Important news: my email access is down, and has been for over a week at this point. So if you sent me something, I have almost certainly not read it, although I am told it is there waiting on the mail server. No good ETA on getting it fixed. If you need to get in touch with me, phone/sms is best for the moment. Work email will work in a pinch: [my first initial].[my last name]@[my company].com.
Other than that, things in the world of Frank are mostly good. Work has gradually been heading back to the insane side of the spectrum, and the past three weeks have been especially bad/busy. So tired of 60-80 hr work weeks. Want this release over with yesterday.
Taxes are complete. I owed many dollars, but was happy to have them to pay.
Went to PAX East back in March, staying with my brother Joe. Had a great trip: took a quick detour through PDX on the way out, deliberately not doing most of my usual things, instead trying to do just let the Internet be my guide. Found some very good drinking chocolate, an awesome diner with real homemade fountain sodas, some decent liquor, and some mediocre cupcakes. The winner was having dinner at Widmer brewhaus, which had some delicious chicken schnitzel and almost certainly the best mead I've ever tasted. Also, my hotel had a teddy bear! It was super adorable!
Boston was awesome. I had not spent much time in the North End before: apparently it is a law there that each block must contain no less than three adorable, tiny, cheap, and insanely good Italian restaurants, and one bakery. spend some time seeing a few friends, but mostly went to the show and hung out with my family. A good time was had by all! Got to play with the Nintendo 3DS. Have not yet purchased it, but I don't think I can hold off forever. Played many video and board games. My Mom and other brother Jeff showed up on Sunday, and Joe's friends had already left, so we had some extra passes for them to see what all the hubbub was about. They had a great time too! Joe and Jeff spent about an hour trying to beat a terrible, TERRIBLE game from their childhood called Night Trap. Even with a walkthrough, they did not succeed. We watched a video walkthrough on YouTube later on. Without going through all the details (the Wikipedia article has them if you can spare that much SAN loss), this game is a realtime game, and is essentially unbeatable unless you actively plot out how and where each bad guy is going to appear. You don't even have time to watch some of them die before you need to dispatch the next evildoer.
Bethlehem was very nice too! Got to spend time with several PA friends that I get to see so rarely. Hung out at Bethlehem Brewworks, where I had a delicious glass of "It's not my Alt!" (yay, Star Wars reference! I shall have to get a photo up of that soon). We have really good microbrews here in Seattle, and places to get good, cheap pub food, but never at the same place. I miss the Brewworks very, very much.
Speaking of alcohol, this weekend was the Woodinville Wine Passport event. So I have had many, many glasses of delicious wine today. I also suddenly feel like posting. This is not a coincidence.
On a further related topic, I had been halfheartedly planning another trip out to WA wine country sometime this year, but even with my clever plan of only doing the event on foot and thus buying only that which I could carry, I still ended up with about 18 bottles over the two days. So that's probably about... 18 months of wine. I don't know why I have this obsession to collect alcohol. If I consumed it at anything close to the rate at which I buy it, I'd be worried.
Other vacation things in the near and distant future, all subject to change:
- Heading down to PDX next weekend. Hopefully Widmer will still have some of that mead that I sampled last month.
- Going to Victoria, BC for a weekend in May.
- Hopefully going down to San Francisco for a week in May, but we'll see.
- Hopefully going to Vancouver and Toronto in August, to see cow
- Maybe possibly heading out to the southwest in September. I've been wanting to see the deserts for some time, and this might be the year it happens. Maybe even stop by to see jkhedron, but I haven't asked him yet. :)
- Might be going to see some long lost relatives in Lithuania this summer, but since that hasn't been planned yet, it's looking less likely
- The big one: since LISA is in Boston this year, in early December, I'd really like to make that an epic adventure. Take the train from Seattle to Chicago to Boston, hang around LISA, spend time with my brother and all of my Boston friends, and head down with my brother back to PA for Christmas. The tricky bit is going to be getting clearance to work remotely for about two weeks in there: I can't afford to take vacation days for that whole time. Here's hoping it all works out!
We did have one super-awesome thing happen at work: a visit from Tesla motors! Yes, the amazing all electric cars paid a brief visit to the office. Several people at work have ordered the upcoming sedan model, so they got the guys to come over from their showroom (one of their 9 locations in North America is just over in South Lake Union, about 15 blocks from where I sit), give us a big presentation, and then show off some of their roadsters. Sadly, although the fit is better than I expected, it's still just a bit too small for me: I couldn't drive with the roof on, and while I could get to the pedals OK, and the racing-style seats were surprisingly comfortable (they looked much smaller), the (fixed) steering wheel was blocking the dash for me which is a tiny bit of a safety issue. A car with that price tag needs to fit essentially perfectly. In 2015, they're supposed to be coming out with a larger version of the roadster. I can wait. :)
Hmmm. I guess that's about it for now. Thought I had more to say; next time! Have a great night!