November 29, 2006
Where I work now, my normal schedule is cyclical. I have a very busy week, followed by an insanely busy week. That rhythm is broken only during the rush leading to the turnover of the fiscal year, with a lull - such as it is - until the rush at the end/beginning of the calendar year. This year there was no letup. The ramp-up started in mid-August and we haven't slowed down yet.
Professionally, it's been fun. It's certainly not been boring. Add in the many things that have been going on in our personal lives, and Rocket Jones has been neglected. At some point, things will calm down a little and I can get back to tending my little garden of inanity like I used to. Until then, this place hasn't been abandoned, even though the posting frequency is way down.
"Always leave 'em wanting more." Someone famous said that. Maybe Linda Lovelace. I forget.
November 25, 2006
If you know what's coming, you're welcome. If not, put down the beverage.
Thanks to Off Wing Opinion for this one.
Thanks to Murdoc for this wonderful pointer.
My idea, my photoshop (neither of which is all that).
November 20, 2006
Dang. So close.
November 19, 2006
But it dawned on me that this little wonder is the ultimate in lazy-assed remote control. Just record yourself clapping, and then you can play it when walking into a room and all your clapper-attached lights will go on. Oh, wait. They already have something like that. It's called a light switch.
We had a good laugh at one store when the saleslady informed us that they offered "midget delivery". I cracked up, knowing that I couldn't have heard that right, and Liz translated the accent for me. "Midget delivery" equals "immediate delivery". Now you know.
Across the bay there were the Oakland A's of Rick Monday and Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue and Rollie Fingers. I saw them during their year of the big mustache, and they were colorful even without the kelly and gold uniforms. I saw Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Harmon Killebrew when the Twins came to town.
On the lower pantheon of legends were Charlie O'Connell, Joanie Weston, Ann Calvello and Alvin Mallory of Roller Derby fame. Do a little googling, and then tell me those guys (and gals) weren't amazing.
Back in SF was Joe Montana and Jerry Rice (after a long and painful drought when the Niner's weren't very good) and Darryl Lamonica, George Blanda and Ken Stabler (to name only the QBs in silver and black) led an always entertaining cast of misfits and characters which existed as one of the most successful sports stories for almost three decades.
Now living in the Washington D.C. metro area, we've had the treat of seeing Michael Jordan in his post-Bulls days. Still legendary, and although diminished it wasn't enough to tarnish the career.
Baltimore offered us Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray, both of whom I shall tell my grandchildren about.
And now, much like those fortunate enough to live in Edmonton during Gretzgy's reign, or Pittsburgh while Mario was on the ice in his prime (or the Steelers during the *spit* "Steel Curtain" *spit* years), I have the opportunity to see a very rare talent in action. I got to see Alex Ovechkin play hockey for the Washington Capitals live last year, and countless times on local television. Folks, if he comes to town, take advantage and see this kid play. Amazing, and it's not hype to say that he belongs with the legendary names mentioned above.
I need to snag tickets for the Caps/Penguins for the chance to see Ovechkin and Semin, Crosby and Malkin playing all at once. That's one for the ages, and happens not too rarely thanks to hockey scheduling.
For the record, I dislike Sydney Crosby for no real reason other than the fact that the NHL handed him the throne before he played a single minute on the big ice. He's earning star status, but not *the* star, and I find it hilarious that he's been referred to as "Captain of the Canadian Diving Team". Hopefully, he'll be whistled for some penalties that will disabuse him of that shoddy habit, but I worry that "the star" will come to expect calls to go his way as he tries to draw penalties. Anyway, he's exciting to watch and a genuine talent and I don't like him. Maybe I'll mellow in time, but I'll for sure go to see him while I have the chance.
November 12, 2006
That's the good.
On Friday, the kitchen floor people came out and removed the new floor that they had botched. Somehow, somewhy, when they moved the stove to get at the floor underneath, instead of removing the temperature probe from the oven, they took the readout from the counter and tossed it inside. That night, I went to preheat the oven and was almost overcome from the fumes as that plastic readout unit melted and made a huge mess in the bottom of my brand new oven. A half hour of scraping and scrubbing got it out, but I was *not* a happy camper.
Yesterday the subfloor guy showed up to fix the problem that contributed to the screwed up installation of the floor. He had given me a ballpark estimate of the cost based on what we could tell him because he didn't want to cut the floor up ahead of time. He was concerned that with Liz on a cane, it would leave him open to liability if she tripped on it. He came highly recommended by several people, and I was prepared to fork over the top end of his estimate, while hoping it would be closer to the low end.
No such luck. After an hour of looking at what needed to be done, I finally asked what it would cost to do the job right (instead of the cheaper mickey-mouse alternatives that we'd been discussing). I knew what really needed to be done, but he didn't want to have to say it.
Well, it's done. It's beautiful, as much as a sub-floor can be beautiful. He was a craftsman, as carpenters go, and in the end the new floor will be better for it. Tomorrow the kitchen people show up again and install the new floor. That part of it (removal and install new) is free for us, because they goofed the original. Liz will be watching like a hawk, because she's still pissed that it had to be redone. Plus, now she knows what a good job should look like.
So we've spent our 3-day weekend with more contractors making a mess in the house, and spent way more money than was originally planned, but that's ok. Robyn's wedding dress is absolutely beautiful, and Liz is gorgeous in her new dress.
My wife has two shelves for her various bottles. My son has a shelf with two bottles. Rachael has a shelf with multiple bottles, even though she's away at school. I have a single shelf, with a single bottle of shampoo. The dogs have a single shelf, with a single bottle of shampoo.
Means nothing, but I'm glad that the dog's shelf and mine are nowhere near each other, lest some half-awake morning I wind up citrus fresh and flea-free.
Rich, who has been pointing out the inexorable subjugation of the human race to our future mechanical overlords, links to a story about a new robot.
..."an electromechanical sommelier", capable of identifying wines, cheeses, meats and hors d'oeuvres.
The creep factor goes way up when we learn that they've given this little beastie a child-like voice to use when he identifies whatever it is that you've fed into his maw.
Then, of course, there's this:
But when some smart aleck reporter placed his hand in the robot's omnivorous clanking jaw, he was identified as bacon. A cameraman then tried and was identified as prosciutto.
This ties in quite nicely with our NaNoWriMo '06 effort to write an anthology about Giant Evil Space Robots.
Too nicely, maybe...
(as always, special thanks to Webster Colcord for permission to use his graphics)
November 10, 2006
Living among the insane is the price you pay for paradise.
I'm never going back. I'm not even missing it. The California I loved is long gone.
I voted for the Virginia Marriage Constitutional Amendment.
Let me tell you why. I've explained this about four times over the last week, so I thought I'd put it out here and just point people here when the subject comes up.
First, I believe that the word "marriage" needs to be taken out of the argument. Leave "marriage" to those who become partners in a church, under the old rules. Gay couples and those who stand before a Justice of the Peace, etc. aren't technically "married", they have entered a civil union or some other term that will be coined or evolve into common usage. Same results, same standing in the eyes of the law, but by not officially calling it a marriage, you're taking away one of the hot buttons of the extreme members on both ends of the spectrum.
Now, as to voting the way I did... When the Virginia constitutional amendment passed, in a practical sense it accomplished nothing. Things are going to go along exactly as they always have, except that now it's in writing. Most importantly though, is that the amendment takes the resolution of the issue out of the hands of the judicial branch and places it squarely in the hands of the citizens of Virginia, where it belongs. Activist judges are being recognized as a growing concern with many people, and the passage of amendments like these are as much a check on the power of the bench as they are a statement against gay marriage.
That is *exactly* why I voted for it.
So now what? Well, as of this moment the name-calling must stop. If the amendment is to be modified or repealed, the only way will be to muster your logic and make persuasive arguments and convince people. Calling me an ignorant bigot does nothing to help your cause, it causes me to dismiss you as a childish idiot throwing a temper tantrum because I don't believe as you do.
Whining because you want it "right now" reinforces that perception.
The measure didn't pass by an overwhelming majority. If you want to change it, forget the martyr act and be reasonable and debate the issue and score your points. It won't happen overnight, but it won't happen at all if you don't change minds.
November 08, 2006
Michele posted a link to this nice little Jethro Tull piece done by Ian Anderson and an orchestra.
While you're there, check out an oldie but goodie, Bouree.
Or enjoy this version.
Heck, you should just do a search there on Jethro Tull and spend an hour enjoying the music. Be prepared to be amazed at the variety of styles that Tull plays to keep their songs from getting stale.
November 06, 2006
You want to hunt deer? Here's my suggestion: take the bullet, slow it down to 55mph and put headlights and a horn on it, and I promise you, the danged deer will jump in front of it.
I think he's on to something.
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