Prelude to Vegas 2005

Next weekend, myself and 14 other individuals will be getting on a plane and heading to the other half of the nation to Las Vegas, Nevada. What awaits us, only time will tell. The breakdown is 3 females and 12 males. This cast of characters is nearly as random as some of the games half of us will be wagering money on. In the same respect, so are a number of things the group plans to do. From seeing Mos Def perform to potentially seeing the Queen: We Will Rock You Show. For some this will be their first venture to the self-styled city of sin, for others its just another visit and tick mark on their calendar of life.
Group dynamics will most likely play a huge role in the stories to be repeated (and not repeated) from the coming weekend. Fifteen people will not all be going to the same place for the same purpose. At some point at the very beginning of the trip, the group will split into smaller groups and pursue their own goals. One group will, undoubtedly be spending most of the weekend in the casinos tyring to pay for their flight home. Another group will make the most of each day, taking in sights such as the Bellagio water show, and a number of the casino exclusive shows. A third group that may comprise members of the other two, will be taking it easy and gearing up for the legendary night life that pulses through the city after dark.

A trip rife with potential for fun and entertainment to be sure.

And yet for whatever reason I cannot make myself excited for this trip. I have absolutely no expectations from this trip and part of me has no desire to even bother going. It even took months of convincing by the others to get me to agree to go. I’m not sure if its some factor of the group dynamic that has me skeptical or something else that is triggering my apathy, but it has become apparent my presence will have a large impact on the outcome of the trip…or so everyone else believes. One thought that had occured to me was that, it is perhaps, less exciting to pursue the interests of others when your own lie elsewhere.

Regardless, I’ll be getting on the plane on Friday after work and travel across the country. I’ll have a good time and enjoy the weekend. Maybe I’ll even get a few pictures of Ronnie enjoying himself too.

HMO Bad!

Last night, I went over to my parents house after work. I knew my room would most likely flood, so I checked in on it first and it wasn’t too bad. Of course, it got much worse, but thankfully I wasn’t there to worry about it. Instead, I engaged in thoughtful analysis of health and dental plans with my father after an excellent home cooked meal from my mom.

You see, when we transitioned to this new company, I fell through every crack possible because I was still technically contract when we were bought out. So one of the cracks I fell through was the election of my new benefits. This unfortunate circumstance left me with no dental coverage and the most minimal health plan possible.

One of the things I picked up from this engaging session of insurance comparison were the overbearing and controlling nature of HMO’s. While they are a little cheaper, they totally make all the decisions for you and you have little say in most of the matters. That was the informative part of this post.

After all was said and done I felt like we carefully weighed every option. I now have dental and health insurance.

It felt like I was picking a pokemon to fight some other pokemon or something. Water is good against fire. Fire is good against wood. Wood is good against water. sort of.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Plus PPO, I choose you!

Disabled Trains

On the way to work one morning this week, I had the privelidge to be on one of the ‘disabled trains’. For those not aware, its been more and more commonplace lately that a train will just stop running and won’t move, even after a clean restart. These ‘disabled trains’, as they are called, cause great amounts of backup along the Red Line. I was reading my Metro and turned around when the announcement was made we were disabled. All I could see was water below. Thats comforting. We were lucky enough for the train to stop responding as we paused on the Neponset bridge between North Quicy Station and JFK/UMASS Station. After it was finally determined that we were completely disabled, we had to wait for another train to push us the rest of the way to JFK/UMASS. This entire process probably took about 45 minutes to an hour. Once at JFK/UMASS, everyone had to get off the train and cross over to the platform across the tracks. I exchanged amused glances with a very attractive young woman as I exited the train. After we crossed over to the next platform, the ’empty train’ waiting for us was already full and leaving. I laughed and then got into position for boarding the next one, coincidentally still near the attractive female.

As it turned out, the train behind us that pushed us to the station was forced to empty out as well to push my original train, so now the platform was even more packed than before. Fortunately I was right where the door opened for the next train and got on. Mind you, this train was NOT empty. In fact, there wasn’t much room as it was for more people never mind several hundred more.

The rest of the ride was spent mostly laughing because a girl sitting down next to a little girl was singing every little kid song she could think of to keep the kid engaged. She sang everything from the Tigger song from Winnie the Pooh to the wheels on the bus. She was way more into it than the kid too. Hilarity ensued.

After switching to the green line, it wasn’t so crowded anymore because most people were now delayed by about an hour because of the red line’s disabled train, so they found others ways into the city. I love the subway.

Link Dump 2005.10.13

Haven’t had one of these in a while.

I have decided to switch my RSS aggregator from FeedDemon to the Sage FireFox extension. Its incredibly simple, free and user-friendly once you figure it out. Since I always have Firefox open, I won’t need another program sucking up resources in my icon tray.


I was finally able to see Corpse Bride last week and was delighted with the feature. I loved the story in addition to the medium. I found this cool article on the making of the movie on digg. First movie made entirely from a digital still camera (not video).


Since we’re on the subject of stop motion animation, Shipley sent me a cool video someone made in stop motion animation. The sound/voices kinda suck, but the video is pretty cool.


I was so inspired by these I made this cool gif after snapping some photos.

Christy sent me this funny comic, but you won’t get it if your not both a Harry Potter and FullMetal Alchemist fan.


Some strategies on solving the rubik’s cube.


Flash Game of the Week: Cosplay Slots

I really have no idea what the name of this game is because its all in Japanese and I don’t know that much.

This game is quite simple. Stop each spinning wheel on a piece of clothing. If they match, you get extra points. It they don’t match, well if they don’t match at least try to get the skimpy outfit for plenty of fanservice.


Happy First Birthday, Blog

One year ago yesterday, I actually got off my rear and did something. I installed WordPress and made my first post to this blog. This year has been one of my most productive years yet partially thanks to this blog. It has forced me to keep a new routine in updating and posting content to the site, which in turn has forced me to be far more active in my random web surfing, online research, and in general staying on top of current industry trends and information. The content on the site has grown slow and steady and I have more to add in coming months.

The year to come looks to be even more productive than the last.

Happy Birthday Blog!

Wizard World Boston 2005

The first Wizard World Boston took place this past weekend at the Bayside Expo. I was fortunate enough to make it out there on Saturday accompanied, once again, by Brendan and Thanh. I definitely geeked out within like 5 minutes of walking into the main room. Too much at once. I had to regain my composure and followed their lead. There was lots of stuff on display, all of which I wanted. Everything you can imagine remotely related to comic books, anime, or science fiction was there for sale. Lou Ferrigno was there. He was the original incredible hulk from the tv series. That guy is HUGE. The vein sticking out of his bicep could have kicked my ass. Margot Kidder was also there. She was Lois Lane in the original Superman movies. When we walked by she was taking a picture with a big black guy dressed as Superman in tights and all. I wish I had brought my camera, especially after we walked by the lovely Eliza Dushku (several times). She’s a little shorter than I thought she’d be, though I think most celebrities are like that. We have a tendency to paint them as larger than life. She’s a local girl. She grew up in Watertown.

Anywho here’s some of the cool schwag I got:

I think the thing I was happiest to get was the Middleton print and signed no less. I’m becoming a fan of his art. I now have to figure out how to hang the movie posters without damaging them, though I think I have an idea.

Paperclip Chase

There comes a time of the month when a man has to pay a bill, reconcile a checking account and do something with all those ATM receipts. This time of the month is regularly followed by the monthly ritual of searhing for the box of paperclips deviously hidden somewhere in my room. Each month after this ritual has been completed the box of paperclips is left in an obvious and well known location so as not to be misplaced again, following which a stealthy ninja sneaks in my room and hides it somewhere unbeknownst to me.

I am sad to report that I think the ninja has finally outwitted me.