Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Let me explain.
Through an entirely awkward series of events I do not wish to illustrate here, we came into three nearly identical gray kittens, pushing the number of furried felines in this house to an astonishing five. The enormous and introverted "Momo" (Molly Baggins) licks their tiny bodies when they crawl over her like baby opossums while former King Marko Ramius has recanted his throne, becoming increasingly Smaugish everyday, lounging around the house like an ill-tempered dragon without any gold.
The tiniest of the gray cats is an über-plush female the children dubbed, "Chuzzlewit" (the singing cat from the Christmas Barbie DVD). The middle cat is a Egyptian-looking part Siamese named, "Sookie" with unsettlingly intelligent eyes, and the male, His Glorious Paws of Gray ("Graypaw", who's name was lifted from the children's book Warriors about feudal cat clans) was an annoyingly curious, fast-growing bruiser of an animal. He was emasculated this weekend which is thus far working to my great advantage. Mr. Bitey Jr.
Then my boy turned 12 and his outdoor AirSoft-war party at the inlaws property was cancelled due to weather, so we took the gang out to ALL-U-CAN-EAT Chinese buffet (an amazing bargain at that age) followed by an all-night LAN-party. I was able to build, patch, and install all games required on a fourth box impromtu-style (we keep a single "spare" gaming box for guests normally) and everyone was delighted. As an aside, one of the gifts he received was the very same previously returned broken item we ourselves returned and told them, "Please do not put this back on the shelf again." Hrumph!
Kid's Nook + Impromptu Station, left
I've been enjoying the BBC version of Being Human exponentially over the flaccid US version on Netflix, interspersed with episodes of Farscape. Its slow going. I also continue to grill, drink the occasional tequila over ice, smoke a smallish cigar, and putter around the garage in short bursts. So far I've partially disassembled the Bowflex for relocation into the basement. There are meals and hot tea and dishes three times a day, but through it all, like a trooper, I've been gaming. Wizard 101. That enchanting kid-friendly game I've been enjoying with my children. My Myth Wizard clad in Oyoroi armor with Jadi Oni pet.
I love seeing their little faces light-up when I gift them Hoard Packs and they love all the little associated out-of-game online browser-games. I enjoy the attention to detail in the representation of the elemental binds and shields, and the ease of play coupled with the depth of imagination. I set aside my dude once I better understood the dynamics of game play and created a dichotomous "School of Life" Death Mage. While the game is free to play, climbing up the ranks requires purchases into new areas, and since it opens for all characters you operate I've decided to get my money's worth by running through the game several times from different perspectives. This is the most fun I've had with my kids since I introduced my boy to Diablo II a couple years back.
Then it snowed. And for the first time in my life, I salted. Welcome to the midwest.
And time passes.
The kids have moved onto Perfect World, a Chinese-myth laden MMORPG with photo-realistic graphics and women so buxom and scantily clad that not only would my parents declare it pornographic, even I almost reconsidered my decision to let the kids play it.
The download for that one was ~6GB on two of the computers before I captured the installer on a thumbdrive and distributed it out to the other computers. Less than a week later all five workstations insatlled a ~6GB online "update" simultaneously. This while streaming Netflix and my daily VPN to work. I checked my allotment online: 170GB of 400GB bandwidth, so I'm still good. We're halfway through the month.
P90X continues. Some days I stand zombie-like next to Linda Carter-style 70s acrobatic Wonder Woman at five in the morning and other days I'm filled with unnatural enthusiasm powering through the entire hour + bonus round. Its crazy. In a good way. I feel empowered. Saturday's are Kenpo-X, a martial-arts workout we're quite familiar with.
Lastly, I removed Ubuntu on one of my old work laptops and installed Windows 7 on it. This is the first time I've had a non-linux operating system on a laptop since 08, when I was bouncing between the two waiting for gnome to mature to the point I could use it as a viable workstation. Why this treasonous act you may ask? One reason and one reason only: Wizard101 portability. Just in case ;)