Southern Man

Thursday, May 30, 2013

MOBILE Lab Workshop

Thanks to a tip from Girl Programmer and your NSF tax dollars Southern Man got a little grant to fly up to a MOBILE Lab workshop hosted by the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.

Our host and one of his student assistants.

Southern Man hard at work.

It rained most of the time but that didn't stop Southern Man from picking up about a dozen geocaches during the workshop. He also came home with a shiny new WD Element external drive.

New toys!

So Southern Man got to travel on someone else's dime, geocache (and add a new state to his list), learn new stuff, and pick up new toys. Is there a better way to spend three days?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

The church gang gathered at a local park to celebrate Memorial Day.

Chef Paul at his usual station at the grill.

Why is everyone on their smartphone?

Southern Man takes to the air.

A festive gathering.

And let us not forget the reason for our celebration today.

As always, thanks to all who serve. With an extra loud Hoo Yah! to Southern Daughter in the US Navy.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Road Trip: 99 44/100% Pure

On Wednesday Southern Man embarked on a road trip that would encompass Branson, Missouri (two nights) and then Kansas City to here Teen Daughter perform in a piano recital and then bring her back home for the summer.

It almost worked out that way.

Southern Man is a sucker for those three-day two-night mini-vacations where you pay next to nothing but have to listen to the two-hour timeshare spiel. And for the first time ever he decided to take a trip all by himself and do what he wanted to do. Which would be eat, drink, and geocache.

This is what cachers refer to as "level four" terrain.

Once at the top the cache was easy to spot.

Southern Man also visited outdoor sites of interest. At least, of interest to him.

Table Rock Lake Dam on the low (or Lake Taneycomo) side.

The Shepherd of the Hills fish hatchery at the base of the Table Rock Dam.

Those are some big trout!

While poking about above the dam Southern Man ran into a pair of fellow cachers.

Team RickyDee48

Then it was off to Kansas City to collect Teen Daughter.

Teen Daughter with her piano teacher...

...and with Southern Man.

What's a piano recital without snacks?

And then we headed down to Southern State and were about sixty miles from home when The Hyundai shed its timing belt and (having an interference engine) probably chewed the hell out of the valves. So Southern Man sighed and called the roadside assistance number and we were towed in to the dealer and picked up (at dawn) by Southern Father. So The Hyundai made the last two percent of the trip behind a tow truck and has yet to make it all the way home.

Will this be the last outing of Southern Man's favorite cache-mobile?

The dealer is quoting $4500 for a new engine and Southern Man was thinking seriously about just trading what was left in on a new car. That galls as The Hyundai just got paid off a couple of months ago. However Southern Man found a mechanic who actually works on cars and may send it to him instead and is now trying to see where he can pull a couple thousand dollars to pay for it. And once again Southern Man reflects on his good bad luck. That belt could have easily parted company with the rest of the car much further from home. As it was it was only a $200 tow to bring it in to the dealership. It could have been much, much worse. Lord, thank you for ever watching over me. Amen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

To boldly go...

...and get the stuffing beat out of it. That seems to be the usual fate of the movie version of the good ship Enterprise.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - minor damage by the initial attack by V'Ger.

The Enterprise about to get smacked in the nose by a V'Ger scanning torpedo.

Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan - pulverized by the USS Reliant in a truly epic example of good old fashioned space opera. Kaaaaaahn!

Enterprise takes a hard hit to the port side...

...and gets in a little return fire.

Star Trek: The Search For Spock - further pulverized by a Klingon Bird of Prey.


Bird of Prey captured, reamed Bounty, used to terrorize fishermen and save whales, among other things.

Star Trek: The Voyage Home - USS Enterprise-A did not appear to the very end of the film and was thus safe. For once.

I wonder how many movies I'll survive?

Star Trek: The Final Frontier - pulverized by another Bird of Prey. BoP destroyed by God. Yes, really.

The Klingon Bird of Prey.

Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country - further pulverized by yet another Bird of Prey. BoP destroyed by trick torpedo.

Lock weapons on target!

Star Trek: Generations - The Enterprise-D destroyed by - wait for it - another Bird of Prey. BoP destroyed by trickery and torpedo; Enterprise main hull lost in warp-core breach, saucer section crash landed.

The Duras Sisters put some pain on the Enterprise-D.

Saucer section reentry.

Note the combat record here. Klingon Birds of Prey put some serious hurt on the various incarnations of Enterprise. General Martok was right to stick with the Rotarrin.

Star Trek: First Contact - Enterprise-E taken over by Borg but for once not pulverized.

Rumor is that the Millenium Falcon is among the combatants.

Star Trek: Insurrection - Enterprise-E pulverized by two Son'a battleships, saved only by timely warp-core ejection.

A second ago, there were two Son'a battleships in this scene.

Star Trek: Nemesis - Enterprise-E pulverised by Romulan battleship Scimitar, which was destroyed by...ramming.

Scimitar, meet Enterprise.

And things don't get much better in the alternate timeline.

Star Trek - pulverized by the future-Romulan mining ship Narada (which had earlier destroyed both a large squadron of Klingon BoPs and a big chunk of Starfleet), then further damaged by a black hole. Escape was by yet another timely warp-core ejection.

Enterprise and Narada face off over Vulcan...

Star Trek Into Darkness - pulverized by the Federation battleship Revenge.

...and confronts the Federation dreadnaught Revenge in the Neutral Zone.

And there is your Trekker post for the day. Enjoy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Much better than expected, with epic property damage on the ground and lots of shout outs for us old-time fans but also making it clear that this is an alternate timeline and Abrams is free to take the series in unexpected new directions. Southern Man had carefully avoided reviews and spoiler posts so he was delightfully surprised by The Reveal. This was also Southern Man's first foray into IMAX 3D, which was pretty awesome but left him with something of a headache. Perhaps the excessive lens flare had something to do with that.

Why, yes, the USS Enterprise does get pulverized. As usual. Also, smoke In Space!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Southern Man Rescues A Turtle

Southern Man saw this good-sized common snapping turtle (chelydra serpentina) trying to cross six lands of traffic...

He was a Beast, easily capable of taking a finger. Southern Man managed to get him by the tail and put him by the side of the road. Yes, Southern Man knows you're not supposed to do that but it was all he could manage at the time.

And then Southern Man found a box and transported The Beast to The Land. Here he is near the dock pilings. Note how large he is compared to the cinderblocks in the background.

The Beast wasn't too happy about having been moved by his tail and then scooped into a box but The Land is and always will be a turtle and snake sanctuary. He'll make a fine home down there in the bottoms by the lake.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Choral Concert

It's time for Teen Daughter's Spring Choral Concert - why, yes, she does have a solo part - so Southern Man and Southern Mother made the drive Up North to see her.

Southern Mother in the crowd.

Yes, Teen Daughter is right in the middle of this photo. Not that you can tell.

Dinner at Twisters.

Drop-off at school the next morning, where Teen Daughter (as she often does) declined to be photographed.

Of course there was geocaching. Southern Man snuck in a couple after dropping off Teen Daughter and before heading back to the hotel for Southern Mother.

One was in this beautiful park.

Another was near the town cemetery.

And now for that long drive home...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day 2013

The ever beautiful Southern Mother.

Southern Father unloads conduit from The Titan.

Stella is a Good Dog!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Singles Dance

It's the once-monthly singles dance! Whoo hoo!

Hey, why aren't you dancing?

Pool Sharks

As before none of the actual dance-floor pics came out, and few of the low-light shots. Southern Man must wean himself from "auto" and actually learn how to use his fancy new camera.

Probability and Statistics

So Southern Man is hanging with some church-singles friends and a game of Yahtzee broke out. Yeah, we're wild and crazy like that. Southern Man's first five plays were:

  • Large Straight (one roll)
  • Small Straight (one roll)
  • Full House (one roll)
  • Yahtzee in 6s (two rolls)
  • Yahtzee in 5s (three rolls)
That's 195 points in only eight rolls. What are the chances of that ever happening again?

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Capitol Caching

With duties at the soon-to-be-former job completed for the day Southern Man had several hours to kill before his evening class so he wandered up the road to the State Capitol (which he'd not visited for many years) to see the sites and do a little geocaching.

Capitol exterior. There is a geocache inside the building, tucked away in a corner of the library.

The State Seal.

Under The Dome.

The Guardian.

The nearby Battleship Oklahoma memorial, which pretty much gives away the identity of Southern State for any reader that hasn't yet figured it out.