Andrew Gross

Just another site

New Year update

Shira, Cleo and I had a good Christmas. Mainly we decided to finally get a new couch and mattress, it’s been over a decade and it’s just time to get comfortable again. Wanting to lounge around with Cleo obviously had nothing to do with anything, it’s just a coincidence.

I traded in my Miata for a Ford Focus ST. It’s much more practical but still a lot of fun, I’m really glad I made the switch. My Miata held its value pretty well so it turned out to be a pretty sane decision financially, too.

I’ve been working a bunch on my dexterity-based spaceship game (working title Dark Galaxies), and I’m really happy with how it’s coming. I could see it being ready for publication sometime this year. Right now the hardest part is finding people to playtest it.

My hosting company for has been having a lot of problems lately, getting attacked by hackers. If it keeps happening I’ll change companies, but in the meantime, if my site is down that’s probably what’s going on.


Geek heaven

The movie I have been waiting for all my life: Samurai Mechs vs. Godzilla Monsters, directed by Guillermo del Toro:

Cleo and I

Our new post-work ritual:



Back from travels

I went to BoardGameGeek Con in Dallas, as I do every year.  It’s my favorite convention, and I had a lot of fun.  My favorite new game was Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar.  I came back with a renewed interest in my Dark Galaxies project, and have already made a bunch of changes that I think will make the game both much simpler and much more interesting to play.  I’ll be testing the new changes this week.

Right aftwerwards, Shira and I went to visit her family for Thanksgiving in Boulder.   It’s one of my favorite times of the year, but the altitude really kills me; I wind up taking naps once or twice a day.  We had a professional pet-sitter come play with Cleo twice a day.  Since we’ve returned she’s been a love-sponge, purring up a storm every time she sits on our laps or gets her ears scratched, so we can tell she missed us.

Election and Cat

I was really worried about the election, Shira and I were very relieved.  Watching the election returns turned out to be pretty fun.  I confess to watching some Fox News to indulge in a little schadenfreude.

We’ve adopted a cat!  I’ve been allergic to cats my whole life, but a couple of years ago I went in for allergy testing and they told me I wasn’t allergic to anything.  We thought the results must be off, since I’ve been tested before and was definitely allergic; but they came back negative the second time as well.

Recently, the most adorable cat in the entire universe started coming around, slowly spending more time on the porch, gradually letting us scratch behind the ears, apparently auditioning us for the role of vassals.   We took her to the vet and she had a microchip, but we found the owner and it turns out she had sort of run away from home, probably because of not getting along with another cat.  She let us adopt her, and we’ve had her in the house for over a week now.  At first she’d meow to be let out when she needed to do her business, but she quickly got used to the litter box and now seems quite content with the world of electric blankets and cat toys.  We bought her a “cat tower”, a tri-level carpeted jungle gym sort of thing, with a platform three feet off the ground; it tooker all of a minute to figure out it was hers, and she now surveys her domain from her perch, and curls up to sleep there most of the time.

New Anime Season

Most of the first episodes of the new anime season are out, and it’s looking like the best in a while.  Three shows have begun really well: Zetsuen no Tempest, K, and Magi.

Recently I received Puzzle Strike and its expansion in the mail.  This is notable chiefly because it’s the first Kickstarter project I’ve ever backed.  I’ve got mixed feelings; the expansion actually contains a great deal of the same components that are in the base game, which I think is a terrible decision and makes me feel like it’s pretty overpriced; in addtion, some of the components were very badly printed, enough so that I’m trying to get replacements sent.  On the other hand, it’s a very good game, and I got some nice extra swag by backing the project.

The wonders of Magnesium

I’ve gotten tension headaches once or twice a week forever.  My shoulders get tight and hurt, then it works its way up my neck until it’s a headache.  Actually, the shoulders alone are enough to be very unpleasant.

After having ignored Shira’s  (always correct) advice for years, I started taking 200mg of Magnesium before going to bed.  Magnesium has the (apparently well known) effect of relaxing muscles.

I literally have not had another episode for the entire bottle’s worth of days, a couple of months.  Not one.

I’m reminded of it today because my bottle ran out and I bought a different brand with a different doseage, and apparently didn’t take enough, since I now have shoulder tension and a headache.

If  you’re in a similar situation, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Security Webcast, Part II

The video is up.

Security Webcast

Starting this month, I will be appearing in a monthly Webcast that discusses the month’s security bulletins and advisories.  I’ll be explaining the high-level technical details of the releases.

Here’s a recent example; I’ll be playing the role that Jonathan plays in this video.   I’ve never appeared on camera before, so watching my screen test was… painful.  To start with, I need to figure out how to consistently look at the camera that has the red light on; I’ll worry about everything else after that.

New Personal Website

Just as unexciting as the last one:  Andrew’s Homepage

Shira and I celebrate our 12th Wedding Anniversary today.  Shira made reservations at Palisades, which is a Seattle institution, yet I’ve never been.  Looking forward to that.

I will be in San Francicso Thursday August 23 – Sunday August 26 playing games with some friends.  I’m currently enjoying Dungeon Commander and am looking forward to the second edition of Descent, but I’m sure I’ll spend most of the weekend playing Titan.

This anime season Hyouka is  my only sure-fire winner.  I’m also taking (very) guilty pleasure in Campione, which I refuse to reccomend to anyone, though I like the fan-translated Light Novel more.  I also like Sword Art Online, but haven’t been keeping up after the first three episodes; I suspect all watch a half-dozen some night to catch up.  This is another one that has a great fan-translated Light Novel.