Apr 29, 2008

Short and not-so Sweet

Idol tonight was way off for us... Maybe it's because we're all feeling under the weather this week. Anyway, here ya go:

Jason - forever in blue jeans
David C - I'm Alive
Brooke - I'm a believer
David A - Sweet Caroline
Syesha - Hello Again
Jason - September Morn
David C - All I really need(?)
Brooke - I am I said - Problem: Arizona does not have a shore that I know of...
David A - America - Bad Karaoke night, anyone?
Syesha - I thank the lord for the night time

name ----- Shan ----- Dave -----
Jason ------ Y -------- Y ------
David C ---- Y -------- N ------
Brooke ----- N -------- N ------
David A ---- ? -------- ? ------
Syesha ----- ? -------- Y ------
Jason ------ N -------- N ------
David C ---- ? -------- N ------
Brooke ----- ? -------- N ------
David A ---- ? -------- N ------
Syesha ----- Y -------- Y ------

Apr 27, 2008

Playing Catch-up

Thursday evening, Tyler hit a ball that ended up getting stuck under the fence, so he was given a ground-rule double. Our pitcher had walked in about five runs, so the coach turned to Tyler and asked him if he would pitch. Tyler wanted to think about it for a bit. When the current pitcher asked what Tyler was worried about, Tyler said, "I don't want to make a fool of myself..." The pitcher looked at him and said, "Are you kidding? I walked in 5 runs, how bad could you do!?" Tyler was convinced.

Tyler did not walk in any runs, and only gave up two. He did manage to knock one kid in the back, though. But, he was smokin hot! Struck out several players and forced others into outs. We were all amazed since he hadn't pitched since sometime around the middle of last season!

Oh, then he got up to bat and knocked one OVER THE FENCE, thank you! We heard one of the parents from the other team say, "The relief PITCHER got a home run!?" Heh-heh.. Yeap, that's my boy! :-) The umpire gave Tyler the home run ball after the game, too! How cool was that!?

Saturday, Shan and I went to the Governor's Reception for Arkansas National Board Certified Teachers. I took the camera with us to get a picture of her with the Guv-nuh, but we left it in the van! AUGH! Oh well, we had a very nice time, as there were about 5 presenters who each spoke for about 10 minutes each. It made things flow very smoothly and quickly! We were told to wear "business attire." Now, in my book, that means I had to wear a tie. Judging by some of the folks there, it meant they just had wear clothes at all. Several wore jeans and pull-over shirts. Maybe next time, the organizers need to be more specific....

After the Governor's Reception, Shan wanted to go to War Memorial Stadium for "Car Wars" to see if she could find a good deal on a new van. We looked around, and we saw a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country Touring Signature Series van. This thing was LOADED! Here are SOME of the things on it:
  • No Extra Charge Dual DVD System
  • MyGIG® Multimedia Entertainment System with ParkView® rear back up camera
  • Remote Start
  • SIRIUS Satellite Radio with 1 Yr Subscription
  • EVIC with tire pressure monitoring system
  • Premium center console
  • Leather-trimmed, heated bucket seats - first and second rows
  • Swivel 'n Go™ seating & storage system
  • Walter P. Chrysler Signature Series badging

On the way home Saturday, the kids were each watching a different DVD while we listened to Sirius Satellite! This thing is AWESOME! I'll post "real" pictures of it soon!

Apr 23, 2008

The headstone finally gets here.

After a long delay, the headstone company finally set up my parents' headstone. Why the long delay? Evidently, the guy who runs the place has an assistant who does more to hinder than help. Once Mom talked to the owner rather than the helper, things finally fell into place and marker was ordered and put into place lickety split. In addition, the guy gave Mom half her money back because of the anguish and trouble she went through.

Irish Eyes are not smiling tonight...

Voting this week:

Special guest Leona lewis. Please, please let her sing something other than "Bleeding Love." I am so sick of hearing that song. No, of course when you only know one song, I guess it's the only song you get to sing... To borrow a quote from my younger days: Gag me with a spoon, like totally gnarly!

David C - Safe - No surprise
David A - Safe - No Surprise
Syesha - Bottom 2 - What the heck!? How in the world did Syesha get the bottom three? Wow...
Brooke - Safe - Whoa! That is a surprise.
Carly - Bottom 2 - The two best performances last night got the least votes. What is up with American listeners?
Jason - Safe - You have got to be kidding me... UGH.

And who goes home tonight?

Bye, bye Carly. That is surprising, especially after last night's performance. The upside is that she already has CD's that she's cut and she will definitely be cutting more CD's in the future.

Taking Bob Barker personally

I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday this past Sunday. I had a cake done up for me that had the Indians logo on it! Very cool! I'll post pictures later. We had lasagna for my birthday lunch, and that was very good!

I got the new "Final Season" DVD to add to my collection of baseball movies! I also got two Wii controllers (Wiimotes) and 3 sets of Nunchuks! Now, the the whole family can play the Wii at the same time! Of course, what that meant on my birthday was that Shan kicked my ever-lovin' butt in boxing. Our arms are still sore from all the punching we were doing!

Then, there is the 90's Edition of SingStar! I had no idea how many rap songs there were in the 90's, and most of them are included in the game. Not good for me... Shan and I kicked serious butt on Hootie and the Blowfish's "Only Wanna Be with You" though, actually netting a "SingStar" status! The highest we have seen before that was a SuperStar status! Talk about awesome! The kids picked out a pack of baseball cards for me, and I got clothes, money, and the "Wii Play" game for the Wii.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I went to the doctor in order to do my part to control the people population (to borrow from Bob Barker). John (from work) told me that the anticipation was the worst part. I agreed up until the doctor (whose name is Pickelman, no less!) stuck the needle where no sharp object should be allowed to play! Holy smokes! Speaking of smoke, there is nothing quite like the smell of burning flesh and hair coming from the lower extremities!

Now, the doc started with the right side, and though there was some pulling and tugging, it really wasn't too bad. At some point, the left side realized what his buddy was going through, however, and beat a hasty retreat into the nether crevasses of my lower abdomen. The doctor had to dig to find what he was looking for. FOUR anesthetic shots later, I was numb enough for him to complete things, though the tugging and pulling was more pronounced! I told the nurse that they were lucky I had been strapped down into the stirrups, otherwise I would have been hanging from the rafters!

I spent the rest of the day with an ice pack for the guys and took some of my pain meds. Wednesday, I stayed home from work, doing the 2-hours-on, two-hours-off ice packing and reducing the pain meds to some IB.

If you are a guy and you have not had this procedure, but you are thinking about it, my only words of advice are this: Be sure to take the hydrocodine pill before you go. They'll give a Valium when you get there, but it helps to be loopy before you go. Oh, and don't over think it. Even with the family jewels beating a hasty retreat, overall, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Yeah, drugs helped give me that sense of general calmness... Don't let anyone lie to you about the local - it's a very sharp stick followed by a burning. But, once it's done, all you hear is the snipping of things without feeling any of it (except for the tugging). Oh, and be sure you shave ALL the hair on the underside! I can vouch for the fact that a rogue hair getting trapped in the stitches is NOT FUN... :-)

Apr 22, 2008

Idol 2 Nite

syesha - one rock-n-roll too many - neither of us knew this song, but we liked it.

jason - memory - sounds flat to me, but then what do i know? bad, ya know it, it's bad.

brooke - you must love me - well, forgetting the words is not a good way to start a song. i guess it wasn't too bad, but not great by any stretch.

david a - think of me - he made the song totally different than the original. He made it his own pop song, and even though i dont like him as a singer, i have to admit this was a very well executed risk.

carly - jesus christ superstar - thank goodness she covered that tattoo. very pop/rock. nice change of pace from the original. but will it resonate with the voting public? we'll see...

david c - music of the night - no suprise here. i would have easily picked him to be the one singing this. i just dont know if he can pull off such a huge song without killing it. he sucks at the whisper-singing thing. i am not impressed with his singing this song. Other than Jason, this was the worst performance of the night. Awful.

name ---- shan ---- dave ---
syesha ---- Y ------- Y ----
jason ----- n ------- n ----
brooke ---- n ------- n ----
david a --- y ------- y ----
carly ----- y ------- y ----
david c --- n ------- n ----

Apr 17, 2008

That's My Boy!

Tyler plays little league and is on the White Sox team this year. His team scored 11 runs tonight. In fact, his first at-bat of the season resulted in a first-pitch over-the-fence home run! Awesome stuff for the 11/12-year old group! And then his 2nd at-bat resulted in an error at first which ultimately led to an inside-the-park home run for him! 2-for-2 with 2 runs - talk about a proud papa!

I was kinda bummed that Kristy got voted off Idol this week, but not really surprised. As I said before, anyone could have been voted off this week because no one had a knock-down, bowl-me-over performance. Well, I am pretty sure we have not heard the last of Kristy Lee Cook.

My Aunt asked if I enjoyed Graceland as much this time as when I first went. I'm not sure what the answer is. The first time we went, I learned a lot about the person behind the persona. I already had that background this time, but we were with folks who had not been through Graceland before, so it was neat to see it through their reactions to things. I don't think we did the car museum or the airplanes last time, so that was cool. There is also a new exhibit called "Private Elvis" about his military days, and that was kinda neat to see.

To answer another question my Aunt asked: How do we know the bride (Karen)? Well, in three ways, really.

Now, it so happens that Shan babysat Karen and Courtney when she was younger. They have known each other for quite some time. Karen caught Shan's bouquet at our wedding. She knocked Shan's sister out of the way to get it, and Karen says that God's sense of humor 'punished' her by making her wait so long to find Mr. Right. LOL!!

Shan and I both worked with Karen's mother (Pat) way back when we worked in Camden, AR, at the Co-op there. Pat was the director of the Early Childhood Program for the education service center when Shan was teaching there. I was the Technology Coordinator for the co-op when Shan and Pat worked there.

And, finally, Pearl (Karen's grandmother) and Michelle's Dad were brother and sister. For reference, Pearl is the white-haired woman in the first slide show being escorted by a tall gentleman. Michelle is in the 2nd slide show hamming it up with Tyler at Graceland.

There will be a quiz later....

My cousin caught jammin

My cousin, Nick Callahan, was caught jammin' in the 'Burgh on April 11 by a Post-Gazette photographer. How cool is that!?

Apr 16, 2008

Weekend in Memphis

Okay, it's been a few days since we got back from Memphis, and I can finally post something of substance tonight. :-) To keep things "simple," I am going to create a couple slideshows with pictures from the weekend, and you can view the pictures in their Picasa folders if you wish.

We had a lot of fun hanging out with Greg, Michelle, and their kiddos! Emily had been invited to be the flower girl in a wedding, so we took full advantage of our mini-vacation! We went to the Memphis Children's Museum, IMAX, Graceland, and saw several exhibits at the Pink Palace Museum.

First, here are pictures from the wedding we went to. It was held at the Pink Palace Museum:

Random Pictures from our Memphis trip (more pics may follow, once I ask if it's okay to post pics of the Hartmans):

Apr 15, 2008

Boring Idol...

I still have to update everyone on our weekend in Memphis and post pictures, but I am too tired tonight, so all I have is a bit of Idol for ya:

Tonight was "Mariah Carey" night. I am not a big Carey fan. I think she had a couple songs I liked in the early 90's. I think it's very interesting that American Idol has to TURN AWAY stars that want to be featured, yet they end up with "semi-stars" on the show. Dolly Parton is a star, for sure. Mariah Carey? Maybe once upon a time. Then again, who am I to say, right?

Okay, so she has more #1's than Elvis... I guess she *IS* a star, huh? Then again, if you've followed along much at all, you know I am not an Elvis fan anyway.

-- Name ----- Shan ----- Dave ----
David A ------- ? -------- N? ----
Carly --------- ? -------- ? -----
Syesha -------- ? -------- ? -----
Brooke -------- Y -------- Y -----
Kristy -------- Y -------- N -----
David C ------- N -------- Y -----
Jason --------- N -------- N -----

David A - "When You Believe" - It was okay, but like Shan said, "I'm Bored." I found myself actually nodding off to this after having watched the finale of "Biggest Loser" tonight. The finale was much better than his performance. I have to disagree with Randy, it was a BOMB not "da bomb."

Carly - "Without You" - I wanted to like this, but I just never got into it. It was okay, but nothing special.

Syesha - "Vanishing" - Well, I am a huge Syesha fan, and this just kind of sat there for me. Nothing spectacular. Maybe there's something in my water, but so far I'm just not impressed with the performances tonight.

Brooke - "Hero" - I like the 'country' sound of her version. I think she actually did a very good job!

Kristy - "Forever" - This sounded like it was from the 50's or something. I'm not feeling it. Another sleeper tonight. Shan says she would listen to this. I would probably turn the station...

David C - "Always Be My Baby" - I kinda liked the 'Seattle' sound of the song, but he sounds like he is trying too hard to sound like the lead singer from Matchbox Twenty. I liked it, but Shan didn't.

Jason - "I dont wanna cry" - Well, it's time to break out the pillows because we're going to sleep again. Mariah had a bunch of up-tempo hit songs, yet no one wanted to go anywhere near those. What gives? SNOOZER!

Shan and I agree that anyone could get voted off tomorrow and we wouldn't be surprised a bit.

Apr 10, 2008

American Idol and Going to Memphis

I know I haven't posted in a few days, so let's play some catch-up:

Our results on Tuesday night for Idol:

--- Name ----- Shan --- Dave ---
Michael -------- ? ------ ?N ---
Syesha --------- Y ------ Y ----
Jason ---------- Y ------ Y ----
Kristy --------- Y ------ Y ----
David C -------- N ------ N ----
Carly ---------- ? ------ Y ----
David A -------- Y ------ N ----
Brooke --------- ? ------ Y ----

Of course by now you know the results: Michael Johns was sent home. Not a big surprise to us, and he'll have no problem getting a deal to cut a CD.

We are heading to Memphis so Emily can serve as the flower girl in a wedding there this weekend. I'll post pics and talk more about it afterward.

Apr 7, 2008

Can't Get It Right Today

Tyler had a scrimmage game on Sunday. He hit two stand-up triples, both of which led to runs. He also hit a single and was visibly ticked off that the ball did not go flying into the outfield. Man, has he come a LONG way!!

Have you seen the Kia commercial where the folks can't remember which side of the car the gas receptacle is on? There's a song that plays during the commercial... here are the full lyrics, just in case it popped into your head:

Joe Purdy - Can't Get It Right Today:

I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up

It's nearly been a year since he's been gone
And we still sing his goodbye songs
Goodness knows she should move on
But she just can't let him go
No, she just can't let him go

I'm sorry if I made you want to cry
I'm sorry if I made you want to cry
You should know, I never meant to hide
I just hate bringing you down
Oh, I just hate bringing you down

I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up

And I dropped my paintbrush in the dirt
Still remember just how much that hurt
I cut my hand and wait for it to work
But I just couldn't bring him back
No, I just couldn't bring him back

I just can't seem to get it right today
Oh, I just can't seem to get it right today
I just can't seem to get it right today
I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh, I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh Lord I said I guess I'm gonna give up
Oh Lord I said I guess I'm gonna give up

Apr 5, 2008

Mom's B-Day!

Today (April 5) is my Mom's birthday. For her birthday, we got her a shirt, pants, socks, a Mike Wallace interviews book, and some cold hard cash. We got her a cake for her birthday, and Emily wanted her to get Hannah Montana on it, so we did! Later in the day, we had a 'movie night' and we all watched Gameplan and Enchanted!

Above are pics from the day's events. We got her trick candles, which is why you see all the SMOKE in some of the pics! Other pics are some random things I took pictures of, too. I felt like getting a little creative... LOL

Okay, I am about to get geeky... I warned ya... I have recently read at least three different articles in which the topic of discussion centered around 1st person shooter games. Each of the articles only mentioned "Doom" and made no mention of "Wolfenstein 3-D." Why is this a big deal? Because Wolf-3d (as it is affectionately known) is THE godfather of 1st person shooters. Okay, technically, something like "BattleZone" could be said to be the godfather of them all. But, as far as I am concerned, 1st person shooters did not (and I dare say WOULD not) be where they are today if it weren't for Wolf-3d. I remember walking through Sears and there was this kid playing Wolf 3d on one of their demo computers. The graphics were blocky (see above), but I was instantly hooked. Here were not wire frame characters on the screen, but actual figures, and they MOVED (plus talked, barked, etc)! This was AWESOME! Wolf-3d also helped bring the concept of "Shareware" into the mainstream computer world. You could try the software before you bought it.

So, why is "Doom" usually the "starting point" when discussing 1st person shooters? Because Doom did two things that Wolf-3d did not (or could not) do: environments with curved walls, and multiplayer action. Wolf-3d was very "graph-paper" like. You could go forward, backward, left and right. The walls were all laid out in grid fashion. In Doom, you could use the diagonal directions more fluidly, plus things were much more open and not so 'square.' Of course, multiplayer was the breakthrough key to it all. You could actually blast your friends away with your weapons of choice! I remember working for a university at the time we were debating going to a Windows NT environment or a Netware environment. The Netware folks came in and started talking about DOS networking, etc etc.... Not long into the discussion, the guy I worked with and I looked at each other, knowing we had just been given the secret to life: IPX networking. Before the end of the work day, we have networked shareware copies of Doom and were happily blasting each other away. That gave way, eventually, to Duke Nuke'em 3D with custom maps etc.

I give Doom all the props it deserves. But, I have a real problem with all these supposed "experts" in the computer gaming world who always refer only as far as back as "Doom." Like it or not, all 1st person shooters (with solid environments) owe their beginnings to Wolf-3d. I do not understand why writers don't give proper credit where it is due, just as I don't understand why more gamers aren't raising the same complaint as I am. Perhaps the fact is that no one really gives a rip. I do. I love the 1st person shooter (Wolf-3d, Doom, Duke3d, all the way up to Crysis, Battlefield, etc), and I think if someone is going to write about the genre and talk about its beginnings, the discussion needs to refer back to Wolf3d and not stop at the "good old days of Doom..."

Apr 2, 2008

Packing The Bags

Alrighty, boys and girls, let's see who is packing up and heading home on Idol tonight...

Michael - Safe - He was very good!
David A - Safe - Not surprised, but dawg I wish he'd go home.
Carly S - Safe - Very good!
David C - Safe - Excellent! He did great last night!
Ramiele - Bottom 3 - DUH, of course she is! She sucked last night.
Kristy - Bottom 3 - Well, she has been living there, so no surprise. The little note was very funny! She just as well put her name on the seat. :-)
Syesha - Safe - Wow, this was a mistake from last night, but overall, she is better than others on here...
Jason - Safe - He was great last night. Glad he made it.
Brooke - Bottom 3 - We weren't surprised....

The Bottom 3 are:
Ramiele, Kristy, and Brooke - Who gets to stay and who is shipping out?

Brooke is safe, and that is exactly right.

The girl packing her bags tonight is Ramiele. I am so glad Kristy made it through again, but the more she is in the bottom three, the better chance she has to get eliminated. I don't know what Kristy needs to do to step up her game, but I think she better figure it out quick!

Okay, I don't see the "Bogus Brothers" (or whatever that group was called) are going to take the charts "by storm..." Thank goodness for DVR.

"It's Tricky!" - Hey, now there's a SingStar song Shan and I are VERY familiar with!! ROTFL!! Great choice for a Ford song.

Dolly's new song, "Jesus and Gravity" was okay. I wish she had done "Better get to livin'" but hey, Dolly is all class and a classic, so no matter what she does, it's all good.

Let's go Tribe! Here we go Pens!

Sizemore drove in two runs on a bases-loaded single that served up as part of the 7-2 win over the White Sox! The Tribe are off to a good start, but I also know we have a LONG way to go...

In unrelated news, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Flyers and secured the Atlantic Division title! I watched the game live on NHL network. Awesome stuff!!

Pittsburgh is celebrating its 250th year of incorporation this year. The patch above is from the Penguins uniforms. I'm looking for a Pirates one and/or Steelers, if such things exist... Very cool!

Apr 1, 2008

Idol-ing Along...

American Idol

Ah, yes, nothing like starting the night with a dumb "April Fool's" joke. Of course, as soon as he started talking, I turned to Shan and said, "Yeah, yeah, April Fool's" and of course it was... Puh-Leaze...

Dolly Parton is tonight's mentor, so let's what the night has in store.

Singer ----- Shan --- Dave ---
Brooke ------- Y ------ ? ----
David C ------ Y ------ Y ----
Ramiele ------ N ------ N ----
Jason -------- Y ------ Y ----
Carly -------- Y ------ Y ----
David A ------ Y ------ Y ----
Kristy ------- Y ------ Y ----
Syesha ------- Y ------ Y ----
Michael ------ Y ------ Y ----

Brooke - "Jolene" - I heard a version of Jolene not long ago from a young singer and it was very good. I don't think Brooke's version was as good as the other singer's (I wish I could remember who she was). Not Brooke's strongest in my opinion... Shan gave her a YES even though she didn't like it that much, but says she has a good voice.

David Cook - "Little Sparrow" - Wow, I actually liked his version of the song. It actually had a cool rock ballad feel to it. I could see it playing on the radio for a while. Not a Number 1 or anything, but still decent.

Ramiele - "Do I ever cross your mind" - She started out okay, but she lost her voice in and out during the song. Shan said the music is bigger than Ramiele, and I agree. It's alomst like she turned her mic off and on while she was singing. I didn't like it.

Jason - "Travelin Through" - What the heck? It was actually GOOD... I must be getting sick or something. I loved his rendition of this song! He did a great job this week.

Carly - "Here you come again" - I like her voice, and Shan said, "She slowed it down even more than Dolly did." Which means it was a bit too slow, but overall, it was a very nice job. Too bad this isn't "Irish Idol."

David A - "Smoky Mountain Memories" - This was okay. I wasn't brought to tears, but I think he did well, and I think finally gave a glimpse of why he was picked for the show. I am not a fan, but I have to give him some respect for his job tonight.

Kristy - "Coat of many colors" - I think she did great up until the ending... What was that "yeah, yeah" thing? I liked her performance and thought the bare-feet look added to the 'message' of the song....

Syesha - "I will always love you" - Wow, talk about a big song. Let's see if she can top Dolly AND Whitney... It won't be easy. I think she did a good job, and had there never been a "Whitney" version, she'd have a hit on her hands. But, this was no better than the Whitney version, and really almost sounded the same to me, except maybe a key lower. Shan says "Yes, just for those last two notes."

Michael - "It's all wrong, but it's alright" - I like the bluesy tone to this song, and his voice works great with the music arrangement. He is shan's favorite of the night. I think this might be a cool studio song to have. Well done.

Pictures from Mom's "Early B-Day"

Here are some pictures that were taken during my Mom's "Early Birthday" this past weekend:

Emily made the cake and decorated it with anything she could find! (Aunt Carla helped her!)

Another shot of the "Confetti Cake"

A proud baker for sure!

Yes, Tyler is really THAT tall!!

Carla lights the candles...

Emily anxiously waits for Mimi to blow out the candles!

I think Mom is surprised at how FEW candles they put on the cake! LOL!!

Make a wish!!

Shan tried to turn away from the camera, but I was too fast for her!

This what happens when Shan tries to wrestle the camera away from me!

Carla and Emily get ready to serve up the cake!

I think Emily would rather keep this piece for herself. :-)

Google does April Fool's - Virgle

Virgin entertainment and Google team up to colonize Mars. April Fool's done only the way Google can - Big and Funny. Check it out: http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html