22 posts from October 2008

Leave your body and soul at the door...

Happy Halloween, everyone!

No, the title does not mean that we will be having a party at our paddock. Hell, unless a miracle happens, I'm pretty sure we're not even dressing up.

But we are hoping for trick or treaters and tons of 'em at that. It's Friday! It's supposed to be in 60s (Fahrenheit)! No rain! SO THERE IS NO REASON WHY THERE SHOULDN'T BE AN ABSOLUTE ASS TON OF TRICK OR TREATERS TONIGHT!!! Please don't let me down, kiddies. We've got good candy, I swear!

For those wondering, my original plan was to grow out my goatee long enough that I could trim it down to a good chin strip, shave my head, throw on a chef's jacket, and laugh maniacally so I could be Chef Duff from Ace of Cakes.

Then I got lazy and never shopped for a chef's jacket. And do you know how much of a bitch it is to find a University of Maryland-Baltimore County hockey jersey? They don't even have a hockey team!

So I worked out a plan to buy an Ohio State sweatshirt, carry a pipe wrench, and declare myself Joe the Plumber (geez, I can't believe he's actually got his own Wikipedia page).

Of course then I got all wishy washy about shaving my head (this likely played partly into the demise of my Chef Duff costume as well).

Now I've got one final idea left. One last vestige of costumed hope. It involves a long, dirty, light brown wig and plaid boxer shorts that I would have to buy on my lunch break. Of course, this also requires that the DMV get me in and out (that sounds dirty in and of itself) right quick as I need to buy my vehicle renewal sticker TODAY (it expires, um, today). I should already have the rest of the costume, I think.

Wish me luck. If it works out, I promise to get pictures.

Oh damn, I think I might also need a carton of Half and Half. Does it still come in cartons?

And, no, I'm not dressing in costume at work. Why? I would likely end up like Pam on last night's The Office or Dilbert as seen below...


Seriously, though, have a happy Halloween!

I'm half the man I used to be...

I did it. I voted.

I know I was leaning toward voting on the actual day, but I was starting to worry about just how late I would be to work and how frustrated I would feel sitting in that line for so damn long.

Funny thing, though... you remember how I was talking about how I hate when people stop up the line ahead of me and I can't do anything about it? Well, I was that person last night at early voting.

The woman at the desk was trying to check me in and print my registration verification sticker when she discovered a bit of an abnormality... I was registered twice! Both registrations had the same first and last name, home address, phone number, and birthday. The only difference was that one used my middle initial, while the other used my full middle name.

I didn't have my registration card on me. I've never carried it. Never needed it. Until now, apparently. So one of the only two people verifying registrations had to stop and call into the clerk's office to find out which one was the real me. That took another 10 minutes.

I'm just thankful that nobody in line behind me was as overtly pissy about what I was doing to them as I likely would've been to anyone doing that to me. Irony, eh?

I guess I take "vote early, vote often" to a whole new level.

Oh, and, no, I did not get an "I Voted" sticker. They'd been out of them for two days at that point. Good sign for overall voter turnout considering they never usually run out of those things over the course of the entire election. But I've got friends on the inside who might be able to score me a couple of them.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): This is one of those things you never think you'd have to ask a realtor, but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry.

Branson West, Missouri, has a problem. A not-so-tiny, eight-legged problem that comes in the form of tarantulas. Some of these beasts can get as big as a dinner plate and can often be found in swarms crossing neighborhood streets. Apparently, they're everywhere in the town and officials have asked residents to hold back on killing them as they eat the scorpions that are also a town pest.

Tarantulas? Scorpions? Am I in the Suburban Twilight Zone here?

Um... screw that. I'm never going anywhere near western Missouri again. Unless it's St. Louis, I want nothing to do with it. And even then... (just joshin' you, ajooja).

Heads turning as the lights flashing out...

And now Snippet Wednesday is into those awkward post-21 years when nothing good happens. Guess we'll have to wait until he turns 25 and is able to rent a car. Bummer. Happy 22nd... meh.

There are some magazines you expect to find in certain places. Boy's Life in dentist's offices. Mother's World in a day care. Two-year-old Sports Illustrateds in doctor's offices. But when I find a Good Housekeeping  on the floor of a bathroom stall in the men's locker room of my gym, I'm gonna start to worry.

Sonyalphaa350 I went out during my lunch break yesterday to start looking at some DSLR cameras. And, much as I thought I might, I fell head over heels for the Sony Alpha A350. It's a 14.2 megapixel beauty with in-camera image stabilization, live preview screen that tilts both up and down for those awkward shot angles, and just feels like a solid freakin' camera. Best thing yet is that since Sony bought out Maxxum, all my old Minolta SLR lenses will work on it, saving us a nice chunk of change. I think I mentioned this some time ago when I was drooling over Sony's first entry into the DSLR category, the Alpha A100, but I wasn't in a purchase place at the time. Now I think we really are. This is, barring catastrophe, supposed to be my birthday and Christmas gift from Katie while she scores a new MacBook to use for school. Sounds like a fair trade, right? Actually, she might be making out a bit more, but oh well. She needs a computer she can use in class and she, like me, is a Mac Whore (tm). Do any of you know much about this Sony? Many of you are really gifted photographers, I'd love your input.

Don't ever let anyone tell you bitching doesn't work. I griped last week about how I wanted to take part in that trial of the Nokia E71-NAM smartphone but, 1) they never got back to me, and 2) I'd have to pay for the service during the trial period, remember? Well, very soon after that post went up, they mailed me back and corrected themselves. It is an unlocked phone and I can use it on AT&T. This makes me VERY happy. So now I'm going to play. Just a matter of them sending it my way. And this phone has received some pretty rave reviews on both Diggnation and Wired. I just don't want to have to send it back.

And speaking of photography and all that good stuff, I'm finally getting around to posting photos and video that I took from the two Illinois Wesleyan women's soccer games Katie and I went to. Not the best sports shots I've ever taken, but, in the past, I always managed to sneak onto the sideline with my SLR. A bit different when you're in the stands with a point and shoot, don't you think? If you can't see the Pictobrowser, check out the entire Flickr album.

I feel fine and I feel good, I'm feeling like I never should...

Hey all.

Sorry, I really thought I'd have something more meaningful to say than "hey all," but I suddenly realized, late last night, that I messed up the importing of about two dozen CDs into iTunes. I had the import functionality set to MP3 format at 128 Mbps (very low quality for you non-techies) because I was creating ringtones some weeks back. And for a few hours, I've been trying to reimport some CDs I still have at better quality, lossless settings (yes, MP3s can actually lose quality over time if reimported or moved around or otherwise messed with enough times).

Thankfully this doesn't affect what I've purchased off iTunes and Amazon.

I've found about a half dozen of the CDs, but I've had to go on the library Web site and re-request a ton that I have already checked out. That won't raise any eyebrows amongst the librarians, will it?


So I'm leaving you with a video. File this under "How in the name of all that's holy did I miss this one when it came out earlier in the month?" I just cannot forgive myself.

Thank you to Funny Or Die for the embed code that the original Huffington Post did not provide.

Oh, and I have a meme for you in the extended post.

Continue reading "I feel fine and I feel good, I'm feeling like I never should..." »

It don't mean spit to me...

I'm debating something right now and I need your help deciding what I should do.

Voting day is a mere nine days or some ridiculously small number that I thought I'd never remain sane enough to actually see. News reports, Katie's experience, and what I've seen at local early voting locations indicate that numbers of voters are through the roof (a good thing).

My question is in regards to whether I should vote early or vote on time. Katie liked it because she got in and out real quick. Plus there are more days available to do it since, obviously, it's not just on voting day.

The part of me that hates crowds wants to avoid them entirely and go in early some time very soon. I'm not a big fan of crowds as you all know. I hate being stopped up in lines. And I hate knowing that there are people ahead of me slowing me down and, in this case anyway, I probably shouldn't do anything to "take matters into my own hands," as it were.

Then there's another part of me that would like to stand in the line to experience what is almost assuredly going to be a record-breaking voter turnout. Be there with my camera to take pics of the lines. Show up early and time how long it takes to get through. Just to be able to say, "I did it." Stuff like that. I also don't want to miss out on my I Voted sticker like Katie and Brandon did. That sticker is the shit. It's the ultimate badge of honor, dammit! There's no way I'm leaving without it.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): You know how during the very early sunrise hours and the time just before the sun sets, when the sun casts a really hazy, yet dazzling, light through your windows into a room and you can see everything floating in the air? Every particle of dust or dirt or anything of the sort?

Well, I was at my second women's soccer game on Saturday with Katie and several members of her family. It was a great game in which Katie's cousin's team ended the 26-game home winning streak of Wheaton College. Back on point, though.

At one point in the game, a woman two people down from me stood up and started cheering. The setting sun was on the far side of her and off a bit to the front. As she yelled, the sun lit up a fine mist as it emitted from her mouth. And, much is my luck, the wind caught the mist and started carrying it my way.

What do you do in this case? Do you try to duck out of the way? Do you swat at it like a swarm of invisible flies? Do you just let it hit you and wipe your face later?

I opted for number three. I didn't want to look like an idiot ducking or swatting. So I waited and let it hit and then wiped it off. Funny thing was that I didn't even feel it hit me. This, of course, makes me worry about how many other times this has happened to me in the past and I never felt it.

No, I just don't want to think about it. I can't think about it or I may become one of those germophobes I loathe and consequently lock myself in a hermetically sealed plastic bubble.

No, can't think about it.

Just... no.

We can't go on together with suspicious minds...

I was going to hold off posting this. However, since fireshaper was so convincing, here you go...

As both a fan of Criminal Minds and Wil Wheaton (mostly from his writing), I gotta admit that I was looking forward to seeing the episode of Minds in which he had a guest starring role. It aired on Wednesday. And in the aftermath of it all, I've enjoyed reading the production notes posts he has up on his blog (part 1, 2, 3, and 4, with a final post yet to come).

Overall, it was a good episode. I like when Criminal Minds casts a relatively recognizable face in the role of a bad guy. The same thing happened a year and a half ago when James Van Der Beek came on as a Bible-thumping, split-personalitied serial murderer. It usually means that they want this character to have a larger role... more speaking... more face time... more of a chance for us to learn about them. This as opposed to being just a disposable, red-shirted ensign type of role.

The episode also guest stars the actor known as Tom Cruise's non-couch-jumping cousin and Lost guest William Mapother and the actress formerly known as Goldie Hawn's eldest daughter in Wildcats and nurse to Doogie Howser, M.D., Robyn Lively.

However, about halfway through the episode, some guy shows up on-screen in a scene shared by Wheaton and show star Thomas Gibson. Just this hulk of a guy who seemed to barely fit through the door and nearly had to bend at the knees to make sure his head didn't hit the ceiling in the tiny motel office set they were using. Being a Chicago Bears fan, my sports-nut head decided, for whatever reason, that this dude looked just like Bears Defensive Tackle Tommie Harris. Katie agreed saying the only thing missing was a nasal strip across the bridge of his nose. Imagine my surprise when I saw the end credits and learned that "Father" was indeed played by Tommie Harris.

I wondered what was going on until I read Wil's blog and discovered that Tommie is a huge Criminal Minds fan and his people knew people who swung a favor and got Tommie a walk-on role. How freakin' cool!

I want people who know people. People who can swing favors.

If I could pull this off, I'd love to be in any one of the following shows:

  • Burn Notice - as much as I'd like to be one of the bad asses that Michael Westin (Jeffrey Donovan) deals with, I know that I'd probably be better cast as one of the losers that solicits his help.
  • Chuck - I want to have my ass kicked by Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) while Casey (Adam Baldwin) heckles me because that would be cool.
  • Mad Men - I think it would just be fun to dress up like they do and then be able to walk away and never worry about doing it again.

And Katie would like to be in:

  • Criminal Minds - because she thinks Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) is cool and she wants to drool over Morgan (Shemar Moore).
  • Big Bang Theory - probably because she can actually hold her own in geek speak with the guys. She "gets" them.

Can anybody out there make that happen?

Now to shamelessly whore for comments... on which shows would you want to have a walk-on role?

She says she talks to angels, call her out by her name...

Last week, an Air Angels helicopter crashed in Aurora, a few towns south of where we live, en route from Sandwich, IL, to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. All four on board were killed including pilot Del Waugh, paramedic Ronald Battiato, nurse William Mann, Jr., and their 14-month old patient Kirstin Blockinger.

The crash site is a mere few miles from my high school and a block or two from a pub that Katie and I love dearly, so we know the area well.

First and foremost, I'd like to express my condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives. The three crew were doing something they love and something that was a positive contribution to society and, for that, I thank them.

But, this is not the point of this post. I found a follow-up article written about the funeral of young Kirstin in which they make mention of something her older brother said. When she was loaded on the helicopter and her parents waved good-bye, young Collin said to his mom, "Sissy is not coming home."

I've always felt that kids were more attuned to the more spiritual and supernaturl sorts of things that float around us all day, every day. Maybe it's because of their innocence, they have a more trusting nature that is willing and open to being influenced by spirits. Heck, wasn't Haley Joel Osment's character in The Sixth Sense enough to convince you of this?

Whatever the explanation may be, don't you think it's time we start to listen to what kids have to say? And, no, I don't mean this in a Whitney Houston "I believe the children are our future" sort of way. God I hate that song.

But, when Katie and I have kids, if one of them says something that even remotely resembles a premonition, my ears are perking up. If they say, "don't get on that plane," you can bet your sweet bippie my ass is sitting on the tarmac. If they see a car crash in their mind's eye, I'm walking.

Why won't everybody listen?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): Dear Rolling Stone,

Three prObama covers in the last six months? Really? Not a bit of overkill on your part, is it? I'm so oversaturated by political coverage right now that I could scream. And you, one of my few bastions of pure musical lust just have to get right in there and hammer home why I'm so freakin' tired of the American political machine.

Here's how bad it is, I'd rather see the cast of High School Musical 3 on your cover than any more political crap. You like Obama, we get it. We got it six months ago.


Dead Horse Voter

P.S. The reduction in size of your publication to that of a normal mag... not cool. Sure, it's a cost savings, but it no longer feels like Rolling Stone if you get my meaning. You could always find RS on the racks, you could always tell when someone was reading it. Now, you just blend in and get lost with everyone else.

Just sayin'.

Out cold...

Guess what! Snippet Wednesday can now legally drink! #21, y'all!

In the midst of my frustration over being frozen out of Twitter (which has allowed me back to play in their sandbox, BTW), I went ahead and signed up with sue on Plurk. It's a far different experience than Twitter although both are marketed as microblogging social network sites. Instead of being message on top of message, like Twitter, the messages you post are listed in a timeline and you can continue a conversation based on a single Plurk (?) in a threaded box as opposed to having to dig around to find a reply if your respondent forgets to throw the @ to make it a Twitter direct reply. I also like that it's all Ajax based and dynamically updates itself. It's pretty nice. The only downside is that there aren't nearly as many people in Plurk as there are in Twitter. So I'll use both. For now anyway. Gotta up my karma rating. ;-)

A friend forwarded this to me and, as a Web designer, I gotta admit that I love it. Thank you to vilain.com.

[click on image to increase size]

It blows my mind to think that a Web site actually exists that allows a person to send an e-card to people that they may have infected with some STD. Yeah, you read that right. If you have contracted an STD, you can enter all the information you have about former lovers and have an e-card delivered to them informing them that they should get tested. While it's better than no notice at all, I'd really think that there must be a better, and less anonymous, way.

I think I can now consider myself at least a tangential San Francisco 49ers fan. Why? Because my man, "Samurai" Mike Singletary has been named head coach of the team after the sacking of former head coach Mike Nolan. Need a reminder of my love of Singletary? Here you go...

About a week and a half ago, I got a killer invite. Some site asked if I would be willing to trial a smartphone and write about it on my blog. It's a Nokia E71-NAM and it's a gorgeous phone, here's hoping the functionality equals the form factor. I began talking with the rep at this site and she seemed pretty gung ho about sending it to me. Then the ball was dropped. I could only have it for two weeks and I was required to pay for the service on the phone. First, two weeks is not nearly enough time to really get a feel for the phone. Second, it's a load of crap that if you are solicited to review something that they are not paying for it. You're using your time and your resources for it, right? It's one thing if I could take the SIM card out of my AT&T Razr and put it in this phone to try it, but this phone is locked to T-mobile. A week ago I asked them how much the service would cost for the two weeks and they have yet to get back to me. It could've been so much fun to play with this phone. Dammit.

If I never buy another game for my Nintendo Wii, let it be this one... a revised version of the classic Punch-Out! with all the same characters and even the same music, but updated and looking FINE! The only problem is that I have to wait until 2009 to get my grubby mitts on it.

I get so weary...

People ask me why I'm so cynical of human nature. Why do I, who otherwise seems like such a nice and easygoing guy, mistrust my fellow man so horribly.

It's because of stories like this.

Basically, two people in Villa Park, IL, who have prObama signs in their yards received notes in their mailboxes from an unidentified future Darwinism victim that read:

Get the Obama signs off your property -- now. Failure to obey this order will result in the immediate death of all family members.

I realize this is the minority... the bottom of the barrel... the shallow end of the gene pool. Yes, there are many really great people in the world doing fantastic things to make life better for the rest of us. And yet these lowlifes are the ones who dominate the news. Not only do they give the Republican party and American politics in general a bad name, but they cast a pallor on all those people who try to be all that they can be (no Army Reserve comments, okay?).

So you'll forgive my dour outlook on humanity.

Sorry if that bugs you out.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I just received a couple e-mails that have made me very happy this morning.

The first came from Ginger Snaps and her friend Dave Delaney. You see Dave had the same thing happen to him that happened to me on Twitter. He got satisfaction through a site called, well, simply, getsatisfaction.com. On this particular thread, several people griped about how their Twitter accounts were nixed for the same non-reasons as me and their cases were summarily resolved. Considering my Twitter Support e-mails still remain unanswered, I'm giving it a shot. Let's hope for the best as I would hate to have to try to remember all the people I had on my friend list. Thanks to both Ginger and Dave!

Jennylewis The second came from my local library and they now have copies of B.B. King's One Kind Favor, Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins' Rabbit Fur Coat, and Darius Rucker's Learn to Live awaiting my pick up.

I love the blues and B.B. is literally the king of them so how can you go wrong?

Jenny Lewis (right) is the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, the former actress who starred in The Wizard with Fred Savage (the movie that introduced the world to Super Mario Bros 3), and is currently my favorite female vocalist. She has a killer voice.

And Darius Rucker... yes, Hootie and the Blowfish Darius Rucker and his turn as a country singer. I've heard a few songs off this album and actually kinda dig it. I'm strangely looking forward to hearing the rest of it.

Where do we go...

In case any of you have been wondering where I've been off to instead of Twittering away, I'll tell you.

I want to say last Tuesday, I actually logged into my account (as opposed to using Twhirl or my cell phone) and noticed a little header saying that there was suspicious activity on my account. However, when I refreshed or surfed to any other page in my account, the message was no longer there, so I pretty much gave it up as a fluke. We all know how readily something wonky happens on Twitter and we get the dreaded Fail Whale. So I chalked it up as a temporary glitch and thought nothing more of it.

However, on Thursday night, I logged in again to check some @replies because I had posed a question that I was looking forward to some answers about. When I got past the login screen, I found this waiting for me...


A Fail Owl? WTF?

So I clicked on the Suspended Accounts link to see what could possibly be the problem and there is absolutely no useful information on the page. Crap about potential violation of the Terms of Use, which I did not do. I next filled out the complaint form and, five days later, I have yet to hear jack from them. I received an auto notice about my complaint being received and they gave me a tracking number and that's about it.

When I logged in to check on the tracking, thinking they were possibly just negligent in e-mailing me follow-up information and had been completing stuff directly in my support file, I found this... "USER IS flagged antisocial!" (their emphasis).

WTF does that mean??? Because I don't login every ten minutes and play with all the Twitterati, I'm not a good user? Because I use my cell phone to post messages, I'm a bad person? I mean, seriously, what the hell kind of judgmental crap is this? I login to my Amazon account once every couple of months and they don't cancel me out. e-Bay hasn't killed my account even though I haven't used that one in more than a year.

Hey Twitter, get your collective heads out of your collective asses and realize that some of us have jobs where we can't login from work and we have family lives so we don't login from our houses every freakin' day and night. Cut us some slack, okay? Oh, and HOW ABOUT RESPONDING!?!?


So do I just give up on Twitter? Do I wait it out for them to respond? Do I create a whole new user? If the last one, help me come up with a cool new name.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I need a laugh right about now. So howsabout this...

Simply put, greatest out-of-office notification ever (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

From:     Adam.Ant@email.com
To:         Me
Subject: Adam Ant is retiring

I will be out of the office starting 10/16/2008 and will not return until 01/01/2025.

I will not be responding to your message.

Yes, I did receive this last week. The only thing that might've made it better would be to say "Assume I have moved on with my life."

Stop kickin' my, stop kickin' my...

Once in a while, I like to take a gander at Google Maps and see what I can find. Just spend some time looking. I love Google Maps. I'm thoroughly enthralled by it. Yeah, I know, simple strokes for simple folks, right? Oh well.

Anyway, I was on there recently and I noticed a bit of an abnormality in the downtown area of the city where I live. Here's what I found...


Community Hospital? I thought the only hospital in my town was almost literally across the street from where I live. So I started checking out the crossroads and it hit me where they were talking about.

Simply put, so not a hospital. Here's how not a hospital it truly is...


  1. A brand new and amazingly cool Life is Good store
  2. Bridal and baby boutique
  3. Store that sells freakishly high-end (read: "ridonkulously expensive") strollers
  4. Artsy fartsy crafty interior decorating store
  5. Egg Harbor Cafe... good stuff
  6. Michaelangelo's Deli... damn good stuff
  7. Wildwood Steak, Seafood and Pasta... also good stuff
  8. Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery... you on a plane yet, Penelope?

I can think of one place that might help cure what ails you but certainly not in a medical sense. I'm just curious how Google got the idea this was a hospital. Not even close. Considering what Shodeen (developers who pretty much own half of Geneva) charges for rent in the downtown area, I doubt a hospital could ever afford to viably operate there.

I wonder what other abnormalities Google Maps has to offer.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): As some of you may have read the other day on Twitter, I was at a college women's soccer game in Naperville, Illinois. Katie's cousin was on the visiting team and this is a fairly reasonable distance for us to drive from home to be able to see her play, so we did.

I played soccer... er... "non-American football" for two years as a kid and clearly all my knowledge of the game is gone. I picked back up on a little of it here and there as I was watching, but something happened during the game that I couldn't explain. Thankfully, for my sanity's sake, nobody else could explain it either. The girl on the home team tangled up with a girl on the visiting team trying to get at the ball. Home Girl (HG) wound up literally wrapping herself around Visiting Girl (VG) at the waist (yep, they looked like a lower-case "t") and pulled VG down to the ground on top of her. The ref blew her whistle and gave VG a yellow card.

Huh? How's this VG's fault? Can someone explain this to me? That was all instigated and perpetrated by HG, not VG. Hey ref, get your head out of your arse!

I might have to go to more of these. It's fun.

Jump in...

I swear I'm having the worst time keeping count of Snippet Wednesdays. I always have to go back at least one or two to figure out which number I'm on. This one should be #20. I hope.

So, even though Katie and I said "no gifts" for our anniversary this year (to each other, that is), I still did buy her some roses. I had to. Sorry. But I forgot to order them ahead of time to have them delivered to her work. I'm kinda glad I did forget, too, because I wound up buying them from a place near where I work, Dave's Floral, that has a cool recycling program going on. For every box from their shop as well as vases or baskets from any shop that you bring back to their store, they will give you credit for one free loose rose. How cool is that? Katie and I have a ton of vases and baskets sitting around that we don't use and now, instead of simply throwing them in the recycling bin, we can get something for them in exchange. The owner told me that one guy brought in 40 used vases and now has 40 roses available for him to pick up at any time for any occasion. I really like this idea a lot and wish more people would do it.

Everyone (at least I hope everyone) has heard the phrase "Jumping the Shark," right? It's in reference to an old episode of Happy Days where the Fonz jumps his motorcycle over a pool with a shark in it as a stunt. Most people point to that scene as being when the show Happy Days got bad. Real bad. And now, people can point to that line in the sand for any TV show or movie or musical act and say that's when they "jumped the shark." However, an article on Cinematical talking about the pending new Ghostbusters film seems to coin a new phrase (well, it's new to me anyway) that I really like. The author, Elisabeth Rappe, says "Nuke the Fridge" in reference to the most recent Indiana Jones film in which Indy survives a nuclear test blast and subsequent throwing and tossing when he gets stuck in a refrigerator. This scene alone really blew the film for me in all honesty and I love the idea of now using "nuke the fridge" as a replacement for "jump the shark." Any other good ideas?

I'm so happy because one of my favorite new shows from last season, Eli Stone, finally returned with a new episode last night. I really enjoy the fantastical elements in Eli Stone because they are not too terribly over the top. You realize that anything truly strange is a vision in Eli's head and that makes the show all the more believable. Plus it has one of the coolest casts on TV. So bring on more Eli!

The Hollywood scene is abuzz with the news that Terrence Howard, who played Jim Rhodes in this year's Iron Man, has been replaced by Don Cheadle. I've read that it was an inability to come to terms on a contract and I've also read that the filmmakers plan to take the character in a different direction. Who will ever know the truth, really? Whatever. I don't care. I love Don Cheadle and feel he is one of the finest actors working today and can't wait to see him take on the role of Rhodey.

I think this is one of the greatest spoof trailers I've seen. And, much like the twist on the Stand By Me trailer from a couple years ago, this shows that the right amount of altered atmosphere can severely darken even the most whimsical of films.

You can call me any, anytime...

While this exercise won't necessarily apply to every one of you out there (those young'uns like kilax), I would like you to think back to when you were young and how you got in touch with your friends when you wanted to hang out and play. Or how they got in touch with you.

What did you come up with? If you were me, you came up with nothing more than a home phone and knocking on each other's front door, right? You could also have letters sent to your parents' house. As I got older and girls came on the scene, notes were passed in school to get messages back and forth. Early on in college, I got my first pager. That was pretty much it.

Flash forward to today. Not that you go outside and play anymore (that would just be creepy and might warrant a call to the police), but think about all the different ways you can now be contacted for whatever purpose. How long was your list?

I shall attempt to count for myself:

  • home phone
  • office phone
  • cell phone
  • home mail address
  • work mail address
  • text messaging
  • three G-mail accounts
  • two Yahoo e-mail accounts
  • one SBC e-mail account
  • one Hotmail e-mail account
  • five work e-mail accounts
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • G-chat
  • work-based instant messaging program
  • three or more AOL IM accounts
  • one ICQ account (does that still exist?)
  • My blog comments
  • Last.fm message board
  • Vimeo comments
  • Talkshow comments

You scared yet? I don't know why I thought of this, but for some reason I did. And as I was mentally hashing out my list of contact methods, I realized I was having trouble keeping track of them all. In fact, I'm pretty certain I thought of some others yesterday that I'm forgetting now as I type this.

I'm not sure I enjoy this realization. On the one hand, it's nice knowing I can be found in an emergency. On the other hand, it's a bit disconcerting knowing I can be found in an emergency, if you catch my meaning.

I would seriously like to go back to the days of passing notes in class. Please?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): This is here only because I would hate to leave Cinnkitty "jonesing" unnecessarily. That would be animal cruelty.

Typically for our anniversary, Katie and I will get each other one sincere card and one funny card. I dunno how this started, but it did and we try to live up to it each year. This year, though, Katie outdid herself. No, I'm not sharing the sincere card, just the joke-y one.

The outside reads: "Sometimes when we're lying in bed, I look over at you and think, 'I'm so lucky'."

The inside reads: "Then you start snoring in that snorty way, and I think, 'Well, that's annoying, but I'm still lucky'."

And she accompanied the card with a box of Breathe Right strips.

I love my wife. No, really, I do. Seriously!

I believe in a thing called love...

It's been a few years since they were posted on the Web, but I'm finally starting to get some earlier photos that were on my static site up to Flickr.

And the first to be posted are the pictures from our wedding!

Why? Because today is our seventh anniversary! Happy anniversary, hon. I love you.

[Check out the album on Flickr if you can't see the Pictobrowser in your reader]

Sorry they are so low resolution. They are scans of print photos and I had so many to do at the time (six years ago), that I scanned them quick and dirty. But they still work.

I wanna fly like an eagle...

Clearly it's Fun With Animals week around these parts.

Yesterday, while Katie and I were walking Lilly, I looked off the side of the trail and saw an enormous bird sitting there on the ground. It was a hawk (or maybe a falcon... I dunno for sure, but it was a big ol' bird of prey to be certain). And, as soon as we got nearer, it took off, with a mouse in one of its talons. We pulled Lilly a bit closer for the next few hundred feet.

A friend of mine also told me a story today about walking out to the parking lot at her job. Some guy she recognized from another department was standing there and told her to watch out for the evil squirrel around the corner. She said she thought he was joking, but stifled her laugh just in case. As she rounded the back of a car, sure enough, there was said evil squirrel ("the mangiest thing I've ever seen") with blood dripping from its mouth onto the ground. My friend freaked out a bit and got the hell away.

I'm not sure what these incidents are trying to tell me, but it almost seems like there should be some sort of prophetic nature to it all. What should I expect next? Would a plague of locusts seem completely unreasonable?

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): You've all purchased new hardcover books before, right? You know that the description of the book, for the most part, is on the inside flap of the dust jacket. You have to open the front cover to see it.

I was at a bookstore during my lunch today and saw some book the title and author of which I can't quite recall. But it had something to do with baseball and the related image on the cover caught my eye. All the advanced copy reviews on the back of the cover made it sound pretty good (but why would they be on there if they didn't, right?). Go figure, though, that I couldn't read word one of what this book was about because it was shrinkwrapped shut. What's the purpose of that? Do the author and publisher really think I'm just going to take it on the word of solicited reviewers how great this book is and buy it blindly?

I don't think so.

Radio, someone still loves you...

Say a prayer for me...

Make a wish...

Send good tidings in my general direction...

Will me some karma...

Light a candle...

Tie a ribbon around the old oak tree...


Here's why...


And tonight, I'm Karl's guest. Granted nothing is showing up in his upcoming shows list, he said we were doing it. So let's hope it's still happening. Otherwise this post is going to seem pretty stupid, isn't it?

What are we going to talk about? Hell if I know. He asked what I wanted to talk about and I had no idea. We might just make this like an episode of Seinfeld, no purpose whatsoever. I can only hope it will be about as much fun. Hell, I'd consider having 25% the fun quotient of an episode of Seinfeld to be a success when I'm involved.

So get on over to Talkshoe and register to listen or to participate in the message boards or both. It's up to you. The show is set for 9 p.m. tonight, CDT (we are still on daylight time, aren't we?). I believe that's GMT -6 so do the math for your own time zone and tune in. Or you can visit the site tomorrow and listen to it after the fact from the Web site or by downloading to iTunes.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): This morning, Lilly was wandering the living room and started smelling a few little fuzzballs on the carpet. Rather than risk her eating them, I decided to pick them up and throw them out.

As I reached down and touched one, it scooted away. It was a freakin' spider! Gah!!!! And I touched it!! Blech! Icky! Icky!

(I sound like such a little girl, but I HATE HATE HATE spiders!)

Oh, and I smashed the little bastard with my boot and flushed him. Sorry Charlotte.

What the world needs now...

Snippet Wednesday #19 is here. RUN!

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for your comments on yesterday's post. Even though we may not have all seen eye to eye on the topic (nor should we), you were all very respectful and nice in how you worded things. I was terrified to post that because of how hot topic politics are in the blogosphere. But I feel better about what I wrote and how it was received. So thanks again!

I think Iron Fist had the best idea, though, in that a blogger needs to petition Illinois Governor Blagojevich for what will (if recent polls hold) be the upcoming open Senate seat in Illinois. And, since I live here, why not me? So that's it. Let's make it official. I'm pushing to receive Blago's nomination to the Senate under the PRB party banner. Anyone want in on the campaign?

Guess who's our houseguest again until about Sunday? Yep, the Lilly Monster. Woo hoo. Fun times will ensue. Oh, and for those of you wondering and did not get the note in Twitter, she is fine. It was an abscess in her gums caused by gingivitis, not cancer.

Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! I hate when I accidentally hit the wrong button in iTunes and buy a whole something or other instead of just downloading the freebie that is being offered. Did it once a couple years ago and it worked out in that the album I got was pretty decent. This time, though, I subscribed to the entire second season of The Sarah Silverman Show. D'oh! Nothing against Silverman. I've heard the show is great. But that's $18.99! GAH!!!!!

I've been pretty addicted to an application in Facebook called Mob Wars. Fun game kinda like a really watered down SIMS about mob life. However, to really do anything good or to survive fights, you need a big mob consisting of all your friends. Yeah, I have a lot of Facebook friends, but only a small number are interested and have signed up to join my mob. However, MadIrishMan tipped me off to a Firefox plug in and a script that will invite people to join your mob even if they're not your Facebook friend. In a few days time, I jumped from 18 to about 140. I feel dirty; but I like it!

One of the only reasons I still buy the occasional physical compact disc has come a month early... the OnXRT: Live From the Archives collection. Annually, WXRT 93.1 FM Chicago puts out a collection of live performances they have recorded in studio or at local clubs on a single disc and sells it with all the net proceeds going to charity. And this one -- volume 11 -- is pretty good. Check out the playlist...

  • "Mr. Jones" - Counting Crows
  • "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" - Cracker
  • "Bubble Toes" - Jack Johnson
  • "Polyester Bride" - Liz Phair
  • "Rain on the Scarecrow" - John Mellencamp
  • "Touch of Grey" - Grateful Dead
  • "Love My Way" - Richard Butler
  • "Ecstasy" - Rusted Root
  • "Waiting on the World to Change" - John Mayer
  • "Turpentine" - Brandi Carlile
  • "Time Zones" - Widespread Panic
  • "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" - Elvis Costello
  • "See A Little Light" - Bob Mould
  • "Come Home" - Back Door Slam
  • "Big Love" - Lindsey Buckingham

Wouldn't you love somebody to love...

I hesitate to post this simply because I know what I'm doing is akin to tasering a bear and sticking around to laugh, but fuck it. For the record, this is the post I referred to last Tuesday.

Please note, what lies beneath is not an endorsement of McCain in any way whatsoever. I have my issues with him as well, but so many people have been so wont to point them out in their own blogs that I just don't see the need. This post is simply my take on the Obama campaign.

As a warning, much like Dave's well-crafted post about McCain's "support" (HA! I made a funny) of veterans, any comment that is too vitriolic or just plain inconsiderate will be deleted right off the bat. It's my blog and y'all are working under my rules here. Sign the release at the door and deal with it, okay?

Why I Don't Know If I'm Ready to Vote For Obama:
A Study in Voter Indecisiveness

by Kevin Apgar

Most of you know that I'm not decided when it comes to the Great Presidential Election of 2008. I've made no bones about it whatsoever... I don't know who I want to vote for. Obama/Biden? McCain/Palin? Hell if I know. I have no prObama icons adorning my site nor do I admin a blog all about my right wing leanings. Sure, it seems as though Sarah Palin should really be making the decision easier for me, but, still I have an unease about Barack Obama that I've had difficulty putting into words.

But I'm going to try anyway.

I'm no political expert. I don't know everything there is to know. In fact, my knowledge probably borders closer to "nothing" than to "everything." I tend to vote more with my heart or my gut rather than my brain. That's the way it's always been. I get a feeling about somebody and that feeling turns into my drive to vote one way or the other. It's not always the issues that sway me as no one candidate has ever fully represented my diverse beliefs. I am the ultimate fence rider and damn if it isn't uncomfortable. I've been asking for years to have that rusty old chain-link jobber replaced with a nicer rounded-top picket fence, but no. I'm forced to sit astride this nasty ass pokey fence as my beliefs get split between two parties.

Hence my Heart-Gut Voting Technique (tm). And I've got a relatively large gut whose instincts should never be questioned (I did vote against Bush both times, dammit; now you tell me who's right).

Most of you should know that I live in Illinois. If you didn't, I'm not sure how you missed it. But here I am settling any question of that whatsoever. I live in the far western suburbs of Chicago about dead center between the city and Rockford. Barack Obama is our Senator. We voted for him a few years ago to represent us in Washington.

And I think many of us are still waiting for him to represent us.

You see, I, like some other Illinoisans feel like we've gotten the shaft by Obama. Maybe "shaft" is the wrong word to use here. But consider this... he came tearing through our state making promises of cleaning up the years of problems that we've had. He would be Our Guy in D.C. We bought into it lock, stock, and barrel. And some of us are still hoping for that change. It almost seems as though he won that election and has since been on a whirlwind tour of the world in preparation for what was the inevitable... running for president of our fair country.

Right about now I feel like a kid who's been bullied in the schoolyard for years. The bullies have taken my lunch money, beat me to a bloody pulp, and left me crying in a mud puddle. The principal isn't doing shit about it either. Now, here comes the new kid in school. He comes rushing in, pushes the bullies down, and takes my hand to help me up. I'm starstruck. This new kid is the epitome of cool. You know how the saying goes, "all the girls want him, all the guys want to be him." However, as soon as I start to get up, he spies the head cheerleader on the side smiling and lets go of my hand. He walks away and I fall back down in the mud as the bullies start to walk back my way smiling menacingly.

It's the truth. Illinois has had nothing but bad Governor after bad Governor for years. Our political offices have been embroiled in scandal after scandal. Three former governors were convicted of white collar crimes including Otto Kerner, Jr., Dan Walker, and George Ryan. Currently, we're saddled with the joy that is Rod "Blago" Blagojevich.

Then along comes Obama and we finally start to see a light at the end of this otherwise dark and infinite tunnel. No, not in the Governor's seat, but just a shining knight of a politician who was making promises to change how business is done. I feel, though, that I have yet to emerge from the proverbial tunnel. As I approach its terminus, it stretches out another hundred or so feet. Enough to keep it in sight, but also enough to keep it out of reach.

I realize I should be thinking of the bigger picture. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. The "many" being the country and the "few" being my state. Yeah, I get it.

Right now, though, it's hard not to think about my state. Why? Because Obama made promises to us. Promises I feel he has yet to live up to. And this colors my view of his ability to run our country. Will he keep those promises? I hope so. He'll certainly have time this go round since it's not like there's a bigger ship for him to jump to once he's President. If he makes it, he's hopefully in it for the long haul.

Another negative lies in the knowledge that if/when Obama wins his White House bid, his replacement in the Senate will be chosen by Blago. It could be anyone, including Blagojevich himself. And, considering the fact that popular opinion is currently weighing heavily against him (a mere 37% approval rating as of 9/22/08), there is a strong possibility that in order to maintain some semblance of power, he could nominate himself for the position. That scares me even more than saying "President Hillary Clinton."

Before I get lambasted here, I'm not against a woman in the White House, nor am I against an African American. What I am against is the campaign process; a time during which it seems candidates do nothing but say what they think you want to hear. And we, as voters, must decide whose cup of Kool Aid we want to sip from. I'm a cynic by nature. I am very mistrusting of human nature. I lock my office door at work when I'm not there. Instead of admiring decorations around our house, I take mental bets on what's going to be stolen first. I'm not sure I've been given enough reason to pick Obama's cherry Kool Aid over McCain's tropical punch. Both are mighty fine in their own right and damn tasty; and, considering the last eight years, I'm pretty damn parched.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm still waiting for my ideal candidate. I have no idea who it could possibly be. But the two parties (the fact that it's still just two parties that dominate our political frontier makes my blood boil), I think, need to work harder at finding the best candidate for the position. Given another four or eight years and a chance to prove himself as a Senator, Obama might be that guy. Right now, I just don't know.

But I guess I'd better freakin' decide soon.

Hey Chicago, whadda ya say...

I need to apologize to some of you. Over the past, well, while, I've become kind of militant in my support of the Chicago Cubs. Maybe it was an over optimism of their chances. Perhaps I just wanted this 100 year drought to finally end. Actually, it was likely both. And a few other thing thrown into the mix for good measure.

Whatever the case was, I came off as a Cub-loving jerk at the expense of a couple of my readers who are White Sox fans (Nilsa and Sheila). As I explained to them, I have nothing against the White Sox even though it may sometimes sound as though I do. The Sox are just as much Chicago as the Cubs are. And, in fact, as any of us who watch baseball have seen, the Sox are actually better representatives of baseball and the Windy City than the Cubs.

At least the White Sox care enough to actually try to play. They've won the World Series a couple times in the last 100 years, a feat the Cubs can't seem to manage even once. And, unlike the Cubs, the Sox are still holding onto their post-season chances this year. As I type this, the southsiders have actually won a game against the Rays to bring the series to 2-1. Sure that record is in Tampa's favor, but at least the Sox are trying.

Why any of us are Cubs fans is beyond me. How any team can be so loved despite doing NOTHING to give back to the expectant masses is beyond me. We support them season after season, unflinchingly. We start each season saying, "this is gonna be the year," only to finish each one with, "wait until next year."

We are the world's most pathetic optimists. The moniker "Lovable Losers" that has for years plagued the club is clearly not just about the team, but its fans as well. We sit back and take heartbreak after heartbreak. Generations have lived and died with no championship trophy. Why do we put up with it? Why don't we just fold up our banners, stuff our T-shirts and hats in a dark dresser drawer, and move on with our lives?

The Florida Marlins, a team that has been in existence for 15 years and won two World Series in that time still can't fill up the seats in their stadium. Why? They've at least given people something to be proud of, a team that can actually win (even if they do have a bad tendency of completely dismantling each championship team the next season).

Cubs skipper Lou Pinella said, "To hear all this talk of, 'Well if you guys don't win the division and you don't win a World Series, it's a lost year.' That's a bunch of bull (bleep). That's just the way I feel." [quoted from the Daily Herald]

Guess what Sweet Lou, it's not bullshit. The Cubs were one of the best teams in the Major Leagues all season long. Much like the New England Patriots were to the NFL last season. The Pats tore through the regular season and through the first couple rounds of the playoffs. They were on their way to the first perfect season in the NFL since the Miami Dolphins in, I believe, 1972 (correct me if I'm wrong on the year; I'm on too much of a roll to bother looking it up).

The Pats lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants and nobody talks anymore about the near-greatness of that team. Their perfect regular season is a footnote, an asterisk, in a season in which they did not win when it counted most. NOBODY CARES ABOUT 16-0 IF IT DOESN'T BRING HOME A TROPHY!

The same is going to happen with the Cubs. Nobody will care that they finished with a .602 record. They couldn't make it past the first round of the playoffs. Hell, they were swept out of it for the second consecutive year. That's what people are going to remember... their futility... their inability... their sheer ineptness.

The Cubs played like a team with no winning record at all. Everybody involved was abysmal. They didn't care. There was no heart out on the field swinging the bat, throwing the ball, fielding hits by the other team. There was nothing but a bunch of shell-shocked, overpaid imbeciles who need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that, YES YOU ARE PAID TO WIN.

But why the hell would they care what I think. I'm just a fan. The Cubs have plenty of them. What's one pissed-off fan, right? They'll still sell out Wrigley Field every home game. That's a given.

And there will be no shortage of blue-pinstriped idiots out there at opening day next season saying, "this will be OUR year."

Yeah, we'll see about that.

Wanna see what others are saying? Check out Chicagoist.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I was reading a library-borrowed copy of Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke last night when I noticed that someone decided to break out their proverbial red pen and get all editorial on it. In one panel, the Joker says, "God damn it." And one previous borrower penciled out the "God" in the line.

Fear not, I took an eraser to the edit. It is what was written and nobody but the author has the right to change their own words (unless of course the author is trying to change the words post-publication, in which case he becomes no better than George Lucas in my mind).

I know all there is to know...

My dad and I went to a home improvement show at Pheasant Run in St. Charles this past weekend. It was two large conference centers full of people showing off their wares and completely overwhelming me at the same time.

Never before have I ever been so happy to be a townhouse owner.

"Would you like an estimate on new siding?"
"Association takes care of it."

"Would you like to put in new roofing shingles?"
"I live in a townhouse!"

"How would you like to take advantage of our highly rated chimney sweeping service?"
"Just come on out and try to find my chimney."

But one woman I did talk to was promoting something aside from home repair stuff. It was her husband's musical production at a local theater. And I am now convinced that armageddon is upon us.

The production was Night of the Living Dead: The Musical. Yes, the musical. I'm not sure how singing would work into this production. Zombies singing? Victims singing as their brains are eaten? I really don't know. I really don't know if I want to know.

So then I started thinking about some of the most ridiculous potential translations of popular movies into the musical theater format. Hell, I even came up with the starts to some songs.

I'll warn you now that some of my lyrics may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk...

The Usual Suspects: Singin' Suspects
A freighter of death, more bodies on the way!
But that dude with the gimp, he's Keyser Soze!

Star Trek: The Emo-tion Picture
Kirk! You whoring bitch!
Kirk! Scratch your own itch!
Kirk! You broke my heart!
Kirk! My life is falling apart!

The Crying Game: Song n' Schlong
What is this before my eyes?
It's a manly meat surprise!

What other movies would be fantastically weird musicals? My mind is running wild with possibilities!

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): There are some stores you expect to see "pop up" all over the place. Those stores that are routinely characterized as retail weeds... when you least expect it, there it is. Some such weeds include Walgreen's, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

So imagine my surprise that within the last six months, two Lover's Lanes have opened up within five or ten miles of my house along the same road. If you don't know what Lover's Lane is, use your imagination, I'm sure you won't be too far off the target.

Good to know there's one thing that remains unaffected by the economic downturn in the U.S.

Can he see or is he blind...

My dad and I just watched Iron Man on DVD tonight in preparation for the vice presidential debates (nothing like a good shoot 'em up to get in the mood for political mudslinging, right?). After the movie was over, we watched some of the deleted and extended scenes. The coolest part of this is not the scenes themselves, but the date stamp in the top right corner of each snippet of film.

In one scene, we watched as the date jumped all over the place from cut to cut showing just how out of order the process of filming is before it gets into the editing room.

In another scene, the extended version of the Vegas gambling sequence, we discovered that the scenes were shot in Caesar's Palace... on June 25, 2007... three weeks to the day after we left from my brother's wedding... and we stayed in Caesar's...

My brother, the inconsiderate prick, couldn't have waited friggin' three weeks to get married, could he?!?!


Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah, BATMAN...

Welcome to another exciting installment of Snippet Wednesday!

While I'm happy for Chicago White Sox fans everywhere that they beat the Twins and won the AL Central title, I stand by my earlier statement that I have no desire to see a Cubs-Sox World Series simply because the people in this city and its suburbs are too immature to handle it. So, since I'm a Cubs fan, LOSE SOX!!

This alternately fascinates and terrifies me. It is called Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Nirvana. I got it through my library because there is no way in the name of all that is holy that I would ever spend money on something like this. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to give it a listen. Should be interesting. Pray for me.

So the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has determined that the Chinese female gymnasts were all of age for the 2008 Olympic Games thus negating the possibility that they might have to cede their team gold medal. Hmm, sorry, but I'm still not buying it. I'm throwing down right now... BULLSHIT!

I feel after sharing my dad's joke yesterday that I should give equal blog time to a classic my wife forwarded this morning. For anybody asking, yes, it is a blonde joke, but we feel okay telling it because Katie is blonde and I used to be blonde once... long ago... when I was very young and had hair (as I aged, it turned brown)... *sigh*

A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get started."

Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"

The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a rooster."

Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster."

He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then..." he said with a deep sigh, "Let's put all the Corn Flakes back in the box."

The CW network is cashing in on the current popularity of the Batman series with a series dedicated to his sidekick, Robin. Sorry, there is a reason why Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have said they do not intend to ever re-introduce the character to the new movies. It's because he's just not that great a character.

Just got a news alert that a hiker may have found items belonging to missing adventurer Steve Fossett. I realize that there is a lot of space in this country, many areas that remain unexplored to some degree. But I gotta say that it amazes me to no end that despite all the technology we have and the gadget geek that I believe Fossett was, that we have not been able to locate his body or his stuff until now, like a year or so later.