Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Kitten Dylan Chronicles

As you know, Bob, we're currently fostering a stray kitten. We're keeping him in the guest bathroom right now so our two other cats won't feel their territory is being threatened. (Jasper and Tye seem to be dealing with it pretty well, so we'll experiment with letting Dylan out next week.)

Anyway, we set up a webcam to make sure kitten Dylan isn't getting into too much trouble. This is pretty much how he spends his days:


...enjoying supervised playtime with Tye...

...and investigating the webcam.

He does like to crawl around, so I set up a cardboard rampart around the netbook running the surveillance. So far, apart from spilling his water bowl all over the floor once, he hasn't gotten into too much trouble. Knock on wood.

As always, if you know anyone who would like to adopt Dylan, please contact us!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Flash Fiction: "Everything but the Laugh"

At some point, I will write a blog post about the magical powers of stand-up comedy. Until then, there's this.

Read "Everything but the Laugh" at 512 Words or Fewer


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kitten Has Name (Also Claws, and Teeth)

Those of you who follow me on Twitter, watch my Picasa Web Albums feed, or subscribe to my YouTube channel may already know that we currently have a kitten staying with us. He's a stray who showed up outside our friend Darla's apartment last Friday. Their landlord doesn't allow pets, and DeeAnn and I are suckers for cute furry things, so Stray Kitten ended up in our bathroom.

We avoided naming him, because we didn't want to get too attached--we already have two cats, and that's enough for us. However, both the vet and the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society advise that he will be easier to place if he has a name. (This doesn't make a lot of sense to me, since they also tell us most people rename their new pets anyway. Whatevs.)

After some deliberation, we've named the stray kitten Dylan for now. He needs some humans to give him a good home in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area, and if nobody contacts us in the next couple of weeks, kitten Dylan will be at the PetSmart National Adoption Event the weekend of February 11-13.

We'll continue fostering him until then, so expect to see more photos and videos like these:

If you know anyone who's in the market for a healthy, adorable, playful kitten, please give us a call!

three six oh two one six one eight four seven



It's officially official: DeeAnn and I are attending the second session of this year's Rainforest Writers Village, which coincides with our sixth wedding anniversary. (The other two trip choices I offered her were PAX East or a local getaway--Resort at the Mountain or Skamania Lodge.)

You may think it's not terribly romantic to go on a retreat with nearly forty other writers and more-or-less work for half a week, but we're not that big on romance to begin with. We've been wanting to visit the Olympic Peninsula for a while, and we've learned that if we don't have a reason for going somewhere--e.g., we've paid for tickets already, or somebody's meeting us there--we're more likely to cancel or never actually plan a trip in the first place. And we like going to new places, so we need to manufacture motivation for ourselves, usually by creating some kind of accountability.

Anyway, we do want to get some writing done--I need to finish a novel soon!--and hang out with cool folks like Mary Robinette Kowal, but we'll also make time for a little walking around and nature-gawking. Expect to see photos toward the end of March (and video, if we encounter any interesting woodland creatures).


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SnoutCast #49: "Madness? This. Is. Arkansas!"

We're happy that people enjoyed our interview with Don Luskin, and very glad that it brought us an enlightening message from a fellow GC in "The Natural State!"

[ Download mp3 - 35 MB ]

00:58 - "exceptional"
02:27 - Listener Mail from Hot Springs, Arkansas!
05:12 - our off-the-cuff response
07:59 - supply and demand?
08:25 - for a good time, visit
12:06 - perceived value?
15:00 - do teams quit because their expectations are not met?
18:00 - generally speaking, "we're not having fun anymore" helps
20:25 - instant gratification? kids these days!
22:55 - does the transition to post-college life affect Gaming?
25:36 - enjoyment proportional to chance of winning?
28:12 - managing expectations is job one. (job two? packaging!)
29:44 - who wants to go visit Arkansas in December?
31:15 - in conclusion...
33:00 - the perils of soliciting team feedback
34:55 - upcoming events: Puzzled Pint (PDX, 2/8), GC Summit (bay area, 2/12), Iron Puzzler (bay area, 2/26-27)
37:37 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "I Feel Fantastic" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Flash Fiction: "Royal Pains"

I thought I had an interesting idea for this week's story, but then I kind of ran out of space (and time). Maybe I'll finish it later.

Read "Royal Pains" at 512 Words or Fewer


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SnoutCast #48: "JoCo Cruise Puzzley"

Did we (and several of our very good friends) really create and run a complete puzzle hunt event during JoCo Cruise Crazy? Yes. Yes, we did. Crazy!

[ Download mp3 - 26 MB ]

01:00 - "seaworthy"
02:58 - Happy New Year 2011!
04:20 - climbing up a waterfall: exercise, or not?
05:02 - so, yeah, Jamaica
06:24 - and we ran a shipboard Treasure Hunt
08:14 - deconstructing "math is hard"
09:11 - planning the JoCo Cruise Treasure Hunt in situ
11:08 - "1992!"
11:50 - GC cruisin'
13:19 - was this our shortest prep time for any event, EVAR?
15:00 - creating shipboard location-specific puzzles
16:33 - people love stickers! and achievements!
17:52 - running the puzzle hunt as a sideline activity
19:02 - meta-puzzles and six-year-olds
20:59 - cruise ship crew are extremely helpful
22:07 - the value of badge stickers
24:30 - upcoming events: Puzzled Pint (PDX, 2/8), GC Summit (MTV, 2/12), Iron Puzzler (OAK, 2/26-27)
25:25 - ObSondheim: The Last of Sheila ahoy!
26:14 - announce your event to The Game or BANG mailing lists
27:38 - The End

Music: instrumentals from "Code Monkey" and "Tom Cruise Crazy" by Jonathan Coulton

[ Subscribe to SnoutCast / iTunes link ]

CKL DeeAnn

Friday, January 14, 2011

Postcard #57

A missive from our mysterious friend abroad--let's call him "Jake Gyllenhaal"--which took a full two months to travel from Iraq to Portland.


Friday Flash Fiction: "Worshipful"

Make of this story what you will. I was working through some issues when I wrote it, but I'm not quite sure what they were, myself.

Read "Worshipful" at 512 Words or Fewer


Thursday, January 13, 2011

There's Good News and There's Bad News

DeeAnn and I had a great time on JoCo Cruise Crazy last week, and had an all-too-brief visit with my VPXII classmate Julia and her husband the following weekend (they live near Fort Lauderdale, where the cruise ship port was).

That's the good news.

The day before we flew home, we found out by e-mail that our friend Cary had suffered a stroke and was in the hospital. He's still there now, after one surgery, and we remain cautiously optimistic.*

I've been distracted the past few days, checking my e-mail even more often than usual, looking for news about Cary's condition. His parents have been sending frequent updates, which our friend Karl (also one of Cary's co-workers) has been forwarding out to more people. And Cary's Facebook page has become a central location for his friends and family to share their thoughts. There hasn't been much news since the surgery yesterday, but people are filling the silence as best they can.

There's not much more to say right now. It's scary that this happened to Cary, who's about my age--less than forty years old--and in good physical shape, with no health issues. And I can't decide if it's a good thing that we're not in the bay area anymore, where we'd be tempted to bother his family with our lingering around the hospital; I don't know if it's better that we're two states away and insulated from what has surely been an endless emotional wringer for those close to him.

On the gripping hand, there's not much we can do anyway. Cary won't see any of our messages or gifts until he's off the ventilator and no longer sedated. There are plenty of people on hand to lend support; the family's actually been turning away visitors so he can rest and recover. He knows there are a lot of people who care about him, and we can only hope that's helping.

DeeAnn and I still have luggage to unpack, laundry to do, and other things demanding our attention. It seems selfish to get back to our own lives when Cary's is still uncertain, but what else can we do? What else should we do?

We'll be there when he needs us. That's all I have right now.

* Compared to this, DeeAnn's post-trip migraine and my recent issues with what appears to be sinus barotrauma seem pretty minor--more on the latter, I'm sure, after I see the doctor on Monday.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Belated Flash Fiction: "In the Navy"

This latest story was inspired by true events, and is, not coincidentally, dedicated to my wife.

Read "In the Navy" at 512 Words or Fewer