Archive for the 'environment' Category

“He’s not concerned with yesterday, he knows constant change is here to stay…”

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
"He's not concerned with yesterday, he knows constant change is here to stay..."

Thursday – 25 February 2016
Another fine day in the valley…

Long story, short version: Stuff. Things. Adventure.

The slightly less-abridged version is: I woke up a little early and did a short workout with dumbbells and a Swiss ball this morning. I went to work , dealt with the usual things, dealt with one not-so-usual-anymore thing, and even wound up having a coworker decide to have “Neal Day” and wear a suit in my honor.

Suited

Changing the work dress code, one coworker at a time…

Sara pinged me in the late afternoon to ask if I’d mind picking up Team DiVa, as she had to work late. That also put me in (nominal) charge of figuring out what to do for dinner. I delegated that responsibility to the little ladies. We wound up going to McDonald’s. It wasn’t a total loss, though, as they asked if we could eat there, so they could play in the PlaySpace. (An easy way to make my kids happy? Bet.)

After dinner, we arrived at home a couple minutes before Sara. Sometime between her getting a bite to eat and giving the girls a bath, I fell asleep. Quickly and rather deeply asleep. I missed bath time, but I was up for pre-bedtime prep.

The little ones are now asleep. I have read comics. And, I do believe that there is a nominal amount of gaming in the evening’s future. Selah.

Stray Toasters

And, with that, it’s time to figure out what game to play…

Namaste.

“Carve away the stone, Sisyphus…”

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Thursday – 02 April 2015
Another No Bad News Thursday draws to a close and I realize that it’s been a little while since I’ve blown the cobwebs off of here.

Life is good. I really can’t complain. Oh, sure, getting Team DiVa to actually go to sleep when we put them to bed can be… trying, but they’re kids. It’s normal. I just hope that this phase passes relatively quickly. (That’s normal, too, right? I mean, to hope for that as a parent…)

Last weekend, we took the girls up to Antelope Island. (On which, I have never seen antelope…) We did see bison, however. We also flew a kite and the girls threw rocks in the water. What can I say? It’s one of their favorite pastimes. They also touched the Great Salt Lake… and got a little muddy and sandy, which caused a little consternation on their parts/amusement on ours.

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I also stopped at a train store not far from the island, Almosta Junction. Although, compared to the last time I was there, it could just as easily be called “Almost a train shop.” It was a bit sad to see how little inventory they had. That store is definitely a labor of love.

Later that evening, I went to hear Jonni Lightfoot and W. James Woods play at a local restaurant.

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It was a good evening, until the waitress – not 10 minutes after I had paid – came back to tell me that they had no record of me having done so.

*grblsnrkx*

Fortunately, my bank and its app, had my back. Right there on the screen, big as day and twice as bright, was the charge against my account. Idiotsticks.

Stray Toasters

  • We “cut the cord” last week. We bought an HD over-the-air antenna (which has been great) and are just using our Roku (with Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sling). It’s been good. I do miss the flexibility of having a DVR to catch the things we miss, but I’ve been able to stream those shows, so no major loss.
  • This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. Every year, I recall the song Palm Sunday Downpour, as done by a trio of guys I know who used to go by the band name: Hat. On a lark, I decided to see if I could find a copy of the song on the ‘tubes. Lo and behold, I did. Not only that, It’s been updated and redone by one of the original band members, Christian Scott Martin. It’s not quite the version I remember, but it’s pretty damned close.
  • I’ve been playing – and enjoying the crap out of – Disney Infinity. I just finished the Avengers Play Set a few days ago. The final boss, a Frost Giant monster, took out my entire Avengers lineup. I wound up having to finish it off with Rocket Raccoon, which made me grin like a fiend. God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I’ll probably get started on the Guardians of the Galaxy set this weekend.
  • Boom de yada
    Boom de yada
    Boom de yada
    Boom de yada
  • Words that I never thought I’d string together: “Read this insurance company fan-fic.

That’s good for now. And, I can still get it in under the wire and still call it “today.” Nice.

Namaste.

Okay, who broke the weather…?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
Okay, who broke the weather...?

Wednesday – 01 May 2013
Midweek.
New comics day… although I actually picked up my things a little early.
Movie Date Night.

And then, there’s this…

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This is what The Weather Channel app showed this morning when I was getting ready for work.

 

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Note today’s forecast: 55. “Plenty of sunshine. 0% Humidity.”

 

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So, why was there snow on the lawn this morning?!

If I’d been a little quicker on the draw this morning, I’d have gotten a picture of it snowing. Big, white, fluffy flakes of Mother Nature’s frozen mocking laughter.

Oh, well.

Namaste.

New week. New post.

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
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.

“We’re only immortal for a limited time…”

Monday, April 8th, 2013
"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.

 

Friday: Things and Whatnot

Friday, February 8th, 2013
Friday: Things and Whatnot

Friday – 08 February 2013
It’s (almost) the weekend.

This evening, I’ll be getting together with a high school classmate for dinner. If memory serves, we haven’t seen each other since graduation… many moons ago.

Chew on This: Food for Thought – Black History Month
Today’s person of note: Zora Neale Hurston

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Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891 – January 28, 1960) was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Of Hurston’s four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Hurston was the daughter of two former slaves. Her father, John Hurston, was a pastor, and he moved the family to Florida when Hurston was very young. She was born in Notasulga, Alabama, where her father grew up and her grandfather was the preacher of a Baptist church. Her family moved to Eatonville, Florida, one of the first all-Black towns to be incorporated in the United States, when she was three. Hurston said she always felt that Eatonville was “home” to her and sometimes claimed it as her birthplace. Her father later became mayor of the town, which Hurston would glorify in her stories as a place where African Americans could live as they desired, independent of white society. In 1901, some northern schoolteachers visited Eatonville and gave Hurston a number of books that opened her mind to literature, and this may be why she sometimes describes her “birth” as taking place in that year.

In 1904, Hurston’s mother died and her father remarried, to Matte Moge. Hurston’s father and new stepmother sent her away to a boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida, but they eventually stopped paying her tuition and the school expelled her. She later worked as a maid to the lead singer in a traveling Gilbert & Sullivan theatrical company. In 1917, Hurston began attending Morgan Academy, the high school division of the historically African-American Morgan College in Baltimore, Maryland. It was at this time, and apparently to qualify for a free high-school education (as well, perhaps to reflect her literary birth), that the 26-year-old Hurston began claiming 1901 as her date of birth. She graduated from Morgan Academy in 1918.

To support herself and finance her efforts to get an education, Hurston worked a variety of jobs, including as a maid for an actress in a touring Gilbert and Sullivan group. In 1920, Hurston earned an associate degree from Howard University. She published one of her earliest works in the university’s newspaper. A few years later, she moved to New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, where she became a fixture in the area’s thriving art scene.

In 1921, she wrote a short story, John Redding Goes to Sea, which qualified her to become a member of Alaine Locke’s literary club, The Stylus. Hurston left Howard in 1924 and in 1925 was offered a scholarship to Barnard CollegeColumbia University where she was the college’s sole black student. Hurston received her B.A. in anthropology in 1927, when she was 36. While she was at Barnard, she conducted ethnographic research with noted anthropologist Franz Boas of Columbia University. She also worked with Ruth Benedict as well as fellow anthropology student Margaret Mead. After graduating from Barnard, Hurston spent two years as a graduate student in anthropology at Columbia University.

Living in Harlem in the 1920s, Hurston befriended the likes of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, among several others. Her apartment, according to some accounts, was a popular spot for social gatherings. Around this time, Hurston experienced a few early literary successes, including placing in short-story and playwriting contests in Opportunity magazine.

In the mid-1930s, Hurston explored the fine arts through a number of different projects. She worked with Langston Hughes on a play called Mule-Bone: A Comedy of Negro Life—disputes over the work would eventually lead to a falling out between the two writers—and wrote several other plays, including The Great Day and From Sun to Sun.

Hurston released her first novel, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, in 1934. She also established a school of dramatic arts “based on pure Negro expression” at Bethune-Cookman University (at the time, Bethune-Cookman College) in Daytona Beach, Florida.Two years later, she received a Guggenheim fellowship, which allowed her to work on what would become her most famous work: Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). She wrote the novel while traveling in Haiti, where she also studied local voodoo practices. That same year, Hurston spent time in Jamaica conducting anthropological research.

In 1942, Hurston published her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. This personal work was well-received by critics, but her life and career soon began to falter. Hurston was charged with molesting a 10-year-old boy in 1948; despite being able to prove that she was out of the country at the time of the incident, she suffered greatly from this false accusation.

Despite all of her accomplishments, Hurston struggled financially and personally during her final decade. She kept writing, but she had difficulty getting her work published. Additionally, she experienced some backlash for her criticism of the 1955 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which called for the end of school segregation.

In 1956 Hurston was bestowed the Bethune-Cookman College Award for Education and Human Relations in recognition of her vast achievements, and the English Department at Bethune-Cookman College remains dedicated to preserving her cultural legacy.

A few years later, Hurston had suffered several strokes and was living in the St. Lucie County Welfare Home. The once-famous writer and folklorist died poor and alone on January 28, 1960, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce, Florida.

More than a decade later, another great talent helped to revive interest in Hurston and her work: Alice Walker wrote about Hurston in the essay “In Search of Zora Neale Hurston,” published in Ms.magazine in 1975. Walker’s essay helped introduce Hurston to a new generation of readers, and encouraged publishers to print new editions of Hurston’s long-out-of-print novels and other writings. In addition to Walker, Hurston heavily influenced Toni Morrison and Ralph Ellison, among other writers.

reference: Biography.com and Wikipedia

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Enter: February

Friday, February 1st, 2013
Enter: February

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

Namaste.

Snowblind

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Thursday – 10 January 2013
Another NBN Thursday in the valley draws to a close.

When I woke up this morning, it was in the low 40s. That means that today started off warmer than it’s been during the day for the past week.

And then a snowstorm blew in.

Temperatures fell.
Traffic got stupid.
Yada. Yada. Yada.

And, I’m not kidding about the traffic. My commute home  – depending on the route I take and time of day – is usually about 20 minutes. Today, it was just shy of 2 hours. But, Sara! kept Team DiVa up until I got home, so I was able to end the evening with a smile. And a late dinner. Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Tonight was a perfect night for it, too.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

“And the meek shall inherit the earth…”

Friday, December 21st, 2012
"And the meek shall inherit the earth..."

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

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

And with that in mind, I give you: 2112

“Overture” and “Temples of Syrinx”

…and…

The whole “A” side of 2112:

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

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

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

 

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

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Friday: Stuff, Things and What-not

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Friday: Stuff, Things and What-not

Friday – 08 June 2012
It’s not just Friday…
Nor is it only Diana-Vanessa-Daddy Day…
Today is also the day that Vanessa turns 9-months-old:

The girls are taking their morning nap. After that, there will be some playtime. Then lunch. Then we’ll figure out whether we’re going somewhere before or after their afternoon nap. Most likely, it will be a post-nap excursion.

Stray Toasters

Twins are up… and after a longer-than-I-expected nap.  Back to hanging out with them.

Namaste.

Wednesday and all’s well…

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Wednesday and all's well...

Wednesday – 06 June 2012
Midweek.
New comics day.
Pasta and Movie Date Night… maybe.

Yesterday, the destruction of the grotto demolition of the gazebo was complete. There’s now just a slight depression (and a little debris) where the gazebo once stood. Pictures here. Now, we just need to decide what we want to do with the space.

Last night, Logan and Sanaz came over to watch the girls so that SaraRules! and I could have an actual, out-of-the-house date night. It was glorious. We went to see The Avengers – second time for me, first time for SaraRules… and it was just as much fun the second time around. While she enjoyed the movie, I had to ‘splain a few things about characters to SaraRules! after the movies. (Comics, go figure.) But, it was a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.

And, yesterday also saw a notable dip in temperatures around here.  It was in the upper 90s on Monday; yesterday barely made 60.  And last night, we actually had to turn on the furnace. Yeah. Welcome to June in Utah.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Waypoint

Monday, April 30th, 2012
Waypoint

Monday – 30 April 2012
A new work week begins as April ends.

This morning, Diana decided to wake up around 5:30. I thought it somewhat odd, as she took fairly short naps yesterday and fell asleep fairly easily last night. While she’s been “inchworming” herself backwards for the past few weeks, she’s recently started rolling over in her sleep, from her back to her stomach. When she wakes, this distresses her for some reason. Usually, we can turn her back over and she’ll nod off again. But, sometimes – like this morning – the nodding off takes a while. (Fortunately, she’s pretty good about playing somewhat quietly in her crib.) Still… 5:30.

Meanwhile, Vanessa slept. Until a little after 7:00.


Vanessa (l) and Diana

That aside, this was a good – and busy – weekend. SaraRules’ sister, Meliko, came into town Thursday for Steve’s birthday.

Friday, we went to Pat’s Barbecue for lunch. It was quite good. (Typing that, I just realized that I have leftovers that would have been perfect for lunch today…) Then, it was home for the girls’ nap. Later in the day, we headed over to Steve and Bonne’s for dinner.

Friday evening, I swung by SteamHead Cafe for their grand opening. They had a great turnout. Some of the Clitorati group were there, so there were familiar faces, too.

Saturday was another busy day. I was set to judge the April “Infinity Gauntlet” ‘Clix tournament for Dr. Volt’s Comic Connection. Or most of it, anyway. It turned out that I was double-booked: Red Butte Garden was having a Beginners Bonsai class that coincided with their Bonsai Show and competition (pictures) and I had signed up for the class. It was instructional and informative, but there was not a hands-on component.

By the time I got back to Dr. Volt’s they’d already finished the tournament. So, I headed home… just in time to watch Team DiVa, while SaraRules! fixed dinner.

Sunday, we got up and met the Kelly clan at Millcreek Cafe and Eggworks for breakfast before Meliko had to leave. After breakfast, SaraRules! and I had planned a pilgrimage to The Garden of Sweden, but we forgot that it didn’t open until noon. We got there just after 11 AM.

*shakes fist*

So, we took a leisurely drive around the valley and wound up at Pin-up Girl Espresso. We did make it to IKEA, after the girls’ lunch and all-too-brief naps. And then, up to the in-laws’ for dinner. I wound up the evening with episodes of Firefly, Young Justice and The Legend of Korra.

|| PAUSE ||

He stared at the twin vases on his desk. They were, generally speaking, rather non-descript. Glass. Round. Six inches tall. The only difference between them was that one was filled with glass beads, the other only had one.

“Twenty-nine,” he said to the empty room.

He’d been pondering this idea for a while, almost a month. He leaned forward, grabbing the nearly-empty vase, and turned it upside-down. The lone glass bead dropped to his desk. He watched as it wobbled and finally came to a rest. He reached forward, returning the empty vase to its home. He sat back in his chair, staring at the bead. Not surprisingly, the bead didn’t have much to say.

A lopsided grin crossed his lips. He batted the bead across the desktop a few times before picking it up. He stood and walked around to the front side of the desk. He dropped the bead into the full vase.

“Thirty.”

He inhaled deeply, turned and walked out the door.

> PLAY >

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called ‘Life.'”

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called 'Life.'"

Wednesday – 25 April 2012
It’s the middle of the week… which means that it’s new comics day as well as Movie Date Night.

Last night, Matt, Dave, and I missed our usual Guys’ Night Out activities and, instead, went to see the Utah Jazz take on the Phoenix Suns in a game with major playoff implications: If the Jazz won, they would be in the playoffs. If they lost, Phoenix would have to lose their next game and the Jazz would have to win their next game.

Needless to say, there was a lot of anticipation about this game. What we didn’t know until we got to the Energy Solutions Arena was: Tip-off had been delayed from 7:00 to 8:30, for TNT’s broadcast coverage. On the other hand, this gave us plenty of time to get something to eat. We opted for Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana. And we finished it off with gelato from Capo Gelateria.

Meanwhile, back at the arena, we got to our seats and got ready for the game.

This was my first Jazz game in over 14 years; I haven’t been to one since before I moved out here. Seriously. And it was a great game to attend. The Jazz played well, except for late in the 3rd and early in the 4th quarters. But, they pulled it off with a 100-88 win, clinching a playoff berth.

It was a fun way to spend the evening and a great change of pace for Guys’ Night Out.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Almost done…

Friday, April 20th, 2012
Almost done...

Friday – 20 April 2012
It’s my “on” Friday. And, it’s also “4/20.” (Insert your own jokes here.)

Last night was my night to fix dinner. After wracking my brain over what to fix, I decided to head up to the local Whole Foods and see what they had in their meat counter. I returned home with four good-sized Parmesan Chicken breasts. While they were in the oven, I prepared some rice in chicken broth (and a little lemon pepper, for flavor). I added a salad for our vegetables and we called it a meal.

We watched Castle while we ate; it was a fun episode, with Nathan Fillion’s Firefly costar, Adam Baldwin, as a guest star. After dinner, I joined a couple of coworkers online and played a little MW3. And had my virtual ass handed to me. Repeatedly. But, it was still fun… despite the ego-bruising.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Making a splash…

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Making a splash...

Thursday – 19 April 2012
It’s a grey and intermittently drizzly NBN Thursday in the valley. Looking into the distance, it looks as though we’ll have clear(er) skies a little later.

Last night was my turn to give the girls their baths. Given how well they did in the hotel tub, we decided to remove the chair from the girls’ baby tub. Diana had a ball, discovering that she could splash in new ways:

Vanessa was more apprehensive at first, but warmed up to the concept after a few minutes:

The next few bath times should be interesting, to say the least.

After Team DiVa was abed, SaraRules! and I watched Hugo for our date night movie. We both knew next to nothing about the film, other than it won awards and that people we knew said that it was good. So, we took a chance…

…and it was totally worth it. It was a fantastic film. I’d heard it described it as “Scorsese’s love story about movies.” And, I’d have to agree – it was definitely a movie about a man’s love and passion for movies. And it was very well done.

Stray Toasters

And, it looks as though the sun has finally put in an appearance.