wombat_socho: Wombat (Original content)
This is a very personal post about very personal things. If you can find a lesson in my example to benefit you, then so much the better.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, it took the lads from Two Guys and a Truck (not to be confused with Two Men and a Truck, which isn't around here) three and a half hours -including travel time- to empty out my storage locker and move it all into the apartment. Holy crap, I have a lot of stuff...and some of it is going to the dumpster, since it's broken. So far I've resigned myself to the necessity of buying at least one floor lamp since its base is broken and the threading on the top has gotten stripped; the less said about the old microwave the better. Most of my coffee mugs seem to have survived, and I see that I packed a bunch of bowls & storage containers along with some very necessary utensils and flatware. Anyway, first priority for tonight after dinner will be getting enough boxes unpacked and flattened so that I can take the computer desk off the table, which will then move over by the thermostat by the kitchen. Hopefully I'll find the bedroom lamp in decent shape, otherwise I'll be making a little trip to Home Depot (or Walmart) tonight for some new floor lamps and appropriate bulbs. Can't unpack in the dark, after all.

Unpacking will be suspended tomorrow while I serve as chauffeur to Mr. B, who has asked me to do him the favor of driving him to Katsucon. It's a measure of how little I've had to do with local fandom that I was completely ignorant of when Katsucon was, and at that I doubt I would have agreed to drive except that Greg Ayres is one of the GoH, and it would be good to see him before Detour. Whether that's actually going to happen is questionable; while Katsucon isn't exactly Otakon or the SDCC, it's a damn sight bigger than Detour, and with all the otaku clogging the halls I figure my chances of actually spending any time with Greg are slim and none, but if I didn't make the effort they would be zero, period. Besides, if things get boring at Katsucon, I can always go across the street to the Marriott Wardman Towers and see what they've done with the place since it stopped being the Sheraton Park of fond memory.

So, yeah...booked my flight for Minneapolis this morning after making sure I could come early and stay late. Whether I'll be staff or not is up to [livejournal.com profile] tatsmaru, [livejournal.com profile] redmartel and of course [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik; I wouldn't mind helping as best I can (holding down desks & chairs, mostly) but won't be offended if they say no. I'm doing a couple of panels for [livejournal.com profile] marainsanity, and if that's all I do that's fine with me. We'll see.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
Did my taxes online again this year, forking out $80 to Intuit since I had to file in Minnesota and Virginia this year. Governator Junior's lads at MN Revenue clipped me for the last time, claiming ~$400 in additional taxes (mostly out of the $15K I took out of the Cardboard Box Fund to finance my move out here) but I made out OK with the Feds and the Commonwealth, and am expecting refunds from both. Of course, I might could have screwed something up, and I'm sure they'll let me know if I have.

I got my prescriptions refilled today at Kaiser. Two Benjamins and change, though most of that was the Iodoflex, which is not in the KP formulary and this rather pricy. Still, if it heals up the wound on my leg it'll be more than worth it. Also, I get reimbursed for all this from my pre-tax spending account. It'd be nice if AFLAC caught up with WageWorks and issued debit cards for this sort of thing, but as long as I get the money back I don't much care.

Note to self: Cooking and eating pasta is a lot easier when you have a slotted spoon with which to scoop the noodles. Another item for the shopping list.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Got back from shopping and promptly ate dinner, which means it was too late to get my laundry through the wash and dry cycles before it was time to leave for what is now home...or where I'm hanging my notional helmet for now, at any rate. I have all the essentials here thanks to a late-night stop by Shoppers Food Warehouse, though I still need to recover some stuff (like my half & half and the nuclear egg poacher) from Mom's. Perversely, I didn't use my suitcases and so wound up packing most of my stuff into plastic bags, which was dumb and awkward. Well, there's always tomorrow night, which will mostly be about books, laundry and wargames.

Been thinking this weekend that it might be to my long-term advantage to liquidate the Cardboard Box Fund (or most of it) and kill off various debts to Wells and BoA (was MBNA). I can't pay off the car loan, but I think I can get rid of the two credit cards and the line of credit. We'll see how it actually looks when I get the papers from Wells at the end of the week.

Tired and a little sore...think I'll eat my yogurt, take a couple Tylenol, and curl up in the sleeping bag for the night...0700 comes all too early at my age.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Up until 0300 chatting with a fellow Goon from Calgary who I used to fly with a lot last year, which meant I wasn't up until 1100. Showered, went online with guys from Pi Squad for an op, and there went the afternoon. Niece was doing laundry anyway so I wouldn't have gotten that done. :(

So, going forth with laptop and some other worldly goods to finish shopping for Mom and drop things off at the apartment. I expect to come back here, do laundry, and pack up some more things to take to Alexandria, but I dunno if I'll actually get everything shifted tonight. I've managed to accumulate far too much in the way of books, CDs, and other junk these last five months.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I guess I'm officially back on the home turf now. Carlos woke up much earlier than I did, as he usually does and went off to breakfast while I slept in for another couple of hours. (It was a very good dream.) I decided to skip breakfast - the buffet was okay, but $13 is a little stiff for something not noticeably better than the breakfast at the Sheraton Bloomington. Well, okay, the Canaan Valley Resort did offer grits along with biscuits & gravy, but it's still not worth $13. I wound up doing lunch in a diner along WV 28 between Cabins and Seneca Rocks, and although I paid $15 for it, the diner lunch was definitely better. Sweet potato fries, BBQ pork sandwich, and homemade blackberry cobbler a la mode. Mmmmm.

The drive was definitely prettier in the daylight than it would have been after dusk. Awesome mountain views, cute little hollows, and signs all over the place proclaiming 9% grades uphill and 10% downhill with a lot of 25 mph curves. Careful now. On the other hand, about the time I passed through Petersburg it was 97 degrees downtown and 100 in Mooresfield. It felt a LOT hotter (though no more humid) than the 91-94 I'd dealt with easily in Dayton. The heat didn't let up when I got down into the Shenandoah Valley proper and started buzzing along first I-81 and then I-66, and I was out of fluids, so I pulled off at the first exit from 66 and stopped at a McDonald's for Diet Coke, a refill of my water bottle, wi-fi ($2.95/2 hours, unfortunately) and making a couple of calls now that I can actually make and get phone calls again.

On the agenda: lunch with P (a salad or maybe just a soda for me) and dinner with RS. I may not actually get to the ancestral homestead until tomorrow, but we'll see.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Boring description of largely uneventful drive follows )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
You know, from previous experience in these damned hills I should have realized that the estimate of three hours to get from Wheeling to the Canaan Valley Resort was hopelessly optimistic. Once I got off Interstate 68 and headed south to find US-219, it was alll 35 mph uphill and 60 mph downhills...and let's face it, the Sportage isn't really suited for these hills. There were a lot of uphill stretches where the speed limit was way above what I could hope to reach in third gear. Anyway, it just took forever to get through the hills and into the resort area...which evidently has a lot of lakes & rivers you can drive boats around on. Who knew? There's a lot of stretches of 219 that look like Minnetonka Highway around the lake; evidently Garrett County has become serious resort country for Washingtonians.

Anyway, what with driving through forty zillion little resort areas and towns in the middle of all the resorts, and overshooting the turnoff, I finally got to what I thought (thanks to Google) was the Canaan Valley Resort...only it wasn't. It was the Blackwater River Resort. FUCK YOU, GOOGLE! So after establishing that Carlos was in fact in the other resort, I crawled back out to WV-32 and zoomed off down the highway - and hit the brakes just in time to miss a six-point buck big enough to completely demolish the Sportage and everything in it including me. That woke me right up, which I needed since it was getting on toward midnight. To make an already long story short, I got into the lodge at 0030, half an hour after Carlos had given up on me and crashed for the night. Oh well. Woke him up, set up nose hose, chatted a bit, then slept like the dead until 0900.

Think I'll hit the pool a little later - the morning blood sugar was appallingly high, and I need to work that down a bit. It's possible that being out in the heat over the last few days has damaged the meds a bit, but there's nothing I can really do about that. I can be a little more careful about what I'm eating and the amount of exercise I'm doing.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Slept well enough last night, and now I need to get everything packed up and out of here before I head down to the Waffle House and explore the rest of the museum. Carlos wants me to join him at a resort in West Virginia, and while it looks nice it would be 8 or 9 by the time I got there. On the other hand, Wheeling is only 3 hours away, which doesn't seem like nearly enough time on the road. We'll see how I feel this evening, I guess - whether I can push on or it just gets to be too much driving through the mountains.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
Well, my distribution check finally posted to my account, a day late thanks to a server crash at the Evil Banking Neighbor, and I can deal with various bills that are long overdue. Like my taxes. I was also amused to see that a check I wrote last year for Arcana (presumably for this year's membership) was deposited today. Less amusing was that my morning blood sugar was over 250, most likely due to the medium deep dish pizza I had for a late dinner last night. Well, I should have walked that off by dinner time - or sweated it out, more likely, since it's supposed to hit 91 here in Dayton today while I'm running around finding cables and Waffle Houses and post offices so I can pay my Federal taxes. I suppose I could have used my plastic to pay the IRS online, but the notion of having to pay a fee to pay my taxes strikes me as just wrong.
Meanwhile, I can change my address online, but since I don't have a place in the DC area yet it seems kind of dumb to do that. Especially since I have to change my credit card address to conform to the new address first so that the USPS can validate the change. One more thing that has to wait until I stop being transient and get a real job again.

So. Waffle House is this way, Best Buy and Click Camera are over there, Wal-Mart is in the other direction completely, and the Post Office is nowhere near any of them. Of course. Well, first I'll finish my coffee, then I'll shower, suit up, do breakfast, get the cable, and download pix before I head off to the museum and shoot a bunch of new ones. Everything else can wait...including laundry, for there is an auto wash and laundry less than a mile from the hotel. Such convenience!
stupid technical update while I'm finishing coffee )
wombat_socho: Wombat (Happy)
The drive to Dayton was blessedly short, even with the detour to Rushville, which believe it or not was the closest Wells Fargo presence to Indianapolis. WTF is up with that, former partners in crime? Fort Wayne and Rushville but not the home of the Colts? Well, anyway, it was a pleasant detour down Indiana State Highway 3 and back, and I still got to Dayton in time for a 3 PM check-in, even after a large, leisurely breakfast at an honest-to-God Waffle House.

I'm just going to kick back tonight and chill, with the exception of a short trip to a nearby laundromat to wash some of my road clothes and another to a decent restaurant, if there is one in the neighborhood. This Day's Inn is almost identical to the one I stayed in last night, though in a much better neighborhood. Tomorrow I'm going to get a cable to download my pix from the camera into Cowzilla, and hit the Air Force Museum. There's supposed to be a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms, so it sounds like a really good idea to wander around inside and shoot a bajillion pictures of cool aircraft. I'll also get some good shots of the last Valkyrie for [livejournal.com profile] yuusui, not that I wouldn't have anyway. ;)

Title is a quote from James Webb's Fields of Fire, from the chapter where Mitsuko shows her son Camp Hansen.
It sort of fits.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Jesus. I must have been insane to think I could have made it to Bloomington IL last night even without the rain & lightning. It took me about seven hours of driving (including a stop for food & oil change and another for fuel) to get there today, and another three hours after that to reach my hotel in northeast Indianapolis. Granted, I probably could have saved myself some of that by not going through the north side of Indianapolis near the Speedway and getting thoroughly lost on the east side, but still...ten hours on the road. I'm too old for this.
Wretched details )
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
(With no apologies to Dominic Behan or the Dubliners)

Well, that wasn't too promising. As I write this, I'm sitting in my room at the Days Inn of Evansdale Iowa, warm and dry for the first time since I left Chez [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik this afternoon at 4...yes, I know I was supposed to be on the road three hours earlier, departing from Inver Grove Heights after picking up a revolver for P, but what with the crappy weather it would have made not a damn bit of difference. It rained steadily all the way down from Minneapolis to the Iowa border (briefly changing to torrents in Rochester), and just south of Charles City lightning entered the mix. I was able to put up with that until an hour after nightfall, but my eyeballs are too old and weak to stand God's Flashbulbs going off every couple of minutes, and I threw in the towel just outside Waterloo when I saw a Days Inn advertising FREE HIGH SPEED INTERNET.

So what held me up? Well...Bioshock, for one thing. [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik is pretty fired up about this game, and I can see why. This game combines hard-hitting action with a genuinely creepy story ripped from the pages of Ayn Rand's worst nightmares: imagine, if you will, a utopian undersea community of Objectivists that gains the ability to rewrite their own genetic code so as to give themselves telekinesis. pyrogenesis, and other powers. What happens to Rapture, the city I've described, makes the noir horrors of Dark City look mild by comparison. The demo must be played to be believed, and the possibility of all those alternate plot lines in the story makes me eager to try this one out too.
Which reminds me... )

In the meantime, I have the box set of Ai Yori Aoshi to keep me entertained. I'd been wanting it for a while, and when Best Buy put it on sale (with the "Enishi" second season DVDs included) I snarfed it up.

One last trip outside to the Sportage for razors and Diet Coke (seems dumb not to make use of the fridge) and I'll call it a night.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Well, most of the important stuff on the to-do list got done in spite of the rain. The oil change can be done tomorrow, as can dropping off Craig's copies of Stipple, and the dropping off of keys with the super. Even with all that, I should still be on the road and over at Karl & Joella's to pick up the revolver by noon or 1 PM at the latest.

Turned out there were two boxes and some miscellaneous stuff (mostly belonging to the ex) in the apartment, and the effort of dragging those downstairs and stuffing them into the Sportage drained me of gumption. As if that wasn't fun enough, the ex inflicted some minor drama on me when I called to see if [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor was still awake. It was not serious drama, and since I didn't actually have to deal with her when I got to James' place it was all good, especially since there's never a good time to get in the middle of the mother-daughter cold war.

So...going to have a bedtime snack and get a good night's sleep, since I'm looking at about nine hours of driving through southern Minnesota and eastern Iowa in the rain after I get done farting around locally. That plan puts me in Bloomington IL (oddly enough) after 515 miles on the road. It'll be interesting to see how far I actually get, since I'll have to stop for fuel at least once (probably in/near Cedar Rapids) and I suspect fatigue will catch up with me in the Quad Cities rather than in the middle of Illinois, but we'll see how it goes.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
The good news is that it's not going to be insanely hot for the first couple of days of the drive east.
The bad news is that it's going to be raining and I may possibly be driving through thunderstorms. *sigh*
Gas also has gone back up to the $2.90-$3.00/gallon range, but as with the weather there's not much to be done about that.

Well, in the meantime I need to get ready to leave tomorrow, which means doing laundry, taking the cable modem back to Comcast, taking the keys over to Fremont Court after I get that last box of miscellaneous stuff out of the apartment, and dropping off Craig's copies of the most recent StippleAPAs over at Chez [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik. I should also get the oil changed in the Sportage and maybe have a tuneup done as well. All that should pretty much kill the day and a good part of the evening.

As for Melody's revolver, I can pick that up from Karl on the way out of town tomorrow.

I briefly thought about going to the Detour meeting this afternoon, especially when I saw [livejournal.com profile] redmartel, [livejournal.com profile] tatsmaru and a couple of other folks hanging out and having a smoke outside the NE entrance, but squashed the thought. There's nothing I can really contribute, since at the moment I am a Wombat Without Portfolio, and I'd really just be a distraction, which is is the last thing needed when they're trying to hash out budget stuff.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Yesterday was not the day either. I didn't even go up to the apartment; after checking the mail I just rolled out to Shoreview to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] tatsmaru, Patrick, Rob, and Kristin. That made the sad frustration go away for a while, but then I came back to my room and bleh. I called the plan administrators at Wells today to make sure they actually did cut the check, and they had...in Birmingham. Birmingham? WTF? Wells doesn't even have a bank in Alabama! Why in flaming green hell would they be cutting checks there and mailing them around the Midwest and West? ([livejournal.com profile] redmartel, feel free to point and laugh. WFC deserves it for this ass-backwards, primitive shit.) Jesus wept.

Well, anyway, today [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor and I are going over to get the last of the stuff out of the apartment. Most of it is either stuff I'm giving to him, or stuff that belongs to his mother that got left behind when she moved out of the house on 16th Avenue. I have no expectation that the check will be there and am trying not to be depressed about it. Best case, I'm out of here tomorrow and have a chance to catch up with my brother before he heads off for Detroit to visit his buddy Al.

update: Figures. I get all depressed and angry, vent all over the poor schmuck manning the phones at Wells, and the check arrives today. Took some cash out and treated [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor to steak at the Timberlodge as a token of my gratitude for all his help with the move, and then took him back to his place, helped him unload the stuff he's getting from me, and went back to the hotel so's I could kick back and let dinner digest. I think I may wait until Sunday to leave, since I need to drop off my cable modem with Comcast and pay them what I owe them, do laundry, and take care of other pre-move bidness. (Going to the Detour meeting isn't part of that.) I figure by the time I'm done with that it'll be well after noon...
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
Going to head over to the apartment in a few minutes to check the mail, pick up a couple of things, and maybe make up my mind about whether I'm going to deal with the dirty dishes in the sink, trash them, or just be a vindictive shit and leave them there. (I feel guilty already just for having thought that, so that's probably not how it's going to work out.) I've spent most of the day farting around on the computer and looking at the route...it looks like Evansville is a bit far south of my route, and I realize too late that I'll be hitting Indianapolis right smack in the middle of Gencon if I leave on Friday or Saturday. On the other hand, I can always take the I-74/465 loop around town and dodge all the gamer traffic, so it probably won't be that big a deal. After that the next landmark of significance will be the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB; hopefully I can hit that early enough in the day to take lots of cool pictures.

After that, a long haul straight east on I-70 to Pennsylvania before dipping briefly (again) into West Virginia on I-79 before catching I-68 east again into what used to be called the Free State. I'll probably break that into a couple of chunks; Google says it's a little over eight hours from the Indiana/Ohio border to Forest Heights, but we all know how that works.

update Today is not the day, though I wasn't really expecting it would be. I wound up washing most of the stuff in the sink, grabbing my ice tea and a few other things out of the kitchen, and heading back to the hotel. Tomorrow is another day.

Down time

Aug. 14th, 2007 04:45 pm
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
I'd laugh, but this isn't funny. Isn't it time to put NASA down like a senile coon dog yet?

No humour please, we're Canadian liberals. Punch line for those of you in a hurry:
That's right. She wrote two full paragraphs referencing global warming and evolution to critique a post designed to draw attention to the falling values of newspaper stocks.
Indeed.

Been spending the day hanging out in my room, playing Civ 3 and reading Tom Wolfe's Hooking Up. There's a lot of food for thought in there, but there usually is with Wolfe. I can't help wondering whether there's anyone else looking at American society with the same detached amusement and painstaking eye for detail when it comes to our foibles and follies. Anyway, I plan to do a whole lot of nothing this evening. There'll be time enough tomorrow for running around and removing still more things from the apartment.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
So, yeah, programming handoff meeting. [livejournal.com profile] petsnakereggie and [livejournal.com profile] thaadd were already there when I got there, [livejournal.com profile] romeoa was pulling up as I walked in the door, and [livejournal.com profile] mattmn arrived shortly thereafter. It was pretty productive; sounds like the incoming co-heads have a Foolproof Plan in mind to handle the additional load of 30 guests and an extra day's worth of panels, and I hope it works. A lot of the discussion revolved around things brought up in my post-mortem notes and concerns [livejournal.com profile] thaadd and I had about the local pros and panelist comp rules. I think they'll be okay.

After that I picked up [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor, who helped me clear several more boxes of stuff out of the apartment, including the badly-missed tote with my antibacterial soap, DVDs, and miscellaneous paperwork. We then went to the Thunderbird, lolled around in the outdoor pool (first time either of us had been in it) and then went grocery shopping. The big storm everyone had been expecting since 1600 finally rolled in, making the trip back to his place a lot more exciting than it usually is, what with flooded intersections, power outages, and other such fun. My eyes still ache from all the lightning, and I'm damn glad to have made it back to the hotel without flooding the poor Sportage's engine. Definitely sleeping in tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'll clear out a few more things from the apartment and then quit the place until it's time for me to pay the long-delayed August rent and hand back the keys, which will happen about 2 minutes after I find my distribution check in the mailbox. They can either take my personal check or eat my shorts.

Oh yeah - anyone want a frozen turkey?
wombat_socho: Wombat (Boss Coffee)
Got the Kia back today - the problem was a bent connector between the clutch and the transmission, along with a missing fuse box cover. They fixed all that and glued down the floor mat for about $160, which means I really need to watch my cash flow for the next few days.

So I guess it wasn't all that bright of me to pick up a copy of Tom Wolfe's Hooking Up, even with the B&N discount, or to stop at Peter's Grill for a piece of pie by way of saying goodbye. On the other hand, going downtown today did allow me to run into Laura at the IDS, so now I have her e-mail address on the laptop as well.

On the agenda tonight: Convergence programming handoff meeting at Diamonds and a blitz of the apartment to recover boxes, dirty laundry, and other stuff that needs to be recovered from there. You up for that, [livejournal.com profile] jamestrainor? It'll probably be about 2100 or so, depending on how late the Covnergence thing goes.

I also need to pop over to the Sprawl and get my regular glasses fixed at Lenscrafters. The screw's come out, and I'm relying on my emergency backups for now.

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