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Fortress of Solitude Mark I. [Sep. 26th, 2008|11:54 pm]
[mood |exasperated]

Home purchase looms. If you know of a dealer in secondhand lawn protection systems (mines), suburban fencing solutions (concertina wire), or water themed landscaping (moat) let me know. The cover of Halloween should provide sufficient cover for the installation.

Some time in November I'll be offering food, wine, and other associated bribes or fabulous door prizes for assistance with various Fortress of Solitude(tm) preparation activities. Given my predilection for logistics you can expect the shift of assets and provisions to go very smoothly. Evil minion headwear and uniform is encouraged but entirely optional for all such activities.

This is all assuming I can overcome the barriers to sane good faith dealings presented by the middle(wo)men involved. I seriously believe, that at the other end of this aggravating game of telephone, that there is another sane person who just wants to sell his house. Realtor's primary incentive is a cut of the deal, this is completely out of whack of the goal of the buyer.... There should be a facility for direct communication between both parties once the introductions are made, I firmly believe this would drastically shorten the negotiation and aggravation.
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4th & Hello [Jul. 2nd, 2006|03:53 am]
Hope everyone has a smashing 4th planned. I'm sadly without rifle tracer ammunition so no celebrating the holiday in true Detroit / Iraq style. A short jaunt to Dallas may be in order to see the family and conduct a business transation with the old man. (I'm not just his son, I'm his arms dealer!)

Said trip may entail an encounter with a passing romantic acquaintance from years past. This woman imparted my favorite post breakup email sentiment ever, "I enjoyed the time we spent together, well most of it anyways". Classic prose I'm sure you'll agree. In addition to being muy caliente she was also batshit crazy. Good thing she's the daughter of a friend of the family, it guarantees awkward run ins for years to come.

Struggling a bit with alienation and apathy. Part of this is a lack of time spent with friends, down to just a few hours a week. Connecting with people in a meaningful fashion has never been easy, lately it's nigh on impossible. Time to meet some new folks and revel in a new set of disfunctions.

Work is increasingly a balancing act, and things are starting to fall with noted consequences. It's almost time to hire some goons I think, though this will require convincing my boss that no, we are not likely to find a CRM/IT Support/QA/Business Analyst candidate out there for 65% of what I'm making. Not everyone can or wants to pinch hit.....

In the last 48 hours:
- USPS lost my last three weeks of mail
- Robin has taken up artistic carpet urination
- Work's accounting system went to hell

The only upshot of these events is that having manually copied all of my coworker's last two weeks worth of time sheets I now know exactly how they spend their time. Some folks hard work was confirmed, others suspected posturing as well. I've also determined I need to make more use of these until now unknown "personal" and "flex" job codes. :>

Robin appears to be in good health, I just think the litter deodorizer I added spooked him. I'm swapping out the litter tomorrow and expect good results.
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Commie Bastards! [Feb. 1st, 2006|12:34 am]
The Chicoms have raided one of my credit cards. Seriously, it didn't trip any switches at Citi that after 7 months of inactivity I'd suddenly be sending a $1000 web based money order?!? Hello, Shady McShaderson? Four call transfers and over an hour of holding later revealed their tactics:

- Initial sub $100 transfer to San Francisco (never claimed)
- Second sub $1000 ($996) transfer to China two days later

Clever test to see if anyone is listening before making the real plunge, I assume the dollar amounts are deliberately just below the full figure thresholds. I saw the transactions pretty quickly, though I am disappointed that it takes Citi five days to report transactions like this via quicken. Nice to know that Western Union will send money anywhere!

Time to close accounts, change passwords, and get my paranoia on.
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PLASMA OF DOOM(tm) [Feb. 1st, 2006|12:26 am]
I've finally managed to score some swag as a result of my nth job at work as new building construction manager. For those of you who don't know about my adventures in construction management I'm responsible for the following at our new locale:

- Security System
- Phone System
- Data Wiring
- WLAN System
- Conference Room Setup

I also get asked how many electrical outlets we need per foot, how many core drills, and various assorted items that I don't have an effing clue on. However, I apparently possess more clue than anyone else at work. I's basically a giant pain in the ass I'm not getting paid any extra to deal with. Until today. :>

We've acquired a HD 55" Hitachi Plasma for our new main conference room at a discount price from a sister company. Seeing as it arrived today and we don't move into the new building until late March.... it's currently undergoing extensive testing and calibration at the Fortress of Solitude. Thanks to Betsy, Chris and Mike for helping with transport and installation!

A screen this size makes you realize most of the Time Warner digital cable feeds are JUNK. The HD channels look nice but regular TV looks like ass. The upconversion it does from 480P to a "virtual 1080P" is impressive with most DVDs though. I need to get my AIDA calibration DVD out and tune the color temperature, it's way too "warm" currently. I'm interested to see how close to true black I can get out of the set. Lawrence of Arabia and other extremely wide aspect movies are really a treat. I'm contemplating $3000 of debt in my near future if I can't kick the addiction come move in time.

Did I mention it's farking GINORMOUS?
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The Drift Monster is Dead, Long Live the Grip Monster [Jan. 31st, 2006|11:55 pm]
After a harrowing rain filled drive to Houston it was time to replace the baldass(tm) Z's front tires. As fun as throttle induced snap oversteer is I feared for my life in the next rain. If it ever rains....

New tires are Falken FK-451 Betas, which I selected to replace my last set of REAR tires. I now have matching tires, OCD appeased! Some mildly spirited driving has yielded positive results: crisp steering response, excellent grip, and restored braking ability. Looking forward to doing some testing in the rain. The Falkens are about 60% of the price of the Michelin and Bridgestone performance tires, the only real loss seems to be road noise and ride comfort. Anyone who's been in my car can attest that either of these issues is rather moot.
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King Kong [Dec. 18th, 2005|11:17 pm]
First 60 minutes:
Dialogue is corny but the sets, costuming, and cinematography are excellent.

Remaining 120 minutes:
Previous positive points are destroyed but increasingly ham fisted dialogue, horrible hit you over the head metaphor cinematography / score, and a series of beautiful but honestly boring special effects shots. The film is BAD, which is a shame given that Watts & Brody are good actors. With three hours you'd think some form of sympathy or connection to the characters would be possible, but they're all so two dimensional that supposedly tragic or moving scenes actually got laughs. Except Kong that is, credit to Andy Serkis for making the digital creation the most human of the characters. Jack Black should take some lessons....

Saving grace of the film:
My friends assured me that the giant man eating penis monsters most likely deeply scarred and will frustrate the sexual maturation of the loudmouth 6 year old brat sitting behind us. Yes, I said GIANT MAN EATING PENIS MONSTERS. Trust me.
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Objectives & Priorities [Dec. 18th, 2005|12:23 am]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

Earlier this year I realized my job isn't in any immediate danger. This, honestly, is a realization I should have come to years ago. Especially given that my boss, CEO and coworkers repeatedly reassured me that I was being unjustifiably paranoid. So, in the absence of something more dire to worry about, I began to contemplate some actual long term goals.

Long term planning is not my strong suit, I prefer tactics to strategy. It's time to put some of these objectives to paper (well the electronic equivalent) with the hope that people might able harass me about them. (Just don't tell my folks, there's harassment, then there's guilt carpet bombing)

1. Achieve healthy financial status with house purchase in 2007
2. Achieve healthy status period with significant weight loss
3. Find a good woman who ideally can support the above, and at a minimum not subvert them!
4. Use progress on above objectives to support a more positive frame of mind

I've already dropped about 20lbs on the year, and via a healthy work bonus and liquidation of slightly over 10% of my firearms collection I've eliminated the majority of my debt load. So lest you think this is late night dreaming, actual progress has been made. The next year is the hard part: forming positive exercise habits and refraining from gadget and toy purchases that have historically mired me financially.

So if any of you have any new, exciting, and expensive hobbies please avoid sharing! Also, if anyone locally is interesting in daily walking / weekend hiking please share. Podcasts are entertaining but some intelligent discourse would be preferred.
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Marching back into the dark ages with horns blaring. [Sep. 3rd, 2005|10:39 pm]
Chief Justice Rehnquist died today, that makes two judges the Idiot in Chief gets to nominate. This is very unfortunate time for the court to shift. At least Congress won't be able to screw things up too horribly in the next year as they'll be too busy throttling each other and crucifying the next nominee.

"He supported the death penalty, homosexual rights and free speech."
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RIP [May. 16th, 2005|08:38 pm]
[mood |sadsad]

Frederick Eugene Oliver
December 6, 1915 - May 16, 2005

View looking west down the Lake Michigan beach from my Grandparents' Naubinway Michigan cottage circa August 1972.  A more peaceful place I've never been.
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Random Automobilia: ASC McLaren 5.0SC [May. 15th, 2005|03:52 am]
[mood |Perplexed]

It's rare that I run across a production car I've never seen, let alone never heard of. So when I saw what appeared to be a modified 1980's Mecury Capri with McLaren badges on it last week I thought I was hallucinating. (McLaren? Formula One constructor AND a Ford live axle mustang!?!) I've seen thousands of butchered Mustangs, but this thing looked factory, and it was well taken care of.

Approximately a thousand of the modified Capris were built in the mid 80's and sold in Lincoln dealerships. ASC (American Sunroof Company) did the convertible conversion, and McLaren provided suspension components. The car was meant as a luxury tourer, and performance modifications were sparse.  While the car itself isn't too terribly impressive, it's a treat to see something this rare.

ASC McLaren 5.0SC

Almost as bizarro as Chrylser's rebadged and Italian produced Maserati LeBaron.
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