Thursday, August 31, 2006


Aunt Bee just reminded me that Stephen Lawhead's latest book is coming out next week--I can hardly wait. Perhaps it is good that I'd forgotten about it so I wasn't agonizing over the wait longer than from now until next week. :-)

I've always enjoyed Lawhead's books (though I don't think I've finished the Celtic Rose trilogy for some odd reason). I've read all of his others, and the Pendragon Cycle are my favourite version of Arthurian legend that I've ever read.

Lawhead can't go wrong writing about the Celts or Celtic Britain (i.e. Wales when in later years), so this looks like a very interesting reimagining (or going back to the roots?) of Robin Hood. I can hardly wait...oh, did I already say that? :-) It does bear repeating.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Still alive

Yep, I'm still breathing and I have a pulse (plus I'm typing this post). I'm feeling much better. The cold isn't completely gone, but I've not been taking Advil for a couple days because the pain in my throat is nearly nonexistant (it has gradually disipated over those days). It is a relief not to have to think about swallowing once again! You know, I never had this problem until I came east--perhaps I belong with my heart in California, ;-). But not anytime soon.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Yes, the Norse myth of the end of the world--or at least the battle where all of the gods die. My sci-fi universe is set in the future (quite common actually, ;-)) though I haven't yet nailed down when everything is set. At one point I toyed with the idea of time travel, a mysterious society, and a future destruction of civilization (which might be undone by said timetravelers). I abandoned the idea years ago, but while researching for another project I recently discovered the writing I did on the subject.

I've been thinking about starting a webcomic, partially set in my sci-fi universe. Here is a sample for a prologue to the comic. If this project gets off the ground it will be quite a while from now, knowing how long it takes me to plan things. But I think this might be possible. I'm not an artist, but I think I can make the plots work, and I can make a drawing style similar (but obviously not as good) to that seen in The Order of the Stick (or Miah's Stickromancer for those who read the forums) work with my limited talent.

I think this might be a fun way to explore concepts that I wouldn't otherwise explore in my writing at this stage--some of those ideas that appear too scientifically unfeasable (i.e. time travel) or too fanboyish (from my creation of the universe in high school where it was heavily based on Star Trek and Star Wars technology). Perhaps it wouldn't ultimately be canon, but it would plunge the depths of my writings.

Anyway, 'tis just something I'm working on. Tonight as I watched Eureka I started listing the causes of the destruction of Sol's planets. No, not complete physical destruction (for all), but decimation of the population. When I say Ragnarök I mean that the vast majority of human civilization throughout the stars will be wiped out. A bleak future. What would you do if you knew something like that was coming and it was impossible to stop? That, I think, is the key to an interesting narrator for this project. :-)


Monday, August 28, 2006

Study your History

Or you might make something like this:

Can anybody else tell me what is wrong with this picture? The humour of transferring somebody from the Revolution isn't at issue.

The problem is that we have the wrong person! Patrick Henry is famous for saying "Give me liberty or give me death!" Nathan Hale is famous for saying (as the British executed him for espionage) "I regret that I have only one life to give for my country."



Good day to be off work

I woke up earlier this morning, then decided to doze off again. When I woke up a couple hours later I discovered that my alarm clock was flickering. The power had been out at one point for about an hour! It was long enough that my sister conducting homeschool with candles and my laptop battery drained and shut off my computer.

On the positive side it is pouring rain (hopefully it will keep up for a while). As soon as I take a shower I'm planning to take a walk wearing my trenchcoat--it has been too long since I've walked in the rain! This might also be a good day to finally replace my boots.

The last pair I bought I've thrown away--they were the most expensive ones at Wal-Mart, but they didn't have leather upppers--they wore out pretty quickly. My current pair are okay except for a crack from side to side through the sole. I hate the fact that the leather on my boots will be fine, but the soles wear out. *sigh* Anyway, needless to say my boots are not currently waterproof. It is high time I find some that are.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Word of the Day

After spending four years at The Master's College, I couldn't resist the following when it came up in my Google toolbar as the Word of the Day (from


An uncontrollable urge to dance.

[After Taranto, a town in southern Italy where this phenomenon was experienced during the 15-17th centuries. It's not clear whether tarantism was the symptom of a spider's bite or its cure, or it may have been just a pretext to dodge a prohibition against dancing. The names of the dance tarantella and the spider tarantula are both derived from the same place.]

I wonder what people at TMC would say if you tried to use this excuse (err...reason?) for dancing. :-)


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Almost perfect timing

I was just leaving work when my cell phone vibrated in my pocket. It was the other white Matt, my good friend from TMC (now living in beautiful Southern California). We talked for an hour, about everything, from California, to TMC, to sci-fi (we're both avid SG-1 fans, ;-)) and more. Of course I say almost perfect timing because I was interrupted by three different calls on my cell phone and two calls on the house phone once I got home. ;-)


Friday, August 25, 2006

Same song, second verse

I must tell you that I wish this day had never come. I thought that I just had a cold, but then two days ago I noticed that my throat was still bothering me. My nose has started to run and I've begun to cough--usually signs that the sore throat phase of the cold is over. Unfortunately I'm repeating something from almost two years ago. Here is a refresher from this very blog:

Springdale, Arkansas 01.06.2005 22:00-22:30

My throat was quite sore today, making it difficult to swallow. As a result I didn't drive, fearing I would be too uncomfortable and distracted.

Nolensville, Tennessee 01.07.2005 22:37-22:45?

We left the house at seven something this morning and by the time we left Wal-Mart with my generic Day-Quill in hand it was 07:30, our designated start time....A combination of Day-Quill and Advil reduced the pain to a point where I could swallow and concentrate easier. I took my turn driving twice, the second for an hour or sow leaving Memphis (in heavy rain).

We had a good meal of chili and cornbread, though because of my throat I couldn't finish a full bowl [:(]....Hopefully I can get to sleep before the Ny-Quill I took at 19:10 wears off :).

Today wasn't fun at work--but thankfully I was outside. Without medicinal help it is much preferable to spit out excess saliva rather than swallowing it. Swallowing anything requires conscious effort.

This evening I was desparate, so I took two Advil. To my amazement the pain is gone. I'll be sure to stay dosed up tomorrow! The only problem (one I can definately live with) is what feels like a bit of phelgm at the back of my throat that no amount of clearing my throat can dislodge completely.


A moment of silence

Please. Sci-Fi Channel has announced that as of the end of this (unprecedented tenth) season they are canceling Stargate SG-1. Fortunately Stargate Atlantis will still continue. This, I believe, is a very bad idea. I love sci-fi, and SG-1 is one of the funnest shows on the air. It isn't in the same category as B-5 (high drama, excellent plotting and arcs), but it is great fun. It has wide arcs and awesome characters. It might go over the top sometimes, but that is part of the fun. It would be a tragedy if the show were to actually die. The rest of the season (after they break for the fall/winter sometime in the next month or two) will not air until March. Hopefully that means there will be some time for the producers to hopefully find a new home for the show. Unlike when idiot executives cancelled Firefly or Crusade. Grrrr....


Thursday, August 24, 2006


Apparently Pluto is no longer officially a planet. I'm not really sure that I care, however. Pluto has been labeled a planet for far longer than I've been alive, for several generations of school-children. I think that what one person said after 2003 UB313 was discovered is true--that planet is more than merely an astronomical definition, it is a cultural word. Planet really means what we as a culture use it to mean. I might change my science fiction writings to correspond with this "development," or I might "have it overturned" in the future. ;-) For the time being my instinct is to ignore the pronouncement and still talk about our solar system of nine planets.

What do you think?



I just filled up my van yesterday. Well it was only down to three quarters of a tank, but I try to fill it up at that point to keep the cost of each fill-up low. I've been paying near to $3.00 for a while now (in the two eighties and nineties) so I was quite excited when I was able to fill up for $2.689 a gallon! 'Tis crazy in some ways to be excited over that price when two years ago it would have seemed way too high, but that is how life goes.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

High School

I just re-discovered the following text. During high school (in a process too long to relate right now) I created my own science-fiction universe, something that I'm still developing. This is a fragment of a story that I started, but never completed. I haven't worked on this since sometime in high school, so please forgive its unpolished nature.

Tour of Duty [story title] 9736 TO [corresponds to 12542 AD on the planet Terra Oceanus]

An agonizing scream tore through teh chill evening air and with a shock of recognition I realized that it had emanated from my own raw throat. As sharp daggers of obsidian probed the raw flesh of my back I was able to analyze this and other perceptions with a detached and logical calm. The exposed skin on my arms and legs: raw, torn, and bleeding from the Alterian thorns and briars, screamed its own horrible melody. The soles of my feet were also in agony, their surface jagged with white flecks of bone leering out--released by the frantic dash over hot metal and pounded into shards by the long run through gravel, briars, cacti, and stone. To this rising cacophony of sensations was added the numb pain of my head and back, stinging from whips liberally applied in attempts to wrestle information past my recalcitrant lips.

At the end of my second wind, squinting my battered eyelids against the fierce setting sun, I had found it. rather my bloody torn feet had stumbled over the edge of the precipice and had tumbled my aching body down into the void. Mercifully my mind had slipped into unconsciousness as soon as the object, THE OBJECT, had seemed to rush up,eagerly, to smash into my skull.

Alone, unmourned, unknown; I felt myself slipping gradually sliding into oblivion. Had it all been for nothing? Was this to be the end? To find that which I had spent all I had gathered in my long life to find, as that very life slipped away? To have the object of my quest within my grasp and be unable to seize it? No I would not give up! and with that thought a madness took control of me, an insane desire to grasp it, even if it was the last thing I did. The madness sank deep roots into my consciousness and after expelling all though of pain it gathered unknown reserves of strength and sent them coursing to my tired, torn, throbing muscles. With a last surge of power, and however powerful it seemed at the time it was but a shadow of my previous might, I heaved my torso upright and turned toward IT. My miraculous reserves, however, drained from my muscles and failed me. I slumped over it, limp and unconscious.

As far as I can recall I came up with the genesis of this fragment (the painful description at the start) one morning while taking my shower before school. I don't remember much else except that the character was supposed to be impossibly old and perhaps involved with some form of time travel. I might pick the story up again some day, rework it into another plot, or both. I have no idea what will happen right now.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Web Albums

I have just uploaded six different background pictures to a Picasa Web Album. I have an extensive file of bakground images that I have downloaded from the internet for my own personal use--mostly of different animals and natural scenes. When I think that one of the pictures I have taken merits inclusion (where most of my pictures are just for memories) I rename it and transfer it to my "Nature and Wildlife" folder. I'm planning to go through my digital pictures to find more images, but in the meantime I have uploaded the six that I currently have to the web. You can access them through the album linked below. Please feel free to download any of them and use them as a background image.

Scenic Backgrounds
13 Photos


Yep, they're blue french fries. My mom just sent the picture from my sister in Idaho. She has been making these from her blue potatoes for a while, but she hasn't sent me a picture. Thanks for taking the picture mom! I'd love to see them in person, they look quite fun! But I can't quite see McDonald's changing their menu, ;-).


Sunday, August 20, 2006


Today at church I picked up a couple CDs. I've installed the program, but I can't get it to run yet for some strange reason. 'Tis called SundayPlus, and it is designed to run church service announcements, sermon points, and song lyrics on screens. I've started volunteering with the church media team, so once I'm up to speed I'll start preparing things for Sunday services, and occasionally be the one running the program Sunday mornings. I think I'll look forward to the outlet for creativity and computer skills, as well as finding a place to serve.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

How was work tonight?

I'm so glad that you asked. It wasn't fun, at all. It was quite warm, and quite humid. Sweat soaked through my shirt several times (between which it only ever partially dried). Guess what? Yep, I'm still pulling carts in by hand. We still don't have a cart caddy. And do you know what was even better? I was on my own for five of eight hours--on a weekend night! *sigh* It could have been worse thankfully. But next week doesn't look great.

I'm off Monday and Tuesday, but then Wednesday and Thursday I'll be doing carts alone in the evening--I can only hope the cart caddy will be back by then. Then for some absurd reason nobody is scheduled to work Friday or Saturday before 14:00!! I have no idea what anybody is thinking. I need to talk Eric (the guy in LP who writes the schedule) when he gets back from vacation. I don't really want to come in on a Saturday to see carts after nobody has been working on them all morning. Today Mike had to have Nick from LP help him for a few hours or he would never have kept up with the carts. Nick was quite grateful to see me come in to help Mike for his last three hours so that he could go inside. I was told that LP was supposed to help us with carts or inside whenever we needed it--but they're quite reluctant. And if they're hear late or early they NEVER bring carts in if the lot is bad.


Friday, August 18, 2006


Tonight was Stargate: SG-1's two hundredth episode, and they had way too much fun making it. They explored so many possibilities and jokes that I was remembering things the whole way through. There was even a Star Trek spoof.

I would write more, really I would, but I'm in the middle of a cold and my sinuses have just started acting up, plus I think I have a case of heartburn. :( More (hopefully of a recovery) later.


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Yesterday when I took my nerfs to the neighbor's pool I took quite a few pictures. This was one of my favourites (being a different genre from jumping into the pool pictures) and I'm currently using it as my background image.

The image you see at left will only link to a 1024x768 image whereas the thumbnail below is 1600x1200. I think my desktop monitor (currently in storage) is 1600x1200, but even if not that is currently the largest that pictures often come in and the standard I set to ensure that for a while pictures I collect would be suitable for backgrounds even on any new computers that I happen to buy in the future.

I don't know if I mentioned it here, but I recently printed out a couple of my pictures and framed them. One was my picture of the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal last year--taken at dusk. The other I know I posted here, from my trip to the lake while I was at my brother's last month. I'll post a picture of the pictures in their frames soon.



I just recieved a package from UPS yesterday (Wednesday) containing a book! 'Tis No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews. I can't be sure, but Mark hasn't reviewed it yet, so I'm wondering if I'm reading it before him. Could such a thing be possible? I don't know, but even if it isn't I'm still enjoying the book, as I have all of her previous offerings. I have even got my sister hooked on the series. She is currently in the middle of Wrought Iron Flamingos.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Well today Chris did leave as scheduled, and he didn't take nearly as much stuff as I remember taking off on my first trip to college. But then he only had one box of books and no bookcases. But he also had a desktop (plus his new laptop) and a large TV, and no fridge (the roommate he plans to switch to rooming with has one I believe).

While my sister and brother-in-law were driving Chris down to U of L I took the other kids swimming in the neighbor's pool. I got some great pictures--I love ones of people in mid-air. The only problem I have is that my camera isn't quite good enough to take pictures of such action completely unblurred. But that isn't really that big of a problem. They're still fun to look at.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006


My eldest nephew Chris is off to college on the morrow. Then I'm getting his old room until I move out.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Still pulling

...carts in by hand. The cart caddy was taken away today to be repaired, and then we had the option to borrow a cart caddy from another bigg's store that apparently has three! But what did our store manager say? Oh yes, it would be too much trouble, so we wouldn't bother! !#@^$#$^#$^ !#^!#^!#^$ Thank goodness for "comic strip cussing," otherwise I'd be tempted to lose my family friendly rating. I was very upset this morning. I don't like the store manager's way of doing some things (it seems quite nuts), but this is absolutely stupid. The entire motor is out on the cart caddy and we have no idea when they will fix it. It could be a couple days, or a week--but apparently the guy who NEVER STEPS OUT IN THE LOT except to find stuff for us to do decided that we don't need the help we say we want. Isn't it nice we have people who know what is best for us better than we do?


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Long Weekend

At last the weekend is over, ;-), well almost. Tonight was a long night. The cart caddy machine that we use to push in long rows of carts, broke Friday evening. It is something like the picture at right. It will currently move, but not push anything. Without the quarter lock chains to hold carts together this means we have to use things like tie-downs to hold the carts together as we pull them in by hand. Needless to say this isn't fun. Three months ago I was used to it, but then they pulled the locks off and I'm not used to the routine any more. Grrr... There had better be someone out tomorrow morning to fix it, or there will be some even more unhappy workers...


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bah, Humbug!

I'm still busy writing my episode, so that means no news here. I really must apologize, but I'm enjoying the story so much. It is amazing to think that we're around 80,000 words on this story (I'm writing Episode 65!). It isn't a coherent story like a novel, but we're definately nearing (or already at) decent novel length. I've never written so much before as I have for this project. It is a great experience.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Again I'm busy, writing Superheroes Episode LXV and watching episodes of Mythbusters. Expect an update about yesterday's shoplifting incident sometime after midnight.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Good Knight

I'm rewatching A Knight's Tale, and it was a long trip to see this movie. The library had lost both the VHS and DVD copies that it had. Since I had a hold on the DVD that had appeared to still be around, they sent me an e-mail asking if I still wanted it--and perhaps then they would purchase it or obtain it via interlibrary loan. I said yes--then yes again when I recieved the same e-mail a month later. Sometime after that my hold disappeared and they listed the DVD status as "see purchaser." I put another hold (after several people) and was quite happy to see that it came in today. :-)

I would never have thought to set a medieval tale to rock music, but they made it work somehow. You can't beat Chaucer's dialogue either, 'tis great to see him verbally spar with others.


Sunday, August 06, 2006


I got out of work on time today, even with some extra work--but I'll have more of that in the morning. Apparently the lot was paved incorrectly years ago, and many pot holes have developed, especially in some spots where cars park--right where their wheels are. Tonight I turned carts upside down and used caution tape to rope off those sections of the lot. Reportedly a company will be coming out (starting tomorrow, Monday) to fix those holes. I just realized that they might be a pain when we're pulling carts in. *sigh* I hope they're not too much trouble.



Do any of you Californians remember the California Raisins? If I recall correctly they were big in the late eighties and early nineties--when I was a kid. I don't ever remember having anything related to them, but I remember them.

The big guy on the right (actually smaller than the other guys), the one that looks like he is playing the guitar in a bright spotlight, yeah him. (I know that wasn't a complete sentence) He was my first acquisition of my recent collection. I found him at a nearby park--or rather one of the kids did, and they gave him to me after I revealed that he was a California raisin. I still consider myself a Californian before a Kentuckian.

The other guys came today. My brother-in-law's mom (Marie--yes she lives across the street, somewhat like Everybody Loves Raymond--and sometimes life around here feels like a sitcom--where everybody laughs at but not with you) has had a garage sale the past couple days--along with my sister. Apparently my nephew Chase found these raisins in her stuff and persuaded them to donate them to my cause. I'm quite grateful to him for these efforts. I'll have so much fun with them now, though I'll leave my first raisin next to my computer where he has guarded my mouse cord for many weeks now.

Besides sitting out at the family garage sale today I travelled to two other sales. The first was much larger--the local Catholic Children's home (on Orphanage road) is having their annual Flea Market this weekend. I picked up a few books (including a boxed set of the then "complete" four book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy), a couple fun historical drinking glasse, a Duck Tales video, and a Jaci Velasquez CD (blame Joel for the CD--I first heard of her from him). I also bought a stuffed Pooh Bear (in either a rat or mouse costume) for my nephew Chase, who has about a dozen Poohs--including one small one I gave him years ago when clearing out some of my stuffed animals.

Later in the day Chase and I walked (between .5 and 1 miles) to a local garage sale. The only thing I bought there was a DVD (widescreen) of Star Wars Episode I. My brother gave me a VHS version a couple years ago, but I couldn't pass up a DVD for $1.00! It looks scratchless even, though I haven't tried to watch it yet. I'm listening to the music CD right now and all is good so far.

Oh, but how could I forget Chris? When I came home from work he was in the computer room, so I dropped in for a moment to say hi. He showed me several pictueres that he had taken today, and then showed me one of a church. He proceeded to tell me that the church had had a book sale, and showed me some pictures of the tables full of books. I was immediately jealous and said (jokingly) "I hate you." I tried to persuade him for a few mintues that he should have told me about it or called me, but eventually I just came up to my room to change and relax.

I didn't notice anything unusual until Chris came into the room. Then I noticed a stack of books next to my bed that hadn't been there when I left for work. I've had stacks of book there so often that it simply didn't register on my conscious mind.

No science-fiction--but nobody else knows exactly what I like or what I already own. The stack includes a lovely selection of old books, including an 1891 government textbook! One is a 1956 edition of The American Pageant textbook (I think I used a newer version in high school). Needless to say I quickly apologize to Chris for "hating him," ;-). He is quite forgiven for visiting a book sale without me!


PS Here is one of the historic glasses, distributed by the Gulf Oil Company

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I'm tired, so I'm posting this short post now, before midnight, then I'm planning to draft a longer one, hopefully with a couple pictures!

I was supposed to leave work at 22:15 tonight, while I didn't get out of there until 23:13!! They already cheat me because I take a lunch (they didn't tell me that by taking a lunch, which by law I can, or is it must?, I could never reach an average of 40 hours a week--unless I were to work extra), so I merely regained two lunch periods this week and am in no danger of earning overtime.


Friday, August 04, 2006


Yes, they got their point across. X-Men III: The Last Stand, was definately the final movie of a trilogy. Fun movie, really. If you haven't seen the movie yet, and plan to (spoiler free) then don't read the rest of this too carefully.

There were quite a few main characters who died in the film--that is the big names that even I (who has never read an X-Men comic book) know (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Xavier) On the way home (I didn't drive so I didn't get to stay for the credits, :() I commented that the movie had an unusually high rate of attrition. Two of the car occupants stared at me--my non-reading nephew Ryan said "you can't use big words around me." I then had to explain the word (it is much easier to use words in the proper context than it is to define them).

A few minutes later Ryan (who was driving--he isn't that bad, but still learning) had to forcefully apply the brakes as he came up to a yellow light. As we came to a stop and our bodies reacted by moving forward for a bit and then coming to rest against the seats I remarked sarcastically "don't you love intertia?" It was a normal comment for me--I'm sure those of you who knew me at TMC heard me make many similar comments over the years. However, my brother-in-law's mom turned to me and said "I know what that means!" I think she thought I was just "using a big word" because she didn't know what attrition had meant earlier. *sigh* My vocabulary isn't that unusual is it?


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Forcing Myself

to face facts. I told my superisor/schedulor today at bigg's that as of the 3rd of September (a Sunday one month from today) I would only be available for about twenty hours a week--nights and weekends. I did this for a couple reasons. 1) If I find a job during this month I can just tell them that I'll be available to start the 4th, especially nice if I find it with less than two weeks left in the month--I won't have to give two weeks notice, 2) if I don't have a job by then I'll go out every day searching, and I'll have those days--instead of just two days off a week as I have now, and some mornings. It may not be the best idea in the world, but right now it is what I'm using to motivate and help me.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I try not to use my main (gmail) address for anything free or not too important--for that I use a hotmail, Yahoo, or other account. I use my Gmail account for paid items (eBay, PayPal, student loans), i.e. important things. However, I've recently seeen a dramatic upswing in my reciept of spam.

I'm sure that it was inevitable once I started using the e-mail address in more places on-line (i.e. ordering from different websites)--or once one spammer found it or started randomly targeting used Gmail addresses. I've been saving all of my spam since sometime last Thursday, just to see how many I recieve in a week. Gmail has only missed two or three, and in all the time I've had the account has only mislabeled two or three legitimate e-mails as spam. So far I'm up to 59 spam in my spam folder. I don't know how high it will have climbed by tomorrow evening.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


A town (in the Pacific Northwest?) supposedly established by President Truman at the behest of Albert Einstein. All of the world's top minds live and study there, and all of the world's greatest discoveries have actually come from there over the past few decades. Welcome to Eureka!

It is a new show from the Sci-Fi channel, and actually quite fun. The third episode airs tonight, and I'm not planning on missing it. :-)