Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“The game is afoot!”

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"The game is afoot!"

Thursday – 31 December 2009
Today is the last day of 2009.

Today is also the sixth day of Kwanzaa; today’s principle is: “Kuumba” or “creativity”:

To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

As I mentioned above, today is the last day of 2009.

This year has been full; among the more notable points of the year:

  • I lost a close and very dear friend,
  • My second niece was born,
  • I got married,
  • I lost another friend, just yesterday…

…but these are all part of “life.” And, as cliche as it might sound, it really is hard to appreciate the highs without experiencing the lows as well. By the same token, weathering the bad times makes you appreciate the good ones – and the family and friends that surround you – that much more.

SaraRules and I saw Sherlock Holmes last night. It was good; she was a little disappointed, in that she expected it to be more of a “Guy Ritchie movie.” I was pleased that it did not, in fact, turn into Snatch or RocknRolla or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law did admirable jobs of bringing Holmes and Dr. Watson to life. I’ve heard some people say that they were worried that the trailers made this look like too much of an action movie. Rest assured, it’s not… but, do consider that Sherlock Holmes was – to some extent – the “action hero” of his day and genre. All-in-all, it was a good movie and worth seeing.

Stray Toasters

I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve and a prosperous 2010.


‘Kneel before Zod!’

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'Kneel before Zod!'

Wednesday – 30 December 2009
And, just like that, 2009 is nearly at an end. I realized, over lunch, that today marks twenty-eight months since my first date with SaraRules.

Today is also the fifth day of Kwanzaa; today’s principle is “Nia” or “purpose”:

To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

Today was also Comics and Sushi Wednesday. The usual lunchtime crew was busy with other things. As SaraRules had a half-day at work today, she met me for lunch. It was good. The comics pickin’s were slim, but Dr. Volt’s is having a 30% off sale, so I picked up a couple of graphic novels and a Starman figure. (He’s packaged as a member of the JSA, but he’ll always be a Legionnaire, as far as I’m concerned.)

Stray Toasters


“I know you’re different, you know I’m the same…”

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"I know you're different, you know I'm the same..."

Tuesday – 29 December 2009
Time to see if WordPress is going to pull the digital equivalent of a rectal craniotomy this morning and actually work…

Today is the fourth day of Kwanzaa. Today’s principle is “Ujamaa” or “cooperative economics”:

To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

Yesterday, I wound up running a couple of errands and then having coffee with . We headed to Jitter Bug, which was the first time either of us had been there in… well… quite a while. It was a nice way to round out the afternoon.

After I got home, SaraRules and I pondered dinner options. We came up with the idea heading out to dinner, but needed to narrow down our options. We called Logan and Swiz to see if they were interesting in going with us. We settled on Famous Dave’s BBQ. Good call. Back at home, we watched one of the last episodes of Planet Earth; this one was on conservation. It was good without being overly preachy.

Stray Toasters

Off to face the day.


“Suddenly, ahead of me, across the mountainside…”

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"Suddenly, ahead of me, across the mountainside..."

Monday – 28 December 2009
Week 2 of vacation kicks off… and I’m trying to decide what to do with myself. Blah.

Today is also the third day of Kwanzaa. Today’s principle is:”Ujima” or “collective work and responsibility”:

To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

Yesterday, we headed over to the in-laws’ to see Meliko before she headed back to sunny (and warmer) California. After that, we came back home for a quiet day. Last night, we watched House of Flying Daggers. For some reason – despite owning the movie – I had never seen it before. If I had to summarize it in three words, I’d have to go with:

  1. Love
  2. Betrayal
  3. Duty

It was very good. I enjoyed the story, cinematography, the acting and the costuming. It also ended differently than I expected, but it was quite fitting.

Instant Replay: Football
So, I got married a couple of months ago. This isn’t exactly “news.” In the process, I not only gained another set of parents (so to speak), but I also inherited a new set of grandparents. Not only that, but grandmother-in-law is a football fan. More specifically, she’s an Arizona Cardinals fan. And she “gently reminded” me that I’ve been… remiss… in covering Cards games in my football coverage. So, starting this week, the Cards will get added to the list o’ teams that I run down.

And with that, on to the games:

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
20 – 23
I was surprised to see this televised in this market. Pleasantly surprised, yes, but surprised, nevertheless…

The Ravens played a decent game. I’d love to say that they played a “good” game, but they shot themselves in the foot with senseless penalties. How bad were the penalties? Well, let’s just say that they killed two scoring opportunities, which would have secured a win.

Despite giving the game away, Baltimore is still in the hunt for an AFC Wild Card spot, although they have dropped to the #7 Seed. They need a win in Oakland next week to get a Wild Card spot.


Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns
9 – 23
The Raiders dropped this one to… the Browns.

Sorry, SaraRules and [info]1silver_seraph.
Congratulations, .


Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins
27 – 20
Last week, it was the “former Houston team.”
This week, it was the “current Houston team.”
Both weeks, it was a loss.


Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
10 – 17
A late-in-the-game TD by Chad Ochocinco Johnson secured the win for the Bengals.

Congratulations, and .


St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
10 – 31
This was another game that wasn’t broadcast locally, but it looks as though the Cards had this one well in hand.

Congratulations, Marr.


Carolina Panthers at New York Giants
41 – 9
The Panthers went on the road to face the Giants in the last game to be held in The Meadowlands…

…and they came away with a win. A big win, at that.

In other football news

  • The Indianapolis Professional Football Club suffered their first defeat of the season, handed to them by the Jets… after Indy benched all of their starters.
  • The New Orleans Saints also took one on the chin in overtime… from the Buccaneers.

Tonight, the Vikings take on the Bears in what should be a good game.

Stray Toasters

Okay, it’s time to find some trouble to get into.


“Who do you want to be before you die?”

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"Who do you want to be before you die?"

Sunday – 27 December 2009
It’s almost 0930 and I’m awake. No phone. No knocking on the door. Just… awake and not feeling like sleeping any longer. I’m a little surprised, as I didn’t exactly make it “an early night” last night. *shrug* Onward and upward…

Today is also the second day of Kwanzaa. Today’s principle is “Kujichagulia” or “self-determination”:

To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

When I first read that, the thing that popped immediately into mind was the line from The Greatest Love of All:

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity

I think that the song, first out in 1977 – no, Whitney Houston wasn’t the first one to sing it (neither was Eddie Murphy) – exemplifies the principle of self-determination quite well.

Yesterday was a rather lazy day, with an odd set of bookend moments. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it started with breakfast with Perry and the kids. After some downtime at home, I decided to get out for a bit; I visited , as I hadn’t really talked with him in a while. After that, I met SaraRules at home and we then headed up to her parents’ place to see her brother’s girlfriend, who’s in town for the holiday. On the way home, I got a text message asking if I was up for getting some coffee; this came from my friend, Adrian, whom I haven’t seen in a couple of months’ of Sundays. I said that I was and wound up spending a couple of hours catching up… in the same restaurant where I had breakfast. (Have I mentioned “Welcome to Small Lake City,” lately?)

Today, the Ravens take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They beat the Steeltown boys a few weeks ago; it will be interesting to see if they can sweep them for the season.

Stray Toasters


“You could try to understand me, I could try to understand you…”

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"You could try to understand me, I could try to understand you..."

Saturday – 26 December 2009
Happy Birthday to !

Sorry your birthday is overshadowed by the holiday season

Today is also Boxing Day.
It is also the first day of Kwanzaa, which SaraRules and I are celebrating this year. (We enjoy multi-culturalism in our marriage and holidays – Midnight Mass for Christmas, Kwanzaa for post-Christmas!) Today’s principle is “Umoja” (Unity).

To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Although Kwanzaa was established as an African-American celebration, I choose to interpret “race,” in this instance, as humanity rather than a specific ethnic group.

Today started with breakfast with Perry and the kids. I played with the two-year-old as we ate. Considering that just… six or eight months ago… he still wasn’t sure what to make of me, I consider that a minor feat/accomplishment. SaraRules actually suggested breakfast earlier this week, knowing that Perry might need some time with adult company time as Kate is working all day today. Good call on her part. And, moreover, it was fun.

Stray Toasters

I have absolutely NO idea what is on tap for the rest of the day. I’m good with that.

Be good to one another.


Merry Christmas to all…

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Merry Christmas to all...

Friday – 25 December 2009
Merry Christmas!
I hope that everyone’s holiday has been safe and enjoyable.

Last night, SaraRules and I came up to her parents’ place for Christmas Eve. After dinner and A Muppet Christmas Carol (and general hanging out), we went to Midnight Mass at St. Vincent’s. The homily was good – the priest talked about Isaiah and his vision of Christ’s birth and what it meant, then and now.

Back to the in-laws’. Sleep.

This morning, we all got up and had breakfast that included, but was not limited to:

  • Homemade Hungarian rolls
  • Two-two-TWO kinds of Kielbasa
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Juice
  • Coffee

Twas very tasty, indeed. I called the family units – they’re doing well. And then… present time! Things I received in this year’s haul included:

  • A Baltimore Ravens Gnome and a Ravens calendar
  • ‘Clix (What can I say…? My in-laws know me well.)
  • A nice pair of gloves and some pocket squares.
  • A hippopotamus (that’s right… I got a Hippopotamus for Christmas)
  • Burn Notice (Seasons 1 & 2)
  • …and other stuffs.

It’s been very merry Christmas, indeed. We’re all just chilling out.

And, I’m about to play a bit of City before the lunch/dinner/movie-watching revelries begin.


” ‘Twas the night before Christmas…”

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" 'Twas the night before Christmas..."

Thursday – 24 December 2009
It’s been a busy past couple of days. The last of the Christmas shopping. Trips to the Post Office. Madness. Chaos. Mayhem.

In other words: “Relatively normal”.

On top of that, there was “Christmas card drama,” this year. SaraRules and I made and ordered our Christmas cards this past weekend. After putting the order in, I was going through the payment options. When I clicked “Confirm,” something… off… happened. The confirmation went through, but it confirmed the wrong shipping address for the cards. Basically, despite my saying “Use separate shipping and billing addresses,” the FedEx website decided to use the billing address only.


So… our cards were being shipped to Maryland. Great. I scoured the website for a “Contact Us” number. I found one and quickly called it. I talked with a CSR and explained the situation. His first response was: “Yes, that’s a known problem with the page.”

Really?! Then, how about having someone fix it?!

He took the correct shipping information, but said that it probably wouldn’t get corrected until Monday morning, when his supervisor came in. I said “Fine” and asked if there would be any sort of confirmation email, letting me know if/when the changes had been made. He said that there wouldn’t be. Again, great… So, I hung up and crossed my fingers.

Tuesday morning, I got a text message from my father:

Your holiday cards were delivered here. Give me a call w/ instructions.


By the time I called him, he’d already taken them to the Post Office and posted them via Express Mail. He said that they should arrive by noon on Wednesday. Okay. Good, and still workable.

Tuesday was a shopping and dealing with errands day. Tuesday evening, Chris and I got together to play a pre-Christmas game of ‘Clix. We went with a 1600-point (total) game. Our theme: Arkham Asylum Outbreak. Chris brought Batman (and company) and Gotham PD; I had the Batman Rogues Gallery. (Pictures here) The game lasted over three hours… and we still aren’t finished with it. We’ll get back to it in a week or so.

Wednesday morning, at 1100, the doorbell rang. It was our letter carrier. With our cards! Hoo-AH!  We started addressing the cards and envelopes. There was another knock on the door at 1120. It was a FedEx courier… with another shipment of cards. It seems as though FedEx, realizing their mistake, sent out a second batch of cards… to the correct address. *shrug* (It wasn’t a gift horse, nor was it made of wood, so I didn’t sweat it.)

The rest of the day was spent running around doing some last-minute shopping and then driving around playing Santa. After we were done with that, we headed up to the in-laws’ place – we were going with them to pick up Meliko from the airport. We did and hung out at the house for a bit before returning home.

Today, there was a bit of errand-running – including a trip to three (3) Post Offices, because two of them closed their counter service at noon – to ship off some gifts. There was also coffee with Perry. And gift-wrapping. And heading back up to the in-laws’, as we are spending Christmas Eve and Day with the family.

Stray Toasters

Okay, on with the merry-making.

Merry Christmas Eve!


“But, baby, it’s co-o-old outside…”

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"But, baby, it's co-o-old outside..."

Tuesday – 22 December 2009
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas the vershluggen inversion has set in… permanently. Fortunately, weather forecasters say that we have a stormfront moving in that will bring snow showers tonight or tomorrow. That should help clear the air for Christmas… I hope.

After yesterday’s outing with SaraRules and my m-i-l, we came home and had a little downtime. Said time included a much-needed nap for me. After I got up, SaraRules and I hit the mall to pick up a couple of gifts – in and out of the mall in under ten minutes(!) – and then headed downtown.

We met and checked out the lights at Temple Square. Let me rephrase that: “We planned to meet Nyx and wound up waiting for each other on opposite corners of the same intersection for about fifteen minutes before meeting up to see the lights at Temple Square.” Yeah, that is a much better explanation. And it’s far closer to the way things turned out. Let me also add: It was COLD last night. Seriously cold. Temple Square had throngs of people, which is far from atypical, especially at this time of year. The lights were nice and there were five Nativity creches to see, as well. Pictures of the outing can be seen here.

After the lights, SaraRules, Nyx and I headed to Coffee Connection to meet up with 365DayGirl. Nyx had been there – and mentioned that I should check it out – before. It was something of an eclectic place: The main entry area has a spartan, almost industrial feel; the “study area” was full of booths and had a bit of a diner-like feel to me; and the “lounge” area was full of couches and had a much more casual feel. We hung out and chatted for a while before calling it a night.

Stray Toasters

  • Thank Heaven, God and Baby Jesus for polypropylene long underwear.
  • How to Practice Mindfulness
  • Nyx sent me links to two amusing sweatshirts last night:
  • While watching How Do They Do It? yesterday afternoon, they had an item about modular houses built – within a week – by Huf Haus.
  • How to Teach Physics to Your Dog
  • It looks as though Corey Ivy will be taking Lardarius Webb’s place in the Ravens’ lineup.
  • Someone on HCRealms has posted a picture of the “Buy It by the Brick” HeroClix figure for the upcoming “Brave and the Bold” set:
  • East Coast Blizzard Seen From Space
  • District 9 is out today.
  • I’m not sure how many – if any – of you are familiar with the Mark Millar comic book, Kick-Ass

    Dave Lizewski, an otherwise ordinary New York City high school student and the child of Greg Willer, loving single father, takes his interest in comic books as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. He assembles a suit and mask, which he wears under his normal clothing, begins exercising, and practices things like walking on roofs, sating his ambitions for a time. He eventually seeks to fight crime, with his first attempt leading him to receive a severe beating and stabbing by thugs, followed by his wandering into the street and being hit by a car.[1] He retains his secret identity, however, stripping off and hiding his costume before paramedics arrive.

    …but there’s a live-action movie coming out next year. One of the characters in the book is Hit-Girl, a 12-year-old vigilante who patrols the city with her father, Big Daddy (portrayed by Nicolas Cage). Here’s a trailer of Hit-Girl’s… um… “greatest hits.” (Definitely for mature audiences)

  • Climate, Habitat Threaten Wild Coffee Species
  • Monkey knife-fighting with octopus tattoo

Time to get out there and face the day.)


I just got a message from my father: Our holiday cards were shipped to Maryland, rather than here… despite my calling FedEx to verify where they were supposed to go. *sigh* On the “plus” side, Dad had them Express Mailed here; we should have them tomorning.

“And away we go!”

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"And away we go!"

Monday – 21 December 2009
Vacation is good.
Sleeping in is good.
And in a bit, shopping will be good, as well. Not so much because of the joy of the crowds… but that’s to be expected at this time of year. The bonuses are that I’m hanging out with SaraRules and her mother… and that there’s a trip to Hobby Lobby involved. I don’t really need anything from there, but it’s Hobby Lobby and you just don’t know what you’ll find.

Yesterday was a good day that also involved some sleeping in. After that, there was football. And that was mostly good (details below). Then we were off to the in-laws’ for dinner and more football. Then, back home for downtime and a movie: Run, Lola, Run. I had heard of the movie before, but never seen it. So, thank you, Netflix. It was… interesting. I enjoyed the stylized look of the movie, as well as the “What if…?” aspect shown in each version of the story.

Instant Replay: Football
I missed the Thursday and Saturday games of Week 15, but the outcomes were:

  • The Colts remain undefeated
  • The Saints lost to the Cowboys, but are still atop the NFC playoff chart

In Sunday action:

Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens
7 –31
This was the game that almost became a Monday night doubleheader. As Baltimore got pummeled with two feet of snow, it was questionable whether the Bears would be able to fly in for the game on Sunday. As it was, the NFL agreed to postpone the game from 1300 to 1615. The Bears were able to make it into BWI late Saturday.I would have liked to have seen this game, but it wasn’t aired in the Land Behind the Zion Curtain. But, from the NFL.com Game Center coverage, it looked as though the Ravens came to play on both sides of the ball.

Additionally, this win not only keeps the Ravens in the hunt for an AFC Wild Card spot, it moves them up to the #6 Seed.


Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
20– 19
The Raiders took this one away from the Broncos… in Mile High Stadium. And that’s not even the crazy thing.  The “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…?!” moment belongs to Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell – who came in when Charlie Frye was taken out of the game – and led the drive that sealed the Raiders’ win.Congratulations, SaraRules and [info]1silver_seraph.


Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans
13 – 23
The Dolphins put up a good fight, but they lost this one in OT, when the Titans scored a field goal, after picking off a pass from Chad Henne.


Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs
41 – 34
This was another game that wasn’t broadcast locally, but the highlights were all over. The Browns had two players with record-tying or record-setting days:

  • WR Joshua Cribbs returned two punts for TDs, 100 and 103 yds.
  • RB Jerome Harrison rushed for 286 yards.

Congratulations, .


Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
7 – 26
The Vikings went to Charlotte to take on the Panthers.

When the game started, I noted that the starting QB for the Panthers was Matt Moore. I don’t remember hearing his name before. In a moment of clarity, I called my friend, William, to find out what the deal was. His response: “He’s Carolina’s savior, now that Delhomme’s on the bench.”

And, to his credit, Mr. Moore – along with RB Jonathan Stewart – put on one helluva show, as the Panthers took down the Vikings.

Sorry, .


Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
24 – 27
This was another game that wasn’t broadcast locally, but this one apparently came down to the wire.
Commisserations, [info]janietrain and [info]carefreespirit.

Stray Toasters

And, now… off to shop!

“You don’t remember me, do you…?”

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"You don't remember me, do you...?"

Sunday – 20 December 2009
Yesterday was a good – and full – day. I started at 0830… and was on the move until around 2300. But, it was worth it.

I started the morning with a call to my uncle; it was his birthday. SaraRules and I talked with him for a few minutes before we headed out to start our respective days: She was shopping with her mother; I was having coffee with Chris and Perry. After that, Chris and I headed up to Dr. Volt’s for another HeroClix tourney (pictures here). This time we had four people (including Chris) show – technically, it was five people… but the fifth showed up after I had started the first matches, so he opted not to play. He said that he’s in for the next tournament, though. Chris won the event, going 3-0.  He played Josh (one of the new arrivals) who until that game was also 2-0. Josh took home the Fellowship prize.

After I dropped Chris at home, I came home and then SaraRules and I headed to Five Guys for burgers and fries. They were, as usual, quite tasty. Back home to change and get ready to head out to the Utah Symphony Holiday Pops with Jerry! concert. It was a lot of fun, with a lot of good music… but, the best part of the concert came just after the concert:

I was walking backstage with SaraRules (she had to put away some work material), when we came to a doorway that led to steps from one of the upper tiers. A few people exited the door, among them an older lady in a red dress.

She turned and looked at me.
I looked at her.

She looked at me… like she knew me.
I looked at her… blankly.

She looked at me… like she knew me… and came over and took my hand.
I stood there… still not knowing her… not quite sure what to say.

“You don’t remember me, do you?  I’m Lotta Mae1 ” she smiled and said.
“I don’t believe that we’ve met before, ma’am,” I responded, warmly and with a smile.
“Oh… you’re not Eric, are you?”
“No, ma’am… I’m not.”
“Oh, well, then… I’m sorry.”

And, with that she walked off.

SaraRules and I continued down the hallway, she with a grin on her face. I was still completely in the dark as to exactly why, but I did find the situation a bit comical. After we got to her desk, SaraRules explained that after thinking about it, she understood why the woman thought that I was this “Eric” chap. As we were walking out, we saw Eric and she introduced us. Eric…

  • …is roughly my height
  • …is roughly my build
  • …is very similar to my complexion (Yep! There’s another Black guy in Utah!)
  • …also has a shaved head
  • …was also wearing a black suit.

That’s about where the similarities end:

  • He was in a white shirt; I was in a white/purple-striped shirt
  • He had a gold jacquard tie; mine was with purple with white/grey squares.
  • He was clean-shaven; I have a goatee.

When SaraRules explained to him what had just happened, he broke out in hearty laughter. I did, too. Again. We came to the conclusion that we were apparently Mirror Universe opposites and that Lotta Mae had failed to notice that I was actually the “evil twin.” (And, I actually made a Driving Miss Daisy joke to SaraRules about it on the way back to the car, as well.)

But, it was a heckuva funny way to end the evening. And for that reason, I’m naming Lotta Mae and Eric as co-Humans of the Day.

Stray Toasters

And now, I believe that it’s time for coffee and some form of breakfast.


1 – I’m not sure that’s how her name is spelled; since this is my story, I get to spell it the way I want. Hopefully, I’m at least close to how it’s supposed to be spelled.

“Everybody’s working for the weekend (and the end of the year!)…”

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"Everybody's working for the weekend (and the end of the year!)..."

Friday – 18 December 2009
It’s the end of the work week.
It’s also the end of my work year.
And, if that wasn’t enough, it’s a week before Christmas.
And, on top of THAT… in four (4) more days, the days will start getting longer again. Selah.

Last night, SaraRules and I ran some errands and made some (more) Christmas candy. When that was done, we watched Tuesday’s episodes of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday evening. What we didn’t do was watch the Colts-Jags game; from what we heard from SaraRules’ father, it actually turned out to be a good game. Oh, well. If it comes down to it, I’ll just look for the rebroadcast on NFL Network.

I slept fairly well last night, but – for the third time this week – I woke up due to a rather disturbing dream. You know the kind: The “Should I really be upset with Person X for that…?” kind. It took me a minute or two to realize that the transgression occured in a dream and to calm the urge to tell someone where to go, how to get there and where they could find a pair of gasoline drawers to wear on the way. *sigh* My subconscious is apparently a cruel and evil bastard.

On the plus side, today is the quiet Friday in the office. I’m not saying that one of the Star Wars movies or Green Lantern: First Flight might make their way onto the big monitor today… but I’m not not-saying it, either.

Stray Toasters


“Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I….”

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"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, I...."

Thursday – 16 December 2009
Day 3 of the work week and it’s NBN Thursday, to boot.  That’s a nice combination, no matter how you slice it.

Last night, SaraRules and I had one of her former MFA classmates, Sara… hm… I guess I’ll just have to refer to her as “Sara2″… over for dinner. SaraRules made chicken and dumplings for the entree. The ladies chatted about their experiences in the MFA program, including their trip to NYC a couple of years ago. I’d heard about this trip – part of the trip, anyway – from SaraRules; last night, I got some more behind-the-scenes info and insight, which was both sad and rather funny. All-in-all, dinner and the company were quite fun.

This morning, I woke up when the alarm went off… but I really don’t remember turning the alarm off. I do remember looking at the clock, a couple of minutes after the alarm sounded and wondering why it was not going off and why I was awake.  Yep, it was one of “those” mornings. But, I have my trusty cup of coffee at my side, so things can only look up from here.

Stray Toasters

Time to make the donuts…


“It’s Christmas at Ground Zero…”

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"It's Christmas at Ground Zero..."

Wednesday – 16 December 2009
Last night, SaraRules and I went out for dinner and then did a little errand-running. After we got home, I found my way to the couch… and The Dreaming. That’s right: I took a nap. SaraRules woke me up and suggested that I call it an early night. I did… but slept poorly. That wasn’t a great thing considering that I had the privilege of…

…coming to work early this morning. I was here a few minutes after 0700. We had a building-wide power outage (thanks to our friends at Rocky Mountain Power needing to do some line work), which meant that we had to take things offline last night and bring them back online this morning. In a perfect world, that would have been a piece of cake. In a perfect world. But, as Huey Lewis put it so eloquently: “Ain’t no livin’ in a perfect world…” Thus, we’ve been working at bringing recalcitrant systems back online and coordinating with other teams to find out what they need us to bring online versus what can remain powered down.

Stray Toasters


“They come runnin’, just as fast as they can…”

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"They come runnin', just as fast as they can..."

Tuesday – 15 December 2009
Back into the working grind.  Not too much to plow through… aside from about 40 emails. Those are easy enough to deal with.

Last night, for the first time in at least two years, I made “Chocolate Jolt” coffee bean-infused chocolates. This time, I tried something a little different – I added mint, kind of like Andes Chocolates. I haven’t taste-tested them yet, but they seemed to turn out alright.

Last night’s excursion to Barnes & Noble proved unfruitful… at least as far as I was concerned. SaraRules, however, had a big score and was able to find [SPOILER DELETED], which [SPOILER DELETED] should think is pretty awesome.

On the other hand, after a couple of calls to local Graywhale CD Exchange stores, I have finally found a copy of Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration! It took the clerk I spoke with a few minutes to locate it – for some reason, it was put in the “World Music” section. *shrug* “Ours is not to reason why…” He’s holding it behind the counter for me; I will have to see about getting it at lunch or after work.

Stray Toasters