Category Archives: Friends


Will just purchased a 2007 Cannondale Rush 4. I find my reaction evenly divided between three poles:

  1. Excitement on his behalf, because the Rush has the reputation of being a rather sweet marathoner.

  2. Anticipation of the chance for a test ride.

  3. Dread of the man-beating I can sense descending upon me the next time we attack hilly terrain together.

In other words, “Yay!”, “Woohoo!”, and “Oy” all at once.

Quote of the Night

Greg and I just played our first game of WarCraft together in weeks, against supposedly hardcore CPU opponents. I’d worried that this was a bit ambitious, given our lack of practice, but we turned out to crush them rather effortlessly. This led to the following bit of post-game chat:

Me: I guess genocide is like riding a bike.

Greg: Genocide is like riding a bike: if you do it right, it only hurts for the other guy.

This is going to have me chuckling foolishly all evening.

Fun With Uncle Kridley

I had lunch with Dirk, which was fun as always, today at Maria Elena’s. (Toward the end, it was not merely fun, but exciting, as something went seriously wrong with the electrical lines in the area, causing a series of loud explosions, at least one downed cable, and a pervasive reek of ozone and burnt insulation. Good times, good times.)

Dirk also felt obliged to point out that the stories on Anacrusis are not merely extremely short, but exactly one hundred and one words long, no more and no less. I hadn’t realized that they obeyed such a strict form; the knowledge only inspires additional respect for the author.

Katamari Birthday, Paul

My friend Paul recently marked his fortieth birthday, and today we celebrated the event at his home. Much fun was had and even more good food was eaten. There was air hockey, and pinball, and — thanks to a collaborative effort involving Bill, Rob, and Paul, among others — there was Katamari Damacy, a game I’d never played before despite having owned it for several months now. (The TV’s been dead since December, and I haven’t gotten around to repairing it.)

In case you’ve never heard of it, Katamari Damacy is a silly, strange, and above all exceedingly Japanese game that manages to be disarmingly charming despite its considerable weirdness. The premise almost defies explanation, but the gameplay is mind-bogglingly simple: run around the landscape with a sticky ball, and roll things up into it. When you begin, your ball is tiny, and can only pick up small things — pushpins, paper clips, coins, and so forth. As it grows, though, it can pick up ever-larger items: small animals, people, bicycles, large animals, and, eventually, cars, ships, and buildings.

The controls are equally simple, requiring the use only of both thumbsticks. (This is especially fortunate from my current perspective. Playing did ultimately hurt my wrist, but I can’t say it wasn’t worth it.) Past acquaintance with a tank-piloting game, such as Battlezone or Assault, is surprisingly helpful.

I can’t explain just what’s so insanely entertaining about running around firing nothing, destroying nothing, and in fact doing nothing besides rolling up crudely-modeled objects into a ball. I can only report that it is, in fact, deeply addictive fun. I might still be playing had my wrist not stopped me. Part of the amusement, to be sure, are the indignant squeals and shouts you hear once your ball is big enough to start picking up living things.

Another part is the promise of having your performance cuttingly critiqued, at the completion of every level, by the King Of All Cosmos, surely the most eccentric diety ever to carelessly abuse the Godhead. Think Simon Cowell in an outfit that’s equal parts Liberace, Carnival in Rio, and Mummenschanz, and you’re in the right ballpark.

It’s fun, and all too rare, to experience something that lives up to its billing. Katamari Damacy delivers.


Somehow, I find myself responsible for the care and feeding of no less than five cats this weekend: my own Ben and Tig, Jody’s stalwart Brie and dainty May, and my neighbor Nat’s regal snowshoe, Chloe.

One of my coworkers back at Adobe, Shawna, had a sticker in her office window that read, “Destined to become an old woman with lots of cats.” Somehow that wasn’t where I expected to end up, but maybe fate has other plans. All I know is that if I see an army of knitted tea cozies advancing upon my cubicle under the command of a floppy straw hat wearing dried flowers, I’m making a break for it.