Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Tuesday Morning Work Music

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     Moloko – Fun For Me
     Geri Halliwell – Look At Me
     Cruxshadows – Citadel (In Strict Confidence Remix)
     Garbage – Androgeny
     Inside Out – Jackie Chan

Manic? Not exactly. A rainy day? No. But it was a Monday, nevertheless.

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Monday : 27 February 2006
One down, four to go.

Have you ever been working on a project, attempted to save it… only to lose all of your work? I did, this morning. A couple of hours’ work went down the tubes when I wound up overwriting some files that I’d been working on. *braincramp* I was able to recreate the files fairly easily, but I was still annoyed at having to do so. (And I did discover what I had done incorrectly that caused me to overwrite the files… so that I hopefully won’t make that mistake again.)

Tonight was an extra session of D&D. Our party ventured into the tower of a wizard. A wizard with a BIG axe to grind against our party’s benefactor and one of our party members… who, by a not-so-strange twist of genetic fate, is our benefactor’s daughter. But, in the words of Bill Murray’s Dr. Peter Venkman: “We came. We saw. We kicked its ass.” And no one died.

Stray Toasters

  • I still don’t have any Creme Eggs… but I do have gummy worms.
  • Thanks to for pointing me in the direction of .
  • After seeing Darth Vader on the wheels of steel, it seems as though Mr. Spock wanted to show his skills.
  • From Slashdot: Da Vinci Code Author Sued

    riptalon writes “Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, is being sued in the UK for using ideas from a previous non fiction book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in his novel. The Bangkok Post states that ‘The question the court is facing is whether you can copyright an idea, a conjecture.'”

  • I was listening to music at work this afternoon and had a horrible image pop into my head: Bobby Darin’s Rockin’ Robin came into the shuffled mp3 lineup. I had gotten about halfway through the song when the image of Teen Titans Robin and Raven (both of whose namesakes are birds that are mentioned in the song) popped into my head. Swing dancing. Together. It was sad…. and a little scary. Even worse: It took me a couple of minutes to stop chuckling about it.
  • I saw this quiz in ‘ journal and was intrigued. I took it and came up with:
    The cat who walks through walls
    You belong in the Cat Who Walks Through Walls. You

    are creative and cunning. Your works often

    feel empty to you, though others love them.

    You suspect that the universe and everyone in

    it are just characters in someone else’s


    Which Heinlein Book Should You Have Been A Character In?
    brought to you by Quizilla

  • Stick Michaelangelo’s David on your blog to protest censorware
  • Finland, Finland, Finland…
  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Photos
  • .nemA


“Another Pleasant Valley Sunday…”

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Sunday : 26 February 2006
It’s been a good – and pretty relaxing – day. I slept in this morning and went to a joint birthday party for ‘s boys. Food, cake, ice cream, balloons. The whole nine yards. The phrase “They made out like bandits” comes to mind. Bandits, I say.

This evening has been fairly quiet. Aside from a poor mission against Lusca in City of Heroes. I joined the mission to get rid of some of my experience debt. I wound up accruing more. *sigh* Oh, well.

Stray Toasters


“Take it to the bridge, throw it overboard, see if it can swim back up to the shore.”

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Saturday : 25 February 2006
Today was good. It was sunny… and relatively warm. Mid 50s. Can’t really complain about that, especially since it’s still Winter and it’s Utah. I started the morning with coffee with Perry. That was followed by some errand-running and a stop by ‘ place. I had lunch with and did some more errand-running. The evening was capped with Toy Story 2.

Breakfast was a relatively small affair, but nevertheless fun. It was a slow night at Cheers, so we were able to focus on some quality people-watching. Fortunately, there were enough people to watch and still have it be interesting. There were a lot of fashion risks/fashion don’ts to be found.

Stray Toasters


“Every day we’re standing in a wind tunnel, facing down a future coming fast…”

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Friday : 24 February 2006
Today was an all-around good day.

This evening at Clitorati was good, as well. We had another fairly large group; not as large as last week’s, but still rather sizable. Included in tonight’s mix were a few new faces. I don’t think that we scared anyone off… at least, I hope that we didn’t.

I also managed to get in some drawing time tonight. From this picture, I drew this one. I am fairly happy with the way that it turned out.

At last week’s Clitorati, I acquired a couple of 30% off coupons. I used one to pick up a copy of the Shadowrun (Fourth Edition) sourcebook.

The High-Flying Adventures of Indigo Bolt and “Sparky,” the Ball Lightning Wonder
I patrolled the streets of Paragon City tonight. I didn’t find anyone with whom I could team, but I (again) received a few invitations to join supergroups. I ran and flew around Dark Astoria, Founders’ Falls and Independence Port and Talos Island. I wound up heading to Astoria to beat on some of the Banished Pantheon. And then… I logged off.

Stray Toasters

  • Given my lack of sleep last night, I’m surprised that I’m not dead on my feet.
    I’m tired and winding down fairly quickly, but, I’m still pretty coherent. At least for the moment…

  • “Chain-snorting.”

Time to call it a night.


“What I need is a good defense, ’cause I’m feeling like a criminal…”

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Thursday : 23 February 2006
Another “No Bad News Thursday” comes to a close.

I’ve been asked where I got the idea for “NBN” Thursday. Its origin comes, more or less, from The Wiz (the Broadway production, not the Diana Ross-Michael Jackson version). In it, Evillene, The Wicked Witch of the West, (along with “the Winkies”) sings the song Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News. I took the song and adapted its concept to the work environment. I’ve informed my team (and most of the Team Leads at work) that they are allowed to bring me bad news until I leave on Wednesday… or they can hold it until Friday morning. Thursdays are mine. Why Thursdays?

  • Wednesday is the middle of the work week (for most people); if you’ve made it to Wednesday without a problem, you’re on the downhill slide.
  • If someone brings you bad news on a Friday, you can – in a lot of cases – put off the problem until Monday.
  • Everyone knows – and expects – that any given Monday (just because it is “Monday”) is going to suck.Thus, by choosing Thursday as your “No Bad News” day, you can usually delay the doom until Monday, the day that was created for work-related doom and sucktasticness.

Today was a good Thursday. Selah.

The Dark Trespasses of Dhoruba
Tonight, I roamed the streets of Port Oakes. Despite the fact that I was invited to join three supergroups – all within ten minutes – it was a slow night.

I was asked to join a group for a mission… which was nearly over by the time I joined the team. Thus, I got no extra experience or infamy at the mission’s end. So much for “honor among thieves.” I wandered a little longer and was invited to join another up-and-coming evil-doer. I did and we went on one of his missions – rescuing a mob boss’ daughter from a rival family. It went fairly smoothly. He had to leave after we safely returned the girl to Port Oakes.

I checked the newspaper for leads on a new caper and noted that Fire Fist was out of the Ziggurat, Paragon City’s prison. There was some… “bad blood” between the two of us. I figured “Why not spill some… of his?” And I did. And some of his thugs’ blood, too. It felt good.

Stray Toasters

  • I am out of Cadbury Creme Eggs. I must acquire more.
  • US online retailer selling Perplex City cards
  • Example of what not to do…
  • I do love a good pun:
  • Worth 1000’s Mate a Movie 11 Photoshop contest: “Two or more movies, combined to make one much funnier movie.”
  • New Orleans: LEGO Builders of Tomorrow

    ENFIELD, Conn. — Feb.11, 2006 — Dig into your toy chests and pull out your LEGO bricks to help children in New Orleans imagine and rebuild for the future! LEGO Systems today issued a nationwide call to children and parents in towns across America to share their LEGO bricks with the children of New Orleans. The company will collect the bricks and make a brick-for-brick matching donation to New Orleans schools. Some of the bricks will be used to construct a model of the rebuilt city, as envisioned by local New Orleans children and kids across the country, to be donated to the city as a public work of art.

  • I find it mildly amusing that I used the <blockquote> tag in an entry about LEGO bricks… which are sometimes referred to as “blocks.”
  • “That’s boring. Aquaman boring.”
  • NationStates

    NationStatesis a free nation simulation game. Build a nation and run it according to your own warped political ideals.Create a Utopian paradise for society’s less fortunate or a totalitarian corporate police state. Care for your people or deliberately oppress them. Join the United Nations or remain a rogue state. It’s really up to you.

  • Alternate Reality Game Woven into ClothesQuote of the Day
    From a Wednesday conversation with Mike B.:


[10:43] : Hoi.
[10:43] Mike: Hola!
[10:43] Me: Y’know… I’m enjoying playing CoV, but I am remembering how much of a pain – despite being useful – hover is.
[10:44] Mike: *gasp*
[10:44] Me: Again: Despite being useful.
[10:44] Mike: It does have its uses.
[10:44] Me: …but I don’t think that Mr. Dhoruba will be a flyer.
[10:44] Mike: Ah, I think that’s wise. Strike out, explore new territory, etc etc.
[10:44] Me: I’m thinking that he’ll go the superspeed or teleport route.
[10:45] Me: I mean… it’s bad enough that he has a do-gooder brother who flies.
[10:45] Me: And who wants to live in their brother’s “heroic” *eye roll* shadow.
[10:46] Mike: bwahahahahahhahahahhaa!
[10:46] Me: There are much better ways to use one’s powers.
[10:46] Me: And, in the process, get a little something for yourself.
[10:46] Mike: It’s only fair, really.
[10:46] Me: Indeed.


Midweek Morning Music

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     The Wiz – Original Cast Album

Easin’ on down the road….

Have a good one.

“Shakedown. Breakdown. Take down. Everybody wants into the crowded line…”

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Tuesday : 21 February 2006
Today was a short week’s “Monday.” That didn’t keep it from being a good day. Work and the lunchtime workout were good.

This evening was the Shadowrun game. New story arc. *gasp* (Yeah, I know… who’d’ve thunk it?!) No one died. Well, none of the PCs died; a couple of NPCs died “off-screen.” The team is now in search of someone who is eliminating friends of two of the player characters. And, despite earlier threats, I didn’t saddle any of the PCs with new pets. Yet. I still say that someone needs a dragonmouse for a pet; besides, came up with the best idea for dealing with one that I had heard in years.

The Dark Trespasses of Dhoruba
As of 2:20 this morning, there seems to be a winner in the Dhoruba icon poll:

I took to the streets of Port Oakes and knocked over one of the local casinos tonight. Why? It was there. And they had money. Do I really need more of a reason than that? Besides, it increases my infamy. Later, I teamed with another couple of up-and-comers and we took on The Lost. In the sewers. (It’s going to take WEEKS to get that smell out of my clothes…) There were a few player deaths involved, but we (finally) emerged victorious.

Stray Toasters
I had quite a few items selected to use as ‘Toasters… but they will have to keep until tomorrow.


“Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear…”

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Monday : 20 February 2006
As today was President’s Day, I had the day off of work. Thus, I slept in. I had intended to get up early-ish… but not going to bed until 4:30 put the kibosh on that, at least for a couple of hours.

This evening, I had dinner with and her boys, in celebration of her oldest’s birthday. It was fun; I had a good time.

After that, it was on to ‘ for our D&D game. We got to our next point of conflict, but the action won’t kick in until our next session. We also picked up a new player: .

The Dark Trespasses of Dhoruba
This afternoon, I spent a few hours in The Rogue Isles with ‘ character, Giroux (1, 2). We left our calling cards (destruction, mayhem, terror and a growing pile of dead bodies) throughout Port Oakes and Cap au Diable. Sometimes, it feels good to take over the world rather than saving it. Today was one of those days.

I decided to make a few… changes to Dhoruba’s look – he looked too old for him to be Indigo Bolt’s younger brother. So, a trip to the tailor shop was in order. When I exited, I was much happier with the new, younger look (1, 2, 3, 4).

After that, we continued on our quest to dominate every Luddite, Gold Bricker, Wyvern and member of Arachnos that we could find. I now also have a personal dislike for the Mu Strikers. Along the way, I saw a sign for a local merchant. How could a person not want to shop there?!

Stray Toasters


“I cut so much, you thought I was a DJ.”

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Sunday : 19 February 2006
It’s been a pretty laid back weekend. And that’s not a bad thing.

I saw a couple of movies with over the past two days: King Kong and The Terminal, neither of which I had seen before. I enjoyed them both; however, I agree with a coworker on the fact that King Kong was longer than it needed to be, filled with what we agree were some unnecessary scenes that did nothing to advance the plot. The Terminal was a good character-driven movie. I went back and listened to some archived stories from NPR programs about the movie’s release. During an early scene in the movie, where Tom Hanks’ character, Viktor Navorski, was standing in the middle of the terminal and trying to get someone – anyone – to help him understand/translate a newscast about his homeland, I was reminded of a line from Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al:

He doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound

While getting my week’s four-color reading material, I picked up a few pieces of plastic crack from the newly released “Collateral Damage” series. Chief among the new acquisitions are:

I was rather happy with the haul.

I am also the proud owner of Fantastic Four, Mirrormask and Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live DVDs and The Original Cast Soundtrack of The Wiz.

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough: I was the recipient of the Marvel Comics 40 Years of X-Men DVD-ROM. Over 400 issues of the X-Men, from September 1963 through August 2005, including annuals. All in PDF format. *bliss*

Yep, it was a weekend chock full of comic-related goodness.

The High-Flying Adventures of Indigo Bolt and “Sparky,” the Ball Lightning Wonder
Tonight, I went on patrol in Paragon City. I was invited to join a team taking on what I was originally told was a “Level 30-something” mission. I joined the team. And I then found out that it was really a “Level 40-something” mission. Fortunately, someone was able to sidekick me. We fought members of the Carnival of Shadows. Despite dying a couple of times, I was able to put a significant dent into my XP debt and the remaining points to get me to Level 30.

Stray Toasters

  • I have Cadbury Creme Eggs.
  • I’m ready for Spring (or Summer).
  • Ms. sent me this video of DJ Keltech as Darth Vader doing… Oh, just watch this. (.wmv format)
  • Former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover… was an I Love Lucy fan? Yep.
  • “No, Greg, believe it or not, the world doesn’t operate like World of Warcraft.”
  • Bad Samaritan family won’t return found expensive camera *boggle*

Quote of the Day / Unintentional Pron Overheard in a Restaurant
I went to breakfast with and her boys on Saturday. One of them brought his Toy Story Woody doll/figure/??? with him into the restaurant. While we were sitting there, talking, I noticed nearby movement out of the corner of my right eye. I turned to find the doll right next to my face, which prompted me to blurt out:

Oh, look! A faceful of Woody!

…before I had time to think about what was coming out of my mouth. It was rather amusing.


“Snow falls deep around my house…”

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Saturday : 18 February 2006
It was a good day… even though it snowed for most of the day.

I slept in.
I had a relaxing day.
And now… I’m calling it a night.


“Suspicious looking stranger flashes you a dangerous grin…”

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Friday : 17 February 2006
Today was a pretty good day. Besides the fact that it was a Friday, it kicked off a three-day weekend. And that’s never a bad thing.

Post-work, there was Clitorati. I think that we had roughly 25 people there, all told; we had a good mix of people. That led to lots of different – and good – conversations.

The Nefarious Transgressions of Dhoruba
After Clitorati, I took a trip to the Rogue Isles and proceeded to break things. And people. It felt good. I hooked up with a couple of higher-level characters for a bit – that helped get me over the Threat Level 7 hump.

I’m tapped, so I’m calling it a night.


Friday Afternoon Groove Break

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     Santana (ft. Rob Thomas) – Smooth

“I’ve got twelve disciples and a Buddha smile…”

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Thursday : 16 February 2006
It continued to snow last night. I finished shoveling the driveway and sidewalk (and one neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk) around 6:30 PM yesterday. By the time I left to go to play Call of Cthulhu, there was a fresh 2″ of snow on the ground. And driveway. And sidewalk. *sigh* When I woke up this morning, there was about 3 – 4″, total. This meant a very slow drive to work. I headed to the SLC office to get a few things. The drive normally takes about fifteen minutes, depending on traffic. Today, it took thirty-five. Given that, I wasn’t looking forward to the drive to Utah County. Fortunately, by the time I got underway, things had cleared up considerably. It still took a little longer than usual, but it wasn’t nearly as painful an experience as I had feared that it might be. And the trip home was relatively uneventful.

Random Access
Watch his every move
Orchestrate illusions
Watch his every move
Hoping you’ll believe
Designing to deceive
That’s entertainment

     “Superconductor” by Rush (from the CD “Presto”)

One of the topics on Wednesday’s Talk of the Nation was: What Makes an Oscar-Winning Performance?… which led to the following conversation on IRC:

[13:38] They were talking about “What Makes an Academy Award-winning Performance” on Talk of the Nation.
[13:38] Specifically, actors in roles for which they were never nominated…. even though the acting was worthy of at least a nomination.
[13:39] Someone brought up Andy Serkis, who was the actor behind Gollum (Lord of the Rings) and King Kong (duh).
[13:39] Should he be able to be nominated for an award in the “Best Actor” or “Best Supporting Actor” categories?
[13:39] Shawn: make a new category like the MTV awards
[13:50] Interesting point… and one that someone here made, as well.
[13:51] Shawn: use that category for cgi people and voice actors in animated movies or something
[13:51] : I’m pretty sure that such a category may be created as more directors use digital enhancements for their actors.
[13:51] Shawn: but the gollum thing takes more because its not just voice
[13:52] : And, with King Kong, he *was* the “lead actor.”
[13:52] : …covered in mo-cap gear.

What’s your take on this?

Stray Toasters

  • I’m not sure exactly what the problem is, but Trillian has been dropping messages. Chat windows will pop up, but they are occasionally empty. That’s not good.
  • Something that is good: My new back massager. With heat. I may never leave my computer chair again.
  • Morning Edition: Last U.S. MASH Unit Handed Over to Pakistan
  • RIAA, MPAA, Others: Backups are not “Fair Use”
  • From the L.A. Times: Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted – DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture
    (I haven’t heard anything about this locally, but it will be interesting to see peoples’ reactions when word gets out…)

  • Prostitutes Call for a Ban on GTA
    (“Curiouser and curiouser,” said little Alice…)

  • This is the face of a man who just found out that his soon-to-be-former-favorite store is out of Afro Sheen. I really wouldn’t want to be the guy behind the counter.
  • Today’s “Unintentional Porn Overheard at Work” : You take out the plug and I’ll squeeze.
  • Will Apple Adopt Windows? – Interesting theory…
  • Lionel Luthor knows?!
  • : A Mutant, A Dragon, and Lotsa Ninjas
  • The Most Popular Myths in Science
  • Morning Edition: Batman Goes After Bin Laden
  • Slightly A’Musing
  • An Emissary ArrivesThis May, Image’s Shadowline imprint releases a book that poses thequestion of how the real world we live in would react to an actualsuper-being.  And what if he were black?
  • This part of WizKidz’ description of the Krypto HeroClix figure cracked me up:

    It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a dog!

    If a dog is man’s best friend, then Superman will need a super dog – and that dog is Krypto. This is the post-Crisis Krypto, whose as loyal a dog as you could ever want – but unfortunately, only as smart as your standard beagle or golden retriever. Therefore, he’s not exactly a rocketscientist, but what he lacks in wits he makes up for in the fact that he’s a dog with teeth and claws and Super Strength.

  • Babylon 5‘s Ambassador G’Kar Dies
  • Galactica Finale Goes Long


“The night is black, without a moon… The air is thick and still.”

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Wednesday : 15 February 2006
The word of the day, boys and girls, is “snow.” We got – and are still getting – lots of it. It’s been snowing throughout the day and it looks as if we continue to get snow through at least tomorrow. Yay.

Tonight was Call of Cthulhu night. No one in our group died. Some of us lost a little sanity, though. Go figure. We still don’t have the total picture of what’s going on, but we do seem to be making some progress. (We’ll see how right I am at the next game session.)

Stray Toasters
::: Closed due to snow :::