It's been a while since I posted to the blog, so I thought I'd update it. I post somewhat frequently to my Facebook page, but with it being so heavy with political posts, I have to work hard to stay away. It's currently presidential election season in a year where both candidates are so rotten and devoid of morality that we're fighting the "my side is superior to your side because my side is lower in Satan's military hierarchy" battle, and it's getting very ugly here in the US of A. We may have to rename the country The Divided States of America if this keeps up.
Update - February 2, 2017 - I am now working for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It's an awesome job and I am enjoying the environment, our client, and my coworkers.
Where are we now?
We're living in Montgomery, AL and loving it. The people here are very friendly and the service is great. We're about to buy a house in the County Downs neighborhood. It's the perfect house for us, since we have four adults (Laurie's mother and brother live with us). It's a one story house, which is very important for our aging knees. We were under contract for a home in the same neighborhood that we're in now, but we've had a crime spree break out in the last two months. There have been an enormous number of burglaries in our neighborhood and we decided to pass on the house (it was also a bit too large for us - and it had a pool, which would add more monthly expenses to the whole thing).
Out of the frying pan...into the fire
I try hard not to post about politics, sex, or religion, but I keep getting sucked into the political mosh pit. I'm seriously considering contacting my Facebook friends that I am closest to and getting their email addresses so I can close down Facebook once and for all.
The daily grind
Since my last post, I've changed assignments at work. I am no longer working for the Alabama State Department of Education. I am now working for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It's a much different atmosphere here and I think I'll have an easier time meeting expectations and delivering software. It's more permissive from a hardware perspective, and I have access to all of the databases and servers that I need to access to get my job done without trudging through the bureaucratic mud of a large IT establishment. In other words, I'm in a small shop again, where I can be nimble, efficient, and effective without having to play politics just to get my daily work done.
My younger sister Kathy got married last weekend. It was awesome. She was born with a severe heart defect and the doctors told the family that she wouldn't live past six months. She did and then they kept telling us that she wouldn't make it to her next birthday for many years. After my mother kept insisting that they operate on her anyway, she survived so long that the doctors just gave up trying to predict her death and treated her condition. Now, here we are, over thirty years later, and she got married. She married a guy that was a good friend to me when I used to go on church youth group trips as a kid. I have always been an odd nerd, and the youth group kids weren't any different than any other group of kids, they treated the odd kids the same. Jeff was odd, too, so we got along well. He taught me how to play chess one time by using a checker board and some bottle caps that I dug out of the Coke machine with my skinny arms. We used Sprite caps for one type of piece (Rook, Knight, Queen, King, etc.) and each different drink for another piece. It was fun.
Are you not entertained?!
Winter is coming
We binge-watched Game of Thrones on HBO Now. Aside from the unnecessary sexual content and nudity, the story was absolutely incredible. I am a poor reader of anything that is not of a technical nature, so I probably won't read the books that the show is based on (I also read comics because they force my brain to slow down long enough to take in the art so I can get the context of the dialog visually).
Our Democracy is being hacked
We're currently watching Mr. Robot. I love this show because the protagonist (or is he the antagonist?) talks about the same conspiracy theories that I am known to ramble on about (the top 1% of the top 1% running the world in a little meeting room in some secret location, the use of our private habits for commercial gain, politicians being "owned" by corporate interests, the fact that the world was in love with Steve Jobs, yet he built the iPod and the first two versions of the iPhone on the backs of child labor across the world, etc.) We're still wondering if this is going to be like Fight Club and Q2hyaXN0aWFuIFNsYXRlcidzIGNoYXJhY3RlciBpc24ndCByZWFs <-- Paste that text in the box at the link and click the "Decode" button to see the spoiler text.
Shoot that poison arrow
I watch Arrow from time-to-time. I like the show, but it is a bit simple as far as plot lines and acting go. It's still entertaining, though. I used to read the Green Arrow comic book when I was in high school. He's one of my favorite characters because he's all human, with no super powers. He has to use his brain and his skills to survive...and he's not bullet proof.
The Walking Dead
I think the show is named appropriately. Even though it has been extended for another season (Season 8), I just don't know if I care about the characters any more. It's bouncing back-and-forth between desperate survival and abundant life tropes and it's getting tiresome to watch. I'm not even sure if I really care who got their head smashed in at the end of the last season.
It is your...DESTINY!
I am somewhat obsessed with the game Destiny. I don't play it nearly as much as the most well-known players (Datto does Destiny, My Name is Byf, etc.), but I play it enough to be pretty good at it. I haven't bought the most recent expansion yet (it's only $30, but I have been spending my $30 on other things lately), so perhaps I'm not as addicted as you might think. Though, I still have three level 40 characters above 320 light level.
Stuck in a loop
We recently saw Ms. Peregrine's home for peculiar children. I really enjoyed that movie. It was a great exploration of the nature of time. Another awesome job by one of my favorite directors (Tim Burton). I also enjoyed the last Alice in Wonderland movie that he directed (it was also about the nature of time).
I am subscribed to Marvel Unlimited on my iPad, which gets me access to the backlog of Marvel comics (I have to wait about six months to read anything current). I usually read a lot at night before bed. I have been following the cinematic universe pretty closely. The only movies I haven't seen are the Thor movies. I just can't get into them, but I'm sure I'll watch them at some point. I haven't seen X-Men Armageddon, yet, so I'm looking forward to that.
Holy cow! Westworld on HBO Now is incredible. We love this show. Laurie read that they did not secure the actors for more than four episodes, so it seems we are almost through the whole season (we watched episode three last night).
Update - Shawn Wildermuth informed me that the actors were signed for four years, not four episodes. I'm very glad because we love this show. The depth of the subject matter is so on point. The question at the back of my mind is whether or not Anthony Hopkins' character is the only living human in the building.
Tap target artifact
I've started playing the Magic: the Gathering card game again. I haven't played regularly since Urza's saga (1998, I think). I started playing just before fifth edition. The new expansion is awesome. I love artifact decks and this new expansion has a lot of artifact related cards. I'm thinking of playing at the local game store, but the new iPad, iPhone, and XBox One app are satiating my need to play for now. I play it on all three. My iPhone and iPad games are synchronized with each other, but unfortunately, it doesn't sync with my XBox One account, so I have to replay the same games.
What does the future hold?
We're seriously considering adding to our family. It will probably happen this time, so stay tuned for details.
Star Wars forever
I'm anxiously awaiting the next Star Wars movie Rogue One. I can't wait to see the story of the Bothan spies that stole the plans to the Death Star (I'm assuming they're Bothans, but who knows?)
The rest of the story
Sarah is doing well. She's living in downtown Atlanta, GA and working at the largest haunted house in Georgia, called Netherworld.
My niece got married a few months back and her husband is a military recruiter. They live about an hour away from us in Opelika, AL. It will be good to see them more often.