Artemis Night – Prologue

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The day swiftly approaches!  It is almost upon us… less than a week left and we shall be at war!!!

…That may have been a bit… over-dramatic, I’d say.  EIther way, our Artemis Party is swifly approaching.  Most of the details have been worked out, with a few hang ups which will get sorted out before the party begins.  This will be an epic tale that will be told throughout the ages, woven into the fabric of time its….I really have to stop talking like that…

For those of you that don’t know, I am really excited about my friend and I are throwing an Artemis party.  What is an Artemis party you ask?!  Well! Let me enlighten and entertain.  Artemis is a “Un-official Star Trek Bridge Simulator” where 5 of your friends can join you in a co-operative networked game where each of you takes a role from othe StarTrek bridge!   There are 6 posts:

  • The Helmsman – The chauffer of the lot, piloting the craft through the darkness of space, dodging singularities, and craftily out-manuvering other vessels that are hell bent on our destruction
  • Communications – The secretary for our voyage.  Main duties include hailing other vessels… umm… refilling the captains drink… and… well… im sure we can come up with other duties as assigned
  • Engineering – Makes sure that things have power that is supposed to, over clocking things when (in my bes Scotty impersination) “WE NEED MORRR POWWAA!”, and cooling things so they dont overheat and explode
  • Weapons – *pew*pew*
  • Science Officer – Tactical Ops.  Running scans on ships looking for weaknesses, checking phenimena that doesnt show up on long range scans, making sure that our ship maintains the upper hand!
  • Captain – Ahh, the coveted captains chair.  The captain doesnt get a computer though… just bosses everyone around until he blows everyone up.

So the main objective is for everyone to work together to protect other friendly ships and outposts, blow up and destroy the bad guys, and do your best not to get blown up in the process.  None of us have played it before so it should make for an interesting, albeit short, run.

In preperation for this fantastic event, we have invited lots of interesting friends!  We also sent out a tweet to Wil Wheaton and Nathan Fillion expressing our interest in their attendance, with a few mandates.  First, Wil Wheaton is allowed to be captain only if he promises not to perform the Kolvoord Starburst manuver, and second, Nathan has to bring his brown coat.  … I have a feeling they will not be joining us.  But in the spirit of hope, I have ordered a horse head mask to pilot my inagural flight in memmorance of Wil.

We should have everything ready to go before the group arrives.  All the computers will have been pre-prepped and networked together, pizza and beer will be ready and waiting, Star Trek movie marathon will be queued and on standby, and table top boardgames will be in their designated area.  If we manage to find a spot for the other tv, we might even have a console gaming area set up as well!  It should prove to be the settings for a fun night.  I for one am looking forward to it!

Now, because I like to think bigger than normal, if all goes well tonight we will be hosting another event… double the amount of fun!  We just learned that apparently you can network up to 6 seperate bridges on the same server at a time.  Thats 36 people playing the same game!!!  Now, because I am not the popular, and don’t have that many friends, our next session will consist of 2 bridges under the same roof, so that two teams can battle it out in a royal death match and see which one will come out victorious, and which one becomes star dust!  Obviously this will take a little more work to figure out the setup, but if all goes well, itteration #3 will consist of me doing an add on to this website for teams.  At this point people will need to set up their own bridges at their houses, with their own 6 friends and we will all network them together over the internet so we can battle each other in the comfort of our own confines.  We could set up teams, have tournements and skirmishes… maybe even awards and what not?!?  WHO KNOWS!!! … buuuuut we are slightly getting ahead of ourselves (as I am one to do from time to time).  So our main objective is to see how our first party goes and go from there!!!

For those of you interested in learning more about Artemis:

Main Site: Link
Game Review: Link
Artemis Instruction Manual: Link

TO INFINITY AND BEY… wait…thats not right…

-MM-

Salt River Tubing!!!

Ahh!  The outdoors!  The only thing that beats this for porcelain skinned ginger, you ask?  The indoors!  But the florescent glow of my laptop screen in the recesses of my basement apparently isn’t a great source for vitamin D, or so they say… (science!!!)  So once in a great while I will venture out into the physical world, so as not to be labelled a social pariah.

What did this weekends’ plans hold for me? Tubing down the Salt River!  Now, I have done this once or twice before… and from those experiences, I have gained some insight into the whole tubing process that I managed to file away in my brain under “very relevant”.

1004024_10200551557084140_823292984_nSo here is the setup.  Jaclyn and I were planning our weekend and a couple of our friends were looking for excuses to hang out with each other, so we gave them one.  We invited them along for some river fun adventure!  Sometime Saturday night we set a time to get together very early Sunday morning.  This didn’t give us a whole lot of time to prepare, mind you… 941564_10200551611965512_1426745729_nbut we are pretty spry at being “right now” people, so we throw out a time to get together… like 7:30am to meet up and hopefully be in the water by 8:30am.  We had our discount tickets in hand ready to go! and in the morning we would get the rest of the stuff ready.

So we decide to get up at 6:00am (bleh…), get the dogs some food and play with them a bit, get our swimsuits, towels, glasses, cooler, sunscreen, bags, etc… ready for the day and wait for Jen to stop by.  We would swing by Tim’s house to pick him up and head right on out to go float lazily down the river.  But alas, our plans did not come to fruition, as last minute planning once again claims another victim!  Come to find out, the Salt River Tubing rental place doesn’t open up until 9:00am.  This was found out after we were already on our way to pick up Tim.  We made the best of it, and instead stopped off at our local grocer, filled t he cooler with ice, water, and alcoholic beverages of our choosing, filled the tank with petrol, and then went to a quaint little diner for some sustenance, which was probably a good idea because we didn’t bring too many snacks!  Anyways… we were already later than we wanted to… the sun was starting to come up… and in Phoenix, where it happens to be magically closer to the sun than the rest of the planet, this can be a very bad thing.

Regardless, we troopered forward, and started prepping in the parking lot of the tube rental shop, along with all the other thrill seekers. 20130609_095110 Much to our surprise the lot was relatively still empty.  I guess the masses of people were there the week before, and typically on Saturdays, not Sundays.. so it turned out to be an awesome time to come!  And here, my travelling companions began to fully appreciate the level of commitment that I have spent throughout my entire life making sure my perfect alabaster skin stays as white as the driven snow.  Ahh yes!  The blinding sun pales in comparison to my skins ability to reflect light.  I may have cause a car crash or two while putting on my SPF 2000 sunscreen.  That’s right Edward Cullen, who needs sparkles in the sunlight when you have the ability to melt peoples corneas with the power of a class 4 laser from 100 yards away.  This is where my past experiences have paid off.

 

- SPF 2000 sunblock -  Apply liberally every 10 to 15 minutes.  Two bottles should be enough for a few hours.  Don’t share.

- Wear a long sleeve shirt – Something light, and that doesn’t clash with your shorts.  Its important to remain stylish while enjoying some rays.

- Socks – keep them on.  Make a fashion statement. (it is actually a very good idea to wear something to cover your feet, as they will be in the water all day, washing any sunblock off, along with the refraction from the water… I learned this the very hard way)

- Sandals with a back strap – Yes… a perfect pairing with the socks.  But unless you want them floating down the river without you… its highly recommended.

 

971754_10200551558124166_138805874_nFully outfitted in my geek chic wear, once the laughter subsided, I told them all “You just wait and see who is laughing later”.   We rented our gear, and presented our coupons… but once again we were ill prepared, as the coupons were only good for weekdays… not weekends!!! *shakes fist angrily at the sky*  We managed to find another 5 dollars and we were set. Forward to the water!

We jumped on the bus, headed to the 2.5 hour marker (there is a 2 and a 4 hour run as well), made our way to the edge of the water bank, strapped our 4 tubes to the 5th one holding our cooler with some twine, 992965_10200551557044139_629580200_nand set sail to the open river!  The sun was hot, but the water was cool, so it was a perfect equilibrium.  As we floated down, the casual conversation commenced.  Nothing in particular was talked about, just chatting between friends.  We all had a good laugh here and there, a surprise rapid from time to time, once in awhile getting thrown off course by the currents, having to paddle, or swim the rafts back to the middle.  It was a great time had by all… well… almost all.  Jaclyn was awfully quiet for the later half of the trip, and the poor girl had a rough go from the beginning.  Unfortunately she got some sunscreen in one of her eyes, and come to find out by the end of the trip, she couldn’t get it out.  Apparently she spent the entire trip in agony, with her eyes closed for 90% of the run!  1006260_10200551557004138_1402491694_nPoor thing!  But she was a trooper and didn’t complain at all!  She didn’t want to be the debbie downer of the bunch… so she hung in there.  I will have to do something special for her…

Anyways, nothing too eventful.  We were all done by about noon… went and grabbed some lunch together, and headed back to our place.  That’s when the burning of a thousand suns set in for our friends.  Their legs were as bright as my hair… and nothing but complaining for the following few days.  No one ever listens to the red head though… I may dress and look like a moron… but that’s by design! ….wait… that didn’t come out right.  I dress like a moron on purpose!  …. yeah.. no..  I HAVE MY REASONS DAMNIT!  At any rate, I was the one laughing at them by the end of the day! MWAHAHAHAH!!!  So yeah… it was a good trip.  If you find yourself interested in going… here’s a good place to start:

Arizona Salt River Tubing

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-MM-

Relay For Life – Cancer Walk

untitledAs many of you know, I instruct a martial arts class a couple of time a week.  It’s a Krav Maga based style, with many other elements built in, trying to build a basic set of moves that are simple to learn, instinctive to execute, and effective as hell.  Our main students tend to be children, but we have many adults that we cater to as well.  One of our main goals in our study is to instill a sense of community; help the less fortunate, and be a positive force in society over all.  With that being said, in order to receive your black belt, you are required, by our curriculum, you must have a certain number of community volunteer hours.  As we are gearing up for our official first black belt test for our style, we have reached out to the community for a cause that hits pretty close to home.

As probably none of you know, several years back I lost my grandfather to cancer.  The man was the charismatic glue that held our family together.  He was a practical jokester through and through.  One of my more horrifying childhood memories was when I received a wrapped and bowed, partially eaten hamburger as a Christmas gift… I have never been one for hamburgers, and a few nights before Christmas we had a barbecue.  I tried eating it, but I was a finicky eater as a child.  Well, on Christmas Eve, our tradition was that we were allowed to open 1 gift.  Guess which one my grandfather convinced me was the best one to open… yeah… I believe I locked myself in my room for a few hours while they all laughed.

Anyways!  He was an amazing man.  He donated pinball games to the children’s ward at the hospital, he helped family out constantly, painting houses, cutting grass… he was a good man and he will never be forgotten.

So in his honor, our martial arts school, Bushi Natahn, is a sponsor for Relay For Life!  A organization that benefits the American Cancer Society.  We will be participating by getting sponsors and doing a relay… for something like 12 hours straight???  I cant remember exactly how long, but our team will be constantly on the go for an extended amount of time.  On top of that we will be having a booth which we will be selling toys, crafts, food, etc. to also help raise money.  On top of that, we will be doing an exhibition for donations.  On top of that we will be doing a small seminar on a few self defense moves that are fun and super effective.  On top of that… well.. you get the idea.

What we are asking of you is to donate… whatever you can… to sponsor us, and help raise some money.  Anything is a help.  If you wish to show up and join the team, you can do that as well!  Anything to help guys. So below is the information… I hope to see some movement!  And thank you all!!!

When: September 21, 2013 6:00pm to 6:00am
Where: 10100 N. El Mirage Rd, El Mirage
What: Relay For Life of El Mirage
Donation link: Link
Main Page: Link

-MM-

Powershell 3.0

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Several weeks ago my manager told me that we have a few training vouchers that we can use to learn something related to my job (which is I.T., if you haven’t figured any of that out yet).  I was ecstatic at the opportunity to gain a few more geek points and level up… but what to choose…what to choose…

There is a fantastic technical training school here in Phoenix called Interface.  They have courses on different subject matter, from ”Novice” to “If you actually are following along, most likely you are an alien”.  The staff is fantastic, and you get free juice and bagels every day of class!  I’ve had a few training sessions with them (mostly for the juice and bagels), and they are an exceptional learning facility.  This is also where I became CISCO certified, they are a testing facility as well.  Anyways, I was digging through their course curriculum, saw tons of things that I wanted to learn, but nothing that really related to my position at work.  I eventually called them up and talked to a lovely lady over the phone about which courses I should take.  I mentioned Powershell in passing and she stopped me dead in my talking tracks!

“Well if you are interested in Powershell, we are doing away with the old class, and we are currently beta testing the new Microsoft Powershell 3.0 curriculum… if you would like to join, it would be absolutely free of charge!  You just have to give us your opinions on the class curriculum.”  DONE!  DEAL!  I’m on it!

Actually, I managed to get 3 seats,and invite my co-worker, and employee along for the class.  AWESOME!  Free bagels for a week!

For those of you who do no know what Powershell is… it’s essentially Microsoft FINALLY getting their s*&* together and building a product that can manage servers, services, computers, accounts, anything, on a large scale.  Essentially Linux and Unix companies have been smug and laughing at windows shops for the past 10 years, they can point and laugh no longer!  Microsoft was descent at being able to manage resources 1 at a time… but in a production environment of 1000′s of servers… this is not practical.  With Powershell implemented into all Microsoft OS’s and server product lines, you can essentially do everything to anything from a command prompt on your computer!  Needless to say, its a Microsoft shop admins dream come true!!!  …..except… its got a bit of a learning curve….

The class was fantastic!  Not only did I get to learn a new skill-set, this may be my next career focus!!!  If you can master using Powershell, you can pretty much become the deity of Microsoft Admins… people beating down your door to throw cash at you and lavish you in riches!  …well… maybe not… but either way, you will have the respect of your fellow admins for sure!  And get this!  The observer of the class was the guy who wrote the curriculum, who is the god among gods of Powershell, Don Jones!  He was writing Powershell books before it was cool.  On top of just Powershell, this man knows everything about everything!  We chatted a bit here and there between classes, he has some interesting hobbies, and is just an all around cool cat.  I want to be like him when I grow up…

As far as the class is concerned… it was well worth the money! (heh).  Seriously though, great curriculum, very fast paced… a lot of times it felt like it was moving too quickly, but in all reality, it was a good thing.  We covered a lot of ground, and I now have several books to refer to if needed.  If you get a chance, take the class!  You wont be disappointed!  If you want to find out more about Powershell, here are a couple of resources to help you out!

With this class, I was able to build Powershell scripts to help image, deploy, and configure my desktop computers quickly and accurately!  I was able to push files directly to all my users desktops, look up specific information on my servers, dump them into a well formatted HTML file, save that HTML file onto a web server, and now I have daily reports for all my servers!  You can do absolutely ANYTHING with Powershell.  Its fun for the whole family!

Eventually, when I get a little better at this stuff, I will post some of the code in my projects section… you know… when I start to work on some actual projects… man this stuff is time consuming!

-MM-

 

Tweetering

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Hello All!

So this is just a short post.  I just wanted to let you all know that I finally got on the bandwagon and set up a twitter account.

If any of you wish to follow me, I can be found using #mischiefmattie !  I already have… like… 5 WHOLE people following me!  Woot woot!  There is no stopping me now!

I guess I will go tweet myself…

-MM-

Me being Me for Me

I think I am funny; sometimes, down right hilarious.  Just ask my girlfriend…  not if she thinks I’m funny… if I think I’m funny.  She will answer with an emphatic “YES”.  I laugh at my own jokes all the time!  Most people just look at me sideways as I laugh meniacly to myself.  Don’t get me wrong… I am no stand up comedian.  Most of my jokes I keep to myself, as they tend to be horrible puns, or cheesy one liners, or what have you.  My brain is not meant for the world to see in all its magical… majesticness…. is that a word?  Anyways… I tend to need a filter (as everyone does; some more than others).  So this is a story how my girlfriends entire work department got a glimpse of my personality.  Apparently they all now understand why she dates me…  I mostly felt like I needed to apollogize after the incident, but now I seem to have been accepted as one of them, without ever really meeting most of them. But I digress.  On with the story!

The Lead Up:  The girlfriend and I were traveling, as we occasionally tend to do. And as we were waiting around the airport for our flight, I always like to browse the newstands’ periodical section for magazines about robots, inventions, creative new things, puzzle books, you know… something to keep me interested while I sit in a single spot for, what I feel, is longer than humanly possible.  I came across a variety puzzle booklet.  I was intrigued, as it seemed to have some interesting puzzles in it that would challenge/distract me from the flight that we were patiently waiting for.  I made my purchase, stowed away the new item and looked forward to diving into it once aboard.  It had been a long day, and we were both pretty tired already, so I was already a bit loopy, which explains why I didnt examine the book closer, on hindsight…

Anyways… we get on board, stowed our luggage, placed our seats in the upright and locked positions, and looked forward to departing soon.  As soon as we got in the air, I busted out my book and began to work the mind teasers that lay inside.  Much to my dismay, however, the book was filled with badly worded, simple brain teasers, meant more for grade school children.  Most of these, I was working out in my head.  As such, I began filling the answers out, in my own sleep-deprived way…  I eventually got bored with it, and gave it to the girlfriend, who in turn did… whatever with it.

This book was then immediately forgotten about. About half a year passes.

The Reveal: Well, yesterday I get a call from Jaclyn while she was at work.  The conversation went something like this:

Jaclyn:  So, I was just cleaning my office and came across one of those IQ brain teaser books you gave me awhile ago.  Do you remember?
MM: No… should I?
Jaclyn: Well, I didn’t want it, so I gave it to Ray. (another one of my geeky friends, that Jaclyn just happens to now manage)
MM: Ok…
Jaclyn: Well he flipped to the middle of it, looked at it, and in turn gave it to Jen for one of her kids to have.
MM: Ok… cool. I don’t want it… I’ve got dozens of them…
Jaclyn: Well, Jen just came up to me and asked “Umm… did you… did you know there are comments in the book you gave Ray?” I was all “what comments?” and she said “…I… dont think I can give this to my kids…”
MM: Ohh no… what did I write?
Jaclyn: Wait… it gets better…
MM: Ohh god…
Jaclyn: So she brings the book into my office. Mind you, everyone is in my office checking out my new haircut (she just chopped all her hair short, and got bangs, and a crazy new style, so everyone was checking it out). Anyways, Jen is on the verge of tears already, so I start reading the comments, and literally have to put my head on my desk. Everyone wanted to know what, so Jen starts reading the comments out aloud to EVERYONE.
MM: I can never come to your work again, can I?
Jaclyn: EVERYONE was dying of laughter!
MM: WHAT DID I WRITE?!?!!?
Jaclyn: Here, I will just send you pictures…

The Punch line:

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Conclusion: No one was supposed to see this. EVER. This was just supposed to be me entertaining myself. I know it may not be very funny out of circumstance, but apparently everyone loved it, and they don’t think I’m an anti-semetic bastard… which is good. Ray apparently wanted the book back, but Jen wouldn’t give it back, and I made everyones day. I dont think it was so much the actual sleep deprived writing, as it was the WAY everyone found out about it. It just, kind of.. caught everyone off guard a little. Its just one of those WTF moments that you have to laugh at. If I ever end up going back there, I think the only response I can give is smiling and shaking my head…

Peach Pickin’ !

576737_272583256219204_1667033236_nOne of the main reasons I made mischiefmattie.com was to get out and show Phoenix that there is all kinds of things to do around the area.  Not everything is adventurous, not every weekend is high impact, but everything, I think, is interesting (to me at least).

This little event is more for the laid back, casual follower.  Apparently, there is a179783_272583286219201_900872693_n farm east of Phoenix that you can run around in their peach orchard and pick your own fruit.  I’ve never done it, but the girl does it every year, and I thought I would join her on this go.  Schnepf Farms is a bit of a drive, but nothing too terrible for a Saturday or Sunday morning leisurely drive. here is the site if you wish to get directions: Schnepf Farms

Now, it seems as though timing is everything when it comes to peach picking.  I’m not exactly sure when the best time to go would be, but I can tell you, it’s not right after a peach picking festival in 100 degree weather!  To our dismay, when we arrived, we were informed that most of the peaches were picked due to the festival the weekend before.  Although we were told it was like finding “Wheres Waldo”… it 382293_272583186219211_1978922817_nwasn’t nearly as bad as it was made out to be.  From a farmers perspective… I totally get it… from my perspective, however, it made it way more enjoyable!  I asked my lovely better half “Is this the equivalent of hunting for vegetarians?!”  She made the clarification that I made it sound like we are “hunting vegetarians” … not “what vegetarians do instead of hunting” … whatever… you had to be there I guess… don’t judge me.

At any rate, besides the heat, it was a lot of fun!  There were a few other groups there looking and grabbing what they could find.  We were instructed to head to the far back corner where we might have better luck.  We managed to find a few to take home with us.  I think it was more of an excuse for the girl to dangle from trees and act like shes 6 again.  Me, I never need an excuse to act like I’m 6 years old!  It didn’t take more than 45 minutes time to pick, play, and pay, and we were back in our car heading out.

We made, what I thought would be, a quick pit-stop off at a nifty little shop called the Queen Creek Olive Mill. I’m not one for olives, but as it was a nice casual Saturday, I had no problem poking around a new place. We wandered around looking at wine, taste testing some olives from the olive bar, trying out different types of olive oils, and even chatting with the awesome workers at the in-house coffee shop. It looks as though they have their own distillery that you can take a taste testing tour of, which looked intriguing, and if you are hungry, they have a nice little lunch cafe thing as well. So the stop off was well worth the time.

So if you are looking for a something unique to go do on a weekend, I would recommend trying to get outdoors, climb a tree or two, and maybe convince your significant other to bake you a pie or two!!!!  It made for a peaceful, relaxing, fun weekend trip.You really shouldnt give me the cameraLesson learned:  Dont give me the camera…