Day by Day cartoon

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Lousy dinner service tonight

We went out to our local Chilis tonight for New Years dinner. We frequent Chilis regularly and tonight was the first time we have had lousy service. Our waiter forgot to bring us menus without us asking for them, brought us the overly expensive, premium margaritas without us requesting them, then let our food sit and get cold before bringing it to us. Later we couldn't get our check and we never did get asked if we wanted desert.

The place wasn't overly full so nobody seemed to be overworked. It was just lousy service tonight. I've already sent in my comments to the Chilis survey website...

Little Astin's SIck!

The poor little guy has the flu. He's so sick he had to make a visit to the Emergency Room today for treatment. He got an IV introduction of fluids because he was dehydrated and if he's not better tomorrow, he has to go back. The hospital left in the IV port so he won't have to be poked again if he needs more fluids.

We saw the Astin and his mom & dad when we returned their car after it was repaired (finally) this afternoon. I had the car hauled away from the shop where it had been for so long, to a 2nd shop. They worked on it Friday until they exhausted their skills and suggested a 3rd garage. Today the car was hauled down there and 4 hours later it had another new fuel pump and was running fine.

We decided to just run it straight down to Kye & Sara since we had the time and opportunity. Half way to their place the Check Engine light did come on but I just carried on and took it to them that way. The kids have some work to do, a duplicate title needs ordered from Illinois, then re-registered in Utah and then inspected and insured. But at least the car seems to be running well and everything seems to work. Once they get the papers sorted out, their car problems should be under control.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

You gotta love this guy's efforts

Go read the story of one guys effort to get his car unstuck. Its too funny not to share.
"After several attempts to free the car, the man placed his toolbox on the vehicle accelerator, exited the vehicle and attempted to push the vehicle free," McDonagh said. "The man was successful in freeing the vehicle, although unsuccessful regaining control of the vehicle."

Deputies said the full-size Mercury sedan accelerated across a cut soybean field with the man running behind.

The car reached an estimated speed of 100 mph, traveled a half-mile, sometimes becoming airborne. The car then struck a tree.

Poor bastard... I found this story at Dave Barry's blog.

Pretty good day, today

Well, as I mentioned earlier, the carpet installers arrived this afternoon and in 3.5 hours they were done, I had the new carpet vacuumed and it looks beautiful. I'll try to get a picture later. After the installers were gone, the BSU and I took off for dinner at the Gilded Feedlot and then we made a trip to Lowes for door mats for the two entrances to try to keep our new carpet clean.

What else? I got Kye & Sara's Escort moved from the garage that has had it since June to a new shop today. Steve had apparently lost interest in finishing the work and just couldn't seem to be bothered to get it done. And he moved shops and left the car behind. So today, and since the keys were left in it, I got it moved to a more interested mechanic. It apparently has completely plugged fuel lines from the tank and pump up to the fuel filter. The car may have to get the injectors cleaned or replaced to get fuel flowing properly again again. Anyway, the car is being worked on again and I'm not being lied to by a mechanic that I really wanted to like.

Sadly, I missed buying a big Craftsman tool box today. It was probably a 9 or 11 drawer box, priced at just $89 at the pawn shop I occasionally visit at lunch times. Well, I saw the box at lunch time and I didn't buy it. After work, it was gone! Dang. It would have made a dandy box for either Noah or me to get our stuff consolidated. I guess I learned not to let a good deal sit!

I ordered books for next term, 3 books, just about $200. One of the books was a new edition this term and $133 with no used books available. All the books should be here in plenty of time for school on the 10th of next month.

Now its nearly bedtime.

A first since 1973 this week

That's right, I did something on Monday night that I haven't done since 1973. Even this event was different from the last because I took my son and we had a beer and a pretzel together, which certainly would not have been possible in 1973. Hell, I couldn't even have had a beer back then. So what did we do? We went to a hockey game!

We went to see the Utah Grizzlies hockey team compete against the Idaho Steelheads. We bought tickets just minutes before game time just 5 rows from the lexan shields and directly behind the Grizzly penalty box, so the seats were terrific. The Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead, then the Steelhead tied things up and at the end of the night the score was 4-3 Steelheads.

It was a really great night out with Noah and I wished we could have gone back Tuesday night when the tickets were just $5. Instead, we took the BSU and caught a movie. We will be going back again this season sometime between now and April because it was a fun night out.

The carpet arrives today

Or, at least its supposed to arrive today. The installers aren't scheduled to arrive until 2PM. I'm a little concerned that they are going to show up, do the old carpet removal today, then knock off until tomorrow for the installation. That will be a bad thing since it's the family room being carpeted and that's where we live during the evenings. I guess we'll see.

Anyway, we're pretty excited about the carpet getting installed as that will be the finish to the remodeling that began last October.

Another couple months and I suppose we will be looking at getting the dining room work finished. Christmas bills to pay first though.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Snowflakes! Go make one of your own!

Its been raining here in Utah instead of snowing, (its 45 degrees tonight a 8:30 PM) and so I found this website where I could make my own snowflakes. Go try it, its fun and almost like being back in elementary school only with no cleanup and no paste to taste.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Want to see some Christmas pictures?

Here's some pictures from this weekend. The first one is obviously a proud grandpa picture of little Astin.

Here's Granny Sunday with Astin-

Here's my sweetie trying on a gift-

Here's where Noah & I spent most of Christmas Eve day-

Finally, a picture of me. Not from Christmas but from a few weeks back. The cats really resent my laptop computer and the space it occupies.

How's that?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Its RIco, not Kowalski!

I got it wrong back in October when I credited Kowalski with carrying the dynamite in the Penguins Christmas Caper adventure. Its not Kowalski, its Rico that carrys the explosives. I know that for certain because I watched the movie again tonight, at home, on my own DVD player!

Yeah, I got the Madagascar movie for Christmas! I must have been a very good boy again this year because Santa Claus and my family were very kind to me. Besides my terrific laptop which I'm using right now, I got a new impact gunfor the workshop, a cold solder tool, a Black & Decker, one-handed tape measure, two pair of slacks, a new shirt and new sweater, the book Failure Is Not An Option and a box full of colorful Hot Wheels cars.

So Santa was very nice to me! The rest of the family made out pretty well with the present haul. The BSU got a nice floor lamp with a natural light bulb that's specially designed for sewing and stitching and a certificate from me promising a fresh bouquet of flowers for every week in 2006. Noah bought her a beret and scarf and matching gloves and I bought her a nightgown that she likes but is too big and that will have to be returned.

Noah got new locking hubs for the Tracker and a deflator device for airing down his tires when off-roading, music and a couple books. He also received a tiny little radio control submarine, just right for extended play times in the tub, perfect for a 21 year old, right?

Kye & Sara & Astin came for a great visit. Astin is standing and just about walking on his own and he crawls non-stop. He's a smiler and he was even friendly with me, though he didn't want me holding him when he wanted to be moving. Astin seemed to really like all the new toys as they were unwrapped. There was a Fisher-Price farmhouse and a Weeble treehouse and several different trucks and car toys, all that seemed to meet with his and his mom's approval. They now have a Sirius car radio to install in their car, some pretty towels one of those emergency flashlights that you just shake to make light up.

Its been a really pleasant day this Christmas Day. I'll upload some pictures a little later.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Its time to say Thank You and Merry Christmas to all.

Tomorrow will be busy with a day of ticket checking and then church in the evening, so I better say this tonight or it won't get done.

Thank you. To each of of you that continue to come around this humble spot and check in on me. thank you. To all the folks I have the opportunity to share with this year, its been a pleasure, whether we were talking about scooters, guns, school or whatever, I've enjoyed it. My little spot on the internet has been a great source of pleasure to me and I appreciate all the support, visitors and feedback. I've had a chance to meet a couple of the folks who author the blogs on my blog list and I'm related to two more of them. I still find that fact to be pretty amazing.

So tonight's post is just my chance to say thank you to all. And I'll take this chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas if you celebrate the Christian holiday. If one of the other holidays at this time of year suits you better, then have a blessed holiday, whichever one it might be.

P.S. Apparently it takes just a very few coffee beans for a dog to crunch up for the dog to get a great caffeine buzz going...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's the Second Annual Axis of Weevil Ramahannuchristmakwanzavus Thursday Three!

[NOTE: Since I'm emailing this in, the formatting may appear even more poor than usual. And there are no links. Both circumstances I'll fix later when I'm outside the guvamint's internet access restriction.]

From Terry at Possumblog- Yippee.
"We understand that there are several different types of highly competitive holiday celebrations ongoing at this time of year, so we expect you all to behave and be nice to each other's religious and/or non-religious proclivities and not make the Animated Swingin' Singin' Santa Lite-Up Guest Greeter cry."

Here's the questions, followed by my answers.
        1. Are you an early bird in the prep for the holidays, and if so, how early do you start?
As for my preparations, nope, not so much. I've never been one of those guys that starts buying presents around Memorial Day with the intention of being done shopping before Labor Day. I'm busy then and all through the year, so preparations get started sometime after Thanksgiving.

        2. If you decorate your house, when do the decorations go up, and what are they?
I've posted pictures of my decorations in the past but due to the internet restrictions I'm under I can't go find it and link to it right now. I'll fix that tonight if I can. Anyway, the decorations go up after the Thanksgiving pilgrim children decorations come down, usually the week after Turkey Day. We do only blue miniature lights along the front of the roof and the porch overhang and wrapped into our trees. This year I switched from the miniature incandescent lights on a string to the rope style and while they are pretty, they aren't very bright or remarkable. Like my Dad, I like the ease of putting up the rope lights and the tidy clips that hold them in place. I'm just not enamored of the lack of illumination.

We also celebrate by putting out a nativity scene each year. This set has become a treasured heirloom in our family that we have used for about 15 years. In the beginning it was just the 3 essential characters but we have added to the collection over the years. Now there are 3 wise men, a shepherd, 3 angels with trumpets on the porch roof who we refer to as the Heavenly Host Trio, a Halleluiah angel who rises above the crèche that we built a few years ago and several animals in residence though my grey donkey was disappeared a couple years back. All the characters are hollow plastic and lit internally so the stringing of extension cords is a real exercise to get everyone lit.

I actually received a very nice thank you card after last Christmas from a nearby neighbor for our nativity scene and the peacefulness it promotes in contrast to my neighbor's lit, animated Santas, flashing reindeer, inflated snowmen and rotating candy canes.

        Now, this one is something of a repeat from last year, so you have the option of rewrapping it and giving it to someone else if you don't want it. Also, it pertains more to those      who celebrate gift-giving holidays (i.e., not Festivus), so if you don't give people stuff, you might just have to come up with another question more suited to your situation, such    as, "What is your least favorite Feat of Strength?" Anyway:

        3. Do you go out of your way to find special, well-thought-out presents, or are you so harried and confused that gift cards make more sense?

Yes. And no. I do try to find that special gift if I can find the inspiration or the wish list. For my spouse, its really tough because she just doesn't value many of the traditional gifts that make it easy to score a gift-giving hit. Jewelry and clothes and leather accessories just really don't do much for her, so there's no point in spending much on those things. For the boy still at home, music, cars and car stuff makes it pretty easy. For my married son and my daughter-in-law, they are hard to shop for. It needs doing tonight as a matter of fact! It might be a gift card or two for them if some inspiration doesn't show itself sometime today.

Shopping for grandbaby Astin is easy and fun!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Why am I still so busy?

Its just a couple days before Christmas and I'm working way to hard! Normally by this time, everybody has slid into a coasting mode. Not this year! Instead, I've been chasing all kinds of details while dodging the jackass that's trying to get me fired.

About that, one guy, a government guy who really doesn't like contractors like myself has tried to get me fired this week. This guy doesn't like the responsibility I am given and he doesn't like my methods and tactics when I am trying to get things accomplished. We don't work in the same organizationbut we have known each other for 5 years now. He works over in the depot planning and everything I do in coordination with the depot goes through his area.

What's his beef this week? He accused me of providing proprietary government data to another contractor; a competitor for a major workload that eventually did go to the competitor. All of the contracts were signed last summer and only after the depot completely exhausted all their options to do the work.

But this week, he accused me of handing over this data, a list that was created by one of his guys 14 months ago and then released to a member of the competing company's engineering staff. Which is what I proved to my boss because I kept the email from 2 Octobers ago. Since my boss sent that email back to the depot and the guy who is after me, there has been no more communication from the depot.

As a contractor, I have 2 bosses that I have to keep satisfied everyday. My government support work means that I have a government supervisor that assigns me to tasks and oversees my results. I also have a company boss who is responsible for my behavior and all my administrative obligations. I have to walk a narrow line every day because if my government boss doesn't like my performance, he can get rid of me pretty easy. My company boss is concerned that I don't do anything that reflects badly on the company. So its really a bad thing when an outside agency like the depot is making ugly phone calls and emails and insisting that I be "dealt with."

I'm pretty certain this circumstance is resolved but it certainly makes it difficult to be effective when you know there's somebody out there gunning for you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You know it's a bad day-

When before 10 AM, you discover that you might have spent one command's money to modify another command's airplanes and that there are people calling for your immediate punishment and firing for giving away proprietary data that you didn't give away!

Lucky for me, (so far), the people whose money I misdirected aren't angry and those people that want to see me fired are in the wrong about who gave what to whom. My government management is sticking up for me and my actions and told those angry folks to leave me alone. I've also passed the email chain along to my company manager so that when he gets the email from the angry people, he will already be aware of the situation. There is going to be fallout but with my government supervisor taking the lead against the angry government folks, I might survive unscathed.

I need a drink!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Government restrictions on internet usage-

What a drag!

The word is out this morning, tight enforcement of the restrictions that have always been in place but previously given a pass; no internet usage except for official use. And the powers that be are paying close attention and reporting by name those continuing offenders. Which of course means there will be no more blogging except through the email posting method, (which is also against the rules) that I am using right now to make this post.

So, I'll not be able to keep up with the frivolity and/or careful, thoughtful discussion that goes on over at Possumblog or any of the other places I occasionally used to visit during my working hours.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yesterday was the anniversay of the Wright Brother's flight at Ktty Hawk?

If so, then it was also Grandbaby Astin's first birthday! Happy birthday Astin! His mama did up a nice party for him with ballons and cake and lots of presents! Astin's other grandparents from Wisconsin were on hand to celebrate and we all had a very good time. The little fellow had so many presents that not all of them even got unwrapped, not that he cared too much. He seemed to really like all the toys and each one that came out of the wrapping required his full attention. Until we got to the cake of course!

Here's another picture.

What fun!

Friday, December 16, 2005

It works! Blogging from my shop is real!

So, I'm back from the airport and the boy has run off to do his thing for a bit. I needed my Beretta Neos out of the locker because I want to take it in to find a rear sight screw today. Since this was the first time I've been out to the shop since the laptop followed me home, I decided to give the wireless connection a try.

And it works!

The network is still not secured and I have to figure that out over the coming days but I can do everything I want fron out here in my shop. WHich means I can smoke a cigar and blog, something I've never before been able to do.

Ain't technology a great thing?

And now the boy is back so we can go shopping.

I'm Free! Class is out!

I'm through with classes until the 9th of January! I am mighty tickled about that. This past term has ben a realy tough one, so I'm ready to relax and let my brain rest a bit.

It appears that I've maintained my GPA with A grades again, though the results aren't official or posted yet. I did get a 92 on last night's final in Logistics System Engineering and it was a tough test. So I'm mighty relieved about having that test behind me. I don't know why I trouble myself so hard to get A grades but I do and so far, I've still only had one B in two years time. It shouldn't matter but it does matter to me.

But, now I've got some time off. Skiing and some movies, Christmas shopping and a book or two to read just for fun are on my agenda. I'm also shuttling the BSU to the airport today and going to a baby's first birthday party tomorrow.

Last night's company holiday party was a very fun time and it was especially nice to have the BSU attending with me. She's usually pretty adverse to going to parties where she doesn't know anyone and most years I make an appearance by myself. But this year she came along too and it made the party a much better time. My company really goes all out to make the parties fun and there is good food, some goofy awards, a white elephant gift swap and last night, a hilarious skit to roast two of the business office folks.

I guess I should do a little work this morning...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

How to prevent the flu

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water. In the water floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

"Miss Beatrice", he said. "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl.

"Oh, yes" she replied, "isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months! ago and I found this little package on the ground.

The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter?"

Its Thursday Three Time Again!

So, as usual, since it is Thursday, its time to paly the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three.These questions come from Terry this week and they are nearly as unrelated to one another as the last bunch of questions. So-
1) Have you ever camped out overnight to be able to purchase something? If so, what was it?
Get real! Not a chance of that. Never even considered staying up all night to be first to buy anything. I once upon a time called to purchase John Denver concert tickets within the first hour the tickets were on sale. The best tickets I could buy were 7 rows from the top of the coliseum and were a major disappointment. SO I don't rush to get something that will be freely available (and discounted) 6 weeks down the road.
2) If your service in a restaurant has been abysmally slow because of the waiter, do you withhold a tip from the waiter, leave a penny or two for spite, leave something a bit smaller than a 15% tip, or go ahead and tip 15% or more just so if you come in again in the future, the waiter won’t spit in your food if he remembers you?
Under regular circumstances, I'm a better than average tipper. For lousy service that's a result of overtasking, I can be pretty understanding. For laziness or apathetic service, I'll leave a very minimal tip, a couple bucks. And let the manager know about my disatisfaction on the way out.
3) Do you ever listen to “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” on NPR?
Yes, actually, I listen to it pretty often. It follows Car Talk on Saturdays and I'm a big fan of the Tappet Brothers. I'm actually a NPR fan and supporter though the button goes into the "OFF" position for Diane Rehm's program everytime. I cannot stand that woman's undisguised lefty slant. But the rest of NPR's programs? I'm usually listening.

Last day of class is tonight, 3 weeks off after that!

I am so ready to be done with school this term! Tonight is my final exam in Logistics Systems and immediately after that is my company Christmas party. I am tired after this 8 week term, moreso than most previous terms. I think it had to do with the instructors and their teaching methods more than the subject matter or the requirements.

Whatever the reason, I've made it through this term and I'm ready for a break. I managed an A in Purchasing Law and if tonight's final goes well, I'll manage the same grade in that class. Which means I'll be studying this afternoon.

My friend Karen has earned her Associates Degree as of last night's final exam! I happened to see her in the parking lot afterwards and got to hear the good news first hand. I'm really pleased for her. Congratulations again Karen!

I've still got a class or two that are required for my Associates and neither are on next term's schedule. I think I am down to 9 classes total for both my Bachelors and Associates degrees.

Anyway, there's a test tonight and then a party! Tomorrow I take the BSU to the airport for her trip to Oregon. Then Saturday it will be shopping and a birthday party for grandbaby Astin and perhaps a movie or two with son Noah. His actual last day of Job Corp is today, so he's been rather stressed this week. I think we will focus on the Christmas shopping this weekend and maybe sneak in some skiing if all the other tasks get done.

Then I'm resting. And practising on my dulcimer!

No new carpet for Christmas!

You couldn't see this coming, could you? The scheduler for the carpet installation finally called yesterday, 2 days late. The earliest the carpet can be installed is 29 December. And for some reason, the installers aren't going to arrive until 2 PM! That tells me that they are intending to arrive in the afternoon, disable our family room and tear everything out, just to leave it overnight and return the next day to do the actual installation.

I guess the Christmas tree will be coming down early this year!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Brainstorming might just have solved a problem!

I've been chitchatting with an engineer, Loc this afternoon. Loc's right in the middle of a major bathroom overhaul and we've been talking about where pipes run and how to install flooring and a whole bunch of related stuff.

During our sticky note scribbling and remodeling discussion, I mentioned that I would really like to separate the two lights in my family room onto their own switches. Right now they are wired together and I have no flexibility as to the amount of light in the room and sometimes, one light would be plenty. But I've been stymied by trying to figure out how to add a new wire run without tearing up my ceiling and walls.

Loc & I figured it out! Instead of trying to run 1 new wire through the same path as the existing wire, I need to use that existing wire to pull 2 new wires through the existing path! I'll have to remove a light and a box above it to be certain, but I think that is the solution. Then I just have to replace a single box on the wall with a double, install the 2nd switch and make my connections.

The BSU is leaving Friday for a weekend in Oregon. I might just check this out and try to get 'er done while she is a way.

That Loc's pretty smart for an engineer!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My Mail-In Rebate Forms Are Ready To Mail-

It only took seven envelopes and stamps, much scanning of multiple receipts and package labels and lots of filling in the little tiny blanks with contact information. Double checking the requirements of original UPCs vs. copies on each form.

All done, ready for the mail box. $240 worth of rebates that will come trickling in over the next couple months. I just have to be watching for them because sometimes they arrive looking like junk mail postcards.

Ya gotta love getting money in the mail!

For your holiday enjoyment

A website dedicated to ugly Christmas lights! Check it out, make sure your house isn't on the list!

Monday, December 12, 2005

I promised some pictures a while back.

So, tonight, I've got time to upload a couple recent pictures. This first one is from Noah's graduation from Job Corp last week.

Next, a grandbaby picture of Astin from Thanksgiving,

and finally, a picture of life in our family room. This is my BSU and our cat Uintah, sharing a bite of pepperoni.

How's that for a bit of insight into my simple life? Its not fancy, but its who we are, here at Wasted Electrons HQ.

The Name Game

is up over at Mostly Cajun's place again this week. He has some pointed words about the circumstances leading up to these baby's names so read the whole thing.
Leading off, Miss Sarita M—- has a new son, little Da’Marion. Note that she heeded the “capitalize the first letter after the extraneous apostrophe” rule. Note that she missed the rule that a baby should actually have a daddy instead of a sperm donor.

There's a picture of my Dad over at his blog-

You can see it in his latest post. The pretty one in the picture is his lovely wife, Carol. The one that looks too much like me would be Dad.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Toronto, Texas, Baltimore, Michigan, Oregon and Scotland

That's where some of the folks live that I met today while ticketchecking at Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Today was the first day of our return to the job that Noah & I really enjoy. You might remember that last year we didn't get to ticket check, management made a decision not to use us and the others like us.

But this year, we're back! Our old boss Chuck made a point to say how glad he was to see us back on the job and our new manager Lee comped us with two day tickets each, unlike all the others that only get one ticket for their efforts. Those two votes of confidence were really nice and very appreciated.

And we had a great day at the resort. As I already mentioned, we got to visit with folks from around the world, made friends by handing out Hershey's candy and soaked up lots of wonderful sunshine. I tried out a pair of skis from the shop but didn't buy them. I did buy a new coffee mug...

Great fun today.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

How I got my new Compaq laptop and saved a bundle

So here's the story. I had almost talked myself out of buying the laptop of choice because of the cost and the timing, being that its just before Christmas and all. I had decided that I would not buy it and would not mention it again unless the BSU gave me a specific go-ahead signal. Upon arriving home after school last night and sitting down to a steaming bowl of homemade lentil soup and cornbread, the first thing the BSU asked was if we were going out afterwards to buy my computer.

So, I considered that my go-ahead signal... We did go to CompUSA, down in Salt Lake and I only got lost twice getting around the intersection at 2100 South. I found the laptop section and the model I wanted, the Compaq V2404US was not on display. Hmm. I used one of the laptops on display to double-check the model number I wanted while waiting for a helpful store clerk to assist me. When one of the mostly hidden clerks did appear and I explained what I wanted, he assured me that they did have the machine and that the price was marked down as displayed on this page. Note that the price of $724.99 is after the "instant savings" and the mail-in rebate.

So I bought the laptop and the 2 year maintenance agreement and the wireless router. And the clerk insisted that the cashier manually discount the scanned price of $904.99 down to the $724.99 price...

I still have a mail-in rebate for $180!

And another mail-in rebate for $30 for the router. The helpful clerk even "comped" me a stack of 100 CD-Rs for agreeing to buy the maintenance agreement.

I think I got a good deal!

Its late. Story about the purchase tomorrow.

There's software to load and security issues to figure out and internet favorites to transfer. But its late. G'night!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I got it! My laptop works! Wirelessly!

Unbelievable, really. I haven't been home 35 minutes and the laptop is running and so is the wireless network. And I'm blogging with no wires!

This technology is so cool.

There's a story about the purchase too. More after I get all the security set up.

Animal Rescues Part of Game Wardens' Day

Check out this story of wild animal rescue from KSL last night. It sure seems like these wardens had a full day. And I don't understand why tranquilizer meds aren't part of their normal toolkit.
As if Matt Briggs and Brad Bradley hadn't already put in a day's work, the phone rang again for a cougar with his paw caught in a bobcat trap. Again with no tranquilizer available, it's time to improvise, with a couple of catch poles and a big stick.
Better them than me!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I got an email from Santa today!

Who knew that Santa sent emails written in Cyrillic?
From: "Santa Claus"
To: "Nrmccord"
Subject: ß - Äåä Ìîðîç. Êóïè ó ìåíÿ ËÞÁÈÌÛÉ ñåðèàë ê Íîâîìó Ãîäó äëÿ ñâîèõ ðîäíûõ è áëèçêèõ
Date: Monday, December 05, 2005 4:16 PM

Âû íàïðÿæåííî ñëåäèëè çà ñþæåòîì "Star Trek"? Âìåñòå ñ Ìàëäåðîì è Ñêàëëè ðåøàëè ãîëîâîëîìêè, îáàãðåííûå êðîâüþ?

Ñìåÿëèñü íàä âå÷íûìè çëîêëþ÷åíèÿìè Áåðòè Âóñòåðà, ñïàñàåìîãî âåðíûì Äæèâñîì?

Òåïåðü âû ñàìè âîëüíû ðåøàòü, êîãäà ñìîòðåòü ëþáèìûé ñåðèàë.

Êóïèòå ñåðèàë ñåáå è ñâîèì áëèçêèì! Âåäü ýòî áóäåò äëÿ íèõ î÷åíü ïðèÿòíûì ïîäàðêîì, à óæ òåì áîëåå ê íîâîìó ãîäó.
Òîëüêî ó íàñ ñàìûé áîãàòûé âûáîð ñåðèàëîâ.
Near as I can tell; I'm getting a Star Trek action figure in my Christmas stocking this year!

John F Kerry calls American Troops "Terrorists"

I don't listen to Rush and I can't back up to where I found this link, but apparently, John F'n Kerry called US Troops terrorists on Face The Nation. You can read Rush's transcript here and get a reminder of what J F'n Kerry told the Congress about atrocities he saw in Viet Nam. Remember, all those things he testified to turned out to be lies...

And somebody thought that jackass should be president? Give me a break!

My Tech Sight TS200 arrived yesterday!

What's a Tech-Sight TS200 you ask? Its a dandy aperture sight for my SKS. It won't get installed for a few days but I can say after looking at the item and the instructions that it is first rate. The illustrated instructions are terrific. The sight seems really well designed and built.

I can't wait to install it and try it!

Does anybody speak Russian?

Because I would really like to know the details to the story. Somebody explain this Russian car impaled by a light pole, without apparently making the driver bleed.

There are a couple scooters in the picture's backgrounds!

And some adverts with pictures of naked women on the sides of the page, if'n you're offended by that kind of stuff. Presumbably, they are American women anxious to meet Russian men, since it seems to be a Russian webpage...

Hat tip to Jalopnik.

I cannot tell a lie-

I've been spending too many hours playing with Google Earth. I installed it on my work and my home computers and now I'm looking at every interesting place I can think to visit. I've even located Kenny's super-secret shooting place! To save the sanctity of his hideout, I am not posting a picture.

But if you haven't tried this global, aerial location software from Google yet, I really recommend it. As long as you have some time to kill...

Monday, December 05, 2005

I've been laptop computer comparison shopping

UPDATE: As I have been looking around and thinking about my requirements, it occurs to me that I've never found a reason to burn my own DVD. So I could get by without that feature in my laptop. And lookie at what I found, the same Compaq Presario that I linked to below but without the DVD burner! Its a significant amount of dollars less expensive too! There are two other minor changes, XP Home instead of XP Pro and a 20 gig smaller hardrive. I can live with those changes.

Thanks to the advice I've received from everyone. I'm about ready to rub the numbers off my credit card on this laptop.

And this report about Circuit City arrives at a particularly bad time. Because, you see, I've rather decided that Circuit City seems to have the best selection of machines in town. They have machines priced from $599 to upwards of $2200 and several price ranges in between. I also bought our PC from Circuit City last spring and except for their dammable mail-in rebate proclivity, I had a very good buying experience.

I think this Compaq Presario is my first choice, if I can swing the funds. The BSU kind of indicated that I should get what I want and not scrimp so if the funds allow, that might be my choice. Failing that I might just have to "settle" for a bigger, heavier Acer machine. That Acer is certainly attractive from the price standpoint and the fact that no mail-in rebate is required. I do want my laptop to be as portable as possible so the Sony really would be my first choice.

But, I am always open to suggestions, words of advice and pitfalls to avoid in the laptop computer buying world. So if you can advise, please do in the comments. This will be a major purchase and I hope to only do it once for the foreseabble future, so I'd like to get it right.

I'm also open to the possibility of donations towards my new computer if you're feeling friendly...

Road Trip

A joke from my friend Sandy this morning- 

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant and resumed their trip. When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table and, she didn't miss them until after they had been driving about twenty minutes. By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.


All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man. He fussed and complained and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up one minute. To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. And, as the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her........ 

 "While you're in there, you might as well get my hat, and the credit card."

This internet thing- how did we live before there was one?

Steve from The Scooter Scoop left me voice mail the other day, because I mentioned in a comment that I have family that ride Rokon motorcycles. Now said family member lives near Seattle, is an engineer for a large computer oriented company there and I didn't know his phone number. Or any other method of contacting him without going through a third, and possibly a fourth person to find a way to reach him.

Until I tried that internet thing... And not just the internet but Google in particular. I put said family member's name in the search line and in the very first returned link, I not only found his name but his email address at the big computer company!

So I sent him an email. It will be interesting to see how this Rokon interview/story plays out between my family member and The Scooter Scoop.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The assimilation continues...

That's right, first it was my sister Mel that took up the blogging habit, now another family member has taken the bait; my Dad! that's right, my Dad has become a blogger!

It was just a matter of time... Go say hi and wish him well.

I did advise him to see if he can add Haloscan comments. I don't know if AOL and their methods will allow it but it will be worth a try.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Checklist? We don't need no stinkin checklist!

Or, "I didn't take it out of Park, I thought you took it out of park!"

Check out this story and picture.

Saturday Update-

Its been snowing. Ski season must be starting any day now.

The carpet is paid for and on order. Earliest delivery date is 12 December and we can't get on the install schedule until it has been delivered. Still 50-50 on wheter its installed before Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas- we did go to the Festival of Trees last night. Ah, it was not a huge hit with either of us. The BSU was expecting big, professionally (and tastefully) decorated real trees on graceful display. In reality, its a largely mormon, family memorial, show-off opportunity in the name of charity. There were NO live trees! And the plastic trees were draped and stuffed with every kind of stuffed bear, stuffed moose, Barbie doll and plastic, toy tool you can imagine. Almost every tree was a memorial to one or more lost loved one by the family that created it. That circumstance caused me to wonder if these families built and displayed a memorial tree every year.

Anyway, it was held in the South Towne Expo Center and it was packed out with trees. My favorite part of the show was actually the table of gingerbread houses. These showed lots of creativity and some of them were just exquisite in their execution. There were Santas and sleighs and reindeer on top of barn roofs, reproductions of the homes of early mormon leaders and beautiful cottages, all produced with edibles of many types. Remarkably, none of the models of little chapels in the woods had crosses on the steeples...

There were tables of Christmas colored table decorations, also principally created by mormon adult sunday school classes in the spirit of one-upmanship. We skipped the fudge counter where it appeared folks were just about arm-wrestling to get to the line front and we found nothing to buy in the gift shop. We did find my friend Kenny and his wife Susie and their neighbors Mike & Sandy, also perusing the show. I asked Kenny if they usually attended this show, he said they hadn't been to see it in years, and he now remembered why!

So today, its schoolwork then more yard decorating and the BSU says we need to do some shopping.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Employee Benefits- if You Can Find Them

Just one of the super-special benefits of being a Northrup-Grumman employee is the website that links you to company owned computers that have been taken out of service and are now available for sale to the humble employees. Like me.

Except that the damm website has been discontinued or moved to an undisclosed location for safekeeping and I can't get in to see what might be available!

The link for the discounted cell phones and service is equally busted...

Friday Update

The boy graduated. Very nice ceremony. Pictures and details to follow.

Carpet is still not on order. Measured on Monday, promised a price on Tuesday. As of yesterday, Home Depot can't find the measurements and estimate. Installation before Christmas is becoming precarious.

School work to do today. A group paper is being assembled via email, I'm doing the PowerPoint work. And some questions to submit for consideration of inclusion in the final exam.

I think we are going to the Festival of Trees tonight.

I've lost 3 pounds since before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Scott Adams knows about My Friend Renee!

Today's Dilbert cartoon strip sounds too much like the story I passed along in the post below this one about My Friend Renee.

Its sad, really.

Busy Day Today!

First of all, Son Noah graduates from the Clearfield Job Corp today! He has been a student there for 21 months and he has really learned a great deal in both technical and life skills. He's reluctant to participate in anything so formal as a graduation ceremony but he knows there's no getting around making his mom happy by being there. I'll be there too, of course. As for his employment after JC, he's been dragging his boots and reluctant to move on to that next step in life. We have been talking about it… He did send his resume, just yesterday, to apply for a couple entry level mechanic jobs with the BMW Williams Formula 1 racing team, headquartered in England...

I had a very nice chat with my friend and fellow blogger Karen, yesterday before classes. She is looking wonderful after several weeks of recuperation from surgery. I think sharing a few minutes of late afternoon sunshine and some conversation with her was the high point of my day, yesterday.

Yesterday was also MFR's birthday and so, I decided to break the radio silence by sending her a very simple email, wishing her a happy birthday. I ended it by writing:
We now return you to our regularly scheduled silence…

That is all.
I really hoped that my email might at least get a reply or even an automated reply that it had been received or read. Nothing so far. Dang!

I'm pretty certain I'll be paying for the carpet sometime today. I sure hope it can be installed before Christmas.

Time to do the paying thing for a few hours. Thursday Three response will have to wait!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I Must Have a Haircut!

Today! Right now, as a matter of fact! I am way overdue for professional attention to my hairs. So don't tell but I'm sneaking over to the haircutting place a little early today...

Let's Play "Meet the Visitor" Again

I had lousy luck trying to get my semi-regular visitor from Knob Noster to come out in the open last week, in fact, it seems I scared that person away. So, being the slow-learning type person that I am, I thought it might be worth trying again with this visitor from Woodbridge, VA.

So how about Mr or Ms Woodbridge? What brings you around to Wasted Electrons? What keeps you coming back? What would you like more of from my humble blog? Are you a blogger too?

Don't be shy- share a little.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Carpet Estimate Will Be Ready Tonight-

Expect to hear a loud howling sound coming from my wallet. As I mentioned before, we picked out a carpet style from Home Depot. Yesterday the measuring guy came to the house and did his part. The estimator person, who receives the measurements by fax from the measuring guy is supposed to call with the cost this afternoon. To be eligible for the 10% discount, I've got to order the carpet by Thursday.

I'm trying to get this carpet installed without increasing my debt load, which means I'll be writing a check for the entire job and paying for it with my VA payment that is supposed to be paying for next term's tuition. Which is all good and I'll be happy to have the work done and no new debt involved.

As for wallets, the BSU's is missing and she is getting frantic about it. She doesn't use it everyday so sometimes it sits for days at a time. But now she wants it and can't find it. She's looked in all the usual suspect places, I've searched the truck, to no avail. Last night, just about bed time, son Noah reminded us of Dog Sandy's predilection for stealing almost anything and hauling it through the doggie door and into the back yard... Hmm. That dog is a thieving little crook.

I did go out in the dark and had a look around but the effort was pretty futile. Now its up to the BSU to go out there in today's (barely) light and look on her own. Since there's a couple inches of snow on the ground, I suggested that she will need to drag a leaf rake around to see if she can unearth her wallet.

Busy today, so this may be all my posting. We'll see.

Monday, November 28, 2005


The men in the building where I work are trainable! I've generally avoided blogging about the bathroom habits of the men in this building because they are just too tacky.

But today, I claim success! Here's the deal. There are 3 stalls in our men's room and one of them is oversized for handicap access. It seems to be the favorite of the newspaper readers. And generally, once each of the newspaper readers is done with their paper, they leave it on the floor of the stall. Pretty soon it looks like we are house-training a litter of puppies in our bathroom. Last week, I got the idea, and then located an excess trashcan and I put it in the stall. I seeded the new can with last week's papers and left it.

Today, the can is full of newspapers and there are no papers on the floor! Woo Hoo! Simply amazing. It will be interesting to see how long the trash can lasts before being relocated and the puppy training look returns to our stalls.

From My Referral Logs, An Intriguing Visitor

Some of you know that My Friend Renee and I are estranged and have been for quite some time. That still hurts me quite a bit but there doesn't seem to be any resolving of the circumstances. That's why I was a little interested in this visitor to WE a couple days ago.

I know Shreveport's a big town and I know that RoadRunner has more than one internet customer- but I guess I'm hoping that this visit was from MFR, even though it was a visit to an old, archived page, and that maybe, if it was MFR, she'll come back for another visit soon.

New Rules to Live by-

From Mostly Cajun, some rules to take to heart. For my brother Tim, here's my favorite:
New Rule: There’s no such thing as flavored water. There’s a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That’s your flavored water.
There's more and they are all good, so check them out.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'd Like to meet the guy-

that can decorate his house with Christmas lights like this! Make sure you have your sound turned up.


As for my house, everything is up except the nativity scene. that will be next weekend.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving and Pie

And shooting.

It has been a wonderful holiday so far. Turkey Day was a glorious winter day, dry and cold and bright. I cleaned house and dishes while the beautiful BSU made a terrific, traditional Thanksgiving Feast. There was all the usual fixings, a huge turkey, (I'll be eating leftovers for a few days!) potatoes and stuffing and gravy and green bean casserole. Deviled eggs in abundance and fruit salad and breadrolls, everything one can imagine, with the exception of Mel's cinammon jello. I have to find a cinammon red hot candy source!

Anyway, there was pie! Pecan pie and pumpkin pie, fresh from the oven and filling the house with wonderful smells. And filling my tummy every time I get a chance!

Astin brought his parents for a visit and we had a wonderful time, though he had an upset tummy and upchucked on to his new high chair that I bought just for the occasion. Boy and chair are fine and so are mom & dad. She's in training at her job for a new department that sounded like a promotion, though she didn't say so and he's found a call center job for a cable company, helping folks get their cable internet connections working. Now I just need to do some picture posting!

Friday, since the weather guessers were calling for it to be dry, son Noah, his friend Donovan and I headed out to the desert for some shooting. We started out by 4-wheeling in the truck for an hour because we didn't find the correct turnoff. we even found one steep, loose rocky trail that we could not get over and had to back down until there was room to turn around. When we finally found the place we wanted to be, we hunted jackrabbits for a bit, (they all survived!) and then just did some casual plinking until it was time to head home.

And today, as promised by the weather guessers, it is snowing in our yard and all the yards around us! This is the first stor of the season to bring snow to the valley, and it is overdue! maybe skiing season will get started soon.

Now, I'm getting some breakfast and then I must write a paper for school! And there's a gunshow I may sneak out to later...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Just about time to unplug the mini lava light

That's the USB powered one on top of my monitor here on the job. Meaning that it is just about time to go home for the weekend. There is still some cleaning to do before Grandbaby Astin brings his mom and dad up for a visit tomorrow and certainly a run to the grocery store for those things we didn't get last Sunday.

The carpet decision has been made and the professional measuring person should be coming to do their part early next week. The Home Depot got our business with their 10% sale and a carpet design called "Crochet." I couldn't find a picture link, so you'll just have to guess what it looks like. Due to the timeline of getting it measured and estimated, the carpet ordered, then delivered, and then getting on the installer's schedule, we will be cutting it very close if we want the new carpet on the floor before Christmas. We'll see.

This weekend promises lots of schoolwork, perhaps a trip to the gunshow and possibly a trip to the desert for some shooting. There's no skiing planned as there just isn't any snow! And no snow in the 7 day forecast either...

And I have to buy a baby high chair today for Astin's visit tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Definitely NSFW, but you gotta see this!

Follow the link from Dave Barry's blog to see a real flaming ass.

No, really. Go see it. Laugh at the poor dumb bastard!

1100cc Shifter Kart- This would be a ride!

This will be a long download if you're on dialup connections. But its worth it! It looks to me like you could smoke the tires right down to the air in just one run if you wanted to!

Click to see Video

That's Gonna Leave a Mark!

Check this drag racer's surprise!

Click to see Video

Monday, November 21, 2005

This news is going to give my Dad heartburn!

Cingular wireless service is disappearing, rolling up under the at&t banner. Which is a 180 degree reversal of what happened in 2004 and caused Dad a bundle of grief when he needed to upgrade his phone and wanted a better contract price too. The folks at the Cingular counter swore to him that his service was completely separate from AT&T, even though the monthly bill said AT&T, not Cingular. And no, he could not have the improved monthly rate that one of the two was offering, compared to what he had at the time. Now they are reversing course and merging Cingular into at&t, removing the Cingular brand from our conciousness and advertising medias.

I for one will be glad of that. I'm still using Trac-Phone prepaid wireless but every time I think about going to a contract, I can't figure out any benefit to any of the 3 big brands. So now that the playing field is being shortened by merging two players it will be easier when I finally decide to commit.

Anyway, Dad, I hope your phone keeps working!

More Referral Log Updates

I'm still waiting for another contact from "Jake the Dog" who has confessed to being my visitor from Knob Noster, Missouri. I've figured out on my own that Knob Noster is the home of Whiteman Air Force Base. Jake mentioned the initals LSET, which I'm pretty certain stands for Logistics Standardization Evaluation Team, so Jake probably has some connection with the 509 Logistics Readiness Squadron. If Jake is an LSET team member, then he's an inspector and evaluator, ensuring that the Log Readiness Squadron remains in full readiness.

But he's not left any further contact info or contacted me yet, so except for what I've surmised, he remains a mystery. So, I'll have to identify another stalker visitor to coax out into the bright lights. I'll be looking for a good candidate.

My weekend?

Well, what it was, was busy. Let me see if I can make a list…

-Went to see Walk the Line with BSU after work, as previously posted.
-Watched my new Jeremiah Johnson DVD before bedtime. It followed me home from Wal-Mart where I went searching unsuccessfully for the Madagascar DVD. JJ is one of my favorite all time movies, so finding a $10 DVD version was a celebration.
-Discovered that the battery clock assembly purchased earlier in the day had too short a shaft for my Bomb Dump, Grammar Grinch clock. (I should get a picture of this clock, I'm pretty proud of it.)

-A little schoolwork- very little.
-Took the BSU out for breakfast at Village Inn and then carpet shopping. Its gonna be 1800 bucks, minimum!
-Returned home, dropped off spouse, took boy and went to Wal-Mart. Did my part for National Ammo Day as previously posted.
-Son Noah and I installed the first 2 of the 4 blue light ropes (I know the picture on the link shows red lights, mine are blue.) I bought on Friday over the front porch and carport. Looks good.
-Tinkered with the scooter.
-Some target shooting with the air rifle from inside the shop.

-Laundry- wash, dried, folded and put mine away.
-Put up plastic storm material on downstairs bathroom window and two large picture windows upstairs. This job is done except for boy's room and he is supposed to do those by his own self.
-Washed the dishes.
-Scrubbed shower stall and washed shower curtain.
-Installed two more rope light sets on the front of roof edge, again with Noah's help. These blue ropes are going to be pretty and much easier to install. Maybe I need more strings...
-Grocery shopping at the commissary with the spouse. Turkey is 24 pounds this year, I have no idea why.
-KFC for dinner even though there is $175 worth of groceries in the back seat. Again, I have no idea why...
-Tinkered with the scooter some more. My relay wiring is working backwards, that is, not working… Hmm.
-Missed by one hour seeing the beginning of Poseidon Adventure so skipped that for whatever else was on. I also did NOT know that this was a new version until I looked it up for a link. I expected it to be the 1972 original but according to this review I didn't miss much. And it was 3 hours! I never would have sat through all that!
-Rehung shower curtain.
-Installed clock motor. Reglued plastic numbers and star to metal faceplate. Spent 15 minutes getting spray adhesive off fingers.
-Practiced with my dulcimer for an hour before bedtime. "Are You Sleeping" is recognizable. "Amazing Grace" not so much. "Silent Night" has high notes that are tricky because I loose my place on the frets but its recognizable too. I cannot figure out how to use a noter properly, whether its supposed to be lifted or slid. Trying to follow the instructions for making chords is too advanced for me yet also. Even the BSU says my efforts are beginning to sound like music! That's a mighty big compliment from her.

Still need to find a DVD of Madagascar...

Deuce 4 Celebrates

Michael Yon reports. You should read all about it and celebrate in their success and pause to consider those soldiers lost and unable to attend the ball.

Thank you, Deuce 4.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Walk the Line- A Movie Review

If you liked the movie Ray starring Jamie Fox as Ray Charles, you cannot miss Walk the Line. The BSU and I went to the early show on Friday.

This is a good movie. Its sometimes uncomfortable watching the young upcoming star Johnny Cash trying to run away from his demons in a desperate spiral of drugs and booze, but its a touching film none the less. It is a film of redemption and deep love between two people that eventually were married for 35 years after the drugs and booze were conquered. Its a story of a brash, driven Johnny Cash and an equally strong, determined June Carter who refuses to let the man destroy himself.

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon play the 2 main characters and they are fabulous! They do all their own singing and a dang fine job of it too. They are completely believable playing their parts and its easy to see the characters through their acting. They both deserve awards for their parts.

Its a excellent movie and I really recommend it!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Its National Ammo Day!

UPDATE: I did my part, 200 rounds, as planned. One box each for the Kel-Tec P-11 and the Ruger P345. I would have bought more from Wal-Mart except that I am planning on a trip to the Evil Loophole Gun Show in town next weekend. And the carpet shopping went well too, BTW. I think we have narrowed down the selection possibilities to just 3 or 4 choices.

So get out there and buy a 100 rounds for whatever you shoot. Just because you can as an American. For those of you in Washington DC and the Republic of Chicago, this does not apply. Sorry.

I've not had time to post much about today's festivities but if you go over to the Gun Guy's link you can find out all about it. There is a special, nationwide "group" buy taking place at Wal-Mart at 4:30 eastern, 2:30 mountain for me. Everyone that can is being invited to buy a box or two from W-M, just to spike their sales reports and make a statement about how many armed citizens there are in this country.

I'm buying 2 value boxes today, One in 9mm, one for the Ruger in 45ACP.

I'm also out with the BSU carpet shopping today...

Friday, November 18, 2005

No Response Yet on My Referral Log Game

My Knob Knoster visitor was back last night but I haven't received any response from them. Maybe I'll pick another visitor to prod into responding tonight.

Want to see a really cool tool?

Check out this monster lathe! Its been built using 60 year old equipment and a "Monster Garage" mentality. But it works and its pretty neat.

I found the link at Synthstuff. Dave's got a great blog and he is obviously a tool and gearhead that I wwould love to meet. I'm adding him to my list so we can all check him out regularly.

What? The Thursday Three was Yesterday?

How the heck did I miss that? I was busy, that's how it got past me! Anyway, it was an interesting bunch of questions that popped up over at Possumblog yesterday and I know I'll hear from Dad if I don't do my part. So here's the questions and my answers.
1) If you had an unlimited amount of money, what sort of house would you like to have?

If money isn't a restriction to my house choice, I'd like a sprawling, ranch style house, on a small ridge and a walk out basement on the back. The basement would open onto a large deck that overlooks my private pond. The pond needs to be 2 or 3 acres with a grass approach from the house, a wild area on the back and a fishing dock and maybe a boathouse. There must be a 4 car garage attached to the house but not visible on the front of the house. Separate from the house I must have a large, year-round workshop/garage for my projects. My workshop will also have a shooting range out the back with security and lighting for shooting after dark. It might even work well to have the actual shooting range underground to make it quiet and year round capable.
2) If you decided to chunk it and go the full Thoreau route, what sort of hovel would you like to have?

A wheeled hovel if you please and well heeled, in other words, a motorhome. If I'm to give up my space and my places to work, shoot, fish and tinker, that's punishment enough. If I'm going to live a life of few possessions, then I think I'd at least like to be portable.
3) What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the house or apartment you live in right now?

Our house now is small and that's what we wanted when we bought it 6 years ago. I do sometimes wish it had more storage space. But there are a couple things I would like to change and the one thing I most would like to change would be to add a detached garage. I have room for a three car garage, with two cars side by side and one space in front of the other two. It would use up the area that formerly was a veggie garden but I gladly would make the swap. I would also like to add an elevated sunroom out the back side of our house connecting the two rooms on the south side and making a screened patio and hot tub room beneath it where our patio is currently exposed.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Referrer Log Fun

I wonder if my regular visitor from Bossier City, LA, who comes to see me via Possumblog, knows that I was a Bossier City resident for nearly 7 years.

Its true. From 1989 until 1996 when I left for Korea, Bossier was home. I miss Griff's Hamburgers and drive-up frozen margarita shacks and the Mud Bug Madness Festival. I miss bass fishing and I miss my friend Renee, who still is not talking to me.

Anyway, my Bossier City visitor, how about saying hey and leaving me a note in the comments!

How Terry Gets to Work on Time-

Our good buddy Terry over at Possumblog often mentions just how much it grieves him to be late. And with a multitude of offspring and a spouse that all need corraled and shuttled from time to time, being at a location at the specified time becomes a major challenge for our prehensile-tailed dad.

Apparently to make up for familial delays, he speeds... Check out the video link that was posted over at Jalopnik today.

Nice form Terry!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Which Peanuts character am I?

You are Rerun!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Fun With Referral Logs- or, Let's Out the Skulkers!

Ok, I said I had a plan earlier today, and here it is- I want to know who is frequenting Wasted Electrons, and why. Starting with this person from Knob Noster, Missouri! I know that this person visits me regularly because I see the same info each night when I bother to look at the locations tab of SiteMeter.

So, my Knob Noster visitor, who are you? what do you find of interest at my humble blog? What would you like to see more often? What other blogs do read? Do you have your own blog? Would you care to unskulk and say hello?

I would really like to hear from you, either in the comments or by email and there you can say what you would like or how much or how little you would like to share with the group. I'm curious, really and would like to hear your thoughts about WE, so say hi, won't you?

I hope I will get some feedback from this person in the next day or so and if I do, with permission, I'll share what I find out. If you are a regular visitor to WE but not from Nob Noster, don't feel left out. Just uncloak the spacecraft and say hi in the comments and tell me what's on your mind that you are trying to erase by hiding out in my little corner of the blogosphere.

I Have a New Idea for Referral Log Fun!

I came up with an idea today that as far as I know is unique in the blogging world. It has to do with the referral logs that are part of every blogger's reason to blog- the site meter. I'm not going to uncover my idea right now because I can't find exactly what I'm looking for in my referrals. Perhaps tonight the item I am looking for will be available, so its a secret until I find it.

I think its going to be fun.

In the mean time, routing around in my referrer logs today, I discovered that I had a visitor from Novgorod, Russia and this person took the time to find a picture of a Halloween snowstorm from two years ago.

Visitors from Russia to my litle part of the blogosphere; how cool is that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fun with children-

As most of you already know, son Noah is about to graduate on December 1 from the Clearfield Job Corp after training for 20 months as an automotive technician. The Job Corp has an active and apparently capable job locater program for its graduates and so the boy has been out for a couple job applications already and is expecting more in the next few weeks from in and around the Ogden and Salt Lake City area. Except that now he thinks that maybe working every day changing ball joints and brake pads and timing belts might just not be that much fun...

Last night at dinner he announced that he would like to go to Fiji and find work! How he decided on Fiji, I have no idea. I don't think even he knows. But he thinks it might be an adventure and that surely there must be some place for him to find mechanical work and that he would be willing to trade snowboarding in Utah for surfing in Fiji.

So, we talked about it. We looked at the link from the previous paragraph. We discussed what kind of work he might find. We discussed how far away it would be to come and visit our grandbabies should that circumstance occur while he's living there. We looked at the Request For a Permit to Reside in Fiji.

Since it appears that he needs a job promised before applying to stay there more than 4 months, he thinks he might have to go visit to check out the possibilities of long term work. In spite of the oddity of his short notice intent, he could do worse than living on a tropical island and making his own way on the edge of the world. I suppose there is plenty of time to settle down to a normal, mundane life of 8:00 to 5:00 working.

His mother says if he goes, she wants to go too...

Another shakeup on my blogroll-

My buddy Kenny has pulled the plug on his blog, Coffee in the Morning. Dang! He said he just got bored of it. I tried to get him to just put it on hiatus for a bit until his muse returned but this morning I found a dead link. Blog not found.

So, tomorrow I'll pull down his link from my blogroll. I've been working on a new list of dulcimer links but haven't taken the time to get them added. There's no rush but I'll probably get that managed this week.

In the mean time, I'll be looking at other bloggers that I like to add to my list.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sensitivity Training for Our Troops-

To: All Commands

Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts

Ref: ComMidEastFor Inst 16134//24 K

1. All commanders promulgate upon receipt.

2. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by any military or civilian personnel serving in the Middle East:

"Eat Pork Or Die" [both English and Arabic versions]

"Shrine Busters" [Various. Show burning minarets or bomb/artillery shells impacting Islamic shrines. Some with unit logos.]

"Napalm, Sticks Like Crazy" [Both English and Arabic versions]

"Goat - it isn't just for breakfast any more." [Both English and Arabic versions]

"The road to Paradise begins with me." [Mostly Arabic versions but some in English. Some show sniper scope cross-hairs]

"Guns don't kill people. I kill people." [Both Arabic and English versions]

"Pork. The other white meat.' [Arabic version]

"Infidel" [English, Arabic and other coalition force languages.]

3. The above T-shirts are to be removed from Post Exchanges upon receipt of this directive.

4. The following signs are to be removed upon receipt of this message:

"Islamic Religious Services Will Be Held at the Firing Range At 0800 Daily."

"Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?"

5. All commands are instructed to implement sensitivity training upon receipt.

Some folks can spoil everybody's fun...

I'm a Little Afraid to Gloat, but-

Last night, after the Boy and I huffed and chuffed furniture around in the family room, switching the tv and table from one side of the room to the other and moving the couch so that it too was on the opposite wall from where it began, reconnecting the television, DVD and VCR cables and running an extension cord so that the lamp could be plugged in, the BSU admitted that the other way was better than her way.

She admitted I was right!

Every married man knows what I'm talking about. It doesn't happen often that we are not only right but told we are right by someone we love. More often, we do whatever the way somebody else wants whatever done and even if the results aren't perfect, everybody lives with that decision. Its just the way it is. We know that.

Of course, the solution to the furniture arrangement, and thr restoration of the Feng Shui sweetness in our family room requires further heavy lifting and huffing and chuffing on mine and the boy's part. Which might have to wait until the new carpet is ordered and installation arranged. Or it could be tonight, depending on the BSU's mood after being in the room a bit longer.

But at least once this weekend- I was right!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This Weekend?

Lets see- after Friday morning's trip to the gun store and shooting range was a trip to SLC with the BSU for a Dr.s appointment and my first trip to a music store. I took in my dulcimer and the kind gent there hooked me up with a case and an electronic tuner and some picks. And he played music on my dulcimer! Just like that he set it on the counter and began playing music! It really works! I was really tickled and the clerk showed me several of the ways to use either a noter or your fingers to make notes and how chords can be played on the melody and drone strings.

And this weekend, I've learned to hack out a almost recognizable version of "Are you sleeping, Brother John." Its not pretty but its a start!

Saturday was a trip to The Home Depot for two new overhead lights for the almost finished family room and later a trip to the BSU's favorite place for dinner, Outback Steakhouse. The lights are low profile white circular flourescent units, 19" in diameter. There's two circular lamps in each so there is plenty of light in the room now. That ugly dangly light that I've hated for 6 years is finally gone and resting forelornly in the trash can! I also did some touchup work in the bathroom in the morning and we watched rented movies instead of going out for a movie.

Today the Boy's Tracker starter finally died after making horrible noises for 5 years and so he changed it while I supervised- and paid for the new starter, $140! I also got some practice with the dulcimer, installed the second light, cleared away most of the tools from the painting job and cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast.

And now its time to move some furniture around before finally getting to sit it it until bedtime!

Another blog moves off the list

I usually don't mention it when I remove a liink from my blog roll. Its not that big a deal and since the list is over there for my benefit, really, I never suppose that anyone else notices if a blog goes missing.

But Snooze Button Dreams has been changed from Jim's blog of silly ideas into a forum called the Skeptics Society. And I just don't have time for another forum. I spend too much time on scooter forums and gun forums and off-roading forums so I just can't stand another. So, if you're interested in the Skeptics Society, you better bookmark it now because the link on the right is being removed.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I bought another gun- Updated

Ever since I decided I just would not be happy without a 45 caliber gun in my locker, I've been fussing about which gun to buy. I strongly considered gun dealer Bob's Llama in a commander size, but then I had a look at a Ruger P345 and it became my 45 caliber gun of choice. I did choose the all blue-steel version instead of the stainless model shown. I decided I preferred the understated one color look instead of the "tactical" look of the stainless slide.

I bought it yesterday at Impact Guns and immediately put 60 rounds through it. Its perfect! I was shooting the centers out of targets from 25 feet and loving every minute of it. I really wish I would have kept the target until I had a photo but there's always next time.

This is a dandy service pistol and I intend to put lots of ammunition through it in the coming years. Right now I'm heading out to the shop to give it its first cleaning. FWIW, I did not pay anything close to the suggested retail in that Ruger link!

UPDATE: I really didn't say enough about this Ruger so I did a little searching and came up with a dandy review at There's some very good photos of the gun's features there.

Friday, November 11, 2005

It is Veterans Day

It is hard for me to feel entitled to that term of honor. While I honorably served my country for 21 years in uniform, I still look up to those others that served in far worse conditions, in uncertain and dangerous duty and with no idea when they might get back home to their loved ones. I have tremendous respect for those that still serve and fight and defend, wherever our leadership sends them.

I am in awe that through doing my duty I can count myself as one of the band of brothers known as an American Veteran.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Musical Update-

My book of lessons and the accompanying CD and DVD arrived yesterday! Now I need a pick and an electronic tuner. Lucky for me, on Friday we have a trip planned to SLC and I know where there is an accoustic music store.

My dulcimer is a teardrop, backpacker style, similar to the one pictured. I might have to get a padded carrying case like the one shown so my dulcimer can be travel safe.

There is a grundle of information about dulcimers and all kinds of instruments at Folk of the Wood so I'll be studying up at their pages for the next few weeks.

I've ordered two more sheet music books for me to learn from today! The first is Hits of the Beatles and the second one is The Dulcimer Hymm Book. Interestingly, the text says this hymm book is for hammered dulcimer but it shows a mountain dulcimer on the book cover. So I took a chance and I bought it. Its the old-time hymms that I grew up with that I'm really interested in learning to play, so I'm pretty excited about this book. The Beatles songbook seems like it might be pretty entertaining and of greater interest to other folks if I get competant enough to play outside of my closet.

School? Studying? Writing papers? Who me? I just want to learn to play!

And go to the gun range, of course!

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Furnace is Working Again.

Its 9:45 and the repair guy just left. He didn't get here until about 8:15. He had been calling since 2 to say that he would be here within the hour...

The flame sensor probe needed cleaning and he found a broken spring for an air door that he was unable to twist into a working condition. So he's rigged for the furnace to work and will order the new spring and return when it arrives.

But we are warm again!

No Dulcimer Training This Weekend

But that doesn't mean I had nothing to do! My dad has already taken me to task this morning for not posting anything for a couple days. He thought maybe I was busy with my new dulcimer and my self-taught lessons. Sadly, the training materials have not yet arrived, so the dulcimer did not get played with. That's not to say that my weekend wasn't fun-filled, because it was. And it kept me dang close to busy.

First, Friday after work was an expensive trip to the commissary for a couple week's worth of groceries, then while the frozen foods warmed in the back seat, the BSU and I joined son Noah and his buddy Donovan for dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ. We had our usual feast for 4 that's served up on a galvanized trash can lid along with a margarita or two. Then it was home for a combined effort to put away the groceries and the paper bags folded up and stashed away before collapsing for a little TV before bedtime.

Saturday morning I went with friend Kenny and his neighbor Mike to the ELGS (Evil Loophole Gun Show, if you don't know) in south Salt Lake. We only spent a couple hours there and nobody went home with any new firearms. I think Mike escaped with his wallet unharmed but Kenny and I did find some essentials that we couldn't live without. What did I get bring home? Ah, 500 rounds of ammo for the SKS, 200 for the P11, another 100 rounds of 38 Special and some accessories for both of those guns. The SKS needed a soft case to keep it safe during transport and the P11 needed a holster and a spare magazine. Of particular interest, with the new magazine, the P11 becomes a P13. The new magazine holds 12 rounds, not 10, apparently as a result of the expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban. To make the day even more special as a guys day out, we had lunch at Hooters and sang along to Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell on the way home.

In the afternoon, the same 4 of us that went to dinner Friday night went out to see the new film Jarhead. A word of warning is required here- do not go see this movie if the 4 letter word that starts with f and ends with k offends you. Because it is used often and with fervor throughout the movie. In spite of that and some other frank discussion of what Marines do and talk about doing to combat their boredom, the movie was an interesting depiction of one Marine's view of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. There's a tremendous amount of boredom, longing for home, frustration, mental health gone astray and training for a war that was not to be well suited for the scout-snipers protagonists of this movie. Its not a feel good movie and it isn't an anti-war movie. Its just the retelling of one Marine's tale. Its one of those movies that leaves you thinking about it days afterwards but its hard to discuss over coffee after coming out of the theater.

Sunday turned into another day of shopping but this time the BSU & I headed for Target and the toy department. Astin is going to be pretty well hooked up for Christmas this year! I have to say that its been a bunch of years since we frequented the Fisher-Price and Playschool sections of the toy aisles and what fun it is. Did you know they still make Weebles? And that Weebles are apparently having a new surge in popularity? I didn't either but I do now and a large farm of Weebles fun came home with us for Astin's toy box. And the spouse insisted we visit the brand new JoAnn's Fabric Superstore that was just across the street from Target. This new store is a huge improvement from the old, rundown, torn carpet, dingy joint that the BSU had stopped frequenting due to its condition. This new place is pretty wonderful if you like that kind of store filled with fabric and picture frames and sewing machines and glue and sequins. Its not so great for guys. I mentioned to one lady that the new store would be perfect if the designers had just put in a big screen TV and magazine rack and some comfy couches for guys to lounge in while spouses shopped and browsed.

What else? Hmm. Son Noah's been entertaining a young woman for a couple months who only comes around on Sunday evenings. Once or twice an angry, supposedly ex-boyfriend has appeared on our front step demanding to see the girl. Last night about 9:30, her parent's arrived to ring our doorbell demanding to see her! Good Grief! Apparently, she told somebody, I'm not certain who, that she was already down in Orem in her college dorm for the night when in fact she was at our house. Presumably that was the estranged boyfriend, since he knows where our house is and it seems he relayed that information to the parents who came to collect her.

And the furnace quit late last week so the repairman is scheduled for today. I looked at it and figured out that I didn't know enough to go messing with it, so I'll just write the check once the big tan box is back in operation.

NOTE: Since I'm posting this through email, the formatting may be all ugly with line breaks in incorrect places. There's also no links to anything. Reason being that my access to the www is going to be very restricted this week. I'll try to fix the formatting tonight after I get home from school.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I Just Sent Up My Ski Resort Job Application!

If you have been coming around here for any length of time, you might remember that for several years son Noah & I have worked at Powder Mountain Ski Resort as part time ticketcheckers. This job allows us unlimited skiing for the season in exchange for working two Saturdays each month. Last year the resort didn't use ticketcheckers and I had to purchase ski passes, which was a bummer.

This year, they have returned to the volunteer ticketchecker scheme and I called today and spoke to the boss for that section. He knew who I was and is interested in having us back this year! So I've emailed in the application and will be awaiting his call in a couple more weeks!

Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dilbert Gets His Own Blog!

Actually, its Scott Adams' blog but hey, he's the artist that brings us Dilbert every day. This one goes on my blog roll!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Two New Scooter Bloggers On My List Tonight

In response to my search for fellow scooter bloggers over at the International Scooter BBS, tonight I'm pleased to welcome two new scooterists to my blog list. The first is Scooter Diva, a website and resource for women that ride. There is a brand new and very comprehensive guide of available scooters for anyone interested.

Also, The Long Way Around tells in some interesting detail of one guy's fun and travails with his Vespa while he rides in San Francisco. The writer's had a devil's own bad time trying to get the transmission and clutch working properly, which doesn't speak well for Vespa's ability to meet customer requirements. But our intrepid writer's a good one and he's taken some lengthy journeys down California's coast and documented his adventures.

Check them both out!

Another Great Video!

Sent to me by one of the commenters, Cleat from yesterday's kart video link. This one is about commuting in Saigon. I've got to say that it is equally as scary as the kart video but for different reasons. Check it out.

Thanks Cleat!

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Gun Guy Gets a Thank You

While I wasn't part of the group to recognize The Gun Guy with a beautiful plaque and equally beautiful rifle, I am proud to say that his writing and viewpoints have positively affected my own views. I'm proud to be a part of the Nation of Riflemen as espoused by TGG, I even have the shirt!

Seriously, TGG has had a profound affect on many people and I'm one of them. I don't think I took up any completely new ideas from him but I know for certain that his website and thought provoking essays have reinforced what I knew to be right all along. I didn't get to donate to his piece of marble or the new firearm. But I would have, had I known.

Shifter Kart, At Speed, On the Street, At Night!

Found over at Jalopnik tonight. This is the craziest thing I think I've ever seen. Make sure to turn up your speakers!

Click to see Video

More Scooter Blogs!

My list of scooter bloggers over there on the right has been changing and still needs to be updated to take out Steve's blog since he has taken himself out of the scooter riding fraternity. I've removed another couple links when folks quit posting regularly.

I would like to find more fellow scooter riding bloggers to link to, so I am open to suggestions. If anybody knows of a fun blog that I should be linking to, please leave me a note in the comments.

More Weekend Stuff

I spoke to both my Florida bound family members over the weekend for a post-Wilma update. Brother Tim did loose a 10X12 steel shed, that in his words, "exploded across his yard." His power was only out for one day but his super-humongous generator and propane supply worked perfectly during the interim. Sadly, the livestock all survived. His work building OTOH, lost a large portion of the roof, a wall or two and required two generators to be operating to keep the payroll computers online. It seems the one big generator wasn't working properly and so required a second one, connected to the first, to keep things working.

Dad asked if I couldn't ship him down some electricity, since there is still no promise of power coming in before 22 November. I told him I had an empty 5 gallon paint bucket that I could fill with electricity and mail him, if that would be enough to be effective. Dad said if I would fill it with 220 volt electricity, that he could split it down to house current level and make it last twice as long after it arrives...

His bronchitus is getting much better and he was well enough to go to church yesterday. I was able to tell him thanks for my new dulcimer as well. He says when I get schooled up and playing well that he wants an autographed CD and a percentage of my music sales... Which I gladly promised!

The BSU and I snuck out Friday afternoon for the first viewing of the movie North Country. Its a "based on a true story" of one woman's fight to work in a northern Minnesota mine without being victimized by the oppressive sexual harrasement that was rampant from the company president to the mine floor. Charlize Theron plays the lead and its a pretty decent story though I found some parts of the trial scenes near the end to be highly implausible. But its a decent story and we had a good time at the theater before heading off to Wal-Mart for grocery buying.

Finally, I sat down for a little television on Saturday night and noticed something odd. Or maybe not so odd- I watched numerous commercials for cat food and kitty litter during my viewing time. Do you suppose the paying advertisers choose to show their ads for kitty products on Saturday night because they know that cat owners- present company included- are home , watching tv with a cat on their lap? I'm thinking so...