Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Something has changed in me. After years of sedentary living, I have not-so-suddenly become an outdoorsman again. Last year, we went camping and I bought a bicycle. I buy my clothes at Cabela's. I yearn to get back outside and enjoy nature. But it's not just a sudden interest in doing things outdoors that has made me feel this way. The feeling came over me yesterday when my friend Rob was asking me when the gaming convention Gen Con was being held. I quickly replied with the dates because I am planning on going camping while attending. I've been to Gen Con many times and enjoyed myself every time. But suddenly I was thinking that all in all, I don't even know what I would do at the convention. I really don't plan on participating in any games while there. There may be a few interesting products to read, like the Wild Cards books that Mutants & Masterminds have begun to publish. But other than that, I have no plans at all beyond camping and going out to lunch with my friends at the various high quality restaurants in Indianapolis. What would I do for four days of a convention? I'll still go, because I want to be with my friends and do stuff with them, but the gaming part just holds no interest for me.
My last face-to-face gaming experience was really weird. We played a Mutants & Masterminds campaign that I thought went really well for an inital 12-run campaign, which got extended by circumstance to 13 runs, and then...nothing. No word, no hint at when or even if we'd ever play it again. I sent the gamemaster an email complimenting him on the game and received no reply. I guess that chapter in my life is closed. No one seems to want to run a game that I play in, so maybe it's me. So it goes.
I've been playing City of Heroes for almost five years now, and last night I unregistered my account. I went in to play for an hour with my buddies, and I just could not take the monotony of the game itself. Chatting was fun, but when the conversation turned to what the game developers have been doing to improve the game, my eyes glassed over and I tuned most of it out. I'd rather talk about just about anything than the game itself. To me it has just become a vehicle to maintain contact with my friends, which I don't want to lose, but I don't see the game as any fun at all any longer.
I was really excited about the new Champions Online game coming out this spring, but now I just can't see myself spending time on that when there is so little time available to me to spend with my family and on the big project I've been working on. Time is at such a premium that I'd rather spend it actually making something. I've been relearning some of my artistic skills so that I can be a more direct contributor to the art on my book. One of my colleagues, who has published a book series, told me that a publisher will hire an artist for me if they like the idea. I really don't want to do that. I want to have more control than that. Even if I have to self-publish, I want the book to look better than the other, similarly formatted books from the educational publishers out there. My niece has been doing some art for me, but she's very busy with her college education and I don't want to add to her already full plate right now. This is something I want to pursue during retirement anyway, and there's no reason to hold off on it now. Hey, that's what I'll do during Gen Con. I'll hang out in Artists' Alley and pick up some pointers on art technique!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
All that changed today when I saw that the Tigers had their first spring training game and that it was going to be on XM satellite radio. I tuned in to channel 184 at 1:05 and felt happiness flood right back into my life! Even while at work I will keep my radio on, turned down low enough that the kids can't hear it and watch the display, which keeps track of the score, inning, and the number of outs. To hear the voices of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price brought me out of my funk faster than you can say Magglio Ordonez. I think it's definitely time for a roadtrip to get Sera her new Tigers outfit for this year!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Here it is. Since my first pictures folder is the one I use for my storing my blog images and they've already been used, I thought it was only fair to use the next folder instead. This is the 27th picture I took with my 35 mm Canon Rebel XT 8 megapixel SLR camera. I took it on May 14, 2005 at Covaleski Regional Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. I was taking pictures at a South Bend Silverhawks game. I think (but I'm way not sure) that this is Mark Reynolds, who now plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Man, I'm ready for baseball season.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Second, I need to work on my web presence. I have a deviantart.com account that has a few of my pictures up but I want to have more. I have dozens if not hundreds of pictures to add. I want to get some of my photographs up there, too. I need to get my eBay store restocked, too. I have some 50,000 comics that need to be sold and they're not selling themselves.
Just as I have written in my blog every day (some days I am more prolific than others, but I'm working 11 hour days and working out for an hour every morning, so time is limited) I think I want to try to discipline myself to draw something every day, too. Cory Walker, co-creator of Invincible, does this every day on his blog and I really enjoy seeing what he comes up with. Mike Wieringo used to do this every other day and I lived for what he did. Now that I have a scanner again, I can get my stuff online in a matter of five minutes.
I also want to read...just to sit down and read for a couple of hours. I just picked up three trade paperbacks of X-Men First Class, the newly-created adventures of the original five X-Men when they first formed the team. I got an oversized tabloid edition of the first four issues at Target last year and really liked them.
I need to watch tonight's episode of "Dollhouse" tomorrow morning while I ride my bike (I should be in the 290s by next week, down from a high of 340 last summer, by the way). I hope the second episode is better than the pilot. I like Joss Whedon, but the pilot left me a little flat. This whole exercising while watching TV thing has just been wonderful.
I need to get some dishes done, make pancakes for Sera's breakfast tomorrow, and cook on the grill. We got ground beef on sale at our butcher shop today, and I want to make the most of it.
You know, when all is said and done I really have a great life! Let's see what I can get done.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Speaking of EVOO, on Thursday night we had dinner at Carrabba's Italian Grill, and I was inspired by my appetizer to try something new. I picked up some bruschetta relish (tomato, red onion, garlic, and basil) and brushed hamburger buns with the olive oil and toasted them on the upper level of the grill. I spread mozzarella cheese on the burgers and covered them with the relish, and presto! We had Bruschetta Burgers.
Are you hungry yet?
Sunday, February 15, 2009
You know, I used to be an okay artist. I think I'll try drawing more!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I'm pretty sure Sera will be bright enough to be able to do payroll when she's old enough. Too bad I'll be retired by then.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Whenever this character would show up, her presence would invariably invite the chant for the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, hence the exclamation point behind her name in the picture.
Good grief, 1991 was long time ago!
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Players have been taking amphetamines and gulping coffee and everything else under the sun for DECADES. They have surgeries that didn't exist 120 years ago to extend their careers, too. Good grief, can we move on, please?
This is exciting to me on several levels. First of all, I feel healthier, with more energy than I've had in some time. Second, I know it's sustainable. It really isn't that hard to get on my bike in the morning and watch DVR-recorded shows from the night before. I've also learned enough about cooking over the past 20 years that I know how to prepare food that I both like and are not bad for me. Third, if I can get down to a 2XL shirt size, which I haven't worn since around 1993, I can save all kinds of money on clothes, not to mention the fact that it opens a world of possibilities because more types of clothes are available in that size. I'd really like to be able to wear a comic book t-shirt to a convention or a Tigers jersey that doesn't look like a hot air balloon to Comerica Park. It's also going to be easier to get camping gear, because 300 pounds seems to be the magic number as far as capacity for camp chairs, loungers, and bed frames.
I'm not sure what my ultimate goal will be. I've seen several sources that say that 210 pounds is the ideal weight for a large-framed man at my height. I've got bad news for these sources. I was 210 pounds when I graduated from high school and I was rail-thin. I think I'll just stick to the 2XL shirt size as my goal, no matter what the scale says.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
"That is pretty draconian — $500,000 is not a lot of money, (emphasis mine) particularly if there is no bonus,” said James F. Reda, founder and managing director of James F. Reda & Associates, a compensation consulting firm. “And you know these companies that are in trouble are not going to pay much of an annual dividend.”
Mr. Reda said only a handful of big companies pay chief executives and
other senior executives $500,000 or less in total compensation. He said such
limits will make it hard for the companies to recruit and keep executives, most
of whom could earn more money at other firms.
“It would be really tough to get people to staff” companies that are forced to impose these limits, he said.
“I don’t think this will work.”
Welcome to education...only divide your salary by 10, you poor baby. How will you ever manage to get by on only $500,000 per year of taxpayer money? I never complain about my salary, but I won't stand by and watch someone complain about making ten times my salary!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
The sketch (click to enlarge) is of my Champions character North Hawk. North Hawk was a member of a warrior race of bird people who resided deep in the forests in the upper peninsula of Michigan. He was transplanted to the Pacific Northwest (the setting of the game) and he was a whole lot of fun to play. He was part Hawkman, part Wolverine, and part Worf from Star Trek the Next Generation. I do a reasonable Worf impression, and I was always in grim, stoic character while playing this guy. He used tribal weapons made of fossilized stone on his hands. On his right hand, he used a stone cestus, and he wielded stone talons on his left. His belt buckle was a sharpened throwing weapon. And just to prove to the civilized world that he wasn't a savage, he carried a 9 mm Browning Hi-Power in a shoulder holster. I have very fond memories of playing this character!