Introductions all around

The ripping sensation of Mr. Tickles

I don't know that I've actually gone through the proper introductory things between the two of you, so here goes. Internet, meet Mr. Tickles; Tickles, meet the internet. There, that's not so bad now is it. I'm sure that you'll make great friends, after all you see me at the internet enough Tickles, and you don't really give a damn about anything internet.

Wow Scrubs, just wow

I just finished watching the most recent episode of Scrubs (episode 314) and I've got to say that it's really something, something powerful. As minutes pass and I have a chance to think about the episode, elements of the episode are falling into place in my mind. The ending was superb and the foreshadowing and character development were marvelous. I would not expect this much from a show in its third season. This was probably one of the best episodes of Scrubs that I've seen.

Trial by Fire

In addition to being the title of an old Sierra adventure game that I used to be quite fond of, the term Trial by Fire applies pretty well to tomorrow. Those of you in the know will understand perfectly, those of you not, believe me when I say that I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

That having been said, let me tell you a little about Trial by Fire, the game. Trial by Fire was the second in the Quest for Glory series of games. Quest for Glory was somewhere halfway in between your standard Sierra graphical adventure game (most of which were beautifully artistic pre-VGA games) and a modern computer role-playing game. You wandered around talking to people, getting items and using them in the right places, going through an elaborate and immersive story, but there was also combat. The combat, although simple by modern terms, was well designed and reminded me a great deal of fencing the time I decided to be retro and play old Sierra games a few years back.

I have good memories of when David Caloccia and I used to sit around playing old Sierra games on my Dell 286 or on his Tandy 1000. Ah the good old days of early elementary school. It was pretty darned hard back in those days when neither of us had a very large vocabulary and the games forced us to interact with the game environment through textual commands. I blame my early reading development, at least in part, on those Sierra adventure games.

As a quick summary of the good ones, I thought that the Space Quest series was exceptional, the Quest for Glory series was quite good, and the Leisure Suit Larry series was also quite good (I suspect more so now that I would be able to understand the sexual humor). I never really liked the King's Quest or Police Quest games all that much and I don't really remember any of the others.

Just as a short diversion from Sierra, but still on the topic of adventure games, I would also highly recommend Infocom's Zork series, the Legend of Kyrandia series by Westwood and LucasArts' Monkey Island series. Those and Sierra's Space Quest series would be what I would suggest if someone came to me and said, "I'm bored and want to play a good adventure game, what do you suggest?"

Encino Man

So, we just watched Encino Man in Happiness (433) and I'm not really sure how to put it. Most people would probably call it a bad movie, maybe a very bad movie, but me, I was amused. Let's see if the cast gives you any idea of the quality of the film: Pauly Shore, Brendan Frasier and that guy that plays Sam in the Lord of the Rings.

Synopsis: (spoiler warning) Guy likes girl. Girl doesn't like guy. Guy digs up caveman. Hilarity ensues. Guy gets girl.

Hey, if it's got Pauly Shore, then it's got to be good right? I mean, look at such unforgettable classics as Bio-Dome, Jury Duty or In the Army Now.

Honor, dignity and whatnot

There are a lot of things that people talk about as being particularly important character traits; things like honor, dignity, confidence, skill, and plenty of others. I've been doing a lot of thinking of late and I have to say that honor has got to be the most important character trait of all.

If you have your honor then you have everything. If you do not have your honor then you have nothing.

My new office is in 7-100LA

For those of you looking to find me during the day, my new office is now in 7-100LA. I will be adopting an open door policy whereby anyone can step in and visit if they would like to talk or need anything. I will be in my office during the week when I am not busy with prior engagements.

I hope the move poses no inconveniences for anyone.

My Valentine's Day

Today was Valentine's day (still is, but that's not important to the story). Today started with me waking up at 6:00a from a really lucid dream. It was an odd experience; I woke up and was all like, wait, when did I go to sleep, wasn't I just awake. It was all early like because today was a day of plans.

Then I drove into Cambridge for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I needed my Nalgene bottles (the reason will likely be apparent in the next paragraph). And secondly, I had a cinder block to deliver. Many months ago (some time last summer) I resolved to give a girl a cinder block every Valentine's Day henceforth. Today was the first giving of a cinder block, but, trust me, I'm going to keep it up until I actually realize how stupid it is (not very likely).

Anyway, then I set out for Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire to do some hiking (me likey hikey). Oh, and this is why I needed them Nalgene things and the water. So, I'm nearly to Mount Monadnock and then the car gets a flat tire. No biggee, I know how to deal with a flat tire, but sometimes, the wheel gets stuck and you kick it and three different people stop and offer help but fail. Eventually, you call AA, wait no, that's for drunks; you call AAA and some guy shows up and helps you get the flat off and the spare on.

So I got to the mountain thing, climbed it and had a generally great time. At the top I sat around for a while and hung out. I had a beer and a nice conversation about winter hiking and camping and the like with a couple of guys that came up a different trail. They suggested some shelters in Pinkham Notch; I suspect that they mean the Hermit Lake Shelters, which match their description from what I find on Google and in my AMC book. I think that the Hermit Lake Shelters would probably do quite well for the camping trip that we're planning for March.

It was ~1h30 up Monadnock and ~1h00 down, very windy at the top, really nice visibility. So after the mountain thing I came back, got the flat replaced and then did the whole sit around thing and have been yammering stupid banter back and forth with Will.

That's my Valentine's day in summary; not very romantic, but pretty amusing.

Friday the 13th

Hey, it's Friday the 13th. What's more, it's Friday the 13th in a February. In normal cases, a February Friday the 13th means that there will be three Friday the 13ths (I'll leave that to you to prove for yourself), but this is no ordinary case; this year is a leap year. That is all.

Sledding is Great

Hippo, Max, Riad and I went sledding this evening and it was totally awesome. Yesterday, it snowed a bunch and then it rained a bit but then it got colder again today. The final result of all of these weather shenanigans was a thin layer of snow that was coated by a thicker layer of ice-like crust and then there were many areas consisting entirely of ice. Suffice it to say that there was quite a lot of fast sledding and a lot of bumps that will likely be bruises tomorrow, but hey, it builds character and it was totally worth it.

My Hagakure is abridged!

I recently decided to reread my copy of Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo (I have the William Scott Wilson translation) and in reading the Foreword I discovered that it's an abridged version. William Scott Wilson decided only to publish about 300 of the roughly 1300 passages in the actual Hagakure. Mister Wilson has done a very good job of choosing ~300 exceptional passages, but it leaves me wanting. I have my principles (some eccentric) and I don't like reading books in an abridged form.

As a further note, I have looked to see if there are any unabridged copies in English and come up with nothing. I was also unable to locate any complete copies in the original Japanese (though this may be my fault and not due to their non-existence).