Threads started by Bill:
After standing for who knows how long, the old barn has finally come down to make way for a new barn. Yesterday morning the excavators rolled in at 7:00am and started digging a large pit in the pasture behind the barn (maybe 10ft wide by 20ft long by 8ft deep?). Then they began the actual demolition, using a large backhoe to destabilize the building by pulling out supports, and giving one good shove to push it back into the field. It was a pretty quick process and before long the old barn had given up the ghost.
After the dust settled, the men started a fire in the pit and began dumping in all things burnable. That toasty fire continued for hours, until all that was left of the rubble was block and concrete and stone and various other bits of nonburnable debris.
While the fire died, the excavators began digging out the bank so the builders would be able to work on the walls when construction starts. Then they started digging the footers and cleaning things up. When the fire was mostly out they began dumping the leftovers (concrete, etc.) into the pit and then filled it all back in.
And less than 12hours later, the barn was gone, the heavy machinery was gone, and we’re left with a very different landscape. There’s no going back now, only forward.
Below are some pictures of the demolition. I also have video footage that I’ll upload when I get the chance.
I’ll post more updates throughout the construction.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone back and compiled a gallery of some of the better, recent pictures posted here, so it’s probably time to do that. Sometimes these sort of things need context, but other times a lack of immediate context makes them enjoyable too, so if you don’t recognize a particular picture from before, just enjoy it for the first time, I guess.
So here are some notable pictures from the site since the last “year in pictures” post (so this collection is from about September 2008 to March 2011). I also tried to avoid just grabbing too many from the Fun With Flickr thread, which always deserves a run back through on its own anyway.
I appreciate trivia and tidbits of knowledge that I most likely will never use in my lifetime. But I think I also have just a mediocre memory, so although I enjoy learning trivial facts, I mostly only remember them sporadically when I try to call them up again from the deep vault of my brain bank. That doesn’t really affect my aspiration to collect data, it just frustrates me while playing board games.
I think I’m a smart enough person, but being good at trivia is a different kind of animal. I know plenty of people who are smart but who are lousy at trivia, and even some people who seem to have a knack for hanging on to random facts but who otherwise don’t seem to be particularly intelligent. I see it sort of like the kids in your class who were good test takers versus the kids who were genuinely intelligent (and yes, I say that on behalf of academic underachievers everywhere). But my point is that success in the one arena doesn’t necessarily imply success in the other — granted, there’s definitely a necessary overlap, but you get what I’m saying. And on a personal note, I must add that it’s especially frustrating for me when I know that I know something but I can’t extract the answer from my head. With my less-than-stellar memory, this seems to happen to me a lot, and so if you happen to be hiding in my bushes while I’m watching Jeopardy! you’ll notice me yelling “daaaah!” at my TV a lot as answers are revealed.
This is Jack Burton in the Pork Chop Express and I’m talkin to whoever’s listening out there…
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve been everywhere and I’ve done everything, but I do know it’s a pretty amazing planet we live on here, and a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we’re alone in this universe.
I grew up maybe five miles from I-70. It was just the highway we took to town, nothing special. It went as far west as Columbus and east to Zanesville, stretching the breadth of my world. We pumped our gas at truck stops and watched for out-of-state plates, listened to truckers on CB radios, and made the arm-pulling “honk” signal to passing semi trucks. Yes, we had maps, and yes, I knew that 70 went much, much further in both directions, but for my purposes as a kid it was the road that took us one way to the Brown Derby and Children’s Palace and the other way to see family.
When I was 20 I drove to Colorado. By that time I’d traveled a bit in both directions, but on this trip it really set in just how far I-70 could take you. (Driving the entire width of Kansas has a way of making you see distance with new eyes.) But you get on this one road, and west (young man) is a reachable destination.
Well once again I live close to 70. Probably within a mile or so, I’d say, if the crow were wont to fly there from my house. And I thought that I should take advantage of this proximity, so I asked Santa for a CB. Santa did, indeed, bring me a nice model (thanks, mom and dad), and last week I installed it in the kitchen so I could listen to the banter of the professional truck drivers who pass through my strip of I-70.
So it’s been a while since I’ve started a new thread, and even longer since I’ve posted something new of worth… And why is that? I dunno. Call it lack of inspiration, writer’s block, a dormant obsessive nature, laziness, or all of the above. But it’s not as though I’ve lost my tongue; I still have plenty to say — I talk to myself all the time, and oh the great debates I have.
I do appreciate all of the poking and prodding though, and I’m sorry I’ve been so remiss. Thankfully, some of you have continued to post comments in existing threads, so despite my silence and the world’s obsession with Facebooking and Friendsters and Deja News and other avenues of online discussion, this site has managed to stay alive, and we’ve continued to have some interesting contributions.
But I think my blogging inactivity is mostly due to the lack of obsession. I tend to bounce through periodic obsessions as I focus intensely on one or two interests and then change gears hard when something else catches my fancy. It’s not that I’m spastic or fickle, I just really immerse myself in whatever I’m into at the time, and so I usually move on and come back to the things I really love only eventually.
As a result, often times the tools of my hobbies lay dusty until my interests cycle back. For example, over the years this has very much been the case with me musically. At the moment I have a room full of toys sitting, time quickly stripping away their innovation, but forcing that sort of thing never works for me. Likewise, although I’ve had a number of new threads in the works for a while, every time I’ve sat down to expand on them I just haven’t felt it. What do you do?
But this summer and fall were rather obsession-less for me. In fact, until November, I hadn’t really been consumed by anything since I’d pressed to finally get my site revamped in the spring. Luckily, the release of Modern Warfare 2 proved to me that I still know how to beat something into the ground, so maybe I’m just waiting for my next big interest or my focus will naturally swing back toward writing or music or what have you.
In the meantime, I’ll try to work more on getting some new posts up, even if I’m not necessarily itching to sit down and muse and write and generally be brilliant.
30 Rock is long overdue for a thread of its own, and since I haven’t posted anything new yet this month, here you go. Plus the Random Show thread is getting out of hand again, so moving all the related comments will help clean things up a bit.
So all things Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, etc. shall go here, with a special emphasis on quotes, clips, and pictures of Tina Fey looking brainy and cute. And if you don’t know who those people are, now’s your chance.
I really do think this is a show for all you who appreciate good writing. In my opinion it’s the best written comedy on right now. So if you’ve never given 30 Rock its fair shot, I suggest you check out the DVDs from the library before the branch near you closes due to massive budget cuts. With some hard work you can be caught up in time for the season 4 premiere this fall.
Okay, I suppose there’s been enough chatter about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to justify a new thread and moving all related comments from the This Random Show thread. And since the new season should be starting before long this summer, and it was signed for several more years, hopefully there will be more to discuss.
For those of you who haven’t seen Sunny, it’s rather funny, quite offensive, Charlie in particular is a great character with a ridiculous voice, and “Sweet Dee” is in the running for kitten names. That’s all I’ll say about it right now, and you can check out the existing comments for more details. Keep in mind that you can say and do more on the FX network, so you may wanna turn it down some if you’re watching clips at work or if you’re somewhat pious with your TV.
After months of tinkering, troubleshooting, and sloth, I have finally upgraded the site. And while it may not look fancy and sparkly, this was a very major overhaul, and I’m glad to have it somewhat finished.
But first let me give you some highlights on what’s new, improved, different, and missing…
Faster — First off, the site should be much faster. This is mostly due to database changes, but also in some part due to a change of venue. Before this, the site was always hosted on my own server, which of course is now horribly out of date, coughing and wheezing, begging for death. The server ran out of my basement for the first four years when I lived in town, but for the past year has been running out of Josh’s house since I’m still waiting on that rural broadband initiative to come my way. But between the paid hosting and improved backend, hopefully you’ll notice faster load times.
Avatars — Changing your avatars is simpler. Directions are on the FAQ page, but essentially if you edit your profile the spot for uploading and applying your own avatar is more obvious. As always though, please keep your avatars at a reasonable image size, like 110px square. If you don’t know how to crop and resize an image get an 8 year old to help you.
Images in comments — Comments have always been able to handle images, but you are now being entrusted with the ability to add pictures to your comments yourself instead of having to get me to do it for you. Again, please use common sense and don’t go adding murals to your comments. If you have a large picture and don’t know how to resize it or don’t have time, just paste a link to it in your comment like you used to do and I’ll take care of it.
Comment cross-referencing — In my opinion, the biggest piece of new functionality is the comment cross-reference feature. At the top of each comment, beside the user’s name, is a link to view that user’s other comments. If you click on that link you’ll see a list of comments made by that user, sorted by thread. You can then choose to view the other comments in context if you wish. This feature is also available from the new Users page, which lists users who have contributed to the site and links to their content.
Edit comments — You can now edit your own comments. You have a specific window of time to do so, and this is due to the fact that someone else may quickly reference your comment and I’m sure they’d like their words to remain relevant. But you should have plenty of time to fix little things like spelling mistakes and to add links you forgot, etc.
As I’m sure you know, today is National Prime Rib Day. The problem, of course, is that I don’t foresee myself being near any prime rib. This is always a problem, but apparently it’s especially problematic on this day in particular.
But why today? You may as well ask why the sky is blue or why April is National Car Care Month. Or perhaps you should instead ask why September is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month and whether it may be a touch too optimistic to go ahead and devote an entire month to that one. The point is the same though: there is a day/week/month for everything, and it’s quite unnecessary.
Personally, I’m thinking we can go ahead and blame China for this. Yes, it’s cool that the Chinese zodiac has the Year of the Monkey and stuff, and I assume that’s a year-long celebration of all things monkey, but you’ve gotta think ahead and realize that without question people will find a way to take your cool thing and make it stupid. For example, in the early 1900s, when other teenage boys were scratching out the jagged letters of Metallica, AC/DC, and Def Leppard, one young Austrian boy tinkered with his own logos, drawing swastikas and “SS” as lightning bolts on his jean jacket, and this looked pretty sweet. But then a brat named Adolph Hitler swiped the idea and said, yeah, that’s cool and all, but we can make it better with racism. This is exactly the same thing. So while the Year of the Metal Monkey is, when assessed with ignorance and imagination, amazingly awesome, the International Year of the Potato is significantly less awesome.
But without further rambling, and to keep my mind off of prime rib, medium rare, I give you a list of ridiculous holidays and days/weeks/months of awareness: