So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Photo Extravaganza - Day 4

More from Emerald Park:Tomorrow: My favorite photo of the bunch!

Mikesell : 11:43 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, April 29, 2005

Photo Extravaganza - Day 3

Emerald Park is a very nice facility in Eugene with great playground equipment, a skateboard pit, and an aquatics center. Phil's a bit young to skateboard, but if all goes to plan he'll be getting swim lessons at the aquatic center next month.

Meanwhile, there's all the great playground equipment, including:
And then there's the Big Slide:Tomorrow: More Playgroud Equipment!

Mikesell : 4:46 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Amazon Bump

After a month or so in the 1,900s (not that I'm complaining), I crossed another threshold this morning: all the way up to 1,852. Yay!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go celebrate by getting a cavity filled. (I'm saving a root canal for breaking 1,000.)

Mikesell : 10:33 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Photo Extravaganza - Day 2

Here are half a dozen more shots from yesterday:Tomorrow: Playing at Emerald Park

Mikesell : 5:23 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Photo Extravaganza - Day 1

Today I took 50 pictures of the boy and boy-related stuff.

Maybe 25 turned out good, but even that's more than I care to subject people to all at once. Plus, if I can stretch it out over four or so days, then I don't have to think up creative entries every day (which day, you're wondering, did I ever bother to do that before, huh?).

So here're four pix for today:
  1. Phil with his backpack, trekking toys up to "the Barn"

  2. Phileolithic Chalkogram 1: We think this means "monkeyboy"

  3. Phileolithic Chalkogram 2: We think this means "she who must be obeyed"

  4. Phileolithic Chalkogram 3: We think this means "bringer of spankings"
Coming soon: The Joustmobile

Mikesell : 12:56 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

New Celebrity iPods

I saw this today courtesy of the folks over at digg.com. It's a spoof of the U2 iPod that came out last year, suggesting what other celebrities' custom iPods would look like. Some of them are kinda lame (Dolly Parton's with two large scroll-wheels, hardy-har-harrr), but the best of all is Foghat at the bottom. Funny stuff, Maynard.

If you haven't visited digg before, there's a lot of geeky nerd-type stuff there, but there's frequently a thing or two for normal folks as well (why normal folks would be reading my blog, I don't know). I've included a link for digg over in the menu at the left. See the large click-enticing ads? Well, after you succumb to temptation and click a few, scroll down to find the link.

Mikesell : 3:26 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Better Deal from Borders

At the end of last week Borders/Waldenbooks/Brentano's put a four-day 25%-off coupon up on the web.

Now there's a four-day 30%-off coupon. (book/audiobook only; 4/28 - 5/1)

Will there be a 35%-off coupon next week?

Come back and see.

Mikesell : 9:01 PM : 0 snarky remarks

New iTunes

Superchic[k]'s latest, Beauty from Pain, finally showed up at iTunes.

Ten more free songs gone.

Mikesell : 8:53 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, April 25, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dina

Today's Dina's birthday, so we went out for dinner and hung around town for awhile.

First stop: Marie Calendar's for Artichoke & Mushroom Chicken. Well, that's what Dina had. I had a burger and salad bar, Phil just the salad bar. We bought a Strawberries and Cream pie to go.

Then it was off to Borders Books, where Dina didn't find anything to her liking. Picky. Picky. Picky.

We had a disappointing experience at free-ice-cream-cake-night where the Make-a-Wish people were overly aggressive is soliciting donations. It was pretty much "no-dough, no-go." So they got a couple bucks, we got a couple slices. Had they not been so pushy they'd've gotten a lot more. Okay, a little more, but still ... it would've been more.

Here's some pix of our party in the courtyard of Oakway Center.After the "party," we headed over to Freddy's to see if flannel sheets were still on sale. They were. Dina's big on flannel sheets. I bought her two sets as gifts and she picked out a third today, as well as a CD of hymns by a local recording artist. She passed on the boxed set of Dukes of Hazzard DVDs, go figure.

Then home to recuperate from our evening on the town.

Yeah, we're old.

Mikesell : 10:55 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Sunday, April 24, 2005

From the Mouths of Four-Year-Olds

Today at church we had communion. I'm not sure what the pattern is (or if there is a pattern) for the frequency of church-wide communion, but it's once a month or less. (Communion is available every Sunday at the altar/prayer rail for those who seek it.) They served it before children were dismissed, so Phil took communion with everyone else.

While our pastor was citing the passage about the Last Supper, I was simultaneously translating into words Phil could understand. I think it boiled down to: We do this to remember what Jesus did for us by dying for our sins. After we took the Body, Phil clapped and said "Thank you, God."

I love my boy.

Mikesell : 10:23 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Value of Pets

Finally, something worth reading...

Here's the deal: McDonald's is giving away these mini big-headed stuffed animals as prizes in the Happy Meal. Last year they did all dogs; this year it's some dogs, some cats.

Last week Phil got a little I-don't-know-what-maybe-a-terrier dog. He named it Nickel.

A couple days ago he got a blue-eyed cat. It's name? Penny.

Now, I'm not saying that dogs are worth five-times-more than cats (although they are). I'm saying Phil named his toys after coins, independent of parental input or consultation with a financial planner.

Here are some pix:Phil also took this photo. I'm not sure what it means. Must be art.

Mikesell : 11:01 PM : 3 snarky remarks

IE7 News

I just noticed a post at slashdot about changes upcoming in Internet Explorer 7, including proper PNG file handling.

I know, from tweaking the blog template last night, that there are a couple PNG images being used here. One of which overlays the charioteer in the lower left.

So I checked how the blog looks in IE6 and, sure enough, it doesn't handle PNG files properly: the overlay doesn't appear, so text just scrolls over the charioteer in the background. For some reason IE6 also shows the old template when you click on a the "link" button, though that's probably a caching problem. <sigh>

For a real browser experience, get FireFox. (I'll check Safari compatibility when I jack the PowerBook into the phoneline tonight.)

I've changed the text color over in the menu pane to black, set the unvisited links to dark blue (they turn red when you hover the mouse over them); I'm not sure if I'll change the visited links from purple or not.

I moved the Google Ads up and put the Revival blog in a "What I'm Writing" category.

I did the Hokey-Pokey and turned myself around.

That's what it's all about.

Mikesell : 7:56 PM : 3 snarky remarks

The New Look

I'm trying a new look, courtesy a free template from: here.

I'm not completely sold on the charioteer, but he'll stay down there until I can figure out something better.

There may be some tweaking going on in the next few days. Please, if colors start changing or something's there one time and then it's gone the next, DON'T double-up on your meds. It's not you. It's not your computer. I'm tweaking things. 'Kay?

If you're going to click on something over in the menu pane and it's down by the chariot but won't click, scroll it up a bit more. Getting the link above the statue's hand will allow you to click it.

That's the only real problem I see with the new setup. I like the text scrolling up behind the chariot, so if I replace the graphic there, I'll do my best to replicate the effect.

Like it? Hate it? Pensive? Leave me a comment.

Mikesell : 2:04 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, April 22, 2005

Proof WalMart Is Eeee-vil

I took Phil to Wally's the other day and we noticed they had new Star Wars PEZ dispensers. Phil wanted R2-D2 (he likes the little droid), so I got it for him ... and I got myself the WalMart-exclusive glow-in-the-dark Emperor Palpatine.* It appears WalMart has signed up with the Empire in order to keep passing the savings on to us ... thanks to the Ewok sweatshops on the planet Endor.

If/When you stop by to get in touch with your Dark Side, check out the video department. Our stores have $4.88 DVDs of classics like Clue, Beverly Hills Cop 1 & 2 (they have #3 also, but that's a lame movie even though it was filmed at the Great America themepark near San Jose), and Young Sherlock Holmes. Sweet deals, even if they are evil.

*When it glows in the dark it kinda looks like Uncle Fester.

Mikesell : 10:42 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Borders Coupon - Don't Snooze, Don't Lose

Here's a 25% off coupon for Borders, valid only until Sunday, April 24.

If you use it and get something cool, leave me a note in the comments. If you use it and get something lame, post anonymously.

Mikesell : 6:19 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Too Cool for (pre)School

... at least for the weekend.

I got Phil some new sunglasses yesterday (Thomas the Tank Engine theme) and a Ventura Beach Patrol t-shirt from Target.

At the bottom of the t-shirt graphic it says Long Beach. I don't know if the beach in Ventura is called Long Beach, or there's a beach in Long Beach named Ventura. It's as confusing as the L.A. freeway system, I tells ya. Either way, Phil's happy to have a shirt with Grammy & Poppa's city named on it.

Here's his new look:   1   2   3

Mikesell : 3:52 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Little Old Man

Phil came back from Grampa Al's funeral in Ventura last month with Al's week-long pill dispenser. He keeps his LooneyToons chewable vitamins in it.

So let's see:Is he a four-year-old or a ninety-four-year-old? I'm not so sure.

Mikesell : 11:10 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

An Hour by the Lake

Last night I promised Phil I'd play frisbee with him this afternoon. He got the idea he needed to play frisbee now at about 7:30 last night - even though Dina wasn't home, I didn't think it'd be a great idea to play frisbee indoors. I told him we'd do it today.

So, when the boy gets home from preschool and I ask him if he wants a snack, he says, "No, lets go play frisbee by the lake." I have to ask him a half dozen times in the morning to finish getting dressed, but this, this he remembers. So we went down and tossed the disc around for a while.

Here're some pix:

At one point Phil announced, "Hey, look what I can do!" If you've ever seen the character Stewart on MadTV, you cringe when you hear this. But, what the hey?

As we walked back to the house, I suggested he pick mom some daisies.

Mikesell : 4:13 PM : 3 snarky remarks

It's All About Me: Me Meme Me

My friend Brenda Coulter has challenged me to answer the following questions. Because I'm an obliging sort, I'll take a crack at them.

1. You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?
The Name of The Rose (Eco) because it's my favorite book and being a book about the destruction of books in the context of a F451 universe has ironic possibilities I can't begin to fathom

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Vic Warshawski, if you ever need a sidekick, I'm there baby.

3. The last book you bought was…?
The Computer Curmudgeon (Kawasaki) - Nostalgic and funny and I'm getting acclimated to the Mac ethos (I almost have my "It just works" smirk down right)

4. The last book you read was…?
The Empress File (Sandford), later today it'll be The Grim Grotto (Snicket)

5. What are you currently reading?
Computer Curmudgeon, Grim Grotto and Othersyde (Straczynski)

6. Five books you would take to a desert island…
Presuming the Gideons have already been there and left a Bible in the nightstand:

Mysterious Island (Verne)
The unabridged version is the ultimate desert island survival guide

The Name of the Rose
Got to start memorizing it for Question 1

IT (King)
My favorite of his

Lord of the Flies (Golding)
Because as bad as it is to be stranded alone on a desert island, it's good to be reminded that being stranded with a bunch of hoodlums would be infinitely worse

any Norton Anthology of anything
chock full of literary goodness and I'd be awhile in finishing it

7. Who are you passing this stick on to and why?
Angie Poole, because now that tax time is over she's got a lot of time on her hands until the next quarterly filing date

Mikesell : 12:03 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Old McPhilip Had a Farm

At pre-school, Phil did the old plant-a-seed-&-watch-it-grow bit.

Here's the results (sans Miracle-Grow): 1   2

To be on the safe side we haven't named it Audrey II.

Mikesell : 6:10 PM : 1 snarky remarks

The Celebration Is On

For the past couple months, there has been a monthly Celebration of New Christian Fiction wherein Christian fiction-writers post writing-related entries in their blogs and then the entries all get linked together on the third Tuesday of the month.

This month I joined in the fun.

So put on your party hat and check it out.

Mikesell : 11:20 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, April 18, 2005

I Blame My Father

I've seen the What Kind of American English Do You Speak? quiz a couple places online (jordoncooper.com was the first, I think). Here's how I did:

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
20% Upper Midwestern
20% Yankee
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern

Then I took the "Southern Dialect Quiz" (thanks winxpnews), and came up "34% (Yankee). A definitive Yankee.'; }." This quiz breaks down your answers by region as you go. Of the 20 questions, 8 came up with a Great Lakes influence. Thank you, Mr. Michigan.

So when you hear my pronunciation of caramel, pajamas, and route; or hear me say frosting, frontage road, drinking fountain, TP'ing, and pillbug, you'll know where I get it from.

And who to blame.

Of course, when my car battery was dead this morning and I called him on the phone, he did walk me through how to use a trickle-charger. So he's had a good influence, too, I guess.

Mikesell : 9:52 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Saturday, April 16, 2005

New Blogroll Blogs

Three new blogs listed over at the right. I think they all came my way thanks to faith*in*fiction.
Check 'em out!

Mikesell : 4:34 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, April 15, 2005

Trippin' Down Memory Lane

...or at least Begonia Drive, San Jose, where I come from.

I just read this article about weird things caught in Google's new Satellite Image search (thanks Slashdot). So I looked up my old neighboorhood to see if anything was going on. Not surprisingly, it's as boring as I remember it. Actually, it's more boring than I remember it because in what is now a huge cul de sac to the west of my house (marked on map) there used to be a big field and horse stable.

Here are a couple wider shots of my suburban world. For about 16 years 90% of my life occured on these two maps.
Check out Google Maps and see if anything is happening in your old neighborhood. There's a "satellite" link over on the right side to switch from "Mapquest-style" maps to the real deal.

Mikesell : 7:26 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Ice Cream Headaches - FREE!

It's almost summer, so the ice cream franchises are doing their annual first-one's-free promotions. Want a freebie? Mark your calendar for:

Ben & Jerry's: April 19th, noon to 8pm, get a free scoop. <link>

Cold Stone Creamery: April 25th, 5pm to 8pm, get a free slice of ice cream cake. <link>

It appears that Baskin-Robbins is doing their free ice cream event in conjunction with Yahoo.com. Coupons were available one day only, a month ago. So, either get yourself a time machine and set it for 3/15/05 or learn to live without free B-R ice cream this year. The date itself is May 2.

And, while you've got your DayTimers out, be sure to mark July 11th as free Slurpee day at 7-11 (the date matches the store name, get it?).

Mikesell : 5:06 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Mmmmm ... Wrong Pie

Yesterday I stopped by Marie Callendar's and bought a chocolate cream pie. I had a slice after dinner and thought it's good, but not as good as I remembered it being.

Then, while drifting off to sleep last night, I remembered it's Marie's German chocolate cream pie I like.

I'm getting old and I need my wife around to help me remember which flavor pie I like. (Dina is currently in, well, Phoenix, on her way back from a camping conference in Riverside, Calif.)

Mikesell : 2:22 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, April 08, 2005

Getting Around Blogger Snafu

For the past 12 hours or so, Blogger has refused to work with Firefox.

For the past 6 hours or so, Blogger has refused to work with Internet Exploder (it stopped working shortly after the post below).

Killing Blogger cookies seems to have done the trick to get me back on Blogger, for now.

We'll see how long it lasts.

Mikesell : 3:21 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Blogger Snafu'd

For some reason Blogger isn't cooperating with Firefox this afternoon.

If you're having problems with comments (or posting to your own blogger blogs) try Internet Exploder, er, Explorer.


Mikesell : 8:20 PM : 0 snarky remarks

End-Times Holy War

Back in the 70s through early 80s there was a series of "end-times" films, beginning with A Thief in the Night. Then in the mid-90s, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins figured out how to make money off the concept. (Well, Bob Dylan did pretty decently with Slow Train Coming somewhere in there, but nothing like LaHaye & Jenkins's franchise 1 and franchise 2.)

Then, at the end of last year, Tyndale House (publishers of the Left Behind behemoth) decided to make mo' money, mo' money, mo' money off our end-times fascination. Hanegraaff & Brouwer's The Last Disciple takes a different approach than the Thief in the Night and Left Behind serieses (or is that serii?). Instead of speculating about future events, TLD speculates that many events in John's book of Revelation found fulfulment in the First Century A.D.

"Oho!" you say, "How can that be? Clearly these events take place in the future. Left Behind said they would."

Except that Left Behind is fiction.

It's not real.

Will Christ return someday? Yes, that part is real.

Will a horndog airline pilot get left behind and never have another lustful thought in his life? I have my doubts.

Will people, particularly those who have life and that more abundantly, work scripturisms into their conversation and never notice how awkward it sounds? Please, no.

Will women in conservative, male-authored fiction be continually marginalized, even though their storylines have more interesting possibilities than those of the men? Probably, but it's a shame.

Will co-authored books ever be as good as Stephen King's 1984 team up with Peter Straub: The Talisman? I hope so, but things aren't looking so good if LaHaye/Jenkins, Hanegraaff/Brouwer and the King/Straub follow-up Black House are indicative of things to come.

On his blog, Chris Well (author of Forgiving Solomon Long; ask for it wherever crime fiction is sold) has an interview with Sigmund Brouwer. At the beginning of Part One*, Well links to some articles about Tim LaHaye's reaction to the new kids on the block** and their contrary theory of end-times prophecy. Some people don't grasp the difference between what is real and what they think is real. Perception may define reality, but it doesn't make it necessarily true.

People at Amazon seem to have problems grasping this concept as well. My review of Last Disciple is currently ranked at 5/9 (five out of nine people have found it helpful - and that's with me logging on as Dina and casting her vote in my favor). Recent reviews slamming the book's theology are at 8/12, 21/27, 31/34. Reviews supportive of the theology are at 9/51, 7/43, 10/30.

All this to say, VOTE FOR MY REVIEW! GoogleAds (at right, near the top) may not want me begging for clicks, but Amazon has no restriction on embarrasing shallowness.

Two more things:
  1. Mark Bertrand has a good blog entry on the subject, as well
  1. DaVinci Code readers: It's fiction, too!

*Be sure to check out Parts Two, Three, and, if I've deciphered the archiving code correctly, Four of Well's interview. Part Four will be available tomorrow, 4/8/05.)

**Specifically, Hanegraaff & Brouwer, not the late 80s/early 90s boy band. Many speculated NKotB represented a sign that the apocalypse was imminent, but failed to recognize that additional horrors like the Spice Girls and actresses under contract with Disney becoming "recording artists" were yet to come.

Mikesell : 2:34 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Best Afternoon of the Year

After church and an unspectacular lunch at Sizzler, Dina, Phil and I came home and napped. Dina got our bedroom, Phil and I got the recliner. For about four hours.

Phil woke up before Dina did or I'd have had her get the camera and snap a photo. Even though we're both awake in the picture below, it captures the essence of our afternoon.

Photo Re-enactment

Mikesell : 9:18 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, April 01, 2005

Does This Count as Publication?

Today over at Ray Rhamey's Flogging the Quill there's a writing critique by a guy named Chris.

Here's a sample:
"3 Feb 1973 was a Saturday [not a Sunday]. Yes, I looked it up. I'm petty that way."
Sound like anyone you know? "Chris" does say some nice things, too ... so maybe this is an April Fools Day hoax.

If you're not reading Ray's blog regularly, you ought to be. And that's not a joke.

Mikesell : 12:30 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Easter Photos

Here are three photos from Phil and Dina's trip to Southern California. Should more come in from Dina's dad and/or cousin Steve, we'll put 'em up, too. But for now, this is what we gots.

Mikesell : 12:46 AM : 0 snarky remarks