April 3, 2013

What’s “New” in My Family

Posted in Family at 7:53 pm by Transmuter

So, here’s a quick overview of the major changes that have happened in my life since August 2009:

  • Darien, my third child and first son, was born. He is now three years old, and an adorable terror of a child. He’s super loving and tender, but also stubborn and independent.
  • We bought a house! Yes, soon after Darien was born we moved into our first owned home.
  • We got a new car. My father-in-law traded us his CNG-powered sedan for our Jimmy.
  • Kyla is now in first grade. Crazy! She loves reading; according to testing she is reading at a 4th grade level.
  • I got a new job. I am now working for a small software company as a combination pre-sales engineer and IT manager. It’s far busier than my last job, but I’m learning a lot and really enjoying it.

I think those are the main things. For far more detail, visit my wife’s blog. She’s been much more consistent at blogging than I have.

January 4, 2009

Miscellany

Posted in Family, Games, Video/Computer Games at 8:11 pm by Transmuter

Well, we went to our new ward for the second time, and it was a much better experience than the first time, when hardly anybody talked to us. I got to meet several people whose names I almost immediately forgot. I’m not good with names. I met the mayor, who is also in our ward, and he’s super friendly. I’ll probably end up working on his office computer at some point.

Get Smart is a hilarious movie. We rented it from Redbox for a date,  but I wasn’t expecting great things. I figured it’d be fairly amusing in places, but nothing to write home about. Well, I was wrong. It was funny from end to end; Chiemi and I were busting up the entire time! I know the movie got mixed reviews, but for whatever reason the movie really got to us. I highly recommend checking it out.

My 3-year-old Kyla is a really sweet girl at heart, even though she can be a pain to deal with sometimes. This evening, I read her a little book before bed, and after finishing I gave her the book to read on her own, as she usually likes to do. Well, tonight she gave me the book back and told me to give it to Arwen, her 14-month-old sister who had been staring longingly at us the whole time from her crib. Arwen had been VERY unhappy to be put to bed without a bottle, but she’s been overflowing her diaper almost every night recently, so no more water before bed. She does NOT like this idea at all. Well, Chiemi and I figured she was finally asleep before we put Kyla to bed, but she woke up as soon as Kyla and I entered the room. I suppose Kyla sensed Arwen was unhappy, so she generously offered her book to her. It was a very kind gesture, and Arwen happily grabbed the book from me and sat down. It kept her quiet for a bit before the screaming began again. Fortunately she fell asleep faster the second time.

Quick shout-out to my aunt Vicki, who bought me X3: Reunion for my birthday. Thanks, Vicki! I’ll be sure to blog about it sometime.

After my first week of work, I have to say I really enjoy it. I’m still learning the ins and outs of the place, but I work with a great team, and it’s all very interesting so far.

January 2, 2009

The Big Move

Posted in Family, Games, Role-Playing Games, Video/Computer Games at 8:51 am by Transmuter

Well, I have been terrible at updating this blog, as usual. However, I just made a Facebook account! It’s kind of fun, and I can see how some people could waste way too much time on it.

In family news, we just moved to St. George, UT because I got a job there! I’m happy to have finally found a job, and St. George is a beautiful place. I’m working in the City’s tech department with a bunch of really cool guys. We’re renting a really nice townhouse that is more like a real house since it doesn’t share walls with anything. Money’s going to be pretty tight for the foreseeable future, but that’s not much of a change. I may be looking for a little side work to supplement our income though.

In WoW news, I got Wrath of the Lich King and hit level 80 with my paladin. I have no drive to level my rogue right now because there’s so much to do still even at level 80! I’m slowly leveling my blacksmithing, clearing quests, and getting achievements. I now have the Hallow’s End title and the Winter Veil title, as well as the Explorer title. The achievements really add some fun things to do in WoW. Last night my sister and I, and my wife for a bit, ran a few old world dungeons to get the achievements for them. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, to save $30 a month my wife and I have canceled our accounts, and won’t be playing past January until we can afford it again.

In other gaming news, I’m hoping to be able to remotely play D&D with my group back in Cali. I found a program called MapTool, which is a mapping program that allows players to connect to the DM and do things like chat, move tokens around the map, and view/modify information. Brett’s going to use his laptop as the DM map, his desktop connected to his HDTV as the player map for the group, and I’ll connect with my computer as well. We’ll try webcams and microphones through Skype or Ventrilo and see how it works. Our next game is scheduled for next Thursday.

I got a Saitek X52 flight control system for Christmas. It was available refurbished for $25, which is an amazing deal considering it’s $100 new normally. I’ve already downloaded a half dozen games and demos of space flight sims to try it out with. I used to own Descent: Freespace and Freespace 2, but I fear the discs are long gone. I loved those games, and I was quite angry when my lovely Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro joystick was not compatible with any operating systems past Windows 98. It’s sad that this genre of games has diminished so much in recent years. However, one game called X3: Reunion looks promising. The graphics are quite good, and there’s a lot of interesting-looking stuff. It does seem to have a large learning curve though, so it’s going to take a long time to get the hang of it. I’ll be focusing on WoW until my remaining time expires anyway, so we’ll see in February.

October 13, 2008

WoW 3.0.2 Out Tomorrow

Posted in Family, Games, Role-Playing Games, Video/Computer Games at 11:00 pm by Transmuter

I’m very excited about the new 3.0.2 patch for World of Warcraft that is coming out tomorrow. I’ve been playing the beta almost exclusively, since it’s painful to go back to the way paladins are in live. There are so many improvements to paladins it’s amazing! I’m sure the other classes have been improved too, but I’ve been having such a good time with my paladin that I haven’t even bothered playing my rogue. Add the new achievement system, and I think it’ll be enough to pull me away from the beta. Besides, all the beta stuff will be wiped away when it ends anyway. I plan getting a bunch of achievements: exploring the whole world, soloing all the low-level dungeons, and buying a bunch of mounts and noncombat pets. I really want the “Argent Champion” title, so I might go farm Stratholme to get exalted with the Argent Dawn. The runecloth will be useful for getting my reputation with Darnassus and Gnomeregan Exiles up to exalted too.

I’m still playing D&D every week, and it’s a blast! I really enjoy the new 4th edition, and playing with my friends is tons of fun. We’re up to level 4 now and just started a new adventure. We’re up to 6 players, which is a bit much, but it’s still fun. If we add any more players we might have to split into two groups! That could be a problem – my brother’s apartment wouldn’t fit everyone!

My two little girls are generally adorable, except when they’re cranky. Arwen is almost 1, and she’s going through the phase where she knows how to scream at will, and does so frequently. She sends her mother and father into fits, making them think she’s in terrible pain or danger. Compounding this is the fact that her older sister Kyla likes to mimic her. Stereo screaming is not fun. Fortunately, most of the time they’re sweet and very cute.

As far as the job search goes, I didn’t get the job I applied for in Wyoming. I haven’t given up yet, and I’m still trying to apply for jobs every day. Today I applied for a job that looks really good working for Blizzard Entertainment, the very company that develops World of Warcraft! It would be totally rad to work at Blizzard. I’m trying not to set myself up for disappointment though; I’m sure they get hundreds of applications. Well, here’s hoping.

I recently found a really cool website that develops flash games! It’s called Nitrome, and today’s pick is called OneKey. It’s a cute little action-puzzle game where you help a little square-shaped native get through a dangerous Aztec temple using only one key – the mighty spacebar! The twist is that you don’t actually control the native; you control all the various deadly traps in the temple, alternately activating and disabling them as the native blindly saunters past. It’s quite creative and innovative. Check it out!

September 14, 2008

General Update

Posted in Family, Games, Hobby, Role-Playing Games, Video/Computer Games at 9:45 pm by Transmuter

Ok, I really need to post something here; it’s been a while since my last post. My wife is so much better at blogging regularly than I am.

Well, last Thursday our ranger was out of town, but our new player Chris got to try out his dragonborn paladin with us in a test battle. It’s nice to have a tank again, and nice for my warlord to have a fellow melee class available again, since he synergizes so well with them. We all had a lot of fun, and I think Chris has grasped the basics pretty well. Hopefully everyone will be able to make it next time.

In World of Warcraft news, I’ve been enjoying the beta still. The new level 80 premades became available, so I copied a rogue, paladin, and druid over to try them out. I still can’t PvP very well on my rogue, but my ret pally is doing massive damage with gigantic crits! It’s very fun, and I’m halfway tempted to level my real paladin as retribution, rather than protection. On the normal beta server my pally has reached level 73, and I’ve almost cleared all of the quests in Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord. I have to say that Blizzard’s quest design keeps getting better. There was a massive improvement from vanilla WoW to BC, but the WotLK quests seem to ge a step higher still, with creative quests abounding. I enjoy the opportunity to submit my feedback on each quest, so I can tell Blizzard that quests that want a large number of items that have a low drop rate are not fun. Fortunately, I’ve not encountered very many of that kind of quest in the beta.

I haven’t been playing on the live realms much except to do arena once a week to build up arena points. I have my rogue in a 3v3 team with a resto druid and warlock. Our first week we went 0-10. The next week I think we went 2-8. Yesterday we managed to break even, winning 50% of our battles! We’re definitely improving our skills. Note to self – don’t try to attack the plate-wearers; you barely hurt them.

Sadly, I didn’t get the job I’ve had my eye on for the past few weeks. It sounded really good, but I guess I’ll have to keep looking. Hopefully I’ll find something as good or better!

In good news, my diet has been working. I’ve definitely lost some weight and and getting a bit thinner. Now I just need to keep it up and exercise more regularly.

No flash game this time. Maybe next time!

August 17, 2008

General Updates

Posted in Family, Games, General, Hobby, Role-Playing Games, Video/Computer Games at 7:01 pm by Transmuter

Hello, it’s been a while since I last updated, so I’ll not post about a specific topic today. Instead, I will make an update about everything (that I can think of, anyway) that has been going on in my world recently.

Read the rest of this entry »

May 18, 2008

Vacation up the Coast

Posted in Family at 12:49 pm by Transmuter

Well, we got back last Saturday from a trip up the California coast to visit Chiemi’s best friend Shelly and her husband Quentin. We stopped in Solvang, the Danish-themed town. It was cute, and we had a good time shopping and enjoying Danish cuisine. The next day we drove up the coast to Monterey. We had planned to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but we got a late start and decided we were too tired to go after all. The next day we drove the rest of the way to Quentin & Shelly’s house. They have a very nice house in Gilbert. The next two days basically consisted of Chiemi and Shelly talking nonstop. Those two talked until way too late at night, just like they did when they lived in the same apartment complex. It’s kinda funny. Well, Chiemi occupying Shelly’s time meant that she didn’t care if Quentin played World of Warcraft all day, which we did. It was mighty fun, too. He has a level 62 holy paladin that we need to get to 70.

Today’s flash game is called Dino Run, a side scrolling platform game where you play a little velociraptor running to escape a wall of doom. It’s got a gorgeous 8-bit art style that’s totally retro, including an equally retro soundtrack and sound effects. Basically you run from the start to the end of the level as fast as you can, while eating small animals and eggs in order to gain DNA that you can spend to increase your speed, strength, etc. It’s a fun game with lots of little secrets and achievements that will keep you running the levels over and over. Check it out!