White Lightning Axiom: Redux: July 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Weekend Redux 20080728

I'm a touch late with this, but it was a rather busy weekend. First off, we celebrated (remotely) Amish Hero Dad's birthday. The Tyranical Twins of Turpitude sang an eerie and somewhat disturbing rendition of 'Happy Birthday' over the phone. The Adam's family apparently was spooked when they heard the audio and reported similar instances of reality creep as was seen in 'The Ring'. But that was on Sunday ... Let's rewind a few hours, eh? Saturday afternoon was my time to roast on the hot tarmac of the Naval Air Base when I was taking my Motorcycle Safety Training Class. First off, I've NEVER ridden a motorcycle before so the whole clutch-shift thing was a little bit of a reach for me. And no, I have only ever driven a standard transmission vehicle once ... poorly. So, from 1300 hours till 1930, I was out there with a screaming hot engine beneath me with a full modular helmet and jacket on ... in the sun, Ninety degrees, on a square mile of asphalt. Yes, I was somewhat damp by the end of the class. I am, however, rather surprised at my ability to keep the damn thing upright and running even though I tended to end up in 3rd or 4th gear instead of 1st. Neutral was an outstandingly rare find for me. The written test is this coming Wednesday and the Road (Rash) Test is the following Saturday. If I keep my wits about me and Sgt Myers has a sense of humor (NOT!), I'll have a slim possibility of getting a 'Positive Evaluation'. So long as I do not lay the bike down in a 100 meter landslide of metal, rubber and flesh I'm going to call it a success.

Sunday was a slow day. Finally. We were going to head off to Sesame Place after morning Mass, but a phone call in the afternoon on the previous day called for an abrupt change of plans. Instead, we spend a big chunk of the day at the Seliga's Cloister with their Germanic buddies drinking beer and eating things that would make my Cardiologist gasp in horror. It was for a good cause, you know. Around 1300 hours the sky opened up and it rained thunder, lightning and tree-snapping winds for an hour or two. What a mess. Light out nearly every intersection and trees down in between. That alone would have made Sesame Place an utter disaster but there was this to contend with as well. I do believe that on the ticket, there is some mention of one's health prohibiting access. I mean, jeeze! Oddly enough, we blame the Fireworks at the Seliga Cloister some 6 years ago for the Mrs going into labor.

Final notes: My Monday Pushup Plan of 12/12/9/7/110 went all too smoothly so I'm considering doubling the counts. You are supposed to rest 90 seconds between sets, but I just don't have that sort of time! We will try to do the 32/26/22/22/MAX this Wednesday and see how it pans out. If it works as well as I think it will, I'll be doing 200 perfect push-ups ... [read:hubris]. This week will hence forth be known as 'Testy Week'. I have the 2 motorcycle test, a medical test on the morning of the 31st (more on that later, but it involves sedation) and the TSD test on August 2nd. I'll be going for the second stripe on my Red Belt, the Tyrants will be getting their Red Belt and their Black Do-Boks ... easier to put through the laundry. On top of that, it's the end of the Development Sprint at work so there is a lot of pressure [read:CRUNCH] to wrap up efforts on the project. Anyone have any extra positive vibes available, please send them my way.

Closing note: The Mrs just tanked up at $3.65/g USD at the corner station. No additional drilling, no additional production. Just words and speeches caused oil futures to slide into the $120/b range and it seems to be in free-fall now. It's making it really tough to make the ROI on the motorcycle/scooter to work out.

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Friday, July 25, 2008



Totally and completely unmotivated today. I went to bed early and still woke up tired and fatigued. After the 736th time the alarm went off after a snooze, I just shut it off. So, when I did finally get my sorry hide into work, I found the coffee machine in a state of disrepair. Aghast, I was forced to trudge through the early hours without my drug of choice. The withdrawal symptoms made me even more grumpy and curmudgeonly than usual. Now, this was complicated by a few things that happened on the commute into work this morning. My new route that cuts off a few miles by taking local surface roads ran into a bit of a snag. I found myself behind a large dumptruck hauling some sort of sand or gravel for nearly the entire distance. It was not that I was going about 15mph the whole way but every time we had to accelerate from a stop, it would belch out clouds of sickly black sludge and I had to keep my windows in the POS Super Saturn locked up and hermetically sealed for the whole trip! The temperature and humidity is in the 'comfort zone' today and I could not imbibe in the pleasure of having the wind blow through my mane of rolling locks. Then, while stopped at a light, I watched as another large PECO vehicle rolled by and one of the troglodytes riding in the cab took a lung-full of cigarette carcinogenic cruft and threw the butt into traffic. It's not the smoking that annoys me. I fully support their right to do things that endanger their own health, but come on! Clean up after yourself, eh?

Final parting note: pushups. My first week is over. Not too shabby really. This morning, I did the 15/13/10/10/max where max was only 105 today. I blame the weariness of the work week for the drop in performance. Next week, I should do another test before starting so I can set a max to something I have difficulty doing rather than wussing out and sand-bagging like the piker that I am.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008


Rain, rain ... please come and stay!

SO, how did the class go last night? Not too shabby. We spent the whole time inside reading over a book regarding the obvious topic while the sky outside was rent asunder by great discharges of lightning and boisterous blasts of rolling and cracking thunder. It was quite a show and we were visited with flooding and power loss throughout the area this morn. The Agricultural Sector may appreciate the great drop in local temperatures, but I'll have to be satisfied with less since I had not managed to set up my damned water barrel system yet. Such a slacker, I am.

Two other things to bring up: first, entertainment. Deb-Deb sent this to me which, oddly enough, made me smile and feel good inside. I cannot explain it, but it is fascinating how it worked. The guy has some killer dance moves too! As for poetry in motion, you may have noticed that little widget in the upper portion of my left side bar showing the current price of oil. With the recent drop in oil futures, the local gasoline purveyor is hawking his goods at $3.91 USD/gal here. This is odd, no? Less oil is being pumped, but some of us got the message and stopped driving our MegaTon SUVs to the end of the driveway to get the mail. Gosh, market forces in action!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Dull again

So, tonight is my first class in motorcycle safety. I expect that the 3 hour class will mostly be going over various bits of information in preparation for the Saturday class where we will actually get to touch a motorcycle. Four classes, two on Wed and the other on Saturday. Will I end up as a devoted cycle rider in the end? Probably not, but we shall see.

The crippling heatwave that has been wreaking havoc with the garden and making the TSD review with the Tyrants an absolute horror? It's over. Of course, the damage has been done to the zucchini and cucumbers over the last week is irreversible. The only hope now is that what is left will produce a more hearty fruit due to it's tenacious capability of fending off the worst environmental conditions the Agricultural Sector has seen in years. The bucket loads of water that the thunderstorm landed on us last night was of little relief though, most of it just poured off into the drainage systems and was whisked away to the beleaguered flood plains. The temps are lower and we are supposed to get more rain of the 'pattering' variety though. At least the AC will not be laboring under the duress of Hell on Earth for the time being. Poor, poor veggies.

The Hundred Pushups program is on Day 2 now of 12/12/10/10/Max. My max today was 110. Huzzah! Bring it on. And all that other banter.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Doldrums and Melancholy

Well, I rolled the dice and managed to pull off 110 sucky pushups. Instead of the test, I did this as day 1 of week one (10/10/8/6/max) where my last set was the maximum number of pushups. I think I may have to 'refine' my technique though. Horrible I tell ya. My early interpolation and perversion of the schedule is most likely a bad sign too.

Other than the pushups, I'm spending the week focusing on the kids forms so that they will be ready for the test. It's a drive to make them insensate little warriors under my strict tutelage so that when August 2nd rolls around, they'll be confident enough to earn their red belt. The Tyrants can be apt to boredom once they learn a form so I need to help them with the focus ... but other than that, they seem to be on the right path. The next form is a real bugger though and I do not think that they will be able to do it in 3 months, but we shall see.

Dull post, eh? So much for all that bluster and bravado about being a more entertaining word-smith. One last thing of interest to note is that the gasoline prices in the area are down to $3.93 USD/gal ... interesting on many levels.

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Monday, July 21, 2008


Weekend Redux 20080721

Nothing spectacular this weekend. Saturday I spent a good deal of the time hiding from the heat. I had grand plans of mowing the pastoral expanse while the Mrs and the Tyrants were out shopping for their school uniforms. That did not work out so well for me. I stepped out the door with a gay spring in my step only to be flattened by the heavy hand of oppressive humidity. Damn near croaked on the spot! I crawled back inside to the sub-zero environment of the hermetically sealed Haupertonian manor and gazed out the window at the waves of heat rising off the macadam. Ick. Later that day, we were invited to a 'going away party' at one of the Family Friend's Seliga Operational bases. Since it involved a pool and beer, this was a no-loose option to the heat. Or so I thought. Of course, after a few beers and such, I ended up getting pushed into the pool before I had an opportunity to change into my swim trunks. Mmmm, wet tighty-whities! No matter, a few beers and some food that is bad for my battle against triglycerides and I'm splashing about the pool with the rest of the kids. After my eyes start to liquefy from the chlorine, bleach and hydrochloric acid ... I retreat to the horse-shoe lane where I offer myself up as bait to the gathering horde of skeeters and throw wildly, poorly aimed shots at a dimly visible bar. A synergistic effect of the pool water and waning dusk. It was short lived, mind you. If it was not for the fact that we could not see a damn thing, the skeeters would have sucked us dry. The tyrants and I put on a TSD show with the staff form we are practicing and then, as midnight approached, we called it a night and headed back to the manor.

Sunday was another 'day of rest'. Mow the lawn, clean the gutters, prepare and seed some bare spots in the lawn, pick veggies from the agricultural expanse, get eaten alive by skeeters, pterodactyls and black-flies. Standard Sunday stuff except it was standard Philly Heatwave weather. One tangent though; while I was out mowing some fellows with an English accent stopped by and asked to repave the Mile Long driveway. I thought ahead enough to call the Mrs over so she could act the part of the 'reluctant' purse-holder in the transaction. We are saving our dimes for the new car at the end of the year so shelling out 5K for new macadam was not in the cards. Perhaps, after we add on to the Manor to include a 'Mother-In-Law' suite ... we will do this. No use in paving a driveway that will be ripped up for a cement pad.

One last thing ... this week I'll be starting both my Motorcycle Safety classes and trying to get going on my Hundred Push-Ups program. I'm shooting for 75 or 125 which is level 6/7 in my age group, but I'll probably crap out around 60 or so. They'll most likely be crappy ones to boot. Redouble the efforts, yet again.

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Friday, July 18, 2008


Sighting of the Rare Friday Post

My typically meticulous posts on the ongoings of the Haupertonian Chronicles has been less than optimal of late. Not quite certain how this happenstance has come about. Motivation? Weird. Fret not, I shall redouble my efforts! No more of these laconic quips of little form or circumstance! Well, the next post will be long and wordy. Yeah.

Speaking of redoubling efforts; I picked this up over at Charile's place: 100 pushups. The goal is apparently to do 100 perfectly formed pushups. No nancy-boy, but in the air, head jerking kinds either. The only reason this is of interest is that when I FINALLY get to black-belt level, I'll be required by tradition to do 100 pushups. Now, I know I can do 100 sloppy pushups, and can blunder through the first 30 or so in good form, but then the old trick shoulder starts to carp and the rest resembles an elephant executing a belly-flop in a swimming pool of lime jello. That brings to mind, what the next two weeks hold in store for me. The Tyrants need to memorize and perfect their second staff form for the test. There will be INTENSIVE drilling on this till we get it straight ... the Grandparents of Everlasting Love and Admiration will be down and we want to make sure to impress! That, and it's their red-belt test so it's a bit important to them ... they will be allowed to wear black uniforms now. Really 'Ninja' chik!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008



Okay, I was out yesterday due to a hiccup in my usual schedule. I went to the Cardiologist's office and that mid-day grind took it's toll in a most egregious manner. My weary mind and twinkly sparks at the periphery of my vision should have been detected as a blatant harbinger of misery to come. Some time at 0300 hours, I awoke with my old pal, the migraine. When this happens, there is no anodyne potion to salve the grinding pain but the blissful embrace of unconsciousness. That was my ultimate escape; Medicate myself into oblivion till sometime around 1300 hours. And that, my friends, will throw me for the rest of the week.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Uphill charge

Ugh. Work. Not much to say but the troglodyte mindset of some as they claw their way through their career is less than palatable to the neutral observer. The narrow minded and puerile actions that pass for fiduciary responsibility boggles the mind. Alas, my gripe is shaded by the fact that I have been on hiatus in a simpler, more joyous world of late. Once more into the breach, dear friends; work is such an ugly thing. Kids are fine ... missing the halcyon days of vacation as much as me. They continue to ask for the privileges that they were afforded then (pizza/tacos/ice cream on demand, staying up late, no manual labor, etc...) and alas, to their dismay, they are refuted. Ghengis, much to his discontent, is starting to learn about 'rewards' and why you are not given the carrot before the stick.

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Monday, July 14, 2008


Back from vacation

This is a damn shame. I'm back at work. Over the last week, we had a party for the Tyrants that rivaled even the most lavish Roman celebration. We went to Sesame Place, Hershey Park, Valley Forge National Park and the Independence Center in Philly. We went bowling and did some miniature golf. Giggleberry (Thank you Philadelphia Toboggan Company) Fair was in the works and we ate perhaps a metric ton of ice cream. Pizza and hot-dogs were the food-stuff of choice when we were not dining at the finest restaurants. We went to Kids Castle in Doylestown and spent time at Chuck-E-Cheese. In total, it was a fantastic vacation and many thanks to the Grandparents, uncles and all those who made it as enjoyable as it was. Now, back to work. Ugh.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008


Not much new to update you all on today. Well, I do have this jeremiad of doom and sorrow: I split the skin between my pinky toe and the meat of my foot ... on both feet. Hurts like hell since my feet sweat like a Havana Hog Herder in an August Heat-wave. I tried super-glue this morning as a sort of derma-skin, to no avail. I'll have to get some tape on them to keep the fissures closed long enough to heal. Probably using something more flexible than super-glue would help to. It tends to break into pointy shards after a bit. Jumping out of bed, first thing in the morning, can be a rude shock when it feels like someone took a box-cutter to your tender tootsies. Speaking of pointy shards and because I cannot get enough pain in my life, I have a dentist appointment (first one in 3 years) later this afternoon. That is going to be a whole mess of fun, I can tell you. The whir of the foot powered drill is already revving up in my ear. The plaque on my teeth is growing in thickness by the second! Oh, there will much lamenting as they call for the industrial jack-hammer to denude my chompers of the the lacquered layers of languid neglect. Serves me right, should have done this 2 years ago.

Gas prices. Have not groused about that lately, eh? It's hovering at $4.05 USD/g around here of late. The Mrs heads off to NJ every so often and I send a few 5 gallon petrol cans with her that she fills up at about $3.85 USD/g when she refuels the Family Tank V2.0. Since my trip to work is either 8.5 miles or 6.5 miles (depending on the office location I go to), I have little need for gas on a regular basis. The extra driving for the Tyrant's activity triples that mileage though. Roughly, 5 gallons a week. Once we get a new (higher efficiency model) vehicle for the Mrs, I'll be the primary driver of the Family Tank and then we will see some relief. She commutes a significantly longer distance than I and really does not need the whole complement of battle-ready peripherals and super-sized cargo-bay. At that point, converting my local drive over to a scooter or motorcycle will help ameliorate some of the gasoline budget.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Damn the Torpedos, full speed ahead!

More meetings (about 6 hours worth) chowdered my day yesterday. It was an atypical day in that sense, mind you. I had a significant number of tasks that just did not get done outside of my blogging to boot. Urk. Even worse, our team has the temerity to do it again today ... and tomorrow ... and tomorrow - Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. I am not being any manner of a hyperbole when I state that the end/beginning of each 'sprint' cycle is nothing but back-to-back infomercials arranged by the Agile patrician that stalk the halls here, trying to ensure their continued power. No matter, my 'non-work' life is rich and robust enough to counter my meeting surfeit. There is the swimming ... where Miss Gwen and Ghengis's favorite young lady, Miss Steph have been seen. TSD is starting to get better. The Tyrants had nearly forgotten everything after a week hiatus. In 30 days, we have another test and this time they will be getting their Red Belts and black Dobok uniforms. Little Ninjas, on the prowl.

Spending a lot of time in the evening preparing for the birthday-bash this Friday. Week long spoilage of the Tyrants of Turpitude. I made 20 hamburger patties (special recipe), sliced up 5 racks of ribs and wrapped them in foil with the 'special sauce'. Laid out all the peripheral accouterments and sliced up the meat for the skewers. Now we just need to look into the cabbage in the garden to see if it is ready for Grams Super Special Cole-Slaw that the Mrs loves so much. Just so you all know, the Mrs is a major gear in this well oiled machinery. I may be the spring, but without her ... I'm just a tightly wound kook. Tonight, we'll slice up the cheese into chunks for the platter (durn, need tooth-picks) and maybe pull the cabbage out. Oh, so much to do. I could show you the list but it already is two pages long!

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