Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I just realized something about the way Starbuck thinks. I went into the kitchen to fix my breakfast, and he followed as is his wont. I glanced down at him, and he up at me, and a plaintive meow issued forth. Now we both know full well that he has been fed both first and second breakfast(my cats are part Hobbit I've decided) today, so I told him no. Oddly, though, he seemed to shrug and walk away. It was then it hit me. Starbuck's motto seems to be 'it never hurts to ask'.

That is all.

For now.


Evil Strikes Again

Imagine, if you will, a massive construction project. Millions of dollars are at stake, thousands of jobs, and a nearly impossible deadline. And underscoring the whole thing, only 5 deaths. Sounds like something out of the 1930s, doesn't it? Think again. This is going on right now in Las Vegas. MGM Mirage’s CityCenter is an $8 billion project, and has had 5 deaths over the last 17 months. That's more construction related deaths than during the entire renovation of the strip in the 1990s. While investigations are on-going, all the company has to say is that the project’s general contractor, Perini Building Co., has kept the work site as safe as possible given the volume of construction. Isn't that special. You can read the whole story here.

In local news, I had a lovely birthday yesterday. Thank you to all of you who sent your greetings and well-wishings. After work we went to the local Chinese buffet, where I ate too much, drank a little too much sake, and then went home to become a couch spud. My wife and young'n gave me the latest Alien v Predator movie, and a lovely new pewter dragon for my collection. All in all it was a very nice birthday.

I also caught myself nearly falling for some corporate doubletalk this morning. As I was making the young'n's lunch, I noticed on the package of lunch meat that it said 'minimally processed'. At first I thought,'well isn't that nice'. Then reality seeped in to my sleepy brain and I realized what a bullshit labeling tactic that was. Given that each slice is identical in size, shape, and texture just what the fuck does 'minimally processed' mean? It probably falls into the same category as 'all natural', meaning it is, well, meaningless. Nice try, Madison Avenue.

See y'all later,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Journey Begins

click on the pic to embiggen.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's All In The Genes

Yesterday I got a birthday card from my brother. Here it is:

This is the same dude who, after I cut the end of my thumb off, presented me with a thimble with a picture hook sticking out of the end to wear. I laughed at that, too.

Yeah, we're both a bit weird.


Well, I was supposed to go visit Adam and Bianca this weekend, but then Mrs. Marius remembered that she was going to visit her folks because her grandmother was in town and it was her(Nana's) birthday, so I was supposed to go. But as the day approached, my exhaustion levels peaked, and the thought of having a couple of days to myself was so attractive I decided to risk the wrath of the in-laws and just stay home. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, but between the show, and caring for the excretorially challenged missus I haven't had a real day off in over a month. So yesterday they departed, and I felt like a kid who had been left home alone for the first time. Not that I did anything all that outrageous. I watched Star Trek: Nemesis, which didn't suck as hard as I remembered, and stayed up late. Woots. But it was just very relaxing to not worry about the TV volume, or feel guilty for pausing the movie a bunch of times to make golden sacrifice to the beer gods. It may be because I got married so late in life, but sometimes all I really want is to be alone for a while, and in the tiny Castle Marius that is hard to come by.

So, anyway, in honor of my plan to do as little as possible today, here are some more pics. Firstly, we haven't really checked in with the Kitties-O-The-Apocalypse in a while, so behold:

I found this while searching for something else, and it made me laugh:

And these were fun:

Well, ok, so this one isn't exactly PC, but it made me laugh.

Now I'm going to go for a long bike ride to nowhere in particular.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

In Honor of Turtle's Nephew

Turtle posted a blog yesterday, but since I can't put pics in the comments here's my comment.

humorous pictures
see more crazy cat pics

This Weekend's Theme

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Scientific Method

Down here in the Tropics, winter is beating a hasty retreat. While the evenings are still nice and cool, the days are creeping into the mid to upper 80's, and the Kitties-O-The-Apocalypse have gone into fur production overdrive. Now our two darlings belong to the class of critter amusingly referred to as 'domestic short hair' cats. I say amusingly because were I to extrapolate their appearance based solely on the amount of fur I vacuum up off the floor on a now daily basis, they should both look like this:

However, that is not the case. Despite the rapidly increasing temperatures they both seem to look more like this:

And to be perfectly honest, Starbuck tends more toward this look, especially as the clock approaches mealtime:

Therefore, the only conclusion I can come to is that a cat's metabolism must be more than 90% dedicated to fur production. This explains why both of them can jettison at least twice their own body weight in fur daily, yet not lose one bit of fluffiness. This also explains why they spend so much time asleep. Fur generation and expulsion can take a lot out of today's active cat.

So there you have it, folks. Another of life's mysteries explained. You're welcome.

Dr. Marius

Sunday, April 20, 2008

An Engineer's Guide to Cats

This is most amusing.

My Own Private Idaho

Or Florida if you will. I'm trying to remake myself a bit, and the first thing I'm going to do is blog more often. Starting on April 29th, my birthday, I am going to post daily. Thinking back to that whole NamBlamThanksMaam thing back in November it really wasn't that hard to blog every day, and it felt weird after to not do so. A lot of what stops me from blogging is the fear of being uninteresting. But I've been reading a web comic called Planet Karen which is a sort of diary of a woman in England, and her daily adventures are quite entertaining. Not because she has anything bizarre or unusual happening, but because of the way that she relates her life. And that got me thinking about your responses to the poll last year and how y'all seem to dig it most when I just chat with you. So I'm going to give it a shot. I'm also trying to make a podcast happen, but the mechanics of posting audio to the intertubes are a bit more complex. Essentially I'm thinking about using my long-ass daily commute as a studio to blather on about whatever is on my mind at the time. I've done a couple of experiments using two different recording media, and it seems that the microphone in my MP3 player is far superior to my micro-cassette recorder. So would any of you tune in?

Mrs. Marius is feeling a bit better, and we've worked out the mechanics of her, um, attachments, so that the messiness of earlier maintenance attempts is a thing of the past. I couldn't help commenting to her at one point that, given the fact that I am thirteen years older than she, shouldn't she be the one emptying my medical accoutrements? Alas, she didn't laugh. She is going a bit stir crazy, though, so I'm trying to think of someplace to take her today that won't involve a whole lot of walking or physical strain. Any ideas?

Another big thing that I can't believe I haven't shared with y'all yet is that I found some very dear friends of mine recently that I haven't heard from in at least twenty years. Way back in 1982, when I joined the SCA up in Gainesville, I was befriended by the then prince and princess of Trimaris, Guthrum and Ursula. When I think back to my mental state during that year I think if it hadn't been for them, and Elom and Ara, and Matt and Penny, and the rest of the An Croisaire folks I might not have survived that time. After I moved back to West Palm Beach they left Florida and I never saw them again. Fast forward to the early 90s and the advent of the internet. My first thought about it was that I could use it to find them. Well, it has taken another decade, but about a month ago I did a Google search and found Ursula! I sent her an email and she answered. She and Guthrum are no longer together, but they have kept in touch and she passed my message on to him, and now I am in communication with them both. And there was much rejoicing. :-)

Ok, Mrs. Marius is awake, and I must to my nursing duties. Peace, y'all.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Let's Watch the Monkey Dance

Well, I suppose it is somewhat fitting that our Buffoon in Chief is going to appear on Deal or No Deal on Monday. Since that show depends on manufactured suspense and greedy, foolish contestants who have little or no common sense it seems a perfect match. Bush will appear in a video taped segment to encourage an Iraq war vet in his quest for the million dollar suitcase. Am I the only one who thinks that Bush really doesn't give a shit anymore?

In local news Mrs. Marius finally got the kidney stone removed. Yesterday sucked for my wife. We got to the hospital at 6am again, and this time she went straight in. Her vitals were good, and the green light was lit. Then they put in the IV. She doesn't like needles, and they gave her a shot of Novocaine first, but that hurt like hell. Then they put in the IV. I've never watched when I've gotten one of those put in, but I made the mistake of looking this time. The needle must be three inches long! She cried a bit, but got through it ok, and then I had to go to work. The COA was with me this time, so we went to IHOP then to the college. After my class we high tailed it back to the hospital. She wasn't out of recovery yet since she had a bit of a reaction to her meds and was nauseous. After about 20 minutes we were allowed to join her. It's always disconcerting seeing someone right after surgery since corpses tend to look livelier, but over the course of about 45 minutes her color returned, and her vitals stabilized. The good news was that the surgery went well, and the stone met its fate at the hands of a well trained laser. The bad news was that the doctor wants her to stay catheterized until Monday. Now, for a guy this would be great news since all he would need is a cooler of beer and the remote and he(ok I) could just plant my ass on the couch and not have to move. But my lovely wife doesn't partake of that amber elixir, and failed to see the upside to having a plastic bag attached to her nether regions. Ah well, Mars/Venus again, eh? Another bright spot is they gave her a script for Vicodin, so it's not all bad. So she's very uncomfortable right now, but hopefully after Monday morning life will be much better for her, and for all of us as well.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go drain my wife.

Nurse Marius

Friday, April 18, 2008

I Am The Future

As I was drinking my coffee, trying to become slightly more lifelike than your average Macy's mannequin, I happened to glance to my left and saw this sight:

Could you imagine if you could go back even just twenty years and tried to tell your younger self that the tiny thing on the upper left can hold more music than half your wall of CDs, or that the micro-recorder can fit in your shirt pocket, and that the blue thing is really a phone?

I still want my anti-gravity boots and personal droid, though.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pigeon!!

Today is The Purple, yet wholly invisible, Pigeon's birthday. May you have a wonderful, and totally depraved time. :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Paging Dr's Piss and Moan

I don't know which minor deity we've pissed off, but we seem to be plagued with many annoyances of late. As I've mentioned before, my wife is currently harboring a kidney stone that was scheduled to be removed this morning. She was given the usual pre-op prohibition against eating or drinking after midnight, and told to arrive at the hospital at 6am. I got up at 4 so I could drink some coffee without tormenting her with it, she got up at 5, and we departed at 5:20. Traffic was light, and we arrived ten minutes early. So far, so good. We finally get into the room at 6:20, and she changes into that lovely gown they give you. Then her vitals were taken, and the 'has your health changed since you were here on Wednesday' question was asked. Unfortunately it had. She woke up with the symptoms of a cold this morning, and they found she was running a 100.1 fever. Uh oh. A few phone calls later and the anesthesiologist(waiter, spell check please)said that unless the doctor felt this was an emergency, the risk of pneumonia was too great, and we'd have to come back once she felt better. Shit! So after the tears and anger had waned, we went to IHOP. Then we stopped at Home Depot to pick up a new flush lever for the toilet, since it snapped last night thus making the flushing of the loo a manual thing, and some vertical blinds for the living room. We needed those because the cats liked to sit on the curtains, and finally managed to pull the curtain rod out of the wall. So once we got home I installed the flusher, and spackled the holes in the wall. The living room window faces East, so it was getting rather warm, and about half way through the installation I took a break to check my email. In my work messages was a reminder that I was to help set up the lobby for the open house for prospective students. Shit! I had forgotten all about that, and since I was supposed to be the theatre representative I finished the blinds(they look fabulous) and raced through the shower and the 45 minute drive. Upon my arrival I found the place strangely silent. Calling the department secretary I breathlessly announced my arrival, and my puzzlement at the lack of any open house related activities. "No, that's Monday", quoth she. Double shit! That part wasn't in the email. She is fantastic at keeping the myriad tentacles of this scholastic octopus in check, though, so I can't really get mad at her for not realizing that I couldn't remember when it was supposed to actually happen.
So now I'm at work a full 6 hours sooner than I had planned, since we have a show tonight, and I'm the only one here. I think I'm going to go get some steel and make some new leg armor. Although with my luck today I'll sprain my ribcage or some other highly unlikely, yet only annoying injury. Maybe I'll just hide under my desk until it's tomorrow.

I'm sorry, Loki! Whatever I did I didn't mean it!

Marius the Whiny

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hull Breach!

Winona Ryder has been cast to play Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson.

Wedding Pics

I just came across the CD of our wedding pics, and thought I'd share a few. Hope you like them. :-)


It is not often that a movie's marketing campaign fails to show what a film is really like. Usually it is fairly easy to pigeon hole movies based on their ads. A few notable exceptions, for me anyway, are So I Married an Axe Murderer, Gross Pointe Blank, and now Beowulf. Both of the aforementioned films looked like something best avoided, but when forced to watch them years after their release I found them to be very fun and enjoyable. Last year Beowulf was released, and the ads made it look like some real, high-quality cheese. What I didn't realize at the time was that it is an animated film, and the over the top emoting shown in the commercials actually made sense when viewed in context. We rented it yesterday, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment. The story is familiar, up until Grendel is slain(sorry if that's a spoiler) but then it goes beyond the epic poem, and does so quite well. The animation is on a par with Shrek, although with more realism, and the motion-capture is done very well. Beowulf himself spends a great deal of the movie naked, but since that is the rare side of the nudity coin I shan't complain. It is a fun, and gruesome retelling of the Viking saga which combines realism and magical fantasy in a compelling way that will have you munching your popcorn even as you want to turn away from some of the ick. Plus the dragon kicks ass. A very worthy rental, indeed.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Deep Thoughts

Good evening, cats and kittens, and welcome to a very relaxed Corner. It's 10:34pm, and I'm enjoying my first beer in two weeks. I slept in til 6:15am today, and didn't go to work until 6pm. Now it's quiet in the house. Mrs. Marius is sleeping peacefully, and the COA is with her grandparents for a week. I just made myself some popcorn, and I feel like just grooving. Do y'all remember when the image of the FM DJ was the deeply stoned, totally mellow, Venus Flytrap sort of cat who would play Ina Gadda Da Vida in its entirety so he could smoke a bowl and chill for twenty minutes between commercial breaks? I kinda miss those days.

So as I mentioned a few entries ago, one of the podcasts I listen to is a couple of English dudes talking Trek. They brought up an interesting point the other day. I have grave misgivings about the impending Star Trek movie, which has recast the entire original series crew and will show us their first mission aboard the Enterprise. Mike and Rich speculated that what if it were not so much a matter of recreating Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc., but was instead a re imagining of the entire series, ala Battlestar Galactica. I have no idea if that is what is being done, but if that were the case I think I could be fine with it. I might just be able to get behind a grittier, more real Federation. Now before you begin shouting 'hypocrite' since I railed against the Section 31 story lines on DS9 ride with me a bit here. The concept that Starfleet had a black ops agency was put into place at a time when TV was full of X-Files type conspiracies, and it seemed totally out of place on Star Trek. I objected then, and I still do. However, it might be interesting to see how the Star Trek universe would look without the Roddenberry requirement that everybody play nice. And if that is the case, what better crew to do it with? Kirk was always a bit of a rule breaker, and he took a very liberal view of the Prime Directive, so why not see him in his 'fuck 'em all' days? I don't know if that is the direction JJ Abrams is taking, but it would be interesting, don't ya think?

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but while the press is caterwauling about how dirty Obama and Clinton are fighting each other, it seems to me to be one of the more civil political contests I've ever seen. Yeah, they are both taking the occasional cheap shot, but over all they are being rather nice to each other. I'm really enjoying this contest, and though I am for Obama, I think we are in for a very interesting 4 years no matter who wins.

Pardon my repetition, but I am just so tickled that Turtle and Sheeps are getting married. He really is what is best in our species, and he deserves to be happy. And though my in-person time with Sheeps is limited, she strikes me as a caring, strong, totally groovy person. I think they will take good care of each other. Now whether or not their cats will get along...well that remains to be seen.

All right, I've babbled enough. Good night, dear ones. Rest well, and dream of large women.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti

Happy First Contact Day


Jinkies! What a crazy couple of weeks it's been. I feel like I've barely had time to breath, let alone blog, since I got off the plane from Texas. Of course, the fact that I got sick as hell right after may have contributed to the feeling. I'm still a bit sniffly. Is it because I'm getting older, or have the rhino viruses gotten nastier of late? It used to be that a cold would get a foothold, make me miserable for three days, then go away. These days it seems they linger for weeks. Anyway, on to the news.
The big news is that Sir Turtle and Rabid Attack Sheep are getting married! This is wonderful news. As you know, Turtle is one of my oldest and dearest friends, and his luck with the ladies has been, if possible, even more hit and miss than mine. He is the proverbial gentle giant who has been taken advantage of many times, and had his heart cruelly abused far too often. You will not find a more worthy, honorable, and chivalrous person, and I cannot effuse enough as to my joy that he has found in Sheeps a true soulmate. They are tying the knot at TMT, a big SCA event over the Memorial Day weekend, and I have already asked the missus to put in for the time off. There is no way in hell I'm missing this wedding.

Here is the set that has been kicking my ass of late:

It looks deceptively simple, but making 'stone' walls is a somewhat elaborate process involving Styrofoam, acetone, and lots of paint. The center platform is 8' tall and free standing, and the wall/platform unit on the left is 5' high with few right angles. And while the majority of the hanging pieces are made from hula hoops, the two large ones needed to be fashioned out of heat-bent PVC pipe, which is a relatively simple(once we figured it out) but time consuming process. I am actually quite pleased with how this came out. I'll try to get a shot with the actual lighting on to show you the other half of my contribution.

Locally Mrs. Marius has a rather large and painful kidney stone that must be removed next week some time. She has been in pain and feeling unwell for quite a while now, and the stone is too big to be shattered using ultrasound. The doctor is hoping to do the procedure, which involves a type of catheterization, next Friday. If prayer is your thing, please put in a good word with the man upstairs that all goes smoothly.

And finally, in the weird events department, my coffee pot has joined the military. A few nights ago, as is my pre-bed ritual, I filled the coffee maker with coffee, and water, and set the timer. The next morning I arose, grudgingly, at 5am, and heard a strange hissing noise coming from the kitchen. Turning on the light revealed that in my exhausted stupor I neglected to put the carafe back in the coffee maker ere retiring. The mess was considerable, made the worse by the realization that my morning cup-o-joe would be on the other side of a massive clean up operation followed by the interminable brewing time. So I cleaned, and grumbled, and the missus wisely retired to the safety of our bedroom.
Fast forward to that evening as I arrived home from rehearsal. The aforementioned appliance read that it was 2:32. I knew full well that it was 10:32, so I reasoned that we had had yet another of the many power fluctuations that this area is heir to. However, when I went to reset the clock, the numbers didn't make sense. Finally it sunk in that the first LED was malfunctioning, and that somehow the clock had set itself to military time. What I thought was 2:32 was, in fact, 22:32 with the first 2 not working properly. I tossed the manual years ago, so I don't know how, or even if, there is a way to change it, but so long as it salutes me properly, and makes my coffee when told, I don't suppose it's that big an issue.

Ok, that's all for now. So how have you all been?


Wednesday, April 02, 2008


The play opens tomorrow, then I'll get some sleep, and then a real blog.