Dec 30, 2008

Real Life Heroes

".... We were also doing something because we believed in it.We were attempting, through our personal efforts, to make our country a safer and better place to live in. Individually, working on our separate patches of turf, we did too much good in our respective communities to be written off as a mere aberration, whether social or sexual or psychological."
~ from WATCHMEN, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

======================================================

I've recently begun re-reading "Watchmen" again in preparation for the movie release in just a few short months. It's a lengthy read and I want to be sure to have plenty of time to soak it all in before I see it on the big screen and hopefully not get disappointed.

But shortly before I pulled it off of the bookshelf, I had just finished reading an article in Rolling Stone magazine about real life superheroes that are popping up all over the planet fighting crime in their own individual way.

When I started reading the article, all I could think of was shades of "Mystery Men", where kooks and freaks of all sorts were purporting to have powers and be superheroes.


But although that appears to be the case on the surface, when you scratch a little deeper you find out that these guys (and gals) are committed to their duties and really are trying to make a difference and improve their communities. They aren't just attention whores looking for an endorsement (although some might actually seem like that).

A friend at work emailed me a video that was broadcast just today regarding an interview with "Razorhawk" who fights crime in Minneapolis.

Part of me wants to laugh out loud that people are dressing up in costume and running around "fighting crime"... but then what exactly am I doing when I get off work to make my neighborhood and town a safer place? Sitting on my fat ass blogging?
And besides, this is coming from somebody who still gets giddy when the comic book convention comes to town so who am I to judge?

These folks are organized (sort of) and they are taking matters into their own hands to effect the change they want to see in the world.
Whether it's stopping a robbery, handing out clean socks and clothes to the homeless, or guiding wayward drunken lasses from the clutches of nefarious men... they are helping people.
As "Razorhawk" says in the interview, "The costume helps to inspire people", but we can all try to do better with or without a costume.
(and maybe in the process we can let these ass-monkeys fade away into obscurity)

The term "hero" gets used way too often nowadays. Practically anybody who breathes air can get labeled a 'hero' just for standing at the right place at the right time... whether they actually did anything or not.
I don't know any of these costumed crime-fighters personally, and I'm a bit reluctant to call somebody a hero just for doing a good deed (like collecting food for a local foodbank) or their civic duty (like filling out an accident report). But they are inspiring and setting an example of what we can accomplish if we try.


2009 is almost here.
Maybe being a "Real Life Superhero" isn't my cup of tea, but I'm certainly looking forward to trying to do and be better.

Dec 27, 2008

Post-Christmas (or, Enough Already!)

So I've gotten a few texts and read up on the blogs and it sounds like most everyone had a good Christmas.

Hotness and I had a pretty decent one, all things considered, but it was by far NOT one of the better ones either of us have ever had.
Let's back up a little and I'll you all about it, okay?


On Christmas Eve after we went out for breakfast, we came back home and did "domestic stuff" (i.e. bring up wood, shovel snow off the deck, etc...).
That evening we were going to our neighbor's to watch Christmas programs and have dinner.
The day itself was fine and things seemed to go smoothly.

We left the house and drove over to his place. He lives at the barn where he works, so there is a big looping driveway for trucks and trailers to get up and out of.
A lot of snow had fallen during the day so it was pretty slick (even for 4WD) but we managed to get into the driveway and up around the first turn. That's when things went wrong.

The truck couldn't get any traction in the snow and it slid sideways... towards the pasture fence.
Hotness tried to back up and move forward, but that only made us slide closer to the fence and hit one of the posts.
We were stuck, and one of the fender flares got smashed in the process.


We tried to dig the truck out, but it was dark and snowing. I threw down some rock salt to help melt the snow and allow us to get some traction but that was a waiting process, so we left it and walked up to the house to have dinner.
Dinner was good and the programs were fun, but they were clouded by the "my truck is stuck" atmosphere and wasn't as enjoyable as everyone had hoped.
So we left early and walked back home, deciding to wait until daylight to try and finish digging out the truck when we could see better.

When we got to the road, we saw that the garbage cans were knocked over and trash was strewn across the road. Oh great. The bear is in the area and we're walking on foot. Perfect.
So we made lots of noise all the way to our place.


I built up the fire again, Hotness grabbed a book and then I went into my office to get online when.... the power went out.

It was out all night and didn't come back until around 3:00 a.m.
And then it blinked out around 7:00 a.m. came back on and went out for good at 8:15 a.m.
Hotness stumbled out of bed shortly after the power went out that last time.
"Can we go dig the truck out? I'm not feeling very 'Christmas-y' right now and I'm just going to worry about it until it gets un-stuck", she asked.
So we got dressed, and walked over the barn with shovels in hand, where we spent 2 hours digging it out and arguing at each other. Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas.


We got the truck out and came back home. Still no power, but we apologized for being crabby at each other and opened up gifts in front of the wood stove.
Hotness got some new unmentionables.
I got a hand-made bowl.
And the cat got a new sleeping pad (filled with catnip).


At this point we were hungry, as we hadn't eaten since we got up and we spent a couple of hours digging in the snow.
Still no power, but I didn't let that stop me.
I cooked breakfast on the wood stove and it came out just swell.
Link sausage and French toast:



The remainder of the day was uneventful.
Our power came back on around 4:14 that afternoon, so we both jumped into the shower before it went off again.

We went back to the barn that evening to have Christmas dinner with our neighbor... this time we walked.


On Friday, we got up and braved a trip into town to get our mail, get breakfast, and get groceries.

The snow has been unrelenting and by this point we were worried about our roof.
There was about 2-1/2 feet of snow piled up on there.

We went next door and borrowed a ladder and tried to shovel it off, but the snow started coming down even harder.
My legs were frozen as I wasn't wearing proper winter attire, and Hotness was sore from shoveling so we went back inside.
She took a nap, but I couldn't so I got online for a bit. As I was in my office, I kept thinking about my comic books, all the comic sketches I've collected and thought how pissed I'd be if the roof collapsed on all of it.
So I got dressed in dressed in proper cold weather clothes and went back up on the roof and just turned into a snow-shoveling fool.
I got about half the snow off of it before it got dark (and therefore too dangerous to be up on the roof).

Our neighbor came over to our house for dinner and a movie last night. We had chicken mole and watched "Curse of the Golden Flower".
Then he walked back to his place and Hotness and I retired for the evening in front of the fire.


The snow is beginning to melt which is nice.
We still have half of the roof to shovel, and as the snow is melting it's getting heavier up there so I want to finish that today if at all possible.

It looks like I won't be driving my car out of our parking area for a few days. There is just too much snow piled up around it to get it out. I guess that's one way to save gas, huh?
My car is under that pile of snow in the middle.

Nothing planned for today so far other than the roof.
Hopefully this snow will melt a lot and make things easier around here.


Be back soon.....

Dec 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


No post today.
Just wishing everyone a very happy, safe, fun, warm and merry Christmas!


Dec 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Nothing noteworthy to report really. Just a couple of things I might mention...


After our "incident" involving the wood stove, I bought three brand spankin' new smoke detectors and a new carbon monoxide detector.
They are all installed in strategic locations throughout the Ferretnick abode and we both feel much safer now. (We still aren't drying wood on top of the stove, however)

I did cook a yummy stew on the wood stove, though. I put a bunch of veggies, rice, barley, lentils, chicken and pork sausage in a Dutch Oven with some chicken broth and tomato sauce. I mixed in a few spices and let it simmer all day on top of the stove.
It was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! And it didn't use any electricity to do it.

I haven't driven my car since Wednesday last week. so the snow keeps piling up on top.
I brushed it off on Saturday morning and started it to let it run and get the engine going.
Then it snowed again and buried the car that night.
This is what my car looked liked on Monday morning around 5:30 a.m. after I had brushed the snow off on Saturday.


This is the back-end of the car. Take a good look 'cause it's important to what happened next.

Yesterday, I brushed off the snow again and started it up.
Everything started out fine, so I went into the house for a minute while I let the car run.
I came back outside a couple of minutes later and the car had stopped. "Huh, weird", I thought.
So I tried to start it again but it wouldn't turn over. Tried it again... no luck.
I did it about 5 or 6 times but the car would not start back up. I started smelling exhaust fumes and thought, "I'll leave it for now and try again tomorrow".
So this morning (as we were leaving to go to town for Christmas Eve breakfast) I started my car again. It started right up, and then it dawned on me what the problem was yesterday.... I hadn't cleared the snow away from my tailpipe.
The snow is over 2 feet deep.... my tailpipe sits only 4 inches off the ground. All the exhaust was trapped under the car, and the snow was preventing it from venting properly.
I brushed it away and have since then had no problems.
Sometimes the easiest answer is right under your nose.

Today we went into town to have Christmas Eve breakfast with our neighbors.
Then we walked to the grocery store and the post office before coming back home.
At the grocery store I took these pictures on my phone:
It's the end of the world! Get chips!
(Oddly enough, there was still plenty of milk, bread and eggs)



A festival of meat for the Holidays
(No Hanukkah Ham, however)



I hope everyone is warm and safe and dry.
Have a good Christmas and I'll be back soon.

Dec 22, 2008

Music Madness Monday

Christmas is just a three more days away.
Hope you've got your shopping all finished and you're tucked away at home all warm and snug.

You've probably seen this before, but still....

.... who doesn't wish for one?

Dec 21, 2008

I Come From The Land Of Ice And Snow

Not to beat a dead horse, but it's still snowing.


Last night, we went to our neighbor's to play games and have dinner. Originally we were going to go over to see my mom and have dinner with them before Christmas, but the weather put the kibosh on that real quick.
So instead we went the the neighbor's house (right behind us) and had BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, and coleslaw. Afterwards we played some "Redneck Life" and around 11:30 p.m. we drove the 100 yards (in the snow, otherwise we'd have walked) back to our house.

After getting the fire started back up again, Hotness curled up in front of the stove and I got online to check email.
When suddenly.... the power went out. Then came back on a minute later. And in another 30 minutes went out again for the remainder of the night.
Just great. Now we HAVE to keep the fire going or we'll freeze to death.

This morning, we got up (still no electricity) and drove down to town to get gas and have breakfast.
While we were eating we got a call that the power had come back on. Yay! Only 12 hours without electricity. I think that's a new record for our area.

I'm going to have to ride into town tomorrow morning with Hotness and then catch a ride with a co-worker in order to get to my work. The snow is just w-a-y too deep for me to attempt driving in it unless I want to be a mini-snowplow.
This could be interesting.

In the meantime I thought I'd post some more random pics from around the Ferretnick homestead for your viewing pleasure:
As you can see... it's a bit problematic for me to get my car out of my parking area.
It really doesn't matter if I have snow tires at this point.

A couple of trees in our yard and our mailboxes right across the street from them.

While I'm posting pics of my car, here are a couple of unusual ones;
This one is the mileage my car was at the other night. I thought is was interesting that the trip meter and odometer were all 6's & 9's.


This pic is from one of the traffic cams along my route to work.
On Wednesday one of my co-workers was checking the traffic to see how the commute was and just happened to see my car there waiting for the light.

Dec 20, 2008

Just To Catch Up....

So if you're from WA State, then you'll know about the snow and sub-freezing temps. I don't need to go over that for you.

But I did want to to catch you all up on what's been happening around here:

I went to work on Wednesday since the roads were clear and no snow had fallen the night before.
It was a slow day (as it has been lately) and nothing very exciting.
Then around 4:15 p.m. it started to snow. In 15 minutes our parking lot was white and my boss said "If you want to go home now, go ahead. It's not that busy and there's only a 1/2-hour to go anyway". So I cut out and headed home, only to quickly to discover that the hill out of the parking lot was kinda slick and I was spinning my tires (my SNOW tires) getting out.

The drive home was a scary one and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it home in my car.
I drove slow and steady and made it into town, and thought "Well, I'll either make home or I won't" so I continued on, up the hills and windy roads to my place. When I pulled into my parking spot I turned off the car and called it a night.

The next morning we woke up to about 6-8" of snow. Too deep or me to drive through, so I called in a 'snow day' at work and stayed home.
Hotness tried to make it out, and she got as far as town but was scared to go any further , so she came back and worked from home.

By mid-day Thursday we had over a foot of snow and it was still coming down.
So on Friday morning, Hotness just planned on working from home and I called in to work to say I wasn't going to make it.

In the meantime, I've been baking cookies, filling the bird feeders and keeping the fire going.
The house is warm and smells yummy.

We've made it into town a couple of times so far to get groceries, but the roads are covered with compacted snow and ice. I'm still a bit wary of trying to drive to work on Monday if it doesn't clear up a bit.

We had a bit of excitement last evening.
Hotness and I have been taking turns watching the stove and keeping a fire going.
Last night, she curled up on the floor in front of the stove while I was in the kitchen baking.
I started smelling smoke but attributed it to the fire, but it kept getting stronger.
So during a break between pans of cookies I went to the living room to check the fire and noticed that smoke was coming up from the top of the stove.
A piece of wood we had drying on top of it had gotten hot enough to start smoldering and had coals starting to burn on it.
I yelled "SMOKE!" which jolted Hotness wide awake. She ran for the front door and told me to toss the piece outside, but I just put it in the stove and closed the damper down.
After that, we decided NOT to dry any more wood on top of the stove. Close call but quickly (and thankfully) danger was averted.

This morning I got up around 6:00 a.m. and looked at the thermometer: 6 degrees! Brrrr!!!

Right now, I have another pork shoulder cooking in the crock pot with BBQ sauce. I made some potato salad earlier today and a little later this evening we're going to our neighbor's to play "Redneck Life" and have dinner.
I'd better go, as I need to shred the pork so we can make sandwiches.

I hope everyone is faring well and that you got all your shopping for Christmas finished before this weather hit.

Be safe and I'll be back with more soon.

Dec 17, 2008

No Cake For Little Adolf

Poor little Adolf Hitler Campbell won't be getting his 3rd birthday cake from the local ShopRite this year. The supermarket feels that the name is inappropriate and reserves the right refuse service.

I totally agree with them on this.
Who in their right mind names their kid Adolf Hitler..... or Aryan Nation for that matter?!?
Oh, only some numbnut with a point to make that's about as blunt as the one on top of his head.

It's not so much that this idiot had to name his kids these ridiculous (and quite frankly, offensive) names, but that these kids are w-a-y too young to realize the baggage they are going to be carrying around.
That's what really irks me about dips#!ts like that.

There's a reason that Adolf is not a name given to babies anymore.
(Perhaps it has something to do with a little thing called "the holocaust"? I'm just spit-balling here)

Ahhhh... but don't worry. Good ol' Walmart was willing to make a cake for him.
Of course they'll sell anything to make a buck. (or do they?)

---------------------
UPDATE
A very good editorial on this subject from the Lehigh Valley website.

Lara Croft Tryouts?

I don't know what the name of the show is but after watching this video I couldn't care less.
All I care about is content.

I can tell you this, though;
It's in French and it has cute girls in T-shirts crawling over a pipe.
Probably not a good idea to watch at work, but nothing too risque to get in trouble over.

video

If more game shows were like this in the States... I'd probably start watching TV again.

Dec 15, 2008

Music Madness Monday

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

MMM preamble

I apologize but I've had nothing but problems trying to get this post to work today.
I'l try it again, but since the problem seems to be happening whenever I edit the post, here is all the info:

Today's Music Madness includes appearances by G-rod, Imperfect, and Elwood.
(They didn't know they were going to help me out... but thanks guys!)

Alright, so see above for actual "content". (If you can call it that)
Thanks for your patience.

Dec 14, 2008

Blue Sky, White Ground

More snow last night.
It's a beautiful day outside today.

Just wanted to share some pictures of what it looks like at the Ferretnick homestead today:
My car

This is the road facing downhill (south) from my driveway

A tree in our yard. Kind of 'festive', no?

Looking over towards my neighbor's property
I finally filled the birdfeeders up (hoping that the bear has gone into hibernation) for winter.

I took all of these this morning. The first three were right as the sun was starting to come up, and the other two were taken about an hour and a half later.

Dec 13, 2008

Snow

So it snowed last night (melted a little during the day) and is snowing again.
Then the temp is going to drop way low.... like into the 'teens. Brrrr!
Not looking forward to any of that in the least, as we live out in the hills at a higer elevation than most. This means we:
a) get more snow than everyone else (other than the ski slopes)
b) get colder temps than down in town
c) lose our power often

This is going to become interesting if this snow melts just enough to make everything wet (i.e the roads) and then freezes.
I may just get a sled and scoot downhill into work. Of course, I'll have to walk uphill all the way home afterwards. On second thought.... Nah.

Tonight, we're going next door to watch a movie and have dinner with our neighbor. I've got a pork shoulder in the crockpot smothered in barbeque sauce just cooking nice 'n slow.
We're going to have pulled BBQ pork sandwiches and potato chips tonight.
In the meantime, Hotness and I are gearing up to do some holiday baking.
And by "we", I mean mostly me. Although I will admit... she makes a terrific banana bread.


Well anyway, here's your arbitrary picture of Hotness looking cute with our snow-covered backyard behind her:
I took this shortly after we got back home this afternoon from running into town to check the roads.

Dec 11, 2008

Bettie Page: 1923 - 2008

Sad news tonight as I was surfing around online.

Iconic pin-up model Bettie Page died this evening after suffering a heart attack earlier this week that put her into a coma.
She was 85 years old.

Not only was she famous for her "racy" photos that included everything from skimpy (at the time) lingerie to bondage and fetish, but was also the inspiration for Dave Stevens' character "Bettie" in the Rocketeer as well as the subject of countless websites, comic books, documentaries, etc...


Rest in peace Bettie.
You will be missed but never forgotten.

Garden d'Lights

The other night, Hotness and I went out to see the Bellevue Botanical Garden's Holiday light display, Garden d'Lights with some friends.


Neither of us had been before, so this was a new treat for us and a nice change from driving into different neighborhoods looking at houses (which is fun too).

The light displays are spread out over the garden grounds and they had a "critter map" for kids of all ages to locate the different animals that were scattered throughout the displays. I guess if you found all of them, you got a prize... but since we weren't keeping track, I don't know what the 'prize' was.

Here are a few pictures of what we saw:





(Willie the slug)


Afterwards, we went back to their house and had dinner (yummy prawn Caesar salad with olive cheese bread!) and called it a night.

The Garden d'Lights are free (that's right... FREE!!!) although donations are greatly appreciated to help keep it going, so if you're looking for some cheap holiday entertainment, this was certainly fun to go to.

Dec 10, 2008

The Barfy Baby

Awww.... isn't he a cutie?
This story is about him, but since I don't like to encourage stalkers, we'll call him "Pete".

Pete's mom and I work at the same company.
For the past few weeks, Pete has been coming into work with his mom and spending the morning with us until his 'ride' comes to pick him up for daycare.
He's generally a pretty happy guy except when he's reached time for a nap, but even then he's still a very agreeable little fellow.

We have an open office layout where we work, so everybody can see Pete and he can see all the people in the office and those from the warehouse who wander through occasionally.
It keeps him entertained (especially when we stop to play with him) and everybody thinks Pete is pretty cool.

Well, the other morning (Monday, to be exact), Pete was sitting behind his mom playing with a toy. I saw him on my way to the fax machine and he was just having a good time.
I sent off my fax, made some small talk with someone in accounting and headed back to my desk.
On the way, I glanced over at Pete and noticed that he was running his fingers through something on the floor. Wait... What is....... Oh! He spit up!
"Hey Pete, you don't want to play with that, " I said as I picked him up so his mom could get out of her desk and clean him up. (He was directly behind her, so she hadn't seen what he'd done yet).

I'm holding him, she's cleaning off his pants and shirt, and Pete is thinking "Hey neat! They're playing with me!"
His mom had to get some more paper towels to clean him off and asked me to turn him around so she could get his other side. "No problem," I said.

I turned him around and lifted him up to make him more accessible. He was now face-to-face with me at about head level.
"Hi Pete," I said "You're mom's coming back to clean you off some more, so I'm going to hang on to you for a minute."
"Awesome!" thought Pete and then proceeded to stuff his baby barf-covered hand into my mouth.

One of my other co-workers saw this and started laughing. I winced because I was NOT expecting that.
Pete saw my reaction and saw the other person laughing.... so he did it again.
Now she was laughing harder, and I kept trying to dodge his little hand but this only served to entice him some more. Into my face again went his hand.

By this time my co-worker was almost in tears from laughing so hard, I was trying not to get sick myself, and little Pete was laughing (in the way that happy babies laugh) at how everyone was reacting to him.
Then he slapped his hand onto my face, right smack onto my glasses and drug his hand down.

Around this time his mom had returned and finished cleaning him off.
My other co-worker was doubled-over laughing, Pete was laughing, and I was going "Ew! Ew! Ew!"

Pete's mom took him from me and let me go, and I promptly went to the restroom to wash my face and mouth. Then I went to my car to get my eyeglass cleaner so I could see again (without having to look through a vomit-induced haze)

And that was how my workweek started, and all within the first couple of hours on Monday.

How're things going for you?

Dec 8, 2008

Music Madness Monday

It's a two-fer-one special today, since these are kind of short.

The worst:

(thanks via the Presurfer)

And the best:

(Who knew homeless guys had this much talent?)

*** Update 1:14 p.m
Fixed video

Dec 5, 2008

Give Me Tiiiime Toooo Realiiiize My Crime....

Hey look! It's Uncle Fester!

Nah... that's actually Boy George leaving a London courthouse after being found guilty of handcuffing a male escort in his apartment last April.

Those crazy has-been celebrities have all the fun, don't they?




Dec 4, 2008

ROTFLMAO

Real quick...
This was too funny not to post a link up for it.

Why you should always check your kid's homework

Dec 3, 2008

*Cough! Honk! Wheeze!*

Ugh!
Feeling terribly under the weather since the Thanksgiving weekend finished. So no blog posts to put up (not that there's anything to talk about right now anyway).
Hopefully I'll be feeling better soon and have something to report.


There is something coming up that I'd like to mention, though.
Miriam Libicki will be in Seattle on Thursday to promote the release of her comic book, "Jobnik!". (I've talked about her book before)
She's been putting this out in single-issue form for a few years and just recently had it published in a graphic novel format.

Despite being sick, I'm planning on attending her book reading in Seattle that evening. If you're free and would like to drop by, please do.

Find out more about it here.

Dec 1, 2008

Music Madness Monday (Special Edition)

In recognition of today being World Aids Day, I'm presenting you with a special triple feature.

The following videos are French* PSA's to help promote safe sex and inform people to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.

WARNING: While these are cartoons, they can still be considered slightly NSFW (particularly if your boss or co-workers are extremely prudish), so viewer discretion is advised.

video

video

video



AIDS can infect anyone and it effects everyone.
So inform yourself and be safe.


* These PSA's were done in both French and English, so I used the English language ones for this post.