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.


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 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...



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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... 


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. 


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.


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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September 30, 2015


Hump day! 

The day we can start looking forward to the weeke....

Huh...That's an awfully wide cone there. 
Let's see what the individual models say....

OK. Two of the models are quite divergent from the rest (one being about 180 degrees off) which accounts for the wide cone (as it is an average of the models).


All but two of the models have the thing causing some degree of mischief in SE Virginia and the majority of them predict it will broadly follow the paths of the two worst hurricanes to hit this area. Isabel and "The 1933 Storm". 

It's been raining here for two days and there is already standing water in my street as the storm drains are flooded. The ground is soggy so trees could fall easily.

This could well be exciting. 

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September 24, 2015

Tentatively Good News

To atone for the dearth of non-banal programming here is a seasonal Saber by Ice.

Also, thanks go out to Pete, Yozura and Sena for providing alternate content of interest to our readers. 

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September 19, 2015

Somewhere Between R & S But Only Due to a Technicality where I am on the Official Alphabetical List of Author Success.

This is a tad odd, since I have not sought a career in writing (which is probably fortuitous, not the least because I get no royalties).

It seems that a paper I wrote on Japan's security challenges for a sociology class has been published by the instructor in a collection of essays

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August 29, 2015

It's Been A Long Week here is something pleasant, at least more so than what is below the fold.

Submarine, bridge, cute girl, and cats by ajiyumi. 

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August 24, 2015

8 Months to Go

Old Dominion University starts the week before Labor Day so, since I only have a week to go before school starts, I decided just now to check and see if any of my silly busses were online yet so I could order some of my books and also find out if any classes have homework due the first day of class. 

What I discovered is that school starts tomorrow...


That's good to know.

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August 18, 2015

Here is Some Wide Gauge Steampunk Makkou 4 to offset the banality beneath the fold.


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August 06, 2015

Vacation DENIED

Yeah, there's been a LOT of perfunctory posting recently.
As "blog" theoretically means Biographical log, for those interested, there is a disquisition on the banal reasons for this extended programming anomaly below the fold. 

As compensation, here, courtesy of  GATE, (this season's surprisingly enjoyable and intelligent fantasy) is Tuka, Chuka or possibly Tsuka.

However her name is transliterated, the art is by Otono Fei.

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June 01, 2015

Serial Gruberings and Other Worries

Discussions of life's little irritants is below the fold. To keep perusal of this site in the domain of leisure rather than masochism, here is a whopping 35 feet of pulchritude (and an aspie).


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May 20, 2015

Bittersweet Victory

Well, my trip to Kafkaland seems to finally be resolved.

This is kind of a shame as I was enjoying both classes. OTOH this is almost certainly for the best as it means I'll be caught up financially in a few weeks (I still need to get a car after all).

In any event, here is something that some of you might find clever.

Art by Ao Usagi

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May 18, 2015

A Certain Irksomeness

Since the content below the fold can be nothing but a horrible, horrible warning, we decided to post some positive words to live by above it.

Kaga,  Akagi and wisdom by Kuon

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April 28, 2015

Exam Heck

Exams begin Thursday and last into next week.  Additionally, it appears that one of my classes was actually in the sociology department and so requires APA style as opposed to Chicago/Turabian. Fortunately, I've been given the option of re-submitting it...

Experimenting, training, testing and retrying. My life is just like this picture, but without the respectability, cute girls, cutting edge tech and prototype karatebot. 

Karatebot training by Sukabu

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