Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Casualties

For everyone really concerned about "mounting" casualties in Iraq, Donald Sensing sets the record straight by crunching the real numbers.

TV Tuesday

Week 34 - What'd you watch?

ACK! It can't be Tuesday can it? *checks calendar* Oops! Sure is! Since I took a week off let's find out what you were watching!

1. What's your favorite thing you've watched in the past week?

"Awakening" on Enterprise

2. Have you found anything new you liked? (You can use disliked or any other adjective you want.)

I watched the DVD of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"....very odd, very interesting movie. Started v-e-e-r-y slow, got really good in the middle, then sucked at the end. Hatamaran and I had a discussion about it on Monday, and she got me to rethink the ending a little bit.

3. For those who had access to them, did you see any really cool parades on TV?

Saw about 15 minutes of Macy's. Eh.

~Bonus~ Holiday dinner: TV on or off?

ON, baby. Go, Colts!

Courage

Michael Silence points out that tomorrow is the 49th anniversary of Rosa Parks' heroic refusal to move to the back of the bus - an single, selfless, heroic act that changed the face of civil rights.

Michael makes an interesting statement:
"Was that not the single most courageous act by an individual during the 20th Century?"
I had to sit and think a moment, and try to come up with other noteworthy, courageous individual acts in the last century.

The only other one that comes to mind is:



Can you think of others?

And as for the 21st Century, can we go ahead and nominate Todd Beamer (although he didn't act alone, he was the one most remembered)?

Monday, November 29, 2004

Cookies 'n' Comments

I'm having trouble, using Mozilla v1.7.3, with commenting on Moveable Type blogs...

Here's the scenario:

Let's say I go to Busy Mom's site. I want to leave a comment to one of her posts, so I click "Comments".

The Comment window pops open and I enter my name, email address and blog address. I enter my comment, then click Yes on "Remember My Info", and hit Post.

Now, if I want to comment on another article, the next window I pull up will successfully return my info. But if I leave her site and come back, or if I comment on any other MT blog that I've been too before, it never remembers my name and information. Even if I clicked "Remember My Info".

This only seems to happen on MT blogs, and blogs that use comments like Haloscan (that I also use), I have no problem with.

But since a great number of people have MT, it's a big hassle to keep entering my information over and over on sites I visit often.

I'm fairly sure it's a cookie issue and Moveable Type isn't playing well with Mozilla. Any suggestions on what setting I should change? Or is it a hopeless bug?

Glory Days of High Speed Access

I finally got word that high-speed internet and digital cable providor Knology will be available in our area in the next 30-60 days.

Goodbye dialup - forever!

It's been a comedy of errors with Knology's access throughout Knoxville. My parents in Fountain City (north suburb) have had it for a while. My in-laws have had it for several years in two different locations they've lived around the city (south of Kingston Pike and Western Avenue area), a number of friends of ours from church in the Bearden area have had it for years, but finally....finally....my neighborhood - a mere mile or so from their local corporate offices - apparently will be getting the service soon.

Of course, until it's actually hooked up and running, I'll believe it when I see it.

That said - regarding high-speed cable always-on access... what would you recommend for a firewall protection? I already have McAfee virus scanner, should I just continue to go with them?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Greetings From Our Front Yard

Barry, Tink and Ramona the Beaglet


Friday's Feast



Appetizer
How much money do you plan to spend this upcoming holiday season?

My wife and I agreed only to give each other stocking stuffers, so we're mainly buying for BrainyBoy and Tink. Therefore we'll do like we always do - re-max out our credit cards and take out a third mortgage the home...

Soup
What was the last television show you watched, and was it good?

The West Wing: "The Indians in the Lobby"

Salad
If you had to paint the walls of your living room tomorrow, what color would you choose?

Um, off-white.

Main Course
Name something clever or practical you have thought of that should be invented, but hasn't yet.

Someone should invent a truly efficent way of keeping up with and storing all the little tiny accessories that come with toys and action figures. There should be a remote control, with codes assigned to each toy. This remote, when triggered, would immediately home in on each blaster, lightsaber, high-heeled shoe, bullwhip, hairbow, serving trays and teeny-tiny little cans of coke that come with Barbie or Anakin Skywalker, allowing me or my kids to find them all and put them in a nice, convenient plastic bag. In later models, the actual pieces will be magnetically attracted to the remote through an embedded microchip and all come flying through the air to one central location when summoned. This will allow me to walk through my living room without stepping on one of them.

Dessert
List 3 things you would like to receive as gifts this holiday season.

1) A new racquetball racquet (mentioned before in a previous post)

2) A new car stereo/CD Player

3) The 2nd Season of 24, any season of ST:TOS, TNG, DS9 or Voyager, or the 2nd season of Land of the Lost (on DVD)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

It's Not Easy Being Green. And Short. And Wrinkled, and Talk Funny...

Yoda's Top 7 Possible Final Lines in Revenge of the Sith

Compiled from posts at Jedi Council Forums

7) "Return, the Jedi Will"

6) "Soon dead Obi-Wan will be, then the tallest Jedi I will be!"

5) Obi Wan: "This episode was our last hope."
Yoda: "No, there will be sequels. Wait - already have been there are!"

4) "Replaced by a muppet, from now on, I will be"

3) "Begun, the Original Trilogy, has."

2) "Saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to geico, I have."


And Yoda's #1 possible final line in Return of the Sith:


1) !@#%, Oh.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Happy Belated Mole Day

I knew something had slipped my mind last month. And I so enjoy the Mole parade every year, culminating in the annual "Pi a la mole" eating contest. Ah well, there's always next year.

Read all about the annual Mole Day festivities, each October 23 from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm, which celebrates some scientific formula for calculating the weight of molecules. Or something.

However, I can experience Mole Day through the experiences of others - here's the The Top 7 Ways We Celebrated Mole Day:

7> We attended the big Moleing Stones concert.

6> I got my annual beating from my wife for yelling, "Holy Moly!
Get it, honey?" one too many times.

5> "Here we go 'round the moleberry bush, the moleberry
bush...."

4> By discussing how much we dig science, man!

3> Same as every Mole Day: Got liquored up with the other
chemistry professors and tagged the physics building with
periodic table graffiti.

2> I stopped at my old high school to reflect on Mr. Seeger, the
man who first inspired me to pursue a career in chemistry. I'm
sure he'd be proud to know that I'm the top chemist in my
basement meth lab.

and the Number 1 Way We Celebrated Mole Day...

1> Stared at Cindy Crawford's face.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Beware of Flying Hollagrams...

Found via BlogExplosion:

FREEDOM PRESS

A conspiracy theorist to make the Lone Gunmen blush in shame... Here are some quotes:
"As far as Fahrenheit 911 goes, it's a joke because it just ingrains in the American people the idea that the Saudis and Bin Laden were behind the attacks on the twin towers, when it was really George Bush and the neo cons."

...

"Fluoride is really a toxic chemical byproduct of the aluminum, steel and nuclear industries, and ruins your teeth and basically your health in general, bringing on premature aging."

...

"Check out Patriot Act II for yourselves people. Sounds like nazi Germany to me. ...there's a government contract out there for 107,000 rail cars with 143 pairs of shackles in each, couple that with the growing number of detention camps springing up across the country (currently at 600+), and now the Patriot Act II."

Plus he has a poll on his site:
"Were the planes that hit the WTC hollagrams? (yes) (no)"
As soon as I find out what a hollagram is, I'll let you know.

I can't decide if he's being satirical or serious, but it makes for some fun reading if you're into crackpot theories.

Tragedy at the News Sentinel

Gary Lundy has died of a heart attack
"Gary Lundy, a multi award-winning sports columnist and reporter, died this afternoon after collapsing this morning in the newsroom. The mild-mannered, dry-witted Lundy was widely respected and was friends to everyone. As a journalist, he was fair minded and pulled no punches in his columns. He would have been 50 next month."
Thanks to Michael Silence, News Sentinel writer and Blogger for the news...

Gone to the Dogs

What Kind of Dog Are You?

Not your typical quiz, this one's got a snappy design and a clever interface.

I'm a Great Pyrenees (Pyrenean Mountain Dog) - a powerful dog that must be well trained.

No comment.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Three is a Magic Number

Ok, I'm pretty much violating the Ninth Rule of Blogging here, but since I have little to nothing to say about my life that would remotely interest anyone, here's another meme.

Three questions.
More fun! More craziness! More comments!

(A) First, recommend to me:
1. a movie
2. a book
3. a musical artist, song, or album

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want.

(C) Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything & say that you stole it from me.


Take the quiz: "What does your birth month reveal about you?"

December
Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egoistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Not in the least big scientific, but interesting. Most of them are true, I suppose. I'm not that ambitious, really, as far as career goes. I'm not really short-tempered, though I stew about things that really get me angry. I think I probably am a bit egostic (is that the same as egotistical? Not sure). And you'll have to ask those females who know me if I'm sexy - I'm not saying. That would be egoistic (?)


Shamelessly swiped from Big Orange Michael

Friday's Feast



Appetizer
What do you think is the perfect age to get married? To have a first child? To retire?

Well, my own experience is 25, 29 and....well, I don't know yet. I consider the first two very good age for both, as (I think) I had the maturity to handle both large steps at that moment in my life. When raising kids, it's important not to be too young, because it's difficult to teach respect when you're too close to their age, and I don't want to be too old when they graduate college and have kids (gulp) to have a lot of meaningful time with the grandkids. Both mine and my wife's parents followed those guidelines, and so have had (and will have) many years to spend with their grandkids.

I can't speak to retirement, truly, but you should never retire from participating in the world.


Soup
If you could change occupations tomorrow, what would you want to do for a living?

I would be a full-time director, and/or be an Artistic Director for a theatre company. That's the snap answer I've always had - although lately any theatrical venture I've undertaken has kept me away from my family in the evenings for weeks at a time, so I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that I should just give up theatre until they're out of school. I haven't talked to anyone about this yet, so I'm not sure...

Salad
What does the color green make you think of?

Life. Vibrancy. Peace, and calmness. Lush. Green is my favorite color.

Interestingly, it seems "vibrancy" and "peace" are almost contradictory terms, but when associated with green...they're not.


Main Course
What is something that has happened to you over the last year that you didn't expect?

I got to spend two weeks in Florida as a musical director for a production of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas".

Dessert
How old were you when you had your first kiss?

I don't kiss and tell :) Suffice to say it was a bit later in life than most people would expect.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Theatre Thursday

Week 26 - So Tell Me Why....

We've all watched films and wondered why an actor or director did a scene in a certain way, or what was going through their minds when they shot a particular sequence. Now here's your chance to ask them!

1) What question(s) would you ask any actor (past or present) about their film work?

To Dan Ackroyd: You are a brilliant actor and comedian - why couldn't you have chosen better films besides Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy?

2) What question(s) would you ask any filmmaker (director, producer - past or present) about their film work?

To Ron Howard: How did you successfully put forward your "good guy" image in Hollywood and stay respected? What does it mean to you to be part of so many separate successful ventures (Andy Griffith, Happy Days, movie directing)?

3) What question(s) would you ask any other person on a movie crew (costumer, composer, special effects wizard, best boy) about their film work?

To whoever connected with "The Wizard of Oz" who first had the idea to start in sepia in Kansas and go to color in Oz....how did the idea first occur to you?

BONUS LITERARY QUESTION) What would you ask any author (past or present) about their writing or body of work?

To Stephen King: What process do you go through in naming your characters, specifically why did you give the lead character in "The Dead Zone" such a generic name as Johnny Smith?

NOTE: Any questions containing the words, "Ewok, "Jar Jar", or "Greedo" will not be accepted, for they have no possible answers.

Just When You Thought it was Safe....

Spurrier headed to South Carolina, announcement next week
"Steve Spurrier, who guided Florida to six SEC championships and a national championship in his 12 years in Gainesville, has agreed in principle to take over at South Carolina for Lou Holtz as the Gamecocks' head coach"
You know, I go to church...I eat my Wheaties...I stop for little old ladies crossing the street. Heck, I even stopped for a deer the other day.

What did I ever do to deserve this?

Just when you thought Sir Steve was out of Vol fans' lives forever, he has to give it one more ol' college try...

What, Steve, the Miami Dolphins weren't warm enough for ya? Not enough golf courses in Dade County?

So next year, when surely UT would be having a stellar season with its two phenom QB's, stellar wideouts, experienced O-Lines and D-Lines.....VisorBoy has to come back and steal the thunder.

Well, he's moving ever closer, from Gainesvile to D.C. to Columbia, to his boyhood home of Johnson City, TN.

Now if he had taken over Vanderbilt, what a story that would be.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

TV Tuesday

Week 32 - Holiday Habits

The Holidays are quickly coming upon us, what will be on your TV?

1. Any holiday favorites you can't live without?

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "A Christmas Story". As long as I see those two specials/movies, my holidays are complete.

Funny, I didn't realize until I just looked at the IMDB listing for "Santa Claus..." that Paul Frees was the voice of the Burgermeister Meisterburger. Duh... I should have known. Click on the link to Frees to hear what else he's done, foolish mortal...


2. Holiday viewing: Parades or Football?

The Macy's Parade was fun the first few years I watched it, but I can take or leave it now. My wife and kids enjoy watching it every year. I do keep an eye out for something new and interesting, like a current Broadway show or a new TV show float.

As for football - well, I loves me some college and pro football. I'm not a junkie that will plant himself in front of the screen and watch any game that comes on - I have to have some interest in the teams - but by then, most bowl games are pretty good matchups.


3. What's your favorite holiday TV memory?

  • B.O. Mike - remember CGI Santa against the Martians Snowmen at the Sherbakoffs'?

  • I still remember watching the Star Wars Christmas Special when it first (and only) aired back in 1977.

  • Other than that, just remember this:

    "Put one foot in front of the other,
    And soon you are walkin' cross the floor!
    Put one foot in front of the other,
    And soon you are walkin' out the door!"

    ~Bonus~ Holiday remakes, are you a faithful fan of the old classics or do you prefer the newer versions?

    I really have no opinion, but I don't like to see colorized versions of the classics like "It's a Wonderful Life". Feh.
  • Monday, November 15, 2004

    Am I a Great Dad or What?

    While in Vegas, I perused FAO Schwarz at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

    I got a teddy bear for Tink - I can't find a picture of it yet, but when I do I'll post it.

    Got this for BrainyBoy:


    Ok, ok. And I got this for my wife:


    So, what, do I like get the award or not?

    Saturday, November 13, 2004

    Question of the Day

    So, like, what did moths do before humans were here? Before electric lights, before candles, before campfires....where did go at night to satisfy their phototaxis?

    I guess the moon...

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    My Vegas Trip

    Why I Went:
    8th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference

    Where I Stayed:


    Rio All-Suites Resort Hotel



    What I Did:



    How Much I Won:
    $32 at slots

    This is the second time I've been to Las Vegas, the last was the previous spring. I really enjoy going there - it's a kick in the head (no pun intended) to walk around all the places you've heard about all your life as where the rich and famous have trod. It's different from Washington DC, or New York - this place just has such vigour.

    The time difference is rough - the first night I was ready for bed and it was only 10pm...1am my time.

    Friday's Feast

    Well, I'm back. No time to write anything meaningful today, so here's the Feast just so you know I'm still alive...



    Appetizer
    Name 3 cosmetics/toiletries that you use on a daily basis.

    Please! I have a rep to protect...

    How about soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. Does that count? Oh, and deodorant.


    Soup
    Approximately how much exercise do you get per week, and what type of exercise is it (walking, running, swimming, etc.)?

    We just joined a health club and, like everyone, are having trouble getting into a routine. I try to do 30 minutes of cardio work (treadmill, bike, etc) plus I have a weightlifting routine I've started. So far we've averaged once a week, which doesn't do anybody and good, really, but we're trying.

    Salad
    Write a sentence including your favorite color and your favorite food.

    The leftover pizza in the refrigerator had turned a healthy shade of green, and it wasn't even St. Patrick's Day...

    Main Course
    What famous person/celebrity do you think you look like?

    The other day someone told me I looked like Quentin Tarentino. I wasn't sure how to take that... I don't think I do. I'm closer to Matt Frewer.

    Dessert
    Name 2 simple things that never fail to make you happy.

    Hearing my kids laughing and having fun, and watching UT win a football game.

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

    I'm winging out of here Monday morning to an internet conference in Las Vegas. Send me a quarter and I'll play a slot for ya ;)

    Be back Friday. Be good.

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    Cannot Stand....

    Dingo provides us with An Open Letter To A Divided Nation
    "The point of all of this is that I’m unbelievably tired of the two-party system, which forces the congregation of candidates with differing views in the name of beating the opposition, for no other reason than to beat the opposition. For those of you out there who aren’t in the extreme left or the extreme right, why do you not force the creation of a centrist party?"
    That's what I say. Where do I sign up?

    Does This Mean "Mother" Showers Bring "Makhtum" Flowers?

    If you watched "The West Wing" last night, here's some info on the real-life wacko President of Turkmenistan

    "...[Saparmurat Niyazov] also proposed renaming all the months of the year, a move which was quickly agreed. January is now "Turkmenbashi," while April is "Mother" after Niyazov's mother."

    Theatre Thursday

    Week 24 - The Classics

    Everyone has their own idea of what a classic movie is. Most would put films such as The Wizard Of Oz, Casablanca, and The Godfather on the classics list. We want to know what you think. So this week, there is just one question. What is classic to you?

    Give us your list of YOUR top 10 "classic" films.

    In no particular order:

    1) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    2) Star Wars Trilogies
    3) Back to the Future
    4) The Lion King
    5) Superman
    6) The Wizard of Oz
    7) Mr. Holland's Opus
    8) Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    9) Wargames

    and my guilty pleasure:

    10) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    Well?

    There's so much I want to say, and I lack the writing skills to do it...

    I'll just think it to you:

    *think think think think*

    There, that oughta do it. Discuss.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Bully!

    Roosevelt in '04!!!

    Report from the Polls

    Just finished casting my votes at Cedar Bluff Middle School.

    Long line before 8am, then when the polls opened the line moved right in. I was out by 8:15.

    I noticed a backlog at the secondary registration tables, though - the ones where you line up in sections alphabetically to have your name checked against the voter rolls. There were a lot of people lined up at these tables, and only a couple of workers per table. Consequently, the 10 or so voting machines were frequently empty and waiting on people to line up at them. Hopefully they'll get things straightened out as the day goes on.

    I've never been exit polled - and if you've ever been polled, you know how painful that can be. I didn't see any outside today, maybe it was too early. Has anyone been exit polled before?

    I also didn't see any candidates stumping outside the front walk, which I usually do. There was only one state office and one national office besides the President to vote for, so that's not surprising.

    As for the Knox County Wheel Tax issue, that's something I've wavered on for a good while. After reading the rather disappointing and poorly written Pros and Cons in the Knoxville News Sentinel this past Sunday, I finally made up my mind. But I'm not telling ;)

    And as for the Presidential race....well, I feel dirty. I think I need a bath, now.

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    What Will You Do?

    Assuming tomorrow goes off without a hitch, and we have elected a President by tomorrow night sometime...

    What will you be thinking that night should your candidate lose?

    What will you do Wednesday?

    I'm interested in what, if anything, people are planning to do should their candidate lose - or are you supremely confident in victory?