I only sat in sporty cars (coupes and roadsters). The Audi TT seems like a very nice little car. I also liked the Audi S5, though it's a larger car and I want something smaller than I have now. I discovered I really like Porsches. I sat in a 911 Carrera (the least expensive 911, at only 70-odd thousand dollars) I also sat in a Cayman S. That was a neat little car. It has two trunks, which makes it somewhat more practical. Also, if I were to get Kelley Blue Book value for my current vehicle and if I were to blow all my savings I could actually get a Cayman for a monthly payment that wasn't absolutely ridiculous. But I think I'll have to pass on that for now, just the same. If I got a Porsche now, what would I move up to later? Also, I don't think obliterating my savings account is the smartest thing. I would anticipate cosmic payback in some form. I also sat in a BMW Z4, which was very nice, and more affordable than the Porsche. But again, there is upward mobility factor. I don't think I should be getting a kick-ass luxury car at this point in my life. I want cool and zippy, but not fabulously extravagant. SO the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG is right out, too.
When I am DINK, after I marry a hot, bespectacled villainess, then I will have my Porsche.
I got really drunk last night and hopped off my smoking cessation wagon, which was bad.
Today I began watching Desert Punk, which is on loan from a coworker, and Ikki Tousen, a recent purchase. DP is OK. I really like Ikki Tousen. It's Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with high-schoolers, some of whom are girls. With big boobs. Yeah, total fan-service fest, but still entertaining. Lots of action. I have tomorrow off. It's going to be a laundry day.
I went to Ray's the Steaks for dinner tonight. It was real good. Michael Landrum owns my soul.
Went to Colorado Springs. Went to conference. Went to see waterfalls. Took pictures. Pictures in RAW so need to do stuff before posting.
Came home. Went to Anime Convention last night and today with MJ. Bought stuff.
( Cut for pics )
On Sunday I got to see baranoouji and others from her budokai do their martial arts demo at the con.
Saw some entertaining anime music videos. I cannot find the most hilarious one on the internet, but this one (which I also saw at Otakon during the summer) is pretty good. The series the animation is from is about some office drone who used to be in a heavy metal band which failed and broke up. Apparently they have to get back together because their music can be used to power a super-weapon to fight aliens or something. It sounds just silly enough it might be entertaining. The person who correctly guesses why I like this video wins a cookie.
Had a good time this weekend. Went for a long drive on Saturday out to Winchester, which was nice. Hadn't had a good drive in a long time. Played pool with some of the gang on Saturday night. Met up with mostly the same group to watch football and pig out on wings on Sunday. Pats are still going strong so I am happy. Also am happy the Red Sox are going to the World Series, although that means I actually have to watch the bloody thing. Curse baseball for having games mid-week.
Running out of shelf space here at the home, so Sakura is now on the shelf above my desk at work. She makes a nice change to my workspace decorations. Up to this point they;ve been limited to dies-cast models of military hardware. And while that is a hobby of mine, that's still pretty worky. I think now my desk reflects more of the complete "me." I also finally opened up my Kaname and Tessa figures and they are now occupying spaces on my bookshelf. I really do need to get my ass to IKEA and buy more shelves. I just have too many book and too many items to display.
Both of these pictures, by the way, were taken with my new camera. The one on the left was taken in .jpeg mode, letting camera do all the processing, while the one on the right was shot in RAW and I did post-processing myself with the CameraRAW plug-in in Photoshop Elements. I think I could really get into shooting RAW all of the time. Getting the photos someplace where folks actually can see them is more time-consuming, because you have to open them in the program, manipulate them and then save them as a .jpeg or a PNG or something that browsers and/or OS's will recognize as an image file, but you do get a lot more control. With a RAW image, the RAW data from the CCD is saved as is. Any camera settings you had applied, like white balance or sharpness are saved in a header. When you open the RAW file it shows the image as shot, with those settings applied, but you can change all of that in the RAW converter before opening the photo in an editor. A .jpeg already has had the processing applied in camera and the image has been compressed, so there is less data to work with. Basically, from what I gather, when you work on a .jpeg you are working on only a shadow of the original photo. Working with raw you can get things basically how you want them in the full data, then convert it to a TIFF or PSD or .jpeg to do other stuff that doesn't require all that stuff, like cropping or adding text and such. Or at least I guess that's the benefit. I haven't really played around that much with it yet.
In other news, recent experience has reminds me how much I love adventure-type computer games. I think I'd like to play Paradise, which is by the guy who came up with the Syberia games. Apparently he has another one coming out (or perhaps recently released, actually, though I can't find it from a US vendor), called The Sinking Island. I have leads from jazzfish on some text-only adventures that I need to check out. Also, I want to try to get my hands on some old games I wanted to play when I was younger but never bought for whatever reason. Back in the day I really love Sierra On-line's games. They made what are IMHO some of the best titles ever. I never played the 2 Laura Bow mystery games, and I really want to. I see on Amazon Marketplace I can get a new -- i.e. never sold for whatever reason and consigned to the bargain bin -- copy of The Dagger of Amon Ra for around $6. Unfortunately, the first game The Colonel's Bequest looks harder to come by. The two used copies from sellers on Amazon are almost $60. I could get a used copy on eBay for cheaper, but I'm uneasy about buying something on 3.5 inch floppies from some random stranger. God knows what could be on those things besides the game. So this is a general call for assistance to those on the f-list. If you have an old copy of this game you would be willing to part with, or know someone who does, I would be willing to pay a fair price for it. Fair being defined as no more than a 200s-era game who's demand has waned somewhat (or around $30). No way I'm paying 60 bucks. I want to play the fucking thing, not vacuum seal it in a display case and have an exhibit.
( Stir-fried pork thingy with onions and scallions )
While there, I saw things of great natural beauty, such as:
and Crater Lake
At Crater Lake, we (I) discovered we had a puncture and we (Jason) had to change the tire on the rental car. We had to cut that excursion short because we needed to get the tire repaired, not wanting to drive to Portland on a donut.
Andy and Theresa got married.
It was nice. Rachel was there. Hadn't seen her in 3+ years. I'd said before that I wouldn't mind (might even be happy, actually) never ever seeing her again. She hugged me, we talked. At the reception, she forced me onto the dance floor. At the brunch the following day, Andy took a picture of us. She made rabbit ears behind my head. When all of us parted ways I gave her my e-mail address, and she said we would keep in touch. I stand by my previous statement.
I met a nice girl at the wedding. Her name is S. She is Andy's brother's wife's sister and she works at Powell's city of books in Portland. Of all the folks at the wedding I didn't already know, she is the one I talked to the most.
Powell's had been the one place we had planned not to miss in Portland. After meeting Sarah, we had something to do there besides browse books.
As soon as we arrived in Portland, we went to the book store, and found S at the counter where they buy used books from folks. We said hello and chatted for a while. She was excited because the author of Logan's Run had been in earlier in the day. We asked S for a recommendation of a distinctly Portland restaurant for dinner, and she recommended "Jake's." Rachel had made the same recommendation, so that pretty much settled it for us. We then spent a good while in the stacks. I selected a book on Shinto, and another book on Japanese thought.
S had mentioned she finished work at 9 o'clock. Don't know why she mentioned this (e.g. whether she was indicating she'd be amenable to going out with us or something. Will never know now.
It's the strangest thing - all day long I'd thought about asking if she would like to come with us wherever we decided to go to dinner, or something, and I didn't. I thought about it, while I was browsing German Cookbooks near her counter, but she was busy buying books at that point. Likewise when we were on out way to the cashier with our purchases. So neither Jason or I made an invitation or said goodbye, we just let her be and left.
After walking to Pioneer Square, we took a tram down to the river and saw the Japanese-American plaza. There wasn't a direct tram route back to where Jake's was, so we walked there, which took us right past Powell's again. I saw S through the window (unoccupied). It would have been so easy to go in and say "Hey, we're on our way to Jake's want to come with us, we can hang out in he bar until you get off?" Or. something. But I didn't. Kicked myself for it the rest of the night, over my raw oysters and fried razor clams.
Crazy to be upset about this. If I had invited her, what end would it be working toward? She lives in Portland, so even if she had said yes (to some nut from across the country who just met her and is inviting her to dinner, mind you), what's the point?. She was pretty. And nice. I liked her.
How nuts is this? I go away for a long weekend and decide I'd like to go out with a girl who lives in Oregon?? WTF?? Same old question: what the hell's the matter with me?
Post Script: My angst over this has passed, thanks to filling the past two days with thought of other things and healthy doses of fun. I think this chapter of my f'ed up life is closed.
( bandwidth hog )
These were taken during a UK intercept of one of the Russian bombers that were buzzing around last Friday.
It was a good trip, and I can't wait to go back.
I think I must have gotten confused about something last night, because I wound up at the AFI Silver watching Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead alone. But it was a good movie, so I didn't mind.