Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

It's been a difficult year and I'm glad it's over. I really hope that 2009 turns out much better. As I've been reflecting on the year past, I've been feeling a bit down but have Joe Satriani to pick me up. I've had I Believe running through my head and it's kind of bitter sweet. Somehow it seems to encompass how I've been feeling lately.



This is kind of a rare song for Satriani in that he sings in this one. And for as long as I can remember, I've wanted a Chrome Boy. Maybe one day I'll finally add one to my collection. I just did a quick search on ebay and came found one for $11,500, so then again maybe not.

Wacky Laws

It's time for the annual wacky laws news stories to start coming out. Some are more entertaining than others, so I'll make this easy for you and just put the good ones up:

4. In Michigan, it is legal to kill a dog for attacking chickens, livestock or people, but you can't snuff the pooch in a high altitude decompression chamber or by electrocution.

5. In West Virginia, anyone who taunts someone who decides not to participate in a duel or who declines to accept a challenge is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be sent to jail for up to six months and fined up to $100.

6. In Kentucky it is illegal to sell, exchange, offer to sell or exchange, display, or possess living baby chicks, ducklings, or other fowl or rabbits that have been dyed or colored. It is also illegal to dye or color baby chicks, ducklings, fowl or rabbits. And unless they are at least two months old, the aforementioned animals must be sold in batches of six.

And the one that I don't consider wacky but actually think is a good idea that should be implemented elsewhere is:

2. Using profanity is against the law on playgrounds and in public parks in Columbia, Md.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Active Park Assist



Ford's new active park assist was officially announced today. By 2012, 90% of Ford vehicles will be able to parallel park themselves. As a man, I obviously have no problem parallel parking and do not need such technology, but for the other half of the population this should be welcome news. All joking aside, I actually heard about this from the Boy (aka my younger brother) about a year ago. I don't remember if he worked on this while working for Ford or if he just knew people that did. I do know that he argued in favor of incorporating the blind spot monitoring and luckily that has been included. Also interesting is that according to this article, they will be switching from a traditional hydraulic power steering system to an electronic power steering system which should improve fuel economy. Hopefully this will help pull the company out of it's downward spiral and any risk of bankruptcy.

Useless Trivia

What names do Homer and Bart have in the Middle Eastern version of TV’s popular animated sitcom The Simpsons?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dentist

I finally got into the dentist today after more than a decade. I had a pretty impressive buildup of plaque and tarter in a few places, most notably behind the lower front teeth, but overall I had a pretty good prognosis all things considered. The bad news is that I do have 4 small cavities, but the dentist said that they are really just the start of cavities, not full blown cavities yet. Still, I have to get fillings. I had expected worse, so I can live with that.

The good news is that the office that I decided to go to had multiple attractive blond women working there. Some caused me discomfort, but I don't hold a grudge. At least one is looking forward to seeing me again in 6 months for my next checkup. At the moment, that's the closest thing I have to a girlfriend. That's not the reason I chose this dentist though, just a happy coincidence. This dentist was simply the closest to my house.

Sadly, I can't put off another trip for another decade. I can't help wondering why we have to spend so much time maintaining teeth though. People have lived for eons without dental care, is it our modern diet which wreaks so much havoc on our chompers? That's what I'm going with until I hear different.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Are The Champions

CONGRATULATIONS
2008 League Champion!

ET 2008 Championship Trophy

Clever Team Name
Owner(s): Scott Crawford
Regular Season Record: 6-7

I've already been chastised for not gloating yet, so here goes. After limping into the playoffs with a poor 6-7 record, my boys stepped it up in the playoffs to ensure that the fantasy football league championship trophy will reside on the Crawford mantle (if I had one) for a second consecutive year. Despite some questionable personnel moves on my part, like benching Peyton Manning and his 32 points in favor of Aaron Rogers (who put up a respectable 22 to be fair) because I thought he might be benched early to rest him up for the playoffs, I still managed to knock off the top 2 seeds.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right, 6-7 isn't anything to be proud of, but it was enough to get the job done, and it isn't as bad as it sounds. I finished 2nd in points scored, but had some bad luck finishing 1st in points against. It seemed like everybody had a big game against me. The low point of the season came on October 18th. Needing help at WR, I made the poor decision to accept a trade sending John Carlson and the Titans D (#1 D in the league) to Kris for Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson and the Packers D. I've got Antonio Gates on the roster so I figured Carlson was expendable, but needless to say, Ocho Cinco was a complete bust. And Gates was a little inconsistent so having Carlson on the roster would have helped.

Team MVP award goes to Michael Turner who was consistent all season. I could always count on him for 25 points. But the free agent pick up that really turned the fortunes of my team was Pierre Thomas. He played some big games down the stretch and I would have been eliminated early if not for him. I picked up as many running backs as I could get my hands on, but most of them were really up and down. Steven Jackson, Larry Johnson, Willis McGahee, and Ryan Grant (who carried me in the playoffs last year) seemed like good ideas, but would just as frequently put up a goose egg as a 25 point game.

I should also note that I finished third (out of 12) in my other league, but I didn't really care about that one. I got talked into that league because they needed an even number of people, and getting stuck with the auto draft picking 10th, it was a struggle to find decent players. But some of the same guys helped me out in that league. People laughed when I picked up Kyle Orton, John Carlson, and Pierre Thomas, but it worked out ok.

Snowball Fight

In the wake of the Seahawks surprise win over the Jets, the biggest news is Shaun Ellis chucking a "snowball" into the stands. If you look at it, it's more of a snow boulder, that thing is huge. Ellis has already been reprimanded by the Jets and fined $10k by the league. I say it's time for people to get a sense of humor. It doesn't look malicious to me, it looks like Ellis was just having fun. Afterall, isn't that what you're supposed to do in the snow, have fun? So please, all you hand wringers, let it go and have a little fun for a change. And please repeal the fine NFL, you really have become the No Fun League.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I really love snow on the water. So much so that I'm on the verge of breaking into my own rendition of Deep Purple. There's something surreal about ducks walking around on a lake. Anyway, I got a little cabin fever today and decided to take a walk up to the grocery store. I didn't need anything but wanted to get out and see the snow covered neighborhood and also check out the streets and assess how likely it will be for me to be able to get to work tomorrow. The roads were pretty snowy, but traffic was moving along slowly. It's snowed another 2 or 3 inches since then and there's more to come overnight so I think there's a good chance I'll be staying home tomorrow. I wouldn't mind extending my vacation a bit longer.



Here's another angle of the lake out in front of my place.





The waterfall hasn't frozen over yet but still looks pretty cool surrounded by snow and icicles.

On the stroll up to the store, I saw that some people had been sledding down the stairs, effectively turning them into a toboggan run. The only mishap on the journey occurred on the way home when I slipped on said stairs. I broke my chips and some peanut brittle along with them. Of course peanut brittle comes broken, but I did crunch it up a bit more. I'm pretty proud of myself for holding onto my phone and not hanging up during the ordeal. Obviously the camera came through unscathed as well. Stay tuned for more adventures.

Blizzard 2008

The blizzard has officially hit, and it's a class 5 kill storm. So far the accumulation isn't too great, but maybe by morning that will change. I would guess that we had about 6" this morning and the last time I checked we were up to about 8". I tried to take some pictures after dark, but they didn't turn out. The wind is really starting to blow though and since I have electric heat, I'm really hoping that the power doesn't go down. But while I was outside, a few cars drove by and I have to say how much I love how quiet it is in the snow. Other than engine noise, cars are almost silent - creeping along like jungle cats. Cool.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Think I Found

....the woman of my dreams. I don't know where she lives, but she's cute and she likes Sevendust and Disturbed. What more could any man ask for in a woman?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vegas Part II

I'm pleased to say that I did accomplish one of my goals while there, getting my picture taken with a showgirl. This was at one of the entrances to Harrah's. At one of the other entrances were a couple Chippendales but I declined to get a picture with them. Sure it would have been funny, but not funny enough. I also wanted to get my picture taken with some random woman in front of a wedding chapel, but every one I walked by was deserted. I thought that would be amusing, but no dice. I did see one beautiful woman in a wedding gown getting photos taken in the Wynn, and since there was no groom in site, for a brief moment I considered asking her for a picture but quickly reconsidered. I didn't want to spoil anyone's actual wedding.



One other interesting, or perhaps not so interesting thing I noticed about Vegas is the prevalence of jaywalking. I can't believe people people don't get hit all the time. So many drunk, impatient, or just plain stupid people just step right out into the road without looking or waiting for the signal that I thought for sure some of them would become hood ornaments. It was an interesting study in group dynamics - several people would be standing on the corner waiting for the light to change, but as soon as one idiot started going, a bunch more would follow like lemmings, many of them nearly avoiding getting run over as well. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that though since there are sheep in every city in this country just standing around waiting for somebody to follow, even if it is a moron.

Enough about that though. I have to say what impressed me most was the sheer size and spectacle of some of the hotels. The New York New York was pretty cool - like being on some New York side streets as far as I know. I enjoyed getting a bite to eat there at the ESPNZone restaurant while watching sports. The Bellagio was one of the most opulent places I've ever been, and the fountains out front were captivating. They were even more amazing from atop the Eiffel Tower across the street at the Paris. It is only about 2/3 scale, but the view is still amazing. Caesar's Palace was my favorite though. I could wander through there for hours. The level of detail is unbelievable - statues, and ornate carvings everywhere. The Venetian was pretty fantastic as well. Street performers and gondola rides aren't to be missed.

As much as I love Egyptology, I was really looking forward to seeing the Luxor, but unfortunately it was a little disappointing. There are some cool faux artifacts, but you can see pretty much everything of interest in 10 or 15 minutes. Treasure Island was disappointing as well. It looks pretty cool from the outside, but there isn't anything worth seeing inside.

One thing I still can't understand is how there are so many run down, flea bag motels off the strip. When you can get a cheap room in one of the hotels on the strip, why would anyone stay in one of those dumps? Somebody must because there are dozens of them. One of these days I'll get around to downloading my pictures and posting them.

Monster Magnet

I've been taking a trip down memory lane today musically speaking and came across this awful video that I haven't seen in years. I also haven't heard the song in years and to this day have absolutely no idea what Negasonic Teenage Warhead means. But what struck me about this video isn't any of those things, it's that it was directed by Gore Verbinski (according to one source anyway). Gore went on to direct the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, and according to IMDB is currently slated to direct Bioshock - a great video game but no doubt what will turn out to be a horrible movie. Anyway, that got me thinking about what other directors got their start with music videos and I don't even know where to start looking. It's probably a simple google search to find out, but I'm too lazy even for that.



When you're done with this one, check out Space Lord, filmed in front of the Plaza Hotel & Casino. I just ate lunch there last week! And that reminds me, special thanks go out to Monster Magnet for providing a great nickname for one particular individual who is notorious for spacing out. Rock on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vegas Part I

As I mentioned previously, I spent last week in Vegas. It was my first trip there and I didn't entirely know what to expect. It's starting to get late so I'll save the rest for later, but for now let me just give some brief impressions. First of all, I was really in awe of the vast size of the hotels and casinos. They are the biggest damn buildings I've ever seen. So damn big in fact that for most of the trip my feet hurt like hell from wandering through them as well as up and down the strip. And I'm a little ashamed to admit that I got lost in Caesar's Palace .... twice. Only once in The Palazzo though. I'd started out in The Venetian and at some point made the transition over and couldn't find my way outside.

Unfortunately there was a national rodeo in town while I was down there and the city was overrun with inbred hicks wearing cowboy hats and boots and giant belt buckles. Country music was being played pretty much everywhere and when I would go into a casino or shop playing some crappy dance or pop music that I would normally despise, I was so relieved that it wasn't country that I actually welcomed it. Long story short, I'm lucky to have made it back here without having punched a hill billy and had I known that the rodeo was there, I would have rescheduled my trip.

I was really surprised by how much the casinos stunk. It was like being sucker punched right in the nose by a cigarette butt. People were smoking everywhere and it absolutely reeked.

I was also surprised that Vegas seems to be a haven for washed up has beens. When's the last time you heard anything from Bette Midler, Cher, Elton John, Donnie & Marie, Barry Manilow, etc. If it weren't for Vegas, these careers would have been over long ago.

I'm not a gambler, but I did do a little gambling there, but not too much. I plunked a dollar into a nickel slot machine at one of the casinos in old town Vegas - I think the Fitzgerald but don't remember for sure - it was just the first place I found that had slots that would let me put in actual change, pull the handle, and spit out coins when I won. Long story short, I was bored before I lost my dollar. I was planning on playing some quarter slots in the hopes of hitting a $10 jackpot or so and getting a months laundry money but didn't feel like playing any more slots at that point. The only other gambling I did was at the Monte Carlo. They gave me $20 in free play for staying there, but for some reason I had to spend a dollar of my own before I could start using the free play, I'm not sure why. Anyway, after about half an hour of video blackjack I cashed out and walked away with $19.75 in cash. So I ended up +$17.75 for the trip.

Well, that's enough for one day. Stay tuned for more boring stories not filled with excitement or debauchery. I did realize one of my life goals and got my picture taken with a showgirl. I declined the opportunity to get my picture taken with a couple Chippendales though.

Rebecca Stevenson

I will admit that I almost never watch local news, however, today I wanted to catch the weather forecast and was taken aback by the drop dead gorgeous meteorologist now working at KIRO. Rebecca Stevenson's warm front caused a surge of high pressure in the southern regions. Destiny has brought us together and either she will one day become Mrs. Crawfu or I will become Mr. Stalker. It's too early to tell which way it will go at this point. The only thing that is certain is that I will be forced to tune in to the weather reports more often to insure that I'm not caught off guard by any sudden changes.

In completely unrelated news, of all the horrible shows in the vast wasteland that is tv, the show we really need to bring back is Battle of the Network Stars. Quality programming like this just isn't available anymore. Behold, if you will, the drama that unfolds as Robert Conrad and Mr. Kotter settle things like men - by an impromtu foot race. Also, notable appearances are made by a chain smoking, nonsensical Telly Savalis, a young Ron Howard with hair aplenty, Farrah Fawcett, and a beautiful Lynda Carter. I'd forgotten how hot she was back then.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Latest Trend

I don't know how chucking sammiches became the hottest form of assault, but for the third time in a month, some idiot in Florida was arrested for throwing a sammich at his girlfriend. I don't understand it, but what I do know is that it's wasteful. Kids in Africa are starving and this food related crime must stop. Sammiches are for eating, not fighting, and it's time that became known.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hello Kitty

At a recent trip to American Music - ok, not that recent, about 2 months ago - I came across a Hello Kitty guitar. I had a hard time imagining them selling any since most teen girls aren't all that interested in playing guitar and asked the salesman if they'd sold any. To my surprise he said that they had sold a lot of them, and even more to my surprise he said that it is mostly heavy metal guitarists buying them. I find this to be quite amusing, not amusing enough for me to want one mind you, but amusing enough that I set out across the internet in search of heavy metal guys with them. Sadly, I haven't been able to find many pictures of guys with them. There are a couple, like Slash here, but not the treasure trove I'd been hoping for. Youtube, on the other hand, is littered with guys playing these beauties. Watch the below video and try to tell me it's not awesome.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

First Snowfall of the Winter

Last night I got home from some pleasant weather in Vegas (60's - not hot but I could wear shorts most of the time) to find that the cold weather has finally struck. It's been snowing lightly here off and on for several hours. It's very slowly piling up - it looks like about half an inch at the moment - but I'm hoping to wake up to a few inches. I love snow. It's so pure and clean, and until enough foot and auto traffic has been on it, it covers all that is dirty and filthy in the world. And if it clears up enough, there's very little in this world than viewing a fresh blanket of snow on a moonlit night. The sparkling is magical. So even if it's just for a day or two, I'm pleased to see the snow.

I've still got one more week off work, so I'd be happy to see the snow remain for a little while. I have some classes to take in downtown Bellevue, so hopefully the traffic won't be prohibitive, but even if we get a huge dumping, I'll manage.

I've been pretty exhausted and stressed out in recent weeks (and months I guess) and hopefully 2 weeks of vacation will be enough to recharge my batteries somewhat and get my psyche a little more in order. A week in Vegas and a week of insurance classes isn't the most relaxing vacation, but it's better than 2 weeks in the office. At least the first week of vacation has been enough to get me posting again.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stuck In My Head

Today I've got a song stuck in my head that has got some of the weirdest lyrics I've ever heard. Just try to top lines like, "Say hello to the rug's topography, it holds quite a lot of interest with your face down on it." Or, "Say hello to the apples on the ground, they were once in your eyes but you sneezed them out while sleeping." What's this song all about you ask? Why The Nurse Who Loved Me of course. Enjoy your dose of A Perfect Circle.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bacon Today

Are you like me? Do you find yourself wondering what the latest bacon news is? Well wonder no more! Bacon Today brings you the latest sizzling headlines from the world over. For example, where else would you learn that in their catering contract, Metallica made sure that the following phrase appeared no less than 3 times in all caps despite the fact that they have at least 6 strict vegetarians on the crew:


“BACON VERY IMPORTANT THAT BACON BE AVAILABLE AT EVERY MEAL AND DURING DAY”


Rock on Metallica! Where would the metal community be without succulent bacon? And where would James Bond be? For it seems that Daniel Craig's physique was built one bacon strip at a time. If it hadn't been for bacon sammiches, there would have been no Quantum of Solace.


I've only discovered this site today, but it has already changed my life. And so I wish you all a Happy Thanksbacon. What started out as a dream - taking John Madden's mad scientist concoction - the turducken - and wrapping the whole shebang in bacon - has become a reality. Eat your fill of one of these and I will keep you in my prayers that you will not have a heart attack before Christmas.

The Wonderful World of MMA

For those of you who didn't think that Mixed Martial Arts was homoerotic enough, I ask you to reconsider. If the sight of 2 sweaty, mostly naked men rolling on the ground with their arms wrapped around each other wasn't enough to convince you who the target audience is, I think the new sponsor might change your mind. Yes, the fighters are now sporting condom ads on their asses.

I don't have much interest in watching fights anyway. Sure they are very talented and highly trained tacticians, but seeing guys beat each other up just seems a little barbaric to me. As if that wasn't enough, the increasing influence of wrestling and ju jitsu make for some incredibly boring fights. Grappling is just not a spectator sport, and as much of a turn on cauliflower ears might be for some, it kind of creeps me out a little. The condom ass ads really don't help build any interest for me. I have a hard time believing that they couldn't find a better place. The front of the shorts comes to mind. Perhaps there's a reason I don't have a job in marketing....

Adding Insult To Injury

Note: If you are in the hospital, being treated for a spinal injury and unable to move, do not let your crazy jealous wife near your phone. In this cautionary tale, Esmerelda Rodriguez found another woman's phone number in her husbands phone, and while unable to defend himself, she proceeded to repeatedly punch him in the balls followed by a round of hitting him in the face with a belt.

The story doesn't mention it, but I do question the events which led to this man's spinal injury and subsequent hospital visit. I suspect foul play may have been involved.

So, should I ever find a woman crazy enough to marry me, then find a second woman willing to give me her phone number, and finally become hospitalized, I sincerely hope that somebody reading this will come to my aid and guard me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Valkyrie

The History Channel likes to take advantage of movie releases by putting out shows with the same subject matter. I typically enjoy these shows and was happy to come home from work today to find the true story of the upcoming film Valkyrie. Despite the increasingly crazy Tom Cruise playing the lead and being supported by Bill Nighy, who I have previously derided, I'm still pretty interested in the movie based on the subject matter. Bryan Singer seems to be a pretty solid director though, so I'm pretty confident that this will turn out well.

Thanks to Monday Night Football, I haven't watched the History Channel special yet, so I'm going to have to enjoy it later. Based on past experience, I have high hopes for this as well and am a big advocate of familiarizing yourself with the true account before seeing the Hollywood version. It is no doubt very well done, so be sure to check it out. I have no doubt that it will be airing several more times before the release of the film. Also, be sure to watch this featurette on the upcoming film. It's a large file and may take a few minutes to load so be patient.

Change

Admittedly, there is a long way to go, but thus far, President Obama has fulfilled his campaign promise to bring change to Washington (I think that was his only campaign promise) by filling his cabinet with career politicians and insiders. No, I am not a political expert by any means, but I think I would have gone a different direction. I still contend that what he meant by the promise of change is that that is what my 401k will be reduced to by the end of his administration.

This is probably a smart move, actually, buffering his inexperience with people who know what they are doing. It just bothers me that the entire crux of his campaign was b.s. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, I don't know that there is a politician in this day and age who doesn't lie his ass off. Maybe I'm an idealist, but I keep hoping that eventually someone will be different. All indications, however, are that I won't see that for at least 4 more years. Where is honest Abe when we need him most? I think I might vote for an honest candidate even if I didn't agree with his politics, just because he was honest.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chinese Democracy

I was pretty skeptical of the new Guns N Roses album that has been in the works for seemingly a decade now. I figured that a drugged up Axl Rose and a band of nobodies that I have no idea where he found wouldn't amount to much, and after hearing their first single was pretty underwhelmed. I have recently begun hearing their second single - Better - on the radio recently and it's, well, better. It's not Paradise City, but it's not bad. Good enough, anyway, that I'm now interested in hearing more of the album. It starts out a little slowly and takes it's time building, but about 2:30 it kicks into gear and starts to rock. So give it a listen, and if you don't end up with a smile on your face I offer a money back guarantee. Also please ignore the amateur video.

Gas Prices

The one bit of good economic news right now is that analysts expect gas prices to drop below $1.75 a gallon over the winter, the lowest price since 2005. Finally the dark cloud has a silver lining.

Scott's Stock Tip

In what will be a new feature here, I am providing a stock tip of the day. There won't be one every day, but occasionally I'll add one. And I'm kicking off this new feature with a can't miss stock - CRD/A. Crawford & Company has a very good P/E ration, is very undervalued right now and way off the 52 week high (although what isn't?), and recently announced great 3rd quarter earnings. Double what they were a year ago. I don't understand why there is a class a stock and a class b stock (CRD/B), but the fundamentals are the same and the A stock is cheaper so it will have a higher percentage change.

In other random news, don't miss out on today's Woot off. I recently picked up a $139 blu-ray disc player from Woot and am hoping to find a cheap HD DVD player to have as a backup in case something happens to my current one. What I really want is an LG BH-200 blu-ray/HD DVD combo player, but they are too expensive new, and the ones I've been bidding on at ebay keep getting bid up higher than I want to pay as well. It seems a little unlikely that I'll find one on woot though.

Also, I've been planning to write a review of the new Futurama movie, Bender's Game for over a week now. One of these days I'll actually get around to it. All I will say for now is it's better than the previous 2 movies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hard Times

Well, the Dow has finally dropped below 8,000. I never thought I'd see it down that low again. Add to that the news that 70% of the Washington Mutual employees are going to get laid off and it's a recipe for bad times. Even though many people around here think that this area is immune to the hardships that are hitting most of the country, I think a lot of them are going to be changing their tune in the coming months. I'm not sure how many employees WaMu has in the area, but I feel pretty safe in assuming that 70% is going to be at least 5,000 people. That's a big dent in the local economy. And a lousy Christmas present to a lot of affected families (or is it effected? Damn it, ever since I read the definitions of the two I can't keep them straight anymore). If you're a WaMu employee, I hope your job is safe.

Anyway, long story short, things are going to get worse before they get better and we are in for trouble around here. I've been having trouble finding a decent job as is and a bunch more unemployed people in the area isn't going to help any. Especially since I expect Safeco to lay off a lot of people in early 2009 too. I've received some offers for low paying jobs that aren't something I want to do, but so far that's it. It's only going to get worse I'm afraid. And I just spent about half an hour on Monster so I forgot where I was going with this other than buckle up and I hope you all aren't hit too hard.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The M's Have A New Manager

Welcome Don Wakamatsu. The Mariners haven't made an official announcement yet, but an inside source leaked the news that the former Oakland A's third base coach got the job. I plugged Wakamatsu into babel fish to find out what it means, and apparently it means Wakamatsu, although I don't think it works if I don't enter Kanji. After spending too much time searching the internet for another translater, I've given up and don't think one exists. And since I can't type in Kanji or Katakana on my keyboard and wouldn't have a clue what I was typing if I did, I guess I'm out of luck. And so I'm going to assume that Wakamatsu means playoffs. That's where I expect him to take us. And the sooner the better. Good luck Don, at least you don't have Richie Sexson and his huge salary to deal with this year.

Godzilla Tree

I don't really have any commentary to go along with this, I just think this is the worlds coolest tree. Located in the Chiba prefecture in Japan, the trees owner says that the tree grew that way on it's own. Now if they can just grow a Rodan tree across the street....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D

After renting and watching Journey to the Center of the Earth in regular old 2D, I saw the 3D version at Costco and decided that it was good enough to pick up and watch it again. I've seen 3D movies before, and the old ones weren't all that good, but the 3D in the Imax version of Superman was pretty good, even if the movie wasn't. Anyhow, instead of using polarized lenses like the Imax, Journey uses the traditional red and blue colored glasses. And maybe it's because I'm partially color blind, but the 3D really doesn't work very well. Particularly when objects got close to the camera, they blurred pretty badly our just out and out looked like 2 separate images. In addition to that, the color was off, I think because of the glasses. So all in all it was a little disappointing. Not bad enough that I'm experiencing buyers remorse, but I think I'm going to stay away from the colored glasses.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Hate Petros

Papadakis that is. I don't know who he's got dirt on to not only have gotten hired by Fox Sports, but to keep his job announcing PAC-10 games, but it must be some really good dirt. Not only does he have an annoying, nasally voice, but he's dumb as a post. He even looks like a tool.

Petros played fullback for USC and his bias is evident. He clearly has his schools he fawns over and schools he hates. Washington is one of the schools he doesn't like and he constantly makes snide remarks about them, occasionally pausing to express his man-crush on Jake Locker. He mispronounces names on a regular basis, and his analysis is anything but insightful. I've had all I can tolerate of this idiot and he really needs a good solid c*ck punch. It's time to get him off the air.

Banjo Hero

Guitar Hero and Rock Band are beginning to get a little passe, so it's time for something new. That's why I think the next big thing will be Banjo Hero. Instead of having stages like the small club and the huge arena, there will be the Appalachian backwoods and the old barn. And when you want to play multiplayer, you can buy the jug peripheral to go with the fiddle and the washboard. It'll be a hoot. Pre-order yours today! It's sure to sell out fast. Straw hat and missing teeth sold separately.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hasselbeck

With the announcement of the glorious, if ill advised, return of Matt Hasselbeck, I've realized what the Seahawks most need. Since Seneca Wallace hasn't worked out and Charlie Frye has been abysmal to put it mildly, what we really need is a spare Hasselbeck. That's why it's time to sign Tim Hasselbeck. I don't know if he's still a back up somewhere or if we need to coax him out of retirement, but we need a replacement Hasselbeck ready to step right in and take over when Matt inevitably reinjures himself because he wants to come back early and save a horrible season against his doctor's advice to sit out the rest of the year. I hope that doesn't happen, but I can see it coming. So it's time to get Tim on the roster and up to speed as soon as possible. And maybe assassinate Charlie Frye while we're at it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saved By Zero

If you hate the new Toyota commercials that play during every commercial break in every NFL game, sometimes twice, then you're not alone. Apparently Cy Curnin, lead singer of the band The Fixx is with you. I have to think that the royalty checks somewhat dull the sting a bit though. Heck, if I was getting a cut every time one of those commercials played, I'd be more willing to sit through them. My iritation, however, stems from the fact that Toyota decided to let a cover band sing the commercial version of the song rather than using the original, as well as the fact that they just keep looping the same 5 second clip over and over again.

Incidentally, Cy also said that he finds it ironic that the song would be used in an advertisement since the song is about the freedom felt by not having any possessions or attachments to worry about. Truth be told, I had no idea what the song was about, but now that I do, I can appreciate the irony. And so I hope that the irony increases by Toyota being saved by zero - losing all of their business so they don't have anything else to worry about.

Democracy At Work

Say what you will about animosity in US elections, but at least we're a step above Venezuela where president Hugo Chavez has warned that he will use tanks to defend the will of the people if the outcome of the upcoming elections aren't to his liking.

"If you let the oligarchy return to government then maybe I'll end up sending the tanks of the armoured brigade out to defend the revolutionary government," he said late on Saturday.

It makes me kind of wish we had a leader courageous enough to protect us from ourselves like that. Why isn't W rolling out any tanks to ensure that Dino Rossi is our next governor?

I can only assume that this means he doesn't really care about us. And I'll finish by saying that I believe that Hugo Chavez is unbalanced. Perhaps it's the uncut cocaine that's destroying his brain. Perhaps it's a family history of mental illness. I'm just glad he's safely in another country where he can spout all the anti-US diatribes he pleases and we can have a good chuckle at his expense.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Down Goes Circuit City

In yet another blow to the economy, Circuit City filed chapter 11 today. I guess it's partly my fault for not shopping there enough, but they just didn't have good enough prices and they were more inconveniently located than Best Buy or any online retailers. That and they had no qualified employees, having laid off their longest tenured employees in favor of minimum wage newbies. I'm pretty sure I remember Jessie predicting this would come back to bite them long ago, but I'm too lazy to go searching through the archives to find it. I hope that other retailers learn the lesson that laying off your best employees isn't the way to turn around a struggling business. Especially since cutting an executive job or two would have saved as much or more.

Still, Circuit City is planning on closing 155 of it's 700 stores and laying off up to 7,300 employees. On top of all of the people in the mortgage/banking industry who have lost their jobs, it's going to be a lean Christmas for retailers. And since CompUSA just closed their doors about a year ago, I'm beginning to wonder if online retailers are simply driving brick and mortar shops out of business. Fry's and Best Buy seem to be thriving though, so I'm not sure that the others weren't just poorly managed.

Well, I'm pretty sure I had some other good points to make but got distracted and don't remember what they were anymore. I need an assistant.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sorry

....but I can't help myself. Every year about this time I get the Arcadia song Election Day stuck in my head. The only thing that has the power to dislodge it is Saved By Zero. Damn you Toyota for making me hate a classic. At least they haven't ruined One Thing Leads To Another yet.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Spruce Goose

After a gruelling Halloween which saw 158 trick or treaters knock on my cousin Pat's door, Saturday morning we headed down to McMinnville to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum to see the Spruce Goose. I've been wanting to do this for a while and am glad I finally got the chance. The Goose is enormous, and getting the opportunity to pilot it was pretty damn cool. Here Pat is my co-pilot and cousin Wayne was the stewardess on this mission. Yes, I am actually sitting in the same seat Howard Hughes was in when he piloted the biggest plane ever built on it's famed one mile flight off the shore of Long Beach, California. It really is too bad that it never flew again.











It's kind of hard to get a good feel for the size of it from pictures, particularly from pictures taken by a camera phone since I forgot to bring my real camera with me, but here is a fighter jet and another plane that I can't tell what it is parked under one of the wings.

To give you a little better idea of the size, here is a better picture shamelessly stolen from the internet. And just for fun, one more with the SR-71 nicely nestled under it's wing like an ugly duckling. And I don't know why having multiple pictures plays havoc with my formatting, but I'm too tired to worry about it now.

The Goose wasn't the only interesting attraction there though. In addition to a variety of other planes ranging from a Sopwith Camel to an F-15, they also had an impressive space exhibit. Here is a Titan II missile which space buffs may remember propelled the astronauts of the Gemini program into orbit.

And here is one of the rocket boosters from the Titan II.

A cute little unmanned Russian lunar rover.

And the NASA LEM, or lunar excursion module for those of you who haven't seen Apollo 13. Note, this is a replica, not the actual one that landed on the moon. Also note, that is a replica astronaut, not an actual one.

Here we have the much cooler manned lunar rover, brought to you by your friends at NASA.

And finally, the super cool SR-71. Fastest plane in the world. This thing had some unbelievable huge engines, and the thought of taking a spin in this bad boy makes me salivate. But alas, that wasn't inclued in the price of admission, nor was it an optional upgrade. I'm afraid my dream will have to remain just that. And so, if you find yourself with some free time and have already seen High School Musical 3, then do yourself a favor and get down to Oregon to see this museum. It's worth it.

R.I.P. Tuba Man

I just found out about this today and it just makes me sick. Edward McMichael, more commonly known as the tuba man was beaten to death by some teenage punks while waiting for a bus. It's hard to believe that something like this happened around here. It seems like something that might happen in New York, Los Angeles, or Detroit, but here?

Tuba Man has been playing outside of sports events for as long as I can remember. I remember seeing him outside the Kingdome as a young kid. He was as much a part of the sports landscape as any fan could be. I never talked to him, but he always seemed like a very friendly and kind man. That just makes this tragedy harder to stomach. I hope that his assailants are caught and quickly brought to justice. And my condolences go out to his family and friends. Rest in peace tuba man.

Useless Election Trivia

What U.S. presidential race featured the first public opinion poll of voter preferences?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Useless Halloween Trivia

Well, this is a few days late, but here you go anyway:

What were the first jack-o-lanterns carved from?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Great Debaters

The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker, is the story of the Wiley College debate team. Based on a true story, the small college in 1930's Texas must overcome discrimination in addition to larger schools to prove that words can make a difference. Typical of Denzel Washington movies, it is a little preachy and over dramatic, but not to the point of making it unwatchable. It is still an inspiring movie even if a little cliche'. It's kind of your typical underdog story, but rather than sports, it focuses on debate. It's a feel good movie though and worth checking out.

Grindhouse

Since it is free on demand right now, I decided against my better judgement to watch Grindhouse, and it was every bit as bad as I had expected. An homage to bad, low budget 70's movies, it is a bad movie (two bad movies to be exact) made to look like a low budget movie. The only redeeming quality was the previews for movies that don't exist, my favorite being Werwolf Women of the SS. It's just a shame that the most entertaining premises were 2 minutes long while the dumb plots were an hour and a half. Caution, preview is not safe for work.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Talking Baby

That talking baby commercial from E-trade is the creepiest thing I've seen since the dancing baby. How is creeping people out going to get you any business? I hope you go bankrupt E-trade.

Most Overhyped Gadgets

Digital Trends has put out a list of the top 10 overhyped gadgets in the last unspecified period of time. What this list confirms to me is that Steve Jobs is all about hype. He's far more concerned with image than substance or functionality. I still remember him talking about how the Segway would change the world. Some of these I've never heard of - the Palm Foleo and the Optimus Maximus Keyboard - but for the most part I would agree with this list. For my money though, nothing ever has been as overhyped as the Segway in the history of hype, nor will anything ever equal that level of misplaced hype.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Quote of the Day!

From the same man who brought you, "Paddling the school canoe - you better believe that's a paddling" comes, "Woah, slow down there. Sidewalks are for regular walkin', not fancy walkin'." - Jasper (The Simpsons)

God bless the Simpsons for their ability to distract me from the drudgery of day to day life.

Mongol

Mongol *Subtitle Alert* is the story of the early life of Temudgen, who I'm sure most of you already know ends up being known by history as Gengis Khan. The movie starts with him as a nine year old, heading off to another village with his father to choose the woman who is to be his bride. From that point on, he is repeatedly beset with tragedy and surrounded by enemies who want to kill him. As the movie goes along, his focus changes from merely surviving to attempting to bring law and order to the Mongol empire.

I really don't know how historically accurate it is, but it is an interesting, well made move. It is beautifully filmed, and stylishly it reminded me of Japanese films. It is more deliberately paced than Hollywood films, allowing the viewer to absorb and digest the story.

This is part 1 of a planned trilogy, focusing on his early years. It is more of a love story about him and his wife Borte than you would expect. I guess the intense action films are going to be the sequels. Mongol is emotional and psychological, giving you the back story and motivations behind one of the great military leaders in history.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Really?

How lazy do you have to be to not even make your own snow balls? I can't believe a product like this exists.

Engrish Funny

If you liked the cow story, you're going to love this site. It's quickly becoming one of my favorites. This one is for all you asshats.

Engrish hat instructions
more the engrish!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Legal In San Francisco

If proposition K on the San Francisco ballot passes, prostitution would not be legalized, but police would be forbidden from arresting prostitutes, saving the city $11 million that it currently spends annually.

For as long as I can remember, I've wondered why prostitution is illegal - it's really a victimless crime. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that it would be safer if it were legal. If brothels were licensed, employees could be tested for drugs and disease regularly, making it safer for everyone. Revenue could be verified by the government and taxes could be collected. Women, many of whom I presume are less fortunate, would be able to verify their income and get loans for cars or homes. It really seems to me that making it illegal creates more problems than it solves.

Even St. Thomas Aquinas spoke out in opposition of legislating against prostitution, describing it as a necessary evil and drawing parallels with prohibition of alcohol. He saw legislating morality in general to be ineffective and said that civil law cannot "forbid all vicious acts" nor can it prescribe "all acts of virtue." Aquinas goes so far as to say that God permits evil to exist and in a similar way human law permits some evil to exist in light of the common good.

My problem with prop K, however, is that it would not go with a regulated brothel system. It will lead to more street walkers, which will more than likely spread disease, violence (from pimps), and drug abuse. I assume that this is merely a first step in legalizing it, but it may backfire in it's current format. I'll be interested to see the result of this proposition, and if it passes, what effect it will have on the city. And if successful, if we will see it spread across the country like the proliferation of casinos in recent years.

New Music

Brand new from Saliva, and I do mean brand new since this single is supposed to officially drop one week from today on the 28th and the new album isn't due out until 12/16, is the new song Family Reunion. I heard this on the radio last night and went online to find more about it and nothing was available until I checked again today. It's not their best song, but it's pretty good and anybody familiar with the band should know what to expect: some heavy guitar and "singing" that is almost more rapping during the verses, followed by melodic choruses with some catchy harmony. I'd say it's better than anything off their last album. Listen to it now before it gets pulled.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Best Man?

You know this "best man" won't ever be invited over to the house again.



And for the double steal, I'm also yoinking this content from the same site. This is too damn funny not to share though.

fail owned pwned pictures

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ode To The Doughnut

If you ever wanted a brief history, present, and future of America's favorite breakfast food - the doughnut - then this is the article for you. Who would have ever guessed that the hole in the center originated with the middle being undercooked? Fascinating and hunger inducing all at once.

And for today's completely unrelated useless trivia: Alaska has the highest percentage of people that walk to work. I would have guessed it would be a warmer weather state.

I Need A Job

I've put off job hunting for too long, but refuse to put it off any longer. I've really had enough of my current job - I'm sure any of you Safeco employees, former Safeco employees, or friends of Safeco employees can empathize. And so it is that I swallow my pride and beg everyone out there to let me know of any good jobs out there. If you're company, or a company you know if is looking for a hard working super genius, please let me know. I live on the east side and would prefer to work closer to home. I don't really know what I want to do, but am hoping for a new challenge. I've been thinking about maybe software testing or financial planning. I'm a quick learner and I'm reliable (in 3+ years at Safeco, I've taken 2 sick days). Any leads would be appreciated, and hopefully there's a referral bonus in it for you too.

Evil Has Been Defeated!

Rejoice one and all, the hated Boston Red Sox are dead. Nothing makes me happier than the thought of all those obnoxious losers crying themselves to sleep. I somehow feel more proud to be an American knowing that Boston is no longer representing us in America's game. I'd like to think that this will curtail the number of idiots who have jumped on the bandwagon in recent years, but I know better. So congratulations are in order for the Rays. They have been the butt of jokes in MLB for many years and have really earned some respite from the ridicule. And since my Dodgers are out, I'm now on the Rays bandwagon. Carl Crawford is my go to guy from here on out. I know a lot of Mariner fans will be casting their support to the Phillies since they've got some former M's, particularly Jamie Moyer, but I'd like to remind those people that people from Pennsylvania are jerks. Philly is renown for it's uncouth and sometimes violent fans - sort of an east coast version of Oakland. And need I mention Pittsburgh to anyone who watched the Seahawks Superbowl? I know it's somewhat half hearted, but there's my Rays sales pitch. Go Rays!

Movie Reviews

I'm fortunate enough to have seen a couple good movies recently. It had been quite a drought there, but along came Bigger, Stronger, Faster*, a documentary about steroids. Curiously, this goes against the grain and takes up the pro-steroids argument. Even more surprising is the fact that at the conclusion I found myself questioning why steroids are illegal. I'm still not convinced that they shouldn't be banned in sporting events and competitions, but for the gym rats out there, why not? It hurts no one but themselves, and even at that, the side effects that all of us have heard about are exaggerated or out and out fabricated. And when you consider all the other performance enhancing drugs that are legal - beta blockers, sleeping pills, energy drinks, male enhancement pills, etc. - why should steroids be singled out? It's really more of an indictment of American ideals of 'win at any cost' than an endorsement of steroid use. But even if you disagree with the arguments presented in the film, it's still well done and worth the time to watch.



Next up was The Counterfeiters. It's a German film **subtitles alert** set in WWII. Based on a true story, the Nazis arrested a world class counterfeiter. Being a Jew, the sent him to a concentration camp. While there, he is moved into a secret barracks within the camp and put to work attempting to counterfeit the British pound and the US dollar. The Nazis plan is two fold - use the counterfeit money to finance the war, and cripple both the US and British economies by flooding the market with worthless currency. It's really a devious plan, and a very well made movie. Very good acting and some heart wrenching drama.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Peace in the Middle East

For centuries, millenia even, the world has longed for peace in the middle east. At last there's a new idea, a new hope. The embodiment of this hope is Taybeh beer. Brewed on the Palestinian west bank, Taybeh is Arabic for "delicious". And it is this delicious microbrew that is bringing both sides together for Oktoberfest every year. One might think that drunken Israelis and Palestinians might be a recipe for disaster, or at least one hell of a bar room brawl, but so far it is uniting them with a common interest. This is almost crazy enough to work.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bill Nighy

I think I hate Bill Nighy. After seeing him in a couple Underworld movies and a couple Pirates of the Caribbean movies, maybe even something else, I've decided that he's a hammy overactor. The more I see of him, the more he grates on my nerves. Listening to him talk is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Please, for the love of God, all of you movie executives who visit my site, do not cast him in any more films. At the very least, limit him to chick flicks or some other genre I'm not likely to watch.

Bubba Nosferatu

After watching Bubba Ho-Tep again over the weekend, I found out that a prequel is in the works - Bubba Nosferatu. In this film, rather than a mummy, Elvis encounters a coven of she vampires that he must battle and possibly teach about love. Right now there doesn't seem to be a lot of news, other than the disappointing announcement that Bruce Campbell doesn't want to be involved. I don't know if that's going to kill the movie off all together or not, but it's not a good sign. Usually that's indicative that the script is pretty bad. At this point I guess it's still just wait and see. But here's hoping that it gets made and turns out to be as good as the original.

And from Bubba Ho-Tep come the quote of the day:

"There had been two presidential elections since I'd had a boner like that." - Elvis

Gainfully Employed

Shaun Alexander once again has a job. After a great start, followed by a humiliating loss to the lowly Rams, the Washington Redskins have decided that one loss is enough to spur a flurry of moves, for the most part bringing on former Seahawks. In addition to Alexander, they also picked up Ryan Plackemeier and a safety who was with the team for about 25 minutes - Mike Green. The way things are going right now, I'm not sure Seahawks castoffs are the best way to improve your team. Anyway, I always liked Alexander and hope he does well in his new home.

The Seahawks also tried to improve themselves by picking up former Seahawks. I'm glad to say that Justin Forsett is now back. I think he's got a promising future ahead of him. He looked great in the preseason and I hope he gets a shot to return some kicks. It's just too bad that he had to come back at the expense of Michael Bumpus.

Finally, nothing makes me happier than seeing the evil Red Sox lose. The Rays beat the hell out of them tonight to take a 3-1 lead in the series. The end is nigh for the evil empire. Go Rays! I can only hope (in vain) that my beloved Dodgers can overcome their 3-1 deficit in their series. I don't think it's going to happen though after seeing them piss away a win last night. That was embarrassing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tofurkey

A friend confided in me today that she is going to have tofurky for Thanksgiving dinner. I personally have never tried it, but have been told by a few people that it tastes like ass. And not good ass either. Admittedly, the sample size is pretty small, so it could simply be that the people I've talked to are not representative of the population at large. And if you don't have tofurky for your Thanksgiving dinner, what meatless alternatives remain? I'm not a part of the meatless world and have no interest in becoming part of it, so it's up to my faithful 2 readers to provide some insight here. Actually, I've always been a little confused as to why you would want something that tastes like meat if you don't eat meat, but I'm only willing to take on one obstacle at a time here. That's all my feeble mind can comprehend.



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Heavy Metal Superworms

I found this fascinating article on National Geographic and had to share. Apparently some worms in merry olde England have adapted to be able to eat heavy metals. They thrive in toxic soil in polluted industrial sites. It seems that they consume the heavy metals and secrete a slightly less toxic version of the metals which plants are then able to extract from the soil.

The article did not mention, or perhaps it did and I forgot already, how long it takes worms to clean up a toxic waste site, but it's certainly got to be cheaper than sending a team of guys in haz-mat suits out to take care of business. I don't know if they have adapted to radiation or not yet, but I think we need to get a bunch of them out to Hanford and set them loose. Of course this may not be the best idea I've ever had. If science fiction has ever taught me anything, it's that radiation will turn them into even more super mutant worms which will eventually destroy humanity. Regardless, it's a pretty interesting read.

Stock Tips

With the NYSE taking a roller coaster ride to zero, possibly lower, I thought it was time to offer my stock tips. In times like these, the stocks you can count on are the old favorites: Colt, Smith & Wesson, Winchester, you see where this is going. With no place remaining to invest money, the general population will return to hiding cash under their mattresses, in the attic, hidden compartments in their car, and possibly the oldest method - keistering whatever valuables they've amassed (and will fit).

Once society reaches this state, the strong will take from the weak. With no money remaining to pay a police force, firearms will be the only real currency. At this juncture, the only remaining profitable companies will be the firearms manufacturers, and the ammunition manufacturers too obviously. So grab whatever cash you've got left in your IRA, stockpile enough ammo to make David Koresh proud, build an isolated cabin in the woods, and with whatever remains purchase as many remaining shares of Glock and Walther as you can get your hands on. From there you can comfortably watch the world destroy itself knowing your stash is safe.

The good news is that the NYSE is not open Monday and therefore will not drop any until Tuesday. That gives you one extra day to get your affairs in order.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Green Vehicles

Bob Langevin of Great Falls, MT proudly shows off the latest fuel efficient vehicle. High gas prices and a faltering economy has continued to push demand for more economical vehicles, and Detroit has responded with this entirely human powered offering. Not content to produce hybrids or electric vehicles, the ante has been upped in the battle to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Bob is now the envy of all his neighbors, cruising through town picking up women who love granola and don't shave. I salute you Bob.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Be Thankful

That this isn't your job. As much as my job sucks, at least I haven't been in this position. Never in my life have I hoped so much that a picture has been photoshopped as this one. I'm sure there's a good reason that this needs to be done, but, actually I'm not that sure.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Beaconsfield

They say that humor = tragedy + time. That's not always true. I still haven't heard a good joke about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by the Black Hand. And so I don't know if it's too soon, or just the wrong subject matter that more people are offended than are laughing at the new musical comedy based on a 2006 mine collapse titled Beaconsfield: A Musical in A-Flat Minor. I believe that this is one of those situations where somebody came up with the title after a few drinks and built a show around it. Even given an appropriate amount of time, I have a hard time believing this is a winning idea, if for no other reason than it's a musical.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Over the weekend I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - the true-ish story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor of Elle magazine who had a massive stroke that left him paralyzed except for his left eye. The film is an adaptation of his memoirs which he dictated after the stroke. Unable to speak, he communicates by having someone recite the alphabet to him, blinking when they've reached the letter he wants. It is incredibly slow and tedious, but the only means of communication.

I've read a little more about him on the internet and found that the film adaptation is rife with inaccuracies. For some, that may destroy the film, particularly since some of the changes don't really aid the dramatic interpretation (for example, he has 3 children in the film, but had 2 in real life), but I think the essence of the story remained intact. It's an incredible struggle of a man who has lost virtually everything. I don't know how I could go on in those circumstances, but Bauby is able to adapt by relying on his imagination. He can simply close his eyes and let his mind take him anywhere in the world.

There were some great performances all around, but due to the subject matter, you have to be in the right mood to sit through it. I found it to be pretty depressing although I don't think the director intended it that way. A large portion of the movie is also shown from Bauby's perspective which ends up being a little unpleasant. The camera is shaky and goes in and out of focus. Also it should be noted that the film is in French so be prepared to read some subtitles. If you can tolerate these things, then you are in for a good story.



It has a similar plot to Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun. You may have seen a clip of it in the Metallica video for their song One. I've never seen or been able to find a copy of this movie anywhere, but have been interested in seeing it for a long time. Since I can't find the original, I'm going to have to settle for the remake that is due out soon I guess.

Question of the Day

What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

You hear a lot about what is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but when they invented sliced bread, what did they compare it to? Was it the greatest thing since the wheel? The greatest thing since gunpowder? The greatest thing since cooked meat? Someone must know.

Useless Trivia

In royal households and monasteries in medieval Europe, what was the official role of the mustardarius?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Weather Woes

I'm normally disappointed when the summer ends and the weather turns cold and rainy, but after the miserable summer we had this year, I've found the fall to be particularly difficult to stomach. I just now realized how bad it was when I turned on the tv to find the local weather forecast in progress. I saw the extended forecast which called for cold weather and rain for the next five days, and the first thing I heard out of the weatherman's mouth was, "you will see some frost in some areas." This prompted a somewhat irrational response from me. I immediately pointed at the tv and said, "f#$% you!" Yes I realize this is irrational because a) the weatherman obviously can't hear me, and b) it's obviously not his fault that the weather has turned crappy. I say it's only somewhat irrational because, well, I got distracted for a minute there and can't remember my reasoning why anymore. Trust me, it was logical and irrefutable though. And I can hardly be blamed for that reaction to the unpleasant weather. I need a vacation somewhere warm....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

How To Destroy The Earth

Thanks go to Pat (who apparently has too much time on his hands) for sending me this extremely long, comprehensive, and geeky article on how to destroy the earth. It's pretty entertaining, and as you might imagine, destroying our planet is exceptionally difficult. I hope I'm not spoiling the ending for you when I tell you that it's not possible with today's technology. That doesn't mean that we don't have a cataclysm to look forward to in the future though.

My personal favorite method is annihilation by antimatter. I think it would make for one hell of a show. Lights, things flying about, basically the greatest 4th of July celebration ever. The one drawback is that it is one of the more implausible methods due to the lack of available antimatter, not to mention the non-existence of any machine capable of hurling it at the earth.

For those of you who think all the described methods are implausible, you're right. However, the one shred of proof available is this report from the BBC (and you thought it would be from a questionable source) that some seismic disturbances are thought to have been caused by the earth being struck by a quark. The likelihood of a large enough amount of quarks striking the earth to destroy it remains low though.

Invented Sports

Made up sports pushing their way into traditional sports media is really starting to piss me off. Every time I see poker on Fox Sports or ESPN I want to punch somebody. Since when is that a sport? Well, my blood is boiling yet again as my latest issue of ESPN the magazine has a huge (50 page) section dedicated to their own made up 'sports' - the X-games. Every year around this time, the same thing happens, and every year I'm tempted to cancel my subscription. Maybe one of these years I actually will. I'm beginning to fear that the sports networks are going the way of MTV. They will continually invent stupid non-sports to cover until eventually there isn't anything resembling actual sports left on the network.

How many stupid events can they cover before people eventually revolt? I've already seen the world championships of rock, paper, scissors. What's next, the world series of mime? No holds barred hokey pokey? World class staring competitions? At some point this has to stop. I've resisted the urge to send an angry email to ESPN since I know it won't do any good, but there's got to be some solution. In my opinion, the war on drugs was ineffective since it targeted the supply rather than the demand, so perhaps it's time to beat the hell out of the knuckle draggers who watch bicycle jumping and the dimwits who watch professional wrestling. My only request is that when you hospitalize a skateboarder, leave my name out of it.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup has come under fire recently for it's health concerns. Reputed to be linked with the obesity epidemic in this country as well as contributing to cardiovascular disease, it has drawn critics from some unlikely sources. Bob Rivers from KZOK has been decrying it for at least a year now, and more recently the pillar of health Shelvis has declared his opposition. Well, according to a new study, these two along with the nation's other health experts are wrong. The study found that HFCS poses no more health hazards than refined sugar. Some might argue that a study financed by the likes of Pepsi Cola and the Corn Refiners Association might not be objective, and those people would be correct. This is just another laughable attempt to legitimize their businesses and I'll be surprised if this doesn't backfire on them. Still, it's pretty amusing that companies still try these schemes.

I guess the tricky part of the study is their claim that HFCS is no worse for you than refined sugar. Since I personally think that refined sugar is pretty bad for you too, it may not be that far off. Sugar in general should be avoided as much as possible, and the degree of refinement is proportional with it's health detriments.

The number of people in this country who are concerned with their health is probably a fairly small percentage anyway, so it's possible that the only people who care have already been avoiding HFCS and this 'study' will have no impact at all. I'd like to see a study of what percentage of the population reads product labels or cares what's in their food. I will admit to being less diligent than I probably should be. Long story short, avoid HFCS and the white demon (sugar) as much as possible.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Desperate Times

Call for desperate measures. And with jobs becoming more scarce, learning that panhandlers bring in $30-$40 an hour according to a recent study, I have been spending some time gently stroking my chin, head cocked to the side while looking skyward. That's right, I've been contemplating the value of my job. Sure the benefits are better at my current place, and I don't have to deal with the elements. On the other hand, I would have the opportunity to meet lots of new people as a panhandler. And this particular study took place in Spokane, not even a thriving metropolis. Imagine how much more I could take home here in Seattle. And I wouldn't be your average panhandler, I would gladly do the Icky Shuffle for the right amount of cash. Best of all, this career change wouldn't involve rewriting my resume or interviewing!

The same paper that brought us the panhandling tutorial also has the strangest assault in recent memory. A 19 year old Wenatchee High School student was arrested after smearing peanut butter on the forehead of a fellow student who is allergic to nuts. Yes I realize how potentially dangerous that is so don't think I'm making fun of people with allergies. And rest assured that the perpetrator is facing a year in prison and a $5000 fine.

The Complete Essay On Cow

The following essay was emailed to everyone in my office by our partners in India yesterday. Apparently everyone in India thought it was a riot. Here in Seattle it sparked a lot of head scratching, confused looks, and hours of lost productivity as people read and re-read it and then discussed with coworkers why exactly it was funny.

INDIAN COW

He is the cow. The cow is a successful animal. Also he is 4
footed, and because he is female, he gives milks. He is same like God , sacred
to Hindus and useful to man. But he has got four legs together. Two are forward
and two are afterwards. His whole body can be utilized for use. More so the
milk. Milk comes from 4 taps attached to his basement.

What can it do?
Various ghee, butter, cream, curd, why and the condensed milk and so forth. And
he is also useful to cobbler, waterman's and mankind generally. His motion is
slow only because he is of lazy species, and also his gober is much useful to
farmers, plants and trees and is used to make flat cakes, in hand and drying
sun.

Cow is the only animal that extricates after eating. Then
afterwards she chew with his teeth whom are situated in the inside of the mouth.
He is incessantly in the meadows in the grass. His only attacking and defending
organ is the horns, specially so when he is got child. This is done by knowing
his head whereby he causes the weapon to be paralleled to the ground of the
earth and instantly proceed with great velocity forewards. He has got tails
also, situated in the backyard, but not like similar animals. It has hairs on
the other end of the other side. This is done to frighten away the flies which
alight on his cohesive body hereupon he gives hit with it.

The palms of
his feet are soft onto the touch. So the grasses head is not crushed. At night
time have poses by looking down on the ground and he shouts. His eyes and nose
are like his other relatives. This is the cow...........

From here, the discussion turned outward (at least from me). I forwarded this to a few other people, hoping to find an answer to the underlying humor that escaped me, and also hoping to halt work in other offices as well. It wasn't until someone finally emailed India to ask them why it was funny that it was revealed that they were having a good laugh at their own difficulties with Engrish. The only person to successfully reach this conclusion unaided was the Mistress of Shenanigans. Kudos.

Job Opportunity

Do you want to make $28.50 an hour to do landscaping? Willing to wear a blue, long-sleeved shirt, yellow safety vest, eye protection and ventilator mask? So did several other people who answered the ad in Craigslist and met outside the Bank of America in Monroe. It turns out that it was all a clever ruse when someone else showed up in the same outfit and robbed an armored truck.

My favorite quote from the article? "We believe the ad was not a credible ad and that it may have been an attempt to get people dressed like the suspect into the area," Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said. You think? With top notch investigators like this on the case, it's no wonder that even though the suspect is still at large, Debbie still said, "Was it really necessary? Did it help the guy out? I don't think so."

As much as I hate crime and criminals, I can still appreciate a clever crime. Rest assured, if I ever get involved in a heist, it will be hands down the most brilliant scheme ever hatched in the history of crime. The movie about it will star Owen Wilson, the most brilliant actor to ever, uh, star in this movie. The love interest will be played by Eva Mendez. The movie title will be The Craw Fu Connection and will feature an unprecedented amount of pyrotechnics and punches thrown. I can't wait for this movie to be made.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Horror

It's now October, and all I can think is where are all my horror movies? It's been quite some time since a good one has been released, and there appears to be nothing on the horizon. Sure, Rachel Getting Married comes out this month, but I'm far too terrified to watch that. I've seen previews for Quarantine and it quite frankly looks terrible. Ditto The Haunting of Molly Hartley. What happened to the quality horror movies of the past? Or even the mediocre ones? Is the genre just tapped out? It seems like all that comes out anymore are formulaic teen slasher movies, or mindless gore fests like Saw 2-5? Yes, there is a fifth one of those steaming piles due out.

Whatever happened to Dark Castle Entertainment? They never put out a great movie, but at least they could be counted on to put out a watchable movie like Thirteen Ghosts or the House on Haunted Hill. I guess I spoke too soon. Upon further review, Dark Castle Entertainment is still putting out films, but their recent offerings have been awful. And what has Tim Burton been doing lately? Sure a lot of his movies are a little on the goofy side, but most are watchable.

I guess there are no scary stories left to tell. At this point I'd even take a well done remake or an old timey monster movie. The only Halloween-ish movie I'm at all interested in seeing is the Ricky Gervais/Greg Kinnear opus Ghost Town and that's really a comedy. But it reminds me of the Frighteners a bit and I really enjoyed that. It's tough times for horror fans.

Quote of the Day

Thanks to Pat for bringing this fantastic Holmgren quote to my attention. I don't know why, but it's hilarious to me.

Seattle's strange journey at wide receiver caused the team to bring back wayward former first-round pick Koren Robinson -- who, fittingly, strained a quad a day after signing his contract -- and trade a 2009 fifth-round pick to Denver for Keary Colbert. Speaking of Colbert, after watching him for a few days, coach Mike Holmgren told me: "The guy looks fantastic.'' Fantastic? "It's all relative,'' he said. "Right now, he looks like Jerry Rice.''

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Over

The Mariners season that is. After sweeping the hated A's to finish the season, they played themselves out of the top pick in next year's draft, proving they really can't do anything right. I just hope that co-worker Bob is right when he says it doesn't matter. His theory (and he's been right before) is that Stephen Strasburg, the consensus top player in the draft and ace pitcher for Team USA in the Olympics, will command too high an asking price for the Nationals and will conveniently fall in the lap of the M's with the second pick. Not only that, but the Nats will refuse to deal with his agent - the evil Scott Boras - and that Strasburg, from San Diego State, has said that he doesn't want to play on the east coast and he and Boras will do whatever it takes to keep him on the west coast. Sounds reasonable, but we'll have to wait and see.


Regardless, the M's put on their annual end of season party for their employees tonight and it was a pretty good time. With all the guests that were brought, 1,100 people were in attendance. The food wasn't fancy but was tasty. Some comfort food was in order after the disaster that was the 2008 season, so they served up chicken pot pie, mac & cheese, and of course some salad, bread, a variety of desserts and drinks. Nothing fancy, but tasty.


Several prizes were given away. For the 8th consecutive year I emerged empty handed. I didn't get the tickets to watch a game in the owners suite. I missed out on the trip for 2 to spring training. I didn't even get one of the MANY items autographed by Kenji Johjima, leading me to start the rumor that he won't be back next year. To date the only memorabilia I've received from the ownership is a Joel Pinero autographed ball I received 2 years ago. Yes, that was after he left the team.


Matt Tuiasosopo and Ryan Rowland-Smith were in attendance. I didn't wander over to meet Ryan, but did talk to Matt briefly. Let me tell you, that man could have any woman he wants. In the short time I was there, I became the unofficial photographer as the crowd of women around him shoved cameras in my hand to take their picture with him. Ah, to be young, good looking, and rich. I refrained from asking him the 3 top questions on my mind though. I wanted to ask if Zack is still in the NFL somewhere, but figured he probably didn't want to talk about his brothers. I then wanted to ask him if he wants to punch Ichiro in the face, but thought that line of questioning might get me in trouble. Most importantly, I wanted to ask when he, Zack, and Marques were going to start pumping out some kids to revitalize the struggling UW football program. I'm pretty sure that would have gotten me fired.


I probably should have warned him that I've got a fairly good track record of players I've met leaving the team shortly after. Most recently I've met Adam Jones. Sean Green is still here, but Scott Atchison is history, Willie Bloomquist won't be here much longer. Mike Morse has probably played his last game.


Wrapping it up, I'd just like to say that hands down, the worst prize given away was a game used bat from Ben Davis. Where did they find that? Also, I'm pretty proud of myself for covertly taking a picture of my boss' boss taking a seat in my section to talk on her cell phone during Saturday's game. I'm pretty sure if I got caught doing that it would be a firing. Unfortunately she was turned the other way and I didn't want to risk the inevitable wrath that would have come from waiting for her to look my way. That being said, she got a few beers in her tonight and was way friendlier than I've ever seen her before. Friendly to the point that I may or may not have been on the receiving end of some, uh, good will. I don't think so, but one witness seems to think there was some minor flirtation going on. That would be just my luck though, the only woman I could attract being one who is 10+ years older than me and universally disliked by her employees. Sounds about right.