28 12 2009


UPDATE: Yeah, no time to write for NaNoWriMo…

23 11 2009

Failure DeMotivational Poster


I’ll shelve the ideas and start fresh next year, but thanks for the encouragement.

For the meantime, brand me a failure, and I’ll hopefully have some bloggy goodness up later in the week!

Going Nowhere, Going Somewhere…*

12 10 2009

Between the craziness of life and the hectic schedule of a modern-day family, there comes a time when you need to get away.  To do something abnormal.  To break the cycle.  But in the economy of today, and with no ability to leave, what does one do?  Well, I will avoid the one word.  The word everyone uses now, when you’re going on vacation by staying?  😉

So that’s what my family is doing for the next couple days.  We’ve been planning a trip to Disney World for this week.  It was going to be awesome.  Due to the generosity and fortune of a friend, we were going to have a round-trip airfare, hotel, and Disney park vacation for this week, all for free.  The only thing we’d be paying for was food, souvenirs, and transportation in-town.  But then that fell through.  Just a couple weeks ago, to be exact.

So the wife and I were off work, we had taken the kids out of daycare/school…  We were still going out of our minds with stress and demands from life.  We needed to get away; to still vacate our lives for a bit.

“Why did God do this to us?”  I thought at first.  I mean, sure we couldn’t have asked for a better possibility (before it crumbled) but then again, we DIDN’T ask for it.  It was dropped in our laps.  It was an opportunity that simply doesn’t seem to happen to a guy like me.  We’re the ones left holding the check a lot.  And we’re okay with that most of the time.  We’re the ones that watch the other people’s kids while they do things that are fun and refreshing.  We’re the ones that work the extra shift to cover the vacationer.  We use our vacation time to go on missions trips and other service-oriented, non-restful things.  It was FINALLY going to be our turn!  And we were very excited.

And then it fell apart.  So yeah, I was a little bitter.  Not necessarily towards God, but with no direct person, who else was I mad at?  Just because I hadn’t named Him, doesn’t mean that I didn’t mean him.

I realized in a couple days (I’m not a saint) that God allowed us an opportunity.  An opportunity to not only overcome, but to unite as a family.  So no, we’re not going to Disney.  Frankly, the kids are too young to appreciate it much anyway.  It would be another vacation to them, not the special thing that my wife and I recognized it for…  So in that way it’s good.  We still have that ONE VACATION that will someday happen (or not) that can be held aloft as a family-owned dream.

Secondly, it gave my wife and I the opportunity to work together towards figuring out what to do with the week.  It gave us the chance to mourn our lost opportunity together, and to gain happiness as a couple, in finding the joy in this new opportunity.

So altogether, we’re not really going anywhere.  Sure, we’re getting a hotel for a couple nights, because we want to swim with our kids.  But we’re not going far.  In fact, we’re only about 20 minutes from home.  And we’ll still be taking our oldest to school tomorrow, and trying to get back in time for her school pictures on Thursday.  It’s not the grand journey we planned.  But sometimes, it’s not about where you go, but how you get there.   And for not going very far, we’ve come a long way.  I know for certain that I have.  And I’m looking forward to going nowhere, yet going somewhere.

*If you caught it, it was a Jesus Jones reference, from the song “Blissed”, off of the 1990 album “Doubt”.  The entire lyric of the song is appropriate, beautiful, and as follows:

if the sun shines today

i think i’ll stay here anyway
and if the world makes demands of me
then i’ll wait and see

it’s at times like these
i do what i please (do what i please)
and i’m pleased to say
it’s like i’ve always wanted to feel this way

blissed, blissed
when i’m going somewhere, going nowhere
blissed, blissed
when i’m going nowhere, going somewhere

no-one ever else could feel like this
i couldn’t settle for less than this

let the feel of the air wash over me
let the ground sink beneath my feet
and I expect so much more from today
than just a time between tomorrow and yesterday

blissed, blissed
when i’m going nowhere, going somewhere
blissed, blissed
when i’m going somewhere, going nowhere

there’ll be a time when all my dreams come to and end
when i’ll run out of postcards for you all to send
but i’ll keep with me
all the things i feel and see

blissed, blissed
when i’m going somewhere, going nowhere
blissed, blissed
when i’m going nowhere, going somewhere

(Get Jesus Jones’ “Doubt” on Amazon here for under $3.00, shipped!)

Randomness (+1)

7 10 2009

DorkMasters Logo beta 1

So yeah.  I’m willing to bet no one is checking this anymore, so any audience I had, I’ve lost.   Then again, if anyone’s RSS-feeding, then this will definitely surprise you.  So if you’re that person:  Hey there.  Gotcha.

But…It’s been a while.  Let me explain what’s been stopping me from writing:

I’m LAZY.  Sure, it’s not just that, because I’ve got SO MANY ideas, that honestly, I don’t know where to begin.  But more than that, I’m just too indecisive and unmotivated to choose one and just plunge into the topic, and damn the rest.  But I’m here, so I’m trying to get that started again.

Let me tell you what’s on my mind lately, in no particular order, and with no agenda whatsoever.  But with the idea that if I purge my brain a bit, perhaps something will dislodge and allow my brain to think in a logical, (semi)concise manner and allow something noteworthy to come out next time on this blog:

So first off, I’m shopping for a new podcast.  As I like to listen to podcasts while working, driving, doing dishes (man, it’s tough without a podcast), laundry, or just to wind down before bed, I prefer something in audio-only form.  Video podcasts are awesome, but I’m finding about 20 minutes to be my cut-off.  I rarely have 20 minutes to sit and watch something (meaning ZERO multitasking) so audio fits the niche well, by being something I can focus on, while still doing something other than holding the iPod, or generally not distracting me while driving. 🙂  So any suggestions would be great.  I think I’ve listed podcasts I listened to previously, but just to avoid suggestions of the heavy hitters, I already do:

This American Life, Radio Lab, 1UP’s Listen Up, Rebel FM, Out Of The Game, and A Life Well Wasted (The last being very rare, but AWESOME…check it out, if you haven’t yet.  It’s Geek culture with This American Life/Radio Lab treatment.  Amazing stuff.).

So, yeah, suggestions welcome there.

Next on the non-agenda: I’m thinking of retrogaming.  I want to play something I haven’t yet (or never finished), but have no idea.  Preferably something from the Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo era, although I’m not against going 8-bit either.  Again, suggestions welcome.  My typical genres are RPGs (fave on Genesis: Shadowrun, and SNES: Final Fantasy III), but I’m up for anything if it’s considered certified gold by you fine folk. 🙂

Combining the previous two, I’m considering (without much detail yet) creating a podcast that would be bi-weekly or even monthly (let’s be realistic, right?) talking all thinks dork, (video games, retro games, movies, webcomics, Geek television, etc.) and getting some fun people to talk.  The point being that while there’d be a topic or semi-structure intended with each podcast, that the people would be the focus, and that the personalities would be the most important thing.  So if we got off topic, but it was fun and interesting, then by all means, that’s where it goes.  (I’ve found those to be my favorite types, next to the super-slickly-produced works of art like ALWW, TAL and RadioLab.)  So yeah, I’m considering calling it “Dorkmasters” which to me is funny because 1) the nom de cyberspace “dorkmaster” is one I’ve used for years, and 2) it makes me think of “Bassmasters” which was a hugely popular and terribly boring (if you’re me) fishing show.  So, Dorkmasters would be similar.  Only interesting if you’re into our particular brand of geekery, but if the shoe fits, put LEDs on it and make it transform into a cool gun or something.  I don’t know if that last analogy fits, but you get the point.  (Or you don’t, in which case, Dorkmasters probably isn’t for you.)

Finally,  since OtakuMom won a LCD TV for our living room last year, I’ve dreamed of a linux box that would allow me to stream hulu and other online video to my TV, so I wouldn’t have to drag my wife to the computer for our weekly Office watching, or to watch Netflix streaming (which is amazing).

Eventually, I hope to remove the need to have cable, with all the internet content.  Saving, hopefully, some money.  (Although I’d still be paying Comcast for the internet, so yeah…)

I’ve got two old (OOOOOOoooold) crappy eMachines Pentium machines that I’m hoping to hybrid into that machine, and I’ve even gotten an Ubuntu install disc, but I can’t get the darn thing to install correctly.  But then again, time being what it is for an OtakuDad these days, I’ve not spent more than a couple hours on the project yet.  But I’ll definitely update once that’s something more than a half-cooked idea.

Soooooo…  Yeah, wasn’t that worth reading?  No.  Well, you did anyway.  And I told you I’d probably say “gotcha” to you.  So once more, Gotcha.  Ideas and comments welcome, and I’ll hope to write more.  This was fun.  Although I want a little more structure next time (I’m sure you do as well).

See you soon (hopefully), intertubes.


Confess, Re-Dedicate, Pray, Repeat.

27 05 2009

Here’s the deal.  I’m going to lay it out for you all right now, and in the open for all to see.  Because it’s what needs to happen.  Frankly, it needs to happen for everyone that calls themselves sons or daughters of God.  It needs to happen before you go to youth group, before you go to church, before you go to bible study, or really we should do it again and again, before we lay down before bed, and before we get up out of bed for our days to begin, and probably throughout our day as well…

So what the heck am I talking about.  I’m talking about confession, re-dedication, and prayer.  I hate talking like this, but I’m going to add one more preface here:  This isn’t about being public so people will see me.  And it’s not about “earning God” because nothing I can do is worthy of God.  And anything in public that I do, is probably worth even that little bit less.  But it’s late at night, my wife is in bed, and I’ve got no one to share with.  So it’s going to be you.  Sorry about that. 🙂

So yeah, let’s start with confession. Read the rest of this entry »

Yeah, I know…

9 04 2009

It’s been a while.  But given the impending death of a cat known for more than half my wife’s life, preparations for Good Friday and Easter, I’ve been a little busy.  Trust me, you all are not the only ones wondering about my writing…(sorry, Heather!)

But after Easter, I’m pretty sure you can expect something very soon.  In the meantime, imagine me as both people in the above picture, and enjoy these other failures as well:

Read the rest of this entry »

Early Adoption Xbox Live Issues

3 03 2009

Xbox Live DeadSo, if you were fortunate enough as me to get an original Xbox (not the 360, but the “last-gen” version) close to launch of the Xbox Live service, and signed up for Live right away (like me, back in 2001), then you didn’t have a Windows Live ID associated with your Gamertag, because WINDOWS LIVE ID DIDN’T YET EXIST.

Yet, despite multiple calls to Xbox customer service when trying to recover said (still paid for, yet unused for years) account, they keep asking for my Windows Live ID…To this, I say GRRRRRRR…. 

I’ve been told it’s been fixed.  I’ve been told it’s being escalated.  I’ve been told it’s being investigated.  I’ve been on the phone with outsourced Indian call-centers for hours.  I’ve said the same story multiple times.  No one seems to want to stray from the script long enough to understand!  

And when I ask “I understand that you’ve helped as much as you can now.  What I’d like to then do, is cancel my Xbox live account, and due to zero activity since December (when my account last renewed) I’d like to be refunded that amount, so I can start fresh with a new Gamertag and new subscription, without paying twice.”  I’m then told that this is not possible.  

The funny thing is I can still get on Live on my old Xbox.  It’s working fine.

So Live has my info.  They just can’t figure out how to migrate things from old Xbox to now, if I was such an early adopter that I never had a Windows Live ID.  Now, I did have a “Microsoft Passport” account.  But that won’t let me log in anymore.  I still have my email from when I started the account.  But my login info apparently expired due to inactivity, and now I’m in accounting limbo.  

I know I’m in the minority here, because I early adopted Xbox and Xbox Live back in the day, and yet didn’t get a 360 with online access until, well, today, yet NEVER cancelled my service (essentially throwing away over $200 in the process, since I booted up Live perhaps 5 times on the old Xbox in the last 3 years).  But still, you’d think somewhere in their troubleshooting guides, they’d have my situation.  They’d at least be able to say “Yeah, you’re screwed.  We didn’t plan on this, and here’s what we’re going to do for you now to get you online.”  But instead, they keep escalating (when they’re not saying the issue is resolved, erroneously), keep putting me on hold, and keep pretending these people answering the phones at 1oPM central time are simply people with heavy Indian accents from say, Dubuque.

A happy man is not me.  I’ll keep you updated on anything I learn from this experience in the future.