Posted by: newq | August 2, 2009

Life and how to live it part IX ish.

“525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?” – Rent

 “I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract” – R.E.M.

 I’ve always been interested in the concept of time and one of my “clocks” is Q-tips.  I use one a day give or take holidays and trips and I buy a 500 count box which means, that as I finish my box, I recall the last time I regaled you with such an event roughly a year and a half ago.  Where were you then?  Think about it… I know you won’t.

It’s time again to bring you up to speed.  First, Kristin and I celebrated our first year together.  “Sweetness, Park.”  We all know we can’t have nice things (plural) but perhaps we can have A nice thing… if a person can be called a thing without being insulting.  Which probably can’t happen.

Second, if you were living under the sea like the kraken you STILL wouldn’t have an excuse for not knowing that MTV’s “The State” was finally released on DVD.  The reason you wouldn’t have an excuse is because in the sea sound travels farther and I shouted it to heavens, the earth, and the sea.  If you didn’t hear me then you need a hearing check.  Read me now.  The State is the BEST SKETCH COMEDY TROUPE EVER.  Python, too British at times.  KITH? Too hit and miss.  Upright Citizens Brigade?  To niche.  The State covered it all… the well thought premise of hunting Muppets, the parody of every musical opening number that is Porcupine Racetrack, and the base cheap humor of Louie and his catch phrase “I WANNA DIP MY BALLS IN IT”.  The price of happiness is only $34.39.  I’ll wait while you order it.

Speaking of Muppets, Kristin and I went to the traveling exhibit in town.  It was good, satisfying for the price but definitely different, and not as expansive, as the one Bonnie and I saw at the Milwaukee children’s museum circa 1996ish.  (That one had the original Ulgra!) This one had a Gobo and the original cast of the “Mahna Mahna”.  Mahna Mahna himself was a recreation from the 1969 plans, but the Snowths were the original ones and both were run by Frank Oz at one time.

Next, in the world of bacon there has been an evolution.  I give you the bacon explosion.  Has anyone tried one yet?  Can we get some testimonials?

In nerd news I am an official Enforcer for this year’s PAX.  PAX is the second largest US video game convention, second only to E3.  I will spend three days immersed in one upmanship of obscure references and hopefully a Felicia Day sighting.  Odds are I’ll get another shot to continue my snubbing of Wil Wheaton as I was denied my chance to see/not see him at spring’s Seattle Comic-con.  Reading the profiles of other volunteers at 32 I am in the upper age bracket as most seem to be 24-28.  As such I chose a screen shot of the original Pitfall for my avatar.  It is the first game I remember loving and it taught us that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to face it backwards.  If nothing else PAX will complete my life long dream of working at a place where I get to wear a “STAFF” t-shirt.  Faux power is the best.

As most of you know I design the electrical distribution and controls for water and wastewater treatment plants.  As such I get a chance to get to the field about once a month.  We recently started a job in Skykomish where I met Jim, the electrical contractor who was doing all the work with the aide of one apprentice. 

To step back, Skykomish was an old railroad stop on US-2, about 75 miles from Seattle and yes, on the same US-2 running through upper Wisconsin and Michigan.  As was the style of the time in 18xx the railroad dumped their used oil pretty much on the ground as they refueled here.  Now in a settlement between the rails and the US gov they are decontaminating the soil in town BY DIGGING UP ALL THE SOIL IN TOWN 6 FEET DEEP!  Buildings with no foundation get moved.  Residences and foundation buildings get a moat.  The project is taking 8 years.  There are 214 people in town as of the 2000 census.  But, if you’re going to rip up an entire town you might as well put in a sewer system.  Don’t worry though, the Whistling Post, which has the best deep fried chicken this side of some arbitrary line, is doing just fine. 

Back to the story.  Now in the field of course things are a lot less formal and rough around the collar.  I’ve heard more stories about what clogs up grinder pumps than I care too, but Jim had a new one.  See Jim was proud of his work.  He informed me that “when you see this vault your dick’ll get so hard your girlfriend will be thanking me for a month.”  It was fine work.  One of the few contractors to get our design right on the first run (amazing what happens when you read the plans) but it was not THAT exciting.

Time to wrap up but I don’t think it would be an update without the latest monster report.  I know I’ve mentioned it before but someone has taken the handoff on the ongoing search.  Obviously the picture is a fake but the creature is so awesome I can only hope it proves true.

 Jason “I’m outta he-he-here” Newquist


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