Thursday, July 29



Recieved a DVD from old school chum Karl.

Weeks ago, in an e-mail mysteriously titled "the greatest clam of all time", he alluded to me this was a special surprise. Hmmmmm. To thicken the plot, the disc is scrawled with 1991 - 2004 in black magic marker.

The DVD on computer 1 is broken, so I popped it into the X-Box. I got as far as a lo-res menu with a big PLAY button. Nope. It no worky.

Scrambling upstairs to computer 2, I plopped the disc into the DVD drive. After a minute of making spinny noises and acting all important, the best I got was Windows Media Player telling me it can't read the file format. Go figure.

Saturday, July 24


Avril vs. Hillary*

Took a trip to 5 Below this morning. What's it like? Imagine a discount store that is essentially Hot Topic for beginners.

Most of the merch is aimed at the 'tween' demographic, and, since I'm a little girl deep inside, it was kinda neat-o. Some of the highlights we scored are a screaming orange mag rack, a purple trug, and notepads featuring brilliantly goofy art and slogans from

* Omigod! Avril Lavigne would, like, totally clean Hillary Duff's clock fer shizzle!

Friday, July 23


Stuff and crap.

Over the past two days I've been running some things to The Salvation Army Superstore on the county line. It's one on the cusp of where the White Trash side of the County meets the outskirts of Republicanville. That means the furniture is a mix of vintage knock-offs and blue-light specials. It also means lots of summer camp and Bar-mizvah tees mingling with the 80's era AC/DC baseball jerseys.

It feels good to have most of the loading dock in the basement under control. Over the past few years it's become the home of
Now I can sort through the stuff that's down there, now that the crap is out of the way.

*but not that thing you gave us. We love it and admire it every day!

Wednesday, July 21


To do redux:

- fix wireless router mess
          Done.  Handled that last week, thanks to the Geek Squad
- hang karma wheel
          For the record, I'm referring to an artifact I scored via Home Anthology.  It's a well-worn industrial metal wheel.  Since we have a lucky horseshoe over the door on the inside, we may as well cover the bases and hang the wheel on the outside.
- exfoliate ugly-ass feet
          Work in-progress.  For about three weeks I've been slowly saving my feet from fungus and neglect.  Ewwww.  'Nuff said.
- prep wardrobe for Sat. wedding
- get $100 bill
          Yep.  Been there, done that.
- laundry
          *sigh* Always...
- get sprouty weed out of gutter
          Last night as I was weed-whacking/trimming, Heather repotted some plants.  As she was watering them, she graciously plucked out the offending sprout with a long-handled garden claw.
- trim/paint wood for coatrack
          Um.  Okay.  Still need to do that, even though I don't wear a coat this time of year.
- cut lawn
          Almost ready for another hit.  After 2-3 days, with or without the rain, it'll be ready.
- go on vacation
          I'm taking tomorrow and Friday off, but that's just to work on things around the house.  The real getaway might happen next month.

Tuesday, July 20


Work with me here.

Okay.  I need to pepetuate a moratorium on the:  "_______ 2: Electric Boogaloo" schtick.  It seems like I've read it on a blog just one-too-many times and now I'm just sick of it.  Hell, I'm sure even I've made the goddamn joke too many times by this point. 
It was funny, like, in 1989 or so, 'cause by then we all realized one breakdancing movie was enough.  Now, it's just lame. 
How about "______ 2: The Next Day" as an alternative?  Who's with me?

Monday, July 19


Sat. Nite

Saturday night found us downtown at Tony and Christy's wedding. 
Because the venue was near the belly of the beast that is traffic HELL near Artscape, we left the house way, way early to be prompt for 8 o'clock.  Once we made our end-run into the outskirts of the 'Cultural Corridor', we were parked in the reserved garage space about 50 minutes before curtain.  This meant lots of hanging out in the lobby.   But, on the plus side, I got to chat with some folks I hadn't seen in a while.
Once things got rolling, roll they did.  Their ceremony was 5 minutes or less.  The bridal party got situated up at the altar, Christy walked down the aisle, she and Tony exchanged vows and rings, lit a unity candle, and sealed it with a kiss.  Boom.  Over.  Done.  The kick was up and it was good.
Cockatils were top shelf and mixed rather tastily.  The reception food, well, um... not so much.  They told me it was prime rib....   Once cake was served at 11:30, we said our congratulations and headed home.

Saturday, July 17


The Blahs

It's not like I was out outragoeusly late last night, or anything, but today I have a case of the Blahs.

Friday evening We hung-out with Jon and Maria for some take-out and
catching-up. I was a quiet night of pasta and chatting. We
rolled-out about ten or so. I was certainly not painting the town
red or any color, whatsoever. I was in bed and asleep long before
last call anywhere.

And this morning I slept 'til about eight. Since then, the day
seemed to rush along as a quick series of tasks: getting out of bed,
drinking coffee, cutting the lawn, taking a shower, eating lunch.
I'm still stuck in a hazy twilight of near-sleep. Blah.

I think I'd best get my act together for tonight, though. My old
poker buddy Tony is tying the knot with his fiancee Christy downtown at
The Preston Room. I don't want to feel this out-of-it for such a
celebration. Methinks a well-placed afternoon nap is in order.

Thursday, July 15


Yeah, well, duh!

After three days of frustration, Heather and I decided we needed a professional opinion on our wireless connection.

First, I have to give some back story. After buying the appropriate Linksys router and adapter, I (foolishly) thought things would run smoothly out-of-the-box. Actually, the router end set-up fine, the adapter card, well, not so much.

I'll do my best to be brief: The XP machine was not only NOT automatically finding the adapter card, it wasn't loading the software either. Over the past few days I'd been haranguing the junior I.T. guy at work for some advice, all to no avail.

Finally, yesterday afternoon Heather suggested we consult with The Geek Squad. She phoned in the appointment, and about 6:40 P.M. "Double Agent Jeff" was at our door. An hour later (and a few dollars, too) the connection was happening. And I mean happ-o-nin', people! Yowza!

So, what was the problem? It turns out the adapter card dislodged from the motherboard slots each time I tightened it down.

Tuesday, July 13


To do list:

- fix wireless router mess
- hang karma wheel
- exfoliate ugly-ass feet
- prep wardrobe for Sat. wedding
- get $100 bill
- laundry
- get sprouty weed out of gutter
- trim/paint wood for coatrack
- cut lawn
- go on vacation

Monday, July 12


There's no place like Rome.

Saturday we had a post-honeymoon gala for the recently annointed LockarDugans. All the hard work and preparation paid off. It seems for a few weeks we'd been cleaning and prepping. We even re-arranged furniture and acessories last week. And the food prep started around Wednesday.

I have to pause for a shout-out to my sweet patootie. She came up with a delicious and varied nosh menu: fresh corn salad, fritatta, white bean dip, Israeli watermelon and feta salad, sliced London broil and lots of Atwater breads. Plus plenty of olives, cheeses and nuts to boot.

Primarily being a cocktail party, there was naturally a pitcher of her notorious Sangria. Tangueray and Absolut were present for mixin', and a fair amount of craft beer, too. Glug-glug-glug.

The turn-out was a good amount and a good mix of people. The centerpiece was Bill's multimedia slide show of their trip to Rome. Great shots and funny stories.

The evening wound down out by the Weber as we toasted marshmallows over the charcoal chimney for s'mores. A nice sugar rush before bedtime.

Sunday, July 11


It's the new style

My old haircut
My new haircut

Thursday, July 8


Can you hear me now?

*bzzzzzzzzzz. bzzzzzzzzz.*
ME: Hello?
ME: This is Todd, the guy that owns the phone.
WNG: What phone?
ME: You got a wrong number, my man.

Wednesday, July 7



Really not too much brewing around here. Work is work. Mostly, they're leaving me alone. Although there's a offsite company dog-and-pony show Friday morning, so I'll tell you tomorrow how well I've prepared for it.

At home, we're in the midst of setting up a wireless network. I configured the router last night. After trying to follow the quickstart guide, (which caused a small temper meltdown,) I had to rely on the 'set-up wizard'. Part 2 is getting the second desktop together and configuring the network card.

This also leads to getting some outlets switched to this amazing new technological development of a ground wire. Dang! Right now, without an adapter, we party like it's 1929. So the electrician from around the corner is estimating at least two rooms for us tomorrow night.

Then the second A/C unit goes in downstairs, too. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Monday, July 5


Lee Greenwood I ain't.

Saturday afternoon found us at the LockarDugan Estates for some grillin' and chillin on Frederick Road. I have to say, Catonsville gives good parade. They managed to wrangle all the local politicians, both boy-Mayor and Governor Slotmachine. Lots of old cars, a dixieland jazzband, high-steppers with a drumline, a Mummers string band and a slew of veterans.

Speaking of which, I did have a head scratching moment when the Viet-Nam era vets rolled by. Somebody deemed it appropriate to re-enact the POW-MIA logo as a living tableau: a bloodied G.I. in a bamboo cage waving to the crowd being overseen by a minuature guard tower. It seemed to be a hold-over from Rambo-era politics. I was taken more aback when I noticed some folks of the generation previous to mine applauded as the float sailed by.

I'm aware the U.S. Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, but times like these I wish it said something about poor taste.

Sunday, July 4


Ghosts, part 2

Friday evening had Heather and I scurrying about running a few errands. After getting her an hour arlier than usual, we hit the Sam's Club to snag a monitor for our soon-to-be second desktop. (More on that later.)

Our final destination had us at The Wine Source in Hampden. In between scurrying around the huge space snagging sixes of beer and bottles of cheap wine, I noticed a former painting instructor of mine from MICA as he walked right by me.

First of all, I hadn't had contact with him since my figurative painting class around 1990 or so. At that time, I never really garnered much criticism (good or bad) from him. Since I was in with a LOT of talented classmates, I always felt like I was a second or third string painter in his class.

Fast-forward to about eight years ago. While browsing at a local secondhand furniture shop, I stumbled across his studio door on the second level. I jotted a quick hello, not really expecting any acknowledgement, but little sort of 'Kilroy was here' moment for me.

Back at the wine shop, Jim Hennessey noticed me right away and shook my hand. He even remembered the note I left him. Wow! What a memory. He asked what I was doing and I gave him the Cliff's Notes about my life in the wacky world of computer game graphics.

It turns out he retired from MICA two years ago, and he's just painting in his studio full time. Cool.

Saturday, July 3


Ghosts, part 1

So at work, Thursday afternoon, I was shooting a game of pool. (we can do that.) Of late, many interviewees and potential clients have walked throught the office. It happpens so often I don't even bother to look up from what I'm doing to see who's around. And besides, it sometimes feels like I'm in the zoo.

'Here, on our left, we see the Artist Digitalis in its natural habitat of an office cube.'

But this time the visitor struck back. "Hey, you're Todd Brizzi," says this incredibly tall guy with long hair. It was Don Goddard, another MPS Labs alum. Last time I saw him was (eep!) 1992 and looking much, much different. Just as tall, mind you, but very, um, shall we say, 'Eighties Geek': polo shirts, too-short haircut, frameless glasses.

It turns out he'd been flitting around game development companies on the left coast for about a dozen years. Now with wife and kids in tow, he wanted to relocate back east.

He took the job. And yesterday we shot the bull for about an hour, mostly catching-up on which Microproseans are where now.

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