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Thunderbirds are GO! [03 Sep 2009|09:34am]
[ mood | amused ]

"Thunderbirds says that science is awesome because you get to fly in space and live on a high-tech island full of booze. Beat that for incentive."

-- Warren Ellis, on why the BBC should re-run Thunderbirds, to get British kids interested in Science.

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Meh. [26 Aug 2009|10:10am]
Goodbye, Ted.
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Trip! The. Day the Last [19 Aug 2009|03:01am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

After bidding goodbye to my friend and his wife, I packed up the crrreatturres, and headed off. I had one last, LONG, day of driving ahead, but I also had the advantage of being very close to the reason I chose this route.

Interstate 90, out of Cleveland, follows (somewhat) the "Water Level Route" that the New York Central Railroad used to get from NYC to Chicago. What does this mean for me? FLAT. VERY, VERY FLAT.

I was able to cruise at 65 mph almost all the way down through New York State. Zoom! A few 'big hills' had to be dealt with, as we crossed the Adirondacks, the Catskills, and, eventually, the Berkshires. But, for the most part, it was zooma-zoom-zoom time.

I blew through the state, admiring the Erie canal, and all of the various locks and mechanisms. I wondered if it would be economically feasable to start using the canal again, modern-day barges and tugs whipping large amounts of cargo up and down the river and canal.

I was in Pennsylvania for all of an hour, tops, before hitting New York. Gas Prices jumped over a dime as I crossed the border, and I had a brief discussion about this with my fellow travellers at a gas station just over the border. We weren't happy.

*I* wasn't happy that gas prices, which started for me at $2.38 in Texas, had climbed all the way to $2.76 in New York State. Cest la vie.

I swapped New York Thruway for the Mass Pike outside of Canaan, New York, and zipped my way to the first Pike Service Area, where I breathed in fresh Massachusetts air. Now available in 12-paks of cans, and Freshomint Bottles.

The last leg of my journey commenced, as I drove down a somewhat familiar road. The Pike blew past Springfield, Worcester, and delivered me to the 95/128 loop. Turning north, I swung around through the darkness into a momentary parking lot (Good job, Boston, only you can parking lot a four lane highway at 10:30pm), and then off exit 29, into Wakefield.

I was home, greeted by my lovely girlfriend, Laurie, at the door.


Total Trip Time: 4 days
Total Miles: 2178
Average Speed: 60mph
Average MPG: 12
States Passed Through: 9. Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts.
States Avoided: Tennessee.

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Teh Tripz0r, Day Mostly Three [19 Aug 2009|02:55am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

After awaking from a lovely sleep, and getting some breakfast, I packed up the car, and went to put the cats into their carriers.

Cricket was having none of this. It took my a half hour of chasing and disassembling beds to finally win the game. I put the room back together, and we headed on out.

Today, I had a pretty simple goal. Get through all of Ohio, and into Pennsylvania. This day was quite uneventful, and we made good time, zooming through the remainder of Indiana, and right on through all of Ohio.

This day turned very short, as I had planned to stop and visit my friend and co-MMO-developer, and his lovely wife. I got there around 6pm, and after some deliberation, decided to stop there for the night, to take advantage of an extended stay, a chance to catch up, and not having to pay for a motel.

He and his wife were gracious hosts. He and I talked about laptops, the game, electronics, and hacking, I gave him an idea for an electronic 'racing game' he had worked up, and we watched some bad TV before bed.

The cats behaved themselves nicely, and I wasn't ticketed for illegally parking overnight on the street. :D

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The Trip, Part the Second [19 Aug 2009|02:38am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

Awake in the morning, bundle everything and everyone back into the Honda Passport. Cleaned up the cat-fu, disposed of the cat litter. Went to get my 'included breakfast', only to find that they closed shop around 9am. Great. Half the reason I stopped there was the full breakfast. I didn't see any signs, nor was I told, that breakfast was hacked off at 9am.

Thankfully, a Burger King was right next door, and I availed myself of their breakfast menu. Finishing off some OJ, I put the cats into the car, and took off for Day Two. It was a little after 10am, Monday Morning.

I should note, here, that at one point, I was puzzled as to why my car suddenly smelled like Pine-Sol. It took me a full FIVE MINUTES to attach 'pine smell' with 'fifty foot pine tree stands' on either side of the highway. I R SMRT.

Also: Trees taller than 20 feet! Glee!

Interstate Highway took me through the last bit of Arkansas, and into Missouri. Let me tell you, Missouri is one hell of an anal state. They have mile markers every TWO-TENTHS of a mile on all their Interstates! If I was a tax-paying citizen of Missouri, I'd be pissed. What a waste! Their roads were in pretty bad shape, too. Also, for some reason, the 'welcome' center for Missouri is almost an HOUR inside the border. Maybe they want to make SURE.

More Agricrops escorted me up to and across the Illinois Border. Now I had to deal with Illinois NAzis. I hate Illinois Nazis. I drove onwards, gaining an appreciation of just how much FOOD these heartland states make. I stopped at the Welcome Center. It was the "Trail of Tears" Welcome Center. Gosh, THANKS Illinois for adding to my White Man's Guilt. Also, why was there a Memorial THERE to a pig that served as a Marine Corps Mascot? Did it get hit by a car there? Finally, the center itself was served by a man and a woman, who gave a greeting to each and every person that came through the doors. I appreciate their service to their state, but they were more than a little creepy. Like, 'Westworld' creepy.

Travelling on, the agricrops grew less frequent, and I made it through a surprisingly hilly state, and into Indiana. I really do not want to live in the Heartland of the United States. Still lots and lots of water to be found, however, and everything was GREEEEEEEN. So very green. So very overwhelming for someone who has lived in the severest drought conditions in the United States (D4) for years.

Indianapolis sucked.

I made it to the far side, and decided to stop at a town whose biggest feature was a Giant White Cross. It was there that I found out that, somewhere, I had lost the lynch-pin to my trailer hitch. I found this out by going over a bump, and dropping my trailer. Thankfully, I was going 5 miles an hour into a Hardee's Parking Lot. The town had a nice O'Reilly's Auto Parts store, and I was able to pick up a replacement pin (two, actually, kicking myself for not buying a spare or two BEFORE the trip) and a two-ton scissors jack, to lift the trailer. The burger was delicious.

I got back on the road, and decided to coast to a stop around 8pm, finding a delightful old-style motel amoungst all the chains. No frills, no breakfast, no nothin', but dirt cheap. And across the street from a White Castle. And run by two little old ladies who were AWESOME.

Oh, White Castle. How do I love thee.

There was also a tractor-trailer carrying the fuselage and wings of an old USAF Fighter Jet. I took some pictures, but it was dark, and my cheap camera's flash wasn't really up to the task.

Did I mention White Castle?

This time, I did not need to sneak my cats in, as they allowed pets. We bunked down for the night, and I got another good night's sleep.

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The Trip - Day the First [19 Aug 2009|02:21am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

After making a last sweep of the house, and saying goodbye to Andy, Greg and I went to the corner McD's so I could get some breakfast. We said our goodbyes, and I headed up McNeil to northbound IH-35. I hit the Interstate around 10am.

I cried when I cleared the Georgetown city limits.

The first thing I noticed is that getting out of Tejas is almost all uphill. Much to my chagrin, as the cruise control didn't like that at ALL. Thankfully, the gas pedal didn't require much pressure, so my foot wouldn't be cramping up.

I took the trip in, roughly, two-hour segments. At each break, I made sure to get out, stretch, and so-on. The cats didn't like the cages much, but the girls settled down, eventually. The music streamed off of my external HD, through the Netbook, and into the car's stereo through a cassette adapter.

My goal was Little Rock, Arkansas. Driving was uneventful, if utterly monotonous. Around Dallas, I started to see water. In fact, a lot of water. All the rivers and streams were churning, brown and fast. It didn't seem fair to Central Texas.

At Dallas, my trek swung Northeast, and I burned fuel towards the border. I was averaging a whopping 12 miles per gallon, but was able to easily maintain an average speed of 60-65 mph. Arkansas gave me the flat and level roads I needed to kick the Cruise Control into operation. I passed a few places I'd like to have been able to stop at, if I wasn't on such a merciless 'get this over with' schedule. The Remington Ammunition Plant, for example. Tour, please!

In Austin, food service is dominated by Hispanics. In Arkansas, it is African-Americans. Arkansas also showed me the first 'agricrops', genetically altered corn (and other crops) marked by row after row of little signs, declaring the particular batch. It bothered me a bit to see that almost all of the crops were so marked by the hand of man. I also saw some crops that appeared to be 'bioplastics', growing Green in the sun.

After 11 hours of driving, I made it to the Arkansas side of the Mississippi, just short of Memphis, TN. Thankfully, the route I chose would hook north, in the morning, neatly avoiding Tennessee entirely. I have kept the Pact Andrew and I swore, so many years ago, never to return to Tennessee.

I checked into a Howard Johnson's, thinking that it'd be a good place to stop...and it was the only game in town, really. I was to learn that it wasn't a good choice. I had to sneak my cats past their 'no pets' policy, and Cricket's carrier broke apart while moving her from the car to the room, creating a wonderful moment of raw panic. Thankfully, Cricket doesn't run. Instead, she plays hide and seek, until she's bored. Boredom, tonight, took about 5 minutes. Feeding myself, and the cats, I settled in for a good night's sleep.

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Friends List Cleanup [19 Aug 2009|02:09am]
I have made some changes to my friend's list, including removing some folks. If you were removed, I mean no malice or drama. I removed people I haven't had in-person contact with in a long while, or ever.
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Freelance Opportunity... [11 Aug 2009|01:26pm]
...for anyone in the Baltimore Area. Pass it on!


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I made it. [08 Aug 2009|07:08pm]
Further updates as I settle in.
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A Conversation [29 Jul 2009|02:23am]
[ mood | amused ]

I like to imagine that this conversation happened...

Union Pacific Railroad Employee: Sir, we've finished restoring Challenger 3985. She's now the largest operational steam locomotive in the world!

UP Manager: Uh-huh. And what are we going to do with it?

UPRE: Well, Sir, we've planned on making steam excursions with her, to show off a piece of American History, the power of Union Pacific, and that we're not all Corporate Tools.

UPM: Will that make us any money?

UPRE: Not really, in fact, it'll cost us thousands of dollars a year to keep her going.

UPM: Really.

UPRE: Yes, Sir. But, think of the publicity!

UPM: Can it still do it's job? You know, can it pull trains?

UPRE: Oh, sure. She'll pull until the cows come home, and then some.

UPM: Hmmm. Well, since you're going that way, ANYWAYS...

UPRE: ...

Resulted in THIS video being taken:


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Get down, boogie-oogie-oogie [28 Jul 2009|05:50pm]
[ mood | chipper ]


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Gurney... ATOMICS!!! [26 Jul 2009|09:48pm]
Planetologists plan 1,000 mile long wall to hold back the Sahara.

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Driving Music [26 Jul 2009|07:16pm]
Hi, kids.

As you should know, by now, I have a 3-4 day driving trip to Boston.

I need suggestions for good driving music.

Preferably BANDS that ROCK.

Introduce me to some new music, or old favorites. I care not for the year or genre, except I will not listen to the following:

Speed/Death/Thrash Metal where the singer is just screaming, or the music is atonal.
Twangy Country Music.
Rap. (Good Hiphop is A-Okay)

Hit me.

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Yanno, I can't quite shake the feeling... [25 Jul 2009|08:22am]
...that I've seen this somewhere before.

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Legacy [24 Jul 2009|04:52pm]
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...on second thought, transfer all R&D funds into "Program 114 - Mars Rocket". [21 Jul 2009|01:21pm]
This is the kind of stuff where I read it, pause for a moment, and then start trying to figure out how to get off of this planet, before we destroy it...with Science.


Anytime the phrase "does not exist in nature" is combined with the inherently dangerous-sounding term "degenerate matter" in the same paragraph?

Rocket, plz.

(Via points)
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Sippy cup for the win [20 Jul 2009|10:22pm]
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The Greatest Adventure of them All [20 Jul 2009|11:07am]

The best version of Flash Gordon ever made.
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Super Geek Garage Sale! [17 Jul 2009|12:33pm]
[ mood | determined ]

The SGGS is THIS WEEKEND! I'll be open Saturday AND Sunday!

Selling off all the stuff I don't want to haul up to Boston, but it isn't trash, oh no!

Hundreds of DVDs! Model kits, an entire NERF ARSENAL, Computer Games, Toys, and even some household supplies! I saw a foot massager, I swear!

Saturday: 10am - Whenever
Sunday: 10am - Whenever

Come by and check it out! Most items $5!

4909 Transit Circle, Austin!


And here's PICTURES:


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Moon [16 Jul 2009|11:05pm]
Sam Rockwell.

Go see it.

Regal Theater, NW Austin, 183 at Great Hills Trail.

Finest Sci-Fi in a very long time.
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