Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“All we want to do is eat your brains…”

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"All we want to do is eat your brains..."

Until last night, I had forgotten that this is a short work week.  I apparently forgot it again this morning… until I started thinking about how I wanted to spread out my work hours – I was planning on working a bunch of 9- and 10-hour days and taking off early on Friday again, when it dawned on me that Friday is a freebie.  Had gone with my original plan of pulling 10-9-10, I would only have two hours of work on Thursday.  I may still do that.

Stray Toasters

  • Michael Turner, artist and President of Aspen Comics, passed away Friday night.  He was 37.
  • Wizard has a 6-page preview of Astonishing X-Men #25, Warren Ellis’ first issue on the title.  Page Four alone is reason enough to buy the book.
  • Walk Score
  • In the same vein as someecards comes WrongCards.  They even have an “In event of zombies” section.
  • There are rumblings of Frank Miller working on some sort of sequel to 300.  I feel about this the way that I feel about The Dark Knight Strikes Again, his follow-up to The Dark Knight Returns:  You captured lighting in a bottle the first time around.  Don’t force it.  And, more importantly, why screw up a good thing?!
  • Wizard, in their “Corps Curriculum” column, posted this picture… with the caption: “Yoda couldn’t have done it better.”  The funny thing is, you could actually overwrite Luke and Yoda’s X-Wing raising dialogue from SW:TESB on this page… and have it fit perfectly.

All that and a new episode of The Middleman tonight.


Zeus… Hera… Ares… Heracles… um, who are YOU? I don’t see your name on the list.

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Zeus...  Hera... Ares... Heracles... um, who are YOU?  I don't see your name on the list.

and company are talking about World of Warcraft. Apparently, they had a bad run-in during one of their runs. used the word “debacle”…

…which immediately reparsed in my head to “Debacles” (DEB-uh-kleez)

…which I immediately envisioned as a Greek god: Debacles, the god of disaster and mayhem.

Shoot me now.

“Yes, Virginia, there’s a…”

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"Yes, Virginia, there's a..."

A little while ago, I was talking with Drew, Mark, Wes and Bryan.  Mike came in a few minutes later.  He joined the conversation, as he was setting up for the work day. Mike told Drew to check out something on his blog.  Drew went to the site, checked out the item and continued to scroll down.  Then he scrolled past the title of the next entry.

As I was looking at the site over Drew’s shoulder, I caught the title as Drew scrolled past it.  In near-shock, I told Drew to stop and scroll up so I could reread the title.

When I read it again, I saw what I had misread and said,”Oh… Virginia Update.  That’s not at all what I read the first time.”

Laughter ensued.

“He’s going the distance, he’s going for speed…”

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"He's going the distance, he's going for speed..."

Monday – 30 June 2008
6:30 came far too soon.
So I ignored it, in favor of 7:00.
That worked out much better, as far as I was concerned. 45 minutes later, I was on the way to work.

An hour later, I was at work, with a frozen mocha and a bagel sandwich.


Stray Toasters

  • You know, a morning that kicks off, musically, with Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 can’t be all bad.
    • The Jackson 5 – ABC
    • Stevie Wonder – I Wish
  • This is cheesy, but you have to watch it until the third group comes on:

  • For the kid and/or gamer looking to turn his or her room into a life-sized video game: Mario Vinyl Wall Decals
  • If you haven’t yet, see this movie:
  • Safeguarding the World’s Chocolate Supply
    (Yet, they say that bananas will possibly die out in the next 15 – 20 years…)

Attack the day…


“I can see what you mean, it just takes me longer…”

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"I can see what you mean, it just takes me longer..."

Sunday: Coda
Well… after I managed to pry myself from the sofa and actually get moving, I had a fun evening.

I headed downtown to check out the Utah Arts Festival, as I mentioned earlier. I went with a little trepidation: Last year’s festival seemed dull and unexciting, with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band providing the event’s only saving grace. OnlyAly, and went Saturday afternoon and said that it was good, but still…

I got to Library Square a little after 6:00. There seemed to be a good mix of exhibitors in the area between the library and The Leonardo. That was a hopeful sign. I browsed through a number of the booths. I next checked out the ones on the southeast side of the City and County Building. Again, good selections. Checking the time, I found that I still had time to spare before Desert Gypsy went on…. so, I wandered through some of the booths set up along 2nd East. Some of the artists whose work caught my eye included:

I headed back over to the City and County Building to watch Desert Gypsy; my friend, Georgia, dances in one of their troupes and I told her that I would come down and check out her performance. It was fun. You could tell that the dancers – and the audience – were enjoying themselves. When they were finished, I hung around for a few minutes to talk with Georgia before she went to get changed.

Next up, I checked out the Salt Lake Alternative Jazz Orchestra. They were fun. I missed out on seeing them last year. I’ll be on the lookout for them from now on, though. When they were done, I headed back over to Library Square, with the intent on checking out Samba Fogo. Unfortunately, the best spots had already been taken. So, I headed up to the walkway that overlooked the square. Not much better; I could only see the tops of the dancers’ heads. But, I was in a good spot to watch MASS Ensemble‘s performance… with their 700’-long “Earth Harp” – stretched between the library and the Amphitheatre Stage.

There is a marked difference between “watching” a performance and “hearing” it. Let me narrow that down a bit: I saw and heard Mass Ensemble; what I did not hear was the harp. Hopefully people who were sitting/standing directly under the strings could hear them. I did enjoy Mass Ensemble’s performance otherwise.

Another band kicked off at 10:00 on the Park Stage, so I wandered over that way. The band was Way Way East Bay, a funk band (with horns!) from Logan, UT. That’s right, I used the words “funk band” and “Logan” and “Utah” in the same sentence. They were pretty good. They did some covers (including Tower of Power’s Dont Change Horses (in the Middle of the Stream) and Delbert McClinton’s Standing on Shaky Ground) as well as some original songs. They were having a good time and they sounded good, too. The crowd wasn’t large (most were still watching the MASS Ensemble performance), but it was of a decent size and they seemed to enjoy the music.

Around 10:30, I’d had my fill of the festival and decided to call it a night. But, the overall experience far exceeded last year’s disappointment.

On the way home, I dropped in and chatted with for a bit.

Stray Toasters

  • Ten months
  • , I was sorry to hear about the fire/water damage, but glad to hear that you and the Mrs. are okay.
  • This still makes me grin:
  • , I think that you’ll like this. (Let me know if the link doesn’t work for you…)
  • I need to allocate some time for watching Space: Above and Beyond.
  • Earth-D
  • Eridani Light Horse

Methinks, that’s good for now.

“That’s the way that Lady Luck dances, roll the bones…”

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"That's the way that Lady Luck dances, roll the bones..."

Sunday – 29 June 2008
It’s seems as though June just got here… and now it’s almost gone.

Playing ‘Clix with Chris last night was good. We played two games, a one-on-one game and one with Matt and me taking him on. Chris won both. (Yay for sporadically crappy dice rolls!) I also understand now why he hates the “Indoor: Prison” map from the Sinister set… although, I think that it would be an interesting map to play with non-powered figures (S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, various law enforcement figures, A.I.M., Checkmate and/or thugs).

After gaming, I headed down to Sandy for breakfast. Not only was a small group, but we wound up leaving relatively early as everyone seemed to wind down from their week/day pretty quickly.

This morning, I managed to sleep in – I made it to the double-digits. Barely, but I did. I also woke up with a less-than-delightful headache. I assumed that it was lack-of-caffeine induced, but coffee has not as yet done anything, so I set two Aleve tablets on the job. Hopefully, they will do some good.

I’m trying to gear up to head downtown to visit the Utah Arts Festival. However, the whole “lazy” thing has had me firmly in its grip.

Stray Toasters

I should kick it into gear…


Saturday? You mean it’s NOT Sunday…?

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Saturday?  You mean it's NOT Sunday...?

Saturday – 28 June 2008
I had some odd dreams this morning. The topper was one where, in an otherwise “normal” situation, I ran into – and was subsequently chased by – the JLApe. Madness. Even worse: I woke up thinking that it was Sunday. It took a few minutes for it to sink in that it really was Saturday. O.o

Otherwise, today has been great:

  • I went to see WALL*E with and . It was great. Much better than I had expected. And it was a lot of fun. There were a lot of tech in-jokes, too – they caused and me to laugh a lot. And, the Pixar short before the movie, Presto, may have just supplanted Boundin’ as my favorite Pixar short. I heartily recommend this movie to everyone.
  • Next on tap: A trip to the Garden of Sweden. They’re having their summer sale. I picked up a few more storage containers and picture frames.
  • While in IKEA, I ran into . We noticed each other walking towards the checkout. After a couple of moments, he shouted (okay, it was really just a slightly notched-up “indoor voice”),”I know you…”
    Me: *blink blink*
    : From… LiveJournal!
    That kicked a few relational databases into gear… and I realized that we did, in fact, know each other. It was odd – in a far-from-bad way – to be recognized like that from someone I haven’t seen in at least… three years.

Now: I’m grabbing a bite to eat.
Next: Heading to Chris’ to play dolls HeroClix.
Later: Breakfast.


Friday Free-for-All

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Friday Free-for-All

Being done with the work week is a nice thing.
Lunch at Jitterbug == good

Stray Toasters


The Website Is Down

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The Website Is Down

Someone (and I wish I could remember “who”) posted this yesterday or Wednesday… but I didn’t get a chance to watch it until this morning. That’s a shame because it’s chock full of funny, especially if you’ve ever been in IT.

The Website Is Down

(Some of the audio is NSFW… and one image, about 7 or so minutes in)

“Off on your way, hit the open road, there is magic at your fingers…”

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"Off on your way, hit the open road, there is magic at your fingers..."

Friday – 27 June 2008
Up (relatively) on time.
Dressed and ready to roll in fairly short order, despite an issue with a contact lens.Frozen mocha.
In the office a few ticks past 8:00.
My work week officially has 3½ hours left. (That’s right… three-and-a-half.)

And it’s Friday.

Bring it on.

Late-afternoon digressions

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Late-afternoon digressions

Today’s sushi was good. Tony even threw in a couple of extra nigiri for us to try; I had albacore. Not bad.

Before lunch, I finally picked up my guitar from Acoustic Music. I’m a bit anxious to play. And, speaking of play, I’ve realized something: I want to play some of my older XBox games. Just because. Like X-Men: Legends and X-Men: The Next Dimension… and even X2: Wolverine’s Revenge and Spider-Man.

Stray Toasters

  • For Derek:
  • Pop culture + bukkake + macaques = ???
    (And I’m not really sure that we really want to know, either.)
  • What Would Barack Obama Do Listen To? Wired took a few guesses… check out how they did.
  • The Artist Formerly Known As The Fresh Prince (not to be confused with “just” Prince) backs Barack, too. BBC News has the skinny. Will Smith has been on The Late Show and The Colbert Report over the past couple of days, both interviews were entertaining.
  • Mayor Mick’s bike returned
    (Did this kind of thing ever happen to Rocky Anderson? Richard Daley? Ed Koch?)
  • Orwell’s 1984 as a pulp novel


“Jam on it… (Yeah, yeah… we know, we know…)”

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"Jam on it... (Yeah, yeah... we know, we know...)"

Thursday – 26 June 2008
Last night was a relaxed night. After work, I headed to Dr. Volt’s to pick up this week’s comics. Home. Dinner. City of Heroes. I was invited to join a team for some Tsoo missions and nearly tacked on two levels before logging off. And, in an unusual turn, I felt tired fairly early – so early that I was showered and in bed a little after 12:30.

When the alarm went off this morning, I wasn’t quite ready to roll out of bed and face the morning, so I laid in bed for a few minutes… which turned into me falling asleep again. I woke up when alarm 2.0 went off. After staring at the ceiling and walls for a few, I got up, got ready and got under way.

Of course, I didn’t notice that I had left The Leash at home until I got to the office. Fortunately, the monitoring/notification software that sends alerts to the pager has a web interface. So, really, I’m just cutting out the middle man, not to be confused with The Middleman.

I need to decide whether today is a sushi day or a workout day. Bah.

Stray Toasters

It’s a sushi day.
Decision: Rendered.


“America… have you heard… about a brand-new dance, it’s called The Bird?”

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"America... have you heard... about a brand-new dance, it's called The Bird?"

Wednesday – 25 June 2008
During the work day, I (and usually a coworker or two) take walks around the complex/campus/whatever you’d care to call it. This week, I’ve had a couple of amusing/interesting experiences:

  1. There are trees along the south end of the path where we walk. Apparently, there are a couple of new nests in some of those trees. Wes and I were… not quite “dive bombed”… more “strafed”… as we walked along the path. The first time it happened, I felt a little like Tippi Hedren in The Birds. And the second and third times, too. I may suggest altering our walking path for the next couple of weeks.
  2. On Monday afternoon’s walk, I was almost done with my walk when I approached a couple of ladies walking in the same direction, but more slowly, than me. I was a few feet behind one of them when I said,”Excuse me, please, ladies.” One froze, the other… yelped (best word for it). Hell, I froze, too. They hadn’t heard me approaching; I had figured that since I was wearing hard-soled shoes and was on a cement walkway, they had heard my footsteps. No go, Flight. It took the yelping lady a few moments to regain her composure.

Yesterday also included a workout with Wes. It’s the first time I’ve been back to the Gold’s on Van Winkle in close to two years. Nice gym… although a couple of the patrons were ass-monkeys. “It takes all kinds,” I guess. The routine was a little short, but good:

  • Recumbent Bike: 0.5 miles, 100 rpm
  • Bench Press: 3 sets/10 reps, 185 lbs.
  • Flys (machine): 3 sets/10 reps, 100 lbs.
  • Curls (standing, hammer): 3 sets/10 reps, 25 lbs.
  • Lateral Raises (with forward extension): 3 sets/10 reps, 10 lbs.
  • Tricep Extensions (rope): 3 sets/10 reps, 60 lbs.

Last night was lazy. I came home, cooked dinner, sat on the couch and vegged. I also finished off the Superman card I’ve been working on:

I’m pretty happy with it. Once again, finding quotes was a right royal pain, but I wanted to find some from various sources (comics, TV series and movies). I think that the quote I’m most fond of is “Excuse me, sir. Would you care to step outside,” from Superman: The Movie.

Stray Toasters

Time to hit it.


“Fashion (turn to the left)… Fashion (turn to the right)…”

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"Fashion (turn to the left)... Fashion (turn to the right)..."

Tuesday – 24 June 2008
After work, I headed home to figure out what to do with my evening. I decided that I’d watch The Middleman and then head to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. Turned out that the 8:00 episode was a rebroadcast of the pilot. So, I went to the store first. Came home, started dinner and watched The Middleman. I had another thought on how to “define” it. Somewhat. It’s The X-Files meets Men in Black, leaning most heavily towards MiB.

After a little channel surfing (including a 45-second delay on Boomerang – man, Super Friends really did blow), I found the second hour of Beverly Hills Cop on Bravo. And there I sat. I haven’t watched BHC in years… and I have somehow not purchased it yet.

After ‘Cop and The Late Show (featuring a really funny Will Smith interview), I decided to call it an early night.

Stray Toasters

  • I am working on a few new ‘Clix cards for Chris. It’s… oddly fun and the “worst” part is trying to come up with some of the quotes – I still need to find something for Superman (Icons, veteran) that works for his “Ranged Combat Expert” ability.
  • Thanks to MarknTyme for pointing me in the direction of DC Elseworlds
  • (Click image for site)

  • By way of SaraRules: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (Part I)

  • “whiffy”
  • Uptown got its hustlers
    Bowery got its bums
    42nd Street got Big Jim Walker
    He’s a pool-shootin’ son of a gun
  • With the disclaimers of: 1) I’m a guy and 2) I don’t have kids, I have a question: Is there something offensive about the cover of the July 2008 issue of GQ?

    The reason that I ask is this: I was in Target last night and there were copies of this issue in the news rack next to the candy and gum. Something that I’ve noticed here in Utah – and it may exist in other places, but I haven’t noticed it – is that when a magazine cover is deemed “too racy,” they put an opaque plastic insert in front of the magazine, so that only the title shows. And, lo and behold, this issue was one of them.

  • And, since we’re already talking GQ: 2008 Fall Preview: Reinvent Yourself


For applevenus… and any other intrepid souls

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For applevenus... and any other intrepid souls

DaveW just shared this with some of us: http://i30.tinypic.com/314sbw5.jpg

It follows part of yesterday’s lunchtime conversation… a little too well.