Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“Robot Girl, robot girl, move your arms a few degrees more…”

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Thursday : 28 July 05
Waking up this morning was more of an ordeal than usual. But, I did it. And I don’t think that I have ever been as glad (at least not in the recent past) to have coffee waiting to be brewed in the coffee pot. It was good… but didn’t have quite as much kick as I needed. But it was enough to get me started.

Enter: . On his way into the office, he messaged me to ask if I was sufficiently caffeinated. I told him that I was in dire need of a transfusion – there was far too much blood in my caffeinestream. A short while later, he arrived with a cup of blended mocha goodness. I told him that he was well on his way to sainthood, as this was his second (consecutive) miracle. He just laughed and said, “Or maybe I’m just trying to bribe the GM…” And he walked off. Eric and I hit the gym at lunch. It was a good workout. I’m not really “sore,” but my lats and lower biceps definitely feel it tomorrow.

And, then Adam, youngest member of the sibko, messaged me. (This is not uncommon.)
With a phone picture of the CTS. (Uncommon.)
With a mattress strapped to the roof. (Uh….)
And nothing that even vaguely resembled a “This is…” note.

So, naturally, I called him.

He asked what I thought the picture was; I told him. After all, “car with a mattress on its roof” isn’t really a hard one to figure out, even on a cell phone’s screen. He told me that was in fact what it appeared to be and that he sent it as a way of letting me know that he was moving from his current house to another one. College students… go figure! We talked for a few minutes beyond that and then he was off again.

After work, I made a quick jaunt through Dr.. Volt’s. Along with this week’s four-color print shwag, I picked up a few pieces of plastic crack. Along with Rogue (experienced), Wolverine (unique) and the three (1, 2, 3) remaining members of the Ultimate Fantastic Four (I got a UFF Human Torch a couple of weeks ago), I got an experienced Power Man. “Sweet Christmas!” as Luke Cage, himself, would say. “Sweet Christmas,” indeed.

Stray Toasters

  • After a few months of “Life with Gaim,” I’m switching back to Trillian. There are a couple of things that Trillian does that I miss in Gaim, although I do like the “one window, one taskbar button” aspect of Gaim.
  • IGN has the trailer for Doom (not to be confused with Dhoom), based on the videogame series of the same name. Starring: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
  • I don’t remember what started it, but we got onto the topic of lighting using LEDs today at work. Which made me think of Vos Solutions and some of the interiors that they have designed using LEDs.
  • I introduced a couple of the guys on my team to Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity video this afternoon. And, to think: It all started because one of them said: “You have a man with fuzzy hat dancing around on your monitor.”
  • : I think that you’ll like this picture of one Ms. Barbara Gordon.
  • Japanese Female Android Exposed
  • From Mobile Magazine: The Mobile Game Hall of Fame
  • You know that it was bound to happen: Someone found a crack for Microsoft’s “Genuine Advantage” Windows XP license validation.

Eight more for “The Man” and then it’s the weekend. I’m going down to Cedar City to help a friend load a U-Haul (you know, that whole “load a U-Haul” thing seems to be a recurring theme for my summers…) and get her moved in to a place in the SLC valley. It’s just an overnight trip, but it will be nice to be out of the valley for a while.


“Oh when the sun beats down and melts the tar up on the roof…”

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Wednesday : 27 July 05
Today was a good mid-week. Work proceeded apace. I had lunch with . And I was able to just relax and hang out this evening. I even took a drive around part of the city. It was nice.

Stray Toasters

  • I left my gummy worms at work.
  • I’m not sure why, but something… compelled me (that’s the best way I can describe it) to find this post and read it.
  • I heard about this story on the radio this morning. That just ain’t right…
  • A trip to the office washroom, this afternoon, reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Saturday Night Live skits: I walked in and saw a row of outward-pointed shoes and rumpled trouser legs below the walls of the stalls… and the first thing that I thought of was the “Under the Boardwalk” skit from the mid-80s. It had the same visual – shoes and pulled-down pants – and then someone started singing the bass line from The Drifters’ Under the Boardwalk. Someone else started in on the first verse. Two or three others joined in on the chorus. And the whole time, their feet were tapping. They continued till the end of the song, then there was flushing and zipping…. and everyone walked out of their stalls like nothing had happened.

    It took a lot of restraint not to laugh out loud when I thought of that skit.

  • By way of boingboing.net: Logos desafortunatdos
  • By a show of hands, how many of you remember Voltron: Defender of the Universe? *looks around* Well… guess who’s coming to the big screen?
  • Fourteen ways to die in Shanghai
  • ARRRRR! (Thanks to for pointing this out.)
  • This ice cream tastes like shit!
  • For : There’s a new Shadowcat in town…
  • As is a fan of Dr. Henry J. McCoy, I present this.
  • Four words: “Galaxy Rangers action figures

Quote of the Day
Last night, after the game broke up, I jokingly asked to bring me a blended mocha when he came to work. On the way to work, I picked up a 24 ounce cup of double-shot-laden frozen mocha goodness. It was good. Damned good, too! I got to work, I drank most of it. A little while later, walks in… mocha in hand. He placed it on my desk and walked away.

Me: “You’re a saint.”
Eric: “What miracle did he perform?”
Me: He turned water into caffeinated mocha goodness!
: And it’s blended, too!


“We’re running with the shadows of the night…”

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Tuesday : 26 July 05
I slept in this morning; longer than I had intended, but it felt great.

Work wasn’t too bad. Even for a Tuesday. Not that Tuesdays are usually bad. One of the guys on my team asked me “If you were going to buy a computer, what would you get?” I laughed at him. No, really… I laughed. When I stopped laughing, I explained that I’m of the “build, not buy” crowd. Although, I will make exceptions for a laptop and/or the Mac Mini.

Tonight was Shadowrun night. The group came over and took on tonight’s challenge. Not only did they take it on, but they beat it. And everyone survived… although two of the characters were dangerously close to meeting St. Peter by the end of the run. came over and sat in on the game; she wanted to see the game in action to determine whether or not she wanted to join the group. helped her with character generation while I ran combat scenes for the rest of the party; it looks like will join the team next session.

Stray Toasters
There were a few things that I had considered putting here, but I’m tired… and thus will they keep until tomorrow. And if I’ve forgotten them, I’m Ivory Soap sure that I’ll find something to fill the void.


“Got a call from an old friend, we used to be real close…”

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Monday : 25 July 05
Today was Pioneer Day in the Land Behind the Zion Curtain. Or “Mormon Christmas,” as refers to it. I started thinking about it and came to the conclusion that it would be more like “Mormon Thanksgiving,” since they found a place where they could live (relatively) free of the persecution of those who didn’t believe as they did.

I’ll refrain from getting on my “Colony Kid” soapbox and going on a tirade about this being a state holiday… and it getting more fanfare than the Fourth of July (in some places)… and that it isn’t even commemorative of the day that “The Great State of Deseret” became the state in the Union known as “Utah,” that day is in January. And the statehood day hasn’t had much ado about anything (let alone “nothing”) in the six years that I’ve been here.

Other than that, my big highlight of the day was getting a phone call from a friend of mine back home. We usually manage to just miss each other when we call, but today he got me. We talked for nearly 45 minutes. It was really good to hear from him and to catch up.

Stray Toasters

  • Not only did I play City of Heroes tonight, but I also have gummy worms!
  • Last night, I made the following comment in my post:

    Our waiter was attentive, responsive and just all-around, hands-down better than the toe rag who waited on us the last time.

    This morning, I received a comment asking what “toe rag” meant. I was flabbergasted. Not because the person had to ask what it meant – although, that did surprise me; maybe it’s just an East Coast thing – but because (stay with me on this one): In order to see the post and to reply to it, the person had to be online. On. The. Internet. The largest pool of information in the world. Maybe it’s just the way that I’m wired (…maybe it’s Maybelline), but I would have just looked up what it meant. And given the context in which I used the phrase, I thought that it would be painfully obvious that my opinion of the first waiter was less than “good.”

  • Japanese condom packaging art (Work safe)
  • You snowboard and think you’re the new hotness?
    Step aside.
    This guy is all about the old-school hotness.

  • For : Bollywood’s Good Girls Learn to Be Bad
  • Monday nights and ABC meant one thing in the 80s. Wait… “one thing other than football“…. MacGuyver. Check out this site and you to can (almost) make a (laser) gun out of some rubber bands, a paper clip and a pencil.
  • “I wanna be a zombie when I grow up!”

  • Troopseses! (Thanks to Nyx for showing me this.)
  • Repeat after me: “A new line of Micronauts toys will be out soon…”

I think that there was at least one other thing that I wanted to add to this, but I can’t remember what it was. Oh, well. Either I’ll remember it and use it tomorrow… or I won’t.


I just remembered what it was: and posted links to this article – she on LJ, he on IRC. I was just on I-15 in Utah County this past weekend… and I missed it! (Had I not missed it, it would have been plastered all over Saturday night’s post.)

Anywho, I don’t think that quite understood just how… um… expected/common/normal/something it is for young men and women to hitch up, settle down and have kids here behind the Zion Curtain. Couples start their families in their early 20s, often shortly after the young man returns from his mission (going out into the world and spreading the gospel of the LDS Church, for those of you not in Utah). It seems to work for them, so more power to ’em! So, when the article refers to him as an “old maid,” they really weren’t kidding. (And, from what I’ve gathered from some LDS friends of mine, to be a woman and in your thirties and unmarried/childless isn’t exactly a walk in the park, either.) It was one of the (many) things – along with the lack of “chocolate people” – that amazed me when I moved here.

“We’ve taken care of everything: The words you read, the songs you sing, the pictures that give pleasure to your eye…”

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Sunday : 24 July 05
I woke up this morning when the alarm went off at 9:30.

I then went back to sleep.

That’s not the best thing to do when you planned to be on the bike trail by 10:30. And I wasn’t exactly rushing around the house to get ready, either. But, I managed to get myself moving and out the door by 10:45 or thereabout. I rode down to the trail head, rather than try and load the bike into the car. (Mental Note to Self: Get a bicycle rack.) It took about 15 or 20 minutes and was mostly downhill. I hit the trail and decided to go take the southern leg. I rode down to 85th South and doubled back; I went a little north of the trail head and into a nearby neighborhood. The main reason: The last hill that I went down to get to the trail head was one that I didn’t want to deal with on the ride home. I found a street that connected with where I needed to go… and took it. The climb wasn’t too bad. Nor, really was the climb after that. But, I did stop a couple of times to catch my breath and let my quads cool down a little. However, at no time did I push, pull or carry the bike – I rode the entire damned uphill way. And, when all was said and done, I had just shy of 14-and-a-half miles under the wheels. That wasn’t bad at all.

and I had a late lunch/early dinner at Biaggi’s (see this entry for the previous fiasco there). The experience was FAR superior to our previous trip there. Our waiter was attentive, responsive and just all-around, hands-down better than the toe rag who waited on us the last time.

After dinner, it was off to see The Island. It was “one part Logan’s Run, one part Blade Runner, and one part Total Recall.” I think that’s a fairly apt description. It was good; I’m interested in reading the book on which the movie was based.

Then, we were then off to visit . We chatted for a while… and wound up going to a somewhat nearby V.I. for a bite to eat. From there, it was home… to the airport (to pick up the no-longer-vacationing and home again (home again, jiggety jig!).

Stray Toasters

  • I spoke to the middle member of the sibko today; I need to call her more often.
  • Where in Someone Else’s Pants is Carmen Sandiego?
  • The SLC Airport Authority is redoing the roads around the airport. I think that the best way to describe it is “clusterfuck,” just like 99.67% of Utah’s road construction projects.
  • If you haven’t seen the trailer for the upcoming V for Vendetta movie, do so now.
  • : It sounds like Geoff Johns is going to give Power Girl a concrete origin in the DCU. And it looks like it might have something to do with a certain 30th Century group of kids.
  • Yep, Don Henley was right on target with Dirty Laundry
  • We saw trailers for both Flightplan and Red Eye. Two airline-related (disaster) movies. Both coming out this Fall. That reminded me of a conversation that I had with someone about the way that a theme gets started in Hollywood… and then everyone and his or her emu makes a movie about it. At the same time. A prime case in point: Armageddon and Deep Impact. Both were about meteors hitting Earth. Deep Impact was, by far, the superior movie.
  • “Well, that’s just stupid.”


“You can carry that weight with an iron will…”

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Saturday : 23 July 05
After too little sleep, I got up this morning to bring my car home from ‘ place. It’s been there for a while… which made it a little difficult to pin down just “what” is wrong with it. But, it’s here now and I can diagnose it at my leisure.

After getting back, it was shower and shave time so that I could be ready to go with to watch the Strongest Man Competition at the Gold’s Gym in Orem. The event was held in the parking lot and it was a great day for it: Mostly cloudy and warm, without being too hot. There were two classes of competitors: Heavyweight and lightweight. Some of the guys were buff (and I do mean BUFF), some just looked like average Joes. But they were all strong. Very much so. The events included:

  • Tire Flipping (large truck tires)
  • Truck pull (using Hummer H2s)
  • Log press
  • Dead lift
  • Farmer’s walk
  • Atlas stone

Of all the competitors, there were (only) two injuries that we saw: One guy pulled/tore a hamstring during a dead lift, the other grazed his foot or knee with a falling Atlas stone. We didn’t hear who won, but and I decided whom we thought should win. I took quite a few pictures of the event; I’ll try to get them posted in the next few days.

Returning to the SL Valley, we met and for dinner. Then it was home for some City of Heroes action, followed by breakfast.

All-in all, a good day.


“You can hear me in the harmony…”

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Another week comes to a close.

All-in-all, it’s been a good day. Despite the sleep-deprivation that came from playing CoH last night. (But, I had fun… so it’s all good.) I probably should have had two shots in the frozen mocha this morning, rather than just one. I’ll keep that in mind for future reference. Nodding off – repeatedly – at one’s desk after lunch is not a good thing.

After work, I took a much-needed 30-minute nap before heading off to Clitorati. Tonight’s gathering was small. Very small, but good. And we even had a special guest star: Land dropped in and stayed through dinner.

Stray Toasters

  • I need to replenish my cotton candy supply. Soon.
  • By way of IRC: She Blocked Me.
  • The second paragraph of this article from the Salt Lake Tribune floored me – not too many journalists would feel comfortable putting the phrase “wacky tabacky” in an article.
  • I think that this is one of my – if not THE – favorite strips from Chugworth Academy:
  • The bass riff for I Want a New Drug…. I mean Ghostbusters…. I mean I Want a New Drug
    Oh, Hell…. The bass riff from BOTH songs (since it really is the same riff – Ray Parker, Jr. copped it from the Huey Lewis song) just ran through my head. Fortunately, I had The Ramones’ (I Want To Be) Sedated loaded up in Winamp to purge it.

  • “So we’re agreed? We flush Paris’ body out the airlock?”   –   
  • C is for Cookie.
    That’s good enough for me.

    And if it’s good enough for Cookie Monster, it’s good enough for me, too.

  • I feel his pain…

I think I’ve hit the wall. Yep, that was it. And that means… It’s time to make my way upstairs and into bed.


“I wonder what it’s like to be a superhero… I wonder what I’d do if I could fly around downtown…”

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Thursday : 21 July 05

I mowed the lawn today. It’s brown in some places. Green in others. I want a vibrant, lush green carpet of grass in the front and back yards… but let’s be realistic: I live in the middle of the desert. And I’m old enough to know that not getting what I want won’t kill me.

That said, I still want a nice lawn. There are still things that can be done to enhance it’s appearance and bring it more in line with what I want. I will have to see about doing those things. Foremost on the list is getting rid of the verdammt dandelions that have appeared in the back yard. All. Over. The. Place. It’s not making for a happy Rob. So, one of these evenings or weekends, I will have to get out there with a weed popper and get rid of the ugly buggers.

Otherwise, it’s been a good day.


I (finally) installed and played City of Heroes. It was fun. I’ve made it part of the way to Level 3 in…. an hour and some change. I will be enjoy this game for some time. I need to hook up with Don and sidekick with him. (Speaking of whom: I think that he’s coming around on teaching the band Hollaback Girl.) And, I’m curious about the upcoming City of Villains. That looks… interesting. When I get a character up to a sufficient level, I’ll have to see if I can find some of the shared zones.

Stray Toasters

  • I patched the flat tire on my bike. But, the wheel isn’t aligned properly (It’s Neutral Good, at the moment) – the disc for the front brake is rubbing on the pad. BUT… the tire’s fixed.
  • For : Catwoman #48
  • , in honor of our recent Outback excursion, I bring you this.
  • “Oh, Lord, make me pious. But not yet, not yet.”
       -St. Augustine

  • I’m going with to see the Strongman Competition in Orem on Saturday… which means: “No bike ride.” I think I’ll go Sunday, instead. Any takers?
  • Top 10 Web Fads of All Time


“Beyond the rim of starlight…”

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Wednesday : 20 July 05
And on the five-hundred-sixty-third attempt… I got the new video card working. I got so fed up with everything, that I took both the motherboard and the video card to work to check a few things. I found the problem: A jumper setting for the system bus frequency was set “incorrectly.” It was fine for my processor, but for some reason, the card wasn’t having any of it. So… I changed the jumper setting. I wound up taking roughly a 40% cut in processor speed, but the card works. I’ll go back and try to juggle the system vs. AGP speed issues later.

Mary, Martha, Joseph and Jesus, this was an ordeal.

The rest of the day was rather good. Work wasn’t unpleasant and, unless I’ve missed something, tomorrow is shaping up to be a good “No Bad News Thursday.”

After work, I came home and changed the settings on the board that is in the case. *ding* Card is up and running. And that means that I am this much closer to getting on City of Heroes. I’ve been trying to decide what kind of character want to play. I had a passing thought of creating an elemental character, like the X-Men’s Storm, but a male. And I wanted to call him: Chocolate Thunder! And in my head, he would have a “wocka-chicka-wocka-chicka” 70s guitar riff playing whenever he moved (or flew). And an afro. And big mutton-chop sideburns. *nod* Aww, yeah. put the kibosh on that when he reminded me that there was going to be a Chocolate Thunder comic book. Oh, well. Back to the drawrin’ board….

I had dinner at Outback with and . 12 ounces of Prime Minister’s Prime Rib goodness. Of course, after gorging myself on half an order of Aussie Cheese Fries, it came as no surprise that I had to bring some of the prime rib home.

Stray Toasters

  • “One to beam up.”
    James Doohan, best known as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott from the Star Trek television and movie series, has died at the age of 85. I started watching Star Trek because of my stepmother, who was a big fan of the original series. My affinity for the show has grown ever since.

  • I like gummy bears as much as the next guy, but…. Damn, Gina!
  • “One way of stopping spoilers”   –   
  • Congress wants to add two months to Daylight Saving Time
  • Coming soon to a theatre of war near you: Riot control microwave ray gun
  • Holy temper tantrum, Batman!

  • I’m still trying to convince my friend, Don, that he needs to teach his band Hollaback Girl as a stand song for football season. He still seems to think that it is a bad idea. , you need to help me out here.
  • How movie studios misuse reviews.
  • For :

    Long-time Batman artist JIM APARO passed away the morning of Tuesday, July 19 due to complications from a recent illness. Aparo, 72, was best known for his long-term run on the Brave & the Bold and other Batman titles as well as other characters such as the Spectre and the Phantom Stranger. He was the artist for the contraversial storyline A DEATH IN THE FAMILY for which fans called in to vote whether the then-current Robin (Jason Todd) would live or die.

    The Aparo family has asked that in lieu of Flowers or gifts, anyone wishing to honor Jim’s legacy make a contribution to any worthy charity, as Jim believed that all charities were worth donating to.

    For those wishing to send along their condolences and best wishes to the family, a P.O. Box has been set up for the family to receive cards. The address is:

    P.O. BOX 28
    NORWALK, CONNECTICUT 06852 – 0028

  • Do we really need a Smurfs movie?
    Short answer: “No.”
    Long answer: “HELL NO.”

And that’s a wrap.



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Tuesday : 19 July 05
Quick recap:

  • The day wasn’t bad.
  • Discovered that the video card works with another motherboard (same brand and model), so that the problem(s) that I’ve been having could be due to something on the board itself. Bought a new board to test this theory.
  • Game Night (moved from tomorrow night)
  • Visited Allie again.
  • Fought with new motherboard and video card. I can’t tell what the issue is.
  • Falling asleep. Going to bed.


” ‘Cause I’m the unknown stuntman, that makes Eastwood look so fine.”

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It should probably bother/scare me more than it amuses me, but I have the theme from The Fall Guy running through my head.

“Pause, rewind, replay… Warm memory chip…”

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Monday : 18 July 05
For the most part, today has been a good day. I slept in a little this morning. Work wasn’t bad. All things that point to a decent day…

…until I got home and started dealing with the videocard again. I figured that it might have been a problem with the card that I picked up; so it went back to Best Buy today. I came home with another brand-spankin’ new card. I installed it. And, once again, nothing happened. This is frustrating and irritating.

Stray Toasters

  • Did I mention that I’m a *wee bit* torqued about this whole video card thing? It’s almost to the point where I’m considering getting a new motherboard… which will then put me one step closer to bringing the media computer to life. Method, meet madness.
  • , after one-too-many fights with the old one, bought a new car today.
  • How do you get rid of spyware on your computer? Whatever you do, I doubt that it’s as radical as these peoples’ methods.
  • Futurama fans untie! I mean “unite!” Billy West has said that there is a direct to DVD movie currently in production.
  • : Batman: Hopelessness & Faith
  • : It’s not quite a “rose in Spanish Harlem,” but I think you’ll like this.
  • : Cover art for Legion #11
  • LEGO® is sponsoring a contest in honor of their 50th Anniversary.
  • Liam Neeson will provide the voice of Aslan in the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia movie.
  • Bruce Campbell
  • wants to go to the Strongman Competition in Orem this weekend. She made a “subtle” comment to me about it. Like I’d say “No” to attending that?!

Time to wend my way to The Dreaming. Or a close approximation.


“Now is the little boy a bridegroom, now is the little girl a bride…”

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Sunday : 17 July 05
Today was EveryDave and Alyce’s wedding. It was a small gathering of family and friends and they couldn’t have chosen a better day for it. It was sunny, clear… and not as hot as it’s been recently. They had a nice – and rather brief – outdoor ceremony. It was followed by an equally well-done reception. I have a few pictures that may make it online in the next day or two…

After a quick trip home, to change clothes and check on the cats, it was off to Best Buy. I finally picked up the new video card and City of Heroes. Unfortunately, the card doesn’t want to cooperate. It locks up my system before it even gets to POST. This does not make for a happy Rob. Far from it, in fact. All I wanted was to get the new card in and play a game. Apparently, that was just too much to ask.

, and I went to dinner at Tres Hombres. Good food and good company helped make the evening better. We headed back to Nyx’ to wait for to get home. He did. The four of us chatted for a while before it was time to come home… and fight the #*@#(&!!$ video card again. (Methinks that this card will be going back to the store tomorning and a new one will replace it.)

As Gorillaz said: “Tomorrow comes today,” so I’d better hit the dusty trail and get to bed.


“It was a zombie jamboree…”

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Saturday : 16 July 05
It’s been a good – and a long – day.

I didn’t get a ride in, but I did have coffee with Perry.
…and had lunch with .
…and went to Circuit City… only to leave empty-handed.
…and picked up some plastic crack, along with my four-color crack.
…and spent time with friends, while watching zombie movies.
…and had french fries for “breakfast.”

For my next amazing trick: Sleep. In an honest-to-goodness bed!


“Who needs sleep? Well, you’re never gonna get it.”

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Friday : 15 July 05
Two hours’ sleep.
Twenty-four ounces of espresso-laden frozen mocha.
Eight and a half hours of work.
Mix well.

That was my day. And, for all of that, it wasn’t bad. I expected to be far more tired than I was, not that I am complaining. I came home and did a thirty-minute inner eyelid study and I was good to go once more.

Clitorati meets Harry Potter. There was a small group tonight for Clitorati… but a LARGE one for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The store


This intermission brought to you by “Fell Asleep at the Keyboard” Productions.

Wow. I really need to stop doing that. I’ve borked my sleep schedule pretty well, it seems. While I can sleep pretty much anywhere (as evidenced by sleeping here at the desk and in the comfy chair in the living room), I really am an old-fashioned guy and enjoy/prefer sleeping in my bed. I’ll have to make sure that I go to bed when I get tired tonight. Of course, that was the plan last night… but I stopped to pet one of the cats on the way upstairs. It was 3-something when I sat in the chair… next thing I knew, it was 7:00. *sigh*


…was full of kids and their parents/guardians dressed in various forms of wizarding wear. Some of the costumes were good, others… well, let’s just say “It’s the thought that counts.” And, I’m still kicking myself for having forgotten to make sure that my camera was in backpack.

preordered five copies of HPatHBP; she gave three of her tickets to Alyce and . The lines – yes, plural – were long, winding… and a bit unseemly. As midnight approached, people counted down the seconds until they could get their grubby little mitts on copies of the book and CD. There was a great howling of joy (at least, I’m assuming that it was joy) when the clock struck twelve and the books and CDs were unveiled. And, despite some initial confusion on the part of the store’s employees, the lines moved quickly.

Stray Toasters

I should get on with the rest of the day.