Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark…”

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"It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark..."

Friday – 31 October 2008
Happy Hallowe’en.

This year’s costume marks the third time (in four years) that I’ve gone with a Samuel L. Jackson-inspired costume: Mace Windu (SW: The Phantom Menace), Neville Flynn (Snakes on a Plane) and this year…

Yep, Nick Fury (1, 2), from Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Universe and the verrrrry end of the Iron Man movie. And a tip of the hat and a wave of the cane to Mr. Jackson for making sure that I have at least one possible costume idea per year. I’ll have more pictures of the overall costume later tonight… to be posted probably tomorrow.

It’s “a little” busy around the office, as we’re prepping for an audit by our robot overlords.  (Did I say “overlords?” I meant “protectors.”) Fortunately, our little “pre-audit” seems to be going fairly well.

Stray Toasters

And that’s it for now.


::: whew :::

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::: whew :::

Thursday – 30 Oct 2008
Not a bad day, so far.

Stray Toasters

That’s good for now.


It’s been a LONG day

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It's been a LONG day

Wednesday: Coda
I took to a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.
Four hours later, they finally got around to seeing her.
About a half-hour to forty-five minutes later, they admitted her to the hospital.

Before anyone gets worried: She’s fine.

The doctor said that she wasn’t responding to a medication that she was on as they had hoped. They are transitioning her to a different (form of the) medication, but are keeping her for the next few days for observation. I went to the house to get a few things that she wanted/needed and then stayed with her until roughly 8:00 this evening, to make sure that she was alright.

She is at Intermountain Medical Center (in Murray).
She is able to have visitors… EXCEPT between the hours of 6-8 AM and 6-8 PM.
For any questions about reaching her, contact me through email or any of the usual IM protocols.


Potty humor

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Potty humor

I’m sitting here talking with and bidets came up.

Don’t ask.
Just go with it.

She mentioned that someone she knows has a bidet in their house and that they are the only person she knows with a bidet. As soon as she mentioned that, the following popped into my head:

It’s a beautiful bidet in the neighborhood
A beautiful bidet for a neighbor…

Yeah… welcome to the way my head works.

And, um, my apologies to the late Mr. Rogers.

Mid-week morning

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Mid-week morning

Wednesday – 29 Oct 2008
I vaguely remember turning off the alarm this morning. I was a lovely combination of “tired” and “lazy.” There was a part of me that was having an “I don’t care” moment when I turned off the alarm… so, I turned over and decided to grab some more shut-eye.

So far, the morning has been good and even a little productive… despite the fact that I keep thinking that it’s Thursday.

Stray Toasters

That’s a good start.  There may be more later.


“You can carry that weight with an iron will…”

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"You can carry that weight with an iron will..."

Tuesday: Coda
SaraRules wound up convincing me to go to the gym, after all:

  • Pull-downs: 3 sets/10 reps, 100 lbs
  • Close-grip pull-downs: 3 sets/10 reps, 70 lbs
  • Rows (machine): 3 sets/10 reps, 80 lbs
  • Reverse Deltoid Flys: 3 sets/10 reps, 60 lbs
  • Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 sets/10 reps, 40 lbs
  • Tricep Press: 3 sets/10 reps, 60 lbs
  • Side Bends: 3 sets/15 reps, 25 lbs
  • Core: 2 sets/45 seconds, each

Post-workout weight: 184.1 pounds.

And that’s that.

“In the evening…”

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"In the evening..."

It was a busy day. Not “run around frantically” busy, but enough to keep me well-occupied throughout the day.

SaraRules cooked a chicken and vegetable over pasta dish. Quite tasty.

Stray Toasters

And that’s that.

I may wind up going to the gym tonight… but I’m not 100% committed to that course of action yet.


“Back on the chain gang…”

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"Back on the chain gang..."

Tuesday – 28 October 2008
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…


It’s not Monday.
And it’s not raining, either.

So… then… um… yeah, I guess I’m doing alright.

And it’s a short week, to boot.

Stray Toasters
I haven’t really paid much attention to news or pop culture in the past few days, so this will have to hang on until later in the day. Or something to that effect.


“Chase the sun around the world, I want to look at life… in the available light.”

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"Chase the sun around the world, I want to look at life... in the available light."

Monday – 27 October 2008
Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee [it was] good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I’m back in the U.S.S.R.
state called “Utah”
You don’t know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.
Back in the U.S.S.R
state called “Utah”

In other words: “We made it back, safe and sound.”

Football, seafood, cheesecake and family.

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Football, seafood, cheesecake and family.

Sunday: Coda
Today has been a good birthday.
More than that, it’s just been an all-around good day.

SaraRules and I took the Metro downtown to see the Raiders vs. the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.


We had great seats: lower level, 15th row, in one of the corners. It was on the visitor’s side, but there were PLENTY of purple (and black and white… and even a few red) jerseys in the stadium our area. On my right, was a couple (a man and his wife) of Raiders fans, so SaraRules wasn’t all alone in a sea of Ravens fans. The game was good. And it was a lot of fun. It was also SaraRules’ first live football game. Ever.

  • High school?  Nope.
  • College? Nuh-uh.
  • NFL?  Not until today.

The Ravens came out of the gate with their game faces on. And they went to work… although, they did manage to have a little fun, as evidenced by this play. Both teams played well, but the Oakland offense didn’t really come alive until the second half of the game.

Final score: Oakland 10 – Baltimore 29

I took pictures at the game. (Big surprise there…)

After the game, we stepped into Geppi’s Entertainment Museum for a quick walkthrough. It was neat – there were manners of pop-culture memorabilia, past and present. In retrospect, I could/should have taken more pictures… but the ones I took can be seen here.

Next, we went to Harborplace. We ate dinner at Phillip’s Restaurant. (I know… who could have guessed?!) I had broiled crab cakes and calamari; SaraRules had a seafood combination dinner that included shrimp, a crab cake, mahi mahi and a couple of other items. Before leaving Harborplace, we picked up a chocolate mousse cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

Back home. Tammy (my Godsister) and her youngest daughter, Kayla, came by to visit for a bit. That was nice, as I haven’t seen Tammy in… I’d say a year to a year-and-a-half. I tried catching up with Bret, but our schedules just didn’t synch up. Oh, well… maybe next time. After Tammy left, SaraRules and I hung out with my ‘rents. We showed them some of our travel pictures while we all had cheesecake.

Thanks to all of the good tidings and well-wishes for my birthday. I am very fortunate and blessed in my collection of friends.

Tomorrow: The Return to the Land Behind the Zion Curtain.



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Sunday – 26 October 2008
Yep… I’m 38 today.

Fortunately, the NFL does.

And with that, we’re off to the stadium.

Greetings… from the Right Coast

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Greetings... from the Right Coast

Saturday – 25 October 2008
We made it to the Right Coast.

The alarm went off early. Very early. We got up and got ready to go. SaraRules’ parents picked us up and carried us to the airport this morning.


The SLC-DEN leg of the trip wasn’t bad. The weather from DEN-DCA wasn’t too bad… until we got a little outside of Washington, D.C. Then it got choppy. We circled west of D.C. for abotu a half-hour. Then, we headed south. Then, and this was classic: The pilot said, “We’re going to take a shot at the approach.”

“Take a shot?!”

No.  Do or do not, there is no “Take a shot.”

And he did.
And we landed.

It took a long time – at least twenty minutes – for our luggage to get unloaded and sent to baggage claim. I started wondering if we had a zombie in our cargo hold that had attacked a baggage handler… who infected the rest of the crew… and so on and so on.

No such luck. They were just slow.

My dad picked us up and brought us home.

And that’s pretty much that.


At the end of the day, when all is said and done…

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At the end of the day, when all is said and done...

Friday: Coda
I after work I met SaraRules at her place. I hung out with her and her folks for a bit…

…then I ran to Dr. Volt’s – I had neglected to get a couple of receipts for the Arkham Asylum “Buy It by the Brick” figure on Wednesday. And I picked up another brick. *shrug* It’s my birthday weekend; I’m allowed.

Back to SaraRules’ to pick her up and run a couple of errands before heading back to my place to do some cleaning.

At 7:30 we and a few friends, headed to the Outback Steakhouse for my birthday dinner. It was a good-sized group,  18 people in all. (A hearty and heart-felt “Thank you” to those of you who came out to help me celebrate!)  After dinner, most of us came back to my place for cake – yellow cake with chocolate frosting with chocolate chips, made by Ms. SaraRules – and ice cream. It was a great way to spend the evening. SaraRules surprised me with an awesome present:

Mm-hmm, that’s right: A Ravens reversible jacket. As she put it: She “…wanted [me] to have something fun and cool to wear to the game.” I have a very cool girlfriend… even if she is a Raiders fan. Can I get an “Amen,” from the Amen Corner?

After company left, we finished packing for tomorrow’s trip to Charm City. This time tomorrow, we’ll be on the Right Coast… and, most likely, very much asleep.

I should probably wrap it up here. 6:30’s going to come around awfully early, I suspect.


“I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name…”

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"I've been through the desert on a horse with no name..."

Friday – 24 October 2008
Last night, I headed up to SaraRules’ for dinner and date night. Dinner was a damned fine meat loaf, with mashed potatoes, and carrots (with a little bit of brown sugar), all prepared by Ms. SaraRules. After dinner, we – including her family – watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I’d still have to say that it’s my third-favorite Indiana Jones movie, but it was fun. Towards the end of the movie, I was wondering how well other pulp fiction-type heroes would fare in the modern cinema. I remember that there was a rumor of a Doc Savage movie in the works a few years ago, but I haven’t read/heard anything about it in some time.

Stray Toasters

  • I just received this from a coworker, who found out that my birthday is this weekend and knows of my affinity for Star Trek:
  • A few years ago, there was a submarine (the one used in the movie K-19: The Widowmaker, in fact) that was for sale on eBay. I always thought that Bill Gates should have bought it… after all, he pretty much has one of everything else. But he didn’t. However, this morning, I found the following item on Slashdot: Google Founders Buy Fighter Jet. That’s close enough for me.
  • Make my funk the P-Funk
    I want my funk uncut
    Make my funk the P-Funk
    I wants to get funked up.
    I want the bomb,
    I want the P-Funk
    I want my funk stepped on
    Make my funk the P-Funk
    Before I take it home
  • Sib-4, , sent me a link to this Questionable Content ‘toon. The last panel made me laugh aloud:
  • Cartesian dualism — the latest weapon in the war on Darwin
  • …and, in a (somewhat) related note: Evolutionary Scientists Test-Drive Spore, Gripe
  • Get your drink on… with Raytheon!
    (After finding “drinkware” on the company store site, we’re suggesting this as a new company slogan.)
  • The Fonz, Richie, Andy and Opie are pro-Obama
  • WizKids still hasn’t updated their Arkham Asylum page.
  • By way of IT Knowledge Exchange: CTO of the USA

Tonight: Dinner at Outback. (Can you say “Aussie Cheese Fries,” boys and girls..?)
This time tomorrow: We’ll be on our way to the Right Coast.


“I turn my back to the wind, to catch my breath before I start off again…”

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"I turn my back to the wind, to catch my breath before I start off again..."

I’m not sure if I’m done with meetings for the day… or just between meetings. Either way, I’m not complaining. For lunch, loonybin88, a couple of guys from corporate and I went to Cafe Zupa’s. It made for a very nice break.

It felt like I forgot something in this morning’s post. I didn’t remember what that was… until about 45 minutes ago: Happy Birthday,

Back to the grind…