Saturday, December 31, 2011

On Body Changes...

This morning I woke up hungry.

This is a very strange situation for me, because for as long as I remember I usually wake up feeling mildly queasy and end up skipping breakfast. By mid-morning I would usually be found drinking a latte or two, but by 11am I'm ravenous.  I would end up eating huge lunch, often to the point of discomfort.

However, I recently made one little change.

Just under a month ago I found myself single, or on hiatus, whatever we are doing (who knows... I don't.) and thought that this three month break meant I was going to cook for myself and myself only.  This meant that my earlier attempts to try the 4-Hour-Body plan (henceforth 4HB) were not going be thwarted by someone else's refusal to eat legumes of any sort.

The Subtracting Fat portion of 4HB has a few simple rules.:

1: Avoid "white" carbohydrates.  (I.e. complex carbs.)
2: Eat the same few meals over and over
3: Don't drink calories.
4: Don't eat fruit.
5: Take one day off per week, and go nuts.
*6: Drink Lots of water. Cold water in particular, and first thing in the morning especially.
*7: 30g of Protein in the morning, within 30 minutes of waking

* These aren't one of his official rules, but they are under common mistakes of why people fail... and since I failing to do them... I was making them my rules.

So during the week: no 4 tbs of sugar in my coffee, no trips to the amazing pizza shop on the ground flour, no cookies, no cake, no ice cream, no Captain Cluckers's Breaded Chicken Sandwich or any other fast food.

What can I have? Let me show you my schedule for this week.

Wake up:  16oz of ice water.
Breakfast:  Two hard boiled eggs (if I'm in hurry) or a Mexican omelet with vegetables, re-fried beans and bacon.  Coffee with cinnamon powder.
Lunch: 8 oz of water plus Whatever was leftover from the night before, but typcally Stir-fried veggies, red beans, and lump of protien.
Second Lunch: 8 oz water: Celery stalk with Almond butter
Dinner:  8 oz water.  Stir Fry Vegetables, re-fried beans, and huge steak.

That's basically all I ate this week.  I plan on mixing it up with some salmon and tuna salad on spinach next week, but that's about it.

Starting next week there will also be the addition of kettle-bell swings and some basic body weight exercises, but even then want to guess how effective it is?

6lbs in 4 days.

Monday I was off from work,  I was still determining what I could and couldn't eat so I don't think I was 100% compliant, consequently I didn't weigh myself until Tuesday.

As far as body fat % goes... who knows.   When you are as large as I am induction scales are notoriously inaccurate and can be greatly affected by hydration.  I record it anyway, because even data with a large margin of error is still data.  But to give you an idea of how inaccurate it is, I was having swings of 3% taking multiple readings right after each other.  In one case I was doing isometric exercises in one leg while it was reading and it jumped 7%.  Soo...

Anyway, 6lbs in 4 days.  And for the obnoxious person who snarkily said that I probably had just lost "water weight"... I am drinking so much water I'm sloshing, and I'm drinking at least two more pounds of water a day then I was before.  So you are saying I've lost 14 lbs of water this week?  Without any exercise or standing the Mojave?  How likely is that?

Oh, about the waking up hungry which I started this post.  I woke up from a sound sleep and as I weighed myself I thought... "Hmm... I feel hungry, I need my morning eggs" went down stairs and happily munched my eggs while drinking my ice water and it hit me.

I wan't "choking" down eggs.  I wasn't the least bit queasy.  I was hungry, craving protein, and enjoying eating breakfast at 8am.

It felt weird and glorious at the same time.

*edit* And I just realized today is technically my cheat day... I have nothing planned... maybe I'll go hunting for a cinnamon roll...

*edit the second*  Out of curiosity I googled what other people typical weeks were like and saw someone complaining at having to eat 5 eggs in the morning.  Double checked... and yup.  30g of protien is about 5 eggs not two.  Gonna have to tweak that a bit.  Maybe drink an ice cold whey shake to kill two birds with one stone.   Hmmm....

*Edit the third*  I should point out that 4HB is huge book that covers a lot of topics including but not limited too weight loss, building muscle, better sleep, improved sex, repairing injures etc.  The portion I am presently exploring is just the fat loss portion.  Well a little built of building muscle with kettlebell swings, but more muscle burns fat which is good, yes?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On shaving...

Most of my adult life I have grudgingly shaved.

The combination of thick beard hairs and sensitive skin left me in discomfort after most shaves.  Over the years I have tried several electric razors, multi-head disposables, and every shaving product readily available at ye local shop.  To no avail.  I had reached the point where every week or so I'd run a hair clipper over my face and call it good.

A month ago my life changed.

My girl had heard me express interest in classic wet shaving, and for my birthday I received a a shiny safety razor, a badger hair brush and an exotically scented soap.

For the first time in my life, my cheeks were smooth, my skin un-irritated, and I found myself looking forward to the new daily ritual of hot towel, lather and whisker removal.

It doesn't hurt that in a sea of Brut, Aqua-velva, and off-the-shelf brand scents smelling like a traveller of distant exotic locales does not hurt.  In fact nearly every lady in the office has whipped their head around in surprise to the scents, and in two cases are planning on ordering some for their husbands.

I should note that I am no way compensated for the above links, nor do any of them go to a referral account.  I'm just *really* pleased at their products.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall view.

Since I provided Winter and Summer view from my desk, I thought it only appropriate to share the fall view.

I does not feel like 10 months since I started this job.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Knife posts

So the current blogger meme to which I am little late in responding is "What knife is on your person right now?"

I suppose technically the titanium spork isn't a knife.  But it has a wicked sharp edge on one side... and I assure  I know how to spork in an emergency situation.  *Narrow eyes*  Try me... I dare you.

The others are a Letherman Skeletool (in Carbon fiber) and Kershaw OD-1 model 1775.    Since  I'm not doing a lot a site visits anymore I don't usually carry the Leatherman, but it and the spork live in my coat... and I wore the coat today...

The Kershaw... I picked it up on a lark at the Cabela's in Billings my last trip through.  It was on sale for $30 (regularly $90) and a quick google shows that it isn't available on the interwebs for less the about $40.  That said, it is probably the best feeling knife I've owned in decade.  It is the perfect size for my hand, the blade is the right size for everyday tasks, the opening action is stupidly simple and smooth.  Best $30 I've spent... possibly ever.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Technological defeat.

I have a desktop on my bench.

It has been a bad computer, intermittent flakiness, weird networking problems, slowness and other strangeness.  I finally took it away from the suffering user, gave them a working machine and put on my bench to be tested.

I was pleasantly surprised when the first test revealed that it had a stick of memory, which not only explained all it's weird symptoms but was an easy fix.

Check to see if it is still under warranty, and it is!   But a quick call to the vendor and they want me to run their diagnostic to verify.

No problem, I reboot into windows and... I can't log in.

Keyboard and mouse not responsive in Windows.

*Fast Forward 2 hours*  Every keyboard or mouse combination I have has stopped working on this damn machine.  They work *before* Windows boots, work in the BIOS and if I boot of CD they work fine.

I don't want to have to try and reinstall the OS with bad memory... just so I can install the diagnostic to get the memory replaced.

Sorta related... no matter how you set the BIOS it is trying to boot off the network card first.. Which is starting to make me thing bad motherboard, not bad memory.

Still stuck.  *sigh*

*unrelated... When I am stopping to think about something I frequently stare out my window at the lovely little park across the street.  Sometimes I see dogs frolicking, sometimes I see people busking, occasional couples smooching and picnickers ummm picnicking?

Today there is a woman sitting in her car, obviously crying, wiping her eyes and gesticulating wildly.   Her wild arm motions are what caught my eye but what was really strange is how red she was.  I mean... cherry tomato  red.  It's a little alarming, I can only hope it is brought on by the heightened emotional and subsequent rising blood pressure and not say... some as of yet undiagnosed pigment changing plague.

Bright. Cherry.  Red.

Weird, but now she's driven off.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sci-fi reading list post.

As seen on Bayou Renaissance Man, a list of the top 100 NPR top Sci-fi as voted by listeners.

Ones that I've read in bold. *Edit*  and light blue...  bolding is barely readable in this layout.  Though it would have been faster to mark the ones I haven't read in fuchsia or similar.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien 
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin (
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, by Stephen R. Donaldson  *First time I hated the main character in a book.
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey    *Tried to read it...
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson   *I am usually a big fan of Neal... three attempts to read this book
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe   *Not a fan of torture-porn, gave up on the first book.
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Personally I would have added the Honor Harrington books to the list, if I had my druthers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We live in the future...

I could spend some time talking about the miracle anti-viral cure they are buzzing about, instant communication that allows people to track social changes real-time, or even the fact the flying cars are very nearly here.

No, instead I will point out the fact that the definitive reference of the English language, which is normally a 20 volume set that costs $1000 is available as a $13 phone app.

Yes, you can have the OED on your phone.

That's pretty amazing.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a dictionary to install...

*Edit*  Blech.  Someone pointed out that it may be dandy app but it is not in fact the OED.  If you read the reviews below you will see although it is a big dictionary it is not the complete OED and has no link to the web back-end that house the 20 volumes online.

Link removed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Office Summer view.

I was about to e-mail a friend a link to the view out my office and realized the only picture I had was from when I started 6 months ago when everything was still covered in snow.

So here's a snow-free version for your enjoyment.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jobs, Architecture, and ambivelence

This blog has been quiescent for some time, mostly because I've have been focused on staying afloat financially instead of school.

The persistent problems with MSU financial aid department hit the point where it was financially impossible for me to attend school...(like having better then 1/2 of my student loans go missing for half the semester... not once but two semesters in a row!)

The resulted in me dropping to half-time and then as my student loan payments became active seeking full time work.  Which after a couple of false starts I have found.

For the last six months I have been a contractor at a terrific establishment, and on Monday I become an official employee.  It's a great job that challenges me daily, but draws on my 15+ years in the it industry.  A job where I am valued, trusted, and treated with respect.  It's also a job where I get to map out the road map for their technological future.  The bonus is that my coworkers and boss are a pleasure to work with as well.

Where does that leave Architecture school?   Good question.

In this economy it's a pretty poor time to be junior Architect with no work experience in the field.

Also, my new job offers to pay for (not reimburse... pay for) the maximum IRS amount for schooling as long as it's job related.   Which in my case means some IT type degree.  A quick google shows that the amount the offer is easily over half of what full time tuition and books cost for full time attendance.

So I can go back to school on works dime.. but only if I change my major.

Worth it? I don't know.  Frankly I'm going to have to ruminate it's implications towards my future.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trip Day 5 - Trip complete

Miles Driven: 291
Mean Temperature: 89 f

The day started earlier then expected with a group of protesting kids loudly leaving the hotel room next to me.  Since I was already awake and had packed the night before, I hit the road 30 minutes early, headed for home, with a brief planned stop at the Billings office.

I had high hopes as I arrived nearly an hour earlier then expected, having cleverly detoured around road construction that a co-worker had forewarned me about.

With great hubris I whistled a jaunty tune and walked in the door at 10 AM; anticipating I would be in and back out on the road in thirty minutes, and be home by noonish.

Then I was handed a stack of "Urgent Call, ASAP!"  notes.  My heart sank.

I sorted and plowed through them, most of which were solved with a single phone call., but one was a doozy.  One of the nearby (relatively speaking) field offices had gone down that morning and would not come up.

Calls to Qwest determined their maintenance had broken the DSL connection, but they had repaired and it was authenticating properly so far as they could tell, yet our equipment was refusing to talk to the outside world.

*1000 words of tedious technical gobblygook redacted so you don't get bored.*

Finally, I was faced with a choice, drive to the field office knowing that the entire 50 miles there was under construction and I had already been told that it was running 1.5-2 hours each way or try and walk a technically unsophisticated end user through manually resetting the equipment.   The end user voted for option B, since if it didn't work I was going to have to drive there any way so we might as well try.

Low and behold, 45 minutes of excruciatingly precise instructions... everything came up.

So, instead of spending 30 minutes in Billings I had spent 4 hours.  The problem was I had to be back in Bozeman before 5 pm or my reimbursement check for this trip was going to have to wait until after our accounting person got back from vacation, which was going to be a week and a half away.  1000 miles of gas money, hotel expenses, and food bills that came out of my pocket.

I had 146 miles to go, and 2 hours and 15 minutes to make it.

I leapt to my car, prayed to the gods of road construction that they had knocked it off for the weekend and rocketed towards the highway.

Wind blowing in my hair, hands gripping the steering wheel I drove like a madman at 75 mph towards my destiny! *

And made with 10 minutes to spare.

Trip finished, the prize?  A well earned night in my own bed.

*I should point out that the speed limit was 75, there were lots of highway patrolmen out for the holiday weekend... and well... I don't speed.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trip Day 4

Miles Driven: 10
Mean Temperature: 77f  (Oh thank god.)

Are you 420 friendly?  Good for you, I'm not.  Not only am I not, but I am actually allergic to members of the Hops family... which include Cannabis.

Why does this matter?  Well because the office I am working at today shares a wall with a Medical Marijuana dispensary.  It didn't start off to bad, but as the day has gone on, the bathroom smells like it escaped from the 60's and the air vent blowing cold air brings the distinct smell of misery along with it.

So I'm sitting here with a pounding headache, scratchy eyes, and throat that itches like mad.  Just trying to get through this so I can be done with this and go back to the hotel room and shower.

Fortunately, workwise things are doing fine so I am likely to get out of here early.  I typing this whilst staring at a progress bar which should be the last thing I have to do here.

Trip Day 3

Day three:

Miles Driven: 266.
Mean Temperature: 95 f

Driving in the morning wasn't so bad, got to the site and in spite of there being one more computer then inventory accounted for I was able to get everything up and running with little problem.

Came out to the car... and the dash thermometer read 103 f.  Local temp was about 95 f in the shade with no hint of wind.  I should mention, that my little SUV being of the Alaskan variety does not have A/C, so cooling is either accomplished by 2-75 (2 Windows @ 75 mph) or by closing the windows and usi
The latter is not as cooling, but means a difference between 22 mpg and 28 mpg with windows up.
ng the vents at full blast.
Wandered around aimlessly trying to find a local coffee shop that took plastic, gave up and got iced coffee from Albertson's and threw in a Gatorade for good measure.

Which was the smartest thing I ever did.


Hit the road looking at ~2 hour drive, and went on my merry way.

About 30 minutes south of town, hit some road construction and had to come to a stop.

And wait... (finish the iced coffee)


wait...(drink the gatorade)

WAIT... (wish for another gatorade)

An hour and half later of baking on freshly poured asphalt, which I assure you was hella hotter then 95 f, we finally got moving again. I'd like to say we made good progress, but that would be a lie.  In spite of the posted speed limit of 50 mph, the lead semi insisted on going 25mph and there was no passing.  It took us another 45 minutes
to get to a point where people could begin passing...

So starving, thirsty, and super heated I arrived at Miles City 2 hours later then planned, and walked into a hotel room where they already had the A/C running at 55 f.  Shock nearly killed me.  It felt good, but a 40 degree temperature drop in a second, left me filling ill.

Not ill enough, that I didn't go out and have steak, with 4 glasses of lemonade.  Damn good steak from the Montana Chop & Rib House.  On my table less then 15 minutes from when I ordered.

Tomorrow, should be a simple install, another night in this nice little hotel room, and then friday home with a quick stop in Billings.  *fingers crossed*

I'm ready to be done with trip.

Now if you will excuse be, I have 12 bottles of gatorade calling my name from the mini-fridge.

*Edit: Blogger wouldn't accept posts last night, so this coming to you Thursday.*

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trip: Day One & Two

Day One:

Miles Driven: 386.
Mean Temperature: 86 f.

One detour because of a bridge still being out, and one road reduced to one lane from post flooding damage.

There were some interesting vistas, sadly blurred by a high overcast or I would have taken pictures.

To make up for it here is the the view outside my hotel room.

Umm... well... unless you have an personal interest in farm equipment it probably didn't excite you much.

I expected to have trouble sleeping last night, as a rowdy group of BNSF trainmen took the room next to me, but they had a 4:30am callout so actually quieted down about 9pm.

The food at the Cottonwood was strange mix of excellent and mediocre. The burger was soggy and uninspiring, but the onion rings were perfect and the ranch sauce amazing (and I don't like ranch.) The burger's shortcoming were solved by dipping it in the ranch.

Day Two:

Miles Driven: ~5.
Mean Temperature: 91 f.

Equipment installs went pretty smooth, enough that I was done by 4:00 and back in the A/C hotel room by 4:30.

Dinner tonight was Chicken Fried Steak. Ummm... yeah...

Steak was burned, as in I can taste carbon; smothered in from-the-package gravy, and onion rings were soggy.

On the plus side, I got a mini-loaf of bread that looks good and a fresh salad with the amazing ranch. Weird. I hate ranch... but I want to smear this on everything...

Tomorrow I expect to be miserable, with expected highs of 94, 2.5 hours of driving to the site, ~5 hours of work and then 2.5 of driving to the next site. Wheee...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Plague update road trips and more

The antibiotics prescribed by the fine folks at ye local UrgentCare seemed to do the trick, and by Sunday I felt mostly back to normal.

However, Tuesday arrives and I start to develop the same symptoms in smaller measure. By Wednesday I was just as symptomatic as I had been the previous week before I started my antibiotics (although thankfully with out the green eye ooze from previous Friday.)

Back to UrgentCare, with a new stronger and (much) more expensive antibiotic prescription.

It seemed to clear up the symptoms a lot faster then previous batch, although my symptoms hadn't been as acute during my relapse.

Sunday rolls around again and I felt fine. I'll give it until the end of the week to officially declare myself "better." Before anyone asks, yes I will will take my full course of antibiotics.

Tangentially related... why is it a good idea to give someone who can't swallow at all pills the size of child's fist?


I was supposed to be in the North-east part of Montana this week doing some equipment installs. Obviously my scheduling didn't account for Tonsillitis, but in fact my trip was delayed by that little flooding problem they appear to be having. The direct route to my first destination has a bridge out/redirected. So far as I can tell the detour adds ~200 miles onto a 981 mile trip. The alternate route also passes through a section of road that has been intermittently reported as being underwater.

Also, the poor lasses at the office I would visitng... one of them has four feet of standing water in her basement, and the other one has lost the only drive way in-out of her property... so neither of them are likely to even be there should I manage to get to points North.

We are giving it two weeks before attempting the trip, which also give me time to be sure I am recovered.


And more...

Umm... truely I forgot what I was going to put here. So I will share with you my new favorite quote.

"The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But I assure you, it’s still on my list."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Plague Bonus!

Pink Eye!

Apparently not uncommon for these sinus / tonsil infections to wander up the tear ducts and Eustachian tubes, but really? My week isn't crappy enough?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Plague Update.


It's not Strep.

If it were strep, they have super effective treatment which would have me better in a couple of days. Instead I am on a slower acting, but effective treatment that should catch all the other potential causes... but take 4-5 days before it is effective.

So 4-5 days of eating nothing but cream of wheat, of having to force every sip of water down, of gargling every hour with warm salt water....


But there is hope with the antibiotics, and the doc gave me pills that should knock me out enough that I can sleep through the night for the next 4-5 days.

Edit - 2 AM update. Apparently the doctor was being generous when he said 2 Hydrocodrone / Vicodin would "knock me out." I can't even tell if it's taken the edge off the pain... maybe a little since I did manage to sleep for four hours instead of two before my throat woke me....

Sunday, May 29, 2011


So the lovely lass was down with a nasty and persistent cold week before last. I managed to be in her presence the entire time without catching nary sniffle.

Last night however, at the aches and pains of 8 hours of cleaning the old house (I moved BTW) had faded into an ibuprofen supported stupor I realized a small little detail.

My throat hurt.

Within the hour it had developed into fever, joint ache, occasional nagging cough, BIG sore throat, and a headache ibuprofen wouldn't touch.

I had the plague!

So instead of doing our weekly gaming, which had been on hold for the duration of the move, I am awake far earlier the I would like and sitting here feeling my eyes dry out from the harsh light of the wicked day star.

Going back to bed now...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

For Ook

For those of you who knew and loved Bill, which if you knew him generally you couldn't help but love him, it will come as no surprise that our last conversation was about ass-less chaps.

And Sushi.

But mostly the chaps. The details of why aren't important (it had to do with leather gadget covers you pervs) but the important thing is Bill's indomitable ability to amuse, entertain, and connect with you.

He was my confidant, my brother-in-heart, and most importantly my friend.

It's hard envisioning a day without his snark and his good humor.

Harder still to say goodbye.

I will sit here, with this fine bottle of spirits (which he would have loved: Rum + Horchata = Rumchata!!!) and focus on the things that made him such a brilliant part of our lives, and not the dark spot left behind by his loss.

So this one is for you, and when next we meet the Sushi is on me. (But only if you wear the chaps like you promised.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Clarification post.

The Girl mentioned in my blog post is *not* the same girl mentioned in posts say.. prior to last year.

They are in fact different in almost every respect.

This post was not published with the current girl standing over me with a cudgel...


This space *not* Intentionally left blank.

It was my intention to write here more frequently, but I find myself more often then not staring at this white space waiting for inspiration.

It's not that my life is empty, there is a lot happening. I just wonder of how much of it worth putting down on paper.

For example, I still love my new job. But a lot of my day is spent digging into the innards of OpenPGP workings, user profile management, and redundant fallback procedures for fault tolerant servers. It hardly makes for heady reading.

He brandished the mighty scroll wheel, and rolled his cursor down to the next line. His breath caught. "Certificate services are denied in non-standard port settings! How can this be?" he cried in alarm.

*Ahem* I think we will spare you all that.

I suppose the one thing of note is I will be doing a sweep of the eastern 1/2 of the state next week with new equipment installs interspersed between 17.5 hours of driving in 4 days. Thoughts of this trip are mixture of excitement and dread. On the one hand, I will be seeing parts of Montana I have not visited and meeting new people, on the other hand... 17.5 hours of driving mixed with equipment installs.

If nothing goes wrong I will have ~ 2 hours to set up each site. Any longer and the time table goes out the window. Things always go wrong... so...

Weather has been... exciting, with 50 degree days followed by 6 inches of snow and 20 degree nights. I almost took my snow tires off for this trip. I'm glad I didn't. I may wait until July at this rate.

However, the early warmth has caused the Woolly Mamot.... err dog to start her shed a bit early. It's fair to say that there will be mountains of dog hair over the next few weeks. She is in otherwise good spirits, though the regular walks she goes on with the Girl have shown just how out of shape she is now that she doesn't have a 1 acre yard to cavort in every day.

I suppose the other thing of note is that I have officially hit the 1/2 point in 3rd Brown. I have learned 1/2 the techniques and 1 of the two kata. I suppose I should add a big "In theory" in the front of that. The first Kata (who's name I never remember) is at least as hard as the Green belt one (Chinese Hands) that kicked my butt.

Which reminds me... need to practice it more tonight... *sigh*

Thursday, March 3, 2011

7 things...

So I didn't have the honor of being nominated as being super-stylish but I did try and come up with 7 things that you might not know, be of interest and don;t violate some of the basic privacy rules I follow for posting on the interwebs.

So without further ado...

7. I read a lot and fast too. Depending on the day and the book I will read 100 pages an hour. Though really that is with a subject I am familiar with, has me engrossed and barring distractions. My daily rate is usually much less, but it is not uncommon for me to read a 300 page book in less then 24 hours of doing other stuff too.

6. I am supertaster. I wish that meant that I was better in some way. What it actually means is certain compounds and food taste awful to me. Notably cilantro tastes like soap. Though recent research shows that I may hate cilantro for a completely different reason as the alkaloid compounds supertasters taste aren't even in there.

5. In spite of being a renaissance man in many areas (painting, metal smithing, computers, martial arts) I am complete failure as a musician. Whether it is just a lack of willingness to practice an instrument or a fundamental lack of... something on my part who knows. In any case I really don't play any instrument with any level of competency. Although I can pick out ode to joy an almost any instrument after few minutes.

4. I prefer crisp Fall days and barely warm Spring rains over Winter or Summer. really... if we could do entirely without Summer...

3. There has never really been a dog less then ~50 lbs in my life, and usually they are much much bigger. Something about yap...err lap dog's voices just sets my teeth on edge. The smallest dog I would ever consider ever having is a Scottish terrier. After all they are really medium sized dogs with small dog legs. They are like the Dwarves of the dog world (as a friend once described them.) Give them and axer and horned helmet and they are good to go.

2. I love crepes. Sourdough crepes may in fact be my favorite food ever. I am going to have crepes for lunch at the newly opened French cafe down the road. Assuming my lunch date ever shows.

1. I was born in a southern State where tabbacco is picked, but grew up in the wild north. Since the name of the blog gives it away, I feel confident that you know it is Alaska. I have never been back to said birth state... and really don't feel any particular pull to do so.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hullo Interwebs...

This is not quite how I envisioned my return to the endless sea of electrons, but here it is.

Some minor updates, as you can consider this a post to get the old brain pumping as I get back in the swing of things.

First, my nickname for the next couple of weeks is "Pinky" although there was some discussion of making it Lefty. I have managed to remove the tip of one of my fingers. Again. Some of you may have recalled this happened with frightening regularity previously because sleep deprivation + exacto blades are a poor mix.

The upshot of this is discovered my lovely lass handles herself in a crises when there is blood involved with aplomb and alacrity. I've never had a better assistant while self ministering.

Second, dog is fine and hasn't jumped out any windows or other heroically stupid acts. Still moderately gassy, though after year with out pig ear treats both volume and potency have decreased dramatically.

Third, I received my Green belt in Kenpo. This means I am technically qualified to teach everything up-to and including Green. 3rd brown is going fast, and most of the 2nd brown techniques I learned in the Green belt kata, so these next two belts should be over and done with soon. I also have 4 ladies who would like to start official Kenpo lessons, but I have to find a place. All the dance studios and gyms I have contacted rent out at either what my hourly rate would be, or more... so I would break even or lose money renting from them.

Fourth, school is on hold. At least until next fall. More on that later.

Fifth, I got a great computer job in the mean time, started about a month and a half ago. Good pay, great location, and a great group of people to work with. It's a six month contract, but may turn into a permanent position. One that may include the flexibility to continue with school, with a guaranteed paycheck.

That's all for now, all this typing is making my finger hurt.