Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time…”

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"And I think it's gonna be a long, long time..."

Thursday – 03 November 2011
Another NBN Thursday in the valley.

That’s right: Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News.

Last night, I came home to find SaraRules! taking pictures of the girls. Thus, you get a fresh dose of cuetness:

Vanessa (left) and Diana

It was a fairly quiet night around the house. The girls were in good moods. Diana went to bed without much ado; Vanessa fought it a little longer. But, they were out in time for SaraRules! to get some quilting done and for me to not only read yesterday’s four-color haul, but also to watch the second half of the Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders game. (RSL won.) This morning, the girls were up slightly before my alarm clock went off, so I was home for a pre-work feeding, complete with Vanessa cuddles. Great way to kick off the day.

Stray Toasters


“I can’t stop thinking big…”

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"I can't stop thinking big..."

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

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

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

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

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

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

::: grblsnrkx :::

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

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

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

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

Stray Toasters


“There’s no bread… Let them eat cake!”

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"There's no bread... Let them eat cake!"

Thursday – 14 July 2011
Today is Bastille Day.

Last night was the release event for WizKids!’ Captain America HeroClix set. One of the nice things about release nights: I don’t have to judge the events, so I just get to play. (This isn’t to say that I don’t get asked rules questions, however… but I’m not the event judge, so I’m not constantly doing my best impression of the Shell Answer Man.) It was a 300-point sealed draft: Pick your team, up to 300 points, from two (2) booster boxes. I got obliterated in the first round, only picking off one of my opponent’s figures… for a whopping 57 points. The second round, my dice apparently woke up; I cleared my opponent’s team and didn’t lose anyone. In the third round, it came down to one figure for each of us… and I wound up on the losing side of the beatdown.  (Although, I was apparently “only” one click away from taking out Nick Fury.) All-in-all, I had a good time.

Today, as SaraRules! just pointed out to me, is going to be a long day: I was up and out of the house before 0700 this morning… and I won’t be done with the day until 2100 or so tonight, thanks to our childbirthing class. Good thing I stopped for a cup of frozen mocha motivation on the way in.

Groove. Boogie. Sway.
This morning’s iTunes bit o’ random play included:

Stray Toasters


“What I’ve succombed to is making me numb…”

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"What I've succombed to is making me numb..."

Monday – 11 July 2011
Despite the way I wrote it above it’s 7/11, which means “Free 7.11 ounce Slurpees at 7-11” Day! How’s that for a good way to kick off your week?!

Yesterday was a relatively lazy day. Of course, after starting Saturday very early in the morning and participating in a 5K, some might say that”lazy” is a subjective term. Well, in this case, it was less “subjective” and more “objective,” by far. There was sleeping in. There was lounging on the sofa. There was more lounging and lazing about. There was dinner (Teriyaki chicken, rice, sauteed vegetables) and a movie (Sucker Punch) with the in-laws, which was followed by… you guessed it: More lounging about on the couch, once we got home.

I got into the office a little early this morning, which means that I got to start the morning, um… somewhat loudly… with tracks that included:

  • Rush – The Spirit of Radio
  • Guy – Teddy’s Jam
  • Jimi Hendrix – Fire

Yeah, that’s a start to the Monday morning that didn’t totally suck.

Stray Toasters


Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.

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Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.

Wednesday – 29 June 2011
It’s midweek, and I don’t think that I’ve been so happy to see a Wednesday roll around in a long time. It’s not that this has been a bad one. It just feels like it’s been exceptionally long. On the “plus” side, it’s new comics day and game night, so there are a couple of things to which I can look forward.

Last night was Guys’ Night Out. , , Corey, Steve (the father-in-law) and I headed up to MacCool’s Public House for beer, food and shooting the bull. It was a very good way to spend the evening.

After I got home, I watched The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson for the first time in… longer than I care to admit. One of his guests was Neil Gaiman. The interview was fun, as the two went on and on about Doctor Who — Gaiman wrote an episode for the show this season; Ferguson was a big fan of the show in his youth. Later in the interview, Gaiman also made an amusing comment in which he posited that Mythbusters‘ Jamie Hyneman might be Cthulhu.

This morning, not long before the alarm went off, I had a dream in which Neil Gaiman appeared: He was in town for a book signing and we hung out. I met him once, very briefly, at a signing nearly ten years ago…

…he was quite pleasant. And, I would most definitely hang out and have a pint or two with him, but I don’t think that we necessarily run in the same circles.

Stray Toasters


Umm… what was I saying?

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Umm... what was I saying?

Tuesday – 28 June 2011
It’s a sunny and clear day in the valley and it seems rather inversion-free. A person could get used to this.

Last night, our evening errand-running included a trip to Costco. I hadn’t been to a Costco in… probably more than a year. I saw a few interesting things, but still managed to walk out empty-handed.

The evening was capped off with a Monday night episode of Top Gear, in which the hosts attempted to recreate the Wise Men’s journey to Bethlehem. (Somehow, I doubt that the journey was quite as comical as what we saw last night…)

Stray Toasters

And that’s all I have to say about that.


NBN Technical Friday

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NBN Technical Friday

Thursday – 28 April 2011
It’s “No Bad News Technical Friday.”  Hallelujah!

It’s kind of hard to believe that we’re only two days away from the end of April. It feels like it just started. I wonder how quickly the rest of Spring and Summer are going to fly by – or at least feel like they are flying by – now that we have the twins to look forward to as Summer approaches Autumn.

Twins. Most of the shock has worn off. Now, we’re trying to figure out just how many… adjustments… we’re going to have to make to our baby-prep plans. The grandparents all seem to be rather happy with the news. And, I think that this pretty much cements the idea that we’re staying at home again this Christmas. (I’m good with that.) Time to start looking at 529 Plans

Last night, we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday. We went up to the in-laws’ for dinner, dessert and general hanging out. For dinner, there was a homemade chicken pot pie. Correction: There were two (2) of them. And they were good. For dessert, we had homemade doughnuts, with an orange frosting. They, too, were good. It was a very nice way to spend the evening.

Back at home, SaraRules! and I watched the second half of Real Salt Lake‘s match against Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League Final. They seemed to play better than in last week’s match, but couldn’t get the ball into the net. This isn’t to say that they didn’t have the opportunities, but they couldn’t get the ball past Monterrey’s goalkeeper. And, since the final score was based on the cumulative score from both matches, Monterrey came away with a 3-2 total against RSL. I also believe that this makes Monterrey the first visiting team in… two years, I think… to win at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Stray Toasters


Corner kick

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Corner kick

Thursday – 21 April 2011
It’s another NBN Thursday in the valley. It’s partly sunny, but at least it’s not raining. For the time being, anyway…

Last night was Game Night 2, with and the gang. Actually, it was an abbreviated gang, as a couple of our group weren’t able to make it. But, we persevered and adventured on without them. And we lived to tell the tale.

Back at home, I joined SaraRules! in watching Real Salt Lake take on Monterrey in the Concacaf Champions League Final match. RSL looked a bit tired by the time I started watching (second half), but they held their own against… and the refs. I – along with a couple of the announcers – thought that the refs yellow carded a couple of plays that shouldn’t have drawn penalties AND they completely missed/ignored a red card offense against Monterrey. *shrug* RSL came out of the game with a 2-2 tie and the second leg of the match will be held at Rio Tinto Stadium next Wednesday.

Stray Toasters


“Easy like Sunday morning…”

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"Easy like Sunday morning..."

Sunday – 05 September 2010
So far, it’s been a nice and quiet day.

I slept in.
I decided to take a relaxing hot bath.
I finished Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days), which has been languishing on the bookshelf.
All the way around, I think that qualifies as a good way to kick off a Sunday.

Yesterday, SaraRules and I went for a walk along the Jordan River Parkway. We started at the 6400 South entrance and walked up to the 5400 South pavilions. We figured that the round-trip was somewhere between 2.75 and 3.00 miles.

Later in the evening, we met up with OnlyAly, and Jana and went to see the Real Salt Lake match against the New York Red Bulls. (Pictures here) I even ran into Tyranist and his wife, as well as my former coworker, Carilyn, at the stadium. RSL pulled out the win, which tied them for MLS’ longest consecutive home game win streak — 22 games. Added bonus: It looks as though we’ve converted a few more people into soccer fans.

Back at home, SaraRules and I watched Renovation Realities and Family Renovation before calling it a night. Schadenfreude at its finest.

Stray Toasters

If I’m up early enough, should I go to the driving range tomorrow morning…?


Hello, August…

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Hello, August...

Sunday – 01 August 2010
“Summer’s going fast…”
It seems as though July just started, and now we are beginning August.

Yesterday was also Ms. ‘s birthday.

Friday, was Day 5 of The Great Network Conversion. By the end of the (very long) day, it seems as though most things were in order. There was a lot of “hurry up and wait” involved, as we were awaiting some configuration to be completed at the home office. That didn’t help with the “longest day ever” feeling. Just before we left for the day, SaraRules dropped by the office, with a caramel mocha in-hand. (Have I mentioned ‘Coolest Wife Ever,’ recently?) By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was come home and take a nap. And that’s exactly what I did… and then it was off to gather with the rest of the Clitorati crew.

Saturday, I forced myself to sleep in. I know… I know… it sounds odd to have to “force” oneself to sleep in. But, considering that I woke up at 0700 and seriously contemplated getting up and starting the day — and given the fact that between Thursday and Friday, I put in nearly 24 hours in the office — sleep was a good and necessary thing. SaraRules went to the Open House at Repertory Dance Theatre; I stayed at home and did a bit of cleaning…

…until got here. We went to The Train Shoppe. I wanted to see if my new set had arrived. It hadn’t. Apparently, Lionel pushed back its shipping date by nearly a month. So… it should be here either just before or just after we  go camping.

Following that stop and a quick run to Dr. Volt’s, it was back home for a bit. Lunch. Hanging out with SaraRules. Exploring LEGO Universe… when it wasn’t being buggy. *shakes fist*

Later in the evening, SaraRules and I went to Rio Tinto Stadium to see Real Salt Lake host a match against DC United:

This also marked the first time that I have seen an MLS game live. (I doubt it will be the last time.) I had gone to MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League) games as a teenager, but that really comes under the heading of “same brand, different flavor.”  Or, for the SAT crowd:

Major Indoor Soccer League : Major League Soccer as…

  1. Roller Derby : NASCAR
  2. Arena Football League : NFL Football
  3. BMX : Motocross
  4. Stickball : Major League Baseball

The correct answer, in this case, would be “2”

The match was a lot of fun. We sat in the upper level and had a great view of the soccer pitch… AND the seats were very reasonably priced. And they were also covered, which became important when it started raining. RSL won the match 3 – 0, with a couple of goals coming in the last 10 minutes of the game.  (I was a little torn about the loss for DCU, though…) I am Ivory Soap sure that we’ll be back in Rio Tinto Stadium to see another match before the season ends.

Friday’s step count: I don’t recall, but it was somewhere around 3,600 steps
Saturday’s step count:  5,948

Stray Toasters

Now: Breakfast.
Later: Salt.