Saturday, 22 February 2003: If you read yesterday's entry, then you have probably put 2 and 2 together to realize that I spent my morning having my tire patched and put back on my truck. Luckily, it really doesn't cost a whole heckuva lot. But, it's just the principle of the whole thing. I don't want to have to pay to have tires fixed as often as Katie and I have been needing to the last couple of years. When will all the madness end?
Friday, 21 February 2003: I dunno what it is with Katie and me. Maybe it happens to everybody and we just don't notice. But, today, after having a pretty nice evening to ourselves, we went over to Jared's to pick up Katie's ring that I bought her and she had resized. As we pulled into the lot, I heard a big bang under my truck like something hitting my muffler. So, I got out in the lot and heard the telltale hissing of a rapidly flattening tire. Yeah joy. Our next move was to go to Target (in the next plaza) to pick up some Fix-A-Flat which did absolutely nothing to help us out.
I reluctantly decided that I had to put on my spare tire. However, since the flat was so far along, I couldn't get the jack under the "ideal" jackpoint of my chassis. So I jacked the truck up enough to get the flat tire off but it wasn't enough to get the good tire on. How did I resolve the situation? By getting the good tire on just enough to support the weight of my truck. Then Katie put her foot against the tire to help hold it in place and I quickly lowered the jack and put it under the "ideal" spot and rejacked the truck. Now, it was finally high enough to get the tire on properly.
With all the repositioning and the normal struggle that people have with lugnuts (the lugnut wrench that comes with my truck sucks so Katie found me a good one at Target), we finally finished the whole process about an hour later. What a wonderful end to an otherwise fun day.
Now the official tally is at five flat tires in just about a year and a half. Katie: 3, Kevin: 2. Hey hey, I'm catching up. I'm just happy I have a truck with a full-size spare tire.
Thursday, 20 February 2003: Move over Vader, Maul, and Sidious, here comes the new Sith Lord... Darth Gar. You see, I have gone completely over to the dark side. I watched Survivor: The Amazon last night marking the first full episode that I have seen of this show. And the verdict? Yes, I enjoyed it. Dammitalltohell. I can now understand why it's all so addicting. I now know why every Friday after the airing of a new episode, my coworkers Stevie and Eric would be yelling back and forth to each other about the show. After last week's episode (which I actually saw the Tribal Council sequence from), Eric said that this is easily the best Survivor yet so I figured I'd give it a shot this week. It's pretty damned cool. Men vs. Women. How can you not want to watch that? The thing I find the funniest, though, is that all these participants harbor such antiquated "this gender is better than that gender" illusions. I thought, as a society, we'd at least started to move past gender superiority issues already (aside from pay scale equity, that is). Apparently I was wrong. Some of these guys are talking like they still drag their significant others around by their hair. Barefooted and loin clothed as well. Pretty sad. But it makes for regular viewing, that's for sure.
Wednesday, 19 February 2003: If you haven't done so already, I would highly recommend that you go out and get farked. Please, do not take immediate offense at what I just said. "Getting farked" refers to becoming a registered user over at fark.com. This site consists of links to unintentionally (okay, some are intentional) funny news and information links around the web. People submit these links to fark and come up with witty headlines to accompany them on the webpage. Also, you will find Photoshop contests where someone submits a photo and everyone is allowed to go to town on it using some kind of photo editor and post their work in the comments section where registered users can vote for their favorites.
Yesterday, I finally entered my first Photoshop contest with a picture of a frozen over sapling tree. I took the liberty of turning it into a plaything for Michael Jackson. The voting results, thus far, are pretty positive for my "work of art." I'm in 11th place with about 42 votes as of this morning at 8 a.m. Well over 70 photoshopped pix have been voted on thus far, so I'm happy with my placement considering this is my first attempt. If you would like to vote on this contest, go over to fark.com and join their ranks. Then scroll down the homepage to yesterday's (Feb. 18) listings and look for the entry entitled "Photoshop this poor little tree in Drew's yard" (about 13 down). If you click on the number in parentheses to the right of the title, you will be taken to the area where you can view everyone's images and place your votes. Just remember, you must be a registered farker to vote.
No, I'm not shamelessly soliciting votes. Hell, hardly enough of you read this page religiously enough to really affect the vote. I'm mentioning it because there are some great entries that just crack me up like a spoof of a Shel Silverstein book and several good Charlie Brown samples as well as a great reference to the movie The Christmas Story.
To create this image, I had to cut away all the background from the original tree image and flip it upside down. Then I found the MJ pic on Google's image search engine. I had to paste the tree on top of Mikey and then make a copy of his left leg (right from our perspective) and paste it on top of the tree in the correct spot. Then I had to cut away from the tree on Mikey's left (our right) hand so it looked like his fingers were wrapped around it (I did the same with the other hand as well). I also had to move his right (our left) arm down because it was too high up in the air for it to reasonably appear to be grabbing the tree. So, not only did I pivot his forearm at the elbow, but I pivoted his hand at the wrist. I wish I still had a copy of the original MJ pic so you could see how it looked. The scream on his face was just too perfect... true pleasure derived from extreme pain. When you want great facial expressions, there are few better celebs to go to than Michael Jackson (okay, include Jim Carrey on that list).
Now that you've been sufficiently warned...
I gotta say that I was about ready to rename the show Schmo Millionaire. Katie and I, and it seems Zora as well, felt that he was going to pick Sarah over Zora. His speech to Zora had the perfect amount of suspense to keep viewers glued throughout despite his unceasing "beating around the bush." I swear, when he said that he chose Zora, Katie and I both jumped a little in surprise because we were convinced up to that point that he wasn't going to choose her. Thank God he made the right choice. Sarah was in it for the money, despite what she said to him. I love those little "asides" that she has with Melissa because that's when you get to see the real Sarah. I would love to hear what Evan's reactions are to watching the show in its entirety and seeing the girls behind the scenes. I'm hoping that's what we get next week with the reunion episode. For those who don't know, next week's final episode will be the first time that Zora and Evan get to see each other since the show finished taping.
What was also cool was about this "finale" was that Zora got even with Evan by giving her own little misguided acceptance speech. I wasn't sure if she was going to say yes or not. However, her speech wasn't quite as extreme as his was. Once she started speaking a little more positively about him, you knew she was going to say yes. But, with Evan, he just kinda dropped the "I choose you" like a bomb in the middle of what could otherwise be construed as a negative outlook on the situation. It makes me wonder if both of their speeches were prewritten by someone on the crew of the show. This someone went in and wrote positive and negative speeches for both girls to be delivered by Evan pending his decision as well as pos/neg speeches for each girl to deliver to him pending her decision. They just seemed to be too perfect, didn't they? Just the right amount of suspense and misdirection with the ultimate happy ending. Things that make you go hmmm...
Finally, was it just me, or was Fox playing Zora up as the next coming of Mother Teresa? Geez, could she be portrayed as any more of a saint? I will admit that she has done a lot with her life and she should be commended for it (hell, she's done more for others than any ten Americans combined), but to frame a still image of her face with flowers is going a bit overboard, don't you think?
Monday, 17 February 2003: Ah, to be able to start the week by adding yet another victim to the "Darwinism Missed Me" files. There are few greater things. But, combine that with the chance to board my soapbox and you have the makings of a great Monday morning.
Today's honor goes to Pennsylvania State Representative Steve Barrar who is a Republican from Delaware County right outside Philly (thank you to Fark for turning me on to this article). He is attempting to introduce a resolution this month that would order the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to prohibit state stores from carrying and selling wine/booze from, where else, France. Why? Because of France's lack of support of the U.S.'s desire to go to war against Iraq.
Here are some actual quotes from Barrar (his quotes are in italics and my commentary follows each one)...
"I am tired of America always being there for the French through the 60 years of the Cold War, and with billions of dollars in aid... We had thousands of Americans on their beaches at Normandy during World War II, and they still don't respect us."
Well, it's not that we were really trying to help France, per se, in World War II. If Italy or Spain had been the best bet for a beach landing, we would've done it there. We were just trying to stop the spread of Nazism and the French beaches were the best place to spearhead the effort. Not that the French really had much say in this decision nor did they really actively seek out our help saying "please start the attack here, the wine season's coming up soon!" Fighting the Cold War was also a primarily-U.S. led war on another competing political ideology - Communism. Yes, there were many other countries involved and it was for the betterment of the world, supposedly (even though Russia's economy has gone to hell as a result). Yes, we may have helped the French, but you could argue that this was just helping even the score for them being our primary ally when we wanted independence from Great Britain in the late 1700s.
"By not supporting us now, this is the last straw. Something needs to be done, and what better way than to hit them in their pockets?"
Okay, so maybe it would hurt them considering Pennsylvania has the largest standing order for French liquor of any of the 50 states (what this says about Pennsylvanian sobriety is a whole other issue). But, people will just order direct from the Internet or from some liquor store elsewhere in the States or abroad. Ah, the Web is a beautiful thing, isn't it?
This rationale is a bit akin to Prohibition-era thought. Did passing laws really stop people from drinking in the 1920s and 30s? No. Do laws prohibiting the purchase and possession of automatic weapons stop people from being killed by them? No. Has the war on drugs stopped people from toking up or snorting a line? Again, no. Soon, Pennsylvania will just have one heckuva big black market in French alcohol. Ah, what the hell? Go for it, Barrar. This could be fun.
Finally, the creme de la creme...
"I even said to my kids I'm not buying french fries, I'm so mad at the French."
Yes, he really did say this. Do I really need to say anything about this one? This comment alone is worthy of the award. Barrar may have been able to get some people to stand behind him on his resolution until he said this. All this quote does is show how ridiculous his entire proposition is.
I'm sorry, but this whole thing is ludicrous. What's next? Banning German beer and wienerschnitzel? Not allowing Russian vodka and Internet/mail-order brides to enter the country? Forbidding Turkey from exporting... well... whatever it is Turkey exports? France isn't the only country against us in this. Just the most outspoken.
Here's a link to the entire article as it appeared on PennLive.com.
To Steve Barrar... get your head out of your ass. You are really looking like a complete and utter dipshit right now.
Oh, and my congratulations, your award is in the mail. *cough* bullshit *cough*
Sunday, 16 February 2003: Happy Birthday, Hon. And don't let her try to tell you all that she's 24 or 25 as she's apt to do. She's neither. So use your imagination.
And, no, she's still not better. So, still no dinner tonight, but we did still head downtown for a showing of "The Guys" at the Lake Shore Theater. Pretty good, two-person show about a fire captain working with a writer to develop eulogies for eight members of his ladder company that were killed in the 9/11 felling of the WTC Towers. True story, too. Pretty compelling. A bit depressing, but how can you exactly make light of what happened? You can't and that's just it. It was definitely well acted though and I would recommend it if it comes to a theater near you.