February 2005

  • Home Alone: Day Two – Tracking


    Today’s schedule:

      Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
    Mon 28 Feb Work Play City of Heroes Sleep

    So far, so good. I’m definitely at work. I do have something of a dilemma, though, and it pertains to lunch.

    [Proceed only if you’re seriously bored. What follows certainly won’t excite, but perhaps its sheer, plodding mundanity will prompt you to get off your ass and do something – anything – else for a while.]


  • Home Alone: Day One – Shot to Hell!


    My schedule for today was supposed to look like this:

    Date Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
    Sun 27 Feb Sleep Host D&D Sleep

    Instead, I got up at 6:00a.m., packed Laura’s stuff in the MVoD, told her to drive carefully, and went back to bed started doing housework.

    I know, I know. Not on the schedule. Way not on the schedule! Instead of my head hitting the pillow like Balboa’s fist against a side of beef, I vacuumed! I changed the sheets and made the bed! I cleaned up the dining room table! I filled the ice trays, straightened up the entertainment closet, brought dirty clothes down to the laundry room, fed the cats, took a shower, shaved, and emptied the trash cans!

    What the hell is wrong with me?

    It’s twenty after one. I should be rolling out of a puddle of my own drool right now, not running downstairs to empty the dishwasher!

    Y’know what makes it worse? Laura didn’t leave me a “Honey Do” List. That’s right, I have absolutely no obligations outside of keeping myself and the cats alive until Sunday afternoon. Not a damn one.

    I vacuumed this morning!

    I make myself sick.

  • As they apparently say in the future: Frak.


    As in, “Oh, frak!”

    Or maybe, “You have got to be frakking kidding me!”

    Or perhaps simply, “Frak!”

    The MVoD is trying very hard to earn its title today. The doom in question applies to my wallet. As Laura is taking the family-friendly minivan to Florida this Sunday (and leaving me with her Sunbird), I thought it best to make sure the vehicle was in tip-top shape for the trip. So we brought it to the dealer for its 45,000 mile schedule maintenance and asked that they also address two other areas of concern:

    1. The ABS indicator occasionally comes on after I back up and won’t go off unless the vehicle is rebooted restarted. This has happened perhaps three times in the last month.
    2. The left rear turn signal assembly filled with water back in December. The water froze, some of the bulbs burned out and at least one of the sockets corroded.

    Oh, and the brakes hadn’t been checked since we got the van.

    The guy gave me a quote which was mildly painful but not unexpectedly exorbitant. Laura drove me to work, we had a nice breakfast in the cafeteria and took care of some charitable donation matching business. She left to babysit, I went to my 9:00 meeting.

    The guy left me voicemail while I was in my 10:00 meeting.

    I called the guy back. He gave me the laundry list:

    1. The ABS light is coming on because the speed sensor has been compromised. Replacing the speed sensor involves replacing the wheel bearing. Cha-ching!
    2. The front rotors and pads need to be replaced. Not unexpected, but still… cha-ching!
    3. The left rear taillight assembly circuit board must be replaced and both taillight assemblies sealed to prevent further leakage. Cha-ching!
    4. There’s coolant on the engine and the transmission. The intake manifold gasket is leaking and must be replaced. Oh, that one came outta left field! Cha-ching!

    Er = Eo * 5.62

    Where Eo is the original estimate and Er is the revised estimate and 5.62 is a hell of a lot to multiply the original estimate by.


    Kidney-punch to the wallet!

    Now, I’ve got to step up and take some responsibility for this mess. See, I’ve been letting the regularly scheduled maintenance slip and just going for oil changes at Lube Stop. No rotation of tires. No checking of brakes. No nothing. I’ve got to believe that the cost of these repairs could – at the very least – have been spread out over the last couple of years, if not largely avoided with some preventative maintenance.

    Frak me. Right in the face.

  • Gonna be a busy week.


    Laura will be heading to Florida this Sunday with her sister, father, niece and nephew. This will leave me home alone without adult supervision. Hilarity may well ensue.

    In an attempt to be somewhat responsible, I have made myself a schedule for the upcoming week:

    Date Morning Afternoon Evening Late PM Early AM
    Sun 27 Feb Sleep Host D&D Sleep
    Mon 28 Feb Work Play City of Heroes Sleep
    Tue 01 Mar Work Play City of Heroes Sleep
    Wed 02 Mar Work Play City of Heroes Sleep
    Thurs 03 Mar Work Play City of Heroes Sleep
    Fri 04 Mar Work Play City of Heroes
    Sat 05 Mar Sleep Play City of Heroes
    Sun 06 Mar Complete “Honey Do” List D&D Sleep

    I should probably eat, too. And feed the cats. I’ll pencil those in somewhere, I guess.

  • On the way home from Brasa Saturday night Laura said, “You know who would have made a good Anakin Skywalker? Nick Stahl.”

    Nick Stahl portrays young Ben Hawkins on Carnivàle. He also played John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Both roles, I realized right then, have facets that are similar to the pre-Vader Anakin.

    First, both Hawkins and Connor are unhappy with their current situation. In fact, they’re often downright pissed about it. Hawkins has powers he doesn’t understand or want, and he’s walking a path he’d rather avoid. Connor just wants to be left alone. Anakin, likewise, broods over the fact that the Jedi code prevents him from being with Amidala, and feels that his true potential is being stifled by Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    Second, Ben and John are both pivotal figures in a battle of epic proportions. The big difference between these two guys and Anakin Skywalker seems to be that Ben and John don’t want to be as important as they are, while Anakin embraces his power.

    And they’re all being manipulated in some way or another. Ben Hawkins’ strings are being pulled and plucked by the mysterious being known as Management (and, by extension, Samson). John Connor’s puppeteers were his mother and his future self (by way of the T-101 Terminator). Anakin Skywalker is being similarly “guided” by Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine.

    Nick Stahl does a damn fine job portraying this type of character, and he brings real depth and personality to the roles (especially Ben Hawkins). He can be angry and frustrated and confused without drifting into whiny. Yeah, he would have made a good Anakin Skywalker.

    If wishes were T-16 Skyhoppers…

  • Upgrade!


    I’ve upgraded from WordPress 1.2.2 to 1.5. There really shouldn’t be any visible differences on the site, but if anything seems out of the ordinary, please let me know.

    Also, a couple of sites have been trying to spam my blog, so I’ve installed a spam-prevention plugin and activated some of WordPress’ anti-spam features. Comments are being automatically (and, in some cases, manually) moderated. If your comment doesn’t appear, e-mail me and I’ll look into it.

  • Is he sleeping with the peoples?


    “Clean that crap off the bookshelf, I’m moving in.”

    “Hey! Hey! Either you do something about those damn cats or I will. Keep them away from me, understand?”

    “Watch it, pal. I can put the hurt on you in ways that would make the Marquis de Sade wet his pants.”

    He was an angry, angry fish, and he deserved a better life.

    R.I.P. Sushi
    April 2003 – 13 February 2005

  • “Looks like an A2…”


    I meant to take a Before picture of my teeth Friday morning, then an After picture post-filling replacement. Alas, I neglected to do the former, so the latter seems unimportant.

    When I was but a lad, I had an unfortunate encounter with a wheelbarrow that knocked out a sizeable portion of my two front teeth. This left me with an inverted V between those teeth. Great for squirting water and looking like Buford Eustace Hillbilly. My mother, of course, found this unacceptable (good call, Mom) and made an appointment with Dr. Lawton to have the situation rectified. Thanks to the wonders of modern dentistry, fillings of the appropriate color were applied and my smile was repaired. There are probably one or two Before pictures available from that time, I’m sure.

    Over time, the fillings discolored and decayed. They were touched up once years ago, but time had not been kind even if modern dentistry had. Until Friday, the fillings were noticeably discolored and degrading yet again. So, Friday morning the Good Doctor drilled out the old fillings and once more restored my front teeth to their former glory.

    My mouth certainly looks better than it did (though my teeth are arranged in such a manner as to preclude me from seeking a career as a toothpaste spokesperson), but one of the fillings chipped a bit at some point during the weekend. It’s not really noticeable unless your eye is about eight inches from my mouth, but my tongue… well, that’s another story. To my tongue, the tooth in question feels like the surface of the asteroid in Armageddon (“Okay, so the scariest environment imaginable. Thanks. That’s all you gotta say, scariest environment imaginable.“).

    So, I guess I need to make another appointment with the Good Doctor to have further repairs made.

    In other news, The Venture Brothers is probably the funniest cartoon on television these days. You should watch it.