Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Week

October 16th

"Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon died today in an Indy car crash. RIP"

"Not the biggest sports story of the night, I know, but I just lost my fantasy matchup. My team matched its projected total, finishing at 97.3 points, but my opponent, alas, notched 119.68. CIN did great for me (23.5 pts) but that $@# Hillis went out w/ an injury after running all of 14 yards, and as usual my WR corps earned #'s worthy of the 1905 Rutgers squad. 2 - 4 now on the year, loser of 3 in a row. Not good. Not good at all."

"What a lousy, emphatic end to the Brewers season. All allegiance now to the Rangers nation, in hopes that they can send the Cards home without a ring. Memo to future Brewers teams, only half tongue in cheek: avoid playing the Cardinals in best of seven series. It doesn't appear to be our forte."

October 17th

"i just met Tom Oslowski, a scout (currently for the Tigers) who was responsible for Darrin Erstad being drafted by the Angels"

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"Sunday we watched "Vidal Sassoon: The Movie" a documentary on the life and career of the innovative tycoon: his rough childhood (including years in an orphanage) his service in the Israeli armed forces, his innovative hair salons, his media presence and his continued influence in the industry. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and finished it with a new respect for Sassoon. Available to stream via Netflix."

October 19th

"when the pressure builds too high, even volcanoes boil over, and they are made of stone. (You) are made of slightly softer stuff - Jeff Lindsay"

October 20th

"Happy Bithday Sinatra! Xoxo"

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"CNN headline: "Gadhafi is dead, according to Arab sources. CNN has not confirmed the reports." FOX's less sensationalist headline: "Conflicting Reports That Gadhafi has been killed or captured". Yay Fox for doing your job right . ."

[he was dead, murdered on camera by NATO supported rebels]

"Don't argue with an idiot, others might see you and not recognize the difference"

October 21st

"Obama, actively in re-election mode, is as we speak announcing a full pullout of US troops from Iraq. CNN, oddly enough, led off by reporting this is the result of a failure to negotiate a plan to have some troops remain in-country to train Iraqi forces. Just as well. We'll need the troops for Libya, East Africa, and everywhere else our resident Nobel Peace Prize winner wishes to kill known bad guys and replace them w/ heretofore unknown bad guys."

"i see Barnes and Noble bought Borders' Facebook accounts, and B&N is now posting under the "Borders" name. Welcome to a monopoly."

October 22nd

Busy day of errands and shuttling the kids around town. Went to Yaya's volleyball game, picked her up from a bday party, got lu ready for camp, etc

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"playing little red riding hood w/ Ginger"

"‎(Ginger, running her fingers along a wrinkle) Daddy, why you got stripes on your forehead?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The first week of March on Facebook

March 1st

"The Journal editor just wrote and asked me to do a column on the fiasco in Madison, citing my POV and my ability to not sound like a nut. I was going to say 'no', but mistakenly emailed a 'yes' reply I was seeking to scuttle. Whoa Nelly, this is gonna bring some hate mail."

“If the Church is not on fire, you should not be talking.” Amen."

"Watching Gov Walker's budget address on 10.2. Good speech, well spoken."

"Working on that column. Tonight's musical selection: Andres Sergovia, Mazzy Star, Styx, Cold War Kids, Oasis. Couldn't find the Judas Priest I was looking for earlier."

March 2nd

"Customers of note: the old man who'd been at the Ice Bowl, w/ ticket stubs to prove it; the guy who spent the equivalent of my annual salary at Job Prior to buy a genuine Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar; a member of the Detroit Tigers' front office, with a World Series ring you couldn't miss."

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above: Ginger spent 10 minutes balancing nuts on a balloon, then applying downward pressure with a plank of wood and shooting them, tiddly-winks style, into a bowl.

"The Journal moved up the date of publication to Thursday, so pick up a copy on the way to work. Of note, this warning from the editor: "Hi Dan, your column will run Thursday for sure. Don’t read the online comments unless you’re a masochist."

The Eastern cougar has officially been declared extinct.

March 3rd

"Sunday's paper will include the names of the 2011 crop of Journal/Sentinel community columnists. I've been asked to stay on a 3rd year, which is great, but OTOH whoopdeedoo. I appreciate the platform, and the confidence the editors place in me, but been there/done that/would like to be paid more for it. Anywho, look for me in Sunday's Crossroads section."

"Smiley & I went for a haircut Thurs evening, and he asked me if he could get a mohawk. I said no and had him ask Lisa. To my shock, she told him it was OK. In the end he and I agreed on a 'faux-hawk' - closely cropped hair on the sides, w/ the hair on top blended and sculpted into a mohawk. He loves it."

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March 5th

"Adalbert's vets: I ran into Chrissy Go- in the produce dept of the Pick 'N Save on 76th. She has four kids and seemed happy, but alas no Facebook account, claiming she doesn't use a computer at all. How you can be happy w/out FB is beyond me, but to each their own."

March 6th

Today is the 175th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. RIP Texans, RIP.

"Tonight, after a long day at work, Lis & I watched "I Knew it Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale" (aka Fredo from The Godfather). It was an entertaining tribute to him as an actor, but little else. As to Cazale as a person, we learned he was born in 1935, smoked a lot, died young . . . and that's it. The filmaker could have done a lot more with the material."

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"For the record: I believe recall efforts are an ugly attempt to undermine the value of the election process & our democratic system. If you don't like the guy in office, fight their policies and then vote him out at the end of his duly elected term. There's no damn mulligans here. If my signature was the deciding factor that would get OBAMA out of office, I'd put my pen away."

12,000 year old fishing tackle has been found in California

"I just watched some new footage from 9/11, & Olivia came up & asked me if the Towers were factories (because of all the smoke rising from them). She admitted she had no idea what 9/11 was or what it meant to this country. I spent several minutes explaining what happened that day, and I think I did a good job. I'm surprised she hadn't been taught about it in school, although in fairness she is quite young."

"Tim Cuprisin is reporting that Charlie Sheen has been fired from "Two and a Half Men". What crap. If you aren't allowed to be a drug fueled sex addict, then what's the point of Hollywood success?"

March 7th

"Just finished "The Ghostwriter". It would be a dang good movie if the plot made any sense. A former PM of Great Britain demonized for having 4 known terrrorists kidnapped & waterboarded? The UK allowing a PM to be brought up on charges by the (ridiculous) internation court? A consistent anti-American plot thread (literally)? Bullsh-t."

Happy Birthday Smiley!

"Do Good And Care Not to Whom - a sign in the hallway of Lauren's school, attributed to an old Italian proverb"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Facebook'ing the last half of February. Yes, February. And yes, I made Facebook into a verb.

February 16th

A big day for my Smiley. He volunteered to do a petition @ the school Mass this morning, & all props to the teacher for letting him do it despite his speech problems. We've got him all gussed up & are planning to attend in force, & he's practiced all week. "For all soldiers we pray to the Lord". Sadly, he's so worried about it he had several nightmares last night, meaning sound sleep was in short supply here.



He did great!

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With reports of a Borders (bookstore) bankruptcy a "low probability event" the company began reorganizing. "Good luck to them. They have a more pleasing color scheme than B&N and I wish them all the best."

CBS New's Lara Logan was beaten and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault by a crowd of Egyptian "pro-democracy" protesters. I wish her well.

President George Herbert Walker Bush received the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor our nation can bestow upon a civilian. Congrats sir!

"‎"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." -Anais Nin"

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Feb 17th

[a few school districts closed due to teacher protest 'call ins' related to the budget battle in Madison] "MPS reports only 'slightly higher' than normal call ins, 425 as opposed to the 'norm' of 340-350. Putting aside the budget bill, just think about those #'s. On a typical Thurs in Feb, 350! teachers will call in sick in MKE. For the 100 who are legit ill on those days, I wish them all the best. For the other 250 who took a spa day, thanks for putting the kids first. Your dedication has made our schools what they are."

"Stay away from the crack . . .unless you can manage it socially - Charlie Sheen"

Feb 18th


"I've finished Charles Portis' novel 'True Grit'. It's a very short book, written as a monologue by the teenage heroine a half century after the events. I love the voice Portis gave the character; think Huck Finn with a bad temper and a cranky disposition. Well worth a read."

"I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars. - the late great Fred Allen"

"Woke up to discover MPS is closed with the teacher 'flu'. Not that I'm cynical or anything, but I do note that with the scheduled day off on Monday MPS teachers have now guaranteed themselves a 4 day weekend with which to spend their average salary of $46K (for working 9 months a yr w/ wknds and holdidays off). But it's not about $ people, it's about their rights!"

"tried and failed to secure Taylor Swift tix for Grace. The only ones i could get were out of my price range, and efforts to borrow the xtra $ were for naught. So I failed my 1st born again. Wonderful.

Feb 19th

‎"YaYa's junior troop is doing a service project and needs to collect a few things. If you'd like to help her troop out they need: men's socks, men's underwear, wash cloths, travel size soap, shampoo, prayer cards/coins, tooth brushes/paste. Our goal is to make 50 small care packages for a omeless shelter, so it's a great cause. No donation too small :)"

"After work tonight we sat down & watched "Eleven Minutes" a documentary about the creation of Jay McCaroll's 2007 fashion line. Fascinating to watch, and Jay is certianly a character. Interesting fact: he turned down the prize $ from his win on Project Runway, citing the fact that the contract gave 10% of his earnings, in perpetuity, to the PR production company."

"Other than Molly, is anyone on here going to Madison to support Gov. Walker? Someone asked me to go, but I have to work this morning - insert lame joke about how only teachers can skip work w/out penalty. Anyhow, if you are heading to that mess, stay safe. It could get ugly, esp since unions are bringing in folks from out of state to swell their numbers. (that's a fact out of the JS front page article, not opinion)."


Feb 20th


"I had a great day post-work. Capped it off by watching 'Piranha 3D' with Lisa - believe it or not, her Redbox choice, not mine. It was campy, gory, featured a lot of boobs and an awful soundtrack. I thought it was swell."

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"That's supposed to be a clear bottle of water. What you're looking at is the typical, persistent backwash of Ginger."

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"After a nice dinner w/ the kids Lis & I sat down to watch "You Again". Despite some nice buzz here on FB I thought the script was paint-by-numbers, w/out an original thought to be found. BUT it did pick up steam in the last third, so not all was lost."

Feb 21st

‎"I find it ironic that the same day that thousands of people skipped work to rail against our “undemocratic” leader [Walker] fewer than a quarter of the registered voters in Madison bothered to vote in an actual election." - Phil Hands of the Wisconsin State Journal"

"This evening's soundtrack: Edith Piaf, George Harrison, Amy Winehouse, Fleetwood Mac, Rihanna, David Bowie, Black Sabbath . . ."

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Feb 22nd

"‎16 years ago today I met Lisa for the first time. 2/22/95 will always rank as one of the pivotal days of my life, and she remains the best thing to ever happen to me. Happy Anniversary."

Feb 23rd

"I watched 'Monsters' tonight. Despite its moronic choice of title, it was grand. The story involves 2 people trying to cross the "Infected Zone" & reach the US - the Zone being an area of Mexico that has been overrun with ET's who arrived when a space probe broke up on entry. Yeah, yeah, I know - but it's GOOD, even moving at times. IIRC it won several film awards in the UK, and I think it was well deserved."

"Lisa took YaYa (or Grac.E as she now writes her name) to Justice to use up a gc from her aunt katie (thanks!). She found a lot of bargains, even buying something for LuLu. Nice mother/daughter time."

"You're born an original. Don't die a copy." - John Mason"

Feb 24th

"I downloaded a virus on my home computer. Working hard to fix it as we 'speak'."

CBS has stopped production of "Two and a Half Men" due to the dispute with star Charlie Sheen

Feb 25th

"B4 work I sat down w/ the kids & watched Tyrone Power in "The Mark of Zorro", (these kids will appreciate movie history if it's the end of me). Since it features no talking dogs or singing teenagers, they wandered off 1 by 1. All, that is, except for LuLu, my doll. For her faithfulness she was treated to the greatest sword fight in movie history - Tyrone Power vs Basil Rathbone, a scene she even asked me to rewind."

"I've mentioned before how I quiz the kids about what artist is playing on the radio, in an effort to get them to pay attention and broaden their listening taste. Yesterday the radio was playing "Captain Jack". I asked YaYa who was singing. "Uh . . .Guns 'n Roses???" she said. Long silence. "That may be the only time in history," I said, "where Billy Joel was confused with Axel Rose"

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South Viet Nam: Death at Intermission time - a link to a contemporary time article detailing the first combat deaths in Vietnam, Master Sergeant Chester Ovnand and Major Dale Buis. It was July 20th, 1959, ten years to the day before man would walk on the moon.

Feb 27th


"I'm just going to say what needs saying, regardless of the boos from the gallery. Kirk Douglas made a harmless ass of himself at the Oscars, and it was downright embarrassing. Kudos to Justin Timberlake for recognizing the humour in the situation, and a big un-kudo the folks who let a senile, barely intelligible Douglas present an award. A healthy, younger Kirk would be appalled."

Duke Snider, the HOF center fielder for the Dodgers, is dead at 84. In high school I read his autobiography "Duke of Flatbush". RIP Duke.

Feb 28th

"Self Pity
I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.
- D. H. Lawrence"

Frank Buckles, the last living US WWI veteran, has died at age 110. RIP sir, and thank you.

Hollywood sex symbol Jane Russell has passed away at the age of 89. RIP.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Week on Facebook

October 15th

"After dinner Lisa and I watched "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird" a documentary on, duh, Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird. There is nothing earth shattering or original in the doc's content, but it certainly reminds you of how great a book that really is, and if nothing else, that makes it all worthwhile."

This week I added Victor Cruz/CIN Def/John Kotsay & dropped Sam Bradford, ARI D, & Rob Bironas. My lineup for Wk 6: Cutler, Desean Jackson, Johnny Knox, Victor Cruz, Hillis and Turner at RB, Kotsay, Gronkowski (TE) and CIN. Versus: Brady, Reggie Wayne, Greg Little, Colston, Mendenhall & Ingram at RB, Jimmy Graham (TE), Janikowski and TB's Defense. Wish me luck.

"Congrats to the Texas Rangers and their fans" [on winning the AL Pennant]

"‎60 yrs ago today I Love Lucy debuted on TV"

"‎Carlos H- says: Facebook should have a limit on times you can change your relationship status... After 3 it should default to " Unstable ""

Today is Sweetest Day. If you're going to buy your sweetie flowers (and u should) please go to --- btwn 9 & 1 and ask for Lisa. U won't b sorry!"

October 14th

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My Pumpkin Farm Monster! Today was Ginger's first school field trip to the pumpkin farm, and she brought home a teeny-tiny Ginger sized pumpkin home with her!

"Got home from work, wrote and submitted a column, made dinner, now off to sell Cub Scout popcorn and Brownie nuts door to door. BTW, if anyone wants either POPCORN or NUTS, please let me know. Thanks!"

October 13th


"There, Brewers win, LCS tied at 2 games each. Happy now? Jiminy Cricket, I said it in the NLDS and I had to trot it out again yesterday: have some confidence and act like you've been there before. Watching Fox 6 Wake up News this morning was like watching a funeral for the team. Until the last out of the elimination game, have faith."

"watching teen wolf too"

“Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”
-William Shakespeare”"

October 12th


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October 11th

"Today I finished reading 'Shockwave', a Virgil Flowers novel by the great John Sandford. It's a serial bomber in a small Minnesota town, who appears to be trying to stop the fictional equivalent of a Wal-Mart from opening. As expected from Sandford, it's a fine read with plenty of style and a who-dunnit that actually kept me guessing. Recommended."

"BREAKING NEWS: Twitter is reporting that long-time Brewers groundskeeper Gary Vandenberg has lost his battle with cancer. RIP."

"“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” - Elmore Leonard"

"CNN is reporting that the US has disrupted a plot by "elements of the Iran government" to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S."

NJ Gov. Christie has endorsed Mitt Romney

"Just FYI, I lost my fantasy matchup by 92.52 points. Not only was it the biggest whupping of the week, my opponents 164.67 points is some kind of league record. Good grief."

"The Beast of Bray Road is a low budget horror film centered around the werewolf legend of Walworth County (here in Wisconsin). This was awful, but in a 'make you smile not retch' kindaway. The acting is rec-class awful (although the lead & Kelly were good), the costumes were ill fitting, everyone in WI apparently wears Stetsons, cops don't retaliate when punks spit at them, and the werewolf looked silly. But it was set in WI, there are two nice sets of breasts bared for your viewing pleasure, and what the hell - it's set in Wisconsin."

"LuLu is a big fan of the book "Porkenstein" by Kathyrn Lasky and has read it 2 or 3 times since checking it out of the school library this week."

October 10th

"Breaking News: The NBA has officially cancelled the first two weeks of its season."

I don't care about pro basketball at all, but i do mind that the hotels, restaurants, bars, parking garages, vendors, ticket exchanges, etc in Milwaukee that profit from the games will now take a hit.

"This morning we watched "The Perfect Host" an indie horror film starring David Hyde Pierce (Niles from Frasier). A bank robber on the run worms his way into a dinner party hosted by Pierce, only to discover the foppish host might have plans of his own. Pierce was great, the early twist was devious, and we enjoyed it. My one complaint was that the story should have ended at dawn, and ixnayed the rest. Available to stream on Netflix."

Lisa made a great dinner of chicken and mashed potatoes. She made the chicken perfectly, following a method advocated by America's Test Kitchen, and the results were easily the juicest, most perfectly cooked chicken I've ever had. Unfortunately, I like my chicken dry and slightly overdone LOL

"Down by 91 points in my fantasy game going into tonight. All I need is for Jay Culter to throw 400 yards, w/ 4 TDs and scramble for ten yards - and I'll still lose by 50 points. A humbling week."

"I just got word that the column I wrote Friday will be in tomorrow's (Tuesday's) Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Please feel free to comment on it the JS site."

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(a wax covered leave the kids made)

Ginger in the Columbus day hat she made at school (yes, we still celebrate it!):

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"‎125 years ago today New York millionaire James Potter showed up at a dinner party wearing a new style of jacket, one suggested to him by the Prince of Wales. The jacket proved a hit and people soon referred to it by the name of the place where Potter debuted it - the Tuxedo Park Club."

October 9th

"‎100th Career TD tonight by Aaron Rodgers"

"‎56 yard field goal by Mason Crosby just now, w/ plenty of oomph to spare. It ties GB's all-time FG distance mark."

RIP Pianist Roger Williams

"I'm a 30 point underdog going into this weekend's fantasy matchup. Playing QB Cutler WR's Moore/Desean Jackson/Manningham RB's Benson and Turner TE: Gronkowski K Bironas DEF New England. Opponent: Brees/Bowe/Calvin Johnson/Steve Smith/Jones-Drew/Adrian Foster/Vernon Davis/Minn D/Philly's kicker."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Facebook - February 1st - Valentines Day (yeah, February. What of it?)

Feb 1st

"‎'RED' was ok, but in the end was little more than cookie cutter action/comedy. What comedic bright spots there were came largely courtesy of Mary Louise Parker."

We just finished the documentary 'Catfish'. I really enjoyed it, and I think the title - which stems from an anecdote w/in the film - is a phrase worth remembering

"I fear this [war with Israel]will be one of the outcomes of the 'democracy' protests in Egypt. Egypt, 2011 = Iran, 1979? Let's hope not."

Jon Knight: I was never in the closet

Feb 2nd

The interesting disappearance of Maud Crawford

"Education is finite. Fame whoring is forever - TMZ"

We watched 'Cyrus' tonight, a John C. Reily comedy with a plot that seemed, at first glance, too similar to his awful 'Step Brothers'. No fear; it turned out to be a sweet, mature rom-com. We liked it."

"Btwn shoveling [snow] we watched 'Winter's Bone'. Set in the Ozarks, it's about a 17 yr old girl who must find her meth-cooking father or lose the house he put up as a bail bond. It's very bleak, but the acting is superb. And the character of Teardrop? He didn't raise a hand in the whole movie, & he still scared the crap out of me."

"We watched 'The American' a few days back, and despite a good trailer & George Clooney in the lead role, it was el-boringo. Criminy, *I* wanted to kill the dull bugger myself by the 3rd act. 'Love Ranch' a Helen Mirren/Joe Pesci film about a legal brothel in the '70's, was pretty good but ended like a bad TV movie, narration and all."

Feb 4th

"Back from work & not happy. Moving on . . 'Nowhere Boy' a biopic of John Lennon's formative years, is a good film. I will note that I was annoyed that the lead actor is 100x better looking than Lennon, and that Paul is portrayed by what appears to be a ten yr old waif. Still, very enjoyable. (creepy incestous Mommy relationship aside)"

Feb 5th

"I just finished watching season 7 of The Amazing Race. It's disapointing that Boston Rob and Amber didn't win. Yeah, I agree Eugenna (sic) & his wife are nice people. Whoopdeedoo. W/out Rob and Amber that season would have sucked."

"You know you're an experienced Daddy when your 3 yr old vomits in the car and not only doesn't fit faze you, you clean her up,change her, and wipe down the car with only an old newspaper and handfuls of snow."

British PM David Cameron: Stop Tolerating Islamic Terrorists and respect British Core Values. Europe is waking up - when will we?

Feb 6th

After a two year investigation, a local woman has been charged with killing her infant in 1957

Feb 7th

"A cop just knocked on my door and asked if I witnessed an alleged strong arm robbery directly across the street. A guy says he was robbed * & * bit by the crook's dog. We were in our living room, w/ the bay window uncovered, & saw/heard diddly. Not saying it's a drunk fairytale, but . . . Neat to have to give my name/middle initial/DOB/phone to a cop again. Strange what I miss from Job Prior."

"Happy 100th birthday Ronald Reagan! The Pack will one for you Gipper, count on it!"

"I don't know if y'all heard, but the Packers won the Super Bowl. Just thought you'd like to know."

"We (me, Lisa, Chris) crammed in a viewing of "The Virginity Hit', a mockumentary following a young guy looking to lose his virginity. Much to my surprise it was LOL - the inflatable tranny doll scene had us all but peeing our pants in laughter. it turns out that it was produced by Will Ferrell. REnt it if you have a sense of humor."

"AOL has purchased The Huffington Post and given it complete control over all AOL editorial content. Ugh, yet another reason to seperate from AOL."

Feb 8th

"Damn, it is well and truly bitterbit*h cold out there."

"Please. I've had mono so often it turned into stereo - the utterly yummable Santana on Glee"

Feb 9th

"Tonight we watched 'Paranormal Activity 2', a movie that takes place before/during the events of the original. It wasn't bad, if u can stomach a movie where a child may be in danger & can tolerate watching security footage of an empty room where (mostly) nothing happens. A decent waste of 90 minutes & worth a cheap rental."

The iconic video game Guitar Player has been axed. No pun intended.

"Lu had to list 3 Presidents as options for a report, & her teacher then chose 1 on a 1st come/1st served basis so there'd be no repetition among the students. Lu listed Obama, Polk & Adams. She got *Obama* which presumably means no one else in the class had him listed high; quite a diff from what MPS, no? She solicited my help to start it. I quipped "Barrack Obama, our 44th President, was born in Kenya . . . ""

"Egads! The long awaited DVD of Project Runway Season 8 arrived via Netflix and won't play! We've been forced to jump ahead 5 episodes & start w/ disc 2. Pfui."

dislike/disagree about Mr. Sunshine. I'm not sure how long the concept can hold, but I thought it was funny. Then again, you dislike We Built This City, so your judgment is suspect from the start."

Feb 10th

Ginger: Knock knock
Me: who's there?
Ginger: Uh, doctor who
Me: Doctor who who?
Ginger: doctor who, uh, soda!

"Matthew Perry's new show, "Mr. Sunshine", has taken some heat here on FB but I enjoyed it & found it funny. [Plus my opinion is worth ten of anyone elses, so pbbbt.] Good to see the girlfriend from 'Joey' bed down yet another Friends alum on TV; I eagerly await her future co-starring role with Jen Aniston."

"I just turned off "Middle Men" w/ 45 min left on the DVD. How do you take a film about porn, strippers, drugs & the mob and make it boring? For starters, bury it under so much narration you think you're listening to an audio book. This ain't Goodfellas, buddy, & you're no Scorsese. Show us the story, don't recite it. Yawn."

Feb 11th

"NEVER ask for what should be offered - a quote from Winter's Bone, and one that rings true. We used it just this week to teach LuLu a lesson about pride. She was hurt that she's never asked over to a friend's house, while other (wealthier?) kids are, and wanted to call and ask the parents for an invitation. Hell to the No."

"‎'tho it meant going to work on shy of 4hrs sleep, I stayed up to finish 'The Cypress House' by Michael Koryta. It's a supernatural story set in the gloomy swamps of Depression-era Florida. Very well written & satisfying. Count me as a fan."

"Having a good time with the kids. YaYa took photographs of drops of food coloring she suspended in water, Smiley and I made paper boats and Ginger is running around half naked enlessly repeating "Ohmygoodnessohmygoodness". And best of all: Dean Martin's album "Dino" is playing. Dean Martin's voice is like buttah, infinitely easier on the ears than Sinatra. It never fails to make me smile."

"Lu's reaction to the Beiber movie? "It's freakin' AWESOME!!!". She and Lisa were happy to get primo seats w/out any hassles, in lg part because they caught the last matinee. On the way out they said teenage girls in PJ's and "Beiber warpaint" were lined up around the corner hoping for good seats for the 1st evening show."

Feb 12th

"US officials have identified the remains of 11 US WWII servicemen found in a wreck in Papua New Guinea. The remains include those of 2nd Lt. Robert R. Streckenbach Jr., 21, of Green Bay, Wisconsin. RIP."

"Horrible nightmares all night, one rolling right into the next. Not a good night."

"‎"He was a stupid man, he knew nothing at all of the world, and like all men who knew nothing of the world, he was suspicious and jealous" - The Duke of Wellington, on the jailor of Napoleon, Hudson Lowe"

"Martha Stewart takes the ordinary and makes it beautiful. Katie Brown takes the beautiful and makes it hideous. Sometimes I think she plays it for the camp factor. That has to be it, right?"

Feb 13th

"Great day at work, lousy night at home. Anyhwho, now we're watching the Grammy's. For the first time ever there has yet to be a nominee or performer whose album I haven't heard, start to finish, at least once. I feel all knowledgable and schtuff."

"Esperanza Spalding wins best new artist . . . [sx: crickets chirp]. She wouldn't have been my FOURTH choice out of the nominees. What a waste of airtime."

"Yo, Babs: if you are presenting a Grammy, best not to stammer over the winner's album title. Kinda gives the impression you don't know them or their work (which you don't)."

Feb 14th
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"After the Grammy's we (well, Lisa) baked cupcakes for the kids' Valentines Day treats, then settled down to watch 'I Spit on Your Grave'. It's a remake of a '70's film where a woman is gang-raped and left for dead, only to return & kill off her attackers in Saw-esque scenarios. Ten years ago, I'd have labeled the movie and *all* of its characters 'retarded'. Now, dutifully PC, I don't know how to describe it."

"While waiting for the kids at dance class I finished "The Ice Bowl: The Cold Truth About Football's Most Unforgettable Game" by Ed Gruver. Stylish writing, great detail, tons of research; just a great read. Be forewarned tho' - the ebook version is awash in typos that don't appear in the print editiion."

"Enough is as good as a feast"

"Big fan of the Nook, as you know, and I favor the reading experience and battery life of the b&w over the Color, but I gotta tell ya - the inability to read in dim light is wearing on me. As soon as twilight arrives your reading is done, long before a booklight would be needed for a traditional page. Not liking the idea that a Color might be the weapon of choice when funds allow."

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 5th - 8th

Wednesday October 5th

"QB Aaron Rodgers has been named the "NFC Offensive Player of the Week" for the second time this season"

"OK, just finished my 30 min phone interview, the 4th step in the WI Dells process. I think it went well, but whadda I know? If I get this, it means $ - the *starting* wage is more $ than I've ever earned - and relocation (she told me the $ they'll give me for relocation and apologized for the amount. Apologize? I thought the relocation amount was my ANNUAL wage - and I was happy.) Too good to be true, which means it won't happen."

"‎'Cuz I was asked: Philadelphia/Milwaukee NLCS, Yankees/Rangers ALCS."

"BREAKING NEWS:
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, has died at age 56."

"We just finished watching Season Five of Hell's Kitchen. It's a lot of fun to watch, as I've noted five times now, but I do wish they'd add a little variety to the challenges. Still, congrats to winner Danny Veltri, who as usual went on to become 'the executive chef' at a Ramsay restaurant - aka, a standard sous chef. Most mislabeled prize in all of reality TV."

October 6th

"‎'Occupy Wall Street' protesst business while mourning Steve Jobs. Fine. But Steve Jobs had a net worth of around 7 billion and was one of the *gasp* 1% that 'undermine democracy'. On principle, they should toss out their IPads, IPods, and Macbooks. They won't, of course. Know this kiddies: Jobs created more jobs, and hence helped more people, in any given year than all you protesters will do in your lifetimes, COMBINED."

"Folks at work were soooo despondent over the Brewers dropping 2 games in a row to now face elimination in the NLDS. I'm talking hardcore, kept a day to day W-L count on the bulletin board kind of fans. Huh. That mindset is new to me. As a Yankees fan, they can be down 3 games to none in the LCS, losing 9-0 in the bottom of the eighth, and I'd still bet on seeing them in the Series. Milwaukee fans need to act like we've been here before and quit anticipating a collapse."

Smiley's Power Rangers Halloween costume:

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"And . . . I didn't get the Dells job. I was just notified - @ 10:27pm!? - via a personal email. Ugh."

"Detroit just ousted the Yanks. What a crappy half hour for Danny."

October 7th

"Went to bed 3 hrs earlier than normal in a depressive funk, but time to nut up & keep slugging. Off to work soon, then afterwards I'm going to stop and price a new suit. I clean up well, emerging, when I care to, as a plump but politically wiser Alec Baldwin. Enough of this bulls--t. Time to make some money again."

"‎@ eric's watching game 5 of the NLDS"

"NLDS Victory in the 10th inning, courtesy of T-Plush! Fireworks went off in Bay View (literally) and cops are pulling people over everywhere, as the whole damn neighborhood is drunk (or just delirious w/ joy). Whoo-hoo!"

Pics taken during the game winning hit (plus Eric's 'Beast' pose)

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"Work bit ass. Went to tailor shop afterwards, tried on some threads. Looked smashing. Par for the course. Came home, wrote and submitted JS column, it may run Tues. Wrote it intending to stir up some schtuff, so less than 50 JSonline comments will mark it as a failure."

"Home from Eric's. Once his wife came home it was kibosh on MLB night. Lisa and the kids are in the Dells with a friend (enjoying a haunted hayride, I'm told) so I Redbox'ed "The Walking Dead, The Complete First Season" and plan to knock that off tonight."

Our Miraculous Continental US Pancake:

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October 8th

"Breaking news: Raider's owner Al Davis is dead @ 82. RIP"

I literally kissed the cover when I saw it on the shelf. Disturbing but true.

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I'm a 30 point underdog going into this weekend's fantasy matchup. Playing QB Cutler WR's Moore/Desean Jackson/Manningham RB's Benson and Turner TE: Gronkowski K Bironas DEF New England. Opponent: Brees/Bowe/Calvin Johnson/Steve Smith/Jones-Drew/Adrian Foster/Vernon Davis/Minn D/Philly's kicker.

Courtney Love has gone on record as saying she'd kill Kurt Cobain if he came back to life. I guess if you've done it once . . .

Monday, October 10, 2011

Facebook - October 1st thru the 4th

October 1st

"It's Saturday morning and our fantasy commish has finally! acknowledged my awesomeness in Week 3. I won the weekly cash prize (deducted from dues) by whupping on my opponent 115.30 to 67.9, a league best difference of 47.40 points. Quoteth commish: "Thumbs up to Slapjacks for winning ass kicker bonus - thumbs down to Slapjacks for whinning about the lateness of this post.""

"Unless MLB has failed to update stats in the last few days, Pujols finished shy of 100 RBI, thereby ensuring Arod's consecutive streak of 100RBI/30HR years is safe for another decade. Booyah. And all this talk about how Terry Francona should be held accountable (but not to blame) for the Red Sox collapse ignores one issue: where was their so-called "Captain" Varitek? He bragged about that 'C' on his uniform enough in the past, but where was his leadership when someone needed to yank those guys out of the weeds?"

AT&T sent me 3 statements for the same account, all dated Sept 27th, all w/ different totals. I called & was transferred 2x then was accidentally disconnected. Time wasted 12:44. 2nd call, transferred 2x, ended up on the phone with an Indian woman w/ no English comprehension beyond her script. I was not kind, and was tx'd to a woman in Chicago who did a decent job but had to transfer me again, waited five minutes on hold, hung up. Total time wasted: approx 47 minutes. WORST COMPANY EVER.

Worked the concession stand at the kids' school, then stayed late when our replacement failed to show. Then home to watch the Badgers-Nebraska matchup in primetime.

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"Congrats Badgers! What an impressive wupping of Nebraska - 48 to 17 @ Camp Randall! Great game, great team, great state."

"Before I forget, today marks the 50th Anniversary of the day Roger Maris set the MLB record with his 61st home run of the season. I'm not an anti-steroid nut, barking at the moon and asking for records to be wiped, but when it comes to Maris and Aaron, my gut and my heart still think of them as the *true* home run record holders. RIP Mr. Maris, 61 is still the number to beat."

"Writing with "McCartney II" playing in the background ("Waterfalls" at the moment). My current job may bankrupt me and drive me to the Rescue Mission, but I'll say this for it - it's given me a great appreciation for the catalog and talent of Paul McCartney."

October 2nd

"Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away - Arthur Helps"

‎"Speak to the organ grinder, not the monkey"."

"If I were asked to name the . . . writer who I think has stuck most closely to that idea—STICK TO THE STORY, STICK TO THE GODDAMN STORY—it probably would be James M. Cain. There’s not a word in Cain that does not apply to the story he’s telling you - Rex Stout"

"Playing my hunches today. With Hillis weakened by illness I'll play Benson in his place, and w/ Sanchez playing Baltimore I'll start Cutler. After Knox was announced as the #2 WR for Chicago just an hour ago, I decided he'll sub in for the 'probable' Manningham. *Fingers crossed*"

"Whoo-hoo! Netflix has added additional seasons of The Office, 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation to streaming! G'd bless 'tis a good night!"

"Dang it, I lost my fantasy game by *point six five* points. My decision to start Cutler looked like crud when he earned 1.85 pts (!) but in fact it was the right move; Sanchez earned *negative 9.98*. Benson outscored Hillis, ditto Knox over Manningham. So far so good - except I played Arizona's D over NE. There wasn't much of a scoring difference, just four points, but it was enough. Losing sucks, but I'm confident I'd make the same decisions again, and I was right 3 out of 4x - and the 4th was by a hair. Slapjacks now 2-2."

Monday October 3rd

"The column I wrote Friday will/should be published in Tuesday's Journal-Sentinel. Please buy a copy, or at the very least link to/tweet/FB/comment on the published piece on jsonline."

Amanda Knox wins appeal, judge orders release . ."

"Smiley and I walked to his Tiger Cub den meeting today. It was a nice walk on a lovely evening, but near the end he was pretty tired - until some girl from school saw him walking and said hello. Then he was all smiles and asked if we could walk home afterwards too. :) At the meeting my suggestion of a relay race involving Q&A on the motto, etc, rocked. . . .BTW - Park's selling popcorn as a fundraiser for the Pack. If you'd like to place an order, let me know. A heapin' helpin' of the $ raised stays in his personal Scout account."

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October 4th

"Quoteth the Ginger: "Pig-a-lee Wig-a-lee, Shop Da Pig!""

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Event/Alias/The Walking Dead

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With the family out of town enjoying a visit to Wisconsin Dells, I fell asleep after work watching the DVD of Season 1 of "The Walking Dead". It's a zombie series that follows the plight of one sheriff's deputy intent on guiding his family through the post-apocalyptic hell that's become contemporary Georgia.

There's nothing overly original about the series, no unique advancement in zombie physiology, our reaction to them, or our methods of killing them. (you still shoot 'em in the brain). Actually, it may have one original trait: an intelligent script and a decent respect for characterization. Sure, sure, I saw the cheating wife coming, and the goody-two-shoes lead can infuriate, but all in all it's well written and certainly worth your time.

And I want to know what secret Keller whispered in the deputy's ear in the season finale.

Grade: A

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I've been meaning to watch Alias for quite a few years and finally got around to watching most of season one. I like it, and find it entertaining and decently complex. But - and you know there was a but coming - it's also tedious. Keeping a weekly spy series going, especially one that has an overall story arc, demands that for every X amount of episodes there is a mandatory X amount of death defying, all hell's breaking loose missions. Hard to believe, but 8 or 9 episodes in I felt it was very mundane.

Plus, as a network show intent on showing Sidney isn't 'bad', she continually exhibits what I feel is Slapinions Golden Flaw of Action Characters: she fails to end the threat. John Doe is a bad guy, you say, one who constantly is trying to kill you and has nearly succeeded in the past? You just defeated him in a fight, and despite his spiteful warning that he'll be back to kill you . . . you handcuff him to a radiator and move on. Bulls((t. End the threat. Kill the guy. Not because you are bad, or evil, or callous, but because by letting him live you're not proving you're better - you're endangering your own life and that of the world as a whole.

Grade: C

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I haven't seen but two episodes of The Event so far, so my judgement is incomplete. It's a Lost-ish thriller about a group of aliens who have been kept prisoner by the US for decades and now may/may not be orchestrating a violent takeover. I like it, but again, there's plenty of time for it to go south.

Grade: Incomplete

Saturday, October 8, 2011

YaYa Rides a Horse

This past spring YaYa attended a Girl Scout camp (I think it was 3 days/2 nights) and the highlight, nay, the very focus of the experience, was a chance to ride a horse.

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Of course, other activities were scheduled too

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but as I said, it was all about the four legs.

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She had a blast, and was convinced her horse was smarter than the others because it took care to journey around, not through, some puddles on the trail.

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Another great life experience courtesy of Scouting!