Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Morning movie groove

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<dance break>
     Electric Chair
</dance break>

How are you getting down this morning?

“Rise from the ashes – a blaze of everyday glory…”

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Tuesday : 29 November 05
It’s officially the Christmas season: I heard Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth on the radio this morning, before work.

Work was… busy. Quite busy. Not “Dear Lord, I’m going to kill the humans…” busy, but it was busy enough for me to keep my nose to the grindstone all day. That’s a good kind of busy. Going to the gym provided a nice respite. However, having taken a week off from working out was apparent. Still, it was a good workout.

Tonight was Shadowrun night. I finished running the group through the module we started two weeks ago, DNA/DOA. Everything was going swimmingly well… until they decided to take a rather radical departure from the proscribed linear game plan. In fact, it was so much of a departure that they skipped three sections of the module altogether! I had to improvise a couple of things to make up for the difference. But, once again, I have to give them credit for ingenuity and thinking outside the box… and for forcing me to actually think and adapt a no-brainer module on the fly.

Stray Toasters

  • Girl dies [from] peanut butter kiss
  • “Microsoft customer support.”
  • Homestar Runner Playsets and Toys
  • For : The Cthulhu CircusFamily Circus meets an elder god…
    (This was the link that I was looking for earlier… the one that I thought I had already posted. *sigh*)

  • …and Romero Talks Land Sequel
  • 10 Reasons to Drink During the Holidays
  • The B-Team –
  •   In Utah. 2007. Details here.
  • Sony BMG’s MediaMax Software Installs Even If You Decline
  • I was chatting with a friend and mentioned something from Eddie Murphy’s Raw stand-up routine/movie. Since I was already on the Interweb, I checked to see if I could find a copy of the transcript. Yep! I should have known that Drew’s Script-O-Rama would have it. I read through a little of it. It made me laugh.
  • New Record for Drilling Small Holes

    Just for perspective and so you don’t think this is some dumb ho-ho, the diameter of a human hair is 25.4 microns. The applications for this process in manufacturing could be legion and, as the process is refined, medical applications are possible as well.

  • Evil Stevie’s Pirate Game
  • Micronauts
  • Reposted, by way of and :

    A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.
    Women should learn self-defense.
    Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark.
    Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t wear short skirts.
    Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended.
    Fuck, they shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all.

    Instead of that bullshit, how about:

    If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.
    If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.
    If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.
    If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.
    If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.

    If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.
    If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.
    If your step-daughter is watching tv, don’t rape her.
    If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.
    If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.

    If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
    If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.

    Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.

    Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
    Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.
    Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.
    Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.
    Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions.
    You can too control yourself.

    If you agree, repost it. It’s that important.

And that’s a wrap.


Mid-morning groove…

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<dance break>
     Janet Jackson – If
</dance break>

“It is the rocket that ignites itself and launches its way to the stars…”

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Monday : 28 November 05
Today was a good day… even for a Monday.

I came home and cooked and then watched the Steelers head into Indy to take on the Colts. Did I mention that the Colts were 10-0 coming into this game? I didn’t? Well, they were. And they played like it, including scoring their first touchdown on an 80-yard pass play on their opening drive. Total time of possession: Ten seconds. By halftime, the Colts were up 16-7. invited me over to watch the second half of the game. And it just didn’t get any better for the Steelers. To the tune of: “They never scored again.” Meanwhile, The Colts threw another ten points on the board and won the game 26-7. And advanced with a perfect 11-0 record.

Stray Toasters

I should go put the dishes in the dishwasher so I can start the getting-ready-for-bed routine…


“Snow falls deep around my house…”

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Sunday : 27 November 05
Today was a quiet day. And there was snow. From the looks of it, we got about 3 or 4 inches of it. Fortunately, by the time I got around to shoveling it, most of it had melted from the driveway, leaving the steps and a little bit of the driveway to take of.

I had dinner at The Outback with and . Instead of my usual prime rib, I had the sirloin. It was good… but a little overcooked. *shrug* Oh, well. The cheese fries were good, though.

It snowed a little more while we were out. Thus, there was new snow to be shoveled on the driveway. Yay.

I headed back to Nox’ a little later, bearing a USB cable and a bag chock full of Spenser books. I also played Technomancer and helped him fix a problem that his system had developed. And we talked of game geekery, of course.

Ravens Update

Baltimore at Cincinnati
29 – 42
The Ravens were on the road in “The Jungle” to take on the Bengals.

The first half of the game was ALL Cincinnati. ALL. Kyle Boller couldn’t get settled. Jamal Lewis was ineffective with the run. And it was just… bad. About the only positive was that the defense did their best to hold out against the Bengals’ offense. But they could only do so much…

After halftime, however, it turned into a football game. I don’t know what Coach Billick said in the locker room, but whatever it was, it was effective. Passes were completed. Runs picked up positive yards. The defense… continued to do their job. And the offense scored. Actual, honest-to-goodness touchdowns! This was the first game this season in which the Ravens have scored 20+ points.

Unfortunately, the comeback bid came too late.

I have resolved that I actually want the Ravens to have a losing season. I would have to check, but I don’t think that they have had a losing season since Brian Billick took over as head coach. I think that it would be good for the team – a lesson in humility. Then, maybe they can come back next season as a coherent unit – on both sides of the ball – and be focused on the goal of getting to the playoffs… and maybe the Super Bowl.

Stray Toasters

It’s early and I have to get up later, so I’ll take my bow and make my exit now.


::: backfill :::

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Boat drinks
Boys in the band ordered boat drinks
Visitors scored on the home rink
Everything seems to be wrong

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap air fare
I gotta to fly to Saint Somewhere
I’m close to bodily harm

Twenty degrees and the hockey game’s on
Nobody cares they are way too far gone
Screamin’ “boat drinks,” something to keep ’em all warm

Y’see… Mr. Buffett knows exactly what I’m talking about. I just checked Weather Channel’s website and saw that it is currently 22° here. Twenty-two. And snow is falling. *sigh* It’s in the forties back home. Even Moab is pushing forty, at the moment. Twenty-two. And the projected high is only 31°. That ain’t right.

Yesterday was apparently “Movie Day.” I saw Derailed with in the afternoon and Jarhead later in the evening with and . Derailed was… interesting. It wasn’t a “bad” movie, but it was not at all what I expected. I enjoy a movie with plot twists, but I seriously did not pick up on where this was going until the reveal. Jarhead, on the other hand, was a pretty straight-forward movie. Well-acted. The writing was good, as was the cinematography. I may consider reading Jarhead to see how much was changed for the film.

I also got a chance to check out something that I’ve wanted to see all season: Loonatics Unleashed, which has been giving some classic Looney Toons fans conniptions. I don’t think that it was that bad. Yes, it was pretty obvious that the characters’ personalities have been derived from the classic characters. Even so, I thought that it was a decent show; although, I wouldn’t necessarily run for the remote if it came on while I was watching something else.

I was bored – and a little irritable – last night, so I sat down for a while and read Bad Business, a Spenser novel – it’s been a while since I’ve read or listened to one of them. It was a nice – and fun – way to spend some time.

Back later.


::: placeholder :::

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Saturday : 26 November 05
It’s been a decent day – despite the fact that it snowed – but I’m tired, so a more involved post will have to wait until I’ve had some sleep.


“Don’t give us none of your aggravation, we’ve had it with your discipline…”

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Friday : 25 November 05
Black Friday. The most anticipated/dreaded shopping day of the year.
I avoided joining the masses in their early-morning revelries.

Instead, I opted to have coffee with Perry. We went to our usual morning coffee haunt, Bad Ass Coffee Company. Their power was out – thanks to Utah Power doing maintenance work – but they were still open.

After coffee, I came home and enjoyed some downtime. I put Winamp on “random play,” picked up the bass and played for a bit. A short while later, came over to help me move two beds and two futons. (Thanks again!) After that, he and I met up with , and for dinner at Redrock Brewing Company. I hadn’t been there in a very long time. The food and the beer were as good as I remembered. After dinner, Nyx declared herself “The Dread Pirate Menum” and showed us her ship, The Nyxipoo, sailing upon the Blood Sea:

After dinner, it was on to coffee with the Clitorati. Conversations ranged from things like home taxidermy (yes, you read that correctly) to Bucky and the Swimmer (you had to be there for these). As usual, it was a good time. I also picked up CDs by Ray Charles and Sam Cooke.

Stray Toasters

  • I was listening to the radio in the car when Elton John’s Saturday Night’s All right for Fighting came on the radio. I was singing along with the song when I noticed people in the Durango next to me watching me. I kept on singing. A few moments later, the song reached the part where he repeats:

    Saturday, Saturday, Saturday…
    Saturday, Saturday, Saturday…
    Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night’s all right…

    …but in my head, I was hearing this:

    Latter-Day, Latter-Day, Latter-Day…
    Latter-Day, Latter-Day, Latter-Day…
    Latter-Day, Latter-Day, Latter-Day Saints, all right!

    I can see a rewrite in the works. And that makes me smile. Fiendishly.

  • Pat Morita has passed away. Many people will remember him as Arnold from Happy Days… but to me, it’s all about Mr. Miyagi.
  • underagedefibrillators.com and “Crinkle star.” (Ask )
  • Bored with your usual spots on the Interweb? Try URoulette. Just click the wheel and go.
  • From the “Too Much Free Time” File: Transformers costumes that turn into cars and jets
    If I remember correctly, the Prowl (white Lamborghini) costume won Wizard Magazine‘s Hallowe’en costume contest two or three years ago.

  • “We’re on to Plan B now.”

  • Scene whore!
  • It seems as though Maddox has gotten a nod from Real Tech News, one of my favorite tech sites.
  • : Tell the Mrs. that she can see a picture of Brandon Routh, the new Superman, here, here and here.
  • Worth 1000 Photoshopping Contest: If Hackers Ruled
  • Um…


Mid-day music

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<dance break>
   Poe – Angry Johnny
   Elastica – Connection
</dance break>

How are you getting your groove on?

“I fell into a burnin’ ring of fire…”

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Thursday : 24 November 05
I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving.

Today was a quiet and relaxed day. There was football. Food. And more football. I couldn’t really get into the Falcons-Lions game. It was lop-sided when I started watching and it didn’t get any better. The Broncos-Cowboys game was more of a “game.” It was tied through regulation and the Broncos put up a game-winning field goal on their first possession in overtime.

and I went to see Walk the Line. It was a very good movie; it would make a good companion piece to Ray. And, it has done what no other movie has done: It caused me to actually like Reese Witherspoon. I was also impressed that neither her nor Joaquin Phoenix’ performances were dubbed – they both took vocal training and learned to play their respective instruments for their roles. , if you still want to see this, I’d be willing to see it again.

Stray Toasters

  • I have been reading – and enjoying – The Physics of Superheroes. It appears to two facets of my inner geek’s nature. A tip of the hat to for procuring it for me.
  • As the guy who uses his Heroclix figures to recreate a Monty Python sketch or a scene from Shakespeare, I am the one in the glass house who shouldn’t throw stones. However, I’m going to. Kind of. Okay, not really. This site is chock full of music videos for pop songs… made from edits of the old Sherlock Holmes television show. And they are pretty damned good.
  • Wasn’t Cars, the final Disney-Pixar joint venture, supposed to have opened this month?
  • “Operation Turkey Liberation: commencing.”

  • Alias, ABC’s televised adventures of Sydney Bristow, will come to an end in May.
  • From CNet: The Ultimate Tech Luxuries
  • Have you come here for forgiveness?
    Have you come to raise the dead?
    Have you come here to play Jesus
    To the lepers in your head?

  • Nepal boy called reincarnation of Buddha
  • Don: I remember that you gave me grief over the fact that I got you hooked on Newsarama. But, you got over it. More or less. Well, here’s another: Superhero Hype!
  • From PC World: The Best Privacy and Security Utilities

That’s enough for now.


Happy Thanksgiving

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I hope that your holiday is good, fun and safe.

“I think I’m a banana tree… Oh dear.”

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Wednesday : 23 November 05
It’s “Friday.”

Today was a busy day. Not quite “hectic,” but I had enough going on to keep me occupied. That’s a good thing. I also had brief meeting with my team lead this afternoon. He was wondering how I was dealing with the additional work load. I told him that aside from the days when things go kablooey and I have to deal with outside distractions, that it hasn’t been too bad. I also told him that I would appreciate a little more feedback on my job performance. I wasn’t sure about telling him that one – it’s like handing someone a loaded gun and telling them to point it at you. But, I did it. His comments were very positive. That made me feel good.

The post-work day has been quiet. I watched a couple of episodes of Firefly. Then there was Law & Order, which I don’t think that I have watched in nearly a month. There was a lot of “law,” but not very much “order.”

Stray Toasters

  • While watching Firefly, I was reminded of how much my stepfather reminds me of Ron Glass (Shepherd Book).
  • By way of boingboing.net: Jell-O® turkey facsimile Um… yeah.
  • Dr. No is on SpikeTV. Sean Connery is Bond. Period.
  • If the weather holds – it’s supposed to be about 50° – I think I’m going to take the bike out for a ride. Any takers?
  • Brewing coffee is much like this.
  • Top Ten Movie Robots of All Time
  • Next time you want to complain about how much the things on your Christmas wish list cost, go here.
  • Xbox 360 Crashing Like Mad? This is not auspicious.
  • …and in a related note: Microsoft’s Red-Ink Game – Microsoft loses $126 per unit on the Xbox 360


“Round, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning, on an ever-spinning wheel, as the images unwind, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.”

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Tuesday : 22 November 05
Another day down and one more to go.

On the whole, the workday wasn’t terrible. But, it was busy. The network issue that I dealt with last week – on Tuesday, in fact – reared it’s head again today. *braincramp* And it was from two of the same people that I dealt with last week. Yay. The solution that I gave to one person seems to have been effective (so far); the other’s system is fighting tooth-and-nail to remain possessed. Personally, I think that it’s Pazuzu. (Somebody call Max von Sydow… and keep him away from tall stairways, this time.) I can’t just nuke the system from orbit – there would be too much collateral damage. But it’s mighty tempting…

After work, I was tired. So, I figured that I would take a nap. However, the whole “taking a nap” concept requires one’s eyelids to remain closed. Watching Firefly on SciFi is not conducive to the requisite eye closure. It was the first time that I had seen the show. I watched parts of two episodes. It’s pretty good. I wouldn’t mind seeing the show’s entire run… and Serenity.

Stray Toasters

  • I did something to myself at the gym this afternoon. Not sure if I overdid something or if it’s just a flare-up of an old injury. Either way, it’s a tad painful. Not devastatingly so, but enough to make certain movements slightly unpleasant.
  • This morning, I finally ripped the Billie Holiday box set that I borrowed from my mother… two years ago.
  • If you say run, I’ll run with you
    If you say hide, we’ll hide

  • Chupacabra!
  • “The signs! They’re out to get me!”
  • : You might be amused by this. (But, it’s not where I thought it would/should be.)
  • From neatorama: The Fatal Consequences of…
  • By way of : Keep Your Jesus Off My Penis – for mature viewers and possibly NSFW
  • Who needs Sim City when you can have City Creator?!
  • “We should have a rave.”

  • I can deal with the idea of two-drawer dishwashers, at least in theory. However, the concept, as proposed by boingboing.net of “You can keep a “dirty” drawer and a “clean” drawer and never empty the dishwasher — just use the clean compartment as your current cupboard and switch when the dirty compartment gets full and you run its cycle,” just makes me wince.
  • I don’t know whether or not this is real (though, I doubt it), but I do know that it makes me laugh like a fiend.
  • Four… new episodes… of… Justice League Unlimited… in… January…?! YES!!!
  • You better, you better, you bet!


Pre-gym groove time

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<dance break>
     10,000 Maniacs – Candy Everybody Wants
     Harry Belafonte – Jump in Line (Shake, Shake Senora)
</dance break>

What’s on your media player of choice?

“Waiting for the winds of change to sweep the clouds away. Waiting for the rainbow’s end to cast it’s gold your way.”

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Monday : 21 November 05
For a Monday, this hasn’t been too bad. Work started off a little hectic: I had a few… well, not really “fires” to put out. The rest of the workday wasn’t bad, though.

I watched the Green Bay – Minnesota game tonight. It was better than I had expected. The game came down to the wire and was settled by a Minnesota field goal in the last few seconds of the game.

Random Access
We can go from boom to bust
From dreams to a bowl of dust
We can fall from rockets’ red glare
Down to “Brother can you spare–“

On the way home, and I were listening to NPR’s All Things Considered. One of the stories was entitled: “A Rural Struggle to Keep the Family Fed”. It was a very interesting and powerful story… and a rather poignant one, as we enter the Thanksgiving holiday.

Stray Toasters

  • I spoke with the paternal unit. All’s well at the homestead.
  • Make your own warning label
  • By way of Backwash: Amateur band performs Super Mario theme on marimba
    ( and , I immediately thought of the two of you when I saw this.)

  • Someone posted a link to this story on IRC. Which immediately reminded me of this, from almost 20 years ago. In one situation, the kid gets arrested; in the other, it’s turned into a nominally popular movie. Go figure.
  • From SciFi: Fan Trek Film Finnishes First
  • : Take a look at this.
  • From the “Quote Most Likely to Make Smile” file comes this excerpt from a Newsarama review of All-Star Superman #1:

    You see, Lex Luthor has just realized that while he is bound to the rules of mortality, his enemy apparently is not. Lex is starting to look his age and Superman is still Massengill fresh. And this does not make Lex happy. Not at all. Because if someday Lex has to go six-feet under, then that alien do-gooder had better be gone first.

    So Lex sabotages an experiment at the surface of the sun, knowing full well that the world’s biggest Boy Scout just has to go there to save the day. He’s gotten smarter, that Lex Luthor. If he can’t pull off a direct attack against Superman, well, he’ll simply use the Man of Steel’s main weakness to do the job for him.

    Now, we all know the not-so-secret formula to Superman’s success: yellow sun and lots of it. The question is, when you’re the last son of Krypton, is there such a thing as too much of those golden rays?

    It has the feel of the classic Superman not many people remember. Lex Luthor is just as diabolical as ever, which is the best version (not President Luthor or quasi-good guy Luthor from the early 90s) and Morrison gives it to us that this time he’s not going to pull any punches. This time he really wants Superman dead, and it’s become about as important to him as breathing air.

  • sent me a link to this picture earlier. Um… yeah.
  • The Nokia commercial with “Ed” and his Dukes of Hazzard ringtone is a little freaky. But, it still makes me chuckle, especially when he starts singing.
  • V-8 Engine Paper Model
  • I need more Sam Cooke in my music collection.
  • Tonight’s episode of Superman: TAS was “Knight Time,” which was a fun episode.

Quote of the Day
From a conversation with the coolest brother-in-law ever:

(14:10:29) : it’s officially christmas time
(14:11:49) : Not for three more days, it’s not.
(14:11:54) : Period.
(14:11:57) : sorry. jumped the gun
(14:11:58) : I don’t care WHAT you heard.
(14:12:07) : OR saw on TV.
(14:12:12) : OR in the piazza.
(14:12:17) : *stands frim*
(14:12:18) : firm
(14:12:19) : lol i’m in italy, what the hell am i gonna see on tv other than lots and lots of boobies
(14:12:31) : (btw it was the temps w/rudolph)