Previous month:
December 2008
Next month:
February 2009

16 posts from January 2009

Buried in my shit...

Okay, Comcast, you're really starting to piss me off.

Not your cable services so much. The quality's been fine and we've had little to no downtime on our service. Sure your pricing could use some help. I'm hoping this digital conversion will make that better because, ideally, we'll no longer need to pay extra for HD content since that will be the rule as opposed to the exception.

No, my problem is with your HD DVR. Oh it frustrates me so. And I think our two-year-long courtship may soon come to an end if we can wrangle a deal to our benefit.

You see, until we got our plasma TV and HD broadcasting, we were devoted TiVo users. However, HD broadcasting takes up four times as much space as regular programming on a TiVo and, since the HD TiVo was about $500 at the time, we settled for the Comcast variant. Small monthly fee and we don't have to buy it outright. Sounded ideal.

But the box is SLOW to react, difficult to program, catches all copies of a show even when I set it to "New Episodes Only," shuts off whenever it damn well feels like it, doesn't have a trash bin from which we can recover deleted programming, and doesn't have that cool few-second rewind that TiVo does after fastforwarding through a commercial break.

But the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back? It has begun to spontaneously delete programs off the box that we haven't yet watched. Last night, we got home and were going to watch the second part of The Last Templar (stop laughing) from Monday night, only to discover that it, along with the first four episodes of the second season of Damages, were all gone. There were others, too, but we can't remember what they were. And, to boot, there were five copies of the exact same episode of The Closer on there. AGAIN, we set that program to only catch new shows and this was one we had already recorded and watched and deleted. To make things even weirder, those four episodes were marked with times like 86, 32, 79, and 91 minutes even though the episode was only 60 minutes.

Tivo What gives, Comcast? Why is your product so inferior?

Well, guess what? We have an old TiVo that is due for service at Best Buy before the warranty expires (just found the paperwork) and, if we can make it happen, we hope to be able to swap it out and pay a little extra to upgrade to the HD TiVo that is now $200 less, hella more reliable, and will give us back our cute little TV dude. We miss him. Can he ever forgive our betrayal?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Well hell, Shiny does my blog better than I do.

He's calling it Plagiarism Week '09. I'm calling it a tryout. And he wins. My blog is yours, Shiny. Enjoy!

(bet he didn't see that one comin'.)


Always should be someone you really love...

Huzzah! Huzzah! Snippet Wednesday is nigh! Celebrate!

*crickets chirp*

Oh well.

Compatibility
Stupid Web site. Katie and I were trying to get her registered for a state teachers test for school and we were having the worst time with this particular registration site. Every link we clicked on returned a blank center column on the page. I was getting frustrated as hell and even switched browsers only to get the same results. It was then that Katie happened to notice that the up/down scroll bars kept changing size. All the central column contents were showing up below the sidebar nav menu. Somebody doesn't know his CSS that well. And they even claim it's optimized for Firefox 1.5+. Guess what? I'm running FF 3.0.5 and it didn't work worth a shit. Back to the drawing board, Stun Nut.

Blur
I don't know if this is a permanent deal or not, but it's been up on the iTunes Store for a couple weeks now... Blur, remember them? Well their Best of Blur, Vol. 1 is available for a mere $4.99 (iTunes link). By normal album standards, this is a fantastic deal. But what makes this great is it's not a normal album. It's freakin' 18 tracks! That's a double album by music industry standards. And it's still only $4.99.

Apocalyptic
I was reminded via a Tweet on my work account about how the Mayans supposedly predicted the end of the world would be coming on December 21, 2012. Of course, as with any prediction, you must take it with a grain of salt. However, considering that in Monday's edition of Pardon the Interruption on ESPN, Mike and Tony both agreed that under the team's new ownership the Chicago Cubs would definitely win a World Series by 2012, I'm thinking the Mayans might be on to something. "Dogs and cats living together! Cubs winning the World Series! Mass hysteria!"

ZoomPan
I recently discovered an application called GigaPan. It's a really cool software package that is used to stitch together very high resolution photographs into a panoramic image. Why is this any better than Photoshop? Because you can set zoom points for people to focus in on and provide captions. Then you post the whole thing on the Web. Here's an example from the Obama inauguration. Of course, it's not perfect. If you zoom in on photo 12 of Aretha Franklin, you'll see a ghost person who obviously didn't quite make the cut in the stitch. Pretty funny, really.

Hey, have a great rest of your week!


Working class hero...

I think one of my favorite things about smart phones as opposed to standard cell phones is actually one of the most basic features of them... the ability to store all kinds of information about your contacts and have it right there at your fingertips.

I love having people's names, phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, anniversaries, Web site addresses, etc., all right there.

But even better than this is when you don't actually know some of these details for people. For example, I have contact information for some of you, my fair readers, from having contacted you in the past for meet ups or just random chats. Or maybe I've mailed you something at one point in time or another. Whatever the case may be, I have some random tidbits about some of you on my phone.

And, since I don't necessarily have all the information I need to fill out your profiles on my BlackBerry, I get creative. Shall we check out a few examples?

Everybody's blog buddy ("blogdy"? "bluddy"?) Dave at Blogography is in there. I have a bunch of his personal information because, y'know, I'm in the first circle of Dave friend-dom. We have, after all, shared a Depeche Mode concert together. However, even though he's told me who he works for, I'll be damned if I can remember. So I have his employer listed as "Davetopia" and his job is officially "Monkey Trainer," although we all know there is no training Bad Monkey.

Adam (happy belated birthday, BTW) over at Avitable is another one I've met up with. Therefore, I have his phone number and the like. I also know what he does for a living and that he owns his company, but, again, I'll be damned if I can remember the name of it. So he's listed as "Owner & Miss Britt's Sugar Daddy" at "Avitable, Inc." Seems to work for me.

Our fair Hilly... now why the hell do I have her home address? Was it from my stalker days? Perhaps. Well anyway. She's in my phone as the "Queen" of the "People's Republic of Blogistan." It's true and we all hail her on a daily basis.

Karl at Secondhand Tryptophan is simply listed as "Paid Blogger... Bastard" whose paychecks are signed by "Famecrawler." Livin' the dream, man. Livin' the dream. 'nuff said.

I also just added details to Marty at Banal Leakage. He's now "Genius Amongst Mere Mortals" at "Renaissance Men, LLC." You'll see why below in the TUA.

But I need your help on some. I have a few other names you might recognize on my phone that need creative companies and job titles. Snark is welcome. Care to help? Here's the list:

  • Nilsa at SoMi
  • MochaMomma (yes, she's listed under her real name; Katie might start to wonder if she scrolled through my address book and saw "MochaMomma," don't you think?)
  • Tori at Radioactive Tori
  • Sizzle of Sizzle Says

Anybody else want to see themselves listed? Let me know.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I've been doing some research on what there is to do in Nashua, NH, when I'm there next week. Yeah, it's not so hypothetical as I let on. But I was waiting to make sure everything was booked. And now it is.

Well, there are places to shop and the downtown is said to be a really nice, quaint sort of downtown shopping district. Some places look kinda interesting and I might have to check them out. For example, there is a homebrew beer supply store. Maybe they offer lessons. Plus there is a camera supply shop and I also saw something about a comic shop.

But the shocker of it all is that I will be a mere hour or so from the Atlantic Ocean and just a little further than that from Maine, home of Maine Lobster (or so one might assume), and Nashua has only one seafood place that I could find listed on their tourism Web site. 

There are more seafood restaurants in pathetically landlocked Geneva, IL! In equally landlocked Naperville, IL, I can throw a stone in any direction and I'm pretty sure I'd hit a place that serves seafood.

What gives?

I guess it's a good thing I now have Gmail video chatting set up on both Katie's and my laptops. Because I'm sure I will be spending a lot of time talking to her. So long as I have a reliable WiFi connection. And I have Marty of Banal Leakage to thank for helping me set it all up. It works flawlessly and I get the feeling we'll be using it more often than we should.

But I just don't want to go all the way out to Nashua, N.H., and spend my free time in a shopping mall. If Nashua is anything like a lot of the small towns in Illinois, a lot of the little mom-n-pop shops may close by the time I get out of training.


Oh baby, it's cold outside...

So, say that hypothetically, I was going to be in Nashua, New Hampshire, on business starting late on February 3 and leaving very early in the morning on February 6. What would one do in that area for fun during the times I'm not working?

Nashuamap

Anybody out there know anything about Nashua? I don't.

There are catches: I won't have a rental car. I'm not sure what kind of public transportation I'll have available either. And I'm limited to post 5 p.m. time slots on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

Any ideas?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): We tried to open the backdoor for Lilly to just go to the bathroom in the backyard. Thought it would be easier. On both of us.

Turns out the backdoor is frozen shut. Won't budge a bit.

Katie's now pretending to bang on the doors and shout for help as though we're trapped in our own house.

Good thing we have no neighbors behind us. I'd hate to have to explain this one to the cops.


I ain't fakin', I ain't fakin' it...

On my Twitter account, I received two follow notices from people I didn't know. The first one was @FlashMobUK and I didn't think much about it. Then I received one from @nyflash and I started to become curious because of their naming similarities. What the heck is "Flash Mob"? I'd never heard of one.
 
So, like any good Webhead, I wikipedia'd it.
 
Basically, a flash mob is a large group of people that converge on a public place and do something that has no purpose being done there whatsoever. One of the more popular acts is a giant public pillow fight.

Holy crap! This sounds so dang cool! I want a Chicago Flash Mob! I think it'd be a blast to do something like a pillow fight or a spontaneous dance party or a lie-in on a rug in a store or clapping for no reason. Sure, it sounds stupid and pointless, but damn fun! Not the malicious stuff like a denial of service attack, of course. But the stuff that does no real harm and maybe makes people laugh or stare in wonderment.
 
I dunno about the breakdancing at the Sears Tower idea posited on flashmob.com. I think it would have to be something that almost everyone in a mob is capable of actually doing. I would hurt somebody. You've never seen me dance and you'll NEVER see me breakdance. You don't know the pain I could inflict. I'd be a human death spiral.

But I kinda like the idea of having a bunch of people converge on the flagship Apple Store in downtown Chicago. Have one person with a radio and video camera go up to the landing on the stairs and start playing the Ting Tings "Shut Up and Let Me Go" while everyone else breaks into an iPod commercial-reminiscent dance routine. That could be cool.
 
Anyone up for starting a Flash Mob in their city? What would you do?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Remember the other day when I mentioned the trouble I was having with that Andrew Bird CD download on iTunes? Well, it was finally resolved. The iTunes Store CSR who was helping me, Jamie (credit where credit's due), told me to just go ahead and order it via the Complete My Album function on the album's page and he'd take care of making sure I got everything I was supposed to receive. Then I got another e-mail from him apologizing for the inconvenience and thanking me for my patience.

Then he said he was refunding me the cost of the album for my troubles.

He didn't have to do that. Not at all. I'm just happy to have received timely help from a big company. Very timely help at that. But he insisted.

So, in a world where we tend to point out failures like they're going out of style (myself included), I'd like to instead dish out an EPIC WIN to Jamie and the crew at the iTunes Store. You all rock!

Itunesepicwin

Rudie can't fail...

Ladies and Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray tables to their upright and locked positions. We're about to enter Snippet Wednesday!

FAIL!
Now if ever there was an ultimate example of a corporate FAIL, I must argue on behalf of Spirit Airlines. You see, Spirit overbooked one of their flights out of NYC and moved some of the passengers to, you guessed it, the US Airways flight that splashed down in the Hudson River last week. Clearly, none of these passengers made it to their destination, which was North Carolina, so none of them used the return portions of their round-trip tickets. Spirit decided, in it's, er, infinite wisdom, to charge each of them a $90 cancellation fee. Sure, the decision has since been reversed, but even having initially asked for this has to constitute one helluvan epic fail.

Pledge
This is kinda cool. Starbucks Coffee has started a program they call Pledge5. You pledge to volunteer five hours in your community, and they give you a free tall coffee. Sure, that's not a lot that they're giving up, but it's still a pretty cool idea. Just a way to get people up and out there and helping to make the world a better, and more caffeinated, place.

Toys
Macbook I am an admitted Mac Whore. You all know it. But I would like to posit now that Katie has surpassed me in my Mac Whorishness. The evidence? We both have iPods and Shuffles and we both use the iMac, the PowerBook (even though it was purchased by me), and the soon-to-crap-out Airport Extreme base station. That all cancels out. Yes, I just got my 1TB Time Capsule, even though it will be used by both of us for backups. But Katie now has an iPhone and a brand spankin', and damn pretty, MacBook for school. We got her one of the aluminum ones and it's truly a sight to behold. I still don't get how Apple can make such beautiful and functional products and nobody else seems to get it. How is that possible?

Hey Marty, check it out, Apple does have an upgrade program on iLife!

Noble
A month or so ago, I preordered an album by Andrew Bird called Noble Beast. It was released yesterday and I have had nothing but issues with it. When I first received notice about it from iTunes, I went to preorder so I could get the Instant Grat Track, the free early download song from the album. However, when I visited the page for the album, I kept receiving an error that read "This album is no longer available" due to such and such change in the store. This kept going for a week before I was finally able to preorder and d/l the track. Now that it's available to d/l in its entirety, I'm receiving another odd error. I click the link and it's trying to tell me that I have a partial album purchase and that I need to take part in the Complete My Album program and pay the difference to get the rest. If I do this, I would lose out on any preorder only exclusives. So I e-mail iTunes help and explain, the guy contacts me back and says to go ahead and do the CMA and he will make sure it all works out. So I try again last night and now the album is completely unavailable yet again due to the same issues. I don't get it sometimes. Please fix. I need my Bird fix.

Well, I guess I do have the Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians five-disc Luminous Groove set to tide me over for now (library pick up).

Have a great first-full-day-of-Barack's-presidency, okay?


Never gonna give you up...

BarackObamaThe day is here and, despite my cynicism, I must admit that I am trying to be hopeful. I am willing myself to actually believe in a politician for once in my life and be open to new ideas.

I think my biggest reason for wanting to believe in President Obama is because so much of the rest of the world, outside the borders of the U.S., also believes in him. It's been a long time since the global community has had faith in us as a country, a helluva long time, and I hope it continues. I hope our relationship with the rest of the world improves. It needs to. Desperately.

To be honest, it's been a long time since I've had faith in us as a country. My faith needs to improve. Desperately. But I'm trying. I really am. And I hope this new administration is a step in the right direction.

Congratulations, President Obama. Welcome to the Oval Office.

Oh, and sorry if the title gave you an Astley-sized earworm.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Okay, not totally. It is all Obama related. But, all the cool kids are doing it, so I wanted to as well.


It all keeps adding up, I think I'm cracking up...

All animals have their quirks, right? Oh God, I hope they do or we apparently have psycho-dog on our hands. Okay, even if they don't have quirks, just tell me they do so I don't have to live in fear for my life the rest of the time that Lilly's with us, okay?

Anyway, now that you've all reassured my nerves (you did, right?), I'd like to share one of the many quirks that Lilly has. I'm sharing it because we finally captured it on video. You see Lilly likes to spaz out on occasion. I got a photo of it one time, but it's hard to really make out what happens based on a single still frame.

Spazzing

And yet it's hard to know when she'll go into a full-blown episode to be able to capture it on video. The only time we can guarantee it will happen is after she's taken a bath. So here's Lilly in all her post-bath glory. We hope you enjoy.


Lilly's Freak Out from Kevin Apgar on Vimeo.

And please forgive us the titling on the video. It's the first time either Katie or I have played with iMovie. I couldn't get it to work for the life of me (I could create titles, but iMovie refused to add them to my video on the iMac), but Katie got it to work on her new MacBook with a newer version of iMovie. I think she did a great job and I'm sure she'll only get better. It's just sad that I, with the media studies degree, can't figure the damn thing out. So she just may be my editor from here on out. We'll see.

Oh, and even though I've proclaimed my disgust with Green Day (oh god, how I love re-reading those comments on occasion; warms my cockles), even I've gotta admit that "Basketcase" is the perfect song to title this post.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I've been trying for nearly a year now to convince Katie to play. And she's staunchly refused. "No," she'll say. "I just don't want to. It just doesn't look fun."

How can Guitar Hero III on the Wii not be fun?

Well, something tipped the scales in my favor and finally drove her to want to play. It came in the form of a challenge from Kristy of Our News... All the Time who received Guitar Hero II for her Playstation II for Christmas. She and her husband, Graham, play a lot. Graham says he just can't quite grasp it but Kristy's glomming on like nobody's business. She'll play on medium and handily defeat Graham who's playing on easy.

I get the feeling this is going to turn into a tag team duel. I'll have to play the medium level (of which I've only played a little bit, but I rock all but one of the easy songs at a 93%+ rating) against Kristy while Katie tackles Graham at the easy setting.

I think we're going to have to spend the next several weeks with a hardcore diet of Guitar Hero III and deprive her of all other things. Oh, we may just have to. There is no way the kapgars are going down. No, no. Not to some Mommy Blogger and her hubby. ;-)

Oh it's on... it's on like Donkey Kong!


All my friends, got broken hearts...

Friends are an important thing; in some cases, the most important thing. And there are those moments when friends are absolutely necessary. Friends can be that support structure you need when times get really tough.

Lisa-225x300 I have a friend who needs that support structure right now as her life has just taken a very difficult turn. Many of you already know her. Her name is Lisa from over at Clusterfook. As you may also know, she's been battling cancer for many years and has watched it leave her body only to return again later. Last year, she began treatments yet again as the cancer made a third unwelcome appearance in her life.

The problem is that the treatments aren't working and her condition is rapidly deteriorating. Instead of continuing to go through the horrific pain that chemo is known to cause, she's opted for hospice care at home for her remaining time amongst us. She's made the brave and unenviable decision to spend the rest of her life on her terms surrounded by those she loves most, her family and friends, both in her immediate vicinity and online.

Lisa, I know we don't know each other that well. We really only met recently. But know that, in that short time, you've made an impact on my life that I won't soon forget. If you need anything, even just someone to talk to, let me know and I will do my level best to try to help.

As for the rest of you, please go over and drop her a line on her blog if you haven't already.


Stand up, stand up...

Katie and I did it, we signed up at our park district to use the indoor running track at the new workout facility. And, last night, we ran. Well, I guess it was more of a cross training regimen than anything. One lap of walking, two laps of running for about 1.75 miles total. I wanted to die. But, as someone else on the track said, it will get easier and, eventually, pay off. She did not specify how long "eventually" was.

However, one thing bugged me. This new facility where we ran is the second gym that the park district here in Geneva operates. Katie and I have been members at the first facility for about seven years and actually worked there as part-time employees for four. The old facility was very loose about the rules. People who were not members were allowed to use the locker rooms to change for classes that were being held in rooms other than the workout room. People going to baseball/softball games outside could go in there, too, to change and whatnot. We would even loan daily locks so people could lock up their belongings.

This new facility, however, has decided to crack the whip. Nobody, I repeat nobody, but paying members of the workout facility can use the locker rooms. Katie and I paid for the track, which is part of the workout facility, and even we don't qualify for locker room use.

I suppose I can understand not letting us use the lockers, but how about letting us changing in the damn locker room? We had to use bathrooms that have a single stall toilet to change and we had to put our stuff on those baby diaper-changing tables. Then we either had to leave our stuff out in the open along the side of the track or take it back to our cars.

It is freakin' cold outside and there is no way anybody, even for that short a distance, is going to leave all their belongings in their cars to come traipsing in through the sub-zero weather to workout. So, effectively, we have to leave all our crap alongside the track where anybody can pick through it while we're on the other side. Of course, there are plenty of signs everywhere declaring that the park district is not responsible for lost or "mistakenly taken" items.

The kicker of it all is that the old facility has not changed their rules at all to match up with the new facility.

Complete and utter BS.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I was involved in a PR-related Webinar the other day and was following along through the PDF of the presenter's slides (the online interface wasn't working for whatever reason). It was on about page 14 that I discovered the secret to truly powerful Webinars... a half-naked picture of Kendra Wilkinson of The Girls Next Door and Playboy fame. I kid you not. The slide showed her laying down topless on the beach.

Kendrawilkinson

Not everything was 100% visible, as you can see, but there was enough to, er, titillate the audience... pique our interest, as it were... make the viewers rise to attention...

Okay, I'll stop.

Yes, there was a point behind the use of the photo. And it was a point well made, lemme tell ya.

Now if only I could remember what it was.


Like the corners of my mind...

Yes, it's Streisand. Deal with it.

But, it's also Snippet Wednesday # ... Oh, who the hell knows anymore. It's just Snippet Wednesday, plain and tall.

Sushified
I love stories like this. Two thieves enter a sushi house in France with the intent of stealing their money. The cooks say, "aw hell nah," and come charging with knives. They kill one of the robbers and the other is in pretty serious condition. I applaud the cooks for taking matters into their own hands. Why should people allow themselves to be victims? Especially when they've got a veritable knife factory at their fingertips. I'm glad this happened outside the U.S. because, lord knows, our legal system would find for the surviving thief and the family of the dead thief and award them damages.

Djembe Visitor
I finally saw The Visitor last night. I had heard about this film a few months ago and had it on my Netflix queue, but removed it when I did a clean sweep recently. However, Sizzle Tweeted that she watched and loved it, so I threw it back on my queue and saw it last night. I'm so glad I did. In the simplest terms, it's about a widower college professor (Richard Jenkins) who has basically given up on life having any value. Then, when sent to NYC to present a paper at a conference, he returns to the spare apartment he's had for years only to find an illegal immigrant couple living there. He allows them to stay and he befriends the guy, Tarek, who teaches him to play the djembe (an African drum). He becomes very emotionally invested when Tarek is arrested by NYC's finest and faces deportation. It really was a touching movie and it was directed by Thomas McCarthy of The Station Agent fame (holy crap, he also costarred in Boston Public; Katie and I loved that show). Suffice it to say, if I'd seen it in time, it would've been on my Top Films of 2008 list.

Kuti
In addition to The Visitor being a good movie, it turned me on to the music of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician and composer who is almost more well known for his political activism. I've listened to so-called "world music" before, but I've never heard anything quite this charged and dynamic. I love it and can't wait to get some more (got a couple albums coming in from the library).

Flix'd
Do you ever go back and check out your rental history in Netflix (or Blockbuster or some other service) and just check out all you've seen? Sometimes it's pretty amazing. In many cases, it blows my mind to realize how long ago we watched something that really only feels like a few months past. Right now, though, if you have an account, check out what your first three movie rentals were. It's just a curiosity question... what were they? Ours were Roman Holiday, The Shop Around the Corner, and the original Ladykillers. We didn't know what to think of Netflix when we first signed up so we were only planning to use it to watch the classics. But then we started renting anything and everything and haven't even considered stepping foot in a Blockbuster since. It's been bliss. Except when we get bumped for discs. Still waiting on season one, disc one of both Damages and The Shield. Anytime, you guys.

Okay, that's all for this week. Bye bye.


Where do we go now...

Dear kapgar.com,

Last night, Katie asked me why I didn't post on you yesterday. I said I didn't have anything to say. Then I thought about it for a quick second and realized, holy hell, I hadn't said anything at all since Thursday. That's nearly a week of nonblogging and with no wifi-less vacation to blame for it, either. You could try to blame the dog. I've been walking her every morning when I usually spend time with you.

I guess I really can't explain or justify where I've been. I just haven't been, well, writing much at all. Not that I've been completely incommunicado, though.

I was on Twitter a lot more than in past weeks. I Tweeted the heck out of the Steelers/Chargers game. That was fun.

I've been on Facebook a lot more, too. I'm not talking high school/college kid levels of attendance, but still.

I finally offloaded a bunch more photos from my camera into iPhoto and put some of them on my Flickr account.

I've also been trying to figure out things on my Blackberry Bold. It's a fun phone and I'm really trying to make it work even without the MediaNet account (so far, so good).

I also discovered my latest addiction, Ninja Town on the DS. Holy crap is that game addictively fun. And those little ninja bastards are cute as hell, too.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not going anywhere, I've just been distracted. The somber mood I reported last week is gone, but it's been replaced by a need to keep severely busy. I do love you, kapgar.com, and that's why I've taken this time to write to you. To let you know I do care and to celebrate DeLurking Day by delurking on you, my own blog.

And even that happened a couple days late.

How sad am I?

Your pathetic Blogmaster,

Kevin


They call me Mimi...

Today is just a really somber day for me. Nothing that I can really talk about here. But I'm going to try to take my mind of things by doing some blogging. Actually some meme-ing.

Must be something about memes this new year. I've found three on various blogs I read and I want to steal them all. I was going to spread them out, but why not just get them all done in one fell swoop. Be happy they're not really long ones. I am.

Since they would make the homepage ridiculously long, I'm going to put them all in the extended post.

Updated (1/9/09): Changed answers to #86 and #89 in the Try Me meme.

Continue reading "They call me Mimi..." »


'Cause I'm free-ee-ee-bird, yeah...

Dang it! I got so caught up in my year-end best of lists that I forgot Snippet Wednesday again last week. Well, it's back... again... and I now have no reason to forget it... again...

Fit
I can't believe I actually found a Wii Fit! It was on the shelf at Target and I wasn't even sure it was actually the real deal until I asked an employee and he confirmed that it was the last one. So I went for my phone to see if Katie wanted it figuring I could grab it with her approval. Then I thought better of my ordering of actions and grabbed the Wii Fit off the shelf and then my phone. As I walked down the aisle, three other people saw me with it and rushed down to find one of their own. Sorry, I got the last one. Probably could've sold it for a profit. Hmmm... maybe I should have.

So, Wii Fit party at Kapgar's place?

Blackberry
I've discovered something, in order to make ANY of the applications work on a Blackberry, even those you download off the Web, you must have the MediaNet package through AT&T. I find this to be complete and utter bullshit. Why can't some of them work off wifi? Especially ones like Twitterberry or Blackberry Messenger? Oh well. Guess I'm not getting the full package with my phone for a while. Just how it's going to have to be since we're not getting a second data package for a phone. Costs too much. We were forced to get one for Katie's iPhone because you are required to do so, but I can live without for now.

10
Katie and I started watching 10 Items or Less on TBS last night. Not sure how well the show will hold up overall, but last night's episode, all about turkey bowling (a secret fantasy of mine), was hilarious. Does anybody else watch this show? Is it generally pretty good?

Dexter
Speaking of good. I started watching Dexter, season 3. I couldn't wait until the DVDs come out next year, so I've found alternate methods of viewing. I'm only through the first two episodes (think facing off with Freebo) and, if the rest of the season is as good as these two, this is gonna be a great season! Is it? Please say it is!

Soldiers
I'm not sure where I saw this on the Web, but I thought this picture was so well done, I wanted to feature it here and provide a link to the photographer, John W. DeFeo.

John_defeo800x250arev
click the image for a larger copy


Let me see what life is like on Jupiter and Mars...

I'm looking for a dog expert here.

I guess I'd even settle for a dog novice.

Just somebody who can explain to me the purpose behind the "marking your territory" phenomenon.

Why? Why do dogs do this and how exactly does it help them lay claim to a specific patch of land?

I've walked Lilly dozens upon dozens of times and have watched as she's stopped in mid stride, lifted a leg, and allowed a few small droplets of urine to fall out onto a specific spot. It could be grass, a garden, a sidewalk, a bush, rocks, a stray leaf, or some other dog's pile of poop.

Is it like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and sticking the U.S. flag in it? So the moon is now ours and anybody else that ever lands there needs to pay us rent like a game of Monopoly? Can we build a little green apartment for the little green men and charge more rent?

I've tried to make sense of her rationale. Why here? Why that rock?

I've got nothing.

But the most confounding thing to me is the occasional remarking of a spot on which she's already dribbled her yellow goodness.

If marking your territory is actually a dog's way to try and say to other animals, "hey squatter, that's mine!" then remarking makes no sense. I would think dogs, like humans, would want more and more territory and, to achieve this, they should mark new, unexplored areas, not the same old, same old. They should be striving for canine colonization, if you catch my meaning.

The only rationalization I can make for remarking is that dogs prefer Risk to Monopoly. By letting it flow multiple times on the same spot, when another dog challenges them for dominion, the one with the most pee wins. "Ha! I've got six droplets to your two! Move on or pay with your life, bitch!"

Am I just overthinking this?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I know I should be leaving for work right now. I need to get off my butt and go.

I just don't want to.

Make me.

Go!

Want sleep.

Need money.

Dammit. The almighty dollar won.

Adios.


What's your name (what's your name)...

In the last month, I've had four different cell phones and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can never rely on SIM cards to hold all the information you want to transfer from one phone to the next. They help, but they're far from perfect. Or maybe it's that the phones don't make use of the SIM cards to their fullest extent. Whatever the case may be...

As of this past Tuesday, I'm on a BlackBerry Bold and I'm trying to get all my contact information up to date. However, I didn't realize until after I blanked out my old BlackBerry that I lost several of the secondary phone numbers I had attributed to names in my directory (I haven't found BB software that works on my Mac yet so I didn't get around to backing it all up to my computer; not that I've really looked as I'm still new to this whole thing and am still just trying to make the phone work, period) so I lost some phone numbers for people.

The problem arises when you receive what seem like random calls and texts and you no longer have names attributed to them.

Yesterday, I received a text message from a number that looked familiar but I couldn't quite pin down. It simply said "Happy New Year!" Katie and I sat there trying to figure out who it was. We couldn't. So I called the number and went straight to voicemail. Unfortunately, as many people are wont to do anymore, the outgoing message simply said, "I'm not here, leave a message." Oh yeah, that really helps.

Katie: So was the voice male or female?

Me: Female.

Katie: Reeeeeallllly? So some strange woman is leaving my husband random text messages on his phone?

Me: It would seem that way.

Katie: Now I really want to know who it is.


So, um, while I know Katie was ultimately joking and all, if you happened to text me yesterday from a west suburban Chicago area code with a prefix of 415, please let me know and tell me how innocent your message was intended to be.

Please.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Katie and I went to my parents for dinner last night and we somehow got on the topic of dogs and microchip tracking systems. As you know, Katie and I are dogsitting Lilly again. My mom decided we should have a little fun and so we texted the following message to my brother...

"Out of curiosity, does Lilly have a microchip in her at all?"

Cruel?