Monthly Archives: June 2009


I’m looking around for hints on how to make sections of a form that can be hidden or revealed on the web. On one of my searches I turned up

In the illustration on the page, the sample book is The Bible, but for some reason they have spelled a couple of the names they mention as “Jezus” and “Mozes.” Either they are trying to avoid offending people by using the common spellings, or they don’t actually speak English all that well and spelled the names phonetically.

I found it slightly amusing (amusing enough to share at any rate).

Protected: More on my home con

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

*Fun* Day

Today has turned out much more interesting than we’d originally expected.


Round and Round I Went

Yesterday, robot_grrl was asked to look for something at the San Diego County Fair, so we decided to meet there after work. This should have been simple, but…

The first couple of legs were easy and standard — get to the Qualcomm shuttle at the other building and take that to the earlier train. From there, I rode The Coaster one stop to Solana Beach. Last week, when I’d checked with and the NCTD transit planer, I was instructed to take the NCTD Breeze 101 bus from across the street from the train station to near the fairgrounds.

But this bus was late — way late. While I was waiting, I noticed a bus pull past saying that it was route 401 with a destination of “Fairgrounds.” After signaling the driver to move on when I thought I was flagging him down, I figured out where he’d come from and walked back over to the station and found the special stop. When he returned, he apologized for the misunderstood signal, and I mentioned that I was more bothered by the website giving me the wrong route. Then, as we went past the stop for the the first bus I was waiting for, the same people were still waiting and it was more than half an hour AFTER it was scheduled to stop.

So I got to the fair not too long after Tara, who’d driven to the remote parking and taken the bus over. However, the NCTD bus drops off at one side of the grounds and the remote parking shuttle on the other side. Since we hadn’t planned on going to the fair, I didn’t have my ticket. So I had to get to the other side where Tara was waiting.

But as I walked towards her, I remembered that the fair doesn’t allow knives, and I was still carrying my Leatherman. Since I didn’t want to throw it away, I apologized to Tara and we took the bus back to the parking lot, dropped off the Leatherman, and just about everything else I was carrying (I kept my wallet and pedometer) and we returned to the fair.

So, after over 2 hours of running around, and standing around, I finally made to the fair.

If I (or possibly we) go back one more time — if Tara’s supervisor clarifies what she wants, it is a possibility for next Tuesday — I’ll know to not bring my Leatherman and to catch the correct bus. I already have my ticket in my pocket, so using the enterance where the bus drops won’t be a problem. Of course I’ll have to make sure I don’t miss the last train North (lest I have to pay for an Amtrak ticket and get home really late).


This morning, I realized that through various networking sites (LiveJournal, FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc.), I am now connected to many — if not most — of the people I’ve regularly gamed with.

The problem is that they are scattered across the US — California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Virgina (I think in the last case). But I’m the only one in California and if I’m right about one being in Virginia, he’s the only one there. The two in Colorado are from different gaming groups (High School and College vs. early days at Motorola), and both groups are represented in Illinois. And then there are two different cities in Illinois, and two different parts of the state (UP and LP) in Michigan.

It would be almost tempting to try to set up a gathering on Skype or something and see if we could get a game going.

Of course, finding time to do that could be a bit tricky.

Celebrity Deaths from Yesterday

I’ll admit, I seem to be having a bit of a different reaction to Michael Jackson’s death than a lot of the people I’m seeing on the news and in online communities.

The thing is, I was never that fond of Jackson’s music or performances. As a kid, I think I heard some Jackson 5 stuff, but none of it stuck. I’ve got very little of it in my personal collection (I think a couple of tracks from the Time-Life 1970’s collections I acquire a few years ago and have loaded into iTunes/iPod) and have explicitly excluded some more recently (I removed, or at least kept from syncing to the iPod, the Jackson 5 stuff included as a bonus on the Pippin cast recording I got from iTunes a couple of years ago).

And then when Michael Jackson was in the peak of his career (mid 1980’s), I was not being exposed to a lot of “mainstream” pop. For the most part the radio station I listened to was KOB-AM which in that era was a news/adult contemporary station. That was also the same time when, largely thanks to my brother whose tastes and sound system dominated the house, and our shared drives to UNM in 1984-1986, I was getting more into Jazz, Classical, Musicals and a bit of New Age music. Most of my friends that weren’t into Jazz and similar were into harder stuff (not really Heavy Metal, though).

Then, even today most of Michael Jackson’s songs leave me with kind of a “Meh” or “that was OK, I guess” reaction. I’ll admit to thinking that the “Thriller” video was kind of fun — but the song itself was just OK.

Of course his erratic and very disturbing behavior as it has come out over the last several years turned him into either a scary or perhaps pitiable figure — someone who could never escape the demons that came from early fame and no escape from the spotlight.

Oddly enough, I don’t recall Farah Fawcett the same way as I’m sure many men of my age do. I’ll admit to watching Charlie’s Angels, but it was another fun 1970’s cop/detective show. Due to a combination of naivete, and probably some maturity factors, I was largely immune to the sexual nature of the show and could enjoy the story — even if today it doesn’t stand up very well.

If I have any memory of her from that era, it was the fact that she chose to leave a successful show in a very public way, and then mostly disappeared from view into a failed movie career.

I’ll have to admit, both Jackson and Fawcett had a great deal of impact on popular culture and deserve a place in the history of the eras that they touched. But personally, they were just a couple more celebrities who personally mattered very little to me.

House Update

This morning, I got word that Qualcomm will not be continuing rental assistance (neither the retroactive assistance for the last couple of months, nor the assistance for this and next month). This means that we are going to be very short of money until we get the house sold.

This could keep us from making Westercon, or doing much else between now and when the house sells. Worldcon isn’t at too much risk since we have to get Derrick from Illinois and already have the tickets to get there, but we may be very leery of doing anything more than the minimum cost stuff.

We would appreciate any assistance anyone can offer. Obviously if you, or anyone you know, is looking at houses we’ve got a really good one in a good area (Bartlett). Beyond that, at the very least prayers (for those so inclined) would be useful.

Needless to say, both robot_grrl and I are a bit upset, stressed and at least I’m depressed, over this situation.

Reported on the Caid (SCA) Lists — SCA Rapiers for Soliders in Afganstan

I just saw the following come across the SCA list for the Kingdom of Caid. I’m forwarding it hear in case anyone is interested. I personally can make no claims on the authenticity of the request:
forwarded e-mail follows

What is up with Rocket?

Over the last 3 days, Rocket has torn apart 3 different dog toys! Since we got him, he’s destroyed a toy every few months (plus made a few so icky from slobber that they also went away). But this seems to have greatly accelerated.

On Saturday, he destroyed Bone — an inexpensive stuffed red bone. He’d had this incarnation of bone for 3 or 4 months (and another one just like it from before we got him). So yesterday after Church, robot_grrl and I stopped by PetCo and picked up Doggie — a neoprene covered version of the common dog-shaped toy. Before I went to bed, he had torn it opened and the head and removed some stuffing. So less than a day after getting it, Doggie got hidden in our trashcan.

This evening, I stopped by PetCo again and got him Hose — supposedly a stuffed piece of fire hose. Not long ago, I went upstairs and found Hose sitting with a big hole torn in one corner. I’ve put it out of his reach and will try to fix it if I can find our duct (or is it duck) tape.

I’m beginning to wonder if he is upset because Derrick is gone, is feeding off of the stress that Tara and I are feeling about the Bartlett House, or a combination of the two.

I’m just hoping that we’ll be able to keep him from going through too many toys before he calms down. I’m also worried about what he’ll destroy if he doesn’t have a toy of his own. With the house, furniture and even the cat there are many things that he could do serious damage to.

SD Fair

Today robot_grrl and I spent most of the day at the San Diego County Fair (a.k.a The Del Mar Fair).

We had a pretty good time, although we didn’t spend a whole lot of time with what I think of as traditional Fair activities — looking at livestock. There was more livestock there than at the DuPage County Fair, but not as much as the New Mexico State Fair the last time I was there (1980 or so). Also, the San Diego County Fair doesn’t have all of the small animals on display at once — for example today they only had roosters (or perhaps chickens), and tomorrow they bring in the rabbits and cavies (guinea pigs).

We didn’t get there quite as early as we’d hoped, not leaving until almost 10:00 when the fair opened. But after parking at a remote lot and taking the shuttle we were still there reasonably early. We headed over to the pig races, but they didn’t seem to be running when scheduled. We worked our way through the sheep and goats and back to the main axis of the fair. At which point we decided we wanted lunch.

In several of the promotions for food at the fair we’d seen ads for a “Texas Pork Tenderloin” sandwich. We both instantly noticed that the sandwich wasn’t a Texas sandwich but an Iowa sandwich, but we still wanted one. After asking the information booth, we found the place serving them and decided to split one.

After our sandwich, we spent some time looking at the collections and fiber crafts. The collections entered were very varied — including one of a years worth of collie hair. We decided that there was no reason for Tara not to enter her robots next year at least if she wants to.

After that we headed downstairs and watched a robot competition for a few minutes, while Tara talked to the mother of one of the competitors. We next stopped off to get a couple of small Corn dogs — OK we were being bad by getting fair food today, but we also walked quite a bit.

We then spent quite a while looking at the gems and jewelry (Tara looked at a lot of the jewelry from the vendors, and I concentrated on the gem and stone displays). We then moved across an air wall to the wood working exhibit. In the woodworking area we found several pieces of furniture we’d both like if we could afford them.

Next we wandered one of the vendor halls, and found mostly the same stuff I’d expect at any fair.

We next found some cheese curds — recommended by the information guy after we mentioned being from the Mid-West. While Tara sat for a while (her knee popped out on her) I looked around another hall that had some flower exhibits and more vendor displays, many of which were for hot tubs.

We finished off the day with me getting some fry bread — but with Strawberries and cheesecake topping, Tara getting some deep fried Oreos and then a quick visit with the chicken, cows and dairy goats before leaving and heading home.

On the way home we, or more correctly I, stopped by the Vitamin Shoppe and then both stopped in at Trader Joe’s (inspired in part by this posting) before heading home to a dog who’d been locked in for a bit longer than he often is.

Since they were very little — if any — more than a single day admission, I’d picked up unlimited use tickets. So we may come back sometime before the fair ends. In fact, if Tara doesn’t have to work some day, we may go there after work (I can take The Coaster to Soloana Beach and then take the 101 bus back (or just take the bus I used to to the UTC and then the 101 bus up) to the fair.

Also, during our time in the gem and woodworking areas, I realized that if we’d had Derrick he would have been board stiff and we couldn’t have spent as much time looking around. I’d like him to be more willing to look at this kind of thing and more tollerant of things that we like to do (not that I neccessarily was when I was younger).