Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dream Analysis

I had a dream the other night that I drove by the closest gas station to my house and gas was $2.18 a gallon, and even though I had half a tank and didn't really need to stop, I did anyway.

Has my life really become so mundane that I no longer even have interesting dreams?  What does it say about my psyche?  If I can't rely on my dreams to be interesting, I guess I'm going to have to do something interesting in the waking hours, however unlikely that may seem.


With 3D movies all the rage, it stands to reason that talk of 3D tv shouldn't be far behind.  Surely, as soon as Avatar is released on blu ray, everyone will be clamoring for 3D tv.  Not so according to the Motley Fool.  Their argument is that between limited availability and high prices, it will take a few years before the technology gains a foot hold.  Personally, I don't understand why a specially designed television set would be necessary to watch 3D.  Why can't you just put on the dumb looking glasses and watch movies on a standard set?  Perhaps the new polarized glasses replacing the traditional red & green lenses require some additional coding in the television set.  A cursory search of the internet yielded no answers. 

The bigger question in my mind is, is there really much demand for 3D tv sets?  Sure it's a novelty to watch a movie in a theater, but I personally don't imagine myself wanting to spend much time watching 3D movies & tv at home.  Avatar was a long enough movie that I was growing weary of wearing the glasses toward the end.  I don't really have a desire to spend a great deal of time watching 3D programming.  One caveat being that I would really like to watch sports in 3D, that of course being in the situation that I haven't watched sports in 3D yet. 

In related news, Tinto Brass, known for directing the controversial film Caligula, has announced that he would like to be the first director to film an adult movie in 3D.  You knew that sooner or later the opportunity would arise to see some double Ds in 3D.  I'm just a little surprised that the announcement came so soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Obsessive Apple fanboys around the world today had a collective iGasm as unquestioned geek overlord Steve Jobs appeared publicly to announce the iPay - excuse me - iPad.  The long awaited and much hyped tablet PC has the appearance and listed functionality of a giant iPhone without the ability to call someone.  The new devise allows users to watch movies, play games, listen to music, read e-books, and browse the internet.  I have heard it touted as a competitor to the Amazon Kindle, however battery life and price are not on par. 

Honestly, I have a hard time imagining a market for tablet PCs.  They are less functional than laptops, and with prices starting at $499 for a 16 GB model, $599 for 32 GB, $699 for 64 GB along with an additional $130 for 3G wireless capability, it will cost you a lot more for that reduced functionality.  Ergonomically, I wouldn't want to be hunched over a tablet for any extended length of time, say, long enough to watch a movie.  And typing anything of length with a touch pad would be tedious.  So using the iPad for any productive functions would require an additional purchase of an external keyboard and stand. 

Many companies have dipped their toes in the waters of the tablet PC market over the years, including Apple with their failed Newton and none have caught on.  I just don't see a market for tablets when the modern cell phone does everything a tablet can do and can fit in your pocket.  I don't want to discount Apple too soon, they have a history of success with new products, but I don't see anything revolutionary or compelling about the iPad. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Wall

For some reason I have been hearing Pink Floyd's The Wall a lot recently and it's really got me thinking. For those unfamiliar with the song, at the end there is a line,"if you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?" And so it is that I've been spending the better part of the last week pondering whether any provisions have been made to allow vegetarians to have pudding. Are they just denied the sweet goodness due to their choices? If you have a doctor's note stating that you can't eat meat for health purposes can you get an exemption? Are vegetarians simply limited to jello? Or do they just listen to different bands? Calls to Pink Floyd have thus far gone unanswered. I only hope I can get to the bottom of this mystery soon so I can once again sleep at night.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How Do You Get This Job?

Friday I posted something about Applebee's and in under an hour had a comment from an Applebee's employee.  In addition, last summer I posted something about Windows 7 and quickly had a comment from a Microsoft employee.  The point of all this?  How do I get a job searching the internet and reading and posting on blogs for a living?  I feel that I am very qualified to do this, and am pretty sure I would enjoy it more than my current position.  I have quite a bit of experience reading and posting to blogs, and I am eloquent enough that I could represent any company in a positive light.  References and a resume are available upon request.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is Applebee's Doomed?

According to Forbes, the answer is yes.  DineEquity, the corporation that owns Applebee's is struggling financially and may be the next victim of the flagging economy.  The chain recently discounted prices in an effort to attract more customers, a move which resulted in a 4.3% decrease in sales, and apparently their next move is going to be remodeling their restaurants.  I find it odd that the concept of selling edible food has not been discussed as a way to turn around the franchise.  I have a group of acquaintances who are regular patrons and in order to socialize, I am forced to eat there more often than I care to and can say unequivocally that the food there is sub par.  Lobbying to eat elsewhere has proven ineffective, so it could turn out that bankruptcy could come to the rescue.  To me, this article is just proof of mismanagement.  If any Applebee's executives stumble upon this, please forget pricing structures, remodels, and other peripheral issues and just improve your menu.

On the other end of the spectrum, Burger King is planning a change to increase business which I personally think will be far more effective.  They are planning on opening "Whopper Bars" in trial locations that will sell beer along with their greasy food.  Even though I don't drink, I'm surprised that more fast food chains don't sell beer.  I assume it has to do with the fact that they would have to hire employees over 21 to legally serve the beer, and those employees would demand a higher salary than the 16 & 17 year olds most fast food joints typically employ.  I have a feeling this will catch on though.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Whilst perusing Costco the other day, I found myself, as I often do, pining for some good cheese.  I set out hoping to find some Wensleydale, since my mom had picked some up prior to Christmas.  She had gotten a variety containing cranberries, which was good but a bit too sweet.  No Wensleydale was to be found, and just as I was beginning to feel disappointed, something caught my eye.  That something was a wheel of Tillamook 100th Anniversary extra sharp cheddar, aged three years.  I love Tillamook cheese, and may move to Tillamook when I retire, so finding this was an absolute delight. Not to mention that it has always been a goal of mine to own a wheel of cheese, one bigger than the mini Laughing Cow gouda wheels anyway.  The other great thing about it:  only $12 from Costco while it would set you back $23 plus shipping to order it directly from Tillamook

Well, tonight was the magical night where I cracked open my Tillamook wheel and it is indeed delightful.  First of all, trimming away the casing to get to the cheese proved more challenging than I had anticipated, but thinking I was home free once that feat was accomplished proved erroneous.  Slicing something round with a wire cheese slicer just wasn't going to happen.  I had to resort to the much less elegant knife.  As you may already know, aged cheddar is crumbly, and this crumbled all over.  At this point, however, that was no longer a concern as I had reached the long sought 'putting it in my mouth' portion of the event.  While sharp, it isn't as biting as the Special Reserve Extra Sharp.  It's a little bit creamier with small, almost crunchy bits here and there.  I think it would literally melt in your mouth.  It also has a faint sweetness to it, almost a honey flavor.  I think it would be excellent with some salami or other cured meat.  Quite delicious and I'm considering going back for more before it sells out.  I need to stock my wine cellar with such luxury items for the impending (or so I'm told) disintegration of society.  When the dollar is valueless, gourmet food will be the currency of the day.  But I'm getting off topic - I have to stop talking to Shelvis. 

Anyone wishing to sample the pinnacle of the cheddar making arts needs only to come over and shower me with gifts and compliments, and you must sound sincere.  Or maybe just bring some salami since I don't have any on hand.  I also have some of the blue label Tillamook Vintage White Medium Cheddar which I am quite fond of.  I see there are still several intriguing varieties yet untried.  The black pepper white cheddar and habanero jack sound interesting, but I must try the garlic white cheddar and garlic chili pepper cheddar.  I have yet to see those at the store but will be on the lookout from now on.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sleep Talkin' Man

I found this web site the other day and it cracks me up.  The author of this web site is a light sleeper with a husband who talks in his sleep.  Rather than getting upset by being awoken by his nocturnal conversations, she finds them amusing and records them every night to post online later.  Some of the things he says are absolutely hilarious.  Here is a sampling:

"Dogs' scrotums. They stretch."

"Pork chops are most satisfying. Mmmmmmm. Dangle them from the ceiling."
"Your mum's at the door again. Bury me. Bury me deep."

"Flap's on fire. Your flap's on fire! Chili in the vagiiiiina. I'm a bad bad boy."

"Badger tickling: proceed with caution"

"Vampire penguins? Zombie guinea pigs? We're done for.... done for."
"I don't want to die! I love sex. And furry animals."
"Well that's just great. Peanut butter in my crack. Goddamnit."

In other news, we had our second flag football game of the season today and lost a close game.  It was disappointing, but the funny part came before the game started.  We were discussing who would play what positions on defense and one of the guys pointed to me and Matt and said, "the tall guys should play deep."  That should tell you how short my team is when, at 5'8" I'm one of the "tall" guys. 

I was a little surprised by the lopsided scores in 3 of the 4 playoff games this weekend, but more surprised by the Jets knocking off the Chargers.  Next weekend I'm expecting a shoot out in the Superdome with the Saints making Favre retire in tears, only to unretire in 4 months on his quest to retire from every NFL team.  The Colts - Jets game will be lower scoring, but Manning will pick apart the vaunted Jets defense and head to the Superbowl.  The Superbowl will then be an epic shoot out. 

On the pre-game show today, I heard that the Seahawks had tried to talk Tony Dungy out of retirement and actually got him to consider it.  I'm not convinced Pete Carroll can be successful in the NFL so I would have preferred Dungy, but I'm hopeful Carroll can prove me wrong.

I need a nap.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

"It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."

Good advice from Warren Buffett, along with some more accompanying advice from the Motley Fool

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Liking the Simpsons is like someone who likes dogs.  You have to be distrustful of someone who hates dogs, it's like 'I hate dogs', how the @#% can you hate a dog?"

Joe Mantegna

New Year's Resolution

After getting killed in the first volleyball game of the season on Thursday followed by a pretty solid beating in the first flag football game of the season today, I've decided that my lack of height is a detriment.  And so my New Year's resolution is to grow 4 inches taller.  Or failing that, increase my vertical leap by 4 inches.  Whichever is easier.  With performance enhancing drugs all the rage these days, I assume something is out there which will help me grow.  I have received some emails in my spam folder which offer pills which promise 4 inches of growth, however I don't believe the growth they are referring to is measured in height. 

In other news, I've gotten my annual illness out of the way.  I get sick once a year, although I don't remember getting sick in 2009.  Anyway, I woke up with a mild sore throat on Thursday and on Friday had to blow my nose a few times.  Then over the weekend, I've been coughing and sneezing on occasion and have been sleeping like there's no tomorrow.  I'm not sure that the sleeping wasn't making up for a lack of sleep during the week though.  Long story short, I fully expect to wake up Monday morning back to 100% and then I don't have another ailment planned until 2011. 

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Useless Trivia

Which president raised sheep on the White House lawn?

William Howard Taft

Grover Cleveland

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Woodrow Wilson

Friday, January 08, 2010


I just discovered the perfect ending to the most frustrating day in a craptacular week. Standing out in the cold for 45+ minutes waiting for a bus that's scheduled to come every half hour. How the hell does that happen? I can guarantee that traffic didn't get exponentially worse between busses. I can only chalk this up to fate giving me the finger one last time this week. I assume the bus will get in an accident as the coup de gras.

Anyway at this point I just want to get home, put on some slippers, warm up & dry out. Maybe watch a movie. I certainly won't play any Madden football, that will only further angry up the blood. I don't have it in me tonight but tomorrow I think I'll head down to the dojo and beat the hell out of the heavy bag.

In other news, this is my first foray into posting via my cell phone telephone. I'll have to check later to see how many spelling errors I've managed to compile. With any luck it's not too eggregious. It sure takes a long time though.

Wrapping things up will be my two sentence review of Avatar. I saw it last weekend and visually it's pretty spectacular, but the story was a heavy handed earth worship / evil white men forcibly taking the noble native's land fiasco. It was delivered with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer. I have heard it referred to as Pocahantas in space. It could have been so much better. I find it a little ironic that despite the overbearing unity with nature & living a simple life themes that it is one of the most heavily marketed movies in recent memory. What better way to display your love for nature than by getting the Avatar happy meal, video game, t-shirt, space marine toy, etc...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Odds & Ends

I'm a little unfocused today and will attempt to weave a few different stories/musings into one cohesive post, but I make no promises that it won't turn out to be a disaster. 

First off I'll start with a tale of regret.  A few months ago I had a falling out with a former friend.  Without getting into specifics, I got pissed off enough that I sent an email stating that I no longer had any interest in maintaining contact with this individual.  Knowing that things said while emotional are sometimes ill advised, I was very cautious to be overly nice in the afore mentioned email so as not to say something I would later regret.  Thinking back on it now though, it turns out that what I regret is not taking the opportunity to vent and say some mean things.  I find it a bit odd that I still have feelings of hostility this much after the fact.  I really thought I would have moved on to indifference by now. 

Moving on, I had kind of an unusual situation occur this morning.  I was walking to the bus stop this morning and saw a woman about half a block in front of me heading toward the same stop.  I don't know why, because I never saw her face, but for some reason I thought she reminds me of somebody I used to work with.  It's been about 3 years since I've seen this former co-worker so I don't know why I would think that, but the weird thing was that I got up to the bus stop and got a good look at her and it turns out it is her.  I said hi and she looked uncomfortable and looked away, so I don't think she remembers who I am.  Either that or she does remember me and was mortified to see me.  I prefer the previous scenario though.  Still, it was pretty surprising to find that someone who had quit to move to another state now lives within walking distance of me. 

I had something else I was going to mention but have now forgotten, so instead here is this story about the apparent discovery of the mythical city of El Dorado.  Conquistadors searched for it for centuries, but apparently sattelites have found it buried deep in the jungles of the Amazon.  It's always the last place you look.

There's An App For That

The last couple of times I've ridden the ferry, I've noticed people who can't remember where their car is wandering around looking confused, waving their arm in the air, pushing the button on their keyless entry remote in the hopes of seeing lights flashing somewhere, calling them home.  One guy even went so far as to set off his alarm so he could find his car.  That got me thinking that there needs to be an iphone app that will help these lost souls find where they parked.  It will link the GPS in the phone with the one in the car, and with the aid of Google maps, will give you turn by turn directions back to your car. 

In addition to the "where's my car" app, there should be a Starbucks app.  As soon as I walk in the door it will alert the barista to begin making my favorite drink.  I also envision this app having the functionality of being able to place any order on my phone and have it transmitted the moment I walk in the door.  Then, and only then, will I consider buying an iphone.  When there's coffee in it for me.