Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

(To see the costumes, see the post immediately below this one.)

It's been a good night of trick or treating. We started out down at the other end of our street having a hot dog and covered dish dinner with Lynda's coworker's family. While there, we met up with one of Sarah's classmates (who sits right beside her incidentally). After the dinner Sarah, Grace, and A. teamed up to start canvassing the neighborhood.

Lynda took Hannah the Bee home to man the front porch while I got to know other parents and get some exercise walking around the neighborhood.

It is surprising how many of Sarah's classmates live all around us. Simultaneously, it is also sad how unaware I am of this fact. 

(Case in point . . . last weekend, Sarah was invited to one of her classmate's birthday sleepover party. When I googled the address to get directions to her house, the map informed me that she lived a block-and-a-half away. In as condescending a way as a mute computer screen could, it told me that it took "about 23 seconds" to go from our house to the destination.)

So, we are spectacularly uninformed. 

But, this is how we can start breaking out of our shell. From these small occurrences, perhaps we can forge new tendrils of relationships.

Grace got tired after about fifteen minutes and wandering back and forth through our neighborhood. So she peeled off for home to help Lynda hand out stuff from the porch. (They have always enjoyed the giving just as much as the receiving.) But Sarah kept going for a while with her friends A. and A. We parents talked about Halloweens past, political signs in the yards, and the absolutely wonderful weather. (When we started, the temperature was mid-60s with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds. It did get a bit colder when the sun sunk below the trees, but everything was much better than last year's cold, rainy night.)

All the parents and many of the older kids we encountered instantly recognized Sarah's costume--though they almost always thought she was Hermione at the initial guess. I was glad that she got such positive feedback from everyone. And I was very glad that she got to interact with her classmates. We kept on running across more and more of them as the night continued, all of them walking in packs. I was all for us combining our groups into a roving, marauding herd of candy bandits, but Lynda called me on my phone (equipped with Order of the Phoenix ringtone, to keep up with the theme) and asked me to come back home so she could take a break and get Hannah to bed.

So, I came home and I've been blogging on the porch while Sarah and Grace play with M. from next door. They've been handing out candy, running around in the dark whooping, and pretending to be new kids coming up to the porch to gather more candy. When I tell them that I'm not tricked by their game, they say that they are "advertising for other kids to come by." 

I say this every year on Beggar's Night, but it's nice to have people interacting with each other outside, away from the TVs and stuff. It's nice see your neighbors and fellow neighborhood dwellers sitting on their porch. It's nice to hear the chatter of kids excitement floating across the darkening air. It's not scary or spooky, but it is a vague reflection of the mythical (and possible entirely fictional) community that we want deep down in our muscle memory and are afraid to try and find. 

(Even though I think I was just slightly dissed by a preteen for the Obama sign in our yard . . . I think I'll stick to the hopeful tone that I am ending this post with. YES WE CAN!!)

Halloween costumes

Doing this quick with little commentary this morning.

You've got Hannah in seasonal clothing, but not yet in bumblebee costume, Grace as Padme Amidala, and Sarah as Ginny Weasley. (Her "wand" got cut off from the top of the picture.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another dream sequence

Over this past weekend, I had another dream in a mall.

But this was a regular mall, not a weird surreal Mall of Madness.

It went down like this.

Lynda, Hannah, and I were in the men's clothing section of a generic anchor store in your typical generic mall. It was probably either J.C. Penneys or Sears or maybe Belks. But I was in the market for a track suit. (Perhaps I was getting ready to go back in time and reinvent myself as a 80s style rapper?)

I had my eye on a nice red number that one of the mannequins was sporting--bright red (to get the ladies attention?) two piece ensemble with a zip-up jacket/hoodie and straight-legged pants (no elastic at the cuffs, yo!). But what really set it all off was the addidas-style white stripes (think Fat Boys, not White Stripes) running down both pant legs.

So, I knew what I wanted. I just had to get the right size. I got the proper jacket, but for some reason I couldn't locate a corresponding pair of the red pants. I waited around for a bit, hoping to get some sales clerk assistance, but even in a dream sequence, no help was to be found.

I eventually cornered a store manager and he told me that they were completely out of the pants, but he directed me to one of the sales clerks. Lynda and I (and I was holding Hannah) discussed our problem with the clerk (who, for whatever reason I can't begin to explain was of Arab descent). He led the three of us through the men's department and out of the store into the mall corridors.

At this point I thought he was going to lead us to some separate storage or merchandise staging area where the appropriate pants were available. But we just kept walking past store entrances and through the wide mall expanses.

Suddenly, I found that part of the mall floor was moving. (You know how in airport walkways part of the floor is a motorized belt that speeds you along faster than regular walking?) Well, I and Hannah were on this moving part--which wasn't a rubberized mat but was made of the same tile as the stationary mall floor that Lynda and the store clerk were on.

As I realized that I was on this moving floor, I lost my balance and fell backwards. I landed safely--kind of like if I was sliding down a waterslide, not flat on my back but semi-upright--and kept Hannah from harm. But I felt the floor's pace quicken and I could see that it was propelling me toward a wall that jutted outward from a Chik-fil-A entrance. (The floor just kept moving underneath the bottom of the wall protuberance.) As I slid non-stop to this barrier (which was also . . . oddly . . . guarded by a regular sidewalk bench that was supporting a couple sitting in front of the Chik-fil-A; again, the moving floor just slid right beneath their feet), I leaned over and sort of handed off/tossed Hannah to Lynda, who was on safe, predictable solid "ground."

With the baby safe, I just sort of curled up and let myself get slammed into the bench/barrier at the feet of the sitting couple. It turns out--though I couldn't have told you who they were in the dream--Lynda and I knew them from church. So, I got up, got off of the moving floor, and we chatted for a few minutes.

But then we went on our way, again following the sales clerk who was now leading us out of the mall itself and suddenly we were walking with him through a moderately forested area (tall, Georgia pines) that cast a shady area on a courtyard of an apartment complex. On either side of the little artificial glen screen doors indicated the entrances to apartments. There were little squares of concrete that was each entrances stoop and I sat down on one of these in the piney shade to see what was going to happen next.

At this point, I was now rationalizing that the sales clerk we had been following was going to offer me a pair of red (and white striped) track suit pants that he owned, even though he was at least six inches taller than me and probably 50 pounds more muscular. (He was wearing a generic sales outfit of black pants, white shirt, and black suit vest. He was very handsome in a non-me sort of way.)

So, I'm sitting, Lynda is standing to the side holding Hannah just waiting and staring at the apartment screen door that the clerk is opening. Upon opening, he is greeted by an older man that is clearly his grandfather. I don't remember that the two exchange any words but the clerk who has led us all this way without so much as speaking to us now turns to Lynda (ignoring my presence COMPLETELY) and asks her to marry him.

. . .


To her credit, Lynda immediately slumps a bit in disappointment, turns to look me in the eyes and gives a full-bodied, very weary sort of sigh.

And then the dream ends.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

a "Harry" eyeball

On Thursday I have my eye exam with the specialist downtown. The task of going to a different office and dealing with people who are touted as a higher level of eye doctors gave me a faint memory tug of when Muleskinner and I drove to Macon (GA) almost twenty years ago.

The Macon trip was to get a higher order of doctor's opinion on the double vision that I was struggling to control. While it was a condition that I could remember having far back into my childhood, it had seemed to get worse the summer before my senior year in high school. It was at that point that I confessed to Mom and Dad that I frequently saw two of everything . . . or at least I saw the single thing split into two images if I stared at it for a long amount of time. When I blinked, the two somethings resolved back into one and that was that.

But, as I got older, the splitting into two became more frequent and more bothersome. As the Macon specialists explained things, my brain had become "tired" and unable to properly compensate for the vision problem any more. It wasn't as uncommon an affliction as you might think, but it is usually caught earlier in life when the ability to retrain the brain or surgically correct the problem is more successful.

Even so, the Macon doctor had a plan. He could, right there, in the exam room, lean me back and try to reposition the muscles that attach to the eyeball itself. This repositioning might, he explained, pull the right eye back into proper alignment and correct the basic fact that I saw two of things because my eyes were operating from slightly different angles. This difference in perspective was the cause of my two images. I agreed, as it seemed to most direct and sensible thing to do--but I didn't ask Muleskinner's opinion. He had come along to drive, since I had anticipated having dilated pupils and not being able to drive back home on I-75 for an hour-and a-half afterwards.

I was correct about the driving, but for the wrong reason.

The doctor did indeed lean me back and numbed the eye so I wouldn't "feel" the surgical procedure. And while I can report that--of course--the anesthesia worked, it simply took the pain sensation away. I was still quite aware that someone was tugging and moving things around on my eyeball.

Owing to the fact that I had not stepped into the office that day with any of this in mind (and owing to the fact that, for obvious reasons, you have to watch the doctor bring the anesthesia needle toward your forced open eyeball, I was a bit shaken and sweaty when the procedure was finished. Muleskinner was also shaken up, because he had to sit there beside the chair and watch it all happen, seeing my hands grip the arm rests, seeing my body twist slightly in the seat. He drove me home slightly bemused and a bit shocked. I leaned myself back in the passenger chair of his Accord and just tried to relax.


That procedure did not work back then, so ever since I've been wearing glasses with a prism in the right side that bends the light to try and artificially correct the different eye angle. It works a bit, but the splitting vision can still be a problem now and then. (I just try not to use it as an excuse when I don't play well at tennis or golf.)

My visit to the doctor THIS time wasn't for that issue. I figure that is just something I'm going to be living with for a long time--or at least until someone figures out how to replace them with Geordi Laforge eyes. This exam was to judge the state of my cataract in the right eye and get the specialists opinion on whether surgery is necessary. (The answer, I am glad to report, is YES and the surgery is scheduled for late January.)

What I found amusing was that as I was preparing to finish the visit and was scheduling the surgery, I had to sign a few forms. Mind you, my eyes were dilated from the exam during this, so I found it difficult to clearly read the text on what seemed to be a pretty blindingly white piece of paper, much less clearly see the swimming line that was supposed to support my signature. (I just hope I didn't sign away my right to sue or something . . . that's a joke.)


On Friday, I had to pick up Sarah after school and quickly get her a present to take to a birthday party that I had only just heard about the day before. I think Sarah has received the invitation earlier than that but had neglected to let me see it. So, I found out that this party occurred the night after I read about it, I had to plan time to get a gift, AND it was a sleepover party to boot. But I knew what to do. I'd get Sarah, we'd go to Meijer and find a gift, then we'd pick up Grace and Hannah from daycare. We'd all troop home and Sarah would get packed for the night out while I cooked the Friday night pizza quickly so Grace would have enough time to eat before the daycare Halloween Boo Bash began later, after Sarah's party was already underway. whew

But first, Sarah and I had to find a gift.

This was one of Sarah's new classmates, and as such, wasn't someone I was familiar with. Buying a present for a pre-adolescent girl is always hard enough (even though Barbie products is a fairly reliable default setting), but to do so in the blind, for someone you have NO context for? That's even harder. And I'll be honest . . . since I knew this girl was African American, I had the added question of whether or not I ought to buy a darker skinned doll. (I didn't ask Sarah her opinion on the matter.) I was rolling this question around in my head while Sarah was trying to distract me by talking about some of the many other dolls in the aisle.

Ultimately we sidestepped the issue and purchased a Barbie furniture set that didn't come with it's own doll. I rationalized by saying that it was likely that Sarah's friend had many dolls that would have fun playing with the furniture. I knew I had done a pretty good job when, as we drove to pick up Grace and Hannah, I heard Sarah say wistfully from the backseat "I wish I had this." That was all she said, but it gave me some confidence that the toy selection would be greeted happily.

When I got home, I was greeted with welcome mail for me. The latest CDs in my Wizard Rock ep of the Month club arrived, along with the long awaited Harry: A History, Melissa Anelli's story about the growth of the Harry Potter fandom from the late 1990s until the publication of Book 7. I've done my best to read it through this weekend and it is a complement to Melissa's writing and her chosen subject that I have tried to plow through it as quickly as I have the books that constitute her source material.

I have not been an HP fan from the start, picking up the books around 2001/2002 (after GoF before OotP) and not delving deeper into the web world of The Leaky Cauldron until 2006 or so . . . but I have been a strong advocate for the books ever since I picked them up. Reading about the life Melissa has led makes me realize how much of a stand-offish fan I am in comparison to the very many that live on the discussion boards late into the night and wake up to be the first ones to experience the newest trailer or bit of book news. Still, I get Leaky news on a daily RSS feed and I have never missed a single one of Melissa, John, and Sue's 170+ podcasts. (Sarah and I and Shirtless even attended the live podcast they held in Columbus back in the Summer of 7.) And I spend many non-work-related moments with Master P in his cubicle arguing about what this bit of text meant or how it would all turn out in the end.

So, yeah, I'm a fan and I'm proud. If you know someone like me, Melissa's book would be a nice gift. If you want to understand that person (or me) a bit better, reading this book might give you some insight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

David announces his endorsement!

Where "Joe da Plumber" at, yo?

The clash between Obama and McCain and Joe and small businesses have roiled the news cycles for days and day now. I am going to vote for Obama because I like his compassion and desire to help improve inequalities in the country. I know people how say that he (and Democrats generally) are rewarding laziness and a sense of entitlement that damages the credibility of the American worker. While that is likely true for some segments of any mass crowd, I don't think that the playing field is level enough across the board for most Americans. I am blessed with a steady job, secure lifestyle, and many, MANY luxuries. Some people--NO MATTER how hard they strive--are always a mile behind.

ANYWAY . . .

My favorite economies podcast, NPR's Planet Money, has recently put out a challenge to its readers who could help answer the question of whether typical small businesses make $250,000 a year as McCain and Obama have been disagreeing on.

Feeing LOST?

The first official video clip promoting LOST season 5 is now out there on the web. I've got it up over on WWYG?! Omnimedia.

If you haven't seen any of Season 4, but you are planning to get on board this year (and if you ARE considering that, talk to me so I can help you out), then you want to avoid this video. The first half recaps a lot of season 4.

Thanks to Doc Artz, Nik at Nite, and Slashfilm for all hitting the web with this quickly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Political Roughage

It is a measure of how hectic her life must be that Lulu hasn't taken time to provide her own comments on the Open Letter that author Michael Pollan recently published to the Next President. 

As I briefly heard on NPR's Fresh Air (w/ Terri Gross), Pollan is advocating a change in the nation's agricultural policy, with an general goal of reducing a reliance upon pesticides and other chemical aids to increase crop yield, reinvigorating markets for locally grown products, and changing the regulatory system that benefits the factorization of farming and animal production.

These are, as any regular reader of Lulu's blog knows, all topics that are near and dear to her heart and to her way of life.

If she wasn't busy single-handedly revitalizing small town Missouri, she'd be extolling us on her own methods of animal husbandry and Little House on the Prarie-ness.

Take a break Lulu! Read and listen. Then give us your opinions on the matter. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Abrams: "Fringe" talent?

I am a fan of J.J. Abrams.

I acknowledge his very frequent use of story tropes

I know that he doesn't always stray very far from his comfort zone.

You might say that he has a very definite shtick.

You could accuse him of constantly relying on his established cadre of actors.

You might wonder why he consistently turns to this stable of performers.

I propose that they already understand the Abrams tricks of the trade.

Why try to teach a new troop your bag of tricks?

Especially when everyone understands what is within their wheelhouse?

(Enjoy an Abramsesque experience on Tuesday nights @ 9 pm with FOX's Fringe. And don't forget to clear your calendar for the return of LOST on ABC in January 2009.)

h/t to this week's printed edition of Entertainment Weekly for the graphic. Read the text here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

This year's birthday post

On Thursday I said a stupid thing at work and I continue to hear those words in my head--as my brother Muleskinner said during our phone call on Friday (He always calls Johnny-on-the-spot for my birthdays.) that words always hurt more than sticks and stones . . . and they bounce around in your memory for a lot longer. I apologized for my stupidity and I hope it'll be okay.

The kids did very well during Lynda's absence. They try harder (I think) to be good listeners and they play more willingly with each other when L goes on a business trip. It like they know to cut the home-bound parent a little slack when he's a man down. (That also means that they don't feel the need to be so conscientious when we're both here, I guess.) The fact remains that they are, without a doubt, excellent kids.

I took my birthday off from work (something I have not done in past years). I planned to have fun and relax, but my plans were changed for me when the van began showing symptoms of brake problems--ABS dash light kept coming on and a slight shuddering resistance one time when I depressed the brake. So, I "took advantage" of my day off and promptly threw it away by spending the hours between 9 and 1 sitting in the service center's lobby. I listened to podcasts (four of them, totaling 2.5 hours) and read two issues of Newsweek. But I was still staring at four walls in a small waiting area for the entire morning. Finally the mechanic said the brake pads and rotors were in good shape and didn't require changing for another 6 to 8 months and that the dash light is too intermittent to indicate a specific problem. The computer for the van indicated that it was a left rear wheel speed sensor (????) that was acting up and that I should let the issue turn into a "hard fail" permanent dashboard light warning before fixing. So, I only had to pay $33--along with the additional expense of my entire morning.

I resurrect the rest of my day off, I decided to get lunch at a new chicken restaurant close to the office that I hoped would bring back memories of my favorite college-era chicken restaurant. (The verdict? A pretty close match.) However, I discovered that because this was the opening week of the restaurant, a free food promotion was going on that day. It was, of course, monetarily good for me but the crowd in the parking lot made it less smooth than I was hoping for. Is it a sign of the economic times that people were lined up so far for free chicken or just an indicator that people love new fast food novelty and friend chicken? (Given the enormous lines at Chipotle before the 2nd Great Depression began, I'm choosing the second option. But keep on "committing to be fit Columbus!"

I got my free chicken and went home to watch "Good Night and Good Luck." It was a good movie, but now I feel like a putz for watching TV for enjoyable pablum all these years of my life rather than letting it educate and en-noble me. Thanks, George Clooney and ghost of Edward R. Murrow! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Post Debate breakdown

My fellow Americans, earlier today I took on the challenge of using Twitter to continuously post my reactions to the final debate between John McCain and Barack Obama.

I am proud to say that I successfully completed this task . . . despite the misstatements from my blogging opponent and his HTML cronies. I KNOW what it is like to blog for an hour and a half. My opponent is not ready to type like I am. My opponent wants to take away your right to blog. My opponent's position on blogging is a threat to the fundamentals of democracy itself.

I can proudly report the following facts . . . and the facts are these  . . . and they cannot be in dispute:

Senator McCain only called himself a maverick ONCE. I call that an October Surprise.

Senator McCain only used the phrase "my friends" once, but it was of course, bestowed on the suddenly ubiquitous Joe the Plumber. 

William Ayers featured prominently for about ten minutes in the debate. But reports are clarifying the accusation by McCain that Obama "launched his campaign" in Ayers' living room. It was, in fact, launched from a Ramada Inn. Perhaps Ayers was living in the Ramada at the time? (kidding . . . REALLY!)

McCain only used the word cronies once I think and he didn't tie said cronies directly to Obama.

Obama "uh'ed" and said "look" countless times. I didn't keep a definitive count, but did specifically mark 40 separate instances.

Obama came out strong and mentioned the middle class tax cut twice, but it was early on and later topics veered away from that.

Obama said something about McCain being honorable and in agreement with him on two instances.

I only heard the word fundamental used once.

There you go. I think McCain was strongest in this debate than in the previous two. Will it shift the polls? What ARE the polls? What's Wall Street going to say? What's Main Street going to say?

Tonight's presidential debate coverage--UPDATE

UPDATE: I am getting ready to begin the Twittering for the debate, which is only eighteen minutes away. If you don't know, Twitter only allows 140 characters per entry, so don't expect deep reflections on statements, but visceral reactions and quickly tossed off reactions. (Given that, I wonder why I can't get paid by MSNBC or CNN for their post-debate coverage.

So, you'll get lots of quick reactions. Add it all up and see if anything matters in the end. 

The biggest problem with doing this is that I can't go to the bathroom . . . and I have to sit through the whole thing.


But I do it for you.


As I teased a few days ago, I am planning to "live blog" tonight's final presidential debate via my Twitter page.

So, if you are watching tonight and you get tired of listening to Bob Schieffer complain that the candidates are not following the rule structures designed by their campaign staffs, then flip on over to my page to get bored with me instead.

Things I might track:

  1. number of times McCain says "my friends"
  2. number of references to William Ayers or terrorists
  3. number of times McCain calls himself a maverick
  4. number of times Obama's "cronies" are mentioned. (Seriously, the guys been in Congress about five years . . . how many cronies can he have yet?)
  5. number of times Obama says "look" or "uh"
  6. number of times Obama says "middle class tax cut"
  7. number of times Obama says that "McCain is an honorable man, but . . ."
  8. number of times either candidate uses the word fundamental

I'll take any/all other suggestions.

Tune in tonight @ 9 pm and watch the civic hilarity ensue!

Monday, October 13, 2008

WWY Work Together?!

No, this isn't the announcement of a new blog that I have created.

Rather, this is to let my five faithful readers know that tonight (Mon. 10/13 @ 10 pm) I'll be doing my best to unite my disparate digital presences to do something entirely pointless.

That pointless thing will be using my Twitter page to "live blog" reactions to the NBC premiere of "My Own Worst Enemy." Maybe you don't care about this, but it will serve as a test case for more useful Live Blog topics in the future--such as the final presidential debate between McCain and Obama later this week, the Academy Awards later on, the Super Bowl, the Season 5 LOST premiere in January . . . you get the picture.

So, check out my Twitter page here tonight at 10 pm and join in with the fun. (Hopefully I won't totally stink at this.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A long awaited post in which I attempt to make up for weeks of neglect by dumping idea after idea down and wondering if any sort of theme emerges.

So . . . how is everyone?

I've been okay. 

My workload has increased more in recent weeks just as I suspected that it might. As the main part of my current project proceeds nearer to its conclusion, the secondary and tertiary phases are beginning. While this is normal and causes a certain amount of overlapping, this year's project--dependant as it is upon Election Results--end-loads the heavy lifting even more than normal. What I'm saying is that much of the new content can't be written and proofed until after 11/4, and it's all got to be done and printed by mid-January. So, my holidays (what I have of them) should be more hectic than I want them to be. Such hangs the head of the Project Manager.

That said, I am also involved in two or three additional technology endeavors that serve to confuse my sense of what I should be focusing on each day. I need to work in a few different directions each day, but for the last ten days I succeeded in singlemindedly ignoring all but one task.

I don't complain because 1) these other tasks are very interesting and have potential to be very exciting and dynamic additions to our future product line. And 2) I've got a job. Given the state of the economy, I'm holding onto it.

Speaking of the economy, I've done more thinking about the economy and attempting to understand words and phrases like financial instruments, mark-to-market, commercial paper market, than ever in my past. Amazingly, I might be soaking in some basic knowledge through osmosis. Primarily I've been listening to NPR's new Planet Money podcast and reading their blog pretty much every day. Additionally, I've relied on two excellent episodes of the This American Life podcast that presented the ins-and-outs of the growing crisis in simpler terms. Of course, things are changing every day, so what was informative last weekend is already old news.

I decided to create a "group" for the Planet Money podcast on my Facebook page and it led to an interesting message from some of the actual NPR producers of the podcast. It seems I created my Facebook group before they had gotten around to it. Rather than sic'ing their lawyers on me or something like that, they were very nice and appreciative and wanted me to know that they had just created the Official Group. I'll admit, sheepishly, that I secretly (or not so secretly now, I guess) wonder if this slight breath of notice from Actual Media Types in Important Places might be the mysterious tipping point that propels me from anonymity to digital stardom. Now, what I might even DO with such (phantom) stardom is likely nothing . . . but it is fun to fantasize about it just the same. Naturally, talking about it negates any chance of it occurring. And that is as it should be. Send the fame to the people who are willing to grab it by the collar and ride it to ruin. I would likely do neither. 

Regarding Internet and Fame--

I have been trying to balance the ever increasing number of digital locations that I am a part of. Since you are here reading this (aren't you . . . still?), you already know about Why Won't You Grow?! the blog. But I have dabbled off and on with a Facebook page and I just a few days ago jumped on the exhaust fumes of the Twitter bandwagon that passed by around ten months ago. You can gain access to these David-related offshoots in the sidebar to the right. (They are, naturally, headed Why Won't You Facebook?! and WWYTwitter?!

You might wonder if it is advisable for me to spread my digital self so thinly when I can't even manage a blog post on a daily basis. But I defend myself in this way--a) they are all free in a monetary sense . . . I haven't and won't calculate the time cost of all this digital narcissism; b) it has become--for better or for worse--my "other" hobby alongside TV watching; c) there would be no chronicle of my children's achievements, thoughts, or development without it. That alone makes at least the blog beneficial. And I think that Facebook is replacing my musty Flickr page as the go-to location for my family photos. The procedure for uploading photos to my Facebook page is much easier than Flickr and I have forgotten the passwords necessary to get back onto Flickr. It's an imperfect system, but it was all created ad hoc. (Kind of like the sub-mortgage problem, right?)

So, what am I to do with all of these digital places? I want to keep up with them because they sort of play different roles. WWYG?!, as a blog is best suited for long form thoughts and ramblings like this one. WWYFacebook?! might do lots of things, but I mostly use it to update my status with pithy reflections of my awesomeness. Facebook also give one the voyeuristic thrill of seeing what's up with those you are connected to. I'm still getting used to Twitter, but it distills the main use of Facebook down to the status updates and nothing else. 

I am quite certain that if I had an iPhone, I could better utilize these sites on a more frequent, Tourettes-like basis. (One can only look forward to that debilitating future!) But I DO think that we need a Digital Einstein--someone who can unite these many disparate web environments in a Unified Theory of Digital Existence. Someone smart and connected to a Venture Capitalist needs to Get This Done! 

Other random stuff I want to toss out opinions on--

I. It is interesting enough to know that civilian Richard Garriott is going into space. But, he's taking the DNA of Stephen Colbert! My geek past is tied to Garriott--a.k.a. "Lord British" of the Ultima computer games and I always wanted to fly in space. (At least ever since I was impersonating Han Solo in my backyard.) But the thrill of this is diminished a bit by connecting it to Colbert. It makes it seem more like a David Blaine-esque stunt. 

II. This bit of news made me sad. I was a very big fan of Bloom County back during the Reagan years. (I even would have voted for Bill and Opus if I had been old enough.) Not being a regular subscriber to any newspaper, I haven't kept up with Outland or Opus, but a part of my childhood is going away.

III. My wife and my friend Shirtless will be interested to read this link and not just because they have an affinity towards math. I can't say more about it here--since it edges towards the dangers of being Dooced.

IV. What does it say about me that I was EXTREMELY excited while viewing this video?

V. I am glad that work is progressing on the Hobbit movies but I am glad that I am not alone in my concerns that they are trying to create a movie where one should not exist. And please don't try to make a parallel between this decision to create two Tolkien films with Warner Brother's decision to split Harry Potter movie 7 into two parts. (I am a great proponent of splitting up Deathly Hallows.) Critics will say that Warner Brothers (like the Hobbit guys) are attempting to generate extra money with two films. But the Deathly Hallows book is very large and splitting it in two ensures the best chance of getting as much of the book's plot in as possible. This is a very good and quite essential think, in my opinion. I don't think you need to do the same to a movie about The Hobbit. The story and necessary plotting don't require more than two hours to do correctly. And the decision to create additional plot (from where exactly?) to create a bridge between Hobbit movie and Peter Jackson's LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring movie is unnecessary.

VI. Have I told you about my grass-growing prowess? (And no, sorry, it's not that kind of grass.)

VII. If you are still trying to catch up with my memorial readings of the late David Foster Wallace, you can use this useful link to a fan-gathered collection of his works. I'm sure I'll be referring back to this soon again very soon.

VIII. Finally, as a reward for making it this far, here is a seasonally-appropriate photographic blast from my past.