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March 16, 2007

Squidvasion

The Squid is coming to visit next week. And bringing a friend. So we'll have not one, but two, nigh thirteen year old girls in the house for most of a week. I plan to drive to Oklahoma on Sunday to pick up the girls, and then take them back up to my mother on Thursday. It's a daunting prospect. We have plans for the week, mostly. Mall, movie, and museum. They'll have to entertain themselves during the day, but I expect them to sleep until almost noon most days, so they'll only have a few hours of nothing with which to contend.

Work is about to get busy for the next month or so. The Friday status meetings are going to be a drag though.

March 22, 2007

Decaf

The title is untrue. But I went Tuesday and Wednesday without drinking any soda. Not on purpose or by design, but it just happened that I was drinking water. It would have been a caffeine free couple of days, except that I drink tea when I am home. I dont really like water, but drink 2-3 pints a day at work. At home, I usually drink 1-2 quarts of tea in the evening. Today I got a soda. I felt the need for sugar, more than anything. It's just good sometimes.

By this time tomorrow, I should be able to see mostly clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts. It is that thought that is consuming most of my head right now. I'll report on it in a few days. It will probably be a few hours before I can comfortably stare at a computer screen. The doctor's instructions are to keep the eyes closed if possible for a couple hours. But not really take a nap, since you have to put in eyedrops every hour. So, that should be fun.

The Squid is going back to OK today. I think she's had a good week. Im sure she likes her new camera, it's better than mine and Ninsi's. Going to have to get us a new one soon. Need a nice one before we go to Alaska anyway.

Im slowly being consumed by the desire for a new car...

March 26, 2007

I can see clearly now...

It is three days now since my lasik. It's all pretty much as advertised. I was able to drive Friday afternoon. I wasn't technically supposed to though, but I need to get my tires rotated. So I did. And it was fine. Friday night, after dinner I noticed the halos around the lights, and those are annoying. But they should die down, and it isnt too bad. Saturday morning I had my post-op at 8:30 and was already at 20/20. That may improve slightly over the next few weeks as my eyes heal. Now, they are just sore, and tired. And somewhat bloodshot.

Ninsi and I were in Southlake early Saturday morning for my checkup. And since we had time to kill, we ate a small breakfast at Corner Bakery. Right after we arrived, the place was innundated with women. They all had name tags. And it took a minute, but we soon realized they were all part of a church group, and it was a 'shopping day.' There were probably 40-50 of these women, all waiting for the shops to open. We hightailed it to the Barnes & Nobles to get away from them all, and to wait for the shops to open as well. Mostly, we window shopped. Though i did get a nice spatula for the grill. Then a quick stop at the Central Market out there where they were giving away all kinds of free samples, and we came home.

By saturday evening, I was feeling restless. And Ninsi needed to work on her paper, so I drove up to Winstar for some poker. I won a couple hundred before finally coming back home. It was pretty late when I got home, but because I have to wear shields or sunglasses over my eyes at night for a week, Im not actually sleeping well. So I was up fairly early on Sunday. I decided to be the good husband, and gave Ninsi almost half of my winnings so she could buy a new dress. The next few hours were interminable, but she did eventually find a nice new dress. Im calling it an anniversary gift, since that is less than a week away now.

I keep forgetting to make reservations for our anniversary dinner. I need to get on the ball with that one pretty quick.

March 27, 2007

Cry wolf

Something that bothered be on Saturday night when I was playing poker at Winstar:
When you play poker in a casino, the dealers rotate about every 30 minutes. That makes it more difficult for a dealer and his buddy to be in cahoots at a table. Anyway, one of the dealers I had was fairly chatty. It happens. No big deal. But he randomly said that he liked the song "Little Red Riding Hood," but didnt know who sang it. I said it was 'Sam the Sham,' and the dealer looked at me and said that wasn't it. He was 'talking about the old song,' and he sang a couple lines. I told him again that it was Sam the Sham singing. The dealer didnt believe me.

It annoyed me that he would ask who sang the song, and then not believe the answer he was given. Clearly, no one else at the table knew who sang it.

I did win a good sized pot off one hand he dealt me, so I forgave him.

April 24, 2007

Salesmanship

When Ninsi and I went to OK for Christmas, I drove my older brother's truck down so that I could use it to haul off a bunch of crap from the backyard to the dump. Mainly the old fence that had been taken down. He also told me to try to sell it while I had it.

I had pretty much not done anything about trying to sell it, but finally decided I might ought to at least write 'for sale' on it, since I told him Id try. So, Ninsi wrote on it with shoe polish on Saturday, and last night while im sitting in the living room I get a call from a guy that is outside my house wanting to know about the truck.

Fifteen minutes later, the truck no longer belonged to my brother. When I called him to make sure it was alright, he acted like he didnt want to sell it. I think it was just because he was attached to it for having had it ten years.

I could have used it to make one more trip to the dump, but I'll manage without. And the guy paid cash, which is always hard to turn down.

May 10, 2007

Bald Sex

Ive been busy. Too busy at work this week to even bother with the blog. But it has been a few days, and that's too long.

Did manage to get out to meet Zero for lunch today. When a co-worker and I were walking into Chili's we saw that someone had rearranged letters on the sign for the movie theater. They had taken several letters from 'Blades of Glory' and a couple other movies to put up the new attraction, "Bald Sex."

I have no desire to see such a movie. There's just nothing about it that can be good, and oh so much that can be bad.

June 20, 2007

Flutter

I've heard them nesting for a while now. Finally, this morning, when I walked outside, I heard them fluttering about, and looked up. Sitting on the edge of the roof, flitting about from the roof to the tree is half a dozen baby birds. Sparrows, or swallows of some type. Most of them are still puffy with baby feathers, and they couldn't fly very far at all, but they were trying. Best they stay on the front of the house, because if they accidently flew down in the backyard, Im not sure the dogs wouldnt eat them.

The biggest danger they have from being where they are is getting flushed down the drain pipe if it rains heavy. I've already found one dead bird this year that got washed out. I dont know if it got caught up in the rain and flushed down and drowned on the way, or if it tried to build a next in the pipes and got caught that way. It was quite dead though, at the foot of the drain pipe.

Gave more blood today. Results tomorrow.

June 26, 2007

Delivered

The mailbox was full when I got home yesterday. Full of things both expected and dreaded.

I had three new bills from the hospital and blood clinic. I'd been expecting a bill from the hospital, but was afraid of how much it was going to be. I was not expecting the bills from the clinic. Insurance didnt fully cover all the bloodwork, but it isnt too bad. I owe the clinic about $50 for three tests.

I was really concerned with the hospital bill. They charged the insurance about $6000. I knew BC/BS woudn't pay it all, so it was always a question of 'how much?' They actuall paid just under $4k. Then the hospital made an adjustment of almost $2k, so my final bill from them is only $125. I can live with that.

A few weeks back, I posted about having to send in my old trimmer to Philips Norelco because the dog ate it. Well, yesterday I received a brand new one in the mail. I also got the new earbuds for my phone so I can listen to MP3s again at work. Im debating whether or not to invest in some stereo bluetooth headsets. Then I would be able to listen without the damn cord.

Someone finally called to schedule a time to pick up the conference table. Should be taking care of that tomorro evening. And possibly getting rid of the bigass tent on Friday. I'll finally be able to completely reclaim the garage. Maybe use the funds from the table or tent to get some more shelves for it. I think one more set of shlelves is in order.

I also think Im going to have to send my wedding ring back to the guy that made it. I seem to have bent it somehow. I think it might have a lifetime warranty. I'm not sure on that though.

June 27, 2007

Drenched

Oklahoma City has already received 10 inches more rain this year than normal. Flooding abounds. It's just weird. El Nino? No. Global Warming? Possibly, but not likely yet. The actual storms would be worse.

Was forwarded this link this morning about a giant microwave that turns plastics back into oil and gas. It's a great idea, and I can see how it should work. There's still a tingle in the back of my head though that says something about it isnt quite right. Maybe it is too easy?

Soundly asleep last night were Ninsi and I. Maybe an hour. Suddenly, both dogs just went nuts barking, and running out of the room downstairs. It's a horribly unpleasant way to be awoken. I dont know what set them off. I went downstairs and looked around outside, but couldnt see or hear anything. Im thinking maybe some other animal, like a cat or opossum stuck its head in the dog door and they heard it. Barley went ahead and woke up every two hours after that, assuring that neither Ninsi or I could get a good sleep in.

Stupid dogs.

July 2, 2007

Patterns

It's not that I want it to stop raining. I don't. I just want one or two days every now and then that are free of rain. Times when I can mow my yard and not get rained on, like yesterday. I made it 3/4 of the way before the rain hit. I finished in the rain.

Afterwards, I just stood in the rain for a minute, then went upstairs and sat on the balcony in the rain for a while. It was actually pretty nice.

Ninsi and I did eventually make it out of the house yesterday. Went and ate and picked up a few things at Home Depot. I finally have enough shelf space in the garage now to put things away properly.

Of course it rained more last night. The yard has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I have about an inch of standing water in a couple places. Should this weather pattern continue, I will definitely have to look at a couple of French drains to assist with drainage. It is nice that we haven't hit 100 degrees yet though. I could live in Texas with this much rain being the norm. It really isnt that bad.

July 5, 2007

Basil Spider

Ninsi and I sat on the balcony last night and watched the fireworks. We could see some from Dallas, and some from Arlington. Eventually LoneStar Park started theirs, and we were able to see those as well. The best show we got, though, was from our neighbor on the back. They set off a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks. The kids got up on the carport which abutts our backyard and were setting the mortars off from there. So, from our balcony, we really had the best possible view since the fireworks were exploding directly over out backyard.

Good times, and no digits lost.

Before it got dark, Ninsi called me out to the balcony to show me this guy. He's taken up residence in one of the Basil plants we have. I believe I have seen his ilk before on my roses. I think I name him "G-man."


July 11, 2007

Too old for this

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out last night. Started at about midnight at most theaters. Ninsi had an inch to see it right off. So we went. I'll not go into the details. It was the longest of the books, and one of the shorter of the movies, so a lot was left out, or glossed over. And some things were down right wrong from the book. But, whatever, it's a movie. It was better than number Three.

Of course we didnt get home until about 3 am, and so I've been mostly draggin' ass today. And probably wont get home til almost 11:30 tonight. And tomorrow I have to work late for some testing. And Saturday is the party. I'm not sure when this week got so busy.

Getting the A/C on the Mustang repaired today since it decided to just quit working yesterday. Nothing makes you feel quite so good as unexpected automotive expenses. Joy.

Oh! But this is very exciting! I think FJ may have creamed when I sent her the link to the baby mammoth.

July 30, 2007

Countdown

I've been lax. I know. But I've also been busy.

A mere four days until we jet off to Seattle to embark on our Alaskan cruise. Nothing left to do but pack. And that may be quite the ordeal in itself. Im not going to worry too much about that though, I figure Ninsi will worry enough for both of us.

Painted the Squid's room over the weekend. A mighty pink! It's bright. It looks good. We still have to do the doors though. They will be a nice lime green when we are done. And probably the baseboards as well. Depends on if Im feeling my oats or not when we get started.

Finished Harry Potter 7. Havent got much to say on that order.
Saw The Simpons movie. It's well worth watching.

August 15, 2007

Natural

There was a naturalist on the cruise. He was just a guy that had camped out in Alaska for a couple years or so and then wrote a book. I dont really know what kind of an expert that made him. He had buddies, and modern equipment, so I doubt he was roughing it too much. But he was on the cruise, and gave a lot of lectures. I was not overly impressed by him though. He did not seem to really offer anything unique or insightful. Most of what he said could easily have been read in a book at a tourist store.

Florence Henderson (Mrs Brady) was also on the cruise. We saw her a couple of times, and she looks great. Ninsi and I would up on an elevator with her at one point and she made elevator small talk while we rode up a couple flights. She was infinitely more interesting than the naturalist dude.

I will eventually get around to putting some pictures up on a page. I'll trim the size down so it wont take forever to load, but it may be a few days or a couple weeks still til I do that. I have put up a couple pictures from one of the formal nights on MySpace and Facebook. But nothing terribly exciting.

Nothing planned this weekend. Probably dinner with the guys that are heading to Scotland next week and that's about it. It will be good to relax. Ninsi and I are trying to figure out how to best use the travel vouchers we received from Delta for getting (voluntarily) bumped. We must use them for travel before August 3, 2008, and they are enough to fly us both anywhere in the lower 48. We really hadn't planned on flying anywhere until about September though, so we're not sure what we're going to do.

We're trying to figure out if we can manage a few days in the Caribbean with them and not cost ourselves too much out of pocket. Other suggestions would be accepted if you have any.

August 21, 2007

payback

Sometimes, things dont work like they should, and sometimes they do.

A few months back, I ate at Wingstop and when the girl ran my card, the machine was out of paper. So she had to run it again after she had refilled the receipt machine so I could sign off on it. I only signed one, but two charges for the same amount appeared in my account. They said the second one would just fall off, but it never did. And at $10, it wasnt a big deal.

This weekend, at Texas de Brazil, the waitress ran the wrong ticket on my card. And then ran the right one. But I still had both charges on my card. At over $200, it was a bigger deal. But when I talked to the manager, he said it should drop within 48 hours. I expected it to be like the Wingstop experience, but no, it worked out fine. Today the charge is gone.

In their defense, Wingstop did give me a free meal just in case the charge never came off, so it worked out fine. But I dont think the store owner was happy about it. I wish Texas de Brazil had given me a free meal for my troubles.

August 28, 2007

Dog days

Not a lot going on at this time of year. Half the gang is still out of the country. We are heading up to OK this weekend. Everyone will be back next week.

Things have slowed down at work. We're near the end of a project, and waiting for some other bits to get done. Cant do a lot until those bits are done. Maybe in another week.

Ninsi and I are continuing in our efforts to go to the gym four days a week. We managed it last week. And we might again this week. But I think we need to go at least once on the weekend instead of four days straight, followed by three days off. We are, at least, going to the gym regularly again.

And that's about it.

September 4, 2007

Labored

We're back from our weekend Labor Day fun times.
Didnt actually do much; spent the weekend in Sand Springs with Ninsi's family, mostly. Managed to go through and visit about half of my family. As the other half was incommunicado out on the lake somewhere.

Most everyone is finally back in Dallas, it seems. We'll all get together soon. We're overdue for a big dinner, or small party.

Ninsi and I will be heading back up to OK this weekend. Going to Norman this time though. The Plan is to take the Squid to her first big-time college football game. It should be a good time. Might even sneak in a visit with friends in the area.

Thank Jebus for short work weeks.

September 10, 2007

Tis the Season

Football season is now fully upon us. Most colleges started two weeks ago, and the NFL games began this weekend. Good times.

The Squid and I went to the OU game on Saturday. They fairly thoroughly thumped Miami. It is always good when your team wins, even if it gets a little embarrassing for the other team sometimes.

Ninsi and I made it back a little later than we had planned, but still in the afternoon. The rain kep me from being productive outside, and will continue to do so today. As soon as it stops raining for a day, I'll mow the yard, and maybe dig a trench. It needs to be done. Once I do that, I'll have to find a time for Donut to come over so we can put in a proper footing and finish a couple sections on the fence.

Then I need to rebuild the railing on the balcony. And finish repainting one of the bedrooms. Then maybe everything will be done with the house. Once everything is done, and the house is clean, we may put it up on the market and see what kind of offers we can get. We aren't in any hurry to move, and it really isnt a good time to sell, so I dont foresee anything coming of it. I think we might have better luck renting it out. But that can be such a real pain in the ass, I dont know if we want to mess with it or not.

We're not planning to move, so much as we both realize we will want/have to within a couple years anyway. Just a few miles North is all. So, Im just looking down the road a little.

September 13, 2007

org'nized

Did some cleaning last night. After getting home late from work, I decided it was time to organize a bunch of old CDs and DVDs I had laying around. Mostly software and pictures. I would up throwing away a whole lot of them. Mostly installation CDs that were nearly 10 years old. I still have a few left that I haven't quite decided to toss yet.

What I couldnt figure out is why I have four copies of Windows '98. Four. It wasnt a very good operating system. I also have my original copy of Windows '95. Im keeping it for posterity. Or in case I get stuck with something like a x86 PC and want to play that tank game where you dig around til you find the other guy and shoot them. I cant remember the name of it.

Anyway, I got rid of a bunch of crap, and now my crap pile is smaller. That's a plus.

September 21, 2007

Cleaning day

It is cleaning day at work. No meetings were supposed to be scheduled so that everyone could spend the day neatening up their area and then cleaning off extraneous crap from their PC. A lot of stuff was hauled off. I really didnt have that much to clean, so I did actual work.

My brother informs me that Rockville is the 26th best city in the US to live. Yippee. I'll give a personal opinion on that in a little over a week when I get back.

October 2, 2007

Grinding

It is the time of year to start planning for next year's lawn. I mentioned to Ninsi that I was considering taking the tiller to the entire back yard, and I think she probably believes me somewhat crazy now. Maybe I will do it, maybe I wont.

There is serious talk now of restarting the largely defunct Warhammer 40k campaign. It has been entombed for a few years now. A new map is really all we need. That, and some of the new rules. Then we'll be set.

Outside of that, it's the normal daily grind. Probably going to visit a buddy in the hospital on Friday maybe. Then watching the game on Saturday. I reckon I could either play 40k on Sunday, or get some serious tilling done. I'll have to debate those options...

October 9, 2007

Convalescing

Ninsi and I went to visit Khuul last night in the hospital. He is doing better. He'll be doing very well once the pain subsides.

After the visit, we went to Main Event to meet with her work peeps. Dinner, drinks, and games on the company dollar is not a bad way to spend the evening. It was a bit late though when we finally did get home.

One of the founding members of Slippery Weasel is in town for a couple more weeks. Should manage to have dinner next weekend or so. That's the plan anyway. The plan for this weekend involves me driving to McAlester to hang out with the Squid. Probably see a movie. If there is any movies out that she wants to see. If I have spare time, I'll probably use it to transfer stuff from the old laptop to the new. And Im sure my mom will require me to do some fixin' to her computer. My main objective on that end will be to set it up so that I can remotely access it. That should cut down on frustrating phone calls when something isnt working.

In other news, the Yankees lost in the first round. Im mostly indifferent to that.

October 11, 2007

Mailing it in

Mail-In rebates suck. A lot of things offer them, but very few people actually use them. The companies that offer them count on most people not using the rebates. And if you do mail them in, filling out the paperwork for it is generally a hassle, and too easy to mess up so that the rebate is refused.

Kudos to Staples then, for making it easy. I bought Quicken 2008 today and it comes with a $20 mail-in rebate. On one of the three receipts I got, though, is an address for submitting it online. It is a Staples address and it took about three minutes to fill out online and they will invoice Quicken for me. It could not have been much easier. I'll know if 4-6 weeks if it actually worked.

Of course, they didnt have what I actually went to the store to get, so they kinda lose points there.

October 15, 2007

Powah

Spent the weekend in OK with the Squid. I also hooked up a wireless router to my mom's internet connection. That allowed the Squid to goof around online via the laptop I'd brought. I think it helped her from being to terribly, awfully, teenagerly bored.

Not much else went on. Went to visit my dad and he took us for a quick ride in his new Mustang. 500 HP is a whole lotta power. The tire marks on the highway from the burn out were a forty odd feet long I think.

Ninsa stayed home and cleaned the house, mostly. Now I need to get out and mow the yard. Moreso because it is raining today and last night, so the grass will grow. It may be the last time I mow it for a couple months though. Tis the season of things not growing any more.

October 17, 2007

Phun with werds

Ninsi was just telling me that there is a load talking Brit in her office today. And she finds it difficult to argue with their pronunciation of 'again.' Outside of the accents, Brits and Americans just say some things differently. Most notably, I think, a whole class of words that start with 'H.'

Some words are really just more fun than others. On the radio today, someone used the phrase "snot-knocker." That's a good word. It's up there with "slump-buster" and "turd-floater" and the new one I heard today "suckitoria", which is the plural form of "suckitorium." For more information on that one, go here.

My dad was always fond of calling us 'hon-yockers.' It is what it is.

October 18, 2007

Yibbidyblahblah... sold!

A couple months ago, Ninsi, the Squid, and I went on an Alaska cruise. We flew Delta from DFW, to Salt Lake City, then on to Seattle. However, when we got to SLC, they asked for volunteers to give up seats. We did so gladly, as we weren't really in a hurry. In return, they flew us on to Seattle first thing the next day, and gave us each a voucher worth $400 on a Delta flight.

Unfortunately, flying Delta out of Dallas is not generally the easiest, nor most economic thing to do. You almost inevitably have to lay-over somewhere. Generally Atlanta or SLC. We do sometimes fly to Atlanta, and then the vouchers would have been great. Except that we weren't planning to make that trip until after they expired in August of '08. So, we tried to sell them at 75% face value. Making a posting on Craigslist here did little good. When I posted on the Atlanta Craigslist, we got a lot of responses. Most of them were willing to give only half the value. But we finally found two people that bought them for our asking price. Which leaves us with enough money for me to book a flight from DFW on American to London next month to spend a weekend with Ninsi and Monketo and his wife.

I look at it as a free trip to London. It's not exactly that, but close enough.

Oh yeah, everybody panic.

November 2, 2007

You'd think it was a holiday

It's Friday afternoon. But as few people are left in the building, you'd think it was well into the weekend, or a holiday afternoon. I'm not sure why apparently only half the workforce made it in today, but that seems to be about the size of it.

Ninsi and I went to dinner last night with her new hire class at a fancy tavern downtown. While we were there, a lot of people started getting up from their table and went to stand by the street. There were a whole lot of motorcycle cops that had blocked the roads and were waiting for something. Helicopters were buzzing around overhead. You'd have thought something actually exciting was going down. Instead, it was just the Dick Cheney motorcade going through. Everyone stopped and watched him go by, preceded and followed by half a dozen other vehicles.

Including an ambulance, just in case he shoots someone else in the face.

November 6, 2007

Duty

Today is voting day. Go do it. And remember, if you live in Dallas and are voting on the Trinity River project, the ballot is counter-intuitive. Yes means No, and No means yes. Have fun!

Had something. Forgot it.

Christmas is going to sneak up on us. This I know. I should really start figuring out who gets what, and soon.

November 12, 2007

School Night

Ninsi and I went out last night. We haven't been out on a Sunday in a long time. But it was a school night. For me at least, as I had to get up for work today. She is technically on vacation for the next week. We went to the club for a little while. Managed to be home before 1 am, so it was not too bad.

Friday night we went out with a friend for her birthday. Saturday we went and had good Indian cuisine at the Clay Pit, but horrible, horrible service. Bad enough that Ninsi went to talk to the manager about the automatic gratuity and have it lowered down. The manager took it off totally, and discounted us an extra 20% for our troubles.

Just trying to get through this week and half of next now. Holidays make it rough because everyone just sloooowssss down.

November 15, 2007

Sweat

I have managed to make it to the gym every day so far this week. And I think Ninsi and I are going again this evening. Mostly, I've ridden a bike. Monday I ran 5k and did weights. Which is probably what I will do again tonight. But Tuesday, my knee was bugging me, so I spent the last two nights just riding. If the knee keeps bothering me after a run, I may have to think about investing in a knee brace.

Aging sucks.

In other news, the wife and I are looking into a new bedroom set. We have furniture now, but none matches. So we want a completely matched set. Another friend of ours is wanting to sell his set, so we could buy it, and we may, but we want to look and see what we can find for new, first. Beds are not cheap. And she wants a King size, so we will have to buy new mattresses as well, and those will run us a few hundred dollars more. BTW, can someone explain to me the difference between a King size bed, and a California King?

I can envision the scenario where we buy three pieces of a bedroom set, and come back later in a couple months to buy two or three more pieces. Hopefully they wont discontinue the set after we buy the first part.

November 19, 2007

Holiday Hiatus

Move along. Nothing to see for at least a week.

November 26, 2007

Feasted

Thanksgiving is past. A solid month of Holiday season stretches out before us now. I briefly considered going to the stores early on "Black Friday." But the one item I wanted, really would have been a pain in the ass to get back to Dallas. And I think the ad I was looking at was misleading. So, I saved myself some dough. Never a bad thing.

Ninsi started her new job today. I'll hear all about it when I get home. All I know so far is from the few text messages I have received. I dont think it's the most enjoyable of things so far. But that is mostly from them not really being ready for her, and therefore she has nothing to do. And apparently they monitor phones and such fairly closely, so I dont know that I'll talk to her much during the days. Except perhaps on her lunch.

I suppose I should join the rest of America in online shopping today. But that would require having an idea of what Im looking for. I know a couple things, but not enough to bother even hunting down online, yet. Maybe in a couple weeks when it gets to be more of a crunch.

No leftovers at our house. I think it's a grocery store night.

December 5, 2007

M-i-R

I went to Fry's last night to purchase something I needed to purchase. I managed to get the last available one. With this purchase, they were also giving away a 'free' photo printer. "Free" meaning that you pay the $75 for it, and get a Mail In Rebate for $75.

So, I buy my thing and the printer, (the thing is a Christmas gift, so I'll not speak of it more clearly) and pay and mention the rebate to the cashier and she rings it all up and gives me my receipt and I go. It isnt until I get home that I realize she did not give me any kind of rebate form. And there was nothing on the receipt itself to help.

I called Fry's back and they said I could just come back to a store and get the form, or they could fax it to me. I dont have a fax machine. I went up to the Fry's closer to work today on my lunch break and picked up the form. I looked at the form, and it is very generic. I was expecting something a little more Fry's specific. But it is not. What they *should* have told me last night was "You can just print it off of the Epson website" instead of asking if they could fax it to me. Because when I got back after lunch, I checked online, and there it was. Bright and Shiny rebate form.

Fry's can suck it for making me go out of my way for naught.

December 10, 2007

oh tannenbaum

Ninsi and I bought a tree yesterday and spent part of the afternoon getting that set up. We bought a live tree last year, and again this year. I suspect that is the way we will always do it. It really does make for a better tree. And it is ultimately better for the environment.

We also bought all new light strands. Went with the LED lights, as they last longer and use less energy. The plan is to get rid of all of the old Christmas stuff we have and just start with new stuff. Most of the old stuff isn't ours. It is now, but wasnt originally. Just leftover bits from before. So, we need to buy about one more strand of lights, and quite a bit more garland.

It is merely two weeks until Christmas. Not a whole lot left to do. Though, I have not any idea what to get most of my family. The young nephews aren't really a problem. If it is bright, they will be happy. Buying for the brothers, and the in-laws is more an issue. I've got roughly two weeks. I'll manage something.

December 12, 2007

Winter

It's finally mostly cold here. But I think for only a day or so. Winter doesn't actually start for another week plus. I wouldn't mind one bit if it got cold and stayed that way for the next three months. We need a good solid Winter. Ninsi disagrees, Im sure.

Looking forward to a good dinner on Friday night. We'll be trying out III Forks for the first time. I hear it is good. Critique will follow on Monday for that. Actually leaving early on Friday. I have enough vacation built up that I need to just spend some of it. I just have nothing to do. So I'll take a half day this week, and maybe all of next Friday. Not sure yet.

Even if I take a full day off every month, I still gain almost 6 hours in vacation time. So, that's not shabby.

December 14, 2007

Slack

Taking a half day off today.
Because I can, and I have the time.

Fancy-ish dinner tonight.
It better be good.

December 20, 2007

Gone for the holidays

This is probably the last entry until after Christmas. Possibly for the year. Ninsi and I are heading up to OK in a couple days for the festivities. But we both have to work next week, so we'll be coming back fairly early.

There is a guy that sits in the cube across from mine a couple times a week. He got cancer a few years ago, and it came back at least once. And it has been financially difficult for him. And it has affected how much he can work. I think he's doing better now. The only reason I know this, is because when he is in, he talks on the phone. And in the mornings, if he is on the phone, he is telling someone all about his life for the past few years and how hard it has been, and how wronged he has been.

Im bloody tired of hearing about his life. It's sad, yes, but Ive heard it. Multiple times now. Quiet, please. please.

On that note,
Have a safe and merry Christmas and joyful New Year.

January 8, 2008

Talkie talkie talkie

So a friend of mine supplied me with tickets to the Dallas Stars hockey game last night. She left four tickets for me at the the arena. So Ninsi, Reptile, and I went to the game last night. The fourth ticket was left unused. They were very nice seats. I had never been to a hockey game before, but it was a good time. I probably would enjoy it a lot more if I understood the rules. I may have to work on that if I plan to go again.

The only downside to the whole thing was one of the girls that sat in front of us. She was cute, but spent the entire match talking to her friend. Constantly. Non-stop. She had one of the guys with them fetch her a pizza at some point, and I thought that she might stop talking long enough to eat that. But no, she just talked right through the eating. She did not really detract from the game, but she was seriously annoying at times.

Ninsi and I head back to the gym tonight after taking a month off for the holidays. I lost over ten pounds last calendar year. Im pretty much at a good weight now. Just maintenance from here on out.

Stupid five day work weeks. Give me four 10-hour days. Please.

January 23, 2008

Refund

Back in December, I may have mentioned, I bought a new camera for the Squid to replace the one that was dropped, and consequently broke. Fry's was having a deal at the time for a free printer with the purchase of any digital camera. Actually, it was a refund. If you pay for the $75 printer, you could apply for the refund.

I am never sure about refunds. Especially if I have to fill out a bunch of stuff and send in the specific bits. I did everything though, and waited. A couple weeks ago, I went online to the Epson site to get information on the status of my rebate since part of the paperwork stated that I could check the status after a couple weeks. It had been a month by that time, but they website found no record of my rebate at all. So I figured it was just a lost cause.

Until yesterday. When Ninsi came in with the mail, there was a large envelope from Epson, and it contained a check for $75. Woot! The free printer was actually free. Minus the sales tax. I still prefer the Staples way to do rebates. They give you a receipt with a web address and you can do the whole process online. You get your rebate check a lot quicker and less chance of screwing something up.

In other news, yeah, the economy.

January 28, 2008

Slow

Had a pretty lazy weekend. It was good. The weather warmed up just enough to be decent. Ninsi had a happy hour with co-workers Friday night, so I had the house to myself most of the evening. I played my computer game. Saturday was more of the same.

Took a computer monitor out to Khuul since he was starting to fade and the one we took had just been sitting in the closet for over two years. At least it will get used now. He seems to be doing better. I dont know if he is doing 'well' yet, but he is getting there.

Sunday was mostly lazy as well. Got up and finished the computer game and then tinkered around the house. Installed the new light fixture in the kitchen. That was mostly painless, except it took me a while to find the right breaker to trip on the box. Namely because the one switch I needed was the single unlabeled switch. Of course.

Outside of that, just maintaining the status quo. Party on.

February 5, 2008

Moving on

We buried my grandmother yesterday. And that's really all there is too that.

Towards the end of '07, I started running some numbers to see how Ninsi and I were going to be doing come tax time. And the initial outlook was grim. Granted, I was using worst-case scenarios, but still, we were going to have to pay quite a bit. Now that we've actually got most of our stuff in and I am able to use the right numbers, things are looking much better. Not sure how much we will get back, but it is looking like we wont have to pay, after all, and that is really the only bit that matters.

Im continuing my efforts to create an excellent 'Armadillo Egg'. ie, stuffed jalapenos. The ones I have made so far are good. They just need some tweaking. I'll be making a new batch tonight.

February 8, 2008

Driven

Not much today. Been busy with work.

I did make some decent 'Armadillo Eggs' the other day though. They take a little too long to make to do it regularly, but I'll probably do it a couple times a year randomly. Tweak the recipe a little bit.

Heading up to OK right after work today to spend the weekend with the Squid. And then next weekend, Ninsi and I are heading up to Guthrie for a day, so that will make three weekends in a row that Im driving up to OK. I really dont like driving that much. Just can't get out of it all the time. Ninsi says I dont have to go to Guthrie, but I know better than that. It's like a woman saying she's "fine" when something is really wrong. It's a lose-lose.

February 11, 2008

Filed

Made it back from OK yesterday fairly early. About three pm, or so. Had plenty of daylight left in which to work in the yard, or clean up around the house. But I did neither of those things. Instead, I did our taxes. Great fun, that. But it wasn't all bad. We are at least getting something of a refund. I thought I would be able to deduct my lasik surgery and other medical expenses for the year, but those did not total more than 7.5% of our Adjusted Gross. I wasnt aware of the 7.5% issue when I initially thought Id be able to deduct. No matter. It's done. Maybe we'll get our refund by the end of the month.

After the taxes were done, I went to pick up Ninsi at the airport and we went on to dinner. Her allergies have been acting up, so the plane ride was unpleasant. And now we are getting ready to head up to OK again on Saturday. This should be the last trip for at least a month.

I am tired of teh driving.

February 15, 2008

VRD

Valentine's Recovery Day.
Yesterday was V-day. We did not do anything terribly special. I took about an extra hour to get home from work so I could go by the market and pick up a couple steaks. That was about all that our plans consisted of. Cooking a couple of nice steaks for dinner. And they were good. I got Ninsi her usual, the fliet mignon, and a nice rib-eye for myself.

Tomorrow is the 3rd and final trip to Oklahoma for the month. Birthday celebration. Fabulously cold weather. I can hardly wait.

Trying to get a friend to send me some pr0n. Other than that, it's all quiet.

March 11, 2008

Spring Cleaned

It was cold this weekend. But not too cold. And the snow did not close down everything on Friday like some had prognosticated. I stayed home anyway. Mainly because I wanted to, and I have the hours. The weekend was largely uneventful.

Ate out Friday, piddled around Saturday, and Sunday I rented a Rug Doctor to do some cleaning on the carpets. The dogs do make a mess of them. And we wanted things to be a little cleaner since the Squid would be in town next week, as well as half a dozen members of Tracy's family.

The Rug Doctor did not exactly work wonders, but it did clean. We also moved the TV out of the bedroom. Ive been wanting to do that for a while. The room is much nicer looking now, what with the clean carpet and the ugly-ass old dresser moved out. And we have more room. That room is temporary, as we plan to get new bedroom furniture eventually, but it is nice in the meantime. And I think I like not having the TV in there.

We moved the TV to the spare bedroom. Of course, the satellite is not hooked up in there, and when I called Dish today to ask about having it connected, they told him it would cost $99 to have the technician come out and do the wiring. That's a bunch of bull. Im not going to pay them $99 just to connect a wire outside, which is about all they would have to do. I'll manage it myself, somehow. Or drop Dish and get DirectTV and they'll do the full hookup as part of an install special.

DDRing is not a game for old men. Like me.

March 26, 2008

Return

Ah, back to the blog again. I pretty much totally forgot about it over the last week, since I was mostly hanging out at the house. When I wasnt hanging out at the mall with the Squid while she shopped.

We had a good time. Her cousin came down with her, and they kept each other entertained most of the time, so it wasnt too rough on me. Did some shopping, some Six Flags, and some cooking. We made pizzas last week, and I'll have to post the picture of Ninsi's. It's pretty special looking. Gotta work on the dough a little bit, but otherwise, the pizzas were good. Ninsi made another one last night which looked much much better.

I took the Squid back to OK last Friday. That same day my older brother got married. And also on that day my great aunt passed away.

So, that's three relatives Ive lost in about a span of six weeks. Let's hope that is over and done with.

Ninsi and I are supposed to go do the delegate thing this Saturday morning. And outside of that, I dont think we have anything planned until next week when we have our 2nd anniversary. Followed a few days later by my birthday. I'm starting to get up there a little bit.

It is almost time to start thinking about getting some tomatoes into the ground. So i may start working on that this weekend some. Maybe I'll have better luck than last year when the whole operation was a failure, except for the one that blew away in a windstorm and took root under the deck. It just did it too late. It produced fruit, but it started to freeze again before any could ripen.

I think I'll spend some time at the home improvement store, for sure. May not buy much, but there are spring projects on the horizon that I have to start thinking about. mmmmm Spring.

April 10, 2008

Asunder

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night (2:45 am) because I was too warm. I had been off and on, but this time I could not quite get back to sleep. So I lay there in bed debating getting up to turn the A/C down a bit. While I was thinking about it, the heavens were suddenly rent asunder and a torrent of rain and wind was unleashed.

It was immediate. There was no little rain and some wind building up. It went straight to a total downpour. So I got up and went downstairs and realized the A/C was not on at all. Which would help explain why I was hot. I turned on the TV to check the weather and we had no signal because of the storm. But, we still had internet, so I checked the weather there. Grand Prairie was under a Tornado Warning, a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, and a Flash Flood Warning. All at once. And the radar showed an ugly red slash crossing all of D/FW.

It was a good rain. And a few tree limbs were blown off here at work. Some full trees uprooted elsewhere in Dallas. The biggest thing it did to us was probably give life to more dandelions that I will have to pull up later.

April 23, 2008

lax

Ive been lax about updating.
It's just that sooo much has been going on that I barely have time to put anything up here.
And that's a complete lie. There has been absolutely nothing going on. I work, I go home, and I mess around in the yard. And there's not much else to it.

I did catch Luna doing something this weekend that we usually blame Barley for. She got some stuff out of the recycle bin and took it outside. We'd always thought that only Barley did that. Now, we can't be sure that it wasnt Luna all along. At least she has sense enough to look forlorn when you chastise her for doing something wrong. Barley doesnt really seem to care.

Nothing going on this weekend either. Next weekend, Ill be driving up to OK to visit the Squid. And the week after that, Ninsi will be flying up for Mother's Day. And that is pretty much all we have planned until June, I think.

April 25, 2008

And counting

It's been a long fucking day at work. And still four hours to go. I think it has seemed especially long because I have not really slept the past two nights. I mean, I've gotten sleep. But I have woken up about a dozen times each night.

And, I either have a head cold, or Ive developed allergies because my nose has been running since yesterday morning. I'd much rather have a cold than allergies.

My plan, for as soon as I get home, is to lay down, and try to take a nap. Im just tired. After the nap, I think will be time for the hot tub. Unless it decides to rain. Probably better than Im allergic or sickly this weekend though, since next Friday I'll be making the drive up to OK for the weekend.

Four hours and counting til nap.

April 30, 2008

Thirds

Last day of April today. And I expect the next two thirds to go about the same as this one. Though, we will probably get out of the house a little more in the middle. Maybe go down the river sometime in June. Before it gets too hot.

And in August we're going back to Atlanta for DragonCon. Haven't been in a couple years, so it will be nice to get back. They've expanded from two, to four, hotels now. So it is still growing. Possibly to an annoying point.

My aunt passed away yesterday. That is my dad's second sibling, and my fourth relative to pass away since February. Not how one really wants to remember the their Spring.

Ninsi's dad is in town tonight, so we will be having dinner with him. That's about the only thing we have going on out of the ordinary for a while. I may start doing some extra work. Not for pay or anything, but some stuff that they need done. If nothing else, it will look good for me to do it when it comes time again for me to ask for a raise. And as long as they have work for me to do, then I dont have to worry quite so much about being let go while the economy mucks about for a while longer.

Now, if I can just get my tomoatoes to grow, I'll be doing well.

May 13, 2008

Upgrade time?

Zero has upgraded his blog to MT 4. Upgrading is always a hassle. But I think the last time i did it was over there years ago. So I am probably overdue. I also need to remember to renew my domain name. It is going to expire soon, and Id hate for someone to snag it from me. Though, I can't imagine for what they would want it. Except maybe to try to sell it back, which would be a fruitless endeavor for them, as I wouldn't buy it back.

Ninsi went to Tulsa for the weekend to visit her mom. So I was left to my own devices. And my devices left a lot to be desired. Everyone was busy this weekend, and I did not want to go to the Ren Faire, since I may be going this coming weekend instead. I spent most of the weekend reading. Bought a book on Thrusday, and finished it on Sunday, I think.

Probably going to Waxahachie this weekend. And things are shaking up at work a bit. Some reorganizing going on. It'll be a could months before we see how that all falls out. Im not sure if anything will change for me, or if everything will. There's not a lot I can do but keep on doing what Im doing. Which is what I'll do.

Also, trying to figure out how the insurance works so it will reimburse us for the bills for Ninsi's hand is really stupid annoying. I was so hoping it would be easy. But no. It's a pain in the ass.

June 2, 2008

Landscaped

June now.
And it's hot.

But that didnt stop Reptile and I from playing golf Saturday. It was about 95 out, and we played 18 holes. Did not do as well as last week, but it was decent.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I purchased a new slingshot for dealing with the neighbor dogs that I sometimes see in my yard. When I got home Friday, there was one that looked like it was about to walk into the yard, so I went inside and got the slingshot. Unfortunately, some of my neighbors were outside, so I had to be careful. I opened the front door and stood back out of sight. My first shot was low. But I was barely aiming. Trying to be inconspicuous. The second shot though, hit the little neighbor dog right in the abdomen. It yelped, jumped up, and ran home. Exactly what I wanted to happen. I only pulled the sling back about halfway, so it wasnt enough to actually hurt the dog. If I see him again, I might have to pull back a little more. But the slingshot purchase was totally worth it, now.

Sunday, I finally got around to doing some work in the front yard that had been annoying me for a while. When we bought the house, there were shrubs in front of the bay window, and they had used bricks, put into the ground at a slant, as the border for the shrub/yard. I took the shrubs out the first month we were in the house. Always hated those, and replaced them with rose bushes. Yesterday, I decided that I was done looking at the bricks and was tired of them falling over and looking like crap, so I bought new mulch and some landscaping edging blocks. After pulling out the old bricks and raking out the old mulch and putting in the new blocks and mulch, it looks about a thousand times better. Im only sorry I waited so long to do it.

Next project - new railing.

June 23, 2008

The Squid is here

Went to OK this weekend and came back with the Squid. She's only staying through this week since her Summer schedule is too busy with cheerleading and volleyball to allow an extended stay. We have a couple things planned though, so it should be a good week.

Im taking off a couple days this week, and Ninsi is taking off a couple as well. Probably do the 6 Flags things and maybe a day at a water park. Never was a big fan of the water parks. I dont think I really have a choice though.

July 3, 2008

Celebrate America

It's July 3rd. And Im off work tomorrow for the holiday.
I nearly let the week go by without posting anything. Not because of a lack of desire, but rather I have been so busy this week that when I have time to relax and post, Ive forgotten that I was planning to.

Going to cook hamburgers tomorrow for any of our friends that happen to still be in town. Most folk are out of town for the long weekend. Ninsi's mother is in town and has been staying with us since last Saturday, so we're staying here. Last year, we cooked burgers and planned to watch the fireworks from Lone Star Park, but managed to miss them. But our neighbor put on a good show. With any luck, he'll do the same tomorrow night and we can just watch it all from our balcony.

We are going to the horse track tonight for a while. Just to hang out in the muggy heat, mostly, I think. Maybe bet a few dollars on the ponies.

Happy 4th.

July 7, 2008

Blow out

Fourth of July has come and gone. We did not do much for the holiday. Went to the horse races last Thursday. And a couple friends came over on Friday and I grilled burgers and hot dogs. Then we sat out on the balcony and watched the fireworks from around the metroplex, as well as the fireworks from the street in front of our house. Some of the neighbor kids were setting off mortars in the street. A clear violation of city regulations. No one cared. A cop even drove by once, but did not even bother to stop.

The burgers I grilled turned out very good. They were very juicy. I didnt realize until last night, however, how much burger goo had dripped into the bottom of the grill. Ninsi and i made pizza, and decided to use the grill to heat it up. But I had a hard time getting the temp to stay at 350, because the stuff in the bottom of the grill ignited and burned for a solid 20 minutes. So, after we had eaten our smoky pizza, and the grill had cooled off, I took everything out and scrubbed it down. Then turned it back on to try to burn off anything that was left.

The next cooking experience on it should be much better. Reptile will actually be using it this weekend to grill corn. It would have been funny had I not cleaned it, and the corn caught on fire, but since Im planning on everyone eating the corn, it would not have been in my best interests.

I bought a nineteen pound turkey yesterday. I'll let it start thawing out tomorrow. It should be ready for cooking on Saturday. We still have to go buy one more gift for the Dirty Santa exchange. We have one already from the Somethingstore.com. And it is indeed a winner...

July 10, 2008

Motivate

Im getting lax about posting, it seems. I try to put something up 3 days a week, but I think Im averaging only twice a week for a while now.

I think it is six weeks til Ninsi and I and most of the people we know here in Dallas fly off to Atlanta for DragonCon. We haven't been in a couple years, and it appears to have grown significantly in size since we were there last. And when we were there, it already completely encompassed two hotels. Now it has four, at least.

That will be over Labor Day weekend, as it always is. Im sure we will return with a few thousand pictures. Not too many of us, mind you, but thousands of everyone else. Not a hard feat considering there will probably be 40,000 people in attendance total.

I have one good costume for it. Ninsi wants to 'party with the Pirates' so I am going to try to put together a good piratey costume over the next month as well.

July 11, 2008

Fail - see: Epic

Im a cool guy. Ninja coo. All of the time. Except for some of the time, when I'm not quite. One of those instances happened last night.

I made pizza. I've done it before, I'll do it again.
All was going well. I had cooked my sausage, and pre-cooked my crust and the pizza itself was actually done and on my plate.

I grabbed the crushed Red Pepper from the cabinet, took off the lid, and began it shake some out on my pizza. Instead of shake out, it came out in a pour. And it wasn't red pepper. It was Cinnamon.

Yes, I had just covered one piece of pizza in cinnamon. Im not sure why it was in the spot where i was expecting pepper.

Undeterred, I put the cinnamon up, and grabbed the crushed Red Pepper, took off the lid, and began to shake it out on top of the cinnamon. Instead of shaking out, it came out in a pour. And it wasn't crushed red pepper. It was ground Cayenne pepper.

So, not only did I fail twice to put Crushed Red Pepper on my pizza but it was now super-hot and super-cinnamonny. About the time I finished cursing myself out for this Fail, I heard a piercing scream behind me that did not stop. Ninsi was hopping around on one foot because she had dropped a piece of steaming hot pizza cheese on her toe and it was apparently eating through her flesh. Once she finished screaming, she even said she probably should have kicked it off her foot sooner.

What happened to the cinnamon pizza? I ate it. I felt it was proper punishment for such a huge fail. I wont say it was good, I will say it was full of taste.

July 23, 2008

DMA

I really need to win the big lotto sometime soon so I dont have to bother with work anymore. Because it is really cutting into my 'me' time. It might help if I actually bought a ticket once in a while.

Went and saw Batman: The Dark Knight last night. It is very good. Everyone should pretty much go see it.

Ninsi and I went to the Dallas Museum of Art last Friday. She bought a membership for the year so we can go anytime. We've already got our tickets to King Tut in November. On the third Friday of every month, they stay open til midnight and do a movie and random stuff. So it is actually rather neat. We watched about half of Giant. I wasn't really in a movie-mood, but I think we should rent it to watch the rest of it.

The rest of the weekend was spent mostly cleaning house and doing yardwork. I had been letting the yard slide for a couple weeks. Time to get back to it now. I planted some more ivy that will hopefully take hold and eventually cover the wall. I dont think it will do that well though. It grows better in shade, and the last 50' of wall is in the sun all day. So I will be surprised if the ivy last through the week with every day being 100+ degrees.

DCon - 5 weeks, and counting.

July 25, 2008

Ponies?

It's been over 100 degrees for a while now. I was rather hoping that Dolly would move a little further inland and push some rain our way for a day or two. But it petered out a bit too soon. So the excessive temperatures will continue for a while.

Sunday is the final day of horse racing for the season. They will do Quarter Horse racing in a couple months, but that is no fun to go to. Ninsi and I have a half-dozen passes to get into the races without paying. So, we might go just to do something. We have nothing else on our dance card until next month.

Ive been saying it for three weeks now, but maybe this weekend we will go see Wall-E.
Or not.

August 5, 2008

North!

Heading to Oklahoma this weekend to hang out with the Squid before she starts high school in about a week. Going to take the day off work Friday to drive up. I have plenty of vacation time to blow. I am thinking about going up Thursday night and playing some golf with my brother Friday morning. But I think that one of the taillights on my car is not working and Id prefer to not do too much night driving, especially out of state, if that is the case.

The dealer fixed the light once as part of a recall on the car. That was about 40k miles ago. It should still work, but Reptile was behind me Sunday after dinner and he let me know that I had no brake light. I'll be going by the dealership today after work to see if they can fix it, and how long it will take for them to do that. It is just one of the many things that will need to be fixed on the car before I can give it to the Squid in about a year. Of course, I will have to buy a new car to replace it in the meantime. And Ninsi and I will have to squabble over that. She wants a hybrid. I want a sporty car.

3.5 weeks to DragonCon... and counting...

August 14, 2008

Pleasant surprises

Ninsi and I both stayed home from work yesterday. She was feeling very poorly all night and morning, so I stayed home in case she decided she needed to go to the doctor. She didn't. And by a little after noon, she was feeling better.

I used the time to take care of some errands that needed doing. Mostly with the cars. Got my oil changed and tires rotated. And we got two new tires put on the Mustang. I also dropped my car off at the Saturn dealership so they could give it a once-over and let me know what all maintenance work needs to be done. This is a long term project of mine to get the car in as good a shape as possible with the idea of eventually giving it to the Squid in another year and a half.

They called me this morning and nothing is way wrong, which is good.

Anyway, Ninsi and I eventually got hungry and decided to go out and have a substantial meal instead of trying to subsist on what we have at the house. Which would have been soup or a sandwich. We went to Texas Roadhouse on I-20 about 5:30. We had no been there in almost a year, because the food really wasn't that great. First thing we noticed when we got there was that there were a lot of people eating. And it seemed a little too early to be that busy.

Then we noticed the large banner that said you could get two meals for $14.99 between 4-6 pm. So that explained the crowd. It was also a limited menu, but included two sides, so we went for that deal and each got the 6 oz sirloin. We were both surprised at how good the steaks were. Maybe we were just hungry, but we both went in just expecting an okay meal. What we got was a good enough dinner to make us revisit the Roadhouse again soon instead of waiting another year.

So, way to step it up there, Texas Roadhouse.

August 26, 2008

2... and counting

Today is Tuesday.
In two more days, Ninsi and I will be on our way to Atlanta for DragonCon. We're actually mostly packed already. Which is phenomenal. I might see about actually packing most of what we are taking tonight. Then just seeing how much we really have.

Most everyone we know is going, so it should be a good time. Don't worry, we'll all remain perfectly sober the whole time.

Got a new team lead here at work. I'll really start to break him in when I get back from Atlanta. I'm not sure what he's doing this week. It takes so long to get our ids here that the first week is usually spent just twiddlin.

After this weekend, Ninsi and I dont really have anything going on until October. So much as Im looking forward to D*Con, I also like to look forward to the weekends of nothing.

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 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 16, 2008

HSBC

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

Art!

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

Argh!

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 29, 2008

Art

Our new wall hangings:

October 17, 2008

Behind

Ive been meaning to make an entry before now. Just keep forgetting.

Ninsi and I are heading up to McAlester for the weekend when we get off work today. She can't leave early, so it will probably be 9 or so before we actually get to my mom's. And then tomorrow, we will be driving to a small community in Western Oklahoma to a friend's wedding. Prosper could not have picked a more remote location. It happens to be where her parents live, and where she grew up, but it is still way the Hell far from just about everything.

The Squid will be going with us. Im sure she's quite excited about the 6 hours we'll be in the car tomorrow. Hopefully we will get back to town in time to go see a movie or something.

I have several printers at the house. One laser printer and a bubble jet and an couple ink jet. They all work. The Epson I got for free (after rebate) last year, and it ran out of ink about a month ago. To refill it would cost me about $100. And I could go buy a new printer for much less than that. I was trying to find some cheaper replacement cartridges for it at work, and one of the guys said he had a new printer he did not want, because it came free with his PC a couple months ago. So, yesterday, he brought me the printer. New in the box. Never user.

So I hooked it up last night and will use it until it runs out of ink. Then I will have to decide if I want to buy a new cheap-ass printer, or pony up for ink. In the meantime, I have at least three printers to dispose of somehow.

Anyone want a HP III Laser printer? Free to good home...

October 20, 2008

Driven

Did a lot of driving this weekend. About 750 miles from the time I left work on Friday.

Ninsi and I went to McAlester on Friday. Then Saturday she and I and the Squid loaded up and drove out to Foster, OK. Which was about another 200 miles away. Prosper was having her wedding there. It was nice. We stayed about two hours then drove back to McAlester. Sunday, we finally made it back home around 5 pm, just in time for me to catch the second half of the Redskin's football game. That was about the only football I managed to watch all weekend, with all the other games taking place while I was in the car.

We had completely forgotten that Cruxshadows was playing this Thursday night. I kept forgetting they were playing altogether. But when I did remember it, I was thinking that it was next Thursday. The day before Halloween. Im still planning on going. But I also have a happy hour for work this Thursday, so I may have to adjust my plans a little bit.

With Halloween falling on a Friday for the first time in years, Im expecting next weekend to be quite the bacchanal celebration. I need to start getting my costume in order...

November 6, 2008

Absentee

It has been over a week, I think, since last I wrote. I've been meaning to. I always mean to. I just often do not do it. As with many things, I tend to think about doing it when I am driving, or otherwise unable to actually do it right then.

Since the last time? Halloween happened. I had a four day weekend for that, and it was very good. Not having to worry about work for a couple extra days really felt nice. It has caused me to already start looking forward to my Christmas vacation which will be for almost a two full weeks. I'll be taking a couple days at Thanksgiving, of course, but not too many.

Tuesday night, Ninsi and I went up to the hospital to visit our friend, Khuul. He has been battling cancer since last October. It is starting to look like he may lose that fight. It is tragic, it is terrible. It is a great many things, and it pisses me off mightily that there is not a god damned thing any of us can do about it. Miracles have happened before, be they of science or nature, and that is what Khuul now needs.

I really do not like thinking about it, but it is impossible not to. Segues are forced, but necessary. So, Ninsi and I are going to see the King Tut exhibit tomorrow night. We bought our tickets many moons ago. And at least twice, we have forgotten when we were supposed to go. I'm still not sure of the actual time, but I think we're going to go around 8 pm. Mummies, gold artifacts, and a cash bar. Nothing bad can come of that...

November 24, 2008

Whence

Ive been slacking a lot lately here.

It was nice and cold all weekend. We are more than way overdue for some cool Autumn weather. I do get a little tired of all the heat, sometimes. There will come a day when Im not a resident of the Dallas area. But there is the question of to where will I move? Tampa, Phoenix, LA? I would like some place that has an actual Winter. Ninsi would prefer the temp to never dip below 80.

I could be perfectly happy in a place like Boston. But I think that it falls into the 'nice place to visit in the Summer only' category.

I would really like to have a pinball machine. The Addam's Family is the one I would most enjoy. I used to play it all the time in college. Now, pinball machines are going the way of the Edsel. So, I need to make more money, buy a house with a dedicated game room, and then start buying pinball machines.

At least I have a plan now, right?

November 25, 2008

Remorse

I have been wanting a new TV for some time now. We have two in the house, and both work just fine. But one of them is really old. They both work, but are not fancy or HD or anything. So I was hoping to buy a flat panel LCD TV this holiday season. I figure with the economy in the tank and the retailers afraid no one will be shopping this year, then maybe they will have some good deals on a TV.

Ninsi and I went to Fry's last night to just look at some. Fry's has a fairly large selection, and I figured we could decide on what we wanted, and just wait a few days to actually buy it.

It didn't work out quite that. I found the one I wanted, and after conversing with Reptile who was checking prices at home for me, I decided that I just had to get it right then.

So, now Ninsi and I own a new Samsung LCD TV. It is still at Fry's though. Remember, I had not planned on buying a TV, so I had not made any arrangements to get a TV from the store back to the house. I'll be taking care of that immediately this afternoon.

Of course, they were out of stock of the TV stand we wanted. So we don't have anywhere to put the new TV yet. So it may have to wait another week or so before I can get time to hook everything up. I dont want to put it on the current stand and then take everything apart when I get a new stand next week. But it is a pretty TV, so I will be getting it out of the box tonight.

I was expecting to feel some buyer's remorse after spending so much on a TV. But really, all I want to do is get it all hooked up and watch some HD programming.

I may have to buy a PS3 just so I can play some HD games on it. mmmmm, HD...

November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It's all about the eating (that is what Thanksgiving is about, right?)

Ninsi and I are heading North tomorrow for the long weekend.
Everyone enjoy your genetically enhanced turkey that the pilgrims would not recognize as the same creature on which they feasted. Our turkeys are now more turkey-y. By about 120%. I'm not complaining, I like the white meat.

Pass teh gravy.

Supersized Thanksgiving

December 8, 2008

Seasonal

Ninsi and I bought our Christmas tree last week. It's standing in the living room looking, and smelling, all nice and green. We've yet to even start trimming it though. I think we'll get started on that tonight or tomorrow. Yesterday was the first day that we would have had time to bother with it since we got it, but by the time we were done with our errand running and grocery shopping, I dont think either of us felt like messing with the Christmas stuff.

I'm sure the dogs prefer us to not string up lights also. At least one of them is wary of cords. We think we may have chewed into a live one once upon a time as well. I also thought the dogs might have a chance at another cat this weekend. When I got up Sunday, there was a cat stalking through the lot next to us. I thought it might climb our fence and give the dogs some sport. And me a reason to get the camera. But it turned and went into my neighbor's yard instead. Probably for the best. I really didn't want to mess with another dead cat.

Little else going on for us. Christmas parties for work coming up and then Christmas itself. Followed by New Year's. I'm off the last week and a half of the year, which will make for a nice little vacation.

December 17, 2008

Re-aligned

Monday was a long day for me. Spend the whole morning on a conference call working an issue. Had a late lunch. I had barely returned from lunch when my manager told me the team was having an impromptu meeting with his boss.

Go to meeting, and I learn that the team is being split up. This is the second split in about 6 months. Me and four others are being moved to a new group. It was a complete surprise for most of us. I think that overall, it works out better for me. I'm moving to the development group and out of the support group. My job will change very little. At least for a while. I am the only one who really does development or support on this particular application anyway. Actually, I think my job responsibilities may have decreased.

It'll be a few weeks working out the particulars. Maybe a few months. Just in time for them to come back through again and split us up some more.

December 22, 2008

Time is near

This may very well be the last post for the year. I'm at work now and coming in tomorrow. Then I am off until the 6th of January, 2009. Ninsi and I will probably be heading up to OK tomorrow evening. Stay in McAlester overnight and then head on to Tulsa on Christmas Eve. We may change our plans a bit and wait until Wednesday morning to leave Dallas and just make the drive all the way up to Tulsa at once. I think it will depend on how much stuff we get done tonight. We're almost there.

It was a good weekend. I took off last Friday and got some errands ran that needed doing. Mainly getting new tires on my car. They were starting to get a little bald. I didnt get quite as many miles out of them as I should have, so the tire place gave me an $8 credit for each tire. Friday night we went out to Pan as we tend to do.

Saturday was Donut's birthday, and we got together for dinner. After that, Ninsi and I were meeting other friend's to watch the Lollie Bombs show. It was entertaining. But we didnt get out until after 1:30 I think and since I had been up early in anticipation of AT&T showing up, I was more than ready to home to bed.

One other thing we did Saturday was check out a new puppy. Ninsi has been wanting to get a small lapdog. We took both of our dogs to the shelter to introduce them, and they seemed to all get along well enough. The little dog would try to play with Barley and he would play back. Unfortunately, his mouth is bigger than a fox terrier and we are afraid that they would be playing and the little dog would accidentally get its neck snapped. So we will not be getting a small dog anytime soon.

We might see about fostering a larger one though for a while.

January 6, 2009

Return

The hiatus is at an end.

Ninsi and I both made it through the holidays. I wouldn't say we came through unscathed as we are both somewhat ill now. She has a upper respiratory thing. I have a slight case of pneumonia. New Year's Day I had a fever of 102. It retreated the following day, then rallied that night to hit 103. And it hung around all day the next day. After three days of fever, I threw in the towel and went to the clinic. They concluded that I had a minor case of pneumonia. So I have some anitbiotics now, and some high-grade cough syrup.

Ninsi and I were not kind to our bodies though the holidays. But we had a good time. :)

Now we're getting geared up in the new year. Got a few things to do. Getting ready for some Spring planting, maybe. Need to figure out exactly what to plant, and where. And may need to get out the hammer and saw and get on with some minor construction. I'll have to see about that.

Overall, the vacation and holiday's were good. Everyone seems to be mostly healthy, hearty, and whole. Not a bunch to really complain about. I hope everyone else is enjoying their seasons. The winter acts like it is coming to a close, though I have my doubts. It will be Spring soon enough. No need to rush it. Got a whole year to get around to doing things again.

January 8, 2009

Gameday!

Tonight is the big game. OU vs Florida in the BCS title game.
Ninsi and I are going to a theater in Hurst to watch it. It's being presented in 3D, supposedly. I have no idea how they are going to do that. It if is cool, I'll go home and read about the technology behind it. If it sucks, I'll just bitch. It should be interesting, regardless.

BOOMER SOONER!

January 14, 2009

Dog Whisperer we are not

Everyone knows that Ninsi and I have two dogs. They are both mutts. One is a pit mix and about 75 pounds. The other is of unknown stock: she is brown and white. We have been wanting to get a new dog and for a while Ninsi was looking at lap dogs. That experiment failed because ours are too big to play gently with a small dog.

Luna, our female dog, is also very territorial. So we though we would try fostering a larger dog to help get her used to new dogs. That should make it easier to bring in a new dog permanently later. Tonight, Reptile and his wife brought over 'Jake.' A hound dog/blue heeler mix. Jake isn't a small dog. We figured to keep him until at least the weekend, but it did not go so well. In the house, he cowered away from Barley and Luna, and they mostly ignored him. There was some barking, but Jake was docile, and very submissive.

When we took them outside, however, Luna just would not leave Jake be. It seems that she considers the outside to be her domain, and was not going to let the new dog hang out. Both of our dogs eventually jumped on Jake and had to be separated.

Phase one of 'Bring in a new Dog' has failed. Jake went home with Reptile. We're going to try again Sunday, on some neutral ground. And maybe walk the together to wear them out before they really get a chance to interact.

I really don't want to have to wait for Luna to die before I can get another dog.

Continue reading "Dog Whisperer we are not" »

January 19, 2009

Off Day

It seems like pretty much everyone I know in Dallas has today off, except me. I dont really want today off. We just had Christmas and New Years holidays, so I am good for a few more weeks. I would just rather not be working, if I had the option.

I had thought about taking today off since Ninsi was off, and we would have gone out last night. But I had a scheduled meeting with my new boss today and did not want to bail on that. It was supposed to be at 11 this morning, but she was running behind with her other meetings and had to postpone mine until Wednesday. That's fine, I just wish I'd known soon enough that I could have taken off today.

I'll just wait until February and take a random day then, instead. Maybe Groundhog's Day. Show some love to the marmot.

Outside of that, the weekend was cool. Played three games of 40k at Zero's house. Won two, lost one. Didnt really get out beyond that.

January 26, 2009

Snow Day

It is supposed to get icy here this evening and tomorrow. When I get up tomorrow morning, if it is icy out, I will just take a vacation day and stay home. Maybe play on the Wii. That is pretty much all we did yesterday. Bought Mario Kart for it, so we now have four things to play. Not counting the BoomBlox we've borrowed from Zero.

Ninsi is thinking of going back to school. Again.
She is visiting with a counselor this afternoon to discuss classes. Eventually, if she keeps going to school, she'll get a degree that lets her get a job earning enough money to pay back the student loans. Hopefully...

January 28, 2009

Scraping

It iced over last night. Not bad, as it is in Oklahoma, but a little. Enough to make the streets slick and close the schools. I took the morning off work to let things thaw a little. Ninsi had to be at work by 11.

The cars still had quite a bit of ice on them when she was ready to go in to work, so we had to scrape it all off the windows. While doing it, I was reminded of my time in Florida. I lived there for a couple years back around the beginning of this decade. One day, the girl I was seeing at the time pulled a large ice scraper from the trunk of my car and looked at it quizzically. "What is this?" she asked... It took me a minute to realize she was serious.

She had lived in Florida her whole life. And though she had visited other states, she was never there when it was icy everywhere. Florida doesn't ice over, so she had absolutely no concept of the need for an ice scraper.

I have little use for one these days. But I need to get one anyway, if just for that one day a year when I have to scrape ice from Ninsi's car and dont want to use a spatula. Again.

February 11, 2009

100

Not a whole lot going on lately. Weather is getting nicer. Im ready to start doing some serious yard work.

This weekend is Valentine's Day. Ninsi and I don't really have anything planned for it. Which is a position that I heartily endorse. I've never been a fan of completely made of holidays. Unless I am getting a day of work for it...

As near as we can tell, on Saturday night, Barley barreled through the back fence. There was some splintered wood on the other side and a hole large enough for the dogs to get through. He managed to gash his nose nicely in the process. I would hope that the gash might teach him a lesson, but I doubt that it has any effect.

I found these sites through a friend, and Ninsi and I have started the program:
100 pushups
200 situps

There are not many better basic exercises than pushups and situps. A decade ago, I used to do a lot of pushups and situps. About 50 and 100, respectively. This is a fairly straightforward program, so I'll probably just wait til Im done with it to post results. On my initial test I did 30 pushups but only 15 situps. So I have a ways to go.

February 23, 2009

Back to Dallas

Spent the weekend in OK, as planned. Had a good time with the Squid, as usual.

Mom had been having various issues with her PC over the past month and a half, so I spent about four hours fixing that for her. I'm really hoping I have all the issues settled this time. I'm tired of being tech support. It would be a lot easier if she had a broadband connection, instead of satellite, but it just isn't available at the house. And that makes updating take a really long time.

Talked with the Squid a lot about her eventual driving. She'll be 15 in April. So she's got driving on the brain. I did let her drive the Saturn around in a circle a couple times just to get started. And if everything remains status quo, she will be getting the Saturn when she turns 16 in another year. Of course, mom bought my nephew a truck when he turned 16, so maybe they will do the same for my offspring.

The interesting thing from the weekend was the conversation I had with her when we were heading up to Henryetta. I got the distinct impression that she is done with Dewey, where she currently lives. A year ago, there was talk that they might move to Tulsa, and the Squid was adamantly opposed to that, being as all her friends were in Dewey. It sounds like she may have outgrown her friends and now wants to move to Tulsa. And that is a possibility. She also seemed to indicate that if they did not move to Tulsa, then she might want to move to Dallas with me and Ninsi.

She may be just done with Dewey, and I can sympathize with that. I doubt she moves to Dallas (her mom would cry, and cry, and cry, ad infinitum). But we'll see how things look this Summer.

March 3, 2009

Get along little doggies

A couple of weeks ago when I spent the weekend at my mom's in Oklahoma, she told me that she wants a new puppy. Her current dog, Zack, is old, and may not be long for this world. I would say that he is on his last leg, but if you knew Zack, you would think I was making a pun, in dubious taste. And you would be right.

She wants a German Shepherd or Labrador puppy. I told her I'd go to the shelter and get a mutt that had at least part of one of those in it. Before we could make it to the shelter, I mentioned my intentions to a co-worker, and he told me that another co-worker was trying to find a new home for a lab. The upshot of it all is that Ninsi and I did go to the shelters and look for a dog for my mom, but did not find any that I deemed suitable, and instead we are going to get this 8 month old chocolate lab from my friend. They got the dog right before they found out they were pregnant, and cant manage a new dog and new baby.

Once we had settled that, Ninsi and I went on down to the Dallas SPCA to look at possible dogs for ourselves. There was one that I liked, but someone else had dibs on it already. Ninsi, of course, liked a great many of the puppies. I also was not prepared for the new cost of a puppy. When we got Barley, almost four years ago, he was $175. Now, puppies less than six months old are $285. The SPCA has gone completely no-kill, so they have to maintain some dogs a lot longer.

We did not get a new dog this weekend. But I suspect we will go looking again this Summer. I am thinking about waiting until the Squid comes down for the Summer and let her help us pick one out. She'll also get to do a lot of the raising of it while we're at work and she's at the house. Then, once she is good and attached to it, she will have to go back to OK for school.

btw, Zack has all four legs. They've just been ran over a few times by the cars he chases...

March 9, 2009

Gone to the dogs

Ninsi and I went to pick up 'Luke' yesterday. He is the 8 month old chocolate lab that we got for my mom. He's a big puppy, and full of energy. He's also timid around other dogs. Right after we picked him up from my co-worker, we went down to meet friends at a bar that was having a dog-adoption thing. The bar is pet friendly all the time, but on Sundays they close the gates so the dogs can go off-leash.

While we were there, we changed the dog's name from Luke to Lucas (Lukus maybe). Just because it is a better name, but still close to what he's learned. There were several dozen other dogs at the bar so he got to interact with them a lot. He's been a solo dog most of his life and didnt seem to really know how to react to all the others.

Getting him home wasn't exactly relaxing, though. Luna and Barley both act like they want to eat him. So he's been crated most of the time at the house so that our dogs can get used to his scent. Tonight we'll actually let them interact and see how that goes. If it goes okay, we'll let them all hang out. If not, we'll have to keep Lucas crated until this weekend when we can take him to OK.

We really want them to all get along, because that would give us faith that we will be able to get a puppy for ourselves later this year without having issue when we bring it home to stay permanently. I'm not sure what we will do if Barley and Luna are both aggressive to any new dog.

March 11, 2009

Tardy

Normally, I wake up about 6:30 in the morning. Even without the alarm. On weekends, I just go back to sleep, or lay awake in bed for a couple hours. This morning, I did not wake up at 6:30. Ninsi actually woke up and proclaimed that it was 8:30 and we were both running very late. Which wouldn't bother me usually, except that I had to teach a class at 9 am.

I showered and made it by 9:10. So not too bad. Been playing catch up since then.

I doubt that we both slept through the alarm, so I'll have to check it tonight and make sure that it's working and the volume hasn't been turned down or something.

Dog update: It's not constant war, but it is continual tension. Barley just doesn't like the newcomer. We can have them all three in the same place at once, but Ninsi and I have to maintain constant vigil, or else there will be a fight. Which is stupid, since Lucas just rolls over and doesn't fight back at all. Luna gets involved as well. She and Lucas get along just fine outside together, but not when Barley is around.

Stupid dogs.

March 23, 2009

Sprung

The Squid and her cousin have been taken back to OK. They spent a week with Ninsi and I. Overall, I think it was quite a good time. The girls did a lot of shopping and some rock climbing. The rock climbing must have wore them out more than I thought it would. They only did it for about 2 hours, and complained that their arms hurt for the next two days.

We are still feeling out the possibility of the Squid making Texas her permanent residence. At least for the next three years. There is still a lot of discussion that will have to happen there, but it is still on the table. The sooner we know, the better, since there will be much in the way of school stuff to take care of, if it's going to happen.

I finally got around to doing some yardwork this weekend. It was warm enough that I mowed the front on Saturday and then cleaned up and mowed the back yard yesterday. It looks way nicer once it has been mowed. And I picked up the random things that Barely uses as toys and tossed a few in the trash. I also found where the hot tub is leaking. Sorta. I thought that it might be leaking through a pipe or hose, but as near as I can tell, it's just coming through the fiberglass. I couldn't find a crack in it, but it may just be a bad seal somewhere and getting water in it. We'll have to get an estimate on getting it fixed, and then decide if we even want to keep it or not.

It's a thing that is 'nice to have,' but I dont think we'll really miss it if we wind up getting rid of it.

April 8, 2009

AirHogs

Not much to say today. It's a really effing nice day outside, and I'd rather be not inside working.

As most people know by now, Grand Prairie has a professional baseball team. It's not a farm team, but part of an independent minor league. The great thing about minor league teams is that they try very hard to entertain the fans. Regardless of the product they put on the field, fans are expected to have fun. (Grand Prairie actually won the Southern division last year in their inaugural year).

What makes it fun? Well, it is pretty cheap and easy to go and is a pleasant way to spend an evening. And they do a lot of promotions to get people into seats. I was just looking through the schedule for the Summer, and was struck by this promotion, which typifies everything that makes minor league great...

Saturday, June 13 - Fireworks/Octomom night

That's just fantastic. I dont even know what it means, but it's funny.
Also, at the end of the season, apparently the Dallas Desire will be playing at the stadium. What is the Dallas Desire?

That would be the women of the Lingerie Football League.

April 20, 2009

Return

I haven't posted anything in a week because I was in training all last week. WAS training, specifically. It was local, so I didn't have to actually travel, just had a bit longer of a commute for the week. Since class started at 9 every day, the drive wasn't very bad. I enjoyed the class, too. It was good. And not working for the week made it like a mini-vacation.

Now I am back at work and have a metric crap-ton of work to do. The Summer is looking like it is going to be very busy for me at work.

We had a fairly busy weekend. Went out to the club Friday night. On Saturday there was a party with old college friends that were in town, and after that Ninsi wanted to go watch the band of a guy she works with. He plays in a traditional Irish group. We went up to Trinity Hall and watched them for a bit.

We don't have a lot coming up over the next couple weeks. I think there are ephemeral plans to go to Scarborough Faire at some point, but that's about it. Should be a fairly relaxing couple of weekends for us until we head up to OK over mom's day weekend.

April 28, 2009

Leaky

Over the past couple weeks, Ninsi and I noticed a small puddle of water at the base of the refrigerator. And the bottom of the freezer side was completely iced. I initially thought that something was leaking where it shouldn't be. And Im still not sure that isn't the case. But yesterday, I realized that the drain in the bottom of the freezer side was actually full of water.

It is designed to drain into the bottom of the icebox and presumably evaporate from there because of it's proximity to a hot motor. But something was preventing proper drainage and so it was running out the front slowly. Mostly, it was icing up the bottom. Yesterday evening I pulled the fridge out and managed to pull out the PVC that served as a drain. All it does it redirect the water to the bottom of the fridge, as I said.

Somehow, it had become clogged. Im not sure what was in it. But it took me about 10 minutes to fully unclog it. Dog hair? Dust? It was grey, whatever it was. It now drains properly. What I dont know though, is how much is supposed to actually drain?

Im afraid I had two separate issues. Once being a clogged drain, the other being excess moisture. But I couldn't find any actual leaks, so I will get to spend the next couple weeks being vigilant towards the refrigerator to make sure that it doesn't start leaking from the bottom.

May 8, 2009

North!

It is Mother's Day weekend. Ninsi and I are each going to Oklahoma this weekend to visit with our respective families. She is flying to Tulsa this evening, and I am leaving work early to make the drive to McAlester. It works out a lot better for us this way. I'll meet her Sunday, and she'll do the drive back down with me.

Last weekend we went to the Ren Faire. Looks like we will be doing it again in two weeks. That's more faireing that I would normally have hoped to accomplish in 3 years. I might try to find a belt this time. I reckon I could use a new one.

Going to a fish fry tomorrow. Haven't been to one of those in eons. Should be fun. I've always been a fan of (eating) fish. Not sure what the Squid will be eating tomorrow since she is vegetarian now. Im not sure there'll be a whole lot outside of the fish to eat.

It should be a relatively relaxing weekend for Luna and Barley as well. Toby is staying with Zero, so the big dogs wont have to worry about the puppy all weekend. We'll just have to pick him back up late Sunday when we return. Hopefully, if he decides to make a mess in their house, he will do it on the carpet they are about to replace...

June 17, 2009

Back

I had thought that while I was not blogging that I might take the time to redesign the whole site. Obviously I did not do that. I still will, someday. But it is pretty low on the priority pole.

I'm also not going to worry about trying to write multiple times per week. Once a week will be the goal. Maybe more if it happens, but no point to forcing it. My friends that blog barely do it on a monthly basis, so there isn't exactly a lot of pressure to do it often.

Not even sure how long it has been since I last wrote. But I do know that not much has happened/changed since then. A few quick hits:

- The Squid has moved in. At least for the Summer. Maybe longer.
- Cat number Four was terminated, with extreme prejudice, by the dogs.
- Back fence has been rebuilt and looks spiffy.
- Work is status quo
- Ninsi's work stinks. Literally.
- Got a PS3 and it is purty.
- Have begun cleaning the office out.

I think I need to build a media server for pictures and music. Possibly video. And also to serve as a backup system for any other computers we have. But I will need to go buy the bits and start from scratch. I got out the old PCs that were in the closet last night to see what they had on them and if they would be viable, and the answer is mostly 'no.' One of them could *maybe* be made to work, but the old PII processor really isn't beefy enough.

I really wanted to get them out just to make sure there was nothing on them that I wanted to keep before I dispose of them properly. Im not sure exactly when or how I will trash them, but I will. Probably the next time that GP has a day for such items.

Last night we took the kidling to her first professional baseball game. It was a GP Air Hogs game, but they are a professional team. Just not major league. I think she rather enjoyed it. In about a week and a half, we are going to a Texas Ranger's game, so she will be able to contrast and compare the differences.

I reckon I have been gone from here for a few weeks, but I am still awesome. So there.

July 2, 2009

Independence

Our Nation's birthday is again upon us. Fireworks, hamburgers, and horse racing. That's the plan for the weekend. In the meantime, I believe that we are daily losing more of our freedoms and independence.

I try to remain non-political here, but I do believe that both of the major parties are slowly taking away our liberties. The Democrats are creating large government with too much oversight and the Republicans want everyone to fit into the same cookie cutter mold.

After the Squid graduates from college, Ninsi and I may consider a move to overseas. Though, honestly, I dont believe anywhere is any better than here. It's just stupid all over.

It's also incredibly freaking hot this Summer. We've already topped 105 and that was before July. Im not ready for that kind of heat for the next 2 months. I may have to take a 2nd job to just pay the electric bill for the Summer.

Stupid heat.

July 22, 2009

Baby steps

Ive been staring at code all day. It's really all Ive been doing for the past couple of weeks. Five or six hours a day staring at the same dozen files or so for a work project. I was hoping to get this project wrapped up by the end of July, but that's not going to happen.

Cooking our annual Christmas in July dinner this weekend. We'll have quite a few more people this year than we have in years past. Too many to sit around the tables. So it will be buffet style. The turkey is already thawing in the fridge. Probably get a small ham to augment. I have no idea where everyone will sit, but Im not terribly worried about it. We're all friends, and I trust it will work itself out just fine.

This will be the first year of attendance for the Squid. There will be a few other smaller kids as well this year. We'll probably rent a few movies and send the youngsters off to the Squid's room for the evening after we finish the dirty santa activities.

The Summer is about half over, and it has been bloody hot. And probably hotter still to get. On the bright side, it looks like the kidling may be moving in and starting school here for the fall. There is still a whole lot to work out there, but it's a high probability at this point. I should know more on that this weekend, and will be sure to note any changes next time I blog. Probably sometime next week.

gobble gobble

August 3, 2009

Two weekends

I mean to post more often than this. I just get distracted.

Last weekend was our 5th annual Turkey in July party. We had a houseful of folk, and a metric ton of food. Everyone had a grand time, I think. Im amazed that we have managed to do it for five years running. I dont think anyone has actually made it to all five, excluding Ninsi and I. The only downside is the cleanup. And finding turkey carcass in the oven four days later. That was unpleasant.

The day after the party, we went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. Then drove to OK. The Squid wishes to start school here for the Fall semester, so we ran her back up to her mom so they could spend the rest of the Summer together. School starts in Dewey a week from today. But not here for three more weeks. It isn't a done deal yet, and we are still trying to make it all happen.

A few weeks ago, we had planned a family weekend to San Antonio. Neither the Squid nor myself had ever been there. We went on Priceline.com and found a hotel and had to go ahead and pay for it. We still had the hotel reserved even though the Squid was in OK, so Ninsi and I drove down to SAT ourselves on Friday and just made it a weekend getaway for ourselves. Did the Riverwalk thing and the Alamo thing, which was plenty for the two of us. Maybe someday we'll try again as a family thing and go to SeaWorld. Im not sure SAT has too much to offer outside of all that.

Possible trip up to OK this weekend. I'm bout tired of all this driving.

August 12, 2009

Social

I have an account on most of the major social networking sites out there. Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, etc. I dont spend a whole lot of time on them. Much less than I used to, but I do find myself refreshing it throughout the day.

That being the case, I have decided to detach myself from the social networks for a while. Probably just for a couple weeks. I have a lot of things that have to get done at work, and dont need the distraction.

The blog doesn't really count. It's media. But it's not a network. Not much of one, anyway.

Little else going on these days. Slowly working on rebuilding the railing around the deck. Im going to take a few months to get that done because it's going to cost more than I had originally anticipated. It'll get done. Just slowly.

A week from tomorrow, the Squid will be in town permanently to start school. She will be a sophomore and start school on the 24th. It will be a fairly significant change for everyone involved. Especially her; going from a small, rural town and less than 90 classmates, to a major metroplex. and a class numbering in the thousands.

She'll be fine. I wont be, as she will be starting to drive in just another month or so.

September 10, 2009

DCon survived

Back from DragonCon. We all flew back on Monday afternoon. Completely exhausted as is the norm. Had a great time just like we always do. I noticed this year though, that I took hardly any pictures at all of the random costumes. The first couple years there, I took hundreds of pictures of unknown people. This year, I took a couple hundred pics, but they were almost entirely of our group. I don't know if I've grown jaded, or what, but I am more interested in having a good time with my friends than trying to take a picture of the costumes.

Now we're into the clean up. That will take a few days, and then it will be time for the Squid and Ninsi to begin working on their Halloween costumes. I don't know if I'll make a new one for Halloween or not. I like the Strobe outfit I made for the con, but it doesn't stand alone very well.

Softball season is starting up, and we have a team together. With a sponsor! We have had to change leagues from Grand Prairie to Irving, so we wont actually start playing until the 24th. Grand Prairie just could not get their shit together and we wound up being the only team that was going to play on Thursday nights.

We have managed two practices so far, and this is a special team that we have. I mean that in the best possible way...

September 17, 2009

Driven

Sat down with the Squid and started the driving class this week. We've only done one hour so far. Once we complete the next five hours, she will be eligible to get her permit and we can begin the in-car instruction. I hope that we can complete that by next weekend. It would be nice to get her permit by the time she is 15 1/2.

We have had a ton of rain over the last week. It has rained every day for a week straight now. Overall, I am a fan of the rain. It makes the grass grow, and I don't have to worry so much about getting sunburned. On the other hand, I can not mow the yard while it is wet, and I can't really play golf when it is raining. So there are downsides to it as well.

Most of our stuff is put away from DragonCon. Now we have the two month stretch to Halloween. I know the Squid is wanting to create a new costume for herself, I don't know about Ninsi. I'm content to go with something I already have, though if I could find the right pattern, I can think of a couple things I would like to try.

Otherwise, we are settling down for a couple months. This is the easy time of the year with less going on before the major holidays. Except for the fact that Ninsi is back in school two nights a week, and she is playing on two softball teams. So she's not taking it easy.

In need of a zoot suit.

October 1, 2009

Baller

A week ago today was our first softball outing. We had a fantastic first inning. Then pretty much fell apart after that. We lost, 10-12, but that's okay. The team as a whole learned a lot. We learned so much that we have already secured our first victory! We are now 1-1. Granted, that victory comes from the team that pulled out of the league, so we won the forfeiture, but it still counts.

Our next game is tonight at 6:30. Should be nice and muggy since the rain came through today.

I learned at noon today that I will have to take the last two weeks of the year off work. They are furloughing all contractors for the final two weeks of the year to save money. I was planning to take the last week off as vacation anyway, so the furlough itself is not to big a deal. The bigger issue is how many more places are they going to try to cut?

The Squid is running for student council President. I told her that maybe she was aiming a bit high since she's new to the school and would be running against Juniors. Maybe she should try for a different position. She said she didn't care about winning, just wanted to beat a specific other girl. Maybe not the best excuse, but whatever.

October 9, 2009

Rain Out

In theory, I am on a softball team. I have been on this increasingly mythical team for over a month now. In that time, however, we have played a total of one game. Ninsi is on two softball teams, and has managed to play a total of three games, I think.

The requirements for a rain-out are to lax, in my opinion. It wasn't raining last night until late, and last week it did not rain after about noon. At the rate we are going, we will be playing into December. We already have games through the middle of November. We haven't even been able to have a practice because of the rain. Going to try again this Sunday though.

Not a whole lot else going on. The college football season is shaping up quite poorly. I have a little more hope for the pro level. I don't think Washington is going to manage to do anything this year, but that isn't unusual.

The Squid will be getting her driving permit as soon as she finishes reading the handbook. Probably one day next week. Then I'll start the real meat of her driving lessons. I'm not really looking forward to that. Sixteen is way to young for a person to start driving on their own. I have come to this conclusion slowly, over the last 15.5 years.

NASA did slam a satellite into the moon last night. At least we have that going for us, because it is pretty freaking awesome.

October 29, 2009

Perfection

The Squid came home the other night with something that she had only heard about in rumors and stories. To her, it was a myth of the mightiest proportions. She had, for the first time in her life, received a Certificate of Perfect Attendance at school. It was for not missing a day in the first six weeks of class. We were all very excited by it, and last night I took her for a celebratory dinner at her new favorite place to eat - Souper Salad.

This was really a pretty big deal, since she normally misses 8-9 days per semester. Of course, the streak is now in jeopardy, since I received a text from her this morning and she thinks she is getting ill. Still, it's quite the accomplishment for her.

I think I will frame the certificate. :)

Halloween is this weekend. There's almost too much going on to know what to do. I'm sure we will manage to manage. After this weekend, we're done til Thanksgiving. And that signals the start of the end of year 'no time to do anything' season.

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