12.05.2013 Thursday

I’ve been a member of a few different online communities over the last 15 years with 2 in particular being my main hangouts. I don’t visit the first one very often any more and its really just a shadow of itself now, but there were some great friendships forged there, some of which continue to this day in meatspace.  The other one is a tech site that I initially only posted at for information on computers, but then I spread out and started to get involved with some of the gaming and social forums.  This year I joined up in the secret santa they run every year. My Santee is in Sweden and we sent them some pepper jelly from Pike Place Market, a Star Trek onesie (he’s a fan and has a baby due soon), and one of my favorite books, Cryptonomicon, for the kindle.  It was fun putting it together but holy sheesh is international shipping expensive.  For just a small box with 3 tiny jars of pepper jelly and a single piece of baby clothing, I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT expensive.

Speaking of Kindles, I lost mine a month or so ago when it fell out of my bag on public transit.  I did have a bunch of points saved up on my credit card so I cashed them in for Amazon gift cards. It took over a month for those cards to arrive, very disappointing performance by the Flexpoints redemption service, but then again, it’s free money, so I shouldn’t complain. I finally got the point cards and ordered a new Paperwhite with a mustard yellow case.  It’s nice to have it back but I’m not looking forward to reorganizing all of my titles. The touchscreen interface on Kindle’s e-ink sucks and it takes a long time to put books into folders, etc.  I had it mostly organized the way I wanted in my old one but this new one is sure to be just a big fat open directory of stuff that I’ll have to figure out.  I’ve got some collections that I bought via StoryBundle that I like to keep together and will have to go through all of those.  But again, this is some pretty lame sauce to be complaining about considering how good I’ve got it.

Finally, I was all excited to get together with some friends tonight and only remembered at the last minute that it’s NEXT Thursday, not tonight. So now I have to figure out something to eat.

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10 Easy Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

10 Easy Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science – The Mind Unleashed.  I don’t really know what else to add to this succinct description except that this stuff really isn’t hard to do and likely has real effects on quality of life.

Is there pressure to marry in the U.S.?

According to this article, the Dutch aren’t hung up on marriage and have a better quality of life as a result. Maybe (probably) its due to how little I’ve lived stateside as an adult, but I was surprised to hear of any pressure at all.  Do Americans really feel that they aren’t achieving or are otherwise unsuccessful if they don’t get married? Even the desire to get married seems odd to me. Marriage should be something that finds you, not something that you go looking for. Searching for it is going to lead one to make bad decisions as people are more likely to overlook issues and elements upfront that ultimately manifest in stressful and perhaps relationship-ruining ways later on.

All I want for Christmas…

Is an ApocalypsePak!

Introducing: The Weasley Twins

The other night I accepted an invitation from a colleague to gather together to watch Harry Potter and play some trivia. I typically play cards on Fridays with a core group of good friends but the movie/trivia combined with a chance to meet some new people seemed too interesting to pass up. The Eminent Colleague introduced to me 7 Eminent Friends and the movie began.

I was surprised to find that a couple of them hadn’t seen or read the books (that being said, they looked pretty young to me, but then again, that would have put them right in the middle of the HP crazed demographic). We watched The Half-Blood Prince and I have to say that it was extremely fun. I’ve only watched the movies with my daughter so she doesn’t notice the smaller nuances or elements that appeal to adults. I’ve not watched a movie with Americans in a long time, either, and it was great to be among those who laugh and enjoy a show. It was a lot of fun.

About an hour into the show, we brought the lights up and the Eminent Colleague announced the cancellation of trivia (apparently it was a bit one-sided previously), waved away the coffee table and spread out a huge plastic dropsheet. Instead of trivia, we discovered, we were now thrust into a sock-puppet contest! The trivia trophy (yes, there really is a trophy) would be redistributed to the best sock puppeteer, perhaps in perpetuity as the Eminent Colleague will be departing for post in just a few weeks.

We had paints, glue, yarn, rhinestones, popsicle sticks, beads, pipe cleaners, felt, construction paper, you name it. There weren’t technically any rules about it but we all fell into Harry Potter characters. We ended up with Dumbledore, a couple of Snapes, Ron in his Quidditch goalie gear on a broomstick (my personal favorite), Malfoy, Hermoine, and:

Sock_Weasleys

The Weasley Twins: Fred and George!

Truth be told I was stymied for what to make and opted for a quantity vs quality approach. But when the voting came around for the best sock puppets, I ended up tied with the Malfoy. Sensing a bit of pity for the new guy and then considering that I simply splashed orange paint and stuck some pipe cleaners in while the Malfoy maker had built clothes, I begged to concede to her. Malfoy thus was granted the trophy and the movie resumed.

It was a really ingenious idea. Silly fun but yet actually not condescending. Huge props to the Eminent Colleague for both having the idea and cojones to follow through. Well done!

You want action movie? I give you action movie!