Archive for December, 2003

Tuesday, December 30th, 2003

So, our old housemate was over this afternoon, when the neighbors across the street came a-knockin’. Seems water was pouring out from our gutter, across the street (downhill slightly) and flooding their garage. Well, that was indeed the case. But our drain wasn’t visibly clogged by anything. There was just so much rain that the 6″ diameter PVC pipe that acts as the “drain” under our driveway, to the rest of the gutter, wasn’t large enough to accomodate THAT MUCH WATER. It was pretty crazy, really. So we tried to see if there were little barriers we could put together to keep their house from flooding further, and we were able to use some joist wood, and what have you, to block things up at least temporarily. But it was craziness. Our old housemate ended up having the brilliant idea to try to send a 2×4 through the 6″ drain to try to make sure the pathway really was clear. The board went through without a problem, and though nothing visibly dislodged, it definitely got water flowing through it faster. We ended up having to “plunge” our neighbor next door’s gutter by basically sweeping water into it cyclically to get enough water through *it*, as well, since it was then flowing over the street, into their cross-street neighbor’s garage.

It’s weird – it’s not something I’d have thought of at *all* when originally purchasing the house, but I’m really, really glad to be on the up-side of the street. Aside from some water pushing in to the front inch and a half of the garage, our house is bone-dry, even under really heavy rain. It wasn’t last year – the front of the house leaked like a madman. But this year, looks like we’re in the clear. Good news, for sure.

Now, if only we could get that downstairs finished.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Started a comic with a friend of mine from here. He’s writing, I’m drawing. The first page will be here. There’s a couple rough panels in there already, but man, drawing in this style is a slow, arduous process. Still, I think it’s the style for me, so it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing it.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Every so often, it strikes me that I own a house, and that the repair costs on this thing are astronomical. And that I’m basically in debt for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and at the moment, have an income of $0.

It’s a bit … frightening.

In the grand scheme of things, I realize, eventually, that it’s no worse than renting a place, that the value for the money is a lot higher, and that I’m living in a place that I’ve now invested a lot of myself into, and that it’s growing better with time. Still, it freaks me out.

The downstairs is looking really nice – the floor’s in, and though parts of it are not level (there’s a corner in the bedroom that’s clearly lower than the rest of the floor, for instance, and the lead in to the downstairs bathroom is practically a small ramp), it’s looking really nice. The boards could be fit tighter, and such, but I think overall, it looks pretty darned good. I was a bit stressed a couple minutes ago (about 3am), and walked around downstairs in the dark, just to see how it “felt” without being able to see it, and it felt great. Seeing it reveals some small gaps between the boards, but I’m hoping that’ll eventually all settle in.

Whoo. Expensive. Gonna move downstairs when it’s done, and probably rent out another room upstairs to one of the housemates. Hopefully. Or begin to really start ripping shit up upstairs. Depends, I guess, on a few things. We’ll see.

The annual game sales have come and gone, and for about $15 each, I picked up … lessee… Super Monkey Ball 2 (for the GF), Sonic Mega Collection, Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, XIII, a couple of gifts for friends, and eventually, Beyond Good and Evil (it’s not here yet). I’m psyched for BG&E, XIII is better than I’d thought it would be (as is Billy Hatcher – simple, but fun). SMB2 is what I expected – simple, sometimes frustrating, and I have yet to try BoF. Also got Max Payne 2 from my old housemate and lifelong friend, and it’s pretty damned awesome. One of those games that just kinda sticks with you – the atmosphere’s so great.

Anyhow. Gotta swing in to work tomorrow for a potluck and gift exchange, then hoof it back up home to hang out with one of my best friends, who’s in from outta town. Like a complete jackass, I forgot I had to go to work this morning when I originally made plans, so I’ve gotta call and postpone ’till the afternoon. I’m a twit. *sigh*. Maybe catch Return of the King again tonight. Phenomenal movie, incidentally, and really raises the bar for what one imagines can be put to screen. Any “epic” battle now has the battle of Pelennor Fields to live up to, and that’s gonna be a rough challenge. I loved the Dock battle in Matrix Revolutions – I thought *it* raised the bar pretty darned high. But RoTK lept over it like a tall man at the high jump in the midget olympics. Crazy. A tall man who can jump. Yeah, I know tall people aren’t necessarily good high jumpers. Just imagine they are.

Saturday, December 13th, 2003

Wow. The downstairs is looking phenomenal. Now that I’ve got my digital camera back, I’ll take some pix of the place when it’s light out, and put ’em up. Next up’s probably the wiring of the outlets & light switches & stuff. Basically simple stuff, but the only trick is getting the breakers installed on the breaker panel – something that will require power to the whole house to be shut down for. Whee! Fun. And by fun, I mean, mostly, not fun. But hell, it’s so close to being done, I can actually *taste* it, and I don’t think it’s just the paint vapor.

Picked up a couple games last week on the cheap, despite really needing to “tighten the belt” financially – as part of the payment for a bet, I picked up Karaoke Revolution, which is mad fun, and for a total of $40, I picked up Tenchu: The Wrath of Heaven, Alter Echo, and Zone of the Enders 2: The Second Runner. All three games are good fun – not really groundbreaking, awesome games, say, but solid, 7-8/10 games. Stealth action, action/rhythm, and sci-fi TPS action. Great stuff, and cheep! like the budgie.

‘Bout that time, then, eh?

Right-o.

Sunday, December 7th, 2003

Check out www.flobots.com – great stuff. Socially conscious and musically interesting hip hop. What could be better?

Went on a run with a couple guys from MOASF, the Mini Owners of America, SF chapter, from North Livermore road up to Walnut Creek. Lots of windy one-lane roads, fun as hell. The Mini ran, again, like a champ, but I’ve really gotta fix the shift linkage on that guy – there’s a kludged part in the shift linkage, that’s definitely … delicate.

But man, fun stuff. Driving the Mini’s like having a go-kart you can drive anywhere.

Well, anywhere there are roads, mostly.

Monday, December 1st, 2003

Wow. Just finished Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Fantastic game, and easily wholeheartedly recommended to anyone who loves videogames. Beautiful, with a good story, interesting characters, and fantastic gameplay. I kept putting off finishing it, because I wanted to savor the first time through while it lasted. Of course, I played the last two hours more or less nonstop. If you know of a game called Ico, which is my favorite videogame of all time, then you’ll have some idea of what POPSOT is like. It’s not Ico, nothing is – but it’s the first game since to even evoke similar emotions, and a sense of wonderment. Fantastic stuff, and easily worth the $50 you’ll spend on it.

Easily.