Day by Day cartoon

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ok, so I bought myself another birthday present...

Remember how I mentioned a few days ago about my fascination with tiny little die-cast cars? Well, it's true, I do love my miniature cars- hey, I can't afford the full sized ones, and last night I found the newest addition to my collection- the 1952 Indianapolis 500 winning race car. Isn't that pretty?

I'm thinking I might have to start a new shelf with Indy 500 miniatures as somehow my collection is lacking many of these classic racers. For example there's AJ Foyt's 1977 winning car and the pace car, Al Unser Jr's 1992 winning car and pace car, Al senior's 1970 winning car or Mario Andretti's winning race car. (Truth be told, I already own that package. It has been in pride of place on my shelf for a couple years now.

And I did find that Parnelli Jones 1963 winning roadster that got me started on this search a few days ago. I haven't bought it yet but give me time...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Funny sign I spotted

Yesterday the BSU and I had a very nice lunch at MacCool's Public House after a doctor's appointment. I had the Buffalo Sheperd's Pie and it was very tasty.

But there's another restaurant next door and they had a sign out front that really tickled my funny bone so I had to snap a picture-

Funny Sign

Too funny.

Seems I've had his name wrong...

Well our adopted kitten is fitting in really quite nicely around our household and he's a real treat. He really likes it that I am home all the time and loves sitting in front of my laptop to nap while I'm job hunting. But apparently I've had his name wrong. The BSU tells me his name is Itty Bit, not Little Bit! Who knew?

Itty Bit the kitten

Additionally, you should think kind thoughts for our kitty as he is going to the vet on Monday to be neutered. He doesn't need those testicles for anything good and he's young enough that he won't even miss them after he heals up.

I see you-

Since DBD is showing an Avatar related strip this morning, it's only fair to report that the BSU and I went to see the movie in 3D this week. I must tell you right up front that this was a much better movie than I ever expected. Sure, I've read most of the reviews and yes, the story is derivative of several other stories and yes, there are some funny riffs on other movies that feel like inside jokes but the story is fun enough and the special effects are terrific- magical even.

The special effects have probably gotten the most press and rightly so because they are beautiful, surprising and all-encompassing. I understand that the real way to see the movie is in IMAX and I'd probably even pay to see it again in the big format. But if you do go see the movie, don't cheap out and not see it in 3D because the effects are really remarkable and worth the extra cost. There are so many amazing things happening in the forest and bizarre creatures that appear that it is a constant surprise to the viewer as the movie unfolds.

The story is pretty simple and certainly does draw upon Dances With Wolves or Pocahontas but it's a story of conflict and love and connection with something bigger than one's self so some shared concepts have to be expected.

I really loved all the high-tech equipment on display- weird helicopters with counter-rotating bladed inside tiltable rings and transparent, touch screen portable or moveable display cards and screens and other neat imaginary technology that probably isn't that far removed from our future.

So it's worth it. Two thumbs up from both of us here at Wasted Electrons World Headquarters!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hopes and Dreams

75% discount.

In Chicago of all places! Very much too funny!

Another first in my life-

And not one I am particularly happy about either- this week I applied for my first ever unemployment payment. I'm 53 and have never in my life received state subsidy of my budget but if things don't change this week or next, I'll start receiving weekly unemployment payments.

It's not really too big a bummer, it's just frustrating. I'm at home today job hunting after taking yesterday off to run errands. There are a few really good jobs being offered that I think my skills would be a good match with and I've applied for several but so far I haven't been hearing my phone ring in response.

Somebody must want me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In keeping with the spirit of the SOTU speech tonight

I have to share this with you. It's hilarious. Watch the whole thing and enjoy.

If you don't know, there is a metric buttload of "Hitler finds out-" videos on YouTube. Most of them are great fun.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Pulsing Heart of SAC

My buddy Chris turned me on to this story last week and I'm just now getting around to sharing it with all of you. It's the story of how the USAF and Strategic Air Command, first of all implemented what they felt would be "fail safe" procedures to prevent any accidental or misguided releases of our country's atomic arsenal and then produced this film to explain the procedures to the public. The film is a trip into Strategic Air Command's Command Post. Get a fresh cup of coffee, sit back and prepare to be entertained by a half hour of the USAF's finest people and hardware show off their skills and capabilities.

Except that this film, produced in 1963 and 1964 never saw the light of day! It was apparently produced to reassure the public that the movie "Doctor Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

couldn't possibly happen because of all the safeguards put into place.

I loved watching this film especially for the views of B-52s performing an elephant walk down the taxiway and the views of the young enlisted guys wearing their service dress uniforms while performing the most routine of daily tasks. It really is a fine bit of USAF history and it's worth watching just to be reminded how serious (paranoid?)the US was about defending the population from nuclear armageddon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My neighborhood cleanup program has its first success!

My neighborhood, like most, has a terrorist problem. These terrorists prowl the backyards and behind the garage areas, stealing birdseed, tipping over trash cans, digging up flower bulbs and can potentially be harmful to our domestic pets. The terrorists are raccoons!

I spotted 2 of them clammering over my shop roof a few months back and I determined that I would take it upon myself to remove as many of these critters as possible. I even installed a motion sensor on the back of my shop so that it would monitor a block wall back there and I put the warning light inside the shop so that I would know if a critter arrived at the food I've been setting out. I expected to use the tactical Stevens Favorite to knock these critters off the wall when they appeared but I never was able to stay out in the shop late enough to be successful. So this week I borrowed a live trap and set it out behind my workshop. Last night I baited it with a cut up orange and some miniature marshmallows.

This morning I was pleased to find that my efforts were successful! I quietly lead poisoned the offender and dropped his carcass into a trash bag then cleaned up the mess. Tonight I'll put the trap back out there and see if this one had a partner.

Dead terrorist

As always, click the little picture to see it full size.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fish Slayer parts! Hurray!

I love discounts and I really hate paying full price for marine parts as in my humble opinion, they are usually overpriced. So when I discovered this week that a marine dealer in Salt Lake wass closing shop after 53 years and selling all their remaining parts and accessories for half off, well, I had to check it out.

Yesterday I stopped in there with the BSU in tow and bought 2 gallons of 2-stroke oil for the outboard and the quick release mount for my trolling motor that I had been wanting. Today I went back and with the BSU's approval, purchased 2 seat bases, posts and the swiveling spyders for the seats I bought back in November. The posts aren't adjustable for height like I really wanted, (and that don't exist) but will free up considerable floor space in Fish Slayer. I also got the stainless screws that I'll need to install the posts once the weather clears.

So, half price- I like that. Fish Slayer will be looking good when fishing season starts. Now if the ice will just melt off...

My homemade sideplaners are almost finished too!

I need one of these!

If you aren't paying attention, the SHOT show is going on in Las Vegas this week and all kinds of new guns are being introduced to the public. And Rossi has introduced a new rifle, the Circuit Judge that is so cool that I am going to have to add one to my locker. No- I don't know why I need it but it is simply too cool not to have one of my own.

For those folks that having a rifle and handgun in matching calibers, which doesn't seem to be a bad idea at all since it would lighten one's ammunition loadout, I might have to match it up with a Taurus Public Defender to go on my hip.

Aren't those cool?

Monday, January 18, 2010

I need 2 of these!

I have a small confession to make- I have lots of die cast Hot Wheel scale cars. Many of them are actually Hot Wheels cars but there's also plenty of Johnny Lightning cars and some Matchbox cars too. Some of my collection is 26 years old so this isn't exactly a new problem- wait, it's not a problem, it's a collection that I've been adding to for many years.

I don't know how many cars I have but the tall bookcase in the family room is over full and doesn't even begin to hold all the cars that used to be on display in my work cubicle or the newest ones that have been trickling into the bedroom that's now been converted into my office/job hunting space.

Soo- I need at least 2 of these display cases. With these I can get all my cars displayed in one area and reduce my dusting requirements because those little cars really do get dusty sitting in the open. Even better, I could reclaim my bookshelf to put books on- how cool would that be?

BTW, if anybody knows where I can get one of those Parnelli Jones driven Agajanian-Willard Battery Special Indy roadsters displayed in the picture of the display case, I really want to buy one! I have never seen an Indy roadster in that scale and that one is a beauty!

PS- my birthday is coming up in a couple weeks...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Book of Eli-a review

Wow! What a movie! Last night the BSU and I went to see The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. The story is superficially about 1 man- Eli, on a post-apocolytic, self-imposed mission walking through a destroyed America. We don't learn much about why the country has broken down so dreadfully but Eli seems to have a secret in his backpack that he will protect to the death. And he gets numerous opportunities to protect his secret from assorted miscreants with his trusty machete, his wits and other lethal tools. Eli runs into Carlisle, a would-be town builder with thugs and guns and control over a water supply. Carlisle is searching for a book- one particular book and it turns out to be the book that Eli has in his backpack.

This movie is gritty, violent and thought provoking all at the same time. I walked out with as many questions as there were answers provided by the story. Both the spouse and I really liked it though she thought the tale played out too slowly and said she had to force herself to sit back and see where the story was going to go. I found 1 significant storyline flaw near the end of the movie but it didn't affect the overall tale. Overall, Denzel does a terrific job in his part and the movie gets 2 thumbs up from this household.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today I'm feeling- CRANKY!

Stoopid snowblower! I finally got it all put back together yesterday evening, backed it out of my shop and up tot he carport, ran it through about 3 feet of snow just to prove it was working and then it stopped. Something broke internally, (again) and it began free-wheeling. So I decided to push it back into the shop but upon dropping off the first sidewalk step, the wheels locked up and refused to roll! I had to get a neighbor to come help me lift it back under the carport. It's still waiting for me to go out there and remove the access cover to see what failed. I'm mad enough to put a stake through it's heart!

Comcast has let me down with my internet connection 2 days in a row now with workers in trucks down the street trying to patch things together. It seems to be working right now but no promises that the connection will last until I geet this post online.

I've also run into a couple of corporate websites where I have applied for jobs that are ruining my karma in the past couple days. Most of these places insist you get a login to their job seeker database but on 2 occasions, after I have done that then returned to apply for another position, the web page says my information is incorrect, even though I copied and pasted it from an email their system sent me! And of course there's no person to contact directly to try to figure out the conflict. I'm talking about you General Dynamics!

I guess while the sun is still up and the pending storm is still on the horizon I better get outside and try to move that reluctant snowblower!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Finally got a decent coffee maker

I admit it, I squandered cash on a new coffee maker when I had a perfectly good machine already sitting on the kitchen counter. Why would I do such a thing when the coffee maker I had wasn't broken? Because it was designed by the engineer that graduated last in his class- I hated it!

The machine that was replaced- it is on it's way to the Thrift Store later this week, is a Black & Decker Smart Brew machine that in spite of the customer comments on Amazon, dripped and dribbled everytime I tried to pour a cup of coffee. I got really tired of the mess from just pouring coffee everyday. Whoever designed this carafe obviously didn't spend much time actually pouring liquid from it to see the obvious flaw.

I solved the dribbling carafe problem by doing away with it entirely and my new machine is a Hamilton Beach Brew Station that keeps the coffee inside the machine and dispenses it one-handed when you push a mug under the tap. So far, I really like this machine and it's tidiness. It makes coffee very well, doesn't burn it and has adjustable turnoff times for the heater. It doesn't drip and doesn't take up much countertop surface. Some other non-coffee-drinking, bottom-of- his-graduating-class cost accountant decided to save 10 cents by cutting off the power cord a foot too short making the cord stretch over my toaster instead of tucking behind it but other than that, this machine works great.

And I'm trying to wear it out while I'm home job hunting...

Friday, January 08, 2010

So what did I do with my first unemployed day?

I went looking at toys of course! I started my day with a trip to the VA hospital but afterwards, since I didn't have anything more important to do, I stopped and looked at toys I can't afford right now.

If I were to be buying a motorcycle this spring, it would be a real toss up between this Moto Guzzi V7 Classic or a Triumph Bonneville. Both of these bikes look like what motorcycles are supposed to look like to me and except for a 150cc difference in displacement, either of them would make me a happy rider.

I also took a little time to look at some Starcraft boats when I stopped to ask about seatposts for Fish Slayer. All very nice but outside my ability to purchase- at least for now.

I finally made it home without spending money for anything but a latte but I did return with an revived desire to get back to employment so that maybe one of these toys could end up under my carport sooner rather than later. Today I did submit my resume for 4 different positions so maybe one of those will turn into something next week.

Don't know why my brothers and I never tried this-

Because it certainly looks like something we would have tried...

Found over at El Capitan's Baboon Pirates.

What a hoot!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The company is buying dinner tonight!

It should be a celebration but since the contract ended today, not so much... Our manager is paying for the drinks as well as the steaks at the Timbermine, one of the nicer joints here in town.

I'm pretty certain I'm going to take him up on the bar tab...

And tomorrow the job hunting effort begins in earnest.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Pretty dandy weekend! Movies, Books and Snowblower Maintenance

Well tomorrow starts my last days of work with my current employer and position with the .mil organization I've been supporting, so that's been weighing pretty heavily on my mind. Go figure. And while you may be tired of hearing about this situation already, it's my blog and I'll write what I want. If I'm boring you, there's plenty more blogs out there. I'd rather you stick around and offer support and job offers or at least friendly/pithy comments now and then though.

But, like most folks I had some days off and I've managed to fill them up nicely. The BSU and I saw 2 movies, It's Complicated with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin and Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. Both of these movies got 2 thumbs up from both of us. It's Complicated is a hilarious love triangle farce. Alec Baldwin is a slimy actor playing a slimy lawyer and ex-husband, Steve Martin is the shy new paramour and Meryl Streep is the woman they both want. It is a simple (yet complicated) comedy and the best scenes involve Harley, the soon to be son-in-law who gets caught in the middle of the secret.

Sherlock Holmes is a rowdy look at a different Sherlock than most of us imagine but it is a violent and explosive story. Imagine a manic-depressive, bare knuckle fighting James Bond in Victorian England and you will get a pretty good idea of this story. Downey as Sherlock fights in bare knuckle brawls while mentally figuring the physical and mental trauma each blow will deliver to his opponent, performs anestheic medical experiments on the wheezing bulldog and chases the elusive Lord Blackwood who is supposed to be dead by hanging but has returned to take over a secret society and has plans to overthrow England's government with secret potions. It's violent, fast moving and sometimes the camera movement can be dizzying but it is a heck of a tale. I wasn't a bit disappointed with this one!

One of my Christmas gifts from Noah was Heaven and Hell by Don Felder. Don was a member of the greatest rock band ever- The Eagles and he tells the behind-the-scenes story of the rancourous life this band led on the road touring and slaving for perfection in the studio. There were many secrets and constant power struggles in everything from who would be in the band to the songs they wrote and how they were performed. There were drugs- lots of drugs for many years, family breakups, band breakups and reunions. Behind it all there was money but up front and on stage, it was always about the music and the songs that became a wallpaper for so many people, this author included, for 30 years. I read the entire story yesterday and this afternoon!

I'm also waiting for more parts to arrive from for the *&$^$# snowblower. I tore that thing down almost to it's last part over the weekend to discover that another portion of the frame that was welded into the basic frame had fallen apart. There were 5 or 6 individual welds that failed allowing this piece of metal that supports one of the jackshafts to fall completely out. That failure allowed one of the chain sprockets to devour itself and the chain so those parts are on order. I carried the frame down to a friend and he performed some welding magic on everything making it much stronger than when it left the factory. I've painted the frame section to cover up the welds and now I'm just waiting on the parts and a few hours to put everything back together.

I've also spent a couple hours today readying Noah's old bedroom into my job hunting nerve center/office. I still need to do much more before I could call it a real office but at least I have a place to work every day until I find a new job. I'm going to put in some cheap bookcases and some better light and maybe a white board for me to write on to keep track of my efforts. I still need to take down some of the last of Noah's posters too!

So, I've been busy but I've also taken some time off too. That makes for a pretty good weekend in my book. I hope your New Years weekend was just as pleasant.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I figured I ought to go ahead and post this first- as a reminder to have an awesome year.
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