essentialsaltes: (quantum Mechanic)
Plywood sheets come in different thicknesses. Virtually all of them are fractions of the form (odd #)/32 inches. I saw a few 3/8 inch, but the rest were 7/32, 11/32, 15/32, 17/32, 19/32, 23/32... It was crazy.
essentialsaltes: (city Hall)
IMG_2341

More pictures.

I'd been to the Hollyhock House before, but this was the first time I got to see the inside (no pics allowed inside, alas). Lots of neat original details within, and reconstructions of some of the furniture.

Also in the park is one of the original guest houses, now sadly in disrepair.

IMG_2352

Agenda 21

Feb. 10th, 2015 04:50 pm
essentialsaltes: (perill of Breakdancing)
We were walking around the neighborhood, when a young guy on a bike slowly catches us up and starts talking at us. The conversation was odd from the get-go, and got odder. He was not satisfied with our explanation that we were taking a walk, and said something like...

"Oh, I know what's going on. This is some Agenda 21 action."

"Uh, no we're taking a walk."

"Yeah, Agenda 21. I have a well over 200 IQ and know what's going on. Where are your notebooks? Aren't you taking notes?"

"No, we're taking a walk."

With some last words about how we were carpetbaggers, he drifted down a different street.


Agenda 21 is "non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development", but it has turned into some sort of (largely rightwing) conspiracy about how the UN is going to take over America. But there's also Democrats Against Agenda 21.

Although, you have to admit, they may be on to something here:
Bicycle advocacy groups are very powerful now. Advocacy. A fancy word for lobbying, influencing, and maybe strong-arming the public and politicians. What's the conection with bike groups? National groups such as Complete Streets, Thunderhead Alliance, and others, have training programs teaching their members how to pressure for redevelopment, and training candidates for office. It's not just about bike lanes, it's about remaking cities and rural areas to the 'sustainable model'. High density urban development without parking for cars is the goal. This means that whole towns need to be demolished and rebuilt in the image of sustainable development. Bike groups are being used as the 'shock troops' for this plan.


It certainly does seem like Washington is in the pocket of Big Bike.
essentialsaltes: (cthulhu wreath)
You can see the Xmaholisolstizaah tree inside

We also liked this glittery house down the street.

IMG_2261
essentialsaltes: (Agent)
Untitled

Third costume of the day!

Had a great time at our Halloween Housewarming party. Dr. Pookie slaved all day long, and I slaved half a day long, but we got the house into shape and made some tasty treats for guests. As you can see from the photo, the first trick-or-treater got carved up for the stew. We had some pretty big fleets of kids come through -- in fact, we committed the unpardonable sin... we ran out of candy. But fortunately only a few groups had to go away empty bucketed. A couple of the neighbors showed up, as well as the nice folks who bought our old house. And a good selection of the usual gang of idiots.

A few more photos here, and one video of the dry ice fountain, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] castle_kevorah
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
IMG_2100

Front lawn torn out. Railroad ties spiked down with rebar. Earth moved. Decomposed granite surface. Manzanita, phormium, and a line of trailing rosemary along the front terrace.

Boy are my arms tired from writing the check to the guys that did all that work.
essentialsaltes: (Wogga Zazula!)
image


And when I put my ear to it, there was a faint sound of singing and the gnawing of bones. Maybe I should go down there?
essentialsaltes: (Dead)
This is what 45 looks like.

IMG_2096

[For reference, this is what 40 looks like.]

The comment there about 'Sunday was lazy football watching and pizza making' remains fairly apposite, as here is dinner:

IMG_2099

Prosciutto, broccolini, onion, olives, jalapeƱo, capers...

Yes, it was very, very good.

But I do not taunt you aimlessly, (maybe).

As I alluded before, a year from today will mark the completion of my 46th year. Twice 23. 23 years (arguably 92) since the events of 23 Skidoo occurred.

So I officially announce 23 Skidoo Times Two. September 13th, 2015 -- hopefully some of you will survive into September 14th.

This live game is not literally a sequel to 23 Skidoo -- especially since only a handful of people 'survived' -- but I'm certainly open to continuing lines.

My basic ideas...

The setting
Date: 1946
Place: Vienna, Austria
Venue: An auction of rare items and curiosae, much of it no doubt liberated by the vicissitudes of WWII.
Characters: to be written by players, and then adapted as needed by moi.
Primary filmic reference: The Third Man. Not that the game will necessarily be anything like this, but you must watch this peerless film, and thank me later.
Theme: Lovecraftian references will no doubt be present, and possibly of primary importance, but not necessarily overpowering. Postwar malaise. Black Market. Greed. Lust. Wrath. Other Deadly Sins.

The game: theater-style live game. In many ways an ode to the Enigma games of yore, but informed by the past few decades.

The players: I hope and trust, a great many of my friends, old and new, from Enigma, Wyrd Con, and beyond.

The details: In general.... TBA.

And so I ask... who's in? Contact me publicly or privately with your ideas, suggestions, concerns, etc.

In some months a more official announcement will appear, but for now this serves as an announcement of intent.



"Appendix D of The Lord of the Rings says that our New Year's Day (January 1) corresponds "more or less" to the Shire's "January 9", and in standard years our September 14 and the Shire's "September 22" [i.e. Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday] both fall 256 days after that date."
essentialsaltes: (Titan)
IMG_2092

Winston is slightly frustrated by the small size of the sunspot from our 'porthole'. But he's dealing with it.

IMG_2094
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
IMG_2090

Winston prefers lids to boxes.
essentialsaltes: (Wogga Zazula!)
You may think me mad for keeping all of them, but when civilization collapses and we are forced to use SCSI interfaces and Jaz drives, I will be ready.

essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
IMG_2088

We always make margaritas when IKEA furniture has to be put together. It keeps us from using the scythe on each other.
essentialsaltes: (Eye)
Yeah, we moved. I may get around to journaling about it the whole thing, but it's too big a topic, and I'm too tired.

But more importantly, the digital antenna seems to really work like a charm. I was so happy the setup was so easy, and the results so good. I know we're probably weirdos for only having basic cable before, but we've stopped paying Time Warner a buttload, and we get more channels. Sure, half of them are foreign language (including like a dozen in Armenian), but my mind boggled when the initial scan dredged up like 158 channels. OK, some turned out to be just beyond the antenna's range, but still.

So if you only want basic channels, and you don't need cable for internet, and you have a line of sight to Mt. Wilson, ditch your cable.

[The internet thing may be a bigger pain point; we've yet to get U-verse set up for internet, but I wasn't encouraged by the CAPTCHA when I tried to check on the order:

I'm worried AT&T may be no better than Time Warner.]

For the interested, the antenna is a Mohu Curve. Since our TV is older, we also needed a digital tuner, so I just picked a top seller on amazon, which can also function as a DVR if you plug in a USB hard drive or even a flash drive. Total cost = less than 1 month of our Time Warner bill (for TV & internet).

Plug antenna into tuner, plug HDMI from tuner to TV, turn it all on, and then the tuner was raring to go scan for channels. After that, I cruised through Armenian, Vietnamese, Khmer, Spanish, Chinese, and a dozen variations on the Home Shopping Network (including several in those preceding languages) and stopped on some random channel (Get TV) showing the Caine Mutiny. Jackpot.

ETA: LA TV Stations.
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Grandma's celebration of life was last weekend. With all of the craziness of the house selling and buying, I couldn't make it there, but at least I could play another small part in the overall process. Although her urn was interred alongside Grandpa at the veterans' cemetery, a bit of her had a different fate. She had asked to have ashes spread at Laguna Beach.

Now, knowing the risks of the release of ashes on the Pacific Coast, we added our own wrinkle to the plans.
Do you want to know more? )
essentialsaltes: (essentialsaltes)
Our house continues to slowly creep toward the state of being someone else's house.

Tomorrow will begin the great adventure of tenting & fumigation. Also known as the adventure of living with two cats in a hotel room.

We've made offers here and there, and have a couple out at the moment, but so far nothing definite. Got outbid again on the hipster palace, which popped briefly back onto the market.

Two weekends back, Jackie&Andy invited us over for some brats & games with some other good folks. Got another chance at Risk Legacy, but since I got to place my HQ last, I was in a tight spot from the start. I convinced people to attack Dr. Pookie, so at least I caused connubial strife. I survived, but was never much of a threat to anyone.

One weekend back, we got visited by Dr. Pookie's friend from high school, and her three kids. We grilled up teriyaki chicken and (mostly) kept the wee ones entertained. Good times.
essentialsaltes: (Danger)
We received three offers on the house. We sent out counteroffers, and got some responses, and just a few minutes ago, we accepted one of them. It's not signed, sealed, and delivered, but we may have just sold our house.

On the buying front, we made an offer on the hipster place. We've received a counteroffer. I expect there were a lot of offers, so they're probably fishing for more money. But I figger -- hey, these people are hipsters... Let's send in the same offer, but we'll put a bird on it. It's a lock.

We dithered on the coke palace with a view, but ultimately we decided not to make an offer. And there's more fish in the sea at open houses this weekend.
essentialsaltes: (City Hall)
Things are moving fast. We've received three offers on the house. All have their good and bad points. This evening, we fired off our counteroffers. May the best bidder win. We also saw a couple houses today. At lunch, I snuck off work and we saw a place among the Dons. Digger had a look earlier, and Dr. Pookie actually got some live feedback from her visit. Now was our turn. I want to smack the hipsters who live there. But once you removed their ironic (but very real) moose head, and the organic chicken run, that place was pretty awesome.

This evening, we saw another place in the Dons. The view would kill lesser mortals. Literally, you would die. That first housewarming party, I'll just take presents and stack up bodies. The owner was in the music industry, and you can still feel the echoes of the cocaine fueled orgies that once took place there in the 1980s. Or possibly that's the coke that's still stuck between the mirror panels on the wall. It needs some love (most of us relics of the 80s do) but seriously, the view is un-be-fricking-lievable. Million dollar view, for less than a million dollars, with crumbling house thrown in.

We may be making offers soon....
essentialsaltes: (Dead)
For the past few days, I've been living about 2.5 lives, and not had time to catch up on it. Until now (?) We'll see how far I get.

click at your own risk )
essentialsaltes: (spockmonkey)
An alien species lives among us, dwelling within staged houses. They are like, and yet hideously unlike, us.

IMG_1986

Apparently they do not eat. More bizarrely, they do not have coffeemakers or microwaves. They do however, use knives. They also are somewhat particular that their faucets are bilaterally symmetric.

IMG_1985

You're right, Ray. No human would stack books like this.

IMG_1984

They apparently sleep seven to a bed, each with its own pillow.

IMG_1982

Their towels are all white and never used. Humans will be very forcefully told DO NOT USE THE TOWELS. No, you've already looked at them enough.

IMG_1981
IMG_1980

They sort books by color palette and size.

IMG_1979

Their computers are operated via direct mind control.

IMG_1983

Stagoids use no lotions, hair products, deodorants or make-up. They merely take a brief sniff of a small bunch of flowers in the morning, and they are beautiful for an entire day.

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