White Lightning Axiom: Redux: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008


Friday Mutterings on Monday

Friday asks for muttering ... mumble ... grumble ...

1. Stuffed :: Meals with more than one course
2. Gills :: Fishing for Northern Pike with Dad on Lake Minnewaska
3. Distance :: High-school geometry
4. Panties :: Wha? Animal House.
5. Checkered :: flag ... Cars, watching with Jakers ...
6. Fill in :: Holes in the dirt ... planting season ya know.
7. Taunting :: My daughter ... in Karate ... she KNOWS I won't break formation
8. Diner :: Gut-ache
9. Pizza :: Thursdays ... cold by the time I get home.
10. Best friend :: Who knows not, but assumes as much.

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Back in the saddle ... or rut

Gotta make this quick ... busy day today. A lot of huff-n-puff all about nothing. The Mrs had to escort Gung-Gung off to NYC ... just to make sure he made it and all. While she was up there, she took the opportunity to hang out and visit family and such. Much easier to do when you don't have 3 sniveling little complainers along for the ride. So, while she was making her rounds, I held down the fort and held off the circling invaders with the Tyrants by my side. Mostly, we spent our time outdoors tending to the garden. All sorts of planting and spring prep had to be done. Beans are in the ground along with peas, carrots, beets, onions, spinach, lettuce, soy-beans ... and asparagus! In the end, both myself and the Twin Tyrants of exhaustion got our vitamin D for the week and had a fairly good time of it. Later on Sunday, before the Mrs returned, the parental units called and had a little conversation with the kids. At one point, Attila Alexis chimed in and noted that the Cybernetic Hounds were 'fighting'. Really, rough-housing as dogs do. To her though, all the barking and snarling was a big dust-up. She tried to convey this to the grandparents by saying: "Dogs were fighting but they were better behaved than us.". Heh, indeed. Of course, I don't let my children poop in the yard. Although, Jake my become interested in pee-ing outdoors.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008


Going Strong

Ahhh, the acrid sent of train brakes brings me to discover the various misnomers abounding about the techno-sphere.So, there was more cool and confusing stuff to go over today. Of course, I'm mentally exhausted. So much information and not enough base knowledge to convert it into intelligence and practice. I'm fairly certain that a great deal of what I was blanketed with went right down the memory hole. In fact, I know it! I cannot remember what SOA is an acronym for! GHA, good thing I take copious notes about this kind of thing. Somehow, I split the skin on my index finger though so operating the 'nipple mouse' on the keyboard has been a sysiphusian endeavor. I would be a rather difficult field study for phsychologists who adhear to the pain avoidance theory. I wonder what Freud would say. Yeah, like I carry water for any of those 'old dead white europeans'. I'm more of a Maslow guy. Jung was just too much of a wierdo. Not much else to note today except that I had an extended lunch discussion about FaceBook and MySpace. Not a fan of them either. I like my interactions to be presented with more content and not just a veneer of shiny colored widgets. That's why I love all you blog fiends ... you want MORE!

Started to rain on the last day of the conference ... fortunately it let up briefly so I could walk to the Train Station without having to do a 200 meter free-style. Spring rainstorms are always so violent around here.

Karate should be interesting, picked up extra uniform. My one wash a week rule has left me smelling of a week old italian sub left under a vinal seat in august by the time Friday rolls around. The Tyrants have not had me around to keep them on track in the class, and it shows. Ah, well. Five year old Tyrants in making will do as such.

Gung-Gung is leaving this weekend. The Mrs is going to take him up to NYC so she will be absent for a few days. That means I will have to entertain the little hot-heads for the time being. I have a bunch of flowers and veggies that need to go into the ground so that should keep them occupied for a bit. I still have not been able to locate any tomatoes and that will require an extra trip when I do. I'll need a bit of soil to replace the missing stuff in the herb beds. So much to do, so little time. At least I'll have two 'helpers' to take some of the trouble away. Right?

Final note; today is the last day of the 'Scrum' so I'll be spending most of my day in meetings, reviews and retrospectives. Not much real work will get done but I'll have the opportunity to sleep in a bit and go to work late, for I will miss NOTHING.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Rushing Hour

The conference is going quite nicely for me. I was up at 0530, out the door by 0630 and on the train before 0700 ... which got me to down-town Philly (30th Street Station) by 0730. Not too shabby. Of course, the NEXT day I missed the train by 5 minutes due to the mendacity of a couple of rather rude medical waste subcontractors hogging up the local surface roads. There are not supposed to be trucks on these traffic conduits, but there they are. So, I'll have to persist and live with being 20 minutes later than I want to be, but so be it. I really should not care since there is a complementary breakfast a 0800 till 0900 and I'll be there WELL before that begins. It's the fact that I have to tolerate it ... must be my Type-A leaking out in the wee hours of the morn. I've actually have has some fairly rotten luck with the train schedules, really. Yesterday, I did not buy a round trip ticket and paid (metaphorically) dearly for it. When I got into line yesterday evening, there was a man haggling over prices and schedules with one of the clerks and her manager. This effectively reduced 3 open windows to only one available. This little bit of rudeness cost me 15 minutes in line since the automated tellers were 'broken'. As a matter of course, I missed my train by ONE MINUTE, leaving me to stew and glare at this man who was trying to negotiate tender for a weekend trip ... during rush hour! ARGH, there are other ticket counters for this. And this over a few pennies no doubt. A round trip peak hour ticket over 3 zones costs all of $9.75USD. About 2 pints of good beer. Or a meal at a burger joint. Oh well, it's giving me a LOT of time to actually craft my blog entries with a less rushed pace and more pensive demeanor. That, and the people watching opportunities are unparalleled! Looking about the passenger car, it was as if I were in some sort of real-life Dick Tracy funny-pages exposition. And the conference itself? Much of the same in regards to people. The usual characters were there ... and a few people who I have known in previous incarnations during my professional career. The 'Tracks' were fairly interesting as well. Spring 2.5, SOA, GridGain parallel net computing, OSGi, Hardoop and so much more. Only at one time did I feel ... uninterested. If I'm confused or challenged, I feel much better ... as if I'm getting what I need out of a presentation. Challenge. Hopefully, todays tech safari will be just as fulfilling.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Back to Reality

Wow.... two days in a row. Well sort of. Late Monday night I had to drop off the Preacher BIL at the train station so he could back to work the next day. The Lord's work is never done, don'cha know. With that behind me, I managed to stay up a bit too late dealing with my aching muscles after tilling the back 50. I did not sleep well at all. To make things worse, the choice to sleep in the next morn was complicated by the Cybernetic Hounds having their internal clocks all muffed up. They ended up craping all over the Manor floor because I did not release them early enough. That, and feeding them a bunch of carrots I pulled from the garden while tilling. That little bit of extra fiber was of no help. So, clean up the steaming mountains of fetid poo and boiling acid lakes of piss and light a fire in the stove to keep Gung Gung warm till I get home in the evening. Once I left with the kids, Thor, that foppish dunderhead, laid another mountain range on the floor for the Mrs to attend to. She was not pleased. What a nice welcome home, eh? On top of that we had a mailbox BURSTING with bills and the 10:1 requisite ratio of unsolicited junk correspondence. That is a bonus since I can use it to help light the fires in the wood burning stove. Insert evil laugh here. The rest is standard stuff. Swimming with Gung Gung in attendance, Kids Karate and Stealth Ninja Training (with Gung Gung) and then my own training for 90 minutes. The Tyrants were a bit off and I was no better after a 5 day leave. Too much Easter Delights, not enough attention to the price I was destined to pay. Then, of course, I have a conference on Emerging Technologies (Agile, Java, RubyRails, Web 2.0, etc) to attend over the next few days which will make my posting extraordinarily dry. If I lapse into techno-babble, ignore the TLA's (except you Charles, you may understand) and move along to the dissertation on the family/MS/non-work type stuff.

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Monday, March 24, 2008


Annnddd ... back again. Went up to the FOB for the long weekend. Well, it was long for me, don't you know. Took off Friday and Monday for good measure. It was fairly mundane for all that we did not do. The Tyrants got their quarterly haircut at the Hairy Canary. Jake is in love with the stylist/owner there. Of course, who is he NOT in love with. That kid will have his heart break when he finds out about polygamy. We also did a massive Easter Egg hunt Sunday morning. The kids love that. Of course, when you are gunning against your brother for the most 'Kills' ... it's all about the competition and the tally. Much to their delight, some of the plastic eggs (never use real ones should you forget where that last missing one was hidden, all too well). It vexed me that each of these coins was probably a tribute to the politicians up in Albany, NY. The gasoline prices in the area peaked at $3.45 at some locations. Even down near the Manor, we are expecting to shell out $3.15. With the AWD Family Tank II sucking up nearly 10 gallons for a one way trip ... gosh, we might as well FLY! Hello TSA!

We skedaddled back to the Manor on Sunday afternoon so we could use Monday to remunerate for all the lost time we did not spend on chores. We also had to pick up Preacher BIL and Gung Gung who had flown in from China this month. He wanted to spend some time with the Tyrants ... that poor deluded soul. He did not realize that relaxation was anathema to them as horrible as going to sleep or having a bath without bubbles. While the twins were busy plotting a plethora of plans on how they would sneak up and out-flank our guests, the Mrs and I spent our time outdoors, tilling the soil. Managing our bit of earth would not have been too bad had not my Mega-Tiller Mark-44 thrown a chain and become inoperable. I had to work with the smaller hand version with a single stroke mixed fuel that would constantly get hung up on wet leaves and small chunks of bark. It took a bit longer than expected so I did not get as much done as I had hoped. I did manage to expand the Agricultural Sector to include an area that was previously under conditioning though. The pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini will go into the mounds there. I was planning on putting up a trellis system for these, but funding and time is short. I'll have to belay that till after I get the water barrel system in place. Hopefully, things will work out this year. I've got a few weeks before I put the spring crops in.

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Friday, March 21, 2008


Hell Week (Month) in review

Sorry I've been absent for so long ... my typical hum-drum life went from the 'way too busy' setting of 5 all the way up to 11. The week I took a diversion trip from blogging, I was on the support phone. A cavalcade of problems cropped up in Houston, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, NE-USA and Chile. Of course, the problem in Chile was a daily issue at 0600 ... their time. Which is peculiarly annoying if you take a look at the map. Although they are along the west coast of South America, they are still TWO HOURS ahead of EST. The stress helped bring out a nice case of cold sores and it's been a bit chilly around here to boot. So, we burnt the last of the firewood that I had stacked next to the Manor. Needed to bring up more from the stack that are all the way on the other side of the territories. We had phone line problems. Normally, this would not be all that bad since we all have cell phones except for the Manor security system. It checks the line periodically to see if it's ok. If not, it will go off ... over and over and over again. GHA! Nothing like getting a rude klaxon echoing through your skull at 2am. Yep, that was annoying. Outside of that, the scrum group I've been leading has been a bit 'needy' ... of course. At least TSD is going well ... and we have started swimming again. The kids appreciate that. Then there was the visit to the Emergency Room last Saturday. Because I had a few drinks ... I'm getting too old for that game. In the end, I just have been much too busy for my own good. So, a few days off and I should be on top of my game again. Oh, and I've finally broken the 185 barrier last Thursday. Yep, just in time for the Easter Gluttony Sprint.

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