Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“Ground Control to Major Tom: Commencing countdown, engines on…”

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"Ground Control to Major Tom: Commencing countdown, engines on..."

Saturday – 31 May 2008
A sunny weekend day in the Land Behind the Zion Curtain…

…and I’ve spent a good portion of the late morning and early afternoon reclaiming my living room floor from my collection of ‘Clix.  It’s nice to see that there actually was a floor under all of the boxes and cases.  On the other hand, it’s also nice to have the figures sorted and boxed.  Finally.  Now, I’ll see how much disarray it causes when the Giants set gets here.

I believe that my drill has finally given up the ghost.  It charges… somewhat.  But, it’s not getting up to full speed.  Methinks ’tis time to investigate the acquisition of a new one.

I’ve hit my annual/semi-annual/when-the-mood-hits-me mode of “Time to move things around.”  That’s what started me on DrillQuest, in fact.  One of the items that’s getting moved – out, that is – is the desk in my office.  Time to get something that doesn’t have such a huge footprint.  I have a couple of IKEA-inspired ideas in mind… and even an interim desk on-hand, should I decide to break the old desk down soon.  Assuming I find a drill.  Aren’t Catch-22’s great?

Did I mention that it’s a nice, sunny day?
I should go out and enjoy some of it.
I believe I’m going to do just that.


Post-lunch randomness

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Post-lunch randomness

In no particular order:

  • and I walked over to Dask’s for lunch. When we got to the little shopping center where it is, he noticed that a new restaurant, Cafe Zupas, had opened. We decided to give it a go. It specializes in salads, sandwiches and soups. I had the Honey Bacon Club and it was good.
  • is on a roll today. She sent me this:

  • , having watched the above video, went on to watch this one… and send a link to me:

  • I am looking for a new hard drive for Defiant. I guess that I should get an external HD, too, for use with Time Machine.
  • , Mike and I discussed adding a new class to FRPGs/MMos: Barbarian Lush.
  • Stormtroopers vs. London Cops

Back to it.

Friday Morning Free-for-all

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Friday Morning Free-for-all

Friday – 30 May 2008
Nodded off on the couch (yet again) last night. I woke up long enough to take care of the nightly hygiene rituals and hit the rack somewhere around 2:00.

Once again, I was awake around 6:00.
The alarm was set for 6:35.
Naturally, I stayed in bed for the extra few minutes.
Up out and in the office by a few minutes past 8:00. Hopefully, the rest of the day will go as swimmingly.

Stray Toasters

Quotes of the Day: Things overheard in a Waiting Room
You just can’t make stuff like this up:

  • A phone call came in, apparently a patient canceling because a family member had something going on/bad. The receptionist replied: “…just let her drink some flat soda or Sprite or something, to get some nourishment in her.”
    (Wait… Since when is “soda” considered a source of “nourishment?”)
  • Receptionist 1: 13 year old boys won’t cuddle with their moms…
    Receptionist 2: Sure they will, if they’re sick.
  • A woman checks in, gets forms to fill out, hands them back in…
    Receptionist: You’re not allergic to anything?
    Patient: No.
    Receptionist: I mean medicines…
    Patient: No.
    (If someone says that they aren’t allergic to something, I’d take it as a pretty good bet that they would consider medicines on the list of “Things I’m allergic to,” especially if they are in a doctor’s office.)
  • Observed: PA comes into the waiting room, looks around… “Claudia?”
    There was only one woman in the room.
  • A man comes in to reschedule an appointment for his wife:
    Receptionist: Did the pill give her diarrhea?
    Man: No, more constipated than anything.
    Receptionist: Oh. Well some people react to it differently. Some people say it doesn’t do anything to them, others say it’s like an explosion.

Back to the grind.


Answer: If it’s supposed to be an automatic faucet, why does it have handles?
(Hint: It wasn’t.)

Evening round-up

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Evening round-up

I came home with no idea what I wanted to do for dinner. So, rather than decide immediately, I read this week’s four-color haul and did something I haven’t done in a rather long time: I watched an episode of Smallville. I should find the collected seasons of the show.

I finally figured out what I wanted for dinner: A chicken sandwich… from Jitterbug.  It was closed.

Curses!  Foiled again!
*shakes fist*
*twirls moustache*

I drove back towards home, still not 100% sure of what I wanted.  I wound up with fast food.  Better’n nothing, I suppose.  I ate dinner while watching Justice League Unlimited; tonight’s episode was “Doomsday Sanction,” one of the show’s strongest second-season episodes.

I am still not in a mood to do much straightening… so I think I’ll spend some time in Paragon City.

Stray Toasters

  • The Joss Whedon-John Cassady run on Astonishing X-Men has come to an end.  They wrapped up the story in a way I never expected.  This was Wizard.com’s Thursday Morning Quarterback take on the story – it’s full of spoilers, so I don’t read it if you have any intention of reading Giant-Sized AXM #1 for yourself.  Warren Ellis will be taking over the writing chores this summer.
  • Former Carol Burnett co-star Harvey Korman died today; he also appeared in a few Mel Brooks movies.
  • The Star Trek world suffered two blows recently: Joseph Pevney and Alexander Courage both passed away.  Pevney, who died 18 May, directed many fan favorite episodes of Star Trek: TOS.  Alexander Courage, who died on 15 May, composed the theme for the original series.

“Time stand still, I’m not looking back but I want to look around me now…”

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"Time stand still, I'm not looking back but I want to look around me now..."

SaraRules sent me a link to the article Pearls Before Breakfast.

It’s a long article, but reading it kept reminding me of a recurring line from Way of the Peaceful Warrior: “There are no ordinary moments.”

…unfortunately, too many of us treat life as if all moments are all too ordinary.

“What’s a ‘shrimp cot?’ Is that something they sleep on?”

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"What's a 'shrimp cot?'  Is that something they sleep on?"

Thursday – 29 May 2008
A couple of things that started the morning nicely:

  1. I Am LEGO
  2. Sent to me by CoworkerJG, who knows my proclivity for City of Heroes/Villains:

I think that these were good ways to kick of any NBN Thursday. And this morning’s coffee didn’t hurt, either. Nor did “The Boys in Brazil,” the behind-the-scenes movie from Disc Two of Rush in Rio, made during the Vapor Trails tour, playing on my port side monitor; it’s not only a cool look at what you might not otherwise see or know about putting together a concert and/or a tour, but it’s fun, too.

So, all together, I guess that it would be “No Bad News Sushi and Comic Book ‘Wednesday’,” too.

Stray Toasters

  • I am “this close” to ordering a set of HeroClix Giants. It has Colossal Boy and Validus ‘Clix. Must have.
  • Terminator Salvation: The Future begins principal photography
  • principal != principle
  • sent me a link to an article about Nepal abolishing it’s monarchy. In honor of that, I dedicate this Schoolhouse Rock! toon:

    No, it’s not entirely the same thing, but it’s as close as I could get.

  • also (indirectly) had to deal with a monkey today:

    : there was a goddamn monkey in my yard today
    : O.o
    : while the movers were packing things up
    : Did it get packed into the truck?
    : you assume there was a moving truck
    : Oh.
    : the 9 crates are still in my yard
    : Right.
    Wait…. WHAT?!
    : they have to take them to the airport one by one in a tiny little jeep
    : …
    : yea
    so this little fucker is running around trying to bite the movers
    he climbed inside the crates while they were packing boxes into them
    i was laughing my ass off
    but admittedly
    i was laughing from behind the window inside
    those things are freaking mean

  • NBC launches horror anthology series Fear Itself
  • Does anyone else remember Tales of the Gold Monkey?
  • Private Donor Saves Fermilab
  • Update: I bought the ‘Clix Giants.
  • Tyranist: James Bond Book Covers
  • Ken Jennings, the man who holds the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy!, has written a blog post about Mike Allred’s Madman!, whose protagonist is apparently Mormon. I recall reading many rains past that The New Mutants’ Cypher was supposed to be Mormon, but the only other character that I knew was definitely LDS was Dr. Deseret (1, 2) from Will Shetterly’s Captain Confederacy.



Galactus, Twinkies and the trouble with pants

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Galactus, Twinkies and the trouble with pants

There are things that I could be doing around here:

  • …cleaning up the dining room
  • …finish sorting my ‘Clix (including the new ones I picked up last night)
  • …cleaning my office and making room for a new desk
  • …cooking dinner (although there are leftover Sloppy Joes in the fridge)

…instead, I’m doing none of the above.

were talking about comic books earlier. He’s been asking questions about different characters and even brought up the classic “Who would win if Character X fought Character Y?” question. One of the combos he asked about was Doomsday (the creature that killed Superman) versus Galactus, devourer of worlds. I said Galactus. Hands down. And a very short fight, at that.

Then I looked over at my Galactus ‘Clix.
And tried to remember where my Doomsday ‘Clix is.


I stopped short of getting the figures to duel it out, though. Just barely.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
I have proof that God, in His infinite wisdom, knew what he was doing when he didn’t grant me infinite cosmic power:

Read this article

He must have known that when I read it, I would be compelled to use my power to give Michelle Malkin a telepathic lobotomy. Come ON, people… it’s a scarf. A SCARF!

Is the next thing that someone’s going to get outraged about jeans, if we happen to see a picture of someone we don’t like wearing a certain brand?! But, why stop there? Pants! ANY pants! Let’s get outraged because someone – somewhere – who may or may not be connected to… oh, Hell… ANY organization (not even a terrorist organization)… might be wearing pants!

Dammit, Ethel! Didn’t you see for yourself that (fill in a person/archetype) was wearin’ pants?! PANTS, I say! I’ll be damned and in my grave before I ever wear pants ag’in!

Now, George… don’t say such things. You know there’s nothing wrong with…

Nope! My mind’s made up! I’m never wearin’ the damned fool things ag’in! Ever! Do you think I want ever’body in town thinking that I associate with people like that! Pants-wearing people?! Hell no! My daddy didn’t raise me that way and I’m damn sure not goin’ along with all that foolishness! In fact, I’m goin’ upstairs right now and throwin’ all them pants right out!

That kind of thinking is utterly ridiculous and asinine.

Stray Toasters

Okay, time to heat up some Sloppy Joes and give some thought to hanging out in Paragon City.


“Sooner or later, you sleep in your own space…”

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"Sooner or later, you sleep in your own space..."

Wednesday – 28 May 2008
This morning’s stay in The Dreaming was an odd one.  I had a couple of mildly annoying dreams, followed by one humdinger of a disturbing dream.  The disturbing one actually woke me up.  Twice.  I managed to fall back to sleep after waking the first time… and went right back into the same dream, almost at the same spot where I woke up the first time.  Not fun.  Looking at the clock didn’t make things any better: It was 5:38 AM.

I did fall asleep again a few minutes later.  When the alarm went off at 6:30, I was still tired, so I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.  I woke up around 7:44 and put the day in “Go” mode.

Other than that, the day – short, though it’s been – has been good.  Let’s hope that it stays that way.  In order to hopefully help it along, I have the Rush in Rio DVD playing on one of my monitors.


“Games people play, you take it or you leave it…”

everyday glory, games, geekery No Comments »
"Games people play, you take it or you leave it..."

Tuesday: Coda
I planned to leave work around 4:15, in order to make it back to SLC by 5:00 for the HeroClix tournament at Far West Comics. That didn’t quite work out the way I had planned. I got out of the office at 4:34. I didn’t fly up to Salt Lake, but I did get to the comic shop a few minutes after 5:00. I got in, put my things down and decided on my team – I went with the Legion of Super-Heroes. Of course. The rules called for four-hundred point teams, so I tried to give myself a good mix of characters:

Three of the choices – Dawny, Dream Girl and Saturn Girl – were no-brainers: Dawnstar has an ability called “Quarry,” which allows her (and friendly characters) to have a +1 to my attack rolls; Dream Girl, through “Precognition” (Probability Control), which lets me roll dice or force my opponent to reroll; and Saturn Girl has Mind Control (control an opposing figure), Outwit and “Telepathic Coordination,” which allows me to modify one friendly figure’s attack or defense stats by +2. The guys and Vi were there for ranged attacks, strength and to round out the points for the team. I clocked in at an even 400.


The tournament was three rounds. There were seven players, so one person got a first round bye. As the luck of the draw would have it, I had to play Chris the first round. Yay. His team consisted of:

Suffice if to say that he not only cleaned my clock, but he picked my team apart. Systematically. If I hadn’t been playing against him, it would have been a thing of beauty to watch. But, as I was his opponent, it was just painful.

I drew the bye in the second round, so I got an “automatic win.”

Third round, I played a guy named Shane. He is a Superman fan, and apparently he’s a BIG fan. His team was comprised of:

I made Superman the Legion’s quarry. (Given the LSH’s ties to Superman, this was amusing, in many ways.) Then it was game on. I had a lot of good rolls; Shane had some bad ones… or at least Probability Control helped him to have to reroll a few really good rolls. Between Dawny, Saturn Girl and Ultra Boy, I took Superman off the table. He was followed shortly by the Superman Robot. Next on the menu was Thunderstrike. I was working on taking down Superman Blue when time ran out. Shane had managed to do some serious damage to Cosmic Boy and had taken a couple of clicks off of Saturn Girl, Vi and Ultra Boy… but he didn’t KO any of my team. And, I won my Round Three game.

So, my final tally for the night:

  • 1 Win
  • 1 Bye (automatic win)
  • 1 Loss

I’m pretty happy with that for my first real ‘Clix outing against other players than Chris.

I headed over to and ‘s place for Scion, but we didn’t play. Instead, we and sat around and chatted a few hours away. It was a nice way to cap off the day.

And, for my next amazing feat: Sleep! (It’s been a long day).

“Pain is just weakness leaving the body.”

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"Pain is just weakness leaving the body."

Tuesday – 27 May 2008
The rain is gone.
The boxes are no longer in my car.
SaraRules is on her way to Colorado for summer camp The Aspen Music Festival.

Today’s going pretty well. For today’s workout, I wanted to do a few back-related exercises, as I feel like we’ve been ignoring that area. So, it went a little something like this:

  • Leg raises: 3 sets/20 reps
  • Bench press: 3 sets/12 reps, 185 lbs
  • Reverse fly: 3 sets/10 reps, 82.5 lbs
  • Decline press: 3 sets/12 reps – 135 lbs (first and third sets), 155 lbs (second set)
  • Rows (standing, barbell, close grip handle): 3 sets/12 reps – 45 lbs (first set), 70 lbs (second and third sets)
  • Leg raises: 3 sets/10 reps
  • Back extensions: 2 sets/12 reps

All-in-all it was a good workout. Today’s weigh-in weight: 174.4 lbs.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
Just when I think that conversations with can’t get any better, he proves me wrong:

: bot/bit made it to US soil. not to DC yet tho
: Good deal.
They still have about 1:30 to go before they hit DCA, right?
: give or take. she said they were running late but not sure if it was them being late or the planes
: Gotcha.
: How are you this evening/early morning?
: eh…didn’t sleep last night. probably won’t sleep much tonight. frazzled. and in the middle of a packout. no pressure.
: Packout?
: yeah, movers came and started to pack and crate all our stuff
: ah.
: Dude. Condi… on the piano?
In Aspen?
: yeah she’s actually really good
: HAVE to see if SaraRules can score tix for that.
: wait…black person? in aspen?
: *ding*
: is that allowed?
: We’ll find out in 3 weeks.
I’ll send detailed reports.
But… Condi’s there in August. Performing, apparently.
: she going to take over any small countries full of brown people w/oil on her way over?
: No idea.
: there are brown people in texas. maybe we can make arrangements
: True enough.
And there are a FEW in Kansas.
: doubtful. it’s kansas.
: Seen ’em.
Been in a couple of rib joints.
: people see bigfoot too, rob
: But…
: lol i think we have the makings of a really offensive comedy sketch
“crikey…i’m on the lookout for a negro…”
: By Jove! Kansas!
: i believe you. really i do
next thing you’ll tell me is that there are black people in utah.
: No.
There aren’t.
Just me.
And I tell people that I just had a really bad sunburn.
: damn. that’s some 4th degree shit
: You’d be amazed what people believe here.
: dammit. now you have me thinking of ribs.
: 🙂
: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/05/27/tranracial.adoption.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories
: so….moral of the story is that it’s better to leave the little black kids in orphanages/foster homes?
: Apparently.
: i noticed no mention of any white kids being adopted by non-white families
: What self-respecting “person of color” wants to adopt a white kid?
Bruce Wayne didn’t even want to.
He just made Dick Grayson a “ward.”
: well if you’re looking for well adjusted, master wayne isn’t the way to go
: I’m just saying…
Mr. Drummond adopted two!
: yes but one of them was a sassy midget
who wouldn’t take that kid?
: Touche.
: he’s the rich man’s webster
: And there’s another case: Webster.
White folk.
Black kid.
Adopt a white kid?
No way, man.
: big fat greek guy.
: I see…
Greek guys want to have black kids.
Is that why you married Bot?
: lol yes, we’re all infected with the fever
: (I’ll allow you to decline to answer that)
: me? decline? please.

Tonight: ‘Clix and Scion.


“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…”

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"Rainy days and Mondays always get me down..."

Monday – 26 May 2008
Once again: Up at 6:00. But, I managed to nod off again until a little after 10:00. So, it wasn’t a complete loss.

SaraRules and I got up, observed the hygiene rituals, had breakfast and then she started packing for summer camp her internship in Colorado. When she was (nearly) done, I asked if she wanted to go with me to run a couple of errands before she took off. She agreed… and we were off:

  1. Trip to one of the local Deseret Industries locations to drop off three boxes of clothes. Unfortunately, they were closed for the holiday, so I still have three boxes of clothes in the car.
  2. Trip to Expercom to pick up some new memory for SaraRules’ PinkBook. We ran into there. Random. There was a new employee in the store; when he rang up the memory, it came up at FOUR TIMES the price listed Expercom’s website. Needless to say, I was “a little” concerned by this. The more seasoned employee looked over at the screen, pushed a few buttons and the price dropped down to a much more reasonable rate… and so did my blood pressure.

Home again, home again.

SaraRules did more packing and I set about putting more ‘Clix away in their new homes. I still have a plethoric butt-load of them to deal with, but I’ve reclaimed a large portion of the floor. I still need to figure out who I want to use in tomorrow’s tournament.

Speaking of which, tomorrow will be a two-game day: I have the ‘Clix tournament at 5:00 and Scion around 7:30… or whenever I get done with the tourney. This should be interesting.

SaraRules decided that she doesn’t want to deal with the weather, so she’s leaving in the morning. Win-win!

Stray Toasters

  • I chatted with a little while ago. Rana and Grace are on their way back to the States; they should arrive tomorrow. He also shared an amusing story:

    rana is in full mother hen mode too
    today on the flight to bkk
    some chick went to compliment her on how good grace was the entire flight
    and then the asshole went to touch grace on the face
    rana said she wanted to punch her in the gut
    i would’ve bought her a car if she did that
    talk about an awesome story
    “i had to bail my wife out of a thai jail for punching an asshole in the gut”

    Reason #283794 of “Why is such a cool brother-in-law”

  • The original Indiana Jones: Otto Rahn and the temple of doom
  • will be able to appreciate this:
  • By way of Comics2Film: G.I. Joe‘s bloody Baroness
  • Iron Man has grossed over $252 million (USD) since opening almost four weeks ago.
    It had a $140 million (USD) budget.
    If the honchos at Marvel Studios aren’t happy about these numbers, I don’t know what will do it for them.
  • New icon:

And now, time to find fixin’s for dinner!


“Who needs sleep? Well, you’re never gonna get it…”

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"Who needs sleep? Well, you're never gonna get it..."

Sunday – 25 May 2008
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was fun.  It wasn’t a “great” film, but it was a nice end piece for the Indiana Jones franchise… if, indeed it is the end of the franchise.

This morning was a sleeping-in morning.
In theory.

I woke up a hair after 6:00.

Fortunately, I was able to go back to sleep.

Until 8:00.

I snuck back into The Dreaming for another hour.  After that, I figured that trying to sleep any longer would just be an exercise in futility.  So, I headed into the living room and surfed the interwebs for a while before  logging into City of Heroes for a bit.  I have forgotten how squishy low-level characters were.  But, I’m enjoying the new guy.

SaraRules, after she woke up,  fixed breakfast – sauteed spaghetti – and we watched a couple of episodes of MythBusters.

Now, we’re going to gallivant about the countryside until it’s time to head to her parents’ for dinner.


“We do more before 9 AM than most people do all day…”

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"We do more before 9 AM than most people do all day..."

Saturday – 24 May 2008
This morning started off with a couple of errands and then a trip to OnlyAly and ‘s. We were helping them move a load o’ stuff to OnlyAly’s mom’s. I think that this was THE fastest moving job in the history of moving – according to , it was three hours from truck rental to truck return. (Of course, having 15 bodies to help move stuff didn’t hurt, either.) Mr. and Mrs. were kind enough to treat us to lunch.

Home for showers and other generally appreciated hygiene rituals.

Off to have coffee with Perry and then Gardner Village.

Next up: Dinner at Tsunami and a viewing of the new Indiana Jones flick with Chris and Mary.


“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”

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"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"

Friday – 23 May 2008
After throwing my hands in the air in frustration of dealing with ‘Nine and trying to get City of Heroes installed on it, I patched the installation on Defiant and headed to Paragon City. was on and we decided to start a couple of new characters on the Virtue server – I created a Scrapper, created a Peacebringer – and ran a mission.

I decided to take the day off and enjoy a four-day weekend. Good call, as far as I’m concerned. SaraRules and I went to IKEA – this weekend is their 1st anniversary of the Draper store opening. I came back with some storage bins and some new pictures for the guest bathroom, along with a new desk lamp.

Next, we headed up to SaraRules’ parents’ house to join them on a trip to Red Butte Garden. After almost ten years in Utah, this marked my first trip to the gardens. Not everything was in bloom, but the things that were in bloom were quite nice. (Pictures here… LOTS of pictures) We left there and headed back to SaraRules’ folks’ place for coffee and pastries.

Next, a trip to Dr. Volt’s to pick up my Anti-Monitor HeroClix figure, some card sheets and some books.

Home… and the rest of my pre-Clitorati time shall be spent in Paragon City.


Uh, yeah… take that!

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Uh, yeah... take that!

sent me a link to Emomelon:

I countered with Best Buy Dance Off.

Best Buy Dance Off – Watch more free videos

Derek, in an unrelated – yet oddly fitting – note, sent a link to Marion Theme on Bottles Played by RC Car