Enter: October
October 1st, 2017 @ 11:35 PM

Enter: October

Sunday – 01 October 2017
And, so, we come to Birthday Month…

So far, it’s been pretty good. Chilly, but good. Of course, any month that starts off with sleeping in can’t be all bad.

Today was a low-key, mostly spent-at-home kind of day. After the hullaballoo of last week, it wasn’t a terrible change of pace. Of course, being at home meant that (some) chores had to be tackled. Some were. The world didn’t stop spinning. This afternoon, Team DiVa and I jetted off to the mall for an errand (for me) and some walking around looking at things time (for the three of us) and a little play time at The LEGO Store (for them… mostly). All missions were accomplished nicely. The evening has been pretty quiet. I consider that a good way to end the day and start the week.

Stray Toasters

  • Earlier, I posted my first-ever submission for Inktober. I haven’t really drawn anything in months and haven’t seriously drawn anything in years. This should be fun.
  • Last night, we had our final session of the Shadowrun adventure my group’s been playing. The whole team survived; that’s a good thing. (For them.) I’d been co-GMing our group with my friend, Josh. He’s bowing out of running things and it seems that I’m going to be GMing the whole shebang from here on out. May the deity of my players’ choices have mercy on their souls…
  • I completely spaced off a few things in my recap of Salt Lake Comic Con ’17:
    • I got to meet Michael Stackpole and have him autograph a book I’ve had for many years.
    • I also met Yale Stewart, writer and author of JL8, a webcomic based on the Justice League… as grade-schoolers.
  • I know it’s probably going to get nerfed, but I love what the latest Overwatch update has done for Mercy (my main).
  • Two or so months ago, I discovered a new-to-me webcomic: Star Power. I’ve quite enjoyed it.
  • I’m still rather amused by how Team DiVa has taken to DuckTales – both the old and new series.
    • I think that we’re only a few episodes away from seeing my favorite Duckberg denizen: GizmoDuck!

Okay, time for  a snack and a little gaming before bed.

Namaste.


Comments
art · books · comics and animation · event · everyday glory · games · geekery · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok
End-of-the-week musings
April 22nd, 2017 @ 8:26 AM

End-of-the-week musings

Friday – 21 April 2017
Another week comes to an end.
And, apparently, it’s been a month since I dusted off the trusty blog. I really need to get better about this…

In short: It’s been a good – and eventful – month. The highlights of the month include, but are not limited to:

  • Going on a business trip.
  • Surprising my parents by showing up on their doorstep on the first leg of the trip.
  • Meeting some new coworkers on the trip.
  • Getting to visit with my uncle towards the end of the trip.
  • Coming down with some travel-related bug that had me down for almost a week.
  • The start of baseball season and the O’s getting off to a great start. Hopefully, they’ll keep some of this momentum through the season.
  • Meeting a Twitter and Facebook friend.
  • TRAINS!  Well, getting to head up to the train.. museum(?)… and one of my favorite train shops.
  • Traveling to Boise to visit family and friends over Easter.

    Sara, Team DiVa, and Grandmother – Easter 2017

  • Watching Team DiVa hunt for Easter eggs while we were gone and seeing their surprise at discovering that the Easter Bunny had apparently left Easter baskets for them at our home while we were out of town.

I’m sure that I’m leaving more than “a couple” things out, but all-in-all, it really has been a good month.

Stray Toasters

And with that…

So Long, Farewell, Goodbye.
(Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, not “The Sound of Music”)


Comments
art · baseball · business and economy · everyday glory · family and friends · food for thought · geekery · history · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · office antics · science and technology · travel · Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!
Saturday Night Musings
January 29th, 2017 @ 1:04 AM

Saturday Night Musings

Saturday – 28 January 2017
Happy Chinese New Year!

Another week comes to a close. Between being sick earlier in the week, having a vmware host decide to go on break – and take a few servers with it – in the middle of a workday, and the political shenanigans that have been going on here in the U.S., I can honestly say that I’m glad to have it in the rear-view mirror (or back-up camera, for some of you).

This isn’t to say that the week hasn’t been without its bright spots. Thankfully, there have been a few.

Stray Toasters

And that’s all for now.

Namaste.


Comments
comics and animation · everyday glory · faith and religion · food for thought · games · geekery · history · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · music · politics and law · Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!
“Burn Down the Mission…”
January 11th, 2017 @ 5:56 PM

"Burn Down the Mission..."

Wednesday – 11 January 2017
Yesterday was a troubled day. I was of ill humor for the better part of the day, thanks to external forces.

I resolved to bend. Not break.

I also had a seemingly all-too-rare John Stewart moment (1, 2):

Some bridges are need to be burned.

Reflecting on that, I even carried the thought further: Some bridges need to be burned – not only to keep you from going backwards – to keep others from dragging you back.

I also realized that in some cases, I don’t just want or even need to burn the bridge, I want to do it so the bridge burns and those on it are purged in the cleansing fire.

I’m not looking back, but I want to look around me now.

Despite being overcast and rainy and this morning’s comedy of errors – I overslept, spilled a LOT of water on the floor while trying to change the water filter in the refrigerator, and spilled a bit of coffee on myself right before leaving home – today has been much better and I’ve solved a work-related problem that contributed to Tuesday’s irritation. These are wins and I’ll gladly take them.

Stray Toasters

  • This weekend, I stumbled across the Wisconsin-Purdue basketball game and decided to watch it. About 1/3 of the way into the first half, Vanessa came in, sat down, asked what I was doing, and who I wanted to win the game. I explained that I wanted the Boilermakers to win and why – I went to school there. She was so surprised/excited by this, for some reason, she raced out of the room to tell Diana. Mission accomplished, she came back and watched most of the game. Enthusiastically cheering when Purdue scored, not-quite-booing when the Badgers scored. Diana came in for a fair portion of the second half. It was great. We might have to attend a local game and see if that holds their interest as much.
  • Sometimes, working with  a view of the mountains and the airport’s take-off/approach path doesn’t totally suck.
    • Last week, I saw Southwest Airlines’ Maryland One landing. Sure, it’s not really a little slice of home, but it was close enough for me. It surprised me, though, as I didn’t know that SWA was still flying unique liveries like that. I’ll have to keep an eye out for others.

      picture (c) Smithsonian Institution

  • Stan Lee – and other guests whom I wouldn’t mind seeing – was just announced as coming to Salt Lake Comic Con FanX in March…
  • #AlwaysForward
  • Everything really is awesome: The Daily LEGO Project finds the whimsy in everyday objects
  • The Jackal
  • I’m almost done with Dragonflight, the first book in the “Dragonriders of Pern” series. I’ve been enjoying it, despite a few questions I’m sure that almost any Pern-related wiki could answer… but I’m hoping that they play out in the story.
  • 5%
  • I can find music by Yoko Kanno and/or “a band called The Seatbelts” on Spotify, but neither of them are Cowboy Bebop-related, unfortunately.
  • I might play with my trains a bit this evening…
  • …there might even be whiskey involved.

.eof


Comments
basketball · books · comics and animation · event · everyday glory · food for thought · geekery · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · music · trains/model railroads · travel · Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!
Memory Dump
October 12th, 2016 @ 2:29 PM

Memory Dump

Wednesday – 12 October 2016
Stuff and things and whatnot.

Namaste.

 

 

 

Wait. That’s not a proper post. I really should do one of those someday…

I guess that since I’m logged in, I should make like Nike and “just do it.” Now.

*cracks knuckles*
::: deep breath :::

The past few weeks have been good. Work’s been interesting. The company I work for has been (officially) purchased by a larger entity. So far, things are remaining status quo. I also got to spend about 36 hours on the east coast, thanks to a business trip. I was pleasantly surprised at how “green” things still were – I expected to see far more fall colors. Oh, well. That was only a slight disappointment, to be honest.

Team DiVa continues to astound and entertain me.

There was even a seven-year-anniversary in there, too.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.


Comments
comics and animation · computers · engagement/wedding/marriage · event · everyday glory · family and friends · geekery · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · music · toys · travel
“A long time ago…”
June 4th, 2015 @ 5:06 PM

"A long time ago..."

Thursday – 04 June 2015
Hello and welcome back, #NBNThursday.

This morning, we had a little change to our routine: We took Vanessa to the dentist to look at what was causing her mouth to hurt. She has a little cut on her gum that the dentist said should heal in a week or two. The ladies go back in a few weeks for their first “real” visits. But, I think that seeing more or less what it is that the dentist does today should make going back for a check-up and cleaning much easier.

Last night, I actually made a reasonable dent in cleaning the Train Room. It’s amazing how much “out of sight, out of mind” factors in once you sit down at your desk, focus on your computer, and basically ignore the rest of the room. I’ve made a solid start and I just need to keep forging along that path.

Workout
I got up, out, and into the gym this morning.

  • Elliptical: 10 min/1.1 mi
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Many of you have most likely noticed that I tweet about going to the gym. Part of it is because of Swarm/Foursquare and the other part of it is for motivation. I guess that another part, at least for leg days and my #neverskipalegday hashtag, is an acknowledgement of two things:

  1. Leg days are not my favorite, and
  2. Thanking Jay Whittaker for the inspiration/incentive to go in and do leg work, like it or not.

I’ve also been using #carveawaythestone for workout tweets. That’s a throwback to a Rush song of the same name and a nod to not being lethargic and doing something that’s good for me and that I enjoy.

Stray Toasters

  • Sara introduced Team DiVa to Star Wars a couple nights ago, showing them the first few minutes of “A New Hope.” At this point, they can identify Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, R2D2, Chewbacca, and (most of the time) Han Solo.

    Picture (c) gameinformer magazine

    Picture (c) gameinformer magazine

    And, “Yes,” I plan to introduce them to the Disney Infinity version of the characters, when the games are released.

  • Why Haven’t You Canceled Your Cable?
  • These Dolls Get Sunburn to Teach Kids About Using Sunblock
  • I’ve never played Minecraft, but it seems to me that the new LEGO Worlds – which is being endlessly hyped as “basically Minecraft but with those little plastic bricks we love” – might be better served if people said that it was the next evolution of the now-defunct LEGO Universe, which was a game whose time was all too brief.

Namaste.


Comments
everyday glory · games · health · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · toys · workout
::: thunk :::
May 29th, 2015 @ 3:37 PM

::: thunk :::

Friday – 29 May 2015
“The best laid plans of mice and men…”

That is an excellent quote for the past 36 hours. Wednesday night, thanks to a couple of adorable children, I had a less-then-stellar night of sleep. As I noted yesterday, I figured that I might hit the gym after they went to bed last night.

No go, Flight.

I didn’t get out of the office until nearly 8:30 last night, chasing down what appeared to be a mail server issue. (More on this later.) By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was eat dinner and then do a lot of nothing. I was  highly successful at accomplishing both tasks. Before going to bed, I resolved to hit the gym this morning.

Strike Two!

Last night, Diana started getting a little sick and was up many times in the night. Mostly moaning “Mo-o-o-o-mmy…..” or “Da-a-a-a-a-ddy…..” or both. A couple of times, she came into our room for cuddles and/or to sleep. According to our Sense, either Sara or I (or both of us) were up about seven times last night. That made getting out of bed damn near impossible. I finally dragged my carcass out from the sheets around 7:45… and I felt like a zombie. (But nowhere as perky as Gwen Dylan/Liv Moore from iZombie (1, 2).)

Back in the office a little early – and a couple of cups of coffee later – I was informed that last night’s high-profile, high-priority email emergency was not only non-existent, but also a complete misunderstanding/miscommunication between two parties.

*grblsnrkx*

#ajobaintnuthinbutwork #LifeInIT

Aside from that, it’s been a decent day. It’s been relatively quiet.

It was also coworker Adam’s last day. He got “an offer he couldn’t (and shouldn’t have) refuse.” Fortunately, we only live a couple of miles apart and our daughters like playing together, so I don’t consider this him riding off into the sunset.

Stray Toasters

Okay, there’s a little more work to be plowed through before the day is done.

Namaste.


Comments
business and economy · comics and animation · everyday glory · family and friends · food for thought · geekery · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · music · office antics · the world · travel · zombies
Wednesday night quick hit
October 2nd, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Wednesday night quick hit

Wednesday – 02 October 2013
As I mentioned in Tuesday night’s post, Random Access has gone Pink for October.

Tonight, Sara! and I watched The Awakening.
Long story, short version: We liked it. I’ll do more of a write-up later.

Sara! just shared the following links:

And that’s it for tonight.

Namaste.


5 Comments
business and economy · event · everyday glory · food for thought · geekery · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · office antics
Team DiVa NBN Thursday
August 22nd, 2013 @ 1:16 PM

Team DiVa NBN Thursday

Thursday – 22 August 2013
Another No Bad News Thursday is upon us. Amen.

Life’s been good. The family is doing well. Team DiVa continue to surprise us with things that they have picked up. And they are coming up – quickly – on their second birthday. Time does fly.

The family at Silver Lake

The family at Silver Lake

Vanessa (l) and Diana playing with Rokenbok Monorail

Vanessa (l) and Diana playing with Rokenbok Monorail

More monorail time!

More monorail time!

And, speaking of Rokenbok, the girls were featured on the Rokenbok Facebook page, in a picture that Sara! took over the weekend:

Stuff

Intense concentration…

Reeling by on Celluloid
Since Sara’s back has gotten better over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten back in the habit of Movie Date Night. Last week, Sara picked Gallowwalkers:

gallowwalker-dvd

Wow. This was NOT a good movie. (Although, I still think I “win” the “Choose the Most Awful Movie” award with The Spirit.) Let me just say that there is no need for you to check out this movie — we took that hit for you. You’re welcome.

blue_dartblue_dartblue_dartblue_dartblue_dartblue_dartblue_dartblue_dart

That’s right… I resurrected the lawn darts to show just how bad this movie was. (And for those who are keeping score at home, I just effectively gave this movie a -8 rating. Yep, “negative eight.”)

Tonight was my pick. I rolled the dice and came up with Trance, a film by Danny Boyle, starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel:

trance_movie_poster

This… this was a good movie. It had suspense. It had some (not a lot, but “some”) action. There was an interesting twist – one that I thought I’d figured out about 1/3 of the way through the movie, but didn’t.

Seriously, though, if you are looking for an interesting movie that will keep you guessing, I give this a definite thumbs-up with an okay.

red_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_lego

 

Stray Toasters

  • For months now, Sara and I have been humming John Williams’ Imperial March (from Star Wars) to the girls whenever we change their diapers. It often winds up getting vocalized as “Bum Bum Bum… Check your bum… Check your bum…” Hey, don’t knock it – it’s kept them entertained.A week or so ago, I played this version of the song, from YouTube, while changing one of the girls. This may have been a mistake. Why? Because whenever it’s diaper-changing time now, they ask for “Bum bum check a bum…”
  • talesfromthecon_2013-08-22
  • Bee and Puppycat
  • I quite like this artwork , by Simon Stålenhag, and the way they mix science fiction pieces so casually in the environments.
  • jl8_140
  • Behind the Scenes on a Home Renovation Reality Show
  • There’s still time to get in on this Humble Bundle.

Now that I’ve done this entry, I should do the same for Pinstripes and Polos and Four-Color Coverage

Namaste.


Comments
art · comics and animation · everyday glory · games · geekery · house and home · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · style and fashion · zombies
“Don’t call it a comeback…” and Team DiVa Tuesday
August 13th, 2013 @ 8:30 AM

"Don't call it a comeback..." and Team DiVa Tuesday

Tuesday – 11 August 2013
It’s been a while.
Sure, that’s an understatement, but it’s my blog and there you go.

Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot going on. The highlights include:

The Train Room is (mostly) finished; the only thing remaining is to choose and install some baseboard. The carpet went in at the end of July. It was a bit more of an adventure than expected. And by “adventure,” I mean that the carpet was installed; the same day, we started noticing a couple of problems:

  • It started separating from the step in the room, 
  • There were patches were it appeared to have not been stretched and was coming up from the tack strips, and
  • There were spots where the tacks on said tack strips weren’t bent over… so you could feel them when you walked on those parts of the carpet.

Needless to say, there was a callback to have the job redone. When they asked if I wanted the same installers, I asked to have someone else come out, “to have another pair of eyes look at the job,” as I told the CSR. A few days later, the second installer came out and looked at the job. His comments included:

  • “I can’t believe they left it like this,”
  • “I’m taking pictures of this to send to my boss,” and
  • “This is the second time that I’ve had to go behind them and finish a job.”

When I came home after the fix, things were done properly… including adding a tack strip to the step to hold down the carpet. You know, the way it should have been done the first time.

But, the room is otherwise ready to go… as seen here:

Next up, was the Rush Clockworks Angels concert; my sixth Rush concert and fifth one I’ve attended in Utah. I went with Jeff (Galadriel’s stepdad) for his birthday. We were out on the lawn, just off-center to stage right, which afforded a great view of the venue and the crowd. The band played a show just shy of two-and-a-half hours, excluding a twenty minute intermission. The setlist included songs that I haven’t heard live in many years and some that I hadn’t heard live at all. It was a blast. I even ran into my friend, Jason and his son. Win-Win.

2013-07-31 - Clockwork Angels - 11378

Usana Amphitheatre, waiting for the concert to begin

2013-07-31 - Clockwork Angels - 11383

Ladies and gentlemen… Rush

Clockwork Angels tourbook and ticket

Clockwork Angels tourbook and ticket

And, while not quite as grand in scale as a home improvement project or a concert – but easily as grand on the “cool factor” scale, I got to hang out with Melissa (Sib-4) last week. It was nice; it had been far too long since we’d done so.

Also, last week, I set up my monorail for the girls to play with. I’d expected them to “like” it; I didn’t expect this:

[KGVID]http://blog.echopulse.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/monorail3.mov[/KGVID]

Totally worth it. In fact, it’s become their go-to spot between and after their nightly episodes of Team Umizoomi.

Saturday, we got up early and took the Team DiVa down to Stone Mountain Park for the Sandy City Hot Air Balloon Fest. The girls have been somewhat fascinated with hot air balloons and Sara! learned that the event was coming up, so it seemed like a perfect match.

Up, up and away...

Up, up and away…

We weren’t disappointed: The girls had a great time watching the balloons. They even got to see one landig, as we were driving away. On the way home, they kept asking for “More hot air balloons… More hot air balloons!”

Saturday night, Chris came over to play ‘Clix. We played a couple of games and he whupped my teams rather handily — I don’t think that I even managed to damage any of his characters in the first game. Yeah, it was that bad. But it was fun to play and well worth the drubbing I took.

Sunday was a good day. We started out with a trip to the Wasatch Front Farmer’s Market at Wheeler Historic Farm.

photo 3

Quiet repose on a bench – Vanessa (l) and Diana

photo 1

Here there be cows…

photo 2

Hey! There are rocks here, too!

 We ran into our friend, Diane, whom I don’t think we have seen in… a year or two. We also took the girls to see some of the animals.

Stray Toasters – Team DiVa Music Edition

  • Among the ladies’ top music requests these days are such diverse elements as:
    • Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up – which they call “The Star Song,” because of the cover art that shows up with it on Spotify
    • Gorillaz’ 19-2000 (Soulchild Remix)which they call “Baby Crying,” again because of the cover art. (Not sure exactly how they arrived at this one, but that’s what they call it.
    • The Monkey Song, from Animaniacs – their current favorite pre-bedtime song/video.
      • Sara! surprised me with the information that this wasn’t an original song, but was adapted from a song called Monkey, by Harry Belafonte.
    • Elmo’s Song, from Sesame Street (Hey, they’re kids. Go figure.)
  • Sunday evening, as we were leaving the house to go to Sara’s parents’ house, Diana started singing “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…” Neither Sara nor I taught her Bicycle Race, so we were stymied by her belting it out. It turns out that Sara’s mother taught it to the girls, singing it to/with them whenever they see a bicycle go by. Diana, seeing my bicycle in the garage on our way out, just did what her grandmother had taught her. “Clever girl.”
  • On the way home from dinner, the girls started singing “The Tra La La Song (Theme from The Banana Splits Show).” That one I take full credit/blame for.

And with that, I’m calling this entry “done.”

Namaste.


Comments
comics and animation · cyberpunk/steampunk · event · everyday glory · family and friends · games · geekery · house and home · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · monkeys! · movies and TV · music · toys · trains/model railroads · Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!
Tick. Tick. Tick.
June 8th, 2013 @ 9:40 PM

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Saturday – 08 June 2013
Good afternoon, Mr. President. Sorry I’ve been away so long. I won’t let you down again.” -Superman1

Life’s been good. And busy. All things considered, that’s not a bad combination.

Yesterday, Diana turned 21 months; today, Vanessa did the same. Yesterday was also my mother’s birthday.

It's hard to believe that this was almost two years ago...

It’s hard to believe that this was almost two years ago…

Okay, we took a break. Let's go!

Pictures of the Adventure Toddlers from a few weeks back.

I’m looking forward to having only two (2) more days of work before I’m on vacation. (Cue: Sunblock, by emmet swimming) We’re heading eastward for my youngest sister’s wedding. I’m sure that by the time we get back, we’ll need a vacation to recover from our vacation, but somehow, I don’t see that happening. On the other hand, in talking with Sara!, we realized that it’s been roughly three (3) years since we headed to the Right Coast. It will be good to catch up with family and friends – including some old classmates – in person, rather than just over the phone or online.

Reeling By on Celluloid
Some of the movies we’ve watched over the past few weeks:

Another group of four movies that are quite different and for which I had different expectations.

  • Gangster Squad
    gangster_squadwide
    This was a cops versus the mob period piece, set in 1940s Los Angeles. The fashion and style were good; the movie was okay. Nothing stellar, but nothing that made us want to claw our eyes out, either.
    prop-police-badgeprop-police-badgeprop-police-badgeprop-police-badgeprop-police-badgeprop-police-badge
  • The Last Stand
    arnold_in_the_last_stand
    Arnold is back, this time as a sheriff whose small town is in the path of an escaping high-profile fugitive, making a run for the border. This movie harkens back to chase movies of the 60s and 70s as well as “small town sheriff fights outside of his weight class” movies.

    It wasn’t a great movie, but it had some fun moments. If you’re looking for a fun, “turn off your brain and enjoy the ride” kind of movie, this might not be a bad way to go.
    sheriff_badgesheriff_badgesheriff_badgesheriff_badgesheriff_badgesheriff_badge

  • Superman: Unbound
    supermanunbound
    This movie was based on Geoff Johns’ “Brainiac” story arc from Action Comics in 2008. Given that – and the fact that it was such a good story AND the fact that it had some good voice talent behind it AND the fact that I’m something of a Superman fan – I had rather high expectations for it.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to it. I wasn’t overly thrilled with the animation. And the ending was very anti-climactic, to say the least.

    I don’t think that I’ve been this disappointed in a DCAU feature since Superman: Brainiac Attacks.
    superman_shieldsuperman_shieldsuperman_shieldsuperman_shieldsuperman_shield

  • Mama
    Mama-Movie-Wallpaper-2013
    This was Sara!’s last Movie Date Night pick. We hadn’t seen a good horror flick in a while and Guillermo Del Toro’s name attached to a project – even if he’s not directing it – usually means that you’re in for a good ride.

    I wish that was the case with this movie. It had moments of genuine creepiness, but they were more situational and psychological than anything else. The visual effects were… meh. And ,if I had to give a “Best Performer” award to anyone in the cast, it would probably go to young Miss  Isabelle Nélisse for her performance as Lilly… with only about five lines of dialogue in the whole film. Why? Because she was probably the most creepy kid in a film since Damian Thorne. Or the twins in The Shining.

    And the ending? I don’t even know what to say about the ending. (Not in a good way.)
    Emperor Moth (Male)_jpgEmperor Moth (Male)_jpgEmperor Moth (Male)_jpgEmperor Moth (Male)_jpgEmperor Moth (Male)_jpg

Stray Toasters

That’s good enough for now.

Namaste.

1: Superman II (1980)


Comments
cyberpunk/steampunk · engagement/wedding/marriage · event · everyday glory · family and friends · geekery · house and home · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · music · science and technology · Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!
So many things…
May 20th, 2013 @ 3:43 PM

So many things...

Monday – 20 May 2013
So, it’s been slightly longer than I’d intended since the last non-Team DiVa post. Time somehow manages to just slip away.

It’s been a good couple of weeks, for the most part. Home life has been good and, aside from spending far too many Saturdays in the office – it’s the best opportunity for server maintenance in a couple of cases – work’s been good. This past weekend was something of an exception since the maintenance that I requested and called back to verify on fell through. The service company shipped the wrong part AND didn’t review the error report I sent. Monkeys.

After the failed maintenance window, I headed back home. Sara! and I, thanks to the help of our friends, Dave and Angy, managed to put another nail in the coffin of a landscaping project that’s been long talked about and a tad slow to come to fruition: We got rid of the shrubs in the front yard. Dave and Angy brought over a stump grinder and, after about 75 minutes, the stumps of the shrubs were turned into mulch.

The girls have been doing well, for the most part; Diana had a brief bout of some food not agreeing with her over the weekend, but seems to back to her usual form again.

Reeling by on Celluloid
Over the past two weeks, I’ve seen four movies:

Four very different, but very entertaining movies. So let’s dive in:

  • The Cabin in the Woods
    cabininthewoods
    This movie was made between the time that Chris Hemsworth got on Hollywood’s radar as George Kirk in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek and was bulking up to play the God of Thunder in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor.I was recommended to watch this by a coworker. The only thing that he told me about it was that it was a horror movie. Okay, fair enough. Or so I thought.

    Yes, this was a horror movie, but it’s also something… else. Something different. The first few scenes of the movie don’t, at first, give you a sense of what’s to come. I was quite confused when the movie started — to the point of wondering if I had the right disc in the player. Just as the confusion was peaking, the opening credits came on-screen. But it still left a little bit of a disjointed feeling.

    The rest of the movie was entertaining. And strange. Very strange. But, I have to say that the strangeness only added to the movie’s appeal.
    bloody_knifebloody_knifebloody_knifebloody_knifebloody_knifebloody_knifebloody_knife

  • Star Trek Into Darkness
    star_trek_into_darkness-HD
    As just about anyone who knows me is aware: I’m a Star Trek fan and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of my all-time favorite movies. I think that it’s not just a great Star Trek movie, but a great movie in general. In fact, I usually refer to it as “…a great movie, with Star Trek trappings,” because it’s so well-done. When  rumors first started appearing that Into Darkness was possibly going to feature a variation on that story, I was pretty much ready to line up and tell the ticket seller, “Take my money!”Then, word broke that it wasn’t going to be a take on the original ST II. Okay. Fine. I can live with that. When I started watching the trailers, I caught hints of something else. Something familiar. But I was a little hesitant to think that Mr. Abrams and company would pull that particular trigger. Why? A couple of reasons:

    1) As much as I’m a fan of Star Trek: TOS, I’m an even bigger fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And the inkling that I was getting was something that was first seen on DS9.

    2) Abrams’ movies have reset the timeline, effectively, meaning that everything I knew about [REDACTED] never happened… or at least never existed in the way I knew.

    So, I went into the movie with as open a mind as my Trek-loving self could allow. Turns out, I could allow a lot. Abrams did a good job of expanding upon the story he started in the first movie. This movie was very upfront about showing young Captain Kirk’s penchant for flouting – or just outright ignoring – regulations. And, it was no less upfront about showing the consequences of those actions.

    We were then introduced to the movie’s antagonist, John Harrison. A man who is not what he originally appears to be; there’s something about him that just rang a little “off.”

    And, with that, the chase was on. Abrams took viewers on an action-packed, explosion-filled ride.

    star_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insigniastar_trek_insignia

  • Crazy, Stupid, Love
    crazy-stupid-love-poster_90839-1600x1200
    This was another coworker recommendation. To be honest, I didn’t have an interest in this movie when it was out and wouldn’t have given it a second thought had he not suggested it. Having watched it, I must admit: It was a lot of fun. More so than I would have expected.Steve Carell portrays a Cal Weaver, a man who finds that his wife wants a divorce. He accepts it, as best he can, and tries to get on with his life.

    Enter Jacob, a young man who seems to have it all and seems to have no problem meeting attractive young ladies. Jacob then becomes Cal’s mentor and the two begin a journey to get Cal back in the proverbial game.

    Bittersweet hilarity ensues.
    rocks-glassrocks-glassrocks-glassrocks-glassrocks-glassrocks-glassrocks-glass

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    The_Hobbit-_An_Unexpected_Journey_74

    I never read The Hobbit nor the Lord of the Rings Trilogy growing up. I own the Trilogy; it was given to me as a gift a few years ago, but I haven’t made the time to read them. So, when this movie was announced, I was interested in seeing it, but had no idea what to expect.It was a beautifully rendered film. Peter Jackson once again brought the world of Middle Earth to lush life. Again, having not read the books, I was surprised to see some familiar faces in the film.
    One_RingOne_RingOne_RingOne_RingOne_RingOne_RingOne_RingOne_RingOne_Ring

And there you have it.

Stray Toasters

  • I’ve been reading and listening to The Sword of Truth series. One of the recent books focused not on the usual characters, but on a couple of supporting characters. It was set basically between a couple of books that I’d already read; it was a little disconcerting to try and figure out the sequence/time frame. It also took me until about two-thirds of the way through the book to really warm to the new characters. But it wasn’t a necessarily “bad” book. I’m just glad to be back with characters I’ve been reading about for the prior six books.
  • By way of Sara!: 100 Films | 100 Behind the Scenes Photos
  • Looks like we’ll be getting a new Blink ‘Clix. Finally.
  • Pixel art from obscure video games
  • Bans on Same-Sex Marriages Can Take a Psychological Toll
  • One of my coworkers’ sons did a report on The Battle of Antietam for school. He not only did a report, but he made a stop-motion LEGO video to go along with it. I just saw this video and was duly impressed by it. I asked how old he was, just for reference. He’s 14.

Namaste.


Comments
books · business and economy · computers · education · games · geekery · health · history · house and home · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · politics and law
New week. New post.
April 22nd, 2013 @ 1:13 PM

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.

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

Namaste.


Comments
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...?!
“We’re only immortal for a limited time…”
April 8th, 2013 @ 11:57 PM

"We're only immortal for a limited time..."

Monday – 08 April 2013
As if Monday wasn’t… well… “Monday,” I woke to a phone call this morning. It was my sister, Rana, calling.

::: deep breath :::

I’d actually been kind of expecting a call from her over the past couple of days. I wasn’t 100% sure that I’d get one, but I wasn’t looking forward to it, to be honest. She said “Hi” and apologized for possibly waking me and then got on to the part of the call that I wasn’t looking forward to: “I just wanted to let you know that the ambulance is here to take Dad to the hospital.”

Oh, boy…

<< REWIND <<
Turns out that my father had a small heart attack on Thursday — Rana had called me Friday to comment that Dad had been “sick” all day Thursday and the better part of Friday. She even asked if I’d call and see if he’d tell me what was up. I called. We chatted, but he told me that he was feeling fine. He sounded a little off, but I chalked it up to him having been sick.

Dad called me again on Saturday, to ask some questions about some travel plans for this summer. Again, he sounded a little weak, but again, he’d been sick. I didn’t think much of it.

> PLAY >
So, as I mentioned, this morning’s call wasn’t totally unexpected. But, it made for a disconcerting start to the day.

They took my father in for surgery when he got to the hospital. As there was nothing that I could do from this distance, I set about getting ready for the day. I went to work and tried to lose myself in the business of the day. It helped some, but it wasn’t quite enough to quell the worries and questions in the back of my mind.

Over the course of the day, I messaged and talked with Rana a couple more times, and spoke with Adam (my younger brother) as well. Rana confirmed that Dad did, in fact, have a minor heart attack on Thursday. The doctor said that Dad didn’t wait “too late” to get attention, but would have been better off going in Thursday or even on Friday.

Needless to say, my mood today has pretty much run the gamut of emotions. There’s a line from a song I like, Dreamline, that played through my head more than once today:

WHEN WE ARE YOUNG
WANDERING THE FACE OF THE EARTH
WONDERING WHAT OUR DREAMS MIGHT BE WORTH
LEARNING THAT WE’RE ONLY IMMORTAL –
FOR A LIMITED TIME

“We’re only immortal for a limited time.” It’s true. But there comes a time when mortality becomes an all too-present fact of life. Today was one of those days when I thought about it. Mine. My parents’. Even my kids’. I never got to meet two of my grandparents. I lost my other grandparents, including one great grandparent, by the time I was seventeen. I won’t lie: I was not ready to have to deal with losing a parent. I know it happens. I know that it’s a part of life. And it’s something that almost everyone has to face.  Just. Not. Today. Please.

Late this afternoon, I was able to get my father on the phone. Despite having been through surgery earlier in the morning, he sounded much more like himself. (Possibly the best thing I heard today.) He related what happened over the course of the day: They inserted a couple of catheters and stints; turned out that they didn’t need the second catheter, so they removed it. There was some blockage, but they were able to clear it. And, it does not appear to have been any major damage done to his heart. (I think that this was the second best news that I heard today.) They’re keeping him for a few days’ observation. I’ll talk with Rana and/or Dad tomorrow to find out how he’s progressing.

There were a small number of people I talked with and confided in about the morning’s events. To all of them, I’d like to say a very heartfelt “Thank you” for your support and understanding.

It’s been a long day.
It’s also taken me until now to figure out how to get this all off my chest.
But, at least I can rest a little easier tonight.

Stray Toasters

And I think that’s just about everything and anything that I could have to say, save three things:

  • Be good to those you love.
  • Be good to each other.
  • Be good to yourselves.

Namaste.

 


Comments
comics and animation · environment · everyday glory · family and friends · food for thought · games · health · house and home · LEGO and Rokenbok · movies and TV · music · science and technology · style and fashion · the world · Whiskey Tango Foxtrot...?!
Team DiVa Tuesday – 02 April 2013
April 2nd, 2013 @ 3:38 PM

Team DiVa Tuesday - 02 April 2013

Tuesday – 02 April 2013
Here we are again. Lets get straight to the TDVT pictures…

Vanessa (l) and Diana, putting some change in their banks...

Vanessa (l) and Diana, putting some change in their banks…

This has pretty much become a pre-bedtime tradition with Team DiVa. It’s gotten to the point where – unless they are playing down in the family room before bed – they will ask for their bears and “muh-NEE” (or “muh-MEE,” as Diana sometimes calls it). Loudly. And emphatically.

IMG_0008

Diana (l) and Vanessa

IMG_0012

“Oh, hey… I found this LEGO magnet on the floor. Can I keep it?”

IMG_0011

“I don’t have time for pictures, Daddy!  I’m playing with LEGO magnets!!!”

Namaste.


Comments
everyday glory · kids · LEGO and Rokenbok