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So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Saturday, December 31, 2005

I'm Number One!

Someone recently stopped by my blog having searched Google for "Tilton Cheese." Curious, I checked out my Tilton Cheese page ranking. Number One (of over 41,000 pages).

I'm also #1 at Yahoo for "shark boy and lava girl coloring pages."

Mikesell : 3:07 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Disappointment of the Year

Back in August I blogged about how Spider-Man let me down. Well, now it's official. There was no Spidey/Rhino or Rhino-solo picture in 2005's Amazing Spider-Man page-a-day desk calendar. Doc Ock and Green Goblin had the biggest share of pages dedicated to their nefarious deeds, but there were plenty of Kingpin, Venom, Carnage and Black Cat pages. Vulture and Kraven (Kraven!) had a surprising number of appearances, too. Sandman was the least-represented of the Sinister Six, but he was in a time or two as well.

This year I have my rhinoceros calendar needs met (mostly). For my birthday Phil gave me the Hippos and Rhinos 2006 wall calendar. Yeah, only half the months have rhinoceri, but the year starts right with a charging white rhino. There's a hippo for February, but I can tear that page off and enjoy the rhino picture for both months. Things are definitely looking up for the new year.

(I did get a 2006 Orchard Supply railroad calendar (thanks Dad!). It's in the kitchen; the rhinos are near my writing desk.)

Mikesell : 1:41 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, December 30, 2005

Surviving the 2K Mile Roadtrip

We got back from California last night around 9:30 (caught the Holiday Bowl heartbreaker off and on -- lotsa mountains blocking the signal -- from three radio stations between Grants Pass and home). Today the I-5 Siskiyou Pass south of Ashland in closed due to mudslides, so it's good we got back when we did. (We have major flooding in our neck of the woods, but we're high and dry at the moment.)

In addition to the football game keeping me alert during hours 10-13 of the trip, our survival success is also attributable to buying a portable DVD player before we left town. Phil enjoyed Johnny English and Star Wars: Clone Wars on the trip south. He got The Indian in the Cupboard for Christmas, and we picked up a couple $5.50 DVDs from Wally's on our way north (Batman--The Animated Series: Secrets of the Caped Crusader and Quest for Camelot). Our rental car conveniently had a cigarette-lighter power outlet in the back of the front-seat center armrest so we weren't constantly dodging the powercord when reaching for our beverages. Oh, and the boy had headphones, so our CD/radio listening didn't bother him (aren't we thoughtful?).

When we considered taking a Christmas roadtrip last year (thankfully we got cheap airfares) portable DVD players were in the $150-$200 range for a low-end unit. This year we got one for under a hundred. How my parents made the annual trip(s) from San Jose to San Diego with four kids and no portable DVD player, I'll never know. I suppose it goes a long way to explain why my dad looks like this.

(The battery-pack attachment for the DVD player came in handy this morning when the power went out here at the house.)

Mikesell : 8:03 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Not That You Asked

When we left Dina's folks in Ventura yesterday, to head up 101 to my folks, we told Phil if he was good we'd take him to the coolest toilet in the world. Needless to say he was very, very good during the trip. (He did get a bit whiny when traffic got bogged down from Rincon Point to Santa Barbara, but then again, so did we.)

Behold! The communal urinal at San Luis Obispo's Madonna Inn.

(Also, note how fun it is to say the name of California cities with a lisp and Elmer Fudd L's and R's : Thann Wuith Obithpo.)

Mikesell : 1:54 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Second Day of Christmas

Could I be more excited about my Carl's Jr. gift certificates?

No, I don't think so. Thanks Santa!

Mikesell : 9:53 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Merry Christmas!

This photo just about sums up the boy's "best Christmas ever": Narnia!

We had an excellent day with Grammy and Poppa (later Uncle Bob, Aunt Cleo, Cousins Steve and Laura, and their kids Scott and Keira). Ate way too much chocolate and pie, not enough ham.

Played dueling cruise photos with Bob and Cleo (they just got back from a week-plus cruise to/through Hawaii).

Hope yours was merry, happy, festive, what have you. Or not. Jesus loves you regardless; deal with it.

Mikesell : 12:08 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Goin' Southbound

In a few minutes we'll be heading down to Dina's folks (by way of my folks) for Christmas. We're driving (got a nice rental Chevy Malibu w/ sunroof, not that we'll need it until we cross over into sunny California), so avoid I-5 if you can.

In case I don't blog between now and Sunday, have a Merry Christmas (or festive holiday of your persuasion/choice) and don't eat anything bigger than your head. Really. Don't. Even if it's Jell-O. (While there may always be room for Jell-O, that much will put it in places you don't want it, trust me.)

Mikesell : 9:08 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Darn You Apple Price-Setters

Yesterday at my blowout birthday bash (your invitation must've been lost in the mail, sorry) Dina said she wanted to get me an iPod Shuffle but wasn't sure which model I'd want (512MB or 1GB) or if I'd be disappointed I didn't get one with a screen.

And there's the problem. While I'd be happy with the $99 512MB Shuffle, I'd be happier with the 1GB version for $30 more. Of course, with a couple Best Buy gift certificates and some birthday-card cash I could swing the $199 2GB Nano. Though for $50 more (and what's fifty bucks, really?) I could double the memory and get the 4GB Nano.

Now, however, the ground starts turning to soup because for another $50 I could get almost eight times the memory and video playback with the 30GB iPod. Eight times the memory -- heck, round it up to ten times the memory! -- for a measly fifty bucks. (Doubling the memory yet again to 60GB for another $100 is less appealing.)

From $100 to $300 in less time than it takes to say "thou shalt not covet..." Is it any wonder Apple's stock is doing so well?

Mikesell : 12:36 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me

I live in a tree.
I wish I had a pet rhinoceros,
But I'm gonna have to learn to live with disappointment.

Okay, that last line still needs a bit of work.

Mikesell : 1:04 AM : 5 snarky remarks

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Rant

It's been a week since we've been back from the cruise and I've mostly cooled off about the things that ticked me off on the vacation. Still, there may be some value in passing the info along.

The overarching theme of this rant has to do with customer service. Now 90% of the time Royal Caribbean and Disneyland have great customer service. The problem is that the 10% of the time when they don't came at the end of our time with them, souring our memories and lessening our desire to come back. Is it fair to rant on them for what is a relatively minor lapse in service? Perhaps not. But the primary reason for the rant is not because the service was bad, but because the companies pretended to be surprised by it.

Here's a for instance. On the cruise, passengers were allowed to leave the ship based on colored luggage tags. Our tags were pink. Pink was the last color to be called (we had the "cheap" rooms in the belly of the ship, so that's not too surprising). According to the schedule we were supposed to debark at 10:30a. At 11:15a our delay was blamed on extra processing being done at the customs stations because of increased Homeland Security restrictions. Now I'm sure there were extra steps being taken at customs, but I don't think we were the first set of passengers to be subjected to the long delay. So rather than pretend your passengers aren't becoming increasingly annoyed (even the ones who didn't spring for upper deck rooms), a) reprint the departure cards and mention that there may be delays or, better yet, b) reprint the cards taking the delays into account. So instead of "pink" getting off the ship at 10:30a, print 11:30a. Better yet, print 11:45a so it'll seem things are going quicker than expected.

And then, during those three extra hours we're spending on your ship, continue the excellent customer service we've had the previous three days. Sure you have to get ready for the next cruise, but is that any reason for all the waitstaff to disappear? The musicians? The trivia guy? How 'bout a movie in the fancy-schmancy theater? Make us wish we didn't have to leave so we'll want to come back again (with a fancier room next time). Instead, we're aching to turn our backs on your ship, convinced that customer service is linked solely to the mandatory 15% gratuities. (And if you're going to cut off water to the restrooms, perhaps because they're being pumped out or whatever, post a sign with a warning and an indication of where functioning facilities can be found.)

[Note to self: Next cruise, if there is a next cruise, make sure to claim to have an early flight and get the first-departure luggage tags.]

Disneyland at least did a good job of overestimating wait times, with the time posted usually being 30-50% longer than it actually took. Still, there were times they (should have) known problems were inevitable (if not likely/expected), but nevertheless feigned surprise after they occured.

For instance: Dina left the park in the evening to go get coats for herself and Phil and me. When she returned to the front gate she was informed that they weren't letting people in anymore (even though the ticket booths were doing a fairly brisk business). This was at about 8:00p and she was advised to try back at 10:00p. Now when she left the park (being sure to get her hand stamped and that she had her ticket with her for readmission), no one said anything about maybe not being able to get back in. (They could've made an easy $100 off us if we had had to buy sweatshirts in the gift shops on Main Street.) But nooooooooo, it was a total shock to them that the park would get full after the California Adventure Park next door closed at 7:00p (Disneyland was open 'til midnight) and Main Street would become congested with parade and fireworks watchers. As if that didn't happen every night of the previous eleven months of their 50th Anniversary celebration. As if there aren't alternate entry points into the park where they could have erected temporary admission booths (say around by Frontierland or Critter Corner). <sheesh>

[Dina eventually got back in around 8:30p. with no real apology or explanation why.]

Another totally flaky customer service moment came when Space Mountain broke down at about 11:15p. Now the ride had been having problems throughout the day, so it wasn't a total surprise (to the guests) that it would keep breaking down. But the guest services people seemed a little befuddled. Probably 80% of the people in line disappeared when it was announced that the ride was broken and probably wouldn't reopen that night. (Note the word probably.) So my nephew Nick and I kept waiting. Eventually some people from management showed up to hand out "go to the front of the line" passes to the crowd that hadn't already departed peaceably. Nick and I got to the guest services person and I asked what the problem was. She repeated the "the ride is broken and probably won't reopen tonight" line. "But it's not definite?" I asked. "Well," she explained, "it takes at least an hour to find and fix the problem and run all the tests; earlier today it took two and a half hours." "So why not say it's closed?" "I can't say that for certain...." (Bear in mind the park closes in half an hour at this point and she's talking to me like I'm the one who can't do math.) I eventually got her to admit that yes, the ride is closed. Nick and I took our passes and went to the front of the line at the Matterhorn. (I overheard another guest services guy pawn the problem off on the fact that the park was superbusy for the anniversary and that was why the ride kept breaking down ... except I knew the ride had broken down in the first hour the park had opened that day when the crowd was fairly light and it apparently had a two-and-a-half-hour break at some time during the day. Of course, earlier that day the malfunction of the Roger Rabbit ride was blamed on someone spilling a barrel of dip (the acetone-based substance that kills cartoons) on the track and the Winnie-the-Pooh ride breakdown was blamed on Tigger spilling a pot of honey, so I wasn't surprised by the obvious falsity of the guy's "explanation.")

[Note to self: making the girl from guest services at Disneyland cry is not among your best moments. Okay, she didn't cry, but you did exasperate her.]

(A final rantlet could be directed at the place that advertised extremely cheap 2- and 3-room suites but then multiplied the room rate by the number of rooms in the suite, but we were much better off staying in Anaheim rather than out on the coast and none of you are likely to ever consider staying where we were going to stay.)

So those are my rants. Much less vitriol than if I had blogged a week ago and my blood pressure is only slightly elevated. Please don't let my ranting dissuade you from either a Royal Caribbean cruise or a trip to Disneyland -- just don't let the lapses in customer service be as much as a surprise to you as they are to the guest services people (and if you don't go for the early departure tags, swipe a couple boxes of granola from the breakfast buffet on the ship so you'll have something to snack on during the wait).

Mikesell : 10:27 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oh The Pain

Google Video of the Day linked today to a Farting Preacher video I hadn't seen before (Farting Preacher #5). It's even better than FP#2 (tho' FP#3 has its moments; #4 not so much). I had to pause it several times to catch my breath and replay clips I'd laughed straight through.

Be sure to click the "related videos" link to see all the vids if you haven't seen them before (or to watch them over and over and <toot> -- hello! -- over again.

Dad, make sure your insurance is paid up before watching FP#5. It's that good.

Enjoy!

Mikesell : 11:59 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Saturday, December 17, 2005

What's Not On Your List This Christmas?

Jordon Cooper has posted 10 things he's not getting for his wife this Christmas. I've got to say they wouldn't go over too well with Dina, either. (Actually, Dina has a Thinkpad, so Jordon's #4 would have to be changed to "memory upgrade for my PowerBook" ... not that Dina ever borrows it.)

Earlier this evening I searched calendars.com looking for a Victorian Houses calendar for her. No such luck, although there was a Victorian Nudes one. Something tells me we're gonna make do with the railroad calendar from Orchard Supply again this year.

So, what wouldn't you want to give or receive this year? Failure to leave a snarky remark means used lederhosen may show up under the tree for you....

Mikesell : 8:58 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, December 16, 2005

Exciting End to the Week

Yesterday morning there was a bomb scare at Phil's school (finals week for the high schoolers). In the evening a high-speed chase ended in arrests about a quarter mile from our house.

The dentist found a filling beginning to crack at this morning's cleaning, so I get to have that fixed in the new year.

And now I feel like I'm coming down with something (lymph nodes in neck are sore), so I'm going to bed early.

Y'all have a good night's sleep too. And a non-eventful tomorrow.

Mikesell : 11:14 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Third of the World

With visitors from Lithuania and Cambodia stopping by this morning, I've now had guests from 33% of the world's countries visit my blog.

According to my blog stats, the Lithuanian (from Vilniaus Apskritis, Vilnius) hopped on the bus with the ever-popular PhilBus2 picture. The Cambodian (from the Ministry Of Posts And Telecommunication Cambodia in Phnum Penh, Phnom Penh) got a big wet PhilKiss.

What's a third of the world look like? Something like this.

Mikesell : 1:14 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Book-Chat with RK Mortenson

Author RK Mortenson is traveling the web popping in here and there to promote his newish book (out last fall) Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle. I had the pleasure of reading the book and running a handful of questions by Randy (his middle initial is a mystery, but I think it stands for Kickbutt, 'cuz that's what his book did).

First, a few words about the book. The majority of the book takes place in an unnamed world of imagination accessed through secret doors and a magical Book of Meanings. Once there, Landon Snow must solve the Auctor's Riddle:

Could it be chance, mere circumstance
That man eats cow eats grass eats soil
And then man dies, and when he lies
To soil he does return?

Because, y'know, there's nothing eleven-year-old boys like to do more than hunt down the mysteries of the universe in their pajamas (how the mysteries got in their pajamas, I'll never know). Along the way he befriends a chessknight/horse named Melech and meets a handful of supporting characters ranging from the oddly-strange (like the definitions guy) to the strangely-odd (like, well, the gnomish tribe of Odds).

I passed the book along to my tweenish nephew Nick hoping to get his take on it, but he was caught up in another novel on the cruise last week. I'll post his reaction when he's finished the book. My reaction? Here goes:

I really liked everything after the first couple-three chapters. The opening is slow -- car ride to your grandparents' house slow (which is not surprising since that's how the book opens). Once the first secret door opens, however, the pace picks up and the action becomes well-balanced with enjoyably witty humor.

While it's unfair to compare Landon Snow with Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket's Baudelaire orphans, it's also inevitable. Snow lacks the cynicism of his YA shelfmates, his world not being shaped by the murder of his parents and life with decidedly non-avuncular uncles. And although the slowish opening made it difficult to get into the book (a "flaw" I also found in Tolkein's Vol. 1 of Lord of the Rings, so Mortenson's in good company), accepting Landon as a well-behaved, unjaded, snarkless kid was even harder. You mean kids can be mostly polite? (He has a couple younger sisters, so there are limits.) Imagine that. And once I was able to imagine that, Landon and I got along fine.

So, my take on the book? Buy it. In fact, buy two and give one as a gift this Christmas. It looks and feels gorgeous and really is a very good read. (If you're not into the whole online-shopping thing, or can't wait for delivery, check the inventory of your local Borders and get it for 30% off through 12/19.)

And now, without further delay, Five Impertinent Questions with RK Mortenson:
  1. Which darling (character/scene/plot element) was most painful to kill?

    I don't feel it at all now, and I was grateful even then for the suggestion, but my editor asked me to change the opening and closing scenes (the "real-world" stuff) from Grandpa Karl's POV to Landon's. Like I said, it made sense to me to do this even then, but it was painful. I had gotten to know and like "being" Grandpa Karl, but I had to let him go. At least his point-of-view in the story.

    That change had a ripple effect that led to others, but they weren't as drastic overall.

  2. Disney wants to add Landon Snow to Fantasyland, replacing Snow White (can't have too much snow in Florida or Southern California, y'know). Do you say "go for it!" or hold out for a rollercoaster in Frontierland at the Jungle Cruise site -- and why?

    Yes! (That was a general response to the initial thought of a Landon Snow attraction at the park.) Hmm ... for the book's sake I'd say Landon belongs in Fantasyland near Alice's spinning teacups, which I really don't like to ride because of all that spinning and the grating whistling-kettle music. Wait, the Jungle Cruise is in Adventureland, not Frontierland, isn't it? [he is, of course, correct] I like the atmosphere in Adventureland, so let's put the ride there. Or how about we combine the two: you ride through the Book of Meanings to the chessboard in Fantasyland, and then you ride the knight-turned-horse through the "sky" and fall into some woods between Adventureland and Frontierland. I'm sure the Imagineers could handle that.


  3. Which character or scene would you most like to see on a Topps trading card?

    Well I've got to go with the knight/Melech on one of those shiny 3-D cards that zip when you scratch them. Turn the card one way: chess knight. The other way: Melech. Chess knight/Melech, Chess knight/Melech...


  4. Landon Snow Underoos, yea or nay?

    You mean besides the pair I'm wearing? Honestly though, in all truth, I am really hoping for a line of Landon Snow pajamas.


  5. Any chance of a prequel and who plays young Bart Benneford in the movie (and should it be live action, CGI-animated or shadow puppets)?

    I'm thinking maybe three prequels should do it, or perhaps a whole new series about B. G. B. Anyway, it's live action and I have to go with Russell Crowe. Or is he too old now? If he is too old, then we'll go with shadow puppets all voiced by Frank "Jedi Master I am" Oz.

For more on Landon Snow, check out Mortenson's other Blog Tour stops and be sure to stop by his website for even more fun.

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Mikesell : 9:17 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Killing My Old Man

I took my Powerbook along on the cruise, theoretically to work on my novel, but it was used mostly to show short films like the Grayson "trailer," Star Wars FanFilm Broken Allegiance and The Soup's Harry-n-Ron Goblet of Fire Love Connection. But it was the Robert "Farting Preacher" Tilton vids (I blogged about them in August) that almost killed my dad. <toot> Hello!

Remember that scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where the weasels die laughing? It was almost like that.

(guess I better be careful or I'll have to page Dr. Freud on myself)

Mikesell : 12:04 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One Less Reason to Upgrade to Tiger (and good news for PC users, too)

There are only a couple advantages I see to upgrading from Mac's Panther operating system (10.3) to Tiger (10.4). One is the Spotlight search/indexing feature. The other is Dashboard widgets, little applications (like a calculator, sticky notes, stock ticker, etc.) that run in the background that you can toggle on and off easily.

Believe it or not, I do a halfway decent job of filing things when I save them, so while Spotlight would be nice, I'm living pretty well without it. Ever since we got broadband, though, I've been jonesing for Dashboard.

Thanks to Yahoo! and their acquisition of Konfabulator (a third-party predecessor of Dashboard) -- and their rechristening it as Yahoo! Widget Engine (yeah, that just rolls off your tongue) -- and giving it away free, I now have the widgets without the upgrade.

And Yahoo! has an XP version too, so PC users are in luck as well. (Switching to Mac OS X is still something you'll want to do ... consider this a free taste of Mac joy.)

Download Yahoo! Widget Engine here. The is what my YWE layer looks like.

Check it out!

(thanks to digg.com for the heads up)

Mikesell : 8:36 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Real Timely, Congress

Now they get around to this.

Then again, it's not something I wanted to think about every minute of every day last week (though Phil and did keep to the path and stayed off the moors in Ensenada).

(via Drudge)

Mikesell : 2:02 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Just in Time for the Two Most Important Birthday Celebrations of the Year

Borders dropped a 30%-off coupon in my mailbox last night. My birthday's in a week. Christmas is a dozen days off. Get shopping!

(coupon expires 12/19; if you get something for someone other than me -- shame on you! -- let us know what's hot this season.)

Mikesell : 1:27 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Things That Make You Say Hmmm

Over at the iTunes Music Store this week they're giving away a choral arrangement of Deck the Halls by The Sixteen. Also appearing on the giveaway page is the "Clean Lyrics" parental advisory label (screenshot).

There are about six seconds of silence at the end of the song, the point at which I guess the the contralto exclaimed: "Ouch! This #@$!&*^@# holly is $!@#!%!#$@ pointy!" Thanks for editing that out for us, iTMS.

Mikesell : 10:56 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Monday, December 12, 2005

Out of the Mouth of Phil

Friday night the family checked into the Anaheim Fantasy Inn & Suites. A nicish place within walking distance from Disneyland that comfortably accomodated twelve people in two 2-room suites (six beds per suite) for less than you'd expect.

Anyhoo, at one point Dina came back to the hotel with a couple bottles of water. One for me. One for her. Phil wanted to know where his was. Upon hearing that Dina didn't get him one, the boy pouted and said, "I don't like dad ... he's stealing my act."

We're not sure what that means exactly (should we page Dr. Freud? an entertainment laywer?), but it's chuckleworthy.

Phil also drew a laugh from our planemates last night. Upon arrival at Eugene he announced "Home, sweet home." Didn't recognize anyone as having been with us on the cruise and/or at Disneyland (and the flight from Phoenix was as troublefree as you could hope), but everyone still seemed glad to be home (at least until the sub-freezing air on the Jetway hit them).

Home, sweet home indeed.

Mikesell : 9:27 PM : 0 snarky remarks

So Now I'm Back / From Outer Space

Dina, Phil and I got back last night from a week of 70-degree weather in Southern California and Baja. It was 30 degrees in Eugene at 7:30p and Dina had to scrape ice off the car windows before she could pick up the boy and I (and the luggage).

The vacation was most excellent (save for a rant or two I've got abrewin' for future posts). A couple days with Dina's family, most of Monday thru Friday on the ship, all-day Saturday at Disneyland. Did I mention the 70-degree weather?

Now I'm blogging whilst wearing a coat and looking at four suitcases full of dirty laundry.

And I really did go to outer space, courtesy Star Tours and the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyland (I'd say Space Mountain, too, but that's one for the rants). Here's a couple-three pix:Yeah, Nick whupped my butt. Payback for my helping his mom toast him at chess, I suppose.

Mikesell : 3:41 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Friday, December 02, 2005

Se7en
(but without the grisly ending or Brad Pitt & Morgan Freeman)

(Blame Dee)

Seven Things to Do Before I Die
  1. Submit a novel-length manuscript for publication

  2. Touch a rhino

  3. Eat a real Philly Cheesesteak

  4. Alaskan cruise

  5. Visit foreign lands besides Canada and Mexico

  6. Lose forty more pounds

  7. Only gain back ten


Seven Things I Cannot Do
  1. Play a musical instrument

  2. Swim competently

  3. Auto repair

  4. Cope well with air turbulance

  5. Care about college sports

  6. That thing where you flip your eyelids inside-out

  7. Get no satisfaction


Seven Things that Attract Me to My Wife [husband,
romantic interest, best friend, whomever]
  1. Her eyes

  2. Her smile

  3. <comment censored as her parents read this blog>

  4. Her determination

  5. She puts up with me (often without comment)

  6. She laughs at my jokes

  7. She'd like me to finish my novel almost as much as I do


Seven Things I Say Most Often
  1. No (C'mon, I have a five-year-old)

  2. Oh dear (courtesy Constable Benton Fraser, RCMP)

  3. Hey now! (courtesy Hank Kingsley)

  4. <belch>

  5. Are you going to finish that?

  6. "So" to begin a sentence or question (So it's raining again. So what time do you want to get up in the morning?)

  7. Excuse me (see #4)


Seven Books (or Book Series) I Love
  1. Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose

  2. ACD's Sherlock Holmes stories

  3. Stephen King's IT

  4. William Golding's Lord of the Flies

  5. Dorothy L. Sayers' Wimsey stories

  6. Raymond Chandler's Marlowe stories

  7. Peter Straub's Ghost Story


Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again
  1. The Philadelphia Story

  2. In the Heat of the Night

  3. The Mighty Quinn

  4. Undercover Blues

  5. Zoolander

  6. Tremors

  7. Sneakers


Seven People I Want to Join in Too
  1. Angie Poole

  2. Kathleen Popa

  3. Linda Gilmore

  4. Brenda Coulter

  5. Mike Snyder

  6. Michelle Pendergrass

  7. My nephew Will

Mikesell : 1:57 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Sudoku Best

I did a Sudoku puzzle this morning (Easy Puzzle 7,979,648,183) in 3 minutes, 7 seconds. Beat my previous best by over 20 seconds.

Mikesell : 12:19 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Philip the Negotiator

Philip has a CD player in his bedroom. It's primarily used at bedtime to play him stories on his way to slumberland. For the better part of a year now it's had Garrison Keillor reading The Polar Express.

Tonight Dina decided to take a shot at weaning the boy from it, since he's not going to be able to have it on the cruise.

Dina (cajoling): Phil, let's try it without the CD tonight. [Points out the hows and whys of not having the CD on our trip.]

Phil (very serious): Mom, I'll do what you ask on the trip [we swear we're not making that up], but tonight please let me listen to it.

Now I'm not going to point out that a Hot Wheels on offer might have met with better success, but I will say this is the second time this week he's won due to his verbal acumen. On Monday he got me help him pick up his toys by declaring that our expectation for him to do it on his own was "insane business" (as in "I've had enough of your insane business"). Disciplining a child is very difficult with tears of laughter streaming down your face.

Mikesell : 2:04 AM : 2 snarky remarks