Saturday, April 29, 2006

Practice Air Shows Rock

What's even cooler than going to a free air show and watching the Blue Angels perform? Going to the practice airshow the day before. Why?

1. No traffic
2. You get a lot closer to the runway
3. The Angels come screaming 200 ft. over your head
4. No traffic
5. You don't have to listen to the announcer
6. You can sit in an air-conditioned car - if you have a ramp pass
7. You can see fighters at 15K ft. against a sunny blue sky, whereas today was cloudy
8. You can see the wings flex and the condensation form during those gut-wrenching turns
9. Afterburners
10. No traffic

Friday, April 28, 2006

Aku, My Hero

Cartoon villians aren't supposed to be unbearably adorable or make grown women giggle. Cartoons more than real villians, I suppose, but still...

Aku is adorable and dreamy, and unequivocally my favorite villian. I like him better than Samurai Jack. Someday Jack will get Aku, and all will be right with the world... but until then, I will giggle girlishly at the green, red, and black villian that has captured my heart.

I must paint him. Again. And again. My fan art has never before left the realm of Star Wars, so I'm a bit trepid... but also excited. I need to practice gouache on some subject or another, so why not him?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

They Fodded My Car!

Funny story...

Ever since I took my beautiful car in for its 30000 mile checkup, it's been squeaking. I thought maybe it was some new thing they installed, but after 4000 more miles, it was still going on. A coworker who is insanely knowledgable about an insanely huge number of things came to visit last week. He said the sound was a belt, and it shouldn't be doing that.

Took my car in today, needed a new belt and tensioner. Had to wait 2 hours, but it was still under warranty, yay. Left feelin' fine.

Driving home from work, I heard strange car noises. I glanced at the guy in the old minivan behind me, thinking "wow, he's got a noisy vehicle." The problem is, he turns right and I turn left... and the sound turns left too. Hmm. Rattling. I think, "Did they leave a wrench in there? I'd be funny if they did. FOD, ha ha." After a stop sign on a hill, it got worse. I pulled into the empty Haitian church parking lot, left the engine running, and popped the hood. Sticking my head in, I find the belt noisy again, rrg.

Then I see it. A flashlight that looks sorta like a cop's radar gun. On the new belt. I pull it out in disgust and throw it on the ground. The belt is now quiet. The idler has a nice new shiny streak in it. I pick up the flashlight, which is incidentally still on, and turn it over. It's only half-there. The 1/2" thick rubber structure has been totally obliterated by the belt rubbing against it. The belt apparently didn't feel that was sufficient, though, and also tore into the circuit board, leaving two wires naked and flattened. It tried to eat a capacitor too, but that held up.

I call the dealership, they say... come back, let's have a look. I gave them back their flashlight, and they give me an impromptu coupon for a free oil change (written on the back of a business card). At least the new belt didn't get damaged...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Today's Rant

The Doc said my wisdom teeth were healing fine. Great. When do they stop hurting?

I spent a good deal of time weedwhacking after work. I love weedwhacking. There's something very satisfying about whacking, pulling, or otherwise destroying unwanted plants. It's sort of sadistic, I know. My only excuse is that my dad pulls weeds with a vengeance and taught us to do it at an early age.

Well, the GrassHog and I got at least a dozen mosquito bites, from those lovely blue-with-white-stripes she-vampires that love our yard. Sigh. First of the season, too, so they swelled up and look like raisins.

And now I have to figure out how to get my outgoing e-mail to work. It's been befuddling me for months, but now that I'm in Linux, I need it to work. I musta spent too much time last week worshipping the orange-wire-instrumentation gods and not enough with the SMTP gods.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Live from Linux

Yesterday, amidst promises of free software, I successfully installed Linux on my unsuspecting Gateway. Aside from the fact that Ubuntu seems to be warring with my wireless card, it's pretty nifty! I had trouble installing my scanner, since it's a new model, but the great Linux online helpers fixed that for me. I also can't get stuff from Money2002 ported over... but Nathan found a way around that. Incidentally, he's my Linux hero. I never would have tried it if he hadn't suggested it, tried it first, and helped me install everything. In return, I'm doing his laundry and cooking his lunches this week.

Now off to rollerblade.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Tornado Siren Quandary

I had trouble falling asleep during a storm last night because of the storms 2 weeks ago. Those storms produced not one, but two tornados in my county, and other than a few half-awake minutes going "fzqbh?," I slept blissfully through the entire thing. I woke up because the wind was noisy, thought I maybe heard a siren, told myself to stop scaring myself, and slept soundly again.

This, after 4 years of living right across the street from one of those blasted sirens. Every time it stormed, I'd brace myself (for hours at a time), waiting for it to go off. It was so loud I couldn't think. The worst part was the waiting. It's very stressful sitting on the edge of your sofa or lying in bed, waiting for the moment when the silence is suddenly shattered by the ear-piercing wail. Adrenaline flows. I'm surprised I didn't give myself a heart attack.

So which is worse, not hearing the siren and maybe getting blown away blissfully in your sleep, or jittering through dozens of false alarms and giving yourself a stress-induced heart attack?