Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'm hoping to get in a lot more miles than I've managed to get in so far. In fact, I'm planning on biking every day once I get to N.C. to keep me busy. Of course, I need to get going now just to build up some sort of stamina.
EDIT: I need to work with the gadget some more, it seems. I've removed it for now.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, we packed up the pup and headed down to Franklin, IN to see my mother-in-law and the cats. My M-i-L has 6 cats, all of which are currently bigger than Denali, so I wasn't too sure how this particular socialization would go.
It turned out to be sort of anti-climatic. The cats sniffed around Denali; Denali kind of sniffed the cats; and that was that. The cats kept a wide berth, and Denali stayed busy investigating one of their mouse toys. Denali's World First meeting kitties was ho-hum.
Saturday was a recovery day, so no World Firsts for Denali. My wife and I did have another Tango lesson....mmmmm....mmmmm....mmmmm! Still liking this dance!
Later that evening, we took the kids to La Trattoria to celebrate my birthday on the 26th. Yeah, a World First for me, that being 42. I'm officially in my forties...YAY!!!
Then, Sunday, our puppy had TWO world firsts! Number one was....A BATH! I'll be posting pics later tonight, but suffice to say, she was not happy. I got to hold her down while my wife did the shampooing. After her rinsing, I could tell why she wasn't happy....she looked like a drowned rat!! Vanity, thy name is Denali!
We dried her off as best we could and brushed her a little bit. And then we took her on another World First....A WALK! With a leash, even!!
At first, Denali fought with the leash, and we thought we'd end up carrying her, but for whatever reason, she caught on to the idea and started trotting along with us. It helped to have one of us walk ahead of her as she seemed to be trying to catch up with the "lead dog". Of course, she may have just been in survival mode to get through the event - I'll have to check her blog or her diary...
Friday, April 24, 2009
On the up side, Denali has been showing progress on her training. Currently, I've been trained to recognize when she needs to relieve herself and have taken appropriate action. Good job, Denali! As far as what I've been able to teach her, it has been limited to coming to me if I shake her treat can. I then have to give her a treat, so I think she might be acting in pure self interest- capitalist little pig!
I picked up a couple of books for my upcoming trip: George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as two Ann Coulter books How to talk to a liberal (if you have to) and Treason. I may pick up Thomas Sowell's book Basic Economics, but I'd really like to pick up his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals, which is out of print. I'm sure I can find it on Amazon. And lastly, I need to look up Walter E. Williams' offerings and see what I'd like to read from him - I absolutely love his weekly column.
So, the reading is taken care of; I'm planning on taking my bike, so I'm sure I'll be able to keep busy with that as well. I may be able to find a piano store or something like it where I can practice my two songs. And, of course, I'll be taking my laptop to play Freelancer, Diablo, and the like. I doubt I'll fire up World of Warcrack, but who knows.
Now, the new puppy nonwithstanding, I have not had the urge to play any computer games in the past week. And I haven't...played any computer games in the last week. It's kind of weird to have been nearly joined at the hip for over two years (I can count on my digits the number of days I didn't play World of Warcrack) to my computer, and now it really holds no appeal for me. I reckon it's that whole circle of life thing. That, or the nuclear waste in my pond is starting to affect me.
Either way, it's total win for me!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
So far, we have had almost all of her waste products delivered outside...yes, OUTSIDE! On Sunday morning, I didn't see the warning signs, and she left a lake in the hallway, but other than that, pretty much all liquid has been peed outside.
The solids are a somewhat different matter as she was able to squeeze out a partial before we could catch her, but the larger balance was always done on the grass...outside. I don't have any illusions that she's anywhere near potty trained, but I am seeing some encouraging behavior...mostly on our part for catching her.....but I'm encouraged nonetheless.
Ok, with the crap out of the way (pun inten....uh, nevermind), let me tell you I think we got the pick of the litter. No, really!
She doesn't whine for her mommy or siblings.
She is engaging and playful.
She (mostly) chews on her toys with our hands/feet being the big exceptions.
SHE'S SOOOOO DARN CUTE!!!!
She loves to cuddle (and bite my beard...hmmm.....).
She sleeps through the night!
And, the biggest thing of all....I think that I'll be able to mount some 50 cal machine guns on her when she's older!! Of course, I'll have to fit her for ear protection and some goggles/tracking H.U.D....
"I saw a white stork in my pond the other day. I'm not sure if the blue heron has already turned or if this is another bird. I'm really hoping that I haven't missed the blue heron's cocoon stage as everyone knows it's important for your mutant creature to see you first when emerging from their metamorphosis stage."
And there you go. Feel free to add your ideas and experiences in the comments.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Well, you're wrong! I've always been at war with Eurasia.
Ok, I hope that clears everything up; I did, however, want to write a little explanation of the formula that I'll be using as I explore more of the world of "some musings".
1. Have a thought.
This isn't as easy as it sounds as most of my time is spent drooling and most of my thoughts revolve around remembering to breathe, food, and how to genetically engineer a bio-super weapon out of a muskrat.
2. Think about the thought.
This is somewhat easier as I have some sort of direction to harness the gerbil of my mind toward. Now, remember, I have to breathe during this step, so the productive thinking is intermittent at best.
3. Expand the thought and start adding in random bits of thought.
This happens pretty naturally as the food/breathing/muskrat weapons trifecta usually interrupts and adds to any idea that I happen to be thinking about. For example: I'm trying to fix an MRI, and as I remember to breathe, I happen to smell smoke, which then reminds me of the smoked muskrat that I had the other night for dinner, and I see that the machine is on fire! Problem solved! Woot!
4. Solidify the result of number 3 into a single idea and blow it all out of proportion.
I did this somewhat last year when I met TJ (the poor dear) in the Pox experiment. Oh, cool, that post has some more explanation of this process!
5. Finally, start writing out the whole thing, add pictures, nip, tuck, reword, and polish it up to the high standard that's expected of a prominent, award giving, right wing blog.
6. Sit back and revel in my awesomeness.
(Of course, anyone who knows me, knows that I keep my tongue firmly planted in my cheek and sarcastically denigrate myself whenever I can. Phhhht.)
I'll also include the presentation email:
Dear Harvey et al at IMAO,
It is my extreme pleasure to notify you that you have been selected by the Mutagenics Society of America for an Honorary Tentacle award for your groundbreaking and innovative work in the area of dinosaur research.
Here at the MSA, we are committed to using our innate capitalist nature to exploit and develop homemade bio/chemical/and nuclear weapons out of the resources that surround us, including waterfowl, wild rice, and old Missus Johnson's cat.
To date, our efforts have resulted in significant algae blooms in the test pond with the hopes that mutations will soon occur in the resident wildlife and can be exploited for various right wing purposes - home defense being at the top of the list.
MSA recognizes a kindred soul in IMAO and wishes to encourage and promote the kind of research that our great grandchildren can see with their own three eyes.
Dax (AKA Rusty)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
It has seen the wilderness of Alaska. Resurrection trail, if anyone is interested...
It took me to work for two years straight in Anchorage (yes, including winters!).
It has seen 4.5 miles in -16 degree F. temps....twice!
And I haven't ridden it in almost two years....FOR SHAME!
Well, that all changed today. I cranked out 5 miles in 25 minutes on a sunny 65 degree F day. It was AWESOME! I'm really glad to be out and riding again. Hopefully, I'll be saying goodbye to this spare tire that has attached itself to my midsection....
I used to keep a log of my mileage, and I'm not sure how I'm going to keep track of it. I might just look for a widget that I can enter my miles in here and keep track of them. It has the added benefit of showing you all what a total animal I am....that is, if the last post didn't do that already...lol.
Anyways, we've always had ducks, frogs, fish, Canadian (I HATE THOSE STUPID) Geese, and the occasional blue heron in the pond and, recently, we've had a pair of muskrats move in.
....which has got me thinking.
I mean, being a huge polluter, I want to take advantage of every opportunity at my disposal to ruin our earth for future generations. But, I also want to bitterly cling to my religion and guns through resisting the totalitarian authority of the Big Obama administration.
And, that's when it hit me! The juxtaposition of both of my life goals in one single... uh... action.... packed.... uh... THING!
Let me preface this with saying that I regularly pollute my pond...I mean, I'm a good capitalist! Every two months or so, I lay down the appropriate fertilizer for my grass, depending on the time of year, and watch the resulting greening of my lawn AND the subsequent algae bloom on the pond. So, I'm no stranger to messing around with Nature's workings!
Ok, my idea: You know how all these governments are trying to store their old used up nuclear waste? Well, I can have them pay me to take it off their hands, and I can dump it in my pond! Not only will I make a buck, but also, eventually, I'll have a whole army of mutant ducks and muskrats to do my bidding!!
You can have my mutant blue heron when you pry it from my cold dead glowing green...uh...POND! That is, if you make it past the writhing mass of tentacles that will pluck your eyes out and rip off your arms, Mr. Government Official Sir!!
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has me on their watch list for being a right-winger. Those weren't really World of Warcraft posts....they were marching orders!
Take the post on Healbot....if you substitute "firing pin" for "Greater Heal", you can easily see that it is a virtual manual on assembling/disassembling and modifying an AR-15 to be fully automatic.
My loot lists? Oh, yeah, they're lists of gun suppliers in major metropolitan areas that are sympathetic to our cause. While I won't give out the key to them to just anybody, I will give a hint that Azjol Nerub is just an alternate spelling of Albuquerque. Oops, I've said too much!
The two Pox groups that I've been a part of were actually secret "Black Ops" stuff that I and my fellow militia members have engaged in. Mostly it centered around figuring out how to take down old missus Johnson's DANG cat that keeps walking on my vehicle. I'LL GET YOU MY PRETTY!!!!!!
Yep, and then, as previously mentioned, I'm big into the global warming thing. Why just last night I fixed Chili for dinner, and today....the sweet, sweet smell of the temperature and oceans rising. I love the smell of methene in the morning....it smells like victory! (well, and death....).
So, there you have it. A full DHS confession right here and now! G2G, the black helicopters are on their way!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Ooooooohhhhhhhhh, they were good! I opened up a can of generic sauerkraut for the sandwiches and had some left when the corned beef was used up.
So, last night, I fixed cheddar brauts for dinner and had the sauerkraut on them...oooooohhhh, it was sooo good! I put a little Jack Daniels Horseradish Mustard on it to make it perfect!
I say all of that to say, I like cabbage...if it's prepared in certain ways. I absolutely hate coleslaw. Ew, ick, DON'T WANT!!! But,
German style Red Cabbage....I'm there!
I make an Indian dish with fried cabbage and carrots...mmmm...mmmm....good.
And, you know what a great side effect of all that cabbage?
I'm helping out with global warming by producing greenhouse gases! Why, if I am able to break wind enough, maybe, just maybe, I can help melt all of that Arctic sea ice and flood the Left coasts (both of them!). I'm part of the vast Right wing conspiracy!! Yay!!
It's important to have goals in life....
Monday, April 13, 2009
If you ask me, I would have rather had all of the pirates killed in the rescue of the American captain. And then, I would have blown the little pirate support boats out of the water.
And then, when the pirate in chief whined about it, I would authorize a little live fire training exercise for my Navy brothers and sisters.
If you use force and violence to achieve your goals in life, don't be surprised when it comes back on you ten-fold, Mr. Pirate.
P.S. NINJA'S RULE!
In the first lever area on the sixteenth level, there's a whole mess of Advocates that mill around the target lever. If I tried to bum-rush them, I got smoked - literally....WITH FIRE! So, that was out.
I did stumble upon a fire resist chest piece, so that helped out a bit, but the real solution was circling the area, aggroing a few and hoping....HOPING!!!...that one of them would teleport out to the wall where I could kill it. In the end, that's what I was able to do and then charge in the middle to take out the last three.
That same tactic worked great for the remaining areas. And then the last area, I killed as many little groups as I could before I aggroed the last boss (erm...Diablo....) and a gaggle of minnions. I ended up kiting them until just Diablo was left, and then started attacking him.
IT WAS GREAT!!! I just clicked as fast as I could to attack with my sword, and he couldn't get a spell off. PWNED!!
I was going to replay it as a mage or rogue, but, Diablo II was just sitting there......so, I installed it! I only got in about 20 minutes of play, so I don't really have a lot to compare. I will say that the graphics are prettier (as they should be!), and the gameplay seems to be near the same as Diablo I.
From talking with Teurion, I do get the idea that Blizzard fixed everything that was wrong with the first one and added stuff to make it even better for the sequel. Sort of like the jump from Civilization to Civ II - a quantum leap that fixed everything wrong with the original and added soooooo much more without losing any of the playability or fun of the game.
So, of course, I can't help but think about Diablo III. If I like Diablo II as much as I think I will, then it'd be cool to be up to speed for the upcoming iteration. We'll just have to see.
Oh, and EVE and Fable are history. I may yet go back to Fable just to play out the Lost Chapters, but I don't think I will be logging into EVE again. And, I think this is a good thing, with going away for May and having a new puppy and taking dance lessons and GOING OUTSIDE!!!!(soon)....I don't need another MMO sucking up my time.
And speaking of mai puppa, I got to see her on Saturday. I think she's getting to know us cause she seemed more comfortable around us and even gave me kisses!! Little puppy kisses!! /sigh. I'm done for....
Friday, April 10, 2009
Tonight, I have another Tango lesson; mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, I'm looking forward to it! We practiced last night...it wasn't too bad for not dancing in over a week. We also don't have a good area to dance in, so we end up doing laps around our stair well.....Kitchen to the dining room to the front hall to the family room to the kitchen.
Rinse and repeat.
I'm having some issues with stepping on my poor wife's feet; now, the dance instructor says that that shouldn't be happening because my wife shouldn't put her foot down until mine comes down. My wife has been practicing that concept but she hasn't got it down consistently. So, I find myself stepping around her at times just in case. That's not good.
We'll just have to keep on practicing.
In other news, I picked up the Diablo battlechest. I have never played any of the Diablo series, so it was all new to me. I started with the first one (I didn't want to be ruined by having the second one far out shine the first), and I've enjoyed just kind of putzing around with it.
I think I'm up to Level 12 and have made it down to the 8th dungeon level. I'm playing the warrior class, so I get to run in and SMASH!! everything. One thing I don't really like is the lack of an Auto-Attack; my hand gets a bit tired of clicking clicking clicking clicking...but, it is what it is, so I deal with it.
I'm hoping to save Diablo II for the month of May. I'll be gone to North Carolina for nearly the entire month at another MRI school, so I'd like to have a fresh game to keep me occupied while I'm there.
And lastly, we get to go down to Martinsville this weekend to see our puppy....YAY!!!!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Now that Sunday afternoon has occurred, I can't wait to get MAI PUPPA!!
I guarantee you that if that dog was closer (she's down in Martinsville - approximately 25 minutes away), I'd be seeing her every evening! I'd be dragging my family over there and spending as much time as I could with that pup. Needless to say, I'm excited.
I'd love to go down tonight, but unless it's raining, the lawn needs my youngest son's and my attention....so...I'm prayin' for rain!! heh, heh.
I finished the main story in Fable; well, I defeated Jack of Blades and threw away the sword. But, since I have the "Lost Chapters" version, I can continue playing and defeat him again. I suppose I'll do this, but I'm not a big fan of epilogue playing.
I liked the game for the most part, but what I didn't like was the sexuality of the game. By that, I mean, the game had sex in it. I'd prefer that the subject just be absent altogether. This game actually has requirements for engaging in sex acts to open certain content. That is not cool.
So, since I didn't feel like playing more Fable, I took on cleaning the shower. 40 minutes of scrubbing....spraying....rinsing....digging....scrubbing....spraying....rinsing.....digging.....man...
It was pretty epic. I wore my hot pink swim shorts that are a bit tight (I should have taken a picture of the fat, hairy, sweaty man for your vomiting pleasure). I got most of the junk washed down the drain, but this morning, I saw some gunk in the grout that I missed.../sigh.
And finally, last night, I bellied up to the piano and started working on my extremely small repertoire of Chopin songs. Since I can only play Chopin songs, my repertoire is extremely small. Currently, I can somewhat pound out two preludes:
Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4
Prelude in A major, Op. 28, No. 7
EDIT: Here are some recordings of the songs (not mine!)
In 2005, before we left Alaska, I decided to take piano lessons along with my youngest son. After the first couple of lessons, my instructor suggested that I focus on playing one piece so that I got something out of the lessons; she then pulled out three preludes, played them, and asked which one I'd like to learn. I picked Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4.
Over the next couple of months, I learned the fingering of the piece, as well as the "feel" and "story" of the song. As I got more and more familiar with it, I was able to put more emotion into my playing and in the end, I really liked my interpretation of it over most of the recordings that I've heard.
In short, I slowed the piece down, some what, and drew out the fourth beat a bit to emphasize it and add some feeling. Because the right hand is mostly playing a dotted quarter then a quarter note, I saw it as breathing. Measured breaths...in.....and out.....in.....and out. This view led me to see the song as a very condensed life played out.
During the first part, the breathing is combined with a descending chord progression until we arrive at the first "interesting" diversion from what has been established. I tend to look at this first part as childhood and the interesting part is leaving the nest to be one's own person.
The second part is much like the first with very few differences, which I see as the young person making it on their own by living similarly like they did when they were at home, albeit a bit differently.
The third part is the most exciting, different, and activity filled part of the song, much like the time between getting married, having kids, raising those kids, settling into a career, experiencing the joys and heartaches of life, and finally, retiring. It is loud, jarring, beautiful, convoluted, and messy!
The last part of the song is growing old. It reminisces about the first two parts in a different way; it slowly, but surely fades, continuing the descending chord progression, until it ends on a somewhat jarring chord....death.
There is an epilogue, though. Three chords at the end, played very quietly, signify the person at rest and at peace with the activity of their life.
I guess I have to record it now for you all, eh?
Monday, April 6, 2009
I'm tired of EVE; I'm not going to play it any more. Period. Done.
I picked up Fable: The Lost Chapters. I'm almost halfway through it and am not really thrilled with any replayablility that it might offer. It is an enjoyable game...I'm just not sure if I'll be replaying it.
Ok, so that's not what happened; allow me to ramble more before I tell you what DID happen.
Saturday, my youngest son and I went to the Indianapolis Children's Museum to see the Star Wars: The Clone Wars exhibit.
What....a....waste! Sure, the display had a couple of cool things like two outfits from the new movies and a couple of lightsabers. I also realized that the exhibit was based on the cartoon series on TV (and the animated movie), so I didn't expect a lot of the movie paraphernalia.
BUT!!, I did expect more than two hallways of displays that were tucked away in the bottom floor of the museum...I mean, if you advertise something on billboards, shouldn't you be putting it in a readily accessible area? We ended up going through the whole museum before we found the stupid thing! grrr...
As an aside, the comic book collection was better than the Star Wars collection, imo.
Ok, and now for WHAT HAPPENED!!! So, because I wasn't sucked into WoW, I agreed to go down to Martinsville (IN) with my wife to see her Paternal Grandfather and to see her Great Aunt on her mother's side.
Now, my wife's "cousin" (the Great Aunt's son) raises wolves (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!) and American Eskimo dogs. So, we were going down to see the wolves, their two pups, and a batch of five week old Eskimo puppies.
The wolves were...AWESOME! Oh, boy!! The male must have weighed in at 200 pounds and stood well over 6 feet tall (on his hind legs). He was HUGE!! He also allowed us to (somewhat) pet him through the fence; in fact, my wife was able to scratch and rub him around his neck, which it seemed he enjoyed.
The female was really stand offish, so we didn't get to pet her.
We did, however, get to hold and play with the wolf pups! They were sooooooo cute!! They were about the size of a full grown pomerainian, but they weighed in about 10 pounds heavier! Talk about solid!! And, we were able to get them howling!! Talk about cute, overload! lol.
And then we saw the Eskimo puppies.....Hole.....E......Crap!!! They were adorable!!! There were four of them - two bigger ones and two smaller ones, three girls and one boy. My wife started...getting attached.
Now, I've known for a while that my wife has been wanting a dog, but our oldest son (who is 19) has asthma, so getting a dog (or any other pet) always been a mote point because of him. Well, I guess my wife thinks our son can handle being around the dog because....We agreed to buy one.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE????", I jokingly asked my wife on the way home. Of course, I'm knee deep in this right along with her because we both were on the same page in getting the dog. We've had the conversation over and over again in the past, so when she decided that the asthma wouldn't be an issue (she's an RN, ya know), I was ready to give the OK.
So, we have to wait about two weeks for Denali (yes, we named her already) to be fully weaned; after that, we'll be able to pick her up and start our new life as dog people.
We are in for a world of hurt....
Friday, April 3, 2009
For me, one of the main reasons I play video games is for the story. I tend to view games as interactive TV or make-your-own-choice books. I like the freedom to explore the universe of the game as well as become the all powerful hero in that universe.
When I watch TV/movies or read a book, I usually get sucked into the story and "live" the story along with the characters. That's one of the reasons I absolutely hate horror movies like "Friday the Thirteenth" and others of that genre - since, in my mind, I'm there, I get all the associated feelings of being threatened, fearing for my life, etc, etc. Do...not...want!!!!
So, if I don't have any interest in the story, I usually won't play the game. But, in some cases, the "become the all powerful hero" aspect of the game is enough to compel me to play it. CIV II was such a game. There is really no story except for the history that you create as you play, but the opportunity to rule the world...well, that's just sweet!
There are games that have very compelling story lines, but I won't play them due to gratuitous violence, cursing, sexual themes, and other things that I don't want to expose myself to. I was thinking about picking up Fallout 3 because I loved the first two series (albeit, I quit playing after discovering some of the same things from earlier in this same paragraph), but I've decided not to after reading a review that suggested there was a lot of cursing in the game.
Like many ex-smokers become militant anti-smoking zealots, I cursed quite a bit in my youth but, after coming to know the Lord, I stopped cold turkey and started becoming repulsed by it. I wince when I see it in print, and if I have the option, I will choose to avoid being exposed to it.
As an aside, I do not wish to censor people from cursing because I'm a big believer in the right to freedom of speech - even speech that I find offensive. I will, however, take measures to limit my exposure to those things that offend me. And so, I won't play video games that have a lot of cursing in them.
So, I find myself looking for a game to play. I loved a lot about WoW, but I've read that story over and over and over and over again! And while there are some books and movies that I can and have done that with, I'd also get sick of them if I spent as much time viewing them as I've spent in WoW.
And now, I ask, "What's next?"
And I answer, "idk...."
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Canceled the auctions.
Prepped the toons for storage.
I'm done with WoW for the time being.
The game has lost its draw for me - as Deathrender succinctly put it: "The only thing left is harder raiding" and that is not appealing to me at this juncture. I still have a couple of months that I've already paid for, so the option of returning is wide open.
So, what now?
Well....I did my taxes last night....
....I reconciled a bank statement....
I watched a Cutco knife presentation and bought about $500 worth of knives.
I took a nap as soon as I got home from work.
I watched a little American Idol...very little....
And fired up EVE Online for about an hour. Long enough to make a 20 jump journey. I think I'll make a separate post about my adventures there. It is quite a bit different than WoW.