Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Toy

I have a pile of busted up concrete in my backyard that I needed to do something with. I tried busting it up with a sledge hammer, but that was brutal. I got more beat up than the concrete. don't have a place to bury it, and it isn't pretty enough for a 'feature'. Right now it is just piled in a remote corner of my backyard.

Today I figured out what I'll do...

I bought a Losi Mini Rock Crawler!

This little guy is much different than my RC18MT. The RC18 is a quick little guy, able to do spins, jumps, and even the occasional wheelie. My MRC can't... It barely moves at a walking pace. I showed it to Carrie and her first words were, "Is that as fast as it goes?" Where it shines is climbing stuff, especially rocks, hence the 'rock crawler' in it's name.

Rock crawling involves strategy. What line are you going to take? You don't just point the truck at the pile and gun it. You can, but it is boring (it moves at a walking pace) and most of the time it'll end up on it's top. As you are creeping up the pile you are constantly cranking the wheel back and forth, looking to place a tire in specific places so you don't get high centered or roll.

Much like I wrote here a while ago, I get as much out of tearing these things apart as I do driving them. It's like wrenching on a big vehicle except cheaper, less bloody knucles, and I can do it all on my workbench.

It's kinda sad in a way. I'm kinda like a kid with no friends. Just me and my dog in the backyard. I coax Carrie out to show her something, but she just rolls her eyes and sneaks back inside as quick as she can. I think I am on my way to being a recluse. Sure, I could befriend kids in the neighborhood, but that is creepy. There was a guy in my neighborhood growing up that did that, and last I heard, he is a woman now. I don't need to go down that road!


Your Mortgage is not My Problem

Your Mortgage is not My Problem [h/t Michelle Malkin]

The best sign is the first one.

When I was a kid, I depended on my parents for everything. They fed me, protected me, taught me, and so on. They helped me make good choices. This is a good because unlike many animals, we aren't born with the basic tools to survive in our world.

One rule my dad had for me was that if I wanted to sign up to play a team sport, I had to finish the year. No quitting because I tired of it or it wasn't fun. I made a commitment and I needed to stick with it. I learned to think about it before I blindly jumped in because Billy down the street was. I don't think I was ever forced to sign up for an activity. Possibly coerced, but never forced. My parents gave me some responsibility to decide if I wanted to make the commitment. By seventh grade, I decided that I wasn't having fun, so I didn't sign up. Looking back, I wish I would have signed up, but I have nobody to blame but myself. More important, I am glad my dad DIDN'T make me play, even though he knew it would probably be best.

What does this have to do with the sign?

As an adult, I have the freedom to make my own choices. Six years ago, when Carrie and I bought our house, we could have gotten a crazy mortgage that would have allowed us to make the payments on twice the house we ended up buying. Today, we probably would have been back renting if we had done that. We have a good mortgage package that will allow us to weather all but a catastrophic storm, I.E. much worse than things are now. Sans having triplets (or more), our first house can be our last if it has to be, and I'll have nothing to complain about.

...I need to run some errands today so I'll cut to the chase...

I do not want my government to protect me from myself.

I do not want to be forced to pay for the poor choices of others.

Later on this weekend I'll pick up where I left off..


He Awakens!


It's been awhile... Just finished a hundred plus hour two week work period with one day off. Exhausted. I work in the construction industry (I push a mouse) and deal directly with guys that are installing stuff. They bleed, sweat, and get beat up by the weather out on the job sites. I have a nice cubical, chair, roof and climate control to keep my work day comfortable. ...And a bathroom with running water and flushing toilets to use when the need arises. I get my fair share of ribbing from these guys and I roll with it. It's funny. Often one of the forman will be in my cube going over something with me and I'll say, "boy, my arm is getting tired pushing this mouse around all day...". That usually gets their eyes rolling. There is a bit of truth to it though.

Last Saturday I put in a twelve hour day. The nice thing about working Saturdays is there are no distractions, you can concentrate on the task at hand. Twelve hours passed faster than eight on a typical workday. The first ten hours went down easy but then I would start having trouble concentrating. I'd find my self just looking at something on my screen with a blank mind. I'd snap out of it after a second or so, but as time went on, it got worse. I was fatigued. Sure my muscles weren't tired, but my brain sure was. I get home and don't feel like doing much of anything. Especially blogging which I like to put some thought into (hopefully it shows occasionally).

Today I got to sleep in to 6:45 when I was awakened by a whining Labrador. It was nice (the sleep, not the whining). Two days off in a row is a nice little vacation!

The nice thing about these long hours, is when when I get to head home at eight hours, it's like going home early. The OT isn't half bad either. Gotta take it while it's there!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bush is teh Stupid!

Obama accidentally says 'Iowa' in Ottawa

Cue up the late night comedy writers, hi-jinks abound!

Oops, wrong president....



Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Plane at Work

A haiku...

BA fourty nine
SeaTac approach sixteen L
Plane back in home town

Taken with my cameraphone while leaving work for the day.  BTW, I'm trying to figure out whether the fence is to keep bad people out, or to keep us in.  If the latter, thankfully today it was unsuccessful.  I got out.


Monday, February 16, 2009


Check this out...

I, am an above average moley fella. Hey, it is who I am. I don't hide it. (just the bits that should be hidden... wink, wink)

Sorry, I just creeped myself out...

For what ever reason, I decided to look up moles on wikipedia and discovered this fine tidbit of information...

Moles linked with slower ageing

The difference between the two mole groups was equivalent to six to seven years of normal ageing

Lead researcher Dr Veronique Bataille says: ‘The results of this study are very exciting as they show, for the first time, that moley people who have a slightly increased risk of melanoma may, on the other hand, have the benefit of a reduced rate of ageing. This could imply susceptibility to fewer age-related diseases such as heart disease or osteoporosis, for example. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.'

Heh, moley...

Watch this.
  • I have many moles.
  • The mole is also the amount of substance of a system which contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 0.012 kilogram of carbon-12
  • Avogadro's constant is the number of atom in 12 grams of carbon-12, 6.022x10^23. (from memory, thank you very much)
  • Amedeo Avogadro, of said constant, was born on August 9th, 1776
  • Carrie, my wife, was born 200 years later, on the same day
  • Melanie Griffith was born on August 9th, 1957
  • Melanie Griffith was married to Don Johnson
  • Don Johnson was born on December 15th, 1949
  • I was born on December 15th, 1971

Bam! Full circle!



'Nuff Said.

But I'll say more.

Mike loves airplanes. Mike especially loves military airplanes. Mike really, really, loves the F-14 Tomcat. That is one of the reasons I added to my reader. It's one thing when you read an encyclopedia article about the Tomcat, or catch it on the Discovery channel. It is even cooler (for me) hearing about it first hand from someone that has a lot of personal time in the things.

Enough of my blathering, lets get to the Tomcat.

Read "Full Blower on the Cat"
I believe all the pictures are his, and he was in the back seat of the video. Like I said cool stuff.

Of course, when ever there is a YouTube video, you have to click through and see where it takes you (more web coolness). Here is where it took me...

And another view... (even cooler!)

I get goosebumps and turn into a toddler, clapping and giggling every time I see this stuff. I can't get enough.

EDIT!! For the ultimate experience, get both those videos showing on your screen, play the first and the instant it hits 47 seconds, hit play on the second. It isn't twice a cool, it is cool squared!

I apologize for the over abundance of 'cool'. I hope you understand.



My backyard is crap right now.


Is no longer.

Three thing have led to my lawns decay.

  1. I took shortcuts. I should have brought in more topsoil and done some grading so it drains away from the house better.
  2. Clyde. The #1 and #2 didn't kill it, the running full speed and slamming on the brakes did.
  3. Shade. See the shadow from those trees? They are now taller and fuller.

There are probably more blades of grass in a square foot of that picture than there are on the whole lawn now, it is that bad. The moss does well, though it is even more susceptible to #2. Done right moss is very pretty, you just cant play on it.

Being a glass full kinda guy, I have decided to make lemonade out of lemons.

I am going to do some trimming to control the trees more, but am leery of spending the money right now to do my lawn right. So, I broke out the RC car!

When the lawn was healthy, I couldn't drive the car in the back. It is a 1/18th scale car (small) and the grass blades would float it. It would move, but slowly. No fun at all. It hauls donkey in the street in front of the house, but there is the whole 37 year old without kids playing with toys thing. People just don't understand.

Now with the lack of lawn, the car hauls!

I go out back with Clyde and we take turns. Me chasing him with the car, him chasing the car. It is an absolute blast! Often while he's chasing the car, I'll spin the thing around causing him to launch into the air to avoid it. He is quite agile for a hundred pound dog.

Occasionally he comes down on top of the thing. The car is fairly tough but things break. Today it was the drivers side upper turnbuckle. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see that I replaced it with the old plastic one that I had held on to. I replaced it, threw in a fresh battery, gave the car a once over, and was back out racing with him ten minutes later. I enjoy the fixing of the thing as much as the driving. It's like... second fun.

Here is the thing after a hard evening of bashing. The dog is asleep as I type.

I may build a few jumps back there...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Camera Still Works

I just need to push the 'button' more.

Taken while on a crisp morning walk with Carrie.

Posted two pics over at flickr that I shot while on a walk with Carrie. Not my best work, but I like them. I needed to show the flickrites that I am still alive.

Flanders? Sticker on a dumpster.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The other day I slouched on the couch and watched a movie. ...A rare occurrence for me as I'm not much of a movie kind of guy.

The movie I watched was 300, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller. It told the story of the Spartan king Leonides and the battle against Xerxes, the King of Persia at Thermopylae. The Spartans, greatly outnumbered (Hugely outnumbered!), try to hold back the advancing Persian in a Mountain pass.

I had a vague bit of knowledge of the battle in the archives of my brain and that made me curious to see the movie through.

The most striking thing about the movie was its visuals. I haven't seen the graphic novels and don't read comic books but you can see how it was filmed like a comic book that came to life. Don't get me wrong, it didn't seem comic strippy, it was just highly stylized. In a good way.

The only negative I saw was that it was a bit heavy with the gratuitous pec and ab shots...

A heads up (off) there is a bit of gore in the movie, so beware....

Caution, Spoilers ahead. But like Titanic (which I have never seen) this movie is based on history. How the movie goes down has been known for almost two thousand five hundred years... Get with the program!

The story is told as a narrative by one of the soldiers, Dilios. You have no trouble telling the good guys from the bad in his storytelling as the bad are monsters. The Ephors that have been bought are a cross between the Emperor from Star Wars, and the little naked hairless dude from Lord of the Rings. The Persian warriors are so ugly not even their mothers could love them. Ephialtes, the spurned Spartan that reveals a goat trail to the Persians was a deformed hunchback. Theron, the corrupt Spartan politician, reminded me of the Geico Cavemen.

The Spartans of course were tall, strapping, with abs and pecs out for all to see. 300 hundred of them held the pass for a few days before being out flanked.

Some have found the depiction that the Persians were monsters, and the non-Spartan Greeks were weak to be offensive... Please. The reason that is silly is made clear at the end of the movie when we see that Dilios was using the story raise a larger force to attack the Persians, kicking off the Battle of Plataea. I'm no Greek historian, but back in the day before photographs, TV and movies, that is exactly how they described their enemies. Hell, I'm pretty sure that everybody demonizes their enemy when they are at war. It happened in WWII, Vietnam, and even today in the war on terror. Even the riotous 'left' does it with George Bush, characterizing him a dumb puppet buffoon. I think that may just be the most realistic part of the movie.

The other thing that I am quite sure about is that while based on history, this movie isn't meant to document it....

Talking about history, after watching the movie, it got me on the internet looking up what I could find about Thermopylae and its battle. The first thing that hit me was how close to history the story was (sans monsters). I could see Leonides, but thought the name Xerxes had to be made up.... No joke, it is real. The other thing the movie did was spark some interest in Greek history for me. Unfortunately the problem with being Mike is that I am interested in too much damn stuff. I will file this in my to-do list along with the 100 Must-Read Books: The Essential Man’s Library (I am in the middle of my second book from the list), and furthering my sailing experience. It is hard being me sometimes!


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Huff 'n' Puff

Not to be confused with H.R.

Took the Chief for a walk today, but this time it was a bit different... We tried a bit of running.

Three things I learned.

  1. I need to let the dog 'chill' from the initial excitement of heading outside.
  2. I am one sorry out of shape dude.
  3. I am one sorry out of shape dude.

Yes, number two and three are repeated because that fact was hammered home for me. My legs felt like two bags of concrete hanging from my hips, and my heart tried to burst from my chest. I didn't push very hard, it was more of an experiment to see how Clyde behaved and if my body could take it. His leash etiquette, one he settled, was better than when we are just walking. I think it was because he had to concentrate on traveling, there was no time to smell everything.

We will try again soon, same distance. Eventually we will add more distance until I am back in Olympic class condition...

...And now, time for something completely different... CAN ATTACK!!!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009



Some from flight 1549 are pissed because US Air isn't giving them enough perks....

"You're going to crash me into the water, and you're going to tell me all I get is an upgrade?" asked Antonio Sales, 20, who was traveling with the University of South Carolina's track team. "That's more of an 'OK, you're not dead, I'll give you something to hold on to.' It's not enough at all."

What an ungrateful prick... Yes, this pisses me off. Think of it this way, Antonio, US Air is not only giving you an upgrade for a year, they also extended your FREAKING LIFE by having a well trained crew that was able to bring the airplane back to the ground safely. What is the value in that?

...And while I am lit up, what are you going to sue for? That they took off with geese in the air? Airplanes should only take off when they can be sure that all geese are on the ground? That they didn't fly around the geese? Did a US Air employee hold a gun to your head and make you get on that airplane?

If this airplane went down because of poor maintenance, or negligence by the crew, sue away.... You deserve every penny.

Stupid people, just looking for their chance at a payday. This is why I like dogs, they enjoy life for what it is, a gift.


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Live Bloggin' The Super Bowl

6:28pm - Got bored with the live blogging updates.... Set up a Twitter widget on the right of this page. Will continue over there...

6:22pm - Here come the cardinals... They are going to score, if they don't screw it up again...

6:19pm -, best commercial yet. Jheremie (or however he spells it ) Urban... another ex-hawk, making a catch.

6:04pm - Wow, Brenda Warner sure looks different.... About 20 years younger... Is she from Ork? (get it?)

5:59pm - Punching koalas... Hilarious (

5:54pm - Cards imploding... Personal fouls. Thanks for bringing up SB XL Michals... Chee-Kay!!

5:48pm - If there is one thing I know, It is that referees love Pittsburg.

5:43pm - Chee-kay!!! Probably my favorite Seahawk, name wise, behind Pork Chop Womack. I miss him. (yes, I have had beers)

5:39pm - Lame rule. Cards dodge a bit of a bullet. Budweiser commercials, like their beer, suck.

5:34pm - Dammit, I should have used Twitter for this... Then I wouldn't have to type the damn date every time. Ooops, was that a turnover by the Cards? We'll find out after the lame commercials....

5:21pm - I liked Super Bowl halftimes better when they had nipple.

5:17pm - Hey guess which song is Bruce's new one? Yep, the sucky one.

5:11pm - I'm impressed, the crowd for Springsteen acutually look to be the correct age. I like Max Weinberg.

5:09pm - We have a roadie down! Watch out for that guitar.

5:05pm - Did anyone notice how high Costas's chair is compared to the other guys on the set? Heh, little people.

4:56pm - WOW! What a way to end the half! LOL, the big dude is gassed!

4:34pm - Warner sacked. E-Trade singing baby is a winner.

4:31pm - Big punt return by the Cards. I really don't want them to win.

4:21pm - Uh oh, AZ is awakening... watch out!

4:10pm - Pepsi Max... Funny stuff, I like the physical humor.

4:07pm - Ben Rothles...ger... the lower half of his face is huge.

4:01pm - end of first quarter. No defense loses championships (Arizona). Fast and Furious??? C'mon.

3:51pm - Defense wins championships...

3:42pm - Nice of the refs to make the correct call regarding a big Ben touchdown. Makes me feel a lot better about Super Bowl XL. Audi has the best commercial so far.


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