Thursday, November 30, 2006

More Random Ephemera!

It's a Why Won't You Grow specialty--bringing you the stuff vomited up by the internets when I've got nothing better to say.

So, here we go.


There is always room on my blog for news about Spiderman 3. Did you know that the movie is coming out in May 2007? Well, it is and I'll be there to see it. There is a strong likelihood that I'll be pestering you about it much more as the months proceed.

True story: Just yesterday I was thinking about the fact that December is almost upon us and that this means the year is almost over. So, you might think I began woolgathering about my life, my accomplishments, the things my kids have achieved and learned in the past twelve months, right?


The first thing that occurred to me was: "Hey, if 2007 is almost here, that means that Spiderman 3 is almost here." I guess the lesson here is that some people waste a wonderful life.

But, if you, like me, enjoy each and every random bit of movie progress coming out of the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi camp, you might appreciate this new teaser trailer poster image.


More randomly--if you watch Studio 60, but think it's too Sorkinesque for your ultimate liking, or if you want to hear what a real writer's room on a REALLY good show sounds like, you should check out this post on Slate, which describes the awesomeness of Battlestar Galactica and gives you access to a podcast of the writers at work.


If you are interested/worried about the future of HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, and good ole regular DVD, then you should read this Slate article claiming that you should simply relax because on-demand downloads directly over the internet or cable line is the wave of the future. I hope they are right . . . as I don't want to replace all my DVDs (and I don't have that many!) and I haven't YET committed to buying an HD TV. When will I do that? Will it be the next time I purchase, which could be within a year?


And well, it wouldn't be a post without some sort of reference to LOST, right?

Well, I think even those of my readers who dislike LOST (Lulu) or simply don't watch (Dr. Actually, Cordelia, and Jack), I think you might like this post. Think the show has too many unanswered questions and have little faith that the answers will be forthcoming? Well, you've got nothing on these web heads, who have listed everything that has yet to be resolved.

It's quite an extensive list of mysteries.

Have fun getting angry!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

@ Home

This week I am leaving work at 3:15. Normally I do this so that I can pick up Sarah at 3:30 but now-a-days, she's got Drama Club at 3:30 right there at the school. So, I stayed a bit longer at the office tying up a few loose ends and then I left.

Work has been stressful for months now, what with the personnel changes, reorganization of the entire division as a result of adding a group that used to be separate and is now being folded in. This means new job openings, new management interviews, lots of uncertainty, upheaval, rumors. And all of it on top of the most stressful and time-intensive work schedule that most of us have faced in quite a few years.

Yeah, it's been stressful.

I have tried to not let it get to me, to try and not take it all personally and only take home stuff that I NEEDED to take home. And I suppose that I have been mostly successful in keeping things sane and in perspective. But, I know that I have made my share of mistakes in the projects I'm shepherding through and while I think I've caught them and corrected those to the best of my abilities, I know that I'll make more before all of this year's tasks are completed. And I know that when I discover the next one I'll struggle with my confidence, mistrust my abilities, and generally be in a bad mood for a day or two.

And for that, I am sorry to myself, my family, and those working around me.

As much as I try not to equate myself with my job, that still seems to be my default reaction when confronted with problems. (Oddly, I don't tend to do the same when presented with successes?)

But I am still learning and growing. I may struggle with these personality traits for ever. Maybe they simply are who I am and I must learn not to eradicate them but to work within their existence. After all, these personality traits also contribute to my desire to do quality work that I am proud of. They help make me conscientious to what I do and to those I work with. These traits give me drive and motivation. Those aren't bad things and they have contributed to my ability to get hired, get promoted, and assist in providing for my family.

So, life isn't REALLY all bad, no matter what my body language and facial expression may show at any random moment. And if you see me moping about, you are allowed to smack me upside the head and remind me of these words.


In other, more quirky news, there are interesting bits going on out there in the internets that I feel compelled to pass along to you.

1. One of my favorite websites, Adfreak, alerted me to a contest over on, a site that specializes in photoshop jokes. Seems they wanted people to take their favorite work of art and modify it to serve as an advertisement for a modern company. Just the sort of thing to annoy people that are annoyed by such things. (Note that some of these are probably considered "risque" but, hey, Renaissance art was all about the human form and it can't be any worse than the lies propagated by Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code, right?)

2. For fans of the recently cancelled Arrested Development, there is some good, if repetitive news.

Some of the show's early episodes are now available for viewing online.

I admit that while I was a fan of the show while it was on . . . and while I wish Fox hadn't gotten rid of it so soon, I feel a bit silly when thinking about how some people have obsessed about the show.

3. Speaking of silly things, how about this report that Hurley's dad on LOST is now going to be none other than Cheech Marin. Is LOST going downhill so fast that it is resorting to guest-casting as a stunt gimmick? Please, PLEASE, tell me that it isn't so!

4. I've got nothing else to say and my mind is befuddled.

Yet another disappointing finish to another blog post.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Holidays are exhausting

It has been a very relaxing and very productively long holiday weekend.

I brought work home, but I don't think I'm going to do any of it tonight. I figure that work will always be available, but holidays don't come around that often and I should take advantage of them when they do arrive.

We went over to an old church friend's home for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Ruth, as always made delicious turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, seven-layer salad (my favorite thing), white chocolate cheesecake, date bars, and a nice relaxing time. Our kids played a bit with her grandchildren and best of all, we didn't have to cook anything at all (though we did help clean up a bit).

Lynda went shopping early Friday morning and I stayed home with the kids. Yesterday we pulled out all of the Christmas decorations and started getting ready for the Christmas season.

We got out our original tree and started putting decorations on it. The girls enjoyed putting on the ornaments and rocking out to "Holiday" music.

This year we bought a second tree (it was on sale) since we now have so many decorations that we can't fit them all on our original tree. And it gives us the opportunity to instigate a plan we formulated last year, but didn't implement until now--a theme tree, showing off the numerous snowmen ornaments that we have been collecting for the past many years.

It wasn't planned, but we suddenly realized a few years ago that we seemed to have quite a lot of snowmen stuff. So we decided to make it intentional.

Other than these typical holiday pursuits, Lynda and I did watch a few movies this long weekend.

First there was Pi, the Darren Aronofsky movie about a mathematician that is obsessed with finding the mathematical predictability behind humans systems. In the single-minded pursuit of his goal, he runs afoul of mystical Rabbis in search of God's true name as well as a criminal group looking to use his promised mathematical system to crack the stock market.

Lynda fell asleep about halfway through, as I suspected she might. But I found it to be an interesting film. It brought up things such as the underlying mysteries of the universe and whether or not we can understand them, the importance of numbers and number sequences, and odd obsessions with computers. Frankly, it reminded me a lot of some of the broader themes of LOST and I can see, after watching Pi, why Aronofsky wanted and tried to direct an episode of LOST during season 2. I hope he has the time and desire to try again in seasons 3 or 4. I think he would bring some interesting angles to the show.

The other film that we watched was in a theater--Stranger than Fiction, the Will Farrell movie about a ordinary man that discovers he is the character in a woman's book and she is planning to kill him off. We both thought that this movie was tons of fun to watch and we able to just relax and enjoy ourselves. Ferrell was funny and very understated in his role of Henry Glick. Dustin Hoffman was interesting as a English Lit professor pulled into service to try and identify the mysterious author that is omnisciently narrating Glick's life. Emma Thompson plays the author that is tortured with writer's block and then faced with remorse when she realizes that her literary musings might really affect someone's life. And Maggie Gyllenhaal rises above her brother to portray a bakery owner that gets intertwined in the story of Henry's impending demise.

Some parts of the movie made me think of J.K. Rowling writing the final Harry Potter book as we speak; I speculated if she shows remorse for her characters as she plots their demise. Whether you care about that or not, if you want some light entertaining fun, go see this movie that has a distinct visual style and is fun to immerse yourself in for a few hours.

Well, I'm going to stop this ramble now. It is a bit disjointed, but that's where my brain in right now, befogged with too much turkey, desserts, and relaxation. I'll try to sharpen my game a bit next time.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Thing That Came Out of the Library

Do you know what you are looking at right now?

It's called a "cloud," a graphical representation of any grouping of things, sized in such as way as to indicate the relative percentage of each item within that grouping. This particular grouping, as you can likely guess if a collection of authors--more specifically, the collection of authors represented in my home library.

You might wonder how I created this cloud and if you are, I can tell you that I did it while enjoying a very useful and interesting item on the internets.

It's called LibraryThing, a website that allows you to create a listing of all of your books. Once you have created your library of books, you can then search the site to find other people that have the same books as you or you can use the database to find other books that fit within your indicated likes and dislikes.

I think of it as something like the Netflix "Friends" feature. It is an example of how the internet's social functions can help open up new avenues to information and connections faster and easier than in the past. (Plus, it allows me to put a nifty widget on my blog sidebar displaying a random selection of my library's book covers, sort of like my Flickr photo widget.)

I think just about all of my blog-reading friends and family would find this site useful, interesting, and fun to peruse. And with the holidays coming up, it is a convenient place for you to check and see if I already own that book that you were thinking about buying for me.

Go check our my site, start your own, and have fun.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Giving Thanks

Monday night

I'm thankful that someone at Fox Broadcasting had the human decency to not air that dispicable O.J. Simpson television interview.

I'm thankful that the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix teaser trailer is up and viewable and I am thankful that those nice people at the Leaky Cauldron work so hard to help me stay informed without me doing a whole lot of work.

I'm thankful that there weren't mass arrests and riots and fires as a result of this win.

(I'll add more in the coming days . . .)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Expressing Anxiety Through Metaphor

Lately I've just been trying to keep my head above water.

The problem is, as soon as my head breaks the surface and I start to breathe, a shark swims by and bits my head off.

Truly, I am between a rock and a hard place--neither spot is terribly comfortable (though not life-threatening or positively destructive, but all the same both positions are damaging and scaring.


Calgon . . . take me away!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Justin Long--a defense of sorts

I just heard that Justin Long, he of recent (in)fame(y) has been fired from the "Get a Mac" commercials. (You might say he has to "force quit." HA! Mac humor!)

Anyway . . .

I know some people didn't like Mr. Long, but I've always enjoyed his humor and his sort of understated geeky elegance--if there is such a thing? Maybe his quality should be called "approachable hipsterness" or "everyday dweebishness"?

ANYWAY . . .

I feel sorry for Justin. I liked him on "Ed," when he played earnest/anxious/neurotic Warren Cheswick. But you don't have to worry much about Justin. He, apparently, has an answer for Apple and the widespread accusations of his smarmy acting style. And, also, he may be in line to be the next John McClane!

You read that right.

I would love to see Justin try to outsmarm Alan Rickman.

I would LOVE to see Justin and

The Spidey 3 Trailer EVENT

I think it was simulcast over several networks at once last night and hit the web at the same time.

You can watch it here.

I don't take back my concerns in the previous months that this movie is taking on too many characters, too many stories, but the trailer does look good.


--Everyone is talking very in very subdued voices--even Mary Jane and Peter. They seem pretty depressed, which is either a function of the darker story line or the actor's being tired of their roles.

--THC's character is (apparently?) the same guy that killed Uncle Ben in movie 1. What? Can anyone say retcon? It's a different actor!!

--Spidey never missed a chance to pose in front of a humongous flag, does he?

--Topher Grace isn't seen much in the trailer. Is he supposed to be Eddie Brock?

--Where does the black ooze symbiote (I'm assuming they are following the comic book Venom storyline) come from? Did John Jamieson bring it back from space? He's nowhere to be seen in the trailer either. Is he still recovering from the wedding day jilting.

--Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood should sue Sam Raimi and Tobey for stealing that whole "falling backwards grabbing at the ring thing." Though I suppose Peter Parker might be a LotR fan . . .

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An Open Letter to the Creators of LOST

Dear Carlton and Damon:

Everyone loved your first season. Hey, you single-handedly saved a network and inspired other networks to created mindless clones of your show that weren't very good. You created a phenomenon, spawned countless arguments, chat room discussions, web searches for Geronimo Jackson, even made people try to read classic literature. You've gotten people to talk about electromagnetism, cloning, and polar bear mating patterns (sometimes at the same time!). You've spawned hundreds of websites, launched dozens of podcasts, and inspired a whole summer of internet cross promotion.

I've totally defended you for the past season and a third. I hung in there during the slow down of season two (hey, everyone can have a sophomore slump). I supported the button, the strange heiroglyphs, the debate over whether the button was important or not, whether the countdown was real or a psychological experiment. I was excited about the black-light map, the first looks at Smokey the Lostzilla Monster. I didn't HATE Ana-Lucia and I was genuinely shocked with the actions of Michael (though I got reeeallly tired of his yelling for Walt).

I really enjoyed season two's finale--the hatch implosion, the violet light, the sound, the kidnapping, the Jack doppelganger in Portugal or wherever he was.

I even patiently explained to everyone that the split schedule for season three was a good thing. Six episodes in a row and then a break (it's during the holidays when people don't watch as much TV anyway). And then . . . nonstop LOST all the way to the end. I'm okay with that (even if I'm NOT okay with Taye Digg's show).

But, seriously guys? Have you been reading the internets? Have you been searching with the Google? Are you aware that people are giving up on you guys and giving up on your show? Are you so isolated with your yes men, show runners, and coffee delivery that you aren't aware that Heroes is eating your lunch? That is it the new darling, the new LOST season 1? That Tim Kring (who I have heard is a friend . . . whatever) is pointedly saying that HIS show gives ANSWERS and doesn't make the fans WAIT. Are you gonna take that?

More importantly, am I going to look like a deluded jerk for supporting you when this is all over? You said that this first six episode pod to begin season three would be great, would be exciting, would carry us over until February.

But, so far, I'm not sure. What have we learned? Why do we still have NO inkling how the people in the Hatch escaped from it's implosion with no (permanent) damage? Why are you foisting Nikki and Paolo on us when there is absolutely no indication why they are important at all? Is the eye-patch guy in one of the other hatches even REMOTELY important?

What you have shown us this season is the departure of Eko . . . but no understanding for why. Sure, it seems that Locke might have gotten some of his momentum back, but what's he going to do with it? And hey, thanks for all of the deep insight into Jack, Kate, and Sawyer and whatever the hell is happening over on Other Alcatraz. It's been great fun to see Kate and Sawyer bust up rocks while Jack sits around and does absolutely nothing but yell at people. (Heck, he used to do that back at Lostaway camp, but at least there Hurley got to say "Dude, calm down." every once in a while.)

So, what I'm saying is . . . get on with it. If you are going to start showing sixteen nonstop episodes starting in February, they had damn well better be worth it.

Proposition Sawyer to join the Others Team.
Bring Michael and Walt back from their wanderings in the boat.
Explain why Desmond can predict the future.
Give Charlie more to do that be a enormous asshole.
Make Hurley the bastard child of Alvar Hanso.

Whatever. But do it fast . . . because if you haven't heard, all people want to do now is

Monday, November 06, 2006

Our excursion to Springfield, Ohio

As promised a few posts back, I gonna describe the exciting time that Lynda and I had in Springfield, Ohio last Friday and Saturday. (That's right--for fun we chose to spend the night in nearby, picturesque Springfield, Ohio. Hey, don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

The reason for visiting Springfield was to go see the Frank Lloyd Wright Westcott House, a Prairie Style home that he built for an auto-maker living in Springfield at the turn of the century. This is the only Prairie Style home in Ohio and was opened to the public in October 2005 after many years of restoration. I heard about the house from Jack Thunder and Cordelia a few months back and at the time, I said that I would go with them sometime to experience the glory.

But then . . . my parents came to visit and they kindly offered to babysit overnight so Lynda and I could have some go out on a date. Lynda agreed to see the Westcott, since Springfield is pretty close--only thirty minutes west.

While investigating the Westcott House website, I noticed that there was a offer for a tour package that included tickets for the tour, a special gift and book from the gift store, and a night's stay in the Marriott hotel in downtown Springfield, which also included dinner and breakfast at the fancy bistro restaurant in the hotel.

We'd never been to Springfield, and so we didn't really know much about what was there or the quality of the restaurant. But we were extremely pleased with the food. It was great and the amount of money we spent on the room and the food we ate were more than covered by the price of the tour package.

But Springfield itself was nice also. The weather wasn't as nice as we wanted, but the hotel downtown was in a nicely renovated area, which seemed to me to be a former train station area.

These are buildings across the street from our third floor room. It could be a church (frankly I'm not sure) but it might also be part of an old, renovated train station complex. There was a railroad line that ran through the area right next to the hotel. The hotel lobby offered complementary ear plugs to drown out any train noise, but it didn't bother me.

The next day, we visited the house.

On the way back home, we drove past this nice old power plant. I took a picture of it because during the tour, our guide mentioned that Springfield was one of first towns to get electricity. Now I don't know if that is true or not, but it made me appreciate this old building.

These posts don't really do justice to the whole experience of the visit. But it does give me a handy reason to use this opportunity to launch my latest web site addition to the Why Won't You Grow?! family.

Why Won't You Visit?!
is a thematic site, intended to list many of the sites, sounds, and things to do in the area. It is not complete yet, but I'll be periodically adding to it to provide a resource for those who dare venture up here to visit the family . . . if coming to visit me isn't reason enough, that is.

So, come for Burb, stay for the Frank Lloyd Wright, enjoy the wide variety of stuff. You'll be glad you did. I promise.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Good News? No Aliens!!

I posted a rambling review of tonight's episode of LOST, "The Cost of Living," over on WWYG?! Omnimedia. I put it there to avoid anyone reading spoilers they might want to avoid . . . and to fulfill my tri-monthly use of the Omnimedia location.

If you don't want to read my ramblings on LOST, might I suggest you try "Doc" Jensen's brand of DHARMA kool-aid? It seems that he's been drinking a LOT of it.