Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I believe I've made my new LCS manager a very happy man. He was all too excited to see me today when I came in the door.

It didn't hurt that this week was a big haul for DC. I walked out with a nice stack of books and a decent discount. All told, I'm fairly happy thus far. I admit that I find the lack of back-issues disheartening, but I'm getting used to the idea, and it should make my weekly Wednesday trip go a lot faster if I'm not digging into piles of old issues of The Atom.

I had two 2nd interviews today. Thusly, I never removed my tie from 9:00 until 3:00. I know the lawyer-Leaguers will tut-tut me for not tolerating the tie, but The League only likes to wear ties when presenting to a group of strangers or when he's trying to make everyone else uncomfortable at the dinner table at Christmas. "You didn't find Christmas Dinner to be an occasion worthy of looking nice? Well...." I've sort of quit doing that in recent years. At work I prefer a sort of casual-everyday style. but I am well enough aware that wardrobe will be dictated by the office. Both jobs are great opportunities, and both have something different but equally appealing to offer, so... anyway. We'll see what happens. Someone has to want to hire me first.

We also finally got our gas turned on, so that's a plus. We can now take a hot shower or bath. We can cook. It's no longer 1863 in our house. We also have cable, our own internet and will soon have a land-line phone. When they connected the phone, we dialed the number that came up on caller-ID and we got some couple elsewhere in Austin. It was awkward. Time Warner is trying to fix this.

For those of you who may not have dug around in the comments of late, Cousin Jim of the US Navy has recently joined up with the upstart organization: The Rocket Racing League.

Jim had this to say in my comments:

Hello Leaguers,

Thought you might be interested in my new venture into the Rocket Racing League. Here are a few news articles regarding the announcement of my team, the Bridenstine Rocket Racing Team: 4275.aspx .v=67

Here is the Bridenstine Rocket Racing Team website:

Here is the Rocket Racing League website:

Of course, Jim being Jim, he offered me some vague opportunity to help out a while back and I couldn't take him up on it. It's too bad, because I've long dreamed of launching Jim into space, but most folks assure me he would find a way to come back. In addition to thinking working with/for Jim sounded good, I've always dreamed of somehow working with jets or rockets in some capacity. In my office I've always kept pictures of spacecraft and astronauts nearby to remind me I was working with engineers, and those guys might be helping to launch folks into the air.

Well, I don't know what Jim had in mind for me, but I had visions of The Right Stuff dancing in my head. I could foresee cold, crisp desert mornings on the flightline, the crew standing around the rocket while Jim jumped into the pilot's seat, said something hilariously dark to get us to laugh off the jitters. When the others dispersed, I'd give Jim a stick of Beemans and then signal the crew that he was ready (I might have to use my own wad of gum and some duct tape to lock the cockpit door down). Jim would go and break some speed records while I wore cool aviator sunglasses and listened to the flight radio out on the tarmac.

Needless to say, you may note that this imaginary sequence (that sounded so cool in my head) in no way includes Jamie. So. Anyhoo, Jamie wasn't too nuts about my dream of moving further out to the desert while I ran around all day smelling like rocket fuel and chewing on matches (cool guys chew on matches. and stylishly out-of-style gum. I promise you.). That and I have absolutely no practical skills of any sort which could assist Jim or his team. So, my dream of joining Jim's team evaporated like a vapor trail on a clear, blue afternoon.


So, I'm pretty sure working at a computer all day managing eLearning projects is exactly as cool as shooting Jim into the stratosphere. Right?

Ah, well. Maybe some day Jim will give me the grand tour.

elearning is so not Alan Shepard.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What goes on

-Not a hoax! Not a dream! Maxwell and Motolove are going to bring life onto this fragile marble. I cannot wish them more luck. Maxwell is completely fit to be a mother. Especially when you get past her lengthy criminal record. I hope little Maxwell II is half the earthling as his/her mother.

-Sort of took today off and saw Jet Li's "Fearless". Supposedly based on a true story, but seemed oppressively formulaic. Also, this is the second Jet Li movie I've seen in recent years where it seemed the Party leaders wrote the dialogue toward the end of the movie. Still, a good afternoon martial arts film with a good narrative arc. But mostly eye-popping fights.

-Why are all horror-movie trailers the same, and why do they try to give me a headache? And why does none of the non-strobing effect look remotely frightening? Why did they make a second Grudge movie? Why a remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Why? Why? Why?

Why can't someone take the Creature from the Black Lagoon and update it? Oh, yes... because nobody fills out a swim suit like Julie Adams...

Wait, IMDB tells me there may be a new Creature movie... sweet! Still, no Julie Adams.

-We have an insane number of framed pictures. Big. Small. Medium. I am not sure I want to hang them all or find flat surfaces for them. The question becomes: What do you do with a nice framed picture of Theodore Roosevelt on the campaign trail when you can't find a good place for it in the house? Help me, Leaguers.

-I think I've found my local comic chop. It will be a nice, new shop named "South Side Comics", about two miles from the house. It's run by a chipper guy named Ty who seems to really have his act/ shop together. I'm excited. One oddity: no back issues. Apparently this is one of four shops and they've centralized all back-issues in North Austin at a shop called "Thor's Hammer". "Thor's Hammer" sounds less like a comic shop and more like a punchline to a joke I might have dreamed up in college. I am told the shop is huge, so i may beg Jamie to go with me this weekend and look for "New Gods" back issues.

-I need to test paint colors tomorrow, plus iron a shirt and bring Jamie's car in to the shop to get the alignment checked out.

That's it for me. I'm going to bed early. I went from AZ time to central and adjusted already to getting up early central time. C'est la vie.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

So it's been intermitten blogging, as promised. But I thought a lot of you might feel your Monday was not complete lest you get an update from The League.

As previously mentioned, as of Wednesday, we're in the house. Of course we welcome anyone interested to pop on by. Say hi to Mel. He'd love to meet you.

I have to take time out for a special thank you to the KareBear.

As many of you might not know, The KareBear heard we were planning to abandon our digs in Chandler and immediately volunteered to be a part of our madcap scheme. She offered to assist in packing and many of the other painful duties of moving, and, good to her word, wehn I was looking for someone to jump in the car and drive cross country with me with two smelly dogs, she didn't hesitate to sign up to be Chewbacca to my Han Solo. She flew herself into Phoenix the day before we left town, then jumped in the car the next day and chatted with me, keeping me frosty for the 16 hour trip (no, she did not drive. Nobody is allowed behind the wheel of the Krypton Kruiser but The League and Jamie. It is far too formidable of a vehicle for an amateur to handle with its four valves of earth-shattering power). The KareBear saw us to Austin safely. She was willing to spend a brief evening in a hotel room with two smelly dogs and her equally smelly son.

This weekend, a mere five days after leaving, she returned to assist in the unpacking, did some significant house-shopping with us (yes, we all agree... when it comes to a guest bath you cannot go wrong with monkeys...), and assisted us in our duties from morning until evening from Friday midday until late on Sunday. Thsi is not to mention the many small and not-so-small financial contributions the KarteBear helped with, picking up the tab for some meals and a very nice house-warming gift I hope to highlight in the near future.

KareBear, we salute you at the League of Melbotis, and we hope that you will accept your honorary membership as a reserve member of The League.

What else...

Oh, heck, Leaguers... it's mostly been all about the move. Poor Jeff the Cat didn't get to leave Matt the Human's apartment until Saturday night (and in the middle of the nasty storm which delayed the UT game). Matt the Human deserves mad props for hosting Jeff the Cat for such an unexepcted amount of time, but, Leaguers... that's how things fall out when you agree to pet sit for the League. We might say four or five days, but we really mean four or ten days. Besides, Matt the Human loves cats. Or at least he used to. Jeff has that effect on people.

Doug the McBride gets wild applause for his handling of Jamie during the car ride and subsequent hanging out with Jamie and The League as we went through the rigamarole of moving in. He was here right up until the last box was delivered, and then was whisked away to the far off land of Berkeley where we will now count the whiskers on his cats and plot his next move. Thank you, Doug, for your over-and-above-the-call-of-duty role in our little drama. Now get K out here for a visit. I think there's a house for sale on the next street over.

Speaking of McBride's... Thanks to Judy and Dick for their not-so-small role in all this.

Thanks to The Admiral, not just for double-checking my proposed solutions to the refrigerator, washer & dryer, and doorbell issues, but his implementation of said plans while I stood idly by. Also, for killing the very large spider.

To Steanso, who opened his house to me, my wife and our two smelly dogs. And who didn't mind that I made coffee in his house, drank his bottled water, tried on some of his clothes and put them back on the hangar, and didn't mind that I used his toothbrush for four days. On Mel. Thanks, Steanso.

I knew when we started this madcap plan that the League reserves would come out of the woodwork. That's what superheroes do during a huge summer-time crossover event. There are a lot of people who aren't listed here. Folks who offered moral support (which, believe me, we needed), folks who offered to help us move, folks who scrambled to get their contacts contacted and handed them my resume when they heard I was coming, folks who told me it was time to get out of Dodge...
And, of course, to Jim D., who managed to pull off his own miraculous escape.

I hope all of you know who you are, and know that I thank you.

And special thanks to Jamie. For keeping us on track and keeping those detailed notes on each and every thing that needed to happen, from bank transfers to calling moving companies... Jamie worked more than 40 hours per week on the move. Now that we're here, I expect her to turn that energy to making sure all three pets can read and write by the end of '07.

Today we stepped out the front door to go grab some breakfast items at HEB and the temperature had dropped abruptly (just another Central Texas weather change), and we could stand in the cool wind, smiling at each other, knowing we had made the right decision.

It was all worth it. Every bit.