Thursday, September 29, 2011

The First Day of School 2011

This year the big day arrived on August 29th. YaYa is now in 5th grade, LuLu in 3rd, Smiley in 1st (and officially in uniform attire!) and precious Ginger is in K4.

At 7:12 a.m. I posted the following on Facebook: "In a before school weigh/measure here at home, Smiley came in at 3# later than he did at the start of summer, and gained an INCH in height. He is now 55# and 48 1/2" tall."

The morning itself went pretty smoothly. In an effort to reign in the chaos of previous years we'd had the kids get their clothes ready the night before and require them to get dressed before heading downstairs. The theory - which so far as held up - is that when they know they can't get bathroom time, check the comp or watch a morning cartoon until they're dressed, they'll come down lickety split and ready to go. So far, three weeks in, so good.

Soon it was time for the mandatory 1st day of school shots!





I then drove them to school and walked Ginger to her spot on the playground. She was very nervous, twirling her hair rapidly as we walked. She went to school last year at a local montessori school, but this was her first day joining the rest of the family at this campus, and her first ever full day of school. Oh boy.




As was required I walked her in with the rest of her class, but this wasn't my first rodeo. I knew she'd be ok, so after a quick goodbye and "good luck" I left her to aquatint herself with the rest of her classmates. A month in, she continues to love school and sincerely adores her teacher Mrs. DiM-.


Here's to another safe and successful school year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LuLu's Stitches

There's a running tradition among my children: they must, before reaching maturity, acquire stitches above their eye.

For the 3 year old YaYa it was a fall on my Mother's steps on Easter Sunday. For Smiley it was an accidental dog bite at a neighbor's BBQ when he was ~4. This August 26th, LuLu assumed her place with a trampoline accident in our backyard.

She'd come inside to ask me if she could go to a softball game with a friend. I agreed and she left, but unbeknownst to me she took a few minutes to play on the trampoline with her friend before she left. That's a big no-no, in no small part because no one but my kids are allowed on the trampoline without parental approval.

Cut ahead a few minutes in the film and LuLu runs up to me crying, with blood streaming down her face. She'd gotten a gash above her right eye after accidentally headbutting her friend.

In what I felt was a great Daddy moment, I kept cool and calm, and talked her out of her panic. Alas, it did need stitches. She wanted the whole family along for support, and gathered up not only her own White Bear but YaYa's Brown Bear.


A two bear trip - you know she was upset.


Here are the Facebook updates from that night:

6:32 PM "‎@ St Francis ER w/ the family. LuLu got hurt playing w/ a friend and got a decent slash above her right eye."

6:44 PM "the admission's lady mistakenly gave Lu the ID band of a lovely 92 yr old, and vice versa. The woman tripped on a new couch and cut her mouth. She is a very lively, friendly woman who looks 10 yrs younger."

6:58PM "Some nut is screaming and banging his head on the wall in the ER. Security is responding. Long wait, screaming nuts - it reminds me of riding the bus"

7:07 PM "playing rock/paper/scissors to pass the time"


We also watched Shark Tank and Smiley found a green Power Ranger action figure in the waiting room. He turned it in to the Lost and Found but a nurse sterilized it and gave it to him to pass the time. Score!


(he's not happy that she's hurt; at this point he was over-tired and goofy)


In the end, after all that fuss, I still wasn't 'there' for her when she got the stitches, as I walked her siblings out to stretch their legs right before the doc decided to get it over with. Figures.



Anyhow, the stitches are out, the scar is barely recognizable as one, and all is well. More importantly, a tradition has been continued! (j/k)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Our September Trip to Cool Waters

On September 4th (Labor Day Weekend) we took the kids to Cool Waters, a local county owned water park, to celebrate the end of summer. The air that day was cool, and it was hardly a day that screamed 'water sports'. But it was the 2nd to last day of the season for the park, the water is heated, it was last day for the free coupons we had, and most importantly, one of the rare times Lisa could convince me to accompany the kids near a crazy large body of water.

The air temp actually worked towards our advantage, as we had the park all but to ourselves the whole day. I kid you not.

Here's a few of the FB posts I made from my phone that day:

Smiley is tall enough for the adult slides! And he loves them!


my family accounts for 6 of the FIFTEEN patrons in the entire water park right now [THIS WAS NOT AN EXAGGERATION!]



Although the air was chilly the water was warm, and w/ the park nearly empty my water-anxiety w/ the kids was nil. It was a great trip (my 1st there) courtesy of passes the kids earned from the library's summer reading program.

I went down the tube slide with all the kids individually (well, not Ginger. She was too small) and I made a big production of screaming like a ninny on the way down each time. Lisa said she could literally hear me across the deserted park!


This next bit *isn't* a sign we feed Ginger too much - it's an inflatable preserver built into her swimsuit.



The lifeguards that day were soooo bored, but I relished the opportunity to have 2 or 3 lifeguards for every kid in the water :) And as I said to one of them, "You might be bored, but I feel like a celebrity that just bought out the park".





For the most part, when I wasn't on a slide with the older kids, I just took turns with Lisa watching Ginger in the kiddie area. It was a very relaxing time.






What a great time we had!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Facebook: Sept 1st - 17th

Saturday Sept 17th

seriously considering calling into wrk for only the 3rd x since 1998. Dental problems, tired, and generally blah. I wish my hrs hadn't changed 2day - I'd b nearing the end of my day, not the start.

[I didn't call in]

I'm must be getting depressed. I've slept most of the day and am dreading the clopen [close, then open the next morning] ahead of me @ wrk . . .

Scientists have found (dinosaur?) feathers in 80 million year old amber

Why the Millenium Falcon? Why not? I wish I owned that bucket of bolts.



Sept 16th

A - You aren't following Alec Baldwin on Twitter? Why the heck not? B - There are few things worse than seeing your precious big screen TV subjected to "The View". Damn you Lisa. C - What's with all the moans & gasps & body noises in anime? Watching it is like listening to a deaf guy take a dump in the stall next to you. Must be some Japanese fetish. D - That host from Bravo has great chemistry w/ Kelly Ripa. He should be on the list to replace Regis.

"‎"In the Beginning, there was nothing, which exploded."
--Terry Pratchett on the current scientific understanding of Creation"

I really enjoyed the two episodes of the Japanese cartoon 'To' available via Netflix streaming. It's a blend of crisp computer animation, adult story lines, and inventive sci-fi. Check it out.

Sept 15th

"supper was homemade Applebee's fiesta lime chicken, smashed potatoes and brussell sprouts, all scorned by the kids, natch. Then it was on to Smiley's 1st Pack meeting, where we Tigers improvised a skit about a treasure hunting turtle who can't get a gold coin off the ocean floor cuz its glued on, so he uses some 'magic markers' to create a shovel to do the job. Lotta fun."

just finished watching the series finale of Hannah Montana. It was quite good if u scrap the last 30 seconds of the episode. [I took a lot of playful heat from my male friends about this one, but oh well - the show was important to my kids for years. I wanted to see how it turned out]

Sept 14th

"‎@ smiley and ginger's 1st dance class of the yr, and naturally both misplaced their ballet shoes so I look like a putz. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. On the + side i just looked @ last yrs dance pics & lk looks sooo much taller, leaner and more mature than she did a yr ago."

"smiley at home watching (and enjoying) the 1961 Dick Tracy cartoons. Thank you Netflix!"

the last time a friend of ours took her baby daddy 2 court, he put a dead bird in her car. Today Lis took her again and her support (for 3 kids) was raised to 600/month. Quote the friend: if I'm found dead tomorrow, u know who did it.

Here's something I never thought I'd say in a review of 'Thor': it was dull. Yawn-y, "hit fast forward on the remote" dull. Plus Natalie Portman looked oddly . . . used up. I was really looking forward to this flick too, and even hustled it up my Netflix queue. What a shame. C-."

Two Mexican bloggers who wrote about the local drug trade were mutilated and disemboweled, then hung from a bridge as a warning to others. Welcome to Mexico, the Somalia of North America. The hell with a fence, time for a new Hadrian's wall.

"Brrr, what a cold evening. Welcome to fall. We just finished watching "Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037", a documentary about the year long construction of a Steinway piano. It's a good doc, but had lots of room for improvement. I've yet to see a documentary w/out narration that doesn't sacrifice something of both its storytelling and educational value. C+/B-"

"When the music changes, so does the dance"

"Ten years until manned trials, 20 years until we actually go somewhere. FM. If 15th century Spain had been run like our space program, Columbus would have made his second voyage right about . . . now."

Sept 13th

I greatly enjoyed ABC's 2 hour Jackie Kennedy special, and I wish I could afford the $60 price tag that comes with the book it promoted. I wish they hadn't spent a single second rationalizing her opinions; they were her opinions at that moment in time and big wup if they come off as bitchy 48 yrs later. It's not like MLK is going to hold a press conference and object. I will say tho' that her "signature, breathy" voice is irritating. When you close your eyes, it sounds like a bad drag queen.

Solyndra = the administration's 1st 'real' scandal?

"Old news to anyone in Milwaukee, but all afternoon/evening the city has been covered in a haze and reeking of smoke, courtesy of a wildfire in Minnesota - 300 miles away."

"CNN is reporting the US Embassy in Afghanistan is "under siege" by the Taliban . . ."

"I kicked off the NFL season by continuing a grand tradition: the Sad Sack Slapjacks got their butts handed to them 134.08 to 75.42 in fantasy football. 134 points is a monster game (my opponent's D earned 33 points alone) so a loss was all but inevitable, but I didn't help by starting a WR benched for injury and going with Bradford over Cutler. Ugh."

Monday, Sept 12th

Just back from an interview in IL, about 60 min from here. Yes, it's a long ride everyday and yes, I would take the job if it was offered.

Sunday Sept 11th

"watching abc's coverage of the 911 services in NY w/ the kids. YaYa tearing up, as am I, Smiley starting to grasp the enormity of it. Never forget, never forgive."

Saturday Sept 10th

"Yesterday I finished Dick Cheney's autobiography "In My Time". It's no shock that I hold the man in high regard, and I'm grateful that a man of his character and strength was there to guide us through the last decade. Politics aside tho', it was a very well written political bio, solidly constructed and entertaining. Well done."

(as I put on Voltron via Netflix) "This was my favorite show from when I was a kid" Smiley: "So it [is going to be]in black & white, cuz it super old?"

"Lee Child's short story "Second Son" is the tale of a teenage Jack Reacher, circa 1974, as his family relocates to a Marine base on Okinawa. Unlike Stephen King's recent short, *this* one features both a plot and some fine writing. It certainly left me hungry for the upcoming Reacher novel, which meant it done did it's job and did it well."

Sept 9th

Carlos H says: Don't make fun of a fat guy with a lisp. He's probably thick and tired of it.

"Last night I watched "The Burrowers", a movie set in the 1870's. White homesteaders are attacked and their women kidnapped. A posse sets out to recover them from the Indians, only to discover some . . . *thing* else took them. Think "The Searchers" blended with "Alien". I liked it, but way too little time was given to the creepy crawly aspect. It was 85% western, 15% horror. I grade it a B/B-"

KISS FM played a moving 9/11 tribute this morning, mixing actual audio of the day from flight controllers, Bush, news reports, and calls from the Towers. I teared up in the car but of course the kids seemed oblivious to its impact and just argued among themselves. Afterwards I called KISS and spoke to Wes McCain, and thanked them for making the effort.

Sept 8th

"i couldnt find the remote for the big screen so I'm forced to watch the game on the kids tv in the hallway. Ugh."

Booyah baby! 42-34, w/ the Packer's D putting up a wall @ the one w/ 3 seconds on the clock. Whew! [this was the NFL season opener vs New Orleans, a matchup of the last two SuperBowl winners]

Sept 6th

Got a call back about a job I applied for and the voice mail directed me to the company website - which then asked for my credit card # to pay for the privilege of filling out a screening questionnaire/IQ test. But don't worry; if I get the job I'm promised the $ back! Yeah, uh, I'll pass, thanks.

"Yesterday I finished reading Stephen King's new ebook "Mile 81". My verdict? Turdalicous. If it had any other writer's name on the cover, it would never have made it past an agent's desk, much less into print. Aside from the lack of a story (!) King tries hard to make a character sound like a young kid, which to Stevie means mixing vulgarities, brand names he swiped off the nearest TV ad, and slang from three different decades. For your own sake, skip it."

Sept 5th

hanging w/ the kids in the backyard b4 heading to work

Some of the yield from our garden


"I've finished watching "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars", the mini-series that concluded the series. I thought it was so-so; on par with an average Farscape episode, but also riddled with cheap plot devices and deus ex machina 'outs'. And in case no one paid attention, the end completely justifies every machination, torture, and death that Scorpious committed over the run of the series."

Sept 3rd

I just finished watching "Centurion", a British movie about the unknown fate of the 9th Roman Legion, which disappeared from all records in the mid-2nd century. The film uses the belief that the Legion was destroyed in warfare w/ the Picts to set up a chase involving a few Roman survivors eager to return to their own lines. The film had mixed to negative reviews, but I liked it.

Sept 2nd

"Before work today we watched "HH Holmes, America's 1st Serial Killer", a documentary about the subject of the book "Devil in the White City". It was nothing I hadn't heard b4, but it was interesting all the same."

"Ah, to spend 7-4 at work and go home to find not one but FIVE rejection letters from jobs. At least one was actual snail-mail, so I had a glimmer of hope for a second."

Sept 1st

"My children's fave songs as of the end of August a) the '80's-ish "Denim" jingle from the Target back to school ads 2) "Pumped up Kicks" by Foster the People. 3) Lovesick by Emily Osment (which is actually quite catchy) and 4) "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars (which Lauren calls "the monkey song" after seeing a Youtube cover of it)"

strawberry stuffed french toast for dinner

The kids hated the stuffed french toast, but tough - it was yummy and we're gonna have it again.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

FB September 18th thru 24th

Saturday Sept 24th

20 years ago today Nirvana released Nevermind, and w/in a few months my friend Atta would introduce me to Nirvana, PJ, and more. I can't believe it's been 20 yrs. Thanks Kurt & Co for a great 2 decades.


watching StarBlazers on Netflix, an old anime about resurrecting the battleship Yamamoto as a space ship standing btwn Earth & doom. I own the old Comico comic books, but was never a huge fan . . . and now I remember why. It's Robotech minus the writing.

Friday b4 work I had a 40 min phone interview w/ another job that would require relocation. Did it go well? I can never tell. Maybe she kept me yakking because she's a sadist. An oddity: she devoted some ?'s to my writing (it's a job that has nothing to do with the arts in any way) & expressed concern I would jump ship when - not if - my writing 'took off'. A) Yes. Yes I would. B) Where did that come from? I didn't bring it up, & it's about as likely a problem as me landing on the moon tomorrow.

Adoring FB's new Timeline feature. I really think it's a blessing, so long as folks will spend 5 minutes getting the hang of it. Of course, it could go all to hell when it's rolled out. We'll see.

This was the Dow's worst week since October 2008, dropping 6.4% for the week. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Obama is allowing states to scrap academic standards set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act because many schools are in danger of falling short of those standards. So rather than fix the problem, he'd rather eliminate the acknowledgement of the problems. What a do nothing/stand for nothing President.

Friday Sept 23rd

LuLu has never been much of a reader but has recently taken an interest in it. When coupled with a week of low esteem following an innocent remark Lisa made at Isiah's birthday party (saying Smiley was the nicest of the kids), I figured it was time for a little reward. I bought her a Betty & Veronica comic digest, an old favorite of my sister. She'd never heard of them before (!) but tore through it. I was so glad.



I signed in as a Facebook developer and enabled the new Timeline feature. I'm sure they'll be some horrific breach of privacy involved w/ it down the road, but at first glance the dang thing is wickedly awesome.

Let me summarize Nic Cage's 'Season of the Witch': anti-Christian to a vile degree, full of ret-conned history and belief, and Cage does an English accent ala Costner. F.

CERN is alleging that they have recorded subatomic particles traveling faster than the speed of light. Whoa. If true, this could shake up everything, and prove Einstein wrong . . . .

September 22nd

Yesterday I finished reading Christopher Buehlman's debut novel "Those Across the River"


It's a gothic horror story set in rural Georgia in the 1930's. It is WONDERFUL, a dark decent into terror tempered by Buehlman's smooth, poetic language. I enthusiastically recommend this book.

The word 'convenient' is the most inconvenient word for me to spell in the whole dang language. I just wrestled with it for two minutes trying to reply to a job, spelling it so 'off' spellcheck couldn't offer any advice. Geesh!

Milwaukee native Grace Weber is promoting her first national CD on TV this morning.

Clara Tung, the missing 11 yr old Greendale girl police were searching for, has been found unharmed.

Wed September 21st

Congrats to my Yanks for clinching a playoff spot for the 16th time in 17 seasons - as if there was ever any doubt :)

Reading 'Day of Fire', a chapter in Dubya's autobiography. I got the chills when he described his trip to NYC after the attacks.

After 31 years together, REM announced today they are "calling it a day" and disbanding. R(etire)IP guys.

watching the premiere of The X Factor

55 min to get from Bay View to Brookfield for dance class. Yikes.

grouchy & under the weather. I went to bed early but woke up 90 min later feeling like crud. Now debating benefits of netflix vs going back to bed. I'll let u know who wins ;)

Tuesday Sept 20th

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

35 bodies were found on a single Mexican street. Again - Mexico has devolved into the Somalia of North America.

RIP Dolores Hope (widow of Bob), age 102.

Very bitter that this bloated DWTS special has pre-empted Wipeout. I didn't work all day to be scorned in primetime ABC. I am not amused.

Monday Sept 19th

I just finished warching Ashton Kutcher's debut on Two and a Half Men. I enjoyed it and found myself smiling/LOL several times. Maybe the show has some fuel left in the tank after all.

Digging the hot brunette on '2 Broke Girls'. The show's not bad either.

Congrats to Mariano Rivera on save #602, setting the all-time record and absolutely cementing his status as THE BEST EVER. Dang I love my Yanks!

Floyd Mayweather KO's Victor Ortiz for WBC title. Bam!

Sunday Sept 18th

After a lousy night of work I rented 'SuckerPunch'. It was visually exquisite. But it was also intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and artistically sterile. It was little more than a glorified video game trailer, and a fetishists rape fantasy played out under the guise of female 'empowerment'. EPIC FAIL. (wicked soundtrack tho')

Yet another reason to love Dubya. [news of a longtime feud between Bush and Perry] I'm not sold on Perry. Not by a long shot.

Spent part of the morning watching "Robotech" with Smiley, now off to a bday party, followed by football, a volleyball game for YaYa, more football, job hunting, and prob ten other things to consume this rainy day off.



@ YaYa's volleyball game.








A long day, but overall a good one. The bday party went much better than I expected, YaYa's team won their first game, after a tight contest I surged ahead to score a fantasy W at the close of SNF tonight, and Lisa's got a list of job openings highlighted and ready for my attention. Oh, and we had bacon and eggs for dinner. Can't go wrong with that.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Congrats to the Milwaukee Brewers, 2011 NL Central Division Champions!

Here's something you don't see everyday. To be more precise, here's something you see once every 29 years here in Milwaukee. To be even more precise, every 29 years and 25 minutes:


Tonight, riding on the back of a clutch 3 run home run by Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers clinched the NL Central Division title. It is the first divisional championship the Brewers have held since 1982, back when Reagan was President, the Soviet Union was a superpower, barely anyone owned computers and I was 8 years old.

Congrats to the Brewers. It's not *quite* as fun for me as 2008, when we clinched our first playoff run since that magical 1982 season, but it's a whopper none-the-less.

Good luck in October!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Media takes a moral stand - When it's Good for Business

I don't want to turn this age into a political battleground, as I'm content with its move towards "Daddy Blog" but I am bothered by the media and popular reaction to the execution of *convicted* cop-killer Troy Davis.

In the 20 years since the murder his side has certainly won the 'battle of the press' and fostered a myth around his actions that day, and the identity of the 'real' killer.

I wasn't there. I also didn't run the investigation and see every bit of evidence, both that which saw light in the courtroom and that which was ruled inadmissible. I didn't sit on the jury and weigh the pros and cons of what was in front of me. I didn't sit on any of the judicial reviews and comb through the evidence again and again.

So I don't know if he was truly guilty, and I never will. Of course, unless your bio reads different than mine, neither do you. So, lacking any personal evidence and unaware of any conspiracy theory that doesn't reek of fiction, I will support the decision made by the judicial process and reaffirmed by it time and time again.

Do I support the death penalty? Yes. I'm not overly keen on it, but I have no moral outrage at the thought of a killer meeting his end at the end of a (legal) rope. On the other hand, having spent the last 37 years in a state without the death penalty, I don't yearn for its expansion.

Is it merely legal revenge? I think that's an overused argument. To some extent all punishment is a matter of vengeance, simply by its nature, but if our system was geared towards that goal alone there'd be a lot more 'tit for tat' sentences out there. The last time I checked battery convictions don't result in a state ordered beatings. It seems to me that the death penalty is, like it or not, what it's advertised to be: a dramatic, supreme penalty for a heinous crime.

But let's switch gears. Put aside Davis' innocence/lack thereof aside. I am appalled - and I do not use that word lightly - at the hypocrisy of the political left. A consistent running theme of this media circus has not been the Davis case itself, but how the death penalty as an institution is a black mark against our society. Any such use of our judicial power, I have read time and again, soils our collective soul.

As I write this, is leading with a story that reads "Troy Davis may be dead, but his execution has made him the symbol for the global movement to end the death penalty." Actor Alec Baldwin has tweeted non-stop on the issue in the last 12 hours, and among his doozies is:

Wonder if the [cop's]family will seek death penalty for US leaders who killed thousands of US soldiers and countless innocent Iraqis

Which leads me to my point. This isn't about Davis. It isn't about race. It isn't about justice, or changing the world. It's all about a blind reflexive devotion to your clique, in this instance the 'cool kids' who believe their primo seat in the cafeteria depends upon their devotion to Davis. (BTW, Alec Baldwin is a smart man. But I would lay down money that most of the celebs yapping about Davis couldn't pick him out of a lineup - no pun intended).

What evidence do I have for this? Well, there's this: earlier in the day, mere hours before Davis met his end, a Texas man was executed. I heard no great media defense of this man, no strong and unwavering devotion to the philosophical notion that state sponsored killing was wrong.

Why not? Because the Texas case wasn't good theater. He was a white man, an admitted racist, who was convicted of the brutal dragging death of a black man fifteen years ago.

Apparently, public objections to the death penalty are decided not by a consistent moral code but by whether or not you can get some good press out of the deal. And a racist white guy just doesn't fit the bill.

I am saddened, not by the death of two human beings who in all likelihood had no compunction about dealing out death themselves, but by a society that seems all the more fragmented and shallow because of the existence of a man named Troy Davis.

That may be his biggest crime of all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FB - May 11th thru the 17th

May 11th

Congrats to Prince Fielder for hitting his 200th home run.

May 12th

08:29 out for coffee w/ Lisa [this is as rare as snow in July]

@ least 68 people are dead in Pakistan as a result of Al-Queda attacks

May 13th

Master Yourself

you're up to the hubs in mud, stockjobber

Sen. Herb Kohl has announced he will not seek re-election

A man in the Canary Islands decapitates an apparent stranger in a supermarket

May 14th

Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew has announced he will be entering hospice

The silent movie "Saved From the Titanic" starring survivor Dorothy Gibson was released on this day in 1912. In the film she wore the same dress she work during the sinking. Sadly, the film was destroyed in a fire and no copy seems to remain.

An afternoon of compromise. W/ Lis & YaYa gone shopping, Netflix failed so I found a college gymnastics tourney for Lu to watch. We're starving, so I set out to make tuna casserole, but in the end found no soup, so we're eating noodles, peas, and tuna dry. Thankfully, Lu seems to love both. She's entranced by the gymnastics for sure.

May 16th

Lagniappe (lan-yap) This word is Cajun for "something extra," like the extra donut in a baker's dozen. An unexpected nice surprise.

‎20 years ago today (IIR the date right, and I usually do), I was confirmed in the Catholic Church. The retreat that preceded the ceremony was one of the turning points in my life. There was a clear, defined moment when I looked at who I was and who I wanted to be and realized the two were worlds apart. The last 2 decades would not be possible w/out that insight.

Before school LuLu and I went to the local high school in hopes of retrieving a necklace she'd left behind after a [rec swim] class this past weekend. I didn't think there was a chance in hell of it still being around, but lo and behold there it be. Storing it in a broken locker with a smashed, askew door probably helped her cause.

The Sahara Casino in Las Vegas is closing after 58 years

Given 10 min unsupervised, Lump decorated the vanity, sink, toilet, her clothing and her face with lipstick & eye shadow. We cleaned it up, yelled at her, & then sat down in the living room. I still had an angry, PO'd look on my face. "Just drop the act, she's out of the room" Lis said. "You know you live for this sh-t." I LOL'd - she's right.

Donald Trump has announced he is NOT running for President in 2012

14:28 @ Olive Garden w/ Lis, then off to work. [we had a gift certificate]

May 17th

I have a dishwasher repairman coming at 1 o'clock. That means I have to clean. Ugh.[it cost me $73 for him to tell me an egg shell had clogged a water line. Double ugh]

Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child ten years ago with a member of his household staff. Yikes.

Former Obama supporter Cindy Crawford now backs my boy Mitt Romney. I'm all for a Romney/Ryan ticket - America deserves some R&R!

Ryan will not run for Herb Kohl's seat, but it looks like my man Tommy Thompson is game! Whoo hoo! Welcome back Tommy, I missed ya.

RIP Harmon Killebrew

Watching The Voice on NBC w/ Lis and Erv, after a 2hr dWtS marathon

Arod hits two outta da park, leading my Yanks to victory. Hoo-ya.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Netflix rocks. End of story.

This is less of a post than a request for people to get a grip.

A few months ago Netflix raised its prices to - gasp! - about $16 a month for unlimited streaming plus DVD by mail service. From the outcry it raised you'd have thought they started charging people for the oxygen they breathe, instead of, you know, an optional entertainment expense.

I love Netflix. Nay, I ADORE Netflix, and I'm left speechless at the short term memory of all the haters out there. $16 a month for unlimited streaming and a constant rotation of DVD's is nothing, even for someone as poor as I am. It's less than the cost of two movie tickets, and about the cost of four rentals from Blockbuster. (not including the late fees, the cost of gas to get to the shop, etc.)

You remember Blockbuster? The shady promotions, the high cost of rentals, the shoddy service, and the late fees up the yazoo. You wanna return to that, or reward them by frequenting their streaming service? Go right ahead, sucker.

Ah, but then there's the complaints that the streaming service has a 'limited' inventory, and that it just isn't 'worth it'. I have 474 films/shows in my instant queue right now. If you can't find something to watch, I assure you, your tastes are too pedestrian and stale. Go watch Transformers 3 again and tell us how its like, the greatest movie ever.

Now, in a rather sloppy move, Netflix has botched another PR gambit by announcing their spinning off their signature mail service to a separate site, Initially, it annoyed me too, because it seemed to me like they were abandoning the DVD portion of their business. That, of course, is exactly what they are doing. They're spinning it off knowing its a dinosaur in the making, and that it'll be easier to kill off a little used site than chop off half your company when the writing's on the wall. And that's ok, because it means they are trying to adapt and survive, and that's fine by me.

I'm a Netflix fan, and I hope I have the chance to remain one for many years to come.

A wee bit of this, and a lot of that (with 'That' being quick movie reviews)

Let's lead with the big news of the day: The Sad Sack Slapjacks notched their first fantasy football win of the year (117.07 to 105.42) thanks in no small measure to stellar performances from K Rob Bironas and TE Gronkowski (not to mention a midweek addition of Mark Sanchez). Whew. 0-2 would have been devastating. I needed this win.

Today was also Smiley's 1st Tiger Scout Den meeting, and it went fine, although I wish it had been more structured.

As an assistant leader I'm going to have to make sure I have some fallback activities ready to go in the future.

Some reviews: I rented the medieval action film "Ironclad" in part on the strength of its cast. Paul James Purefoy, Paul Giamatti, Jason Flemyng, Derek Jacobi, Kate Mara, Brian Cox, etc. Sadly, that was the only real bright spot in this Magnificent Seven/Dirty Dozen vs King John pic. I thought it was needlessly gory, ret-conned religious and social views, and worst of all was pretty darn dull.

At least it introduced me to Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton, who seemed like a heck of a fellow.

Continuing a recent downturn in my luck with films, Lisa and I watched Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, a documentary on CoCo's 2010 tour in the wake of the Tonight Show fiasco.

We love Conan, but Lisa hit it on the head: at one point she stopped watching, saying his bitterness and treatment of his staff was taking the shine off our affection for him. By the end of the film, however, as some of the bitterness and anger leeched out, Coco seemed back to his 'normal' self, and the tone of the movie picked up.

There were a few laughs, but not nearly enough.

On the other hand, Arthur was a pleasant surprise.

No, more than that; it was a delight. It was sweet, funny, and well acted. Russell Brand continues to impress me as a genuine talent, not just an idiotic drunkard with a big mouth. We loved this movie. Go rent it right now. Go on - git.

You stuck around? Well, more the fool you, since the final review of the night is another Debbie Downer. The People I've Slept With is a comedy about a very (very) promiscuous woman who gets pregnant and seeks to determine the paternity. Lisa felt it was very pro-life, and I guess it is, but it was hard to snoop that out from among a dizzying array of flaws.

I don't think the writer did the actors any favors, but they sure repaid it in kind. This was some of the worst non-porn acting you'll find outside of a campfire skit at a special needs camp. My word, it was bad. (the only exception being 'Mr. Boring', and curse the director for limiting his screen time.)

Plus, I didn't dig the lame justification the narrator provided right at the start, rationalizing her insane promiscuity away as being nothing more than a case of a "woman with the mores of a man". Uh, no, hun. Even Charlie Sheen would draw the line shy of where this character stands (she has a stack of photos several inches thick, each one belonging to a man or woman she's slept with in the last seven weeks).

If you're going to make the character unself-consciously sex crazed, then stick with your guns and play it straight (no pun intended). There's no need to excuse it, and it's a crime to do so with a voluminous cliche.