Saturday, October 22, 2011

Does anyone else...

...Turn the channel as soon as those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials air? They cause me to cry pretty badly when I see them.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Driving back from Shenandoah this afternoon(Daisy was laying down in the passenger seat asleep) two cute grits in a Ranger drove up next to me at a stoplight. They caught me checking them out so I said "Daisy! Moo-cows!". Dog jerked up and started out the window, grits make "awwww" face. I may need to keep my sisters dog on permanent retainer.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ugh, man...

...I have a tooth that is bothering me. I'm going to have to set up an appointment with a dentist sometime soon. I'm trying to decide as to whether or not it's worth going over to my Dad's house and getting my Navy Dental Records form my Seabag.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Where am I, San Francisco?

So I decided to run down to Shenandoah yesterday to Hazel Falls. This would actually have been the first "real" mountain hike I've done since the start of the year. Bull Run is hilly, and last time I went to Shenandoah we did mostly ridge walking. This was going down to the bottom of the mountains and going back up. While it was overcast in the DC area, by the time we got to Shenandoah there was a thick soup you couldn't see 20 ft ahead of you. I seriously considered turning around and going home, but since I had already driven out there I decided to go forward.

So the two of us hiked on down, and it was super foggy. The soup was terrible. As I was walking I saw something big and black laying about halfway on the trail ahead of my, and I couldn't tell if it was a log or what. I considered the possibility that it was wildlife, when Daisy started whining and parking. The objected got up and shuffled off. It was a bear! Didn't even have time to get my camera out to take a picture. Plenty of others were taken, and the whole forest was quiet and eerie.

Probably a half a mile out we could hear the falls. It sounded like Niagara! When I last came here in September they were just a trickle. Today they were a gushing torrent.

We turned and headed back up. It was much tougher going, and my lack of exercise was really showing. Both me and the dog were pooped out. She pretty much knocked herself out in the backseat on the way back, which is different from her usual "stare outside hoping disperately to see farm animals" SOP.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A new thing to scare myself with.

So, in the search for newer tablet geared apps for my Xoom, I downloaded an App from the Android Market that tells you whenever there is a major(over 4.0 or so) Earthquake in the world. Turns out that the world is very earthquake prone, fortunately I don't live on a fault line. Unfortunately, of the two earthquakes I've felt, one was here in DC.

So, while I probably don't have to worry about a major earthquake killing everyone in the DC area, I do have other things to worry about. More than once a Hurricane or Tropical Storm has veer north. Snowpocalypses. And the ever popular terrorism. Not just regular terrorism, mind you, but considering it's DC we're probably on the short list if someone gets ahold of a nuclear weapon. I've actually pondered it and determined that I would probably be okay if a nuclear bomb went off in the District or at the Pentagon, as my apartment is sufficiently far away and some nutjob is unlikely to get ahold of a truly large nuclear bomb. If I can get the direction of the wind in, say, 30 minutes of the bomb going off I figure I can be out of the area before the rush occurs.

Speaking of apocalyptic problems, I swapped out my cats open top catbox with a closed one. One of the cats is very put out at this, and I've seen her walk up to the enclosed box a few times, come to a complete stop as if she just realized it was there, and very carefully ease her way in. I don't think she likes it, but at least she isn't showing her displeasure by peeing and pooping hither and yon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Glorious 1st of May

Driving into work last night the radio abruptly informed me that the President was going to make a special address, which was pushed back a few times. By the time the address was officially made the wire services and news agencies were already reporting that Osama bin Laden was dead(although the details varied wildly). Soon Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House turned into a fair facsimile of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during the fall of The Wall.

Now, time for me to start pooping on the Parade.

(1)Anyone who says Obama didn't take a great politic risk himself in signing off on this Op is smoking crack. Sending a special forces team into Pakistan, right near where one of our CIA agents got held after fighting off two Pakistani ISI agents? This had the potential to be a huge clusterfuck, and still he signed the order. So mad props to him.

(2)What is different today from yesterday? Well, OBL is dead, but OBL is largely symbolic at this point. Vengeance has been meted out, which is making a lot of people(including myself) feel good about it, but in function AQ of today looks a lot like AQ of yesterday. And you can be sure AQ is going to try something to get revenge while we're doing our Victory Lap.

(3)There is no way, from a Public perspective, that the Pakistanis can still pretend that they are on our side. That the US Government decided to hold the operation so close to our chest and not even inform our "ally" of it until after the shooting was done doesn't bode well. At all. Thanks for nothing Pakistan.

(4)The rapid burial at sea of OBL and lack of photos released is already making the conspiracy theorists froth that OBL wasn't killed. Seeing as Osama was shot in the fucking head, I suspect he may not have been recognizable and any photos the US may have are not really fit for human consumption. Oh well. There are photos of Elvis on the slab in the Morgue and people think he's still alive.

A friend of mine said it best on Facebook:

The Sheikh is dead. Ten years, as dogged as the pursuit of Hannibal after the fall of Carthage. And just as certain.

Ave Imperator.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eye-poppin' mad

So when I came into work last night I sat down, and logged into my mail on the network we support to check server messages. Curiously, we hadn't received any messages for around 5 hrs. I turn to the off-going server person and ask:

Hey, what's with the mail?

She responds:

I didn't notice, I'm not on the message distro list.

She has only recently been read onto the program, so this is plausible and I take her at her word. I log into the mail server in question and see that some of the processes that are suppose to be cycled every shift have not, which causes side effects like server messages not being sent. I mention them to her. She responds:

Oh, I thought G(other evening server person) did that.

(Coincidentally, when I signed in that evening I noted that G had seemingly acquired a time machine and had signed out 20 minutes after I arrived. He wasn't there when I signed in).

So I clear the processes and all is well. She leaves around 0100. When the morning server guy walks in I mention that she isn't on the Distro list for the server messages, he says:

Did you check her mailbox?
He proceeds to check her mailbox size, and lo and behold there are north of 1000 messages in it. She is on the list. Morning Guy decides to check all the management stations in the NOC, and lo and behold she hasn't logged into any of them since Thursday. I was pretty angry, so was Morning Guy. Morning Guy is going to speak to management when they come in.

Tonight should be interesting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

So I came home from work this morning...

...Just a quick stop off, as I'm heading out to get my car inspected, and I see a doggie wandering around the front of my building. I think I've seen it walked by one of the locals before. I ask a few people who are *going* to work if they know whose doggie it is, but most of my neighbors are Korean and don't seem to talk to me for some reason. Anywho, I use the magic word("Treat!") he comes trotting over, and I inspect the collar. The address isn't local. I call the phone number, which is out of service. Sighing, I take the doggie up and barricade him in the kitchen while I call the property office in a vain hope that it'll be open. To my surprise it is, but it's really the call center for the company, and when I say "maybe you could call the property manager and tell her what's going on, she'll know who this belongs to."

"I'm sorry, it will be against protocol if I call her on her private cell unless there is a building emergency."

"Listen, she loves animals. She won't mind."

"I'm sorry, you're going to have to wait until the office opens." :roll: So now the doggie is hanging out in my kitchen.

His name is Oreo, by the way.

I'm going to miss my appointment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Xoom Xoom

Got me a handy-dandy Motorola Xoom today. I got the Wi-fi version for couch surfing. So far I am *really* impressed with the build quality of it, and have been loading my music and apps onto it. People say it's heavy, but I haven't really noticed it being that heavy. The music from the speaker sounds good to me, although maybe I don't know what tablets are suppose to sounds like.

(I'm pretty sure these airline passengers are fucked)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Continuous Stream of Consciousness


So yesterday when I was picking up my stories(shut up, even Ben Afflack reads comics) I noticed a car a few aisles away with the hood popped and cables leading out from the battery. I sat there for awhile wondering what I should do, as I couldn't see anyone, when an elderly man stepped out from the car(the hood was blocking him). He started walking towards some college-age kid with a 24 pack of beer under each arm heading towards his car. The kid seemed to notice the elderly guy, kinda leaned forward so he couldn't make eye-contact, and sped up so he could load his beer and drive off. I was pretty astounded. I drove over and gave the gentleman with car problems a jumpstart, which took under a minute.

I don't believe that the Divine Progenitor intervenes in human events, but I do believe in karma in that if you act like an asshole to strangers enough, people will pick up on it and it will turn around and bite you in the ass in the future. Happy drinking.

The Gateway to Hell
I've been calling laundromats "entrances to Hellmouths" for quite a while, and I've felt pretty pleased in coming up with that. Meanwhile, I'm working through the late '90s "Conspiracy" TV Shows, such as The X-files and Millennium . Much to my chagrin in one of the episodes of the second season of Millennium a devil(not THE Devil) refers to laundromats as "the gateways to Hell". I probably saw that episode at some point and have been using it subconsciously.

Now with extra Puggle

Saturday, March 5, 2011


She's looking pretty smug, isn't she?

I love this phone

I hadn't realized how abusive a relationship I had been in with the Blackberry Storm(other than I know it was slow and buggy) until I switched to a Droid X last fall. The screen is better, the interface is better, it has a good GPS with good software to go with said GPS. I love it. The problem is that, if I am hiking for hours and hours on it, or over a weekend, or at a amusement park, etc. the battery is in real danger of it running out...especially since I use the phone a lot more than with the Storm!

So I got a "expanded battery".

The new battery has 1880 mAh worth of capacity, versus the default 1500 mAh. Since the battery is every so slightly bigger, a different battery cover is needed.

But honestly it looks just the same as my other one, and my protective case fits on it just as well before. So far it seems to be functioning fine.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stimulating the economy through camping

The UPS guy just knocked on my door, delivering my Jetboil stove from This brings the number of stoves I own up to 3:

The jetboil is on the far right(which is a one piece stove/pot with a built in windscreen), the middle one is the stove I've been using the most, the Brunton Raptor, along with the cookset I use the most. The one on the far left is the Whisperlight multi-fuel stove. It'll burn anything. If you ever want to freak other people out use everclear as fuel for it and sip from the fuel bottle. I'm thinking of making a Keg Stove to add to the collection.

I also have 2 Backpacks for overnight/multiday camping, 2 backpacks for "long day" hikes, two tents annnndddd....three sleeping bags. Yup. At least no one can accuse me of not being a Keynesian when it comes to spending.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

That's a weird Segue

A friend of mind claimed that my previous post contained a "weird segue", I don't think he is one to talk because he has an entire website dedicated to the inner workings of the Galactic Empire.

Got it up and running, and holy hell was I cursing up a storm, one of the memory sticks just did not want to sit right.

Objective Interim

The US military(specifically the Army) likes to use the term "Objective Interim" when they are describing a program that isn't what they really want, but a substantially down graded version of what the goal is because they feel they need a capability now. For example:

This is what the Army wanted in the late '90s early '00s, a new armored personnel carrier to carry soldiers around the battlefield. It would be relatively light(easier to transport in), well armed, armored, have all kinds of neat gizmos and electronics, and be able to go anywhere whilst replacing a lot of infantry who got around in trucks.

What they got as their "Objective Interim" Vehicle was this, a APC used by the Canadians, US Marines, a bunch of other countries, and then they slapped some new electronics in and replaced a bunch of "truck" infantry so there was something relatively secure for them to ride around in in the battlefield. It didn't do everything they wanted it to do(wasn't well armed, had dubious offroad capability), but it was a (relatively!) inexpensive upgrade and new capability.

With that in mind, my DVD-ROM(which has gone through 2 computers) has given up the ghost. I've decided to take the chance to double my RAM to 8 GB and install a Blu-Ray ROM. And so, I present the Objective Interim Computer Modernization:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A home for scared people

As I sit here and think about it, I don't really live in fear of much. Yeah I get scared when certain things happen, such as when I'm camping several miles form the road, and it's late at night when a hiker walks up to my campsite and flashes his flashlight at my tent. That was pretty scary, and yes, I did pull out my swiss army knife and await my role in a slasher film. But I'm not really living in fear of that happening again.

But I am living in fear of one thing, and terrified of it. I'm scared of my cat.

Specifically, I live in fear of coming home or waking up, and Willy is just dead with no warning(well, other than his existing health problem). When I came home from work this morning I fed the animals, did my timesheet, and went to bed. The cats tend to sleep on the bed when I am, so they both followed me in. When I woke up in the afternoon(a family moved into the second floor and they tend to have visitors that just honk the car horns outside the building. I'll let you guess the ethnicity) Willy was completely still. Wasn't reacting to me getting up and moving, and as far as I could tell, wasn't breathing. I started to shake him going "Willy! Willy!" and, thank goodness, he jerked awake. He rarely goes into a deep sleep, so it scared the hell out of me. My heart was racing.

(Mary, by contrast, could sleep through a nuclear attack)

I worry that this makes me sound like an asshole, but I hope that when it is Willys time there'll be some kind of warning so I can take him to the vet. I honestly don't know what I would do otherwise.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh, I'm so lonely :(

So I have two animals in my apartment, William and Mary. Mary is standoffish, has always been standoffish, and would just as soon kill ya as acknowledge your existence. William has always been affectionate(in fact he is furiously headbutting my leg right now). William is also very sick, and likely on his last legs.

William is the reason why I haven't got a dog, and have been borrowing my sisters dog campouts and hikes. Since he had his blood clot brain thing, and been put on the meds, he has been following me from room to room, always staying nearby. When I use the bathroom(peeing) he walks back and forth behind me and now I close the bathroom when I do number two(I live by myself) because he will walk in and lay on the bathroom rug. The cat just cannot stand to be alone, and since Mary is the Bitch Kitty From Hell, I'm his only friend. He does not care for Daisy when she comes over, so I don't think he would adapt well to a dog.

And so, it's just me and the cats.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I should start carrying an empty Gatorade bottle while I commute.

I have poor decision making abilities. It's the reason why I joined the navy(screwed around in college, flunked out), it's the reason why I have no girlfriend(well, besides being uncomfortable with women I don't know), and why my commutes always turn out so bad.

I saw around 0400 that a tractor-trailer jackknifed on the Inner Loop of the Beltway near my place of work, and I typically leave work at 0700. As it happened my company was doing a "Company Breakfast" at IHOP for the guys on the Mids shift at 0700, so I figured that I had plenty of time for it to clear out. At 0740 the "Left 3 lanes" were open, and like an idiot, I decided that was enough for me to make it home in a timely manner. Sure wasn't, it's 0925 and I figure I got in about 5 minutes ago. So less than 30 miles in an hour and a half. Weee DC!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Woof, what a night. I'm spending this Valentines Day morning sharing a pint of Boddingtons with my friend Winston.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


So Eastern Mountain Sports is dumping their winter stuff, so I got a new down jacket which might just be the finest coat ever...if it is cold but NOT wet out. Since the jacket I got was a cheaper one the fabric is not very water resistant, so I wouldn't want to go hiking in it. The Hiker Sweat(tm) would stink up the jacket pretty quick. Ah well, at least it was inexpensive, it's light, and toasty.

Went to the DC Auto show, I am seriously considering getting a new car, to the point that I started investigating what kind of loan I can get from my bank. My car is 11 years old and there is a leak in the brake hydraulics that is getting moisture into the fluid, so whenever it's below 30F or so it freezes. I've had the brake fluid flushed twice this winter, but a permanent solution will very nearly as much the car is worth. I'm looking at getting a Ford Fusion Hybrid, and I would be interested in getting a Chevy Volt if it didn't cost a gazillion dollars and, well, I had some place to plug it in.