Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“…and you give, and you give, and you give yourself away.”

books, comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, geekery, IKEA, monkeys!, news and info, quote of the day, science and technology, workout No Comments »
"...and you give, and you give, and you give yourself away."

Friday – 30 November 2007
The end of the week is at hand.

Dinner last night was a lot of fun. We went to Sampan. Tasty beef lo mein… with enough left over to make a decent post-workout lunch. After dinner, most of us headed to Barnes & Noble for coffee and conversation. I also picked up a new Windows Server 2003 book, that is perfect for some of the things that I’m going to need to know for work.

After the group broke up, came over to take pictures for my Christmas card. She took many pictures. MANY. So I’ll have a good number of options from which to select. It was nice to see – and hang out with – her this past week.

This morning, I overslept a little. Only by half an hour. And I was happy that it was “only” a half-hour, as I didn’t get to bed until somewhere around 3:30. So, while I didn’t get as early a start on the day as I could have, I wasn’t as far off the mark as I could have been. Today’s workout was a good way to wrap up the week:

  • Leg Raises: 3 sets / 20 reps
  • Bench Press: 3 sets / 8 reps at 225 lbs.
  • Nautilus Fly: 3 sets / 10 reps at 95 lbs, with a ten-second hold on the last rep of each set
  • Decline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets / 10 reps at 50 lbs.
  • Bench Dips: 3 sets / 20 reps – all sets with a 35 lb plate
  • Dips: 1 sets / 10 reps
  • Lower Back Raises: 3 sets / 15 reps

Stray Toasters

Quotes of the Day
Today’s quotes come from last night’s coffee gathering:

  • (after seeing an ad in Lürzer’s Archive): I want to be able to shit cupcakes! I’d be []’ best friend!
  • (referring to… an acquaintance): She’s the Amazing Expando-Girl!

And that’s a wrap!

See you on the other side of Juab County.


Midweek musings…

arts and leisure, comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, games, geekery, music No Comments »
Midweek musings...

Wednesday: Coda / Thursday – 29 November 2007
Before I left work, Land called to ask if I had any plans for dinner. I didn’t. We decided to meet at my place and figure out what we wanted to do from there. We decided to go to Porcupine Pub & Grille. As we were walking to our table, a couple yelled at us… well, specifically me. I looked over to see Fiona and at the next table. They offered us seats and we joined them. Dinner was nice. After dinner, I decided that I wanted to go to the Garden of Sweden, so Land and I went. Unfortunately, I was wrong about their closing time. Oh, well… another time. Back home and…

City of Heroes – The Scales of Justice
….I took a trip to Paragon City with Nefer-Tem. I decided to clear out a Devouring Earth mission that I’ve had in my queue for a few weeks. Solo. Well, not entirely solo – I had my “pet,” whom I may start calling “Inky.” We didn’t exactly sail through the mission, but I didn’t die – despite the best efforts of a couple of Void Stalkers. As I was winding up the mission, I was joined by a player – and occasional teammate – whom I haven’t seen in a while. We wrapped the mission and considered picking up another one, but opted to hold off until another time.

Stray Toasters

  • I had Indian (dot, not feather) cuisine for lunch. Very tasty. VERY filling.
  • Hiren’s Boot CD. *nod*
  • Bicycles with sick soundsystems
  • The new beta for Parallels is a little more stable – and has a couple of improvements – but still doesn’t render City properly. So… I may go ahead and set up a partition under Boot Camp for Windows. We shall see.
  • + + = Damn you, Tyranist.
  • Truly Scrumptious / Doll on a Music Box
  • SaraRules just sent me a link to this picture, by Jan Van Holleben:

    (click image for more)

After work, I stopped at Dr. Volt’s and fed my four-color crack – and plastic crack – addiction. Among the ‘Clix items I got were:

Tonight, dinner with and the usual suspects. And there’s a rumor that we may do some bowling afterward.

“Baby, it’s cold outside…”

comics and animation, Council for Better Driving, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, games, geekery, monkeys!, news and info, quote of the day, science and technology, toys, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Baby, it's cold outside..."

Wednesday – 28 November 2007
Midweek is upon us.
Snow is on the ground.

That’s right. Snow. It started last night. And, following tradition, I called my father to share the wonderful news with him. (He already knew – he watches The Weather Channel. A lot.) By the time I got to ‘ for gaming, there wasn’t much on the ground, but the streets were wet and starting to get slushy. By the time I left, there was slush and ice – the temperature had fallen – on the streets. This morning, there was more snow (and slush), but the streets had been decently salted. That didn’t stop some of the monkeys from driving a little more crazily than good sense would have deemed appropriate.

With this in mind, I reiterate the Council for Better Driving Rule #1:

Don’t be a fucker.

Given the way that some people were driving, I think that I will consider making Rule #2:

You might be immortal, but the rest of us on the road aren’t:
Slow down and let us get where we’re going in one piece.

Last night was game night. We started our new game – Scion: Hero. Our characters are the offspring of gods. Rather than try a build based on Hand of Nefer-Tem, I went with a character whose pantheon are the Loa. That’s right: Voodoo. The game was interesting – and fun – and would have been even more fun had I not left my character sheet… somewhere. I had thought that it was in my backpack (which I had), but it wasn’t. *sigh* I was able to wing it for some things, but others… no clue. Oh, well. I found the sheet when I got home. I shall be importing the data into a pdf character sheet.

Last night, I tried installing City of Crack Heroes on Defiant, under Parallels. When the installer finished, I tried to log in. I had forgotten one thing. One kind of critical thing: Patches. There were 1.7 gigabytes worth of patches. I wasn’t going to sit there, just to watch the bar crawl across the screen, so I left it and went to bed. When I woke up this morning, it was done. I tried logging into my usual server. No go. Server maintenance. *BAH*

Later, I was finally able to connect… but the graphics were not 100%. (Parallels doesn’t support DirectX 9 yet, so I’m not getting the full 3-D acceleration.) Basically, if I tried to play CoX on Defiant, it would look roughly the same as things would to Superman walking/flying around all day with his X-ray vision on: He could see shapes, forms and structures, but no details. Oh, well… I may look into setting up a Win partition in Boot Camp.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
Today’s nugget of pure golden joy came from last night’s gaming session. One of the first things that I had my character do when he arrived in town was to acquire accommodations at a local hotel. After our group had gathered and we had finished the first of our tasks, we (meaning “they”) were deciding where to bunk up for the night. John chimed in with, “We can all sleep with you.”

I should note here that our group, at this point, consists of , , John and myself; a couple of other players were absent. Nyx looked at John and, in character, said: “What do you mean ‘we?’ I just met you three… and I’m not sleeping with any of you.”

John, after a moment’s thought, quipped back with:

“I party with the lotion.”

And much laughter ensued.


“Better, stronger, faster…”

dining and cuisine, everyday glory, football, geekery, news and info, science and technology, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, workout No Comments »
"Better, stronger, faster..."

Tuesday – 27 November 2007
Before leaving work yesterday, I checked the FedEx site to track the status of Defiant‘s memory upgrade. According to the site, it was delivered a little after noon. And left on my doorstep. O.o Oookay. I was more than “a little” leery about something just being left out in the open, but what could I do from work? I got home and there was nothing on the doorstep. Alright. I called the leasing office to see if it was there. No go, Flight. I even checked the mailbox, in case the FedEx driver got here at/around the same time as the mailman. Nope. Then, on a whim, I decided to look on my patio. Lo and behold, there it was. Mischief managed. However, when I attempted to install the new memory, I discovered that I didn’t have a screwdriver at home whose head is small enough to fit the screws. *GAH* But, I have such tools at work. And, this morning, they were duly employed.

*raises hands to the heavens in triumphant, gleeful ecstacy*

The rest of the post-work night was quite a bit of fun. , and met me at my place and – after I gave the nickel tour of the place – we headed up to Fiddler’s Elbow for dinner and drinks… and something that was supposed to be a football game. We were met at Fiddler’s by: and OnlyAly, , and . The food and company were great; the service… not so much, which is unusual for Fiddler’s.

The game, however, was a farce: The Pittsburgh Steelers, the #2 team in the AFC, versus the Miami Dolphins, who came into this game with an 0-10 record. NO wins this season. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. The score was 0-0 until twenty seconds before the end of the game, when Pittsburgh scored a field goal. Miami, after the final kickoff, tried a hook-and-ladder to try and get someone free enough to run the ball downfield. It didn’t work. Final score: 0-3. According to one of the announcers, it was the new record-setter for lowest-scoring game on Monday Night Football. And, what about the Steelers? How much joy can you take in the fact that it took you 59:40 to score… on the worst team in the league? Not just the division. Not just the conference. The entire National Football League. That’s gotta be a feather in your cap.

After the group broke up, and came back to my place so that I could try to suss out a couple of problems with ‘s laptop. While working on it, I logged into Gmail and saw that Josh, one of the students in SaraRules’ MFA program, was online. He, Steve and SaraRules were polishing up presentations that they have to give Tuesday afternoon. Josh and I chatted for a minute and then I decided to try something: iChat video chat. We did that for a few minutes before I got back to work on ‘s machine and they got back to their projects. But, it was fun… in a geeky way.

Today started with me sleeping in. Far more “in” than I had planned, but given that I had been up for something approaching 21 hours, I was okay with sleeping in. I stopped in the SLC office to drydock and upgrade Defiant – and to take care of an item or two on my task list – and then it was off to the southern compound. The commute wasn’t bad AND it started off with Conjunction Junction on the iPod. Win-win. Today’s workout was good, too:

  • Leg Raises: 1 set / 20 reps
  • Bench Press: 3 sets / 8 reps at 225 lbs.
  • Nautilus Fly: 3 sets / 10 reps at 95 lbs, with a ten-second hold on the last rep of each set
  • Dips: 3 sets / 10 reps
  • Decline Dumbbell Press: 1 set / 12 reps at 35 lbs.; 2 sets / 15 reps at 40 lbs.
  • Bench Dips: 2 sets / 20 reps; 1 set / 15 reps – all sets with a 35 lb plate on our laps
  • Leg Raises: 2 sets / 20 reps

It was a good – and somewhat tiring – workout… but I’ll attribute a portion of that to the holiday weekend. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Stray Toasters


“Hello, inner child. I’m the inner babysitter.”

comics and animation, everyday glory, games, geekery, news and info, quote of the day No Comments »
"Hello, inner child.  I'm the inner babysitter."

Monday – 26 November 2007
And so, the long weekend has ended. But, it was a good – and restful – weekend. This morning came early, though: Rather than drive all night (like Cyndi Lauper), SaraRules rolled out this morning. The alarm went off at far-too-early o’clock (known to some as 5:00 AM). After she left, I found that sleep was elusive, so my day started shortly thereafter. It was nice to be in the office early; I will be able to start my post-work day early. And, so far, the work day hasn’t been bad, at all.

Stray Toasters

  • I have done something untoward to the middle joint on the middle finger of my left hand. I didn’t think that I had given that many road monkeys the bird. (In fact, I don’t typically flip off motorists… I just curse at them in various languages.)
  • The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu
  • Scotty Doesn’t Know (Damn you, Tyranist! *shakes fist*)
  • 100 hours / 2000 furlongs.
  • Powerful Babies
  • Twix.
  • Jason and I were discussing how there are no wireless guitars for the XBox 360 versions of Guitar Hero or Rock Band. I posit the following: Shortly after the first of the year, there will be wireless controllers. My rationale: Micro$oft is a marketing company that happens to sell software… and some gaming hardware, too. Given that Rock Band and Guitar Hero III are hot items on peoples’ Christmas lists, I’m sure that M$ will wait until the holiday copies are sold before saying something along the lines of:

    “Okay, game developers and third-party accessory makers, what do you think about putting out a wireless guitar? Good idea? Really? So let’s get to it! Oh, and don’t forget to include our generous cut in the pricing. Have a nice day!”

  • I haven’t powered up Intrepid in… close to a week now? Defiant has assumed its duties and responsibilities most admirably.
  • Sheila E.
  • Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia?
  • I believe that 16 and/or 20 ounce curls at Fiddlers’ Elbow this evening.
  • Chicken butt. Childish, sure… but it makes me laugh.

Quote of the Day
Today’s selection comes from Hogfather:

Susan: [Susan is reading the fairy tale “Jack and the beanstalk” to children] And then Jack chopped down what was the world’s last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned and all the giant’s children didn’t have a daddy any more. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you’re a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions.



Lazy day

books, everyday glory, football, geekery, movies and TV, music, news and info, science and technology, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Lazy day

Sunday – 25 November 2007
Another Salt Lake Valley Sunda-a-ay…

With the exception of the Ravens’ loss to the Chargers, today’s been a good day. Slept in. Went to SaraRules’ parents for football, dinner, Mojitos and Hogfather. No, that was not a typo. And, no, it’s not a porcine remake of The Godfather. It was a movie based on a Terry Prachett book (set in/on the Discworld) of the same name. It wasn’t your typical holiday movie… but in a way it was. Yeah, it was like that. It was a British production and, according to SaraRules’ father, was fairly faithful to the book. A tip of the hat and a wave of the cane to for making a note of this broadcast.

Football Update
As I mentioned above, the Ravens took one on the chin, thanks to the Chargers. Go team.

Congrats to and for the Bengals’ win.
Congrats to for the Browns’ win
Congrats to for the Vikings’ win

Commiserations to and on the Eagles’ and Panthers’ losses, respectively.

Stray Toasters

  • I used iPhoto to make a web gallery of photos that have been sitting on my hard drive for months. MANY months. Once I got the hang of “what goes where,” it was a VERY fast and easy process. I still want to play around with the settings, to see what customization – if any – is available, as I don’t have a .mac account to upload it to and it seems set for .mac integration. But, I was pretty happy with the results.
  • Last night, after tracking down a copy of it, SaraRules and I watched The Lady Eve, starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck. It was fun and a nice change of pace.
  • Absinthe, a Potent Potable Makes a Comeback
  • I learned today, by way of SaraRules, that Shel Silverstein wrote the Johnny Cash song, A Boy Named Sue
  • Related sidenote: I need to acquire a copy of the Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book
  • Defiant‘s new memory should be here Monday… sometime, according to the FedEx site.
  • Anatomical heart made from candy hearts

And that, as they say, is a wrap.Namaste.

“Games people play, night or day they’re just not matching…”

books, comics and animation, everyday glory, games, science and technology, zombies No Comments »
"Games people play, night or day they're just not matching..."

Saturday – 24 November 2007
A quiet, lazy day in the valley. The morning started off with an odd dream: I was back in school and taking a mid-term… and couldn’t remember any of the answers. Very frustrating and a little disconcerting. That was followed up by episodes of Legion of Super-Heroes and The Batman – reruns, but episodes nonetheless. While SaraRules continues work on her project, I have been watching bits of Armageddon and Lethal Weapon 3. I think that I’m going to switch over to Madden 2005, in a little bit.

Last night’s Clitorati was fun – it was nice to hang out with the usual suspects. Borders also had a couple of deals that I couldn’t pass up: The West Wing – The Complete Second Season and Firefly: The Complete Series, both for $19.99. And I also picked up a book, Guards! Guards!, that SaraRules’ father mentioned to me at Thanksgiving dinner. Post-Clitorati, SaraRules and I broke out Trivial Pursuit: Warner Brothers Edition. After the way that she pwned me at backgammon, there was no way that I was going to lose at Trivial Pursuit. I mean, it’s trivia. And pop culture. HOW could I possibly lose!? For a while I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to pull it off – the “Classics” category kept kicking my ass. Fortunately, I hit a question when going for the Classics wedge that I knew. I won. I like to win. Go figure.

Stray Toasters

Time to find some trouble to get into.


Just a lazy day in the valley

everyday glory, games, IKEA No Comments »
Just a lazy day in the valley

Friday – 23 November 2007
The extended weekend continues.  I just wish that I had been able to sleep in a little later.  After going to bed somewhere around 3:30, I was up at 8:45 (not to be confused with emmet swimming’s 8:45).  Having been up-and-down all “night,” I decided to go ahead and start the day.  I didn’t do much.  Bath.  Bowl of cereal.  Played City.  Hey, it’s a day off… what’d you expect.

A little after lunch, SaraRules came over.  She worked on some schoolwork and then we headed to the Garden of Sweden. Quick trip: Picture frame and to measure the packaging that something else comes in – I needed to know whether or not it will fit in the car or if I’ll have to elicit the help of someone with a wagon or truck.

And tonight, for the first time in weeks, I will make it to Clitorati.


“Alone and bored on a 30th Century night…”

comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, monkeys!, movies and TV, science and technology No Comments »
"Alone and bored on a 30th Century night..."

Thursday: Coda
Today has been not only a good NBN Thursday, but a good Thanksgiving, as well. I talked with the various factions of my family. I spent the day with SaraRules and her family. Food. Football. A tryptophan-induced nap. Pie. Serenity. The pies turned out well. I don’t know how often I’ll be making them, but I know how to now.

Four-Color Coverage
Yesterday’s haul was light – only four books – but there were items of note:

  • Action Comics #859 – This issue continues the Superman and the LSH story. We find out who has subverted the name “Superman” in the 31st Century, as well as “how” and “why.” We also learn what happened to turn Sol into a red star. There was even a look at the BatCave of the 31st Century… long-since unused, but with many familiar objects that seem to have withstood the passage of the years. This was a solid issue and would have had me sold, even if it hadn’t included the Legion.
  • The Brave and the Bold #8 – The Flash, his wife and children are invited to meet with Dr. Niles Caulder and the Doom Patrol to see if Dr. Caulder can help stabilize the younger Wests’ accelerated metabolisms and aging processes. While the tone of this issue was – on the whole – fairly light, the pay-off on the second-to-last page made the whole story worthwhile… and a little chilling.
  • Countdown: 23 – Most of this issue was spent watching SuperBrat-Prime torture Mxyzptlk (with the help of the Earth-3 version of Zatanna). Among the best scenes in the book was Mxy telling Prime off:

    Mxyzptlk: Wise up, Clark Bent. I’d never give a rube like you anything except the finger. Shame you broke alla mine. Y’see, Junior, there’s an art to the battle of wits I fight with the real Superman everyone knows and loves. And actually, if you had approached me with one iota of the maturity he has, I might have cut ya a deal and played along — if the punchline to your little plan was funnier.
    Superman-Prime: This is a joke to you?!?
    Mxyzptlk: Oh, Margaret! They don’t come any richer! See, most beings in the Fifth Dimension are content to stay there and endlessly reshape their own individual realities — they want to be something, POOF! They become it, sometimes for eons. You know my girlfriend once spent thirty years as a female version of me? Flattering, but not very pretty. Now me, I’m something of a showoff. Matter of fact, I’ve perfected mischief to a form of Zen. I’m an imp that loves an audience, and I found a great one in the Third Dimension. I’m sure you’ve heard some of the names I’ve answered to over the centuries… Loki, Coyote, Anasazi…
    Superman-Prime: You expect me to believe this garbage?
    Mxyzptlk: You still don’t get the joke, do ya, Prime Rib? I’m the damn Trickster God! I couldn’t be square with you if I tried. Ha, ha! That’s what we in the comedy business call a topper, son!

    Quite the interesting twist, casting Mxyzptlk as the DCU’s incarnation of the Trickster God.

  • Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Annual #1 – I picked this up, more or less, on a whim. I wanted to see how someone would write Tony Stark as the billionaire playboy who just happens to run an international intelligence agency. And without his powers or his armor. With just his wits and intellect (and a trio of secret agents at his side) to rely on. Turns out, this was a fun read. And it looks as though there may be a (or “yet another”) shake-up in the MU’s criminal underworld.

Stray Toasters

  • I just ordered memory for Defiant. pointed out that Crucial is offering 10% off, so I checked it out. I was able to get 4GB (two sticks of 2GB) – with tax and express shipping – for only 42¢ more than their offered 4GB kit.
  • Chicken butt.
  • Watching Serenity reminded me of this comic:

  • Pringles… Ice cream sandwich… Pringles… Ice cream sandwich…
  • Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day…
  • Most people know that as far as I’m concerned, there are only three (3) Superman movies: Superman: The Movie, Superman II and Superman Returns. In some parallel universe, someone had the bright idea of making Superman III and Superman IV. I think that I must have journeyed to that alterna-verse as a kid, because I have memories of seeing Superman III. But, that’s silly. I mean… don’t you think that I’d remember a travesty of a Superman movie that didn’t feature Lex Luthor, but had Robert Vaughn as a Luthor stand-in villain… and Richard Pryor as a computer genius!? C’mon. I have a good imagination, but damn! Anyway… it appears as though the original outline for Superman III has landed on the Interweb. It chills the blood. It’s even worse than the Superman III that was released. Y’know… in that alternate universe.

It’s early Friday morning now. “Black Friday.” In some parts of the country, people are already lining up for first crack at super shopping bargains… against the hordes and teeming masses of monkeys. Screw that. I’m staying in my warm apartment. And (eventually) sleeping. Besides, I can get equally good – if not better – deals shopping online. So there.


Happy Thanksgiving

everyday glory, food for thought No Comments »
Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Myspace Graphics

Have a safe and happy holiday… and remember: It’s about more than just eating turkey.

“In the skillet, there’s somethin’ cookin’…”

Council for Better Driving, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, games, monkeys!, movies and TV 1 Comment »
"In the skillet, there's somethin' cookin'..."

Wednesday: Coda
This afternoon’s lunchtime trip to Dr. Volt’s was a bust – there was a delay in the shipment, so they were late getting the books sorted. But, I had sushi with SaraRules, shockpuppet, , Joe and Mike (another name with which I will have to resort a numeric nomenclature, it seems).

Back to the office for a bit and then home. I logged into City of Heroes for a bit. No one in my supergroup was on, so I decided to roam around Founders Falls and beat on a few things. I apparently forgot one very important thing: They beat back. I’ve been so used to playing on a team that I neglected to remember just how squishy Kheldians are. I wound up in the hospital at least three times before I logged out of the game. Even so, I had fun playing. (I want to upgrade the RAM on Defiant and see if I can get City to run in Parallels.)

As I was leaving my complex, I couldn’t exit because two (not just “one,” but “TWO”) vehicles were trying to make left turns… from dead-center of the exit. The exit which is easily wide enough to accommodate two cars, one making a right and one making a left turn. *grblsnrkx* It was enough to make me want to start a list of rules for the Council for Better Driving. Not even five minutes later, another idiotstick pulled a hare-brained maneuver in front of me. That cemented what I think shall become Rule #1:

Council for Better Driving Rule #1: Don’t be a fucker.

Back to Dr. Volt’s to feed my four-color habit. It was a light week, but I had forgotten that I had asked Dave to put something on hold for me: Justice Action Figure Set. I also picked up two boxes of the new Mutations and Monsters set of HeroClix. Of note:

From there, it was on to SaraRules’ parents’ house. On the bill tonight: Making my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner – sweet potato pie. Tonight marked the first time that I have tried making a pie. I used a recipe from a family friend – a recipe that made enough for three pies. They seemed to turn out well. Tomorrow will be the test, though. While the pies were baking, SaraRules and I watched Super Troopers, which I had not seen before. Funny movie.

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig. And now, sleep.


“Twenty degrees and the hockey game’s on, nobody cares they are way too far gone”

arts and leisure, books, comics and animation, everyday glory, games, LEGO and Rokenbok, music, news and info No Comments »
"Twenty degrees and the hockey game's on, nobody cares they are way too far gone"

Wednesday – 21 November 2007
Sweet Big Butter Jesus… it was 19°F when I woke up this morning. NINETEEN! (N-n-n-nineteen! Nineteen!) But, at least it is Sushi Wednesday; at least, it is according to shockpuppet.

I am in the SLC office and just met a new coworker. He looked at me and recognized me… from the gym. But, it was the gym in American Fork. We used to workout at roughly the same time. “Curiouser and curiouser,” said little Alice…

Stray Toasters

For those who will be traveling today/this weekend: Good luck against the masses and may you arrive safely at your destination.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


“If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium…”

everyday glory, games, geekery, news and info, science and technology, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, workout No Comments »
"If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium..."

Tuesday – 20 November 2007
It’s been a good day. And, considering that it’s this week’s “Wednesday,” I can’t complain about that.I

I tried something a little different last night: After my shower, I shaved. Nothing earth-shattering or ground-breaking, but still something out of the norm for my pre-bed routine. After all, I’m sure that there are those who would question the sanity of dragging sharp steel blades across your face and head first thing in the morning. It turned out pretty well. I have a few hours’ more stubble than I’m used to at this point in the day, but it’s not hellish.

The work day has been pretty decent as well: I was actually elbow-up in parts, putting some machines together. (How long has it been since that happened…?) It was a rather pleasant change-of-pace from reading.

Today’s workout:

  • Dips: 3 sets of 10
  • Pull-ups: 2 sets / 10 reps (unassisted); 1 set / 6 (unassisted), 5 (assisted / 80 lbs.)
  • Leg Raises: 3 sets of 20
  • Incline Bench Press: 3 sets / 12 reps, 135 lbs.
  • Cable Row: 3 sets / 12 reps, 120 lbs.
  • Curls: 3 sets / 10 reps, 25 lbs.
  • Standing Reverse Curls: 1 set / 10 reps, 12 lbs.
  • Side Bends: 2 sets / 15 reps, 30 lbs.
  • Core: 3 sets / 1 minute, 45 seconds, 45 seconds
  • Push-ups: 15

Nothing horribly strenuous, but it was definitely a good mix of exercises.

Stray Toasters

SaraRules, in town for the holiday, has just informed me that dinner’s ready.  Ghost.


“It’s just another manic Monday…”

books, Council for Better Driving, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, football, games, geekery, monkeys!, movies and TV, news and info, science and technology, travel No Comments »
"It's just another manic Monday..."

Monday – 19 November 2007
Another work week begins… but it’s a short week. I like to shake it, shake it short weeks. They’re nice. And this one has the added bonus of: SaraRules will be in town tomorrow.

Yesterday was full of football and general laziness. SaraRules and I watched the Browns-Ravens game… until it went to overtime – I was Ivory Soap-sure that I knew what the outcome would be. (I was right, by the way. Congratulations, .) After the game, we headed to St. George. I stopped in Old Navy, intent on picking up a few turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks, as the weather is starting to turn a bit chilly. No go, Flight. The only sizes they had were for toddlers. I’m short, but not quite that short. Guess that I’ll have to check Eddie Bauer. Next stop: ColdStone. We tried the Mud Pie Mojo, a coffee ice cream-based flavor. It was very good. Next: Best Buy. I’ve been mulling over an Xbox 360 for a while, and decided that if they had the right package, I’d probably go ahead and pick one up. When I looked around, all I saw was the “Arcade” package. Definitely not what I wanted. SaraRules tapped me on the shoulder and pointed me in the direction of a stack of Xboxes about 20 feet away. VARIETY!!! Yes!!! For those who don’t know, Micro$oft has multiple “versions” of the Xbox:

  • Arcade: This is the base model. No frills, no bells, no whistles.
  • Core System: Includes a 20 GB hard drive and two games.
  • Halo 3 Special Edition: Basically a Core System that, for an extra $50, has been painted green and orange, just like everyone’s favorite Spartan. (No, not these Spartansthis Spartan.) And, did I mention that this does NOT include a copy of Halo 3? It doesn’t.
  • Elite: If Microsoft was going to have “sexy black hotness,” this would be it. Where the other Xboxes are white with grey accents – or Halo 3 green – and plastic, the Elite is shiny black metal. Or, at least the original limited edition ones were. It comes with a 120 GB hard drive and two games. And all for only $100 more than the Core System.

I went with the Core System. And I’m good with that.

The end of the evening held a trip to the grocery store, me cooking dinner (with an assist from Steve, who did the garlic bread), wine, football and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Fun movie. Quirky, even. I went into it expecting something else, so I was a little thrown-off… but I enjoyed it. I found out afterward that SaraRules is a big Robert Downey, Jr. fan, so I showed her the trailer for Iron Man. Her reaction: “We are so there.”

This morning’s drive wasn’t bad. I played intermittent leap-frog with an SUV from Beaver up to Spanish Fork. It reminded me of Smokey and the Bandit in a way: One vehicle would lead (and make sure that the path was clear, the other would drive “a little” faster than the posted limit. To my knowledge, though, neither of us had a trunk full of Coors. (At least, I didn’t.) There wasn’t any construction on the northbound side of I-15; there was a little… something… going on that forced the southbound side to one lane, just north of Cove Fort, though. And, of course, there was general monkey-rifficness almost as soon as I crossed into Utah County. Go figure.

I thought about something this morning – that I first thought about Friday night, on the way to Cedar City: I have an eclectic mix of music on my iPod. No news there. From The Powerpuff Girls theme to Nine Inch Nails’ The Perfect Drug. I also have a tendency to sing along with whatever song strikes my fancy while driving. My car is equipped with the OnStar service; I don’t subscribe to it, but it’s there. I remember hearing about cases where the FBI used OnStar to eavesdrop on suspects. It made me wonder if a bored OnStar advisor ever listened while I was singing away… and what they thought of the rather odd assortment of songs to which I listened and/or sang.

Work hasn’t been bad. I’ve had a couple of issues to forward to other people and a few small equipment needs to fill, but otherwise the natives have been quiet. Which means that I was actually able to get some reading done.

Stray Toasters

I should start thinking about prepping my things for tomorning.


“Another Pleasant Valley… I mean ‘Southern Utah’… Sunday”

arts and leisure, everyday glory, football, games, geekery, movies and TV, science and technology No Comments »
"Another Pleasant Valley... I mean 'Southern Utah'... Sunday"

Sunday – 18 November 2007
I opted to stay in last night, rather than go to the basketball game. I worked on some PHP coding, which I haven’t done in FAR too long, and watched Chasing Amy. Just before the movie ended, Darillyn and company showed up; we sat around and shot the bull. Steve, one of the MFAs in SaraRules’ program, came over and hung out. SaraRules got home around 10:30 and the lot of us hung out and rounded out the evening.

This morning has started with coffee and a couple of dismal football games. The Ravens are getting owned by the Browns. The Browns, for Pete’s sake! And, the Panthers are getting rocked by the Packers. It’ s pretty bad when I have to look to this season’s Dolphins (0-9 this season) for a ray of hope.

Stray Toasters

  • I want to go to St. George. (There’s a Best Buy there…)
  • For the Mac-philes out there: What are some of your favorite Mac-related websites?
  • Engraved Victorian tentacle-horrors from Dan Hillier
  • Was that… Ray Lewis… who just picked off a pass and ran it back for a 35-yard touchdown!? Why, yes, yes it was!
  • I think that it’s all but official: Defiant is slowly assuming most of the functions for which Intrepid was responsible. I think that Intrepid will most likely be redeployed to the Neutral Zone as a media PC in the living room.
  • Massively – Daily News about MMOs
  • By way of Etsy: Toilet decals