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So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Well, There Went The Afternoon

I don't recall the path that led me there, but I discovered Irregular Webcomic! this afternoon. You've got your Star Wars, your Harry Potter, your Indiana Jones, and then miscellany like D&D and the Nigerian Finance Minister. Most created with LEGOs. Fun stuff, all (NFM is my favorite).

And if you haven't seen Indy Jones and the Last Crusade lately, check this out. (via digg)

Mikesell : 7:15 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Pumped for the Olympics?

Yeah, me neither. Until a couple weeks ago I didn't even realize this was a Winter Olympics year. Guess I need to watch more TV than just Monk or Cartoon Network/Nickelodeon.

I'm a bit more in the spirit of things after downloading the free Flipsyde video, "Someday", currently available at iTMS. You don't need a fifth-generation iPod to enjoy the video (though it doesn't hurt...).

Good song, nicely composed vid. Check it out.

Mikesell : 10:54 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 30, 2006

Sponsorship Opportunity?

I'm currently the #1 search result on Google-UK for "Old Grampa Joes biscuit's [sic]." If the proprietors for what sounds like a wonderful comestible would contact me at their soonest opportunity, I believe we can transact some business of a mutually-satisfying nature.

If not, I'll have to see how I'm doing in the "Ol' Gramma Eleanor's Scones 'n Such" page-ranking.

Mikesell : 3:39 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Short Film

Infuze Magazine is having a short-film festival. I just got word that my entry got plonked due to content. The mobsters, hypothetical nudity, faux swearing, UK foodstuffs, unwise university career paths, relentless bassline, and gratuitous smoking were a bit much, I admit. (I blame the UK "cuisine.") I'm working on another short film as I'm desperate for attention.

Anyhoo, for the bold only, here it is: When Mafiosi Collide. (The dialogue may seem familiar to those of you who remember my short story "Gift of the Mad Guys.")

Mikesell : 1:33 PM : 5 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Sensical Cars Trailer

If you've been as underwhelmed as I have by the teaser trailers out for this coming summer's Pixar movie, Cars, check out the international trailer.

I can't say that I'm a whole lot more enthused about the film now, but at least I have an idea what it's about.

(tip o' the hat to a Slashdot poster for the heads-up on the trailer)

Mikesell : 11:09 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tent Meeting Without the Tent

We loaded up the Subaru this evening and headed for Salem First Free Methodist Church where Pastor David Carr of Birmingham, England, was leading a three-day conference. In addition to preaching, Pastor Carr also offered healing for those willing to come forward. He had preached on healing from psychological/mental afflictions as well as physical, and since I've been struggling with anger issues and mild depression, neither of which are incredible lifestyle enhancements, I went forward.

Carr, instead, remarked that "time for [me] slows down," which it does sometimes. Time slows down and doubts and fears rush in to overwhelm me. Panic attack? I don't know. But he prayed over me and my thought processes have since cleared up considerably. Where before three or four commentaries would run in my head simulataneously (a couple things I'd be thinking about, thoughts criticizing what I was thinking about, thoughts criticizing the negative thoughts, the negative thoughts shouting back ... I'm exaggerating only slightly), now I'm thinking one thought at a time and not criticizing or critiquing it. Even listening to the radio on the way home, I could sing along or ignore the music and think, but I couldn't do both at the same time. (I could still process sensory information and act on it, making it possible to drive and listen to music simultaneously; I'll try chewing gum and walking later.)

It's wonderful to have a quiet head for a change. And since the criticizing thoughts have hushed, the depression feels lighter; and since the warring thoughts are gone, I find myself more patient -- so I'd say the root of the problem was dealt with rather than the symptoms.

Praise God for his mercy and his grace!

Mikesell : 1:43 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Freebie Is Afoot

My sister Julia called my attention to the Discovering Sherlock Holmes program put on by Stanford University.

From roughly-now through April, DSH will be reproducing Sherlock Holmes stories as they were originally published in Strand Magazine. PDFs are available, but I signed up for the hard copy version (both are free). Additionally, the website has "footnotes" detailing various points of interest within the stories.

(In previous years Stanford has given similar treatment to several of "Chuckles" Dickens works. They're archived online, too.)

First the Stanford Theater and now this. Maybe Palo Altans are okay after all.

Mikesell : 11:22 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Gimme a Pee!

No, not that kind of pee. The cheerleading kind: P!

Last Sunday Phil went to Cheer Camp at his school. It was a "everyone-in-my-class-is-doing-it" kind of thing. Rather than encourage base jumping in the kindergarten set, we went along with his ploy. Only three (of nine) kids from his class actually attended. Now we have a comeback for the next "everybody's doing it" gambit.

This evening during the HS basketball game he got to do the routines he learned at camp. Here are some pix:
  1. Phil and classmate Lexi doing semaphore

  2. Phil did a lot of clapping while the older squad members did routines

  3. Getting his kicks

  4. Phil's other classmate, Logan, is at the far left

  5. Please note: Phil is the closest to doing the routine properly and he's not peeking at his coach

  6. According to Phil this is the pyramid cheer

  7. More clapping

Phil had a fun time tonight and the boys' team beat the School of the Deaf 96-18 (as far as I know noone kept signing "Look! It's the Goodyear Blimp").

Because he completed Cheer Camp, Phil has earned a school letter. We'd get him the letterman's jacket, but he'd just outgrow it in another six months. So way to go Phil. Maybe there's a future for you chasing aliens in the FBI like your cheer mentor David Duchovny.

Mikesell : 11:16 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Seems Like Old Times

Once upon a time I used to own a very cool Monopoly watch. Then Dina and I took Amtrak from San Jose to Sacramento and back and I no longer owned a very cool Monopoly watch.

Now--it must be at least a dozen years later--I own a very cool Monopoly watch again. Thanks Dina & eBay!

It goes nicely with the very cool Monopoly wall clock I got as a high school graduation gift. (18.5 years ago if you're collecting data for a tell-all book.) Thanks again Tony Morales!

Truth be told, I'm not that fond of the boardgame. But the Mr. Monopoly ("Rich Uncle Pennybags" to purists) timepieces--that's where it at.

Mikesell : 11:20 PM : 0 snarky remarks

BSF Approved: Revelation

My sister Julia wore her "Jesus loves you/Deal with it" hoodie sweatshirt to her BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) meeting last week. Big hit. I suppose the Bible got some attention, too, but people really liked the shirt. (We'll see if I have to send referral money Julia's way...)

Whether you're a BSF participant or not, the "Jesus loves you/Deal with it" sweatshirt is a crowd pleaser (scientific proof pending). It's also available on t-shirts (and more!) from CafePress, though not the thong -- if you're going that far to evangelize, well, ya got problems. And if you've bought-out your leased Lexus, celebrate with a bumper sticker.

Coffee mugs make excellent gifts (Einstein, I believe, proved this one; I'll have to look it up). Valentine's Day is coming and they're perfect for filling with Dove miniatures and diamonds. Try it yourself! Buy two mugs in case the first experiment goes horribly, horribly wrong (neglect eye safety at your own peril).

Free shipping on purchases over $50 with coupon code: VDAYSHIP, through February 3rd. So there's up to 15 bucks I've just saved you. Go crazy.

Mikesell : 8:12 PM : 2 snarky remarks

BSF Approved

What does this mean? Tune in tomorrow.

Mikesell : 1:29 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 23, 2006

iPod Vids

I added a couple videos to my iPod last night. I didn't get any writing done yesterday (a little clean-up and getting a handle on things, so that's progress), but I think I can move forward now.

The first video is a mini math concert performed by Tom Lehrer. I thought the "An Epsilon for every Delta" should have had an Animal House connection, but it's okay nonetheless. Alas, no "New Math." (via digg.com)

The second is a little optical illusion thing involving a dragon whose eyes follow you around. Get the video here. (thanks Google Video of the Day) Then make your own freaky dragon sculpture.

Mikesell : 9:45 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Belated Photo Opportunity

Before Phil's big game last night, we visited a friend we hadn't seen for a few years. Bob and Sue Lewis (and family) used to host Dina and I every Thanksgiving back when we lived in California. Every Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving for five or so years we'd fight Bay Area-traffic and drive all night to spend the weekend with them up the McKenzie River (east of Eugene, for those of you geographically-challenged). Since we've moved to Oregon we've hardly seen them at all.

We're bad, bad people.

Still, we made it by yesterday afternoon. Chatted with Sue for a while, caught up with what everyone's doing. They'd done some major remodeling in the past year, which demonstrated the need to keep in touch more (at first Phil, understandably, didn't remember having been there before; Dina and I have less excuse).

I know we've seen them since this last photographic evidence was taken: Phil at seven months, with Sue and Muffin -- because Phil has run around their backyard a time or two. Here's what Phil, Sue & Muffin looked like yesterday.

Mikesell : 8:54 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Let's Go Bowling!

Phil had his first Bowl-O-Rama experience this evening. We arrived just as black- and strobe-lit "Galaxy" Bowling was ending, which looked like a lot of fun. Standard bowling (well, the bumpers were up) was fun, too. Phil got off to a head-start in the first frames of the two games we played, and he scored the first spare. I won both games and scored the first strike (though Phil got a couple, too).

Here's a peek at how that all looked:Here's the scoresheet (recreated in Excel).

I wish I had a picture of it, but ya gotta love a bowling alley where the manager wears a Mac OS X t-shirt (the big blue X works well for Mac and bowling fans).

Mikesell : 1:16 AM : 2 snarky remarks

Friday, January 20, 2006

Stupid Firefox Tricks

Okay, maybe I'm the stupid one, but I just figured out that if you have Firefox running in two windows you can drag a tab from one window and drop into the other.

Nifty!

(I did know you can re-order your tabs by dragging them to a new position, so I'm not a complete moron.)

Mikesell : 7:07 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Dedication (or Insanity?)

Okay, I'm gonna mention the iPod only in this sentence and only to tell (those of) you (getting sick of the constant product placement and otherwise jealous) that I won't be mentioning it elsewhere in this blog entry.

Checked the "recent search keywords" on my stats log and saw someone had searched Yahoo! for "sundae candy bouquet." Curious as to where I fell in the rankings, I clicked to see. Top 10? Top 20? No, I'm #983 (see here -- position subject to change after awhile).

Now I don't really want to know what a sundae candy bouquet is, but I have to wonder about someone searching through almost 1,000 search results to satisfy their gooey floral sweet-tooth.

<sheesh>

Mikesell : 11:42 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Flashbacks

Spent the day at the temp job sorting W-2 statements and stuffing them into envelopes. After a couple hours I realized what a (bigger) pain it would be if everything had to be typed in with the old Selectric typewriter and carbon paper (not to mention typed thricely on a non-electric Olivetti). I think I get to work on developing a filing system next week. Yay! (Wonder if they'll go for my file-by-thickness idea...)

On the way back from lunch, I drove by the apartments near where I'm working. There were three or so bus stops, each with a couple dozen University of Oregon students waiting for a ride. Reminded me of the year-plus I spent at UC Santa Cruz and their handy (albeit slower-than-walking) jitney service. Good times.

Off-topic, but I've added a third book over in the What I'm Reading section. It Only Hurts On Monday is subtitled "Why Pastors Quit and What You Can Do about It." You could, I suppose, read the book and take away how to be awful to your pastor and get him (or her, if your church is like that) to run screaming from the parking lot, but the book doesn't really encourage that. Instead it focuses on how church members can keep their pastor(s) happy and healthy (spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.). Some eye-opening stuff. (Our denomination's district superintendent tasked the conference delegates from each church to read and report on the book to the local administrative boards. I'm on the board and borrowed the book from one of our delegates in preparation for next week's admin. meeting.) I'm almost halfway through and enthusiastically recommend the book.

And, to merge good books and college flashbacks, (nice segue, eh?) I caught a portion of Public Radio show "On Point" this evening before mountains intervened and I lost the Jefferson Public Radio signal. An interview with the out-going and in-coming editors of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. The elder editor dithered a lot and the interviewer did some annoying over-talking, but good stuff nonetheless.

I've been going through my three big CD binders picking first-pass discs to rip and transfer to the iPod. There's some stuff in there I forgot I had. The spooky music from the computer game 7th Guest didn't make it this time around, but I am adding the soundtrack from Outlaws. A Robert Palmer/Power Station mix CD. Larry Norman's Trilogy & SNUTS. The Police. Louis Prima. A oldies mix CD that was a gift (and mostly crap), but had Commander Cody's "Hot Rod Lincoln", so I nabbed just that and Five Man Electrical Band's "Signs" off it (Sammy Johns' "Chevy Van"? Thank you, no).

iPod track count 1,527. WIP words written since Monday: 0. (One more CD binder to go, then I'm gonna take a break and get some work done. Honest.)

Mikesell : 12:27 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

iPod: Changing the Way I Work

Two observations (maybe three) about my first two days with the iPod.

First, I've had to change where my mouse plugs in. I had been using the USB port that's at about 3 o'clock on the PowerBook. That happens to be the (high-speed) USB 2.0 port, which is overkill for the mouse, but quite handy for transferring songs to the iPod. So for awhile it was disconnect the mouse, connect the iPod cable, drag tracks from iTunes using the trackpad, then reverse the unplugging and plugging process. Because I've been doing that a lot these past two days, I got sick of it and am now using the 1.0 USB port at 10 o'clock on the side of the case for the mouse and stretching the retractable cord all the way around the back of the laptop. Not incredibly inconvenient, but it feels odd at the moment. (Keeping the USB 2.0 port open will be handy for transferring digital camera pix, too.)

Second, I've stopped using the headphone jack on the side of the PowerBook (9 o'clock if you're making a diagram) to listen to tunes. The iPod goes on the keyboard tray beneath my desktop (also storing some CDs, Altoids, and a couple books). Consequently I'm not futzing with the headphone cord with my left elbow all the time.

(Third, I've transferred 1,451 items (7.88 GB), mostly songs in the past two days. Many, many, many songs had to be ripped from CDs and the PowerBook has an anemic CD/DVD drive (it tops out at 11x; 4-7x is most common). The biggest change the iPod is having on my work -- and it's not really an observation because it's obvious -- is that I'm not getting any done.)

One more thing: If anyone can figure out how to convert the Steve Taylor videos here into iPod video format, I'll owe you a pie (maybe Hostess, maybe Marie Callendar ... who knows?). MPEG Streamclip and iSquint haven't worked for me. If you can do it with Quicktime Pro (or, preferably a free program), lemme know.

Mikesell : 11:14 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

iPod Qs

Here's what I want to know:
  1. How do you get Audiobooks to not show up under the Music category?

  2. If you've added music to the iPod without Album Art, how do you add it later?

  3. Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop? Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip?

  4. Does the Mac leave deleted files on the iPod hard drive that have to be "Empty Trash"-ed to free up the space?

  5. Is that you Mo Dean?
If you have answers to any of these questions (or a fun iPod tip/trick that I haven't even ruminated upon thinking about yet), leave a comment, make it snarky.

Mikesell : 11:16 PM : 5 snarky remarks

Monday, January 16, 2006

What Will I Obsess About Now?

When I got home from the temp job I had two boxes waiting for me. A huge-normous one with the teeny USB charger and a smaller box that was almost as artfully designed as the iPod packaging itself.

Got the iPod charged and transferred some songs, vids, and photos. Listened to it for a bit. Realized I couldn't hear what the boy was up to. Postponed playing with it more until he's gone to bed.

Here's a comparison between the iPod's 2.5-inch screen and my 15-inch PowerBook.

<glee!>

Mikesell : 9:56 PM : 3 snarky remarks

iPod Watch - Last Day?

As of 5:35 this morning the USB charger was "out for delivery," having arrived at the UPS depot in Eugene at 1:30a. FedEx got the iPod to Springfield at 7:45a.

Tick tock, guys. Tick. Tock.

Mikesell : 10:51 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Whattabargains

I stopped at a St. Vincent de Paul the other day and picked up some good values. F'rinstance, for one dollar I got the Outlaws Strategy Guide for a buck (Outlaws doesn't work perfectly in Windows XP, but I might give it a shot (pun slightly intended), working through all the things I missed way back when I played it on my Win98 system -- this might even get me to figure out how to dual boot the computer). Godric by Frederick Buechner, was also one dollar. A couple years ago I played through the Opposing Force and Blue Shift campaigns from the Half Life series. I picked up the original Half Life (Game of the Year Edition) game for four bucks (I think the carpal tunnel surgery is gonna run up the HL expense, though).

Then, today after church, Phil and I stopped by WalMart for a few items (we did actually have a list). HotWheels were not on the list, but out of habit we stopped by the toy section (in our defense we were looking for a piggy bank). They must've just dumped a couple cases of cars in an 88-cent bin because I found some beauts I'd despaired of ever finding. Poison Arrow, for one. The Dodge Tomahawk, for another. We found three of each (so they may be more common than I thought): one each for Phil and I, and one for Grandpa if he behaves. We also picked up a Shredster apiece and a Prototipo Alfa Romeao B.A.T. 9. We even remembered to pick up dog food, Pepsi, and soup.

Any sweet deals for you lately? Make me jealous with a snarky remark.

* * *

iPod Watch update: Both FedEx and UPS still have my deliveries up in Portland, but both estimate arrival will be tomorrow. I've already scheduled myself off work Tuesday and Wednesday, so I really oughtn't call in sick tomorrow. <cough cough phlegm> nah, not very convincing....

Mikesell : 10:09 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, January 14, 2006

iPod Watch - Day Four: Arrival!

No, not the iPod.

Alas, both the iPod and the USB charger are up in Portland. On the way to the post office this morning I passed a FedEx truck and got all excited. But it seems today was someone else's get-something-nice day. Maybe Monday will be mine (if the shipping companies move goods to Eugene on the weekend and deliver on MLK Day).

Instead of a delivery of Apple joy, I got the long-awaited trip photos from my brother and his family in the mail. Some good pix amongst them, like this one of Phil hogging the porthole (cousin Jack is beside him). Now I can work on the DVD I owe my folks and sibs for Christmas.

Mikesell : 1:35 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, January 13, 2006

iPod Watch - Day Three: The Overshoot

In their eager glee to provide me with my iPod and iPod-related accessory, FedEx and UPS overshot their target (my house) today. The iPod went from Anchorage to Indianapolis. The USB charger has made its way to Portland, Ore., 3+ hours north-northeast of here.

While you're waiting for me to enthuse over the iPod, let me enthuse over the way Apple has set up their "Track Your Order" page. Each item in the order summary has its own tracking button. The one coming by FedEx sends you to a FedEx page, the one coming via UPS sends you to UPS. At some sites you have to manually enter the URL for the shipper into your browser's location window, so Apple doing the link is a plus. And as great as that is, they transmit your tracking number along with the web address to the tracking site so you don't have to cut and paste that in after you've located the "Track Packages" portion of the delivery service site.

Sweet!

Mikesell : 7:51 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 12, 2006

iPod Watch - Day Two

The iPod is in Anchorage, Alaska.

The USB charger is "in transit."

Go iPod, go!

Mikesell : 8:24 PM : 3 snarky remarks

Doin' Jeffrey Lebowski Proud

Google Search on "dude blogs" -- I'm #1.

Of course, the link is to my Dude Blogs Like a Lady entry. Still, The Dude abides.

Mikesell : 12:03 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

iPod Watch - Day One

According to the Shipment Tracker my iPod has left China (via FedEx) and my USB charger has left Ontario, Calif. (via UPS). The race is on.

It took forever to download the free episode of Monk last night, but it was worth it. Jason "George Costanza" Alexander and a woefully under-utilized Judith Ivey. The new Sharona is growing on me, but I miss Bitty Schram.

Also awaiting a home on the iPod is Comes a Horseman, a free (abridged) audiobook by Robert Liparulo (here's a plethora of information on CaH -- and, yes, I do know what "a plethora" means; I know how you hate it when someone says there is a plethora of something but then it turns out that person has no idea what it means to have a plethora.)

In other (non-iPod-related) news, I'm working a temp job through (possibly) the end of the month, doing data entry and filing for the accounting department of an assisted-care facility. I made myself a little carsick scrolling through MS Excel this afternoon.

Mikesell : 11:30 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Daddy's Little Dividend

I got a 10% discount on the iPod I ordered from Apple this evening thanks to my little student. I also got a USB recharger (saved 10% on that, too) and still wound up spending less than the iPod base price.

We're approximately 30.5% of the way to empty-nest status. Things like this make me suspect we'll miss him when he's gone.

Mikesell : 1:14 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Playing Catch-Up

The power here went off ten minutes into Steve Jobs' keynote address -- and then, before the power came back on, the family took a little jaunt up to Salem. We got back around 8pm (taking it slow on the rural highway due to high water) and now I'm discovering what-all happened at the keynote and downloading a free episode of Monk from the iTunes Music (& Video) Store.

Dina had a Triangle Lake Center board meeting in Salem. Phil and I wound up at the AC Gilbert Children's Museum. Sorry I don't have pictures, but I had planned to spend the three hours in Narnia with the boy. Cameras aren't allowed inside the wardrobe, so I didn't bring one on the trip. (We wound up getting to Salem late (thank you standing-water-on-the-highway), so we ran with Plan B.)

The outdoor portion of the Children's Museum complex looked quite nice. I expect we'll make another trip during less inclement weather, and we'll take some photos then.

Mikesell : 11:22 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Monday, January 09, 2006

My Bad

Turns out Steve Jobs' Macworld SF keynote is tomorrow at 9a Pacific. Try and go about your usual schedule today.

"Live"-ish coverage here. But not today.

Mikesell : 11:04 AM : 0 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Phil, the Savvy Traveler

I haven't posted pix of Phil from our cruise last month because I'm putting together a (belated) Christmas-present DVD for my parents and sibs. Unfortunately, my brother still hasn't sent me his family's pictures. Rather than punish you-all by withholding photos of Phil, I've decided to leak one of them. (A government job could be in my future.)

Here's a picture of Phil at lunch in the "nice" dining room.

Mikesell : 11:18 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Long Weekend, or: Is It Monday Yet?

This is the weekend before the '06 Macworld SF Expo. Rumors abound about what will be the "one more thing" moment, here and here for instance. And while nothing sounds "insanely great" to me, I can't believe Steve Jobs' keynote on Monday [oops, keynote's on Tuesday] will be a yawner.

I've put off my iPod purchase until hearing if new models/price reductions will be announced next week. My Christmas money is burning a hole in my stocking; visions of click-wheels have been dancing in my head. So after the keynote I'll either get in the queue at Apple's online store or head to a brick-and-mortar in town.

Over on digg.com someone has found a link to Steve Jobs' first "new era" keynote. Check it out.

Mikesell : 9:17 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Friday, January 06, 2006

derfco is here

I've opened up a Cafepress store, called derfco. Right now there are two designs, but because of limitations on Cafepress's "free" stores different designs can't be offered on the same item. (If you want either design on something currently unavailable, please let me know and I can switch things around.)

If things are as wildly successful as I've drifted off to sleep imagining them to be, then a "paid" storefront isn't out of the question. Or, if I get a few more design ideas and/or find more things to put them on, things may work out that way, too.

Check out derfco. Buy early and often. (There's a $5 discount available for sweatshirts, so buy a couple in case you get ice cream drips -- or actual sweat stains (it could happen) -- on one of them.)

Mikesell : 1:31 PM : 4 snarky remarks

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Oddments

1. Phil missed a day of school on Monday because, while the rest of the world was celebrating the federal holiday, our local school decided to hold classes. (If we had read the Christmas vacation note Phil's teacher sent home, we'd have known this...) Consequently Phil came home on Tuesday with a day's worth of worksheets to fill in. One of the worksheets involves old-school cutting and pasting (ctrl-c and ctrl-v don't work), so I got out the big bottle of Elmers. I twisted the orange nozzle and the top of the cap broke away (me so strong).

Great, now I've got an almost full quart of glue and no way to close the top. I unscrewed the cap and tried various things lying around. Pepsi bottle twist-off, too big. Advil pop-top, doesn't screw on. I finally went to the cupboard of expired medicines (you know you have one, too) and found a bottle of Robitussin DM infant drops that expired in 2003. Voila! Problem solved. You have to dip glue out with your finger, but that means you can let the glue dry and peel off fake skin to gross people out with.

2. A while back I bought the Namco TV Games arcade unit. A few months back I discovered that the jacks that plug into the TV had been stripped off the wires, rendering it useless. When I was in Walmart the other day they had the second version with the games from the first set on plug-inable game keys. I haven't played all the games yet, but what I've seen so far I like. Best parts: Bosconian now has 8-way control and voice synthesis, plus the high scores are saved. The game unit itself is awkward to hold, but it's always something.

3. Shut up! (and that's putting it mildly.)
[10/5 8:50p - updated link via drudge]

Mikesell : 4:07 PM : 1 snarky remarks

First Borders Coupon of the Year

Save 30% on the book of your choice at Borders with this printable coupon. Valid through Sunday, January 8. Cash value .01¢.

The book I'm considering using the coupon on: River Rising by Athol Dickson.

If you use the coupon, remark about it snarkily.

Mikesell : 12:09 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

At Loose Ends

Phil is in the process of learning to tie his shoes, but it's not going smoothly. Teaching him the difference between twisting the shoelaces around each other and tying an actual knot is our current struggle. We've yet to get into advanced bow-tying theory and technique.

Phil brought a shoe-tying training unit home from school, but we're having marginally better success with him tying our shoes while we're wearing them. He seems to enjoy untying the knot he's just made while we bend over to tie the bow. Is it too early in the year to begin playing the naughty/nice card.

Anyone with shoe-tying tips, please leave a comment -- quick! Duct tape is starting to look like a viable solution.

Mikesell : 4:44 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

derfco is coming


But what is it? And more importantly, why? And can it possibly get my whites whiter and colors brighter?

Feel free to speculate snarkily. (derfco.com is being squatted upon, so you'll find no help there)

Mikesell : 2:50 PM : 2 snarky remarks

Monday, January 02, 2006

Read, Write & Win

Gina Holmes, author of the Novel Journey blog, has Part One of a two-part interview with Chris Well, author of Forgiving Solomon Long (and a couple blogs, too). After reading the interview, post a comment. You'll be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of FSL (I'm guessing it'll be the author's autograph, but how cool would it be to open the book and find, I don't know, Morgan Freeman's autograph instead? or an ex libris bookplate with Bono written in Sharpie?) as well as a preview of Chris's next novel, Deliver Us from Evelyn.

The question I most wanted to ask Chris was "Gina says you and your wife are making your home in Nashville. Are you wiring it all 220?" I'm pretty sure he'd have responded with "Yeah. 220 ... 221, whatever it takes," but the level of uncertainty (40%) pushed it beyond the acceptable "looking like a dork" risk tolerance. (Then there was the +4 "he'll intentionally leave you hanging" modifier -- I've got a spreadsheet/flowchart printout around here somewhere....)

So check out the interview and comments, then post a comment/question of your own. Even if you don't win the book, it's a very good interview. Enjoy!

Mikesell : 12:41 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Remedial Humor Courses for the Boy

Among the many fabulous presents Phil received for Christmas was a gift card for Target from my folks. After church today he used the card to get (along with the second Star Wars: Clone Wars DVD) the Matchbox Buried Treasure Playset. It's a pretty fun toy and includes a few piratey phrases like "X marks the spot" and "hands off me gold."

As we were playing with it this evening I commented that it would be funnier if, instead of "gold," it said "hands off me booty!" Now while Phil doesn't know the term double entendre, he is aware of the dual meanings of the word "booty" and that a pirate would appreciate it if you left both his treasure and his heinie alone. Nevertheless, he tries to top me by saying it would be even funnier if the talking skull in the playset said "hands off me nose."

I'm reluctant to send the boy to clown college (it's a carney thing), but if it's the only way for him to grasp the fundamentals of humor, my hand may be forced. (His knock-knock jokes are truly painful; I'd transcribe one but they make my brain hurt.)

Then again, he occasionally gets off a good one involving the word "poop" or "toilet," so maybe maybe he possesses some latent Adam Sandler/David Spade potential. His mother will be so proud.

Mikesell : 11:54 PM : 0 snarky remarks

2005 Books in Review

Last night I tried to cram the final 200 pages of Murder on Nob Hill into the final 90 minutes of the year but didn't make it. Still, I averaged a book a week (52), although they were (on average) about 45 pages shorter than those read in 2004.

Here's the 2005 book list.

More non-fiction than 2004. First Romance novel. First George Macdonald. First GK Chesterton. First (through 11th) Lemony Snicket.

My goal remains the same as last year: one book a week, at least one non-fiction title a month. (With a only couple chapters of Murder on Nob Hill left, it looks like I'll keep the dream alive for at least the first week of 2006.)

Mikesell : 6:23 PM : 0 snarky remarks