Today is the last day of our four day weekend. I spent a big chunk of it advancing my character in Fire Emblem and taking advantage of all of the StreetPass Teams I picked up at C2E2. They've been great for leveling my characters!

Chris was more productive. He created this awesome cord holder for the phone chargers. It isn't much, but it will help keep the cords from getting tangled and confused.

So now our phones can charge in style next to our adorable Mouseguard plushie.

The weather is supposed to be pretty warm for the next few days. We both have the day off, so I headed out in the morning to walk through Palmer Park and enjoy the morning.
When I got back home Chris and I headed out to Heritage Park, which is also nearby, for a tasty outdoor lunch. The ducks there get pretty aggressive as the season goes on. Everyone ignores the signs and feeds them.
We did some shopping and various things around the house, then took another walk after dinner at another park. It's pretty great having so many small parks so nearby.

We were going to spend Sunday out and about in Chicago. Originally we had planned to go to the Field Museum, but when we both woke up in the morning we were pretty tired and uninspired to do much. The cloudy weather didn't help.

We ate at a very tasty restaurant nearby our hotel. Lemon poppy seed french toast? Yes please!
So we opted to instead head back home and get Chris the new phone he wanted (Samsung Galaxy S4). We stopped at several stores in the afternoon back in Grand Rapids and finally we found one. I managed sneak in a bunch of mini-naps on our way home, so I consider the trip a success.

We missed C2E2 last year, which meant we had to go this year. We left early in the morning so we could spend the maximum amount of time there.

The convention this year was in a different wing than 2011 event. Despite DC, Image, and IDW not having booths there, the convention felt pretty packed. Arachaia was there and had a fantastic sale so I managed to pick up two awesome books.

As is often the case at comic conventions, there was a ton of shopping. Comic conventions always have way more than any anime convention I've been to. Shopping isn't my thing, so I usually get bored pretty fast. But the booths are eclectic enough that there's always some interesting take on a comic character, or Doctor Who. I'm also amazed at how much Adventure Time has blown up all over the place and is somehow super popular.
I didn't see any cosplay of the new Doctor Who companion, but I did see a ton of people dressed as Daleks, the Tardis, and of course the Doctor. These two women dressed as Weeping Angels I thought were particularly clever.
Comfort and Adam were there, of course, being awesome at what they do - art! It's always cool to stop by their booth during a convention and say hi. Plus we got to spend part of the evening with them once the event was over.
We spent some time in artist alley, on the show floor, and we really only saw one panel - one hosted by J. Michael Straczynski. It was a pretty good panel.

I'm a little sad that I didn't bring my DSLR, but at the same time the aisles were so packed that it would have been a nightmare much of the time to do anything - at least for me. If I were maybe six inches taller or wore heels maybe things would be easier.

The whole convention was a fantastic experiment with my new 3DS. I had the StreetPass and SpotPass running the whole time. I managed to snag all sorts of things, from puzzle pieces to a ton of character teams to battle in Fire Emblem.

Tomorrow we will be in Chicago at the C2E2 convention. Hooray!

Cold, rainy weather means huddling inside the confines of the skywalk.

C2E2 is this weekend, which Adam and Comfort are attending as featured guests! So on their way to Chicago they popped by for an evening of deliciousness and hanging out.
We watched a lot of random internet videos, tried to watch Teen Titans Go! and just in general hung out.

I'm looking forward to seeing them again Saturday in Chicago!

It's not fancy, but we finally have a double boiler and I'm finally using it today. Excited!

Makin' cookies!

It's a nice day today, unlike yesterday which had snow flurries. That means the quest for a shrubbery begins!

We didn't run into Roger the Shrubber, but we were able to find some nice plants anyway.

Since it was still early in the day we decided to take a quick detour downtown as the museums are free today.
 We stopped by the Grand Rapids Art Museum...
..and to look at the Grand River flooding...
...then stopped in the Gerald R Ford Museum.
By mid afternoon we were back home and the process of planting a shrubbery began!

While not tightly packed like a traditional shrubbery, in time once these plants mature they fill in the area nicely, I think.

We've had snow flurries on and off for the past day, but that wasn't going to stop Chris. He went out to mow the lawn anyway. I stayed indoors where it was warm.
In the evening I had dinner with a friend. The local restaurant recently installed a touchscreen coke machine. It's new, so there were a lot of people enjoying trying different flavors. There was almost always a line. The machine apparently has over 100, which is a lot more than your standard dispenser that has five or six.

With a new tablet I thought I should invest in a case, especially if I'm going to be carrying it around. Chris gave me a cute hand sewn pouch he'd bought awhile back for something of his, but I still wanted something more sturdy to protect the screen.

So I ordered a cheap ipad mini-looking case.
It's magnetic, so it keeps itself shut and auto-wakes the tablet when opened. So far it seems alright. We'll see how the case stands up to being carted around in a bag with books and what not.

Another rainy day in downtown, walking through the skywalk.

While we were eating dinner this squirrel came up to see if there was anything tasty outside.

Maybe we shouldn't give them old bread anymore...

You can never really have too many dragons, you know? Especially flying ones.

Technology has really moved forward over the years. The first 7 inch android tablet I used was slow, had a resistive screen that worked best with a stylus, and only ran Doughnut (Android 1.6). It was sluggish and couldn't do much, but I was able to read some comics and books on the device. Mostly it was just awesome to have something large with a touchscreen.

The second 7 inch tablet was better and I did use it much longer. The screen was still resistive and the OS was still sluggish, only running Eclair (Android 2.1), but I used it for quite awhile since it was so much better than the first tablet.

Both of those tablets were cheap imports. They didn't cost much and they had little support if something went wrong. Fun to experiment with because they didn't cost an arm and a leg, but difficult to fix if a problem arose.

A few years pass and enter the Google Nexus 7. It's a 7 inch tablet with a capacitive screen, which means no more poking with a stylus. Plus since it's officially from Google, the latest Android OS is available. That means the device is running a newer version of software than my cell phone.

There was a really good combination of coupons that made the nexus reasonably priced, so we picked one up today. After coming one with that was initially broken and had to be returned, I was able to finally settle in and play around with the device. So far it's been fun to poke around with. Plus since I have an Android phone, the Nexus did a nice job pulling applications I already use on my phone onto the tablet.

I really do like the smaller form factor. 7 inches seems perfect to me. Plus being smaller means the device feels more portable, at least to me. That means taking it around and watching movies on lunch or using it if I ever get stuck downtown for some reason, which happens occasionally.

Plus it has NFC so I look forward to getting some additional cards programmed to do cool things with around the house.

It started snowing early in the morning. Not heavy snow, but just enough for a light dusting and to darken the sky and make it difficult to read by the window.
By late afternoon the sun was finally shining and it had warmed up a little. It was still windy out, but at least we could finally see the sun.

We're steadily marching into Spring. One of these days it will be nice enough to sit outside and read.

It's a cold, snow flurry filled day.

The Pebble Watch SDK was released today. That means soon there will be an influx of more custom watchfaces and, eventually, applications that run on the Pebble Watch.

Unfortunately there's no emulator yet, which means any watchface or application developed has to be pushed directly to the phone at the risk of potentially bricking the device.

Coding is done in C, which is cool. That's a pretty popular language and easier to learn, I think, than something like Java. But maybe that's just me. It's been a long time since I've done anything directly in C and I certainly wouldn't say I'm fluent in it. Although recently with all the poking around on the Arduino I've certainly brushed up on a few things. I do look forward to learning more so I can create a few random things for the watch. I'll probably be going through articles like this one about writing watchfaces over the next few days.

Still, it's exciting. As you can see, I've already installed a custom watchface (not of my own design) that should look familiar to a lot of people. At least those that are fans of British humor.

An evening of gaming, reading, and just general relaxing. I'm good with that.

When I was younger my parents had this book on one of the many bookshelves they had throughout the house. I'm not sure which shelf it was on or at what point in my life it was there, but I saw the cover enough that I'll never forget it (along with with Cyteen and The Demon Haunted World).

When I got older I constantly confused similarly colored books for Watership Down. I'd see a side of it and think, "oh, there that book is! I should start reading it" only to see it was The Plains of Passage or one of the many different fantasy novels I have.

Finally I decided it was time to start reading this book. So I ordered it online, choosing the edition with the cover I was most familiar with. Hopefully this will help me keep my sanity when trying to pick it off of the bookshelf in the future. Weird, I know.

Anyway, it arrived this week and I'm really enjoying the book so far. I'm sorry it has taken me well over a decade from when I decided to start reading it, to actually reading it.

It rained a large chunk of yesterday and it's rained quite a bit today. Thunder and lightening, however, haven't been making much of an appearance.

I don't mind the rain except around lunchtime. As the weather gets warmer, my desire to be outdoors reading increases. But with the rain I'm stuck indoors. That means another day of wandering the skywalk for me, and reading on one of the carpeted stools in a corner near the Devos Hall.

Here comes the rain...

I've spent the better part of the day watching this cool Learn Python Through Public Data Hacking tutorial on youtube. It's a video of a workshop that was at PyCon 2013. I'm still pretty green with python, so it's been a good exercise. The whole thing is almost two hours and forty minutes, but it's taken me far longer than that to get through everything due to various interruptions and the need to download additional python modules and what not.

Anyway, the whole talk discusses using publicly available data and manipulating it. For instance, one of the exercises involved trying to find a bus that a suitcase got left on. So using the CTA API for the Chicago bus system, you could track where a bus was and if it was getting closer or father from you. For an added bonus, you could plot the bus location on a google map instead of trying to read longitude and latitude.

I tried to see if the City of Grand Rapids had similarly available data and I couldn't find anything, which is kind of a bummer. Maybe eventually. I might search through some of the neighboring cities and see if I can find anything.
I did take a break between the exercises to make some tasty biscotti. It's been awhile since I made some and I had a desire for something delicious to dunk into my tea. I used a different recipe called Biscotti Toscani. This one is more almond and less chocolate than the last recipe I made, which is fine. They're pretty tasty and I couldn't resist eating a few smaller ones right away.

We did some early morning grocery shopping, which means restocking on tasty foods. With the weather in the mid-50s today I decided to do some grilling.
For two people that's probably an excessively large amount of food, but I do love making leftovers.
Plus while we were out I picked up Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Leki enjoyed spending time with me while I listened to Luigi make cowering noises periodically. It's an adorable game and much like the GameCube game, so I've been enjoying it so far.

The weather is getting warmer and that means enjoying my lunch period outdoors, reading at a park downtown. It was in the 40s today, but that's ok. I just hung out with my coat on and read on my kindle. If it's sunny out, I'm certainly going to try and spend my lunch hour outdoors, if only for a change of scenery.

I've been enjoying the Pebble Watch so far. It's great to get notifications on it, like the text message forwards when Chris is on his way to pick me up from work, or if I want to pause an audiobook.

But what would really be awesome would be setting up more customer alerts, like say, from the weather.
So I decided to give Tasker for Android a try. It's was a little daunting at first to set up, but I discovered that there are a lot of user created profiles on their wiki that you could download and try. So I decided to snag one that gets and speaks the weather. I figured I could work it backward from there.

I essentially used the information from the example I downloaded and modified it to notify me instead of speaking anything.

Now, in order to get the information passed to the Pebble Watch, I needed to use another application - Pebble Notifier. I've already been using this application to forward notifications that the Pebble application doesn't handle natively, like google talk messages.
Setting up Pebble Notifier is easy, as you can see. Just select what you want and away you go!
Once that was done, the notifications came through without a hitch in both the notification center....
And the watch!

Next will be modifying the script to give me current numbers as opposed to the overall daily forecast. Still, pretty neat.

Ever so slowly it is getting warmer out.

So Guild Wars 2 has launched a game within the game. It's an 8-bit platformer game in the spirit of Mario and Zelda called Super Adventure Box. And it's pretty awesome.

I spent several hours running through the instance yesterday with a random group and I had a lot of fun.
There are even 8-bit rainbow bridges!
And once you play through it all the way the first time, you can log in and visit each of the areas at will. So I popped in for a little to check things out. There are several buildings in a courtyard, and not all of them are accessible, so I assume they'll be adding additional levels to this throughout the month of April.

This whole thing launched on April Fool's Day. I'm all for more events like this for that day.