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Good Things Come in Threes

Yesterday was unquestionably a red-letter date in life. Perhaps not human life in general, but certainly in the life of this particular oddball. It was significant enough to actually get me to post something here for the first time in weeks (months?), so that’s saying something.

It all started yesterday morning when my wife and I got our first look at our baby. Oh! Did I forget to mention that Apple is pregnant? She is indeed pregnant at last, after many years of failed attempts, and it seems that everything is going swimmingly. Our first sonogram was yesterday, and the results couldn’t have been more picture-perfect — literally. The baby (sex still undetermined; we’re only 15 weeks along) appears normal and healthy, with measurements all in line with expectations. It’s a big relief after all the issues we’ve had to deal with on this front over the past few years, and I’m hopeful that everything will continue to go equally well right up through the actual birth.

Speaking of the due date, it’s November 21st — looks like this will be a Thanksgiving baby! Talk about having something amazing and new to be thankful for.

Pretty much everything else that happened yesterday paled in comparison to seeing our baby for the first time, but the day did have more goodies in store. In sports news, the Dallas Mavericks came back from a significant deficit to prevail over the Miami Heat in game 2 of the NBA Finals, and on the enemy’s turf, no less. I’m not much of a sports fan, but I do occasionally follow basketball since my dad and I used to go to a lot of U of M and Detroit Pistons games back in the ’80s and ’90s. I basically quit following the NBA (except for a couple years in the mid-aughts when the Pistons were on top of their game) after I moved to Florida; there aren’t any pro sports teams anywhere near Naples and I just didn’t care about the teams in Tampa, Miami or Orlando.

Since we’ve moved to Dallas, though, I’ve taken an interest in some of the local teams, and it was apparently a good time because the Mavericks have been doing a great job this year. Lots of locals are drawing comparisons to the 2006 season, in which the Mavericks also faced the Miami Heat in the finals but blew it in the clutch, losing games 3-6 and the championship as a whole. Hopefully this year it will be different.

And then, with less than half an hour left in the day, word came down (via my Twitter feed) that the long-awaited demo of Duke Nukem Forever — due for release on June 3rd — was being loosed a few minutes early. It was oddly surreal; way back in 1996 I rebelliously stayed up late on a school night, logged into CompuServe via my dialup modem, chatting with George Broussard and the rest of the 3D Realms crew as they uploaded the shareware episode of Duke Nukem 3D for all of us to play and enjoy. Similarly, last night I stayed up late monitoring Twitter while George Broussard informed us all in real time as the DNF demo went live. I went along with the geekiness of the moment, even posting a photo of my Xbox 360 download queue.

I actually got out of bed, went up to the media room, put on the headphones and played through the entire demo at midnight. And it was fun as hell. Yes, the game definitely reflects the development hell that it went through, with plenty of polish issues evident — janky depth-of-field effects that make aiming at enemies nearly impossible; stiff and poorly-timed character animation; really awful looping of background music and ambient audio; really long load times on the Xbox 360. But you know what? In retrospect, I don’t give a shit. It’s the same Duke that old hats like me recall and love — the Duke that says stuff like “You know how I said I’d kill you last? I lied” as he shoots, stomps on and blasts enemies into oblivion. The Duke who wisecracks, drinks beer, drives a monster truck and has an entire video game in the game based on his life (how meta!). Playing this is like being a kid again, when nothing else mattered, and I’m going to enjoy going to the midnight launch in a couple of weeks. Not to mention, the multiplayer is gonna be awesome!

Tomorrow is the monthly Cars & Coffee show, my GTO is freshly polished and we’ve got family in town to hang out with and explore around with for the next few days, so this is gonna be a pretty excellent weekend too, I’m willing to bet.

Hopefully yesterday’s events are the beginning not only of a whole series of great things to come, but also a resurgence in posting here on the Oddball Update. Up until now, there’s been a lot of stuff that I couldn’t say (we kept Apple’s pregnancy a secret for most of the first trimester, just to make sure) and a lot of stuff I just didn’t have time to say, but I’m hoping now to post smaller entries a bit more often. This is an important time in my life, the beginning of a whole new chapter, and I want to make sure that I document at least the standout moments.

That’s all for now!