Friday, September 30, 2005

Bloggus Interruptus

Bye for now. Be back after this weekend.


Here's a particularly profound statement.

"The most terrifying sound on Earth is not the whistle of a descending bomb or the roar of a charging lion but rather a click when we expect to hear a bang."
- Peter Capstick

Of course for me, it's even more terrifying to realize that I'm in a place where politicians would very much like to ban the things that go bang.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's nice to get attention...I think.

I'm flattered to find out that so many people read my blog. At least I'm assuming lots of folks are reading it because now that I've posted that I'll be driving south this weekend, all the gas stations seem to have raised their prices.

Sure glad I have everyone's attention. /sarcasm

In other news I'm pleased to announce that Rosie now has a 2WD ONLY mode!!!!!

*crickets chirping*

Why is it nobody else gets excited when I say that. Actually I just made a quick modification (quick as in only having to disassemble half the dash instead of the whole thing) that allowed me to effectively turn off the control-trac system. This may sound crazy, but that's actually important under some road conditions because even though 2WD might make the car slightly less stable when accelerating, it makes it MUCH more stable when your foot is off the gas.

OK, enough lecturing, I"m off go get a snack then finish reassembling the console in the car.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Premium Humor

The other day had to write the check for this term's car insurance. As usual, I asked why my insurance rates were so high. My agent explained that they're always higher for young, single males. When I requested an explanation, this was his reply.

I hate it when he's right.

Here's to you Bo

I figure Bo (and the rest of you) might enjoy a little humor at the expense of MS

[Costello calls to buy a computer from Abbott…]

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "W" if you don't start with some straight answers. OK, forget that. Can I watch movies on the Internet?
ABBOTT: Yes, you want Real One.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real one, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. Just tell me what I need!
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie, I also want to watch reels 2, 3 and 4. Can I watch them?
ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?
ABBOTT: Real One.
COSTELLO: OK, I'm at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?
ABBOTT: You click the blue "1".
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?
ABBOTT: The blue "1".
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue W?
ABBOTT: The blue "1" is Real One and the blue "W" is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there are three words in "office for windows"!
ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.
ABBOTT: Yes, but to be fair, there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words out there.
COSTELLO: And that word is real one?
ABBOTT: Real One has nothing to do with Word. Real One isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: STOP! Don't start that again. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? They own it!
(A few days later...)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"...

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


It seems as though this weekend I'll be fancy-free and free for anything fancy (Cue Irving Berlin "No strings, no connections...") so I think I'll take a little trip down to Illini territory. I don't have anything fancy in mind really. I mostly just want to see some friends that I haven't spent time with for a while.

Of course while I'm there, there's always the possibility that I'll go to the Urbana Beer Tasting and Chili Cookoff. In the past years I've volunteered there with some of my friends and we always managed to come back with a few bottles for filling (with homebrew) and a few bottles for drinking (legitimate free drinks no less!)

So if you're in Champaign Urbana and I haven't spoken with you yet, give me a shout. I'll be around either Friday night or Saturday midday. C-U then!

(ok now that was pun-ishing)


I haven't been reading much on other blogs lately, but I just happened to click over to the "cheerfulness challenged, overly experienced, differently abled person's" blog and saw two posts that just about put me in the floor laughing.

The first post
is perfect for anyone who has pets, as it answers the age old question of how many dogs and cats it takes to change a lightbulb.

The second one is an absolutlely cruel pun. Incidentally I have been slacking lately on my online reading, but I always try to check in for the GOC's Monday pun. They're not the same kind of spontanious puns that I like to throw out, but puns like the one this week really catch my eye.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Maybe I've spoken too soon. Apparently daily rants are being posted on the "Nation of Riflemen" website by an anonymous character known as "The Gun Guy"

Sounds like Kim's rant is alive and well.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Powers of observation

This sounds like an urban legend to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if it actually did happen

Kane County Illinois, Sheriff's Department orders plain white
patrol units and has the graphics applied locally. In this case, what
they ordered was not quite what they got.

This car was driven for 1 week before an officer noticed what the graphics company employee did on the passenger side of the car. The employee did this on his last day working for the graphics company before he retired.

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite.
-Bertrand Russell

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Looks like I'll be spending a little extra time working on/driving my car: aka Rosalita. I know it may sound odd to give a car a name, especially one inspired by a Springsteen song, but my car is a symbol of my freedom and quite important to me. I certainly wouldn't want to trade her!

If you'll pardon me, I need to go out tonight and make that highway run!


I'm sorry to say, but it appears that Kim du Toit has officially quit blogging. This is sad news to me because he said many things which resonated in my mind. His enjoyment of firearms, his love for his family, his unswerving faith in the manly un"pussified" male and his (usually conservative) political views were always welcome topics as they gave me some faith that the world had not gone completely crazy and that I was not the only person who still enjoyed the individualist outlook on life (not to mention the smell of gunsmoke)

According to the last post, he had just gotten a (much needed) new job. And the current theory is that his new job was not sufficiently blog friendly to allow him to continue. This is especially probable considering his staunch political views on various subjects. On the bright side, the forum Kim started, known as "The Nation of Riflemen" is still going and is currently under new management. So if anyone is interested in firearms in any way, your ultimate resource is here!

Of course I'm always available for talk about firearms (yes I'm a gun nut, and proud of it)

Good luck Kim! You've been an inspiration and a comfort to me. I know I'll always be a rifleman at heart.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

OK, I've calmed down now

Maybe I should soften my previous statement. After being chewed out by the travel agency for 20 minutes or so the manager at the Fairfield Inn was not a jerk to me. Unfortunatly that didn't solve the problem so that means somebody who handled the booking there was either incompitent, or a weasle. (Though this does not rule out jerkiness, it does lessen the probability of it)

Long story short, my boss and I got a different hotel. (Why yes, I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Attention everyone!

Until further notice, everone please be advised that the managment at the Fairfield Inn in Winchester is a bunch of jerks!

Thank you!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Wrathful post warning

"There's no rest for the wicked, and the righteous need none" Either way, I don't expect to get any rest. As is usually the case when flying out of O'Hare it seems they've got some delay or another. Today it rained, so they'll probably be using that for an excuse, even though it stopped raining about 8 hours before my flight was scheduled to take off.

So anyway I've had to sit on the runway at O'Hare for nearly 2 hours. (apparently thunderstorms to the East held us up) The rental car place didn't have the car ready. To top it off, the hotel didn't have my boss' reservation so he took the rental car to a different hotel (most of them were full) so now I have to take a taxi to work in the morning (even though I don't know how to get there from here)

Doesn't matter though. I've got a job to do and if this is what it takes, then this is what it takes.

Personal update

Well folks, I had a really good weekend. I got to spend some time with my girlfriend's family and I went to a BBQ with my coworkers (hosted by my boss no less!) So things have been pretty nice.

Of course now I'm off on another adventure. I'll be heading to Virginia this week for a few days so I can assist in making a special product for the european market. (Shoulsn't be a big deal really.)

If all goes well, I'll be back by the end of the week, which is good because this coming weekend the Calument division of the NMRA is hosting a model railroad show/swap meet. Looks like it's time for me to go through the checkbook and see if I have any play money left for this weekend. (Such things require planning, us model railroaders are a fanatical bunch)

btw: if anybody wants some model railroad supplies (aka, members of the IRC) let me know and I'll see what I can find for you.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

"After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi." -- P.J. O'Rourke

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

When boys play with trains

I mentioned earlier that I went to Midwest Old Threshers this year. There were quite a few changes since I went there 5 or 6 years ago.

Here's a shot of locomotive number 6. This is part of the Midwest Central Railroad (the name of the narrow gauge railroad that goes around the Mt. Pleasant fairgrounds). They've made some modifications to this locomotive for movie work (equipment here is sometimes used in movies) so it looks a bit different than all the pictures on the official website.

I took several pictures, but not as many as I expected because I ended up being occupied quite a bit of the time. In fact, about half the time I was serving as a conductor on the Midwest Central Railroad.

It was really quite a bit of fun, especially for a train nut like me.

More to come as I can process the photos

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Bachelor life

Well folks, I'm back in Chicago and working on getting back to my everyday life. The trial went really well so now it's time to kick back and relax a bit.

Of course that also means cooking for myself again. Oh well, somebody pass the Ramen.*

*Disclaimer: I don't actually cook this way. . . I use an Optimus Svea instead

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back in the saddle again!

I set foot in my apartment at 3:01 Monday afternoon for the first time in 5 days. Today I walked out at 2:45 PM. Now I'm in, you guessed it, that oh so scenic Midwestern state of Minnesota. That's right less than 24 hours at home, 7 of which were actually spent in my apartment, and 4 of which were spent sleeping and now I'm back on the road again. Ah, the life of an Engineer!

It's not so bad though. I had almost 5 days to spend with the family and tour the Old Thresher's festival at Mt. Pleasant Iowa. Now I'm out on a trial by myself. The crew at the plant is really helpful and I've made sure the previous snafu with UPS won't occur again (all parts and parcels are accounted for) so I think it's going to be a good trial.

Wish me luck!