Dec. 29th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Enamoured)
So I got a nudge from a long-standing friend of mine, so I thought I'd take
some time to write a note and try and catch you all up on how life's been
treating me.

The good news is that life's been pretty great. The bad news is that, since
LiveJournal has almost entirely been where I go to vent negative emotions, I
haven't needed to be around here as much. And with things like
Twitter and Facebook usurping the "stay connected with friends" aspect of
what LiveJournal once was to me, I'm spending even less time here, much to
the detriment of my LJ-only friends (and my own loss, since I'm about as out
of date on your lives as you are on mine). Add to that the fact that the
business decisiomns of LJ/Six Apart/whoever's running the show these days,
I'm not sure I'm long for this realm. It'll be sad when I finally do leave,
but I can't honestly say I'm not considering it.

(I'd like to say that this just means that I need to get reliable email
addresses for those I might be leaving behind, but I know myself, and I have
trouble keeping up a correspondence when things die down.)

So. Yeah. Didn't mean to start on such a down note. Life is going well.
Work is engaging and mostly enjoyable -- I've been here a year, but I'm
being recognized for my knowledge and ability, by both clients and
management, so that's cool. I got a really nice perfoprmance review, too,
so I'm hoping that translates into a promotion. With the wedding coming up,
a little extra money every month would be nice. (I'm also considering
dropping my TV and landline service -- I'm paying $140 a month for a bundle
of TV, phone, and Internet, but I never use the landline and my cable box
has been unplugged for most of the last 8 months. Internet service alone
couldn't cost more than half what I'm paying right now.)

The wedding planning is... Well, I usually say "going well," but to be
honest I don't even know what all is involved in planning a wedding, let
alone how far we've managed to get. Meghan's picked colors, and dresses for
the bridesmaids, and told me what sort of suits/tuxes she wants me and the
guys to wear. We sort of have a reception hall, but we lost the caterer we
were going to go with, and we're holding off (apparently) on making
anything official until we get a new one. we also don't have a
photographer, though we're only planning on having him for a few pictures
after the ceremony, and then having disposable cameras at each table at the
reception (something I've seen at a few weddings and thought was a GREAT
idea). We have a handful of things on our wedding registry (notably a
coffee maker and linens), though unsurprisingly Meghan seems to like really
fancy-looking designs and things and I tend toward the simple and
understated. And since we're talking about the decorations of day-to-day
life, it's harder for me to give in than, say, how she wants to dress up the
wedding. (It's my general opinion that it's more her day than mine,
anyways, in that 'all' girls dream about their wedding day -- and despite my
always wanting to get married, the details of this or that are less
particular for me.)

A big part of me wishes I could have you, my LJ fiends, come to the wedding
-- Mel and Sarah and Nick and Dawn. But even if it was reasonable for any
of you to make the trip, I'm afraid you'd each be terribly uncomfortable
being there. Maybe that's just me, but... -shrugs-

What else is going on? Oh, my little brother, Josh, got engaged. He's
actually in the same class as Meghan (though when he goes back for the
Spring semester, she's staying here and taking correspondence classes.) He
proposed to his then-girlfriend-of-two-years over Thanksgiving. They don't
have a date yet, but they're thinking sometime in the Summer of 2009, and
they're going to stay in this area (which is a good thing in my book). My
sister Beth, just shy of 13, has her first 'official' boyfriend, which is
cute and amusing and frightening all at once. I think all of you know that
dad retired from the Navy and got a job as a consultant/researcher thing.
Yeah, I'm not really clear on what he does, but that's nothing new.

Christmas was lots of fun. I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with
Meghan's family; they got me a stocking full of chocolate, and several DVDs
(including The Dark Knight). More importantly, though, they got
themselves a Wii, and the boys were overjoyed. I trhink Bridget was also
pretty happy, and she definitely likes her American Idol game. She
and Katey also both got iPods, which they liked. Here it occurs to me that
none of you are familiar with Meghan's family, who I'm already considering
my own siblings. She has a younger brother (Corey, 20), then two younger
sisters (Katey and Bridget, 14 and 12), then three more younger brothers
(PJ, Michael, and Seamus, ages 10, 8, and 6).

We spent Christmas evening and the next couple days with my family. There I
got a few more DVDs, some sweaters, and Roborally (an awesome board
game), but more importantly I got gifts for my siblings -- Twilight
audiobooks for Jenny, a City of Heroes subscription for Gene, a
pirate expansion to Munchkin for Josh, the 1960's Casino
Royale
for Tim, Magic cards for Greg (also: I'm teaching Meghan
how to play MtG, and so far she likes it), Ender's Shadow for Beth,
music for Becky, and a Barbie DVD for Emi (she's really into Barbie right
now). More significantly, my siblings got Rockband 2 for the Wii, and we
spent a lot of time playing that (I have a goth-rocker named Guin who plays
bass for our band, the Wrought Iron Rose). Then we went back to Meghan's
parents' place and saw a stage production of "A Christmas Carol," which was
pretty well done. And now I'm back at work.

With Christmas day passed and presents opened, I'm now going to have few
excuses to not buy myself things, and I'm probably going to start by getting
a few additional D&D 4E books. I'm planning on running a (hopefully)
regular and (hopefully) long-running campaign with my brothers starting
after the wedding, but we'll see what happens with that. I have an idea of
a story, but I probably need to sit an digest it a little before it becomes
managable pieces that I can build a game off of. And nevermind the fact
that no one can really tell me where they'll be or what they'll be doing
this coming summer -- it seems all my brothers are in a state of flux; Tim
earned his Associate's Degree, Josh is getting his Bachelor's and promptly
getting married (which is funny if you think about it), and Gene is doing
well but seems to be in a constant state of flux...

I guess, really, that pretty much sums it up. There's more (like how Meghan
and I have discussed baby names (James, Charlotte, Penny, Gwen, etc),
thought that's a little silly since it'll be at least a little more than a
year before we have any. But yes. I hope you're all well, and I'll try to
check in more often.
jackofallgeeks: (Geeky)
And on the heels of a long silence and a big 'hello,' I bring you more geek
news. Apparently there's a new paper out that, according to this
article
, says that what we expect influences what we see. Now,
if the paper actually claimed that I'd find it really interesting, but it
doesn't seem like that's the case. First, it's not really talking about a
change in perception so much as what you notice. Two people
percieving differently based on expectations is a lot more
interesting than just noticing different things. And from the
article it seems that "expectations" isn't even really a good word to use,
because the subjects were apparently not actually aware of the
expectations that the researchers grant them. Essentially, it sounds like
someone just took the commonly known fact that we filter out most of the
visual stimuli our eyes pick up, and added on that the 'filter' that the
brain uses is not random, but based on a value system built by experience.
Fascinating. Really.

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jackofallgeeks: (Default)
John Noble

August 2012

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