July 15, 2017

A Journey of Discovery

Banality slouches just below the fold. As compensation, here is a piece of art that has completely different implications depending on the intended perspective. 


Art by Senji of the doujin circle Tegone Spike (Link NSFW). 
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June 04, 2017

Programming Note

Those who look below the fold should beware of being beset by bushels of blogger banality. 

As atonement, (for that and the alliteration) here is a cute girl riding an allosaurus.


Art by Sukabu
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May 02, 2017

Lawnmower Blues

Spent all day running errands and trying to get the lawnmower started.
I don't actually have any blues. But I did find this. 


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April 28, 2017

It was a Dark and Stormy Night

Due to severe weather delays, we were overstaffed at work this morning. As a result, I got off way early and about 5:30, as I was driving home, a lightning bolt struck next to me and showered my van in burning tree parts.


After a moment, I noted that the stricken tree next was next to a neighbors house and was burning with alarming intensity despite the downpour. I got out to see if it could be put out or to help the people get out as this was looking pretty grim.


 
The owner of the house and I tried to put out the fire but neither the rain nor our bucket brigade was having any effect. After an embarrassingly long interval, I had a neuron fire and realized that the tree wasn't burning, the ground was. I advised the gentleman to call the fire department NOW because it could be a peat fire and that could be the end of the whole block. 

But wait...It was quite intense for peat. The ground around it was undulating and hissing...and it kept getting more intense until it was almost like...a blowtorch. 

Oh. Lord. The lightning struck a gas main!



We kept the bucket brigade on it to keep it from igniting the tree or the house until the police arrived and decided to let it burn off the gas until the firetruck arrived, at which point I moved my van to make room for the ladder truck and carried my bedraggled ass home.

Looking at the rain, I really don't think I'm going to get the grass today.

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April 11, 2017

Aaaaaand..They're Off

A bit over a week ago Dad dropped a 4x8 on his foot and broke it. (Well, the breakage was mostly his big toe...Mostly.)

Shortly thereafter, Mom had what we thought was a stroke and went to the hospital only to find that it was a drug interaction. Dad quickly compensated for this good news by lancing his toe to relieve pressure...and the next day it was horribly infected, requiring another trip to the hospital. 

So, it's been hectic here.

Naturally, these two walking wounded decided that these reminders of their mortality meant that now is the time to attempt THAT TRIP again. 

Day before yesterday...they set out.



They'll make a destination decision when they reach Florida, they're either going to Belize, the Bahamas or Puerto Rico. 


I blame Pixar for this madness.

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February 01, 2017

Need to Go to the Parts Store

Art by Sukabu

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January 01, 2017

If I Had A Ronin For Every Year I've Been Around, I'd Be Secure in the Knowledge That I'd Be Avenged When Assasinated

As it is, I find myself pondering the things that I have not done in my time on this earth.




Some of them, I'm OK with.

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October 16, 2016

Trigger Warning: Banality

Yes, banality lurks below the fold. 

As is traditional here, we atone for this by providing an image of some exotic and atypically proportioned young ladies enjoying the last of the good weather as they relax next to the ocean.


Art by Ebimomo
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July 15, 2016

Christmas In July

Her Santa hat brings all the boys to the yard. 


Art by Yamaburo

What is this? Australia? An unreal tsunami of boxes associated with the recent Amazon sale and Independence Day resulted in the sorts of hours we at UPS just don't normally get in July. I haven't been this sore since basic training. Internet connectivity problems and the fact that this was the week of my midterm exam combined with the amazing amounts of overtime to bring about an alarmingly long period of bloggus intteruptus. 

Blogging will resume in earnest shortly. 

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July 01, 2016

My Life As a Disembodied Head (Updated)

There've been....distractions.

As compensation for that and the banality below the fold, here is 15 feet of winsome win.

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June 19, 2016

Well, THAT Was Tedious



My other accounts similarly needed attention, but not nearly as bad. 

I learned two other things this weekend. One is that the vacuum cleaner has a seperate on-off switch on the handle. So if it won't start when one pushes the big on-off switch on the main body, the correct course of action is NOT to take the vacuum apart to see whats wrong with the switch. 

Two of my upcoming courses have been cancelled by the University. I'm within 4 classes of graduation, so this is filling me with emotions that are not appropriate for a gentleman to express.

Fortunately I have in my employ, this imaginary young lady of low virtue, who is not so constrained. 


Not pictured; The expletives.

I'm not sure I'm supposed to do now. 

I'm frankly still in a bit of shock.

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May 20, 2016

I Thought They Came From Eggs

It's the weekend. After an absolutely hellish day at work I just got out of the shower, having washed off all the redbugs and turtle pee.



 

OK. Perhaps that last bit warrants elaboration. 

I got off work an hour late and was walking up to the door when, upon dropping my keys, I bent over to get them and noted something whizz past my head and go "plop"on the porch.

I stood there for a moment slowly processing the fact that something was not right about the the thing that had gone "plop". After a moment, the thing that I did not quite recognize, (but instinctively knew did not belong) sprouted 4 legs and a head and began furtively testing the area.

A turtle had fallen from the sky...and landed on the rubber welcome mat.

What.
The.
Hell?

It was a small mud turtle, not a box turtle or some other type of Testudine that would normally live in a suburban yard, so after determining that he seemed to be uninjured I picked him up and took him to the van, placed the terrified little thing on some paper towels and then drove to a nearby park with a pond. Along the way, the little beast became quite animated precipitating a chase that involved considerable contortions on my part. Eventually. after cunningly luring me under the rear seat, he darted out across the floor of the van with truly astonishing speed, and made a beeline for my bag of Fritos which he deftly entered and buried himself in, no doubt in a spiteful attempt to give me salmonella. Eventually I unfolded myself and got him out of the bag, whereupon he peed like a firehose...as turtles will. 

One thing that has bewildered me since I was a child is how a small turtle can contain so much urine...I swear his bladder must be larger than his shell, which should not be possible, but I guess physics is different for sky turtles. 

Anyway, I took the presumably now dehydrated shellback to the pond, which involved rather more mucking through pine straw and 8 inch deep mud than I had anticipated.

Now, after my shower I have an opportunity to reflect on the implications of these recent events...

Previously, I had thought that these creatures came from eggs, but it is now apparent that turtles are actually invaders from space, which, I suppose makes sense given that they are in the same zoological family as Gamera.

Of course it's tenuously possible that there is another explanation, perhaps one that involves a hawk, but it makes sense to err on the side of caution. 

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April 30, 2016

Egzamz Awlmowst Ovur

Fortunately none were or are spelling exams.


I have to wonder how these gatekeepers of knowledge did on their geography exams.



I have to give a presentation Tuesday and that's it for the semester.

The rest were all over by Monday. I should mention that I got a 100 on my Japanese exam, which, given my considerable trepidation regarding it was a most welcome surprise. 

I'm only three classes from graduation, and to my unbridled joy have been given permission to take two of them during the summer as independent study courses. (They are normally at 8 AM, which means I would not ordinarily be able to take them due to work.)

I find that as tuition increases, I've been experiencing what has at times seemed like the half-life of college. As I  have gone from full-time to part time to half time the rate of decay of the Kafkaesque annoyance known as University slowed and it really seemed at times like it would never end. Now, though, I'm almost there. 

I've got a few weeks before summer school starts. I should, perhaps, take a weekend and go on a trip...


Or...not. 



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April 25, 2016

In Telling Contrast to the Previous Post...

I will NEVER escape the pernicious shadow of that online quiz...



 I cannot be an example to any of you. However, I can be a dreadful warning. So take heed.

When you are using the school version of Microsoft Word for Mac, and it asks you, when you save your paper, if you wish to MERGE your changes into the original document, the correct answer is... 

"NO!!"

You see, if you say yes, it will, every time you fastidiously save your paper,  quietly disappear all of your paper except for what is on your screen and whatever you first saved....which in my case was the title. 


Anyway...

There was some anxiety around these parts recently. 

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April 06, 2016

I Am Alive

Unlike SOME people, who are.....mechanical.



"And can presumably be put back together if they get...disassembled!"

Well, I've been in the hospital. It seems that I am not just allergic to Pseudoephedrine, I'm deathly allergic to ALL antihistamines, even those that are supposedly safe for people who can't take Pseudoephedrine.

When I entered the hospital both my blood-pressure numbers were three digits and one of them began with the letter two.


  I turned out to have a recurrence of the vile sinus/inner ear infection I had about six months ago, just with much more pain added to the dizziness and blurred vision. A ridiculous battery of tests resulted in the conclusion that I don't actually have hypertension except as a result of the aforementioned allergies. This whole event turned out to be fortuitous since I probably would not have been aware of the insane blood pressure issue had it not been for the symptoms of the infection scaring me to dearth and sending me to the ER.  Of course, given that this unlikely condition has recurred, I'll need to see an E.N.T in the near future.



Er...the other kind. 

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January 23, 2016

On the Outskirts of the Snowpocalypse.

Hampton Roads is right on the edge of where the snow and rain meet with this storm. Last night it actually warmed up and a torrential rain washed away the 2-3 inches of snow that we'd gotten during the afternoon. Forecasts called for much the same going into today, with high 30's and low 40's.


Around noon however the rain turned to sleet...these two pictures show, not a dusting of snow, but accumulated sleet.




With a storm surge expected, I needed to go and check on my parents sailboat so my dad would not be compelled to walk down the ice covered pier. By that time, it was snowing as well as sleeting and the wind had picked up quite a bit. It took forever to simply get into the van, which was quite efficiently encased in ice. I had to break the wipers loose (so they would not break when I lit off the engine as I'd stupidly left the wipers on when I parked). After an extensive defrosting and scraping I drove to the marina (just 5 miles distant) and took these pictures...


That is wet snow-slush...on top of ice.

Not pictured: just how slick this was...


The boat is still secured, and the lines did not need to be let in or out, which is fortuitous as given how treacherous the main pier was, fiddling about on the finger pier did not appeal to me at all. 

After my brief foray into the otherworldly mess that Pete and Wonderduck would describe as "Saturday", I got home and noted that my footprints had been completely filled in. As I type this there is about 2-3 inches on the ground, it is dark, snowing sideways and the house is shaking from the wind. 

Of course, this is NOTHING compared to what is happening north of us, but ice has a certain annoyance all its own. I'll be pleasantly surprised if we retain power through the night. 

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January 02, 2016

An Unexpected Error Message.


Wait...WHAT!?



I upgraded the operating System on my iMac to OS X 10.11.2 (El-Capitain) which resulted in quite a few of my apps suddenly becoming obsolete. Since I hadn't actually upgraded the OS since about I got the thing years ago, this was unsurprising. Rather more surprising was the Ap-stores new $9.99 .gif AP which doesn't actually edit .gifs. At $4.99 iGif Creator does but the new version of Safari is incompatible with the hyperlink insertion widget in Minx so no hyperlink is here. The new version of Safari doesn't show the Mee.Nu banners either. 

On the Windows side of things, my Windows 7 is again claiming to be unregistered causing me some grief when I run it, but I'm still trying to avoid Windows 10. 

As usual, the whole world celebrated my birthday yesterday morning, however, I spent most of the morning traipsing around Boston getting harassed by a really big Mirelurk, saving a cat and hanging out with this really nice French girl who is about my age and much more tech savvy, though she's a tad socially awkward. 

I guess Walter Mitty, isn't just a short story...It's a lifestyle.

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December 25, 2015

Few Have Managed to Capture

...just what making it to this day means to those of us employed in the North American transportation network quite as well as Onsoku Tassha.




It's over.


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October 22, 2015

Kidney Stones Are Unpleasant

For over a week, I have not one, but two of these that have embarked on their respective journeys of discovery. One of them seems to have stopped just short of the threshold, either due to second thoughts, to contemplate how different the journey might have been on the right side, or simply to ensure that there is a record of its passing etched permanently along the path. Though both are born of the same awesome process that gives us spectacular cave formations, I confess I have less appreciation for the miracle of their formation than I might if they were not cutting up my urinary tract.


But enough bio-crystallography; here is something, that while in no way a substitute for content, is at least pleasant to look at. 


Hestia, goddess of the hearth, ribbons, and win by Mr.Vi

(Note: Most of the discussion of Hestia's character design tends to focus on the physics of her ribbon, but I'm more curious as to the function of the air intakes over her ears.)

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October 05, 2015

Keep In Mind...

...that the hurricane completely missed us.




Taken in Norfolk today during my abortive attempt to get to school.



Had the storm actually hit today on top of the anomalous rain we've had over the last week,  the area cities would have been obliterated.

At least the tunnels are open now. (They'd had to close the flood gates on some of them over the weekend)

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