No, Derek Really Likes Civ

The Brother and a couple of mutual friends were talking, and the conversation drifted to video games. The three of them discussed how much time you could put into a game to be considered “hard-core” playing. After bantering it back and forth, the figure of 200 hours in a game was offered up by one of the friends. Since this conversation was via the Internet, decided to pull up my statistics for hours on Civ from Steam.

“Yeah, Derek’s got about 1,600 hours on Civ 5 and about 1,300 on Civ 6.”

Yes, I really like Civ. It is one of five video games I play and the only one I play on the computer. One of the requirements when I built my current computer was if it would handle Civ 5, which at the time was the new hotness.

Before the Wife To Be came into my life, it wasn’t unusual for Saturdays to consist of me playing Civ with my iPad streaming Netflix for oh, twelve hours or so. Now it’s down to two and three block intervals with podcasts.

Oh well, she’s worth it.

It’s Looking Like This Wedding Is Getting Serious

Last week, the invitations went out. The Wife To Be has been informing me daily of the RSVP count. Also last week, the Wife To Be and I went down to the local courthouse and picked up the marriage license. This, of course, necessitated me leaving all my toys in the car. The deputy manning the metal detector asked me to open my little urban kit. When I showed him the contents, he thought my urban kit was nifty.

We also paid off the venue, and then got me outfitted with a new suit. I’ve needed a new suit since none of my other formal clothes fit me anymore. We also splurged on a pair of fancy dress boots. Because I hate laces, even on my formal shoes.

The Wife To Be harried off to Plant City for flowers. She’s considerate enough to understand that I’m not really interested in making floral decisions, but to also take my preferences into consideration.

I have been delegated the task of setting up the wedding playlist. I love technology. It means we don’t have to spend money on a DJ. Especially for a casual reception. The Wife To Be bombarded me with requests, which I duly included, and asked if I would please not make the rest of it metal. I’ve included some metal (because it’s my wedding too), but I’ve duly followed her wishes.

Less than six weeks to go. Damn, this business is starting to get serious.

Living With Robots

The future is funny sometimes. We use Echoes in the house. Yes, I know the security issues and I’ve judged the risk acceptable at this time. What amuses me is some of the “human” failings of the robots.

Today’s example – We have three Echoes, which with our small house often means two will pick up the verbal command. This morning, my wife orders the bedroom Echo to turn the lights on. No problem. The living room Echo, because of sound changing as it bounces out of the bedroom misheard and proceeds to tell me that there are no alarms set.

The future is weird.

Family Saturday

Last Saturday, The Brother came down for dinner. So, this necessitated doing some cleaning of the house. We noticed that the robot vacuum, Darth, was empty. We investigated and were getting frustrated because we couldn’t get it to work. After all, Darth is only six weeks old. Why was it acting like it’s battery was dead the moment we pulled it from the base station? Then I remembered the first rule of troubleshooting, and no, Darth wasn’t turned on. No idea how the little bastard got himself turned off, but the flip of a switch and he was happily buzzing around the house and annoying the cats.

The Brother brought over Terraforming Mars, which is a fun, if long, board game. If you pick it up and like it, I’d recommend picking up the Broken Token insert. It keeps the pieces organized and the player boards are awesome.

Dinner was pan-fried tofu in butter sauce over rice with naan. The tofu was an acceptable replacement for paneer. Which is good from a calorie budget perspective. And if five years ago you told me that was a satisfactory meal, I would’ve looked at you askance.

Oh, and I finally got a religious victory in Civ 6.

Goals for 2019

I’m not big into resolutions, as most fall by the wayside within the first two months. Just look at exercise machine sales in January and used exercise machine availability in March. I am setting some goals:


  1. I’m going to finish my rewrite of Badmoon Rising.
  2. I’m going to finish the next installment in the Irregulars series.
  3. I’m going to start fresh on my fantasy novel. That needs a pull down to brass tacks and rebuild.
  4. I’m going to read a new book at least every quarter. One of those needs to be nonfiction.

General Health

  1. I’m going to hit my goal weight of 200 and maintain that through the year.
  2. I’m going to get some regular physical activity.

Social Media

  1. I’m going to a three-time-a-day for Facebook, and no more than fifteen minutes total. Once in the morning to post the blog link, once at lunch, and once in the evening. My stretch goal is to get to a twice-a-day check.

There are some others that relate to my finances that I’m not willing to share on this forum. But these are the ones I’m going to work towards.

Christmas AAR

It’s amusing that someone as uninterested in holiday celebrations is getting married to someone who absolutely reveals in the holidays. Shortly after Thanksgiving, the Wife To Be had the house in wall-to-wall decorations, with not so subtle hints that she really wanted to do lights outdoors. This is also our first real Christmas together. There are traditions that need to be established.

Tradition 1 – Matching/complimentary holiday shirts. WTB wanted to do pajamas. This was the compromise.

Tradition 2 – Gingerbread pancakes. And bacon. This is definitely a good holiday breakfast.

Tradition 3 – Meat smoking. I left my big Weber at my old house for my Shootin Buddy. I figured he would get more use of it than me down here. The WTB and her niece bought a smaller one, so I can indulge again. This year is duck over oak. Simple salt and pepper rub.

Tradition 4 – Me smoking. A bit over five years ago, I gave up cigars. I have too many risk factors, too much bad family medical history, and a Wife To Be who has allergies. I’ve missed my cigars. So, I will indulge in one cigar while tending the meat. This year is a Cusano 18 Maduro. This was one of my favorite cigars, and I wanted something mild for getting back into them.

Overall, the dinner went off without any major issues. Except I ate too damn much. Back on the diet I go.

Lessons In Wedding Planning – Invitations

DISCLAIMER – Regardless of how today’s post may sound, the Wife To Be (WTB) is not becoming a Bridezilla as the big day approaches. This is more an illustration of the differences in our thought processes.

As for today’s lesson…

When you and your intended have reviewed several options for invitations, including color, texture, wording, font, and finally price, and chosen the one you both like the best, you have not chosen your invitations.

You have only chosen the first option.

More will be forthcoming as she scours the internet.

March of Automation – Vacuum Edition

Part of the Wife To Be’s (WTB’s) bonus went to picking up a shiny new robot vacuum. It’s on sale over at Amazon, and she found a coupon code to knock the price down a bit more. We’ve been running it over the weekend. For a no-frills, simple robot vacuum, it’s not bad. At least in my less than a week’s worth of experience. The WTB really enjoys it.

It is funny watching one of the cats walk behind it, like he’s herding the device. The rest of the cats are coping with the bizarre device that has entered their world.

Umm, What?

We’ve been taking the cats to get their shots. We’re down to the last one.

Wife To Be: We need to make an appointment for Colonel.

Receptionist (after a few moments typing): Have we seen him before?

Wife To Be: Yes. Why?

Receptionist: Because I’m not seeing Colonel. (Types a moment) The only one we haven’t seen recently is Kow-Low-Neel (this is she how pronounced the name).

Wife To Be (before I can step in): Yeah, that’s him.

I think I rolled my eyes hard enough to give me a headache.