Nacho Mamma’s

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday, and I met up with her, my sister, and my Dad at Nacho Mamma’s.

When I contacted her earlier that afternoon for menu suggestions, Bonanza Jellybean recommended the muchos nachos (nachos muchos?), and let me just say, God damn those nachos were good.

I was grateful that dinner did not result in my ass exploding forth into a toilet at any point that night. I was also appreciative of the establishment’s sense of humor, evident on their menu/placemats.

I was most appreciative for the ease in which I found parking. Made a right on Linwood from O’Donnell, and voila!*, a spot. Didn’t even have to parallel park … which is good, because those of us in the counties aren’t forced to resort to such barbaric practices on a daily basis (which means I’m out of practice).

*Check me out, speaking French and shit …

Peter's Dead

via USA Today

Peter Jennings, the suave, Canadian-born broadcaster who delivered the news to Americans each night in five separate decades, died Sunday. He was 67.

The end of an era? Not so much for me and my news intake of “hot off-the-digital”.

What you can't hear …


… are Guy’s mournful meows.

… you also don’t know how much of a fight it took to get Tippy into the cage. She saw that thing with the door open and was like, “You’ll never take me alive!” I finally had to drag her out from under the futon, and there was a considerable amount of hissing, scratching, and biting involved.

For. All. Time.

August already … where has time gone?

Eh. More on that later.

Today = Fun

See, Tippy forgave me a long time ago for sending her to the vet’s and getting her bathed and spending the night away from the comfort of home.

Guy … has not been so forgiving.

Even though that was close to three weeks ago, it took him until earlier this evening to saunter up to me and rub my dangling hand as I reread Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire. I scratched his head, and he played around for a few minutes before dropping himself into a ball a few feet away and cleaning himself.

Little does he know. Little do either of them know – or suspect – about tomorrow.

See, the thing about flea bombing is, you can’t just do it once. Because flea eggs are immune to the fumigating-whatcha-ma-callit. So you fumigate, then have to do it again 2-3 weeks later.

And tomorrow (today!) I’m fumigating again. The cats go into the vets very earlier – I’m going to load them into my car, set off the bombs, then take them to the vet on my way to work. By the time I get out of work the bombs will have worked their magic and I’ll have several hours of cleaning ahead of me.

The last time I took them to the vets, I was advised that Guy might need an antibiotic shot if he kept scratching at himself as hard as he had been (seems fleas inject some sort of thing into cats that makes them want to scratch). Anyway, Guy is getting a shot tomorrow. What this essentially means is that he is going to hate me.

For. All. Time.

Oh! Mental note: get quarters from the bank for laundry …

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?

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 …)

my own private movie theater

One thing I enjoy about watching movies at N.’s place is that the basement gets so dark its hard to be distracted by stuff. When I watch a movie at my place, I’ll pause it half a dozen times to go to the kitchen, the bathroom, or just putz around on the internet. It’s hard to totally escape, y’know?

So I’m thinking off trying to “black out” my living room. The big problem is the front window. I’m on the ground level, and my windows overlook the parking lot. When people come home late, their headlights illuminate my humble abode. I’ve already got Landlord-Installed-and-Owned blinds on the windows … they’re okay, but insufficient. I want to mount a curtain so I can cover the windows more effectively. I was thinking about something like this for IKEA (ok, can’t find it on the online site but its in the catalogue … two mounting points with a heavy cord between them) … two of them, actually. One to mask off the insufficient-parking-lot blinds, the other to hang at an angle from the kitchen wall connecting to the hall-wall so I can have a big, nice, blacked-out movie theater.

Well, as nice as a 25″ screen movie theater can be.

He lived long and he prospered …

… but all good things must end.

Doohan died at 5:30 a.m. at his Redmond, Wash., home with his wife of 28 years, Wende, at his side, Los Angeles agent and longtime friend Steve Stevens said. The cause of death was pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease, he said.

RIP Jimmy.

No air conditioning…

…and two stacked-ovens that work at 500 degrees each make for a hot and very sweaty eight hour day. My clothes — hell, my entire body — was damp. Everything was sticky and disgusting. I took my glasses off every chance I got because the sweat was just pooling in the rim of the frame.

I’m home, at the computer desk. I’ve got the a/c on, and three fans blowing. Tippy’s outside the door crying — never really gave this room a good cleaning, and until I do, the cats are locked out. The sun has come out, and I’m home relaxing … I need to start some laundry, then figure out what I’m going to have for dinner.

I figured out last night how to work N.’s entertainment center. Drank two of his beers while his dog slept at my feet and I watched the first hour and a half of Harry Potter & The Sorceror’s Stone. His sofa is hella comfy. Going to finish it tonight, maybe start Chamber of Secrets. As much as I enjoy his tv, I think the dog enjoys the company more than I do. She settled right down on the floor and passed out … too bad, I was going to let her finish the second beer. She’s certainly sick for her family’s return – messed on the carpet sometime before I arrived this morning (I walked her four times yesterday! She had plenty of opportunity to mess!). Thanfully I’d already taken over Pet-Care Resolve and I think I cleaned it up pretty well. Or at least, as well as could be. They’ve got a nice vacuum cleaner. I wonder if I switched mine with theirs … would they notice?


Okay, I’m going to shower because I stink.


That little bastard! After picking up my check, Mary and I briefly discussed ways to get him back, then she said “Revenge isn’t cool” and talked me out of it. Or so I led her to believe. Personally, I’ve always liked “revenge is a dish best served cold” and come January I think I’m going to slash his tires.


The first thing Gary’s son did today was to play drums on my head as I bent down to put away our Sysco order. In response, I did the only thing I could, which was to scream in pain. “What, what?” he asked. I glared, took off my hat, and he grimaced. Then Gary took him into the office and lectured him for the umpteenth time on the importance of leaving the employees alone. The kid took it, I think, a little hard, he enjoys coming into the store and helping out with some work (breaking down boxes, and setting up the stools) and bonding with his dad, but sometimes he doesn’t understand that there’s a difference between “work” and “fun”, and I also think he expects people (including his dad) to be easy on him because he’s the boss’s son (and also, he’s like, eight).

Gary also hired two girls to work in the store, which is unusual. His previous policy was, “I don’t hire girls because then no one does any work because everyone’s starring at their asses and trying to get into their pants.” But I guess he realized no one does any work anyway and he might as well try to get some decent help. One of the girls is the daughter of his friend and he gave a general warning that he’d be keeping a shotgun in the back for anyone who crossed the line, and that we’d better treat her like she was his own daughter. But, y’know, the last time I worked and his daughter was in the store (she’s four?) she wound up spraying me with the windex and I chased her through the store soaking her with the water bottle.

I got Scott S. to cover my Thursday shift, which means I’m bombing the apartment tomorrow. I’m still apprehensive, but I figure I should just get it over with. I’m taking the cats to the animal hospital at nine — it’s been a couple of years since they’ve been to the vet so they’re going to get the full array of shots and vaccines. They’re going to be bathed and spend the night. I’m going to bomb while I’m at the indy job in the afternoon, which means I should be able to start ventilating immediately afterwards. I work at night, and I’m hoping that by the time I get off that job, the apartment will be completely ventilated, which means I’ll be able to start cleaning immediately.

I’ll finish most of the cleaning on Thursday, but I want to get some laundry (including the bed sheets) done immediately, and I’d like to get at least the bathroom, kitchen, and hopefully the bedroom cleaned before I go to sleep.

I think that’s essentially my day today and my plans for the coming days. Super amount of fun. Yeah.

technology is cool

Back in the 1960’s, when Captain Kirk beamed down to the alien-planet-of-the-week, he’d flip open his wallet-sized communicator to tell Sulu what continent to fry with phaser beams. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, when Commander Riker beamed down to the alien-planet-of-the-week, he’d just tap a badge on his chest to call Picard a “balding weanie, too pussified to ever set foot on a hostile world.”

Kirk’s communicator became “reality” with flip-open cell phones (although most don’t actually “flip”, nor do they chirp). And it looks like Picard & Riker’s era of communicators is also about to become reality.

Via Quantum Sagas:

It operates in principle the same way that the comms badges on Star Trek do: the user presses the button on the badge and says the name of the target person with which they want to speak, a powerful server-based app determines the target and opens the channel (VOIP), at which point two way communications can take place.

There are some good links and fleshed-out ideas about this, but it appears one of its primary targets is hospital staff. An article in Forbes continues:

It turns out that communication in a hospital is often an amazingly inefficient affair. Nurses and doctors spend a lot of time playing phone and page tag. Nurses need approvals for treatments from doctors who often aren’t easy to find. Paging the doctor usually takes several minutes, by which time a nurse may have left the station where she was waiting. Then the whole process starts over until finally one catches up with the other.

With the Vocera badge, a nurse needs only to hit a button and say the name of a doctor. The request goes over the hospital’s wireless network to the server, which then locates the appropriate doctor and delivers the message more or less instantly. If the doctor is available he or she can respond right back. If not, the nurse can ask for another doctor, by name or by specialty. Say “I need an anesthesiologist,” and the server finds the nearest anesthesiologist and connects him.

There are some negatives I thought of. For one, an annoying chirp and then a person speaking loudly enough that you can hear half the conversation from down the hall. But when you stop to think of it, those stupid walkie-talkie phones have the annoying chirp, and anyone with one of those – or a hand’s-free-set* – is likely to have a conversation loud enough that it’s hard not to evesdrop.

Technology is cool.


Related Story —

For years, the U.S. military has explored a new kind of firepower that is instantaneous, precise and virtually inexhaustible: beams of electromagnetic energy. “Directed-energy” pulses can be throttled up or down depending on the situation, much like the phasers on “Star Trek” could be set to kill or merely stun.

Such weapons are now nearing fruition.



*Hell, anyone with a cell phone, period …

random thoughts before i go to bed

When I woke up this morning, my shoulder wasn’t hurting me anymore.

My head however … see, like I said, spent six hours in a topless Wrangler yesterday, and I’d gotten a buzz cut the week before. While I put suntan lotion on for the trip down, I did not reapply on the trip back, so my ears, cheeks, neck and forehead are all bright red. What I also didn’t count on was the sun burning the areas of the top of my head it could reach, so now I’ve got sunburn around all my individual hairs. Ick. How long do sunburns last, anyway?

I’m going to shower and go to bed and read some more of David McCullough’s John Adams, borrowed from my Uncle Bill (the other one).

I think my plan for fumigation is to take the cats into the vet on Wednesday for a bath and overnight stay. Fumigate while I’m at work, then air the place out in the afternoon and while I’m working my night job. Start cleaning when I get home from the night job — should give plenty of time for the apartment to ventilate. I can probably get a solid three or four hours of cleaning and laundry in, and anything I don’t get Wednesday night I can finish Thursday morning (assuming I can find someone to work for me Thursday morning, that is). Finish the day by bringing the clean cats home to the flea-free apartment. Then repeat process two weeks down the line to get the fleas that were eggs during the first bombing. Joy. Also: no perishables because I’m unplugging the fridge. When I wake up, I need to take an inventory of how many fans I’ll need to aid ventilation.

I think that’s it for me for this fine evening. Thank goodness for a night of solid tips and zero Ogre stupidity.

Oh – and damn the weather forecast – it’s going to rain for the next ten days? What fun is a Wrangler in the pouring rain? I mean, yes, lots, but I want the top down and doors off, y’know? And Saturday and Sunday night were going to be prime for country-road drivin … dammit.

Testing "Future Post"

Tron recently upgraded my blog to a newer version of Moveable Type. There’s now an option under “post status” for a ‘future post.’ I’m hoping this means that I can select ‘future post’ and edit the time and date I want the post to appear, rather then editing the time and date of the post and having it post immediately to my blog from that future time and date.

Anyway, this is the test …


Future Post doesn’t work. I mean, no different from using “draft.” It seems you still have to change the status to “Publish” before it’ll show on the blog. Why bother? Just write the thing in “draft”, then select “publish” and select the time and date you want. Grrrr.

why online banking is AWESOME

I was getting worried because my check to the MVA for my car registration renewal hadn’t gone through my bank even though I’d mailed it close to two weeks ago. I love Online Banking because I was able to check – not one minute ago – my balance and saw that indeed, it posted tonight, leaving me with a balance of less than $10. That’s okay – I’ve got tip money from the week and a paycheck at work all destined for the bank tomorrow.