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Sick time with Mario and Skype

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

It’s been a long and unpleasant weekend for me. It started off on a positive note with my father in town and dinner with him and Brien at Wasabi Bistro, but then descended into a 2 day plague of fevers, chills, coughing, and generally feeling like crap. The whole sickness started last Thursday as what I had through to be a mixture of quitting smoking (again – hurray) and allergies, but quickly descended into something far more sinister.

Luckily the weekend before I had picked up my copy of Super Paper Mario for the Wii at Costco and found it to be the perfect accompaniment for fading in and out of consciousness on my couch. Over two days I managed to log almost 10 hours of play time and made it through 5 of the 8 worlds. It’s a fun little mix between the classic Mario platformer game and a kid-oriented RPG. Sometimes the storyline got to be a bit childish for me, but overall I like the concept of leveling up your hit points and damage in a Mario style game. Super Paper Mario also features a delightful number of puzzles which can be solved by various pixl’s (our hero’s new helpers – equivalent to special abilities in other RPG style games), sometimes involving a large number of steps to be orchestrated over several screens.

Skype was very patient with me this weekend. Even being a dog he can tell when people are sick and I could tell he was worried about me. He spent 95% of the weekend squeezed up next to me on the couch licking my arm from time to time as if to say “I’m here dad – get better soon”. I feel bad for not having given him more exercise (it was all I could do to walk him three times a day) and once I’m better I’ll have to make it up to him with some extra time at the dog park later this week.

For better or worse I’m back at work today – I’m hoping to make a quick day of things here and get home to rest further. I’m still stick, but no longer floored (or couched as the case may be) and am able to make it up and about. This morning I have one really important meeting I can’t reschedule, but after that I should be free to go work from home if I feel the need.

A productive saturday morning

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

It’s not even 1pm and I’ve already woken up, given Skype a bath and his various medications (oh the horrors), taken him for a long walk, done two loads of laundry, cleaned my kitchen, swept my deck, washed my car (interior and exterior), and edited a couple of photos of boats from past photoshoots (the other one is here):

Yellow and blue

Even though I sure do treasure my lazy weekends when I get them sometimes it’s nice to be a bit productive before I get lazy. Now I get to really enjoy the rest of the day knowing that I have nothing pressing on my agenda!

Yellow and blue” by sparktography

Update: I even went to Costco and Home depot, picked up the parts to fix my toilet (the lever broke and it was making funny noises), fixed my toilet, AND managed not to get my car dirty during the whole excursion. Plus as a bonus I picked up Super Paper Mario for my Wii at Costco and now get to enjoy a new Mario game for the rest of the evening!

Good things for Skype

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

The sample they took from the growth on his foot came back as non-malignant which is good. Hopefully it will go away on it’s own, and if not they can surgically remove it, but it’s nothing that they think could turn life threatening. He’s also responding very well to three separate ear medications and will be down to one of them this weekend if his ears continue to progress from their infected state.

Poor Skype – he’s responding well to the hypo-allergen free dog food and his rash is going away but the poor boy is simply starved for treats. If he continues to improve like this we can start to re-introduce different foods until we find the allergen – I hope I can go back to giving him his favorite chicken treats soon. I’m making up for it by giving him extra doses of love.

Food allergies in dogs…

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Skype had developed a sore on his front paw so I took him to the vet this morning. They took a small biopsy of the growth (which was quite the struggle once he figured out what we were up to) and we should know more in a few days. We also discovered that he has another ear infection – certainly not a good thing. Skype HATES getting ear drops, but now he has to get 2 different kinds of drops twice a day for another two weeks – boy will THAT be fun…

Since he has had several ear infections in the last year the Dr. is looking for a root cause. She suspects that he might have a food allergy so I have to switch him to a hypo-allergenic dog food and ONLY feed him that for a while. Skype is going to hate not getting treats, but hopefully it will clear up some of his skin and ear irritations.

A lazy sunday morning

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Laying on the couch with Skype while drinking coffee, watching History of the World Part I, and wading through the river RSS. Just what the doctor ordered for a cold rainy Sunday morning!

Dog hiccups and other fun things

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

I lay here on my couch exhausted from the goings on of yesterday. Skype is equally exhausted and is passed out in a little ball next to me. He’s hiccuping in the cutest possible way – there really is very little on this earth as a sleeping dog that’s convulsing uncontrollably in the throes of hiccups.

Someone recently commented to me that my blog was very beige. They didn’t mean the color scheme, but more the fact that my life is rather boring. I actually appreciated that more than the person intended: I like the boring quiet life! Luckily I still do have the occasional splash of color in my life as yesterday exhibited:

The afternoon movie showing was quite exciting! I had 8 people show up for drinks, movies, and other sorts of orgastic excess. Skype of course had a blast – it’s almost more than he can bear to have that many drunk people show up and play with him. For an idea of the happenings check out the (dark and long) Quicktime timelapse I made.

Take that beige! Now back to our regularly scheduled beige.

Oh yeah – and I’ve developed a love affair with Tilda Swinton! She’s just so good at being bad!

MEGA POST (now with more Pirates!)

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – after updating the site design to the blog on Tuesday everything became rather busy. Wednesday night was the most romantic possible of valentines: I did usability testing for my friend Troy’s upcoming Pirates MMO, and then went home to drink wine and cuddle with Skype.

Pirates of the Burning Sea actually looks like it could be quite a fun game. I most likely won’t get sucked in (I’m not the MMO kind of guy) but I mean who can argue with Pirates? The game still needs a little UI polish (they are not even in beta yet), but it’s got a solid base for a good combat system and what looks to be a giant world to run (sail?) around in.

Thursday continued my Pirates theme with a showing of Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest with Ken at Le Cinema Sparks. I really do have to admit that the special effects are simply amazing – regardless of the sheer ridiculousness of the rest of the movie. ILM used a new technology called iMoCap (Image Based Motion Capture) which allowed actors playing the pirates to be replaced in near realtime with CG characters using motion capture technology. This is way cool and an indicator that within a few years actors as we know them will likely be replaced with the infinite tweak-ability of computer generated actors.

Thursday also brought the first day that my jaw really felt better. The antibiotics are working a number on the infection and my bowels at the same time. I’m certainly glad they are working and I won’t have to have surgery, but the constant search for more bathrooms is starting to get old. Oh well – it could be worse: my jaw could have swelled up more and left me horribly disfigured for the foreseeable future. In other news my pills are more than half gone:

Shot of pills

Friday brought laundry, cleaning, and way too much laziness. I spent the entire evening getting ready for the weekend. Below is a shot of my pants drying in the bathroom. I had hung them up to dry and was just getting ready to go to bed when I noticed the shot and had to go get my gear together really quick so I could shoot it. I then got sucked into Photoshop playing with various treatments until I finall came up with the below. GO PANTS!


Now that it’s saturday I’m wearing slightly damp pants, and finishing my preparations. I’m actually rather proud of myself for waking up early enough today that I could take Skype to the dog park and still have time to finish cleaning. He had a blast running around this morning (too fast to shoot sometimes) and now is being cooperatively lazy – hopefully that will continue through the evening with my company.

Skype with ball

In a few hours a ton of my friends are showing up for movies. I finished cleaning this morning and went to the liquor store to pick up enough booze to sedate an entire frathouse. I forgot mixers but after making a few calls I think that problem should be taken care of by my friends when they show up.

Shot of pills” by sparktography
Skype with ball” by sparktography
Jeans” by sparktography

A to Z: it’s Blog-O-Meme time!

Monday, February 5th, 2007

A is for age: 25
B is for beer of choice: Pyramid Ales, Apricot Amber
C is for career right now: Program Manager out at the big borg
D is for your dog’s name?: Skype!
E is for essential item you use everyday: My cameras
F is for favorite food: Steak, steak,steak!
G is for favorite game: Oblivion
H is for Home town: Walla Walla, WA
I is for instruments you play: A loooong time ago I played the flute
J is for favorite juice: Odwalla
K is for whose butt you’d like to kick: George W. Bush’s
L is for last place you ate: Red Robin
M is for marriage: and the horrific legal ramifications it stands for
N is for your full name: Sparky
O is for overnight hospital stays: Several pneumonia related incidents as a child
P is for people you were with today: Brien and a bunch of co-workers
Q is for quote: “Kill all humans” – Bender
R is for Biggest Regret: Not quitting my job at Greythorn years earlier
S is for status: terminally single
T is for favorite TV show at the moment: Battlestar Galactica
U is for underwear you have on: Calvin Kline boxer briefs
V is for vegetable you love: Avacado
W is for worst habit: Smoking more nicotine than I should
X is for x-rays you’ve had: Chest, head, mouth, and chest, chest, chest
Y is for yummy food you ate today: Banzai Burger at Red Robin
Z is for the zodiac sign: Leo

Thanks Phil!


Friday, December 29th, 2006

Being a parent can be rough at times – particularly when your child is a precocious 75 pound pit bull. I’ve been neglecting Skype a little bit in the last week and spending a lot of time trying to recharge my batteries glued to my couch working on a few projects on my laptop, and playing a lot of Civ 4. He has not been getting the attention he wanted and started to chew on things again. Yesterday he chewed his way through a bunch of Wii games and books and really sent the message home to me.

Good thing is that hopefully this will be a quick lived thing – I am trying to take the next few days of my holiday and spend some quality time with him. Nothing like a good dose of daddy and dog parks to make a growing boy happy again.

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