Friday, March 30, 2007

Separated at Birth?

If you watched 24 the other night, you were treated to see Jack Bauer be a nice big brother to autistic Brady:

As I watched, something kept gnawing at me regarding the character of Brady. No, not that he talked exactly like Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man", but that he reminded me of somebody.

Then a couple days later it hit me....(see below)

It's Knoxville's Sports Talk host and local sports writer Jimmy Hyams!

Friday's Feast

Feast One Hundred & Thirty Seven

Appetizer - What are you proud of?

I'm proud of my kids when they accomplish something above and beyond their experience.

Soup - What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

I think I won a folding chair at Bingo one time. I'm still waiting on my big prize...

Salad - Name something you do that is a waste of time.

Currently I have about 20 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager cued up in my DVR waiting to watch. I'm making my way through them, slowly. Oh, so slowly...

Main Course - In what year of your life did you change the most?

I changed a lot the year our first child, BrainyBoy was born, 1996.

Dessert - Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?

I mentioned in a past feast that I love laying on the couch, reading a book, no noise and nobody around with the windows open and a slight breeze coming through when it's sunny outside. It's also very tranquil when I'm skin diving in the Caribbean :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

We're An American Band

The Atomic Horns, in their last gig for the 50th Anniversary of the UT Department of Nuclear Science at the Knoxville Convention Center last month.

From left to right: Me on keyboards, Greg on guitar, Mark on bass, Carey on drums, Bill on trumpet, Paul on trumpet and Jack on sax. Bill's wife Tracy also plays horn but wasn't in that picture for some reason.

Me, Mark and Carey. Mark's really professional and smart, Carey's a wild man. Me, I look like the guy that got up out of the audience to come play with the band but ends up looking like a goof :)

LOST in Thoughts ("Expose'")

For those of you wondering if they're really dead, remember what Locke said:

"Things don't stay buried on this island for long."

If that's not a clue/foreshadowing, I don't know what is...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Falling Trees in the Forest

I just looked at my site and I haven't posted since last Tuesday. That's rare that I go so long without something (and I haven't posted on anything substantial besides TV show thoughts and amusing-to-me-only tidbits) for several weeks.

Several things, rather big things in the grand scheme, happened with my life last week. I've pondered whether the blog about them and wondered if anyone really cared one way or another about what goes on in my life. I don't mean I consider you heartless or unsympathetic, dear reader, only that I find it more and more difficult to believe what I have to say is any more interesting or noteworthy than, say, the guy down the street. Or the girl in the car beside you at the red light. Or the checker at the supermarket - you know what I mean?

There are two kinds of bloggers. Those who blog because they have to blog - they have to put their thoughts and observations on paper (the computer) because it's an outlet for their own personal creativity, inspiration and philosophy. SayUncle's motto, right on the top left corner of his site, is, "Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you." He blogs because he finds it a rewarding outlet for putting his inner thoughts into words.

The other kind of blogger is the one who puts words on the computer to entertain, enlighten or educate others. That's me - I don't need to put thoughts in writing necessarily in order to ruminate on them. The subjects I blog about are created to garner feedback, commentary, discussion, rumination from the community. I look for other people's opinions and observations. I like to share a laugh by posting something funny I've read, or generate speculation on TV shows I like. Sometimes I just don't understand something, so I post about it and invite explanation.

I can't be a day-in-the-life blogger. I've tried, but I just can't. I also can't be a one-amazingly-insightful-post-a-day blogger. I've tried that too but there's nothing there.

I believe I've actually blogged about this dilemma before, which is rather pathetic when you think about it :) I'm sure some eager beaver will find the post. What would make it sadder is if it was last month some time and I just forgot about it.

If I were a here's-the-latest-in-my-life blogger, this post would look something like this:

  • Last Tuesday my uncle passed away. We had the burial Thursday afternoon and I took that day and Friday off to be with family and friends. My brother flew back into town for the funeral, and it was an opportune time for him to reconnect with BrainyBoy and Tink, who he hasn't seen for about a year and a half.

  • Friday we went to the mountains and spent the days with Laura's parents, her cousin and the cousin's family. Went picnicking at Metcalf Bottoms and hiked up to the schoolhouse and back. The kids had a great time playing "school" in the old schoolhouse, then splashed about in the creek for an hour.

  • Saturday we visited the UT Vet School open house and saw a number of exhibits and animals shows - dogs, cats, birds, horses, farm animals, everything to make a couple kids and a couple kids-at-heart happy.

  • Lazy afternoon yesterday for the most part. Our church has started a monthly contemporary service on Sunday evenings that so far hasn't failed to put a nice cap on the week.

  • Our AC is out, on the first truly hot week of the year. It's not summer-hot, but hot enough to be uncomfortable in the house during the afternoon. The service guy won't be able to look at it until Wednesday, so we'll have to live with open windows and constantly running fans.

  • We now have a third cat in the house. My uncle's cat needed a new home, so we took him in. His name is Fizban, to go with Tas and Skie. You do the Googling :) I'll have pictures soon.

  • What the FRAK is going on with Battlestar Galactica?? "All Along the Watchtower?"??? They must be picking up transmissions from Earth, but not knowing the song or what it means, they don't recognize it. But we do. Frakkin' brilliant!

    But this "no new episodes until 2008" is ridiculous, I don't care if we do get some kind of 2-hour TV movie in December.

So that's my week. You tell me, and don't be afraid, was that of actual interest to anyone? Does it make a difference if you know me and know my life and situations? I can't imagine that's of much interest to anyone beyond my immediate circle and the bloggers I've known for a good while.

I'm struggling to define my blogging existence, and this will help.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Don't Cross the Streams

In the instruction manual for my new Motorola cell phone:

Use and Care
3) Microwaves - Don't dry your phone in a microwave oven.

Ok, important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

There's also this:

6) The ground - Don't drop your phone.

Because heaven help you if you drop your phone in, say, a pool of molten lava.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday's Feast

Friday, March 16, 2007 - Feast One Hundred & Thirty Five

Appetizer - Name two things that made you smile this week.

1) Brainyboy coming back from a fairly disappointing (to himself) first soccer game on Tuesday to a much better second one on Wednesday. He's the only goalie for his school's JV team and is very much a Field General - directing his teammates where to be and showing a good knowledge of strategy. Watching him take command and do well defending the goal brings a smile to my face.

2) Watching Tink's ever-increasing sense of humor, wit and acting ability take shape. She's starting to mimic voices, do characters, adopt personas - all still very whimsical and very much a 7-yr-old. Her intelligence makes me smile.

Did I mention we have a convenience store in our house? They're 7-11.

Soup - Fill in the blank: Don't you hate it when ________?

Don't you hate it when a nice, serious thoughtful Friday's Feast suddenly takes a strange turn?

Salad - When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?

I keep a big oversized mallet by the side of the bed.

Main Course - What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?

Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop? However, I have discovered who put the ram in the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong. After exhaustive reseach and effort, I have determined it was, indeed, Fred Rogers. Strange, but true.

Dessert - What is your favorite pasta dish?

Fettucini Alfredo, although it's difficult to find an Italian restaurant that really makes a good dish. I love lasagna, too.

However, my real favorite Italian dish might be Monica Bellucci. Wait, did I say that out loud?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Some Quick Thoughts

  • Pete Rose admitted to betting on baseball yesterday. After all these years of denial he finally admitted to betting on the Reds every evening when he was manager.

    I know betting on sports is basically wrong and illegal in most states. I know betting on sports when you're an active participant is pretty reprehensible. But should Rose be condemned as much for betting for his team as he might have been had he bet against his team? I know there's point spread implications but, maybe I'm missing something, I don't think point spread matters a whole lot in Major League Baseball. If he'd bet against the Reds and actively worked to throw the game then he should be in jail. But if he bet for the Reds and, as a good manager should, tried to win the game and the # of runs didn't matter...well, I'm not going to be on his case too terribly much. After all both operations had the same goals... Oh well.

  • Yesterday Tennessee Senator Mike Williams dropped out of the Republican Party and officially became an independent. I say good job, and what took you so long, Mike? And that has nothing really to do with the fact he was a Republican or Democrat, just that he is the latest in a not-long-enough list to finally shed official Party designation and realize there are two sides to every argument, and that you don't have to follow a "platform" to be a successful lawmaker or person. I think someone's political integrity goes up in my estimation when they do something like this. Here's hoping Joe Lieberman eventually takes that next step in the US Senate, but admittedly the pressure is much greater there. Although the Democratic Party has certainly done him no favors.

    I don't know much about Williams, but he has voted with the Democrats in a number of issues in the past - I just hope he doesn't become an IINO - "Independant in Name Only."


Spoilers for "Par Avion" below....

  • Who is the "magnificent man" that Mikhail mentioned? He is somebody above Ben, and may be part of Dharma/Hanso and may not. There's someone named Jacob that was mentioned as being the one the "lists" were for, so maybe he has a name. Ben also mentions a "great man" who would kill him if he gave up information but Ben could've been lying while in captivity.

    Since the castaways are all known rather well by the Others, I'm forced to conclude that the "magnificent man"/Jacob is somebody known to the Losties. And I'm also forced to conclude he has to be one of these people:

    a) Sun's father, Mr. Paik, the Korean businessman/crimelord
    b) Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, the recent kidney recipient who faked his own death
    c) Kate's stepfather, Sergeant Major Sam Austen of the US Army
    d) Jack's father, Christian Shephard, supposedly dead and in a coffin on the plane but the body was not there.
    e) Desmond's former girlfriend Penelope's father, Charles Widmore, businessman.

    Both Mr. Paik and Charles Widmore have possible connections to Dharma Initiative. Sam Austen could be heading up a military or quasi-military operation. Anthony Cooper presumably disappeared but was shown to be rich and powerful.

    I think the most likely answer is Christian Shephard, mainly due to a) he's Claie and Jack's (the main character on the show) father, and b) he's appeared in three other characters' flashbacks so far (Anna-Lucia, Sawyer and Claire). The main drawback to Shephard being "the magnificent man"/Jacob is that he's a doctor and not a businessman or man of real power and influence. I think dramatically it makes sense.

    Perhaps...and this is real wishful thinking....perhaps one or more of these men are working together. Paik and Widmore (and Cooper) have the capital and power, Austen has the military and Shephard has Medical. I don't know. Sounds a little like the old Batman movie to me. Hey, they did have a submarine!

    Am I missing any more possibilities? Alvar Hanso, the actual founder of the Hanso Foundation, may end up being the main guy but that seems almost too easy.

  • One never-before-seen character that's been a huge influence on one of the Losties' lives is the original con man Sawyer, the one James Ford too his name from. He swindled James' parents (in Knoxville) and indirectly caused James' father to shoot his mother and himself. James came to Australia looking to kill the original Sawyer but never found him. Who wants to bet the original Sawyer is involved as well?

  • Folks are speculating that Rousseau is not who she claims to be, that she's actually an Other who's pretending to help Kate, Sawyer and Locke. Evidence put forth so far includes her disinterest and disappearance while the trio investigate the Flame Station, and how she stopped Mikhail just before he revealed he knew Locke had once been paralyzed. Plus general creepiness on her part. I think personally it's just coincidence. I believe she has her own agenda - get her daughter back - and won't be terribly interested in helping the Losties vs. the Others, but I don't think she's secretly working against them.

  • Did anyone think the fact the quartet were able to climb over the perimeter fence so easily was a bit far-fetched? I mean, I could've thought of that. I don't think the Others' did it on purpose, I just think it was designed poorly. Well, let me rephrase it. I think it was designed to either keep something nonhuman out or in - something that wouldn't have the ability to cut down a tree and climb over. The Smoke Monster, perhaps? The escaped polar bears? I did half expect to see a T-Rex or Spinosaurus lurking about...

  • Jack is fated to lead the Others, I think it's obvious. His tattoo translated to "he walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." I think he feels he can change better from within and will willingly take a leadership role - either over Ben or next to Ben, but whether it's with Ben's blessing is unknown. It will come down to Jack leading the Others vs Kate/Locke/Sayid/Sawyer and the other Losties. See Stockholm Syndrome.

UPDATE (03/30/07): Ok, scratch "b)" off that list above, assuming it's really Cooper the Others are holding all tied up in the basement. Apparently, according to Locke's flashback, he's not quite so rich and powerful as I thought. Or maybe he became more rich after he killed his mark's son and pushed Locke out the window, but apparently not powerful enough to keep from being captured.

I also mentioned how the real Sawyer would probably turn up eventually - I think (as do other folks) that Cooper is the real Sawyer. If our Sawyer ever lays his eyes on Cooper, we'll find out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Men and Women....and Children of CTU

Ladies and gentlemen, your new Field Ops Director at CTU:

Little Ricky Schroder from "Silver Spoons" and "The Champ" (pictured)!

But this is just the latest in a series of former child actors on "24" - consider:

Sean "Goonies" Astin was CTU OverLord that took one too many breaths last season and:

Sara "Darlene Conner" Gilbert was a CTU tech that got blowed up good in Season 2...not to mention:

Lukas Haas, the kid from "Witness" as another witness who gets wacked early in Season 4, and another innocent bystander:

C. Thomas "Ponyboy" Howell was Kim Bauer's unlucky boyfriend/shrink named, interestingly, Barry that almost took a whiff of Sentax nerve gas last season. Then there's this obscure former child actor who play a minor role on "24":

He played Ace Merrill in "Stand by Me" and,

A bloodsucker in "Lost Boys". Too bad nothing more came of his career...

Anyway, look for Corey Feldman, Kirk Cameron and Tina Yothers to make appearances in upcoming seasons...

This Just In....

"Subversive elements" have taken over Michael Silence's blog, attempting to balance out Michael's All-Fred-Thompson-All-The-Time fervor with a hefty dose of Al-Gore-He's-Our-Man-If-He-Can't-Do-It-Nobody-Can linkagery.

Two thoughts:

1) Knoxville bloggers (at least those I know) give both efforts a big collective yawn, and

2) This is why I dislike group blogs, especially group blogs with too many divergent points of view. When both of them get over their political eruptions, maybe Michael can go back to blogging about important stuff, like, you know, paint peeling. Or County Commission. Whichever makes more sense this week...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Nothing Wrong

Some of you may remember my adventures with the crash cart some weeks back.

I got the results from the gall bladder test - nothing wrong. Which is a good thing, except it doesn't answer my question as to why there's a pain in my side. Back to the drawing board, and more tests I suppose. Yippy.

Friday, March 09, 2007

In Which Our Protagonist Enters the 21st Century

I am blogging this on my new work laptop, at lunch, at a hotspot at Atlanta Bread Company. This is the first time I've ever used a wireless internet connection.

Yes, me. Professional web designer me. Taunt all you want, George Jetsons, I shall languish in darkness no more.

The entire internet is open to me - the world is my blogspot. What shall I do first?



This sandwich looks good....web can wait.

Friday's Feast

Friday, March 09, 2007 - Feast One Hundred and Thirty Four

Appetizer - What is your usual bedtime? Do you like that, or would you rather it be different?

Typically between 12:30 and 1:30 am. I'd like to be able to go to bed earlier because, you know, sleep good. But there's so much I like to do like watch DVD's or mess around on the computer, it's hard to stop.

Soup - When it comes to advice, do you give more or receive more?

I probably give more advice than I receive because I'm not good at taking advice. Plus since I'm a dad, advice goes out on a daily basis...

Salad - Describe a memorable meal you've had.

We were discussing today my favorite pizza places of all time - #3) Little Caesars that was on Kingston Pike near what's today Kingston Alley. My wife and I got takeout there every week when we lived in that area just after we first got married. #2) Stephano's on the Strip. The best crust, hands down. #1) Godfather's Pizza that used to be in Fountain City near where Cici's Pizza is today. Before it was Godfather's it was a great place called Happy Joe's (mmm. just remembering gives me good feelings...) Godfather's was the best pizza I ever ate, hands down, and was a place we hung out at after football games in high school before it closed. Great, great meals were had in all those places.

Main Course - Name a work of fiction that affected the way you think about something.

I'm currently reading Norman Mailer's "The Gospel According to the Son" which is what a fictional Gospel actually written by Jesus might be like. I don't expect any great spiritual truth or, ahem, revelation to come out of it, but I'm hoping it will give some insight or raise some questions I can search for.

Dessert - What is your favorite type of fruit juice?

I fluxuate between apple juice and orange juice, though I should probably drink more of both.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My Life Thus Far

I'm typing this from my new work HP Laptop, delivered today, viewed on the new 19" flat-screen monitor. Mighty sweet. Laptop has wireless access and CD/DVD burner. Double sweet.

Brainyboy's team made the State Finals in his Destination Imagination competition this past Saturday. The State is in mid-April in Nashville. The Nationals/Globals, should they make it that far, are Memorial Day weekend back here in Knoxville. Ironically enough, that's the weekend of my brother's wedding in Austin, TX. Do well, BrainyBoy, just not too well....

24 and Battlestar Galactica are dead to me.

Good thing I still have Lost, The Office and 30 Rock. If Studio 60 comes back I'll be a happy camper. I haven't seen a single episode of Heroes - those of you in the know, has it progressed thus far as a good enough show to rent the season 1 DVD when it inevitably comes out in the fall?

One of my best friends is having surgery as we speak for a herniated disk in the back which will lay him up for several weeks. Please remember him and his young family in your prayers. This could be the best thing in the world for him, as he's a major workaholic and needs to take a break.

My directing job fell through. Nothing more till music directing Suessical in late April.

Atomic Horns gig on Saturday was a pretty big hit, unfortunately nothing more with them until mid-April.

What's everyone else up to?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Radio Drama Podcasts

Does anyone know if anyone on the web is doing original, new radio drama podcasts?

I know there are plenty of places to hear old-time radio dramas like Suspense or The Shadow or even Amos and Andy, but what I'd like to know is if anyone is producing their own vintage-style radio dramas and podcasting them for the enjoyment of their listening audience?

I've got a hankerin' to give it a try myself but don't want to recreate the wheel is someone is already doing it. I've got tons of old play scripts that could be turned into radio dramas, plus a lot of the original show scripts are available in various volumes as well.

Would anyone have an interest in, say, monthly originally produced radio drama podcasts?

Friday's Feast

Friday, March 02, 2007 - Feast One Hundred & Thirty Three

Appetizer - What does the color pink make you think of?

Barbie, unfortunately. Having a daughter, it's inescapable. However her love of Barbie had never reached obsession stage, so there's a minimal amount lying about the house. What gets me is the times I'm at a Target or Walmart and walk past the Barbie aisle, the neon pulsating pink glow emanating from all the boxes can be nauseating.

Soup - Name something you thought you had lost, but later found.

I thought our cat had run away a few years ago, but after a couple hours combing the neighborhood, he turned up. Tas is an indoor cat all the way and doesn't know beans about surviving outside. I was very glad he came back.

Salad - In 3 words, describe this past week.

"Sneezy Volunteer Broken" - no, it doesn't make sense together but take a look at the past several posts and you'll understand...

Main Course - What are you obsessed with?

Currently I'm obsessed with geneology and my family history. I received a book from my parents the other day that traces the ancestry of my dad's father's family. I've traced my family name back to 1711 Maryland, and am now determined to discover the lineage back to Scotland or Ireland, if it truly exists in such a direct path.

Dessert - What kind of perfume or cologne do you like to wear?

I don't wear cologne - ick. Deodorant is sufficient, thanks. Women, do you prefer men to wear cologne, or does is actually matter?