Its Tuesday, and there's a good movie tonight at Wealthy Theatre - Batman.

So Chris and I decided to eat out and watch the movie.

we ate at Brick Road Pizza, which is a tasty restaurant on Wealthy that serves all kinds of food, ranging from meat to vegetarian, to straight up vegan.

They have a super tasty veggie burger that I like to get there. I'm not a vegetarian but if I could make burgers like that I'd had no problem becoming one!

Ran some errands downtown on lunch and stumbled across some city workers adding lights to a giant tree near Rosa Park Circle.

They've had garland around the light poles for a week or so but looks like they're prepping the area for an ice rink and and an xmas tree.

The day started quiet and uneventful enough.  For lunch Chris wanted to head over to Wendys, try their new french fries, and do some window shopping.  With nothing else on the docket, I said sure.

Since we were out, we swung by Meijer to pick up a few things and look at the lego minifigures.  They have small 1.99 packets of lego figures.  They're all different types and the bag is packaged so that you can't tell what's inside.

Anyway, here's what happened at our first stop.




So...as you can, not much success. He wasn't hung up on it, but I wasn't happy. Chris wanted a mime, so damnit we were going to find one! So off we went!





Yeah....

I tried to go back into the store but Chris talked me out of spending oodles on singers and weightlifters.

And...things are slowly going back to normal after having a few extra days off, making this a four day weekend.

I played a bit of video games in the morning.  This time I booted up World of Warcraft.  I love Lord of the Rings Online but I really wanted to see the changes to the various zones for the upcoming expansion.  So I poked around my horde and alliance characters. I had no idea that they'd flooded Menethil Harbor or set fire to portions of Darkshore.  There are some pretty interesting changes throughout and it makes the idea of rolling another toon from level 1 less painful.

We headed out late Saturday morning to do some laundry.  Ok, not some. A lot. And by "we" I mean Chris.  I'm not the most picky when it comes to sorting laundry (which means whites can turn pink or other colors of the rainbow) so Chris typically does it.  But, I come with him and hang out, enjoying reading on the Kindle and the change of scenery.

After laundry and some errands we came home, enjoyed a few rounds of the new Donkey Kong Country Returns and started the anime Ergo Proxy.

Finally passed out finishing up The Time Machine.

Was a good Saturday.

Yeah. There's been a lot of this going on today. Laying around. Napping. Then laying around some more.

It's like a turkey hangover.

It's Thanksgiving today, so Chris and I headed out in the morning to the metro Detroit area for tasty food with my family.

It was kind of a crappy drive; foggy most of the way.  But things got better once we arrived to my parents.

My parents have recently installed hardwood floor, blinds, repainted, and bought some new furniture.  So when I first walked in it felt like a new house - outside of the layout of the floorplan, very little looked the same.

It looks good.  Very good.  I didn't think hardwood floors would look good there - but they do.  It's very updated and very nice looking. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next year when they remodel some other parts of the house.

We had a delicious lunch/dinner, and hung out and chatted for several hours.  Here's a few shots of the day.


Anyway, Thanksgiving is about driving, turkey, and pie. Don't let anyone tell you differently. ;)

Push notifications are apparently a big deal on iOS applications.  Nearly every app I download asks me for permission to push notifications to me. Normally I just say yes - I want twitter and messenger notifications.  So when the PBS Newshour app asked me, I was like "sure, why not."

So far all I've received are TSA-related notifications, which, given all the coverage, I don't know that I need another device keeping me up to date on the drama of security theater playing out. So I decided to turn them off. It took me a bit to figure out where to do this because I assumed the application would control it, not the settings for iOS.

Blargh.

Apparently I don't think like a mac.

I loathe making pie crusts from scratch (or really anything that requires finesse and a rolling pin), but that's what my mom did a lot and honestly I like them better than store bought.

So tonight that's what I set to doing - rolling out pie shells. Four of them. I only have one job for Thursday, and that's to bring one pecan and one pumpkin pie.  So why four pie shells?  Why not?  I  have the ingredients for two pecan pies and two pumpkin pies and it's not like you can't freeze them (contrary to popular belief on pumpkin pie).

Somewhere between mixing the pumpkin pie and the pecan pie I decided it would be a grand idea to make rice krispie treats.  I had asked Chris to pick up some cereal today while he was out and thought it would be a nice thing to have on hand to make at some time.  Apparently that time's tonight.

Now we didn't have marshmallows but the recipe on the box was for something else that seemed like it could be equally tasty - it involved karo syrup, sugar, peanut butter and chocolate.  How could you go wrong?

A few hours after starting I'd managed to fill up the entire counter and dishwasher with drying dishes and the kitchen table with tasty treats.

I'm really hoping my family is hungry on Thursday because I'm bringing at least half of this stuff over.

Monday has just been odd.  It's been pretty warm - near 60 degrees.  It's also rained like crazy on and off all day.  There were even some brief thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

I love days like this so it's a welcome surprise in the middle of November when it could be snowflakes falling instead of raindrops.

About a week ago, Chris created a comic strip with a combination of apps from the Apple app store.  Among them were ToonPAINT and ComicStrip.  Since then he has created several quick comics of the days goings on (as well as a video slideshow), and they're just really cool.

They're cool for a couple of reasons:
1) He's got a creative mind and an eye for composition
2) He snaps these little comics together quickly. Partially because he's awesome, and partially because the apps are pretty fast and easy to use.
3) He's making them on his iPod Touch. You know, that little thing the size of a cell phone?

Anyway, here's a few comics he's made that I just think are neat.  You should totally check out his website, Chris-Karath.com, for future interesting links, articles, photos, and general nerdiness.

Leki gazing at the parakeet Dinah
Flickr Link
Peppy the ferret
Flickr Link
Last Sunday's cheap movie (Hearafter) experience
Flickr Link

Thanksgiving is coming up, and that means baking some tasty pies. Chris's favorite pie is Pecan Pie, so I always try to make sure he gets that around the holidays. Then my mother asked me to make pumpkin for Thursday. So here's my cache of supplies we picked up today.

This evening was full of some amusing pet antics, including this odd posture Leki sat in for several minutes. You would have thought I'd interrupted grooming, but I assure you I didn't....


it's Friday, which means a tasty lunch out with Lori. Or so we thought...

We met up at Bite, which is a soup/sandwich/salad bar. I snagged a chicken pesto sandwich and Lori got a grilled cheese. Both were disappointing. Lori's grilled cheese was about a 1/4 of a normal sandwich, and cost several dollars. My pesto sandwich was equally disappointing. It had some odd mayo sauce and noodles in it. Ew.

Still, it was good to meet up and chat about work, family, and other randomness.

And luckily we both had emergency food back at our desks to tide us over until dinner!


Most of the afternoon I was hungry. I'd had a decent lunch, but the PB&J wasn't cutting it, nor the banana bread muffins. What I really wanted was some animal protein. Sometimes I crave brownies, sometimes I crave beef jerky. My stomach is fickle like that.

I ended every email I sent to Chris throughout the day with "I'm hungry." I didn't think much about it because I wasn't saying for any reason other than to state I was hungry. It's not my nature to ask for something by making flat statements like that. If I want something, I just ask for it. In fact, if it got worse I was just going to suggest picking up a pizza or something on our way home.

So I was super surprised when he picked me up after work, bag of tasty chicken nuggets in tow. And not those nasty regular ones either. Apparently McDonalds has ones that resemble reasaurant-style nuggets. Those are edible.

The ride home with Chris, NPR, and tasty chicken nuggets was blissful.

It rained off and on during the day, so on my lunch break I headed out to the Grand Rapids Public Library to do some reading. I finished up an article on happiness in Skeptic magazine which was pretty interesting.

When I was done with the article I moved onto the Kindle. Really I just wanted to check out the sync feature. Last night I had started reading HG Well's The Time Machine on my iPod Touch (using the Kindle app) and I made sure to hit he sync button. So when I opened up the book on the Kindle (with the wireless on) it immediately asked me if I wanted to advance to where I had left off last night. That's pretty neat.

it's starting to get chilly outside and my days of enjoying reading outdoors are slowly running out. Still, today was not the day I stay indoors. I headed out to the Rosa Park Circle and settled in with my Kindle to do some relaxing and reading.

after work we headed out to Meijer where I stumbled across year firepots. All I can think of is Zelda every time I see them.

since Saturday was so laid back I decided to do something today. Why not make banana bread muffins? I had a cache of frozen bananas so I grabbed a few and made some tasty treats.

in the evening Chris and I headed out to the local theatre to catch their $3 show. This was our first time catching a cheap, first run film. We saw Hereafter. Honestly, I felt like I was watching 3 incomplete films spliced together. Meh. But it was only $3 so I suppose that's alright. Certainly better than the $9-$10/ticket for most movies.

As you can see by the photo, the mall is in fully holiday decoration mode.

Saturday was a super lazy day.  Leki and I spent several hours snuggled while I watched TV shows, played video games, and we even napped together.

I'm sure that just means he's going to be a hyper terror on Sunday.

One of the great things about having a working MP3 player again is the ability to listen to audiobooks.  I have a pretty long list of books that I'd like to listen to, starting with Terry Goodkin's Stone of Tears series.  I've had several people recommend the series to me over the years so I've finally decided to give it a try.

Friday I got to listen to quite a bit and so far I'm really enjoying the book.  This iPod Touch is really working out well (and I'm finally using it for more than just Angry Birds play).

Lunch on Thursday was a baby shower celebration with co-workers (complete with cake) at The B.O.B. It's been awhile since I've been in there.  I'm not a huge fan of the over price multi-tiered bar, so video recessed behind the mirror in the bathroom was new to me.  I've been to other restaurants that have the same sort of set up, but this one was much larger.

It's an interesting concept, one I'm sure that will crop up in more and more public locations over the years.

On my way back from lunch I noticed that there were some protesters outside the Van Andel arena again. I think they were protesting Ritsema again, like they earlier in October, but I'm not sure. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything online that talks about it. But the last time I saw them out there it was a bit before an article popped up on MLive, so who knows.

When Chris and I got home from dinner and running errands we noticed that the Rovio had moved on all by itself.  It's a remote control car with a small camera and headlight on the top of it that Chris and I can log into remotely to see what's going on in the apartment.  Anyway, it was interesting to find it only a foot or so away from it's base and dead.


I like PvP in MMOs. I PvP'd pretty heavily in WoW, I picked up WAR specifically for it, I make time for the holiday-themed PvP events in Guild Wars, and I fully intend to immerse myself in PvMP when my Burglar in LOTRO reaches the level cap.  I love playing support and helping with the strategy in whatever the objective is - capture the flag, holding fortresses, or just slaughtering the enemies.  So when I received the closed beta key from Funcom about an upcoming PvP game, Bloodline Champions, I thought I'd give it a go. 

I downloaded the game and created a character last night. I went through the helpful tutorial system, poked around a bit, and ran several single player 3v3 games to test the waters.

I can handle poor graphics, I can handle sluggish and buggy issues in a beta. What I can't handle is a very heavily mouse-driven game. Lineage II was like this, both FFXI and FFXIV are like this and for everything that Bloonline Champions looks like it could be, but it requires far too much mouse aiming and clicking during battle.  My preferred play-style emphasizes the keyboard over the mouse so I had a really hard time forgiving the game which required me change my characters target by whipping the mouse pointer around the battlefield. It's uncomfortable to my wrist, and it's not a play-style I enjoy.  

There are actions bound to other keys - but the targeting system requires me to use the mouse and whip it around quite a bit.

But - I only spent a little while playing the game. I'll have to give it another go and see if there is a way to change the keybindings or targeting system.

Anyway, that's how I spent part of my Tuesday evening!



It was a quiet, nice day today. Nearly 60 degrees on lunch is a welcome change over snow flurries last week.

I busted out the new thermos which comes complete with a foldable spoon. Pretty nifty.

I'm still really enjoying this iPod touch. I'm even trying out a free blogger app to post this.



It's been a good Monday, especially the evening which involves relaxing and Leki cuddling.

Sunday was pretty good day.  chris made me a tasty breakfast (who doesn't love tasty fruit and waffles?!), I got to do a lot of reading on the kindle and a fair amount of Lord of the Ring Online gameplay as well.

The weather was pretty decent out, which is nice considering the snow flurries on Friday.  So in the afternoon we took a nice stroll along Kent Trails.

All in all it was a good relaxing Sunday.

Awhile back there was a gift certificate option where if you spent $25 you'd get $50 coupon at GAP.  At the time I needed work clothes so it seemed like a good idea. I should have looked in their store prior to doing that. Everything is expensive there.

So I've had the coupon for several months and finally I was able to spend it. I snagged a shirt on sale and a belt. And I still ended up spending $20 bucks.  I hate shopping for clothes. That belt better last a decade at least.

I also picked up some cheap boots to use walking in the winter downtown.  The only winter boots I currently have are not exactly work appropriate.

In the evening I played around in Lord of the Rings Online.  It had been well over a week since I'd had a chance to play and the time to get all the fall festival quests is slowly slipping away.

I finally upgraded to a deluxe house, which has a lot more storage and places to put house decorations.

All in all between buying some clothes in real life and buying a new house in Lord of the Rings Online, I'd say it was a pretty expensive day.


Apparently there is a Skywalk throughout part of downtown Grand Rapids. And, apparently, I'm the only one that didn't know that.  I never really noticed that the skywalk connected more than the Marriott to an office building.  Partly because I never walk by it...and partly because I apparently don't look up.

Lori and I met up for lunch at the Skywalk Deli.  It's a small little sandwich shop on the 2nd floor of the Comerica building.  I had a pretty easy time finding it; easier than I had anticipated.

Leaving via skywalk (I originally just walked over to the Comerica building) proved a littly trickier because of the construction just outside of the Van Andel.  Still, I managed to avoid the first snow flurries for the year and I did make it back to the office.

I'll definitely have to walk the length of it sometime just to do it.  Skywalks like that always make me think of airports and Summerset Mall.

It was a pretty beautiful day out on lunch.  It was warm enough to have lunch outside, but I'd already committed myself to walking to the Grand Rapids Public Library and check it out. It's been several years since I've been in there and since I work only a few blocks away it's no big deal to swing by on lunch.

Everything pretty much looked the same, though I did notice there are hand sanitizer stations in the middle of the hallway when you first walk in. Odd.

They have free wi-fi in the library, and it's quiet.  It's a great place to get away on lunch and have a little peace and quiet.  I left my Kindle at my desk but I did have my trusty iPod touch, complete with a Crunchyroll app to stream anime on.

I'll definitely have to swing by in the winter months and have some quiet away time from the office during my lunch break.  Provided the sidewalks are cleared well enough to walk in work shoes a few blocks over...

It's Wednesday and it's game night! Jeff couldn't make it but Dan came by for tasty food, a cheesy movie (Predators) and some Wii action.

Today is election day! Chris and I took a stroll after work to our polling station to cast our ballots.  I hope you voted too!

After voting and getting some shopping done for tomorrows game night, Chris and I settled in for the evening.

I've been spending a chunk of the evening checking out a free MMO on the iPod Touch, Pocket Legends.  There are a bunch of different games but this one looked to have a decent amount of feedback so I thought I'd check it out. It's a pretty simple game, but fun to poke around a bit in. It's something to do while listening to all the political coverage in the background on the TV.

video
So today was kind of like a freebie day.  Neither Chris or I had to go in to work, so we turned the day into a pretty lazy day.  We slept in, we unpacked, we hung out and watched a bunch of TV shows and movies.  It was great.

Peppy and I even got some quality time in together.  I may not have taken a photo, but I did get some video of here. Here's just one of them.