Monday, December 12, 2005
Well I was going to have an English Muffin for breakfast this morning, nicely toasted. However, when I went to pull out the toaster it was missing! And no, it wasn't on the counter either, or in any other cupboard in the kitchen. My brother-in-law said that he took care of it earlier, so... I do believe now that I know the cause--Christopher's away message reveals that "Today is also toaster day in Physics." Gee, isn't that nice. For some reason he just took the toaster in to physics and I don't get breakfast, :(.
More will come later--right now I need to pack my lunch. But I'll put up a blog post about this last weekend including the Thursday Threesome and yesterday's word association.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Well I didn't watch the DVD, but last night this classic special was on TV. Apparently it was the fortieth anniversary (the original airing was in 1965), which I didn't realize until I did some research on-line. This is definately a true holiday classic that should be watched every year! And for some reason this year I was thinking of Mark as I watched... :-)
Thanks to LunaNiña for the word association, a couple days late.
- Amazing:: grace, that saved a wretch like me
- Delights:: Turkish--can't wait to see those Friday! (Hopefully I'll see a midnight showing if I can get tickets)
- Inspired:: divine
- Disgusted:: sick
- You:: y'all
- Palm:: Springs
- Sweetheart:: Valentine
- Guilt:: y conscience
- More to come:: the best is yet to come, I liked this song when Vic sang it on DS9
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Here is my bum of a nephew--he actually was quite warm in the cart. The rest of us eventually gave up sitting in camping chairs because the wind would just whip underneath and hit our legs--it was much better to sit on the ground.
And here is Chris in his Russian hat. I sure wished that I'd had one--I didn't even have a hooded sweatshirt so my ears were plenty cold at times.
You know what? I think I lied. I'll have time to upload all of the images right now. :-)
Okay, on to Julie next. She tried to hide, but I still managed to get a couple good pictures. Here she is with a cup of hot chocolate that Chris' friend Jeni brought out (and then Jeni ended up staying the rest of the night--I'm not sure if that makes here more or less insane than the rest of us).
Now here she really was trying to hide--but also keep the wind out.
Oh, did I fail to mention that Chris brought two Russian hats out? I realized later that I should have borrowed the other one in the house (the one that belongs to my nephew who came from Russia about a year ago), but I didn't even know that Chris was bringing them until I was there...*sigh* Anyway, guess who got the hat? ;-)
As for me there is unfortunately (or fortunately? :-)) only one picture (that Julie took). I was quite comfortable under my big thick blanket.
PS Yes we were (are?) all nuts and certifiable. But somehow it was fun!
PPS Don't forget The Back Porch!
::Christmas Elf Gifs::
Onesome: Christmas-- "Christmas is coming; the goose is getting fat..." Nope, I'm not going there, not by a long shot! How about: Even though we just finished up the Thanksgiving meal, what dish are you looking forward to most at Christmas time? ...and yes, Christmas cookies count! When I was growing up we always had a great Christmas eve with cheeseballs, crackers, sparkling cider (and cranberry juice), and pigs-in-a-blanket. Those are really my favourite Christmas foods.
Twosome: Elf-- Who is your favorite Christmas Elf? Mom? Dad? Will Farrell? That guy who helps you at the tree place each year? Hmm...I don't associate Elves with Christmas usually. I prefer the Elves of Tolkien rather than the tiny little helpers at the North Pole, ;-).
Threesome: Gifs-- How about your favorite bit of Christmas artwork? Is it a painting? ...a cartoon? ...your special ornament? ...the tree in the town square? Honestly I don't think I've ever thought about this before. I'll have to give it some more thought--but right now I'll just relate that I love NOEL decorations. My dad and I always make sure that Leon visits around Christmas time! :-)
PPPS For some reason the time/date area is gone when I edit this! Posted at 10:08 12.01.2005.
PPPPS I figured out how to get it back, all is well now. :-)
Monday, November 28, 2005
I procured this list from LunaNiña.
- Stuffed:: turkey
- Armstrong:: Neil
- Bruise:: black and blue
- Content:: reading
- Musical:: number
- Assistance:: giving
- Scrambling:: eggs
- Battle:: of Agincourt
- Extended:: duration
- Discount:: sale
Today I went in for my orientation for UPS (a quick review of what I did last year, plus a bit more about using the DIAD board). I procured my uniform and went out to meet a driver at 13:30. However, another helper was already there and expected by the driver--even though I called in and found that I was indeed in the system as the one supposed to work with him. I've not heard back from anyone thus far so I doubt I'll work today. Hopefully I can work tomorrow, or hopefully not...*sigh* If I don't work or I can get off early I can go into the museum to interview. I'm still not sure how to resolve that dilema. I think at this point I'm just going to tell UPS that I can't work if I can't be assured of finishing before five and I'll e-mail my current supervisor that I'll be good to come in. It might not be the best thing but I can't think of anything else. Wish me luck (not that luck really exists, ;-)).
PS Yes I know I promised pictures from Thanskgiving. Hopefully they'll be up later tonight--most likely thumbnail links to full-size ones.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
I'll have more news (and pictures) later about Best Buy and such...but more news now. CBS has cancelled Threshold. When they switched it (including a two week hiatus) with Close to Home the latter show jumped in ratings and was given the Friday timeslot--then after Threshold failed to perform on Tuesday it was cancelled. I hate it when this happens!!! Some shows I just appreciate or enjoy--but Threshold was one I really liked! I'm really hoping that the remaining episodes are aired. I honestly cannot understand why this happened--it was a well written and acted show that showed considerable creativity. *sigh*
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Okay, I'll grant that it isn't the most original title, but there wasn't much competition. Here it is just a normal hectic day with last minute chores. Later today my brother Larry and his family will be arriving from Tennessee. It should be a good time with them here--but it will be a very full house! Fortunately (I can use the money) and unfortunately (I'll miss some of the time with everybody) I'll be working Friday through Sunday--but they should only be partial days and I'll be home before dinner time. My brother and his family are actually going down to the museum on Saturday--hopefully I'll see them while I'm working up in the Rotunda.
I'll also be working at UPS, but that will just be on weekdays. For the duration of December (unless I secure a full-time position elsewhere) I'll be working as a Driver Helper at UPS every weekday and I'll be at the museum every weekend and some nights. It will be crazy, but I can use the work right now so it all works out! Oh, and if you're in the area I should let you know that from tomorrow (the museum is closed today) until New Years parking at the museum center is free.
I have to go do, um, some stuff that I don't know yet but I'm sure that my wonderful eldest sister has volunteered me for! ;-) Please have a wonderful day and remember everything that you have to be thankful for!
Finally a thought from the Federalist, they do choose good quotes:
"It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of
Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits,
and humbly to implore his protection and favors."
-- George Washington (Thanksgiving Proclamation, 3 October 1789)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Yeah, these things are getting allfired pesky now, ;-).
I'll definately be doing more work at the museum throughout December, and tomorrow I go in to find out exactly what it is that I'll be doing. In the meantime I need to go and get a new pair of jeans--my current pairs are probably two years old and developing holes in the knees (but only the left knees). I do have a non-cargo pair, but they're not really an option for normal wear, I'm addicted to my cargo pockets. :-) Also I have a camo set (I need to post a picture soon, please bug me!) but those don't work when I'm trying to look somewhat respectable, ;-). I spoted some pairs the last time I was in Wal-Mart so I think I'll head in tomorrow morning and see what I can find. I'm not sure what time they open but the pharmacy opens at nine so they must be open at that time or earlier...
And as you'll notice if you've read my recent posts or Julie's blog she is out here visiting. Of course she is extremely annoying and diff...oh wait, sorry, wrong lines. :-) Nah, it is great seeing her again. Plus it is nice to be able to talk about Twin Peaks with someone again since I don't much with Chris.
Well this is all for now, more later? Who knows...;-)
Sunday, November 20, 2005
- Heads up:: Seven-Up (Did you ever play this game on a rainy day in elementary school? I think that I did almost every day we had to stay in for recess--and even a time or two in high school for fun. The second one on the page I linked to is the one I played.)
- Kicker :: football
- Aggressive:: fierce (for some reason nothing was coming, so this is a last ditch attempt to associate some word with aggressive)
- Getting ugly:: mutt (two of my sisters call each other mugly utt as a joke)
- To be continued:: frustrating (I know it is the purpose, but it is always at a crucial point when you want to see just a bit more!)
- Twist:: shout
- Form:: true to
- On the road:: travel
- Import:: tariff (Ah, those were the days, studying early American history and all the political debates over tariffs--like the Nullification Crisis and John C. Calhoun, the man my profs called the only truly original American political thinker)
- Flowers:: Amsterdam (my brother-in-law brought back lillies from Amsterdam for my sister, it was about ten days ago and they're still nice)
Once we came back to the house the little kids immediately mobbed Julie, swarming all over her. It is always interesting to me to watch this happen as they latch on to the newcomer to the house (but Julie is great with kids anyway) and the girls were excited to see another female I think, ;-).
Unfortunately I'm having to listen to the football game tonight, because nearby TVs are broadcasting and I can't get away right now. I don't hate sports, I just don't really care about watching or playing...*shrugs* But it was fun to see a commercial for King Kong. I've never seen the original, but after seeing Peter Jackson's work on LotR (besides the few creative differences I have with him, ;-)) I really want to see this one.
Well I need to go finish making cornmeal rolls sometime soon and I need to get back to my book. I've read it before, but the author is very good. Edward L. Beach's Run Silent Run Deep.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Okay, yeah it has been too long. No explanation would really suffice, except to say that I avoided it for a bit for some reason (perhaps like Miah I didn't want to blog about small stuff when large stuff was left unblogged). But again like him perhaps I can change...eh, we'll see. I make no promises, because nothing has served to keep me on here consistantly. It isn't as though I don't enjoy this--just for some reason I tend to not come back for a bit and that bit stretches into a time period far too long.
Well there is quite a bit of news that I must type about, though invariably I will forget some things I'm sure. I make no promises that the following paragraphs are in any kind of logical or chronological order. :-)
I have been quite busy reading while I've been gone. One series in particular has grabbed much of my attention, Terry Pratchett's Discworld. You can find an excellent article on the series (and links to other articles about its many facets) here at Wikipedia. A few years ago I borrowed read Guards! Guards! and I enjoyed it--then I think it was later that I purchased and read The Colour of Magic the first tale in the series. However, for some very strange and odd reason I've not ready any Pratchett books in the intervening years until a month or two ago. I've purchased a couple (both new and used) and checked out many at the library. If you check out my pages at Amazon you'll find several Pratchett reviews, though I have many more to go.
I currently only have three or four more books to go before I've read all of Pratchett's Discworld novels. They're all really great tales, full of humour, satire, comedy, and really creative writing. After you've read some of his books you'll never look at fantasy the same way again. Venture to Discworld, the world that is literally a massive disc on the back of four elephants that stand on the back of a cosmically large turtle flying through space. Yes the oceans constantly pour over the rim--no we don't know how they're resupplied. :-)
I could say, or rather type, (I could do both, but I can't say here on my blog, only type) much more about Discworld and Pratchett--however if you're really interested you can go to a couple other places: 1) the Wikipedia article linked to above, 2) your local library, or 3) your local bookstore. I would highly recommend number one and then either of the next two options.
Now let me see...oh yes, work. As I'm sure you know I'm employed at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Cincinnati (right across the river from where I live here in Kentucky). I've worked several special exhibits there: Monkey King, the Space Exhibit, and Shocktober. I know I've talked about the first two before, but not at all about the third. Unfortunately Shocktober is now over, but I did mean to blog about it during the run--I just never got around to it. Shocktober was the museum's new try at a Halloween exhibit. I was a supervisor during both morning and evening hours on different days Thursday through Sunday the entire month of October.
The morning hours were known as Friendly Hours and involved kids going throughout the Natural History museum to ten different stations where they would complete activities and/or crafts to learn about different cultures around the world. In a sense they were "culturally trick-or-treating around the world." My duties during the morning consisted of making sure people followed the schedule, resupplying stations, and just generally supervising. I only worked a few mornings, but they were quite busy--and yet I really enjoyed those times.
Frightning Hours were held at night and were intended for people ages nine and up (though we had some people bring through infants and toddlers--some of these left crying). You'll be able to find out a bit more at the site I linked to above, though not too much--you wouldn't want to spoil the surprise would you? ;-) The tour involved going through a darkened Natural History museum. The premise was that Joseph Dorfeuille, the curator of the Western Museum (the ancestor to the current Nat'l History museum, and who employed John James Audobon), had found some ancient giant insect eggs at nearby Big Bone Lick in Kentucky. Unfortunately while trying to ship himself to New York he locked himself in a crate and died when it was forgotten--years later it was rediscovered and put on display at Shocktober. During the course of the exhibit you find out that his ghost has come to live--or is that come back to afterlife?--and has reanimated the insect corpses. So as you proceed through the exhibit you're taunted by the spirit of Dorfeuille and hounded by animatronic insects and actors portraying museum employees. It was fun working this as I was a Front of the House supervisor and I was in charge of the volunteers regulating the lines at the start and the volunteers at the end that let people out of the exhibit.
Somewhat unbrilliantly I didn't apply for either of the next two exhibits at the museum (Threads of Faith opens tomorrow and Holliday Junction the 26th) thinking that by that time I would need a full-time position. But I am pursuing this--I've applied for a position within the Natural History Museum (I interviewed yesterday and I think it went well) and I've also applied for my supervisor's position--today is her last day. Now I am still and employee since I'm the scheduling supervisor for evening events. I staff and supervise events when the museums are rented out to groups at night. And also I might have another temporary opportunity lined up for December. This will all be nice as I'm waiting to hear how my applications are going. I've also applied to UPS to work as a driver helper as I did last December in Tennessee. Even if I end up working the other temporary job at the museum while I'm waiting it is only a weekend position so if I can get on at UPS also I should be good while I'm waiting. If I have to for a while I don't mind working quite a bit.
Let me see...that should cover working, eh? Please ask any questions if you have them. Oh, I lost my cell phone during one morning at Shocktober and I assumed that someone had walked off with it when a week or so later a couple volunteers found it in one of the bins used to store supplies for Friendly Hours. Of course in the meantime I had had my brother-in-law deactivate the phone so that nobody could steal minutes and had bought another phone (the same model) on eBay. *sigh* The one good thing is that I now have a belt holder/case that I'm using on my recovered phone. I'm now going to try to resell my phone on eBay and hope that I didn't pay so much that I can't get much of my money back. Oh and while I had my phone back but it hadn't been reactivated yet I was locked out (well I couldn't get my key to work in the front door). I tried to wake Chris up (his bed is right near a window) but he just rolled over and pulled the blankets over his head. I kept shining my flashlight in the window and finally he woke up and asked if I wanted to come in.
Oh, before I forget, thanks to Kate, Aunt Bee, Julie, and Mark for bugging me (the first two the most recently). By the way Aunt Bee--I really enjoyed your recent blog post (was it 22?) that was a continuation of your earlier post that came from comments on Mark's blog. :-) I don't remember if I commented at your blog, but if I didn't I should have.
Well I know there were other things I wanted to mention, but I can't remember them right now so I'll go to something else (no wait I did remember, TV--so I'll get back to that in a bit). I have seen Pirates of the Caribbean several times and have each time enjoyed Johnny Depp's performance--however that was the first time that I'd seen him on-screen. Then a few nights ago Chris rented Finding Neverland and I watched it with him. I realize (after some research) that parts of FN were fictionalized--but I really enjoyed the movie. And having only seen PotC it was amazing to see Depp in such a different role. This really further fueled my desire to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'd read several Roald Dahl books as a kid, and of course Charlie was a favourite. However, the old movie had never set well with me. Here you can find a table of the differences between the book and the two adaptations (though be warned it may very well spoil the new movie if you've not seen it yet). Yes it does have differences from the book, but except for the couple additions I think it is much truer to the book than the old movie--which additionally was a musical. And of course while as one of my nephews put it Depp was creepy, I enjoyed this performance of his as well. So I'm definately looking forward to the next PotC movie and perhaps going back for a look at other Depp flicks that I've missed over the years.
Let me briefly mention that I had the opportunity to watch Serenity and rewatch the Firefly series. And I must mention that Serenity was awesome!! It was brilliant sci-fi. Here is Orson Scott Card's review of the movie.
Now on to television. Regretably during my lapse in blogging the new fall season started. Now there are many shows that I casually watch (I have the time right now), but many of these I will drop if I don't have time--like the CSIs, Without a Trace, Cold Case, or NCIS. On the other hand several new shows have really grabbed my attention. I'm definately enjoying the new season of Lost (more later) but also some other sci-fi-ish shows. Threshold, Surface, and Invasion are all very interesting to watch. Threshold is about an alien invasion utilzing a signal that has the power to rewrite DNA and "bioform" the population of Earth (though they appear to be concentrating on the US where the Threshold team is based). Surface is about the rise of a new vertebrate species in the world's oceans. Invasion is set in the aftermath of a Florida hurricane and reads somewhat like an invasion of the body snatchers. Like I said they're all good and I'm enjoying each one--but what I'm really enjoying is Lost.
This second season has definately had many surprises, for example this week's episode The Other 48 Days was quite illuminating... I know I've said this several times to myself, but I really can't wait for the next episode. I suppose it is a sign of how good the filmmakers are that I keep saying that, thinking that the next show will be "the pivotal one" of the season that will answer so many questions. :-) But of course each episode may answer some questions though never without raising more.
Let me see, can I come up with another random change? Hmm...yep, I can! :-) Shattered Sword!
If you know me then you know that I'm fascinated by history--and World War II is one of the most interesting times for me to study. I've long been a fan of a website conerning the Imperial Japanese Navy, Nihon Kaigun, and so I was thrilled when I found out that two of the authors/contributors were publishing a book on the battle of Midway. Shattered Sword isn't just another book about the battle, it is supposed to be one that presents a radically different viewpoint than what is traditionally told. The authors explain that they have acces to previously untranslated Japanese sources and have examined what really happened. I really want to get my hands on this book, but I have to put it off for a while. *sigh* It really looks like it will be good. I recently started to read a book about Lincoln and was disgusted when the footnotes weren't numbered for easy reference (instead the list at the back merely marked what pages they came from in the main text). I'm ready to read a good nonfiction book and I want SS to be it! :-) And while I'd love to buy it (and if it is good I definately will) I just found out that the library has a copy on order! I've put a hold on the book and I'm the second in line. :-)
Okay, well I know that this isn't my longest post yet--and really this, the first after such a long and inexcusable break, should have been--but I've really run out of news and I just have stuff that I would ramble on about. Plus I think I'm going to go watch a movie in a half hour or so.
Well until next time then (and hopefully it won't be so long, ;-)).
Sunday, September 04, 2005
- Julie:: Snyder
- Emotional:: breakdown
- Head of household:: Big Brother (not my favourite show, but I watched a couple episodes when I was home alone over the summer and bored)
- Diva:: drama queen
- Devastation:: Katrina
- Business or pleasure:: decision
- Crown:: Prince
- Eastern:: Roman Empire (The Byzantime Empire was cool! Sadly they missed the beginning of the American (i.e. post 1492--and I mean the New World, not the United States) era by only 39 years!! :'( )
- Buzzed:: drunk
- Officer:: license and registration (No, I've never been pulled over, just seen too many cop shows, ;-))
Well nothing too terribly exciting or unusual there, right? Well I do have something else...:-) Here is a hint:
Yep, I have a cell phone! :-) Now I have to share 800 minutes with my brother-in-law, sister, and the two oldest nephews share the fourth phone. However, this shouldn't be a problem as we have free Sprint-to-Sprint and nights (starting 21:00 Eastern) and weekends are free! :-) Yeah, I might start calling some of you on the west coast now--at least occasionally. The phone was completely free at Best Buy! I love that store...:-) Well more news later, I'm off to play with my phone. It is a Samsung A740. I wouldn't have gotten one so nice if it hadn't been free with the plan--I don't care about pictures as I have a much better digital camera and don't ever plan to pay for sending pictures...*shrugs* But I can have pictures as my phone's background now, so that is cool! Right now I have one of my two local neices.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Thanks to the Back Porch! No personal data in this post, but hopefully more tonight after I return from work.
::Timber Wolves of the North::
Onesome: Timber Wolves-- What do you think about collectables? Do you have any geegaws like wolves or dragons or crystals or tea cups and such hanging around the place? ...or maybe on your back in the form of a shirt or jacket? Oh, I enjoy them. I have a small wolf figurine, and I wish I had more. I enjoy such things on my bookshelves, which are usually wide enough to have some things on the shelf in front of the books. I also really like wolf clothing--yeah, can you tell by anything around here that I like wolves? :-D I also like dragons, but it is hard to find well drawn (and to my taste) dragon stuff that isn't really expensive. Though I do have a couple very nice prints from Michael Whelan, an excellent artist who does quite a bit of book cover art, especially dragons.
Addendum (after reading Mark's post--thanks for the mention, btw, ;-)): I also collect books, like Mark, and I have a personal library of between 1,200-1,500 I think--but most are in storage so I don't have a real accurate count. I have a couple "collectible" volumes in that they were signed by the author. Here is one--I purchased it at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas on my last trip with Mark. Other than that I do have some old volumes, including some from the mid-1800s, :-). I purchased some on eBay and some at book sales. These are some of my favourites, especially old atlases and geography books.
Twosome: of the -- Speaking of the clothes on your back, what is your favorite 'lounge around' stuff? You know, the type of thing you put on to eat ice cream and watch an old movie? Ah, this is quite easy--just jeans and a T-shirt. Of course at some point I started tucking my shirts in. Oh, and they have to be cargo pants so I can have pens in the right hand pocket and my wallet in the left, ;-). I don't like wearing things without pockets. *shudder*
Threesome: North-- What's "North" to you? Is it the Mason-Dixon line? ...the Canadian border? ...the Arctic Circle (for Mary) ...or something a little less defined? ...and how far "North" have you been? I've been to the Canadian national parks of Jasper and Banff--that is about as far north. That summer we went through the American Glacier, Canadian Waterton, Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, and Revelstoke and then swung down through Vancouver, Washington and Oregon. I think we also stopped by the coastal Redwoods on the way home. Anyway, north is way up there. I've traveled and read quite a bit so something like say Ohio is just a bit up there, it isn't really true north. Alaska, Siberia, Scandanavia, and the Canadian Artic are North. :-)
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Yeah, I saw this in the grocery store, and with that little CD there (including two deleted scenes found "nowhere else"--so I assume they're not on the DVD set) I couldn't resist. :-) I don't usually buy TV Guides (especially since I don't own a TV and live in a house with a newspaper TV guide available weekly, for free) this time I was suckered in by the checkout aisle display. I'm definately looking forward to the premier of the new season. :-)
- Girlfriends:: boyfriends
- Here to stay:: Social Security
- Call me:: have your people (call my people)
- Frustrated:: beyond belief (I'm not sure where this came from, but it makes sense, right? :-))
- Public school:: private schools
- Glitch:: monkey wrench
- Cheese:: Bleu
- Director:: of Special Projects
- Pivotal:: event (i.e. the Battle of Saratoga)
- Exclusive:: coverage
Let me see, what else is going on. Oh yeah, things have been pretty dead around the exhibit lately. Last Wednesday - 65 people (we formerly had at least 100 something every day), Thursday - 39, Monday - 47, Tuesday - 58, Today - 48. It is pretty boring at times, but I do have my books for when no customers are around, ;-). I've started the first book of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and I'm in the first paperback volume of To Green Angel Tower, so my chapter of one book then the other reading plan is still going strong.
Tonight at the library I checked out another audio book, but found a CD missing when I went to put it into my CD changer. Thankfully I'd not left the library so I just took it inside and they didn't blame me for the loss. :-) *sigh* But I'm now without an audio book yet again--this one was a condensation of the Lewis and Clark journals and I was looking forward to it. There aren't many CD audio books on the shelf, and I don't know any titles to search on-line--I'd rather just persuse shelves. So I'm a bit stuck right now until I think of something.
I can't think of anything else, so I'm signing off for now, ;-).
Friday, August 26, 2005
As I promised previously here is another picture from the gas station pictured in my last post. This is a wall to the back of the station that is just beautifully covered in snow.
Please feel free to use any of my pictures I post as background images--if you would like a larger version just let me know via e-mail.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Come on over with your answers.
::Drop Gas Prices! Please Read::
Onesome - Drop - Have you ever dropped something that you can't believe you did? Was it a priceless item or that big secret? I've dropped a few things, and afterwords there are those moments of "oh crap" and "grrrrr" where I really, really, really wish I could take it back. Nothing too terribly expensive though--but perhaps some semi-valuable things as a kid--I don't remember, ;-).
Twosome - Gas Prices - How much is a gallon of gas going for where you are? Well if I remember correctly the latest price I saw was $2.619, but that was one of the local stations that is a bit more than other ones, so I'm not completely sure. I'm not driving so much any more...;-) Besides the fact that I haven't finished everything I have checked out from the library I've been renewing things I'm done with so I can put off going back, ;-). I just don't want to waste the gas right now. I even walked with my sister to take the kids to school this morning instead of me driving them in as has been done before. It isn't that far, and is so much cheaper in nice weather. Of course my sister can't run with her foot (see yesterday's post) so that was somewhat amusing, :-P.
Threesome - Please Read - What's that latest item you're reading? Is it for pleasure or are you required to resd [sic] it? I am currently reading two books, and most definately they're not required, :-). I'm not missing that part of school at all!! I am reading The Power that Preserves the third book in Stephen R. Donaldson's first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and at the same time I'm reading Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams (definately now one of my favourite fantasy authors, he is good and likes avoiding many cliches!!), the second of his Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy (4 books in paperback--the last two being the third hardcover split in twain--each of these two paperbacks is slightly over 800 pages! :-)). I read a chapter of one and then a chapter of the other. When I've gotten to the end of one of the books in either series I've cheated and read several chapters from that book to finish up--but other than that I've been good just reading one chapter in each at a time.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Yeah I know, I have a great deal to cover (I almost typed "a lot" but that was the pet peeve of my sophmore English teacher and she has almost trained that tendency out of me--saying "a lot" means an empty plot of ground, not "a great deal." :-)) having been away for so long. Sorry about that, again I thought of things to blog but put them off. *shrugs* Don't expect one of my 3,000+ word posts, but it should't me a micro one either.
Okay, let us go back to Thursday and the Back Porch, :-).
::Chili Cheese Nachos::
Onesome: Chili-- Okay, chili with beans or chili without beans? ...and how hot? ...and do you make your own? (recipes are accepted
Twosome: Cheese-- ...and with cheese on top? ..or is that an abomination? ...and while we're at it: hamburgers or cheese burgers? Oh, I could go on and on and on... Of course you put cheese on top, grated cheddar or colby jack. Ah, definately a cheese burger. Thee best is a homemade patty (large--larger than pathetic tiny fast food patties) cooked over a charcoal or wood flame and covered with melted colby jack cheese (no fake cheese here! *shudders at the thought*) and bacon. Then you put the hot patty (or two) on a large homemade cornmeal roll slathered in mayonnaise and cover the burger with ketchup. Mmmmm...perfect. Add sides of homemade (the only really good food, duh!) potato salad and fresh sweet corn on the cob along with a tall (refillable) cold glass of milk and you're set! :-)
Threesome: Nachos-- Now the serious one for the southwesterners (and others of distinction
One of the older nephews answered the phone with a dire tale that my neice had knocked off the free weights in the weight room area of the basement, injuring her foot and my sister's foot--they were both in urgent care. I wasn't sure what was going on, but after I talked to my supervisor and he suggested that I go home (my brother-in-law was on a trip at the time) I decided to leave. Soon after I got home my sister returned and I got the whole story. When she heard my neice scream/cry out she was in the bathroom about ten feet away. Of course her maternal instinct took over and she raced out to my neice--knowing where she was she figured out what had happened before she saw it. After she got my neice calmed down (they later figured out that no bones were broken and in fact her brace is gone now and she is walking normally) my sister noticed that her foot was hurting. She figured out later that she must have banged her foot into something as she ran over--breaking one toe and bruising the foot. Here is a picture from a day later:
It looks beautiful, don't it? :-) I was able to help out by fixing dinner for the kids while my sister and the injured neice stayed downstairs. I've been having fun talking to my crippled or invalid sister and teasing her that she can't do anything to me since I can definately outrun her now. :-)
My, my, but the time does fly. Friday is done and gone and we must move on to Monday and Unconscious Mutterings!
- Fan:: blades
- Scum:: sucking bottom feeder (what is the difference between a catfish and a lawyer? One is a scum sucking bottom feeder, the other is just a fish)
- Lily:: of the Valley
- Humid:: hot (I'll take slightly humid Southern California coastal (i.e. Orange County) heat over dry desert heat (Tucson, Arizona) or the humid Southern US)
- Ghetto:: gecko (the car insurance ads by geico, I love them!)
- Remember me?:: when you pass away (I'm not sure where that one came from...*scratches head*
- Polished:: stones--I have a somewhat sizeable collection, one entire box in my storage unit has stones and bits of wood in it
- Compose:: a letter
- Squish:: 60 (for some obscure reason my second oldest Kentucky nephew uses the name squish60 as his internet alias)
- Future:: Back to the (I watched these movies for the first time this year and really enjoyed them)
*shrugs* Enough of Monday. Now the moment that you've been waiting for, oh and an explanation of the topmost image. I promise they're related. Today I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience (well I hope not, but I have no idea when it might be repeated). Occasionally (only three times this summer were scheduled--and one was cancelled and one rescheduled indefinately--ours is the only one in the US so far to go through) the astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station talk to school children on the ground and answer their questions. One such event happened at the museum today (well it is yesterday now since it is Wednesday very early morning as I type this, but oh well, ;-))!! :-) I got to see video of the crew in the front of the room (it was somewhat low-quality video, somewhat akin to internet video--but this wasn't really surprising when I thought about it--things are only crystal clear in movies, ;-)), hear the kids a few feet in front of me ask questions, and then hear and see either the American astronaut or the Russian cosmonaut answer their questions. It was so awesome to see them (such as when the American answered a food question by pulling out a can of chicken and a lemon and letting them float in front of him) and hear them. I didn't get to speak to them directly, but it was almost as good. :-) It was awesome!!! I'm sure it was probably as close as I'll get to space in a long time. Hmm... I still can't believe I got to see this.
Well that is all for now, I'll sign off now.
Monday, August 15, 2005
- Idiot:: salt (I used to think iodized salt read idiotized salt when I was a kid)
- Rocket:: Saturn V (the largest rocket ever flown, the one that launched the Apollo missions to the moon, and Skylab into orbit)
- Liability:: asset
- Harmless:: Mostly (the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy entry for Humans)
- Stringy:: cheese
- Theater:: theatre (okay yes, I enjoy throwing British spelling into my typing, 'tis fun to spice things up so!)
- Gwyneth:: Paltrow (an actress's name, right?)
- Use it or lose it:: skill (I couldn't really come up with anything here so this was what sort of desperately came to mind)
- Sonic:: the hedgehog
- Pucker:: up
That was fun, eh? Well now for some personal news. I just found out that the database on my book collection program can be exported to either a Palm or Pocket PC! This is great! As soon as I get all my books in the database and I have a Palm I'll do this! It will be great to go to a book sale and not have to wonder what books I have. Because of the extra data that I can include with each entry I'll even be able to determine if the copy I'm looking at in the store/at the sale is nicer than the one I have (perhaps a good hardcover versus a ratty paperback). :-) I'm quite excited about this.
On a further literary note I have acquired some new shelving material. Of course I don't have anywhere to put them (the boards are going into my storage unit now) for use, but that will come eventually. My sister had a craft display set-up that my dad made for her nearly fifteen years ago. She was going to give it to me, but we realized that it was too big and wouldn't really work for a bookcase (it looked somewhat like stairs rather than a ladder-type bookcase) so I'm just keeping the shelves.
Tomorrow I don't go into work as I traded the day with Kristen at work (for her shift on Saturday) so that she can go to a family get-together at Big Bone Lick State Park. I will be going in for a bit of scheduling, but that is usually less than two hours. Then that night we'll be having tacos for dinner! I promised my sister Laurie that I would cook the taco shells (so she'd be persuaded to make the meal--she says she usually does taco salad since it is easier to prepare). This will be great fun!
Oh, and on a third literary note I've been exploring my book database program (see above) even more and have found further features. There is place where you can indicate cover artists, illustrators, characters, and more! I'm finding new stuff each day. I'm not sure if I'll ever be completely done entering my books--but I'm definately looking forward to the day that I have an authoritative database of my entire library!
No, I'm not going to mention anything more about Apollo 13, but it makes a good "13" graphic to open this entry.
When I was in high school I lived in Garden Grove, California. I don't know how many of y'all know, but the largest settlement of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam is located in Orange County, California, i.e. the Little Saigon area. Many of the students in my high school (and most of the other honors students) were Vietnamese. I had horribly cruel parents (;-)) who would buy me a car or pick me up every day. :-) Therefore, I had to ride the bus home (school was over two and a half miles away so walking with my heavy backpack wasn't a real option). While waiting for the bus I would oftentimes play card games with some friends--somebody always had a deck. The most popular game was thirteen.
I tried to teach the game to a couple of my nephews a few weeks ago, but I couldn't remember all of the rules! (It is similar to Kahuna so I was getting some things mixed up.) Then I performed a Google search and finally found this site. Apparently the game is also known as Tien Len--but it is the thirteen that I remember.
Tien Len can be considered the national card game of Vietnam; the name of the game, which should properly be spelt , means Go Forward. The main description on this page is based on information from Jona Baily; Kenneth Lu has contributed a slightly different version. Probably as a result of the Vietnam war, Tien Len has spread to some parts of the USA, where it is sometimes called Viet Cong or just VC; Kelly Aman has contributed one version of this. Chris Hovanic learned another version from Chris Molinaro (also in the USA) and they call it Thirteen.
Four players normally play with all fifty-two cards dealt out amongst them. The order of suits (from lowest to highest) is spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts--cards go in standard numerical order except that a two is at the top. The two of hearts trumps anything (well you can only play a single card on other single cards--a two can't trump a run) but can be "broken" by a two-breaker (four of a kind or three pairs in a row). But anyway, it was great to be able to find the rules to this game after so long of not playing it. I thought that I would share the site here in hopes that others might be interested enough to play. It is a very fun game--quite simple. You can keep score if you want, but that isn't really necessary.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
I don't think the reference is to the third Terminator movie (which I enjoyed) but it makes a good picture anyway, ;-). Welcome back to the Back Porch.
The Thursday Threesome: The T3
::Sturgis Motorcycle Rally::
Onesome: Sturgis- Have you ever been there, or anywhere else in South Dakota? Want to see where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up in her Little Town on the Prairie? Or have you taken in Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills? LOL Well I've not actually been to the rally, but close. One summer my parents decided to go to Mount Rushmore during our summer vacation. Unfortunately they happened to pick the time that the Sturgis festival was happening! There wasn't a camp sight free for a hundred miles of Rushmore--we ended up sleeping in our van in a rest area. So yeah, I've been to South Dakota, seen the effects of Sturgis, and been to Rushmore. I don't think we stopped by the Crazy Horse monument--but I really want to see that finished some day, I know it will be awesome if it ever is done.
Twosome: Motorcycle- Ever owned or ridden on a motorcycle? Do you aspire to ownership now? Ever wanted to hit the open rode and just go? No. No. In a car sure, I'd love to just drive and go have an adventure (if I had the time off work, money, and friends along to make it possible ;-)), *sigh*, but real life is so complicated.
Threesome: Rally- v. to muster for a common purpose- Ever been to a large rally of any sort? A church rally, motorcycle rally or even a big family reunion? Or how about a road rally? Where did you go? Was a good time had by all? Well our family reunions are somewhat large, though I've not been to one in many years. One of the last I attended was at a camp in Montana--we had great fun there putting pine needles (even one small dead tree) on campfires watching the flames soar up. Oh, and at one point two of my nephews were arguing over a small padlock they'd found--so I just kept it. :-) I still have it somewhere--the key is on my keychain.
Okay, so what else about life in general? I applied for that full time position today--but I'm sure I won't hear anything either way for at least a couple weeks minimum. I'm must going to try and not think about it, ;-).
I just started reading two series last night--yes two series. I have both and couldn't decide which to start reading first--therefore I started with one to test it out, and then read the first chapter of the other. I still couldn't decide so I determined to read a chapter of one, then a chapter of the other and keep going back and forth thusly. This way I maintained suspesnse and interest as I get into the book and at the end of each chapter I'm always ready for more--but I transfer over to the other book, reacquire my interest in that one, and the cycle repeats.
Tonight just as I got home one of my nephews came out and asked me to take him to to Wal-Mart and then to church for a youth event--he said that he'd pay for gas. Therefore as we took of a couple minutes later I wrote down the milage, then did so when I got back to the house. I found that I'd driven 29.6 miles. I have a little black book (inhereited from my parents from whom I acquired the car) where I keep track of mileage, gas prices, MPG, and such. I referenced this book and noted the miles per gallon of my last tank and the price I'd paid for gas when I filled up a couple days ago ($2.499) [Which doesn't sound so bad when I heard my parents had to pay $2.799 in Barstow as they were driving home). I divided the total miles by the miles per gallon and then I multiplied the answerby the last price per gallon I'd paid. I found out that he owes me exactly $4.50--I don't think he though it would cost him that much.
Oh yeah, and when we got to Wal-Mart I dropped him off--but he came out to get me (from the Sporting Goods section in the far corner of the store) because he couldn't buy paintballs (being only 15 years of age). So I went in to buy them for him--he figures he can go crazier if he has his own for the paintballing at the all-night youth event.
Well I can't think of anything else for now, so I'll close this down--oh wait, I did think of something. I went out to the library's August book sale yesterday (well two days ago now, it officially being Saturday morning, early--so it was Thursday that I went) in the most distant branch. I was sorely disappointed to find well under twenty fantasy and sci-fi books to pick from. I did end up spending around $20.00--but that included two picture books for each of the small kids, two Hardy Boys for one of the older boys, and several history books (including another awesome Hammond Atlas--I can't wait to get my Hammond collection on one shelf! :-)). I can only hope that the October sale (at the nearest branch) has a better selection of my favourite genres.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Of course this association is from Luna Niña.
- Complexion:: pale
- Teach:: school
- Back to school:: sale
- Months:: years
- Nominate:: presidential candidate
- Favorite curse word:: $%#@
- Concerned:: parent
- Better:: mousetrap
- Escalate:: tension
- Unveil:: the bride
I just [01:12] remembered what I'd forgotten from my first attempt! :-) Amazon.com reviews! I don't know how many of those that read this blog know, but I've recently started reviewing at Amazon.com. I have currently confined myself to books or movies I've just finished--but I think I might start branching into at least a couple things I've not read for some time. I want to review Philip Pullman's insidious His Dark Materials trilogy and my favourite Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. If you'd like to check out my reviews you can do so through my page at the end of this link. I have eight so far, but that should keep climbing. :-) If you enjoy my review and think it valuable you can vote for it, but please, only if you like it. I'm not doing this just to get numbers to inflate my status. I just think that some of y'all might enjoy the reviews. Also please check out my friend Mark Baker (he of this blog) who is much further along in reviews than I (he is a top 500 reviewer and about to break into the top 100!). We have different styles (;-)) but I really enjoy his reviews and find them valuable. Check him out too!
Today was an excellent church service. "One of [Satan's] all time great lies that he wants us to buy, is there's no way you can be a Christian if you act 'that' way or if you think 'such things'. [sic] He tries to condemn us with that very sin for which Christ had to die to atone."
Lunch was just leftovers (my sister-in-law's recipe of Special Delivery Chicken--yum!!) and Rice-A-Roni (actually the cheap Aldi brand, but just as good!), but dinner was great. It featured corn on the cob (the kids were apparently thrilled to shuck it, so I wasn't drafted! *whew* Hamburgers and hot dogs rounded out the menu, with some left over. Hopefully something will be good for lunch on Tuesday so I might be able to get away with not making sandwiches. *shrugs*
I'm going to take two of my nerfs (the older two of the youngest four) to the museum soon, probably next week. I think they'll enjoy the space exhibit, and I know they'll like running around the Children's Museum again, ;-).
Now I know this is utterly surprising to y'all, but I'd like to get to bed at a semi-decent hour (i.e. before 01:00) so I'll sign this off now and try to sleep. Yeah, try being the operative word. :-)
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Well I've recently been watching Crusade, the abortive spin off of Babylon 5. It is a very good series, and I very much regret that only 13 episodes were produced. I've reviewed the DVD set at Amazon.com and I thought that I'd post that here for kicks, ;-).
Who do you serve? 5 out of 5 stars
The Drakh have struck Earth. These allies of the Shadows have poisoned the planet with a Shadow plague that will wipe out all life once the virus has fully adapted to Human DNA in five years time. The Excalibur, one of a new battleship design commissioned by Alliance President John Sheridan is pressed into commission to serve as a mobile platform for seeking out information about the plague and how it may be cured.
I really wish this show had gotten the chance to get off the ground properly, there is so much here that begs to be explained. As with Babylon 5 this show obviously has a five year life built in (though regretably it didn't even make it through one of those years). If you go digging around you'll even be able to find out a bit more of what JMS had in mind for the show.
In many ways this series reminds me somewhat of traditional Star Trek, whereas Babylon 5 is more similar to Deep Space Nine. However, of course both shows are quite different, quite good, and not copies of each other. Okay, with that caveat out of the way I can continue. We have one ship visiting many ports, discovering new races and cultures, and going someplace new--very Star Trekian. Now I don't believe this is bad, or truly derivative--I just mention what I see as similar. One thing that definately jars this is JMS's habit of not including every main character in each episode as Star Trek producers are usually wont to do. Like Babylon 5 (where there was only one episode in the entire run to feature each then listed main character) you can go several episodes without seeing certain characters. I like this (and would have liked it more if the series had run for years and it hadn't severely limited our exposure to some characters) it just takes some getting used to. If you like Star Trek look at this as more good sci-fi--if you don't like Star Trek know this is quite different stuff.
You'll find the serious mixed with the lighthearted. When talking about episodes I must include the JMS recomended viewing order. I defied this at first and watched the episode the case said should be first (War Zone)--and it was indeed an introduction, a very traditional pilot. However, I found out later that it was only produced later when the producers said they didn't like Racing the Night as an introduction. Furthermore, there were certain elements that didn't fit so well--such as a fistfight and crazy airing order that TNT producers insisted on--so don't blame everything wrong on JMS. Really this all reminds me of Firefly (which came later) and the trouble Joss Wheedon had with producers at Fox who disliked his excellent pilot and made him redo the second episode Train Job to serve as a new pilot.
However unlike JMS, Wheedon was able to make Train Job a new pilot and yet remain as a consistant second episode. Unfortunately for Crusade, the episode War Zone is somewhat of a continuity orphan, especially if you watch in the JMS order, which I would strongly suggest. I also enjoy reading the Lurker's Guide to each episode after viewing it. You'll find this at http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/lurker.html. Here is the order, the only problems you'll find with it are some out of place uniform changes (that flow in the original airing order) and a couple minor errors (such as Lockley and Gideon meeting for the first time twice ;-)).
Racing the Night
The Needs of Earth
The Memory of War
The Long Road
Visitors from Down the Street
The Well of Forever
Each Night I Dream of Home
Patterns of the Soul
The Path of Sorrows
Ruling from the Tomb
The Rules of the Game
Appearances and Other Deceits
Racing the Night is a very good pilot, introducing us to each character in a gradual manner on JMS's terms. Additionally we join the crew in the middle of their quest and only gradually find out exactly what is happening--it isn't all just thrust upon us. We not only get a pilot, but a darn good episode.
Visitors from Down the Street is definately an episode in a lighthearted vein, it being a definate mock/tribute/mimic of the X-Files. However, this time it is aliens believing that humans are interfering in their culture. :-) Try to spot as many X-Files references as you can.
Galen is a remarkable character. First introduced in the Babylon 5 movie A call to Arms he is a technomage. However, unlike the rest of his brethern he has decided not to retreat from Known Space, but to return to help the crew of the Excalibur fight for humanity. JMS has called him the traditional fantasy RPG magician of the group. Really the whole cast is a collection of eccentric, but fun characters. What little we get to see of them is quite revealing.
A note about special effects. Please keep in mind that just as on Babylon 5 effects shots are computer generated, and it is noticable. They aren't horrible, they just aren't as flawless as a big-budget blockbuster. However, if this is a problem then you shouldn't even be looking at Crusade or B-5. The stories are what make the show, the special effects just help them along.
The music and shooting style are by design very different from Babylon 5, so don't go in expecting to just see and hear more of the same.
Now there aren't many special features, only four in fact. You'll get a featurette on the production of the series, and a five minute one on the design of the Excalibur. Additionall JMS has commentary on Racing the Night, and two of the actors, the director, and writer comment on The Path of Shadows. The JMS commentary goes into more depth not on just the episode but the series, and what it might have been.
If you enjoyed Babylon 5 then I would definately suggest that you check out this partial series. You'll get some fun episodes and the chance to see what might have been. I always enjoy learning more about my favourite universes, and this is no exception! You get a whole new look at the world of Babylon 5.
Now for some more personal news...but first, please understand that the following is quite tentative, I have no idea what might happen. I have a possible lead on a full-time position at the Museum Center, in the Children's Museum. It does have benefits, but I'm not sure of anything else other than that I think I'll fit the qualifications and one of my current supervisors told me that he thinks I would be good for the job. :-) I'm going to apply as soon as I can. The description is here on the Museum's website. I don't fit all the technical aspects perfectly, but neither did I completely sound like a good fit (to my ears) for my Monkey King supervisory position. I have quite a bit of informal experience with kids (nerfs), some Sunday school teaching, many hours of classroom observation, and hours of interacting with kids in both Monkey King and the Space Exhibit. The worst that can happen is that I don't get the position or I find out it isn't exactly what I'm looking for. If that happens I've got some extra days lined up to work in the exhibit as one of the staff is switching days due to a job found elsewhere.
I'm only up so late (or early to also be precise, ;-)) because I was watching a movie that needs to be returned to the library soon. I've been reading so much that I've not had time to watch everything I check out.
Oh, before I forget, I did watch SG-1 and Atlantis tonight. I am disappointed that they decided to forgo opening credits this season forboth shows, :(. I did enjoy those. However, I really am enjoying the introduction of characters--though based on the slow pace of SG-1 (so far we've only seen Colonel Carter in one scene--on a video phone) that I fear it really will be the last season--at least I don't see at this point how the show can continue to be at least somewhat what it was. The SG-1 team is scattered and doesn't want to come back together. Of course they can definately keep making episodes in the universe and with the new conditions following the fall of the Goa'uld--it just won't be the same. Now please, I'm not complaining, I'm enjoying these episodes--I'm just wondering what is going on. But I'm sure it will all become clear eventually. :-)
Oh, I think I'll also post a short story that I wrote recently. :-) I wrote it while I was at work last Friday and had no idea where it would go, however, now I believe that it will fit neatly into the mythology of a race I've developed in one universe--a cooperative universe I developed with some friends. But perhaps more about that later, for now just the story and then I'll sign off. The style is intended to be "old-fashioned" without new sounding words or phrases wherever possible. I tried to make it sound like an old oral tale of mythology. And now, without further ado, I present The God of Death and the Kinslaying:
Now hear a tale of murder and malice from when the world was young and the dew of creation did linger. The gods and men performed great deeds of valour, for in that age man was yet young and his days were long. Cai, the great god of death, he of ebon skin and ivory hair, ruled the yet small Black Realm of the dead with a fist of iron. He jealously guarded his few spirits and begrudged any that kept men from death.
Long did Cai look upon his brother Tulbel with envy, for the god of war commanded many legions. Though Tulbel held dominion over the arts of death and tools of war he was loath to decrease his realm to Cai’s gain. He was yet the youngest of the gods and new to his craft, never suspecting Cai’s great jealously. Tulbel taught his worshippers honour and restraint, proclaiming duels and contests of skill while war was forgot. So infuriated was Cai at this usurpation of his power that he dared to dream the unthinkable—the murder of his brother.
Though Cai held the very keys to the gates of death his brother was yet an immortal and therefore could pass out of the Black Realm as he desired. So Cai did send forth his spirit lords in search of the uncommon black rose, even then infamous as a bringer of death. When at last the dread bloom had been secured Cai did prevail upon Dala, goddess of life, to distill its essence into a most potent elixir, though she never suspected its true purpose. Once Dala had departed his domains for the bright fields of Eras Cai did turn his thoughts to the murder of his brother. Upon his obsidian throne he brooded for many moons, devising a plan in his dark heart. At last as the nights did lengthen Cai sent forth a demon herald to summon his brother to a midwinter feast.
Once he drank of the vile potion, concealed in heavenly ambrosia Tulbel felt mortality descend upon him with sure swiftness and divined his brother’s evil plot. Giving up his body as already lost Tulbel sought to set his spirit free from suddenly mortal flesh. Yet in the midst of his struggle Tulbel’s soul was strangely divided as his darker nature reveled in the brilliance of Cai’s trap. Even as Cai strove to restrain Tulbel’s spirit he divined his brother’s doubt and acted with swift speed. Calling upon Tulbel to join him Cai embraced the darkness in Tulbel’s spirit and permitted the remainder to sunder itself and flee, though he knew not where.
Even as he took a portion of Tulbel’s spirit unto himself, Cai perceived a profound stirring of his essence and grew utterly still, his calm visage concealing a raging tempest beneath. For days the two spirits waged an epic duel while Cai sat motionless on his great throne.
When at last he arose the god of death bore a cruel grin, utterly devoid of humour or mercy. He proclaimed that henceforth he would be known as Tul-Cai and he would demand fierce worship from his followers. No longer would mere death satisfy him—nothing less than rivers of blood would serve to slake his thirst.
While his darker essence tarried to be devoured by Cai, the remainder of Tulbel’s spirit did fly to Eras, the abode of the gods. Even as the allure of Cai’s darkness struggled with the not fully sundered spirit it struggled from the reach of the Black Realm to the forge of Aar, god of the smithy. As Tula, patron of journeymen, looked on in wonder the sundered spirit bel pleaded for Aar to take up its cause.
However, bel was not without guile and he wove a masterful tale of woe. As Aar opened his spirit with grief bel did delve into his heart and force a new union. Though yet much tormented in spirit Aar could do naught but accept this new life within his breast.
And then did arise Aarbel, a most fearsome and terrible god of war. As swiftly as Tula took up the mantle of the smithy did Aarbel seek out Dala, goddess of life. Yet while Dala mourned the Kinslaying of Tulbel still more was she yet gentle and full of love. All the succor she would give to vengeful Aarbel was the prophecy of her high priestess. “From sons of man shall come the doom of death. And he shall force the Dark Gates from within though the whole realm stand against him.”
Enlisting others of the immortals to their cause, long did Aarbel and Tula strive against the Dark Gates—yet to no avail were the efforts of the mighty gods. For a long age did the Kinstrife consume the minds and hearts of the immortals until at last they grew weary.
Yet while his allies flagged Aarbel redoubled his efforts, training legions of men in new and deadly arts of war.
With each death the followers of Aarbel pray they have delivered up the ‘chosen one’ into the Black Realm. And to this day such enmity exists between Tul-Cai and Aarbel that soldiers of the faith will slaughter even death monks without more cause than that they yet live.
PS My original title was just Crusade, but I decided on something more accurate--looks so much more cheerful now doesn't it? :-)
PPS Well that was fun, now wasn't it? I first posted this on the Superheroes and Villians blog, by accident. Then while I tried to move it Blogger decided to go haywire for a bit. Therefore I made the mistake of copying the text into Notepad so that when I copied back into Blogger the spacing was off because of the Word Wrap in Notepad (as far as I can figure it). Grrr... Well I went through and fixed everything, and hey, if nothing jogs y'all as odd then I guess it must have worked.
Friday, August 05, 2005
"I've got you...
::...under my skin"::
Onesome: Under-- Water? Have you ever gone scuba diving? Any interest?...or does that sort of thing just not work for you? No, I never have been scuba diving, though I used to have a snorkel and goggles and really enjoyed swimming around pools with them. Especially if I could get a pair of goggles that were my prescription I'd definately love to go scuba diving, especially where you could see many fish and other things underwater (which I guess is mainly the point, ;-)).
Twosome: my-- gosh, it seems to have been hot since forever! How are you doing with the weather this Summer? Bleh...this is my first summer living in the East and I'm not enjoying the humidity so much. At least in California at times there were cool breezes off of the ocean, and it cooled down more at night. *shrugs* But I can't complain about there being more rain, I really like that! :-)
Threesome: skin-- Do you 'skin' your site? What styles do you prefer when you have the option at someone's place? Simple? ...or loaded with graphics? Hmm...I actually don't change things up too much. On WinAmp I just use the normal modern skin and I don't change sites around too much. On my forums I'm thinking of changing up the design, but I have to work with some others to get a custom logo designed first. Who knows how long that will take...
Well let me see...what has been happening? Not much really. My sister has been suffering from a couple headaches the last few days (migraines), so I'm trying to help out more than normal. But it has been really good having them all back (well okay, the kids still bug me like crazy at times, but I like not having to fix dinner!). And I'm still enjoying taking my time in the mornings somewhat as I have my alarm set at eight, doze or snooze until eight thirty, and then read my daily dose of e-mailed comics and web comics. Then I take my shower, fix my lunch, and have some time to blog or check the news on-line before I get dressed and leave! :-)
Oh yeah, I'm listening to John Grisham's The Last Juror on unabridged audiobook in my van on my way to and from work. I've listened to part of it before (on a trip from Arizona to California)--but didn't get to hear it all. I really enjoy the reader, he fits the profile of the narrator so well. I'll definately be giving this one a good rating at Amazon when I'm done.
Oh yeah, in that vein I finished watching Crusade last night--'twas a bittersweet moment. That series was fun and had so much potential!! *sigh* I really wish that it could have kept going as it would have been over by now. But of course I couldn't have afforde to buy five seasons. *shrugs* Perhaps like Firefly (with Serenity being released at the end of next month) it will get a new lease on life in the future, hopefully with a book or two--something like that, :-), though it won't be quite the same as having all those great actors. Oh well, now I just have to listen to the commentary so that I can polish my review and post it. :-)
It is almost time for me to leave so I suppose I should get my "uniform" on and leave for work.
Monday, August 01, 2005
- Risks:: acceptable
- Abdominal:: pain
- Radiant:: beauty
- The usual:: suspects
- Mix and match:: clothes
- Wireless:: device
- Remedial:: math
- Mile:: 's Square Park
- Long lost:: love
- Only one:: time
This was fun. I definately continue to see the appeal of this unconscious association.
Well I'm no longer alone (or mostly alone) as my sister, brother-in-law, and all the active little monsters, excuse me nerfs, have arrived home. Oh yes, if I didn't explain the term before please note that nerf was "invented" (as far as I know--and separate from the Star Wars term nerf) by my friend John as a collective word in English to describe nephews and neices. I find it most useful!
The house is definately no longer quiet--or it wasn't before all of the little beasties were tucked away in bed. It was fun to be able to see them again, I'd definately missed them and they had missed me. It will be an adjustment to have everyone back (well Chris is still out in Colorado), but it will be nice to eat meals that I've not just cooked after coming home from work! Though I definately do plan to help my sister out with meals (i.e. I'll make tacos the next such meal instead of just having taco salad which she says is normally easier).
Thursday, July 28, 2005
::"If You Have To Go Away"::
Onesome - If You - If you were given a million dollars, what would you do with it? Well I have thought about this one. The first thing I would do is to pay off my student loans. Second buy a house. Third set aside a "safe investment" where I would keep most of the money. After that? I'm not sure--probably part of it would go towards the construction of a floor-to-ceiling library in my house. :-)
Twosome - Have To - What is it that you have to do today? Or is there something you're dreading to do this week? Well I really have to do laundry, I've been putting it off for a bit and I really shouldn't let it go past today.
Threesome - Go Away - Where's that place you've been imagining to take a dream trip to lately? Oh, this one is very easy! Twin Peaks Bible Camp. I went there every summer with my parents when I was growing up--they cooked and I was a staff brat or a camper, :-). I really grew up there over the summers and except for last summer when I had a chance to fly out I've not been there since 1999. I am really, really missing it right now (third week of four ends Saturday). However, even if I could get people to cover for me at work (and if I'd planned ahead of time I'm sure I could have, I didn't have the means to get out there. :( Of course I probably should have thought about this earlier as I'm hoping to have a full time job well before next summer so this would have been a great time to go if I could have just saved the money and gotten a cheap fare. *sigh*
- Believing:: baptism
- Invasion:: of the Body Snatchers (though I've not actually seen this flick)
- Boys:: will be boys
- Island:: nation
- Repeatedly:: hit
- Normal:: life
- Hex:: barn
- Tuxedo:: suit
- Virgin:: Islands
- Cereal:: orange juice (I can't stand milk on cereal)
Enjoy! I put the feed from this site and the three question site that Mark uses in my RSS news feed in my Gmail inbox so that I'll see them and remember to answer them. :-) Better late than never, eh?
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Now understand this is only a tenth of my library, those books that I can access in my storage unit (most are buried)...and so this will be much larger someday.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Hmmm...where should I start? Well how about with fire, will that do? Fire can be fun to play with. :-) No of course I'll issue the usual precautions--be safe, if you're a kid don't get near fire without parental permission, yada, yada, yada...but I know all that. Anyway, I've had fun before at a campfire putting dead pine branches and watching the flames soar. One time at a family reunion (I'm sure I've told this story too many times) I even participated in the placing of a small dead tree (less than two feet high) onto a campfire--those flames really soared!
Well that is all well and good, oh but wait, candles can be fun too! I especially like dripping melted wax into paper cups of water and watching the patterns you can make with the hot wax and cold water. But whenever I'm doing this I make sure I'm outside away from plants or I'm over a suitable surface (say a fireplace, bricks, or concrete). That makes sense, right? Oh, and you don't ever light anything bigger than a match indoors, right? Well it isn't always that way. Now I don't intend to humiliate anybody so I won't name names. Please humour me. Now let us begin.
But as some have misunderstood this I'll state clearly, this isn't an autobiographical story!
Imagine this--you're home alone (or nearly so) and you're bored, what to do? Hey! Why don't you play with fire? You've bought some matches at the dollar store, so why not light them up anywhere? Well after that experiment (which left a, shall we say, telling odor behind) let us fast-forward several weeks.
You are again bored, so this time you decide to light toilet paper on fire and drop it in the toilet when it gets really going (you don't want to start a real fire after all, right?). Well the problem is that the smell of the buring paper wafts upstairs where others can smell it, others that tell you to cease and desist--especially since the smell lingers. Okay, on to part three, and no we don't fast-forward weeks, only a couple hours until you're completely alone in the house.
This time there is nobody around to tell you no and so when you're in the bathroom (the euphemism at Twin Peaks is "brushing your teeth" or "talking to John") taking care of business you light up a match. Now this may be to eliminate certain ordors or just for fun--that doesn't really matter. But it is of course no fun to douse the match in water, that would be too much effort to do or to remember to do--so you just drop the unlit (it is safe when you can't see any flames, right?) match into the trash can.
However, the trash can decides not to play along with this little drama but instead to cause trouble. The refuse in the small trash can decided that with the introduction of a hot (but not burning, remember the flames are gone!) match it is time to start a party, a hot party, with lots of smoke! Now at this point panic must set in, especially with all of the thick smoke making it very difficult to breath and see--but you keep a firm grip on yourself and resolve to do whatever is necessary.
Whatever is necessary thankfully only involves taking the small trash can (remember it is just smoking, so there obviously isn't any real fire) into the kitchen and putting it inside the kitchen trash bag (full of paper shreddings) and taking that outside and dumping it in the tipped over trash barrel. No this isn't easy, this is no simple metal barrel, this is a wheelable plastic trash bin! These smoking things will be safe in there, eh? :-) It is only moments later that you realize your mistake.
Much to your dismay the trash barrel now starts to catch on fire and melt. But thankfully the garden hose is nearby and you can finally solve the problem with quite a bit of water. Hey, the barrel is irreparably melted, but that doesn't matter, you had fun! Now all that you need to do is wait for someone to walk in the house and notice the pecuilar odor, then the real fun can begin. Oh, and remember, the air will take hours to clear, even with an open window--but what could be more fun?
Ehm, okay, the story is over, we can stop that and get back to more relevant events in life. I've been to see a couple movies recently and I posted some reviews on my forums, so I thought I would duplicate those here (with some nice visuals).
War of the Worlds
I really enjoyed this film, in fact my nephew and I came out very impressed. Part of the appeal was that it was so different from what I thought it would be. I hadn't read much about the movie and so I saw Tom Cruise's name and though, oh, an action movie like Independence Day. But of course it was nothing like that. There was one scene where Cruise's character plays the hero, but for the most part he was just a father trying to keep his kids safe.
The special effects seemed seamless to me, but that is true of most big-budget movies today. I also thoroughly approved of the different method of arrival for the attacking aliens. The original plot of capsules taking off from Mars worked in the world of primitive late nineteenth century astronomy but wouldn't work too well today.
Anyway, the movie was tightly focused on Cruise and his family, there not being any scenes (or not more than a couple) that didn't feature them in some way. Also while many aspects of the book (from what I remember) were condensed or tweaked many were still there.
Well like my friend John I thought this movie was great--but I don't know much of the Batman story so I can't really comment from that angle. I really enjoy Liam Neeson's acting so it was fun to see him, and I thought Christian Bale was very believable. I really understood what Batman was about. The technology he used seemed somewhat more believable today than say thirty or forty years ago, . Incidentally the Batmobile was completely real and performed all of its own stunts without CGI or trick photography (except that I'm sure they didn't actually drive on the roofs of Chicago where they did extensive filming).
This movie didn't have a "kiddy comic book" feel like I think is somewhat attributed to some American comic book flicks. Rather it felt like a (pardon me for saying this and i don't mean to imply comics are trashy or low-brow) "real movie." *shrugs* I enjoyed it quite a bit and look forward to planned sequels.
IMAX - Space Station
I know this isn't something you can just go to the nearest theater to see--but if you can you should! This film is narrated by Tom Cruise (forget any personal dislike of the man, he does a good job) and filmed by IMAX crews on earth and Astronauts and Cosmonauts in space. You get to see the very beginning of the International Space Station and experience life with its crews and those bringing up new components as they assemble the pieces. This is the closest we can come (apart from a sci-fi flick) to actually going into space--so if you like space and/or sci-fi this movie should be a must!
I'm looking forward to seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. See I've long been a fan of Roald Dahl's books (beyond just Charlie and James and the Giant Peach and when I saw the first movie I was sorely disappointed, especially where Charlie got into the stuff he wasn't supposed to (unlike the book--just like Peter Jackson twisted the character of Faramir for "dramatic emphasis" and to give him depth). I've heard many good things about this new movie, chief among them that it is not a remake, but instead a new look at the book. *whew* It is quite a relief that they're not remaking the old movie but instead making a new movie from the book. I think too often people forget that some movies came from books, and most readers will freely admit (yes it is a different format, so don't hang up arguing there!) that the book is better. Movies are good for what they are, and you can have a great adaptation. But books that come first always have more depth and have a different flavour. Speaking of books...
I've also been reading somewhat lately, though it has trailed off a bit as I've been cataloging my books instead of just reading them, :-). I have a book catalog program that is really great. You simply type in the ISBN number and it searches various on-line databases (I usually use the Library of Congress, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble) for information. Then you accept that information (usually including a cover image from Amazon) and edit it so that it is completely accurate and in the form you like (I sometimes have to correct the price or page numbers). Then you can enter in "personal information" like where you bought the book, what condition it was in, and what you paid for it. With a good book I can enter all information in under thirty seconds, though some take a bit longer, especially if I have to do an image search for the correct cover. I hate the fact that reissues of a book with a different cover have the same ISBN!! Grrr... It makes life so difficult sometimes, ;-).
And now if you'll permit a seeming non sequitur, please welcome this great image of a black wolf: Now I don't know how many of you know, but my general on-line persona is Black Wolff (or some variation of that when it is already taken--note the two "f"s, that is normal). In my founding story for my sci-fi universe I created the character of Josif Wolff, and eventually the Wolff clan. They've somewhat become surrogate identities for me and I've often used differnt Wolff names in games or where a pseudonym is needed: d'Lexus Wolff is an intelligence operative, Josif Wolff is in special forces, Lakota Wolff is a fleet admiral, etc... Well all of this is to say that I'm going to have a website up soon. Now rest assured, this blog won't be going anywhere. I may not always update on a set schedule (but this update and the last have been abnormally large, so I hope that counts for something, :-), but I'll be here. Now a few years back I gave website design a try with a free site, and remarkably that site is still around (but please don't laugh!) www.blackwolff.i8.com --rather a nice short address for a free site, eh? I just couldn't ever get fully interested in it, and the pop-ups drove me nuts. Well now I have an actual registered address, but the site isn't up yet. One of my friends is going to help me with the designing, but he is currently away on a backpacking trip far from electronic succor and aid. But in the meantime my forums have been moved from their old location on the server of a friend's old gaming clan to his new server, ;-). Yeah, I don't have my own space yet, but for now this is a great fit (especially with a server admin I know so well!). Please feel free to visit www.blackwolff.net/forum/ --though you'll have to be registered, and then your account has to be approved by me before you can post. I usually just invite people I think will be interested--and I think many of those who read this are already site members.
Well back to life... In addition to working in the Space Exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center I am the scheduling supervisor for evening events--basically I staff the evening events when the museum(s) are rented out for special events. Well I think I'm getting to be too good at my job--I used to take at least two hours every time I went in (every other week) at the start--but this time if I hadn't done some extra stuff I would have left between thirty and sixty minutes after ariving. *shrugs* But I did do a few things extra and then headed down to the Omnimax (see Space Station above--or look up, you might see the real thing instead of just the reel thing!).
Now I'm sure you're looking at the timestamp and wondering, what on earth was he doing up that late? But hey, these blogs don't write themselves! But if they did I'd have a much easier time of it--heck even if they could take dictation--or no, wait, whenever I think about blogging something (I do often, but I'm usually too lazy to actually go blog) it could automatically blog for me. Yes, there is the future of blogging! ThoughtBlogs! :-) But I suspect they would need a very good edit feature. But that is beside the point. I had the opportunity to sleep in this morning, and I know I'll be fine on just a bit less sleep tomorrow--I've done it before, and I've caught up on sleep over the past few days so I'll be great at work.
Though speaking of sleep... Sunday was no picnic. Chris called me the night before (the little traitor) and asked me if I would take him to the airport at 05:30. I agreed, even though I wished I could somehow take his place and fly out to camp instead of him. (They really need more pictures on that site, the few there do not do it justice!) It was a surprise though when he woke me up right at five thirty--I'd expected a bit of time, but really all I did was throw on clothes, grab my hat and keys, and head out the door--so it wasn't that bad. The temperature wasn't perfect, but it wasn't all that bad at that time either. :-) Chris of course got to the airport okay and caught the second flight out to Colorado, but I couldn't get back to sleep. Finally between seven and eight (much closer to eight) I think I finally drifted off--though without setting my alarm to get up for church. Unfortunately then I slept right through both services, :(. I haven't done this in a while--but then I had to get up later in the day to take Ryan into work, so I didn't just laze around all day! :-) Aye, he works at the Golden Arches and brought me a Parfeit the other day--I'd not had one of theirs before, and it was great! :-)
I think I've mentioned before how cream cheese on bagels is really starting to grow on me, right? Well I'm still enjoying it--though I did make a mistake when I went for the cheapest bagels this last time--shopping at Kroger I noticed that Sara Lee bagels were even cheaper than Kroger brand, so I picked them up. Big mistake! Sara may do cakes and pies (though my dad's homemade are of course better! :-)) she doesn't do bagels. I'm almost tempted to stop wasting my cream cheese and go and get some good bagels--in fact I might do that tomorrow after work. I've been getting the cinnamon raisin kind--I find them especially good to contrast with the flavour of the cream cheese.
Ah drat, I was going to type about one more thing (minimum) but for some reason I can't recall what it was. Now I'm not getting old, well not that old...and I'm not too tired. Zzzzzzz....*looks arund* No, no--that was just my fingers on the keys, no actual mid-post snoring going on here. No siree, not here! Zzzzzzzz....
Whew--I just hit Ctrl S on accident--being so used to it saving in Word and such that I didn't look to see it meant to publish here on Blogger. The post actually published itself for a moment, but I managed to click the edit button and save it as draft once again. *shrugs* Though it may have been all for nothing. I can't think of much more to type, so I think I'll have to sign off here...Wait, I did think of something! :-)
When the shuttle was set to launch a few days ago I was very excited and keyed up--the only bad part was that I would be at work. I even talked to a few people about the prospective launch that day--but I'm glad I didn't have to wait for it for hours--somebody told me of the cancellation a bit after the fact. Now once again a Tuesday launch is coming and I'm very much looking forward to that. I wish it could be like one man I talked to in the exhibit--he told me that he watched every one of the Saturn V moon launches from the beaches of Cape Canaveral: Hopefully we'll see a launch actually come off later today--I'm not sure if they plan on another go before the 31st if this one is scrubbed. Here is to hoping the following image is repeated in eight or so hours...
I tell you watching this and a Russian rocket launch on an Omnimax screen (i.e. IMAX dome--still five stories tall, but it curves, that is what the Museum Center has) is breathtaking an awesome.
Okay, this is what I was waiting for. Now I wasn't just typing fluff, but to some extent I was typing to type, ;-). I was trying to reach 3,000 words. I believe my last post reached that, but it included an extensive quote, so it wasn't all me. Well except for a couple pictures (which don't count in word counts) I typed every word of this post...so all 3,000 + words of it are mine. :-) Farewell and y'all come back now, yah hear?
PS I managed to top 3,100! :-)