So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Friday, January 30, 2004

New Software Review

I got Crazy Taxi out of the $5 bin at Wal-Mart during the big Christmas sales.

Turns out it's a pretty fun game.

Read the review.

In other news, Philip has identified one of the large industrial campuses we drive by on our way home as "Mama City." Yesterday he said that "Philiptown" is right next to Mama City.

Kids these days.

Mikesell : 12:35 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

As Promised ...

(or is that threatened?)

The review for Desert Heat is now online.

Make like a New Hampshirer and vote. (Go Lieberman!)

Mikesell : 12:42 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Muy Refresco

It's refreshing after spending three weeks on The Return of the King to burn through a novel in under a day. Desert Heat by J.A. Jance was a nice read, her first Joanna Brady novel.

Turns out I had read it before, but it wasn't on last year's list, so I read it again. Nice book.

Review coming soon.

Mikesell : 5:05 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Out of Deepest, Darkest Africa

I reviewed Hatari! on Sunday and it's just now appeared at Amazon.

Yesterday's Return of the King review showed up in a few hours.


Anyhoo, if you have the money and time definitely check out Hatari! (the movie ... after you read and vote on Hatari! – The Review). It has some incredible rhino footage at the beginning and near the end. Who cares about The Duke and all the stuff that comes in between: Watch it for the rhinos! I have a VHS copy I taped off TCM; if anyone wants it, e-mail me.

Mikesell : 11:17 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 26, 2004

The End of The Return of the King

Well, I've finally finished LotR:RotK. I made it through Appendix C, but the thought of Middle-Earthen linguistics made my head hurt. A review of sorts is over at Amazon.

Check it out.

Mikesell : 9:44 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, January 24, 2004

New DVD Review

Undercover Blues is the latest DVD to be reviewed at Amazon.

Check it out with the link above or from the drop-down menu to the right.

I'm ranked at #10560 right now with 249 "helpful votes." Will yours be helpful vote #250 (or #300, if #250 has come and gone before you got the chance to vote)?

Mikesell : 9:26 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, January 23, 2004

Mother & Child Reunion

At 3:30 this afternoon Dina returned and Phil rushed into her arms.

Photo 1   Photo 2

Phil waited until we got to the car before asking "What'd you bring me?" It turns out a two week trip is worth a lot: the obligatory lousy t-shirt, a nice largish shirt, two bags of trail mix, and a couple very nice cigar boxes courtesy of Uncle Gary & Aunt Charlotte. Phil also got the Scooby-Doo toy he was promised if he didn't drive Daddy totally nuts while Momma was away (it was a near thing a couple times, but we survived; admittedly Daddy was partially nuts to begin with).

Here's a couple close ups of Phil's new 'do.

New 'Do 1   New 'Do 2

We had a bit of a "Flock of Seagulls" look going for awhile, then it got combed straight up all the way around.


Mikesell : 8:22 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Later That Same Day ... Another Review

Well, it's been a quiet day here. Overcast and occasionally drizzly. No golf balls were harmed today.

Phil and I spent the day watching Stanley and SpongeBob marathons on TV (thanks for being born, MLKjr). While watching I keyed reviews into my Treo90 for Johnny English (see below) and the Atari: The 80 Classic Games pack (#2 in software reviews, at right).

Tomorrow won't be quite so lazy. In the evening at church there's a Worship Team meeting, including the A/V squad. Pizza will be served and childcare is provided. Phil and I are so there.

Well, Frodo and Sam are at the feet of Mt. Doom (Orodruin for Tolkein Nerds; something in the Dark Tongue of Mordor for Level 5 Tolkein Nerds, which I will not utter here); better see if they get the ring delivered or not before heading off to bed (they did the last time I read the Trilogy; let's see if Sauron is any smarter this time around).

Mikesell : 1:30 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 19, 2004

New DVD Reviews

Two new reviews over in the DVD section:Read them and make like an Iowa Caucusoid (Go Lieberman!) and vote.

Mikesell : 9:20 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Dina's Back in Less than One Week

... better start cleaning the house now.

Not a whole lot has happened the last couple days. Phil and I had dinner with the Chalmers at Papa's Pizza last night (actually Mike, Jen & I had dinner, Phil and Jackson played mostly, and Merilee Grace slept and played ring toss with Cheerio's and her mouth). I picked up a couple composite golf woods at St. Vinny's ($1.99 ea.); they have metal shafts, but hit better than the actual wood woods I'd been using. I lost half a dozen balls in blackberry thickets driving them across the baseball and playing field here at camp.

I finished watching the series Firefly on DVD (review coming soon). I also finished reading the HTML book that had been listed in the upper right hand corner of the screen for the past two months. I've reviewed it and am waiting for the review to show up at Amazon (I check every 5 minutes). Now I'm on to a CSS book that has some interesting projects and approaches/techniques in it. Don't expect it to move any time soon, though.

My review of the 2004 Ghost Towns Wall Calendar is available at Amazon. I'll have to find room for both it and the annual Orchard Supply railroad calendar (and the Tangram desk calendar reviewed earlier), but I should at least have some idea what day it is.

Mikesell : 12:24 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 15, 2004


Philip had his first visit to the dentist today. He has the recommended number of teeth (20) and they all look pretty good. He got a prescription for fluoride tablets to keep them that way. Here are some photos of today's big event:Phil got a killer whale toothbrush, mini-tube of Crest toothpaste, and a fireman toy in his dentist goodie-bag. Then we went to Freddy's and he got a jet airplane toy and a bag of gummi worms in lieu of playing at the playland, which wasn't open when we got there.

Mikesell : 1:55 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

T-10 ... Golf ... Book Review

Dina got to Florida all right yesterday. We missed her phone call because we were having naps. Life is hard.

It was a nice morning today, so Phil and I got out our clubs and played lawn golf. I did fairly well with my five wood and iron, clearing the playing field a couple of times. Here are a couple pictures of Philip "Fuzzy, The Golden Bear-Shark" Mikesell:

#1    #2

There's a new book review over at Amazon for the birthday present we bought Gavin, the son of the center's administrative assistant, Cassy. Check it out.

Mikesell : 2:21 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 12, 2004

12 Days and Counting

Dina won't be back for twelve more days; Phil and I have somehow managed to survive two days on our own so far.

Phil did well in church today. He was bribed with an hour of play at Fred Meyer PlayLand (the in-store babysitting at Freddy's) and a HotWheels car. He did well at Sunday School and Cherubs' Church (the class he goes to during the sermon), and even sang a little (and danced some) during Praise & Worship time. Daddy did well, too; so he got a clearance 5-wood ($15!) at Freddy's.

Phil fell asleep on the car ride home and once home was given the choice of more nap or snow golf and he chose nap. So I went out and managed to lose two fluorescent golf balls in the snow. They should turn up in a day or two after the rest of the snow melts. I made surprisingly good contact, so I'm interested to see just how far they went.

Dina reports that Grampa Al is hanging in there. When asked if he wanted to watch some TV, he answered, "Hell no." Clearly, his mind is still sharp.

Phil and I watched CutThroat Island this evening, and after Arrested Development I reviewed it. Read the review here. Not my best review, but CTI wasn't the best movie, either. Still, please vote "Yes" on the review.

Mikesell : 12:54 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 11, 2004

The Big Thaw

Well, Phil and I took our last sled ride of the season this afternoon. Grass has begun poking through the snow, providing less than ideal sledding conditions. The moisture content in the snow has improved, so Phil and I had a nice little snowball fight. Phil survived, if only because I didn't want to rush him 45 minutes into town with a concussion, plus I throw like a girl.

Dina had a good visit with her grandfather. For some reason the hospital insists on serving him hot tea with his meals, then he gets crotchety about having coffee and they bring it. Maybe it's occupational therapy to keep up his fighting spirit, but they better keep the metal bedpans away from him in case he decides to go occupational upside their heads. Keep strong, Grampa Al.

With Dina away, I am letting my conversational skills atrophy and am catching up on my reading and film screening. There are two new DVD reviews at Amazon: one for a collection of short claymation films called Creature Comforts, the other for a very scary movie, a remake of The House on Haunted Hill.

85% of our Christmas tree has left the house. 15% is embedded in our carpet.

Mikesell : 1:07 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Grampa Al Update

Last night, Grampa Al (Dina's grandfather) was taken off life-support. He was comotose and receiving only oxygen and pain medication. This morning when Dina's mom went in to see how he was doing, he was sitting up, eating breakfast and complaining about the temperature of his coffee. While he's not out of the woods, he is in better shape than last night.

Tomorrow, Dina will be flying down for a weekend visit.

We love you Grampa Al. We will miss you too, but hopefully not for awhile yet.

Mikesell : 11:26 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Good News / Bad News

Good news first: e-mail and hosted photos/sites seem to be working again.

Bad news: We found out that Dina's grandfather had a heart attack this morning and is not expected to be with us much longer. His health had been declining over recent months, but this is an unexpected development. We love you and will miss you, Grampa Al.

Mikesell : 9:51 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Photos Are Down

It appears that a blackout has hit Corvallis, Ore., home of our internet hosting company. We have a local access phone number, so we can still get online, but since their servers are down photos of the Amazing Sled Boy are not available. E-mail is also down, so if you're a big-shot Hollywood movie producer trying to get in touch to offer Phil a starring role, please be patient. They hope that power will be restored by this evening.

Here's a movie review (#7 at right) to keep you occupied until the servers come back online.

Mikesell : 4:00 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 06, 2004


Kneeboards, in fact, make excellent sleds.

See the Amazing Sled Boy.

Mikesell : 7:19 PM : 0 snarky remarks

It's Quiet Out There ... Too Quiet

Well, it's 1:30p and I've seen a total of one car driving on the highway today. We're still holding steady with about 4 inches of snow on the ground – dry, icy snow that won't clump into snowballs. We're going to test the theory that kneeboards make good snowsleds later today. Stay tuned.

If you've got cabin fever like we do, check out my review of Galaxy Quest. It'll give you something to do for about 45 seconds. If you vote, that'll add on another 5 seconds.

Here are a couple more reviews that have been over in the drop-down menus, but not officially announced here:

The Children of Men by P.D. James

Namco TV Games

Read 'em and review 'em.

Busy day for you, my friend.

Mikesell : 3:34 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Rhino Hats and Yellow Snow

When we went to ZooLights at the Portland Zoo Dina picked up a couple rhino hats (one for me, one for Phil).

Here's how mine looks:

Front View

Side View

Stylin'! (We'll have to get a father/son shot, too)

In other news, we were out playing in the snow this afternoon – the three of us, plus Biscuit the dog – when Phil notified us he needed to pee. He had seen Biscuit do her business in the snow earlier, so he wanted to also. Since no one was around we figured "what the heck?"

Long story short, DON'T EAT YELLOW SNOW.

Mikesell : 10:42 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, January 02, 2004

New Book Review, Old True Story

Since none of the books I'm currently reading are light reads, I'm dusting off a few from the bookshelf so I can keep cranking out the Amazon reviews.

Arcade Fever is a book I picked up in Old Town, Sacramento, a few years back. It takes you on a Memory Lane trip down the aisles of the video game arcade of the '70s and '80s.

Coincidentally, Old Town, Sacratomato, is the place where my high school went on a field trip and a bunch of us ditched whatever we were supposed to be doing and hung out in a basement arcade. I blew all my souvenir money playing Satan's Hollow. Quarters well spent. We caught back up with the group before they went to the Train Museum. Good times.

I'm probably grounded now, next time I go to my folks' place. <sigh>

Mikesell : 10:21 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Check out the Amazon A-List

For the past month or so, Amazon.com has been giving away free interviews, songs, short films, etc., contributed by various and sundry celebrities.

Today's freebie comes from the creator of Babylon-5, J. Michael Straczynski. It's a short story, not too terribly different than some of the things he came up with when he was working on The Twilight Zone series in the 1980s. In other words, it's quite good.

Check it and other things out at Amazon's A-List.

Mikesell : 2:57 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Moving on to Book 2 of 2004

I finished The Children of Men by P.D. James earlier today (review coming soon), and have moved on to Part 3 of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King (now a major motion picture playing near you).

If you want to see what I read in 2003, here's the list.

Mikesell : 11:11 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Prepare for the Ice Age

Well, if Day One of 2004 is any indication of future events, we'll be over our heads in snow by the end of the month.

About 3-4 inches of snow had fallen by mid-morning and the electricity was popping off and on almost hourly (once for about a half hour). Power in the western half of camp is still off (several hours later), so we're glad to be on the eastern half of our creatively-powered facility.

There was finally enough snow to make it worth the effort of exposing Phil to the wonders of hypothermia and frostbite, so he got to go out and play. Enjoy the pix:

Mikesell : 6:02 PM : 0 snarky remarks