Monday, July 30, 2007

Status Update

So, where are we now? Hopefully out of the woods. But to get out, I'll need to lead you on a long path from topic to topic, so bear with me. Or skip ahead. Whatever tickles your pickle.

I've finally finished all of my assignments for my last week of class (Managerial Communications). I still have another week of posting and responding to do, but the writing is done and turned in. The professor was, well, a bag of hot air. I could get more information form a pile of shit in the street than from this guy. But my fellow students were great and I learned a lot from them. I'll be sitting out the next couple of months due to the pending baby and lack of money and will start again in October.

Well, really only one wedding, but anyways. A good friend of ours gets married this weekend. We both want to go, but neither of us feel comfortable being that far from the doctor if the baby decides to come early. So, we're sitting tight and playing it safe. And with Yvonne having contractions everyday, I'd rather play it safe. So sorry, Hutz and Molly, we'll be thinking about you. Guess I have to start calling you Dave now. Or should I call both of you Hutz?

Well, some things don't change. That's good.

I finished S. M. Stirling's Dies the Fire and promptly took up the next in the series, The Protector's War. Way, way too much Wiccan in it for me, but seeing as one of the main characters is Wiccan, I slog through it. So far The Protector's War has started slow, but there's new characters coming in from Britain, so it should be interesting. After I finish this, I don't know what's next, guess I should look into that. I've also been listening to the Essential Lewis and Clark in the car. Not too bad as it keeps to the interesting parts of their journals, like York getting frostbite on his, well, that "certain male anatomy." I'll listen to Captain Blood next courtesy of LibriVox.

Ha. No update here. Haven't written a lick in a long time, but I have resolved my issue of where to go next with War Wagon. Epheros, the Chinese invade. That's all I'm saying until I write more. Hopefully soon. And I came up with another idea for a story. Not sure how long it would be, but it's interesting enough to make me curious how everything would work. Think Waterworld meets BioDome. But without the humor.

Les Stroud is back on TV tonight with Shark Week (I'll be skipping that one) and back with new episodes of Survivorman next week. He's the real deal folks, not the faker like Bear Grylls with his conjured bear attacks. I hate to badmouth the guy, but Les humps his own camera gear while Bear has someone else do it for him.

I've been re-visiting Deadwood lately. I picked up Season 3 on DVD and felt I needed to go back to the beginning to make sure I caught everything. It's been my lunch-time addiction of late. At home, I've been revisiting Firefly. Just a hands-down great show. Dad also picked up a few new movies (Shooter - not so hot, Davy Crockett - decent Disney, and the entire series of Daniel Boone - haven't seen it yet). As for "regular" programming, it's been Hell's Kitchen on Mondays with Monk and Psych on Fridays. Not too much worth my time at the moment.

Dad's away shortly to Nebraska for a family reunion and to visit the family farm. I'm eagerly awaiting the goodies he should be bringing back as well as new information for the family tree.

Well, that's about it for now. Catch you all later.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Videos and Photos

So I've uploaded three new videos, two of Elizabeth, one of the killer hummingbirds. Here's one of Elizabeth counting to ten. Not too shabby for a three year old.

Then we have a slew of new photos. Nearly all from Yvonne's camera as I don't download that one very much. I think my favorite is this one.

And in other news, I've stumbled upon my cousin's family blog (why didn't you tell me they had one mom?). Anyway, it's nice to get caught up, even if it is virtually.

And that's about it for now. The weekend is quickly approaching. And what's in store for Neil this weekend? First goal is to fix the plumbing from the water supply under the sink to the backside of the ice maker in the freezer. What should have been a fairly simple fix last night turned into a "we need to remove all the dishes under the sink, pull out the copper, drill the holes larger, snake through the new braided hose, remove the dishwasher, run hose behind dishwasher, turn everything on and hope it works" kind of project. After that's done (hopefully by Saturday afternoon) I'll be able to do some work outside. I might even feel ambitious enough to wash the cars. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will rain. I also have three major papers due for class Sunday. Hope to have those in on time. Then there's the standard chores that always need to be done.

No rest for the wicked, right?

Hope you have a great weekend!

Oh, almost forgot. For those few out there that have even heard of Kurt R. A. Giambastiani (author of the Fallen Cloud Saga), he's doing well and is looking to get back to writing this fall.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Almost there, almost there.....

So I'm almost done with S. M. Stirling's Dies the Fire. It's actually a continuation of his older Island in the sea of Time series. I wasn't impressed with Conquistador, but Dies the Fire is decent. Good enough I want to read the next book in line.

On the flip side, I'm still struggling through GRRM's A Game of Thrones. Everyone keeps telling me it's an awesome book (and series), but I'm still struggling. I just got to the point where Ned get's a dagger shoved into his chin. Well, I guess what they say is true, when Martin gets tired of a character, he kills them.

No estimated start date for the Deathly Hallows. I want to pull a marathon and start from the begining. But I did download Captain Blood on audio so we'll see how that floats.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry who?

That potter kid sure has taken the world by storm. Over 8 million copies sold in a single day? That's crazy talk.

Sure, I started reading about harry back when books 3 and 4 came out. I was even lucky enough to work in a bookstore when 4 (that's the Goblet of Fire) made its debut at midnight. And I've enjoyed reading the series since then. I find it hard to knock any book or series that gives kids (and a nation) a reason to read.

But I'm actually more inclined to re-read The Name of the Wind before I take a crack at the Deathly Hallows. What?! you might exclaim. Well, it's like this. Potter is, well, a kid's book. Kvothe is, well, a kid, but so much more.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Random Ramblings on Friday Night-edited-

I read today that Google reported their second quarter profits of $3.86 Billion, up 58% over last year's second quarter. Woof!

And, via -edited-, Google wants to or is buying the 700 Mhz bandwidth. I'm guessing they'll be looking to become their own service provider in the cell phone market.

Then we have Microsoft apply for patents to use some sort of search technology or ad technology to search your hard drive and develop ads based on the content. I can't say if they are going to produce the ads or block them. Guess we'll see.

I can't wait for somebody to rip a copy of the latest Die Hard movie online so I can see it. I keep hearing about Pirate Cove from -edited-, but I have no desire to actually download the movie. I know, I know, watching a pirated movie and downloading one are the same.

My college roommate, Dave, let me borrow one of his audio books, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Well, I hate to stop half-way through, but I couldn't finish it. I don't know how to explain it, but it was just, not right for me. So, I'll look at listening to Harry Potter or one of the classics that can be found for free on LibriVox.

And, I have made progress with War Wagon. Not in writing more, but in getting past my writer's block. I actually have something to write about now, but no time to do it in. Sure, I could write instead of blog, but then what would you read? A newspaper?

Well, blogging is distracting me from Psyche. I'm off!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A big update of sorts


Yvonne, Elizabeth, and I went to Baltimore last week to spend a day walking around the Inner Harbor and visiting the National Aquarium. Overall, it was a decent trip. The Aquarium was so-so with the dolphins being the most exciting thing there. After that we walked around the Inner Harbor a bit. Most exciting thing there for me was the USS Constellation (a really old sailing ship). The most disappointing thing there was that the canons on the piers were plastic, not cast iron. Check out the pictures here.

Seven Years Ago

So, seven years ago, Yvonne and I got married (seven years this past Saturday to be precise). We've been dating since October of 1994 and were engaged a couple of years before we married in 2000. It seems like forever, but at the same time, it's like yesterday. There are days where I get so caught up in going to work and doing chores and trying to relax that I sadly don't pay enough attention to the lovely woman next to me. She's become my best friend, my wife, and the mother of my children all rolled up into one. I've lost myself many times just staring into her eyes. But enough of the mushy stuff.


We went to see Shenandoah yesterday at the Riverside. A decent play, but too depressing for an anniversary celebration. I love Jimmy Stewart, but I doubt I'll buy this movie.

Flipping for Trash

Now, for the funny stuff. Yesterday I took out the trash and ended up looking like this.

Not to worry, I didn't end up in the trash can. But I came close. As I sometimes do, I took out the trash in my bare feet yesterday morning. I leaned over the railing on the porch to open the trash can (it sits on the ground, about 4 feet below the bottom of the porch). Well, I must have shrunk since the last time I did this because I lost my balance and flipped over the railing. In the instant of falling I happened to notice the nice brown wood and nails as my head passed by. I couldn't tell you how I landed or what I landed on, but I did knock the trash can over. After putting the bag in the can and coming back inside, things went like this:

Elizabeth said "You fell down Daddy."
I said "Yes, Daddy fell down."
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, Daddy's okay."
Elizabeth said "It's okay Daddy, I fall down sometimes too."
"Okay honey, Daddy needs to sit down for a second."
"Do you want me to read you a story?"
"Sure Elizabeth."

So she started to read me a Dora story. Halfway through, she stopped and said "Daddy, you need to use the steps."
"Yes, Daddy will use the steps. Mommy's done with her shower so why don't you go tell her Daddy fell down."

Needless to say, if we had security cameras, I would have been on TV with a chance at winning some money. But sadly, all I got was a beat-up face, some scratches on my arms, a sore elbow, and a sore gut from laughing at myself.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Les Stroud and Survivorman News

This just in from Les Stroud:

- Season 2 starts August 10th on Discovery (October 2nd on OLN).

- Les is hosting all of Shark Week on Discovery (July 24th through August 4th).

- Les is swimming with the sharks in a one-hour special (July 31st at 9 pm EST on Discovery).

- Read about Les' latest adventure in Labrador Canada on his blog.

That is all.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Where oh where have you been?


No seriously, I've been busy. And a little lazy. And a little stressed out. And, well, here's a partial list of what I've been doing lately.
- Attending school - I'm now in my second week of my Masters program at the University of Phoenix
- Scanning - I've been scanning letters, documents, legal papers, photos, tons of family history stuff
- Writing - and all of it is for school, haven't had any time to even think about War Wagon
- New baby - there's been lots of prep work getting the spare bedroom rearranged, well I guess it's the baby's new room now, furniture, clothes, etc.
- Work - while the rest of my peers are enjoying the week off, I've been busy at work trying to catch up on things

And I'm too tired to list anything else. Mom went to Salt Lake for a couple of weeks (she's back now). Yvonne and Elizabeth went to Pittsburgh this week (due back in a couple of days). Ugh. And I forgot all about the reading I need to do for class.

Life never is easy.

So I've been busy, just like I said before. believe me now?