rensong: (Default)
Silo House

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wowomom and I getting into a housing discussion on Facebook, I now want one of these.
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
NPR's Top 100 Sci Fi/Fantasy book list

Because... yes.

Also because I have only read maybe 10 of them, and that really really needs to change now. ::nods::
rensong: (Default)
This weekend my friend Melissa from Minnesota and her hubby came for a camping trip down in Wisconsin Dells, and the invited me to join them. We hit the Lost Canyon tour which involved being driven through a small canyon carved out by the glaciers and/or glacial outwash during the last ice age by a team of horses. Super pretty and it made my glacial geology geek go squee in a big way. We also went to a deer park where we got to feed and pet lots of deer, and we rented a canoe for a few hours and paddled about a mile or two up the Wisconsin River and back down, stopping at a nice sandy beach to swim in our underwear for a bit.

Melissa's hubby had to work Sunday, so she and I spent the last night in our respective tents and had some Girl Time since they had the campground for the whole weekend. Went to an antiques and craft mall and happily got lost amongst the winding rows of Nifty Stuff for an hour or so, and because taking Melissa back with me would cut an additional two hours off the trip for when her husband, Tex, came back to retrieve her, we headed back to Marshfield early to mid afternoon. Spent about two hours searching for some quality deep fried cheese curds - had to give Melissa the full Wisconsin experience, after all - before we got lucky at Hudson's Grill, and because I wanted to kill some more time, took Melissa to Jurrustic Park and Powers Bluff as well before we headed back home. Timed it perfectly apparently, because Tex drove in like ten minutes after we arrived, so yay for getting the most out of her visit!

Anyway, had tons of fun and took lots of pictures the whole weekend and we totally need to do it again sometime.
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
A prologue to the Iron Man/Eureka crossover I wrote last week, because I needed a break from data entry.

In other news, I now own RED, and it is just as awesome the second time around.

Also, it is Friday and there is only an hour left of work! Woot!
rensong: (not so far away)
I don't really watch Dancing with the Stars, but the second week I did catch the last half hour or so because it came on right before Castle. Dirty Dancing's Jennifer Grey was the last routine I saw, and seriously, it boggled my mind. The woman is 50 years old and still gorgeous, and it has been 23 years since Dirty Dancing came out and she can still dance beautifully. After that I was kind of hooked - or at least I made it a point to at least watch one of her dances on You Tube for the following weeks. It is *amazing* what that woman has gone through and yet she still manages to steal the show pretty much every week. Also, Derek (her partner) is pretty damned amazing as well. The guy is like the Fred Astaire of this 2010s (Becca, you would probably really enjoy the Quick Step they did for week 8).

It's taken me awhile, but I did finally catch their most recent dances from last week's Dancing with the Stars. The waltz they did? Quite possibly one of the most beautiful dances I have ever seen.
Jennifer and Derek, Way Over Yonder )

I am not ashamed to admit, I am totally rooting for her. Of course, I also haven't seen many of the other couples dance. Maybe three of them, and only once each, so it would probably be unfair for me to vote. That does not stop me from throughly enjoying the clips of Jennifer and Derek on You Tube.
rensong: (Default)
Thanks entirely to the Halloween episode of Chuck, I have discovered Stars, a Canadian indie/electronica group. More to the point, I have discovered their latest album, The Five Ghosts, and it is the only album I have seriously considering going out and buying and spending money on and stuff for the first time since 2005ish, and even that album (Coldplay's X&Y - I am not ashamed! Though I probably should be) I really only wanted one or two songs. Five Ghosts? I want them *ALL*, or at least 80% of them.

No clue what their earlier stuff focused on, but Five Ghosts is very supernatural-centric (if the title isn't a dead give away). Given that Ghost Hunters owns my soul, this has a lot of pull for me. And, if not for the fact that the album was only released in June, I would *swear* it is the soundtrack C. E. Murphy was listening to when she wrote what might possibly be one of my favoritest books ever (Walking Dead), which also came out in June.
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
Watching last night's Castle. Esposito and Ryan might possibly be one of the most adorable yet awesomely bad-ass partnerships since Gibbs and Tony in the earlier seasons of NCIS.

some spoilers, big and small )
rensong: (Stark - Bored Now)
Tuesday's episode of NCIS was sneaky and devious and awesome in all the best kind of ways.

Minor Spoilers )

I love this show.
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
I do so love this time of the year. Nights are cooler, fall colors are starting to sneak in all over the place, and for the first time since June out here, the weather forecast actually calls for *rain* every once in awhile.

Also? TV PREMIER MONTH! BOO-YAH!

So, for those who haven't already checked out the schedule, here's the fall preview calender from TVguide.com
http://www.tvguide.com/special/fall-preview/calendar.aspx

My personal TV To Watch List (bolds are "Hell F'in Yeah!", italics are "Maybe"s. Everything else is kind of the more typical "Yay, premier week!" kinda thing for old favorites)

Monday, Sept 20
8:00 pm - Chuck
I actually stopped following Chuck somewhere around mid March because I wasn't entirely sure I was happy with where it was going. last season's spoilers ) I might give it another shot, though. We shall see.

10:00 pm - Castle
CANNOT WAIT! Man, I miss me my fun fluffy show, even if I was kinda disappointed with the cliche ending on the Season Finale. Come on, Castle writers... People love your show because you *are* so darned unpredictable! Cliches are called that for a reason, you know.

Tuesday, Sept 21
8:00 pm - NCIS
It's NCIS. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, Sept 22
8:00 pm - Undercovers
New series that looks like it could be fun.

Thursday, Sept 23
8:00 pm - Bones
End of season three pissed a lot of people off. End of season four ended up alienating quite a few who were still left. Season five, though, was actually pretty good for those of us who managed to hang in there, and it even gave us a few pleasant surprises. I'm game for season six, though I reserve the right to be horribly disappointed.


And I think that covers it, aside from my continued adoration of Ghost Hunters and Eureka, and the mid-season finale for Eureka is tonight. Sadness. White Collar's - yes, I admit it, I have fallen. Hard. Anyone where I can find season 1 streaming online? - was earlier this week, too, so I only have Ghost Hunters to tide me over until the end of the month. My life, so hard.
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
I uploaded some of the highlights from the camping trip we went on this weekend to Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helen's to my Photobucket account. However, even the "highlights" encompass some 60+ photos, so I'm just going to link any interested parties to the web address.

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v314/rensong/Mount%20Rainier%20and%20Mount%20St%20Helens/

It went and uploaded all the pictures in the reverse order, so the "first day" is actually the last photograph in the album, but I'm too lazy to go through and rearrange them all. So, just start with that one and click "previous" to get them in chronological order. :)
rensong: (sleepy kitty)
Went camping up near Mt. Rainier this weekend. Nice camp grounds - very green and foresty, with a medium creek/tiny river flowing through the campground.

Saturday we spent driving around Mt. Rainier National Park. Wasn't sure we were going to actually see the mountain itself because of clouds, but we got lucky and the peak blew clear right as we were driving past one of the many view points.

Mt. Saint Helen's was Sunday's road trip. Alas, this time the clouds did not part for us, so we didn't see the summit. It was only the very tip that was hidden behind the clouds, though, so we got to see most of it, and honestly, it's just amazing to see some of the damage done *and* how much the place has recovered after only 30 years. We could still see the bleached white bones of the trees that were knocked over like so many toothpicks, but there was a lot of new growth, and even the fallen trees that made for such a dramatic picture back in the aftermath of the 1980 eruption are a lot fewer than they used to be. The snow pack up there is so thick and heavy during the winter (one of the broschures claims around 680 inches on average, but we pretty much agreed it had to be a typo - 680 in = 56.6 feet = 17.3 meters, give or take. I suppose we could be wrong, though, not being from the mountains ourselves) that a lot of them got squished into the ground, which upped decomposition and pretty much hid them from sight. There are plenty still visible, mind (and yes, there will be pictures later), but the forest has recovered pretty darned well. The trees they replanted once the dust settled are already at least 20 feet tall, and there's all sorts of cool stuff to see all over the place.

Seriously, if you all ever get to Washington, check out Mount Saint Helen's National Park, because it is *amazing* and awesome no matter how cold and windy it is! Which it was. Very windy, if not technically 'cold' - temps were in the 40s, but the winds were *harsh*. As myself and Beth commented as we were climbing up to "Windy Point" view point (about an 8th of a mile and 420 stairs straight up. My calves are not at all happy with me today), thank *god* for hoodies!

There was also this *huge* flee market/swap meet in a little town called Packwood about a 10 minutes drive from where we were camped. It happens twice a year on Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend, and the thing is *massive*. Picture a tiny little town/village of maybe 1500 people during the off season, and twice as many during the summer - big enough to have it's own tiny convenience and/or grocery store, but not big enough to have it's own school or even an "Unincorporated" sign on the edge of town (not that I saw, at least).

Now, picture every little road and side-street in that tiny little town packed with almost wall to wall tents selling *everything* you can possibly think of - log furniture, antiques, All Things Artsy, shoes, t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, luggage, pretty little knickknacks made of crystal and glass, leather work, and any kind of food you can think of - if you can sell it, it was being sold at that swap meet. We were there for two hours on Sunday morning and an additional hour and a half Sunday afternoon, and we saw *maybe* a quarter of all the booths. Apparently it's the biggest flee market in Washington State, and it definitely lives up to the name. I bought a poncho with a hood, Beth a found a few of those pretty laser-carved crystals to give out as Christmas presents, and Walt was only along because he was in the car and out voted when we drove through. The dogs had a blast, though, and I rather enjoyed it myself.

One minor downside of the weekend - last night our camp stove gave up on us, so no hot water for coffee/hot chocolate, and no cooking of the breakfast we brought along with us for this morning. Also? Last night it raaaaaained, a slow, steady rain that lasted almost an hour and a half and soaked everything we left outside - including the chairs. And though it didn't seem to get super cold last night (I think we were hovering around the lower-to-mid 40s over night for both nights at the campground), the additional of Wet And Not Warm made me really rather regret that we had no hot beverages to look forward to when we got up. It did stop raining before we got up, though, so hurrah for not having to tear down camp in the rain.

Another annoyance was that the campground we were in also didn't seem to have any showers, so by day three we were all feeling rather grubby, but it was still fun.

I also totally drained my camera battery dead with all the pictures I was taking. Not sure what the final count ended up as (probably around 150, but I can't check until I charge my battery and/or transfer the pictures to my computer), but there are a lot of them and I shall post all of the good ones in Facebook and some of the highlights in LJ as soon as I find the motivation to actually do anything.
rensong: (Stark - Bored Now)
Back from Idaho. I climbed halfway up the side of the mountain, decided "Yeah, so not conditioned for this kind of thing" and promptly stopped right where I was to wait for Sam (the guy we were up there to talk to) to finish whatever he had to do top-side without me. At least I was able to make it half way, though, which was probably about 1500 feet of a rather steep grade - 30, 35 degrees, at least. Hurrah, I'm not a total failure, only a partial one. ;)

ANYWAY, despite my lack of climbing skillz, I did take a ton of pictures and learned a bunch of stuff and got to see some kick-ass landscapes. Much fun was had.

Some observations:
1 - HOLY SHIT, DWORSHAK DAM HOLDS BACK 3.5 MILLION WATER ACRES! (Water acre = enough water to cover one square acre with a foot of water - aka, A LOT OF FREAKING WATER!) The dam itself is massive (more than 700 feet tall), and behind that massive wall of cement is a Big Freaking Reservoir Of Water. Seriously, BIG FREAKING RESERVOIR! 53 miles long, several hundred feet deep... Should that thing ever fail, anything down stream within 10 miles of the place will be *obliterated*, washed completely away, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, and anything within 20 miles will probably see some serious damage. Lewiston, which is about 40 miles down stream? Would be hit with a 40 foot wall of water. So, yeah...freaked me the hell out when I first saw the size of the dam, and it didn't get less freaky as the week progressed. However, scariness aside, it does make for some really gorgeous topography and landscapes, and it was pretty damned cool in and of itself.

2 - Wow, I forgot a *ton* of the GIS stuff I had drilled into my head just in the last year since I've taken any GIS classes, but hopefully now I'll be able to retain some of what the last two days has re-drilled into it, especially since I will definitely be using some of the tips and shortcuts Sam showed me.

3 - Our Trimble GPS units need to be replaced. Like, a lot. Sam's 2008 (I think) version is ten times faster and can do way cooler stuff. Still, WHEEE, GPS! Because I really am that dorky.


Now, however, it is insanely nice to be back down in the Flatlands of eastern Washington, not a tall hill in sight (okay, so there are a few of them, but not nearly as tall as the one's in Orofino). Also, I get to sleep in my own bed tonight, hurrah! Supposedly the hotel beds were high class and quality, but something about them just did not lay right with me (ha ha, I made a funny) and while I have gotten sleep the last four nights, I can't really claim it was "good".

Will post a few of the better pictures later. The NCIS Dear Abby Marathon on USA is calling to me right now. ;)
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
Went to see Shrek Forever After, and it was kinda meh. About the only awesome was Fiona dressed as a rebellion warrior ogre woman - because, seriously, ogres should not be that hot, *especially* animated ogres - and the comedic gold that is Donkey and Puss.

However, at the end of the movie when we were all walking out of the theater, the boy in front of me - he looked to be about 8 or 9 - took his grandmother's hand and did one of those arm-hug things and asked "Did you like it, Gramma?" and that was so adorable and sweet it TOTALLY MADE MY DAY!

And then I went to Starbucks and got a Chai Cream Frappichino and then I drove around on a desert - yes, it actually got up to 90 degrees today for the first time this year - highway (well, kinda - high plains highway?) with the window rolled down and the radio turned up and It Was Good. I don't even mind that I have to go back to work tomorrow.

Therefore, I degree today to be A Good Day - at least for me. Now we'll see how long it takes for the novelty of the whole desert thing to wear off and I go back to "::whines:: It's too hoooooooooooot!" ;)
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)


Man, that guy has better hand-eye coordination than I do. I probably would've given myself a concussion within the first thirty seconds.
rensong: (Default)
Alrighty, so here is the plan.

All of us are on different work and/or school schedules, and because I'm hoping to get as many people to participate as possible, the plan right now is to do *two* Girls Nights during the first week in June, and those interested can join in whichever day fits best into their schedule (or both if you so choose - the more the merrier!).

Weekday Girls Night In will be Wednesday, June 2. I figure that is in the middle of the week and it is right after an Extended Weekend That Wasn't Extended Enough, so I'm thinking that will be a good day for something funny and I am therefore voting for Spaceballs or Blazing Saddles.

Weekend Girls Night In will be Sunday, June 6. I figure for that one, most of us will be going "ugh, don't wanna work tomorrow", so I'm thinking that day might be a good one for an old favorite or a mindless action movie with some funny bits. So, I'm voting for Serenity or Transformers on that day.

None of the suggested movies are new releases, and all of them are pretty well known and popular so there hopefully won't be the issue of the movie rental place not having any copies. Therefore, people who don't have them in their own personal movie collection should be able to find them pretty easy at the local movie store, and they can rent them for a few nights without costing an arm and a leg.

If none of those movies are really your cup of tea, though, don't worry about it - Girls Night In is all about getting together and jabbering in chat - the movie is secondary, and honestly isn't even required. :)

So Ladies (and gents, if you are brave enough), mark your calenders for the first week in June! Girls Night In is on its way, and I would love to see you there!


Photobucket
Wednesday, June 2 at 4:30 Pacific/7:30 Eastern
Sunday, June 6 at 4:30 Pacific/7:30 Eastern
rensong: (Stark - Bored Now)
I just got your post card, Kate! Thanks so much! It totally made my day. :D

Garage/Yard sale yesterday was also a pretty big success. We made about $230, and that was selling pretty much everything for 50 cents or a dollar, and we probably sold at least half of the stuff we had set out. Plan was to have another one today, but neither myself nor either of my house mates have much incentive, and it doesn't look like anyone else in the community does, either, seeing as no one has set up anything yet.

Finally, I wanna say Happy Mother's Day to all of you awesome moms out there! I hope your day is fantastic!


On an entirely different note, Eureka Marathon on Sci Fi Channel! SWEET!
rensong: (Default)
Due South and/or Paul Gross fans, there is an extremely amusing interview with Paul Gross on during the second half (amusing tag starts around 22:00, actual interview around 25:00?) of last night's episode of The Hour, in which Paul Gross talks a lot about his new movie, Gunless. The bit about the wood was freaking hilarious. Thank you [livejournal.com profile] troyswann for the link!
rensong: (Default)
Fellow grammar enthusiasts might appreciate this. The Story of Alot. Ah, alot... you make my life so much less frustrating. ::hugs it::
rensong: (Sg-1 - Armed and Dangerous)
Yesterday was awesome. Went out to one of the HMUs I'll be mapping and I got to drive around the wilderness in one of these (or a country-cousin of the Gator - co-workers call them Frogs, but they look pretty much the same except there is no screen between the cab and the bed, and the bed itself might be a tiny bit shorter) for two hours. While I was gathering some data, I saw a coyote run across the trail about 20 feet in front of me, and at least a half a dozen hawks birds of pray of various species flying around overhead.

Also, back at the office, there is a pair of ospreys setting up shop in one of the nesting platforms I can see out my office window.

click for photos )

Today was less with the awesome - it was rainy and cold and windy, so I actually stayed at the office and did the computer thing. Spent about two or three hours digitizing the irrigation lines at all of the HMUs I'll be working at, had lunch, checked over the pick-up truck I'll be driving around (an old 86 Dodge, four speed) and marked down any damage that was already there so I wouldn't be blamed for it (not that there really was much - a few dents and dings, but the old boy is in pretty good shape for a vehicle that is almost 25 years old), and made a very very tentative schedule of the next few weeks for first off gathering the necessary data, and then putting it into the computer. Around 2:15, though, I just got bored - there really is not much I can do until the software issues we're *still* ironing out get taken care of, so pretty much everything I did today was simply to keep me busy and make it look like I was being productive. Well, the irrigation mapping totally falls into the GIS department, and that was something that needed to be done, but the rest? All busy work.

After work was nice, though. I asked some of my co-workers if there were any good Chinese buffets around the area that I could try, and I ended up going out to dinner with Beth - the woman I'll probably be moving in with come May - at one of her favorite restaurants. She introduced me to the tasty appetizer that is the Lettuce Chicken Wrap, and we basically just kind of talked and got to know each other, so that was nice.


No plans for the weekend as of yet beyond doing laundry and *hopefully* getting my ass in gear and finally doing my taxes. One of these days I should attempt to do the social thing and meet people my own age, too, but I doubt that will happen any time soon.
rensong: (Default)
I got to see Emmies, Daddy A, Beth, Jeanie, Dan, and Luke before I leave tomorrow! Yay! We went to El Mezcal, ate too much, talked about random things - geeky and otherwise - and mostly just had a darned good time. My friends are awesome.

Car is mostly packed up aside from my computer and case, my overnight bag, and my pillows and stuff I'll still be using tonight. I actually managed to do quite well - only used up the actual cargo space in the back of my tracker, and the foot well of one of the back seats, so there is still plenty of space for the three of us *and* whatever luggage and stuff mom and dad have. Phear me and my leet packing skillzz!

Leaving tomorrow morning at some yet-to-be-determined time, but I think I am good to go. I might even be getting a tinsy bit excited, even. Also a bit more anxious because wow, I'm leaving TOMORROW MORNING, but mostly I'm still just really looking forward to the entire trip.

So,in case I don't post again tomorrow before I leave, THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! You all have been fantastic with your support and the whole "Dude, woman, put on your big-girl panties and just DEAL, alright? You can totally do this!" attitude when I went all Freakazoid about the whole moving/new job thing. ::MWAH:: Love you all lots!
rensong: (lesser species)
Robot Unicorn Attack. No, really, ROBOT UNICORN ATTACK! Is it possible to have a cooler name?

Also, extremely addicting, so if anyone is looking to kill time at work, you now have more unproductiveness fodder. ;)
rensong: (lesser species)
There's No 'I' in 'Team' by thefourthvine. I've gotten through *maybe* a fifth of this story so far, so I have no clue where it is going, but I don't care. Only a few pages in and it has already made me laugh out loud at least three times.

snipit under here )

So far it is true to the banter of the series and hella funny to boot, and that is good enough for me. ::Scrapbooks it even though she's only started reading it because it is Just That Awesome::
rensong: (Independence Day)
Still watching Sports Night. Made it almost all the way through season one.

1 - Dan and Casey are totally in love. BFF kind of love, get drunk and sleep together kind of love, stay sober and sleep together kind of love, never regret it kind of love, whatever... there is love, and then there is Love and they are totally the latter. I want to hug them. Or I want to strangle them. It goes back and forth.

2 - Dana and Natalie - there is totally Love there, too. Bonus, no strangling urges arise when I see either of them!

3 - Jeremy is freaking *adorable*! Even more adorable than I remember him being! Every time I think it's not possible for him to be any more adorable? He goes ahead and gets more adorable. I mostly just want to hug him and tell him how awesome he is.

4 - Okay, so Sports Night has kind of taken over my brain. Also, I just bought the series from Amazon.com. I have no will power.

5 - OMG, WHY DID THEY CANCEL THIS SHOW!?!?!?!?!
rensong: (Default)
I HAVE A FUNCTIONING VEHICLE AGAIN! THERE IS NOT ENOUGH YAY IN THE WORLD!

It cost me a hundred and sixty bucks, which is not so yay, but the fact that I have my vehicle back and it is functioning and I can *drive* it again is Awesome with a capitol A! AND! It has passenger side-view mirror for the first time in almost three years! I can see what I'm doing when I parallel park again! Yay yay yay yay yay yay!


In other news, I totally forgot I applied for a few positions through the Geographical Society of America a few weeks back, and they want two letters of recommendation and a cover letter to complete the application process, and the deadline to get those things in is February 1. Woops?

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