Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Boogety Blargh!

I just wanted to take this small nook in the dark, dusty recesses of a far corner of the Internet to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas. If you don't celebrate Christmas, then please have a safe and happy Friday. Take the time to tell your loved ones that you love them, and give them a hug. I would strongly advise against sending e-cards...those things suck. Please, there are much better ways to show the spirit of the season than a crappy e-card that takes 10 minutes to load and 30 seconds to view.

For instance, you could light a bag of poop on fire and set it on someone's doorstep. That is far less irritating than an e-card.

Also, you could simply kick the person in the head. It may be a little more painful, but it uses no bandwidth and it gets the point across loud and clear.

I'm not saying that those are good things to do, but they would certainly be more appreciated than an e-card.

In any case, take the time to be with family and enjoy their company!

Monday, December 7, 2009


The Christmas season is upon us...well, most of us. For some, the Voodoo Day season is upon you, or maybe the season of "Hurray, it's Friday, December 25th...bugger off" is upon you. No matter what season it is, it's a season, okay? Just go with it.

Anyway, I have some observations to share with you, dear reader (yes, there is probably still one of you...maybe two)--observations of the Christmas season.

1. The song "Feliz Navidad" is possibly the worst Christmas song ever written. Seriously. It really has ony one set of lyrics that are repeated about five times. Sure, it's cool because part of it is in Spanish etc...but think about this: part of "Dora the Explorer" is in Spanish...are you going to tell me that Dora is cool? Well, okay...having a talking monkey as your best friend would be pretty cool...and there are some rather cool, trippy things that happen in her world...but that's beside the point. Anyway, "Feliz Navidad" is my least favorite Christmas song, followed closely by "Santa Baby".

2. The song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" has a line in it that says "there'll be scary ghost stories"...what kind of messed up Christmas is that?? "And Santa came down the chimney...and was devoured by hungry zombies!!! Dude, Halloween was almost two months ago. Even I have let it go. Scary ghost stories on Christmas? These people must really not care if their kids actually go to bed on Christmas Eve. Me? I'd much prefer my children to be sleeping happily. (As a side note, I think a story with both Santa and zombies would be made of pure awesome.)

3. There is such thing as eating too many cookies. This has nothing to do with Christmas. It's simply something I discovered tonight.

4. The Christmas season essentially started in July. Seriously. Ridiculous.

5. There is a local radio station that started playing all Christmas music a few days before Thanksgiving. A little early, but a great idea. Problem is, I am guaranteed to hear "Feliz Navidad" and "Santa Baby" at least once an hour. In actuality, the radio station only has about 15 songs in the rotation.

6. I miss believing in Santa Claus.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So Full of Turkey I Could Puke

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. For those who don't celebrate the holiday, I hope you had a wonderful Thursday. I think we should have the world celebrate Thanksgiving and call it something like "Excuse to eat a lot of Turkey" Day or "So glad those lousy Pilgrims left" Day.

Much of today has been spent taunting the pets with this. I am probably the worst pilot ever. If you get into an aircraft and you see me at the controls, just walk away. Seriously, it's for the best. It's fun as hell, though. I've wrecked it into just about everything and it hasn't broken yet. There have been a few close calls with the daughters' heads, however.

Many things get better with age--cheese, wine, and really bad Syfy movies. I'm not sure that the same holds true for artificial Christmas trees, however. We have had such lousy luck with Christmas trees the past couple of years. We used to cut them down from a tree farm but all three farms around here are closed. The trees we get elsewhere usually die after a week and a half. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a brown, skeletal fire hazard!

So the in-laws gave us K's grandparents' old tree. I was told it is a pretty large tree, and that only the top portion was ever used. After I unpacked the box and got rid of the two nonfunctional wasp nests, I assembled the bugger. I'm not sure what building the great pyramids was like, but I reckon that putting together this tree competes in that arena. The beast is at least eight feet tall. I had to fluff out all of the branches because the tree had probably not been used in decades. I was really discouraged and dubious at first but, as it turns out, it's a pretty badass artificial tree. I can't imagine how much it cost back when it was bought.

And since we usually go for really odd-looking, screwball Christmas trees (when we have bought live ones), I mixed up some of the branch sizes so that it looks a bit awkward. No reason we can't still have a screwball tree, right?

I'd talk about the Syfy movie this week but, well, you know. It was "Robin Hood: Beyond Sherwood" and starred a dude from "Sanctuary". I didn't catch the whole thing so, as far as I can tell, it dealt with the Sheriff trying to piss everyone off by using a chick that turns into a dragon. Seriously. I crap you negative.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Run for the Hills!!

Thoughts are swarming around in my brain and I am trying to determine which ones are the most interesting. I would hate to bore you...or myself, for that matter.

I am an avid videogame player. I love them. I have loved them since I started up my first Atari 2600 for the very first time and played...well, I don't know what the first game I played was. But I'm sure it looked almost exactly like all the other Atari 2600 games--like a brick vomited on my tv screen. Videogames are much better now than they used to be but, unfortunately, I have grown up. So I traded much better games for a lot less awe and wonderment. I suspect it was worth it but there is still that part of me that longs to recapture that feeling--much akin to Christmas morning as a child.

So where is this all leading? I guess, while awe and wonderment are mostly gone, there are still moments in videogames that I will remember forever, be they scary, intense, or funny. I finished up playing F.E.A.R. on Halloween morning and it was suitably creepy. There was, however, one part of the game that I will always remember, but probably not for the reason the developers intended. I had acquired a weapon that basically turned targets into piles of smoking dust. Quite unfortunate for them, I must say, but a fine weapon. So I blast some nameless dude from across the hallway and approach slowly. One of his fellow soldiers runs up, stands over him ("him" now being smoking ash) and says "Check in! Are you alright?" while looking down at his friend who is now Kool-Aid powder. I had to pause the game to laugh...a lot.

That's just one thought of many swirling around in my head. Here's another...

Syfy Pictures Presents: Ice Twisters!

What's worse than a pissed-off storm cloud throwing numerous tornadoes at you as you try to drive down a country road? How about tornadoes that can freeze you and disappear in a heartbeat!? Scared yet??? Yeah...me neither. In fact, I can imagine the Syfy writer monkeys locked in a room, smoking heavily, and trying desperately to come up with an idea that hasn't been done (by them) yet.

Guy #1: "Dude, how about a crocodile dinosaur? We'll call it...CROCKASAUR!"
Guy #2: "Been done...but maybe if he had bionics and shot lasers..."
Guy #3: "I've got it!! Pissed off storms that can freeze you solid!"
Guy in charge: "Go with that! It'll premier next week!"
Cash Register: "Cha-ching!"

This fine piece of cinema stars Mark Moses who, surprisingly, has been in a metric shit-ton of stuff. It also stars Camille Sullivan who, surprisingly, has also been in a lot of stuff...unsurprisingly, about half of it is on Syfy and USA...but a lot of stuff nonetheless. Moses plays a physics guru turned sci-fi writer ("Charlie") and Sullivan plays his ex-colleague/love interest ("Joanne"). The tornadoes were uncredited.

So Joanne and her cronies have been working on a government project using little flying machines ("seraphs") that create moisture from the air, then seed the clouds they created to make it rain. And it works! But it doesn't stop working...then things get worse. And the government refuses to shut it down because, duh, it's a weapon!!! And some people freeze and die in different ways. Of course the government's answer to finally shut it down is to...shoot explosives at the machines! Have we seen this before? Yes. Does it work? Never. Though the actual solution is about 500 times more implausible. Also, so was the CGI.

Oh, also, there are these two journalism students running around, trying to follow Charlie to document a day in his life. The chick always has to pee and the guy always whines. They get into lots of trouble, pee and whine some more, then repeat.

How I would summarize this movie: I looked at my watch numerous times and said "Jeez, there's still left to go in this movie??"

Here are you Drive-In Totals:
--Menacing, ice-laden killer tornadoes (with nefarious goatee): A dozen or so...maybe more. They all looked the same.
--Pissy computer nerds: 2
--Book agents we couldn't care less about: 1
--Dead book agents we couldn't care less about: 1
--Authors who are way too smart: 1
--Flying cows: 0 (watch "Twister" if you want to see this)

2 stars

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?

Because he was dead. Duh.

I only relate that silly joke because a) for some reason, I still find it amusing and b) My body is sore...from climbing trees. Yes, you heard me. We attended a family reunion this weekend and I noticed there were kids trying to climb trees. It looked like large amounts of fun.

See, as an adult, there is no real reason to climb a tree. If I saw a grown adult in their front yard, climbing a tree, I'd probably think it was really odd...or they were trying to climb up to a high window to break into the house. It just doesn't seem right...yet, why shouldn't adults be able to do things like that?

So I did. I figured, if the kids were doing it, I could too. I should climb trees more often. I would make a promise to do so, but none of the trees in our yard are worthy of climbing. I could probably scale them to a certain degree, but there would be no branches on which to sit. The previous house in which I lived had a pretty decent tree out front that I would climb from time to time. I probably got really funny looks from the neighbors.

Not much else to say right now, so I'll leave you with my current favorite picture. It's from failblog.org.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tidbits of Randomosity

If it's one thing I have learned from TV and movies (I start off a lot of sentences like that) it's this: if me and a lot of other people are in danger of complete annihilation...I'm going to get some.

That's right. Meteor heading for Earth? I'm getting lucky. Aliens destroying the planet? Hop into bed! I'm on a starship and it's headed for a collision course with the sun? C'mere, baby. I'm not being lewd or sexist or anything. I don't think I'm particularly attractive. But, seriously, this is how it works, right?

But here's what I don't. People in these situations see that their doom is imminent and they are drawn together as if by powerful magnets, super glue, or two dalmations that get their leashes tangled up in the park. They get that twinkle in their eyes, disrobe, and go at it. But, seriously...that's quite a lot of stress. THEY ARE ABOUT TO DIE! I'm pretty sure if I was in that same situation, there'd be no action going on. I'd be all like "wow, she's hot...and getting naked...and, oh yeah, there's a 500 megaton nuclear device pointed at me, ready to turn me into Malt-O-Meal." Any inclination to disrobe and go at it like a rabbit would most likely melt away like honesty in a newly-elected politician. So...yeah.

So we're just a week away from Halloween! G decided that today was "Vampire Walk Saturday". I wasn't really sure how vampires typically walk, so we're pretty much walking however we want. We've already produced some silly mayhem.

From the feel of it, Halloween is going to be cold...and possibly (quite possibly) rather wet. It tends to rain on Halloween more often than not, so I'm used to it. It's rather humorous, actually. The rain has contributed to what is quite possibly the most beautiful Autumn ever. The trees are showing wonderful colors, even if the leaves are dropping off rapidly. All I can say is that it sure beats 75-80 degrees, which has happened in the past. Nothing like going out for trick-or-treating and being too warm! Put on the sunscreen, kiddies!

My body can't decide if I'm getting sick or not. I keep getting the slightly uncomfortable aches in my joints, and I'm rather tired. I seem to be running a little hot, too (no real fever, but I feel warm). I guess I don't mind getting sick...no, wait, I hate getting sick. But I just ask my body to hold out until after my favorite holiday. Hmmm? Do me a solid, k?

I've been playing through a rather old videogame called F.E.A.R. I picked it up used for $20. Every October I like to play scary videogames in the dark. Is that weird? Don't judge me, jerkface! :D Anyway, the game is very well-done. It's not got a particularly engaging plot and there aren't really any scary monsters to fight, but the atmosphere, music, environment, and characters are all very creepy. And I swear that little girls with long hair who stand and stare at you (and appear out of nowhere randomly) might be the creepiest things in existence. I am convinced, if a country wanted to take over the world, all they'd have to do is send an army of creepy little girls into battle. I'd pee myself. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Day The Heater Died

It's necessary for life on Earth. We all use it. And, yet, it can singlehandedly destroy things quicker than almost anything else. Water really pisses me off sometimes.

Yesterday, I found a rather large (not deep) pool of water in the storage area. K's first query was if her books were okay, while my first query was whether we had a foundation problem. So while I scrambled to clean up the water (mopping it towards the drain), I also scrambled to find the source. It appeared to be coming from a corner but I could find no moisture on the wall, nor any cracks. I finally found a steady stream of water coming from the bottom of the water heater. This both relieved and troubled me.

I was grateful we didn't have foundation problems but not so jazzed about having to shut off the water heater and replace it--especially not knowing how long it would take to get a new one installed (nevermind the money that would have to be spent).

Luckily, one is being installed this evening. What surprised me, however, was the fact that delivery/install costs more than the stupid water heater itself. Seriously. That tells me that either a) installation is exhorbitant or b) I am a cheapass when it comes to buy water heaters. If I had to guess, I'd guess that both are true.

So we'll get the thing installed tonight, have hot water, and be happy. We'll have to figure out a little later how we're actually going to pay for the beast.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Guess I Should've Kept the Other One.

Had a wonderful weekend. Saturday was the annual "carnival" at G's school, so G and I were in attendance. It's a fundraiser and, basically, a shameless money sinkhole. But since I don't volunteer for anything at her school and we didn't even try to sell the coupon books to anyone, I don't feel bad basically donating money to the school.

Essentially, you pay for mostly everything. You buy a wristband for your child to play games, you buy concessions, and you buy lunch. I guess you don't have to buy any of these things but, then, it wouldn't be a whole lot of fun now would it? As it is, the games they have laid out are pretty simplistic and the prizes are stuff donated that someone didn't want or had way too many of (and most are promotional materials from local businesses anyway).

I make it sound like a ripoff and, well, it is. but G had fun and we got to spend time together--just us. The weather was very Autumn-like which was also nice. So we had a good time together, doing something other than playing "Dora The Explorer" Candyland. :D

I'm currently awaiting a replacement iPhone. Those of you familiar with this wonderful (yes, I still love it) little device know that it has only one real button. The button is simplistic, labeled with a square. You'd think that, having only one button, Apple would be able to actually build that button correctly. I mean, seriously, it's a button. Mankind has been making buttons on electronics since some guy made the first button on electronics! I don't know how long that is, but I'm sure it's been quite a while.

Anyway, I called it in to Apple and they are overnighting me another phone. I'm paying $30 for it, though. I am currently waiting to get a FedEx tracking number so that I can change the receiving address for it. I'd rather send it to work and assure that someone will be around to pick it up. I will then put it through rigorous button-testing for quality assurance.

Syfy Saturday Presents: Wrong Turn 2: Dead End
What do you get when you combine Henry Rollins, Kimberly Caldwell, some reality show contestants, and a bunch of inbred yokels? Blood, guts, gore, and death, of course! You also get a rather enjoyable attempt at a horror movie. I think I've become desensitized to movies like this. I generally end up laughing instead of being all freaked out.

So Henry Rollins is supposed to be the host of a reality show about surviving in the wilderness. The contestants are a mixed bag (aka the usual)--the slut, the city girl, the joking and perverted guy (a skater in this iteration), the token black guy, the vegan, and the lesbian army chick...oh yeah, and the former American Idol contestant (Kimberly Caldwell).

The movie itself was fun--not really because of the movie itself, but because K and I really had a tough time picking who would survive. Kimberly Caldwell got off'd in the first five minutes which was probably a bid to save her from the bad movie.

The inbred mutant people lay into almost everyone in many grandiose ways involving pointy, sharp objects. While I wasn't freaked out by any of this. What did freak me out, however, were the kissing scenes between the mutant family members. Blech! It was like watching Liza Minelli and Bea Arthur (yes, the corpse) suck face. Nasty, nasty stuff.

Anyway, a rather entertaining movie. I totally wouldn't pay to see it in a theater, but sitting in my house watching it was a-ok.

Here are your Drive-In Totals:
Gallons of blood used: 85
Circumference of Henry Rollins neck: 32 inches
Really stupid decisions: Lost count
Blow Jobs: 1 (yes...I'm telling the truth)
Exploding arrow-fu
Upside-down lesbian-douchebag death embrace

3 stars

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Run, Forrest, Run!

It was 7:00. The sun was nowhere to be found, obscured by an angry, cloudy sky that poured down rain upon everyone in a torrent of cold liquid. It was also rather chilly--not the ideal conditions for a half-marathon, but it was a little late to be thinking about that.

The rain continued off and on for about an hour. Sometimes it really hammered us. Luckily I was beneath a canopy of trees for much of the heaviest stuff. I didn't really care much about the rain--it kept me cool--but I didn't want my iPhone to be destroyed. Luckily, it survived.

There were five spots throughout the race where live bands were playing (beneath shelters or tents, of course). I thought that was a really nice addition. And they were all quite good! But I couldn't stick around to listen for very long.

Now, I'm not sure who came up with this course, but I seriously think they need to be shot...about 50 times. It started out easy enough. Then I got to the first hill. It quickly came to be known as "Holy Crap Hill". It was steep and it was long. But the worst was over, right?

Wrong. I couldn't have been more wrong if it was the wrongest day of the wrongest month and I had an automatic wronging machine. I came upon the next hill quickly and dubbed it "You've Got to be Kidding Hill". Then came "WTF Hill". I lost count of just how many hills there were, but I know there was one more after that, and I called it "Somebody Shoot Me Hill". Seriously. These hills were insane. I've never seen a course with so many killer hills. 635 people ran the half-marathon. I'm pretty sure 400 of them perished along the way.

But I finished. I finished with a time of 1:54:09--about 3 minutes better than last year (and on a harder course to boot!). I placed 135th out of those 635 people. I was disappointed not to get a medal when I finished. I got a pint glass instead--an empty pint glass, no less!

K ran the 10K and finished in 1:15, which was 15 minutes off her normal time! Totally, 100% win!

I didn't watch SyFy's lame "Children of the Corn" remake last night. I had better things to do like sleep.

Have I got a long way to run

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Put This In Your Pipe...

Dear InBev,

There is no gentle way to say this, so I'll just say it. Your Bud Light "Jimmy Football" ads suck. Okay okay, I know that the term "suck" is really not constructive criticism. Sorry, I got carried away there. I'll try to be more descriptive...

Your "Jimmy Football" ads inhale briskly. They inhale briskly more than most any ads I've ever seen. They're so bad that they have probably inhaled briskly around many other, much better ads. Your ads sit in a bathroom stall just waiting to inhale briskly when another advertisement walks in to take a pee. Seriously. You used to have such imaginative, funny ads. What genius came up with this ad campaign? You should find them, flog them, give them a swirlie, hang them, then draw and quarter them. Oh, and burn their body parts when you're done. At the very least, fire their ass.

And you know that garbage you feature in these ads--the "grooler" and the "foozie"? Yeah, those. You actually think anyone's going to want to buy any of that schlock? Yes, I'm aware that you are indeed actually selling those things. And they're about as worthwhile as Kanye West turds...which are pretty much worth the same as Kanye West himself. Coincidentally, he also inhales briskly.

In conclusion...ditch the ad campaign now. Hell, go back to the "ability to speak with animals" and the dog that shouts "sausages" over and over again. I still find that one hilarious.

In other news...

Syfy Pictures Presents: Open Graves.
Eliza Dushku stars in this latest effort from the Syfy network. I have one question...what the hell was she thinking? Maybe she didn't think Dollhouse was going to last another season (and it almost didn't) or she was just bored or whatnot but...wow. She probably could have made a better decision. But we'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was drunk at the time...and high...and half-asleep...and tied up at gunpoint, forced to make this movie...and...well, you get the idea.

So a group of surfers stumbles across a game that looks innocuous enough but, much like that tiki idol from the Brady Bunch Goes to Hawaii, it holds a sinister secret--something so dark that the world could end if it was ever discovered. Yes, that's right...the game has several late movies to return to the video store! Oh, and it also kills someone every time it's played. Did I forget to mention that? Yeah, that too. But did I mention that it comes with a free frogurt?? Eh?? Pretty sweet, right? Also, if you win the game, you get to make one wish and it comes true.

So, of course, the slackers play the game...then start dying. Some of them die in very "Final Destination"ish ways while others just die in stupid ones. Then there's this creepy cop who has basically turned bad. He wants the game to bring back his dead brother...or bring back the New Coke. I forget which. Mind you, I fiddled on Facebook with my iPhone for a few minutes, so I may have missed the details.

Anyway, lots of stupid surfer kids die, one guy finally wins the game and, as K called the shot, wishes "it was a week ago and we hadn't played this game!" Well, duh...his wish comes true and the movie starts over. Tasty pick, bonehead.

Here are your Drive-in Totals:
Death by snakes: 1
Death by surfing: 1
Death by car: 1
Death by gunshot: 1
Death by lots of other ways when I wasn't paying attention: Lots

Watch his every move

Saturday, September 19, 2009

If I Had a Random...

Not only is today International Talk Like a Pirate Day, but today also appears to be Crabwalk Saturday!! Well, it is at our house. I came up with the idea--probably as a way to avoid a child explosion, --and now it has stuck. So, today, we're walking around like crabs for no apparent reason. Closely related to Monkay Walk Saturday (which we have yet to enact), it is kind of a funny idea. But, man, it taks forever to get anywhere in the house!!

I kinda think I want to see Zombieland. I have but one hangup. Well, two hangups. First, the price of movies...damn! I still haven't paid off the loan I took out to see "Up!" (which I thoroughly enjoyed, btw). Also, the movie has Woody Harrelson in it. There really aren't many actors that drive my decision to see a movie or not. Very few indeed. But something in my brain is triggered whenever I see or hear about Woody Harrelson. It's almost as if I was secretly imprisoned in a laboratory somewhere and conditioned to not like the guy. I'm not sure if it was the movie Natural Born Killers that did it to me or not. Whatever did it to me, it happened, and I am destined to not like the guy. Anyway, the movie looks entertaining. The suck factor is high but I'm willing to take a chance on it.

Juliette Lewis (also in Natural Born Killers) also repulsed me.

I bought a used copy of F.E.A.R. for the 360. When Halloween comes around, I enjoy finding a suitably creepy game, turning off all the lights, and playing it in solitude. It's been a long time since I found a decent scary game that I could afford. Viva la used games!!

Today is the last weekend of summer! This year, I can't really complain about summer much. There was plenty of rain and the temperatures were relatively cool. It was a little tough trying to make it to the pool, so the girls were probably a bit disappointed, but I rarely had to cut the grass and, when I did so, I didn't sweat like Homer Simpson chasing a donut. But now it's time to usher in Autumn. We've already got football and even falling leaves. Now we just need the Autumn temperatures (though it's only getting up to 78 or so currently).

Next weekend is the half-marathon. Both K and I are really stoked! Exercise is always much easier for me when I've got something to work for. Since the beginning of summer, I have knocked a little over a minute off of my speed per mile! Sure, I probably could have done better but I am not really trying to win this race. I'd prefer simply to finish without having to crawl across the finish line. I average around 7:50 per mile now and I can do even better when the temperature is around 60-65 degrees.

Yeah you leave, you're gone

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Let's Do This

So I got a bug up my butt. No, it's not a hygiene issue, but I can definitely understand what brought you to that conclusion. A while back, I promised myself that I would write a story specifically with publishing in mind. I set a deadline and I met that deadline.

But I failed to take into account the most painstaking part of writing--the editing. If writing is like letting creativity flow freely from my brain to create a wonderful work of art, editing is like taking that creativity and curbstomping it...then lighting it on fire, laughing at it and, finally, pouring sugar in its gas tank.

But I finally bit the bullet and did some editing. I don't feel it really needed all that much, so I got off lucky. But I also feel really good because, now, I can hopefully try to get it published. We'll see what comes of it.

I'm getting the urge to write again. I had a good story idea pop into my head during one of my runs. Hopefully I'll get to that soon, and it'll be as good as I think it will be.

In two weeks I am running a half-marathon. I ran it last year without much training and while I was on the tail end of a cold. I feel I am much better prepared this year and I'm really jazzed about it. I doubt I would work so hard to stay in shape if I didn't have something to work toward. Well, maybe if someone dangled a plate of Hot Wings in front of me and made me run towards it...yeah, that would definitely get me running. But once I finally caught up, I'd probably beat the person who taunted me. That would also be good exercise.

I didn't watch the Syfy movie this week--it was something about living lightning...looked suitably bad. Instead I listened to my beloved Mizzou Tigers almost lose to the Bowling Green Somethingorothers. The Tigers won, mind you...but it was not a stellar performance. The game was kind of like two dudes falling off a building...and one grabs the other to use as a cushion. Not pretty. Not pretty at all, I assure you.

Then we smashed our shit

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Your Ad Here

August is normally my least favorite month of the year. But if August was always like it has been this year, I might actually learn to like it! The weather has been fantastic! Whereas August is usually the equivalent of getting kicked in the crotch while being set on fire at the same time as having a colonoscopy, this year it has been much like having sex on a rollercoaster followed by...ice cream!

Oh, and the ice cream has sprinkles on it.

It looks as though the garden this year was not total, epic fail. With the cool, rainy weather we've had this summer, it's been tough to get anything except the grass to grow. But the garden persevered, pro ducing tomatoes and jalapenos! Of course, everything else refused to do anything. Also, the tomatoes are all relatively small, but the jalapenos are pretty decent-sized. The verdict is still out on the garlic as it has yet to fully mature. But if I yell at it enough and threaten it, perhaps it will bend to my will. That's how it works, right?

And, last night, I watched the best movie...

Syfy Pictures Presents: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus!!
Okay. So I have this movie for you...you're totally gonna want to see it. It's got...get this...a giant shark in it! What? That's not enough? You say you want two giant creatures in a movie? Well, you're in luck. It also has a giant freaking octopus in it. That's two for one, man! I'm offering you the deal of a lifetime! But wait...if you watch now, I'll also throw in Lorenzo Lamas and Deborah Gibson! Seriously, YOU CAN'T RESIST!! Hypnotoad commands you!

So, yeah...Deborah Gibson plays some kind of scientist (insert laughter here) and she gets a front-row seat as a giant shark and octopus are released from their icy prisons. The shark and octopus were apparently locked in mortal combat when, BOOM, they were somehow frozen fast enough to catch them in the middle of their fracas. So now they've thawed out (3 minutes in the microwave on power level 5) and...instead of continuing their fight, they go their separate ways, taking out their prehistoric angst on humanity. My guess is that they made a bet--see who could cause the most destruction before humanity finally figured out a way to stop them. Either way, they totally have a huge party on Earth, drink all the booze, then trash the place.

So Deborah Gibson, some Irish dude who used to be her professor, and a Japanese dude are all kidnapped by Lorenzo Lamas and ordered to, like, tell the monsters to stop and stuff. Having nothing better to do, Gibson and the Japanese guy jump each others' bones in the broom closet and then figure out a solution. I think they'd known each other maybe 24 hours, but sex is always the answer in movies! (thumbs up!)

But their idea fails miserably. Meanwhile, the shark and octopus are doing cool stuff like leaping out of the water and eating airplanes, chewing on the Golden Gate Bridge, and swatting down fighter jets. But before they have a chance to destroy the Chrysler Building (which seems to happen in every US-based monster movie), humanity figures out another plan--get them to fight each other!

So then there's a giant game of "Rock/Paper/Scissors" or, rather "Tooth/Tentacle/Submarine" and it is on!! Now, honestly, I don't see how a shark could outmatch an octopus...one has no arms, the other has eight of them. But somehow, yes, they manage to kill each other at exactly the same time!! Very convenient! Humanity wins! Good thing those two hopped in the sack while barely knowing each other! They saved everyone!

This movie was the perfect "so bad it's awesome" movie. My only complaint is that they used the same shark footage over and over again and, well, I wanted more destruction. A five-minute montage of the shark and octopus wreaking havoc would have been awesome. Especially if it had been set to "Yakkity Sax"

Here are your Drive-in Totals:
Doomed planes: 2
Pissed-off commuters: Several thousand
Unnecessary sex scenes: None--we all know that every sex scene is necessary
Hair grease: Way too much on Lamas' head

5 stars

They'd said it was safe, they lied

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome to the New School Year

Monday was G's first day of 1st grade, and today was T's first day of Kindergarten. Both girls have been bubbly, hyper, and very excited. I'm happy to say that both girls have immensely enjoyed their first days of school. From what I hear, T didn't want to come home. She gave Mom the evil eye for about an hour afterwards. I am overjoyed that the first days went so well. I could tell that everyone in the house was ready for school to start since K and I wanted to pull our hair out, and the kids were nuts for about two weeks.

How interesting. The ice cream truck just pulled up and my employer is paying for ice cream.

Anyway, here are pics of the girls on their first days. Yes, they picked out their outfits together.

And sing along to the age of paranoia

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Cow Says...

On Friday, K spontaneously suggested that we go to the zoo on Saturday...kind of a "last huzzah" before both kids go to school. So off we went yesterday. We went early so that we could go through the childrens' area for free. Turns out that we found free parking as well. And since the zoo itself is free, we were already ahead of the game! Basically, this just meant we could spend more money on other things throughout the day.

Tremendous fun was had by all. But, more importantly, I noticed a few things about the zoo that struck me, and I shall share them with you, the lucky lucky reader of my drivel.

1. Wearing high heels to the zoo is pointless. Seriously. You're not doing yourself any favors, and I doubt you're going to find a date at the zoo, if that's your intent. I guess one of the lions might be looking for some action, but they don't really care about footwear.

2. I've come to the realization that you could make a game show category called "Zoo Animal Sound or Random Baby Sound?" The two sounds are almost indistinguishable at times.

3. If you are a giant-ass ostrich, and you try to eat a 1-foot-long feather but end up choking on it, do not try to eat the same feather (and continue to choke on it) for the next 15 minutes. That is why you are in the cage and we are watching and laughing at you.

4. Stingrays feel like wet pancakes.

5. Seeing seeing animals that are actually, officially called "Someli Asses" is just awesome. If you say "Someli" fast enough, it's even funnier.

6. People who try to feed napkins to giraffes should probably be contained in zoo cages labeled "complete morons".

And now I must steel myself for a nice, long run around the park. I was out of town and didn't watch whatever Syfy had to offer this week, but you can bet your Someli Ass that I will be watching next week. Syfy has promised to offer up "Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus"!! I am in no way missing that.

that's nobody's business but the Turks

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's International Fail Day!!

It is! "What??" you ask? You mean to tell me you didn't know it was International Fail Day? Honestly, neither did I! Although, to be perfectly clear, I think it only applies to me. So you can stop worrying, breathe a sigh of relief, and just be happy you're not me.

Oddly, I've quickly grown accustomed to being very productive at work--getting a lot accomplished, and feeling happy that I've done so. Sure, there have been days less productive than others, but I always get something useful done.

Today is much different. I've not actually fixed any problems, nor have I really accomplished anything. I worked on a couple of problems, to no avail, and I tried to construct a conference room PC, but I can't even get that done properly. So, I mean, I guess I've worked on some things, but nothing actually got accomplished.

This irritates me.

It feels like I could have just stayed home and watched TV all day and still gotten the same amount of work done. That activity may have been a bit more monotonous, but at least it wouldn't be quite so disappointing. I mean, when you watch TV all day, you expect to get nothing done. What irritates me more is that, while the weekend is quickly approaching, I'm constantly going to be frustrated until I get back into the office on Monday and actually do something.


By the hands of doom

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What to Blog About

So, with the new job comes less time. I knew this would be the case, but the tradeoff is more than worth it. This job is the polar opposite of my last job. Instead of coming in and doing a wee bit of work and spending the rest of the time pissing around, I find myself working most of the day with very little time to collect my thoughts. This really is a first. Even when I worked front-line phone support for Datastorm, I had plenty of time to relax, since most calls were handled quickly and easily. Those callers who had serious problems tended to ramble, and I was good at doing multiple things at once.

Now I find myself being so busy during the day that I feel starved for creative thought. But when I get home, I don't want to spend the time and energy on creative outlets. I like to spend time with my family and then, later at night, simply "turn off". I am guessing I'll find the balance at some point, but there is this urgent need to touch up a particular piece of writing and try to get it submitted. Unfortunately, I loathe editing, and I would have to actually edit two different documents--one in word, and one online. It's a pain.

The awesome summer weather we have been having has, unfortunately, been not-so-awesome to my garden. It has been a cool, wet summer. It's most certainly not pool weather. I can't complain, however, because I'm not a huge fan of summer, and the current weather patterns please me to no end. But they do not please the vegetables. The vegetables are displeased. The vegetables of spoken!

I should come out of it all with plenty of jalapenos. That's about it. There are a butt-ton of tomatoes on the vines, but none of them are growing very large, nor are they ripening. The couple of bell pepper plants that survived are just now producing, but the peppers are, thus far, quite small. The one brussels sprout plant that currently lives is going apeshit, but not producing anything but leaves. The only plant that seems to have absolutely no problem with the current conditions is the garlic. It likes wet, cool conditions, being a bulb. We'll see if it actually comes through.

I'm getting an itch. My current gaming rig is almost five years old and, while it still operates very swiftly (I build them to last), it is beginning to fall behind my baseline for adequate gaming capacity. I definitely got my money's worth out of it, and it's still a really nice PC. But, again, it's five years old. So I'm starting the search for new computer parts. Many of them can be purchased piecemeal--the case and power supply, for example. I have an extra, pretty good sound card as well. So if I do as I did last time, and purchase one component every so often, then it will hurt less when I need to buy the crucial components. I'm literally salivating at what's out there, though, because I'm still running off a single-core AMD 2.0 GHz running SATA1 hard drives!

They came from the north, and they came from the south

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ha, I Forgot the Title

At this moment, there seems to be a plethora of tiny things going on, but nothing horribly major. I feel like the fleas of life are all biting at me, demanding my attention. We're preparing for G's return to school, and T's first year of preschool. And, believe me, we're all ready for it. I imagine us all as rabid dogs, waiting to leap upon a piece of raw meat labeled "school." Yes, I definitely think we are all ready for school to start up again. Work has been incredibly busy for me, and probably will keep up the same pace for a while, yet.

GenCon has come and gone. I was trying to be on the "every other year" plan but decided not to attend this year either. Hopefully next year! Some friends and I got together and did some RPG gaming to try to make up for missing the convention. It wasn't as good as actually being there, but it was fun as hell. My St. Louis group of friends is vastly different from any of the friends I have in town. When it comes to gaming, I tend toward the St. Louis group mindset. We don't take games too seriously--we joke and laugh, but we also really get into the games. We don't generally care who wins, either. As a result, we have a phenomenal time, no matter what we're playing. A good time was had by all!

We played some 4e D&D. This was my first experience playing 4e. I'm a staunch 3.5 supporter. Sure, it has its problems, but they've never been very big. So 4e...it's fun. It's not D&D, though. It's a boardgame made from a videogame. It just felt...foreign, somehow. It was like I was eating something I was told was a Hot Wing, but it was really a Hot Wing-flavored cat turd. Maybe not a turd...maybe a piece of celery instead. Anyway, the game itself was much more fun than the system. It was titled "That's so Ravenloft".

And we also played Trail of Cthulhu. Cthulhu is always fun to play, since it's more "roleplaying" and very little "rollplaying". And this session didn't disappoint. In fact, it went way beyond expectations with some special tie-in's to [message redacted to eliminate spoilers]. Fanfreakingtastic. It kept the mood perfectly and had all of the players rivited. Total awesome.

Some people hate Mondays. I've always known that Sundays were possibly my least favorite day of the week. I'm not really sure why. I tend to be a bit cranky on Sundays. I think, traditionally, it is because they're always seemed a bit boring. These days, however, they tend to be the most turbulent day of the week. See, we never really know how G is going to behave. Sometimes she's perfectly good. Sometimes she's very difficult. But, most of the time, she's both. So Sundays can be just all around unpleasant. I guess, at least, there's football. :D

I din't watch no SyFy movie this week because I was all up in the gaming, yo. But I'm sure the movie was top-knotch...seriously.

Those barricades can only hold for so long

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Football, Huzzah!

Today is the Hall of Fame Game. It's the first NFL game of the season. Sure, it's preseason, so it really can't be considered real football by any stretch of the imagination. More often than not, it's a bunch of scrubs bouncing around like BB's in a bathtub, dropping the ball and getting decapitated, but it's football!! The drought is over, the pads are on, and the season will start soon enough.

So I finally bit the bullet...I jumped on the bandwagon yesterday and started a Facebook page. I'm still not really sure why I did this. Mostly, I think, it was to make suSo.re I can keep in touch with the billions of friends that have Facebook and post updates that way. I'm not that much of a social networking person but, hopefully, this will allow me to keep in the loop better. I don't plan on updating a whole lot or on a regular basis. I generally tend to have better things to do, like watching grass grow or watching paint dry.

Not much else to say, so we move on...

Syfy Saturday Presents: Infestation
So...giant bugs. It's tough to go wrong with giant bugs. Well, I guess if you were to make a movie about giant ladybugs, it would fail. But, otherwise, WIN!

The movie stars nobody you would have heard of, but in this case, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It centers around Cooper, an office geek who has the social skills of a retarded hamster. Basically, it's a completely normal day until there is an ear-piercing shriek, and Cooper later wakes up to find everyone has been put to sleep and cocooned. He spends some time rescuing people as well as watching some people get munched by bugs, and the party really gets going.

The characters themselves are awesome. You've got the mute, supposedly mentally slow guy, the cold, supposedly unfeeling love interest, the military father, the batshit insane weathergirl, and many more! Act now and we'll throw in a free giant bug! Though I really still have questions as to why the weathergirl was crazy...maybe she just snapped because of all that was going on? But that was really the only hangup I had.

The movie was totally enjoyable--cheesy, retarded, and full of giant bug goodness. It ranks up there as one of my all-time favorites.

So here are the Drive-In Totals:
Crazy weathergirls: 1
Human-hybrid bugs: 4
Dog-hybrid bugs: 1
Naked boobs: 2
Bug claw-fu
Bug juice
People juice

5 stars

They could care less

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Warped. Definitely Warped

Below is a perfect example of what I find absolutely hilarious. No, I definitely didn't come up with it or take the picture. But a picture like this is something that keeps me laughing all freaking day! Sometimes into the night...usually those times, I end up laughing in bed with the lights off, an irritated (or slightly amused) wife next to me.
Again, I had nothing to do with this picture. And I would have just linked to it if it would've worked, but it didn't, so I didn't link to it. So, nya.

I'm not going to rant about how much I a) loathe August, b) love football and c) look forward to my favorite holiday, Halloween. I feel like I already do this way too much. I'm sick, yes. But I also enjoy watching little previews of upcoming TV shows, and betting on which ones will be canceled!

So onto...

SyFy Pictures Presents...er...um...yeah, we were out of town this week so nobody watched it. But wait, I'll give you my version of it! Here's what probably happened...

Two hapless people are wandering around, they unearth a hideous, ancient evil that runs amock. The military can't stop it because bullets are useless. It turns out, the least likely reject in the nearest town either a) has the power to stop it somehow or b) has found the one object that stops it. Either way, the military will probably throw lots of bombs at it.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Feel the calling of a miracle

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Totally Randomatic

Here is one of my least favorite commercials.

Here is one of my favorite commercials.

One has a horrid song. The other has a talking dog. Yeah, I'm shallow. Suck it. But that song...it's just so...suck. Actually, I've heard the original and ther commercial makers must have butchered it because, while it still sucks donkey nuts, it sounds a bit better on its own.

Just thought I'd throw that out there. You know, because it was on my mind and stuff. Honestly, that's about all that's on my mind. I can't seem to must a worthwhile thought at the moment.

Except that I think that my Guitar Hero controller is going bad...again. Ugh.

So we'll continue with...

SyFy Saturday Presents: Malibu Shark Attack

I don't really know where to begin with this one. It stars no one and was probably written and directed by no one. Think "Baywatch colliding with a train carrying sewage and dead hookers." It's a conundrum because I'm not sure which part of that is the worst--the Baywatch part, the sewage part, or the dead hookers part...but it's probably Baywatch. Seriously, my dogs have dug up cooler things in the backyard.

We've seen it before--one or more sharks terrorize a beach filled with retarded but tasty humans. Sharks attack, sharks eat, then the humans fight back somehow and the poor sharks are decimated. Then all is well in beachland again. Is this one of those movies? Well, it's on SyFy; you take a guess. But if you're not sure, then the answer is "Yes". Except that SyFy adds an underwater earthquake, a tsunami, and supersharks. What more could any one person want?

So there's this underwater earthquake, right? And it's all "rumble rumble...rumble rumble." And this underwater earthquake produces a tsunami that's all like "I'm gonna flood the beach, yo!" And the earthquake is all spitting supersharks out of the ocean and the supersharks are all like "I'm hungry, dude. There's a beach ahead, so you know what that means, right? Smorgasboard!!"

So, yeah...the earthquake produces a tsunami which floods the California coast, allowing the sharks to go apeshit all over the place. So you would think this might mean sharks are swimming around downtown, shopping at boutiques, cruising the streets, and eating at cafes. Nope. They stick to the coast. The reason? Read further.

In theory, this doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it's not, actually. But it's implemented with all the skill and precision of a feral monkey trying to perform a colonoscopy with a bowling ball.

Why do the sharks stick to the coast? Well, the food is easy to obtain when every character in the movie couldn't poor piss out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel! Literally, half the cast essentially threw themselves at the sharks. "Wait! They won't expect us to just jump in their mouths! It'll confuse them!" One chick was all "we need to preserve these sharks! They're supposed to be extinct!!" Guess who's the first main character to die? Bingo...the bimbo!

Normally, movies like this start out promising and then eventually derail and spiral down the proverbial toilet and into the septic tank where they are left to rot until they're picked up by the SyFy network...except this one started there!!

Stupid lifeguards and victims aside, there are plenty of other problems, like the fact that it takes approximately 10 freaking minutes for a chainsaw to cut through a shark. I should also mention the fact that, in a building that is currently under construction, there are apparently no stairs at all! Maybe it's some new age project where, to get to a different floor, you have to think yourself there. If that's the case, none of these people could have thought themselves out of the bloody bathroom to begin with.

Also, the so-called "tsunami" looked to be about three feet high and made of crappy CGI--like some intern sneezed and accidentally hit some random keys on the computer and said "Look! I made this!" Also, it miraculously flooded the coast with about 30 feet of water, but didn't engulf or destroy any buildings...not even a sand castle!

We may as well get to the Drive-in Totals:
Dismembered limbs: 2
Really bad ideas: I lost count
Poorly stocked emergency supplies: 1
Indestructable lifeguard towers: 1
Really stupid people: The whole cast...except the sharks. They were pretty bright, rivalling the intelligence of your average chatroom user
Gas-powered circular saw-fu

2 stars. Mostly because, while I expected it to be bad, I expected it to be at least entertaining in a comedic way, and it wasn't even that. Fail.

Lead me on into the door

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Crazy Night

I take it for granted every night. And I never notice anything until the out of the ordinary happens. Just like you don't really feel thankful you have both feet until suddenly a train runs them over, causing you to lament the fact that you lost a game of "Chicken" with an inanimate object.

Normally, I go to sleep and maybe wake up once or twice during the night but quickly fall back asleep. Then I wake up in the morning, wishing I had about five more hours to sleep. Once I find out how to incorporate sleep into my job, I'm totally there. But I digress.

Last night was just plain batshit weird. T woke up last night, wide awake, for about an hour. She went to the bathroom (some of which I had to clean up) and wanted a drink. But then she stayed awake for a while longer. She is normally a very good sleeper--out like a light five minutes after we put her down and doesn't wake up until the morning.

G fell out of bed--something she hasn't done for years. T fell out of bed a couple of weeks ago...also something she doesn't normally do. Nevertheless, it was odd. Then K couldn't sleep for most of the rest of the night after everyone else woke up.

I also woke up several times during the night--times that had nothing to do with kids. After I dealt with T's bathroom break, I fell back asleep almost instantly and dreamt that the dog had peed on the floor and the kitchen sink was overflowing. And then I woke up and truly believed that it had all happened. The rest of the night was spent dreaming about a zombie invasion. Even when I woke up briefly and fell back asleep, the dream continued. I guess the times spent awake were commercials?

At one point in the dream I was wrestling with a zombie and told a dude nearby to shoot the zombie. He didn't want to because "shooting zombies is getting tiresome." What a dick.

Loaded I will walk alone

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All you need is...a really badass space flight sim, pew pew pew?

I have lots of videogames I can play. I've got a few titles on my Xbox as well as a few on my PC that I have yet to either touch or play to my own satisfaction. Some are really long games and I'm taking a break (Fallout3) and others are just really simple, almost children's games (Lego Star Wars). Still others don't really have an end (Team Fortress 2). When I look at all these games I have around to play, I continuously notice a genre that is missing.

Space Sims. Gone are the days of the classic Wing Commander series or the X-Wing and TIE-Fighter series. So what am I to turn to so that I can get my spacey, flying fix? (Please note that I am avoiding all references to using a joystick...it's taking great restraint, but I'm doing it.)

I long to fly through the vacuum of space, shooting everything that moves and asking questions later--lauching barrages of missiles and just generally blowing shit up. And the absence of these games is no recent development--I haven't seen a space sim released in years...many many painful, vacuous years.

Of course now all of the games I once loved aren't really playable in Windows XP. Sure, I can get DosBox and jury rig them...and I just might. But I'm looking for something new...not something 90's. Gimme, dammit! I don't even really care about plot...just give me some flying action and I might be happy! These days it's all MMORPGs, I think. Heck, I might actually try out an MMORPG that was based around a space sim. I doubt I'd have the time to play it regularly or the money to pay for it regularly, but I might try it for a lark. But, alas...nothing.

On a related note, have you seen the video for the new Mechwarrior? If the game is truly as good as this trailer, I'm totally in. Seriously, that game looks good enough to eat! Well, if steel and explosive bits are the kinds of things your into, that is. The last one I played was Mechwarrior 4, I think, and it was a lot of fun. But that was also 7 or 8 years ago? Maybe longer? It's about time a new one came along. I was, however, never quite 100% happy with the weapon firing schemes they had on the older iterations. So hopefully this new one (which has no publisher yet...hopefully soon) will remedy that for me. I think it was just personal taste. And since I now have a joystick with about a billion buttons, it shouldn't be a problem, as long as I can remember which button does what. The words "premature ejection" come to mind.

Thus far, my game list includes Halo: ODST (which I've preordered), Starcraft II, Diablo III, and probably Mechwarrior and Bioshock II. There are several games that I will most likely pick up on the cheap, but they have to get cheap in order for me to do that. And they will...in due time.

There's a tease

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reinventing the Wheel

Recently, I was given a copy of "Wheelman" for the Xbox 360. This is a driving game in which you are a CIA agent who looks like (and is voiced by) Vin Diesel. You are tasked with...no, it's your job to...um...actually, I don't really know. I'm certain that you have an overarching goal that will be reached at the end of the game, I just have no idea what the hell it actually is.

So, mostly, I just drive around Barcelona, accepting missions and blowing shit up. Basically, if you've played any of the Burnout games, it's a lot like that except there are a few key differences.

First of all, someone thought Vin Diesel would be great for this game. As far as I'm concerned, they could have had Lisa Simpson voicing the main character and I would not have cared. Mostly this is because I haven't really been paying much attention to the cutscenes, since I already established that I have no idea what is actually going on in the game.

Yes, there are guns. You can lean out your car and shoot your gun while driving. Or you can use a special aiming mode where you simply shoot through your own windshield at other cars. You can drive any variety of automobile--from a semi to a motorcycle (or, even more humorously, a scooter!). also, you can use "vehicle melee" attacks, which are a fancy way of saying "ram the other guy so far into oblivion so that even his mother feels it, and several kittens cry." You can also airjack cars which means you basically jump from one vehicle to the next in a stunning display of Batman'esque manuevers, only without the nipples on the costume.

There are plenty of side missions to keep you occupied. They range from your basic "Rampage" (a.k.a. "Trash the Entire City") to "Made to Order" where you airjack one or more cars and take them back to a certain spot. These I find to be much more fun than the actual plot-related missions. Quit talking so much and let me blow shit up, already. If you rank high enough in any of these missions, you get bonuses like upgraded vehicle toughness or free valet parking at your local crime lord's estate.

The game is not without its flaws--the plot being one of them. The controls can sometimes be a little loose and tough to control and I still have not yet gotten used to drifting around corners yet. This is not a game I traditionally would have bought but since it didn't cost me anything, I can't complain. All in all, I'd probably give it a "B".

Next review:

SyFy Pictures Presents: "Sand Serpents"

Oh wow...this movie had "standard SyFy movie formula written all over it." It stars all your favorite celebrities like..."that one dude" and "that chick with the hair" and...yeah, who am I kidding? The cast is riddled with a bunch of nobodies who were hoping that this movie would be their big break. Guess what? It's not!

I know nothing about Army ranks and units, so I'm can't adequately use Army terms. You'll have to bear with me. So this Army unit is in Afghanistan, trying to kill lots of Taliban dudes and they get captured. Then the Taliban dudes mysteriously disappear, leaving the Army dudes to escape on their own, having no idea what happened but suspecting the Taliban dudes were eaten by something (the gigantic burp didn't give it away, of course).

The short of it is that a Taliban blast awoke these gigantic sand worms from deep beneath the surface and now they're hungry or pissed off or bored or something. All I know is, I kept waiting for a "Dune" or "Tremors" reference and never got one. Boooooo!

The movie is actually rather entertaining and follows SyFy's "army goes in and finds something unexpected" formula rather closely. Bullets obviously do no good against the worms (big surprise) and, in the end, they have to lob explosives at the worms.

There are several holes in the movie, the biggest of which was when the Afghani child runs out in front of the Army's stolen truck, causing it to flip. She was trying to stop them from driving down the stretch of road that was mined. Yet, later, they drive down that same stretch of road! Also, why aren't any of these worms setting off mines? I'm sure that would help the situation a bit. Maybe the mines were set to "don't kill worms".

Anyway, the movie is predictable, the Army guys are whiny and unlikeable (I include the chicks in this group as well) and the Taliban dudes are stupid and evil. Also, with all the gunplay in this movie, it's astounding that nobody can hit the broad side of a barn...er...worm. They all may as well be playing Laser Tag.

Here are your Drive-In Totals:
Full-body chomping: Lots
People actually shot: 2
Whining: Constant
Choppers yoinked from the sky: 1
"Graboids" jokes made by me: several

3 1/2 stars

He can manipulate the action

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Settling In

Life is finally calming down. Summer is in full swing so things like trips to the pool and swim lessons are quite plentiful. These days, I feel like a fish--a big, pruny fish. But I enjoy swimming, so I don't mind unless the water is cold. Then I mind. A lot.

This is the first year that I am not in the pool with one or both of the girls for swim lessons. It makes me a little sad. Even though swim lessons were getting a bit tedious, doing the same things over and over, year after year, it is still something that I enjoyed. It was good interaction with both daughters. Now I can sit and watch while reading or using the ol' iPhone. Soon, the only thing I'll be good for is hunting down lousy ex-boyfriends and giving them the business.

So, yeah. The new job is going very well. I'm settling into the duties and the atmosphere, taking it in like a fine wine...or a crappy wine. Hey, I don't profess to know the difference. But, with work, I don't have to take a breathalizer, so it's all good. I'm busier at work now than I probably have ever been, but my time is still not 100% taken every day. Sometimes I wish it was, sometimes not. But it seems to be a really good balance. I doubt I'll ever find the "perfect job", if one actually exists. But I think I can come close. I've never been sure what it is I actually enjoy doing for a "job". Even playing videogames as a QA person would get tedious.

Hopefully, this means that I can get back into writing. I've got a story primed for solicitation but I need to do a bit of editing still. And I really drop the ball when it comes to editing. Editing is like pulling one's intestines out their nose and then replacing them with rubbing alcohol. I hate it. But it's necessary, unlike the intestine and nose operation...which is purely optional surgery, should you want it. If this sounds appealing, I know a guy who knows a guy.

I had a funny idea yesterday. At least, I thought it was funny...in a very nerdy, "only 20% of the world would get this" sort of way. I thought of a huge Broadway production called "Chatroom: The Musical". Seriously...I think it'd be hilarious. Imagine people sitting at computers, typing (and talking as they type so everyone knows what they're doing). And then there would be people dressed up as these users' usernames or avatars (my representation would be a raw steak with a pointy sword). Every so often, someone acting as a 10-year-old kid would run across the stage yelling "I LIKE PIE!" or "PENISPENISPENIS!" See? I told you...at least I found it hilarious.

Yeah, well, screw you.

So I drew a new face and I laughed

Monday, July 6, 2009

The HOA, Redux

I am pleased to announce that I have officially resigned from the Board of Directors for my Homeowners Association. Doing so is akin to cutting off a vicious parasite from your own body--one that you somehow thought may be beneficial at first but, as it turns out, it exists solely to make your life miserable. But I have cast off that parasite now and feel a weight lifted from my shoulders--a weight that, for a while, I didn't even know I was carrying. But that could explain the neck and shoulder pain, the nervous twitch, the inexplicable diseases and possibly the swine flu...but I'm not ready to take the blame for that one just yet.

It became apparent that the time to exit was quickly approaching. I spoke of this once before. It has since been resolved but not necessarily in the best way possible. See, once upon a time, this lady built a rail in her front yard along with a sidewalk. None of these was actually approved by the HOA board (including me)--in fact, nobody knew about them until they were built.

Needless to say, none of this went down well with many neighbors. Complaints were filed and followed up on, lawyers were consulted, there was crying and yelling on doorsteps, and even a few flaming bags of poop were involved (okay, that last one is a fabrication, but flaming bags of poop are really funny, trust me). In the end, this lady got to keep her rail and her sidewalk and the HOA spend a little over $2,000 on a lawyer to investigate the whole complaint which, of course, this lady mentioned as being a waste of money etc.

Anyway, the last meeting/picnic for the neighborhood was quite the 3-ring circus, with accusations flying and arguments abound. I, as president, sat back and watched the sparks fly for a while until I felt everyone had let fly their opinion, then cut it short and moved on. The point being, there was only one person at that meeting on this lady's side (besides her...oh, and her husband...so three out of, um, 30 or so?)

The irony is that this lady, through proxy votes, a sob story, and possibly bribes or threats (which I may have just made up, and probably did) won a spot on the Board of Directors. I know that nobody at the meeting voted for her besides herself, her husband, and the other lady in favor of her...I know this for a fact because I saw the vote tallies. So, yeah, she's now on the board so we'll see just how things are handled.

One thing's for sure--I'm tempted to start filing complaints directly to her just to give her a taste of what it's like. Of course, this would screw over a lot of people, so I'm not really willing to do that. But hopefully she'll have as bad a time on the Board as I did. The good news is that the other two people on the board are vehemently against her, so I doubt, when it comes down to a vote, she'll win any headway.

There was no Scifi movie this weekend, due to their July 4th Twilight Zone marathon (those two things naturally go great together, right?). I believe there is one next week, however, so I'm primed for some awfulness!

But I ain't got wings

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Faily McFail

So, a couple of weeks ago, this chick was canvassing the neighborhood for CenturyTel, offering to bundle our phone, Internet, and TV together for one magically low price!

"Wow!" I said, "I truly hate Mediacom's (our current provider) practices, the way they raise rates and remove channels at the same time! I'd love to hear about your deal! What? It costs less? I get more channels? AND I get a DVR? And my Internet will be just as fast? And...again...it costs less???"
K came home and got the information.

"Sign us up!" we shouted, high to the heavens, happy to be able to give Mediacom the virtual finger. Now, if there was actually a way to give them the finger and not change companies, I might have just done that. But, meh. I liked this whole "Microsoft Digital TV" idea...more channels and a DVR for less. I don't give a flying greasy rodent's derrier what company supplies me with the bits and bytes, so long as I can adequately outsnipe the other bastard in TF2. I mean, I'm badass and all, but I can't do much with a high ping time.

So we set up an appointment for yesterday for all this and bid the traveling technology chick farewell.

Then we get a call. A technician had come out and determined that we were too far out and could not get the digital television. CenturyTel told us they would call us back.

So yesterday comes and goes...no phone call, no person coming to the house. Me, in my infinite laziness and "fuck them" attitude, I tell K to just wait for them to call or come out. I don't see why we should have to expend our energy because they are just two brain cells higher than a primate.

So I come home for lunch and notice a CenturyTel thingy hanging on our door. "Service is active" it says. What? How can the service be active? Nobody even came into our house to set anything up! Oh, I get it! It's active because they say it is. Okay, then. I'm fucking rich!

Dammit, that doesn't work! And I don't know who Rich is anyway. (rimshot)

So K calls and basically calls off the whole deal, telling them that it's stupid for us to pay two days of Internet access we didn't...nay...couldn't use, especially since nobody even showed up yesterday to set it up! I know some things in life aren't tangible, but why should we pay for yesterday when they didn't even show up until today? And they never even supplied us with any actual equipment!

So, yeah, we basically told them that they need to get their facts straight before they waste time and money sending out people to sell "theoretically existing services", then telling people CenturyTel can't actually deliver said products. We told them we are not interested, but that we want to keep our basic phone service, which we've had through CenturyTel since they bought out whatever loser had our phone service prior.

And, predictably so, our phone service has been somehow turned off.

Fucking geniuses.

Also, I left them a nasty complaint on their website--as nasty as 500 characters would allow.

For you to return into my life

Monday, June 29, 2009

Technology has me in its clutches

So, to most people who know me, my love for technology is apparent. No, I am not usually an early-adopter of bleeding edge gadgets, but I do tend to drool over them from time to time. I enjoy browsing geekologie and engadget and checking out the cool things they offer. If I had the chance to install a cybernetic eyelash in myself, I'd probably do it.

For example, I now carry my iPhone when I run and it logs all sorts of useful information for me, which I can then view on the web. Here is an example. It's not real clear, but it basically shows me every path I took, how many feet I ascended, calories burned, pace per mile, average pace, distance, what I had for dinner...well, basically everything. I love it!

So it's not surprise that I'm currently in love with my iPhone. It has taken me t0 new heights of geekiness that even I could not have fathomed in the depth of my own twisted imagination, where dogs and cats live together. I don't know how much of my iPhone is actually useful, but it gets used. The other day I went looking at blenders. Our supposedly "good quality" blender apparently started sending up smoke signals (yes, real smoke) and we were too afraid to plug it back in to use it.

Anyhoo, I'm at the store looking at them, not wanting to get a total junker but also not wanting to spend millions of dollars on a blender. "Aha!" I think to myself. "I can use this iPhone thingy to find user reviews of these blenders!" And so it was done. I told this story to K and she gave me the requisite eye roll...to which I am extremely accustomed--I think the first one I got was when I showed her my very first network. It was all downhill from there. If I had footage of all the eyerolls, I'd probably have a really long montage. All I'd need to do is find some hilarious music. Yakkety Sax, maybe.

Anyway, onto bigger and better things...

Scifi Pictures Presents "Mutant Chronicles"

If I am correct, then this is Scifi's attempt to create a movie that is almost solely for DVD and Blu-Ray channels. Sure, they showed it on their own network but, directly after the movie ended, they had an ad for it and announced it was availalbe in both formats. More on this later.

So, anyway, this movie stars Ron Perlman and, to my surprise, John Malkovich. Yes...John F'ing Malkovich. "What the hell is John F'ing Malkovich doing in a Scifi movie?" you ask? That's a really f'ing good question. I have no answer for you. But he's following in the footsteps of Isabella Rosselini and Christopher Lee. So why, you ask, do I say that? Both Isabella and Christopher were silly enough to be in a Scifi movie...and they also both died off very quickly. I assume it must have been in their contracts: "Okay, I'll do your crappy-ass movie because my son/nephew/dog works at your company. But you have to promise me you'll kill off my character quickly."

And, thus, Malkovich is off'd rather quickly. Hopefully he quickly left the set to go on and do good movies. But that's neither here nor there.

This movie is set in an anachronistic world--the year is 2707 (if I recall correctly) and five corporations own the world. Of course, these corporations are fighting each other in a style that looks very World War II'ish, but they have bigass weapons and even bigger cannons. Oh, and man has also colonized other planets. All this and they can't spare the money on attire other than WWII-era junk. Okely dokely.

So the plot...giant machine fell from space and created savage mutants out of dead and dying people. Basically, this is what I call "The High School Machine." It turns normally sane individuals into lunatics. The only difference is that the mutants do less foolish things than highschoolers, for the most part. So, yeah, these religious dudes work real hard to seal up the machine under the ground, never to be reopened again...

...That is, until these bozos fighting this silly war let loose with this giant-ass cannon and accidentally break the seal. Then the mutants are free once again to romp and frolic in blood and gore, happily eviscerating everyone in sight and dragging them back to become one of their own. I also think there was a tea party involved, but I might have also fallen asleep.

A plan is hatched that involves an ancient device--you guessed it, a bomb-- and an elite cadre of dumbasses...er...soldiers is chosen to sneak in and blow the place up, therefore handing the asses of the mutants to said mutants. Then there might be some ice cream. The plan goes horribly wrong and people make lots of stupid decisions. Some things happen that don't make a whole lot of sense and then...wait...the movie is still on? Scifi movies only last two hours, but this one is still on?

K lost interest at the two hour mark but I was determined to see how long the movie would continue. Our Internet access was acting very slow so I couldn't check the running time...no, I had to sit and watch the whole damn thing. I'll never forgive my ISP for that. Never. When all was said and done, it clocked in at two hours and thirty minutes...prime for DVD and Blu-Ray. But it really wasn't a very good movie to begin with. In fact, it took just under an hour for anything real to happen, other than a pointless battle at the beginning. So let's just get to the

Drive-In Totals:
Pointless side excursions: 2
Overwhelming religious overtones: The whole damn movie
Hot chick soldiers: 2
Hot chick soldiers living at the end of the movie: 0
Hitler look-alikes: 1/2
Mutant claw-fu
Taste sensations

2 1/2 stars

It can happen to you