5 posts from May 2005

Oldies: Sunday, May 29 - Tuesday, May 31, 2005...

Tuesday, 31 May 2005: The World Wide Web has a lot of crap out there. Anybody who has even an inkling of Web know-how can post opinions on websites or even, God forbid, create their own webpages like this P.O.S.

However, despite all the crap that is out there, sometimes the best reads on the web are the blogs tended to nearly daily by so many netizens the world over. For those scratching their craniums right now, a "blog" is short for "Web log" which serves as an alternate description for an online journal, diary, etc. Some are absolute garbage, while some are hidden gems. I've read a ton and have only truly come across a few real "gems." And I think I'm going to start listing those here for the rest of you who might want to have something fun to read. However, if my readership goes down as a result of referring you all to these other sites, I will hunt you down and... well... it won't feel good, let's just put it that way. Now, you can find a "Blog Me" section on the right of the homepage in the recommendations area. Check them out and keep reading them if you're so inclined. If you have a blog of your own, send me the URL and I'll check it out. If I like it, maybe I'll list it. Or if you are a regular reader of another blog (BLASPHEMER!!!), let me know what it is.

Now, bear in mind that some people out there would not consider this a "real" blog simply because I do not use blog developer software. Yes, some people are that shallow (this is not you, Carol; this refers to other, quite less polite people. Please don't take offense because it sounds like my reply to your question about on-site comments). To them I say, "I've been blogging longer than you could ever dream. My site predates blog software and I have the added benefit of being able to tweak all my entries to my taste because I can code. Put that in your pipe and smoke it." To me, a blog is any website where people post their opinions on a semi-daily basis. It can use blogware or just be in plain HTML. But, by definition, it's a blog all the same.

I'm starting out small. Just three listings in this section. More to come.

Oh, and thanks to Dave at Blogography.com for posting this little link. A few years ago, I played with the first version of this software. It is a South Park Character Generator. Yep, create your own custom South Park characters. Create yourself, create a loved one, create a fantasy person (if your fantasy person looks like a character from South Park, may I also recommend a psychiatrist?), you get the point. Now the software is in version 2 and it is far improved. A lot more options to choose from. So, once again, I created Katie and myself in South Park-ese.

First, here are Katie and I using version 1 of the software:

Now, here we are all plugged in and beautified in version 2 (talk about an improvement): 

We can even choose backgrounds now. Since I prefer to be home instead of work, I'm in front of a couch and I'm doublefisting it with my yellow Wisconsin Search and Rescue hat on backwards. Katie's in a classroom where, aside from her pharmacy, I think she spends the better part of her life. I feel bad for her, but I tried to make her feel better by giving her a tropical drink. How's that for compromise? Now if only you could really get away with alcohol in a classroom.

Honestly, Mr. Professor-person, this is chemistry. It's, like, mixing alcohols and liquors and stuff...

Monday, 30 May 2005: With Katie at work today, how did I decide to spend the day? With a little cleaning, but not too terribly much; a viewing of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, marking the first time I've seen this movie since opening night back in 1999 and, while not great, it was much better than I remember it being; two nine-hold rounds of disc golf at Eagle Ridge Park in Montgomery with my dad and brother while my mom watched; and then cooking dinner for Katie while watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on HBO (or was it Encore or Starz? Meh, whatever).

Combine my viewing of Wonka with the fact that the theater where we saw Madagascar the other night was loaded with promos for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coming out this year and I started wondering (what else is new?) what your take is on this remake.

As a rule, remakes are a no-no. 9.75 times out of 10, they blow, and that's pretty much scientific fact. However, this is Johnny Depp and I can't think of too many movies that he's made that have outright sucked. Very few, indeed. And this film is supposed to be much closer in nature to Roald Dahl's original book which is less cutesy and much darker than the original movie. Hence the dank coloration in the previews and the seeming lack of song and dance (although I will always hold a fond place in my heart for Gene Wilder singing "A World of Pure Imagination").

But, on the negative end of the scale, we have Tim Burton. I am a Burton fan, don't get me wrong, but remakes, as Planet of the Apes proved, are not his forte. That was just one terrible film. Charlie does seem more akin to his Edward Scissorhands-Beetlejuice-Ed Wood style of filmmaking than Apes was, but it is still a remake, plain and simple.

So, what do you all think?

Sunday, 29 May 2005: It's not summer yet so any cleaning done now would still constitute "spring cleaning," right? Well, that's how Katie and I spent today. It may not sound like much nor come across as all that exciting a way to spend the long Memorial Day weekend, but for us it was. Katie had to work yesterday and she will be working tomorrow as well, so it's not much of a holiday for her anyway.

So what did we do? Katie broke out the new steam cleaner that she bought and cleaned about half the carpet in the living room and entryway and it looks pretty damn nice. I installed new door knobs and also had to drill out holes to install deadbolts (a family with kids lived here before us and they never installed deadbolts?!?! What were they thinking?). I am now an expert with installation of door knobs and deadbolts. It's really not that tough. The first one was a learning experience, no doubt. The second one was pretty easy. If you ever need help, and you can afford us, maybe you can hire... the KA-Team! Dah-du-du-dah, du-du-dah! (just in case you didn't get the ref)

Sorry, got a bit carried away there.

We also started to clear through some stuff in the garage, yet again. I can't even recall anymore how many times we've sorted through our collection of crap that never seems to stop building in the garage. Well, it looks pretty good right now and I'd like to see it stay that way although that's not likely to happen. Aye aye aye.

Oldies: Sunday, May 22 - Saturday, May 28, 2005...

Saturday, 28 May 2005: For a guy who loves TV as much as I do — hell, I even give out awards — it may sound weird to hear me say this, but... PRAISE GOD AND HALLELUJIA, THE TV SEASON IS OVER!!!

I am so sick of setting our VCRs for the weekly regimen of shows since Katie and I are almost never home on weeknights while the shows are airing (we'd be a horrible Nielsen Household). And I'm also sick of having to catch up on all these shows right away since the Web is so willing and able to discuss all the little plot points in almost any article, even those completely unrelated to the show as a topic, that you are likely to hit a spoiler without even trying.

So, now the season is over and I don't have to tape anything (at least until Nip/Tuck starts next month) and I don't have to be wedded to my TV each night and Katie and I can finally catch up on books we've been meaning to read for some time now and... I don't know what else... I just know I'm happy. And so is Katie.

Friday, 27 May 2005: Don't you just hate when you pay the money to rent a movie and it's so horrible that you just can't keep watching it? This was the case with Katie and I yesterday attempting to watch the Vin Diesel crapfest known as xXx (pronounced "Triple X"). I never had much interest in seeing it before. However, when I saw that a sequel was being released with Ice Cube in the lead role, I was intrigued but figured I needed to know the rest of the story. So I got it from Netflix. God was that a mistake. And, to boot, by the time we finally got around to watching it, the sequel was all but gone from theaters. Not a good sign. Not at all.

The special effects were terrible, the stunts were worse than hoaky, the plot was a joke, and the dialogue... oh the dialogue. I can't think of words negative enough to describe it.

Yeah, my review will be up soon. I just have to find the words... and the stomach... ugh.

Thursday, 26 May 2005: This morning, Katie and I went with my dad to the driving range. We wanted to play nine holes, but we waited too long to book a tee time, so we just went to the range. Let me tell you, I suck from those rubber tees that they put on the faux grass. I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn on those things. However, when I put the ball right on the fake grass, I was hitting them all and doing so pretty consistently. Didn't matter what type of club I was using, iron or wood, they were all flying. Not Tiger Woods caliber hits, of course, but much better than I was expecting of myself. Kinda weird not using a tee with a wood, but it seemed to be working.

Afterwards, we picked up my mom and the four of us went to Hooters for wings and beer (yes, it was after noon by this time). I swear to you, Hooters has the best hot wings around. I don't care what anybody says. Even Buffalo Wild Wings can't compare. I will always go to Hooters for wings.

Katie and I wrapped up the day out by going to downtown Naperville and hitting her old knitting haunt for some yarn and supplies. She hasn't been there in a while. Not since before this last section of organic chemistry that she was in. Now she wants to knit some more. And, guess what? I finally convinced her to watch all the Star Wars movies with me. Why is this important in this paragraph? Because part of the agreement dictates that she is able to knit while watching. May seem like it defeats the purpose, but she knits during every movie. She actually pays better attention if she's knitting because she's not up and walking around. She's a very fidgety person and can't sit still during movies that we try to watch at home. This is a definite step in the right direction. Welcome to the Dark Side, hon!

Oh, and David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, will be at Anderson's Bookstore in Naperville on Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m., to sign copies of his books. I feel bad because the book I really want to have signed is not one that came from Anderson's. They didn't have a hardcover copy of Me Talk so I had to buy it at Barnes & Noble down the street. I feel like such a scab. I'm a fervent lover of family-owned or independent bookstores and I prefer to buy from them whenever possible. Heck, I nearly cried when the Junction Bookstore in DeKalb, IL, went out of business a few years ago. I loved that place and it was one of my favorite places to go when I was in college. But, this was one instance when I could not buy my book independently. I wanted a hardcover copy of this particular book signed. But I will make up for it by purchasing a copy of his latest book while at Anderson's. I'll at least be semi honest about it.

Wednesday, 25 May 2005: The Henchmen are now 8-4. We split with one other team that, prior to this evening, we were tied with for first place in our division. Actually, there was a three-way tie for first place. The third team is one that we played a couple of weeks ago. Our split ensures that we're still tied for at least second place. Hopefully the third team split their double header or, better yet, lost both of them. That would be nice.

Simply put, we just blew the second game. Nobody was hitting jack. They were nabbing our long hits and our short hits. Their fielding was dead on. It was just ugly.

On the night, I was 2-5. I played the entire first game at catcher and played the second half of the second game at DH. I had one nice single and one that was barely anything as it just bounced in front of the base and I had to hoof it out to first. I made it, though, and actually scored a couple hits later. My first run of the season.

But I knew I was cursed when I showed up and our pitcher said that he expected nothing less than what I did last week repeated this week. You can't put that kind of pressure on a guy who has no idea what he's doing in the first place. Yikes. Hell it was only last week that I was shown a new swing and batting stance. I'm still working on remembering that one.

Monday, 23 May 2005: If you haven't watched the finale of 24, stop reading now. Spoilers abound.

You've been warned...

I just watched the season finale of 24 and I have to say, I loved it. Yes, it was pretty predictable (did you really think Tony died in the Jaguar explosion?). But I still enjoyed it. I was skeptical at the beginning of the season knowing that Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was the only regular cast member from last season to be returning. However, as the season progressed and some of last season's regulars started to return, the season really kicked into high gear. And it ended nicely; as nicely as it could, all things considered.

But I have one question, am I the only person who was humming the theme song from The Incredible Hulk as Jack walked off into the sunrise along the train tracks? I half expected to see Bill Bixby walking alongside him. That would've made for a helluva lasting image, don't you think?

I can't wait until next January for the next season to start. Damn, the wait is going to kill me.

Sunday, 22 May 2005: I now feel like the king of gardening. Since today was such a beautiful day, Katie and I decided to do some work at home. Thankfully, instead of being inside painting, we went outside and planted, pruned, and generally beautified the place. We finally got that stupid picket gate torn down from around our air conditioner, pulled up a bunch of weeds, trimmed back the bushes lining the walk to our front porch, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

But we had fun and were out in the fresh air for nearly the entire day. We're finally making the yard our own. In case you're wondering what that means, Katie and I like to think that as we change something in the house (be it through paint, remodeling, or planting), that certain something finally is "ours." So, here is the count...

Ours: powder room, guest bathroom, master bathroom (almost entirely), second bedroom, backyard

Not entirely ours (yet): kitchen, living room, master bathroom, garage

We're working on everything else. But, of course, most of what's left can run the expensive side of reality. We actually started the garage by patching all the holes. Now we just need to powerwash the floors, paint the walls and floors, and reorganize it to our taste. We want to get that done pretty soon. Probably within the next month. There's a garage down the street that I absolutely love and want to model ours after. It's really cool. He painted it very nicely and has it organized impeccably. Yes, I realize I am talking about a garage. But I love it all the same.

Oldies: Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 21, 2005...

Saturday, 21 May 2005: First off, I want to wish a happy birthday to my mom. Only one more year. Oh, and, for the record, you and dad are the same age now. Had to give my dad that little piece of moral support.

Let me tell you, working for the park district definitely has its perks. Yes, I do work for Aurora University still. However, Katie and I, as employees at our local gym, are also park district employees. And they are given one heckuva discount on park district activities. For my mom's birthday, my mom, dad, Katie, and I went to a GPD minigolf course. Normally, the price would be $5 per adult per 18 holes. With our discount, it was only $1 per person. May not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but we'll take the savings wherever we can get them. Any money in our pocket is a good thing.

Friday, 20 May 2005: I know that the United States is not very well loved by people in other countries. We are quite reviled actually, even by our allies. That's just the way it is when your reasons for going to war are so clouded over in half truths and misconceptions. It is also the result of U.S.ians being so self involved that we tend to not even think outside our own borders. It's the truth whether you are willing to admit it or not. We are victims of the "my way or the highway" mentality.

I've come to accept that my country is disliked. I wish it were different and I try to be as worldly a person as I can be. I've got friends in foreign countries that are amazed by my willingness to understand and accept their histories, cultures, viewpoints, etc. But how can one man sway a nation of millions? I can't. Plain and simple. I guess I could run for president... nah.

But today, I read an article that took the anti-U.S. sentiment to the extreme. It was just so utterly ridiculous that I had to post it here for all of you...

Lake disappears, baffling villagers
A Russian village was left baffled Thursday after its lake disappeared overnight.

NTV television showed pictures of a giant muddy hole bathed in summer sun, while fishermen from the village of Bolotnikovo looked on disconsolately.

"It is very dangerous. If a person had been in this disaster, he would have had almost no chance of survival. The trees flew downwards, under the ground," said Dmitry Zaitsev, a local Emergencies Ministry official interviewed by the channel.

Officials in Nizhegorodskaya region, on the Volga river east of Moscow, said water in the lake might have been sucked down into an underground water-course or cave system, but some villagers had more sinister explanations.

"I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us," said one old woman, as she sat on the ground outside her house.

What?!?! Is she serious or is this some piss-poor attempt at humor? Yes, we hate you so much that we are going to take your lake! I may not entirely agree with the decision-making ability of our president, but even he wouldn't be that stupid. A lake. Seriously, people. What the hell are we going to do with your lake? Somebody slap some sense into that old woman.

Oh, and this is a Reuters article. It was neither published by The Onion nor was it dated April 1 of any year.

Thursday, 19 May 2005: Did you finally wade through all my ramblings from yesterday? Are you ready for more?

The Henchmen won one and lost one last night. We played like hell overall in the first game. It took us until the fifth inning to really start putting any runs up on the board. I played decently, I suppose. I hit 3 for 4 although I was told that two of my "hits" were actually errors, so technically I was only 1 for 2. But I didn't see the errors happen as I was focusing on running to first. What I don't see don't happen. And we don't record errors in our books anyway. So I was 3 for 4. Oh, and I played catcher the whole game as well.

In the second game, I didn't start playing until about the fourth inning. Then I went in at catcher again. I was 1 for 2 hitting with a pretty nice single into short left-center that scored one or two runners. That's a couple of RBIs for me.

Now we are 7-3. Oh, and I got my jersey finally. #51.

Afterwards, I headed home and met up with my brother-in-law, Scott, who was waiting at our place to go see Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. So I cleaned up, grabbed our tickets, snagged the digicam, called my friend Nate who was going with us, and we headed out.

I gotta say I was disappointed by the people there. For as many people as were lined up, there were no really great outfits. A few lightsabers here and there. Some cloaked "Jedi" wannabees. One pretty decent Leia, circa 1977. That's about it. I took the camera back out to the truck. I didn't take a single photo. Apparently, the TriCities are not Freak Central. What a shame.

About 11 p.m., we were seated. Seats weren't a worry as I thought they'd be because the theater showed the movie on at least 8 of its 18 screens. It may have even been more. I have no way of really finding out now.

Did I like it? You betcha. It was better than I ever thought it could be and, considering I knew what was supposed to happen, I still was thrown a couple of curveballs. Better than the last two? Yup. Better than the originals like some people are saying? Well... better than Jedi, but not better than Empire or A New Hope. Luca$, you redeemed yourself for The Phantom Menace. Thank you. However, you've still got some work to do to make up for the fact that you haven't released the original Original Trilogy on DVD yet.

Update: Finally, FOX has announced their fall lineup. And leave it to Rupert Murdoch to one up the other nets by announcing both a fall and spring schedule. Here you go...

Fall Schedule 2005:

  • Monday: Arrested Development; Kitchen Confidential; Prison Break
  • Tuesday: Bones; House
  • Wednesday: That '70s Show; Stacked; Head Cases
  • Thursday: The O.C.; Reunion
  • Friday: The Bernie Mac Show; Malcolm in the Middle; The Gate
  • Saturday: Cops; Cops; America's Most Wanted; MADtv
  • Sunday: King of the Hill; The Simpsons; The War at Home; Family Guy; American Dad

Spring Schedule 2006 (beginning in January 2006):

  • Monday: House; 24
  • Tuesday: American Idol; Bones
  • Wednesday: That '70s Show; Stacked; American Idol; The Loop
  • Thursday: The O.C.; Reunion
  • Friday: The Bernie Mac Show; Malcolm in the Middle; The Gate
  • Saturday: Cops; Cops; America's Most Wanted; MADtv
  • Sunday: King of the Hill; The Simpsons; The War at Home; Family Guy; American Dad

Why the different schedules, you may ask? Well, it looks like FOX is intentionally planning on keeping some shows to a half-season rotation. It looks like 24 will have another "non-stop" season like this year. Arrested Development will either a non-stop season or an abbreviated one. And it also looks like the schedule takes into account reality TV shows that are only going to be aired once a year. Not bad. At least we know what to expect.

You might also wonder why it looks like FOX's primetime schedule only has two hours of shows per weeknight compared to three for ABC, CBS, and NBC. You've gotta remember that FOX airs its nightly news an hour before those other nets. So their primetime schedule is abbreviated by comparison. C'est la vie.

Now that I've read what is available about the new shows for this coming fall, I've gotta say that none of them sounds particularly engaging. I guess the Rookie Show Kappy Award categories will be rather slim unless something new really starts looking better in teasers than the nets' PR departments are currently making them sound on paper. This doesn't bode well for the fall.

Wednesday, 18 May 2005: Here are a few little tidbits for you...

Tidbit 1: Yes, I am going to the midnight showing of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith tonight. Will I be dragging ass tomorrow? You betcha. Will it be worth it? That remains to be seen.

I'm trying to keep my expectations at ground level right now as The Phantom Menace disappointed me because my expectations were sky high but Attack of the Clones was quite enjoyable because I wasn't expecting much after seeing the first one. But it's so hard with all the hype and all the beaming reviews. I'm trying. It's tough but I'm trying.

I'm also taking my digital camera with me tonight so I can snap some shots of the people waiting. There should be some pretty big lines and, I hope, some people in costume. No, I won't be one of them. In costume, that is. And I will be posting them on this site eventually. You gotta admit that I've gotten better about time needed to post photos. So long as there aren't too many photos and I can readily write up a caption, then I'm set.

Tidbit 2: I was interviewed by the Aurora Beacon News yesterday because the media relations director where I work sent my name out as a Star Wars expert. So they called and asked me for my take on the upcoming movie and the ones that came out previously. They even sent over a photographer to take a pic of me with some of the memorabilia I have in my office to accompany the article. Actually, the photo wasn't taken "in my office," per se, since my supervisor refused to allow it (personal vs. business), so we took the picture out by my truck. My license plate is Star Wars related, so it worked.

I was told the article will be in the paper tomorrow. If you're in the area, snag a copy. If not, I'll try to post a link to the article on their web site. I may even duplicate the article on this site just in case they pull it from their's.

Tidbit 3: First, thanks to my friend Carol of Shopping for Sanity for this little gem. No, she didn't write it, but she posted a link to it so she gets props anyway. It's a list of 50 Fun Things To Do With Your iPod (give or take a couple). A lot of them I knew already, but I thought I'd post commentary on some of my favorite items in the list.

#3 Dress it up - Katie and I have iSkins for our Pods and we love them. But this is just too damn funny to not mention. It's an iPod Hoodie. Yes, as in a "hooded sweatshirt." You just gotta see it to believe it. Not that I would ever actually consider buying one, but it still had to be mentioned. 

#8 Share your music with complete strangers - My friend and I send data CDs of our music back and forth to each other. With how terrible the music industry is, I am not a big believer in blindly purchasing CDs. So being able to preview before I buy is nice. But this takes it to another level. As the linked Wired article says, some people will walk up to each other and just plug their headphones into each other's Pods. A guy who maintains the blog that inspired this article says he has been introduced to so much new music through this process. It's pretty cool. I wish people did that here. There are a ton of people in the gym that use iPods. Just walk up and swap jacks. Hmmm...

#16 Live off the Grid and charge your iPod Shuffle by hand - yes, some guy actually developed a hand-cranked contraption that allows him to charge his iPod Shuffle without use of a wall or computer plug. Hope people don't try plugging their iPods into pencil sharpeners as a result.

#29 DJ at a club - I already read something about this in the Chicago Tribune. Some nightclubs have iPod night where people come in with a short playlist (usually only a couple of songs) and the DJ will take your iPod and plug it into their computer or sound system and play your set. This sounds like a ton of fun and, from what I read, some of the sets get pretty interesting.

#38 Put on your makeup - the author relates how the mirrored surface on the back of the iPod makes for a great makeup compact mirror. I guess if I didn't have my iPod encased in rubber, I could do this. But with looks like mine, who needs makeup? Heh.

There are many more listed, obviously, but these were, IMHO, the best. Check the site out to read the rest of them.

Tidbit 4 (late addition): CBS has now announced their fall lineup as well.

  • Monday: The King of Queens; How I Met Your Mother; Two and a Half Men; Out of Practice; CSI: Miami
  • Tuesday: NCIS; The Amazing Race; Close to Home
  • Wednesday: Still Standing; Yes, Dear; Criminal Minds; CSI: New York
  • Thursday: Survivor: Guatemala; CSI; Without a Trace
  • Friday: Ghost Whisperer; Threshold; Numb3rs
  • Saturday: Crimetime Saturday; 48 Hours Mystery
  • Sunday: 60 Minutes; Cold Case; CBS Sunday Movie

Katie and I will be all over Two and a Half Men, The Amazing Race (now that we're hooked), Without a Trace, Numb3rs, and the CSI Franchise. I told you that CBS was dangerous.

Tuesday, 17 May 2005: ABC now has their fall lineup available to us netizens. Here you all go...

  • Monday: Wife Swap and Monday Night Football (through January); The Bachelor; Emily's Reasons Why Not; Jake in Progress; What About Brian (after January)
  • Tuesday: According to Jim; Rodney; Commander-in-Chief; Boston Legal
  • Wednesday: George Lopez; Freddie; Lost; Invasion
  • Thursday: Alias; The Night Stalker; Primetime Live
  • Friday: Supernanny; Hope & Faith; Hot Properties; 20/20
  • Saturday: ABC Movie of the Week
  • Sunday: America's Funniest Home Videos; Extreme Makeover: Home Edition; Desperate Housewives; Grey's Anatomy

I will still tune in for Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy, but, much like NBC, ABC has now become a target of my ire due to their cancellation of Eyes. Combine that with my disgust over their cancellation of Karen Sisco last season and you're talking about a pretty potent hate mix.

I guess if there is any one benefit of the fall schedule so far, it's that I get to "clean house," per se, in terms of how much TV I watch. Three hours of ABC per week, a whopping half hour of NBC (maybe up to one hour if they actually do bring back Scrubs), and I have yet to see FOX's and CBS' schedules. CBS is what kills me usually. Too much stuff on there and it's hard to give up on some of them. FOX has a couple of decent shows. WB and UPN... yeah right. The only thing we need to know is when 7th Heaven is on for Katie.

Monday, 16 May 2005: I didn't think it could be possible, but I'm suddenly starting to think that I'll be watching even less on NBC next season. The Peacock net has announced their fall primetime lineup and I'm none too happy to say the very least. Here you go...

  • Monday: Fathom; Las Vegas; Medium
  • Tuesday: The Biggest Loser; My Name Is Earl; The Office; Law & Order: SVU
  • Wednesday: The Apprentice: Martha Stewart; E-Ring; Law & Order
  • Thursday: Joey; Will & Grace; The Apprentice; ER
  • Friday: Three Wishes; Dateline NBC; Inconceivable
  • Saturday: NBC Saturday Night Movie
  • Sunday: Dateline NBC; The West Wing; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Crossing Jordan

My biggest question amidst all this is where the heck is Scrubs!?!?! According to execs, the show may come back later in the season. The same goes for Fear Factor.

Later in the season!?!?! Scrubs is the best thing NBC has going for them!

There are several new shows listed here as well. However, I'm still too ticked about Scrubs to bother relaying the information about them. I'll just link to a news story and let all of you read on your own. I'm not even going to grant NBC a piece of my cyberspace to hype those new shows. In the immortal words of Colonel William Ludlow, "Shcrew 'em!"

There is a ton of news for the other major networks right now, however NBC is the only one to have officially announced its lineup. Some of the more disappointing news revolving around fall lineups involves the cancellation of Eyes and 8 Simple Rules, among others, along with the news that just about every network is going to be airing a new show that is either somewhat similar to or a direct ripoff of Desperate Housewives or Lost. Ahhh, originality... the lost art.

But, on the positive side, it looks like NUMB3RS and 24 will be reupped.

I'll let you know as other actual lineups are announced.

Oldies: Sunday, May 8 - Saturday, May 14, 2005...

Thursday, 12 May 2005: I took the day off today to work on the master bathroom some more with Katie's dad, Paul. We rerouted the plumbing for the sink, made some minor modifications to the back of the vanity to accommodate the pipes, built and installed the linen closet, installed the sink, and closed the seam between each piece. We also had to reroute the wiring for the lighting as the existing location ran it about three inches from the linen closet and, well, that just doesn't leave us too many lighting options.

We have a few items left to do now:

  • We need to get a filler board to fill the space between the left edge of the linen closet and the wall
  • We need to get a runner board to hide the seam between both pieces down under the kickspace.
  • Since we had to reroute the electrical for the lighting fixture, we also need to patch and paint over the hole where the wire did come out of the wall before
  • Then, we need to install our fixture
  • Lastly, we need to reroute the outlets that were against the wall that is being covered by the linen closet
  • We may also have a second outlet installed on the wall opposite the vanity and sink. There is already an outlet on the other side of that very spot that goes out into the bedroom so installing a second one just on the opposite side shouldn't be a problem, according to Paul

The rest of this stuff really shouldn't take all that long. We hope to have it done in another week or so depending on Paul's schedule to come back down and reroute the electrical.

Oh, and new pictures have been posted. You can't say I don't give you stuff to read and look at, eh?

Wednesday, 11 May 2005: Early on in this installment of The Amazing Race, Katie and I both wanted to see Rob and Amber win it all. They were two of our faves on Survivor: All Stars and they were the only ones that we knew starting out in Race.

However, as time went on, we both developed alternate favorites. No, we did not completely defect from Rob and Amber. We still loved watching them and were rooting for them. Just not quite as much as we were pulling for Uchenna and Joyce. Last night, the big, bad, bald couple (it's an old picture at right, sorry) won the whole enchilada and it was so cool to watch. They came back from nearly being eliminated and even managed to out-con the king of cons, Rob. But, Uchenna and Joyce still won with grace and dignity. Before racing for the finish line in Fort Lauderdale, Uchenna went begging on the streets to scrounge up enough money to pay his cabbie (they had their money taken away as part of the non-elimination round regulations). He could have just as easily run off to win it first, but he did the right thing. That's the real difference between Uchenna and Joyce and Rob and Amber, the former will do the right thing like helping other teams (stopping when the brothers' car flipped in Africa or helping to push boats for Meredith and Gretchen) whereas the latter were just in it for themselves regardless of what happens to others.

So a big, deserving congrats to Uchenna and Joyce who won in style.

And, Joyce, you should keep the bald head. It looks pretty damned cool on you.

Tuesday, 10 May 2005: The Henchmen are now 6-2. We had a pretty rough outing last night. In the bottom of the sixth inning, we were one run away from another slaughter ruling in our favor. Yeah, I know, that doesn't sound quite that "tough," eh? Well, in the top of the seventh with two outs against them, our opponents came back and scored 12 runs on some terrible fielding on our part. Not to mention the three home runs they blasted. Correction... one of those was a grand slam. Very painful. We scored one more run in the bottom of the inning, but never fully recovered and lost.

I can blame myself in lack of offensive production. I was 0-3 batting. Terrible night for me. But I was DHing, so I had nothing to do with the defensive play in that inning. In fact, my three at bats were the only times I saw the field last night and I was pissed about it. I didn't even get off the bench during the second game other than to help our backup pitcher warmup. Even he didn't wind up making it in the game even though he was supposed to.

The second game we won, but not by slaughter rule. In fact, I don't even know what the final score was we were all so dejected by having lost the first game. We are still 6-2 which is far better than this team was last season (they finished under .500 from what I'm told). And we are now tied for second place in our division of 10 teams. The team we played tonight is the other team with the 6-2 record. We have yet to play the first-place team with a 7-1 record.

Monday, 9 May 2005: Katie and I got some pretty good work done on the master bathroom this weekend. We finished priming the walls and ceiling a few days back so we took the opportunity to finish painting one of the colors in the bathroom (two coats) and finished one coat of the second color. It looks pretty nice in there. On Wednesday, I'm going to go home after work and a dentist appointment and finish the painting and touch up work and then build the linen cabinet for the bathroom. I'm taking the day off on Thursday to work on installation with Katie's dad. Should be fun. I've never done plumbing before. Learning experiences abound in our house. And, yes, I do have new photos posted.

Oldies: Sunday, May 1 - Saturday, May 7, 2005...

Saturday, 7 May 2005: With Covey yesterday all day and closing at the gym last night, I didn't wind up making up for my lack of sleep yesterday by getting more in today. I had class this morning. Thankfully, it was my last class for a while. But it was no less painful to get up and go this morning. In fact, I even stopped at Starbucks by our house to pick up a redeye. For those not in the know, a redeye is simply a coffee with a shot of espresso for a little added kick. It worked wonders. God bless you, Starbucks. You came through when I needed you most.

Friday, 6 May 2005: Today, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, came to the suburbs in a presentation hosted by my workplace. What does this mean for me? It means I got no sleep because I had to wake up well before the buttcrack of dawn to get to Woodridge to set up for the program. I had volunteered to work this event because it would mean that I could hear him speak for free when I wasn't working. Considering tickets cost $199, getting in for free is a nice perk.

However, when I finally got there and got my job done (I was a parking attendant), I was just too damned exhausted to listen to him speak from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. I would just wind up showing AU's worst face by likely falling asleep in there. So I opted to stay out of it. Staying out was boring, but at least I could fall asleep without causing too much of a uproar. And sleep I did. I haven't been that tired in so long.

Thursday, 5 May 2005: Tonight was our second double header of the week in softball. We won both games and I was able to play shortstop for three innings during the first game. However, I didn't get in the second game until the sixth inning when I played catcher. Just as I was heading up for my one and only at bat in the game, the ump called the game on runs. Slaughter rule is fun to invoke, but sucks when it cuts you off just before you're about to bat.

Oh well, at least we're 5-1 now.

And, for future reference, our team name is The Henchmen.

Wednesday, 4 May 2005: I am a Mac user. I am quite proud of this fact. I haven't owned a Windows-based computer since 1999 when I sold my NEC and I don't intend to ever own one again (unless my place of employment buys one for me). That much is not a secret.

I've argued the whole Windows/Mac thing with people to death. Windows users can never see things my way. I can see their points because I was once a Windows user. So I know both sides of the coin. I realize that Windows-based PCs are great for some things and Macs are great for others. For what I do, Macs are the best. But so many Windows users cannot, or just will not, agree to disagree. For them, it's Windows or nothing. Many of them that I debate with have little to no Mac experience whatsoever. So, they are arguing from ignorance. Hey, if it walks like a duck...

A guy I know from the OT.com forums, who just converted to Mac recently, presented me with this quote that he found from the New York Times in 1991. It is quite beautiful, really, and I wanted to share it. Nay, I had to share it.

DOS Computers, manufactured by millions of companies, are by far the most popular, with about 70 million machines in use wordwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form.

That was just too good.

For those of you Windows freaks out there that take offense to that quote... T.S. I make no apologies.

Tuesday, 3 May 2005: Our softball team, the Henchmen, won both games in pretty grand fashion last night. The first one was a complete blowout of the Sofa Kings. I lost track of the score. The only thing I know for sure is that the game was called in the fifth inning due to the league's slaughter rule which required a win by 15 as I recall. The second game we weren't doing so well in. We were getting shelled pretty well through the first four innings. I even batted into a 5-4-3 double play at one point. By the fifth inning, we were down 6-4 when Jason opened it up with a two-run homer. They caught up and passed us at the end of the inning and made the score 8-6. But in the seventh, we just started piling it on and finished the game with a score of 16-9.

I was a part-time DH in both games. I nabbed a single and was able to advance to third on base hits until the inning ended. This was the first game. The second game was my double play and those were my only two at bats. But at least I got to play. Considering we had 15 guys there last night, I'm lucky I got to play at all. I'll take it where I can get it.

Note #2: As you all know, I am a big proponent of the Mozilla Firefox browser. Hell, I've got a link to it on my homepage. The browser itself just passed 50 million downloads the other day and, as a result, the Firefox development team celebrated by having 50 special celebratory coins minted.

These coins are being given to people who used unique methods to spread the word about Firefox. To this end, I created business cards to promote this browser.

As a result of my efforts, I've been awarded coin #38 of 50.

Okay, so this may not be so big a deal to many of you, but I like it. I'm stoked. I will soon own a piece of Web history. 50 limited edition pieces and I own #38. I can handle that. Thanks, Blake.

Oh, and my boss liked the fact that Aurora University gets billing with my entry on the Spread Firefox 50 Million page along with a link to our homepage. Any promotion is a good thing, right. If you click on that link, you can see my entry in the right-hand column listed under "2005-05-01 9:11 PM PST" (currently the third listed in the column, but that may change).

Monday, 2 May 2005: Tonight officially starts my softball season. We practiced a couple of Sundays ago as a team and the team played their first two games last Wednesday (lost the first, 7-8, and won the second, 3-2). I wasn't able to play because I was working at the gym. But I have since reworked my schedule and am able to play the remainder of the games for the rest of this first half of the season. I'll keep you all posted on our "progress."

I also bought my first pair of baseball/softball cleats since I was ten years old. That felt pretty weird. But I didn't want to be the only person in tennis shoes. Everybody else had a pair and I was slip sliding all over the damn place. Peer pressure lives even at 30 years old.

For a little fun today, you gotta check this out. A few months back, I reported on Darth Tater, the Mr. Potato Head equivalent of Darth Vader. I have yet to find my own Darth Tater, but Millionaire Playboy has been having some fun of their own creating custom Potato Heads in response to the high level of popularity of Darth Tater. You gotta check some of these out. They're great. And I would seriously consider buying some if they were to really go on the market.

Millionaire Playboy's Potato Head line up.

Sunday, 1 May 2005: Today was a good day. For the first time in God-only-knows-how-long, Katie and I just spent the day together. We did nothing that was "constructive," per se, other than work on us. And it was good. We went out for breakfast and lunch, spent some time shopping, watched a couple of movies, talked, and all that jazz.

It was a very nice day.