My Top Secret Project

… remains Top Secret. In addition to my earlier hint, I’ll give you two more: it’s made out of ABS plastic and I’ve been going here a lot for inspiration.

It’s frustrating as hell, too. I had to place a few orders here, and the one order I need to get before I can do any more work on it (I needed a bunch of these & these) hasn’t even shipped – the owner of the store was on hurricane relief, but promised he’d have it in the mail tomorrow.

Well, let’s hope. Time’s a wastin’ and I want to be able to reveal this thing no later than three months from now.

BSG 2×3 – "Fragged"

I really meant to post a review of the new BSG episode “Fragged” but … what can I say? The show continues to excel. The frantic pacing of the last two episodes drops a bit — Adama’s still out of it and in need of surgery, meanwhile Tigh – faced with the hounding press and an angry Quorum of Twelve – turns back to drinking which leads to him making an ass out of himself in front of, oh, just about everyone. The Marine Corporal got a name, but I don’t remember it – he and Billy conspire to get Roslin some meds. The big shocker is on Kobol — Crashdown, Tyrol, Baltar and the other survivors have to knock out a Cylon missile launcher if they’re going to have any chance of being rescued. Crashdown gets a bit of a big head with his rank and Baltar … well, considering its the first time he’s ever fired a gun … in any case, Baltar’s decision is the right on to make as it enables the stranded team to disable the Cylon missile launcher right as Apollo’s rescue team arrives.

I was exceptionally impressed by how the creators of the show were able to pull off the scene where Chief Tyrol looks at his dinky little 9mm sidearm with an expression that says, “What, this thing?” after a few blindly-fired rounds blows up — and I mean like, fireballs and all — the Cylon sentries. Then he turns around and sees Apollo’s Raptor hovering behind him, smoke rising from its missile tubes. That sort of sequence has been done so often, yet it so clearly worked.

No scenes on Caprica this episode – one wonders if Starbuck and Helo are screwing in the back of her Hummer. Or, doing other things in the back of her hummer. Like hummers. In the back of the Hummer. I doubt it because Helo has fallen for a Cylon — and methink Starbuck don’t be approvin’ — but in any case, I sense a big Caprica storyline fast approaching. The only question is — will the two lost pilots find their way back to the ship, and will they do it before the mid-season break? (Yes, because I found upcoming episode spoilers, you can find them too — use Google).

I also love how the characters can get away with, “Motherfrakker!” and “Frakking piece of frakkin garbage!” and the FCC can’t do jack frakkin’ shit about it.

did you not see the same Star Wars prequel trilogy I did?

Speaking of Star Wars, my buddy Chris Z. and I were discussing Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince and he mentioned thinking it would be a good idea if, after book seven, JK Rowling went back and wrote a prequel series about Dumbledore and Voldemort, ending with Voldemort’s attempt on Harry’s life.

And I was like, “WTF, did you not see the same Star Wars prequel trilogy I did? Did you not learn anything from that?”

I mean, granted, JK Rowling’s probably a better writer than George Lucas, sometimes the backstory is better left a bit mysterious and vague, y’know?

Star Wars isn't a vision of our future.

Via Rebelscum

In the exhibition guests will encounter props, artwork, models and film clips from all six Star Wars films. The purpose of this one of a kind tribute to the films will be to explore the science behind the technologies of today and tomorrow.

Okay. Y’know, let’s just take a step here and consider something, right? You’ve seen a Star Wars film at some point in your life, right? Remember when it says “A long time ago …“? The Star Wars technology is the technology of yesterday! I mean, okay, a fictional civilization’s yesterday, but yesterday none the less. Star Wars isn’t a vision of the future.

If it’s future technology you want, run a Star Trek exhibit and display Captain Kirk’s flip-top communicator with a flip-top cell phone and say, “Look! They predicted modern technology in a show forty years ago!”

Really, it sounds like someone wanted a “legitimate” reason to have a Star Wars exhibit. Y’know, the films are a “cultural phenomena”, that could probably be reason enough.

Tipping Guide

Mike asked in comments,

Just so I don’t get on your bad side, perhaps you could post a handy chart for pizza delivery tipping? I’ve always been a bit unsure on the topic. Does one tip on the tip on the total price of the order or the number of items we make you carry? Is there a standard Good/Bad percentage you look for? I know I didn’t understand how to tip at restaurants until I dated a waitress.

Mike,

The best guide is to tip $4 or 20%, whatever is larger. And if the shop you order from has a “delivery charge”, make sure to find out how much of that — if any — actually gets to the driver (usually it finds its way into the owner’s grubby hands).

For me, I usually look at tips on a good/bad factor dependent on a few conditions — the first is the proximity of the delivery to the store. The further I have to go, the higher the tip I expect. Likewise, if I’m delivering a pizza in snow or during a thunderstorm, I expect higher tips. I also expect larger tips on holidays. Conversely, if the asshat taking phone orders tells the customer it’ll be at their door in half an hour when really our average delivery time is an hour, I’m expecting a smaller than usual tip. Also, even if there are factors out of my control that slow down the delivery — kitchen fuck-ups, traffic, etc. — depending on how much I’m slowed down, I expect a negative tip hit.

I set my own route (the order in which I take my deliveries) and it is certainly prioritized based on which customers have treated me the best in the past. And you’d best bet all drivers chit-chat about who the good customers are as opposed to the cheap-asses. It’s not so much about taking food to cheap-asses late as it is getting food hot to the people who take care of us, y’know?

Exciting!

A new Serenity trailer. The only thing more exciting? A new Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire trailer.

Back to Serenity … if you don’t know what the fuck it is, it’s the film continuation of the short-lived FOX series “Firefly“, which was created by Joss Whedon. FOX cancelled the show, it made its way to DVD, and did so well in sales that Universal bought the rights and brought Whedon back to direct the film.

If you’ve never seen “Firefly”, do yourself the favor and buy the box set, or alternatively, add it to your Netflix queue. It’s really really good. As in, Better Than Battlestar Galactica good.

Dumb. Fucking. Bitch.

Of the people who drive SUVs in the world, there are roughly three catagories. The first catagory is the working truck drivers — people who drive trucks because they need the large storage or towing capacity of such a vehicle for work. Landscapers, package delivery companies, construction workers and so on and so forth are faced with certain requirements that can’t be met by a Honda Civic.

The second category generally fits folks who need the capacity of a larger vehicle for transporting a large family, or perhaps live (or have lived) in an area where for parts of the year, a vehicle without 4-wheel drive is a neccessity of life.

The third category is one that gives SUV and truck drivers bad names. They’re the folks who are so totally inept at operating a motor vehicle that they should never have been issued a driver’s license. They don’t drive an SUV because they need the space, or they need it for work, they drive the thing because they recognize that they are horribly atrocious drivers and want to increase the odds of their surviving a crash that they cause, and damn the other guy, because, hey, that’s what insurance is for, right?

It’s this last type that came damn fucking close to killing me today. I was driving south on York Road and entered the middle lane to turn into a car dealership which, coincidentally, sells really big trucks to inept drivers. They’re also staffed by – for the record – a complete bunch of stuck up, lying, cheap-asses who look pissed when they have to shell out a buck-fifty on a twenty-eight dollar order.

Anyway, so I pull into the middle lane and wait for traffic to clear to make a left. I’d noticed a big Toyota Land Cruiser waiting to turn out of the lot, but didn’t think anything of it. The next thing I know, the cars heading north are slamming on their brakes, and I look to my left to see the Land Cruiser pulling out of the lot and heading straight … for me.

And of course, I wasn’t in gear.

Thankfully, the Dumb Fucking Bitch saw me and slammed on her brakes probably about a quarter second before she knocked me into traffic. So the problem now is that her big ass truck is blocking north bound traffic, which is coming to a complete stop. She can’t move until I do, but I’m blocked from making my turn by her retardedness, and I can’t get to the next entrance because there’s a car twenty yards up waiting to turn across south-bound traffic.

Well fuck me.

Thankfully my window was rolled down and I made sure she got a nice look at my hand with middle finger extended before I shifted into gear and pulled forward so that she could drive her oversized tank through. I hope she realizes what a Dumb Fucking Bitch she is and that she very nearly caused a massive traffic accident (either from causing north-bound cars to hit her, or from knocking me into north-bound cars, either way, she’s a Dumb Fucking Bitch).

This was just one memorable incident from the day which really deserves the title “Hell” more than Wednesday night. Mark called out sick so Gary was inside with two newbies, both of whom aren’t quite up to the level they were expected to rise to today. The newbie on the phone did an okay job taking orders — she just didn’t get business names or extension numbers or suite numbers, half the time she didn’t write up a total, and a few times on credit-card orders, she added the tip into the store’s total and wrote that number for the grand total. All in all, it made for a hellacious few hours.

How To Describe Last Night …

… Hell?

It generally has all the factors I like about working. Me and only one other driver. Busy. Ross running the shift. Usually a good formula to make cash. Not last night. Last night was … well, look above.

The thunderstorm didn’t help any. Jacksonville/Phoenix is a very rural area — stretches of farms as far as the eye can see, dotted randomly with McMansions and the oddly placed trailer. Rows of corn give way suddenly to hints of suburbia and you’re just as likely to encounter a brand new H2 or a Porsche on the winding back roads as you are a tractor or some other ridiculously oversized farm vehicle. The delivery area itself is roughly as large as Baltimore City, yet there are only four traffic lights, four gas stations, and no roads wider than two lanes. There are at least a dozen one-lane bridges, and most roads are through heavily forested areas with large beautiful trees that shield drivers from the glaring sun.

Of course, on nights like last night it means that there were large branches littering the pavement, and it made driving a bit more treacherous. Plus, of course, everyone and their mother decided to order pizza, and what with traffic + weather the result was super long delayed deliveries.

I would like to thank the people who could see the weather and weren’t (too) upset when I arrived with their food over an hour after they’d ordered it. Most of them tipped very well, even the lady who had no power. They made up for the rest of the night.

On the customer side, thanks to the lady up off Glen Elyn who gave me an evil look and didn’t tip me. “That’s for being late,” she told me. Thanks for being a bitch, I thought about telling her. Little did she understand – she normally only tips a buck, and while I would have liked that buck, it’s not like she’s really hurting my earnings, y’know? Plus, the next time she orders, her pizzas going to sit in my trunk — out of the hot bag — while I take all the other deliveries I’m also routed with.

Also, to the asshole who has the three mile long driveway? I don’t mind having to stop my car to move big branches out of my way, but the least you can do is tip more than a buck when I get to you. I don’t even think you did it to be mean, I think you just did it to because you don’t know better. By the way, when you set out today in that nice flashy sports car, I hope you notice the excellent job I did putting all of those branches back across your driveway.

I am very glad last night is over.

blogtimore issues

Apparently some people have formatting issues with my posts as they appear on Blogtimore. I was unaware there was a problem (dealing with paragraph breaks, I think?), as this is how my posts show up on Blogtimore:

blogtimoreshot.bmp

I want to resolve the issue, but my inability to a.) see the problem and b.) know how to fix it, are hindering me. Guide me.

Apple Juice & How That Led Me To See Ice Queenie

I drive out of my way to buy apple juice. Apple juice usually isn’t something I drink a lot of – I do tend to keep my fridge stocked with milk and water though. Anyway, a month and a half ago I picked up a jug of apple juice from the Giant Food in Hunt Valley, where I usually do my grocery shopping. It was like $2.59 or something. It was good, and I began buying it regularly.

For some reason I was in Lutherville and needed to do a grocery run, so I swung past the Giant on Ridgely Road. I shopped there for a number of years when I first lived in Towson, then continued down there when I moved up to Cockeysville. By the time I moved to Timonium I was pretty much making Hunt Valley my regular stop because it was just so much more convenient from work.

In any case, I went in to the Ridgely Giant a few weeks ago for the first time in probably about a year. I bought my milk, and bread, and cat food … and I came across an aisle cap filled with the same jugs of apple juice … but all marked at .99. Permanent price. Like, more than 50% off of Hunt Valley!

Anyway, since then, whenever I’m low on apple juice, I swing into Lutherville to buy them there. I mean, heck, I can buy five jugs for what two would cost me in rape-em-Hunt Valley. I was coming from work today so I took 83-south and exited on Timonium, then took Greenspring and a back road through the old-Costco/new-Circuit City & Borders parking lot to reach Ridgely Road.

And I was like, “Gosh, I wonder if she knows Borders is even here?” After all, they just opened a few scant weeks ago.

Last night on the way to the Happy Hour, she & her psycho-behind-the-wheel husband inquired if I’d read the new Harry Potter. Turns out they’re both super fans. He might even have a blow up doll of Hermoine tucked away somewhere. They’d left for Iceland before the new book had been published, and he was a little surprised she hadn’t picked up a copy on Tuesday after their return.

I meant to tell her that Borders had opened, but I forgot. So after I parked my car and walked into Giant, I called her and told her. “Borders is open!”

She was all, “Hooray! I can buy it now and geek out for the rest of the night!” That isn’t exactly what she said, but I could read the intent in her voice.

So anyway I did my shopping, loaded my cars up with grocery bags, and drove home. I usually try to avoid York Road as much as possible so my plan was to follow Ridgely Road to Eastridge and take that back up to Padonia. As I waited to turn on Charmuth (a shortcut between Ridgely and Eastridge), who do you think I saw intently determined to reach Borders and purchase Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince?

Yep. I waved. Don’t know if she saw me.

(I need to go put those groceries away now …)

Not Quite Live Blogging The Happy Hour

There’s nothing like waking up five hours or so after you’ve passed out drunk and feeling “Wow, so this is what sober is like. I’d forgotten.” Actually, I was just surprised how it felt to not feel like I was walking on a clipper ship in the middle of a storm.

Anywaaaay …

Last night was the July Baltimore Blogger’s Happy Hour. I caught a ride with him and his wife. We left … I dunno … 5:40ish and got down to Nick’s like … 6:30? Traffic in downtown Baltimore sucked super ass. At one point a city bus next to us decided to blow its foghorn and essentially destroyed my hearing for the night. Later, preparing to turn onto 395, Neckbone leaned back in his seat as I gave him directions and bellowed, “We’ve gotta get on ninety-five? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Why didn’t we just take ninety-five all the way down?”

Well, duh, you printed out the directions! I’m just telling you where to go, silly …

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Anyway, we got down there in one piece, and walked into Nick’s wondering, “Are they inside or outside?”

Of course they were all outside on picnic tables. This is a decision we generally regretted later as it was hot and, um, spiders. Big spiders. There was one on my shoulder. This guy pointed that out to me and I shrieked like a girl and flicked it off in the general direction of other people who gave me dirty looks. Whatevah, I don’t pretend to like spiders.

Anyway, walking over to the group several hours earlier I quickly settled at a spot next to this dude who was engaged in chit-chat with a woman named Sally who is this guy’s wife and a frequent commenter on my blog (Common Wombat himself was home geeking out with a friend watching BSG). Hooray! Anyway, between the three of us there was much discussion of blogging, the horrors of Cockeysville, the lovely Cockeysville Target, felines, Battlestar Galactica, and my apparent outing of Anonymous Coworker in which I named him — by real name! — in a blog entry. (Upon returning home, I did a search for ACW’s real name in my search feature and found no actual outing, although perhaps it was made in comments).

(I almost accidently outed ACW here in my drunk post but I was somehow able to keep a clear enough mind and reason, “Waaaaaait, I can’t … I can’t use his real name here because then I’ll be outing him.”)

In any case, there was a decent turnout at the Happy Hour. I was excited to meet the afore-mentioned Sally for the first time as we had exchanged rather lengthy e-mails a few weeks prior on the subject of … well, felines, and fleas, and Cockeysville and other things which I don’t remember. Also present at the Happy Hour was eXtraheavyMarcellus who I always thought would be a lot scarier in real life. Seadragon, who was all, “I’m coming to drink, I’m coming to drink!” apparently got sick and cancelled. More beer for the rest of us.

(Speaking of that, as Neckbone had told me he was going to pick up my tab as a thank you for caring for his dog while they were away, I made progress through what he later told me was eight Woodchuck ciders. My goal had been ten.)

My memory gets fuzzy at this point, but I stole many cigarettes from Messy Hair Girl which is odd because I don’t smoke. Also present were the broads who planned the thing: Zenchick and Broadsheet, both of whom recieved many hugs.

I promised to buy the new Revenge of the Sith Darth Vader action figure for Jason, and Fool and I talked about something but alcohol has clouded my memory. I think she may have discussed her desire to shoot her boss, but don’t quote me on that. JWER was there, too. Epiphany and I had a long discussion about … something … but … hey, I can’t remember.

The biggest surprise was that this dude showed up without becoming to lost and going home to cry again and play with his pet wolf spider. There’s a photo of him on here somewhere, but you’ll have to look for it. He also brought his wife whose birthday is ten days after mine so we were all like, “Leos, yeah!” and he was like, “sniff”.

Anyway, group photo, faces blacked out because I don’t know off hand who does or does not want their faces posted …

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Got a ride home with the same folks who gave me one down, and stumbling into my chilly apartment (I’d left the a/c on) I pretty much collapsed right on the floor and grabbed Guy into my arms. Tippy was smart enough to run when she heard me coming – Guy, on the other hand, I wound up clutching in my arms as I napped for about fifteen minutes. He was none too pleased about that.

Apparently I did some drunk blogging that I very vaguely remember. I’m impressed I was able to upload a photo, much less import it from the memory card and resize it. Apparently I didn’t adjust for the angle. Ooops.

So that’s it for me. I’m going back to bed, and if you were at the happy hour and I forgot you, e-mail me and I’ll put you on this post, and I apologize now for forgetting you! You’re very unforgettable and awesome.

at happy hour Sally (hooray!) told me I outed Anonymouscowanaker by name and he was all like “I’m going to kil lyou” but I did a search ()see function on the rihht of the4 page) for his real secret identity name we’ll call him bruce Vayne here but it didn’t come up hahahahah i din’t out acx after all hahahahhahaha

oim vewry drunk anothet yuenling before bed? yesd please

dsally shiuld start a blog

anyone remember ben from dizzy izzy’s blog lukrer? benj, where wr i?