With (nearing) two days done in May, I’m on target to complete my National Novel Writing Month (UofAEdition) novel by the end of the 31st day of the month.  If you don’t know what NaNoWrMo is, the basic premise is that a group of crazy people decide to attempt to write a 50,000 word novel within the confines of a single month.  Usually celebrated in November, some individuals at the University of Alberta decided that May was a better month to hold the event, for ‘religious reasons’.

Here’s a breakdown of the participation/completion rate.

2006 had 21 participants, of whom four finished.
2007 had 47 participants, of whom three finished.

I competed in 2007.  And by competed, I mean ‘failed miserably’.

While I’m currently on target, I don’t forseemuch (if any) work being done on any of the upcoming weekends this month.  I’ve got plans that should fill most of this weekend, I’m out of town (and without a laptop) next weekend, the third weekend is my wedding anniversary.  The other two weekends are currently clear, but…yea.  I need to get back to writing.

This weekend I’m going to be running Cold City for a new group of people.  I’m really excited about that, especially with some of the rules being clarified by the designer, Malcolm Craig.  He’s also provided me with a copy of the most recent version of the Hot War rules (a game that is the evolution of Cold City, bringing the world to a nuclear holocaust) to playtest.  I hope to be able to read through them and run it fairly soon so that I can forward my comments.

Finally, Emily and I booked a trip to Las Vegas for the summer.  We’re really excited about it.  It should be fun.  We were lucky enough to be able to score front row seats to the Penn and Teller show, which according to my good friend Paul, is awesome.  We’ve also got good seats for Cirque du Soliel’s O and the Blue Man Group.  We’ll be staying at the Planet Hollywood, which from what we can tell, should be an excellent hotel.

So, this has been around 375 words I could have dropped into my novel.  Oh well.

Trying Something New

As I had indicated in yesterday’s post, I’m going to try and keep a list of wines (and recommendations) for you folks in internet land to use for reference.  I’ve also decided that since I quite enjoy food with my wine, I should try putting up some of my favorite recipies (except for the ones that Emily and I keep a secret!!!).

I’m also going to put up a list of games that I have, along with any thoughts about them.  I’m not sure what I’ll include and exclude, but I’m definately putting up my RPGs and Board Games.

I could put up all sorts of lists, but really, I think three is enough.

 So I hope that this information interests you as it is populated.  As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated!

DIY Checkouts

So, the Save-On-Foods by my house has recently installed DIY checkouts.  When I first encounted these devices in the States (because they get everything before us…), I was completely against the idea of paying someone for a service that required me to do most of the work.  The more I think about it however, I’ve come to a different conclusion.

First, what on earth are these fantastical devices?  Quite simply, it is an amazing piece of technology.  When you scan your item, it prompts you to place your item in the bag.  The bags sit on a scale – so as you scan items, not only does it determine how much you owe, it also fetches the approximate weight.  The computer keeps a running total of your weights, as a control to prevent any errors (not scanning an item, for example).  Anyway, its a pretty slick device.

So, what was my problem?  When I go to a store, I pay for the goods and the service of someone to check me out.  This eliminates that service.  Not only does this seem contrary to customer loyalty principles (if you don’t interact with the staff, how can you prefer one store over another?), my purchase is generating a higher profit (since one person monitors 4-6 machines).

Personally, I think that if I’m going to use the DIY Checkout, I should get a discount to reflect the fact that I’m helping the company save money on manpower.  I’m not thinking much – maybe 5% (or less, whatever the ‘typical’ cost savings might be).  It would make me happy.

 It would be nice.  Doubt it will happen though.

Star Wars

As some of you know, I’m a fairly avid fan of Star Wars.  I used to read the majority of the books, but they ended up getting lame (thankfully, I realized that the Star Trek books were lame after one).  I’ve played almost every Star Wars game made since Super Star Wars, and I admin at a Star Wars Roleplaying Game website.  With that said, I’ve been a terrible fan.  This past month I finally got around to watching the 2004 re-release of the original trilogy.  You know, the one the ‘purists’ made a stink about because Lucas added scenes.  Its been 2 years, and I have not watched the original movies.  I’ve watched the new trilogy about 2 times through, but not where things got started.

Now, what I really want to comment on is a few of the ‘canon’ ideas that have arose out of the books that I did read and how the ending of the 2004 RotJ contradicts these events.  Granted, the only real canon is what Lucas says it is (ie, the movies).  However, I’d like to think the the Zahn trilogy would be the conclusion to the series, however Wikipedia says that the Phantom Menace provides a number of problems that would prevent an accurate transition of the book to movie.  However, the glaring issue I had with the addition of the ‘celebration scenes’ from the other planets after the destruction of the second Death Star is that the Empire would not immediately fall after the destruction.  Yes, it would cause fragmentation, but it would not create immediate overthrow.  Perhaps those scenes were ment to be ‘after a few weeks’, since it would take that long for the information to flow across the galaxy and have ordinary people rising up against the opressors.

Anyway, the final thoughts on the added scenes: Yes, I’m likely having to buy new copies so I can show my children unedited versions.  But, for the most part, the added scenes weren’t that noticable in the ANH and ESB (which is the greatest movie in the series).  By noticable, I mean that I can’t actually recall anything outside of the additional scene with Jabba in ANH – nothing major, but does sort of tie in to the story, but at the same time, not really.  RotJ however, I noticed, and I did not like.  Of course, I like RotJ the least out of the original movies.  I’d have to do a marathon and watch all 6 before I could do a full ranking, but RotJ was never that great in my eyes.  I know folks like the Taminator disagree with me on this, but thats fine.

Yes, this post is mostly incoherent and ranting.  I don’t care.

Where are all the Building Blocks?

So, where have all the Building Blocks gone? One half of my blog is constantly ignored, and it will stay that way. At least, until Lego sends me a new set of Mindstorms for me to play with. I’m not holding my breath on that happening. I’m going to TRY to write up some reviews of video games. I figure I should give my blog some sort of main theme, rather than the random posts that I’ve been giving since inception.

This Friday, was able to catch a game of poker with some of my Brothers. I was able to win back what I had lost last time I played at Welke’s place, and a bit more. I was also able to beat C-lo at a few hands, which makes me happy. I was worried my ‘poker kryptonite’ status was fading. I had alot of fun, and I hope to be able to be involved in more events this year.

I also would like to get a game of Diplomacy in sometime. Its been a long time since I’ve played a game, and I’m sure there’s many out there who would be in for a game.