Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

Team DiVa Tuesday – 14 January 2014

art, cars, comics and animation, everyday glory, food for thought, geekery, human of the day, kids, movies and TV, music, stage plays and theatre, toys 1 Comment »
Team DiVa Tuesday - 14 January 2014

Tuesday – 14 January 2014
Life with kids can be interesting. It would probably be best to say that life with kids is often interesting. That’s not to say that it’s not fun. And exciting. And, all too often, very amusing.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve introduced the concept of “time out” to Team DiVa. It’s been met with mixed results. Most often, when one of the girls does something to antagonize her sister and I tell them they’re going to time out, they either:

  • Start saying “I not going to time out! I not going to time out!,”
  • Make a bee-line for Sara!,
  • Start crying,
  • Some combination of all of the above.

But, time out usually happens. (They do not like it.) And they stay there until they tell me why it is that they are in time out. Once they tell me that, I ask them what they need to do to get out of time out, which is usually finding their sister, saying they are sorry and giving their sister a hug.

So, you can imagine my surprise – and amusement – when I came home from work today to find that the girls had introduced something new to their toys. They have a handful of Fisher-Price Little People figures, including three Wonder Woman figures and a Batgirl figure. They would have the figures playing, hit them together, then tell one figure that it was going to time out.

Puddle Jumpers!

Puddle Jumpers!

Team DiVa and grandparents

Team DiVa and grandparents

Also, this:

Stray Toasters


New week. New post.

basketball, books, business and economy, comics and animation, computers, cyberpunk/steampunk, environment, everyday glory, family and friends, geekery, history, house and home, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, music, science and technology, stage plays and theatre, toys, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
New week. New post.

Monday – 22 April 2013 It’s been a bit and I have some time (at least I did last night), so I figured that I should get in a new post. Today is Earth Day. Last week, Sara! and I finally got around to watching Django Unchained.


It was a very Tarantino take on a “historical movie” in the same way that Inglorious Basterds was a “historical movie.” (With this in mind, I’m not really sure what everyone’s beef with it was. It’s not Roots, but it’s not trying to be Roots, either.) I found it to be a fun – and funny – movie. It entertained. It told a story. And it didn’t take itself overly seriously in doing so. cowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hat This weekend was a good one. Saturday morning, Sara!, Team DiVa and I had breakfast with our friend Steve, who was in town with the touring production of West Side Story. We went to The Other Place, not just because it’s a good place for breakfast – and was close both to where Steve was staying and the theatre – but also because it’s a kid-friendly place. As an added bonus, I was able to scheme with our friend, Josh, to get him (and his wife, Aly and their very cute five-month-old daughter) to surprise Sara and Steve. Sara suspected that something was afoot, but Steve was surprised. I’ll still take that as a “Win.” After breakfast, we came back home and I played with Team DiVa for a bit before heading out for a ‘Clix event: Month Five of the WizKids’ “No Man’s Land” event. It was a sealed booster draft – buy two booster packs and build a team – and my packs were not really full of “awesome.” But, I built a team and I played. I wound up going 1-4, but since I normally don’t get to play (and I already had the prize support for the event), I was just there to have fun. And I did. After the game and dinner, Sara! went to see West Side Story; I stayed home with Team DiVa. We watched some Team Umizoomi. We read Moo, Baa, La La La and Barnyard Dance. We put money in their banks. We got them ready for bed. All things considered, they took great mercy on me. After post-bedtime cleaning, I played a bit of DC Universe Online and then watched my first episode of David Tennant’s Doctor Who. I liked it. I look forward to seeing more of his Doctor. Sunday was a fairly low-key day. Breakfast. Shopping. Hanging out at home. I also mowed the lawn for the first time this season. Hell, the first time this year. Sara’s parent’s came over for dinner. Sara! and I also watched Disney’s Tarzan; I haven’t seen it in years, but Sara! had never seen it. It’s not necessarily the best movie ever, but I enjoy it. I also watched my second Tennant Who episode. Stray Toasters


“…one day, they will join you in the sun.”

art, comics and animation, computers, everyday glory, geekery, house and home, kids, movies and TV, music, stage plays and theatre No Comments »
"...one day, they will join you in the sun."

Wednesday – 17 April 2013
Movie Date Night.
NBN Thursday Eve.

Sunday, Sara! suggested that we take Team DiVa to Wheeler Farm to see the animals. The girls had fun looking at and identifying them. After we walked through the “farm” part, we went to the playground area. They even went down the big kids’ slide… on our laps. But that’s not the point. They – and we – had fun.

Speaking of the ladies: The girls’ vocabulary is growing, as well. And they are starting to put two- and three-word phrases together. It’s been neat listening to them express themselves.

Monday, I finally got around to mudding and taping the last two corners of the train room closet. It still needs sanding. And there’s a chance that I’ll have to go over things with a second coat of joint compound before putting on the topping compound, but it’s that much closer to being done.

Stray Toasters


“Show, Don’t Tell…”

art, comics and animation, computers, dining and cuisine, education, event, everyday glory, exhibits, family and friends, food for thought, health, history, movies and TV, music, office antics, politics and law, stage plays and theatre, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, zombies No Comments »
"Show, Don't Tell..."

Thursday – 23 February 2012
Another No Bad News Thursday is upon us. Something that makes this day just a little bit better: The girls slept through the night again!

Vanessa (l) and Diana, in new headbands… rocking out with their Sophies and some tissue paper

This more than made up for the atrocious nights’ sleep that I had. More unpleasant dreams and great case of heartburn. YAY!

SaraRules! had another Justice League meeting last night, so her father came over to dote over his granddaughters help me get the girls fed and to bed. And, to be honest, dote a bit. He and the girls played a bit. They took pictures. They told stories about the war.  (Okay, that was just to make sure that you were really paying attention.) Then it was dinner (carrots) time and before too long… time for bed and a story.

SaraRules!, on her way home from saving the world, stopped and got me Chinese food take-out. As it was a bit late for Pasta & Movie Date Night, we opted to finish off the first half of this season’s The Walking Dead. Wow. Some things wound up the way I expected, while I didn’t see a couple of things coming. (Yay for avoiding spoilers for the past two months!)

Chew on This: Food for Thought – Black History Month
Today’s profile is: Madam C.J. Walker, an African-American businesswoman, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Madam C.J. Walker (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919) was born Sarah Breedlove in Delta, Louisiana to Owen and Minerva Breedlove. She was one of six children. Her parents and elder siblings were slaves on Madison Parish plantation owned by Robert W. Burney . She was the first child in her family born into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Orphaned at the age of seven, Madam C. J. Walker moved in with her older sister, and brother-in-law, Willie Powell. At the age of 14, she married Moses McWilliams to escape Powell’s abuse. Three years later her daughter, Lelia McWilliams (A’Lelia Walker) was born. When Sarah was 20, her husband died. Shortly afterward she moved to St. Louis where three of her brothers lived. Her second marriage to John Davis ended in 1903.

Driven by her own struggles with hair loss during 1890s, Madam C. J. Walker began experimenting with different hair care treatments and products. In 1905 she invented a method for straightening African-Americans’ “kinky” hair: her method involved her own formula for a pomade, much brushing, and the use of heated combs. Encouraged by her success, she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she married Charles J. Walker. She promoted her method and products by traveling about the country giving lecture-demonstrations. Soon Sarah, now known as “Madam C. J. Walker,” was selling her products throughout the United States. While her daughter Lelia (later known as A’Lelia Walker) ran a mail order business from Denver, Madam Walker and her husband traveled throughout the southern and eastern states. They settled in Pittsburgh in 1908 and opened Lelia College to train “hair culturists.” In 1910 Walker moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she established her headquarters and built a factory.

She began to teach and train other black women in order to help them build their own businesses. She also gave other lectures on political, economic and social issues at conventions sponsored by powerful black institutions. After the East St. Louis Race Riot, she joined leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in their efforts to support legislation to make lynching a federal crime. In 1918 at the biennial convention of the National Association Of Colored Woman (NACW) she was acknowledged for making the largest contribution to save the Anacostia (Washington, DC) house of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. She continued to donate money throughout her career to the NAACP, the YMCA, and to black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, and retirement homes.

In 1917, she moved to her Irvington-on-Hudson, New York estate, Villa Lewaro, which had been designed by Vertner Tandy, the first licensed black architect in New York State and a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Madam C.J. Walker died at Villa Lewaro on Sunday, May 25, 1919 from complications of hypertension. She was 51.

At the time of her death, Madam C. J. Walker was sole owner of her business, which was valued at more than $1 million. Her personal fortune was around $600,000 to $700,000. She left one-third of her estate went to her daughter—who herself became well known as a supporter of the Harlem Renaissance—the remainder to various philanthropies.

Stray Toasters


“Give me steam… And how you feel can make it real…”

business and economy, comics and animation, computers, cyberpunk/steampunk, education, event, everyday glory, faith and religion, family and friends, geekery, health, history, music, space, stage plays and theatre, style and fashion, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"Give me steam... And how you feel can make it real..."

Wednesday – 30 November 2011
Not only is it the middle of the week… or new comics day… or the date that Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was released… it’s also the last day of the month. A month that seemed like it just started a few days ago. How the time flies.

Last night, SaraRules! and I attended the opening night auction for the 2011 Festival of Trees. We were looking for something – not a tree – to add to our holiday decorations; we settled on looking for a centerpiece for the living room table. We found – and bid on and won – one that will go nicely with the tree we got last year:

We also saw a number of really nice trees and gingerbread houses. More pictures can be seen here. If you have a chance to visit the Festival of Trees, do so. It runs through Saturday, 03 December 2011; admission is:

  • $5.00/adults
  • $3.00/children age 2 to 11
  • $4.00/senior citizens.
  • Children under age 2 are free

All proceeds benefit Primary Children’s Medical Center, so it’s a very worthwhile cause.

After the Festival, we picked up the girls, took them home and put them to bed. Then SaraRules! kicked me out of the house… to go to Guys’ Night Out.  (Have I mentioned: “Coolest wife ever” recently? She is.) It was nice to hang out with the guys over beer (Black and Pumpkin!) and food. It was a good way to wrap up a rather good day.

Stray Toasters

And, that should be good for now.



Thursday’s Child…

art, business and economy, comics and animation, computers, everyday glory, exhibits, faith and religion, food for thought, games, geekery, health, movies and TV, politics and law, stage plays and theatre, style and fashion, trains/model railroads, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Thursday's Child...

Thursday – 13 October 2011
It’s a sunny No Bad News Technical Friday. The morning started with a frozen mocha and doughnuts. Personally, I think that’s a great way to kick off the last day of the work week.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that I appreciate good customer service. A few months ago, I signed up for a digital subscription to a model railroading magazine. One of the features that swayed my decision was the ability to download issues of the magazine. Win. Win.

Or so I thought until I actually tried to download an issue.

It turns out that the third-party company who distributes the digital copy uses Google Gears as their medium. Gears is being deprecated next year. So, I emailed the third-party and received the following a week later:

[THIRD PARTY] is aware that Google Gears is no longer supported by Google.  The publisher, however, at this time  has not yet opted to include the optional pdf downloadable version.

Well, okay then. And then I promptly forgot about it…

…until I got a notification that the new issue of the magazine was available. This time, I emailed the magazine directly — the subscription manager… and the editor-in-chief… and the publisher — with my question. Barely 24 hours later, I got a response from the magazine’s publisher:

The Firefox/Google Gears issue is relatively new. We have been waiting to see if [THIRD PARTY] develops an alternative solution. If they do not, we may have to offer a PDF download.

Okay. That’s all well and good, but doesn’t really give me much to go on. Still, I replied. I noted that I appreciated that the publisher took time to personally respond and that I hoped that they found a reasonable substitute for their current digital model. A few hours later, I received another response:


A couple of things…

First off, “Mr. Melvin” was my father. No need to be that formal with me.

Secondly, thanks for the kind words about the magazine. I’m glad you are enjoying our work.

We’ll make an announcement about the download problem soon.

And it was sent, as best I can figure, from his home – not his office. Nice. And it seemed to indicate that the digital download issue would be addressed with a little more urgency than “…we’re just waiting to see what happens.” I can live with that.

Stray Toasters


Saturday in the valley…

comics and animation, dining and cuisine, event, everyday glory, family and friends, football, geekery, human of the day, movies and TV, music, stage plays and theatre, trains/model railroads, zombies No Comments »
Saturday in the valley...

Saturday – 08 October 2011
Today is Yom Kippur (it actually started last night at sundown). I’d like to wish my friends who celebrate it a safe and good day… as well as an easy fast.

Today is also our resident Kid Flash’s one-month-day.

Last night, SaraRules!’ friend from the Justice League Junior League, Jana, came by to visit and meet the girls. It was nice getting to chat with her for a bit. After the visit – and feeding the girls – SaraRules! and I managed to squeeze in a little time to catch the new episode of Fringe. Thank Heaven for DVRs…

Today, SaraRules! slipped out for a bit to go to her quilt club, while I stayed home with the girls. They actually let me sleep until nearly 10:00, which was great, as I was up (and intermittently napping) with Diana for a good portion of the wee hours of the morning. I’m heading to Dr. Volt’s for their 21st Anniversary Sale and Signing. If you’re in the Millcreek area, you should stop in and check things out.

And, this evening: Canadian Thanksgiving dinner.

Stray Toasters

Up. Out.


“I can’t stop thinking big…”

business and economy, computers, environment, everyday glory, family and friends, food for thought, football, games, geekery, house and home, music, opera, science and technology, soccer, stage plays and theatre, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, workout No Comments »
"I can't stop thinking big..."

Monday – 18 July 2011
A new work week dawns in the valley with clouds and a forecast of rain and/or thunderstorms. But, it doesn’t appear as though the rain will alleviate the high temperatures we’ve been experiencing. Fortunately, there’s air conditioning technology to keep us cool.

The weekend was a good and, though brief, enjoyable one. I even managed to drag myself to the gym Saturday morning. I got out of the house a little later than I had planned, but still got in a brief workout:

  • Elliptical: 15 min, 1.41 mi. (approx. 5.7 MPH avg.)
  • Bench Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 155 lbs
  • Sit-ups: 3 sets/15 reps
  • Curls (dumbbell, seated): 3 sets/10 reps, 25 lbs
  • Flys: 3 sets/10 reps, 100 lbs

From there, it was back home for a quick shower and change of clothes and then on to meet Chris, Alex and Harley for pre-tournament breakfast. The tournament was good; there were ten participants. It was also one of the closer events we’ve had: less than fifteen (15) points separated first and third places.

Later in the evening, SaraRules! and I headed over to shockpuppet and ‘s house for a reception for and his fiancee, Erica. It was a nice gathering. We also found the oft-mentioned “fairy path” that shockpuppet created — although, at the time of night we saw it, it was more “creepy, dark, wooded path” than “fairy path.”

Sunday was planned to be rather laid back. Instead, it started off with a bit of automotive stress: I ran out to get bagels and some milk for breakfast. The bagel stop was fine; however, as I was attempting to leave The Store, the car decided not to start. *sigh* I gave it a minute and tried again. Nothing. I called SaraRules! and had her come to jumpstart the car. No go, Flight.

::: grblsnrkx :::

So, the tow truck was called. And off to the local Pep Boys we went… because, apparently, my Sunday mornings are not complete without a trip to Pep Boys. Turned out that it battery was dead. I had them check the alternator and starter — both of which were fine after testing. And, thanks to being a member of Pep Boys Rewards, the towing was half-off and the battery was covered under warranty. So, the out-of-pocket cost was FAR less than it could have been. I’m just not sure whether it’s a good or a bad thing that I’m getting to know some of the techs there on a first name basis…

Groove. Boogie. Sway.
The Monday morning musical shuffle selection wasn’t bad this morning:

Not a bad way to kick off the work week, I’d say.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
Muslim hate crime victim asks TX court to spare life of white supremacist who shot him
Wow. Seriously… “Wow.” How many of us could – or would – do the same in Mr. Bhuiyan’s position?

Stray Toasters


Better la… you get the idea.

comics and animation, cyberpunk/steampunk, education, event, everyday glory, faith and religion, health, history, house and home, movies and TV, news and info, office antics, stage plays and theatre, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Better la... you get the idea.

Tuesday – 14 June 2011
Today is Flag Day.

And, even though it’s Tuesday, it’s another day chock full o’ meetings. Whoop-de-damn-doo!

Last night, I attempted to conquer the front lawn… as a thunderstorm loomed in the not-to-distant sky. (I managed to finish before it became a torrential downpour.) After that, I deemed that it was going to be a lazy night in. SaraRules! and I spent the evening watching Top Gear (UK) and the various versions of House Hunters.

Sidenote: Apparently House Hunters, like Law & Order before it, has enough spin-offs for me to start tagging them like Star Trek series:

  • House Hunters: TOS
  • House Hunters International: TNG
  • House Hunters on Vacation: DS9

Just saying…

And, I read a bit more of Sixkill, which has been quite good.

Stray Toasters

“Everything’s Going Green”

arts and leisure, basketball, comics and animation, everyday glory, geekery, house and home, movies and TV, news and info, office antics, opera, space, stage plays and theatre, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!, workout No Comments »
"Everything's Going Green"

Thursday – 02 June 2011
Another “Day of Thor” (look it up) is upon us. I’m hoping that it follows the appropriate “No Bad News” protocol. That would be a “good” thing.

This morning, I woke up with the opening theme from Love, Sidney in my head. I have no idea “why,” as the show hasn’t been on the air in over 20 (nearly 30) years. Granted, I’m a fan of some of Tony Randall’s work, but why not the theme from The Odd Couple?! As Dr. Rosenblatt would say, “It’s so bizarre…!”

Last night, I had forgotten that SaraRules! was going to a presentation of Die Walkure, presented by Fathom Events at the local cinemaplex. As had to postpone our D&D game, this meant that I was left to my own devices to find something to do. I wound up doing the dishes and some laundry. (*shrug* It needed to be done…) I also went to the gym. There was a brief internal struggle about did I really want to go, but it was overruled by the “You need to go” camp. It’s still slow-going, but at least I’m doing something:

  • Elliptical: 15 minutes, approx 5.5 MPH pace
  • Bench Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 135 lbs
  • Curls (dumbbell, seated): 3 sets/10 reps, 25 lbs
  • Shoulder Press (dumbbell, seated): 3 sets/10 reps, 35 lbs
  • Compound Row: 3 sets/10 reps, 125 lbs
  • Reverse Fly: 3 sets/10 reps, 50 lbs

I was quite happy to be done with the workout… while kind of looking forward to getting into the gym again. Go figure.

When I got back home, I treated myself to a little DVR fare while waiting for SaraRules! to get in. I’m almost up to the season finale of Human Target. (And I’m still wishing that USA or some other channel would pick it up next season.)

Stray Toasters

And now… lunch!


“Rain, rain, go away…”

books, business and economy, comics and animation, computers, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, geekery, health, movies and TV, music, news and info, science and technology, stage plays and theatre, the world No Comments »
"Rain, rain, go away..."

Tuesday – 24 May 2011
I think that 10,000 Maniacs said it best:

The color of the sky as far as I can see is coal grey.
Lift my head from the pillow and then fall again.
With a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather…

“What a cold and rainy day. Where on earth is the sun hid away?”

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Last night was a lazy night around the household. We noshed on pizza and finished the season of NCIS: Los Angeles. After that, SaraRules! watched Creepshow 2, while I surfed the Interwebs. There was a vignette in the movie, called “The Raft,” that reminded me of the ST: TNG episode “Skin of Evil.” In both, a “killer oil slick” devours/engulfs people. In doing a little – very little – research, I found that both the movie and that episode were released in 1987.

Stray Toasters


“We love to fly and it shows!”

business and economy, dining and cuisine, engagement/wedding/marriage, everyday glory, family and friends, games, geekery, history, music, news and info, politics and law, stage plays and theatre, style and fashion, trains/model railroads, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
"We love to fly and it shows!"

Tuesday – 10 May 2011
Another grey day in the valley. The forecast says we have a 60% chance of rain. With as much rain as we’ve had lately, it’s hard to remember that we live on a high desert plain… where the streets have no name.  (No, the song wasn’t written about Salt Lake City, but it was a reference that I couldn’t pass up. And, besides, it has a fun video…)

Today is also my friend, Justin’s, birthday:

Yesterday afternoon, I received a message from my mother-in-law, inviting me over for homemade banana rum cake. Not being completely foolish, I told her that I’d be there. After work, I stopped at Pin-up Girl Espresso and chatted with Jim on the way home. I remembered that I needed to pick up a few track pieces for the new layout idea, so I jetted up to West Valley Hobbies before heading to the in-laws’.  When I got there, my MIL asked if I had eaten dinner – I hadn’t – so she fed me, as well: She’d made an amazing chicken curry dish whose exact name eludes me. After I’d finished, we – MIL, FIL and lj user=”djviking” – had cake and chatted the rest of the evening away. As if feeding me and giving me dessert wasn’t enough, I was even sent home with leftovers for lunch. Win! (In case I haven’t said it before/recently: I totally hit the jackpot in the In-Laws Lottery.

When I finally made it home, I decided to mess around with my train layout. This came under the heading of “Good Idea/Bad Idea,” as it was slightly more of an undertaking that I had planned on. I was up until [REDACTED] working on it. Yes, I know… I’m going to have to tear the whole thing down (again) when we start framing the room, but I was in the mood for something different. The trackwork is almost finished and I need to figure out where buildings will go and in which areas I’ll be able to add the SuperStreets track.

It probably goes without saying, but I made this morning’s coffee extra-strong. Thank God.

Today is also a suit day. (Added bonus: It was clean and required no prep work.) Today’s option: Navy suit, white spread-collar shirt, pink-and-blue tie, pink pocket square, maroon loafers.

Stray Toasters

And…. that’s a wrap.


“Look at me, I can be centerfield…”

art, baseball, business and economy, comics and animation, computers, everyday glory, games, geekery, health, movies and TV, opera, politics and law, science and technology, stage plays and theatre, style and fashion, travel No Comments »
"Look at me, I can be centerfield..."

Thursday – 31 March 2011
It’s a blue sky NBN “Technical Friday.” And I’m good with that.

Last night was supposed to be D&D 4.0 night. So, after dinner, I ran a couple of errands and headed over to Hastur Hobbies to partake in hack-and-slash goodness. I arrived to find no one from my group there.


I went back through my messages to see if I had missed something. I had. had called the game earlier in the afternoon… but, that message was basically attached to another thread of messages, so I didn’t catch it when I skimmed over them.


That just meant that my evening freed up for me to go and hang out with the missus. Which I did. For the most part…

…until I decided that the best thing for me and my newfound head cold was a nice relaxing soak while reading the day’s new comics haul. And I was right – it was good.

A little later, SaraRules! and I finished off the last DVD of Mad Men that we got from Netflix. I now understand what and meant by “the lawnmower episode,” and why they both agreed that I’d “get” it as soon as I saw it.

This morning, I woke up with this song running through my head…

…and I was okay with that.

Stray Toasters


MDK Friday.

art, baseball, business and economy, comics and animation, everyday glory, geekery, history, LEGO and Rokenbok, monkeys!, news and info, office antics, stage plays and theatre, the world, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
MDK Friday.

Friday – 25 March 2011
It’s Friday.  The end of the week. And for this, I am grateful. It’s my 9/80 “on” Friday, which is typically a quiet and low-key kind of day.

So, why is my blood pressure – and my annoyance level – through the roof?

Maybe it could be due – in some small, almost insignificant part – to the fact that I spent part of my morning elbow up in trash looking for a piece of equipment. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The day started nicely enough. Got up, got ready for work, stopped at Pin-up Girl for a cup of morning go-juice. So far, so good. Got to work, ready to tackle the items on my day’s agenda. And shortly after that is when I discovered that all was not well in Mudville:

We had scheduled technicians to come in and deal with a problem with one of our cooling units. This service has been on the docket for three weeks now, as the part needed had to be special ordered and fabricated. Okay, fine. That’s the cost of doing business. Because of the nature of the work, we had to schedule a time for a tech from our fire control system vendor to turn off our fire suppression system. So, three weeks… all leading up to this morning. Call it “confluence.” Call it “convergence.” Call it what you will.

The fire control tech showed up and did his thing. No problem. The HVAC guys showed up to do their thing… and that’s when we noticed that something was wrong: The part that we had ordered – and that had been sitting on a table, awaiting installation – was nowhere to be found.

* braincramp *

So, the hunt began. In the server room. In the storage rooms. In the labs. Nothing. That’s when I started making calls. No one knew where it was.

* severe braincramp *

I put a call in to our cleaning crew, to see if they possibly tossed out the box last night, not seeing the part inside. They didn’t think so, but the boxes they did throw away went into a recycling dumpster. *sigh* Great. Next stop: The dumpster. Brian, one of the HVAC techs jumped in. No luck finding the box or the part.


Just after I got back to my desk, the cleaning company called back: One of the cleaners remembered throwing away a few boxes… in the trash dumpster.

So… back downstairs we went. Brian and I hopped into the front of the dumpster, but didn’t go too far in for a couple of reasons, the BIGGEST one being: It was a trash compactor. I’ve seen Star Wars: A New Hope. More than once. I know what happens to people in trash compactors. I also don’t happen to own either a protocol droid or an Astromech droid, so there was NO way I was wading in. (Besides, I didn’t know if there was a monster lurking below the surface, just waiting to drag me under.)

NOTE: At this point, I almost defy anyone to claim to have had a worse morning than I had, based solely on the fact that I was in a dumpster, looking for a part that obviously didn’t want to be found.

We didn’t find the part. Which means that we have to order another one. And schedule a time for the fire control and HVAC guys to come back in. Which means that we’re looking at – bare minimum – two to three weeks from now before this problem is fixed.

The odds against this confluence of nearly impossible events coming together, in just this way, to bring us to this improbable outcome is mind-boggling.

And, it’s snowing.

How’s your Friday?

Stray Toasters

  • Today, I would definitely be more of a Red Lantern than a Green Lantern: I’m ready to punch monkeys in the throat right now. Repeatedly. And hard.



Halfway there…

books, business and economy, comics and animation, everyday glory, exhibits, family and friends, food for thought, football, games, geekery, health, movies and TV, people, politics and law, quote of the day, science and technology, stage plays and theatre, trains/model railroads, travel, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?! No Comments »
Halfway there...

Wednesday – 23 March 2011
New comics day + D&D (4.0) game night = A good combination.

Last night, Chris came over and – after a lot of shooting the bull – we played dolls. We did a Teen Titans (Chris) vs. the X-Men game. And he cleaned my clock. Six ways from Sunday. It started off as a good game, but my dice decided to play jokes early on. That wasn’t insurmountable. The problems began when Chris moved a couple of his pieces into positions I wasn’t expecting and then made like LL Cool J and knocked a couple of my key pieces out… and then picked apart the rest of my team. One bright spot in the game: Having my Wolverine eviscerate Robin. All-in-all, it was a good game. But, I need to plan some revenge for the game where I run the Titans.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
Something that I enjoy (and look forward to) is the occasional instant message from my brother-in-law, recounting something – usually highly entertaining – that either my niece or my sister has said or done. This morning, I found this gem, which he sent last night:

your niece.
today two verbal gaffes that made Rana inform me i’m doing harm to my children
playing Mario Kart
she [Bit] first asks to play the character “honky kong”
then when we unlock a new character, “funky kong”
of course…now she’s informing Rana she wants to play “fucky kong”
i give up.

That made me laugh. A lot.