Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekend - Mar 23rd - 25th


It’s Moroccan food. I sort remember coming here back in 1997 with Ray when we visited Portland. You don’t sit in chairs. You sit on padded pillows basically around a table (called traditional seating) and eat with your fingers, there is no silverware. It’s a 5 course dinner and all you have to choose is the main course. We got something ‘Chicken Lemon and Olives’ and ‘Couscous Marrakesh’, which was lamb over semolina grains and vegetables. All the food was excellent and the price reasonable as well ($17.50 ea) for all that food.

Belly dancing

They also have a belly dancer that comes out to entertain you. She was better than the dancer we saw a few weeks back at Alexis. She even got the crowd into it, inviting individual women to get up and dance with her. The first girl did well, then she moved towards us and Heidi became the 2nd girl. Heidi has some good moves; she said she’s taken a couple belly dancing lessons. Time for a private show.

Morrocan food

Saturday I went a saw the movie 300. I almost walked out in the first 30 minutes because it seemed so corny. The last 1hr+ made up for it though. Once I got passed the fact that it was based on a comic book.

Sunday I rode my first XC MTB race of the season. Horning’s Hustle. I’ll save that for the next post.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Getting my gaming geek on…

Lately I've been immersed in Vanguard, a massively multiplayer on-line role playing game, MMORPG, for my non-gaming readers. The difficulty level is a lot like Everquest and yet it has some of the nice questing and UI customization of World of Warcraft. I play a Necro (currently level 29) on the Gulgrethor server if you are interested at all.

One of the things I enjoy most about it is using the Voice over IP program Ventrilo. Right before joining the game, simply log into a central Ventrilo server with the rest of your friends and you can communicate as if you were in person. That's how I talk with my Dad. Some guys go fishing or hunting with their Dads. Some don't bond with their Dad at all. I game with my Dad. And it's a good way to keep in touch with back home, which I do miss from time to time.

The other interesting thing is the kind of people you get to meet. Since we've been gaming for a long time together, we've built up a swath of friends over the years, and you get to talk with them over Ventrilo – from all over the world. In these games your friends form these distinct groups called guilds. Then usually members of the same guild group together while they game. No different from say your bicycling friends that may form a team and/or go ride together. Some of the folks I've known for a few years now are from Norway and Australia. Or guys that I meet at work and become long term friends with and help you get jobs at companies they work at like Harley-Davidson (Hi Kevin!).

It can seem like a small world sometimes.

My Dad has asked me to fly out and spend some time with him at Gen Con, an annual mecca for gaming nerds. It is being held August 16-19, 2007. I'm not sure if I can swing that since I'll be taking off most of the month of September.

One of the podcasts I was listening to from Scott Hanselman is about Board Gaming for Programmers. Not Sorry! or monopoly. As he explains during the show, those games are American style games where the object is to eliminate your opponents and other players are left twiddling their thumbs while the last two duke it out. Not so in these type of games and I guess the resurgence has come from Germany. One of the guys Scott interviews is his CTO and boss, Chris Brooks. Who I guess is part owner of a board game company and also helps run a site called

Then yesterday, Heidi sends me an email about this local event called Gamestorm 9, which is taking place right here in Portland from Mar 30th - Apr 1st, 21,000 square feet of geeks playing board games, miniatures, etc. And guess who's a major player in the event… boardgamegeek. I might check it out next weekend.

It is a small world sometimes and strange how you can meet people from your job world in your non-job world.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Catching up…

It's been some time since I've posted. Not that I haven't meant to it's just hard to find the time sometimes.

Not an exciting weekend. The weather was great. Low 70's and sunny… er, I mean cold, rainy and overcast (don't want the locals to throw me out). Took it easy Friday. Saturday mowed the lawn, mowing the lawn in mid March!, cooked out on the grill all weekend. Did some Vanguard gaming with the old man. Finally got some time to wash my bike and install some fenders. It's built up quite abit of grime over the last few months. Especially brake dust. I'm really disliking caliper brakes. In wet weather you really have to watch it going down some of the hills around here. Numerous times I've had the rear brake not be much help stopping and had to rely on my front brakes exclusively in wet weather. Been eyeing up a new bike for commuting. Disc brakes, fenders, and some nice waterproof panniers.

It doesn't always rain in Portland

Where's the rain?