Monday, August 29, 2005

Back To Reality

There's a silence surrounding me
I can't seem to think straight
I'll sit in the corner
No one can bother me
I think I should speak now
I can't seem to speak now
My words won't come out right
I feel like I'm drowning
I'm feeling weak now
But I can't show my weakness
I sometimes wonder
Where do we go from here

I suspect listening to Pink Floyd can bring on the doldrums in most people, so I've probably done this to myself, but I'm having one of those kinds of days, and I think this sums it up perfectly.

Back at work today, vacation's over. It wasn't too bad when you consider it was a Monday back at work after a week off, and there's catching up with work, with what's been going on at work, etc, etc.... In addition to the usual work stuff, the weather this morning and the news of Hurricane Katrina's havoc down on the Gulf Coast are all probably contributing factors as well.

As usual, I'm sure it will clear up in time. They usually don't last too long. If nothing else, the Shadowbox Mike Nelson show on Wednesday should help. Looking forward to that quite a bit, and I'm really happy they wound up selling out the first show.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Mind Is Willing But The Wallet Is Weak

Went to Lunchbox today at Shadowbox. It was, of course, a good time. They had a really good sized crowd for a lunchbox, which was great to see. Apparently they're trying to get folks in for the show tonight though - a couple different Sboxers asked us if we were coming back tonight. They were even offering $10 tickets, which is a good deal for a Friday night show...

I'll admit, I'm a huge addict and was sorely tempted... but Amy convinced me that we need to be good, so I've got to go with the voice of reason on this one.

We're still going next Wednesday for the Mike Nelson show. They added a second showing of it on Thursday (my birthday)... if anyone is having trouble thinking of what to get me for my birthday, I could be tempted to go two nights in a row... ;)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thursday Already?

I can't believe it's Thursday already. This week has flown by, and even though we haven't done anything all that big, it's been a nice break. And we still have tomorrow and the weekend, then three-day weekend after that too. Fun stuff.

Yesterday we went to COSI to check out the Titanic exhibit. We've been hoping to try and go with some other folks, but unfortunately schedules just weren't working out, and the exhibit's run is almost over, so we went ahead and took advantange of a vacation day to check it out. I can't believe how crowded it was for a weekday -- I mean, I guess school isn't in session yet, but don't all those adults have to work? There were actually more adults there than kids I think. Anyway, it was a great exhibit -- I can't believe they managed to pull up and preseve that stuff after almost 90 years on the ocean floor. The whole passport thing is really cool too - going in, they give you a boarding pass with the name and vitals of one of the real passengers, including what class they were travelling, what their room number was (if known), etc. At the end they have a list of all the passengers, broken down by 1st class, 2nd class, 3rd class, and crew, and whether or not they survived -- so you can see how your person fared. I was Isidor Straus, owner of Macy's department store, traveling with wife, maid, and "manservant". Traveling in 1st class, naturally... but I didn't make it. Amy was someone in 2nd class, and she survived along with her two daughters... It's kind of grim, but a fun little feature. The opulence of the first class cabins was insane... as was the ticket price: adjusted to about $70,000 per ticket equivalent. Ugh. Even third class ( "steerage") adjusted comes out to around $600. Just nuts.

Today was almost entirely slugging around, which was just fine for me. I got in lots of good CoH time, which was fun, though I'm sad because almost everyone I normally play with has gotten an invite to the City of Villains beta-test, and I have not... Ah well. We did go out to dinner at a local Greek place named Tria which the Fishes turned us onto. Fun stuff -- got the saganaki (which was funny because our waitress was so obviously not into the flaming thing... she looked really nervous). Amy had the house specialty (which I don't even remember the real name of), I had the SpanaGyroPita (like a Spanakopita only with gyro meat added), and we had the "Galactic Burrito" for dessert. Mmm...

Tomorrow we're doing the lunchbox show at Shadowbox (surprise, surprise)...

Monday, August 22, 2005

I'm On Va-Caaaa-Shun

Amy & I are off all this week, getting some much needed relaxation in before the fall quarter rush starts for me and the fall travelling season starts for her. We're not going anywhere or doing anything in particular, but right about now slugging around the house for a week sounds like a great time.

Really got started on the slugging around thing this weekend -- we didn't do a whole heck of a lot. We did wind up seeing the remake of The Longest Yard at the Screens. Here's where I sadly must admit that I've never seen the original... I've heard many good things about it, but have yet to see it. I guess I'll have to do that sometime. The remake wasn't bad. It was an Adam Sandler/Chris Rock comedy, so it can't be all bad -- and it was actually a good step up from the complete brainless humor of a lot of Adam Sandler movies. It was funny seeing all the people playing players or guards in the movie - Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Brian Bosworth...

Also yesterday we went to Blendon Woods, one of the Metro Parks in the area. If you haven't checked them out, it's really worth visiting some of the local Metro Parks. They have some really nice places with great trails, some fun wildlife to see, etc. Blendon Woods is a particularly nice one with some awesome wooded trails, and it also has Thoreau Pond, home to the Walden Waterfowl Refuge. At the moment thanks to our draught it's looking pretty lame (they lower the water level in August anyway, and the draught has left it pretty raw)... It's also got a cool disc golf course for those of you into that.

Today we checked out Glacier Ridge, another park. This one is in Dublin and actually only opened a couple years ago in 2002. It used to be farmland and they're converting it back to wetlands and small woods. It's a really neat concept, and the little wetland area is kind of nice, with a cool wooden boardwalk running through it. The trails there are pretty lame, however -- they're almost all paved for mixed use (biking, hiking, pets, etc), and they go through mostly fields where you can see 161, local barns and houses, etc... just doesn't feel very parklike. One really cool thing though was all the meadows and fields there were lots of butterflies to see...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Random Crap

Working orientation this morning. Only a couple minutes before I've gotta head over, but I want to throw out a couple links...

If you're tired of the election nonsense from '00 and '04, then here's your candidate for 2008.

People like this [video] is why gaming/comic/sci-fi conventions are always seen as nerd fests, or "nerd prom" as Warren Ellis puts it.

I was so excited to use this pun yesterday, then I forgot! Anyway, yesterday was the anniversary of the day Japan surrendered in WWII. So happy VJ day!

Monday, August 15, 2005


So last night was Gigantour in Cleveland, and it did NOT disappoint. Doors opened at 2:30pm, and the show was at Tower City Amphitheater, which neither of us were familiar with... so we got on the road at about a quarter till 11. We made really good time heading up, even with stopping at a DQ for some lunch and got there in time to be very near the front of the line to get in. They let us in around 2:40pm, but then the actual "tent" (the main part of the venue) was roped off until around 3pm.

I checked out the merch -- they had a pretty good selection, including some really choice Megadeth shirts, but I've already blown too much cash on concerts and such this month, so I passed. If they had had a really cool Nevermore shirt maybe...

First up was Bobaflex, which I had heard of, but hadn't heard anything by, other than one song I downloaded from their web site to try and get a preview. I have to say I definitely enjoyed them - the music was pretty good, and they were hysterical -- a very goofy, entertaining set. I think I'll have to pick up some of their stuff - it was fun. After them was Dry Kill Logic, which I hadn't even known was on the tour until we got there. They... weren't so good. They'd have fit in really well with all the craptastic second stage bands at Ozzfest. Then Symphony X -- unfortunately there were some serious time problems and setup problems, and they only got to do THREE SONGS! It was really terrible because not only were the spot on, but the crowd really got into them - they had a great reaction, which was very enheartening. After that came Nevermore -- they were awesome. I've been wanting to see Nevermore live for quite some time, and it was worth the wait... though again, their set got cut a little short and they only did FOUR songs. Bleh. Two of the songs were off their new album, which I really need to pick up. Dillenger Escape Plan is very much a hardcore band, and they weren't really like anything else there... very loud, high-energy, chaotic... noise. Not my thing at all, but they were really energetic on stage, and got a small crowd whipped up pretty well. Fear Factory also had a fairly short set, but they were SOLID. I saw them back in '97 on Ozzfest, so it was cool to see them again. They seemed to win over a lot of folks as well.

Then came the two headliners. Dream Theater, who I was seeing for the second time, came first. They played around 1.5 hours, a really good set with some serious highlights, including "Under A Glass Moon" (during which the singer James LaBrie's pants ripped open pretty wide in the back, prompting the drummer to ask if the song was called "Under An Ass Moon"...), "Home", and some good stuff off their new album as well. They're awesome musicians and it was awesome to watch. Worth noting is that at this point I was only one row back from the front barricades, or about 15 feet away from the bands. AWESOME. After a very solid set, they came back out and did "Pull Me Under" as an encore~! That was so awesome to see live. The thing about Dream Theater is that they change their set lists a LOT, almost never doing the same set two nights in a row... and are definitely NOT one of those bands that play the same 5-10 songs in EVERY show... so seeing them do "Pull Me Under" live was QUITE a treat.

Finally, Megadeth finished off the show. This was really "Megadave", since the rest of the band are all new folks, but they still ripped up the stage with a great show, including some pretty cool pyro. They hit pretty much ALL the Megadeth classics, as well as playing a good amount of stuff off the new album. The only disappointing thing (and in reading some forums, I wasn't the only one who thought so) was that the mix was pretty bad, and the vocals were pretty muddy and overwhelmed by the drums and guitar.

So after the show, we headed out, got back on the road pretty quickly, and made it home around 1:40am. All things considered, not bad at all! Somehow I even managed to get my ass awake and in to work today, and am actually still doing pretty well even now.

Good times.

For anyone that cares, I'll include all the bands and setlists in a comment, so check the comments.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Crazy Turnout

Man, we had a great turnout last night. Amy had invited over a ton of the res-life crowd, and literally everyone she invited showed up, including spouses and babies and all. It was a little chaotic at first, with two little babies, two one year olds and two 4-5ish boys along with all the adults, but after everyone got settled in, it was a good time. One of those things where there's so much going on that you can't really talk to everyone at once.

Today's been a pretty lazy day. Can't complain about that at all -- it's nice to have a break and just sit around and relax. Going to go over and help my parents with their wireless network later on -- fun fun.

In other news, I made our reservations for Mike Nelson @ Shadowbox Friday. It's just me, Amy, Pat & Cindy so far, but if any of you change your mind, it's not too late - just give them a call and make reservations, asking that you be connected to us. (We've got floor seats). You know you want to -- it'll be a good time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Certifiable, Rockstar

Well, according to my test yesterday, I am now an HDI-certified help desk manager. Fun stuff. Just to clarify, this is just a certification thing, not a new job or anything like that (though it does go well with my changing job). Thought that was a fun little note.

If you're still not watching Rockstar after all my recommendations, shame on you. Last night was another great night of performances (to make up for the slightly subpar set last week), and as more chaff gets weeded out, more and more awesome performances remain to be seen. What you REALLY need to do is go to this page and watch the video of Jordis doing "The Man Who Sold The World". It's freaking unbelievable. I need to get a copy of that song... they DO sell the tracks, but unfortunately it's only in DRM'd Windows Media format, so screw that. Warning though -- to watch the video you have to use IE and Windows Media Player. Bastages.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fair Thee Well

Been a pretty good weekend so far, I think. Friday night we went to the new Rave Motion Pictures theater up by Polaris and saw Must Love Dogs. The theater was just "enh" - for some reason, I was really interested in checking it out, but it's just another theater - more garish and loud along the lines of a Cinemark (especially the one at Carriage Place). And they serve coke. Don't need to rush back there any time soon, though the convenient location does give us another option when looking for last minute movies. I still think it's opening doesn't bode well for Marcus or Crosswoods as a whole. The movie -- well, it was Amy's pick, so I can't complain. It picked up at the end a bit, at least.

Saturday Irene & Jeremy came up and we hit-up the Ohio State Fair. Headed straight for the Ohio Food Pavillion and got the gyros -- much better this year, worthy of reclaiming the World's Best title, I think. Ironically, they had a banner up indiciating that it won best sandwich last year. Not sure how that happened, unless we just went on a really bad day. Here's my checklist:
  • Ohio Food Pavillion gyro
  • Roast Sweet Corn
  • Deep fried something (twinkie, in this case)
  • Fair fries
  • Lemon Shake-up
Man, that's good stuff.

In other news, I'm totally psyched to see Mike Nelson at Shadowbox -- he's up next in their Celebrity Series. I think we'll be sitting on the floor (though NOT in a VIP table). Anyone interested in going with us?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Doing Much Better Today

Well, apparently the two layers of sunscreen didn't let me down as badly as I thought - day two following Ozzfest and I'm doing much better. Still a little hoarse, still a hair sore, and the burn through my hair on the top of my head is a little rough, but still , can't complain.

As for a little more detail on Ozzfest... the bulk of the day was the second stage, with bands performing there from 9am - 4pm. We missed the first band entirely, primarily because I was an idiot and forgot to bring the tickets the first time leaving the house. Thankfully Mike asked before we headed into the parking lot. We did get there in time to see Wicked Wisdom, fronted by none other than Jada Pinkett-Smith. Yes, a metal band. Yes, she sings (kind of). She even threw in some growls. I have to give her credit for being up there in front of all those raving metal fans, but really, to be honest, it wasn't very good. The music was uninspired and her vocals were VERY limited. The real question is WHY?

I covered the major band highlights last time, but I didn't mention that the people watching was pretty entertaining in itself. There was a pretty wide selection of folks -- typical metal heads, younger hardcore kids, older biker-types, and a very surprising number of women, including lots of younger women and girls -- I guess the MTV2 hardcore bands pack in a good mix. Crowd-wise, there were your moshpits (though I only saw one bloody nose) - I managed to avoid those, though we did wind up on the edge of one at first. There was LOTS of crowd-surfing... of almost all types. There was lots of idiocy and smelly people, a good amount of women flashing their breasts (including a surprising number of folks who had their breasts painted at the body painting booth and went topless for the rest of the day/night), and of course, LOTS of drunk people. So much craziness... I wish I'd brought one of those disposable cameras and taken some pics, but it would've been just one more thing to lug around and keep track of all day...

Maiden definitely put on the best show of the day... if you enjoy heavy metal at all, do yourself a favor and try to catch an Iron Maiden live show before it's too late...

Some random links I've been looking at lately...
  • A couple interesting looking pages that I haven't done anything with yet, but could be neat diversions -- 43 Things and BookCrossing.
  • A fun but very simple turn-based zombie game, Urban Dead.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Still Sore, Now Burned & Hoarse

So Mike & I were at Polaris yesterday for Ozzfest just over 12 hours, and standing in 90+ degree weather under the naked sun for the vast majority of that. It was STUPID hot, and the crowd combined with the movement combined with the unrelenting sun was rough.

Oh, and Ozzy cancelled, which meant no Sabbath, which meant one less band, though Maiden did a little extra as a result.

Still, despite the downsides (which resulted in a pretty good sunburn despite two layers of sunblock), it was a good show. I really enjoyed seeing Soilwork and especially Black Label Society. Other highlights were Rob Zombie and of course, Iron Maiden, who I believe does the best live show I've ever seen -- even a stripped down version which wasn't meant to be the headlining act.

Gotta go - might write more on the show later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sore and Cranky

Well, it was a pretty eventful weekend, but as usual it taxes my memory just to think of what I did only a few days ago. I know Friday we got out of training a little early, and I used the jump-start on the weekend to get the yard work done. It wasn't quite as oppressive heat-wise Friday afternoon as the last time I mowed, so that was nice. After Amy got home we went out to Quaker Steak & Lube for dinner, then did the (ooooo) grocery shopping. I can tell you're excited by the thrill-a-minute life here. ;)

Saturday we took it easy for the most part, but we did take the dogs (PQ and Emma) to the pet trail at Highbanks. It was still wicked hot, but we did a good portion of the trail. If we'd had more water with us we might've done the full thing, but between us and the dogs we went through our limited supply pretty quick. Emma was also being a little frustrating in that she kept finding interesting scents and locking on them, either staying put and not moving without some serious coaxing, or trying to head off into the brush... This was her first walk with us in a trail-environ like that, so I'm sure she'll get better...

Sunday was the big day, as Amy & I helped Randy and Heather move into their new place. Of course, all three apartments were on the 2nd floor (and the new place has a 3rd floor/attic to boot). So yeah, LOTS of stairs, lots of heavy crap, etc. Thankfully we also had lots of people. A full gang of folks showed up, and they rented a truck, and they were mostly packed, so it went very smoothly. The sheer amount of stuff took two trips with the truck, but it was a good time. They bought us pop and pizza, so I can't complain. The best part was Heather's HUGE couch - there was no way it was going in through the winding stairs or narrow kitchen... so the only option was lifting it into the balcony. It didn't look possible, but somehow they stood it on end (on the railing for the porch) and we hauled it up and over into the balcony. Good times.

So today I'm sore, I get a late start (but thankfully wasn't TOO late to work), and my boss moves my performance review which was scheduled for this morning. I don't really enjoy the performance management process, so it irks me when I get geared up for it and then it doesn't happen... Blech.

Ozzfest tomorrow. More soreness to come on Wednesday.