Day by Day cartoon

Friday, June 30, 2006

Just about time to pull chocks for the house

It's a long weekend for me and I'm going to start it in just a few minutes. I've deleted 357 emails today and sorted and filed 1/2 that many more that I couldn't loose. I haven't gotten my continuity books built yet but I have cleared off most of my work area. So I'm bugging out when I finish this post.

What am I doing this weekend? [this post really needs some links...] Let's see. Tonight is a Raptors baseball game with the spouse. So far the Raptors and Owlz are just knocking each other around in silly ways with big, lopsided scores, some going in favor of the Raptors and some not. I think they are just about even in total wins. Hopefully tonight's game will be another great game.

Saturday I hope to be getting the scooter put back together, if the parts arrive today as Alan promised. The (2nd) mirror mount broke last weekend and I didn't feel like fabricating my own like I did last summer. I've still got carb problems and I'm hoping to resolve those too. Sunday  I'm supposed to meet Mrs. Flyboy for coffee and an hour or two away from her kids and then go to the Cache Valley Cruise-In car show with my buddy Loc. Either Monday or Tuesday I'm hoping to take the BSU to Lagoon Amusement Park for an afternoon and evening of rides, summer foods and maybe some play in the water park.

In between all that we are talking about a drive-in movie trip and hopefully getting to see Kye, Sara and Astin for a picnic or something resembling one. I'll try to remember to take some pictures worthy of posting here later.

Finally, a Cars collection update: I've scored the 2nd of the three colors that Lowrider Ramone is available in from the Golden Arches place. I'm still unhappy that there's no Jeep character or the little forklift guy in the set...

Hey- There's Elvis!

That's right, I saw Elvis Presley yesterday afternoon and he was driving a pink & white 57 Chevy convertible! Before yesterday afternoon's midterm test I was sitting out at a picnic table reviewing my study material and chatting with a classmate and chum, Melissa. While we are chatting, I'm watching the street out in front of the school. And Elvis drove by in his Chevy convertible! It was the white-jumpsuited, big sideburns Elvis in a car that looked brand new. I ran over to get a closer view but Elvis turned the corner, so I pointed Melissa to look in the correct direction and she saw him too, so I've got a witness.

As for the midterm tests- I had 2 of them last night. My team and I aced the Logistics test and I got a 93 on my Marketing test later in the evening!

I have no idea who that really was but it sure looked like Elvis!

A couple local job openings to mention

First, there's the position of Utah Highway Patrol DUI Enforcement Team Commander. It seems Lt. Fred Swain, the current holder of that position and a 15 year veteran of the UHP, destroyed his cruiser while driving drunk last week! He caused a big enough accident to make it impossible for any of the professional courtesy winks and warnings to keep him out of trouble.

Without a doubt, there will be a job opening in the UHP very soon.

Next, there is a City Manager position open in Riverton, since the last guy, Mark Cram has resigned after getting caught trying to sneak a peak at teenaged girls in a tanning salon. I'm pretty certain he's already pleaded guilty to avoid going to court and having even more of his kinky behaviour dragged through the public eye.

Consider for a moment why any straight, 50 year old white guy would visit a tanning salon in Utah, in June. Let's be honest, if the guy wanted to get a tan, he could mow his own yard, handwash his car or take the boat to the lake, so getting a tan was not this guy's intent! No, dammit, he's a pervert! Doesn't this guy know about the internet? Let's face it, finding naked girls, even in tanning booths, is pretty darn simple on the internet and you can keep your job if you don't go looking for them on your computer at work.

So we have some job openings here behind the Zion Curtain, get your resumes in early if you are interested in either position. You know, here at Wasted Electrons, there is a special name that I use for characters like these two, you might remember it-
Mormon, no, that's not it. Latter Day Saint? Nope, not that either, its DUMBASS! That's right its a toss up for dumbass of the week here on the Wasatch front.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Somebody is missing today...

Carol, did you pull the plug or just make your site Not Mission Capable- Maintenance temporarily? Hmm?

Day By Day is missing-

You might have noticed it this morning, the cartoon that has been appearing at the top of my page isn't there today. Due to a required change in the script that resides in my blog's coding that didn't display properly, I've removed it. For now. I've asked Mrs. Flyboy for some coding assistance and hopefully we can coordinate on reinstating this popular cartoon. Unfortunately, it also appears that the way DBD is dispersed throughout the web has changed and it is now not visible through the government network filters... Grr! If that's the case, I'll just be putting a link to the cartoon page in my link list.

Damm those over-enthusiastic network guardians anyway!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Happy Meal trifecta!

My collection is very nearly complete! As I've mentioned in the past, right after I saw the Pixar movie, Cars, I started collecting the McDonald's Happy Meal toy cars, just for fun and my grandbaby Astin's play pleasure sometime in the future. On Monday I stopped at a Golden Arches establishment in Salt Lake City, telling the BSU that I was getting a fresh cup of coffee. Which I did, of course at the same time asking which Happy Meal cars they had in their bin. Turns out this particular store had the three remaining cars I needed for my collection, Flo, Ramone and Fillmore, the hippy bus. Hurray, my collection's complete!

Except, I realized after looking at their toy display on the way out the door that there is a second Ramone lowrider, in a different color! Now I have to find that one to be complete...

And why the hell is there no Happy Meal Sarge jeep? Huh? Sarge is a main character in the movie as much as Fillmore but somehow he doesn't seem to be part of the McDonalds collection. There's no little fork lift fellow either...

Monday's coffee cost me just about 7 bucks, in case you were wondering. That was the BSU's question to me!

Rob Smith has died-

Known by most of the blogosphere as Acidman, he's been in miserable health for some time. Today his daughter, Sam, reports his passing away in his home.

Rob's blog was one of the first that became a daily read for me some years ago and I had him on my bloglist for quite some time. I removed the link a year or so ago when Rob's alcoholism robbed him of his wit and insight and took over with anger and invective. But I never really stopped reading Acidman and he became a regular read again after he returned from treatment and got sober.

Now he's gone. Damm!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Want to see something really cool?

Watch this video! I heard about it on NPR a few weeks back, just now remembered to go find it.
[Note- I removed the embedded video because it was just too annoying each time I came to my page. So go see it where it originates.]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Celebrating the summer solstice with America's pastime

What a fun night it was! I skipped attending the Ogden Raptor's opening night game on Tuesday, on direct orders of the BSU. She insisted that I attend my classes, and so I did, delaying my baseball game jones for one more night, until last night.

On opening night, the defending champs, the Orem Owlz beat our team 7-5 in front of the sellout crowd of fans. A much smaller crowd watched the Raptors pummel the Owlz last night, 14-1! I thought the Owlz might not even take the field at the top of the 9th inning after one of our guys hit a bases-loaded home run in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The BSU and I had a wonderful time throughout the evening. She talked me into supper at Village Inn before the game instead of burgers or dogs at the stadium. A new friend, David also took advantage of the ticket I offered and joined us for the game. David, it turns out, is still in the AF, is taking several of the same classes I'm taking and is cousin to my friend Pat who is the usual recipient of an extra ticket to the ball games. Pat's sick with the flu this week so she suggested I offer the extra ticket to David and he seemed to really enjoy himself.

We sat behind a vocal group of 6 fans that I quickly named the Weber State University Womyn's Studies Glee Club. The leader of the Glee Club resembled Jaba the Hut and wore a watch more masculine than mine! What a fun group...

Anyway, the weather was wonderful, the beer was cold and discounted, our home team won and the planets aligned for a memorable evening. My summertime attitude adjustment appointment worked beautifully. My next appointment is June 30th.

It was perfect.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It is officially summertime!

The BSU and I have eaten just about all the cherries off of our tree that we can reach without a ladder. We really love just picking and eating cherries after parking the truck whenever we get home from wherever. It's a wonderful, sweet treat and I know the neighbors must think we are crazy but we eat the tree bare just a few at a time, every day, until the birds get the last of them. That's one of the signals that summertime has really arrived.

The other signal is the crack of a baseball bat and last night I got to see my first baseball of the year. It happens we had time to kill in Salt Lake City last night, so after dinner we ran over and caught the last 2 innings of the Salt Lake Bees game against the Las Vegas 51s. Franklin Covey field is another really nice baseball stadium, if you ever get a chance to visit, go see a ball game there.

Tonight is opening night for the Ogden Raptors- my hometown team. Even though I had 3 tickets in my pocket for opening night, I traded them in for tickets for tomorrow night's game. I've got school tonight, don't you know... When I went to buy the tickets last week, I asked for Wednesday night but the girl selling them had been selling opening night tickets all day and she just automatically cranked out three for me.

So, tomorrow night, I'm settling in for 3 hours of summertime attitude adjustment therapy at Lindquist Field. The BSU is going along and I have one ticket to give away because my friend Pat has the flu. Sorry Pat! Twist your radio to AM 570, you will be able to listen in!

I added Doc Hudson to my collection today!

NOTE- links later, when I'm home.

That's right though, Doc Hudson, the car character voiced by Paul Newman in the terrific movie, Cars, has been added to my Cars collection. I've also already purchased Lightning McQueen in 2 styles- clean and dirty, Mater the tow truck and Sally the Carrera. The entire cast of the movie are presently being pushed out through the Golden Arches as the toys in the Happy Meals, so I'm buying them every chance I get.

Lest anyone think that I'm a Johnny come lately to buying Happy Meals, I have a Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera, a 57 Thunderbird and a 67 Mustang convertible, all of which are genuine Hot Wheel cars, that came out of Happy Meal bags, sometime around 1983. They have pride of place on my car shelves.

If you haven't guessed, my toy buying habits embarrass the hell out of my spouse, which is just one reason I do it!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

So, why haven't I been blogging?

No reason, really but a lot of reasons too. I'm still sick with a prolonged cough that just saps my energy and makes me pretty miserable. Work continues at a hectic pace, all the programs that I successfuly arranged the cash for a couple months ago are taking my full attention to get moving forward. School is two night a week and I don't get home until after 10 PM, so I'm constantly tired from those extended days too.

I've tried to catch up with some rest this weekend, only partially successfully. I cleaned a large portion of the shop today, then sat to watch some NASCAR racing until my neighbor, Leonard came over with a broken secondary water valve and a flood that was racing towards my shop. So I helped him dig a trench to route the flood away from my shop floor and then I spent a couple hours helping him get his broken parts removed and some new ones installed.

I did hear from Son Noah today, collect, from a payphone in San Francisco. He seems to be having a fine time, sleeping in the Tracker and taking the BART into the city for sightseeing each day. He says he has found some really good food, really cheap. He also is completely uncertain of his palns any further out than tomorrow. The traveling food peddlers that he worked for is on hiatus for a couple weeks and he thinks they are in Arizona next, so he may, or may not catch up to them. There's also somebody he wants to go see in San Diego, so he might just head down the coast. He really doesn't have a clue but he seems to be pretty happy. He says he might be home in time to look for a ski resort job- or, he might not.

There's a lot of news about Son Kye but none of it is good and I'm not going to share it here. I wish I could share but I won't for now. Let's just say that the boy has bought himself a boatload of trouble and my ability to help him is going to be very limited.

So apologies to all for the dearth of postings this past week. If I can get my cough under control, my energy level will improve and my interest in sharing might get better too. Now let's try Carol's suggestions for fixing my cartoon centering problem!

Monday, June 12, 2006

How about the cartoon addition?

So, maybe you noticed that I added the Day by Day cartoon strip to this humble blog over the weekend. What do you think? Does it work on my blog? For some reason I can't get it to display centered, even though it appears correctly in the Blogger template preview function. In spite of republishing the template changes twice, I still don't have the cartoon centered on the entire page. Any advice? There is even a vertical view of the strip that I downloaded and tried to figure out because I thought it might work best on the left side of the page. But the script to make it work was outside my skill level, so I defaulted to the normal view.

Anyway, do you like the cartoon? I like it and read it every day so I finally decided to load it up and see if I liked it on my page. I'd love to hear your comments.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Tonight-movie reviews!

Ok, I know I've not posted anything for a couple days. No excuses really, just busy and moving pretty hard and collapsing with no words of wisdom to share before its bedtime. And its nearly that way tonight but I'll try to share for a little bit.

I'm watching Animal Planet right now, there's a program called Romeo and Juliet, A Monkey's Tale showing. Ita a tale of love between two monkeys from opposite sides of the street, somewhere in Thailand. I have to say its the weirdest story I have seen in in quite a while. The monkeys just roam the streets, catch rides on the train when its convenient and fight between the tribes. Very strange. Too strange to watch, really.

Anyway, on to the movie reviews! First- CARS! CARS! CARS! Its a fantastic movie! Sure its animated and the cars are the characters, but its fantastic fun. It is a "coming of age" story for Speed McQueen as he meets up with a cast of characters in the forgotten town of Radiator Springs, somewhere off the interstate in our American Southwest. I'm not going to spoil it by telling the story but I will recommend it to everyone in the family. The animation is terrific, the storyline has lots of humor and jokes that the adults will get even if the kids don't and there are some hilarious cameo appearances.

Two of my favorite car guys, the Brothers Magliozzi from Car Talk have significant roles and even my lifetime hero Mario Andretti has a cameo that only I recognized. There's several more but I don't want to spoil it for all of you. Just be sure to take a good look at Ornament Valley when the scenes appear!

We saw Cars on Friday night and on Saturday we headed out to see a slightly smaller blockbuster that also opened this weekend, A Prairie Home Companion. Now, I've already confessed to being a National Public Radio junkie in this post by mentioning Car Talk, so if you didn't know already, I also love the Prairie Home Companion radio program. The movie is wonderful, full of characters from the real radio show and some of the characters, Dusty & Lefty and Guy Noir are actually part of the cast instead of just characters in a radio skit.

There's no question that this is a Robert Altman film in the way the multiple stories unfold both on and off the stage of the Fitzgerald Theater. The closeups of the characters as they perform and the cluttered backdrop of the stage are classic Altman trademarks and they make for a terrific film. This film's not going to be for everyone, the BSU barely tolerated it though she did like the old-time songs. If you aren't familiar with the stories and characters from the radio, there might not be a hook that will get you to part with your hard-earned movie dollars. But it is a solid story with great performances by Lilly Tomlin, Meryl Streep and Lindsey Lohan, all of whom have singing parts. Woody Harrelson makes a terrific cowboy BTW.

I loved it, you might too. Check it out.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

88.867 MPG, Yeah baby!

So after having the new carburetor from PowerSportsFactory on my Phantom for a couple weeks, I've finally taken the time to check my fuel mileage. Almost 89 miles per gallon on this most recent tank of gas! The scooter seems to be really running well though I still want to pull the carb and downsize the main jet from the 120 I am currently running to a 114 or 116, depending on what size is in my jet tin. I think its running rich and going just a little leaner would not only further improve the gas mileage but let it rev a little cleaner as well.

So, thanks again, PowerSportsFactory for the great technical and parts support. Being able to sit a traffic lights idling is a huge improvement over constantly fussing with a stumbling carburetor.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

School is back in session!

This term its my last Logistics class, Quality Control, from 4:30 until 7 followed by Marketing from 7:30 until 10 PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can tell already that those two days are going to be long days for the next 8 weeks! Because the Quality class is my last in Logistics, if I had signed up for it I could actually be dressing in a cap & gown a week from Saturday to receive my Associates degree in Logistics Management but I'll wait until next year and get both my diplomas at the same time.

These two classes are #4 & 5 of my remaining classes. I'll still have to do a Senior Seminar as well to complete my graduation requirements. Park University only does one graduation ceremony each year in June, so next year will be my turn. Two of my classmates are graduating this year so I think I'll clean up and go see their ceremony.

I wonder if I can talk any of my family into coming to Utah next June...

Its almost time for the Tonight Show so I guess I'll go inside now.

When plumbing projects go bad...

So, its nearly 10 PM, I'm sitting outside on my porch blogging and drinking a beer and- waiting for a plumber to arrive... he's 45 minutes and $175 dollars away...

It all started so innocently tonight. I was going to try to get the camper readied for a trip this weekend. One of the items on the checklist is putting drinkable water in to the storage tank. Since our outside primary water tap has been broken for some years, that means I normally have to run a 100 foot hose through the carport, into the house, down the stairs and connect it under a counter in the basement.

Its a pain. And the 100 foot hose gets used for secondary water which is not treated for drinking and I always have to flush it out before hooking it up to the camper.

So tonight I decided I would just replace that busted tap and save myself some grief-right... It didn't unscrew from the house plumbing of course, it twisted off the copper pipe it was attached to, leaving the house with no running water! No problem, its in the basement and with just a little time I had cut a hole in the sheetrock ceiling and discovered the source of the problem. Looks easy enough, one trip to Home Depot should do the trick. Went to the store, found the parts I needed and back home again after a Taco Bell supper for the BSU and myself.

Of course, if one trip to HD is good, two must be better and I did make the second trip when my new parts turned out to be 1 inch too short. Got more parts. Went back into the basement, got everything lubed up with flux, slipped together and proceeded to try to get these pre-soldered fittings heated up.

Everything worked except one solder joint... Now I'm starting to get cranky. Reheat things, take the leaky joint apart, try to clean it up but now there's too much solder and things won't slip back together. I decide to remove that fitting to work on it closer. I can't get it hot enough to loosen the solder joint... Then I bent the fitting trying to twist it while heating. Now I'm cussing, its past 9 so I can't go buy a tank for my biger, hotter torch and I can't turn on the house water!

Time to call in a professional, Grr! So I'm sitting outside where I can smoke a cigar while drinking my beer, waiting. I didn't get the camper ready, obviously and I didn't get any of my reading assignments for tomorrow night's classes read and I'm spending my camping trip money so that I can have a shower and a flush toilet before I go to bed tonight.

I shoulda just drug the damm hose down the stairs on the new carpet!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How do I spend my day?

How do I spend my day? From just part of an email string that I've been pulling on today-

...So, 45 minutes later, I have reworked a spreadsheet dealing with $53K of 5 different country's money and adjusted their percentages, (to 6 decimal places) that altered their funding by no more than 50 cents in either direction. I've passed it on to the Lt in Contracting to get my Delivery Order wrapped up and passed it back to the country manager that gave me the bogus percentages so he could explain it to each of the country's Financial Management types.

Fifty cents either way on a D.O. for $53,000! Good grief.

This all makes sense to you, right?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Plane Makes Emergency Landing, Pilot Dies

I've been negligent I suppose in keeping those of you that aren't from behind the Zion Curtain informed of some of the local goings-on. This story made the news over the weekend and Jack Francis is being touted as a hero, however posthumously. Seems Mr Francis had a heart attack while at the controls of his personal light plane. He was able to make an emergency landing, keeping the airplane under control and without injury to any of his passengers before blacking out. He died before emergency services could reach him.
"His actions really saved the lives of the other three people on board. If he hadn't landed the plane on the road, when he did, it could've been a lot worse. He deserves a lot of credit, what he did getting the plane landed when he did."

Francis was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead from the heart attack.
So, kind regards to the remaining family and a hat tip to a man with the presence of mind to first fly the airplane and second protect his passengers.

On a related note, I should point out that this headline certainly qualifies for one of Terry's "Adventures in headline writing" posts. Shame on you KSL!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My kid has run away and joined the circus!

Actually, it turns out not to be a circus but a Renaissance Fair in Lake Tahoe... Noah called Saturday night to let us know that he was doing fine, camping legally and earning a few bucks per hour deep-frying assorted foodstuffs and spraying fireproofing on tents for folks not already protected in accordance with California requirements.

He's got no real plan for next week but apparently he has a promise of continued employment if he follows the faire and makes himself useful.

And I put another $61 in his account from his ammo can of pennies that he left behind!

I'm still alive after clobbering that flu bug

I did manage to beat that bug into submission after Friday night. I woke up Saturday feeling decent and productive so that was how I tried to spend my weekend. But before I bore you with this weekend, I have pictures from last weekend!

We went to dinner last week with Kye, Sara and Grandbaby Astin, so I was able to get some snaps while we ate. Here's some proud Grandpa pics of the baby-

Astin and his mom seem to be doing pretty well, all things considered.

So, this weekend? A haircut yesterday, and some errands and finally I finished up the painting and trim on the corner of the carport that I had started earlier in the week. That job turned out really well and overall the corner looks much better than before. Later the spouse and I went out to supper and a movie- RV with Robin Williams. Here's my advice for this movie, wait a week or two and rent it. Skip paying full price and pop your own popcorn for this one. There are some funny bits but overall its too predictable and not funny enough to be worth buying tickets for it.

Today I spent the day cleaning up, fixing up, mowing and tossing junk out. My skinny little lawnmower storage shed has 3 new shelves in it tonight, 2 above the mower and 1 above an existing shelf on the other end. There really is a bunch of stuff in that little closet and most of it was piling up on the floor, now it is much tidier. One shelf holds Noah's 4-wheeling gear, another holds 4 floor jacks and the 3rd new shelf holds gas cans and some Miracle Grow.

I got the lawn mowed, some weeds pulled, the carport cleaned up and some junk thrown away out of my workshop. I spent a bit of time sitting on the front porch with the spouse watching the neighborhood birds and the front yard got watered too.

Now I've had dinner, a shower, a couple beers and helped clean up the kitchen while waiting for the laundry to get finished. Can I be tired now?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Still sick-stayed home today

I've been on the couch all day except for a short trip with the spouse to get some groceries. Most of my cold has moved out of my head and settled in my chest. I've been choking down the night-time cold capsules on a regular schedule and that seems to be helping. It doesn't do anything for my motivation but it maks me feel a little better.

Maybe I'll feel more like posting tomorrow.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm sick!

I have a nasty cold and it is really making me crabby. I didn't realize I was sick until Tuesday evening but I did finally have to acknowledge that I wasn't feeling good and its just gotten worse since then. Perhaps the fact that my building's temperature starts out at 58-60 degrees each morning and gets as warm as 65 by days end has something to do with my head cold. I've been taking some meds and I even got a decent night's sleep last night but I sure feel crappy today.

This temperature situation in our building is ridiculous!

UPDATE: Alright, its really hit me. I left work early when the fever kicked in. I stopped at Albertsons for some Night Time cold capsules on the way home then took a 4 hour nap before eating any dinner. I've watched a little tv tonight and its time for bed again. I don't think I'm going to work tomorrow...