Friday, May 30, 2008

LOST - Season Finale

Quite the teaser going in to next season(waiting a whole 7 months):

Locke, or Jeremey Bentham, is in the coffin. I thought for sure it was Ben until he came in the door behind Jack. So how did he get there, off the island, and how is Jack going to get him back('you ALL have to go back to get back')?

Sawyer's selfish exterior is all but gone, jumping out of the chopper to save everyone else. Did he ask Kate to do something for his daughter in his whisper? And we got another classic when he called Lepedus Kenny Rogers. It had me rolling.

Sun watched from the helicopter as her husband was made into shark meat when the ship blew up. Yes, I think he's really dead. Michael, on the other hand, as we've seen has been unable to die. So I think he's still around...

Sayid takes Hurley out of the institution. Is it to help get them ALL back to the island?

We got to see Ben 'move' the island and now have seen him before he ends up in Tunisia with the winter parka and cut on his arm. I still have a feeling he's one of the good guys.

There's a whole lot more but that's all I can remember right now.

OH! How about that commercial towards the end of the episode for Octagon Recruiting? Could that be our off-season teaser.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where Are We Headed?

The never ending increase in fuel prices has got me playing out all types of doomsday scenarios in my head. The local Sunday paper even had an article about people that have “headed for the hills”; that is they’re living off the land, stockpiling firewood & drinking water, growing their own food, the whole nine yards.

And you know what? I don’t think there’s anything remotely crazy about it. Or maybe I’m crazy for thinking they’re not crazy? I can’t decide.

The main point of this is that there is a peak of global oil production, and after that peak is hit (some think it has already happened) the world’s oil supply will begin to decline with demand continuing to go up. U.S. dependence on foreign oil could set us up for this quicker than others. Too bad the tree hugging liberals won’t give up the Alaskan outback for drilling. Did you know that by drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil will become the world’s 3rd largest crude oil producer? No country is faced with the regulations that the U.S. is and it is putting us in a terrible bind. One day the liberals will regret this but it will more than likely be way too late.

Here’s what my gut tells me:

• We have hit that peak
• A liberal Congress will never pass legislation to open up areas, rich in oil, to drill, which would decrease our dependence on foreign supplies
• It will be economically impossible to drive to work. My guess is that we are headed to $7/gallon for gasoline. Ethanol is not our savior; in a way it may limit our farming areas for produce
• Due to extremely high fuel prices our food prices will jump through the roof (hell, milk is already almost $4/gallon)
• Home heating will have to be limited due to high fuel costs
• Suburbia will no longer be the golden chalice that so many think it is
• Rail systems and other forms of mass transit will be imperative to a city’s survival as people will not be able to afford to drive to work
• Our country could be in total chaos for those who were caught with there pants down
• Solar and wind power will be gold(I wish I could afford to retrofit my house with solar)

That’s what makes these ‘survivalist’ seem, not so ‘on the fringe’ to me. They’ve taken steps to prepare for the worst without joining the ranks of a Hale Bopp cult.

Of course I have no educated basis for this. I’m not an elitist ‘better than you’ lefty. I’m a Biological Science major for heaven’s sake. But I believe we are in for some very hard times as a society; and there may be no way to avoid them. But I will do what I can to best prepare my house of five for the worst.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lisey's Story

I finally finished Lisey’s Story, by Stephen King. So I’m going to attempt to give you a review without spilling too many beans.

My reading of Stephen King novels goes all the way back to high school. Of course at that time it was more for the gore factor than anything else; and his books seemed to keep me captivated more than others. It wasn’t until I started reading others, like Dean Koontz, that I realized ‘hey now there’s some story telling’.

While I’ve read my share of good books by Stephen King (think of The Shining, The Stand, It), I’ve also forced myself through some clunkers (Tommyknockers was terrible, Insomnia took me forever to finish).

Lisey’s Story fits somewhere in between; at times it feels like his best work (Lisey thinking back to when she realizes that her husband is ‘different’). There’s a lot of history to this husband and the coping mechanisms he has ‘created’ to deal with an abusive father. King does a great job of weaving this story throughout time and conveying the love between the deceased husband and his grieving wife. However some things were just so hard to overcome; for example the words that Lisey and her husband use are just plain ridiculous. If this is the way they talked they would be hard pressed to find any friends (and maybe that’s Kings point? These two had no one but themselves); ‘smucking’ is used liberally as their substitute for the ever present ‘F’ bomb. But why use that as a replacement when ‘f’ is used in the same sentence by the same character? And ‘Boo Ya Moon’? Nice. Now I feel like I’m stuck in a WWF title match, “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? BOO YA MOON!”

Some of his books reach there climax a little too early and leave you left to wander through the last few chapters but Lisey’s Story does a good job of keeping you engaged until the very end.

I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I thought Saturdays were part of the 'weekend'

It is; unless you work where I do.

You see, Memorial Day weekend is like Christmas Eve & Day for me. I love racing, particularly open wheel racing. The kind where there are no fenders on the cars. The kind that when a mistake is made, it is exaggerated beyond that of a stock car. It is INDY 500 weekend. And to add a little more sugar to that cake, it is also the weekend for the Grand Prix of Monaco(it contains even MORE uppity folks than Indy cars).

BUT I just painted a mural, so to speak, and someone came and pissed all over it. That someone is work. And if you didn't know, work sucks. It sucks better than our high falootin' Dyson vacuum cleaner that sucks up more dirt than K and I knew we had. That's some serious sucking.

On Wednesday we were asked if we could come in 8-12 on Saturday. We're viewed as the 'bottleneck' in my department. Truth is the bottleneck is upstream from us but I think it's become, 'if they're coming in, we have to come in' type of thinking. And I know it's not my manager's fault. He's constantly being kicked in the nuts by the ceo(I purposely kept that in lower case letters). And my rebellion in this? To say 'yes I can come in but I've got my kids-ALL 3 OF THEM. Yep, K went to Waco to get her hair done; it's imperative that you have to take a flight to get a good dye job. Don't ask. Turns out they asked who agreed to come in because they're name went on a list going to the ceo. Great.

So I've got kids 1, 2, and 3 today. And I keep reminding them I'm bringing them all in. I almost think they don't believe me. They'll be surprised when I show up with a 4 year old in tow scribbling 'fart' on the white boards(I should teach him that today). More as a statement I want them to see what they do to someone when they rule with the iron fist. You're not only getting me but you're getting all of us, because that's the position you put me in. Fuck it. I'll let the kids go wild and they'll end up telling me to take them home. Good.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Radiohead Photos - Dallas, TX 5-18-08

I've finally recovered from the shock of going back to work after returning from Dallas. I still work with the same knuckleheads. On a positive note, my pictures from the concert turned out fairly well; considering we were in the second section of seats. The stage lighting came out well in these photos(it was absolutely incredible in person). You can see the rest of my photos here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

It's official. The starting lineup is in and we're ready for Sunday.

No real surprises on the front row with Dixon, Wheldon and Briscoe. I still think Dixon is the driver to beat. But of course, the Indy is ALL about the long haul; anything can happen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Radiohead - Dallas May 19, 2008

This post has taken a while. Got back yesterday from Dallas, tired & barely able to keep my eyes open. Here is the set list for the show. Probably one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Radiohead did not disappoint. Amazing light show. Pictures to follow.

Radiohead :: Dallas TX :: May 19, 2008

01. All I Need
02. There There
03. 15 Step
04. Bangers and Mash
05. Nude
06. Pyramid Song
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. The National Anthem
09. Dollars and Cents
10. Faust Arp
11. Videotape
12. A Wolf At The Door
13. Optimistic
14. Reckoner
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Idioteque
17. Bodysnatchers

encore 1:
18. Fake Plastic Trees
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
20. House of Cards
21. Exit Music (For A Film)
22. The Bends

encore 2:
23. You and Whose Army?
24. Paranoid Android

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And So It Begins...

The trek to Dallas to see Radiohead.

Stay tuned...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

First thing I said at work today, "Well, here goes another 8 hours of my life I'll never get back".

To which I received a round of laughs.

Thank you and good night.

LOST - There's No Place Like Home Pt. 1

Man oh man. These episodes just keep getting better and better. Last night we got to see the Oceanic 6 return to humanity as we know it.

Ben contacted someone by mirror at the Orchid Station. I think it was the Others; telling them to get Kate & Sawyer. You see, I STILL think Ben & the Others are good. I'm not convinced that their methods are that 'good' but we'll see...

Jack is told that Claire is his sister through her mom, at his dad's memorial service.

Sawyer had a great line in the jungle, "Wait up Genghis!" He gets me every time.

We're starting to see some interesting theories cropping up in the past couple of weeks. Here's a goodie about the very first episode, Pilot.

I think Keamy is wearing a detonator on his arm and it will detonate all the explosives on the freighter, killing Jin, Desmond and other deckhands. Not a good feeling about their fate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Manatee Returns

Mr Manatee is so big that he has TWO Skoal rings in ONE back pocket of his Wranglers.

All the hillbillies know what I’m talking about.

Open Wheel Wednesday

One of my all time favorite Indy 500 moments

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome to Suckville, USA

A week of vacation by a co-worker can do wonders for you. It’s practically your own vacation without using your PTO(paid time off).

Senior Droopy, as I call him, is a curmudgeon that has become the biggest pain in my arse. For one he likes to be the keeper of information; the employee that knows a way to do something in Excel or has a formula put together to make your job easier but doesn’t divulge that information for the betterment of the team. That, in itself, would not send me over the edge but add to it the contrarian attitude that Droopy puts out on a daily basis and you get a feel for my frustration. He also feels he has to ‘check up on me’, see how I’m ‘coming along’. Never mind that I’ve been in the group now for 6 months and unofficially a ‘senior’ based on the projects that I am given each week.

Or maybe it’s the fact that, when I was talking to the Hobbit, Droopy came up and interjected a completely unrelated issue for five minutes; and as he walked off, ripped a big fart. Hey, I can rip it with the best of them, but coming from Droopy it was damn near an HR incident. The stranger thing is, I don’t think he knew that he beefed.

Yesterday, unfortunately for us (me) his week of vacation ended and he was back to work. After half the day, he walks up to my desk, “You haven’t said one word to me all day. You must not like me”. To which I replied, “I said good morning”. Maybe it was the tobacco drool he had in the corner of his mouth that kept me from socking him one with my Jack Johnsons.

Then he had a maniacal laugh and walked back to his desk to hoard his useless information.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

  1. Children #1, 2 & 3 can make some pretty good home-made Mother’s Day cards.
  2. Children #1, 2, & 3 can drive me absolutely bonkers as I drive them to Petsmart and Target.
  3. As a result of #2, TGIFridays’ Margarita Lite mix does NOT taste like normal margarita mix. It tastes like a diet margarita. Talk about a buzz-kill (literally & figuratively). I inadvertently picked it up. K, at least, got a normal Bloody Mary.
  4. K can make a mean Mother’s Day dinner. No I did not make her dinner; she made dinner for her Mom and I was a guest. Don’t bother helping her when she’s in the kitchen; it’s better for everybody that way.
  5. My pick to win the INDY 500 this year, Scott Dixon, won the pole on Saturday.
  6. Clematis in Oklahoma grows like a weed. Ours have grown up to 7 foot tall already.
  7. It’s amazing the difference getting rid of a 5 pound Chihuahua can make on your floor plan. No more gates or closed doors. It feels like an open floor plan. The defiant indoor peeing dog is gone.
  8. Work still sucks.
  9. We’ve watched too many shows about renovating(outdoors and indoors); one of these days we’ll have to make good on our plans.
  10. Six days until Radiohead…

Friday, May 9, 2008

LOST - Cabin Fever

Last nights episode went uninterrupted by weather, FINALLY! And what a great episode it was:

  • Richard Alpert shows up after Locke is born; and again when he is 6 years old. But leaves in disgust after he presents John with a test of sorts.
  • Abbadon inspires Locke, by suggestion(again showing Locke can be duped), to go on the walkabout in Australia thus sealing his fate aboard the Oceanic flight.
  • John, Ben & Hurley find the cabin and only John will enter meeting, not Jacob, but Christian and Claire.
There's more but these were the highlights of a fantastic episode.

  • I think now more than last year that time travel is the main theme of the show and experiment the Dharma Initiative.
  • Did Claire die in the house explosion and now shows up with Christian? She seemed very content; possibly aware of her fate and that of Aarons?
  • More evidence of the time travel is Richard's appearance throughout. He never changes.
  • Is Abbadon collecting souls like the demon(worst of the worst) in Revelations? My K last night said, 'all the Christians, like us, that are watching this will end up finding out this is all about Satan.' To which I replied, 'I don't think so, but God would prevail if that's the case' She thinks it's a 'Bermuda Triangle' by the way. I do think that you can draw a ton of Biblical references throughout the show and I don't think they should be overlooked...
  • Widmore's mercenaries tried to kill Michael and of course he cannot be killed. Is it all because of where he is in time?
  • What's the device that was strapped to his arm?
  • Is Richard Locke's true father? Disgusted that he picked the wrong items and that he was not "ready"?
  • To save the island Locke is told to........MOVE IT. Is this through a mechanical mechanism or through time?
I cannot wait for more episodes like last nights.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Are you gonna open your door again??"

My afternoon/early evening took a quick downward spiral; only to be saved by mowing the lawn.

Flashback to yesterday. I see my manager go into meeting with the HR guy. After the meeting as he walks by and I ask him to come over and approve a bid I had finished. He comes over and says, "Remind me, we need to talk". Great. "Uh oh", I reply. Nothing; no response.

So for almost 24 hours I'm trying to figure out what it is about. 'must be internet', I tell K. I'm a top producer and STILL have time on my hands. Got to fill it with something; and I can't have beer at my desk.

I decide to take the pro-active approach and find out this afternoon. It's WORSE than getting busted. I have to train an intern in June. SONOFA...

Yes, for two weeks I have to show an intern what we do, how we do it before they move to a different department for similar training. And I have to have a schedule put together by next Friday. It can't get any worse than this.

Yes it can.

I stop off at the gas station on the way home to fill up with liquid gold. There's a woman at the pump next to mine(imagine are cars are parked side by side and you get the idea). Then this sketchy guy comes up to me with amber contacts. 'great, now satan is going to bust my chops about work'. No, he's asking for change for the bus(carjack my car), and I honestly have no money on me. I'm paying by debit card. So he moves to the next guy in front of me. I open my door to get my lawnmower gas can to fill it. The lady is finishing her fill up and goes inside. I catch her and the employee looking out into the lot. I'm thinking they are watching the drifter walking around. Meanwhile, I'm observing my shoes wondering if beer really can make you smarter or if its just me.

Then I hear it, "Are you gonna open your door again?" WTF? It's that lady, who sounds like she's lived in a pack of Camel's and Boone's Farm for the past 45 years. "What?" I ask. "Yea are you gonna open that door again? Can't you read that sign?". I put my hands on my hips and give her a smirk, all the while thinking, I have no idea what the fk she's talking about. The smirk must have got her because the next thing she said was "You sonofabitch if you're gonna blow yourself up you're not taking us with you! It says to keep your door closed!" Then she mumbles something incoherently and drives off. All the while I'm thinking, that drunk is making me thirsty.

I look at the sign and she was referring to the static electricity warning while pumping gas, which stated not to re-enter your car. I felt vindicated by my ability to comprehend the English language and be a rule follower all at the same time.

I pull in to the driveway go directly to the fridge, do not pass without a frosty cold barley pop and....

No beer.

I had to settle for cutting the grass.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

At IMS yesterday, the field was let loose for the first full practice. Topping the charts at 226.599 mph was Marco Andretti sporting the Indiana Jones livery (pretty sharp I must say). His speed was somewhat exaggerated as he had a draft from Castroneves. Rounding out the top five were Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Dan Wheldon. My early pick for a 500 winner has to be Scott Dixon.

Crowd favorite, and sexpot, Danica Patrick was 9th at 224.095.

How about the newbies? Will Power made the biggest splash by breaking the top 11 with a 223.550. Other notable first timers were Justin Wilson (12th), EJ Viso (15th), and Graham Rahal (19th).

Davey Hamilton, who has been out of the car for a while came in at 22nd. He’s part of a new team called Kingdom Racing, which is a Christian focused team hoping to spread the word through trackside events.

Formula 1 will be preparing to invade the streets of the principality of Monaco on the 25th. It is THE place to be see and be seen in F1. It’s quite a rinky-dink course for today’s F1 cars but the setting is unbelievable.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I think it is STILL Monday

The alarm starts ringing about 5:45am each work (ugh) day and each work (ugh) day I roll out of bed at about 6:10am. K sleeps in and meets me downstairs for coffee before the kids get up.

I follow the same routine each day like a beat down dog; really, that’s the only way you can get me to work – beat me down.

I make the coffee; eat a piece of toast and wait for my conditioned response, the footsteps on the stairs. Nothing. This is the point where we reach the decision box on my Visio flow chart. Did K come down? Yes or No. If ‘No’ proceed to taking coffee to bedroom. Yes I am that good of a hubbie, and don’t you forget it. May I remind you, I threw the surprise party of a lifetime for K two weeks ago? That reminds me, I need to remind her.

But before I could even get to the coffee, children #1, #2, & #3 come trotting down for breakfast; every one of them in good moods ready to take on the day without a care in the world. Lucky turds. Time is now 7:00am. Child #2 asks if we have glasses that look like her teachers as it is ‘dress like your favorite teacher’ day at her school. I remember ‘sit in your seat, do your work and if you do anything remotely mischievous I will pull you by your hair to the chalkboard’ day. Whatever happened to that one? It went away with conservative values, morals, and ‘my kid is a winner ALL the time and should not be punished by YOU’ and now we will all pay for it. So I replied, “I don’t think we have any glasses like that”. She went to ask her mom and came down shortly thereafter. I asked what her mom said; to which child #2 replied, “She’s still in bed”. It’s now 7:05am.

I plod upstairs with the coffee in tow, “what are you doing? You need to get up”. K replies, “My head is killing me”. We’re all suffering through Spring allergies and our house sounds like a nose sniff on an audio loop.

My first thought, which rolls right off my tongue, as usual, is “Call in sick, I’ll take the kids to school and call in myself”

She says she can’t that she HAS to go to work.

I guess I’m going too.

Now it’s 8:20am and I can hear the CEO pissn’ and moanin’ in the morning meeting next door. I'm in Hell.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

There was absolutely no open wheel racing to catch this weekend. However, NASCAR nation rolled into Richmond, VA for their annual Spring Saturday night shootout.

I had no interest in watching this, but ran across it as K and I were looking for something to watch late Saturday night. K made her disdain known as soon as we heard Darrell Waltrip's voice in the booth. I don't blame her; I don't watch NASCAR racing any more. Mainly because it's oval racing 98% of the time and I find the majority of those races as fun as going to the dentist.

But there were only about 10 laps left and Kyle Busch was inside Dayyyuhl Jr battling for first place. I said, "They are going to wreck" and sure enough Kyle gets a little loose being pinch down low in the turn and Dayyyuhl Jr looks to chop down a him slightly and a spinnin' they go. My next comment was "Sonofa.... now watch these fans go nuts". And like clockwork the Jr fans were on the catch fence five deep like flies on fly paper. You know, the gooey amber colored ribbons you pull out of the little canisters and hang up for all the summer bugs?

You see Jr hasn't won a race in 71 tries, I think. BUT he is THE most marketable driver in NASCAR since the death of his dad at Daytona. That along with his Budweiser sponsorship, up until this year, was a promoters' wet dream. And NASCAR, no dummies, to pimping out their drivers(not bad in my mind), capitalized on this to no end; sometimes with suspicious calls near the ends of races or a particular driver getting 'the call'. No proof of this just a hunch.

And you know what? Jr is a genuinely good guy. He's not a phony, he's not a whiner, but he's just not that great of a racer. I don't think he's got the talent that his dad had. That's not a bad thing but sometimes the yahoos in the booth act as if he's the second coming of Christ; and the borderline homo erotic fanaticism by the fans freaks me out to no end.

I'm sure Kyle Busch had to have a police escort to get out of Richmond in one piece after that accident. But that's all it was, a racing incident; no more no less. But it did provide a little bit of entertainment on a Saturday night.

Friday, May 2, 2008

LOST - Something Nice Back Home

Once again, Oklahoma spring weather has denied me of my favorite 1 ½ hours of television. The Office and LOST were shown (or not shown) with complete interrupted service. That is, if you chose, you spent that time watching every single local affiliate tracking storms as they passed through Green Country. So we resorted to cable channels, mainly Ace of Cakes on the Food Network.

Ok. On to LOST(which I watched online this morning before taking Child #1 to school).

What we know:

  • Jack has an on-island appendectomy and is none the worse for wear; He’s sweeping wike a babeh
  • Claire has gone of into the jungle, sans Aaron, with ‘her Dad’(is it Jack’s dad as well???)
  • Sawyer has another zinger of a one-liner, “I hate Chinese first thing in the morning”. I darn near spit out my morning coffee on that one
  • Juliette is just plain spacey at times
  • Jin figures out that Charlotte can speak fluent Korean and threatens to break all of her colleague’s fingers if she doesn’t come clean. Jin is a bad A
  • Hurley tells Jack that the Oceanic 6 are all…….DEAD! Could he be right??? In his words everything is too perfect

My thoughts:

  • The Oceanic 6 may very well be dead
  • Kate is fulfilling some wishes of Sawyer which pushes Jack over the edge. This must begin his downward spiral in the flash forwards
  • How come the militia are still alive? Smokey didn’t off them like we thought
  • Jack had no scar from the appendectomy in his flash forward; hmmmmm
  • And why does Jack get sick, on the island, right before they are to be ‘rescued’?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mr. Manatee

There’s this co-worker, not from our area, that is giving us part-time assistance on a daily basis.

This guy is huge. He is probably 6’4” and shaped like a pear. His head looks like a nugget compared to the rest of him.

His belly is so big that, it alone, could keep his jeans pinned up to his body without a belt. Every time I see him I think he has a manatee under his shirt.

Oklahoma in the Spring

Our season of flux has begun. Oklahoma in April can see an 85 degree day one day and 45 degrees the next. No joke; it is like a roller coaster of environmental proportions. Don’t let the tree huggers tell you its man-made global warming. It is Oklahoma, pure and simple.

Along with this consistent change come two (and probably a lot more) constants: seasonal allergies and poison ivy.

You name the tree and there is bound to be at least a 1 out of 5 chance that someone in our house is allergic to it pollinating. If it’s not a tree, it’s a weed. If it’s not a weed, as in my case, it’s my allergic reaction to work. I digress.

Along with these allergens there is another one that strikes only me. I can be in near proximity to it and it attacks me like a 5 lb Chihuahua attacks an area rug. I have succumbed to my first case of poison ivy. For a couple of days I have been itching; itching on my forearm, on my chin, near my lip and on my chest. I'm afraid they may have even hit my nether regions. I hit it with a concoction from a local compound pharmacy called George’s biker juice. It’s a wonderful blend of isopropyl alcohol, camphor, menthol and other things that I’m not sure of their origin. Whatever they are they help, and they help a lot.

For now, I have to ride the waves of itching until I’m no longer feeling like Ashley Judd in Bug.