Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Snapshot of my day

I'm not one who ever posts a summary of my Twitter activity as a substitute for a blog entry but I'm making an exception today because I think these give a pretty good snapshot of my day.

Chris is gone for the weekend, playing games at Enfilade in Olympia. The weather is supposed to be really outstanding this weekend so I hope to hang with Kate and get a lot accomplished on my yard and gardening projects while the sun shines. Also, barbecues!

Here's the snapshot of my day:

I have a family of Bewick's wrens living in my birdhouse. I think this is the first time it's been used instead of my laundry room vent. Yay (12:25pm Pacific)

http://twitpic.com/5pplv - Sunny day 'office'. (12:57pm Pacific)

A boy just walked past chanting/singing happily, "Yipee Yi Ay, mini sirloin burgers!" I can hear him fading into the sunny distance. (3:17pm Pacific)

Text message from my daughter: "Can I have a squirrel?" Uh... no. (3:25pm Pacific)

Kate and I grilled burgers, watched birds and talked anime. Next: movie night! (8:52pm Pacific)

Just overheard Kate telling my plan to eventually have her drums in the garage. "Then we could have a real garage band." (8:54pm Pacific)

Eavesdropping on teen phone call: "Awsome...awesome...that's,like, triply awesome...sounds awesome.... That would be totally awsome." (8:56pm Pacific)

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Game Night

One of our wayward former game-night friends was back in town tonight after a year's absence. Jess took a job in Orange County about a little over a year ago and (along with the defections of Bruce the Traitor and Tim) his loss was sorely felt at game night. He's back in Seattle for the LOGIN conference at the moment and made time to get together with us for a little game night action tonight.

It was very much like old times. Jess came by and we ran down to Georgetown's excellent Full Throttle Bottles to stock up on some beverages, where Jess struck up a conversation on microbrews with the owner. Somehow the conversation veered over to my True20 t-shirt. "Oh, really? I know a little about gaming. My brother is Mark Tedin." "No way! My husband used to commute with Mark when they both worked at Wizards of the Coast." Just a typical example of the crazy small world you find when you venture out in Seattle. Both Jess and Chris knew and liked Mark from Wizards and now we're chatting up his brother at the local kick-ass beer and wine store in Georgetown, just a hop and a skip from my house. Love it.

Loaded with beer, Jess and I also stopped in at The Cutting Board to pick up a hefty platter of sushi for dinner. The Cutting Board is the nearest thing I have to a local sushi place, with the added benefit that they have a huge variety of unusual sushi rolls, including many variations that are vegetarian or that include uncommon ingredients like fruits. The drawback is that we didn't have a menu of their unique rolls with us before arriving so we had to wait a long while to get the take out order... if we'd been able to look at a menu in advance we could have called in or something. Still, the rolls were delicious and original and once we finally returned with food we all ate until we were stuffed. Mmm, sushi.

The last couple of game nights we've played Fantasy Flight's cute little board game, Red November. Kate can actually claim credit for introducing the family to this one; she got it from her dad for her birthday. She begged off playing with us tonight (my budding teen would rather listen to music and read anime fiction on the internet) but we enjoyed a complete game and it was just like Jess had never left. Fun to have him back in the fold, if just for a night. I like this game. The first game went slowly as we didn't properly understand all the rules and kept having to check the rules for clarifications (and, we found out we'd played half the game under a misunderstanding of the rules which made the game much less fun!). This second game was more smooth, though we still had to check back to the rules a few times. The fun of the game really requires players to not be tentative and is definitely boosted by knowing the rules well. I like the game and am willing to put the time in to master the rules in the interest of increasing the speed of the game, because I think it is probably a real riot when played balls out and full speed ahead (I mean, isn't that what you'd expect from drunken gnomes on a flooding, fire-plagued, sinking, kraken-plagued submarine?) but I'm not sure if everyone else is as taken with it as I am.

Regardless, we managed to have a super successful game night, early this week in honor of Jess visiting Seattle. This has left me in a very pleasant mood.

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The issue of Genetically Modified Organisms first came to my attention when I started seeing headlines about lawsuits over patents on corn. While I am generally a fan of technology and I don't shun things like immunizations, the idea of patented food raised real red flags for me, especially as more cases surfaced of the patent-holding corporations going to court against farmers whose crops were found to contain patented corn DNA without a license (whether the farmers were purposely trying to get around licensing their crops or whether the GMO crops had been inadvertently gotten mixed with the non-GMO crops was under fierce debate).

I've just joined the No GMO Challenge with the intent of actively avoiding GMOs for the next thirty days. I've been vaguely aware of the issue since those cases I noticed back in the 90s and chose non-GMO options at the store when presented with a clear alternative but I haven't made a conscious effort to avoid them. Now that I'm specifically on the lookout, it should be informative to see where they might have been slipping in under my radar. I've done this kind of experiment before, first with regard to hyrogenated oil and trans fats (thanks to Bruce Cordell bringing it to my attention) and then again with regard to high fructose corn syrup, which is in darn near everything, including your bread!

I keep thinking of that Patton Oswalt bit: "Hi, we're Science! We're all about 'coulda' not 'shoulda'."

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I spent a lot of time the other night reading up on the Gilded Age because I was thinking about writing up a political post. Found I don't quite have the stamina to wade into that right now.

Instead, Chris and I spent a Kate-free weekend at home. Because Zipcar has removed virtually all Zipcars south of I-90 and I was driving Kate up to her dad's,in honor of the rare sunny weather, I chose a fun little Mini Cooper car from a U District location. Chris met up with me when I returned the car and we had a nice walk and dinner out before heading home together.

Saturday the weather couldn't have been more different! Unfortunately arm and shoulder injury prevent me from doing many of the things I normally handle solo, so Chris had agreed to spend Saturday helping me get our yard in order before the HOA "make sure you're up to code" spring deadline this week. The day was rainy, cold, and windy and not at all good weather for handling our landscaping plan but it couldn't be helped and Pramas was such a good sport. He pushed heavy carts, ran the lawn mover and trimmer, carried heavy bags of mulch, pulled up old weed barrier fabric, and anything else I needed. We removed weeds and nuisance plants, laid new weed barrier, spread a bunch of bark. This morning I was able to remove my formerly beautiful trailing rosemary bush that died after the winter storms and trim back a few bushes and trees in the back yard before I ran out of time. Chris and I spent a couple of hours together, had a little brunch and then it was time to pick up Kate.

Despite my previously stated desire to go to Belize for my 40th birthday this year, in order to do that trip the way I would really want to do it we'd have to spend far more than I'm comfortable committing to this year. I talked it over with Chris today and we're going to spend our saved vacation money on putting in a proper patio and a barbecue so we can enjoy our house over the summer instead. Kate is only spending two weeks of her summer vacation (and not even consecutive weeks) with her dad this year and aside from Chris heading to Book Expo in a couple of weeks we personally have no convention travel booked until GenCon. I don't don't want to be all smarmy and say we're planning a "stay-cation" but that does seem to be how it's shaping up and I'm plenty happy with that. Belize can wait until I can do it the way I really want to do it.

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