Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Are you sure this is a Monday?!

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Are you sure this is a Monday?!

I had to check the calendar a couple of times to make sure that this really is Monday:

  • I got to spend a few extra hours with SaraRules
  • I was able to chat with Don (hereafter referred to as “Markin’Time”) about comics, cartoons, movies, politics and just… stuff.
  • And I just finished watching “Far From Home,” an episode of Justice League Unlimited.

The last item is of particular note, at least to me, because it was a Legion of Super-Heroes episode. More than that, it is one of the Season 3 (or “Season Five,” if you count Justice League) episodes that I haven not seen. As much as I enjoy the current (but soon-to-be-ending) Legion series, there are a number of things that I feel are missing. Tonight’s episode of Justice League Unlimited had them. The LSH toon is targeted for a younger audience; JL/JLU was written for more mature viewers.

As Tyranist and I once discussed, the Legion is my “warm, happy place” in comics… and in cartoons. (Possibly even more so than the X-Men.) They appeared in the DCAU once before this, on Superman: The Animated Series, in an episode called “New Kids in Town.” That episode dealt with a young, pre-Superman Clark Kent – still coming to terms with some of his powers – meeting three super-powered teens… from the future. The Legion! Animated! It was something that I’d waited over 15 years to see.

And I think I was just about as… well, as SaraRules put it: giddy… tonight as I was then. “Far From Home” dealt with similar “outsider” issues as “New Kids,” but this time, the pivotal character was Supergirl. It played off the fact that while Clark grew up on Earth, Kara grew up on a planet with technology far more advanced than Earth’s. Enter Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy, seeking help from members of the Justice League against the Fatal Five. And from that point forward, it was “game on.”

This was an excellent way to cap off the day, especially as a long-time LSH fan.

Long Live the Legion!

EDIT: Nefer-Tem hit Security Level 49, in the middle of a Rikti invasion.

Red vs. Blue (and, no, this does not have Spartans, Warthogs or Banshees in it)

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Red vs. Blue (and, no, this does not have Spartans, Warthogs or Banshees in it)

Don and I may not always agree on politics, but we often agree on “funny.”

Hillary Clinton’s 3AM Call of Duty – Mission: Bosnia


Obsessed with Obama

“Run, coward!”

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"Run, coward!"

Monday – 31 March 2008
And so, March comes to a close.

This morning, we woke to snow (SNOW!!!) in the valley. SaraRules made the executive decision to wait a few hours before getting on the road, in the hopes that UDoT would make sure that the roads were clear. (Good call on her part.) So, we had a lazy morning in. Yes, “we.” I mean, c’mon… if she was going to stick around for a while, I didn’t see much point in me dashing off to work early.

I got into the office, after a stop for a large, triple-shot-laden cup of frozen mocha goodness. I had some problems getting MySQL installed and running on Defiant. I had to get ‘s assistance on nailing down the problem.

SaraRules decided not to leave until 1:00-ish, so we decided to have lunch. Dask’s. Lamb gyros. Very good. After she dropped me off at work, she headed for the southlands. She messaged me a few times because she noted a particularly increased presence of UHP. I noted that it might be because it’s the end of the month. *shrug*

Reeling by on Celluloid
Last night, we saw Doomsday with Chris and Mary. The movie wasn’t as bad as we had feared. Far from it, in fact. And, I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of “names” in the film, too:

It was even… fun. Yes, there were a couple of plot holes, but on the whole, it wasn’t painful. (At least, not for us. Chris had a couple of things that he had a hard time getting past.) On the whole, it was a decent movie. I might even be picking this up on DVD when it comes out.

Stray Toasters

  • I cleaned out a couple of my closets last night. Goodwill (or D.I. or some other charitable organization) is about to get a HEALTHY donation of clothes.
  • said… something… that I wanted to quote the other night, but damned if I can remember what it was.
  • Mrs. duckspeaker, on the other hand, also said something quote-worthy. But, as she knows where I live, I think that I shall refrain from reprinting it.
  • Children must learn to fear Sinistar
  • As a fan of (some) Saturday morning fare – and Cartoon Network/Boomerang – I see a number of commercials for toys/games/whatever targeted at kids. One such commercial is for dolls from High School Musical. In the umpteen viewings of said commercial, I have heard the voiceover announcer saying which dolls/characters were available and, the last one always made me wonder: “Did they just say “Shar Pei!?”Last night, after the movie, I had to stop at ShopKo to pick up a couple things I had neglected to get earlier in the day. Then I decided to stroll down the toy aisles. It turned out that the store had the High School Musical dolls. So, I looked for at the names…

    And then I saw it: Sharpay.

    What in the Nine Hells? When they were coming up with the script for this, WHO thought it would be a good idea to name a character after a dog breed?! And why didn’t someone think,”Y’know… this might not be the greatest of names…” and edit it to something else? Something normal. (Yeah, yeah… I know, this coming from the guy who gets a perverse pleasure out of checking out the names on Utah Baby Namer.)

  • LEGO Art on Display at Burlington Mall (in Burlington, Canada)
  • Defaced presidents on Flickr
  • Circuit City Tries to Install Navigation System, Causes $12,119 Damage to Your Car
  • “It’s Frahn-ken-steen!”
  • Creepily lifelike CGI woman
  • IBM banned from government contracts
  • A Very Microscale Stargate

And that’s a wrap.


Yet another pleasant valley Sunday

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Yet another pleasant valley Sunday

Sunday – 30 March 2008
Last night, SaraRules and I went to the Blaze game, with , onlyaly and some of the other usual suspects. The Blaze lost (big time), but we had a lot of fun. We decided to head to breakfast a little early from there.

Today has been a lazy, relaxed day. We haven’t done much – SaraRules worked on some homework and read the latest Astro City TPB that I picked up; I have been playing CoH. I’m about 2½ bars from getting Nefer-Tem to Security Level 49. I may even hit that before we head out a little later.

Tonight, we’re meeting Chris and Mary to see Doomsday. It’s probably going to be sucktacular, but it should be a good “check your brain at the door” way to cap off the weekend.

Stray Toasters

  • I just installed WordPress 2.5. So far, I like the changes.
  • I decided to have a brownie a little while ago. Since it’s just about a crime to eat a brownie without having a tasty beverage to wash it down, I grabbed the milk out of the fridge. Then I remembered that I had some coffee left over from a little earlier. That’s when I had an apostrophe epiphany: I poured the coffee into a glass, added a couple teaspoons of NesQuik and topped off the glass with milk. Tasty.
  • 11-Year-Old becomes Network Admin for Alabama School
    (add your own punchline)
  • I didn’t hit 49. Yet. Soon, though.

More later. It’s time for dinner.


“Fashion – turn to the left… Fashion – turn to the right…”

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"Fashion - turn to the left... Fashion - turn to the right..."

Saturday – 29 March 2008
After waking up and watching today’s episode of Legion of Super-Heroes, I took the car to the dealership to (finally) get the turn signal replaced. And an oil change. Because oil is important. Ian, the service associate on duty, estimated the price for both services at over $300 USD.


I told him that it wasn’t that high the last time that I had a the oil and a light fixture changed. “We’ve done this for you before?” Yes. Yes, you did. He looked through the service history and there it was – Big as day and twice as bright: December 2007, oil change and passenger-side turn signal assembly replaced. He checked a couple of other things and recalculated. It came back at roughly half the original estimate.

I discovered that I had a pulse again.

showed up and we went in search of a new work wardrobe for him. We headed to one of the area Kohl’s stores and went to work. Part of the challenge was to get him to at least consider a few things outside his norm. Pants. Shirts. Ties. The whole nine yards. We found a number of really good combinations that I think will work well in his new “business casual” work environment while still allowing him to have a good bit of personal style and flair. We also ran into , Josh and Josh’s daughter while there.

Back to the dealership to get the car. The final cost was even less than the secondary estimate. (Pulse rate remained normal.)

On to find a new pair of work/dress shoes. Done in one stop… and with the second pair of shoes that he looked at.

All-in-all, I’d say that it was a good and productive afternoon.

Tonight: We’re going to the Utah Blaze game.


“Earthshine – stretching out your hand, full of starlit diamonds…”

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"Earthshine - stretching out your hand, full of starlit diamonds..."

Friday – 28 March 2008
I don’t know what came over me, but I was completely wiped out by midnight last night. I think that I was actually in bed by 12:15 AM. And I didn’t wake up until 8:00 this morning. Egad!

At least it’s Friday, though.

After work, I made a few stops before heading home with the intent of watching CSI:… but once again, I forgot that we’re smack dab in the middle of March Madness. One of those stops was at a comic shop in West Valley. Chris had them hold a piece of plastic crack for me. A big piece of crack:

The Devourer of Worlds

That’s right, True Believers, Galactus. 1800 points (and 19-clicks!) of world-devouring doom. I think that he’d make a nice counterpart for Phoenix. I mentioned it to Don; his comment:

“So if the regular ones are plastic crack, that one must be plastic Crystal Meth”

Yeah, I’d say that’s about right.

I also picked up Master Chief and Cortana figures from McFarlane Toys’ HALO 3 collection – as this seemed to be the only place in town that still had any of them. Not… that I’ve… looked. Much. Or anything like that.

Stray Toasters


“We’re only immortal for a limited time…”

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"We're only immortal for a limited time..."

Thursday – 27 March 2008
Another NBN Thursday begins…

…with snow.

Apparently, Mother Nature didn’t get the “It’s Spring” memo.

posted a haiku about the snow. After reading it, I thought of this:

Mother Nature looked
Upon the land and she smiled
Silently, snow fell.

I figured that it was better than getting all bent out of shape about the fact that it was snowing. Again. Even though it’s Spring.

Embracing the technology of the day, I sent my father a text message rather than call him with the news. His response: “….only light rain here! ENJOY… and do not send ANY snow this way!” I love my dad. He cracks me up.

Stray Toasters

  • I read this article and had the following pop into my head:

    There was a cop from Naugatuck
    Using Workers’ Comp to “earn” a buck
    Video’ed by the news
    Running in high-heeled shoes
    He was busted for fraud – what bad luck.

  • Building your Perfect Business Wardrobe
  • Ducks sleep with one eye open.
  • Mogo
  • Every Little Thing He Does Needs Reboot
  • I just mentioned to SaraRules the haiku above. When I copy/pasted it to her, she commented: “You have talents I was completely unaware of.” I asked if she remembered the USAToday shirt I have; she did. I told her that I won that for a haiku. She asked if I still had the haiku; I didn’t… but I had the power of the Interwebs at my fingertips. It turns out that USAToday has archived some of the entries from their “Daily Haiku” contests. I found my entry:

    Haiku for Jan. 23: “Winner”
    What urges us on?
    Fame, pride, glory and honor.
    The drive to succeed.

  • For Tyranist: Bathtub with built-in bookcase
  • I’ve been playing poker on PokerStars recently.
  • Welcome to Earth-2
  • Countdown to Final Crisis: 5 surprised me, in many ways.
  • All-Star Superman did not. (I mean this in a good way – it was another good story from Morrison.)


“It’s gonna be another long one tonight, with just me and my well-intentioned spite…”

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"It's gonna be another long one tonight, with just me and my well-intentioned spite..."

Wednesday – 26 March 2008
Whew. It’s been a day. I’ve been fighting PHP and MySQL… and discovering the differences of installing MySQL on a Windows machine versus installing it on Defiant. I also got to wrestle with changes that my host made to their “create a new email” feature. Some would argue that it’s “easier” and/or “more simple.” To some degree, it is. But it wasn’t what I was expecting.

Sushi Wednesday is moving to Thursdays, it seems. Today, we went to Olive Garden. Almost all of us had the soup and salad with breaksticks special. I must say: It was a decent change of pace, both in the sense of not having sushi for lunch and in having something different than my usual fare at Olive Garden.

Last night, The Hand of Nefer-Tem hit Security Level 48.

I read this op-ed piece, Donna Brazile offers Hillary Clinton a reminder about Rev. Wright, yesterday. It was an interesting read. And, yes, it would be easy to jump on the bandwagon about Sen. Clinton’s… “creatively remembered” (or would that be “revisionist” or “retconned”) versions of events, but I’m not going to do that. This time.

Instead, I was more taken by one of the comments that I read. When I originally saw the article, there were only three (3) comments on it. When I returned to it a few hours later, there were three dozen or more. The particular comment that struck me was this one:

Obama is our Savior. Barak and Reverend Wright are Right, God D*** america. Now is the time to rally around Barak and Michelle and make them proud! And news flash america, Barak is right, your typical white american is a racist! Obama will apologize to our Muslim brothers for arrogant american policies of hate and slavery. Only Obama can forgive an evil nation founded slavery. REPARATIONS NOW!


Posted by: Obamamania

By the time I hit the third sentence, the following lines from Styx’ Mr. Roboto came to mind:

I’m not a hero, I’m not a saviour
Forget what you know.

…and that was almost immediately followed by these lines from Queen’s Flash’s Theme:

Just a man
With a man’s courage
You know he’s
Nothing but a man
And he can never fail
No one but the pure at heart
May find the Golden Grail

While becoming the President of the United States is a rather lofty goal, I’m not sure that I’d necessarily call it “the Golden Grail.” And, I won’t say that Senator Obama is without his failings. He’s human.

There have been those who have touted him as a hero. Or a possibly “a great Black leader.” Of course, there have also been those who have said that he’s “not Black enough,” or “just Black enough to not be ‘too scary’ to White voters.”

Another respondent to the piece pointed out something that I hadn’t considered: Obamamania’s comment was most likely a supporter of Senator McCain who was flaming the op-ed piece. After some thought, that seemed rather plausible.

How about this: At no time during this campaign have I heard Senator Obama claim to be anything other than a man who wants to make a difference and hopefully bring about some change. He has addressed issues of race with candor, but – in my opinion – has not attempted to use it as a soapbox or a crutch.

And I can – and do – respect that.

Stray Toasters

  • I stopped in to visit Kate and Perry after work last night. They were watching American Idol. “When in Rome…” Apparently, this week’s challenge (or whatever they call it on Idol) was for the contestants to sing a song from the year they were born. There were some rather decent renditions of songs performed. Then, David Cook came onstage and performed a version of Billie Jean (yes, Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean), that I believe he arranged. It was pretty impressive.

  • After his performance, Perry suggested that I check out Cook’s arrangement of Lionel Richie’s Hello. I did. And I thought that it was rather good, as well…as was his Eleanor Rigby. He has good stage presence and seems to react/interact with his crowd well. He easily could become someone to watch – or listen – for on the radio in the not-too-distant future. (Listen to the judges’ comments on his performance, too.)

  • Cartoonist sets out to take taboo out of swastika
  • Endor Express offers up a look at upcoming Disney/Lucasfilm toys.
  • I have no idea what I want for dinner.
  • Dyscalculia
  • Marvel has released the trailer for Next Avengers – their next direct-to-video animated feature
    Entertainment Weekly has a 10-page preview of Marvel’s upcoming Secret Invasion limited series.
  • Keith Giffen’s “Unfortunate Confluence of Words.”

    (click image to read the article)

  • What if Clark Kent worked for Barry White instead of Perry White?
  • Pilot’s gun fired during flight
  • Correction: I now know what I’m having for dinner.


“Robot Girl, Robot Girl, move your arms a few degrees north…”

everyday glory, family and friends, games, geekery, LEGO and Rokenbok, science and technology, The Covet List, toys, workout No Comments »
"Robot Girl, Robot Girl, move your arms a few degrees north..."

Tuesday – 25 March 2008
To quote Mr. Rogers: “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” It’s a bit cloudy, but on the whole, the sun is out and there are spots of blue skies to be seen.

Last night, I played a little CoH. After a few minutes’ roaming without anything to do, I was invited to join a few players with whom I have teamed before. We tried a “stop the bank heist” mission. Operative word: “Tried.” What we didn’t know was that Lord Recluse was part of the crew robbing the bank. That’s right: CoH/CoV’s Number One bad guy himself. Maybe he lost his PIN and really needed some cash. I dunno. Whatever the reason, he cleaned our clocks. Without breaking a sweat. (And that’s quite a feat for someone with ten arms. (Okay, technically, I guess it’s “ten legs,” but either way it’s still impressive.) We failed that mission. Next, we took on Chimera and some of his goons. That went much better. Sure, some of us died a few times, but we completed the mission.

Today’s workout was good. Eric and I decided to change up a few things and do a few exercises that we’ve ignored for a while:

  • Decline Bench Press: 3 sets/15 reps, 155 lbs.
  • Upright Row: 3 sets/15 reps, 50 lbs.
  • Overhead Tricep Press: 3 sets/50 lbs. (12 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps)
  • Front Raises: 3 sets/10 reps, 20 lbs.
  • Reverse Curls: 3 sets/15 reps, 45 lbs.
  • Wrist Curls: 3 sets/15 reps, 45 lbs.
  • Back Extensions: 2 sets/15 reps (second set done with a 10-lb. plate)

Post-workout weight: 173.4 lbs.

Stray Toasters


“Mr. Jones and me… we’re gonna be big stars.”

comics and animation, everyday glory, IKEA, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, music, news and info, science and technology, style, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, zombies No Comments »
"Mr. Jones and me... we're gonna be big stars."

Monday – 24 March 2008
Monday, Monday (dah-dah… dah-dah-dah-dah…)

All-in-all, not a bad start to the week.

  • Breakfast with SaraRules, before she headed back to the southlands.
  • Blue skies.
  • Warm weather.

<< Rewind <<
Yesterday, we went to Easter Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. I believe that this year’s service was even more crowded than last year’s, but it was still a very nice service. It was SRO… and there wasn’t very much room for standing, at that. I was intermittently amused by a lady standing near me who gave just about everyone the fashion police once-over as they walked past; she wrinkled her nose at more than “a few” people.

After Mass, we ate a late breakfast at The Other Place. I hadn’t been there in many rains. Decent food at a good price. I’ll have to remember to keep it in mind when looking for places to eat downtown.

Back home for a quick change and then we were off to “…a land where the furniture folds to a much smaller size.” I’ve been wanting to do… something… different with the office for some time. There’s a lot of dead/wasted space in there. One of the biggest things that would help would be to replace my monstrous desk. So, it’s on the short list of things to be vaporized. In its place, I’m looking at a Vika Amon table top with a Galant frame and legs. And, with a couple of relatively minor adjustments, the room will be opened up nicely.

After stopping in to say “Hi” to Perry, Kate and their kids, we headed to SaraRules’ family’s house for dinner. Dinner which included Black-and-Tans to wash it down. We followed up dinner with Enchanted. After the movie, it was time to head home to unwind (and do some laundry) before calling it a night.

> Play >
After work, I did a little errand-running.  When I was done, I stopped into the local Best Buy.  I picked up copies of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Memento.  Not too bad.  I picked up a bite to eat and headed home.  I checked out the new Fox series New Amsterdam.  Kind of like Highlander… if Connor McLeod had been a police officer.  Connor, not Duncan.  ‘Nuff said.  But, I digress.  The show wasn’t too bad.

I followed it up with an episode of JLU that I hadn’t seen before: “Chaos at Earth’s Core,” featuring Travis Morgan – The Warlord.     I used to read The Warlord back in the 80s and this episode was a very nice nod to the Morgan and the lost world of Skartaris.

In the savage world of Skartaris,
life is a constant struggle for survival.
Here, beneath an unblinking orb of eternal
sunlight, one simple law prevails:
If you let down your guard for an instant you will soon be very dead.

They covered a lot of ground in twenty-two minutes… and it was good.  It made me smile.

Stray Toasters

  • I have new pics of Bit, eyes open and all.  I may (re)post a few later.
  • LEGO Futurama fan set, LEGO Noir and Mmm, zombies
  • I heard Counting Crows’ Mr. Jones on the radio this evening.  When I hear it, it often reminds me of Heidi, an old coworker of mine.  Around the time that this song came out, Us3‘s Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) was also on the air.  Heidi and I would argue (friendly banter, really) about which group would stay in the charts/be more popular longer  – I chose Counting Crows, Heidi chose US3.  Looks like I was right… at least on this side of the Pond.
  • Top 10 Software Easter Eggs
  • From the “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?” file: Transgendered Man Is Pregnant
  • Astro City.

    I’ve started collecting the trade paperbacks.  If you haven’t read it, give it a shot.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that SaraRules liked it.

  • Slash-Proof Armored Tee Is Lightweight, Machine-Washable

That’s a wrap.


Happy Easter

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Happy Easter

“Saturday, in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July…” (but it wasn’t)

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"Saturday, in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July..."  (but it wasn't)

Saturday – 22 March 2008
Today has been good, so far.

The morning started with a new episode of Legion of Super Heroes. It did feature Dream Girl prominently, but didn’t even touch on her relationship with Star Boy. For that matter, the show has shied away from most of the relationships on the team, with the notable exception of Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy. Yes, we’ve seen a couple of… nods, maybe… to the Phantom Girl/Ultra Boy and Saturn Girl/Lightning Lad relationships, but other than that? Bupkis.

After The Spectacular Spider-Man and some not-so-spectacular channel hopping, we watched Kapow! Superhero Science on The Discovery Channel: Science

Celebrate the science behind the superpowers and gadgetry of comic book super heroes and heroines. Investigate real-life cases of super-strength, x-ray vision and speed, and discover the scientific feasibility of high-tech superpowers.

We rode over to Wheeler Farm for a stroll through the park and to look at the animals. (Pictures) From there, Jitterbug for a spot of lunch. (There was a young lady there who also had a BlacBook. Nice!) I stopped at Black Cat Comics to see if they had any of the HALO 3 figures. NO ONE seems to have any of them. Anywhere. *grblsnrkx* We drove up to The Tutoring Toy and then went up Emigration Canyon and back down Parley’s Canyon. (Pictures here.) If you look a couple inches above the peak in the last two images, you will see a small white crescent… it’s not the moon – it is a paraglider.

Stray Toasters

  • I have been meaning to post this picture for for a couple of weeks.
  • How much can Colossus press? About this much.
    What happens when Wolverine finds out? Something like this.
  • Brikthulhu
  • I am Ivory Soap sure that I wanted to add at last two other things… but I can’t recall what they were.


“C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me!”

comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, games, geekery, golf, movies and TV, science and technology, The Covet List No Comments »
"C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!"

Friday – 21 March 2008
Today is Good Friday.
And it’s a “good Friday,” to boot.

This morning’s commute was to the tune of 2112: Overture and Temples of Syrinx.
At lunch, and I are going to Ye Olde Driving Range.
(Did you know that “Ye” is actually supposed to be pronounced “the?” It is.)

Stray Toasters

  • The Red Balloon that’s a few doors down from Dr. Volt’s has gotten a new shipment of Rokenbok. In the shipment was Tower of Rok Mania. I deem that this shall be the next addition to my collection. (And, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind adding another Monorail Metropolis Start Set to the equation, either.)
  • SaraRules is helping to… tame… the volumes of comics that I have – at least the ones here behind the Zion Curtain. Until a couple weeks ago, they were stored in seven long boxes in one of my closets. Currently, they are stacked – unboxed – in my living room. When stopped by yesterday to take SaraRules to lunch, he saw the stacks. After lunch, he asked me how many comics I have. I asked if he meant here or overall. “Both.” So, after a few minutes of mental gymnastics, I figured that I have:
    • UT: roughly 2500
    • MD: 1200 – 1400
    • NC: between 2000 and 2500 (probably closer to 2500)
  • broke someone’s day; I am proud of her for the method with which she did so.
  • Soft Pretzels: Round 2 – tonight.
  • I was reminded of a tech fact about “cookies” that I had forgotten (and a fact of which most people are unaware):

    Cookies are a way for a server to store information about the user (on the user’s machine) so that the server can remember the user over the course of the visit or through several visits. Think of a cookie like a name tag: You tell the server your name, and it gives you a name tag. Then it can know who you are by referring back to the name tag.

    Cookies have gotten a bad rap because users believe cookies allow a server to know too much about them. However, a cookie can only be used to store information that you give it, so it’s as secure as you want it to be.

  • This made me laugh.
    (It even made laugh, too!)
  • David Letterman’s “Top Ten Reasons to Watch the New Season of Battlestar Galactica“:
  • I have a possible new addition to the Covet List: Tetris Mirror Pieces
  • if (!$error) {
    print ‘Looks like you might actually have SOME idea of what you’re trying to do!’;
    } else {
    print ‘You FAIL…’;
  • Why Pulling the Fire Alarm at the Gas Station Is a Bad Idea

This post has been brought to you by the letters “C” and “Y” and the number 2112.


“Here comes the sun…”

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"Here comes the sun..."

Thursday – 20 March 2008
Today is the first day of Spring.
(Oddly enough, the weather here seems spring-like. Go figure.)

<< Rewind <<
After dinner last night, SaraRules and I walked down to the Red Mango and had cups of yogurt for dessert. It was not, however, the frozen yogurt that I was used to. It was… tart; it is apparently closer to the “plain” yogurt than it is to the frozen yogurt that most places sell. This is not to say that it wasn’t good, though. It was. I had dark chocolate chips and sliced almonds in it, for flavor.

After we got back to the apartment, we watched the second disc of I Am Legend, the unreleased-in-theatres version. There were a few things that were a little closer to the book, but still not… quite… there. And I wasn’t as satisfied by the revised ending as I was the theatrically-released ending.

> Play >
Today has been a good day, all around. I worked out of the south office today; longer commute, but that also meant that I got to go to the gym. And, as an added bonus: Wes was in AF again, so he worked out with us. Speaking of which, today’s workout consisted of:

  • Pull-ups: 3 sets/10 reps (2½ unassisted sets, ½ assisted set @ 80 lbs)
  • Leg Raises (full extension): 3 sets/20 reps
  • Bench Press: 3 sets/8 reps (2 sets/225 lbs, 1 set: 205 lbs/6 reps, 185/3 reps)
  • T-bar Rows: 3 sets/10 reps, 45 lbs
  • Push-ups: 3 sets/20 reps

We tried max bench press again today, but at 285 pounds. Eric was able to lower it, but couldn’t lift it; I managed to get one rep. One very slow rep. But, I did it. It’s not 300, but it’s back on the road to it.

Pre-workout weight: 174.8 lbs.

Stray Toasters


re: Senator Obama’s speech on race

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re: Senator Obama's speech on race

Wednesday – 19 March 2008
Yesterday, Senator Barack Obama gave a speech on race and relations in Philadelphia, PA. He spoke before a small crowd… and the media. The speech was roughly 35 minutes long. In it, he addressed his relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his minister of the past 20 years.

Twenty years is a long time.
(Click here to see some of the things that have happened in the past twenty years.)

The speech has sparked a lot of discussion.
On TV.
On the radio.

One such discussion can be found in ‘s journal entry from yesterday. It took me a while to collect and compose my thoughts on the speech. When I finally gathered them, my response, left as a comment in ‘s journal took this form:

I was, also, duly impressed with the speech.

As a member of Black churches, I have heard many sermons laced with comments that could be seen as… “unfavorable” or possibly even separatist… but they also addressed the beliefs and fears of the congregations. Yes, many/most were “black vs. white” issues, but for the areas in which the churches were located, those were the issues about which the people were cncerned. In some of the same sermons, the ministers also charged the congregation to do more than just sit back and talk – or more commonly, just complain – about the situations and instead to get up and DO something about them. Get out with their neighbors and coworkers… or even just random people on the street… and work together to make the communities better places to work and live.

Would I disavow my ministers on the bases of their sermons, especially if someone took selected excerpts out of context? No. No more than I would for taking family and friends’ comments out of context – all of us have, at one time or another, said things that could be considered “unpalatable,” especially when taken out of context. (I point to any [of our] given Friday night coffee gathering[s] as a shining example.)

Could more have been said? Possibly… but to what end? He addressed the issue at hand – the divisive comments of Reverend Wright – and he also addressed that there is still disparity between the races and the sexes… and that NONE of it will change until we, as a nation, are willing to acknowledge that “yes, there is a problem” and are willing to do what it takes to move ourselves through and past it. I appreciate and respect the fact that he acknowledged that the statements were invective, but would not disavow his relationship because of things Reverend Wright said.

And, if you need anything else to consider about the speech, consider that it was not written by speechwriters or committee: [Senator Obama] wrote it himself.


Events that have occurred in the past 20 years:

Twenty years. Like I said: “That’s a long time.”