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


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

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.