Monday, April 30, 2007

We opened our WII

The wife and I had bought a WII for our oldest daughter's birthday. But as we started buying more accessories, we began to think that maybe the console itself was too big a gift. We didn't want her expecting such an expensive gift every birthday.

So, in celebration of my finishing my bachelor's, my youngest daughter graduating kindergarten and my oldest daughter successfully finishing her second-grade work, we busted out the WII. For Daughter Number 1, she'll get a game and another controller for the WII when her birthday rolls around.

Gotta tell you guys, I was a bit skeptical about the whole thing, but it didn't take long for me to be sucked into the awesome that is this new console.

I don't think I've looked forward to playing a video game this much since I got my first Atari.

So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Friday, April 27, 2007

No news is no news

So, of course when you're waiting to hear something and you've been told that you'll hear something in a couple of days, you're kind of disappointed when you don't hear anything in TWO days. Casually, I guess a couple can mean "a few." I use it that way all the time.

Still, no news is no news and knowing something is better than not knowing anything.

So I head into the weekend having to wait until Monday (hopefully!) for some kind of something.

Hope you all have a great day and a good weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not an idle threat

I did not have to sit through the the two-hour circle jerk that was American Idol last night. Yes, it was all for a good cause, but they ruined the show in the end.

No, I was on the phone for the better part of an hour. I was being interviewed for a position overseas.

More information forthcoming. Hopefully.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Idol threat 4-24

A mediocre night performance-wise. The bright spots being Melinda and Jordin.

I used to be a big Blake fan, until tonight. Not that he performed poorly, but he had to go and sing that damn commie, fuzzy-pink-bunny, chocolate-waterfall song Imagine. Wuss.

Kids stayed up to watch the show tonight so they're going to sleep in a bit in the morning. They cast about equal votes for Jordin and Melinda.

I will add that this is the first night in weeks that Chris' performance did not make my intestines want to throttle the life out of me. Not that it was great, but it wasn't too shabby.

Predictions: Bottom three should be Chris, LaKisha and Phil. Phil's packing his bags.

Blake's packing fudge.

UPDATE:

Curly McDimple rolls back the snark for last night's show. I guess I should have mentioned that it was Idol Gives Back night and there was a whole bunch of charity giving away, etc. That's why Curly cut most the snark out. Guess my heart shrunk three sizes. A commentor there mentions how mediocre everyone sounded last night because Sanjaya wasn't there to throw off the curve. She might be right.

Dean posts a "get off my lawn"-esque Idol statement.

Tracey makes quick notes and still really hates Phil.

Dial Idol predictions: Just how trustworthy are these any longer? Have they been right once this season? Oh well, they are predicting Blake, Melinda and Chris to be in the bottom three with Chris going home. Let's see.

Heroic failure

Heroes, look, I love the show, OK? But when you go on an extended hiatus for no apparent reason, when you come back, you can't just pick up and carry on like there was no break in service. You need to do something big, answer some questions and make us happy that you're back.

Last night's show was all right; it would have been considered good if I hadn't had to wait several weeks since the last episode. And next week ... a "what if?" episode? Come on, guys, we don't give a flip about "what if?" right now. We want build up and resolution.

Too late to do anything about it now, of course, but you guys need to heed this warning. This constant build up, promise of resolution and copping out in the answer episode smacks of Lost and will cost you audience in the long run. The next few episodes have better be damn good.

UPDATE: Yeah! This too!

Actually, if I'd had the presence of mind I would have mentioned in this post when I originally wrote it. The first thing I thought when Linderman layed out his plans was that the writers of the show had obviously read Watchmen.

Whatever, it'd just better get better.

Monday, April 23, 2007

About freakin' time

Heroes is new tonight. I can hardly wait.

Darkness? My old friend? Where have you been?

I slept very well Saturday night. That may not sound like much, but I've been getting the worst sleep lately. I didn't get up Sunday morning until about 10 a.m. It was glorious.

I don't know if it's allergies, stress from work and school or what, but when the alarm sounds in the morning I hardly feel as though I've gotten any rest. That aspect is psychological more than physical I'm sure because I'm still functioning just fine. It still sucks to feel like you have had little sleep.

So, this morning the alarm sounds, and again, I drag myself out of bed not feeling very rested. This time, longing for yesterday.

Friday, April 20, 2007

There once was a post idea for Friday morning

But then people showed up with no warning
Photography ensued
To my camera I was glued
Do you know how hard it is to find a fitting word that rhymes with morning?

Heh. That sucked.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Time keeps on ticking

Normally, when one approaches the end of a semester, things get hectic. Final papers and exams pile up, the stress increases, the pucker factor tightens, and time slips away.

Perhaps it's a function of my attending three different schools at the same time, but I'm finding that as the semester comes to a close, I have more and more free time. Final assignments are spaced out differently and I'm finding that the pace of normal schoolwork was far more hectic than any of this final stuff we are doing.

The practical upshot? Instead of spending a Wednesday evening farting around on the computer and getting some homework done, I was able to hang out with my son and kick around a soccer ball. Most fun I've had in weeks.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Idol threat 4-17

Country night was very enjoyable. Whoda thunkit?

Very much enjoyed Jordin, Melinda, and, surprisingly, Phil.

My bottom three this week: Sanjaya, Chris Richardson (whose performance was ear-bleedingly painful) and Blake (though one of my earlier favorites, he's been delivering snoozers lately and tonight he just sucked).

Stay tuned for morning updates from the usual crew.

UPDATE: None of my usual gang have posted anything about last night's show, so I don't have any cool links this morning.

However, Dial Idol still has its predictions posted: There are a few firsts on this list. It's the first list where Melinda is below the bottom three, the first list where Phil Stacey is rated number one, and the first list where Sanjaya is the lowest ranked. DI is predicting that Lakisha, Blake and Sanjaya are the bottom three with Sanjaya going home.

Based on their previous accuracy this year, I'm not going to be holding my breath, but I like to think that America's finally had enough of Sanjaya and that he's going home.

New hopes for a better tomorrow

Yesterday sucked, y'all.

I'm actually being self-centered in that statement and referring to my day at work and how our network was being all sucky and it put my workflow off by about four or five hours. Suckity suck.

And then I don't even hear about the whole school shooting deal until I get home. Such a wicked, monstrous thing and I felt very sad that I couldn't follow it as it developed. Another conceit there, sorry.

Anyway ... I'm already beginning to see the anti-gun rhetoric popping up in some of my normal 'net stops.

So ... bleah ... I'm sick and tired of this argument. I can't even bring myself to defend my point of view I'm just so fatigued about it. I'll never convince anyone my way of thinking is right, or to even respect my point of view, and they'll never do the same to me.

But I can't help thinking that if our social feelings about guns was more similar to the 1950s that the gunman would have got taken out pretty quickly after opening up.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Poop. In the tub.

There are perils to having a 21-month-old around the house.

Safety locks must be installed on all cabinets. Outlet covers should be plugged in, and child gates can help keep the youngsters out of places you don't want them going into -- sometimes. And still, regardless of all the preparations you make, there are still things they're going to get into.

No matter how many times you tell them to leave the DVDs alone ... well, it's your fault for not putting them out of their reach. Crayons, better get a safe for those things, otherwise you'll be putting Magic Eraser to wall scrubbing off Picaso's latest work.

Still, after a day's worth of scrubbing, picking up off the floor, feeding, hiding, moving, saving and generally just having fun with, there's one thing that you're never prepared for -- Poop. In the tub.

My wife had taken dinner to a local family. I'm alone with three kids and the boy poops in the tub. Dammit.

So, that's a cleaning adventure it itself. You get him out, clean him up with some wipes and throw a towel around him so he's not too cold. You still see him shiver as you pick up the toys out of the tub -- sponges, nerf-style balls and the like all destined for the trash -- and move them into a hot-water-bleach soak. But the child still needs a good scrubbing, since he seems to think fecal matter is a good soap alternative.

I fire up the shower and get in holding him and sheer terror sets in. His eyes go wide. He's crying and struggling against me -- not too hard, he doesn't want to fall -- enough to let me know that he doesn't want to be there. My son says few words. He says Mommy, Ma-ma, Daddy and Da-da a good bit, but his favorite word (and object in the world) is "ball." Given a shower though, he becomes Mr. Friggin Articulate. "I wan ow!" "I wan' ow!" he screamed. "I all dun!" "I all dun!" he wailed. And, realizing his pleas were falling on deaf ears, he resorted to the catch-all cry -- "Mama!" "MAMA!"

And we're done. Within 30 seconds he's laughing again, ready to conquer the world.

But he gives the bathroom wide berth as his sisters begin taking care of their evening showers.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Recent topic

Related to a topic discussed here the other day, you might find an interesting picture by following this link.

Work

I am sick to death of attempting to make the boss happy.

New focus: Keep the customer happy.

Behind the scenes blogging

Sometimes e-mail conversations are too good not to share:

Mr. Bingley sent:
Today is International Disadvantaged People's Day.
Please send an encouraging message to a retarded friend ... just as I've done. I don't care if you lick windows, screw farm animals, take the short bus or occasionally shit yourself ... You hang in there sunshine, you're effing special.


To which I replied:
Hey! Ken resembles those remarks.

Because I was really bored this morning and really just wanted to start some crap.

To which Ken replied:
Slowly I turn...

Because Ken couldn't do better than drum up a Three Stooges reference.

To which I replied:
Doesn't that go without saying? There's only one thing you're known for being quick at ... much to your wife's chagrin.

Because, well, it was the easy path to take.

To which Ken replied:
Well, that's true. That all night long stuff is a thing of the past. Three or fours is about my limit these days...

Because he takes it on threes or all fours.

To which I replied:
I believe there has been some kind of study done that links the banjo with sterility.

Because I'm sure there has.

To which Ken replied:
Didn't keep me from having two kids

Because God has a sense of humor.

To which I replied:
It's a cumulative effect.
Him:
So the vasectomy was unnecessary?
Me:
Anything that guarantees your sterility can't be a bad thing.
Man. We should blog this stuff.

Him:
Ha! That WOULD be funny!

Because it is.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wow ... effed up

Defense Secretery Gates just announced that active Army units are going to 15 month deployments and guaranteed 12 months at home.

Let me tell you why this is so effed up. The 12 month on/12 month off policy in place until today didn't work. You see, this policy only applies to units. It is technically supposed to apply to individuals also, but in reality, if someone moves to a new station and their new unit is set to deploy, they could very well be called upon to deploy with their unit, regardless of how long they've been back in the States.

How can this happen? A little clause attached to every policy the Army has ever been written: "Based on the needs of the Army." The needs of the Army trumps everything else they tell you.

Idol threats 4-10: Some day after stuff

Just couldn't bring myself to live blog it. Oddly enough, there are a couple of contestants this year who I think are very talented and I enjoy their performances quite a bit. But the sum is less than its parts.

Even though there is generally a lot of snark material on the show this year, it's just not as much fun to write about. And, well, when Sanjaya is one of the better performers of the evening, it's just a bad night all around.

Roundup of the usual suspects:

Dean is bewildered and dismayed.

Why does Sarahk hate Latin America?

Curly McDimple at American Midol manages to maintain her high-quality snark through her drunk.

Dial Idol and their wonderfully accurate predictions have Chris Richardson, Jordin Sparks and LaKisha Jones as their bottom three.

Know what, I'm still going to say that it's Phil that's going home.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Do you blog your kids?

And by that, I mean, do you post pics of your kids? Is that unsafe? Or is a site that only generates 200 or so hits a day pretty safe as long as you don't use your kid's names? I don't have an answer to these questions.

Last night I took some pictures of my kids to use in my newspaper. I had no qualms about doing this. When I got the idea for the pic, I immediately thought of photographing my kids. But putting them online is another matter.

Those particular photographs are what has inspired this debate. I really like how they turned out and my wife even mentioned that they were blog-worthy. But we both have concerns about putting them online.

What do you think? Give me pros and cons folks. I know some of you post your kids and some of you do not. What are your reasons?

Friday, April 06, 2007

GRINDeffingHOUSE

Just got back from seeing Grindhouse. Bottom line up front: Effing fantastic.

I went to the 4:10 p.m. showing hoping the crowds would be light. It was a good time to go, the theater was less than half-full.

The movie started late. Unfortunately, our local celluloid-slingers are a bunch of high school and college kids who are there for what they want to be an easy buck. So, they didn't clean the theater quickly and we had to wait for it to start. Then we sat in the theater a good 10 minutes past normal start time for the previews to even begin.

As the previews (well, commercials mostly) were rolling, something funny happened. We were into our third or fourth preview -- Hostel 2. The film started to flicker. Then we see "Quentin Tarantino Presents" before they show the title of the new Hostel flick. The the film burns and breaks. Everyone in the theater begins to wonder if this is planned or not. A minute or so passes then I and a couple of other people get up to go tell the theater crew. The movie finally gets going and throughout the film there are all these film quirks -- intentionally done -- but we spend the entire 3 hours and 10 minutes wondering if each one is planned or not. It actually added some fun to the movie.

Anyway ... we get going and the movie opens with a fake preview then goes into Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror -- a semi-zombie movie that features a machine-gun-legged Rose McGowan (that I'm sure you've seen in the previews). I'm not going to go into plot. You've seen the previews; you know what they're about. I will say this, if you are tempted to take someone with you who cannot normally get into R movies by themselves, think twice. Both films feature Kill Bill and Sin City levels of graphic violence and language and a lot of nudity besides. If you're cool with that, then cool.

What I do want to talk a little bit about is why these movies, this movie, this ... experience is so damn cool. Basically, if you're a fan of Tarantino and Rodriguez movies, you know you're going to be a fan. If you're a fan of quirky sci-fi and action movies, you'll like them also. If you don't like either, you're probably not going to like this movie. If you're hesitant watching the trailers, this flick's probably not for you.

Another thing that's great is that it brings Tarantino and Rodriguez together again. When Tarantino makes his own movies of his own accord, he can be a bit too self-indulgent. Without that extra hand of Rodriguez, his dialog can get lengthy, his imagery too goofy. And Rodriguez, without some influence of someone like Tarantino, can get either childishly kitchy or oppressively somber. But together they balance well. Two great films -- Four Rooms and From Dusk 'Til Dawn -- prove how good they can be together. Add Grindhouse to that list of wonderful collaborations.

Hood ridin' on a '70 Dodge Challenger. Sheri Moon as a Nazi werewolf. Bruce Willis as a mutant zombie. Robert Rodriquez killing off his own kid.

Man, it's a good time.

Daddy! Daddy ...

Me: What is it, hon'?

Daughter Number 2: Can you take the training wheels off of my bike? I want to try and ride it without them.

Daughter Number 1: And I'm going to help teach her how.

Me: Sure, if you think you're ready.

DN2: I'm ready!

And I grab my channel locks, grab her bike and pull off the training wheels. I also pump up her tires some more.

DN2: How long did it take you to ride without training wheels DN1?

DN1: About 10 seconds.

DN2: Oh, I hope I can do it fast.

As I finish pumping up the tires, my wife comes home from a quick trip to the store. I fill her in on what's going on and she goes to help DN2 get going. I turn my back to put the air pump away and before I can turn back around my wife's calling for me to look. DN2 is up on the bike pedaling away. No time to learn, no falling, no extra effort, she's just riding.

DN2: Wow, that took me, like, one second.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Idol threat 4-3: The not feeling it edition

Dudes, I'm just not feeling it tonight. Sometimes I really look forward to live blogging the show. Sometimes not. This season has been a lot of not.

I'll be back with my bottom three picks later. Maybe some snark ... but these last few weeks of school are kicking my ass.

Bottom three pick update: I, like Simon, am taking a different tack with Sanjaya. I'm just going to ignore him. Regardless of what he deserves, he's with us a couple of more weeks, I'm sure. So, even though Sanjaya should be on my bottom three, I'm going with the three it's probably going to be:

I really disagreed with the judges this week on a couple of folks, particularly Chris Richardson. I thought his performance of Don't Get Around Much Anymore was painfully awful. Have you ever heard the Harry Connick Jr. version? Harry's version is how this song should be done. I gives a shit about young or hip. It sucked.

And so did Phil and Haley. So, those are my bottom three: Chris, Phil and Haley with Haley going home.

The morning after:

Sarahk liked Chris but didn't like LaKisha. Really folks ... I don't get the Chris Richardson thing. I hear whining all day long from my kids, I don't want to hear it from the singers on TV also. Perhaps it's because the song he sang is one of my favorite jazz standards, but he MURDERED that song. Killed it dead. He sucks, people.

As for Lakisha, I completely agree with Sarah. I didn't think it was very good and was quite shocked when the judges gushed praise for her. I thought she rumbled and stumbled too much through her vocals. The transitions were off and it just wasn't very smooth.

Dean's got a review up (finally), and pretty much feels the opposite from me on Chris and Lakisha.

Dial Idol predictions: Apparently American agreed more with me than the judges or Dean about Lakisha. She's in the bottom two. Sharing the bottom three are Gina Glocksen and Haley Scarnato. I don't feel that Gina deserves it -- I rather liked the understated performance -- but do agree that she's generally out of her league. Melinda is ranked number 1 again and is the only performer that is not affected by the margin of error. Ranks 2-9 are all within the margin of error of one another so, basically, any of the others may be going home.

VENTING

OK. So I had something really mean written here for about half an hour.

I feel better now.

Venting complete.