Just another smartass

The ups and downs of Dusty Dean

My favorite part of flying is the take off. I love the feeling of the plane speeding down the runway, pushing you forward, until relativity catches up.

I really wish I could have flown during the golden age of aviation.

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Ever since I pulled the trigger on the decision to go to WargamesCon 2013, I've been hard at work painting up my Dwarf army. I'm beyond excited to pit my belly-draggers against some of the best Warhammer players in the country.

I'm getting close to completion with about 20 or so models left to paint. I'm giving them a fairly decent paint job, nothing Golden Demon or Crystal Brush level, but a nice paintjob that I'm not ashamed of. I could just slap the minimum three colors on the model and call it good, but I'm always a believer that neatness counts.

The core of my army is a 50 man hoard of scouting unit of Long beards with great weapons. These guys will set up within 12" of my enemy and charge in ASAP. My Anvil of Doom will allow me to charge in the movement phase (I still can't go first, scout, then charge) and really put a hurt on anything they run into.

Here is my Battle Standard Bearer (BSB), a half-painted miner musician, and another long beard who's painted, but resting while waiting for a base. I love giving dwarfs red noses.

Lastly, you can see the bulk of the army. The black spaces on the movement trays represent the models I still need to paint, along with most of the shields for the long beards. I'm also working on the rune priest and crew for the Anvil of Doom. If I have time between moving to the new house and the hours I'm expecting at work, I'm going to try to make a battlefield scenic base for the tea tray. Neatness counts and there is a painting score and I want to get as many points as I can!

Allergies 2013 part II
Forget what I wrote yesterday, the Claritin-D isn't working.

Perhaps it was the combination of Zyrtek left in my system with a boost from the Claritin-D that made me feel so good, but that euphoria has worn off. Last night my allergies came back full strength. Sneezing, snot, post-nasal drip that has left my throat very sore and apparently I was sawing logs when I slept. I woke up in the middle of the night and my eye lids wouldn't open because they were crusted closed with gunk.

Yar. So much for speaking too soon.

Product Shill or I switched allergy meds
I've whined about this on my blog many times, but I have severe allergies. It's bad. So bad, that I've been told to move to the desert or Antarctica. My whole head hurts, I have a river of snot pouring from my face holes like a geyser, my throat is sore from post-nasal drip, all-of-which means I can't sleep, I can't breathe, and I can't think straight. I've taken a pharmacy worth of pills and use a sinus rinse but at best I get a few moments of a clear breathing only to slip back into snot-zombie mode and mouth breathing.

Spring time is the worst for me. In Kansas, everything starts blooming and the wind of the plains carries all of those microscopic (and often visible) bundles of pollen right up my schnoz. I suspect that because my allergies are more mild during the winter and when the warmer weather hits, spring seems worse by comparison. Also, due to the fact that I'm not sleeping or breathing well, I usually develop a nasty spring and fall cold.

At my girlfriend's insistence, I switched from Zyrtek to Claritin-D. In the past, Claritin has given me terrible headaches and nose bleeds so I was a bit reluctant to make a change. Zyrtek worked fairly well but it seemed to be losing it's effectiveness. Actually, it didn't seem to working for me at all so I gave my driver's license to the pharmacy clerk and paid almost double for a pack of Claritin-D.

After two days on Claritin-D, wow, what a difference!

I can breathe, I'm not blowing my nose all of the time, my throat is less sore... and I haven't had the headaches that I used to get from Claritin. (Fingers crossed that the side effects don't kick in.) I feel so much better about my ability to focus and even though I woke up a couple of times last night (not due to allergies), I feel so much more rested! I hadn't realized what a haze I was working through on Zyrtek.

It's an allergy-sufferer's moment of clarity! My eyes are still a little itchy, but overall I feel like a new person. The mucus and snot relief is welcome but the clear thinking is the most surprising benefit. At twice the cost of Zyrtek, and the meth-head scrutiny from the pharmacy, Claritin-D is worth it.

I'm ready for time travel!

Wee baby!
After 9 months of waiting, Kristin's sister-in-law had her baby very early this morning!

We got the call that her water broke and the birth was close, so we jumped in the car and rushed to Kansas City. There were a couple of minor problems that delayed the birth so we were left waiting for a few hours.

Favorite Classical Music
Kansas Public Radio his holding a listener contest to determine the top 60 Classical pieces. Here's how I voted:

Grieg, Edvard: Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1
Copland, Aaron: Appalachian Spring
Bizet, Georges: Carmen, Suite No. 1
Haydn, Joseph: Symphony No. 82 "The Bear"
Beethoven, Ludwig van: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61

Right now, Copland is my favorite because his music seems to be so "visual."

Stuff I should have guessed
I know I'm really late to the party, but I've recently fallen in love with the "Stuff You Should Know" podcast.

I think I've been aware of the podcast for a long time but not until recently did I actually sit and listen to the show. Normally I listen to music when I'm editing photos at work (the "Retro Cocktail Hour" is my usual poison) but I've been streaming SYSK shows lately and gleaning lots of knowledge while beautifying photographs and portraits.

When I first started steaming, I had been skipping around to shows that featured topics that I would normally find interesting, but lately I've been going back and listening to the whole catalog. While the newer podcasts are a bit longer than the older programs, they seem to have quickly found their groove and settled into the show and it's format and haven't really changed since their inception. It took :Star Trek the Next Generation" three seasons to find their legs, but hosts Chuck and Josh very quickly found their voice and thankfully haven't shaken up their style or format.

I fancy myself a bit of a trivia buff and I love random knowledge so the show is right up my proverbial alley. I've learned about science, religion, history, culture and even alien-hand syndrome. Because I'm a fan of all things weird, shows on voodoo, how dogs tell time, and LSD use by the FBI are right in my wheelhouse, but even shows on why "saunas: more interesting than you think," sink holes, and who owns the world's oceans are fascinating subjects to listen too.

Perhaps it's my own journalistic training to question everything or my introspective nature but I asked myself, "Why do I like this show so much?"

After some consideration, I think the information presented is at the "core" of why I enjoy SYSK, but it's the hosts that are the "heart" of why I return to the program. Josh and Chuck's personalities and presentation are a perfect fit for the information they share. I love when they share a little bit of thier personal lives with the audience, like Chuck's love of haiku or Josh's penchant for Magnum PI. Their shared optimistic views about science and learning are also endearing and infectious. Even when they make errors or are unsure about a point, they openly ask for listeners to write in and share the correct information or can add some new perspective to the conversation. Also, they often interject their own opinions on the subject, like, "That is so cool," that seems to break the journalistic integrity of the show but instantly makes them more likeable as I'm often thinking the same thing.

Now that my interest has been thoroughly piqued, my already inquisitive mind did some research of my own. After I watch a movie, I read the Wikipedia and IMBD facts about the film. Likewise, shortly after I became hooked on SYSK, I did some fact finding about the show and hosts and discovered a promo for their show on the Science Channel. The show is a narrative fictionalization of a handful of past podcasts, but still contained all of Josh and Chuck's charm that makes listening to the talk about random subjects so endearing.

This morning I woke up and saw on the SYSK Facebook page that the show will stop airing on the Science Channel after Saturday. I felt like a teenage clerk had just told me that my credit card had been declined. It is a sense of disbelief combined with disappointment and complete lack of understanding of the events that would lead to such disappointed news.

I still have new podcasts to look forward to but I'm flabbergasted at the cancellation of the show so early into it's run. I was going to craft a blog entry on my search for a new house but I felt like enumeration my affection for SYSK might sooth my soul over the loss of the TV program.

Last night I bought fun.'s "Some Nights" album. I love the singles I heard on the radio so I thought I'd scoop the downloads from iTunes.

My knee-jerk reaction is, and this isn't a complaint, but I thought it was very musical theater; almost like a rock opera. I don't know if it's because I'm a visual thinker, but it was as if was listening to the soundtrack for "Rent 2" and I can imagine the sets and spotlights as the tracks played on. Unlike a lot of pop music these days, their songs really told a story and highlighted the internal struggle of the singer without reverting to self-indulgent puffery.

I just love this lyric.
"I look into my nephew's eyes, man, you won't believe the amazing things that can come from some terrible lies."

Loved the album. I'm probably going to buy their previous record too.

(no subject)
My lady friend and I at an awards show. Despite the smiles, we didn't win anything.


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