Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, who once said, “Sure, 90% of science fiction is crud. That’s because 90% of everything is crud.” Oddly, when Sturgeon’s Law is cited, the final word is almost invariably changed to ‘crap’.
We ran a couple errands after work today, the last of which was to pick up our evening meal, a buy one get one free spaghetti dinner. Trouble came when we left the restaurant parking lot, home was to the left and making a left on this road at this time of day is nearly impossible, so I made a right. Then I hung a quick left on a road I have passed by a zillion times, but had never driven. When I got to the next stop sign I realized where I was. Back to the right was a road I had already traveled on the way to the restaurant and away from home. To the left and towards home was a dead end with a little dirt spur that dumped out behind Walmart.
I went left. The little dirt spur was in a lot worse shape than I remembered. The pot holes were separated by not much of level and because of the recent afternoon thunderstorms, filled with dirty brown water. Slow and careful driving allowed me to keep most of the wheels out of the divots. Then to top it off, the final obstacle was a curb to drive down off of to get back to pavement. Thank goodness we weren’t in the Miata.
The Purple Whale got a deserved bath after the spaghetti dinner.
We got home from work yesterday and were surprised to find we had no new email. We then realized there was no internet access. That explains that. I went into the living room and turned on the TV, nothing but snow. Because I already had an errand to run and the Cable Co office is like a 1/2 mile away, I opted to stop by instead of dealing with voice mail hell.
The woman at the office tried some things with no success, so we set up a repair appointment for today. When I got home I went over to check the junction box and what do do know, cable wires coming out, but nothing going in. I looked up at where the cable runs through a hook on the soffit and the hook was bent straight. Odd, the junction box nor the splitter inside looked damaged, did someone need a 100′ of coaxial cable? I walked to the street, crossed it and walked up to the pole where the cable comes from. Somebody didn’t steal the cable, it still headed up the pole and the length of the cable was neatly coiled at the base.
Tuesday was trash day and I figured that the truck the city uses to pick up the yard waste, AKA: The Jaws of Death, most have somehow yanked it down while picking up vegetable matter from in front of the house across the street. I called the Cable Co and let them know what I had discovered.
Today at 12:30 a tech called me at work to tell me he was just leaving my house and he let me know he replaced the cable from pole to home as it had a couple of squirrel induced damage spots. He could see my modem was online with his computer, so he figured he had the thing fixed, but to give a call if when we got home the TV wasn’t working (it was.) He modified my theory of the incident slightly because the cable end wasn’t damaged and it makes a lot of sense. The truck probably hit the cable just enough to yank it out of the hook on the soffit, leaving it dangling low across the street. A city worker probably manually disconnected it from the splitter and rolled it up under the pole so as not to endanger any traffic on the street. It sure would have been nice if they reported the issue to the Cable Co, the issue might have even been fixed before we got home…
August 3rd, 2011 | Tags: Rants | Comments are closed
Its a showdown at the Fenway Corral and I can’t stand it. We went grocery shopping tonight and when I got home the Sox were up 2 to 0 on the Yankees. My wife said, “Your team is winning, you should be happy.” But as a lifelong Red Sox fan I know that doom is just around the corner and sure enough, the very next inning the the MFY scored three runs and are now in the lead.
I gave up on the FRS last night when they were down by three with three chances to make it up against the Indians. I’ll hang on tonight with three innings left because they are down by one and because it is the Yankees, but I don’t know if I can stand it much longer. The pitching is killing me. They just walked the number 9 hitter after getting two outs. Come on, the #9 batter is in that part of the order for a reason, he’s the weakest hitter in the line-up, quit nibbling the corners and throw the ball in there. The offense isn’t helping matters either, in the fifth inning they had the bases loaded and the “best” hitter in the American League, Adrian Gonzales, struck out. In the sixth the tying run was left on second base and in the seven they went down one — two — three.
After tonight’s audible torture, I’m in for some visual tormenting the next two days as the games will be on TV, FOX on Saturday afternoon and* because the game will be ESPN on Sunday night.
* Just checked the TV Listings online and it looks like the local FOX affiliate will be showing the Phillies — Giants game. Maybe it will be raining in San Francisco tomorrow afternoon.
August 5th, 2011 | Tags: FRS | Comments are closed
As noted yesterday, FOX did show the Phillies — Giants game here locally. I can understand it though, as the “local” MLB team of interest is the Atlanta Braves and they are in the same division as the Phillies, so the Braves fans could watch and root against them (they better root hard as the Braves trail the Phils by 9 games in the standings.)
So I listened to the game on the radio, all except for an inning of the Sox — Yankees game that FOX broadcast as bonus coverage. That bonus coverage was due to the difference in the style of play in the two different leagues, the National League tangos and the American League waltzes. The Phillies and Giants are in the NL and those guys play like they have someplace that they want to go to after the game. Their game was finished in 2 hours and 14 minutes. The Yankees & Red Sox play are in the AL where it seems like they have no place they would rather be than on the baseball diamond, so it took them 3 hours and 25 minutes to play those same nine innings.
The FRS scored first, 2 runs in the bottom of the third inning. The MFY came right back and scored 2 in the top of the fourth to tie the game. I almost turned off the broadcast because because I had a feeling that the Red Sox were going to lose this game too. Lucky for me their attitude was better than mine as the Sox then answered back in the bottom of the 4th with 5 runs. The Yankees never got close again and lost 10–4.
Donna and I along with friend Joan went for a 4–1/2 mile walk in Hitchcock Woods this morning. We were in the Woods for a little over two hours and saw 2 different people walking 2 dogs each, three high school cross country runners and three folks on horseback. Busy day.
August 6th, 2011 | Tags: FRS, Hiking | Comments are closed
5–1/2 innings or only 61% of tonight’s game and it has taken 2 hours and 20 minutes to play. The score? One to one. This puppy is going to be over around midnight or approximately 1 hour after I’m in bed because I’m taking a shower as soon as this half inning is over.
August 7th, 2011 | Tags: FRS | Comments are closed
A co-worker who has been serving in Afghanistan for the past year with the National Guard is back stateside and returns to work next Monday. His direct supervisor David, who sits in the cube next to me, mentioned last week that he needed to get Ron’s cube set back up. When he left for Sand Land we were still up front in the old offices and now we are back in our shiny new area (except for the carpet that has gotten ugly from machine oil footprints.)
David thought maybe we should all dress up special for Ron’s first day back. He then wondered out loud where the nearest turban outlet might be…
I get the start of my online news at Google. It is kind of neat in that you can customize it to your needs (you just know I’ve a Red Sox section), but the flip side is it creepily customizes itself to you from what you click on.
Browsing there just now. As I scanned down the page and got down to the Entertainment section, this headline was one of the two there, “Robyn Gardner Goes Missing in Aruba: A Maryland woman has vanished in Aruba after taking a snorkeling trip with a friend, MyFoxDC reports.” This is entertainment?
Oh yeah, I forgot, it *is* entertainment. And I bet Nancy Grace is just overjoyed, this comes around in the nick of time because the public’s interest in Casey Anthony is really waning.
August 9th, 2011 | Tags: Rants | Comments are closed
In spite of what the content of the actual movie is, the trailer is surprisingly SFW (Safe For Work.)
TV shows like Star Trek or X-Files, OK, but this? An XXX parody of Star Wars? Sacrilege! Although if it didn’t include some possible kiddie stuff, the parodies of Episodes I, II & III might be improvements over Speilberg’s efforts.
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1055
August 10th, 2011 | Tags: Porn, Starwars | Comments are closed
In a couple weeks we are heading out west to Snohomish, WA to visit Donna’s brother and his family. We are spending a little more than 2 days with them before we go on a road trip that will include western Washington, western Oregon, the tip of coastal California and back up the Oregon coast before flying home out of Seattle.
We will, of course, be doing some geocaching. The Seattle area is the birthplace of geocaching which means that there are more caches out there than you can shake a GPSr at. Our first day of traveling is from Snohomish to White Salmon, WA on the Hood River. As we are prone to do, we are not taking the most direct route, but the scenic one by going through Steven’s Pass before heading south. Google maps says it is 300 miles and that is the upper limit of what we like to drive in a day, so there is not going to be a lot of time for geocaching.
I did a Pocket Query of caches along the middle 230 miles of our route, extending to a maximum of one mile either side and it returned 334 finds! Donna and I have been taking turns trying to whittle that number of caches down, with our criteria being: convenient to the direction of travel on the route, not too difficult and be somewhat scenic. So far we have managed to get it down to 217 and it really needs to be more in the neighborhood of 30. We are obviously going to be leaving a ton of terrific hides off our To Do List and from the descriptions I’ve been reading we could spend our entire week and a half out ther just hiking the trails and geocaching along this one day’s drive. We are not too saddened by this development, as the journey is always the reason, any geocaching is just a bonus.
Closer to home, there is a new cache in Hitchcock Woods, the replacement for our just archived cache “The Birds”, called “North by Northwest” that we will probably go hunting for tomorrow.
August 12th, 2011 | Tags: Geocaching | Comments are closed
The trail this photo was taken on goes from the Mange to Rabbit Valley crossing several major thoroughfares in the woods, including Pioneer Trail, yet it has no designation of its own. I like to call it the Clint Eastwood Trail.
We did in fact go find the new cache in Hitchcock Woods this morning, but we didn’t just park, walk to, find and leave of course, we took the long way. The temperature was in the middle 70s, but the humidity felt higher and by the time we were done with our 3–3/4 mile walk my T-shirt looked like I had been running from the “Others” along with Jack, Kate and Hurley. It was a very nice walk and I think we saw or heard more woodpeckers eating breakfast than we saw humans.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1056
I haven’t had any real interest in the NFL since the Rams left Los Angeles, maybe even since Roman Gabriel was their quarterback. But in spite of my pathetic lack of knowledge about professional football I have agreed to join up with several of my coworkers and play Fantasy Football this year. In addition to this, my knowledge of playing fantasy anything is even less than it is about pro football. Should be entertaining…
One upside, I am not alone in the whole rookie thing, more than half of our twelve team league are in the same boat.
The one advantage I do have is my Arts & Craft Engineering background will allow me to have the best looking logo in the league. A purple killer whale for the new Sonata and the city name Montgomery for where it was built in Alabama.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1057
If you have ever worked in a office environment you have probably had the post title asked of you. Standing there at the water-cooler in your khaki pants and blue polo w/ white horizontal stripes, talking to a co-worker similarly attired, when person #3 dressed in black slacks and a maroon dress shirt asks… Your response comes automatically, “Didn’t you get the memo?”
Well, now, at The Valve Store™ that question actually has merit. A woman in the front office has taken it upon herself to actually schedule certain colors for certain days, with the help of some of the participants. And there are days where you will notice 4, 5 or 6 folks dressed in the same color scheme. Donna and I have always gone out of our way to make sure we don’t dress in the same colors, so you can bet that if a Bogardus happens to randomly match the color of the day, the other Bogardus will not match.
Started up, went down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1060
August 16th, 2011 | Tags: Rants | Comments are closed
Back in April the fine folks at the Augusta National opened up a lottery allowing the hoi polloi a chance at actual tournament badges for the 2012 Masters. What the heck, we have been extremely unlucky in the lottery for practice round tickets the last decade or more, maybe we will have a chance at seeing the real thing. While we were there we also took another shot at a couple practice round tickets too.
About a month ago we got an email telling us to log on to masters.com and see if we were selected for a daily tournament badge. All excited about the possibility, we logged on, only to have our hopes crushed. We didn’t get in.
Today we got the second email from the Masters organization telling us to log in and see if we were selected for practice rounds tickets. We were not really expecting much, so it made for a pleasant surprise that we were granted the privilege of attending Tuesday’s practice round next year.
When I say privilege, I mean privilege, because the cost of one ticket for one practice round is $50, or a 1000% higher than they were when we first went 21 years ago.
August 18th, 2011 | Tags: Masters | Comments are closed
This one’s for you Tom. I never did finish the story on our failed attempt at buying that Accord Coupe back in April, so here it is. If you are unfamiliar with the story, first go back and read April 17th & April 18th posts. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here.
When Donna and I step into the Honda Cars of Aiken showroom we are greeted immediately buy a pleasant enough fellow. I ask for Brian and he says, “That’s me.” I told him who I was and he then proceeds to tell me he hasn’t done anything on my paperwork because they have just been slammed all afternoon. Donna and I look around the showroom, look at each other and roll our eyes. There are 5 people in the whole space, the two of us, Brian the sales guy, another sales guy wandering through and the girl behind the circular reception desk. The only non Honda on the lot out front is our Miata. I guess we just missed the typical Monday afternoon rush.
Donna headed off to the restroom and sales guy says, “Let’s go look at your car.” “I don’t need to see it,” I say. I think to myself, I just drove it 2 days ago, how much could it have changed. I can only imagine this was to get me to see the car and bond with it, and the move was right out of some car salesman training manual. But he is not deterred, “Come on, it is right out back.” So I shrug and follow. We have to pass through the service area and Brian is blathering about how they have won awards for service, yadda, yadda, yadda, while I am dodging the oil on the floor and ducking under a car on a lift. We get out behind the building and there sits the red coupe, probably exactly where salesman Brad left it last Saturday evening. It obviously still needs to be cleaned up and I sense a half hour picking up this car stretching into 2–1/2 to 3 hours of wasted time.
We get back into the showroom and Donna is standing there wondering where I have been. I tell her and she rolls her eyes again, but I can tell she is running out patience already. Brian points us to another one of those alcove areas where business is done and tells us he will be right back with someone to get the paperwork going. We wait. We discuss amongst ourselves on how hard it seems to be to give away our money to a business. We talk about our day at work. We discuss where I’m taking her for dinner because this is taking so long. I then notice Brian making his way across the showroom floor towards us, but he get waylaid by another salesman and pulled aside. They talk for a few seconds, step outside the doors where this other guy lights a cigarette. We agree that if Brian lit one up we were gone. He didn’t and shortly he is moving our way again, but only to ask us “This is not a lease right, you are buying the car?” and tell us that they’ll be right back with us. I’m thinking now that they hadn’t done anything at all since Saturday and wondered how we got the price we got. Donna is ready to bolt; we have been here for 35 minutes already. I look at the time and it is five minutes until 5. I tell her if they don’t get to us by the top of the hour we’ll go.
At 4:59 some person we have never seen before sits across the table from us. He doesn’t introduce himself nor offer to shake my or Donna’s hand, he just starts spreading out his paperwork (for our purposes we’ll call him Fred because he looks a little like a grown up Fred Savage from the TV show Wonder Years with a bad haircut.) I notice John Candy out of the corner of my eye, one desk away, trying to stealth fully observe the process.
Fred looks at me and asks, “Was dinner OK?” I think to myself, I haven’t had dinner yet…so I go, “Huh?” He says,” You know, the other night.” Then something clicks, that was how I left it with these guys on Saturday, saying I needed to get home before dinner was ruined. So I replied, “Yeah, fine.” Donna didn’t say anything then, but told me afterwards that she felt insulted by them asking me. What they should have done was turn to her and ask, “Did we get him home on time for dinner on Saturday?” She a good point to because even though we shopped the car together, her income was taken into account when checking the credit scores and the title was going to be in both our names, they fell into the typical sexist attitude on car buying and were basically talking only at me.
The next thing out of Fred’s mouth was, “How long are you planning on keeping the car?” Not sure where this is going I give him another, “Huh?” Bless her little heart, Donna has been as patient as she can be during this whole car buying process, but this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. She says with emphasis, “What kind of question is that? What do you care how long we keep the car for? What difference does it make to you whether we keep it 2 day, 2 years or 2 decades?” There may have been a cuss word or two in there, if not, the way she said it certainly implied there were.
She reaches down and grabs her purse, looks at me and stands up. I follow suit and we head towards the door. Fred is stunned; I think he mumbles, “It is just a question we ask.”, but I can’t be sure. As we exit the building I sense a rustling behind us. We get in the Miata and as we are backing out of the spot, John Candy is exiting the building and calling out, “Mr. Bogardus! Mr. Bogardus!” Neither of us look up as we drive off.
We went to an Augusta Greenjackets game last night. The draw was twofold, fireworks after the game and admission plus a hot dog/hamburger buffet for $20.
As is normal at minor league ballparks there are a rash of promotional stunts between innings and one of them at Lake Olmstead Stadium is called Hit the Hyundai. A fans name is drawn at random and he is brought out to the field just on the outfield grass beyond first base. He is given a bat and has three chances to knock a baseball off a plastic tee and hit the Hyundai Sonata as it drives slowly along the warning track from right center field to the foul line.
The first ball last night’s contestant hit lands about half way to the warning track and about fifty feet ahead of the car. His second hit travels the same distance towards the car, but more online with it. He really connects with ball number three and for a second it looks like it has a chance, but it lands smack in the center of the warning track about 2 feet behind the car. The PA announcer says, “Wow! That is the closest we’ve had all year!”* Had he hit the Sonata he would not have won the car (dent and all), but merely $50.
*He probably says that at every game.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1063
Saturday morning we meet with the MMC for our monthly breakfast run that would then be followed with a few frames of bowling.
[English Majors, is the first sentence in this paragraph an example of irony?] We meet 2 other cars in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel for the drive to breakfast at Kegler’s Cafe at Gordon Lanes Bowling Center. The group consisted of the Rally Masters who are Wii bowlers extraordinaire, another couple who own their own bowling balls and us, whose parents bowled.
Gordon Lanes is located on Fort Gordon, an Army base located south and west of Augusta. Civilians are allowed on the base and can make use of the recreation facilities, you just have to stop at the gate, show a picture ID, car registration and proof of insurance. Since 9/11 everyone has to do that, including the military folks stationed on the Fort, us civilians then get directed to the visitor area where we again show those same documents to another set of guards who fill out our daily vehicle pass.
It used to be when you were entering a military base you were “greeted” by the respective service’s police force. Now a days, it is cheaper to contract that function out. And if you check out the full size version of the thumbnail above, it is apparently done on the lowest bidder method. Officer Jackson had a little trouble spelling my first name, but you have to give him credit for the missing A at the end of MAZD because that is how it is listed on the registration. Now, the listed destination, that right there made up for any disappointment caused by the closed Gordon Lanes and cold French Toast at the Huddle House.
My wife said she felt today’s earthquake that was centered in Virginia, me on the other hand, the first I heard of it was on Google News about 20 minutes later.
Keep your fingers crossed that Irene keeps creeping east, because yesterday’s predictions placed the west side of her possible path over Charlotte about midday on Saturday, which coincided un-nicely with our departure on Delta Flight 2446 to Minneapolis/St Paul.
August 23rd, 2011 | Tags: Whatever | Comments are closed
The Sox are playing the Texas Rangers in Texas tonight and ESPN2 is kind enough to be showing the ball game. I have complained here before about the length of the Red Sox games, but tonight is one for the ages. Josh Beckett is on the mound for the FRS and he is what the announcers politely call deliberate, but you and I would call it slow, a lot slower than the other Sox pitchers.
The game has been going for just a little under 2 hours and we are exactly midway through at 4-/2 innings. May be looking at a 4 hour game. Because it is in Texas the normal start time was to be 8:10 Eastern, but was moved up to 7:10 for TV. Good thing too or I’d already be thinking shower and bed, now I’ll probably get to see another inning and a half…
August 24th, 2011 | Tags: FRS | Comments are closed
Don’t pack your Benefiber in your carry-on luggage. It makes the TSA nervous, causing them to hand search your bag, then sprinkle out some on a piece of paper and watch what color it turns. I guess blue means OK.
Scott & Beth have access to a large patch of blackberries and we spent as long as the attention span of a 4 year old could stand. Which means we barely covered the bottom of a bucket. Of course quite a few never even made it to the bucket.
I got grief for posting nothing but James pictures yesterday, so today we have a few of his younger sister Madelyn.
Niece Maddie is a bit camera shy, so snagging a photo is hard work.
A 300 mile day in the car as we went up and over Stevens Pass and down the eastern side of the Cascades to the Columbia River. The west side of the pass was green and lush pine forest while the east side was all dry and scrub bushes. We stopped for a leg stretch and a geocache in the faux Bavarian town of Leavenworth. And we ended the day at the Big Horse Brew Pub where for Donna’s birthday I got a new Brew Pub hoodie and a beer.
We bought some stamps here at the Skykomish Post Office (98288.)
We stopped along the road in northern Oregon at a spot that promised to identify the mountains in the distance, but they were barely noticeable behind the haze of smoke. You can see that one side of the road has burned in the recent wildfires that have plagued the region and the other has not.
This is the Cooked River Railroad Bridge south of Madras. There were four geocaches in this little park that included three crossings of the 300 foot deep gorge, the RR, the current 5 lane highway and the old two lane one. The smoke has cleared at this point and you can see several mountains in the background.
A view of Wizard Island in the middle of Crater Lake from the North Junction overlook. Traveler’s Tip: Drive the loop in a clockwise direction because that puts the mountainside on your right. Traveling the opposite direction frequently puts nothing but a huge drop with no guardrail on that side of the car.