Praxis: Back in the saddle on writing: Did two pages of translation last night, it felt plain good.

Gaming/Japanese Translation: Shinobigami: Wow, whatta game. I’m only about 20% understanding how it works based on the replays and rules text (for me it’s got a high time vs return rate than other recent books, still it’s not that long so its just a matter of time). I like how fights end the first time anyone takes damage. I also like the

Gaming: Owl Hoot Trail: The simplicity of the classes (hearkening back to Red Box Hack) and system, plus the anachronism of the setting, kept things really interesting. I loved diving into character without keeping track of Angst points and Innuendo Scenes.

Gaming: PS3: Just Cause 2 and Resonance of Fate are on their way from Amazon now. Not a lot of time to dedicate to either right now (they’ll mostly keep me busy during summer downtimes). But after playing the JC2 demo about 20 times, I figured it’s prudent to get the real deal.

Fitness: Wow. So not in shape, and not even due to all that gaming stuff above: Mostly poor meal choices at work and being sick/lethargic. Spring is now kicking my butt, though, so I’ve been doing more. Just need to do more MORE.

Stocks/Options/Other: So a bit ago I talked briefly about the option types I was playing around with: Namely diagonal spreads (avg goal: 10% gain/month) and riskier vertical spreads (avg goal: 20% gain/month, with spikes up to 35%). I forgot to mention that I fell in with the new wonky-trade branch of Scottrade, “Options First” (options.scottrade.com). What’s cool about this site is that like some other sites, you can create an account, put no “real” money in it (or associate it with any real money accounts), and simply practice your trades with “play money” for some time to become familiar with the system. I started last month with $10,000 in “play money”, and now have $11,500. %15 in one month, pretty nice! (this was from a one year/two month diagonal against APOL, and a two-month vertical against CREE) These are slightly riskier than owning stock and putting options against it, or making put/call orders when real stock is on the line, which basically means “I need to check my account for about 1-2 minutes every day or two”.

But otherwise, I’m liking what I see here. Unless the market totally crashes and we star buying up shotgun shells and dog food, I figure that I can maintain a zero-tau against my mortgage, house utilities and food with a starting pool of $20k… just need to get to that level first.

Orie: Kicking ass and taking names at CCCC. She’s near the top of her class at one of the hardest veterinary tech programs in the country, and she doesn’t even speak English as her first language. CCCC is a kind of mixed bag: They want to be taken seriously, but they try too hard. A lot of the professors just plain suck at teaching, handing out “busywork” as assignments. Still, Orie’s mauling the program like a wild animal.

Interesting story: So, while she’s kicking ass, she’s putting a lot of extra effort in due to the language issue. When she was in the registrar’s office, she mentioned to the admissions advisor something like that, like “Sometimes it’s really hard though: I bet I’m the first international student you’ve ever had here in your vet tech program.” The registrar/admissions advisor said, “Oh, no, not at all! We’ve actually had three international students go through the program, yessiree! Two of them were from England, and one was from Australia…”

Orie couldn’t think of anything to say in reply.