Friday, September 26, 2003

Well...just spent the entire day in Gloucester Virginia clearing five 200 foot, 80 year old pine tree's and assorted other small tree's and crap that ended up in my Father-in-Law's yard as a result of Hurricane Isabel...I've never worked so hard in my life and I now have stock in Advil...or rather there's a couple million milliliters of Advil stock in me.

I'll write something up later on the day's work but suffice it to say the two men I worked with (Lloyd and Howard) are two of the finest men I've ever had the pleasure of spending a hard-days work with. One over 70, the other just shy of that, spent the entire day using Stihl chainsaws and driving front-loaders and picking up literally tons of wood, branches, roots, and assorted flotsam and jetsam to include cutting down the tree that draped over the house (the one that caused all the damage)...the tree with the 9 foot in circumference had 85 plus rings and whose bark was an inch thick...one big-ass tree.

Here's some pics:

Seawall is destroyed...lost 20 foot of yard
Looking other way; That's part of the dock
More seawall...nice geologic layers there
Nothing but pilings left
The poles are what's left of a catamaran...we do not know where it is (the boat that is)
Pinewold...my Father-in-Laws house
The big-ass tree that snapped and fell to Earth
Standing where the tree was...it fell on the chimmny, crushed roof #1 and continued on
Here's the chimmny and displaced roof #1
The tree hit roof #1 on the right...fell over this alley...and crushed roof #2 to the left
The chimmny fell and crushed a few chairs and whacked the side of the house
Here's roof #2...the tree fell from the right...this is after cutting the remains of the tree down
Other angle (son Sam). Insurance will replace this roof (#2) and this wall

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Been a while...sorry (typical blog or web site...fast start...gets slow...then you post a "Been a while...sorry" post)...but let's see...Hurricane Isabel was a weak-knee'd has-been storm by the time it got to us...but it was hell-on-wheels for my father-in-laws house down in Gloucester VA:

1) Dock is gone
2) Boathouse/Cabana Shack is gone
3) Seawall is gone
4) Part of front yard is gone
5) Tree hit house; Chimney knocked over, two separate roofs displaced a few inches, several walls buckled
6) Water damage inside
7) Dozens of trees felled on property

Might do the FEMA thing...but I'll know more tonight. My father-in-law was in London during the storm (was a good thing) and he returns tonight. I'll probably take a few days off this week and head down there as part of the clean-up effort (parts of the dock, a refrigerator, several large other things and tons of debris are in his front yard). My guess is that parts of the house (or maybe the entire house) will be condemned and will require massive rebuilding...it's sad but the good news is that nobody was hurt and there's always a silver lining to everything...the house is very, very, old and perhaps this will give him the leeway to modern up some things around the house.

Son John had to evacuate ODU and he ended up at JMU (can you say Party-Town?) durin ghre hurricane. On his way back to ODU a few days ago he stopped off and reported the damage back to me. Fortuately my father-in-law has many friends and several were already there clearing debris and getting things squared away.

Here's a article on flooding in Gloucester

Neither my dad nor several siblings in North Carolina had any trouble with the storm and it wasn't even enough here to cause my DirecTV to go off-line (take that all you cable guys with power failures). I live in a community where all the power lines are underground and we didn't have a single outage.

As to my other hobby...PC Gaming...I've been working on another map for Day of Defeat...take a gander at these shots:

Click Pic 1
Click Pic 2
Click Pic 3


Thursday, September 04, 2003

Lots of flame over at the DoD forums...was chatting up with some of my friends and we came across this:

"But the biggest problem is the nature of a fan base. You hardcore fans can be bad news. You are often idiots with no perspective. You live with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, mistaking your own dedication for commercial significance. You don't know what's best for a game, because you rarely represent an accurate cross-section of the people buying the game. You don't understand that you rarely drive sales in any statistically significant sense. You’re just the guys with the loudest mouths. You might think the conventional wisdom is that your mouths drive the word of mouth. And they do. Among hardcore gamers. For everyone else, the word of mouth is driven by friends, the press, and the guys at EB who ask if you’d like the strategy guide for 30% off when you buy the game. "


Click Here for details

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

It was a slow Labor Day weekend (as it should be)...I arranged for a repair guy to come by today and he put up some temporary repairs to my siding (all I could think of while he was up on my roof was what if he falls?) and I should have a permanent fix in-place next week. Son John keeps calling from college asking "Show me the Money!" but that's the way things are when you have a kid in college...perhaps I'll see his grades this year...anyone want to place bets?

Son Sam played his first football game of the year and had a great game...all his tackles were behind-the-line tackles and nobody got around his end (they won the game 12-0)...he's also a accomplished Natural Selection, CS, DoD, and BF1942 player and age 11 is better than most of those he plays with...sniff-sniff...my son the Jock-Geek.

My Washington Deadskins...ermmm...Redskins...open up on Thursday against the NY Jets...Steve Spurrier is in his sophomore year and I think they'll do OK this year...not Joe Gibs great...but better than Norv and might even get a playoff game if things fall their way. Regardless of their on-field performance it'll will probably be an even more interesting off-field year. It'll be fun watching The Danny make his way.

I played the Call of Duty demo yesterday a few times and it's great...if they get their multi-player code worked out this could be a direct competitor to DoD in that both are small-unit combat operations fps gunners...they set they bar high so we'll have to really work hard to deliver a superior product.

We tested glider the other night on spies.com and those guys did great...the map played well...we actually played for almost 2 hours and I think a minor tweek here...a tweek there and it's done. The map is already in test rotation at Activision but I should be alble to make a few changes prior to release.