A much needed lift
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 ~ 04:01 p.m.

True Happiness is discovering an entire unopened box of thin mints in the back of your desk drawer.

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Perhaps a little more worried than before...
Monday, June 26, 2006 ~ 01:14 p.m.

Because I work in environmental cleanup, I'm required to take a 40-hour class on Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER). This past weekend was the first 20 hours.

We're taking the class at the instructor's house in Leeds, Alabama. While this seemed a little odd at first, I can now officially say that I wouldn't have it any other way, because the guy's wife is a phenomenal cook. Seriously, I haven't eaten that well in MONTHS. There was smoked pork loin, pineapple cake, spaghetti and meatballs, squash casserole, lemon bars, and...well...the list goes on, but now I'm getting hungry again.

The class itself is also pretty interesting. I am now officially scared of EVERYTHING (especially methyl ethyl peanutbutter barbedwire, what with its IDLH of 3 kumquats), but the instructor has really gone out of his way to keep us entertained. He tells good stories, we play trivia games, there are breaks every 45 minutes, etc. Also, I've really enjoyed the chemistry review. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I can recall when prompted, which gives me a little hope when it comes to the PE.

Yesterday we all got to don SCBA packs and run around in the heat playing basketball, which was fun, but also pretty much sucked. And we weren't even in the Tyvek - that comes next Sunday when we do our field exercise. Today I have an interesting set of bruises on the back of my head and under my chin where we tightened the mask down while trying to fit to my face. Apparently, my face is too narrow for a standard mask, so when I talk or clench my jaw, my air goes wooshing out the sides, past my ears. And that's air I'd kind of like available for, say, breathing were I really in the soup.

Next weekend, we'll finish the last 20 hours. The finale is an extended field exercise with a mock waste site and a decon line, followed by the lab test (Question 1: Benzene is a. bad-ish, b. really effing bad, or c. just dandy for drinking, what with its nice smooth flavor and all). In the meantime, I think I may put some of all that comp time to use by going home early this afternoon.

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A Matter of Theology
Thursday, June 22, 2006 ~ 08:47 a.m.

Will one go to Hell for emailing back the church list and explaining that Jesus hates people who don't turn off the Caps lock?

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Hip Hip Hooray!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 ~ 06:06 p.m.

The letter came in the mail today:

Todd passed the P.E. Exam!

Soon he'll be a registered Professional Engineer, with a stamp and everything. And the crazy thing is, he barely studied for it. Is that even ALLOWED?

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Here, there, and everywhere
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 ~ 03:17 p.m.

This morning Todd headed out to Champagne, Illinois. He'll be back Thursday evening. Friday after work, I'm headed to Birmingham for the first 20 hours of my HAZWOPER class. I'll come back late Sunday night. Early Monday morning Todd leaves for El Paso, Texas. Tuesday, I travel to Cumberland City, Tennessee. Friday, I return to Birmingham for the other 20 hours of the HAZWOPER class. Todd comes home Tuesday the 4th. Thursday the 6th, I leave for Murphy, North Carolina.

We are some traveling fools.

Is it just me or is today taking FOREVER?

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Home Again
Monday, June 19, 2006 ~ 09:06 a.m.

Well, UAH got stomped. And by stomped, I mean that Todd and I were the first to stand when applauding Wisconsin on their fourth win in a row. You can't help but have respect for a team that so completely outclasses everyone else in attendance.

The final results haven't been posted yet, but UAH took 7th place overall. Considering that they took a 50-point deduction on their final product score and a companion deduction on their paper, I'm surprised they placed that high. And taking into account the fact that they completely fell apart on Thursday, I kind of wonder what they could have done if they'd held things together.

The trip home was uneventful, unless you count the part where we were driving through the armpit of Mississippi in a raging thunderstorm with no visible lines or reflectors on the road. Also, I currently imagine Hell as a never-ending trip along I-40 through Arkansas.

Speaking of, at about the halfway point in Arkansas, we passed a sign that showed a map of the world. Superimposed over the seven continents, were the words "Possessing the World for Christ." Part of me wanted to find out just what the hell they mean by that. The other part of me was very very glad the cruise control was set on 80 and Crazy Town, AR was falling rapidly behind.

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Where the wind comes (s)weeping down the plain
Friday, June 16, 2006 ~ 02:03 p.m.

So....here we are. Oklahoma. It's windy here. And, uhm, kind of flat. And...well, it's Oklahoma.

We're here for the National Concrete Canoe Comeptition, hosted this year by Oklahoma State in Stillwater. We left Huntsville Wednesday evening and drove to Forrest City, Arkansas where we stayed the night in a lovely little SPIDER INFESTED (oh god oh god oh god) hotel off of I-40. Yesterday we drove the rest of the way (here's a tip: Arkansas? NEVER ENDS), and arrived in Stillwater at about 2:30. We walked up just as the judges were coming over to view the UAH boat and display.

There are a lot of good schools here this year, but we haven't had much time to enjoy looking at the competition. See, there was a fight, blah, blah, weepcakes, and UAH's crazy bitch of a Chapter President decided she'd just go home to Alabama, leaving her teammates totally in the lurch. So we spent yesterday trying to coach a couple of backups to take over her jobs. I also spent a ton of time recreating how I did the mix design so they would be able to answer questions at the presentation. Woot.

So, it's been interesting so far. The Chapter President finally turned back up (after screwing over her team for two out of three events) and the chapter decided (over my objections) to let her race tomorrow. I'm trying to suppress the urge to whack her in the head with a bat whenever I see her (this is hard), and thus far, I've succeeded. They aren't going to win, but I think next year's president is learning a lot. I'm looking forward to the races tomorrow. Mostly, I'm looking forward to coming home.

Anyway, updated predictions:

Design Paper: 3rd
Presentation: 5th
Final Product: 8th
Women's Distance: 4th or 6th (Todd)
Men's Distance: 5th or 8th (Todd)
Women's Sprint: 6th or 7th (Todd)
Men's Sprint: 5th
Coed: 10th or DNF (Todd)

Overall: 5th or 7th (Todd)

Of course, these assume no one else screws up. If Clemson or someone drops the ball, then that's a whole new game.

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A good old O.K. welcome
Monday, June 12, 2006 ~ 10:07 a.m.

So, since Todd and I are traveling to Stillwater, Oklahoma Wednesday evening, I decided to check the weather. The verdict?


Thursday: 103F

Friday: 105F

Saturday: 102F

Oh, right, it's a dry heat. I'll keep that in mind as my flesh MELTS OFF MY BONES.

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That'll leave a mark
Friday, June 9, 2006 ~ 04:16 p.m.

Lats night on the way home from movie night at Jessica's, I hit a racoon. At least I think it was a racoon. It was awfully big, but I think I saw a ringed tail in the split second before I hit the brakes and felt that distinctive bumpity-bump. That's the first animal I've hit in my nearly ten years of driving, and man, it really sucked. (Shut up. I have a soft spot for raccoons, okay?) On my way into work this morning, I couldn't stop myself from looking for its pitiful, mutilated corpse, but I saw nothing. Either it crawled away, was thrown off the road, or someone picked it up for a midnight snack. You just never know on these Alabama back roads.

Whatever the racoon's ultimate fate, that was pretty much the capstone to a crummy day. Not hit-a-turkey-going-60-mph-in-my-new-car-crummy, but crummy nonetheless. Today has been much better, mostly because I didn't get to the office until 3:00.

The ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition is next week and Todd and I promised we'd go. That's a promise I think we're both slightly regretting at the moment. For one, it's in Oklahoma. For two, we are really starting to dislike the UAH team, if by dislike one means "want to kick them in the head." I want to go because it's a fun event to watch, but I'm irritated enough now to go only on the condition that I get to bring a bat.

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Alabama Election
Thursday, June 8, 2006 ~ 08:07 a.m.

I don't know whether to be pleased that Roy Moore lost the primary or distressed that he got 153,376 votes.

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Splitting Hairs
Wednesday, June 7, 2006 ~ 02:30 p.m.

"Does [Sen. Kennedy] really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?" - Sen. Orrin Hatch

...He really doesn't have to. A 49 to 48 vote regarding whether or not to add blatant discrimination (based on a purely religious opinion) to the Constitution pretty much speaks for itself.

But to be fair...49.48 percent of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots.

I'm glad that's been cleared up.

Effing wingnuts...

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006 ~ 09:02 a.m.

  1. When you go into a restaurant, say ABC or Mama Fu's, and you order a meal "For here", there's that pause, then they ask you, "Do you want a drink with that?" I mean, what do they expect you to say? "No thanks. I'll just do my best to choke this load of food down BONE DRY."

    For the record, I have yet to figure out how to dispense ice-cold bottles of refreshing Coca-Cola out of my ass and until I do, it's a pretty safe bet that I'm gonna want a drink with my meal.

  2. Tailgaters

  3. Fast food workers with freakishly long nails. Eww. Just, eww.

  4. Coworkers who just can't seem to remember that the 11x17 paper goes in tray 2 and the bond paper goes in the manual feed tray.

  5. Accidentally printing several pages of a report on 11x17 paper instead of 8.5x11.

  6. Satan's Handmaid Ann Coulter showing up without warning on the Today Show when I'm trying to eat my breakfast in peace. I almost spewed Frosted Mini Wheats over the coffee table.

    Tell me, it is mere coincidence that they scheduled her for an interview on June 6, 2006?
    "Well, Lucifer was busy, so we figured, what the hell, let's ask Ann."

  7. Popcorn and/or bacon smell in the office

  8. The fact that I can't seem to type worth a damn today and probably run the risk of seriously injuring myself with a typo.

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Obviously, it's lunchtime
Thursday, June 1, 2006 ~ 11:57 a.m.

Today I am seriously craving Krispy Kreme doughnuts. As in, "I do believe I could eat a dozen or so right now, all by myself, with no shame."

And, whadya know? Tomorrow is Krispy Kreme Doughnut Day 2006!

In light of that bit of information, I'll be going by tomorrow morning to express my appreciation by buying a dozen warm, gooey doughnuts with which to totally undo all the good I did at the beginning of last month. Hot Nows for meeeeeeee!

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