mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cyberpunk)
While driving to work this morning, watching the sunrise and listening to the Trance Euphoria podcast, I flashed on a fantasy that's been with me since I could drive, if not before.

In that fantasy, I'm cruising down the Interstate at standard driving speeds, waiting for a nice gap in the cars before and behind me. At the right moment, I reach down to the center console and hit the switch that activates the repulsor pads in the undercarriage.

As the aft thrusters warm up, I feel the small jerk that tells me that the wheels have lost contact with the ground. I hit the button that folds them away into the fenders, bring the thrusters up to 200 MPH, and climb into the sky, arriving at work in 15 minutes instead of 50.

That little vignette hits me on almost any drive longer than 20 minutes. I love visiting all sorts of places... it's the actual getting there that I often find so tedious. Needless to say, mine would be the only car that could do this, otherwise there'd be flaming wrecks scattered across the landscape. (And not always other people's fault, either: last night I almost broadsided someone because I was thinking about my grocery list rather than the road. Bad Borg.)

Becalmed

Sep. 30th, 2008 08:43 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
In a perfect world, I would have an e-book or three loaded on the Newton right now, or have an iPhone with web access. Instead, I am sitting on Rt. 664, as I have for the last hour, waiting for them to clear a major accident from the Monitor-Merrimac tunnel. The good news is that I've got a nice calming trance podcast on the iPod.

I tried first to write some notes for fiction projects, but while a thought or two leaked through, I'm generally blocked; so I am journaling on this Apple notepad instead. I need to scrawl less sloppily; the handwriting recognition on the final OS rev was pretty good, but there's only so much of my bad penmanship it can take. Lowercase 'f's keep coming out capital, for some reason. I'm adding more curve to the tops.

Car behind me just stalled out, guy asked for a jump start. No problem. Asked three times which terminals he had the jumper clamps on... after impressive display of sparks from my battery terminal, went and checked myself. Reversed them. Thank goodness that didn't kill the Hyundai.

Just remembered I could send email from my work Blackberry; updated everyone there on my status. It seems I'm not the only NASA employee trapped here. I wonder if the accident was mechanical failure, or one or more people being idiots? I've been cut off twice in the last 24 hours by rude drivers trying for a single-car position advantage; Hampton Roads drivers can be brutal. On the other hand, I certainly hope no one was seriously hurt... as the cliche goes, "been there, done that".

Whoops. We're moving. Will post this from work.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
  • 09:09 Getting two more high-velocity pebbles in the windshield in the last 24 hours. One left a nice star in the glass. #
  • 09:40 Re-registering to vote because I didn't last year and my address changed last April. #
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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cyberpunk)
My Sunday Technicon experience was brief and poignant. Reluctantly awake by 10:00, and out of the Microtel by 11:00, I headed back to McBryde for a final time.

My plan was to leave Blacksburg by 1:00, thereby getting home around 6:30-7:00 and having time for dinner and decompression, so my time was brief and rushed. I got to catch up briefly with [livejournal.com profile] nanoreid, had my picture taken with [livejournal.com profile] ranchonmars' Skull plush, and won an awesome Thunderchild print from [livejournal.com profile] rattrap. (It's based on a plastic model I designed and we built many years ago.)

I finally had a few seconds to stop into Spiel, where I talked to [livejournal.com profile] jsciv for the only time during actual con hours. Touched base with [livejournal.com profile] rubinpdf, too; I hear [livejournal.com profile] ashoemaker was there, but I didn't see him, though I did see [livejournal.com profile] markush on the way out. Since auction pickup hadn't yet started, [livejournal.com profile] shrewlet offered to collect the print for me so that I could get on the road, and as I left the auditorium where the auctions were held, it seemed like half the con called out goodbyes. Just a little tiny bit verklempt, I was.

I drove home on 460 rather than battle the interstates; I got a far more peaceful drive for my trouble. Faint rain misted my windshield most of the way back, but posed no driving hazard, though I more than once encountered the damned "I refuse to be passed by a Hyundai, even if I was 15 miles under the speed limit!" attitude. Though I didn't realize it at the time, I was so bushed that I sat a couple inches lower in the car seat, making the hood seem to disappear behind the dash.

Finally, I made it home. Starr and Midori were most pleased to see me. I presented Starr with the custom art I commissioned from [livejournal.com profile] rainbowsaber, and heard happy squees for the rest of the evening.

Sleep came upon me with no trouble at all, that night; and thus endeth the story of a happy Technicon. I'm already looking forward to next year's: Jerry's a good man who knows a thing or two about making a con happen, and I'm already tagged to do my shtick again. And this time, I'm bringing Starr!

(Say, who's FanGOH for 26? And who's got pics online?)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
I have driven to Orlando. I have driven to upstate New York. In neither of those cases was I responsible for the steering wheel the whole time, if at all; so, yes, a five-hour drive can absolutely wear me out!

Since NASA Langley is practically sitting on I-64, I packed the car on Wednesday night and headed right to Blacksburg from work Thursday. 64 and I-81 aren't too unpleasant on a Thursday evening; my CD player may be broken, but the iPod plays through it nicely except for the pauses when it tries to eject nonexistent CDs.

Unfortunately, my transmission started throwing fits around Afton Mountain (who could blame it?) slipping and locking into third gear three times on the trip down. Pulling over for 10 minutes each time seemed to reset things, but that's no way to run a railroad.

I made it safely to the Microtel, where I was informed that the wireless access was a bit spotty on my floor :( Nevertheless, in an effort to adjust my sleep rhythms for the weekend, I stayed up for a couple hours unsuccessfully farming Primals in Zangarmarsh, only getting kicked off the server three times.

Friday I headed down to see my Mom (one of the main reasons for my Thursday travel), which was lovely. We traded Xmas presents and had good conversation over a mildly disappointing lunch. Interestingly, I'm still on a hot-rodded Mac G4 tower, and she's got the latest and greatest iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, which she took great glee in showing me.

Went to the lube place, got the transmission flushed, and had them look at my rear tires, which were making unhappy growly noises. Yep, they needed replacing. Technicon was getting expensive already...
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
Yesterday was a real roller-coaster ride.

I was slammed with tickets at work yesterday, and fell behind despite my best efforts. I'm catching up a little bit today, but what a mess. There is never a lack of things for me to do here, let me tell you!

So, back in April, the driver's door switch in the Hyundai broke. The car believed that the door was constantly ajar, meaning I couldn't keep the power locks locked while the car was in motion (BAD), the dome light wanted to stay on all the time (turned it off), and the open-door dinger would chime erratically (psychosis-inducing).

While I still have to take the car by the dealership for several reasons, it finally occurred to me that with three pennies and a bit of duct tape, I could restore proper function to the switch. Now the locks work right, I've got my dome light back, and the dinger is no longer suggesting that I go on a three-state murder spree.

Then we headed over to [livejournal.com profile] ptownhiker's superhero game; and, less than a block away from the venue, someone's cat darted in front of the car. It was over before I registered the blurred shadow. We pulled over immediately, and found the owners, but it was far too late. The owners thanked us for having the decency to stop and find them... thank goodness I was heading straight to a big gathering of friends, because that was a hell of a downer.

The WWII superhero game, on the other hand, may have been the best session we've had in the campaign. All the heroes pulled together as a team and contributed something vital to the rescue of a torpedoed troopship in the North Atlantic, and the evening was full of crazy plans and laughter. One of the heroes has what is basically the Portal super power, and we come up with a new way to abuse it almost every session :)

And this morning I found where I'd accidentally hidden my iPod from myself. So, an eventful day-and-a-half.

EDIT: Here's a Flash version of the Portal game. I wish I hadn't found this at work :) http://portal.wecreatestuff.com/
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
A year after having it loaned to me, I have finally picked up and read "Eldest" by Christopher Paolini. This book is the sequel to "Eragon", which I found to be enjoyable, if lacking in originality. "Eldest" is more of the same; I'd suggest it to any reader I know, with the caveat that they shouldn't expect anything mind-blowing. The writing is good, and the characters are interesting, which is more than many fantasy books can claim.

Still, one day I want to read a high fantasy novel where the elves are short-lived and highly industrial, if not technological. Perhaps the ancient lost civilization that left behind all the ruins and dungeons could be one of humans, or lizard men, or Things We Barely Understand instead of the freakin' elves again. And hey, how about hippie, type B dwarves that live simple lives of farming and woodcarving? You get my drift, here?

We lived through Ernesto - our house was never in danger, though I did lose power halfway through my morning webcomic troll. Driving to work was a dumb idea - two different blocks were flooded, and when the tires stop making the "zzziiiisssshhh" noise and begin making the "blubble-blurble-splep-blobble" noise, the water's too deep - but dumb luck saved me, and the drive home was a little better. The yard looks a bit battered, though.

The International Astronomers Union voted last week that Pluto isn't a full planet, but a "dwarf planet". They did this in part because Pluto's moon, Charon, is almost the same size as Pluto and might have deserved planet status; and a more distant body in our solar system, "2003 UB313", is even larger and might have been awarded the same privileges. "2003 UB313" has been nicknamed "Xena" by its discoverer, and no stuffy astronomers' group is going to sit still for "Planet Xena". (The nickname is unofficial, but may well stick.) (And yes, Xena has a satellite... Gabrielle.)

Pluto, Charon, Xena, and the asteroid Ceres all qualify for "dwarf planet" status under the IAU's new rules. I say Pluto still deserves the love, and we all know what's a planet and what's an asteroid, whatever they say. Manned mission to Planet Xena!

Podcast recommendations of the day: Taverncast, for WoW players; not only is the material useful and interesting, but it's presented in a very light-hearted, entertaining manner by the hosts. Also, Geek Counterpoint, for those with a science bent; much drier in tone, but still well-presented and interesting - my interest was caught by the episode on inflatable spacecraft. Seriously.

The Hyundai is very mad at me right now. The dash clock and stereo are cutting out intermittently (and separately), the a/c has stopped working (and with it, my defogger, which has made driving in the rain interesting), and my temperature gauge is running high. Given how much of the car is factory-sealed, that may mean a trip to the dealership. :(

I may finally attend a NekoCon this year, given that it's right on my doorstep and all. Thinking about it.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Today it is my unbirthday! Following Lewis Carroll, [livejournal.com profile] raininva and I have decided that having two birthdays a year is funner. Hers is in November, but she picked today for mine. We are going to a Comedy Club tonight and she gave me a very nice clothing accessory Tuesday night as a present.

Last night I managed 90 minutes on World of Warcraft. I am totally a geek because I'm enjoying smelting and engineering more than I am killing stuff. I made level 10 with my gnome mage, and moved to another page of my map for the first time (but then moved back, as I have lots of unfinished quests where I was). I also replaced a dead headlight and re-aligned one that I installed improperly a few months ago. I like my little Hyundai, but it's not great design when I have to pull the battery to get to one of the headlight lamps.

I woke up to 70 degree temperatures and sun, which makes it hard to be grumpy even when I do have to get up before 10am. I really needed the quiet night last night; my social life has been cranked up to 11 lately, which is nice, but a little overwhelming. The 1.5 hours of video-gaming was a present to myself. Lord knows when I'll finally finish Halo 1, Jedi Knight II, Elite Force II, NOLF, BloodRayne, Tron 2.0, ./Hack, Robotech: Battlecry, Red Faction II... okay I'm going to stop working out this list because it is depressing me :)

Congrats to [livejournal.com profile] yubbie & [livejournal.com profile] colleenk, and [livejournal.com profile] nius & [livejournal.com profile] rainbowsaber, on their new housing developments! (Ouch. That was unintentional, I swear.)

Since everything's all Star Warsy right now, here's a pair of websites you should visit:

Pink Five: two of the funniest fan films I've seen, easily up there with Troops as fan classics. The third film should be out soon, and they posted a production blog which includes the lead actress' reaction to meeting a fan dressed as her! I want a Pink Harvest t-shirt or button or something.

A lot of people have heard of this one, but Darth Vader's blog has the distinction of not only being funny, but damn well written. The entry about Qui-Gon actually sent chills though me with its ineffable appropriateness. I found myself nodding, and saying to myself, "Wow... that makes sense." And the blog even has an RSS feed.

Okay, back to working.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
A weekend of fighting entropy - we washed the car, replaced the battery in the car, washed clothes, unpacked more stuff, mowed the lawn, built more RTA furniture in which to store stuff. It was a productive couple of days.

This is an odd morning. Despite the fact that I slept poorly and the volume on the clock radio alarm had gotten turned down, I woke up on time and as clear-headed as I ever do. Got out of the house on time without forgetting anything (thanks to some timely help, traffic was even light, and the MP3 CD chose a nice Jean-Michel Jarre / Apollo 440 tune for my drive to work. I'm feeling good this morning. That worries me :)

You have to try out this link. It's work safe, you don't need to turn up the volume and wait for anything to scream at you, none of the weird Internet jokes here. This is just a funky / cool effect.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Yes, Virginia, you can fit a futon, mattress and all, in a Hyundai Elantra.

Spent my first night in the new house. The room I've slept in for the past three months had crappy A/C, but this morning I woke up a bit chilly - [livejournal.com profile] raininva will be pleased. Glad I found my bathrobe in the move. This week I start unpacking what I have with me of my office, which is little more than a mess of boxes at the moment. The commute is easier (it seems so far) than the previous commute, which is nice. I have to find out why the smoke alarm emits random stifled beeps all day, but last night I was far too tired to notice.

Had the sense to take some ibuprofen before bed, so didn't wake up too sore.

So, it seems a Mac shareware developer released an app which, if you enter a pirated serial number, erases your Home directory - your system and applications survive, but every personal document, music file, movie, e-mail, website, password, etc. is GONE. So, is this just desserts for pirates, or equivalent to burning someone's house down for punching you in the nose? Discuss.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (decipher)
Actually, it's my headlight. I meant to get that taken care of last night, but I ran out of energy. I just don't get much done in the evenings now - they're so short. If I go out with friends, that takes care of the evening in one swoop, I go home and go to bed. And I really am having knee problems, I have been all week. Every time I go up a set of stairs is a bit painful, I don't know what I did to myself but I'm ready for it to go away.

I miss getting home at 2 and 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Of course, I don't miss staying at work until midnight, which is what gave me the early days the rest of the week, so I guess it all evens out.

It's raining this morning, as it is over most of the mid-Atlantic states. I like it when it rains. Either a clear, sunny, warm, not too humid day, or a nice steady rain that means business but isn't sheeting down in an effort to get people to build arks. None of this half-way gloom stuff.

Heading back to Salem tonight for the weekend. Thank goodness for audiobooks.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
Driving home every day, I drive past the Holiday Inn where they held a lot of Sci-Cons and at least one KatsuCon that I know of. Ahhh, memories.

Got home a lot quicker today, since my car was where I left it.

Today I met the art department, who gave me a nice welcome seeing as they'll only see me when something's wrong. Of course, I'll be coming to fix it, so I guess I would be a welcome sight.

The mall a block away from work (where I park) is huge, four floors. I am trying to avoid going there because I don't want to spend money, and don't want to wish I could spend money.

That's all for right now.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (menace)
it's about a 10-minute walk from work to the parking spot. Good exercise, unless it's raining. But when I walked back to the parking garage today, my car was completely gone. I looked for it for 30 minutes of ever-increasing panic.

Turns out that this place has two completely identical parking garages. I was in the wrong one. Grrrr.

Anyway, the people at Decipher are very nice, and I'm thinking I'll do fine there. Though I don't have my own office, my desk is in an isolated corner, which felt a little weird - I've never worked that far away from co-workers before.

I'm pooped. Probably go to bed before too long.
mikailborg: Chris drew this picture of my first Starfleet character for a newsletter cover, years ago. (kriet)
Rain and I finally joined a gym. I think that the benefits of the place, for me, are 1) an air-conditioned, level track to do laps on and 2) a whirlpool jacuzzis to relax in afterwards. I might look into some of the classes too, but thanks to my Borg parts I need to avoid unnaturally repetitive motion and shocks to my hip. So a lot of the exercise equipment is out, and I probably won't be doing jump-rope or step aerobics. :) That's okay; the only things I'm really looking for right now are more stamina for walking / hiking and a smaller waistband.

Went ahead and got "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" this weekend. Pretty game... would probably look better if I had the processor and video card that the game lists as "minimum requirements". That's okay, proper frame-rate is for the weak and helpless *grin*

Got a lot done on a "Star Wars" opening for Sean and Leisa's wedding video this weekend. I think they'll plotz when they see it. Hopefully, I can finish it tonight so we can get back to the actual editing, though I've already captured all the footage to hard drive, so a major chunk is already done. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] meiran, for forcing us to finally get that big HD. :)

I always expect my list of digital media (games, CDs, DVDs) I'm saving for to be huge... but this weekend I compiled my list of books I've been meaning to get. It's ugly, over a hundred dollars, and that's just for the top six books... the posthumous Douglas Adams, an illustrated book on gnomes that I loved as a kid, a book on Cold War espionage equipment, and more. Great Ghu, I love to read.

The earliest appointment I can make to get my car inspected is Wednesday at 4:00 pm. The good news is, I'll be off work by that time. The bad news is, I hope I don't get pulled over for a expired May sticker today or tomorrow...

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