Friday, February 29, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

For those of you that missed the eclipse last week, here's what you missed boiled down to a 30 second video.


An umbrella that won't invert in high winds and is hands free sounds like a great idea right? That's what I thought until I went to their web site and found out that they cost $50 and look incredibly stupid. I will concede the fact that carrying a traditional umbrella doesn't make you look cool, but at least you won't get mocked for carrying one. Unless it's not raining, and even then you won't face the same degree of mockery as you would from one of these new monstrosities. And since I lost my last umbrella to being mangled on a windy day, I had hoped that this might be my replacement, but alas, I find myself disappointed once again. Perhaps one day technology will advance to the point that my umbrella dilemma will be solved. For now I can only dream.

10,000 BC

I have seen a few previews for 10,000 BC now, and while the visuals are compelling, I'm bothered by the fact that there is absolutely no plot or dialogue in the trailers. That is usually a very bad sign. Coming Soon has a plot summary, but it is still not convincing. The other troubling thing to me is that the trailer shows the pyramids of Giza, which everyone should know that the generally accepted date for their construction is 2,560 BC. I know a lot of people don't care about details like that, or that there weren't actually enormous saber tooth tigers in Egypt, but they bother me. It becomes more difficult to suspend my disbelief when there are gross historical inaccuracies. I can deal with a little creative license, but when they are off by 7,000 years on something, it ceases to be creative license. They may as well throw in the Eiffel Tower and the Space Needle at that point.

So, despite the fact that it just looks damn cool, I remain very skeptical and my gut tells me it will be nearly unwatchable.

Freak Out

Jevon Kearse aka "the freak" has been cut by the Eagles. How he managed to go from the most feared pass rusher in the league to a nobody so fast is really hard to believe. I think if he could stay healthy, he could be productive again, but that's a big if. Some team will take a chance on him - some team desperate or a pass rusher. I will be interested to see how much he ends up getting. My guess is he'll end up in Denver. They have really been taking chances on washed up defensive linemen or busts in recent years.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fomer Mariners In The News

Scott Spiezio is once again making a name for himself. If anyone still exists that isn't glad to be rid of him, this will be what finally turns you. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of this douche bag for DUI, hit and run accident, aggravated assault, and assault and battery. I'm not exactly sure what the difference is between the last two, but I assume that in addition to assault and battery, he was aggravating. But he hasn't been caught using steroids, so he won't have to go before congress.

Eyeball Tattoos

This is really disturbing. A Canadian man calling himself "Pauly Unstoppable" (no I didn't make that up) became the first test subject of a new technique that allows people to get tattoos on their eyes. Not mentioned in the article is why anyone would want to do that.

My favorite part of the article was that everyone involved insists that Pauly won't go blind as a result. I have my doubts though.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NFL News

Well, the combine officially concluded today, and my man-crush on Rashard Mendenhall continues. My greatest fear now is that he did too well and won't last until the Seahawks pick. As is becoming common place, a few little known players shot up the draft board by posting great times in the 40. I still contend that GM's place way too much importance on the combine and I wonder if it is more harmful than helpful. I also think that players should be required to run their 40's in full pads while carrying a football. That would give a much more accurate representation of their on field speed.

What way overshadowed the combine news though was the rumor that I heard on the radio on the way home from work. The guys on KISW were reporting that Randy Moss has reportedly signed with the Dallas Cowboys. That's not right at all. I'm not sure, however, how long he and T.O. can occupy the same field without self destructing. Here's hoping that the rumors are false.

Dog Shoes

According to this story, canine units in Dusseldorf Germany will now be required to wear shoes to protect their paws while on duty. Apparently the drunk Germans have a bad habit of breaking bottles on the street.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Today's Useless Trivia

What city has the zip code 12345?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bellevue Square

I found myself in Bellevue Square over the weekend. It's been a while since I've been in a mall, and I remember now why I don't like going. Several things did occur to me while I was there. First, there are a lot of boarded up shops. Technically the economic downturn hasn't been in effect long enough to officially be a recession, and since we are in one of the better parts of the country, I found that a little interesting.

Second, of the remaining shops, I have little to no interest in any of them. Seriously, how can an oil and vinegar shop stay in business? And how can a shop that sells nothing but candles turn a profit? It's inconceivable.

Third, about half the women there seem to have adopted the high heels with jeans style. It looks a little strange to me, especially since a lot of the young women look awkward walking in heels. I'm ready to see the end of that style.

Finally, it may have just been that particular day, but there were a lot of attractive Asian women there. That's the one thing that might persuade me to return.

Anyway, I was there to go see Jumper. Not much of a plot to speak of, it was kind of a conglomeration of several recent films. There was nothing original in it. The special effects were ok, but nothing, well, special. The ending was very abrupt and unsatisfying, but Samuel L Jackson did play a pretty good villain despite having the worst looking haircut since Dennis Rodman. His hair was white. Not blonde, white.

The bigger problem than the movie, however, was that apparently some 9th grade class was there on a field trip or something. About 15 or so annoying kids, mostly giggling girls, were sitting close to me. Not only could they not stay quiet or sit still, but apparently they also were unable to refrain from text messaging each other during the film. And every time one of them pulled out her phone, it was like turning on a flashlight.

So the lessons learned on the night were: stay away from the mall, wait for Jumper to come out on DVD, and come to think of it, wait for DVD on all movies. Theaters are simply intolerable anymore.


**Spoiler Alert**

Apparently I wasn't paying close enough attention to last week's season finale of Monk, as it turned out to be part 1 of a 2 part episode. This week we had the conclusion of the episode and I couldn't be happier that I don't have to wait until next year to find out what happened. No, Adrian Monk didn't die, as I'm sure you were all aware. Next season would have been a little difficult to write if he had died. We did take one small step closer to finding out who killed his wife Trudy. All in all a good solid episode and I can't wait for next season.


Are you obsessed with the Transformers? Certainly not to the extent that this guy is.

Sure, I loved the toys and cartoon as a kid, and I even enjoyed last year's blockbuster film, but this is carrying things a little too far if you ask me. And if that wasn't enough for you, enjoy this video at no extra charge.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Franchise Tag

This article is hilarious. The headline reads "Franchise Tag Placed On Slutty Girlfriend" and it's just better if you read the rest for yourself. I don't want to spoil it by explaining any of it.


I don't know if you've heard, but Kid Rock has taken a crack at writing a hymn with his latest song Amen. Yes, it's every bit as bad as you can imagine, but that's not really what gets to me. How does he really expect me to take anything he has to say about religion or spirituality after his last single? In case you are lucky enough to have never heard it, I'll spare you the unpleasantness of having to listen to it and tell you that the chorus has these lyrics:

You're so hot I want to get you alone
You're so hot I want to get you stoned
You're so hot I don't want to be your friend
I want to f*** you like I'm never going to see you again

Somehow after that, a song title "Amen" comes across a more than a little inauthentic, not to mention somewhat offensive. I hate Kid Rock. The guy is a horrible musician not to mention a complete ass.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kill Me Elmo

Now this is a great story. An Elmo doll belonging to a Florida family allegedly began saying "kill James" to their 2 year old son James after they changed Elmo's batteries. I can only assume that they accidentally switched it to evil while changing the batteries.

Seahawks News

I was very pleased to find this article today naming Bobby Engram as one of the 10 most underrated players in the NFL according to KC Joyner of Congratulations to Engram, although I think he'll have a hard time maintaining those numbers with a healthy DJ Hackett and Deion Branch.

I was also happy to see that the Seahawks slapped the franchise tag on Marcus Trufant. I wasn't relishing the prospect of a pourous pass defense while we tried to break in another corner. I guess this means we only signed Josh Brown to a 1 year deal last year, once again making him a free agent. I'm a little surprised I haven't heard anything about him during all this, and I don't know what's to become of him now.

I'm also still anxiously awaiting the news that we've signed Alge Crumpler. Even though he had the worst season of his career last year, he was still more productive than all of our tight ends combined.

And I guess it says a lot about my confidence in the Mariners that with spring training right around the corner, I'm still more interested in the Seahawks off season moves and the upcoming draft. I know I've said it already, but I'll say it again. We're going to draft Rashard Mendenhall.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dream Theater Greatest Hit

20 years after the release of their first album, Dream Theater is finally releasing a compilation of their best songs. And no you didn't read that incorrectly, the band is having a little fun with the fact that they have only had 1 song that garnered any mainstream success or radio play - Pull Me Under. Coming out April 1st, the album's official title is Dream Theater's Greatest Hit (and 21 other pretty cool songs).

I urge all of you to pick up a copy. Even if you don't like good music, it will be good for your soul to listen to it. And God forbid there are still some of you out there who have not yet heard Dream Theater's music, check out some of the videos on their web site. I recommend Forsaken and Dark Eternal Night. It will change your life.

Castro Assassination Plots

Thanks to Pat for bringing this to my attention. This is a list of the top CIA plots against Castro. This is an entertaining read. My favorite was the scheme to give him a box of contaminated cigars which would make his beard fall out. I assume that the idea behind this was that the Cuban people would never follow a beardless leader, and a revolt would inevitably ensue. But alas, this plot, along with the exploding seashell and several others never came to fruition. At some point prior to implementation, the logical wing of the CIA must have shut down these operations for either being to impractical or simply too ridiculous. I assume that Candid Camera was involved in the planning stages of several of these.

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight at approximately 7:26 pm, there will be a total lunar eclipse. Be sure to check it out. I don't know how rare those are, but the web site says that the moon will turn a variety of different colors including, but not limited to, blood red. I don't recall ever seeing that, so I'll be outside hoping for clear skies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I know I complained about Symantec and their increasingly worthless Norton Systemworks a while back, and I actually did something about it. I deleted it and installed the MacAfee Security Center. It has one major advantage over Norton, and that is that Comcast provides it for free. It has some other advantages, but it also has some drawbacks. It's not nearly the resource hog that Norton is, however, whenever it downloads and installs updates it uses up so much of my resources that it renders my computer unusable until it's completed. And it doesn't give me the option of scheduling these updates, they are automatic.

Next, the email scanner also is a system hog, but at least doesn't take nearly as long. The one thing that really pisses me off is that it will ocassionally scan an outgoing message, give me some cryptic error message that it couldn't be sent, and tell me to try re-sending the message, but deletes the email. Since I don't save copies of sent messages, that means retyping the entire email. Sure I could alleviate this problem by changing my settings to save outgoing mail, but then I would periodically be required to go in and deleted all the saved messages, which would be an entirely new annoyance.

Thirdly, it schedules a virus scan for every Friday. I have the option to change the day, and probably should one of these days, but I don't have the option to change the frequency. I don't think that a weekly virus scan is really necessary. I think I could very well get by with bi-weekly, or probably even monthly since it has never found a virus. And like everything else MacAfee does, it criples my system when the virus scan is running. And since it takes 3 or 4 hours to complete, it's a major inconvenience.

I guess my only other alternative that I'm aware of is Microsoft Onecare. Has anyone used that or know anything about it? I know that unlike MacAfee, it's not free. Or is the real solution that I just have to fork over enough dough for a new PC? It's starting to wear on me.

The Mission

The Mission is a lesser known song by lesser know band King's X. I love this song, and according to google, this is the only video of the song available on the entire internet. Recorded live on 10/19/98, the video quality is pretty poor, but the audio isn't too bad. Unfortunately embedding has been disabled for this video, so you'll have to navigate away from my site to go see it. Just be sure to come back when you're done.

Oil Prices

Crude oil closed at over $100 a barrel today, much to my dismay. And since prices at the pump have been creeping up again for about a week, I'm already bracing myself for a long expensive summer. But an unusual thing occured to me while reading the article. Toward the bottom they mentioned that Hugo Chavez is once again threatening to cut production and sue Exxon. When I read that, the first thing that popped into my head was that I'd gladly pay an extra dollar a gallon if I didn't have to hear about that pompous ass anymore. He's like an annoying little kid that won't stop pestering you and won't shut up. You really want to just beat him down and teach him a lesson, but you know you really shouldn't. And so you put up with his annoying antics. If I had any way of knowing where the oil came from at different gas stations, I would gladly start boycotting Venezualian oil. Right now Hugo Chavez is my biggest motivator in pushing for more biodiesel.

And as long as I'm already a little agitated, when is google going to fix their damn spell checker? I shouldn't have to proof read my own writing, that's ridiculous.


**Warning** Spoiler Alert
If you haven't watched the season finale and are planning to, don't read any further.

I watched the season finale of Monk this weekend, and wow, what a cliff hanger. Is Adrian Monk dead? My first thought was that it was all staged, but I can't imagine him voluntarily falling into a river. But would he be willing to do that in order to find out who murdered Trudy? Of course, if it was a set up, then Captain Stottlemeyer would have been in on it, but he seemed shocked at the events that transpired. Is he a good enough actor to sell that to the rest of the police that were there? I can't believe I have to wait until next season to get to the bottom of this.

Good Bye Fidel

I just came across this today: after 49 years in power, Fidel Castro has finally stepped down. Granted, he is only ceding power to his younger brother Raul, but we're heading in the right direction.

My first thought was whether or not we would lift the embargo, but according to the article, the current administration will not do that until some political reforms are made. My gut feeling tells me that we will be seeing some changes in the coming years and it won't be long until Cuban cigars are available again. And then after an initial boom, most cigar smoking Americans will realize that they still prefer Dominican cigars.

I do think it will eventually turn into a great vacation destination. I'd go there. Warm weather, nice beaches, good food, baseball games to watch, what more could you want?

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I just watched Click in HD on demand. It's pretty standard Adam Sandler fare. Some funny scenes, just enough plot to hold things together, and some sappy moments. Chances are, if you've enjoyed other Sandler movies, you'll enjoy this one. The one thing I realized while watching Click though is that Kate Beckinsale is drop dead gorgeous. She's enough reason to watch alone. I will watch anything she's in.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Ok, I just got a couple of drips of coffee on my khaki pants and can't help wondering why it is that I only spill on light colored clothes. If I wear a white shirt I'm guaranteed to spill something on it. This never happens when I'm wearing dark clothes. I guess the obvious solution is wear dark clothes all the time, but then what would I do with the remaining wardrobe? I guess the next most logical solution is to stop spilling on myself, but I don't think I have the mental acuity to maintain a constant vigilance against my own clumsiness. Perhaps I need to convert to stain resistant clothing. Either that or always keep a change of clothes at my desk in case of emergency.


According to this story, some impoverished children in Nicaragua have received a bunch of shirts and hats heralding the Patriots as Superbowl champs. The children, of course, were very happy to receive them despite not having a clue who the Patriots are. I would like to take this opportunity to suggest that these kids put the memorabilia up on ebay. I'm sure some of those clowns in Boston would pay a king's ransom to get their hands on that. Then the kids could use the proceeds to buy all sorts of things. You know what I just realized? Children are not very proficient entrepreneurs.

Alge Crumpler

This just in .... the Falcons have cut Alge Crumpler. Since the Seahawks are badly in need of a TE, and since he somewhat has ties to Seattle since his brother Carlester used to play here, maybe we can talk him into putting on a Seahawks uniform. I know that would make me happy. The only person I can imagine who would be opposed to such a move is Shelvis. I don't know for sure, but I suspect he's got an irrational hatred of Alge.

With the addition of Wahle, and hopefully Rashard Mendenhall in the draft, the offense would officially be unstoppable again. I've got to get Ruskell on the speed dial and tell him to push this deal through ASAP.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Futurama Math

The web site for you to check out today is Futurama Math. Futurama has at least one writer on the staff with a PhD in mathematics, and there are math related jokes all throughout the show. A lot of them way over my head, but some of them pretty funny. This web site covers a lot of the math jokes that are in the show. If you're looking for some high brow comedy, this is where you'll find it.

The Exploding Detective

Yesterday I finished reading The Exploding Detective by John Swartzwelder. It's the continuing saga of bumbling detective Frank Burly. Actually his name is Edward R Torgeson Jr, but he changed it for business because he thought that you should have a tough sounding name if people are going to hire you as a private detective. He wanted prospective clients to feel he was a burly kind of man, the kind of man who would have the strength and endurance to solve their cases for them, and also be frank with them at all times.

Anyway, the story is told from the first person, it's entirely Frank relating his adventures to you. He's not very bright, and despite the name, he's not very tough either, and so he always has trouble drumming up business. In this book he purchases a jet pack from the back of a comic book and changes the name on all his business cards to "The Flying Detective" thinking that more people would hire him since he can solve their cases faster. Unfortunately he doesn't really know how to fly and ends up crashing a lot. Because of this the tabloids dub him "The Exploding Detective", possibly a more fitting name.

Well, without giving away too much of the plot, a supervillain has begun menacing the city and after crashing in the middle of one of his heists and inadvertantly foiling it, Frank becomes a hero in the city and is hired by the mayor and chief of police to help fight crime and the supervillain. That's when the story starts getting a little wackier. There is time travel, doomsday devices, Abraham Lincoln clones, Napolean clones, and British super spies.

And honestly, the book is just kind of so-so. It had it's moments, but it wasn't as funny as I'd hoped. But since it's only about 140 pages, it's a quick read and never drags or gets boring. There is enough comedy in it to make it worthwhile. And just to give you a small taste of what to expect, here is one of the parts that struck me as particularly amusing: "So my career as the flying detective was over. And it was only chapter five. It was with a trace of sadness that I packed away my costume, my extra pairs of underwear, and my junior grappling hooks. They were useless now, except for whatever historical importance they might have." But fear not, the story does not end in chapter five, it continues on.

Including The Time Machine Did It, which also involved time travel, I've now read 2 of the books about Frank Burly. I think I liked The Exploding Detective better, but since The Time Machine Did It introduced Frank Burly, you might be better off starting with that one so you have some background on the character before reading any of the others. I'm also planning on reading the other book featuring Frank - How I Conquered Your Planet - but the library doesn't have a copy of that so I don't know where I'm going to find it. I'm thinking about reading Swartzwelder's other book too - Double Wonderful - even though it is unrelated to the other 3. If you've got a copy of either of those, please loan it to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Hair

Oh, I guess I should mention this in case anyone hasn't seen it already, but I finally did break down and cut my hair off. It was back in early December and I've been meaning to throw a photo up but just never got around to it until now. There it is on the right, check out how smokin' hot I am now. And I apologize for the quality of the picture, that's the best I can do pointing a camera at myself.

In honor of the new hair, I would recommend that you all go listen to the song New Hair by Goodness. This particular version was recorded live in Bob's garage. If you haven't heard Goodness before, you're in for a real treat. And I know I've got a reputation for listenening to some pretty hard rock, but Goodness isn't hard rock. Rock, yes, but hard, no. There are also several other quality recordings there that I could recommend, but for now I'll let you peruse them on your own.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Just In Time For Valentine's Day

......some online dating horror stories. Some of these are pretty entertaining. Maybe before long I'll have some of my own. Stay tuned.

More On Jericho

I feel like I failed. I didn't make it through season 1 of Jericho before the season 2 premier tonight. I made it through 14 of the 22 episodes, so I've still got some work to do. I'm still on the fence a little, whenever they suck me in with some plot twist, they throw in something to annoy me later. I'm committed to making it through season 1 though, and if you missed the marathon over the weekend, you can check it out here.

The basic synopsis is this:
The storyline revolves around the residents of Jericho, a small, rural Kansas town, in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on twenty-three major cities in the contiguous United States. The series begins with a visible nuclear detonation of unknown origin over nearby Denver, Colorado, and a loss of power and modern communications, effectively isolating Jericho. Later, power is restored to Jericho by what is alluded to as the efforts of the U.S. government, but soon after, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disables all electronics. Several themes regularly addressed in the show are gathering of information, community identity, public order, limited resources, the value of family, and internal and external threats. The show also features several mysteries involving the backgrounds of major characters, the perpetrators of the attack, and the extent of damage to the United States and its government.
The pivotal character in this story is Jake Green, the 32-year-old son of Mayor Johnston Green, who briefly returns home to visit his family and friends before becoming stranded as a result of the catastrophe. After a somewhat awkward return home and a tense reunion with his father, Jake steps up to become a leader in Jericho, fighting to protect the town and its citizens. As the people of Jericho struggle to survive in a changed world, most remain unaware that one of the newest residents, Robert Hawkins, knows much more about the attacks than he lets on.

Yes, that was shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia, but it was a lot easier than summarizing it myself.

I think this show has a lot of potential. There are a lot of interesting plot lines, but at times it tends to lean a little too much toward over dramatic soap opera-ish drivel, but so far the interesting parts are winning out.

New Music

I heard 2 new songs on the radio that were both good. First up was Tantric who I haven't heard from in several years. You may remember their hit Breakdown. Well now they are back at it with Down and Out. It was a pretty interesting song. Apparently the band has added a violinist, which creates an interesting dynamic. It's a little unusual, but I like it.

Tantric was absolutely blown out of the water by the new Sevendust song though. I know you're probably all tired of hearing about Sevendust by now, but there is just one word to describe Prodigal Son and that word is awesome. Like a lot of their best tunes, this one is both heavy as hell, and yet quite melodic at the same time. And some nice harmonies are thrown in for good measure. I'm reminded of the famous quote from Mike Portnoy, "balls and chunk are where it's at." And trust me, this song has balls and chunk. I now officially can't wait until the new album hits on April 1. I think this band has a unique sound and I really dig it. If you only listen to one song this year, make sure it's this one.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Land of Confusion

I heard this song on the radio today and have had it stuck in my head since. The video is kind of lame, but it's a great song, so here you go.

DVD Bonus Features

One of the best things to come from the DVD format is the bonus features. Unfortunately, I fear that once we migrate to downloaded movies and DVDs, HD DVDs, and Blu Ray inevitably die off, the bonus features will be the first thing to go. Either that or it will change to an Xbox 360 style business model where extra content costs extra. Deleted scenes will cost you an extra $2. Featurettes will cost you and extra $4, etc....

But I digress, my point is that some of these features I could do away with right now. At the top of that list would have to be the gag reel/blooper real. Seeing actors flub lines doesn't really entertain me anymore. Sure, there is the occasional humorous ad lib that doesn't make it into the film, but that is pretty rare.

Commentary tracks: The quality of commentaries varies wildly. Some are very interesting. Some are terrible. For example, the Simpson's commentaries are very entertaining. You get to hear about some of the inside jokes, some of the things that were cut or changed, inside information about production and animation, plus a whole lot more. On the other side of the fence was the Conan the Barbarian commentary. I like Arnold Schwartzenegger as much as the next guy, but 2 hours of he and John Milius saying, "oh yeah, I remember that" is not entertaining. But I vote to keep commentary tracks.

Deleted/alternate scenes: one of my favorite features, these have to stay. Usually it turns out there was a good reason that the scene was deleted, but a lot of times some really good scenes get cut for time or pacing. These have to stay.

Featurettes: These are really a mixed bag. It seems like most of the behind the scenes and making of featurettes usually aren't that interesting. Some of the featurettes that give you more in depth information about the story or characters are interesting. As an example, From Hell had a very interesting featurette about Jack the Ripper, with different theories over the years of people who thought he was. More thought should be put into featurettes if they want to keep those.

I could do without any of the following features: trailers - either for the movie on the DVD or other movies, storyboards, scripts, still photos, artwork and concept designs, or music videos.

I've tried to come up with some other special features that I haven't seen on a DVD that might be good, but couldn't come up with anything. I'll keep you updated if I do think of any.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mariners Pitching

By now I'm sure you're all aware of the Erik Bedard trade. Personally I think we gave up way too much for him and fear that he's going to get injured and we'll see Adam Jones perennially in the all star game.

The acquisition that really intrigues me, however, is R.A Dickey. I know that most people don't get too excited about 33 year old pitcher who's missing his ulnar collateral ligament, but he seems to have honed his knuckleball. The Mariners picked him up in the rule 5 draft after posting a 13-6 record in AAA Nashville and bing named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year. If he truly has dialed in his knuckler, he could really be a productive member of the Mariner's pitching staff.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Redskins Coach

This just in: the Redskins have hired Jim Zorn as their new head coach. I'm a little surprised since he's never been a coordinator and it seems like a big jump from QB coach, but I'm happy for him. I think he's a great coach and it's a great opportunity for him. I'm sad to see him leave, but I hope he makes the most of the opportunity.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Jericho Marathon

I've watched about 6 episodes of Jericho so far, and I'm not quite hooked, but I'm on my way there. Well, the good news is that I just found out there is a Jericho marathon this weekend on UHD, channel 660. Starting at 7:00 on Saturday, they will be showing all of season 1 in glorious HD, running through Sunday. I'm going to watch the remainin episodes before season 2 kicks off. If you are at all interested in the show, this is the perfect time to find out about it. Set the DVR.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rock of Love

I watched a few minutes of the show Rock of Love yesterday. If you are unfamiliar with the show, the basic premise is that a room full of women, most of them surgically "enhanced", throw themselves at Brett Michaels, lead singer of the band Poison. Now some of the women seemed nice and were attractive, but most of them were gross sluts and for his own sake, I hope that Brett double bagged it before getting with any of them. The one woman I could respect on the show was the one who refused to kiss him after seeing him make out with about 10 of the others before she came up in the rotation.

I saw some clips of upcoming episodes, and it looks like they have some stupid, half thought out competitions planned in order to help Brett decide which woman is for him. Apparently everyone involved has to check their dignity at the door. It seems that a prerequisite for reality shows is a certain degree of desperation. Perhaps the whole draw of reality shows is that people feel better about themselves.

Is this really what we've come to? A half hour of tramps throwing themselves at an aging has been? I really can't believe a show like this can make it on the air, and if this writers strike isn't resolved soon, I think we can only expect more programming like this.

Quick Political Commentary

I was reading ESPN the magazine and saw this quote from Houston Rockets guard Mike James regarding his support for Barack Obama, "when you see a black man with a legitimate chance to be president of the United States, ho can you not be excited?"

Maybe I'm the only one, but I found this a little disturbing. Are there really voters out there who's only concern when selecting a president is race? Doesn't it matter where he stands on any of the issues? I guess they just balance out all the white supremacists who do the same thing and it doesn't end up making any difference. Still, I would hope that everyone would put a little more scrutiny into their selection process.

Moving on, I find myself surprised at John McCain's success. I like him on some levels, but I really thought that his repeated statements regarding extending the war in Iraq indefinitely had rendered him un-electable. Granted, none of the Republican candidates is very intriguing, but I really think McCain is going to get blown out by either Obama or Clinton.

Jury Duty - Day 3

Day 3 is now in the books, and again I showed up late. Again I was mildly rebuked. Again I didn't care. Again I sat around for over an hour after showing up late. This time instead of reading though, I cracked open the laptop and surfed the internet. Again I was dismissed.

If I have been unclear on this point so far, let me just restate just how boring jury duty is. Maybe it's interesting if you are selected for a jury, but I've never made it that far so I don't know. The process leading up to it, however, is mind numbing.

Today was another DUI. Still not Warren Moon. The prosecuting attorney today was the same as yesterday. I got to answer roughly the same questions again. The defense attorney this time reminded me of the public defender from My Cousin Vinny. There were long pauses while he tried to think of what questions to ask, or possible how to phrase them. He stammered a bit and seemed very nervous. His hands were trembling. His poor client is screwed. This story may be running tomorrow with the names changed...

I'm more than a little surprised at how difficult it is for some people to follow directions. The prosecuting attorney said that there was no breathalyzer administered and asked if anyone would be unable to convict without knowing the blood alcohol level. Seems like a simple enough question to me. There were a couple of questions, however, before the judge laid the smackdown and said it was a yes or no question. One stupid, or perhaps simply argumentative old geezer wouldn't accept that though. It went kind of like this:

Geezer: Why didn't he take a breathalyzer?
Judge: We are not going to get into that right now. The question now is whether or not you absolutely need to know his blood alcohol level in order to reach a verdict.
Geezer: Did he take a field sobriety test?
Judge: Again, we are not going to get into that right now.
Geezer: I thought that you could refuse to ....
Judge (now getting visibly agitated): I'm going to have to stop you right there. As I've said, we aren't going to get into that right now. The only question you have to answer is if you are able to reach a verdict without knowing the blood alcohol level.

I don't know if this is common in jury selection or not, but I was ready to reach over and "dismiss" that juror myself.

The other thing that irritated me was that the defense attorney kept asking people the same question over and over, only slightly rephrased. I had to answer three versions of the same question:

Defender: Do you understand that my client is innocent until proven guilty?
Me: Yes, I understand completely (having heard him go through this with a couple people prior to me, I hoped that elaborating on a simple yes might derail the further questioning, but no)
Defender: Do you just intellectually understand that, or are you able to set aside any preconceptions you might have and judge my client without bias?
Me: Yes I understand intellectually, and yes I will be unbiased.
Defender: Do you understand that just being charged doesn't mean my client is guilty?
Me: Yes.

At this point I think he began to sense my irritation and moved on. I don't know if he thought if he asked me enough times I'd eventually slip up or not, but I was just a question or 2 away from just saying yes, I get it, move on to the next question.

One more day of this and I'm free.


This is why I hate Apple. Or at least one of the reasons. A lot of geeks complain about Microsoft being controlling, but they are nowhere near as bad as Apple. I own an ipod, and it's the only Apple product I will own. And even with that, I refuse to buy anything from itunes. Market pressure has finally forced them to abandon DRM (digital rights management), and maybe market pressure will eventually force them to abandon some of their other manipulative practices.

I have to think that the only reason an anti trust suit hasn't been filed against Apple yet is because they don't have enough market share for people to care. If they put as much effort and resources into innovation as they do into finding ways to limit third party peripherals and software, it would be amazing what they could come up with. And I guess eventually I'll probably end up getting pushed into the Linux/Firefox corner as MS continually attempts to adopt Apple's restrictive techniques.

In addition, for your enjoyment, here are some of the other things I hate about Apple:

Their marketing. Those "I'm a PC, and I'm a Mac" commercials are so stupid that I actually get angry when I see them. And I do feel the urge to physically abuse people who actually find that crap amusing. I assume it's the same crowd that keeps the Wayans brothers in business.

The stupid product names. I don't know why they slap an "i" in front of all of their products, but it's annoying. Prepare yourself for the future release of the iCar, the iPants, the iRifle, and possibly even some sort of iBirth Control. The last one may not be necessary for the vast majority of Apple fanatics.

I hate that all of their products look like toys. Everything is brightly colored molded plastic that looks like it's designed for junior high kids. I will admit that the iphone and some of the ipods don't look bad, but I really don't want computer hardware and peripherals that look like they were designed by Fisher Price. Every time I see and imac I think it looks like a "my first computer" toy. Kind of like the goofy looking toy phones for kids to play with. This is what the vast majority of Apple products look like to me.

Anyway, that's enough ranting for now. I'll have to direct my venom elswhere for the remainder of the day.

The Power of Photoshop

I was listening to people on the radio complaining about the prevalence of photoshopped pictures on internet dating sites this morning, and found this nice 3 minute photoshop demonstration. It really shows what you can do if you know what you're doing. Not the best thing to look at if you are at work - no nudity, but some risque attire.

Seen it? Good, now if you know anybody really good at photoshop, send them my way so he or she can make me look like Brad Pitt before I sign up for any online dating services.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Arrested Development: The Movie?

Following in the footsteps of fellow canceled Fox series Futurama, talks are now in the works for an Arrested Development movie. Also like Futurama, Arrested Development has developed quite a cult following. I'll admit that it is partly my fault that it was canceled since I didn't watch it until it was off the air, but having now seen all the episodes on DVD, I can honestly say it is one of the funniest shows I've ever seen.

Even though it's still in the early stages, I hope it pans out. I don't think the cast is involved in anything else right now, so as soon as the writers strike is over, they can get working on it. I recommend getting caught up as soon as possible. If this clip doesn't get you excited, nothing will.

Watch episodes online now!

Good And Bad News

God has interesting timing. I received a phone call today from a friend that his wife is pregnant. Mere minutes after hanging up the phone I received an email that a friend and co-worker died today. I don't really know what I'm feeling right now. It's kind of an odd mixture of happiness and sadness. I guess the sadness is prevailing at the moment.

My friend Willie's death isn't too much of a surprise, he was in his late 70's and has had health problems for several years. But he was a very nice man and I will really miss him. I've met his wife and 2 of his 3 kids, and they are all very nice people and my heart goes out to them right now. And so it is with a heavy heart that I say good bye to Willie, I'll miss you my friend.

Jury Duty - Day 2

Today I was determined not to be a sucker and get their early again, so I got up and took the time to make myself a tasty mocha. I drank that one before I left and so decided I should probably make another. I was told to be there at 8:30 today and showed up about 8:40. That was mildly frowned upon, and then I immediately sat around for about an hour before being called into a court room.

On the docket today was a DUI. Let me just say at this point that jury selection is an exceptionally boring and tedious process. I found some of the questions by the attorneys to be rather strange. The prosecuting attorney asked everyone what their favorite tv show was. One pompous poser said he doesn't watch tv. He only listens to NPR. He was not selected. The defense attorney asked everyone about their job, or if they were retired or unemployed, what they used to do or what their spouse did. I have no idea what any of that has to do with qualifications for judging a DUI case.

I'm not sure why, but the prosecuting attorney kept looking at me. Every time I looked over at me she was eying me. The only plausible theory I can come up with is that she was uncontrollably attracted to me. Nothing else makes any sense.

I am happy to say that my streak of being dismissed remains intact. There were no dismissals for cause, and the jurors were selected behind closed doors, so I have no idea why they picked who they did. What I do know is that the 6 jurors selected were from the first 10 people in our pool of 20. So as long as I can hold onto the coveted #19, I think chances are good that I won't be selected at all this week.

I got out of there at about 11:00 today. Not bad for a day's work. Jury duty was always a nuisance before, but then again, I have had jobs that paid by the hour every other time I've been summoned, so jury duty meant I didn't get paid that day. Now that I'm salary and get paid anyway, it's not so bad. Sure I'm going to have a ton of work on Monday, but a week of half days makes it all worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Seahawks Hire New Head Coach

Remember, you saw it here first. The Seahawks reached a 5 year deal today with Jim Mora Jr. Once Holmgren retires, Mora will take over as head coach. I like this move. I think Mora is a good coach and will be a good fit for the Seahawks.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

If you haven't seen the trailers for Prince Caspian yet, check it out immediately. It looks great. The kids are a little older and appear a lot less annoying. That was my biggest problem with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It appears that, and I hope I'm right, that like the Harry Potter movies, each successive one is more adult than the previous one. No wait, adult isn't really the word I'm looking for. I'll go with more mature. Yes, I think that's acceptable.

Anyhow, check it out for yourself, you'll see. It comes out in May and it will be the movie event of the season.

On an unrelated topic, the spellchecker is busted for some reason, so if you see any typos, sorry. Man was not meant to have to check his own spelling. It's barbaric.

Top 5 List

Why top 5 you may ask? Because I'm too lazy for 10. Top 5 what you ask? Well, the top 5 songs that I would like to see in Guitar Hero or Rock Band.

1. Yes, this is a count up, not a count down. And I'm starting out with Jet City Woman by local heroes Queensryche. I love the band and I love the song. I would also accept Eyes of a Stranger as a substitution, just get me some 'Ryche.

2. Paradise City - G 'n R. A classic and one of my all time favorie songs. I could go on and on for at least 2 sentences about how much I love this song.

3. Too Close To Hate - Sevendust. My love of Sevendust is (or at least should be) well known by now. And this heavy as hell, yet still melodic piece would be perfect for a plastic guitar.

4. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners. Just to throw a curve ball in there, I'd like to see an 80's pop song.

5. Panama - Van Halen. GH II has You Really Got Me, but in needs me more Van Halen. It doesn't get any better than Panama.

Jury Duty - Day 1

Note to self: when the summons says be there at 8:00, get there at 8:15. I got down to the courthouse 5 or 10 minutes before 8 to find out that the doors are locked until 8. With everyone filing through the metal detector, I didn't get inside until 8:15 anyway.

I couldn't help noticing that if this was a random cross section of society, I am way better looking than average. Man were there some ugly people there. I think I was the only good looking person in the room.

I found out relatively early on (after sitting around filling out paperwork and watching a video for the first hour) that one of the three cases scheduled today was canceled, so 20 of the 60 jurors would get to go home for the day. They started calling out names of who had to stay, and I kept my fingers crossed that I would be one of the ones going home early. You guess it, of the 40 people who had to stay, my name was #39 called. Damn, so close.

After sitting around a little while longer waiting for "Judge Jackie" (I wasn't aware that judges who aren't on tv go by their first names, and it honestly seems pretty unprofessional), some dude who's name and job title I don't know came in and announced that one of the attourneys has the flu and has been vomiting and so another trial would be canceled for the day. That means 20 more people get to go home. Luckily I was in that group this time, so 10 am and I'm out the door. And at the sum of $10 a day (which they said hasn't changed since the 50's), I pulled down an hourly wage of $5. That's almost minimum wage right there. I plan on blowing my windfall on coffee.

Other items of interest: I wasn't the only Crawford there. That kind of surprised me. After a quick survey of how many times people have been summoned, it turns out that only 3 of the 60 people have had jury duty more times than I have, despite the fact that I was one of the youngest people there. This further calls into question the proclaimed randomness of jury selection. For the record, this is my 5th time. This was the 6th time for one guy, 7th for another, and one poor lady has now been summoned 15 times. That fact will only temporarily stifle my complaining though.

And though I had a short day, they made it very clear that I am not done. I still have to come in the rest of the week anyway, and may end up serving on more than one jury during the week. I'm still hoping to get Warren Moon's DUI trial. Currently I'm hoping that I can get dismissed early every time by calling for the death penalty for every offense. Shop lifting? Death penalty. Public urination? Death penalty. Paddling the school canoe? You better believe that's a paddling. Sorry, I got sucked into a Simpson's episode there for a moment.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Power of Complaining

The older I get, the more I realize what a powerful tool complaining is. Sometimes it nets you some sympathy. In other cases, it just makes you feel better. This effect is two fold in nature: first it allows you to let off some steam. I know some people prefer to keep their irritation all bottled up and save it for an appropriate time when they can erupt in a volcano of anger and hatred, usually at a little league event of some sort or possibly another public event - maybe a wedding or bar mitzva. I mean, who hasn't had the urge to heckle some newlyweds? Personally, I find it more enjoyable to parcel out my hate in small doses throughout the day. Which brings me to the second quality of complaining: if you don't score some sympathy, at least you can annoy others and that's guaranteed to make you feel better because, after all, misery loves company.

So take it from Dr. Scott - endulge yourself with a vitriolic tyrade today. You'll thank me later.

New Password Day

Today is another one of those wonderful day where I had to change my windows password. I've been getting the message that I need to change my password for almost 2 weeks now and figured I better do it today before my computer locks up on me. This means that I'll be entering the wrong password for the next several days, and may use some profanity. I don't know why I have to change it so often, but I'm running out of passwords that I can remember. My computer at home doesn't make me change my password. I hate new password day, and the only good thing about it is that now is the longest possible time until the next new password day.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Places To See

The Smithsonian Magazine has published a list of the top 28 places to see before you die. I don't have quite that many places I'd like to see, but some of my top destinations are on that list.

Machu Picchu is probably at the top of my list. High up in the mountains of Peru, the ruins are absolutely fascinating to me. And while I love ruins, the views there put it over the top for me. Anybody else who wants to go let me know and we can start planning an expedition.

Next up would have to be the Pyramids of Giza. I love Egyptian art and architecture, and since I saw the King Tut exhibit as a kid, Egypt has been another source of fascination to me.

The Great Wall of China comes in third on my list. It's an architectural marvel. I'm sure you're starting to see a trend here.

Without going into too much detail, I'll rattle off the rest of the list without much fanfare. I'd like to see Teotihuacan, Venice, Tikal, Neuschwanstein, Rio, Hawaii, and I think Juan Fernandez Island. Off the coast of Chile, Juan Fernandez is where Alexander Selkirk was stranded for 4 years, later to become the inspiration for the novel Robinson Crusoe.

I've already been to Detroit and Oakland, so I can mark those destinations off my list. And this list isn't comprehensive. I could be talked into going to Vegas, Tokyo, London, Rome, or a variety of other places. I've been to Copenhagen, but would love to go back. If you haven't been to any Scandinavian countries, you really should book your flight. They are loaded with beautiful women. And since American women have abandoned me, I think I've got to get back to Denmark as soon as possible.

I damn near forgot to include Stonehenge in the list. Although I may have to settle for the replica along the Columbia River in Washington. Or maybe Carhenge.

Not Perfect

Well, the unthinkable has happened, and I'm as surprised as anyone. Is it too early to start talking about a Manning dynasty?

This has to have been the least hyped Superbowl I've ever seen. And the pregame show was so boring I couldn't watch most of it. Ryan Seacrest? Really? A big thumbs down to Fox for one of the worst coverages I've ever seen. How about something about the game instead of an endless parade of crappy celebrities.

The Giants played some unbelievable defense. Tom Brady looked rattled for most of the game, and they kept Moss in check. They also kept the Patriots from getting any kind of running game going. The MVP hasn't been announced yet, but I think it has to be someone from the D. I would say Strahan or maybe Justin Tuck with his 2 sacks.

While I'm happy that the obnoxious Boston jerks won't get to celebrate, there is a downside to this. We will still have to hear about the 72 Dolphins for years to come. I was really looking forward to shutting them up.

Well, they just announced Eli Manning won the MVP. I figured that would happen since nobody really stood out, but he didn't really play an MVP calibur game I didn' think. I saw him throw more than a couple passes up for grabs that his receivers or tight ends went up and got. I guess when you can't decide, you just give it to the QB.

Here's hoping that many a Boston resident cry's himself to sleep tonight.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pissing Contest

Many times I've heard the term 'pissing contest', always used in a figurative sense. I think I'd like to literally be involved in a pissing contest some time. I think the contest would have to take place from a high altitude - maybe the Space Needle - and the champion would be crowned based on duration. I strongly believe that if I downed about 44 ounces of coffee, I could go toe to toe with anyone. And the going toe to toe would be figurative, not literal.

And in a round about way, that brings me to one of my pet peeves. People who say literally but use it in a figurative sense. Every time I hear something along the lines of, "I was literally bored to death" I want to punch the person saying it. That's unforgivable.

I think that there should be some sort of grammar hit squad. They would roam the countryside administering beatings to whomever committed such atrocities. Putting z's in words (for example, saying something like "fo shizzle") would result in the death penalty. This grammar hit squad will be the primary platform should I ever run for president. Vote Scott.

Good Luck Chuck

I rented Good Luck Chuck for one reason, and one reason only: because Jessica Alba is in it. It didn't get very good reviews, so I had pretty low expectations going in, but it still managed to disappoint me. This movie was so bad. The plot is stupid and really thin, the acting is horrible - particularly Dane Cook, and it just wan't funny. It is chock full of some of the most low brow, juvenile humor I've ever seen. I could go on and on about how bad this movie is, but the more I think about it, the more it irritates me.

I assume it will get high marks from Shelvis though based on the extensive amount of nudity along with the obligatory pot head who is baked out of his gourd in every scene.

I immediately became wary when all of the previews on the DVD were of movies I've never heard of that looked terrible. That's always a bad sign. And since they were almost all starring Dane Cook, and the were all put out by Lions Gate, I think it's time to boycot both.

The movie is just stupid, gross and annoying. Avoid at all costs.

King Of Kong

I have one word for King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - awesome. Go out and watch it as soon as possible. It's a documentary about the disputed Donkey Kong world record. Our story starts out in the early 80's when video game legend and total douche bag Billy Mitchell set the Donkey Kong record. That score stood for over 2 decades before being broken by a mild mannered middle school teacher from right here in Redmond - Steve Wiebe.

Now a restaurant owner and hot sauce magnate, not to mention now sporting a super sweet mullet, Billy Mitchell didn't take the loss of his world record well. Initially he disputed the world record, sent some of his goons to Steve Wiebe's house to "examine" his Donkey Kong machine, while Steve was not home, and eventually practiced up in order to reclaim his record.

Not to give up too much of the movie, they swapped records a few more times before the movie was released, in addition to swapping some trash talking. This movie is packed full of conspiracy theories, bad blood, drama, and of course, complete nerds taking video games way too seriously. Add to that the scene which is destined to live on in history as one of the greatest moments in cinematic history - Steve Wiebe trying to break the world record while his very young son screamed at him to stop playing and wipe his butt.

And you can't miss the clip in the middle of the movie of "Mr. Awesome" giving dating tips. Mr. Awesome, by the way, is still upset about his disputed Missle Command world record. Check out his web site here. It's good stuff. Also check out this site with him posing in front of his totally bitchin' Trans Am with his Mr. Awesome vanity plates.

Xbox 360

I like my Xbox 360, but one thing in particular bothers me about it. The games are $10 more than they are for other consoles, which wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that on top of that, they nickel and dime you with a bunch of micro-transactions. Extra levels, extra weapons, extra characters, etc that used to be included in the game now cost extra. I think it's cheap and I really hate it. I refuse to buy any of these extras. I'm sure the PS3 is on the bandwagon and will nickel and dime you to death too. I'm taking a stand now, who's with me?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Today's Words of Inspiration

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.There is nothing enlightened about shrinkingso that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously giveother people permission to do the same.As we are liberated from our fear,our presence automatically liberates others.

This quote is from Marianne Williamson. I heard it while watching Akeelah and the Bee, which turns out was a pretty good movie. Go watch it.