Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“I don’t give a damn cause I’m stone dead already..”

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Sunday : 30 October 05
The party was fun; did the honors of taking most of the pictures from the evening; I have a few and will post them… tomorrow or Tuesday.

Waking up wasn’t as bad as I had feared that it would be – there was only a very slight twinge of a headache near the back of my head, but that was gone fairly quickly. I talked with for a while, as we waited for to depart The Dreaming. A little more conversation and we decided that it was time to go in search of food. We ate at Ruby Tuesday’s; I had the Chopped Steak Stacker and it was pretty good.

Post-lunch, we dropped of and then headed to Best Buy. I finally broke down and picked up a new Wacom Graphire4. It’s only the 4×5 model, but I realized that I don’t really need more than that at this point. Sure, it would be nice to have one of the larger models – or an Intuos – but it’s not a “must have.”

I headed to and Chris’ place for Zombie Jamboree zombie moviefest. We watched Undead and Land of the Dead – an Aussie zombie flick and a George Romero one. I really don’t know what to say about Undead; Land of the Dead wasn’t too bad… even though I started nodding off in the middle of it. I left as the crew was starting Jason X.

I drove around for a little while after that. I headed towards South Jordan/Riverton and looped back up on Redwood Road. It was a nice drive.

And now, I’m off to find the gates of The Dreaming.


“It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark…”

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Saturday : 29 October 05
Quick hit before bed…

It’s been a good day. The Hallowe’en party seemed to go off well. Everyone seemed to enjoy him- or herself. And that was the point of the whole thing. We had a good turn-out and a good mix of people. Thanks to everyone who showed up; I hope that you had a good time. As far as I am concerned (and as far as I am aware at this point) the party was a success.

did an amazing job on the costumes for , Chris and me. has the pics of us… somewhere.

Stray Toasters
Right. Like I’m coherent enough to actually post ‘Toasters tonight. Check back morrownight. Maybe.


“I bless the rains down in Africa…”

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Friday : 28 October 05
It’s been a good day.
It started and ended well.
And the middle wasn’t too shabby, either.
This one definitely goes in the “Plus” column.

Stray Toasters

  • I still have cotton candy.
  • : Hope that you’re feeling better soon.
  • There will be a Storm (Limited Series) beginning in February of 2006.

  • You must watch this video.
  • Pop Quiz: Without looking it up, what does the “ZIP” in ZIP Code stand for?

I’m beat. Anything more will keep until later.


“Too many hands on my time… Too many feelings… Too many things on my mind.”

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Thursday : 27 October 05
I guess that in the grand scheme of things, today was a good day.

That doesn’t mean that it didn’t have its rough spots. It did. Right in the middle of the work day. *decompress* I don’t mind answering questions on the job; it comes with the territory. What I do mind is when someone asks the same question, repeatedly (over the course of several days)… and I answer it the same way every time. At that point, take 50¢ and go buy a clue: If or when something changes, I’ll tell you. Until then, don’t keep harping on the subject. *GAH* I was vindicated when he asked someone else the question… and they snapped back at him.

The post-work evening was good. I headed to Jo-Ann Fabric to look for a pattern for my costume’s pants. I found two. Not sure which one I’ll go with. *shrug* I made a couple of other quick shopping stops and then it was off to pick up and and find food. Olive Garden fit the bill tonight. It was a good way to (mostly) unwind from the day.

Stray Toasters

  • My father called me this afternoon. That in and of itself isn’t too unusual. He was calling to see if I needed a photo printer. *blink blink* “Need,” no. But, I wasn’t foolish enough to turn it down.
  • Stephen King… writing for… Marvel Comics?
  • Life Model Decoy. “LMD,” for short.
  • Cool World was a horrible movie – which is why it’s the bottom end of the “Cool World – Long Kiss Goodnight Scale” – but it had a pretty decent soundtrack.
  • Just in time for Hallowe’en: Necronomicon as papercraft
  • Okay, : You’ve mastered the bleeding Jell-O® hearts. Let’s see if you can pull of The Phantom Manor.
  • I’m not aware of too many things
    I know what I know, if you know what I mean…

  • Target (yes, that one) will be selling Home Video Arcade Machines, starting in November. I only have one thing to say about this: Joust! (I won’t even go into the fact that “jousting” is for rings; when two combatants go at it, it’s called “tilting.”)
  • I know that it’s a little… odd… for jousting to be a state sport. *shrug* You get used to it. What I did not know was that Maryland has a state drink: Milk. You can find other Maryland state symbols here.
  • I have cotton candy. That put a (much-needed) smile on my face.

And that’s all for now.


Looking back on a good day.

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Wednesday : 26 October 05
Another day passes, another year is celebrated. Earlier this evening, I was chatting with , here’s how part of the conversation went:

: How old are you now? Twelve?
: Mentally? Just about. 😉 I’m 35.

That pretty much sums up how I feel about it. I don’t feel “old,” despite several people asking me how it feels to be old. I wouldn’t know. And, if I have anything to say or do about it, I never will. I’m happy to have my health and well-being. I intend to keep that frame of mind for as long as I possibly can.

It’s been a great day. I slept in. I saved the world (a couple of times!). I went out for the semi-traditional birthday dinner at Outback with a few friends. Nothing says “Happy birthday” like twelve ounces of prime rib. Unless you’re vegetarian… in which case it say’s anything but “Happy birthday.”

Along with birthdays come the obligatory calls, text messages and IMs from family and friends. They started early this morning (before I went to bed) and kept coming through 9:00 PM. Fortunately, everyone was kind enough to allow me time to sleep in and enjoy a restful morning. Even the cats were relatively inactive this morning. It was nice. If I haven’t mentioned it recently, I have been fortunate and blessed enough to have a rather good, loving family and equally cool friends. Thank you.

The High-Flying Adventures of Indigo Bolt   
As an additional bonus to the birthday, I made Security Level 26 tonight. And a new power: Voltaic Sentinel. Basically, I create a “pet” ball of electricity that follows me around. Just like an electric puppy (…because an electric cat would just do its own thing).

I also managed to get out of experience debt this afternoon… only to get back into it tonight. Fortunately, the team that I was with tonight was fighting just enough above my level to get me out of debt and over the threshold to Level 26.

Security Level 27 is only 89,254 points away.

Stray Toaster
I neglected to post the following last night:

and I saw this car on the way home Tuesday afternoon. This picture doesn’t do it justice, but all that I had at hand was the camera on my phone. It’s a Subaru Justy. Those are flower decals all over the body. ALL over. There were a number of bumper stickers on the rear of the car, too. But, the best part was the interior: The owner had completely reupholstered the inside walls and ceiling (I couldn’t tell about the seats, though) in fleece… with bright, “electric” (think: 70s black light posters) colors.

The driver was just cruising along, working it.
Go on ahead, girl. It’s all about you!

And with that, good night.


“Day-in, day-out…”

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Tuesday : 25 October 05
It was a good Tuesday. I worked, I worked out, I went back to work and I came home.

I had everyone here to run the Shadowrun game tonight. It went well; I was expecting to have the party get into a big brawl with some toxic shaman. They didn’t. But they did roleplay the Hell out of their characters.

I even got a couple of calls wishing me an early “Happy Birthday,” for Wednesday.

And all of the above made me smile.

The High-Flying Adventures of Indigo Bolt
32,000 points of experience debt.
What’s a hero to do?

He gets out on patrol and serves up some electrical justice, that’s what!

I sidekicked with a semi-regular partner, .Guttermouth, and a few other people in Peregrine Island. I didn’t do much damage, but the combat helped me to knock some points off of my experience debt total. As people started to log out, I exemplared another character in Skyway City. After that, I hooked up with a couple of members of my supergroup and helped with a mission in The Hollows.

And when I was done, I had under 20,000 – possibly under 15,000 – points of debt left to get rid of. Slowly, but surely… it’s coming down.

Stray Toasters
None tonight.


A little mid-morning funk…

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How are you getting’ your groove on today?

“We will pay the price, but we will not count the cost…”

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Monday : 24 October 05
For a Monday, it wasn’t a bad day. Not even the fact that I had to get up at 5:30 to get ready for work dampened the day. Besides, it was nice to beat my Team Lead into the office – especially since he has at least half of the commuting distance that he used to and would often arrive at work before I would. If I beat him in tomorrow, I think that I will have Wagner’s Die Valkyrie playing (loudly) on my computer. (Now all I need are some plastic helicopters, Army men and napalm…)

<post arrival-at-the-office edit>
I was the first one in this morning. I put in the Wagner CD and pumped up the volume. The payoff came about 15 minutes later:

“Good morning, Rob. Riding the Valkyries today, huh?”


There was a coffee machine and bean grinder waiting for me when I got to work this morning; it turns out that they were in the old office but rarely got used. So… I inherited ’em. I took some coffee down with me this morning. But, I neglected to pick up any milk or creamer. Oh, well.

This evening has been good, as well. We got together with the Black-and-Tan gang and had dinner at Porcupine Pub and Grille. Bad puns, good beer and good company.

BBC News: US civil rights icon Parks dies
The New York Times: Rosa Parks, 92, Founding Symbol of Civil Rights Movement Dies

Stray Toasters


Lunchtime groove…

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<dance break>
</dance break>

What’s in your dance break today?

“And I’m a million different people, from one day to the next…”

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Sunday : 23 October 05
It’s been a decent day. I didn’t do much during the early part of the day… other than watch some football, that is. This evening, I had dinner with , and her boys. And somewhere in there, I even took some time out to save the world.

Baltimore at Chicago
6 – 10
The Ravens headed to the Windy City to take on Da Bears. Everyone was expecting a defensive battle… and that’s exactly what they got. Both teams’ defenses were on top of their games.

The offenses, on the other hand… *shrug* Jamal Lewis still doesn’t seem to have found his “A” game. Chicago’s Thomas Jones apparently found it. He was Chicago’s go-to guy on the ground. The passing game looked all right, but the Bears’ defensive line and backfield were tough.

There is one semi-silver lining to all of this: Chicago’s QB, Kyle Orton, is a fellow Boilermaker. If the Ravens had to lose, at least it was to a team led by someone from Purdue.

Stray Toasters

  • I just heard the new Blitz: The League described as “Grand Theft Madden” on VH1’s Best Week Ever. That made me laugh.
  • The Robot Hell Song from Futurama.
  • “It was a zombie jamboree…”Zombie Lurch
  • and : The Escapist #8 cover art
  • “I found this game Mom bought called Calamari and Monkeys!”

  • : From the DCG – Sensor (v4)
  • , the following Applegeeks comic has your name all over it.

  • The video for Nine Inch Nails’ Only is… interesting.
  • Yes! Someone understands!!!

  • Do we really need a new release of Titanic, with three hours of behind-the-scenes extras? Actually, maybe we do… but ONLY if they finally tell us who the genius was that decided to include a scene with the guy bouncing off the propeller when he jumped overboard. *chuckles* That was my favorite scene from Titanic; it made sitting through the movie, up to that point, worthwhile.

Quote of the Day
From tonight’s episode of Futurama on Adult Swim

Bender: “Don’t worry, guys. I’ll never be too good or too evil again. From now on, I’ll just be me.”
Leela: “Uh, do you think you could be just a little less evil than that?”
Bender: “I dunno. You think you could survive a seven hundred foot fall?”
Fry: “Heh heh. Good old Bender.”


“It’s action – reaction – random interaction…”

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Saturday : 22 October 05
The first half of the day was lazy. Very lazy. I woke up somewhere around 9:15 and made my way downstairs to the den to watch some TV. Then it was 10-something. I think that it was roughly 11:30 before I managed to drag myself off the couch and stop letting the TV watch me.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from continuing to be lazy. Or bored. I was bored for a good while before Ms. informed me that she was heading to Fascist Pla…. I mean “Fashion Place” Mall. I asked if she would mind some company – she said that she would not – and thus, I got ready and headed out to meet her. I met her, and young Mr. Sebastian… whom shall henceforth be known as “BabyArmadillo42.” (You had to be there.) We ate lunch and then began to wander the mall.

The first stop was in Meier & Frank. And that is where the hijinks began. I’m not sure if the highlight (or possibly lowlight) was me asking a clerk “Where are the ladies unmentionables,” or semi-trying on what looked like a prom dress – Nyx has a picture of this somewhere… On to Nordstrom’s with stops in Gap Kids, Victoria’s Secret (where I got to play out my vampiric inclinations on a window-front mannequin) and The Bombay Company.

Nordstrom’s was a story unto itself. needed something from the MAC counter. Nyx and I stood off to the side with the now-sleeping BabyArmadillo42. And we people-watched. Oh, my. The entire staff at the MAC counter was done up in glittery makeup. O.o It was a sight to behold. Then there were the random passers-by. And the lady at the counter next to where we were standing? She was desperately trying to hold on to her (lost) youth.

I left the mall to pick up from work. I drove up I-215 with the intent of taking Route 201 to get to the new REC building. No go, Flight. Before I got to the off-ramp, I could see traffic backed-up and moving very slowly. So I decided to head up to I-80 and come in from just above the REC. What I had neglected to consider was taking the California Avenue exit, which lies between 201 and 80. And it would have taken me right up to the REC. Of course, this revelation didn’t occur to me until I had just passed the off-ramp for California Ave. *sigh* I’m brilliant.

Home. I had intended to save the world for a while. Instead I was enthralled by the Cartoon Network presentation of The Batman vs. Dracula… which I had considered taping. I only caught the last 00:40 or so of it, but it seemed to be rather well done. I’ll have to catch an encore presentation to see what the first 1:20 was like.

Off to Jo-Ann Fabrics to get material for my costume. This time, I took the measurements! The fabric that I chose was not only a good price, but had a coupon that took an extra 50% off of the price! We also picked up a few Hallowe’en decoration/party favor things.

Home again. Jiggety-jig. This time, I made the trip to Paragon City.

A couple of hours later founr me on the road, heading to breakfast. I left a little early and took a bit of a drive before heading to Cheers. It was a decent turnout. And The Singles weren’t there! All-in-all, it was a good breakfast.

The High-Flying Adventures of Indigo Bolt
I ran a couple of short missions with my friend, Don. I was taking on The Family again. And, again, they were beaten down. I went to get a mission (against Sky Raiders) from my contact and then headed to the train station, which is where I normally log out – it’s a “safe-spot.” I got to the station… and proceeded to see myself lying face down on the ground. Dead. *ARRRRRGH* It seemed that the Raiders had decided to bring the fight to me. Thanks to this death – and a few others from two nights ago – I now have 34,000 points of experience debt to work off. Yay!

Stray Toaster

Quote of the Day

: Crackheads are always after me Lucky Charms!

And with that, I bid you good morrow.


“Now I lay me down in dreamland, I know perfect’s not for real…”

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Friday : 21 October 05
It’s late and I’m tired, but it’s been a good day.

I’ll post more in the post-sunrise morning.


Friday mid-morning break

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<dance break>


</dance break>

“Horizon to horizon, memory written on the wind…”

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Thursday : 20 October 05
It’s been an all-around good day. I got to sleep in a little this morning, that’s always a good thing. It was “No Bad News Thursday” at work and thus no one was harming in the making of this work day. My lunchtime workout was good; I was muscle fatigued (but not overly so) by the time that we left. We went to the gym in… American Fork, I think; I’m not sure if we had crossed into Pleasant Grove. *shrug* Doesn’t really matter, either way. The gym has an… odd layout. It’s going to take a little getting used to. And we’re going to have to learn what equipment is where. Again. The rest of the day was good and before I knew it, it was time to head home. Aside from a couple of Utah drivers who acted like… Utah drivers, the commute home was relatively uneventful.

After a little rest at home, there was trip to Jo-Ann Fabric to get the rest of the fabric for my Hallowe’en costume. Being a fabric store and since they carried patterns, I didn’t think that I’d need to check the cloth requirements before leaving the house.

I should have. Why? Because I couldn’t find one – NOT ONE – copy of the pattern in the store. *braincramp* On the plus side, I did find what I think will be excellent fabric for my cloak… and I did remember how much of that I needed. So, there is at least one more trip to the store in the works.

Tonight’s CSI was good. I was expecting the case to simply be a Hallowe’en prank that a family pulled. I was wrong. Very wrong. And I liked the mostly-subtle psychological things that the writers are using with the Nick Stokes character.

Stray Toasters

  • How Rail Guns Work (Now, where’s the Teflon®?)
  • The Simpsonsnow playing…. on Arab television?
  • Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon…
  • I’m not really sure what to say about Mr. Suicide Bathtub Plug
  • I think that the premise of Marvel Comic’s upcoming mini-series, Ares sounds interesting:

    ARES #1 (of 5)
    Pencils & Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
    For thousands of years, Ares, The God of War, has been the most violent and ruthlessly efficient killer in Zeus’s stable. The Nuclear Option to be sent in when absolutely, positively, need to kill everything in sight. Now, Ares — who has invaded Olympus, attempted to take over earth, stood at the walls of Troy, and fought toe to toe with and against Earth’s greatest heroes – has turned his back on Olympus and centuries of brutal warfare to begin life anew on Earth with one goal: to raise his child. But what happens when Olympus – under siege and in danger of falling – calls on its most violent son to come to its rescue? And what happens if Ares refuses? Will Zeus destroy his son…and his grandson…to save his city? This five issues miniseries, illustrated by Travel Foreman and written by Mike Oeming, brings together heroes new and old, uniting Hercules and the Greek Pantheon with the Marvel Universe. Ares is the God of War, so we promise this is like no heroic book Marvel has done before. Heads will fly and blood will flow between Ares and anyone who stands in the way of his son.

    And another thing: When did Mr. T get promoted to God of War? (click for image)

  • Has someone ever forwarded you the email that tells you to forward it to all of your friends and Microsoft will send you a check for $5.00? Yeah… that one. I was walking the web and came across an article on Life’s Little Annoyances, by Ian Urbina. In it, he tells the story of Jeff Zickgraff and what he did when friends sent him that email. It’s a thing of beauty.
  • From boingboing.net: Starbucks to print God quote on cups
  • By way of Real Tech News: Yo! The Speech Accent Archive Available Online
  • Apparently, I’m on something of a meme/quiz-taking kick… at least for me.
    You scored as Blade. Thats right you are the booty kicking you cross me and I will stomp a mudhole in your butt type. Sexy and a great fighter with mad fighting skills















    Deacon Frost






    Whose your Vampire personality? (images)
    created with QuizFarm.com

  • I came across this blog (of sorts) by way of Backwash. I saw this quote and it made me laugh:

    Friday, April 18, 2003
    “did you notice i cleaned the car?” said the mother to her three kids, piling into the SUV. “did you notice i need braces?” the eldest daughter replied.
    –near my office

    The parent blog can be found here.

  • Here’s another look at the upcoming All-Star Superman #1, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. I remember when I first saw Mr. Quitely’s artwork, a few years ago; I didn’t care much for his style. It’s grown on me, over time. I remember having the same opinion about Stuart Immonen’s work. It’s grown on me, too. The work of Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, however… it still does nothing for me.
  • Melissa Etheridge with short, blonde hair. Huh. That’ll take a little getting used to. *shrug* I still like her music, though.
  • “You know the one thing I miss most about the ’80s?”
    “No, but they’re a close second.”

And that’s a wrap…


“Everybody got to elevate from the norm.”

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Wednesday : 19 October 05
Today was a better day in the South Office …aside from the fact that we were still effectively cut off from the rest of the world.

But, my mood was greatly improved. And the day went fairly quickly.

Post work, I came home and took what was apparently a much-needed nap. Then it was off to dinner with and Heather. Otherwise, it’s been a pretty quiet night.

I think I’ll go save the world.

Stray Toasters

  • I chatted with my Godsister, Tammy, for a bit this evening. I was rather surprised – but quite happy – to find her online, considering the two-hour time difference.
  • I’ve seen this quiz/meme floating around and decided to try it out. I’m amused.
    You are the type to not take crap from anyone.  If someone slaps your right cheek, you clobber them in theirs.  Your idea of fair is 'an eye for an eye.'
    What Would Eastwood Do?
    You are the type to not take crap from anyone. If
    someone slaps your right cheek, you clobber
    them in theirs. Your idea of fair is “an
    eye for an eye.”

    What is your personal WW_D?
    brought to you by Quizilla

  • Flexible electronic paper
  • I just saw an ad for tonight’s Tonight Show. Herbie Hancock will be on… with Christina Aguilera as his vocalist. I’m intrigued by this combination.

    (Update: It was rather nice. Mr. H., as always, was good and, Ms. Aguilera was rather… uncharacteristically restrained, not to say that she didn’t sing well; she just wasn’t as “animated” as I’ve come to expect her to be.)

  • From boingboing.net: Freeze-dried funeral
  • : I saw a link to this and thought of you.
  • I could try to set this up, but that would spoil the fun.
  • What’s Nolan Bushnell been up to? This.
  • “And I don’t…
    No I don’t mind, at all”

  • and : I saw this and thought of you guys.
  • “It’s like Esperanto met ADHD and they adopted a greyhound.”

  • “And stuff.”
  • : This comic made me think of you.
  • I still enjoy Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. I like the fact that Boomerang shows them back-to-back. In fact, tonight’s episode is “Livewire,” featuring Lori Petty as Leslie Willis/Livewire.
  • “Holy crap! It’s like watching the end to every 80’s movie all at once!”
  • Grant Morrison… writing… Batman? Interesting.