Monday, November 22, 2010

Anniversary and Certification

I have finally gotten solid proof of completing a certification; behold:

Yeah, I'm awesome. I should also have Inpatient and Mychart finished up today- now there's only STC to go  and I'm good to work. Which is a good thing as people from my hiring group are already starting to get customers, and once that happens I'll have no time to do any more training. So gotta get er done!

Also this past week was Ms. Carroll's and I's (mine? my? stupid possessives...) 5th anniversary. Kind of boggles the mind to think that we've been together for 5 years as it doesn't seem so long.

Anyway, we of course had to give gifts to one another. My gift, continuing a theme from last year, was making her some Dr Who miniatures, this time the 11th doctor (Matt Smith) and his companion Amy Pond.

 And the complete group for full measure. All of the miniatures  (except for the TARDIS) come from Heresy Miniatures, bt dubs.

She probably one upped me, though, by biking out to far away places in the rain to deliver me this:

She even put it in a little basket with Easter grass and wrapped it in plastic. Makes me tear up a bit to think about how good that Nettle Gouda is going to taste paired with the cracked pepper beer...

We also went out to dinner at a fabulous restaurant on the Capitol square called the Blue Marlin and then ended the night with a sold out viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Excellent meal, pretty darn good movie and of course amazing company.

We closed out the weekend with modeling (me) and studying (Rachel), though we also had a cozy game night Sunday night. One of the beers that we bought for the game night still has me stupefied; it's called Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewery. It tastes like beer flavored malt syrup, but better than what that description sounds like. It still has a bit of bitter character, but the sweetness is through the roof and the beer itself looks like amber colored glass.

As Lagunitas put it (in very fine print around the bottle), "We believe this Special Ale is Something Unique. Feeding Brown Cane Sugar to otherwise Cultured Brewery Yeast is a'kin to feeding Raw Shark to you Gerbil. It is unlikely to ever occur in nature without Human Intervention. And it looks weird besides. But it has happened and now it's too Late." Truer words never said.

Until next time...

"What ought to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of anniversaries? Mere killing would be too light. Anniversaries are very well up to a certain point, while one's babies are in the process of growing up: they are joy-flags that make gay the road and prove progress; and one looks down the fluttering rank with pride. Then presently one notices that the flagstaffs are in process of a mysterious change of some sort--change of shape. Yes, they are turning into milestones. They are marking something lost now, not gained. From that time on it were best to suppress taking notice of anniversaries."

- Mark Twain's Notebook, 1896

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finished with app camp!

I'm finally finished with Inpatient Application Camp! Only took about 2.5 months...

Anyway, I still have lots of projects and tests to do before I get my certification, so the upcoming week will be filled with all sorts of fun times. I'm confident though that I'll be able to at least get the lion's share of my training out of the way before I am assigned a customer... which might happen before the end of November. Yay!

Speaking of fun times, this weekend was pretty fun, though accidentally so. Friday was pretty quiet in the apartment, both of us just getting some work done, but Saturday was going to be our big night out. First there was to be bowling with my work friends, then an Olde Tymey Drinking Party at Dwight's where we would have Olde Tymey cocktails and wear Olde Tymey clothes.

Unfortunately there were a few hitches. I went to pick Rachel up from her volunteering/studying on Saturday night but through miscommunication and ridiculous traffic thanks to the Badger game what should have been a 5 minute pick up turned into half an hour. Then actually getting geared up to start our evening took much longer than we anticipated, pushing us back to 8 o'clock before we could even get out the door, tanking our chance at bowling. So we ended up waiting until 9 to head over to Dwight's.

Well, we still had Olde Tymey drinks to look forward to, right? Wrong. Apparently the party had been cancelled the day before but since we were silly and didn't RSVP we didn't end up getting the message. So we stood awkwardly outside of Dwight's place for a few minutes ascertaining this information and jumped back into the car.

We drove for a bit, crestfallen that our magnificent attire would have nowhere to go, so we pulled off into a parking lot to mull our options. We eventually decided to take our awesomely bedecked selves to a local Irish pub and just hang out. Turns out it was very fun- the place was hopping, the drinks were good and we got to actually have a lengthy conversation which is sadly becoming a rarity these days thanks to work and whatnot.

Still, it's a shame that we didn't get to show off ourselves... oh well. There's always next time, and my coat still looks awesome.

Until next time...

"There is probably no pleasure equal to the pleasure of climbing a dangerous Alp; but it is a pleasure which is confined strictly to people who can find pleasure in it."
A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

Monday, November 8, 2010

The past week at work was a bit crazy. I spent a lot of time studying at home and spending 10-13 hour days onsite with early morning tests and late night project work. Fortunately I think most of that crazy work schedule is behind me, at least the working at home bit. From now on I'm resolved to leave my work at work, as it'll take enough of my time away doing just that.

Fortunately I had plenty of ways to relieve stress over the week and over the weekend. On Wednesday I finally got to play a Warhammer 40k game that turned out to be quite fun. I took part in a demo game with an older gentleman (who is responsible for the pic above, btw) and we just had a blast going over the rules and integrating pretty much every single one into our game. Hopefully I'll be doing that more often in the coming weeks, as it's a source of fun that I've been sorely missing.

Rachel and I also recently went to a "Post-Halloween Smug Fest" where we ate dumplings. This was an awesome party, as not only were the dumplings delicious but I got to debate comic books and Star Trek pretty much the whole night. Plus I came away from the party with a borrowed copy of Snow Crash, which I've heard from many people is a book that I really need to get into.

We also tried to get some karaoke in over the weekend but kind of failed. We got to sing along with a lot of the people who got to go up on stage but unfortunately I apparently needed to bribe the DJ beyond my $1 entry fee to actually get up on stage and sing. Still, pretty fun, and I learned that apparently you CAN sing death metal karaoke style if you really want to. Cool the first time, kinda sad the second...

I've also started working with a trainer at my gym to build a work out, and I've figured out that I'm pretty out of shape. Hopefully working out 3-5 times a week will change that around as I really don't have the time or opportunity to do much else- guess I'll just have to make the most of it!

Finally, I've been watching AMC's new series The Walking Dead and it's amazing. Granted I'm a post-apocalyptic fanboy and zombie apocalypse tenured professor so take my recommendations with a grain of salt, but I have been blown away with the depth that they've managed to get out of the ol' Undead Apocalypse. The impact of seeing your loved ones turned into ravenous corpses was definitely the focus of the first episode, leading to a lot of emotional scenes as the survivors try to cope with the changes in their world. The "walkers" as they are known in the show are also frikkin' creepy, especially since they still exhibit certain echoes of their past lives- the little dead girl picking up and clutching her teddy bear before trying to eat you, the dead wife coming to her old house every night and trying the door knob... great, chilling stuff. That combined with the great production values makes for some pretty terrifying ghouls.

If you're interested in getting into the series the first episode is streaming on the AMC website- definitely the place to check it out. Unfortunately it looks like they won't be streaming any of the other episodes, but I think most of you know some... "alternative" ways to get your programming so I won't go into that.

Well, that's it for now. Lots of tests and projects this week like last week so wish me luck!

Until next time...

"Each man is afraid of his neighbor's disapproval--a thing which, to the general run of the human race, is more dreaded than wolves and death."

- "The United States of Lyncherdom" by Mark Twain

*Images used without permission from

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween Pics

Well, that was a false promise if I ever made one. Sorry about that... anyway, here are some pics from the Halloween weekend. Enjoy!

 Here's me as everyone's favorite antagonistic superhero, Captain Hammer. If you don't get the reference, watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog already. Sheesh.

 Rachel didn't want to get all made up for Friday's outings so she quickly made herself into baby punk/goth.
 Epic continued to get into the spirit of things with a reference to one of my favorite comix.
 Rachel's actual costume as Delirium from the Sandman graphic novels. She's following her fishy!
 "I am following the Bogart Rantipole... who I turned into a fishy to be in-con-spicuous..."
 Our friend Jesse as post-apocalyptic Dorothy. Her scars show that she has been turned into her EVIL TWIN already.
 Another of our friends as Hit Girl...

 EVIL Captain Hammer! And now I have my OWN MONOCLE!

... did I mention this was an awesome party?
 Another of our friends who happened to dress up as Death, also from Sandman! Rachel was also turned evil, hence the mustache... or maybe it was just Delirium screwing around. Who knows.

 On the way up to the party there were scenes of a struggle...
 Pumpkins impaled on pumpkins...
 Scared... seedless.
 Murdered in clever ways...
 And disemboweled.

Happy halloween!