A Twist Of Fate
September, 2011 Entries
"Fiction writing is great, you can make up almost anything." - Anonymous

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(09/29/11 - 7:22 PM)
Finished watching the long-awaited (and strangely overdue) third season of "Fringe", and was (w)alternately impressed and disappointed.

Allow me to explain: The 'parallel universe' idea seemed like an interesting storyline. Then they went further, and it kind of became less enchanting and more annoying. We find out more about the parallel world, more about Peter's roots, and Walter's oddly enlightening methods of thinking. And some of it's good. And some of it - not so much.

Still, I recommend this series for those of you still mourning the lack of new seasons of "Lost". It's not as good, but it fills the void better than most of the pablum on network television these days.

(09/28/11 - 9:14 PM)
The longest common English palindromic word is 'redivider' at nine letters. 'Detartrated' has eleven letters, but is a contrived term, so not always considered by purists. The Oxford Dictionary accepts 'tattarrattat' as a word, thereby making it a palindrome to consider. HOWEVER, it was coined by James Joyce in a book as a character knocked on a door. So I'm not buying into that one as viable.

(09/27/11 - 9:44 PM)
So, I've been thinking passively about the whole new physics discovery of faster-than-light particles, and I struck upon something novel. What if it's possible for particles to have a negative mass. Or, at least, as we understand mass at present. This might explain a lot: what the universe is full of, how potentially alien spacecraft might travel (i.e. - 'hovering') and a whole host of other weird concepts.

There's probably no way that it's possible - especially because I'm not a physicist. But the thought is a genuinely interesting one, isn't it?

(09/25/11 - 11:13 AM)
An in-bread cat:

Spay or neuter your animals!

(09/24/11 - 6:23 PM)
Super productive day today.

Went to work for a couple hours this morning, then home to get Wanda and off to lunch.

Afterward, we stopped at several office stores and a home center. Specifically, we decided over lunch that we needed a dedicated workspace for the new company (Digital Ninjas Media, Inc.). After much searching and butt-plunking, we found a reasonably priced pair of office chairs. I had considered purchasing a new desk for the office, when Wanda reminded me that we had a small conference table languishing in the basement. This proved to be a far superior idea, space-wise, so we rolled with it.

And now, after much work we have turned the mud room into a media hardware storage area, and have added a new workspace to the office, creating a 4-workstation computing area that is something of a nerd paradise.

And tonight: I'm not doing another thing.

(09/23/11 - 6:22 PM)
Today at work it became crystal-clear that one of the new machines we purchased was an amazing choice on paper, but - in my opinion - a terrible choice in fact.

Specifically, we purchased a large engine lathe with CNC capability to accent our current abilities to make components. It took months over the promise date to receive and - when we did - it was fraught with problems from the moment it had power. Three weeks later, the vendor had it up and running only, now, it does things it shouldn't. This has already cost me hundreds of dollars in scrap material, and thousands of dollars in lost revenue. And there's no easy solution in sight.

The other problem is the design of the machine itself. It has not made appropriate accomodations for chip ejection, coolant rcycling, or operator interface. The coolant goes all over - as do the chips. The interface is beyond clunky, and is at hip-level with no option for pivoting. Thus, the operator is forced to squat to program the machine. I've at least been able to solve this issue by purchasing a stool for the operator - allowing comfort and ease of use while programming. The other problems, I can't really solve without some creative engineering - and my Boss' approval to add modifications to the machine.

This is going to be an interesting topic, moving forward. And not in a good way in the least.

(09/22/11 - 7:46 PM)
Today, my world turned inside out. For anyone that knows me they know that I may be a wacky asshole, but I am also a hard-core science geek. Specifically, when it comes to astronomy or physics. And today was a big day.

For a number of years, Einstein's Special Theory Of Relativity held that any object moving at any speed would gain exponential mass as it approached the speed of light (E=mc2), thereby making travel at the speed of light an impossibility due to the infinite proportional gains in mass. And it seemed logical, and sound.

Today we throw the book at that one and, in some ways, go back to square one. Today, scientists have broken the speed of light. And my mind has gone 'PLINK!' once more.

If you haven't read this - do it. Do it now. And when you're done, read this article as well. This is so fascinating, and so chock full of amazing possibilities that I really can't gush enough. This changes everything, and I can't wait until the scientific ramifications are quantified - or understood.

Today is a great day for science.

(09/21/11 - 5:55 PM)
Today we were confronted with a new version of FaceBook. And it wasn't pleasant. Subsequently, it didn't take long for the ire of some clever folks to come to the fore. Here are my two favorites on this - uh - 'auspicious' day:

Ugh! Ugh!

(09/20/11 - 5:48 PM)
After much struggle and numerous problems, we finally got our company business cards. And they're AMAZING. A big thanks to Wanda, who laid them out, and to Jim, who designed the graphics. It's starting to feel official!

We also landed our first paying client this week. So we've been hard at work assisting his company with their requests, and finally making money for the company instead of spending it.

(09/18/11 - 11:02 PM)
One of my favorite quotes - now in picture form!

(09/17/11 - 10:13 PM)
Today was the annual company picnic and golf outing. Now, I don't golf but each year I take it upon myself to bring a camera, and copious amounts of alcohol, and drive around the course taking pictures of all the folks golfing. Which, today, was a perfect day for.

Then, off to my Boss' home (conveniently located across the street from the golf course) for a potluck dinner and grilling out. As per usual, we all had a great time.

Then home to play some Nintendo. We've been playing through the LEGO series, and have loved them all. Recently, we picked up the Pirates of the Caribbean edition. Now, the game play is essentially the same, with three major differences:

- Jack Sparrow has this compass thing you have to find stuff with (Annoying)

- The screens are - on average - waaaaay too dark to see what's going on. It wouldn't be so bad if SO MANY of them weren't SO DARK.

- Purchasing extras and new characters is a total hassle, due to the fact that you have to solve puzzles to unlock the extras, and find and defeat the characters as they randomly appear on the docks in order to purchase them.

We're into the second of four clusters (one for each film) and so far, it's still disappointing. Which sucks, because the franchise is so amazing up until this point.

I can't wait for the new Harry Potter to come out in the beginning of November. The first one was super fun.

(09/16/11 7:05 PM)
Got the video for my cousin's wedding back from Dave - our video guy. He did an amazing job tying it together, as well as adding a neat splash screen with music. I'm pretty sure she'll be ecstatic.

(09/15/11 6:12 PM)
We had a hummingbird in the shop today. It flitted from ceiling thingee to ceiling thingee for several hours, and it was odd not only to see one in there, but also to watch it NOT leave out of one of the 16' overhead doors that were open.

(09/12/11 - 7:55 PM)
Left on Friday night, and just got home today from Dubuque, Iowa for my cousin Megan's wedding. We stayed in a phenomenal hotel on the Mississippi river, with a skywalk connecting to the convention center where their wedding was to be held.

We got into the hotel about 9:00 in the evening, and then went downstairs to the Tony Roma's within the hotel. Having never eaten there before, I can honestly say that I would go back in a heartbeat - the food, drinks, and atmosphere were fantabulous.

Part of deciding to get there a day early was to take the time to enjoy a day in town. On Saturday morning, we took a walk along the waterfront promenade to begin the day, and then we went downtown to walk around a bit.

We accidentally found The Fenelon Place Elevator, and were somewhat mesmerized by it's simplicity, age, and cleverness.

The afternoon was wedding time, so we showered and changed and made our way to the glass cathedral overlooking the river in the convention center.

I had brought the new HD video camera that we bought for the company to give it a spin and learn how it worked. As the wedding began, I realized that I was the only one there with video. I made a split-second decision to begin filming, and didn't stop until the evening was well under way and folks had begun to leave.

In total, I took nearly an hour of footage and my arm felt like gelatin when I was done.

All in all, a nice weekend away with family.

(09/03/11 - 10:22 AM)
It's been an insane week, so you're getting another lumped entry. I know - I suck.

And speaking of sucking, we've (that's Wanda and I) been ostracized from a segment of the family this week. Why? Because we were 'dragging our feet' on assisting Wanda's Grandmother with all of her cell phone issues. The problem is, we didn't know there were issues. To be more succinct, we knew of one: the buttons were too small for her. So, as soon as we knew of the issue, we began searching for a new phone for her, in the hopes of finding one before she had regained the ability to use it as she recovered from her stroke.

Somehow, this got turned into 'tons of problems that we had known about for two weeks and refused to do anyhing about' in an e-mail that was sent to every family member in the guise of 'part of an update on Grandma's condition'. The worst part? Wanda's sister, sister-in-law, and cousins all jumped on this wagon, which was spawned by her Aunt, who is caring for her Grandmother. They all were apalled that Wanda could be so truly evil and unfeeling, as the e-mail 'politely' implied.

As all of this is happening, I'm sitting back and all I keep thinking is, "This makes no sense. Everyone knows us better than this. They can't really be thinking this... can they?"

When it became obvious that not only could they, but they, in fact, were, we changed tactics. Our attempts at pleading for reason and pragmatism and logic, while trying to understand where everything went wrong were met with continued scorn for our perceived 'obscene and selfish' behavior and insensitivity, which ultimately led to a cutting of physical ties and blockage on FaceBook. Honest to God: full on blockage. The kind of thing reserved for insane boyfriends.

Seriously: I can't make this stuff up.

So, we are now 'persona non-grata' at her Aunt's home (where Grandma now resides as she recuperates), she and her children have essentially disavowed our existance, and the one who will suffer most is, ironically, the one who needs all the assistance and love she can receive: Grandma.

We still love her dearly, and are dazed by the events of the past week. Especially the ones that have torn my wife down to her barest essentials, and caused her so much emotional harm - the likes of which I have never seen in all my 15+ years with her. It has beyond-broken her spirit and comprehension.

And to what good end? I just don't get it. I truly don't. And I really tried to grasp the situation in a clear and comprehending manner. And I find that I simply cannot. What ever happened to talking to one another like adults, and explaining things rationally?

Just writing about it breaks my heart. For one of the few times in my life, I turned to my brother for solace and understanding. And he was there when I needed him. Thanks, Nick: You are an amazing guy.

In other, more positive news: Business has been even more insane than the weeks prior. We've begun a search for even more employees, which will be a huge help, if we can just shoehorn them into the schedule.

Our workload has increased 22% over the last week, and we are fast approaching record levels. At the moment, we are about 6% away from them.

We managed to shoehorn in getting some documents for the boat slip put together for the Army Corps. of Engineers, who seem to have lost their copies stating that my Father sold us his boat slip on Table Rock Lake some three years ago.

We also (finally!) got the business account opened on Saturday. So now we have a source of traceable income for the business, as well as being able to setup PayPal.

We also have a line on a couple of projects for clients, even though we don't officially 'open' for another 3+ weeks. One we are meeting this Wednesday, and we're very excited about it.

The days are so short, anymore, that we feel like a whole week is one short unit of time. We go to work, we come home, we work some more, and then we sleep. The light is finally at the end of the tunnel, though. Which is good, because the cash outlay has been significant.

My back has been getting progressively more agitated, making a lot of things tougher to complete within the confines of my day to day life. Fortunately, the doctors (plural!) have allowed extensions on their respective prescriptions to make my life less miserable. But it still remains a Band-Aid on an otherwise underlying problem.

We also got our passports this week. And man, they're awful. Does anyone take a good passport photo? At least they're here, safe and sound.

Other than that, it's been a normal week. (Yes - that is sarcasm.)

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