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User Journal

Journal Journal: Update 1

So, I teased you all a while back.

It may've been obvious, but there's now a certain lovely young lady in my life.

She's great - and God's been directing this whole process. I'm excited to see where this goes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Placeholder

This is just a placeholder JE so I don't forget to update you guys at some point..
I don't know exactly when I'll be passing along the info to you all, but it's good.

God is just too cool. I need to JE a lot more of these experiences.

Spontaneous grins are fun, and they're only a symptom.

More to follow as it enters the public domain...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rabbit Update

Regarding my last JE...

I did a little research and found that cats usually eat their prey from nose to tail.

Also, when I came home, the cat had eaten more of the rabbit. I gathered up the remains in a bag and put them in the trash... then noticed that the cat was off in the corner of my yard, waiting to get another little snack.

So, the reality of the situation was a little less creepy than what it seemed... but it made for a good story.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What. 6

Last night, as I was sitting in my computer room, I heard something smack into my house - accompanied by a strange animal noise of some sort.
Since I've had a lot of experience with country living, I assumed it was a couple of cats having a mild disagreement.

I heard another noise several minutes later, and decided to go check it out.
I went out into my darkened back yard, and swept the beam of my Mag-Lite across the lawn. Over toward the south end of my house was a crouching black cat, eyes shining in the light, silently looking up at me. Meh, shoo, cat, this isn't your yard.
I took a step toward him, and he ran off to the east.

I walked a little closer to where the cat had been, and I saw what had had the cat's attention - a dead rabbit. Hmm. Cat must've caught one of the rabbits that lives under my shed... too bad, I kinda liked those guys. Oh well, circle of life.
At that moment, the rabbit spasmed into motion, and tried to escape my advances.

I realized then that the noise I had heard was the rabbit's scream.

His attempts to flee revealed that one of his hind legs wasn't working right, and I saw what looked like exposed bone on his back and shoulder amidst the blood-matted fur.
The rabbit was still alive while the cat was methodically tearing away his flesh, yet, despite his initial cry, he had remained silent.
His panicked movements led him to the window well, where he fell heavily into the autumn leaves. After struggling for a few moments, he settled down, realizing his injuries had trapped him there. He was panting heavily, obviously terrified.
I surveyed the extent of his wounds, and weighed my options.

I didn't really have any weapons that I could use within the city limits (except for the Mag-Lite and an old hatchet in the basement), and since the rabbit was still somewhat mobile, it didn't seem right or practical to try to decapitate the rabbit or bludgeon him to death. It would've been too easy to make things worse if I wasn't able to dispatch him cleanly. I decided that the best thing to do was to go inside and leave the rabbit to fend for himself.
I figured he'd either crawl back under my shed and heal, or get finished off by the cat.
I didn't feel that great about leaving him there, but it did convince me that I needed to buy a pellet gun for situations when I needed to put an animal down.

I went back out there a little bit later, and there was no trace of the cat or the rabbit - no blood, nothing. Okay, cool. Out of my hands, and hopefully the rabbit was recovering somewhere.

But. This morning. I went out to my garage to leave for work, and realized I forgot something in the house. As I turned around to go back, I caught something out of the corner of my eye.
There was the rabbit, laying peacefully in the grass...

...except that he was missing the top part of his skull.

The whole top half of his HEAD was GONE.
I could see his lower molars... because there was nothing left there to cover them.
Soft underbelly, flanks, hindquarters, all untouched. The cat ate nothing but this rabbit's HEAD.

I'm going to dispose of the carcass when I get back home tonight.

I just can't shake the feeling that there was something not right - calculating, cold, and unintimidated - looking back at me from that cat's eyes...

User Journal

Journal Journal: My Slashdot CSS 2

Here's my Firefox userContent.css for Slashdot. It'll probably go through a couple more iterations, but I'm fairly happy with the results:

Update (20050927 2123GMT):
Added code to fix the titles in sections, like
Also removed the ad that sometimes displays between the story and comments.
See my comment below for a description of how to use this.

@-moz-document domain(
                font: 10pt tahoma !important;
                display: none !important;
                width: 900px !important;
                margin: 0 auto !important;
                width: auto !important;
                height: auto !important;
                background: transparent !important;
                text-indent: 1em !important;
        #advertisement-title, #advertisement-content
                display: none !important;
                height: auto !important;
                width: 40px !important;
                height: 40px !important;
        div#topnav>ul>li>a>img, div.topic>a>img
                height: 40px !important;
                width: auto !important;
                margin-top: 0.1em !important;
                background-image: none !important;
                padding-left: 0px !important;
                padding-left: 16px !important;
                margin-top: 0em !important;
.article h3, .generaltitle h3
                padding-bottom: 0.1em !important;
        #slashboxes #olderstuff-content ul li a
                font-size: 1em !important;
                font-weight: 900 !important;
        div#links-loggedin-title h4
                padding-bottom: 0.1em !important;
                display: none !important;

User Journal

Journal Journal: Power's back

A little under 72 hours. They had to plant new poles, the works.
I got to watch them close the circuit to bring it back on, too - it was cool. I thanked them afterward.

I'm still sleeping at the office tonight, though - this is where my ironing board is at the moment, and after doing 9 hours of storm cleanup today (read: raking), I don't want to move any more than I have to right now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Storm Damage (or, How I Don't Have Any) 2

Storm rips through metro, kills 1

A storm spawning destructive winds and possible tornadoes tore through the north metro Wednesday evening, leaving a trail of "significant" damage, the National Weather Service said.

One man died in north Minneapolis when a tree branch fell on him.

So I was at church in Golden Valley the whole time this was happening - about 7 miles south of my house in Brooklyn Center.
I didn't give it a second thought when someone mentioned that there was a big storm coming.
I didn't really think too much of it when the lights flickered a bit from the electrical activity.
I didn't even think too much of it as I was driving through the remains of the storm on the way home, 2-3 hours later.

When I drove past the grocery store and saw that all the lights were out and the traffic signal wasn't working, that gave me a little pause.
When I got to my turnoff and the traffic lights weren't on, that made me wonder as well.
But then as I was driving down the street to my house and saw downed power lines, uprooted trees, and broken limbs splayed out over the pavement, I began to wonder what happened near my place.
Oh, look, there's a pine tree on the northwest corner from my house that's uprooted. There looks to be a car a few blocks down and over that was blown over a curb by the wind... ?!

So after seeing all of that, I pulled up at my very dark, very un-powered house, pulled my mini-Mag-Lite out of the glovebox, and started looking around.
Nothing. No damage. Not a thing. I mean, sure, there were leaves and some small-to-medium dead branches in the yard from the hail, and there was one live branch that had been downed, but otherwise, nothing. I have two huge pine trees in the front, each of which would've loved to have taken a bite out of my house.
Solid. Still in the ground.
Two trees in the back that could've fallen on my garage or my driveway - didn't move an inch.

By this point, I'm positively giddy. I'm praising God the whole way around my yard, into the house, around the house... I unplugged my computer, grabbed some clothes, and headed to work, where I'm posting this now (they have a shower and working power for my ironing board - on-site customer visit tomorrow).
I'm amazed at the damage that walked all around my house and didn't touch me.
Not surprised, mind you - I've prayed over my property (and did again tonight)... but when you see the verse from Psalm 91 acted out in your life:

Psalm 91:10
No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.

Praise God. I'm still in awe.
I had no urgings in my spirit before, during, or after the storm - I was covered.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Earl Grey 1

I just sipped my first cup of Earl Grey in quite a while.

It brought a smile to my face - this stuff is awesome.

If anyone's looking for a non-carbonated source of caffeine, this is my recommendation.

Oil of Bergamot, thou art truly the most sublime of all the flavorings.
At the moment.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Two things

  1. Batman Begins. (no spoilers)

    As the credits rolled, I turned to the friend with whom I had seen the movie, and said "It's been a while since I had my butt kicked. It's good to be reminded every now and again."

    Michael Keaton had dark, brooding, and intellectual.
    Christian Bale has dark, brooding, intellectual, conflicted, and angry. One scene in particular made me think "Wow, this is just like I've seen him drawn..."

    (Note: One of the comments from a coworker is that the 1989 Batman was more developed and resigned to his dual identity, so he didn't require the conflicted, angry self-discovery... I still find it fun to watch the process, necessary or not. Also, it's been a while since I've watched the 1989 version (or Returns) so my memories aren't entirely fresh.)

    Also, I got suckered by a lot of the plot points. I didn't know who certain characters were, since many of my attempts to enter the Batman world were thwarted by crossovers and the passage of time from original publication. I ended up buying or reading graphic novels to sate my appetite instead (Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Kingdom Come, Arkham). The result of this is that I have general knowledge and appreciation, but any villain beyond Joker is mostly a mystery.

    The effects were awesome, and well-used - everything relating to a certain blue flower is just RAD. It was meaty and tactile, not ethereal and flaky like other CGI tends to be (yes, I'm looking at you, Episodes I and II).

    I really like the darker, Frank Miller-esque depiction of Batman and Gotham. Because of that, this movie was all I could've hoped for.

  2. So I was writing down the powers of 2 up to 2^20. I looked at the numbers' progression, and saw a pattern - the length was increasing linearly, forming a straight line at the edge of the numbers. I realized that, since I was writing the numbers in base 10, I could use the length and slope to approximate log2(10).
    This made me grin.

    I'm not a nerd, I just play one on TV.
    Wait, no, yes I am, and I like it. :D

User Journal

Journal Journal: Text adventures in meatspace 5

I like to read (or construct) text adventure transcripts more than I like to play them.

This is a relatively accurate transcript of last night's events (which occurred in RL, or meatspace ) that I constructed:


You are in a bathroom.

> look
There is a clogged toilet here. Your guest has told you about this toilet before he left.

> unclog toilet
I don't know what to use.

> inventory
You rummage through your pockets and find a 10-foot drain snake.

> use drain snake to unclog toilet
You push and prod with the snake, attempting to navigate the labyrinthine curves of the toilet's water-lock, but are thwarted after several minutes.

> flush toilet
You foolishly attempt to flush the toilet, but it overflows.

> open toilet
You take the cover off the toilet. It is still overflowing.

> raise float
You grab the float and lift it, stopping the flow of water.

> look
There is potentially contaminated water on the floor. You hear water dripping into the basement.

> use drain snake
You try the drain snake again, to no effect.

> go to store
That's too far to walk.

> drive to store
You drive to the store. The journey is uneventful.

> look
You are in a Cub Foods. There are several million dollars worth of foodstuffs and other products on the shelves.

> get food for tomorrow night's dinner
You pick up a pork loin and some biscuits.

> go to cleaning supply aisle
You are in the cleaning supply aisle.

> get plunger
There is no plunger here.

> look
You see mops, brooms, detergent, and cleaning liquids, along with a mysterious box with a "as seen on TV" logo.

> look at box
The box is labeled "CLR Drain Opener." The box describes a pneumatic drain unclogging system.

> take box
You have put the box in your shopping cart.

> purchase items
You go to the checkout and pay a surprising sum of money for your items.

> go home
That's too far to walk.

> drive home
You drive home. The trip is uneventful.

> use drain unclogger
You attempt to sing into the drain unclogger, but soon realize that it does not appreciate your stylings of "Wheels on the Bus."

> use drain unclogger on toilet
You assemble the pneumatic drain tool and press it into place on the toilet. It releases a burst of compressed air, similar in behavior to a standard plunger. Unfortunately, besides spraying a fine mist of toilet water onto the surrounding surfaces, it has no effect.

> use drain unclogger on toilet
You try again, with similar results, or lack thereof.

> use drain unclogger on toilet with gusto
You give it one final try, pressing down harder than before on the applicator, releasing an extra-long burst of air into the toilet. It gives several satisfying burps and gurgles, and drains of water.

> flush toilet
The toilet flushes without incident.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Burning Karma

I weighed the cost, and yes, it was worth it.

+1 bonus and everything.

update (2005.04.27.0310 GMT): Flamebait?! Offtopic I can understand, but this...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Value-Added Journalling 12

In my last journal entry, I went to some trouble to add interesting links to appropriate phrases and words. I was turning my text into hypertext, as it were. Moving my writing from statically-referential to fully-interactive.
It was entertaining for me, to an extent - but how did you all like it? Were you not entertained?

I'm trying to decide if the extra effort was worth it. :)

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The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin