Category Archives: Geeky Pursuits

Catching Up

Just a little post to catch things up from the past couple of weeks.

  • Dad’s home. He was in the hospital for six days before moving to a rehab facility. He was there for just over a week. He has a good amount of pain yet, but the healing is going pretty quickly, all things considered.
  • I bought myself a Christmas gift: a Nintendo Wii. I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while, but wasn’t really planning to get one when I was running errands last Wednesday. I popped into Best Buy since I had to drive right by it anyway, thinking I’d probably just get a Nintendo DS game or something. But lo and behold, they had a Wii, and it’s now residing on my computer stand (good thing my monitor is a flat screen…eventually I’m hoping to move the Wii into the entertainment center instead).
  • I haven’t played much on the Wii yet, as I ended up coming down with stomach flu/food poisoning on Thursday, and I pretty much just slept and read books until Saturday morning. I hardly ate anything for those two days, and it was such a nice feeling to wake up Saturday with a normal appetite.
  • Over the weekend I got pretty far in feeling caught up for the holidays by finishing the design for my Christmas cards and actually getting far enough with assembling them that about half of them went into the mail today. Usually I spread out the card creation over a few days; my right shoulder and elbow are a little sore from all the stamping.
  • Tonight I took a break from the cards to put together a playlist for a holiday music CD swap I’m running a bit late with. It’s mostly done, other than listening to see if I like the flow, and maybe adding a song or two.
  • Pretty much the only other thing I really need to do this week is pick up something for my mom for Christmas.

So there you have it in a nutshell. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get back to my plan of posting at least two or three times a week now that things are a little more under control.

Where does the time go?

I really had planned to update this a bit more frequently, so how have I not posted for over a month? Where does the time go, anyway?

In a last Cozy Mystery Challenge update, I actually won one of the books that authors had contributed as prizes. I received Deadly Advice, signed by author Roberta Isleib, a while ago now…I really need to send her a thank-you.

So, what else has been up… I got back in touch with a friend from high school. I really need to respond to that last email from him. Oops. Seriously, time is just getting away from me lately.

A few weeks ago I bought a Nintendo DS after seeing how much fun a coworker had with hers. I can’t believe how many games I’ve accumulated for that thing already. I haven’t been playing as much the past week or so, but I really need to at least get back to Brain Age.

A couple of weeks ago (really, this is the end of what seems like a really big spending spree) I bought an iPhone. It was either a Palm Treo or the iPhone, and the iPhone won out. I love it. I can access my Yahoo! Mail (which my primary personal email account is already forwarded to) seamlessly, I’ve got anytime-I-want access to the Web…oh, and it’s a phone too, though somewhat ironically I probably use that feature the least. It’s even better than my laptop for reading stuff in bed, so I’ve actually been getting caught up with my favorite recaps over at Television Without Pity.

My regular reading has been in a bit of a slump. I’m trying to read a book I’m giving one of my nephews for his birthday (he won’t notice if I’m careful, right?), but I need to get that out in the mail and can’t pick up the copy from the library I requested until Thursday, so I’ll likely pick up something else to start soon. I recently picked up the latest issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and am in the midst of the second story. I really do love short mystery stories when I take the time to read them! If you enjoy them as well, I recommend Criminal Brief: The Mystery Short Story Web Log Project. Which reminds me, I really should read that more often too…

A little teaser: Someday soon I’m going to get up early enough to have time to take pictures and finally do a “day in the life,” now powered by iPhone! Unfortunately for you, my life isn’t that exciting.

Sims Life Stories

So, probably a bit too much of my past weekend was spent playing the new Sims game, Sims Life Stories. When I heard a while back that there was going to be a laptop-friendly game coming out, I knew I’d have to check it out. Sure, I have the original Sims Complete Collection on my laptop, but after playing a little Sims 2 on my mom’s computer, it’s been hard to go back.

The thing was that even though the game was released last Wednesday at Best Buy, I made myself wait until Saturday to purchase Life Stories so I wouldn’t be tempted to play while I was preparing for a workshop Friday evening. That was a very good decision…

So now I’ve got what amounts to a light version of Sims 2 on my laptop. But besides classic open-ended play, Life Stories comes with two guided stories you can play to meet preset goals. While perfect for people who are new to the Sims, I as an experienced Sims player rather enjoyed playing through the first story. I stayed up way too late on Saturday. In fact, I finally made myself go to bed because I knew I just didn’t have the ability to concentrate on the final goal. I’m now saving the second story for this coming weekend, because I do need my rest… I have been playing a little bit of open-ended play this week when I’ve a little time in the evenings.

When I opened the package, I was happy to discover that Life Stories is just the first in the Stories line. I have Sims Pet Stories to look forward to this summer, and Sims Castaway Stories next winter.

These certainly aren’t going to be for everybody (for example, someone who can’t live without custom content), but if your computer doesn’t have the specs for Sims 2, it’s a really nice alternative.

My Favorite Podcasts

Since getting my new iPod, with more than enough space (for the time being, anyway) for my music and audiobooks, I’ve come to love podcasts. Note: All podcasts mentioned below are available at least through iTunes, but possibly other outlets as well.

I’ve tried out a few baseball ones: Baseball Prospectus Radio, MLB Radio Daily, and Baseball Geeks. I haven’t listened to any lately and haven’t given the others much of a chance, but I’ve really enjoyed the Prospectus.

Of course, since I got a video iPod it made sense to try out a few video podcasts: Strong Bad Emails & More, GeekBrief.TV, and Almanac: At the Capitol (no new episodes until January 2007). Strong Bad is just hilarious. If you’re not familiar, please head over to HomeStarRunner.com. GeekBrief is for the tech geek in me: fun little tidbits, presented by a woman! Almanac: At the Capitol is a local public television show with news from the Capitol — it’s where I learn about what’s actually going on at work.

But I’m a geek who also likes to learn about other stuff, so: Science Talk, The Word Nerds, and The Naked Scientists. Science Talk is by Scientific American, and there are often interesting topics, authors, and the like. I’ve only listened to one episode of The Word Nerds, but I really like the idea, so hopefully it’ll be enjoyable. I do love The Naked Scientists, and not just for the British accents. The episodes I’ve listened to have all been both fun and educational.

Know of any podcasts I should try? Please let me know.

I’m Not Sure Anyone Still Reads This Anyway

Which is why I’ve had little motivation to post lately. I’m busy and stressed due to work stuff I can’t really post about, and otherwise, I don’t have too much going on.

I registered last week to attend the Stampin’ Up! convention in July, so I have that to look forward to, though it’s still not a vacation, something I need desperately. I’m sure it’ll be fun, but I won’t have much free time at all to sightsee or anything in Salt Lake City. If I had made the travel arrangements for myself, I probably would have worked it out to stay another day or two.

Today I ordered the iHome to use at work with my iPod, since the solutions I’ve come up with so far haven’t been terribly reliable. I’m very sad that Amazon.com says it won’t ship for a whole week yet. It’s going to be really hard to not go to Best Buy and just buy one, even if it costs a lot more. But I must be patient.

Perhaps today I shall try to start catching up with everyone else’s blogs. Though if I have downtime, I really, really need to work on my contract cross stitch job that’s due in less than a month.

I Swear, I’m Still Alive

Just crazy busy, am I.

The busy season at work began a few weeks ago, so now I have weekends I’m on call, and since I put in a few hours the very first weekend, I’m expecting that to just get worse and worse until hopefully it’s all over sometime in May. *does not hold breath*

Since last I posted I become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator. I’m just doing it for the discount (but of course, if you’re interested in placing an order or hosting a workshop or whatever, I’d be happy to do that for you), but I still have a lot of materials I need to watch and read and organize. And I need to find somewhere to store the pile of stuff I got in my starter kit.

I also started a set of models for a cross stitch designer that are due June 1, but I’m not nearly as far along with them as I’d like after three weeks. I put in three hours last night, though, so that’s something. I’ve had a hard time getting motivated to do any cross stitch the past couple of years, which is just sad because I love it (there’s a reason I do it professionally). This evening after I check on whether or not I have something at home, I’m placing an order for needles, the rest of the magazines out so far that include a series chart I want to stitch for my grandma, and the afghan I need to start that project. Here’s a link with a picture for the Hummingbird Trellis afghan (scroll down for it). I originally wanted to do this for her 75th birthday this coming September, but the afghan alone is over $70, so I’ve been putting off buying it. I’m now shooting for her 80th birthday.

Today I’m pondering whether or not to buy a new iPod. The one I have is old (it’s a 2nd generation, the current ones are 5th), it doesn’t have nearly enough space on it for me (10GB, compared to the 30GB and 60GB ones they’re selling now), and I’d like a new case for it, but I can’t find anything for one so old (it has buttons under the screen, the current ones don’t). I don’t really want to spend the money, and I have no idea what I’ll do with the one I have now, but I really want a nice 30GB iPod in black. *sigh*