Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Happened Upon

One more day in paradise, and as it's the last day of the business month, that means it's insanely busy. Today more than others with everything that I have to turn in and finish by the end of the day. Here is today . . .

Just a few sunrise images from this morning. And now, this "exam" I saw on The Facebooks last night. All are common words or phrases. *UPDATE: I don't know why it says "Salesman's Exam" at the top, but these have nothing to do with being a salesman. They are common, everyday phrases.

So you know what you're looking for, No. 1 is "Sandbox."
Proud to say I got them all figured out in about five minutes. Some are tricky. Feel free to chime into the comments with your answers. I'll post comments later today and the answers tomorrow.

*License: I took the first three pictures; the fourth is a reproduction of the rebus puzzle.

Word to the Nerd

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordy Wednesday : "Patchwork"

Time is getting away from me today. Busy, busy, busy. The life of a worker bee. So, today I thought I would paste a short story I wrote in grad school. I won't say anything else here.



I sat tucked away in my usual corner of the college's cafeteria, hoodie pulled low, face shoved in a book. Which one it was, I don't remember, and it's not important. The cafeteria was nearly deserted already, and I could hear the staff preparing for the next morning's breakfast. Standing, I noted the page number in my book before making it disappear into the sweatshirt's massive pocket, and picked up the tray. Only when I turned to walk the length of the table did I finally notice the girl. Her face was hidden by dark, chin-length hair that fell across her cheeks, and she didn't react when I moved past her with my tray. Something about her seemed familiar, and I glanced in her direction again before leaving the building, but she was gone.

Night after night, she was in the same spot. After two weeks, she spoke as I passed her.

"Walk with me." Her voice was deeper, richer than I’d expected.

Now, I'm not what you would call an outgoing person. Spur of the moment conversations don't come easily, and I blame the stutter for that. This is why I prefer the solitude of pen on paper or the blue glow of a computer monitor and click of the keyboard. Words needed thought before being uttered, but I found myself responding to her anyway.


It was colder outside than I'd expected, and I thought about offering her my sweatshirt, but she just started walking. Taking a few large steps, I caught up with her and we walked in silence. She seemed to be enjoying the night air, but jumped at the slightest sounds. It was almost a wince, like a skittish cat that's been beaten before and is waiting for the next blow.

A few minutes later, we were at the edge of The Grove, an open grassy area of campus where students came to sunbathe and study or toss a Frisbee. The girl stayed under the huge oak trees that ringed the well-manicured grass and sat down beneath one.

“You’ve seen it, too,” she said, her words more melancholy than anything else. “You have, haven’t you?”

“Seen what,” I asked, forcing myself not to gulp as I swallowed. A lamppost flickered to life and just as quickly winked out again, but she must have seen the traitor muscles of my face.

“It’s all right,” she tried to smile, one end of her mouth turned up slightly. “You don’t have to be afraid anymore. I’ve seen it, too.”

There was no doubt in my mind that what she said was true. I just had to hear her say it.

“When you’ve faced death the way you and I have, you can just see it in others.” She started to reach a hand to me, but stopped and returned it to her lap. “I have to tell you something.”

“You—” I hesitated, searching for the right words. “You don’t have to, if you don’t want to. We can just sit here.”

She tried to smile, but something was causing her pain. “Right after high school graduation, my classmates and I were at a party near Corpus Christi. We’d loaded up some vans and cars with people and beer, and went to celebrate in an out-of-the-way field. Someone invited their cousin who went to Texas A&M, he brought his friends and their friends and all the drinks they could get their hands on. It was a pretty big thing. When we arrived, it was already in full swing; loud music, kegs pumping, general hedonistic activities and such. We partied into the night. This was in the middle of nowhere, and we didn’t have to worry about the police just happening by or someone calling them because we were loud or on their property.

“Someone got the idea to drive around in a Jeep with the top and doors off. Eight of us, myself included, piled in. We were wasted; there was no common sense at this point. And he took off, slowly at first, bouncing through the field, kicking up dirt and grass. A cheer went up from the crowd gathered as he turned back toward them. He sped up too fast and bounced too much. The driver cut the wheel too fast and he flew out the side. I tried to bail out with everyone else, but I hit my head on the roll bar and blacked out.

“When I came to, everything sounded hollow, like when you listen into a shell at the beach. Everything was hollow and slow and bathed in red and blue flashing lights. A paramedic stopped and knelt beside me. His voice sounded distant despite being right above me, but I couldn't make it out I barely felt them place me on the board or put the collar around my neck. The last thing I saw before everything went black again was the Jeep driver being zipped into a bag.

“I woke up to pain. My stomach hurt like a hot knife twisting in my gut and I couldn’t move. Something beeped loudly near me and kept speeding up. A nurse arrived, slapping the machine into silence, and pressed a few more buttons. She called out for a doctor, but my vision began to swirl and my eyelids were heavy. A white coat leaned over me and spoke, but her words were lost as sleep took me again.

“The next time I woke, my mom was leaning over me. I could tell she hadn’t slept as she told me the extent of my injuries. Four crushed vertebrae, six broken ribs, punctured lung, broken collarbone, and the six main bones from both legs broken. I'd already had three surgeries while I was unconscious to reset things. Everyone just kept telling me to rest.

“I started losing track of time. There were infections and more surgeries. Velcro straps were stitched into my sides to hold me closed, making it easier to open me up and scrape out the infection again and again. The world was always spinning and hot from the drugs they kept using to sedate me.

“When I could open my eyes, I just kept staring toward the window, wishing I could see the stars twinkling away without a care in the world. In those times, I knew there were no ghosts or angels or saints or gods to comfort me, or sit with me in my loneliness. I was alone and angry.

"Until I saw you."

I shivered when she reached her hand out again and placed it on mine. A bright light blinded me suddenly, and I shielded my eyes from the beam.

“It’s getting late," the campus police officer barked. "What are you doing out here by yourself?"

I looked to my side, but the girl was gone.

"Have you been drinking, son?"

"No," I said. "I don't drink anymore."

"Well," he said, finally lowering his flashlight. "It's time for you to be getting home."

Standing, I started walking toward my dorm room. I rubbed the scars on my right hand where I'd lost those fingers. They still felt icy from her touch.


Probably the only time I can remember ever writing anything with a ghost. it up, folks.

Word to the Nerd

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: Favorite Words

Coming off a crazy busy, crazy tiring weekend, so let's keep things short today, shall we?

The Premise

I had a friend in high school who was, dare I say, obsessed with David Letterman's "Top Ten" lists. So much so that he would share his own top ten lists over lunch periods. The subject matter of those lists is not retained in my long-term memory, no matter how good it is. However, I'm sure I could ask him since I still know how to contact him. Thank you, Blogger and Facebook. One day, as I was reading through the blogs that I follow, I saw that many of them have theme days. That's when I thought I would try my hand at my own theme day, and "Top Five Tuesday" was born. The only disclaimer is that these lists represent my own opinions and are subject to change whenever the hell I feel like it. Also, these lists are not in ranking order, unless specifically said.

Top Five Favorite Words

1. Dilettante : An admirer or lover of the arts; a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge.
2. Diffident : Hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self-confidence.
3. Defenestration : A throwing of a person or thing out of a window.
4. Halcyon : Care-free.
5. Quiescent : Peaceful.

Then there are the curse words. :o)

What about you? Any favorite (or favourite) words amongst the many?

Word to the Nerd

Monday, May 28, 2012

Digital Upload #9

To my country-mates, and indeed anyone remembering a friend or loved one, Happy Memorial Day.

Just a few pictures from the last few days.

Saturday night we were at a friend's 40th birthday party. His wife had this cake made for him.

It was "chocolate mousse" cake inside. Very sweet and very good, but it didn't sit well on the IPA I'd just finished.

Picked up the kids from the in-laws' house Sunday morning, and were greeted by this while walking up to the front door.

The Lampropeltis getula, or Eastern Kingsnake. This one was at least 3 feet in length; definitely not more than 4 feet. At least it's a non-venomous kind.

Hard to see because he blends into the azaleas, but a little gecko (center) just hanging out on top of the bush.

Yesterday we went to the Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park. With both kids in tow, I was only able to snap these two shots.

They don't do the chaos justice, but you get the idea. Great day for it. Okay, a little too hot for me, but whenever it's more than 70 outside, I start getting cranky.

Have a great day, everyone. I'll be around blogs over the next few days. Time to go plant some flowers on this day off. Maybe set up the sprinkler for the kids (and water my grass at the same time).

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Portrait of the Young Nerd

My grandmother sent me a package with a bunch of old pictures inside. The Wife said I should share this one with you, and who am I to argue with that?

You're welcome.

*License: Since this is me, I hope I own the rights.

Word to the Nerd

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weighted Revelation

First, Happy Towel Day.

As a fan and writer of post-apocalyptica, I bring you this amazing news.

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Weighted by Ciara Knight
Weighted is a young adult post-apocalyptic with paranormal elements. It is a prequel novelette to The Neumarian Chronicles, and will be released August 2012. Book I, Escapement, will be released in 2013.

Direct Link to Add Weighted to Goodreads Shelf.

In other news, I was driving back from Whole Foods yesterday, and while waiting for the red light to change, something caught my eye. I detoured for a moment, confirmed what I had seen, and took a picture.

That's a $55,000 Lotus Elise S. And it was parked at McDonald's. I guess even the small-penised rich get Big Mac Attacks.

Lastly, Mom and Dad went to Hawaii yesterday. I sweat they didn't tell me where they were going to be catching that cruise. Regardless, I get the standard, "Arrived in Hawaii. Aloha!" text when they arrive, because they know I'd worry. A little while later, Dad sent me this picture.

Great; even Hard Rock Cafe gets my favorite car, the VW Thing. I don't mind the paint or the surfboards, but take that crap off the front end. And then ship it to me.

I hope you all get a great, relaxing weekend, and that everyone gets the three-day variety.

*License: The first is used with permission; I took the second; my dad took the third.

Word to the Nerd

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's A Hard Nerd Life

The view on the drive in this morning. A few minutes earlier, it was an orange
ball between the horizon and the cloud cover.
First and foremost, I love being a Nerd. Screw any stigma and negative associations with the word. This is me and I embrace it. That said, sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.

It's a steady stream of questions covering a variety of subjects. I think yesterday was a little more than usual, and my brain shut down. It started with a question about using a Roku to stream Hulu Plus through a television, and ended with my brother asking how to tune a ukulele. In between, topics ranged from spelling words to unjamming a copier to training someone how to use the folding machine.

Truth be told, it generally doesn't bother me. I like being the person people come to for help or advice or whatever. Yesterday was just a mad barrage.

Then the woman on the radio this morning kept saying "fictitional" when she meant fictional or fictitious, all I saw was white . . . but that's for next Tuesday's Top Five list.

But before I go, I saw a vanity license plate that rivals the best license plate I've ever seen. The other simply said "SSDD" (that picture is on my laptop, and it's not on so I can't remote over to it right now). This one was spectacular.

Too bad the car wasn't green.

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordy Wednesday : "Lightning Flashed"

Today is the 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest. The brief.

Click the image to view the entire linky list of entries.
Here are the rules:
1. Entries must begin with the two words: Lightning flashed.(Check)
2. Entries must be 300 words or less and be in prose. I'm not versed enough in poetry verse to judge it properly. (272, Check)
3. Entries must be posted on your blog between May 21 - 23. (Check)
4. You must sign up in the linky below to have your entry be counted. (Check)

And here is my entry.


Lightning flashed.


"Are you almost done?"

"It doesn't work like that," I whispered back.

"What if they see us?"

"Just one more minute, Cal."

I could feel Cal's nervous energy even though he wasn't moving. Truth was I knew he'd started using again, but he was the best. Well…the best available on such short notice.

"Let me magicks the lock and get out of the light."

"No," I said, giving him a sharp look. "They'll have sensors for that. We need stealth."

"So? I'll magicks the sensors, too."

"Right, because you know exactly how to do that in the split second between seeing it and it goes off? I'll have it open in a second. You're here just in case."

"In case of what?"


The lock finally clicked and the soft hiss told me I'd successfully bypassed the window's sensor. Swinging the mottled window open, I peered into the dark room.

"Finally," Cal whispered into my ear. "I thought you were losing your touch."

We slipped through the opening, hugging the wall of a large library.

"You know, I was supposed to be on a date with Galea tonight."

"I know."

"Is that why you wanted me to come with you?"

Another flash of lightning illuminated the room for a second.

Cal's soft voice was next to me. "Did you see—"

"LIGHTS!" A voice shouted from the darkness.

In an instant, the room was flooded with a blinding light that forced me to cover my eyes. When I opened them, twenty Imperial Guards had their weapons drawn.

Cal was smug when he spoke again. "Can I use magicks now?"

Word to the Nerd

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: Peeves & Pleases

And now for something not completely different than Tuesdays past, but just enough different that it merits pointing out. This is me pointing it out.

The Premise

I had a friend in high school who was, dare I say, obsessed with David Letterman's "Top Ten" lists. So much so that he would share his own top ten lists over lunch periods. The subject matter of those lists is not retained in my long-term memory, no matter how good it is. However, I'm sure I could ask him since I still know how to contact him. Thank you, Blogger and Facebook. One day, as I was reading through the blogs that I follow, I saw that many of them have theme days. That's when I thought I would try my hand at my own theme day, and "Top Five Tuesday" was born. The only disclaimer is that these lists represent my own opinions and are subject to change whenever the hell I feel like it. Also, these lists are not in ranking order, unless specifically said.

Something happened yesterday over my lunch break, and it made me want to make today's Top Five list about the pet peeves that drive me absolutely batty. We're talking zero-to-sixty in half a second. That said, I thought I'd go Double List Edition today and follow up the five peeves with five nice things. Sound good? Good.

Five Peeves

1. This was the sight yesterday that started it all.

Yes, that is a cab-van taking up three parking spaces. There are only six available parking spaces outside this Subway.

2. When someone opens a door, looks back to see how close you are, and then just lets the door close even though you're two steps away.

3. Someone calls you with the wrong number in the middle of the night, and then they call it again.

4. Gum smackers.

5. People who don't wash their hands after eating food, and then start touching things.

Five Pleases

1. Silence.

2. Free time.

3. Donuts.

4. A new video game.

5. A new book.

Note: I know pleases is a weird way to say it, but would you expect anything less?

Your turn.

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Monday, May 21, 2012

After The Rain

I love the sky after a night of rain.

You see? Almost makes the drive to work worth it.


This was the view on Friday, but I couldn't snap the image fast enough.

I was trying to get a picture of the mist rising from the Chattahoochee River. Almost got it.

That's all I have for you today. I've been spending a lot of time trying to get a second short story ready to go in the anthology with the other one, so to say my mind is focused on that would be an understatement.

Something I find quite amusing about myself before we call it a day. Most times I'm a very patient person. One of the few things I absolutely abhor is waiting for a new episode of a television show. That said, I've just now started watching the Battlestar Galactica reboot. Pretty sure I'll be watching this through to the end. And like I did with the entire series of LOST in April, I won't have to wait for the next one.

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Friday, May 18, 2012

JNerd In The House

Truth be told, I've checked out today. Not on purpose, though. Cassie gave me some interview questions that I answered over at Falling for Fiction. Just a few silly questions about nerdy things like video game weapons and comic book characters and, of course, Harry Potter.

Anyway, FFF is a relatively new venture by five fabulous females— they have me doing spurts of asinine alliteration all about. They're some kick-ass bloggers and people, so go pay them a visit.

Nothing much else to report on this end. Busy weekend looms starting tonight, and I'll be out of pocket all afternoon for work, so I suppose the bust starts earlier than I hoped.

Oh, and for all of you out there in northwestern Texas and New Mexico, northeastern Arizona, southern Utah, Nevada, northern California and southwestern Oregon, be on the lookout on Sunday afternoon for what is supposed to be a spectacular solar eclipse. It is supposed to project a "ring of fire" and I want pictures if any of you are able. Or video. Either of those would be fantastic to see. Look for it starting about 6:20 Pacific Time on Sunday.

Fun Fact: This eclipse starts on Monday, May 21 in China and Japan, and ends on Sunday, May 20 in the United States. Sometimes that International Date Line is good for something awesome.

Sadly, I won't be able to see the eclipse from here.

Great weekends to you all.

Word to the Nerd

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nerds Unite

I had a very strange dream last night. Unfortunately, it's not story worthy, or in any way that truly makes sense. The best I can describe it is that it was a cross between a puzzle-heavy RPG video game, Jurassic Park, and the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi.

Let that soak in a second.

Now you understand why I'm all "HUH?" this morning. There were no Ewoks, only humans running around. The Empire was replaced by dinosaurs, and those bastards were organized. I'm talking a line of Velociraptors with riot shields.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Move on? Okay.

While driving to retrieve children from daycare on Monday, I was stopped behind a sedan at a red light. I saw this sticker in her back window.

Zelda for the win.

There was also this one that is familiar, yet I can't quite place it.

Purple Turtle or Dragon, maybe? Wearing a backpack with a map sticking out.

Sorry for the glare/wash-out, but that's as clear as I can make it; I was trying to snap this second picture before the light changed. Can a brother get some help? So far Google has not been helpful.

**EDIT: Thanks to Adam in the comments for identifying the image. It's Blastoise, apparently a Pokemon character which explains why I could not identify. Thanks again, Adam!

And this last one, just for bragging rights.

This is the finish of Lego Harry Potter Years 5–7, everything collected, everything unlocked, everything solved, and all Xbox360 achievements awarded. Now that everything's at 100%, it's time to move on to Fallout: New Vegas for the PS3.

That's how we do.

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordy Wednesday : Chores

A little flash fiction for you today since I didn't have anything prepared. Just something I think about every time it happens.

Disused Farmyard, Lurganbane (Dean Molyneaux) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Setting up the camp chair, I eased my sore joints into the seat and dropped the can of soda into the cupholder stitched into the arm. It hissed briefly as I popped the top and took a few gulps. Surveying the yard, it was obvious the grass needed to be weeded and cut, the pine cones and pine needles bagged, and bushes trimmed. Okay, I thought. Let's do this. From the backyard, the lawnmower rolled up the slight incline around the side of the house, followed by the rakes and weeding tools bobbing through the air. The weeds went first as the hand weeders jabbed into the soft earth and popped the weeds free with ease. As they worked their way across the lawn, the rakes started up behind them, collecting the loosened weeds and any other debris strewn about the yard. The rakes deposited their collections in tidy piles on the driveway where shovels scooped them into waste bags. Roaring to life, the lawnmower began to roll along the far edge of the yard, making alternating strips that reminded me of a baseball field. It stopped every few lines to empty the grass it had collected in its bag with the rest of the waste. When all was said and done, the hose came to life and rinsed off the tools and the underside of the mower as they trundled from whence they came around the house and into the storage shed behind the house.

"What are you doing?" she asked, and I turned sharply in her direction, dropping my soda can.

"Sorry? What was that?" I asked

"I thought you were going to cut the grass?"

Turning back to the yard, everything was as it had always been; weeds needed pulling, leaves and pine cones needed raking, grass needed cutting and bagging.

"Magic would be so cool," I finally said.

I didn't need to see it, but I know she rolled her eyes as dropped the work gloves into my lap.

**On a side note, thank you for continuing to stop by, even though I wasn't the best at making the rounds in a timely or commenting fashion the last few days. You brought me smiles in my convalescence.**

Word to the Nerd

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: Compilation Soundtracks

Since I'm still hacking up {redacted because it's just a nasty, green, cottage cheese looking mess; aren't you glad you undid the highlighting?} so I'm going to make a quick entry into the Top Five.

The Premise

I had a friend in high school who was, dare I say, obsessed with David Letterman's "Top Ten" lists. So much so that he would share his own top ten lists over lunch periods. The subject matter of those lists is not retained in my long-term memory, no matter how good it is. However, I'm sure I could ask him since I still know how to contact him. Thank you, Blogger and Facebook. One day, as I was reading through the blogs that I follow, I saw that many of them have theme days. That's when I thought I would try my hand at my own theme day, and "Top Five Tuesday" was born. The only disclaimer is that these lists represent my own opinions and are subject to change whenever the hell I feel like it. Also, these lists are not in ranking order, unless specifically said.

Five Best Compilation Movie Soundtracks

1. Forrest Gump

2. Center Stage

3. Almost Famous

4. Moulin Rouge

5. Empire Records

Also, I just have to say that last night's How I Met Your Mother season finale was predictable. That is all.

Word to the Nerd

Monday, May 14, 2012

Green Chaos

As hard as I tried, there was no way I was going to make it to work today. I did try, though. Taking the trash and recycling to the end of the drive took it out of me. I can't expend too much brain power today, because I have to work on a report for work. So, a few random things this morning.

I've been watching some of my favorite episodes of Scrubs on Netflix Instant lately. Season 5, Episode 9 had Turk (Donald Faison) joining an air band with Janitor, Ted, and Lloyd the Delivery Guy. And then Turk danced to "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe.

The song had finally left my head, until they played it on a radio show this morning. Could be worse, I suppose.

Had a little bit of funny this morning when the dry cleaner's credit card machine didn't work. I had cash. They didn't have change. The whole thing just had me laughing. Once I got back to the car, of course; I'm not an asshole.

There was something else funny, but this head cold and re-emerging fever are burning away my short term memory. Oh, I remember. The Boy left me a co-pilot after I dropped them off at daycare.

Now I will work on this report for work while I watch Bedazzled DVD style since it's not up on Netflix.

Like I said last week, guilty pleasure movie.

*License: I took this picture.

Word to the Nerd

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hey, Mama

"A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." -Victor Hugo

"Mothers of boys work son-up to son-down." - Unknown

"A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother." - Unknown

Happy Day, All You Mothers.

Word to the Nerd

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inquiry Response

The quick setup so we don't waste time, since the final question asked will take a bit. Truth be told, this was the first post I've ever cut stuff out of because I thought it was getting too long. It was the last question that did it, so I hope you stay to the end.

During my A-to-Z Challenge recap on Monday, I allowed for the opportunity to ask questions. There were some really good ones, and here come the answers.

Pickleope was the first to rise to the occasion, and did so with two questions.

1. "If you could have a working lightsaber, would you keep it in your house? (You being a father, it's kind of like having a loaded gun in a drawer.)"
If I had one, I'd want some sort of biometric fail safe on it, so that it would only work in my hands. Possibly some other kind of fail safe similar to the one Blade had on his sword. As for keeping it in the house, it would be on my person at all times, but if kids are around, it gets up high and hidden just in case.
2. "If you could choose between a one story three bedroom house with an average sized yard or a TARDIS house with no yard but massive acreage inside, which would you go for?"
Have I taught you nothing? The TARDIS wins hands down. Several reasons including indoor pool room, massive amounts of storage so I'm assuming one of those rooms is a library, plenty of room for all sorts of imaginable things, and with the TARDIS, the world is your backyard—plural worlds really, so plenty of room and options to stop for a play in the park, or a play in a park in Versailles, or freeing the human race from the robot overlords of Chiron Beta Prime. Considering it's a time machine, you could do all that and still make it to work on time.
Scope always asks the greatest questions.

1. "Do you follow the sports teams of your youth, or the ones in your new city?"
GO CUBS! They are, and will always be, the only team I follow religiously. I've never been a big fan of football, but I do like the Bears because they are who I grew up watching. In general, I'm not a sports nut, but I like hockey no matter who is playing, tennis, and soccer. No specific teams or players, though.
2. "If it were allowed, would you telecommute 1 day a week? 2 days? 5 days? Or do you need the human interaction?"
If offered any of those options, I would take them. I do not require the face-to-face, in-the-same-building human interaction to function. To be honest, I get more done for work when I stay home sick or with a sick child because even while taking care of myself of the sick one in the house, there are infinitely less interruptions.
3. "If it saved you 10% on every purchase, would you make every purchase (even vending machines) with a credit card that posted details of all your purchase to the internet? 25%? 50%?"
I don't know where you come up with these, but this is great. Maybe not 10%, but I would do it for 25%. Nothing scandalous or embarrassing to be purchased, so I wouldn't be worried about it at all.
4. "On your walk around the neighborhood, you see a pinata hanging from a tree in the parkway. Upon a closer look, it's the spitting image of Paris Hilton. Nobody's looking, do you give it a whack!"
Yes. Candy!

Miss Vic wanted to know what the folders were. At the time, I said there were 12. Since then, one of the folders was removed.

Don't ask what folder you're in. I won't tell you.

Daydreamer asked a music question that I can honestly say I've never been asked before.

"What decade of music since the '50s would be your preferred listening choice?"
You know, it's a lot tougher question to answer than I first thought. I'm not a going to concerts kind of person. I enjoy music by myself, and not in a huge concert venue or bar. That said, I've been to a few, just not in the last several years. What I thought I would do is go through each decade since and highlight a few of my favorites.

1950's : Ray Charles with "I Got a Woman," Chuck Berry with "Johnny B. Goode," and Johnny Cash with "Walk the Line." Round it out with some Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Drifters, and Billy Haley & His Comets.

1960's : Temptations with "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," Otis Redding with "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," and Sam Cooke with "A Change is Gonna Come." Add some Creedence, Percy Sledge, Steppenwolf, and keep Ray Charles around.

1970's : Bog Seger with "Night Moves," Temptations make another appearance with "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," Elton John with "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters," Billy Joel with "Piano Man," Blue Oyster Cult with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," and Aerosmith with "Dream On." What decade would be complete without some Sex Pistols, The Knack, The Clash, and The Police?

1980's : Guns 'N Roses with "Sweet Child of Mine," Huey Lewis & The News with "The Power of Love," Queen, Starship, Poison, Twisted Sister, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Styx, David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, Journey, Asia, REO, the Elton John catalog...I could go on and on...

1990's : Radiohead with "Paranoid Android," Warren G (feat. Nate Dogg) with "Regulate," The Verve with "Bittersweet Symphony," The Verve Pipe with "Freshman," Dave Matthews Band with "Crash Into Me," Beastie Boys with "Sabotage," Counting Crows with the entire "August and Everything After" album. Let us also not forget Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cranberries, Alanis Morissette, Third Eye Blind, Barenaked Ladies, and the Goo Goo Dolls. Too many more to name!

2000's : Counting Crows cover of "Big Yellow Taxi," The Killers with "Mr. Brightside," RHCP with "Snow," and Weird Al with my theme song "White and Nerdy."

My taste is whatever I think is good. That said, I'm sure you can tell from the lists that the 70's, 80's, and 90's really get me. The 60's, too, for that matter. Not so much the 00's, though. Cutting off at the 50's was a good idea, but it left out my all-time favorite song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" by The Ink Spots from 1941, as well as similar sounds from the 1930's and 1940's.

Last Word: This will be the last one of these I do for a while. I didn't intended to do two so close together, but I thought it would be nice for the new followers from the A-to-Z. If a question comes up that you would like me to answer, feel free to submit it in a comment or email it to me, and we'll see what I can do.

Have great weekends, all.

*License: I made this image.

Word to the Nerd

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Digital Upload #8

In preparation for tomorrow's answer session—which I'm hoping to keep as short as I possibly can, but we'll see—I thought I would go a little light today and upload some photos from my cellphone telephone.

I left this pretzel in a conspicuous spot to test a theory that was formulating. I doubted the claims that the cleaning crew up in this joint was actually vacuuming. We never see them, and the only thing I've noticed is that our trash bags have been replaced every morning. So, I put down this piece of pretzel. That was more than six months ago.

This hydrangea came with out house. It gets sunlight, it gets water, it gets shade, and after eight years, this is the first flower it has produced. It sits near the line between our house and the neighbors, but I think the kid they pay to cut their grass has taken it out quite a few times over the last several years. The only thing that has really changed is that a wild apple (I think) tree has shot up nearby, and perhaps it likes the added shade it gets. Regardless, YAY!

I went to put them on the other day, and...SNAP!

Driving back across the street to work over lunch yesterday, my car was making a clunking sound. When I exited the vehicle, I noticed my ear buds had been hanging out the door, clunking between the road and my car for two blocks. It's hard to see, but they're beat to hell, and they're missing the rubber part that goes in your ear. They came with extras, so I popped new ones on, and lo and behold, they still work! If that's not a convincing argument for these $10 ear buds by SkullCandy, I don't know what is.

I have not retouched this photo. The window in my car was down, and as I waited at my usual light to get onto the interstate, I snapped a picture of the cloudy sky. That blue flare on the bottom of those clouds frightens me. Or it could have come from a car headed the other direction catching the diffused light just right. Either way, it's kind of trippy.

That's the whole shebang today, my lovelies. It's cooled off considerably here over the last two days, which has been so nice; a little respite for my electric bill to cool the house down. It was a balmy 72 in the house when I woke up this morning. Joy!

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grocery Shopping

It was getting closer to Christmas 2004, and we decided to have some friends over to make Christmas cookies that we could all split and enjoy. At the time, none of the three couples had children, so it was just the six of us getting overzealous and making a metric shit tonne of cookies. After dinner, we proceeded with the cookie making and baking and decorating. About two hours into this, one couple announces that they need to be going; that it's getting late and they need to go to the grocery store. Some of the finished cookies were packaged up, they left, and the remaining four of us finished up with the cookie making production.

Shortly after Christmas traveling, we all got together again. After several hours, this same couple again said they needed to leave and go to the grocery store.

It happened again the next time. And the time after that.

The three wives and I worked in the same building at the time. One day over lunch, the subject of the grocery store came up. There was a comment made about how this one couple always left to go to the grocery store whenever we all got together. The woman's pale complexion went instantly to bright red.

"It's code," she relented, after much prodding. " know."

Sadly, it took us a few seconds, but we all finally arrived at the same conclusion. Much laughter ensued, accompanied by her bright red, embarrassed face for quite a while after.

That couple drifted away when the other couples started having children, and they moved away last year. And yet, every time I say or hear someone say "I need to go to the grocery store," I can't help but smile.

Word to the Nerd

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: Guilty Pleasure Movies

First, you all are awesome, and thank you for visiting yesterday. It was balls to the wall at work, and I pretty much inhaled lunch while still working, and ended up leaving almost an hour late. Which means I didn't visit a single blog yesterday. And yet many of you still came by to say hi. Thank you for that.

Second order of business, there is still time to submit your question to yesterday's post. It has to be in yesterday's post; those are the rules of this game. So, if you have any burning questions—or questions about burning—ask them there and I shall endeavor to give or find an answer.

Le numéro trois, you might have noticed that the Cinema Challenge badge is missing from the right sidebar. That's because we shut it down. It was fun while it lasted, but other things needed focus, so the A-to-Z finished up, and that was the end of it. On a side note, Cassie was the reigning champ.jjjjjjjj

The Premise

I had a friend in high school who was, dare I say, obsessed with David Letterman's "Top Ten" lists. So much so that he would share his own top ten lists over lunch periods. The subject matter of those lists is not retained in my long-term memory, no matter how good it is. However, I'm sure I could ask him since I still know how to contact him. Thank you, Blogger and Facebook. One day, as I was reading through the blogs that I follow, I saw that many of them have theme days. That's when I thought I would try my hand at my own theme day, and "Top Five Tuesday" was born. The only disclaimer is that these lists represent my own opinions and are subject to change whenever the hell I feel like it. Also, these lists are not in ranking order, unless specifically said.

Five Guilty Pleasure Movies

I won't even give you an explanation why these were chosen. Leaves more to the mystery.

Center Stage
The Best Man
The Devil Wears Prada

Anytime. Anywhere.

However, I think the real question is not "why do you like these movies," but the one I ask you: What are your guilty pleasure movies?

Word to the Nerd

Monday, May 7, 2012

A-to-Z Reflections

Today is supposed to be the day we reflect on April's A-to-Z Challenge.

What is there to say that I haven't said already?

Was it a success? For me, definitely so. I had all my posts up ahead of time, and added simple tweaks the mornings of. No complaints there. And just so Sundays wouldn't feel left out, I posted on them, too. We like to be all-inclusive up in this joint.

Did I visit everyone on the list? No, I did not. Will I? Tough to say. Time is a precious commodity, so it would probably take me until next April to visit everyone. Including those blogs I followed before the challenge, I think I managed to make about 200 A-to-Z posts per day, give or take. Speed reading comes in handy.

That said, I did meet some new-to-me blogs, and some absolutely amazing new bloggers. Typically when I add a new blog to my Reader, they start off in the "Unsures" folder until I can decided whether they should be categorized or dropped off. I know that sounds harsh, but I have about 300 or so blogs in my reader already, many of which update every day. Time is limited, time is finite, and I have to draw the line somewhere. However, the 30 or so new blogs I added to my Reader did so by bypassing the "Unsures" folder, and being placed in folders called "Writers," "Keepers," "The Funnies," or "Nerd Stuff." Those are only 4 of the 12 folders I use for categorizing posts (and you now know 5 of them if you count the "Unsures" folder).

I also added 42 new blog followers over the course of the month, and if I had to choose a number to add, that is the greatest one of them all.

Overall, it was a great month, and I'm already prepping a list for next April, just in case I need to acquire a few more items over the next 10 months.

Now for the thing.

Since I picked up those new followers, I thought I'd open up for another Q&A session. It's a little sooner than I thought I would be doing another one of these, but what the hell, right? So, ask your questions this week, and I'll answer them on Friday (or Thursday and Friday depending on how many questions are asked).

Previous Questions & Answers can be seen here: I Have Your Answers Part 1, I Have Your Answers Part 2, and That Was Not Sparta, But This Is.

And now, this.

Take away the cars, road, trees, and light poles and radio tower, and add a second sun, you'd have Tatooine. looked more yellow sky in real life. Regardless...

Oh...and this was the temperature one day early last week.

So, if you were thinking about smothering me with a pillow, now would be the time before I burst in to flames while walking to my car.

*License: I took these pictures.

Word to the Nerd

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nerd Fusion

Okay, I'm not one for heavy metal music. In fact, I can honestly say that I almost never listen to it. Nothing against it, at all; it's just not in my top five choices in music style.

And then, yesterday, I saw this video that fused the world of heavy metal with that of Doctor Who.

Prepare to have your faces melted off.

This same guy did heavy metal covers for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back to the Future, and Game of Thrones.


Word to the Nerd

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Silly Saturday

I don't know why this is on my mind, especially considering it's from 10 years ago. This is a webcomic I used to read back at the end of my college days; apparently Randall is still putting them out. I fell off reading train of it a long time ago. Not sure why. Regardless, this D&D funny always cracked me up. Still does, it seems.

Oh yeah, clearly NSFW and NSFK (Not Safe For Kids). Not at all.

Click Image to go to the Something Positive site for the full comic effect.
Used with permission of the artist, Randal Milholland.
Just a silly image on a Saturday morning while I sit here watching My Little Pony with The Girl.

Bad sigh...

Word to the Nerd

Friday, May 4, 2012

May The Fourth

Today is recognized as Star Wars Day or "Force Day" to those in the Nerdiverse. Why? Because of the phonetic resemblance.

May the Force Be With You.
May the Fourth Be With You.
In its honor, I'm wearing my Über Nerd Millennium Falcon Schematic shirt.

Again, it's red, not pink. Not that there's anything wrong with pink, but this one is not pink.

Also, I can't vouch for the origins of what I'm about to paste here, but a guy I know and trust posted this on his Facebook feed earlier. Plus, it's funny as hell.

"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. But it's really just a biological byproduct of these little microscopic creatures called midichlorians that live inside some people, but not inside other people, so really it's not mystical at all—you just happen to have a bunch of them because your pops was positively loaded down with the little buggers. Ooh, and also, stop looking at Leia like that, because she's totally your sister. I should have mentioned it. Don't know why it didn't cross my mind, what with me being present at her birth and all. My bad."
—The full Obi Wan speech from Star Wars before Lucas made some cuts.
Let's see what else...

Oh, yes! I've finally made some additions to the Nerdipaedia page, which you can get to by clicking the word in this sentence or the page link at the top of the blog. The two I've added today are Star Wars related, naturally. Which reminds me, if you see me post about something that you think should be in the Nerdipaedia glossary, please point it out to me? That would be awesome. Thanks.

Word to the Nerd

Thursday, May 3, 2012


My brain feels a lot like Dr. Sam Beckett this morning: Swiss Cheese. It you're a fan of Quantum Leap, you'll understand that; if you're not, it just means that my brain isn't working this morning. Synapses are not firing; connections failing to...umm...connect. Yeah.

As an early Mother's Day and very early Father's Day gift to ourselves, we had 500 square feet of sod delivered yesterday. After getting home and making dinner for everyone, I went outside to start laying it out. Almost three hours and one killer dehydration migraine later, the sprinkler was on and I was taking an icy rest. You know, I'd post a picture, but like watching paint dry, it's just grass. It's green. Does that give you the mental picture this morning.

Odd thing happened before that, though. I stopped off at Walgreen's to grab some hydration beverages—VitaminWater and Gatorade for the win—and as I stood in line for the lone register, I saw this:

It's a little hard to see, but that is a "Team Jacob" bottle cap magnet.

Is this still a thing? Never mind; it's not only that I don't want to know, but I also just don't care.

Also, a big thank you for your comments and criticisms yesterday. The whole story is about 2,500 words, so I was hesitant to post the whole thing. Hindsight being 20/20, there should have been more. So, I'll work on getting the whole thing typed up, and making some changes along the way, and maybe we can all take a crack at it next Wednesday. Sound good? Good.

Lastly, today is the anniversary that Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer for Gone with the Wind. Just a little piece of literary trivia for you.

Okay...time for more tea. This is going to be a long, long day.

*License: I took this picture.

Word to the Nerd

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordy Wednesday : "Reunion"

And again we try to get back into some sort of schedule, such as it is. Prior to the challenge, Wednesdays were about writing. Specifically, something I've written. Today, I'm going to go for something a little different.

I had two short things I wanted to put up here, but I'm just not sure they're ready. So, I pulled out the way back machine—otherwise know as the flash drive that contains backups of all the stuff I've written, just so I have it on me at all times. You never know, right? Trust me, you never know. I pulled up a short story I'd drafted twice called "Reunion" and started giving it another read for the first time since last May.

Image removed because I can't find the attribution.

You know what it is? It's one of those shorts where I'm not sure if I love it or hate it. And that, my friends, is where you come in. I'm going to post the first few paragraphs here because I want some serious impressions. I feel like there's something missing, or wrong, but I've tinkered with it too many times to be able to tell. Too close to the situation, so I'm going to recuse myself and let you all rip it up.

And, with the seriousness of a shop owner in China dying after a woman squeezed his balls too long and hard, your honest feedback is appreciated.



Tom sat alone at a table for two, a glass of water and an empty bottle of Bud Light in front of him. The label had been peeled off while he waited. Eying the basket of bread, he forced himself to look away. The last thing he needed was more bread. His stomach was already stuffed enough on the carb overload; certainly another slice wouldn't help. Instead, he attempted to tie another knot into the straw he had pulled from his water glass. There were already five straws, each with five knots marking the twenty-five minutes he had been waiting past the time they were to meet. It was better than chewing his fingernails—a habit he had tried, unsuccessfully, to lose. The waitress, looking more concerned with each pass she made by the table, asked again if he needed anything.

“I’m fine for now, thank you. I’ll just wait until my party arrives.”

She nodded and a few loose strands of blonde hair fell into her face. As she had done each time prior, she pushed the strays behind her ear as she left to check on her other tables. Tom decided that she deserved a generous tip after he had hogged her table on such a busy night. Giving in, he was reaching for another piece of bread when he heard a familiar voice from the direction of the hostess stand. Her voice.

“I’m supposed to be meeting someone.”

Turning in his seat, Tom saw her. She was scanning the room with her light brown eyes. He had always argued that they had more yellow in them than any other color. Standing up, he made a short wave as she spotted him. She passed the few tables between them and he pulled out her chair.


This isn't the whole thing, but just the beginning. So...hit me.

Word to the Nerd

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: To Have

Well...April's gone, and so ends the A-to-Z Challenge.

To be honest, it was kind of nice knowing which shirt to wear rather than deciding while looking at them all. For transparency, I'm wearing the Orange Crush shirt today.

The post-mortem for the challenge is scheduled for next Monday. For the new followers, every so often I like to open it up for your questions. I'm not opening it up yet, so get your questions ready, and I'll post the prompt next Monday during the recap. This is the only warning you'll get, and I usually don't give the warning. It's just because I like you all so very much.

Also, today is the release date for Elemental by the esteemed and magnificent Emily White. You might remember the small interview last week. So...go buy it, please.

Now, let us pick up where we left off. Which means that it's time for a full-on Top Five Tuesday. We'll ease back into it, I promise.

The Premise

I had a friend in high school who was, dare I say, obsessed with David Letterman's "Top Ten" lists. So much so that he would share his own top ten lists over lunch periods. The subject matter of those lists is not retained in my long-term memory, no matter how good it is. However, I'm sure I could ask him since I still know how to contact him. Thank you, Blogger and Facebook. One day, as I was reading through the blogs that I follow, I saw that many of them have theme days. That's when I thought I would try my hand at my own theme day, and "Top Five Tuesday" was born. The only disclaimer is that these lists represent my own opinions and are subject to change whenever the hell I feel like it. Also, these lists are not in ranking order, unless specifically said.

Five Things I Would Like to Have

1. PlayStation Vita : For no other reason than to have one. It's a game gadget. Must has.

2. Star Wars: The Blueprints : Anyone have $1,000 to spare? I accept gifts.

3. McIntosh Clock : Because it's gorgeous, and should be at $1,500.

4. Thief 4 : The last installment in this video game series was—sadly—back in 2004. Eidos-Montreal has the reins on the game, and they had a vague announcement back in 2008, but so far...still waiting.

5. 1974 Volkswagen Type-181 Thing (Kurierwagen) : And I want it in orange.

That brings us to the end of things. A nice, light day in the Nerdiverse.

Word to the Nerd