March 26, 2017

Internet Problems

My internet connection is having a repeat of the problems I had earlier.  W8 just seems to lose the ability to talk to the internet... the modem is connected and fine, but the computer says there's nothing there.  Eventually it recognizes there's a modem, but pretends there's nothing hooked up to it.

Eventually, it figures things out and reconnects, for the same reason it lost the 'net in the first place... in other words, for no good reason I can see.  Today, I had been browsing the web for 10 minutes, no problems at all, and then it just up and... went away.

I mention all this just on the off-chance that it disappears again when I'm supposed to be uploading the F1Update! for Australia.  We'll see, won't we?

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March 22, 2017

Okay, That's It...

I finished the 2017 F1 cars post.  Done!  Completely finished!  Tons of photos, some clever commentary from me, some interesting design philosophies, all set and ready to go!

And then I went to open a new tab in Firefox.


You've undoubtedly seen an image like this millions of times.  I certainly have.  To open a new tab, you simply click "+".  And I pressed "X".  Just a few minutes ago, in fact.  Minutes that have been spent staring at the screen, wondering where everything just went and why I did what I did.  And there was anger.  Oh yes, much anger.  And somewhere off in the distance, a plaintive plea: "Mister, can I have my ball back?"

So, yeah.  F1 cars.  They're neato-keen!


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March 21, 2017

Spoke Too Soon, I Did

I should just give up on predicting when I'll have things posted.  The F1 Cars post is coming, just... not tonight.  Sorry.  It's been a day.  I need to just... not think... for a night.

To make it up to you, here's something I found.  If you like Tonari no Seki-kun, you'll like this.  If you've never seen the show, here's a treat for you!

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March 17, 2017

Adventures In Chemical Consumption

It's been made perfectly clear to me that my current state of employment is liable to change in the not-too-distant future if my output is not increased significantly.  As I have tried everything else I could think of, I made the decision to release the final set of restraints and move into less savory spaces.  So, I purchased a bottle of Pepsi.


Most of you are looking at that sentence and are wondering what the big deal is.  Some very few, however, knows what this means and are terrified.  To clear the matter up: some 11 years ago now I had The Cardiac Incident.  While I came through that more or less okay, my doctor told me to cut three things out of my life immediately: alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.  The booze was the easiest, that went away almost before he was done talking..  The smokes took six years and a botched tooth extraction to go away.  Caffeine took about a year of (accidentally) walking myself down... I quite dark colas altogether, intending to cold-turkey.  I was drinking an orange soda instead, and it turned out it had the stimulant in it as well.  Nowhere near as much, but it was there.  When I switched soda brands after that, I barely noticed the lack of caffeine in my life... except for the whole "feeling dumber" thing, but let's not get into that.  In any case, it's essentially been 10 years since I had caffeine in any way that wasn't "incidental."  There's caffeine in chocolate, for example.  Not much, and for me, not enough to even notice, but that's what I mean by incidental.  But think of that: 10 years clean.

If you're thinking my head would explode, rest assured I started with small sips only.  After an hour, I had only had about 1/3rd of the bottle.  Not long after, I began to notice some things.  One, I was breathing a little faster, and my heart was bipping along faster than normal as well.  My ears felt warm.  But I wasn't tired and I was working at a good clip.  Success!  Until early afternoon came around, and I'd killed off half the bottle.  Now, my stomach hurt, there was a buzzing in my head, and my hands seemed a might unstable.  There was a headache, too, but my hip was feelin' a might achy on top of it all.  Fortunately a friend gave me some Excedrin... Migraine Strength.  Which has caffeine in it.

The headache went away, the hip pain eased somewhat, but my knot in my stomach was such that all the sailors in the world would have given up on it.  Indeed, Alexander would have gazed upon it in approval while reaching for his sword.  Much to my surprise, around 330pm the neighbor to my left, who hasn't been in all week, arrived. She was obviously quite ill, and came in as late as possible to avoid getting people sick... most of our row clears out at 330pm, for example.  Anyway, as she unloaded her cough medicine, and her antibiotics, and her water, and the two fresh lemons, she also pulled out a brand-new bag of pretzel rods.  After downing four of those, things settled down a bit.

So what did I learn from all this?  Well, for starters, I have no idea how I drank that stuff back then... it doesn't taste anything at all like I remember.  While there was, I think, a small boost in production, the physiological reaction goes a long way toward negating that... or, to put it more plainly, "is feeling like crap worth it?"  I submit the answer to be "ugggggggh."

I'm finishing this post at 3am, after taking very long nap... at least I didn't have to worry about being awake all night!

Caffeine: not even once.  Again.  Er...?

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March 12, 2017

...Hold, Please... ...Hold, Please...

I'll be back soon.


UPDATE:  ...Hold Music, Please...

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March 08, 2017

Storytime With Wonderduck

Things here at Pond Central are not exactly what would be called "swell."  You know about the knee of course.  Good news is that it doesn't hurt very much regularly.  Bad news is that it still feels loose in there.  The worse news is that my right hip is still screaming at me.  With the horrible chairs at work, eight hour shifts are misery defined.  But that's okay, because that just reminds me of how awful I've been of late at my job, doing literally half the claims I'm supposed to be doing per day.  Meanwhile, I'm getting paid crumbs per claim as well, due to a massive mistake a few months ago that's only now kicking in.  What I'm trying to say is that The Official Bank Balance of The Pond is hovering just barely above zero, and that only because of an emergency transfusion of fundage from the folks.

However.  The lack of money-like objects had a nasty, nefarious side-effect that was completely unanticipated. In essence, I had to make a decision between the Keep Wonderduck Alive medication or the Keep Wonderduck Happy meds for I could only afford one.  As the term "Keep Wonderduck Alive" is that medication's actual effect, there really was no choice.  So I've been off my anti-depressants for close to three weeks now.  All the old problems have returned: sleeping badly, dozing off randomly, no motivation to do anything... and it's that last one that has driven the lack of posting here at The Pond.  I mean, I haven't done anything F1-related, even though we're a week into testing already!

Of late, I've been coming home, eating something, then going to sleep.  This is not conducive to blogging, and I'm sorry about that.  I'm going to sleep right after I post this, in fact.  Some small amount of good news is in sight however, as I get paid tomorrow.  Sure, it's going to be ridiculously small, but at least my bank account will be above single digits.

Any light is welcome right about now.

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March 02, 2017

Why A Duck: The Story Of An Obsession In Five Acts, Act I.

A few weeks back, reader David won the latest mystery ship contest.  As his prize, he chose to ask "why rubber ducks"?  What he didn't realize is that he has opened the vault to an epic tale... and, of course, since it's about me, it'll be fun for me to write about.  I mean, who doesn't think of themselves as the main character in the world?  I mean, other than self-actualized individuals, that is.  So grab a relaxing beverage of your choice, settle in to a comfortable chair, and enjoy The Story!

ACT I: Rise Of The Ducks
This tale begins, as so many of such things do, with a girl.  I was a theatre student at Duck U, around about 1990, living in the tower dorm.  Considering that I lived there, I spent very little time actually in my dorm room.  Instead, you could usually find me across campus in the theatre building.  At that time, the department had a thriving bunch of wannabe directors so it was a rare weekend that didn't have a student-run show going on.  Since I was the only lighting design student on campus, I tended to be the guy asked to help... I had that blackbox theater wrapped around my finger by the end of the first quarter, and an excellent stock design that, with just a few changes, could handle just about any show we loaded in.  All of that, however, meant that I would spend long hours over there... maybe in the drafting lab, maybe cutting gels, perhaps hanging and focussing lights, or on those really late nights, sleeping on one of the (remarkably comfortable) couches in the green room.  There were, of course, mens and womens dressing rooms off the green room, with showers... I learned to keep a couple changes of clothes down there.  Sometimes it was just way too convenient.  None of which has to do with ducks, or the girl, except in passing.  Or explaining why I came dragging out of the elevator onto the 6th floor of my dorm at 3am one late evening.

Imagine my surprise when I practically stumbled over... um... let's call her Ann, because that's not her name, sitting on the floor underneath the communal telephone, sobbing at what the person on the other end was telling her.  Let's get something straight here: Ann and I were not friends, not in any way that mattered.  We were both theatre people, were in the same (small) department, lived in the same dorm, went to the same parties thrown by the same people, but we weren't friends.  I suppose acquaintances would be the best way to describe us.  Don't get me wrong, we didn't dislike each other or anything like that.  We were friendly, but not friends.  I surely didn't know her well enough to intrude on her call or anything like that... but she was someone known to me, who had done me no ill in the past, and she was theatre person.  So I sat on the couch across from the phone and waited.  Even did a little bit of homework until she hung up the phone.  I gave her a moment, then asked if she wanted to talk about it.  She shook her head, said "family troubles", then gave me a surprised look... one of those "hey, this guy that I don't really know sat here for nearly an hour at ridiculous o'clock in the morning just to see if I was okay" looks of dawning realization.  "Thank you, though."  After telling her that if she wanted to talk, just to let me know, I went to my room and passed out. 

The next few days were spent at the Old Home Pond for reasons that currently escape me, but on the way back I stopped at a grocery store to get some stuff for my "beer fridge".... soda, some nukeable food for when the cafeteria was closed, y'know, that sort of thing... and there, in the children's aisle, was a rubber duck.  It was yellow, it squeaked, probably floated, and was cute.  All the things a rubber duck is for were there in that one particular duck.  Right there, even as I do now, I had the thought that a rubber duck is happiness.  Much like you can't sing a sad song when playing a banjo, it's very difficult to be glum when you have a rubber duck in your hands.  While Ann had not spoken to me of her issues, she was visibly having problems coping with them... so I bought that rubber duck and gave it to her the next day.  I refuse to believe that my giving her that little yellow duck cheered her up so much that she got over her problems overnight, but she did start looking and acting better.  Coincidence.

The semester carried on,  blasting by, show after show, resulting in a frazzled and exhausted me by Thanksgiving.  As I sat in my dorm room the Tuesday before turkeyday, sipping from a pocket bottle of cheap blackberry brandy while listening to Dire Straits' Love Over Gold cassette in the dim illumination from a string of christmastree lights, Ann walked in (I had the "c'mon in!" sign up on my door).  She was leaving for home early, but she wanted me to have... this.  "This" was... a rubber duck.  A different rubber duck than the one I had given her, it must be pointed out.  I thanked her, made sure she was doing okay, and off she went.  I promptly named that duck Scooter, for reasons that have disappeared into the mists of time.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  That duck's name was Scooter, true... but that was not its full name.  No, his full name was Scooter... (pause)... the Wonderduck.  And now you, my loyal readers, know the origin of my name.

This is that original member of The Flock, Scooter the Wonderduck.  He's over 26 years old now, and age has taken a toll upon him.  His skin is less flexible than it was, and he's not as bright yellow as he had been nearly three decades ago.  That black mark on his chest is from when he fell off the dashboard of a U-Haul.  Scooter has seen a lot of stuff go down over the years, but he's still the same Duck of Happiness that he was back there in that corner room of the 6th floor of a Duck U dorm.

Scooter was not, though, the only duck.  There were a few other given to me as gifts while I was a student at Duck U., too... people saw Scooter sitting there on a shelf above my bed, and thought "hey, that's a good cheap gift!"  Those duckies made their way to Minnesota with me, but I have no idea what happened to them.  Only Scooter made it back to Duckford.  I sometimes wonder about those forgotten Ducks of the North... were they happy?  Were they loved?  Or were they neglected and uncared for?  It's thoughts like this that trouble me at night. 

Next time, Act II and more.

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February 25, 2017

Just... Tired. Of A Lot Of Things.

I know there's big news in the F1 world regarding the rollouts, and I'm trying to get to it, I really am.  But I'll tell ya, I'm friggin' exhausted.  Y'all remember my knee?  It's doing really well, it only feels a little loose nowadays.  No outright pain unless I try to make it hurt or I get my foot caught in the sheets, and wouldn't that be a fun way to cripple yourself?  "So how'd you blow out your knee, Wonderduck?"  "Bedsheet."

No, all that excitement has migrated to my right hip/pelvis/groin thing.  Probably from trying to protect my knee, I've bunged up the top of my right leg.  Fortunately it only hurts if I'm moving the leg, trying to stand up, trying to sit down, if I stay sitting for too long, and getting into or out of the car.  Particularly that bit about the car. 

As one might expect, this has put something of a damper on my usually cheerful and optimistic outlook on life.  I'm going to have to do a F1 ultra-mega-pr0n soon, as well as finish the piece answering the question "Why A Duck?"  Oh, and I was giftied a copy of Clannad: The Game, I should really get started on that, too. 

Motivation.  It all comes down to that, doesn't it?  And has for a while, I guess.  As they say, "the struggle is real", and I'm losing it badly.  Well, that's life, I guess.  So what I'm saying is: yes, I know there's stuff out there I should be writing about.  Bear with me and I promise it'll be worth it.  Or, y'know, not, because, well, that's kinda been my track record of late.

Instead of leaving on that happy note, let's leave on this one instead... a little NYC subway music.


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February 16, 2017

Next Year Was Last Year!


The Cubs position players are reporting to spring training camp on Friday.  Pitchers were in on Tuesday.  Know what that means?  Baseball is back, baby!  And for the first time since 1908, the Chicago Cubs are the reigning World Series Champions.  And yes, I still get a shiver of frisson from saying that.

Will they repeat?  Las Vegas oddsmakers give them the best chance of any team in the National League, at 9-2.  Those are the same odds that the A.L.'s Red Sox have, by the way... now that would be an epic World Series!  Two oldest parks in baseball, and two of the three most hallowed franchises.  Tying it all together would be Theo Epstein, architect of the Cubs championship run, and the GM at the time the Red Sox won their first series in forever, back in 2004.

But it's been a long time since a team was back-to-back champions; the Yankees were the last to do it when they three-timed in 1998, 99, and 2000.  Can the Cubs do it?  Yes, absolutely, they're still the best team in the NL, and probably the best in baseball.  Of course, that doesn't matter when it comes to the playoffs.  Then, it's all about what team is the hottest.  If things go totally right, then yes, they'll win... but they so easily could have lost Game 7.  So do I think the Cubs will win the 2017 World Series?  The meatball fan in me says "yes!!!"  But the rational, thinking baseball fan in me says "no."

I have never wanted to be wrong so much in my life.

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February 13, 2017

Life Amuck (UPDATED)

Okay, let me explain.  Ever since the Great Confirmation of Gravity, I've juggled from sore to okay to somewhere in-between.  No surprise, it isn't every day one swandives onto concrete, right?  Well, last week I noticed my left knee wasn't feeling all that swell, particularly after sitting for a couple of hours.  I'd get up from my desk at work and the first couple dozen steps saw me limping, and/or leaning to the right like I'd taken a torpedo below the waterline.  Once it "loosened up", things went back to more-or-less normal.  I'm hardly surprised by this... I'm staring 50 in the face after all.  I just don't recover as quickly as I used to.

This past Friday, as I climbed the stairs to Pond Central after a day at work, it was clear my left knee wasn't happy about something.  I couldn't push off it the way I normally did, not without a pinpoint pain in the back of it.  Once I got to the top of the stairs, though, everything was fine.  Saturday, it started to ache.  By Sunday afternoon, it felt very much like it was just going to fail if I put full weight on it.  The nap I took was pain-soaked; every time I rolled over, my knee torqued (as normal) and I'd get a brilliant shot of pain (not normal).

4am Monday morning, I woke to use the loo.  It took me over 10 minutes to get there from my bedroom, and Pond Central ain't that large.  If it wasn't for my cane, I'm not sure I could have made it.  When the alarm went off for me to get ready for work, I knew there was no chance I could do it.  It wound up taking a very long time to get into the shower, close to 20 minutes, because my knee wouldn't bend enough for me to get it over the side of the tub.  I was also afraid it wouldn't support my weight when I put my OTHER foot in.  As it was, I took what may have been the most perfunctory shower in the history of showers.

I have a doc appointment on Tuesday, where I'm scared he's gonna say I'll need surgery.  I'm getting a lift, which is good... I'm not sure I'll be able to walk to my car tomorrow.  Guess we'll see, huh? 

I'll keep y'all updated.

UPDATE:  The doctor has diagnosed a torn meniscus.  This is... not good.  I am not a candidate for surgery, mainly because it probably isn't torn that badly.  He wants me to rest and stay off the knee as much as possible... in fact, he wanted me to be off work for the next two weeks, basically be bed-ridden.  As pleasant a thought as that may be, I had to veto it... so I go back on Thursday.  Hopefully I can get in the car easier then. 

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January 28, 2017

Boat. Train. Boattrain!

Sometimes, you see a picture and you've just got to share it.

click for much much bigger
Rail ferries have long been a thing of course, but this is one of the smallest self-powered ones I've ever seen.  At least, I assume that's a funnel just behind the elevated platform, and I'm betting that's a rudder post on the left side.  And how often have you seen a clipper bow on a barge?  I'm not saying this is seaworthy, mind you, just... well.  Fun photo.

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January 17, 2017

Cubswatch 2016: End Of The Celebration

As you know, I've been reveling in the Cubs winning the World Series this past season.  I'll admit that I'm still at the point of breaking out into a grin whenever I head "the Cubs have won the World Series."  However, every good thing must come, eventually, to an end.  On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr Day, the Cubs paid a visit to the White House.  The resulting event with President Barack Obama was pretty special.

I'm not going to get political, that would go against every reason I created The Pond.  I will say that that was a fun speech from the President, one I didn't think he had in him.

This event seems to be a good time to close the book on the Cubs' amazing 2016 season and to start looking ahead to 2017.  Spring Training is just around the corner... can another World Series run be in the offing?

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January 16, 2017

Perfect Day Engaging In 3... 2... 1... (UPDATED)

I should have known what sort of day this was going to be when I woke up before my alarm, rolled over, curled up perfectly in my comforters... just in time for the alarm to go off.  Never a good sign, that.  After my usual morning peregrinations, I pulled on my fleece and checked the weather forecast for the day.  Freezing drizzle since late last night, changing to flurries and later, all rain.  Sweet.  Out the door of Pond Central I went, down the stairs and was greeted by...

...oh dear.  Sidewalks with no salt or sand, grass with a sheen of water-covered ice, and a weird mix of rain, sleet, and slurry falling from the sky.  The parking lot didn't look much better.  Still, looked doable: just take tiny steps and watch where you're going.  About halfway to the parking lot, I realized the sidewalk was much more ice-covered in front of me, so I diverted towards the lawn.  While my shoes would get wet... there looked to be a good half-inch of water on the ice-covered lawn... that would be much better than slipping.  And then things happened quickly.  One foot shot out from underneath me, the other one sort of flailed at the ground trying to get traction, and...

...the amount of pain engaging my knees was astounding.  I seemed to be in one piece, but I was face down on the grass, already soaked, and then I realized a lot of other things on the front of my body hurt.  I rolled onto by back, and that hurt as well.  Well, nothing for it, gotta stand up no matter how much you hurt.

I couldn't do it.

I couldn't get any lift off my right leg.  Partially because of Holy CREPE my knee hurt, but mostly because of the mud, water and ice I was lying in... my foot couldn't get the traction needed.  Which is when it hit me.

I was going to have to crawl.  If I could make it to the stairwell, I could use the railing there to stand up.  And so I did.  Some twenty minutes after I made impact with the ground, I got back into Pond Central, immediately changed back into sweats and a light sweater, and called into work for the day, explaining just what had occurred.  The news later reported that Duckford had gotten a late start on salting the roads, so they were horrible too... would have made for a fun drive to work, what with it mostly being on tertiary streets and all.

So half a day later, my right knee is swelling, hot, and bright pink.  My right shoulder feels like it got jammed on impact.  My left wrist hurts right where it sits on my keyboard's wristrest.  My back is sore.  Worst of all, my MP3 player has ceased to function.  It looks okay, but the screen doesn't light up, and when I connect it to my computer, nothing shows up.  I'm guessing it being in my right front pants pocket, having me fall on it, then get soaked in freezing water for 20 minutes might have had a deleterious effect on it.

There's always tomorrow.

UPDATE: The MP3 player works!  My cellphone, which had gotten very quiet (both earpiece and external speaker), now works!  My knee... well, it functions.  It's still bright pink, hot and tender.  I'm tentatively declaring my right shoulder "borked."  I can't lift my right arm over my head without a lot of discomfort.  My left wrist now only hurts when I move it.  So that's an improvement.  But the electronic devices work, and that's the important stuff!

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January 06, 2017

Confirmation Of Suspicions

Back when I watched Interstellar, I was quite enamored of the sparse yet fully orchestrated soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.  However, I couldn't quite get the feeling out of my head that I'd heard it or something like it somewhere before.  Tonight, I stumbled upon this...

...and yup, that's what I was thinking.  The music for Interstellar clearly isn't the same as instrumentation by Philip Glass, but it surely did punch that particular button for me.  I mean, here's the music from the docking scene, called "No Time For Caution"...

...and here's the ending of Koyaanisqatsi, the scene that everybody's seen at least once...

I do hope Zimmer bought Glass a nice dinner first.

(no, this post wasn't an excuse to put music from Interstellar on here.  not at all. why would you think that?)

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December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve, 2016


As 2016 lurches to a halt, it's hard to describe the year as anything but "not good at all."  It goes without saying that this year will be remembered for two things: death and baseball.  In the abstract, what seemed to be a lot of musicians, actors, and other famous beings passed away in 2016, starting with David Bowie at the start of January, and ending with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds just a few days ago.  In between, of course, was anime blogger and friend to The Pond Steven Den Beste.  And Abe Vigoda cemented his status as meme to boot.

But for me, 2016 will go down as the year the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.  I honestly never thought I'd get to say that, but it actually happened.  And I was happy in a way that I haven't been since that dreadful weekend in 2009.

2016 has been a slog, no question about it.  The Pond has suffered from neglect, work has been rough, and I've seen friendships wither on the vine.  But to you readers who have stuck around, I say thank you.  You make it worthwhile, and you make me want to bring The Pond back to glory.  But mostly I say thank you for being my friends.

And now it is time for the wearing of silly hats, so as to best welcome 2017!

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December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve, 2016


So another Christmas is upon us.  No big plans over here at Pond Central... I didn't even put up the tree, again.  I'll be hanging out at the Old Home Pond, having the usual dinner.  Looking forward to the pierogi sauteed in butter and onions, lemme tell you.  But on the whole, the Christmas season is pretty low-key around these parts.

I'm going to admit something though.  As we approach December 25th, I find myself thinking about someone I know didn't "do" Christmas at all.  Maybe five years ago, Steven Den Beste and I got into a long e-mail exchange after I wished him a merry y'know and inquired as to how I could send him a rubber duck.  The upshot was 1) the day he accepted a rubber duck from me was the day he surrendered his fight against the inevitable encroaching duck horde, and 2) with no family to speak of and no flesh-and-blood friends, December 25th was just another day in the "expired" column of the Ledger Book of Life.  At the time I respected his desire to be left alone, but... well.  Even at the time I thought the image of him sitting alone in his apartment staring at a laptop was sad.  Now?  A tip o' the hat to Steven... Merry Christmas ya old coot, where-ever you are these days.

And a Merry Christmas to you, my assembled Pond Scum.  It's been a rough year for everybody, so hopefully your holiday will be the best one ever.  Tonight, I'm going to do something I haven't yet done: watch the final installment of ARIA the Avvenire.  Yeah, I know... it's a case of "if I watch it, it'll be over with for good.  If I don't watch it, there's always a new episode of ARIA to watch."  Anyway... y'know...

Merry Christmas.


more...

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December 20, 2016

Disaster Avoided... Again

Monday morning, I put on my new warm coat, threw the hand-knit scarf around my neck, pulled on the Gloves of Excessive Warmth, and opened Pond Central's front door.  This was my first mistake, because it was somewhere in the negative single-digits.  Frighteningly, this was actually an improvement from Saturday night, where it was somewhere around -20, or Sunday, where at 2pm it was -3.  At least it wasn't windy, thought I as I grabbed my trusty snowbrush/icescraper and headed for the DuckMobile.

There was a few inches of snow on the car, which was nice.  Nice because there were only a few inches of snow on the car, instead of the snowmageddon that had been predicted.  The weather nabobs had said it'd start snowing Friday night (it did) and go until early Sunday morning with a pause of a few hours Saturday afternoon (it didn't).  Still and all, what we did get was plenty enough.  Even though the wind wasn't blowing at all, the cold eventually began seeping into the new coat, so I dove into the Duckmobile to get it started.  While she wasn't thrilled with the concept, the engine turned over right away and came to life on the first try.  That makes the DuckMobile's record something like 20341 - 2.  Yup, in all the cold weather we get here, it's only not started twice in the 17 years I've owned it.  Gloating at the intelligence it took to purchase this particular vehicle, I let it run and got out to finish getting the snow off.  At which point, the RPMs casually walked themselves all the way down to zero and the engine... stopped.

I was dumbfounded.  That isn't supposed to happen!  I got back into the car, turned the key to "off"... no reason to leave it "on", after all... and looked at the dashboard.  Nothing out of the ordinary, so I decided to start it up again.  It fired up even easier this time, and ran roughly.  To be honest though, I expected that.  It was still in the negatives after all, and it hadn't been above zero in well over 24 hours.  In the corner of my brain there was a little voice saying "you're pushing your luck, y'know."  Remember, this is the car that's had the engine stop twice due to oil starvation.  I may not have mentioned the second time... I was putting along and bob'syouruncle, the engine, it just stopped.  I put a couple of quarts of oil in, and it ran like an angel.  So it was possible that was causing the engine to stop.  Or it was really cold.  Or both.

A taxi got me to work, and my boss's boss drove me home that night.  This morning I headed out to the DuckMobile with two quarts of room temperature motor oil, which may not sound like much but it was still 50┬░ warmer than outside.  It was at this moment that I discovered something: it was windy.  Twenty and windy is a LOT less fun than zero and calm.  Anyway, I put the oil in, crossed my fingers, and turned the key.  No problems.  She got me to work and home with no drama, no nothing.

So was it the oil?  Was it because it's warmer now?  Know what?  I don't care.  My car is running again, and that's all that matters.  I feel like I've just dodged another bullet.  Maybe two.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:18 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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December 17, 2016

I've Got The Xmas Spirit!


Ho.  Ho.  Ho.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:38 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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December 15, 2016

Updates And Stuff

I've been informed that the answer to the question posed in the last post is 2028.  The source, while having a habit of sending detonating kiwi in my direction every now and again, is generally reliable... or I haven't caught him in a blatant lie as of yet, one of the two.  Whichever it is, that means 12 more years before I'm moving to Aqua.

I don't know how Elon Musk is going to build spacecraft with flapping wings, but I'm sure he'll manage by then.  I know we're living in the future already, but "faster please."

All the overtimes are mine.  While that's nice since I can do it at home, if I get caught up in something afterwards, next thing I know it's time for bed.  And I gotta admit, I've been caught by a game.  Again, in this case.

Yep, Go Go Nippon! recently got another installment via DLC.  Six new locations (three per girl), more story options, and a slight shift in tone to boot.  If you remember, the game is something of a guidebook to some parts of the Tokyo area; you're shown these locations by Makoto (left) and Akira (right).  In the previous two versions, the focus was definitely on the locations and information.  While there was a modicum of romantic options, it was totally on rails.  With the new DLC, it seems to concentrate more on the girls, and I think there are multiple endings available for the two.  As I've only played one line of one sister, I'm not sure.  Gotta admit, I'm having fun finding out.  Which is kinda sad, actually.

Not as sad as this, but if it does even half of what it shows in this video, I'll admit to a massive desire to own one.  Because... um... reasons.

Um.

Hey look!  DUCKS!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:14 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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December 12, 2016

Meh. Meh, Double-Meh, And Feh, Too.

Not a good day.  Too much cold, too much snow, and I nearly had a panic attack at the thought of going to work.

When can I emigrate to Neo-Venezia?

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:35 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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