The economy: why am I optimistic?

The global economy has collapsed, the stock market is decimated, we are all going to lose our jobs, and the sky is falling! Oddly, none of the recent economic turmoil has scared me. In fact, when stocks bottomed out (presumably) a couple of weeks ago, I started buying shares. I’m not Warren Buffett, but I now own a couple hundred shares of GM, and twenty-some shares each of Apple, Microsoft, and RIM.

Am I crazy? I’m hearing of people selling their houses and buying gold, stocking up on tinned goods and toilet paper, and most of all desperately trying to convert any equity investments they have into or some kind of guaranteed investment. There must be something wrong with me that I keep feeling this strange compulsion to go buy more stock…

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Spore fails to engage…

Title Spore
Developer Maxis/Electronic Arts
Type Strategy
Platform(s) Mac, PC
Kelly Score ™ 50 / 100 game;
85 / 100 toy

Spore is the new creation by game “God” Will Wright, the genius behind the SimCity and The Sims. The man is recognized as a computer gaming visionary, and Spore is considered by many to be his crowning achievement: Will himself called it “Sim Everything”.

I wanted to like Spore, I really did. I tried to avoid the hoopla associated with it so I wouldn’t build up a lot of expectations. Anticipation has been building for years now, so that avoidance was challenging. Perhaps in part my success was helped by the fact that I’m not really that huge of a fan of either of Will’s previous franchises, SimCity or The Sims. I enjoyed SimCity in a couple of incarnations, but would never likely rate it above a 7 out of 10 on my gaming goodness scale. I guess I prefer games with some kind of objective rather than more open ended simulators. And Spore continued my pattern of not really liking Will Wright’s games that much… without even the redeeming “simulator” qualities I’d found in SimCity. But I can certainly perceive what attracts others to these games, and thus my double-barreled score for Spore. One score as a game, and another score as, for want of a better word, a toy.

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StarCraft II to be released as three separate games and other Blizzard news

Blizzard announced at Blizzcon that StarCraft II will be released as three separate games, one for each race. The first shipping “race” will be the Terrans. There will likely be a year or two between each release, so if you want to play all three single player campaigns you’ll have to wait four or five years at least from the date the first one ships.

What does this mean to me? Not much, really- I didn’t play the original StarCraft a decade ago, and I’m unlikely to be interested in StarCraft II either. I never really got “hooked” by the whole real time strategy genre, although I did play the original Warcraft. But for anyone who is a serious fan of the StarCraft series, waiting even longer to get the whole second release has got to be a bit frustrating. You can read the opinions of some game bloggers on the IGN website, but the truth is it will be released however Blizzard wants it.

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News flash: US military pilots can be humble and funny

My friend Chris and I have made going to airshows a tradition of sorts. Chris actually knows quite a lot about aircraft, whereas I am more of the “wow, that’s cool” mindset and only skim the surface regarding technical details. One thing I’ve found is that the airmen sent to these shows, presumably amongst the best in their respective forces, generally seem to be pretty nice people. At least on the surface I haven’t noted much of that “strutting arrogance” we expect to see pilots have based on movies and TV shows.

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House Upgrade 2008 Part IV: a roof over our heads

The deck construction is almost finished. Almost… a slippery word, that can often mean “never”. Since the last posting on this topic, here is what has been completed:

  • roof framing assembly (structural steel trusses) constructed
  • aluminum framing and acrylite / polycarbonate roofing panels installed
  • electrical roughed in
  • exposed steel clad in cedar
  • deck stairs constructed
  • second “quick connect” natural gas fitting installed

It looks pretty good, actually, and is “done enough” that the things remaining feel rather minor. The roof has turned out really nicely: Solariumsplus did the work, and I’m really pleased with what Pete, Curtis and Randy put together for us. Some pictures…

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