Day by Day cartoon

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Searchers Find Missing Out Of Town Skiers

Think skiing inbounds at a ski resort can't possibly be dangerous or cause a life threatening problem? This little story of 5 lost skiers occurred this week at Powder Mountain Ski Resort, which you all know is my favorite outdoor area. These 5, out of town visitors got turned around and ended up just 200 yards below the lowest lift that would have taken them back to the lodge and civilization.

They did survive a cold night with no fire or heat and were rescued pretty early the next morning after being located by a helicopter crew. That's the good news. The could-have-been-worse news is that they were headed downhill- down a canyon that doesn't reach civilization for more than a dozen miles! If they had known where they were on the mountain, there were two warming shacks with heaters back up the hill just those 200 yards at Paradise lift base.

Anyway, thanks to the Search & Rescue folks for their efforts and well done to the 5 visitors that kept their wits and survived a night in the winter mountains without injury. Watch the video at the link for a really good view of my favorite ski resort and to hear the whole story.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A desk... made from LEGO

Here's the job my kid Noah really should pursue. He seems incapable of staying employed for more than a few weeks when he has an actual boss, so self-employment seems his only possibility for long term employment. His only other possibility seems would be to purchase a flavored ice machine and shack to set on a grocery store parking lot corner. But maybe he could do this- he used to love to build LEGO stuff...
- Approximately 35,000 LEGO bricks were used. This includes almost all the pieces from 32 Blue Tubs (#3033), almost 300 (!) small baseplates (8x16 studs), and 63 blue plate packs from LEGO Shop-at-Home. A few other pieces were also bought from private collectors (226 tiles so the drawers could slide, et cetera).
- The desk weighs about 120 pounds, I think.
- The desk has the following dimensions (inches, WxHxD): 60" x 29.5" x 30".
- It has 7 working drawers (six small, one large).
- Yes, the top is bumpy -- studs up. I offered to make the top smooth, but the client specifically requested otherwise.
- Yes, I was paid to build the desk. Don't ask how much. It was worth my time.
Where do people get the ideas that lead to this stuff?

A lot of money to spend on your nasty bits...

For those of you that might not mosey over to Possumblog routinely, you should check out this post from yesterday. Terry is predicting new major sponsors for the upcoming NASCAR season!

Dang! A cubicle partner-

This may have an affect on my blogging and blog reading during wortk hours... Grr! I've had this 2 person, with a view, back of the building cubicle to myself for a few months now, ever since Matt moved out. Yesterday the phones finally got switched over and the new AF Captain moved in on the other side of the table from me.

First impressions are that he's competant and probably pretty smart but suspect he is also a hardliner about rules and regulations. He also works directly for my boss. His presence may just have a detrimental affect on the amount of time I can spend online.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another nice weekend-

Sometimes its just really nice to have a weekend without too many tasks and requirements. This weekend was one of those for me. Its been wonderful.

Friday night was a movie date with the spouse, a creepy, suspense drama, Notes on a Scandal. We both really enjoyed this story and if you like drama films, this one is a dandy.

Saturday I got to stay home most of the day except for a few errands for myself. I spent most of the afternoon working on the Suzuki and by supper time it was running! It didn't start up immediately when I hit the button but it didn't smoke any of the wires that had been disconnected over the past few weeks either. I figure that's a success story in itself! Anyway, with some old fuel drained out of the float bowls and a little starter fluid, it was running!

I do still have to take the fuel tank off and drain it to remove some floaties inside that appear to be a previously installed rust prevention coating that is failing and coming loose inside the tank.

Today it was a glorious day for skiing in the mountains and that's what I did with son Kye. It was warm and sunny and the snow, even though its only half as deep as it should be, was soft and fast. Kye took me out through the trees this afternoon and I followed him all day even though I don't normally venture into the trees. But we had a great time on a wonderful winter afternoon.

Supper tonight was sandwiches at Village Inn, kind of early and then back home. I talked to Mom for quite a while, she's doing great and well recovered from her heart surgery. She is getting cardio rehab 3 days per week and walking the outdoor track around the local hockey rink 3 more days each week. Mom's walking 2 miles in 40 minutes each time she goes to the track and feeling very good. She is driving and resuming most of her usual activities around the house. She really sounds very good compared to how sick she was back in October and November.

I also talked to Dad tonight for so long that I worried about my cell phone's battery dieing! It didn't and we had a great chat about everything and nothing at all. Dad's active in his church and serving as a Trustee and what a challenge it is! I'm glad he's able to manage all the folks wanting things done just their way and all the meetings that are required.

Finally tonight I was able to spend at least an hour practicing on my guitar. I can just almost scratch out a song using 2 strings and 6 notes. I still have trouble keeping track of which notes I'm supposed to be playing but my efforts are beginning to sound like a little something.

Now its time for bed and snuggling my Sweetie!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Caffeine spiked donuts- yeah!

Soon perhaps your local constabulary (and you too) will be able to get hopped up on caffeine and a sugar buzz without the danger of a painful burn when the coffee spills pulling out of the drive-up window. It seems that someone has developed the caffeine spiked donut! This dandy new invention does away with the bitter caffeine taste and gives you a glazed donut sugar rush all the same time. The inventor claims that a single donut has the caffeine boost of 2 cups of coffee, so a donut and a coffee = 3 cups of coffee!

Hurry these things to market won't you please? Imagine catching a 3 cup buzz without the bladder busting need to drain off all that coffee... What a great idea!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


No, really, this is too funny! I can't vouch for its veracity but it sure looks like a shot from a television to me! You must see this picture!

If anybody ever tells you that being "close" with their spelling is good enough, show them this picture...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Would it be bad-

if I just wanted to go home and play with my new guitar? I really am distracted by the desire to go home and make some sounds with that thing.

Friend Kenny at Coffee in the Morning and his spousal unit called in apathetic this morning so he could go buy lottery tickets. Can't I skip a day of work to play with my new toy?

Monday, January 22, 2007

I got my birthday present tonight!

Ok, its a few days early for my birthday but I got my present tonight and I am so thrilled. I said for my New Years resolution that this year I wanted to learn to make music and now, I have the tool to do so! It is an Ibanez Artcore, hollow body, electric guitar. Click the "enlarge" button to see the transparent blue sunburst model, that's the one now taking up residence in my family room.

I really like this thing! I bought a Marshall amplifier, some picks and an instruction book to go with my new toy. Tomorrow I make the phone calls to find a live instructor.

Tonight I spent an hour playing with this shiny guitar and my laptop and the DVD of instruction. The guitar sounds great but I have got lots to learn! Because its a hollow body it can be played unplugged just fine and I did that most of the time tonight. I did have to plug in in for a few minutes just to hear what it sounded like and it sounds just fine.

Later I'll take a picture or two but for tonight you will just have to be content with the Guitar Center link pictures. And I'm on my way towards being creative! Lest anyone despair, I'm not giving up on becoming a dulcimer player, I'm just branching into a new direction with the expectation that the skills I learn from guitar lessons will carry over to my laptop instrument!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Suzuki update

I've been making some progress on the motorcycle as often as I can stand to heat up the shop in the evenings. With the help of Bike Bandit I've been buying the parts I've needed. Bike Bandit has been really helpful with lots of new old stock bushings and rubber parts and I really like the quick processing and shipping. The company is in California and I'm getting parts delivered by the least expensive method in just 4 days.

I've installed new handlebars with more pullback so I won't have to lean forward quite so far and a new clutch cable and new control levers. I've rebuilt the fuel petcock and all 4 inlet manifolds.

I've also been trying to figure out a decent method of mounting the exhaust muffler. The last owner had simply welded the muffler's mount tab to the frame and after getting that freed up and the frame repainted, I've been struggling with finding a mounting method. I looked at wrap around clamps and I considered bolting or welding a plate to the frame extension, neither of which seemed like a good idea.

Today I figured out a simple, flat bracket that bolts to the frame with 2 existing bolt holes and secures the muffler with one bolt and a spacer. It took less than an hour to make it, including the trip to Home Depot to buy the steel! I've painted it so it will be ready for installation the next time I get out to the shop. I have no idea why it took me so long to figure out this simple and effective mount.

Next, figuring out where the fuel level sending wires are in the wire harness!

Where I spent my Saturday-

Powder Mountain Ski Resort.

It was a better picture early in the morning before the clouds and snow blew in...

In spite of the slightly less than perfect visibility, it was a great day. Kye went along and snowboarded until he was tired. There was homemade potato soup back at the house when we got home. Yumm!

Friday, January 19, 2007

There may be a mouse in the house-

Apparently, its all my fault...

Uintah Cat drug dragged in a mouse a couple nights ago, in the middle of the night. Why he was out hunting during single digit temperatures instead of warming the foot of my bed, I'll never understand. The spouse awoke as a result of the cat's usual growling that he does when he's captured something and that required me to get out of bed to see what I could do about the situation.

Well, the cat was having a pretty dandy time playing with the mouse in the family room where it was warm and they had a rousing game of tag going on around the library table. Finally the mouse escaped behind the bookcase that holds my toy cars, the cat was stymied and I got to go back to bed.

The next day, while I was at work, the spouse claimed that both of the cats and the dog were involved in a 2nd chase around the family room! She didn't look for any carcasses and I didn't find any when I got home so the presumption was that the mouse had escaped.

Why is all this tale (tail?) my fault? Why, that's easy. I put the birdseed in the birdfeeder in the backyard! Sure. The birds spill their food onto the ground and the neighborhood mice come around to cleanup the jackpot of spilled seed. Then the cat, who already knows about the feeder as an attraction for the feathered targets, catches the far easier, furred mouse targets and brings them in to play with because its cold outside this week!

So the mouse in the house is my fault because I feed the birds in my backyard!

"They call it an inner monologue for a reason"

You have got to go read this!
Say, “With the right outfit, she’d make a great garden gnome.” Wait for a response. None will come. Describe the pointy knit cap you saw at T.J. Maxx, the one that would work perfectly. Sell the package, really sell it: “I could have her knee-deep in your petunias in five and a half hours, just say the word.”

Strain to hear what your mother is muttering under her breath. It sounds like, “They call it an inner monologue for a reason,” but you can’t be sure. When your mother hangs up, put down the phone and stare down at the sullen face of your three-year-old daughter.
Your're going to have to read the whole thing. What a piece of writing!

The 5 Toughest Questions for Men

[NOTE: this came to me by friend Kenny and since he didn't post it, I thought I would.]

1. What are you thinking about?
2. Do you love me?
3. Do I look fat?
4. Do you think she is prettier than me?
5. What would you do if I died?

What makes these questions so difficult is that each one is guaranteed to explode into a major argument if the man answers incorrectly (i.e. tells the truth). Therefore, as a public service, each question is analyzed below, along with possible responses.

Question # 1: What are you thinking about?

The proper answer to this, of course, is: "I'm sorry if I've been pensive, dear. I was just reflecting on what a warm, wonderful, thoughtful, caring, intelligent woman you are, and how lucky I am to have met you."

This response obviously bears no resemblance to the true answer, which most likely is one of the following:

a. Baseball.
b. Football.
c. How fat you are.
d. How much prettier she is than you.
e. How I would spend the insurance money if you died.

(Perhaps the best response to this question was offered by Al Bundy, who once told Peg, "If I wanted you to know what I was thinking, I would be talking to you!")

Question # 2: Do you love me?

The proper response is: "YES!" or, if you feel a more detailed answer is in order, "Yes, dear."

Inappropriate responses include:

a. Oh Yeah, loads.
b. Would it make you feel better if I said yes?
c. That depends on what you mean by love.
d. Does it matter?
e. Who, me?

Question # 3: Do I look fat?

The correct answer is an emphatic: "Of course not!"

Among the incorrect answers are:

a. Compared to what?
b. I wouldn't call you fat, but you're not exactly thin.
c. A little extra weight looks good on you.
d. I've seen fatter.
e. Could you repeat the question? I was just thinking about how I would spend the insurance money if you died.

Question # 4: Do you think she's prettier than me?

Once again, the proper response is always: "Of course not!"

Incorrect responses include:

a. Yes, but you have a better personality.
b. Not prettier, but definitely thinner.
c. Not as pretty as you when you were her age.
d. Define pretty..
e. Could you repeat the question? I was just thinking about how I would spend the insurance money if you died.

Question# 5: What would you do if I died?

A definite no-win question.

(The real answer, of course, is "Buy a Corvette!") Or guns of course, or maybe a place in the country where I could shoot my guns with my friends.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Motion Filed to hold New Orleans mayor in contempt

I love seeing articles like this from Of Arms and the Law.
BELLEVUE, WA – Frustrated by repeated failures to meet court-appointed deadlines, and a pattern of disregard by the City of New Orleans, the Second Amendment Foundation has filed a motion to hold Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley in contempt of federal court.

“Mayor Nagin, Chief Riley and the city’s attorney have repeatedly failed to communicate with our legal counsel, even for the most trivial of matters related to this lawsuit,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “We were prepared to file this motion months ago, but gave the city several opportunities to comply with the court, and to begin returning seized firearms to their rightful owners. They haven’t done it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ray Nagin is a jackass. That the citizens of NO are so naive to continually re-elect him after his demonstrated inability to lead or administer is a sad state of affairs. Its a damm shame that these lawsuits to return these firearms to the citizens are being brought by agencies outside of New Orleans instead of by the affected people of that city.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Building a better cosmoline cooker-

Anybody that's ever been around military surplus firearms, fresh from the crate, knows that they are packed, soaked, filled and drizzled with an icky preservative known as cosmoline. Now cosmoline is really good stuff for preserving guns from evil corrosion and it sticks nice and tight to wood and metal alike and it penetrates into every little nook and cranny of whatever it is applied to.

Which means it is a real pain in the patoot to remove the same good stuff when its time to get the gun out and go shooting. Cleaning cosmoline from firearms is much more complicated than just wiping down the stock and running a bore brush and a couple patches through the barrel. This stuff takes scrubbing!

There's a grundle of ways espoused by every mil-surp owner and peddler to remove the cosmoline before the fun of shooting can take place. Most of them involve expensive and/or hazardous chemicals, some of them require strong detergents and hot water and many of them promote heating up the parts and getting the sticky, waxy stuff to soften and melt and run off into a pan.

As you might guess, heating up these sticky gun parts in the kitchen range is usually frowned upon by the typical spousal unit...

Bruce, over at mASS BACKWARDS, having finally escaped the evil clutches of Ted Kennedy's homeland for the freedom of New Hampshire, just went out and bought himself a freshly uncrated SKS rifle from the weekend gun show. And now he has built himself a cosmoline removal cooker of his very own design. Right now he's calling it the "grease gauntlet" though he is shopping for a better name for his invention.

He's been so busy building that I don't think he has actually has put it into work yet but the goal is for the all the gun parts to get warm enough, long enough to melt off the icky preservative and let it run out the drain holes.

Its a creative design and I hope it works. Bruce might have come up with a dandy solution to a sticky problem. Updates will follow as he gets further along.

And, Bruce- skip worrying about the wood and just buy the Tapco collapsible stock. I love my Tapco stock and just wish I had the ACU colored model instead of the tan version.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bigamy isn't ok?

Since when? This is Utah after all... Anyway, here is a fine example of a Utah dumbass who thought the way into a 16 year old girl's panties was to promise her a "spiritual marriage."

This report leaves out most of the good parts of the story that I found in yesterday's Standard-Exaggerator newspaper but could not find online. First of all, Roskelley was caught with the girl "in a sexual situation" in the back of his pickup truck where he was apparently trying to consumate his spiritual marriage. The girl's family later received a restraining order to keep him away from her, which he has repeatedly tried to violate using email, the Postal Service and other accomplices to contact the girl.

Roskelly is also facing charges of vehicle theft so maybe the pickup truck he was using as a celestial bedroom wasn't even his and that's not mentioned in this story. Finally, according to yesterday's article, the dumbass is denying that he made any spiritual marriage promises to this 16 year old girl, so imagine her feeling of loss. Not only did she get sexually involved with a man promising a spiritual, eternal connection, now she is high and dry and he is denying the love he promised to her. That's got to leave a mark!

Monday, January 15, 2007

One long weekend- 2 movies

I've had 3 days off from work and its been too cold to ski. I've also not been able to shake the head cold from hell so skiing just wasn't in my schedule, no matter how much I might have wanted to. It has been cold here this weekend, no more than 20 degrees here in the valley when the sun's shining and much closer to 0 degrees at night.

Instead the BSU and I saw a couple movies. Friday night it was Dreamgirls, which has already tonight won 2 Golden Globe awards. I hope it wins more before the night's over because it really is a dynamite movie. It is a period piece from the 60s through the 80s, loosely based on Diana Ross and the Supremes, with all the stylish hair and dresses and dance steps that the Supremes made so popular during their reign. If you liked Ray or Walk the Line then you might like Dreamgirls for the same fun of a period piece full of great music and drama.

Tonight we went to see The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. It is a touching story, apparently mostly true, about a single dad struggling through homelessness while working his unpaid way through an internship with a big stock trading firm. The story takes place in San Francisco and the 1980s, so it has a gritty quality in the filming but overall all, its a great movie. It even made the BSU tear up a little bit. Will Smith does a dandy job and the 2nd character, his son, is really his son, so the chemistry between them is obvious and fun.

So that's it for my weekend, 2 good movies that I would recommend for everyone. Except for a bit of putzing on the motorcycle that's about all I've done.

I have got to shake out this head cold!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

More memory is a good thing!

That's right, I bought a new, 1gig stick of memory for my laptop on Friday and installed it Saturday. Now, instead of 512mb, I have 1.2gb of RAM. This is a very good thing! My laptop is very happy with this upgrade.

I'd been shopping for more memory for a few weeks and it seemed that just about everywhere it was $130 to $145. I happened into Staples on Friday. There it was $130 but they had a $30 rebate attached!

So I bought it. Call it an anniversary present to Wasted Electrons I suppose. And another day- I think I'll buy a matching stick and have 2gig on my 'puter!

Its January 14th- do you know what that means?

It means I have been burning up electrons on this humble blog for 4 years now. Who woulda thunk it? The BSU remains convinced that it is the single biggest time-waster in my life. It might just be, but I still like it.

I don't have anything significant to say about this blogversary except that it remains a fun outlet for me. I've met lots of interesting people because of WE and many of them I call my friends, even if I haven't yet had the privilege of meeting them in the flesh. To all of you, thanks for sharing you lives and loves with me.

If you've come around here for any length of time you've heard about 3 years of going to school nights and doing homework on weekends, trips to the desert for shooting, medical emergencies related to my spouse and most recently my Mom, who is recovering very nicely, my kid's adventures in growing into adulthood no matter how painful and occasionally my personal insights into the world around me, most usually, closely around me, here behind the Zion Curtain. Brother Tim took me to task recently for not sharing more of my opinion about the dumbasses that poplulate the world, so I suppose its time I fire up the invective machine and share some of the exploits of lesser known dumbasses with the rest of the world. I'll work on that. Oh look, here's one dumbass that stole a Nobel Peace Prize medal! See how easy that was?

Anyway, its a beautiful winter afternoon here in Utah and I should be skiing. Except that the head cold I've had for weeks refuses to go away and it is sapping my energy. I'm trying to take it easy this weekend and rest so that maybe I can finally beat this drippy nose and horrible cough into submission. Next weekend- I'll be skiing and working on Saturday and maybe I'll feel good enough to go to the gun show on Sunday.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My butt is dragging today...

As is often the case about this time of the week, I'm just about wore out. I stay up too late and get up too early all week long and by this time of the week and day, I'm ready for a nap.

Which is really frowned upon here on the job... Not to mention the bad case of qwertyitis that I get when if I do happen to nod off. So, I'm struggling a bit this afternoon.

Work is back to full spead ahead after the holiday break, everybody wants something and they want it now, because they didn't ask for it last week. Typical. The saga of the lost kit continues but I might be getting closer to finding the needed parts. I just need one guy to answer his phone and go look in a box for me. If I solve this dilemma without spending any money, it will be a minor miracle. I have actually solved a number of nagging problems for several programs this week so I have been pretty productive.

In another minor miracle, the BSU and I were successful in copying embroidery files from the computer onto the magic, Husqvarna disc and into the sewing machine last night! It took a couple trips to talk to an expert but we were successful. I've discovered that Husqvarna's new USB Reader/Writer will not read the identical cards that could be loaded and unloaded using the old, parallel Reader/Writer. It would just be silly to make proprietary equipment backwards compatible now, wouldn't it? [/snark]

The coat that I've been wearing for the past 2 winters was really the nylon shelled liner for a cheap ski coat that I bought because I wanted the inner jacket. Last Saturday, while working at the ski resort, the zipper on the liner exploded leaving me with no everyday jacket and no ski coat liner... Rats! I know it was ugly but it worked. Yesterday I bought a fleece zippered jacket to be my new liner for the ski coat, from Ross. I also ordered a Duluth Traders Fire Hose fabric work Jacket for my winter wear.

So, you see, I'm not really being lazy, I'm just not stopping to post much.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Radio Control airplane that makes you wonder

It makes you wonder how many hours it took to build, and how many dollars it cost to build and where, exactly do you store it when its not being flown. This "miniature" B52 is amazing!

Its a long download, but worth it if you like airplanes both large and small.

I wonder if its also got s functioning bomb bay...

Three Airmen from Hill AFB killed in Baghdad

This is very sad news tonight, 3 airman from Hill AFB were killed Sunday in Baghdad, killed by a vehicle loaded with explosives. The Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team members were:
Tech Sergeant Timothy R. Weiner, 35, of Tamarack, Florida., Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki, 23, of New Castle, Delaware, and Senior Airman Daniel B. Miller Juniorr., 24, of Galesburg, Illinois.
There have been so many of our military members killed in Iraq, each one hurts my heart. These 3, killed in action, were the first from my home base, here at Hill and their loss makes my heart very sad.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

My template seems to be tanked

I'd ask Carol for some coding help but I know she's not in the mood right now...

Somehow my little rotating caffeine molecule in the header has replicated itself. The second molecule just barely appears at the bottom of the banner, but it is there.

Here's the weird part, I copied my template code into MS Word and ran a word search for the molecule's file name. It only shows up one time! That doesn't make any sense. If the file is only listed once in the template, how does the molecule show up twice?

Its a mystery fixed!. Thanks Curt! Stupid Blogger and its fancy-dancy input boxes had me looking in the wrong place for the duplicate coding. But Curt's direction got me looking even deeper and I fixed the duplication.

Blogging updates

I'm continuing to make some small changes to the look here at WE and most of them are just corrections to folks links. So pay attention because things might not be the same as they always looked.

I fixed the name to Kenny's Coffee in the Morning since he switched back to his original title when he started back again a few months ago.

Sailor Curt is back to blogging after a short hiatus and he's a guy I need to find an excuse for a trip back to east to meet.

Friend Karen has a new blog, Passions of My Heart where she is exploring the softer and more artistic part of her life. She really is creating some wonderful poetry and photography, so I hope you'll check out her passions.

Sarge moved off of Blogger and over to WordPress months ago but I've been to busy lazy to update my blog. So, I'm doing it right now. Make sure to say hey to another retired AF MSgt over at Sarge Says

Prosecute Bloomberg!

SailorCurt sent me this link and a request to spread this story as widely as possible. Which I will gladly do. I've actually been paying some attention to this story of the mayor of New York City hiring investigators to make proxy firearms sales throughout the east coast, trying to prove that the guns in his city are being brought there illegally.

Well, I'm with Kurt and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, I think the mayor should be protested and arrested for his surely illegal efforts. I can't make the rally in DC, but I'll be there in spirit!

Want to know more details about mayor Bloomberg's probably illegal investigation? Read about it here. This is pretty interesting reading on mayor Bloomberg's efforts in his elected city.

And Curt, I'm fixing my blogroll- today!

Friday, January 05, 2007

I'm not at work today-

and I'm not skiing, as I should be, since there's a foot or more of new powder snow on the mountain.

I'm also not having as much fun as friend Carol who is off to sunny warm climes after finally getting through the ordeal of house building, buying and moving.

I am working on a resume to be completed before the day is over for possible government service, doing what I'm already doing as a contractor.

And, I'm still sick with a head cold I blame on Terry at Possumblog. This stupid head cold has stuck around ever since the weekend I spent on the couch with the flu before Christmas. I'm taking antihistamines, MucinexD right now and today, I almost feel ok. Yesterday was miserable with uncontrollable sneezing and barely controllable coughing.

So I'm not skiing until tomorrow. Today I'm staying inside and trying to rest a bit. And finishing the KSAs.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My shotgun is back in the locker

I mentioned in a previous post that I bought an inexpensive, (cheap) 12 gauge, over/under shotgun just a week ago. On its first jackrabbit hunting trip it killed one rabbit then turned itself into a single shot with a spare shell carrier in the top barrel.

Yesterday I took it back to the pawn shop where it came from and they graciously returned my money. I looked at a Charles Daly semi-automatic shotgun and offered a deal for it that had to be approved by the boss who wasn't in residence at the time. The boss did call me later in the afternoon and said he could do the deal I offered for the Daly and I promised to be in after work.

Which I did. In the mean time, the friendly proprietor had tinkered with the over/under gun, found a firing pin sticking and had it back in working order before I arrived. So I bought back the double barreled gun.

I did take it home and take it apart- no surprise there, right Kenny? All the metal parts of the action seemed to be in the right places and working freely so I just degreased it a bit then relubed everything with Break-Free and put it back together.

Now I just need to go shoot it and confirm that everything is good.

Shiny Things for the Thursday Three!

With the new year comes a new Thursday Three and today Terry's asking about new stuff, new activities, shiny things and old things that just can't be discarded. Here's the questions and my responses.
1) What new thing would you like to attempt in the New Year?

Well, as I wrote in my New Years post just down the page a ways, this year I want to explore some artistic avenues. I want to learn to make music with my dulcimer. The music doesn't have to be good enough to please anybody but me, but I'd like to be able to play some music that doesn't come from a shiny, spinning disc in a machine.
2) What one new thing do you really, REALLY need (not want, but truly need) to have?

Wow, this is a hard question! There's just not very much that I really need that I don't have already. I'm not too shy about buying something when I find a need for tools or toys so there just isn't much I need. Actually, (and some of you might think this is a want, not a need), I need a 45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol with the number 1911 engraved somewhere on its slide. I sold my Ruger P345 before Christmas and now I don't have a 45 caliber gun in my locker. A man needs a 45 and I've decided I must have one in the design that John Moses Browning sold to the US government nearly a century ago. I'm thinking that the newly introduced Taurus version of JMB's famous gun will make a fine addition to my locker and enhance my well being.
3) What grungy old ramshackle thing do you have that you should replace with something shiny and new but just can’t bring yourself to make the switch?

This month, January 2007 brings the 25 birthday of my brown wool helmet liner hat. The hat's actually older than that but I've happily owned and worn the hat for 25 years now. What's it look like? Remember Radar O'Reilly from the television show MASH? It’s the same hat that Radar wore probably every episode. The BSU hates it and I've pretty much relegated it to duty out in my shop or when I'm working at the ski resort. Its really not pretty and I have other hats that I wear out in public but I'm not getting rid of my brown wool hat.

So that's it, my Thursday Three. Play along here, in the comments or over at Possumblog, home of Terry and the Thursday Three.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A simple history update- what I've done this week

I've had a few days off from work and that's been really nice. Its been good to have a relaxed schedule for a little while. I haven't been too lazy though, I just haven't been thinking about program management very much.

I took the family out to dinner and a Utah Grizzlies hockey game one night and saw something I've never seen before. A fight broke out on the ice! That in itself isn't unusual or even remarkable, but this fight broke out before the first faceoff! That's right, before the game even began, two players squared off, dropped their gloves and helmets and went at each other like they were resolving an old feud. They each got their punches in and a 5 minute fighting penalty and the game went on to be a real thriller. The Grizzlies did manage a win over Las Vegas and even had two goals scored in the first three minutes of the game, then scored again while trying to burn down a 2 minute Las Vegas power play. That was an excellent night out.

On that same day I went with Kenny, his son-in-law, Shane and his dad, Roy, out to the desert for a few hours of stomping around chasing jackrabbits. We went south this time, a different direct direction than we usually go and although the number of bunnies killed was pretty low- 2, we had a great time.

I did have a disappointing equipment failure though, which I'll be rectifying tomorrow. Last week, on impulse I bought a 12 gauge, over/under shotgun- a very inexpensive, used one from a pawn shop. It worked great the first time, I shot a jackrabbit with my first try of the gun. And both barrels worked as they were supposed to with the single trigger- once! Before leaving for the day, Kenny wanted to try the gun but the trigger mechanism had failed and turned my two-barrelled gun into a single shot! The pawn shop's already offered to buy it back. Now I want another one...

Sunday was spent skiing at Powder Mountain. Noah was working his ticket checking job and Kye went along for snowboarding with Dad. Except he ditched Dad on the very first run of the day and I didn't see him again until the lifts closed! We all had a good day of slipping and sliding on the mountain though and the BSU had chili and cornbread waiting for us for dinner. The new Hidden Lake Express high-speed lift is a wonderful addition to Powder Mountain and really makes skiing Hidden Lake a pleasure. The ride up is now 7 minutes instead of 17 or 18, so you can see that you can spend much more time skiing than riding the creaky old chair that used to get you back to the top. The new lift is great!

Last night the BSU and I braved the crowds and went to see Charlotte's Web. We really needed a rent-a-kid to take along to see this movie but failing that we went just the two of us. What a fun movie! I know that its a kid's story and the movie makers played it completely straight to the story, there's no adult, inside jokes that kid's won't get like many movies. This one is just a simple, fun story about a little girl, her pet pig and a spider that can write words. The rat is hilarious. Take your kids, grandkids, somebody else's kids and go see it. You'll feel good afterwards.

In between all these festivities, I'm still sick with a head congestion that makes me cough too much of the time. I'm taking meds, some of them even work, but I'm still pretty lousy. I even had another of my passing out events the other night, over my chili bowl. One minute I was eating and chatting with everyone, then I had a cough fit and blacked out. I managed to keep my face out of my bowl but I scared the spouse and the boys pretty good.

And now- its time to order some motorcycle parts and then go pick up the BSU's sewing machine from the shop.

Happy New Year to all!

First of all, I have to say I'm just grateful to be posting this at all because I thought just a few minutes ago that this humble blog might never be repaired or recognizable again! That's what I get for tinkering with Blogger's newest improvements for template layout. It really looked for a minute that my template was really tanked and I'm happy to report that I was able to re-establish the classic look without too much panic.

I did think that I'd give the old blog some sprucing up for the new year but after that little episode, it might not change very much. Better to stick with what I (sorta) know instead of getting too carried away.

But, its a new year, and as is traditional, I have made some resolutions. First, I'm going to get more exercise. I may not go to the gym but I'm going to walk more and ride the stationary bike in the evenings and maybe even explore the new gym that just opened on base. Second, I'm going to explore some artistic avenues. I'm going to get my dulcimer out and learn to play it and even see if I can find someone to give me lessons. I might just take some guitar lessons too if the dulcimer goes well enough to justify trying new things.

I might learn to paint this year. I've no interest in painting landscapes or still lifes, I think I want to learn to pinstripe! We'll see about that. Somehow the idea of lying down stylish pinstripes on sheet metal has been calling me for a little while. Maybe its time to give it a try.

That's about it for my resolutions. I have some home and yard improvements to work on this year, now that I'm not using all my time in classes and homework. There's still the Avenger kit car in the driveway that needs either completed or sold and that motorcycle in the shop to finish up and spend some time riding when the weather warms again.

I don't suppose I'll run out of things to do...