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Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere   
07:13am 01/04/2007
mood: chipper
I'm reading this fantasy book by Neil Gaiman. I think it's pretty damn fine, but I've always been a fan of his work since Good Omen's. Of course, cheapskate that I am, I didn't pay for the book and instead used up a paperbackswap credit. And saved a tree, maybe.

Anyhow, he has a passage at one point that references a crap ton of weapons I've never heard of. And I used to be a real D&D geek, so they've got to be fairly obscure. He had the following:

  • Arbalest - This is apparently a crossbow with a steel crossbar. The .50 cal of it's day. The pope banned it's use on Christians.

  • Mangonel - Apparently I've seen these in films and didn't know. They're a one-armed ballista, usually equipped with a sling. Apparently you can buy a kit to build one: http://www.mangonel.com/

  • Cudgel I knew this was a club, but had to verify via wikipedia.com

  • Glaive (Pretty sure this is a fencing weapon). Whoops, I was wrong. This was a pole-arm. Good for killing the other fella without him getting close enough to kill you.

  • Knobkerries - One of those funny African sticks with a huge knob at the end, hence the name. Looks pretty useful to brain somebody.

and then a page later he refers to "fetlock and fettle." I think this means pretty good from it's placement, but I'll look it up. OK, like usual, I'm really confused. A fetlock is basically a horses ankle joint. I can't find much else about it. Fettle does mean "state" or "condition." In fact Fettle was word of the day in 2002: http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/archive/2002/08/20.html I did find two other people who use the term "fetlock and fettle" to mean that the person is in good shape. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-18172-p-3.html and http://obscureno.tuginternet.com/kvest/index.html It's worth mentioning that they are both fantasy or role-playing references.

Anyhow, now that I'm caught up on what in the hell Neil's saying I think I'll head out to the grocery store and do some shopping. Then I have some gardening to do. I also might get some exercise in today and me and Chilli have something set up for later today as well. New job starts tomorrow. They have me coming in really late....at 9:30. I'll be bored all morning long. I think I might go for a jog then as well.

damn I need coffee!
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job status   
10:54am 24/03/2007
  it looks like the job search has concluded. I didn't get the amount of vacation that I wanted, but the salary is right for the amount of work.  
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what a brilliant website   
08:01pm 16/03/2007
  it's good for a laugh: http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl  
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freecycle rules   
09:31pm 07/03/2007
  so, bagged some chainlink fencing and tile.

Fencing is probably worth around $500 or so new.   There's two gates underneath all that fencing.

The tile is 200 8"x8" and 100 4.5"x4.5".  I think I'll have plenty to complete the bathroom and probably a backsplash for the kitchen:

House closing is moved from Friday due to my insistence on a real title, not the k-mart wannabe version of a title.
da weekend   
08:56pm 04/03/2007
  spent Friday trying to board up the house. Plus got a couple of things from freecycle, a mold test kit and a set of blinds. got there and realized I had the wrong bit to drive the screws I had bought.

So headed back up there on Saturday to do it properly with Chilli. Plus I wanted him to be able to see what I was working with. He had plenty of good ideas and we managed to board that bad dog up.

Also got a call from the realtor and found out that the seller chose some crap ass title company. I opted to re-title it with a reputable title company for $275 more. It's better than putting 10k into the property and finding out that someone's cousin has a right to the land.

Also noticed that someone has been driving through the lawn to get access to a road that someone blocked off with concrete blocks. So I'll have to deal with that as well at some point.

Then today I got 3 boxes of freecycled tile, small maple door, a formica counter-top, and some other miscellaneous lumber. Plus the lady who was giving them away has a sister who is remodeling. That sister later contacted me to let me know she had some 6x6 and 4x4 white porcelain tile I could have. So I'll have to see if it's enough to do the floor of the bathroom or perhaps the entire shower surround. Ya can't beat free.

Tomorrow I have to get a wire transfer to get the money from my stock sales into a bank where I can do a cashier's check for the closing. That's supposed to happen on Friday...but may be delayed by my insistence on a real title company. But the delay should only be by a few days if it is delayed.

Next 5 steps are:

a: buy good tool chest and stock it with existing tools
b: close on the house
c: acquire home insurance on the house
d: catch the house up on taxes($2200 due, but that will be detracted from the amount I have to pay the seller)
e: buy some breathing masks. nothing high-grade. just want to filter out dust while I get the trash out of the house.

for tonight I'm checking out Curious George and kind of chilling out.
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Pretty house in liberty   
05:23pm 02/03/2007

Pretty house in liberty
Originally uploaded by russkiypenguin.

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day was still a success   
06:41pm 01/03/2007
  so didn't make it up to the house. I watched the local "freecycle" movement and wandered into a real bargain. Found a guy offering up 28 8' 1"x3" pieces of lumber. They're not pretty but they will work for a lot of the non-structural patching that I will have to do on this project.

But that presented the challenge of how do I move all that lumber? I was going to rent a truck from Lowes in order to get the plywood to board up the house. But I knew that very soon I would need to put a receiver hitch on the toyota in order to pull many of the light loads I'll need on my 5'x8' flatbed.

So I shopped around a bit and found a place that could get me a hitch by 4pm. $200 later and I am now ready for the months of work to come. Sure, the wiring isn't done on the car...but the wiring is tore up on the trailer. And until I close I'm being really tight on money. It's amazing how little expenses can pop up all of the sudden.

So tomorrow I will hook up the trailer and head up there and accomplish what I intended to do today.

Even better, Chilli loaned me one of his EVDO wireless cards. So now I can "work from home" while on site at the new house. As calm as the new job is, that will be a much better use of my time than watching TV I tivo'ed from the night before.

So while I didn't "achieve" the goals I had assigned myself, I most definitely made progress toward the overall goal of getting the new house up and running.
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07:58pm 28/02/2007
  The blessing/curse of the new house of course will be that my free time is about to be eaten up by actual real work.

Tomorrow I'm headed up to board up the two non-secured doors. I will probably also replace the deadbolt on the front door so that I can get access without ripping down the boarded up doors.

So tonight I'm sort of putting things together for tomorrow. So far the packing list looks sort of like this

battery powered drill/screwdriver
battery powered circular saw
2 batteries
camera batteries
bib overalls
tape rule
duct tape
plastic sheeting

Sure, the shotgun sounds like overkill. But then again weapons always do unless you need one. I'm pretty confident of the neighborhood, but I'll also spend some time cruising the local area just to make sure.

In comparison, I shopped for houses in other areas of the metro and had people try to flag me down to buy their ass or some crack. And I've been tailed by the cops for being white in a black neighborhood. I must look scuzzier now than I did when I was a teenager. I used to get pulled over and searched for that particular infraction. Or he's really hoping...perhaps America's moved on a bit over the last 15 years?

I'd sure like to think so. But then again, I am the guy packing a shotgun to the hood.
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05:18pm 27/02/2007
  So they countered with 5 and wanted more earnest money(I only offered them a hundred bucks.) I agreed and will be closing on the 9th.

For those of you who haven't done much with real estate, a 10 day closing is pretty much unheard of. But when you get that pesky mortgage out of the way, there's not so much to work on.

Tomorrow I sign the acceptance of their counter. Also I'm getting permission from them to board up the house as soon as possible to prevent any future damage to the property.

I've got a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm looking forward to it.

Also, I'm looking at maybe making a job change. Perhaps this time I'll be leaving the company. We'll see what comes.
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01:07pm 26/02/2007
mood: awake
Right, so what's up with my interests all disappearing. I now have only 4 things listed in my interests?

I'm guessing it was a part of my not paying for a premium membership for a while. I did re-up on that membership today. I guess that means I should post more again.

I put a bid in on a house that's pretty tore up. It's ancient and stone and I really look forward to fixing it up. That is if they accept my bid.

And here are where my pics of the inside are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/russkiypenguin/sets/72157594556076778/

They wanted 6500. I'm offering 4500. Apparently they're $2200 behind in property taxes. So hopefully they'll take my offer and run.
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Windows Home Server Beta   
06:27pm 14/02/2007
  I applied to beta a new product that Windows is playing with. Not so sure what it will be good for, but in case you're interested: http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer  
05:37pm 19/11/2006
  I do so love his stories but some of the language baffles me.

While reading Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves I stumbled upon Dudgeon, moue, soigne, preux chevalier all of which I were able to google out to my satisfcation. But what in the world is a "school treat egg"? I believe he's referring to a hard boiled egg that some student lobbed at the local lord during some picnic sort of event. But I'm just not sure.
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venison and alll that it entails   
01:06am 19/11/2006
  If you hang with hunters you will hear them speak of "gamey" meat. I was never entirely sure what that meant. Nor what lead to it. Does it mean you left the deer out too long before hanging it in a meat locker? Did you freeze the meat? Well I'm not sure that I still know. But I becoming pretty suspicious.

Last year I took a doe and buck and we promptly gutted them and headed down to a butcher. However he was apparently the least decent butcher in the county. Charged us a crap ton and took months to get the meat back to us. If it takes months to get the meat back to you that basically means you HAVE to freeze the deer entirely at some point. Which is basically a no no as it makes the meat chewy.

So what's the point? The point is that I just got done tasting some nasty meat. Note please the verb I selected. I didn't eat the nasty stuff. Instead I fed the horrid stuff to the dog. What I don't get is that 2/3 of the steak was ok. It wasn't great as the texture was a bit worn down. By that I mean that it actually chewed too easily and didn't have the flavor I'd expect and then suddenly, WHAMMO, here comes the nasty venison. So is it spoiled? frozen during processing? just plain gamey? I couldn't tell you, but I damn sure can tell you I'm never taking another deer to the Back Country Butchers in Bates County Missouri ever again.

I've got some deer I took the Cass County Meat Market and they processed it without freezing in a weeks time and it cost me 50% of what the other deer processing cost me. I might be wrong and those steaks might taste nasty too. We'll see. But I suspect that dude down in Bates County didn't know what he was doing.
04:02pm 17/11/2006
  For those of you who don't know blockbuster did some cool shit lately. They are letting you return the DVDs to a local store. Then you get another shipped out to you faster(allegedly). But the big difference is that you get a free in-store rental. Not sure how long they'll let that go for, but it's pretty cool for now.

I'm on vacation this week. It's pretty nice. Went deer hunting last weekend. I didn't get anything but Jesse popped a two for one deal. Popped the buck and then the doe she was hanging out with. The rest of the week has been full of booze and laziness.

Today I headed out to lunch with Chilli. We had Cheeseburger in Paradise. That place is pretty cool and they make a good Mojito. I had the Caribbean Jerk chicken wrap and sweet potato chips. Then headed over to Target looking for cargo pants. Nothing but the same crappy half-worn out ones were available. So I headed over to Gordman's to find the same damn thing. Finally Kohl's had some Tony Hawk cargoes in my size on sale for $18 a pair. I picked up 5 pairs, 3 khaki, 1 grey and 1 black. I'm set for the year.

In a few I'll head over to blockbuster and pick up 3, that's right, count 'em THREE!, Sopranos discs. If I haven't gotten all hopped up on violence and Sicilian love by midnight I'll be sure to kill someone and blog about it. Until then....
01:56am 17/11/2006
  not much has changed. There has been many days I've considered starting all of this back up.

My company has expressly forbid blogging on company time. But I'm salaried. Where does that leave me? I don't fucking know either. But it did inspire me to take more aggressive steps to get debt free and out of their fucking claws. I'm hoping in the next six months to be free, but it might take a year. I'm not saying I wont' work for them then. I'll just stop giving a fuck what they have to say about what I do/who I do it with/etc.

On a completely different subject.....

THIS JOURNAL WILL SHORTLY BE GOING FRIENDS ONLY. I'M TIRED OF CENSORING MYSELF. I'M TIRED OF SILENCE. I want to talk to my friends. If my family/stalkers want to know whats up with me they can call/write/GASP!?! CREATE THEIR OWN JOURNALS AND FRIEND ME.
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You have new Picture Mail!   
03:38am 14/10/2006

You have new Picture Mail!
Originally uploaded by russkiypenguin.
Woke up early
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I'm back   
07:56am 24/09/2006
  maybe? It sort of feels right. We'll see how it goes.  
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06:01pm 24/07/2006
  I've been posting a bit again. But on Vox. I have two invites. Anyone want some?

Part of the reason why is that I've accelerated freeing myself from this farse of a life by becoming debt free and honest with everyone.

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personal v. business   
11:57pm 05/06/2006
  Believe it or not, I actually don't say everything that I want to say here. The short segments that aren't boring are generally abusive. But at some level I feel like I haven't obfuscted this journal in any way, let alone in a way strong enough to make me feel like I could post anything I want to here. I outed a friend and his cheating ways...whilst managing to insult his wife. I'm lucky to have gotten out of that with just a fractured friendship and not a fractured nose.

It's sort of a shame. russkiypenguin is actually the strongest presence I've ever projected on the web. I don't get a great google ranking or anything but it's certainly a better hit than my actual name.

So anyhow, I'm not shutting this place down. But I don't know that it really deserves much attention. I spend more time commenting in others blogs than I do creating content in my own. And honestly, I think it might be a bit exhilirating to have an existence free of all the fuckers I know day to day. There are a few friends in real live who notice this page occasionally....but for each of them there are 5 more who despise me for my lack of Christianity or my love of the whiskey. Plus, I can't tell all of you about my kinky ecstasy lovefests with the cowpokes of Missouri!

So this isn't exactly goodbye but it is farewell.
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world's fastest indian   
10:38pm 30/05/2006
  I loved the film...but I do tend to enjoy obsessive desires. Anthony Hopkins was grand and I loved watching him buck stupid idea after stupid idea.  
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