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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Brian's LiveJournal:

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Friday, February 27th, 2009
1:01 pm
Still Reading
Life goes on. Not much to talk about, and I'm ok with that. My leg stings and burns from a grass rash, my project keeps shifting around as we figure out what we need, and I am already mourning the passing of winter and dreading summer.

9. Deathstalker (reread)
10. Deathstalker War (reread)
11. Deathstalker Rebellion (reread)
12. On Basilisk Station
13. The Honor of the Queen
14. Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund
This is an excellent book. Read it. Fiona and Elliot are twins who find they are the children of gods of opposite sides. Their two families test the twins to find out which family they belong to. I think this is his best work.
15. The Short Victorious War

Currently Reading:
Deathstalker Honor by Simon Green
Expiration Date by Tim Powers (reread)

Books in the Reading Pile:
The Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt
Drood by Dan Simmons
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
11:21 am
More Readings
5. Rebel Fay
Our "heroes" make it to the land of elves, where they find themselves unwelcome and in the middle of a small power struggle. What a disappointment. This series had been moving along fairly well, nothing great but keeping me interested, and then this halted that little momentum. By itself, this book might not be so bad, and others will enjoy it more than I did, but to me it felt like filler that didn't help the master plotline. Maybe the final book in the series will tie this in, but I'm not finding a lot of desire to hunt it down right now.

6. Fool's Errand
7. Golden Fool
8. Fool's Fate
Robin Hobb is never an easy read for me, but I am always fascinated by her tales. Fitz and the Fool return in this new trilogy as the central figures in deciding the future of the world. In the first book Fitz is summoned back to his hometown to find the missing Prince Dutiful, then in the second book finds himself the center of a web of importance and intrigue as he teaches the Prince and others in the Skill, then finally he is a member of an important mission and finds he must make a difficult decision. If you like a heavy writing style full of court intrigue and characters that are flawed, I heartily recommend Robin Hobb.

Next Up:
Deathstalker by Simon Green (reread)

Books in the Reading Pile:
The Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt
Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund - I saw this author finally has a non-Halo new book out, pointed it out to my wife, and she wanted it, so it's in my pile once she's done reading it.

Books Coming Out Soon:
Drood by Dan Simmons - The Terror was amazing, and here's another historical fiction from the same author. I'm buying this in hardback, that's how excited I am about it.
Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
11:08 am
Been reading more lately, so here we are again.

4. Bloodlines by F. Paul Wilson
A worried mother asks Repairman Jack to find some dirt on her daughter's boyfriend because he feels like a scumball. Jack's investigations once again lead him to deeper and darker secrets. After Harbingers, this book was a disappointment because it didn't build on the revelations from the previous book. There are only a few Repairman Jack books left, so things are building towards the final battle, and I feel like I am being given multiple little threads that will hopefully be woven into a final tapestry. Time will tell if Wilson can pull this off.

Next Up: Rebel Fay, book 5 of the Noble Dead series

Books in the Reading Pile:
The Soldier Son trilogy
Monday, January 12th, 2009
10:39 am
My Readings
1. Black Magic Woman - 5/10
Quincy Morris, hired to save a family from a homicidal ghost, finds himself in the middle of a 400-year grudge. Overall, this book came up short. It felt like a series of happenings instead of a flowing story, and I was disappointed that the mutiple plots didn't mesh together in the end. There was enough here to make me keep an eye on the author, but things need to improve.
2. Unnatural Inquirer - 6/10
John Taylor is hired by a gossip newspaper to find a DVD with a transmission from the other side. The usual troubles come up, and Taylor handles them with his usual ease. Pretty standard Nightside novel. If you like Green's works, you'll like this, otherwise you probably won't.
3. Harbingers - 7/10
A Repairman Jack novel. Jack is hired by a regular at his favorite bar to find his missing teenage niece, which starts a chain of events that make Jack question what he thought he knew about the supernatural forces in his life. I like that this book begins to tie together events from previous books and is hopefully the start of an overall plot for this series, taking it away from stand-alone stories. In the end, a mostly typical Repairman Jack novel.

Next: Bloodlines, the next book in the Repairman Jack series.

Books in the Reading Pile
Rebel Fay
The Soldier Son Trilogy
Friday, January 2nd, 2009
1:27 pm
Tacodeli makes my mouth and stomach happy. Tried their queso for the first time, and it is *good*. A softer flavor than most quesos, with a nice undercurrent of flavour. Yum, yum, yum.

Current Mood: content
Friday, September 26th, 2008
2:36 pm
I haven't done any research on what is said, but this article on what is happening with money inside our government is absolutely frightening, if true.
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
10:29 am
War is Coming!!!!

Got the chance to check out Warhammer in the Open Beta, and I was delighted. There is a definite vibe of danger everywhere. In the starting lands of the Empire there are burning buildings and sporadic explosions that make you feel your home is being invaded while dwarves get the pleasure of hearing the constant boom of cannons. Played an Engineer for a little while, realized I am a dwarf at heart and will be playing them as my main characters, and put him on the shelf to enjoy at release. Instead I played a Witch Hunter for a while to get a feel for the game.

Public quests are pretty cool, but I feel like I'm missing the lore around them. I wandered near a house and got a message indicating I was in a public quest area. Suddenly a giant appeared, smashed some trees, and attacked. All I had to do was help take him down and I got a chance at some loot. No quest to get, to party to join, everything was automagic. The more you participate, the better the bonus to your loot roll. I did the public quest three times and was at maximum influence for the chapter, which gave me some equipment. Quick, clean, enjoyable, A+

Did one scenario, Warhammer's PvP battleground. Went in at level 4 and was adjusted up to level 8. More hitpoints, more damage from my skills, still got annihilated. The Witch Hunter plays like a rogue, but at level 4 I had no skills other than basic attacks, so the higher level Destruction melee ripped me up. The battleground itself was simple - 3 objectives, gain points by controlling the objectives, first to 500 wins.

Unfortunately, that was about all I got to do. My computer can't handle the game, and my wife wanted her computer back for Spore. It's been six years since I built my computer, it's time to build a new one to enjoy Warhammer. Time to do some research and spend Saturday building.

Current Mood: excited
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008
11:13 am
Pick #11 in my 12-team fantasy football league at work. Number 12 is the guy who won the league last season. This could be interesting.

Edit: Grr. Couldn't load up the draft quickly enough, first 2 players auto-picked. Could of had Clinton Portis like I wanted, but no.
Thursday, August 14th, 2008
10:25 am
Since real life appears to be going to hell again soon, I'm going to think happy thoughts and talk about my online gaming instead. My two cents for anyone reading this - if you marry someone with insane parents, move somewhere they will never want to move to.

Warhammer Online - Release date has been announced, 18 Sept. Picked up my pre-release copy yesterday, and found a possible guild. Some bloggers have created a guild, Casualties of War, that is open to everyone. I've been lurking on their website and it looks like a lot of the applications are mature people that I might have a lot of fun with.
I have no idea yet what I'm going to play in Warhammer. I guess I'll try a few in the Open Beta and then decide, but it may also depend on what I do in Warcraft.

World of Warcraft - Left a guild because I didn't trust the new leadership. Came down to a combination of poor communication and a feeling that preferential treatment was going to take over. Found a new guild that was at the same raiding level, but they don't have enough raiders available right now. Thankfully they have an alliance with another guild that is further along in raid progression, so I've gotten to raid with them. I've now done the first four bosses in Mount Hyjal, and died to Lady Vashj and the first boss in the Black Temple.
The question that keeps popping up for me now is what will I do when the expansion gets here? Right now I see four possibilities:
1)Glaeka, Warlock - this is my current main, and she is fun to play. Sit back and do mean stuff to people from a distance. She also has two very useful professions, Tailoring for bags and Enchanting for enchanting supplies. Her professions are why I might level her first.
2)Glaekin, Hunter - my original main who has been ressurected after a transfer. He holds a special place in my heart, but nothing special about him beyond that.
3)Death Knight - I could start a new toon of the new character class and dedicate my time to him. Of course, lots of people will be doing the exact same thing, and I don't know how much I will like the Death Knight. Maybe I will do this as my Horde option, so I need to think of a good name.
4)Kalgalath, Paladin - I am loving him right now. Just went Protection, and I can handle four or five creatures at a time with little problem. Another two or three levels and he'll get another spell that will help him do this better. I think I might be a tank at heart, and Paladin tanks handle the mobs of creatures the higher dungeons love to throw at people.
Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
1:01 pm
MSBuild Weirdness
If you ever have to use MSBuild to copy files, beware the Exclude statement.
The following will copy all your *.scc files, even though you think they won't.

I think the Exclude statement uses the path in its pattern matching. So it is excluding all *.scc files in the current directory, not the Include directory path. Change the Exclude statement to include the path, and things appear to work as you might think they should.

Exclude="..\Code\**\*.scc" />
Friday, April 11th, 2008
11:42 am
Apparently today is medical day. My wife had an ultrasound for possible gall bladder issues, and has a follow-up with her doctor this afternoon. One co-worker is having back surgery, and another is having an MRI on his knee.

Hopefully I can avoid the doctor today. *knocks on wood*

Current Mood: productive
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
10:30 am
Yes, I suck at posting regularly.

Life is life. C is on a diet, and I am doing my best to help her. I am also partially joining her by eating less for dinner and on the weekends, which just happens to be the times we are usually together. Hopefully I can lose a few pounds with her.

We are also attending a class on emotions with the same people C is learning meditation with. Overall, I have been disappointed. The general attitude is you should meditate, it will give you space from your emotions, just meditate. But I have trouble meditating because I don't like ignoring my thoughts, and when my thoughts do drift away, I start to fall asleep. I guess I'm just not a spiritual person.

I've been doing a lot of nothing on Warcraft lately. Doing a lot of random things with alts instead of working on my two top characters. The guild is back to doing Gruul's Lair seriously, and two weekends ago we killed High King Maulgar, after many false starts and failures.
On our first try, the raid leader explained, and explained, and explained for about 30 or 40 minutes, which led to lots of people being antsy and ready to go. We finally moved into position, I saw Maulgar start moving and heard his opening speech, which meant the fight was on, so I ran into the centre of the room to do my job. As I run into the centre of the room, I hear someone say "We're just waiting for X." Oops, guess we didn't mean to start the fight then.

Got snookered into hosting gameday last weekend. Two months in a row, ugh. Low attendance, and two of the five attendees I don't like. We had a new player show up, so I spent the day playing a Starter Kit scenario with him and teaching him the basics of the game. I think he left with an understanding of how the phases of a turn work, which will help him immensely the next time he reads the rulebook.

OwlCon this weekend. Hope to drive down Thursday night and play all weekend. I think C will enjoy the time to herself.

Work is getting busier, but in a good way. I now have an official manager, and he's pushing me to finalize my current project by adding a GUI and doing further testing. We should be having a meeting this week about it, and I'll go from there. Still don't know if I'm inheriting the other project I'm caretaking, but I also think the CIO is waiting from direction from his Oversight committee. Still doing emergency duty there for the moment.
Friday, January 18th, 2008
1:07 pm
Makes no sense to me
The people in Washington DC, including President Bush, want to spur our economy by providing tax relief. Why is our economy in trouble? Because of the housing bubble and the sub-prime mortgage industry. Why are they causing trouble? Because people borrowed more money than they could afford and can't pay it back. The solution? Borrow money to give to the people to spend. Doesn't that sound like what got us into this mess to begin with?

Where were all these people when the sub-prime mortgage mess was being created? Lots of people could see that a segment of our society was setting themselves up for trouble, but our government did nothing then. No oversight, no warnings, no education, only acceptance of credit for the upswing in the American economy.

I will say that I won't turn down any extra money, but I won't be spending the money like they want. At least half of any monies I get will pay down debt, which won't help spur their economy. It will help me get back towards being debt-free, which can only help me in the long run.

Current Mood: confused
Thursday, January 10th, 2008
3:10 pm
I think my system has stabilized. Have to blow my nose every so often, and my throat is a little scratchy, but I feel pretty good. This can be handled.

Not much else going on. Work is work, home life is slowly starting to settle. C is going to a meditation retreat this weekend, so the house is mine. Bwah hah hah!!! Soccer doesn't start until February, so I should get out and run some so I don't die that first weekend. All that's left is my gaming, which is going full blast.

I hosted ASL gameday last Saturday, and enjoyed it yet again. I split a couple of small scenarios against Bill from Houston, which was nice to get the feel of the game back, and I've decided to find a way to play at OwlCon this year. Just means I have to find all of my set again, decide what to take, and hunt up some scenarios to play.

My lovely wife got me Guitar Hero 2 for Christmas, so I've been playing that off and on. I found Easy too easy, and skipped to Medium, which has been just right. Was able to finish every song in Career Mode and unlock all the extra songs, so now I'm going back and replaying some of the songs I didn't do so well on. Tried 2 songs on Hard - Shout at the Devil laughs at me, but I could get through Mother.

Finally, World of Warcrack raiding starts up again this weekend. We've added a few more guild members, and I listened in as some of them we're working on a dungeon. I liked the two women. They seemed more mature and composed than the high-school boys that grate on my nerves sometimes, and I think they may be high-school also. Anyways, we'll see how close we can get to the 25 we need for Gruul's. Karazhan and Zul-Aman are also on tap, and I'd like upgrades to my bracers and pants.

I've thought a lot, and goal #3 has made itself known.
Goal 3 - Be more creative.
Lots of thoughts on this one, but no action. A technical blog would be good for future job hunting as well as get me to learn more and better programming. A gaming blog could be enjoyable, but because there are already so many good Warcraft blogs, I might wait for Warhammer Online to do that. I might even try to get myself to try real writing and do some short stories or scenes.

Current Mood: jovial
Friday, January 4th, 2008
2:36 pm
Memo to self:

Never do logic to convert data inside a database stored procedure.
Instead, just retrieve the data and convert in your code.
It will make life easier when the requirements change and the data has more than one effect.

Current Mood: irritated
10:46 am
Continuing to force the cedar out of my system. Feeling even better this morning, but not looking forward to a full day.

Things moved quickly at work. We already have an interim CIO, and it's the person that several people want to be the new CIO. Now the oversight committee wants him to put together a report that will hopefully give them an idea of where we are. Overall positive, so we'll see how things go. I'm back to considering whether I want to put my hat in the ring for the Development Manager position.

Last of the holiday obligations is tonite. Going to dinner with MIL and her uncle, which won't be too bad. I think my relationship with MIL is slowly healing now that we don't live together, but it still has a long way to go.

Looking back at 2007, I realize that it felt very stagnant. I don't feel I moved forward at all during the year. There are a lot of reasons for this, primarily MIL living with us for four months, but that is something I want to change in 2008.

Goal #1 - Get my office and books organized. Create my space. We've decided to turn our middle room into a library area, so I just need to get the bookcases moved, arranged, and filled.

Goal #2 - Continue to improve our finances. First step is for me to pay off my negative balance in our joint account, the second step is to work with C to create a plan to handle future family visits without throwing our money out of whack.

Current Mood: drained
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
12:39 pm
Feeling better today after an evening of generic Nyquil and lots of sleep and rest, but as the day goes on, I'm feeling more wiped out. Might be another Nyquil evening.

Ding dong, the witch is gone. I no longer have a department head, and the majority of the department is happy. Bad news is we have a committee that will decide the strategic plans for the IS department, and nobody on the committee looks like they have any technical experience. Hopefully it was all part of pushing the old CIO out and the committee won't last long, but we'll see. I'm still happier here than I was in my last days at my old job, but I'm considering finding something more challenging.

I'm hosting ASL gameday this weekend, which means C and I need to take down the tree and clean up the downstairs and the bathrooms. A group of 4 are coming up from Houston, so I'm hoping they can each find someone from Austin to play. That also means I'm not committing to a game until I know they all have games. With the way I'm feeling today, I wouldn't mind not playing this weekend and just playing host and watching.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008
2:53 pm
A New Year
I hate cedar season.

During December I made sure to take my allergy pills, and I thought I was going to get through this season, but it wasn't to be. Before I could unwrap the new year, my sinuses have taken me down a notch. Now I am fighting to keep all my problems in my nose and not let it move down into and infection of my throat or chest.

Past years have been awful. Bronchitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, and a few other itis's I've forgotten.

Ugh, blech. Need to write down some goals for 2008, but I'm not all here, so that will have to wait.

Current Mood: sick
Thursday, October 11th, 2007
2:33 pm
I am such an idiot.

The test strips for my machine to test my blood sugar level come with a code. First thing you do after putting a strip in the machine is check the code. Know where I'm going with this?

Yep, my new strips have a different code than my original set of strips, and I've been using the old code.

The good news is after having a salad for lunch my blood sugar level is under 100.
Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
2:58 pm
Diabetes Update
Mainly logging information for my own personal use.

Mornings are currently usually good, which means blood sugar between 90 and 105. I was about 125 the other morning, but that looks like more of a one off event.

Now my focus is going to be on blood sugar levels after eating. About 12:30, I had Quiznos for lunch today, a chicken carbonara sub on wheat bread and a cup of chicken and green chile soup. Blood sugar at 3:00, 167.

The other thing I want to do is determine how soccer affects my blood sugar. Forgot my kit Sunday, so no results to post yet.

Current Mood: worried
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