Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

On a sunny Saturday morning…

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On a sunny Saturday morning...

Saturday – 28 February 2009
The end of the month comes with a lazy, sunny morning.

Last night’s Clitorati was good. We had a small turnout, but it was still fun.  Added bonus: Marci (one of my coworkers) showed up and hung out with us. I also picked up a copy of John Hodgman’s The Areas of My Expertise (1, 2, 3) … along with my fifty-somethingth copy of Watchmen.

At some point today, we’re heading up to Red Butte Gardens so that we can render a decision about its viability as a ceremony/reception venue.

Stray Toasters

On to the rest of the day… and breakfast!


Friday morning free-for-all

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Friday morning free-for-all

Friday – 27 February 2009
The last workday of the month starts with snow… well, flurries, at least. But, it’s still Friday. And it’s the “90% of the staff is out of the office” Friday, to boot. (We’ll see what that does for the motivation to get some of the ‘low priority’ items in my queue accomplished.) On the other hand, it does mean that I get to crank up 2112 to get the day started.

Last night, SaraRules and I went to the USPA Fundraiser at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, held at The Point Restaurant. The fundraiser was in support of the Pharmacy School (where SaraRules’ brother, Logan, is a student). It was a nice affair – and the catering was good – and the people watching wasn’t bad, either. A secondary purpose for going was to scout it out as a potential place for our reception – there were a couple of good points, but I don’t think it will make the short list.

Stray Toasters

That’ll do for now.


Workout: 26 Feb 2009

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Workout: 26 Feb 2009

Earlier this morning, Wes and I were somewhat on the fence about going to the gym today. Fortunately, as the day wore on, we realized that it would not only be good to workout, but that it would be good to get out of the office. So, while we didn’t do a lot of heavy lifting, we did get in a decent – if brief – workout:

  • Leg Raises – 3 sets/20 reps
  • Bench Press – 3 sets/10 reps, 185 lbs
  • Rotary Chest – 3 sets/10 reps, 100 lbs
  • Reverse Fly – 3 sets/10 reps, 70 lbs
  • Lower Back Extensions – 3 set/15 reps, 140 lbs
  • Push-ups – 3 sets/10 reps
  • Core (extension/stretch): 2 sets, 30 seconds

Short and sweet.

“This little bird’s fallen out of that nest, now…”

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"This little bird's fallen out of that nest, now..."

Thursday – 26 February 2009
It looks like it’s going to try to be another good-looking day outside. That’s not a bad thing.

Last night, SaraRules and I started watching La Vie En Rose, a biopic about Edith Piaf. The pacing was… odd – there were parts where it jumped backward and forward in time and were quite disjointed and disconcerting. We’re going to attempt to tackle the second half of the movie tonight. Wish us luck.

I did a little more work on my Hawkeye-to-Shado conversion, including heading down to Hastur Hobbies for paint. I didn’t realize that I had neglected to pick up a couple of colors that I wanted – not needed – until I got home. BAH! I was also rather surprised to see how much they were charging for some paint and supplies.

Four-Color Coverage
This week’s haul was a mixed bag, but there were a few standout issues:

  • Captain America #47 – Bucky, out of his Captain America guise and back in the role of the Winter Soldier, confronts a part of his past… with Namor at his side.
  • Fantastic Four #564 – The FF (and family) go on holiday in Scotland. What could possibly go wrong…?
  • Green Lantern #38 – Hal Jordan straddles the line between being a Green Lantern and a Red Lantern. Which path will he follow? Readers also discover an interesting… limitation (?)… of the Blue Lanterns’ power rings.
  • Justice Society of America #24 – Billy Batson, former custodian of the power of Shazam, leads the JSA to the Rock of Eternity for a confab with Black Adam and Isis. Too bad that they aren’t really in the mood for company.
  • The New Avengers #50 – The New Avengers figure out who’s who behind the masks of Norman Osborn’s Avengers and they aren’t too happy about it. They learn a few things about some of the other people that Norman has “brought into the fold,” too.
  • Superman #865 – A man torn between two worlds, Superman makes a choice. Also, why – and HOW – is Mon-El out of the Phantom Zone… in the 21st Century?

Stray Toasters


“Everyone else was looking, but I saw you first…”

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"Everyone else was looking, but I saw you first..."

Wednesday – 25 February 2009
After a quick dinner with SaraRules, I picked up and we headed out to and ‘s to celebrate Nox’ birthday.  SaraRules had a previous engagement and wasn’t able to go. I had a nice time and it was good to see a few folks I haven’t seen in a while.

When I got back home, SaraRules and I watched (most of) last night’s NCIS; we missed the last 7 -10 minutes, because of the preemption for President Obama’s speech.  Fortunately, I was able to find a synopsis on the Bat-web.

Stray Toasters


“…see more of the people and the places that surround me now…”

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"...see more of the people and the places that surround me now..."

Tuesday – 24 February 2009
Happy Birthday to .  Congratulations on successfully avoiding the clutches of the Dark Lady for another year.

And, Happy Birthday to Coworker Tom:

Last night, SaraRules and I watched Spenser: The Judas Goat. It was good… for a 90’s TV movie. And it was a fun return to a series that I enjoy(ed). There was a “new” Susan in this movie, played by Wendy Crewson. Even though she had limited screen time, I liked her portrayal better than that of Barbara Williams.

Stray Toasters

  • We have waffles – being freshly made – in the office today.
  • I was “somewhat” mistaken yesterday when I said that the Chocolate Coworker Count went up by 100%. It actually went up by 200%, but the second guy will be based out of our Virginia office after he’s done with training.
  • , those links I mentioned last night are:
  1. This one and
  2. This other one


Monday…!? Already!? Man, where does the weekend go?

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Monday...!?  Already!?  Man, where does the weekend go?

Monday – 23 February 2009
The month is whizzing right by…

Yesterday afternoon, we went to SaraRules’ parents’ for dinner and a couple of episodes of The Muppet Show. One of the episodes had a segment that featured Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle… a segment I vaguely remembered from many moons past. Trippy.

We headed back home and felt like watching a movie. Nothing too heavy, mind you. We opted for Snakes on a Plane. It was just as entertaining last night as it was in the theatre. (Well, minus the “throwing snakes” part, of course.) And, yes, we MST3K-ed the whole thing.

Stray Toasters

Nose. Grindstone.



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asked me to pass along a message: She’s in the hospital – she’s fine, this is more of a preventive measure. She will be in for two or three days, but would welcome visitors. If anyone would like room information, feel free to call, text, IM or email me.


“Welcome to Weekend Update. I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not.”

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"Welcome to Weekend Update. I'm Chevy Chase and you're not."

Sunday – 22 February 2009
Friday afternoon, SaraRules and I went to check out a couple of possible wedding venues: Heritage Gardens and the Post Chapel at Fort Douglas. Both had their pros and cons. We still have two more places to check out before rendering our final decision.

Saturday had a good mixture of productivity and leisure. After starting the morning with breakfast and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, I did some cleaning and organizing around the apartment – including getting my HeroClix figures back into their respective storage spaces – before spending the evening at OnlyAly and ‘s, playing poker. Before the cleaning spree, I also managed to get new pictures of my growing ‘Clix map, including Corner #5: Building cluster. (Hint: It’s the one with the skyscraper.)

Today has been fairly lazy, so far. I don’t know that we really have anything on tap to change that, either.

Stray Toasters

That’s good for now.


One more for the road

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One more for the road

And another.

Settings test…

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Settings test...

SaraRules again…

This is just a test.
Nothing to see here.


Why I Want Zombies At Our Wedding.

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Why I Want Zombies At Our Wedding.

SaraRules here.

On any given day, the thought of this whole wedding thing leaves me from slightly bemused to extremely befuddled. Not the married aspect, mind you. Being married to this fabulous man of mine is something I’m handsdownwithoutadoubt looking forward to. But the Wedding Industrial Complex ceremony, reception, and grand poobah traditions sometimes make me tilt my head and go “WhaHuh?”

So one place that I’ve found is Offbeat Bride. A little corner of the interwebs for brides who don’t necessarily want to follow tradition just because it’s tradition, but rather want an experience that is a proper symbolic encapsulation of their union. Which I can dig.

Anyway, I ran across an amusing post, and of course had to share it. It’s great, not just because the officiant opens the ceremony by talking about zombies, but because it celebrates the happiness of two people finding each other.

Today I’m going to say a few words about zombies.

So even if there aren’t any zombies at our wedding (which, to be honest, might be a bit safer than the alternative), I’m predicting an abundance of personalized happiness.

Neither “manic” nor “Monday”

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Neither "manic" nor "Monday"

Friday – 20 February 2009
Helloooooo, 9/80 Friday.

Last night, after CSI:… and watching Batman sing… SaraRules and I took a stroll over to Red Mango for yogurt; she had a pomegranate/green tea twist; I had green tea. While we ate, we finally watched an episode of Burn Notice that’s been on the DVR for a couple of weeks. Later, when SaraRules headed to bed, I started in on a new corner for my ‘Clix map: Building Cluster. (Pictures to come later)

This morning, I slept in a bit. I still haven’t figured out what I’m doing with the rest of my morning and early afternoon, but later this afternoon will be spent checking out a couple of possible wedding venues.

Stray Toasters

Time to do… something.


Oh yeah, the joke:

A snail goes to a local Nissan dealership and looks at the inventory. A salesman walks up to him and asks “May I help you?”

The snail looks at him and says, “I’m here to buy a car. I’d like to test drive…. that one,” as he points to a brand new Z.

The salesman looks a little surprised. “Oooh-kay.” He walks inside, comes back outside and returns to the snail. He hands him the keys. “Here you go.”

“Thanks!” The snail gets into the car and turns the key. The engine purrs. The snail presses the accelerator and the roars. He drops it into gear and races out of the parking lot.

Ten minutes later, the car whips back into the lot. The snail gets out with a huge grin. “That was great! I’ll take it! But there’s just one thing…”

The salesman shifts a little. “Yes, sir…?”

The snail turns to look at the car and turns back to the salesman: “I want you to take off the “Z”.”

“But, sir… that’s… that’s….”

“That’s my condition. I’ll pay for it right now and drive the car off the lot, but the “Z” has to go. I want you to put an “S” on it, instead.”

The salesman looks a little uneasy. “Let me… see what I can do.” He heads inside of the dealership. He returns a few minutes later. “Okay, it looks like we can take care of that for you. It will take about twenty minutes.”

The snail smiles widely and says,”That’s no problem.”

The two go inside as a mechanic exits the building and drives the car into the auto shop. They fill out the paperwork and shortly afterwards, the snail and his new car are tearing out of the parking lot.

Another salesman comes over to the first one and asks,”So… what was that all about? The deal with taking the car into the shop and whatnot?”

“Oh, he wanted the “Z” removed from the car… and an “S” put on in its place.”

“Huh?! That’s weird.”

“Yeah, but look at that little “S” car go!”

“A working class hero is something to be…”

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"A working class hero is something to be..."

Thursday – 19 February 2009
Another Thursday/Friday begins. I’ve already been informed that if I would like to day to remain an NBN Thursday, that I should avoid the boss two rungs up the ladder – his day was already shot… two hours ago. On the plus side, I figured out “Hurdle One” with a PHP/SQL program I’m working on, now I get to add features onto it.

Last night was a lazy night in: NCIS (from Tuesday night) and reading of yesterday’s comics haul. Of the books that I read, the standouts were:

  • Action Comics #874
  • Batman #686: “What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”
  • Black Lightning: Year One #4
  • Green Lantern Corps #33
  • Supergirl #38
  • Tiny Titans #13

Additionally, my copy of Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes came in yesterday.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

Other than that, it’s another fun-filled, action-packed day in paradise…

Stray Toasters


U can’t touch this… but you can tune in.

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U can't touch this... but you can tune in.

Wednesday – 18 February 2009
I got home from work last night to find SaraRules making cheesesteak sandwiches! They were quite good and an excellent way to kick off the evening. I had emailed Chris and Keith, to see if they wanted to come over and play ‘Clix – Keith had a prior game scheduled and Chris wasn’t feeling well… but invited me over to play, if I wanted.


So, I headed over. I took the corner pieces, but not the master board. I printed out a few street tiles and just laid them out to “complete” the map. This time, Chris played the JLA:

  • Batman
  • Black Canary
  • Flash
  • Green Arrow
  • Green Lantern
  • Red Arrow
  • Superman and
  • Wonder Woman

I fielded the Avengers:

  • Black Panther
  • Captain America
  • Dr. Strange
  • Iron Fist
  • Iron Man
  • Luke Cage
  • Moon Knight
  • Quicksilver
  • Spider-Man and
  • Thunderstrike

I also learned a valuable lesson: If you’re planning a force with two tanks on your team, make sure that both of them are actually in your box before you leave home – I had planned on using Ms. Marvel (human), but the only figure I had was the Skrull version, which didn’t meet my theme requirement. *sigh* Oh, well. We didn’t dance around too long and then the throwdown began. We both had hot and cold-running dice, but mine ran ice cold for a long stretch. I think that one of the most improbable – but highly-amusing – melees occured when Chris scored a critical hit on Hercules… with the Flash. Not only did it hurt Herc, but it also moved him out of base-to-base contact with Red Arrow, who I was about to beat mercilessly. When all of the dust cleared (and time ran out), Chris had won the fight. Pictures of the fight can be found here.

Stray Toasters