Tag Archives: virginia

phone post monday.

a week from now, my long weekend in virginia will have come to an end… likely driving back home so I can get to work on time for tuesday. thanks, columbus… or erikson, or whoever first got here to settle in. trans-siberian asians or whatever proto-natives first roamed the banks to see boats coming to greet them.

today went pretty well, dear journal. regular length workday, a little flippin` pizza special and a lot of processes put in place.

mafia ii was fun, but I`m still really caught up in red dead redemption. zombie western coming this month has me quite enthused to continue, too.

brisk day today – rainy and in the 40s-50s.

some kids playing the fool on the other side of the train… not moldy scented today, but the conversations seem louder.

at chinatown now.. major switch from kids to hipsters.

not nearly so crowded today… but l`enfant station is still yet to come.

sleepy…perhaps a travel nap will keep me wakeful for dinner.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

9665 – Monday

Tasty spaghetti for supper tonight – BHK stopped off for scratchers and soda pop – $2, no prize. Listened to Life of Riley on the way home, and just took it slow.

Info on conficker – more straightforward than a lot of the misinformation out there.

There’s a ton of stories this morning about some bright flashes of light and booming noises coming from the skies over eastern Virginia, parts of Maryland and North Carolina. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that the National Weather Service’s Wakefield station’s phone was "ringing off the hook" last night after around 9:45 p.m., as residents frantically called in to report flashing, bright lights and in some places, an explosion-like sound. No immediate explanation came from the NWS, but a team is now investigating what might have caused the fiery flashes. WTOP has a report that suggests that the phenomenon was most likely a fireball, which can occur when a piece of meteor rock enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

SWAT in Maryland update – via Cheye Calvo –


I am very pleased to announce that, on Saturday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB 1267, the SWAT team oversight legislation, by a 126-9 vote.  The bill will require law enforcement agencies with SWAT teams to report every six months to civilian authorities on the number, general location, purpose, authorization, and results of SWAT deployments.  It also directs the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to analyze the information and issue an annual report on SWAT team deployments in the state.


The Senate passed a companion bill 43-0 on March 19.  In both cases, lawmakers took strong action following emotional testimony in committee by numerous victims of careless or inappropriate SWAT deployments.  The point was clearly made that what happened to my family was not an anomaly, nor is the problem limited to Prince George’s County.
Differences between the two bills about whether to include a sunset provision and the start date of the legislation will need to be resolved in a conference committee over the next couple weeks before the General Assembly convenes.  However, it is looking quite likely that we will be able to send a bill requiring monitoring of SWAT team deployments to the Governor for his signature within the next few weeks.
The House of Delegates passed the legislation on Saturday, which happened to be my 38th birthday.  This is truly the best birthday present I could have asked for!  
P.S.  If you’re not receiving these updates yourself and would like to in the future, please sign up at www.protectourliberties.com


1 year ago – bhk sick, games workshop, weather, david horvitz, detox quackery, q&A meme,

2 years ago – view from my desk at calvert county, quizzes, geourl, bake sale!

3 years ago – MM talks to me, Danny Nominated, GP & Kat coming to town, German lesson, batman sound screencaps, zefrank starts archiving his entries, queen, quirk quiz, updating my geocode, Monkey Florida Fire News, plus whalesong

4 years ago – met mzkitten, poker spam, totem, Nostradamus Quatrain Generator, uv flower photos, doc ock song, david byrne

5 years ago – news registration, De Soto, missing digits, esp test, pirates, Nevada

6 years ago – Danny, keywords, Maryland Snow Day

7 years ago – stuff to look at, darkstar, panorama picture galleries, pulps, snap club, newt pics, troll, dragonball, RPS poll, Lj poll, easter egg recipes/cinnamon bunny bread, stream of thought – 3 minutes, cbs mystery theater

8 years ago – netcast, rent, palm tree, spaghetti-ohs, 7-up, key limits, parapsychology, slursGeotarget

9615 – 0213090702.jpg

0213090702.jpg, originally uploaded by scottobear.

friday morning on the green line. one of the older, dirtier trains. i’m at abot mt vernon square, and the whole cabin is scented like cupcakes – a pleasant change from the expected "herd of goat" fragrance usually found on the older carpeted cars.

9351 – Tuesday

Okra harvest!

Okra has come in with the first zucchini – vile, slimy okra. We’ll see if BHK can win me over to this veggie, like she did with Zucchini.

John R Cambron (who lives in North Beach!) has an excellent track map showing the layout of all switches, yards and platforms in the Metrorail system. Now, he’s expanded that map based on the Metro 2030 vision to create a potential 2030 track layout. – via

In the first case to review the government’s secret evidence for holding a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a federal appeals court found that accusations against a Muslim from western China held for more than six years were based on bare and unverifiable claims. The unclassified parts of the decision were released on Monday.

With some derision for the Bush administration’s arguments, a three-judge panel said the government contended that its accusations against the detainee should be accepted as true because they had been repeated in at least three secret documents.

The court compared that to the absurd declaration of a character in the Lewis Carroll poem “The Hunting of the Snark”: “I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true.”

more here at the NY times

So, how many human rights advocates are going to boycott all of the sponsors of the 2008 Summer olympics in Beijing ?

Numerous human rights violations have taken place in China because of the Olympics, according to an Amnesty International report. In 2006, Beijing implemented a detention without trial scheme called “Re-education Through Labor” which targets people who have committed minor offenses and are forced to work long hours and can be detained for 4 years. Concerns over the games also include the potential for boycotts from pro-Tibetan organizations such as Students for a Free Tibet as well as from organizations such as Amnesty International upset with China’s involvement in the crisis in Darfur.

Biggest tricks for me to avoid would be be –

Johnson and Johnson – very big company – not sure if we could dodge every tendril. I can rattle off at least 5 of those items in our home right now.

GE – everywhere, also owns a ton of stuff – (including TiVo, Universal Studios, and USA network, home of Psych)

Coca-cola – everywhere, but avoidable if you take note of what you’re drinking, including water.

Visa – well, that’s my bank’s debit card, and almost every place on the planet takes it… so, unless I want to live and trade with cash-only businesses, that’s a deal breaker. Too big to defeat.

Items of little to no difficulty –

McDonalds – not hard for me to miss out on – we only ever go for shamrock shakes or pumpkin at halloween. Easily avoided.

Samsung / Panasonic – easy peasy. I get 99% of my electronics from other sources, though our tv is a samsung right now.

VW? Awww… you guys let me down. Would I have to boycott playing punch-buggy?

Adidas – no problem missing out on them.

UPS – I do use them on occasion, but there are alternatives.

Snickers, Tsingtao, and Budwiser – I can do without all of those.

Kodak – plenty of other options there, too, but they’re in a lot of places. depending on the extremism, some might want to forego any book that used kodak photography or processes. Movies, etc.They are teamed with Motorola and Lexar, for that matter.

Who can say? I won’t be that extreme, but sometimes I feel that I should.

‘Zero’ chance lottery tickets stun some players – Through a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act, Fishwick’s firm was able to obtain records that showed the Virginia State Lottery sold $85 million in tickets for which no top prize was available.

1 year ago – hot brain, hot pixel, night of the comet, the frighteners, Louise and in-laws at supper, dinner pix, shag and klondike bar

2 years ago – nearly naked neighbors, gray day, mob supply pic, newt pics

3 years ago – talked to Arnie’s Sec, newt and graffiti pix, autostitch, wifi theft arrest, reality show premises, j-walk on podcasts, programmer joke, google maps goodies, flightgear, wifi hotspot backpack, my messy office, bear-knocking, sex pred info pages

4 years ago
– combos/snausages , wisdom, serving sizes, ramen, Rockford Files, Planetarium pictures, weather, sock thief

5 years ago
– call block, snapple, intelligence gathering, Batroc, flashback cartoon, addictive data

6 years ago
– oz/floyd connection, pimps at sea, rss feeds start, cat dreams

7 years ago
– cej returns, unpacking videos, 1992 tax info, the challenge, corn chowder, kubrick quiz

8 years ago
– Rowlf sings, April actually kicks back a few bucks, pondering a new recorder Geotarget

9299 – Saturday

Had a lovely time shopping for Alan’s b’day present wrapping after my standard morning’s shots. Got a haircut (contrary to photo, I don’t plan on gelling it into a faux-hawk regularly), Lunched at Ledo’s, but I think the stop off at *$ for a little coffee drink took gave BHK a bit of sourbelly, so we headed home, napped and listened to the gumball-sized hail fall unexpectedly from the sky. (There were also tornado warnings, but no sign of that.)

The weather eased while we waited for the in-laws to get ready for the party… we were aiming for a launch time of about 5pm, and we left circa 6:40. Fortunately, we took Chris’s eternal case of time dilation into account, so we got there only about 10 minutes late.

Alan’s party was nice – quite a diverse group of people there, drunks and non-drunks – I finally got to meet JC and Mamacita, but Mamacita didn’t bring her Chihuahua with – maybe next time. I’d say the little house had about 50 people in it at prime time – they hired a doorman, bartender, and a few waiters – but it was a truly casual and pleasant outing… not a lot of seating, but standing wasn’t bad, thanks to my epidural earlier in the week.

He didn’t open his goodies – his true b’day is Sunday… I imagine he’ll like the blooming tea.

Tina and Matt were there – looks like Matt’s losing some weight – Good for him!

Interesting stuff. -(to me, anyhow) Built-in command line windows security tools.

RIP – Bill Elder.

for a quick minute of fun – played in browser. –Robokill.

1 year ago – mortgage, topology, newtcam2, condo issues, firefly and mosquitoes are out, linkdump

2 years ago – may ends, dr octagon, mad now unfunny in color, key west flare vigilante, fragged with bro, blood / allergy sticks, me as jeanbunny, mm flakes back

3 years ago – depth perception, bald oscars, intel drm chips, santana, nice monday, mp3 mashups (new locations here), pros and cons, Lost is Zork (even moreso with the green monitor), connections to people, fish heads, chipmunk stripes

4 years ago – Memorial day, hell in miniature, new mouse, zombie, quiet day, little house

5 years ago – comment screening, monty burns, ch-57, silly newt, matrix reloaded explanation

6 years ago – Prezzies and rain, springer, peanut butter soda, tempestmir introduces Newt to Newt. LRsetup program crashes out, sleeping Friday five

7 years ago – pervicacious, time changes, Mikey passes away, walkies, Hubris and Gnosis, heh yuh dun?, evil news

8 years ago – polytron, country musicGeotargetVisitor Map

9290 – Thursday

I think tonight is Thai night or is that tomorrow? Or did we decide to go with zucchini? Ah well, it’ll be a winner of a night, no matter what.

Had tasty leftover thai soup for lunch… maybe leftover pizza from last night for dinner? I guess I’ll know once I get home… I imagine my ride’ll be here soon! [edit: had a huge salad for dinner, and rounded it out with the remainder of the Thai soup. Pizza in box for tomorrow!]

Serious cough this morning – pollen? Faded as we left North Beach. [edit: didn’t return when I got back home – woodsmoke, perhaps?]

Watched House and Hell’s Kitchen – we’re about 3 episodes from the end on each. I can’t get over how abusive Ramsey is on that show – I’ve seen him far nicer to other folks, so I’m guessing it’s mostly an act. House wasn’t up to usual snuff… (the sopa opera star one) I guess ever season has to have the weak episode here and again.

It seems as though LifeLock isn’t as secure as Todd Davis makes it out. According to a LifeLock spokesman, his identity has been stolen. For two years, Davis has been daring hackers to steal his ID. Looks like he got what he wanted. CNN reports: ‘Now, LifeLock customers in Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia are suing Davis, claiming his service didn’t work as promised and he knew it wouldn’t, because the service had failed even him.’

Whenever I think of James Garner, I think of three things. (usually in this order)

1. Rockford Files
2. Maverick
3. A Chevy Tahoe Commercial he did a voiceover for:

“Nobody Knows It But Me” written by Patrick O’Leary

The words of the poem are as follows:

There’s a place that I travel
When I want to roam
And nobody knows it but me.

The roads don’t go there
And the signs stay home
And nobody knows it but me.

It’s far far away
And way way afar
It’s over the moon and the sea
And whenever you’re going
that’s wherever you are
And nobody knows it but me.

I love that poem, but if pressed, prefer the Rockford files.

Best News Reporter name ever – Opheera McDoom followed closely by my old local Cinnamon Stouffer .

Discovered a few of the likely many benefits of the SQL UNION command. I’m surprised I’ve never used it until this week. I am also surprised that it defaults to DISTINCT, rather than ALL that seems counter-intuitive, but I’ll take it.

Newton tackles Pye again. Asserting Dominance? Pye gives as much as he gets and nobody ever hurts anyone else.

Insane highway cloverleaf –

Pictures of highways by photographer Ken Ohyama, link via pinktentacle.com.

1 year ago – acceptable in the 80s, shrek 3, pictures of otters, fireplugs and dressed up geese.

2 years ago – black adder / house, play-doh perfume, historical sounds, marco polo, a mouthful of crabs, paul anka, ninja name meme

3 years ago – breakdancing bodybuilding, bus trip with mzk pics, no magda, ear whispers

4 years ago – tman & pix, Confucius, there ‘closing’, wireless at the ‘mat, warchalking

5 years ago – PT, hoverbikes, rain, laundry video

6 years ago – more LJ reflecting (I averaged 3 posts a day back then), “VanityDeleters” and keeping LJ for the future, broken pic links to repair,awesome cd from sholanda

7 years ago – Life improved for me, LJ has gained more features, egress, rubber trackconversion, ramen noodles, kumbaya, answer to the woodchuck question.

8 years ago – Fritz gave Newt a parasite, my first actual entry

9278 – Wednesday – the letter o appears in this entry.

Everyone on the bus was wearing blue this morning. No reds, golds or oranges… blue, with black or white, in varying shades.

Except me. I had a pair of tan/brown pants, brown shoes, white shirt with a smattering of black, gray, and reddish brown stripes.

Half of me wondered if I got on the right vehicle; the other half wondered why I didn’t get the memo.

I don’t mind – I come home to a colorful crew with BHK at the helm.

It seems that Pye prefers Newtcam, and newt prefers to be on Pyecam. (Newt likes the little window ledge upstairs…Pye likes the bed upstairs. They both seem to duel over the office and living room windows.

DC is 5th in road rage. Ha… Miami is #1 ! Maybe that’s why I don’t so bent out of shape on the beltway. DC, see also re:FL. Me, I’m pleased as punch to be where I am.

Off to Arlington, VA (right near Ballston) for a NetForum Users Group meeting on Friday – pretty much all day long. I wonder if there’s anything BHK and I would like to do in that environment, after the meeting is over? I figure I’ll head home, unless we need to stop off at the Pentagon for something – which I doubt.

This weekend plans include (in varying degrees of probability, but all of them nifty):

Em’s ballet recital

Those that aren’t hit this weekend, will be hit in the future, to be sure.

The Comic Book Script Archive … interesting list of scripts from a ton of authors… From the Moore’s intro to the Killing Joke script: ‘I want you to feel as comfortable and unrestricted as possible during the several months of your bitterly brief mortal lifespan that you’ll spend working on this job, so just lay back and mellow out. Take your shoes and socks off. Fiddle around in between your toes. Nobody cares.’

How to find images on the internet, an extensive list of links and resources.

Semi-related – cool list of icons! I wonder how many I’ll see in use over the next couple of months?

FontStruct is an awesomely simple online font creation tool. Just draw on a grid with simple Photoshop-like tools, save, and download a TrueType version of the fonts you’ve just created. Hmm.. If only I had a graphics tablet, I could make a font of my handwriting, as messy as that might be.

1 year ago – I consume Tiger’s Blood shaved ice, am lauded for kind manner, see dried blood packaged for sale in the garden section, happy feet, jamesmichener’s Chesapeake, create a painting

2 years ago – mama’s day, alien saucer poll, godzilla, found communities

3 years ago – feeling better, writing, Danny in june, chocolate lucky charms, james randi, Rippy RIP – now Viggo, Thomas Szasz, Flickr goes Ajax, ex-boss nearly a million in tax debt, times tables, hairy feet, Belle & Sebastian mp3, v for vendetta bg, jesus vs greek gods

4 years ago – Stan/Satan, Wifi in office (has since moved), first new palm pics, coming moonlight movies, Stay Tuned, Rawwr, Downtown ft laud treasures.

5 years ago – Update Virus Defs, Rainmaker, Frankie Mooch Phone booth, there stuff and quests

6 years ago – Termite inspection, apt shopping – tenants rights, web page fiddling, fonts, Tman, Name a Terrier

7 years ago – ossify, evil news, tumor talk, veggie pollGeotarget

9066 – Thursday

Lunar Eclipse last night was lovely… clear skies, snowy ground and crisp air. A good time to be outside and looking at the sky, if just for a moment.

Somebody made a sacrifice somewhere, and the moon came back. Next time, the gods won’t be so kind!

Warnings about ice tomorrow… I may get a long weekend… (if my internet and power goes out… or I may get to work form home!) Then again, I may get to go into the office that’s mostly empty, and get a lot of work done there, too. I suspect any or all will be win.

Lovely leftover dinner tonight… last of the mexican bake while BHK and I watch The Last Legion. I think that she liked it more than I did… How’d they get Mr. Darcy, Ghandi and the Mistress of the spices together to make this flick? Apparently the Goths were vikings with scottish accents.

Six unused cases of recalled beef will be thrown away by schools in Maryland and Virginia. Said a school spokesperson, “Now that we know what it is, we can no longer call it mystery meat.”

Pictures of Awakening’s Move

So… Bush’s Approval rating is now 19%. Sweet Christmas.

(To break it down further 1100 people asked – Among Republicans (29% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 45% approve of the way Bush is handling his job and 50% disapprove. Among Democrats (43% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 1% approve and 99% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job. Among independents (28% of adults registered to vote in the survey), 17% approve and 75% disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president.)

This is Newton and Pyewacket, almost to a T.

I’ve neglected to mention that we watched the pilot for the new Knight Rider series.

It was only worth it for the Hoff cameo, and even that was pretty weak. Thank goodness for tivo and fast forward.

Psych was a little too scooby-doo for me last night… but watching the outtake of them singing “Somebody’s Watching Me” made it more than worth it. I also saw the graduation episode of Kim Possible. Nice that Drakken has some utility after all.

BHK was blessed with a double-kitty snuggle last night… I was too fidgety for the kitty love, apparently.

HD DVD is officially dead. Well, I’m glad we didn’t get Larry that DVD player for Xmas!

Giant fossilized frog named for the devil.

A giant frog that hopped around Madagascar 65–70 million years ago has been discovered.

Fossil fragments show that the frog, called Beelzebufo ampinga, could have measured 20 centimetres across its squat head, and probably more than 40 centimetres from snout to tail. The researchers nicknamed the monstrous beast ‘the frog from hell’; the official name comes from one of the many names for the devil (Beelzebub) and the Latin for ‘toad’ (bufo).

This college grad decided to live on the streets with just $25 and a gym bag to see if he could make it without any of the trappings of his upbringing, privileges, or contacts. After 10 months, he was moving into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had a savings of around $5,000. The point of the story is supposed to be that people are poor because they have bad attitudes. Which is technically true, but maybe he should do an experiment to see what being born poor will do for your “positive outlook.” – via consumerist.

Add a few more elements, like mental / physical health plus his gender, age and skin tone into the mix, and I’d be interested to see how much harder it’d be to get by if you changed variables around. I don’t like the implication that “anyone could do it”.

I also wonder who was left out of the shelter he stayed in for the first few months of his experiment? Did they go hungry as a result? Sleep on the street?

The more I think about it, the more I’d like to see him actually in the circumstances of hopelessness and fear being homeless can bring. I feel that knowing the safety net is there will give a false sense of confidence and comfort, too.

Anyone can go camping when they know full well that they could fix things with a phone call… how’s that song go?

You’ll never live like common people,
you’ll never do what common people do,
you’ll never fail like common people,
you’ll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there’s nothing else to do.

He got to bail due to a personal tragedy at home… who else is allowed that? It’s a lousy experiment when you can change the variables and conditions at whim.

1 year ago – sunset and duck pics, naked gun, phone hearing w/florida, cyn’s new (now old) space!

2 years ago – 2nd life, frankenbox windows issue, modified newtcam subdomain, Samuel, I’m a nine

3 years ago – Atlantic shores hosp, motherboards, jokers utility belt, 2-headed baby, paris hilton hacked, jlu, angry beavers, comic essentials, danny teaches school about graphic novels, six-gun gorilla, ash, icon origin

4 years ago – Wishing for Dr. Feng Shui, Quit FFXI, Time out with Danny and his wife

5 years ago – DDoS on LJ, Friday five, Nordis is full of crap, parking spots pictures, The Groovenians = blah

6 years ago – robo-triffid, daily pictures, back hurting

7 years ago – Chariots of the Gods, reminders, Geocities stops hot links, my nesting instinctGeotarget

9023 – sat

Rise and Shine! Early Bird gets the worm! Road trip to Virginia today with BHK! (in-laws and Louise will caravan with us, in another car)

One of the ideas that BHK and I bandied about on the road trip after making up random drink names… like “The devil’s shoelaces”, “Cool Breeze” and “Bag o’ Tremors”, we started thinking about magical drinks that replicate experiences – “skydiving”, “slap in the face”, “Karate victory” were some of the more tame ones.

Stopped at Sheetz to get a nibble mid-trip…

  • garlic fries good but swimming in oil at the bottom
  • mac and cheese bleh.
  • Cinnamon pretzel needs no frosting.
  • Coffee drink was sort of weak.
  • How many teenagers lurk there as a social thing?
  • Cups leap out an attack patrons.

I think we’ll stick to pre-packaged foods next time.

While at Bugah and Em’s b-day, met Nana (great Gramma), The Gramma and Roy. We all went to an Italian place for supper – Joe’s. From the school of “HUGE portions of OK food” The spaghetti looked great, as did the lasagna. I tried a bite of the eggplant parm, which was a little bitter – my veggie sub did fine.

Speaking of the birthday, I was surprised to see that BHK and I were the only ones to get the 10 and 5 year old any toys! Next closest thing to a toy was a gumball machine bank. Oh, wait – I forgot. Louise got Em a toy cell phone and necklace. Bugah seems to dig the skateboard, but it looks like the learning curve may be a bit more steep than we had initially thought. I’m confident that he’ll be all over it soon.

After playing tanks and a few other mini-games, Bugah’s given me the Wii bug again. We may try and pick one up this weekend. I also played Destroy all Humans 2 on the xbox with Bugah, which seems to be a nice sequel to the one we have for our Xbox at home.

Em was a sweetie – leading me around by the hand – we played some concentration (using dominoes to match the number of pips) before leaving for dinner.

We made it back to our place about 11:30 – worn out from the day’s ruining around and socializing. My hip was a little creaky after the drive, but no ill effects aside from that.

1 year ago – work sickies, Internet lawsuit fraud, giant prehistoric Syrian camels, free hp Lovecraft audio books, john Mayer and Sheryl crow bear costume,

2 years ago – supercar, monkeytown usa, pi song, obey the bunny, nazi?

3 years ago – h-bot, walkabout pics, sammich girls, mockery troopers, living tissuejacket, ff2, dan dog, bro evicted, Eau de humanity, Templar

4 years ago – nightmare, tri-bloc embalming, bra sizes, angry kid, sex resource guide, sweetalyssm’s bday, alien abduction tags

5 years ago – restless, newt, poo-fuel, baby costumes, bike ride w/bro, chupacabra,laser jet temp tats, honest opinion, kung fu channel, quizzes

6 years ago – hector, ap bday, sleepies, landlord issues, luxury

7 years ago – kingdomality, jobs, ghost dog-bears Geotarget

8984 – fri

Tasty Falafel last night, despite BHK not feeling well.

Took her out tonight, glad that she’s up to it… maybe a little cheeburger cheeburger and a road time will jump start her to feeling better for the weekend!

After a tasty garden-cheeburger, frings and cherry chocolate shake, we swung by the store and got her some new jeans, before making a very brief visit to eyeball Comics and Games and Stuff. (Courtesy of The Looney Labs store finder )

Dropped 12 for 3 very inexpensive games – Change! , Cosmic Coasters, and The Very Clever Pipe Game. All of which should be wonderful additions to our games closet, and are pretty small and portable, should we decide to take ’em with us somewhere.

Speaking of new, portable games, Eryx wrote us and mentioned that he’s sending us a copy of EcoFluxx as a wedding present! Thanks Eryx! We need to steal him from the UK and have him visit sometime. 🙂

Also the Labs have recently produced Twin Win, an Icehouse game suitable for use while waiting in line.

Glass and a Half Full Productions – fun ad by cadbury (via ze) What can I say? I like apes.

3,000-year-old beehives unearthed in Israel

Archaeologists digging in northern Israel have discovered evidence of a 3,000-year-old beekeeping industry, including remnants of ancient honeycombs, beeswax and what they believe are the oldest intact beehives ever found.

My immediate living area’s population has doubled by a person and a cat since a little over a year ago. I like it much better that way, as I adore them.

If want to make myself angry, I picture a pregnant woman smoking.

Author Madeleine L’Engle died last night in Connecticut, at the age of 89. Best known for her 1963 Newbery Award winner A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels, L’Engle was the author of more than 60 books for adults and young readers.

Stolen Catalytic Converter from one of our accountant’s truck from our company’s parking lot.. . certainly not an isolated issue – seems to be happening all over MD and VA

Thieves are targeting fleet vehicles parked overnight in secluded parking lots. Their target? Catalytic converters.
The theft of catalytic converters is a growing crime trend happening throughout the country. For instance, on May 30, Comcast discovered seven catalytic converters stolen from work trucks parked outside its office in Gambrills, Md. This wasn’t the first time. Earlier, on July 18, the same Comcast location reported the theft of 18 catalytic converters. On May 28, Adscom reported 16 catalytic converters stolen from new Chevrolet and GMC cargo vans parked behind its building in Glen Burnie, Md.

These crimes are not restricted to just large fleets. Smaller fleets are just as vulnerable. Dreisbach Florists in Cincinnati reported to the police that catalytic converters were sawed off three of its vans. Nor is this a problem restricted to the U.S. The BBC reports an increase in catalytic converter thefts in the U.K.

Precious Metals Inside
Police first began noticing catalytic converter thefts about eight months ago. Thieves aren’t interested in the catalytic converters themselves; they’re interested in the precious metals inside, which are easily recycled. The average catalytic converter contains one to two grams of three precious metals – platinum, palladium, and rhodium. That equals about 0.07 of an ounce, meaning 14 or 15 converters are needed to equal one ounce of the metals. However, the commodity rates for these metals have skyrocketed in the past two years.

For criminals, catalytic converters are as good as gold. Actually, better. In comparison, gold prices reached $670 per ounce in June 2007. According to online commodities Web site www.kitco.com, the price of rhodium has shot up in the past five years from $900 to almost $6,000 per ounce in June. Palladium rose from about $189 per ounce two years ago to a high of $371 in June. Between June 1, 2005 and June 1, 2007, the price of platinum rose 67 percent, from $870 per ounce to $1,295.

A quick perusal of the Internet reveals that hundreds of recyclers across the country are buying catalytic converters for the precious metals. Catalytic converters need to be sent to a recycler that has the equipment to perform the chemical process necessary to extract the metals. Metal recycling companies will pay anywhere from $25 to $150 apiece for catalytic converters. A search of the Web reveals a wide range of catalytic converter buying and selling activity across the United States and overseas. There are Web sites that describe how to collect and sell catalytic converters to the right buyer. One site includes photos of the tools to use, such as electric saws, hydraulic jacks, and portable generators.

High Clearance Vehicles at Greater Risk
The catalytic converters are usually stolen from high-clearance vehicles. Most thefts occur at night. A thief can slip under a vehicle and, with a battery-operated saw and metal-cutting blade, make two quick cuts and remove the catalytic converter. Some vehicles have catalytic converters that are bolted on, which are the easiest to remove. The theft can take as little as five to 10 minutes. With some models, thieves use a reciprocal saw to cut the catalytic converter from the exhaust systems underneath the vehicle. Other models require thieves to use an acetylene torch to remove the catalytic converter. Recovering stolen catalytic converters is virtually impossible since they are not inscribed with serial numbers that can be used to identify them.

Often, catalytic converter theft is by drug addicts. Many of those arrested for stealing catalytic converters are heroin addicts. It’s a quick crime for a drug addict to get cash. There are also more sophisticated thieves who know exactly what they were doing and already have buyers lined up for the stolen catalytic converters. Many are shipped to recycling companies in Poland, Canada, China, and Latvia, where they undergo a carbochlorination process that extracts the precious metals.

Securing Vehicles After Work Hours
Fleets victimized by this crime must spend anywhere from $600 to $1,400 to install a replacement catalytic converter. The theft results in immediate downtime for the vehicle since it is illegal to drive without a catalytic converter. It is also extremely dangerous, since the hot exhaust blowing from sawed-open exhaust pipes could heat the nearby fuel tank to the point of exploding, if driven long enough.

Doodles… I think that I like flat lines more than pseudo-airbrush textures. .

A Dragon, The Little Prince , and a flurfy tree

The Little Prince reminds me of things I sometimes forget –

“On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur, l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux”
(It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye).

dragon. prince.tree

um, yikes. I’m surprised… not by New Orleans or Detroit… but by the fact that there’s no New York or Miami on there. I wonder how many murders go unreported?

1 year ago – jojo again, Chase is a creep, acim scuttlebutt (RS came back and left since then),

2 years ago – First notice of SNAKES ON A PLANE, smokin’ with Newt and Firpo, morning pre-work report, interdictor shenanigans, ADP and RI duke it out, second life free

3 years ago – Broward PSA, hurricane doodles, freeware

4 years ago – Harvest moon, auto-cashiers, acim two-level split, lynching, cluster move, gender genie, newt-bounce

5 years ago – Sleestaks and Oatmeal, Sculpey and Fimo, Bewitched, cave photo, bad prefixes, dog snoods

6 years ago – lj drama regarding cheaters,lovely long chat where blackie burped, thescents of rose, lavender, gardenia, violette, and muguet (burts bees),Skeletor, Back in 1997, there was an exorcism performed on MotherTeresa, saints.

7 years ago – poopy day, Suzy, Walt Whitman, American Cannibals, Mush, interests, overheard, jail visits Geotarget

8949 – Sunday

Sunday morning started with more reading, and a repeat of BHK napping a little bit while I played Pyramids and Dominoes with EM. Once we were all cleaned up and ready, we toddled off to Chris and Larry’s for a tasty breakfast of Belgian waffles w/ ice cream and fresh made strawberry syrup – Em ate 6 or 7 pieces of bacon, and a whole waffle! That little critter can *eat*!

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Post breakfast gluttony, (see photos), we headed down to the Bay to take a moment to search for fossils – – Emily got a lovely little bag of shark’s teeth and shells to take back with her.

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At about 1, it was time to head out for our rendezvous with Misti at the Arby’s – a reasonable halfway point between our homes (approximately an hour drive for each). during the drive, we saw quite a bit of Amish country, down to several Horse-drawn carriages – apparently you can pass them on a double-lined highway, unlike normal cars. A pretty broad assortment of them were out and about, covered and uncovered, families and older couples.
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After lunch and switching Em’s car seat to Misti’s truck, we encountered two stray cats lurking around the parking lot.

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After a little deliberation, we decided to take them someplace safer, either a no-kill shelter, home with us, or at least to a region without as much high-speed car traffic nearby. They’re Brother and sister, I think, and about four months old.
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We did have to name ’em, rather than just boy or girl –

Ripley – White and tan little guy (Named for a place that has a bit of meaning for ussee also ) The little lover… all about snuggles and purrs.

Pomonkey – Longhair Tabby female, looks like a “what if Pye and Newt had a daughter” Hair length and ear-wispies of pye, with Newt’s markings. (Name based on a city’s name I learned a while back and haven’t stopped enjoying yet) Super curious, purrs easily, too.

After taking them to the vet to be tested for Feline Leukemia (and anything else that might hurt Pye and/or Newt), they came home with us to stay in the guest bathroom. We located a good foster home for them both, and I don’t think either one will have any trouble being adopted.

While we’d love to keep them, we just don’t have the ability to do so in a good way. I really wish that we could… makes me want to own a barn a mile away from anywhere, just so we can have a homestead with a bunch running around.

Since we waited at the vets for about 5 hours (emergency room for animals – triage… the kitties were pretty dang healthy except for ear mites, so other, more urgent cases had priority.)

We watched the Meteor shower for about 3 minutes until we both got super sleepy, and had to head to bed. Caught a few shooting stars, though!

1 year ago – giraffe graffiti, giganta, danny talks to doug, I talk to GP, green wifi, Bob Ross feeds a Squirrel, starshine

2 years ago – Lesbian movie scenes, student aid, the goon & pie, lisas go to TX, Harry Potter, everything can change, wirehog

3 years ago – Bro’s sentencing, EN makes a good impression (other guy fizzed out), Daredevil question, Koko wants a dentist, Tropical Storm

4 years ago – muttonhead, rain, flash, dan at school, voodoo 4, lychee yum, walking stick self defense, ati multi monitor life, noisy neighbors

5 years ago – spiders on drugs, Uzumaki, me and newt’s custom HC dials, goodies for Kev’s sis, bear teeth, a moment of Zen

6 years ago – utility kilt, uncle bill, intrepid

7 years ago – first online radio(broken), food out with Danny, made the “decaf espresso=kissing your sister” joke, Hollow man Geotarget

8916 – sunday

Woke up creaking like the tin man, and my eye was aggravated by some sort of dust particle… between the swollen eye and bent over stance, I should’ve been ringing bells and screaming for sanctuary all morning.

Yesterday’s smoothies were so terrible that we went to the grocer, got some yogurt and fruit, and BHK made some jim-dandy, extra tasty smoothies for our breakfast supplemented by hard-boiled eggs and biscuits today.

Today we went to a place that held a lot of fond memories for me as a young gamer-geek. The Compleat Strategist… There was one in Hollywood, Florida way back in the 80s… a source of many fond memories. It was a sad day about 18 years ago when it burned down… even when some supposedly smoke-damaged merchandise appeared at the new Dragon’s Lair a few months later. I sometimes wonder if the “Dragon” reference was an inside joke about the fire. Rumors abounded at the time, though I don’t know of any actual validity to the same.

We landed at the Strategist in Falls Church, Virginia… and… well, I’ve been spoiled by Aardvark, I think. I was fairly underwhelmed, even though they have a huge amount of stock… probably four or five times that of Little Aardvark’s.

Nice thing about the Virginia place was that it was mostly clean – no dust on any of the good in the front, and the books were well-organized by game and title. If I’d been there looking for RPG stuff or Wargaming stuff, I’d have been set.

Unfortunately, I was looking for parlor games. The little corner in the back reminded me of the “pervy” section of old video stores. The light bulb overhead was dim, the packages heavily manhandled with cellophane and cardboard torn. The games were in semi-alpha order…. but not quite. Some stuff was on pegs, some on shelves, some boxes lay half open. I might’ve wept openly for the poor pente tube in the corner without a visible lid or board inside.

I can’t find a thing that I want. BHK spots Treehouse and Ice Towers on the wall… I get excited, and ask about some other games, almost sure that he’ll know something about one or more of these… almost all are major award winners, and have a pretty large following.

Do you have

Nope, nope and nope. We had money for a game or three more burning a hole in our pocket, and finally asked…

“OK, then… based on what we mentioned… what do you recommend? We like fun, fast-paced games with a mix of strategy and random chance. What do you have that’s cute with a deck of cards and a die in it?”

The proprietor was too busy playing mechwarrior with another regular at the store to give us any more answer than “if it’s not on the shelf, we don’t have it…”

Not a very talkative fellow, unless he was reciting how many bonuses he had to hit the other toy robot on the board. So much for me pumping him for info regarding the old florida store or reminiscing… I suspect that the Florida CS burned down when he was maybe three years old.

That sort of disappointed us… BHK asked him about a high school clique game, and he said he’d never played it, but a guy friend did, and didn’t much like it. That was the most extensive review we got from him… heck, those were the most words spoken to us at one time.

Still no other advice, so we browsed for about a half hour or so, found a few games, and noted to purchase them elsewhere. Chez Goth, Treehouse with Martian Coasters, Puerto Rico. That’s like $100 or so worth of games, I’d guess. He lost the only sale it looked like he might make that day.

The best aspect of going was that we got some freebie Star Wars constructable ship-combat game as throwaway swag. We got a spare for Amy, too, for when she comes up to visit next week.

{edit – We got a response to this entry from the manager of the store, shortly after it was published. See it here}

On our way to another game store in the Virginia area, Alan rang us up, and we all went out the the Lebanese butcher for some tasty falafel, hummus with pine nutes, and baba ghanoush.

Instead of dorking around, we trundled over to his place in the city… *very* nice. Alan has a real flair for design, and his home is like a showcase… TM, BHK, and I gabbed with him for a bit about Pollack’s strengths and weaknesses, including the Guggenheim dirt, and he played piano for us for a bit. He’s a very talented guy, and a kind host… I’m glad to have him as part of the family.


See video of him playing here

We returned home, tired but feeling good about the day – it ended a lot better than it had begun.

1 year ago – furniture, kevin smith & superman, pocket windows (note- add to new flash drive), coral square mall pictures, fin fang foom, algorithm march w/ninjas, girls on walls

2 years ago – broward and fed autostitch, visited kev, walkabout pictures with rastas and shirtless, tell-tale heart in street signs, overheard

3 years ago – spidey, weather, let them sing it for you, freddy vs gb

4 years ago – remembering the keys, overtime psa, comic books, workman’s comp, prostate cancer

5 years ago – newt in sink, bro gets viper fins sponsor, pesky security, badly drawn images on a bumpy road, punquin finds my 125 item list

6 years ago – Evil News, bad joke, crux, random journals, nice thing poll, designer’s lament, laptop space bar weird, hatt-baby, email plain text

7 years ago – Enjoyed the X-men movie, 1974 memory visiting Florida, reprint of Scooby & the occult, insomnia Geotarget