Month in Review

Everyone has been telling me how much they enjoyed my Rose Bowl coverage. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back into the habit of writing on Frenchville. Things are starting to settle down, so hopefully I can get back into the routine.

One of the first things that happened once we got back was Emily’s 3rd birthday party. We rented out The Little Gym and we were really worried if anyone was going to show up. We ended up inviting some of Abby’s friends in order to round out the group. We only had one out of Emily’s six classmates show up. For the cake, Jennifer made a new creation: a group of cup cakes which had candy lions, zebras, tigers, and elephants. They ran around the Gym for two hours and had great fun. It has been though planning Emily’s parties since they are so close to Christmas. This year was no different.

At work I moved on to a new product tentatively entitled NFL Head Coach. It’s a new NFL franchise we are creating at Tiburon that is a strategy game where you attempt to build and manage a football team. I’ve come in to manage the Gameplay and Online aspects of the game. The game will be available in stores spring 2006 for the Playstation 2, Xbox and PC.

A couple of weeks ago Tiburon paid for everyone’s family to go to Disney World’s Epcot. The girls had fun going to a park that we don’t normally go to. (We usually go to Magic Kingdom.) We went from “country” to “country” decorating a mask at each one. I finally got to ride Mission: Space, which is only at Epcot. It’s a simulator ride which really makes it feel like you are taking off in a space shuttle. It was pretty cool. However, I was feeling a little dizzy when I got off. It spins you around like you are in a centrifuge, but you can’t tell it since you are locked into a simulator room.

A week ago last Wednesday Electronic Arts laid off 5% of their work force. It was a cost cutting move that typically happens during what we call a “transition year” (the time between generations of hardware). 35 people were laid off from Tiburon. It was sad because this was the first time that we had to go through this. Last transition (1999-2000) the lay offs happened at other studios because Tiburon was so small. Now that we are approaching 600 employees, it was time to downsize our work force. Although I wasn’t personal friends with some of the people that got laid off, I knew some of them and, like I said, it was sad to see them go.

This weekend I took the plunge and had laser eye surgery. I went in Friday morning. It was really easy there wasn’t much pain at all. I could tell a difference right after the surgery. I went home and slept for several hours and I could see much better. It’s quite amazing. My vision isn’t 100%, but it’s getting better every day. There were two strange events that went on. First, a very tall lanky guy comes up to you and says in a real calm voice, “Dr. Filutowski is going to be your surgeon today. He requests that everyone have a massage to relax you for your surgery. Would you care for a massage?” That was weird, but a guy who works on NFL Head Coach who got the surgery two weeks ago pre-warned me of the event. The other strange thing is that immediately after the surgery, Dr. Filutowski has you give a “thumbs up” and they take your picture with him. It’s framed and given to you when you leave. Besides the two strange events, I’ve been really happy with my surgery so far. I was amazed how easy it was.

Finally, Isabelle has made a lot of progress over the month. During Christmas vacation she was sitting up on her own. Now she crawls all over the house and will stand up against any kind of furniture that will let her. At first she would stand up and then she couldn’t get down, but now she’s fully mastered getting up and down. This is the first time we’ve had a baby so young that is mobile in a big area. When Abby and Emily were mobile we were living in apartments and we could section off the areas of the apartment. Isabelle is going from room to room getting in trouble. Abby has been a great help watching over her and moving her from room to room when necessary.