So Much Stuff I Can't Recall

Monday, July 28, 2008

Do The Time Warp

(it's just a step to the left...)

We treated Dina to a celebratory dinner tonight in honor of her new gig at a local school district ("special projects": creating an alien-human hybrid capable of ace-ing standardized tests and telekenisis, or something). A Cheesecake Factory recently opened up near here, so that's where we went.

In the lobby was a sign advertising National Cheesecake Day and CF's 30th anniversary. This Wednesday, 7/30, the restaurant invites you to go back in time thirty years, price-wise at least.

Any slice of cheesecake at 1978 prices. That's a buck-fifty. Dine-in only, so get there early.

Now, if only I could recapture the video game skills I had as a nine-year-old...

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Mikesell : 6:56 PM : 3 snarky remarks

What People Are We?

While in California last month, Dina and I picked up a new catchphrase.

We were at an In-N-Out Burger in Ventura, having lunch. Good times right there. Then a woman came in with five or six little girls, mostly well behaved, but one of the littlest had a meltdown over whoknowswhat? A barrette, someone stole her purple pony, cheeseburgers go straight to her hips? Anything really (and it's not important to the story).

The mom took the child aside and said (according to Dina who was eavesdropping),"We are not a people who throw tantrums in public."

"We are not a people who" is appropriate for so many occasions.

We are not a people who:
Try it today.


Mikesell : 11:24 AM : 3 snarky remarks

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Starbucks Freebies

Two more reasons to head on into a Starbucks:
  1. Free Music from the iTunes Music Store
    Every Tuesday business card-sized coupons go into the CD racks offering a free download from iTunes. This week: Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis (yeah, wouldn't have thought of that duet, but it works) and "Rainy Day Blues." This on top of the 2-3 free songs iTMS gives away every week.

  2. Free drink July 25-26
    Got a registered Starbucks gift card? Bring it on down for a complimentary Vivanno™ "healthful beverage with a refreshingly great taste that has nothing to hide." Granted, it's not my usual, but I expect it to be nice, nonetheless.

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Mikesell : 1:27 PM : 0 snarky remarks

iCamp II: iPhoto Boogaloo

Today was Phil's second day of Apple Camp. He got to play with the built-in webcam on modern Macs, as well as the photo editing/manipulation tools in iPhoto. At the end of the session he and new-friend Jacob put together a slideshow of their weird photos.

Next year we might sign up for the Music and Presentation days.

Stay tuned.

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Mikesell : 12:25 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Phil spent the morning at the Apple store at NorthPark Center mall attending Apple Camp. Today's topic was iMovie/iDVD. After an intro to the software packages, the campers were tasked with creating an ad for any of the Apple products in the store (with the caveat to not bother the paying customers).

Phil was teamed up with T.J. and Anthony. They shot a bunch of video (they were supposed to come up with a "plan" before shooting ... so much for that idea), then composed and edited it in iMovie and created a title page in iDVD before burning discs.

Here's the result.
(If it plays choppy, let it load all the way before pushing the play button.)

Tomorrow is iPhoto day. Stay tuned.

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Mikesell : 5:33 PM : 0 snarky remarks

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The "Episode One" You've Been Waiting For

And no Jar-Jar Binks.

The First Episode of Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog by mastermind Joss Whedon is online now through the weekend.

Introducing Dr. Horrible, who dreams of joining the Evil League of Evil and someday striking up a relationship with Penny, the girl from the laundromat.

Presenting Penny, the girl from the laundromat, who wants to help the homeless, which Dr. Evil says are symptomatic of an imperfect metaphor.

Meet Moist, Dr. H's roommate with the power to make things very, very damp.

And last but not least -- well maybe least, we'll see how things go -- Captain Hammer, Dr. H's nemesis and "Corporate Tool."

Singing! Dancing! Viewer Mail! How can you resist?

The second ep premieres tomorrow, with numero three-o due on Saturday. All three will disappear from the web after Sunday. Hopefully they'll reappear on DVD soon. (They're on iTunes for pay, but online now for free.)



Mikesell : 8:32 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Monday, July 14, 2008

Regarding Harry

Harry Guetzlaff, managing editor of The Wittenburg Door, passed away yesterday. A quick glance at "What I've Written" in the left-hand sidebar will give you an idea of his importance in my writing career. More than that, though, he was the first person (other than my brother and his family) to welcome me to Dallas when I moved out here.

I was only able to spend time with him twice, but his grace and friendliness is something that will stay with me (and set the standard for grace and friendliness) for the rest of my life.

For more on his life and legacy, see John Bloom's obit at the Door website.

Godspeed, Harry.

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Mikesell : 5:38 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Friday, July 11, 2008

Strange Things Are Afoot at the 7-11

It's July 11 (7-11). Time for free mini-Slurpees.



Mikesell : 11:48 AM : 1 snarky remarks

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Forgiving Mark Harmon

I'm sure there's more to it, but I've always believed Mark Harmon destroyed Moonlighting. And blamed him for it.*

When he had his Chicago Hope comeback I wasn't a fan (though I did like the show in general).

As NCIS agent Gibbs, though, he's found his way into my good graces. Great show. Great character. Great slaps upside the head. If you haven't watched NCIS, give it a try. Good fun.

*He also married TV's Mindy, but since they've been married 21 years, and Dina and I almost as long, I think it's fair to check off that boat as having sailed.


Mikesell : 3:52 PM : 5 snarky remarks

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Ocho

For those of you keeping score, Phil turned eight at the end of last month.

We interrupt this blog for the following announcement from The Simpsons:
Warden: You kiddin'? Look -- [shows painting] he painted a unicorn in outer space. I'm asking you: What's it breathin'?

Homer: Air?

Warden: Ain't no air in space.

Homer: There's an air-in-space museum.

(Episode CABF05: Pokey Mom)
Which reminds me: while on our trip to San Diego, we stopped at the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. Here are a few pix of Phil.
A special Staf Trek exhibit was on display at the museum. Phil got to sit in the original Captain's Chair. Let the argements begin: who fills the chair better: Kirk or Capt. Phil?

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Mikesell : 8:40 PM : 1 snarky remarks

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Knights Tournament at LegoLand

A week ago we were at LegoLand, down in the San Diego area. Not quite the Disney experience, but we had fun. The ride we spent the most time on was Knights Adventure, essentially a giant robot arm that swings you all around (what it has to do with knights we never figured out). Phil and I wound up riding it three times before the day was over.

It looked like this.

There are five levels of intensity for the ride. Because Phil is a few inches short of the height requirement for the upper three, Level Two ("The Bear") was the most-intense we qualified for and the one we rode every time. Level One was called "The Monkey;" as far as I could tell that one never turned the chair sideways or parallel to the ground. Phil and I decided there should also be a Level Zero ("The Guppy") where you sit stationary and swing your legs for a minute.

The music, by the way, comes from a give-away set of film score samples composed by Christopher Franke, a one-time member of Tangerine Dream who also did all the music for (one of my all-time favorite shows) Babylon 5. Check out his website for more.

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Mikesell : 10:31 AM : 3 snarky remarks

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mac Daddy

Just back from a two-week trip to California. The Powerbook came in handy a couple times. For instance, when we were down in San Diego, our hotel was nice enough but filled with strange little sleep-disturbing noises (when it wasn't too quiet). Dina lamented that we hadn't brought our white-noise machine with us.

"Oh, wait. I have that on my Mac."

And at Burbank airport this afternoon, the Mac was able to get free-wifi (limited to foxnews.com, but it was enough to let us know about the afternoon's hijinks down at LAX) when Dina's PC couldn't.

It was a good vacation. Expect plenty of photos and such in the next few days.

One last Mac vs. PC thing. Anyone got a PC-based DVD-burning solution for my in-laws? (Yeah, the Mac's got it, but they don't have one.)

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Mikesell : 10:02 PM : 0 snarky remarks