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12/10/06 10:01 - 38ºF - ID#22024

morningish

I missed roller derby practice this morning. :( I feel fine, but I am too sleepy to actually function. Also my legs are as sore as if I ran ten miles yesterday. Of course, I can't go back to sleep either. How annoying.

I should do a big update. I do daily updates at my LJ, and I just haven't found a perfect niche for my (e:strip) to fill in my life yet, but I like this community. Apparently I party harder than I blog, in Buffalo-centric situations.

Last night's party was lovely. Happy birthday, (e:enknot)!

I'm going to continue with my webcam idea. I do periodically take pictures of myself with my iSight and I don't know why but it seems amusing. Here's one this morning, waking up:


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Note the little 16-ounce Nalgene. That thing is great. It is my new party friend. Since I carry a giant purse it fits inside with no problem and it is perfectly sized so that I can say to myself, Self, we need to be more hydrated, and then I can drink it all in a reasonable amount of time before my attention wanders off, and then I can hang onto it and eventually say, Self, we need more water. And everywhere I've ever partied except one place (ugh) has water, so, it's usually feasible to refill it. So it's better than the 32-oz Nalgene which is too heavy to carry around like that. And I stay hydrated for real, and then, no hangover!

Although what with this weather, I'm always bordering on dehydrated. Some days I drink and drink and drink water and I still pretty much never pee. It's annoying.

Oh, here's a bonus picture: this is me taking the bus to work last week or a couple weeks ago.

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Yes, I was playing with my webcam, on the bus. I am a spaz.

I have a really funny blog I've been saving to write here rather than Livejournal. But I'm not coherent enough right now to post it. So instead I'll briefly sum up all I've been up to since my last post here:

1) Roller derby. We've picked teams. I'm on a team with the league founder, Sweet Pea [erroneously referred to as Sweat Pea in the Buffalorising article, which they have never corrected despite our pointing out their error], and the team captain is Mia Mauler who is a fitness instructor for World's Gym I think? Anyway. Everyone else on the team is like super-cool, and I've never been cool at all, so I have this terrible insecurity that I was picked last just to sort of even things out since the idea is that the teams are equal, not that one is just super-cool! So I'm all, man, I gotta get a lot better so that even if I am the uncool one, at least I'm not some sort of incompetent.
So.
Our first bout is Feb 10th at Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda, so if you want to see real live roller derby action, I will post back here with the time and the price. The rink will have a liquor license!!!
We're also having a dance prior to that, Jan 20th I think-- I have to go to Goodwill and find an old prom dress I can wear to it. It's our Coming Out party-- a Derby Debutante B(r)a(w)ll! Rent a tux and rent some skates! More details to follow on that as well.

2) NaNoWriMo/ Noveling in general:
My final total for National Novel Writing Month was somewhere in the 60,000 range. I set Barbarians Novel aside and started in on a brand new one. For a while now I've been wanting to write something set in the contemporary world, because I keep getting little snippets of ideas about modern objects and things, and also i'm tired of how sometimes, when people read my fantasy novels that are set in pseudo-historical settings, they say the language is too modern and jarring. But it's not really a historical! It's not like there's any historical accuracy to maintain in the language! Bah.
So the new one was about a roller derby girl who is also a porn star and she knows magic and there's a bit with another person getting trapped in her body and then there's time travel, and that's about as coherent as I can be. Take my word for it that it was fun to write but doesn't hold together well and needs some major plot assistance-- but in the act of finishing it I know I'll come up with something and the second draft will be great. I just wish I had the time for that.

This upcoming week I'll be going to visit my parents' house, and spending some time with my grandmother, who fell the other day and now has two cracks in her pelvis. But, she says, it is tremendously good fortune that she did not break her hip. Cracks in her pelvis hurt terribly, and indeed she can't try to walk without fainting from the pain, but it's not like she needs a hip replacement. She's had two knee replacements, so she knows of what she speaks. Hip problems SUCK. Especially when you're 87.
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10/12/06 08:28 - 48ºF - ID#22023

hmph

If you type "dragonla" into the search box above "Read The Latest" it suggests "visit dragonfire1024's journal". Even if you type my whole name in, it never suggests me; that other dragon person stays there. I am terribly insulted. I guess it's because I am after him alphabetically. (I don't really know this other person so I am not making any comments upon his character.)

I am gearing up for National Novel Writing Month . It'll be my fourth or fifth year doing it. I win every year, not that it's difficult... I mean, it is, but, a lot of people manage to do it.
I always mean to get to more of the local meetups than I do. I have been meaning for two years now to find a local writing group. I need some kid of feedback on my writing, the closer I get to being publication-ready, and while I know there are several groups like that in Buffalo, I have yet to actually get out and find any.
I blame working nights.


My iSight doesn't seem to be working today. I leave you instead with a better picture of (e:zobar) (not by much), taken with me in a bar one night. Why did I have my laptop in a bar? It is best not to wonder too hard. Trust me, it made sense at the time.



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10/09/06 09:48 - 58ºF - ID#22022

yyyop

Yesterday after I posted, (e:zobar) and I sat for like an hour in our living room, just instant-messaging photos of ourselves as we sat there taking them with our iSights. It's sort of disgusting that we have twin Macbooks but it's also darned amusing.

He sent me this:

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And I retaliated with this:

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It's good to know that technology is being put to constructive use, making the world a better place and all that.

I also took this picture of myself: I am holding my camera because I took pictures of Z making faces at his laptop. Those are still on the camera, though.

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I spent a lot of yesterday laughing so hard that my abdominal muscles hurt today. Which is always a sign of a good weekend.

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10/08/06 12:33 - 62ºF - ID#22021

still here

I really like the built-in webcam on my new Macbook. It's sort of stupid, and sort of vain, but I really like to just take pictures of myself with it. So I was joking that I should start putting them up on my blog. And I thought, hey wait, that would probably be a good way to remind me to update my estrip blog. I can never think of anything to write on here that I haven't already gone on and on about on LJ already, and so instead I'll just do some kind of, er, modern performance art piece by posting the grainy photos of dumb faces I make at my camera every day. :) Good for me.


I also wanted to post to ask if anyone's throwing a Halloween party this year. Because I kind of wanted to host one, but my house is really tiny, and also if someone awesome is having one, I don't want to deny myself the chance to go to their awesome party because I'm too busy hosting my own lame tiny one.

But if nobody's hosting a party, then I'll totally throw one here and we can see how many people (e:zobar) and I can fit into our tiny house.


edit: Duh, I forgot to post the photo of myself that I was talking about. *goes to choose a good one*



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That's me before I got my hair cut on Friday.
And the bonus round:
After my hair cut. :)


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10/01/06 11:44 - 55ºF - ID#22020

PS

Oh dear, I am scatterbrained. I know what i was going to post about. (e:chico) was asking me about my novel/novels etc., and I thought, oh yes, I should link to them from here.

I just posted the opening scene of my current almost-finished novel (it's done, just in the editing process) to my livejournal, so I should link to that. The post is here:

And it's explained there. So if you're curious, that's what I'm writing. :)
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10/01/06 11:40 - 55ºF - ID#22019

man o man

Is kooks ok? Why did he go outside? His clothes were all gritty like he'd been rolling around in the dirt. Poor child, I hope he's not completely destroyed this morning.

My brownies were a hit but I lost the baking pan I brought them in... I meant to write my name on it but I didn't. If anyone sees a 9x13" metal baking pan with square corners, I would actually kind of like it back.

I don't envy y'all the mess the kitchen must be. I did do my best to pick up all the beer bottles at least-- I rinsed most of them out, too...

What a party! What a house! I am so thoroughly jealous of your awesome huge house, PMT!
I really am going to ask Jeff from Apollo Construction Co. about solar panels and the like, though. You so totally could pimp out your house with weird eco-friendly features.
(Last night I mentioned to (e:paul) that he could put solar panels up on the roof and he said, Is it sunny enough in Buffalo? Last year about this time I wrote a cover story for Artvoice about energy conservation during heating season, and one of my major sources for the article was a dude named Jeff Brennan who is a contractor specializing in ecologically-friendly renovations-- he was a fascinating fellow and I still harbor the fantasy of making over my house into a much more efficient and fossil-fuel-conserving haven. Anyhow. I digress.)

You guys have so much potential awesomeness in that house. You have so much already-awesomeness... my mind is completely blown.

(The basement totally needs to be the Visco Disco. Also, it needs a foosball table. Where does one find such things?)

(And you should totally make a jungle room upstairs and grow all kinds of plants there. Paul, did the plant I gave you ever get taken out of its box? Poor little guy might be getting claustrophobic in there.)

(e:twisted), it was fun to meet you and you totally reminded me of somebody I can't remember who. Somebody awesome though, so don't worry.

What's really funny, and I think I've observed this before, is that my livejournal entries are always more organized and my (e:strip) ones are always way scattered. Hmm. Perhaps I will go and ease my hangover a bit first.

Shit! I just realized I'm missing the first league meeting for rollergirls! But I was in no state to cope this morning. Oops. I'll have to hope they post the minutes online later. Durr.
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09/28/06 11:29 - 55ºF - ID#22018

long time no post

It's been one of those periods in my life, where everything is too hard to catch up with. I've let emails slide, let almost everything slide.
(e:zobar) keeps me up to date on what y'all are doing, but I haven't been by much myself.
I am psyched for the housewarming party, though. I will definitely make it to that, although I'm letting (e:zobar) handle the official RSVP.

Did I miss anything important? :)

I've been not doing much-- new computer, lots of time spent transferring files and trying to get organized.
I chose a name for Roller derby: B-17, after the WWII-era bomber planes famous for returning home with half a wing shot out and two engines out and no tail piece and no landing gear and the navigator dead and the pilot with no legs etcetera etcetera. (WIKIPEDIA - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-17)

It is a small tribute to my not-so-inner geek that I also chose the B-17 name over any of the other famous bombers because the B-17s were primarily used for daylight, strategic raids on military and industrial targets, rather than the nighttime terror bombings of civilian population centres favored by the RAF. In plain language: they flew during the day to drop bombs on oil refineries, not at night to firebomb apartment complexes. Their role was breaking the industrial capability of the German war machine, as opposed to devastating the morale of its citizens.
(The B-29, perhaps a more famous bomber, was used to drop The Bomb on Hiroshima. It seemed tasteless to adopt that as a moniker. The B-52 likewise was an atomic bomber and that makes me a little uneasy too.)

But, I am a huge geek, and my father specialized in military history (and actually a goodly portion of his retirement thusfar has been spent writing a deeply personal account of the Vietnam War for the benefit of the surviving members of his unit, which I think he should try to publish but he thinks nobody would want to read).

I am getting a lot better at skating, although as I write this, my thigh is throbbing from a huge bruise where I fell last night for no reason.

Work continues apace: been doing more socializing with coworkers, especially the woman who shares my register who is in the middle of breaking up with her husband of 28 years and thus is often in need of pleasant distraction.

The novel is nearly done, but seems stuck in that so-close-to-done-but-not-yet phase that it's been in for EVER. I keep saying it's almost done but needs a little something, and people are starting to not believe me. But I have a goal: start sending out query letters to agents in October, so that I have it off my plate by November, which is National Novel Writing Month. Yays! I don't have a plan for what to do yet but I have a couple ideas. We'll see.

Anyhow. *waves hi* Just letting y'all know I'm still around.
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08/21/06 11:54 - 63ºF - ID#22017

roller derby names

I'm messing around trying to upload a new usersound, so we'll see how that goes. It is meant to be Operation Ivy's "Knowledge". My baby sister got the Operation Ivy cd when she was, like, ten, and listened to it every morning when she got out of bed for at least a year, so I always think of her when I listen to it. They played it at roller derby and I was so excited.

update: Nope, apparently I imported that CD as .m4a, so no Op Ivy for you! I'll think of something else by the end of this post.


We had our first closed practice of the Queen City Rollergirls yesterday morning, and I got the pads I had ordered the previous week. Up to now I've just been showing up at the open skate nights and staggering around the rink, but yesterday I put the rental skates on and suddenly I knew how to rollerskate. So I guess I'm good now. I also know how to stop, how to fall, and how to turn, which is all new learning for me. The concept of falling and not hurting myself is a new one, which I rather enjoy.

I am trying to think of a good Derby name. I guess you have to pick a nom de guerre to skate under, kind of like a pro wrestler. The US Rollergirls' Association has a drastically incomplete list of the registered derby names here:

I have to come up with one ASAP because we've decided instead of filling out nametags every practice, we should just take a white t-shirt and write our name on it in Sharpie. Sure! But I need a name first. I bought some cheap mens' undershirts to decorate, but I don't know what to write on them.

I've been posting about it in my livejournal but results have been inconclusive.

There's my full list of possibles at the moment. What do you all think? You can leave comments there without getting a livejournal. I'd love some feedback.
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08/18/06 09:34 - 70ºF - ID#22016

conveyances; class warfare

So I just bought rollerskates on the Intarwebs last night.
I will let you all know how that goes. (e:zobar) got a pair too.

I got a popup message from (e:leetee) and don't know how to reply to it, so I'm just going to reply here.
She was curious as to why it was that I take the bus to work and spend so much time sitting around waiting for my shift to start.
(e:zobar) and I have two vehicles, but the second one is his scooter. So it breaks down a lot (most recently, the carburetor) and can't go out in the rain or the cold or the high wind or whatever. Now, I have not mastered the art of riding this thing, so only he can use it at present.
Our other vehicle is a shiny 2003 Toyota Prius which I suppose isn't new anymore. Z bought it for way too much money when he was an overpaid Jerseyite, and then became broke. At this point I've paid for about half of it. So I can drive it when I want, let's just say.

We live right near two major bus lines (the 30 and the 11). The 30 has a stop about 40 feet from our house. This bus goes to University Station and thence out to the airport via ECC and an industrial park. It drops you off right at the airport's lower level. is the map,
(pdf) is the schedule.
If you don't want to deal with airport parking, and can handle your luggage yourself, it's a good solution-- it's just that only the C goes to the airport, and so it only runs every couple of hours. It's $1.50 on boarding and another $0.25 to get off, which always amuses me (they charge you to get off!! So what if you never get off?)

Given that I start work at 2 most days, and am not allowed to be more than one (1) minute late, the 2:06 C doesn't work, so I have to take the 11:54. When I have a working laptop, it's a kind of a treat: I can go and sit with no distractions and just work on the latest bit of the novel.
But of late, I have a choice of two laptops. One's monitor doesn't work. The other's battery doesn't work. So I can either type and not see what I'm doing, or I can be tethered to the wall socket and unable to work at all on the bus. Which means lots of frustration.

Z has the option of taking the 11 to work. It leaves 20 minutes earlier than he'd like, and he has to walk two blocks to get there, but it drops him off about a block from work and picks him up again-- he has to wait 20 minutes for it, but it's usually fairly on-time. So, to get to work by his expected start time of 9:30 he has to leave the house at 8:40, and to get home after his expected end time of 5 he has to wait and usually gets home well after six.
But for me, to start at 2, I have to leave the house by 11:10, and if I miss the 8:28 home, which is a close shave, I have to wait for the 10:10 which gets me home about 11:15.

That gives me a 12-hour day to work a six-hour shift. It's kind of a bummer. If I miss the 8:28 Z usually comes to get me, because for a long time there was no 10:10.

So taking the bus sucks.
But driving sucks too. Employees used to have a designated section of the Long Term (A) Lot, from which it was possible to walk to the terminal if you were not overly burdened with luggage.
They decided in April that they could make more money selling those parking spots to passengers than employees (employees pay $20 a month to park [and my company pays mine], while customers pay more like $20/week), and so they moved us to Lot B, over on Holtz Road, which is a brisk fifteen-minute walk in good weather conditions. So now we have to take a shuttle bus. To save gas, they made the shuttles no longer run continuously. Now they only leave every 15 minutes, only they always leave 2 or 3 minutes early. I can leave my house half an hour early and still wind up five minutes late anyway. I've sprinted for that fucking shuttle and still had it pull out and leave me in the dust more times than I can count.

So driving sucks.

Also there is a lot of class resentment at work. The bartenders, and there are about 20 of us, are all, without an exception of any kind, white. We are all white. There aren't even any hispanic bartenders. No variation whatsoever. A number of us are college kids, with all that entails. And the cash office personnell, who collect our deposits and read our printouts every night, know how much money we make: our credit card tip totals are listed on the printout. Bartenders on the whole, in general, across society, are a little secretive about how much money they make. It's just crass to discuss it, and also, as we've all learned, people can get oddly resentful when they realize that the dollar here and the twenty there really can add up.
The cash office personnell are making about $8 an hour. One day I got a $70 tip on a $60 tab. (I told the story on my secret other other blog here: ) "Seventy dollars is more than I am going to make this entire shift," the cash office girl said, looking sad and tired.
"You get to wear real people clothes," I offered helpfully, mopping my brow with the dirty sleeve of my monkey suit.

So there's only a slight shroud of mystery surrounding the bartenders' income. Little mystery, much resentment.

About 70% of the cashiers and maintenance people and cooks are black, and a growing number of the rest are Puerto Rican. Buffalo is a very segregated city, and the division of jobs is likewise segregated at our company, which continually baffles me. (You don't need a degree to be a bartender, or any particular qualifications. Several cashiers have been promoted to bartenders, including one who starts next week who is herself Polish but has a Hispanic daughter. But nobody black or Hispanic has even applied, to my knowledge.) I know for a fact that the cashiers make $8-ish an hour, and the cooks don't make much more than that. The porters, who empty the garbage and do the hard dirty work, make maybe $9, but I doubt it.
There is a perception, which an HR person with poor people skills made much worse, that the bartenders are zillionaires, and think they own the world. Some of us are, indeed, very arrogant. And yes, I averaged $30/hr yesterday. [I ran my ass off, but still.]

The fact that I am running for that thirty bus, and most of the cashiers know that I have to run for that thirty bus, makes me seem like less of an arrogant bitch. They sometimes let me cut them in line to make my deposit at the end of the night, because they know if they had a bus to catch I'd let them cut me. I know about taking the bus. I am just a person. And I don't think I'm better because I make more money.


I could afford my own car. I actually have, at this moment, $5000 set aside to buy myself a car. It is just sitting there in my checking account ready for me to buy a car. But I sort of ... don't want one.
I want something with a stick shift and some cargo space, but I don't want a huge truck. And it'd be a hassle to park it at home and at work, and insurance is a hassle, and gas is expensive.

And the times when I wish we had a second car are never when I have the time to go buy one.


I wish Z would let me take the car a little more often (and this week I'm taking it every day because I'm working a different schedule), but not quite, not quite enough for me to dive into car-searching.
Actually if I had a laptop that worked my desire for a car would probably vanish entirely.


That was long. But there was a lot I was thinking of, in there.
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08/11/06 11:21 - 62ºF - ID#22015

responding to comments, other

Responding to comments from my previous entry, plus various observations.

First, responses:
mrmike: Oh, my dad at 61 still occasionally jokes about what he's going to do when he grows up. I am well aware that people of all ages think, "I am so much older than I thought I was going to be when I Figured It All Out."
Hell, I was going to be a published novelist before twenty. (We see how well that's worked for certain Harvard freshmen. *cough*)

(e:terry): last month I ID'd a kid who was born precisely on my birthday-- month, date, year. It was freaky. I didn't really know what to say. He was kind of a tool though.
My cousin is precisely a week older than me and that's just amusing. Shit, I should send him a card.

(e:jason): I don't know how I'm going to reinstall the software when I can't even get it to start up. It does the apple face and my computer never notices it's there, so I don't know how to get anything onto (or off of) it.

(e:jenks): I am ashamed that my consumerism is that transparent, but I'd so totally love to have an excuse to get shiny new everything and not have to make do with my old shabby not-quite-working gadgets anymore.
I have plenty of money [at the moment], but I still have this ingrained thrifty habit that won't let me throw shit away unless I'm sure it's entirely worthless. Which is why I now own... three printers that don't print... among other things.

metalpeter: Yes. Everyone feels that way sometimes and you know, I'm doing a lot better with my life than a lot of people I know. At least my meaningless pay the bills job is less mentally taxing and more lucrative than a lot of people's. And I do think I'm not wasting time. But everything's just going so much more slowly than I had sort of figured on it going, and I feel like I'm missing out on some... something.


A recent observation that amused people on Livejournal was when I said that terrorists are rude and their mothers should have taught them better manners because it's just rude to try to kill people. I thought that was funny.


If anyone is traveling soon, i'd like to talk a moment about the new security restrictions.
The first thing: Everyone is coming like three hours early because they think it'll take forever to get through security because the tv keeps talking about it.
NO.
It's taking maybe ten extra minutes. So if you're three or four hours early, please don't come into the bar, order a soda, and nurse it for those three hours. Please. Even if you tip me a whole dollar on your soda, the seat you're occupying could've earned me like $20 if someone actually buying things sat there, so DON'T.
Also the fact that the place is JAM-PACKED might come into play there.
Guh.

So don't bring anything really big and liquid. Chapstick seems to be getting through fine.
Another hint, which if TSA decides means I'm a terrorist you didn't hear from me: If you have something very small and liquid that you can't live without... keep it in your pocket when you go through the metal detector. They'll see it in the X-ray of your bags, but... seriously. Mascara, lip gloss, contact rewetting drops: not metal. Will not ring when you come through the detector. Will not be spotted by TSA.

If a terrorist had liquid explosives and wanted to blow up a plane, all he would have to do is put them in something that could be concealed entirely under his clothes. The new security measures Are Not Doing Jack Shit to actually prevent terrorist attacks. In fact, none of the security measures are.

Just thought I'd rain on the parade for a second. But really. The current scare's attacks were foiled by old-fashioned police work, NOT airport screening. The current screening is dumb. I should not have to work in a bar without lotion.

They make you toss your water bottles, but you can get new ones once you're across security. I know, I sell them. Can you bring those on the plane? They might ask you not to, but they can't make you not. If you put it in your bag, they won't know you have it. And even if you're holding it in your hand, they might think, well, you got it at the bar right there, there's no harm you can do.

So if you're a terrorist, you figure out what brand of water they sell in the airport. Lots easier to camoflage your shit.

Actually, if you're a terrorist, you get a job at the airport. Ain't one damn thing they can do. You need a clean ten year fingerprint record and to sit through a class to get your security badge, and once you have it you still have to go through security every time you go outside and come back in, but there are several "bypass" hallways where you can get between the, say, baggage claim area or the freight elevators, and the terminal past security, without being screened. We are watched closely enough that we can't just show up for work and then just go through those hallways (ostensibly), and they keep a record of who goes through those hallways, but if I, say, show up, put something in my locker, go through security, and then later come back via that hallway and retrieve the something from my locker... there's no possible way that TSA could screen me. There just isn't. There has to be a way to deliver, like, four hundred cases of Coke; and that way is also going to be the way to deliver, say, six handguns, or something.
The only way to stop that kind of plot is through POLICE WORK, noticing me buying the six handguns and six one-way tickets, for example.
All the screening in the world can't stop a really good plot by professional terrorists.
Only an alert police force can.


And TSA cut funding to a program to develop a good liquid-explosive sensor, because it needed money to pay the people who stand there and use the metal detector wand on two-year-olds.

I have no attention span so I cannot remember what else I was going to blog.
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joe said to mike
New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...

twisted said to twisted
Oh yeah, that works! I'll update my inlinks tomorrow. Thanks!...

paul said to twisted
Oh wow, long time no see - we should catch up. This site needs some serious updating. I think the ...

mike said to mike
Well really I did not bury the hatched in my mind I guess because now 5 years later, I just saw him ...