Sunday, September 16, 2007

Live From Value City Arena

Another OSU move-in day, and another day working the morning at the Schott. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it at first, because I woke up this morning and my cold (or maybe the weather change?) led to me feeling slightly worse than death warmed over. It also doesn't help that I got sunburned pretty badly yesterday while at the neighborhood tailgate party. It wasn't even that sunny - wtf? Definitely snuck up on me.

Thankfully as the morning has gone on, I've been feeling quite a bit better. Which is good, since I'm here until noon... Things are fairly slow today, which is nice. Apparently with the away game yesterday lots of folks moved-in early this year.

Which is fine, because it makes for a slow morning with downtime for recovering and the Intarwebs.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Insight Makes The Deal

Well, with the opening game of the season less than 72 hours away, sold out, and being broadcast only on the previously mentioned Big Ten Network, it's getting down to crunch time. Come Saturday there are going to be a lot of pissed off Buckeye Fans...

BUT... less than there would've been as of yesterday.
Big Ten Network, Insight reach deal
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 4:20 PM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

The Big Ten Network and Insight Communications reached agreement on a contract today, clearing the way for Insight cable subscribers in central Ohio to watch Ohio State's season-opening football game Saturday in the comfort of their homes.

Ohio State will open the 2007 season against Youngstown State at noon in Ohio Stadium. The game is one of an anticipated three or four Buckeyes games, including Sept. 8 against Akron, that will be carried on the new network.

Insight will carry the Big Ten Network as part of its "classic" service package when the network launches programming at 8 p.m. Thursday. In central Ohio, the network will be available on Channel 24 to subscribers without set-top converters and on Channel 26 to those with converters, Insight spokesman Bob Lau said.

(Check the Full Article)

Yes, that's right - Insight and the Big Ten Network came to an agreement, and the 2nd largest cable company in Columbus WILL be carrying the new network when it kicks off tomorrow night, and therefore WILL be showing the game on Saturday. And it's even going to be on the basic service ("classic") tier... which seems to me like Insight gave-in somewhat on that. Personally, I've placed most of the blame on the Big Ten & the network from the beginning, as the whole nonsense that it has to be on the classic service is just stupid. A sports add-on or special sports package (which we already have... with ESPNU, CSTV, etc.) is the perfect place for a new niche channel like this - there's no reason everyone should have to "pay" for it (even if the cost is hidden in their regular cable bill and not itemized).

But... in Columbus (and Evansville, IN apparently), Insight gave-in, while in other areas it'll be on the sports tier where it belongs. From their previous "use this to send a complaint to the Big Ten Network" site, there's a little more detail:
We believe that the compromise we have reached with The Big Ten Network is a good one. We are carrying the channel as part of our Classic service in the communities we serve in Columbus, Ohio and Evansville, Indiana which are in the heart of Big Ten territory. In the rest of our cable systems, which are located primarily in Big East and SEC territory, we will provide the channel on our Digital 2.0 tier alongside our other specialized sports programming. These additional areas include all of our Kentuckiana communities in and around Louisville as well as Lexington, Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky markets.
So... win one for the bad guys, I guess. But hey, at least we get to watch the game! Bonus!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

W The Movie - WTF?

I don't know what to think of this... the facepaint gives it a very trippy King Diamond/Damon Zex vibe... I want to watch more in that "staring at a trainwreck" kind of way.





Friday, August 10, 2007

For The Weekend Shopping List

Couple things I stumbled across today for your weekend shopping list.

First off, because making a buck off of someone else's problems is the American Way, and because any chance I get to mention Ron Mexico is a win for me, I bring you the Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy. Referred to as "the only thing you can still buy with Vick's name on it".


In infinitely more practical news, I TOTALLY need one of these. The ECO Media Player - an mp3 (and other media) player powered by wind-up hand crank! No more running out of juice right in the middle of a plane ride, or worrying about leaving your wall/car charger at home when going on long trips. Instead, "one minute of winding gives up to 40 minutes of play time".

Of course, the "up to" part is a little worrisome. I mean, a gallon of gas in my car could last "up to" 20 years if I didn't drive it anywhere.... but small print-shmall print! It's a hand-powered mp3 player!! Think of the starving children!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's That Time Of Year


Sanity returned to the world this past Sunday, as football is officially back in season. That long, HORRIBLE drought between the NBA finals and the return of real sports is over. It's a shame it had to come back with the f'ing STEELERS winning a game, but hey - at least Santonio Holmes landed one of those TDs. Oh, and Brady finally got an f'ing deal signed. So, yeah... get your ass to camp, son. I'm guessing even with the late start, he'll make an appearance in at least one of the preseason games, probably multiple.

Of course, we all know preseason NFL is garbage -- but at least it's there while we wait the next 3 weeks or so until the College Football season kicks back into gear. The teams started camp this week, and I have faith in Tressel and the rest of the coaching team to field a strong bunch again this year. I know there's a LOT of questions on the offense, and based on past experience, I wouldn't be surprised if Tressel fell into a 2 QB system before deciding who the clear starter is (though I HOPE that doesn't happen), but meanwhile, those first four games should be a good warm-up. The schedule feels fairly week this year, especially to start. I mean seriously, a I-AA?? I know it's Tressel's old school, but STILL. Check out the helmets of the first four games this year, IN ORDER:

I mean seriously, was that intentional commentary by the scheduling committee? Washington could end up being a tough game, but the others? Well, the helmets say it all.

Of course, unless you have tickets or DirectTV, you're probably not going to be able to watch those games anyway, thanks to these assholes. I love how they're playing up the conflict to be a problem with the cable providers, completely glossing over the ridiculous price and placement demands they're making of these places for a TOTALLY NEW, UNPROVEN entity. I mean seriously, do they really expect this to get ANY worthwhile numbers outside of college football & basketball season? It's not like they're going to have the rights to show bowl games or NCAA tournament games on there....

I'll leave ya with a bit o' non-football related content. Saw this video today from the folks behind a couple quality webcomics I read. It's one of the characters from Looking For Group, with a fun little Disney parody song:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The New Boogie Man

So, you know how parents (and grandparents) used to (and presumably some still do) scare their kids into behaving by telling them stories about the boogie man, the monster in the closet, or whatever local scary legend there was?

Well, next time they act up, I'm thinking of telling my dogs that if they don't shape up, Ron Mexico is going to come take them away in the middle of the night...

(btw, I know I've been slacking here -- but I HAVE been throwing stuff on the tumblelog pretty regularly, so make sure you're keeping an eye on that feed too. In fact, that picks up posts here too, so if you want to watch just ONE feed, that'd be the one...)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We Live In Interesting Times

Per the "Ancient Chinese Curse" that wasn't.

An exciting day today, complete with bomb scare, evacuation, business continuity planning put to the test, random filtered details, sketchy news coverage, and eventually a return to normal by lunch time! Can't beat that.

In the end, it apparently was a misplaced or forgotten briefcase with someone's repair kit of some kind. It got blown up by the bomb squad to be on the safe side.

News coverage:

---The local NBC affiliate has my favorite quote in their article:
Police evacuated the building, along with Grease Hall and a journalism building. Police created a perimeter of yellow tape, as students and staff gathered to watch the investigation.
GREASE Hall! Looks like someone wasn't paying close enough attention to the spellcheck! :)

NBC appears to have the most complete/informed post-event wrap-up.

---10 TV (CBS affiliate) has it's own coverage, which was also reproduced by the Dispatch. I have to call them on a possible exaggeration - it mentions "several hundred" people standing around outside the buildings. Now, I suppose it's possible the crowds died down after I left the scene, but I definitely wouldn't call the crowd that I saw "several hundred".

---News Center (ABC & FOX local news) had to get in on the misspelling game in their article:
Baker Systems Engineering building as well as nearby Drees Lab and Campbell Hall were evacuated during the incident. No one was hurt and students and faculty were allowed to return to the buildings within a short time.
Not quite as fun as "Grease Hall", but still missing the trailing "E" there. They also mention Campbell Hall has having been evacuated, but everything I heard pointed to Journalism being the only building on the other side of Neil evacuated...

---
Mykola Bilokonsky actually has some really good coverage on his Newsvine page, though he also mentions Campbell Hall being evacuated... *shrug* What he's got is definitely more personal & more interesting than the short pieces the big money sources offer.

---There is currently no mention of this on The Lantern or UWeekly pages -- though I'm sure it'll be the front page of the Lantern tomorrow (what else is there to talk about all Summer), and I'd be pretty shocked if Corey Spring doesn't get his blog-on about it ....


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Action Movie MAYHEM


Been a good week for action movies! This weekend my Dad & I saw Live Free or Die Hard. You never know what you're getting into with these supersequels (part FOUR in this case), especially when it's been twelve YEARS since the last installment, and the star isn't exactly a young 'un. That said, I have to say this movie paid-off BIG TIME. It was extremely well done, a great addition to the Die Hard franchise, with some perfectly classic John McClane moments. Yes, there was some unbelievable stuff in there (the jet vs. semi-truck being the worst), but keep up your suspension of disbelief and enjoy the old-school action and great one-liners. And I have to say, the PG-13 rating didn't seem to hurt the movie at all. Only one F-Bomb in the whole movie, but the cursing (or lack thereof) didn't bug me at all. You NEED to see this movie. They even updated the song!



Monday night I saw Transformers with Hutch, Holly, Randy , Gary and Hutch's friend Tony. I have to say I had my qualms going in -- I played with Transformers, watched the cartoon and even read some of the comics, but I was never a HUGE Transformers fan - GI Joe always won top-spot for me. Still - how could a live action film do it justice? Well, I'd have to say this one did a pretty good job of it. The BEST part was hearing Peter Cullen's voice narrating & doing Optimus Prime once again. Totally brought me back to my childhood & gave me chills. The robots were VERY well done, looking well integrated into the scenes. The fight scenes were a little too busy to follow at times, and there were some rather big plot jumps (not necessarily a HOLE, but skipping something that should've been resolved) - but just like with Die Hard, I think it takes a backseat to a fun, VERY well done action movie. I could've done without Bumblebee pissing on the dude though...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Around The Internets

As I've mentioned several times before, I'm a total Web2.0 junkie. I'm a sucker for trying out all the fun new toys, gadgets and gizmos. Some catch on and keep my attention for prolonged periods of time, while others kind of fade into the background as I devote my time to other things. Time is a limited commodity, even when I stay up way later than my wife & daughter most nights, I still can't fit everything in.

So, to blatantly steal an idea from Warren Ellis, here's a quick update on where I am, relatively actively, around the Internets as of late June 2007. Most of these are linked in the sidebar, but just in case you're not paying attention.
I think that's a pretty fair compilation. At least of stuff I check into "actively". (Which varies depending on the service. I obviously don't have new movie reviews to add daily or even weekly, but when I do, I add them one or both of those places. And last.fm is basically passive scrobbling for the most part.) If you're interested in any of that stuff, be sure to add me as a friend - the one thing about my web2.0 addiction is that I can always use more "friends" on all these social services. Ever the wandering loner, eh?

Anyways, it's a good time, and as far as addictions go, better than most. Something tells me that it's not going to net me any government assistance though.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Heavy Metal Addiction?

Normally I'd post a quick link to an article like this on Ye Olde Tumblr, but this one definitely requires a special highlight:

A heavy metal fan in Sweden is so obsessed with his favorite music that the state of Hässleholm in the southern part of the country has deemed him psychologically impaired and eligible for financial assistance from Employment Services.

According to Blabbermouth.net, the story was first printed in the Swedish publication The Local, which reported that 42-year-old Roger Tullgren underwent psychological analysis after losing numerous jobs because he stayed out late at so many shows he couldn’t make it to work the next day. He claims to have attended almost 300 rock shows last year.

“The fact that I am so into music has affected my work situation to the extent that I have had to quit some jobs,” he said.

Tullgren started seeing a psychologist when he was fired from his last job and went on welfare. When the analyst realized the severity of the man’s situation, he had Tullgren sign a paper that indicated his “heavy metal lifestyle” was a “disability” and the man became qualified for a wage supplement.

FULL ARTICLE

I'm not totally sold on the veracity of this (the initial mention coming from BLABBERMOUTH seems a little suspect), but seriously... being SO METAL the government has to PAY YOU. Well played.

Baz Approves. ROCK ON, Young Swede.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Best News I've Heard All Day


Well, thankfully (as far as I know) so far I've managed to avoid all the personal information/social security breaches, including all the credit card company leaks, OSU leaks, etc. But when the story broke last week of the backup tape with the personal information and social security numbers for all state employees and their dependents I figured it'd finally happened to me too.

I know several folks who have had their information compromised, and have been acquainted with some folks who have actually had their identities stolen. It can be a painful process getting everything cleaned up. Prevention & remediation plans are underway in pretty much every sector at this point to try and stem the tide, but it seems like there's still SO much to be done.

So anyways, the good news... I've been digging through all the news reports of this State leak since it first came out, and thankfully saw the news I was looking for today:

But the state has confirmed that the tape contains the names and Social Security numbers of all 64,467 non-university state employees. If they were enrolled in the state's pharmacy-benefits management program, their address and phone numbers also are included, as well as the names and Social Security numbers of 75,532 dependents.

Read the full story here. Emphasis added by me (the good news in question).

So one more break. Don't know how long it'll last, but good news for me and many of my friends and family for now at least. If you were one of the state employees who WERE affected (or a family member of), I'm assuming you'll be getting a letter in the mail soon (if you haven't already), and I'd strongly recommend taking advantage of the ID protection services they're offering. See the State Employee Identity Protection website for more info.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Eastern. Conference. Champions.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history!!

Before I get to that though -- I have to back up a step. Sadly, I slacked off and never got around to blogging about LeBron's INSANE performance in Game 5.

There's dominating performances and then there's totally putting a team on your back and carrying them through to the win. Scoring 29 of the team's last 30 points. 25 points straight. All the scoring for the team in BOTH overtimes. EVERY. SINGLE. POINT. He was driving and dunking and no one could stop him - the entire Detroit team, coaching staff, and every fan in that building knew who was getting the ball - but they just couldn't stop him. Even the few times they DID keep him outside he threw up shots that had NO RIGHT to go in, but did anyway! If you missed this game, you missed an unreal performance.

Take a few minutes to read some of the raves. It was all over the sports talk & news outlets. A particularly interesting one: 25 Points, 25 Memories.


So how do you follow-up a performance like that? Well, you can't really expect to TOP it... but it's important not to relax -- after all, last year the Cavs were in a VERY similar situation -- drop the first two games in Detroit, win the next two in Cleveland, go back to the Palace and steal a win... only to lose in Game 6 at home, then, hearts broken, get crushed in Game 7. Well, NOT THIS YEAR!

Things started out pretty close, then the Cavs got into a great rhythm at the end of the 1st, only to go cold during a 21-MINUTE TECHNICAL DELAY. It's ridiculous they let it go that long. Detroit kept it close, and LeBron did pretty much all his scoring from the line. The rest of the team did a GREAT job in stepping up to fill the gap.

The game stays close until the 4th Quarter... when not LeBron, but "Boobie" Gibson, the ROOKIE takes over. Draining 3 after 3... It was GREAT to see them finally pull away and knock it home. An absolutely great moment. a 21 year old rookie out of Texas, only 1 year younger than LeBron, but he looks like he's 16, and standing next to the big guys it's a riot - he looks like a freaking hobbit standing next to Z. But his play is HUGE. "Boobie Trap" indeed.


Great game, great night, great team! Gotta love it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Journey Round The Internets

Been staying up a little later the past few days and playing around with lots of different sites out on the Internets. Feeding my bizarre Web2.0 addiction primarily -- I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff, as I'm sure you know by now, and I've found a lot of fun sites there to feed said addiction lately. Most of them things which have been around for a little while that I just hadn't gotten around to previously.

I'll call your attention to the right-hand sidebar there, where you'll hopefully notice two new additions:
  • The Aggregated Darkside --Followed a link/brief write-up from Warren Ellis to Tumblr, and decided to sign-up. Tumblr is apparently a site for "tumblelogs". As they put it, if blogs are journals, then tumblelogs are scrapbooks. Essentially, it's blogging without the commentary - just a collection of links, pictures, videos, etc. And Tumblr has a really nice interface for importing whatever RSS feeds you want to throw at it, as well as pre-made import scripts for common sites like Digg, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. So, as you might guess from the name, I've set it up to import my stuff from all over the webosphere2.0. Plus some extra pics & links thrown in just to share. If nothing else, it's hopefully an easy one-stop-shop feed you can subscribe to to keep an eye on all that is Max. Or something.

  • Last.FM -- I've known about Last.FM a LONG time... but never bothered signing-up for it because I listen to my own iTunes music the vast majority of the time, and already have so much crap imported into iTunes that I didn't really see much need for Internet radio, social or no -- but then there's the whole AudioScrobbler thing they've got going. Basically, you can download a utility which CAN play their Internet radio (tag channels, friend channels, specific bands, whatever), but can ALSO pay attention to what you're listening to in the audio player of your choice and write it out to your profile, so you can build nifty little "recently played" lists like the one on the sidebar there. Or, if you rather, you can do "top plays", or whatever. It's pretty fun. And hey, I've even got two friends there already! (Thanks Gary & norb). FWIW, I already turned OFF my last.FM feeds to Tumblr because it was just too much - in comparison to everything else, the songs I listened to (per song) were just drowning the other content.
I also broke down and signed-up for Twitter today. I honestly don't know if I'll have much use for it at the moment, but it seems to be the current rising wave, so I want to at least poke around at all the different things you can do with it. The basic premise is that Twitter answers the question "what are you doing RIGHT NOW?" -- kind of like the Facebook "status" field, only even more immediate. You can add friends to a feed, and see all their updates automagically in your stream or RSS, or you can get the updates pushed to your phone via text messages (you can update via text msg as well!), IM, custom desktop apps, etc. It's apparently "really addicting" -- I suppose that depends on having friends using it too, and ATM, as far as I know, I have none. :P (heh)

So yeah, I love me some web2.0. I'm such a sucker.

Anyways, more fun from around the Internet, random link edition:
  • Belly Dancer gets half her butt liposuctioned away:
    A German belly dancer has been given twice as much compensation as she asked for - after a plastic surgeon accidentally sucked away one of her buttocks instead of reducing the size of her thighs.
    Yeowza. LINK.

  • What to do with that wedding ring after a failed marriage? Why, GIVE IT A PROPER BURIAL, naturally.
That's all for now. Gotta get back to watching the Cavs fight for an even playing field heading back to Detroit. Let's go Cleveland!! Can you FEEL the excitement Z?

Umm... I'll take that as a yes?

Friday, May 25, 2007

The 4400: Viral Assault

Season 4 of The 4400 (the series) hits USA (the channel) on June 17th (the date). To rev up, they appear to have put quite a bit of work into a viral marketing campaign, including several themed websites, videos (hosted on YouTube, naturally), etc.

What's a real shame is that the first I heard about any of this is when Googling around this afternoon trying to find a premiere date for the new season. With all the work that went into it, why is the only thing I saw on it a Sci-Fi Wire news blurb from May 23rd? Now admittedly, per that story they just launched things on 5/21, but still - have we already become so jaded to viral marketing like this that no one cared enough to notice? Or are they going to ramp it up and get the word out a bit louder in the next week or two as the actual premiere gets closer? I would think some actual TV spots for the ads would be pretty cool -- though it might be a hair too realistic & freak people out, possible backlash, yada yada yada. Still, wouldn't it be fun if they ran something like this. That one won't embed - here's a shorter hack version from the ad company on YouTube:



I'm really pretty impressed with the amount of stuff out there. These aren't simple, quick one-page sites, they've actually put some effort into them. Here's what I've dug up so far:

Each site seems to have plenty of videos (the article mentions at least 80). I like the commercial-type spots a bit better than the "dispatches".

One thing they seem to be doing differently from some other viral marketing, is that they're actually ENCOURAGING roleplaying - non-paid, non-affiliated people joining up, typing stuff in character about their own stories, their own abilities or exposure, etc, etc. Though it's a pretty early 4th wall break for the site, the PromicinTerror has this "Contribute to the Cause" link which explains it a bit more:
Play a character and become a part of The 4400 universe -- tell us the part of the promicin story that only you can create! Take a look at some of the videos, articles and photo-illustrated stories on Promicin Info, Promicin Terror and Promicin Power. Then decide what new promicin story you'd like to tell and how you'd like to tell it. See suggestions below for creating a great submission.

They've even got forums setup on PromicinInfo where there's all kinds of folks posting in character, about promicin/4400y things, and some of THOSE people even link back to their own in-character personal blogs... of course, some of them link to unrelated sites, and some link to in-character blogs that BREAK character... I was able to register for an account on the forum & post a reply to one of the threads (I made it neutral enough that it wouldn't break kayfabe)... very cool touch, but as the word gets out, I'm assuming it's going to take some AGGRESSIVE moderating to keep griefers out. Because lord knows the Intarwubs luvs them some griefers.

So if you're exited for the new season of the 4400 to start, or if you're just a fan of viral marketing and fan-involvement, check it out!

EDIT: Unfortunately, their "embed video" links for the non-YouTube flash vids don't seem to work so well (with Blogger at least), so I had to cut out a couple. Be sure to check out the "Protect our Children" video on the first page of PromicinTerror.com - it's quality.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Solid Footing

So our deck is done! (Well, the CONSTRUCTION of the deck is done).

We went ahead and loaded it all up last night with our brand new outdoor furniture (including Evie's own little picnic table Grandpa got her) and our old grill. Take a look:



I think it's great! And done in time for a Memorial Day cookout even! Too bad it's supposed to rain this weekend... We'll also have to UNLOAD the entire thing within a week or two and seal/stain it, but for now we're living it up!

If it does rain, then at least I won't have to regret missing the great weather if we wind up seeing PotC: At World's End (which I definitely hope to do). Can't wait, should be a good one! (Though the threequels haven't been working out so well for other franchises... but I have hope.)

Gotta run - but I also wanted to share this PG edit of 300:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Close, But No Cigar

I'm still here. Things are going pretty well in Maxville. VERY busy at work lately, but that's a good thing - keeps things focused, yet busy means it's not all one thing and doesn't get boring. It also helps the time fly by very quickly.

Outside of work, our deck is almost done! It LOOKS done, but there are a few minor details I'm assuming should be polished off tomorrow. I'll get some pics up once it's all finished. (Of course, the "finish" (sealing/staining, etc.) won't be for another week or two). Not exactly looking forward to that, but you do what you gotta do. I AM looking forward to the deck itself - it looks awesome.

The title up there would be tonight's Cavs game. The boys put up a tough fight up in D-town, but fell JUST short at the end. The upside to the loss (if there is one) is that they went for the WIN instead of the tie at the end, LeBron driving the lane before kicking out to Donyell Marshall for a nice open look at a game-winning 3 that was JUST off... If they can take one of the games in the Palace before coming home to Cleveland, they'll be in GREAT shape. I believe.

Been having fun Yelping it up too, throwing up several more reviews tonight, and getting the beginnings of my favorite restaurants list together. I'll fill it out as I get more places reviewed. Hopefully soon. I threw a link to my Yelp Reviews over in the sidebar there. Still only have ONE friend there so far (thanks Irene~!)...

Last but not least, this week I FINALLY got around to checking out 24 Hours, the Kleptones double-album that came out LAST YEAR. It's not as thoroughly awesome as A Night At The Hip-Hopera, but it's still some solid Kleptones goodness... well-executed mashuposity that is definitely worth your time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cavs SQUEAK By, Get the Road Win

Well, after looking TERRIBLE in their first road game of the series in Jersey Saturday (and ruining my ALL SWEEP, ALL THE TIME master plan, the Cavs took back control of the series with a squeaker-win tonight in Jersey, 87-85, and will head home to the big C to get the job done. Gotta hope the Bulls can do their part tomorrow night and get another win against D-Town so they don't get TOO fresh on us waiting for the conference finals to start. Better yet, force that series to game 7 so that the Cavs can polish off the Nets AND get some rest.

The ESPN gallery's currently a little thin (give 'em a break, the game just ended), so no EmotiBron tonight. Instead, Z brings you a LITHUANIAN KARATE CHOP!

Hi-YAH! Take THAT Mikki Moore! What kind of a name is Mikki anyway?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Yelp Me Out Here


So someone over at the Columbus Underground forums mentioned this social restaurant/store/entertainment review site called Yelp. It's kind of like Yahoo reviews or Citysearch-meets-Web2.0. A dash of social network, a dash of local reviews, etc. Just my kind of new toy to play with, and very similar to the previously mentioned Trusted Opinion (ref'd here) or to a lesser extent LibraryThing (ref'd here). Only, you know, with a much larger base than just movies or books.

So I checked it out, and it seems like as good a place as any to throw my opinion out there. After all, I definitely enjoy checking out new restaurants, and have tried my hand at reviews in the past. Well, this is a much less formal, more social way to do so. I've only written up a few reviews so far, but I'm sure more will be coming - it fits a good niche, and is "flashier" than the other options. Here's my page. If you sign-up, be sure to "friend" me - I look so lonely with no friends there! ;)

In other news, the Cavs are up on the Nets 2-0! Only 10 games away from an NBA championship baby! That's right - I'm calling for the Cavs to SWEEP the ENTIRE NBA playoffs! It could happen, right?

What do you think LeBron, can you & the boys make it happen?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bring On The Nets! (or the Raptors if they're lucky)

The Cavs finished off their sweep of the (starless) Wizards tonight 97-90. Lots of sweeps going down in the first round this year. They're getting knocked for kind of slinking by most of the games in this series (especially given the Wizards being without their superstar and another of their top players)... but a sweep is a sweep.

Next up is the winner of the Toronto-New Jersey series, which the Nets currently lead 3-1. You ready for the next round LeBron?


Ok, ok, take a few days off and rest the ankle. They still need to finish up that other series anyway. In the meantime, let the Pistons & Bulls start softening each other up for the finals!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Here We Go Brownies!


NFL Draft 2007! Your refreshing breath of football in the midst of the NBA & NHL playoffs and (sigh) baseball season.

Now, the Browns are pretty well known for horrendous draft picks since returning to the league. With such AWESOME first-round picks as Tim "home sitting on my" Couch, Willie "fell on a knife" Green, Courtney "ouch" Brown, Gerard "big money" Warren... and the Dynamic Injury duo of Kellen "Motorcycle Soldier" Winslow and Braylon Edwards. Jeff Faine at Center is in there somewhere too... while not as uber-bust as the other early picks, he's still got to be considered a loss.

So this year the Browns craftily managed to land themselves drafting third overall. Lots and lots of hot air was spent the past few months talking about who they'd pick... Adrian Peterson? Brady Quinn? Joe Thomas? When the time came, they played it safe and went for the area that arguably needs the MOST help for the team, picking up Joe Thomas from Wisconsin for the key Left Tackle spot. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed, but it definitely WAS the safe pick, and you can't argue that the Browns O-Line has been BAD. Still, I was bummed because this was a good pick for the future, but doesn't build any real excitement for NOW.

Then... the magic happens. Miami heads to Buckeye City and bites on Teddy Ginn WAY ahead of projections, instead of taking care of their gaping QB problem. And that means Brady slides further... and further... (they even took him off to a private room so he didn't have to deal with the "doesn't that suck" close-ups after every team that DIDN'T pick him).

And at #22 the Browns trade-up, back into the first round and land him after all. Two top-5 rated picks for the Browns in one year. NICE. And, Brady, like a champ, comes out & puts on the hat and holds up the jersey, being the last guy actually in attendance who hadn't done so at that point.

Of course, he was holding up the wrong jersey - so I had to do a little editing work for you. Not at all noticeable, I'm sure. ;)

Honestly though, I'm really happy about this - this is probably my favorite top 2 picks for the Browns since they returned to the league. They filled a much needed hole and STILL managed to get someone that we can hopefully ask to carry the franchise forward into the future. As long as he doesn't get sacked into oblivion first.

So I say, in the enternal mantra of the Cleveland sports fan, "This is the year!" ;)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Movies... Third Time's Still A Charm?

Yeah, I'm still here. Been a little busy lately, what with Amy being nasto-sick this week, and being out of the office at work Tuesday, Wednesday and half of Thursday for a training thing out in Dublin.

I DID get to hit up Tropical Bistro for the lunch buffet Tuesday (excellent as always) and finally got to try Benny's Cheesesteaks for lunch Thursday. I'd have to say I definitely enjoyed the cheese steak (I even opted for the cheesewhiz, going for the more authentic). I'm obviously no South Philly person, but at least one person who IS enjoyed it. I'd definitely go back, but given how freaking way-outta-the-way it is for me from home OR work, I don't know how often that'll be realistically.

So, in other news, after poking around in Trusted Opinion a bit more this evening, rating some more movies... that prompted me to hit-up IMDB and look for what movies were coming out this Spring/Summer/later this year that I was interested in checking out. (Those that I've already heard at least something about, of course...)

Sadly... or maybe predictably, most of them were sequels or adaptations. What's REALLY odd is the sheer number of the THIRD installments in a franchise coming out this year. While Hollywood may be "out of ideas" as the common criticism goes, they sure seem to have hit on quite a few successful franchises lately to be cracking out this maybe #3s.

Here's what made my list, roughly in order of expected release:
So, you'll note the FIVE starred third installments listed above. As well as a FOURTH installment (Die Hard) and a FIFTH installment (Harry Potter). I'm sure there are other movies coming out soon that I'll be interested in seeing, but scanning ahead through IMDB's coming movies list, these are the only ones that really caught my attention so far.

I also saw two OTHER third installment movies coming out this year... Resident Evil: Extinction and Rush Hour 3. I have really NO interest in seeing Resident Evil. I'm sure I'll end up seeing Rush Hour 3 at some point, but I'm pretty well Chris Tucker'd out for the time being. His shtick got old REAL fast.

What movies are you folks looking forward to seeing the rest of this year?




Thursday, April 19, 2007

That Post-Marathon Glow

Well, that's been here and gone by this point. Still, I had a great time. I posted by full review on a couple different forums, including the Sci-Fi Marathon forum and Columbus Underground. Not that it's really all that in-depth, but go there for a longer recap. For the short version - attending (in our extended group): me, Dad, Gary, Hutch, Randy, Jeff, Angel, two of Jeff's friends I don't really know, and Mike F. Always a blast hanging out with everyone, and this was no different. One of the best get togethers of the year, IMO. Best & Worst:
  • Best Movie I'd Already Seen: Flash Gordon. MAN, I love that movie. It's a CRIME it's out of print.
  • Worst Movie I'd Already Seen: Star Trek: The Motion Picture *yawn* pan-pan-pan "here's the outside of the Enterprise" pan-pan-pan "here's the outside of VGER" pan-pan-pan "here's the audience napping" pan-pan-pan
  • Best Movie I Saw For the 1st Time: Fido. A fun new take on zombie movies.
  • Worst Movie I Saw For the 1st Time: Automatons. SWEET MERCIFUL JEBUS MAKE THE BAD MEN STOP. Someone hand me a knife - even the MEMORY of this movie makes me want to gouge my eyes out. I'm not sure, but I think they may have been trying to make some political statement? Maybe?
  • Best Food: Fully Loaded Gateway Fries. YUM!
  • Worst Food: Greek Wrap. My fault for not paying closer attention, but it contained no meat. Not bad as much as just not what I wanted.
So yeah, the Marathon's over for another year. Back to normal life. In which I STILL haven't ditched the damn cough that's been nagging at me for a couple weeks now. It got better for a bit, and most all the other symptoms are gone, but this shit is getting old, man.

Take your mind off the doldrums with some fun games:
And if Flash games aren't your speed, see Emily Short's Interactive Fiction games. The only ones I've played at length are Galatea and Glass, but they're both very well done, immersive interactive fiction (that's a fancy way of saying "all text") games.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Psyched For The Sci-Fi (Marathon, That Is)

The 24th Annual Ohio Sci-Fi Marathon is this weekend at the Drexel Gateway theater! Noon Saturday to (roughly) Noon Sunday. I'm totally psyched.

My Dad & I have been going to the Marathon every year since the THIRD annual marathon back 1989 at the Drexel North! (Don't do the math, it doesn't work out.) Well, sadly, my dad actually missed one year, but I haven't missed one since. We cut out early a couple of the early years (I was still very prone to migraines those first few years), but we were there. We even got our pictures in the Dispatch while waiting in line one of those years at the Drexel North. To see a history of all the years, locations, and films shown, check out the Marathon History link. Suffice to say I've seen Them! on the big screen far too many times.

Over the years, we've picked up quite a few other folks for the outing - Gary (for quite some time now), Hutch, Randy, Featherstone, and many others have dropped in from year to year. We're doing our part to try and keep it alive at least!

This year's flier is here [pdf].

The (tentative/theoretical) schedule is:

Doors should open at about 10:30. Like last year we'll have a reel of pre-blast off trailers starting at about 11 or 11:15.

Noon Countdown & Blast Off
12 MONKEYS

2:30 KING DINOSAUR

4:05 THE GREAT YOKAI WAR - Ohio Premiere

6:20 Costume Contest
6:30 PUZZLEHEAD - Ohio Premiere

8:10 FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACEMONSTER

9:55 FIDO - Midwest Premiere

11:40 AUTOMATONS - Ohio Premiere

1:10 CHOPPING MALL

2:45 NIGHT OF THE COMET

4:25 MINDWARP: AN INFINITY OF TERROR

6:00 SLITHER

7:45 STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE

10:10 FLASH GORDON
Noon Presentation of Certificates to survivors (if any)

Should be a great time. Can't wait! You should join us!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Snow, South Park, Cleansing The Filthy Internets

Well, for anyone in the area, after a gorgeous start to the week with highs around 80, it SNOWED last night and earlier today. Gotta love Ohio weather.

If you're stuck inside thanks to the crappy weather, I give you yet another option for killing time. EVERY South Park episode EVER, streaming straight to you, thanks to the miracle that is the Intarwub.

Check out AllSP.com while you still can. They don't host the vids, but even still, you know this one has a limited shelf-life. This is actually one that really irks me, because if Comedy Central's "on demand" offerings through the cable company were any good (see the HBO On Demand model), I'd GLADLY watch the shows there... but instead all you get are 5 minute clips of Stewart & Colbert, and a random smattering of 1-2 episodes of each of their 4,000 shows.

If you can make it through the extreme traffic, Video Hybrid is another site worth checking out.

In case that's just all too much for you to handle, you can always head to the righteous side of the 'net:
  • Believe it or not, there are actually MULTIPLE Christian-themed YouTube clones out there. Check out GodTube ... the obvious choice, but if that's not enough for you, how about GospelTube? I guess with the popularity of YouTube, endless clones like this (with targeted audiences) were inevitable, and hey - they do serve a good purpose for their niche audiences. And this isn't really a particularly SMALL niche, either.
  • If watching videos and making online connections isn't enough for you, you can facilitate off-line connections through MyChurch.org - self-described as "Facebook for Churches". Somehow I don't think that means you can use it to invite everyone you know to your kegger of biblical proportions, but I suppose it WOULD help you figure out the name of the girl you hooked up with behind the pews last week...
  • Finally, I'm sure most of you have already seen this one before, but check out Conservapedia, for "A conservative encyclopedia you can trust." Beacause one Wikipedia wasn't enough, now you get your wide-open editable, in-depth but not likely to be well-referenced information in multiple flavors of bias!
Anyways, have fun... as for me, I'm finally over the death plague acquired by way of Amy last week... though Evie was running a mega-high temperature yesterday and had to stay home from daycare today, so I would up working from home this morning while keeping an eye on her.

Monday, April 02, 2007

My Humps?

Brilliant!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Can I Get An ALL SYRUP Squishee?

So apparently, though the deal hasn't been finalized yet, they're working on a promotional deal which would turn some 7-11s into Kwik-E-Mart reproductions to help promote the Simpsons movie. Not only would it copy (at least some of) the look, but you'd also be able to get some classic Simpsons products, like Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees!

Check it out.

All I can say is that. is. awesome.

No mention of Duff Beer, but I suppose that'd be a tough one since they're PROBABLY spinning the movie toward a younger audience.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

POTC3 Trailer - W00T

May 25th is ENTIRELY too far away.

EDIT: Grrr... stupid "Pirate Player" flash nonsense doesn't embed properly, and tries to take over the whole page instead.

Go see the new trailer here , or in High Def at Yahoo.

And commence drooling.

Ron Lewis Made My Baby Cry

Well, I made Evie cry. but it was in reaction to Ron Lewis's 3 that tied the OSU-Xavier game on Saturday to send things into OT. After being down 11 with about 6 minutes left, and still being down a chunk with TWO minutes left, I'd pretty much written this one off. I definitely have to give that team credit - they rallied hard, and fought their way back. Even after I thought it was finally over (Butler misses the 3, and Xavier goes to the line with a chance to go up by FOUR)... the second free throw rolls off the rim, Harris grabs the rebound, and they drive down the court in time for Lewis to throw up the HUGE shot.

There's also video of it (official even!) over on YouTube. You have to click the link though - "embedding is disabled by request". I guess CBS and/or the NCAA doesn't want you watching their content without seeing their logos and such, despite them being littered through the video too.

But anyway, the game -- it was awesome. How could I NOT stand up and shout? Well, unfortunately Evie wasn't really ready for the standing and the loudness, and started crying... :( We got her all settled down fast enough, but I still feel bad.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes went on a tear in overtime, and made it into the Sweet 16! Teed up for a rematch with Tennessee -- hopefully it's a good one!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lets Go Eagles!

I don't do NCAA tournament pools (or any other kind of "fantasy" sports) for money. It's all for fun and bragging rights. Still, I do tend to pay attention and take them seriously. For the pools I'm in with friends and folks at work, I actually put in "real" picks this year.

But I couldn't resist the tradition, so I did go ahead and fill out a full bracket with my Coin-Flip Picks '07. This is purely based on the coin - no "weighting" for 1 seeds, no home-team favoritism - just flipping a coin and recording the predicted winner of each matchup.

So how'd it come out this year? Well, no #1 seeds upset in the first round this year (last year I had a 16 seed in the Final Four), but THREE #2 seeds dropped their opening games (Georgetown being the sole survivor)

The Final Four: Winthrop, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Pennsylvania

The end result: Winthrop over Georgetown

Let's Go Eagles!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

No Coffee

So I've been at work since 8am this morning. "Just in case" there was any DST-change related chaos. You know - like planes crashing into buildings, servers spontaneously bursting into flames because their clocks are an hour off, that kind of thing.

Well, the other person who was supposed to be in @ 8 is MIA.

I made myself a half-pot of coffee around 10 to keep the energy up, had a cup. Went back to get another cup a bit later, and the pot was nigh-empty. The student who came in at 10:30 had hit it up.

And the sad thing is... I can't be mad at the guy - he's here working outside our normal hours to help us cover.

But I'm sad that I have no more coffee.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

News Flash: Still Winter


This just in: Though it may be March, and we may have had some nice mild temperatures last week, it is in fact still Winter in Ohio. Nice heavy flurries coming down outside ATM - though only an inch is expected to accumulate last I heard.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Best Buy admits to keeping fake rip-off site

(From Boing Boing)
Best Buy admits to keeping fake rip-off site
Best Buy has admitted to maintaining a fake version of its website for internal use at its stores. This is part of a scam where Best Buy lists cheap prices online and invites customers to come to the store to take advantage of them. When the customer gets there, a dirtbag salesman loads up the fake website and shows them that the price has "gone up" while the customer was driving over to the store and offers to sell the item for the new price.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ordered the investigation into Best Buy's practices on Feb. 9 after my column disclosed the website and showed how employees at two Connecticut stores used it to deny customers a $150 discount on a computer advertised on BestBuy.com.

Blumenthal said Wednesday that Best Buy has also confirmed to his office the existence of the intranet site, but has so far failed to give clear answers about its purpose and use.

Link to full article

The crazy thing is I've actually been hit by this crap. When we were getting our video camera we checked the prices online at a few different locations, and went to Best Buy b/c it was coming up as the cheapest - only to find out that the sticker in the store was a good deal higher. When we mentioned seeing the price on the web page THAT MORNING, before coming to the store, they pulled up the web site on one of the computers there, completely identical to the one we'd seen at home EXCEPT for a higher price (the same price shown in-store).

While I admit I would've fallen for their garbage, Amy & my mom stuck to their guns, and the dude finally gave in and said if we could show a print-out of the web page we'd seen, they'd "price match" - so we printed THEIR OWN WEBSITE and brought in the proof to get the better price. But how many people wouldn't have taken the extra step?

Cartoon Nostalgia Overload

Almost a half hour of old-school cartoon openings. The only two I didn't recognize and recall watching at least once or twice were Blackstar and Heathcliff & Marmaduke (though the regular Heathcliff one I remember quite well).

Of course, there are lots more great ones that didn't make it into this, but still - some quality memories here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OUCH.

No, seriously - OUCH.

No matter how bad your day has been, you're having a better day than Shaun Livingston did Sunday. Squeamish viewers, this is not the YouTube you're looking for.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Men's BBall: Big Ten Champions!

The "Thad Five" (and the rest of the bball Buckeyes, of course) scored a tough win today at home against the Wisconsin Badgers to lock up the outright regular season Big Ten title for the second year in a row today. It was a seriously tight game, coming down to the last minute with Ron Lewis scoring an awesome flyover block to stop Wisconsin's last minute game-winning shot.

One more regular season game to go (at Michigan), but the outright title is secured, as is (most likely) the #1 NCAA tournament seed in the Midwest... so a little bit of celebration (and some net-cutting) is well earned.

It's been a heck of a fun season to watch - and it's not even March yet!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Speechless

I... yeah... just watch.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Meltdown, The Showdown,, The Good TV

For the 2nd day in a row the weather's been decently above freezing, which means all the snow is melting away. Nowhere near all gone yet, but it's going fast, and it's made things wet and nasty. Personally, as long as the roads are relatively clear and safe, I'd rather it stay nice and white off the road - a nice coating of snow just makes Winter feel like... well Winter. Though I have to admit it sure is nice to open the door & let the dogs out without feeling like I need to put on a coat.

Good news in the College BBall world tonight, as Michigan State upset Wisconsin (who was either #1 or #2 depending on which poll you look at). This leaves OSU a half-game ahead in the conference standings, with the opportunity to pull a full game ahead assuming we can get the job done against Penn State tomorrow night. It also both adds and subtracts a little sizzle from the big Wisconsin-OSU rematch coming up this weekend... on one hand, though the polls won't refresh before then, it's not really #1 vs. #2 anymore... but on the other hand, Wisconsin will be looking to get out some frustrations. OSU will still be looking for payback for the loss in Madison. Should be a good time - hopefully the team stays focused and plays strong!


Drew Nietzel, SUPER SPARTY!

In unrelated news, it's worth mentioning that Heroes is f-ing AWESOME. Not that it ever fell all that far, but this week's episode has flung it right back into position as possibly the best show currently on television. I mean seriously, that ROCKS. And next week's episode looks really promising. At the same time 24 remains excellent as well. The formula/repetitive nature of things is beginning to bog things down a bit, but the surprise reveal/appearance at the end of this week's ep is more than enough to leave me wanting more. And of course, there's LOST - which before the midseason extended hiatus had been on quite the slide in my opinion - just treading water/churning gears without moving forward at all - no character development, no mystery progress, no nothing. Just a little soap opera-action. Since the return, both episodes have been MUCH better, with this past week's Desmond-centric episode REALLY getting things back to what I love about the show. A lot of fun stuff there, and yes, still more mysteries introduced, but enough of a teaser-answer there and some really intriguing new questions.

Oh, and finally - in a bit of good news, they finally put the remainder of Day Break on the ABC web site. Go watch it while you still can!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Holy Crap x2! A second OSU Snow Day!

I guess when hell's already frozen over, it doesn't take as much to stay that way - and since my theory was disproven, there's no need to keep up any pretenses - OSU is closed again today - ALL DAY TODAY!

Snow Day!

2-14-2007

Ohio State Columbus campus remains closed today

Classes are cancelled on Ohio State's Columbus campus on Wednesday (2/14).

College and administrative units are also closed.

The Ohio State University Medical Center and other essential services (such as police, residence halls) will remain open.

This message applies to the Columbus campus only. Decisions relating to regional campuses will be based on local conditions.

more

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Holy Crap! OSU Snow Day

Sadly, my theory that each OSU President only cancels classes once during their tenure has been disproven -- President Holbrook cancelled classes at OSU main campus today beginning at 1:30pm !

And even better - we got to leave, as apparently we're not considered essential staff in this case. Woohoo!!

Check it out.

Snowmageddon, Rock Star, V-Day

Believe it or not, I've actually got a ton of stuff to blog about - but a combination of lots of being busy and increased laziness (due to lots of being busy) have just let it pile up. I'll hit on a couple things here, but will hopefully have more for later too.

It's nasty as heck outside today, as we're currently in the middle of the worst winter storm of the season here in C-town. Snow and yuck started around 4 or 5 this morning and is supposed to continue through tomorrow -- including a possible shift to "wintry mix" for awhile - AKA ice and sludge, then back to snow. The roads were a complete mess coming in (due to the timing of when things began, they hadn't gotten a chance to clear at all), and are only getting worse.

At least the view is purty, right?

In other news, Rock Star: Supernova (the band made by the show, that had to add the "Rock Star" bit thanks to the other band that had the name first) has so far fared about as well as I expected -- for many of the reasons I outlined in my Why Rock Star: Supernova Fails blog from last year.

This interview with Gilby Clarke touches briefly on the show in general, including how it quickly spun into "Tommy Lee's new band":

antiMUSIC: Did the TV show end up being different once it got going from what you were presented?

Gilby: Oh, it was definitely different from what I was presented. When I sat down in those meetings I was under the understanding that it really was, you know, a new band between myself, Tommy and Jason, you know. And it certainly was represented more like Tommy Lee's new band. I definitely didn't sign up for that. You know, I respect Tommy, as a guy in the band, of course, but I was kinda disappointed with the way they were advertising that. But you know, we got the right winner in the end. There's definitely a lot of things I don't agree about with television, you know. Television is editing and all kinds of things. I think most people who went to the tapings of show but then saw the show actually on TV, saw two different shows, but I'm sure, you know, look this is my first shot at doing something on television. And I definitely learned a little bit from doing it.


While this New York Post article does a great job of highlighting the problems as far as what went wrong. I don't fully agree with all his suggestions for what to avoid doing wrong next time, but he definitely makes some good points.

Cheers! Maybe I can drink the total lameness away!

Finally, in other news, it is of course Valentine's Day tomorrow. Amy & I already had our nice dinner out, when we went to M last Wednesday. It was phenomenal, and I had the best sushi roll I've ever had there - the Surf-and-Turf Roll - a jumbo tempura prawn rolled inside-out with cream cheese, scallions and a bit of daikon, with filet mignon beef carpaccio layered across the outside/top. It was AWESOME. Extremely decadent, but wow it was good. The rest of the meal was excellent as well - I love that place. Tomorrow we've got our Broadway Series tickets (convenient timing, not planned), to see All Shook Up. Yeah... I don't know about all that. We'll see I guess. Hoorah for Elvis.

For those last-minute planners out there, if you're still looking for somewhere to take your sweetie out for dinner tomorrow night, LOOK NO FURTHER - White Castle has your back. Make your Valentine's Day STEAMY! Yes, seriously.

Make your Valentine’s day STEAMY! Take your Valentine to White Castle on Wednesday, February 14 between 5 and 8 p.m. and enjoy hostess seating, candlelit dining and your own server. Reservations are required, so check the list below for participating Castles near you!

Special this year, you can also treat your honey to a romantic White Castle dinner in your home! Cupid’s Crave Kits include eight cheeseburgers, one sack of fries, two regular soft drinks, coupons and keepsake items to heat up your homespun romance. Now, ain’t that sweet?

For more information or to make a Cupid’s Crave Kit reservation, call the phone number listed for the your city of choice below.*

* Cupid’s Crave Kits are not available at all locations. Reservations are required.

Is that not 8 trillion kinds of AWESOME?

You know it is.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Holy Ridiculous Freezeosity

So it's around 11 degrees outside at the moment -- up from a whopping 1 degree this morning (pre-windchill!!). It's so cold most of the area schools are canceled today. I'd say I wished OSU was closed as well, but since we're considered a critical service, we'd still have to be at work anyway, so OSU might as well be open. It's so cold out that the car (which was in the parking garage all day) radio display was noticeably slow in refreshing when changing stations/volume/etc.

Not that I would've minded a day off today - even though it wasn't a late game, it'd still be nice to have a day off to relax and recover after the Super Bowl. Not as bad as working the day after Christmas (by a longshot), but hey, I wouldn't be upset if this guy gets his wish. (He actually got on the radio at least twice last week in Columbus, and I'm sure he got other gigs elsewhere too - hope those web page ads pay well).

Speaking of the Super Bowl, I did watch the whole game. My parents came over, we cooked up some "football snacks" (fondue, lit'l smokies in BBQ sauce, meats, cheeses, etc. - tasty!), and just hung out. I'm surprised no one I know had (or at least invited me to) a Super Bowl party, but I guess I could've taken the initiative there too, and I know a lot of folks were just done with football for the year after the National Championship traveshamockery. The ads were pretty disappointing overall - not really bad, but nothing really GREAT either. I guess the Blockbuster ad with the mouse was probably my favorite, and the Budweiser Rock-Paper-Scissors thing. The halftime show wasn't bad either - I thought Prince did a good enough job. Very showy, especially for the rain. My big complaint there is I really didn't like his "All Along The Watchtower"... that just sounded bad.

And now enters the long drought that is known as the football off-season. At least Buckeye Basketball is doing well this year, picking up a big win at MSU Saturday. Mike Conley Jr. is just scary-good. And of course that Oden guy makes a few plays here and there too. The Cavs...well they're not BAD, but they've stumbled quite a bit from having a East-leading record a month or so ago. Hopefully they turn things back around firm-back-up on the winning ways.

Not much else going on at the moment... have to take Amy's car into the shop AGAIN today, as the ABS warning light is on, and this is a bad time of year for her ABS to not be working properly. Hopefully it's a warranty-covered fix... but it'd be even better if our cars would just WORK...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Busy Sunday, Poor Car, Poor Animals

Happy Monday... or something. I actually had a pretty good weekend. Saturday was largely a lazy. Hung out with the fam, went out for a tasty lunch at Amy's favorite (Texas Roadhouse), etc. Nothing really of note. Contrast with Sunday, which actually wound up being pretty busy. Didn't go to church because of the horrible weather, but we did hang out with Amy's mom & cousin and watched X-Men 3 instead, so that was fun. After that I got to play beast of burden/photographer at Evie's first swim lesson . I had a blast watching and taking pictures - the class is all people we know (Evie, Allison, Katie, Audry, and Glenn), so that was funny too. Be sure to read Amy's writeup for all the details (and of course, pics).

After swim-time I shoveled the drive/walk (first snow of the year and it's ~3 inches + a bit o' ice!) and then watched some football. I was rooting for the Saints, so it's a bummer that they went down so hard to Chicago, but I don't really have a beef with the Bears. I mostly just can't believe how lopsided it was - LOTS of mistakes by the Saints. I think the poor weather (and poor field condition especially) definitely played a role. I was definitely very happy to see the Indy/New England game - it was a really well-played game, with a nicely orchestrated comeback on the Colts' part. Peyton finally gets over the hump by beating the nemesis Patriots and making it to the Super Bowl. Now can he win the big one? I guess we'll see in two weeks. I'm actually pretty bummed out that the Super Bowl's only two weeks away, because that means that two weeks from today begins the months-long sad span that is known as the football off-season. I just can't get into other sports at anywhere NEAR the same interest level.

In other news, been having some car issues lately. To begin with, I'm well overdue for an oil change and just need to make the time to get that done. Not easy with Evie around, but my laziness is also playing a role here too - I hate taking my car to the shop, even for an oil change, as something else always winds up being wrong. Last week/weekend during the endless downpour I noticed my speakers warbling a bit. They've been fine since, but I'm wondering if I got a wet wire somewhere which was causing things to not do well... And finally, this morning as I turned on the car I noticed that one of my headlights is out. Fun fun. So I guess I'll be taking it in sooner rather than later. (Oh, and of course my a/c is still broken, but it being winter that doesn't really matter at the moment). My poor car just needs some TLC.

Last but not least, I got a huge kick out of this this morning - check out this breed of goats that go stiff-legged when they get exited:



Then there's this poor dog with narcolepsy. I feel bad, but it's so funny it's hard not to laugh:



There's a longer video here about a different dog with narcolepsy (a news story about a poodle with the condition) - with the full story it's more sad than funny, but there are still some pretty entertaining zonk-out moments from the poor dog...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Yeah Toast

Or maybe it should be "Yeah, Toasta". Check this out:


I need one of these! A ceramic toaster that pulls the bread through this little stand-up thingy and spits toast out onto a nice forked-catching rack on the other side. This design won first prize at a "Ceramics for Breakfast" competition over at DesignBoom. According to the designer, "This toaster is designed to engage the user, re-invigorating the social context of toasting by questioning everything about what we toast with today." Read more about it.

I really could've used one of those last week and earlier this week while in the grips of la grippe. I'm well on the road to recovery at this point, but I believe that was one of the worst colds I've had in recent memory - perhaps ever. Holy crap that was no good....

In other good news, I read on BoingBoing today that they're going to be turning one of my favorite books into a SciFi Channel Miniseries. George Clooney is executive producing a miniseries based on Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. (see SciFi news blurbs here).

The book is set in a pretty distant-future type setting with a society based around the wonders of nanotechnology. It's a big departure from my favorite Stephenson book (Snow Crash, which is a gritty pure-cyberpunk type book - in fact, IMO it's one of THE definitive cyberpunk stories. I'd LOVE to see an adaptation of that), but I still really enjoyed it. I'd say I'm definitely excited to see the miniseries here, but I'm also pretty skeptical on how well they can pull it off - all the nanotechnology effects in the book are going to make for some pretty hardcore special effects and CGI-work, and the book's immersive interactive storybook/illustrated primer (as mentioned in the subtitle) leads the book on some pretty odd tangents which, while interesting, could have a hard time translating to a TV audience. Since it was only just announced, it'll be a long time before it makes it on the air, and there's always the possibility it'll die on the production shelf and the project will never see the light of day... I guess we'll just have to wait and see.