Friday, October 31, 2008

Just in time for Halloween....

hee hee

Good people, bad shit

Mom called me yesterday and said that Pam Shouse, who used to live across the road (notice I said, "road" and not "street"...that's the difference between farm kids and city kids) from Angi was in an accident yesterday. Apparently, she drives a school bus for MEHS, and a dump truck blew through a stop sign and smashed into the bus. I guess some kids were still on the bus and were hurt, also. Pam ran my 4-H club growing up, and her and her hub were some of the nicest people you could know.

It happened on the road I grew up on, and let me tell you, I saw so many people run stop signs across that road that I felt like I was running the gauntlet every time I drove it. The worst was when the corn was up, and every intersection was blind. The rest of the year, you could at least see if there was a car that looked like it wasn't going to stop and do something about it.

Mom said she was in critical condition. This comes on the tail of one of our high school teachers burning up in a fire. Sara's b-i-l was one of the first responders on the scene and apparently found his body. Mr. Gumerlock was a riot. His teaching methods were outdated, but he was a nice old man. I just remember him telling the boys to "never tell your girl she's amorphous, instead, tell her she's voluptuous."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vaseline saved my life

I'm home. And exhausted.

I love Chicago, and I had a blast hanging with Sara most nights, but damn am I happy to be home. I woke up at 3am, and after laying in bed for an hour, I decide to just get up and go fly standby for the 7:30am flight. I then promptly crashed for 4 hours when I got home. I feel slightly more human now, and I'm trying to get myself in the mood for handing out candy tonight. I think I might break out my electric blanket to cover myself on the porch.

It was freezing when I left the airport. And I thought Chicago was cold this week. Ugh. But I guess the next week is supposed to be sunny and near 70, which will be a nice last hurrah before the holiday season kicks in.

Traveling is over until next spring, thankfully. And I'm looking forward to the holidays now that this trip is over. Tonight is beggar's night, and tomorrow, me, Amy, and Tanya are going out.

I'm still kind of fried, so I'm going to log off and go lay on the couch, waiting for my pizza to be delivered.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm headed to Chicago tomorrow, and I don't get back till Thursday. I likely won't have time to lurk around in the Hilton's business center, so I'll see you all when I get back. Peace out!


Current mood: amused

I've been a fan of for years now. They never fail to make me laugh out loud. Their anti-Halloween "Holyweener" campaign right now is cracking me up.

My favorites:

Will Jesus Sling Little Children Into Hell For Celebrating Halloween?
"You bet He will!"

Turn Halloween Into a Fun Filled Night of Wiccan Hunting!

Holy Ghost Halloween Costumes

Find Out How Movies Like "Scooby Doo" Are Turning Kids On to the Occult

Organize a Book Burning

And for those of you who take life WAY too seriously, this site is a satire. It's a joke. It's poking fun at the semi-retarded fundie point of view.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Organic Food Offers Little More Than Peace of Mind

Jami Nelson always tried to eat healthy and take good care of her body, so she was stunned to learn she had breast cancer at the age of 25.

Her cancer now in remission, the 26-year-old nurse is much more careful about what she eats. Nelson said she chooses only organic milk and meat despite their higher cost because of the way they are produced, without antibiotics and added hormones.

Organics give her peace of mind, and Nelson is willing to pay more to get it. But some experts say that's all she'll get — that there's nothing healthier or better about organic food.

Alex Avery, director of research and education for the Hudson Institute‘s Center for Global Food Issues and author of “The Truth About Organics,” said there are several misconceptions about organic food that make people believe it is healthier and better for the environment.

‘’It’s a total con,” said Avery, a plant scientist by training. "There is not a shred of science" to back up claims that organic is safer or more nutritious, he said.

To display the “USDA Organic” seal, a product must be produced and processed according to USDA standards, and at least 95 percent of its ingredients must be organically produced. That means growers can’t use most conventional chemical pesticides, petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Animals must be fed organic feed, cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones and must have access to the outdoors. Genetic engineering and ionizing radiation also are prohibited.

But standards for labeling organically-produced agricultural products don't address food safety or nutrition, just how the food is grown.

Organic food is more likely to carry pathogenic bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli, because of the type of fertilizer that organic farmers use, Avery said. He also said that some of the natural pesticides used in organic farming are quite toxic.

For example, organic farmers are allowed to treat fungal diseases with copper solutions and remain within guidelines. Copper, which is toxic, is the 18th most used pesticide in the U.S. and stays in the soil forever, unlike modern biodegradable pesticides.

Avery singles out organic milk in particular as being no better, saying labs have not found “one detectable difference whatsoever.” Despite this, he said, his wife is the only woman in her circle of mothers with young children who serves her kids conventional milk.

Avery said that not only isn't organic always healthier for consumers, its perception of being friendlier for the environment isn’t always true, too. Although many organic crops require less energy in terms of fertilizer in production, conventional farms can produce more food and use less energy.

But Holly Givens, spokeswoman for the Organic Trade Association, which represents the $17 billion organic industry in North America and has 1,700 member businesses, said that there are real benefits to choosing organic options.

“Many consumers see a link between agricultural practices and the health of the earth, and how those systems are interconnected with human health,” Givens said. For example, organic practices she said help protect water supplies and counter the effects of global warming by keeping carbon in the soil. Healthwise, she said, consumers avoid pesticide residue and toxic chemicals.

“They see organic products as a solution, not as part of the problem,” Givens said. “Organic fits in with the desire to lead a more healthful life.”

The jury is still out on whether organic is safer or more nutritious.

Chris Kilham, a self-described medicine hunter who travels the world in search of traditional, plant-based medicines, said smaller studies show certified organic food to be more nutritious and contain more Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other antioxidants.

“We know with absolute certainty that organic foods are more nutritious,” Kilham said. “Nobody can find any studies that show less nutrition.”

For nutritionists, such as the Mayo Clinic’s Jennifer Nelson, the decision for people to eat organic is a personal one.

Nelson said organic isn’t better or worse. “It means it’s just as good.”

She warns consumers that produce isn't safer if its organic or conventional when it comes to foodborne illnesses: Organic foods, despite some misconceptions, still must be cleaned properly and cooked appropriately. Nor is it necessarily healthier if the food is cooked or processed in an unhealthy way (think organic potato chips).

Givens concedes that certified organic labeling does not necessarily mean the food is safer, but she does believe that the healthy soil associated with organic food leads to healthier plants and healthier livestock.

As for safety, Givens said there have been no studies comparing the prevalence of foodborne illnesses in organic versus conventionally grown food.

But the numbers show that despite these unknowns, the popularity of organic food has been on the rise. According to Packaged Facts, an industry research firm, estimates of 2008 sales of natural and organic food and beverages will continue at a double-digit growth rate to reach $32.9 billion, despite a faltering economy.

“A lot of people will give up almost anything before they give their kids food they don’t feel comfortable with,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog group. “Organic food is a bargain when you look at the total impact on environment and health.”

Despite his concerns, even Avery concedes that organic food is here to stay. He’s cut back to part-time at the institute.

“There's no money in being on the common sense side against a very popular bandwagon,” he said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Droll house projects...

Not much going on that's terribly exciting. I'm working on getting my Halloween costume done before I leave Saturday. I'll be in Chicago Saturday-Thursday next week. I'm not terribly excited about going other than I'll get to spend some time with Sara & Joe. That'll be fun.

I spent several hours doing yard work on Sunday, and I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather just chop down all the damn trees around my house and erect a circus tent over the house for shade instead. It would result in far less raking and leaf blowing and would be quite decorative. Also, leaf blowers work much better if your grass is short. So I mowed the lawn in the back one last time for the year, I hope.

I cleaned out the garage last night, so I can start parking my car in there again. Tonight's supposed to be the first hard frost of the season, and I hate scraping windows. That and a friend is helping me pick up my new bathtub on Friday, and I need somewhere to put it and still have room to park my car until we actually finish the bathroom this December.

I hauled all the leaves I bagged Sunday and the yard debris from the flippin' hurricane over to the Kettering yard debris center. There's another pile I blew/raked to the curb for pick-up. Most people just put them in the street at the curb, but there wouldn't be anywhere to park in front of the house if I put them ALL up there. Hopefully, they'll pick up this week on schedule.

I figured I'd go ahead and mow the front law despite there not being a whole lot of growing going on with this dry spell. But as I concluded it's easier to get crap off the lawn when the grass is short, I figured I'd mow the front one last time, too.

My trees have barely even begun to drop their leaves, and I dread it when they really let go. Last year, I just mulched the bitches, and my neighbors all thought I was insane. But I really didn't care. But last year, I also didn't know we had three rounds of leaf pick-up by the city, or I'd have made more of an effort.

Well, rather than drone on further about the droll house projects I'm working on, I'll sign off.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I swear to god, CNN has made it an art to take the most unflattering pictures of Bush talking and post them on the front page for the main article.

I couldn't help myself today:

Caption your own here and share!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Best news I've heard all day...

Madonna and Ritchie to divorce.

Maybe now, he'll make a decent movie again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Soon, you may have no reason at all to even have cable...

Channel blackouts may not be over
Time Warner balking at paying broadcasters more to retransmit signal.

By Jim DeBrosse

Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DAYTON — More station blackouts may be looming for cable subscribers here and across the country, industry experts warn.

The recent loss of LIN TV stations, including Dayton's WDTN-TV Channel 2, from Time Warner Cable's lineup is only the latest skirmish between cable operators and television stations that want money for allowing cable operators to retransmit their programming.

In coming months, Time Warner will enter negotiations with Univision, Fox, Discovery and parts of NBC, according to Pali Research analyst Rich Greenfield. And as advertising revenue slumps, TV stations are looking to bump up their consent fees.

Cable companies insist they shouldn't have to pay to retransmit channels their subscribers can get free with an antenna. They say federal regulations that grant regional monopolies to TV networks give broadcasters an unfair advantage in negotiations.

Broadcasters argue they provide programming that cable companies simply resell to their subscribers. "To me, it's no different than Target selling sweaters. No wholesaler is going to give them sweaters for free," Barry Faber, vice president of Sinclair Broadcast Group, said Monday, Oct. 13. Sinclair owns Dayton's Fox 45.

Networks have had the right to negotiate retransmission fees since Congress overturned a law protecting the cable industry in 1992. LIN TV is seeking 3 cents per month per cable subscriber from Time Warner. The Big Ten Network, which concluded a contract with Time Warner Aug. 25, asked for $1.10 per month per subscriber.


I love my DirecTV.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Borrowers with good credit, down payments still can get loans

Borrowers with good credit, down payments still can get loans

By Tim Tresslar

Staff Writer

Sunday, October 12, 2008

When it comes to home mortgages, what was old is now new again.

Old as in the old-fashioned notion of a down payment. Even with credit tightening and the global banking system roiling, local lenders say they have money to loan. But borrowers will have to pony up more of their own money than they would have during the housing bubble's heyday.

"The days of 100 percent loans, where there was no down payment required, are by and large over," said Doug Fecher, president and chief executive of Wright-Patt Credit Union.

In the case of Wright-Patt, other credit unions and community banks, this doesn't mark a change, Fecher said. At Wright-Patt, borrowers always needed a down payment of between 3 and 5 percent as well as enough cash or other assets socked away to cover a couple of months' payment should the borrower lose their job or hit other financial problems, he said.

Chuck Edmonson, a spokesman for Fifth Third Bank of Western Ohio, said down payment requirements and interest rates differ among banks and borrowers. But consumers with good credit continue to get loans, he said.

"The key is to make as much of a down payment as you can," Edmonson said. "The more of a down payment you can make, the better the chances will be of you getting a favorable interest rate."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is this the start of another Great Depression?

By Barry Eichengreen
Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of "Golden Fetters: the Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939."

BERKELEY, California (CNN) -- Every time the economy and stock market turn down, financial historians get predictable calls from reporters.

Could this be the start of another Great Depression? Could "it" possibly happen again? My stock answer has always been no.

The Great Depression resulted from a series of economic and financial shocks -- the end of a housing bubble in 1926 and the end of a high-tech bubble in 1929 -- but also from truly breathtaking neglect and incompetence on the part of policymakers.

It couldn't happen again precisely because policymakers know this history. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is a student of the Great Depression. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson remembers the mistakes of Andrew Mellon, Herbert Hoover's treasury secretary.

We can be confident, I always answered, that there will not be another Great Depression because policymakers have read financial histories like mine. At least that was my line until recently. Now I have stopped taking reporters' calls.

The first thing that made the Great Depression great, of course, was the Fed's failure to act. It basically stood by as the banking system and the economy collapsed around it. This time, in contrast, the Fed can hardly be criticized for inaction. Not only has it cut rates, but it has rolled out one new unprecedented initiative after another.

Unfortunately, it has reacted more than acted. First, it provided funds to the commercial banks. Then, it targeted broker-dealers. Now, it is desperately propping up the commercial paper market. All the while however, the problem has been infecting new parts of the financial system.

One thing that restrained the Fed in the 1930s was the fear that rate cuts might cause capital to flee to other countries and the dollar to crash. The danger was that the same liquidity that the Fed poured in through the top of the bucket might just leak back out through these holes in the bottom.

There was a solution: coordinated rate cuts here and in Europe. Unfortunately, central bankers couldn't agree on what was needed. The result was further instability.

That central banks have learned this lesson of history and now see the need for coordinated action is at least one ground for hope. The problem is that they have already used their bullets.

U.S. Treasury bill rates have essentially fallen to zero, and the Fed's policy interest rates are only slightly above that level. Central banks are out of ammunition. This is no longer a problem they can solve by themselves.

What is needed now is Treasury action to address what has morphed into a global banking crisis. Between 1930 and 1933, not just the U.S. but also Europe and Latin America experienced rolling banking crises.

When Austria took desperate measures to prop up its banking system, its banking crisis only shifted to Germany. When Germany did the same, the crisis spread to the United States.

This was beggar-thy-neighbor policy at its worst. We have seen some disturbing evidence of the same in recent weeks, as when Ireland unilaterally guaranteed all bank deposits and thereby sucked funds out of the British banking system.

G7 leaders, when they meet in Washington at the end of this week, need to explain exactly how they will address this aspect of the problem. They need to commit money to recapitalizing their banking systems -- now, and not next week.

The U.K., which has just announced a $50 billion plan for bank recapitalization, has shown how this can be done in a matter of days. But a coordinated initiative will require the U.S. to put up a considerably larger sum.

My recommendation would be to abandon the idea of reverse auctions for toxic assets and instead use the $700 billion of the recently passed rescue plan for bank recapitalization. Although the Great Depression started in 1929, it took until 1933 for American leaders to grasp this nettle and recapitalize the banks. We can't afford to wait for years this time around.

A final thing that made the Great Depression such a catastrophe was that some of the worst shocks occurred right before the 1932 presidential election. There then followed an extended interregnum between the election and inauguration of the new president when no one was in charge.

The outgoing president, Hoover, asked his successor designate, Franklin Roosevelt, to cooperate with him on joint statements and policies, but FDR refused to do so. Meanwhile, the banking crisis deepened. Corporations failed.

The economy was allowed to spiral downward. It was this disaster that led us to amend the constitution to shorten the time between presidential election and inauguration from 4 to 2½ months.

The implication is clear. The two presidential candidates should be assembling their financial SWAT teams now. Paulson should promise that they will be invited into his office on November 5. This problem cannot wait until Inauguration Day.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

20 things to expect from the new post-apocalyptic economy

What will U.S. regulatory and financial climate will look like in a few months from now? It may look remarkably like the climate of five or 10 years ago.

By Jerome Idaszak, Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter
Renuka Rayasam, Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

September 26, 2008

When the smoke clears on the current financial and legislative turmoil -- the economic landscape will look considerably different than it did just a few months ago. Here's what we see ahead:

A much less leveraged economy. Cash will be king. In practical terms, that means: Little financing of speculative building and higher pre-leasing hurdles for commercial real estate. More money up front on merger and acquisition deals. Bigger mortgage down payments. Lower limits on credit cards. And higher capital reserves for banks.

And less risk-taking in other ways as well. Borrowers will need squeaky-clean track records. Financial deals at publicly traded firms will be more transparent. Buyers will demand a much clearer understanding of exactly what they're getting.

More modest rewards -- the natural consequence of less risk taking. Fewer stocks racking up double-digit gains. Slower appreciation of property values. Smaller returns on endowments for universities and nonprofits. For consumers: Fewer second homes, boats, new cars and so on. More households will live within their means.

A feast for bottom fishers. Investors with cash, the patience to wait out a gradual recovery and a heart stout enough to withstand periodic wild swings, will be in the catbird seat. They're positioned to make a bundle, snapping up undervalued assets -- businesses, real estate, securities, etc. Even out-of-work talent will go cheap to employers savvy enough to nab it.

Fewer financial firms, as big universal banks swallow up midsize regionals.

More government oversight of financial markets. Better communication and coordination among regulatory agencies. Increased disclosure requirements. A tighter rein on short-selling. Closer supervision of credit rating agencies. And more.

But a revival of private financial firms -- investment banking partnerships and boutique merger and acquisition houses, for example. Their allure: minimizing regulatory burdens and filling a need for investors willing and able to take larger risks for larger returns.

Simpler forms of securitizing debt -- plain vanilla ways to spread risk. Secondary markets for mortgages and other assets won't vanish. But the instruments bought and sold will be less exotic.

Greater scrutiny of executive compensation, whether mandated by Congress or not. Shareholders are sure to take on the issue more aggressively in the near term.
Higher taxes and/or a bigger federal deficit as Uncle Sam shoulders the load of Wall Street's toxic debt. Although eventually the government may make money on the deal, in the short term, the Treasury -- and therefore, the taxpayers -- will pony up billions.

Higher long-term interest rates. Treasury yields must rise to lure capital -- foreign or domestic -- driving up mortgage and corporate bond rates. Short-term rates will slide, though, as the Federal Reserve tries to keep the economy afloat and put banks back on solid ground.

In reality, the change isn't to a new environment. It's a return to traditional norms of the past, before cheap money inflated asset values, undermined lending standards and encouraged excess risk. It's bitter medicine, but it's necessary.

VP Debate

VP Debate
Current mood: argumentative

Anyone watch last night? I already made a comment on Bill's blog, but I'll reprint it here....

Kevin and I were discussing making a drinking game based on her saying "maverick" and Biden saying "fundamental."

After her disastrous interview with Katie Couric last week, I really didn't know what to expect from her. She sputtered and yammered and hem-hawed through the interview, and it came off terrible. I also expected Biden to be a bit more vicious.

I think she held her own, but Biden has decades of experience on her in this arena, and he definitely came off much more polished. I liked that he smiled a lot, and it even looked genuine. I couldn't help but yell "BOO-YAH!" when he made the bridge to no where comment. The look on her face was priceless.

I'd also like to point out that Biden tearing up when talking about his dead wife and kid was the money shot. But as the usual double standard, had Palin teared up over the same thing, she'd have been made out to be a weak, weepy woman who can't control her emotions. But it worked for Biden, I think.

I admit it. It pissed me off when Hillary cried while campaigning. It seemed forced and only came after the media said her image was "too hard." So what? That means you have to run to the first camera you can find and weep? BAH. You didn't see Iron Maggie weeping over stupid crap.

TWC is the rofflemow

I'm laughing over the outraged Time Warner Cable customers. I have long said that TWC is the devil. In case you don't know, our ONLY local cable provider dumped NBC over contract negotiations.

I love DirecTV, and while I can't just run a splitter for free to every room in my house, I have few problems with it. The only problem I've ever had was getting them to come out to the house when we moved. But once it's set up, it's pretty much trouble free. I don't think the package deal is that much better with TWC than it is to have AT&T phone/DSL and DirecTV, and now that AT&T has TV service, they might be competitive.

What's funny is that TWC is refusing to negotiate a like 1/4 penny uppage in price to "protect" their customers. But all they're really doing is driving people away completely. The DDN forums are full of people jumping the TWC ship and going to DirecTV and Dish.

You don't mess with a redneck's Sunday Night Football or a nerd's Heroes.

NYC more in depth...

As I drove to work in the dark this morning, my first holiday fever hit me. I'm ready for fall and the crispness of winter. I suppose I'm one of the rare few who actually enjoys the changing seasons. Summer all year round would make me appreciate it less, I think.

All the anger and disdain of yesterday was slept off. My day spiraled into shit somewhere around 1pm when the files that made me work 12 hour days last Mon/Tues didn't work after all. But what really pissed me off is that our expo people tried to blow smoke up my ass about a process. I'm not an idiot. I do this for a living. And if it takes their people 10 hours to lay something out that they're copying exactly, they either have the worst graphic designers on the planet, or they're being robbed blind for hourly pay.

I love NYC. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. I mean, I love Chicago, and New Orleans, and utterly adore Toronto, but NYC is it's own animal.

Wednesday, I had the fastest cabbie of all cabbies EVER. The normal charge for a ride from Laguardia to Times Square is $45. I paid like $32. He was passing every cab on the street and cutting down back streets. I tipped him well. I checked into my hotel and immediately jumped on the subway and then walked to the Metropolitan Museum.

I waffled for weeks on which museum I wanted to go look at on Wednesday afternoon since it was my only day off alone. I considered the Gugenheim, and I really wish I had walked down and at least touched it and taken a picture of it before going back to my hotel. I worship Frank LW. He looked at the world in a way no one else could and had such a complicated understanding of it.

The Met was awesome. I'm a huge museum nerd, and I love nothing more than spending an entire day in a new museum. I have tons of pics, but I need to download them off my phone. That thing has a great camera. I was slightly disappointed by the Greek/Roman section. I dunno. Maybe I expected more than tan pottery. The sculptures were fascinating, but…I dunno.

The Egyptian section was amazing, and I really enjoyed the arms and armor. They had some sweet crossbows on display. I loves me some crossbows. I also took some pics of interesting patterns that I'm thinking about incorporating into the house somehow.

I loved it. I saw everything I wanted to see, and then most of everything else. I wasn't as interested in the paintings, so I save those for the last 45 minutes and kind of hustled through looking at the Rembrandts and Degas. I was disappointed that the Medieval art section was closed for renovations, though. I had wanted to see that; although, medieval art pretty much consists of Christian paintings and junk. Been there, done that.

That night, we ate in Little Italy and got a table full of desserts afterwards. I'd just like to say that coconut gelato is the food of the gods. nom nom nom. Thursday night, we ate at Jekyll & Hide, which wouldn't have been bad had it not been 80 degrees in there. As soon as I walked in, I got hit with the barf bat. I spent the whole time in there feeling like I was going to hurl, and it ends up Phenergen takes about 1.5 hours to actually kick in. Urgh. And when I feel ill, I have the attention span of a gnat. So I spent the whole evening feeling spacey and out of it. Around 8:30-ish I finally stopped feeling sick, but I was in the hotel room laying in bed.

Friday, Angi collected me after work and we ate in Jersey City at a place called Taqueria. Holy god. How good could tacos be, I asked myself. Though, oddly, I ended up fantasizing about eating them all day Friday leading up to it. Heh And I wasn't disappointed. I was unconvinced that taco without cheese could be delicious. And I was oh-so-wrong. They were PHENOMENAL. I could have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner there every day for the next month.

Saturday, we shopped our asses off. We meandered all over southern Manhattan. She refused to show me exactly how much ground we had covered until we got back to the apartment, for fear my ankle might explode at the very thought of it. But we covered a LOT of ground.

I got some kick-ass t-shirts, a cool punky jacket, and some delicious NY pizza. I love how the crust is so crispy and delicious. Mmmm I was also ecstatic that I got to go to the Giant Robot store. I happened to remember that there was one in NYC while we were out shopping, and Angi called the fiance to find out where it was. I got a t-shirt and a calendar, and I contemplated getting some other stuff but held off. I can always order from their website later. But I was thrilled just to get to go to one finally.

I'm kicking myself I didn't buy that damn hat at Century 21, which is an enormous multi-storied version of TJ Maxx but with higher-end discounted stuff. And there was something else I was wishing I had bought, but I've forgotten now. Which I suppose is good and probably means I really didn't need it anyway.

We had dinner at some pancake house that was featured on Dives, Drive-ins, and Diners--or whatever it's called. I got a burger that wasn't very good. But I learned the valuable lesson that if a restaurant is named for a certain food, you should probably just order that food if you want to be impressed. Next time…

I had a great time. And I'm grateful to Angi for taking me around. I've decided I'm old and need to eat dinner at 4:30, as I was in bed and asleep almost every night by 10:30. Oh well. :)

...but really, he was just talking to his backpack.

Good lord. Spent last week in Manhattan.

I've discovered I loathe Times Square, but I love the rest of Manhattan. My seminar was fantastic, and Angi and I had a great time. Thanks for the horse brutality, girlie. I got some t-shirts, an awesome jacket, and tons of delicious food. I can't wait to go back next November for her wedding. :)

I made my connecting flight by a god damn minute yesterday. I had to RUN between the 2 furthest points of the Atlanta airport just to make it. I decided I wasn't going to go around people; they could just get the hell out of the way of the giant running with a 20-lbs backpack and a rolling carry-on suitcase. And wisely, they did.

I'm tired. I spent today drinking from an open bar and riding around in a golf cart delivering beer to hoity-toity doctors playing golf. Rough life, I know. heh

Kev is demanding to go to the grocery, so I must log off and drag ass through Kroger.

Can Batman save Watchmen?

September 23, 2008 - The legal battle between Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox over the right to produce and distribute the film adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen continues to rage on, complete with threats of a postponement of the film's March 6, 2009 release date -- a move that would put a serious crimp in Warners' '09 plans. But a new report claims there could be a possible means to settle the dispute and it involves none other than the Caped Crusader.

Batman-on-Film points out an article at the Comic Book Resources column Lying in the Gutters, which claims that Fox isn't necessarily just looking for a mere payoff from Warners in order to let the latter release Watchmen. "Sources tell me that Fox want the 1960s Batman TV series. Currently Fox own the TV footage, but Warner Bros own the characters and trademarks, via their ownership of DC Comics. [EDITOR'S NOTE: That's not exactly true; please see the paragraphs below.] The rights to a DVD release have been held up for a long time now, and this case looks like it may be the instrument to release them," CBR claims.

The article adds that "Fox will get a wodge of cash as well - many millions of dollars it seems. But it seems they also want the rights to release the Adam West-starring Batman on DVD, something long denied fans of the series. And Warners will get the Watchmen film, to release as planned."

But, as TV Shows on DVD makes painstakingly clear today, there are a lot more parties that Fox would need to haggle with than just Warners if the Batman series were to come out on DVD.
Although TV Shows on DVD does not say that CBR is wrong in claiming that Fox is trying to use their Watchmen film lawsuit as a means to settle their long-standing Batman on DVD issue, they do point out that there is a huge array of parties that new contractual arrangements would have to be negotiated with before Batman could be released on DVD. These parties include: on-camera talent (both the main cast or their estates, as well as guest stars, cameos, and their respective estates), behind-the-camera personnel (e.g. writers, directors), music, Greenway Prods.The Dozier Estate, costume makers, and the makers of the Batmobile and other props on the show.

The original deals that were struck in the 1960s apparently only covered televised airings. As the site points out, we're talking about several years' worth of legal work that would need to be settled let alone how pricey the whole endeavor will become. And then there's DC Comics to contend with, which owns the rights to the Batman character not Warner Bros. (who are behind the Bat-films) or Fox (who has the '60s TV series).

Holy headache, Batman! Now there's a legal morass and history of tangled rights lengthy and complicated enough to make this Watchmen movie mess look simple.

totally insane

So as punishment for having a free 5-day weekend last week, I was crushed beneath a mountain of work that I had to have completed by today. I worked till after 6:30pm last night and still had to come home and fold cards and stuff and label envelopes. Then I had to go in at 7:30am and stayed until almost 6pm again tonight, working through lunch both days. I told my boss that if I forgot something, I'm really sorry, but I can't do anything about it till I'm back in the office next week.

The yoga retreat was great except for the persistent feeling of feeling like I was going to hurl from sun up to sundown.I had a blood test yesterday, and no I'm not pregnant. But apparently, going off THE PILL after 14 years can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that are EXACTLY like pregnancy. It's ridiculous. My doctor gave me Phenergen so I can get through my trip to NYC this week, and she gave me something to get me regulated again. But I'm not taking that one till I get back from NYC. Who wants to go through THAT while traveling?

Apparently, a few minutes after I left the retreat Sunday morning, Lorie's bf showed up to tell her her dad passed away. I had just gotten home when she called me. My heart breaks for her. We had been talking about his health all weekend, and well, I guess when it's your time, it's your time. Send her some positive thoughts, vibes, prayers, whatever. I talked to her for about an hour tonight. She seems to be doing pretty good, but that first week is a whirlwind.

Tomorrow, I go to NYC. I'm hoping to get to go to the Met Museum for a few hours, provided my flight is on time. *crosses fingers* Thursday & Friday I have a business writing/editing class from 9am-5pm, and I'll probably have dinner with Angikins those nights. And then I'll be staying with Angi Friday-Sunday, returning home from Newark Sunday afternoon. I'm excited. This is the first time in a long time I haven't been freaking out about flying. I actually feel pretty good about the whole thing. Hurrah for yoga making me sane again.

NYC is so big. I don't even know where to begin as far as what to do in my spare time. I'm relying on Angi to take me to some interesting places for fun, frivolity, and most of all shopping.

I can't see this lady, it's shady

I can’t see this lady; it is shady.
Current mood: artistic

I have had this constant, persistant nausea for the last week. And no, I'm not pregnant, and yes, I am certain about that.

I did find out that it's probably because I went off the pill. I've been on it for 14 years; I expected my body to be totally jacked up, but this is super annoying. I constantly feel like I'm about to hurl, but I don't feel sick. It's very odd.

I'm back at work today, but trust me when I say I'm am sooooooooooooooooo grateful about having a 5-day weekend. We were lucky enough to have power, so it's been a nice break. I work 1.5 days this week and 2 days next week. Woohoo! I'll be in NYC with Angi next week. Well, outside of my work seminar. But I'm actually looking forward to that, too.

I've got my yoga retreat this weekend. I don't know how much I'll be able to do as far as poses every day, but I think I'll do all right. I rolled my ankle outwards Monday while cleaning up the yard, and it's hurt since then. I've avoided doing anything strenuous in the meantime. Hopefully, it'll be okay this weekend.

Holy f-ing hurricane, Batman!

We had 80mph straight line winds yesterday. Our house is undamaged, and our trees are more or less intact. But we had 300,000 people without power in the Miami Valley last night, and it's now been reduced to 200,000. Business are being told it could be 3 days before the lights come back on. Kev and I were told to stay home by our employers, as neither has any power.

We were without power for 11 hours yesterday, but we were the lucky ones. Our power kicked on at 2:30am, and Amanda, who is just down the street, is still without power. Go go City of Kettering! The DP&L trucks were circling our neighborhood for hours last night, trying to find the transformers that blew. We heard three small explosion in about 3 hours yesterday, so we knew why were without power. And exacerbating that is the fact that DP&L sent a large chunk of their service vehicles and manpower to Texas to help residents there regain power after Ike. They never dreamed we'd get blasted by Gustav all the way up here.

The devastation here is unbelievable. We were really lucky, though. We've got one 10-foot-long, six-inch-wide branch that broke off the top of one tree and landed in another. It's not precariously balanced over a power line (possibly cable) that leads into our house, not to mention that if it comes crashing down, it could do some serious damage to our house. I put in a service request, but they said it will be the end of the week before they even start attending to them.

The amount of trees that were just blown over and uprooted is amazing. I took some pictures around the neighborhood, but my cell service sucks, so I'll try to upload them later this week. Every single street you look down has trees across it. I've never seen anything like it. It's like tornado-lite.

I spent a total of maybe two hours over the course of the day getting my yard cleaned up. Kettering will begin debris removal this week, and I had to get everything hauled and raked to the curb. I've barely touched the backyard, but I'm going to try to get my hands on a leaf-blower to take care of that. I've got all the big branches cleaned up and cut down to manageable sizes, and I cleaned the gutter that was buried in leaves.

Mike and Leah stopped by last yesterday; Leah and I were supposed to go to the movies. But the stoplights were out all the way there, and everything up by the Dayton mall lost power. So we hit the highway to come home. People are either too stupid and too selfish to obey the traffic laws when stoplights are out. They're supposed to be treated as a 4-way stop, people. DUH. You don't blow through major intersections at 40-mph without even looking, as one enormous moving truck did at the 741 - Dixie Drive intersection. He almost obliterated a pick-up truck who was taking his turn. Leah and I were freaking out.

Because my cell was dead and the power was out to prevent me from charging it, I didn't get the message from my boss that work was cancelled. I should have guessed, but I drove all the way there only to find a "Closed" sign on the front door, and a 60-foot-tall tree laying across our parking lot. If this storm had happened today, about 15 of my coworkers would have flattened cars.


I'm moving out of this hospedaje; I'm afraid you'll cut me, boy

Okay, so I seriously just had a doctor, who is attending a training session here, walk into a window from the outside, thinking it was an open doorway or something. Why she would think an office building would have a huge opening with no door in the middle of a wall, I don't know.

She hit it so hard that she left a face-print on the glass, smudged her lipstick on it, and her glasses were half-knocked off.

Yes folks, these are the ER doctors saving our lives.


Kev and I have been watching season 1 of Dexter, which has turned out to be fantastic. I was unsure if I could accept Michael C. Hall in such a different roll. He was phenomenal in Six Feet Under. But he pulled off Dexter brilliantly.

Last night I watched Waitress. It could easily have been 25 minutes shorter and been a better movie. I got to the point where I just started fast-forwarding through Jeremy Sisto's abusive-husband scenes. I didn't need to be beaten over the head with what a crazy mo-fo he was. I got the picture pretty early on.

Scientists begin hunt for "God particle"

---I bow down to our new inter-dimensional warlords that will come through the rift in time and space that this thing is going to open.---

CERN, Switzerland (CNN) -- Scientists Wednesday applauded as one of the most ambitious experiments ever conceived got successfully underway, with protons being fired around a 27-kilometer (17-mile) tunnel deep beneath the border of France and Switzerland in an attempt to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Scientists applaud during the switch on operation of the Large Hadron Collider.

The Large Hadron Collider -- a $9 billion particle accelerator designed to simulate conditions of the Big Bang that created the physical Universe -- was switched on at 0732 GMT to cheers and applause from experts gathered to witness the event.

While observers were left nonplussed by the anticlimactic flashing dots on a TV screen that signalled the machine's successful test run, among teams of scientists involved around the world there were jubilant celebrations and popping champagne corks.

In the coming months, the collider is expected to begin smashing particles into each other by sending two beams of protons around the tunnel in opposite directions.

Skeptics, who claim that the experiment could lead to the creation of a black hole capable of swallowing the planet, failed in a legal bid to halt the project at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Others have branded it a colossal waste of cash, draining resources from its multinational collaborators that could have been spent on scientific research with more tangible benefits to mankind.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed the project as a major achievement for Europe.

"The repercussions of this scientific investment without precedent in the history of humanity will be essential not only for the intimate knowledge of our universe, but also for the direct applications in fields as varied as intensive calculation or even medicine," he said.

The collider will operate at higher energies and intensities in the next year, potentially generating enough data to make a discovery by 2009, experts say.

They say the experiment has the potential to confirm theories that physicists have been working on for decades including the possible existence of extra dimensions. They also hope to find a theoretical particle called the Higgs boson -- sometimes referred to as the "God particle," which has never been detected, but would help explain why matter has mass.

The collider will recreate the conditions of less than a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, when there was a hot "soup" of tiny particles called quarks and gluons, to look at how the universe evolved, said John Harris, U.S. coordinator for ALICE, a huge detector specialized to analyze that question.

Since this is exploratory science, the collider may uncover surprises that contradict prevailing theories, but which are just as interesting, said Joseph Lykken, theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

"When Columbus sails west, he thought he was going to find something. He didn't find what he thought he was going to find, but he did find something interesting," said Lykken, who works on the Compact Muon Solenoid, one of six experiments inside the collider complex.

Why should the layperson care about this particular exploration? Years ago, when electrons were first identified, no one knew what they were good for, but they have since transformed our entire economy, said Howard Gordon, deputy research program manager for the collider's ATLAS experiment.

"The transformative effect of this research will be to understand the world we live in much better," said Gordon, at Brookhaven National Laboratory. "It's important for just who we are, what we are."

Fears have emerged that the collider could produce black holes that could suck up anything around them -- including the whole Earth. Such fears prompted legal actions in the U.S. and Europe to halt the operation of the Large Hadron Collider, alleging safety concerns regarding black holes and other phenomena that could theoretically emerge.

Although physicists acknowledge that the collider could, in theory, create small black holes, they say they do not pose any risk. A study released Friday by CERN scientists explains that any black hole created would be tiny, and would not have enough energy to stick around very long before dissolving. Five collider collaborators who did not pen the report independently told CNN there would be no danger from potential black holes.

John Huth, who works on the collider's ATLAS experiment, called such fears "baloney" in a recent interview, and noted that in normal physics, even if the black hole were stable, it could just pass through the Earth without being detected or without interacting at all.

"The gravitational force is so weak that you'd have to wait many, many, many, many, many lifetimes of the universe before one of these things could [get] big enough to even get close to being a problem," said Huth, professor of physics at Harvard University.

Because I think it's funny, that's why...

The photo below captures a disturbing trend that is beginning to affect wildlife in the US

Animals that were formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the Democratic Party... as they have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance.

stripes on her eyes when she walk slow

Friday, we watched Doomsday again. I still thought it was stupid fun. Saturday, I cleaned the house, and then I had my jewelry party in the evening.

Sunday, I went to the pool, and it was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Hot, sunny, and the pool was crisply cool and refreshing. And the best part…there was hardly anyone there. It was absolutely amazing. Sunday night, we had a few people over for a cookout, nothing major. But it was nice time. We again wrapped three kinds of meat in, as Leah calls it, "candy" meat. Yum.

Monday, I decided if I woke up early enough I'd go to yoga. And I woke up at 7:30am. Ugh. It was pretty challenging for my ankle but good. A TON of people showed up. I was surprised. I really think yoga is going to be good for re-strengthening my ankle. It's amazing how weak my foot still is. But I'll get there, and this is a no-impact way to work on it. I feel fine today, so I didn't overdo it.

One thing I have to say about yoga is that it tends to attract people of the whackjob persuasion. I suppose you could call them "free-spirited" or "child-like," but I guess I'm not in the "compassionate" mindset for yoga this morning.

Anyway, this chick was wearing some hand-painted T-shirt and start dancing around all crazy when Laurel mentioned it. Never mind there was hardly enough room between our mats to walk, much less dance around like a maniac. And then towards the end, we were doing our closing mantras, and the chick came up to the front, right under Laurel's feet and just started sobbing about how beautiful it all was. All I could think was, "You've GOT to be kidding me," and I had to restrain myself from rolling my eyes so far back into my head that it would have killed me.

I got home and mom said she'd go out to the Heritage Festival with me, so I picked her up, and we headed out. It was a gajillion degrees. At first there was at least a breeze, but by the time we got off the canal tour, it had died, and we were beginning to. We headed out around 4:30, having sufficiently gorged ourselves on delicious food. I downed 2 large bottles of water and wanted more. It was awful.

After showering the layer of stickiness off, I watched Infamous. It's about Truman Capote falling in love with a convicted killer. It was pretty good. I enjoyed it. Daniel Craig was a scary, intense mofo.

August 2008 Archive

August 25, 2008
Unfettered in De moss during a Duell. KUNTZ! I’m Rich!It starts out I'm walking up a huge spiral staircase in a hotel/performing arts center, and each floor has people milling about. Then Jason Demoss is with me, and we're looking for the floor that's supposed to have a sprawling continental lunch. We find it on the fourth floor, but it's really just a bunch of pretentiously cut, overcooked Digiorno pizzas.

Duell is there with his wife, but he's got this mountain man beard, and his hair is all mussed up, like he was caught in a windstorm. Suddenly, me, Jason, Nate, Duell, and Alan Fetters are all in a car headed to Alan's house.

We're greeted by Alan's parents, who both have stark white Einstein-esque hair and big black Harry Potter glasses. Alan is setting up an X-files boardgame, which looks suspiciously like Monopoly.

Next thing I know, Jason is shouting at me to come check something out. He's found an ice cavern--where in this suburban house, I don't know. But we all go into the ice cavern, which is amazingly beautiful and so cold the ice is blue and green (or so the explanation is in the dream). Everyone leaves but me because I'm picking up beautiful rocks.

When I'm done, I realize I've melted into the snow on the ground up to my armpits, and I can't get out. I yell for help for a while, and Alan comes rushing in dressed in what I imagine Jon Snow from George RR Martin's Ice & Fire novels would look like, down to the black leather gloves. He grabs my hands and whips me out of the hole in the snow as if I were weightless, scolding me for not coming with them when they left.

Next thing I know, we're all in a diner, sitting at the counter, but Rich has joined us. He's wearing some sort of Dracula-esque amulet around his neck and wildly gesticulating with his arms while we all laugh hysterically.

Then I woke up.
posted by Karabou at 7:38 PM EST


August 27, 2008
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of chum
Kev and I went to see Pineapple Express last night. It didn't blow me away, but it was pretty funny. It's worth a rent at least.

Chick flicks on HBO so far this month...

The Pianist
I felt sick the whole time I watched this. Of course, everything having to do with the Holocaust makes me feel sick. It's about a Polish Jew (an amazing pianist), who survives WWII in Poland. It was really good, though. I'm not a big Adrian Brody fan, but he pulled off the character really well. I rate it three tissues.

The White Countess
Another Ralph Fiennes period pic, this one is set in 1930s Shanghai. It's good, glad I caught it on HBO. I rate it one tissue.

Age of Innocence
I've caught bits and pieces of this movie a dozen times over the years. It's not one of Day-Lewis' best performances, but it's an interesting period piece if you like them. I rate it one tissue.

The Painted Veil
I'd been resisting watching this one for a good month or so. I don't like Edward Norton much, and Tivo's synopsis was thoroughly unappealing. I finally decided to just Tivo it, so if I didn't like it, I could fast forward and at least see the ending and be done with it. Hehe Surprisingly, it was really good. The evolution of the characters is really fantastic. I give it three tissues.
posted by Karabou at 7:38 PM EST


August 25, 2008
On jihad, rappin' Narnia, and Laser Cats
Iran so far away.
Lazy Sunday
Laser Cats 2
posted by Karabou at 7:38 PM EST


August 24, 2008
Superman Reboot
Warner Bros. is apparently rebooting the Superman franchise, as The Hulk did. Surprise.
posted by Karabou at 11:41 PM EST


August 22, 2008
we’re apin’ rapin’ tapin’ catharsis I hate when people bring perfectly baked plain brownies to a carry-in…or even within a hundred feet of me. Brownies are my weakness, my nemesis. I only bake them at home maybe once a year, if that, because of it.

I've eaten three brownies since I got back from PT at 1:30, and…OH MY GOD THERE ARE PINK CUPCAKES. Okay, now I have to eat a cupcake for a cure for breast cancer…or something like that. /sigh

Anyway, it's been a crazy couple of weeks. Last week, I was trying to crush my work week into three days since we were leaving for Gencon Thursday morning. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath to save my life, and when I got back on Tuesday, it resumed its breakneck pace. It did settle down by yesterday, thankfully.

Gencon was fun, more so than last year because our friends resumed attending with us this year. All seven of us won an $80 AT-43 starter set, and two of us (myself included) won an additional set. I picked the $75 Confrontation starter set, and our friend picked another AT-43 set. Woohoo!

You could definitely tell we're in a depressed economy, or so it seemed. The WotC booth seemed significantly smaller this year, and they didn't do the game-demo-roll-a-d20-for-a-prize thing this year. I was disappointed. Wizkids didn't seem to have any significant release at the show, unlike previous years when the rolled out HeroClix, MonsterClix, and HaloClix.

Upperdeck (sp?) had limited demos going of the new WoW minis game, and it looked really unimpressive. I thought it was going to be a skirmish game, but it's basically the card game with a miniature on a little chess-like map. This is just my opinion, but I feel like companies blow their wad when they don't have the game for sale when they debut it.

Fewer companies were giving away freebies for demos. Many companies will offer a "con exclusive" mini if you demo a game. Privateer Press was doing so, and we picked up some Monsterpocalypse. We also picked up Infernal Contraption, which is really fun.

It was still as much fun as ever. In my opinion, the whole point of going is to demo new games, buy some of them, and then go back to the hotel to play them together, which I didn't get to do because I was exhausted every night with some foot pain. The swag is just a bonus.

I went to the pool Wednesday night, and it was glorious. Kids are back in school, so there might have been 50 people there, total. And during the adult swim, maybe 7 in the pool. It was so awesome, I decided to go again Thursday night, but this time, I took Amy and Zoey.

Zoey was cracking me up. She hates getting her head wet, and it took much cajoling to get her to go under the mushroom waterfall. And when she finally agreed, she plugged her ears, squinched her eyes shut, and announced to her mom, "Okay, take me under!" It was a riot. She's small enough that I can swush her around in the water, which she seemed to thoroughly enjoy. We're going to try to go to Splash Moraine on Sunday, weather permitting. I hope it's nice. :)

Tomorrow, I'm dragging myself to a family reunion, and then I have to make Jambalaya for the guys. Tonight, I'm seeing Death Race with my cousin. I'm hoping it's big fun.posted by Karabou at 10:32 PM EST


August 21, 2008
Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Overconfident
David Letterman apparently did a list of "Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Overconfident" ... now there is some brouhaha over this list and whether or not it will be re-aired, blah blah blah. So in case you've yet to see it, here's the list:
10. Proposed a bill to change Oklahoma to "Oklabama"
9. Offered Bush 20 bucks for the "Mission Accomplished" banner
8. Asked guy at Staples, "Which chair will work best in an oval-shaped office?"
7. The affair with Barbara Walters
6. Having head measured for Mount Rushmore
5. Guy sits around eating soup all day
4. He's voting for Nader
3. Offered McCain a job in gift shop at Obama presidential library
2. Announced his running mate will be Andy Dick
1. Been cruising for chicks with John Edwards
posted by Karabou at 11:41 PM EST


August 19, 2008
Is McCain just another "W"?
Editor's Note: Jack Cafferty is the author of the best-seller "It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America." He provides commentary on CNN's "The Situation Room" daily from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. You can also visit Jack's Cafferty File blog.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

I think he made a big mistake. When he was invited last spring to attend a discussion of the role of faith in his life with Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, McCain didn't bother to show up. Now I know why.

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.

He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he thought an income of $5 million was rich.

One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.

Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?

John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.

He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very quickly.

I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's eyes and see into his soul.

George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.

He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.

I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.
posted by Karabou at 9:56 PM EST


August 13, 2008
A singularity
It's the only time I have ever wished the rule of three was true and would complete itself.

The loss of Hayes and Mac was a shame. Much too young. Jackson, on the other hand, we can only hope.
posted by Karabou at 6:52 PM EST


August 10, 2008
Hold on to your f-ing hat...
I very nearly fell out of my chair watching this. Please, for the love of all that is holy, watch it. **LINK FIXED**
posted by Karabou at 11:31 PM EST


August 6, 2008
Last Blood
I stumbled upon this and ended up really enjoying it. You can read the whole first trade paperback online here:
posted by Karabou at 9:24 PM EST


August 3, 2008
Giving credit when credit is due...
I have to give my husband a little pat on the back. He wrote a chapter of WFRP's Thousand Thrones, which was released a few months ago.

Two opinions:
...[Y]ou eventually get to Villa Hahn which is a dungeon in the vein of Castle Wittgenstein...and it's brilliant. I really liked this bit. It's well designed and really puts the gothic horror back in WFRP. Lucius Hahn's fate immediately made me think 'I really have to do this to one of my PC's sometime'. This Nurgle lair uses WFRP mechanics properly. What the PC's do can have nasty results and the diseases are used to potential, unlike some earlier WFRP2 products where Wound damage was the result of just about anything you come into contact with. The final showdown description is a bit confused as the results are very open. Nonetheless this is a great section.


Chapter 5: This is just plain good. Not much more to be said about it, except that I don't really like Nurglists as enemies, but that is entirely personal. It could be used as an independent adventure with little work.

His chapter was partially re-written in the development process, but the core ideas were his and were largely left intact, and I'm proud as hell that people really liked his section. Others have mentioned plans to use his chapter for stand-alone adventures, as well.

For whatever reason, GW refused to allow dungeon crawls to be written for other books in WFRP 2.0. Not everyone is capable of insanely involved roleplay, and my own group refused to play the game after running just two pre-made adventures. It was disappointing, as I felt the game had a lot to offer, but they lost their taste for it after becoming frustrated at the difficulty of puzzle solving that was required.

And just so you know, Hahn is my mother's maiden name. HAH!

posted by Karabou at 2:49 PM EST


August 1, 2008
The Dark Knight Yearns
I Kev and I saw the Dark Knight on Tuesday. The asshole couple behind us who decided to have a full-on conversation for the first hour and a half of the movie no matter how many times we asked them to STFU likely had some bearing on my experience.

But largely, I felt the movie didn't live up to the hype. That's not to say I didn't think it was good. But the incessant harping of the media going on about how Heath Ledger deserves a posthumous Oscar for his performance was nothing but the studios finding a way to get people who wouldn't ordinarily see the movie to pay for a ticket to go found out what all this mumbo-jumbo was about. For example: CNN, owned by Time Warner, publishes second straight top headline about "The Dark Knight," a film made by Warner Brothers, owned by Time Warner, and based on Batman, published by DC Comics, also owned by Time Warner.

I went in expecting Heath Ledger to give the performance of all performances EVER GIVEN, and I was greatly disappointed. He was good, sure. But I didn't lose myself in the character. I still saw him as Heath Ledger and not just The Joker. A truly great performance makes you forget the actor. I just didn't have that experience, and I definitely didn't find that character "terrifying."

I did, however, like the direction he took The Joker. He was a maniacal, brilliant, remorseless anarchist. It's a shame we won't get to see the character again any time soon. Nolan has said he won't recast The Joker so long as he's still directing the films.

And I was surprised by Two-Face being a main character. I could tell Harvey had become Two-Face in the trailer, but I figured he would be introduced and then be a main character in the next installment. It was a pleasant twist. But Aaron Eckhart was GREAT as Two-Face. I liked that he wasn't some giggly dipshit, like Tommy Lee Jones' version, but was instead a man who had been pushed over the edge and had truly lost all reason and rationality.

My other beef is that the movie felt long. When I start looking at my watch, it's lost me. The movie seemed to end more than once, and that's never a good sign, either. It would just dust itself off, yell "Ta-dah!", and keep going.

My only complaint about Batman Begins was that all of the action scenes were so dark you couldn't see what was going on. And they used that ridiculous flying CGI dirt that they used in Gladiator to mask the fight scenes. Dark Knight fixed that. It was a wise move. When people go to see superhero movies, they want to see superhero fights. I didn't go see Ironman to watch him wax intellectual and fight in the dark. I went to watch him fly around, blow shit up, and have at least one knock-down drag-out kick ass fight.

And dear god, I'm so glad they killed off the Rachel character. I don't know what's wrong with Maggie Gyllenhaal's face, but it was far more terrifying than The Joker's. She's got this pug nose, and her cheeks sag like socks full of marbles, just hanging off her face. I have to admit, I was caught off guard when she died. I thought for sure Batman was going to save her, and the police would save Harvey Dent, though he'd likely become Two-Face in the process. That was when the movie got good for me.

In summary, I liked it. I would probably have liked it better had I not been subjected to all the hype beforehand. I might even have been able to be absorbed more fully into The Joker as a character, rather than an Oscar vehicle. I'll probably watch it again at home when it comes out on DVD in the peace and quiet of my living room.

It's rumored that the next villains will be The Riddler, played by Johnny Depp, and The Penguin, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And seeing as it's pulled in $440 million as of today, I'm certain there will be a few more Batman movies in the future.

posted by Karabou at 10:28 PM EST


July 2008 Archive

July 31, 2008
I see hot people.
I watched Rory O'Shea Was Here tonight. I've been gleefully catching James McAvoy's earlier movies on HBO. He's quite possibly the only actor who could make a quadriplegic hot.

And I swear he had some sort of weird prosthetic nose thing going on in Starter for 10 because in Rory (which precedes Starter) his nose is much less humped and hooked. Very weird. At first I thought maybe he just had a nose job, but then I saw Starter was after Rory. Weird.

posted by Karabou at 11:15 PM EST


July 25, 2008
Pardon me, Hand Banana
I am EXPLODING with excitement.

My boss just approved me to go to NYC for a writing/editing seminar Sept 25-26! Woohoo!

I just booked the trip, and here's the hilarious part: I'll be staying at the Edison Hotel on Times Square. lol It'll be like our high school drama trip all over again.

I'm also super excited because I'll get to see Angi and spend the weekend with her. Now, to figure out what I want to do while I'm there! I think the Guggenheim is a MUST. And I'm considering Spamalot. Hmmmmm...

posted by Karabou at 7:40 PM EST


July 24, 2008
My vote is going to... Okay, so after a conversation Tanya and I just had, I had an epiphany.

Jesse Ventura must be our next president.

There's the bad-ass Ventura for the hard-line conservatives:

And the softer side for the liberals:
It all makes perfect sense now.

posted by Karabou at 7:40 PM EST


July 22, 2008
Pardon me, Hand Banana
Friday, I was so sore after PT that I just decided to go home and do nothing. Yoga was a bit too much for me last week, me thinks. If I go this week, I'll have to do less of the poses and just be content with the rest of the class.

Saturday, I cleaned the house like a maniac, frequently resting in between chores. I took a delicious hour-long nap in the afternoon, and then I picked up Amanda and made the trek north to help my mom with her waffle booth's late shift. It was insane. We had people 10 deep at one point, with numerous people ordering the waffles by the dozen. Here's a pic of what a sugar waffle looks like

A big thank you to Amanda for helping me out, keeping the money running smoothly, and managing what was, basically, utter chaos. She didn't try one of the waffles until she got home, and she said that was probably a good thing because they were insanely delicious. I suspect next year, she'll be getting more than a bag of six. Heh

Sunday, I was so whipped, I just laid around and didn't do much. I did manage to run to the grocery, but that was pretty much it. I altered some of my shirts that have been needing it, and one of Kev's. I need to get some backing for the curtains I'm planning to make for my bedroom, but that would require me having the time to run to the fabric store, which likely won't be until this weekend. Que sera, sera….

We had Mike and Leah over for dinner last night, which is always nice. We're trying to make it a monthly thing. I hate losing touch with friends, and I'm trying to make more of an effort all around.

Tonight is dinner at Buckhorn Tavern with the family for all our birthdays. On some level, I'm so thankful we didn't have a dinner for every single person this year. I've been so over-scheduled and busy that I don't know how I'd have done it. Ugh.

posted by Karabou at 7:03 PM EST


July 15, 2008
This is a diary of hate...
I watched The End of the Affair with Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore the other night. I really enjoyed it. Lust, love, jealousy, misunderstandings, loss…it's packed with it. Events previously viewed through Ralph's eyes become visible through Julianne's with surprisingly little redundancy. I highly recommend it if you enjoy dramas like Atonement. It was moving and unique. I rate it 3 tissues.

Kev and I watched A&E's Andromeda Strain Sunday evening--all four hours of it. The first 3.5 hours were really good, riveting even. But the last 30 minutes were just dumb and turned into a Sci-Fi Original. I was also confused that they bleeped out all the swear words. I thought this was made for TV? Maybe I'm mistaken.

Last night, I watch Evening. I'm mildly in love with voyeuristic glimpses into lives and affairs based in the 1930s-40s. So this movie was great. Basically, a dying elderly woman is remembering bits of her life, specifically her first love. I rate it 4 tissues.

posted by Karabou at 9:09 PM EST


July 14, 2008
Radio blah blah
Friday, I went with Tanya and her boys to see Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D. It was big fun. It was worth it in 3D, but I wouldn't have wanted to see it otherwise. I felt like a big kid during parts of it. 3D has certainly come a long way.

Saturday, I hit the gym in the morning and went to the grocery, so I could make filled noodles for gaming that night. They were a hit. Our German friend said, "I feel like I'm home." Tee hee

Sunday, I kept trying to get stuff done and it just wasn't happening. Kev's dad was there, and they changed the hoses on the hot water heater. I did eventually get the front porch power-sprayed down. It looks so clean. I need to get the railings and porch re-painted at some point, yet.

I started sanding my trunk, but I got the top done and felt like I wasn't accomplishing anything, so I abandoned it to wash the porch instead. I'll have to keep chiseling away at it. I can't get my room cleaned and organize until I have it in there for storage.

Kev and his dad did manage to get my blinds hung, thank god. I'm part vampire when it comes to sleeping. I can have zero light in my room when I sleep. As soon as the sun starts to rise at 5:30am, I start waking up and getting angry, trying to throw blankets over my head to go back to sleep. The blinds are woooonderful. Now I just need to get to the fabric store to get some new material and backing for new curtains.

In the afternoon, Tanya and I went over to Spam's for a cookout. It was nice to see you girl. I can't wait till you're off in August. We need to spend some time together.

This morning, we did a three-hour photo shoot at work. It was gorgeous outside, but standing for three hours was rough on me. I did a lot better than I thought, but I've still got some work to do in PT. I'm getting there, by cracky.

posted by Karabou at 9:09 PM EST


July 12, 2008
Radio blah blah
Why is it that the people who call in to talk radio shows are either far right wing nuts or far left wing nuts?

I listened to some whack job caller claim Jesse Jackson choked her at a Black Panther rally in some tiny, unknown town in Iowa or Idaho--I don't remember which--in the 1960s. I suppose it's possible, but the more the radio host questioned her, the more her story fell apart and confused even her. She even started contradicting what she said 5 minutes earlier. The radio host was like, "Ooookay, let's screen those calls a little better."

And then there are all the young 20-somethings that call in to support Obama, but they can't name one thing he's done or stuck to when asked on air. Not one. And they get pissed and yell at the radio host in a tantrum, telling the radio host he doesn't know what he's talking about. Classy.

If you can't manage intelligent, rational discussion, avoid putting yourself in a position where you're actually expected to defend your views, not just state them without substance.

And that's pretty much par for the course on any radio show I listen to. I like it when they get the occasional person with half a brain from either side to give intelligent discourse, but that hardly ever happens.

posted by Karabou at 9:09 PM EST


July 11, 2008
"M" is for old man
McCain, McCain, McCain.

How do I feel about you? You're super old and kinda crotchety, but I giggle when you say things like "nation of whiners." You've grown up in a different generation, and I'm concerned you have no ability to relate to mine.

But really, I'm unconvinced your "straight talk" is anything more than an excuse to use rude dismissive phrases to verbally abuse people and issues. I'm all for cutting straight to the point and telling it like it is, but your total lack of eloquence won't do us any good in foreign affairs. It bothers me the rest of the world thinks we're a bunch of rude, self-absorbed douche bags, and I don't think you'll do anything to dispel that notion.

I respect that you've seen war and that you were a POW. But what are you going to do about THIS war? I don't WANT to be there for 100 years! Is the surge REALLY working the way so many people say it is? What's your plan, other than "stay until it's fixed." What are you going to do to "fix" it? How are you going to enable and empower the Iraqi government to take this operation over?

By the way, your stance on net neutrality bothers me. I want my intarweb to stay just as it is. Free markets are peachy and all, but I don't think we need "to move to a different model for thinking about the FCC." Why do we need the morality squad sticking their nose into the internet? If I want to watch donkey porn, then dammit, I should be allowed to watch it.

No Child Left Behind? It doesn't work. It's ridiculously bad. As someone who knows multiple school teachers and hears how horrendously broken the system is, you better be ready to overhaul Bushtard's pathetic attempt to hold teachers accountable for students' grades. Teachers no longer have time to teach anything but what's in the test booklet. But take my sister's class for example. She teaches in the poorest district in the city, and her kids are so low she can barely get them to learn, much less pass. How is it her fault the majority of her students have ADD, ADHD, and other severe behavioral disorders related to drugs and alcohol. The parents are totally UN-involved, if even present in the kids' lives. The schools don't get enough funding to handle special needs students, and we're facing a shortage of teachers. What are you going to do to make it better?

I hear that voting for you is basically voting for four more years of Bush policies. And quite frankly, that scares the living hell out of me. I fear you're nothing more than a panderer, pandering to the extreme right of the United States, an ideological group that has run this country into the ground with its extremist and irrational views. I have always avoided voting for the GOP because of their long-standing association with the religious reich. Who are they to dictate how this country should be run? Or how I should live my life?

And your views about abortion? You used to be semi-liberal in that area, but once you sniffed the possibility of the GOP nomination, you switched to, "I'd nominate supreme court justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade." It makes me sick to my stomach.

So you, too, have flip-flopped my good sir. You have even been known to send out contradictory messages about your support for the President's retard antics so that you appear to be simultaneously for and against his atrocities. So which is it? Are you for or against them? Take your balls out of your hot wife's purse and make a decision; then, call me and let me know what is because I'm tired of trying to figure it out.

Hmmm…free market solutions to global warming? I'm excited you admit you think it's real, but I'm just not seeing how that solution is supposed to work. I do believe it's a problem. But getting off oil is the biggest thing we need to do combat that issue. So what are you going to do about it?

If you get to sit in that oval office chair, is the first thing you yell going to be, "Bring in those drilling contracts! I want oil flowing out of every orifice this country has!" Because I really don't want that. Have lunch with T. Boone Pickens and discuss something new, something revolutionary for our country. I'm unconvinced you're any different than Bush, who lives in the pockets of big oil.

Convince me differently, Mr. McCain, if you want a prayer of a chance of getting my vote.

posted by Karabou at 9:36 PM EST


July 10, 2008
Get ready for your "O" face
Obama, I don't like the idea of paying massive taxes to put Socialized Health Care into effect. If you have some genius plan of funding it without strapping the middle class, you let me know about it, k?

Also, I know people are rah-rah-rallying around you, chanting "Obama for Change!" But really, what have you done? What the hell does "Community Organizer" even mean? And what relevance does it have to being the leader of the world's largest free nation?

Dude, you change your mind every other day about major issues you've already stated opposite opinions on in the past. What gives? I know your job is hard, and Sweet Baby Jesus knows I DON'T WANT IT. But really, sometimes, you gotta stick to your guns. If you voted on something that became unpopular, suck it up, rub some dirt on it, and just tell people why you voted that way. Don't flip-flop every time a CNN reader opinion poll is published.

I agree that consistency is the mind-killer, and changing your opinions isn't necessarily a bad thing. If never considering and contemplating opposing opinions were the ideal, we'd still have slavery, women would still be barefoot and pregnant and have no rights, and gays would still be getting shock therapy to treat their "mental illness." Ideas evolve and opinions NEED to change, but not every other day. Really.

I like that you're opposed to big oil. But what are you going to do about it? Where are you plans? I don't want every square inch of America's last vestiges of beauty ass-raped for oil. There HAVE to be alternatives. Call up oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, and have lunch for chrisakes. Give us more than just hope that we won't HAVE to be dependent on oil until it runs out.

Man, I also have some issues with you pulling out of Iraq as soon as you get into power. Yes, I agree we never should have went there in the first place. But the fact is, we're there. We haven't just dipped our toes into the pool, we've grabbed it by the hips on the beach and had our way with it till it's bled in front of a crowd of on-looking countries. We've reluctantly made our bed, now we have to lie in it.
Although, if Iraq's government feels it's ready for us to leave, then by all means, let's talk about leaving. But as long as they need us, we need to act like responsible adults and finish what we started, not take our missile launchers and go home, leaving a power vacuum for extremists to fill. I truly believe the only thing that kept Al-Qaida out of Iraq was Saddam. He was so bat-shit crazy that even terrorists were freaked out by his shit. He may have been the pinnacle of evil in our generation, but he served a purpose in the bigger picture. Don't get me wrong; I'm glad he choked to death, kicking his little feet in the throes of death. He deserved far worse.

I want my coworkers and friends and even strangers to make it home safely from Iraq, but everyone I know that's been there truly believes they're making a difference. I know there are many that don't, and I respect their feelings, but they've been through things more traumatic than most of us can ever imagine. Who wouldn't feel that way in that position?

And Obama, you voted for wire-tapping yesterday. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I really don't think the government is interested in hearing me talk on the phone about how I really want to buy a pair of Born sandals, so I don't feel particularly threatened in a personal way by this bill. I can see its merits, but I'm certainly not blind to its potential for abuse. So what do you do? Freedom does come with a price. What are we willing to pay for it?

The Obama-ites like Wil Wheaton are devastated by your choice in supporting this bill. But frankly, I'm astounded by such naïve idealism in a 30-something man. Who, but the young and somewhat stupid, REALLY believes you are going to stick to your campaign promises? Sure, they can hope. But what politician hasn't worked to further his own career over fulfilling the hopes and dreams of his/her constituents once he's in such a position? "People won't re-elect him!" you say. Bush was re-elected for a 2nd term. And that's all I have to say about that.

Furthermore, I firmly believe that while you're touting yourself as a moderate, once your ass cheeks touch the oval office chair, you'll be a leftist socialist until you leave office kicking and screaming. I'm not a socialist. I want a smaller government sticking less of their fingers into my paychecks and my life. I don't want wealth redistribution. I didn't bust my ass to put myself through school for a four-year degree to pay for some lazy fucker that doesn't want to work. "Boo-hoo! I don't know what I want to do with my life. So rather than work, I'll just sit at home and collect government benefits and pout about how poor me can't make a decision!" I've known people like this. They sicken me.

And sweetie, while I know you're not a closet Muslim, lots of simple folk who believe in ridiculous conspiracy theories do. And there are plenty of crazy nutwads in the world who would try to assassinate a world leader, but there are even MORE crazy RACIST nutwads who would try to assassinate a world leader. So you better pick a hell of a running mate and drive around in the Pope Mobile, because there are stupid, crazy asshats out there who don't have anything better to do than live and preach hatred against people any other color than pasty.

So Obama, you haven't impressed me. I may have voted for you in the primary, but that was only because I didn't want the Psycho Ex-Girlfriend of the Democratic Party in power. Because, even though I have my doubts about you, she scares the living shit out of me. And the Clintons, while clever, are criminals. They've gotten away with a whole lotta shizzat. There was a time when I could have been described as a twenty-something Clintonista, but now, I can see through their bag of tricks. On some level I amusedly respect their ability to deflect allegations and convictions like a pork chop on teflon coating, but deep down, I have serious reservations about them being in the White House again. Bill's approval of Gen. Barry McCaffrey as drug czar being one of them.

So in closing, you haven't got my vote Obama. Not yet. Maybe not at all. You haven't convinced me you're capable of the most important job in our nation. And while the 17-year-old anarchist in me thinks it would HI-larious to elect someone totally clueless, I know that really wouldn't be in the American public's best interests.

posted by Karabou at 11:42 PM EST


July 8, 2008
I call Ocular BS
What an exciting day. This morning, I had what I think was an ocular migraine. All of a sudden, it was like I had stared at the sun with my left eye. There was this spot where I just couldn't see anything. My first thought was, "Oh christ, I developed diabetes in the last 10 minutes, and I'm now going blind." lol

I started to wonder if it was an ocular migraine, as my friend Lorie got them when we were roomies, and my boss has gotten them before. I tried to Google it, but I couldn't read anything on the screen. lol I went into my boss's office, starting to panic, and she said it sounded like one and just to close my eyes and try to relax and calm down.

It got worse and worse, to the point where I had to cover my eyes tightly and just put my forehead on my desk. It evolved from some missing pixels into a blazing, swirling ring of horror-diamonds all around the edge of my vision in my left eye, even when I closed my eyes.

And then as quickly as it came on, it faded away. Then I developed a dull, awful headache that, strangely, went away every time I got up and walked around the office. As soon as I sat back down, it came back. It felt like my brain had been replaced with a solid lead version of my brain, and it lasted for a good 2 hours. I'm sure it was mild by the standards of people who have REAL migraines, but I don't get headaches. So the slightest hint of one leaves me in misery.

This wasn't fun. I hope it doesn't become a regular occurrence. I can't figure out why I'd suddenly start having them. No new meds, I'm less stressed than I usually am, I've been able to relieve stress and get some moderate exercise with PT, and I've actually been sleeping through the night for the last 2 weeks (unheard of).

WTF. I'm going to the doctor in the morning just to be on the safe side, but from what everyone has told me, this is par for the course for one of these.

posted by Karabou at 10:21 PM EST


July 7, 2008
they said you were the freaky kid
It was a nice weekend. Friday, Brian brought his grill over and we grilled chicken breasts, pork chops, beer brats, and cheddarwursts…ALL WRAPPED IN GLORIOUS BACON. Yum. Then we had a Freaks & Geeks marathon. It was very low-key and not terribly exciting. I left to go see Hancock at like 5:30pm, which is the subject of the previous blog post.

Saturday, I walked around the mall with Kev for an hour to get him some shoes and clothes, and then we stopped at Lowes to pick up a new toilet seat. When I got home, I had to lay down and sleep for an hour.

I'm not sure how it works, but I worked out hard Sunday for an hour at the gym and felt good, not tired at all. So how is it that I saunter around a mall for an hour, and I'm so dead exhausted I have to go back to bed for an hour. But if I go to the gym and work out 10x harder than that, I feel fine? It's frustrating. I swear.

Yesterday, I lazed around and did very little after going to the gym. I did finish off the last of Freaks & Geeks, which depresses me. That show was so incredible. I can't understand how it didn't make it. I guess I'll just have to savor my 18 amazing episodes.

This week is over-scheduled again. UGH. I hate feeling like I don't have a minute to myself. PT three nights this week, Thursday/Friday I have doctor appts, and Wednesday night is my mom's jewelry party.

I am, however, looking forward to seeing Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D Friday night with Tanya and her boys. 3D has come a long way, baby. I saw the trailer for it when I did trailer checks on Hannah Montana in 3D, and it looked so awesome I squealed with glee. I can't wait. If nothing else, I'll get to see Brendan Fraser in 3D, and that will be enough. Yum.

posted by Karabou at 10:01 PM EST


July 4, 2008
Clancy Brown and the Hancock LeBouef
Wednesday, Tanya and I spent all glorious afternoon at the pool. It was amazing outside. Afterwards, Kev and I had dinner with his parents. On the way home, My right foot started to itch, horribly. I had to take my shoe and sock off, and when I put some moisturizer on it, it started burning so bad I about lost my mind.

Evidently, I somehow failed to put adequate SPF on the tops of my feet and my knees. They were utterly roasted. I haven't been burned this bad in ten years. In desperation, I started googling sunburn remedies and came across dozens of people swearing by cider vinegar. I usually keep a gallon of it on hand, as I use it to wash out the cats' water bowl and run it through the washing machine to clean out any build-up from time to time.

First I bought some Solarcaine and used that while I was at work, but as soon as I got home, I doused my legs and feet with vinegar in the bathtub. It was a miracle. It instantly took the sting out, reduced the heat coming off, and reduced the redness. I rinsed, dried off, sprayed down with Solarcaine again, and I was good as new...well, close to it. When the Solarcaine dried, I started rubbing in Vitamin A & E cream, which helps tone down the itch. I'm repeating the routine twice a day, and so far, it's been amazing.

I'd never heard of vinegar for a sunburn before, but WOW does it work. I was afraid it would burn or something, being acidic, but it actually soothed it. Apparently, it's an old trick lifeguards used to use before the days of SPF. They'd come home and soak in a tub of vinegar. It's unbelievable how well it works.

I have to walk around smelling somewhat like a pickle, but it's worth it. I'm not going anywhere important this weekend anyway.
I was working on making this strawberry/Cool Whip dessert I saw on TV when I realized I forgot to buy Oreos. We had just went to the grocery, and I didn't feel like driving all the way back. So I chanced it at the Circle K down the street. What convenience store doesn't carry Oreos? Although I probably spent twice as much on them as I would have a single full package, it was convenient. The clerk looked like a brunette Clancy Brown, early 40s, right down to the little gap between his front teeth. He kept asking me if I was making dirt cake and telling me how much he loves It was kind of weird.

I saw some trailers today:

Day the Earth Stood Still: It's amazing, but Keanu Reeves has managed to make it look boring. Okay, so maybe it's not amazing. I can only hope he's supposed to be the robot.

Eagle Eye: Shia-Lebouef-driven movie that doesn't look terribly promising.

Quantum of Solace: I'm super excited about it. It's going to rock!

And finally, I saw Hancock. No spoilers. But I really have no idea why this movie got panned by the critics. I enjoyed it, and had I paid for an evening ticket, I wouldn't have been disappointed. Check it out for yourselves; don't let the critics make up your mind about it

posted by Karabou at 10:43 PM EST


July 3, 2008
Pickled Sunburn
Wednesday, Tanya and I spent all glorious afternoon at the pool. It was amazing outside. Afterwards, Kev and I had dinner with his parents. On the way home, My right foot started to itch, horribly. I had to take my shoe and sock off, and when I put some moisturizer on it, it started burning so bad I about lost my mind.

Evidently, I somehow failed to put adequate SPF on the tops of my feet and my knees. They were utterly roasted. I haven't been burned this bad in ten years. In desperation, I started googling sunburn remedies and came across dozens of people swearing by cider vinegar. I usually keep a gallon of it on hand, as I use it to wash out the cats' water bowl and run it through the washing machine to clean out any build-up from time to time.

First I bought some Solarcaine and used that while I was at work, but as soon as I got home, I doused my legs and feet with vinegar in the bathtub. It was a miracle. It instantly took the sting out, reduced the heat coming off, and reduced the redness. I rinsed, dried off, sprayed down with Solarcaine again, and I was good as new...well, close to it. When the Solarcaine dried, I started rubbing in Vitamin A & E cream, which helps tone down the itch. I'm repeating the routine twice a day, and so far, it's been amazing.

I'd never heard of vinegar for a sunburn before, but WOW does it work. I was afraid it would burn or something, being acidic, but it actually soothed it. Apparently, it's an old trick lifeguards used to use before the days of SPF. They'd come home and soak in a tub of vinegar. It's unbelievable how well it works.

I have to walk around smelling somewhat like a pickle, but it's worth it. I'm not going anywhere this weekend anyway.

posted by Karabou at 11:53 PM EST


July 1, 2008
If you break my heart one more time, it’ll be the last heart you ever break I find it sad and shocking the trouble some of my old friends have gotten into since high school. One of them OD'd on heroin. Another fled to the west coast after being charged with drug possession for pot. "Boris" is in a Texas prison after getting caught dealing crack cocaine…and I believe it was his third strike. The list goes on, if I really felt like going into it.

But one of them really, truly breaks my heart to see how he ended up. We were really good friends, totally platonic. It was one of those rare opposite sex friendships that was truly just friendship. I stayed at his house frequently, usually with other friends. I hung out there several nights every week; I remember watching Beavis and Butthead and Ren & Stimpy for the first time at his house.

I went to one of his family reunions and stayed the night. We slept in the back of a pick-up truck on an old mattress, just joking around and laughing all night. It was an odd relationship between us. The likes of which I will likely not experience again, and it breaks my heart to see what a piece of crap he grew into. He wasn't like that when were teens, not in the least. He was a good guy. He cared. And then it just seemed to suddenly fall apart. I don't claim to understand it, but I know it was at least partially fueled by his burgeoning alcohol and drug use. His home life wasn't awesome, but I knew kids worse off who didn't commit the types of acts he has in adulthood.

I know "bad" kids that have turned their lives around and are now pretty successful. And conversely, I know "good" kids that turned out to be pretty awful. Guess the old cliché is true: Never judge a book by its cover.

posted by Karabou at 7:28 PM EST