May 26, 2016

They Come in Fits and Starts...

... do life's little miracles.

It's been a busy couples months. Aaron was fitted with a cochlear implant in April, and all indications are that we're finally on the way to getting him the clarity he needs. However, we did have to upset his world with one tiny adjustment...

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June 27, 2015

It's Both Incredible and Depressing...

The monumental number of fuckwits I've had to unfollow on facedouche the last couple days.

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July 03, 2012

Some Aaron Pics

In roughly chronological order. more...

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August 28, 2011

My conspicuous lack of updatage..

Yes, yes. I know it's been a really really long time since I put anything new up.

There's a very good reason for that. I've been very busy. more...

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April 13, 2011

If there's one thing...

... I miss about Arizona, compared to Texas, it's the gorgeous mountains.

H5 – WWII Bombers over Arizona Landscape from H5 Productions on Vimeo.

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November 22, 2010

The more things change... the longer the posts become when you fail to keep up with them...

So, again I've waited way too damned long to update.

As I very obliquely mentioned back in the last post, I put one of these on the finger of a pretty young woman you may or may not know back in late May.

That precipitated a move to Houston in early October, and the wedding was just a week and a few days ago.

With the holidays bearing down on us, we're trying to decide exactly how to go about getting back to Arizona for Christmas with my family without being molested by Nappie's goons. We can either join the holiday migration through the airports and play Russian Roulette with the TSA, or rent a nice car and make the 1,200 mile drive between Houston and Phoenix for the 3rd and 4th time in as many months.

It had better be a damned nice car.

Speaking of cars. The Falcon did finally get "finished." (They never really are...) Finished enough that we took it up to the Run to the Pines car show in Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ the last weekend in September. It was a gorgeous two days, if a bit warm (and shade is always at a premium).

(Don't let the image fool you, this was just after sunrise when those pines are casting a nice long shadow. By mid-day, it was quite sunny, and at around 7000', it's easy to roast yourself.)

Falcon's are pretty rare these days, and we were stuck in a bit of a no-mans-land between stock restorations and truly custom/modified machines for class entry. When we liberated this car from its previous owners, they had done a bit too much damage for us to ever get the car back to truly "stock." But, we did what we could, while making some mechanical improvements to make the car a much better, more modern, vehicle to drive.

In the end we decided to enter in the stock class.

And we won it.

The thing about the Falcons is, for a certain age bracket, it seems like just about everyone has owned one at some point in their life. Both days at the show, the car was surrounded by people reminiscing about their own Falcons. I overheard one pair of ladies wondering to one another how they had ever managed the Nasty in such a small back seat. Then there was the little boy who decided he desperately needed to be under the hood snuggling with the 302 (I don't know what he had on his hands, but it took a bit of work to get it buffed off the grill).

Anyway, that's an update.

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June 14, 2010


Okay, I probably screwed up a couple long vowels in that title, but my give-a-shitter is on the fritz.

So... quite a lot has changed in the 9 or so months since my last posting.

Last fall I went dark about the time a friend, coworker, and mentor (henceforth referred to as Kahuna) was diagnosed with malignant liver cancer. The first round of chemo didn't have as much effect as the doctors hoped, but it did show promise if performed long-term. However, Kahuna had been through this once before. You see, in his early 20s, he developed malignant bone marrow cancer, went through a nasty battery of chemo, and made it through a 5% scenario with the loss of a leg. Thirty years later when cancer decided it hadn't done enough to him already, he wasn't going to put himself through more than one chemo regimen. Once off the treatment plan, the doctors gave him 5-6 months.

There was a trip to Dallas in November. December saw work really ratchet up and not let up until, well... I'll let you know when it lightens up. I have the good fortune to be at a construction company in Arizona that is pretty well positioned to weather the worst and keep us busy. December also saw a week-long visit by someone very special.

January was fairly quiet on the personal front with the notable exception of a truly kick-ass birthday surprise.

Early February saw me and my ever more significant other take a trip to Florida to watch the night launch of the Shuttle. That first scrub was a killer. *zzzzzZZZzzzzz*

March was fairly blah until a late trip to Houston gave me a chance to meet more of the potential in-laws.

April was off to a pretty good start when the news came that Kahuna had finally succumb to his cancer the Monday morning after Easter. Services were held the following Friday, and my now-truly-significant-other flew in to be with me. She had met Kahuna only briefly in December, but he's been such a big part of my life for the past eight years that she still came out for the service.

If there's one thing I learned from this episode, it's the care and dedication outfits like Hospice of the Valley bring to what is (or would be for me anyway) a truly depressing job.

May was another long boring stretch of work-eat-sleep until Memorial Day weekend when my about-to-be-really-really significant other flew out to go camping with me. Long story short - we're on like Donkey Kong!

Since then it's been more work and sleep.

Throughout all of this there have been a couple other things going on.

In mid-February I started having serious digestive problems. The most recent diagnosis is that I may have caeliac disease, which doesn't make much sense to me, given how gluten-heavy my diet has been for 30 years.

The other ongoing thing'ama'bob is the impending completion of the 64 Falcon. As of this last weekend, glass is in, headliner is in, carpet is in, door panels are ready for install, rear deck is in, seats are ready. The only thing preventing us from putting the seats in this last weekend were the kickpanels. Bastards just would not go in and it looks like the manufacturer either cut them a little short in the door jamb, or our bodywork has been previously "modified" by the chuckle-heads who started vandalizing this poor car before we got it away from them. Either way, once the kick panels are in, we can drop in the front seat, install the seatbelts, and she'll be completely road legal (well... except for the fact that the reverse lights aren't linked to the shifter yet).

I expect to take a short cruise this next weekend (Short, because the suspension has yet to be aligned)

Anyway... That's the last 9 months compressed into a few paragraphs.

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August 29, 2009

An Arizona Institution

Anyone from Arizona over a certain age will instantly recognize this show.

If you're interested in finding out more about the longest running children's TV program ever, try here.

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August 24, 2009

The Soundtrack for 8-24-09

The lyrics are a way too somber for my mood, but the instrumentation is beautiful.

And on a very much lighter note...

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June 23, 2009

Camping Report - 6/20-21/09

I'm not going to write much about the trip, I'll just cut straight to the pictures.

(picture-heavy below the fold)

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June 02, 2009

Campsite Scouting - Hazlet Hollow

Not quite one year ago, we went camping at Hazlet Hollow, one of the campgrounds in the Horsethief Basin Rec Area near Crown King. Just a few days after leaving, some dipshit got lost, set a signal fire, and proceeded to burn half the mountain down. We had heard the campground was spared, but much of the area around it was burned. This last weekend we decided to head up there and see how bad things looked.

(Picture heavy below the fold)

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May 24, 2009

The Soundtrack for 5-24-09

Today was a good day. Somewhere between...


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May 23, 2009

Road Trip (not by design)

So this morning I and a couple friends arranged to take a short drive outside of town and hike Four Peaks, a local geographic landmark northeast of Phoenix.

However, when they saw the weather looking like this...

Ok, maybe it looked a bit more like this...

Suffice to say I quickly found myself on my own. So I decided to at least drive up and see how things looked (but I'm not dumb enough to do the full hike alone).

(It gets picture-heavy below the fold)

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March 03, 2009

What ever happened to the art of Fisking?

It's not to say no one does it anymore, but the concept and use of the term seem to have dropped out of the blogging lexicon.

Every once in a while you'll come across something that resembles a good 'ol fashion Fisking, but the ruthlessness and bile just isn't there like it used to be.

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December 23, 2008

A Sobering Christmas Tale

Sometimes we're graced to be in the right place at the right time, even if it's only obvious after the fact.


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July 27, 2008

Time for a Video Dump

The good (Surprisingly spoiler free, and absolutely hilarious, if you have my sense of humor)

The sad (Before my time, but still carries a powerful message)

The Fugly (Blame The Hostages for this one)

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May 29, 2008

Old Hobbies

There was a time in my life when I really wanted to do stuff like this. I wouldn't say those days are completely behind me, but I know now that I don't have nearly the patience for the kind of detail required in top-tier scale modeling. It may come to pass that someday I'll have the resources, but I see myself trying to push performance limits more than detail.

Ever since I quit the job at the hobby shop in early 2002, I've been hauling all my old RC airplane equipment around with me from house to apartment to house hoping that some day I'll have the time to really get back into the hobby. I have several engines that have had little to no time put on them. Most of my balsa airframes are dried out by now, and who knows if my radios still meet FCC specs.

For years AM was the "standard" mode used by most radios. Only the really rich guys could afford FM radios. When the FCC doubled the number of channels occupying the same frequency space in 1991, FM became the new default mode (AM being too prone to bleed-over from other now very-much-closer channels) and PCM became the new hot-ticket mode. I haven't checked in on the market for a while. I suspect PCM is far more common than it used to be.

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May 19, 2008

Not Dead, Just Busy. Might as Well be Dead, but Too Busy for That.

Hoe-lee-krap, has it been one of those fortnights... Don't let those poor bastards in the housing market know that commercial construction is going balls-to-the-wall. It could mean we get a break around here, heaven forfend.

I haven't watched a single episode of the spring anime season. As a matter of fact, I haven't watched any anime in the last month, not since finishing Shingu (a show I just can't seem to find anything to get riled up about, good or bad). I get home and all I want to do is veg out watching a baseball game, where I don't feel inclined to use my brain.

Blew through Medal of Honor: Airborne in a couple nights. There used to be several distinct differences between the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty series. Now they play almost identically, and I suspect it's because they're both being consolized. It used to be MoH played as a more "realistic" depiction of WW2 battle situations, while CoD seemed geared more towards placing the player in cool action sequences. But in a rather bizarre twist, CoD4 pushed realism as much as possible, while MoH:A started to look like Wolfenstein in the latter levels with it's Nazi super-soldiers and preposterous "Flak Tower" level design. I fully expected to run into Mecha-Hilter sporting fire breath and shoulder-mounted rocket launchers. Gag.

So far I give the month of May a 4.5/10.

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May 05, 2008


Frys (the grocer, not the electronics superstore) makes the best goddamn sugar cookies you can buy for $2/dozen.

That is all.

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April 28, 2008

When does "Inspired by" become Plagiarism?

Here's a good example of how I hope to use "Random Debris" from now on.

There are only so may ways to arrange notes. Repetition is inevitable. So when I first played through the third episode of the Xenosaga franchise, one track in particular tickled that portion of my brain I mentioned previously that gives me (annoyingly selective) Rainman-like ability to remember a bit of music.

The track is called "Survive." Give it a listen.

Now, play this mp3 of track 17 from the Waterworld (1995) soundtrack.

You can only take "inspired by" so far. Hans Zimmer caught flak for his heavy-handed use of Holst's Planets when composing tracks for the Gladiator soundtrack (I've heard them both, and I'm much more on the side of the Holst foundation than the article's author). I like Yuki's music, but this sounds a bit suspicious.

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