The Day the Music Died

February 4th, 2016

On this day in history, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash. Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on the flight, but had allowed Richardson to take his place.

Yid With A Lid has a good post on the topic.

Update: That’s what I get for not doing this post earlier – it’s 11pm here, but 12am according to the post time. I’ll have to look into the WordPress settings and see if that’s where time zone is kept.

Oh, no, John Ringo!

February 3rd, 2016

oh no john ringo

Not an auspicious start to the day

January 16th, 2016

I’ve been home sick for the last two days, and I’m still under the weather.

This morning, after sleeping in until about an hour ago, I got up to make breakfast. In the process of getting the ingredients together, I managed to knock over an open bag of chestnuts and drop an egg on the floor. In the process of cleaning up, I managed to knock over all of my brooms and mops.

The cats still haven’t come back into the kitchen. I think I’m going back to bed before I do something to accidentally start World War III.

Today has not been the best day

January 13th, 2016

I’ve been feeling slightly under the weather for a few days, so I’ve been thinking that I’m coming down with something. Today, that was verified for me. I almost didn’t go in to work, but I didn’t think I was that bad, yet.

I usually wake up when the light coming through my bedroom window gets bright enough, but this morning, I was actually awakened by notification sounds for a series of incoming emails. When I looked at them, I discovered that one of my favorite fan fiction authors, who has not been writing for some time because of family responsibilities, was recently diagnosed with cancer. I wish him well, and hopes he beats it.

Then, at work, my boss announced that she couldn’t keep the company going any longer. The customers and the money just aren’t there, and by going under without trying to run it out as far as possible, there’ll be an easier “landing,” and we’ll all be better off (apart from the no longer having jobs thing). It’s not really unexpected – we’ve been running close to the edge for some time, and we made a decision a few months ago on where to put our effort that was probably the wrong one. Even so, it was not what I wanted to hear on what I realized was the 30th anniversary of my original hire date – I’ve been with the company since January 13, 1986, which is almost half my life.

The boss offered to have a company lunch to celebrate my anniversary, but I wasn’t feeling well enough to eat lunch, and I went home and to bed.

All in all, I’ve had much better days.

I presume he’s hoping for chaos

January 7th, 2016

This morning on my commute, I was behind an SUV with personalized plates that read, “Expired.”

I can just see it:

“So, it was a black SUV. Did you see the license?”
“Yes, it was ‘Expired’.”
“When did they expire?”
“Oh, they weren’t expired.”
“But you just said they were expired.”
“No, I said they were ‘Expired’ but they weren’t expired.”
“I … see. (mutter) Unreliable witness. (/mutter)”

Happy New Year

January 7th, 2016

I hope your holidays were good.

Mine were very enjoyable. Marion and I came home a few days ago from a holiday trip to New York to visit her friends and relatives. We had a good time there, and I can recommend the food at Osteria Laguna and the Miss Korea BBQ restaurant – we had quite a good lunch there. I was good on the trip – I only gained a pound or so. I did pick up a couple new cookbooks at Kinokuniya, though, and I’m looking forward to trying some of those recipes.

Arriving home was a slightly different matter. We got to the car park, and my car wouldn’t start. Dead battery. Marion didn’t know how to deal with push-starting a car with a standard transmission, so that ended up being a fair amount of effort (on my part) and stress (on hers). Eventually, we got it started and managed to get home.

I took it in to my mechanic yesterday. It was a bad battery, which is not nice, but better than the alternator or some other part of the electrical system. Still, that’s money that I hadn’t anticipated needing to spend. It’s the third battery for the car, so I’m doing a little better than average on battery life.

Been busy recently

December 22nd, 2015

At work, we’ve been trying to get a new product out. We’ve got the design and layout done, and are in the process of getting prototypes set up. We’re also working on an add-on board for it, and that’s still in the schematics stage. Even though I’m not a hardware engineer, I’ve been heavily involved in reviewing the schematics and suggesting changes. One of the reasons I’m useful at it is because I’m familiar with what we’ve done in the past, so I know what worked and what didn’t in our previous designs, so I have some ideas about what to watch out for.

For various reasons, I had to have my Christmas dinner yesterday. I fixed a rib roast, roasted root vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, and homemade bread. For dessert, I’d made mince pie and chocolate rum balls, and one of the guests brought a steamed chocolate pudding with hard sauce. I had a nice cabernet and some non-alcoholic sparkling cider available.

A good time was had by all. Particularly my daughter, when we passed presents around during the lull between the main meal and dessert. I gave her two presents. The first was a cookbook. I recently bought a copy of the cookbook for myself, and I knew she’d enjoy it. The second, though, had her gasping in excitement – it was my set of Samurai Cat art prints, which I had bought at the 1984 Worldcon from Mark E. Rogers at his booth. They’re in good shape, but I had never framed and hung any of them, so, since she’d been threatening to kill me for them since she was 7, I figured it was time to let her have them.

Tonight, as the second part of her present to me, we watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was a good movie, and I enjoyed the sly references to earlier movies that I caught (my daughter caught more, but she’s seen the animated series and I haven’t), but there were a few things that offended me. As they’re spoilers involving physics, engineering, and common sense, I won’t say anything (yet), because it’s just past opening weekend. Maybe later.

A good time was had by all

December 3rd, 2015

It was my daughter’s birthday recently, and she got her present last night: I took her to dinner, following which we went to see the Mythbusters farewell tour Denver show: Jamie & Adam Unleashed! We had pretty good seats, about half-way back and just left of center. Photography and recording during the show weren’t allowed (although this was widely ignored). The only photo I took was this one to show our view of the stage.

Mythbusters Stage

We’d not seen them on any prior tours, so I had looked up the show reviews a couple of days earlier. I only saw one negative review, from someone who felt they showed too many videos. I disagree, personally. I had no problem with the number of videos shown, especially because several of them were provided with running commentary by Adam. One of them (a supercut of explosions with enhanced audio so that you could feel the explosions) was my daughter’s favorite part of the show.

Personally, I thought the question and answer sessions (they each did one) were interesting, particularly finding out that Jamie has a degree in Russian linguistics with a minor in library science, and that Adam is a high school graduate. If I’d had the opportunity to ask a question (we were too far back to be chosen), I’d have asked one of two things: either what proportion of their research they did on their own compared to bringing in experts, or, given that Adam noted that he had been hired by Jamie a few years before the Mythbusters shows started, how he ended up as Jamie’s business partner.

In any case, it was a very informative and enjoyable show. I’m glad we went.

Let’s see a cat do that!

November 27th, 2015

I feel pretty confident that you can’t train a cat to do this. Your typical cat circus, impressive as it may be, just doesn’t compare.

That must have been embarrassing

November 27th, 2015

Police burst into an apartment when death threats and “womanly” screaming are reported by neighbors, find something amusing.