Thursday, July 29, 2010

My day playing hookie

Ok... they be clear about this... I really wasn't playing hookie. Hookie is calling up working and saying " I don't feel so well. *Cough* *Cough* I won't be coming in today. *Cough*". That was not the case. I put in for a day off and it was accepted. However, playing hookie sound WAY cooler, so we'll just leave it that way. :P

Tom picked me up around 8am and we headed off to the National Museum of he US Air Force. The main plan of the day was to see the Hubble movie on the IMAX theater. It was something that I've been wanting to see for a while now but just never had the change to go see. I knew it was leaving soon, so I just took off a day to go see it.

We got to the museum around 9am. I got tickets to the 11am show and then we went and looked at some airplanes. We first went into the World War Two section. We wandered around there for, well about 2 hours. It was awesome. I like looking at the planes and reading up on their top speed, stories about the specific plane that is on display, other stories that involve certain aircraft. It's also nice to see the progression in the aeronautical technologies. I basically have two favorite aircraft. One of them is in the WWII exhibit. The Flying Tigers was the name of the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Airforce in 1941-1942. Their main aircraft was the Curtis P-40 which had distinct art on the nose of the airplane to resemble a shark. Like this. I've always stopped and stared at this plane everytime I've been to the museum. And today was no exception. Except this time I took some photos so I can remember it a little bit better.

After the WWII section, I believe we continued on into the Early Years section (we kinda did that one backwards). Again, lots of planes. The coolest one that I remember at the moment, was the giant biplane bomber which had wings which were hinged so they could bend backwards. This was the Martin MB-2.

Finally at just before 11am, we headed to the giant IMAX theater. I forget quickly how large an IMAX screen is. It is big. The Hubble movie was good. I was slightly disappointed since I was thinking it was going to be the Hubble 3D movie, however this was the 'flat' version. And that was okay honestly. Most of the #D effects would have been utilized during a section where they were peering into a galaxy n stuff. They did send an IMAX 3D camera up there during STS-125 (the last Hubble mission), so the repair mission parts would be cool to see in #d for sure. But beggars can't be choosers and I was begging to see this movie, so... I got the 2D version. And it was good. :)

After that, it was noon but we decided that we'd quickly go through the cold war part of the museum. Of course, in order to get there you had to go through another hanger of airplanes from the Southeast Asia and Korean Wars section which was too much for us to pass up. So we went through all of that. And all of the 'Cold War Era'. And since we had seen that much, we topped it off by seeing the Space and Missle section which was in a 140-ft high building. Seeing a full size Titan II rocket is pretty interesting.

By the time we finished the space thing, we oth kinda forgot that we didn't eat lunch. So we were rather hungry. We stopped at Subway. And Subway is good.

After that we went to Mendelsons Liquidation Outlet. I discovered this place when I was doing my circuit-bending hobyy quite a bit. I was looking for a place which sold switches and capacitors and resistors and stuff. And I found it. And whole lot more. Which Tom can attest to. It was hot as heck in there since they didn't have air conditioning. The best part was when Tom thought he had seen everything in the store only to realize that he had only seen the first FLOOR. There was still a second floor to see. It's a good thing it went down that way since on the way to the elevator, Tom found some little kitchen gadget that he HAD to have.

After sweating to death at MLO, we caught some dinner at BW3s where the service was a bit on the slow side. I had managed to get a migraine while at MLO, so I wasn't much for eating (plus, we had a late lunch as well). Service there was a bit on the slow side. We stared joking about growing the potatoes and having to hatch the chickens. Eventually the food arrived and I ate most of my Asian Zing wings and some of my chips.

After we finished eating, I decided to play one of those crane games. Each credit was 50 cents. So I plunked in a dollar and got 2 credits. On the first grab I got a doll with a music box in it. The lil one isn't so keen on music boxes, so I tried to nab a bear on my second credit. And I was SOOOO close. It actually dragged it but then it dropped right before it got to the drop zone. Since I was so close to getting the bear, I plunked in another dollar for 2 more credits. On the 3rd try I completed getting the other bear. But then I still had one more credit, so I aimed for another bear. Which I got. So, out of 4 tries, I got 3 toys. Not bad at all. Most machines nowadays they cram the animals in there so tight that it is nearly impossible to actually grab anything. But in this machine, they were in there fairly loose and the claw actually had a little bit of grab to it. Another thing that was a bonus was that the claw did not engage until you had dropped it completely. Most machine you press the button and zoom it goes down and zip it goes back up. This one I could momentarily press the buttn and the claw would only go down a little bit. And as long as the claw wasn't all the way down, you could still move it right left forward and back. So that helped me as well get precise claw-grabbing ability.

Then we drove home.

All in all, it was a great day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend and my latest addiction (and no it's not cheap meth again)

Just thought I'd drop a note here.

-= Part 1: The Weekend =-
-= Saturday =-
Saturday my parents and sister came into town to do family photos. The kiddos behaved about as well as kids can when you're asking them to stand in the same place for 5 minutes. Had to let the lil little one run around a little bit when he started doing the 'I know you want to hold me , but I don't want to be held so I'm going to arch my back and contort my body as much as possible so you don't get the satisfaction of me being held' thing.

After the photo shoot, the parents dropped by the house. The Mrs and I took the opportunity to go out and get lunch and run around. We ate at Crazy Burritos which was pretty tasty. My lunch special shrimp fajitas (for $6.75 no less) was awesome. I'd certainly go there again just for that. After that we hit a consignment place that Mrs wanted to go to. There wasn't much there (other than some used carseats. I guess they didn't get the memo on it being illegal to resale used carseats.) After that we attempted to go to Goodwill, however there literally were no parking spots. It's on a corner and there literally are 4 parking spots for the store... two of which are handicapped. There was also no parking on the street around the store. I'm not sure how they expect anyone to shop there. :-/ After that we got some ice cream at a place called Old Farmhouse I think. It just recently opened. I got Peach and it was fresh and tasty.

After that fun, we came back to the house and attempted to tackle the basement. When we moved, we took a TON of stuff to my sister's house. So, lately, when she's visitd shes broght back a box or ten and it was soon becoming clear that we were going to run out of room. So, we decided that it might be time to unclutter our stuff and make some 'DONATE' and 'GARAGE SALE' piles. We really did get threw quite a bit which was nice. I let go of quite a few things, which for me is hard since I feel like I'm a border-line hoarder at times. I like things. Collections of things. Things that might be useful (and sometimes they are). But does one really need 5 extra keyboards? Does one really need those VHS tapes with three episodes of 'Behind the Music' on each of them? No. Not really. I have hung on to alot of stuff that honestly, I just don't need and that likely will not be of any use any time soon.

-= Sunday =-
Sunday I got to vacuum the whole house.

I also got to hang out with Ian. We went and ate at the Rusty Bucket in Worthington. It was tasty. We both got an order of the deep fried pickles. They were tasty, but the volume was a bit much. I got their coney platter which had two dogs covered in chili, cheese, onions and mustard (I told them to hold the sweet relish since I'm not a huge sweet relish fan... i like dill relish... not sweet relish) and some fries. It was a bit much. Ugh. I could have done without the second dog. The chili dogs were pretty much the cheapest thing on the menu at nearly $8. I'm a cheap-skate, so paying anymore than $6 makes me cringe unless it is REALLY good. This was not really good. Good. But not really good. I think my Pepsi was like $2.75. I should have just had water. Maybe then my bill for just me wouldn't have been $20 (another thing that makes me cringe).

After that we headed up to the OSU campus. After driving over one of the many bottles left in the gutter by one of the many college students (the tire was fine), we went to Used Kids. It feels like one of the few things that I can still recognize since I've been there. The Buckeye Donuts shop had a complete facelife. The Arbys and Stop n Rob have been bulldozed and replaced with a CVS. The Bike Source and Jousters bar have been bulldozed and replaced with a giant BW3s (which means one of the original BW3s places has been... bulldozed or facelifted. South Campus with all of its bars was bulldozed and now houses a whole complex of eateries, a theater and who knows what else. Even Used Kids techincally has changed. It was in the basement, but they had a fire some time after I left and had to relocate next door, to the second floor where there used to be a place called 'World Records' but that happened a while a go. 2000 maybe?

I'm rambling.

Anyways, we rooted around in the $3 CD and $1 record bins. I ended up with a Walter (Wendy) Carlos album where s/he covered various, random things that supposedly people requested... everything from Tchaikovsky to the Beatles. I also ended up with two double albums of music from some older MGM musicals. I'm not exactly sure why I bought them right now. I'm sure they will be among the first things to be put into the 'gone' pile when I finally get all the records in the house and start purging that collection. Maybe it's cause I felt bad about only spending $1. I like Used Kids. They have a crap load of crap there and that place has been an institution on campus since... who knows when (probably either in late 60s or early 70s). With the resurgence in vinyl, I guess I feel like making sure they place stays open for people to rediscover music from way back when vinyl wasn't just a 'retro-cool' thing but one of the main forms of distributing music.

-= Part 2: Addiction =-
So, after I got back from hanging out with Ian, I played with the kids and ate some dinner. Both of them had been up since early that morning, so by 7:30pm, they were both in meltdown mode and we put them to bed. Luckily, both of them went down somewhat nicely. One of them was convinced that we absolutely HAD TO go outside to hunt for treasure and repeatedly told us so for about 20 minutes before she was informed it was ABSOLUTELY time for bed. She whined and cried and hen crashed in a matter of minutes.

So, I went downstairs and rummaged through a couple more boxes.

And then I played my new addiction. A game called "The Movies". It's from 2005. I got it for $5 from Half Priced Books. You basically run a movie studio; hiring actors and directors, building movie sets, maintaining the studio grounds, trying to keep the actors and directors egos in check, trying to make sure that they all dont become alcoholics (seriously, that's part of the game). It was widely anticipated but from what I understand, people were disappointed with the game play or something. Anyways, most people now use it for making these weird movies that you can actually make in the game (something called Machinima. I was thinking about buying it for the wife when it first came out, since she's a big movie buff, but at the time her computer would have pretty much melted down if I would have tried to install this game on it.

Anyhoo... after I bought it, it took a few weeks to finally install it. On my machine first, of course. At first, I had a hard time... but I didn't read the directions either. D'oh. After I figured it out, I was off. After dorking around with it for THREE HOURS the first night. I came upstairs and told the wife how much fun it was and then declared 'that game is a such time sucker'. To me, that means it's a game that you can sit down with every intention of playing for 'just a few minutes' and the next thing you know it's 3 hours later. That's kinda what happened last night. It was 8:30 and I was going to just play a little while also working on another project from the wife. The next thing I know, it's 11:30 and my mouse clicking figure is stuff and my eyes are burning because I've been so intently watching the screen. It didn't help that I just hired a whole mess of actors/actresses and directors, had like 3 movies in production at one, and they were all getting bent out of shape and drinking and complaining that their entourage wasn't big enough or their trailer wasn't nice enough and blah blah blah and red lights going off everywhere and.... you get the picture.

It's a time sucker. And I enjoy it. I had a hard time, even at midnight, getting to sleep because my brain was actively thinking about what strategy I could use on my next game. I haven't even finished the first one yet! Actually, the game is open ended, but I figure when the year 2000 rolls around (It starts in the 20s... I'm currently in the late 70s) I'm sure that I'll probably start anew at that point. Maybe I'll hire fewer people and concentrate on building more sets (a current problem is movies using the same sets and blocking each other). Maybe I'll be 'Actor-land' so that I can keep track of the trailers better (currently they are strewn all about and it's nearly impossible to find a star's trailer when they need to be put into time out). Maybe I need to focus more on their entourages. Maybe I should use the custom scrip writing office earlier in the game and that could help me avoid issues with the same sets being used over and over again.

Anyways... that's all I have to say about that.