Saturday, December 29, 2007

Your Pipes Suffer 2d6 of Frost Damage

Wyoming is windy. VERY windy. When you combine that wind with cold, you get enough chilling power to penatrate fiberglass insulation and freeze your pipes. Thankfully, only the pipes leading to the bathtub faucet are frozen, so I decided to wait it out. The next day, I can get a shower when it warms up enough to thaw out the pipes. In the winter, you can get away with longer intervals between showers.
Anyway, last night I'm settled in for a quiet evening when I hear *clunk-WOOOOSHHHHH!* So I go to my bathroom and see water gushing from the facuet. I figure that I just didn't turn off the faucet when I was fiddling last night. No, both valves are in the Off posistion. And there's still water. That won't stop flowing. Hmm.
I look around for the turn off valve for the water, but I don't see it. I do find single shut off valves for every other water fixture, just not the one that's gushing. I eventally call the landlord who sends over his son, who finds the main valve (open a hatch in the floor, crawl ten feet under the house, and turn the red handle. Watch out for trolls).
Tomorrow, I should have full plumbing functionality, or at latest Monday. We shall see...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

At the Movies

So, Lyman does have a theater. Size: 1 screen, 1 showing per night. That doesn't sound like much, but... really, that's about all the Valley will can support financially. This week, we had National Treasure 2. I was amused at the way the opening scenes of this version quickly dashes to pieces the ending of the first one.

End of NT1: They find the loot, donate it to a museum and receive a finder's fee large for Ben Gates and Abigail to buy a mansion, and for their sidekick, Riley, to purchase an exotic sports car.

Beginning of NT2: Ben has split with Abby, and moved back in with Dad, Riley has his Car repossessed after his accountant gets caught doing some book-cooking on his Taxes, and now has to pay it back with interests and penalties. "You know how much tax is owed on 5 million dollars? 6 million."

For those whining about the "spoiler" I just gave: this is revealed in the first 10 minutes. Suck it up.

Anyway, the theater is tiny. The box office is outside the main building, as often portrayed in TV and movies, the tickets aren't custom printed, but are basically those carnival door prize tickets. As soon as you step in, you're 5 feet from the concession stand, and makes it difficult to maneuver due to the limited space. It's not big enough for me to properly refer to it a as a lobby. But the prices are good: Popcorn costs $1.50, $2.00, or $2.50, as do the drinks, and the candy. You can get a small everything for less than 5 bucks.

One interesting promotion they do is they mark each purchased item with a number, and select about 3 of those number at the end of the night for a small prize of some kind. From what I hear, this is to encourage people to bring out their cups and bags and things to throw them away, rather than leave them on the floor. The movies they show are mostly family fare, and from my own theater experience, I can tell you that this high mess potential, and they don't employ ushers to clean up the auditorium when finished. This, like most enterprizes in this town, is strictly Mom, Pop, and the kids. More small town quaintness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Shopping

As of 8:31pm Mountain Time, Christmas Shopping is done. Hooray for Crass Consumerism! Three Cheers for Materialism! Woo-hoo!
A few milestones:
  1. This is the first christmas where EVERY purchase was made online. I never set foot in a store or walked among the masses. The closest major shopping center being about a two hour drive, partly over ill-maintained roads might have had something to do with it, but I plan to do this more often. Ah, the marvels of the 21st Century! This year, Santa drives a Brown (Yellow/Red?) truck.
  2. This is also the first year where I didn't have to do the Gift Certificate cop-out, not even for the difficult to buy for relatives. I hope to do this again next year, but only time will tell.
  3. This year, I experienced the pleasure of not having to cheap-out on anything or avoid buying something absolutly PERFECT for someone just becuase it's a liiiitle more than I'm willing to spend. It's nice to have less of the tight-wadery and still not go out of my means. Thank you Curent Employer for redefining what my means are!

And now, I rest. Good night!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fictional Beasts

So, I'm buying last minute Chistmas Gifts for people, including my grandparents, Grandparents being that group of people that just about everyone has trouble buying for. So I asks myself, "self, what do your grandparents like?" They like:

* Tacky nick-nacks that they display around the house.

* Said nicknacks often have a Western/Southwestern theme.

* Mementos of their grandchildren.

Hey, I think were onto something here...

BEHOLD! The Jackalope, hunted down on the 31st of June (The only day of the year a Jackalope Hunting licence is valid), stuffed and nailed to a slab of knotty pine, with which to remember their beloved Grandson that moved a zillion miles away.

BTW, for the few people who read this blog and don't know my grandparents, I'm not risking 'ruining the surprise'. My G'rents have avoided any and every electronic gadget made since 1977, including all Personal computers, digital cameras (until recently my grandmother was forced to buy one after they stopped making the film for hers), and anthing that even remotely uses an IP address or URL. They'll never see this, trust me.

(Photo courstesy of

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Seen at the Grocery Store


I was gonna leave a witty remark or two, but you know what? Not worth it. Caption it in the comments if you want, but I'm done here.

ok, fine click the picture for one teeny, tiny wise-ass comment...

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Wheel of Time Still Turns...

Back in September, when I got my job offer, my joy was quickly tempered just a few hours later by the announcment that Robert Jordan passed away after a long battle with amyloidosis. After writing 11 Wheel of Time novels, the 12th and final book Memory of Light (seriously, he promised it would be the final conclusion) was in danger, and some thought just might never be completed.

Today, we have offical word that Brandon Sanderson will complete the Wheel of Time series. Yeah, like most of you, I'm always worried that when someone gets ahold of someone else's world, they'll trample all over it, but Harriet (RJ's Widow) hand picked this guy, and he sounds like he's going to try to be as faithful as he can to RJ's vision, without directly copying his style, which would be awkward. He has a stack of notes, and hours of audio recordings RJ made shortly before his death, so no important details will be lost to the grave. (In spite of constant reassurance that RJ was beating back his illness, I think the family knew in the last few months that he wouldn't make it past the end of the year.)

Everyone else already said this, but I wouldn't want to be in his position right now. On the other hand, this works out GREAT for Robert Jordan's legacy. If Jordan had lived to write Memory of Light and see it published, no doubt legions of Fanboys would cry out how this was the worst ending EVAR and was a major disappointment, as happens with every major series that finally gets a conclusion. This way, no matter how it ends, any problems will be blamed on the New Guy, leaving Jordan blameless for the perceived mockery that Sanderson left in his wake.

If I were Jordan, I'd TOTALLY take advantage of that. Have one last jab at so-called fans that critisized his books since number 6 (although the 10th one really did suck; The Crossroads of Boredom or Spinning my Wheels-of-Time would have been more appropriate titles). I'd plant some bogus notes, near the bottom of one the stacks of paper left in my office. I can see Mr. Sanderson brushing aside the other stacks of paper in Jordan's office and pulling the desk lamp close to finally get a glimpse of the grand finale to the Dragon Reborn's conflict with the Dark One...

...and with a final merciless stroke, the Dark One drives his saidar wrought sword into Rand's side, into the very spot Padin Fain made his dark cut with the dagger cursed by the evil of Shadar Logoth. As Rand crumbles to the rocky summit of Dragonmount, his flesh, his bone, even his very soul disintgrates into blackness, the most horrible voice the world has known rings one last time in his ears: "I win again, Lews Therin!"


Moiraine woke up with a sharp gasp, her silken sheets stained with sweat. "Light!" she thought, "I must limit my sweets before I turn in for bed." She looked to the person sized indentation in the bed next to her own sweat marked spot. "Up early, as usual. He always said that after spending years on the road he can never stay asleep more than five minutes after sunrise."

Still haunted by her horrid dreams, she lightly steped into the washroom for a quick scrub. Someone had already gotten there, she could see the outline of a man behind the curtain using the new rain-bath device that the engineers had installed specially for House Damodred. The steam from the heated rain fogged the glass mirror that hung from the wall. She pulled back the curtain, and looked upon the smiling figure of her husband. "Thom, I had the most peculiur dream!" Thom reach for the towel hanging beside Moiraine. "I can see that. You look as though you had just met a band of Trollocks! Why don't we have some tea sent up here and you tell me all about it?" "That sounds just lovely," Moiraine said, as she threw her arms around him.

...and with the last words read, Sanderson would crush the paper in his hand and lets forth a scream that reaches to the heavens: "JORDAN! WHAT ALBATROSS HAVE YOU DRAPED AROUND MY NECK, YOU MONSTER?!?"

From heaven, Jordan would then shout back, "Hey, at least I didn't leave you notes for the two other prequels I had planned! Lews Therin finds a young Ishamael enslaved in the Far East and helps him win his freedom by coaching him in a Pod Race!"

It can ALWAYS be worse. Never forget that.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Not just good for Smiley Cookies

My sister and one of my friends from back home both linked this same commerical, so I guess I should also show people what Christmas means in da 'Burgh.

The Eat n' Park Chirstmas Star commercial is so darned adorable. Like my dear sister, seeing this on TV was offical harbinger of the Christmas season.

For out of towners: Eat n' Park is a regional chain of restaurants that started out as a drive-in restaurant in Pittsburgh, and has expanded to West Virginia and Ohio since. Think Denny's with a neighborhood diner feel to it. I think the West has something similar called The Village Inn. (I ate in one of those on the drive up here.)

Scatter Shot Post - 12/06/2007 - Grapeshot

This edition of SSP will have larger bullet points, but still to small and too many for a proper post for each.

  • I just moved from my cozy cubicle that I had to share with a person, to my very own personal cubicle, that I have all to myself... right near the major foot traffic path that leads to the breakroom. I'm still deciding whether or not that's a move up or down, but the coworkers refer to the person that occupies this cube as the "Lunch lady." No lie. (BTW, the cube location isn't merit based, but seniority based; I lost a coin toss to the co-worker that started the same day as me).
  • Since I moved out, I've been trying a new diet. Diet, refers not to a calorie-counting, fat reducing weight loss scheme, but rahter an adjustment to what I eat. Simply, I don't eat anything that I don't cook myself (almost). So far, I like it a lot, and I'm getting more enabled in the kitchen. I'll probably have a larger post about this some time in the future.
  • I still need to pickup a wireless router soon. Right now I'm parked in my room with a reclining chair that I dragged in here, with a blanket over me enjoying the warm glow of bandwidth. Not bad, but I'd like to be able to do this from the living room, but don't have the cable legnth. I'll probably wait a few weeks on it though.
  • The weather is always a the hot topic of conversation around here. I deeply suspect that the weather might be the most exciting thing in the entire Bridger Valley.
  • This Saturday is the office Christmas Party, a semi-fancy dress kind of deal (I have to wear a jacket), held at the local middle school. Aparently, it's a good time, and probably better than the parties of my previous employer. I think I mentioned before on this blog that we don't have a Holiday Party, we have an honest-to-goodness-baby-jesus-and-the-wise-men C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S party. Sometimes, living in Mormon country shows it's benifits.
  • My parents called me, looking for ideas for Chistmas gifts. If they read this post carefully, they may just find one.
  • Tonight, we are expected to have a big snowstorm. I'm hopeing to see endless white in the morning. This area has a much higher rate of White Chirstmases than PA does.
  • This has made my friggin' week: Prince Caspian Trailer - May 16th. W00t.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Beware, I Live!

Heh... I loved Sinistar...

Anyway, after a week of being cut off from the 'Tubes, I'm back online. Look forward to a post about what I did all last week, by Friday.