ee-MER-jens : noun. 1) The act of rising up or coming forth, as if from immersion. 2) To become evident or obvious. 3) The nightly exodus of a bat colony. 4) The official newsletter of The BAT Cave!
Right off The BAT:
October 4, 2006: I took a quick trip back to Texas last weekend to see the Texas Renaissance Festival for the first time in two years. It was fun, but the sun was merciless, it was very hot and the bright light made it hard to get good pictures, but look for a few in the Action Photos section!
August 12, 2006: I bought a new car yesterday, the new Batmobile is a 2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe, black on black, it's pretty nice, 280 horsepower and reasonably luxurious, it can zip by most things on the road, check the Action Photos for pics!
July 13, 2006: Wow, can't believe it's been a year since I've posted something here. After a bit of a hiatus, the Action Photos are starting up again, Electronic Arts had a media event today featuring a Frisbee dog show, so I was able to get a few pretty good shots.
June 4, 2005: I put up a little photo essay of my recent trip to the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles!
January 2, 2005: I am now back in Oakland after Christmas break in Austin, Texas, so you'll be seeing some pictures of Austin and the Hill Country in the upcoming Action Photos!
November 7, 2004: Several people have recently recommended the "eHarmony.com" introduction service to me. It involves filling out a massive online questionnaire which they use to classify people into particular categories, providing contact information only for people compatible with a given category. After completing the entire thing, eHarmony said I was one of the one in five people who cannot be easily classified into one of their categories and therefore their system would not work for me. Anyway, here are the results of my personality profile, which, to me at least, seems decently accurate:
You respect those who win out against the odds and show persistence. You set high goals for yourself and others.
You have a natural enthusiasm for the activities you prefer. Because of your enthusiasm, you may forget that others have different wants and needs.
You will take issue and not shy away from confrontation when others disagree with how you feel or think.
In social situations, you prefer variety, adventure and the unusual. You may lose interest if you feel a situation is becoming routine. As a result, you must be kept busy and involved with making things happen.
Having a variety of results at stake brings out the best in you. Your great strength is in directing yourself and others toward specific activities results.
You may lack empathy and hurt the feelings of others without realizing it--this is not intentional.
Not having a climate of challenges and competition may cause you to create such a climate. You perform best under pressure, and may assume that others want the same...your assumption is not always true.
You tend to be tenacious about solving problems, not liking to give up until something is resolved.
You generally don't like to back away from a challenge.
You like to initiate new activities.
You like to analyze problems and discuss their possible solutions before taking action.
You place a high value on being direct and honest when expressing thoughts and feelings.
Like games of competition and skill.
You are good at "troubleshooting" potential problems in a relationship.
You don't tend to get distracted by superficial issues.
Below is a list of communication styles that will mesh well with your own:
Provide questions and choices for making decisions.
Provide time to analyze the data before making a decision.
Motivate and persuade by referring to objectives and RESULTS.
Stick to the topic.
Support results, not the person, if you agree.
Be ready at the exact time.
Be on time.
Take issue with the facts, not the person, if you disagree.
Give pros and cons of ideas.
Provide options, rather than opinions.
Ask specific questions--preferably "WHAT" questions.
You may want:
An outlet to vent your emotions frequently.
A chance to be seen and heard--to work hard and play hard.
New and innovative things to do.
New challenges and problems to solve.
Freedom to act independently from time to time.
Excitement and variety of activities.
Independence from others occasionally.
Opportunity to talk about your ideas and prove your skills.
Unusual, new or innovative activities.
To show and prove your abilities through challenging activities.
Rewards for your ideas, and results for your actions.
To be seen as a leader.
September 19, 2004: I'm now partially settled into my new apartment in Oakland, California! The movers have not arrived with my things from Houston yet, so my decor is a bit minimalist at the moment, but it's a pretty nice place and a nice area, so I like it so far. There are so many things to see and do in the Bay Area that it can be a bit overwhelming! I've driven over the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, gone to Fisherman's Wharf, and went to the local Renaissance Festival, but there is tons more stuff to do. Check the Action Photos section, there should be quite a bit of fresh material from now on!
September 6, 2004: I have accepted a job offer in San Francisco, California, so I am busily arranging for a move up there! I have a new apartment in Oakland across the bay from San Francisco, it will be a big change from here but it should be fun!
September 2, 2004: I finally got a little photo essay written up for my Panama trip! Check it out here!
August 19, 2004: Just got back from my vacation in Panama. It was more difficult than I expected to get Internet access there, so I wasn't able to keep The BAT Cave updated while I was there, but I took thousands of pictures, so be sure to check Today's Action Photo and I will soon have a complete pictorial essay on the site as well!
July 30, 2004: Regular visitors to The BAT Cave will notice that I've been struggling to come up with fresh photos in the Today's Action Photo section. I'll try to remedy the situation by taking my first big vacation in a very long time August 12th to August 19th. I'll be going back to Panama, where I lived from 1971-1986. Going to go through the canal, visit the Spanish ruins, go into the mountains, and hopefully see our old houses down there. I'll be sure to take thousands of photos so I should have a nice backlog to pull from when I get back!
July 7, 2004: We had an interesting visitor at TimeGate today, a Little Red Bat decided to roost for a while in our parking garage! He was very docile, just hanging there for several hours and putting up with various distractions before flying away. Look for photos of his visit in the Today's Action Photo section!
May 11, 2004: Woot, I got into the World of Warcraft Beta test! I don't usually play betas, but since I like online games and there hasn't been a compelling one to come out in a while, I figured I'd try this one since the early buzz is good. So far I have a level 16 Night Elf priest and a level 4 Undead mage. It's similar to EverQuest, but has a lot more questing and seems more solo-oriented at least at low levels.
April 12, 2004: I tried something new this weekend and went up to Waxahachie, Texas, near Dallas, to see the Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival there. It was interesting to see a big show (almost as big as the Texas Renaissance Festival) with a completely different cast and mostly different people in general. It was cloudy, which is great for photos, but it rained a bit and with an icy wind blowing it was really, really cold. It was fun anyway and with the light crowds due to the weather it was easy to get close to the performers for some good shots, which will be coming up soon in the Today's Action Photo section! Scarborough Faire has some nice features, like a program with pictures of the cast members in costume so you can tell who is who, plus they have some great deals on season passes that save a lot of money for big show fans, although since it's a 4 hour drive for me (plus 1/2 hour for construction zone delays right now), I'll probably only make it to that show for one weekend this year.
March 21, 2004: Just got back from Austin where I went to the Final Goodbye to Origin party on Richard "Lord British" Garriott's new estate on Lake Austin. Origin is packing up and reorganizing as part of Electronic Arts in California, it won't really be the same company it was in Austin, though. I worked there from 1991 to 1997. It was kind of funny, Richard burned a bunch of old Origin and EA-related items in a bonfire while the crowd cheered him on. Be sure to check the upcoming Action Photos for shots from the party!
February 24, 2004: Woot, I think for the first time ever (that I've noticed at least) I got mentioned by name on the famous Slashdot.org site! In a thread regarding a news story announcing the final demise of Origin Systems, the company where I worked in Austin for six years, one person kindly pointed out a small contribution I made to the history of Origin and Austin. Search for "Thale".
December 12, 2003: Unfortunately I had to remove the rough cut Renaissance Festival photos. Turns out they took up about 160 megabytes, which put me significantly over my limit on the web server. I'll start looking around for a more photo-friendly web hosting company that offers more disc space for a reasonable price.
November 20, 2003: Pshew, finally got the complete rough cut posted from the Renaissance Festival. So, if you have a few hours to kill or you're just a big Renfest fan, check out the pictures here! (Link removed 031212) Be sure to read the disclaimer, since these are unedited photos for the most part, so they are not all good. Usually about 1% of the pictures I take are really good, and 10% are passable, so that means 90% are pretty awful!
November 17, 2003: Yesterday was the final day of the 2003 Texas Renaissance Festival! It was a great show, as always, lots of new characters, but lots of familiar faces as well. It looks like I took exactly 3027 pictures, at one per day it would take several years to show them all, even if I edited them down severely it would take a long time, so, due to popular demand but against my better judgment, I'm going to make a 2003 Texas Renaissance Festival section of my long-dormant Photo Album and post the rough-cut subset of the 3027 pictures that aren't out of focus, badly exposed, or just plain bad. These will be posted as thumbnails with links to larger versions, but mostly without comment since it would take a long time to come up with something clever to say about each one, and besides, as you'll see, I often take a long series of shots of one person in an attempt to capture The Perfect Texas Renaissance Festival Photo, which unfortunately eluded me again this year, although there are many good pictures, I think.
I would have to say my favorite character for 2003 was Lady Chloe von Schmaltzbaden, since her character had so many good posing opportunities and she seemed to be giving it her all every day.
Thanks to all the performers and visitors for putting up with my excessive picture taking, and special thanks to Angela, Stacy, and Sir Ripley's Dad for their assistance in helping me attend the show!
Lord Batty shall return!
November 9, 2003: While visiting the Texas Renaissance Festival yesterday, I tried out this power adapter thing that lets you charge camera batteries off of a car battery, but when I went out to my car to pick up the charged batteries, I discovered my car battery was completely dead! Apparently I didn't follow the instructions exactly enough, although the power adapter doesn't really have any instructions. Possibly the ignition key was turned too far forward, causing other power-draining features to be activated? Anyway, I found out that the Renaissance Festival has a free jump-start service, so I notified them of the problem and they got me on the road in less than 15 minutes. Huzzah!
Note to self: Buy more batteries and forget about this car-charging thing.
November 1, 2003: The Candy Spooktacular went well, people seemed to enjoy it again this year. I prepared a little photo essay of the event!
October 31, 2003: In honor of Halloween battiness, today is Count Batula's Halloween Candy Spooktacular at TimeGate Studios! I think Count Batula outdid himself this year, he summoned forth all his legions of undead to tempt the living at TimeGate with the earthly pleasures of truckloads of Halloween Candy! The Count had excellent luck this year with batty decorations and both batty and unusual candy, but there must not be a lot of evil bakers, because he wasn't able to recruit any help decorating cookies from amongst the tortured souls of the Netherworld, that was a lot of work! Look for upcoming Action Photos detailing the extravaganza!
Here is the complete inventory:
1 batch of 8 Betty Crocker Bat Brownies, hand decorated
2 batches of 12 gingerbread bats, hand decorated
2 boxes of 36 York Peppermint Batties, the coolest candy of the spirit world
2 bags of 14 oz gummy Vampire Bats
1 box of 12 1.7 drums of Toxic Waste
1 40 ounce container of Ferrara Pan Atomic Fireballs
1 12 pack of Ritz Bits S'mores
1 85.3 oz Tootsie Roll Child's Play Mix
1 24 pack of 1.7 oz Corn Nuts (It's Corn Gone Wrong!)
6 custom ceramic M&M candy containers (with M&Ms)
2 plush M&M toys, with M&M bags
4 1 ounce Warheads Mystery Flavors
5 2 ounce bags of Torture Scorchers
4 6.25 bags of Lifesavers Kickerz
1 300g box of Cadbury Roses
1 box of Chips Ahoy Cookie Bars, 7.4 oz
1 Nestle Crunch Fun Size, 12 oz
4 Cadbury Buttons, with batty art
1 14 oz Butterfinger fun size
1 275g box Nestle Quality Street chocolates
1 10 oz bag Bob's Sweet Stripes
1 12 count 2.1 oz Marvel Snerdles
1 16 oz Fizzy Pops
1 13.125 oz Amazin' Fruit Gummy Bears'n'Scares
1 13 oz Butterscotch Disks
1 12 oz bag M&M's fun size
1 13.3 oz Snickers fun size
1 16 oz Sweet's Candy Corn Taffy
1 41.25 oz Hershey's Nuggets assortment
1 24 pack 1 oz Wonka Xploder Bars
1 11 oz Nestle Toll House Candy Bars Cookie flavor minis
1 11 oz Nestle Toll House Candy Bars Brownie flavor minis
2 25.4 oz bottles of Welch's Halloween sparkling grape juice
5 chocolate bats from Chocolate designs
1 11oz back Nestle Crunchkins
20 assorted 2.1 oz Flyer Candy Bars
12 Elite Sparkling Chocolate Bars
1 Snickers Almond Fun Size
1 13.2 oz Brach's Sesame Street Candy Corn Characters
1 SpongeBob SquarePants Crabby Patties 25 pieces
6 pack Oreo Cookie Bars
1 Werther's Original 10 oz
1 Halloween Jelly Pop 12 count
1 Milky Way Caramel 10 oz
1 12 count pack Candy Filled Wizards
1 23.4 oz Hershey's Milk Chocolate snack size
1 Box 90 count Airheads Out of Control
1 Blood Suckers 10 oz
100 bar variety pack Nestle Canada: Coffee Crisp, Smarties, Kit Kat, Aero
95 bar variety pack Cadbury Canada: Crunchie, Dairy Milk, Wunderbar, Crispy Crunch, Caramilk
24 count Toll House Candy Bars Cookie
24 count Toll House Candy Bars Brownie
50 count Giant Wonka Pixy Stix
2 Riesen 6 oz
1 Hershey Nuggets 12 oz Cookies'n'Creme
1 Storck Milkfuls 7 oz
1 Hershey's Kisses chocolate mint 12 oz
1 Jolly Rancher hard candy 14 oz
1 10 count box Cookies & Snickers 1.2 oz bars
1 Mega Warheads Mega Sour Mix 32 oz
1 Baby Ruth fun size 14 oz
1 Brach's Candy Corn 12 oz
1 Nestle Crunch fun size 12 oz
1 Crazy Dips 5.08 oz
2 M&Ms Cookies & Candy 10 oz boxes 1.1 oz bars
1 Skittles Regular 30 oz
2 Skittles Sour 30 oz
1 Skittles Wild Berry 30 oz
1 Jelly Belly Fun Pack 11 oz
6 1.4 oz Jelly Belly Big Beans
1 Whoppers 10.5 oz
1 Ghirardelli Chocolate Caramel Squares 8 oz
1 Ghirardelli Chocolate Mint-Filled Squares 8 oz
1 SweetTarts Boo Bag 76.5 oz
1 Wonka Mix-Ups 40 oz
October 4, 2003: Had a great time at the opening day of the Texas Renaissance Festival. There was no shortage of beautiful ladies, got quite a few photos that will be appearing in the Today's Action Photo section! The bright sunlight was tough to deal with, but I tried to limit myself to shaded areas, that strategy seemed to work well, but I will definitely return on a cloudy day to try to get the benefit of soft light. Next Sunday features discounted tickets for people wearing costumes, so that should be a good day to try again, since there should be many more visitors in costume than usual. It was pointed out to me that my pedestrian clothing did not exactly seem appropriate for Lord Batty, maybe I need to work on that...
October 3, 2003: Wow, it's Texas Renaissance Festival time again! This year's show starts tomorrow and runs through November 16. Be sure to check the Today's Action Photo section, hopefully I'll get some great shots this year!
September 12, 2003: Sharp-eyed BAT Cave visitors probably noticed a missing update in the Action Photos section this week. Somehow the power company got the idea to disconnect my electricity without notice, even though I notified them immediately they said it would take up to three business days to get it reconnected, even though it was their mistake. Arg! After several heated discussions, they agreed to expedite my reconnection, and the power is back on after about 30 hours.
Tomorrow is the open house for the new Toyota Center, hopefully I'll get some fresh photos!
September 2, 2003: Woohoo, just noticed the York Candy Company is bringing back their famous Peppermint Batty candy for a second year! Guess I'll have to order a bunch for Halloween as soon as the temperatures drop a bit!