Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“If lust and hate is the candy…”

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First day back at work. It didn’t suck. No, really… it didn’t. It wasn’t bad as far as “Yes, this is the biggest sign that your vacation is over” goes.

NPR and PRI Stories
Fresh Air: Interviews – Jim Moss and Bob Dorough (!) and TV Host Fred Rogers
All Things Considered: FDA Moves to Ban Diet Aid Ephedra
All Things Considered: Sacred Relics of the Freemasons
All Things Considered: FBI Warns of Potential Almanac Terror Link
The World: Global Hit – End of Year Highlights

Stray Toasters

  • From Slashdot: WIlliam Shatner to Record Another Album O_o ?!?
  • 10 Ads America Won’t See
  • …which segues nicely into: BadTasteAdvertising.com (Maddox, I think that some of these might be up your alley…)
  • Non-comics readers may not be aware of this, but many of the creative teams behind today’s titles are made up of people in different countries. Hermes Tadeu, colorist for Marvel Comics’ Incredible Hulk was one such international artist. He was shot to death this past week in Brazil. He was 25.
  • Issues of Hero Sandwich, a comic book published by Slave Labor Graphics many years ago, can still make me laugh.
  • Keyboard Twister
  • Drawing Board ( and : This one’s for you.)
  • Ever hear a song on the radio, but can’t figure out who sings it or what the name is? You might be interested in this site. The list of cities whose playlists you can check seem to cover many major markets… even Omaha. Hell, they even have Greensboro listed! It doesn’t have all stations in a market listed, but it has a lot of ’em.
  • Are you a fan of The Late Show with David Letterman? Check out the Top Ten Archive.

Quote of the Day
On tonight’s episode of Whoopi:

Naseem: I saw Liza and her “husband” on About the Music trying to “set the record straight…”
Mavis: Honey, the Mormons couldn’t set that record straight.

Happy New Year’s Eve to all.


“…and the sky is a hazy shade of winter.”

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Back in SLC.
I left 60° and sun…. for THIS!?!?!

The day was relatively uneventful. As was the flying… with the exception of a couple of crying babies on the flights back; the kid on the RDU-PHX flight cried off-and-on for hours.

Thanks to everyone for there well-wishes during my traveling.


Sunday wrap-up

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The day has been good.
It’s nice to be able to say that about vacation days.

It’s been good being at home.
It’s nice to be able to say that about vacation days, too.

I had lunch with Don, Christine, Thomas, Sheila (Christine’s sister), Susan and Matt (friends whom I met through Don many rains past) at the Macaroni Grill. The conversation wandered to and fro and back again. It was fun. After that came a trip to Toys & Co. and Petland.

I went to Ed McKay’s Used Book Store on the way home. I had nearly forgotten how much I enjoyed that place. The parking lot at their “new” location isn’t great, but that’s not the point.

Home for a bit while waiting for the family-unit to return from Richmond. I did some packing. The folks arrived. Kris packed up her car (clothes from the trip and Christmas loot) and went to her apartment. We followed about 00:45 later. She has a very cute place – perfect for her. Mom’s hand in some of the decor is quite evident, too. We watched the first half of the Steelers-Ravens game there. At halftime, we came back home and watched the last ticks of the third quarter and the fourth quarter… and overtime.

Football Final

Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Final Score: 10 – 13
Thanks to the drubbing that Cincinnati took at the hands of Cleveland (Congrats, ; sorry ), Baltimore was already set as the AFC North playoff team. The extra space didn’t hurt though. The Steelers are always a difficult team for the Ravens to play… let alone beat. Tonight’s game was a game of defense. The Ravens scored their only touchdown in the first quarter. We missed the third quarter as we were riding home. The fourth quarter was tense. VERY tense. And overtime…? *sigh* I’ve mentioned before: I don’t like close games, especially when it comes down to rivalries and divisional standings. Matt Stover and Wade Richey both pooched kicks at the end of the fourth that would have won the game. Stover came through in overtime, though. Jamal Lewis did not break Eric Dickerson’s one-season rushing record, but he was only 48 yards away from it. He put up a good fight. And, becoming the #2 person in that stat isn’t a minor feat. Congratulations to him.

Next up: The AFC Playoffs!

At this time tomorrow, I’ll be back in snowy Salt Lake City. Away from the wonderful 60° weather here. *sigh* C’est la vie. At least I’ll be back in a few months. And, it’s been a great trip. I needed this.


Not quite “Easy Like Sunday Morning…” but getting better.

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Yesterday was a good day.

My father stopped in on his way back to Baltimore from West Virginia. He was here for about 2 hours. It was good to see him; we had a nice, leisurely chat. I’ll have to see if I can convince him to fly out to SLC after he helps Adam drive back to Oklahoma.

I was intending to spend the afternoon with a few friends, but didn’t hear from them until last night. So, I spent the day at home. Not too long after that, I realized that I needed to get out, so I took a drive into Greensboro. That was helpful. I even made a stop at Bojangle’s to get a bite to eat. For those of you familiar with Bojangle’s, I need make no further explanation. For those who don’t, I have three (3) words for you: “Cajun Filet Biscuit.” I also spoke with Chad and Robin (a couple of friends and ex-coworkers with whom I haven’t spoken in a while). And then… home. As an added bonus: I was able to check out the late episode of Justice League.

Stray Toasters

  • Peanut M&M’s help to make things a little better, which is good because…
  • I awoke to discover an issue with Sprint PCS. A pretty big one. And a pretty irritating one, at that. Current Status: Resolved.

Anything else that I had to say can wait. I’m off to enjoy the day.


Saturday morning musings…

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I got to bed somewhere around 3:30 this morning.
I was awake before 8:00.
::: braincramp :::

My mother, uncle and sister are going to a wedding in Richmond today; Mom is doing the music for it. Apparently, part of everyone’s (except Kris) preparations included coming into the bedroom and making noise. Not LOTS of noise, but more than enough to conducive for sleep.

Mom kept asking if I was going to go, as a member of our extended family is getting married. I told her that I wasn’t – my reason for coming home was to be here for Christmas. Not weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, christenings, funerals, or the like. Doesn’t mean that I care any less about the people involved, but I promised that I would come home to see her and my family; that’s what I’m doing. Anything above and beyond that is “me time.”

Dad called about an hour ago; he’s on the way. He should be here in roughly an hour-and-a-half.

I neglected to mention that I have spent the past couple of evenings hanging out with friends. And their kids. In addition to seeing Thomas on Wednesday, I have also been able to see Britney (named long before the now-famous Ms. Spears became a household name), my now 10-year-old God-daughter and her “new” baby brother, Connor, 2-years-old. Where does the time go?! I remember when she was newborn. She’s not supposed to be so big! And, Connor… He’s two and I can already see that his high school/college football career is on track.

I stopped by Theo’s both nights; last night he had his son, Brandon, and Brandon’s half-brothers. All of them have shot straight up. Or I’m shrinking. But, since I don’t think that I’ve lost any height, I’ll concede that they are getting bigger.

::: Stray Toaster Interlude :::
A little girl from down the road just rode by on an electric scooter.
::: Interlude End :::

What’s on tap for the rest of the day? Other than spending time with the paternal unit, I don’t know. I’m waiting to hear from to see if we’re doing anything. If we don’t do anything, I’m fairly sure that I can find some kind of trouble to get into.

But I have coffee and that makes everything just a little bit better.


Friday QuickPost

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Today’s weather was great – sunny and in the 50s.

I wasn’t aware that they had moved the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) Store. Not only did they move it, they to a new building on the far side of town. (Yes, my mother lives in a small town and there’s only one package goods store.) My uncle and I spent a good deal of time looking for the damned store. We got there a little after 3:00… and it was closed. *braincramp*

The West Wing marathon on Bravo. This makes for a happy Rob.

I’m on the way to a dinner with members of my stepfather’s family. I won’t be staying long as I had previously made plans with friends. This also makes me happy.

And… my father will be stopping through here sometime tomorrow or Sunday.

Off to the races.


“So this is Christmas…”

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Mass last night was good; the priest gave a good homily. I’m not Catholic, but attending Mass with my uncle when I am home for Christmas and/or Easter is something that I look forward to.

We came home and opened a few presents. At Mom’s behest. I didn’t want to open mine, so I opened two boxes and told her that I was waiting until after sunrise to open the rest. She apparently thought that I was kidding. *shrug* The boxes didn’t get opened until I woke up this afternoon (my body is still on Mountain Time). I came away from the tree with a pretty decent take. Most of the gifts were clothes, so it’s good that I brought an extra bag with me.

I made a couple of “Merry Christmas” calls; all seems to be well.

Tonight, I think that I am going to a movie with a few friends. Other than that, I have NO idea what’s going on. And that’s fine with me. That’s what vacation is all about. “Plans?! We don’ need no stinkin’ plans!”

I hope that everyone has a safe and merry Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or holiday of your keeping. Pax vobiscum.

Until next time…


Christmas Eve goings-on…

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I woke up around 8:45 this morning… but promptly returned to The Dreaming. I was finally roused to consciousness a couple of hours later when Don called and asked me if I wanted to get lunch with him and Thomas (his son). I agreed and got ready to go. I ran into town, took care of a couple of errands, came home, talked with Don again (to determine a time and place) and headed out.

Lunch was good; we went to Steak & Shake, a 50s-themed restaurant (which, like many things, doesn’t exist in Utah). There was much catching-up to do. Sure, we talk on the phone or online, but there’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned face-to-face talk. We may do something tomorrow night… like our traditional holiday night movie.

Came home, saw Kris (my youngest sister) for the first time in too long. She just finished up her undergrad studies, pre-law, this month; she has an internship for next semester and she graduates in May. So, I guess I know when I’ll be home again… Then, Mom and I were off to Greensboro.

Before heading to the airport, Mom and I stopped to pick up some last-minute giftage. I ran into Laura, whom I used to work with about 10 years ago. *stunned* We chatted for a few minutes. We stopped at another store, the one where I (and Laura) worked many rains ago. Overall, the store hasn’t changed too much, but there were a few subtle differences. And, I couldn’t resist checking whether or not they had repaired the hole that I had punched in a fitting room wall while I worked there. They had. Did a good job of it, too.

On, to the airport. No major difficulties. In a nice measure of “holiday cheer,” a man who was leaving the parking deck offered us his parking space – and lots of time on the meter – as he was getting into his Jeep. We parked, went inside and waited for my uncle. The flight was on time, so we didn’t have to wait long.

Back home. Now, we’re sitting around and hanging out. We are going to Midnight Mass with my uncle. I’ll probably run into a couple of the kids with whom I used to carpool. *shrug*

And that’s all the news from Lake Wobegon Lake Saline just north of Lake Townsend… where the women are genteel Southern ladies, the men are looking for a good stiff drink and the children are waiting for sleigh bells and reindeer hooves.

I hope that everyone has a good Christmas Eve and a Merry Christmas.


Live… from the Right Coast…

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I’m here.
I’ve actually been on east coast terra firma since a little before 7:00 PM EST. But, I am now at home. *sigh* It’s been a long day.

  • Too little sleep this morning because I was folding laundry and packing while chatting with and Maddox about items that we were finding on PRison Pen Pals; some of the were… “interesting,” to say the least.
  • Got up and got ready to catch my flight.
  • Attempted (and failed) to properly send the holiday card that I had made. I didn’t get the inkling that it would fail until after I was on the plane. I have since rectified the problem and re-emailed it.
  • Got to the airport. I was going to do curbside check-in, but there was a line; I went inside… and walked directly to the ticketing agent. Then went to the security checkpoint. No problem. At first. While the screening agent was checking my backpack, she found the scissors that I keep in my pencil case. The scissors that I had meant to leave at home. I wound up having to mail them to myself. ::: boggle ::: Made it to the gate and on to the plane without further ado.
  • Arrived in Phoenix and walked from one end of the airport to the other to make my connecting flight. Boarded the flight, found my seat, (was tormented with bad Christmas music on the video screens), and had a man who apparently BATHED in cologne sit in the aisle seat on my row. *sniff* *twitch* I stopped smelling it (more or less) about half an hour later. I read. I slept. I listened to Order of the Phoenix on mp3. I played GameBoy.
  • Arrived at Raleigh-Durham International. Got my bags. Looked around for my mother… who was waiting at the opposite end of the terminal.
  • Drove to Greensboro. Assisted Mom in some last minute shopping. Ate dinner… which was really breakfast, since all I had eaten was two (2) bags of peanuts on the plane.
  • Came home. Discovered that my uncle’s travel plans (from NY to here) were emblazoned with a huge “clusterfuck” stamp. So… I made new arrangements for him. And, I managed to do so at a better price than he had been given.

And so, here I sit in central North Carolina, for the first time in nearly three years. But, I think that I am finally starting to wind down to the point where I might be able to sleep in a little bit. Of course, my body is still keyed to Mountain Standard Time, so this might just be wishful thinking.
And, before I forget: If any NC-area LJers want to get together for coffee or something this week/weekend, drop me a line.


Monday night quick post.

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I overslept this morning. That doesn’t happen very often, so I must have really needed the sleep. Off to the races… or at least to work. It was a fairly painless day. We were able to cut the packaging on a shipment to meet an acceptable size requirement.

Post work, Monday night gaming doom at and ‘ house. No one died… although I think that my character was the closest to death. NOTE: Werewolf attacks hurt. A lot. The ironic and funny thing about tonight’s session: It was an NPC who turned the tide (and actually won the fight) for us. And we killed the vampire priest who doesn’t like to stay dead. Again.

And now, it’s time for packing. In nine hours, I will be on my way to North Carolina for a week of holiday vacation goodness.


What makes for a great Sunday?

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Oh, there are a few things that come to mind…

  • Sleeping in.
  • Football. (more below)
  • The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King
  • Samurai Jack

Could there have been more trailers before the movie started?! I’m sure that it’s possible, but I hope that no one ever decides to try. I think that there were 00:20 of them. Yes, some of them looked good, but still…

Thoughts on the movie: Good. Very good. A definite modern epic. I noted some parallels to other stories (some older, some more recent). The cinematography was excellent. CGI and special effects were well done. The whole thing was well done.

Football Update

Team W L Notes
X A solid performance. Blanked the Browns 35 – 0. Sorry, . And, Jamal Lewis is less than 50 yards away from having a 2,000-yard season.
AND… in the AFC North
X I didn’t see much of this game, but I liked what I saw.
X Again, I didn’t see much of this one, but they were doing some serious work in the parts that I saw.
X Sorry, . But, thanks for the comfortable margin in the division race.
X What can I say… The sun shines on a dog’s ass, too. And the Ravens face them at home in the last game of the season.

I think that covers pretty much everything.


Saturday’s end…

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All-in-all, not a bad day.

  • I slept in… until one of the cats knocked the ironing board over.
  • I watched some of the afternoon’s football fare.
  • I worked for a few hours.
  • I bowled (122, 167, 165) and then had breakfast with the usual suspects.

Tomorrow: The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King


“Somewhere on the fringes of the city in geometric order…”

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Around the world (or at least a good portion of the greater SLC Metro Area) in a daze.

But the evening was good. Friday night coffee with the usual suspects. I finally did some color work on the e-card-to-be. I should finish it tomorrow… God willing and the creek don’t rise. Coffee was followed up with dinner. And there was SportsCenter, and it was good. Selah.

NPR/PRI Stories
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Flight Beyond Earth
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Depression Update
All Things Considered: Commentary: A 20-Year Plan to Fight AIDS
All Things Considered: Court Rules Against RIAA in File-Trading Dispute
Fresh Air: Interview with Sir Ian McKellen

Stray Toasters

  • I heard Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by Bing and Bowie today. That’s my sign that it is officially the Christmas season. And, I’ll be in North Carolina in four days…
  • Utah drivers. ::: braincramp :::
  • My feelings about customer service are fairly well-known. Today, I had examples of:
    • Poor customer service (attitude)
    • Half-assed customer service (“We can’t handle this; but if you go to (this place), they can.” But NO explanation of “why” and the place that they sent us to was a subsidiary of this place.)
    • Good customer service. Actually, I’d even say that it was exceptional. (“Let me see if we can do this”… “Yes, we can”… Explanation of issues… AND… Suggestions of alternatives.)
  • Prismacolor pencils. (Thanks, !)
  • New Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond DVD/videos to be released in March.
  • Gravis Multiplayer game pads for Linux
  • Dumpster-Diving for Your Identity


Just a few things on a Thursday night…

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It was a disjointed day at work. I spent time running errands, dealing with a potential virus issue, reconfiguring a couple of systems. And it isn’t like I didn’t have anything else that needed attention today. Oh, well.

Tonight’s episode of CSI was good. Again, there was a bit of a twist that I didn’t expect. I kept waiting to see if would be online so that we could compare notes on whodunit. No dice.

NPR and PRI Stories
Talk of the Nation: Fear of Litigation
Talk of the Nation: J.R.R. Tolkien
Fresh Air: Interview with Matt Groening

Stray Toasters

  • The 2004 Pro Bowl Selections were announced today.
    Team Number of Players Team Number of Players
    Eight (8) Three (3)
    Congrats, .
    Four (4) Three (3)
    Three (3) Unfortunately, no Cleveland players were chosen. Sorry, .
  • The more I watch it, the more I enjoy The Big O on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim.”
  • Wow. That was my first thought when I saw this picture. For more of Drew Geraci’s work, click here.
  • I’m not usually a quiz taker, but these results amused me.

    • What Kind Of
      Superhero Are You? by electronicoffee
      Your Username
      Your First Name
      Superhero Last Name
      Your Weapon Dagger
      of Ice
      Your 1st
      Meta Seduction
      Your 2nd
      Created with quill18‘s MemeGen!

      said that this does count as part of my superpower.

    • What Kind Of
      Superhero Are You? by electronicoffee
      Your Username
      Your First Name
      Superhero Last Name
      Your Weapon Jade
      Your 1st
      Your 2nd Superpower Magic [Elemental]
      Created with quill18‘s MemeGen!

  • Cereal. Coffee. Two components of many peoples’ morning breakfast ritual. A company in New Zealand has come up with a way to combine the two: Introducing Cafè au Lait – light coffee-flavoured flakes.
  • From The Guardian: Global Dimming
  • For the gamers: Complimentary (as in “FREE!”) subscription to Computer Games Magazine.

And that’s all from Sector 2814.


Yet another reason that I enjoy conversations with <lj user=”trellos”>…

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We were discussing my rant about John Hinckley being awarded unsupervised off-site visitis with his parents.

[03:45] (quoting ): I hate to be the insensitive one here, but there has to be a line…
[03:46] : I agree.
[03:46] : 🙂
[03:46] : yea no kidding
[03:46] : but then again…i *am* the insensitive ass of the family 🙂
[03:46] : *shrug*
[03:46] : heh
[03:46] : I’m the prodigal one, so I’m as much of an iconoclast as you.
[03:46] : lol
[03:47] : *and He cast him to Hades to rule his own kingdom…”
[03:47] : …or utah
[03:47] : *cracks up*
[03:48] : Between this and Strom Thurmond’s “new” daughter, I just don’t know what to make of the world anymore.
[03:49] : lol next thing you’ll be telling me, bush is president
[03:49] : …
[03:49] : OH!
[03:50] : The Shrub was on a commercial for Primetime Live which aired the other night…
[03:50] : It was the “Post-capture” interview.
[03:50] : ahh interesting
[03:50] : I saw a pic of him and it made me think of this:
[03:50] : (link)
[03:50] : he say nukyular?
[03:51] : lol!
[03:51] : wow that’s kinda funny
[03:51] : Yeah.
[03:51] : cross between shrub and dave letterman
[03:52] : Ahh, the 50s….