Monday, May 31, 2010


What exactly is the proper PPE for getting a rat out of the house?

Well, today it was socks, sweat pants, and leather fireplace gloves.

This afternoon, Pom kept looking under one of the hall tables. Finally, I got Jennifer to help me move it, and as it moved, a rat ran out from underneath. Pom had somehow snuck a live one into the house.

Thus ensued the chase. It began in the sitting room, and went back and forth between us behind one of the love seats. Then it got past us and went into the library. Luckily it didn't get behind the six foot tall bookshelves.

However it did get past us again and made it into the media room. And into the couch.

It took refuge in one of the arms, and we tipped the couch forward and had it trapped there. I ran for the gloves, and a pair of scissors. I cut a little length of the fabric of what would be the bottom of the couch, and holding the flashlight in one gloved hand, I reached in after the rat with the other (also wearing a glove). After three misses, two of which I felt the tail slip through the glove (-2 to DX rolls anyway due to thickness), and a third where it jump onto the glove and peeked out before I yelled and it dropped back inside, I got a good grab on it body.

Through the glove, I could feel it breathing and possibly even feel its heartbeat. I kept a strong grip on it, and could not bring myself to crush it in my hand. So I took it outside (we had all the doors open in the hopes of driving it out, originally) and threw it as far as I could into the bushes.

Then the adrenaline wore off, and Jennifer about broke down. And the mighty hunters celebrate with a Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat for her and #4 of my remaining Guinness 250s. Pom is outside and doesn't drink beer.

I think I may go curl into a ball now.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I've spent that last two days re-organizing my comic book collection.

I've resorted my collection, and have been entering the issues into a spreadsheet.

Then today, I ran out of bags for the comics and then I needed a few boxes to make things a little easier. So I ran to Flying Colors Comics. I had less than half an hour to get there, and when I got there they said they were out of both bags and boxes.

I left and just kept thinking why kind of comic shop runs out of bags and boxes? It's like a restaurant running out of syrup for Coke. Not that it doesn't happen, I think it just shows poor planning.

So, I'll be calling my shop in Livermore tomorrow, and find out if he has any supplies.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Auto Repairs

Today I dropped my car off at the auto repair shop. I'm still waiting for the estimate to come back, but once I get that, the work will hopefully go quickly.

Then I got my rental vehicle. So I'll be driving a Toyota Matrix until the work is completed.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Things were going so well with my new NAS, and then they ground to a screeching halt.

Yes, I could play the music off of mu external hard drive that I was running through the NAS, but Jennifer discovered that things were all Read Only on it.

So after killing the evening trying to fix it myself, I called Tech Support.

It turns out that the NAS runs on a UNIX kernel and the kernel doesn't like NFTS (the Windows file system). And therefore the External will have to be reformatted. So over night, I will be copying all of my files from the External to the NAS.

Then tomorrow, I will reformat the External to the UNIX file system.

It's something with an X in it.

After I do that, I'll see if I can get the printer to work through the NAS. If not, I'll call Tech Support back and see what they have to say.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NAS is Nice

Today my new Network Attached Storage (NAS) arrived.

So I spent the evening setting it up. It wasn't quite as easy as plugging it in, connecting it to the network, and turning it on.

But almost.

Right now I've got it set to RAID 5 which will allow the 4 drives to back each other up giving me 3/4 of the total capacity, but still giving me protection in case something should happen to one of the drives.

My only problem so far has been setting up my old laser printer to work with it. I bought a parallel to USB cord, but that doesn't seem to work with the NAS. It does work when directly plugged into the laptop, so we may just use it like that for a while. I think the next way I'll try is a parallel to router attachment.

But until then, my next project will be setting up backing up the computers.

Hey Kids, Comics!

Neatorama recently linked to the webcomic Mal and Chad.

I started reading it, and quickly added it to my rotation.

Today's is right there for us PB&J fans (click it to see the whole strip):

Monday, May 24, 2010


Today when I got back from the gym, Jennifer asked what I wanted for dinner.

She said, "Do you want Mexican? Or would you rather have sushi?"

Some choices are no choice at all.

Sushi was wonderful.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Return

Yesterday I drove back from southern California. The trip wasn't too bad, but I was really surprised at the amount of gas I used. When I had driven south, I had only used 7/8 of a tank, and yet on the return, I had to fill up in Livermore, so I was about 45 minutes from home.

I had thought it was due to warmer weather which required more air conditioner usage, but I'd had a jar of moisturizer that had melted and flowed on the way down, but it didn't melt on the way back.

It was pretty windy on the Thursday, so maybe that was it.


Jennifer and I went out to dinner together when I got home, and then when we got back, i walked out to get the mail. While I was waling, I heard a cat meowing, and so as I came back to the house, I started looking for it. Finally, as I got back to our garage, I tracked the meowing to our roof. Where I saw Pom silhouetted against the sky. I went in and got the laundry basket that she likes to ride in, and even though I could raise it up high enough for her to almost step into, she wouldn't get close to the edge.

People who know me will remember that I dislike heights. I even had to be helped off of a roof in college when I locked up. So it was up to Jennifer to get Pom down. She got her close once, but wasn't able to hold on, so we had to let her sit up on the roof for a while before trying again.

Finally, Pom got close enough again for Jennifer to grab her, and this time she got her down.

Today, Pom stayed in.


I did not much of anything today. I went in to work to unload and drop off the truck, did my time sheet, and then came home. At home I relaxed, read a little, and ended up falling asleep for about 2 hours.

Tomorrow,, I will probably do about the same thing. Except sleep may be broken up with bits of laundry.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Southern California - Day Four

And so... I"m done.

Only two sites today, but I was under orders from the wifely unit to not drive home after working. Plus it ended up that I didn't finish uploading information to our company FTP site until after check out time.

But I'm done.

I had an early dinner at Alcatraz again. This time I had their potstickers, seared ahi tuna, and an excellent clam chowder.

Tomorrow, I'm on he road back to the North.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Southern California - Day Three

I got my sites done pretty quickly today. I didn't have to do interviews for the second two, and that made things really quick. i could have done my other two sites today if I didn't already have appointments there for tomorrow.

I did discover a Krispy Kreme near my hotel, so I got to have that as a snack after lunch.

Then for dinner, I went to the Market Broiler. I had an incredible duo of shark and tri-tip with cottage cheese and a baked potato.

I have two more sites to do tomorrow, and then I'll drive back home on Thursday.

Monday, May 17, 2010


So John posted this:

Which then led me to this:

Which reminded me of this:

That is all. Thank you.

Southern California - Day Two

Today went very well. I got through my field work quickly and was able to work on the photo renaming and filling out the paperwork.

I got my four sites done with nicely, and had a nice lunch at Pick Up Stix. I miss that restaurant, and all four of the ones that used to be in the Bay Area that I knew of are gone. This one did the great job that I miss, and I had a great kung pao.

Then for dinner I went to Alcatraz Brewing in The Block. Happy hour is a wonderful thing, even if all 5 screens were showing the Lakers/Suns game.

But the ribs and spring rolls were great. As was the beer.


No, I don't normally mention this sort of thing. I usually leave it to John; to whom I owe a great debt for the Daily Shows that I have missed. Especially for Lewis Black. However, this... pisses me right off.

Makes me embarrassed to have been a republican at any time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Southern California - Day One

So I drove down to Anaheim today. I'll be in southern California for the week performing interviews and inspections on gas station sites down here for Phase I work we're doing.

And yes I drove down instead of flying because I have to wear all of my personal protective equipment (PPE) while I'm on site.

It's a lot of gear. Plus I"ll have a company vehicle with our logo, so that will help me feel more official.


Dreaming about watching a television series that has a cliffhanger ending...

And waking up before the end of the show.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Star Cruiser... Crash!

Today i was an a car accident.

First off, I'm fine. The car is drivable, and it's pretty much cosmetic damage.

I was coming off of Diamond Boulevard onto Willow Pass Road, turning right, and the woman turning right in the lane next to me came into my lane. I moved over from the middle lane into the left lane, and yet, she kept coming. We traded paint, and her side-mount knocked the cover off of my side-mount.

No one was hurt, and we traded information and took pictures.

I'm just low grade angry now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


"... and can you identify the book that did this to you sir?'

"Oh, it was horrible. I'll never forget it. All the promises and build-up and then for it... to just... I don't know if I can maintain. Do we have to do this now?"

"Yes, sir. I apologize, and I can only imagine what you must be going through right now, but please, if you name the book, so many others might be helped."

"All right, I can understand your situation. It was that one. That one right there... Jim Butcher's Changes!"

"Thank you, sir. You've been very helpful."

You have all been warned.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Journey Onward...

Today, I was asked to fill in for a coworker who was going to be doing some work down south. She's unable to go due to a health issue, so she's unable to do the travelling.

I'll be going down this coming Sunday, and performing Phase I interviews and inspections at 10 sites in and around Anaheim.

A quote from "Clerks" comes to mind:

"You hate people."

"But I love gatherings. Isn't it ironic?"

I'm hoping to be back Thursday.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Sunday while I was with my parents for Mother's Day, Jennifer sent me a picture of a rat that Pom had caught and brought in to show her.

That makes 6 in about 2 years. Not counting the live lizard she brought in that one time.

The first she left for us on the mat outside the front door, but since we don't use that door much, we didn't find it for a while, and it settled into one of the gaps in the mat (it's rubber, but shaped like wrought iron)

The second she brought to us the day after I cleaned up the first. That one she had in the garage, and even though it was dead, she was holding it between her paws and rubbing on either side of her face.

The third was the one she brought in late at night when I called in her. I was glad I saw the tail dangling from her mouth, so I got her to drop it in the foyer.

The fourth she left for us in the very center of the garage the night we went to see the new Star Trek movie.

The fifth was another she brought in.

And now this one, the sixth.

Now, I'm pretty sure they're rats from the size of their tails which have been between 9 and 12 inches long.

I took pictures of this one in the bag Jennifer put it into when she cleaned it up. The body was a little curled up, but from its hip to the tip of the tail was the length of a gallon Ziploc bag.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Iron Man 2

I have just gotten out of "Iron Man 2", and it was quite a fun movie. I can't say yet how it compares to the first movie, but it was very entertaining.

The casting is lots of fun, and the effects were great. I think that Downey's times in partial suit were CG, but I'm still not positive. I'll come up with a final verdict when I see it the second time with Jennifer.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

J. Michael Straczynski

I first encountered J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) like most people did, from watching "Babylon 5". I am not ashamed to say that there were episodes that made me cry.

When Ivanova's father dies and she is talking to him over video-phone.

When Kosh dies and at the same time is speaking to Captain Sheridan in his dreams.

When Marcus dies transferring his life to Ivanova.

Recently, JMS has moved into writing comics. He wrote independent for a while, then he worked at Marvel for a while. And now he has moved to DC Comics. I was a bit nervous about what he might do to my favorite heroes.

Then this morning, I read The Brave and The Bold #33. It almost sounds like a joke (which is what JMS does sometimes) "Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Zatanna go out clubbing..." It's hard to describe what specific time period it takes place in without giving away the whole story. I was enjoying a light reading until about halfway through. Then with one word from Wonder Woman, tears are streaming down my face.

An incredible book that anyone who was reading DC in the mid- to early-90s will enjoy.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Pool

The pool is open finally. There is still a lot of drama surrounding the past week. One of my personal let downs is that someone other than the threatening lady did call me back from BAPS, but I cannot give them the courtesy they gave me as I do not wish to attract the legal action they threatened.

Today we also received a letter that went out to all residents reiterating the rules of the pool and spa. The first paragraph states that the Association has the "right to alter the open and closed dates of the pool and spa operation at any time, for any reason." [emphasis theirs]

My response to that is that surely they have to give notice when that happens. And supply a reason.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Things I Miss

I miss my daily Pepsi. Weekends I savor the one I allow myself.

I miss my candy. Sometimes it would be so easy to just sit and eat Starburst or M&Ms.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Pool Wars - The Management Strikes Back

So the latest...

E-mails came back to me on Saturday from Bay Area Property Services (BAPS). First off, our landlady will be charged $65 because I called the emergency line to complain about our pool not being open. Apparently this is not an appropriate use of that system.

Then today, I received this e-mail


I have been advised you have contacted many employees at Bay Area Property Services and have left messages regarding the pool.

I ask that you stop contacting our office immediately.

All communication needs to go through Judy—as she is the owner of the unit.

[Landlady]—if this harassment continues from your tenant—I will assign this to the HOA’s attorney for harassment and you will be billed directly for all costs. Please speak to
your tenant.

[BAPS Representative]

So that's where it is. I've been perma-banned from talking to BAPS even though our first month in the condo, we were given a letter from our landlady giving us permission to act on her accord. I wrote an e-mail to our landlady reiterating the situation and asking for her to talk with BAPS for us.

We'll see.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Today, Jennifer and I spent the day ding things in and around our home.

And then this evening, we went to the Vogue Theater to see a live SModcast recording.

We started with dinner at Osteria Cusina Toscana. It was a wonderful dining experience with great food at affordable prices, and a very efficient staff.

It was right across the street from the Vogue Theater. We overheard the couple who was eating next to us ask the waitress what the long line (that was going around the corner) was for. the waitress didn't know, but we shared that was for a director and producer of movies that we liked who were doing a live appearance. They asked what movies and we listed their works together. they actually knew about "Clerks" so that was cool.

The show itself was fun, and I look forward to hearing the SModcast that they make out of it.

Tomorrow, it's back to work, and hopefully a happier office than how we left it on Friday.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Today I am a Red Lantern

Today, our pool and spa were supposed to be open. It says so in our HOA bylaws.

I really don't trust our property management company, so yesterday I called to confirm that the pool would be open, even though it was scheduled to be open on a Saturday. I was assured that it would be.

Today came, and I went to my comic book store, and got my books along with my free ones for free Comic Book Day.

Then we came home, got Jennifer all set to go out to spend time around the pool, and she went out to sit in the sun.

However, she was soon back stating that the gate was still locked up and the pool was not clean.

Jennifer was pretty much devastated. I was livid. I ended up calling every extension at Bay Area Property Services that they listed on their voice message service. As well as e-mailing everyone that listed their e-mail address.

I soon got an e-mail back stating that the pool would not be open until Memorial Day. Also that all communication should come from the property owner.

I have since scanned the HOA bylaws which give the opening date as May 1, and there are no addenda changing this date.

I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Also, with all love and honesty, I have never felt more like my mother. Because she doesn't put up with shit from companies that screw with her either.

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