Friday, May 31, 2013

glimpses of eternity

I can be a rather arrogant creature at times, because I like to think that I know a good amount of things regarding the world.  Then, there are times like today, where I am given a reality check by seeing a small bit of the universe, only to have it remind me that I, and mankind in general, knows virtually nothing about the universe as a whole.  However, instead of feeling insignificant, I see nothing but limitless potential.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Northern exposure

Started the day by stopping by the Army Surplus store, to pick up some artillery shell boxes along with some snacks and sweets.  Then, we immediately followed it up by stopping at the Golden Spike, which was cool.
nice
After that, we ran by the Thiokol (now ATK) rocket display, to see some of the coolest implements of destruction this side of the planet, which is a highly recommended attraction.  Upon leaving there we stopped over in Brigham city to check out the local candy shop, and then made our way to Logan.

I swear, every time I go to Logan I am immediately impressed with that place.  I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my life there.  We stopped by the temple, then perused a local used bookstore, which seemed to enchantingly go on forever.  Also stayed long enough to have dinner at the Bluebird restaurant, which very well may be the coolest ambiance of any restaurant I have ever been to.  It's certainly the kind of joint you expect to to see Winston Churchill dining at if he happened to come by.

Yup. I totally got to move to that town stat.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just creepin

No, not that kind.  The family and I went out to take a ride on the Heber Creeper for a good part of the day.  It was a simple 3 hour trip to the base of Timpanogos and back; basically just a tourist ride.  However, I must say, I have ridden on a good number of trains that exist solely as tourist attractions, and this one ends up being in my top 2 favorite trips.

They did the standard tourist diversions, such as the standard "old west train robbery." with cap guns and the lot.  The thing that sets it apart though, is the fat that you not only get a little robbery but a whole performance out of one collaborators: "Crazy Ani".  The train is fascinating, the history even more so, but the performance given by her is the thing that should be billed above all else.  A multi-talented actress, singer, guitarist, and artist.   Quite the quadruple threat.

Enough of my rambling though, here's a link:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Observing the day

For it is of utmost importance.  Went to take the rest of my blood to see the HAFB Museum again and check out all the new exhibits.  This one in particular caught my eye:

Holy Yeager's face on fire, batman!
Also there were the standard exhibits that are regularly visited whenever I go there, such as the B-25:
I'll always think of King Nine 
And one of my favorite century series fighters, the F-105D:
I love those Thuds, even though they're so fast they can only manage blurry pics, even when standing still.
So, yeah spent hours there again, just talking people's ears off.  I may have offended a few other ears in the process, as I love pointing out the superiority of navair.  Also, I don't care if it's an Air Force Museum, they still need a Tomcat.  Fly Navy!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

it seemed to fit the narrative of the day

so more classic music for ya:

Rob's (sadly) unforgettable life lessons #458

It's 100% true what you think, after realizing it's not going to work out between you and that girl, that you'll never find anyone quite like that again.  You'll meet someone better.  The only problem being, is that it's simply going to hurt that much worse when it doesn't work out with her either.

Compound that on top of realizing that it's solely your fault it didn't work out, and that you've missed any chance of mending it.  Ouch. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

She's falling apart, captain!

Now, if I worked on a starship, this would be the time in which the whole thing exploded and came flying apart at high warp speed, while on fire and everyone screaming...and I'm one of only two redshirts.

Yeah, one of those days at work where the boss is gone, the network admins are gone or have left early, our most experienced tech is out, along with nearly all our programmers.  So, it's just me and one other PC tech the whole day, and everything decides it wants to break.  What a load of fun.  One thing's for sure, I felt like Scotty at the end of the day.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Anticipation

So, I've been wanting to read MHI for a long time, and I finally got my grubby little hands on a copy the other day, and now that I've had time to start reading it, I am completely hooked.  It's been a very long time since I've read a fictional book that causes me to yearn for any kind of break I can get, just so I can keep reading it a bit more.  Man, I gotta see if I can get in cahoots with whoever is running the Utah County office of MHI and get myself a job!
Yuuuup.  Totally need to find out where these guys are.
Which, obviously brings me back around to my own measly writing endeavor.  I remember bringing it up on here a while ago, but I barely touched the thing since.  I have a fairly good idea of what I'd like to write, but the problem, is that I don't' particularly like the way that portion of the story is going.  Writing the climax so that it achieves the already written ending, has just been torture.  I am very unwilling to give up the ending (as that's how I started writing it, was coming up with the ending first), but that makes every variant of the climax that I've been able to come up with feels unoriginal, unexciting, and just plain dull to me, which is driving me crazy.  So, instead of something simple this has ended up becoming a 5 month long project just for a dang short story.

In other, more eventful news, it's only a short amount of time until my family will be able to come by for a whole week of debauchery and fun, and I'm looking forward to it.  Hopefully, with any luck, I'll actually remember to consistently take my camera with me and get a few interesting shots.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HB 76

It saddens me so.  I have scratched the surface before on the subject of my feelings on the current double standard with gun ownership and concealed carry permits, and I was honestly hoping that this bill would go through to provide some much needed justice and fairness to the laws.  However, as much as I'd like to go on a rant about that double standard, this is about HB76.

We all know by now that the Utah Senate and the House both passed the measure, only for it to be vetoed later by the Governor.  The hope was that since the House and Senate passed the bill by such a large margin, that they would vote on it again to override the Governor's veto.  However, for some reason, the prospects for that happening appear to be grim at best.

My only consolation at this point, is that with such a strong gun community in this state, it's nearly assured that he's not going to be reelected any time soon.
Excellent idea Governor!  Why not piss off one of your largest constituencies!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life is wasted on the living

It's like a catch 22.  The less I do, the less I can actually write about that's worth posting on here.  On the other hand, the more I do, the less actual time I have to write anything at all.  A fun conundrum.

So, what am I doing then?  Well, Saturday saw me going to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch UFC with the whole IT crew, which was loads of fun, and even some great fights to boot.  Even though we got some of the worst service I've ever had from a waiter.

Also had an all day Cowboy Bebop marathon with J, as he hasn't seen it before, and we almost watched the entire series in a day.  The more I watch both Bebop and Firefly, I can't help but realize Joss Whedon is lying his ass off when he says he's never seen Bebop until after making Firefly.  Come on, Joss.  The jig is up. Just admit it: Firefly is totally a live action adaptation of Bebop, but with a few different characters.  Nobody is gonna think less of you for it.  Well, except for not keeping the soundtrack.  Let's face it, everyone's gonna think Bebop's soundtrack is far better.

That, and even though I rarely wear t-shirts anymore, I just had to buy me a Spike Speigel T shirt I saw on http://www.riptapparel.com/  (Thanks, Mary!)

Also managed to stop by the bookstore during the weekend and got myself a nice little treat:
This is totally the guy equivalent of romance novels.  I just sit and fantasize of having that job.  Double super secret bonus points if you guess the reference in the post title without using google.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My tardiness knows no bounds

So enjoy some tunes a day late:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

one giant leap forward, but two big steps back

Star Trek: Into Darkness - a review.   What do I say?  Well, without spoiling anything for anyone, let me separate this review into two parts.  The first part is for anyone who is not familiar with Star Trek, or hasn't seen any of the other (more famous) trek movies before:  Go see it, it's the most intense sci-fi action movie you will ever see, chock full of very memorable and interesting action throughout, and have to admit that I liked it a lot.  All the cast delivers great performances, special effects are good, and I will reinforce once again that Karl Urban as Bones, is quite possibly the greatest re-casting decision in film history.   Benedict Cumberbatch pulled in his usually awesome performance and presence as well, and we get to see some Klingons!


However, this isn't to say the movie is without any issues (mother effing lens flares, anyone?), and here's where I get to the second (the hard) part.  I will admit that almost all of my complaints about this movie (and the last movie) are simply fanboy rage gone wild, and that despite all those complaints, they don't really detract from the film experience at all, they just serve to piss off the hardcore fans such as myself.  But, I'm not going to get into any of those, because I'm sure any real fan of Trek would have pick up on 'em.

Now back to my initial point.  Some people will view my primary (and my only big) complaint about the movie to be a nitpicking fan's frustration.  However, I view it as extremely bad and lazy film making, as I was very much enjoying the film up until that point.  Okay, I think I've exhausted my ability to review without spoilers, so if you seek more knowledge, click on the link below.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

More conversations at work

Getting in trouble one conversation at a time.  A coworker of mine in sales, pointed out that they have a fresh overabundance of food they need help in liquidating that is up for grabs in the popularly-dubbed "foodicle."  He insisted I try some, and so I asked what kind of food they have.  He then offered what I thought was the weirdest description of the food possible by saying, "Well, it's girl food."
"What?  What the heck is that?!"
He replied, "You know, girl food."
"No, no I don't know.  I have no idea where to start with that.  What does that even mean?!"
"Like salads and stuff.  It was from a baby shower."
After straightening up, I reply, "Well, I still don't see how that makes sense, as I don't think salads are restricted to a particular gender, and I doubt there are any vegetables that are assigned as a particular sex, otherwise I would be dating one.  Unless, you're trying to say it was made for girls, and even then, I doubt that can apply to anything other than some kind of specialty cake with some ripped shirtless man on it, or something like that, and even that's still more a question with orientation."

There was too much laughter around the office to really continue my argument.

ZOHMFGWTFBBQ!  I totally forgot to mention that I'm going to see the new Star Trek movie tonight!  I'll be sure to share my thoughts on it afterwards.  Woo hoo!

A recap, shall we?

So, the weekend was pretty enjoyable.  A good friend of mine had a birthday, so I insisted on treating him to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I was never much a fan of wing until I went to this joint.  Now I'm looking for any old excuse to eat there whenever possible.  Let's see, what's tomorrow?  Any holidays going on?  Let's see what a quick wiki wander reveals...hmmmm...we have:
  • 1869 - In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association. - certainly worth celebrating, but see the rest before making a call
  • 1858 - Opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. - good music is always cool, but not the kind of thing to warrant a trip to BWW
  • 1957 - At Malden Island in the Pacific, Britain tests it's first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple. - Yeah, I'm still a part of the "legalize nukes" crowd, but let's see what else there is.
  • Today is also Peace Officer's Memorial Day - yeah, as if I'd celebrate that.
  • 1718 - James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the Puckle gun, fore barer to the modern machine gun. - This is the one! The reason to go get some wings to celebrate!
So, why the puck not?  From here on out, May 15th is officially "Puckle Gun Day!"

As for how else I've been spending my time, the roomie and I have been sinking our time into a new game we just found out about called Guns of Icarus.  Just imagine huge steampunk airships that are loaded to the hilt like battleships, duking it out over ruins of warships, and everyone plays an individual crew member on that ship, requiring excellent teamwork to survive.  Go check it.  It's intense.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ugh

Busy trying to cough out my lungs at the moment.  Blogging will resume soon.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Momma

Next on the "most important" list after offering entrails up the lord, is thanking the mother he provided to care for you.  So, here's to you, Mom.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sluething

Since I didn't take a lunch today, I didn't get to stop by the apartment. When the roomie came back from his lunch break, he was telling me about a package I received.  Not just any package, but one that was in a monitor box.  "Well, that's different."  I thought.  I haven't ordered anything recently, nor have I been expecting anything to arrive, and it's not my birthday or anything.  Naturally, this knowledge ended up driving me crazy for the rest of the day, with mind running in circles of what it could be.

Then my roomie said he was initially confused because the package had my first name and our address, but had a different last name on the parcel that he didn't recognize right away.  Thankfully, he knew that a long time ago, I did have other aliases I went by, this being one of them.
This mystery package had better not end up like this.
This is the part that somewhat alarmed me, as I haven't gone by that name in a long time, nor have I used it for anything relating to billing/shipping/legal docs, but a good number of people I'm on less than good terms with know me by that name, so I began running down the threat board.  Let's see:
  • I know my bank account is okay, cause I haven't had any odd/unplanned charges to my card
  • I haven't received any threatening letters or messages of any kind
  • the package doesn't have any exposed wires, singe marks, oil spots, and it aint ticking
  • I don't have any major outstanding debts to speak of
  • I haven't made any major enemies that I'm aware of recently
  • haven't heard from the Latvian mafia in decades, so I doubt it's them
Wow.  I still can't figure it out.  So, I'm thinking of running to the local defense equipment retailer, and see if I can get a full EOD and MOP suit for handling this bad boy.  Ah, screw it.  I'm too poor to afford all that crap.  looks like I'll be diffusing this bomb redneck style.

Okay, now that I'm home, let's see what this baby looks like.
Well, it looks like a monitor...but taking a quick peek at the sender's address revealed that it was from the Tennessee mafia (extended family).  Let's crack it open.
Ah ha!  An HO scale train set.  Looks vintage, too.  Nice to know the rest of my family think I need a new hobby as well.  J/K!  I'm kinda ticked to see this stuff.

When I was younger, I was crazy about trains.  Some of the most fun times I spent with my dad in my formative years, were just us sitting around tinkering with HO scale train sets.  Over the years, I've gradually become less interested in them as I used to be, but this doesn't stop me from getting some heartwarming nostalgia while looking at these things, and planning on how I can have fun with 'em now.  It's also a bit funny to me, because these things are like cockroaches.  It seems like no matter where I go or what I do, somebody always seems to have a train set packed away somewhere, and will eventually offer it to me.

Anyways, I'm glad to see that these babies were well taken care of, some of which look to be a little older than I thought.  I'll have to set some time aside to think of what kinda setup I can get going with these things.

ch-ch-ch-changes

It may be obvious to all who read this blog that I am far from being a grammar nazi, but what's far less obvious, is that I'm certainly one when it comes to spelling and punctuation.  The sad part of that attribute, is that I am an absolutely horrible proofreader.  You'd think that with the voracious amount of reading I do, I'd be a natural, but I is not all good and stuff.



Nearly every single post I make has some kind of spelling, punctuation or grammatical error in it that's published for at least a full week to even a year before I notice it.  Once I do, I cannot help but go back and correct it immediately, because it will slowly drive me insane once I know that it's there.

So, bear with me, 'cause I'm going to be editing this crap on a near constant basis.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

unrequited idiocy

Barring fictional characters, I cannot think off the top of my head, more than a couple people that are worse at interacting with women than I.

In fact, I think I can sum it up by comparing it to a scene in Generation Kill, where an officer call in an artillery barrage at night to destroy a suspected armored column that was never even there.  They radio in that info to HQ the next morning, and one of the officers states, "Well, 11,000 pounds of ordnance and we didn't kill a single piece of armor, but we didn't blow up any villages either.  I guess that kinda goes in the 'win' column, doesn't it?"  Sometimes I feel this is an adequate metaphor for my life.

Long story short, I can't help but be very enamored with an amazing woman I know, that will never feel the same way.  Such is life, but I can't help but get this overwhelming feeling like this is the way it's always gonna be.

On a less depressing note, if you find yourself with too much free time, give Poker Night 2 a shot.  The game is nothing but you and a few NPCs playing poker.  Since I actually loathe the game of poker this is kind of a big deal.  The real meat of this game is that you playing against some of the coolest characters of all time, with some of the best dialogue ever.  just imagine sitting at the table with Brock Sampson, CL4P-TP, Ash Williams, along with Sam and Max, all while GLaDOS is the dealer.  Yeah, it's good.  Instead of gambling money, winning games will unlock new content for completely different games, such as Team Fortress 2, and Borderlands 2.  Neat!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

slow week

Because I can't be bothered to be burdened with an excess of money, but an exceptional excess of free time, this week has obviously been light on blogging content.  As much as I love living in Utah, the lack of funds certainly hurts my chances at occupying my time with anything fun or even blog-worthy.

And the real bugger about it all, is that there are a couple of things that have happened that I'd actually love to talk about that I can't.  But, that's not because this blog is on the internet for anyone to see, but rather because there are things that are even best left out of one's own journal.  I hate it when that happens.

On a brighter note, I was treated by a couple young ladies to go see Iron Man 3 again tonight.  Making this evening end up just as awesome as it sounds.  I do so appreciate and enjoy having such kind and attractive friends.

Monday, May 6, 2013

All across the weekend

What is it about today?  I am tired beyond all belief, despite having gotten to bed early to specifically avoid this problem.  So that being said, I'm pretty low on blogfodder, as i am still not fully defrosted yet.  There are a couple things worth mentioning though.

All weekend long, I heard nothing from the roomie's mouth, unless he also made mention of the weather, and how it was the perfect weather for shooting, if ammo still existed.  That realization made me very nearly depressed, but being invited to eat with his family nearly makes up for all of that.  Dang good authentic Mexican food can solve a lot of problems.

Also, I noticed there was mass amount of people on the blogroll (among other cool people) headed to The NRA convention this weekend, and they all appeared to have lots of cool or at least interesting things to say, so check some of 'em out.

And since I don't really have anything else, here's a hilarious gif for you:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

They never stop being awesome

Cause this is the pinnacle of all music videos:



Friday, May 3, 2013

More nerdy goodness

Ah, things have been busy around the work and the house.  Just too much going on.  Didn't even have a moment's time to write one thing on here yesterday.  So here's the story so far:

So, last night I went and saw Iron Man 3 with J and the Roomie.  Gotta say it was more than good; enough so that I think I like it better than the first movie.  Which isn't to say it's perfect.  It's certainly relies on humor far too much, because no matter how good the humor is (and it was really good), too many serious moments are blatantly ruined by it, thus marginalizing a lot of the tension and drama.  Another small complaint is that some of the supporting actors (not Guy Pierce) turned in abysmal performances (though possibly due to the director), and the story was more than a bit predictable, which led to an end that's not as epic as it could have been.

But, to counterpoint myself, it was still fantastically good, with the previously mentioned excellent humor, mindbogglingly good action scenes and special effects, with a few fun surprises along the way, including a bit of a different ending than you usually see (though it was still predictable, if that makes sense).  All in all, it's not only worth spending money on, but worth pending money on twice; even though I'm going to another free screening today.

Then there's the less interesting nerdy activities, such as Alpha testing the new Insurgency 2 by New World Interactive.  Since it is only an alpha, there are the usual problems, such as clipping issues, map balance, and a lack of assets and features, but I am happy to report that this game truly preserves the core experience that the Insurgency mod provided, along with improving it by a considerable margin.


My favorite part, is the fact that I was able to play with some of the game's devs and gripe about it with them directly.  What an excellent way to get feedback.  Top that off by knowing only $15 get you into this experience, and gives you a full copy of the game upon release.  I'm sold.

Just to get you and me through the day

I love my job.  More specifically, I love the IT portion of my job.  However, another good portion of my time it moonlighting as an administrative assistant, which can get tiresome rather quickly.  So, I have to find ways that I can have my fun.  Like the following email string between me and our programming manager regarding the most simple of tasks:

From: StGrendel 
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 10:52 AM
To: Boss Dude
Subject: You have been chosen

There comes a time in every man’s life that forces them to dig deep and find the true extent of their courage, bravery, resolve, determination, conviction, and dare I say, heroism.  You have events transpiring this month which may test your limits, and you may find yourself going above and beyond the call of duty. 

I hereby affirm that there are two assignments that have been issued to you, that you may find to be more than challenging.  First and foremost, is that there is a mission to commence revelry for the anniversary of your deployment into the mortal realm, and it falls upon you select a location to assault with said revelry, and plunder it’s edible components.  This will have an invigorating effect upon morale of the unit as a whole, and individually.

Secondly, and less glamorously (but no less important!), is the monthly duties of the fridge and microwave cleaning.  This mission is especially crucial to the operation of the company as a whole, and you have been trusted to ensure the destruction of any unauthorized mess associated with these areas of operation, so that others may live.

I cannot stress enough the importance of completing these objective in a timely manner.  Upon completion of these objectives, may you feel the accomplishment of making a difference and being an exceptional part of this great brotherhood, with the possibility of getting a freaking medal.  Thank you.
_______

From: Boss Dude
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 10:55
To: StGrendel
Subject: RE: You have been chosen

What the hell?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Victims of Communism Day

Help make this date become a day for remembrance.

I am a very vocal person when it comes to my hatred of communism and socialism.  I think this rare outspoken tendency stems from the fact that I had/have a rabid fascination with history while growing up.  I was always taught year after year in history classes about how heinous the holocaust was, how terrible WWI was, and the horrible reality of FDR concentration camps for Japanese Americans.

These are all very important things to learn about, but when it comes to communism, there is barely any mention of it's crimes at all in any of my schooling.  The only reason I knew from a very early age about the greatness of the lie of communism, is because my lust for reading about history in general.  I was rather shocked that this wasn't taught in schools, considering communism has ended more lives than every other totalitarian regime combined since it's creation.

Hence why I could never understand the inexplicable amount of people either attending or working at school who idolize such people as che -a**hole- geuevara.  Because the only good commie....ah, you know the rest. Anyways, here's a couple links to some cool and learned people who make a much better point of it than I:

The Volokh Conspiracy: Victims of Communism Day

The Smallest Minority and his post on the topic