So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Monday, October 31, 2005

Online, Soon To Be In-Print

Someone's been drinking something funny over at The Wittenburg Door. Not only did they decide to print my article, God's Creation Blog, but they've made it available online as well.

This is my first fiction piece published anywhere outside of my blogs, so be sure to order multiple single copies of the TWD#202 and write nasty, nasty letters to the editor.

Here's what else's in issue 202; and if you haven't signed up for the bi-weekly Door Insider newsletter, do it now!

Mikesell : 11:46 AM : 3 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Final (?) 2005 Hot Hot-Wheels Round-Up

There are few new Hot Wheels pix over at the South Texas Diecast Collectors website.

My faves:The Prototipo Alfa Romeao B.A.T. 9 and 1932 Bugatti Type 50 have potential, too.

As far as I know, the '06 models debut the day after Thanksgiving. I'm still waiting to see a bunch of the '05s (I've picked up a few new ones recently, but haven't seen any of the motorcycles or the totally wicked plane).

Mikesell : 8:56 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Return of The Batboy

Two years ago, thanks to some dark clothing and strategically placed bits of lawnbag, Phil dressed up as a bat for halloween. This year, thanks to third-world sweatshops Wal-Mart's everyday low prices and $13, Phil continued the bat theme.

Here're some pix from the Harvest Party at the Triangle Lake Grange:The Batman costume is technically pajamas, so he'll get some use out of them beyond tonight (the cape is velcro'd on). The pants are actually sweatpant-like, so wearing them outside the house (school, shopping, fighting crime) as cold weather comes on isn't out of the question.

Plus a pillowcase full of free candy. (and the pillowcase is reusable, too!)

Hope y'all have a pleasant masquerade/candy-grabbing experience as well.

Mikesell : 9:54 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Child's Love

Among the books that we read to Phil on a regular basis is the classic, Guess How Much I Love You. It tells the story of Little and Big Nutbrown Hare and their one-upsmanship game of love. "I love you as high as I can jump," says the Little Nutbrown Hare. Big Nutbrown Hare repeats the statement, only with a much higher jump.

Philip curled up on Dina's lap the other evening and loudly whispered (as only a five-year-old can do) "I love you more than ... floating pickles. I love you more than ... eyeballs." You can't argue with that.

Me? I get no love.

Mikesell : 2:44 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Article Submission Redux

Lifted from yesterday's entry over on my writing blog:

* * * * *

This afternoon I sent a list in to McSweeney's Internet Tendency under the heading of "If Roget's Thesaurus had an entry for 'Snacktacular.'"

Should my item be accepted it'll be among some of the funniest humor bits around, like:
I'll keep you posted.

Mikesell : 11:41 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

So That Explains The Back Pain

They're the questions that keep you awake at night:Well, sleepyheads it's time to catch some Zs. Stop on by This Day in Music and find the cure for your insomnia. Select your birthday to find the top song on that most specialest of days. The date of your 18th birthday will give you your life's theme song.

My songs? "I Heard it through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye and "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles.

Make a note of your songs in the comments section.

Mikesell : 8:15 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Dad's Day Out

I had a church board meeting this evening, so I went into town early for a little me time. I've been wanting to see the movie Serenity, so I took in a matinee (along with three other people). I'm glad I kept myself spoiler-free, but I find myself ambivalent about a sequel/series relaunch. (Can't say more without spoiling the fun for others.)

After the movie I got an oil change. I had hoped to get a haircut as well, but ran out of time. Plus, there's only so much excitement a guy can handle in an afternoon. Phil's getting shaggy too, so a father/son outing might be in order.

Good board meeting. Not a lot of business attended to, but the church has been involved in a lot of homeless/low-income housing outreach lately. It was great to hear the stories of lives being touched in Jesus' name.

Before Serenity they played the movie trailers for Narnia, Kong and Harry Potter IV. It looks like I'm going to have to take a full weekend off in December. Car'll be due for an oil change about then anyway....

Mikesell : 12:56 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, October 24, 2005

$10,000 Opportunities

Well, I was going blog about the sixteen $10K prizes hidden around the country, but it seems an easier (though not any more likely) route to a big payoff would be selling my blog.

My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?

That's right. Entrepreneurs, if you're looking for a unique opportunity to reach an average of 11 returning and 28 new web visitors every day, please get in touch with me.

Everybody else, remember: if you win one of the $10K prizes you can buy my blog and still have $400 left in your pocket. Woo-hoo!

Mikesell : 9:49 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Where'd Church Go?

My plan was simple this morning: Get up, get me and the boy ready for church, prep for jr. church while the boy's in Sunday School, enjoy the praise and worship singing with Phil, then go downstairs with him for his class. The subject was Noah, so it looked like it'd be a straight-forward morning.Well you get the idea.

I'm told my body was at church today, which is good to know because it seems my mind was elsewhere....

Mikesell : 12:08 AM : 3 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Last Day of Soccer

Phil played his last two games of the month-long season this morning. While he didn't score any goals and made a lot of airplane turns (wide banking turns with arm stretched out) instead of pumping his arms (plus his attention span hasn't grown much in the past four weeks), he toughed it out. I'm proud of him.

The first week he left the field a lot, missing the final quarter of the second game because he got called names. Last week he didn't back down from trash-talking. This week a boy hit him and he didn't even notice (I didn't either; the only way we know it happened is because a mom from the other team dragged the kid over to make him apologize). Athletically he made modest improvements. He did much better upping his social skills. Yay Phil!

Here are some pix from the final day of soccer:

Mikesell : 3:22 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

I joined Phil's class this morning on a joint Kindergarten/First Grade invasion of Detering's Orchards in Harrisburg. Our mission: remove produce from the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, then eat lunch. I'll let you know ahead of time, we completed all our major objectives.

When we arrived at the apple orchard, we got a quick debriefing on how apples are grown (nature) and why a lot of these apples had unsightly brown spots on them (hail damage). It takes 60 leaves on a tree to grow an apple and each tree has 1,500 leaves. They didn't make us solve the obvious word problem (25 apples per tree, which seems low despite checking my math twice; maybe I misheard the number of leaves). After learning (or not) about apples came the apple sampling. Objective One complete.

So well all got back on the bus. Who should we spy (with our little eyes) out the window? It's Jackson and Lauren from church (and their moms, plus Jackson's little sister) who came with a group from Willamette Christian School.

We got to the pumpkin patch where the kids leant a hand with the Great Pumpkin Heist 2005 (the heist was great, we didn't kidnap the Great Pumpkin who should be making his annual TV "appearance" in another week). Phil took a picture of Parker, another covert operative who had a similar photographic idea.

Oh, busted. Phil and Zyon got tossed in the pumpkin pokey. (detail of Phil's mugshot) Lax security gave the boys a chance to escape through the hay maze.

Lunch was a double top-secret catered affair with caviar and multi-grain toast points (or, if you brought your own, PB&J, coldcut sandwiches or Lunchables). No photography was allowed.

Before we left we took a few group pictures to commemorate our successful operation:On the way back to school we stopped for DQ ice cream sandwiches (courtesy Mrs. Swanson (K) & Mrs. Brockman (grade 1); thank you very much). When we got a mile or so away from school I led the kids in a rousing chant of "We're almost to school/We're almost to school" 'cause that's what ex-day camp counselors do.

If you enjoyed seeing this field trip half as much as we enjoyed being there (ooh, another math story problem), then we had twice as much fun as you. Neener neener.

Mikesell : 8:22 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thoughtful Gift Assistance

My birthday is now two months away. This year's is a milestone as it's the oldest I've ever been. You feel for me, I know you do.

Here are a couple sites to visit to help you find a good price on the perfect gift:

Black Friday 2005. BF2K5 shows the post-Thanksgiving sales' ads pre-Thanksgiving. Map out what to get and where to get it before all that turkey makes you sleepy. Currently they just have WalMart, but more will be up soon -- be sure to bookmark the site.

Borders 25%-off coupon. They'll probably come out with a few more of these coupons between now and the 20th of December, but 25% off is a decent discount (don't wait for the 30%-off coupon and find out they're out of stock on the book you want). If you like getting your December gift shopping done early, this is good for you. Coupon expires on the 23rd.

And if you haven't been supersizing things at McDonald's lately, now's the time to start. $1-$3 Best Buy coupons! There's a $3 maximum savings limit on CDs and DVDs, but you can save up a bazillion of them and get me an iPod if you'd like. Thanks.

BTW Christmas is also only sixty-six days away, so print out a couple Borders coupons to use at different registers. (Combining birthday and Christmas gifts into one is poor form; if you get me an iPod, I'll forgive you.)

Mikesell : 3:45 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Life Goes On

Just in case you were thinking of being nice to me, please know I didn't win the Powerball Jackpot (yet).

Carry on.

Mikesell : 10:52 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

October's Celebration of Christian Fiction Is Online

Dee Stewart is hosting this month's Celebration of Christian Fiction on her Christian Fiction blog.

In addition to my piece, there are twenty-seven other entries in the Celebation this month. Pace yourself. You've got roughly thirty days 'til the next round, so don't wear yourself out at the starting line. Bookmark the page and read an entry or two every day or so. Still, do calisthenics first; it'll save you from trying to put Ben-Gay on your brain later on.

My entry is "The Legacy of 'Loco' Komoko", the short story I wrote last month. It's been mentioned here before, but if (for some reason, like hurricane evacuation or you had to clean the house because your in-laws were coming) you missed it the first time, now's your chance to enjoy it. If you've read it before, feel free to read it again. Live it up.

Mikesell : 10:27 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Picked A Heck Of A Week To Give Up Drinking

I don't know, maybe I'd do better at this little Coors Light game if I had a buzz going.

What do you think?

Mikesell : 8:55 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tag! I'm It ... Oh, Joy.

It's time for another installment of Follow-The-BlogLeader because I've been tagged by Linda Gilmore to write something about JOY.

A quick search of my blog turns up four instances this year:

In August I did the Snoopy Dance of Joy when an "article" I wrote was accepted for publication by The Wittenburg Door.

In June I danced again (for the first time) when the above article wasn't outright rejected by TWD.

May saw me rejoicing over the marvels of modern medicine.

And in February I quoted Poetry of Jubilance along with a photo essay.

Whaddya know? I'm more joyful than I thought.

Who's It Next?
and my nephew Will

Mikesell : 5:06 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tanks For The Memories

If you're looking to work out some aggression and indulge in a bit of nostalgia at the same time (and who isn't?), check out Turbo Tanks. Similar to the old Atari 2600 game Combat! but with wireframe graphics like Omega Race, Turbo Tanks is an enjoyable way to kill 15 minutes (which is about when I get to Level Four and lose all my tanks).

Caution: My Mac crashed twice while TT and Blogger were open in Firefox tabs. Don't know if it's a Java conflict or what.

Thanks digg.com for the link.

Mikesell : 4:35 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 15, 2005


In this morning's first of two soccer games, Phil scored his first-ever goal. Yay! While he didn't score in the second game, he did set up a couple goals including one where he made an inbounds kick directly to his friend Zyon who pivoted and kicked the ball in.

The first game was against the same team that did the hitting and trash-talking Phil's first weekend of soccer. One kid still talked smack, but this time Phil stood his ground. Good boy.

Mikesell : 9:26 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Boring Blog Post #237

Today was the first inservice day at Phil's school. Consequently many cartoons were watched at home and couches were jumped on, though fizzy drinks were kept to a minimum.

The simultaneous high and low of the day came when we took Phil's kite outside and managed to get it up about forty feet before the wind died. For some reason the wind blew thirty seconds on, thirty seconds off. Must be in the state transportation workers' union.

For a marginally more-encouraging blog entry, check out today's post over on my writing blog.

Mikesell : 12:58 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Face The eMusic

Today I decided to go ahead and take advantage of eMusic.com's 50 free song offer. And by "take advantage" I mean "download 50 songs and then terminate my membership." The selection at eMusic isn't as good as iTunes -- no Supertramp, for instance -- but there is some good stuff.

So far I've picked up albums by Mark Heard (Mosaics), Ray Charles (Genius Loves Company) and Tito Puente (Party With Puente), as well as some loose tracks by Creedence, Eric Burdon, The Kinks, and Arlo Guthrie (even though I can't have Alice, Alice's Restaurant is a nice free download to have).

Still five tracks to go. What shall it be? Some Zappa? Some Patsy? A little Falco ... nope, no Falco. Dang.

Mikesell : 7:37 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Touring With David Hasselhoff Can't Be Far Behind

The German obsession with all that is me Phil continued today with 67 page loads coming from Rheinland-pfalz, Landau, Germany, between 6:38 and 7:04 this morning. This photo and this post were of particular interest.

Mikesell : 9:48 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oktoberfest Update

Well, now my web stats are all messed up. On average, I usually have 78 pages loads per day, from 30-ish visitors (new visitors run 2/3rds of that count).

My guest from Germany today ran the page count up to 457. I'm not complaining about the traffic (although would clicking on an ad or two kill you?), but it's wrecked the proportion on my nice rolling web traffic graph.

Here's what my traffic graph looks like today: ouch!

Mikesell : 9:37 PM : 1 snarky remarks

The German Invasion

Right now, according to my stat counter, 97 of the last 100 blog page loads have come courtesy of a visitor from Baden-wurttemberg, Malsch, Germany.

Over the weekend I picked up a half dozen german sausages from the grocery store.

Coincidence? Hmmmm....

Mikesell : 3:42 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sifting Ezekiel's Shadow

This week, Bethany House author/editor Dave Long and hung-jury survivor J. Mark Bertrand (okay, his MFA in Creative Writing also recommends him) will be analyzing Long's award-cursed ('02 Christy Award winner for Best First Novel) and out-of-print book, Ezekiel's Shadow. A good book, worthy not only of reading, but also discussing. I'm looking forward to the next few days.

Dave will be posting on his industry blog, faith*in*fiction. Mark from his eponymous website. Discussion will take place on the faith*in*fiction message board.

If you're interested in the dissection of fiction (or are wondering what the big deal is) check it out.

Mikesell : 10:04 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Soccer Update

Phil did much better at yesterday's games. Gone were last week's pouting when he didn't get the ball and, with actual cleats on his feet, the whining about not being as fast as the other kids. He still has a hard time keeping up with his teammates, but some of them are on the far side of age five (or six years old already), so that's hardly surprising.

He had one assist on a goal and we're making big deal out of it. He actually would've scored himself, but another boy on his team ran up and kicked the ball in before Phil did.

There's a team pratice tomorrow, and we're hoping the weather will stay clear enough this week that I can get out and do some one-on-one practice with him, too.

Mikesell : 11:39 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 08, 2005

New Popular Phil Photos

For some reason this photo of Phil and his birthday sundae has become very popular in the last day or two. Visitors from San Francisco, Fresno and Irvine, Calif., as well as Montreal, Quebec, have found it via Google image search.

I agree it's a nice picture, but it accounts for 7% of recent blog traffic.

Five percent of recent traffic comes from visitors from NYC, Toronto, Ontario, and Milton Kenyes, England, taking a look at Phil and Thomas the Tank Engine. Four percent is accounted for by two visitors from the U.K. checking out Phil building a puzzle of Thunderbird 2.

(The school bus and shark photos mentioned in a blog entry last month continue to be absurdly popular.)

If anyone will tell me why they're looking for these pictures I'll thank them kindly. Please leave a comment. M. ou Mme Québec, laissent svp un commentaire.

Mikesell : 9:51 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, October 07, 2005

Phil's Class Photos

Philip brought home his school pictures today, individual as well as class-wide.

They look like this:Not a bad lookin' kid, eh?

Mikesell : 5:18 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Meanwhile, Over on the Other Blog

November is approaching, which means two things: Halloween bags of Hershey's miniatures will soon be half price and it's time again for National Novel Writing Month. I'm not going to officially enter NaNo this time around; I'll be working on finishing revisions on last year's entry, though.

I've posted a brief article I had hoped to sell to Writer's Digest over on my writing blog. If you've never participated before, I urge you to give it a shot. Read my article, check out NaNoWriMo's website, skim No Plot? No Problem! online or at your local bookstore. But do consider participating.

Since WD passed I removed a parenthetical aside pushing one of their special editions (yeah, that'll learn 'em). Other than that and a few minor alterations, the article is pretty much as I submitted it last spring (my first experience coping with long magazine lead times).

Check it out.

Mikesell : 11:22 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Maps With Personality

Browsing digg.com this afternoon, I came across a link for a new online tool called Frapper (FRiend mAPPER). After a map is created, it's as easy as keying in your zip code (and your "name" and a message) to stick a virtual pushpin into the map to show folks where you're at. Perfect for online groups that may never have met face-to-face or high school classes that have spread out after graduation (or military units or fan clubs or ... you get the idea).

I started a map for the faith*in*fiction writers community I'm a part of. Other maps that have been created includeandPretty nifty bit of tech (and it's free).

Check it out.

Mikesell : 6:13 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Deal of the Day

The last week or so I've been hitting thrift stores, looking for cleats in Phil's size. Last Saturday he wore sport hiking boots to the soccer game: good traction, but heavy. (For the four days (8 games) he's playing this fall I can't see tapping the education fund for shoes.)

Today I found a pair of size 12.5 Nikes at the Goodwill in Junction City. Two dollars. When we got to the till, we found out it was half-off-shoes day.

Name-brand cleats for a buck. What a bargain for me.

Mikesell : 8:04 PM : 1 snarky remarks

50 Points for Me

The floral section of Fred Meyer has added small bouquets of odd plants to their larger assortment of mums, carnations, and whathaveyous. During the summer I got some funky plants that looked like a combination of bird-of-paradise and red chili pepper. Last week I got some funky mini-pumpkins.

I combined the pumpkinettes with some nice brownish-orange mums (I'm pretty sure they're mums; they look nice, regardless) and presented Dina with this fall bouquet (here's a close up).

And I hadn't even done anything to earn Dina some flowers....

Mikesell : 10:10 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, October 03, 2005

Game On, Wayne. Game On, Garth.

Here's a little video of Phil's first soccer game. Little as in about one minute long. Little as in "Is that Phil or Mick Jagger? I can't tell, everybody's so tiny."

Generally speaking, if you see someone with white socks pulled up over shinguards roughly in the center of the frame and/or you see someone jumping up and down, it's Phil. To the best of my knowledge, Mick wasn't at the game.


Mikesell : 6:02 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Phil and His Fish Jammies

Philip received a "just because" gift from Grammy and Poppa last week: fish pajamas. Originally I had intended to just send these pix to them, but then I crapped out in finding a topic for today's blog entry. Aren't y'all lucky?If Grammy and Poppa (no one else!) wants the full hi-rez versions of the pix, I'll gladly send them their way.

Mikesell : 10:24 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Game Day

Phil played his first game (two, actually) of micro-soccer today. Scores weren't officially kept, but Phil's team would've won both games if they had.

Individually, though, Phil struggled. This was his first experience with competitive sports (he was pretty much given a free pass while playing summer-camp games with the older kids), so he pouted on the sidelines quite a bit when the ball wasn't kicked to him as often as he wished.

It was my first experience as a dad at a competitive sporting event. I think I did a good job of focusing on the positive aspects of Phil's effort, rather than pointing out his shortcomings. The word of the day was "focus," as in "focus on the ball, not the 3,562 other things to look at on or near the playing field." I wasn't the only parent shouting it, so hopefully it won't come back to haunt me when Phil writes his tell-all book a decade or two from now.

It was also my first experience seeing Phil bullied by players on the opposite team. There were a couple kids in the second game who were into shoving and trash-talk. Phil came off the field in tears a few minutes before game ended, after one of the little snots on the other team called him a cheater (which, of course, he isn't). Part of me wants to teach Phil a salty rejoinder to defend himself with verbally; part of me wants to send him in with a lead pipe in his shinguard next Saturday.

For all that, though, Phil did me proud. Here's photographic proof:I have a couple video clips I'll try to get uploaaded soon.

After the game we celebrated with a trip to the cheap theaters to see Herbie Fully Loaded, which I was pleasantly surprised to find stayed pretty true to the original Love Bug movie. Cheesy and cliched, sure, but still amusing and well worth the $1.50 ticket price.

Mikesell : 10:51 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Comment Spam

I got hit with over a dozen instances of comment spam this afternoon, so I've turned the "word verification" feature on. You can still post anonymously, but there's an added "type the characters you see in the picture above" step in order to post comments.

Mikesell : 10:36 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Nothing to See

Move it along. Keep moving. Keep moving.

Mikesell : 12:50 AM : 0 snarky remarks