Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter

Stardate 60190.7
Crikey! As you have already read about, Steve Irwin, whose sobriquet is The Crocodile Hunter, was killed by a stingray last week. I think that some animal killed him is not a big shock to most people, but the circumstances were bizarre. It’s still sad to lose a famous environmentalist and entertainer.

The kids are all back in school. No problems, no kid getting lost. They don’t like the earlier bedtimes, although Rachel admits she is not as tired as she was over the summer. I thought Thomas would have a problem with Patrick now going to St. Joseph instead of St. Benedicts, but he was fine with it. One exception was the second day of school, when they needed to go to Extended Daycare Program. They need to type a number into a computer to check in and out. Patrick did this last year for both him and Thomas. Thomas started to panic because he did not know how to do this. He calmed down quickly when I told him just to ask for help if he had a problem. He knows the teachers there, so he should be comfortable with asking.

I went to the Northern Utah .Net Users Group meeting Tuesday. They demoed a JavaScript tool called Mochikit. It looks fun, but I’d still like to find a tool that I can use to draw the elements on a website. Visual Studio does that, but it wants things done with IIS. The asp.net module for Apache is no longer supported.

So Wednesday ordered a new laptop from HP. I was going to get a Gateway Tablet PC from Office Depot, but April talked me out of it. I use the computer for games and software development, so it does not make sense. Tablet does not come with IIS, and as I said, VS wants that. Office Depot’s only solution was to buy the machine, and then spend $200 extra on the XP Professional upgrade. HP has the option to customize a machine, although it’s a little off. They give you options for different processors (Celeron, Dual Core) and graphics, and then tell you it won’t work. I settled on an AMD processor and added XP professional for $50 extra. I hope the graphics will be good enough to play games with.

Speaking of games, I installed Barbarian Invasion. It’s not too different from the original. There are different factions such as Huns, Goths, Saxons, etc. There are new formations, such as spearmen can hedgehog (form a circle with spears facing out), which makes them invulnerable to cavalry but bad against archers. Mounted troops are more important now. There are only two historical battles, Teutoburg Wald and Chalons (you can look those up on Wikipedia for descriptions). I played both, lost the first (ran out of time), and won the second (although Atilla was killed). I am in the middle of a campaign now as the Vandals. The goals are to capture and hold 10 cities, and three have to be Cordova, Rome, and Carthage. The Roman Empire is divided into Western and Eastern, and the west currently holds all three cities. I sent an envoy to Constantinople to appeal for help, only to find the Huns had taken the city. The western empire has sent four large armies to stop my invasion and each was handed a decisive defeat. The computers strategy seems to be attrition. The three armies I had with over a thousand men each are down below two hundred each. My stupid spies can’t seem to determine if they have more to throw at me.

Wednesday was another visit to the dentist. I had a few fillings done. The only problem is that as he started to drill, and I told him it hurt. He gave me another shot of anesthesia, and tried again. More anesthesia. It still hurt a little, but my jaw was numb, so I didn’t say anything more. He wants to try a different anesthesia next time.

The boys and I went to a Real game on Saturday. The boys got bored, but I had fun. Real lost, although I am not sure why. They didn’t count one goal, I guess for a penalty.

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