Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bull charges bullfight spectators

Maybe you have seen this already but I find the video of this bull leaping into the stands to be really remarkable. Never mind the NBA player that comes swinging, they don't have horns.

And sadly, the NBA players didn't suffer the same penalty as this bull...

My computer's fixed! Hooray!

There's a reset button on the back of the wireless router. I pushed the button, the connectivity is back!

The Norton anti-virus software is installed, updated and keeping me safe.

I'm happy again.

Judge Alito is confirmed

Ok, I admit, I sneaked online for a few minutes to run through the headlines over at CNN and I see that judge Alito has been confirmed by the Senate to be the next Supreme Court judge. Good. Its about time.

John F'n Kerry's threats, (from Switzerland) of a filibuster turned into nothing but more hot air, as usual.

There's only one item that I wish appeared in judge Alito's resume that's not there, his presiding at the drunken driving and reckless homicide trial and conviction of Senator Edward Kennedy.

Too bad.

Corrective Action: Replace the Organic Checklist Compliance Device

Well, regarding my laptop, there's good news and bad news... Isn't it always that way? As reported last night, the laptop had to go to the Dr. for a Norton Anti-virus software resolution. After just a few minutes wait, the techies at CompUSA took a quick look at my computer and listened to my description of the problem.

Problem solved. The techie had a memory stick with a super-secret Norton software removal tool that he stuck into my Compaq and just wiped every bit of Norton associated files from the hard drive. Then he sold me a $69 package of Norton Internet Security software to take home and install by myself.

It should have been easy. Just boot up the computer, let the wireless internet connection synch up, insert the CD and follow the instructions, right? Sure, except the wireless internet connection wasn't connecting! Hmm. Its never done that before... I try the "repair connection" option, no joy. I go into the modem and router, unplug everything, let it set a few minutes, power everything back up, still no connection... Let's try cussing for a few minutes... Still not working. So I call the techies, back at CompUSA, just minutes before closing time. The helpful fellow says, "Is your wireless button on or off"? Wireless button? "Yes, the wireless button, up there on the top of your keyboard".

Hoover Damm! The switch is in the O-F-F position! It has never been in the off position since I bought the computer! Putting the switch in the O-N position restored my connectivity. Just like that. Now I'm embarrassed and mad- at myself!

But just for a little while... I sat down and returned to my initial intention of installing the Norton software and getting my computer protected again. Everything went smoothly, right up until the point when the installation was complete and the computer needed to restart to activate the changes. And my wireless connection went away- again! Nothing I tried would restore my wireless connection. There even seemed to be a problem with my wired connection because while trying to use it I kept getting a window that would open asking me if I wanted to dial-up my internet connection. That tells me my cable connection wasn't being recognized when I tried going online though it was working most of the time.

This morning, there's still no connection on the wireless. I didn't have time to try the wired pc before heading off to the job. It will be late tonight before I can get back home and check things out but I'm beginning to believe that my wireless router has gone tango uniform. There doesn't seem to be any good way to ops check it except to bypass it with the connections and see if the wired machine gets back to normal operation. I may have to carry home a network cable to connect the laptop to the router to see if that gives me a connection.

So, I have the new software installed but not turned on and updated with all the latest virus definitions because I can't access the internet wirelessly. And I've paid for my software twice and now have to go seek a refund from Norton for my online purchase.

Wow, I get grumpy when things I rely on don't work!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Laptop's on its way to the Dr already.

I mentioned in passing last week that I tried to subscribe to Norton's anti-virus program since my free trial period was expiring. I have been very happy with this anti-virus software and so I decided to keep with it.

And, I bought the upgraded version- online. Then I downloaded it, just as instructed and ran the setup program after that. Everything looked good. It extracted a bunch of files, made me agree to the EULA, began a system scan and then got tired and quit. My previous version of Norton was partially removed and the new version was just previously installed...

Re-running the setup doesn't work. Trying to remove the programs through Window's Control Panel doesn't work. Searching the Norton website for a removal tool that my friendly CompUSA techie told me was available, didn't work.

I can't stand haing my 'puter unprotected and my $50 worth of software stuck in limbo. SO we're on our way to visit the CompUSA techies to see if they can get everything aligned as it is supposed to be.

I sure hope I can bring it back with me tonight...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mooch, meet Uintah- Uintah, Mooch

Cajun's got a feline trying him out for possible hire as staff over at his Fematorium. He's named this cat Mooch. I think Mooch looks like my cat Uintah.

I wonder if Mooch sleeps with his paws on the laptop keyboard like my sleepy cat is doing right now. He rather resents this computer hogging up his space...

Its Sunday night and my paper's not done-

hell, its not even started good yet! I did do quite a bit of research this morning but I was slow getting started with the writing part of the effort before breakfast today. You might need to know that Sunday b-fast around here is usually about noonish... After food, it was time to go buy more food which took a couple hours, then it all had to be put away.

I cleaned guns for a couple hours after grocery stowage duies were completed and then the BSU wanted to eat out, even though we just brought home 200 bucks worth of edibles. So dinner was Red Lobster tonight and tasty, if more expensive than I normally care to pay.

So, somehow, the day got away from me and very little writing got done today. I guess I'llhave to catch up this week, somehow!

Saturday was a great day of stomping around in the desert, terrorizing jackrabbits in the sage brush. Son Noah and I went with Kenny and Kenny's neighbor Mike and we went out for a day of shooting. Many rounds of ammo was expended during our efforts and numerous rogue tuna cans were dispatched with extreme prejudice. My new Taurus model 63 is a treat and works perfectly, even claiming one rabbit on its initial outing. Noah's Remington 597 turned out to be problematic and did not feed bullets out of its magazine with much enthusiasm. We were using a brand of ammo that usually feeds well in all the other guns so maybe its a magazine problem more than anything.

While we did tromp around and shoot at many bunnies, I think only 3 were turned into coyote food. Mostly we just enjoyed shooting our guns and the day outside. It was a great day in the desert with tolerable weather and just a tiny bit of snow on the ground and falling on us too. The snowstorm was closer to home, with a big storm slowing traffic and causing multiple slide-offs that delayed our safe return.

Friday, January 27, 2006

It was 20 years ago today-

when the space shuttle Challenger exploded in the sky over the Florida coast, killing the 7 astronauts onboard.
"It was one of those defining moments in your life that you will always remember," said Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who flew on the shuttle mission preceding Challenger.
I was standing in the RAF Lakenheath pizza joint, waiting to pick up my family's dinner. I can see that launch on the tv on the wall as if it happened today.

That rowdy, inviting, familiar pizza parlor turned into a somber, saddened place that night and when we went home we all felt the loss shared by all Americans because of this tragedy.

Yeah, it was a defining moment.

Busier than heck this week.

That's why there hasn't been much posting for a day or so. Work is going well and school too, there's just lots of both right now. I did take time for lattes at Barnes & Noble with a classmate, Cindy last night, that was pleasant.

Today I bought myself a little present during a trip to Sam's for coffee for the coffee bar at work. Its this anthology, Storyteller, by Rod Stewart. I've been listening to and enjoying Rod Stewart's music since before I had an 8-track player in my 64 Pontiac. So when I saw this 4 CD set today, it just kind of called out to me and I took it home. I did get to listen to most of it at work this afternoon and I've added the music to my hard drive for listening whenever I wish.

Tomorrow is either going to be a day of skiing, which would be prime because of all the fresh snow that fell today, or it will be trip to the desert with Kenny to shoot at some jackrabbits and get a couple guns sighted in. Going to the desert sounds like fun for tomorrow if Kenny doesn't bail out.

My laptop's virus protection is tanked right now and that's got me agrieved big time. The machine had Norton anti-virus installed with a 60 day trial. Last night I tried to buy the upgrades and get them downloaded and installed. Somewhere during the process of installation, something went wrong. Now, re-running the install does nothing, trying to remove the program through the control panel doesn't work and I'm unprotected. So far, I've not found a way to talk to tech support directly, only through email and that's all a pre-packaged, automated answer. If I can't sort it out, I'll carry the computer down to CompUSA to see if they can assist.

I've got a couple papers to write this weekend too! Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Overcome shyness

[Sarge, here's the keyboard & monitor / liquids interference alert you requested.]

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Tequila®.

Tequila® is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Tequila® can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Tequila® almost immediately, and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past, and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Tequila®.

Tequila® may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Tequila®. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it. Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, erotic lustfulness, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister .

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Tequila

As a personal note, I have used this product successfully for years and have experienced almost all of the side effects mentioned in the last paragraph. This stuff really works!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ten Commandments

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments in a Courthouse is that you cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This is Going to be Fun-

One of my assignments for my Business Communication class is a crital review of a website. Its my choice of website but it has to be related to media bias. Ok...

My instructor has already said twice that he wants to go to Palestine to teach in the future. I haven't called him on that minor disparity since there is no place known as Palestine...

I'm thinking I may have to use Little Green Footballs as my website to evaluate, just to poke a little excitement into the class!

Another Video to Watch- and be Amazed!

This video of group parachuting is really wild! I watched it a couple times trying to count the parachutes, unsuccessfully. Its very cool.

Monday, January 23, 2006

You have to see this!

I just found this bit of foolishness on the Yahoo Vento Scooter Group. Never mind the dumbass in the car, consider the poor bastard on the scooter! Check out this video!

Dad & Sis figure out being tagged!

This was fun. I tagged Dad & Mel last week for a 4 things meme and they have played along. Go see what 2 other members of my clan have to say and see if there are any similarities. Dad's blog is
Roger's Ramblings, little sister's blog is GRNascarnuts.

Sister Mel was unfamiliar with the term meme when I tagged her, so Sis, here's a page of definitions. You'll get it from reading these bits.

Wasn't that fun?

Mission Accomplished

Today the buckboard bench that I purchased for the BSU arrived and tonight, I got it put together. This was a Christmas gift that was out of stock when I wanted it so its just now arriving. There were just 2 screws were left over, so I'm calling them extras. Its actually a really nice addition to our family room.

The spouse is happy and I look like a hero. Perfect.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A movie review- End of the Spear

I'll tell you upfront that I liked this movie, End of the Spear. It was a movie I needed to see. I'll leave the reason why it was so important until the end, just to keep you following along.

The story in the case of the movie is about the efforts of Christian missionaries to take the gospel to remote, warring tribes along the Amazon River in Ecuador. These five missionaries, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Roger Yoderian and Nate Saint were murdered on a sandbar in January 1956 after making initial friendly contact with the Waodani tribe. This is a compelling tale of the lives of the tribesman, the missionaries and their families and the events that eventually brought them together.

Steve Saint is the son of one the bush pilot missionary that flew the airplane and much of the story is told from his 9 year old point of view. Steve Saint knew that his father's killers were among those that his mother and aunt and other missionaries ministered to through a polio outbreak and later through acceptance into the the tribe's families. The climax to this story is when Steve as an adult is taken by one of the tribesman to the very sandbar where the 5 were killed and the remains of his father's aircraft and the first-person story of that tragic day's events in 1956 are revealed to him. I found an interesting interview with Steve Saint here that tells how he came to grips with his past and even moved his family to Ecuador to continue the ministry that began with his father's death.

I also found some interesting thoughts on this movie and plenty of comments regarding the story at a blog I've never visited before today, Pensees blog.

Now, why is this movie so important to me? In the winter of 1955/56, my parents were members of a church in Minneapolis, Minnesota that had an active part in supporting these missionaries. These missionaries were killed on January 8, 1956. I was born on February 1, 1956 and I was named Nathaniel by my parents, because it was biblical, but also so that I could be called Nate, in honor of the bush pilot, Nate Saint.

This story has always been a part of who I am, no matter where in my walk I happened to be. A few years ago I happened upon a used copy of Through Gates of Splendor. It is the telling of the story, written by Elisabeth Elliot, the widow of one of the slain missionaries. Reading that book gave me a deeper understanding of the compassion that was part of their ministry so far away. I need to dig it out and read it again.

Friday, January 20, 2006

What an exciting morning!

Sadly, there won't be any links until later, 'cause as normal, I'm emailing this in and I'm not free to go browsing around for links.

Anyway, this is a gun post, so if you want to skip on down because you're not a gunny, that's ok and you've been warned.

I set out this morning to buy 1 gun, a Remington 597, 22 caliber, semi-automatic rifle. I went to Smith & Edwards, which is a story all onto itself but it's a sporting good, camping, horse tack, hardware and military surplus store, all under one (big) roof. Today was their once a year gun clearance sale. In the notice of the sale was a listing for this Remington which was the rifle I had decided would be Noah's gun, for him to call his own and take with him when he's ready. The rifle normally sells all the time for $165-169. It was on sale for $99. So, I went early and joined the line of other bargain seekers outside the store this morning.

When the store opened and we all stampeded to the gun counter, I very quickly spoke up for the Remington. And I said I'd take it, just like that. One of the scurrying clerks brought me the paperwork to accomplish for the background check and while I was completing the forms, another customer asked about 22 rifles. One of the guns still on the rack was a Taurus Model 63. I popped my head up from my form filling, "Let me see that one too, please." It's a beautiful rifle. Walnut wood with a matt finish and a bright blue polished finish to all the metal. 129 bucks. "I'll take this one too, thanks." I found out later that as I expected, this Taurus is a replica of a Winchester rifle designed in the first place by none other than John Moses Browning himself. So while I don't yet have a 1911 JMB artifact, I do have one of his rifles." has an appreciative review of this neat rifle and I can't wait until I can shoot mine and report back myself.

So that was it, I bought 2 dandy 22 rifles for me and the boy and whoever else we deem worthy of taking on a shooting trip. I bought some 9mm shotshell ammo and some cleaning supplies before I got out of there. I took the guns to the house to secure them before returning to work. When I did get back, I no sooner refilled my coffee cup and sat back down when Kenny called. "Grab your coat and meet me outside" says Kenny. I know already we are off on an adventure...

Kenny picks me up in his truck and says lets go to Big 5. That's a chain sporting goods store we have here. Kenny's been hankering for a Marlin lever action rifle in 357 Magnum. Today he has wrangled a deal, over the phone, for the one he wants, from the Big 5 manager, who turns out to be an attractive red-headed woman, Patricia. And Kenny wanted me to go along for moral support- sure...

Kenny got his rifle, Patrica turned out to be a sharp kidder that had Kenny going from the instant he walked through the front door and I got the big bottle of Hoppes #9 cleaning solvent that I wanted. I also bought 2 new folder knives, just because they looked good and had been deeply discounted. One of them is a Smith & Wesson Homeland Security model and it is marked as a first production run, even though the production was in China...

Now I've got guns to clean and lube this weekend. But I'm prepared for a trip to the desert when Little Brother Tim arrives in February!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This is too cool! I'm famous in Russia!

So I'm sitting here tonight browsing through my blogroll and I finally got down to looking at my referrals. In the first place, I've had 74 visitors today, which is more by half than my average, so for those visitors that came by today, thanks.

Imagine my surprise when I found that two of my visitors were from the Russian Federation! Now that is pretty unusual in itself but follow the link, my Vento scooter post has been cross-linked in a Russian Vento Scooter bulletin board! You can actually see the link in the 12th post from the top. I sure wish I could read what these scooter enthusiasts have to say about my post about the 2004 Vento engine size disparity.

Does anybody here speak Russian that might interpret that page? I just think its very cool.

UPDATE: I found a translator page. Its not much better but its a start.

New Workload...

Actually, its an old workload from which I thought I was finally free from its icy grip. This is the same workload that was making me crazy last year while I tried to find legal, creative ways to spend 3+ million bucks to get airplanes modified. The workload went one way and my obligation went the other and I was just about clear of the menace. This is the same workload that caused a great deal of frustration with some folks who as recently as December wanted me fired.

Now I'm back. As if the 4 other programs I'm assigned to weren't keeping me busy enough, this afternoon I've been re-engaged with last year's nemesis. The boss wants me to coach the Lieutenant back in Ohio and apply some adult supervision to his long-range plans...


The boss did agree to allow me to use her as a reference on the civil service job resume I'm preparing this week. That's a bonus.

This was a little too close to home...

I just read in today's paper that the Chevron at the bottom of the hill from my house had an armed robbery last Sunday morning. Seems a couple buddies with expensive, illicit pharmaceutical habits found themselves in need of cash to reimburse their pharmacists and so decided to relieve the cashier of some ill-gotten petroleum price-gouging profits. Apparently they had a car, a shotgun and almost enough of a plan.

They did get away, for a time but a citizen got a good description of the car and the license number. By Tuesday, the sworn officers of the law had located the culprits at mom's house of one of the dimbulbs and after a few minutes of hide and seek, the two were arrested. Money, the shotgun, shells and drugs were recovered.

So, thanks go out to Ogden's finest and the observant citizenry too. This Chevron is just 5 blocks from my house and I pass it every time I leave the house. Having armed robbers operating that close to the home front is just a little too close for comfort...

I wonder what the BSU might have to say about this.

An email funny today!

During a visit to a mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."
"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug."

Do you want a room with or without a view? " 

Guess I Shoulda Ducked!

I zigged instead of zagged and Little A tagged me with a meme. I'm emailing this in so there won't be any links until later tonight. But check it out for links later.

Four jobs I've had:
Soda Jerk
Motorcycle salesman
Helicopter mechanic
Pizza delivery
Four movies I could watch over and over again:
Jeremiah Johnson
Lethal Weapon
Held in reserve...
Four books I could read over and over again:

The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe
Silent America, Bill Whittle
Held in reserve...
Held in reserve...
Four places I've lived:
Four TV shows I watch:
Crossing Jordan
Law & Order, Criminal Intent
That 70's Show
The Tonight Show
Four places I've been on vacation:
Oregon coast
North Carolina
House on Pooh Corner, UK
Four websites I visit daily:
Drudge Report
Scooter BBS
Four favorite foods:
Barbeque ribs
Meatloaf sandwiches
Pecan pie
Four places I'd like to be right now:

Powder Mountain Ski Resort, Eden, UT
Peterson Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Shreveport, LA
Park University's graduation platform
Four bloggers I'm tagging:

Bruce, from mASS BACKWARDS
Kenny, from MY Life
Steve, from Scooter Scoop
My little sister Mel, from GR NASCAR Nuts

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

More about that WE birthday

It occurred to me after I put up that previous post that I really didn't say enough about why celebrating three years of blogging is remarkable at all and why it matters to me in particular. So, I'll try to say those things now.

Why does it matter? This blog has been a (perhaps) interesting of the reflection of my life over these past three years. I've written about my reentry into gun ownership and the pleasures of going shooting with my son and my friends as well as the distress of having my Beloved Spousal Unit permanently baptize two guns when she discovered them. Wasted Electrons also began in the same month that signaled my reentry into the classroom of higher education. If you've been following along, you know about my efforts to establish an educational goal and follow a self-inflicted path towards my Bachelors Degree. If you're new to WE, I'm now a senior with Park University, taking classes at Hill AFB and down to just 9 classes required to graduate, two of which I'm taking this term. By October, if all goes well, I'll be done. I've been on the Dean's List 3 times and have a 3.94 GPA, if you can stand me bragging about it...

I've also shared the intimate details of my household and the stress of living and loving people that suffer the terrible affects of depression. There's been hospitalizations, repeated trips to doctors and therapists and adventures in pharmacology to deal with. I've bragged about my first grandbaby and asked for prayers during times of emergency when the BSU has been hospitalized and faced surgery unexpectedly. You've heard all about Noah's successes with Job Corp and all about his distress over a romantic relationship breakup. The BSU tells me that I tell too much, I don't know. Telling it seems like my therapy and a way for me to sort things out that need sorted. Sharing doesn't seem to have had any ill effects, so I guess I'll keep up with that until I get ordered to quit by somebody.

One interesting aspect of blogging has been the inclusion of my family into the blogging community. Most of my family stop by to read what I have to say and that has turned out to be a way to keep connected with my family that all live at least 2 time zones away. Also, my Dad and my sister Mel have taken up the blogging habit to keep in touch with family and friends and you can find links to their blogs immediately below the Possumblog link button.

Finally, I've been introduced to any number of fellow bloggers and now call many of them friends even if our relationship has been only online through blogging and email and comments shared. I've had the privilege of having dinner with Little A and I get to see Karen nearly daily if our school paths happen to cross as they are this term. I've had emails from many folks asking about my experiences with Vento scooters in particular and chinese scooters in general based upon what I've written about here.

Wasted Electrons did begin with much more local news and commentary about life behind the Zion Curtain from a non-LDS resident's point of view and sooner or later I'd like to get back into that mode. Utah is a wonderful place for reporting on people's foibles, if you consider the prevalence of polygamy stories and movie theaters that won't play gay cowboy films. But real life- working and going to school and doing homework and trying to be a hubby and father all tend to restrict the time I have for poking my finger in the eye of my community. Maybe when school is finished I'll be able to get back to more critical reporting of life in this strange land.

Anyway, I thank you for visiting. I hope you'll keep coming back to find out what's happening in my life. I enjoy sharing it with you.

Three years old! How old is that in blog years?

That's right, Wasted Electrons has passed its 3rd year of wastefulness. You can read my initial posts at the bottom of January's archive. [There's no direct link because of some house moving in the early days]

For the newcomers, I'll repost some of what I had to say as introduction back then.
For background I'll say that I'm a long-displaced Hoosier that has settled in Utah. I love it here. And not a Mormon, or Latter Day Saint as those that are prefer to be called. Long-displaced because I spent 21 years in the United States Air Force and got to see lots of the world and Utah twice while in uniform. I retired on 1 Jan 2000 from the service and had risen to the rank of Master Sergeant. I went to work for the AF immediately upon retiring, as a contractor in a program management office. So while my stripes are retired, I'm really not. I'm still trying to do my part to make my service a better, more capable warfighting tool of diplomacy.

So I'm pretty opinionated about the military and our country's use of force- I'm for it most of the time. I don't expect to waste too many electrons on the current circumstances, there are many much more capable warbloggers out there for you to read. But just know that I believe in a strong military and the national determination to use force wherever it might be required. I'm no lefty.

OK, I've gone and done it; started my own little spot on the World Wide Web. I've been a lurker since 1997 and a bit of a computer wannabe geek, but I've never had my own space. Till right now. I started reading blogs last fall, just kinda poking around while goofing off on the job, browsing through a number of people's blogs, thoughts, rants, whatever I could find. Now I spend too much job time (and home time if you listen to my spouse) reading blogs.

And somehow, I found out there in the ether this Possumblog page, what the heck was that? And pretty soon I was an every day reader and the next thing you know I was emailing the head Possum; Terry and then he was taking my emails and posting them on his blog. Pretty soon Terry was encouraging me to get off his bandwidth and suck up some of my own...

So here it is. Terry, as a former resident in your beloved Dixie, I hereby request admittance to the Axis of Weevil. Like any Yankee carpetbagger, that's presumptious of me I know. So load that truck and give the driver a new gas charge card because he's going to wear out the numbers on it delivering my swag all the way out here in Utah!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Hoodwinked- A Movie Review

There's a link in the post just below this one and though it wasn't working earlier today, I suspect it will back online soon so give it a chance.

Anyway, I loved this movie! Its great fun for the entire family so take your kids or your neighbor's kids or your grandkids, buy some popcorn and have a great time. You already know that it starts with the story of Little Red Riding Hood, her granny and the big, bad wolf, but that's just the start of the story. After that, its Little Red Riding Hood meets Columbo and then combined with every James Bond movie ever made except perhaps Goldfinger.

There are lots of pop culture references for Dads to watch out for that the kids will never catch, so keep your ears open. The humor does work at several levels but much of it might be over the youngest kid's heads but they'll still laugh at the sight gags and the story. Red's a barely pubescent cutie with her belly showing, just like nearly every little girl these days but she's not a hotie like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, so there's nothing to worry about there.

I laughed. Out loud and often. Its a visually compelling animation and the characters are all great fun. When the DVD comes out- I'll be getting a copy for little Astin's collection...

Go see it, its the best movie of 2006. (For now!)

Another 3 day weekend and I'm too busy to post?

Well, yes, actually. And I don't have much time right now because son Noah and I are off to see Hoodwinked in just a little bit. Review to follow later.

So what else have I done this weekend? Saturday was a gun show, an auction and breakfast with my buddy Kenny. Later it was a Utah Grizzlies hockey game with both son Noah and the BSU. It was her very first hockey game and we all had a very nice time. The Grizzlies lost, 3-2, but only after a overtime round and a shootout.

Sunday was the new car show with son Noah again. I may have to do a separate post on the show and the cars we enjoyed. Afterwards, it was lunch at Hooters and it snowed so hard while we were there that I almost called home to say we were snowed in... It would be tough duty having to spend the night keeping the stranded Hooters girls warm!

Today was studying and preparations for this week's school requirements. Sandy dog and I just returned from a nice walk and now its time to go to the movies. And more homework later tonight! Part of which is a online government job resume application and there's actually a job that I am going to apply for that is a GS-13! Yikes!

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm watching The Book of Daniel right now

Its the new television show that has all the fundamentalist Christians up in arms as sacriligeous and rude. I suppose it might be. Its about an Episcopal priest with a pain killer problem, his weird family and the tribulations of his parish. And Jesus Christ visits him as counselor and kibitzer... Mostly, I'm thinking its pretty flat. Not very funny and not worth the effort to complain about it because I don't suspect it will last very long.

Its no keeper. Joan of Arc was a better show.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hey Dad, check out this video...

In my musings about 3 wheeled motorcycles, my dad mentioned that he had happened upon a T-Rex during his travels. Tonight I found this video of a T-Rex being turned loose on the streets. Dad, I know you just have a dial-up connection but its probably worth it. This version even has reverse!

Click to see Video"

I wish the T-Rex worked for me but its appearance just puts me off. I do however like the Grinnall Scorpion III. I'd buy or build one of these given the chance. I see that there is now a Scorpion IV which looks like a pretty fun car too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I've been going about this wrong...

I had no idea until tonight that its De-lurking Week! Its an invitation to get all the visitors that aren't regular commenters to bust out of their shells and de-lurk by saying hello in the comments section.

Who knew there was a a national effort to get folks to delurk? What a wonderful idea, almost like my idea to to out some of my regular visitors by encouraging them to speak up and say hi- which BTW has been a rousing failure...

Anyway, I'm putting a button on the right over there to encourage all you lurkers to say hi in the comments. Don't be shy!
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Monday, January 09, 2006

My guest from Fuquay Varina

came back for a visit tonight. I've not heard any response from this guest since I invited them to speak up and say hi to the rest of us. I'm still hoping that whoever it is will take a few minutes to leave some word in the comments about why they visit WE. I mean, the person does keep coming back so they must find something they like here.

So don't be shy, just say hey in the comments or send me an email!

An open letter to American Honda

Please build this car for me. Immediately. Ditch the VW badge on the front and put a Honda badge in its place. Put a 1800cc, 6 cylinder Gold Wing engine in the back of it. Or a 1600cc 4 cylinder Gold Wing plant with equal horsepower output. Skip any indication of hybrid in its powerplant, internal combustion will be fine by itself. Put a short wind screen on it so I can run it without a helmet and faceshield. Rob the motorcycle parts bins for instruments. Give it exciting acceleration and sell it for the price that VW says it can sell it for.

C'mon Honda, you already have the motor for it and VW's concept indicates that there must be more interest than just mine. I'm in line to buy one and I would rather buy a Honda than a VW. So, how about it Honda? 2007? I know you can do it!

And why in the hell is Gizmag the slowest loading website in the world wide web? I love the website but it takes forever to load!

Kong- A Movie Review

With apologies to Danny Glover.

Note: there's no spoiler involved here because you already know the end of the story. The ape dies and ends up in a landfill, probably in New Jersey someplace if all those mob related stories in the news are to be believed. Also, I actually saw the movie before Christmas, wrote part of this review, then lost it before getting it posted today.

First of all, I really liked this movie. The story is so well known that its not worth repeating and so it really comes down to the movie and the technology involved in making it. The technology is amazing. Its hard not to believe that the dinosaurs and giant insects and Kong himself aren't all real creatures. The Skull Island scenes are just remarkable for their sense of realism. I can't compare this movie's CGI to other acclaimed CGI movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy because I didn't see those. But I can tell you that the creatures on Skull Island are dang scary in their realism. There were just a couple scenes where the characters were obviously working in front of a blue screen and the background added later. Noah noticed one scene where the heroine was juggling rocks that just didn't look quite real. Other than that, the technology is terrific. Kong flexes and stretches and groans in detailed close-up and you could swear you are watching a real gorilla.

The movie is long, three hours, so you might want to downsize that gut-buster sized soda or just plan on a potty trip sometime during the showing. It is also nearly three independent films with the barest of transitions between them. First there's the "getting to Skull Island" portion, mostly filmed on the bedraggled, rusty freighter and filled with the big plans of making a successful movie. The second portion could be titled "now that we're on Skull Island, how the hell do we get survive?" Finally, the third act is Kong's big night on Broadway.

Its that second act on Skull Island that was my favorite part of the movie. The bizarre creatures and bugs discovered and battled by the crew are quite creepy and the fight scenes are as exciting as any Indiana Jones adventure. But the best part of act two is the Battle Royale cage match between Kong and three hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex. This fight scene was worth the price of admission and the popcorn! Kong battles these three critters, mostly single handed because he's trying to protect and hang onto Anne the heroine through swamp and ravine and dangling vines until he breaks the jaw of the final killer dinosaur, just to prove the critter isn't getting back up.

That apology to Danny Glover I mentioned earlier? It's a reference to his character Roger Murdock from the Lethal Weapon movie series. Throughout that series of movies, his most famous line is, "I'm getting too old for this shit." That sentiment is portrayed so clearly in Kong's eyes after he has killed the dinos and taken his captive blond to rest on a high overlook. Its almost as if he is questioning his own motives for hanging onto that tiny bit of a blond in a silk slip.

Kong's confusion over his attachment to that blonde becomes apparent in the 3rd act too as he battles the buzzing, stinging aircraft from the top of the Empire State Building.  Its clear from the look in Kong's eyes that he misses his days on Skull Island before the blonde and her comrades arrived to upset his routine.

I found a serious life truth in King Kong's story; that is, if you chase after a woman that doesn't want to be caught, its going to bring you to nothing but grief and pain. My advice? Leave the woman to be eaten by the dinosaurs and take the day off. Go to the beach, the ski slopes or the golf course somewhere and save yourself the grief.

But the movie? Its terrific. Go see it if you haven't already.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

VW might build a car that I want!

If you've been around me for any length of time, you know that I've been intrigued with having a 3-wheeled sports car forever. Now, if Volkswagon comes through, I might just get my car! Last week they introduced this concept car and announced a price! The price is significant because it means the company has done some homework about the cost instead of just building a concept without any consideration of it being feasible.

Anyway, if VW builds this thing, I'm getting in line to own one!

About that movie...

Yes, we went to see the "gay cowboy" movie, Brokeback Mountain. After all the hype this movie has received in the press, there wasn't going to be any way to keep the BSU from dragging me to see it.

Its a movie, ok? Its not the best movie of all time. I don't even think its the best movie I've seen lately. Sure, its a love story between 2 cowboys that somehow got stuck on (and in) one another, during a summer of drycamping in the mountains and tending sheep, and because of the love they discovered, there is lot's of emotion in the story. SOmehow the emotion didn't extend to making me feel any particular concern about the characters, that's why I wasn't enthralled with the movie. I suppose its edgy because it puts cowboys and gay sex together into a muliplex acceptable movie instead of onto a DVD that might be for sale at the local adult novelty store, but other than that, and the spectacular scenery, I just didn't get it.

Instead, I saw a pair of characters that stuck to a circumstance and relationship long after the relationship stopped working for them. One of them couldn't stay away from the sex and took to picking up male prostitutes to relive the moments he missed with his partner, the other let his wife and children fall away and stuck to a dead end job and dead end town so he could stay in love with a partner that wasn't available to him except in rare, stolen, camping weekends.

I did find a pretty good review of the movie that you might like to read, its The straight dude’s guide to ‘Brokeback’.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The first Thursday Three of 2006!

NOTE: If the formatting is all trashed, its because I'm emailing this in instead of posting it through Blogger. I'll fix it later...

Terry just managed to figure out that today was Thursday and that all of us Axis of Weevil members would be back to work and looking for a diversion from the paying tasks at hand. So he scratched together some questions and threw them out there for us to ponder. Here they are:

        1) What is the most important thing you ever forgot to do?
Forgot? Forgot what? Who? Me? Let's see, the most important thing... hey, where's my pants? No wonder it was so cold on my way to work this morning!

Seriously, I used to be lousy about remembering my wedding anniversary, after marrying the BSU for the first time. Since I married her on her birthday the second time around, the date has been much easier to remember. Plus, our marriage certificate hangs in a prominent location in our bedroom.

        2) Do you try to keep yourself organized through a routine so you don't have to rely so much on remembering things, or do you follow a more open approach based on what you want to     get done during the day and try to actually think things through?

I rely heavily on checklists, even if most of them are mental checklists only. I prefer routine and checklists for my early mornings before leaving the house. I don't leave the house until I have had some breakfast and one cup of coffee. I mentally check off all the items that go into my pockets and the school books and materials I will need for class. Failing to run the checklist often means that my pocket knife or my badges or my wallet fails to be in its assigned place when I want it. At work, I use FYSNs (Freakin Yellow Sticky Notes) and a small stack of recycled paper under my keyboard as a note taker and project prioritizer. After that, its just a matter of putting out fires when they occur.

        3) What do you have the most trouble remembering--people's names, how to get places, or important dates?
Names. With apologies to those folks I meet for the first time, I'm lousy about remembering names. Locations are different, almost always if I've driven there once, I can drive there again, even if its years since I was there last. Upgrades to roads and traffic flows in these situations really upset my internal GPS!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'm going to have a visitor!

A real one, not a visitor here at WE this time, my brother Tim! He mentioned a few months ago that he would be in Utah for February 1 this year. Tonight my dad reminded me that he was planning to visit.

Why is he traveling from Florida to Utah in February if he isn't a skier? He wants to be here to properly celebrate my 50th birthday! That's right, it will be my half-century mark and Tim figures I beter not have to celebrate without brotherly support. Ain't that a great brother?

So what to do? Skiing, I suppose, if he's game for trying it. He really doesn't like heights and riding a chair lift creeps him out, so that might not work. If the temperature stays above average as its been, maybe we could head out to the desert for some shooting. We could certainly go over to Impact Guns and rent one of their full-auto submachine guns for some powder burning fun.

Whatever we do, we'll be sure to eat too well and have lots of fun just hanging out.

Tomorrow I'm going to see if he can use a newly minted mechanic in the heavy equipment shop he supervises down there in Florida. Son Noah is really balking about finding a job here locally for fear of being stuck here forever. Maybe Tim can set him up with a job and a bunk for a bit.

A new addition to my blogroll

That would be Sarge Says since Sarge is another retired USAF enlisted guy, now settled in Fort Walton Beach FL. Sarge has been coming by to visit and comment from time to time, so I'm adding him to my list of regular reads.

Also, Kenny's back! This is my shooting buddy and coworker Kenny who was blogging for a few months, quit, and has now returned to the blogger fold. So go over and say hi and encourage him to keep up the good work.

146 feet airborne in a Ford Ranger!

You absolutely have to know that the last thing the driver of this truck said was, "Hold my beer and watch this!"! Stolen from Jalopnik to share with the few of you that come around for an occasional thrill.

Click to see Video
Remember folks, these are America's future leaders in action!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Let's try inviting a visitor to speak up- again...

So far, this little game I invented has been a real bust. I've tried a couple times to get a repeat visitor from my referral logs to speak up and say hello with very little success. My visitor from Nob Noster, Missouri promised to email me some details but it sounds like he's a busy guy who travels quite often, so no story yet.

Tonight, lets try this visitor from Fuquay Varina, North Carolina! I'm only picking on this visitor because I've noticed the odd name of the town in my visitors list.

So, how about it Mr or Ms Fuquay Varina, care to out yourself in the comments and tell a little bit about yourself and why you visit Wasted Electrons? C'mon, don't be shy. I'm really just curious about my visitors so share what you are comfortable sharing. If you like, email me and let me know something that's ok to share and what you might not wish to share. And don't stop visiting!

What does that town's name mean anyway?

What you won't see on your nightly news-

Don't expect that leftie Newsweek magazine to tell you about this good news from Iraq either. Large weapons caches found and removed or destroyed by US and Iraqi soldiers, that is good news for all concerned.

Monday, January 02, 2006

2005 "Got Guns" review

Alphecca didn't actually start the meme but I found it over at his blog and he links to a bunch of other gun bloggers. The meme is "What Guns Came To Live With Me in 2005".

So, just for fun, I'll play along. It seems like this has been a pretty good year for my gun locker, all the guns have come in and stayed and none left. I don't have pictures of my own, so I'll try to find some links. Now, how to sort them?

How about handguns first? The Smith & Wesson Model 19 with a 4" barrel was the first gun of 2005. I've gotten really fond of this revolver and I love shooting it. I think its actually had a pretty rugged life before it came to live with me, so I'm considering sending it back home for a makeover that it seems to deserve. It came home from a pawn shop just like the Kel-Tec P11, 9mm pistol a few months later. The P11 is a dandy shooter and conceals well too, though I need a better holster for it. Finally, just before the end of the year I bought a Ruger P345, 45 caliber pistol. I really like this full size, single stack pistol.

In my long gun cabinet, this year I added the Stevens Model 200 bolt action rifle in .223, the Winchester air rifle and my Yugoslavian SKS. All of these have been proven to be "just right" for what I wanted it for. I'm especially fond of the SKS and plan to add a 2nd one to the locker in the coming weeks. That way I can keep one nice and stock and original, the next one will get "improved".

That's my gun additions for 2005 and a prediction for 2006. Someday, I am going to have to add a 1911 45 gun to the locker too but for right now, I'm pretty set.

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know its already the 2nd. I've been busy, or lazy or didn't have anything to say, that's why there's been nothing new here for a bit. Hey, its my time, so I'll spend it how I like.

This afternoon I finally got all my die cast cars cleaned and back on the bookshelf in the corner of the family room. All of it was quite dusty and so the putting back process took the better part of a rainy afternoon. I really need to find some proper shadow boxes to display my car treasures so I could free up the bookshelf for some books!

I did get a little skiing in yesterday when the weather was beautiful. Today Noah and I had planned to go but the weather kept us home. It would have been a really nasty day to go skiing since there was a major snowstorm and high winds and fog in the mountains. We're spoiled, we know it, and its nice to pick and choose the days we go up to the mountain.

Yesterday I got the nativity scene and Christmas lights down from outside and everything put away. Noah helped this evening to store away the creche until next year.

What about resolutions, you ask? Hmm. I didn't really commit to any. I will try to exercise more and eat less, I'm pretty serious about loosing some excess pounds. But I'm not promising to join a gym or anything, I'm just going to try to cut back and not overeat. I am going to continue to focus on finishing my degree this year. I am going to submit my request for VA disability consideration. (Its not that I am terribly disabled, but with elegibility comes a tax advantage and hiring preference for civil service.)

I'm thinking of some ways to liven up WE for its upcoming 3rd birthday too. So be watching for some updates.