In my last entry, I talked about looking for a series of wins to help with my self-confidence. I am pleased to report that that has happened. The project I was working on that day finished successfully—a little longer than expected, but successful, nonetheless. I have made continual progress on a number of other work projects, as well. And this is in spite of the setbacks – foreseen and unforeseen – that inevitably attach themselves to things like this like leeches: vendors with their heads up their asses; arbitrary changes in the project time-tables; and the constant barrage of tasks of “highest priority”. It seems to me that if you have twenty tasks to do, and all of them are “highest priority” then nothing is a priority. It becomes exceedingly difficult to determine what to do next. Should I chose the wrong task, I run the risk of complications. You see, the Powers That Be can be quite similar to Orwell’s pigs. All tasks are equally high priority; but some are more equal than others. However, the Powers That Be don’t clarify that last point until something catastrophic has occurred that has revealed their failings.

Enough. I’ve said my piece on the topic. I’ve said my piece to the Powers That Be. I’ve said my piece to my fellow workers. And now I’ve said my piece to you. I hope that it has done some good.

In other news, I have now entered what Whirl calls my ‘Dante year.’ The name is derived from the age Dante claims to be when he starts his metaphysical journey documented in Divina Commedia. Dante enters the Dark Woods of Error on Good Friday, 1300, midway through his allotted three score and ten years—as determined by Psalms 90:10. You can look it up.

For my birthday, my sister flew out from Colorado and spent the weekend with us here in Chicago. The weekend was busy in the neighborhood, marking the beginning of the summer festivals. The Printer’s Row Book Fair and the Chicago Blues Festival were going on all weekend. The former in our front yard; the latter in our back yard of Grant Park. We attended both and had a good time.

Whirl and my sister and took me to sushi for my birthday dinner during my sister’s visit. On the day of my birthday I got permission from my neurosurgeon to enjoy a beer. So, with beer in one hand, Chicago stuffed pizza in the other I sat down to enjoy a ballgame. Unfortunately the Sox lost—in what was one of their worst showings of the season. Still they are six and a half games ahead.

I have seen George Lucas’ Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith twice since its release—once on opening night and once about a week later in digital projection. I still have some criticisms for this film which are likely left over from my criticisms of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Out of the six extant Star Wars films, I rate this fourth behind The Empire Strikes Back, A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.

As a devoted fan to the original series, I have two pieces to share. The first is a small fact. I can confirm that the Millennium Falcon does make a cameo appearance in Revenge of the Sith. I missed this the first time I saw the film, but did see it at the second showing. The second is an opinion. I was quite pleased to see that for Revenge of the Sith Lucas and company seemed to take setting into account—like they had in the original trilogy. Like A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and confoundingly unlike Episodes I and II, I felt that the settings in Episode III were real, not just show pieces that say “Look! Look what we can do with our super-cool CGI!” The settings had a purpose. The settings were part of the story. And the settings made sense in the story.

The E3 Conference and Expo brought a considerable amount of hype to the office. About half of our employees attended. The news that dominated the event was the official unveiling of the next generation gaming consoles: Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s Playstation 3 and Nintendo’s Revolution. We should start to see the development consoles in our office within the next month or so. Our first stab at a title for these consoles will be Stranglehold.

Another intriguing bit of information to come from the conference was a more in-depth look at Shadow of the Colossus. I note this, because I am anxiously looking forward to this game. Lastly, there was a considerable amount of information regarding console systems and HDTV.

As far as games that I am currently playing goes, I have recently discovered Jade Empire. It’s quite fun, with an intriguing story and some very quirky and entertaining characters. I highly recommend it.

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