It's got talking ponies in it! How could I resist!
And so, Xydexx the talking pony ventured bravely forth into the vertiginous abyss, armed with his trusty pie plate shield and +1 stick, to vanquish the boogies, nixies, and undernourished hell hounds while vomiting on your great grandma's Volvo in the early hours of the Vernal Equinox.
(Progress Quest. It's more than just an online adventure game—it's a marsupial-filled popcorn machine rolling down a hill out of control and smashing into a bingo parlor full of kleptomaniacs.)
If the sun were hollow a million Earths would fit inside...
...and yet, it is only a middle-sized star.
Xydexx sends you a report about pn0ies.1
I finished up my desktop publishing assignment in Reston today doing proposal work. My supervisor thanked me for my help and asked if I had a card. (Note to self: Make business cards!)
The temp agency called later in the afternoon with another assignment in Crystal City for two weeks. It's a bit farther than I would have liked to commute, so they asked how much more I wanted. Waiting to hear back on $23/hr.
It's nice that I've been getting rave reviews on the assignments I've been going on, and I am making more now (at least, when I am working) than I did at Hauptratte-Sperren---but it'd also be nice to get a permanent job eventually so I wouldn't have to keep jumping through hoops like this.
In other news, I noticed on my way to work the other day the abandoned house along Fairfax County Parkway that I went exploring in has since been torn down.
The Secret Life of Karl Jorgensen
Remember, Kids: Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover. Just because I'm CEO of a multinational financial company doesn't mean I can't also be a diabolical spiritual leader.
MUAHAHAHAHA MY EVIL LAUGHTER.
I picked up the new TMBG album today. Of course, had to listen to "Where Do They Make Balloons?" first.
Aiiiee!! What a totally silly, cute little song!!
I like it. But then, why wouldn't I? -:)
all work and no play makes xydexx a dull pn0y
"Since we're sharing our feelings and all, there certainly are days when I feel ambivalent over the attention furry fandom gets in the media—days when Chicken Little warnings of impending doom by Burned Furs are balanced out by the relentless (yet amusing) reality that, like a headless debutante catapulted into a wall of exploding lemurs in an imaginary but gruesome carnival game, none of this (still!) has had an effect on my enjoyment of furry fandom. I fully admit the problem may be that, like your advice to always carry a grapefruit, nobody really gets my sense of humor sometimes (assuming for the moment your advice is intended to be the amusing and not some devious plan to link furry fandom to a grapefruit fetish or something equally strange—otherwise you'll find yourself sharing a jail cell with me for breaking Melville's Law, and then I'll have to tell him to eat it or wear it). Maybe having William Zinsser's On Writing Well on my bookshelf next to James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake is too subtle. I shall endeavor to improve this sorry state of affairs: I withdraw my comments so I may instead spend more time writing slash fiction involving Lore Fitzgerald Sj÷berg and Spongebob Squarepants in custard-filled lederhosen, leaving a sticky trail all over Usenet for all to admire." —Xydexx, who takes himself way too seriously2.
Cool quote I found (again). File it under valuable perspective.
"If anybody's world is full of evil people, they need to find new people."— Al Goldman3
It was only a matter of time before this happened: Karl is the All-Time Leader for the Jazz in minutes, points and rebounds. Karl is approximately 1.8 meters tall, masses about 110 kilograms, and has blue eyes and short brown hair. Karl is allowed fewer notes, although his charm and fearsomeness are equally believable. Karl is the founder and head instructor of the American Institute for Avalanche Education and Research. To date, Karl is still raising money toward successfully reaching his $1 million goal. Karl is also playing and singing on the ESP album. Karl is most noted for his ability to take the mystique out of brand management and make it practical for organizations to implement. Karl is a management consultant, futurist, speaker, and a prolific author. Karl is Japanese, and, as best we can tell, a farmer. While most people his age are slowing down, Karl is, well at the very least, Karl is keeping pace. Only Super Karl is able to stand up to these evil villians and their dastardly plot. Karl is an outstanding scholar whose experience and lifelong work in philanthropy will give the University the solid building block it needs to create a world-renowned program in philanthropy. KARL is a formal language, so every primitive has a defined formal semantics. Karl is a big fan of notorious Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, and the literature of Clive Barker and Russell Banks. Karl is available for all types of mountaineering, skiing, and rock-climbing objectives and courses. Karl is mature and dedicated to completing anything he starts. Karl is very happy with his fart machine! Karl is available for your church service, special event or holiday banquet. Karl is claiming to be God. Karl is an ordained Minister in the Church of Scientology. "What's wrong with Karl? Is he sick?" Karl is one of the mysterious Men in Black. The new Karl is cool, foxy, and deadly. Karl is known to work with new models breaking into the modeling world by his continues help in locating agencies and work in the modeling field. Karl is getting some sick cum sloppy action with these gorgeous girls visit now! Karl is happily married with two children. This is probably because Karl is thinking of Lou. Karl is his name and he sits atop your pencil wearing his good luck fez hat. Karl is always great to keep around to inspire you when you write. Karl is a good friend to have! Karl is talking to a reporter about his release from the institution. Less than an hour later, Karl is staring at the weirdest object he's ever seen. Karl is without question, the most popular artist ever to exhibit at the Sunny Caribbee Art Gallery. Karl is a long term contributor to the world wide movement towards self awareness and higher consciousness. Karl is good for you. Karl is also an active Pony Club member with his B2 level and plans on getting his A rating this summer. When Karl is not editing trailers or telling his boss to stop touching him, he can be found most nights either crying himself to sleep, or wandering the streets of central Hollywood, drunk, depressed, and screaming to the heavens in anguish, crying, "why, God? Why?!" When Karl is teased as a "homo" by his schoolmates, Prentice stands by him, no matter what the others think of him. Karl is very smart when it comes to finding the lowest price on anything. Karl is from green mohair, he wears is a green velvet-troser and a beautiful jacket with roses motives. Karl is occasionally heard to mutter something about refusing to wear a long black wig. When it comes to important assignments, Karl is the obvious choice. And in this future, Karl is not a downtrodden prisoner, but a homicidal maniac who rules all of Southwestern Ontario. Karl is perhaps one of the best candid nude photographers on the planet.
The Big Pn0y Bike Trip
After going to bed at 3AM and getting up at 8AM, I made record time getting showered and packing stuff up. Writing a checklist of things I needed beforehand made things easy. Arrived at the Protolair around 10AM, and helped Protius and KJ break apart an old wooden pallet for firewood. Mistake #1: Wearing jeans while smashing a wooden pallet on a hot day, yuck.
We loaded up the van and camper, and headed out to Shad's Landing Campground in Maryland. Crawling along in bumper-to-bumper traffic at a toll plaza, we watched with amusement as someone in an SUV got pulled over by police for No Apparent Reason. ("Do you have any idea how fast you were going?") We arrived at the campsite, and after setting up the camper, we went for a short trial run up Route 113 to Route 12 and back. In the evening, KJ made bratwurst and mushrooms on the grill.
Total distance: 11 miles
We had sausage and biscuits & gravy for breakfast, and headed out for Chincoteague: KJ in the lead on his recumbent with the trailer, Protius second with his trike, and me in back with the weirdest bike of them all---a standard ten speed. We traveled through the quiet little towns of Girdletree, Stockton, and Horntown. The roads on the Maryland side have a proper shoulder for bicycling. As soon as we got into Virginia, there was no shoulder at all, although there were "Share The Road" signs. Only one or two clueless folks (apparently unaware bikes have the same rights and rules as automobiles) yelled at us to get off the road, but otherwise there were no problems.
At one point while riding behind Protius, I noticed something bounce under his trike and I swerved to avoid it, thinking it was a loose piece of asphalt he had kicked up. On further speculation, I asked if he had lost anything, and he said his wallet was missing. We made a U-turn and headed back down the road for it, and a helpful guy driving an 18-wheeler who had been behind us had also stopped and pointed it out to us. We found the wallet okay, and crisis was averted. We took another rest break under some trees before continuing on.
Our next stop along the way was the NASA Visitor Center, Wallops Flight Facility, where we stopped to replenish water supplies before the long trek over the causeway into Chincoteague. Chincoteague was a quaint town, with lots of folks riding bikes and/or heading for the beach. The recumbents got a lot of comments as we rode through town and headed to Assateague Island. We ate sandwiches for lunch and rested a while, then headed down to the beach.
The parking lot by the beach was paved with broken seashells. We chained the bikes together in one big pile next to the changing rooms, and made our way across scorching hot sand to the beach. Oh, the ocean felt good. Very, very good. Waves crashed over us and drenched us with salty coolness while Undetermined Things in the water nibbled at my toes. After an hour or so, we headed back to shore and built sandcastles for a while. My desire to build sandcastles (one of my favorite things to do, but never get a chance to) unfortunately outweighed my awareness that I was staying out in the sun too long. By the time we had biked back to Chincoteague, I had a splitting headache from dehydration.
We lurked around in McDonalds for a while, and after some Excedrin and an entire bottle of Gatorade I was feeling much better. By the time we left McDonalds, it was significantly cooler, and after unsuccessfully trying to find a hotel in Chincoteague to stay at we decided to just take it easy on the return trip. We stopped off at Pony Tails Taffy and picked up bags of sugary things to eat, as well as restocking our Gatorade supply at a convenience store. Our first scheduled rest stop (the NASA visitor center) was closed, so we continued onward and stopped at a BP gas station. This time around, Protius was overheating. When we called the only two taxi services in the yellow pages and discovered both their numbers were disconnected, it was official: We had to bike all the way back.
We rested some more, drank and restocked with more Gatorade, and switched on the Blinkinlights. The sun was rapidly dipping beyond the horizon, giving us about a half-hour of useable light and still about 25-30 miles to go. Fortunately, most of the traffic was heading into Chincoteague for July 4th festivities, and the roads we were taking had mostly local traffic. After the sun went down, it got even cooler, and riding was much more pleasant. A fox darted across the road in front of us as we biked along Route 679. We stopped for a rest break at the Dublin Farms potato processing plant. One of the workers, attracted by the many Blinkinlights, came over and we chatted for a few minutes while watching the big potato washing-and-sorting machines.
We got to see a few small July 4th celebrations on people's front lawns as we rode on through Horntown. With miles of dark road between each town, we rode along past corn fields, the stars shining brightly in the clear night sky. Onward through Stockton and Girdletree, and then along Route 113. The last five miles of the trip were the longest.
When we arrived back at the campsite, we cranked up the AC. I took a nice hot shower---washing off layers of sweat, saltwater, and sunblock---and headed to bed. All things considered, it was the most fun I've had in a long time, and I definitely want to do it again4.
Total distance: 75 miles (A new record!)
The Big Pn0y Bike Trip, Part II
Our day of rest. I was surprised to find that I wasn't sore after biking 75 miles. We went out to Walmart to pick up supplies, and Protius and I biked around camp looking for his cellphone he had dropped somewhere. In the evening, KJ made the leftover roast on the grill.
Total distance: 7 miles
Back to Chincoteague we go! We loaded the bikes in the van this time, and after biking from one end of Chincoteague to the other, we stopped at an ice cream parlor for lunch... because "Sometimes, you just have to have ice cream for lunch." I had a banana split. It was yummy and good and all mine. During lunch I heard the distinct crunch of a waffle cone, and I looked up in time to notice a forlorn-looking kid reaching under the table to pick up a fist-sized ball of ice cream.
And I thought that stuff only happened in cartoons.
After lunch, we headed to the beach again, and hadn't gotten far when Protius had a flat tire on his trike. We stopped in a nearby parking lot for repairs, and were puzzled that there was no debris in the tire or puncture in the tube. We replaced the tube anyway, and continued onward.
There were jellyfish at the beach. Dead ones, so we didn't worry too much about getting stung by them. Little children were picking them up. We swam around in the ocean a while, and then I satisfied my sandcastle-building urges some more. A tiny sand crab got washed ashore, and I stomped along after it, singing:
o/~ London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling doooooooooooownnnn... o/~
(Let's see if anyone gets the movie reference...)
I built a much bigger sandcastle this time around, and KJ adorned the various turrets with dead jellyfish.
On the way back to the van, we stopped off at The Purple Pony Shirt Company, and I bought a really cool Purple Pony t-shirt as a souvenir. The guys who run the shop are really nice. I definitely want to go back to Chincoteague again.
Total distance: 28 miles
Not much to report. Most of the day was spent packing up and driving back to the Protolair. Once we got back, cooked burgers and bratwurst on the grill and just relaxed.