John Hawkins (hawk) wrote,
John Hawkins
hawk

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A weekend in the life

So I figured I'd come in and work a bit this weekend, since Google is pretty sweet to hang around, even when there's so few people here. The only downside is I feel kind of alone, but that's a mixed bag. I also don't feel embarrassed about wasting three hours screwing with my email settings, for example. So I've spent a lot of the weekend here, but I've only gotten a little real work done. Planning to get some more substantive work done this evening, though, so I can hit the ground running on Monday.

I didn't really get my email working how I want by any stretch of the imagination, but it's certainly better, and more to the point, I feel like I'm to the point where I can walk over to the help desk and a) I know what questions to ask and have an idea how to interpret the answers, and b) I don't feel like I'm wasting their time without at least trying (for like 6 hours cumulative) how to do what I want without help. So I don't consider it wasted time, just annoying.

I spent a lot of time over the last 36 hours reading Al Franken's new book "LIES and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" I was seriously impressed. This is a great book. A book that makes me laugh out loud multiple times per chapter and also manages to be one of the most informative and well researched analyses of a topic I've ever read. Major points. I feel like I learned a LOT about politics this weekend, and I've already pre-ordered Molly Ivins' new book Bushwhacked so I can continue the trend.

I kind of wanted to go to a movie yesterday, but from what I could tell, it looked like they all sucked, so I never actually called anyone to suggest it. Chi-Chi called me to tell me Lauren Suding's in town and we should get together for coffee. Which is funny, because Lauren Suding lives in the Bay Area. I guess I'll see her when she gets back. Sorry, Chi-Chi. =) I should really post to incircle and tell people I'm in the area. ::shrugs::

Anyway, if anyone has suggestions for amazing movies that are currently out or coming out soon, let me know. Amazing doesn't mean intellectually brilliant. I mean I really enjoyed The Italian Job, for example. I'm just looking for entertainment. I don't currently have a good way to watch rentals, so if it's out of the theater, I'll have to get to it later.

BEGIN GEEK ALERT (If you don't care about Magic Online...consider yourself warned)

If I wind up with money to spare beyond what I need for rent and paying back my debt and such, which looks like a definite possibility, I'm going to start putting together a complete playset of every card on magic online. I've decided this is really the way to go, since at the moment if they ever take MTGO offline, I lose all the money I've put into it. If I have a complete playset of everything, admittedly that costs a hell of a lot more, but it has the advantage that at any time, I can simply extract all of my online assets and get a complete PHYSICAL playset of every card printed since Invasion block. (You can trade a complete set (one of each) of a given expansion online for the same set of physical cards. This only works with complete sets, though, so I can't just get my collection printed out in its current form.)

Besides which, the way I spend money on magic right now is stupid: when I want to build a new deck, I sell a bunch of cards I'm not currently using below cost and buy the ones I need above cost. That invariably costs me money, but I really don't wind up netting much of a collection, and it becomes a situation of me paying for the priveledge of playing. I love playing, so that's not unreasonable, but since it's unnecessary, it feels a bit silly.

I'm never going to get sick of this game, and having 4 of each card would just rule, so I don't see any reason why this is not a good idea. For those who have some sense of how much this will cost, I'll note that I'm just going to start with invasion block, since I suspect it might leave the store when Mirrodin enters the fray, and since Invasion block is my favorite block ever printed, I'd hate to let it slip by. Then I have at least a year to worry about Odyssey and the rest.

I figure at about $3.33 per pack, I need 800 specific rares, which comes to around $2660. That's a lot of money, but that will also mean getting about 12 of every uncommon and about 45 of every common, which I can sell to recoup costs (or more likely save money on the next block). I'll also try to buy complete sets as they become available on Ebay, since that's a cheaper way to get the rares (no bonus copies of U/C cards). And besides, the key point here is that after investing at this level, I protect myself from just losing everything. Not only can I trade in the cards, but if I decide I hate the game, I can get a huge fraction of my money back out of the game by selling complete sets on Ebay. With single cards, this is more or less impossible (which is why I'm always selling below cost). People are more excited about buying sets for the same reasons I'm excited about owning them. Security, in-game utility, and the option to recover the costs. So if I can be the guy who has all the cards, it's definitely in my best interest.

Even if wizards collapses (god forbid), I get to keep a playset of everything, which pretty much means I can personally host games with friends, where everyone builds a deck from my enormous collection. I really don't expect that to be an issue given that Magic is an international competitive strategy game, but in my opinion, even if magic dies, I would value a complete collection like that more than, say, a really nice sports car. So let the next guy buy his Porche, and for vastly lest money, I'll build my collection of cards. Seems pretty reasonable to me. I like my Corolla just fine, thanks.

END GEEK ALERT

Speaking of which, while I'm making speculative plans, if I wind up getting a job here, I plan to move closer to work. I'm not crazy about the place I'm living now, and besides the rent is higher than I want to pay, and I'd really like to be biking to work. But right now it takes like 20+ minutes just to DRIVE. Part of that is traffic, but it's not exactly down the street, either. So...not worth buying a bike and moving out if I'm going to be leaving in December, but the instant I know I have a permanent position (here or elsewhere), I'm going to look for other options, and probably give notice. And then buy a bike.

So in summary:

1) I love my job, if I don't get to keep it, I will cry.
2) My housing is an annoyance, and I hope to move, but this is obviously secondary to point #1
3) I will soon have a crapload of magic cards, again, partly dependent on point #1
4) Al Franken's new book is a must read for pretty much all of my friends and family
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