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Feeding my Kobold

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Having some delicious leftover Cajun BBQ baby wings.

All Hail King Torg!

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Baby Not Included

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Yesterday I tried on the new baby carrier.

The manual is of course full of warnings about how improper use will make your baby fall and die.

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Feeding

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She seemed pretty happy with me once I provided a bottle. (Andrle is behind the camera.)

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Uncle Nick

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Or, in Mali, Tonton Nick. Which makes me think of tauntauns…

Aye is so cute! She slept in my arms for about an hour.

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Coffee EVA

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This glove and cup combination makes me feel like an astronaut.

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Tree Disposal

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All I need is a flannel shirt, and I’d be a lumberjack.

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Reality Distorted

I had just gotten home from work on Wednesday night, when I read this tweet from my friend and fellow Apple fan Andrew. It was certainly a surprise, to the point where I initially doubted it (or perhaps hoped it wasn’t true), but the stream of traffic from my tech-oriented Twitter feed made it fairly clear that Steve Jobs had died. This news affected me more than I expected.

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Engage!

Set course for Marriage Prime, Love Factor 6: I asked Andrle H. Pence to marry me, and she said yes! Woohoo!

This all went down the Wednesday before last (July 7th, or 7-7-2010… seven might be her favorite number…) while we were visiting a friend’s cabin in northern Minnesota.

Now, below the cut, some (goofy) photos of us on the dock where I proposed under the stars…

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Going Home

Last weekend I attended my five-year reunion at Swarthmore College. I graduated in 2005, and it was my first time back on campus since I attended the 2006 graduation to see off friends from that year. I think I had somehow forgotten how beautiful the campus is (being a national arboretum will do that).

Campus hasn’t changed much since I left; the Parrish remodel I had seen in 2006 makes a much nicer first floor lounge, New New Dorm is in place next to New Dorm (where I lived senior year, now called Kemp and Paul respectively), and the arboretum building got expanded. The newest trees planted around the science center (which was completed my senior year) have grown a fair bit. The napping couch in Hicks (the engineering building) was reupholstered. Otherwise, the campus is a very familiar place.

My sense of calling Swat home really struck me Sunday morning, as several of us met up to go to brunch at Java Joe’s. Since my parents moved to Seattle, I haven’t had a sense of permanent home. There’s not much tying me to Minneapolis other than high school friends I visit occasionally, and while my parents are associated with home, their current condo is largely unfamiliar. It probably also doesn’t help the sense of home there that my sister is still far, far away! I like Boston a lot, but I don’t feel Bostonian in a number of key ways. Swarthmore, however, is where I spent a good chunk of four years of my life (almost straight through in the last three years, since I did summer research twice). Now that I’ve been back, I can see myself returning more often, if for no other reason than to keep an anchor there; conveniently however I can expect to see a lot of old friends every time I go.

A more detailed rundown of the weekend is below the cut. Overall it was great to see everyone, but the official events were pretty lame. Apologies if I left anyone out!

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PAX East 2010

Best. PAX. Evar.

PAX East was my third Penny Arcade eXpo, and in many ways my best… but as others have addressed, also an unfortunate reminder of how hard it is to manage a convention hall full of geeks, nerds, dweebs, and all the rest. The whining has been handled by others, and I have a positive attitude and had a great time in spite of the logistical problems, so I’m not going to talk about those problems much.

For me, the two huge differences were location (that the event was local to me, in addition to not involving a visit to my parental units in Seattle) and people (in addition to more random run-ins, I spent most of the con with my old roommate Fritz and my girlfriend Andrle, as well as bringing my Little Brother on Sunday). Since it was a much more social event for me, I didn’t enter any gaming tournaments (as I did both of the last two PAX Primes, even placing in RoboRally last year and winning a PAX medal), nor did I attend any sessions (in part due to line issues).

As per my usual, I caught Paul and Storm and Jonathan Coulton in concert (the 6th time I’ve seen them play live!), as well as the opening act with the Video Game Orchestra. Like last year (but unlike my first year at PAX ’08), I watched the keynote by Wil Wheaton and the final round of the Omegathon (the third round of which was in this case was the opening for the Saturday night concert).

As always, amusing nerd-watching, interesting demos, tons of free crap, and good times gaming. A few pictures, some game and product comments, plus my concert videos, below the cut.

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Nicolas Ward

Software engineer in Natural Language Processing research by day; gamer, reader, and aspiring UltraNurd by night. Husband to Andrle
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