White Lightning Axiom: Redux: January 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Running on vapors

I'm spent. Exhausted. But not yet fatigued. Still got some spoons left. Tea spoons, but they'll do. Anyways, At TSD last night, after I finished the adult torture session, I was talking to Master Smith about the Tyrants and he made a comment that when Ghengis Jake puts his mind to it, he can really do 'good' karate. He just gets bored with doing the same thing over and over again. Damn. If I were a Green Belt at 5 ... sigh. Kids these days, you know.

Other news: Weight, Diet, and failing hardware. And by failing hardware, I do not mean my obdurate joints and appendages ... and brain-bucket. No, the corpse of the work pc has been sent to the disposal depot and a new one is on order. Hopefully, it will be an enterprise level unit and a 'COTS' (consumer off the shelf) pos. First things first: I'm back down to 185. Even though my dinners are mostly steak/shrimp/wine/cheese, I seem to be shedding that indelible 10 pound layer of 'famine resistant' flesh I've been lugging about since Thanksgiving. Good riddance; just in time for Superbowl weekend. If I could ever reach that 175lb goal (another pertinacious 10 lbs), this is the year. Problem is that I found all that red meat in the freezer and that other goal of eating it all comes first. Right under 'manage the budget better'. Rats.

Work related news, my annual review went well but I'll be picking up pager duty for a week in the near future. That should sour my mood appropriately. I'll be singing my usual caterwaul of discontented grumblings and moans of unjust conditions. Wine, wine, wine.

Oh, and I watched too much television last night after hours. What a waste ... I could have been sleeping. Note to self: Jackass II isn't funny after the first 15 minutes ... watching 90 minutes of that tripe can only be useful as to inculcate the next generation as to what happens when you don't stay in school.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Staying on track

Wow ... made the deadline! Let's see here. Got the fire ready yesterday ... and it lit itself in the fire place. That was nice. Just rebuild it and re-light ... and try not to burn self on match while instructing Tyrants to stop torturing the pets and do their homework. Only 15 more years of that particular scenario to go. Remove the indelible stain of pasta sauce from the TSD uniforms after SOMEONE thought it would be good to finish up the noodles from lunch. Good thing for the bleach stick. My PC woes continue. Surprising how two years of personalization and tweaking can permeate every sub system in a machine and make it so uniquely unreproducible. Then, at TSD I managed to split the callous on my foot wide open. Nothing like sliding a set of crevices filled with pain over a salt flecked floor only to be upbraided for failing to concentrate on the form at hand. GHA! Must be the dry air because it can certainly not be from my extraordinary power of kicks! So, a liberal application of super-glue helped seal up the fissures and added a protective layer to the area to keep the old flippers in one piece for a bit. Now, to get my right hand fingers unglued from the damn vanity and the left from my right heel! I just have to keep injury free till the TSD test this weekend (Red Belt) and hopefully a bit beyond. Speaking of that, I was also doing drills with the lilliputian guild last night and one of the mobile biological weapons sneezed right in my face while I was holding up the kick/punch pads. No warning, no attempt to divert ... a full blast shot of contagion for my inhalation pleasure. Fantastic Monday. My callow evaluation of the situation is certainly setting me up for disaster ... I really should be counting my blessings.

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Monday, January 28, 2008


Zombie Shuffle

Yeah, normally would include some inappropriate image but I have lost use of the pc I typically abuse at work. Many, MANY interesting things have occured since I last took the time to update you all. I'm not going into detail but here are some higlights:

1) NYC with the tyrants to see Minister Brother In Law get 'installed'.
2)Work PC Bites the dust ... train wreck in slow motion.
3) Chop wood ... a lot.
4) Clean up dog dip, see #3 for reference on volume/quantity questions.
5) Do Laundry - again, #3
6) Defrost deep freeze cryo unit,found Mastidon prototype in back.
7) Get busted up in TSD, prepping for test on the 2nd.
8) Attend a birthday party for 6yr old. Visceral nightmare.
9) KOC 3rd Degree function.
10) Fretting over not getting to blog to you wonderful folk.
I'm a fairly predictable fellow, eh? One cute (?) story of late: I was picking up Jake (Genghis) the other day and one of the little boys in his class ran up to me and started blathering to me about something. From what I could discern before one of the intimidated teachers ran over and shuttled him away was that Jake had fed him a knuckle sandwich and gave him a fat lip. So, being the inquisitive type, I broached the subject with Jake and got a confirmation of the incident. Indeed, Jake had given him a hay-maker and when queried for an impetus, he noted that the target was 'annoying him'. Ok, it's nice to know that he is now capable of defending himself and this could have been a case of 'just come-uppance', but I had to let him know that it is not generally a good thing to try to resolve issues like this with fisticuffs. You know, the more flies with honey than vinegar approach. Now, who wants more flies about is beyond me (see: UN), but whatever. (non-pc off note: go Jake!) One of the mothers passed us in the hall and started to laugh making a comment about having to do that every week. Yikes! I've enrolled my children into a training camp for future thugs. I'm just waiting for them to shake me down for their first 10% of the cut.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008



FYI: I'm alive and well, just absurdly busy with work. I'm quite sorry, but I will overcome this limitation as time permits.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Spam Recipe #3095


Nothing happened yesterday (other than nearly messing up my knee and then getting the living hell pounded out of me in TSD practice), so I'm going to talk about spam (which is what my bloodied nose looked like this morning).

Gingered Spam Salad

1 cn Spam, sliced matchstick size (ed. Obviously)
1/4 c Finely chopped ginger root
1 ea Small red onion, finely
1/2 ts Garlic powder
1/4 c Freshly squeezed lime juice
Zest of 1 lime (ed. because we need to use only the best ingredients!)
1/2 ts Oriental dried chili powder
1/4 c Chopped cilantro leaves
8 ea Cherry tomatoes
Thai bird peppers (ed. Yeah, that will cover the taste, but what of the texture!)
and Cilantro sprigs to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a sealed glass or plastic container to
marinate. Refrigerate at least two hours or preferably overnight (ed. Indeed, a fortnight.).
Stir or shake occasionally to evenly coat. One hour before serving,
stir in cilantro. Serve on a bed of torn lettuce of your choice.
Garnish with quartered cherry tomatoes, Thai bird peppers and
cilantro sprigs.
You know, I just don't get the cilantro. Is this a Californian recipe? I mean, spam isn't REAL meat so I could see that. But still ... did you notice that there is no mention of actually cooking the dish ... or even heating it? Is Spam pre-cooked ... do you trust that?

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Number 2 day

Quick one today since I posted so late yesterday. That gave me very little time to accumulate enough material to complain about. We are starting a new software cycle at my place of employment and since we use Agile Development, this will be a bit more intense given that it is NEW development and not just patching holes in the bucket. Even with that bigger boulder laying before me, my Sisyphusian zombie mode failed to kick in and I still did not get out of bed before 0700. Slacker. This 'sprint' will last till the beginning of February. I've managed to land the responsibility for implementing a bit of code that will allow easy access to the DB for the legacy system. I'm the lynch-pin ... the bottle-neck .... or the weak-link. Either way, I've got a steep slope to climb with this boulder.

Cute (proud daddy) story of the day time. When I dropped off the Tyrants at the DayCare/ReEducation Facility this morning, I ran into their 'Head Mistress' and exchanged a few quick words of salutation and such. Before I departed, she grabbed a stack of books off counter from amongst a rabble of wet wipes and paper towels. It was a series of books that had sight words in them. She noted that the kids had already mastered the words they were supposed to learn for the year and she did not want them to get bored. The teacher is paying special attention to MY KIDS! And not that 'bad attention' the Scrupulous Mrs feared that they would be attracting soon due to my ... interesting lessons and their Death Strike Karate skills. I had a bunch of words lined up on flash cards for them, but this institutionalized methodology will do just fine in my efforts to raise erudite world conquerers.

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Monday, January 07, 2008


20080107 Weekend Review

I waited too long for this post, my tardiness is inexcusable. This quick, abrupt and brutal scrabble of a post will do no justice to the chronicles of the Haupertonian Manor's inhabitants. But alas, I cannot allow this lacunae of posting to continue or it may go on for weeks. I can be negligent that way. So, on Friday, we enjoyed the Killer Dodge Ball of Dooom after TSD practice ... except Jake who got a time-out for failing to heed instruction. He got to play the second game, but was promptly nailed within minutes of the game starting. Hard for him, hard for me. I know he enjoys the game so much ... he'll get more opportunities. Then on Saturday, I goof off. Pick up some dog dip, tinker about the Manor, but nothing of consequence other than restocking the wood brackets and doing the week's laundry. I felt a bit empty though. The lack of accomplishment was like a detox session to me. The laundry was a quick hit at the methadone clinic. Not the same, you know. I had a second chance at happiness on Sunday though. We did sunday school and ALL the children arrived and attended. The Tyrants and I went shopping where I happened upon the weekly 'Meat Bonanza' where the butcher slashes prices on the various cuts because their impending expiration date will cause them to mutate into some horrible zombie heard animal. I can see the slices of tenderloin slapping their way down the street now. Limpets of liver writhing about my feet. Vicious without caramelized onions, you know. Shaking off that peculiar visage ... we bought a few bricks of cheese and then some flowers for the Mrs. And, ran into her at the checkout. She was astounded at the damage one hungry pack of Khans can do with a credit card. Nearly $200 dollars in milk, meat and associated products ... donuts. So, we quickly paid the cashier and escaped her momentarily stunned countenance before she could react. Bwa-ha-ha! Chicken tonight!

Later on, I took down the miles of exterior lighting and started removing the ornaments from the decrepit Christmas Tree that had not been watered all week. I hauled it off to the Christmas tree graveyard where all of our trees go to decompose., scratching at the ground and whimpering the whole way. Then, after the long journey back, the Mrs asked me if I had found that last decoration on the tree. Urgh. No, so we back track to the graveyard, inspecting the ground the entire way and appearing to be some sort of cross between human and flamingo. Bent half over, scanning back and forth, searching for a little green tree amongst the grass and leaves. We turn the particularly hostile tree over and over to see if it was still in the branches. No luck. We surrender it to the tides of time and turn to return back to the Portcullis (we expected the Tyrants to have set fire to the living room by now) and out of the corner of my eye, I spot it on the lowest branch of the tree. What fortune! I must have saved 100 orphans from killer monkey-dog attack beasts in a previous life and this was my karmic return. To boost my karma account tally, I spend the afternoon practicing the staff form with the Tyrants and playing kiddy soccer with Joyous Jake in the Cybernetic hounds. He ran his fool head off till he was completely drained of energy, but not of will to continue chasing that damned ball. The rest of the day was spent in the kitchen, cooking up the chicken in a nice provincial herb oven roast recipe in my big cast iron skillet and vac-packing the rest of the meat for its final destination, the Near Zero Deep Freeze. I should name it, the freezer. Little Alaska? Sounds about right.

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Friday, January 04, 2008


Friday Surprise

Okay, I had some issues earlier today ... mostly because of the power problems in the Manor last night. When the Mrs came by to pick up the Tyrants after their session was finished, she complained that we had a power outage and now the central AI system in the Manor would not come online. By the time I got home, she had determined that the problem was with the circuit breaker on the main power grid panel and reset it. When I did a cursory inspection, I also found a lighting fixture that had a bulb burn out in a most fantastic way. Replacing it, I figured that there was some sort of power surge due to the cold. Probably a transformer blew or someone did something foolish. Might explain why the Mrs saw 2 emergency vehicles on the way home and I saw a few in the development on the other side of the feeder street that runs beyond the Haupertonian Empire territories. The arcanum of what they were doing will probably never be known to me ... I've never seen a published police report from the local constabulary. Here is were things get interesting though. Sometime between 0100 when I crawled into bed and 0700 the next morning, we had another extended outage. We are obdurate people when it comes to the cold so the lack of electric only musses up all the damned clocks. Except for my 'nuclear' one ... but it does not have an alarm. It does have a weather sensor that Jake loves to check every morning. Tells him if it is sunny or not. Reports that data to everyone he sees in the morning. Watch out Hurricane Schwartz (one look and you think: Less Nessman)! So, instead of the alarm going off at 0600 ... my eyes creak open at 0700 and I think ... odd, there is light coming from outside! I roll over and see the clock complaining about 0330 ... no, unless Philadelphia is burning, this is not right. Two options run through my mind 1)DUCK AND COVER or 2) The clock is wrong. Being the optimistic fellow I am, I assume that number 2 is more likely. And indeed, after jostling the Mrs awake, we find that we are running an hour behind. The external Manor lighting is still on and the Atomic Clock is accurately stating what I already believe. Nice to get that extra hour of sleep ... not so nice to rush about and try to recover it. Stupid PECO.

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Neat ... but just wrong!

Yikes! Because this is just the wrong damn thing, I had to share again after Cottontimer shared it with me. Yes, Hello Kitty contact lenses. The apocalypse is now upon us.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008


Colder than a ...

It's been a bad week for getting out of bed at a reasonable (or at least, responsible) hour. We (the Tyrants and I) have not been swimming of late since it's gotten rather chilly around these parts. Granted, it's not the -60F that I like to frighten my co-workers with. God forbid! Just a touch below freezing. None the less, it makes it a rather extraordinary effort to pry myself from beneath the loving embrace of the quilts and comforters and set my delicate tootsies on that harsh and unforgiving wood floor. Add to that the new electric blankets that I put on each of the beds ... you have an inescapable lure of comfort no less attractive than a black hole centered in the middle of the Master Suite with a couple of 'body pillows' to top it off. This morning, I found that if I just poked one leg from beneath the cold smothering blankets, I could tap the alarm snooze button without having to leave the Mrs's side. Genius! I did not even have to wake fully! Although, every 10 minutes the Mrs alarm clock would start polluting my slumber with it's klaxon bleating ... and I would quickly slip out of bed, tip-toe across the foot-ball field sized floor and mash that annoying bit of electronics with all the Karate Hammer Fist force I could muster. I had to tip-toe though, since if the Hounds detected that I was up and about, they would commence operation Whine and Whimper till I could not stand the bone grating noise and would have to set them out. Of course, they no more wanted to be outside than I did in my boxers. Yeah, I was too lazy to get dressed fully. Picking up doggie dip in your knickers and nothing else should be an Olympic Event. Either I need to get to bed earlier, or I need to sleep with sweat-clothing under the sheets so they are warm enough to put on when I wake.

And now for the cute story of the day. Got a bag of them right here ... let's pick one out. Ahh, yes ... a real tickler this one. Since we are skipping the swim session, I bring the Tyrants to the Manor where I prep the table for dinner, get the next day's lunch set up and light the fire in the stove ... among other things. So yesterday, I poured two bottles of milk and put them in a refrigerator pack with two sticks of string cheese ... or so I thought. Next morning, we are all at the DayCare/ReEducation facility and I ask Alexis to help out and take the refrigerator pack to the small fridge in their 'sensory improvisation chamber'. By the time I get to it, she has already removed the milk bottles ... but where is the cheese!? I look through the bag and it is not there. I check my bag at the Mrs's request (I called her, she was still at home) and find nothing but a crushed banana (DAMN!). She counts the remaining cheese and there are 2 missing as expected. So I must have left it somewhere in the Manor while addressing other tasks the previous afternoon. Well then, I ask the Accommodatingly Available Mrs to drop off MORE cheese for the Tyrants (need that calcium) on her way to work. Later on, she calls me to let me know that Attila was surprised to see Mommy show up and asked why. When told, she informed Mommy that she had already put the cheese in the fridge and pulled the 2 packets apart. A-HA! The helpful little one had subverted my efforts. So now, they have surplus string cheese. Who moved my cheese ... indeed.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Recap Redux 2008 Edition

Again with the late posts. Will this madness ever end!? I suppose, when I stop drinking so much. Like, RIGHT! Pass that bottle of scotch while you are rolling on the floor, laughing. In any event, down to brass tacks here. Last Friday, the kids went to TSD practice and were rather attentive. I was shocked ... but mostly attribute this to the promise of 'Sudden Death Dodge Ball of DOOOOMMMM!' at the end of class. The Zeitgeist of their generation will be a compulsion to stick a thumb in the eye of PC Oversight. Indeed, later that night Jake and Gramps play 'Transformer Shoot-em-up Hide and Go Seek'. Absurdly hilarious to watch Gramps and Jake trade volleys of nerf darts between the expanses between living and dining rooms as they shout out gnomic quips at each-other. Saturday, we run off to the local thespian venue to watch the Wizard of Oz as portrayed by Storybook Musical Theatre. The facility is called the Mitchell (Asphund) Performing Arts Center in a small religious swedenborgian community called Bryn Athyn. The kids 'mostly' sit still for the entire production and it is looking as though we may need to return for a few more presentations of other 'adaptations' over the following months. Odd, what your children can become entranced by. The other events may be less interesting to Jake, but we shall see.

The rest ... well, not too interesting. Sunday was church and installing a mirrored sliding closet door in Jakes room. Monday, we slept in a bit then stayed up till 0400 at the Seliga's place. I did not drink as much as I thought I would. Strange. I had wine, vodka and enough beverages of various toxicity that I should have been miserable the next day. Nope, just fine after noon. The Tyrants, as is their style, were maniacal till we strapped them into the Family Tank V2.0 and passed out before we even managed to get to the street from the driveway. Then, in a burst of spoon surplus activity, I put together the tool chest I got from my parents on Christmas and tried to fill it. I put up wall shelves in Ghengis' room along with a picture (that was mostly debate between the tolerant Mrs and I over what would be an optimal location), Framed and placed a picture in Attila's room ... put up more pictures in frames ... friggen Smithsonian art gallery we have going here in the Manor! So yeah, happy 2008 folks ... started out a lot more dull than 2007!

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