Friday, September 30, 2005

Wake me up when September ends

[frown]

B... October is right around the corner. It's gonna be a busy month, I
just have a feeling.

New song are lyrics needed, the Renaissance Faire, Halloween, Tina is
leaving, 4th quarter starts up, and the year goes into hyperdrive. I
know there's a gabillion other things I'm forgetting. But I just know
that October is gonna be a handful. I'm not sure I'm up for it. At least
it starts off on a Saturday to help me coop.

It's a gas gas gas!

To do today:

Get paycheck. (done)
Cash paycheck.
Fill up gas tank.
Pay gas bill.
Have lunch at Taco Bell.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

What's my motivation, again?

I'm in a better mood now, and since I left the last recap in a cliffhanger, I'll provide the recap of the Get Motivated Seminar now.

So, we got there around 9:15am, got our notebooks, and entered the auditorium. We were VIPs, so we were seated down on the floor, very near the stage. Which was great, except for the fact that the stage had floodlights. Which were shinning directly into our faces. Anyway, when we got there Zig Ziglar (hee. I wonder if that's his true name. I doubt it.) was already in the middle of his speech, and we had apparently missed Steve Forbes. (Yeah, I was heartbroken. [rolleyes])

As soon as I sat down, the very first thing I heard him say was, "If man can make something as wonderful as penicillin out of moldy bread, imagine what God can make out of you."

Uh-oh.

He acknowledged the fact that in an arena the size that we were in, and with as many people as there were in there, that not everyone was going to have the same faith. That there would be people in there with little faith, with no faith, with different faith. But with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge type of attitude, he went on about the Christian belief system. For agnostics and atheists he said, "Some people don't like to talk about the spiritual side, but I believe you should, because my research shows that you're going to be dead a lot longer than you're alive."

He didn't spend the entire time up there proselytizing, though. He also mentioned... um. Other stuff. Although I don't remember a lot of it now. A good portion of it (a good portion of the entire seminar, truthfully) was stuff "you already know". Mind body connection stuff was brought up. Positive thinking. ("Positive thinking can't help you do everything, but it does a lot more than negative thinking will ever do." [/paraphrasing]) and just all around other 'motivational' type of things. Then, right before he got off stage, he mentioned that his CDs and books were available to buy, and he gave a few away by drawing names out of a raffle (our tickets had a tear away sheet with our information on them when we went into the arena). I didn't win. I also didn't buy any.

After he was done, an Indian born man named Krish Dhanam spoke, but only for 30 minutes. He was kind of a Zig Ziglar Lite. He didn't mention God or Jesus, interestingly enough, but he did have a whole lotta love for the United States of America. He said that "if you were blessed enough to wake up in this great land this morning, you've already won." (Um. How many people in the audience had to fly into the country that morning?) He also said that, "If you do nothing for the next 500 years, the country that comes in second will still want to be you."
It's awkward enough hearing this type of jingoism from native born citizens of this country. Hearing it from someone who came here deliberately... I don't know. Maybe it was just me. It's probably just me.

After he got off the stage, there was a performance by someone that was in Santana, I think? They didn't make it very clear who he was. He sang "Bright Sunny Day" while people got up and stretched and had coffee and smoked.

Next up was some guy who blathered on about stocks for WAY too long. His shpiel was basically a set up for people to take his course and to get on his stock trading website because he'd made a buttload of money, and so could you!

By this point, I was starting to get a headache, not only from the lights, but also from hunger. It was nearing lunch time -around 11:30 - when the next speaker was called out. It was Michael Powell, son of Colin Powell, and former chairman of the FCC. As one coworker put it before the seminar - "I just want to have the opportunity to punch Michael Powell in the face." I told him that he'd have to form a line. I don't think many of us were really excited to see him. We were thinking about bailing during his speech and going to lunch early, but we figured, eh, it'll probably only be 30 minutes.

Powell was, easily, the worst speaker of the day. His speech was ladled with cliches and it jumped from point to point to point. Things I remember from his talk:
He started off the speech with reference to the infamous 'wardrobe malfunction'. (Of course.) Stating that 'all he wanted to do was watch the Super Bowl'. But that it was 'soon eclipsed by what would be either the highlight or the lowlight of television history, depending on your view'. And that for him, the weeks that followed that 'sucked.'
He moved on to his past -
In his family, while growing up, there were three Rs. Right. wRong. and Responsibility.
Also while growing up, he prayed to get hit. Because getting hit was better than the "I'm disappointed in you." look.
The only real way to get in trouble while being raised by Col. Powell, apparently, was to not have an answer to the question, "What did you do wrong and what are you going to do to fix it?"
In other areas of his speech -
He made some vague plea that we should 'unplug'. Saying that the amount of information coming into our lives could bury us. (Interesting coming from the head of the burearacy that is in charge of all forms of technological communication. But I got the feeling that he didn't really mean it. It was just one of those things to say.)
He also told us about his time while in the Army when he was in an accident in a jeep that resulted in him having his spine broken. Yeesh. I had no idea about that, and it was graphic to hear about.
In between all this, he mentioned that leaders need to have 10 guidelines to stick to, that you will not compromise for anyone. Not your boss, not your spouse, not your children. Nobody. He left it up to the individuals to choose their 10, and he never explained why there were 10 to begin with, but whatever.

When he finished, it was noon. Many of us were very very hungry, but the next speaker they brought out was Joe Montana, and since a good portion of my coworkers wanted to see him, I stayed to listen to him. His speech was short - only about 20 minutes - but it flowed a lot better than Michael Powell's did. He focused on teamwork in his speech, and I don't remember much of it now, but I liked it at the time. [shrug]

After he was done, the emcee came on and told us that we had a sixty five minute lunch break, but not too eat too much because when we came back, there was going to be a dance off and the prize was going to be a trip to DisneyWorld in Orlando Florida. Woo!

So. 6500 people all left for lunch at one time. Our group got to one of the few open diners in the Mandalay Bay (it was really weird to pass restaurant after restaurant that were closed) and we waited in a reallly long line. I'm glad that one of the salespeople was charging lunch on the company card because for six of us the total came to $74. Just for cheeseburgers, drinks and fries for six people. Okay then.

By the time we got back to the auditorium, the dance off was done and the next speaker was in the middle of his talk. This guy's name was Tom Hopkins and he was all about sales (which is what most of our group comprised of - salespeople). He seemed like a nice enough guy, but the fact that his whole speech was about manipulating people was deeply troublesome. Some of his points were: We ask questions to gain control, to receive agreement, to arouse and control emotions.
And nod when you ask questions that you want a yes answer to because it helps to build "yes momentum".
Creepy!

Next up was the president (??) of Get Motivated Seminars, Peter Lowe.
He had some pretty cool things to say. Again, mostly stuff you 'already know', but still good to rehear. Focus on already having accomplished your goals, don't focus on obstacles. That type of stuff.
When he gave away a hundred dollar bill to the "most enthusiastic person out there" - a man actually ran up on the stage. Later, he had a volunteer come onto the stage and break a (trick?) board made out of wood with their hand.

His speech was about having balance in the body, mind, and spirit (or soul). The mind thing was basically about how the words we tell ourselves become our reality. And the body part was about breathing, using laughter to relax, that type of stuff.  I was with him on the body and mind aspect, and while I agree with the idea of having balance in the spiritual area of one's life, it bothered me that it was again a Christian viewpoint they were using.
He stated that a study had been done about high schoolers (or maybe younger, I don't remember) that had supposedly found that there was a connection between a persons outlook on god and their self esteem. Those who believed that god was going to punish them and was vengeful, etc, had a low self esteem while those who viewed god as a happy benevolent santa claus type figure generally had higher opinions of themselves. (Sort of interesting. Too bad he didn't site where this study was done, who had conducted it, how long ago, etc.)
He even said something along the lines of "you can never rise consistently above your view of your creator."
Anyway. He then went on about some story about getting a speeding ticket and going to face the judge, who just happened to be your father, and how the judge would have to make you pay the speeding ticket fine (or go to jail) just like everyone else, but that  he could then take off his judge robes and as your father he could forgive you.

He concluded with some parable about a farmer not planting his seeds because of fear of them not growing, but I was more or less tuning him out at that point.

Next up was the biggest fucking asshole of the day.  His name was James Smith. He was billed as "America's Leading Real Estate Expert" and the drinking game with him would have been to take a drink everytime he used the phrase "Watch this". The man was arrogant, cocky, and (watch this!) a Christian.
Things from his speech that I remember -
He talked about taking section 8 checks from people, investing it for them for X number of months, thus letting them own their own homes. (Huh?)
He mentioned that "The Bible says 'the poor will always be with you'." (And... that's a good thing? Well, I guess, as long as pricks like him can make money off it, then woo hoo! Because as long as the poor are with us, that means there must be someone who is rich, too.)
Jesus was a carpenter - a vocation directly related to Real Estate.

Bah.

He wound up selling a class as well, but you know, I think I'll pass.

Finally it was time for the "Secret Mystery Guest".

It turned out to be Jerry Lewis.

He was, to his credit, pretty funny, although certainly not very politically correct. (I didn't take any offense at his jokes, but the one about naming Chinese babies, for example...) He wasn't exactly a 'motivational' speaker, but it was nice to have someone up there that wasn't shilling something, ya know?

Next up was the final speaker of the day, Rudy Giuliani. Before that happened, though, they had a blonde lady come on stage and sing "God Bless America" (I guess to make us feel more patriotic??) Oddly, I didn't get goosebumps at all. I got like, antigoosebumps. Weird.

Anyway, after she was done, Giuliani came on stage, while red, white and blue confetti strips of paper fell from the sky, fire shot out of the corners of the stage, and "New York, New York" played over the loud speakers.

His speech focused on the sinking of the Titanic. I'm kidding. He focused on 9/11, of course. His points of being a good leader were that you need to
1) Know what you believe.
2) Be an optimist.
3) Have courage.
4) Prepare
5) Understand teamwork
and
6) Communicate

Good points, all, I suppose.

It was interesting that Rudy was the only speaker that had security guards. Not even Michael Powell did.
He finished up, we all left, and that was that.

Overall, the seminar was a waste of time for me. Yeah, it got me out of the office for a day, but there was so much I could have been doing otherwise. Besides, I don't want tips on how to fix the life I have now. I don't want to know how to make more money. I want a simpler life away from the rat race. I don't want to be motivated, I want to be relaxed. I want to be happy. I want to be stress free. I want out. All in due time, I suppose.

There. Now, who's motivated?

Average!

Last night's Lost was an extremely mundane episode! It more or less screamed out Meh!! I'll keep watching anyway!!!

Spoilers for Adrift - highlight to view  (and don't worry, it'll be brief):

Sawyer is Spike. Hate him. Can't wait for him to die. Which means he won't. He'll probably end up trying to rape Claire who will fall in love with him. After he gets his soul. Blech.

This episode was like ..only half an episode. Because a good portion of what we saw we already knew was going to happen!!! Maybe they wanted the viewers to feel psychic, so we could relate to Walt better? But, dude. They reshow Locke going down the hatch, they reshow the face-off between Desmond and Jack, and we KNEW that Michael wasn't going to get custody of Walt, so what the hell was the purpose of the flashback? Gah!

On the bright side, I loved Locke's psychoticness. "Are you him?" "Yes. Yes I am." Hee! Apparently he's watched Ghostbusters. And the entire hatch of the 70s is, right now, very intriguing. Why did Desmond need Locke to enter the numbers on the computer? Hmm.

And of course, the Others. Yay for creepiness!! Now, will these turn out to be the true others, or the other half of the plane? Or a little bit from column A, a little bit from Column B? We'll find out next week, maybe.

End of spoilers.

stuff. In other news, I am SO glad that it's payday tomorrow. Money solves everything. nothing. stuff.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

What's my motivation?

Yesterday, September 27th, 2005, there was a seminar at the Mandalay Bay Event Arena from 8:00am until 5:00pm. Here's a recap of how my day attending that went.

I arrived at the station around 7:15am. I was going to carpool with Tina. She had told me that she would be in around 7:30.

Around 7:50, she called to let me know that she was still stuck in traffic, and that we would be going with Nancy, who should be arriving at the station shortly.
Nancy is one of the station's top salespeople. She is also a  New Yorker (New Yawkuh?) who stresses about pretty much everything. It's just the way she is. And it's hard to tell, really, if everything is truly stressing her out, or if it's just that she's a high strung personality. Regardless, she is a character who always has something to say and a unique perspective.

8:00 am rolls around, and Tina and Nancy show up. We get into Nancy's car (which was really freaking nice. I am not big on cars - as long as it gets me from point A to point B and back again, I'm happy - but dude. I can see why people spend the extra money on luxury automobiles) and she begins to drive.

I think that they should charge admission to ride along with her. She was weaving in and out of traffic, zipping through the streets and doing things that I didn't think were physically possible in a car. All the while, smoking, talking on her cell phone, and carrying on a conversation with Tina and I. Crazy. Cool.

At one point, we had pulled up behind a company-sized truck that was going to be turning right at a stop sign. The cross traffic didn't stop, so we were going to be sitting there for a while. Nancy put the car in reverse, pulled up beside the truck driver and yelled out Tina's window, "For the love of God, make the right turn already!" As the driver turned, we could see that he was chuckling about it. That's the way Nancy is. Even when she's yelling at you, you can't help but laugh. Um. Except when she's really angry.

Anyway. The Mandalay Bay parking lot was overflowing with vehicles, as was the Luxor's (which is the casino right next door). We opted to park at the Luxor anyway, and after some insane maneuvering around their parking garage, we found a spot at the top of the parking structure. We began to walk toward the Mandalay Bay Event Center, wondering about the seminar. 

The ticket indicated that the speakers would be: Zig Ziglar (listed under MOTIVATION and described as Americas #1 Motivator), Steve Forbes (BUSINESS SKILLS, CEO & Editor Forbes Magazine), Peter Lowe (SUCCESS, America's Success Strategist ), Special Mystery Guest (One of the five most recognizable people on the planet - Newsweek Magazine), Tom Hopkins (SALES,  America's #1Authority on Selling) Michael Powell (ACHIEVEMENT, Legendary FCC Chairman), Joe Montana (TEAMWORK, The NFL's Greatest Quarterback) and Rudolph Giuliani (LEADERSHIP, Former Mayor of New York City). We had heard that the "Special Mystery Guest" was going to be Donald Trump (which is why I wrote that a few days back when I first mentioned this), but it turns out it wasn't.

My other guesses also turned out incorrect. Going off the clue of "One of the five most recognizable people on the planet", I started guessing recognizable people. Jesus Christ? Certainly recognizable. Adolph Hitler? Also very recognizable. However, neither of those people are still on the planet. And I don't know that Hitler would be someone most people would book for a motivational seminar even if he were still alive. (Although, he did have quiet the following...)
Ronald McDonald, perhaps? Mmmm. Cardboard tasting food....
Osama bin Laden? Well...he's recognizable. But his whereabouts are currently unknown, so that was a bit of a stretch.
Sydney Bristow! It had to be her! But wait. How would we recognize her if she were in one of her numerous disguises?
We decided to just wait and see who it would be.

By the time Tina, Nancy and I arrived, it was ...whatever. I'm not gonna recap this now. Fuck I hate myself sometimes. Jesus fuck. Stupid fucking fuck

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

what we have here... is a failure... to communicate

because i don't talk much at work, i think that many of my coworkers don't exactly understand me. or they have a perception of me that (in my opinion) is not completely accurate.
 
it just makes me all the more glad for stephanie. while she doesn't always understand me either (that's okay, neither do i), at least she "gets" me more than the average joe.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Best time of the year!

I [heart] candy corn.

Halloween time is the best, dude.

cApItAl IdEa

I wonder when (and how) capital letters and lowercase letters came
about. Isn't it somewhat odd to have two symbols for the exact same
sound? R and r are (heh) both the same phonetically, and yet we have two
different symbolic representations of the same letter. Looking at the
keyboard, there is only the capital letters, which one could assume
means that those are the more important representations. However, when
you strike a key from the keyboard, unless you have either the caps lock
button pushed, or you push the shift key, the symbol you type is NOT
equivalent to the symbol represented on the keyboard.

I'm not making any sense, and I don't really have a point. Just random
musings about letters.
Speaking of random musings about letters... I wonder how (and why) the
order of the alphabet is the way that it is. Humans being the way that
they are, it makes sense that when putting the alphabet together, that
they would try to put the letters most commonly used in the beginning,
and the least commonly used near the end. And that idea plays out, more
or less, with q and x and z being at the conclusion. But "s" is pretty
common too. So is "r" and "n". And why are the vowels not clumped
together? Who decided that "a" was more important than "e" or "i"? Hell,
shouldn't "i" be the first letter? (Or is that my self-absorption
shining through again?)
So many things I don't know, and probably never will. Oh well.

What do you do all day?

For anyone that has ever wondered what it is, exactly, that my job entails, I now present a copy of the Position Results Description sheet. (These PRDs are given to all the employees once a year as an evaluation of how they have been performing in their positions. Sadly, I don't have one from Master Control so I can't transcribe what I used to do all day (officially). But I do have the Programming Assistant's PRD. Hooray!)

MAJOR GOAL: To assist in the day to day operations of the Programming Department. Ensure a smooth flow of information regarding Programming to all related personnel.

KEY RESULT AREA #1: Listing Services

  1. Weekly program schedule sent out to all listing services Monday of each week. Schedules to be six weeks out.
  2.  Update and send out any program changes to listing services.
  3. Send schedule and program change information to Nielsen and company central programming/promotions on a weekly basis.
  4. Monitor accuracy of television guide listings and Nielsen overnights.

KEY RESULT AREA #2: Program Schedules
  1. Prepare and distribute quarterly movie and sports schedules with approval from Program Manager. Update as changes occur.
  2. Input into PALAS all movies, sports and special commitments for quarter.
  3. Schedule episodes for all barter and cash programming. Reviewed by Program Manager to ensure proper usage.
  4. Notify all related departments of any network or syndicated program changes.
  5. Update all program changes in PALAS and in house HTML schedules.
  6. Print out updated program schedules for Traffic Department. This will be done on a weekly basis.
  7. Provide back up programming information for all sporting events.
  8. Notify PALAS help of any scheduling issues in system.
KEY RESULT AREA #3: Receive and Handle Viewer and Distributor Telephone Calls
  1. Receive viewer calls and handle in courteous and informative manner.
  2. Update receptionist as needed with program contact numbers and addresses.
  3. Answer questions from program distributors.

KEY RESULT AREA #4: Movie Scheduling and Booking
  1. Organize and maintain movie tape library. Perform monthly purge of unneeded films.
  2. Convert all applicable barter movies to cash formats.
  3. Maintain movie timing sheet books.
  4. Provide usage information and certificate of erasure to distributors as requested.
  5. Edit movies to proper length and produce timing sheet for each film.
  6. Ensure scheduled movies are in house and timed or formatted at least two weeks prior to air. Order movies via least expensive method.

KEY RESULT AREA #5: OBIN
  1. Screen all applicable weekly programs, cash and barter movies as assigned by Sinclair OBIN Coordinator.
  2. Notify OBIN coordinator of any issues with above programs and barter movies.
  3. Edit programs and movies to remove inappropriate content to ensure they meet company OBIN standards.
  4. Keep up to date on any new OBIN policies and procedures as assigned by Sinclair OBIN Coordinator.

KEY RESULT AREA  #6: Program Documentation

  1. Ensure that contract files are kept up to date with latest information.
  2. Distribute related documentation to appropriate personnel including, updated satellite feed schedules, information on upcoming specials and sporting event information.

KEY RESULT AREA #7: Other
  1. Perform other duties as needed.
  2. Cover for Satellite Coordinator while not in the office.
  3. Review discrepancy reports daily, and update programming system as needed.

Yay. Proof positive that I matter to the Company. Aww. The Man cares about me. Or, rather, about whatever cog gets put into this position.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Crazy.

Steph thinks I'm crazy, and maybe I am, but I've decided that I'm going to read every Dean Koontz book.
 
Just because I can.
 
We went to the library today and I checked out Life Expectancy, so that's what I'm starting with. Granted, I've already read several of his books as it is, so I've got a head start.
 
Um. I don't have a good way to finish this, so I'll make it interactive - what Koontz books have you read, and what did you think of them?

woefully ill prepared

In case of some sort of crisis, we are so NOT ready it's not even funny. Despite the fact that we've known that things are gonna get ugly for at least 3 years now. Despite that Y2K could have been really bad. Despite that being prepared for disaster is a good idea just on principle, we continue to live our lives day to day, paycheck to paycheck, not preparing at all. The Boy Scout side of me is cringing.

Anyway, here's a partial list of things that everyone should have, just in case [this was taken from the Derrick Jensen discussion list, by the way.]:

Basic camping gear like propane or kerosene stoves and lanterns, a good supply of the fuel to run them, sleeping bags and a decent tent.
Several flashlights and batteries to run them.
You also need to have several high-quality water filters.
Next, everybody should have 3 fifty pound bags each of rice and beans. (Make sure they are in containers that are mouse and rat proof.)

Always have a pair of heavy-duty boots on hand whether you need them or not, along with heavy socks.
Always have a pair of heavy wool pants stored away, as well as a warm, waterproof parka.
Whether you are in the sticks or in an urban environment, you must have a
means of getting messages from public radio, so it is recommended you have a portable, battery powered radio, or better still, one of those nifty radios you wind up to get messages, and those two-way walkie-talkies with at least a 5-mile range will allow you to send out calls for assistance.
Always have on hand a supply of antibiotics like Penicillin, and plain old alcohol does just fine dressing wounds, even if it does sting. Hydrogen Peroxide is also a must, and they all store nicely for a long time if packaged correctly.
Last but definitely not least, have a good knife, a gun and plenty of ammunition. One concealable handgun in 9mm and a .22 rifle like the excellent Ruger 10/22 can save your life and put meat in the pot with those rice & beans.


I agree with everything there. The gun idea makes me nervous, and we haven't gotten to the point (yet) where we've felt it necessary to get one, but a few weeks back during the most intense part of Katrina's wrath, I was considering it very seriously. And you know how I feel about guns. (Um. Unless you don't. But I'm against them.)

I would also add to this list: A bicycle for every member of your family, a safe place to evacuate to (along with a route to get there either by car, bike, or foot), a BACKUP safe place to evacuate to, and a tribe. We need people that we trust and that have skills and that will be able (and willing) to help us. God we need that.

We really need to get some of those things on that list. Maybe once we get some money we'll start preparing.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Let me pick your braaaaaaiins...

So I've been adding a bunch of Zombie themed movies to our Netflix queue. I've added:
Shaun of the Dead
Night of the Living Dead
Day of the Dead
The Return of the Living Dead
Dawn of the Dead (the original from 1978)
Resident Evil
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
and
Land of the Dead (releases on DVD on October 18th!!)

What other zombie flicks should be put into our list for our upcoming Halloween and Zombie themed movie nights?

no pause

Yesterday was interesting. The tour of Meadow Gold Dairy was really cool. Especially since they don't normally do tours for the public. We all had to wear hairnets, and I had to wear a beardnet. (!! I didn't even know such things existed until yesterday. Live and learn, I guess.)

Um. I'd go into details about the tour, but while it was interesting, I really don't want to type it all up right now. Sorry.

Right now, in fact, I want nothing more than to go back to sleep. Or get a Pepsi. Or burn down a building or five. Something.

Oh! On Tuesday of next week, there is a hoity-toity seminar type of thing going on at Mandalay Bay. It's an all day event and some of the speakers are going to be folks like Donald Trump, Rudy Gulliani (no doubt spelled differently, but I can't be arsed to google up his name) and Steve Forbes. A whole bunch of us from the station (myself included) have somehow managed to get invited to this thing. Huh.
If I don't go insane from the atmosphere and/or the amount of Takerness, it might be pretty interesting. Hopefully Tuesday night I will be more alert than now and I'll give a full (ish) report.

Friday, September 23, 2005

99

On the way into work (I had the car this morning, so I got to listen to the radio) I heard "Runnin' on Empty" and "All Star" (among other songs, but those two ran back to back.). Perhaps my mind is preoccupied with the Rita evacuation going on in Texas, but it seemed like the songs were picked on purpose.
"Runnin' on Empty", of course, is the world's theme song in regard to Peak Oil. (Speaking of, it's still amazing to me that the mainstream news anchors haven't mentioned that phrase. My prediction is that once one of them does, it will be all over the place after that. Right now it's a taboo subject. Once someone acknowledges it, it'll be fair game.)
Then the line from "All Star",
Somebody once asked
could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place.
I said, 'yep, what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
and we could all use a little change.'

In other news, Oreo spent the entire night outside. Apparently at some point in the evening he snuck out the back door. We didn't notice, and this morning when I woke up, he was at the back door wanting to come back in. Poor, stupid cat.
Also, really pitiful owners. How could we not notice something like that. Doh.

Speaking of news, and of pitiful... I will be on our news tonight. Because, despite my earlier statement that I would never dress up as the Frog again... I've agreed to dress up as the Frog again. And not only that, but this time the news crew will be out there to tape some footage of it and to make the station's commercial.
(See, the Meadow Gold promotion had a coloring contest as a part of it. The contest is now over, and today is the day that the winners from the contest will be given their prizes. And of course, Michigan J. Frog needs to be there to present the children with their scooters and mountain bikes and whatnot. I'm not sure what exactly makes this newsworthy, but whatever. I mean, it's not like there's anything ELSE going on in the world right now to report about.)
So. If anyone who reads this happens to want to swing by the Meadow Gold Dairy (I believe it's super far, out near the race track), I will be there around 2pm. Barring that, I guess you can catch me on the 7pm news on Gold 33 or the 10pm news on WB. Yay.

I guess that's all for now. I'm SO freaking glad that it's Friday. This week was hella long, dude.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mmm. Dark Ages.

Yay! Renaissance Faire time soon!! And, again, we get to go for free since our station is one of the sponsors. Sometimes working for The Man pays off.


(okay, not really. But, you know, saving our family 35 dollars is good for us.)

100

Happy Autumn!

Man, I can't believe that there are only 100 days left in Twenty Aught Five. And, hey, that means only three hundred and eight days until the end of the world! Woo doggy.

Last night we watched Destination Lost - which was an hour long recap of the first season of Lost - then the season premiere of Lost (episode entitled Man of Science, Man of Faith. Spoiler tagged thoughts to follow.) and then, against my better judgment, we stayed up and watched the series premiere of Invasion.
I am, therefore, very very tired.
And it's only Thursday.

At least Steph and Harper should be having fun. They're finally going out to Red Rock to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day and the autumnal equinox and just hang out with the Las Vegas Life Learners. I really do miss getting to interact with that group.

So. TV.
Time for Man of Science, Man of Faith spoilers!
Highlight to view:

The hatch contains the '70s?!? No wonder it was quarantined.
Group of government officials gathered around a board room: "Gentlemen, we must not let the 70s out!" "Let's lock it in a bunker on a deserted island in the South Pacific." "Agreed."

heh.

I think that Walt was Not Walt, but a psychic message. Or Shannon going all nutty from lack of sleep and food. Of course, her delusion just happening to be a soaking wet Walt is a bit of a coincidence, but you know what I say about coincidence. (Reminder of what I say about coincidence: "Never underestimate the power of coincidence." - P@)

Speaking of coincidence (because I haven't typed that word enough times yet.) - Dr. Jack's future wife was in an accident with a guy who died at 8:15. Mmm. Numbers. Also, apparently (I found this out online, didn't catch it while watching originally), the man who died was Adam Rutherford - Shannon's father.
Also coincidentally, Desmond (anagrams into "demons" and has a "d" left over. It'll be interesting to see what his last name is) has met up with (at least) Dr. Jack previously.
Interesting.

I wonder if the inside of the hatch will be the main focus of this season. There's got to be another way out, because climbing up and down the cable would be pretty tedious, I think.


Um. I guess that's it. Like Steph said, Lost isn't long enough. It's fun while you're watching it, and it usually gives you stuff to mull over for a while, but then you just have to wait for the next episode. Sigh.

Invasion, which I had high hopes for, turned out to be pretty slow. Or maybe I was just too tired to really get into it. Plus Irina was not happy during a lot of it. But it seemed that the majority of last night's episode had already been shown from the trailers. I don't know. I'll probably give it a couple more episodes and see if it picks up.

Oh! I totally wanted to blog about a dream I had a few nights back.

There was a flash of light, and then every person on the planet who was over the age of thirty (um, except for me, for some reason) had been turned into a potato.

Yeah. I know.

It sounds funny now, but during the dream, it was a horrible thing. It was sad and scary and surreal.
It got sadder and scarier and surreal..er, though, when the TV I was watching (in a bar?) had a press conference in front of the White House. A man carrying a potato came up to the podium and set the potato in front of a microphone. The potato had George Bushesque Mr. Potato Head facial parts put into it, and someone was obviously doing a George Bush imitation to provide a speech to the American People.
Un. Real.
I was disgusted that despite the fact that a good portion of the world was now starchy, some folks (and they would all have to be under thirty!) wanted to continue the charade that "everything was under control".  The worst part is, I'm sure that's how it would probably play out in real life.
Um. You know. If people turned into potatoes.

Anyway, I then started talking to a woman in the bar who claimed that we had talked to each other online. She said her screen name was cindy_steph. (Huh.)
She asked me if I had read the Stephen King article she'd found. At the mention of Stephen King's name, I started bawling, because I realized that the prolific writer was now a potato. The enormity of the potato-change just overwhelmed me.
When I recovered from my emotional breakdown, cindy_steph told me about the article. In it, apparently, Stephen King had been on an airplane talking to a stranger about voodoo spells and how potatoes were sometimes involved.

That's all I can recall from the dream.

And right now I'm only at 825 words. I still need another four hundred and twenty five before meeting my daily quota. Dude.
I will just have to try and blog again later, because right now i am just plum out of ideas. (Heh. Plum.)
Maybe after Survivor tonight I will have more to say.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

101

Criminy. This year is nearly done. I have more emails in my inbox than there are days left in the year.
Guess I better get to work on that whole "200,005 words blogged" goal, huh? You know what that means! It's time for another one of the "random thoughts from P@ during the day" type of entries! Wheee!

I wonder ...nah. I'll save that idea for a question in a boq. That way I'll get to see a variety of witty responses.

Just as a reminder to myself, though, some keywords: All time. Rose. Number. Welcome.
There. Now all I have to do is remember to actually write up a bunch of questions sometime within the next one hundred and one days.

Breakfast this morning: Pop Tarts. Strawberry flavored. Frosting free. Two.

On TV tonight: Lost. Invasion. I don't know that I'll be able to stay awake for Invasion. Last night I fell asleep during Rock Star: INXS. (Turns out that JD did win, not the vampire. Bummer.)

I don't have anything to say right now. I'll be back later when I do.

*******

If there is a problem, yo, I'll solve it. Check out my hook while the dj revolves it. Heh. I'm so old.
*******

Autumn officially begins tomorrow. It already feels like it outside right now. It's nice. Although, a little bit chilly. Of course, it's probably a lot colder on the moon. [/idontknow]
*******

Need:
Haircut.
New(er) vehicle.
New computer.
Sleep.
Food.
Escape route.
More free time.

I guess that's about it. Not too much to ask, is it? And, really, the bottom four are the most important.

*******


Church sign wisdom!! From the church near our home, the following nuggets are currently on their marquee:

YOUR CHECK REGISTER ALWAYS REVEALS WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS.

(I don't think they're yelling. It's just that marquee letters are always in caps. Or maybe they ARE yelling.)
I think that this one means that whatever you spend the most money on is what is most important to you.Which, duh.
Of course, it's more true for a society at large. Because most people (I assume) spend the biggest chunk of their money on bills, which is NOT something they would prefer to spend it on (again, I assume) if they had a choice.
And that's not really fair either, because people DO have a choice as to pay their bills or not. It's just that most people choose to have shelter.
I forget what my point was. [shrug]

Other side of the marquee has a more ...confusing message.

YOU CAN BE A SUCCESS ONLY WHEN YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT

Um. Doesn't everyone learn to live without success? At least at first? I guess we're all successful, then! Wait. What? This one still doesn't really make sense to me. I hope they change this one soon. It's giving me a headache.
*******


Dude. South Park has had less OBINs then Sex and the City so far.
Thursday's episode of Sex and the City has paintings (paintings!!) of vaginas in an art gallery, apparently. Corporate is telling us that we have to swap out Thursday's episode with Friday's while the distributor edits the "offensive" scenes. There are times when I get so close to the breaking point with this company and with our way of living in general. But what am I gonna do, starve?

*******


Speaking of OBIN, here's the Guidelines that Sinclair has adopted company-wide. Keep in mind, I am not altering this memo in any way. This is what I follow anytime I view an episode of Maury or Jerry Springer or South Park or a movie to determine whether it is suitable for air...

                               Guidelines for OBIN

It is now ok to say pee as long it is not sexual (golden shower).

Nudity in Artwork is ok i.e. statues paintings. Pictures and graffiti still is questionable and will be handled case by case.

Profanity
There is to be No trace of any profanity. For example if you come across "what the f***" The "F" needs to be edited out. One exception of this is the word motherf***er...as long as the f***er part is edited out it's fine.

Obscenity
Blurred out video-Needs to be handled case by case. Sometimes video isn't blurred very well. Very graphic/animated intercourse and oral sex is not acceptable and needs to be edited out. Plastic body parts -- if someone is doing something sexual to a plastic body part (fake buttocks or doll) that needs to be edited out. (Yes, this actually happened on one of the dating shows!)

Showing a naked butt from the back, including thong underwear from the back is forbidden. Side-view is ok. Wearing a sheer cover-up or translucent fabric is ok, showing straight on naked butt skin through a transparent cover-up is not ok. Side-view is ok.

Please remember if bare breasts are blurred/covered and not showing nipples no editing is needed. Wearing a tight, thin and/or translucent shirt is ok. Showing the outline of the female nipple and/or aureola is ok, as long as it is a sold and /or translucent NOT transparent material.

Sexual innuendoes will have to be done case by case.

Showing someone touch their own or another person's crotch is not ok. Dancers can touch their own crotch during a musical number, but only for 5 seconds at a time.

Profane gestures such as "the finger" can not broadcast

Graphic and explicit discussions of sexual or excretory activities or organs -- even through the use of euphemisms, innuendo, or double entendre and without the use of profanity -- particularly when used in a manner designed to titillate or shock CAN NOT Broadcast.

Language

Unacceptable for Broadcast:


Fuck            Shit            Pussy            Cum            Cunt
Asshole        Cock         Prick             Motherfucker
Dildo            Tits            Nigger
Ass (things going into or out of - sexual content)
Dick (things going into or out of  - sexual content)

Questionable for Broadcast - handled case by case

crap (action)      Jerkoff (action)
Butthole (can't say anything going into or out of sexual content)
Dyke                  Faggot - these two are a question of taste
Should not be used in a hateful way although name calling is ok.

Acceptable for Broadcast

Bitch                Bastard               Damn (delete "God")
Vagina             Son of a Bitch     Sucks (that sucks)
Boobs             Butt                     Pee
Crap                Pissed Off            Penis
Balls (non sexual)                        Dick (name calling only)
Ass - you can say I will kick my foot up your ass

Revised 5/24/05

*******


God, I need a Pepsi.

*******


Oh. I know. I'll do a word count check. Because I want this to reach the ridiculous goal of 1235 words, so I'll see how far I am.
According to Microsoft Word's Word Count Feature, when I typed "am." I hit 4 pages, 1,112 words, 5,081 characters (no spaces), 7,068 characters (with spaces), 1 paragraph (!?) and 160 lines.
So there ya go.

*******

Remember - ALWAYS remember - It is ALL about money. Money. Money. Money. Money. MONEY!!!!
Stupid symbolic pieces of paper. That's what it's all about! Wheeeee!!!

*******

Random thought - if this entry doesn't go through, I'm gonna be one not happy puppy.

Also, it's incredibly nice outside right now. The weather is perfect. And I'm stuck inside this building for another 5 hours. *snarls* *growls* *bites at captors*
[sigh] Despite all my rage, I am still just a P@ in a cage.

*******

I wonder what the weather is like in Indonesia. Indonesia, apparently, is made up of some 18,000 islands, only 6,000 of which are inhabited. Dude. I would totally live on a deserted Indonesian island. Show me where to sign up.

*******

There's no such thing! (heh heh heh) (I'll explain later.)

*******

Eh. It isn't as amusing an anecdote as I had presumed it would be. But, here it is anyway. There's a guy who works here who, a few weeks back, somehow got onto the topic of religion with me (he brought it up originally). I briefly explained how I am an agnostic because committing to either deism or atheism is rather arrogant. He suggested that we some day go out to lunch if I ever wanted to discuss "philosophical matters" more deeply. (I read this to mean: "Let me take you to lunch and I'll see if I can convert you.")
Today, he asked me if I wanted to go to lunch. (We just got back, actually.)
So, the comment above ("There's no such thing!") was a play on the phrase of there being no such thing as a free lunch, and the idea that there is no such thing as god.

But. It turns out that we didn't really talk that much anyway because a 3rd person came along with us and most of the conversation was between person A and person B. I mostly sat there smiling and nodding politely. And as it also turns out, religion wasn't even brought up through the entire meal. Yay!

*******

Today. Is. Dragging.

Of course, the fact that I've been awake since 4:30 this morning probably plays a role in that.
*******

I said it before, but it bears repeating - I really need a Pepsi.

*******
Great. Now I've got a headache. But at least I got quite a bit of  work done!
Hmm. I do work, and now I have a headache. Connection?

Of course, I was also watching Fox News Network...
*******
Well, it's getting to be that time of the day when I need to wrap up whatever it is I do all day and then ride a bus home. Which means I should try and compose a climatic ending to this here blog entry, no?

Hm.

Suddenly!!...nah. I'll just wait a few more minutes, see if anything else blogworthy happens, then hit "Send" and go home.
******
Running total so far!
6 page
1,635 words
7,377 Characters (no spaces)
9/312 Characters (with spaces)
36 Paragraphs (Odd. I can only assume that that's because I went and changed the "division markers" (you know, those ***** thingies) between the last time I did word count and now.)
226 Lines

Yay! Now, if I can maintain this type of blogging on a daily basis for the next one hundred days, everything will be hunky dory.
Maybe I should write that story about Spowl. Maybe. Of course, that would mean coming up with the actual story. I've got the name. And a vague sketch of the first scene. I can wing the rest, right? I mean, that's what the pros do, don't they?

I'm hitting "Send" now so I can go home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

[sigh]

I think I need to improve my diet, he said while looking semi-longingly
at the Oreo cookies on his desk.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The silicone chip inside me 'ead 'as switched to ovarrrload

Arr! I forgot that today be Talk Like A Pirate Day!

To correct this, here is the previous post, in piratese:

Avast! Earlier this morn, the radio played  I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats. Arr.

It..um. caused me to blubber like a lass.

So. I can be addin' it to the list of tunes which contain such magical properties. Here be a partial list -
Vogue by that wench, Madonna (Shut up. I don't understand it either. Arrrr!!)
The Day the Music Died (arrr! I be meanin' American Pie) but NOT the one by Madonna
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Still Fighting It by Ben Folds

I be thinking me emotional status is not to be taken lightly.

Or maybe it is. Yo ho ho!

Additionally, me beauty and I scribbled our names through a league of papers today, while the wee one cried. Arr. There be many many documents to sign. I always say, only agreements made with blood are worth a damn. The devil deals in words on paper, and one should take a man at his word. (Always keepin' in mind that to break a promise will result in a trip to the plank with ye!)

I be forgettin' what I wanted to say. I'll conclude by sayin' that Mondays are scurvy eatin' dogs. Arrr!!

The silicone chip inside my head has switched to overload

Earlier today the radio played Boomtown Rats' I Don't Like Mondays.

It..um. made me cry.

So. It can now be added to the list of songs that have had that effect on me. They include - but are not limited to -
Vogue by Madonna (Shut up. I don't understand it either)
The Day the Music Died (er, I mean American Pie) but NOT the one by Madonna
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Still Fighting It by Ben Folds

I'm so emotionally unstable it isn't funny.

Or maybe it is. Ha!

In other news, Steph and I signed about a gabillion and a half papers today, while Irina screamed and screamed and screamed. The amount of paperwork involved in purchasing a house is ridiculous to the point of ludicrousness. (Heh.)
But, seriously. There is a lot of legalese and dead trees involved in homeownership. More Taker Insanity, I suppose.

I had more to say, but I can't remember it all now. In conclusion, I don't like Mondays either.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hell on earth.

I finished watching Dawn of the Dead (the 2004 remake) this morning. Quite enjoyable. I still need (er, want, rather) to see the original.

It was ...disconcerting to watch the images of the zombie movie and how they correlated to real life images from the news lately.
Um. I guess it's time for spoilerness, eh?

{Spoilers for Dawn of the Dead [2004] follow, highlight to view...}

One thing that didn't make sense - why didn't the military helicopter stop to pick them up? Or at least acknowledge that it had seen them? I can understand it not returning - it was pretty evident that there were VERY few survivors - but to just completely ignore people that needed help? That's like...well, kinda like real life a little, huh?

Other thoughts, in Patypical random order:

[-] Zombie baby was silly and not unforeseeable.

[-] On the other hand, I was expecting Chips to turn out to be a zombie dog. (As an aside - are there any zombie movies with zombified animals [other than humans]? Because zombie dogs or zombie cats or zombie monkeys would be some of the creepiest shit evah. [/aside])

[-] I liked that these zombies could run. 28 Days Later's zombies could, too, but these were scarier somehow. Also, I liked this movie better.

[-] The muzak version of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" playing when they first got into the mall was amusing.

[-] As was the fact that Ving and Andy were playing long distance chess.

[-] I liked that Anna figured out the bite/infection connection, but dude. Doesn't anybody watch zombie movies? Everyone knows that if a zombie bites you, your goose is cooked. (And, yeah, add zombie geese to the creepy list.)

[-] The tag line "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth." (also said by the preacher on tv) reminded me of Ran Prieur's quote on the top of his site: "People do not go to hell after death. The designers and builders of hell are human beings. The designs and buildings are almost completed. It is becoming difficult to add more hell." - Tamo-san

[-] The end credits coda actually disappointed me. I would've preferred to not know the survivor's fate. Or at least, I was hoping it would've been more positive. Oh well.

{end spoiler}

I still need to watch the bonus futures. I'll do that tonight after everyone else has gone to bed.

In other news, we downloaded the trailer to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire using the inaptly named Quicktime today. (Thanks for the link to that, Jupe!)
Total goosebumps.
In fact, after we watched it, Saren said, "This is gonna be totally awesome!!" Hee.

In book news, I'm nearly finished reading Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Book One: Prodigal Son, by Dean Koontz (go word count!) It's typical Dean Koontz (interpert that as you see fit), but one thing that is interesting - it takes place in New Orleans. I wonder how that will play out in the remainder of the series and if he'll incoporate the flooding or not.


And lastly, we're going to go see my sister at her new home tonight. My parents are in town, and this will be everyone's first opportunity to see Irina. Unfortunately, the beana is not feeling too well, so she may be a Grumpig during the visit. I'm sure I'll report back with details later.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
74,897 / 200,005
(37.0%)

Friday, September 16, 2005

ARRRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Computers!!!!!

Discuss.

Amusing. Or sick. Depending on your view, I suppose.

I personally found it pretty funny. The whole situation being what it is, sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh. Which is easy, when you have that distance from the whole thing, ya know?

Anyway, I now present for your viewing pleasure (or not) - Katrina: The Gathering

Phil Collins sucks ass!

A quote from South Park episode #404, "Timmy! 2000".

It's gonna be interesting on Tuesday to see what type of phone calls we
get (we start airing a double run of South Park on Monday, at 11:30pm).

Bah. I'm starting to wear down, and not really be in the mood to blog
right now. Sleep, yes. I was going to copy and paste the Sinclair OBIN
Guidelines (they're amusing, plus, Go Word Count!) but I can't locate
the computer version (I've got the paper version in front of me) and I
don't really want to type it all out. Maybe someday soon I'll locate the
document and then you can all see what sort of ridiculousness goes into
censoring television shows before you see them. Yay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Shocked!

I didn't think he even knew how to say those words.

Granted, it's no "I'm sorry.", but it's a small step in the right direction.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Do Not Disturb: Global domination in progress

Yesterday, about 24 hours ago, actually, Saren, Harper and I started a game of Risk. Harper was the Yellow Army, Saren chose Red, and I took Black. We dealt out our cards, set up our countries, and began battling.

We stopped after an hour or so, leaving it on the kitchen floor. Oreo did step on the world, but didn't move any of the armies. We returned to the game later that night - after I had watched Saturday Night Fever - and played for another couple of hours. Then Harper wanted to go to bed.

Saren and I weren't quite tired yet, so we opted to keep playing. Each of us would play as Harper when the time arose. However,it was not too long before the Yellow Army was, sadly, no more.

Around midnight, Saren and I had pretty much split the earth. I had all of Australia and North America,and Europe; she had all of Africa, South America and Asia. We carefully lifted the game board onto the kitchen table and went to sleep.

This morning before breakfast, we battled a bit more. In the two hours that we played this morning, Africa changed hands twice (currently she owns it, but my European forces are eyeing Egypt hungrily) and I had to rewin Australia from her.

We're still not done.

But I must say that it's amusing (and pride..y?) that Saren has taken such a strong liking to the game of Risk. When I was young, Risk was one of my favorite board games too. She's got so many of my traits. It's pretty frightening, sometimes.
We'll just have to be extra careful with her and make sure she doesn't end up as screwed up as I did.

In the meantime, I think I better get back to the task of eliminating the insurgents. Pesky Red Army.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tim Burton did the impossible

He made a movie about monkeys that sucked.

Man, that was a nice waste of two hours.

If anyone cares to attempt to explain the "logic" of the ending to me, I'm all ears.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
73,552 / 200,005
(36.0%)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What would you say, if I took those words away?

I want to DO something (that matters).
But I won't.

Heh. Self censorship is fun, and funny.

I'm too tired to do this right now. I hate that I'm so exhausted. I
can't think clearly and I just want to hibernate for a while. Mmm.
Hibernate.

I wanted to blog every day for the remainder of the year, but I think I
may need to take a break from the internet and from television and from
information input.
Or maybe I just need some water. And a couple of Advil.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

i am too tired to say everything i wanted to originally say today

so i'll just say this:

I REALLY hope there's some justice coming. And while it may be vengeful, and spiteful, and selfish, and little of me, I'd like to see it in my lifetime.

Of course, I'll probably end up disappointed. Life so seldom plays out like the movies, and the bad guys all too often get away. Bummer.

Monday, September 05, 2005

That's Fall, Folks!

I wanted to write this entry a thousand lifetimes ago, back before we lost the 24th largest city in the United States. But I procrastinated, and now I'm writing it and my heart is only half way in it. But, hey, if the rest of the television world can simply ignore there's a problem, I can too. I mean, we must remain entertained, no? Of course we must. We've got priorities in the good ol' U S of A, ya know. (Yes. This post may have some bitterness to it.)

So. The new Fall TV Season is fast approaching us (in fact, Fox jumped the gun and started airing Prison Break last Monday). And that means lots of new series, along with new episodes of returning favorites. (Finally! New episodes of Nanny 911! God Bless America!!) I'm going to give you my thoughts on some of these shows based solely on the promos I've seen for them.

First, the returning shows I'll be watching. Let's see...there's The Bimpsons, of course. And Lost. And then there's the fact that on Thursdays the networks have decided to be a pain in the ASS.
ASS. Alias, Smallville, and Survivor will all be on at the same time.
Alias and Smallville are both entering their 5th seasons. I didn't watch either season completely last year - Smallville started off interesting, then decided to become Charmed, and Alias ...I don't know. It's just hard to care anymore. They screwed up the show during season 3, and started season 4 way too late. I watched the finale of Alias, though, and I'm semi-intrigued in watching the new one. And Smallville sounds like it MIGHT be back on track this year. Which isn't saying much, it's never been an extremely well-written show, but they're bringing on Brainiac! Yay! Although it's Spike who's going to be playing him. Um!
And then there's Survivor. The show I really SHOULDN'T watch, but last season got us hooked at some point - about halfway - and this year's location involves Mayans. So...I don't know. Thursdays might be a tough call this year.

As for new shows - there's a new comedy on CBS entitled, How I Met Your Mother. It has Doogie Howser in it, along with Willow. Neither of those are reason enough for me to want to watch it. The promo, though, has Doogie Howser say, "This is totally going in my blog!" which cracked Steph and I up.

CBS is also premiering a new show entitled Ghost Whisperer. Yeah. It looks as lame as it sounds. Based on the promo, Jennifer Love Hewitt sees dead people. And she ...um...helps them talk to their families or something? It's like Touched by a Party of Five Angels.

What else is on CBS this year? Close to Home which appears to be Law & Order: Domestic Violence Cases. Also, Criminal Minds, which is CSI but with Mandy Patinkin.

The 1st three networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) also each decided that they needed an alien invasion series. (!!?? My conspiracy theory sense is tingling) The one on CBS is called Threshold. I don't know how I feel about seeing that. It looks like it might be good, but it (along with a bunch of other shows coming out this season) also looks like it's very ...serialized. And that if you miss an episode or two, you'll be lost. (You know, like Lost.)

NBC doesn't have much to offer. The alien invasion series it has is entitled Surface, and like Steph said, it might not even necessarily be aliens in it. Just some weird water-based new species. But even so, they've been promoting the hell out of it, and it's having a backlash effect on me.

The peacock network also has My Name is Earl which looks really stupid.

Um. If there's anything else NBC is running, I haven't seen the promos for it. I guess we don't watch NBC much.

Oh! Wait! NBC also has Three Wishes with Amy Grant. It looks horrific. But I just gotta know - how many potential hosts did they have to go through to find someone with a name that correlates to wishes?
NBC also has some crap looking drama called Inconceivable. (I do not think that words what you think it means.) It's pretty much ER, but set in a fertility clinic. [rolleyes]

AND! One more NBC show - called E-ring. It's about the Pentagon, but I'm not interested since it'll undoubtably being portraying them as good guys.

It's funny how many NBC shows I've attempted to block out of my mind...

Moving on to ABC, and their alien show...

It's called Invasion and looks the most promising of the 3 programs with the alien motif. Although I haven't seen a promo for it since Katrina, so I don't know if it'll air. Invasion, you see, starts off with a hurricane hitting a small town.
I'm actually amazed that ABC has had the sense of mind to stop promoting it during the coverage of Katrina.

Also on ABC is Commander in Chief which has Geena Davis as the first female president of the US. And Donald Sutherland as one of the many men who oppose her.
Yawn.
But! The promo has the single funniest thing ever said EVER. Donald Sutherland says, "You want to be President so you have the power to control the universe."
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Hee. "Control the universe"

Then, of course, there's the shows that the WB is premiering. Just Legal and Supernatural being the biggies, but neither looks "must see-able", ya know?
And Fox, as already mentioned, has Prison Break, but I watched the first half hour of the first episode and wasn't overly drawn in, so all in all, I think we'll be watching a lot less television this season. Yay! Besides, why bother watching the actual shows when the promos are so much more entertaining?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Pep

Yesterday after I blogged in the morning, I was going to take the car down to Pep Boys to be looked at - the freeze plug had fallen out on Wednesday - and then walk back home. (Pep Boys is just over a mile away from where we live)

Saren woke up before I left and asked to go with me. I said, "sure", and we both left around 8:00.
Got to Pep Boys, dropped off the car, and started walking back. We decided to stop at 7-eleven in order to buy some water (since it was so early in the morning, it was only nearing the upper 80s). Our next stop was to be the Winchell's Donut Shop along the way, to surprise Harper and Steph with.

We had to cross the street to get there, so we pushed the crosswalk button and waited. A man and a woman next to us did not. The green arrow for the cars to turn had lit up, so cars were turning onto the street we'd be walking on, but the sign indicating that it was safe to walk hadn't come on yet. Now, I've been guilty in the past of doing what this guy and girl did. But I usually would stop in the middle and wait for the "Walk" sign. They decided to cross anyway. (I guess they assumed that the cars would stop for them, despite them not legally having the right of way....and I think some of you may see where this is going.)
A red car did stop for them. The car behind that one didn't. And...smash! Right into the back of the red car.

Then! The car that had just hit the one that had stopped - took off!! I looked, and saw that it had California plates, but I didn't catch any of the actual plate number. I whipped out my instrument of the devil (um...cell phone) and dialed 911. (After a few seconds of it not ringing, I remembered to push "send" [see? Devil tools!!])
Anyway, the red car had very little damage at all. In fact, it was just a flesh wound. (heh) No, it had a small scratch. And all the passengers claimed they were alright. But the grey car just kept on driving down the road.
The passengers claimed they had gotten the license plate, and I handed my cell phone to the driver of the red car so he could talk to the 911 operator.
As they were talking, he said, "They're not getting a return on the license plate."

At that point, a guy in a jeep drove around and handed them a sheet of paper with the guy's license plate on it and informed us that
a) the guy lives right up the road
and
b) his hood had flown up while he was driving (indicating that he had a lot more damage to his car than the red car sustained)

At some point, the driver asked 911 to call him back on his devil tool and he handed mine back to me. They talked for a while, and Saren and I stayed there to make sure they were all okay and whatnot.
After he hung up, I asked them if they wanted us to stick around for when the police came so we could file a 'witness report' or anything. He told us that the police weren't going to come, because the license plate they gave them didn't turn anything up in their computers. (Um. Okay. I'd think that might be MORE incentive to show up, but maybe not.)
So, the four people in the red car decided they were going to drive down the road and see if they could find the guy that had hit him. We wished them luck, gave them our phone number in case they needed to contact us, and then we went and bought donuts.

THEN.

Pep Boys called me around 2:45.

According to the guy on the phone, we were looking at about 300 dollars to take out the intake manifold and replace the freeze plug.
However, there was another problem. (Oh?)
While the car was up on the lift, the mechanic banged the door on the rail. Could you come down and take a look at it to decide if we need to file a claim...

Saren and Harper both came with me this time. And, since it was so late in the afternoon, it was, of course, ungodly hot.

But. To cut this story short, here's the deal. Yes, the car door now has a bit of damage to it. But it still opens and closes, and it's really just minimal damage. The Pep Boys manager offered that instead of me filing a claim - which would result in perhaps suspending the mechanic that damaged the car, plus filling out a lot of paperwork and just a huge headache for more or less everyone - that they do the freeze plug work for no charge and call it even.
I had to act like I wasn't sure if I wanted to go that route, because, dude. That sounds like one of the best deals EVER.
Eventually I agreed to that, and then he said, "Well, here's the bad news. The part we need has to be special ordered from Toyota, and it won't be here til Tuesday."
So. Long story short, we have no car until Tuesday, most likely after work, so let's call it Wednesday. But it's getting fixed for free, so it all balances.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

On a brighter note

I've added Miranda's blog to my list of blogs. Miranda is an awesome person and a great friend, and it's wonderful that she's finally started a blog of her own. She's at Life, the Universe, and Unschooling.

Experiment in conspiracy

Go to Google Images.

Type in "Katrina dead" or "Katrina victims" or "New Orleans disaster" or "Katrina aftermath" or "bush hurricane" (pops up images from Hurricane Ivan - a year ago) or "bush hurricane katrina" (nothing) or "hurricane katrina new orleans" or, hell, take your pick on the word choice.

What. The. Fuck.

There are NO images relating to this on Google Images?

I..

In semi related news, according to a report I read, people are NOT allowed to leave the New Orleans Convention Center. If they get to the perimeter, they're turned back. Yup. 30,000 people locked in with shit, dead, urine.

Another report on television said that some police falsified the reports of shooters. (Although just you wait, the Bush administration will use the "looters shooting at relief efforts" as the excuse (or one of) for why it took so long to get aid to the people. And coincidentally, now that "they shot first", that gives the government "the right" to declare martial law. Lovely.)

Kanye West's little outburst on the NBC concert pledge was apparently edited for the West Coast. (West didn't follow his script, and had a tiarade about the way the media presents black people as "looting", white people as "finding food", and how now they've got orders to go in and shoot us, and how he is just as bad, since he went shopping before even donating any money. His voice cracked during this, and it was one of the more real moments from that program.) Anyway, the part they editted was his first lines where he said, "George Bush doesn't care about us." On our TVs it aired as "..they don't care about us." The rest of it aired untouched.

I... man. This whole situation is fucked. And I still need to make my "Fall TV Season Preview" blog entry. And take the car to be fixed. And bury my head in the sand. This entry has gotten longer than I expected it to be, but the Katrina fallout has just hit a nerve, I guess.

Friday, September 02, 2005

From the "being right sucks" file

This article from National Geographic about New Orleans was linked to at Monkeyfilter. Kinda interesting. I might blog more about the Katrina situation later. I'm patiently waiting to hear what Jess or Heath has to say about it, especially since their city is being directly affected.(or is it effected? I can never remember)

Anyway, article..


But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn't—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great.

-National Geographic, October 2004

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dear Western Civilization

I realize that you are on the brink of collapsing what with Peak Oil, bioterrorism, global warming, mass extinctions, American Idol, and whatever else we modern humans decide to throw your way, but I have a very selfish request to make.

Please put off the complete collapse  until after the last Harry Potter book has been released. And I've been able to read it. That's only three years, max. I'm sure you could hold off for that long.

And if you're feeling extra benevolent (HA HA HA HA HA), could you also wait until the Spish have gotten their shit together enough to go RVing for a while. The Universe is already making it more of a burden than we need it to be, by breaking our car (again!), so I'm hoping that you could at least cut us a little slack. I know that Peak Oil is pushing you closer to that breaking point, and Hurricane Katrina may wind up being the straw that breaks your back (or maybe not. You are pretty damn resilient you know.), but just PLEASE keep on chugging until ...oh, say, twenty aught nine.

After that - after the Spish have found a good place to live a sustainable life, go ahead and eff yourself. I'm sure it'll be a marvelous crash, and we'll have a great time watching from the sidelines, but for right now, you going down would be disastrous - FOR US. And that's the most important thing, you see. Me and my family. While we aren't too fond of you, and we all know that eventually you're going to go away, we're just not quite prepared for that. See, your death is going to be messy. And we'd prefer to not get any of it on us. You understand.

So, yeah. Just wait a leeetle bit longer, if you would, before you bite the big one.

Much obliged,

P@