June 13th, 2005


Sunday with the Peeps

I went to bed on Saturday night not knowing what I'd be doing on Sunday. Thanks to ocyn and satyric, I ended up having quite a fun afternoon.

First was a visit to Taj Palace. Good company, not that great food for me, the spice-loving vegetarian. I did get to tell my "Spock is my vegetarian prototype" story again, and I finally had an occasion to use one of the puns that I had stored away for years:

ocyn: You've really got to try their naan, it's amazing?
me: Would you describe it as heavenly?
ocyn: That would be fit.
me: Then, I guess it's naan of the above!

Then, we saw a screening of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", a film I had not originaly planned on seeing. I'm glad I went; it's Hollywood popcorn fluff, but their's a lot of dark humor about relationships and marriage combined with well choreographed over-the-top gunplay. Jolie and Pitt had good chemistry, and only occasionally was I thrown out of the film. Not much for the thinking, although having a minor character get interrogated by Brad while wearing a "Fight Club" t-shirt was a nice touch. Tim from the gaming group joined us for this.

That was followed by board gaming, specifically Alhambra, a German game where you compete to build your own city, trying to gain points by controlling the most tiles of each type. This was my second time playing the game, and so far, I've really enjoyed it. Dane, another gamer, showed up right as we were finishing the game, and he came along to dinner at ZuZu.

New AC on the Way

Last night, my AC wasn't working at all... the townhouse thermostat read 84 degrees, so I just opened up the windows upstairs and got a breeze blowing. However, this won't work later in the summer when it's still sweltering in the evening. Fortunately, I'd already had people out a couple of weeks ago to make a bid on a new system, and I just confirmed that Strand Brothers will be out between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning to start the installation. No late night hacking run for me tonight, and I need to go set my alarm so I'm up and about before they arrive.

My new system improves my efficiency from 10 SEER 10 to 15 SEER, a pretty major improvement. Based on charts I've seen online, I'll probably save about $300 a year here in Austin from the upgrade, since the AC gets to run so much during the summer. There are a few other energy-use improvements I should make too; I ought to replace my bedroom's lamp, going from a high-wattage halogen to a compact florescent unit. I've already replaced most of the rest of the lighting with CF bulbs, and they work very well. I also need to get a hot-water heater insulation blanket, which will keep my heater from running as often.

A Failed Attempt at Picking Six Songs

So, my friend lizardprincess complains that she can't do the six-song meme because she's got at least 79 songs from her well-organized iTunes database that rank in her upper echelon. I can respect that. It's a well argued point.

I don't think I can do it either, so I'm going to instead list my top six albums from the 1980s, defined as 1980-1989. That's a bit more limited in scope, and I think I can manage a pretty good list, although from my results, I couldn't just pick six. I guess I'd be a bad lottery player.

Top Six:
"Time and Tide", Basia
"Stop Making Sense (Soundtrack)", Talking Heads
"Solitude Standing", Suzanne Vega
"Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart", Camper Van Beethoven
"Life's Too Good", Sugarcubes
"Lincoln", They Might Be Giants

Honorable Mention:
"The Raincoats", The Raincoats
"It's Better to Travel", Swing Out Sister
"In My Tribe", 10,000 Maniacs
"The Innocence Mission", Innocence Mission
"The Indescribable Wow", Sam Phillips

Worthwhile Compilations:
"Singles 45's and Under", Squeeze
"The Whole Story", Kate Bush
"Eponymous", R.E.M.