Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“And so we commence…”

comics and animation, everyday glory, games, geekery, house and home 1 Comment »

Friday – 30 April 2010
Mother Nature apparently couldn’t resist one more joke: There have been flurries in the area today. Go figure.

As of 1100 this morning, SaraRules and I no longer have any ties with our now-former apartment complex. I went over to finish vacuuming and remove a few extra boxes from the move around 1000. After a final sweep of the apartment, I headed to the leasing office and handed over the keys. All things being equal, I don’t really have many bad things to say about the complex.  I’d even recommend it to someone looking for an apartment. But, as far as we’re concerned, it’s in the rear-view mirror.

Stray Toasters

  • As yet, I haven’t received a third call from Comcast collections. Maybe – just maybe – I won’t hear from them until the 11th, after all.
  • Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow.  For more information and find a local comic shop in your area is, go to http://www.freecomicbookday.com
  • WizKids has announced their upcoming Web of Spider-Man HeroClix set.
  • Insert something witty here.
  • Insert something witty here, too.

Off to see if I can’t find some trouble to get into before heading to Clitorati.


Notes from an NBN Thursday morning

arts and leisure, books, comics and animation, everyday glory, geekery, LEGO and Rokenbok, monkeys!, movies and TV, news and info, politics and law, science and technology, travel No Comments »
Notes from an NBN Thursday morning

Thursday – 29 April 2010
It’s another NBN Thursday morning.

Happy Birthday to Beckley, Joe and Lars:

You don't look a day over whatever age you were a few years ago

It was snowing when I woke up this morning.
Yes, I know it’s almost May.
Apparently, Mother Nature cares naught for such petty human concerns.

Stray Toasters

It’s almost meeting time. Again.


“Broke into the old apartment, this is where we used to live…”

comics and animation, everyday glory, geekery, house and home, movies and TV, office antics, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Broke into the old apartment, this is where we used to live..."

Wednesday – 28 April 2010
It’s snowing.
Yes, it was better than 70F a day or two ago.
Now, it’s not. According to The Weather Channel, it is 40F right now.
Yesterday, it was also very windy. A LOT of dust was blown into the valley from the desert, making things grey and drab.

Last night, SaraRules and I met at the old apartment to pick up some of the last few things we left there. Things were moving along nicely – we had loaded her car and had started putting things in mine – when, about 21:30/21:45, the power went out.

::: braincramp :::

The flashlight was at the house, as were the candles, so we were effectively done. We piled into our cars and headed home…

…only to discover that the power was out there, too.


The first and most immediate issue that created: No automatic garage door opener. And the door doesn’t seem to have a handle or manual method for opening it. So, we had the privilege of parking outside. No power also pretty much meant that unpacking most things was out. We found the flashlight and SaraRules tracked down a couple of the big candles and we sat around and chatted (and listened to the still-howling wind) until she nodded off. I tried – somewhat unsuccessfully – to stay away, but drifted off about 23:15.

At 23:34, the power came back on. I took advantage of the situation and prepped the coffee maker, put away some of the fortunately still-frozen food that we had brought from the apartment. Since I had been up and moving around, falling back asleep wasn’t the easiest thing, so I grabbed my GameBoy and played a few rounds of Tetris. Sleep found me about thirty minutes later.

Stray Toasters

  • No power + new house = BAH!
    (Of course, it kind of made the no TV/no Internet thing easy to cope with…)
  • I’m debating advancing my timetable for having DirecTV installed.
  • Check out Jim Lee’s variant cover for Legion of Super-Heroes #1

    “I’d buy that for a dollar!”
    (Who am I kidding?  It’s a Legion book.  I’d easily pay TWO dollars for it!)

  • From the “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…?!” file: Sprint employees fired for capturing shoplifter
  • Who was the best/worst astronaut… and why:
    • Captain Anthony “Buck” Rogers
    • Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson
    • Colonel Steve Austin


And with that, Kenneth and I are off to the South 40 to deal with a couple of issues with the kids down there. Pray for us.


“It’s quarter to 11, it’s time to make some ghetto heaven”

arts and leisure, dining and cuisine, engagement/wedding/marriage, everyday glory, family and friends, games, geekery, house and home, music, news and info, office antics, politics and law, science and technology, sports No Comments »
"It's quarter to 11, it's time to make some ghetto heaven"

Tuesday – 27 April 2010
Another day in the valley kicks off with sun and mild temperatures…

…too bad we’re supposed to take a thirty-plus degree dive over the next couple of days. Yep, we’re going from upper-60s/low-70s to… mid-40s. Lucky us.

Last night, we spent the evening with the in-laws, celebrating Steve’s birthday. There was bocce (the game, not the language), lots of good food:

  • Tasty grilled ribs
  • Rice pilaf
  • Salad
  • As well as potato salad and carrot salad for those who like them…

…marzipan cake and ice cream. And, boozy beverages. All-around win.

After SaraRules and I got back home, we decided to put the family room together. Somewhat. We moved furniture into its more or less permanent locations. We didn’t, however, put media away… as we are going to have to primer/paint the walls — they are in need of a little help, shall we say.

And the walls in my office? They don’t need help, they need a hero. I don’t know what color they were going for, but the walls just look… dingy. I was looking at how bright SaraRules’ office – next door to mine – looked at the same time of day with the same size window in it. It wasn’t quite a “day and night” difference, but it was definitely “day and dusk.” A fresh coat of white paint will do wonders for that room.

Stray Toasters


“Fish don’t burn in the kitchen, beans don’t burn on the grill…”

arts and leisure, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, football, house and home, movies and TV, news and info, style, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Fish don't burn in the kitchen, beans don't burn on the grill..."

Monday – 26 April 2010
Last night was our first night sleeping at the house. It made sense to sleep there as (almost) all of our stuff is there now… including/especially the bed. It wasn’t the most sound sleep I’ve ever had – I woke up a few times, for no reasons that I’ve been able to discern – but it is nice to be out of the shadow of the pending move.

Now comes the “Where did I put the [fill-in-item-name]…?!” portion of the move.

And figuring out what kind of desk I want.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
Today’s QotD actually comes in two parts, both of which are courtesy of Anne (one of the graduating MFAs from SaraRules’ program) to two other MFAs:

  1. You need Jesus. Or a midol and a snickers. Whichever.
  2. There really is only one way to give a PowerPoint presentation in your senior capstone class: still drunk.

…right on to the friction of the day.


“Well, we’re movin’ on up… to the (even more) East Side!”

everyday glory, house and home, IKEA, monkeys!, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Well, we're movin' on up... to the (even more) East Side!"

Sunday – 25 April 2010
The deed is done.
We’re officially residing in the new house.

And, I’m still without Interwebs at home.  Yeah.  I know. The basic story breaks down something like this:

Steve, the tech arrived about 1615 this afternoon. He went to the junction box on the street and then came back into the house, saying: “I have some bad news…”

It appears that there isn’t a line running from the box to the house. That’s not to say that there isn’t a conduit running from the box to the house – there is.  Steve said that it looked like someone had been trenching in the yard and just… pulled the line back down the conduit.

::: blink blink :::

So, Steve called the Comcast Mothership and had them set up a “pre-bury” plan. Basically, they’re going to come out, dig up a section of yard – and possibly the sidewalk – and drop a brand new line.

Installation date: 10 May 2010

That’s right. Two weeks out.


Oh, well. At least I’ll be able to get A LOT of unpacking and organizing done.

And, there’s possibly a trip or two to The Garden of Sweden in there, too. I need a new desk, after all.

Anyway… If anyone needs to contact me after working hours, phone or text me. Or just wait for me to respond via email/IM the next business day.

But, at least we’re in the house.

Until tomorrow.


Weekend Update

cyberpunk/steampunk, everyday glory, games, house and home, monkeys!, movies and TV, news and info, science and technology No Comments »
Weekend Update

Saturday – 24 April 2010
It’s the weekend and it’s going to be chock full of stuff. SaraRules was working at the “Kids in the Kitchen” event at Discovery Gateway this morning. I am in the middle of running a tournament. And, we have a wedding reception this evening.

On top of all of that, there’s that whole “move” thing tomorrow, too.

Yep. As weird as it might be to say: I’ll be glad when this weekend is in the rear view.

Stray Toasters

  • After yesterday’s call from a Comcast tech, I was hopeful – yet apprehensive – about actually having the service restored at the apartment last night. There was no service. *meh* I called Comcast to see what was up. Amber, the CSR I spoke with, informed me that they could get service restored at the apartment… but that I would have to cancel the connection order for the house – which is scheduled for tomorrow. The soonest that they would be able to reschedule the house connection: Wednesday or Thursday. O,o So… I told Amber not to do anything – leave the house connection scheduled for tomorrow and I’d just go without TV and Interwebs.  Hopefully, they’ll adhere to this schedule. In the words of Sting: “Tomorrow we’ll see…”
  • My Food Looks Funny
  • Full face transplant a success
  • WorldWorksGames has just released the update to their TerrainlinX Planner.
  • Disney announces Monsters, Inc. sequel
  • Screamsheet, a cyberpunk zine from 1988

That’s good for now.


“Nothing but static on Channel Z…”

comics and animation, everyday glory, games, geekery, house and home, monkeys!, movies and TV, music, news and info, science and technology, style, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Nothing but static on Channel Z..."

Friday – 23 April 2010
I am very glad that it’s Friday, even though it’s my “on” Friday. And it’s my week with The Leash.

Last night, I am not sure if I had my NBN Thursday ruined or not: When I got home from work, the cable was out. I didn’t worry too much about it, as I needed to pack a few things and it was good to not have the distraction. After I packed the items away, I flipped open the BlacIntosh to check something online. No go, Flight.

*blink blink*

I tried the TV again. No signal. I put the boxes in the car and headed to the house. When I got there, I decided to call Comcast to see what was going on. The first sign that there was something amiss came when the IVR said that I had a zero balance on the account. I knew that this was wrong, as I hadn’t yet paid the bill. So, after dialing through the menu, I got to talk to an actual person. After making his way through the details he found the problem:

Our disconnect order went through yesterday, sometime after SaraRules had gone to work.

This was the precise issue that I had been hoping to avoid. In fact, I asked the CSR I spoke with a few days ago – more than once – to verify that it wouldn’t happen.

::: grblsnrkx :::

Granted, we won’t be at home a lot over the next 48 hours, but when we are there, it would be nice to have TV and Internet access. Just sayin’. So, I asked if they could reconnect the service. The CSR said sure and then checked for the first available date. He found one: 27 April 2010. There was only one (slight) problem with this: We’re moving on 25 April 2010.

::: braincramp :::

New-CSR said that he’d leave a message for the morning dispatcher to see about expediting the issue. I was supposed to hear back a little after 0800 this morning. It’s now a little after 1000. I got tired of waiting, so I called them.  And I have an answer: It appears that we will be service-free at the apartment until we move, because they would have to issue a reconnection service ticket to have us hooked back up. And the earliest date possible for that: Monday. *sigh* This isn’t making my choice to return to DirecTV later this summer any more difficult, I have to say. And, now I’m even contemplating a transfer of Internet service, as well. And, I’m not-so-oddly reminded of a lyric from Neurotica, by Rush:

The world is a cage for your impotent rage
But don’t let it get to you

Too late. It’s gotten to me. But, I did at least have the foresight to agree to have a “Customer Satisfaction Survey” call back, this time. It may be just a bunch of button pushing or talking to yet another IVR, but at least I’ll get some of the irritation of this situation off my chest.

Stray Toasters

On with the show…


“…but you’ve gotta promise me I’ll be back in time.”

comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, food for thought, football, history, house and home, movies and TV, music, news and info, office antics, science and technology, style No Comments »
"...but you've gotta promise me I'll be back in time."

Thursday – 22 April 2010
It’s another NBN Thursday in the valley and it started off with… well… I wouldn’t go so far as to say “flurries,” but there was “some snow” falling when I left the apartment this morning.

It’s also Earth Day.

I wonder if the next planet we destroy will also get its own holiday

Last night, SaraRules and I packed up a good portion of the things in the kitchen. I’ll probably tackle the pantry, the remains of the office and some of the bedroom closet this evening. Have I recently mentioned that I’ll be happy when all of this “moving” business is done?

Stray Toasters


On a rainy Wednesday…

everyday glory, family and friends, football, games, geekery, human of the day, news and info, office antics, science and technology, style, travel No Comments »
On a rainy Wednesday...

Wednesday – 21 April 2010
Another Comics and Sushi Wednesday is upon us.
And, it’s also Melissa S.’s birthday:

Your birthday is a welcome opportunity to celebrate something in April unrelated to hideous biblical tragedies

Last night, Chris and I were supposed to get together to play dolls. Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Jeremiah – one of the guys from Dr. Volt’s – asking if we would be interested in checking out the store’s display copy of the soon-to-be-released Blackest Night set.

Um… YES!

So, after work – and a quick dinner with SaraRules – Chris and I met at Jeremiah’s. And we saw the new hotness. And it was good. Selah. I’m looking forward to picking up this set. After we shot the bull for a while, we finally decided to play a game. 1200 points. Chris vs Jeremiah and me. (Pictures here.) In the hour-and-a-half we played, there was only one casualty: Jeremiah’s Sinestro Corps Batman. And then it was time to put away our toys and go home. It was, nevertheless, fun.

I’ll take a moment here to thank SaraRules for suggesting that I take the evening off from the hullaballoo of packing and do something fun. Best. Wife. Ever. In fact, let’s just cut to the chase and make her today’s Human of the Day.

Stray Toasters


“You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder…”

books, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, games, geekery, house and home, movies and TV, music, news and info, politics and law, science and technology, The Covet List No Comments »
"You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder..."

Tuesday – 20 April 2010
It’s another warm, sunny day in the valley. It’s supposed to get into the mid 70s this afternoon.  I tell you, a guy could get used to this…

Last night, I ferried some boxes to the house. And, in prep for moving more boxes, I cleaned out the trunk of my car. It needed it. Desperately. On the plus side, I found a CD that I’d thought had gone AWOL. I count that as a “Win.”

Back at home, I tried to make some sense of the chaos that has become the living room. I’ve become painfully aware of how… difficult… packing can be with out a large area – like a garage – in which you can stage things. My best solution was to clear out a section in the office and use that to store boxes that have been packed. That helped a bit. We packed ten more boxes, mainly of books and things from the office bookcases. (That makes for heavy boxes, but them’s the breaks…)

Stray Toasters


Back in the Monday saddle again…

dining and cuisine, everyday glory, family and friends, games, geekery, house and home, IKEA, news and info, office antics, politics and law, science and technology, travel 1 Comment »
Back in the Monday saddle again...

Monday – 19 April 2010
Goodbye, weekend.
Hello, work day grind.
At least the weather is nice. I might even have to go for a constitutional later today.

Yesterday saw a little more work around the house. And… (yet) another trip to Home Depot. At this rate, I’m beginning to wonder how long it will be before employees there know us on a first name basis. This time, we needed to get a lawnmower… and a few other items. We got what we needed and went to put them to work.

SIDENOTE: I’m… not the biggest fan of the former owners’ landscaping in the front yard. I understand the concept, but find the execution to be poor. (Sort of an ” ‘A’ for effort…” kind of thing.) It’s a little disjointed — there are three distinct areas in the landscaped bit, with no real cohesion between them. And, I find it annoying to mow around. I have some ideas of how I’d like to redo that area, but they will have to wait.  But, you better believe that I was mentally cursing whomever thought that curved lines were the way to go there.

Logan and Swiz came over just after I finished the yard work. (It was almost as if they were waiting around the corner until it was done…) They came to see the new floor. They liked it. They hung out and chatted for a little while, before heading out to The Garden of Sweden.

We cleaned up and headed back to the apartment to get cleaned up and ready for dinner. We headed up to SaraRules’ parents’. Dinner included bratwurst and mojitos. Selah. After dinner, we took the in-laws over to the house, so that they could see things post-paint/post-floor. Then, it was back to their house for dessert and then, it was back to the apartment for us. More packing! YAY! And, I managed to catch up on an hour of 24 while packing. Win-Win.

Stray Toasters

And that’s a wrap!


“Easy like Sunday Morning…”

books, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, food for thought, house and home, movies and TV, news and info, science and technology, style, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Easy like Sunday Morning..."

Sunday – 18 April 2010
To quote Bjork: “It’s oh so quiet…”

The only real sounds I am hearing at the moment are the clock on the wall, birds chirping and my typing. Of course, it’s seven-thirty on a Sunday morning, so it’s kind of expected, to be honest. But, I’ve already had eight (8) hours of sleep, so I believe I’m up for the day… unless a nap creeps in somewhere.

Yesterday’s flooring work totally kicked my trash. On the other hand, SaraRules and I learned a very useful new skill: How to install a floor. (Hopefully, it won’t be a skill we have to put into practice too often.)  For those who didn’t see the before and after shots, you can click here to view them. After all of the work we’ve put in over the past couple of weeks, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: We’re moving next weekend. That will be good. Not only because we’ll finally be in the house, but also because it means that we’ll be done with splitting our time between trying to get the house ready/trying to pack up the apartment. It begins to wear you out, after a while. But, in the words of Sam Cooke:

It’s been a long time coming,
But I know a change is gonna come…

And I can’t wait.

Stray Toasters

Time to see what the day holds.


Saturday: Aftermath

everyday glory, family and friends, house and home, human of the day No Comments »
Saturday: Aftermath

Fait accompli.
“It is finished.”

After nearly six (6) hours of prep, cutting, hammering and gluing… the dining room floor has been installed!

SaraRules and I met Minion #2 — who is steadily working his way up to “Henchman #1” — this morning and headed to Home Depot to pick up supplies for the job. Quick trip in and out.

Our next stop: The house. We unloaded our car and the truck and got on with the gettin’ on. We pulled up the last few feet of tack strip and decided on a game plan. We started from the north dining room wall and worked our way back towards the wall shared with the guest bedroom.

How does it look?  Take a gander for yourself:

We think it looks pretty damned good. The last touch is to find a chair rail that we like and apply it to the walls.

All-in-all, it was a busy — but very productive — day.

SaraRules just nominated Minion #2 as today’s Human of the Day for all of his help in getting things done this morning/afternoon. I can’t say that I disagree with her on that.

House… continued.

everyday glory, house and home No Comments »

Saturday – 17 April 2010
SaraRules and I are up…
…getting ready to meet Minion #2…
…pick up some tools and install a new floor.

Details later.