Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Q1 arrives!

I received my q1 today and it is very cool, though using thee touch screen to type takes some getting used to. I am sure the more I use it, the better and faster I will become.

For the record, I am getting better at using the dialkeys! And, I did try to get battlefield 1942 to run, but its a no go. ah well...


American Idol showed that the guys can actually sing better than the gals. Even so, this week certainly had its share of losers. One of the problems we are still having is figuring out which guys are going to actually make it to the final round! well, this week's picks and pans are: (Yes, I added some 'flavor' to the chart!)
Idol SingerDave's VoteShan's Vote
BrandonNoNo
SundanceYesYes
Chris RYesYes
NickYesYes
BlakeYesYes
SanjayaNoNo
Chris SYesNo?
JaredYesYes
AJNoYes?
PhilYesYes
StephanieYesYes
LeslieNoNo
SabrinaYesYes
AntonellaNoNo
JordinYesYes
HaleyYesYes
MelindaYesYes
AlainaYesYes
GinaYesYes
LakishaYesYes
RudyNoNo
PaulNoNo
Amy?Yes??Yes?
NicoleNoNo




And, just So you know, I did this entire post with only the Q1 (No keyboard or mouse). I used a combination of dial keys and handwriting with the stylus. It is definitely a learning experience!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar, Ellen, Jennifer, and Martin...


We watched the Oscars last night. I thought Ellen Degeneres actually did a pretty good job of hosting. She is just quirky enough that even when her joke is falling flat, it still comes off as a funny situation.



In my opinion, the best acceptance speech was Jennifer Hudson's. To me, watching someone new and fresh to the whole experience win an award is what it is all about. She stuttered, had to stop and catch her breath as tears brimmed in her eyes. The shock of winning, the awe of being in front of so many people, themselves stars, was almost too much for her, but she gained (or kept) her composure enough to show the true sophisticated woman she is growing into. It was fantastic!



Martin Scorsese FINALLY won an Oscar! And, for as long as he has been in the business, and how well-known and respected he is, he still gave the same kind of 'choked-up' speech as Hudson. To see the man finally win brought the same feeling of joy that I felt for Hudson.


Winning awards is not why actors, directors, writers, sound folks, etc do their jobs day in and day out. They would still act, direct, write even without accolades and confirmations. But, to be honored, to be recognized as the best in your field, whether one is brand-new or an old-hand let's the recipient know that their work does not go unnoticed, unappreciated.... Everyone deserves (and sometimes needs) a pat on the back that says, "Great job!"



I used to say that I knew I was overdue for a haircut when I looked like Rev. Jim (Christopher Lloyd) from "TAXI" or when my shadow made me look like Jack Nicholson... After last night, I can't say that anymore - or at least not yet... Jack had his head shaved to a shiny, glistening orb... Wonder if he's making a KOJAK movie... :-) Hmm...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dupree and a car for a song...

(edit note: I inadvertently forgot the word "DON'T" in my post regarding Zellweger. I fixed it!!)
We watched "You, Me, and Dupree" last night. If you did not go to the theater to see it, and you haven't seen it yet, don't waste 2 hours of your life watching this. The first recognizably funny moment comes around the 1:24 mark.. That is the ONE-HOUR, Twenty-four minute mark. It is one of the slowest-moving movies I have ever seen, with the only exception I can think of as being "Lost in Translation." The funniest part of the movie, to me, wasn't even part of the movie. On the DVD, there is a "spoof trailer" that makes the movie appear to be a horror/suspense flick, and it is hilarious! Yes, the movie had some funny moments, but really all that happened in the last half-hour.


I'm not a huge Owen Wilson fan. I liked his voice-acting in "Cars" and he played a subdued serial killer in a move called "The Minus Man" that I thought was kinda cool. I've seen several of his other movies, but I just don't... "get" him... Or, more to the point, why people like his acting... He is like the current version of Pauley Shore to me... Whatever... Of course, I have yet to understand the appeal of Renee' Zellweger, either. I have seen several of her movies, and I just don't like to watch her act. Now, these are just my own takes, so if you're offended or upset, get over it. :-) No, seriously, if ya leave a comment, knock yourself out... :-)


While watching TV this morning, I saw a Mazda commercial for a dealer in Louisiana. At the bottom of one scene, in small text, it read, "$0 due at singing.." The first time I saw it, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Thanks to DVR, I confirmed the wording... So, as long as you sing for your car, you can have it for no money down! That leaves me out... Guess I'd have to come up a down payment... Bummer... :-)


I would LOVE to be able to tell you how the Prescott Curley Wolves did during the state tourney, but I can't. See, the local radio station hasn't updated their website to tell us. Stupid. So, I'll have to wait and see if it is in this week's newspaper. Yes, our paper comes out weekly. Betcha didn't know place still only had weeklies, did ya?

Friday, February 23, 2007

A little bit Michael.... 100% Pittsburgh!

I took this quiz and came up 30% Michael. I'd say that's about right. Some of you are painfully aware that I am a HUGE Michael fan (well, a fan of his music and entertaining, not much the guy himself). I did not own a red leather jacket, but I did wear other Michael-esque (no, not the surgical mask!) things at one time or another... I also took the "How Pittsburgh Are You" quiz and scored a 100%! My mother got 95%. We think it was the 'cutting the grass' question....
You Are 30% Michael Jackson!

Hey guess what, you are a bit like Michael Jackson! Just a little bit! You don't dangle babies, but you probably know whether or not Annie is okay. And maybe, just maybe, you owned a red leather jacket at one point. ... but probably not.

How Michael Jackson Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Nashville Idol

America voted.... And our round 1 feelings matched what the voters said... Well, sorta... I copied the table from my earlier post, crossing out the folks voted off. As you see, we had questions about Amy. Maybe she would go through, maybe not... As it turns out, she is outta here...

Unlike the guys, we had several women that we would HATE to see go: Lakisha is by far and away the best of the whole group this year. Our top 6 women (and it turns out that Shan and I agree on this list) are: Stephanie, Sabrina, Jordin, Melinda, Gina, and Lakisha. As for the guys... Well, we like Chris S and Blake... Possible Sundance... I'll step up and say that Brandon will go make it. Beyond that? No clue... :-)

Idol SingerDave's VoteShan's Vote
RudyNoNo
BrandonYesYes
Sundance?No??Yes?
PaulNoNo
Chris R?Yes?No
NickYesYes
BlakeYesYes
SanjayaYesYes
Chris SYesYes
JaredYesYes
AJYesYes
PhilYesYes
StephanieYesYes
Amy?Yes??Yes?
LeslieYesYes
SabrinaYesYes
AntonellaNoNo
JordinYesYes
NicoleNoNo
Haley?Yes?No?
MelindaYesYes
AlainaNoYes?
GinaYesYes
LakishaYesYes



On Nashville Star, the top three contestants were named: Zac Hacker, Angela Hacker, and David Saint Romain. DSR and Zac are the best two, in my opinion. I mean, Angela is good, but could you really listen to that gravely voice for an entire CD? I couldn't... Between Zac and DSR, I'd say Zac has the best chance of winning... Guess we'll see! :-)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Prescott Curly Wolves Basketball!


HO-LY COW! The Prescott boys basketball team is undefeated this season! And, they won their first game at state yesterday, beating England 49-44! Prescott is having a great year in sports! Back The Pack! :-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Idol Choices...Round 1

Okay, so Shan and I picked our winners and losers for the first round of Idol eliminations. If we liked them, we said YES, they will continue. If not, then NO. Anything with a question mark means we just weren't sure... :-) Have fun!

Idol SingerDave's VoteShan's Vote
RudyNoNo
BrandonYesYes
Sundance?No??Yes?
PaulNoNo
Chris R?Yes?No
NickYesYes
BlakeYesYes
SanjayaYesYes
Chris SYesYes
JaredYesYes
AJYesYes
PhilYesYes
StephanieYesYes
Amy?Yes??Yes?
LeslieYesYes
SabrinaYesYes
AntonellaNoNo
JordinYesYes
NicoleNoNo
Haley?Yes?No?
MelindaYesYes
AlainaNoYes?
GinaYesYes
LakishaYesYes

Parenthood and cows running amuck...

When I was growing up, I remember hearing the phrase, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you..." This was usually followed by a swift smack to the rear-end. I used to think there was NO WAY it hurt my parents more. Now, don't get me wrong, my brother and I weren't beat or anything like that, but we did have our share of swats... Having spanked my kids only a couple times (so far) in their lives, I know what my parents meant... Now, it has been quite a while since either of the kids got a whippin', but there are other aspects of parenthood that no one ever prepares you for... Bedtime is a biggie.... You have to sit there and tell your children that it is bedtime, all the while, they may be bawling because they just want to stay up with you. But, as a parent, you have to put on the 'stern face' or the 'sympathetic, but unflinching' face. Watching your four-year old spill huge crocodile tears is tougher than than any spanking....


I read an online news article about a cow that had escaped from its pasture, trotted five miles to town, and led police on a chase that was caught on the in-dash camera. Now, if I were still living in Western PA or Colorado, this might seem very strange... As it is, I could see that happening with one of the cows from our pasture....

Simon -Teletubbies- Cowell and other things to make you laugh...

Did you know that Simon Cowell was responsible for getting the "Teletubbies Christmas" album released? Umm... Here is the man who is partly responsible for the future of American music, and he signed the Teletubbies?? No wonder Chris had a field day with him on that one! Need sources? Here's one, and here's another.


If you've never watched one of the "Biggest Loser" workout DVD's, you're missing a treat. In the one we have, Bob (the trainer) leads some of the contestants through exercises as he leads the viewer(s). During the program, he 'talks' to the viewer, offering advice, encouragement, etc. At one point, he says something about the exercise mat ("Get down on your mat" or something like that). Emily, having had quite enough of exercising by this point, never skips a beat, and angrily says, "We don't have a mat, BOB!" I never laughed so hard during exercise in my life... :-)


The first 'real' round of American Idol was last night. Shan, Emily and I made a chart and 'voted' YES or NO as each male singer did his thing... Frankly, no one blew my socks off this year. Any of the guys could get booted from the show, and I'd have no qualms about it. In the past, that would not have been (and was not) the case. All I can say is that I hope the women do better... I made the comment that looking at the women, and watching their mini recaps during the guys performances, no one jumped off the screen at me. Guess we'll see how the women do tonight.


By the way, have you seen Vote for the Worst? The site tries to pick the worst singer and push votes for that person. Their goal is to show how flawed the voting system is. Now, do not be fooled by their claims for success. You see, they pick someone to vote for. If that person gets voted off, they just pick someone else. Talk about flawed.... But, the site does have some fun discussion (at times)... I *did* say "at times," just remember that....


Okay, while poking around the 'net, I came across a site that has all kinds of funny/weird items collected over the years from the Internet... By far, some of the funniest come from the snippets of usenet posts. Because I'm in such a weird mood, I'll share some with ya:

  • Subject: Re: Looking to acquire
    From: Material Guy
    Newsgroups: sci.engr.manufacturing, sci.engr.mech, alt.technology.obsolete
    ted kraus wrote:
    >
    > Looking to acquire technology that might be obsolete but still has
    > some "life" in it as a product
    > ted.kraus@...
    As a 56 year old PhD with Aerospace background, I probably qualify as somewhat obsolete technology which still has some life to it. What do you offer?


  • Subject: Re: Recipe Roast Lamb NEEDED.
    From: Lyndon Watson (Lyndon Watson)
    Newsgroups: soc.culture.new-zealand
    Frank van der Hulst writes:
    > Lyndon Watson (Lyndon Watson) wrote:
    >> Yes, well, ... there is in fact nothing required to roast the lamb in
    >> the traditional NZ way except just ... putting the thing in the oven
    >> and roasting it.
    >
    > I tried that... it was a real b*stard getting it to stay in the oven
    > though.
    Yes, the old problem. The genuine old country cooking range - and this is a reliable mark of authenticity - always had an oven door that unlocked from the outside only to prevent escapes. The more intelligent Sunday roasts had been known to unlatch the simple models from the inside.
    These modern ovens with doors that open with a push from the inside are just not suitable, I'm afraid, for really traditional NZ country cooking.


  • (This one is a little crude, but funny as all get out!): Subject: Re: Ti 46-inch Driver
    From: "David Bridenbaugh"
    Newsgroups: rec.sport.golf
    Dbm2001 wrote...
    > I have a 10-month-old, oversize-head with a Ti face and a 46 inch,
    > cross-filament-wound graphite shaft with a stiff flex
    Damn. You must be one weird looking dude....


  • Subject: Re: Celebrity Brownies
    From: carol-arie@... (Damsel in dis Dress)
    Newsgroups: alt.food, alt.food.chocolate, rec.food, rec.food.baking, rec.food.chocolate
    "Unknown User" wrote:
    >Send $5 for all 4 Celebrity Brownies.
    Are they made of REAL celebrities?


If you're wanting more, just follow the white rabbit...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

GO-ing FORWARD


I heard an ad on the radio today for Supermantag.org, which raises money on behalf of the Christopher Reeve Foundation. The tags are cool and, having grown up watching Mr. Reeve in the Superman movies (and other films), this struck me as someting to spread the word about... You get 2 tags for 10 bucks, and help with research into spinal cord injury cures. One of the best 'deals' I've heard of yet....

Monday, February 19, 2007

23, 750, 1942, and whatever else pops in my head...


23... Oooo.. SCARY... Yeah, I'm talking about the new Jim Carrey movie. I poked around a little regarding the whole '23 conspiracy' thing. Look, anyone can find anything about any number if that person makes links they WANT to see... Look how many 9/11 things came up regarding the numbers 9, 11, 911, 9-1-1, etc. I'm not making fun of anyone's superstitions or phobias or whatever. Heaven knows I have my own (though I have yet to find a name for it, but when I do, I'll post it just because I'm sure it will have some bizarre name). My issue is the 'big deal' that is being made about it. I mean, to me, it is no different than 9/11, or 'lucky 7' or the whole 'Lincoln/Kennedy' thing (which isn't one, but some people believe it is... Whatever... Of course, Jim Carrey is so affected by the 23 thing in real life that his production company is called JC23...



And, so I move to another number-related thought... On Deal or No Deal, the player's parents had come to America with only $750 to their name. By the end of the game, the player was down to three amounts - $75, $750, and $750,000. They started talking about 'fate' this and 'fate' that... I'm not sure that the 'fates' are into things like game shows, but people like to think fate has some part in what happens. If you didn't see the show, the guy took a little over a hundred grand and when they opened his case... you guessed it... $750. So, Howie took the case and placed in the player's mother's lap. Fate? I don't think so. Co-inky-dink, most likely. A heart-touching one for sure, but still, coincidence.


Dad sent us a picture of himself taken while he was at the former Presidential Palace in Baghdad! There is very tight security to get in, and he had to be escorted, but how cool... :-) Mom said that they talk/chat/email everyday. I never pictured my Mom being a chatter... :-) I think it is great that they can be 7000+ miles apart, and yet really be no further apart than a keystroke. Sometimes, technology is pretty danged amazing... I know, given my profession is connecting schools with sites all around the world via compressed video, you might think text-based chatting would seem 'old hat' to me. Nope. there are things in this world that continually amaze me....



On another note, I have been playing Oblivion for a while now. Emily calls it the 'wolf and deer' game. She calls it that because when I play while she sits in my lap, I try to stick to walking around hunting wild animals. Though, we do like to stroll through towns. She hates the 'talking to people' part of the game, though. So, I always have to go back when playing solo and find out what I've missed. The system requirements for the game are pretty steep, but there is a 'mod' one can download called "OLDblivion" that allows the game to run on older computers. I do not need that with my upgraded computer, but I thought it was interesting that folks took the time to tweak the INI file to help those folks without 'cutting edge' systems run it....

Playing games with Emily is fun because it's interesting to see things from her perspective. She likes to play Battlefield 1942 in multiplayer with Tyler and me. She doesn't play for the shooting part of it, but because we play together, ride around in jeeps, and hop in airplanes, etc. In fact, the three of us have lost many battles because we were playing around and not playing the game. One thing we do is find 'houses' on the maps. We each get a house, or sometimes share a house - for no other reason that to have a place to run around, hang out, and have fun while the rest of the computer-controlled soldiers go on battling.

I forgot to mention that Emily and I bought a horse in Oblivion today. It's a paint. And, we discovered, it can swim....slowly...but it can swim... :-)


Shan's National Boards are coming along. It's not an easy ride by any stretch. The questions applicants are asked seem to repeat throughout the process, and some things are so vague, you really have no idea what is being asked in the first place. But, one step at a time, we get to check things off the list. People say that building a house tests people... They should try applying for National Teaching Certification! I just know that it'll be worth it, and that no matter how stressful things may get, I'm proud of Shan for doing it, for going for it and pushing through when I know all she really wants to do is throw in the towel some days.


One last thing before I head out this evening - if you know someone that has done something (or is trying to do something) and it makes you proud of them, tell them. I'm afraid people don't do much of that anymore. Why is it so hard to say, "I'm proud of you for..." or "Thank you for..."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tartar Sauce!

Well, I couldn't remember what my blog colors looked like before the V-Day change... So, I picked the default, but I don't think the colors are right... Oh well, not like the Earth will stop rotating because my blog does or does not have the 'correct' color scheme... :-)


Finally caught up with Nashville Star, American Idol, and Grease! You're the One That I Want!... It is so weird watching these shows with such different performers. What is really strange is that some people on one show (say, Grease!) would actually be better suited (I think) on Idol... I was going to suggest that someone from Star could be on Grease!, but come on... Totally different sound... LOL



Soon, I will be getting an Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC) for work. I can't wait! They are so cool! I am hoping it basically replaces my laptop and my Palm! We'll see, and I'll keep ya posted, I'm sure....


You can always tell when Daisy is freezing her hooves off - at feeding time, she dances around all over the place and won't stand still... Not even to EAT! It's cute, and a little sad... Of course, to touch her when it's cold, you wouldn't believe how WARM she feels... All that 'winter coat,' I would suppose.. :-)


The kids' monitor went out last night, so I'm thinking about getting an LCD for the 'big' computer and handing down the 17-inch monitor to the kiddos... Aren't I a great Dad? :-)


Popped in my head: Don't you think by now, Coke could just call their primary cola "Coca-Cola" without the 'Classic' attached to it? Of course, "Coca-Cola Classic" is probably the best 'worst' thing that happened to Coke... :-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Yes, I changed my color scheme for V-Day... Sue me.. :-) Well, not really.... I mean, don't sue me over it, for crying out loud... It'll be back to 'normal' soon enough... And just because the SITE is pink does NOT mean guys should WEAR pink... thanks...(see previous post)


I'm not the most romantic person in the world by any stretch. I am too danged forgetful, to be honest about it.... Of course, today, the ancient color laser printer at work was freaking out, occupying every thought-cell I have in my brain, and I missed the window for sending flowers. UGH... The only things that may have saved me were the card and chocolates I gave this morning... :-)

I guess I am one of those 'typical' males - the intentions are there, but need work on the delivery and execution.... I'm trying.......


Our financial officer at work gave us our paychecks a day early because she said she was enacting the inclement weather policy.... Just to give an idea, it is about 50 degrees, but the weatherman is predicting a 20% chance of winter weather. That 20% chance was enough for her to issue checks a day early, just in case... I wonder what the percentage would have to be in order for her to declare the building closed... Of course, she can't really do that, as she is not the boss, but if she WERE the boss... Hmm....


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

40 Years for Porn and Naked Driving...

Read a news article about a woman who is/was sentenced to 40 years because the computer she was using at the school where she was a sub teacher had porn popping up all over the place. Okay, after reading the story, it boils down to a couple of kids that got on the computer while the sub was out of the room. The kids were looking up hairstyles and were redirected to a porn site. But, the TEACHER gets blamed for it.... Of course she does. Once again, let's point the finger at the person least involved with the whole situation instead of the kids who were using the computer when they were not allowed to in the first place.

To me, this goes to the heart of the whole MySpace issue. Look, there are bad people out there. What were we told as kids? "Don't talk to strangers." No, no, let's point the finger at the service provider instead of the kids themselves or the parents of the kids. Want to know what your child is doing online and on MySpace? MONITOR THEM! DUH! How hard is that? Schools block MySpace as a means to keep the kids out of there. Parents can do the same without anything more sophisticated than their own two eyes, and perhaps a timer...



So, one of the Lions' coaches was busted for a DUI and, in a separate incident, for driving nude, though the Lions front office says alcohol was involved with that, too... No kidding! Can you see that conversation (this is fiction, folks):

"You were stopped and asked to get out of the car?"
"Yes."
"And the officer saw you were...unclothed...and asked you to get back in your car immediately?"
"Yes."
"Were you drunk!?"
"No! I was not drunk! I was just driving around town, having a good time, and -"
"Whoa. Look, you WERE drunk."
"No, I was-"
"Drunk! I don't care if you were or not! For the record, you..were..drunk. Period."
"But-"
"No buts! If anyone asks, you were so wasted, you're not even sure how you managed to find keys in the first place!"
"Fine."


In our hectic, busy lives, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves... At work, we received an email reminding us that the Daylight Savings Time shift had been adjusted, and that this year, it would occur earlier than in the past. The email also reminded us that the change would happen this coming weekend. Not really paying attention, it just kinda went in one ear (eye?) and out the other, since it IS only Tuesday... Shortly after this message, however, another appeared, letting us know that we still had a month before we had to worry about the time change... :-) It's very reassuring to know that things like that happen to the best of us...


We got several emails that have those 'tell your friends about you' surveys in it. One question is "What is your favorite cereal?" For me, that's easy: Anything with marshmallows. Yes, those "sickeningly sweet, hard as a rock until you put one drop of milk on them" marshmallows... Lucky Charms, Cars, Franken-Berry, Dora, Spongebob, you name it... In fact, what I really wish someone would come up with is a cereal that is ALL marshmallows... Man, that would be awesome!


I programmed my license plate LED scroller to read: "My other vehicle is a thoroughbred..." It makes people stop and think a minute... Of course, I may add a line that reads: "If you must drink and drive, drive a HEMI" But, that's not very politically correct... So, maybe, "If you must drink and drive, drink Coke and drive a HEMI" I dunno, we'll see...


One of the questions in that survey email was "Red or Pink" - I'm as old school as they come. Pink is for girls. All this "tough enough to wear pink" crap is just some lame excuse to get 'normal' guys to break down and wear pink. No thanks. In fact, I saw a story on TV the other night that one jailhouse is issuing pink garb to the male inmates as a deterrent to repeat offenses. Interviews with the inmates showed guys saying, "I am not coming back here to wear this pink (stuff)!" Amen, brother! Public hangings? Public electrocutions? Nope, you wanna stop repeat criminals? Make them wear pink their first time in.... (And before the world goes ballistic on my 'normal' reference, to me it is not normal for a guy to wear pink. Got a problem with it? Wear all the blankety-blank pink you want....)

Monday, February 12, 2007

It's been..One week since...

Okay, not really a week, but as I sat to type this out, "One Week" popped in my head for no apparent reason...


Em has been showing us her 'dance moves' lately. She enjoys 'Number 42' a lot, or so it seems, since she announces that she is doing 'Dance Move Number 42' often enough. Amazingly, it does not QUITE resemble some of the other numbered moves she does... It is wildly entertaining, and she is so serious about it that we can't help but bite the sides of our mouths to help keep us from laughing... :-)


The trip to and from Houston proved to be entertaining, and I am pretty sure I have secured my place in the "Never let HIM drive again" Hall-of-Fame! Let's just say that a near side-swipe and a couple wrong turns go a long way to ensuring you are never asked to drive again... But, hey, at least *I* didn't get pulled over by the local Sheriff (unlike someone ELSE who was driving on that trip).


Seven Oaks, Texas... Not much there other than a house with, well, seven large oak trees sticking out of it... We thought we'd get a picture on the way back through, but, well, I was driving at the time, and all eyes seemed to have been distracted from the large trees sticking out of a house - go figure....


Another thing we saw of note was the "Pot-Bellied Man." Or more, accurately, the HUGE man-like figure constructed entirely of...clay pots...as in Terra cotta... Of course, we had all kinds of names for him - "Pot-head," "Pot for brains..." Yeah, it was that kind of road trip...


So, the next time you see a white passenger van tolling down the road, you might want to give it some extra room, just in case the passengers forget that I'm not supposed to be driving the thing.... Oh, and I washed my truck today...and of course, it rained shortly thereafter....at least Monday is over... Say Good-Night, Gracie....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Small Worlds

Turns out that sitting at the same table where I was placed during the conference today were two men from Pennsylvania. One man had been offered (but turned down) the Superintendent job for Elizabeth-Forward High School. I went to E-F Jr high and spent 9th grade at E-F High - Go Warriors! :-)

The other man was actually the financial officer at E-F High during the time I was there. How weird is that!? So, we talked about where I lived, relatives, etc... It was cool to run into folks from 'my hometown' so many miles from there and so many years later! :-)


This evening's meal went much better - steak fajitas, rice, pico.. oh yeah! Of course, they had shrimp and ribs, too, but I just walked on by... Well, until my boss said to grab some shrimp for her. :-) For dessert, I had a fried coconut-covered ice cream treat... Okay, if I had to guess, I would say that there was at least half a pint of ice cream on the plate... It was HUGE! I didn't eat it all, but I wanted to... :-)


Anna Nicole Smith was found dead in her hotel room. She already had so many comparisons to Marilyn Monroe before this, the media will have a field day... My heart goes out to her newborn...


I was told it's below 32 in Arkansas. We're still somewhere near 70 in Houston... So much for the heat wave... :-) The drive back home should be fun!


My 'keep telling yourself its chocolate' escapade is reaching urban-legendary status among the folks at the conference... People are learning (and ribbing me about) just how picky of an eater I am... I have not even approached the subject of my food not touching! I'd rather not be locked up before I got back home, you know! :-)

Pointing the finger...

Have you seen this: GM should drop the (suicidal robot) ad now, says former Energy secretary Donald Hodel, who also was Interior secretary in the Reagan administration. Hodel's teenage son committed suicide 23 years ago. "They should never have run that commercial, and they shouldn't run it again," says Hodel, who says he and his wife were shocked when they saw it. "If I had a child who committed suicide some time after watching that ad, I'd seriously consider consulting a lawyer and suing GM."

Excuse me? If a teenager kills him/herself after seeing this ad, the parents should sue?? You have GOT to be kidding me... If anyone kills him/herself, there is no one factor that pushes that person to the breaking point. Maybe the parents should sue the tennis shoe company he/she was wearing, maybe the clothing manufacturer, or how about parents sue EACH OTHER, since obviously they missed the signs that their child was in sucha mental state to begin with... Wait, we better sue every restaurant, television show, and new program that child ever watched. I know, we better sue the church the person attended because obviously the church did not do its job to prevent such an end.... Give me a break.


Of course, some gays are bashing the Snickers commercial for being 'homophobic.' You know, the one where the two guys are working on the car.... Homophobic because they jump back and get 'manly?' Again, give me a break.

Maybe we should combine both ads - after the kiss, the guy jumps off a cliff.... Then, we have a whole new group of people we could sue!

Pah-leaze....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Houston, we have...rain for rent...

Yee-Haw, Y'all! I'm coming to you 'live' from Houston, Texas! I'm here on business for an Educational Service Center Expo, or something like that. Anyway, we're going to visit the Region IV education service center and learn how they've taken their services to the 'next level.'

On the way here, we kept seeing these trucks with "Rain for Rent" signs on them. Now, immediately, what popped in my head was those signs you see that read, "Dirt for Sale" or "Rocks for Sale" etc... Of course, I had to go online to see what they were about... Rain For Rent's website explains who they are and what they do... They provide 'liquid-handling' solutions... Need a temporary reservoir of water? Call 'em up... Need irrigation for your fields? Dial the digits... Who knew!? (Okay, probably everyone EXCEPT me, but there ya go...)


We also saw a sign advertising something called spit-free "Hard Snuff." According to their website, it is a powdered tobacco, compressed into a pellet that dissolves in the user's mouth... Look, when I was younger, I tried snuff... There is no way I would put some kind of powered version that dissolves in my mouth like candy for me to swallow... UGH...


NASA is going to review their psychological screening process because of the whole psycho-astronaut episode. Ya THINK!?!? DUH! Then again, people could pass with flying colors, only to later get sucked into something similar to what happened... Well, okay, maybe not quite as EXTREME (I mean, come on, wearing Depends cross-country so you wouldn't have to stop??)


Tonight, I had a meal that contained at least a few things off my 'never acquire the taste' list... Yeesh.. Funny how life works out that way.... See, it started with a lobster bisque (basically, fish soup). From there, we moved up to a spinach salad. I had the folks near me rolling with laughter at my reactions. I told John to keep telling himself it was chocolate... I don't think it worked for either of us... The main course was some kind of crab cake and fillet Mignon. The crab cake might not have been bad, except I had to keep pulling cartilage out... GROSS! Nope, it was nasty. The Mignon was at least BEEF! Of course, it was WAY too pink for my happy butt, however, it was beef so I concentrated on the TASTE and not the look... Lindy joked that if I did a good job eating, she'd take me to McDonald's..... I was hoping she was serious, but no... The shuttle did NOT stop at Wendy's on the way back to the hotel either...... Dessert was Mango Flan... Citrus, sweet, a little sour or bitter... I dunno, way too many things happening there... :-)

So, at least I can say I have TRIED several things on my 'never' list, and that's more than I could say a day ago.....

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Acquired tastes and getting used to things...


Yoo-Hoo. Love it or hate it? Personally, I love the stuff. A lot of folks tell me they can't stand it, so I tell them that it is an "acquired taste." Which, of course got me to thinking (well, that and the email we got from Dad yesterday, which I will elaborate upon in a bit): Why on Earth do we eat things that one must 'acquire' the taste for? I mean, really... Now, granted, for some people, there is no acquiring the taste - they love it from the get-go (like me and Yoo-Hoo). Broccoli - some people love it. I've been told that for me, it may be an 'acquired taste.' Umm... No, but thank you anyway. I've tried the stuff. In addition to the awful texture, I don't like the taste of it. Somewhere in life, I learned that if you try something 14 times, you will either have grown to like it, or you will never like it. Calamari. Okay, you will never get me to try it more than the one time I tried it, let alone 13 MORE times! No way, not for a ton of cash.. Okay, well, maybe for a ton of cash.... :-)

So, in my book, there are things for which I never plan on acquiring the taste:

  • Wine/Champagne - Sorry, but it is bitter, nasty stuff. UGH...
  • All seafood/fish (with a few exceptions) - oysters, squid, octopus, clams, shark, swordfish, urchins, seaweed, lobster, crab, crawfish, etc. No way. Exceptions: salmon, catfish, cod...that about sums it up...
  • Country Greens - turnip greens, okra, etc. I did have fried okra once, and it was good, but the texture kills it for me...
  • Misc - Sushi, "high end" meals (you know, the ones that cost you 45 bucks for a sliver of something on the plate with 42 decorations around it), snails, fish eggs...
  • Internal organs or other specified body parts - liver, heart, intestines, fat, tongues, toes, feet, brains, testicles, etc. What possesses someone to look at a pile of pig intestines and say, "Oh yeah! Slap some of that on my plate, would ya?" If you are one of those people, more power to ya...

There are other things, I'm sure, but for now, I'll let you (pardon the pun) digest those...

Now, the reason for this post - We got an email from Dad yesterday, telling us about his new place in Iraq. It seems that there is gunfire throughout the day and bombs go off a couple times a day. Oh, and helicopters fly overhead so low that it shakes the "hooch" (he said that's what they call the hovels) where he is staying. All of this was followed up with, "I'm sure I'll get used to it in time..."

Excuse me? "Get used to it!?" The very first thought that popped in my head upon reading that was of my Great-Grandparents who lived in Hazelwood, Pa. Now, I don't know what Hazelwood is like now, but when I was a kid, it stunk to high heaven. You see, the city is located across the river from what was then an active steel mill. Now, I don't know jack about the steel-making process, but I do know that the after-effects that must be burned off smell like some strange combination of rotten eggs burning in flatulence. Yes. Picture that, smell it in your head. It's bad. I asked my Great-Grandmother how she could stand living there with the smell, and (you guess it) she said, "You get used to it. I don't even notice it anymore." Okay, maybe it's just me, but that cannot be healthy! Anywhere I have to "get used" to the environment in order to live there means one thing: I don't live there! When I worked in Camden, AR, the paper mill would put out this incredibly, awful odor. On hot, humid days, it was 100 times worse than 'normal.' When I asked folks about it, I was told, "you get used to it..." In Denver, the Purina dog food plant will make you think twice about a lot of things - owning a dog, feeding your dog, eating lunch, breathing ever again.....

Now, I can't point fingers too far... You see, every so often, the cows in the pasture, combined with the horse and goats when the wind and conditions are just right, remind me that I live on a farm.... It's nothing major... After all, you get used to it....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Worth a (few) thousand words...and gymnastics

Click on any image to see a larger version, if you're so inclined..... :-)


The assembly line - from near to far: The children's old Dell, the P4 1.7, and the new Dual Core 2.8 (See the cool blue lights on the new computer!)


Another assembly line picture - notice the yellow... the keyboard is Corvette yellow...)


Emily and Tyler find a unique angle to watch the snow falling onto the deck....



Emily has started tumbling around as if she were doing cartwheels. Shan told her that we needed to sign her up for gymnastics. Shan told me that Emily's eyes grew wide as she jumped up, ran over and hugged Shan, very excitedly. After a brief moment, she pulled back, looked at Shan, and said, "What's gymnastics?!" Dontcha love kids? :-)

Sitting (slightly) corrected

Okay, so evidently DirecTV showed the national commericals but I was too busy in the kitchen eating munchies... :-) I sit corrected... (sound of ruler hitting my knuckles)

Superbowl, and, well, a super bowl.....


The Colts took the firery Bears and kicked them in the head a few times with their horseshoes. For the most part, I enjoyed the game. This was one of those years that I really didn't care who won or lost, so i just enjoyed watching football. Of course, I looked forward to the commercials. And, since we have DirecTV, we did NOT see all of the SuperBowl commercials. After seeing all the commercials online, I felt robbed that DirecTV has whatever airing rights that allow them to put their own commercials into the programming. Usually, I don't care what they show, but when it is the "big game" and part of the fun is watching the new kooky commercials, that's another story... Nothing I can do about it, though, so no sense in whining!


Speaking of, "super bowls," it turns out that February 5, 1991, is the date that Dan Fain received a patent on his own "super" bowl... A Flushable Vehicle Spittoon... Yes, you read that correctly... This invention connects to the vehicle's window washer system, such that when you hit the washer fluid button, it also send fluid into the spittoon for cleansing - which runs through a tube out of the bottom of the vehicle. Here is more info, and you can check out the picture below:



Well, Dad made it to Iraq! He is at/in Camp Hope. There were a lot of personal security measures he and the others that went had to take, but they got there without incident. I don't know what I'm "allowed" to say or not say, should Uncle Sam be reading my blog, but he said it wasn't as bad as some of the other folks had made it out to be - and by "bad," I mean it wasn't the harrowing flight into Baghdad that he had been told it would be. As for the actual experience of being driven to the camp, surrounded by security vehicles, he said it was like nothing he had experienced before. There is a LOT of protection where they are stationed, and he has his own 'suite' for lack of a better word. There is a room and bathroom, I'm thinking like a hotel room, maybe.. See what happens when you leave it to me to give you details? :-)