Monday, December 28, 2009

Every "Kiss My Ass" begins with Kay

*Do not do business with Kay Jewelers. An attempt to do spomething nice for me turned into a nightmare for Pinklady when the Powers That Be of Kay Jewelers ducked into the bunker of corporate policy and refused to even consider the notion of customer satisfaction. So, don't do business with them, unless you have a masochistic streak...

*I think it would be accurate to say that there is more snow on the ground right now than there was at any point during the last winter. Suffice it to say, this does not amuse me in the least.

*Giftmas took waaaay too long this year. Apparently Zella and the MIL need to start unwrapping things in the last week of November to keep things moving along.

*Some people call it decor. In certain cases, I can agree with that label. Other times it's just endless amounts of crap stuck into every available space for unknown purposes.

*Brake pads, new rotors, valve cover gaskets, tires....and all I thought I was going to get her was the stupid remote start for her car.

*If you're gonna get to be good at it, you have to put the time in. Period.

*The $40 vintage bar is gonna cost me at least that much in materials to do the rebuild/rehab/refinish work. But it does look like it belongs with all the other things I've collected.

*If anyone else offers me a cookie or some other type of sweet treat, it is highly possible that my pancreas will leap out of my abdominal cavity in an exhausted frenzy and beat them up in a most savage manner.

*It's my own fault. I realize that now. I have nobody to blame but myself for the fact that Bones has been playing non-stop on my TV since the 18th of December. I knew she liked the show, which is why I got her the DVDs. I even like the show. But I don't think I could put the first four seasons on an endless loop and just keep watching it over and over again. Oh, well. If nothing else, it's keeping her entertained. Now if I could just get that stupid theme music out of my head...


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


*I have hit another series of weird and vivid dreams. The one from Sunday felt like it just went on and on and on. And just who was the Asian girl?? Monday night found me back at the Family Fountain, or some altered form of it. Makes me wonder if there's something going right, or maybe wrong, with my medication levels.

*Of course if you get repeatedly poked in one of your internal organs with a little piece of plastic there's going to be some blood as a result.

*I forgot how fast freshly opened logs dry out in this kind of weather. Got to work a bit faster on that project before that log ends up ruined. Grind time can wait.

*I gave in and bought yet another new game. Did it pretty much without even thinking, too.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tubes of Glittering Seafood Paste

*A week of vacation time came and went before I knew it. Of course, I had my usual gargantuan list of things to do, and of course I got very little of it done. I'm not sure if I had finally caught a sample of whatever it was that had gotten the wife ill, or if I was in a depressive episode, or some of both. Whatever it was, I allowed it to burn through my vacation time without consequence. Could be a sinus infection. I'm a bit stuffy, but just on one side of my head. Doesn't hurt when I tap on my face, though. This whole whatever it is made me miss my holiday get-together with Jeweltiger, which I still have yet to be able to reschedule. The Pirate Queen also remains a rather vague notion on my calendar of events. And I still have no idea when Boots is going to have her appointment. I did get to meet some of the folks from the DRPGG, and it looks like that could be an amusing group to hang around with. Helm is already on the calendar, and I may fish for interest from others for tomorrow night.

*The people in my high school graduating class need to stop having birthdays. Right freakin now.

*Kittyluv dropped some good news on me, and hope things keep moving in a positive direction for her!

*While I admit that I have no idea why my pillow smelled like cookies, I do know why my scrubs smell like coffee.

*I had forgotten what an interesting, yet difficult, material bone is to work with. Makes me think I should go find where it is that my mini-hack drifted off to. Still, I intend to see what it is that I can do with some standard (read as: easily portable) hand tools before I go looking for new methods.

*It may not yet be the OFFICIAL HOLIDAY, but the wife and I got all of that nonsense out of the way on Friday. After 17 years (amazing as that is), we have managed to streamline the process a bit. This year I opted to increase the % chance of success of my gifts by increasing the overall number given, as well as doing all my shopping the same day the gifts were given. In an unusual turn of events, I somehow ended up with a 100% approval rating across the board. At the exact other end of the spectrum, the wife opted to go for one gift, which was chosen months ago. Unfortunately, also on the other end of the spectrum, I'm not at all sure if I like it. Given the amount of money tied up in it, it makes no sense to keep it if it won't get used (which is what I'm thinking the case may be). The flip side of that would be, I have no suggestions for a replacement gift of a similar magnitude. At the moment, I have no idea what to do.

*All the tile is in the master bath. No grout yet, but the tile is in. Looks like the arrival of the vanity may be the next thing that hangs up the progress of the work. The toilet and other fixtures we have already on site, but it turns out the vanity is going to arrive (possibly) a week later than we had been told it would. This has proved to be yet another annoyance for the wife, who is already aggravated about being displaced to the guest room by the construction.

*It was interesting to be right there when the Candyman finally achieved his long time dream. Just goes to show that if you don't put the time in, you won't get anything out.

*I may have found a bar for the tiki lounge. And for a mere $45!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Delayed Jell-o Gratification Muffin Clusters

*OK, folks, it's December. Actually, it's late mid December. Furthermore, it's late mid December in northern IL. Just gotta love those double digit sub-zero wind chills. But yet, there are people out there who seem surprised by this occurrence. Some are even seem to be amazed that the pajama pants they're wearing aren't doing much to keep them warm. I think the whole lot of them should go lick a metal pole outdoors. And then, while they're stuck there, they should be nibbled on by hordes of overly enthusiastic deer. Maybe then every other sentence out of their mouths wouldn't be about how cold it is outside.

*That new blonde on Mythbusters that's taking Kari's place-with her I'm not too thrilled so far. There's just no hot science geek vibe happening there.

* Had to go to Menard's today to get the new vent fan for the bathroom. It's always just so damn amusing to drive around town the day after a burst of winter weather hits. Anyway, I get to the store, and was getting ready to get out of the car. I pull on the handle to open the door, and it just freakin snaps off in my hand. Well, crap. Wasn't expecting that to happen at all. Fumbled around for a few minutes until I came to the conclusion that it was basically impossible for me to get out of the car from that door unless I rolled down the window and climbed out. And I can tell you that that wasn't going to be happening. So now, I can get into my car from the driver's side, but if I want to get out of the car, I have to pick another door. Lots of fun climbing over the gearshift and parking brake in full winter gear. Called Motor Works when I got home to see just how much this was gonna cost me to get fixed. If I want the nice silver Mazda brand handle that matches all the other handles in the car, that's $110 (just for the part). Got that? A plastic door handle is $110. But, if I get the Ford Escape (which is basically what my car is) black plastic door handle, that's just $55. Go figure. Looks to me like I'm gonna have one mismatched door handle.

*The remodel of the master bath is coming along quite nicely. Having to be up at 0800 every day to let the contractor in is annoying. The notion that it may be painted and ready for tile by the end of the day Friday makes those kind of things a little easier to take.

*I have come to discover that even the hardest of wood is pretty easy to carve when you get into it while it's still wet inside. The downside is that it checks (splits) like crazy when it dries out. Good thing I like the way the finished product looks when that happens.

*I am in the process of adjusting my eating schedule. Since I come home every night from work and dive into the fridge (as the weight I've gained will testify), I am probably going to stop eating breakfast. Before you go and spout all kinds of nutrition nonsense to me, hear me out. When I get up at 0900, I'm rarely hungry. So, if I have breakfast when I get up only to turn around and have lunch at noonish, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Seems more reasonable to have a smaller meal type thing when I get home form work, and start the day with just some coffee or juice or something like that. Plus, I need to get back on the treadmill for the winter. Actually, I need to excavate the treadmill from the creeping pile of crap that has engulfed it, then I need to get back on it.

*It was right there. A mere click of the mouse away. Tempting me. Teasing me. One push of the finger, and it could have all been mine. A nearly complete collection of HeroScape items (with free shipping!!). And all I could do was watch it go by. CURSE YOU E-BAY FOR SHOWING ME SUCH LOVELY THINGS!!!!!!!

*The wife is making a slow comeback from whatever bug it was that has kept her ill for the past 10 or so days. Just as a point of interest, I have noticed today that my throat is becoming rather persistently scratchy. If I end up getting sick right before my vacation starts, or being sick over the course of my vacation, I shall be most put out.

*I swear that Lucy is going to make me shovel a patch of the yard just because she won't hunker her furry little butt down and do her business in the deep snow. Don't even bother telling me how spoiled my dogs are.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Sans Sulfurous Soda Sludge

*Turns out I missed seeing BMG lighting the Las Vegas city Christmas tree on GMA this AM. Guess that's what I get for not being more vigilant about checking my FB notifications.

*First bits of wispy dry snow came down overnight, and some of it is still hanging around. Guess that means I can't deny the fact that winter is here. The weather guys are saying a 6-12" snow could be on the way next week. That means I need to make sure I have gas for the thrower so I can see if it starts. And runs. I also need to get all the demolition trash out of the garage so Pinklady can get her car in there.

*I can't deny that I have probably talked to people on the phone while using the bathroom. However, unlike the guy in the employee locker room this afternoon, I have never talked to someone on the phone while taking a thunderously loud pee in a restroom that is nothing more than one big echo chamber.

*I was going to try and have a game gathering yesterday, but opted not to, as the forecasters were calling for some nasty weather and my intent to get a lot of piddly stuff done around the house, neither one of which actually materialized. So, I'm going to try again and shoot for next Tuesday, which is also supposed to be a beastly weather day. I put the notice up on the DRG message board today, and we'll see if I get any responses. My first post garnered all of 2 responses, even though it was been viewed quite a few times. I really am starting to think that the number of people out there who actually play games anymore is quite a bit fewer than the small number I had already thought it to be.

*Our bird feeder is being frequented by a small woodpecker, as well as various other assorted small birds. I saw another feeder I liked in a catalog that would seem to be able to keep the squirrels at bay. Thinking about getting another one just because it's nice to be able to see some signs of life outside when the weather is cold. Plus, Lucy really enjoys eating all the seed that the birds spill. I know it's weird. I just look at as her way of getting some fiber in her diet.

*When a cold makes the wife miserable, it makes me miserable as well.

*Seriously, how could someone in my general age demographic NOT know who Bob and Doug McKenzie are?? That could also very well mean I'm the only one left who remembers Sniglets...

* "Funny People"
Another listing in Adam Sandler's smallish listing of semi-serious film work. I enjoyed it for the most part, but Pinklady said that it reminded her of a male version of "Beaches". As I have no basis to evaluate that comparison, I had to take her word for it. I was also surprised that it clocked in at 2 hours and 15 minutes long. Given the choice, though, I still prefer "Spanglish".

*Have I recently mentioned my fondness of coffee?

*OK, I had to go to the Dr's office this morning. I had an 1100 appointment, so I was there about 10 till. While I'm sitting there waiting, this woman comes in and apparently she had the 1030 appointment, but was late because she said she had a phone call from Sweden or Holland, or something like that. My logic is, she missed her appointment, so she could work in where they could fit her. I was on time, and waiting, so I get my appointment on time. Right? Nope! She gets to go in first, and I got an hour tacked onto my wait time for an appointment that took less than 10 minutes once the doc got into the room. Am I wrong in giving that situation a big huge WTF?


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tiled Stumpy Ball Point Bananas

*We were expecting to hear from the contractor about starting the bathroom on Monday, so I got started on demoing the bathroom Sunday afternoon. Bashing my way into walls proved to be as amusing, deafening, and dusty as I thought it would be. The good news was that in the parts of the wall that I managed to uncover, there was no evidence of water damage, mold, insects, or other types of vermin. That's always a good start. It looked to me like there was already a vent from that bathroom, so I'm hoping that part of the job can be skipped. The sink, toilet, and vanity all came out without major incident, and there was no hidden damage that was discovered. The only issue was some minor troubles getting the right type of pipe caps, and needing to decide if I should reinsulate the walls while I have them open. So, after a couple of hours of tearing down drywall, I decided to leave the rest for the next day.

Monday morning rolled around and I once more donned my safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, and dust mask (quite a sexy ensemble) in preparation for yet more deconstruction. On Sunday, I had worked my way around the walls, leaving the shower enclosure and the space where the medicine cabinet was (since that had the only light in the room), so these were the only things that stood in my way of being done. I was thinking I'd be done before lunch. Now, the contractor had told me to use a Sawz-All to remove the shower enclosure in pieces. I thought I could most likely accomplish the same thing with my RotoZip. I was not quite entirely wrong, but pretty close. While it did indeed penetrate the fiberglass pretty easily, it also threw up a horrendously large cloud of very finely ground fiberglass particles in the process. Since I now value my lung function more highly that I did when I was younger, I decided to discontinue the use of that tool. Next, I opted to use a hammer to basically perforate the fiberglass, which I could then rip off in decent sized hunks. This technique, while satisfying in a very base manner, proved to be as inefficient in destruction as it was inversely inefficient at generating sweat. I finally decided to head for the garage and get my Sawz-All. And go figure, it worked like a fucking charm. Zipped right through that fiberglass like it wasn't even there. Three quick cuts, and the whole back panel was out, and.....holy crap, what is that? Is that a drain line? Glad I missed that with the saw. Shit. That's an electrical line for the's even closer to the shower back than the drain line was...I must have missed that by...shit......That was waaaay too fucking close.

I obviously decided to not share this little detail with the wife. Mostly because I knew she'd freak out, but also partly because I didn't want to think about just how close a call it was. So I didn't. The saw went back into use, and the last wall of the enclosure came down without me sawing into the water pipes in the wall. Then all was left was to remove the floor pan. In another burst of genius, I didn't bother to check and see how it was connected to the drain pipe before I tried to pull it out of place. I got it out. Snapped the drain trap in half, but I got it out. After running to Menard's to get another drain plug, it was time to go after the medicine cabinet. Went to the garage and got a trouble light so I could see what I was doing once I shut the light on the medicine cabinet off. Made sure the switch was off, and then started to take the bolts that held it up out of the wall. Got those out and was left with it hanging from the wall by the electrical line. Sooo. Let's see how this is hooked up here. Gotta stand on the stool, since I can't see back there. Hmmmm. Why are there 4 lines coming in from the wall? Should be 2 and a ground, but there's 3 and a ground. Whatever. I need to get this done. Just undo the wire nuts one at a time and then cap off the lines from the wall. OK, why won't this come down? Oh. Cable clamp. Loosen that, and it should come right down. Damn. That's not gonna go through there all at once, not with the wire nuts on the lines. Is the switch off? OK. Guess I'll just pull them through one at a time. Ground first. Now the green one. Need to change my grip. Think I'll just sandwich it between myself and the wall to help hold it up. white one next. Just that black one and I'm done.

Then it felt like I got punched in the throat. I took a quick step backwards off the stool with the medicine cabinet in my hands. In that split second, I understood what had happened. Four wires going into the fixture means that the power goes to the fixture before going to the switch. Since I hadn't killed the circuit at the panel downstairs, the wire nut must have come off while passing through the back of the cabinet, leaving bare end of the LIVE black wire to come in contact with the metal medicine cabinet, which was snugged up against me between my chin and my waist. Oh, crap.

The wife came running from wherever she was in the house asking what I had done. Gracie started going nuts as she asked in louder and louder volume what I had done and If I was all right. I must have been somewhat stunned as I tried to process what had just happened while trying to convince her I was OK. I didn't do a very good job of it, as she was very quickly hustling me into the car and off to the hospital. A three hour stay in the ED, along with all the stuff that goes along with it, showed that I had suffered no ill effects from the jolt, aside from the sting of stupidity every time I had to relate what had happened to me. I was also forbidden to finish the rest of the demolition.

By the time we got home, I had made several admissions of the rather glaring errors I had made in the interest of getting things done in a hurry. That didn't do a whole lot to convince the wife that I should be allowed to remove the last 7-8 square feet of drywall that was still up. Somewhere in the course of the evening, she relented this position without actually saying so, and when I got up Tuesday morning, I finished what I had started AFTER turning off the power at the circuit box downstairs.

In the end, I somehow managed to survive yet another potentially fatal collision with my own stupidity. All I know is that my stockpile of second chances has got to be getting pretty slim. And, to top it all off, we still haven't heard from the contractor yet.

*Coffee is my friend.

*Even though I have a pretty good idea of what to put on the lists of all the people who are demanding lists, I have not actually gone so far as to actually write them down. I need to do that tonight and tomorrow, lest there be socks, gift cards, and underwear in my future.

*No apparent damage to the house from all the guests this past weekend. Just a couple of pee spots and some misplaced game parts. No biggie.

*BlackWednesday made a brief appearance in a dream the other night. No idea why.

*I know what to get the wife for Giftmas, I just need to figure out where to buy it from. What would that be, you ask? Exactly what she told me to get her. Duh.

*In the midst of more pointless Facebook wanderings, I may have actually discovered something of some value. A posting by someone I know, and have gamed with on occasion, indicated that he had joined a DeKalb area RPG club that was on So, I wandered over to that site, found the group, and joined it, hoping that I could expand my contact pool of potential gamers in that manner. Figures that if I can't get a group of my own started just yet, I should at least be in contact with a group that's already going. We'll see what happens from here. I will refrain from getting all tingly just yet.

*I guess it's a compliment when another guy tells you that they had no idea that you were as old as you are. Right?


*In my endless quest to endlessly provide myself with an endless stream of things to endlessly do, I have started peeling a new log, thus bringing the total number of tikis in progress to 4. Of course, that does not take into account all the other stuff still hanging around that needs my attention.

*I have had a craving to start playing Roller Coaster Tycoon again.

*Of course I'd love to take Kittyluv to see BMG! Partly because it means I would get to see them again, too!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Telephone Custard Avoidance Workshops

*I have no idea if it's going to be busy at work today or not. I'm hoping not, but at the same time I'm just tired enough that a really slow evening could end up putting me right to sleep. Doing a turn in chemistry makes it easier to get through the night, but I'm gonna need other things to keep my brain in gear. And I'm betting that won't include my BB comp. So far, ED seems to be the one department putting on quite a show. I think I'd bet that Monday will be quite Hellish around here as well.

*Thanksgiving. Whoo frickety hoo. After dinner, the greatest form of entertainment was watching Zella in her bouncy chair. And even that got old after an hour. At least I got to see the Mythbusters episode about duct tape that I had missed.

*My right shoulder is messed up from my horrid posture when I use the computer at home, and my left wrist is sore from all the carving I've done in recent days. Makes rolling over at night just tons and tons of fun.

*Thinking I may need to take Jeweltiger up on her offer for this weekend.

*Can two items be considered a list? At the moment, that's what I have as far as gift requests go. I know that will not be acceptible to the MIL. The Pirate Queen also submitted a demand for a list. And Kat needs a list. So far, the only person I know of who hasn't expressed any need for such a thing is Shroom.

*OK, it is not fair that the spouse said I could go ahead and buy some more HeroScape stuff for myself, only to find other things that I wouldn't mind having on sale on the same website. Of course, I should be concentrating my efforts on E-Bay instead of where I was looking, but at least I found a few things. I want to try and find somewhere online that Games has their annual lists of the top 100 traditional games of the year. That's always been a good place to find some ideas to throw on my list(s).

*I went to a lot of effort to rearrange and lay out the basement in a presentable fashion at the requests of my spouse, only to have to undo most of it in order to fit the two air mattresses needed for the kids. File that one under 'Why Did I Bother?'

*Up at 4 AM the day after Thanksgiving? You betcha! Had to clean up the places where the guest dog had peed in the house! What a bargain!!

*I have to remember to call the contractor tomorrow and figure out the plan for getting started on the bathroom remodel. I'm thinking I just need him to drop off the truck so I have a place to put all the debris from the tear-out. Pinklady says she's going to help. Not sure how that's gonna go, but I got gloves and goggles for her just the same.

*Aside from the Kat incident early on Thursday, my behavior thus far has been deemed as 'acceptible' by the spouse.

*I think I am going to have to sharpen a set of chisels specifically for use in/on soft wood, like pine. Probably need a lower angle than the 30 degree pitch on my usual set. I have foud that the X-Acto knives work pretty well, provided you use more of a slicing action. They don't hold an edge for long, and since my talent for sharpening things has yet to reach any true skill level, I'm not sure if it's really any better than using a chisel. OK, that's not really true. It is better than using a chisel. There's very little crushing of the soft rings with the slicing action of the X-Acto knife. I just don't know how to sharpen things very well so it's rare for me to get consistently good edges.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beige Crab Parfaits

* Got up late this morning. Not that I really had anything of great importance to do, but it was odd considering how sunny it was outside. I suppose that's what Sunday mornings are good for, though. Just tunneling back down into the pile of warm blankets and drifting off to sleep for another half hour or so. Not real condusive to getting a lot done though. It was real condusive to cricking up my neck, though.

* OK, the real estate market continues to give us less than good news. Not only have the neighbors across the street already gotten an offer on their house (good for them), turns out the one down at the end of the block is going into foreclosure (bad for us).

* I'm pretty sure I would have like to have seen the boots.

* Avoided the computer today, and only briefly sat in front of the TV. The end result? Even with getting up late, I got all of the shleves placed downstairs that I wanted to, and then managed to get the mucked up spots on the wall ready for a touch-up coat of paint. I have no idea where the chest with all the painting supplies is, though. I really hate seeing just how much I can get done when there isn't a couch or chair attached to my ass and a viewscreen in front of my face. Just hoping that I can carry that momentum over into tomorrow and end up getting a lot more stuff done. I did spend maybe 5-10 minutes on Facebook right before I went to work, but that was it as far as the computer goes. I do have lots of things I need to do on the computer, but Facebook isn't one of them. I still have untouched stacks of vinyl downstairs that need to be recorded and converted, and the inventory of my tiki colllection has come to a standstill. These are winter projects, and I need to get on them. Maybe do an alternating week schedule, or something like that? I know I'm going to have to relearn all the LP software since it's been so long since I used it last. With that new version of Windows that I loaded up, at least I have the same photo editing software that I've been using at work. That should be helpful in that project.

* I have to get my Chem comp done before Vass takes off this evening, and then I have one to do in BB.

* 2 or 3 of the horde of incoming relatives will be staying with us. Not sure for how many days, but I have been instructed to get the basement into a reasonable degree of organizedness so that the air mattress can be flopped down there. I'm hoping that won't really be a problem as far as time goes. There is a lot of dusting that needs to be done though.

* Why have the 3 Blondes been at the forefront of my mind lately??

* I don't know what the weather is supposed to be like tomorrow. Hopefully it will be nice enough that I can run the mower over the yard one last time and then run it dry for winter storage. Then there's the grocery store, the basement, the paperwork, the cleanup on the sliding door, etc, etc, etc. So much fun to be had I can barely contain myself. Just need to get that shit done so it's out of the way. Anyway, I'm sure I'll manage to work in some time to amuse myself.

* Looks like right after T-Day is when things are going to need to get going. I'll need to get all the holliday stuff out for Pinklady, and I also have to start demo in the bathroom (which reminds me that I have to call the contractor tomorrow). But, since I have no idea when relatives are actually coming and going, I'm not sure what the exact timeline is.

*Boy, that drill bit really sliced the hell out of my thumb.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Plural Corded Monkeynuts

*Was sorry to hear today that Paris had died sometime in the night. My condolences to the Davis family.

*Only 2 days until the beginning of the holiday invasion. Must remember to be on my best, no, make that my least confrontational behavior. So, I just won't be talking a lot. Tends to work out better that way. I'd bring a book to read, but I'd get in trouble for that too. At least I'm going to be ten minutes from home instead of ten hours. And I do have actual work on the schedule, which will help remove me from situations where I'd be likely to do something stupid. Just need to find a nice quiet corner where I can just nod and smile at the appropriate times. Hey, that's just like going to a lab meeting...

*Thanks to Number One, I was aware of Anvil long before their recent re-emergence.

*I went to BB+B and bought a couple three packages of shelves, which I liked the looks of, and now I'm not sure if I want to use them. The actual shelves I like, stylistically speaking. From an engineering standpoint, I'm thinking they're not so hot. And since the purpose of these shelves would be to display the various tiki items I have collected over the years, the notion of shelves crashing randomly to the ground is not a good thing. I'm hoping that I can address this potential issue with the use of large numbers of toggle bolts. Otherwise, it all goes back to the store, and I will just stare blankly at the shelfless walls for another month or so.

* "In the Loop"-I haven't laughed so hard at a movie in longer than I can remember. Plus, I think the portrayal of the political system is accurate enough to be frightening if looked at realistically. Anyway, I almost hurt myself laughing, but it's a Blockbuster exclusive, so go rent it.

*It was good to be able to sit down with Kittyluv for a while on Friday and at least get partly caught up on what's been going on with her. But, she was right in saying that an hour fifteen just isn't enough time. Just have to see if some more time presents itself sometime in the near future.

*Just haven't had much of an appetite lately. Nothing even sounds good.

*My MIL has requested my Giftmas list. More than once. I have been put on official notice of this fact. More than once. At the moment, I am only slightly annoyed by that. You'd think, that since it was all gifts for me that it would be thrilling to generate this huge laundry list of things I want. But it's not. I don't like doing it. Usually, if there's something I want, and if I can afford it, I get it myself. Plus, I don't tend to have constantly maintained list of things I want. I was going to put various HS elements down on my list this year, but I was told to purchase those things myself, if I wanted them. That statement had the unfortunate effect of all but eliminating the partial list I had managed to assemble. So, I'm back to scrounging around for ideas, knowing full well that if I don't come up with a sizeable list of affordable and accessible items, I will be doomed to receive gift cards.

*I still have 2 totally empty CO2 tanks in my garage that need to be returned to their respective companies so I can end my leases. That would only slightly decrease the amount of crap still piled in the garage. But at least Pinklady can get her car in, so all is well with the world.

* "Up"-I am amazed by what Pixar has accomplished in the area of computer animation. I liked Kevin a lot, and Dug was also pretty good. Bit too much sap in the story for my tastes, but the animation was freakin amazing, so I really enjoyed watching it.

*Another bright and sunny late fall day. Of course, I find myself back in a windowless basement, so it doesn't really matter what it's like outside.

*I'd like to say that I hate all the games on Facebook. I can't say that, though. Anyone can tell that I spend a great deal of time on those games. What I actually hate is the fact that I find them interesting enough to spend all that time on them. More accurately, I hate the fact that I don't find other things interesting enough to take their place. And those games are actually pretty damn boring. My prime addiction has no animations and beyond that is all text and numbers. Absolute waste of time. And yet I still play it. Maybe this admission will be enough to shame me into not wasting any more time on them. Especially since I still say I'm trying to start a game group.

*Brought a couple of cans of stain in from the garage today in the hopes of staining my two most recent carvings. I need to check and see when Tropical Tails is this coming year to see if I even have a chance at getting something big done for them. Then I need to blow up the computer and the TV so I stop wasting time on them.

* "The Maiden Heist"-Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, and William H Macy all in the same comedy?? And I've never heard of it?? WTF?? So, I rented it, and I was highly amused. The only down side was seeing just a bit too much of William H Macy's naked ass.

*If my timing of holidays is correct (based on the first appearances of Giftmas stuff relative to it's actual occurrence on the calendar), all I have to say is HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!

*The first time I ever remember listening to Meat Loaf, I think I was sitting in the driveway at CT's on some random evening in that little tan econobox car she used to drive. It was probably on tape, and the song was 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light'. I doubt it had any more meaning at the time than being an amusing song, but, being Capt. Oblivious as I was then (and still am, mostly) I never found out. I still enjoy listening to that album every now and again, and if anything, it's increased in meaning over the years. The Pirate Queen managed to put quite a stamp on it for me as well. I am still amazed at the amount of piano used in making that album.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Obtuse Tofu Helmets

*Finally, something of some interest has occurred on Facebook! Got a rather interesting comment in response to a question I had posted on my 'Honesty Box' app. If the person who submitted it is who I think it is, well, let's just say I'm more intrigued than I was previously.

*I did something less than attentive at work last week. Now I just have to wait and see what the end judgement will be.

*So far, lunch on Friday with Kittyluv is a go. Be nice to find out what's been going on.

*It's fun knowing you have a package waiting for you at home. Thanks again, Cookie! (Or is that Kochy? Maybe Kochie?)

*I seem to be having a recurrence of dreams that I can actually remember. What that exactly means in the context of my fucked up brain chemistry, I don't know. Bluegirl was there the other night. College was the context last night. It's comforting to have something to remember, because it seems less like falling into total nothingness for eight hours. I just don't know if it's a good or a bad sign that I'm having/remembering them again.

*I should get a hold of Jeweltiger and see what she's up to. Still have yet to see her new place. Plus, I have that statue to give her. And that other thing as well....

*Off to the dentist for me this Thursday. Just time for a routine cleaning. I don't mind going, 'cause my hygenist's a real cutie, and thus far I haven't had any other dental problems to speak of. So, much like the other times I've been there, she'll scape the gunk off my teeth and tell me I need to floss a lot more and grind my teeth a lot less, and I will spend another 1/2 hour in a reclined position trying unsuccessfully to look down her scrub top.

*All seems to be quiet to the south. How go things in catland, Cromag? Costa Rica showing up on the horizon yet?

*Due to an unforeseen, yet fortunate, event, I now have Thanksgiving off. The entire Clan of the Northlands will be here, so it's not a 100% good thing, but it will make Pinklady a bit happier (I can but hope). Not to mention that I may actually be able to scare up a game of HS. Given, it may have to be with a CCG player that's 1/3 my age, but beggars can't be choosers.

*Should I try and have a poker night on Friday? Or, should I just slam my head in a door until the urge passes?


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Asparagus Coated Kneepads

*Late Sunday afternoon, and I still have a low-grade headache. Got another pot of coffee brewing and I'm hoping that and some Tylenol will make me feel more functional. Pinklady is still flat on her back with another high power UTI that has knocked her out of commission for the past 2 days. She's finally able to get some sleep, so that's what she's been doing for most of the day today. I'm debating as to whether or not I should get a hold of Big B and see if he wants to come by and do some gaming. I've almost finished the latest full-table HS map, and would like to try it out. But, I'm right on the bubble as far as being motivated to actually do it. In my brain I can comprehend that I need to be getting out and establishing more connections with people. I have to work on not being physically or socially isolated. I get that. I understand that. The logic and mechanics of that statement are undeniable. But when that gray curtain drops in my mind, I just want to crawl back in my bed and sleep. And that's a dreamless sleep. Nothing else is there. The world gets shut off and that's about it. I should call Big B and set something up for tonight. I should try and get a hold of Trotzkie. Will I? Doubtful. That energy just isn't there. I had the idea of hosting a poker night next week, but it just seems like a totally hopeless idea. I can't even seem to integrate myself into an online community.

*Tried the newly opened Little Ceasar's here in DeKalb. All I can say is that I would have loved it when I was in college, but since I'm not, I doubt I'll be eating anything from there again. Blech.

*The entire Clan of the Northlands will be invading starting a week from Monday.

*Still haven't made any gift lists.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Nudist Archangel Reflexes

*Our neighbors across the street are moving. Great. That will put yet another 'for sale' sign too close to my house. I can't understand why all these people gotta go and poke holes in my two year plan. Of course, it's not like we could have put our place on the market right now anyway. Just makes me wonder how long it will sit empty, since they've already closed the deal on their new place. Then the next question become who will be the next to leave. Probably be us, but since this news came out of the blue, you never can tell.

*For my day off, the most exciting thing I have lined up is a haircut. Or a trip to the grocery store. I'm not sure which of those rates higher on the Thrill-O-Meter.

*I wonder if I have any sandpaper finer than 220. I'm pretty sure that since I really have no use for such a thing it would be pretty implausible for me to have any.

*A momentary glimpse
While picking up the garbage
Of green polka dots

*The notion of having a calm, uneventful Monday at work is so totally implausible as to be downright laughable.

*"Tricky" by Run-DMC is stuck in my head. Must be that riff from "My Sharona" that's making it hang around.

*It's always good to have a pretty lady say 'I'm glad you're back'.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Polarity Reversed Armadillo Nostrils

*Tuesday is my next day off. The contractor is coming in the morning, and after that we're going to select pictures so we can get them printed. I may go to the supermarket, too. All in all, a pretty average to boring agenda. Now, I just happened to find out that ZZ Top is playing a show in Milwaukee that day. Cool! What better thing to do on a day off than go see a show, right? Right! So, I go looking around for tickets. The show, it just so happens, is at the Four Winds Casino, which is run by a tribe whose name, out of respect, I won't even try to spell. That's a bonus, since it means there's got to be lodging nearby, if not right there at the casino itself. Even better, there are still tickets available! ......But they're in the balcony.....and they're $100 a pop. Crap. That just sucks. So, if, in theory, I were to go by myself, it would be $100 for the seat (plus all of Ticketmaster's charges), probably another $100 for gas, food, and tolls, and then maybe another $100 to get a room for the night. Add in the obligatory tour T-shirt and misc expenses, and all of the sudden I'm in the $400 range. And that's if I go solo (since ZZ Top Fans are few and far between these days). That really blows. I missed them when they were at HOB, because I think I was working. I didn't even bother to see how much that show would have run me. It looks like this may be the year without a concert for me. I mean, I really like their music, but $400??? Sorry, boys. Can't do it.

*Time to consider a different tack in my efforts to get a game group going.

*Many thanks to Scott for using some of his windfall to ship me a couple of old games! Thanks also for reminding me that we are still in middle of a game of chess. Now all I have to do is find the paper I had the game written down on....

*Sorry that Mr. ATL didn't work out for my LIP.

*Been feeling better now that I realized I was only taking a freaking half dose of my meds. Better, yes, but not quite there. I know if I go see Mike he'll tell me that we may need to consider upping my dosage, AGAIN. He already knows that I really dislike having to take it at all, and the thought of having to go up another level (the 4th increase in as many years) makes me ill. Not to mention the fact that it does seem that I now need to stay on it all year round. The only thing I can think is that I have literally fried my brain, and it is slowly running out of juice. What a wonderful thought. Senility is on the way! Whoopee! Eternal usage of chemical props to maintain minimal brain function. What a fucking joy that thought is. And the ceaseless holiday barrage has already started, too. I am not looking forward to this winter at all.....


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Distal Agnostic Flags

*Continuing in the trend of unusual weather patterns for the year, today is an unseasonably warm 70 degrees (F) outside, and very sunny. WTF? I know I shouldn't complain, but it really does seem that the weather is no longer conforming to any known set of rules.

*The empty house behind us had been listed as being sold for a month or more without anyone moving in, which we thought was odd. Then a week ago, we see a different sign in the yard: "For Lease". There seems to be a strangely high number of rental properties in the area as it is. Not multi-family dwellings, but rentals nonetheless. Does nothing to convince us that our property value is going to go up.

*Tore down Tarvis' Folly yesterday in order to clear the game table for something else. Don't know what yet. I have been toying with the idea of doing one different custom HeroScape map a month. I have also been resisting the temptation to add to my HS holdings. Partly because it's getting hard for me to store all the HS stuff I already have, and partly because my game collection as a whole is perched at a rather high % of unplayed games. So, I guess I'll try to keep the wallet locked until I can get some momentum going as far as a game group goes. But, if someone wants to know what they can get me as a gift, all bets are off.

*Leaves are still falling from the trees. Tomorrow will mark the 4th time this season that I have had to rake the yard. The only good part is that the leaves have been dry. Trying to rake piles of half-frozen, wet leaves is a task well beyond my ability to hate it properly. Maybe I'll get lucky and all the rest of the leaves will fall while I'm at work, and tomorrow will be the end of it.

*The last few things I need to clear out of the garage include a small forest of silk plants and a ping-pong table, which Sheri had to go and remind me isn't technically mine. I think there's an end table and some shelving too. By the time I handle all that, it will be too cold to work out there comfortably, so the reason for actually getting that stuff done becomes a moot point.

*Got the latest carving project down to the 150 pass. Been trying to think of what I could do for Tropical Tails this year, and the answer is pretty simple: nothing, unless I get up off of my ass and get busy.

*The contractor will be coming by Tuesday morning to go over the estimate he gave us for redoing the bathroom. Then we'll figure out when he can start and get the ball rolling on things. At least after that project we'll be in a position where there shouldn't be anything grossly lacking in the house should we decide to put it on the market.

*The tiki is lounge is within spitting distance of being complete, I think. Not to say that things won't change, but for now I like where things are headed. Another trip to IKEA is on the 'to do' list and then I'll be back to trying to get the collection cataloged and organized for display.

*Vacation's over. Back to the grind.

*Another sure way to tell that I have gotten old is that on a Saturday nights when I'm working, I no longer have the need or urge to bolt out the door an hour or more early to get to where the party is happening. Of course, I am also no longer aware of where the party is, either.

*Time for some new header art. I even know what I have in mind.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Morning

Coffee, Windex, and bright, bright sunshine. Pretty nice way to start the day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Polymorphic Stinging Pianos

*It's Halloween! As I sit here in the office, I am expecting that the first waves of kids should be showing up at my door within the next hour. If they don't, I'll have a huge bowl of candy all to myself. I have nothing in mind for the evening, either. May watch RHPS, may crank some Alice Cooper, don't really know. Need to spend some time in the studio, but I really don't want to do that until I know all the Trick-or-Treaters are done for the night. I could apply the wood pre-treater to the patio door if I'm really hard up for entertainment. Or, I could repaint the bedroom ceiling.

*As of midnight tonight, my vacation is half over. Actually, with the time change, my vacation is half over as of 0030 Sunday morning.

*I have been rather disappointed with AMC's FearFest lineup. Basically because it's the same lineup they've had for the past three years.

*Gracie is still managing to find every muddy spot in the yard any time she goes outside. The carpet is littered with mud nuggets.

*The yard has been raked for the second time in as many days, and yet there are still enough leaves in the trees for me to have to do it one more time. And while I was out there today, even thought it was partly sunny, that cold air was just biting right into my knees and finger joints. I'd really like to just sit with my hands in a bowl of hot water for the evening. Or better yet, who's got a hot tub that's still open?

*Yup, that was the best wrong number EVER!

*Slurping down the last Coke Zero until the coffee is done reheating. That and a few more pieces of candy should have me skipping off the walls here pretty soon.

*My offer of hosting game time has once again netted exactly 0 responses.

*The wife is in MN till Tuesday, so what did I do today? Let's see, I raked the yard, did the dishes, vacuumed the house, made the bed, and straightened up the garage. I so DO NOT rock that it's pitiful...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Art of Another Sort...

Greenvale was once the furthest flung province of the vast Duchene Kingdom. Concerned with the security of this distant region, King Duchene dispatched his son, Prince Tarvis, to establish an outpost there. But Tarvis' distance from his father's watchful eye only served to fuel his desire of establishing his own kingdom.

So, in the distant forests of Greenvale, Tarvis set his ambitions in motion. He began to raise his own army and launched raids into nearby villages, bringing one after another under his control. As his power grew and his coffers filled with gold, he placed the first stones of the castle he would call Forestkeep.

Meanwhile, the king, upon hearing of his son's activities, sent a party of scouts to investigate. When the scouts returned to report to the king, they had a strange story to tell. When the entered Greenvale, they found themselves at the edge of a great swamp that did not appear on any of their maps. As they explored the edge of the swamp, they encountered a hermit picking berries. When they asked the hermit about Forestkeep, the hermit told them of a day not long ago when a wizard arrived at the gates of the castle. The wizard was greatly angered by Tarvis' raids on the countryside, and demanded that they stop. When Tarvis merely laughed at the wizard's request, the wizard raised his hands to the sky, and with a single gesture, caused the earth to give way, swallowing Forestkeep and all within.

The scouts thought the hermit mad and pressed onward into the fetid swamp, determined to locate the prince and his castle. They had scarcely set foot into the bog when they found sections of a great stone wall, half sunken into the muck. Beyond that, they could see what remained of a great castle gate and other ruined buildings. This, then, was all that remained of Forestkeep. And though they searched the swamp and the ruins for days, they found no trace of Prince Tarvis or his army.

After hearing the scouts' story, the king was silent for some time. When he finally spoke, he decreed that the Greenvale outpost would not be rebuilt, and anyone heard speaking of Forestkeep would be thrown in the dungeon.

So, Greenvale faded from the minds of the people. Forestkeep became known as "Tarvis' Folly" as time went by. And, on the rare occasions that anyone spoke of either place, it was in hushed tones as they talked of all the dark and twisted creatures that now called it home.

But now, scouts are reporting armed forces massing in Greenvale with unknown intent. The king has dispatched his army, intent on keeping the border secure. The only question left is who will remain to declare victory after the battle in the swampy ruins of Tarvis' Folly?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All Those In Favor...

I am changing the name of my game group/club. This has proven to be a less than difficult task, since I am the only member thus far. I voted in favor of the change, I seconded the motion, I voted in favor of it, and it passed (with a 100% majority, I might add). SMGSLT has now become WSLS. I will be trying yet again to enlist members during my time off, but if there isn't some noticeable improvement in my mood, the outlook for success seems dim. The general low that has settled in has also kept me from finishing the HeroScape map that is now sprawled across the game table. If I do manage to complete it, then it needs to be playtested to see if it's even functional as a game map. If it is, then I have to reverse engineer it in order to be able to map it and reproduce it at a later date. Or, I'll just give up on it and put it back into the cabinet. I hope not, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. I will make the good faith effort to try and establish some more connections with others, since it may be something that's needed to try and get me out of this insular slump that I seem to be settling into. Anyone up for some RoboRally?

Paradise Lost?

=You know when the weather guy tells you that today would be a good day to play hooky, he probably knows what he's talking about. I should have listened. At least I didn't walk into work with a headache, but there's still quite a cloud of entagled thoughts humming and clunking around up there. I did pay heed to advice given and got up and went outside to work in the garage, even though I really had no motivation to do so. The next big batch of stuff has been listed on the freecycle page, so hopefully it will be moving out soon. Motivation and energy are still at a low ebb, and I mostly remember to take my meds. The one missing ingredient is exercise. It's still very easy to just sleep the day away. But, it was/is a nice day out, and things are off to a decent start at work (they took the tent down), so maybe things will level off a bit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh, That's Just Great....

It is never a good thing for me to arrive at work with a sturdy headache already in place. It is also never a good thing to arrive at work and find a tent pitched outside the ED so they have a place to put the patient overflow. I have to survive this for 6 more days until my vacation starts, and the odds of that actually happening are about even at this point.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Short Bus

=Game night #2 tanked completely. But, to keep in the flavor of the evening, I dragged out all of my HeroScape terrain sets and got started on constructing a monstrous map. So far, I've managed to cover more than half of the game table, and I'm not quite sure I'm going to be able to accomplish what I want to do. May just be time to drag out a bigger table. Or maybe move to the floor. As far as another game night, I think I may just throw open the doors for the two weeks that I'm off and try again. As much as I would like to get really upset by this turn of events, I must realize that it could take some amount of time before a stable nucleus of players develops. Got to find out what the hell is up with Big Bri and maybe have a poker night to appease Sammie.

=I think the free crappy coffee at work may be killing my taste for coffee in any other format or location.

=Perhaps we're going to have an Indian sumer here after all. The near freezing temps have retreated back into Canada leaving daytime seasonal highs in the 50-60 degree range behind.

=I have no idea what I'm going to be doing during my time off. Maybe I should run down to Peoria and see what's going on, or try to stir something up to do. All I know for sure is that we are not going to Vegas, and I am as yet unsure if Sheri is going to MN. Another sure thing is that if I do not manage to get the door stained and the basement completed in that time frame, I may well never hear the end of it. And not in an amusing way. Oh, and I have to take all the screens out and wash the windows.

=The garage is still so clogged with stuff that Sheri can't get her car into it. So, why would I even be considering going to the hospital's garage sale this Friday?

=I have absolutely no explanation for the appearance of ZZ Top in not one, but two, different dreams on two different nights. does indeed have free unlimited play. Up to a level cap of 4....out of 20.

=Today is the day of the leopard, or so I am told.

=Another estimate for the bathroom remodel should be in by the end of the week. I still want the tube lights in the living room, but I just can't convince her.

=I have to get a care package in the mail this week, or I think I will have a fairly angry Indian on my hands.

=Next time, I will not be slicing the peppers lengthwise.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Perfectly Placed Partial Poodle Puddle Package

Snow after midnight and ghosts in my dreams. Funky tunes and wood chips. No flight to Vegas and an empty game table. Subtle plots and annual seeds. The slow germination of an image and the ever flowing sands of time. The usual pain in the usual place, but with a new ache for a friend. Unanswered questions from long forgotten years. A healthy dose of self-disgust with a built in side of fries. In a chair, over there, past the air, and up the stair is the place where my heart once stood.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bobbing Along...

Up and down. Up and down. Cyclical rythym. An almost mathematical variation around a central point. Yin and Yang. Balance. A cork in the water. Uneasy variations. Peering over the edge into familiar, yet unwelcome, territory. The defeat of perpetual motion through constant loss of energy. Nothing left of the sun but a pink smear on the western horizon by 7 PM. Retreat or run: either is a haphazard solution. Staring and fidgeting pass anxious moments when no thunderclap of momentous revalation is apparent. The road is obvious, the destination uncertain. It's not those ridiculous days when the only way I could express the need to know how much anyone cared for me was to get excessively drunk, fall down and have them tend to me if they would. It's the fatigue of the over armored and the echo of an empty gymnasium. That last fond memory shielded from the light of logic and truth at any and all costs. The point where wondering becomes a substitute for living or knowing. A last frantic and fevered dream at the edge of an afternoon nap. An involutary shiver that ripples your skin when you remember how they touched you. The wheel turns, night falls, and thoughts slip away to the place where they are bent and twisted by the funhouse mirrors we never get to see. Pointed teeth pressing into your skin to savor the juices within. The longer the wave, the lower the peak. The higher the peak, the shorter the wave. Measurement changes position and the cycle begins anew.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Below Freezing

That's where the temp is supposed to settle out tonight. Around 23 degrees is what I've heard. There was already a hard frost yesterday, so the garden is done for the year. This respiratory thing is dragging me down physically, and I'm not sparking mentally. Not a good combination. October is supposed to be my time, a season I enjoy, ending in the big holiday for the year. The holiday has been pre-empted, and the season may be as indistinct as summer was this year. I am not in a good place in either mind or body, and there is naught ahead but a long winter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tasty Drainage

* It was really good to see Steve this weekend, but it would have been a lot more fun had all of us been feeling better. The show at Zanies was good (the front row center seats didn't hurt), even though we would have had better luck finding a place to park if we had started looking when we were still in DeKalb. The flea market on Sunday was decent, except for the ridiculously low temps that started the day. 'Zombieland' was pretty darn entertaining too. Not as entertaining as two shaved cats, but still pretty entertaining.

* I should not have downloaded the program for Dungeons and Dragons Online. Me like. Me like a lot. Much better them WoW, IMHO. Head on over to and check it out! For now I'll start Cromag on Peggle and work him up from there.

* Great. I seem to have picked up some unwanted microbe at some point in the recent past. Whatever it is seems to be making a solid effort to establish a new home inside my head. Nothing like feeling moderately pukey and just slightly off balance all the time.

* There is a chance for snow in the forecast for next week. Oh. Freaking. Joy. I'm just seeing all of the leaves dropping off of the trees at once, getting wet before I have a chance to rake them, and then freezing into a solid grass killing mass that stays in place till next May. Whoopee. Plus, there is no room for the wife's car in the garage, which is a big no-no for cold weather conditions.

* Once again, the studio has been rescued from the constantly creeping piles of crud that threaten to overwhelm it. All the stuff piled here and there just constantly reduces my ability to actually make use of the space. And, if I can' t use the space, there's really no point in having it. So I put in a solid burst of concentrated cleaning effort, and now I can actually get to and use my drafting table.

* I hear there's a position open down at VWCH....Hmmmmm.

* The only score from this weekend's Kane Co flea market was a lamp. It was in the last aisle of the last building we went through. Furthermore, it was the only thing I found in the whole place. I forgot to call Scott to have him bring the cases with the tiki necklaces and the guy who's been supplying me with board games didn't bring any with him this time around. The coffin lid wasn't there either. Sheri wouldn't let me buy a tombstone from the 1870's, and the total number of dealers there was down by about 1/3. But, I got lucky and found a rattan lamp. A most awesome looking rattan lamp, I must say. Not to mention expensive. Probably a lot more than I would have paid for a lamp normally, but the thought of leaving the flea market empty handed always has a way of loosening up my wallet. Plus I think I now have all the accent lighting I need for the basement. One more run to Ikea, and it should be ready for the grand unveiling...

* I need to plunge the drain in my sink.

* My 11# shipment of plastic from Florida is due to arrive on Thursday, which also happens to be my day off. Yay! Unfortunately, there has been no response from Neil regarding his interest in doing some gaming that night. Boo! So, I may just end up playing with all my new toys by myself. *sniff* *sniff*


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Window Shopping Sucks...

=After a less than wonderful Monday, the last thing I wanted to do on Tuesday was to get up unreasonably early and go to the hospital. But that's exactly what I did. Damn alarm rang at 0630, and by 0730 we had stumbled our way through the early morning chill to find ourselves seated glumly in the day surgery waiting room with the MIL. I am not a morning person. Never have been and never really wanted to be. Force me to get up early, couple that with asking me to do something I really don't want to do, and I become a fairly unpleasant person to be around. I managed to keep a lid on the unpleasantness today, mostly because I was too tired to be snippy. I also had the good sense to realize that no good could come of being difficult when the FIL is looking at getting a stent. In the end, he wound up with two in the same artery, and I was back home and in bed by 1030. He's doing well (if you don't count the pieces of metal near his heart) and should be discharged tomorrow. I'm still somewhat groggy and looking down the barrel of another less than pleasant evening at work.

=We took some time Monday after lunch to go look at a house M1 had thought we might be interested in. Mostly because we're both thinking that the new high school complex that's going in will be most detrimental to the overall quality of the neighborhood. Since we have a couple of years, it doesn't hurt to look. Anyway, after we had seen the property, were headed back to DeKalb on 23 when off of a side road this truck comes flying across both lanes of traffic. This was maybe 100 yards in front of us and we were moving at highway speed. This guy shot across the road, bounced through the ditch, and came to rest at the edge of a cornfield. It took us all a couple of seconds to comprehend what had just occurred, and a couple of more to realize that if we had been moving just a tad faster, he would have smashed right through us. The driver of the truck (which was piled high with forms for concrete) managed to miss the safety rail, the utility pole, and the road sign, only clipped 1 of four guide lines, stayed upright and came to rest on all four wheels. For as fast as he was going, he was one lucky fucker. He had lost his brakes and couldn't stop. So he was heading west, probably around 50-60 mph, and the two lanes of N-S traffic he crossed were moving at the same speed, if not faster. That would have been one hell of an impact. And probably fatal.

=The next game night is in the planning stages. Since Cromag is heading up this weekend, I was going to see if he wanted to have me get an Ameritrash scramble together for Saturday or Sunday night. Otherwise, I think I'm going to target the 16th of October. I'm thinking of bringing RoboRally to the table as the main event for that evening, and then having a couple of filler games as warm-ups. Not sure whether it would be better to start earlier or not.

=I would think that it would be logical to assume that if you have a primary instrument that generates a large amount of numerical data, and that primary instrument is teetering on the verge of death, you should have a secondary instrument, and said secondary instrument should have a computer interface to keep you from having to manually enter every single damn bit of data that said secondary instrument would generate. Now, should said secondary instrument be a brand new arrival, I could maybe understand how that interface was not immediately established. When said secondary instrument has been in place for over a month, I have no real idea how it never got done. Just sayin...

=After nights like I had at work yesterday, I understand why there are no windows in the lab. To keep me from jumping.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Now That's REALLY Secret....

Tonight, after seeing the local paper, I had one of those moments where I'm pretty sure a fuse blew somewhere in my brain. It was just one of those moments of a bizzare juxtaposition that you never could have come up with on your own. The local Mason lodge is having an open house. Now, for those of you who didn't quite get that, I'll repeat it a little slower. The Masons. Are having. An open house. WH-WH-WH-WH-WHAT!?!?! One of the most secretive and influential groups on the face of this planet (and several others) is having an open house?? Is that the grand master plan for making everyone in the world one of them-punch and cookies?? 'No, forget global domination of the currency supply, Most Exaulted Grand Poo-Bah, I think we should really be working the Oreo and Hi-C angle.' These are the folks who sit at the second to left tentacle of god, and now they're having an open house? Something isn't right here....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Anti-Social Chickens

**7PM and it's almost dark out. Every day the light creeps further and further into the house as the sun sinks closer to the southern horizon. I don't like it. It makes me feel uneasy on some base level that I don't quite understand. Summer was almost non-existent, but the planets continue to move through space as they have done for who knows how long regardless of my opinion concerning the inadequacy of the past season.

**Finished the Adventure mode of Plants Vs. Zombies. The music video in with the credits was hilarious! 'I got butter on my head'. When I heard that I laughed so hard I racked my knee on the bottom of the desk! ....Well......I guess you had to be there......

**So, the statement has already put forward that someone who lives in my house and is not me will not be putting up with me being mopey during my vacation at the end of October. The solution that was suggested for this was a return trip to Las Vegas. I'm not quite sure how those two things relate to each other in an oppositional manner. Mostly it revolves around me never being satisfied with how a party goes, no matter how much people say they enjoy it. I think I would like to do another full-blown Halloween party, but I doubt my ability to attract party goers. Then there's the large shadow being cast across the holiday by the intrusive presence of Christmas stuff, and the lack of people who really enjoy this particular holiday. On the flip side of all this is the idea that I'm not too enthused about the thought of going to Vegas, odd as that may seem. Yet another thing to consider is that a big reason to get the basement done was to be able to have people over. Still, it seems silly to have a party if you know people aren't going to show up. So, if history is any judge of the situation, I'll just flip back and forth on what I want to do until it's just too late to do either, at which point I will feel that my mood funk is justified. Not a very fair or fun way to approach a vacation, but if I don't get my head in order by whatever means are needed, it is likely to be the outcome. And the thought of that just sucks...

**OK, if it's gonna cost $1500 bucks and result in a hole being put in my roof, I think I am perfectly justified in thinking that the other member of the household should be just a tad more enthusiastic than they seem to be regarding the entire project. Ergo: that project is now on indefinite hold.

**What in the heck made Morgan such a prominent part of Dreamville last night? And Why were we in Vegas??

**Another question put to me recently was if it was possible that Hawaii could be considered as a destination for the celebration of my 40th birthday. I have no idea what to think about that.

**Pink leopard print. Hmmmmmm....

**The first of what will hopefully be many game night gatherings happened Friday night. Attendance was in the low single digits, but we manged to get 3 different games onto the table in the space of 4-5 hours. Gemlok was the warmup game, and was well received by everyone. Instead of being a mindless dice fest, there proved to be a decent degree of strategic thinking involved, especially when the center of the board started to get clogged with pieces. The first house rule to be thought up for this game: endless pawn bumping. That we may just try out next time around. The running score after 3 complete games (30 rounds) had Neil out in front with me second and Forrest within spitting distance of me. Since Gemlok had been my choice, I opened the table for suggestions, and Neil opted for Galaxy Trucker. Since I hadn't done anything more with this game than pawed through the box and looked at all the bits, I set to busily punching out parts while Neil perused the rules and tried to educate us all as to what exactly all the bits were for. We jumped right into constructing our first ships (because the rulebook said we were supposed to), and our stint as outer space deliverymen was off and running. We stumbled our way through the introductory game with near constant references to the rulebook, and endless amazement at how badly we had constructed our first ships. Forrest had plenty of engines, but only 2 batteries to power them. Neil had no space for cargo, and I had nearly half of my ship connected to the rest by only one component. But we forged ahead, encountering smugglers and abandoned ships along the way. after we had played the 8 adventure cards in the introductory game, it struck us as odd that every single one of us finished the game well behind where we had started. Our obvious conclusion was that we had done something wrong, but even with three of us flipping back and forth through the rules, we were unable to figure out exactly what we were doing wrong. After deciding that it would be best to confer with BGG before attempting this game again, we moved on. Forrest bowed out at this point, having already worked a long day before arriving and looking down the barrel of having to work again in the morning. Once again, I had Neil choose what our next game would be, and he opted to try HeroScape. So while he scanned the minimal basic game rules, I dug through my boxes of terrains looking for what I needed to build the Table of the Giants map. I was still in the midst of locking tiles together when Neil finished glancing through the rules. He had reached the same conclusion that I had: the basic rules weren't so much basic as they were remedial. But since neither one of us had any actual game experience with HeroScape, we decided to give the basic rules a go. Neil commanded the red team, and I ran the blue. After far too much dice bouncing and far to little strategizing, I managed to eke out a win, leaving only one of my Tarn Viking warriors standing. Since we were both less than impressed with the basic rules, we decide to play a game with the master rules on the same map. To make things somewhat fair, we did a blind draw of the units I had up to a 400 point cap. I wound up drafting Jotun, the Airborne Elite, and the Marro Warriors. Neil got Agent Carr, the Krav Maga Agents, Ne-Gok-Sa, the Zeitan Guards, and the Ashigaru Spearmen. Needless to say, his starting zone looked like a waiting line at ComiCon. In the end, I somehow managed to wade through the hordes of opposing figures, which included 1 Krav Maga Agent who simply refused to die, and gain the victory. Thanks to the Water Clone ability of the Marro Warriors, I ended the game with that squad intact. Half of the Airborne Elite squad managed to hold one of the high ground areas for about the entire game and pick off numerous enemies from a distance. Neil and I both agreed that the basic rules just weren't for us, and that HeroScape was a game we would definitely be playing again. And thus ended the evening.

**I still can't figure out why my car smelled like cookies the other day.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Spoonful of Gritty Kibble Pudding

**So far, everything I have put up on the freecycling bulletin board has been taken. It's proving to be a really good way to clear out the garage and get things to people who will actually use them. Except for yesterday, where I missed a connection with someone who was supposed to be picking some stuff up.
**Sheri had a birthday this past week. Exactly which one, I am not allowed to specify. As a means of recognizing this non-specific event, we decided to head down to the 3rd Sunday Market in Bloomington. This is a antique/flea market that we had been meaning to check out for a while. But since it's down in Bloomington, and since we don't care for the idea of getting up at 5AM to get there, we had been putting off going. But this weekend provided us with the chance to go down the night before, stay in a hotel, get up and go to the show, and then drive home. Two hours on the road each day is far more manageable as far as we are concerned. So we wandered down on Saturday afternoon, stopping at the antique mall in El Paso along the way. After we got our room and found where the show was going to be, we meandered into Bloomington in search of dinner. By sheer random chance, we ended up at a nice Japanese steak house. Neither one of us were on the mood for the table show, so we sat by the sushi bar and enjoyed a quiet dinner. after feeding ourselves, we went over to Eastland mall to walk around a bit and let dinner settle. I was quite surprised at how few empty stores there were. Many of the malls in out area are teetering on the verge of becoming extinct, but Eastland only had a few empty stores and seemed pretty busy for a Saturday night. While we were there, I chatted on the phone with Cromag while Sheri took the opportunity to look for shoes. Once we had exhausted the potential of the mall (not a single toy or game store!!), we decided to see a movie, since there was a theater a couple of blocks from our hotel. After that, we tumbled into bed, wondering what the next day would bring.
We got up to a cool grey morning, checked out of the hotel, and headed over to the show. Since it was colder than we had expected it to be, we started with the inside booths, hoping that the temp would go up a bit while we were doing that. The only thing of interest I found inside was the same grossly overpriced tiki I had seen at the last Kane County show. $400, my ass. I'm betting I'll get to see that same piece again at the next Kane County show. By the time we had seen what there was to see inside, it had warmed up a bit outside, and we moved on to the outside part of the show. Saw some neat things, but only ended up walking away with a couple of board games and a vary nice chisel. Doesn't seem like much to show for 4+ hours of tromping around, but it was a nice show. After we left there, we went over to a antique mall that we had spotted the day before. We had been inside for maybe 15 minutes when the skies opened up and it started pouring rain. I have to admit to a certain degree of amusement when I thought about all the people who were no doubt scrambling to get under cover while we were nice and dry. After we were done there, it was off to lunch, and then we hid the road to head back home. And even after going to 2 different antique malls and a show that we had never been to before, I got skunked on tiki items. I mean, I did see 2 Treasure Craft ashtrays, but they're not tiki specific items, and there was that really overpriced one, but I hadn't intended on buying it the first time I saw it. So, I got skunked. Not that we had a bad time, but I was really hoping for more. Oh, well. Maybe next time.
**I have no idea why M2 would have given us a listing for a house that's for sale.
**The basement is really starting to come together. I managed to hide the unused heater behind an old shower curtain I had that looks like a grass skirt. Took me quite a while to get it to lay right, but it looks most excellent now that it's up. I have also moved some of the pictures around. I just picked up the stuff I need to turn the candle lanterns into swag lamps, and may get all that assembled tomorrow. I managed to get the hula girl lamp rewired, although I had to cut a hole in the bottom 'felt' to accomplish that. Of course, not that I've got the whole thing all back together, the pull-chain switch is acting up, so I may have to replace it with a push-through switch. Roger got a fresh coat of lemon oil, and so did his little brother. I have managed to find something to mostly remove the various carpet stains that have occurred over the years, and the tapestry is at the cleaners. I still have some holes in the wall to patch from the old shelves, and then there are a few other spots that need to be touched up with paint. I have completed two of the four lanterns and just need to figure out where to hang them. It's a work in progress.
**I experienced one of the first true scents of fall today: wet leaves. I really like that smell.
**I have had zero luck in getting a game group going thus far. Through two offered game nights I have had exactly 0 attendees. I am just a tiny bit irked and disappointed by that. I may need to step beyond the bounds of BGG in order to get things moving more quickly. Or not. But then I really can't justify all the money I've spent for cabinets if I don't start playing some games. We'll see what happens with this Friday night. Hopefully I can get more people than just me to come out. So far, the total confirmed number of attendees is 2. Counting me. Crap.
**Many, many thanks to Cromag for the most excellently fantastic dice rolling board. And I also must concede that for the first time in a very long time, he has managed to get one ahead of me in the gift giving department.
**"Extract" Was the movie we saw while we were down in Bloomington. Mostly, we were interested because we both like the work Jason Bateman has done of late. The whole thing proved to be very funny, while mirroring life just a tad to accurately in some respects. As far as I'm concerned, it's probably a good thing for me that Cromag isn't like Ben Affleck's character.
**"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" has found it's way into the DVD player while I walk on the treadmill. I'd forgotten how much I like that movie. The whole notion of the plasticity of memory and the usage of imagery to convey the loss of memory is both fascinating and somewhat spooky. I also wonder what the ethical arguments for being able to 'erase' memories would be. Anyway, it's a neat film. Check it out if you haven't already.
**Haven't been feeling right lately. Energy level has been way off, and there are thoughts running through my head that really shouldn't be. I can only conclude that since I haven't been eating right and I haven't been exercising and I haven't been leaving the house except when I need to that the seasonal change is catching up with me early this year. So I'm making sure I take my meds as directed, watching what I eat, and have been spending time back on the treadmill. Hopefully I can avoid a full blown collapse this winter if I keep this pattern going.
**Another freckled Canadian?? No freakin way!
**Added a copy of Tri-Ominoes to my collection, along with another copy of Waterworks that I intend to use for parts.
**My current video game addiction: Plants Vs. Zombies. Yes, you read that right. Head on over to and download a free 1 hour trial of this game. It's a hoot! BRRRAAAAAAIIIIINNNSSSS!!!
**Along similar lines, I think my next video game addiction will be Zuma's Revenge. Even though I haven't finished the original Zuma, I have a very strong urge to add this to my collection. Again, you can head over to to download a 1 hour trial of this game. And while you're there, check out Peggle and Peggle Nights.
**Katherine is coming down for a few days for no apparent reason.
**It is a sad statement when Halloween and Christmas items are out for sale in the same freakin aisle at the store. War on Christmas, my ass. More like a war on Halloween. Jackass retailers....
**As much as I like it, I am now pretty sure that the opals in the ring I recently bought are created stones. I guess that's good, since I really like them and the created ones are far cheaper and of a higher clarity than the natural ones. That doesn't mean that I don't want to go out to the Peacock Mines, though.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Endless Entry....

**What's the DRG Code For A Rant?
This is a near rant that has been building for some time. Then I stop and think about it, and the rant element of it starts to fade. I can't quite figure out how to approach this topic. Is healthcare (HC) a right? That's my first question. I don't tend to think so. On the survival list above HC would be food, clothing, and shelter, and none of those are a right. I think it's a nice thought that everyone should have HC, but unrealistic as far as expense goes. Should people have access to HC they can afford? Sure! That's where if the govt were to butt out, there would actually be market competition in the area of HC. What that would mean is that people who can afford McDonald's level HC, or those who only want to pay McDonald's HC prices would have that option. I don't think that people should be able to pay McDonald's HC prices and get Ferrari level HC. Market competition means varying levels of service at varying levels of skill and quality. The people choose with their money who stays in business and who gets forced out of the market. The govt (including the legal system) takes several steps back, and the market will become more diverse and competitive. Insurance runs along the same lines. You want to buy their product, they get to set the price. That's the way the market works. If govt steps in and says, you have to do X, Y, and Z, which results in these companies loosing money. Eventually they go broke, or stop offering that service because it's a money pit. Either way, that leaves the govt holding the bag. Insurance is another thing that isn't a right. It's a service with a market driven price. If you can't afford the price, you don't get the service, right? As far as I see it, yes. If they want to make health insurance mandatory, maybe they should do it like they do with car insurance. You get caught without, you can get a ticket, go to jail, etc, etc. That way people could get the state/national mandatory minimum HC insurance required by law. If nothing else that would open the doors to all kinds of new HC insurance providers, and provide a new market that they could compete for. And what about churches? They're tax free entities, so why not make them start shouldering the burden of HC for their parishioners? After all, god will provide, right? So, the far right and the far left are at war in my brain. The Rep side of my brain says that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. Case closed. And no more govt handouts or bailouts. And they need to relax all the rules and regulations on HC so that the market can be more open for competition, thus driving prices down and giving the people more options. The Dem side of my brain says that people/kids/babies shouldn't have to needlessly suffer for lack of adequate HC. The only entity large enough and well financed enough to be able to provide such a degree of services would be the govt. After all, the govt needs to keep the welfare of it's people in mind....or so I've been told.
So who's right? Beats me.

**Wait....That Was 3 Days Off?
Three days off, and not much at all to say for it. Labor day weekend came and went, almost without notice around my house. I should have seen if Cromag wanted to come up for a day or so. The only thing of note that happened was Kane Co Flea Market. Scott had his usual selection of tiki items, with a few new additions, but nothing really caught my eye or got me to open my wallet. I did find a couple of nice old boardgames, a most awesome looking opal ring, and what could end up being Cromag's belated B-Day present (after I do some work on it).

**Rabid bats seem to be all the rage in Dekalb county this year.

**A Big Dry Spot
No more aquariums for me. A hobby I had been involved with for almost two decades came to an end over the Labor Day weekend when I handed off all my aquariums and related stuff to Kittyluv and her family. I was a bit bummed about the whole thing, but it really was for the better. It's one less thing for me to have on my plate, and it seems that everyone involved was really happy to receive all the stuff. That makes it a win-win situation. I still enjoy the whole visual effect of a nicely maintained tank, but it had become pretty obvious that I had no interest in actually doing the work involved in keeping my tank looking that way any more. So, I can put that on the list with chain mail, guitar, candlemaking, and darts as something that I was interested in, learned, tried in various forms, and then moved on from. Who knows, maybe I'll go back to it after a while.

**OK, feeding my addiction myself is one thing. Someone else feeding my addiction with Krull is another.

**Rip It Up
Regular sheets and sheets of newspaper have been reduced to smaller bits as I continue to build up a supply of raw materials for my upcoming attempt at papier-mâché. Got some masking tape in a couple of sizes, a huge thing of glue, and a sack of flour. And wire. The book I read recommended using wire coat hangers, but I got so much wire in the garage that I think I'll start with that first. I just need to go over to Michael's and get some Sculpey, or something like that, in a couple of different colors, and I should be all set to start.

**The Dog Abhors A Vacuum
Reka took it upon herself to see just how durable the new vacuum cleaner was the other day. I guess she was trying to make herself comfortable on the floor next to the vacuum cleaner when she either stepped or laid on the handle release lever. This allowed the handle to go crashing onto the floor from it's full height, both grazing and startling Reka in the process. No harm was done to the dog, but the same couldn't be said for the vacuum. The handle, which was meant to go almost all the way to the floor, now went all the way and stayed there. There was no way to get it back into it's upright and locked position. Good thing we had just bought it, so back to the store it went, with the guy at the counter saying we may even get it back the same day since it was most likely just a minor adjustment that was needed. That day came and went. The next day came and went. Then Sheri got on the horn to the store to find out what was going on. Turns out this one little mishap had broken something that the guy at the shop had never seen break before. He ended up having to call the place in Chicago to get the right part to fix it, and if he couldn't do it, then it would have to go to Rockford for repairs. Luckily, the part came in, the fix got done, I didn't have to kill the dog, and once more the dust bunnies are quaking in fear.

**Don't Say It!
The personnel situation here at work is waaaay too unsettled. You can never tell from one day to the next what the mix of people is going to be. Since I have been told more than once that people don't 'get' me, I have found it best to remain as silent as possible. Since very ,very, very few of the conversations around here actually involve anything of interest, I find I'm not missing much.

**You Get A Bowl Of Soup With That?
This was the topic where 2 out of 3 was not good enough for the woman. I got the canned tomatoes I forgot at the grocery store (although I still think she wrote the quantity down wrong) and I managed to pick up the bedspread from the dry cleaners. I did not get my hair cut, however. Didn't want to. Still don't really want to. Well, I guess it would be better said that I don't want to have to pay someone to cut my hair. So, she is not real happy about that. The word 'moppy' keeps getting tossed around. The whole thing is leading me to weigh my disgust at having to pay to get my hair cut against the potential fury that the li'l pink one can generate. I'm guessing I'll just have to cough up the money...

**It Sorta Speaks To Me...
I think I have the furniture all arranged in the side area of the basement. I'm not sure what types or sizes of display cabinets or shelves I want to use there, but all the big furniture pieces are in place. At least for now. I'm starting to think that I have a few too many end tables, though. I may end up moving a bunch of them to over where the bar area is going to be. Maybe that will help me figure out the arrangement of the chairs over there. Of course, I should figure out if the bar assembly that I have my eye on will even fit in that space before I go making too many permanent plans. Weird thing is, if I were to put some reasonable effort into it, I think I actually could have the space done by H'ween. But that whole issue is slowly becoming a moot point.

**How Many Geeks Does It Take....
How many people are required to comprise the core membership of a game group? This is my current befuddlement. While I have gotten a few responses from others on BGG, I find myself disappointed. That, I understand, is fairly stupid, since I haven't even met any of these folks yet. But more importantly, I have an idea for the group/club logo. I mean really, you can run thin on members if you've got a kick ass logo, right? The whole naming of the group element is also still in the formative stages. So, in essence, I think I may be about half a step ahead of where I was, and a few steps to the side. Ah, progress....

**Ow. Ow. Damn wrist. Ow.

**Back to the TV. Already on the second disc of season 2 of Rescue Me.

**I think my honeymoon with Facebook may almost be over. I still enjoy being able on know what's going on with everyone, but the whole experience overall seems to be getting a tad dull.