Monday, February 27, 2006

Move along; nothing to see here.

And even if there were, I've got no time for sightseeing.

So last night, I got called to work so that I would arrive in Seattle (Kent) between 2 and 3 am. No sweat; I left the house at 10 pm. Upon arriving at the yard, I grabbed my tractor and trailers and off I went into the dark rain.

Upon arriving at Seattle FedEx's Yard, I wound up waiting almost two hours for my next set of trailers. Then I got to drag them 19 miles to Tacoma. Whee.

I had been following the weather regarding the mountain pass that exits Seattle to the East (Snoqualmie)(don't bother trying to pronounce it). Ick. Snow? Freezing rain? Chains were not yet required, but then again I was slated to take two empty trailers to Pasco (Southeastern WA) to lay over.

I was unable to talk the dispatcher out of my taking both trailers (besides, I hadn't done a five mile long power-slide-with-a-60-foot-tail in several days. Pulling empties can be more challenging in weather; tires that are designed around supporting a heck of a lot more weight wind up floating over the road very easily. Maintaining forward motion can be difficult. Come to think of it, so can stopping. It is easy for the brakes to over-react on winter roadways. Oh, well... I set off to have some fun. It was.

Apologies for a lack of photography, but I was a bit busy.

Well, back to the title of the post. Pasco. Tri-Cities. Hmmm... Nothing of import is immediately obvious (save for the hotel pillows; man, I was tired).

I am only here for 10 hours so I won't be going through the Hotel's tourist rack of brochures or pining after a visit to the world's second largest ball of twine.

It is just as well. The sooner I'm out of here, the sooner I can get home to My wife and little girl. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Friday, February 24, 2006

With my own two eyes...

While preparing my FedEx tractor for a return to Portland from Missoula Montana yesterday, I saw something that I've read about. I managed to snap a photo of it a while later, but I took the picture from the driver seat of a moving truck. The photo is not the best, sorry; I don' wanna die.

Yep, it was solid Black. No, I did not see any identification markings on the aircraft. As I passed, though, I did see Bigfoot getting out of the cockpit.

Just seeing this aircraft confirms for me the stories of the CIA and the Military Industrial Complex blowing up the towers and the Pentagon on 9/11/01 (if it really happened).

OK, just kidding about the conspiracy and such. I know 9/11 happened; satire folks.

Did Cheney really think we would be too dumb to notice the black letters on black fuselage? Duh.

Monday, February 20, 2006

City to city

While this may not seem all that cold to folks that are used to it, it was to me. Also, consider that at the time it was midnight, I was driving a truck with 3 trailers, and though I saw other cars every so often I was utterly alone. Thank goodness for xm radio.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Trading Spaces

This space has been quiet for a bit, and for good reason.

I've traded back to my old career.

Yes, I did like living the office/desk job life, however, circumstances have made the stable and substantial income of my previous endeavor more attractive.

How lucky am I? Within two weeks of an exploratory phone call to the FedEx manager who had originally hired me, I am back on the job, in a truck, working nights.

There is a small spot in my brain, though, that thinks I'm nuts. Oh well, winter is almost over.

Expect motel days to provide some good surf and blog opportunities.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just a quicky post

Nothing important to report, except while Basia is back east for a bit; the little one and I have been on a camping trip (trailering). Through the wonders of science, I am now able to blog from a campground via my cell phone as modem.

Eh. I can't get away. Maybe I can at least get serious.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Even though this one didn't emerge from Denmark..

Something is Fishy here. Hmmm...

Could this be one of those hoaxes? But, I pulled the story from Drudge .

I don't mean to question anyone's patriotism or support for the troops. As a matter of fact, I think the people who donated the funds had the best motives. I do think it is odd that it is being broadcast as a for-sure thing (read; fact)that he owed the $700.

Or could someone be avoiding an obvious inaccuracy that changes the story. Maybe that kind of thing would be located about 70% down the page, after the Democrat hystrionics.

What the article said to me, if I read the quotes correctly:

When he turned in his gear last week, Rebrook said he was told to pay nearly $700 or face not being discharged for weeks. The bill included a $570 charge for his Kevlar vest and gear destroyed in battle, and $130 for other lost items.

It sounds to me like the Army offered him an option, pay to save a few weeks of chasing paper trails, or wait a bit and have all be forgiven. It is still quite an obtuse sounding story, but I wonder... is there anything else that is being ignored?

I am glad that Lt. Rebrook is alive and getting better. May health and happiness find him again.

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Monday, February 06, 2006


The kitchen project is now in the pick-up-the-tools stage.

The following is a pretty revealing angle:

There are four more sliders that are out of view. Man, what a difference. It was a bit anti-climactic the first time I closed all of the cabinet doors; it looked exactly the same as before.

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A cartooning confluence; Drawing for fun and fatwa

Okey Doke.

Do I or don't I?

I have a family to feed and take care of, and I haven't been too anonymous while blogging.

I don't think I can do it. Just like when someone threatened damage to my truck if I parked in a certain spot at work. Lesser of two evils? I dunno.

If I do happen to come across or create a private collection, I'll let you know.

In the interim, I do remember hearing about the two photos below. Is that Mohammed (Atta?)?

Okay, they aren't drawings and they aren't mine but who knows if they are actually Mohammed or maybe even his cousin? I think the description of them as the devil is pretty accurate though.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Of Marriage, Memory and Mere Clarification

As I mentioned in a fairly fresh post, my wife and I went to a marriage seminar this weekend. Also this weekend, I posted a little blurb about how I can relate to being an instructor in an aviation discipline. I won't pretend my experience was nearly as serious or valuable as Major Lucky from DesertOdyssey, but I can still relate. The photo of the jumpers in that post was a fairly random one, I was not in the picture.

Thanks to a confluence of thought and weekend activities (which also included a winter-spring cleaning), I found and scanned an actual picture of me in freefall. It is one of my favorites. My wife, in the middle, was doing her first jump. I am the Main Side Jumpmaster, on the left (the little orange pvc thingy on her hip is her main ripcord (my main reason for being RIGHT THERE!).

It should be noted, however, that though she is now my lovely and wonderful wife (and mom for our kids), this day was the day we met.

Sometimes I miss who we used to be, but then I look in on our sleeping daughter and it fades.

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Is this one funny?

And for the record, I give my brother permission to de-caption and post for input.

This one dates back even farther than mower-man. If drawing is like riding a bicycle, one day I'll draw this stuff again. When I feel funny, that is.

You know, a lot of people come to me and they say, "Steve, how can you be so fucking funny?" and I tell them, "first you got to feel funny, so before I go on stage, I put bologna in my shoes – so I feel funny."

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Speaking of Pandora's Box

Via Powerline:

Iyman Faris, the only terrorist who has been named publicly in connection with the NSA terrorist surveillance program, has moved to set aside his conviction for conspiring to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge on the ground that he was "illegally" spied upon by NSA. Faris's cause is being taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union:

Hey...That's great.

When I first heard about that big ol' leak about the NSA surveillance, I secretly hoped it was some Clancy-esque ploy that used the media to force terrorists to pick up new cell phones, thinking they were now safe and scrubbing-bubblesMove along...nothing to hear here.  We're not terrorists, just foreigners with brand spanking new phones! clean.

Even if that were the case, it is getting ugly. The lefties are taking a whole lot of extra rope to hang themselves with... and it takes way too long for it to play out off of the roll.

Thanks NY Times. Now who is targeting civilians?

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Loose lips with a track record for bragging about them.

via Hugh Hewitt. Could Jay Rockefeller and company provide relief to those still struggling to pronounce Abramoff?

Maybe, but not if the MSM has a say in what is covered.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Taking an airplane out for a spin with a military student.

T-37 Tweet; the aircraft described in the post linked in the title.

"With a heavy shudder, the world stopped rotating and I jammed the throttles forward as I reefed back on the stick to gain altitude. The lowest we got, I think, was 11,500 feet. Tigre said not a word as the nose pitched up and the altimeter reversed. Passing back into our altitude block I turned my head to look at him. His face was white through his helmet visor."

"Woo hoo! That was fun, wasn't it!" I shouted through the intercom.

As I read that, it reminded me a bunch of the feelings and experiences I accrued as a freefall No that isn't me; my jump photos are mostly pre-digital.  I'll work on scanning some for laughs.and tandem skydiving instructor. We had a few folks who made it passed the minimum qualifications and were passed on to more EXCITING adventures.

As tandem instructors the world over say, "I don't care what you do, but if you grab my hands, I'll head-butt you to death!"

Whee. One day, I'll post some fun stories. The first will be about the female tandem student who vomited in my mouth at about 4000 feet (and never apologized) (Taco Bell quesadilla for lunch; I'll never forget it).

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Okay, now I'm just showing off.

Between the end of our Love & Respect Marriage Seminar (really quite good) and heading out for a reunion with old friends, I was able to install a bunch more of our kitchen cabinet slide-out stuff.

For those of you planning to catalog the locations of stuff in our home for later stealthy and sinister removal, note that most of what is stored in this house is old tupperware and second hand cookware. Still, here are a few more photos to check out.

Under Counter StorageHere are six shelves for under the counter. You wouldn't believe all the stuff that had been hiding in back for 5 years.
Where we keep the Booze and Achy, Stuffy Head, So You Can Rest Medicine!Okay, so it isn't all old junk. We do have a small amount of booze way up high that now goes unseen until the drawer is pulled out. Nothing really good though.
Pots and Pans and LidsThis may be the best improvement. Think about it. When you pull out a pan, it doesn't set off a domino event inside the cabinet. You slide out the drawer and lift. Great for lazy folks like me.
New pantry pull-outs.  No I'm not done; 9 more to go in this section.And here are the first 3 of 12 pull-outs for the remainder of the pantry. The top left cabinet contains the chalkboard/can cubby that I built earlier.

Once I got a system going, it was easy; just squeeze a big fat guy with a cordless drill and a flashlight into a 9 by 13 inch opening again and again. The rest is history.

I can tell I'm no professional, though. I wore a really long shirt for the install stuff so no one had to stare at my crack.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Look at the photos. Did anyone think the ship would stay afloat in wind?

Here is the ship that went down in the Red Sea.

And here is a sister ship that had not yet undergone a major refit.

The ship was "improved" years ago to add about 400 passengers to her capacity, and (it looks like) 3 decks above the original superstructure. From the photo, it looks like a hell of a lot of sail area in a cross wind. The news I heard was that the Al-Salam Boccaccio 98 got under weigh during a sand storm (that's wind, isn't it).

Here in the US, someone would wind up going to jail for that.

So much for weebles wobble but they don't fall down.


My brother commented that a fire caused the sinking, but it still didn't seem that was the answer. Uh, yep, we can both be right.

The minister said Saturday an initial investigation showed a truck erupted in flames in the hold of the ship.

After the crew tried to put out the fire, the captain's efforts to turn the boat around caused it to tilt in heavy winds and ultimately sink.

Some survivors later described the tilting, saying it occurred slowly before the vessel sank.


Hey, check this out.

Fathi Kamel cried out: "Allahu Akbar (God is Most Great)" when he heard that his nephew was among the survivors.

What do you wanna bet some folks flinched when he yelled that?

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Is it just me, or did I see Hillary Clinton

chewing gum (very slowly; doing like 4 jaw rpms) during the President's SoTU speech?

And then there was all that non-verbal contempt she was throwing around. Heck, I guess I don't blame her, she knew one president very well and she couldn't trust him.

One of the reasons that I trust him is found at Gav's blog. All cowboy (in a good way); no pup tent.

The post linked above, notes a substantial quote; given with little nuance. It must scare the $h1t out of Ahmadahijinabsadabibab.

Kind of David Banner, ya know? "Don't make me angry; you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

Matter of fact and not "Stuck on Stupid."

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Some cabinet photos

So, here are two of the roller boxes I got installed last night.

The above shows the boxes all the way out, and...

This photo yields a clue to their purpose.

These two boxes organize and store in otherwise low-value cabinets (above the fridge) our fancy glassware. We are fairly casual folk, so we don't need to get them often. Earthquake? No sweat, they can't bang into each other or fall off of a shelf. Yeah. Overbuild the solution.