Monday, August 29, 2005

GamerDad Woes
Anyone attempting to visit GamerDad has likely noticed that the site is down, and the forums are largely down as well. It is an unfortunate thing, and Bub is looking for alternate hosting because the reliability has been faltering as of late, and we just can't afford the downtime just as the site is taking off.

Update Sept 1st:as of today, the main site for GamerDad has transitioned to the new host. Unfortunately the forum is still on the old site ... and because of issues all might be lost ...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Dinner Party with other people
My wife and I got the rare opportunity to go out to dinner together without worrying about the babysitter. Last week was our 13th Anniversary, and on our anniversary day we went with the kids out to Deerfield to a place called 'George's Rocks' which had a nice litte Dinosaur exhibit and a man-made 'mine' for kids to get a bunch of polished rocks. It was fun for an hour or so. We also went to the Yankee Candle Factory store, which is always fun - they make it such a pleasure just to explore that the shopping part is secondary. Then we went to a nice little Italian place (Monty's Garden in Leominster) for dinner - one of those places that was good as a family, but not so much of a 'me & the wife' things.

Last week we also had Theresa (Lisa's good friend from college and Christopher's godmother) up from Wed - Sun. She offered to stay with the kids while we went out Saturday. Whew! Normally we have to deal with the babysitter (she is very good, but only 13 so we are careful about time) or my parents (...).

We went to a very highly regarded place called the Herb Lyceum, which was a herb garden that has evolved into a fine dining place. No liquor license, bring your own wine. They have a single fixed menu for the month. All that was fine, but seating was 'communal' - meaning that there were two tables for 10 and one for 15, making their 35 person capacity. We tend to like more intimate dinners, but thought we'd try. Our thoughts were 'not bad, never again' - see, we had no real together time. Intimate side-talk during a dinner party is rude. Also, you don't know anyone, and there were two very nice couples we sat with and had some nice discussion. Then there was a 'younger' couple, early 30's. They never relaxed and weren't much fun to talk to because of it. Finally there was a very pretentious couple, who would throw out names and places, but when anyone would want to discuss them, would seem bored and detached. Not much fun. But at least we got to dress up, have *awesome* food and wine, and a little time away.

So what did we learn? While we both enjoy the company of others, what we relish most is intimate time alone to celebrate our life together. In an age of 50% divorce rates - some of which have hit awfully close to home recently - I revel in the love and friendship I share with my wonderful wife. So even though we didn't have the greatest time at this 'dinner party' style night out, we did it together, and shared in that experience and learned something about ourselves as individuals and as a couple.
On the gaming side, a few things:
- I picked up Dungeon Siege II. I didn't like D1 all that much, but got it for the Mac for $5, so it was sort of a throw-away. But after playing the demo and really enjoying it, I took the plunge. I wasn't disappointed - it is a solid 80% game that reminds me of my recent experience with Project: Snowblind. That is, not a stellar game, but just plain solid.
- More purchases - Death Jr. (PSP), Advance Wars: Dual Strike (DS), and Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil (PC). Death Jr. started great, but faded fast to 'meh'. I'm really starting to wonder about the versatility of camera and controls on the PSP after the last three games! The Doom 3 expansion is actually very good - I just finished it over lunch. Even prettier, with some cool weapons (double-barrel shotgun! and grabber). Advance Wars is the coolest of the three, and a surprise for me since it is a strategy game. But after the first several missions I love it.

... and one other thing ... if you check the image below, you see that Dungeon Lords has been removed from my gaming laptop, marking the end of that game - the disks are in my storage box, and I don't think I'll see them again soon.

Monday, August 22, 2005

More from Cub Scout Camp ...

This is my Webelo den ... I'm in the lower left. They were pretty good kids, and we had a good week. I think that it worked out pretty well that my den assignment got messed up, as my older son seemed to have a great time without me leading his den.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Well, I have just completed my latest 'vacation' week - I served as a Den Leader for a group of Webelos at Cub Scout camp. I have been largely out of touch for the week, and it will be nice coming back to reality - though I will miss the kids.

More on this later.