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September 2008 Archives

September 3, 2008

DragonCon Redux

Another year, and it is done.

Ninsi and I barely slept all weekend. When we finally got back Monday I was utterly exhausted. And I had to work Tuesday and it was all I could do to not pass out at my desk.

But it was worth it. We met several cool new folk, and ran into some friends from DragonCons past that we haven't seen in at least three years.

Our group was fairly large this year. We nearly took over a complete floor of the Radius Towers in the Hyatt. And if the two couples on the floor above us in our group had managed to get on the ninth floor with the rest of us, I think we would actually have had all but one room.

My Dr Horrible (in the Evil League of Evil) was well received. One person thought I was the Dr Horrible that was in the DCon production of the blog. I got my pictures with several Captain Hammer's. The one that would have been best, I could not get a picture with. Because he was being arrested at the time.

We had quite the Stonecutter contingent. I am waiting to see how some of those pictures came out. I did not get many myself, because as a Stonecutter, it is difficult to actually take pictures.

The beef jerky that I made over the last month was a big hit. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. And I think it was all that kept me from starving over the weekend. For some reason, I was continuously hungry from Thursday through Sunday, at least. I ate regular meals, but never got full. Fortunately, I had implemented jerky rationing which left enough for me to eat at leisure. ;)

I will eventually get around to putting some pictures up. I may put together a page and just link to it. I haven't done anything on this site since the last server move and it is past time that I put up at least a few pic links. My baby blues come out devil red in most of the pics though, so I wont put anything up until after I have fixed some of that red-eye.

September 5, 2008

Too Early?

Is it too early to register for next year's convention? Not for some, I reckon. At least one couple of our group has already made their hotel reservations for next year. I usually wait until the calendar year has turned before I make mine. But, it did take up four hotels this year, and I do want the Radius Towers, so maybe I will make it a little sooner.

Ninsi and I went out to listen to the guy that started Pandora.com speak. He is going around the country stumping up support for internet radio. Got a free t-shirt out of it, and a couple of strong vodka-tonics. So, not a bad evening, overall.

Professional football also got started last night. Not the way I would have scripted it, but it has began at least. So now I have some way to spend my Sundays again. And Saturdays with college football. And Monday nights. And some Thursdays. And a few Fridays. It is a start.

I suppose that with the new fees in place for checked baggage on airlines, Ninsi and I will have to be more frugal with our packing going forward. Perhaps we should start earlier on our costumes and figure out exactly what we'll be wearing.
Continental is now charging $15 for the first checked bag and $25 for the second. Even if oil falls back to below $80 a barrel you can be sure that the airlines will not remove these fees. The will find a reason to keep them in place. It is something they have been wanting to do for a long time, and the high price of oil finally gave them an excuse.

Im ready for my martini now...

September 7, 2008


Was in the living room today watching some football and cleaning up a bit, when Ninsi called me from upstairs. I knew from the tone that she saw something outside that needed my attention. I figured that Barley had taken something outside that he shouldn't have.

When I get up to the balcony, I look and say "Yep, that's a dead cat."

In the middle of the yard. A cat got into the yard at some point and the dogs don't suffer intruders of that order. Actually, I suspect that it was Luna that killed the cat. She's the more territorial of the beasts we have. Ive been waiting for nightfall so that I can bury it in the empty lot next door.

This is the second cat we have found dead in the backyard. Darwin nods sagely.

September 10, 2008

Dog days

Nothing much going on now-a-days. DragonCon is past. Halloween is weeks away. Ninsi and I have a few weeks of nothing going on now. I think we have nothing until October when she goes to Branson for a long weekend. I may go to FenCon during that time, but only for a day. And only to see if a specific artist is there.

Mostly we've been getting our craft items picked up and organized. It's pretty much all done now. Once everything is in its place, then we can start getting it back out again. Ninsi is wanting to redo a couple of her costumes; I just want everything cleaned up first so we can get rid of the flotsam beforehand.

I have it in my head to make a Steampunk Blunderbuss. It might be easier to do it with an old gun stock, but since I dont have one of those, I will probably have to do the whole thing from scratch. I am quite capable of doing it. From a mechanical point of view. The problem is that I lack the artisan ability to make something look spiffy and coo. I figure I have about a year to work on that aspect as well. We'll see if I fail. Or if I never quite get started. Since I have free time again, I may start working on my 40k armies instead. That is a hobby that is way past due.

September 11, 2008


So, as we all know by now, the Large Hadron Collider is now online and smashing particles. It's easily among the coolest things since the wheel. A great many folk are worried that it will destroy the Earth by creating a black hole or a rift in the space/time continuum. No likely. But, for those that want a better answer, and a place to check daily if something such as that has happened, here is the website for you:

Has the LHC destroyed the earth?

September 12, 2008


I think I have mentioned before that I sit across from a cube with a rotating group of employees. It is generally pregnant women, or people with cancer who are on 'light duty.' They can't do their normal job function so get to sit in this cube and do easier work. It's only for a max of six months. I think in the last two years, there's been eight or so different people work in that cube.

Today, when I came in, I noticed that the chair had a trash bag in it, and on top of the bag was a towel. My first thought was that maybe the very pregnant woman sitting there currently was having bladder issues. Then I realized that no, she is just so close to birthing that her water could break at any time. Personally, I think that she would have been better off if the water broke and soaked into the chair because the chair can just be replaced. But anything that rolled off that garbage and onto the floor would just soak into the carpet.

She left at noon though. Today was her last day on light duty and she's going on maternity leave. No breakage. Thank Jebus.


And God said - "...and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle"...

Sometimes, I like to cook. And usually, I do it pretty well. Every now and then, I do it up fucking right.

Sunday, I cooked a roast. It's so good I want to have it for breakfast in the mornings. The broth is like ambrosia. I made a sandwich out of some of it tonight for dinner, and every bite was sublime.

I have to say, this roast is what is meant by letting Man have dominion over cattle.

September 16, 2008


Ninsi and I have an online "high-yield" savings account. It's called high-yield only because it has a higher return interest rate than a regular savings account. I think it's currently just over 3%. It is an HSBC Direct account. And by and large, I have not had any problems with it.

I set it up a couple years ago after I started my current job. I get paid twice a month and I set up the online account to do an automatic debit from our bank account about the same time I got paid. The way it is set up is that you create the recurring transaction and set it up for a number of instances. I set it up to go for a year. At the end of that year, I went back in and was disappointed to see that the 'twice a month' option was no long available. I had to use the 'every other week' option.

Though not really a problem, it was annoying because it now falls on odd days in the month and not in the middle and end of the month like before. I even emailed the HSBC customer service and inquired about it. They replied that the option was not used enough and therefore, removed. I can't imagine that it was actually costing them money to keep the option there. But whatever.

The new, every other week transfer schedule ran out a couple weeks ago. I went in today to start it up again and to my dismay, the 'every other week' option is gone. Now I can only do a automatic transfer once a week or once a month. I've emailed the HSBC cust serv again. If they can't give me a better option, then I will take all our money out of that bank and find a new high-yield with someone else that gives me the transfer options I want.

I just have to think that it cost more in man-hours to remove those options than to leave them there.

In non-related annoying customer services things: when I was on my way back from lunch today, I had to merge onto the highway. The big-rig to my left was refusing to budge and let me in where I should have been able to merge. So I slowed down til I could finally get on the highway. This guy just kept trucking along, tailgating the little car in front of him. Im not generally one to call someone in, but he had annoyed me, and was only a few feet from the car in front. So I thought I might call the number on the back of his truck and report him. I looked for the number, and it was there. Mostly. Except he had scratched out the prefix portion so you wouldnt know the full number.
Im guessing he had been reported a few times and got tired of it.

September 18, 2008


Ninsi and I bought some art to put on the walls when we were in Atlanta a few weeks ago. But we did not want to mess with trying to get in on the plane, so we told the artist to just ship it to us. I finally got email confirmation from him that it has been shipped. And according to FedEx, it will be here Saturday. Hopefully one of us will be at the house to sign for it.

We've been looking for something to hang in the living room since we bought the house. And we do have stuff on the walls, but it's not great for the area. When we went on the honeymoon to Greece, we found painting of Santorini while we were in Rhodes. We negotiated with the dealer and bought it, and he was going to send it back to us in the US. It was really to big to easily take on the rest of the cruise. Much less the airplane.

That particular bit of art never arrived. Thanks to Visa, we did not have to actually pay for it, but the experience was really annoying. So we have been looking for something else since then. We think we have found it, and I really hope this new stuff looks good on the wall. We should know come Saturday. Once we get it up, I'll probably post a picture.

We both really liked the originals of what we bought, but they were five feet tall each and $25000 apiece. And there's four pieces. So we bought smaller versions at a significantly lower amount.

September 19, 2008


It's Talk Like a Pirate Day - the international phenomenon.

So, I dreamed of vampires last night. It was a very long dream. Ranging from a collegiate library to an attached mall, and even collapsing parking lots. Then the very civil party with the vampires on a large ranch-style porch. I knew they were waiting for me, but everyone was being quite polite about it. The vampires were just taking their time, because they knew they could get me.

They left the porch party and I used that time to get Ninsi away safely. She went off with some Dallasites that were too vacant to be of interest to the vampires. Then I ran off and jumped in the river. And started swimming. I swam the length of the river. To the ocean. Then swam some more. Started going around the world to stay ahead of them and try to find a way to destroy them. I periodically sent postcards and letters back to Ninsi, but never from where I actually was.

Eventually I made it to the Arctic and found a sea turtle. The research woman studying the turtle fed it some Drambuie, and then some whisky. Then she rubbed champagne on the turtles eyes. After all that, the turtle expelled about a half gallon of acid. Even in the dream I was fairly incredulous of this. But it happened, and the acid was the key to defeating the vampires.

Im not exactly sure how I was supposed to use it on them. Maybe like holy water. But I woke up before I could put the plan into action. It was a long dream.

I have been dreaming of vampires lately.

September 23, 2008

Stupid dogs

Ninsi got out of bed randomly Sunday morning and happened to look outside. Good thing, because she saw our dog running around outside. I thought maybe the gate had managed to come open or perhaps Barley had barreled through one of the slats in the fence. But no, instead, he had ripped apart a slat on the neighbors fence and gone through their yard.

By ripped apart, I mean there were several pieces of wood in our yard between 1 and 3 foot long where he had gotten a piece of the fence and just pulled it apart. I spent the next hour doing repair work on the back fence. The whole back fence will have to be replaced eventually, but I will have to talk to the neighbor about that. Technically, that fence is his, but if he's game, we'll pay half to get it redone. Since he built a shed in front of it that runs most of the length of the fence, I suspect that he has no idea in what kind of shape it is in.

The wife has also indicated that NPR is too right-wing for her. Some of their guests are a little too far too the left for me.

September 24, 2008


Ninsi and I are going to House of Blues tonight for the Flogging Molly concert. Irish Punk band, for those unaware. It should be a good time. Im too old to mosh, so I'll stay out of the pit. We'll probably eat dinner there too. She's already decided to just have a dessert for dinner. Chocolate is gud that way.

I'll update on it tomorrow if I think about it. And if there is anything of note to mention.

September 25, 2008


This was part of an email I got from Ninsi before we went to the concert last night:
"I’m totally getting drunk and crowd surfing tonight. Def wearing combat boots…."

I think the first part was accomplished. But she wore a skirt instead of jeans and didn't want to be an exposed surfer. Flogging Molly is a fun act to go see. A couple steel guitars, one acoustic guitar, accordion, tin whistle, fiddle, banjo, drums.

We had access through the Foundation Room which was really nice. And we went ahead and ate dinner in there. It was pricey, but Ninsi's filet mignon and my rib eye were really, really, excellent. Ninsi said it may have been the best filet she's ever had.

I think there was more moshing in the prior act, The Loved Ones. But there was a lot of crowd surfing during Flogging Molly. As the surfers got to the front, the big guys picked them up and put them on the ground and they ran back around. Only saw one guy get thrown out, probably for being too drunk. There was a lot of beer flying around. (and hats and random clothes/shirts). People were throwing whole cups of beer in the air, and others were shaking their cans of beer, spraying everyone around - then throwing the empty can.

Most of the people surfing were girls, and skinny guys. I saw a couple that might have been my size do it too. I also watched a couple my size go down hard because they were a little too big. Usually headfirst.

Good times all around. We'll probably go again if they come back through.

September 29, 2008


Our new wall hangings:

September 30, 2008


I thought I would try something new today at lunch. Wendy's has been advertising their new 'Baconator' sandwich. Half a pound of meat, and bacon. It seems like a winner.

But it's not.

It comes with cheese and mayo. Two things I dont want on a sandwich, so I made sure to not get those when I ordered it. So, I got a burger with two pieces of meat, some ketchup, and soggy bacon. I know better than to expect anything I buy at Wendy's to look like it does in the picture, but the bacon wasn't even close. Veggies would have helped quite a bit. It was amazingly bland as it was. Somehow, they managed to take the flavor of bacon away. It was a little greasy. Which made the whole concoction a little soggy. Not in a good way. I think it is understood that I will not be making this mistake again.

Oh, and they say "6 pieces of hickory smoked bacon". I think I had two pieces. Definitely not six. I think I got ripped off.

Baconator = disappointment

About September 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Notival in September 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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