Thursday, July 28, 2005

Luck O The Italians

Or something like that.

It's been a crazy, crazy week. Spending the vast majority of each day (except Monday) at a training workshop this week, learning the JAWS screen-reading software, to both provide support for it if needed, as well as use it to help develop better, more accessible pages. It's been a pretty good class so far, very informative and in-depth, without being overly verbose or wasting a lot of time. It's crazy how much you can do with the app.

Of course, just because I'm not spending much time in the office this week doesn't mean that there's not work to be done there, and unfortunately I had to ruin Amy & I's "date night" last night and spent almost all night catching up on some work that had to be done. Blech.

I had to do it last night since we went to 2Cos tonight. It was a good time, definitely. Randy & Heather were there as well, which was awesome. Pat & Cindy were supposed to be too, but Cindy got sick :( . I enjoyed the show - it was defintely better than Southern Comfort (which was just OK), but still not as good as Love, Laughter & Lies, which was both Amy & I's all-time favorite 2Cos show to date. It was nice seeing John back, and he was great in his stage parts, and most excellent in his band performances as well. And the 2Cos guitarist (Dan White) had me completely in awe of his geetar skeelz in their song closing the first act. I mean seriously, WOW.

And the perfect ending to the evening -- we won the nightly raffle :) Free tickets to 2Cos, a free photo shoot, some free self defense class, and a free "Passions Party". Woohoo!

I'm such a hopeless fanboy of all things Shado...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tenacious D Movie Teaser

FINALLY, a sign of life comes out of the Tenacious D camp -- there's a teaser trailer (of sorts) up for the Tenacious D movie... though the movie itself isn't due out until 2006. Guh. Well, patience is a virtue and all that.

Monday, July 25, 2005

What Happened To The Weekend?

How is it Monday night already? Where did the weekend go? Can I even give the regular weekend wrap-up if it went by in such a blur that I have to focus to remember what all went on?

Well, anyways... Thursday I had a training workshop all day, which was pretty interesting work-wise, but pretty bland to talk about here.

Friday was the big news, as it was Amy & I's 5th wedding anniversary. We got things started on a great note by hitting up the Lunchbox show at Shadowbox. It was a GREAT time. The lunchbox shows are great, because they're a smaller crowd and you get a better chance to visit with the staff there. Additionally, they give different folks a chance on the songs and sketches, so you get to see different people in the limelight. The only bummer was that I thought Randy and Heather were going to join us, but I guess that didn't work out. For the rest of the day, as I mentioned previously, the tour of steakhouses took us to Walker Station Steak House, in Delaware. Amy had found the place on a list of Top 10 Steakhouses in the Columbus/Central Ohio area, so we thought we'd check it out. It was kind of a ways out, but since we're already starting on the north side anyway. I think we were both a little disappointed. The place wasn't as fancy as we were hoping, and the food was OK, but nothing to write home about. It definitely ranks 5/5 of the anniversary steakhouses to date. The steaks weren't bad, but came with "sauces" (garlic butter, mushroom wine, or bernaise) which were too think and kind of bland. The sides were pretty tasty, but were a bit sparse - we both got broccoli, which consisted of one (somewhat large) piece. Blah. Dessert wasn't too bad, but the pineapple upside-down cake was supposed to be served warm, and it was obviously not warmed AT ALL. Still, I had a great time having dinner with Amy, and am looking forward to 5 more years and many more beyond that... We'll just have to pick out better steak houses next year. "The Top Steakhouse" in Bexley, and The Clarmont downtown seem like top contenders for next year... but that's a long way off.

This weekend we also saw Wedding Crashers. It was a pretty funny movie (with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, how could it not be?), but the story was, as you might expect, very cliche. The main dilemma is VERY overdone and presents itself very quickly, and the story proceeds in the usual, predictable way and is resolved in the usual, predictable way. I don't normally consider myself a movie snob, but I will say I felt a little tried by the simpleness of the movie... A LITTLE innovation or complication would have been very welcome.

I'm blanking on what else we did this weekend... I'm sure there was other stuff in there, but it's not currently coming to mind. A migraine put me out most of the day on Saturday, now that I think of it, which explains why I'm having trouble remembering.

Tonight some of Amy's family came into town so we chatted for awhile and did dinner at Dave & Busters. The food there's not too bad -- kind of enh, and they dropped the appetizer I was really looking forward to, but they had pretty tasty chicken fingers. And a really intriguing booze menu that almost made me wish I drank...

Anyway, the odd work schedule continues, as today was my only day really IN the office - the rest of the week is in a training class learning the JAWS software. Should be interesting, and hopefully can be put to good use.

Still have some fun to look forward to as well - Thursday night we're going to 2Cos with Randy & Heather and Pat & Cindy, so that should be fun. And next week the Ohio State Fair opens, which I always look forward to each year -- gotta get my fair food fix. Also coming up very soon are a couple concerts -- Ozzfest and Gigantour. Whoot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Not Quite as Rockstarry

Watched last night and tonight's Rockstar a bit earlier (gotta love DVR). It was still entertaining, with some pretty good performances, but there weren't really any real blow-away performances this time around. Hopefully they kick it back up a notch next week.

Also watched So You Think You Can Dance -- or parts of it at least. It was moderately entertaining, but quickly (very quickly) lapsed to horribly lame. I don't expect I'll be watching any more of that.

Been a pretty crazy work week so far. I was out of the office sick on Monday, in and working (but in the doldrums) yesterday, and in today and working. Tomorrow I've got an all-day workshop, and Friday I've got the day off. It's Amy & I's 5th anniversary, so we're going to the Lunchbox show (the main reason I'm taking the day off actually), and then going to dinner at Walker Station, to continue the fancy steakhouse tour. Should be a good time. The screwy week is really getting to me though - I'm having trouble keeping in mind that I do have to work tomorrow, and it's not already the weekend. Hopefully it won't make the workshop too painful.

HazMatty Goodness

Apparently there was a hazmat incident in McCracken yesterday. Somehow I missed this completely, and didn't even know about it until someone who wasn't in asked if we got evacuated. Nothing so exciting here. We get the occasional fire alarm (and once it was even semi-legit), but for the most part, we stay put. Blah.

Straight Outta Digg: Firefox & Quicksearches

Testing a Blogger post coming straight from Digg. Gotta love the whole API thing... Love the quicksearches in Firefox.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Blogger Images post

Hmm... nice and easy way to upload and include images in posts. "Blogger Images".

This is a pretty nifty service. Makes me wonder how long it can manage to stay free. TANSTAAFL and all that.

Still, might as well enjoy it while it lasts...

The Doldrums

It's one of those days. I can't figure out why, but I'm completely out of it today. Been kind of wandering about in a zombie-like state, and my inability to concentrate is definitely not helping my work productivity at all. To top it all off, I blew out on Gary for lunch today because I'm just too out of it to be social at the moment. Hopefully whatever's come over me will blow-over and I'll be back to normal soon.

It feels like I'm in a holding pattern, waiting for something. Sure wish I knew what.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Big 'Ol Weekend Wrapup

Had a pretty good, fairly eventful weekend, and things got started during the day on Friday. Friday was the last day for one of our longtime students at work, and to help give him a fun send-off, we got a huge order of Cane's chicken fingers. I've been wanting to try out their Tailgate packs, so it was nice to finally have an opportunity to give it a shot. It's not super cheap, but it's reasonably priced for feeding a big group of folks. My only suggestion for them would be to include the side dishes in the package somehow instead of having to order them seperately.

Friday night we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Having loved the original so much, I wasn't too sure how it would be going in. On one hand, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp work together SO well, and seemed like they'd have a great take on the story. On the other hand, Gene Wilder IS Willy Wonka so solidly in my mind, and the original Oompa Loompa song and dance routines are so classic. Well, I'm still not quite sure how to reconcile it with the original, but I can definitely say that I LOVED the new movie. It was hysterical, and Depp definitely had a great take on Willy Wonka. I think I'm just going to have to hold them on their own as two separate movies about the same story. I'd really like to see it again. What would be even better is if I could see it in IMAX format - it's so sad that we had one for so long and didn't get much use out of it and it's gone now... And the new Oompa Loompa songs are funny stuff - I was tempted to buy the soundtrack at first, but I don't think they'd be as good without the dancing...

Saturday we headed down to Cincy to finally use our Newport getaway that I got us at the Fall Fireball last year. We dropped off the dogs at my parents, then headed on down about mid-day. After we got there, we did lunch at Dewey's Pizza, then hit the Newport Aquarium. The pizza place was pretty good. It was pizza, sure, but they had some nice gourmet pizza options - I got one called the "Green Latern", with goat cheese, mushrooms, garlic, artichokes and pesto. I think it would have been even better if I'd passed on the red sauce... As far as the aquarium goes, it was a pretty good time, but insanely crowded. I wouldn't recommend anyone going on a Saturday afternoon if you can help it. There were lots of great fish to see, turtles, eels, sharks, rays, and the penguins were fun as well. Watching the penguins swim around and jump in and out of the water was the most fun, but again - the crowds were just nuts. It was so packed it was kind of a single-file shuffle through the place. I'd imagine it would be more fun on a weekday when less people were there. Or maybe right after they open for the morning?

Saturday night we hit up Shadowbox South and checked out their Best Of show. It was a great time. What was really cool was the number of folks that recognized us (from the Patron Talent Show, it seems) - so it was nice seeing all the old Columbus Shadowboxers who work down ther now. There are also some really awesome folks down there who were never up here too... The show itself was good, but it was hard because they did a lot of stuff that they've already done in Columbus, and it was difficult to put the "original" versions out of my head... there was one part I thought was definitely under par, but overall it was a great show. I'm such a Shadowbox addict...

Sunday we hung out with the Voellmeckes in hordes - meeting up for lunch at LaRosa's for Amy's favorite pizza (more pizza - fun fun fun), then off to visit various folks' houses. There are SO MANY of them that it can be overwhelming at times, but they're nice folks, and it was a great time.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Safari So Goody

Actually, I've been using Firefox and not Safari for quite some time now... but still, a pun is a pun is a pun.

Anyways, still enjoying Blogger/Blogspot as well, so that's good. I think it's safe to say that I'm a firm believer in the Cult of Google. With GMail, Blogger, Picasa, Google Earth ... it's all good stuff. I know they bought some of it rather than developing, but still - it shows me at least that they've got good taste in products.

The week's been going pretty well. Been busy at work, been slacking / addicted at home. Though over the past couple days my CoH addiction has fallen somewhat by the wayside in favor of Evil Genius. Not sure how long that will last, but for the time being I'm definitely enjoying the Evil Genius thing. It's very similar to Dungeon Keeper and DK2, which I loved - so that probably has at least something to do with it.

Last night was our Homeowner's Association meeting, where we elected three new trustees. (They happened to be the only folks running who showed up). Hopefully the new folks will have a little more time and be a lot more proactive in getting things done - maybe that will quench some of the bitching and leave other folks (such as me) more willing to help out. We'll see. I'm not quite sure they know what they're stepping into, but even the act of choosing new people is a good thing, since a lot of the anger (rightly or wrongly) was directed at the old folks.

Going to Shadowbox tonight, for our second (well second-and-a-half) take of Best Of '05. Randy and Heather are going with us, which is awesome, since I still haven't had a great chance to talk to Heather much. I tried to get Gary to go, but he sold us out for Clix. Go fig. The funny thing is I got a ticket deal offer for next Weds or Thurs as well - first ticket free, the rest $5. I wonder if I can talk Amy into going again so soon? Well, I'd only really want to if I could round up some other folks to go as well. I think on the third trip in, my embargo on large groups could be lifted...

I'm very sad that Cold Stone recalled Cake Batter ice cream (more detailed story). The odd thing is it's been out for a long time - I wonder why they just had the problems now? Maybe it was an isolated case? Hopefully they get it figured out. In the meantime, though, I do really dig the new Oatmeal Cookie Batter. Which is odd, since I don't like oatmeal cookies much at all. But still, it will serve as a good replacement, at least in the long run.

I'm also really jazzed to see the Rent movie. The trailer gets me giddy. Yes, giddy.

Straight Outta Flickr

Rolling Around
Originally uploaded by shroud.
Since I've been using another blogging service it supports (this), I thought I'd try a post directly from Flickr and see what happens.

I can always go back and edit it later, right?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Forgot the Best (haha) Part!

So in recounting my weekend of fun, I forgot the best part!

Saturday night after dinner, while driving to Graeters for ice cream, my "engine charge indicator" light came on (little red battery) - checked the book, and as suspected, it means that the battery isn't charging while the car is running - most LIKELY something to do with the alternator. This is about 7:30pm on Saturday night, not long after they close for the weekend. Looks like Amy's driving until Monday.

Monday morning rolls around and we drop off the car at the shop on the way to work. Turns out that yes, it IS a problem with the alternator, which will require replacing... oh, but check this - my car's extended warranty expired SATURDAY. That's right - the day the thing actually busted. I swear they configure that stuff so that it times the breaking perfectly.

So I tell 'em to fix it anyway, get the mega-reaming walletbuster bill, and start wishing I was planning on getting a new car sooner... but it probably won't be until next year.

I actually really like my car - the only reason that I really even want to get a new one is because it's at that age where things like this will start going wrong on a (somewhat) regular basis, and that's just too damn annoying and expensive.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tell Your Children!

Well, despite the fact that I didn't get much sleep last night, I find myself up too late again tonight. So why not spend some time in my blog-in-exile dropping the lowdown...

It was a hell of a weekend. Like Amy, I can't really remember what we did on Friday night (it must not've been anything worth shouting about, since neither of us can remember it). Saturday during the day I hung out at home while Amy fixed her bum tail-light at the shop, and Saturday night we went out to Restaurant Japan for sushi with the gang for Paul's birthday. That was a great, time -- it was funny seeing all the pregnancy issues that Carrie's body is already putting her through. All that fun this early on, she's bound to have a fun one. (Or something like that...)

Sunday we went to see Fantastic Four with my parents. I had heard some not-so-great things about it, and even from the previews I wasn't expecting anything Earth-shattering. I think my expectations were set suitably low, because it wound up being not as bad as I was expecting. Moderately entertaining, but definitely not as good as the Spider Man movies, X-Men movies, the new Batman, etc. There was a lot of potential there that got crapped away into the Abercrombie & Fitch pop-culture bullshit.

Sunday I also finally got to see the musical version of Reefer Madness that my dad had DVR'd for me off Showtime awhile back. I'd first heard about it a long time ago, and just from what I'd heard I knew it was going to be a good one - they had turned the old cult propaganda film into a stage musical comedy. It stars, among others, Alan Cumming, Neve Cambell, Steven Weber... and it's hysterical. I definitely recommend checking it out. I had never actually seen the full original propaganda film before, but thankfully it's old enough (and just one of those "unsure of" films) that it's actually out on the web for (apparently) legal viewing -- check out the National Lampoon site for a streaming version of it. There was also some other "hemp supporters" web page which streamed it, though the National Lampoon version worked fine for me, and DID NOT require RealPlayer, which was one less corruption subjected upon my laptop. But seriously, the movie was a riot, check it out if you get a chance. It's supposed to be coming out on DVD in October, and I think I'll try to pick it up. It'll fit in well with other classics in my collection such as UHF, The Wall, and Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever. And of course, Hedwig...

Well, I suppose I should try and get some sleep. Busy week this week. Homeowner's association meeting on Wednesday, Shadowbox Best Of on Thursday, going to Newport this weekend... fun fun fun.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I think this is my favorite of the pre-fab services...

Well, as far as what's out there goes (LiveJournal, Yahoo360, etc), I'd have to say that so far Blogger is my favorite of the bunch. If I do wind up moving to a new blog home (which is seeming likely at this point), I think this is probably where it will be.

Lots of tweaking that I could do with the template, the profile, the settings,'s already got commenting in place, it's a pretty stable, free service... what more is there to ask for really? Ok, well lots of things, but for free, this is pretty much what you're gonna get.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The blog, the blog, the blog is on fire

Another day, another service.

Trying everything out, we'll see which one works best.

For the time being, however. As usual, this is not the blog you're looking for.