Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm working on it!

I started writing my posts on my weekend trip to Philadelphia--and the accompanying photos--tonight, but I don't think I'll finish it quite yet.

In an attempt to appease your disappointment, I offer this strange bit of information.



Yeah, you read that right. You can read about it here. Heck, even Forbes magazine wrote an article on it. Everybody in the know has heard about the most famous wizard rock group--Harry and the Potters--and while I've got nothing against them, I wanted to talk about another group that I heard about this week.

While listening to the weekly Pottercast, I heard about a new group called The Remus Lupins. (NOTE: This link will open up a myspace account for the group and songs will play. Plug in headphones if you don't want to disturb anyone.)

But don't let the name fool you, this group is one guy writing surprisingly effective music that just happens to base its subject on fictional characters who happen to go to a school of magic.

Give it a quick look before you shake your head at me and move on with your life. (And maybe tomorrow I'll have more trip-related posts.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Wedding Teaser

I spent the weekend in Philadelphia with friends, celebrating the marriage of a former coworker.

I have many pictures to describe and three days of memories to compose into a coherent narrative.

Until I put all of that together, please enjoy this brief moment of music and conversation that I recorded during the trip home Monday afternoon.

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, May 25, 2006

That post was EXHAUSTING

I finally tackled the important television events of the past few days.

You can read about it over on Omnimedia.

But, I'll give you a hint--to either entice you or to convince you not to follow the link.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Portrait of a TV Geek

It's ten thirtyish on a Tuesday night in May. What are you doing?

Me . . . well, I'm blogging (obviously) but that's not all.

I've got a strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting chilling in the refrigerator to my right. Further to my right, the first stages of my inaugural potato-leek-shrimp soup is beginning to cook and meld flavors.

Why do this on a Tuesday night when most people are done cooking and are relaxing?

Well, tomorrow is the season two finale of LOST and I've been invited to a finale party. Food will be served and I am bringing soup and dessert. The attempt to make it an island theme was tossed about, but not truly expected that people will follow through very assiduously. (I doubt that mango--the Island's food of choice--will make an appearance.) Even my own dishes aren't strictly island-issue (though who knows what DHARMA drops in their hot-air balloon pallets?).

But my cake has yet to be fully decorated, so don't count me out yet. And my soup DOES have seafood in it. I bet Jin could catch some shrimp if he put his mind to it.


TV-related parties and I go back a ways. My first real commitment to total TV geekdom came in 1990 and 1991, when Twin Peaks hit the ABC airwaves. Thought the two shows are very, very different in subject, style, director, etc. there are some similarities between Twin Peaks and LOST. Both are cultish, inspiring zealots to put aside their more rational natures to suss out the clues and mysteries presented by the weekly drama.

TP had the Black Lodge, mysterious owls, BOB, and "damn fine coffee." LOST has the Swan Hatch, Lostzilla (a.k.a. the smoke monster), Alvar Hanso, and mangos.

My high schools friends and I embraced Twin Peaks with a fervor that we has hitherto reserved only for Batman, Science Olympiad, and early Coen Brothers movies. But embrace it we did, holding weekly Twin Peaks parties at each other's houses. These parties often featured some (often me) dressed up in costumes--usually a simple suit to designate F.B.I. Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLaughlin), and ALWAYS featured hot coffee and various flavors of pie. (Pie and coffee, if you didn't know, was a central food item in the small, tortured town of Twin Peaks.)

So, while my older sister looked on in bemused disgust, my geektastic friends and I would bliss out on the crazy, unexplained, thing that was David Lynch television.

These days, we've got LOST podcasts, mysterious websites, odd commercials and 1-800 phone numbers. Heck, we've even had ads in the New York Times and all sorts of mysterious clues surrounding the so-called "LOST Experience" game. I shudder to think what might have been done if we'd had the internet when Twin Peaks was on the air.

But it's the rabbit holes of mystery that keep me interested, both then and now. I'll be enjoying myself tomorrow night, eating good food, geeking out with my friends. What's wrong with any of that?

Maybe it's the paper

I just walked by the copier in the coffee room, the copier that is broken about 45% of the time.

Seriously, its either jamming up in five different places or there is some serious mechanical problem.

Yesterday, a technician spent a few hours with the insides pulled out and disassembled, repairing I don't know what. But after lunchtime it was fine.

When I walked past the copier seven minutes ago, it looked innocent enough, but there was a piece of 11 x 17 piece of paper sitting on the counter, crumpled up like an accordion and a few bits of torn paper as well. That is a sure fire sign that a paper jam has recently occurred and is sure to occur again. Sure enough, when I walked by the copier again five minutes ago, there was an innocent employee crouching down, copier door open, peering into the machine's guts, trying to figure out what went wrong.

So, let's recap. The machine is individually serviced for hours yesterday and this morning, it is screwing up again.

The machine might be old, but maybe it is something simple. Maybe it's the paper that is causing the jams. For whatever reason, maybe the brand of paper we buy is curling at the edges, reacting adversely to the humidity, fraying at a microscopic level.

Has someone considered this? It makes me wonder, given the multiple problems that we all encounter at home, at life, at work. We all find complicated reasons for why things go wrong. Maybe its a simple, but big reason that is staring us in the face.

Consider it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Writer's Block

I haven't had much luck in finding things to write about lately. I know that can be frustrating for those of you who are interested in what's happening in my life. I find that I go through cycles of blogging. Sometimes I've got stuff to say and do almost every night, or at least every other night. And then there are times (like now, I suppose) where I can go almost a week and not find anything that I want to get into.

I guess this is the flaw of my blogging style. I tend to react to things--give my opinions on issues, TV shows, stuff I read and hear--rather than write about stuff that I am personally experiencing. It is also a problem that (let's face it) my life is defined by routine and doesn't vary a heck of a lot from day to day to day to day to . . .

And usually, that suits me just fine. Like a Big Mac or the Italian Feast at Shoneys, you know what you are going to get, you expect it, you like it, it fills you up, and you move on. Sometimes days (or weeks) are like that. I've got my morning routine, my parental routine, my work routine, my evening/dinner/bedtime/TV & reading routine. I've got my weekend routine--cartoons (probably at 6:30 AM!!), breakfast, shower, laundry, grass cutting, playing with kids, more laundry, church on Sunday, occasional forays into social events. It's all very predictable and all very ordinary and not worth going into that often. And since MOST of my readers are there for 65% of it, they don't need to read it again.

So, this is another one of those "Why do I bother?" posts--and that is pretty routine as well.

But, I guess I could talk about the awful experience I had this weekend. It wasn't Chernobyl awful, certainly, but in comparison to my normal routine, it did stand out.

I don't think I want to relive it all right now and maybe I'd rather go to bed and read Kitchen Confidential (Hi, Flipper!) instead. Suffice it to say that both Sarah and Grace weren't in a very cooperative or attentive mood this past weekend and ALSO consider that Lynda and I (despite tons of evidence and experience to the contrary) attempted to do some minor home repairs.

I'll leave it up to your imagination as to what we were attempting to do, what exactly went wrong, and why hope continues to spring eternal when it comes to us and do-it-yourself. (Must be the Christian hope in salvation or something.)

Anyway, the girls pissed us off a lot (they're 5 and 2!!), the d-i-y crapped out and we wasted more than we should of the two prettiest days we've seen in about two weeks.

So you can see why I don't want to get into it.

But, I'm trying to get back on the blogging horse. Maybe I'll write tomorrow about tonight's Alias series finale. Maybe I'll reflect on how there were many flashbacks to Sydney's past, but not a one of them featured latex dresses of any color. There was a Francie sighting and there was plenty of Sark . . . but in the end it was a happy ending? I guess Sydney deserves happiness, since she's a fictional character that's had a lot of sad things dumped on her in her time. I bet Harry Potter wishes he gets the same.

So, since I'm clearly rambling and trying my best to imitate Joyce-ian stream of consciousness crap right now, I'll end by pointing you one of the final installments in The Authority Speaks over on Why Won't You Write?! Soon, all my crappy sports columns will be resurrected and like Sloan's Rambaldi quest, it will end, not with a bang, but with a whimper. . .

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Salvation City

This evening I saw the rerun of last night's Colbert Report. He mentioned the community of Ave Maria, Florida. Have you heard of it?

Apparently, its a planned community and while there is nothing special about those in modern America, this one is special.

It's special because the community is designed around Ave Maria University, the first Catholic university in America in forty year. But, if I am not incorrect, the community itself is specifically designed as a Catholic community. That is how the Colbert Report mentioned it, with the expected snark and suggestions that town residents will be able to vote pro-life, etc., etc. And that all may be true, but I can't find specific confirmation of that on the website.

Anyway, my point in mentioning this is mostly just to mention it . . . I find it interesting. And while I sometimes like some of the planned aspects of mixed communities that are intelligently designed, I don't like those communities to be exclusive. And it just feels like Ave Maria is more exclusive than inclusive.

Someone spend more time on the site and prove me wrong.



In a moment of iPod shuffled sonic connections, something about this Jenny Lewis song ("The Charging Sky" from Rabbit Fur Coat) just seemed meaningful in the context of a religiously-themed gated community. Again, if you have the time and desire, prove me wrong.

If I run uphill I'm out of breath
If I spend all my money I've got no money left.
If I place all my chips on only one bet,
I'm all in.

And it's a surefire bet I'm gonna die.

So I'm taking up praying on Sunday nights.
And it's not that i believe in your all might,
but I might as well,
as insurance or bail,
'cos institution's like a big bright lie,
and it blinds you into fear and consuming and fight,
and you've been in the desert underneath the charging sky.

It's just you and God.

But what if God's not there?
But His name is on your dollar bill,
which just became cab fare,
for the evangelist, the communist, the lefts and the rights,
and the hypocrites and the Jesuits and the blacks and the whites.
In the belly of the beast,
in the Atlanta streets,
or up in Laurel Canyon,
the Middle East.

Still they're dying on the dark continent.
It's been happening long enough to mention it.
Have I mentioned my parents are getting back together again.
It's been twenty-five years
of spreading infection.
Somehow we're not affected.
So my mom, she brushes her hair,
and my dad starts growing Bob Dylan's beard,
and I share with my friends a couple of beers
in the Atlanta streets,
in the belly of the beast.

(Have a good day & Namaste.)

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Second Night's Stop

When I launched my latest spinoff in the WWYG?! empire back in February (Why Won't You Write?!), it was for two purposes.

The first one, and the one that any visitors have seen when they went there to this point, was to provide a digital resting place for my brief career as a college sports journalist. Anyone who has read my weekly entries entitled The Authority Speaks have read, laughed at my ineptitude, and moved on with their lives.

But Why Won't You Write?! had a second purpose that I am introducing today . . . to provide a similar resting place for my one piece of long-term, long-form research--my Masters degree history thesis. It is entitled "The Second Night's Stop": Effects of U.S. Highway 301, Tourism, and Interstate 95 Upon Statesboro, Georgia, 1950-1975.

It is much different than what you usually read under my internet name and I predict that far fewer of my regular readers will even bother to give it a try. (It is, after all, a very long document.) But I haven't posted the entire thing all at once. In fact, it has taken me months of sporadic work to even get the initial chapter ready for viewing.

So, if you are interested in giving it a skim or a careful, (cringe-worthy) read, here is what you will find at this point.

This addition to Why Won't You Write?! may serve to explain why I have provided a link to James Lilek's American Motel website. The historical postcards of classic American motels that he provides is spiritually connected to the overall subject of my thesis. (But his work is in no way OFFICIALLY connected to anything that I write or display.)

Anyway, I hope you like it and find some of it interesting. My ongoing work on resurrecting this work won't detract from the mindless ephemera that you have come to expect on Why Won't You Grow?!

Thank you and Namaste.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sarah's missing book . . . found

At lunch a week or so ago, I mentioned a great new story that Sarah had written called "The Magic Tooth." This story was special because it was completely conceived, written, and illustrated by Sarah, with absolutely no help from either Lynda or myself.

I thought that Sarah had given it to her next door neighbor friend, and I lamented that I had not taken the chance to scan it before it was donated to others.

And then, today, I found it lying on the floor near the hallway. I don't know how it got there--either Grace pulled it out of some bag it had been hiding in for weeks or it was just released from the Phantom Zone. In any case, as I am wont to do, I present Sarah's newest, bestest book ever . . .

The Magic Tooth

[Please pay attention to the unusual pagination of Sarah's book. She has decided to eschew the traditional Western cultural norm of reading left-to-right, and has instead decided to mimic the Farsi, Iranian method of right-to-left sequencing. Is it a comment upon President Bush's wrongheaded approach towards bringing Iran into dialogue with the United States? I think so.]
"I lost a tooth." [The tooth is saying "wiggle" to indicate its loosedness. The other photo, in a clever foreshadowing, shows that this is, in fact, a magic tooth. Stay tuned to see how.]
"My mommy says I need to put it in my tooth book." [The illustration is of the aforementioned tooth book. It had red spots on the cover.]

"That night the tooth fairy came to my house." [The house, though hard to see due to its monochromatic yellow color resembles a Cape Cod two-story number. The tooth fairy--as Sarah conceives her--makes her first appearance in the main illustration on the page.]
"The next day when she woke up, she did not see her tooth." [The tooth has vanished from under the pillow with a magical POOF. The protagonist of the story is sad that her tooth is gone, as evidenced by the tears streaming down her face.]

"But I thought you had money, says Mom." [The protagonist thinks of the potential financial windfall, with a pensive Hmmm and a smile. Her crying self, though illustrated again--as reinforcement of her former state of being?--is now a distant memory.]
"She looked in her room. Money! she said." [Six coins of indeterminate value are illustrated. Jackpot!]

"But the tooth fairy did not know that the tooth was magic." [The tooth fairy has a perplexed look on her face while she stands next to her table.]
"But she was happy." [Meaning that the protagonist is happy, not the tooth fairy. We know from the previous page that the tooth fairy, lacking vital information, is well, her emotional state is not described, but her illustrated visage suggests that she is not exactly happy. The protagonist, however, is demonstratibly happy--which we know due to the provided text and the illustration of the happy face.]

"And the little girl likes it too." [What, exactly she likes is unclear here. Presumably the bankroll of six coins the tooth fairy gave for the tooth. I wonder what she would have paid if she had known the tooth had magical properties.]
"That night she was watching from the window to see the tooth fairy." [The protagonist has broken out what appears to be an astronomical-grade telescope to spy the tooth fairy. Perhaps her parents are astronomers and they are residing on a mountainside in Hawaii, away from city lights?]

"The tooth fairy did not come." [The crying girl is lying across her bed, illustrated from above.]
"The next day she went to school." [We see numerous toys that the girl plays with at school. The school itself resembles J.R.R. Tolkien's illustrations for Melkor's mountainous prison of Angband. Trust me, it's true.]

"And she did not stop thinking about the tooth." [You can see an illustration of her brain dreaming about the tooth. Sarah has chosen to zoom inside the head, a la David Fincher, to really make the thought process come alive. That's drama!]
"And she lived happily ever after." [The girl's happy family is grouped in this final picture. We don't have any supporting evidence to show that the parents are astronomers, but the mountainous aspect of the school might be seen as corroborating evidence. I'll leave that up to you.]

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The season two finale of LOST is approaching and even if I didn't know this, Entertainment Weekly would have let me know it, because the magazine didn't feature just one LOST cover, not even two, or three, but FOUR covers on the cast of LOST.

And since three-quarters of the fun of LOST is trying to decode the secret symbols and hidden messages behind every action, twitch, and blink of the cast, I figured it would be worthwhile to deconstruct the various covers and see what they might tell us about the cast dynamic, the life on the island, what happened during the second season, or simply who has the best agent.

First up, the actual primary cover of the magazine (and therefore the BEST cover).

Here we've got Jack front and center, flanked with Mr. Eko and Locke. I initially called this cover the "Look, We're Important!" cover. These three have been at the center of most of the big events and plotlines this season. Season Two was all about integrating the Tailies and dealing with the reality of the Hatch. That means Locke the Disillusioned Button Pusher and Mr. Eko the Searching for Redemption Ex-Warlord.

This cover also features the only two living people (that we know of) that have seen Lostzilla face-to-face--Eko and Locke. But it also features Jack, who (outside of Locke) has undergone the largest transformations this season, from trusted and reluctant leader to disgruntled a**hole. (Sorry, but Jack's been nothing but angry all year long.)

I'm calling Cover #2 "We So Sexy, Version 1."

Three of the best looking castaways are shown here . . . Kate wearing a leather top, flanked by Sun and Jin. My first reaction is honest dumbfoundedness at Sun. I mean, really . . . is the Dharma-brand food doing something to her chest? Could she only find Fifties Era torpedo bras in the wreckage? Seriously, girl, rein those in!!!

But why is Kate between Jin and his wife? And why is Sun facing in a different direction (other than the obvious puncture wound threat)? Does this serve as confirmation that she DID have an affair or that her pregnancy was not initiated by Jin?

Cover #3 is called "We So Sexy, Version 2."

Everybody loves bad-boy Sawyer, even though he is incapable of speaking in anything but snarky comebacks. Everyone USED to love Sayid . . . but he's been so criminally underused this season that his sexiness has waned a bit. Michael has also been missing most of this season and when he is around, he either screaming about WAAAALLTTTT or randomly shooting the innocent (neither of which are particularly sexy actions, I admit).

BUT . . . the actors are indeed good looking.

Cover #4 is called "Hey! We Used to Be Important!"

(You could also call it the Also-Rans, but that would be mean.)

Hurley, Claire, and poor, lost Charlie used to be integral members of the weekly cast, at least trusted to provide a humorous turn of phrase. But now they are hardly around at all. Frankly, I'd be worried that they might be next on the Dead List, which would make me sad. I really like Charlie when he's not acting like a sourpuss, childnapping, Sun-kidnapping git. Hurley is always fun . . . when he's not diminished by making him an excuse for fat jokes, and Claire . . well, I like Claire mostly because she can draw Locke away from the Button a bit and because as long as she's alive, the promise of more William Mapother flashbacks remains alive as well.

So there you have it.

Draw your own conclusions.

Just don't let Sun get too close to you without putting on safety glasses. You have been warned!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Goes together like a horse and carriage?

The sexual innuendo in this satirical (I hope) love poem to the PlayStation 3 is . . . GRAPHIC!

I don't find it particularly persuasive though. While the trusty PS3 might allow me to go online whenever I want and would never question my choices--except hitting ABAC when attempting a jump kick rather than the proper BBCA--the PS3 won't truly love me.

I'd be the one eating seven pumpkin pies and weeping softly in the corner.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What I MEANT to say was . . .

I've been meaning to write something pithy and/or scathing about this strange prescription drug advertisement I found in Newsweek last month.

But, I 've probably waited so long to write, I can be neither pithy, nor particularly scathing about it now.

Rest assured that at the time, I was FULL of venomous bile regarding the idiocy of this ad and would have used no less than 1,800 words to tell you exactly how STUPID, how IDIOTIC, how UTTERLY MORONIC this ad actually is.

I would have done so in such a determined and forceful way that you would have no choice but to agree with me, shaking your head with increasing vigor with every advancing bilious word that traveled across the page.

You yourself would have been shaking with rage by the end of the post, wondering how YOU could get your hands on the stupid ad agency that came up with the idea and the mindless, bean-counting morons at Astra-Zeneca that greenlighted this waste of glossy magazine cellulose.

Indeed, it's a very good thing that I didn't jump at the chance to dress down those guys and/or gals; it's lucky that I was diverted by such minutiae as dishwashing, diaper changing, or whatever else might have prevented me from rushing to my computer that day and letting loose my barrage of hatred.

But now, all I can do is sit befuddled and slightly flummoxed at the ad.

Sigh . . . it was gonna be so good, so eye-opening.

But now, well, nothing.

That's a symptom of something that Lynda pointed out to me today--"You're too afraid to try," she said, with regard to my reaction to some radio commentator who has published a book.

"Why can't I write a book?" I wondered. "Everybody else is writing books about every little thing." But what could I write about? Nothing immediate sprung to mind. Lynda suggested I write about life in the corn fields or something like that, thinking that I could tie it into observations on life or something.

My immediate reaction was negative, and that was when she hit me with the "You're too afraid to try, so you'll never do it."

I still can't think of what to write about . . . nor have I held a life-long desire to become a writer. It just seems that lots of people are able to get books published and I wonder how they do it. They don't seem particularly famous nor are their subjects, well, remarkable.

Anyway, it just makes me wonder.

J.J. Abrams has an Oedipal Complex

I discovered this while watching last night's episode of LOST (entitled "?").


Eko and Locke are off on a dream/vision quest to find the mysterious spot marked ? on the blast door image that Locke saw a few weeks ago ("Lockdown"). Eko is directed to do so by a dream of his dead brother, who specifically tells Eko to take John with him. (I guess the two most "spiritual" islanders must have their DHARMA-faith rekindled.)

They find the spot--which turns out to be the location of the crashed/burned Nigerian drug runner plane where Boone was fatally injured during Locke's original dream quest from Season One. Directly underneath where the plane now rests is . . . yep, another HATCH (named, as we will learn from another Orientation film, the Pearl).

So, here's my Oedipal tie in.

Nothing makes J.J. Abrams (and his contracted writers, since I KNOW J.J. himself didn't write the episode) happier than tunnels into the earth and mysterious hatch-like bunkers full of mysterious stuff. (Tunnels, Mother Earth, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, you get it . . .)
Anyway . . .

Lostaway Island is chock FULL of the crazy things (tunnels and hatches and bunkers, I mean). It's a wonder that the island doesn't sink due to the loss of structural integrity, due to the rabbits maze of tunnels snaking around in the earth's crust like a rabbit's warren (Watership Down tie in? Has Sawyer been reading it lately?).

But not only that, during last night's other Abrams-created show, Alias, Sydney and the newly alive Michael Vaughn (nee Andre Micheaux) discovered their own mysterious underground bunker full of dusty records regarding this year's Alias version of DHARMA--"Prophet 5."

So, if anyone has seen Mission: Impossible-III, PLEASE tell me that Tom Cruise's "Ethan Hunt" has to slip his way into some super-secret underground lair via a mysterious ground-level opening that reveals to him the connection between Philip Seymour Hoffman's bad guy and L. Ron Hubbard's secret plan to brainwash the world . . . a.k.a. Prophet DHARMAtology SD-6.

Please tell me it's true!

If Abrams will indeed helm a new Star Trek movie, I shudder to think what mysterious tunnels reside underneath the grounds of Starfleet Academy, nor do I want to know where the groundskeeper Boothby's allegiance truly lies.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Words of the Day

According to Google, the words for today are:

otiose: ineffective; also being at leisure; also, of no use.

aspersion: a damaging or derogatory remark.

pablum: something (as writing or speech) that is trite, insipid, or simplistic.

I don't know, but maybe Google is trying to tell me something?

Monday, May 08, 2006

My life in one word? CRAPTASTIC!

You might think that this title is an ill omen. But you would be wrong.

It's fantastic because we've really been making a concerted effort to get outside as much as possible lately. We've been cutting the grass, laying down mulch, pulling weeds, planting a few flowers, swinging the kids on the swings, taking walks, getting Sarah to ride her bike . . . heck we even tried to fly a kite a week ago (with unsuccessful results).

This sudden outdoorsiness is due to the fact that 1) the weather has been great, 2) we NEED the exercise, and 3) the girls are at a good age for getting outside.

Last year at this time, Grace wasn't nearly as ready and willing to get outside, run, swing, and play as she is now, which makes it so much easier to get out in the backyard and have fun.

Also, we've made some connections to other neighborhood families with young kids, encouraging the girls to get out there and be social.

It's all good.

But, it's also crappy. And that is because Grace moved from daytime pullups to big-girl panties over the weekend. She has done surprisingly well--about as well as Sarah's recent improvements on bike-riding. Grace successfully did her duty while at daycare on Friday, so we promised that she could move to panties the next day. She promptly woke up on Saturday morning, went to the bathroom herself, and put on her own pair of panties. She only has one accident all of Saturday--a day in which Lynda took them out of the house for a few hours, away from the bathroom.

She did have a few accidents on Sunday--minor ones, really--and one mishap at daycare today. But, all in all, she is making the transition remarkably well. It must be a function of her age. When Sarah was being trained, we did it at a much younger age (practically a year or more earlier) due to the militant efforts of our old daycare. She was fully trained at the point that Grace is now, but it was more stressful.

We've taken a more laid-back approach to Grace's scatalogical development--due mostly to the fact that a) I wasn't going to do it single-handed last year while Lynda's mind was in Texas and b) our current daycare didn't give a crap, really.

But we did as many parents do--we learned from mistaken assumptions made with the first child, dealt with our inadequacies and taken it easy the second time around.

Poor Grace will probably grow up to be a dope-smokin' hippie due to this, but hey man, them's the breaks.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

IF _____, then GOTO _____

I experienced one of the lasting effects of the 2000 presidential election . . . other than this and this.

Nope, it was this.

Since I grew up with this, this, and this, using one of these wasn't difficult at all.

Of course, there were those around me that grew up with this and probably this that were having trouble and complaining.

But I was okay.

The screens were clear, easy to read and understand, you could see a paper trail being generated as you made your selections, and you could even confirm your choices before finalizing.

The first time I ever participated in one of these events, back in Georgia, I used on of these.

We've come a long way since then, but really, yesterday was one of these.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Random bits

A few (likely) unrelated items to relate tonight.

If I had found a way to make it fit my theme of last night's post, I would have said something about Stephen Colbert's "performance" at the White House correspondents dinner. But, it didn't fit the theme and now the story is several days old. In the blogging universe, this means that the event in question is as extinct as a pterodactyl. If I had stuck while the story was hot, I might have had something to say that was relevant and you might have wanted to read it. Such is life.

You can read more about it here anyway.

In slightly more relevant news (though maybe relevant to only a select few), Dr. Actually forwarded this notice to me today at work. It left me breathless, speechless, and slightly nauseous. The potential train wreck that this Star Trek movie could become is (maybe?) approaching the level of Star Trek V: The Crappy Movie that Never Truly Existed. Only and I mean ONLY the presence of J.J. Abrams could make this movie even remotely hopeful. But I don't know . . . I mean, if he gets Jennifer Garner is some green Orion woman outfit, then, well, maybe I'd go see it.

In other movie news--thanks to Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch website, there is a more fleshed out trailer for Superman Returns. I was going to go see this movie anyway (June 30), but it looks even better now. As pointed out, Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor has a manic, zany quality that looks very much like Gene Hackman's version (which is appropriate since it is set in the chronology between Superman II and Superman III.

The point is, it looks good. You can check out the trailer for yourself here. It's worth the download wait.

In a related note, when Sarah watched the trailer with me tonight, she asked me:

"Is Superman like Spider-Man?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

She replied, "I mean, does she [Lois Lane] always gets into trouble?"

I laughingly replied, "Yes, she does."

I am glad that she has already understood the essential nature of the girl in the superhero comics genre.

Monday, May 01, 2006

An ugly, but necessary business

That description could apply to several things that I recently accomplished.

1. It might apply to the task that I set for myself this past Saturday--laying down mulch in the (seemingly) endless yards of flowerbeds surrounding our house. We purchased 40 bags (about 120 cubic feet) from the local school fundraiser and it arrived last Thursday night, saran-wrapped to a pallet and listing precariously to the side at the top of our driveway. Luckily I didn't have to take the second car, because it effectively blocked that half of the driveway. It gave me incentive to get the job done.

So, Saturday morning, I got after it. Placing bags around in strategic bed locations, finding my pocket knife (which I never carry, but always sort of think I should carry) to slit open each bag. After about three hours of steady if not frantic work, I got the front yard, the side beds, and all of the back yard complete--with the exception of the monster bed in the back half of the back yard. On Sunday, after church, lunch, and after Lynda finished weeding that bed, I spread out the final 12 bags as best I could. We'll need to buy a few extra bags to completely cover the back bed to prevent more weeds from coming up. Memo to self--next year . . . 150 bags OR make the beds smaller!)

2. But then again, the description might refer to what I just finished spending two hours catching up on--my financial record keeping and data entry. I cleaned up all of the credit card receipts, caught up on all the check book entries, got a much clearer picture of what's what here as the month begins, paid a few bills, and so forth.

All tedious work, and work that I find myself ignoring more and more these days. A bad habit, to be sure. Back when Lynda and I first got married, when all things were new, all finances much simpler, and all credit card bills confined ONLY to triple-digit monthly sums, I was much more punctual with my bank data entry. But that was before I got into online bill payment. It makes things quicker and makes everything more down-loadable, but it also makes it easier for me to let things ride a bit longer than they should.

Please understand that I don't pay bills we don't have money for or anything COMPLETELY irresponsible. But it do wait longer than strictly wise to balance the monthly statements and sort through the piles of receipts.

But tonight I tackled it and plowed through it all with a fervor. Ugly, but necessary.

3. Or, the description might refer to my weekly presentation of The Authority Speaks. Much like death and taxes, you know it's coming, you are powerless to fight it's arrival, and you are consumed with a deep dread with what you might find when it makes it's presence known. (At least you have the choice NOT to click, if you have the willpower.)