Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“Sleight of hand and twist of fate…”

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Wednesday – 28 February 2007
February draws to a close…

Last night was a game night (40K/All Flesh)… except, we didn’t play. Instead, we sat around and shot the bull. It wasn’t a bad way to spend the evening.
I slept in a little this morning. I headed to the SLC office to pick up a few things before heading to Happy Valley (sixth bullet). Since I was on the road later than usual, the concentration of road monkeys was sufficiently thin enough to make the race more like a leisurely stroll. It was nice. So far, things here have been quiet. Maybe they’ll stay that way. Maybe they won’t. Maybe it’s Maybelline. *shrug*

Dad called last night. Sounds as though Adam has a more definitive date for his reposting – near the first of April. And, unless they fly – or take the scenic route – their travel path should bring them through SLC. I need to touch base with him and find out what their plan is… or if they even have one yet.

Stray Toasters

  • For the first time in a long time, I almost typed “Stray Taoists.”
  • You know that I’m right.  Scary, isn’t it?
  • This amuses me: About.com has a page dedicated to Utah Colloquialisms.
  • Flash! Ahhhhhhh!
    (Not really sure why that popped into my head.  Guess that’s why it’s a ‘Toaster.)
  • “…if you were a vampire raising an army of zombies, where would you be?”
  • Don’t forget: The “new” Daylight Saving Time starts in a couple of weeks.
  • , I’m not sure if this would fit with the Tiny God, but I still think that you’d appreciate this steampunk keyboard mod.
  • Hard Hat Mack
  • World of Warcraft cake
  • Did I say “overlords?”
    I meant “protectors.”
  • showed me this Order of the Stick toon.  Sibs.  Go figure.



“The world is not enough, but it is such a perfect place to start…”

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Tuesday – 27 February 2007
One down, four to go.

It’s snowing.  Again.

Yesterday was relatively quiet.  There were a few post-move hiccups, but nothing major.  After work, I got to hang out with .  We grabbed a bite to eat and then headed to Trolley Square for a while.  It was good to see that the shooting hasn’t taken too bad a tool on the place.  Yes, there are some vacant stores, but for the most part it seems as though things are proceeding apace.

Stray Toasters

  • I’ve been reading a new series called Elephantmen, from Image Comics.  It’s been interesting.  Issue #7 came out last week, but I just got around to reading it last night.  It was an excellent, very well-written, self-contained story called “Little Girl Lost.”  Within the story was a fairy tale, “Captain Stoneheart and the Truth Fairy.”  The whole story was wonderfully set off by Chris Bachalo’s artwork.  I wholeheartedly recommend this… even for those of you who don’t read – or don’t like – comics.
  • “That’s gonna leave a mark…” – Top Ten Wii Accidents
  • anything can happen
  • Windows for Warships Nearly Ready
  • One part videogame music.
    Fifteen parts musical instruments.
  • The new TV spot for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is out.
  • I’m cold; I’m used to having six racks of computers to generate some heat in the old office.

Back to it.


“No one ever listens to the river…”

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Monday – 26 February 2007
Another week begins.  So far, it’s been quiet.  There seem to be five post-move issues, three of which should be relatively easy to handle.  The other two shouldn’t be bad, but will require a little more elbow grease.

The weekend was good.  Clitorati was smallish, but good.  Saturday saw a couple of birthday-related outings for friends along with a little bit of gaming thrown in, for good measure.  Sunday was low-key and quiet.
Stray Toasters


“Sancta Sophia…”

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Saturday – 24 February 2007
The sun is putting in an appearance this morning.

Yesterday’s move went more smoothly than I expected.  That’s not to say that there weren’t a few bumps along the way, but all-in-all, it wasn’t too bad.  came down to help with the telephone extension migration.  For the most part, we stayed out of the way and let people come to us if/when they had problems.  At the end of the day, one coworker found me to thank me for helping things go as smoothly as they did; that made me feel good.

Clitorati had a relatively small gathering last night.  After that, I took Dhoruba to meet Giroux in the Rogue Isles and cause a little mayhem and wanton destruction.

Random Access
Of the many things that escaped Pandora’s Box, one remained: Hope.

It can be small and fragile.
As with many things it can also be powerful.
Or it can be destructive.

It depends on how it is handled and cared for.

Stray Toasters

  • Kris (Sib2) sent a link to this video of Shaq, Lebron James and Dwight Howard from the All-Star Game.  It made me laugh.
  • A quote from Lilo & Stitch has been running through my head: Family means nobody gets left behind.  Or forgotten.
  • Frets on Fire
  • called a few minutes ago; he has a very brief layover here.  He will be passing through again next weekend – hopefully, I’ll get a chance to catch up with him then.
  • , you may have a little bit of competition.  I’m willing to say that he’s a good candidate for the Generation X version of Tommy.



“Movin’ right along…”

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Friday – 23 February 2007
This will be an interesting – if not ludicrously busy – day.

The team that I have worked with for just shy of two years will be officially disbanded as of noon today. It’s not quite like the break-up of The Beatles, but you get the idea. It’s something that’s been mentioned as a possibility for the past few months. We had a meeting two days ago in which it was said that it might occur within a few days or weeks. We found out that it had been greenlighted yesterday afternoon. Everyone will be moving to different teams within the office; I will “revert” to primarily an IT role – as opposed to being the IT liason for this specific group. This will allow me to do something that was discussed earlier last year: Broaden my skill set. That’s hardly a bad thing.

The headache portion of the day comes at noon, not because this team is going away. The problem comes from the fact that the team realignments – yes, plural – involve about twenty-nine (29) cubicle moves. All at the same time. Whoop-de-fuck. And there aren’t many cases where we can “stair-step” people – the moves are that varied.

This has the potential of being a very long day.

And, did I mention that it’s snowing? There were four inches of snow on the ground when I left Salt Lake this morning… and it was still coming down. Fortunately, the road monkeys seemed to actually take note of the weather and drive accordingly.


The potter’s wheel…

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Thursday – 22 February 2007
A few months ago, I broke something been very important to me, mostly through carelessness and a healthy dose of negligence. Maybe I should say “I allowed it to break by not caring for it.” It’s amazing how callously we can handle fragile things.

I figured out how to fix it. And the ironically amusing/irritating thing is that the solution had been staring me in the face the entire time. Forest. Trees. Go figure. Now, some of the pieces are missing and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fix it without those pieces.

But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not try.

…because I can’t just throw it away.


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I feel like shit.

And the only thing that keeps going through my head are stupid lyrics.

When the last thing at night becomes the first thing in the morning…

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Thursday (coda)
I should have been in bed thirty minutes ago.  At least.  But, I’m obviously not.

As I said earlier, I finished out my work day in the SLC office – I had to bring some paperwork up and pick up some equipment that I will need in AF tomorrow.  I got to see , Tommy and Matt while I was there.

Next, it was on to Dr. Volt’s to pick up my four-color shwag from this week and last week. So far, I’ve read a little more than half of the books.  I’d like to think that I’m “saving the best for last,” because of the ones that I read, the only ones that I think were really good were Action Comics Annual #10 (and not all of that, either… although the stories about the Phantom Zone prisoners and Mon-El were good) and New Avengers #27.  The rest were…. *ehn*

I made it to Borders, as I had planned.  The rest of that plan, however, didn’t go as smoothly.  I wound up reading JLA: Tower of Babel instead of devoting more/all of my time to drawing.  I did it because the story came up in conversation this morning at work and I wasn’t sure of a few key story points.  Now, I am.  I did try a figure sketch based on a magazine cover before I headed home, so the trip wasn’t a complete wash.

Tonight’s CSI: was good.  I also half-watched part of Shark.  But, got bored with that, so I wound up in Paragon City.  I ran into ‘ Akrael there.  We teamed up – I exemplared down to Level 5 – and took on missions in The Hollows.  It had been a while since I had been an exemplar, so I had forgotten how difficult it can be to discover that you don’t have access to your full compliment of powers.  But, we made it through.

Tomorrow is Friday.  I found out that I have Monday off for President’s Day when I overheard a couple of coworkers talking about it.  Three-day weekend.  I’m not going to complain about that.

Stray Toasters
These will come sometime after the sun’s up and I’ve had a sufficient amount of coffee.


::: edit :::
I *thought* that I had hit “Publish” last night before heading to bed.  Apparently, I was mistaken.

Books, pencils and caffeine…

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I started and will be ending my work day in the Salt Lake office.
Five minutes from home.
Relatively monkey-free travel.

Does it really get much better than that?

I think that I am going to Borders tonight, post-work. Well… post-Dr. Volt’s, actually, but why quibble? I’ll have a couple of hours to kill before tonight’s episode of CSI:, so I am going to do some drawing. I haven’t really done anything more than idle doodles or the random sketch in a long time. I know that I need the practice.

If anyone’s in the area and interested, drop by. Company is always welcome.

“He picks up scraps of conversation…”

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Thursday – 15 February 2007
Aside from the fact that I woke up to snow flurries, it’s been a good day so far.

I think that I’m intermittently – and alternatingly – channeling , , and ‘ sister.  I keep wanting to, in no particular order, blurt out:

  • “Mahna-Mahna” (with the Vampire Hunter D/Muppet Show mash-up images in my head)
  • “Goat porn!”
  • “Three-vagina pants!”

I could pretty easily get away with the first.  The other two would… raise a few eyebrows.

But, the thought of it makes me smile.

“Head over heels, no time to think… Looks like the whole world’s out of sync…”

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Wednesday (coda)
Today’s work day was good. It was relatively quiet, but productive. This isn’t to say that there weren’t bits of fun scattered throughout the day, though.

I also got to employ a long-dormant superpower at work. According to , my primary power is: I know everyone (not just ) and everyone knows me. There are a couple of secondary powers that go along with it, but this is the one that I used today. A coworker – my former Team Lead, who has since moved to another team – got a new family dog a few months ago – a Basenji. I happened to ask him about her this afternoon. He said that she was doing well… and that he was upset that he couldn’t find any lure coursing groups in Utah County; he was even willing to research purchasing equipment to start a club himself.I asked him how serious he was about getting his dog into lure coursing. Quite serious, it turns out. I asked him to give me a few minutes and I’d get him the information. He just looked at me… a little blankly.

I called . (By way of an update: She’s recovering nicely, but it’s a VERY slow process… and is, after less than a week, already starting to drive her mad.) She gave me a few names and URLs for clubs and members. I wrote them down and, after making sure that all was well on her side of the phone, hung up and gave the information to my coworker.

This time, I got a stunned look. He said that I was easily “the most connected person [he] knows.”
Go figure.

The Scales of Justice
The Hand of Nefer-Tem fought “the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men” this evening.  But, before that could happen, I had to wait for a new patch to download and install.  On the splash screen, there was a notice that Issue 9: “Breakthrough,” was coming online soon.  *perk*  So, while the patch downloaded, I read the attached article – an interview with Matt “Positron” Miller.  The new features include: Bone and tech wings, inventions, Wentworth’s Consignment House (CoH) or “black market” tractor-trailers (CoV) – the City of… equivalents of WoW’s auction houses, a new Task Force mission (CoH) and some new end-game content.

When I got into the game, I joined a team for a few missions.  It wasn’t a “horrid” team, but a couple of players were a little too gung-ho about rushing into danger without appropriate backup.  I died a few times.  Not a huge problem.  After the mission, two or three people left and I became team leader.  We ran three or four missions before I decided to call it a night.

And there was something else.  An old – and familiar – name had appeared in my global (across all of the servers) friends list: Akrael.  That’s right, is giving the game another go.  I invited him to join my Super Group before I logged off; he accepted.
Random Access
This afternoon, Matt, Jeff and I were talking about how… simple… things were in the Marvel Universe, as opposed to the reintroduction of the DC Multiverse. I’m still more or less “okay” with the fact that the DCU is becoming the DCM again… I guess. After all, there’s not a whole lot that I, personally, can do about it. No, that’s not entirely true: I could stop buying comics.

*crickets chirping in the otherwise deafening silence*


Who am I kidding?

Me? Stop buying comics? That would be like me stopping that whole breathing thing. Okay, that’s not entirely true… but it’s a manageable habit and I enjoy it. But, I digress…
We stopped to consider the splinter Marvel Universes. 616, the mainstream MU. The Ultimate Universe. The Squadron Supreme universe. The Ultimate Squardron Supreme universe. The New Universe, which has been recently “reborn.” The Heroes Reborn universe. Blah. Blah. Blah. I think that we had gotten up to nine or ten different offshoot universes by the time we got tired of counting. And, I think that we even omitted a few. That lead me to make the comment,”Marvel. It’s the new DC Universe… I mean ‘multiverse!’ ”

Well, it’s becoming that way. If only they – both DC and Marvel – could figure out that readers don’t really care how many different versions of Superman or Batman or Captain America they want to give us. What we really want are… and this may come as a shock to many… good stories. I don’t really think that’s too much to ask.

Stray Toasters

“Why are we here?
Because we’re here.
Row the boats.”


How does WizKids love me? Let me count the ways…?

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Wednesday – 14 February 2007
Happy Valentine’s Day – or “Happy Single Awareness Day” – to you.

I have just discovered exactly how much WizKids loves me…

A lot.
A whole lot.

How do I know this?
They just announced a new set of plastic crack to be released in June.

Just for me.

(click image for details)

All new sculpts.

This makes for a very happy Rob.

“He knows constant change is here to stay…”

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Tuesday – 13 February 2007
It’s Sib1’s birthday. I called her last night (“this morning,” for her) to wish her “happy birthday.” She and are currently in Thailand, on vacation. She said that since they saw the tourist attractions the last time that they were there, this trip was for relaxing.

Today was a decent day at work… for the most part. There was a little bit of leftover doom from Monkey 1 (in the manner of a technical problem), but I worked on resolving that before I left. We were also informed, in a post-lunch meeting, of a few changes this afternoon. I can’t say that it was something entirely unexpected, but there was still a “Whoa…” factor involved.

I’ve been a bit… hm… *blah* the past few days; “apathetic” would probably be a good way to describe it. I’ve felt a bit empty – not in the “drained” sense of the word, but more like “hollow,” as if something’s missing. (And, “no,” it’s not “my conscience” that’s missing. I still know exactly in which box it resides. Tucked away nicely, thank you.) I’ve been applying some brainpower to suss out the heart of the matter. I think that I’ve pinned it down. Next step, deciding what to do about it. And, as sad as it may be to admit, those stupid PSAs at the ends of G.I. Joe episodes were right: “Knowing is half the battle.” Damn you, Hasbro and Sunbow Entertainment! *shakes fist*

Stray Toasters

  • I made pre-emptive phone calls and emails last night, so that various members of the family unit wouldn’t call me at O’dark-thirty this morning after they heard about the shooting at Trolley Square.
  • I have a new post in PoetryTag for the first time in… *checks*… over two years. Wow.
  • It would be nice if there was an official opening date for the new IKEA.
  • : The cover art to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #30
  • Meet the new New Avengers
  • , you might be interested in this: Vista Not Playing Nice with FPS Games
  • Crabcakes from Philip’s would be great right now…
  • …or Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets.
  • : Cover art from Ultimate X-Men #82 (Pssst! It’s Nightcrawler!)
  • By way of BoingBoing: The Jealous Astronaut – a song (and Flash video) by The Phantom Surfers about Lisa Nowak
  • I forgot to log out of AIM at work. Yet again.
  • Hm… hush puppies (the food, not the shoes) would be good, too.
  • Bojangle’s. That would hit the spot.
  • True Faith by New Order
  • Despite cravings for foods that I can’t get here, I’m perfectly content and happy with the dinner that I fixed: Chicken breasts with rice and mixed vegetables.
  • The train goes “MOO!!”

Quote of the Day
A scene from Marvel Comics’ X-Factor #14

Siryn: “Jamie…”
Madrox: “Yeah, Theresa. I’m listening. You don’t have to whisper…”
Siryn: “Yes. I do. If I whisper, it’s easier for me to control myself. If I start talking… I’m going to start shouting. Then comes yelling. Then comes screaming. And then comes a demolished neighborhood. So, I need you to walk away before that happens.”
Madrox: “Yeah, uhm.. we’ll do this later when you’re not as, y’know…”
Siryn: “Homicidal.”
Madrox: “Right. That.”

Almost game time.


“I will survive…”

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I just found out that it’s Darwin Day.

In light of that, I offer this toon from the webcomic formerly known as Queen of Wands:

“I’m more than a bird, more than a plane… more than some pretty face beside a train…”

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John Williams’ Superman – Main Theme is now playing on iTunes.

I think that this is a great piece of music.


That’s not even taking into account that it’s the theme from one of my favorite movies. But since it is, we’ll go from there. When I hear this piece, I can picture Superman (either the late Christopher Reeve or Brandon Routh) gliding effortlessly through the air.

No “Hover” for this guy.
Plain and simple.

It also reminds me of John Byrne’s revamp of Superman in the late 80s. Aside from the “standard” flying poses, he would also draw Superman flying upside-down or doing loops. If I remember correctly, he said that he did it not to portray him as showing off, but to show that he was simply having fun.

And that’s just cool.