Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

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

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New Year’s Eve.
The last day of 2004.

This has been an interesting year. There have been highlights and low points, but on the whole, I will say that it has been “good.”

Random Access
It’s method on the edge of madness
It’s a balance on the edge of a knife
It’s a smile on the edge of sadness
It’s a dance on the edge of life

and I were riding around this afternoon and heard that New Year’s celebrations were being canceled in various parts of southeastern Asia, near areas where last week’s tsunamis struck.

My thoughts on the matter: I have viewed New Year’s Eve/Day celebrations as affirmations of life and of having survived another 365/366 days on this planet with six billion other people. I don’t think that the casualties and destruction of the storms should be diminished. On the contrary, I think that the celebrations could serve as an excellent way for people to come together and commemorate those who were lost in the floods.

After I mentioned this, told me the following: A member of his high school class died shortly before graduation. Rather than cancel all events, they used the opportunity to reflect and remember their friend. There was a somber note, but they celebrated the person that he was as well as the class’ accomplishment in matriculating.

It is possible to honor the dead with celebration. There are many cases of it throughout history and from many different cultures. Rather than dwell on the loss, we should try to remember what it was about the people that made them special to us and be thankful that we were able to share even a brief portion of our lives in their company.

So when you celebrate the end of 2004 and the arrival of 2005, be joyous in your celebration but also remember those who are no longer here to share in the festivities.

Coda: 2004
I hope that everyone has a safe and very Happy New Year and wish all the best for you in 2005.


“The wind blew strong and cold…”

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First off: Hullo and welcome to and .
It’s about time you two joined.

It’s been cold and windy. Although, there is an up-side to that: The wind has blown most of the inversion and smog out of the valley. It doesn’t look like a dirty fishbowl around here. For now. But that’s all right, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. Even if it’s cold.

Today, and I got to play a forty-minute-long game of Airport-Go-Round. was returning from a vacation with her family and needed a lift home. Unfortunately, her plane was delayed. But, we didn’t know that. So, “round and round and round she goes…” After she got in, we collected , took him back to work (he had a project that he needed to complete this evening), and then went to dinner at Cracker Barrel. I haven’t been there in at least two years, since the announcement of their discrimination suit; the suit has since been settled.

I had a long-overdue chat with this afternoon, too. It’s pretty sad that we live about twenty minutes from each other, but I see my family more often than I see him and . Measures will have to be taken to rectify this.

Morning Edition: Poker Champ Fights off Heist Attempt
Morning Edition: A Pilgrimage to the Taj Mahal, a ‘Poem in Stone’
Morning Edition: Moody Bluegrass: Rocking Through the Hills
   (And no, , Nights in White Satin isn’t about the Klan.)
Talk of the Nation: ‘Sloth’: A Send Up of the Self-Help Genre
Day to Day: ‘Rappers Delight’ Turns 25
All Things Considered: Civil Rights Commission Set for New Leadership
All Things Considered: Bandleader Artie Shaw Dies at 94
All Things Considered: Brian Eno Albums Remastered for Compact Disc

Technology Resource News: Top Picks – Technology Research Advances of 2004

Stray Toasters

  • My love for Whose Line Is It Anyway is pretty well known. Someone posted a link to this segment on IRC earlier. I don’t think that I have laughed so hard in a long time. (NOTE: I’d recommend having broadband if you’re planning on taking a look at this.)
  • “I suddenly feel all warm and tingly inside. For no apparent reason.”

  • I haven’t drawn today… but I did play DDR with .
    (*shakes fist* at )

  • Happy 2nd Anniversary to one of my favorite webcomics:
  • If you ever had (and loved) a Commodore Vic-20, C-64 or C-128, you will want to read this.
  • As her quote from X-Men: Next Dimension says: “Feel the burn…”

    And speaking of the apparently not-so-late Mrs. Grey-Summers, let’s take a look at her widower. Um… well, if she’s not dead (again), then it would be “her husband,” wouldn’t it? Um… Oh, Hell. Here’s Scott. (This is more than slightly reminiscent of this classic DC cover from 1985.)

  • Perry gave me an idea for designing a GL Power Battery using a plasma lamp. Great (and slightly warped) minds think alike.
  • and/or : Feel free to pick this apart.

Quote of the Day
From tonight’s episode of Futurama:

Alright… It’s Saturday night, I have no date, a two-liter bottle of Shasta and my all-Rush mix tape. Let’s rock. – Fry


“Focusin’ on nowhere, investigatin’ miles…”

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The middle of the last week of 2004.
A cool, rainy day in Salt Lake Valley.

Last night brought another interesting dream. It was not necessarily a “bad” one, but it definitely made the Weird Shit-o-Meter move a few notches. In the dream, my grandmother and grandfather were having some sort of ceremony. As best as I can figure it, they were renewing their vows. This didn’t strike me as odd – not even when you take into consideration the fact that may grandmother passed away last year and my grandfather has been deceased for over fifteen years. Things went relatively smoothly. And, as one would expect, family and friends whom I hadn’t seen in years showed up to celebrate the occasion.

and I got together this afternoon for coffee. We both did some drawing: she worked on post-Christmas “Thank you” cards, I decided to do some figure drawing. I picked up a few assorted Heroclix figures on the last trip to The Bookshelf; Perry also gave me a few of his extras. They make decent figure models. I sketched a couple figures with ‘s guidance.

Jerry Orbach died of prostate cancer Tuesday evening. Although he got his start in the theatre, I know him best for two roles:

He left Law & Order at the end of last season, but was set to star in the newest member of the franchise: Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Additionally, many may remember him from Dirty Dancing (as Jennifer Grey’s father) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Lumiere. More information (1, 2)

Morning Edition: The Swiss Fight for St. Bernards
Morning Edition: Unmarried Mass. Gay Couples Losing Health Benefits
Morning Edition: Lionel Trains Maintain Appeal Despite Troubles
Morning Edition: Classic Films Added to National Film Registry
Morning Edition: Dudley Williams, A Life Spent Onstage

Stray Toasters

  • I can see most of my desktop again. Not my Windows desktop, my actual desktop. I had let far too many things come to rest there and hadn’t put forth the effort to do anything about it. Until today. Apparently, I hit some sort of breaking point. Things have now been filed, thrown away or otherwise displaced from my desk. Elbow room. Who knew?!
  • In today’s “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” news, someone has created a blog dedicated to “The Blonde Girl from the Old Navy Commercials.”
  • : I saw this user icon and thought of you.
  • – Free. Stuff. What are you waiting for?! Click!
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #1 hit the shelves today. I didn’t get a copy. Yet. But, I shall. Oh, I shall, indeed….
  • Faux Newz’ Past Sponsors Archive (borderline worksafe)
  • Sign Language – “A collection of photos containing humorous, bizarre, and or confusing signs from around the world.”
  • “…stop using your crazy female logic on me.”
  • Monkey Business – Captain Memo!
  • Calvin & Hobbes + snow = ???

And that’s a wrap.


“Here’s a little trap that catches everyone, when today’s as far as we can see…”

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Perry came over this morning and we made our way north to visit The Bookshelf; he seemed to like it. A lot. I also showed him the way to Pineview Reservoir; I had told him that it made for a nice, get-out-of-the-Salt-Lake-Valley drive. He seemed to agree.

I met up with for coffee and chat this evening. It was a good way to spend a couple of hours.

Morning Edition: ‘Ordinary Wolves’: Tales from the Alaskan Wilderness
Morning Edition: Encountering the Old Racism in a Bar
Talk of the Nation: Making and Keeping Resolutions
All Things Considered: In Defense of High Ideals

Random Access
“Those who know what’s best for us must rise and save us from ourselves.”

I’m watching Wolf’s Rain on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim.” It’s anime. And it’s unabashedly violent, as are many, although not “all,” anime programs. That made me think about other non-anime toons that I enjoy, such as Justice League Unlimited, The Batman, classic Jonny Quest, The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers and the various cartoons linked to the X-Men and Spider-Man universes. They are “violent,” but in a totally different way. The violence is kept to an minimum on-screen, although silhouettes and shadows can be used to “show” an off-camera act of violence.

I’m not sure exactly when American censors decided to step in and minimize the violence on TV, but I think that it was somewhere in the mid-70s. I’m not trying to say that kids should necessarily be subjected to Grand Theft Auto-like violence in cartoons, but by the same token, they shouldn’t be told that the world is just “smurfy” all the time. That’s right kids… go out, pick smurfberries, skip and sing; and all will be right in the world.

Maybe I missed something, but… when did the “parent” get taken out of “parenting?” I’ve heard and read many adults bemoan what’s become of the next generation and blame it on everything from Britney Spears to Grand Theft Auto to Dungeons and Dragons… but I can’t recall hearing any of the naysayers opine: “Maybe I should have spent more time getting to know my kid, the things that she or he likes and what makes my kid tick.”

I’ve said this before – and feel that it bears repeating – I think that parents should take responsibility for knowing what their kids are watching, reading or seeing online. It’s part of that “parenting” thing. If there’s something that they don’t want their kids to see, most electrical/electronic devices come equipped with an “On/Off” or “Power” switch. Give the kid a book. Send them outside to play. Play games with your kids! (What a concept!) Take them to the local amusement park. Or museum. Or library. Miniature golf course.

But, no. That’s apparently not a viable solution. Let’s pass off the “parenting” to someone else. No. How about… a group of someone elses? Yes! That’s the ticket! And… we’ll let them come up with what they think is best for our kids to watch. Yeah! That’s a great idea! We can just plop the kids in front of the electronic babysitter and walk away! Why didn’t we think of this sooner?! Now we don’t have to do any thinking at all! Brilliant! Smashing!

Four of the most well-behaved and well-rounded kids that I know belong to , and my friends Kate and Perry and Tyanna and Joe. (There are others, but I’m telling this story, so I get to pick and choose. Thank you. Move along.) The one thing that those kids have in common is the fact that their parents take an active role in their lives. They know what their kids watch, read and play with. They take part in their kids’ lives rather than just watch it from the sidelines. It isn’t always “easy,” but they know that it’s for the better development of their children and they don’t make themselves out to be martyrs in the process. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they enjoy it. And, I’m Ivory Soap sure (that’s 99.44% for the slow kids) that if the kids don’t fully appreciate that interaction and involvement now, they will in the future. My parents did it; I didn’t fully understand it then, but I surely appreciate it now.

And that’s my 2¢ for the night.

Stray Toasters

  • I’m an overgrown kid; I freely admit that.
    I like football. *duh*
    I like LEGO®. Also *duh*
    But, I think that it’s a borderline sign of addiction that I am trying to think of friends who have daughters so that I can justify getting this watch just so that I can have purple links for my watch… thus allowing me to make a watch with the Ravens’ colors. (And I still want to know how a monkey made it into the Community Workers set.)

  • Someone on IRC posted this link to a graphic representation of the shockwaves of the Sumatra earthquake. Wow.
  • Ladies and gentlemen… I present to you: RoboShrub
  • Moab Brewery’s Scorpion Pale Ale. *swig*
  • Child’s Play Part II Kids say the darnedest things. And, there’s even a link to the original article (November 2003)
  • The other day, I saw – and had to try – some Bacon and Cheese-flavored popcorn. Despite how it might sound, it was very tasty. It reminded me of Chili Cheese Fritos.

I shall now finish my fine frosty malt beverage and contemplate the benefits of a trip to The Dreaming.


“The hours drift away…”

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My father cracks me up. Since I live in the land of “Eight Months of Winter,” I have gotten in the habit of calling him when it snows here. The calls usually go something like:

Dad: Hello?
Me: Hi, Dad. It’s snowing. Again.
Dad: *laughs*

I’ve been doing it for a couple of years. I don’t call every time it snows, but often enough to keep the joke running.

A couple of years ago – and taking me completely by surprise – Dad got DirecTV at the house. His rationale: He’s retired and should be able to relax and enjoy whatever he wants to watch. Which is great. But considering that we never got cable there when I was growing up, it was a bit of a shock. One of the channels that he watches is The Weather Channel. So, now, half the time when I call him about snow, his response is something like: “Yes, I saw that,” followed with him asking how badly we got hit.

This morning, he had apparently been watching and saw that there had been some snow in Utah. This time, however, he called me. It made me laugh.

The rest of the day was fairly peaceful. and I spent about an hour folding and putting away laundry. And, in doing so, we also came up with a few things to take to Deseret Industries – it’s the LDS Church’ version of Goodwill. And they’re all over the valley, too.

Then it was off to get . We got a bite to eat and then headed to the Sandy location of Nickelcade to meet up with Kate, Perry and Max. As I’ve said before: It’s a great way to spend some time and not pay an arm and a leg to do so. (: They do have a DDR Extreme machine there. There was a kid there playing it who might have given you a run for your money. But he also had a tendency to hold on to the back railing as he danced. I think you could take him.) Then we all headed to Baskin-Robbins to partake of tasty iced creams. After that, , Nox and I came back here where Nox and I proceeded to play The Ray Lewis Game. Uh… I mean “Madden 2005.” It was the first time that either of us had played it. We’re hooked.

USA Today: How much would make you smile?

Stray Toasters

  • I have not only cotton candy but also caramel popcorn!
    Bow down. Be jealous.

  • and : I hope that you’re feeling better soon.
  • I had an apostrophe epiphany about the iTunes mp3 renaming dilemma this afternoon. It made the prospect of tackling that project a lot less daunting.
  • : The New Legion World: Barry Kitson talks “Legion of Super-Heroes” And, don’t forget that Issue #1 hits the stands Wednesday.
  • : New eps of Teen Titans start on 08 Jan 05.
  • By way of The City Paper: Stranger Than Fiction

I get the feeling that there was something else that I wanted to add, but I can’t figure out what it was. Oh, well. I should hit the rack as tomorrow marks the return to the gym.


“Folks are basically decent conventional wisdom would say…”

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Today was a fairly relaxed day around the house. And there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. Highlights of the day include a quick trip to the nominally-local Best Buy, phone calls from my uncle and Bret (mostly to say “hi,” but also to talk about the Steelers-Ravens game; I expected the calls, though) and picking up from the airport and hanging out with him for a bit.


Baltimore at Pittsburgh
7 – 20

The Ravens headed to Steeltown to take on the Steelers on their home turf. Pittsburgh is the only team that I consistently worry about in the AFC.

The first half was close; it was 10 – 7 at halftime. After that, the Steelers went to work and made the Ravens’ chances at seeing the playoffs even more dim. At this point, there’s still a mathematical chance to make it, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

It was a loss to a team on fire. Nice job by the guys from the Pitt.

Random Access
This time, it’s a slight change of pace. I present “Seasonal Affective,” a column from my hometown’s independent weekly, Baltimore City Paper. Okay… it’s not a complete change of pace – the column actually makes a nice corollary to last week’s “Whose Holiday Is It Anyway” diatribe. Enjoy.

Stray Toasters

  • While out this afternoon, we were stopped at a traffic light next to a car with five passengers, all in their mid-to-late teens. A young lady and young man in the back seat leaned over and looked over at me… and waved. I waved back. *shrug* Why not? The smiled. I’m not sure that they expected me to respond to them. As the light turned green, they waved again as we took off. They restored a bit of my faith in humanity’s potential for goodness.
  • I spent most of the afternoon – and a good portion of late last night/early this morning – working on ‘s computer. It’s been sporadically running a bit slow. I think that I found and dealt with the problem.
  • Eve and Gina and the meaning of “Sorry.”

  • I like this pic of Marvel Comics’ “First Family”
  • 1 part HALO 2
    1 part Metroid Prime: Echoes
    Mix well.

  • I need to pick up a few LEGO baseplates. I don’t know what I want to build, but I want to build something.
  • A Writer’s Block: With Words and Pictures, Author T.P. Luce Brings his East Baltimore Block Into A Slice Of Gritty City Life
  • I like cyberpunk novelist William Gibson‘s work. Neuromancer remains one of my all-time favorite reads. But before Neuromancer, he wrote a short story called Johnny Mnemonic. It was a good story. When I heard that it was being turned into a feature film, I was rather happy.

    Until I saw it, that is.

    It starred Keanu Reeves as the title character. I don’t have anything against Mr. Reeves, but he wasn’t Johnny. The movie just didn’t work; nice try, but not quite what we were after. Again, I don’t blame Keanu – when a movie goes south, I think that the director should step up and admit, “Hey, I screwed the pooch on this one. Sorry.”

    Now, Keanu is starring in Constantine, a movie based on another favored read of mine, Hellblazer (1, 2). This marks Francis Lawrence’s first time directing a feature film; his previous experience lies in music videos. I’ve heard some positive press for the movie, but I’m not going to hold my breath over it until I see it… and how badly the changes affect the overall story and feel of John Constantine.

  • Sign up for the free online course: Retool Your Home Office, from CNet.com.


Merry Christmas

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This is the first time in many years that I can recall sleeping in on Christmas Day. It was nice. We woke up, called our folks and then got down to the business of seeing what Santa brought us.

If there was any question as to whether or not I’m an overgrown kid, this Christmas should have removed all doubt. This year’s gifts included:

  • Lego 1000 block Creator set (w00t!!!)
  • Green Lantern 10″ figure
  • Green Lantern 4″ figure
  • Baltimore Ravens RB Jamal Lewis figure
  • Family Guy Season 1 & 2 box set
  • Wireless XBox controller
  • Madden 2005
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon 2
  • DVD of classic cartoons (incl. Max Fleischer Superman toons!)
  • DVD of Birds of Prey
  • DVD of Witch Hunter Robin
  • Two pairs of jeans, two pairs of corduroy pants and a very swank suede overshirt

I may take some pictures of this year’s gifts later, but I need to go straighten up so the house looks presentable when company gets here in a few hours.

I hope that your Christmas has been, is and continues to be merry and safe.


P.S.: I just had an amusing “dilemma,” of sorts: I had to decide which icon to use for this post – Green Lantern or LEGO. Decisions, decisions…


Kate and Perry brought over Elf, which we watched while dinner was cooking – I prepared Cornish Game Hens again this year). I’ve never really been a big Will Farrell fan, but I liked this movie. We also watched The Year Without a Santa Claus! It’s all about Heat Miser and Snow Miser, baby! After Kate, Perry and Max left, Jess and I headed to her sister’s to take presents to her and her son and hang out for a bit.

“Santa Claus is comin’ to town…”

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Christmas Eve 2004.

It hasn’t really felt terribly like the Christmas season to me until just a couple of days ago. I’m not really sure “why,” but it didn’t. And that’s even after I’ve heard Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth, too. It’s also odd to think that 2004 is just seven days (not to be confused with Seven Days) from being over.

and I headed up to b’Ogden in search of a book and game store so that I could complete my Christmas shopping. What we found was far more than I expected. The store is The Bookshelf, located in downtown Ogden. Two floors of goodness. If you’re in the greater Salt Lake Metro area, it’s worth a trip up there. We made a few other stops, including the Clearfield Toys ‘R’ Us… where Nox surprised me with a McFarlane Sports figure of Ravens’ RB Jamal Lewis. (Thank you, again.) I think that TRU is my favorite of the four stores in the immediate area. But fond memories of Funnoodle fights through the store might have something to do with that.

Then it was back to Smog Valley. I dropped off Nox, picked up a couple of pies for post-Christmas dinner snacking and tooled around with as we finished up the last of our shopping. And then, it was back home for the last of the present-wrapping.

Morning Edition: Claus, Inc.: The Business of Being Santa
Morning Edition: Christmas Has Long History as Day for Role Reversal
Talk of the Nation – Science Friday: Diagnosing and Treating Celiac Disease (for )

Stray Toasters

  • I picked up four bags of cotton candy earlier. But, one of them is for Max; it has Spider-Man on it. The kid is a three-year-old Spider-Fan. So, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get him a bag o’ cotton candy with the web-slinger on the package.

    And remember: Cotton candy has no cholesterol and it’s fat-free!

  • Cinescape has a couple of images from the upcoming Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie.
  • Time out to give a nod to and tell you folks to check out his webcomic, Detective Boogaloo – Hip Hop Cop. It’s hosted on Kevin Smith’s (Yes, that “Kevin Smith.”) Movie Poop Shoot site.
  • “Scared of Santa” Photo Gallery
  • Showtime’s Dead Like Me may not be as… um… “dead” as had been previously reported.
  • An article on BBC News’ site lists the top 10 U.S./Canada Tours of 2004 (although The Cow, #2 on the list, isn’t touring now that she has her cushy deal with Caesar’s Palace). I wouldn’t have thought that Bette Midler would have been that high on the list. Go figure.
  • By way of

  • She clings to me like cellophane
    Fake plastic submarine

  • The headlines you WON’T see in 2005
  • For Nyx and Nox: A couple of Irregular Webcomic Christmas strips (1, 2) Don’t forget to check the annotations!

Quote of the Day
Today’s quote comes from Gail Simone, the newly-announced writer on Superman (the comic, not the movie), when she was asked what her approach to writing the character would be:

“I actually put this in my pitch, that Clark and Kal El can be very complex. But I sum up Superman with that famous line from the Jim Croce song…

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.

“This is a guy who can thread a tank through the eye of a needle. He can see the weather in Beirut and he knows what air freshener you used in your house six months ago by the smell of your clothes. You don’t mess with this guy.

“Sure, Batman’s scary. But no one wants Kal-El mad at them. Don’t start none, there won’t be none.”

I hope that all of you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas (or the celebration of your paradigm of choice).


“It’s the motor of the western world, spinning off to every extreme…”

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Twas the day before the day before Christmas
And all through Salt Lake
Christmas shoppers rushed about madly
As though Armageddon was upon them
And their last-minute supplications would garner them a break.

Or something like that.

Today was “Get some shoppin’ taken care of” day. And, I was able to find everything that I sought except for one item. One. Uno. Singular. Tomorrow, I’m making a trek up to Ogden (or as would say: “bOgden”) to see if I can find it there. If not, it’s no big deal. After taking the presents for her and , I managed to drag her along for some of the shopping fun. After we finished, we picked up and Nox and headed out for dinner. After dinner, we headed to their place to hang out for a bit.

Then, it was off to the grocery store to get the makings for Saturday’s dinner. We ran into Val, another regular at Cheers. It was unexpected but good. In the course of spreading Christmas cheer yesterday, we had a few extra goody boxes left. I went back to the car, got a box and gave it to Val. He was stunned, complete with accompanying “WTF” look. He smiled – really big – and said, “This… is really unwarranted.” I simply told him to “Have a Merry Christmas” and walked away. It’s nice to put an unexpected smile on someone’s face.

Morning Edition: PC Users Warned of Unwanted Gifts from Hackers
Morning Edition: Immigrants’ First U.S. Christmas: The Montagnards
Talk of the Nation: Holiday Travel: How to Survive It
Talk of the Nation: The Stupidest Angel
Day to Day: ‘A Front Yard View of the Holidays’ in America
All Things Considered: Play Closes in England After Sikh Protests
All Things Considered: A Reprieve for St. Mary’s

Yahoo! News: Cloned Cat Sale Generates Ethics Debate
Yahoo! News: Homeless Honored Around the Country

NewScientist.com: Mystery of Mars rover’s ‘carwash’ rolls on

Stray Toasters

  • I still have cotton candy. And you don’t. Booyah.
  • sent me a link to this. It makes a great follow-up to yesterday’s “Random Access” rant.
  • Also from yesterday’s post: I mentioned that told Nyx and me about a parody of Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song. I mentioned the wrong song – apparently, there are two songs: The Mormon Thing (which I mentioned) and The Fireside Song, which is the one she was referring to. Well, it looks like she had a few things of her own to say about it.
  • Looks like another Farscape alumn will be joining the cast of Stargate SG-1. This time, it’s Claudia Black, who portrayed ex-Peacekeeper Aeryn Sun.
  • TV Cream’s Top 100 Toys I remember some of these. 49, to be exact.
  • By way of Backwash (and the “Yes, I’m Going to Hell” file): Santa’s Lil’ Gimp
  • Band Geek Glossary
  • : An article about… well… synaesthasia
  • 50 Things to Eat Before You Die I’ve had 30 of these.

Quote of the Day
Nyx and I were driving along 9th East and I was recounting the story of scaring people sitting at a light next to me (here, third paragraph). I noticed a huge pothole in the road. Approaching fast. That, naturally, elicited a rather sharp “FUCK!” as I swerved to avoid it. There was a slight problem, however: I had just started telling the story. So, it wound up coming out sounding like this:

“So, the other day, I swung by to see Kate and… FUCK! …Perry.

Nyx looked at me like Ô_õ and then burst into laughter. When I realized what I said, and how it sounded, I laughed, too.

For those of you who will not be reading LJ over the weekend, let me take this opportunity to say: May the joy and peace of Christmas (and/or whichever holiday you celebrate) be with you and your families.


“hindu muslim catholic creation-evolutionist”

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I talked with John and Rana this morning. Well, it was evening for them, but why quibble? I found out something very amusing: My site is blocked in China… but Maddox’ site is not blocked. I don’t understand it, but it makes me laugh. I’ll have to be sure to pass that along to Maddox.

Most of the afternoon was spent spreading a little Christmas cheer – , and I delivered Christmas presents to a few folks. Then it was off to Borders while did some Christmas shopping for me. Nyx and I had a good chat over coffee and I got a new drawing started.

Tonight was RPG Night at Nyx and Nox’ place. No one died. That’s a good thing. It started snowing (again) this evening as I was on the way to their apartment. Apparently, it snowed for a while. I like being able to see the lines in the road; unfortunately, they weren’t always visible. But I made it home in one piece. That’s a good thing, too.

Morning Edition: 30 Years of Garrison Keillor
Talk of the Nation: House of Explorers: National Geographic
Day to Day: An Atheist’s Faith in Christmas
All Things Considered: Ancient, Complex Peruvian Communities Explored
Fresh Air: Rapper and Actor Mos Def

Space.com: Asteroid Buzzes Earth, Highlighting Cosmic Blind Spot

Random Access
Whose Holiday Is It Anyway?

I don’t think that I can adequately put into words how asinine I think that the current wave of holiday-related lawsuits is. But that’s not going to stop me from trying.

After listening to yesterday’s Day to Day story about Nativity Scenes Spark Not-So-Jolly Suits, I decided that I wanted to vent my spleen. The story mentioned a number of different cases including, but not limited to:

  • FL: A federal judge orders a town to allow a Nativity after a menorah was allowed to be displayed.
  • NJ: The singing of Jingle Bell Rock is allowed in schools… but not Silent Night.
  • NY: A New York City school policy allows menorahs to be displayed for Hanukkah and crescents for Ramadan, but does not allow Nativity scenes for Christmas.
  • CT: A Nativity scene was ordered to be taken down because atheists felt that it infringed on the separation of church and state.

It seems as though displaying Santa Claus and trees is allowable as they are secular icons, but Nativity scenes – being religious in nature – are not.

On the other side, there are also suits in favor of religious expression:

  • CA: There is a group boycotting any store where employees say “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
  • TX: A boy got a court order allowing him to give out candy canes – with the story of Jesus attached – to his classmates.

The bases of these suits is basically this: You can’t permit the display of Hanukkah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa symbology but not permit Christmas ones – that is considered persecuting one religion. According to the Day to Day story, many problems come from “Lemon Test” from the 1970s which was supposed to clarify when the states has gotten entangled with religion but has instead created a morass of different rules around the country.

*** deep breath ***

America the Beautiful.
Home of the free and the brave.
And the incredibly stupid.

Unless everything that I recall learning in U.S. History was a clever fabrication, this country was created with a foundation that included freedom of religion. “Of. Religion.” That does not mean “freedom from religion.” Also, we often hear talk of “separation of church and state” being in the Constitution and/or the Bill of Rights.

Guess what…

It’s not.

What it does say is:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In layman’s terms: Congress can’t tell you “Religion X is the official religion of the United States of America.” Nor can it tell you that your religion is “wrong.” Period.

I was raised Baptist, with a good dose of Methodist and a smidgen of African Methodist Episcopal. When I’m home for certain holidays, I attend Catholic Mass with my uncle. I went to a predominantly Jewish, but not parochial, high school. One of my best friends converted from the Baptist church to Islam a few years ago. I have a couple of friends who are practicing Buddhists. I currently live in Utah, the seat of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I think that it’s fairly safe to say that I have had a fair amount of religious influence in my life. I won’t say that my faith is better than your faith… or yours… or even yours. I won’t even say that it’s better than someone’s lack of faith. All that I can say is: My faith works for me. If you ask me questions about it, I’ll gladly answer, but I’m not going to try and force it down your throat just because you don’t believe the same thing that I do.

Neil Peart, drummer for the band Rush, had the following to say in the liner notes for the program for the band’s “Roll the Bones” tour:

Be-bop or a one-drop or a hip-hop lite-pop-metalist
Yep — no matter what kind of song you choose to play, you’re betting your life on it, for good or ill, and what you believe is what you are. So there. However you slice it, you’re taking a chance, and you might not be right. (Just this once.) No one can ever be sure, in this best of all possible universes.

That’s why the essence of these songs is: if there’s a chance, you might as well take it. So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap. A random universe doesn’t have to be futile; we can change the odds, load the dice and shoot again.

And there’s no escaping the dice; even if you try to take the sting out of a random universe by embracing the prefab structure of Faith, you still have to gamble that it’s the right one. Say the secret word and win a hundred dollars. For anyone who hasn’t seen Groucho Marx’s game show “You Bet Your Life,” I mean that no one but Groucho knows the secret word, and one guess is as good as another. You might have lived a good long life as an exemplary Christian, only to be met at the gates of heaven by Mohammed

Anything can happen. That is called fate.

Simple. Direct. And a pretty accurate summation of my opinion.

There’s no good reason that I can think of to give another person grief about their paradigm. To be honest, each of us has more than enough on our own plates to deal with. If you can find the time to belittle someone else’s beliefs, you might really want to take a look at your own and make sure that there aren’t any chinks in your own armor. (And, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that you’ll find a few imperfections if you look closely enough. I’m sorry, I should have said “…if you’re willing to look closely enough.”)

As I mentioned earlier, this country was created with a foundation that included freedom of religion. Just because some members of a given faith commit an atrocious act that the same desires burn in all members of that faith. Radicals exist in every religion. And, guess what: There are even secular radicals. It comes as part of the whole “being human” package. It’s listed under “Factory Options” as “Free will.” Whether you choose to act like an idiot is up to you, but be sure that you are aware of the possible consequences and that you’re fully willing to accept said consequences if your actions step outside of acceptable bounds.

Here’s an outrageous concept: Why not take the time to learn about different religions and/or non-religious beliefs? What do you have to lose? Well, you might lose a few inaccurate preconceived notions, but is that really a “bad” thing? I don’t think so. You might even find that there aren’t as many differences in the core concepts as you might have thought.

So, the next time that you – or someone that you know – is faced with a different belief system, don’t be so quick to take offense. Try to act like a rational, reasonable person (yes, I know that this will be hard for some people) and listen. If you don’t agree, say so. Chances are better than even that the other person will respect you more for being willing to admit that you disagree than for just portraying yourself as an insensitive and closed-minded prick.

And, by the way: Merry Christmas.

Stray Toasters

  • This morning, I stitched a couple of holes in a jacket that I haven’t worn in a couple of years. Aside from the holes, the jacket was in great condition, but the holes weren’t exactly small. I think that I did a pretty decent job… especially since I used thread that’s not the same color as the jacket. But, unless someone is standing inside my personal D.E.W. line, the chances of them noticing are pretty slim.
  • It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned it, but I still want to build a ‘Mech. This morning, CNet News had this story about Giant Robots in the Backyard. And that’s pretty neat, too.
  • By way of : Echo
  • This is the way that John Constantine should look!
  • told Nyx and me that she was channel surfing the on her radio this morning when she heard something that made her stop. It sounded like Adam Sandler’s The Hanukkah Song… but it wasn’t. It was a parody. And, in her opinion, it was a poor one. Nyx then sought out the offensive ditty. What she found was The Mormon Thing.
  • From Broken Frontier: Why do you love comics? and Stay Awake for Lullaby
  • Westbound and Down along with Eastbound and Down
  • : Click here (…and here and here and here and here).
    : Two words: “Tom. Welling.

  • “You are so full of crap.”


“Superman and Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me…”

everyday glory No Comments »

The 21st of December.
21-12-04. (Or just “2112,” for some Rush fans.)
Happy Winter Solstice. Now, the days will get longer. And warmer. Amen.

It started off as another grey, dreary day here in the fishbowl that is the Salt Lake Valley. If not for the fact that it was not raining (and that we’re in the middle of the desert), I’d almost think that we were in Portland or Seattle. Oh yeah, the lack of fresh seafood is another dead giveaway… but I digress. The sun and some blue sky peeked through the haze for a while. That made the day a little better. But, later in the evening: Snow.

and I had dinner with her sister, nephew, and Matt. Macaroni Grill. Tasty. And they have a sinfully rich cheesecake, too. After dinner, , , Matt and I headed to Borders for coffee and conversation. We even ran into .

Morning Edition: German Palace on Sale for $1
Morning Edition: Students Studying for SATs by Cell Phone
Morning Edition: Postal Workers Loaded Down with Kids’ Letters
Day to Day: Nativity Scenes Spark Not-So-Jolly Suits
All Things Considered: Opera Poses a Challenge, Even to Linguists

Random Access (Another new feature!)
Rants, diatribes and other assorted discourses can be found here. Thus, you won’t have to muddle through ‘Toasters to get around a long-winded And, it comes to you at no extra charge! I’m telling you: You can’t beat that with a stick!

Today: Comics, Mythology and Ch-ch-ch-changes

I’m a fan of mythology. I guess that I could broaden that to say that I’m a fan of good storytelling. It seems to be something of an art that’s on the wane. This isn’t to say that there aren’t any good writers or good stories, but often it seems as though we’re getting the same story rehashed and retold. And, far too often, they are being retold poorly.

That said, I tend to look at comic books and graphic novels as a modern mythology. In classical literature, the gods walked the face of the Earth. Sometimes to test man. Other times to adventure alongside him. And other times, simply to get their swerve on. Today, there are some comics that have a story set, more or less, in realities comparable to our own. Others take the tack of “gods walking among us.” And some attempt to find a happy middle ground in which to dwell. But, they are stories nonetheless. And in them, just as with myths, legends and stories of old, we can often find subtexts that echo issues at hand in our world today.

I’ve recently… um… “come to grips with” the fact that mythologies change over time. I’ve known that stories change and adapt with each retelling, but it wasn’t exactly something that I ever thought about applying to comics-as-mythology. Until a few months ago. Last year, DC started a 12-issue maxi-series called “Birthright,” it was a retelling of the Superman mythos… to a degree. None of the major points changed, but some of the minor, subtle ones did. DC had done something similar to this in 1988 with John Byrne’s “The Man of Steel” mini-series. As DC Comics is owned by Warner Brothers and as Smallville is something of a hit for Warner Brothers’ WB Network, they decided to integrate Smallville into the official Superman continuity. Birthright was the bridge that they used to connect Point A and Point C. And, from what I’ve read of it: It did a great job.

It struck me as odd that I had a problem with a “retouching” of the Superman mythos. I had no problem when they rebooted the series in ’88. In fact, I thought that it was a refreshing change. A “less super” Superman. Not pushing around planets. Not zipping through the timestream at will. (And, thankfully, they took away some of the more inane “super-abilities” that he had acquired over the previous 50 years.) But, he was still gifted “…with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.” And, thanks to the Byrne reboot: Clark Kent was less of a caricature and more of a character. This was mostly because he did not have his powers when he came to Earth – he “grew into” them. So, “Clark Kent” was the person and “Superman” was the personification of the things that he could do.

Another good example of a slight shift in mythologies can be seen in the X-Men and Spider-Man. Both of these Marvel titles have been around since the 1960s and in the late 90s, Marvel decided that they needed to be taken off the shelf and dusted off. Unlike their Distinguished Competition, rather than retcon the series, Marvel launched a new universe and set the two titles in it. They moved away from the Cold War era origins and moved the characters into the modern age: Spider-Man wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider, this time it was a genetically modified spider. The X-Men weren’t just students in a private prep school in upstate New York, they were a highly trained, nearly paramilitary troop. For those of you who don’t read comics, many of these changes were reflected in Spider-Man: the Movie and X-Men and X2: X-Men United. Slight changes, same overall feel. No big whoop.

Something that I do have a problem with is DC’s recent decision to undo a major continuity-wide change. In 1987, DC released the 12-issue maxi-series “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” DC Comics started in 1938 with Action Comics #1, featuring a much less-super Superman, and grew to include many titles and many heroes. Rather than have heroes grow old and die, they decided to create a multiverse. That way they could say that Hero A’s adventures in… World War II, let’s say… were actually the adventures of a that Earth A’s Hero A. Thus, they could create a new Earth with a younger version of Hero A whenever they wanted.

That’s great. In theory. Apparently, no one thought ahead to the complete braincramp that this might create. Lots of worlds also means the potential for LOTS of characters. And that is exactly what happened. Crisis was DC’s way of trying to put the genie back into the bottle. “We’ll destroy all of the Earths except for one and then we’ll juggle around characters’ origins to make them all fit on this one, new Earth.” Again, good theory. And, for the most part, they made it work. Since Superman was the one that kicked things off for DC, his was the origin that had to be adjusted the most – they did this with John Byrne’s 1988 reboot. Some series, like Justice League of America and The Legion of Super-Heroes had to be likewise adapted to now exclude Superman as a member and primary inspiration, respectively. And they did that pretty well, too.

A few years ago, DC started their “Elseworlds” line. This was their “What if…?” safety valve. Now, they could have their cake and eat it, too. No need to create an ongoing title to chronicle the adventures of a variant Hero A, now they could write a one-shot story and get it out of their systems. As the Guiness commercials would say: “Brilliant!” And, some of the stories have been amazingly well told. One such story was Kingdom Come, a four-issue tale set in the future in which the heroes that we grew up with have grown older and gone their separate ways.

DC had such a popular response to Kingdom Come that they started mucking about with the idea of a multiverse again. This time, they referred to it as “Hypertime.” In it, divergent timelines created alternate possible futures. (Yes, Marty, Dr. Brown just built a time machine out of a Delorean.)

Now, DC is gearing up for three miniseries in 2005: DC Countdown, Seven Soldiers and Crisis on Earth. And with them come the hints that the DC Universe (or “DCU”) is about to become the DC Multiverse again.

According to one article that I read:

“…apparently Countdown leads into DC’s major summer event, Crisis on Earth. The basic plot is that someone wants their Earth (Earth X) restored the way they remember it. The twist is that the protagonist is based on our Earth, and in our time.

“20 years ago, post-Crisis, the protagonist was integrated into our time and space, and has been reading comics but slowly becoming aware they were out of place and time. After reading Identity Crisis, something contained within leads to this person realising that, and they want to correct matters.

“Supposedly DC Countdown leads to the moment of awareness, and the reboot of the DCU is their point of view focused upon the heroes and how this person wants to see the DCU.

“This forms the basis of the hypertime idea, allowing multiverses and multitimelines to coexist after the event, and Seven Soldiers will suggest the awareness of the DCU that Grant Morrison wanted before as events in SS will drop hints to the characters within about their role and how to fix the brokenness.”

But… didn’t we go through this already?

And… didn’t we think that it was a bad idea?

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I don’t wish DC Comics any ill will, but I really hope that this doesn’t go from a “great idea” to a complete clusterfuck because someone thought that it would be better to have eleventy-million Earths running amok (“Amok! Amok! Amok!” – Animaniacs, also from Warner Brothers) than to have one relatively-tidy Earth and a couple of solo stories. And, undoubtedly, issues of the three series will fly off the shelves.

Times change. Stories, mythologies and their retellings change to adapt to the times and the cultures that they represent. Hopefully, DC will be able to tell a good story – and continue to do so – without having to come back in a few years and say, “Um… folks, about that whole Crisis on Earth thing? It was just a dream. Like Dallas’ ninth season. Sorry.” We shall see.

Stray Toasters

  • When I was typing out “Stray Toasters,” I mistyped it as “Stray Taoists.” That made me laugh.
  • culturekitchen.com
  • showed me a link for Mormon Temple Film and I noticed the name Gordon Jump. On a hunch, I looked up his information. My hunch was correct: It was the same Gordon Jump from WKRP in Cincinnati.
  • Nyx also posted a link to a thread on The Nauvoo Forum called “LDS gamers unite,” which was similarly interesting.
  • : Looks like Hayo Miyazaki has another movie out: Howl’s Moving Castle It’s out in Japan, but I did not see a domestic release date.
  • I cannot stand the Christmas song Jingle Bell Rock. Which is probably why it was stuck in my head this morning. *twitch* I can’t prove it, but I’m sure that must have had something to do with that.
  • Slashdot Poll: Most Powerful Wizard
  • Cotton candy. I have some. You don’t.

That’s all I have to say. For now.


“A certain degree of imagination, a measure of make-believe…”

everyday glory No Comments »

The early part of the day was blissfully quiet and peaceful. That’s not to say that the rest of the day was chaotic, just that it was a quiet morning.

, and I had lunch together and did some shopping. A couple of years ago (as part of an ongoing semi-joke), I told that I wanted a big screen TV for Christmas 2005. This weekend I told her that I would forego that in lieu of a projector (1, 2, 3). And that I would even help pay for it. Sure, I’d love a 42″ flat screen TV, but with a projector, I can have pretty much whatever size screen I want. And, I won’t even go into what it would do for HALO 2… Today, we stopped in a couple of places to look at them. The prices are getting better (i.e.: “more economical”) all the time. Then we headed to the Jo-Ann Fabrics Superstore to find a couple of things we needed. Okay… maybe not “needed,” but were on the “not a bad thing to have” list.

We picked up and came back here for pizza, football (The Dolphins beat the Patriots!!!), movies, gaming and poker. Tonight’s final standings:

  1. Me.

Yahoo! News: Unlikely Stories of 2004

Stray Toasters

  • I’m craving beef jerky.
  • : I think that you’ll enjoy reading this.
  • : I still have your glasses. Give me a call, email or text message me or send a carrier pigeon and let me know how/when/where you want to get them.
  • The art of Katie Nice
  • The words of Alex DeCampi
  • Todd McFarlane Productions has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • In “Trials and Tribble-ations,” one of my all-time favorite episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the crew goes back in time and meets the crew of James T. Kirk’s Enterprise. During the mission, the DS9 crew see some TOS series Klingons. Odo asks Worf why it is that those Klingons do not have ridges on their heads as Worf does. Worf brushes off the question with a response to the effect of “It’s a long story…” It seems as though it’s time for that story to come to light. This season on Star Trek: Enterprise, they are going to explain it in two episodes, “Affliction” and “Divergence.”
  • From the Comics2Film Digital Concept Gallery: Lego Christmas
  • This, also from the DCG, is one of the more amusing Futurama manips that I have seen.
  • I want to see House of Flying Daggers. I just hope that a theatre here carries it when it goes into wide release.
  • Ben Browder, formerly seen as John Crichton on Farscape, will be joining the cast of Stargate SG-1 as a new member of the SG-1 team.
  • Author J.K. Rowling has recently completed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the popular series. The book is expected to be released in 2005.
  • For the bad pun and math geeks:
    (If you need help with the joke, check the comic’s annotation.)

Coming Soon
In the interest of cross-promoting other peoples’ journals and I are going to start “Coming Soon” and “Now Showing” sections in our journals. For my inaugural “Coming Soon…” I will note that an upcoming Junk in the Trunk in ‘s LJ will feature a note on “The Ten Worst Products of the Year.”


“He’s not concerned with yesterday, he knows constant change is here today…”

everyday glory No Comments »

I didn’t sleep incredibly well last night. I kept waking up, for no apparent reason. I got to bed around 3:30 and was back up a little after 9:30. Sure, that was pretty much a full night’s sleep for me, but I had figured on easily sleeping in until at least 10:30 or 11:00.

I headed to Borders for a few hours for coffee and to (finally) do some drawing. There were a couple of kids sitting behind me playing a CCG; I didn’t recognize the cards, so I’m going to assume that it wasn’t Magic: the Gathering. For the most part, they were pretty quiet. Towards the end of their game, one of the boys got loud. And whiny. And VERY irritating. I can’t say that I was sad to see them go after that.

Then, it was back home for cooking out; Kate, Perry and Max joined us. And, Kate helped me to replace the faulty wax ring on the new toilet… which went from “Oh, this should only take a few minutes” into a :40 ordeal. *braincramp* But, we got it done.


Baltimore at Indianapolis
10 – 27

Baltimore v2.0 headed to the RCA Dome to face Baltimore v1.0… uh… I mean the Colts.

The first half was a defensive battle, but in the third quarter, the Colts broke out of the corral and ran wild. After that, it was all downhill for the boys from B-more.

Given the way that the Colts have been playing, and the fact that they have already clinched their division, I wasn’t too sure whether the Ravens would come away with a win. And, with this loss, Jacksonville moves ahead of the Baltimore in the standings. There’s still hope for a Wild Card berth, but it’s slim.

Stray Toasters

  • Jonny Quest. The 1960s version. Aw, yeah.
  • EarthSeeds
  • I still think that Michael Jackson is an incredible entertainer, despite his current legal battles. But there’s just something about the fact that he still can’t stay away from kids that’s more than a little unsettling. According to this story, he recently hosted 200 children at a party at Neverland Ranch. This exchange may have been innocent, but I couldn’t exorcise the thoughts of how incorrectly this could be taken:

    “I hope you have a wonderful day. Merry Christmas. I love you,” the pop singer called out to the children Friday from the driveway of his estate.

    One of the youngsters shouted, “We love you!”

    “I love you more,” Jackson replied before putting an umbrella over his head and walking back toward his house.

    And I also wonder about the parents who are letting their children go to Neverland. *shrug*

  • : The Secret Origin That Wasn’t
  • Little Known Fact of the Day: Barry Manilow did not write I Write the Songs. It was written by Bruce Johnston, a member of the Beach Boys. Manilow did, however, write the McDonald’s theme You Deserve a Break Today.
  • I just finished eating a huge pomegranate. It was tasty.
  • Making a Federal Case Out of Almost Everything
  • Mama’s got a squeeze box
    Daddy never sleeps at night.

  • World Literature Today
  • I was going through Adbusters’ 2004 Best of.. issue this afternoon and came across a pair of ads for AGT-Seven that made me laugh:
    • Little C:5  M:90  Y:100  K:0 Riding Hood
    • A Clockwork C:0  M:60  Y:90  K:0
  • The Center for Public Integrity
  • There was another ad in that issue of Adbusters (above) that made me laugh, too:

    “Confession” :30

    SFX: Sentimental piano under.

    (Open on a nervous young man talking to his parents. He has red hair and freckles. He fidgets and stammers as he tries to reveal a secret to them.)

    Young Man: Mom… Dad… there’s something I need to tell you. For a long time now… I’ve had these feelings. Like I’m different. I don’t know… like I’ve been living a lie. I think I might be… no… I am.

    (He pauses and takes a deep breath)

    Young Man: Mom, Dad… I’m Gaelic.

    (Cut to his parents. They are both African-American. They both just stare at him. Finally the dad speaks.)

    Dad: Gay what?

    SFX: Hardcore Irish music kicks in.

    (Cut to a frosty pint of Finnegan’s Irish Amber.)

    Announcer (VO): Finnegan’s. As Irish as it gets.

  • Gilles Barbier’s Nursing Home

Quote of the Day
I caught up with a friend of mine this afternoon to thank him for a book (and accompanying note) that he sent me last week. This was from the tail end of the conversation:

[11:42] [Joe] Anyways, gotta run… Got tix for the Bucs game today…
[11:42] NICE.
[11:42] *jealous*
[11:42] Enjoy.
[11:42] Have fun.
[11:42] [Joe] Ahh, I’m not a big football fan, but they were free. 🙂
[11:42] [Joe] I shall.
[11:43] [Joe] Will try to get good pics, too. 🙂
[11:43] Not a big football fan?
[11:43] I’m not sure that we can remain friends.
[11:43] 😛
[11:43] [Joe] LOL
[11:44] [Joe] Hey, I overlook your inability to recognize the superiority of the Yankees, don’t I????
[11:44] Ouch.
[11:44] Touchè.

And with that…


“All four winds together can bring the world to me…”

everyday glory No Comments »

“Laziness” must have been the word of the day.

The day started with a two-hour long soak/bath. It was great. I was even so lazy as to move the spare television into the hallway so that I could watch cartoons while I lounged in the tub. It’s amazing what one can do with an aerial antenna (left on the back of the house by the previous owners), enough coaxial cable (also left by the previous owners, attached to said aerial) and an old pair of rabbit ears. The rest of the morning and afternoon were similarly lax – I think that the highlights were watching football and doing a couple of loads of laundry.

In the evening, , and I went to Sampan for dinner. Then it was off to bowling; met us there and bowled with us. (I don’t remember my high score, but I think that it was around 165; I’ll verify it tomorrow.) dropped by to say “hi,” as well. The ever-popular, but seldom seen met us at V.I., as did and a few other friends whom we haven’t seen in a while.

Stray Toasters

  • I spoke with Dad and Rana today. For the most part, things seem well in their respective parts of the world.
  • Rassm frassm Utah drivers! *shakes fist*
  • A pea-soup fog has settled in over the Salt Lake Valley. It’s almost claustrophobia-inducing.
  • For my favorite red-headed Bat-fan: This. Gotta love Alfred.

Keeping my eyes open has just become a monumental task. Time for me to find the path into The Dreaming.


“Each of us a cell of awareness, imperfect and incomplete…”

everyday glory No Comments »

After a night of erratic sleep, I wound up taking a nap this morning. It was good. And, it was apparently necessary. While out and about this afternoon, I stopped had coffee with Perry.

Then there was tonight’s coffee get-together. and were there. It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten together with Ms. , hopefully it won’t be that long until we see her again. We were also joined by an unexpected guest: an ex-coworker from the Dungeon of Doom the REC. We caught up on what had gone on in our lives over the past couple of years. And then, it was on to dinner at Cheers North. It was an well-spent evening.

Stray Toasters

  • When I got in from Moab last night, Jess told me that my package from Amazon.com had arrived. This caused me a bit of concern as I didn’t recall having ordered anything from them. So, I opened the box. It didn’t explode or shower me with acid, so I took that as a good sign. Inside was a book. Sent by my friend, Joe. Along with a note that made me laugh.
  • Unrepentingly “creatively acquired” from :

    The Friday Five for December 17, 2004: A Dash of Holiday Fun

    1. What is a fond holiday tradition from your childhood?
      There are a few. One is going to Christmas Eve Mass with my uncle, when we’re both at my mother’s. Another is getting to open one gift on Christmas Eve. And the last would be… staying up past midnight to open the rest of the gifts.

    2. If you could start a new holiday tradition, what would it be?
      I don’t know, but it would not be “Christmahanukwanzakah” (although, I have to give credit to Virgin Mobile for the amusement factor alone).

    3. What is your favorite Christmas song and who sings it?
      Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

    4. Is there a certain event, food, television program, etc. that makes your Christmastime complete?
      Event: Other than opening presents (and not having to put out fires), not really.
      Food: No.
      TV Program: Not really, but I can always make time to watch A Year Without Santa Claus, because who doesn’t like the Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs!?

    5. Does is traditionally snow where you live at Christmastime? If not, do you wish that it did?
      Most winters, yes.

    Copy and paste to your own journal, then reply to this post with a link to your answers.

    If you’d like to suggest questions for a future Friday Five, then do so here:

  • I looked at calendars tonight at coffee. I still don’t know what I want for my 2005 calendar, but I did have an epiphany: I’m waiting until after the first to get it. It’s amazing how much they’ll cut the price on them after the beginning of the year.
  • Gummy worms!
  • K-3P0 *cracks up*
  • DC Comics’ Christmas card this year feature Jim Lee’s rendition of the Batmobile from Batman Begins.
  • Top Ten Science Advances of 2004
  • : If you haven’t done so already, you might enjoy signing up for and checking out Legion World. New LSH artist Barry Kitson has been posting some costume design sketches in the forums.
  • You’ve undoubtedly seen a car with fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror, but now there’s something for the gamer’s car.
  • …and on the subject of dice, check these out, too.