Almost There…
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:14 pm)

I just talked to Lorien on her cell phone and she is in Denver. Her flight doesn't leave until 9-something tonight though, arriving in Spokane at 11:30pm. She's been gone exactly one month, which ended up being less than I expected. That being said, I'm glad she's almost home. And I know one cat that will be overjoyed as well.

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On the Way Home
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:50 am)

Lorien has started her journey home. Yesterday afternoon (for her) she hopped on the bus to Pekanbaru where the airport is. She'll spend a night in Singapore again (she said the airport there is really nice), then fly to Narita->Denver->Spokane, arriving at 11:30pm Thursday.

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Birthday Adventure 1
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:55 am)

I went with some family to catch smelt on the bank of the Cowlitz river near Kelso Washington. Apparently you can only net them for 6 hours today and that's it. Lorien will be sad that she missed it.

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Bad furnace
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:52 am)

I've been fighting an intermittent problem with my furnace for several months now, most of the time shutting it off and turning it back on has done the trick (just like a computer). However, last night no matter how many resets I did it would not light, or if it did it would not stay lit. It would end up recycling the air without heating it until I shut it off again. Frustrating.

I have a HVAC guy here now looking at it, and he says it sounds like a spark valve problem but couldn't get it to reproduce the issue. Of course. But whet he tapped an the valve it immediately shut the flame off and then he said that's the problem. Now I'm just waiting for the bad news (in a 55 degree house) of how much a replacement valve will cost.

$460 dollars later and I have a warm house again. Why is a spark valve so expensive??

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Goodbye Grandpa
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First watch, 6 bells (11:19 pm)

For those that don't know, my grandfather passed away last week. Today we held his memorial service. You are missed, grandpa.
Wade E Garton's Military Honors Wade Emory Garton's final resting place

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Tap tap
Posted in General
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:47 pm)

Is this thing on?

Update: yup

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An Update, Progress!
Posted in General
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:36 pm)

I updated WordPress and finally have the auto-update working for plugins. I've always managed them by hand in the past, but it's annoying. I just updated to WordPress 3.8 and fixed up the permissions so my plugins were all very simple and quick to update. Yay.

I also reorganized a couple of pages that have C++ stuff on them, so they all appear sorted the same in the sidebar.

Some day I'll have to update the stylesheet and fix the weird comment formatting, but I gotta slow down I'm getting too much done.

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Ten Years
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:49 am)

So I checked my calendar and today is the tenth anniversary, tenth!, since I started this blog. At the time, there wasn't any social media to speak of, not like there is today. Unfortunately it has filled a niche and allowed me to contact many of the people I intended to talk with on this blog. You can tell by the way I stopped regularly posting updates and added Twitter plugins to duplicate my feed here.

That being said, the Pages I have written (not these posts) have experienced some popularity over the years. My DIY Settlers of Catan 3D page and my Cisco 881w page both still get regular comments and visitors.

So. Ten years. Yeah, that's an accomplishment.

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Late-night Noise
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 3 bells (1:39 pm)

A noise woke me up at 3:45am this morning. This is not unusual as I am an extremely light sleeper, sometimes the refrigerator's compressor coming on will wake me all the way from the kitchen to my bedroom. But it was a different noise, and I was quickly worried something was not right.

I have a nagging fear that some of the lowbrow neighbors behind my house will try to break in and steal things. So I peek out a back window and see light in my garage. So I grabbed my .40 Sig-Sauer and my phone and went to check it out. This is where I say I'm glad I own a gun and feel safe looking around my own house without having to call the cops first.

So anyway I go downstairs and see that the garage light is on but everything is okay, it looked like Lorien was in there and forgot to turn it off. The noise I heard was probably a cat knocking something over, as is their wont to do. I decided not to shoot the cat.

This is exactly why I own firearms: to protect my home and family. I'm all for better background checks and private sale regulation, but you cannot have, nor will you ever relieve me of, my guns.

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Smoking the Turkey
Posted in General
Morning watch, 3 bells (5:34 am)

I got up at 5am today to start smoking my 22 pound turkey. This will be the first turkey I've cooked on my awesome Traeger Grill. Two nights ago I brined it in a 1 gallon of water to 1/2 cup salt brine overnight. The next morning I patted it dry and stuck it back in the fridge to dry out the skin until last night, where I rubbed it down with a mixture of 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1 tsp kosher salt. Before putting it on to smoke, I tied up the legs and brushed it all down with olive oil. I will continue this with each step as I reach it today.

After two hours, I turned the temperature of the grill up to 350°F.

I checked the temperature of the thigh and breast after two and a half more hours, juice arced out in a powerful stream from the hole I made in the breast for several seconds, then stopped. Juicy! It's at 148°F.

At just before four hours the temperature of the breast was 161°F and the thigh was 167°F, I shut the heat off and let it rest. It looks fantastic.

Traeger turkey 2012

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It’s Quiet Lately
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:49 am)

I blame social media. And Diablo 3.

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Well Well Well Look Who’s Back
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 2 bells (1:24 pm)

Look who is back at the blogging thing.

That's right, it's me!

I haven't had much to say lately, and apparently Twitter and other social media have satisfied my creative outlet needs.

So here's what's new:

And that's everything, in a nutshell.

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TMBG Awareness Day
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:13 am)

Tomorrow, April 26th, is They Might Be Giants Awareness Day. Tell your friends!

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Writing Assignment
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First watch, 2 bells (9:23 pm)

This afternoon a challenge was issued to write a story that ends with a line provided ahead of time. The first one was "It was the loveliest shade of pink they'd ever seen." The following is my contribution. Yes, I'm mentally 13 sometimes:

A Trip to Remember

For Heather and Shannon, every summer vacation started out with a road trip to their grandparents' farm outside Terre Haute, Indiana. It was bad enough leaving their friends and California behind, but the long and boring drive pent up in the back seat of a car with a dodgy air conditioner was driving them crazy.

If asked later, neither Heather nor her sister could remember who started the get-the-driver-to-honk game, but they both knew who ended it. As they frantically competed to get a vanload of college students to honk at them by waving their arms and blowing kisses, finally they got what they both wanted.

Mr. and Mrs. Connors noticed the lack of noise from the back seat moments before their attention turned to the green van honking its horn as it slowly passed them. A chubby college student with his pants pulled down was pressing his cheeks up against the window as his buddies cheered him on. Mrs. Connors harrumphed while her husband chuckled and nodded his head. The sound of contagious giggling came from the back seat.

It was the loveliest shade of pink they'd ever seen.

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Off to Atlanta
Posted in General
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:48 pm)

We're off tomorrow at 0-dark-30 to Atlanta to attend InvaderCON. Expect a few weird pictures/posts later.

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