May. 18th, 2009 @ 08:55 pm
I just finished reading "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Vernor Vinge. It was beautiful. I can't wait to read more by Vinge.
Cate is reading "World War Z" right now.
I am no longer a platoon leader. Now I am in charge of Operations for my detachment. I have no idea how to actually do this, so it will be a hell of a learning experience. Good timing, too, since we have a few projects lined up.
I may end up transferring to another unit, but I'm not sure. I got offered a billet at a Cargo Handling Battalion, and I have an in at a Special Warfare support unit. Still, I'd rather go to a boat unit or some sort of security outfit. I'd much rather be a trigger puller than a support puke.
Work is crazy. We are being merged into another group of engineers, and none of us have any idea what we are supposed to be doing. I hate it. I feel like I am not doing enough, that I'm not carrying my load, and am incredibly uneasy about it. We see tickets come in for our new group, but we don't know any of the procedures, what is actually in our jurisdiction, and what the rules are.
Sometimes I think a comet strike or zombie apocalypse might be welcome.
I wrote this back in 2000, and just found a copy digging through old files.
It was just one more time that I'd come damn close to killing myself, though it's by far the silliest of my many inadvertent brushes with oblivion.
It all started when I decided I was hungry. Far from being an unusual event, this happens to me fifteen or twenty times a day, minimum. I remembered seeing a box of instant brownie mix sitting on a shelf, and suddenly all I could think of was how good a fresh, hot pan of brownies would be. Little did I realize that Betty Crocker had been conspiring with the Grim Reaper to do me in.
I glanced at the directions, and set the oven to 400 degrees. It didn’t explode, no gouts of flame lunged at my head, and I felt safe. At least as safe as Bambi's mother felt before a bullet tore into her skull, freeing her brains to follow their own path in the world.
I tore into the box, and through into the bag of brown powder. I stuck a finger in and tasted it. It was brownie mix all right, not heroin or rat poison. That wouldn’t hurt me, and neither did the egg that followed it into the bowl. I cracked it gently, and poured out the failed potential of a chicken onto the mounds of brown grit.
Next I needed to add some oil. This didn’t hurt a bit. I didn’t spill any to slip in and crack my already scarred noggin open. Neither did I drop any on the stove to explode in a sticky, fiery mess.
The final ingredient was water. Now, water kills lots of people, but I only needed a cup and a half, hardly enough to drown in. The faucet didn’t poke my eye out, nor did I break the measuring cup and slash my jugular vein on the jagged glass.
I did some preliminary stirring with a large metal spoon. I once saw a man’s head busted open with a spoon, but only because it was wielded by another, an angry cook who's food had been insulted. I was alone, no ones cooking was spurned, and I was safe. After a couple of stirs I licked the spoon semi-clean and tossed it in the sink. It was nice and dull, not slicing my tongue open like a razor would a slug. The batter was good and I was a happy cook.
Now I needed to assemble my hand mixer. Both mixing blades snapped into the body of the mixer. One end of the electrical cord went into the mixer, the other end into the wall. I nudged the switch and the blades whirred into life. I kept my fingers well clear, as I've always been a bit paranoid about what those things could do to a finger.
The batter quickly became smooth and delicious looking. Any that spattered outside of the bowl I quickly swabbed up with a finger and savored on my tongue. It was almost better than the cooked brownies. Likewise, after I unhooked the mixing blades, I licked them clean and dropped them off to the side. I was in the home stretch. I got another finger-full of batter from the edge of the bowl. Mmmm, delicious.
Then I noticed that the end of the mixer cord had fallen into the batter. 'Well,' I thought, 'better clean that off too.' I picked it out of the bowl, and put it into my mouth to slurp off the sweet brown goo and...
Every muscle in my body was fighting every other muscle. I danced around a moment before my legs folded up under me and I fell to the floor, flat on my ass. I sat on the linoleum for several minutes, giggling, my gaze darting back and forth from the batter-covered end of the cord to the end that was still plugged into the wall. Falling was what saved me, falling far enough to get the electrical cord out of my mouth. If I had been propped up better, or the cord had been longer, I would have just stayed there until I started to sizzle or until the fuses blew.
After a while I gingerly got back up, and finished putting the brownies in the oven. My tongue still seemed to work ok, and they were delicious.
...after a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians, a crazy terrorist cult that worships Bruce Campbell, all of the characters ever played by William Shatner are suddenly sucked into our world. Their mission: hunt down and destroy the real William Shatner.
Published by my good friends at Eraserhead Press.Get it at Amazon.com
There's no point in making any more music videos, you won't be able to top this one.Mikhail Gorbachov saving big-breasted Russian babes from politburo zombies.
Also wins "best use of a twinkie" award.
I wrecked my truck a few weeks ago. I was rushing home to do some urgent Navy business, and never made it there. No injuries, but a trailer-hitch was shoved through my oil cooler and radiator. I wrote off the Amigo, and bought a slightly used Nissan Frontier.
A salesman at the Infiniti dealer ran my credit, and his eyes bugged out. "How did you manage to get a score like that?" he asked. I think I just said "I live within my means." It helps having a wife that monitors our accounts like a hawk, ever since we caught some pinche douchebag trying to cash our old checks.
I took the Navy advancement test for Chief (E-7) last month. I've only been an E-6 for two years, but my evals were good enough that I got to test early. I finally saw them this month, and they were the best I've ever had. Apparently I done good as a vehicle commander. My head is growing even as I type this.
I'm back to drilling one weekend a month. I actually do a lot of work in between drills now, since I am a platoon leader. With any luck I'll be transferring to another unit soon. I'm trying for an Expeditionary Security unit, and if that fails I have found a hookup in a Special Warfare support unit. The latter one I would have to interview for, but that should be easy enough. Both would involve drilling in another state every month. I'd prefer the security/boat unit, since it would allow me to keep developing as a leader, and be more of a grunt than a support guy. Apparently I have an aptitude for both.
I'm working on getting back into shape, but I have some abdominal mystery pain that is tripping me up. The latest avenue of inquiry is gallstones. I get scanned for them next week. It was bad for about a month, but is manageable now. I was briefly afraid that I had liver cancer, but apparently not. It's possible that I have an internal twin named Kuato.
I have been playing The Supersuckers non-stop, and driving my poor wife up the wall. I think she might beat me up if I play "Pretty F'd Up" one more time. The video for "Born with a Tail" is the best rock video ever made.
My job will shortly change in a major way. Engineers are being put into groups that handle one particular thing. For example, my group will handle windows OS only, and another group will work on apps like Exchange and SQL. Nobody is happy about it, since it would seem to be a dead end as far as skill development. I'll see how it works out, how long this lasts, and how much opportunity for inter-group mobility there is. I'll do a lot more work remotely, which will be nice. I plane to stay home and work over the VPN more.
Once I work out the health/fitness issues, I would really like to get back into martial arts. I will probably not go back to Krav Maga, as much as I like it. I don't know much about grappling, so I think I will study BJJ to close the hole in my skill-set.
I'm starting a new game of Fallout 3. I had thought about playing it through as a bad guy this time, but I don't think I can do it. Even thought they are only simulated people, I just can't bring myself to fuck anyone over. I am chaotic good to the bone.
Lunch is over. Back to work.
|» Paging William Gibson!|
This is the coolest thing I've seen all year.|
A prosthetic finger that plugs into a USB port.
This almost makes me want to lose a finger.
UPDATE: This gets better and better.
One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prosthetic
I am planning a bank heist.|
Don't tell anybody.
|» Wood Into Sugar at Room Temperature|
This a cool (via Instapundit):|
Ethanol Innovation Turns Wood Into Sugar at Room Temperature
Especially paired with:
New Energy-Efficient Process Turns Sugar into Gasoline
Corn ethanol is a scam, but this is promising. Between this sort of thing and GM bacteria for hydrogen production, we may have a winner.
|» I was wondering|
How many raccoons would it take to kill a full-grown panda? I would really like to find out.|
I just spent 3 days in Monterey, California. Otters are much larger than I expected. Seals are much stinkier.
While I was gone, my primary interweb timewaster, azpunk.com, went away. There's an interim replacement, www.azpwithdrawal.com, but I just can't get into it for some reason. It lacks zaz.
I start work again this coming Monday. Poop.
Ennui and agitation are pretty constant lately. Maybe getting back into a routine will help.
Playing Pandemic II helped briefly, but then Madagascar fucked it all up.
I did fuck-all for halloween. Oops, I guess that is actually tomorrow, but the party I normally look forward to was last week. Meh, can't be bothered this year.
My cat Kimchee is being a jerk and beating up Cate right now.
Now she's smacking at me. Little fucker uses claws, too.
I saw my niece for the first time last week, which was awesome. I had planned on travelling back east when I got back, but both my sisters were coming out here anyway. Serendipity.
My computer needs major upgrades to play Fallout 3. I probably shouldn't take on any new addictions right now, anyway. Now that I think of it, though, immersing myself in video games is usually great therapy when I am out of whack. Time to fire up Diablo on the playstation.
I need some new music. I have played everything to death. I keep forgetting to download more Sigur Ros and CocoRosie.
Cate is next to me playing Pandemic 2. She has exterminated humanity about eleventy times so far.
Trader Joe's stopped carrying Woodchuck, but they have a new cider named Newton's Folly that is pretty darn good. Cheaper, too.
I am going to start x-posting LJ stuff to myspace. I should look for a client that lets me do both at once, since I am lazy.
I need someone to play Scrabble with.