another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Monday, December 31, 2007

Bizarro League

In the regular season, my fantasy football team (the Aurora Owlbears) went 2-12. Last place, and fewest points scored.

But, it was an eight-team league with all eight making the playoffs.

In the playoffs, I exceeded by regular season win total. I was 3-0, and overall champion!

Go figure.

The league playoff results were nearly the inverse of the regular season. I beat the #7 team in the finals (I beat the #1 in the first playoff). The finals standings, relative to regular season standings, was something like 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 5 2,1.

In other news, we finished "Red Hand of Doom" yesterday with only one casualty and one or two very-near casualties. Kathy's fighter/rogue died but got back in the fight immediately due to a special "raise dead" favor (just, you know, one level lower). And she would have avoided all the damage if she could have made just one of her three attempts at the reflex save.

In retrospect we shouldn't have gone into the last area with both the sorcerer (Ryan) and the cleric (Brad) nearly out of spells. But we didn't know how much time we could wait.

Tonight -- will be a long night with not nearly as much fun as usual. I have a special monitoring shift tonight from 11pm - 2am Central to make sure all our switches survive the new year -- especially the ones in New York City and Las Vegas. So, I'll come on shift at the stroke of midnight in New York and leave at the stroke of midnight in Las Vegas.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Slip Sliding Away

Well, not "away", fortunately. We didn't even do any slip-sliding really, but we saw people doing so.

We got as far as Colfax, Iowa. A bit more than half way back to Missouri Valley. We'd been seeing the electronic signs over the interstate with a snow storm warning from noon to 6am through central Iowa. Around Newton the snow started. Between Newton and Colfax it started getting worse and I could see (and feel) the snowpack starting to form on the highway. Then the first of the cars off in the ditch. And another. And a truck. Then the traffic came to a near stop as there was a car that just went off the side to the left (and a highway patrol car there to check on them right away). At this point, we checked Kathy's new GPS and figured out there was a motel just ahead about a mile. It was time to stop.

We may have been one of the first to stop and check into that motel, but then another woman came in right after us and was visibly shaken. She said she'd just avoided hitting another car that spun in front of her.

By the time I wandered back to the lobby a while later (needing to wander away from the confines of the room, even though it's decently sized), there was a line of about 10 people checking in.

We did venture out this evening to get dinner at a cafe in town, a couple miles away, and the wind is still blowing fiercely and producing some hefty drifts across the roads.

I'm assuming thing will have cleared up enough by tomorrow morning that the roads will be plowed out and salted, so things should be fine on the interstate. If we'd managed to go another 40 or 50 miles we would have missed this entirely -- the roads just west of Des Moines are reported to be clear. It sounds like this storm blew in from the southwest, as this is part of a system that I see is causing all sorts of problems in Kansas and northwest Missouri.

Anyway, we should make it to Missouri Valley just fine by early afternoon tomorrow. More then.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shopping and Outages

Got a bit of Christmas shopping done today. Most of it on Amazon, with a guarantee that it would be delivered on the 24th. One item wasn't guaranteed, but that's OK. We'll cope, I'm sure.

I did go to one mall today as well as a couple other stores. In all the running around I only found one item, and it wasn't exactly what I went out to get. But, running around the mall felt Christmas-y, what with parking far away and dodging people while walking quickly through the crowds.

I got two phone calls while out from the person with the hotline this week, needing some help. The first was just as I got into the mall, and I talked her through a bit and then figured out that there wasn't an outage so the issue could be deferred. Then, on my way home I got the second call from her and I helped through the outage, taking about 90 minutes out of the evening.

I may get out and do some more shopping tomorrow, or maybe it will wait until Sunday or Monday and I'll do it in Omaha.

I was going to copy something about procrastination that I'd written for Pulp Legacy, but, eh, it'll wait.

Kalen really needs to blog now.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And in that Christmas Sprit ...

... it's a good time to link to that all time Christmas classic:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie

from the Official Pogo website.

And I'll note that one thing I'll miss this year, due to the Writer's Guild strike, is Letterman's annual Christmas episode. Alas, no Darlene Love singing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" (well, it is on YouTube from past years: 2005 and 2006). No Jay Thomas knocking the meatball off the top of the tree with a football.

Ahhh ... Christmas traditions.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

I hate struggling with Christmas lights. I pulled stuff out to decorate the tree and I had two strings of lights that didn't light at all, and one that only half lit. I couldn't really figure out what was going on with them -- changing individual lights didn't do it, and there was no missing bulb. We wound up stripping off the bulbs (apparently good, swapping them into one know good string) and throwing out the bad strings of wires/outlets. I had the girls go get four strings of good lights -- commercial grade -- and even then one socket was falling apart on me.

At least with the better strings of lights I feel I've got a bit more I can do to fix anything that goes wrong. They actually have replaceable fuses -- the bad strings probably have an internal fuse that's blown, or just a short I'll never find. And the quality of the wire is much better -- thicker gauge and the wind is tighter so I don't have indivial wires hanging out everywhere.

Anyway, the tree is up. The penguins with their igloo are out on the lawn, as are the choir kids on the other side of the door. Everything is going on and off with the timer.

I didn't get any lights hung on the house this year. Weather and events conspired against me. I didn't want to hang things while it was snowing heavily at the beginning of the month, and now the gutters are iced in so that I can't hang the usual hooks.

The annual lighting stuff is one of those things I always want to get figured out in advance. Next year maybe I'll just get lights up the weekend before Thanksgiving, and just keep them off until the beginning of Advent.

But, no, I'll be saying the same thing next year.

Christmas will be a bit odd this year. Ellen and I and the girls are going to Iowa to spend some time with Ellen's family and to pack up some stuff in Mom's house. Both Matt and Ryan had got work schedules that prevent them from joining us, so we'll probably do family Christmas on the evening of the 26th when we get back, or maybe the morning of the 27th (probably depends most on Ryan's work schedule).

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Back home, and pretty much back to normal. We were threatened with an ice storm today, but it mostly turned out to be rain so far. Maybe its dropped below freezing now, but hopefully it won't mean a layer of ice for the morning commute tomorrow.

One day back at work, and I've got a bit of catching up to do, but nothing major.

And, the only thing else I have to say is to direct those that care to the Adventure Hooks blog for Kalen's post there, figuring out New Year's plans (if any). Thought I'd mention it here because I don't know if everyone is checking that blog (I've got it on my Google Reader, so I can see when a new post comes up, but not new comments).

And, that's it for the moment. I just want to get back in the blog habit.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Memorial Service

Yesterday afternoon was the memorial service for my mom. The pastor couldn't do much with the eulogy since he'd only met my mom a couple times, and not at her peak by any means. He referred to some of her projects she was doing as "knitting", though I've never known her to knit -- rarely would she even crochet, and I don't think she had any yarn anywhere that she'd been getting at recently. It didn't matter, he did remember what she'd told him enough to use it as the main thrust.

The best part, though, was earlier in the service when he opened up the floor for testimonials, and easily a dozen people spoke of what she'd done and meant for them -- from church people to school administrators to former students, with one of my best friends from high school and college topping it off with a bit of levity. It was a very good service. It also got to me when I saw one of the floral arrangements was sent from the class of 1987 -- always important when student recognize a former teacher, though we were trying to figure out whether there was something special about the class of 1987 with Mom -- I think it must have been the first graduating class when she moved over to the high school from the junior high, so they would have had her in both places.

Anyway, that's it for now. We spent today getting a bit of stuff organized around the house here. I mainly tried to get some order on her desk while Ellen packed clothes and also cleaned out the computer room closet. Bob cleaned out several areas and worked on organizing recipe printouts with Kathy. Then this evening we had dinner with Ellen's family and played a game of Hawaiian Rummy with Beth and Rachel. We have a bit of business to take care of tomorrow, then back home for now. We'll be back here in two weeks for Christmas, and then probably for a few days in January to do more organization of stuff.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A quick note. My mom passed away this afternoon. I got the call about 12:30 that she'd taken a turn for the worse, and the doctor was pretty clear that she wasn't going to make it. My brother and I started driving back to Iowa, and en route I got the call that she passed a bit after 2pm. From everything I can tell she had friends around her at the time, and died peacefully.

And, that's all I really have to say right now. The next couple days will be busy, so no idea whether I'll be around here.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Morning Star

I won! In a raffle run in November by LUNA (United Native Americans at Lucent), I won a Morning Star quilt. $5 for six tickets worked out well.

So, I got that going for me.

Snow tonight, so I'll have to wake up early to shovel out at least Ellen's car. I'll have the option of working from home, but that doesn't work so well for Ellen when she has to see patients.

Today's WTF: I listened to a bit of Bush's press conference this morning as he tried to dance around his evaporating excuses to invade Iran. Still putting out reasons why that may be "necessary".

But, even worse are the neocon advisors to Rudy 9iu11ani claiming that the CIA is inventing evidence to keep Bush from attacking Iran, as if it were a foregone conclusion that it must be done sooner rather than later. With the people Rudy is surrounding himself with, he may be a more dangerous president than Dubya. Fortunately, his candidacy looks to be imploding.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Post Turkey Days

It's not that there's nothing going on. Quite the contrary. It's trying to decide how to write -- and getting disciplined enough to write.
OK, so when I last wrote it was before Thanksgiving and I was in Iowa.

I drove back on that Wednesday. A bit later than I'd intended, and a bit snow-ier than would be preferred. Between Missouri Valley and Newton (a bit east of Des Moines) I saw maybe 20 cars that had gone in the ditch, but I didn't see people so they may have gone off the road earlier in the morning when maybe it was slicker with frost. I never thought the driving was that bad.

Thanksgiving: Kathy was home. Cody came up for the weekend. Bob came out for dinner. We played some games in the evening. A good time was had.

The weekend after Thanksgiving: Stuffed COWS. I judged seven games, never quite knowing what I was going to judge before I got assigned to a table. I did get to play one slot in the special. I'd planned on playing Aelorin (my paladin), but Duc was judging and he heavily hinted that I should play Blaine (my rogue). As it turned out, the team really needed a rogue to succeed, and Blaine's +20 to find and disable traps was important.

The following week -- hmm, it's all a blur now.

On this past weekend, I got the Christmas decorations down from the attic and got the outdoor winterization finished. Just as we covered the patio table with the tarp it started snowing all at once -- it happened the very second, such that Matt and Ryan thought we'd stirred up a bunch of dust unfurling the tarp. The strong wind and snow, and the rain the next day, kept me from getting the outdoor lights up (so they weren't up for the first day of Advent). Maybe sometime this week I'll do it, or on Saturday.

My mom is back in the hospital today after a bout of flu, but hopefully she'll be out tomorrow and will be able to continue her rehab.

And that's all I can think of for the moment, at least as far as the catch-up. More tomorrow.

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A Quick WTF

From an AP story on the funeral of Sean Taylor:
Mourners also included ... O.J. Simpson, whose children attended the same high school as Taylor.

Simpson expressed sympathy for the relatives of those arrested, as well as for Taylor.

"It's horrible, not only for him, but for those other four families," Simpson said. "There are four other lives that are gone."

I understand the sentiment, but if you're O.J. Simpson, do you really want to be the one to raise it?

A full update a little later today.

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