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13 posts from June 2009

Don't cry for me, Argentina...

Just a brief one for you, today. Sorry if you were expecting something grandiose, but c'est la vie.

This exchange happened this morning as Katie and I lay in bed watching Today Show reports on South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford:

Katie: Are you going to leave me and head for Argentina?

Me: No.
       ...Maybe Brazil.

You gotta be pretty secure in your relationship to have a convo like that one. ;-)

I love you, hon. (I fully expect her to smack me when she gets home tonight)

I saw this question linked on the Typepad homepage and thought it was pretty cool. If you want to answer on the page linked below, go for it, but I'd like to hear it in the comments here as well (if they're working today; I've heard of some people having issues). Here's the question:

If you could bring back a canceled TV series, which would you choose?
submitted by The Good Girl Gone Blog

You gotta shock the monkey...

Zip your lips, slouch your butts to the seat, and listen hard! It's Snippet Wednesday.

I'm hoping one of you can catch the reference in my intro sentence. C'mon... anybody?

Yes, the air conditioner is on the way to being fixed. Get this, the guy comes out yesterday and I explain what I think is happening so he flips on the power from the thermostat and... it works. Seriously? You're gonna play that game, A/C? The guy told me, though, that the bearings on the fan motor are shot and it will die. He was guessing that after this initial use of the A/C to bring the temperature down (which it did quite nicely), that it would shut off and likely not turn back on. So he's coming back out later this morning to replace the motor. All told, we are going to be spending about $300. Much less than what Katie was thinking we'd be charged, so that's good.

In an attempt to cool off on Monday night, Katie and I went to the theater to see The Proposal. Pretty predictable, but still funny and enjoyable. And, as would be expected, Betty White was brilliant. But this is not the point of this snippet. As we were leaving, there were several hexagonal shaped cases by the door of the theater, which I immediately identified as film reel shipping cases. And the label read Transformers 2. I wanted so desperately to snag them and throw them up on e-Bay. I wonder what they would have fetched.

Typically when I read a headline such as "Girl dies Tweeting in the tub," my initial thought has something to do with my dumbassed fellow USian. It's quite reassuring when I find out we are not the only idiots in the world. This girl, who actually took her laptop in the tub with her to update Twitter, was Romanian and, if she was dumb enough to do this, deserved it.

Okay, time to go to work. Adios!

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'...

I'm doing one of my least favorite things in the world today, sitting at home and waiting for the A/C repair guy to come out and fix it. Okay, my least favorite thing is not necessarily that specific as I hate waiting for any service or repair person at home.

Of course, this is also the hottest day of the year so far. It's predicted to get up to 95°F with a heat index over 100°F and a ridiculous amount of humidity to boot. And, of course, the repair company gave me one of those cable company-esque half-day windows during which their person can be expected to show up and help. So, I had to take a vacation day to accommodate. Oh yay.

I'm splitting my time right now between laundry, reading my book, and watching episodes of Deadwood on DVD. I would try to do more around the house, but it's just so damned hot that I want to remain as immobile as possible.

Besides, I'm not sure I can unstick myself from the chair at this point. Fabric and flesh may have melted into one amorphous blob by now, but I'm not gonna check and find out. Too much effort would need to be expended. Screw that.

And to add to the agony, through my open doors and windows, I can hear all my neighbors' air conditioning units kick on and off as they walk through their unnaturally chilled houses.



OH MY GOD! My cantaloupe is Canadian!

You bastards!


Okay, sorry, bad joke. But Katie was cutting a cantaloupe last night and suddenly had a spark of creative inspiration and thought this might make me laugh and forget the heat. It did. Neither of us could stop laughing.

Yes, Ike has a small patch of hair and no eyebrows. But Katie was doing this solely off memory and I gotta say it's pretty damned brilliant.

Boom, baby!

Hot in the city, tonight...

Oh my god, people. I've only been offline since Friday and you hit me with 577 unread articles in Google Reader? What the bloody hell? I usually only get 577 during a moderate week, but over a weekend? Unheard of! Don't you people have families? Spend some time with your loved ones, for Chrissake!


Katie and I had fun this weekend. We went to dinner and a play with my family, including the Nano, on Friday. It was pretty hilarious. If you ever have the chance to see a show called "Don't Dress for Dinner" I highly recommend it.

Saturday was a blast, as well, since that was the day Katie and I went to Naper Days to see Matthew Sweet. Well, it was more of a blast for me than for her. She only really knew one song the entire night and that only tangentially.

Sweet's opening act was Chicago's very own Michael McDermott, an artist I've known of for many years but whose music I had never listened to. He's pretty good. I may have to look up some of his stuff at the library.

Sweet was pretty good, too, but his show was much shorter than I expected. After a mere 55 minutes, he announced that the next would be his final song. By that time, he'd already played everything I wanted to hear, so we packed up and left to avoid the exiting masses. I had a feeling he would play an encore, which he did, but beating the crowds out of downtown Naperville was worth it to me.

I did take a bunch of photos from that day and Katie even took a few and I swear I'll get them uploaded soon, but I'm trying to make this Flickr Desktop Uploader, which promises faster uploads, work and it's not proving to be any faster than the Web interface. I swear you'll have them soon. Really! I got pretty close to the stage and got some great shots. I'm at 13 of 64 now.

But the real fun happened that night when Katie and I got home (get your minds out of the gutter!). It was really hot that day (again, minds... gutter) so we decided to fire up the air conditioner for the first time this year. Nothing. Not a bit. The engine whirred, and we could feel cold air trickling out at a miniscule rate, but that entire night, the house never dipped below 81 degrees fahrenheit. It was brutal. (18 of 64)

We checked the next day and it turns out our fan motor might be blown. Great. I don't think a fan motor will be too terrible, but it's money we were hoping to instead save for a new car. I swear, it's just like they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. We begin to save for one thing only to have something else require a redirection of our funds. WTF? Same damn thing happened to the Lexington trip. (23 of 64)

Hmmm... might be time for a break and get ready for work while the rest of them upload. I'll be back to finish this post. I promise.

[several hours pass]

Thank God, they're finally done! Enjoy...

And here's a direct link to the album in Flickr.


Any of you who have been wanting to see my underwear in action should have been in my backyard this morning.

Sometimes, when I wake up, I don't necessarily get fully dressed right away (a habit I'm sure would be changing when Katie and I have kids). I may walk around in pants and no shirt or just an undershirt or underwear or any number of other potential combinations.

This morning, I went downstairs and sat at the computer in my underwear and undershirt. We've had so much rain and we haven't turned on our air conditioner so it was really muggy downstairs. In order to cool down a bit, I also slid open the backdoor, which is right beside the computer, so I could get some air through the screen door. After several minutes, I heard a weird mechanical chirping sound. So I carefully peel away the full-length curtain we have over the sliding backdoor and realize there's a guy out there marking the lawn for a utility repair. And I'm sitting there in my underwear.

Thankfully he didn't look right away and I was able to cover up... and get dressed. Could've been so much worse.

Last night, I attended my first Tweet Up. For you non Twitterers, this is basically a bunch of Twitter users who get together in real life.

As you know, I've met up with fellow bloggers many times in the past and have loved every single one of the experiences and people. But with bloggers, you know them from these lengthy posts they write for their blogs or from e-mail conversations or whatever other method of communication you use that is sometimes even supplemented by Twitter use.

With Tweet Ups, the people you meet are ones you know only from Twitter. You know them from 140-character-or-less bursts of random information typed and posted for the world to see. And you may not even see all of them because, if you have enough Twitter followers, you won't necessarily go back and read the old Tweets that you may have missed while logged off. Some people do, but I certainly don't. I log in and check for replies or direct messages meant specifically for me and then I read what is available at that moment. So, basically, what I'm saying is that your knowledge of your fellow Twitterer is far more limited than your knowledge of a fellow blogger. So I was nervous. Very nervous.

But it was great! I met about 30 or more Twitterers from the area and we just talked about anything. Jobs, family life, favorite drinks, why we use Twitter, what other social media outlets we use... the gamut. It really was a blast.

I may have to do it again some time soon.

Don't you need to get back in the arms of a good friend...

In a very last-second decision, I caved and bought tickets for a concert this Saturday. It's the annual Naper Days event in Naperville, IL, and the tickets were only $5 a pop with no fees attached to it at all (God bless the peeps who don't go through TicketMaster; there is a special place in Heaven for you).

And who will Katie and I get to see? My boy Matthew Sweet!


Oh I'm stoked! And I find that Katie and I have more fun at these more low-key and low-cost shows than we do at big, overblown concerts anyway.

I found this pretty funny.

For anybody who appreciates either 24 or The Office, you should enjoy it as well.

24 at the office from Twelve Episodes on Vimeo.

Come on let's take the long cut...

Welcome to a sopping wet edition of Snippet Wednesday.

It began pouring here yesterday and didn't let up much. Of course, at work we had an outdoor event and I wound up drenched. I'm thankful that I had some workout clothes and a pair of shorts that I was otherwise going to take back to Kohl's to exchange for a smaller size. Sure I didn't match all that well, but it beats walking around in sopping wet dress clothes. Yay. Even after wet clothes dry up, they still feel wet, you know what I mean? Softball tonight should be fun with how flooded the fields are likely to be. Thank God I'm not playing because...

Yeah, my six-month cleaning with the dentist is tonight. My only question is whether I'm going to wind up with the nice, cute hygienist or Hygienist Ratchet. Any bets?

Here's a hint for any one of you... when cutting a loaf of bread with a serrated knife, make sure the serrated edge is toward the bread and not toward your guide finger. Just sayin'. Some fuckin' Eagle Scout I turned out to be.

I got a little freaked out the other day when I received an Facebook friend request... from my mom. My mom is on Facebook. This scares me. I love you, mom, and I know you're reading this, but it still freaked me out.

I didn't realize that a couple weeks ago I hit the one year anniversary of Snippet Wednesdays. Holy cow! That's the longest I've stuck with any theme on this blog. Way to go, me!

I had another thing I wanted to mention as a snippet. Thought about it this morning on the drive to work. Of course, I didn't write it down and now it's forgotten. And I'm sure I'll think of it again precisely one hour after this post goes live. Because that's just how my brain works.

Okay, time to get ready for yoga and then figure out what to do for lunch. I forgot (seems to be going around) to bring anything to eat today. Go fig, eh?

All in all, it's just another brick in the wall...

Do you have anything that you like to do that others might view as weird? Be it an odd habit or an off-the-wall hobby?

I'm asking because my wife is addicted to painting. I don't mean like watercolor or acrylic painting on canvas, but painting walls. And it's getting a bit out of control. This past weekend, when I was supposed to be in Kentucky, we repainted our master bedroom. No, the paint job is not the reason I didn't go to ConFab, but I'm sure Katie was happy to have me around to help all the same.

We painted our master bedroom for the first time a couple years ago after tearing out the monstrosity of a built-in shelving unit that our predecessors left us (remind me to thank them with a nail gun). We had painted opposite walls in a light green and tan color scheme. I always kinda dug it, but I knew Katie was never quite happy with it.

Now three of the walls are a dark gray-blue (Katie insists they're more of a blue-green... I think she's colorblind) with one accent wall that is a nice rich brown. I do really dig the colors. It's got a very mature look to it. An adult bedroom, if you will. Katie's not as sold on the blue as she was when she saw it as a sample chip, but I'll be damned if she's repainting again.

Oh, and we got it all done in one weekend.

This could either be interpreted as a sign that we didn't have nearly enough else to keep us busy or that we're just getting too good at this painting shit. Either way, I'm hoping she doesn't want to repaint yet another room. Is there a 12-step program available for this sort of addiction?

Pictures are forthcoming once I take the "after" photos.

OH MY GOD!Starbucks has killed their maple pecan scone!

You bastards!


R.I.P. Maple Pecan Scone... how I loved thee.

I'm on the nightrain, ready to crash and burn...

Very early this morning, something like 2 or 3 a.m., I woke up for whatever reason. All of a sudden, I heard a train whistle outside.

Living as close to the tracks (no jokes about right or wrong side, okay?) as we do, we're used to hearing the normal sounds that one would expect from a train. However, the city we live in has a noise ordinance that states, unless they are crossing an at-grade intersection or they see someone or something on the tracks, they are not allowed to blow their whistles between like 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Many towns with train tracks have similar ordinances.

But this train clearly was not crossing an at-grade street intersection as there are none within a few miles in either direction of where we live and it could not have been an object on the tracks because it was blowing its whistle in short bursts constantly for 10 minutes and the sound was not moving. It was like listening to a car alarm that was programmed to sound like a train.

I'm sure many cities cannot actually enforce noise ordinances with regard to trains as they are moving quite fast and I can't imagine a code enforcement officer trying to jump the train to issue a ticket. But can't something be done? It's not easy to fall asleep when you have this whistle bleating for so damn long that early in the morning. Part of me believed the engineer was intentionally screwing with us.

Don't get me wrong, I love trains and I realize how central they are to our economy here and in other countries. But this was a bit nuts. I seriously wanted to go out there and shove the whistle up the engineer's ass.

Some time ago, I entered a contest over on Banal Leakage and I won!

I won a major prize (name the reference)!

Actually, it was the best thing a guy like me could win... free music in the form of a $10 gift card to iTunes.

Well, as they say, easy come, easy go. I used it this morning to buy Sonic Youth's new album, Eternal. And I wanted to thank Marty for helping me start my Thursday on a great, er, note (pun intended).

Take another little piece of...

It's Snippet Wednesday! And about the only thing snippety about it is that I wish I could take a pair of scissors and just cut this day out of the calendar of existence thus negating it all. Once you read my one and only snippet for this week (I guess that would make it just a regular old everyday post, eh?), you'll understand why I've had absolutely no time to think about this at all. Sorry.

Why can't life, be it personal or professional, show some consistency? I was having a relatively steady week. Things happen, I take care of them. So, to make things a little more interesting, I decide to add a really big project to the mix... and EVERYTHING COMES OUT OF THE WOODWORK. I swear to God. Never mind that I had all the time in the world the first couple days this week or even last week to do these things, if they'd been given to me. It just all decides to rain down on me at once. My mind is everywhere. And nowhere. Hell, I don't even know where.

Is the world working on some sort of Kapgar Alert System that lets them know I'm working on a ton of shit all at once and that they should pile on even more?

I need hard liquor. Stat.

Burn baby, burn...

I'm not sure what to do here.

I have clearly lost weight if the fit of my work pants and jeans is any indicator. Whereas they were snug at one point, I can actually now pinch off nearly three inches of fabric (folded over length) in the thighs of my work pants and I've got fabric bunching in the waist under my belt.

Because of this fact, I've actually started to throw my pants in the dryer instead of hang drying them.

The only problem is that some of them are starting to fit the way they should. Sure that makes me look more human at work, but it gets a bit depressing. I know it's because they've been through the dryer and are smaller as a result. But my mind keeps thinking I'm putting weight back on since I'm not sure just how much of this "better fit" is the effect of the dryer as opposed to the effect of potential weight gain.

Should I sate my paranoid brain and just dress like nobody loves me or should I try to look more professional and make my clothes fit the way they should?

Stupid brain.

Here's a challenge to all of you. My buddy MadIrishMan is growing a plant of Bhut Jolokia peppers. He just texted me today to let me know that the plant is doing pretty well and it should produce 60-100 peppers. He also offered to send me a few.

I'm not sure what you all know about Bhut Jolokia peppers (AKA Naga Jolokia peppers), but they sound pretty damn nasty. Here are some highlights for you from Wikipedia...

Naga_Jolokia_Peppers"The pepper's fierce "bite" is akin to the venom of a king cobra."

"In February 2007, Guinness World Records certified the Bhut Jolokia as the world's hottest chili pepper."

"One seed from a Naga Jolokia can produce sustained intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding."

"It is also used as a remedy to summer heat, presumably by inducing perspiration."

"In northeastern India the peppers are smeared on fences or used in smoke bombs as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at a distance."

Holy Christ! If he sends me some of these, I'm not even sure what I would do with them. Maybe a trophy case? I can't imagine even thinking about eating them.

Oh wait! We'll save them for Karl's next birthday challenge!

It's finally happened, I'm slightly mad...

Most of you know of or have personally experienced Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death.

Some of you might have heard of the X-Box Red Ring of Death.

But were any of you aware that Macintosh has a Gray Screen of Panic and Disarray?


It's also known as a Kernel Panic, and I got it this morning on my G5 iMac.

I was trying to eject my USB thumbdrive when, all of a sudden, my desktop was cloaked in gray. I could still see everything underneath, but the keyboard and mouse would not respond. The GSOPAD said that I needed to reboot my computer. Since I could really do nothing else, I complied.

After rebooting, I got a pop-up acknowledging that the system had to be forcibly rebooted after a failure of the operating system.

This doesn't sound good. Not at all.

Any other Mac users out there ever have the same problem? Might it be time to reinstall the operating system? Would that do any good? I know I still have my Adobe software discs. I only hope I can still find my old Office CD.

Continuing on the suckage front... We are one week away and counting from FabCon, Baby! in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky.

And I can't go.

I was supposed to attend. The plan was for me to take a long weekend and drive with Katie to visit my aunt and uncle in Louisville and then head into Lexington. We were going to rent a car (because both our cars have far too many miles on them to survive this trip) and get a hotel room. Then Katie couldn't get the extra time off work so it became a solo trip. Then a personal crisis arose necessitating the reallocation of the funds set aside for this trip.

And it sucks. But it was a necessary decision. Trying to spend on both the trip and this other thing, which shall remain nameless, would be stretching us way too thin financially.

So to anybody who was looking forward to hanging out with us, I'm truly sorry. The worst part is that I'm not sure when I'll ever be able to meet DutchBitch now. That really sucks. I'm sorry, hon. There's still hope with several domestic blogger friends, but it's those ones from across the pond where scheduling gets hairy.

Seas would rise when I gave the word...

I'll warn you now, this Snippet Wednesay is chock full of geeky goodness. Hope you can handle the overload.

Obviously, being a public blog, there are things that I don't talk about. That's just how it goes. However, some of the topics I've avoided are ones that I would truly love input from some of you on. To that end, I've played with the idea of setting up a password-protected post (actually, using Typepad, I need to set up an entire alternate blog with password protection; they don't offer it on a post-by-post basis). But I'm curious, for those of you who have opted to privatize either a single post or an entire blog, have you had any negative whiplash from people to whom you didn't give passwords? Either people you know simply from the blogiverse or people you know in real life who read your blog? I'm worried about having someone ask me for the password that I don't want to give it to.

How did I miss this? I know I've railed against the concept of supergroups (okay it's more a "pffttt" than a "railing") in the past, but this one could make me change my mind. This Friday will see the release of an album by a group named Chickenfoot (stop laughing). The band consists of Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony of Van Halen on vocals and bass, respectively, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on drums, and Joe Satriani on guitars. Holy crap on a cracker this is rock ecstasy. Me likey the sound o' this!

Clashoftitans If there was any one other movie I geeked out about as a kid aside from the Star Wars films, oh, and The Last Starfighter and, yeah, Ghostbusters and Real Genius (okay, I was a geek, I admit it), it was The Clash of the Titans starring Harry Hamlin, Lord Laurence Olivier, Burgess Meredith, and Judi Bowker. I even dressed as Perseus for a couple Halloweens, that's how much of a geek I was for it. I still love the movie and own it on DVD. Hey, it's a Ray Harryhausen classic. And now they're remaking it. Normally, I'd cringe at the idea of a remake of a movie I love so much, but it stars freakin' Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. How can I cringe? Those are powerhousers, baby. And here's a teaser image of Sam Worthington as Perseus. It's very 300 and I can't wait. Thanks to Cinematical for the image. 

Trolling through the Sunday sale ads, I saw that Jeff Buckley, a musician I really enjoy (I guess that should be past tense since he died some time ago; but I still enjoy his music) has a new 1 CD/2 DVD tribute set. It's going for $19.99 at Best Lie and contains a bunch of live performances as well as a documentary about his life. Have any of you picked it up or seen some of this footage prior to the release of this set? Is it worth the money? I don't usually buy into bonus feature stuff like this, but I'm tempted here.

Once in a while I start to collect those Kellogg's movie points because they have some interesting DVD titles available. I figure, I'm already going to buy the cereal, why not get a free DVD? It's been a while, though, since I've done this. But, last night, I picked up a box of Corn Flakes and the DVD offer had Danny Boyles' Millions available. I gotta do this. That was a great flick! So, um, anybody have any of these movie tokens they'd be willing to send my way? I don't buy cereal nearly as much as I used to and this offer might expire by the time I get the five requisite tokens. Help.

All I can say is "holy cow."