Friday, July 30, 2004

Devil Ducky - A True Hollywood Story

Had lunch with the Curmudgeoness today, and lo, I have looked upon the Devil Ducky and survived to tell the tale.

Well, it was apparently Devil Ducky's even more evil younger cousin 'cause this one was sorta clear and had a keychain growing out of its little Ducky butt. Poor little guy's not going to float anytime soon with the ball and chain hanging off of him. I suspect mob involvement.

He had his evil eye on me the whole lunch - sat there glaring at me, like, "Go ahead - pick me up, I dare you. I'll squirt you, I will I will..." Grrrrr... Actually it might be possessed. He belongs back home with his little possessed brothers and sisters.

I'm very worried about Leslie. She's much, much less curmudgeony than she tries to make herself seem on her site. Actually she's quite friendly and fun - a "pay no attention to the (wo)man behind the curtain) kind of person. Well, I do hear she's a terror when she's had too many Apple Martini's, but hey, it was just lunch...

Guess the Quote

1000 BarryPoints to who can guess where the quote is from above...

No Googling allowed...

(Hint: It's from a TV show)

Misty, you may be disqualified... ;)

UPDATE: 08/02/04 - It was from Friends: The One After the Super Bowl

Friday's Feast



Appetizer
Name 3 things that you think are beautiful.
  1. The sound of kids laughing
  2. The first few bars of a concerto, and the last few bars of a symphony
  3. A week of vacation ahead of you :)
Soup
What was the last concert you attended?
It has really been a long time since I've been to any kind of concert. Probably Amy Grant.

Salad
What is one thing that frightens you about getting older?
That the number of days to come are getting smaller. Also forgetting.

Main Course
Tell us about one of your funny quirks or habits.
I find I'm unable to concentrate with more than one person talking at a time nearby, or a person and a loud TV. It makes me crazy, and I get very nervous. I also have what I consider to be a special aptitude for empathy. My wife's confirmed this many time. I can usually tell, not necessarily what emotion someone is feeling but I can share emotional states with other people. If someone is feeling upset, but putting on a brave face I can sense it and adjust how I interact with them. Thus I have tons of patience for people who are looked down on (and consequently, little patience for the ones looking down on them).

Dessert
If you could extend one month to 50 days (instead of the normal 28, 29, 30, or 31), which month would you want to lengthen?
I would want 19-20 more days of spring, so April or May. Or if it's still warm, 19 more days of October.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Theatre Thursday

Week 11 - My Life.

This week the topic is YOU.

1) If there was a movie to be made about your life, what actor/actress would portray you?

A younger John Larroquette. Or maybe Scott Bakula.

2) What actor/actress would portray your love interest? Your best friend?

The love interest would be....the most beautiful and talented Hollywood actress you can possibly think of, of course! *

My best friend would be played by Alan Ruck.



3) What would be the title of your film?

The Right Thing

Bonus) What moment of your life would be the highlight of this film?

Any of the choices I've made in my life that involved doing the right thing over the thing that felt good at the time...

(* Disclaimer: My wife reads my blog)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Out of my League

Sometimes I get the feeling I'm incredibly lucky to have the job that I have, because I'm so woefully undereducated, underexperienced and undertrained to actually do it the way it needs to be done.

My job consists of creating, managing, designing and promoting the website presence of an 8,000+ employee health system and all its associated hospitals, clinics, treatment centers, programs, etc. etc. etc. Plus Hatamaran and I run the corporate Intranet (and with her short hair she's now even twice as efficient because her head tends not to loll to one side as much).

Spend a lunch talking with someone in a similar position at another company and see how they do it. Words are bandied about like "teams" and "departments" and "authority" and "cooperation" and "research" and "presentations to Executive Management of my Strategic Plan" when my days are spent just keeping loose threads from unraveling.

Her eDevelopment world is so different from mine. It has organization, it has polish, it has experience, it's professional.

I feel sometime like mine's held together with an old roll of duct tape and a string from an old kite. I put it together from scratch 7 years ago, and while the company's grown we've never really embraced the Internet as a health information and patient/consumer information tool. Oh, we start this program and that initiative but they all die slow, painful, horrible deaths. And it's always the same, after every year. And I can't do a thing about it.

You know, the 20-year High School Reunion is a week from next Friday and Saturday. Sometimes you'd like to have more to show for 20 years of college education and work experience than an big fat illusion.

Ok, feeling all lousy and lack-of-professional-self-worth here. Rant over.

Latest I Could Find on the Car Bombing

Few clues found yet to explain what led to car-bomb death (07/23, The Tennesseean)

This is the latest story I could find on their website. It does mention a couple new details I hadn't heard:
"After the blast, Young's body was found in front of his Land Rover. He was found without his pants, officials said. They were probably torn from his body during the blast, said Carlos Bauxauli, special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Bauxauli declined to release further details on that matter."
That's just sad, really. In your final moments of life to lose your pants. How can they, though, get "torn from your body"?
"Officials said Young was in the driver's seat at the time of the blast, but somehow ended up in front of the car, on the ground, after the explosion."
This is a little puzzling, however. I'm no forensics expert, but if you can tell that he was originally in the drivers seat before the explosion, wouldn't you know how he ended up in front of the car? I mean, the question doesn't make sense. If you're puzzled at how he ended up on the ground, how could you have extrapolated where he was before? Maybe that's where his pants were...ugh.
"Explosives expert Rick Eley yesterday said it would be rare for a deadly car explosion to be the result of an accident or suicide.

He estimated that car explosions are set 99.9% of the time by someone intending to harm someone else, not themselves.

Instructions on building and detonating car bombs are readily available on the Internet and in books that are available at bookstores, Eley said. An accidental car explosion would be extremely rare, he said.

A suicide in Young's case would be an anomaly that would generate interest from explosive experts worldwide, Eley said."
This looks more and more like a hit, for lack of a better word. But then there's this:
"Residents of Cavalcade Drive in Franklin's Fieldstone Farms development said their lives were becoming normal again yesterday, the day after bomb squad dogs, law enforcement vehicles and media packed their small cul-de-sac to investigate William Young's house. ''All the vehicles are gone now,'' said Michelle Taylor, who lives two doors down from Young's house. Taylor said neighbors are ready to get back to their routines, noting the inconvenience of having 10 ATF, FBI and Metro police vehicles parked outside their houses.

Officials had street blocked off Wednesday. Taylor had to ask an official to move his car every time she wanted to go somewhere. 'It was still quite a circus here (Wednesday) night,'' she said of the search of Young's house. ''I know they took his computer. An ATF official made a comment to my husband that the computer system was so intricate and intelligent that it was scary.'"
That's interesting. While an intricate computer system owned by someone in Franklin is certainly not unusual, the fact that an ATF agent commented on it as being scary is.

I'll still keep my eyes open.

UPDATE: Then there's this misleading headline:

Little known about man killed in car bomb blast (07/23, The Tennesseean)

The article then proceeds to relate numerous intimate details about Young, his wife, and his child, gossip from the neighbors about a pending move to Nicaragua (that mysteriously doesn't check out), his work history, credit history, the family's financial history, plus some interesting tidbits about a Child & Family Services Investigation in 2001 and a 911 hangup in 2002.

Gee, it's too bad the Tennesseean couldn't find anything out about this guy. I'd hate to see what they'd print if they found out anything personal or embarassing...

Well, Maybe This Time (plus car bombs)

Last week I was invited to lunch by someone who's in a similar field that I am, although with a different local healthcare company. I ended up waiting 30 minutes at Riverside Tavern, then giving up and eating alone. When I got back to the office she called, wondering where I was. Turns out she'd gone to the Westside Tavern instead. Honest mistake.

Today we're trying it again at Macaroni Grill. Any other restaurants in town with a similar name I should be aware of?

Oh, and it's Italian twice in a row - last night we went to the new Johnny Carina's in West Knox County. Tons of food, and there are three to-go boxes of fettucine alfredo, penne pasta and spaghetti lounging in our fridge.

I love Italian. And so do you. Yes. No. Yes. No.

Yes.

*****

I've gotten a lot of Google and Yahoo! hits lately about the Nashville car bombing last week. I blogged about it here. I checked some of the other hits the searches found, and haven't seen or heard any progress on the investigation. Any Nashvillians heard anything lately? If and when I hear anything, I'll post it here to help out the folks searching...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

TV Tuesday

Week 19 - Memories

This week it's about you and what you remember about TV!! :)

1. What's your fondest memory of something on TV?

Sitting with a big group of friends and watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" premiere back in '87. I bought my first VCR that day so I could tape it.

Does my whole bloody life revolve around sci-fi? Sometimes it seems so...


2. What's the first show you remember watching regularly?

Probably "The Bugaloos" on Saturday Mornings back in the late 60's. They were followed closely by H.R. Pufnstuf, et al.

3. What is the (pick one: stupidest, saddest, silliest, most disgusting..) thing you've ever seen on TV?

One of the later episodes of "Farscape" had the most disgusting things I've ever seen, that still turns my stomach. One of the villains was able to mind-control our intrepid crew by using a device that PULLED OUT THEIR EYEBALLS about 4-5 inches in front of their face and clamped a chip onto their stretched out optic nerve. I will never be able to watch that epidode again.

~Bonus~ (From the hubby! LOL) What's the best series finale you remember?
The series finale for "M*A*S*H" was really 5 episodes strung together, and some of the plots had little to do with the other as the episode went along. But they were 5 really good episodes :)

The three modern Trek finales (TNG: "All Good Things", DS9: "What You Leave Behind" and VOY: "Endgame") were all good, but not spectacular.

I'm still mad I missed the "Mad About You" finale. "Seinfeld"'s was pointless and "Friends" was good, but predictable.

But the best? Johnny Carson's final regular episode of "The Tonight Show" - the one with Robin Williams and Bette Midler. (Bette sang a special version of "One More for the Road" to Johnny that we have on one of her albums.) True the following night's episode was the real finale, but it was just clips of the past. This was the true finale.

Sounds Familiar...

Eugene Volokh notes that Slate's "Kerry-isms" and "Bushisms" (short comments making fun of quotes from John Kerry and George Bush:
"I've criticized Kerryisms many times in the past; maybe I've reached the point of diminishing returns. But it just galls me to see this sort of stuff -- not substantive, not funny, just empty snideness descending into self-parody -- in a magazine of Slate's prominence and quality."
Funny, you know - that also describes a lot of today's political blogs and commentators. Skip around the 'sphere and most every site you land on that exclusively comments on the partisan political landscape - from whichever side, it doesn't matter - is using the same tone.

It's not substantive, it's not funny and it's just empty snideness. That's why party loyalty is a farce now, the conventions are a farce and nothing of true statesmanship is coming out of any of them.

But He Looked So Peaceful I Hated To Wake Him...

Man, 55, Found Dead On Couch in Ohio Hospital
"A man was found dead on a couch in a hospital lounge, and a nurse told police that no one had checked on him for at least 17 hours because he appeared to be asleep.

...

Nurse Lynette Chihil discovered Thursday morning that Johnson was dead. She told police that Johnson, who was fully dressed and curled with his face buried in a cushion, was discolored and cold, and that she had seen him on the same couch 17 hours earlier.

[His wife] Robin Johnson said she had not seen her husband since he left home Monday morning after an argument. Police believe he camped out at the hospital rather than return home. "
My sympathies to his family, but thank goodness that didn't happen in one of our hospitals. The PR nightmare would be off the scale.

It's amazing that, not just in a hospital but everywhere, we've inured ourselves to the lives of others. "Don't get involved", "just keep walking", "it's not my problem". We sometimes are so afraid of what another person might say to us, we don't strike up a conversation or smile and wave at a total stranger.

How many people passed by in that 17 hour period? I'd hate to know I was totally ignored for that long. What happened to the connections people used to have to one another?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Blog Quote of the Day

From CWill's Pen
"In the booth to my right [at an art fair], there is always an Amish guy selling baskets. He always brings along two or three of his 57 identical-looking sons, and they sell baskets on Saturday and then drive the buggy 25 miles back home that night. They all dress alike, obviously, in plain blue clothes with straw hats, and they are all unusually short and slight. The father has a long beard and the sons have longish curly hair, and they all speak with accents from whatever language it is that Amish people speak amongst themselves. The incident: A family with several little boys was browsing in the Amish guy's booth, and one of the little boys, who couldn't have been more than five, couldn't stop staring. After several minutes of puzzling over these strange people, the little boy went up to the Amish man and said:

"Are you elves?"

The Amish man paused for a long serious moment, considering this. Then he said:

"Well, not yet."

And the little boy went away, awed. "

You've Got to be Kidding Me

Ricky Williams is retiring.

Now normally this wouldn't cause me a lot of grief one way or the other. I used to live and breathe for the Dolphins, but after Marino retired I kind of lost interest, especially when the Titans moved into the state.

But this is too much. I drafted Ricky Williams AND Shaun Alexander in my Fantasy Football Draft - probably the best 1-2 Running Back punch in my league. And then the dreadlocked one goes and does something like this...

He hate me.

Just Another Day At The Office

Ho hum...
"A little song, a little dance,
Another win of the Tour de France."

Friday, July 23, 2004

Friday's Feast



Appetizer
Name something you've done that made you feel guilty.

I plugged in my hair dryer and plunged the entire NorthEast into blackout. Oops, my bad. No seriously...I, um, well, I feel to guilty to talk about it.

Soup
If you could get rid of one piece of furniture in your house, what would it be, and what would you put in its place?

I'd get rid of the cabinet we store our TV on and get a nice new entertainment center so all my DVD's won't be stacked up all over the place...

Salad
Imagine you've won a contest to be a featured guest on any television sitcom or drama show. On which one would you want to be a guest star?

"Enterprise" or "The Dead Zone".

Main Course
Create a cereal. Tell us what you'd name it and what ingredients would be included.

It would have to be cherry-flavored cuz that's my favorite flavor. That's it - 100% of the RDA of cherries, fortified with vitamins and iron. Part of this complete breakfast! Serve with a glass of milk, a glass of orange juice and two slices of toast.

Dessert
Describe the most memorable night of your life so far.

The night my son was born 8-1/2 years ago. I'll get back and describe it later.

Failure of Imagination

9/11 Panel Blames 'Institutional Failings'

"The Sept. 11 commission concludes that a "failure of imagination," not governmental neglect, allowed 19 hijackers to carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. The panel calls for an intelligence overhaul to confront an al-Qaida organization intent on striking again.

...

There was a "failure of imagination" to provide either Bush or Clinton with new options — particularly military approaches — to deal with al-Qaida, the official said. There also was a failure to adapt to the post-Cold War era, and people just kept trying the same kinds of things that didn't work, the official said."
See, if they'd just listened to me this report could've come out two months earlier. Lack of imagination was obvious, because apparently nobody could think of the truly far-fetched possibilities of terrorism.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Volunteer Tailgate Party - Vol. XXVIII

Michael of Big Orange Michael is hosting the latest Volunteer Tailgate Party, a monthly compilation of the best and brightest blatherings of the Rocky Top Brigade.

Theatre Thursday

Week 10 - Moments

This week's Theatre Thursday is dedicated to those Onscreen Moments that stay with you forever.

1) What moment from what movie still makes you laugh out loud - no matter how many times you see it?

In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", when Mr. Rooney is sneaking into Ferris' house looking for the kid, and encounters his sister Jenny who thinks he's Ferris. When they come face to face, she screams and kicks him in the face, running away. That one gets me every time.

2) What moment from what movie still makes you cry like a baby - no matter how many times you see it?

"Mr. Holland's Opus", a) when Richard Dreyfuss sings 'Beautiful Boy' about his son, Cole, and b) when they hand him the baton to let him direct 'American Symphony' at the end.

3) What moment from what movie made you actually turn your head from the screen - either in fear, revulsion, or contempt for the fact that you actually paid money to see the film?

I rented "Spy Kids 3-D" for my kids - pretty much the whole movie made me turn my face from the screen. After the first two great movies, I couldn't believe this one.

But as for a moment, when either C. Thomas Howell or Jennifer Jason Leigh (I don't recall which) absently picked up a severed finger from a basket of fries and almost ate it, from "The Hitcher", got me.


BONUS) What is one single moment from a film that is indelibly etched in your brain? Not a scene or a sequence exactly, but three or four seconds from a movie that contain an image or phrase or concept that transcends normal movies?

In the original 'Superman' - Superman has pulled a dead Lois Lane from her car and she's lying on the side of the road. He crouches beside her, sobbing, shaking his head. As he begins to stand, Christopher Reeve looks straight up at the camera, snarls, and leaps screaming into the air. That one moment of rage and grief captured on film gets me every time.

Take a Moment and answer these questions, and you'll feel you've flown across the moon..

Yeah, That's Me - Tennessee Barry...


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Nashville Car Bomb Doesn't Seem to be Terrorism - So Far

Neighbors identify man slain in Opryland parking lot explosion
"A man who was killed overnight when a sport-utility vehicle exploded in the parking lot of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center has been identified by neighbors as William Glen Young, 43, of Franklin.

...

The home is in the sprawling Fieldstone Farms development.

...

The vehicle was parked in a remote part of the hotel's parking lot."
Soundind less and less like terrorists and more and more like a despondant lover or something.

UPDATE (07/22/04): Turns out the man who was killed was a neighbor of Donald Sensing and had a child in the same grade at the same school as Rev. Sensing's child.

For The Love Of God, Say It Ain't So

Report: Michael Jackson Father to Quadruplets
"With all we've heard about Michael Jackson, it would seem there would be nothing left to shock us -- until today. A published report claims Jackson is about to become a father again, and this time -- it's quadrulplets."
But wait, there's a break in the clouds:

Michael Jackson Denies He Fathered Quadruplets
'On Tuesday, Jackson's publicist Raymone Bain denied a report in Us Weekly that Jackson is about to become a father to quadruplets via a surrogate mother. "This is not true," Bain told Reuters, "and we are not going to further comment on stories of this nature."'
And the nation breathes a tentative sigh of relief...however, here is apparently the real story:

Michael Jackson Fathers Brood of Puppies

Now that one I can believe...

Six Word Story

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to create a short story using only six words. After a while, he came up with:
"For sale: baby shoes, never used."
Ouch.

What can you do?

(Seen at Sheila's)

UPDATE: A bit cliched, but how about "What could possibly go wrong now?"

When Your Heroes Fall...

Lileks is a Marvel-phile (Registration Required)

"Superhero books. These form the bulk of [my] collection, and I'm proud to say they were all Marvel. Back then you were a Marvel kid or a DC kid. The latter was home to Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, Superdog, SuperChickenFetus, SuperBacterium, and so on. All were indestructible unless exposed to a green rock -- which, of course, every supercriminal had in abundance. (Probably from the Niger stockpiles.) Every other SuperWhatever issue had a "what if?" story: What if Superman married Lois Lane on planet Quesar VII and they lived underwater and had Supertwins? What if I don't read this drivel?

No, I was a Marvel reader all the way."
I feel similar to how I did when I heard Harvey Dent had gone bad...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

TV Tuesday

Week 18- Special Reports

*beep* *beep* *beep* We interrupt your normal TV viewing for this special report!!!

You guessed it, this week's topic, Special Report interruptions! *grin*

1. On a whole do you feel most Special Reports are really that special? Or are they simply annoying?

I feel they're very important, but only for the most life-changing events. Having a Special Report to alert us that so-and-so actor has died or whatever is a waste of time. That said, especially post-9/11 my heart hits my throat whenever I see one of those things...

2. What special report has effected you most? (IE: (9/11, Reagan being shot...etc)

Well, for several of the disasters, etc in my lifetime I wasn't at the TV at the moment it started (9/11 I was at work, Reagan shot/Challenger exploded when I was school). Probably the one I most remember was the beginning of the first Gulf War. I was in college and a number of us were sitting around the TV in the common room and watched the first bombs fly. Then we went outside and saw several groups of students marching up and down the street chanting.

I think I also remember the Special Report about the Berlin Wall falling.


3. Do you stay tuned in for Special Reports or do you reach for the remote?

Absolutely, unless it's something I can read about later.

~Bonus~ Not exactly a special report but more on special coverage. What are your thoughts on some of the "Special Coverage" spots that have hit TV lately? One that comes to mind for me is the 24 hour a day coverage of Ronald Reagan's body laying in state at the White House. Something we needed to see or just plain morbid?

Well, that may depend on your politics on whether Reagan deserved that kind of attention. Will Carter or Ford get the week-long tribute? Doubtful. But if it's actual news events (coverage of a live, breaking event) I don't mind it as much as endless talk, talk, talk by the pundits.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Away from Home

BrainyBoy (v8.4) has gone to camp.

This is the first time he's been away from home (and not with relatives) for any real length of time. Earlier this summer, he went to a local church-affiliated camp for a 3-day, 2-night jaunt as a "test". He had a blast and wanted to go back again. The week-long camps for the rest of the summer were full, so we put him on the waiting list and a "we'll see".

Well, Friday morning we got the call and yesterday afternoon we bundled him off to Townsend till next Friday. 6 days, 5 nights.

The house seems quieter. Of course, GiggleGirl is still around but it's interesting - for 3-1/2 years we were a 3-person family. The dynamics of one kid are startlingly different than with two. I don't know what it's like with three... But the way you group yourself as a unit is just different, and it was an interesting temporary reversion to that state.

Not that I'd really want to go back to it, but it's interesting. I suppose it'll happen for real in about 10 years, but I can wait.

Then in 14 years, we'll be by ourselves again.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Whatever

I've been a bit blog-quiet lately, no reason really. Memes are nice to fill in the blank spots so people know you're alive, but it's not enough.

  • We finally got a color printer at work. A freaking-about-time-let's-join-the-21st-century color printer. Hatamaran and I are quite happy.

  • I've been "teaching" (those are really big quotes, too) a Theatre Camp at BrainyBoy and GiggleGirl's school this week. Trying to teach improv exercises to twenty 4-to-8-year-olds is an exercise in patience and civility, lemme tell you. This was "pirate week" at camp, so I wrote a 5-minute play for them to perform this morning, since it was the last day. BrainyBoy was the captain of the Pirates of the Caribbean, and GiggleGirl was one of the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. They squared off, and much hilarity ensued. Her big lines were, "E-Bay!" and, "Eat Cheetos!" I expect Tony nominations to come in shortly.


  • I've been glomming over (and that's a word that's best explained in context) the new Land of the Lost 1st Season DVD. Yeah, that's the one I crowed about over here. I can't get over how cerebral this series was, and still is 30 years later. The production values were obviously primitive by today's standards, but for their time - and with the budgetary limitations inherent in a Saturday-Morning kids show - they were really quite good. Most shows when presented with a limited budget would make do with what was available, but the creators of LOTL really put their imaginations and hearts into creating this amazing world.

    It's eerie seeing the new video interviews with Kathy Coleman (Holly) and Wesley Eure (Will). Wesley looks exactly like you'd think he'd look at 49 - the same as when he 19, just a big heavier and with shorter, thinning hair. He's someone I'd love to meet and talk to - just a warm, friendly guy. Kathy...Kathy looks totally different at 42 than she did when she was 12 - the apple cheeks are still there, but, of course, no pigtails. She seems like a hoot as well, although seemed to show just a bit too much affection toward her "older brother". I can't understand why she never did anything else after the show was over.

    No mention about why Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall) left the show before the 3rd season, and there were no interviews with him.

    I didn't realize David ("The Trouble with Tribbles") Gerrold was so heavily involved with the production. He was 1st Season story editor, and apparently took the rough setting Sid and Marty Krofft gave to him and developed the whole story and characters. He's still a funny guy, all this time later.

    The science-fiction of LOTL made it a cut above anything that's been on Saturday mornings, then or since, really. I'm happy I had it to enjoy then, and now.
  • Friday Feast



    Appetizer
    Make a sentence using the letters of your favorite color. (Example: BLUE - Bob loves using eggs.)

    "Get real!" Ernie eagerly noted.

    Soup
    If you were to be stranded on a deserted island and could only have one CD to listen to, which one would you want it to be?

    Star Wars: A New Hope soundtrack (Special Edition)

    Salad
    How many people have you kissed in your lifetime?

    I'd say probably about 15-20.

    Main Course
    Someone offers to give you $2 million, but says you can only have it if you will give half of it to charity. Which good cause would you donate the $1 million to?

    That's a question my wife could answer better than could, since she works in fundraising. But if I had to guess, and could earmark exactly what I wanted it to do, I think I'd give it to the Knox County Schools to make sure, a) Teachers got a good raise, b) Arts funding was supported, and c) necessary repairs were made when possible. $1 million might not actually go that far, but maybe carefully invested it could help.

    Dessert
    What would you like to name your next pet?

    Flint, if it's a grey cat.

    Thursday, July 15, 2004

    Theatre Thursday

    Week 9 - Robots

    This week sees the opening of the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov's classic "I, Robot" starring Will Smith.

    1) Who or what is your favorite movie robot?

    I'm going to bypass the obvious choices here (C-3PO, Data) and go with Robin Williams' Bicentennial Man. I saw this film on video a couple of years ago and the story of Andrew's gaining of human emotions, and struggling to gain his rights as a person, was charming.

    2) Will we ever see the day where walking, talking robots truly become a part of every day life?

    I think so. There are some robots today that have finally been invented that can walk upright. Once the price becomes affordable and their brains become efficient enough to solve all the little problems that come up (and if their software's NOT made by Microsoft) it will probably happen.

    3) Should a robot ever be programmed to kill a human?

    In other words, should robots ever be used as soldiers or police? I don't know, that's a good question (especially since I made the question up myself). Obviously using mechanics as soldiers greatly reduces battlefield deaths, but what happens if they malfunction? That's the big question. Plus there's the age-old question whether humanity loses its revulsion for war when there's no real risk to its people.

    BONUS) If you had a personal robot, what would you call it? What would you like it to do for you?

    I'll call it anything if it will empty the litterbox and mow my yard ;)

    Sometimes These Things Are Accurate...

    Morpheus
    Morpheus


    ?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
    brought to you by Quizilla

    (seen at seductive kisses)

    Whatever Happened To...

    The Na-Na-Na-Na-Hey-Hey-Hey Goodbye song?

    We used to sing it all the time at football games (on the occasional time we won), then it just seemed to kind of disappear several years ago.

    When's the last time anyone can remember hearing it sung at the end of a game?

    UPDATE: Here are the lyrics

    and here's a link to a clip of the song. The actual name is "Kiss Him Goodbye".

    Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Tum tum TUMMMMMMMMM!

    My Inner Hero - Paladin!

    I'm a Paladin!


    I strive to help others, and to bring truth and harmony to the world however I can. Whether times are good or bad, you can always count on me. I'm a shoulder to cry on, a champion for the helpless, and an all around nice person.

    How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.


    My paladin's name is JoshuaLBowen, for reasons only a couple of people on the planet would know. And actually, Josh is an 11th Level Ranger but for the sake of the quiz, he's now a Paladin.

    I like this part of my profile:
    Your Mission:

    You were put on this earth to help others. They will trust you, because they are attracted to your sincerity, your kindness, and your willingness to do what's right. You are the one who has to stand up for the little guy, because everyone else is too busy looking after number one.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to Fix Something. Something small, or something big. Put a new chain on your brother's bike. Reconcile a family feud. Take a stray cat to the vet to be spayed. Donate blood. Fix a friend's car for free. Fix SOMETHING.


    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
    John Lennon

    Saturday, July 10, 2004

    I'm Back!

    Back from a week at beautiful, HOT, restful, HUMID, gorgeous, MISERABLE, actually a lot of fun Hilton Head, SC. I'm tanned and with a newly shaved goatee, my wife's red as a beet and BrainyBoy (v8.5) and GiggleGirl are about to kill each other.

    Yeah, what's new...

    Anyway, other than the temps in the 90's and humidity approaching 235% most of the week, a great time was had by all.

    Theatre Thursday

    Week 8 - Favorites

    Doing things a little different this week due to hectic schedules. Sorry if the questions are a little boring this week.

    This week its all about your favorites.

    1. If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    Star Wars: A New Hope or Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    2. What is your absolute favorite movie soundtrack?

    Either of the two above (seriously) or maybe add in Pirates of the Caribbean

    3. What's your favorite movie-time snack?

    Good, hot, buttered, fresh-popped popcorn with some seasoning salt if it's available. I used to work at a movie theatre as a manager, and had a big bucket with tons of salt when I got ready to do the nightly books. Yummmm...

    4. Favorite Actor:

    That's tough, since I generally don't gear what movies I see around actors. I love to see Tom Hanks's range, and Robin Williams in semi-serious roles. Sean Connery is always good. For supporting characters I really admire William H. Macy.

    5. Favorite Actress:

    Again, tough. I like Sigourney Weaver if she's matched with an actor close to her height.

    6. And last but not least, what is your favorite kind of movie: comedy, drama, action...etc.,???

    Generally, sci-fi/action are my favorite genre but almost any kind of drama. I love comedies, but lately there are so many Farrelly Brothers/American Pie/Anything-With-Adam-Chandler gross-out comedies, it's severely dipped as a quality genre lately.

    Friday, July 02, 2004

    Have a Great Week

    The family and I are headed out to Hilton Head for the long holiday week - we'll be back in town a week from Sunday.

    Blogging will be sporadic to non-existant till then, unless I can find an internet cafe down there to get my fix check in.

    I don't know if we'll stop in at Maurice's again like last year, but if anything's changed I'll let you know. Judging from what I've read about it since that time, I doubt it. Leopards typically don't change their spots.

    Be careful on the Fourth. Remember why we celebrate it.

    Bye.

    Space, the Final Frontier

    Spiderman 2

    Caught Spiderman 2 last night. The whole movie, I couldn't help but wondering....hey, where have I seen this movie before?

    Then it occured to me, oh yeah - 1981, Superman II. That's right...

    Friday's Feast



    Appetizer
    Name a board game you enjoy playing (Scrabble? Monopoly? Trivial Pursuit?) What's fun about it? Do you change the rules or go by the book?

    I love board games, especially Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. We generally do not change the rules (I'm a stickler) except for the universal "Free Parking" bonus in Monopoly. I also like participation games like Cranium,

    Soup
    How's the weather been in your area lately? Hot and dry? Wet and muggy? Stormy? Beautiful?

    Wet, wet, wet, wet, wet, wet, wet....well, you get the picture. We had the rainiest June and I think one of our winter months was the rainiest we'd had in years. But mark my words, sometime later this summer we'll have a week of no rain and people will be falling over themselves with worry about drought.

    Salad
    Do you consider yourself an emotional person? What types of emotions do you experience most often?

    Yes, I consider myself an emotional person. Having children brings me a lot of joy, yet some frustration and anger - that's part of being a parent. However, I generally tend to try and look at the bright side of life, because:

    "Some things in life are bad,
    They can really make you mad,
    Other things just make you swear and curse.
    When you're chewing your last gristle,
    Don't grumble! Give a whistle!
    And this'll help things turn out for the best...."


    Main Course
    List 3 songs you've been listening to recently. Are these songs from a different category of music than you usually choose, or are you devoted to a certain type of tunes?

    I pretty much abandoned listening to new popular music several years ago, though I enjoy a few things. I love soundtracks, and I recently dragged out the Mr Holland's Opus soundtrack - I love John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" and the "American Symphony" they composed for the movie. I also, of course, just re-listened to Monty Python's "Bright Side of Life" for the last entry, so I could get the lyrics right. I'm still a fan of 80's pop since that's what I really grew up with (I started high school in 1980 and graduated college in 1989).

    Dessert
    What's on your refrigerator door? Magnets? Your child's drawings? Photos? Calendars?

    All of the above. Wait, there's a door there???

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    Theatre Thursday

    Week 7 - Superheroes

    Ok, this is the week a lot of you have been waiting on. Spiderman 2 opens, and the web-slinger (who in reality would have no shot at Kirsten Dunst) swings back into action against the evil Doc Ock. This week, our questions are about those quintessentially misunderstood, ill-treated, feared and respected champions of truth, justice and the Spandex Way: the Superheroes.

    1) All right, have it out. What is the all-time greatest superhero movie?

    Hands down, it's the original 1978 Superman with Christopher Reeve. Epic, sweeping, it's the quintessential story of an American legend. The film does have some flaws: Smallville drags in spots, it's becoming dated, and Lex & Company start to pale in comparison to some of Batman's villains but Reeve brings a persona to the character like none others.

    2) What superhero movie has not been made that you'd like to see? Which existing one would you have redone from scratch?

    My favorite superhero has always been The Flash (Barry Allen). Partly because we share the same first name, but for other reasons too. There was a TV Series about The Flash several years ago, but never a movie version. As for redoing an existing movie, I think most people would have redone Batman and Robin, but I would've redone Batman Forever and really beefed up the character of Two-Face (a great, great villain who was given short shrift to make room for Jim Carrey's Riddler). I wouldn't touch the Bruce Wayne parts of that movie, though, which I thought were the best of all the Batman films.

    3) What qualities would be necessary to elevate a superhero movie from a simple action film to a memorable motion picture? Is it possible?

    I think it's just heart - giving the hero a center and realistic dimensions. Give him a reason for doing what he does, and show how he, as a human (assumedly) deals with his fantastic powers. There are so many people in the world who suddenly develop power of their own (through money, fame, influence, politics) and don't know what to do with it. A superhero film should show that conflict, and the best ones do.

    BONUS) Most superhero movies take place in a more-or-less realistic modern world. If a superhero actually appeared in your city today and started fighting crime, what would be the actual public reaction?

    I think amusement would be the first reaction, then fear. Since superpowers are completely unknown, it would be a world-changing event for someone to suddenly show they can fly or morph their body or spin webs or whatever. If it's a non-super superhero (i.e. a vigilante like Batman) it would be different as the public might perceive him to be the answer to their prayers

    And remember, EXCELSIOR!

    Yahoo! Search Link to my Site of the Day

    naked+women+in+Knoxville+Tennessee

    Hey, I'll all for that!

    But I Don't Even Like The Mint Flavor...

    freshmint
    You are Fresh Mint.
    You are caring and friendly. You have a nurturing
    personality and always help out a friend in
    need. You are fairly outgoing, and always show
    a friendly face. You truly care for other
    people, and you show it. However, you may
    neglect your own responsibilites or become over
    involved in your friends' personal affairs.
    Most Compatible With: Orange


    Which Tic-Tac Flavor Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    (Hat Tip: Big Orange Michael)

    Prodigal Cat

    Our black and white cat, Little Bit, had been missing all day Tuesday and Wednesday.



    Being a total indoor cat, and also being that at one point the back door was left open, we feared the worst. We've had him with us for eleven years, since he was six weeks old.

    But have no fear - a knock at the back door and in he saunters late tonight (Wednesday). Wet, bedraggled, hungry and with dirt on his half-tail. And an attitude.

    Tas isn't sure what to make of him - he hissed at LB for the first few minutes (apparently from the "outside" smell) but now they're back to being buds again.

    Hope you had a nice holiday, LB. Don't do it again! :)