i’m lovin’ on ya

Good evening my friends. I skipped another day of blogging last night, and it felt good. Today was insane at work, I was quadruple-booked with meetings and running on six hours sleep from a late-night cram session preparing a presentation I presented at 8am. Honestly though, it was a good day – and despite being so overbooked I found some time here and there to entertain some Halloween project themed non-work thoughts. In fact, I’ve been working hard on a brand new Halloween idea over the past week or so. Brainstorming and doing trigonometry to derive angles and physics to calculate loads. Anyway… let’s get to the junk.

One liners:

I’m sick of the word “diva.” There are like two or three shitty, shitty, shitty shows Sharaun watches on TV that use this word to the point it’s silly.

The new Killers finally leaked, trickling onto the internet only a respectable week or so before its street date – not bad. I haven’t had time to listen to it yet, but I’m anxious to hear if it’s really as bad as Rolling Stone says.

Sometimes, I sincerely think I’m “special.” I mean better than you.

Having been camping the past two weekends, I find myself wishing I could get away every weekend. Then, I think about stretching each wilderness-weekend by an additional day, leaving me with a four day workweek. This fantasy snowballs until I’m camping every day and not working at all.

I can’t wait for the day that Keaton can teeter to the door to greet me when she hears me arriving home from work.

I finally got a lead on an Oink invite, both worries and excites me. (If my lead falls through, anyone got one to spare?)

We’re thinking about taking the train to Oregon when we visit my folks for Thanksgiving. It’s a 15hr trip, but I’ve never been on a passenger train before and I think it could be rad.

I wasn’t going to ever mention Lonelygirl15 again, but I figured since Stewart brought her up on the Daily Show – it was an opportune time to mention that I’m totally still following the whole Cassieiswatching alternate reality game thing… though I’m beginning to suspect it’s some elaborate fan fiction…

Goodnight folks, I’m lovin’ on ya.

fun to do

Wednesday night, got here blessedly fast thanks to the long weekend. Spent most of the evening helping Pat try to install a new water heater (flashbacks to the beginnings of sounds familiar). We got it installed, but didn’t leave much time for writing. But, after I sat down, things worked out and I got all the crap below. Let’s get to that crap now, huh? Good.

Some (more than) one-liners:

Sometimes, in the morning on the way to work, I turn the music up so loud it hurts my ears. This morning, I had the iPod on shuffle and “The Good Life” from Weezer’s Pinkerton came on. That album ties to a lot of great memories for me, so I turned the knob to at least eleven and ground my teeth in defiance as my ears protested the deafening sharp tinny cymbal. I know this is a dumb thing to do, but I enjoy it.

I have a deck of cards I keep at my desk at work, I am constantly shuffling them around in my hand as the time passes. I’m not sure why, but I like having something to manipulate while I think or work. I use them so much that I’ve had to retire two previous decks, and am thinking it’s about time to ditch my current. I went from a generic-backed deck to a Hawaiian hulagirl deck, to my current Harley Davidson deck. The edges get saturated with oils from my hands, and the cardstock begins to swell and flare. There’s a faint yellow outline creeping inward from the edges towards the center of each card, that oil beginning to take over. Sometimes cards stick together as their raised edges hitch on each other. I like the way the well-handled cards smell, I know this is odd. Time for a new deck, I think I’ll open the Beatles one.

I’ve always been a fan of thinking-puzzles of all kinds. From watching HBO’s BrainGames as a kid to solving weekly “lateral thinking” puzzles in my “gifted class.” I absolutely hated those ones where six people had two traits each and you had to fill out some huge cross-referenced matrix using the process of elimination to decide who had red hair and a puppy; what’s the fun if you can just stumble on the answer visually? I think that’s part of the reason I get so intrigued by these online “alternate reality games” like the Lost Experience and, now, LonelyGirl15 (if that’s indeed what this is). I can remember when I bought the game Myst for my old Packard Bell. I sat for hours playing that game, eating up the logic puzzles and secret passages. I can recall sitting at my PC late one night, navigating first-person style through a series of mine shafts. I had realized that, at each multi-tunnel junction, the game would make a different sound. I started associating the sounds with directions, north, south, etc. Turns out this was the right approach. So there I am, sitting at my desk listening intently to discern a “dink” from a “donk” from a “poing,” when I’m nearly scared out of my skin by someone knocking on my bedroom window. Turns out it was a girl, come for a late-night encounter. Myst was awesome, but I had priorities…

Every time we go camping up in the hills I notice the sign posted at the campground that reads something like “14 day maximum stay.” It always makes me think about camping on a longer-term basis than the typical city-folk weekender trip, perhaps even taking up a nomadic style of life bouncing from one max campground stay to the next. It’ well known that I have an obsession with “lean” living like this, although I’m not the most exemplary of the lifestyle – it’s nonetheless attractive to me. I remember when a buddy of mine bought a house from a workplace acquaintance, the now displaced fellow moved into a tent at a local public campground. He was still getting up in the morning and going to work, still doing the daily grind, but at night he’d head home to a tent. Something about that was very woodsman-romantic and Thoreau-ish to me, and I always thought it would be fun to do.

I’ve long realized that I outfit myself with a regularly recurring set of clothing. Each week, my limited array of ensembles repeats itself in some way. I don’t even wait two weeks. Oh, sure sometimes I “mix it up” and wear the green shirt I wore last week with jeans with khakis instead, but the variation doesn’t get much more varied than that. I don’t mind this, actually… it doesn’t bother me. I have probably six pairs of shorts which I wear, three pairs of jeans, two khaki longpants, and maybe fifteen to twenty shirts. That’s it. Nothing more. So, I recycle. I mate that grey company polo with the jean shorts and the khaki cargos, sometimes I’ll tuck in that avocado-colored one, sometimes not – all depends on what kind of fashion statement I feel like making.

Goodnight friends and lover(s). Marinate on that parenthetical ‘S’ for a while.


Thursday night, blessed weekend but a day away. Again I’m home alone, Sharaun having joined friends for the evening. Keaton fought sleep, but I eventually won because I’m bigger and stronger and wasn’t the one who was sleepy. Listening to some All-Time Quarterback, flashbacks from years ago when I first discovered Death Cab. Sitting at my desk in the back room, on my butt in front of a CRT again – as if I don’t spend enough time atrophying like this at “work.” Had beer tonight, at the watering hole after work to honor one of the fallen… work is still headmen and axes. Shirtless.

And now, one liners (or, taking out the trash):

The internet has everything, you know? Read how to synthesize TATP using only three things – all of which you can buy at Wal Mart right now. This is the very same uber-unstable explosive, referred to as “The Mother of Satan,” that terrorists were planning to use in the simultaneous detonation of planes from England to the US. This is nasty, but dead-simple to make, stuff – and is what was used in the 2005 London bombings and what filled the “shoebomber’s” clog on his failed suicide attempt. The internet has everything, you know?

Was in the restroom at work this morning trying to “blot” out some coffee I’d dribbled on my shirt when a guy walked in with his own coffee cup in-hand. I watched him in the mirror as I continued to dab my brown stains with a damp paper towel – watched him walk right into the john with his cup still in-hand. I saw him set it on the toilet paper holder affixed to the stall wall, close the door, and drop his pantaloons. Then I heard him pick up the cup. Taking your coffee into the shitter seems nasty to me, right?

Downloaded and ran a Ubuntu linux “LiveCD” the other day, allowing me to experience the OS without installing it. There’s so much noise about Ubuntu being the real Windows desktop OS killer. My impression, it worked great and looked slick and fancy, no problems IDing and installing drivers for all my hardware. But, when I couldn’t get my wireless to work with my WPA encryption and a websearch on the subject had me opening a command window to edit config files manually – I gave up. I’ll pay the couple hundred bucks for Windows.

Placed a spec bid on an unopened box of 15th series Garbage Pail Kids the other day on Ebay. I need only the original 15th and 1st series to complete my collection. Problem is, complete 1st series sets go for over $100 and complete 15th series sets are right up there too. I just can’t justify spending that much on functionally-useless nostalgia, so I often troll Ebay for sets and place lowball bids on the off chance I’ll end up a winner. Turns out I won a whole store shelf box, 48 wax packs with five cards each (and a stick of decades old gum). I know it’s a shame, but I totally plan to defile the item by opening each and every unopened-for-years pack. Why? Well, #1, I want the set, and #2, I figure on making at least two complete sets from the box. Turning the extra set for ~$80 on Ebay will make back my investment ($40) and then some.

Know what some engineer needs to do? Make a dang laptop that can be used outside. Laptops are great for their portability, but they’re rendered virtually useless in even the most meager of daylight. Sun seems to send the pixels on my screen into hiding; maybe I have goth pixels? Whatever it is, it’s frustrating. Let’s do a hypothetical: It’s 3pm on a Friday and you’re at work, staring at a computer screen, when you notice the beautiful sunlight out the window across the floor. Next thing you know, you’ve gotten the nerve to up and leave and phone-in the rest of the day from the beauty of your wirelessly-connected backyard. Then, when seemingly nothing could go wrong, you sit down to fire up the laptop and can’t see a thing. Stupid sunshine, she’s a double-edged bitch, she is.


you’ve failed as a firefighter

Wednesday night and I’m having a productive week. I should qualify that: I’m having a productive week personally, but professionally it’s been a complete loss. My head hasn’t been in the game at work, but it’s OK because the environment is currently an unhinged one and I’m not alone.

Let’s do one liners, eh? I know, I know, they’re never really “one line.”

Last night I had a dream that I was trapped in a funhouse hall of mirrors. It was just like all the Scooby Doo and USA Up All Night Horror movies: dim lighting and an endless maze of my own reflection with an evil voice calling out to me from somewhere unseen. Sharaun woke me up because I was making one of those breathy dream-screams in real life (I do that sometimes, I’m a chatty sleeper). What the heck does a dream like that mean?

Noticed that Bush used his presidential veto for the first time this week to shoot down additional funding for stem cell research. I’ll state right up front that I think this is stupid, but rather than try and construct paragraph supporting my opinion I’ll just defer to this outstanding reader comment on the Newsvine coverage of the happening:

Here’s how I view whether an embryo should be considered such a valid life or not:

You are a firefighter, called to the scene of a horrific fire. The fire is in a local in vitro clinic – you put on your mask and rush inside. In the smoke and warmth, you hear a girl crying. You find her, standing next to a refrigerator holding hundreds of frozen embryos. You can only carry one. Which do you take?

The girl of course.

So does this mean that you’ve failed as a firefighter? You have forsaken the lives of potentially hundreds of children for the life of one child.

But when it comes to research, which already has proven more than helpful, suddenly the tables turn, and the embryos at stake are more important than the thousands threatened each year by cancer, Alzheimer’s, spine injuries, and the multitude of other things that stem cell research is working for.

I call BS.

Yeah, and I’ll be right there with you calling BS too.

Found this editorial take on the current Israel/Lebanon/Hezbollah thing I’ve been trying to follow pretty interesting. Although it clearly casts Israel as the bigger aggressor, it actually helped me (make sure and read the comments to for some good counter arguments that help round out the thought for those not passionate enough to have picked sides).

Wanna make your brain hurt? Head over to this site and watch the cool Flash animation that explains how to conceptualize a 4th, 5th, 6th, and on up through 10th dimension. Just click on on the zero at the bottom of the twirly numbers on the right of the page. I’m this close to ordering the book, as the Flash teaser is interesting as crap.


major player in the cowboy scene

Summer’s here, and our social calendar is filling up appropriately. The weather here has taken a turn for the hot, as it always does ’bout this time of year. Air conditioning has to be one of humankind’s greatest achievements – right up there with flush toilets, beer, and the space shuttle. This entry started out as a “one liners” entry, but a few of them developed into more complete thoughts. So, here are some mostly one, and occasionally many more than one, liners for your enjoyment.

Saw a terrible car accident Thursday morning right in front of work. I arrived on the scene just after it’d happened and no rescue vehicles had yet arrived, but it was clear to me that the driver of one of the vehicles had either been badly injured or killed. Seeing something like that makes me immediately think of my family, and makes my stomach all queasy. Eerily enough, just as I eased through the intersection the song on the Sunset Rubdown LP said, “There are things that have to die, so other things can stay alive.” Creepy.

Why do you think humans, males in particular, get so excited over more exotic methods of cooking meat? You know what I mean? How males love a good pig-burying, or are willing to wake up at 5am to put a pork shoulder on the smoker. Must be some kind of distant connection we feel with our kill-to-survive ancestors.

I keep getting all these spam mails urging me to join a site called BlackSingles.com. Do I pull off blackness that convincingly?

Driving to work the other day and watching the sprinklers water public, or city-maintained, grass. Were you the pilfering type, you’d never have to buy a lawnmower-ruined sprinklerhead at home depot. Just head to the public park and fill your pockets.

I wonder a lot about, should there be a world-altering event that left only a few alive, what modern technologies and items I could recreate from my working understanding of them. Which of humankind’s greatest inventions and innovations do I have a good enough grasp on that I could actually re-invent or re-innovate them? Even with the help of other survivors, if the population was vastly depleted – I’m willing to bet that some technologies and items would be lost forever.

Remember when I talked about reading that article about how men get dumber as fathers, while women get smarter? I think this is based on the same research, but it’s a lot less negative to us dads.

My first Father’s Day was nice, not a lot of fanfare, but nice. In celebration, I uploaded week fifteen’s pictures to the ongoing set in Keaton’s gallery. Check them out and try not to smile to yourself at how dang cute she is.

I love my iPod, can’t hardly think how I used to get along without it. But, some things it does do piss me off:

  • Sometimes it gets freaked out when 1st powered on and playing the initial tune, inserting music-less gaps in playback during what sounds like hard drive spinup or processing time.
  • Sometimes it refuses to turn off via holding down the play/pause button, instead only responds to a hard reset.
  • Sometimes it indicates it’s playing a song, yet the progress indicator does not move and no song is actually played. Pressing play/pause, switching songs, or even jogging to the middle of the track all fail to “revive” this “false playback,” and only a hard reset remedies the issue.
  • Sometimes it takes up to ~20sec to display artwork once a song is played, especially if the thing has just powered on and it’s the first song you’re listening to.
  • Occasionally it skips tracks altogether when in “shuffle songs” mode. A track will flash up as the next shuffled song to be played, and then quickly give way to the next track in the shuffle without ever playing. Maybe there’s an algorithm that enforces a minimum gap between shuffled tracks, and if a song takes too long to seek on the physical disk – it’s skipped and the shuffle marches on? Maybe, but it’s still annoying. Particularly when the song that you’re teased with is a good one.
  • Pressing play/pause after the thing’s been idle only “wakes” it up – you have to press it twice to actually get a song to play.

I found this photo-narrative of a trip into North Korea to be really interesting, maybe you will too.

Setup a TiVo season pass to record the recent VH1 documentary series, “The Drug Years.” Chronicling the history of drugs and their use in the US, the series is extremely interesting. After watching the segment on the cocaine heyday of the late ’70s, I told Sharaun how it almost made me want to run a couple bumps. Turns out that was a mistake, and I spent the next ten minutes explaining how I didn’t really want to try coke.

Drugs have always been enticing to me. Ever since my middle school years, when I adopted musicians three generations my senior as my idols, I became bound and determined to emulate them and try marijuana. Later in life, after I’d satisfied my curiosity and given up recreational toking, I became interested in the more academic aspects of drug use: How drugs have impacted human cultural and spiritual development, how they were used by people throughout history, etc. Reading about shamans using entheogens to experience spiritual nirvana, and the ability to experience concepts like “ego death” almost make me want go out and have my own psychedelic personality-melting experience.

You can do it, you know. There are several highly-potent natural and laboratory-synthesized psychedelic substances sold online by legitimate purveyors. You can hitup so-called “research chemical” shops and purchase any number of yet-to-be strictly controlled designer drugs. At your fingertips are powerful psychedelics like the multitude of phenethylamine variants or 5-meO-AMT/DMT. All of which, and much more, can shipped to your doorstep with nothing but a web browser and a credit card. If you’re not into synthetics, you can go with something natural that has a long history of human use by surfing on to any decent online headshop to purchase a vial of salvia extract or other entheogenic plant-derivative. Point is, there are a number of ways one could experiment with psychedelic mind-altering substances and stay within the law.

Well… the letter of the law, at least… if you don’t count that pesky Federal Analog Act. Actually, I better stop writing about this before I start placing orders and soliciting “sitters.”

Lotta content, if you skipped some – go back, it’s all gold. Goodnight.

naught but a fortnight

FetusWatch 2006
Two weeks.

Is that still fourteen days? Hmm… it is huh? Interesting. Work is becoming increasingly busy, I think because I’ve started to obsess about “setting the machine in motion” before I leave. I’m desperately trying to get things on some semblance of “autopilot,” so I won’t be preoccupied with thoughts of deadlines and milestones while I should be focused on the baby. Deep down, I know work will fly out the window as soon as she’s here – but I’d still like to have all my ducks in a row before I drop off the face of the work-Earth. Let’s do the one-liner thing, the Mostly-Grammy Edition:

Man… Valentines Day… I hate Valentines Day. I resent it for being a contrived holiday which demands you show sentiment sentiment. I’ll show sentiment of my own accord, thanks.

I logged onto CNN at work today and was greeted with the headline: “Bush urges end to cartoon violence.” I immediately thought of Dubya drafting a law against dropping anvils – y’know, to protect that nice kitty Tom from that mean old mouse Jerry.

Coldplay’s dodgy performance last night at the Grammys was totally not representative of their amazing live show – don’t let it dissuade you from paying the price of admission, even if you’re not their #1 fan.

In fact, did anyone else notice how shitty the mix was for all the live performances at the Grammys? The guitars were buried, and the vocals and hihats were shrill and too up-front. The bass was pale and off in the distance, and they mixed in way too much crowd noise.

Didn’t Macca rock it with Helter Skelter? And how about Kanye… I know I’d sure hate to be on the debate team tasked with arguing against “Goldigger’s” status as 2006’s “song most likely to have massive amounts of ass shaken to.” Even I – pasty and arrhythmic – feel the need to move to that bassline, and that’s never a good thing.

50% effaced and 1cm dilated.

Guess I coulda made a paragraph after all. At least I squeezed one out. G’nite.

stake your names

Can he keep it going?
Another day down at work, and a long one looming tomorrow. In at 5:30am for a meeting with folks in Germany, out after a dinner with some other managers after 5pm. Not looking forward to waking up at the butt-crack to banter with Hans and Franz – the Germans are notoriously rough on us engineers, they have impeccable standards and know how to ask pointed questions.

The other night I happened across David Blaine’s Street Magic special on TLC. I remember the first time I saw it years ago, and all the love of magic that over-the-top “illusionists” like David Copperfield had sucked from me over the years with their cheesy music and light shows came flooding back to me. Seeing real people react to close-up magic is so much more engaging than seeing Mr. Copperfield walk through the Great Wall of China from 15 different soft-focused camera angles. I swear I chuckle with glee when I see him pull off the more amazing of his non-trick-deck sleights. Anyone can use a stripper, svengali, or rough/smooth deck… but even with the assistance of trick decks he’s got a charisma that makes even the most hackneyed tricks feel fresh. It’s the personal, close-up, stuff that’s the best, even the Balducci levitation played up throughout the entire show pales in comparison to the nickel-filled coffee cup anyway. Altho, when he does it for the cluster of hearing-impaired kids, I swear I tear up at the happiness on their faces.

Remember my beard? I shaved it one night last week. My beard is gone.

My mom and Sharaun’s mom both sent packages in the mail for Lil’ Chino. I thought it was funny that they both used the notes accompanying these pre-birth packages to attempt to establish their “grandmother names.” My mom stuck her claim on “Grammy,” while Sharaun’s mom opted for “Gami.”

Dropped my iPod for the first time today, seems to be OK… but it gave me a scare seeing how utterly dependant I’ve become on its awesomeness.

I always knew I wasn’t attractive enough to pull the kind of game I consistently do.

Tuesday night and that means baby-class at l’hopital. Tonight they gave all the preggers little stress balls to squish in their hands while they worked through the fake contractions and associated breathing. I lost it when the instructor kept gently intoning: “Now… keep squeezing your balls,” and, “Continue to squeeze your balls, in and out.” There’s a lot of unintentional humor in the class.

The other night I spilled super-glue on the cat. I had to cut out a huge chunk of her fur because I was worried she’d lick it, ingest it, and die. Now she has chunky bald-spots on her front shoulder.

Added some new pictures of the nursery progress, almost done now.

OK, seriously… what is up with this ginormous buzz surrounding the Arctic Monkeys’ debut record? I have the album, and I am, thus far, underwhelmed. There are some catchy hooks… but I don’t see what’s supposed to be so amazing about it. However, I have decided to give it a few more open-eared spins just to check my (mostly) infallible instant sense of good vs. bad.

Goodnight my friends.