gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
Notice: Chauncey the Magical Capybara does not appear in this thrilling episode. The Management apologizes for your crushed hopes.

So there Penguin Boy was, two-thirds done with a day that had tested mind and taxed his body. Rolling along The Alameda in his faithful truck, Darby. When suddenly a brand-new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 appears!. Gorgeous car. The Penguin Boy is rudely yanked from his impending midlife crisis! The driver of the car has thrown something out the window! Into Darby's bed! Penguin Boy checks and confirms. A Rockstar energy drink can, empty, has been thrown into Darby.

Darby is not a proper place to dispose of trash! Penguin Boy (who might have been riding a slight endorphin high from his workout) caught up the Shelby at the next light. Boldly, Penguin Boy lept from his truck, grabbed the offending can, and fired the can through the open passenger window of the Shelby. With a burst of Amazing Penguin Speed, back to the wheel just as the light changed.

The insidious Raging Doucehbag, who was shocked that someone in a Ford Ranger would disrespect him like this, races after Darby. Roaring engine and squealing tires. All so his top of the line muscle car could catch . . . a Ford Ranger. A car that will do 80 if you really need it, but will then sulk for a week and probably report you to Car Protective Services ("Show me on the Tonka toy how the bad man touched your gas pedal...") Remember, this car was brand new. Still had a temporary registration and the dealer card in the "Marine Sniper - Born To Hunt Humans" plate frame. (Penguin Boy was not impressed.) Those engines need to be broken in. At least a few hundred miles before you start really working them. Raging Douchebag evidently has a crush on someone at the dealership maintenance bay; because the way he drives, he'll be a regular.

Onward to the next light. Raging Douchebag does indeed catch our hero, and accidentally passes him. There was another white Ford Ranger on the road, and Raging Douchebag pulled up next to him at the light. Darby and Penguin Boy was a few cars back. He charged from his car to scream only then noticing it wasn't Penguin Boy. Face flushed as red as the Marine Corps flag, he looked around to find our hero. Who waved. Like this.

The light turned green, and the enraged Raging Douchebag burned rubber as he shot into the intersection. The intersection of El Camino Real and Benton Street. The intersection right in front of the Santa Clara Police Department's headquarters. The Shelby is fine car. He must have been doing 65 when two patrol cars lit him up.

Penguin Boy saluted his fellow sniper as he rolled past the scene, being sure to let the now-defeated Raging Douchebag know that in Penguin Boy's eyes, he's still number one.

The concludes another exciting adventure of penguin Boy! Bu sure to tune in next time, and always remember,what Chauncey the Magical Capybara says: "Αίμα! Αίμα για το αίμα ο Θεός!"
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Done today (all with [personal profile] kshandra):

  • Found the tools we needed.

  • Installed the new tie-down hooks on Darby.

  • Tested the new cargo net.

  • Made a run to Orchard Supply Hardware.

  • Installed the can crusher.

To be done tomorrow:

  • Change hearing aid batteries.

  • Attend writing group.

  • Go to Rite Aid to ask about new coverage.

  • Go to Library, pick up "AllQuiet On The Western Front"

  • Take out all garbage.

  • Take cans to the curb.


  • Didn't get any writing done.

Still to be done today are the dishes. After dinner.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
I took a couple of days off for the holidays.

Done today:

  • Did a pretty big shopping at Smart&Final.

  • Remembered everything without a list.

  • Put all groceries away.

  • Did two loads of laundry.

  • Did all the dishes. Still need to unload the last bit out of the drying rack.

To be done tomorrow:

  • Get a haircut.

  • Go to Autzone for Darby stuff.

  • Go to the dollar store for cheap fuel treatment.

  • Take down holiday decorations.

Today's fails:

  • Forgot to bring bags for shopping

I also finished The Hittites, one of the books in the Folio Society's Empires of the Ancient Near East series. I now know more than I did when I started the book. Next up, The Babylonians, I think.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Done today:

  • Had my INR, said goodbye to everyone at the Anti-Coagulation Clinic.

  • Collected cards from my three main doctors there.

  • Cleaned out Darby

  • Got all of the recycling into the truck.

  • Worked on The Great Church, but not happy. No word count as this was mainly editing.

To be done tomorrow:

  • Do recycling for home and Earthbaby

  • Go to Costco to pick something up for [personal profile] kshandra

  • Go to Rite Aid and pick up meds.

  • Wait for a package (yes, this costs spoons)

  • Do dishes

  • More work on The Great Church

Today's fails:

  • Didn't eat properly

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Carpe)
Among the things we wanted to get now that I've decided to return to Burning Man was our own camp stove and some better camp kitchen. Checking online, we found a great one on closeout, and bought it, electing to pick it up at one of the local stores.

Along with a side trip to get Darby washed and picking up some stuff from [personal profile] kshandra's office, the trip should have been easy. It's Saturday! what could go wrong?

Dear Ghods.

From her office, Kiri's plan was to take 87 to 280 to Lawrence Expressway. But traffic was horrid! Each exit was backed up onto the freeway. We elected to skip Lawrence (a crappy interchange at the best of times) and go on to Wolfe Road... which was still jammed! We eventual worked out way clear and made it down to REI, but seriously, what the actual fuck? KCBS told us there had been an accident, but it was long cleared.

REI is my favorite toy store. We mostly planned and compared, but picked up a carabiner cup for me, a thing of lip balm with a carabiner lid for Kiri, and a small radio with weather alert channels (also on clearance.) We also looked at camp stoves, making a tentative choice; played with toys (some of the visibility stuff is going with me next year); and examined the camp food selection. This requires some explanation. Kirsten gets a commissary pass, as she work long hours for the DMV. In years past, this hasn't been a problem. But with me going, we need to feed the penguin.

We had a lot of success with vacuum sealing things like spaghetti and taco meat. But I like my breakfasts. Luckily, Mountain House makes several very yummy breakfast options. So picking up several of those over the next few months is a good idea.

We also looked at cot pads. Being able to use my sleeping bag a a blanket would really help with the random muscle twitches my peripheral neuropathy gives me. Finally, I was getting done (as a side note, if you ever see me at an event looking lost and saying "Okay" over and over... make me sit down and get me something to drink. That is the warning sign that I am shutting down hard.) so we picked up our camp kitchen...

... remember the camp kitchen? We were there to pick up the camp kitchen...

... which is light as a feather. As always, the REI staff were incredible. One more stop for weekly shopping, and we are done.

Literally,and in every sense of the word.

If anybody wants to get me an awesome WinterGift™ a good-sized REI Gift Card would work.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
It all started when I swung by Jack in the Box on my way home Tuesday night. "Bad for me Tuesday" has become sort of a tradition, where I hit a drive-thru to celebrate the start of my weekend with food that I normally would avoid. [personal profile] kshandra asked for a chocolate shake.

Within hours, she was nauseous and having intestinal issues that made us think that Ensign Wheatbiscuit had jumped ships. Wednesday, I drove her over to urgent care. Yup, some sort of bacterial infection. I didn't get it (although I did have a brief bout of similar symptoms, it is nowhere near what Kiri is experiencing) so where do you think this came from? I'm contacting JitB to register a complaint.

So that killed Wednesday. Taking care of my poor Kiri and watching the Masterchef try-outs pretty much summed up the day.

Today, Kiri is still sick and I needed to run errands. First, to Costco to pick up her prescriptions and Gatorade, then to the bank to get laundry quarters, and finally I desperately needed a haircut. Money is just tight enough that rather than going to the Costco pumps to fill the tank, I used my emergency gas can and got enough to get me through the next week. Then I'll need to refuel both Darby and the can.

Now doing said laundry, and composing a "Yo, morons" letter for Jack.

In other news, I may be a small business owner soon. On the Traveller Mailing List I wrote a post about how people should focus on smaller areas for their campaigns, a single subsector (20-40 systems) so that there is more detail and vitality, along with more plots that feed into an ongoing campaign. The gauntlet was thrown, challenging me to do such a subsector, and the idea of doing it as a Kickstarter was floated. Thus, I'm now trying figure out what I need to do to make Chinstrap Books a reality. Anyone know anything about what I need to do to establish a company that would basically be me and few others? Help!
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
What a week.

Along with the Saturday trip to Ikea, and Sunday assembling Ikea, I had to work a full schedule. Work got interesting at points. But I had one of those backaches that just wandered around from muscle group to muscle group like an irritating tourist.

But the new TV stand is up, and looks good. We have plans to continue the transformation of the place, but that can wait until some more pressing needs are met. Speaking of that, boosting signal for my lovely wife: Give her money. She's awesome. Why should you give her money? Because for the past 18 years she has taken care of me. She literally saved my life the first time I had pneumonia by making me go to the ER, then practically carrying me down three flights of steep stairs and pouring me into the car. Now it's her turn to be taken care of. I'd donate, but she already gets my money.

Anyway, now that you've thrown cash towards my Kiri, back to me. Today I'm taking it easy. Currently watching the Giants beat up on the Rockies (up 10-0, end of 8) and contemplating food. Got a little done today, a few dishes and some tidying. Tomorrow, I need to do recycling, pick up a couple of things at the Auto Parts Store Formally Known As Kragens. After that, since we're having beautiful weather, wash Darby and start sorting out winter clothes for storage.

But for now, sloth. Sloth and baseball.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
So far, a productive day off.

  • Got a solid eight hours of sleep. With both of us suffering colds, that's an accomplishment.

  • Nuked Carthage and Mali 'till they glowed in the dark.

  • Went to The Auto Supply Store Formerly Known As Kragen's and picked up house-brand fuel system cleaner and a new tail light for Darby.

  • Went to Smart and Final for Cokes... and came home with just a bit more than that.

  • I was shopping hungry. Sue me.

  • Got home, put all the groceries away like a real grown-up.

  • Then installed the new tail light.

  • Thus renewing my Man Card for another year.

Now considering a post about the mystic possibilities of the Venetian Marriage to the Sea and the surprisingly long lives of the Venetian Doges and nobility. Many of the great medieval Doges were voted into office in their seventies and ruled for two decades. Doge Enrico Dandolo led a successful attack on Constantinople at the age of ninety and while completely blind. When I say "led", I mean he was the first man out of the galleys and the one who raised the banner of St. Mark on the captured walls. Wearing armor. Wielding a sword. Ninety. So yeah, there was something in the waters of the Venice Lagoon...

Or I may vacuum the place.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Despite being nearly dead from standing for five hours at yesterday's parade, I had to get a few errands done.

  • Darby was refilled. Current fuel efficiency: 22mpg

  • Went to pharmacy to refill prescription.

  • Got a flu shot.

  • Did a little shopping.

Spending rest of day dead.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

  • Darby's current gas mileage: 21.5 mpg

  • Finally, finally got CivIV back on the computer and running right.

  • Only took four re-downloads from Amazon.

  • CivV and the Steam engine have been removed with great prejudice.

  • The Giants won the NL West!

  • Other than that, life has been boring.

gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
26.4 mpg

This includes all the highway driving we did coming home from Reno, so is a bit higher than average.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
So far today:

  • Completely failed to remember that my coumadin level was tomorrow, not today.

  • Got most of the Playa dust out of Darby's air filter.

  • Took in recycling.

  • Dropped off a job application.

  • Did some vital shopping.

Now resting a bit before attacking the horror show that is our living room.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Loaded for the Burn

How Darby looked just prior to Kiri taking off to Burning Man.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
It's not quite 1000hrs and I have already lost all faith in humanity.

Since Kirsten is taking Ranger Darby to TTITD I've been getting him ready for the trip. Yesterday, it was Precision for their Road Trip Special (oil change, tire inspection and rotation, brake inspection, battery and alternator checked, fluids checked and topped off, and a safety inspection, all for about $63).

This morning? A quick trip to Kragen Auto (I refuse to acknowledge the name change) for some fuel additive, little trees, and industrial strength glass cleaner. Then fill the tank at Arco, dumping one bottle of fuel system cleaner in. Here's where my problems began.

I'm cruising along, having already filled the jerry can, when a trash heap pulls in behind me. Seriously, from the sound of things the sound system was worth four times the car it was mounted in. Guy gets out, smoking, leaves the engine running, and starts pumping fuel.

Hilarity ensues. The guys on duty freak out (so was I to be honest) and scream for the moron to stop pumping gas. He flips them off. So the clerk hits the emergency kill switch. All the pumps stop dead. Moron freaks out. It was at that point that the wind shifted and I smelled what he had been smoking.

Yeah, stoned and pumping gas.

Since it became clear that these pumps weren't being turned on again anytime soon (at least five people were calling the police) I packed up and rolled to the Chevron down the block to finish filling up. I would have just gone home, but those fuel cleaners are corrosive. You need to dilute them with a full tank or your gas tank suffers.

I bought the traditional pre-Burn lottery tickets.

Next up is starting the loading process tonight. As of tomorrow we're switching cars.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Darby is getting 21.086 MPG.

I'll be getting the "Road Trip" special at Precision before kshandra take my poor truck to That Thing In The Desert. After that, I may spring for a tune-up.

Rangers will run forever if you treat them right. I plan on my truck out-living me.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
A few weeks ago, the vents in Darby began blowing nothing but very hot air. Our first attempt at fixing the problem was foiled by the repair shop's "no labor on the weekends" policy. They only do oil changes and inspections on those days. So today I took my poor truck in.

Almost eight hours, and a bit over $400, later, and the truck is fixed.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Glare of Sarcasm)
Today was probably my last appointment at Kaiser. I had scheduled a check-up, and went in early to talk to Member services about transiting my current COBRA coverage to an individual account. The person I was speaking with told me that Kaiser would never let me keep my current coverage or downgrade given my history. They'd force me to buy a much more limited plan at higher cost. Can we have single payer, please? But my doctor's office was great about it. Dr, Petty gave me two names to check for continuing coverage, and his nurse hugged me and thanked me for being such a great patient. One last chest X-ray (where I impressed my technician with how well I knew the routine) and a blood draw next week, and I'm done.

Kirsten and I need to go over the Anthem-Blue Cross plans tonight. My big concerns are affordable prescriptions and lab tests. I'm going to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life for certain, and on thyroid medication for a very long time. Everything else is negotiable.

In other suck news, Darby has a big crack in his windshield. Probably took a tiny rock, and the recent warm weather had caused the crack to expand. That's looking to be a ~$200 expense.

Add this to a horrible cold that caused me to lose my voice for two days, and I am not pleased with life right at this second.
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)

Take a week, and drive across the country. Sounds good to me.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Goth)
I normally listen to an all-news station when driving Darby. Mainly for the traffic updates, although my absolute news geekery is also a major factor. But leaving work tonight, I needed something to help the caffeine keep me awake. Tune to the better of the local classic-rock stations. It's Two for Tuesday. I get a Black Sabbath twofer.. Iron Man and Paranoid. Yeah, two of the most predictable Sabbath tracks (Sabbra Cadabra would have killed you?) but it kept me banging down the road. Once home, I almost sat in the truck for another ten minutes. The into to Van Halen's Pretty Woman was starting...

Good way to end my work week.
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
Years ago, when serving in the Army was still a dream for me, the Army had a recruiting slogan: "The U.S. Army. We do more before 9AM than most people do all day." Once I was actually a soldier, I realized that the copy should have read "We waste more time before 9AM than most people waste all day", but the basic idea of getting and doing things was pretty sound.

Which brings me to today. I recovered from the Mongolian Death Yuk yesterday (a brief phone call with my doctor confirms that there is a nasty stomach virus making the rounds) and started cleaning. Today? I left the house about 0900.

  • Picked up the recycling from Earthbaby.

  • Got cash for Darby's DMV renewal.

  • Took all the recycling to our recycling place.

  • Renewed Darby at the AAA's DMV desk (that thing alone is worth the price of membership)

  • Dropped off old clothes in a recycling bin.

  • Went to the library and picked up A Traveller's History of Venice and Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne.

  • Got a haircut at the awesome barbershop. Seriously, for $14 they not only mow my head, but trim my beard, my eyebrows, and do touch-ups with a straight razor. I feel now shame in dropping a $20 and saying "keep the change." These people are awesome.

  • Quick raid on Smart and Final for beer, salsa, and chips.

All done in 3 hours.

Oh, by the way.. anyone local want a six-drawer dresser? If you help me load it into Darby, it's yours. We also have a huge TV set that is free to anyone that wants it.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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