Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Conversations with asdf_cat

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Conversations with asdf_cat

(11:40:24 AM) : Is this a potential addition to the crew?
(11:40:43 AM) : yeah. help desk. 🙂
(11:41:04 AM) : We can use a redshirt.
(11:41:35 AM) : http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/generic/9722/

(3:37:08 PM) : *notes an list of prices for a requisitioned item*
(3:37:42 PM) : has to go through the mothership.
(3:37:50 PM) : Wait…
(3:38:09 PM) : George Clinton…. Dr. Funkenstein himself…works for [us]?!
(3:38:13 PM) : Holy shite.
(3:41:18 PM) : George Clinton – Found 0 entries. 🙁
(3:52:59 PM) : But… you said…. the mothership.
(3:53:06 PM) : yeah yeah.
(3:53:09 PM) : Make my funk the P-Funk.
(3:53:20 PM) : different mothership.
(3:53:26 PM) : *SIGH*
(3:53:27 PM) : Fine.
(3:55:23 PM) : think of it more as we are a small fighter craft and they are the giant independence day orbital mother ship.
(3:55:35 PM) : … and they want to wipe us out and take our resources.
(3:55:49 PM) : We have Macs.
(3:56:00 PM) : All we need now is The Fresh Prince and The Fly.
(3:57:12 PM) : better throw in Agent K just in case.

“Fly by night, away from here…”

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"Fly by night, away from here..."

Thursday – 31 January 2008
After a few post-work errands, I holed up in the apartment and waited for the MythBusters “Plane on a Conveyor Belt” episode. It was good. They did a couple of other interesting experiments, including a test to see whether cockroaches would truly be able to survive a nuclear war.

After that, I logged into City of Heroes to see if anyone from the SG was on and to try and get closer to Security Level 40. I found one SG member on, but he was helping people with the Katie Hannon task force. I looked around for a while, but didn’t find anything else that looked promising, so I logged out.

I started reading some of yesterday’s four-color goodness. Even the “low priority” reads were good. When reading a week’s comic haul, I usually read books starting with the “little-to-waning interest” group and finishing up with the “warm, happy place” books. After all, why start off big only to work your way down to “Wow… that was completely craptacular,” when you can go the other way and (usually) end on a good note.

Somewhere in the middle of reading Fantastic Four, I konked out.
For the night.
On the sofa.

I woke up about ten minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

I prepped for work in a fairly leisurely manner, including taking the time to brew a pot of coffee and to enjoy a bowl of Honeycomb before heading off to face the day. And I remembered to bring my coffee to work this morning. Go, me.

The work day hasn’t been too bad. I discovered that I needed to reconfigure one of my MCSE test machines. Oh, well. I’ll probably wind up adding (yet) another machine to that group, so that I don’t have to keep reformating and installing an OS on the secondary box.

Stray Toasters

And stuff.


“Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future…”

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"Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future..."


“Open up your mind and let me step inside…”

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"Open up your mind and let me step inside..."

Wednesday – 30 January 2008
The morning started. I wish I had something more to say about it than that… but that’s what you get.

I did have a couple of things happen this morning that made me go Ô.õ though:

  1. As I was getting ready for work, I had a random mash-up thought go through my head: “Welcome Back, Potter,” a cross between the 70’s TV show Welcome Back, Kotter and the Harry Potter stories, wherein Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts to teach remedial magic to “troubled” students… and hilarity ensues.
  2. I made a small pot of coffee this morning, to bring to work. While it was brewing, I set out my travel cup and even put milk and sugar in it, so I’d be go to go when the coffee was done. As I was only making 4 cups of coffee, it finished brewing before I was done in the kitchen. I turned off the coffee maker and wandered out of the kitchen to finish getting ready.And I never went back into the kitchen before leaving for work.

    So, I have a lovely cup with milk and sugar and a pot of brewed Vanilla Bean coffee waiting for me.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t remember this until I got about halfway to work. Thus, I had to stop at the local Beans & Brews to acquire frozen mocha goodness to thin out the blood in my caffeinestream.

And that’s the morning, so far.

How’s your day?

“No more kings…”

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"No more kings..."

Tuesday – 29 January 2008
Last night, after the ordeal of the afternoon commute – it took about 75 minutes to get from AF to SLC – thanks to post-storm, near-whiteout conditions – and finishing out my day I went home and watched the State of the Union address. I had a few things go through my mind as I was watching:

  1. When GW turned his head a certain way, he reminded me of Johnny Carson.
  2. I don’t get why the Peanut Gallery Congress feels the urge/need to give a standing ovation for some of the most mundane bullet point items in a speech. It reminded me more of a pep rally than a presidential speech when they did it… even though I’ve seen it many times before.
  3. I wound up watching the C-Span broadcast, because I got tired of the way the networks would always try to find Senator X, Y or Z for a “reaction shot” whenever GW was applauded for a particular note – especially Senators Obama and Clinton.
  4. I want to download a transcript of this speech and – over the course of the next year – see how many of the stated/proposed items come to fruition.

After the speech, I took the Hand of Nefer-Tem on a field trip to Paragon City. I hooked up with members of my SG and we took on The Council and the Circle of Thorns. Over the course of the next couple of hours, I not only racked up the points I needed to make Security Level 39, but got about… 4.2 bubbles on the way to Level 40.

I stopped playing a little before midnight. I stretched out on the couch with the intent of watching a little TV before calling it a night. I was out in less than ten minutes. I’d be willing to bet that it wasn’t even five minutes.

Next thing I know, it was 5:00 AM.
I stretched… and nodded off again.

Phone alarm. 6:15. Ignored.

I finally managed to leave the gates of The Dreaming at 8:00. I got up and started the day.

I headed to the SLC office to take care of a few things. Then on to the AF office… and the gym. Today’s workout was good (but a little short):

  • Bench press: 3 sets/8 reps (2 sets @ 205 lbs; 1 set/7 reps @ 205 lbs, 3 reps @ 185 lbs)
  • Rows (cable): 3 sets/12 reps @ 120 lbs
  • Shoulder press (seated, dumbbell): 3 sets/12 reps @ 40 lbs
  • Bent-over row: 3 sets/10 reps per arm @ 35 lbs
  • Curls (cable): 3 sets/10 reps @ 50 lbs

And, when I did my weigh-out: 169.4 lbs, which is down from Thursday’s 169.8. I’m not necessarily trying to hit 170 lbs, but I won’t cry if I do.

The Best: I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Gladys Knight & The Pips vs. Marvin Gaye vs. Creedence Clearwater Revival vs. The California Raisins.

The song was originally performed by Gladys Knight and, shortly thereafter, by Marvin Gaye and in the nineties, it was used by the California Raisin Advisory Board (no, I didn’t make that up) to promote… well, if I really have to tell you what it was for, you should just turn off the computer now. Seriously.

In my book, it comes down like this:

  1. Marvin Gaye
  2. Gladys Knight & The Pips
  3. The California Raisins
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival

I don’t really have anything against CCR, but I don’t particularly care for their cover of this song… hence, the Raisins knocking them out of the Number Three spot.
Stray Toasters


dangermouse_ut, duckspeaker and everydave…

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dangermouse_ut, duckspeaker and everydave...

MythBusters will be taking on the “Plane on a Conveyor Belt” conundrum this Wednesday.

From BoingBoing:

Last night I spoke to Adam Savage, co-host of MythBusters. He’s in Alaska, where current temperatures range between 0 to 30 degrees below zero. He just finished a test on “cabin fever” (he wouldn’t say how long he lasted before murdering his cabin mates and running out into the frozen wilderness wearning nothing but longjohns and a sleeping cap) and is now working on another episode up in the 49th state.

But the real reason I talked to him was to find out about the next episode of MythBusters (airing this Wednesday). It tackles the famous “plane on a conveyor belt problem,” that has pitted brother against brother and friend against friend for years.

To get to the bottom of the thought-problem, Adam and Jamie used a real plane, in this case a 400-lb ultralight, and a large conveyor belt. Did the plane take off? You’ll have to wait until Wednesday to find out, but Adam said even the pilot guessed wrong.

MythBusters site

“Can we build it? Yes, we can!”

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"Can we build it?  Yes, we can!"

As I mentioned last night (and had noted to me this morning by Liz, and ): January 2008 marks the 50th Birthday of the LEGO Brick.

also pointed out the LEGO Brick 50th Anniversary Timeline.

If you can’t run right out and pick up a box of LEGO, you should download the LEGO Digital Designer (Mac and Windows flavors):

And, don’t forget The Mini-mizer, where you can make a LEGO minifigure of yourself.


“Six minutes… six minutes… six minutes, Dougie Fresh, you’re on!”

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"Six minutes... six minutes... six minutes, Dougie Fresh, you're on!"

Monday – 28 January 2008
I am in the office already… and I’ve been here since 7:15.
Not only that, but I’m in the AF office.

Okay, not really “madness.” SaraRules left this morning and I got up, ready and out when she left. It’s just that I haven’t been in the AF office this early since God was a boy.

Speaking of which: Gordon B. Hinckley passed away last night. As the 15th President of the LDS Church, he led his congregation for over 13 years. I wasn’t in Utah the last time a Prophet of the Church died, so it will be interesting to see how the local population treats such an event.

Back to the story at hand: 7:15! I slept… well, when I slept. I was up and down a few times last night, mostly with some unusual dreams. Fortunately, there is coffee and iTunes to help me make it through the morning. I started the day with Tank! and Billy Ocean’s Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car (sorry, and ) is currently playing.

Alright… “Attack the day like birds of prey” time.


Of mini-golf, Apples and opera…

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Of mini-golf, Apples and opera...

Sunday – 27 January 2008
Last night, SaraRules and I went to play Minister G’off after all. We got her brother, Logan, to go along with us. We have the pictures to prove it.

Today, we slept in a bit. Later, while SaraRules was reading The Walking Dead, I finally remembered how to make an animated icon in Photoshop:

This afternoon, we went to the Capitol Theatre and saw Utah Opera‘s production of Tosca. It was a great production. The set was from the Seattle Opera; my favorite part of the staging was in Act Three, when they took the set from pre-dawn to early morning.

After that, we headed to SaraRules’ parents’ for dinner and to hang out for a while.

Back home for SaraRules to do homework and for me to save the world. For a bit, at least. When she was done, we watched Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I had forgotten how fun it was… and a decent story, too.

And that’s how I spent my Sunday.

Oh… and it’s the 50th Anniversary of the LEGO brick!

Relaxing Saturday.

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Relaxing Saturday.

Saturday – 26 January 2008
Last night, SaraRules and I went to my company’s “Winter Party.” It was held at Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge. We mostly hung out with with and shockpuppet and a few other coworkers. And, I was finally able to introduce SaraRules to my coworker who plays cello and performs with the Orchestra at Temple Square; they talked about string-y things and whatnot. Our keynote speaker for last night’s party was Richard Marcinko, former commander of Navy SEAL Team Six; he was an interesting person, but he wasn’t exactly a great public speaker. And, at the end of the affair, we got new company jackets and a copy of Mr. Marcinko’s book, Rogue Warrior.

After driving out of the canyon, we met up with the usual suspects – plus Land – at Cheers: North.

This morning started slowly and quietly – i.e.: “Sleeping in!” I don’t know what happened – or who put in the order for it – but it was a very nice, bright and temperate day: Temps were in the 40s! As there were no new ‘toons to watch, SaraRules and I decided to head out for breakfast. We went to the local Paradise Bakery and Cafè, but they stop selling breakfast at 11AM. Curses! So, we opted to go elsewhere… but not before SaraRules made a stop at Simply Mac to pick up a pink Speck case for her MacBook.

We wound up having breakfast in Holladay at a place called Sharon’s. SaraRules’ parents joined us. We sat, ate and chatted for a while. Post-breakfast, we headed up to the parents’ place for a bit to meet Loomis, their recently-adopted cat. Their newly-adopted, large cat. He’s on the order of 21 pounds. Cute cat, though. And rather friendly… as long as you don’t mess with his paws – I saw some of his handiwork in proving to others his dislike for having his paws messed with.

From there, we headed down to visit Kate, Perry and the kids. When we left there, we stopped in the Sandy Red Balloon. I was in a mood to possibly pick up something to add to the Rokenbok collection… but nothing they had caught my eye. So I didn’t.

Pictures of the day… so far.

Now, it’s time to figure out what to do for dinner.

This evening… we may just have to play some miniature golf. Just because we can.


“Do you not know who I am…?!”

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"Do you not know who I am...?!"

Friday – 25 January 2008
I have The Leash again this week. Once in every six weeks isn’t so bad, unless it goes off at 5:00… because someone has sent spam to it. *grblsnrkx*

Otherwise, last night was something of a mixed bag:

  • I got to play CoH for a couple of hours with members of my supergroup.
  • I caught an episode of pre-writers’ strike CSI: from earlier this season.
  • I thought about – but decided against – making brownies.
  • …and I seem to be on the front side of possibly coming down with something.

The top three == good.
The last one != good.

But I’m fighting the fight, so we’ll see what comes of it.

I think that we’re actually going to see the sun today. That would be a pleasant change of pace from the “living in a dirty fishbowl” haze that we’ve had for the past few days.

Stray Toasters

And that’s that… for now, at least.


Actual, honest-to-goodness office dialogue…

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Actual, honest-to-goodness office dialogue...

I am about to do some work on a coworker’s laptop.  Since it this project could take some time, I asked for his power cord, as well.  As he begain to detangle/detach it, he came up with the following gem:

“They should come up with a wireless power cord.”

To which someone else quickly retorted:


And this would be where I note that they are both tech writers.

“…and the sky is a hazy shade of Winter.”

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"...and the sky is a hazy shade of Winter."

Thursday – 24 January 2008
So far, so grey. I mean,”So far, so good!” Yeah… “good.” That’s the ticket. Even if I can barely see across 215 from the office window.

I have hot chocolate. I’m willing to bet that most of you don’t. Pity.

The morning started off slow and leisurely, and included a quick chat with . Then the short trek to the north office; I’ll most likely wind up in the south office a little later, but for now… I’m here.

Stray Toasters

  • I meant to post this yestermorn… but forgot it: The Weather Channel’s Epic. Check out the “Dangerous Drop” video.
  • TheAtlantic.com has dropped the fees for access to their online content.
  • As much as I enjoy a good episode of Justice League and/or Legion of Super-Heroes… or even reading my weekly four-color goodness… or even having my GL costume for Halloween 2004… or even playing City of Heroes, I don’t think that I’m quite this far gone: Superheroes in Real Life. More power to ’em, though. 🙂
  • , this might be up your alley: CoolMiniOrNot – Hot or Not site for sculpted, painted miniatures

And, that’s a good start.


“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey…”

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"All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey..."

Wednesday – 23 January 2008
Mid-week and all’s well… if grey, gloomy and generally “blah” can be considered “well.”

I got a decent start on the morning… even after someone dialed my number at 5:45 AM. No idea who it was, because no number came up on the Caller ID. Monkeys. I was up and nominally mobile a little after 7:00 this morning and out the door, caffeinated (and bagel-laden) and in the office by 8:30. As an added bonus, the first song on Nomad’s shuffle play was Big Daddy Kane’s A Job Ain’t Nuthin’ But Work. Nice way to kick off the short commute.

Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money got get made
To get paid in this trade
And I believe that I can acheive
To make ends meet like a hair weave

Survivin’ in this economy people in the world wanna be
Stayin’ in the upper class so you’re the path
The rich gets the most and the poor gets so little
And only Monie Love can make it in the middle

The work day wasn’t too chaotic. Fortunately. I was asked to check out a problem with a server… which not only was not having a problem (today), but was also in the middle of running some tests for one of our engineers. So, that got downgraded from “Put this at the top of today’s to-do list” to “Keep an eye on this.” I’m okay with that. I’ve also managed to work in some hardware testing… which means that I have been able to clear stacks of dysfunctional machinery out of my work area. I actually found some work space under all of the dreck!

Sushi Wednesday.
New Comics Day.
‘Nuff said.

Genius that I am, I left the power cord (POWER CHORD!) for Defiant at work. *sigh* This meant that – rather than go buy a (“yet another”) new one – I had to go back to the office to retrieve it. This was good on a couple of counts… as I also forgot that I needed to pick up a few things at the store, too. So, I headed to the office to find…

…neither of my badges worked on the main doors of the building. *grblsnrkx* Fortunately, I had messaged Code Monkey BB to see if he was still at work before leaving home. He was. I called him and he brought my cord down to the lobby. We chatted a bit before I took off to run some more errands and he went back upstairs to sling some more code.

After errand-running, I decided to see if was in. She was. I told her that I had her Trader Joe’s shwag with me and would drop it off, if that was alright. Not only was it alright, she asked if I’d mind lending a hand to , who had been helping her resurrect her PC – at this point they were having a problem getting her mouse to respond and needed to rejoin the PC to the wireless network.

No problem!
Piece of cake!
We’d have it back online and humming in no time!

An hour and a half later, we finally had things up and running again. Just like Tom Tom the Piper’s Son… but without the pigs.

Stray Toasters

I’m sure that there was probably more that I was going to add to this… but all I want to do now is save the world (if I can find a team) and read the rest of this week’s four-color haul.


“Playing with the Queen of Hearts, knowing it ain’t very smart…”

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"Playing with the Queen of Hearts, knowing it ain't very smart..."

Tuesday – 22 January 2008
And… we’re back in the Land behind the Zion Curtain.

Actually, we got back last night. We arrived in Utah as snow began to fall a little south of Cedar City. *sigh* I left (relatively) sunny southern California for this?!

Yesterday, SaraRules and I hit the Trader Joe’s in La Cañada before hitting the road. I haven’t been to a Trader Joe’s in a few years – since the last Disneyland trip, in fact. I stocked up on a few bottles of Two Buck Chuck, among other tasty wines and some assorted snacks. Then, we were northbound and down. We stopped at an In and Out Burger in Vegas. ‘Twas tasty.

Today’s commute wasn’t as hellish as I had feared that it might be. The roads in southern Utah were fairly clear. I didn’t really have to deal with any road monkeys, which was also nice. Today’s workout was good:

  • Bench press: 3 sets/10 reps, 185 lbs.
  • Curls (standing, barbell): 3 sets/10 reps, 50 lbs.
  • Fly (Nautilus): 3 sets/10 reps, 95 lbs. (ten-second hold on the tenth rep)
  • Decline press (dumbbell): 3 sets/10 reps, 50 lbs
  • Tricep press: 3 sets/10 reps, 80 lbs.
  • Dips: 2 sets/15 reps

It was definitely tiring, but good. I think that I will start increasing my weights next week, by at least 5 lbs per exercise. And, speaking of increasing weight: When I stepped on the scale today, I tipped the scales at 169.6 lbs. I don’t think that I’ve weighed quite that much since my freshman year in college.

Stray Toasters

Quotes of the Day

Item 1 comes from a brief (though not brief enough) conversation with a coworker:

Office Simian: Is there a color printer around here?
Me: No, there’s one in Salt Lake
Office Simian: Well, that makes it kind of difficult, doesn’t it?
Me: Not really… if you’re going to be in Salt Lake

Item 2 is from a conversation with :

(4:36:13 PM) : please. kill me.
(4:36:33 PM) : Can I just… wound… you?
(4:36:40 PM) : but..
(4:36:41 PM) : shockpuppet would kill me if I kill you.
(4:36:51 PM) : if you strike me down now i will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
(4:37:45 PM) : I dunno… I can imagine a lot.
(4:39:47 PM) : MORE.
(4:41:53 PM) : But, shockpuppet…
(4:43:39 PM) : yeah. she would really fuck you up.
(4:43:57 PM) : and then she’s have SaraRules to deal with…
(4:44:01 PM) : she’d..
(4:44:12 PM) : in the end it would probably kick off a world war.

Tonight: Scion… and maybe saving the world, after I get home.