Soon To Be Classics

Saturday, June 24, 2006

On the road again...

I leave for Columbus, OH tomorrow morning. There is an industry trade show at the end of the week but I will have a couple of days to run around the old stomping grounds seeing some folks, quite possibly for the last time. :(

I'm not sure I'll have anything substantial to blog though, so there might be a break.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Stupid bandwagon. Thanks alot Mike and Shocho...

1. I have had both of my legs run over by a car.
2. I have cheated death twice. Once in a burning house, once in the ocean.
3. I have a degree in Computer Programming but never tell my employer because I don't want to be put into IT.
4. My "hero" growing up was The Lone Ranger.
5. My first car was a '74 Ford Gran Torino. I wouldn't have gotten it if my Dad hadn't known "certain people".
6. My favorite sport to watch is football. My favorite sport to play is paintball.
7. My knickname growing up was "turtle". Say it to me today and you'll be swallowing your teeth.
8. I aced the introductory Mensa test in 11th grade. I didn't take the full test because my teacher told me it would cost $60.
9. Dick Clark (yes, that Dick Clark) once told me that he got butterflies before going onto stage. I was blown away!
10. I was born in Kansas City, MO. Same as Shocho!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What Would Make Me Happy

Here's an entirely self-serving post. Feel free to add your own.

What would make me happy:

- If people weren't phony. I can be phony at times myself, so I'm not pointing fingers. Just be real, say what you mean and mean what you say. It saves us all in the long run.

- If I could sleep. I don't get much anymore. There's a lot of reasons for that but I don't get to sleep until around 2am sometimes and I'm usually up by 6am. I don't like my dreams and sleep offers little rest. It just sucks.

- If my list of unemployed friends would get shorter instead of longer.

- If I could hit my ideal weight BEFORE I begin decomposing. (Ok, that was grosser than I thought it would be.)

- If it was sunny in Seattle more than 1 day a week (or month). Believe the hype folks, this place is like living in a sewer.

- If daytime TV would just go away. Is ANYONE getting smarter watching that shit? I don't think so.

- If the NFL preseason would start 2 months early. I don't get the World Cup.

- If my boy would eat something other than goldfish crackers and chocolate milk.

- If I didn't have to carpool, pay over $3 per gallon for gas, and waste 2 hours out of my day that I DON'T get paid for sitting in traffic.

- If my blog wrote itself so I wouldn't have to. Some days. Not all. Just today.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Faster Than A Speeding Layoff

Once again, I dodged the bullet. Whether through cunning, talent, or just stupid blind luck, the dreaded "we'd like to see you in the office for a moment" invitation missed me.

I've been in the hobby gaming industry for several years and have witnessed a total of 5 layoffs. My current office just went through one, as we announced today. A couple of industry friends hopped on the phone looking for me, discovering that I was still right there, at my desk. The list of friends I know longer work with has grown, although not to the level of friends I miss from The Company (the last job I left after 3 rounds of deep cuts).

This was a bit of a pruning layoff. Jobs were consolidated, duties rearranged and so on. I was given my company's #1 product to lead forward. A big honor, to be sure, with a lot of responsibility. I have already come up with two completely insane plans, both of which have been green lit and are underway.

But work isn't the same. There's a bit of hollow regret when you walk in and most of the desks are empty. Our nerf wars and BSG league took a big hit and I rarely draw my gun. I've been working my industry contacts trying to find jobs for everyone that I can. I did that with friends from The Company and still do so. I don't know why but I think it helps with "survivor's guilt". I hope someday the favor is returned. The bullet won't miss me forever. :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Super Music

Yes, it's another Superman post. So sue me.

They have put the full Superman Returns score online for you to listen to. The story is
here and the quick link is here.

Track 1 is very much the traditional John Williams theme with a slightly different beginning and ending. Casual listeners won't hear the difference.

Track 2 begins with the Fortress of Solitude / Krypton theme and then almost takes a "Magnificent Seven" turn. I'm not certain what's happening but I would assume it's his return to Earth.

At this point, it's difficult to tell where one track ends and another begins. The music goes from triumphant to hypnotic. About 7 minutes in is what I assume to be the plane rescue which happens early in the film. The music drips with peril and salvation.

God, am I excited for this soundtrack.

Hmm...ok, 8 minutes in is obviously Clark running through an alley ripping his shirt off. I love it when music tells a story.

Whoops, something weird happens at 9:40. Jor-El?

Stuff is hitting the fan at 11:20. The choir just jumped in, which is never good. Right now, I'm hearing some X-Men and Duel of the Fates influence.

Aaaahhhhhhh.....12:10. Things calm down, and lo and behold..."Can you read my mind?" This is a beautiful track which a hint of honor behind it. At 14:00, it just hits you.

14:40 sounds like Luthor is up to no good. Could be the bank robbery that they filmed late. Either way, there's foolishness afoot that's going to get a red boot somewhere painful.

There is just enough of John Williams scattered through this music to totally make this music work for me. 17:30 is back to the Fortress of Solitude theme. By the way, Windows Media Player using "Smokey Lines" showed up red and blue, which was a nice touch. 22:22. Very nice.

32:40 picks back up after some ominous themes. Very exciting stuff.

Now, the last 20 minutes were ruined by the rampaging children that assualted me at the last minute. Still, go buy this soundtrack the day it comes out.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Caption This

I haven't done this in a while but it's always fun. Give Kim here a nice caption. Bonus points if you can use the words "pajamas", "Carhart" or "It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A" into your quote.

What Planet is Hollywood From?

Here's proof that Hollywood is so f'ing "out there" when it comes to the rest of civilization. This is the first paragraph of Variety's review of Superman Returns:

"What is it about the current climate that has produced three major releases within a month's time that hinge on the hitherto unsuspected offspring of legendarily childless figures -- Jesus in "The Da Vinci Code," Satan in "The Omen" and the title character here? It's an odd development, although it does provide a promising springboard for future series entries, something not enjoyed by the three increasingly dispiriting sequels to Richard DonnerRichard Donner's entertaining Christopher Reeve starrer."


Can we just pass Variety (which of course is the "way too hip for anyone who hasn't actually worked in Hollywood" rag) the award for "longest stretch for cinematic comparion" in history? Yes, the Superman legend has its roots in Christian fare but trying to use that as a reason to mention The Da Vinci Code (they must get a royalty) and The Omen (a movie nobody is going to see) is a whopper.

They did like the movie, so I'm not berating them for that. I just think they sound like idiots.

Happy Father's Day

I have discovered in my life that there are three types of Father's Days.

The first, is when you're with your Dad. You greet him in the morning with a card (homemade or otherwise) eat a big greasy breakfast, and then go play ball. Mom took you to the store to buy him an awful tie, or a power drill. Dad's allowed to do nothing that Day as the work piles up around the house. (God help him on Monday if the dishes aren't done!)

The next (which not all of you will ever experience) is a bitter, sad affair when your Dad has died far too young. You turn off the TV when Home Depot ads come on advertising all the great stuff your Dad wants. Everyone else has big plans for the day and you just want to crawl in a hole. You hate this day as it just reminds you that seemingly everyone else in the world has something you lost.

The last, is when you're the Dad, and your kids wake up and pile on your like an amuesement park ride. You eat cereal with them, read books, and get bad ties as gifts. It's awesome.

I've done all three of these. My Dad died when he was 54. He was diagnosed with cancer and he went very quickly after that. His last days were filled with morphine-induced hallucinations. At one point, I had to "enter" the hallucination and interact with imaginary robbers to calm him down. It was absolutely horrifying. I sat with him for 2 weeks when took a turn for the better. I had to get back to work and promised to be a phone call away. I got the call at 6am, right as I was beginning my Radio shift. There was no one to come in for me so I did a 4 hour morning Radio show knowing that I had lost him.

I was inspired to write this by Shocho, whom I didn't realize we had so much in common. Smoking also killed my Dad. If you smoke, and have kids, you're a selfish idiot. Nuff said.

Now I have two wonderful kids who arguably treat every day like Father's Day. They don't understand the cards and gifts yet, but every day of the year, Dad is the greatest thing ever.

Happy Father's Day Dad. I wish you could have seen your grandchildren.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I Should Have Known

That's it. I take back all of the nice things I've said about Doctor Who.

Just when I find a series I really enjoy, the lead actor leaves. Ok, let's hope that the next guy is ok.

Now guess what? The lead actress is leaving too. Check it out here.

So in just two seasons, the entire cast will change. They'll probably repaint the f'ing Tardis too.


Hold The 4-Color Presses!

It's been a while since comic books made the news but there's been two stories just this month. The first, being the "Batman family" character, Batwoman, coming out as a lesbian. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) The second, is the Marvel Civil War storyline where the Government begins cracking down on superheroes.

Today's stories involves one of comicdons most beloved characters removing his mask and coming clean. Check it out here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth (Except for the parts that are lies)

Al Gore is working hard to become the Ghandi of the Western world. Or at least the tree hugging Michael Moore. His first film, "An Inconvenient Truth" basically continues and expounds upon his early political crusades against polluters like factories, big business, automobiles and farting. ABC News has already taken his film to be absolute gospel and now longer says "global warming" but rather "man-made global warming" every chance they get. I must have missed a memo.

The Canadian Free Press just posted an interesting article refuting some of the science in the film. You can read it

I'm certainly not against conservation, cleaner air and such. I also don't care much for Mr. Gore. But I've read a handful of studies on man's horrible effect on the Earth and every scientist has a different opinion. I tend to think the Earth will be able to take care of herself and we're just a nuisance. But, as with any junk science, I could be wrong.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

How'd Brad Do?

I normally stay out of the daytime television fodder but the wife and I had a disagreement in the supermarket line the other day.

Did Brad Pitt trade up? Or did he trade down?

Reference pictures are included for the undecided amongst you. Please make your selection using all available criteria.

For the unitiated, the top photo is Angelina Jolie, his current wife. Below, is Jennifer Aniston the former girlfriend.

The wife, btw, thinks Angelina is creepy. I think the wind whistles as it blows through Jennifer's ears. My vote: Brad did very well.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Programming Note

I'm Lex Luthor, and I say "rock beats paper"!!

A couple of posts back, I mentioned the special "Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman". That doesn't actually release on DVD for a couple more weeks. However, the show will be airing on A&E Monday night at 8pm EST / PST.

Check your local listings! (and don't call me)

Summer is Finally Here

So I took my Christmas lights down today. I realize it's a bit early, and all of the neighbors were staring at me wondering why I was jumping so soon, but I didn't care. I didn't want to be like them. I chose my own path, and took my sparkly red and greens down.

Not to worry though, they'll go back up in September.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Does Superman Wear Epic Armor?

The secret is out. In a recent interview, the new Superman, Brandon Routh, admitted that he's addicted to World of Warcraft. He said he hasn't made it into any high level raids yet and he like Strath. However, he quite smartly declined to give his character name or server he's on. I feel sorry for anyone who called their character "Kal-El".

What do you mean the server is down!?!?!

The Doctor is Out

Us blokes in the U.S. finally got to wrap up the year-old Doctor Who season on sci-fi this last friday with "The Parting of the Ways". I feel the need to discuss as I blasted the first episode of this series (and the first regular Doctor Who series on either side of the pond since 1989).

It was great.

Right up front I'll tell you that the fact there were decent special effects helped. Yep, I'm being the ugly American here but colored toilet water for the Tardis travelling through space was old when they did that in the 80's.

Anyway, the story revolved around the Daleks. Essentially, they're very angry coffee makers with lasers. I've always thought they were stupid enemies until this new series essentially put the "Terminator" spin on them. They're slow, but they're relentless, and they NEVER STOP COMING. It turns out that they've been hiding near Earth after the Doctor destroyed their homeworld and killed their race. Now that they're back up to speed, they're going to harvest Earth for genetic materials. Ick.

Doctor freaks. People die. Weird shit happens. They kind of took the cheese way out by having Rose essentially become the Dark Phoenix, but that's ok. My only real criticism revolves around something I read somewhere on the Net about this season. With only one or two exceptions, the Doctor really never saves the day. It's always his companions (mostly Rose) who come through with the last minute save. The Doctor is the great empowerer, not the savior.

And then the worst of it, was that Christopher Eccelston, who only played the Doctor for one season, is replaced (Timelords burn their alloted lives by shedding their old appearance and adopting a new one. It's actually a brilliant way of bringing new actors in.) by David Tennent. I really grew to like Eccelston and hope that he can develop the same chemistry with Billie Pieper.

Right now, sci-fi is running some really interesting Doctor Who trivia including one note that John Barrowman will reprise the role of Captain Jack in a Doctor Who spinoff called Torchwood on the BBC this year. I hope Sci-Fi picks this up for us.

Friday, June 09, 2006

To Boldly Go WTF?

The writers for the upcoming Star Trek XI commented on the upcoming movie and the point in time that the film would take place in. Is it just me or does the following quote make no frickin' sense at all?

"There are pockets within the universe, and we know the mythology well, and we are fans of the novels that happen between the movies and all that kind of stuff, which aren't even counted as part of the mythology sometimes and we do know that there is a space to begin to see a lot of the origins of a lot of the things we know and we're going to start there. We're very mindful of being totally true to the mythology and totally true to what's come there, and in a way try to embrace the fact there's such a rich history to it that this is not a case of trying to come in and be so clever that you're going to reinvent everything. It's a case of coming in and using the stuff you know is great and you know really works and not violating anything that's come before it."


Wednesday, June 07, 2006


If one more person tells me how f'ing great Firefox is, I'm going to scream. I just lost a blog entry because the damn thing locked up, again, when I was uploading the pic. This isn't the first time it's happened, and my experience with the program is that it's buggy and unreliable. Yes, tabbing is a nice feature but not when you have to guess whether or not your work is going into the toilet.

Back to IE for me.

Stuff They Don't Teach In Trucking School

I've never been a transformers fan, but this is kinda cool.

This is supposedly some test CGI from the upcoming film.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

What A Fool Believes

Is there anyone left that believes we're the only intelligent life in the Universe?

I was working in the garage today and when I do I like to listen to the Discovery Channel for background noise. Sunday afternoons run a nice assortment of space-related shows. The one that aired today, talked about the distance between objects in the Universe. I truly believe that the human brain has stopgaps in place that prevent you from trying to contemplate infinity. For example, there are roughly 1 billion stars in the average galaxy. There are an estimated 100 billion galaxies that we rationally assume to be in existence. We're finding more and more extra-solar planets everyday so it's reasonable to assume that an average sun might have at least 3 planets around it.

So that gives us:

3 planets x 1 billion suns x 100 billion galaxies

that means there is the possibility of

3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the reasonable universe

Let's subtract the number of known planets to support life:


And yet, there are still people that believe we're the ONLY life in the Universe and if not, we must be the ONLY intelligent life in the Universe. Notice that I'm bypassing the obvious and stupid "intelligent" jokes. The point is that if it happened once, it must have happened long ago, last week, will happen next Tuesday, and probably again in 100,000,000,000 years.

My Radio co-host and I got into this discussion once on-air and I said "assuming Einstien is correct, and throwing out any possibility of travel through dimensions or inside the curved folds of space, maybe the speed of light is God's way of preventing us from playing in someone else's backyard". According to Einstien, we cannot travel faster than the speed of light (which is really, the only way to get anywhere else in space) because matter becomes energy when it comes up to speed. (e=mc2)

In conclusion for those of you who are still awake, I think we're living in a Universe that's absolutely teeming with life. It is EVERYWHERE. I'm sure we'll discover life (on some level) right here in our solar system. There's probably multitudes of intelligent civilizations right here in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Will we ever meet them? Probably not. But it certainly is wonderful to know (or at least believe) that they're out there.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Inspiration for Negativity

This inspired me to think negative thoughts. What are the things you'll NEVER like?

I think my list would read like this:
1) Liver & Onions - what the Hell were they thinking?
2) Daytime television
3) Employers who expect you to lie for them
4) Coffee. Sorry Seattle.
5) Clutter

What do you got?

I'll Take An FU for $100 Alex

Somedays, this is how I feel.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

When We Was Fab

I think you know you're getting old when your bosses are younger than you. That's the situation I'm in now and it's a little disconcerting. I tell myself that it's because technically, my current career is the second career in my lifetime. Before selling my soul to become a Brand Manufacturer for a toy and game manufacturer, I spent 17 years in commercial Radio at a station in Central Ohio. Without a doubt, those were the BEST years of my life and not a day goes by that I don't smile thinking about it.

I finally added a picture to my profile. It's my publicity photo that was plastered over billboards in my station's listening area. (Be honest, even though it's a few years old, if YOU had a "publicity photo", you'd use it too!)

I spent 15 years at my last station, with 14 of those being the morning host. I woke up dreadfully early, NEVER drank a drop of coffee and did my best to make people laugh. My listeners loved me, hated me, stalked me, fell in love with me, fell out of love with me, were there for me when my Dad died, heard me get married, have children and just basically grow up. I comforted them through storms, assured them that the world was a better place than it seemed, and sold them more used cars than I could count. One morning, on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, a mother called me and said her child was afraid to go to school. I must have rambled for 10 minutes about "the good in people" before playing "Here Comes The Sun". A week later, an entire classroom sent me pictures that they drew for me at the behest of their teacher, who heard what I said and appreciated it. I still have those pictures.

The woman in the photo is one of the many co-hosts that I had. Her name was Katie and she was my first dedicated co-hosts. (The previous News Director co-hosts don't count as they were double duty.) Mark and Katie picked up a nice amount of listeners and we enjoyed a certain amount of fame. Katie was the better looking of the duo (obviously) and we mostly had fun. Things got funny at the end and she ended up leaving for another career. Early mornings and, I suppose, working with me can wear on you. Katie was followed by another woman who was so unbelievably arrogant, hateful and just plain awful I won't even mention her name. She didn't last long after she (unbelievably) got pregnant. Deb followed her and we picked up where Mark and Katie left off and went way past that mark. Deb and I had a great time, broke rules, ate lots of free doughnuts, and had more than a few breaks laughing so hard we could barely talk. And for the record, I never swore on the air. Deb however, did say "bullshit". Thank you Phil for stopping the show and pointing it out after I tried to be the pro and smooth it over. :)

Maybe I'm just being melancholy but I do so miss those days. Upon leaving, one of my former news directors came back for my "party" and said something I'll never forget. He had been out of Radio for several years and said "...I laughed harder here than I ever have in my life". I can honestly say the same. I've considered doing Radio on weekends here in the Northwest but I doubt it could ever be that way again. It's a wonderful memory that I hope never dulls with age.