Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

And so it was, later, as the miller told his tale…

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And so it was, later, as the miller told his tale...

Thursday – 05 January 2017
Welcome to 2017 (five days after the fact…)! So far, my fingers have cooperated in correctly typing/writing “2017,” when writing the date.

Long story, short version: Christmas and New Year were good…

…even though I had to come in to work on the last day of my break to – literally – flip a switch. Twice.

At ridiculous o’clock on 02 Jan, I got a call from our NOC saying that they’d lost the heartbeat for our fax server. (Yes, fax. Yes, 21st Century. *shrug* Don’t ask me.) I said that I’d try to access it remotely… at a reasonable hour. After the sun was up. And the office was closed on the second, anyway.

Sometime later in the morning, I logged in and tried to access the server. No go, Flight. That meant that I had two courses of action:

  1. Go in and reset it,
  2. Let it swing until Tuesday morning.

The problem with Option 2 (which would have been my preference) was that our finance department actually receives invoices via fax. So… Option 1 it was. I somehow managed to convince Sara and Team DiVa to make an excursion out of it. (This turned out to be a “good” thing.)

Went to the office. Went into server room. Flipped switch. Flipped switch again. Left server room. Called the NOC to confirm that the alert had actually cleared. Got ready to leave.

Got the building lobby and realized I’d apparently left my house and car keys upstairs in the office. *sigh*  Fine. I asked Sara to get the girls in the car while I ran upstairs to retrieve them…

…only to find, once I’d gotten to my office’s elevator lobby, that I’d left my badge in the office, as well.

::: braincramp :::

Fortunately, there were a few people from our finance department in the office; one of them let me in. I went to my desk to get my badge and keys, only to find them suspisciously not… there…


Yep, I’d locked them – badge-locked, of course – in the server room. Resigned, I headed back downstairs. Fortunately, we’d taken Sara’s car and she had her keys – my car and the key to it were still at home.

Ridiculous, but it makes for a good “At least you didn’t…,” laugh-at-yourself kind of story.

Other than that, things have been kind of quiet. I’m good with that.

Oh, and it snowed last night. About four-ish inches in the valley. It made this morning’s commute “fun.” And by “fun,” I mean “slow and annoying.” On the plus side, it did make the air a little less chewy.

Stray Toasters

And, that’s a wrap for now.


Enter: February

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Enter: February

Friday – 01 February 2013
Not only is the weekend nearly upon us…


What…?! Like I’d pass up this (golden) opportunity to give it up for my team on their way to the Super Bowl? Really? Not likely.

…but it’s also the start of a new month.

And with the start of February comes the start of Black History Month.


Once again, I’m going to go through more “ABC’s of Black History.” So sit back and learn a little somethin’.

Chew on This: Food For Thought – Black History Month
Today, we start with “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali.


Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist. Considered a cultural icon, Ali has both been idolized and vilified.

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., was born in Louisville, Kentucky. The older of two boys, he was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. His father painted billboards and signs, and his mother, Odessa O’Grady Clay, was a household domestic. Although Cassius Sr. was a Methodist, he allowed Odessa to bring up both Cassius and his younger brother Rudolph “Rudy” Clay (later renamed Rahman Ali) as Baptists.

Clay was first directed toward boxing by Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, who encountered the 12-year-old fuming over a thief taking his bicycle. He told the officer he was going to “whup” the thief. The officer told him he better learn how to box first. Clay won six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union National Title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Clay’s amateur record was 100 wins with five losses.

Clay made his professional debut on October 29, 1960, winning a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker. From then until 1963, Clay amassed a record of 19-0 with 15 wins by knockout. He defeated boxers including Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, Lamar Clark, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper.

Ali had amassed a record of 19–0, with 15 knockouts and became the top contender for Sonny Liston’s title. The fight was set for February 25, 1964 in Miami. Despite his record, the Ali was a 7-1 underdog. During the weigh-in on the day before the bout, the ever-boastful Clay, who frequently taunted Liston during the buildup by dubbing him “the big ugly bear” (among other things), declared that he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” and, summarizing his strategy for avoiding Liston’s assaults, said, “Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.” Clay and Liston fought for six rounds in their first title fight, with Clay dominating most of the rounds, except in round four when it was alleged Clay had trouble seeing due to a substance in his eyes. Despite Liston’s attempts to knock Clay out in the fifth, Clay was able to escape Liston’s offense until sweat and tears rinsed the substance from his eyes, leading to Clay to respond back with a flurry of combinations near the end of the fifth round. During the sixth round, Clay dominated Liston throughout. When Liston refused to answer the bell for the seventh round, Clay was declared the winner. Liston would later claim he had injured his shoulder. Following the win, a triumphant Clay rushed to the press stands, pointing to them and screaming “I fooled you!” During the now-infamous in-ring interview following the match, Clay shouted “I shook up the world!” and “I must be ‘The Greatest’!” When Clay won, he became the youngest boxer to take the title from a reigning heavyweight champion at just 22.

Clay, now having changed his name to Muhammad Ali following his conversion to Islam, and Liston met up for their rematch in May the following year. Midway through the first round, Liston was knocked down by one of Ali’s punches, later dubbed by the press as the “phantom punch”. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott stopped the match shortly afterwards and Ali was declared the winner around 1:52 of the first round.

In 1967, three years after Ali had won the heavyweight championship, he was publicly vilified for his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. military, based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. Ali was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges; he was stripped of his boxing title, and his boxing license was suspended. He was not imprisoned, but did not fight again for nearly four years while his appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was eventually successful.

Ali would go on to become the first and only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion.

Nicknamed “The Greatest”, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were three with rival Joe Frazier, which are considered among the greatest in boxing history, and one with George Foreman, where he finally regained his stripped titles seven years later. Ali was well known for his unorthodox fighting style, epitomized by his catchphrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, and employing techniques such as the Ali Shuffle and the rope-a-dope. Ali brought beauty and grace to the most uncompromising of sports and through the wonderful excesses of skill and character, he became the most famous athlete in the world. He was also known for his pre-match hype, where he would “trash talk” opponents, often with rhymes.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, a disease that is common to head trauma from activities such as boxing. Ali still remained active during this time, however, later participating as a guest referee in the inaugural WrestleMania event. Ali’s other high profile events during this time included being selected by the California Bicentennial Foundation for the U.S. Constitution to personify the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights around 1987. Ali rode on a float at the following year’s Tournament of Roses Parade, launching the U.S. Constitution’s 200th birthday commemoration. He published an oral history, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser, in 1991. That same year Ali traveled to Iraq during the Gulf War and met with Saddam Hussein in an attempt to negotiate the release of American hostages. In 1996, he had the honor of lighting the flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1999, Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.

Ali’s bout with Parkinson’s led to a gradual decline in Ali’s health though he was still active into the early years of the millennium, even promoting his own biopic, Ali, in 2001. On November 17, 2002, Muhammad Ali went to Afghanistan as “U.N. Messenger of Peace”. He was in Kabul for a three-day goodwill mission as a special guest of the UN.

In 2009, Ali visited Ennis, the ancestral site of his great-grandfather before he emigrated to the U.S. in the 1860s, before eventually settling in Kentucky. Ali later received the honour of freedom at a civic reception in Ennis. He also became a freeman at Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland. On July 27, 2012, Ali was a titular bearer of the Olympic Flag during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He was helped to his feet by his wife Lonnie to stand before the flag due to his Parkinson’s rendering him unable to carry it into the stadium.

reference: Wikipedia

Stray Toasters

So get out there and rock,
And roll the bones.
Get busy!


Another Pleasant Valley Snow Day

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Another Pleasant Valley Snow Day

Wednesday – 30 January 2013
More of Mother Nature’s frozen mocking laughter is falling on the Salt Lake valley this morning.


The roads were actually in decent condition; the drivers, however… *shakes head* There was a roughly 6-mile stretch where the average speed dropped from 45 MPH all the way down to 15 MPH. For no apparent reason that I could see.

On the “plus” side, it’s new comics day as well as Movie Date Night. Double-plus win.

TeamDiVa Tuesday pictures were cancelled yesterday, as the little ladies have colds and aren’t quite up for taking pictures. They have coughs and runny noses, but they seem to be getting over the rough parts of it.  They’ve been rather clingy, understandably… not that I need excuses for kid cuddles.

Stray Toasters

Yeah, that’s good for now.


…and back again.

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Tuesday – 17 April 2012
Day One of the work week. It started off rainy, but skies have cleared a bit.

TeamDiVa’s first road trip was a success.  The basic breakdowns were:

  • Five days.
  • Four states.
  • Three hotel rooms.
  • Two little ladies who traveled incredibly well, all things considered.
  • One honest-to-goodness zebra.

It would be something of an understatement to say we’re “a little” tired. That was a lot of driving. But, it was a good trip. And, I wasn’t kidding about the zebra:

“Sure, there’s a zebra and some llama, Daddy… but there are cars and trucks right over there!”

There’s a petting zoo at the Flying J Truck Stop in Scipio, UT. We’d heard – and forgotten – about it, since we don’t go through there much anymore. But, we needed to stop so that the girls could have lunch. Thus, zebra.

And, while I don’t say this very often: I’d like to commend UDoT for the five (5) 80 MPH zones between Provo and the Arizona state line. They made a few of the long, boring stretches much more tolerable.

Stray Toasters


The weather’s here, wish you were beautiful.

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The weather's here, wish you were beautiful.

Monday – 19 December 2011
It’s a week before Christmas and I’m on vacation. I’m also hanging out with the girls today… which was a very poignant reminder that “sleeping in on vacation” is a thing of the past (and possibly distant future). But, that’s okay: They’re totally worth the lack of sleep.

It’s still grey and smoggy, thanks to the inversion. It… looks… like it might be flurrying, but it could just be particulates in the air. Who knows?

This weekend was a good one. Saturday, I judged a HeroClix tournament for Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection. After the event, I also got a chance to play-test a ‘Clix scenario that I want to run in a few weeks: “Dungeons & Dragons.” Basically, players have to choose a team of four characters – either an “adventuring party” or a group of monsters – and put them on a map that simulates a dungeon/maze. For the test, we used a map that (almost) no one likes: Anti-Monitor’s Fortress.  Additionally, I decided to have four players on the same map. Because I could. One player’s team demonstrated a couple of things that could be used to break the concept, but all told, it was a good test.

Sunday, SaraRules!, the girls and I headed up to Millcreek Cafe for breakfast. SaraRules!’ parents met us there. The girls, once again, were very quiet and cooperative, while we ate breakfast. Later in the day, Logan, Swiz, Dave and Angy came over for the Ravens-Chargers football game drubbing. The Chargers worked the Ravens over eight ways from Sunday. On one hand, it was painful to watch. On the other hand, no… still painful. But, the loss won’t keep the Ravens out of the playoffs — that’s right: The Ravens have made the playoffs all four years under Coach John Harbaugh’s leadership. (That’s gotta be good for his tenure.) Although, the loss does mean that if Pittsburgh wins tonight, the Ravens go from #1 in the AFC North to #2 AND… fall to the #5 spot in the playoff picture. Oh, yeah… there are now reports that Ravens’ K “Billy Cundiff officially an issue.” Really? I would have thought that he was “an issue” about two weeks ago. But that’s just me and might be (one of the) reason(s) that I’m not an NFL coach.

Today, I’m not sure what the girls and I are going to be up to. They’re napping at the moment and I don’t foresee going out before noon or one, but I think that someone (ME) might want to get out of the house at some point today. Call it a hunch.

Stray Toasters

And… the girls are up from their naps. Round Two: START!


Wednesday: Better Late Than Never

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Wednesday: Better Late Than Never

Wednesday – 14 December 2011
Let’s just cut to the chase: Despite the inversion-induced drabness, today has been a good day so far. ‘Nuff said.

Last night, SaraRules! and I had a quiet night with the girls… even though it was a bath night. Both girls were fanstastically well-behaved and cooperative for bath time. It was quite the treat. And, they went to bed without too much ado. We also had a visit from Logan and Sanaz, which was nice for two reasons:

  1. We hadn’t seen them in a couple of weeks, as they’d been on a trip
  2. They brought SaraRules! a tasty dish that she’d been craving… which made for a very happy SaraRules!

All-in-all, it was a good night.

Stray Toasters


“…on this mountain of new-fallen snow.”

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"...on this mountain of new-fallen snow."

Tuesday – 13 December 2011
Yep, it’s snowing. Well, perhaps it would be more apt to say that it’s flurrying. Either way, Mother Nature’s frozen, mocking laughter is blanketing the valley. There hasn’t been a lot of accumulation, but it’s still snow. (And, I’m okay with calling it “snow” and not “fluffy rain,” as we are now roughly halfway through December.)

And, as it is snowing, the Council for Better Driving: Utah would like to remind motorists to take care when navigating the roads today.

I would like to thank for coming over last night to help me wrangle the twins while SaraRules was attending a Justice Junior League meeting. The girls were pretty well-behaved, though tired and a little restless. All things being equal, it wasn’t nearly as difficult to get them ready for bed as it could have been, but getting them to acknowledge “We’re in our bassinets, we should sleep” was another issue… at least for Diana. Vanessa knocked out fairly quickly. Diana..? Well, let’s just say that she took the long way ’round to getting to sleep. Oh, well. They’re still cute.

Vanessa (l) and Diana

And, they’re good kids. That helps, too.

 Stray Toasters


“But, oh it’s songs like these, played in minor keys, keep those memories holding on…”

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"But, oh it's songs like these, played in minor keys, keep those memories holding on..."

Wednesday – 24 August 2011
Two down, one in the chamber and two to go.  Must be Wednesday. I’m not sure if I’ll partake in “Sushi Wednesday,” but I do have a doctor’s appointment – check up for SaraRules! and the kids – and new comics to look forward to.

Today is the birthday of Utah Symphony‘s Principal Pops Conductor, Jerry Steichen.

Last night, after far too long, I mowed and edged the lawn. I’m not saying that it was a jungle, but I’m pretty sure that I saw a guy in a loincloth riding an elephant through the middle section of the yard. I had considered hitting the gym afterwards, but it was a good enough workout for the day.

Stray Toasters

UPDATE: Just got back from SaraRules!’ appointment a little while ago. Looks as though two weeks from today, we will have kids.

Two weeks.  Wow.


“The trick is to keep breathing…”

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"The trick is to keep breathing..."

Wednesday – 17 August 2011
Midweek and all’s pretty well…

…unless you’re this guy:

I’m talking about the car in the middle of the picture. It appears to have broken down in the median. It’s also been there for a few minutes. I watched as (at least) two patrol cars drove past it — in the left lane — without stopping. *shrug*

After about 40 minutes, another car pulled up behind it. People got out. They stood near the first car. A couple of minutes later, they both pulled off. I’m not sure, but it may have just been a case of running out of gas.  But, I’m still a little… concerned/bothered… that the two police officers just drove past it like nothing was wrong.

Yesterday, I was in the south office. One of my tasks for the day was to join peoples’ computers to the corporate network. In and of itself, not a terribly difficult assignment. Or so you’d think. After all, the computers spoke the same language – Windows – albeit different dialects (XP/Vista/7).

Theoretical Concept: Easy.
Practical Application: *grblsnrkx*

Let’s say that there was a lot of “hurry up and wait” along with the obligatory questions from the engineers of: “Which login do I use?” and “Should I try this?” and “Huh…?!” But, I got a few of the guys taken care of… without bloodshed.

Last night was game night with and crew. It was a good time. Especially as none of us died in the course of adventuring.

Groove. Boogie. Sway.
A couple of songs that helped to get this morning started were:

There were others, but these two were the prime movers of the day.  Oh, yeah, and this one:

It has gotten back into the public eye ear(?) as the background music for the Blackberry PlayBook commercial.

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
It’s been a while since I’ve had a good story about my nieces. Fortunately, my brother-in-law posted one yesterday:

Lady, looking at Sophia, dressed in pink with a pink headband: “Oh how cute, is it a little girl?”
Me: No lady, “it” is a duck.
Lady: Well you’re rude.
Me: Well you’re not very bright.
Sophia: QUACK, Daddy! QUACK!

Sophia is just shy of her second birthday.


“Commencing countdown, engines on…”

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"Commencing countdown, engines on..."

Monday – 21 March 2011
It’s the second day of Spring. Here behind the Zion Curtain, it’s grey and drab… although the sun appears to be making some efforts at breaking through the clouds.

This past weekend was rather low-key, which wasn’t a bad thing. Saturday, I had breakfast with Chris before heading over to Dr. Volt’s, where I judged a HeroClix tournament. There was a good turnout, with nine players. As there was overlap between the last DC 75th event and the new Giant-Size X-Men release, I just combined the prize support for the winners. That seemed to go over fairly well. Saturday evening, SaraRules!’ parents and grandmother came over to visit for a bit. We capped off the evening watching Demolition Man; it had been many years since I had last seen it.

Sunday was another quiet day… or, at least, it started that way. Perry called in the late morning to elicit my help in moving some of his martial arts practice equipment. We headed over and chatted with Kate and him for a bit; then he and I set about the heavy lifting. After that, SaraRules! and I caught a matinee of Battle: Los Angeles. This movie’s been getting knocked around in the reviews, but it wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was decent.  About halfway through the movie, I realized what it reminded me of: Independence Day. The only things missing were The Fresh Prince, The Fly and a virus-uploading MacBook. It was still a decent popcorn flick.

After the movie, we headed over to the in-laws’ for a belated St. Patrick’s Day dinner of corned beef and cabbage. SaraRules’ grandmother was in town, so we hung out with the family for a bit after dinner. Then it was back home for relaxing with DC Universe Online and a couple of episodes of Mad Men.

Stray Toasters

And that, I think, is a wrap.

“Blame it all on yourself, cause she’s always a woman to me…”

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"Blame it all on yourself, cause she's always a woman to me..."

Tuesday – 01 March 2011
A new month begins.
Today also marks the beginning of Women’s History Month.

T minus three days to the train show.
T minus sixteen days until Green Lantern/St. Patrick’s Day.

Last night was very low-key around the house. SaraRules! fixed soft-shelled tacos and rice for dinner. While eating, we knocked out the last two episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles on the DVR and watched an episode of House Hunters about a couple in Texas. (They were almost as finicky as the couple I posted about a few days ago who were looking for the one-level home.) But, they found a spot they liked.

Tonight, SaraRules! and I are attending Utah Symphony‘s 2011-12 Season Announcement Reception at Abravanel Hall. (Yeah, I get some pretty swank fringe benefits of having a wife with a cool job.) After that, I’ll be dashing off to join ‘ D&D game. No rest for the wicked, I guess.

Stray Toasters

She would waste not, not in struggle
No other shall there ever be
And what she is to love, listen oh my brother
Is as the wind to Mercury


“My baby just cares for me…”

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"My baby just cares for me..."

Friday – 18 February 2011
It’s my day off. Unfortunately, it’s not a four-day weekend for me, as our robot overlords protectors don’t give us President’s Day as a holiday. Oh, well.

Last night, SaraRules! and I attended Ballet West‘s performance of

It was very enjoyable. The dancers for Aurora, Prince Desire (“Prince Philip” for the Disney-ites out there), the Lilac Fairy and the Male Bluebird were all excellent. My only real complain about the performance came in Act III, with the court dances of the fairy-tale characters in attendance — It seemed to be a never-ending cavalcade of dance. Granted, the performers were all talented and acquitted themselves nicely, but it just seemed to make the production drag on and on. (NOTE: The dances were written into the original production by Tchaikovsky, so it’s the way the ballet is supposed to be performed.)

After we returned home, I played a little CoD: Black Ops before calling it a night.

Chew on This: Food for Thought – Black History Month
Today’s personality of note is: Nina Simone (1, 2)

Eunice Kathleen Waymon, also known by her stage name Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.

She took to music at an early age, learning to play piano at the age of 4, and singing in her church’s choir. The sixth of seven children, Simone grew up poor. Her music teacher helped establish a special fund to pay for Simone’s education and, after finishing high school, Simone won a scholarship to New York City’s famed Julliard School of Music to train as a classical pianist, but she eventually had to leave school after she ran out of funds. Moving to Philadelphia, Simone lived with her family there in order to save money and go to a more affordable music program. Her career took an unexpected turn, however, when she was rejected from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia; she later claimed the school denied her admittance because she was African-American. Turning away from classical music, she started playing American standards, jazz and blues in clubs in the 1950s. Her original style arose from a fusion of gospel and pop songs with classical music, in particular her first inspiration, classical composer Bach, and accompanied with her expressive jazz-like singing in characteristic low tenor. She injected as much of her classical background into her music as possible to give it more depth and quality, and as she felt that pop music was inferior. She took the stage name Nina Simone—”Nina” came from a nickname meaning “little one” and “Simone” after the actress Simone Signoret.

Simone had always included songs in her repertoire that hinted about her African-American origins (such as “Brown Baby” and “Zungo” on Nina at the Village Gate during 1962). But on her debut album for Philips, Nina Simone In Concert (live recording, 1964), Simone for the first time openly addresses the racial inequality that was prevalent in the United States with the song “Mississippi Goddam”. It was her response to the murder of Medgar Evers and the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black children. The song was released as a single, being boycotted in certain southern states. With “Old Jim Crow” on the same album she reacts to the Jim Crow Laws. From then on, a civil rights message was standard in Simone’s recording repertoire, where it had already become a part of her live performances. Simone performed and spoke at many civil rights meetings, such as at the Selma to Montgomery marches. Simone advocated violent revolution during the civil rights period as opposed to Martin Luther King’s non-violent approach, and hoped that African Americans could, by armed combat, form a separate state.

In 1987, the original 1958 recording of “My Baby Just Cares For Me” was used in an advert for Chanel No. 5 perfume in the UK. This led to a re-release which stormed to number 5 in the UK singles chart giving her a brief surge in popularity in the UK. Her autobiography, I Put a Spell on You, was published during 1992 and she recorded her last album, A Single Woman, in 1993.

In 1993, Simone settled near Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. She had been ill with breast cancer for several years before she died in her sleep at her home in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône on April 21, 2003. Simone’s ashes were scattered in several African countries.

Stray Toasters

That’s it for now.
Time to find some trouble to get into…


“Let us march on, till victory is won…”

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"Let us march on, till victory is won..."

Tuesday – 01 February 2011
It’s another sunny, but cold, day in Paradise.

Today not only marks the beginning of a new month, but also the start of Black History Month. (More on this below.)

Last night, SaraRules! and I had a fairly quiet night. We had dinner at the local Cafe Zupas, then we did a little errand-running before locking the world outside our door. We even managed to watch an episode of NCIS from the DVR. After that, I played a little DCUO before heading to bed. As a test, I fired up City of Heroes; I wanted to see how it looked with the graphics settings dialed up. The visuals were good, but the framerate was… less than fluid, which I found disappointing, when juxtaposed with DCUO. Maybe I need to tweak a few more settings in CoH to increase the framerate.  *shrug*

Chew on This: Food for Thought
As mentioned above, today is the beginning of Black History Month. As with last year, I think that I’ll do another “ABCs of Black History” this year. We’ll start with Dr. Ralph Abernathy:

Abernathy, the grandson of a slave, was born in Linden, Alabama (March 11, 1926). Ordained a Baptist minister in 1948, he studied at Alabama State College and Atlanta University. Abernathy met Martin Luther King in the early 1950’s, when the two were ministers of congregations in Montgomery, Alabama. They became widely known after the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts in 1955-56.

In 1957, King and Abernathy formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), with King as President and Abernathy as Secretary-Treasurer. After King’s assassination in 1968, Abernathy assumed the presidency, leading the Poor People’s Campaign later that year. Abernathy also presided over SCLC’s Operation Breadbasket, which used economic pressure against companies that did not provide equal opportunities to blacks. In 1977, he resigned from the SCLC to run unsuccessfully for Andrew Young’s Atlanta seat in the US House of Representatives.

After the election, he served as pastor of the West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta. A year before his death, he published his autobiography, entitled And The Walls Came Tumbling Down.

For more information, see: Ralph Abernathy

Stray Toasters


“You know, the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away…”

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"You know, the nearer your destination, the more you're slip sliding away..."

Tuesday – 25 January 2011
We’re almost a full month into the new year, but my fingers still want to type “2010.”

Today is my sister-in-law, Chelsea’s, birthday:

It’s snowing again. It’s not a heavy snowfall, but it is constant.  The snow doesn’t appear to have affected drivers in this part of the valley too much… but we’ll see how it goes as the morning progresses.
UPDATE: It’s gotten a little worse:

With that in mind, the Council for Better Driving: Utah would like to remind drivers to exercise caution when traveling today.

Last night, SaraRules! was kind enough to pick up the engine, tender and boxcar that I was having repaired at The Train Shoppe:

The locomotive now goes like the proverbial “bat out of Hell” — I hitched it up to a nine car consist and opened the throttle… and off it went. With the quickness. I am happy. I am also happy because I now have three (3) fully-functional locomotives.

SaraRules! fixed a very tasty recipe of stuffed peppers for dinner. As we ate, we cleared another couple of episodes of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles off the DVR. Then, it was time to catch up with a few coworkers for CoD: Black Ops online. It was fun; I even tacked three more levels onto my character. After the group broke up, I tried to play a little more DC Universe Online. Once again, it locked up on me. (I’m going to be Level 30 before I ever get out of the introduction, at this pace…) I have a support ticket logged with Sony. In the past 12 hours, I’ve had two responses on it – one was a request for more information; one was a possible solution to the problem. I’m going to test it out this evening.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
This morning, Marvel’s latest event, “Fantastic Four: 3,” kicked off.

In this event, a member of the Fantastic Four dies. There’s been great speculation as to which character it would/could be. Comics news sites announced, as early as last night, that some mass media sources were spoiling the news of which member died.


It was bound to happen, I know… but I still held out a glimmer of hope that I would be able to make it until tomorrow – when I pick up my books – without hearing who the doomed person was.


This morning, on the drive in, an announcer on a local radio station just blurted it out. There was no “Hey, if you’re a fan of the FF, you might want to turn the volume down for a minute” warning or anything.  Just “BAM!


Ear Candy
I heard this on the way to work this morning…

…which, for some reason, made me think of this:

Stray Toasters

And with that… on to the rest of the day!


Hello, Sunday…

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Hello, Sunday...

Sunday – 19 December 2010
It’s a chilly, rainy/snowy day here in the valley.

On the “plus” side, today is my uncle’s birthday:

Yesterday, SaraRules!, and I did our best Smokey and the Bandit impression and headed to Cedar City to retrieve the last of SaraRules!’ things from storage. We were up at 0630 and on the road a little after 0700. The trip down was a little slow, thanks to new snowfall and poorly-plowed roads in Utah County. After that, it was pretty smooth sailing. After picking up the trailer, we headed to the storage unit, where Josh (SaraRules!’ former MFA classmate) met us and helped us load up. We stopped for a bite to eat that The Pizza Factory and then got back on the road. The whole process took a hair under 12 hours, from the time we left to the time we got home after returning the trailer. It was a good, productive and tiring day.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank for volunteering his time – and his Jeep – to help us get the things from southern Utah:

Today, we’re doing a little shopping and then heading over to Sanaz and Logan’s for dinner… and gingerbread tree making/decorating. Tonight, as there will be no new episodes of The Walking Dead (for ten months!), we’re most likely going to watch The Godfather.

Stray Toasters

  • I neglected to mention this a few days ago: I’m an uncle again!
    My brother and sister-in-law had a little girl, whom they named “Corrine,” on Thursday.

And with that, it’s time to get ready to face to the day.