Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bacon Eyeglasses

**It was an uneventful weekend as far as flea markets went. Saturday we stuck around the house, and Sunday we made our way down to Sandwich. I am firmly convinced that show is on the last toenail of it's last toe of it's last foot of it's last shin of it's last leg. Used to be that you could barely finish seeing all the dealers before the show would start getting ready to close for the day. Now you can just about see all the dealers before you finish you first cup of coffee. Sad. Well, sad on a number of levels. Sad because now I'm gonna have to drag my ass halfway across the state to hit a decent flea market. Anyway, we got down to Sandwich right around 0900 and proceeded to run our usual east to west pattern across the fairgrounds. Even from the last time we were there, the number of dealers had decreased, and there were no other major shows going on that day. We managed to clear the whole show in under 2.5 hours. All I came away with were 2 Steven Crane ashtrays and a nice card game from 1983. At least it was a good day to be outside walking around. Hopefully Kane Co will be better this coming weekend.

**Finally manged to touch base with Trotz. The games may start hitting the table yet this summer.

**Call it a swamp or call it a marsh-it's all the same to me. The smell doesn't change. However, the view can be significantly altered by the company you keep.

**In my recent efforts to again try to catalog my entire tiki collection, I have not found it unusual for me to take close to 200 pictures, only to whittle down the final number to 40or so. Just not sure yet if any additional skill I acquire with the camera will help offset that proportion. But for the most part, the project is going smoothly. Taking the pictures is proving to be the least time intensive part of the process. Editing, uploading, and then labelling them takes far longer. Which reminds me that I still have a bunch sitting over on Flickr that I haven't done anything with yet. Gauging by the number of views I'm getting, I don't need to kill myself to get it done in a hurry. And just as a point of curiosity, would a set of salt and pepper shakers count as one item or two?

**Some games on Facebook basically suck. Farm Town and Robin Hood: boooooring. Not only boring, but they try and get you to put money into it to make it less boring. No thank you. Farkle is OK, except that they also have a buy-in feature. Ugh. Guess I will continue to spend my "casual gaming" time over at
Armor Games(Shameless plug).

**After reading my e-mails at work on Monday, I find myself reminded that some things, no matter how well you could do them, aren't worth the effort without significant reward.

**I need to go get some gas so I can mow the front yard. Or, I need to go get some gas so I can just burn the front yard down to the dirt. Either or.

**The garage continues to collect items that once resided in the house proper. The person who wanted the chaise has yet to come get it, but at least getting it out of the living room gave us the space we needed to move all the remaining big pieces around in order to get things to look a bit more spacious. Over discussions of color and accents, the subject of skylights has once again come to the forefront. I still like the idea, and since one of the primary problems is the amount of dark colored materials in the room, it make sense to me that the first step towards solving that would be to make sure the lighting in the space is adequate. Of course It would also be important for us to do adequate research to find the right kind of skylight and save up adequate amounts of money to pay for the whole mess. And I still have a fundamental problem with making holes in a roof where there were none before.

**And what the fuck did I do to mess up my neck this time?!?!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adhesive Cucumber Suspender Bumpers

**I thought that with it not having really rained much for the past couple of weeks, the population of mosquitoes may have declined. WRONG!!! That should teach me to be wandering around outside at twilight...

**I have restarted my efforts to catalog my entire tiki collection. Partly so I can have a record for the insurance company, and partly so I can have a better idea myself of just what all I have. My intent is to do small, but numerous, installments until the whole thing gets done. Now that I'm kinda getting the gist of good ways to take the pictures, I'm hoping the process will go fairly smoothly. Be sure to check the link I'm going to post and keep watching as I keep adding pictures!

**For those of you keeping score at home, the total count of "Number of Times I've Wrecked on My Bike" now stands at 1 for the year.

**Played my first game of Tiki Topple the other night. Ended up getting into a considerable debate regarding the limitations of the Tiki Toast card with Pinklady. I'm still undecided, but do have to agree that that particular card's potency is limited in the 2 player game. In the 3 and 4 player game I think that card will have a much greater impact. I don't agree with her proposition that that particular card should be universal in effect, and not limited to the bottom tiki in the stack. Seems like a quick, simple game that could be played by just about any mixed group. Plus it's really, really purty. And yes, I lost the first game I played.

**It's amazing how much better I feel now that I'm exercising and back on a mostly meat-free diet.

**Got a clear checkup from the dermatologist this week. With the rather rapid approach I seem to making to 40, and the slight, but still present, idea of getting more tattoos I thought it might be a good idea to get things looked at. No ragingly cancerous skin thingies as of now. I do have the beginnings of some scaly brown old person growths, though. Supposedly those are harmless and inherited. Makes me wonder where in the good ol' family tree that gem came from. But, on the other hand, the dermatologist was quite a cutie herself. Good skin, you know.

**Still have NO idea where my HATWB disc wandered off to. Am digging "Cold Snap" by Weeping Tile, though.

**Learned a $6 lesson about impulse shopping on Monday. Swung by Big Lots! in the hopes that I might find some discounted tiki items, now that every store on the planet is closing out summer items. Of course, I did manage to find a couple of things, but I made my mistake when I started rummaging through the discounted software bin. For no other reason that I happened to be there, and I was in the mood to have something new and sparkly, I found a title that looked somewhat promising, and added it to my other purchases. Once I got home and had a moment, I loaded it up onto the computer. Then I tried to start it. Got a nice little pop-up box that said, and I'm just paraphrasing here, 'Your computer sucks so incredibly bad!! Why are you even trying to run this program, dumbass!?!?' So, in essence, I threw $6 out the window. Any want an open copy of "Monster Madness: The Battle for Suburbia"? Did I mention it's only $6??

**Nice to know that Dhawk is still surviving-apparently out in Sherwood Forest, if Facebook is to be believed.

**I need to find one of those metal bed frames made out of angle steel. I'm thinking that it would greatly assist my efforts to get logs loaded into the back of my car if I had a couple of those long rails. Of course, I had a whole pile of them until I cleaned out the garage and took all that scrap material to be recycled. Go figure. I also need some cheap folding chairs that I can hack part of the legs off of so that they're short enough to be used at my current game table. Hmmmmm. Sounds like I need to go hit some garage sales.

**Going to thin out the furniture herd a bit this weekend. The loveseat/chaise/lounge thingy has found a new home and will be moving there on Saturday. Once that's gone, we can look at the whole living/dining room area again and contemplate our next options. If it wasn't for the damn TV, we could rearrange things pretty much as we pleased. And I just happen to see a nice, and almost square, dining room table while we were out the other day. It would take up less room than our current one, would be nice for playing games at, and does have a leaf, so it can expand a bit when needed. I mean, since we have all those formal dinner parties and such, how could we not have an expandable table? The down side would be spending more money on something that doesn't need to be replaced. The up side would be having a nice table that I could take downstairs and use in my studio. Just gonna hafta wait and see how things look once that loveseat is gone. My other thought was to take the seldom used guest room (<1 time per year, since we've moved in), and convert it into a library-ish space. I also want to rework the office. That ancient desk has just got to go. Here I am, thinking about all this stuff, and I still haven't gotten the frame of the sliding door stained. Oops. Guess I should take care of some of the little things first.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Carrots and Gravel

**I was recently told that I need to be more regular in my use of 'product' to make my hair look good. What?? 'Product'? You've got to be kidding! What the fuck is 'product'? Then, due to my obvious and all-encompssing ignorance I was informed that 'product' consists of things like mousse, gel, volumizer, shine enhancer, conditioner, and a whole plethora of other things that I never knew existed. Or ever even bothered to condsider caring about. Given, I used way more than my fair share of hairspray in the '80s, but I was pretty much a mess at that point in time no matter how you look at it. But this whole idea of needing not one, but an entire array of things to maintain your hair in some state of imaginary airbrushed perfection is entirely ridiculous. Count me out. I know I'd much rather have toys than 'product' anyway. Guess it's about time to start shaving my head again.

**Who'da thunk that floor exercises could be so much damn fun?

**More Bamboo!
Trying to get the basement set up the way I want to is proving to be more involved than I had thought it would be. The books from the Drama Queen have proven to be highly valuable in my undertaking to actually put some planning into this effort. So now I'm playing at being an interior designer with my tape measure, my graph paper, and my colored pencils. I'm just trying to get stuff as close to right on paper as I can before I actually start spending money on things. May look like total overkill, but it is actually helping me understand hopw things are going to fit and work in the spaces where I want to put them. More importantly, I am keeping myself amused. And hopefully all this extra effort will help me assemble the space I actually want to have with a minimum of frustration. I've already been able to spot and modify some things that just wouldn't have worked had I tried to do them on the fly. The more I work on the sketches, the more I want to have a bar. Not that it has to be overly functional, since I think it will mostly serve as storage for the parts of my collection that I don't have out on display. But I just can't not have one. The tiki gods would be most displeased.

**I don't really think the sesame seed oil made as big a difference in the green beans almondine as I thought it was going to.

**I don't think I'm as fond of Billy Joel as I thought I was. I enjoy the classic stuff that everyone knows, but I find myself skipping a lot of the stuff on the greatest hits CD that I'm listening to. Just doesn't hit me right, I guess.

My car went into the shop again. This time it was to replace the damaged control arm, and the insurance was going to pick up the cost for that. While they had that wheel off, they were supposed to replace the axle seal on the same side. Please notice my rather deliberate use of the word 'supposed'. Turns out when I called them this morning to see if it was done, the repalcement seal that they had recieved was the wrong one. Go freakin figure. The right one will be in in a couple of days, supposedly. So, I will need to submit my car once again, sometime next week, if luck holds. At least they're gonna give me a break on the cost of labor to replace the seal, since they were going to do it when they did the control arm.

**I need to touch base with Big Bri and see if he's up for a poker night next week. Harleymon keeps asking when the next one is. Any other takers?

**Depending on my mood I find barbershop quartets either quite pleasant, or annoying beyond belief.

**HI! Billy Mays here for the Formald-o-matic 2800! Save thousands on funeral costs by doing your own embalming right in the comfort and privacy of your own home! It's quick! It's easy! Imagine being able to preserve ten bodies in the time it used to take to do just one the old fashioned way! And best of all, it's now available directly to you through this one time only offer! Order now! Operators are standing by!

**Save yourself! Kill your television!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Quivering Plaid Olive Pits, The Sequel

**Finally got my new personalized plates last week. In the words of the Pirate Queen, I have now become 'so yuppieish'. Not quite sure what that means. Anyway, I strolled out into the driveway intent on spending all of maybe ten minutes or so swapping out the old plates for the new ones. That was the first of many grandly incorrect assumptions I made that evening. The front plate did come off without a problem. It was just two screws that were drilled right into the plastic bumper. That swap was accomplished in about three minutes. Then I moved on to the back plate. Which is apparently where all the gremlins lived. It looked like it would be a repeat of the front....until.

Take out two screws, swap the plate, and done! But, hmmmm, those screws look a little rusty. What the hell? They're also not a standard size. Damn. Now I have to go get the other socket set. Now, that's still not right, but at least it's biting. Boy, that just does not want to turn at all. Do I have any Liquid Wrench? Of course not. That would make sense and be helpful. I do have a big ass can of WD-40, though. What the hell. Can't hurt. OK, maybe that was a bit too much. Now the socket is slipping. Maybe the next size down would be better. Now it's grabbing, but man, that screw is not making a happy noise at all. Better take it easy. Man, you don't mess with a screw for a few years and it goes and gets all rusty. What the fuck is up with that? At least this one came out finally. Damn is that rusty. No wonder it didn't want to let go. Man, I hope there's none of the threading broken off in the hole. I'll just flush it with some more good ol' WD-40. Should be able to get the screw back in there now. OK, halfway there. Now to get the other one. Man, this one doesn't want to turn either. Fuck. The socket keep slipping like that, and I'll round off the head before you know it. Just. Won't. Budge. Dammit. Wait. There it went. Bout freakin time. Turn turn turn turn turn. Turn some more. Keep on turnin. Hmmmm. This must be a hellishly long bolt. Just doesn't seem right. And the plate's in the way. Can't see what's going on behind there. Crap. Looks like the screw is turning. But I just can't see what's going on. Maybe if I bend the plate a bit. Well, at least I can kinda see behind there now. OK, the bolt is turning. Wait a sec. Aw, crap. So is the damn mounting! The whole thing is turning! Well, shit. What am I gonna do now? The old plate's half off on the back and the new one is on the front. I can't drive around like that. Dammit. Yay. I get to figure out how to get this sonofabitch off. Maybe if I bend the plate some more I can get the mount to stay still while I turn the screw. Nope. Maybe the other way? Well, shit. At least the plate is off now. May be all bent to hell, but at least it's off. Now, my rusty little bastard, let's see if you like a WD-40 bath. OK, that was stuuuuupid. Just made it easier for the mount to spin. Dumbass! What's the plan now, genius? There is just no way to get a hold of that mount from the outside. The outside. Hmmmm. Wonder how I get into the inside of this door. Got four screws there. Don't see anything else holding it on. Could it be that easy? Is it ever just that easy?? Oh, what the hell. I'm sure not gonna pay someone to get that goddamn screw out. Those sure came out easy. Geez. There must be something else holding this panel on. Can't pry it open far enough to see. I don't see anything that looks important. Maybe just a good yank. OK, it's just held on with posts and clips. No prob, eh? Now that that's out of the way let's see what we got here. If I turn the bolt on the outside, where is the mount on the inside? There it is. How the hell am I gonna get to it? I got that one small deep socket I can try. That bracket is in the way though. Man, is that the rear wiper motor? Don't wanna fuck that up. So, if I loosen that bolt, I can move the bracket and get the socket on the mount to hold it still while I turn the bolt on the outside. Cake and pie. Now why isn't that moving? I can't loosen that anymore without it falling out. Oh. I gotta loosen that bolt too. And it looks like that screw there needs to come out too. Geez. Finally. Now I can get that socket in there. Oh, don't even tell me. No no no no. I just took all that apart and the socket doesn't fit?? Mutha fucka. Must. Not. Hurl. Socket. Wrench. Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. What now?? I got nothing else that'll fit in that hole. Is there any other way to get that mount to hold still? Hmmm. Could I get a set of Vise-Grips in behind there to hang on to it? Maybe. Maybe. I thk that may just work. I can reach my hand in there through this other hole, so I should be able to clamp onto it from the side. Drag one more tool out into the freakin driveway. OK, now it looks like it won't fit in there. Try turning it around, and there we go! Hot damn! Now, I just need to hang onto this side while I use the socket on the other side. Damn. Still doesn't want to turn. Try tightening it a bit, then try loosening it. Back and forth. Good, just felt it give a little. Put a bit more torque on it. Oh, fuck. That did not just snap off, did it? Shit! Sheared off right at the surface! Goddammit! Now what am I gonna do?? I. Am. Not. Happy. Now. Think, genius. What now? Bolt extractor? Bingo! Hmmm. Do I have one that small? Geez. Not sure. But I need the drill, a bit for the dril, the extractor, and a tap wrench. Got to find all that stuff first. And an extension cord. Ten minute project, my ass. Been out here for who the hell knows how long. Where are the damn extractors? Not with the taps and dies. Are they with the drill bits? Nope. Well, why are they in the drawer with all the scribes and such? Who cares, really? Man, that's the smallest one I have. That is gonna be a close fit. Cross my fingers. Of course it didn't shear off flat. The drill bit isn't gonna wanna bite into that. C'mon, dig in already. There you go. Keep going. Crap. That is not centered at all. Fuck it. At least it's started. That should be deep enough for the extractor to bite. Lookie, lookie! Grabbed on the first try. Little bit of torque. Little more. Keep it straight, or I'll bend the damn thing again like I did when I was working on those chairs. Did it just give a little? No no no no no. What the fuck?!?! Great! Now the tip of the extractor is broken off in there?!?!? Do I have a "crap on me" sign on my back?!? No freakin screw is gonna beat me. I'll just drill the whole damn thing out and retap the freakin hole. Sumbitch ain't gonna outdo me. Go get the taps and figure out the threading that I need to use. Probably be some damn metric size that I don't have a tap for. 10/24? What the fuck kinda size is that? Couldn't just be 12/24, could it. I am so pissed off right now. All these damn taps and I don't have a 10/24. I can hear John laughing at me from the great beyond right now. Wait, is this, can't read the size. About damn time. The only one I have, of course. Which means that it's gonna break too, no doubt. Make sure that's started straight, or it'll break off in there for sure. Advance, back off. Advance, back off. Advance, back off. Seems to be biting right. Remove and clear the swarf. WD-40. Reseat and advance. Repeat ad infinitum. This just may work though. Shit. Is that locked up now? Oh man. Won't advance. Won't back off either. Crap. Just step back for a second. Think. OK, more WD-40 and try and back it out. Easy. That's really turning hard. Just fucking come out already. Just a bit more. Damn. That's a lot of swarf. No wonder it bound up in there. Flush the hole, reseat the tap. Continue. There. That should be deep enough to seat a new bolt. Jesus H Christ, what a fucking production. Now all I have to do is put the inside of the door back together and put all these tools away. Whoop-te-fucking-do.

So, an hour and change later, my new personalized plates were installed. Let this be a lesson to any of you out there foolish enough to consider getting new plates.

**How many Med Techs does it take to replace a garbage disposal? >2, by my most recent experience.

**OK, I understand that you can't have a tiki bar without a bar. Duh. But by the same token, I don't collect tiki bars, I collect tikis. Still, it's hard to separate one from the other. In the process of revisiting the idea of redoing the downstairs, this is something I have to consider, though. I like the idea of having a bar. Ever since I was a little kid, I always thought the coolest basements in the world had a bar and a pool table. Now I couldn't care less about the pool table, but the bar is something I'm having a hard time giving up on. Even though I do have a decent sized space to work with, a bar really does eat up a huge amount of floor space. Plus I don't really want a prefab bar, but my carpentry skills suck. Did I mention that this whole project is supposed to be done by Halloween?

**Holy crap. The year is half over already.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ballistic Gumdrop Nephrons

**I think that driving on IL 39/51 (in either direction) could be one of the most excruciatingly boring things I do on a semi-regular basis.

**My new favorite incredibly addicting junk food fix: Cheddar and Jalapeno Cheetos. I love them, so no doubt, they will stop making them.

**I don't find towns like LaRose creepy because they only have 400 residents. I find towns like LaRose creepy because you can drive through them in the middle of the afternoon on a nice Saturday and not see a single, solitary person out and about. That's creepy.

**A Gracias Muy Grande to JohnnyLaw for his recent donation to my tiki collection!!

**You'd think that since a week has gone by, my little head would just be full to bursting with all sorts of interesting tidbits to write about. Mostly, my head is full to bursting with a just-barely-there headache, that doesn't want to go away, which puts quite a damper on the creative process. It's a very Monday-at-work kind of headache.

**Kudos to Lil P on her new addition to the family! Just make sure you don't dress him funny...

**When I go to the art department at VCB, the last thing I expect, or want, to run into is an endless rampaging horde of 'tweener soccer camp girls. The only saving grace was that none of them were actually milling about in the art department.

**My car is supposed to go in on Thursday to finally have the right rear control arm replaced. Good that the last of the accident damage is being taken care of a mere 3 months after the original event. I was informed that it should only take 1 day to do it. I'm really thinking I won't be holding my breath, even though it is my day off and I shouldn't need a car. But while they're at it, I think I could use some new wipers. Or maybe I'll go look at that blue Ranger again. It's got new wipers on it.

**Adding a couple more pieces to the tiki collection courtesy of a Barnes and Noble pop-up ad. I'll be keeping an eager eye on the doorstep until that package arrives.

**The delivery of the dragon went smoothly on Saturday. I still retain the right as creative director to not be completely satisfied with the end product, but the members of the CroClan were all quite happy with it, so I guess I'm outvoted. It was good to see that CroMom is doing better, and the only thing that seems to have changed about CroDad over that past few decades is the amount of hair he has left. It was also good to see CroMag's awesome new office space, at long last. I also got a preview of The Roomie. I can only expect that to be a situation that continues to unfold in one interesting layer after another. With 5 cats involved, how can it not?

**It is not a comforting thought at all that I missed out on the Calvins just because I couldn't stay awake.

**Pinklady wanted to see "Knowing", so she rented it and we watched it (Neat how that works, huh?). It reminded me of "Signs" in that it was a pretty good flick right up until the very end of the movie. Then it crapped out, or so I thought. It also had a sort of "X-Files" vibe about it too, which is neither here nor there. But the more I think about it, the more I like the essence of the end. Therefore, I will now alter my opinion and declare that I find it to be comfortingly agnostic. Up next in the DVD player, a recommendation from the Pirate Queen: "Gran Torino".

**I think I should have bought that copy of "Heathers" that I had in my hands the other day. Whatever happened to Christian Slater, anyway?


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hour Twelve

Eleven hours done
Still not a lot here to do
So I think I'll go

Hour Eleven

Fragment of a thought
Shiny broken memory
Almost out of reach

Hour Ten

Starting to blank out
As the hour turns once again
Coffee mojo slows

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hour Nine

The cursor blinking
No letters in front of it
The page remains blank

Hour Eight

Should have known better
But donut looked too tasty
Now heartburn rages

Hour Seven

Work day half over
Not a whole lot going on
Six hours left to go

Hour Six

Nose twitches, paws flick,
Quiet barking while the dog
Chases dream rabbits

Hour Five

Clouds racing the wind
Fall over the horizon
Lemmings of the sky

Hour Four

My teeth at her neck
Her nails drawn across my skin
In that moment, bliss

Hour Three

A shower of sparks
She richochets through my thoughts
Totally at random

Hour Two

Dinner with a friend
Retell stories from the past
Laugh until we cry

And So It Begins...

Just beginning a 12 hour shift on what I'm hoping will be a slow night. So, to keep at least part of my brain engaged over the next half of a day, I am going to once again write at least one haiku for every hour I'm here. For those of you out there that are easily bored, I'm sure you can go find some reruns of "Cheers" to keep yourself occupied.

Hour one (1500-1600 7.4.9)

Rainy July 4th
Thunder over low gray clouds
No fireworks tonight

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Day That Never Ended...

**Once again, it seems to be October outside. The brief dose of summer that we had gotten has vanished beneath a covering of grey clouds and a near-constant misting of rain. I am beginning to become annoyed by the whole process.

**Of course the dogs will misbehave. They're dogs. It's part of what they do. However, it does seem that the degree to which they misbehave increases greatly when I am not around the house. That would explain why I got a phone call from Pinklady while on my lunch break today informing me that all three of the beasts had found something in the yard worth enthusiastically rolling in. Lovely. Just freakin lovely. This had to happen on the evening when she's not only right on the edge of a migraine, she's supposed to be on her way out of town tomorrow. And, from the sound of things, she doesn't have anything ready to go yet. Guess I'll have to call her and try to get her to push her schedule back a day, or at least not leave till after lunch or so. This episode will no doubt become one more page in the great book of "Do You Know What Your Dogs Did Today???"

**My insolence managed to push Tanazzz right over the edge tonight. How offended do you think someone should get when you imply that perhaps god wants them to be a lesbian? I think it will be a while before I hear from her again. Maybe I should go hang out with the Jewish Giant...

**In the midst of wasting a bit of time on the 'net today, I happened to wander over to and found another neat game that falls into the category of "Cute and Violent"
The first two entries in this category are "Pillage the Village" and "The Black Knight". My new entry is called "Fragger" and is a highly addicting, physics based, grenade tossing game. Head on over and give it a try.

**An unexpected 4.5 hours of OT has just landed in my lap. Pinklady is gonna be VERY displeased. Not to mention that I was already starting to get a tad yawny. Right now 3AM is a looooong ways off. Even visions of dancing dollar signs can't change that.