Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday night delay

I have an idea for what I want to do on this Friday night's post, but I realized that I'd left the camera in the diaper bag since Grace's Kindergarten concerts on Tuesday . . . and the battery was dead.

So, I've got to charge the battery (because my idea involved me using the video in the camera, you see?).

And while that is going on, I'm typing a pseudo apology to you here while watching the small bits of grass sprouting under the drench of my twice-daily sprinkling out the back window.

I'll get the video made and up either later tonight--if I feel up to it (hey, it's FRIDAY!) or definitely by tomorrow . . . sometime.

In the meantime, here is the subject matter of my (eventual) video:

Can you guess what I'm up to?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Question of the Night

I was hanging up a white dress shirt in the closet tonight when it struck me:

Whatever did happen to that scourge of laundry?

Did we start using NASA-influenced, space age fabrics that repelled the (sweat?) stain from around the ring?

Did all laundry detergent companies begin mixing anti-ring component chemicals into their base layer products?

Was it defeated in another component of the Reagan Revolution, but we were too busy watching the Soviet Union fall and forgot to notice?

Did "ring around the collar" (like so many social mores) just become an acceptable part of modern life, embraced by slobs and a younger, more callow generation?

Did Tom Cruise choose to wipe it out by his lonesome, back when he was Good Tom and before the Scientology turned him into murderous Evil Tom? (And speaking of Evil Tom, shouldn't Ed Asner's people be on high alert for the inevitable attempt of Mr. Asner's life following Suri's frightened reaction to the surly cantankerous character Asner voices in Pixar's new movie, Up?)


In other media/video/delayed reaction news, I haven't yet posted the LOST Untangled video finale because I forgot to . . . and because they haven't finished it yet either.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Buffy - Joss = WHY???

I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but ONLY of the TV show helmed by Joss Whedon. I have seen the craptacular movie version that inspired Whedon to do a much, MUCH better TV show . . . but I found nothing to like about the movie. (It came out when Luke Perry was still riding the "popularity" of Dylan from Beverly Hills 90210, a TV show that I hated with a passion that I normally only reserved for New Kids on the Block and . . . later in life and pop culture chronology . . . Whoopi and Cavemen.

So, um, anyway, BtVS the TV show, was one of my first TV obsessions. I loved the first five seasons of the show with unreserved love. I lived through the later seasons due to dedication and a sense of completedness. But I've never had any desire to revisit the movie and see if there is anything worth redeeming in it.

Now there is even LESS reason to think of Buffy in cinematic terms. Because, according to reports, there is (yet another) movie reboot in the works, but this version of Buffy won't have the involvement of Joss Whedon.

And at least one Buffy fan with a popular forum isn't happy about it.

I just don't see the reasoning behind it. How large of an audience that liked the original movie (surely not enough to justify expense?) would be interested in watching a remake unlike the original. And how many (if any?) of the Whedonites would bother to spend their money on this?

Something is clearly wrong here, right?

If Buffy isn't your thing, perhaps I can interest you in this bit of movie-making news? Yeah, I didn't think that would interest you either. (It sure doesn't interest me.)

Do you see what I see?

Look at the photo below.

Do you see what I saw? I saw a Victorian style silohuette, a profile of a famous head.

(In actuality, I took this picture at my desk when I walked back after lunch. It is the screen-polishing cloth that came with my iPhone.)

But my brain saw George Washington in profile. As soon as I took the picture, however, I changed my mind and now I think a better choice is one of those modern half profiles of Thomas Jefferson as he was depicted on the special Lewis and Clark anniversary nickels. (Do you know what I mean?)

Can you see what I see/saw?

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorable Weekend, 2009

Today was a day that required two different showers and three separate applications of sun screen. (The second shower was to help remove all of the sun screen residue and just to help my body relax at the end of the day.)

The family has spent more than our share of time outside this past weekend and that is indisputably a good thing. We got the normal household chores taken care of, but the swingset is getting a decent amount of use and the patio is enjoying the company. Heck, even the front porch is getting frequent visits . . . and we might buy a wooden and iron bench to encourage more "sittin' around" time out there.

I haven't gotten much bike riding done yet (but I've got it in mind). I did take advantage of a brief excuse today to do some bicycle-based reconnaissance. You see, we are finalizing details on Grace's upcoming sixth birthday party--which we are having at a park down the street from us. But this part is oddly configured and stretches across a few blocks of land, with two separate entrances. In order to give the best directions on the birthday party invitations, I hopped on the bike and pedalled down there this afternoon to verify which entry way (on Spring Rd.) was the most appropriate one for the shelter we've reserved. In the end, the party will be a good one, especially since we are moving it (and later Sarah's) up a few weeks to grab kids before the cycle of vacation's begin.

I (October 17) never knew this problem, but Lynda (July 1) understands the frustrations that Grace (June 26) and Sarah (July 22) have had with inviting lots of people to a party and not having many of them show up. So, we're pushing forward . . . kind of like states due during presidential election primaries.

I'll keep you informed later on for how it all went.

We are much closer to getting our garden project underway. Now that we've found a stump removal company that is much cheaper in price, we expect to get the back corner of the yard cleared of scraggly dead pines, random growth, and obstructing stumps in the next week. I put together the garden enclosure box today (four feet square . . . roughly speaking) and as soon as the stumps are gone, we'll put down the box, fill in with soil mixture, plant some vegetables . . . and pray that something (ANYTHING!) sprouts and develops. I'm now trying to decide what vegetables we should plant--given the fact that we'll be putting seeds in soil around June 1 and contemplating if we need to consider starting a separate spot (where?) for compost.

Now, I know that at least a few of my readers are dedicated composters, so I expect some good words of wisdom from you on technique, containment spaces, and whatever a complete novice needs to know. (By the way, when we went to dinner at a small sandwich/ice cream/coffee shop down the road tonight--Serendipity it's called--I noticed on their menu that they give away their coffee grounds for composters. Sven, if you don't already know this, you should walk over there--if you are in need of more coffee grounds.)

So, I'm excited to be doing something new and different as the seasons change. I really want to keep us outside more and more. The good news is that Hannah seems to be all for it. Hopefully, we can keep that spirit alive in her.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday morning exercise

This morning Grace and Hannah and I took a walk around the neighborhood. On the way I stopped to take a picture of one of my favorite trees in our subdivision.

As you can see, it is a pretty large and old oak tree. It is remarkably healthy looking considering how old it must be.

How old is it? Well, I'm not sure--but it is not entirely up up to me. You see, there is a plaque at the base of the tree. (you've got to love trees with plaques.)

The plaque reads: "THE SANFORD OAK, circa 1750. Swamp white oak (scientific name I can't properly type). 15" in circumference and __ high. May this grand oak sustain nature and encourage hope for many years to come."

After I got home, I immediately took a small bike ride through another part of the neighborhood with Sarah.

Now it's close to time for lunch, grocery shopping, and whatever comes next.

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trying to catch up

You all deserve better blog treatment from me the last few days than you've gotten. I've been pretty busy at work the last few days, busy enough that I've been doing some work at home as well--at least on most nights. (Though it doesn't compare to Brian's workload recently.)

So, I haven't blogged very much. But I have been stockpiling some interesting stuff to comment upon.

1. Here is a very odd architectural design that I ran across while reading about technology and gadgets. I haven't yet read everything about it but is it really a pig farm skyscraper? And if it is, then why does it look like a butterfly? I'll leave it to Lisa to tell us if this is a reasonable idea for animal husbandry--either now or in our robot-dominated future.

2. I'm glad to say that there has been a resurgence of Harry Potter around the house these days. Sarah has been rereading the books ( completely on her own this time) and that has led to more discussion of stuff and more movie watching as well. (The kids are watching Goblet of Fire right now.)

3. Speaking of Harry Potter, people sometimes ask me what is going on in the fan community now that the books are finished. You need look no further than LeakyCon--happening right now in Boston!--to know that the fans have lots going on. There are still three movies to enjoy and lots of charitable ideas to rally the fandom around. So, the answer to the question is that the fandom is quite busy and going nowhere.

(And the answer is "Yes." In an alternate universe where I am single and don't answer to anyone but myself, I'd absolutely be attending this event right now. Of course, in an alternate universe where those conditions were met, I might be a female, or possible an albino, or maybe 85 years old. Or possible Spock. Who knows?)

4. In this universe, I love LOST. This you already know. But I don't love LOST even HALF as much as this guy apparently does. It is clear that I've got to step up my game to compete on a more equal playing field in the sixth and final season. Sadly, I've got plenty of time to prepare, since the final episodes won't arrive until 2010. (I might be dead by then!)

5. This one is for Dr. Actually. He's a big fan of the Space Elevator concept.

6. I'll admit that I'm concerned about this bit of news from the Obama Administration. Reports before today asked a good question. "If credit card companies aren't allowed to punish those who can't handle credit responsibly, then how are they going to make money?" The suggestions are the return of the annual fee and (most bothersome to people like me, who pay off their bills every month) charging interest from the moment of purchase. If that happens, this will make credit purchases more expensive and the use of credit cards less attractive. Now, I know my parents will say "Well, that's how WE had to use credit cards." To which I have no adequate response. I grew up in a time of profligate credit usage, but I always paid off balances. Therefore the use of credit was all gain--giving me flexibility to buy without having complete cash on hand at time of purchase--and little loss--no annual fees, etc. If that goes away, do I think about not using credit cards? It will take more research and thought--things I try to avoid.

And, I think that is it for tonight.

As always, keep checking back here for more scintillating stuff about my life. I'll talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Look at this!

No! Don't look over there. Don't realize that I should've/could've written a blog post today.

Instead, be distracted by this video of dominos.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Any chance?

Do you imagine any scenario where I could take advantage of this bit of news?
Nah, me neither.
But I'll put it here just so . . . if I ever manage to become "internet-famous" someday, I can look back on this self-proclaimed negativity and exclaim "how humble!"
Actually, to be honest, I'm just rambling because I feel that I must add some more text to the post to justify the effort of finding a picture and placing it here and taking time out of my precious evening to craft this post at all.
Anyway, I think I've devoted just enough time to this to make it slightly worthwhile.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another busy (productive) weekend

Another successful weekend came and went with satisfactory time spent outside, getting grass cut, grilling tasty food, and being more social.

Friday got off to a great start with my first opportunity to see J.J. Abrams' most excellent Star Trek reboot. Simply put, it was fabulous. Call my an Abrams Kool-Aid drinker if you want, but even much more objective reviewers than I (and LOTS of them) have gotten behind this movie. It's fast-paced, super fun, humorous, and has got style to burn. The actors all did a great job of taking what had to be a daunting request (re imagine some of the most iconic movie characters of the last 40 years . . . and, oh yeah, prepare to have your career either improve or grind to a stereotyped halt) and doing a really, really great job.

Everything was very familiar, but with just a bit of a glitz and a dash of cool that hasn't been a part of the old Star Trek franchise since . . . well, most likely NEVER, but I was partial to ST: 6 The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek: First Contact. 

But don't misunderstand. I've seen them all . . . multiple times. [Thanks for the chart] Those mentioned where just the ones that most carefully aligned with my fan-base and my design aesthetics. I'd like to go see it again and I'll definitely be watching it on DVD--to enjoy it and to search for all of the hidden clues.

On Saturday Lynda and I danced an almost flawless Saturday dance of errands. We dropped the van off at the auto center to get the AC checked on and then I dropped the rest of them off to do some community service while I took Hannah to do the grocery shopping. Soon after I unloaded the car and put everything away, it was time to get Lynda and crew and (hey presto) the van was ready to go as well. Not bad.

Today, we helped out at church and learned something about "square foot gardening." If we can maneuver some removing of stumps and a bit of basic ground preparation (plus put together a 4 x 4 bed space with some prepared soil, we might put together our own small garden in the backyard. We've been thinking about doing something small anyway, and now that we see how it is done and have some local people to ask questions toward, we are more confident about giving it a try. I think the girls would enjoy seeing the process happen and would definitely enjoy getting out there planting and weeding--as long as it is confined to a manageable size that isn't overwhelming. Plus, it would add a pleasing aspect to the yard--a yard that we've been working a lot harder lately to make presentable.

Lynda has been out there getting rid of the dandelions and we put down more grass seed yesterday evening. I've been watering daily and in a few weeks, we'll have healthy grass growing up back again in a spot that got away from us a while back. After that? Who knows. But we'll be doing out best to keep the economy going somewhere, somehow in our house.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I like Twitter

I've been using my Twitter feed a lot more lately, largely due to an increase in interaction between me and some of the people I follow (thanks fellas).

I tell you this because I encourage you to pay attention to it. If I'm not writing something on the main WWYG?! space, you might see a new post or two over in the running list of Twitter updates on the right side of this page.

If you are so inclined, you may sign up to follow me, but you can just keep coming back here to check the list when you want.

Also, if you are one of my Facebook friends, my Twitter updates are also cross-posted over in that digital space as well.

So, there you go. Gotta look after Hannah now while I work on laundry and wait to hear about the van's air conditioner. I just might keep you up to day with tweets as the day goes on.

Feel the excitement!

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Grease (is the pic)

Today at work I found a web project called In Bb 2.0 Project. (I can't link to it from my phone.)

**UPDATE: I went back into my laptop and am now able to provide the link. I urge you to check out this very interesting musical YouTube project.**

I was inspired and so looked for art everywhere. You may debate whether the photo below fits that bill, but I found the circular patterns of grease (butter?) intriguing.

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Truth is in Here

I've been reading through the J.J. Abrams' edited issue of WIRED magazine the last few weeks. If you are an Abrams fan, an aficionado of brain teasers, like to read about mysterious codes, or want to realize (like me) that you live remarkably close to American Stonehenge, then enjoy.

But what I really want to talk about today is the small article about puzzle games and the role of the Internet (or collective cheats) to solve the games.

Writer Clive Thompson begins by issuing a plea from a game designer who wants all those lazy gamers to quit relying on message board forums and cheat codes to figure out what the games are all about. To use these artificial methods is to deny oneself the chance to stretch, to circumvent the original intent of the game design. In short, it is lazy. But Thompson goes on to say that while this view might be true in some circumstances, it isn't always a bad thing to turn to the wisdom of others for help. He uses LOST as an example--possibly NOT unintentionally, since co-creator/exec. producer Abrams is the guest editor. Thompson says that LOST has always featured a very complex plot structure and the writers have a fondness for presenting information from a hidden angle to add to the confusion. (LOST detractors will, no doubt, say that I am being charitable in my description here. Instead, they might claim that the slow in needlessly confusing and artificially complex to draw out suspense where none need exist. To these opinions I can only say . . . "Psah!")

ANYWAY . . . Thompson says that many LOST fans--I included--have turned to the Internet, podcasts, forums, and whatever else to gain perspective and theory to attempt to tie together loose threads and begin envisioning a rug before the weaving is complete (or even before you know all of the yarn colors yet).

This is how I have delved into LOST podcasts and Web sites over the years. I am not searching out spoilers, but turning to others who spend the time to freeze their DVRs to grab that screen image of the mysterious hieroglyphs--and then went to the trouble of trying to translate them. I don't have the equipment or the time and opportunity to delve that deeply on my own time. But I want to know the deeper layers that are put there--even if every layer and Easter Egg doesn't necessarily lead to the ultimate meaning of everything. It's just a fun nod to the fans of that level of involvement . . . because they have the technology and the time to give it to them. 

(For an example out of extremely left field--and one that is a MASSIVE NERD ALERT--there is a scene in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace where the Galactic Senate is discussing some strategies on how to deal with the Trade Federation blockade's attack on Naboo. If you know when and where to look during the scene, you can pause the DVD and see among the many aliens represented in the Senate, a group of E.T.s.) Now, the presence of E.T.s among the Star Wars universe means absolutely nothing in the context of the movie's plot. But I'm glad I know they are there.)

So, I'm a fan of these sites--even though they can mess up your experience with spoilers if you aren't careful. I've also spent much time on Harry Potter Web sites over the years, to help fill the time in between book publications to enjoy the great amount of speculation on how the seven-book series would play out before we knew the answers. To have not enjoyed these sites would have prevented me from learning about the great (if remarkably untrue) theory that Albus Dumbledore and Ron Weasley were the same person joined through time travel.

I've written before about the crazy confusion of This is Not Tom and how I am not equipped to decipher all of this myself. But this seems like the exact kind of puzzle that demands a community working together to solve it. And there is one, or two, or three out there now clawing through it all. Again, I don't have time to figure it all out. I'll just read about it later.

And, yeah, supposedly there are hidden messages and larger clues to deeper understandings of the universe or LOST or Fringe, or whatever in the very design and display of the aforementioned WIRED magazine that I referenced at the top of this article. If I ever figure it out, it'll be because it came to me in a dream that came from having the magazine under my pillow while I slept.

If it happens, I'll let you know.

Right after I win the lottery by playing 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. Heck, I might even throw in 47 just to make it super official.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nothing significant to write about tonight . . .

. . . so I thought I'd throw up this nice picture of me as a young boy fishing in my old neighbor's pond.

I've recently made this picture my work laptop wallpaper. And as I'm working, I'll minimize screens and move things around and wham! I'll be confronted with my four/five (??) year-old self trying to catch the small brim fish that swam around in the Beaumont's pond.

I love to sit and look at this picture sometimes. First of all . . . you've got to love those awesome '70s pants. Only in that decade could people (other than firemen) pull off that particular shade of pant in a regular, public setting.

Next, how do you like them sideburns? I'm definitely working a pre-adolescent muttonchop. And I'm surprised at how well I'm pulling it off. Way to go Little David!

I also find myself trying to remember how long my fishing line is, because it seems that I'm standing about three feet from the pond's edge. Never having been a natural athlete, I can only assume that my brothers or dad cast the line for me so I could get my hook out past the edge's weeds and out to where the fish actually were. And I'm guessing that it was Dad who was there, as I'm pretty sure he took the picture. You can see the photographer's shadow along the grass stretching out into the background.

The lighting of the photo is great also. It makes me think of a spring evening, when it wasn't very hot and the sun was on its way down. In my mind I can hear the cicadas, the frogs, the birds making their early evening sounds all around the pond. You could almost hope to catch a slightly cool breeze coming across the water.

Directly behind my head you can see the basketball goal that was the site of so many games of Around the World and random one-on-one basketball games. The Beaumont's car had many a basketball bounce off their fender or door panel over the many years that we lived across from each other.

Across the pond, beyond the extended fishing pole, you can see my childhood home's front yard. I can't see it in the picture, but I can image the large azalea bushes that served as the backdrop for so many Easter Sunday pictures. There are all the pine trees, the pine straw beds, and the dogwoods that grew on the edge of the yard, by the mailbox, where Dad always parked his company car at the end of the Dead End. (You can see the blurry shape of that year's model behind the trees about halfway up the fishing pole.)

As Dad would tell you, not much of this pretty scene remains anymore. The pond is still there and some of the Beaumonts still live across the street. But my childhood home is barely recognizable anymore. All of the bushes, plants, trees, and improvements that Dad made to that house and yard are overrun with neglect and who knows what now. We moved out of that house when I was approaching my senior year in high school and Dad had a new yard to work on. (And, as usual, he's done plenty to make his current yard pretty over the last twenty years.) But there isn't a pond next door and no shots of my kids fishing during a trip home.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sun days

We successfully spent another weekend mostly outdoors Saturday and Sunday.

As I mentioned in yesterday's brief post, we took the kids to the Family Fun day and spent a good while in and out of the school playing games, walking around, and interacting with the community at large.

Today Lynda worked really hard digging up dandelions in the backyard and loosing up the soil so that we can start regrowing some grass along the edge of the yard near the neighbor's fence. While she was doing that I kept an eye on the older two girls while Hannah took a nap. And then, when I woke Hannah up, I played with her. I was going to grill out some dinner, but our neighbor had some leftover food (their daughter had her first communion today) from a celebratory lunch and so we went over and had free leftovers. The pork chops will continue to marinade until I get around to grilling them tomorrow night.

If felt good to neaten up the yard this weekend--cutting the grass, putting out the remaining bags of mulch along the side of the house, trimming the edges of the grass, sweeping the patio clean, throwing away the old, tired inflatable swimming pool that we'd been holding onto (even though there was a hole and it didn't inflate well anymore). Now we just need to get some stumps dug up and some odds and ends removed in the back corner of the yard . . . but things are slowly shaping up outside.

Anyway, sorry for a scattered, somewhat recycled post tonight, but I am going to try a do some work a bit before I pack it in for the night.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Family Fun

Today we took the kids to the elementary school's annual Family Fun Day. That means a lot of simple carnival games, blow up obstacle courses, cotton candy, popcorn, and stomach aches.

The weather was mostly overcast with moments of sun. It was windy throughout.

It is still windy now as I sit in the swingswt fort with Grace rocking back and forth on the swingset.

We may head out later tonight for a Mothers Day dinner, but right now. . . my feet hurt.

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hannah plans the afternoon

Home and Lunch and TV

I'm working at home today because my "bespectacled littlest one" was running a fever yesterday--and isn't eating very much today. She'll likely be fine tomorrow morning, but I'm at home gathering data for my new work project that has just started up this week.

So, it's mostly solitary work with a computer screen, a textbook, and a set of state-based educational standards. I've only got a slate of podcasts to keep my company while Hannah naps.

But I've eaten an eclectic lunch of cheese, hummus, bread, grapes, and apples. (I'm hoping lots of semi-healthy nibbling will keep me away from scarfing down cookies or chocolate-chipped granola bars.)


Last night's episode of LOST ("Follow the Leader") was a great episode that captured my attention--even though it was a moving day episode that mostly served to set all the characters and situations in the places they needed to be for next week's two-hour season 5 finale entitled "The Incident." (Fans will know that "the incident" has previously refered to the--until now?--unexplained happening below the Swan Station that resulted in the creation of the computer, the button, the 108 minute countdown, and the constant "saving of the world." Will The Incident occur in this altered time line as it did prior to Locke's moving the island and scrambling the events of the last thirty years?

And does anyone else agree with me that if Faraday's plan to prevent The Incident works--and so no button, no mistake, no 2004 crash of Oceanic 815 . . . does that mean that the final season of LOST will be telling the stories of the passengers minus the entire experience of seasons 1-5?

Maybe . . .


Here's your LOST Untangled video for last night's episode:

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bad form, JJ!


Dedicated readers know of my love for almost all of JJ Abram's creations. (I never did watch any of Felicity.) So, you probably won't be surprised to know that I have become a fan of Abrams' latest show, Fringe.

Fringe has strong elements of The X-files and Alias. The lead character, FBI agent Olivia Dunham is in charge of a task force that investigates a great many odd events, criminal occurrences, and scientific/technological oddities. At the same time, she herself is being revealed as the subject of childhood experimentation and an uncertain (almost prophetic . . . future).

BUT, I am not afraid of calling Abrams out when he goes too far--specifically when he allows his baser commercial instincts to overcome his intriguing storytelling skills.

I am thinking specifically of that infamous moment years ago when (during an episode of Alias, when Sydney Bristow and Agent Vaughn were desperately searching for a vehicle to commandeer to chase after a fleeing perp. Vaughn called out "Quick! Get in the F-150!" while the camera swung to prominently show the FORD logo emblazoned on the side panel of their new truck model. It was so egregious that I almost expected Vaughn to continue extolling the fact that the truck has the greatest towing capacity of any truck in its class. Luckily . . . I guess he did not.

I thought that was one of the worst moments of product placement that I had ever experienced.

Until tonight's episode of Fringe.

A bit of backstory--but I'll try to keep it brief.

Agent Dunham is investigating the mysterious combinations of scientific manipulation, genetic mutation, and whatever else is the motivator of each week's Fringe episode. Sometimes the name of famous (fictional) corporation Massive Dynamic comes up in the investigations. The corporation is run by William Bell. We've never seen Bell before, but as this season winds down, we know that Bell is coming under more direct suspicion for being the leader of a shadowy cult of scientific acolytes who are appearing to be behind the weekly mysterious happenings that result in deaths, unexplained crimes, and general mayhem.

Who is the actor slated to portray William Bell (who will appear on camera in next week's episode)? It's this guy. And what else is he in (that is coming to a theater to you this weekend?) This.

And who is the creative man responsible for both? Yep, it's Abrams.

Corporate/media/marketing people call all this synergy. But, when you know all of this stuff, that might just mean you (meaning me) are more informed on the ins and outs of a TV show--maybe more than you should.

However, when there is also specific dialogue in tonight's episode that directly references the TV show Star Trek, the character of Spock, the reference to time-travelling Romulans . . . all of which seem to figure quite clearly in the plot of Abrams' Star Trek movie reboot (again, coming to a theater near you in only a few days). Well, that is a bit TOO heavy handed, even for me!

(And that isn't even getting into the fact that this Fringe episode--with it many Trek connections--was also sponsored by a Burger King commercial that featured the new Star Trek promotional giveaways AND a brief preview of the upcoming movie that shows the aforementioned time-travelling Romulans.)

I just hope the Enterprise in the movie hasn't been redesigned by our fine friends at Ford Motor Companies.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Glasses--at last!

The glasses arrived today. However, the story behind their arrival--as well as what we learned from the doctor today . . . demands a full-sized keyboard.

So I'll leave you with this photo and promise of more to come.

Hey, don't make fun of me. They may be thick, but I'll outlast you all!!

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)


UPDATE (8:06 pm): 

So, the glasses.

You all know that Hannah had her surgery several months ago--in early February if my memory serves. After about a month of recovery (approximately middle March) we finally met with Hannah's new eye doctor to get her completely on the road to ocular perfection with her new glasses. We got the bifocal strength finalized and I talked to the glasses purveyor in the eye doctor's office to select frames and get her glasses construction underway.

The glasses doctor told me that it took a while to get little kids frames finalized (especially when bifocals are involved) as they wanted to make sure that the lenses were correct and that the line of the bifocal was located in the right place. I accepted this as just fine and I was told that the glasses should come back from the factory (or where the hell ever) in about two weeks. 

Two weeks came and went.

I let it go as, well . . . things happen. But when several more days went by, I started calling. I was informed that (unbeknownst to me . . . and apparently to the glasses doctor as well) the frames that I selected were on back order, which slowed down their delivery. I wasn't happy, but what could I do about it. I just wanted to get the glasses to us, so that Hannah could start training her brain by actually seeing the world around her clearly.

I called in again after a few more days. Still nothing. Soon, I was calling every day and still the message was the same. Nothing in yet and no knowledge as to why the further delay. And as every day went on, I began to worry more that Hannah's eye's were not getting any better.

At the end of last week, we were beginning to get hints that maybe the frame's order got lost or something, as the delay was beginning to make them wonder also. THAT would have been an extremely unfortunate turn of events . . . but it turned out to be unnecessary. We heard at the end of last week that the frames were expected in early this week, possibly as early as Monday (today).

And so, Lynda called around lunchtime today and found out that, yes indeed, the frames had arrived. 

But . . . there was a new problem.

Turns out there was a mistake in the bifocal lens.

. . .

. . .






We picked up the glasses anyway; even though we were told that we'd have to come back later when the corrected bifocal lens is redelivered. We NEED to begin training her to get used to having this foreign things on her face, sitting on her nose, hooking around her ears.

(She's not going along well with the plan in the few hours we've had introducing them to her today.)

At best, she keeps them on for about five or ten minutes before she pulls them off. But it is only day one (more like day one-eight). I'm hoping she'll eventually stop "feeling" them and will instead begin to realize that these odd objects are providing her with a clarity of vision that she has previously lacked.

(Probably a pipe dream  . . .)

But, at least we are underway.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Zoo tweets

We're at zoo this afternoon. Follow our adventures via my Twitter feed. It is scrolling along the right side of screen from newest in top to older ones below.

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mirrors into my soul

I spent a lot of time with Hannah today--at the grocery store and getting her down for a nap (sometimes a more involved process than you might think).

All of this was aimed at allowing Lynda to work a lot in the yard pulling the dandelion weeds and filling in patchy grass areas with seed. (Remember that I had such a good experience at the Sears Hardware a few days ago? I was buying stuff for the yard.) OH! And Lynda also planted the pansies and marigolds that I got last weekend.

Some bad news to admit from yesterday. When I came home from work (in the station wagon) I misjudged how close the passenger side was to the edge of the garage. (rain, bad depth perception, idiocy) Consequently, I scraped against the entrance and actually tore the passenger mirror off. (Yeah, I know . . . STUPID!)

So, for now I've taped the mirror in place until I can get an appointment set up for reattachment. But it's not all bad. According to the news, the nationwide Mega-Millions jackpot winner came from Ohio. I chipped in $2.00 earlier this week to an office pool set up by a colleague. If one of our tickets hit big, I'll get the repair done right away. (Not that I can't afford it now, you understand.)

Anyway, I should put this post to bed and read a book. Talk to you again soon.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, May 01, 2009

End of week/wrapping up

AISOT . . . tonight I'm full of pizza, watching Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone with the girls, and catching up on laundry. It's a good (if predictable) start to a weekend.

When I got home from the office, I grabbed some pizza and we immediately took shelter in the basement. No, this wasn't some new Friday night ritual. The rain was coming down really hard and the tornado watch sirens went off. But by the time we got down there, only ten minutes remained in the watch. (The strongest storms move the fastest after all . . .) The time down there did allow me to sort through the mountain of dirty laundry overflowing the basket under the chute. So, now worries there--and no tornadoes either.

In work-related news, I've finished my most recent project and can now turn my thoughts and actions to the next two projects (one a smaller job that I am simply "consulting" on--meaning I am available for assistance while I direct others in the daily work; the other a much larger, much more complicated, more long-term project that is the focal point every decade or so). I came into my original career with this project and now I'm partly in charge. So, that's a good thing and a nerve-racking thing at the same time.

But I spent part of my afternoon cleaning up my cubicle in preparation--shifting out old files and making space for things to come. RA and I also had some fun preparing an empty cubicle near us as a sort of project work area--holding our extra books, materials, and things to be utilized later. We carefully taped down the center of the cubicle "Happy Days" style, dividing the cubicle in half. We've agreed to present a false front of intense rivalry between our two projects. But really, we'll both be awesome together.

If the rain ever ends this weekend, I've got some flowers to plant, grass to mow, and other things to do. But I also need to blog about books I'm reading, events I've attended, and whatever else comes to mind.

Stay tuned!