Archive for July, 2004

“Day by day, the seasons pass and leave their lives alone…”

Saturday, July 31st, 2004

Friday
Need more be said? I didn’t think so.

I went to the office this morning, checked on a few things. Left the office and headed over to see , and a few others for a bit. There was even an… I’m not sure if “encounter” is the right word, but we’ll use it… with KKKaren. She’s an odd duck.

Came home. Updated my resume. Did a load of dishes. Found my OS X CDs!!! Contemplated giving the Win2K PC a lobotomy – I’ll do it either tonight or tomorrow. Hooked up my bass to the stereo; I haven’t gotten around to hooking up with Jonni to pick up the amp that he’s giving me. But, I can now play my bass! And, the bottom line is: That makes me happy.

Coffee and chat with the regular irregulars; and her husband stopped in for a bit. I am 98.6% positive that we saw a couple of shoplifters. I told a couple of staff members, but they couldn’t do anything about it – basically, they “aren’t allowed” to do anything, if the person gets out of the store. Coffee was followed by dinner and more chat. Bill, and his missus put in an appearance here.

Bill came over after dinner. He asked about the refrigerator just outside of the garage. I told him that the previous owner had left it for scrap, but that I thought that it would make a neat beer fridge… if it worked. After a month here, I still hadn’t plugged the thing in.

So, we moved it into the garage.
We plugged it in…

And the damned thing WORKS!

Who knew?!? Even the light inside came on! The catch on the door is broken and the door wants to remain slightly ajar – that is definitely bad for keeping the inside cold. It is currently being held shut with a bungee cord. Hey, don’t laugh, it works. I think that I might try using magnetic strips to hold it shut; as old as the fridge is, I think that trying to find – let alone replace – the catch mechanism would be something of a lost cause. But, it works!

Stray Toasters

  • I have been hunting, unsuccessfully, for an item that I heard on BBC World Service last night about jumping spiders and the sounds that they make during their mating dance. I think that it would make a great companion to the article that found about the spiders.
  • Even though the coloring is off, the caption below this picture made me laugh.
  • But so did the first two lines of the “Why you should get to know me” portion (bottom of the page) of this personal ad on Nerve.
  • I was looking over an old 991 (U.S.P.S. version of a resume) last night. In it were some comments that one of my supervisors made about my work performance and how I interacted with my fellow employees. She said a lot of nice things. Nothing like an unexpected (or, in this case, “forgotten”) pick-me-up to add a bright spot to your day.
  • : Take a peek at this.
  • Desert. Camo. Pants. *shiver*
  • “Nerves of steel” are one thing, this man has earned the nickname “Iceman.”
  • From Wired News: Sixth Annual U.K. Big Brother Awards
  • Pseudodictionary
  • By way of Backwash: Merlin’s Lists of Five Things

I should probably sleep now.

Namaste.

“You bet your life…”

Friday, July 30th, 2004

Thursday
One more to the weekend. Amen.

The twins have discovered the joys of walking around on my desk. It’s kind of cute. Of course, when they jump and climb claw their way up my leg to get there, that drops a little of the cuteness factor. Kittens, cute. Kittens with claws, working their way up your legs and back, not so cute. And, Presto seems to be of the opinion that if we are eating, she should be able to have a portion of whatever we’re eating, too. And she can be rather persistent about it. And that’s kind of cute.

News Stories
Talk of the Nation: Writers’ Views: The Art of the Essay
Talk of the Nation: DNA Discoverer Francis Crick Dies at 88
All Things Considered: Rash of Stolen ATMs in Georgia Puts Police on Alert
All Things Considered: FBI Translator’s Firing May Have Links to Complaints
All Things Considered: Synthetic Prions Cause Brain Disease in Mice

I watched John Kerry deliver his nomination acceptance speech. Not bad, but John Edwards is definitely the warmer of the two. Watching him, I kept wondering if there was anything to the rumors as to whether or not he’s had botox injections.

I don’t know why, but apparently CNN had a live microphone near David Burke (I think), Director of the DNC. He was trying to coordinate the balloon and confetti drop at the climax of the speech. Well, they didn’t drop as quickly as he wanted. He kept barking at people to release the them from the rafters. No matter how much he yelled, they only fell a few groups at a time. At one point, you could actually hear him say: “Where the fuck are the balloons?!?!?” (I wonder if the FCC will decide that this is a fine-worthy offense or if it is a case of the rare and elusive “acceptable use.”

Stray Toasters

  • “Damned rolling blackouts.”
    (This is funny if you saw tonight’s Whose Line Is It Anyway?)

  • A commercial for the Gillette Venus ‘Divine’ razor was just on. In it, they showed an actress “shaving” her legs from ankle to knee. *blink blink* As someone who shaves his head daily, it has always been my understanding that you want to “go with the grain” of the hair growth. Does this not hold true when shaving your legs?
  • “You bastards know that you have to invite me in, right?”

  • By way of Comics2Film:

    From the looks of the premiere of Justice League Unlimited, the animated series will certainly be returning to the hearts and minds of animation fans across the globe with tons of potential.

    The article was taken from another site, so I checked it out. While browsing, I looked at some of the site’s character info. Former Teen Titans Hawk and Dove will be introduced in JLU. What caught my eye was the voice actors, Jason Hervey and Fred Savage… who also played brothers on The Wonder Years.

  • When good upgrades go bad…
  • Slashdot poll: Most Reliable Personal Computer I’ve Owned
  • From The BBC: Tolkein vs. Critics in 1954
  • “Segway Polo?” What will they think of next?
  • Ray Parker, Jr.’s musical career came to a grinding, screeching halt because of his use of the bass line from Huey Lewis and the News’ I Want a New Drug. However, if you have a copy of Pop Musik, by M, listen to the bassline. Sound familiar?

I’m going for a drive.

Namaste.

“Spirit in my psyche, double in my role. Alter in my image, struggle for control.”

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Wednesday
Midweek. I’m just ready for the week to be over. Being alone in the office got old, so I headed to Borders for some light, movement and a strawberry-banana smoothie. Sometimes, it’s the little changes that make the big differences. and stopped in, too.

Talked with my father a couple of times today. All’s well on that side of the country; he and Adam will be heading to Stillwater on Friday.

and stopped by briefly this evening; they needed to borrow our two-way radios for their vacation.

News Stories
Talk of the Nation: The Enduring Appeal of Roller Coasters
All Things Considered: Doctors’ Group Pulls Out of Afghanistan
All Things Considered: Alabama Nurses Quit over Morning-After Pill
All Things Considered: MRI Proves a Better Test for Some Breast Cancers
Fresh Air: Interview with Rock and Roll Photographer Mick Rock

I watched John Edwards’ speech during the Democratic National Convention this evening. It was good. He seemed to be rather decisive and definitive in his proclamations. (In contrast to his running mate, whom some would say has made so many waffles that he could apply for a job at Roscoe’s Waffle and Chicken Hut.) Sen. Edwards also seems to know how to appeal to the crowd. I have even heard a couple of pundits say that the Kerry/Edwards ticket might be more effective if it was the Edwards/Kerry ticket. If the Democratic ticket doesn’t win the election, keep an eye on Mr. Edwards. I think that he will definitely be one to watch.

Stray Toasters

That’s enough for now.

Namaste.

“They dream in Middletown…”

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

Tuesday
Not as bad as yesterday. Which I consider a good thing.

After work we came home and mowed the jungle. We borrowed a mower from a friend on the way in… and I managed to get our mower working after we got here. Two mowers! Front and back lawns! This was perfect! We could knock them out in no time at all!

What I hadn’t taken into account was three weeks’ growth. Even the most stout-hearted of lawnmowers would be sorely pressed to stand up to the challenge. But we charged bravely forward!

And back.
And forward again.
And restarted the mowers when the grass got too thick.

And then we pressed forward again.
And back. Again.
And restarted, as necessary.

Forty-five minutes later, we prevailed! Both lawns are cut. And all was good. But, I think that I might have to consult with on the joys and benefits of xeriscaping the parking strip.

We celebrated our victory with dinner at Cheers. joined us. And I made a new shake: Peanut Butter Cup. And it was pretty damned tasty, too.

News Stories
Talk of the Nation: Lewis Black on the Democratic Convention (Funny!)
Talk of the Nation: ‘An Alchemy of Mind’
All Things Considered: Creative Spaces: Artist James Prosek’s Studio
All Things Considered: Chicago Lures Commuters into Cycling
All Things Considered: Canada Holds First Gay Divorce Proceeding

Stray Toasters

  • I let my inner kid play on the Interweb this afternoon. As a result, I am now subscribed to LEGO Magazine! For two years! For free!!!
  • Sandy Collora, the man behind Batman: Dead End, has done it again: World’s Finest.
  • Do you have any idea how amusing it is to get emails from “postmaster” or “noreply” of your own domain – or to have “bounced” emails from other (non-existent) users of said domain – when you are the mail admin for the domain? After you get past the “It’s *#$& spam” part, it’s actually pretty funny.

  • Catwoman qualifies as top-grade catnip for connoisseurs of trashy camp. But that’s not to say that this batty extravaganza won’t find an audience, that it isn’t watchable (at your peril), or that Halle Berry doesn’t give her heedless all to the cause of feline femininity.

    She plays Patience Philips, a graphics designer who spends most of the first tedious hour tiptoeing through her life as a timid wage slave ­ she’s Mousewoman, really. Then something very silly happens ­ I won’t tell you what, but Andrew Lloyd Weber shouldn’t eat his heart out ­ and Patience turns into a lip-glossing, hip-tossing, bike-riding, whip-cracking dominatrix who’s clad (sparsely) in black leather bra and slinky pants, with a helmet that suggests something between medieval executioner and Mouseketeer.

    This nice-but-nasty temptress represents a radical break with the DC Comics character played by, among others, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt. But the movie wants us to take Patience and her halter ego semi-seriously, as before-and-after poster persons for women’s lib “Catwomen are not contained by the rules of society”, Patience is told by Ophelia Powers, a reclusive cat lady played by Frances Conroy. For that matter, Catwoman’s director, a visual-effects specialist named Pitof, is not contained by the rules of filmmaking. Scenes that make sense? Nonsense. Characters with inner lives? Completely passe. Pitof sells his scenes as point-of-purchase displays featuring assorted emotions.

    Still, Catwoman is not all about leather. There is a plot, and it involves the despicable husband-and-wife directors of a cosmetic company, and a beauty cream that rots the skin on women’s faces. The husband is played by Lambert Wilson in a cheeky bid for the title of Worst Acting Job Of the Year, and the wife is embodied by Sharon Stone. Shrewd lady that she is, Stone protects herself from ridicule by striking ethereal poses that haven’t been seen on the silver screen since Falconetti played Joan of Arc.

  • From ThinkGeek: Homer Simpson Cubicle Tin Signs
  • posted an interesting quiz in his journal this afternoon. Curiosity got the better of me… and I took it.
    The Hub
    Category I – The Hub

    You’re a ‘people person’. Networking runs in your
    blood. Consequently, you can move through most
    social circles with ease.

    What Type of Social Entity are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

  • Another X-23 pic: The cover of Uncanny X-Men #451
  • By way of Slashdot: Patriot Act Used to Enforce Copyright Law?
  • Also gleaned from Slashdot: SpaceShipOne and Wild Fire to Go for the Gold
  • I’m sure that many of you have seen the Bush/Kerry “This Land Is Your Land” parody on JibJab. According to this story, The Richmond Organization (who own the copyright to the original Woody Guthrie song) have sent in the lawyers.

    “This puts a completely different spin on the song,” said Kathryn Ostien, director of copyright licensing for the publisher. “The damage to the song is huge.”

    TRO believes that the Jibjab creation threatens to corrupt Guthrie’s classic — an icon of Americana — by tying it to a political joke; upon hearing the music people would think about the yucks, not Guthrie’s unifying message. The publisher wants Jibjab to stop distribution of the flash movie.

  • If you haven’t seen the trailer for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yet: AVI or RealMedia. I laughed. I knew what was coming (to a point), but it made me laugh. If the movie is done as well as the trailer, the late Douglas Adams’ fans should have nothing to worry about.
  • Courtney Love (yes, that Courtney Love) collaborated on a concept for a manga (def.) called Princess Ai. I’ve read a part of the story, thanks to a TokyoPop sampler that got for me at a trade show that she attended. According to Broken Frontier: “Entertaining stuff with a story that actually holds its own; Princess Ai is certainly worth a look at.”
  • : I know that we’re only issues away from the newest reboot/retcon, but I thought that you might be interested in this.
  • Jess just sent me a message saying that the kittens are wound up. This is decidedly not the kind of thing that one wishes to hear before retiring for the evening.

With a tip of the hat and a smile, he strolled across the room and out the door…

Namaste.

“He’s a rebel and a runner, he’s a signal turning green…”

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

Monday
Recipe for a Monday:

1 part apathy
1 part irritation
1 part restlessness

Mix ingredients thoroughly.
Serve cold.

Fortunately, tonight was poker night. That provided a bright light at the end of the tunnel. And the night lived up to the anticipation. , , , and came over; I didn’t get in touch with in time to let him know that we had a green light for tonight’s game.

The twins apparently wanted to play, too. But they couldn’t quite master the concept of betting – and they wanted to eat other peoples’ food – so they were sent to one of the bedrooms for a bit.

NPR Stories
Talk of the Nation: Page Not Found: Internet Slowdown
Talk of the Nation: Vacations off the Beaten Track
All Things Considered: Finding Hope in Music at New York’s P.S. 86
All Things Considered: David Lipsky on Honor, Character Duty and Country (Part II)
All Things Considered: Lawsuit over Servers’ Tips and Credit Cards

Stray Toasters

  • Wasatch Pizza makes a pretty nice pie.
  • sent me a link about Jesus in India. Interesting concept. I won’t say that it couldn’t have happened – I wasn’t around to prove or disprove its validity. But, like parts of the dominant local religion, it’s not my paradigm.
  • My wrist is feeling almost back to normal.
  • “Just think of it as an electronic boob job” –
  • Justice League Unlimited has a new homepage. The character bios even include a new look for Green Lantern. Yep, I think that we have a candidate for this year’s Hallowe’en costume…
  • : Click here.

Time to hit the rack.

Namaste.

“Suspicious looking stranger flashes you a dangerous grin…”

Monday, July 26th, 2004

Sunday
It was a pretty relaxing day. I didn’t do much in the morning… because I slept until almost 11:30. Thankfully, the twins didn’t get wound up until somewhere around 9:00… and I was able to get back to sleep without a problem.

Speaking of the twins, they wander all over the house now. It’s not uncommon for them to appear down here. And since I still have a few things strewn around the floor, there are plenty of nooks and crannies for them to explore. And Presto seems to like walking on my desk.

We went to see The Bourne Witch Project… um, The Bourne Supremacy this afternoon. Good movie, bad cinematography – I’m sure that the director had a good concept in his head, but it lost something in translation from “theory” into “practical application.” But, the cinematography was my only real issue with the movie. I thought about something while watching a car chase scene: It reminded me of the 70s/80s chase scenes in James Bond movies.

I watched the FX premiere of Rescue Me, a series that follows Tommy Gavin (adeptly portrayed by Dennis Leary) and members of his NYFD station. It combined drama, comedy and even a bit of pathos… and made it work. Well.

Stray Toasters

  • Tour de Lance VI: Armstrong’s Revenge.
    A world record setting six consecutive Tour victories. Congratulations.

  • First Slate, Microsoft’s online magazine, had the audacity to recommend Mozilla Firefox over Internet Explorer. Now, M$ is in talks to possibly sell Slate.
  • Steel Ball Hitting Sand
  • Name That Candy Bar!
  • She’s a teenager, has four claws and has more than “a little” in common with a certain Canadian mutant with a bad attitude. And she is about to make comic book debut. X-23 (1, 2) appears in Uncanny X-Men #450 and #451, coming in October.
  • The X-Men and the FF? Together? Someone’s about to kiss their own pucker goodbye.
  • Forwarded to me by : This.
  • words words *static* blah blah words
  • Explore the “Dark Underside” of the 100 Acre Wood
  • Not only did the following make me smile, it made me laugh:

    “Save your money and spend it on something that might actually entertain you. Like watching clothes dry at the laundromat.”

    Read the full review (with some spoilers) here.

And that’s a wrap.

Namaste.

“Everyday sunrise, another everyday story…”

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

Saturday
I didn’t do much today. Yes, I managed to rid the HCC of a few more boxes and put some things away, but that’s the highlight of the early part of the day. Cartoon Network, Boomerang and G4TechTV were all nice enough to keep me company while I moved things around. I watched a few episodes of Code Lyoko on Cartoon Network. Something struck me about halfway through the second episode: The show reminded me of Reboot! in a certain way. A bit of a spin on the Reboot! concept of being inside the computer. I’ll have to give that a little more thought at a later time.

The next most interesting activity of the day would be: I took a nap. The nap was good, but I did something to my right wrist while I dozed. I only wish that I knew “what” it was. It has been aching for the past nine hours (give or take a bit). I can’t remember it hurting like this since I fractured it in Ninth Grade. It’s not that bad, that’s the closest analogue that comes to mind.

This evening, I changed the power cord on the dryer, hooked up the vent hose and put the dryer in position next to the washing machine. Worm-screw clamps and duct tape are friends…

Even though my wrist was (and still is) very achy, I bowled tonight. My games were decent with a high game of 172. We met a couple of new people; I’ve talked with one of them on IRC for the past few weeks, but this was the first face-to-face meeting. After bowling, they joined us for breakfast; and put in appearances, as well.

I need to get a little more done around here tomorrow – we’re having a few folks over for poker again on Monday.

For now, however, sleep.

Namaste.

“Put your message in a modem and throw it in the cyber sea.”

Saturday, July 24th, 2004

Friday
And I can’t tell you how glad I am that it’s finally here.

Yesterday, the DSL router at work kicked the bucket. I called our ISP and they said that it wasn’t their problem (which technically, it wasn’t but I wasn’t expecting to hear that) and to call Qwest. When the tech told me that, every sphincter in my body clinched. For those who may have joined our story already-in-progress, I am NOT a fan of Qwaste… I mean “Qworst”… no that isn’t right, either…. “Qwest.” Yeah, them. In the three years that I used their service I had far more problems with it than in 25 years of C&P/Verizon, BellSouth and GTE combined! And, that’s part of the reason why we don’t have a land line, but that’s another story… So I called Qwest, talked to a tech who wanted to walk me through the same damned processes that I had gone through on my own. At which point, I told her that I actually have – and know how to use – working brain cells. *braincramp* After a few minutes, she came to the same conclusion that I did: The router was dead. *sigh* She put in an order to have a new router overnighted to us.

I went in early this morning to be sure that I was there when the new router arrived. I got to work around 9:50. The UPS driver doesn’t come until 10:00 or a little after. Perfect! I even turned on the front office lights so that any average idiot would see that there were signs of life inside.

10:00… nothing.
11:00… nothing.
12:00… still more nothing.
1:00… yep, you guessed it: nothing.

At 2:00, I had gotten tired of walking and decided to go for my afternoon walk. I gathered my keys, phone and sunglasses and headed outside. I turned to close the door and what do I see?

“We attempted to deliver (item) on 7/23/04….”

“Livid” begins to describe how I felt at this point. Fortunately for the driver (and his family and the rest of the SLC-area UPS fleet), he left the router next door. I collected the package, set up the router, and went for my walk while it configured itself.

When I came back, I felt a little better. That was only until I came back to see that the router had configured itself to sit on the shelf and look cute. Serving up URLs? Ha! As if. But… having configured its predecessor, I knew how to get around the “Router Configuration for Dummies” setup that had been included. I changed the necessary settings, rebooted the router and PC, and voila! Hellooooo, Interweb!

Of course, I was now in no mood to do much else, so I sent a few emails, checked out a few sites and waited for a text message from Jess asking if we should take off early. (If it hadn’t, I was going to send her one that simply said “BOOOOOOORED,” but I didn’t have to.) A few minutes later, the message arrived. We decided to get while the gettin’ was good.

We came home for a bit and then it was off to Friday night coffee with the usual suspects; Perry and Max joined us, too. Twas good. I didn’t do much people-watching (not many other people there and I was busy playing around with Max), but I had a good time. And then, dinner and back home.

All-in-all, not a bad Friday.

NPR and Other News
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Space Update: Planetary Exploration
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: McNeil’s Nebula
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Ode to the Lab Mouse
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Examining Epigenetics
All Things Considered: The 9/11 Report, Privacy and Civil Liberties
All Things Considered: Auto Deal a Challenge to Europe’s 35-Hour Work Week
All Things Considered: Flawed Tracking System Suspected in Missing Nuclear Data
All Things Considered: Ali G: Fooling Serious Interviewees, All for a Laugh

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

“Just another loser, like a cat in the rain…”

Friday, July 23rd, 2004

Welcome to Thursday.
Please remain seated.
Please make sure that your safety restraints are securely fastened.
Thank you and enjoy your ride.

There was a new twist to the sleeping arrangement last night: Lightning wasn’t sleeping on my side of the bed. He was curled up on Jess’ pillow. Just above her head. It would have been picture-worthy, if I didn’t think that it would have been extremely hazardous to my health.

I stopped in to say “Hullo” to for a bit this afternoon. Among other things, we told each other stories of our days in retail. It was amusing. And, it was a nice midday diversion.

I also saw, and said goodbye, to . She asked that I pass along a “Goodbye” and an apology for not posting one herself – she wrote one… and her computer and/or LJ ate it. Either way, she should be back online in a few days.

NPR and Other News

  • Talk of the Nation: Revisiting Pre-emption Policy
  • All Things Considered: Mark Bittman’s Tips for Easy, Delicious Barbecue
  • All Things Considered: Film Composer Goldsmith Dies at 75
    (See also: Cinescape: Jerry Goldsmith 1929-2004)

  • All Things Considered: Small Town Flips for ‘Jailbreak’ Song

    Stray Toasters

    • “…news of Doom III going gold…
    • Worst Case Scenarios
    • Three things that made me smile:
      1. Review: ‘Catwoman’ sexy, but that’s about it
        “Here’s ‘Catwoman’ in a hairball, er, nutshell: Halle Berry looking luscious in leather; Sharon Stone looking sizzling in Spandex; Benjamin Bratt looking good, period. You’d have to scratch long and hard to get anything more significant out of this whisker-thin flick.”

      2. Review: ‘Catwoman’
        “Halle Berry needs to take out her Oscar every morning – the 2002 Best Actress Oscar she lauded as a breakthrough for women of color – and swear to it that she will not accept any more demeaning, stupid roles.”

      3. Review: ‘Catwoman’
        “As an adaptation, it is literally just terrible. No respect for the original material… and no real wonderful work of creativity replaces it.”
    • : Click here.
    • Slashdot Poll: Favorite Mouse?
    • Even if this hadn’t happened in Utah, I’d still find it amusing.
    • saw this and said that it made her think of me. I just hope that it was the Borg part and not the “Hello, Kitty” part.
    • …and then she sent this.
    • Will Smith will be on Inside the Actor’s Studio on Sunday.
    • Myths & Facts: About Wearing Seat Belts
    • I like The West Wing. Enough to have watched this episode, “Privateers,” twice in the past week.

    Back to poker (on TV and the game that I’m playing online).

    Namaste.

  • “Another war, another wasteland and another lost generation…”

    Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

    Wednesday
    Ugh. The early part of the day was long. Very long. It might have had something to do with the fact that I woke up around 5:30 feeling rather ill. I wasn’t awake long, but it was enough to make the rest of the sleep that I got a bit fitful.

    As such, the first part of the workday dragged. I also had a bit of a time getting/staying focused on things. *sigh* Oh, well.

    The post-work part of the day was good. As I was leaving, I saw what appeared to be a LARP group in the parking lot. Interesting. I don’t recall having seen them previously. Picked up Jess and then it was off to Kate and Perry’s. Perry’s play room is verra cool. It outpenises the HCC in terms of movie- and comic-related figures, maquettes, etc, but I edge him out in tech. And he’s a bit of an RPG’er, too. *nod* I knew that I liked him for a reason.

    NPR and Other News
    Talk of the Nation: States and Slot Machines
    Talk of the Nation: New Freshman Requirement: The iPod
    Talk of the Nation: Author Molly Ivins, ‘Political Animals I Have Known’
    All Things Considered: What Comes First: Speech or Thought?
    All Things Considered: On the Beat in Lowell, MA: Lessons from Two Decades of Policing a Small Town
    All Things Considered: More Turn to Hobby of Making Flint Points
    All Things Considered: Golfer Returns from Playing Across Mongolia

    Stray Toasters

    • Ginger snaps + milk = Tasty snack.
    • By way of Slashdot: FAA Approves Sport Pilot License
    • Jess’ comment to a post that someone made:

      You know, I served in the Army for this country, and I was sent to Somalia. I fought for both this country and another. I’d be more than willing to serve again if needed and I was very tempted to drop everything and rejoin after 9/11.

      If you hate it here so much, please, feel “free” to move. Maybe if more people served their country they’d appreciate it a bit more.

      I was screened or filtered from seeing the original post… for reasons that I have yet to ascertain. Oh well.

    • As Bill Cosby said: “The beatings will now commence…”
    • g0t webcomics? Comic Alert does, too. Lots of them. Find RSS feeds of your favorites in one, convenient place. Thanks to for the heads-up on this one.
    • I came across the following while skimming through the Comics2Film site this afternoon. It made me happy. Very happy, indeed:

      “Heard anything good about ‘Catwoman’ recently in the media? Well, there’s a reason for that. You see, after nearly a year of solid bad buzz that has plagued the production like a cancer, it turns out every last instance of ill will was justified…This movie is simply appalling.”

    • : I found something on the NPR site that might interest you: Explaining Celiac Disease, a Little-Known Food Allergy
    • The Dollar Dance
      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! I wonder if this is “legal” behind the Zion Curtain…?

    • It’s nice to go through your comics and find issues that you bought at a store’s closing sale… but haven’t read yet. It’s like Christmas in July!
    • This and this are variant covers for Issue #2 of Devil’s Due Publishing’s Megacity 909.

    Time to find a distraction for the next little while before bedtime.

    Namaste.

    “I want to look at life in the available light…”

    Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

    Tuesday
    I got to bed far later than I had planned. And when I did get to bed, Lightning decided that I needed a bath. Cat style. I think that he licked my nose, cheek and forehead for almost five minutes. It made me laugh. When he finished, he settled in behind my knees,where Presto was sleeping, and the two of them began… wriggling around – it wasn’t quite their usual wrestling match. But it was distracting.

    The day, on the whole, wasn’t bad. I’ve also discovered that taking walks around the office park (one around lunchtime and another around 3:00 or 4:00) helps to break up the day nicely.

    I came home and watched World Series of Poker on ESPN… and then a different episode on ESPN2. And, as if that wasn’t enough card-playing, Jess and I played online poker with a few friends.

    NPR and Other News
    Talk of the Nation: The Inner Life of Airports
    Talk of the Nation: Remembering the Moon Landing
    All Things Considered: Texas Mental Health Plan Could Omit Thousands
    All Things Considered: GAO: Hospital Reviews Miss Most Errors
    (See also: GAO: Reports and Testimony Report Abstract)
    All Things Considered: A Woman Who Dreamed of a Moonwalk
    (See also: ‘The Mercury 13’: Training U.S. Women for Space)
    All Things Considered: Candidates on the Issues: The Patriot Act

    sent me a link to this post from earlier. I was a bit taken aback. When I think of “the draft,” I prefer to think in terms of “football season” or even “basketball season.” I have three sibs who are 26-and-under. Granted, Adam is in ROTC, so I’ll pull him out of this equation; this still puts both of my sisters potentially in jeopardy. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be able to defend our borders or to maintain security in our installations around the world, but I am not thrilled by this turn of events.

    Here are some other pages that we (and a couple of other people) looked at:
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2004/07-26-2004/insider/draft.htm
    http://www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html
    http://www.sss.gov/FSwomen.htm
    http://www.sss.gov/FSconsobj.htm

    Even after checking out and ‘s comments to the original post, I think that it will be interesting to see how this plays out…

    ::: gets down from soapbox :::

    Stray Toasters

    Time to wander the lands on the other side of the gates of The Dreaming.

    Namaste.

    “He deals the cards to find the answer: The sacred geometry of chance…”

    Tuesday, July 20th, 2004

    Monday, Monday…
    The day started off well… and only got better. Work wasn’t too bad. I took on a couple of problems and, after some judicious mental gymnastics, I think that things are hunky-dory.

    After work, , , and came over for Poker Night. (So, in a manner of speaking, “Game Night” lived again!) We played Texas Hold Em, Stud and Draw. It was fun; this might have to become a regular occurrence. And, it’s nice to have a place large enough to accommodate it. Plus, a wave of the cane and a tip of the hat to for bringing me a large cup of frozen mocha goodness!

    NPR and Other News
    Talk of the Nation: ‘Acquainted with the Night’
    All Things Considered: The Imagined Galaxies of Ruth Stone
    All Things Considered: Vietnam Veterans Put Photos on Exhibit
    Fresh Air: Interview with John L. Allen (author of All the Pope’s Men)

    Stray Toasters

    I should go to bed. It’s not like I don’t have things to do tomorrow. Make that “today.” Hopefully, the twins are sleeping and won’t want to wrestle on the bed.

    Namaste.

    “Illusions are painfully shattered, right where discovery starts…”

    Monday, July 19th, 2004

    Jess just called me on the way back from taking the twins to the vet. They’re both in good health. And even though he looks bigger, Lightning weighs less than Presto. But, all-in-all, they’re both doing well.

    And there was another bit of news: Presto is a girl.

    Yeah. That was our reaction, too. Jess said that the vet asked what “her” name was, to which she replied, “No, they’re both boys.” The vet said that Presto was, indeed, a girl. She’s apparently also a “flamepoint;” and a female flamepoint is rare, according to the vet. *shrug* They also thought that she might be polydactyl, as well; she isn’t.

    Boy. Girl. It doesn’t matter. As long as she’s in good health.

    Of course, this whole “Presto is a girl” thing might alse explain the dynamic between her and Lightning and Sissy.

    “I’m not looking back, but I want to look around me now…”

    Sunday, July 18th, 2004

    Yesterday, We made a trip to the veterinarian to get some enzyme cleaner for the spots where the kittens (both of them, it turns out) left “gifts” last week. We asked if there was anything that might be contributing to the problem. The assistant asked where the litter box was (upstairs) and where the kittens had been spending their time (living room, downstairs). She nodded and reminded us that at this point the kittens are at the rough functional equivalent of a two-year-old… and that the litter box might just be “too far.” That made sense. So, we picked up another litter box and some litter and put it in the living room. Lo and behold, they’ve been using it. And… they’ve been using the upstairs one, too! Hallelujah!

    We didn’t do much else until time for 2-D Physics. I (finally) put together some cubes so that I can get my books and magazines out of the moving boxes and into some form of organized storage.

    2-D wasn’t bad: I bowled way too many (read: “nine”) games:
    162 – 143 – 176 – 136 – 143 – 139 – 172 – 155 – 145

    Breakfast was fun. We had a good crowd. And the people-watching was unbelievably good… even without The Singles being there. Much hilarity ensued.

    So far, today has been pretty lax. We’re going to see I, Robot in a bit. I should finish getting ready.

    Stray Toasters

    Time to find something to eat and then off for a couple of hours of watching the Fresh Prince save the world from robotic doom.

    <post-movie edit>
    The movie was good; I can see it as an addition to the DVD collection. And, thanks to Mycah, I have an I, Robot theatre poster – the double-sided, used in theatre lightboxes kind.
    </post-movie edit>

    Pax.

    In the words of Tom Hanks in Cast Away…

    Saturday, July 17th, 2004

    “Aha! Look what I’ve created! I have made FIRE!”