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Last Updated 9 SEP 2009
THIS IS A TEMP UPLOAD TO GET THE NEW HOSTING OFF THE GROUND. IT IS BUGGY
While I used to go to Science Fiction Conventions quite a bit, it has been several years. now, I've done two in two months! Conestoga is not as big as A-Kon was, but I still had a really good time. I finally got to meet some of the BarFlies from Baen's Bar along with two of my favorite writers, James P. Hogan and David Drake. I also got to meet some interesting up-and-comers. I'll be reading their work in the new Baen E-Publication Baen's Universe. The first issue is out now.
This picture is a bit fuzzy (Apologies to H. B. Piper), of me (at the far end of the table) at the Barfly dinner on Saturday night. One of the writer guests of the con, Mr. Tony Frazier (who's work will be appearing in a upcoming Baen's Universe), was nice enough to send me a copy of it.
From Left to Right, M. T. Reiten, David Drakes Companion (whose name escapes me at the moment) and David Drake. My ugly mug is chopped off at the right hand edge.
If you don't know who David Drake is, shame on you! go read his stuff 8-)!
M. T. Reiten is a U.S. Army veteran who served in two overseas combat deployments (Bosnia and Iraq) and has recently received his PhD in Physics. He is a contributing writer in Baen's Universe.
Here are the Red Heads of the Apocalypse
Having there news conference.
The Charity this year was one of the Raptor Rescue Groups, who brought their birds out for everyone to see.
Margaret even got to pet one.
Margaret got along fine with one of the Robot's from the Penguin Playhouse Play.
And she won a prize for her child pirate costume.
22 July 2006
Off Road Adventure
On the weekend before Conestoga, the Ladies and I went for a little trip up to grand lake. While the ladies were in the lake swimming, I took the truck out to the off road park just south of the damn and had a great time.
The Truck did really well on the trails in the park.
The Truck Looking Good on the Trail A view of the Damn and some Cranes enjoying the water.
A nice hill that the truck took just fine.
Until I broke the truck that is! I managed to break a Heavy Duty Rancho Strut! So the great ground clearance I had driving out was gone driving back (my skid plate looks like a bomb hit it). I was lucky though, the way the strut broke, I could still drive it back to town (about 75 road miles away).
When I talked to the great guys at Ryno 4 Wheel Drive, who had installed it, they said the magic words "Rancho has a lifetime warranty". They had to order in the new part, but once they got it in, they had me going in just a few hours. They were courteous and professional and the only cost I had to pay was for the new CV Boot (you can see in the picture that the old one is busted too. I can strongly recommend those guys!
Well, Diana finally talked us into it. We went to A-Kon this year. A-Kon is an Anime convention held in Dallas. Last year the girls went while I was working at DFW. I managed to swing by for a couple of hours on Saturday night and check it out. But this year, we did the whole shebang. Stayed at the Con hotel, brought down a caravan of Diana's friends and their parents and in general, made a good time of it. Again, I'm still figuring out which pictures to post. So watch this space for more stuff.
Here's the More Stuff
The Mongol Outfit was a chick magnet <grin>
Margaret got her picture with Bender!
And some of the Costumes there....
Everyone thought that this guy was doing agent smith. But, as it happens, these are his working clothes.
He was a limo driver who dropped by to see what was up.
June 2005 to June 2006
More will come fill in this space. but I wanted to get this update out.
16 May 2005
The Saga of the new truck.
My job has me working at DFW Airport at the moment. I have been working at this job (putting computers in airports) for a bit over six years now. Over this time, I have slowly become almost psychotically afraid of flying (go figure). So when this Dallas job came up which is not more than 4-1/2 hours away by road, I kicked and screamed and begged to be allowed to drive down every week rather than fly.
As it turns out, that's when things started to get really interesting.
At DFW, we are putting in the muse systems, the cute systems and the fids systems (don't worry, most people don't know what that means) at the new terminal that is being built. So, I am a computer dude at a construction site. How's that for glamorous!? (see the "Traveling Man" page for more about my job). In any case, here is a picture of the job site, with my car where no car should be at a working terminal.
Bubba's Volvo Wagon parked in what will be the aircraft ramp area.
The first week went fine, I was a bit late because of storms, but nothing serious seemed to go wrong. Then when I got home, the fun started. I took my car in for an oil change on Saturday and discovered that my air-conditioner had blown a line and they would have to order parts from the factory to fix it. Then on Sunday, I blew a radiator hose. Since this Volvo is a Turbo, it takes a special hose that no one stocks. A few hose clamps and a 1"x3" iron pipe fitting later that night, I thought that I had it going fine. Until I got to Henrietta, Oklahoma (about 50 miles south of Tulsa) the next morning and started blowing more hoses.
My car in the shop in Henrietta.
It turns out that the deputy police chief there is a nice fellow and he got me to the nearest shop that would open soon (this was about 7AM). Turns out that the transmission cooler in my radiator had broken and I was getting transmission fluid in the coolant and anti-freeze in the radiator. Neither one of these things is good (or fun). The nice fellows at Newt's Supertire got me patched up enough to limp back to my regular mechanic back in Tulsa (who is a wizard with Volvos).
It's a good thing my boss is a good natured man, he got me to the rental car place and on the road to the job site Monday afternoon, so I only lost one day that week.
Ed, my Volvo Wizard managed to fix the car, but it took a couple of days, so I drove a rental to Dallas. When I got back home on Friday night, I had a running Volvo with a new (all metal) radiator, a fully flushed cooling system with all new hoses and a fully flushed and refilled transmission (took 48 quarts to clean it) and a repair bill of just over $1,000 (ouch!). Now don't get me wrong, I am fond of this car and it has served me well for the last 60,000 miles, but in the last year, I have put in new breaks, a new muffler and replaced several of the ignition system parts and I still had a broken air-conditioner! My repair bill in the last 12 months has passed the blue-book value, but I tend to get emotionally involved with my cars (ok, I'm stupid).
You should understand that never in my life have I ever bought a new car. The thought of going that deep into debit makes me nuts. Also, I have had mostly good luck with my used cars over the years.
Then again, I have had the truck bug really bad for the last few years. Many times over the last several years, I've needed to borrow a pick-up, because I was driving a car or a station wagon and it did not have the carrying room. I have also been being nibbled at by the off-road bug. Back in the late 70's and early 80's I used to do a lot of off-roading in the Angelis National Forest area and desserts outside of Los Angeles and up in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. I have been really missing it. So on Saturday last (15MAY05), I girded up my loins and ran down to the Ford dealer and came home with a new F150 4x4 pick-up.
My new toy.
And I bought the long warranty. It feels like I'll be paying this thing off forever, but man! It rides nice, it sits high (no more being blinded by that sedan in front of me) and it handles hills like a champ! I know it is not going to break down on me any time soon and if it does, it's under warranty! Also, it's an extended cab with the little seats in the back which are too small for full grown Americans, but my two daughters (12 and 5) think that the special seats in the back "Just Their Size" are great!
Now all I have to do is find a place around Tulsa, where I can go off road with out getting busted and relearn all my old off-road skills. And maybe see if I can pass he bug on to my daughters, they already seem interested.
One Final Note on the Dallas travel, Today (Monday 16MAY06) driving down to Dallas, I got a front row view of what one of those new tall, skinny delivery vans looks like when it tumbles over at highway speed (in the lane next to me). And it reminded me of why I carry my response kit everywhere I can. I didn't wind up using any of it but my gloves, which I used to peel the wind-shield out of the way so the driver could get out (The van was laying on its drivers side). And now I need new gloves. KEVLAR GLOVES! It turns out that the only one needing first aid at the scene was my hand from where the windshield glass had penetrated my gloves and cut me. The driver had a good case of shock (as you can imagine, the wreck was spectacular to watch) but otherwise seemed fine when the EMTs arrived and I turned her over. But I'm very glad I had it with me, we were all lucky. I've got to admit, that at this point, I'm almost afraid to see what will happen on my next trip down next week.
03 May 2005
Last Weekend was Mayday and we got out to join some friends for a old fashioned Mayday Celebration.
Here are some before and after shots of the May Poll just to prove it!
And we all got dressed up
But the ladies always look much better than me. Which is one of the reasons I operate the camera!
The Girls had a great time playing with Cassiopeia, the dog.
And we did the traditional Gardening (Laurie more than I did) it is even possible that this year I didn't kill any plants (I hope!).
And I would be remiss if I did not mention and thank our hosts who got Laurie and the Girls and I away from our routine for a refreshing break!
Gerry and Steve had us out to there place in Eureka Springs. In this shot from left to right are
Steve, Gerry, Julianne (in back), Margaret (in front), Laurie, Diana and Brian. Also Cassiopeia, the dog, who is quite a bit of fun.
We finally went on another Vacation. For the first time in a long time Laurie and I both took some time off and we took the Girls to Silver Dollar City. Here are a few good pictures that I took on the trip
We really Liked this old Victorian one! We look good this way!
We did the "Ride the Ducks" thing in Branson and Diana got to drive the boat! She thought that was GREAT!
They take the rules seriously here! But don't worry! I broke them out of jail!
On the way home we went through Eureka Springs and Stopped to have Dinner with Gerry and Steve.
Diana's new pirate hat was a hit and even Gerry had to try it out!
Once again (FEB 2005) I worked the Shrine Circus. I was so busy that I didn't have time to take many pictures, but this year, I got good tickets for Laurie and Margaret.
I worked the Shrine Circus this year and took Margaret with me and got to take her back stage where she got to meet the Big Cats!
And some time with the ride on animals every one got to enjoy.
We just sat for some new family portraits! and Here they are!
Margaret Being cheerful! (Wearing Daddy's hat again - she likes to wear daddy's hats)
And sometimes, she just likes being a smarty!
Margaret getting used to the clown. She really didn't know what to make of him.
Cake and Presents after a good time playing in the water park.
Margaret with Santa!
Margaret's Birthday Party
You can just tell how sweet (or Evil) they are
Having way too much fun!
Diana at her recital from theater camp.
Margaret and Diana at the Piano
These Pictures were taken at Eureka Springs
Here is the picture we're putting on our Christmas Cards
Diana and Margaret posing at a wedding chapel owned by our friend Gerry
Margaret is not happy after spending most of the day walking all over town
But she got over it
and then some one turned Laurence Welk loose
^ Margaret Trying on Dad's Cowboy Hat With Mom
With Cousin Sandy
Born 30 July 1999 at 15:55 3 lb. 14 oz