I am king nerd!

There's an excellent graphic novel called Americus, which you should read. I followed the story while it was being serialized online and the print version was published this year by First Second Books. But the most important thing to know is that the creators ran a contest and I won!

All I had to do was create a Skyrim character based on Americus heroine Apathea Ravenchilde. I already play Skyrim every night, so that was no problem. And after re-reading the book I had a clear idea for how Apathea would look and act in the game.

Here's my contest entry. I fully expected that someone with more time on his hands would put together a better effort, but artist Jonathan Hill quickly wrote back and enthusiastically proclaimed me the winner. He's sending me books and a bunch of original art, and I am thrilled to wear the crown of High Arch-nerd.

Jay Oh Bee

I designed a book to celebrate our company's unique culture. It includes submissions from all employees, a bunch of photos, and some infographics I created. We just got the physical copies last week and I'm proud with how they turned out.

Promoting a positive work environment is a passion of mine. It's especially crucial because we are growing so fast: from a five-person start-up in 2007 to a company employing more than 40 people around the world.

We've gotten so big that we had to move our holiday party from Lord Fletcher's to the Van Dusen Mansion. 2011 was an especially good year for our company and so, Oprah-style, everybody got an iPad. I was thrilled. Jenna was crushed.

Turns out she'd been saving and secretly planning all year to give me one for Christmas. Total buzz-kill for her. (It's so amazing, though; have you seen Sword & Sworcery?!)

Stolen thunder notwithstanding, it was great to escape the house together and spend time socializing with adults. Several people had read the Culture Book and wanted to talk about it. Our CEO even called me out for special recognition during the iPad-awarding ceremony. I was honored and humbled that what started as my little pet project has been received so well and is starting to develop a life of its own.

Let's get sick and injured

Poor Paisley has a red lump on her right eyelid. It's been there for a few weeks and doesn't seem to bother her. We finally got to see an Optometrist and it turns out to be something called a "hemangioma" (picture not related).

The doctor said it will most likely go away on its own. Natalie was completely unfazed by her tooth trauma but was struck with a bout of nighttime vomiting after a visit to grandma's house. Fortunately that seems to be a one-time thing also, and nobody's feeling sick. I don't fancy another attack of stomach flu.

Oh, and that trip to grandma's I mentioned was special because my brother was in town. Sadly, he's here to support his fiance who is at Mayo for major surgery. The good news is that Paisley got to meet her uncle Jim for the first time, and Natalie got a reminder that he exists!

I'm still here

MIX was amazing. I had a great time moderating the panels and meeting all the artists who came out for the show. Really a fantastic event, no thanks to me! Strange encounters: last year my friend Becky from Alaska just happened to show up at MIX and this year I was recognized by the little sister of my best friend from elementary school!

Natalie crashed into another little girl when all the kids were scurrying around at the end of music class, fell face-first on the floor, and knocked one of her front teeth clean out. She screamed bloody murder while it was gushing blood but then she was a real trooper. On the other hand, Paisley is smiling now, so it all evens out.

I bought an Xbox exclusively for the purpose of playing Skyrim. Let me just say: money well spent.