Friday, July 29, 2011

Dear blog,

Today was a wonderful day. It started well with a delightful Twitter conversation with some of my BFFs. Then Dave M got in on it and ruined the conversation. He ruins everything, (bless his misguided heart) that big jerk. I suppose he can't help it being Greek and all. Later in the day one of my neighbeors needed to borrow a ladder. I was more than happy to oblige. She can use any help she can get you know her being single and all at her age. I mean I hope she finds love some day, and she is seeing a fine gentalman and all but he is an import(bless his heart) and probably can't be trusted. I felt better later when I got asked to play poker by some other BFFs. Golly I love to play poker. We sat and gossiped like nobody's business! At least not our business! Tee hee. It really is a nice time. The buy in is small, the chatter polite, and the fun eeeeenoromous. Except I lost. We did get to try many fine libations though and that always eases the blow of losing money to people (bless their hearts) who are totally undeserving.
After that wonderful and exciting day I am bushed. I am gonna snuggle in to bed between my fine linens and think of how fortunate I am, especially in relation to all the fine people (bless their hearts) I know who don't have the blessings I do.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yeah, I know.

I know I haven't posted in a while. I've been on a bit of a vacation and spending my time off unwisely, as one should.
I did go and see Tim Minchin play at the Pantages in Minneapolis. I did not start any fights or wreck anything or get arrested. Someone should give me a medal. The show was fantastic.
I did go to my family reunion at which I spend much of my time drunk. I kinda have to. I an the only lib in a camp full republicans. The weird thing is many of the things they support are the things that democrats support and the things they don't like are things libertarians don't like. They want protection for the environment and renewable energy and recycling. And hate the 'man' all up in their business. Also I'm vey confused by their concern for the environment but think climate change is a scam. Crazy.
I also went to a drinking skeptically meet up, played poker, burnt down a school, robbed a taco stand, helped NATO bomb Libya, eradicated a spy ring, deported a suspected drug kingpin, imported Chinese iPhone knockoffs, and perfomed in a burlesque show under the name Jiggles L'Amour. It was a good three weeks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Antiques Roadshow adventure.

So I went to the Antiques Roadshow in Minneapolis at the convention center. It is a nice generic facility that seems to serve it's purpose. I walked up to the guest desk and proclaimed my presence. I was given a lanyard with a badge proclaiming I was a guest. I was told to follow a gentleman with slight limp. I followed him into the hall where I could see five hundred people waiting in a zig zagging queue. I was told that I would not have to wait in that line, I would be going right to the front. I walked past sneering line waiters smiling as big as I could. I was told to pick one of six tables to receive my tickets for my goods that I brought for appraisal. I step up to a table and am asked what I have brought. A nineteen twenties lamp and a turn of the century pocket watch. I get a ticket for decorative arts and one ticket for watches and clocks. I take my tickets and walk inside. It is set up like a hub. A large center area that is walled in by fabric banners. Inside the ring are the appraisers with their backs to the wall and the center of the ring are tables set up with cameras in the very center pointing out. Outside the ring are the lines to get inside. Lines inside are about five deep, lines outside are anywhere from none to fifty deep depending on the items.
I wheel my lamp around to the decorative arts line. Not a soul! Right to the front of the line and right to a table. I hoist the lamp up and the appraiser tells me it's 1920's alabaster American knock off of an Italian nouveau lamp. Two to four hundred at auction. Bleh. I leave the table mildly disappointed. I walk out of the inner ring and to the watch and clock line. Lots of watches, no clocks in the line. Six people ahead of me. Six people takes thirty-five minutes to get into the line inside the inner circle. I am looking around and I see a woman at furniture table. She is holding a chair. I have the exact chair at home. Sort of nouveau. Sleek curvilinear lines with some pretty ornamentation at the top. Garage sale find in college. Three bucks for it. There was another one at the sale, but I only wanted one.
I am fourth in this line and I haven't moved if fifteen minutes. The woman with the chair is being escorted to one of the filming tables.
My interest turns to the chair lady. I move up one space in line. I am watching very closely as the other appraisers gather around the table and they apply makeup to the chair lady. I move up one more spot. I am getting anxious to hear the conversation. They are focusing the cameras and getting close ups of the chair to be edited in later. My watch gets placed on the table. The appraiser tells me it's a 1910 gold plated broach watch. Worth two hundred and fify. I thank him and turn to watch the chair ladies appraisal. I can hear her telling the guy she found it at a rummage sale for three bucks. He is telling her that it is a Frank Lloyd Wright prototype. The only one known to exist. Usually all prototype furniture was destroyed so it couldn't be copied or the design elements stolen. Chair lady is getting flushed. The appraiser's hand are very slightly shaking. They talk a bit about elements. About the number on the bottom. Number 2. Meaning there is a number one very probably made, but who knows where that might be.
I know where that might be. I know exactly where that number one might be.
The appraiser tells chair lady her if number one is found her chair is still in the three to four hundred thousand dollar range. If it is the only one, maybe a million. Now most people would be happy to hear that about a chair. I see a chance to double my money. The chair lady is sliding to the floor, fainting. I am stepping forward pulling my lamp out of its basket and up over my head. As everyone is turning to attend to chair lady I bring the lamp down on the chair as hard as I can. It blows into pieces. I grab the ornate splat and run. No one reacts. All eyes are on the shattered chair. I push my way through the crowd out of the inner ring and bolt for the exit. I bust through the door and see nothing but hallways. The backstage area is a maze of corridors. I am running down a hall and am jumping through every door makes exit. I hear an alarm sounding. At a dead run I hit a door that leads to the dock. I feel the heat of the pavement hit my face and pull the air out of my collapsing lungs. The first hundred degree day of the year is not a day best chosen for this. I break for the open chain link gate opposite the door and the over pass right on the other side. It is starting to close before I get down the four steps to the asphalt. I can make this.
I get three quarters of the way across the lot and sweat is stinging my eyes so badly I can hardly see. I can make the gate. I hear yelling behind me. Lots of it. I can make the gate. Forty feet and it's looking thin. I can make the gate. Ten feet and I am second guessing. I throw the splat and land it under the gate wheel. I keep my head forward and turn my shoulders to make the jump through the gate. I tear open my shirt on the latch making it through. The splat is shuddering along the ground under the wheel. The gate closes and the splat splits apart. Unrepairable. That's all I needed.
I look up and see over a dozen guards and employees running to the gate. I don't think I have time to waste. I turn and run. My chest is stinging. I look down and see I did not just tear my shirt. I tore my skin. Not as easy to repair as the shirt by the amount of blood, I'm guessing.
I look back and see the gate starting to open. I am making a break for the hood on the other side of the freeway. I am starting to slow. I look over the side of the overpass at the traffic. It's moving about 25mph and I see a truck coming. I know shit that happens in movies rarely works in real life but I am out of option. I watch as the truck passes under the bridge. I count to three and jump over the rail. I hit the top of the trailer and roll. This may have worked! I slow my roll enough to see the trail of blood I have left across the to of the trailer. I have not slowed my roll enough to stop myself from rolling off he back end of the trailer. I should have counted to two. I look over my shoulder to see the dump-truck tailgating the semi. The drivers eyes are growing incredibly wide as I am falling.
I hear the sound of brakes. Loud. I am bouncing off the freeway and feel the bumper of the dump-truck pushing me along. Silence. Stopped. I am very broken. But alive. I hear the sound of tires screeching. The dump-trucks coworker, the one texting while driving, the one coming up fast behind, the one that doesn't stop in time. The chain reaction shows me my face growing larger in the chrome bumper. My eyes getting bigger as the bumper gets closer. One foot less and I would have been a millionaire.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Online build projects

So, here's the problem with online build it yourself projects. You really never know what you are building. I've done a lot of these projects and most have turned out good. Some are duds, but certainly not Napoleon Dynamite Internet Time Machine type duds.if you don't get the reference, where the fuck have you been? So I get plans to build a steam powered airship. Now this may seem complicated, but I have several degrees in engineering and physics, so it's complicated, but certainly not undoable.
I unfurl the plans (a steal at $249.00 plus free shipping!) and take a look. I realize pretty quick that it is not the set of plans I ordered. Well, there goes my steamship invasion force for taking the Galapagos. I pour over the plans and see the problem. It was mislabeled. It looks like a good project anyway, so I start to build. After two months and very little accomplished I realize I am in this one for the long haul. Three quarters of the way through I start to wonder if I should finish this project. It is calling for pretty hefty amounts of power. 25,000 kilowatts constant with a peak of 2 megawatts. I can get the power, it's the funneling of it that is tough. I build several substations in a perimeter around my house and tap into the grid supplying the two closest cities and the nuke power plant twenty miles away. That done, the next parts I have to dig through the trash of several experimental aircraft graveyards and grab a particle accelerator from the Bevatron, a local particle accelerator lab that is being dismantled.  They won't miss it. The last part is a three mile diameter solar collection array that isn't used for the heat, but strictly for the light intensity. All of this seems to focus on a point where all these things come together.
Fourteen years in and I am ready to fire it up. I pick a nice sunny day and flip the switch. The solar array is generating beam of light wit a focal point of about three inches. It's hot. The air smells like it's burning. I flip the switch to power a donut shaped bridge rectifier that surround the beam of light. I can hear a crackling sound. I flip the switch and start firing particles into the mix at near light speed.
Everything is weirdly quiet. I think it is nullifying sound waves. I look around and see that it is nullifying all waves. Light is starting to shift inward toward it. I am only able to stare in amazement. I can tell the process is slowing to a stop. I reach over and flip the switches off. At the focal point of this massive energy pool is a quarter sized shimmery ball.
I walk to it and can see into it. It is a peephole to somewhere else. I get close and gaze into it. I see forms, vaguely humanoid. Several of the peering back at me. I can see one of them is holding a large tube, it points it at the hole and pushes something out the end. I see whatever it is is falling out of the hole. They are tiny metal bugs. They start to propagate quickly and some start dismantling my project. The bugs are feeding parts back through the hole. They are stealing everything they can dismantle. The hole fluctuates in size to accommodate the large pieces. There are millions of them already and multiplying fast.
I am telling you this so when they get to where you are you will know where they came from. Sorry about that. I really liked this planet.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 4of my first CON

Day 4: I struck the party room I designed. Picked up art I bought in the auction and went home. And slept. The End.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day three of my first CONvergence.

On day three of my first CON I realized a few more things. Like don't use a bathroom stall after a Brony (it's a guy who likes my little pony). There are things you never want to see in your life.
Also, don't spend too much time talking to one person. Things will get weird fast.
Also, a con rave is like trying to get most of these people to talk without a costume on. Awkward at best.
Also, there is some fantastic art for sale. really good stuff if you like kitten in wizard garb or topless women on dragons.
Also, steampunk can be dome really well, or it can be someone in renaissance festival wear with a different hat and welding goggles.
Also, Rainbow Brite is hot in real life. Even if she might really be a dude.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day two of my first convergence.

I overheard this conversation.
1: "Frakking right!"
2: "You should say 'frakking'."
1: "I did say frakking."
2: "Oh, I thought you said fricking."
1: "No, I said frakking."
2: "Oh."
me: "Shut the fuck up."

Also, telling PZ Myers he is "doing god's work." gets you a punch in the breadbasket. He doesn't look all that tough, but he will put you down Tyson style. Minus the raping part. Also, Mike Tyson jokes don't go real far anymore.

Also, drunk CON goers tend to be as horrible as drunks everywhere else. Maybe not get drinks from every party room and mix it all in one flask. I'm not trying to tell you how to live, but maybe someone should.

It is a frakking good time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

1'st Convergence: day 1

So I got to CONvergence and checked in. So I did. I wandered around for a while, hit the vendor booths and a couple of panels. Pretty standard stuff. Then I saw it.
My nemesis. Pikachu. Mother fucker must die.
Back-story here is that when I was young I was at a Pokemon get together and tragedy struck.I was in the final round and had nearly defeated my opponent when she dropped Pikachu on my sorry ass and before I had time to adjust, it was over. I had lost. The event was so traumatic that whenever I see Pikachu I flip out. It was either that or the time a guy dressed as Pikachu broke into my house and murdered my family in front of me and then painted me yellow and kept me in his basement for three years as his Pikachu Jr. slave. Probably losing the game though.
So, back to the story, I see Pikachu from across the room. My eyes fixed upon him, welling with tears, squint menacingly. I start with a walk, to jog, to run, to full on shoulder down locomotion. Pikachu sees me, but it is too late. Jolly little bastard can't react fast enough. My juggernaut inertia and resolve plow into it and we are airborne. We hit the ground a full fifteen feet from the impact site and the thunderclap is enormous. The shockwave scatters video, role playing and board gamers alike. I bounce off Pikachu and land on all fours ready to pounce again. Pikachu is down for the count. I jump to its side and put a boot to its guts screaming "Who's you daddy now, Pika, Pika, Pikachu?!?"
I have bested my nemesis. I put my foot on its head, hand on the knee, and look around. "Well?" I ask the crowd. My hands are doing the up wave to encourage the applause. None.
I look around and see a group of lightweights headed toward me with Con employee badges on. I could take them at one or two at a time but a group of seven or eight is a little much. I break into a run. I head for the pool area at a full run and dodge through a party room. I clip a couple of geeks on the way through and am through the door. I push off a hall way wall and head up the steps. I figure the gap between the pursuers will give me a chance to fight them off if I have to.
I turn right and head down the hall, reach the end and turn again. If I can lose them long enough I may be able to make a quick change and fool them into thinking I had left. I look ahead and see more heading from around the corner. They split up and were using knock off Star Trek communicators to trap me. It worked...almost.I jump into a party suite. There are black lights and a Skepchick logo painted on the floor. Nice. I head for the balcony. There is an ottoman right up against the rail. I look over and see Rebecca Watson drinking a shot out of a test tube served by a lovely woman in a lab coat. Hot. I step on the ottoman and onto the rail. I am free falling into a group dressed as the X-men getting their picture taken by the video game booths. I land hard splaying the group asunder. I am up and running. or trying to. I have a Wolverine claw stuck in my leg. In my artery. And there is blood. lots of it. It is not a clean would. It is a bleeder. I look up and see Pikachu looking at me as I start to stumble. As I fall. I am losing consciousness. I can feel the foot of Pikachu on my head and hear the applause. MY applause! Pikachu, you have bested me again.