More Ferret Pictures

This is me trying to take a picture holding both ferrets at once. It doesn't work. Ferrets go in all directions at once.

Abby found my computer.

Blaine found a boot.

Our coffee table could use a cleaning.

One benefit of having ferrets is they do encourage you to keep your space clean.

Friday looks like it might be blog about ferrets day.

Abby and Blaine

I've learned that its kind of hard to take pictures of Ferrets. They really don't stand still long enough for you to grab that kodak moment.

I've been researching getting a ferret for the last few months, and I finally got my area ferret proofed enough to go get a couple. I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of ferrets because that way they always have each other.

Even with all my research, I may have been a little over my head with these little guys.

I don't know if I'll rename them or not, but in case I don't, this is Abby and Blaine. They have been together for a while and since I wanted to get a pair, I decided it would be better if I got ones that have been together for a while. They look a lot alike, especially in pictures. Their coloring is almost identical. Just Blaine is bigger then Abby.

I'll work on trying to get a couple pictures where I don't feel like I have to crop myself out because I look like a freakin' idiot.

This is Abby. She's a sweet girl, but I have to pay particular close attention to her because she can get to places Blaine can't go.

And Blaine. Like I mentioned before, he's bigger then Abby. And a bit fatter. But he still has that Ferret Boing Factor.

Kiki off of Sluggy Freelance. Yep. That's exactly how Ferrets act.

Can't Sleep

I've been having trouble sleeping lately, at least trouble sleeping regularly. My sleep schedule has gotten quite irregular, with me getting to sleep later and later and getting up later and later.

You know when you're trying to go to sleep and its dead silent except for that one quiet ticking noise that sounds like it might as well be somebody banging on a drum right above your head? I don't know what this sound is, but every night I hear it right by my head and I can't figure out what it is. I went to bed, got all snuggly under my covers and just. . . lay there. Wide awake. Listening to the eerie quiet except for that one little discreet ticking noise.

Tonight I also got the Coocoo clock keeping me company. Fortunately, that's an easy fix. Unfortunately, I've got this stupid ticking noise that appears to be related to my bedroom.

I wonder if its an electronic device? My bed is directly above my desk. Hmm, could be? I'll have to see if I can remedy this lack of sleep.

I think I'm going to learn more about web designing.


Tech Follow Up

FYI, for all of you that gave me some advice on my stupid computer and what I should do to fix it, thanks a ton! Its always nice to know I can just post the problem on my blog and people will tell me what I can try to do to fix it.

Problem no longer a problem. Thanks again!


Art Combined with Life

I really need to draw more, and not just sketches colored on the computer. I mean I really need to draw and paint and do more of the traditional art more.

Its kind of cool that we have a bit of a studio set up in the basement now, so I can actually make a mess with my paints and stuff and its all cool. That's what the room is for. Upstairs is getting more of a home-like feel to it, and all in all, its feeling like home. This place didn't feel like home back in February.

Meanwhile, I'm working on getting a job and not spending money. I'm kind of found myself on a budget for the first time in, well, a year and a half. So I have to maintain some discipline that doesn't include going out and buy a LCD Flatscreen Television and the such (however, we really did kind of need the TV upstairs).

I should be fine in the long run.

Latest piece of Illustration I did, includes a Kelpie stallion that looks kind of. . . dead.


Dentist Appointment

Without going into personal hygiene habits, I've discovered I'm very blessed in one health issue.

I've got good teeth.

Not the greatest teeth in the world, mind you. They are a little crooked and I've got a slight overbite, but my sisters, who have perfectly straight teeth, usually have problems when they go to the dentist.

My somewhat crooked teeth never fail me when it comes to cavities however. I don't know when the last time I had a cavity was, but I think it ws back when I still had baby teeth. I went to the dentist today and they saw no issues, just telling me that I could probably floss more (like pretty much every one else on earth) and sent me back to my unit with my dental records.

Not bad considering I haven't been to a hygienist in well over six years.

You know, I've never feared going to the dentist? Seriously, never bothered me.

Experiencing Technical Difficulty

So, what is the lifespan of a computer used on a daily basis? That also has a tendency to travel the world might I add?

I've had my laptop for almost two years, and it appears to be on its last leg. Same goes for the ol' desktop I passed off on my parents when I deployed. Its going on three and a half years. What's the deal with electronics these days anyway?

My computer has some kind of glitch in it, where when I try to load my web browser, it thinks for a moment, downloads the website, and the window closes before I get the chance to browse. I've cleared my cookies, emptied out my internet files, cleared the history, all that good stuff. I would have tried to restore my computer except for some reason my restore points got turned off and I had no recent point to fall back on. So suddenly, I'm stuck with a computer that doesn't want to work.

Must be a glitch. I found a backdoor to get onto it. Basically, I wait for Yahoo Messenger to load, and when it tells me I have new messages, I click on the new messages and load onto the webpage and can browse that way. But it kind of sucks to have to wait for new email to get online. Fortunately, with the amount of spam that I get, I always have some email so every time I boot Messenger I got that way to get on.

Meanwhile, my wireless internet has fried and I can't load up on that either. I tried to reload it several times thinking that was the problem when it turns out it wasn't. So no wireless internet either.

And I learned first hand that Microsoft is the devil. I swear the customer service rep was from another country, one of those outsourced job things, and they told me that if I wanted to troubleshoot my browser problem, I had to go online to do it. Mind you this was before I discovered the Messenger Back Door. If they wanted to help me online, well, get prepared to pay up.

I've been trying to work on some website related things, (for my other ongoing website that is) and Photoshop is now acting glitchy. Mind you, its not closing the window before it fully loads like my parent's desktop is currently doing (but at least she has internet that doesn't require a back door). My wacom tablet is also on again off again.

I've got a glitchy computer, and although it sort of gets the job done, I guess I'm a bit spoiled and like my computer to be glitch free. On my to buy list for when school starts, included will be a new computer with all the fixins. Because I can't have a laptop crashing on me and loosing all of my files when they are actually worth my grade.

And I don't want to fall back on the sorry excuse of My Computer Ate My Homework either.


Analyzing Smallville

So, Season Five is complete, and I think Season Six starts thursday, or something.

I don't have cable however, in fact I don't have access to any television right now. So I might just have to swing by the parent's if I want to watch it on its original medium, which would be the Television, commercials and all. I've only watched Smallville on DVD however. I guess I'm spoiled.

Regardless, now that Season Five is done, I have noted a trend in the series. I really like it, despite the fact that I've never been a genormous fane of Superman or anything, but probably because of all the wierd and improbable things that happen in it. Kind of like Angel and Buffy. I must like the subtle blend of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Being a geek and all.

I've also noted that while I like the series, it tends to bug me for certain reasons. If you take the shows individually, the rest of the series aside, they are actually well done and enjoyable. Same goes with the season arcs, the main story throughout the season I mean. Its when you start meshing the many different episodes together that it starts to bug you. Kind of like how many times each of these characters has been shot, had their memory wiped, become paralyzed, been in a life threatening accident, end up in the hospital, get thrown across the room, been possessed by strange forces, etc etc. Its one thing if this happens to Clark, but its happened to ALL the characters. The medical bill of these people must be outragious! Of course, Lex Luthor will always step in with his checkbook to help out.

There is also a lot of Meteor Freaks that in the instance that anybody does find out about Clark's secret, why would they get upset? I mean, in Smallville, its NORMAl to be abnormal. Or so it seems.

But who am I kidding? Any series with James Marsters in it is ok by me. Bring on Season Six and more meteor freaks!


Bought a Bed

I finally bought myself a bed.

Its kind of a bed that requires more then one person to put together, and the furniture place was a little concerned when they sold it to me if I would need any assistance in putting it up. My reply?

"I took woodshop in High School, I think I can handle it."

He laughed of course, and my brother and I picked the bed up from the warehouse. I can't sleep on it yet because I don't have my mattress currently.

What's kind of funny about the whole bed thing is a lot of people I talked to about this specific type of bed seemed to assume I was buying it for a child. THen I would have to explain that no, it was for me. See, I'm currently in a room with no closet space and I don't want to take up a huge area with a bed. I might as well combine the floor space to make the most out of my, well, space.

So a Loft Bed it was!

And to bring the most BANG for my buck, I got one that crammed the most stuff into as small a space as possible. Which brings me to my bed. This isn't the bed I have, but it looks remarkably similar to mine.

I'm planning on sleeping on the top bunk and using the bottom space for storage. For now. I'm used to sleeping on a top bunk, mind you. I've been in the army for nearly seven years and I always managed to sleep on a top bunk. In fact, what prompted me to get a bed like this was my time spent in AIT. We had Loft beds there with our cubby hole and desk and everything else underneath. Very efficient. And I'm out of drawer space with my current dresser. When buying this bed, I was totally in College Student Practicality mindset. I'm just glad I have space to store my junk now!

I've got a nice mattress from Serta that should arrive by Thursday. WHich is the same day as my dental appointment.


Old Fandoms Reemerge

Once upon a time, I was a major geek.

Ah, who am I kidding? I still am.

I've been watching Season 5 of Smallville, and one of my favorite characters on the show is Lex Luthor, mainly because of the screen presence of Michael Rosenbaum, and out of morbid curiousity I checked out IMDB to see what the guy looks like when he actually has hair.

When I went to the site and saw his list of credits, I noticed that he was in line to voice Tanthalis Half Elven in the new Dragonlance Movie.


When was I going to get in the ballgame on this and learn they were actually going to make a Dragonlance Movie? When I first discovered the internet back in 1999, the primary websites I visited at the time were Dragonlance Themed. And I had always wondered what it would be like to see a Dragonlance Movie. And with the rousing success of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, a lot of DL Fans were just anticipating the making of a Dragonlance Movie.

I was included in this fandom of course. And to bring it full circle, Michelle Trachtenberg aka Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be voicing Tika. They got some other excellet voice talent. I don't know Jason Marsden, but I do recognize his voice. He better not destroy Tasslehoff (but I think he'll be fine)

I hope they don't butchor it with sloppy animation, but I hope everything comes out OK. Hey, I'm excited to hear they are even contimplating such a thing.

Yes, once again I must confirm that I am indeed a geek.

Once you watch a movie from an LCD HD screen, its hard to go to your standard Tube Television.

Now I have to go back to watching Smallville.

Internet Connection is a Must

I now have my own internet. . . finally.

The neighbors have wireless internet, and being cheapskates, we were kind of borrowing theirs. HOwever, it being THEIR internet, they can turn it on and off when ever they dang well feel like it. Which can be problematic.

So after a couple of weeks of on again off again internet access, I broke down and got internet through Comcast. Mostly because we need Cable Internet (we rely on cell phones so we don't have the DSL option unless we go for the gusto) and its faster then DSL. And they have specials right now.


Meanwhile, Season Five of Smallville came out on Tuesday, and I bought it. That was my one big spendature I was planning for. Now we are focusing on making improvements to the house. And this does not mean painting the entire front room Lime Peel Green framed in Orange Tainted Yellow. Which is the color it is now. And it is hideous.

THe plans we have for this place. They be many.

Still no dog or ferret. I've kind of taken a small break from acquiring a pet at this time. So all I have is Clark the fish. And he's doing great.


Reenlistment News

On September 10, 2006, SGT Erickson had a temporary lapse in sanity. . .

That settles it then. You see, I have just signed my life away to the army. Again.

Although, considering the timing (completely unintentional btw), its a bit symbolic to re-up the day before the fifth anniversary of the twin towers falling.

Range and PT Test

In the army, after attending a range excercise, it is not uncommon to have extra rounds left over. Because of the paperwork involved and the logistics nightmare of extra rounds left over after a range, the easiest thing to do is just use the rest of them up. You try to make it so that you have more then enough ammo for a range so that you aren't caught short. Usually, in cases such as this, we had more.

So it meant firing it all down range. Usually you just try to expel it down range as quickly as possible. So my aiming technique here is not my best.

My shoulder was pretty soar for the PT test today. Still passed it with no problem. I better not fail, considering I'm trying to be a Drill Sergeant someday and I better be able to hang in there with the best of them. And it always helps to be able to give a good impression. Unfortunately, in this unit I take them monthly.

In other news, like that NCOER I had mentioned previously, my current unit had to get started on mine, which is due in November. Yeah, it looks like I have time, but if you look at this from a reservist's standpoint, that's in four days (see, we drill two days a month) so it had to get done this weekend. And so far, its a favorable one. In fact, I got an excellence in Competence. Which is a different story from my last NCOER, which says I'm completley incompetent.

It helps to have NCOs that give a damn, you know?


Range Day

So far, this has been a drill weekend. Actually, what's kind of funny is in my previous unit we always called weekends with the army drill weekends, or just drill for short. However here they use the technical term, which is Battle Assembly. Strange is I've never heard it called that before I got to this unit. Of course, I also drilled with a Hospital so that might have something to do with it.

I may have mentioned that I love my unit. I'll continue to emphasize this. I have been told not to expect these guys to be perfect and that this is a unit with its fair share of problems like any military unit, and I've definitely had moments where I may have rubbed a few people the wrong way, but what I've discovered is here I feel like I have purpose, and that I'm needed. This is something that is really big for me, I have to feel like I'm there for a reason, and that may be one of the reasons why I didn't click with Preventive Medicine.

See, Preventive Medicine is a job where the soldier can be as busy or not busy as they want to be. As long as people aren't getting sick and everything is smooth and A-OK, they can disappear off the face of the earth with a random inspection here and there and the higher ups aren't going to be none the wiser. The problem is, I WANT to be busy. I WANT to have something to do. I want to have some kind of PURPOSE! That may have spawned some of my depression with the army over the years in that job field, because many a drill weekend was spent where we had NOTHING to do!

With this unit, there is always something. What's interesting is a lot of it is just things that soldiers in general should do anyway, just most soldiers deal with their regular jobs rather then the soldiering aspect, but Drills always have something to improve upon.

Well, the status is this. I'm officially in this unit, and have been since May. I have to Reenlist before I can go to school. I'm set to go to school in March. In Fort Benning. Between now and then, I just have to keep passing PT tests and work on marching and do ranges and soldiering tasks that all drill sergeants should be proficient at.

This weekend was a range weekend. We have connections with the city government and was able to finaggle the use of the Police Academy Range. Now, I didn't have to qualify, because I qualified in April and we have another range in November (and October for that matter). But what the heck, I was up for it anyway. So I was issued a weapon.

There was something wrong with said weapon. It would fire alright, but wouldn't discharge the spent round, so you had to pull the charging handle back every time you fired to eject the brass. Not the kind of weapon you would like to qualify on. So I took another weapon at random, zeroed it in 9 rounds, and qualified with that.

These were paper targets, so you have ten targets you have to hit four times each, unlike Pop Up Joe who comes up and down at random.

I kicked butt this weekend, and I would like to report that I also kicked butt in the prone Unsupported position, the position I'm usually cursed into failing when firing at these kinds of targets.

I fired 47 out of 40. And no, that is not a typo. After the second 20 rounds, I thought I had hit all the targets when I discovered I still had rounds and tried to figure out why this was so, and thought maybe I had miscounted. No, I just had an additional 10 rounds. One I missed for certain. My first 20 I got my usual 19 out of 20. So if you take integrity into account, and say that I had actually missed those two targets the first time I fired at them I still got 37 out of 40, which is kick-butt. I've never fired that well. However, chances are they will still count me as having 39 out of 40. Which is expert.

Which is freakin' the best I've ever done on a range before!

Maybe I can keep this up? I'm mostly pumped that I have the whole prone unsupported figured out. Now I have to get ready for a PT test tomorrow. More then!


School Woes

I kind of hit a snag in regards to my schooling recently. And I've hit a bit of a stubborn streak because of it. Mainly because I'm irratible, easily annoyed and can go from sweetheart to heinous witch in 2.7 seconds. Just one of my many quirks that come with being me. *sighs*

As of this very second, I'm kind of set to go to two schools. And neither of them are really working for me right now. I might as well make my infamous LIST.

First, the MAJORS!!!

Ok, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and this is a bit of a problem because at 25, well, I'm pretty grown up! I would like to be on a career track of some sort by 30, and right now my career track looks ok for the Army but in the civilian sector, well, not so good.
  • EDUCATION - Once upon a time, I really thought about what I wanted to be when I grew and education kind of appealed to me for some bizarre strange reason. The problem with Education however is its a so-so field that is in heavy demand in some areas and oversaturated in others. And then there is the subject you want to teach, what age group, and all that jazz. Once upon a time I thought I would really like to teach high school science. Because I'm a bit of a science nut, and there is usually a demand for science teachers. Small problem however. See, my current Associates Degree is kind of shorted in the science department, and if I went back and got my degree in Education, I'll likely have to be in school for another 3 years, to include picking up classes I missed. Yikes!
  • Animation - Somebody casually mentioned this option to me earlier this year and I was all 'why hadn't I thought of this earlier?' Depending on the school I go through, and whether i do 2d and 3d animation, or just 3d, and because of my art heavy associates, it should take me two to three years to get this degree, and its something that excites me. I would love to go into the animation field, and I think I have a fairly decent feel for cartooning for somebody who is only self taught on computer illustrating, I just have to fine tune my skills a wee bit more. Yes, the three year program is a little daunting, but I think the program would hold my interest enough that it would be ok in the long run. If I'm not broke out of my mind when its all said and done that is.
  • Gaming - Ok, We can call this Animation in gaming, or game design, or whatever, but it is related to the Animation field, especially 3D animation. But the beauty of the whole gaming thing is I can stay in Washington State with this degree, and although I'm not a heavy gamer by any means, the whole story design and creativy involved with creating video games is something that does interest me. If I do it right, I could get into a field where I get a little of both and can go in either
    direction, but ultimately it comes down to do I want to do strict gaming or strict animation?
With the degree decisions I'm looking at aiming for, now the question is, where can I get the said degree?

  • Eastern Washington University - Ok, this school has been on my blacklist for a few years on account of their strange inability to work with my parking dilemma when I took ROTC through my community college with them way back when. Eventually, I dropped out of ROTC because the commute sucked. Bleh. Well, anyway, I reapplied because they are relatively close to home and they're a four year university.
    Right before I left for Yellowstone, I actually got registered for classes and was all set to do their brand new Gaming Program. The problem with their gaming program is its highly intensive with the programming part of gaming and less so on character design and the artistic part. Its more of a Programming Degree with an emphasis on Game Design. Me + Computer Programming = Bleh!
    If I do go back to an Education Major, Eastern would be an excellent choice. However right now I don't think this is what I want to do. I have to make up my mind however, classes start Sept 20, and I'm still registered to go, so either I have to go or I need to drop those classes.
  • Art Institute Online - The second school I'm all but set up to go to. AIO has a great competitive program for both Game Art Design and Media Arts and ANimation. I'm set for the latter course, however one thing that's kind of got me up in arms about this school is that I will be in school for three years despite which program I go through. I do like their online curriculum, which means I work out of my own home, but I'm a bit weary of my lack of discipline when I'm in a class like this.
    I'm also in kind of a dilemma in regards to a class they are telling me to take and I keep calling BS on it. Its the computer literacy class, which is basically a class telling you how to use the computer and software such as Microsoft Office. I vouched to test out of it and took the test without practicing at all and failed by one question (you had to get 75% to pass) because I didn't know Excel as well as I thought. Alright fine, so I took some online courses to help me get better at Microsoft Office and I'm being told that they won't accept them and that I have to take the class through THEIR school. Problem is, this is a 3 credit class and the credits are $392 per Credit. That's pretty pricey. Especially for a lame class such as this. I do get a 20% discount on account that I'm in the military but I'm still calling BS. I think they can work with me in regards to this one class or else I think I should look elsewhere, because they are kind of pricey to begin with.
    Maybe I shouldn't be making a bit fuss over it, but this is just a red flag for me.
  • Westwood College Online - I looked at these guys as a response to checking out my other options in regards to the animation field for online education, and so far I do like them. And I think from what I've seen that though the same kind of BS that happened with AOI may occur through these guys as well, they seem more willing to work with me. Plus they offer similar programs and they aren't as expensive. I think their program is more accelerated, in that I'll likely get into the career field SOONER! Sooner is better. There are some offsets, such as different fees that might make Westwood a little expensive in some areas, but let's face the fact here that School is just expensive these days!

Overall, right now I'm looking at three schools, and actually, as of this moment, I am set in going in any direction with them. I don't think I'm going to do EWU though, I really am not looking forward to that commute, but overall, the big question is, once I got this degree, what am I going to do with it?

They say animation is a booming career field right now, let's cross our fingers and hope its still that way in about three years. Otherwise, well, I might be volunteering for a lot of deployments afterwards.


Dogs and Ferrets

I went to the shelter today looking at dogs. It sort of came down to three.

This is Bo. Bo almost came home with me today. I had it all set out to adopt him and take him with me until it was pointed out that any dog I adopted would be an outdoor dog only, they wouldn't let me adopt this specific dog. He is really sweet however, he does need a good brush, and right now his bark is gone but overall he seemed like a good companion. Unfortunately, he is a German Shephard mix, and my mother has an aversion to German Shephards (on account of getting attacked by one) so that did make me kind of leary of him, but he did not appear in the least bit aggressive.

Alas, Bo did not come home with me.

This is Cosmo, another sweet dog that looked like I could bond with. One of the reasons why I chose Bo over Cosmo is because Cosmo does Bark. And Chew. And dig. But according to his paperwork, that was likely something I could work with. He is pretty cute, and really sweet. However, he didn't really like being left alone. And being a pure outdoor dog, I don't want him to get depressed and bark a lot.

Poonsa has been at the shelter for over a year, and when I looked at her, she seemed really mellow and low key. However my concern (as I'm going to be using this dog as a running buddy) that she seemed a little stiff when she walked. The poor thing is ready to come home with somebody, and I thought she was quite cute. She appears to be part rottweiler, and despite their reputation, I've known rottweilers that were practically lap dogs where the only threat of them is if they lick you to death.

There are two other animal shelters that I'll likely take a look at, as well as a Basset Rescue. We love bassets, and would make an exception for the outdoor only rule if I managed to talk my brother into adopting one with me (they're indoor dogs). He's always wanted to get a Basset and name it Rigamortis (don't ask).

Meanwhile, coming home without Bo with me did make me double think about the whole 'owning a dog' thing, as I'm not sure how long I'll be living here and I don't know what my living arrangements will be in the not to distant future, and I would hate to adopt a dog only to find myself having to give 'em up when I was forced back into the whole apartment spiel one day.

I would still love to get a Ferret. Maybe two. The brother is actually open to this suggestion, however I couldn't take it running with me. I have read up on Ferrets, did some research and I think I could handle a ferret if I chose to get one or two. If I had a choice in the ferret I adopted, I would either get a traditional female ferret with a mask and name her Kiki, or get an albino male and name him Draco. After Harry Potter. For some reason, I also thought Maximillion would make a good Ferret name.

Maximillion would make a good dog name too. If I got a new dog, chances are I'd rename him Max. Unless it was a she of course.


Almost Moved

So, I've been a wee bit quiet over the last couple of weeks.

Not for any particular reason, other then I finally moved off the cot in my parent's basement to a couch in my brother's house. Sorting through this massload of crap I own trying to find a place to stick it is getting a wee bit taxing, but today should be the last day I make a trek over to the parent's to get the last of my stuff. This would include my surviving fish Clark.

In other areas, I've been working at getting into school, dealing with paying for it, and budgeting out my life for the next three years, I've just been really distracted from blogging.

So, the latest news in my life. . .

Pig Out in the Park has been going on for the last six days, today is the last day it's running and I think some of my family is going to get together and take advantage of it on its final day. At least, that's the plan. I've already gone by there twice this last week.

I'm looking at adopting a dog. Yes, pet angst. My specifics is one that's not too yippy, about medium sized, calm but willing to run with me as I'm going to be using it for a running buddy. They've got about three centers here where I can go check out dogs, I've also been checking out Petfinders, I think I might use them as a source. Not sure when I'm going to get the dog, hopefully soon. First I need to get settled in however.