Monday, November 30, 2009

Ah, Womens

As the old saying goes: you can't live with them, you can't.

Today was my last day of my Thanksgiving vacation. I used 4 vacation days, and I got 10 days off in a row. Yeah, I know. But The Mrs. likes when I'm home so that I can "see what her life is like."

From what I can tell, her life consists of making hand-crafted Christmas gifts, yelling at The Childrens, and going from store to store spending money without a care in the world as to where it came from, occasionally broken up by cooking microwave taquitos for dinner or making a ham and swiss sandwich. Yes, it's time for me to return to work where I am sheltered from this and can concentrate on keeping that free-flow of money running.

Today being Monday, The Childrens were in their one-day-a-week school for homeschoolers, so we had to spend the entire time shopping. The Mrs. wrote out a list of six stores to go to, plus the library and out to lunch. Oddly, none of the stores involved buying groceries because we apparently plan to have nothing but turkey and turkey byproducts for the next week and a half.

Anyways, as I was performing my required chauffeur duties (I made the mistake of having The Mrs. drive somewhere once during my vacation, and she threw quite a hissy fit about not being mentally prepared to drive her own minivan in the middle of the day - she really pours on the fake dependency when I'm around), she was consulting her Google calendar on her Motorola Droid.
The Mrs.: "Oh shoot."

Me, CherkyB: "What?"

The Mrs.: "I was going to call Coldstone to find out what time they opened on Wednesday."

Me, CherkyB: "So call them."

The Mrs.: "I didn't write down their number. When we stop, I think I have a phonebook in the back."

Me, CherkyB: "Why do you need a phonebook?"

The Mrs.: "I don't have their number."

Me, CherkyB: "But you have the internet on your phone. You have a web browser. You have a Google Maps app that you can just type in 'Coldstone', and it will show you the nearest location. You can click on it on the map, and it'll give you the phone number. It'll probably even give you the hours."

The Mrs.: "No. The hours aren't on the internet. I checked when we were at home."
So much for America's most extensive 3G coverage.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Over the years, I've had a lot of trouble with the old HO train set. In particular, it has been very difficult to get the track all laid out nice and straight and even, and it seems like there is always some joint that is opening up or has a bump that throws the trains off. This problem is particularly acute when trying to set the train up under the Christmas tree.

Last year, I made a wonderful base for it that I thought would cure the problems. It helped, but not enough. It was still tough to get a train around the track more than a few times without a derailment. So this year, I bit the bullet and bought Atlas Super-Flex track. It comes in three foot sections rather than the 9" sections I had been using - so 1/4 as many joints are needed. I did the whole layout (with more track than last year) with just 10 pieces of it. And because it is bendy, you can make more gentle curves than you can with the sectional track. It took me a bit of time to get the hand of how to trim it and how to attach the couplers (which I had to google), but once I got it down, it went quite quickly. So far the only derailments we're getting are when a very light car goes over a switch. I need to add some weight to some of the cars.

Haven't tried any very long trains, yet. It got dark as I was finishing laying the track, and I didn't get to hooking up all the electrical accessories (whistles, lights, switches) so I haven't gotten all the cars out yet as they'd just get in the way.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Live Blogging

The thing with a live blogging is that you have to update the same post again and again with new information as it happens "live." I don't actually plan to update every couple minutes. Sorry. You'll have to enjoy Thanksgiving with your own fambilies.

First, I'd like to open up with a reflection upon what I am personally thankful for this year. Yes, that's right, The CherkyB is capable of being serious on special occasions. As you all know, the last year has been a tough one around here with a lot of seemingly unnecessary and gratuitous stress that had driven me to a state of quiet desperation and, quiet honestly, way too many liquor store owners and bar wait staff knew me by name. Which, on the surface, would seem like a good thing but turns out not to be.

However, all that has changed. So this year, for Thanksgiving, I would like to say that I am thankful that the daemon who has haunted me for so long, driving me to the brink of destruction, is gone, and I'm back to my cheery old self that you may remember from my childhood.

Unfortunately, she just ran out to Safeway to pick up a couple onions for the stuffing, so she'll be back in about 20 minutes.


Morning in the Cherky household means a hearty breakfast prepared by The Mrs. This morning, it was a can of mandarin oranges for MaxieC and two cheese danishes from Sam's Club for Me, CherkyB. We might be eating lightly due to the feast later.

MaxieC then did his post-breakfast chores. Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean that the house is going to clean itself, after all.

HannahC cheerfully greeted everyone and wished them "Happy Thanksgiving!" in her own special way.

Later, after non-stop bickering between The Childrens, I forbade them from speaking to one another. MaxieC then said, "OK. Sooo....Hannah, what are you up to today?"

Here is MaxieC staring at the countdown timer on the bar microwave waiting for his time in Naughty Corner to expire.

I need to clean the bar. Luckily, we never, ever have company.

The Mrs. got right down to her daily routine, which involves spending about 10% of her time cooking, cleaning, and hollering at everyone and the remaining 90% of her time talking to her mother on the phone. If she can squeeze it in.


For the first time ever, we got all the outside Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving. We didn't turn them on like many of our neighbors did, though. I replaced a bunch of the older lights with LEDs - I do a little every year. In this case, it was 9 boxes of C9-sized LEDs for the front fence and 4 boxes of "normal" mini-light LEDs for one of the pine trees.

As The Mrs. was removing the first set of mini-lights from the box and taking off all the twist ties that the poor Chinese child laborers had put on, she announced,"

The Mrs.: "Oh. This box already has two sets strung together."

Me, CherkyB: "No. It's one set. It's just plugged in ummm..."

I couldn't for the life of me remember the phrase I was looking for. So I used this:

Me, CherkyB: "...ass-to-mouth."
Yeah, that wasn't it. Turns out either "head-to-tail" or "end-to-end" would have been acceptable phrases. But we did have quite a conversation trying to decide which end of the lights was the ass end and which was the mouth end, and how "head-to-tail" syntactically translates to about the same thing, but has a completely different meaning.


I've used this joke before on the blarg, so I'm gonna let it slide without comment.

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to make stuffed mushrooms. There used to be a bar in Barfalo named that where they had lots of "battle of the bands" events, but it's apparently long gone. MaxieC snagged on of the mushrooms prior to stuffage.

HannahC made the traditional alive and pickle tray. I think this tradition started because they had a great olive bar at Cosentino's.


It's good to know that a couple hours into this, not a single person has read this so far. You may be the first. That's good, because it means you may all have lives.


We just walked the dog. I would have taken pictures, but I forgot.

It's my job to baste the turkey, cuz I'm the master baster in the fambily.

This despite me never having even taken a single womyns studies course.


Ellie and The Locksmith just got Motorola Droids. I guess The Mrs. and Me, CherkyB aren't so special anymore. I still can't believe there's no Blogger app for android and that the WYSIWYG "compose" window doesn't work in the android browser, either. I mean, WTF?, they're booth Google. You can only use the "Edit HTML" function, which is fahbulous if you like to blog in HTML from a goddamned phone keyboard.


The Mrs. wants me to say that she didn't forget the onions, and that the story about her going to Safeway was merely a plot device and not literal truth, as only an idiot would forget the onions.

The rest of the story she does not dispute.


Oh. Only The Locksmith has a Droid. Ellie has the lowly Droid Eris. I say at most a week before she realizes what a huge mistake that was.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Worlde of Paine

Today is Lego Robotics day. HannahC is on a team that will likely not win. My job is to watch Max. Apparently, I do it very poorly, as The Mrs. is constantly directing me to do it differently.

There needs to be a blogger app for Android. I don't get why there isn't, given they're both Google products. This is a pain.

[Update: Their robot came in 19th out of 48, but overall scores were not yet published. The team won the coveted "Most Professional Courtesy" Award. Which is bizarre. Both the award and that any team containing HannahC could win it.]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jou got to choot jour gunz maign

Yes, I have used an old quote from the cousin of a feller who was arrested about two years back for killing someone with a bullet that fell from the sky after he and a bunch of his buddies decided to celebrate New Years by firing off about 40 rounds into the air. Tragic event, really. And an opportunity to trot out that old wives' tale about how a bullet shot into the sky lands at the same velocity that it left the gun. No, it doesn't. I leave the Newtonian physics to the reader, but I will note that, unlike when you were a freshman, this problem does not contain the phrase "in a vacuum" anywhere.

But ever since they splashed that soundbite all over the radio for a week, everyone 'round these parts has managed to latch on to it. As in:
Me, CherkyB: "Hey. I'm going to the gun range tomorrow. You wanna go?"

Friend: "Oh yeah? Jou got to choot jour guns, maign?"

Me, CherkyB: "I got to choot my guns."

Friend: "Yeah, jou got to choot jour guns."
Years later, the details of the case are fuzzy, but the soundbite lives on.

OK, mostly because of me.

I did finally manage to get to the gun range on Friday. This is the first time I have chot any of my guns for over two years. It's sad. And, even sadder, I still didn't get to choot my shotgun cuz we only had two hours. I got to choot all the pistolas, though.

Plus, I got to choot four of someone else's guns. That's always fun. I'd like to just say, for the record, that I'm going to add the S&W scandium/titanium .44 magnum to the list of guns I don't really enjoy chooting all that much. Or standing one lane over from when someone else is chooting it, given its ability to throw hot gasses and particles six feet sideways, where they burn the arm of the person in the lane next to you.

I did, though, manage to set up to the left of my buddy, so I got to land hot shell casings on him from my USP .40C as payback. That'll teach him

Now, funny story here. The gun range I belong to is waaay out in ranch country, and on a Friday afternoon it is largely deserted. Plus, not much is labeled. We took up residence on the 25 yard pistol range, and I set up a 17"x22" target area. (That's a 2x2 grid of 8.5"x11" paper targets from Midway USA, for those of you trying to figure out the dimensions.)

And then I proceeded to miss the targets completely with about half the shots. "Well, I haven't shot in over two years, so I'm a bit rusty." I improved a bit during the session, but not to how well I used to be able to shoot at 25 yds. But, you know, that was always indoors, and this was outdoors (though calm and sunny), and I used to shoot a lot more often than I do now. Like once a month as opposed to the once every couple years now.

It wasn't until I was relaying the story to a different co-worker, who has been a member of that gun range a lot longer than I (and has been there more than three times), that I discovered this wasn't the 25 yd range. He swore up and down that it was a 50 yd range. So we fired up Google maps and measured on the satellite view, and from that it appears to actually be a 50 meter range when measured vs. the scale on the map. It is also 1/4 the length of the 200 yard range, which is also advertised as being 200 meters, depending on which sign and/or web page you consult. All I can say is that things look smaller when you're out on the plains than they do indoors.

Oh, and I can never set foot in California again, as I fired off quite a number of rounds in his new SIG AR-15 and enjoyed it quite a bit. I declined to let him shoot the tracer-rounds, though, as the berms were completely covered with dried grass and tumbleweeds.

Yeah, that's right. I'm the one with the good judgment.