Monthly Archives: May 2002

Working for the Weekend

Wow, this week has flown by. I need more four-day work weeks 🙂

We’re slowly getting used to not having a whole houseful of people. Last night was pleasant – takaza and I each taking some quiet time on our computers, then eating dinner (yummy burritos!) while watching our newest addiction, then a relatively early bedtime.

This weekend we’re kicking around possibly joining the furry outing at Paramount King’s Dominion in Richmond, but given that it’s going to be hot and cworded, plus Hypersoic XLC is reportedly still down, we’ll probably take a pass.

Another possibility is that Madstone Theaters is opening up a six-screen theater which will feature “art-house” and independent movies, and they’re showing a bunch of free movies all weekend. I’m leaning towards “The Man Who Wasn’t There” because it’s by the Coen brothers and I love their stuff. They also have “Brazil” (brilliant movie, but rather depressing) and “The Piano” (lots of naked Harvey Keitel, but pretty dull otherwise), among others. Madstone has opened theaters in Cleveland and Denver and the reviews seem to be pretty positive, so if they have a good thing going I’d go so far as to buy an annual membership to support it.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to being able to sleep in some this weekend (well, at least until 8 AM. Hey, that’s sleeping in for me!) and relaxing a bit. We’ll see how good I am at it 🙂


Well, it’s a boring afternoon at work, and instead of doing something useful I think I’m going to pass along some nifty links!

The Google Glossary is a fun new toy. Hey, they even have a good definition of furry. (link courtesy of Scripting News)

Spider senses tingling? You might be in trouble! (link courtesy of diveintomark)

Just the thing for the fire and brimstone sermons! Amaze your parishoners! (link courtesy of Boing Boing)

How bored are you? If you’ve got the LiveJournal bug and want to read more, but your friends just don’t update their journal often enough, why not check out their friends? Here’s mine – just replace the username as desired:

OK, back to work for me…


So we dispatched the last of our guests this morning: hartree and datahawk to the airport, brophey driving back to Baltimore. Incidentally, Hartree’s bit of excitement last night even made the newspaper. We picked him up at the airport after they officially cancelled his flight and went over to Outback for some big slabs of dead cow. Yum! The food was excellent, as was the company. After that we headed back to the house and hung out and watched part of the Canes game.

At last word, everyone seems to have gotten out OK, so tonight it’s just me and Takaza, for the first time since last Tuesday. I’m being bad and skipping the gym one final day today because I just want to get home and relax after work. No Tivo tonight, and heck, we’re probably going to even be sitting in separate rooms most of the night, Dan in his office and me in mine. We both need our “alone-time” and as wonderful as this last week has been, “alone-time” has been a missing commodity.

There’s a furry group going to Paramount King’s Dominion this weekend, and if it were any other weekend I’d be all for it. After all, it’s only four hours’ drive away. But as things stand right now we’re going to pass, due to exhaustion. I like the idea of getting up on Saturday morning and having a few hours to myself to read the paper, drink coffee, and surf the net. And what the heck, I’d be glad to do it again on Sunday morning – yes, I’m willing to make that sacrifice (“Oh please, don’t throw me in that briar patch…”) There’s also a new art-house theater opening this weekend in Cary which we might check out if we’re up to it, but right now I’m not making any plans.

Finally, if y’all will excuse me for pointing to Mark Morford once again, I just want to say that I love his column today, “Utterly Naked Men, The Movie

There is probably no way to put this delicately or maybe there is but I am hereby electing to ignore that rather untitillating approach so let’s just come right out and say it: There are not enough penises in the movies.


So by now you’ve read all of the various accounts of the events of the past weekend (plus a few more entries). What do we learn from all this? All of our friends are geeks 🙂 That’s OK, we love them anyway.

A common theme in a lot of those entries is inertia, but I think that’s maybe a misnomer. What we really had was a great enjoyment of spending time with one another, and something of a reluctance to shorten that time in any way. datahawk likened the party to a small convention, and in a lot of ways that is exactly what it was. My biggest complaint about conventions, though, is that there’s always so much going on that you don’t have time to spend with the folks you don’t get to see much, the ones that live halfway across the country. Well, I guess this was our own selfish way of getting around that 🙂 Thank you all for coming, and for making this a truly memorable and enjoyable weekend. Will we be doing this again? You better believe it. Hey, I hear that NC Pride is on September 28 this year. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to have folks down for that?

Meanwhile, back at the Memorial Day shindig…

When last we left our intrepid heroes, we were about to head out on Saturday. Partran and Linnaeus have written up our exploits of that day. The homemade Mongolian barbeque worked surprisingly well – Brophey, Hartree, and Partran helped with cooking, bless their hearts, and everyone was well-fed by a decent hour, even. We’ll definitely be doing that again.

On Sunday, we didn’t go to see Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron as planned – inertia was too strong, and interest didn’t seem too strong. Instead, a portion of the group took off to the White Rabbit Bookstore in Raleigh while another part stayed close to home, except for a quick trip to the store. Much fun was had at White Rabbit and I’m sure we amused the people there as well 🙂 We returned and we fired up the grill, making a big ol’ pile of hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausages. After that we entertained ourselves with several rounds of Ultimate Outburst and general socializing. Not a whole lot got accomplished, but we really enjoyed ourselves.

And then we have today. Folks started waking up at around 10 or 11, and Partran and I made up some bacon and eggs for everyone. Since then we’ve been kinda hanging out, watching goodies on the Tivo (“So Graham Norton” is a hoot!), and wondering what we’re going to do. Another attempt at Spirit was suggested, but then we started watching the Nightline town hall on being gay in America and it’s been very interesting, even listening to the differing opinions even here in the living room.

So what’s up from here? Maybe some swimming, maybe just enjoying the company some more. Pork chops on the grill tonight, though we need to figure out what we’re having with them.

P.S. – Rashomon was a 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa in which one event is told from multiple points of view 🙂

It’s a beautiful morning…

And, with the exception of partran and rustitobuck, everyone else is still asleep. Hopefully, that’ll change soon, since we need to hit Dallas’ Restaurant for yummy chicken biscuits for brunch, then at 1 PM we have a tour of Carolina Brewing Company. From there, it’s over to the State Farmer’s Market for some fresh veggies, and then we’ll come back home and do our own homemade Mongolian Barbeque.

Last night was entertaining, though not quite what we had planned. The trip to Ultrazone never happened, since inertia was never overcome. We were having too much fun just hanging out an enjoying the company. Pop’s closed their grill an hour early so when we went for burgers, they had none to give us. Bummer. We’ll have to go back there later this weekend for milkshakes, at least (and I might have a chat with the owner and explain to him how his employees turned away easily over $100 worth of business). In a quick search for alternate options for dinner, I chose poorly: Waffle House. The less said about this experience the better, except to say that there’s a reason that Waffle House only seems good after 3 AM.

Well, off to make more coffee for the slugabeds starting to stir upstairs…

The calm before the storm

I’m sitting at home, all alone right now. The hoard is out at Southpoint Mall, then heading over to the airport to pick up mirkowuff, then heading back here, to arrive around 5:30 or so. As I look around the living room, I see no less than three iBooks, numerous plushies, and the sundry remnants of people relaxing and having a good time.

Life is good.

By the way, for a great Rashomon-esque view of what’s going on this weekend, be sure to take a look at the other LiveJournals of the folks attending this weekend’s party. (Or you can just read my Friends Page). It’s a very cool thing.

I also want to say, here and now, that I take back any snarky remarks I ever might have made about our Mormon neighbors, here or anywhere else. Yeah, they stopped by during the snowstorm last January with a loaf of fresh-baked bread, but I figured that was kind of a fluke. When I got home today, though…well, first some background:

While I was out driving yesterday with partran, my Low Tire Pressure light came on. It’s done this from time to time, and usually it didn’t take more than a quick topping-up at the air pump to fix the problem. We were a bit rushed last night, so I figured takaza could stop by a gas station on his way out today. Well, he pulled out of the garage and realized that the back left tire was flat. They went ahead and took other party-folks’ cars, and I figured I’d come home, grab the tire, and run up to the local tire store to have it patched, barely squeaking in before their 5 PM closing time.

So I pulled up and walked over to take a look at the tire. As I was figuring out where to put it to jack it up, our neighbor (I really should know his name, but I’m bad about that) walked over and said he noticed we had a flat – would we like some help? I described my plans to have it patched and volunteered to help me out. I figured he had a can of Fix-A-Flat or something, but he rolls over his air compressor and pulls out a tire patch kit. Between the two of us, we jacked up the tire and pulled a sharp metal fragment, about 3/4″ long, out of the tire. He patched it right up and reinflated the tire, mentioning that someone had helped him similarly a while back, and he was just passing it on. He accepted my profuse thanks and headed back over to his house.

Wow. How cool is that? As Dan suggested, we definitely need to drop by and give them a nice loaf of banana bread or something sometime very soon.

Talk about your ups and downs…

Wow, what a day of mixed emotions.

First, the bad news. I was out of work yesterday, and in my absence word came down from the salesman that the product that I’ve been working frantically for the last two months to get out the door is no going to be provided to the customer by one of our competitors instead. This was immediately followed, of course, by the salesman pointing fingers and determining blame. Guess who’s getting caught in the crossfire? While we do share some of the blame for this one, there’s plenty to go around. Still makes me feel like someone pissed in my cornflakes. I’ve got another week’s worth of wrap-up to do on this one (since we’re technically “back-up/contingency” suppliers, meaning we might need to re-activate the product if needed), then I can wash my hands of it. Just one more reason I really don’t want to be here today.

On the bright side, we now have a house full of people! partran came in Wednesday night and I enjoyed hanging out with him yesterday (we also found a truly amazing French bakery right in Raleigh – the pain au chocolat are to die for!). Datahawk and hartree rolled in around 5:30 PM (after only getting a little lost). rustitobuckarrived at around 7:30 (after getting bumped from one flight and desperately trying to get bumped from another – those travel vouchers really add up!). linnaeus and Brophey came in around 10:30 PM (I think, I went to bed at 10 since I had to get up for work in the morning). takaza came to bed at 2:30 AM, and he said everyone was just heading to bed then. I’d guess that half the house is still asleep as I write this at 10:30 AM 🙂 I think the itinerary today is pretty low-key – a stop by local Apple Store and cruising Retail Hell. Just got a voice mail that mirkowuff, who was supposed to arrive around 1:30 this afternoon took a voluntary bump from American Airlines, thereby picking up a nice voucher from them, I’m sure. So he’ll be in at around 5 PM today.

This evening will consist of deliciously greasy burgers and milkshakes to die for at Pop’s, a local fast-food joint, we’re taking the group over to Ultrazone (which, according to the surfer dude on their answering machine, is now called “Battle Zone, the ultimate laser adventure”) for a fun night of laser tag and group bonding by shooting one another – yay!

So that’s what’s up right now. I’d say the good is outweighing the bad, and that’s a big help. I’m looking forward to the weekend and spending time with our friends here. I’m sure I’ll be exhausted when it’s all over, but it’ll be worth it!

The Return of House Problems

So, as Takaza and I were sitting around on Sunday, he noticed that the marks in the living room ceiling where it had been repaired were quite noticeable. I took a closer look, and saw that the paint was flaking off around the joint in the drywall, and cracking along the edge of the patch. Oh, that’s just bloody terrific. After another visit this morning from the guy who did the repair, it appears that the shower leak that I thought I’d fixed wasn’t quite as fixed after all. When he ran his finger down the joint, the joint compound was somewhat pasty, not dry and crumbly like it should have been. So I slowed the leak, but didn’t stop it. Crap.

This evening, I’ll have to pull the drain again and reseal it with silicone caulk, using copious amounts this time. We’ll give it about a month or so to dry out and be certain that the leak is fixed, then he’ll come back out again to pull the old patch and put in a new one (for another couple hundred bucks. Ouch). Unfortunately, this means that when it comes time to show off our pretty new house this weekend, it’ll have a big, fugly crack in the living room ceiling. Not much to do for it, I reckon. This is a bit of a reality check for me, though – I need to remember that people aren’t coming to see the house, they’re coming to see us and each other. This helps me de-stress a little bit, and in a strange way, will probably make the weekend more enjoyable for me. Go fig. Plus, it keeps Dan from wanting to kill me for being stressed and annoying, and that’s always a good thing 🙂

Well, let’s see if I can get some work done today…

Waka Waka what?

Apparently, this little poem has been around since at least 1990, but this is the first time I’ve come across it. First, the written version:

! * ‘ ‘ #
^ ” ` $ $ –
! * = @ $ _
% * ~ # 4
& [ ] . . /

Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Now, if you realize that angle brackets, according to readers of InFocus magazine, are pronounced “waka” and an exclamation point is often called a bang, well then you get this wonderful version when read aloud:

waka waka bang splat tick tick hash
caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash
bang splat equal at dollar under-score
percent splat waka waka tilde number four
ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash
vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma crash

Yeah, it’s geek humor, but I love it.
(Link and poem courtesy of Diveintomark)

Another quiet Sunday morning. Got my coffee, my Sunday paper, some nice mellow music playing…and my laptop. It’s geeky goodness!

Last week was pretty uneventful. Although I’d hoped to get a jump on cleaning and preparations for the upcoming party, Dan wasn’t feeling well at all and I was too tired after coming home from work to really do much of anything. We did at least get some lists put together of what to do and what we’ll be cooking, so that’s a start.

The weekend has been pretty interesting so far, though. On Friday, we had dinner with friends at Panera Bread (yummy Frontega chicken sandwich!), then marched off dutifully to see the new Star Wars flick

You really should read the review linked above, by the way. It has such choice comments as:

Like “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” reeks of a Lucas script that George kept under wraps because he didn’t want any of it exposed to criticism. Lucas reminds me of the conceited elementary school kid who doesn’t want anybody to read his poetry. When the mysterious words are finally dragged into the light, breathless anticipation turns into peals of laughter, then uncontrollable vomiting. Unfortunately, nobody wants to tell George that his skills as a screenwriter rival Anna Nicole Smith’s.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up my opinion of the movie. It sure looks pretty, but the love scenes and any scene requiring emotional expression by Hayden Christensen are laughable at best and nauseatingly cloying at worst. (And see if you don’t find yourself wanting to burst into song at a certain point in the movie: “The hills are alive with the sound of music!”)

So, that was Friday. On Saturday, we had an interesting change of pace. Dan’s company was sponsoring a golf outing down in Sanford and they needed someone to perform an all-important task to support the event: beer cart drivers. Well, that’s where we came in. In spite of the fact that it was pouring down rain, the temperature was dropping, and the wind was blowing hard, we were there at 8:30 AM to drvie that bloody cart around the course for the better part of four and a half hours, making sure the forty golfers were well-supplied with beverages. Dan even got to be a bit of a hero when we added hot chocolate to the repertoire once things started to get really chilly. We got soaked, of course, but the rain did finally let up around noon. It was quite a different way to spend the day, but fun in its own way. I didn’t even get into the beer, though – they gave us about eight different brands, and the fanciest of the lot was Michelob Light. Um, no thanks. We stuck to soda and hot chocolate 🙂

So today we’ve got a long list of stuff to do, mainly cleaning the upstairs, mowing the lawn, and doing the shopping for the week. I’m not sure if we’re going to start shopping for the party just yet – we’ll need to work that out. We’re going to be preparing six meals for around twelve people over the course of five days. Wow, that’s a lot of food. Time to go make some more lists…

Oh, what the hell

Moo. Moo, I say.

Number of people on my LJ friends list: 34 (plus 6 communities)
…whom I’ve met in person: 27
…whom I’ve met in person more than once: 24
…whose house I’ve been to: 8 (counting takaza 🙂
…who have been to my house: 12
…whose precise geographic location I know offhand: 26
…whose full names I know offhand: 21
…whom I’ve followed/been in touch with for more than 3 years: 11
…who live outside my country: 1 (hi swampy!)
…whose journal I consider myself “addicted” to: 5
…whom I’ve lived with: 1
…who’s an ex: 1
…who I’d do: 15 {looks innocent}
…who I’ve done: {mumble} No comment 🙂
…who I have a secret crush on: 0

Two Truths and a Lie

From an idea first mentioned on Harrumph:
1. I’ve played tennis with a winner of the U.S. Open.
2. I backed into Bob Denver‘s car once, scratching his fender.
3. I’ve danced a Highland reel with Fiona Ritchie.

Hey, that’s kind of fun. Let’s do one more set:
1. I’ve been hang gliding at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
2. I’ve been skiing in the French Alps.
3. I’ve bungee-jumped from the New River Bridge.

So, which are true, and which are lies?

Worth a snicker

Found this on Slashdot, in an article about Cingular censoring pr0n for those who use their wireless web access:
“It’s always been a problem of people talking while driving in a car…now I’m going to have to worry about people accessing porn in the car?! People! You have to keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times! Is even that too much to ask?!”

Feelin’ Groovy


This should cheer you up for sure/See, I’ve got your old ID/And you’re all dressed up like The Cure

So anyway…

Life is good. We finally solved the roadblock on the project at work that’s been annoying me. This will allow the project to proceed apace and will keep people from other departments from sending me nasty e-mails and such. This always makes me happy 🙂 This also means that I’ll probably be up in the Erie, PA vicinity in the first or second week of June. It’s Erie-sistable! Ah well, summer in Erie is actually quite nice – The Peninsula (aka Presque Isle State Park) is lovely, and now that I know some nice bookstores and coffeehouses up there, I’ll be set. I’ll still commute the 25-or-so miles to Saegertown from Erie, though. After all, if I’m going to stay up there, I prefer to stay near civilization.

Had some fun storms come through last night – no real damage, though the power flickered a bit. We got about an inch of rain in about 45 minutes, then it just stopped. That sucks, because right now we’re pretty much in drought conditions (unlike you lucky[?] folks in the Midwest). Our lawn is looking a wee bit brown, but on the bright side I don’t have to mow it as often. I suppose I should think about watering it, but that’s tedious, plus it gets expensive. If we go much longer without rain, though, I won’t have much choice.

Takaza and I are kicking back and forth a list of stuff we need to do in the next eight days. No problem, as long as we don’t actually sleep or anything silly like that. I know none of our guests will mind much, but it matters to me that the house is nice and clean.

Long day’s journey into Monday

What a week, and I’m not ready for the next week to begin.

As I said in my last entry, last week was quite busy. Between the pace at work really heating up and takaza recuperating from surgery, that didn’t leave much time for luxuries like Livejournal entries. This coming week should improve somewhat, at least on the latter front.

Dan has recovered well from his sinus surgery. His sense of smell is coming back, he can breathe much more freely, and life is good except for the occasional Waterpik torture (let’s put it this way, you have to have some way to flush all the clots and stuff out. Ouch). He’ll be at home one more week to fully recover and relax, though if absolutely necessary he could have gone back this week. Better he recover fully, though, I say, and so does the doctor.

This weekend has been pretty busy. Following Dan’s trip to the doctor on Friday, we hit Target, Build-a-Bear (had to get a graduation present for someone) and World Market for some kitchen items. On Saturday, following a surprisingly early wake-up for us both, we really hit the shopping trail: Grand Asia Market for some good jalapenos and cilantro and some tasty Japanese soda for Dan, United Restaurant Supply for some obscure kitchen items (gotta have that 20-quart brining bucket), the State Farmers Market for fresh tomatoes and apples (and, surprisingly, some excellent local goat cheese), Sam’s Club for those household staples, purchased by the pallet full, Barbeques Galore to pick up a little item that we’re going to have fun with at our Memorial Day party, and finally Whole Foods Market to top up our spice rack. Whew! To top things off, we came home and Dan whipped up some delicious homemade pizzas that we shared with Donald and Janelle.

Today we enjoyed the usual lazy Sunday morning (coffee and newspaper, oh yeah), then went out to see Spider-man (yay Sam Raimi!), then joined Donald and Janelle again for steaks on the grill at their place. A lovely day, all in all.

Well, that’s enough recap – off to bed, now!

I’m still alive, just having a very busy week. More on current events soon, but in the meantime: work is fine, Dan is healing well, and I’m planning our next home improvement project.

While you wait for more details, be sure to check out this story on a cool new feature offered by Google.

The usual rambling

Aren’t you glad people have started putting tests behind LJ-cut tags? Don’t you wish everyone did? {snicker}

So it seems that all of the plans I made for this week, which depended on some raw materials arriving here Monday or Tuesday, are pretty much shot since they haven’t arrived yet. Oh well. Yesterday was spent in the back (“back” meaning the manufacturing area in the back of the building) showing some folks how to use our PD-10 mixer and then how to tear it down and clean it. I hate doing that – it involves a few gallons of solvent, lots and lots of shop rags, some sandblasting, and not a little heavy lifting to get to all the parts to be cleaned. We wrapped that up just in time for me to go home. I skipped the gym and instead got my workout mowing the lawn, which I figure works out to roughly the same amount of cardiovascular exercise.

Today I started off with a meeting with my boss, as a follow up to my job review two months ago. Good news this time – he’s hapopy with my progress, and so am I. I think the biggest factor is that I’ve been swamped with this new project, and it’s kept me quite busy. I’m terrible at making myself look busy – I’d rather be busy. It doesn’t hurt that I now know how to read him better (for instance, when he makes a “suggestion” on how to do something with the project, if I don’t do it I’ll hear about it later). Anyway, it’s all good.

I plan to take a short lunch today so I can leave early for the gym. After I get in my workout there it’s straight home, just in time for people to start arriving for another Gang gathering – Pizza and Gaming this time around. The featured games are Outburst and UpWords, though games of Fluxx or Chez Geek may break out as well.

Today is a Friday of sorts for me, though maybe not the best way to accomplish it. Tomorrow I take Dan in for his surgery. Atthis point, it’ll be a Good Thing just to get it over with – the anticipation is awful. I’m hoping that having folks over tonight will take his mind off things. While he’s in their care (from 10:30 AM until 4 or 5 PM, I can’t leave the building, per their policy. I sure hope they have a cafeteria, but if not I can cope. Guess I’ll load up with my laptop and stuff to read. Anyway, on Friday we go to the doctor at 8 AM and have his packing removed and then it’s back to the house where he can relax. Theoretically I’m supposed to do everything I can to get back into work on Friuday, but that is absolutely NOT HAPPENING. My place is at my partner’s side, helping where I can, and work can go get stuffed.

Well, off to make more phone calls, yay…