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16 posts from April 2009

Oh-oh-oh-oh-operator...

"Mom, do you ever get that, er, not-so-fresh feeling?"

"Yes dear. Every Snippet Wednesday."

Swing
I'm up at bat. The guy in front of me in the lineup just belted an in-the-park homerun. I have to keep up the momentum. If I strike out, the side is retired. I hate being the one to end an inning. It sucks. I've done it before, but I don't want to do it again. The first pitch drops way short of the plate. Ball 1. The second pitch is sailing right where I like it. I can feel this one. I know it's going to fly the second I make contact. I pick up my shoulders a little bit and start to lift my lead foot. The bat begins its movement through the air. I can visualize exactly where in the air the bat and ball will make contact. A split second from now and... my alarm goes off. Dammit.

Miles
Well, that's one athletic fantasy that went bust, but my running has improved. After getting severely worse. A few weeks ago, I reported to a few people that my lazy ass had hit the mile and a quarter mark running on a treadmill. I did that a few times in a row and I had set a goal of keeping a certain distance for three runs before increasing it. I went in to begin the fourth run after that distance milestone, but all I could do was a mile. Three times I did only a mile, and then I had one really bad day where I could only get a mile done by running it in two half-mile spurts. I was starting to get bummed out. As I'm wont to do when exercising, I started feeling the desire to give up and began to use the elliptical machine instead. Then it hit me, I was trying to go too fast. Slow it down. Live the old "slow and steady wins the race" maxim, after all, I'm not actually in a race. So I dropped my speed a bit last Thursday. Not too much, but apparently enough for my body to feel the difference. I was back up to a mile and a quarter last Thursday, mile and a half on Friday, mile and three quarters on Monday, and I hit two miles yesterday! This is the first time I've run two nonstop miles in five-odd years. Dude, this is nice! Eventually I'll pick the speed back up, but I need to condition my body to get used to the physicality of running first. Then I think it will all fall into place.

Chuck
[Only very minor spoilers for people who haven't seen the finale of Chuck yet]
"Guys... I know Kung-Fu." Okay, I loved the finale of Chuck on Monday night. Whether this is just the season finale or the series finale remains to be seen. It is a bubble show right now. But Katie and I enjoy the hell out of it and would love to see it return. C'mon NBC, make it happen.

Vienna
Sorry if the title of this post gave you an earworm of Falconian proportions, but that song came up on shuffle on my iPod while at work yesterday and made me very happy. It has been stuck in my head ever since. Even this morning, after waking up, it was the first thing signaling that my brain was indeed awake. Hey, there are far worse songs to have stuck in your head than Falco's "Vienna Calling."

Filthy
I've been tracking some of the responses to this outbreak of Swine Flu (which has now supposedly made its way to the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago) on the Web and I came across a site from a health department in Wisconsin that had a picture of a big ol' sow right on the page. I began to feel sorry for the poor guy and, for some reason, Vincent and Jule's debate about swine from Pulp Fiction popped in my head. I don't know if anybody else out there has already done it or not, but I became inspired and created the following. Miramax, please don't sue me. It's all in fun. Really.

Swine Fiction


Hey, I'm not the only one having a little fun with Swine Flu.

Okay, time for work.


Shame that everyone's the same...

I swore I had written about this in the past, but I have trouble coming up with the keywords when I try to search for old posts, so I'm going to assume I haven't mentioned this and start this post under that assumption.

My wife has a cousin named Lauren. They've always been really close despite the more than 10 years of difference in age.

A couple months ago while we were working out at the gym, we both looked over at one of the treadmills and saw her... Lauren... only it wasn't Lauren... it was someone who looked EXACTLY like Lauren.

When I say "exactly like," I mean just that. Same height, same build, same facial structure, same hair color, same hair cut, same look on the face. Katie was almost tempted to go up to her and ask and make sure it wasn't her. And it wasn't just a fluke that she happened to look like Lauren on that particular day, we've seen her several times since then and it never ceases to floor us how doppelgangerish the similarities are. Katie was also almost tempted to take a picture of her using her iPhone (yes, phones aren't supposed to be used in the gym, but when it's also her iPod, she doesn't have a choice) and send it to her cousin to freak her out a bit.

I've taken to calling her "Clone Cousin."

We still haven't spoken to her, but I'm sure she's felt our eyes watching her in amazement.

Last night, though, we were leaving the gym and the attendants leave the IDs out on the counter so, in case they're away from the desk, people who didn't have a locker can just grab their card and go. Great primer toward identity theft, I'm sure. Anyway, the Clone Cousin's ID was out on the counter and guess what? Her name is Lauren, too.

C'mon. Seriously, what are the odds of that? This is just getting creepier and creepier.

Singularly the greatest marketing idea ever... Trojan2Go... two condoms in a card-sized sealed case that fits in your wallet like a credit card. A little thicker, of course, but still and all the same. I saw these at the register at a Walgreen's last night. Brilliant.

With all the movies and TV shows featuring guys carrying condoms in their wallets that have aged to brittleness from lack of use, I'm shocked that this sort of thing wasn't developed sooner.

Trojan2Go


Zo-om-bie, zo-om-bie, zo-om-bie-ee-ee...

I was talking to a neighbor of mine recently and she related a story that happened to her a few weeks back.

She was at an extended family wedding reception with her longtime boyfriend when a table of 20-something guys called her over. They were mostly friends of her daughter and were pretty toasted by this time.

20 somethings: "Hey Mrs. X! Come have a shot with us!"

Mrs. X: "Okay."

Takes shot.

One of the 20 somethings: "By the way, Mrs. X, we named you the MILF of the Year!"

Mrs. X: "Ummm... okay. Thanks!"

Walks back to her boyfriend's side.

Mrs. X: "Those guys just called me the MILF of the Year... What's a MILF?"

And her boyfriend busted out laughing uncontrollably. Upon finally composing himself, he told her what it meant.

Mrs. X: "Should I be offended or honored?"

Not-quite-Mr. X: "I get to go home with you. Be honored. I am."

I love it.

These blogger awards just keep getting weirder and weirder. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm not honored to receive them. But I seriously think the creators should be given some sort of complimentary psychiatric evaluation.

ZombiechickenawardNow it's the Zombie Chicken Award, which I received from Sybil Law. It's pretty cool sounding, but, it seems that they now follow up the demand that you pass on the award to others with specific details about how you will pay if you do not. Before, the threat was a bit more passive. Sort of a "do it or else." Now, though, you know what to expect! Zombie Chicken Wrath? Hells no! I'm passing this baby on!

Rules of the Zombie Chicken:
The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the Zombie Chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…

Here's who will pay in my stead.

Hilly of Snackiepoo - I've always loved her blog and I'm sure I've given her awards in the past. Hell I've probably given her every award in the book. And, even though I try to spread out the love a bit, I've gotta do it again considering what's been going on for her lately. She's taking an incredibly brave turn and giving her life a redo of sorts. How can you not admire someone like that? I know I do.

LeSombre - I'm still relatively new to his blog, but I have a lot of fun reading his site. He's got a fantastic sense of humor and loves not only poking fun at others, but receiving the barbs back.

Faiqa of Native Born - The lovely Faiqa bequeathed unto me the You're a Great Buddy award back in February and I'm finally able to return the favor. She is a fantastic writer and one helluva good part-time cohost over on the AvitaBritt Radio Show. I recommend checking her out (the blog, that is).

Ren of Renagerie - Also a relatively new read and a great one, too. Perhaps I will eventually get off my ass and use his own macro photo contests as motivation to get back into my Mystery Photo Contest. I know SJ would love it.

Shiny at Shiny's Takeout - He's the king. Need I say more? I didn't think so. So why do I keep going? I dunno. Must stop. Just. Stop. NOW!

Okay, time for eats!


Bee girl, be a girl...

Nasonex_bee Ahhhh, zee spring allergy seezohn is upohn us. Zee flowerz and treez are blooming and zee pollen is free flowing. As an allergy sufferohr, make sure to dose up on your medicashuns to protect yourself from... SNIPPET WEDNESDAY.

(Pretty soon I'm going to run dry on creative ways to intro these posts.)

Mode
I am so happy I didn't buy into the iTunes Pass that was offered for $18.99 a couple months back that gave customers a progressive download of content from Depeche Mode leading up to the release of their new album, Sounds of the Universe, yesterday. From what I've heard from Kevin Spencer, it doesn't seem to have proven worth it. Combine that with the current offer from the Amazon MP3 store to buy the nuts & bolts album for $3.99 (not sure how long this link or offer is good) and I'm really glad I didn't get the Pass.

Kama
At least my spammers are considerate of my time and keep their marketing thematic.

Kamapenis

Meme
Oh, Marie's going to get it. She tagged me in a meme. And one that makes me work, at that. Damn her!

Here are the rules:

  • Take a picture of yourself right now.
  • No primping or preparing.
  • Just snap a picture.
  • Post the picture onto your blog.
  • Tag some people to play along.

Okay, here's my contribution to the meme. You must keep in mind that primping and preening don't happen for me, so what you see is what you get, regardless. I also don't tag. So play along if you'd like.

Scary morning me

And, Marie? I will get you, my pretty.

Gym
Funny how "cool" kids try to be. At the gym yesterday was this woman I'll call "O" (it's her initial and not a reference to the, er, novel, okay?) and she's there nearly every day. She's probably in her late 30s or early 40s and in really good shape and a lot of the divorced guys at our gym fumble over themselves to be her "friend." What was funny about yesterday was seeing a high school kid trying to impress her. He couldn't have been any older than about 17 and had the build of a cross country runner. But I watched from one of the weight machines as he headed back to the free weight alcove where she was working out, stopped in front of it, puffed out his chest, and then sauntered in. Considering the only two people back there were O and a guy in his mid 50s, I think it was pretty obvious who he was trying to impress. Kid, she's more than double your age and could kick your ass from here to Chicago and back before you even realized what was happening to you. Give it up.

Okay, I'm off to work.


I'm the hitman, stand aside...

Here's the situation, you are a self-made billionaire. You have a ridiculously happy and fulfilling life... loving wife, adoring kids, nice house, people willing to go to the ends of the Earth to help you, friends, etc.

However, at work you've made a mistake. A big mistake. Doesn't matter what for the sake of this example, but you've done it. You can fix it, though, if you just had a little time and no outside interruption. Make everything all hunky dory again.

The problem arises in that there is one person and only one person who knows about your mistake. And this person is threatening to talk to all the wrong people. If this person does what they are threatening, you would lose it all... the family, the friends, the house, the company... everything. Your life would be thrown under a microscope and every sordid detail would come to the forefront. Your family would be ridiculed by those around them as though what you did was somehow their fault and all their dirty laundry would come out as well. They would be at the receiving end of endless questions from the media and flashglare from paparazzi. You would be penniless. Your company would fold leaving hundreds of people jobless in an economy where they would have difficulty finding new employment to say the very least.

But you are offered an opportunity to make it all go away. One phone call, one word, and a lump sum of cash that you can handily afford. You don't need to know who, where, when, or how. You will only know that it will happen and you will never hear from this person again. And the media would never pick up on it because this person is such a nobody at this point that they are indistinguishable from all the millions of rabble that walk the street daily.

Do you do it? And think carefully about the consequences not just for you, but for all those around you before you just say "no."

Sorry about that. Katie and I have started watching Damages. Made me wonder.

How about something a little lighter?

WillemdafoeOne of my favorite things to do during the morning and afternoon commute to and from work is to look in the rear-view mirror of the car ahead of me and see if I can tell much about the person in the car based on what little I see in the mirror. The rear-view mirror offers such a limited image of a person that it's kinda fun to see if I can mentally construct how they look. Of course, if the angle allows, I will also take into account what I can see in their side mirror as well. A pseudo composite image, if you will.

Yesterday, I was following a girl in a Toyota on the way home and, in her rear-view mirror, she actually looked kinda cute.

So I snuck a peak at her side mirror to see what else there was to see. And... she looked like... Willem Dafoe.

All I could think was, "Oh Christ (no pun intended), I hope one of these mirrors is seriously messed up or I'm just really freakin' tired."

Nothing against Dafoe. He's a damn good actor.


Now we become part of it...

Sorry blogging hasn't been much of a priority lately. I guess when you have nothing to say, well, blogging gets a bit tough. Know what I mean? I do have some stuff to last me the next couple days, though, so that's good, right?

Katie and I had some fun on Saturday. The first part of the day was spent with Katie getting some shopping done while I spent a couple hours at a cemetery. Not your idea of fun? Well it was for me. First off, it was my friend Mike's 35th birthday, so I stopped by to say hi to him and ran into his dad again. So we talked for a while as we cleaned up the area around Mike's marker. Then, after he left, I wandered the cemetery and took photos. There were some beautiful stones and little tribute trinkets left at several that were just great and heartbreaking all at the same time. The pictures are below in a Pictobrowser (or you can see the album on Flickr).

Then we headed down to the city to meet up with her brother, Scott, and his girlfriend, Becca. We did go down primarily for the Rocco DeLuca concert. But we started in and around Millennium Park and got some more photos (again, you can click through to Flickr if you prefer).

After this, it was off to the show. I don't really think we can fairly call them Rocco DeLuca and the Burden anymore because, as my buddy Brad warned me, it was just Rocco and his drummer performing. We thought it was for the purpose of a stripped-down show. However, after talking to Paul Doucette, the opening performer (of The Break and Repair Method and Matchbox Twenty), as he was wandering around in the crowd, we found out there was a big band rift and the drummer was the only guy to survive the cuts. I guess when your name is the name of the band, you can fire whoever you want and still keep the name. Katie preferred to refer to him as "Unburdened," though. Made me laugh.

Rocco put on a good show despite only being a two-man crew. However, his sound tech really needs to work on the feedback issue and someone needs to teach Rocco about moderation with his sustain pedal. Woah.

Breakandrepairmethod Let's get back to Paul Doucette, though. The opening act officially was billed as The Break and Repair Method, however, as Paul explained to the audience, it's a recession and he couldn't afford to bring the rest of the band. So he performed several new songs he had written and limited himself to just that which he could sing and play either on acoustic guitar or keyboard. He was damn good. To think he is the drummer for Matchbox Twenty and can do all this as well? That's talent. And, as often happens when we go to small shows like this, Katie and I bought his CD. If there's one thing we've discovered about small shows, the opening acts tend to be great. More often than not, we've enjoyed the opening acts more than the headliners... Amos Lee opened for Norah Jones, Ollabelle for Diana Krall, Sara Bareilles and The Last Goodnight for Rocco a couple times, Paul Doucette for Rocco this time. These headliners gotta be careful.

I think Katie best described the Break and Repair Method CD as sounding inspired by Ben Folds Five. Heavy on the piano, which we both like, with some good vocal work. Sure Paul's voice isn't quite as smooth and radio ready as Ben, in fact it's much rougher, but we like it a lot and are enjoying this CD. So, yanno, if you're interested, check out Milk the Bee on iTunes

Katie told me about this last week and I never got around to blogging about it. Some guy in Russia went to his doctor to have what they all thought was a cancer-related tumor removed.

Imagine their surprise when they opened him up to find a five centimeter spruce tree growing inside his lung.

I think those people who walk around wearing breathing masks might be on to something.


The sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps in a coil...

Unlike a lot of couples, Katie and I have a pretty cool thing that we like to do. Every Sunday during the football season, we watch the Bears game together.

Yes... together. She likes the Bears as much as I do and we enjoy our Sundays watching the games. I just love knowing I have a wife who not only is willing to do this with me, but actually enjoys it, too.

Most guys I know get together with "the guys" to watch the game. Not me. I watch da Bears with Katie.

Why am I mentioning this now? At the beginning of the baseball season? Because she and I came to a sad realization on Wednesday after looking at the Bears schedule for the upcoming season... we're not going to be able to watch football together this season.

Y'see, Katie is about to finish her MATC program (teaching certification). Her final semester is this fall and she's going to be student teaching five days a week, eight hours or more per day. The problem is that she doesn't get paid for student teaching and, as much as we'd like to have her concentrate on nothing but that, the reality of the world is that we still need at least part of her income. Yeah, she'll be cutting back severely on the hours at her job, but she will still be working. And that work will likely come mostly on weekends. During Bears season.

That sucks. I'm going to miss watching football with her. Dammit.

Facebook has this feature on every user's homepage called "Suggestions." This feature searches aspects of your profile and your friend list and makes suggestions as to other people you might know and want to be friends with.

Sure, I have found several people I know using Suggestions. But it's gone a bit overboard lately. Now, just because I went to Northern Illinois University, it suggests EVERY FREAKING USER who graduated from NIU. That school's been around for nearly 115 years. The same goes for my high school, which has been around for almost 35 years. I don't need them all suggested to me. C'mon Facebook, gimme a break.

They've also started suggesting pages I might want to become a fan of. The Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, Chicago, Chicago IL (yes, they have two fan pages), and the following...

Sleeping

This one just takes the cake. Sure, I like sleeping, but do I really need to celebrate my love of it on Facebook?


A pirate's life for me...

Batten down the hatches, mateys, thar be pirates in the open seas. This particular swashbuckler go by the name of Snippet Wednesday.

Rocco
I can't believe that I actually forgot that Katie and I are supposed to be going to a Rocco DeLuca and the Burden concert this weekend. Not that I completely forgot about the concert, just the date. I actually thought it was going to happen in May for whatever reason. But it's not. Good thing I e-mailed Scott to find out when it was. His response... "Saturday." Me... "This Saturday??"

Bears
I know we're only a couple weeks into baseball season, but I'm already dying for football season. Hell, I've been dying for football season since the second week of February. Can you tell I like football? Well, I guess the NFL sensed my anxiety and released the schedules for the 2009 season. Here's the Bears list o' targets...

  • Week 1: Sun, Sept. 13 at Green Bay Packers, NBC, 7:20 p.m.
  • Week 2: Sun, Sept. 20 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, CBS, 3:15 p.m.
  • Week 3: Sun, Sept. 27 at Seattle Seahawks, FOX, 3:05 p.m.
  • Week 4: Sun, Oct. 4 vs. Detroit Lions, FOX, noon
  • Week 5: Bye Week
  • Week 6: Sun, Oct. 18 at Atlanta Falcons, NBC, 7:20 p.m.
  • Week 7: Sun, Oct. 25 at Cincinnati Bengals, FOX, noon
  • Week 8: Sun, Nov. 1 vs. Cleveland Browns, CBS, noon
  • Week 9: Sun, Nov. 8 vs. Arizona Cardinals, FOX, noon
  • Week 10: Thu, Nov. 12 at San Francisco 49ers, NFLN, 7:20 p.m.
  • Week 11: Sun, Nov. 22 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, NBC, 7:20 p.m.
  • Week 12: Sun, Nov. 29 at Minnesota Vikings, FOX, noon
  • Week 13: Sun, Dec. 6 vs. St. Louis Rams, FOX, noon
  • Week 14: Sun, Dec. 13 vs. Green Bay Packers, FOX, noon
  • Week 15: Sun, Dec. 20 at Baltimore Ravens, FOX, noon
  • Week 16: Mon, Dec. 28 vs. Minnesota Vikings, ESPN, 7:20 p.m.
  • Week 17: Sun, Jan. 3 at Detroit Lions, FOX, noon

I do not like that the 49ers game is only available on the NFL Network, but I do love that we play the Steelers for our home opener. My two favorite teams. But, sorry Steel City... GO BEARS!

Heavy
United Airlines has announced that they may start implementing a double charge for people who purchase tickets but cannot fit in the seat in which they are assigned or if they cannot lower the armrests or cannot fasten the seatbelt with a single extender. I am just in shock. Seriously in shock. I guess I can understand the reasoning that if a person needs two seats, the company needs to recoup the costs somehow. But damn, this is just plain cold blooded.

Delayhoya36
Oscar De La Hoya has finally retired from professional boxing. This is something that has been a long time coming to sports fans. People have been saying he's needed to retire for years now. But he just kept powering through the fights. Now he's retired after what has seemed like an eternity of a career. The kicker? He's only 36. He's two years older than me. I don't get that. I swore he was like 30 when I was a teenager. WTF??

Music
I know I was attempting to keep my sidebar clean with this redesign, but I decided to add back in the button ads for the free stuff you can download from iTunes. No, I'm not gaining any money from these buttons whatsoever. Just a service to you if you are looking for free music or videos. If you have iTunes, just click them. Seriously. I triple dog dare you.

Photos
My friend Eric just sent me a zip file with a bunch of photos he offloaded from his camera phone recently. A bunch are from our old place of work. Mind you, he hasn't worked there since early 2004, so these are old. But some are just damn funny reminders of the "old days." I'm hoping he loads the whole group to his Flickr or Facebook accounts. But, while we wait, here's one of him and me that cracks me up.

1541649539


We don't need another hero...

Happy Easter everyone!

I guess Katie and I can now eat sweets again. But, you know what? The concept just isn't appealing to me anymore. We did do well through our 47ish days. I say 47 because, if you look at a calendar, it actually started that long ago. Apparently Catholics take Sundays off from their Lent promises. I never knew that. But we kept going through those Sundays anyway.

We did lapse twice. Once was when my parents took us out for Katie's birthday dinner and we split a piece of cake. The funny thing was, it didn't taste like some great sweet revelation. It was just... cake. The same thing happened last weekend. We had some cake at Katie's parents' house and it did nothing for me. We did try a couple of our chocolate strawberries this morning from our favorite chocolatier in Geneva and it's just not the same anymore. I also had some jelly beans this morning and I've got a stomach ache now.

Have I lost the taste for chocolate and processed sugar? Is that even possible?

I think dieting just got that much simpler.

Katie and I went out to GameStop last night to buy an extra guitar for Guitar Hero on the Wii. I wanted to be able to play side by side with her just to make it more fun.

I started pricing them at GameStop and they had this cheap-o, off-brand guitar that looked like crap for $30. I couldn't see myself paying for something that looked like it was going to fall apart the same day, so I asked about the official guitar controllers. They were $60, without the game.

Then I saw a brand-new Guitar Hero: Aerosmith game on the shelf with the Aerosmith-branded guitar controller. It was marked down to $50.

So, instead of paying $60 for just a controller, I pay $10 less and get a controller and a game. True, it's a game I didn't enjoy that much, so I'll probably trade it back to them for another $15 in credit thus bringing my overall spending down to $35. 

Who was doing the thinking behind this one? Not that I'm complaining, but seriously.


If we took a holiday...

Happy Good Friday.

Yes, it's Good Friday and I'm at work.

I know many people take days like Good Friday off. Or, in many cases, they have the day off whether they asked for it or not.

At my job, it's not a mandated holiday. Instead we get a few "flexible holidays" throughout the year to account for some of those days that not everybody necessarily wants off. So, if someone does want Good Friday off, they can do so easily.

Me? I love working the holidays. To steal a line from Tony the Tiger, "they're gr-r-r-r-r-reat!"

Why? Two reasons:

  1. So many people do take these days off, so the office is practically empty by comparison to many other, normal days. I get so much work done due to a lack of interruptions, it's ridiculous.

  2. As pointed out by Dawg this morning (I thought it was Dawg anyway, but now I can't find the post anywhere... am I going nuts here? I swore he blogged about his commute into Manhattan being easy peasey this morning. WTF?), commute times are fantastic. I trimmed 15 minutes off my commute time this morning because no one, I repeat no one, was on the road.

So, yeah, sign me up for holidays and that week between Christmas and New Year's when someone needs to cover the office. I love 'em!

Today was the final day of voting for my new baseball team to root for this season. When it comes to new teams, the #1 vote getter was the St. Louis Cardinals with #2 being the Tampa Bay Rays. A bunch of others came in with a single vote each with my favorite single-team vote rationale coming from Le Sombre.

However, it you were to look at pure votes for any team, the top choice was to stick it out with the Cubs. I got all sorts of crap from some people for it. Some of the comments were kind reminders that I should be true to my team. Others... not so kind. I do feel kinda bad, though, as it does come off sounding like I now hate the Cubs. But this is not the case at all. I'm just bored by them. It's not exciting to watch them play. I do want them to do well. I do want them to win the World Series. Honestly. I hope they prove my lack of faith wrong and show me up. But, in my heart of hearts, I don't see this being the case. That's why I was looking for a different team to root for. Not a new favorite team, per se, just some other team that is exciting and fun and can reinvigorate my love of the game.

And now that I re-read my post, I realize that I never actually said I would pick the top vote earner, did I? Does that mean I can pick any of the nominated teams? It would certainly seem that way.

So, you know what? I'm defecting leagues here and jumping back to the American League that for so long held my love. I'm going with Le Sombre's suggestion and rooting for the Twins this season. And it works nicely with my Harmon Killebrew bat and the fact that I've always been a Kirby Puckett fan (the player; his personal life in the final few years, not so much). So, fuck yeah. Go Minnesota!

Twins_logo

Oh yeah, and I already have the hat.


Hit me baby one more time...

If I receive one more e-mail from somebody in which the entire message is contained within the subject line and there is nothing in the body of the e-mail at all, I'm going to SCREAM BLOODY FREAKIN' HELL!

I don't know why I can't stand that, but I just can't. I hate it. I HATE IT. IHATEIT!

I think the next time I receive one, after I scream, I'm going to send a message back with a three paragraph diatribe all in the subject line. Or maybe I'll just Lorem Ipsum the hell out of them. Fuck 'em.

Okay, soapbox dismounted

Not all of you are going to like this, but our dodgeball team got their shirts last night. A friend of mine who is a graphic designer and screenprinter was helping to design them based on a logo suggestion and team name that all came from our captain.

Yeah, we've been playing together for three seasons now and have never had a team shirt.

We do now. And it's a fun one. If you've got a sense of humor. The girls on our team like it. The shirt, that is.

Dodgeballlogo-sm


But hey, there's actually a team in our league called the "Money Shots" and their shirt has a naked Ron Jeremy on it. So, really, which is worse?


Is there life on Mars...

Ladies and gentlemen, please keep your hands inside the car at all times and for the love of God, do not stand up until the end of the ride when directed by one of our employees. Now have a safe ride on the Snippet Wednesday Tilt-a-Whirl!

Mars
LifeOnMars I didn't want to write anything about the U.S. Life on Mars series finale until I'd really had a chance to gather my thoughts. And, after watching it twice (with a third one forthcoming, I'm sure), I feel I now can. As controversial an ending as I'm sure it was for the true fans, I gotta admit the writers did a pretty fine job with it, IMHO. Sure, it doesn't answer whether Sam stays in 1973 or returns to 2008 as most people would've liked, but it ties together all the little clues and oddball details that Sam collects while in 1973 very nicely. A majority of the characters and events are explained and so are names and places and that little robot probe he keeps running into. And, honestly people, how can you expect them to just pick if Sam returns to 2008 or stays in 1973? If you pick one, half the audience will be unhappy; and if you pick the other, you alienate the other half. The simplest solution is to not pick. Besides, I couldn't decide even for myself which time I would've rather seen him in so this ending works nicely. If you were a hater of the finale, give it another shot with an open mind. It's pretty decent. I will be buying the DVDs when they come out on September 29 and I'm even debating the UK version when those DVDs come out on July 28 (I've heard it's far superior to the US version and considering how much I love the US version, this must be damn good). But I am sad that I will no longer have my weekly Sam and Annie fix. I love seeing Gretchen Mol on TV.

Lovin'
There's just something both cute and twisted about this story. I know animals in captivity need love, too, but how do you explain to your family, when asked how your day at work went, that you sat there playing matchmaker to a polar bear?

Music
Now that the Time Capsule is completely set up, I've finally gotten around to raiding my collection of CD and DVD music backups and putting them back on my computer. I'd forgotten how much I've missed a lot of this music. Let's see, I've added back into iTunes albums from Björk, Velvet Underground, The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., Sage Francis, Iron & Wine, The Pogues, MC5, The Black Keys, The Arcade Fire, Uncle Tupelo, Patti Smith, Los Lobos, Loretta Lynn, Leonard Cohen, some Smashing Pumpkins, the White Stripes, Nick Lowe, The Hives, Chris Isaak, Dave Pirner, Gary Jules, The Kinks, The Smiths, The New York Dolls, David Bowie, Evanescence, Doves, Clinic, Cheap Trick, Rage Against the Machine, Mr. Lif, Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, ELO, and some R.E.M. Yeah, I've got a ton to listen to. Nearly 10 GB of music with which to reacquaint myself.

Phone
Say you and another person (AP) share a common friend (CF). If AP were to ask you for CF's phone number, would you share it? Sure you both know CF, but isn't a phone number kind of a sacred thing? I had this happen to me today and I felt awkward giving out CF's number so I didn't. I actually texted her and asked if it was okay. Too much? How do you handle this sort of thing?

Okay, time for yoga.


Wherever you go, I'll be with you...

Kanecountysheriff I got a little creeped out this morning on the commute to work. I was driving behind one of those armored conversion vans used by the local sheriff's office for prisoner transport. It wasn't the first time I've followed one, but this was different.

Inside the rear door windows, I could see the metal divider walls intended to keep the prisoners away from the exterior doors. In these dividers were one-foot diameter round porthole windows through which I could see all the way to the driver in the front seat.

All of a sudden, I saw a shadow fill the left porthole. As I looked closer and the shadow cleared up a bit through the murky windows, I realized that it was the silhouette of a human head and it was looking at me. I hoped it was just a guard until I saw the glow of a hunter orange jumpsuit around the shoulder and shirt collar. 

He just kept looking at me.

I was disturbed to say the least. And I did everything I could to get the hell out of that lane. I just kept thinking Cyrus the Virus was plotting to get me.

This is a bit of a fun little rant against online service developers who try to dictate how their services are used. More specifically, it's about Twitter and Facebook developers forcing changes on their users because it's not how "they envisioned" their products being used.

To be honest, some of what these developers are railing against does bug me like Autofollow applications on Twitter. However, I'm mixed about this post overall. The writer says that it's not up to the developers to say how their product should be used and, to some degree, I can understand that. Especially if it wasn't made clear upon launch how the product should be used. On the other hand, it was created by these developers, so why can't they determine how it should or should not be used and make changes down the line? It's basically just software versioning, right?

Something like Twitter was such a novel service that people really made of it what they wanted. And the developers of Twitter seemed fine with it so long as their product was gaining exposure. A ton of third-party programmers came up with complementary products and services and the developers at Twitter never bothered to stop them. And yet now, a year or two after their launch, they are coming out and saying that it wasn't how they thought their product should be used. Why now?

Am I just overthinking this?


Bring me to life...

If you've read my blog over the course of several years, you'd know that I'm hot again/cold again when it comes to baseball. Sometimes I love it and, other times, not so much.

Yesterday, I was staring at the baseball memorabilia in my office, which includes a battered Harmon Killebrew baseball bat that I love passionately, and I realized something... it's not baseball I'm feeling apathetic about, it's the Cubs. I'm supposed to be a fan of the Chicago Cubs, but, to be honest, they really haven't given me, or anybody, much to cheer about in a very long time. I don't feel any joy thinking about rooting for them at all. In fact I'm dreading the constant drone of "Cubs blow the lead" and "Cubs couldn't make the deal" and any other negative news report about the Cubs that will most assuredly come out this season like it does every season.

But I still love the game of baseball. Its history, the way its played, the sounds, the smells (am I sounding like Ray Liotta in Field of Dreams yet?). I've come to the conclusion that it's the fault of Cubs fandom that I'm feeling this way. Oddly, Katie, who's been a fan longer than me, feels the same way. And I aim to do something about it. But I need your help.

Help me get excited about baseball again by picking a team for me to root for this season. Yes you! Pick a team for me to follow. I'm serious about this.

There are rules, though.

  1. It must be a team in the MLB (Major League Baseball) as I need to be able to get swag easily.
  2. No Cubs for the reasons listed above.
  3. No Yankees because I used to be a fan of them and can't see myself doing so again.
  4. No Braves. There's just not enough money in the world.

I will be posting this here, Facebook, and Twitter (make sure to @reply me on Twitter so I see it). Each of you can feel free to vote once in each place. And it might help to give me a reason why I should root for your team, too. Use whatever rationale you feel works for you to choose my new team. It can be because you are a fan or they are local to you or you just like the logo or a player on the team. I don't care. Oh and feel free to tell friends to vote too. The more input, the more fun this could be. I will also buy a hat that I will wear all season long (when the situation warrants, of course) as my primary head attire just to try to make it more real.

So pick me a new team and revive my love! Voting will remain open until next Friday, April 10.

Make me your team's bitch!

Okay, I gotta get back to Battlestar.


Where a kid can be a kid...

Just about two miles up the street from where I live is a Chuck E. Cheese pizza joint. I used to visit these and Showbiz Pizzas a few times here and there as a kid. They were fun.

For a couple years now, Katie and I have talked about going back just for kicks, but never have. No real reason for this decision from what I can tell, we just haven't.

Apparently we're missing out! Some employee of our Chuck E. Cheese just got busted for serving alcohol to a minor.

Since when did Chuck E. Cheese start serving liquor?? If I had only known!

Can you imagine how much fun Whack-A-Mole would be after a half dozen tequila shots? Or Skee-Ball while hopped up on Jägerbombs?

And if this Chuck E. Cheese is serving to the underage, I'm thinking you may really not want your kids anywhere near the ball pit.

Woo nelly!

Chucke_cheese

What is the area called on the reverse side of your arm from your elbow?

The elbow pit? The ante-elbow? I dunno.

Whatever it's called in anatomy circles, I have a problem with my right one. There's this one spot on my, oh what the hell, ante-elbow that constantly gets what I think is either a zit or some other dermal malady. It stays there for about a week and then goes away on it's own. Nothing I do will get rid of it on my own terms.

So why is it a big deal? Because when I wear short sleeve shirts, it shows and makes me fear that people are going to look at it as though it's my heroin needle stickpoint. I'm sure it's just paranoia on my part, but that's what it looks like.

Thankfully there's nothing there resembling a trackmark. How would I explain that one?


The price of gas keeps on rising...

It's weird, but you would think that a snippet or bullet post would be easier than a regular post. But these last two weeks have been difficult finding stuff to fill in the holes for Snippet Wednesdays. To think I'd have to take a break to recharge from what should be a gimme day of blogging is kinda unnerving. I shall power forward.

Lost
No, not the TV show. Actually, it's a reference to the fact that I'm pretty certain I've lost some weight! Why just "pretty certain"? Because I don't weigh myself, too arbitrary a means of measuring success when getting in shape, IMHO. I prefer to measure based on how my clothes fit and how much of a workout I can continuously do and not die. I'm pretty certain I've lost weight, though, because I was able to tighten my belt one more notch without sucking in my gut. I've never been on this belt notch before. I'm finally giving the nearly worn-out hole a bit of a break (wow, that really sounds bad if you have no context). Oh and I'm up to one mile of running consecutively. May not sound like much, but it's a big deal for me. And I've kept it up for the last two times I've gone running. Woo hoo!

Fridge
Dammit, why won't our fridge close anymore? It used to be that anytime the door was open, it would automatically swing itself shut. Now it swings to within an inch of being shut but won't finish the job. And there's nothing in the way obstructing it at all. Stupid fridge. Yeah, I just got up after that last snippet to close it... again.

KoalafartsGas
Y'know? I've always been kinda curious. Now I know. Plus, it's a cool T-shirt. I want one. Just for the reaction.

Effects
While I was at the gym last night, I saw the strangest commercial regarding a lawsuit against the company that makes a drug called Requip. The drug is meant to abate tremors caused by Parkinson's Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. However, the side effects of the drug are what is at issue in this suit. I thought I'd heard about nearly every potential side effect out there... constipation, dry mouth, difficulty sleeping, irritability, et al. But the one at issue here takes the cake... compulsive gambling. Apparently there is a big problem with people who take Requip becoming compulsive gamblers. I think I just solved the world's economic woes. The government just needs to spike water supplies with Requip and what little remains of our hard-earned cash will be cycled back into the economy via excessive gambling! It's brilliant! Move over, Tim Geithner! There's a new treasury secretary in town! And he's got a plan that will work!

Fools
Happy April Fool's Day. Yeah, I got nothin' this year. Sorry to disappoint. Actually I did think of something last October I was going to do for April Fool's Day, but I have since forgotten it. I knew I should've typed it up as a draft post. Dammit.