we did some science at science getaway. it wasn't all drinking riding eating and hot tubbing. sheehs. there's really not a whole lot you can do with portable telescopes. that didn't keep us from trying. the moon was down. which was a wonderful coincidence. ha ha. i'm a funny guy. uranus (pronounce oo-ran-us) was up. it was a pretty slightly blue disk. the bad astronomer aka dr phil plait gave some cool talks. one was on curiosity. powered by brains from my alma mater. he thought we should be impressed by the rube goldberg thing that put the minivan on the red world. i'm not. we've got 64 bit 3GHz processors for cryin' out loud. i am impressed by the apollo program. they did stuff by slide rule. they flew spacecraft by hand. crazy. insane. you'd never catch me doing that. it's nuts. heh. unless of course i felt like going joyriding where there's nothing to hit. heh. anywho. biology dave did some talks and led some walks. which was kinda cool. cause he stuck his fingers hands arms in every hole in the ground he could find. this is a mouse. this is a pocket gopher. this is a badger. badger? sheehs. mammal lovers are crazier than apollo era astronauts. holly gave some talks, led some walks, and led a geology ride. she had hammers. and encouraged us to smash rocks. it's science! there was one combined geology ecology walk. that was neat. i've never explored a beaver run before. literally. you dirty minded clunks. sigh. one of us found a really pretty leaf fossil. all of us had a whole lot of fun. thanks mrs ba! she confessed to creating the secret science getaway byline. make the geeks go outside.
i don't ride horses much. usually we go trail riding. on horses that like to stick their noses in the butts of the horse in front of them. and nothing you do can get them to do anything different. i have a canned speech i give the horse master when he asks about abilities. on a good day i can post a trot. i like horses named dinky and red roses. i don't like horses named satan or thundersocks. at c-lazy-u they gave me a horse named tiny. aptly named as you can plainly see. my first thought was, i'm gonna need a bigger horse.
the food at c-lazy-u ranch was advertised as five star. expectations were high. i asked about corn syrup. they said none of their food has corn syrup. i was extremely skeptical. i've been lied to too often by chefs in their pretty white coats. turns out, they were almost right. i still skipped most of the deserts. mostly because, i really kinda don't like your average desert. been spoiled by the beautiful and talented alisa's cooking. i figure at least three of those stars were for salt. some of the meals were extremely salty. which might make sense given the altitude. cause all of the first meals were salty. even the salad. who the fuck salts a salad? later meals were less salty. or maybe we needed more salt because of the activities. or maybe we lost the ability to taste salt. or maybe they really were not salty. on tuesday, i asked about corn syrup and the man warned me off the baked beans. at which point i decided to trust. on wednesday, my birthday, i asked again. and this time the baked beans were made with molasses. just for me. the ribs had some sort of non-bbq-sauce. so for my birthday meals i had donuts, baked beans, and ribs. three things i haven't had in a very very long time. winnah.
the flight was uneventful. the denver airport is in the middle of nowhere. i guess i knew that. i didn't know that the terminal building was ugly. like seriously ugly. like a mutant albino pig gone teats up. apparently i'm not the only one to think so link
. anywho. i think they were planning big. really big. cause the rental car place was a 20 minute bus ride. past lots full of rental cars. like sheehs. and roads to nowhere. it really looked like sim city after the city's economy collapsed. i opted for thrify's wildcard card option. they said any car bigger than a compact. which is what i had reserved. we got a minivan. with no option change. it turned out okay. it was a dodge. and as much as i'd like to call it a piece of shit, it really wasn't. it handled much better than expected. it had sufficient power for hills. which is good. cause we took it from 1500 meters to 3500 meters. i don't think i want to own one. or even rent one again. but it turned out just fine.
our flight left at 11:30. which was a very convenient time. the beautiful and talented alisa went to church with grandpa. we got to the airport plenty early because our last flight was a mess. lines were long. computers were down. this time, empty. like steven king creepy empty. i just got an iphone so i thought i'd try the newfangled qr code checkin. it worked flawlessly. even though i'm still not proficient with my phone. then through security. which was also empty. i dropped my backpack on the table. and took off my shoes. i was smiling to myself when the nice tsa person asked if i had a laptop in there. i said, nope. alisa stopped untying her shoes and goggled at me. like she couldn't believe that i had just LIED to the TSA! heh. but it was true. this was the first trip in a long long time that i didn't drag along a laptop. anywho, we popped through security and found our gate. right outside security. we took seats. and checked the time. 90 minutes with nothing to do but killer sudokus and smooch. the vacation was definitely starting well. very very well.
prepping for science getaway was really easy. for me. all i had to do was make the reservations for the ranch, planes, and car. easy peasy. was done months in advance. well, maybe month. the beautiful and talented alisa did all the hard work. grandpa could stay with the boys for most of the time. but we needed aunt julie to go to back to school night. grandpa had to leave after getting the boys to school on friday. so aunt julie had to pick them up after work and miniatures club to pick us up at the airport. alisa wrote out the schedule in great detail for every single day. when i was a kid, school started at the same time every day. and we had the class schedule every day. apparently, that's not the way things work any more. we packed a whole lot of stuff. cause it's like seriously cold at 2400 meters. i helped. i should have helped more. cause i forgot the toenail clippers. oh well. had to use the itty bitty pinky clippers on my grody stubs. i switched companies recently. and i didn't yet have the medical card proof of insurance. i had an email. and group numbers. we printed those. fortunately they weren't needed. they also change again at the end of the month. so we printed those too. just in case we got stuck in colorado. early snows. or something.
i'm going to post many many posts about what a wonderful time i had at science getaway. except there's this tiny little problem. blogspot here has a new and "improved" interface. i'm sure it's a fine interface. or will be. as soon as i get proficient with it. but fuck it's frustrating right now. in addition to being ugly. grouse grouse.
a while ago, the bad astronomer plugged a science getaway thing at the c-lazy-u ranch in granby colorado. i signed up pretty much immediately. i didn't wait to ask the beautiful and talented alisa. cause last time something cool like this i hesitated and lost out on an eclipse cruise hosted by caltech. ah well. anywho. i didn't even realize that week would be my birthday. heh. oh well. it was great fun. so much fun crammed into the schedule that i didn't have time to blog last week. heh. the management noticed we weren't partaking of their other (for-charge add-on) activities. they offered free zip lines one afternoon. yeah yeah zip lines. whatever. we rode horses to somewhere interesting and smashed rocks with a geologist. it was *that* kind of vacation. thanks phil and marcella!
so i walk into the men's room at new-onlive. the lawyers tell me that whenever i want to talk about onlive i cannot blur the distinction between old-onlive and new-onlive. otherwise the creditors of old-onlive will try to make new-onlive pay old-onlive's bills. which would sorta defeat the whole purpose of a bankruptcy proceeding. anywho, i hear this rustle rustle rustle. i see some shoes under the new stall. and my first thought was someone was reading the newspaper on the can. hrm. i guess one can still get a printed newspaper. but like, why? my second thought was they were prepping toilet paper. like a whole LOT of toilet paper. which made my brain go oh-my-god-run-away! cause i was imagining the mess that would required that much toilet paper. then i realized the rustling sound was coming from the shower. and all was good. or should have been. i kinda tippy-toed past the still occupied stall. just in case.
one evening i was enjoying the hot tub with the beautiful and talented alisa. unexpectly, a pair of somethings ran by along the top of the fence. the first was an easily identifiable silhouette. kinda like a really big rat. obviously an opossum. the second was equally identifiable. and familiar. it was our cat, trouble. he was pursuing that possum like it was a game of follow the leader. we just wondered what the heck he thought he was going to do with it if he caught it. whatever. i guess this is normal behavior for toms. i've only ever had girl cats before. i'm not used to picking bits and pieces of other cats out of trouble's shattered claws. it's a kinda new thing for me. at least, i think the bits and pieces were cat. coulda been something like a possum.
i don't think i like my new cheapass bike very much. it changes gears all by itself. today it shifted from 5th to 6th. i just shifted it back. sheehs. that's better than its usual stunt. it like to shift from 7th to 8th. except there is no 8th. the chain just jams between the gears and the frame. wee. not hard to fix. but annoying. and potentially dangerous if it happens while entering an intersection. probably just needs to be adjusted. by someone who knows something about bikes. wee.
i have an iphone. woot. i've joined the 20th century. the data plan isn't set up correctly yet. am pretty sure i'm paying for bits not being delivered. will have to correct that. so far it hasn't been a very useful tool. it's greatest value is that i can play dungeon raid on it during meetings. yippee. anywho, i have one gripe. the stupid charger cord is nigh symmetric. it's not perfectly symmetric. but it's close enough for mortal eyes to only have a 50/50 shot of sticking the stupid thing in the right way round the first time. grumph. how hard would it have been to put the stupid indentation thing with the little square thing on the charger cord? huh huh huh apple huh? apparently it's not obvious. i'm filing the patent right now. i'm gonna be so rich.
i realized the other day i have a useful skill. but first some background. i do a significant chunk of the dishes. yeah, i know that's not very manly. but i like the cooking of the beautiful and talented alisa way way more than i like my own. so i wash more dishes and burn less toast. win-win all the way around. i don't particularly like washing dishes. and i really don't like cleaning peanut butter off a butter knife. these things have to be washed by hand. cause the dishwasher (the robot not the person) doesn't get them clean. sometimes i see a peanut butter coated knife lying on the counter smearing peanut butter all over formerly easy to wash dishes. and i clean it immediately. to keep the mess from spreading. and i wonder, how the fuck do you get so much peanut butter crapped all over a knife? i'm not sure i could get that much peanut butter on a knife period. perhaps i just don't like getting schmootz of any kind on my little princess hands. so i'm very careful the peanut butter only touches the tip of the knife. apparently everyone else in the house has stablehand hands that don't mind being covered in ick. so anywho. back to the useful skill. i like chocolate. and i like peanut butter. and i like to eat them together. the beautiful and talented alisa spoils me with a dark chocolate assorted pack of individually wrapped morsels of yumminess. the stablehands often leave big glops of peanut butter along the inside top of the jar. where it lurks in silent ambush. until i come along with my scraper shaped piece of chocolate. sometimes it takes several pieces to clear the jar. bummer, eh? i get a treat. the peanut butter jar trap has been disarmed. the stablehands have clean hands. and there are no butter knife ick bombs left on the counter. a win win win win win situation all around.
i will not pledge allegiance to the flag. i will not pledge allegiance to a cross. or to any other symbol. no matter how powerful or significant. i am not a mindless moron. i will not recite by rote words i memorized long before i could possibly understand them. doing so robs them of meaning. i will not pledge allegiance to a country under god. not even a country under *my* god. this country is run by the people, for the people, and is of the people. *people* are governed by the god of their choosing. i will pledge allegiance. daily, if required. but will no longer babble that claptrap. i pledge allegiance to my family, to my school, to god, and to my country, the united states of america, one nation, an indivisible republic, with liberty and justice for all.
everyone welcome mutant horse boom
to the list of linked blogs. more words. better grammer. just as weird. enjoy.
the other day we noticed the cats were scratching the carpets more than usual. clearly, they need their claws clippered. trouble was half way through second dinner when we snatched him up. but but but. he gave us a little trouble when we tended to the shattered claw that had quite a thick wad of some other cat's fur stuck in it. he was good. they always are. cause they know they get a snack as a reward for being good. after release he ran to the spot where the paper appears. and waited patiently for the good stuff to appear on a plate. yum yum yum yum yum. when he was finished he licked his paws and cleaned his face until he remembered what he was doing before being snatched. ah yes. second dinner. which he sauntered off to finish. later he came and found us. chuff chuff. he doesn't really purr. he kinda chuffs. but yeah he wanted to let us know there's nothing quite like a mid-meal snack. we are good humans.
i have a new job. it's the same as the old job. yeah i know i'm repeating myself. but there's a point to it. bear with me. since i have a new job. i need to fill out a form i9 before i can get paid. that's the form where you prove you have the right to work in this country. hrm. lessee... i just had a job. and now i have a new job. which is exactly the same job. with pretty much exactly the same company. not quite. it's legally a completely different company. hence the paperwork. this is actually the third time i've done this. my first job was with rearden. then it was with onlive, a delaware corporation. then it was with onlive, a california corporation. now it's with new-onlive (not its real name), a delaware corporation. one wonders how long it will take until i have to do this again with new-onlive, a california corporation. anywho. it was relatively painless before. i don't remember doing i9 bullshit before. it's easy if you have a passport. a valid passport. mine expired a month ago. wee. so much for list A. now i have to produce something from list B and from list C. list B is easy, driver's license. list C is your social security card. which i lost about 5 minutes after my mother gave it to me when i was 9. i'm sure i put it in a safe place. it's probably still there. 4500 km away. not very useful. birth certificate is on list C. fortunately, i happen to have that. i have no idea why. might have needed it to get married. or get my original passport. or something. apparently, the beautiful and talented alisa put it in a safe place. which is good. cause a co-worker/buddy of mine also has an expired passport and no social security card. it's not clear he'll get paid this month. or be able to early exercise options at pennies instead of dollars. hrm. perhaps i should renew my passport. just in case.
everyone in this household likes pie. some members like apple pie. some like peach pie, berry pie, peach and apple pie, peach and berry pie. some like flat tops. some like crumble tops. some like weave tops. some like no crust on the bottom. which i think is just really weird. but whatever. how ever do we reach consensus? heh. we don't. the beautiful and talented alisa makes about a dozen assorted mini pies. not enough for every possible combination. but close enough that everyone can get at least some of what they like best.
the boys are camping with the boy scouts at lost coast this weekend. it's romance weekend! we watched a movie. we went out to dinner. we did a whole lot of chores. i'm a bad person.