There's this meme that's circulating that claims that themed LEGO sets -- Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc. -- are killing imagination. The argument goes that unlike the generic sets of old (or even better, the big bin of blocks), these sets kill imagination. Advocates of the Good Old Days claim that act of building these sets locks children into that particular milieu. Worse yet, kids don't build anything original any more; instead they can only follow the corporate hive minds step by step instructions.
I've got a lot of stuff. A few thousand comics. Hundreds of books. Dozens of board games. An equal number (if not more) of role-playing games. Three Macs (two of which only work haphazardly). And the accumulated technological detritus of 42 years of geeky living.
We got a new kitten and his name is "Zorro". A kitten who thinks he's a fox? Well, more like a kitten who thinks he's a swashbuckler. He's a spastic ball of furry who loves throwing himself off the the sofa, dueling with the Labrador, and taking running leaps at the curtains.
I walk to work, and as such a good laptop back is a critical part of my commute. For the last few years I've used an L.L. Bean messenger bag, but it had become frayed and ink-stained from years of abuse. It's form factor was also problematic, particularly when I fly, because it was difficult to stow under seats while still giving easy access to its contents. I also wanted easily stow cables, notebooks, pens, and other tools of the my trade. Oh, and a laptop as well.
High school football is a big deal in Pennsylvania. Thanksgiving Day football is an even bigger deal in Easton, Pa. The annual Easton vs. Phillipsburg, NJ game is the oldest interstate matchup in the nation; the first such game was held in 1906 and it's been going strong ever since.
Winter is coming. In my house, that means long weekends trapped inside with increasingly crazy, argumentative kids enraged by too many hours fighting over the rules to Uno, Life, and Monopoly.
In 2010 I started a project called "Picture a Day". The idea is simple enough -- take a picture a day for a year. I started off strong, with the perfect subject matter: my family's new puppy, Indiana. I kept going strong through 2011, but faltered and stumbled into 2012. I gave up in March of that year with the rather uninspired "Troll Attack".
I've had trouble sleeping since college. Initially that took the form of insomnia, but more recently I've fallen into a more disruptive, two-part sleep pattern. When this happens I sleep for four hours, get up for an hour or two, then go back to sleep for another two or three (or, if I'm really unlucky, I stay up the rest of the night).
The federal government is shutdown. While I'm sympathetic to the smaller government impulses driving the Republicans behind this particular charge, I think it's the wrong way to go about it.
In some ways I am glad to see things finally come to a head -- Congress hasn't passed a budget since 2009, so it's not like things have been running along smoothly. Congress had almost refined can-kicking to an art form, and I for one would like them to actually, you know, do their job.
I've been back on my exercise regime for about three weeks (never mind the timestamp on my blog post kicking things off; I actually started writing that two weeks ago...). I spent the first week jogging, and then spent the next week walking (in an attempt recover from the previous week of walking). This week I'm going for a mixed approach: jog one day, walk the next, and try and get a few afternoon trips to the gym in to round things out.