There hasn't been a diet update in a month - mainly because my weight has leveled off - but at least I've been keeping active. Gina and I still go on our evening walks around the school in Athens. My goal as of a couple of weeks ago was to try to reach a 20'/mile pace as I was normally walking 21-23'/mile. Gina took this to heart and sped up my stride.
Our average for the past week was 18'43". I was happy when we got close to 19'/mile. For 3 days we would average 1 second better than the previous day. Suddenly on Thursday we averaged 18'30". On Friday 18'00". That's just crazy!
Saturday Gina was busy so I took a longer route at a slower pace. Not as slow as I was used to, as I still averaged less than 19'/min (but just barely).
It's weird. I now like going out for a walk. I needed to clear my head after weeks of intense (for me) programming, so when I went for my walk I didn't take anything to listen to. I just walked and listened to the crunch of the gravel beneath my shoes. When I was done with my 4.5 mile walk, I didn't want to crawl into bed or scuttle around like an old man, I just continued with my day.
I'm starting to think that extra 120 pounds I was carrying around with my sedentary lifestyle wasn't good for me.
It took a week longer than I intended, but this afternoon I finally got to the point on my little work project that I can quit worrying about it, or at least not worry about big chunks of functionality not being there.
Granted, there are some small things that probably don't work quite like they should. I had been making lists of things as I found them and then fixing them later. My list of those fixes is all marked off now.
Friday was a bigger waste of time than I had hoped. I was planning on getting everything wrapped up yesterday, but I had to re-factor my code to preserve checkboxes and drop down lists when paging through a table (which doesn't resubmit the page back to the webserver). Once I got into the code I had no idea how it worked in the first place - one of those times of carefully balancing tweaks to get it working once. Now, I know what's going on and have some nicely commented code.
This coming week will have some proper testing of my code along with writing an email/cron script. I could write the script now, but I need test data for it. I think Monday will be a good day to make test data. Saturday is not a good day for test data.
Now for the first time in 3 weeks (maybe 4) I have some free time I don't feel guilty about. What to do?
#1 thing to do - DON'T WRITE ANY CODE. For at least a day. 'Till tonight, for sure.
I've been busy with my deadline (and I'm almost going to make it - I'll be finished to the point I said I would be on Friday, but not by noon on Thursday), which was not how I originally planned to spend the last week plus my birthday, but in all I don't think I missed out on anything. This weekend I have a make-up-birthday date with Gina over some Mexican Eatin' and to finally watch Gravity.
In the interim, I promised Gina a picture of a puppy in a hammock.
There will be surprisingly few updates for the next week as I work toward a deadline. Actual work. From my boss. That guy that pays me.
After noon on March 6, I might have time to post something interesting. Which is a shame because I've got a heck of a story about the fun of losing my CAC and how it's nigh impossible to get to where you have to go to replace the CAC without having a CAC to gain access.
I also have a story about getting screwed on my latest order of custom cards from China, but there's a good chance that'll get resolved by next Thursday.
In the interim, just keep refreshing this page to see if I've suddenly finished my work and have started posting spontaneously.
Actually don't do that, it'll needlessly eat up my precious bandwidth.
This past Saturday I got together with the crew from DealNews for a night of gaming. It wasn't proper Widgey gaming, but I got to learn how to play some new games. It's not often I get to go off and play games without taking a stack myself so I was excited to take advantage.
The first game for the night was Boss Monster. This is a card game that's similar to an old Nintendo side-scrolling video game. Each player has a boss monster (hence the name) and uses 5 cards to build a dungeon that will entice adventurers to enter and, hopefully, die. The first player to kill 10 adventurers without dying (letting 5 adventurers successfully get through the dungeon) wins. It's a fun, quick little game that looks to have a good depth of strategy. The cards really convey the old Nintendo flavor, too.
The second game was 7 Wonders. I'm not sure how to best categorize 7 Wonders. It's a card game, but each round you keep 1 card out of your hand and then pass the remaining cards to the next player - so there's strategy not only in what you keep but in what you're passing. There's a variety of ways to get Victory Points, and mine was not the best method. Score wise, mine was the worse method. This is a game that I think I would like if I spent more time with it and figuring out the rules and how to score.
The big game for the night was Eclipse. Eclipse is a 4X space game (eXplore, eXpand, eXterminate, eXploit) that is massive. Lots of parts, and although the rulebook is only 32 pages long, those rules are deep. Normally a game of Eclipse will take experienced players around 4 hours. This night there were 6 inexperienced players, and after 4 hours we were halfway through the games 9 turns. There's no easy way to learn this game and there's a steep learning curve. As such, the first game is pretty much just learning how to play and figuring out how the game works. We stopped halfway through the game and I was started to get a good feel of how the game worked. Of course, the way I had played up until that point had steered me into a losing path, but I think that's part of learning.
Part of the learning curve for Eclipse is that there doesn't seem to be a good route to explain how the game works. You can show and explain the components, but you're wondering what those components are used for. You can explain how the components are used, and you wonder how you get more components (to build your empire). This leads to combat, and how exploring works, and how you maintain the areas you've explored and conquered... all at the same time!
Eventually it starts to coalesce. It's not smooth, but it does come together. After we stopped playing, I went and looked up answers to a couple of questions I had for some of the mechanics. Along the way, I found at least 3 things that I had done wrong through the whole game. Now, I'd like to play the game again and see how it plays now that I think I have an idea of how to properly play.
Plus, I know of 3 things to print out for reference during play that would may the game a lot smoother at this stage.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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