Soon To Be Classics

Monday, February 27, 2006

What We Work For

Someone recently once said to me "This is what we work for." We were on a boat, at the time. what *I* work for.

It Was A Great Party

Last night, we had some friends over for a little dinner party. Looking at the carnage this morning, I thought it appropriate to share.

Tom, Deb and Elizabeth came to visit from Ohio. Now, this gets a little complicated so follow along.

Deb is my former co-host from my Radio days at WNKO-FM / WHTH-AM in Central Ohio. Deb was the last of several co-hosts I had and arguably, my favorite. Everything just clicked between us so well. Tom is her husband, whose best friend Rob works in the gaming industry (and whom I interact with in my current business). Years ago, at a convention, my best friend, Gary was talking to Rob and both were comparing stories how they knew people in Radio in Ohio. It was pretty funny for all when we realized we had these circular connections.

But I digress. Elizabeth, by the way, is their beautiful little girl who is the same age as my daughter. Based on our horrendous eating habits in Radio, I decided we should have a Chinese appetizer dinner disaster. Jen came through and really whipped up a lot of great stuff. We had potstickers, shrimp toast, cream cheese wontons, egg rolls, General Tso's chicken, and eventually cheesecake.

I feel like I'm going to die today. :(

We played a couple of games of Tsuro (which Deb and Tom both loved) and just sat around talking. Tom is a big comic fan and he also plays WoW so that was cool. The best though, was just catching up with Deb. It was fun to fall back into the vocal cues that we used to always take off of each other. Our favorite (and most versatile) was "we are SOOOOOO fucked!" Of course, we never used it on-air but we knew to use it.

While the girls had a ball playing together, we eventually got around to the inevitable "why aren't we both in Radio right now" question. I think we both realize that we'd probably never have as much fun as when we were working together. Tom blurted out something to effect of "..well one of you get a job and hire the other.." to which I replied, " have to fire the corporate entity first". Unfortunately, you just can't do the show we used to do anymore.

Tom and Deb are in town for the week and we're going to hook up with them again before they go. Maybe there will be less dishes next time. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ob-la-di, Ob-la-Dubai

Politics can really be a sticky wicket.

The current firestorm over the intended sales of 6 U.S. ports has certainly been an interesting show. Some of you assume I'm a "goosestepper" to the Bush administration, but that's really not the truth. Anytime the policy revolves around foreign interest in our country, I turn into an ultra-isolationist. This one though, has me scratching my head.

On one side, the Bush Administration wants to allow the sale of control of 6 U.S. ports to a company based in Dubai. This would be no different than any other company that has interests on U.S. soil. Despite the political posturing and misinformation campaign launched by Democrats such as Joseph Biden, security would still fall under the control of the U.S. and Homeland Security.

On the other hand, there's the seemingly irrational paranoia that turning control of a U.S. port over to a Middle Eastern interest means that we're setting ourselves up for security breaches and terrorist infiltration. In the last several years, much emphasis has been placed on the porous U.S. borders, especially at our ports. Hundreds of thousands of containers (giant metal "boxes") come into the U.S. without any sort of inspection. This would a prime way for dirty bombs, nukes, or other attacks. Right?

Factually, there is no reason to not let this happen. Dubai is an ally of the United States and has been even before 9-11. They are one of the few allies that we have. So why discriminate against them? Oh, because they wear funny clothes. And they must be terrorists because they come from the Middle East. That's essentially what the opponents (and this does include many Republicans as well) are saying. Really, it's just as likely that any American worker could be bribed or blackmailed to "look the other way" at some point. Raising the red flag on this purchase just smacks of racism.

The company, Dubai Ports World, is actually owned by the ruling family of Dubai. The purpose for the intended purchase is diversification. They see the writing on the wall and they don't want all of their assets wrapped up in oil. That to me says that they're not radical muslims, but rather smart businessmen. Hell, they're trying to put the world's largest amusement park in the Middle East.

But still, this all bothers me. There would be no change to the security protocols and ALL of their employees (on U.S. soil) would have to go through our screening processes. Part of it is that anytime we allow a foreign interest to invest in the U.S., I feel like we lose a bit of ourselves. There are many U.S. automotive, oil, and media companies that are owned by foreign interest. The isolationist in me comes out here and I cringe. Sure, we're "Made American" but the profits are often going overseas.

So who knows how this will all end? Is this a clever, 24 style plot where terrorists will eventually choke us out at our own ports or allow teddy bears stuffed with nuclear bombs to end up in our toy stores? Or is this a company that sees an opportunity to make money in a country that has the highest amount of imports in the world?

I'm so glad I'm not in the position to make this decision.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Can't Get You Out Of My Cylon Head

*clap* *clap* *clap*

I decided to not do a long entry on last night's Battlestar Galactica. So I'll just gush about one of the best hours of television I've seen in a while. In itself, it wasn't all that great as it was really just a lot of character dialogue and little action. Further, the birth and subsequent birth (and switcheroo) of the hybrid-baby offered few surpises and little advancement.

But the moment that Six and Eight (Six technically from the BSG Mini-series and the Boomer who shot Adama) were "reborn" it was simply an amazing hour. The TV Guide premise sounded ridiculous; two Cylons struggling with their celebrity. That isn't at all what was happening here. Rather, it was two Cylons struggling with burgeoning humanity, both inspired by the love for another. In retrospect, the Stargate SG-1 I watched after this looked like an episode of Barney.

And who didn't, for a fraction of a second, think Gaius was a Cylon when he was there at Six's rebirth? If they had waited another 30 seconds for him to say "...only you can see me" it probably would have killed me. What a priceless and fitting turn of events for Baltar. Even though his "real" self will never know the satisfaction of turning the tables, for the viewer, this was a blast to watch the interaction between a being and their inner monologue from the different point of view.

So now we have two more versions of Six and Boomer that are equally unique from their previous incarnations.

This can only keep getting better.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wise Words From A Young Man

Rollie said something interesting to me today that it took me a second to let sink in.

"If you mix one gallon of ice cream and one gallon of horse shit, all you get is two gallons of horse shit."

So right now, all things being equal, are you the gallon of ice cream or the gallon of horse shit?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

This Is Starting To Suck

This is really getting old. Tonight, I started at 386th in the queue and 36 minutes to log in. You know, when I was younger, we didn't have to wait 30 minutes to log into our MMORPG. And the sky was bluer, a quarter bought you a week's worth of groceries, and I had to walk 2 miles to school in a blizzard.

God damned punks.

DVD Bait and Switch

I haven't purchased a DVD in a while, and I certainly won't be buying any new ones with the current "bait and switch" schemes that the film studios are into right now.

Case in point: Marvel Comics is introducing a line of direct-to-DVD feature length animated films. The first is "Ultimate Avengers" which is based on the nicely drawn (but badly written) comic series that's run over the last couple of years. It's a VERY adult version of Marvel's premiere super team and none of the characters are particularly likeable. (Note, Henry Pym (Giant Man) attempts to murder his wife, the Wasp, with bug killer during a domestic abuse incident. Yes, this is what passes for comic writing these days.) Anyway, this movie was touted as having "amazing animation and story that captures the best selling comic line". That alone almost made me want to buy it.

And then I started seeing clips. The animation is no different than anything you'll see today on Saturday morning TV. There is certainly nothing innovative like the the WB's "Batman" from the early 90's or Cartoon Network's "Samurai Jack". Rather, it is very typical 18fps "Japanicrapimation". Plus, the trailer has has Thor pulling Captain America from some wreckage and him saying "thanks!" under the narration "..if they could just learn to work together, they just might save the world!" At that moment, I had horrible flashbacks to the 1970's "Superfriends". I suspect that in this movie, the Hulk is capturing aliens by throwing a stack of tires on them.

The reviews from the genre websites haven't been much kinder. Marvel really had to dumb this one down to make it mass appeal. Imagine taking Kill Bill and trying to make it into a cartoon you'd buy for your kids.

But the actual film isn't the bait and switch. The DVD released two days ago and is retailing between $12 and $14. This morning, on ICV2.COM, it was announced that the film, in it's entirety, will be broadcast on Adult Swim on March 11th.

Now, to be fair, I haven't seen this yet as I tend to wait for reviews anymore. Based on that, it's good that I can just Tivo this with no monetary investment. Had I actually not seen the trailer or read the reviews, I might have purchased this based on the hype. Then, I would have been pissed seeing this show up on basic cable less than a month later. So I dodged the bait and switch. I'm glad they pulled this on the first one, because Marvel is doing a whole line of direct-to-DVD films over the next couple of years. Now that they've tipped their hands, I'll know what to expect.

And if you're looking for another DVD bait and switch, talk to anyone who purchased the first DVD release of Sin City. I dodged that one too, thankfully.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Audrey IM's At Work, And Other 24 Developments

This is so cool! I can use Mapquest to see my house! Woot!

So it was the hour before tea time, as a brit might say and things are certainly hopping on 24. Once again, I watched under "Tivo time" so I'm able to absorb ridiculous points and pass it along to you.

The following takes place in no particular order:

- Curtis is the most forgiving agent in law enforcement history:

Curtis: This is Curtis. Jack just beat the shit out of me and dumped me on the side of the road. I woke up when a dog pee'd on me.
Lynn: (yelling) Where is he now???
Curtis: He's peeing on fire hydrant across the street.
Curtis: Oh, you mean Jack Bauer. He took my car. I'm very calm about this and suprisingly uninjured as I had my oxygen cut off only 3 and a half minutes ago.
Lynn: Get back here so you can threaten me next week!

- I kinda liked Ervich. He should know that when you enter a room and your boss has his back to you, he's going to stab you. It's happened to me.

- Lynn has a bad choice in ex-girlfriends. Wasn't she in Til Tuesday? Aha! Now the boyfriend is "running the show". He'll get far. He has the keycard which means Lynn now can't get into the CTU lunchroom (which I think is where Edgar was this entire episode).

- How did they get Benny Hill to play James Nathenson? That's a ratings score!!

- Uh oh, Nathenson knows that Jack used to run Audrey "through a high pass filter". Or maybe he "opened a port". Not sure.

- So the terrorists aren't going after us. They're after the Russians. Or us. Whichever is convenient.

- Is it just me or is Mike Novick's hair growing?

- Data mining software looks like Pong on crack. So that's the appeal of computer work in the CIA!

- What the hell is Martha thinking? Ok, my husband was going to send me to a mental institution. Check. He's probably going to sell out our new Russian friend couple. Check. I think I'll get in the car with them. Check. This seems like a good idea.

- Lynn is such a bastard. At least he's developing enough of a personality that you'll be happy when someone (Curtis?) feeds him his tie.

- How in hell did Lynn ever get to his current level with a) his past associates and b) his inability to take criticism?

So another hour is down and it was fun. The previews for next week look pretty good as I think we'll see Lynn's meltdown continue. This really touches all of us that have had "bad boss syndrome". I can't wait!

Monday, February 20, 2006

And If Shocho Blogged Off A Bridge...

So in an effort to reveal more (but not much) about ourselves, it seems the group is doing memes again.

3 Jobs I've Held: Morning Show Radio Personality, Sales Manager, Brand Manager (Still don't know exactly what that one is)

3 Movies I Could Watch Over And Over: Back To The Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Zorro The Gay Blade (hardest I've ever laughed in a movie)

3 Places I've Lived: Cleveland (and long to go back), Virginia Beach, Renton WA

3 Favorite TV Shows: (current or past?) 24, Battlestar Galactica (new), Extreme Makeover Home Edition (I really do make it a point to watch this)

3 Vacations I've Taken: Disneyland (great!), St. John Island (God lives there or nowhere), Catalina Island

3 Websites I Visit Everyday:,,

3 Favorite Foods: Pizza, Buffalo Wings, Mushroom-Swiss Hamburgers (gee, what am I going to die from?)

3 Places I'd Rather Be: snorkeling in the Carribbean, in the "air chair", Cleveland Stadium

Sunday, February 19, 2006

And Now For Pretty Pictures

I realized that every entry on my blog is pictureless. I really consider finding and posting appropriate pics half of the fun of blogging. Shocho gave me high praise for a gremlin picture I found for an entry last month.

So, I didn't really want to go back and put pics into entries you have probably read. Thus, I stumbled across this one on the net the other day (don't ask me how) and I really didn't have any other reason to post it.


There Are Many, Many, MANY, MANY Copies

Something about the new Battlestar Galactica has been bugging me for some time now. Since learning that Ronald D. Moore was driving the ship, and hearing that the Cylons could now take human form, I expected BSG to look just like Moore's Star Trek DS9 did, where every other week one of the lead actors got to play himself as one of the shape-changing infiltrators. If nothing else, it saves a ton on special effects and also lets the actors "mug" for the cameras.

That didn't exactly happen, and let me say that I really like the job Moore has done on BSG. (As those of you who know me know, I was pretty underwhelmed by DS9.) However, something different happened on BSG which I can't wrap my brain around. For some reason, I'm stuck with the number 18 in my head as the number of different Cylon infiltrators there are. It seems to me that this number came from an early episode or the mini-series. If this is incorrect, please let me know.

To date, we've seen maybe 8 of these Cylons. There's Boomer, Six, they guy that Adama left behind, the guy they jettisoned from the ship, Lucy Lawless' reporter (who hasn't yet been exposed) and it seems like a couple of others. So if everyone knows what Boomer or Six look like, why would the Cylon's contunue churning out those copies? It seems to be a very suspect strategy to put multiples of the same person into a controlled group (IE: The Military). At one point, there were two Boomers serving at the same time, even though one was with the fleet and the other on Caprica.

Will there ever be a use for the hundreds of other Boomers or Sixes that are living on Resurrection Ships, Base Stars and Caprica? They cannot be integrated into the 49,000 people living on the fleet since everyone obviously now knows what Boomer looks like and it can be argued that everyone knows what Six looks like. Sooner or later, the reporter Cylon will be exposed and everyone will know about her. Unless they start churning out unique infiltrators, they're going to run short on their best advantage.

But of course, they have a plan. And they haven't told me about it.

By the way, the Cylons need better light on their Base Stars. Nuff said.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Whooooooo Are You? Who Who, Who Who Who...

Shocho did this on his blog and it was kinda cool so let's see what you people think of me. :)

Check out the Johari site. Pick a couple of words that you think best describe me. I promise not to hold it against you.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

All You Can Binge And Purge, Just $11.95

My wife and I have horrible luck finding decent restaurants.

Since we began dating, we've had terrible luck in restaurants. Bad food, horrible service, you name it.

We moved to the upper Northwest in August and in that time, have yet to find any of the "staples" that we like: Pizza, Mexican, Chinese. We haven't been out alone in a while so we decided to give a Chinese buffet a try that's near our house. We should have known we were in trouble when we walk in and there is ONE couple there.

So it's a typical Chinese buffet except at first glance, we notice the food looks very enemic. We should have walked right there. It was horrible. Literally. Everything we put on our plate was just wretched. At one point, Jen says "I hope this doesn't come up later. Then again, maybe I do."

Even the deserts were bad. I had a "steamed dinner roll" which literally had no taste whatsoever. Imagine putting a wad of dough in the oven for 30 seconds and this is what you'd get. Jen almost liked the sugar donuts but when you could almost see the grease dripping off of it, she realized it was a clean sweep of culinary crap.

$24 later (!) we finally left. At least the Diet Pepsi wasn't bad.

So this is the second Chinese place we've been to and both were horrid. The only thing left near us is Terriyaki, which I'm not a big fan of. The big problem is that it is expensive finding a good place. We're out $24 and we wish we'd throw up. By the way, we opted to skip on the fortune cookie. I'm pretty sure it would have read "You have food poisoning."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

You Can't Get There From Here

Today was supposed to be my trip to New York City for the International Toy Fair. However, when I got to the airport, they had cancelled my flight and were giving no options for getting to NYC. A major snowstorm was creeping up the East Coast and the big city was expecting 6-12 inches of snow.

What surprised me about this is that the airlines really seemed to be unconcerned about making good on my ticket. They will refund it, sure, but they didn't seem very concerned about getting me to where I was supposed to be. My best option was getting into Newark, NJ at around 12am Monday morning. I would have already missed a couple of important meetings and that didn't even take into consideration the LONG cab ride from Newark (which would be worse if there was snow).

Our big concern was getting into the air and THEN getting diverted if (or when) the Newark airport shuts down. So my trip didn't happen and I will miss out on my yearly trip to New York, which I really do enjoy.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Mutant Luck Factor

Well, I'm back for a few days. For some reason, everyone at work was surprised I was there. (Wishful thinking?)

Disneyland was wonderful and I have lots of blog stories to share. However, one of the best begins when we left.

We purchased our trip though a package from Alaskan Airlines. It included airfare, hotel, transfers and Disney park tickets. Everything was good except for the transfers (meaning to and from the airport and to and from the park) which all pretty much sucked.

So we decided that we'd do this again next year but piece our own package together. I told Jen that as I saw it, there were four components: Airfare, hotel, car rental, and park tickets. We'd just spend the year looking for deals and jump on each as they came up. To be fair, my goal is to get it all for free and my mutant luck factor (thank you for naming it that Gary) has done me well in the past.

So we get to the LAX airport last night for our 6pm flight. Jameson is having a total meltdown in the 3 hours we had to sit waiting for our flight. I noticed that the gate was busier than it should be and I told Jen that "this flight is full". It turns out, that another Seattle flight was cancelled and they were looking for volunteers to give up their seat. Now, I've played this game MANY times and gotten lots of free flights and money out of it. I jumped up and inquired. The next flight was 7pm. ONE HOUR LATER. To give up my seats for a bunch of snooty businessmen who couldn't possibly wait another hour, we ended up getting four free tickets to anywhere Alaskan Airlines flies (including LAX) good for one year.

In the interim, they fed us and Jameson calmed down considerably. Further, the 6:02pm flight sat on the ground for half an hour while the 7pm flight took off on time. Our backage was on the first flight so when we got to Seattle, our bags were already off the baggage carousel so we scooped them up and off we went.

Jen was doing the "happy dance" as she put it all night.

An awesome end to a great trip! Part one of the four is down and yes, I got it for free. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Perfect Storm

Well this is just great.

It's Friday night and here in the Seattle area (which I now refer to officially as "God's toilet") everyone is preparing for a monstrous storm that is blowing in off the coast. Winds are expected to be up to 60+ mph and have the possibility of being destructive. With the ground completely saturated by the wettest January on f'ing record, the odds of any trees withstanding the wind is slim so they expect many trees to come down. People here are panicking because if the power goes out, that means no Superbowl on Sunday. That would suck. We're supposed to fly out to Anaheim tomorrow but I'm not sure we won't get grounded if the storm is as bad as they're expecting.

The next blog entry will either be several days from now, or very cross tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

DDR = Damned Dumpy Rear

Well, after seeing it in Vegas and at Kyle and Evan's, and getting recommendations from some of the blog readers, I used my Christmas Best Buy gift certificates to buy Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 bundle for the Xbox. It was $67 altogether and I have to say it's a blast. Bailey had seen one at the store once and she thought it was fun so when I opened the box, she knew what to do. The kids really don't do anything but freestyle mode but they still enjoy the music and screen action.

As for me, the first night was fun but pretty tiring. Tom is right that you really are surprised when you see how much time has passed. About 30 minutes and I'm done. Tonight, I was fooling around with Xbox Live, Microsoft's online service, and I accidentally got into a threeway game. Playing at "Light" mode (that's one setting above "Beginner") and I got smoked. Badly. Horribly. I suspect that the Xbox's on the other end told their owner's "Geez, I think this Mkae guy is like 40 or something".

An interesting note on using the DDR for exercise. I was reading through some newgroups and according to them, the creator of DDR is pretty horrified at the thought of his creation being used for exercise. We're not appreciating the music and rhythym and blah blah blah. I did find some newsgroups with other "old guys" so I don't feel quite so silly. My wife thinks I'm an idiot, but no surprise there.

My only disappointment is that the music is pretty much unrecognizable. Lots of techno, hip hop, etc. I guess it doesn't matter much since it's all about those stupid, CURSED ARROWS but it would be nice to recognize the beat. I looked at the downloadable songs and it wasn't much better. I have seen whispers that it's possible to insert your own MP3's but Konami seems to always have those posts deleted. It's a DDR conspiracy!

The big surprise was that the package came with a free 30 day trial membership to 24 Hour Fitness. I had wanted to get 30 days in at a club between mid-February and mid-March and this will work perfectly, as there's one near my house and office.

As far as my diet, this has been a bad week with a couple of work functions and then our vacation tomorrow. I won't be back on track until mid-February but I'll keep everyone up to date.