Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Another Sunday in the valley…

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Apparently, I was very tired this morning. I remember looking at the clock around 10:00 and thinking that I still had a little more time to rest. It was 11:34 when I saw the clock again.

Football Wrap-Up
With Miami’s win over Dallas on Thursday, I’m 2 – 3 in Week 13.

San Francisco at Baltimore
Final Score 6 – 44
Baltimore dominated this game. Yes, the score shows that, but they brought the total package today. The offense was on. The defense was a juggernaut. Special teams performed well. There weren’t a lot of costly penalties. It was good ball-playing.
Philadelphia at Carolina
Final Score 25 – 16

Other games of note:

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Final Score 24 – 20
As much as I talk trash about the Steelers, I wanted them to win this game. No, my motives were not entirely pure: I wanted Baltimore to have the AFC North Division lead to themselves. Until the last 00:01:05 of the game, it looked as though Pitt was going to pull it off. And then, Cincinnati engineered a fast 00:00:52 drive and scored the touchdown that cemented the win with 00:00:13 left to play. And, so… B’more and Cincy are tied for the Division. Again. And we get to play them next week at home.

Cleveland at Seattle
Current Score 0 – 7
A Cleveland win would leave Pitt all alone at the bottom of the AFC North. And a win would make happy.

Quote of the Day
Jess and I were watching the World Championship of Poker on ESPN a few minutes ago. During one of the hands, one of the commentators, talking about a player’s style dropped the following gem:

Sometimes you don’t play the cards, you play the man. I tried that in my first marriage. It didn’t work.

We both got a good laugh out of it.

And, now… off to face the day.


“Saturday Night’s All right for Fighting”

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Tonight’s episode of Justice League was called “Hereafter.” It involved a “Death of Superman” plot. (This is the second series that I know of that has done this type of story; ABC’s Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians did one in the late 80s.) There were cameos by characters from both the Batman and Superman Animated Series; I *think* that they even shown Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (introduced in the Superman: TAS), but the character didn’t say anything. But… they did show the Lanterns in their dress/ceremonial coats. I thought that was pretty cool. They also showed Wonder Woman in her ceremonial armor. Batman even seemed to have a “human” moment. The part of the story that included Vandal Savage was handled very well, also.

Bowling wasn’t bad: 160, 141, 148, 157, 114 and 130-something (the computer killed that game in the ninth frame for reasons that we nor the counter staff understand). The last two games of the session would have been in the low 100s and 130-something, also. , his wife Jen and Bill showed up for a while and hung out with us.

Breakfast was the same as it ever is… for the most part. , and were there waiting for us. Pat (our friend in the Sandy P.D.) and Brent (Sheriff’s dept/Mall security) showed up and ate with us. We were all having a decent time until someone at another table decided to:

  • Attempt to stare me down. He was FAR from intimidating and I don’t intimidate easily.
  • Mouth off and try to trash talk

I did mention that we had two off-duty cops sitting with us, didn’t I? Pat was in a bit of a rough-and-tumble mood and wanted the idiot to actually start a fight. It would have been amusing to see what might have happened had still been there, but he and the Lady Spydr had left about 00:20 before. Oh well.


“Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, our fine four-fendered friend…”

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I am sitting here watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Yes, that one. Starring Dick Van Dyke. And, I’ve mentioned my affinity for Mr. Van Dyke before.

What I wasn’t aware of was the fact that the following people were also involved with the movie:

  • Ian Fleming
  • Albert Broccoli (better known as “Cubby” Broccoli)
  • Desmond Llewelyn

Individually, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But those three have ties to another movie series: The James Bond films.

  • Fleming, author of the Bond books, also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Cubby Broccoli produced all of the Bond films through 1989’s The Living Daylights
  • Llewlyn portrayed British Secret Service agent Major Boothroyd (although he is better known as “Q”), the inventor of all of Bond’s gadgets from From Russia with Love through The World Is Not Enough (he died shortly after T.W.I.N.E. was released).

All this and Benny Hill, too.

Silly movie. But fun. And it brings back a few fond memories.

“Running down a dream…”

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Work… blah blah blah.

Off to the airport to pick up . It sounded like she had a great time on the far side of the country. That’s definitely good.

Home for a quick stop and then off to Borders. I asked to give me a new “project” to practice on. She did. So far, so good. After that, , , and I headed to the rather empty Applebee’s for food. While sitting there, we started thinking about two compilation CDs:

  • One based on the characters and places related to Batman
  • One based on the characters and places related to Superman

We came up with a few good ideas. Now, it’s just a matter of going from “theory” to “practical application.”

Stray Toasters

  • Black Friday. The most anticipated (or “dreaded,” depending on which side of the register that you’re on) day of the shopping year. For some, it was “National Buy Nothing Day.” The extent of my contribution to the day’s economy: I bought something to eat and something to drink.
  • I checked this out again:

    I’m trying to get all my Livejournal friends’ locations plotted on a map – please add your location starting with this form.
    (Then get your friends to!)

    It seems like a few more people have been added since the last time I checked it.

  • Monkeys. Shakespeare. You know the old adage. This is a model of how that would actually work out.
  • From Slashdot: Microsoft Drags Feet with Settlement Claims
  • The Pillows. They did at least some of the music for FLCL. If you can track down some of their music, do so.
  • Have I mentioned “HALO action figures” before? Well, consider them mentioned again.
  • From Slashdot: Human Pac-Man
    (Warning: This has a knack for loading slowly….)

  • Libcaca: Colour ASCII Art Library
  • From Slashdot: The Economics of File-Sharing (Not to be confused with The Politics of Dancing)

And that, as they say, is that. Considering that I got somewhere in the neighborhood of three to four hours of sleep last night, I should probably make an effort to begin tonight’s inner eyelid study. Good night and good morrow to all.


“The perfect game?”

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According to this article from BBC News, toy expert Barry Eldridge has devised a formula for determining the “perfect family game.” And the winner is…

Sorry, you’ll have to read the article to find out.

In closing…

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Today was a good day.

It would take a long time for me to list all of the things for which I am thankful. I will cut to the chase and simply say that I am thankful for my family, friends and all of the things that I have had the blessing and benefits of experiencing over the past year.

Dinner with , her parents, family and friends was excellent. Plenty of food. Lots of wine and champagne. Good conversation. It was a great way to spend Thanksgiving away from our far-away families.

‘s father “threatened” to teach me how to line dance. It started after I said that I wasn’t a fan of country music. A couple of jokes were made and then he asked “Wouldn’t you like to learn how to line dance?” I looked at him, smiled and said: “Actually, I would.” I think it caught him a little off-guard. Then I went on to explain that the only reason that I had even entertained the idea of learning to line dance or two-step was because of Madonna’s Don’t Tell Me video. And the fact that I could catch other people off-guard by telling them “Yes, I can line dance/two-step, as a matter of fact.” And then smile, evilly.

“Thanks” to , who came over after we got back and helped me set up FreeBSD on the new rig. Now, it finally has a fully-functional OS. I still need to insert the network cards, but it’s ready to go otherwise.

Football Final
The Dolphins soundly defeated the Cowboys: 40 – 21.


Thanksgiving Day

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I hope that it has been good for everyone.

So far, I slept in. A little. It seems that unless I am completely worn out, I am awake after about 6 hours. *sigh* So, I got up and proceeded to be lazy. I talked with the family unit – including the rest of the sibko. Apparently, Mom had Kris up at O’Dark-Thirty to set up the Christmas trimmings. While I miss being at home for the holidays, I don’t miss that aspect of things.

Other than that, I have been watching football and sitting here on the nerd. And that’s been about it.


Green Bay at Detroit
Final Score 14 – 22
I started watching a little into the second quarter. Yeah, yeah… I know. But I’m not a fan of either team, so it wasn’t critical for me to be there for the opening kickoff. It was a good game. Green Bay had a chance, albeit a slim one, to tie things up at the end of the game, but the Lions’ coverage took that chance away. With gusto.
Miami at Dallas
Current Score 10 – 0
Also a good game. Miami has been effective on both sides of the game. Dallas hasn’t looked bad, but they have had troubles on converting 3rd downs into 1st downs… although it looks like they might be close to a touchdown here. More on this game later.

If you get a chance, drop a Thanksgiving note. This is his first major holiday away from home, family and everyone else. I’m sure that he’d appreciate the thought.

With that, I’m off to finish getting ready to head to ‘s parents’ for dinner.



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It’s after midnight, so… Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope that it’s safe and pleasant for all.

NPR and PRI Stories
Talk of the Nation: Overtime
Talk of the Nation: Gluttony
Talk of the Nation: ‘These United States’
All Things Considered:Commentary: Drive-Thru AIDS Test
All Things Considered: Flap Erupts Over Bush State of Union Ad
All Things Considered: Piecing Together Joseph Cornell
Fresh Air: They Might Be Giants Interview

Stray Toasters

  • New Stickfas! ::: covet :::
  • From Comics2Film’s Digital Concept Gallery: Monkey Fight Club
    (I personally hope that Blip mops the floor eight ways from Sunday with Gleek)

  • Season Two of Teen Titans begins on 10 Jan 04 and it looks promising: They are introducing Terra. Add to this the fact that the Titans’ main antagonist is Slade (better known to fans of the comic as Deathstroke the Terminator). Shake well. Serve chilled.
  • From Slashdot: After Linux, it seems that Google could be next on SCO’s chopping block. Details here.
  • I saw an ad this evening for a site that helps you locate symphony performances in your area: Find A Concert


Afternoon Stray Toaster

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There’s something good to be said for a cup full of Earl Grey tea on a not-quite-Winter (although it’s cold and snowy enough to be) afternoon.

Of course, it would be nicer if I was enjoying it at home (and in front of the XBox) rather than at work. C’est la vie.

“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey…”

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It may not be winter yet, but it’s rather cold. And there were scattered flurries in the area. Again. Yay.

Work wasn’t too bad today.
It’s a little odd being the only person in the office this week.

Post-work was good. Spent a quiet evening in and watched 24 and Law & Order: SVU. And anime. And chatted with a few folks whom I haven’t had the chance to talk to in a while.

Stray Toasters

  • In talking with Jonni, he told me that there’s an email campaign under way to get his band (Air Supply) on the Ellen Degeneres Show. He asked if I would send them my 2¢. And I did. If you’d like to drop them a line, here’s the link.
  • Comics Continuum had a good interview with Bryan Singer, David Hayter and Michael Dougherty (director and writers, respectively).
  • I was listening to something on Winamp today that had a nice string section in it and wondered how difficult it would be to adapt to the guitar. Now, I can’t remember what song it was.
  • Drum Corps International.
  • Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG, Gargoyles) has signed to direct a live-action movie version of Thunderbirds.
  • Because someone got this stuck in my head this afternoon…

    Daring duck of mystery
    Champion of right…

    Okay. I feel better now.


Winding up the day at the office…

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…and this song came on.

Hope that you’re having a great time.

The Late Edition

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Today started off slowly, but wasn’t a bad day.
Tonight, was game night… and gave us a swift kick in the plot line. And, it wasn’t very pretty. Fun, yes. Pretty, no.

It’s late and I’m a bit tired, so that’s it for now.


At the end of the weekend…

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Saturday Recap
Bowling was pretty good. I didn’t have any exceptional games, but I managed to beat for the week.

Post-bowling breakfast wasn’t bad. We met the newest manager… without most of the usual crew being there. They decided to take the night/weekend off because they don’t care too much for her. *sigh* We didn’t have any real problems with her – she mostly avoided us. It was almost as if she wasn’t sure how to take us or thought that we might cause problems. *shrug* In fact, she didn’t say anything to us until she absolutely had to do so. Whatever.

I came home and watched another episode of Justice League: “A Better World,” a parallel universe episode; I’m not sure, but I think that it was loosely based on DC’s Earth-3 (Pre-Crisis) or Earth-2 (Post-Crisis) Universe, where the Justice League was a group of criminals. In this episode, the “Justice Lords,” as this parallel universe version was known, decided to come to the League’s Earth and “help out.” This is to be read as: “They came to ‘Earth-1’ to do the things that the League wouldn’t cross the line to do.” And, it was a damned fine episode. And, in a nod to the DC Universe, Luthor expressed an interest in politics.

Sunday Recap
Today was another relaxing day. And that’s a good thing. I spent the early part of the day watching football (details below). I talked with members of the family unit.

Jess and I met and for coffee and chat. For a change of pace, we went to the newest Barnes & Noble in the valley. From there, we went to dinner at Mimi’s Cafe and then on to IHoP for post-dinner coffee. And a lot of comics-related conversation. It was a good night.

Football Wrap-Up
I was 2 out of 3 again today. The Ravens and Dolphins won, while the Panthers dropped one to the Cowboys. The Ravens are still tied with the Bengals for the Division lead. But we’re still ahead of the Browns and the Steelers, in that order.

Seattle at Baltimore
Final Score 41 – 44 (Overtime)
Have I mentioned just how much I dislike nail-biting games recently? No? Okay. To put it simply: I abhor them. Today’s game was no exception. And, by all rights, Baltimore should have lost the game. Both teams were highly ineffective in the first half of the game. Baltimore was plagued with tons of mistakes. And penalties. The score was 3-3 with three-and-a-half minutes left in the half. And then, Hell came to Baltimore. Seattle drove the ball down the field and scored a TD. On the next series, a botched run play resulted in another Seattle TD. With 00:00:08 on the clock. 10-3 (advantage Seahawks) going into the half.

The second half, however, was a football game! Both teams came out like they intended to play ball. And they did. And they did it well.And, Baltimore engineered their biggest come-from-behind comeback in franchise history. And sent the game into overtime.

The Seahawks won the toss and elected to receive the ball, but the Ravens defense not only held them… they pushed them back. The offense came on the field, moved into field goal range and Matt Stover (once again) put the nails in the coffin.

Carolina at Dallas
Final Score 20 – 24
Washington at Miami
Final Score 23 – 24

And… as an added bonus:

Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Final Score 13 – 6
I know that this will come as something of a shock to , but I wanted the Browns would win this one. Not that I’m a big fan of the Browns, but it would have cemented Pitt in the bottom of the division. Now, they are both tied for second/third.


Saturday, in a nutshell…

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I should sleep well tonight.

After getting to bed FAR too late… umm, make that “early this morning”… I woke up around 8:45 to get ready to take to the airport. Did that, dropped Jess off at work and came back home… and fell asleep on the futon. I napped for two hours, intermittently.

invited me to join her and for lunch at Grecian Gardens. And so… I got ready to leave. Unfortunately, I didn’t count on the fact that it had snowed. And was continuing to snow.

I got to the restaurant, but Nyx and Nox were no where to be seen. I really must have looked a little lost, because the owner of the restaurant, Mr. Maroudas, waved me over to sit down with him… and brought me a glass of Pepsi. I’m still not really a soda fan, but one does not turn down a host’s hospitality. We talked for a while. He was a nice man. I got a call from on behalf of Nyx and Nox – there car wouldn’t start and so they wouldn’t be joining me after all. So, I went ahead and ordered lunch. I wasn’t feeling incredibly adventurous (my knowledge of Greek cuisine is extremely limited), so I copped out and had spaghetti.

When I left the restaurant, I headed to and ‘s house. I hung out with them and their cats for a while. told me about the book that she’s reading: Under the Banner of Heaven. Wow. Those were some… interesting… stories. I countered with Them: Adventures with Extremists. I think that she found the things that I told her about it equally interesting and curious.

Off to pick up Jess and then back home.

Tonight’s episode of Justice League was once again very satisfying. They even brought in a few villains from Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. Again, the writing was top notch. And while the story wound up with the League victorious, it wasn’t a “happy” ending. Not quite a “pyrrhic victory,” but the wounds that they had gathered in battle were not all physical ones.

It’s almost time for 2-D physics, so I’d best get a move on.


“Everybody’s working for the weekend”

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…and my, didn’t the day just zip by.

Ladies and gentlemen: Welcome to the weekend.

The post-work evening was spent in good company: , , and Gabe, and and I did the traditional Friday night coffee at Borders.

It’s official: Gabe is my new favorite 2-and-a-half year old. I went around the store with him a couple of times. This is not to be confused with “keeping him out of trouble.” There wasn’t any “trouble” to keep him out of. He walked around looking at the books and identifying the pictures of animals and items on the covers; his favorites seemed to be a couple of books (one on trucks, one on buses) in the children’s area. While we were touring the store, he walked up to a couple of people and started conversations. A guy that he stopped to talked to in the computer section asked him if he was getting started early on the hard books.

had to leave early as she is leaving (on a jet plane…. don’t know when she’ll be back again) tomorrow for her Thanksgiving vacation. She came right back in – one of her tires had decided to pick up a nail. leapt to the rescue to help her changer her tire.

, and I headed to Applebee’s for a bite to eat. Vivi, our former favorite server, is no longer a server; she’s gone into the management program. Our new favorite server is Karen. We like her. She’s funny and personable.

And now, I’m unwinding.

NPR Stories
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Diabetes Update

Researchers have reversed diabetes in mice. What does that mean for people with the disease?
They raised some interesting points about possibly being able to use some of the techniques that they discovered in combating other ailments.

All Things Considered: Commentary – Missing the Old Drive-In
Fresh Air: Interview with Steven King
Marketplace: Stories for 21 Nov 03

Stray Toasters

  • I almost feel guilty because everytime I hear “Istanbul” in the news, in light of the recent attacks there, a voice in the back of my head adds “…not Constantinople.” Almost guilty, but not quite.
  • Megatokyo
  • The Gravity and Chaos Club at Western Washington University. (Be warned, it loads slowly due to heavy traffic.)
  • First there was “hijacked.” Then “carjacked.” Now, “iPod-jacked.”

That looks like a good stopping point.