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!