4 posts from November 2004

Oldies: Sunday, November 21 - Saturday, November 27, 2004...

Thursday, 25 November 2004: This post will be a little early so you all can read it before you chow down on turkey and stuffing.

Have a happy tryptophan-laced holiday. Just keep a pillow near your seat so you can crash after you eat.

Wednesday, 24 November 2004: Well, the shameless self promotion continues for Oprah Winfrey. She just gave away something like $15,000 worth of goods to each audience member as part of her "Oprah's Favorite Things" segment. This time, the gifts included TVs, washers, dryers, laptop computers, and so much more given to a group of teachers. Not that teachers don't deserve it. I'm glad she chose teachers to reward. I love the education field and respect teachers entirely. But this is just another example of Oprah trying to salvage her ratings by spending freely on the audience and not doing what a daytime talkshow host should do, which is talk about issues and interview guests.

In my honest opinion, buying your ratings is absolutely abhorrent.

Tuesday, 23 November 2004: Maybe it's just me, but I find it kinda funny to look in the "Recent Updates" box and see two movies listed with the titles After the Sunset and Before Sunset. And even weirder to think that the two films are not related in any way whatsoever.

Okay, just my weird sense of humor, apparently.

Monday, 22 November 2004: We are now a few months in to the new TV season (with some minor exceptions) and I feel now is a pretty good time to give a review of the shows Katie and I have been watching thus far.

Simpsons: I don't know how, but this show is still funny going in to its 16th season.

Malcolm in the Middle: It has improved markedly since last season. It seems to be returning to its old dysfunctional ways.

Arrested Development: While, admittedly, only three episodes have aired so far this season, it hasn't been nearly as impressive as it was last season. I can't quite explain it, but the vibe just isn't there.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Has improved a lot since last year. The notoriety is there with the show so many more people are willing to help out the crew as needed and it makes for even more impressive transformations than last season. Plus, so far, they haven't strayed too far from the original cast. Trading Spaces is dead.

Desperate Housewives: In all honesty, I wasn't really too sure I wanted to watch this based solely on the previews and teasers that ABC aired leading up to the debut episode. But I'm glad I tuned in. This is such a horribly guilty pleasure. I can't turn it off, nor do I want to.

Crossing Jordan: Yep, this one is dead. Katie and I have pretty much given up on it.

7th Heaven: Katie still watches it despite admitting that it has been very subpar for the last three or four seasons.

Two and a Half Men: It still cracks us both up to no end. The cast is still good and the kid who plays Jake is becoming more natural in his acting.

CSI: Miami: Still my favorite of the CSI bunch even with the killing off of "Speed." And is it just me or did the creators find the twin of the guy who plays Greg in the Vegas version to take Speed's place? Very similar looking actors.

The Biggest Loser: Yes, Katie and I have been tuning in to this latest in an unending string of reality shows. Can't explain why. We just do. Car wreck TV at its best.

Scrubs: It's still great. I love it. 'Nuff said.

NYPD Blue: Some new casting changes have been interesting. Not sure what I think yet of the two new regulars. But I was surprised with how good the Bobby Simone dream sequence was a couple weeks back.

Lost: This rookie drama is in a close tie with Housewives to be my favorite new show. I was leaning more towards Housewives for a little bit, but then the focus moved from the "monster" and more to just sheer survival and it's much better as a result. It's not too late to tune in.

CSI: NY: This show is very painfully slow. The pace is a far cry from the other two CSI installments. But I will continue to give it the benefit of the doubt if only because it has Gary Sinise in it.

Survivor: I think the show peaked with the All Stars edition last season. Now, I just cannot relate to anyone nor do I have any desire to do so. Katie and I stopped watching a little over a month ago.

Joey: Not nearly as good as the critics were hyping it to be in the preseason. But it has its moments. Fewer and further between than Friends, but we're still giving it the benefit of the doubt. Just so long as they keep Joey's manager (Jennifer Coolidge) out of the storylines, I'm happy. So we'll see.

Will and Grace: Honestly, I could care less about this show anymore. Too much of the same old/same old.

The O.C.: Although it's only a few episodes in, the writers need to give it a shot in the arm. This past episode with Seth (Adam Brody) working at a music club was painfully labored and not particularly interesting. But it's still early.

CSI: Still watchable by all standards. But it feels like this show gets the hand-me-down scripts from Miami. And why aren't they pushing forward with this whole Catherine/Warrick bit? They allude to something between them in the storm drain episode, but nothing since that time.

Without a Trace: A show that has very much come into its own. Very well cast, well scripted, and well acted. Probably Katie's favorite drama on the tube right now.

ER: Another one I'm ready to give up on. I think as soon as Noah Wyle exits, Katie and I will follow suit.

8 Simple Rules: I really dig on James Garner on this show and he has done a great job of filling in the necessary testosterone quota on the show. While not as good as when John Ritter was on, it has done a very remarkable job of carrying on without him.

Complete Savages: Well, we figured we may as well tape this as well since it runs back-to-back on Fridays with Rules. Not particularly good by any stretch of the imagination. But it has its moments. I miss Married to the Kellys.

Well, that's what we're watching. Cannot guarantee what will survive the rest of the season. We will see. But I am looking forward to 24 starting up in January. Jack's back!

Sunday, 21 November 2004: Happy anniversary to my parents.

Short, sweet, to the point.

Oldies: Sunday, November 14 - Saturday, November 20, 2004...

Friday, 19 November 2004: Holy crap! The world must be coming to an end! I finally finished a new book and can replace the recommended book in the Read Me box on the right. It's about damn time, too. I'm sick to death of the old Clubland cover graphic.

Okay, the book I read wasn't exceptionally spectacular, but it's good enough that I can finally pull the old book from the box. Yay. Happy day.

Wednesday, 17 November 2004: My sleep pattern is still completely out of whack. I haven't been able to sleep past 5 or 5:30 at all since I was opening the gym last week. This sucks. I just want to crash, and crash hard. Help.

Monday, 15 November 2004: There's one question I've just gotta ask, if Bush is such a great President and is doing so much good work for this country, then why have six out of 13 of his cabinet members resigned since his re-election? Just a point to ponder.

Sunday, 14 November 2004: I am driving Katie absolutely insane right now. I woke up this morning with Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" on my mind for absolutely no reason whatsoever. It's been months since I've heard the song. Alas, this morning I woke up singing "Too high to get over (yea yea); too low to get under (yea yea); you're stuck in the middle (yea yea); and the pain is thunder."

Of course, now Katie has that song stuck in her head as well. And she's cursing my existence for setting that particular earworm loose.

Could be worse, I suppose.

Oldies: Sunday, November 7 - Saturday, November 13, 2004...

Saturday, 13 November 2004: I am so flippin' exhausted right now. I actually opened the gym the last couple of days. That means up at 4:30 in the morning so I can have the doors open there at 5:30. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts right now. I don't know how I'm going to recover from this one. My entire sleep pattern is shot to hell.

Where's my bottle of NyQuil?

Thursday, 11 November 2004: I'm in a weird mood today. And weird moods beget odd posts on this site as you all well know. So I'd like to ask you all a question that has been bugging me today. Just don't e-mail me asking why I'm pondering this question. Just accept that I am. Here goes...

If the only way to save a person who has become a half vampire is by killing the head vampire, then why don't vampire sects incorporate themselves so that the next in charge can easily move up to the head vampire role in the organization? Hear me out.

Think about the problems that could be avoided.

  • A new head vampire comes in after being named previously by the current head vampire (CEO and president). This underling (or current VP) would already be well trained in what needs to be done thus making the transition that much easier.
  • There is now an incentive program in place for all other underling vampires to want to distinguish themselves within the organization... the promise of promotion and possibly running the whole clan someday.
  • Wouldn't it be easier to charm your prey if you're wearing an Armani suit and have a snazzy business card? Think Patrick Bateman with fangs.
  • No underling vampires would ever have to die as a result of some potentially stupid move made by the CEO that risks his life. The CEO dies, everyone else just moves up a notch in the corporate structure.
  • No half vampires could ever be lost to humanity thus assuring the organization of lifelong corporate loyalty.
  • It would be so much easier to hide your questionable actions underneath a corporate veil. Just look at Enron. Yes, they were caught, but they were stupid. Play it smart, and you'll glide to victory.
  • If multiple sects incorporate, annual conferences can be held to share hunting and feeding techniques, discuss cultural and regional employment differences, network, etc.
  • Corporate mergers would be a good thing and you'll never have to worry about Congress trying to apply antitrust laws to the situation... Senators are typically lushes, so their blood will go down like a nice Merlot.
  • If incorporated, these sects could seek outside funding to make their jobs that much easier. If you can have the company pay for your transportation, think about how much energy you save by not having to transform into a bat and fly yourself to your victim's location. Fly there first class and rent a hot sports car. Travel in style, baby. Save that energy so you can hunt a bit more. Or use it to protect yourself from a stake-wielding lynch mob.
  • Lastly, since corporations have limited liability, if one vampire in the sect does something stupid, the remainder of the vampires cannot be held accountable for these actions by any amount more than their initial investment in the corporation. In this lawsuit-happy world, this is a definite bonus.

Bruce Springsteen's "Murder Incorporated" can now be looked at in a whole new light, can't it?

I think I've got the workings of a good Hollywood script here.

I told you I was in a weird mood.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004: I was listening to the news this morning and they brought up the topic of religious groups and how they now, after supporting Bush through his campaign, are expecting him to pay up by helping push through their personal social agenda for the U.S.

Now, is anyone else out there, aside from me, scared by this prospect? I'm not saying that Bush is likely to do this. Don't take this as a Bush attack as it is not. It is an attack against religious conservativism (is that a word?). I suddenly have visions of the religious right pushing for a Roe v. Wade overthrow, a ban on gay marriage including a Constitutional amendment, an outright ban on abortion, prayer reintroduced in schools, and the FCC running even more amok than they already have been since "Nipplegate."

What ever happened to separation of church and state, huh?

I see scary religious people in power...

Sunday, 7 November 2004: And we follow up our movie extravaganza with our first official Enron Day! Woo hoo! Today was the day that we broke out the shredders and just had a field day on a bunch of old, out-of-date, or otherwise unnecessary paperwork. Heck, we started to get into such a groove that we almost considered shredding the Sunday Tribune just for kicks.

We started with an old shredder that we've had a few years. However, after an hour of straight service, it burned out. That's when we broke out the heavy-duty mofo that my parents picked up for us. Despite having to turn it off at occasional intervals to let it rest, it did its duty.

And apparently, we weren't the only ones cleaning house as the pair of dumpsters at our apartment complex were full by the end of the day despite being emptied just this past Friday. That's a lot of crap. 

Oldies: Sunday, October 31 - Saturday, November 6, 2004...

Saturday, 6 November 2004: This weekend has proven to be a lot of fun for Katie and me. For the first time in God-only-knows how long, we had a movie extravaganza. Yep, it feels like we've been spending more time in theaters than out of them. And, the shocking thing is that all three movies that we've seen have all been really good.

If you have the time, we both recommend The Incredibles (it's a Pixar so it's a natch for a recommendation), The Polar Express, and After the Sunset. We enjoyed them all.

Thursday, 4 November 2004: I don't see too much potential for Patriot Act conflict from this one as it wasn't designed by me nor is it even a U.S. publication. God bless the Daily Mirror. You gotta love this cover...

Wednesday, 3 November 2004: Well, I hope all you Junior Bushies are happy. He won. I'm sure you're all just jumping up and down in your Underoos.

I can say this much, at least John Kerry was noble in his concession speech to Dubya. Plus, I can say that Barack Obama won the Senate seat here in Illinois which will hopefully send that carpetbagging SOB, Alan Keyes, back "home" to Maryland. As Jon Stewart said last night in his coverage of the election on "The Daily Show", Illinois has made the right choice by electing Obama overwhelmingly. But this still means that nearly 20% of the people in Illinois sit around wearing tin foil hats and diapers. That made me laugh to no end.

Oh, and being the creative sort that I am, I created a post-election lawn sign for all of my fellow Kerry-ites who are in mourning...

On second thought...

I was going to post it here, but you never know what will happen with a Bush-run FBI and CIA. I'd rather play it safe. You never know what new codicil will be added to the Patriot Act next (the Patriot Act frightens me — I see guilty un-American people).

Wanna see it? Email me.

Tuesday, 2 November 2004: Did you all vote? You better have. I did. Gotta keep Keyes as far away from the Senate as possible.

So far, the counts claim that the youth vote is exactly the same this year as it was four years ago. So much for energizing the younguns out there. I'm really and truly disgusted by the fact that so many young people don't vote. Why? Why are they so apathetic? Registration is easy. Voting is even easier. And you can't say that your vote doesn't matter. In 2000, it mattered. So far today, it definitely matters.

Sunday, 31 October 2004: I am going to link a video on this entry. It's a pretty freaky video, but I'm not sure if the link will work as it didn't work in one other site that I tried to link it. So bear with me. It also needs a little set up.

A German car manufacturer was filming a commercial for a car. Typical stuff... lush greenery, winding roads, soft music. You know what I'm talking about. Well, what the filmmakers weren't expecting was to capture the image of a child's ghost on film.

Yep, as the car is winding through, you can see the ghostly image of a child running through the bottom right portion of the screen. It's pretty weird.

I know you may be skeptical, but this is pretty convincing footage. It made me believe. Well, not that I need much convincing considering I strongly believe in ghosts to begin with. But this is definitely something special.

It would seem that the crew making this commercial thought so, too. They were so freaked out by the whole deal that, even after spending money to finish the commercial, they begged the auto manufacturer not to use it. They even worked overtime hours free of charge to create a whole other commercial just to complete their end of the contract and keep the original from ever airing. Apparently, one of them swiped a copy and posted it on the Web.

If you listen closely, you can even hear some rather ghostly sounds, so make sure your soundcard is working properly. Some poor quality soundcards may have trouble picking up the signal so you might have to crank it a little bit. When you launch this video, you'll see the car pass under a tree (as per the camera's perspective) and then it will pass behind a pretty dense treestand. Once it gets past the trees, you will see the ghost in the bottom right as I mentioned above. So pay careful attention.

Here's the link... http://www.spitcircle.com/content/videos/k-fee.mpg

Note: if the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting the address into your browser's address line. If that doesn't work, e-mail me and I'll post a copy of the video on the site that you can link directly to. I'd like to avoid the latter option as it would take up server space and bandwidth, but if need be, I will. This video is that good.