A Certain Bearded Singer

We’ve had some technical and staffing changes with the new season of Steve Gadlin’s Starmakers that have meant I’ve been a lot more tied-down in the control room and so I haven’t been able to pop out and do my recurring lurker bit. But Steve just assigned Erica and I this song and we made it work. And it’s true… we can do the Boogaloo and that’s just what we’re going to do.

Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 8K

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Sledding Hill at Oakhurst Forest Preserve

Last month, Zach talked me into running a challenging 5K trail run and it didn’t go too badly. So, to train for the next race in the series, an 8K, I… worked late a lot and didn’t train at all. Zach has already blogged about how hard the race was. And he’s in marathon training. So, yes, it was rather hard. Ouch.

Finishing

Official results:
Time: 1:08:34.8
Place: 115 / 142
Place in Sex: 73 / 79
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 9 / 9

Latte Plays Coin Quest

Erica had become obsessed with an Adult Swim web-show called [Fish Center Live(http://www.adultswim.com/videos/astv/fishcam/). It’s a show that features almost exclusively a live feed of a fish tank with various graphics placed over it. There’s a lot that goes on on the show, but the center piece is a game called “Coin Quest”—graphics of coins with point values are placed on screen and the announcers call out as the fish earn points by swimming through the coins. The other day on the show they showed a quick mock up of an idea for an augmented-reality app where you could play Coin Quest anywhere you wanted with your phone and they showed a screen shot of the coins placed over a photo of some cats.

So combine this with the fact that I noticed that if I set my cam-corder down to its lowest quality setting I could record about 12 hours of video to the SD Card. I’d been wanting to use that to see just how long Latte slept each day. So the other day I recorded 7 hours of her cat bed, just to see what was going on. You can see 2 hours of footage in this video (don’t worry, I sped it up a little).

Spoiler Alert: O-

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A couple of months ago at a Snorf rehearsal, Sam shared that he had tried to order a static protector from Think Geek but had accidentally received a blood-type test. Even though he hadn’t opened it, because it’s classified as a medical item, they didn’t want it back and were just going to send him the right item. He decided to give it away and we had an impromptu raffle, which I won. I promised to make a video of trying the test and I finally delivered this weekend. Warning: there’s some finger-pricking and small amounts of blood in the video.

FRAMED

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FRAMED is a cool little iOS game with an innovative gameplay system: you re-arrange panels of a comic book to change the outcome. It’s not a very long game, but I feel like it’s just long enough to really explore the limits of that system (in fact, the plot and the puzzles sort of loop at the end) and then get out before you get bored. It’s got a very stylized noir look and a jazzy soundtrack and it’s well worth the hour or two a play-through will take you.

Two Kickstarters

Two Kickstarters have just started that I think you might be interested in.

If you like the arts, in particular dance, and in particular the dance of my wife, you may like to support an upcoming joint performance by two dance groups she’s involved with. There are some rewards, but this is pretty much pure arts patronage. You can be a Medici or whatever!

If you like games, and in particular role-playing games, and in particular RPGs designed by my friend Megan and featuring a time-traveling cellist, then you may want to support her Kickstarter and receive a copy of the game Time Cellist:

Tomefoolery

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Tomefoolery is a podcast hosted by Chicago comedian (and Erica and my friend) Cody Melcher. Cody has other comedians on to talk about weird books. Cody casts his net wide and “weird” encompasses a lot of different sorts of books. For example, my friend Dave Stinton read the 1910 story The Wendigo, Dan Telfer dove into HP Lovecraft, and Jen and Erica discussed Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s book Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives. For months I’ve been asking Cody if I could come on the show. He finally assented and asked me and Steve Gadlin to come on the show together. And what did he ask us to read?

Hedging His Bets (BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance)

Oh my.

Our episode is out today (happy birthday, me!) and is VERY Not-Safe-For-Work:

‘Hedging His Bets’ w/ Steve Gadlin & Fuzzy Gerdes

Some show notes:

FuzzyFest 2015

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The last few years I’ve done a big, sometimes multi-day, party for my birthday and called it FuzzyFest.

This year is actually one of the big milestones, an age divisible by 5. But between my still-new job and the various projects going on around here, and my Tuesday birthday and the lack of any good races on the surrounding weekends, well I just decided to skip it. I’m lucky enough that my brother is in the same state as me most weeks and drives up to Chicago every now and then. I’ll be having a quiet dinner with him and Erica tonight.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out to me on a huge variety of media—Twitter and Facebook and texts and emails and the phone. It’s delightful to know that so many people are thinking a kind thought about me today.

Mocap BTS

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I still owe this blog a post about the whole “oh yeah, by the way, I produced a video game” thing, but for now, please watch this short video showing you some behind-the-scenes motion capture action:

Facebook link in case the embed doesn’t work.

Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run 5K

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Fuzzy running the Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Race 5K
Photo by Zach Freeman

Zach knows that I’m up for a challenge and/or a unique piece of swag and so knew that he’d be able to convince me to sign up for the Fox Valley Winter Challenge Trail Run Series, and then co-incidentally be able to drive him out to the suburbs to do them. The FVWCTS is three trail runs, one a month and of increasing distance (5K, 8K, 10K) on reasonably challenging trails. There’s no giveaway for any of the individual races, only a jacket that you can earn by doing all three.

I’ve been trying to rest up a heal injury, and work has been a little crazy, and so I’ve pretty much taken off running since Thanksgiving. I got out for a little stretch last weekend, and it was definitely a wake-up call for my body. So, of course I made sure not to do any more running until this morning. What am I, sensible?

But the race this morning didn’t go too badly at all. We got there very early, but the convenient Hickory Knolls Discovery Center meant we got to while away the wait indoors looking at nature exhibits and snakes and lizards in terrariums, and sit in comfy chairs watching the birds outside until moments before the race.

Snake friend

Ollie the Uromastyx

The weather had warmed up to a balmy 40°, which could have meant a ton of mud on the trail, but it wasn’t too bad—the trail was a mix of snow, ice, dirt, and mud that was interesting but rarely dangerous. There were quite a few hills in the 5K course, which is always a shock to a Chicago-trained runner. I was pretty happy with my time, all things considered. Maybe I’ll run once or twice before the 8K next month.

Official Results:
Time: 34:01.1
Place: 107 / 165
Pace: 10:58.4
Place in Sex: 75 / 90
Place in Age Group (M40-44): 17 / 19