Saturday, October 25, 2008

The House! She is Haunted!

...what we have here is a class 3, free-roaming vapor--and a really nasty one, too!

While I basically celebrate Halloween for the entire month of August, last night marked the real beginning. Not only did Spike TV start showing a week of horror flicks, but I met up with some friends to visit a couple of haunted houses. No, these weren't real houses that are supposedly haunted; they're the productions put on where dressed-up people jump out at you with bladeless chainsaws and fake blood.

Five of us (including a friend's 7(?)-year-old son) headed out to go through both Creepyworld and The_Darkness. We had gone through The Darkness two years ago and enjoyed it immensely (most of us). So we went for the package deal this year.

Haunted houses have sure come a long way since when I was a kid--where people in cheap masks and passable costumes jump out of every corner and say "boo"! The haunted houses of yore rarely had decent decorations or scenery, and those that did have awesome ambiance probably paid a pretty penny for elaborate decorations that were probably difficult to get.

Haunted houses these days still have the requisite "boo" guys, but they also have much cooler-looking decorations and tons of hydraulics for motion. They're longer and have really cool layouts. The Darkness (two years ago) even had a spinning room which, unfortunately, was not included this year (though they did have a mirror room which was pretty neat).

We all pretty much agreed that haunted houses are scary only for the first couple of minutes. After that there isn't much shock value of a dude jumping out and yelling "boogety!". I, personally, enjoy the unkown--what is around the next corner. And I really enjoy just looking around at the detail of each area. But there is never enough time to take it all in so I do what I can.

The only real disappointment of the night was the supposed "corn maze" at Creepyworld. It was more like walking down a nice path through tall weeds with a couple of creepy props. The only guy who jumped out at us looked like he was a computer nerd. I'm not sure he even worked there...

When the night was through, however, I think the most amazing part had to have been the urinal at Taco Bell that sounded like a pissed-off cat.

I'm starting to feel loopy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What Time Is It?

It's Pumpkin Time!!!

Last night we threw everyone in the car and headed to the pumpkin patch for our annual Halloween tradition. Mostly, said tradition consists of letting both children loose upon the farm as they run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Once they finally get tired, we pick out pumpkins and then go out to dinner. I am happy to report that this year was no different than previous years--a complete success.

T was old enough to enjoy the pumpkin patch this year and even got into a little of the goat-feeding action. But she quickly got shy and decided that was not the thing for her. Instead, she decided to help her sister sit upon every pumpkin left in the pumpkin patch. Maybe they thought the pumpkins would hatch if they sat on them long enough? I am not sure I want to see what comes out...

They went on a hayride, ran through a straw maze and posed for pictures at every single photo cutout imaginable. We stopped at every animal pen and either fed them or observed. The animals that scared them the most? The pigs. They were cute but also squealed very loudly. I don't want to jump to any conclusions but I'm pretty sure they were possessed by an evil bacon spirit. Mmmm...bacon spirit...

Fun was had by all and now the family has two ginormous pumpkins to carve. The only sizes they had were large and huge...seriously. If those pumpkins ever hatch, we're all doomed.

The few photos were pilfered from If you want to see more pics, go there.

And all your weight, it falls on me

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Decision '08

Alright, here's the deal. We have all heard the issues, seen the debates, and watched some random wandering and negativity. But I'm here to address an important issue which neither candidate has yet to even remotely mention. It's not health care, the economy, or the state of the singing lemurs of Madagascar. No, I am talking about the issue of powerups. Yes, powerups--something which this country is seriously lacking.

When I'm driving to work in the morning and some primitive screwhead cuts me off, there's no weapons powerup for me to get even! And there's certainly no speed powerup for me to utilize to get ahead of him again. Where are my powerups??

Likewise, when I come into work really late (probably because of the aforementioned driver) I could really use an active camo powerup so that I can briefly turn invisible and sneak past my boss's office. But nooooo, that would be too easy, wouldn't it? And if I were to punch a guy, knocking him out, why doesn't his body turn into gold coins, or why doesn't he drop yummy food for me to eat and recharge?

See, this is what I'm talking about. Did you know that almost every other country is vastly ahead of the US when it comes to powerups? It's true. Sure, they will all look at you funny and tell you you're crazy but they me, they know. They're hiding it from you. In fact, they probably used their holographic powerup to distract you, and you're talking to an illusion! Sneaky bastards.

So please take this major issue into account when you vote in November. If you're not a US citizen...well, enjoy your stinking powerups, jerkfaces!

They said all teenagers scare the living shit out of me

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cut Back, Baby

First of all, I think it's important to note that there is at least something to look forward to in today's economic stew of despair: Halo 3: Recon. It's a year off, yet (though I suspect that date could slip like me on a floor sprayed with Pam) but it already looks like it resides mostly in the Very Cool Zone.

So, yeah, here we have the economy. And it's not just the US. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who understands that the world is a "global economy". One country has problems and we all feel it. It's pretty simple, really.

I was watching the news recently and they were doing a report on how people are cutting back. And the methods people were using were dumbfounding...that's a strange way to put it, I know. Basically, everyone who spoke acted like they were rocket scientists for figuring out how to cut back. This type of thing comes as second nature to my family since we lead a pretty simple life.

One woman was saying how, to cut back, she now brews her own coffee!! I wish she'd share that secret with the rest of the world, because we're tired of always having to buy it or dig it out of the ground for harvest.

Another woman told a tale of how she had to pull her daughter out of gymnastics classes...then she stopped the lawn service!! The horror! Frankly, I would have stopped the lawn service before the gymnastics thing, but since I take care of my own lawn anyway, that would mean firing myself. And I don't do that...and you can't make me.

We have moved to more natural, less costly alternatives to common products. For example, we now make our own laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner, and even shampoo. Each of these concoctions costs a tiny fraction of store-bought, chemical-laced products. And each one does a better job, too. How's that for cutting back and being more environmentally friendly?

Let's all just keep that in mind...and ignore the fact that my garden was made of fail (probably due to me planting it two months too late).

We are the lazy generation

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another One Under the Belt

Today I probably accomplished more by 10:00 than most anyone else does the entire day. :) I finished the Wilson's Half Marathon Challenge (that's 13.1 miles) in about 1 hr, 56 min, 44 sec. That's 177th out of about 400 people! The race started at 8:00 and it was a nice 58 degrees at that time. I might actually have preferred that it was a little cooler. Now for a little setup...

I found out about this half-marathon almost exactly three weeks ago. I thought to myself "Self, let's see if you can do this." My self said "Screw you, I want to sit around, eat popcorn and watch football you jerk." I won.(?) So I figured I'd train decently for three weeks and run 13 miles once. That would later turn out to be complete failsauce.

Due to a combination of being lazy, being crunched for time, and unusual weather, I never got the 13-mile run in. I also ran only once last week (7.6 miles, but still only once and mid-week). Luckily, my whole goal was to do the half-marathon with minimal training, so...Score! Oh, and throw in a slight illness (either allergies, change in weather, or a small cold).

The course was nice. However...the hills...yeah, those fail. I ran down one long, steep hill and though to myself "Wow, I have to run back up this?? And, sure enough, I did. And there were others--not so epic, but not fun, either. I'm pretty good at hills. I pass people on them all the time. That doesn't mean I like them. In fact, I curse them with every fiber of my being...and every fiber of some other peoples' being, too.

And I did stop--both to walk as well as adjust my sock (which ended up rubbing a blister on the top of my foot). But my legs never got sore or fatigued. The bad news is, when I had to stop, it was because I was fatigued. :(

The race ended with a run around the Quad at Mizzou, which would have been much prettier if there wasn't so much damn construction going on around there. But I sped up and ran full tilt around the Quad to the finish line. It was nice to be able to do that instead of hobble across, looking half-dead (or mostly dead--there is a difference, so sayeth Miracle Max).

Final Assessment: Success. I could see doing this again next year. Maybe training a little bit harder beforehand but not much. I think intense training was part of my downfall in the Lewis & Clark marathon a year ago when my knee wanted to collapse. Not bad for a slightly ill geezer who barely trained, eh?

I then promptly ate and drank everything in sight (I have never wanted a drink so badly) and then went for coffee at Kaldi. :D They have good pumpkin lattes! And now I must avail to the upstairs to clean up copious amounts of cat vomit. It looks like one of them ate coffee grounds! Stupid cats.

I'm falling down, but I'll rise above this.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First Day of October!!

Today is the first day of the awesomest month in the awesomest season. Enjoy!

On a totally unrelated note...
K and I met G at school for lunch. It was a classwide thing and parents were everywhere. I found out about it the night before and G asked me "Daddy, are you coming to kindergarten to eat lunch?" My first response was that I couldn't, because I had to work. Then I stopped mid-sentence and asked myself "why can't I? That's just dumb." So I said I could. I did, and it was very cool. I love being a part of both my daughters' lives and I know they love it when I am.

Almost as a blatant reaffirmation, there was one little boy who ate alone. Neither parent showed up to eat lunch with him. He sat quietly, surrounded by happy children and their parents, and ate. I don't know if he was sad or not, but I was. I felt for him. I don't have a clue what his situation is like (does he live with a single parent? Are they just "too busy"? etc.) but I still think it's crap. K tried to talk with him and another couple asked him about his lunchbox but he still remained mostly quiet. It made me sad.

That is all.

You're coming, coming back