Received a bit of great news to cap off the week last week.
First, my trip to Japan is back on. It's beeen pushed out to January and will likely involve a day or two in San Francisco first, then we'll move on to Osaka. I guess it was a good thing I paid the extra bit to expedite my passport renewal, after all.
Second up on the train of good news is that BradyGames renewed my contract for 2009 as-is, without the cuts I was bracing for. I was half-expecting the contract to shrink by one or two books on account of the size of the projects these days and the fact that so many games bunch up into two or three release windows now and don't dribble out all through the year like they used to. It's simply getting more and more difficult to author the quantity of books I've grown accustomed to putting out each year. Getting re-upped at my 2008 numbers was very good news. I'm already working on two titles for 2009 so hopefully it all works out.
In light of the good news about the contract, we decided to finally -- and I really mean finally -- get the rest of the house painted. We painted some accent walls and a guest bedroom over the years, but most of the house is still builder's white, and we both hate it. Problem is, we have a very open floorplan and didn't want to start painting one room (the kitchen for example) because before we knew it, we'd be painting the stairwell and the bonus room upstairs. So I had some guys in for estimates last week and wouldn't you know, the guy I liked the best came back with the cheapest bid. Score! He'll be here the Monday after Thanksgiving to start!
We capped off the run of good luck at the new Snoqualmie Casino Friday night. Things didn't start out too well over at the three-card poker table, where I was down $180, but I rallied on the craps table and came home $300 richer than we left with. For a tribal casino (Connecticut casinos aside), the new Snoqualmie Casino is really nice. Much nicer than the Tulalip and Muckleshoot. I wouldn't say it feels like a Vegas casino or even an Atlantic City casino, but it's much closer than the other local tribal ones are. I will say this about it: everyone was dressed a lot nicer and the bar and lounge were packed at midnight on Friday. The proximity to Seattle and Bellevue is going to be a boon for this place. Everyone was dressed far nicer than I've ever seen people dress at the other casinos around the area (or in some Vegas casinos for that matter), and the ballroom has some pretty good shows already lined up. We're going with friends of ours on December 30th to see the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies, which should be fun.
Oh, and how about a couple of side-notes regarding the estimates we got for the painting.
The first guy to show up actually recognized me (and I recognized him). We've gone mtn biking once or twice together and have seen each other in the bike shop. We got to chatting, talking about bikes and whatnot, and he gives us a bid nearly double what the other two contractors eventually bid. So I'm thinking he's either just really pricey or that he clearly doesn't like me, or maybe because of the Moots, he thought I could afford a bit more. Not sure, but he was way out there with the bid. He did kind of raise his eyebrows and said, "Oh, you have a Moots!" really oddly. I couldn't help but remember an episode of The Cosby Show from the 80s when Bill was trying to buy a new car and his son slipped and let word slip that Bill was a doctor. You could see the dollar signs in the salesman's eyes. Anyway, I'm probably imagining things with the painter, but I can't think of any other reason why he would bid twice the amount of the other guys.
Another snippet from the estimates. Do you want to know how bad the economy is? The Irishman underbid the Mexican.