Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

…out like a lamb.

books, computers, event, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, football, games, geekery, house and home, kids, movies and TV, trains/model railroads, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
...out like a lamb.

Monday – 31 December 2012
The end of the world year is here.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
Today is the last day of 2012. Some of the experiences of the year include:

  • I left my old job and found another one.
  • Team DiVa had their first birthday party.
    • They also started walking, talking, signing and doing other all-around amazing things.
  • I started a new blog: Pinstripes and Polos
  • My mother went back to work… as a consultant.
  • We did some renovations to the house and grounds:
    • We tore down the gazebo to facilitate new landscaping in the back yard.
    • We started felling trees and shrubbery in front yard, also to accomodate new landscaping.
    • We built a new gate to replace the one that a storm demolished. (I need to replace one of the sides of the gate – again! – following another storm.)
    • The Train Room has been finished; I just need to schedule an appointment to have carpet installed.
  • I turned 42… I’m still not sure what the Ultimate Question is, but I do know where my towel is.
  • My fifth niece was born.
  • I played City of Heroes for the last time. Ever.
  • We got to celebrate a very lovely Christmas with Sara!’s family.

…and, as I said a couple of years ago: “…these are all part of ‘life.’”

On the whole, 2012 was a good year. I am thankful for the many new people I met and I am grateful for the many wonderful things that I got to experience. If you were part of my year – no matter how big or small a part – thank you for the pleasure of your company and for being a part of my journey.

Stray Toasters

  • Over the past few days, Sara! and I have combatted the 2012 Death Plague. I’m not sure where we picked it up, but I’m glad to have it in the proverbial rear view mirror. I didn’t leave the bedroom for over 18 hours (Thu night/Friday) and for 10 of those hours, I didn’t even leave the bed. Sara! was laid up all day Saturday and part of the day on Sunday. Somehow, Team DiVa seem to have avoided the worst of it.
  • Sunday afternoon, I headed to the airport to see my friend, Megan, during a long layover. While there, I also ran into Dave, Erica and Aria, as well as former Utah Opera Resident Artist John Buffett. Superpower-on-overdrive for the end-of-year win!
  • I’ve finally gotten around to continuing the Sword of Truth series, which was suggested to me years ago by my friend, Jess. (It was one of her favorite series.) It’s equal parts thrilling and maddening. I’ve also learned that having access to the Internet while reading/listening is not always a necessarily “good” thing, as I have semi-spoiled a couple of things for myself.
  • Snow. 10″ in the past week and we’re having flurries now.
  • I really need to figure out exactly what I want to do with the spare computers around here.
  • While they lost their last game, the Ravens are still the #4 Seed in the AFC and made the playoffs for the fifth straight year under Head Coach John Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco.
  • By way of Mike B.: Off Topic: A Movie So Bad, It’s Good: The Legacy of Road House
    I’ve not seen the movie before, but this just about makes me want to invest the hour-and-a-half to see it.
  • I’m sure that there were eleventy-billion other things I was planning on adding to this list. Oh, well.

I wish you a very happy and prosperous 2013 and beyond.


Merry Christmas!

event, everyday glory, family and friends No Comments »
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday – 25 December 2012

(Photograph by Amanda Nelson of Amanda Nelson Photography and Design)

“And the meek shall inherit the earth…”

art, books, comics and animation, computers, dining and cuisine, environment, everyday glory, games, geekery, movies and TV, music, trains/model railroads No Comments »
"And the meek shall inherit the earth..."

Friday – 21 December 2012
…or as I would write it in short form: 21 Dec 12.
…more to the point: 21 – 12. (With an extra “12” for good measure.)

And this is the last 21-12 of the century.

And with that in mind, I give you: 2112

“Overture” and “Temples of Syrinx”


The whole “A” side of 2112:

  • I. Overture
  • II. Temples of Syrinx
  • III. Discovery
  • IV. Presentation
  • V. Oracle (The Dream)
  • VI. Soliloquy
  • VII. The Grand Finale

According to the Mayan Calendar, the Fourth World ends today and the Fifth World begins. (Sorry, Jack Kirby.)

Last night, Sara! and I watched Men In Black 3 for Movie Date Night.


I thought that it was a fun romp and a nice way to wrap up the series; I think that Sara! thought that it was alright. (It was better than MIB2.) And, Josh Brolin does a very good Tommy Lee Jones.

Stray Toasters


And then, it was Tuesday.

business and economy, computers, event, everyday glory, games, house and home, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, quote of the day, space, trains/model railroads, zombies No Comments »
And then, it was Tuesday.

Tuesday – 18 December 2012
Christmas is nigh upon us.

Sara! and I finally got our Christmas cards back from the printer. We are quite pleased with them. Last night, before addressing envelopes, I may have put a loop of track and a trolley under the tree. Tonight, I may put a few buildings under there. We shall see…

Vanessa surprised me last night with a new phrase: “Chocolate milk.” It came out more like “Chah-mick,” but she was pointing at my then-full glass of chocolate milk when she said it… and then, along with Diana, proceeded to drink about half of the glass of milk before I got a sip myself.

Vanessa (l) and Diana

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
From a conversation with Sara! yesterday:

 Hmm… which makes me think Jet Li won’t be in it… you certainly can’t have two Asian actors in the same action film.
 Kind of like the “No Two Black Guys” rule on The Walking Dead.
Exactly! Come to think of it… there’s only one black guy in Expendables
Also true.

Twelves. And more.

art, everyday glory, football, games, geekery, house and home, kids, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, office antics, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Twelves.  And more.

Wednesday – 12 December 2012 Sunday – 16 December 2012
Midweek. Check.
New comics day. Check.
Movie Date Night. Check.

Everyone seems to be going ape over the 12/12/12 thing. Personally, I’m waiting  for the 21st. (Rush fans will understand.)

Yeah. This post started on Wednesday. Then I figured that I’d just finish it on Thursday, which didn’t happen because things went eight kinds of sideways at work. How bad? Think: “Sixteen-hour-day.” Yeah, it was like that.

And Friday? Yeah there was some busy-ness there, too. Not as bad, but still some running around.

Yesterday, I had a tournament and by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was veg. I was so tired that I barely made it through last night’s Action Movie Saturday fare: The Living Daylights.” It was, I think, the last Bond movie – other than Skyfall – that I haven’t seen. It wasn’t a great movie. In fact, I thought that it was at least as cheesy as – if not more cheesy than –  the later Roger Moore Bond films.

Things have been good on the home front. Team DiVa has been full of surprises lately. They’re learning to climb on more things. Their vocabularies are growing, too. They both surprised me the other day when they looked at my cup of coffee and said, “Cocoa?” (They’ve had – and liked – hot chocolate, so it wasn’t a stretch for them t0 assume that I was drinking cocoa.) Clever girls.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
Today’s Wednesday’s quote actually comes from a few days ago. What?! I’ve been busy.

After the new trailer for Star Trek: Into Darkness came out, there was a lot of buzz about who the villain would be. Khan? Trelaine? Someone new?

I was chatting with John, my brother-in-law, and we had this exchange:

(12/8/2012 5:55:32 PM) John: http://entertainment.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/06/15736805-khaaan-maybe-star-trek-2-movie-teaser-wont-say-or-will-it?lite
(5:55:36 PM) John: what say you?
(12:02:46 PM) Rob: And I say, “Gary Mitchell.”
(12:02:54 PM) Rob: Seems to be the prevailing thought at this point.
(12:03:01 PM) John: No Khan, eh
(12:03:33 PM) Rob: Don’t think so.
(12:03:43 PM) Rob: We had a alot of discussion about it Thursday/Friday
(12:03:53 PM) John: At first I was kind of excited by the possibility…then I got kind of annoyed b/c I think they’d probably screw it up after all this time
(12:04:03 PM) John: Sometimes you have to leave the classics alone
(12:04:04 PM) Rob: And it seems as though Karl Urban let it slip in an interview a couple of weeks ago.
(12:04:30 PM) Rob: I’d be okay if Khan was in the movie… as long as they spun the story in a different direction.
(12:04:53 PM) John: Bingo. I don’t want a damn remake
(12:05:12 PM) John: I’m kind of biased…ST2 is in my top 10 movies
(12:05:25 PM) Rob: In my Top 5, I think.
(12:05:42 PM) John: Also has one of my top 10 movie lines ever too
(12:05:46 PM) Rob: It’s a solid piece of movie-making, with a sci-fi candy-coated shell.
(12:05:58 PM) John: KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN goes well with “KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!” and “Time…to die”
(12:06:11 PM) Rob: heh
(12:06:14 PM) Rob: True enough.
(12:06:18 PM) John: (the latter STILL my favorite movie scene ever)
(12:06:43 PM) Rob: For me it’s: “You… you, I do not know. But you… I never forget a face. Mr…. Chekov!”
(12:06:52 PM) shadorunr: (even though they never met on the original show.
(12:06:57 PM) John: Details.
(12:07:02 PM) shadorunr: Exactly.
(12:07:13 PM) Rob: It happened during a commercial, as far as I’m concerned.
(12:07:17 PM) John: lol
(12:07:31 PM) John: Maybe they ran into each other at the bridge’s urinal line. Who knows.
(12:08:25 PM) Rob: to the Bat-IMDb!
(12:08:28 PM) Rob: Khan says to Chekov, “And you – I never forget a face. Chekov, isn’t it?”. Although Chekov was not a bridge officer in the TV show that first featured Khan, it should be remembered that when Khan first took over Enterprise, he started with the engineering deck. Chekov was engineering ensign at the time, according to the movie’s novelization.
(12:08:34 PM) Rob: Tada!
(12:08:50 PM) John: Eh…I like the urinal explanation better.
(12:08:54 PM) Rob: Ditto.
(12:09:08 PM) John: “Oh yeah…well…he was in…engineering. Yes, engineering.”
(12:10:21 PM) Rob:  From Wikipedia:

Pavel Andreievich Chekov is a young and naïve ensign who first appeared on-screen in The Original Series’ second season as the Enterprise’s navigator. However, The Wrath of Khan established that he had been assigned to the ship sometime before the first season episode “Space Seed”, since Khan remembers him in the movie. Koenig joked that Khan remembered Chekov from the episode after he took too long in a restroom Khan wanted to use

(12:10:46 PM) John: hahahaha!!!
(12:10:50 PM) John: See?
(12:11:01 PM) Rob: So it is written, so must it be.

And for the day’s final miracle: As of 10:03 PM MDT, the painting of the train room is complete!


December 7th

art, comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, family and friends, history, kids, movies and TV, style and fashion, toys No Comments »
December 7th

Friday – 07 December 2012
Today is the  71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.

“…a day that will live in infamy.”

Today is also the day that Diana turns 15-months-old:


Stray Toasters

  • Soup. That’s what’s for lunch, late though it is. I’m having the Campbell’s Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. It has a little more “bite” than the Progresso Chicken Gumbo. Not to say that one is necessarily better than the other; both have their good qualities.
  • Best Art Ever (This Week)
  • I kind of covet this Dark Phoenix.
  • WWII War Paint: How Bomber-Jacket Art Emboldened Our Boys
  • Last Resort. I just learned today that it will be ending after its 13th episode. That’s a pity, it’s been a great show. But, according to one of the show’s creators, they will be able to wrap up the story before it ends.


“I don’t know… I’m making this up as I go.”

comics and animation, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, football, games, house and home, kids, movies and TV, music, style and fashion No Comments »
"I don't know... I'm making this up as I go."

Sunday – 02 December 2012
The holiday season is here.

Oh, wait… retailers would say that I’m at least a week out. Feh. I’m sorry, the Christmas season doesn’t start the day after Hallowe’en. Just saying. Besides, I still need to hear Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth before it’s really the season in my book.

Friday night, the sun set on Paragon City for the last time when NCSoft shut down the City of Heroes servers. I decided to log in and be online when the game shut down. I was also able to meet up with a few members of my supergroup.  Um, my former supegroup.

It was nice to get to hang out with them as the game ended. Over the past year or two, I found that the amount of time that I played CoH/CoV diminished, but it was still a fun diversion and I really enjoyed my time in Paragon City. I look forward to seeing what (former) lead designer Matt Miller and company do next.

Today, Sara!, Team DiVa and I went to the local Williams-Sonoma to the Artisans’ Market this afternoon. There were some interesting local vendors and their creations there today. For example, we sampled a really good Nicaraguan coffee as well as a very tasty eggplant spread.

After a much shorter-than-it-should be nap by the little ladies, we watched a good portion of the Steelers-Ravens game.

Diana in a …purple pteranodon onesie?
Sure! It’s close enough to a bird AND it’s a dinosaur! Win-Win!
And every game is better with a 360 controller or two!

Vanessa with my… um, “her”… mini-football.

The family, watching the game…

I missed most of the second half because… well.. kids. They need watching and they are more important than a football game.

Instant Replay: Football
Last night was the only game that I was really concerned with this week:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
23 – 20
Two weeks after the Ravens went to Pittsburgh, the Steelers came to Charm City.The Ravens were in black jerseys and white pants, not their all-black look, as I was expecting.

The Steelers left Baltimore with a win. But, despite the loss, the Ravens are still atop the AFC North and two games ahead of the Steelers.

Congratulations, Bonne, Bret and Uncle Ronnie.


Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
20 – 17
The Browns traveled to Oakland and beat the Raiders in their own house.Sorry, Sara! and Rob.


Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
20 – 13
The Bengals went to Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs.Congrats, Janie and Becky.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
23 – 31
The Bucs went to Mile High to face Peyton Manning and company… and left with a loss.Congrats, Dana and Sean.

Stray Toasters

It’s getting late.  I should call it a night now.