Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year's end meme

A look back at 2008 via the first words I posted each month:

January: The first day of the new year... woke up hung over and irritable.

February: I found myself in work this morning before the sun had even come up. That's just wrong.

March: HESS truck! It lights up, and that's about it.

April: Well, our new found Irish friend completed the restoration of our stone wall today.

May: RIP Albert Hofmann.

June: In the normal course of a day, I send roughly 20 some emails to various people asking them to complete, correct or re-do work. That's my job.

July: In order to help fill the state coffers, Massachusetts just put into effect an additional $1 per pack cigarette tax.

August: Sorry, guys. I have no information about Wall E stuffed animals. If there are any, I'd like one.

September: Got my copy of The Bunny Boy today.

October: Needless to say, I can not wait!

November: Well, the trick or treating was light, but over all it was a fun day.

December: You may now refer to me as Rev. TK8103.

Thanks to Mycalls for the idea. Here's hoping 2009 is a decent year, filled with happiness, prosperity, and more inane drivel from yours truly.

And my apologies to KG for dumping champagne all over her.

Monday, December 29, 2008

FOX sucks ass

Nuff said.

In other suckage, today was a shit-tastic day. Came back to work after a nice 5 day weekend to find a mountain of work waiting for me. Closing is a week away, and I haven't even looked at the error report. Got handed a retro fee change. Got an email from the boss saying my eval will be tomorrow, and we need to discuss my apparent abuse of sick time and something about "inappropriate communications."

As I settled into to start doing some work, the power went out in my cube. Just my cube. Seems some jumper wire burned out. Then Horizons shit the bed.

Missed lunch with the gang as they tried to resolve the Horizon issue. Got a phone call that the roofers tripped a circuit breaker in the house, had to call my parents and ask them to go reset it. Finally, i was reminded that I'm covering referrals for the MCH team on Wed and Fri.

Fuck me. On the bright side, tomorrow is a new day. Woohoo.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Another perspective

Here are a couple of before and after shots of the back yard, just to give you an idea of how much snow we got:

I shoveled a total of 4 times, and right now the driveway, walkway and cars are covered in ice. The plow has left yet another bank of snow behind the cars. I've had enough.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let it snow

Here's our driveway at 2:15PM yesterday:
9:00AM this morning

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Piano has been drinking

The piano has been drinking
my necktie is asleep
and the combo went back to New York
the jukebox has to take a leak
and the carpet needs a haircut
and the spotlight looks like a prison break
cause the telephone's out of cigarettes
and the balcony's on the make
and the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking...

and the menus are all freezing
and the lightman's blind in one eye
and he can't see out of the other
and the piano-tuner's got a hearing aid
and he showed up with his mother
and the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking

cause the bouncer is a Sumo wrestler
cream puff casper milk toast
and the owner is a mental midget
with the I.Q. of a fencepost
cause the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking...

and you can't find your waitress
with a Geiger counter
And she hates you and your friends
and you just can't get served
without her
and the box-office is drooling
and the bar stools are on fire
and the newspapers were fooling
and the ash-trays have retired
the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking
not me, not me, not me, not me, not me

Tom Waits

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Transcendence through Failure

You may now refer to me as Rev. TK8103.
Today I became an ordained minister. According to the Universal Life Church Monastery:

Let it be known on this date that in accordance with the laws of the Universal Life Church Monastery, as ordaining officer, I, Brother Martin, do ordain you into our ministry. From this day forward, you are entitled to all of the rights of an ordained minister. You have the authority to perform marriages, baptisms, and all other ceremonies of the church. You are an independent minister of this church. This is a position that carries with it a burden of responsibility; please respect others and comply with the laws of the land.

I'm not sure yet how far I'll be taking this, but I am giving some thought to actually ministering. I've got a few ideas for a religion that actually makes sense and has some potential to enlighten. I need to flesh it out.

I'll be sure to keep you posted.

I will, however, leave you with this thought: Perhaps a perfect savior is not the best savior. It's through our transgressions that we really learn, and a divinity that suffers because of and has the potential to transcend his or her failures is a much more access able divinity.

Some grow wise, some other wise.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Brockton Holiday Parade

Here's a few shots from this weekend's troop. It was my first parade, so that was fun. Even better, I got to troop with Darth Chip, who I'm partly responsible for. I put the bug in his ear, at any rate.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gay Marriage

I'm getting really tired of the whole "sanctity of marriage" argument. Seriously.

Marriage is, and should be, recognized as the sacred union of two people. If two individuals fall in love and vow to remain true to one another, they should be afford the legal recognition of that vow.

50% of male/female marriages end in divorce. Where's the sanctity in that?

I'm married. There were no legal, moral or social obstacles to over come for KG and I to wed. We flew to Vegas. We stood in line at City Hall, filled out a form, paid $50, and were wed at the Elvis Chapel the next day. End of story.

Anyone who takes the right away from two people in love to marry cheapens the meaning of my marriage. It only means something if it's a right afforded to every one.

So, how about we all get together and give me back my sanctity, eh?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gooble gobble

So, it's official. KG was offered, and accepted, a position working for my company. In 2 weeks she will become the accounting coordinator at our Wellesley affiliate.

She's pretty happy. She's finally escaped Bif-dis, she'll be working 30 hours a week, and she's getting the same hourly rate. Of course, she's in for a tougher commute, but who doesn't have one these days.

I'm excited. Seinfeld jokes aside ("Worlds are colliding, Jerry!"), it'll be nice to have her working for the company. I enjoy my job there, and I'm sure she will as well.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

I got your letter today
And I miss you all so much, here
I can't wait to see you all
And I'm counting the days, dear
I still believe that there's gold
At the end of the world
And I'll come home
To Illinois
On the day after tomorrow

It is so hard
And it's cold here
And I'm tired of taking orders
And I miss old Rockford town
Up by the Wisconsin border
But I miss you won't believe
Shoveling snow and raking leaves
And my plane will touch tomorrow
On the day after tomorrow

I close my eyes
Every night
And I dream that I can hold you
They fill us full of lies
Everyone buys
About what it means to be a soldier
I still don't know how I'm supposed to feel
About all the blood that's been spilled
Look out on the street
Get me back home
On the day after tomorrow

You can't deny
The other side
Don't want to die
Any more than we do
What I'm trying to say,
Is don't they pray
To the same God that we do?
Tell me, how does God choose?
Whose prayers does he refuse?
Who turns the wheel?
And who throws the dice
On the day after tomorrow?

I'm not fighting
For justice
I am not fighting
For freedom
I am fighting
For my life
And another day
In the world here
I just do what I've been told
You're just the gravel on the road
And the one's that are lucky
One's come home
On the day after tomorrow

And the summer
It too will fade
And with it comes the winter's frost, dear
And I know we too are made
Of all the things that we have lost here
I'll be twenty-one today
I've been saving all my pay
And my plane will touch down
On the day after tomorrow
And my plane it will touch down
On the day after tomorrow

-Tom Waits "The Day After Tomorrow"

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Shame on the major media outlets for not picking up on this story. From io9:

For the past few days, university students in the Southern Chinese resort town of Hainan have been quarantined on the grounds of the Hainan University campus with little food or water. Apparently there's been an outbreak of cholera, and the local officials dealt with it Resident Evil style: Lock everybody in, give them no information, and see if they survive. But one woman student has been blogging about the ongoing ordeal, posting pictures and giving status updates several times a day.

Here's a link to the translated blog: Life in the time of cholera.

For those that may scoff at my less than mild obsession with a zombie apocalypse, remember this. In the event of a major outbreak of any sort, you and I and everyone we love are fucked.


Happy Guy Fawkes Day

"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A fagot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah hoorah!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Chip of the old block

Every day my little boy starts to look more and more like me:

In election news, it looks like level heads are prevailing in MA as far as Question 1 goes. As of right now, it looks like Question 2 will pass. Woohoo!
It's still too early to call the grand pooh bear race, but the map is looking very blue right now.
Despite my earlier anti-voting stance, I stopped on the way home and did my thing.
Hope springs eternal.

Fuck the Vote

“The next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election”

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Well, the trick or treating was light, but over all it was a fun day.
Here's me at work with my biggest fan:
The whole family:
And me posing with my effigy:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trick or Treat!


In order to teach TKJr some responsibility and allow him to earn a small allowance, KG came up with a list of chores for him to do after school. Before he can have a snack or watch TV, he has to do the following:

1. Shake sand out of his shoes and put them away.
2. Take lunch box out of backpack, put dirty sandwich box in sink, put lunch box and backpack in green bin.
3. Pick up toys from living room floor and put away in brown boxes.
4. Wash hands with soap and water.

She made up a poster with the list and hung it in the kitchen. TKJr liked it, and so far has been good about doing them. Shortly after KG explained the list to him and hung it up, I found him at the table, busily working with a marker and a piece of paper. At the top of the paper he had written "Mom and Dad", and down the side were the numbers 1-9. I asked him what he was doing, and he told me he was making a chore list for us. He then dictated the following list to me. I wrote it down verbatim, and it is now hanging in the kitchen along with his chore list. I think #8 is my favorite.

1. Eat snacks that are healthy, don't eat spicy ones.
2. Tickle TKJr when he's silly.
3. Take good care of the cat.
4. Never, ever spank Mommy.
5. Put your jammies on quick before midnight.
6. Be an early bird, just like TKJr.
7. Don't blow bubbles with bugs flying in them.
8. If there's a fire in your room, call the fire fighters but please don't run out of town.
9. Always wash dishes when you see little dirt spots on them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My day off

I finished my eyeball mask:

And the stove has been installed. The building inspector has to sign off on it before we can use it, but it's in:

Scary toys and proof of Claus

Way back in 1980 I just had to have the most awesome, 18" action figure ever made: Alien

What kid wouldn't want such an incredible, nightmare inducing hunk of plastic? I honestly don't know what the folks at Kenner were thinking when they came up with this. A tie in for a R rated horror movie. At any rate, being a monster and sci-fi buff, I wanted it.

My mother, of course, said no way. Being 7, I decided to ask Santa for it, since my mother wouldn't even entertain the idea. I wasn't holding out much hope, since she said she was telling Santa not to get it.

Christmas morning rolled around, and Santa left the usual pile of booty. One of the last presents I opened was a big box, and as the paper peeled away I saw that monster's eyes peering out at me. I exclaimed in joy "Santa got me the Alien!!!"

My mother acted all pissed. "Damn it, I told Santa not to get that for you!"

I remember going back to school, convinced Santa must be real if he went against my parents' wishes and got me the toy I wanted most.

I still have it to this day:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Children shouldn't play with guns. Period.

This past weekend, an 8 year old boy in Westfield, MA blew a hole through his own head while firing a fully automatic Uzi. This was not one of those all too common cases of an irresponsible parent leaving a loaded gun within reach of an unattended child. No, little Christopher was at a "Machine gun shoot and firearms expo." According to the flyer for this event, "It’s all legal & fun. You will be accompanied to the firing line with a Certified Instructor to guide you. But You Are In Control – "FULL AUTO ROCK & ROLL."

Holy jumping Jesus, fuck me sideways.

Now I'm no bleeding heart liberal, and I'm not anti-gun. I believe Americans do have a right to bear arms. I believe in responsible, legal ownership of firearms. If said owner has children, I believe in educating those children concerning gun safety. I even support taking said children to a firing range where they can learn first hand how to operate a fire arm.

But who, in their right mind, would conceive of a "machine gun shoot" for children? Seriously, what the fuck? It boggles my mind that such an event would be allowed to occur in the first place. There is no good reason, NO GOOD REASON why a child should be around or handling a fully automatic assault weapon. EVER.

Guns are not bad. They provide protection. They can be used to hunt. Target practice is a fine hobby. But an assault rifle is for just that: assault. It's only purpose is to kill and maim human beings. Quickly. The words assault and children should not go together. EVER.

Of course a young boy would jump at the chance to handle such a weapon. Boys are trained from the get go that they're cool. That does not mean it should be encouraged. Sweet bleeding Mary, what are people thinking? I seriously can not wrap my head around it.

I really shouldn't be surprised that the devolution of Western society has reached this point. Just the other night I was expressing concern over some of the new toys coming from the good folks at NERF. I'm not trying to be an alarmist here, and I don't think I'm being over sensitive when I say there is something inherently wrong with marketing a foam projectile assault weapon to children. For Christ sake, watch this video for the N-Strike and tell me there isn't something wrong there.

Of course it's wicked fucking cool, and if it had been around when I was a lad, I would have wanted one. But I really think we're crossing a line here, and we need to stop. As NERF guns get more and more extreme, shoot longer distances, shoot faster, it's really only a short progression to making one that will actually maim. Perhaps that's a leap, but the other issue here is training young children to be soldiers.

That ain't right, yo.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Eye'm almost done

The veins are hardening as I type. Tomorrow I'll paint them up and glue them on.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Halloween goodness

Here are a few more shots of our holiday preparations.

My little front yard cemetery:
Our skel-o-flamingos:
My eyeball with the pupil in place:
I'm getting the iris painted on by a local airbrush artist tomorrow. Almost done!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fan boy weigh-in

I've been remiss.

Halloween, a wood stove, children et all have distracted me from taking a moment or two to voice up about both Indy 4 and The Clone Wars.

I admit, I went to see TCW premiere more than a little jaded from all the reviews. My mind was not as open as it could have been. That said, I didn't hate it. I found it enjoyable, only slightly annoying at parts, but over all satisfactory and entertaining. The battle sequences were impressive. So I went into watching the series looking for nothing more than a weekly dose of Star Wars. No matter how far removed from ANH.

Well, let me say this: Holy shit. I've been enjoying the hell out of the series. All the episodes have surpassed any expectations or hopes I might have had. The stories are interesting, the animation looks good, and there are enough allusions to all the best qualities of the original trilogy to keep me very happy. Even the stiffness of the human characters is OK by me. I believe it is intentional, as it evokes memories of Thunderbirds. Nothing wrong with a touch of Supermarionation.

They've been exploring aspects of the story between episodes 2 and 3 that interest me. The development of the clones and their relationship with the Jedi. The galactic scope of the war. The evolution of the Imperial aesthetic and architecture. New droids. Those commando droids are pretty sweet, and make sense.

Tonight's episode ended on a really cool and vaguely personal note. The rookie clones were inducted into the most elite of trooper squadrons: the 501st. TK8103, for one, says thank you for the shout out. Super fuckin cool.

So, Indy IV I watched the other night. I didn't hate it. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. It did evoke for me nostalgia for the franchise. Indy was still one cool cat. I liked the limited use of CGI, and the overblown story line was fun. Listen, seriously... there's nothing more far fetched about inter dimensional beings than there is about a mystical Hebrew relic that makes people's faces melt. It was executed well, if not a little heavy handed.

I for one want to thank Uncle George and Uncle Steve for allowing us to continue to play in their sandbox. Sure, they might be trying to steer that box toward a younger generation that they're slightly out of touch with. That's they're duty. Regardless, it's still fun. I'll rate Crystal Skull #3, after Raiders and Last Crusade.

As for The Clone Wars... it's the bomb. Keep up the good work, and you can really go somewhere good with it. I look forward to the journey.

Now, if we could all just band together and do something about JOE.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Eyeball Progress

I'm on the home stretch with the construction of my Residents costume. Here you can see the hard hat glued inside the globe:
Perfect fit!
Now to drill holes for bolts to hold the hat, paint it up, add a screen for the iris and some veins.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Touch a Truck

I spent the better part of my Sunday freezing my ass off dressed in white armor. There was a "Touch a Truck" fund raiser in Weymouth, and I was the lone trooper. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

TK8103, meet T&K
"I don't want stormtrooper Daddy!"
The two faces of Homeland Security
Posing with the ladies
Yeah, I'm cool

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween is getting closer...

Only a couple of weeks until Halloween. Here's a peak at our front yard decorations this year:

And a sneak peak at my costume in progress:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I had a fever dream

Just got in from The Bunny Boy show. All I can say is.... wow.

I was standing maybe 10 ft from the band the whole show. An incredible show. I'll post more about it later. For now, I'm still trying to process it all.