Last night the Zing crew headed down to Dave and Buster’s for a delicious dinner and an evening of video games.

James and Josh started out by saving the world from bio-terrorists:

James and Brent handled some special-ops stuff:

James and Nick fought off invading Terminator cyborgs:

I can’t help but notice that James seems to have a bit of a gun fetish. Noah also got in on the carnage… look at the intense concentration!

Brian put on his (blurry) game face for a round of air hockey:

And Therese managed to whomp Noah at a ten-foot-high game of Connect Four:

All in all, it was a blast. We played everything from four-way air hockey to head-to-head Pac Man, shot some baskets, and drove souped-up VW Bugs. At the end of the night we pooled all of the tickets we’d won (1,200!) and managed to buy a sweet ice tray that makes ice in the shape of human teeth. Now that’s classy.


Traditionally, we’ve only seen one or two movies in the theater every year. I guess this year is a bit of a bumper crop, because we have plans to see several.

A couple of weeks ago, Kyra, Laralee, and I saw The Host. We’d all read the book, which was very good (yes, even though it was by the author of Twilight).

The movie was pretty true to the book– always a good thing– and overall we thought it was good. I especially liked the mirror-silver Lotus that Seeker drove. Nice ride.

Today, Laralee and I went to see Oblivion. We didn’t know much about it, but I like science fiction and Laralee likes Tom Cruise, so we figured at least one of us would enjoy it.

It was quite good. It kept us guessing, and the special effects were amazing. Critics have said there’s not much original in the movie, and I have to admit it’s sort of what you’d get if you rolled together The Matrix, The Island, and Total Recall. But still thought-provoking.

Oh, and we’d like one of those ships.

Up-and-coming movies that we’d also like to see in the theater: Now You See Me, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and perhaps Despicable Me 2.


I’m shopping for a wireless keyboard for the office. The Amazon customer-submitted photos included this gem:

It’s good to know that the keyboard is “roughly one cat length” long.


On Wednesdays we have “Tech Talks” at Zing, which are basically opportunities for anyone on the team to give a brief presentation about a technology or something they’ve found interesting or applicable to our projects. It might include anything from how to use the Symfony PHP framework, to what Node.js is, to tips and tricks for being awesome at Vim.

For the past few weeks, every Tech Talk has been given by Josh. He tends to work on things that are a little more bleeding-edge, so he has interesting things to share with the team. Before his presentation yesterday, he showed us a little graphic he’d prepared, in the spirit of TED talks.


One of our clients is a beauty product company in Beverly Hills. We’ve been working with them for several years, helping them with everything from e-commerce to design to marketing email blasts.

Today we received a surprise package with this label:

Inside were about two dozen of their products, ranging from shampoo to moisturizers and face masks. Sweet. I arranged everything on my desk and offered it to the team.

Everyone grabbed a few items for their wives; Ben was even thinking of Mother’s Day. Nice!

I love when our clients do little things like this. It makes it feel like all of the work we do is appreciated.


Ahh, Cadbury’s Creme Eggs… how I love them. A shell of thick chocolate surrounding some mysterious concoction of yellow and white that’s basically liquid sugar:

Now that Easter has passed, the grocery store has them on sale at 70% off. A quarter per egg! I bought a dozen of them. Now they’re almost gone, which is probably a good thing. It’ll keep me from going into insulin shock.

Until next Easter…


I was working late (surprise!) a couple of nights ago, and heard some shuffling in the window well next to my desk– which is in the basement. I figured it was the wind or something. Today I saw a critter running around in there! I think this little guy must’ve fallen into the window well a few nights ago and had been going crazy because there’s no way back out. He was probably hungry and confused.

Anyway, Zack was excited to catch him to return him “to the wild”. He climbed down into the window well while the rest of us watched from inside the house. The rodent seemed pretty tame. We couldn’t quite tell what it was, but wondered if maybe it was a neighbor’s pet on the loose. (Our rats have occasionally run off through our backyard.)

Too big to be a mouse… maybe a gerbil? Not a hamster or guinea pig…

In the end, we determined he was a vole. Although you can’t buy voles at pet stores, apparently they’re generally tame enough that people catch them and have them as pets.

In any case, it was a fun little adventure and we released the critter over at the creek so he could make his way in the world again.