September 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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At long last I have gotten back my laptop in a fully restored state. The faint aroma of fresh coffee still wafts from its vents, but with the new keyboard, new motherboard, and new screen (and -$600) it is finally as good as new.

A few weeks ago our friend Hilton (who recommended Blake to Amazon) had a paintball birthday party. The place was out in the middle of nowhere, so Team Software Engineers was mostly up against Team Redneck Stereotypes for the first part of the day. I was feeling a little under the weather, so although I love paintball I decided to sit and watch. I came armed with a book and Blake’s iPhone and I mostly hung out with them between matches. I also got some fantastic photos, but because there are so many I really pruned down the set in deciding which ones to post here. I usually like all my photos — that’s why I took them! — so it often takes me a few passes to cull down the list to only the ones that I think will be interesting to people who aren’t me. You can be the judge of how successful I was. =)

(For those of you who don’t know, paintball is played with a gun that shoots little dime-sized paint balls which have a thick outer skin like a bath bead. The guns are powered with CO2. When they hit you, they hurt a fair amount and leave a big paint splotch on your clothes (and hopefully not your skin, because getting hit there hurts a lot). People play all sorts of games — capture the flag, last man standing, etc. It’s usually played in an arena that has lots of obstacles and things to hide behind and run between for shelter from the opposing team’s gunfire. It involves lots of running and crouching and dodging and is a pretty exhausting but fun activity.)

On the drive home, Blake was talking about how it was frustrating to play with the extraordinarily inaccurate paintball guns that you can rent there. I suggested he buy a gun for himself and then he and Hilton (who love love loves paintball) could go and play every so often. He wasn’t sure Hilton would be up for it, but the next day we got an email from Hilton suggesting that very same thing! Apparently he and Jocelyn had had a similar conversation. Once Blake’s ankle has fully healed, I think he’s going to look into that.

All in all, it was a pretty fun day. Tiring, but fun.

The game area was behind this thick plastic netting to protect spectators. I spent the first half of the day with my nose pressed against it, until a player pointed out the fine splattered paint layer on all the plants within three feet of the netting. After that I stood back a ways!

Our guys (and Jocelyn). The fellow facing the camera in the background was the referee who was setting the ground rules.

The enemy.

Hilton and Blake mid-game

The opposing team running to take some ground. (Shot through the netting mentioned above.)

Team Amazon (and Google) emerges victorious

There were some apples nearby that were just beautiful. I'm a sucker for pretty apples.

A young paintballer

Another young paintballer

Blake, Hilton, and Hilton's friend Justin

At the end of the day, Blake was only a little worse for wear.

Blake's battle damage for the day. Fear not, ladies, I got him those clothes at a thrift store especially for this occasion. (And even so, they came out perfectly stain-free when I washed them at home later.) I don't really know why there's a cow falling on the shirt, but I thought it was cute.

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