  5. Opened case #6 = $25! Banker offered $38.  No Deal.
  6. Opened case #7 = $1! Banker offered $55.  No Deal. It started to get more tempting now, and we had to debate if we should try one more time.
  7. Opened case #5 = $5! Banker offered $75.

Now there was only case #1 and #3.  With the amounts of 20 or 100.  Although my parents did not know what was in what case, I saw my dad try to sneak a peak into case #1.  At this point he was saying we shouldn’t take the deal.  I just couldn’t decide if I should trust him or not.  He might be wanting us to win, or he might be trying to save himself some money! 🙂  I said I would rather lose $25 and take the deal, then to lose $55.  So we took the deal at $75!  As it turns out, we should have listened to my dad, as we held the winning briefcase!  What a fun game of deal or no deal.  That was way better than watching it on tv, even if they added dramatic pauses, and it was for much less.  We still had a great time getting 75 bucks!  Thanks mom and dad!

Games vs Violence

I was going to put this in for this weeks links, but I think its too good for it not to have its own post.  Here we have the best graph ever made:

Games vs Violence

And the data that backs it up: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/viortrdtab.htm

I don’t think much more needs to be said, but this digg quote:

“If this trend continues, Crime might be non-existent by the time Nukem Forever is released…”

Flying Dragons

Game talk time. Amazingly in exactly one month since I received my last netherwing dragon for Melyne, I now have a 2nd netherwing dragon for Zuria! This time around I went with Onyx. I’m amazed by how fast the gold came for my epic flying mount, and how fast the reputation grind went. I did the grind in 12 days or so, the secret is in the netherwing eggs.

Unfortunately, while trying to get my other netherwing, I’ve slacked off in my other gaming. I was playing both Super Mario Galaxy and Bioshock for a while, but they slipped off the schedule. I think it’s time to put them back on, and I’m going to start with Bioshock.

Concerts, Ghosts, and Wizards

This had to be one of the best weekends in a long time. It started Thursday night after work. We heard Jake, Beth, and Brian were going to have some friends over and play Rock Band. We wanted to do something fun and get dressed up as rock stars for the party. So Thursday night we planned our outfits and had them ready to go for Friday. Gwendolyn and I both got off work early, and we really needed that extra time, as we had to make a pit stop to Hot Topic to pick up a few accessories, before taking off to Austin. Close to Austin we pulled over in a rest stop to get into our Rock Star garb. When we arrived at their house, we weren’t entirely sure how many people would be there, and if anyone else would be dressed up. As it turns out, there was quite a few people there, and we were the only ones that dressed up. It was all good though, as everyone loved our costumes, and soon Beth and Andrea joined us wearing wigs and capes.

Saturday we went out for breakfast to North by Northwest. The food was great, and afterwards we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day, we headed over to a park. We went to Mayfield Park, which we soon saw was also home to beautiful peacocks. They really are some of the most magnificent birds. Their colors are just so vibrant, its just amazing.

The rest of the day we just tried to relax. We played some more Rock Band of course. We then tried to have dinner at the Hula Hut, but found it too crowded. Plan B lead us to P. Terry’s, which is a drive through hamburger joint, that had some awesome hamburgers, fries and shakes. I will definitely be going back there next time. After food, we went back to the house and got ready for the concert.

Since the Austin Music Hall was fairly close, we decided to walk it. We got there in time to see the opening band, Ours, which wasn’t too bad. The worse part about the concert was then having to wait another hour for Manson to come on. On top of that, about 30mins into waiting, they turned off all the lights, which made everyone think the show was going to start, and so the mob pushed forward. Now for the other 30mins, we were tightly packed together with no room to move. Gwendolyn didn’t like that very much so she had to head to the back, while I stayed with Jake Beth and Brian. Finally the curtain fell and the show started. Although Manson’s set list could have been better, I still enjoyed the show, and watching the people. It always amazes me the diversity of people that listen to his music. After the show we walked back, and stopped to get some ice cream at Amy’s. When we arrived back at the house, we had a few drinks and played some more Rock Band.

For some reason, Sunday we woke up not feeling too well, with headaches and body aches and I had no idea why. 😉 We decided to try and have brunch at South Congress Cafe. We had a long wait, so we walked up Congress St, and into a few shops and stopped and got some coffee to tide us over. The menu sounded delicious and it held up, as the food was great. When we got back to the house, we rested a bit more, and finally started to pack it up. We said our good bye’s and headed home. :'(

Arriving back home, we unloaded everything and tried to rest and relax for the rest of the night. I had one mission though, and that was to finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, to which I succeeded. So far it’s my favorite book of the series. So much has happened in it, I can’t wait to see what’s coming. Tonight I’ll have to start book 5.

As if the weekend wasn’t enough excitement. Brian messaged me Monday asking if I’ve heard the latest Nine Inch Nails news. It turns out Trent just released a full album of instrumental songs called Ghosts online! He released it in multiple formats, and is only charging $5 for all 36 tracks. Although you can listen the entire album online for free. It also released under the Creative Commons License, which allows you to share, and remix his music. The music industry is changing, and I believe you will see more and more bands do the same as Trent.

Sorry we don’t have any pictures. My camera finally decided to die at the party Friday night. However, Beth did get some good pictures and a video, which you must see. I’ll make a post with those links as soon as I get them.

Upcoming Weekend

So this weekend Gwendolyn and I are going to head to Austin to see Marilyn Manson. While there we will be staying with Jake, Beth & Brian. I hear they have already organized a Rock Band party for our arrival! I also believe that they just released 3 Nine Inch Nails songs for it, which I am also excited about.

On a random note, I was just checking the weather in Austin, and I thought I would share a new site to check the weather. Its SimpleWeather.com. Its absolutely wonderful. Its quick, easy to read, has the information you need, and non obtrusive ads. Actually there are no ads at this time. You can enter your zip on the main page, or access your zip directly by going to www.simpleweather.com/<insert zipcode>.