Showing posts from May, 2007

The White Whale

Call me Ismael. I went to Albertson's today for lunch. I ordered the Italian Delight. I said, in my clearest English, "I would like the Italian Delight exactly as it is written up there on that card. Nothing else." The woman to whom I spoke this plea was the manager of the department. I figured if anyone would get it right, understand me, and get me the sandwich the way I want it, it would be her. Now, the card for the sandwich lists that it comes on a baguette, yet the lady asked me if I wanted it on a baguette... not a good start. It also lists ham, cotta and genoa salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncinis, and Italian dressing. I figured I could remove the tomatoes. The way I ordered it was bound to get me everything else and nothing I didn't want, right? Well, sort of. The manager of the department, the only one in the department who lists English as her native language, decided that mustard and mayo are on that list. I've had this argument with …

Spam Filter Failure

I think my Yahoo spam filter just failed. I got a flag saying that I had unread messages in my Yahoo email account. I went and looked-- and there were 500 unread messages! Holy crap, I thought, someone must have used my account on a bad online site or something . As I looked, there was only one unread, new message that was actually for me. All the others were spam messages that, apparently, simply made it through Yahoo's spam filter. Now, this filter isn't the best in the world, but it usually keeps most of the flack from my actual Inbox. Maybe one or two a day make it through, but that's typically it. 497 made it through between my checking that account before lunch and that flag popping up shortly after lunch. Just now I went to check again, maybe 15-20 minutes after having cleaned up the entire list and getting my Inbox back to where it should be. Another 97 spam messages were waiting for me. there were 53 spam messages in the Bulk email folder, so it was still function…

Good Things Come

I have wanted two things made into movies for awhile now, the Repairman Jack series and The Dark Is Rising series.

Now, while I would greatly prefer that the first book of The Dark Is Rising, Over Sea, Under Stone, be made first (it is the most cinematic of the novels and would make a great jumping off point), I can understand the idea of starting with the second novel. The final four novels all concern the same character while the first book has two other characters who get the whole ball rolling. That might confuse movie goers who are not fans of the series (to have a first movie with, really, only one recurring minor character that appears in the second through fifth movies).

Well, this year we get to see what they did with it:

Next, while this one is not yet even filming, there is a ton of good news about the possibility of seeing Repairman Jack on the screen as a film franchise:

How often do you read that the author of the books has read and ap…


We spoke with Father John on Thursday and I continued to question what the Catholic Church required of me as a non-follower. It is important to M that our church wedding be sacramental, (otherwise what is the point of being remarried in the church?) but I also have misgivings and my own beliefs that also need to be considered.

Originally he felt that I would have to get my parents to attest, in writing, to two things: 1. that my baptism did, in fact, occur and that two important parts were followed (use of water and the trinity in the blessing) and 2. that I had never been married. I explained to the priest that I found this to be sort of a dubious in nature, as we all could simply lie in order to get the marriage to go forward. He understood that aspect of things, but said the church requires some sort of good-faith since we cannot find my baptism records and I am not Catholic.

I pressed a bit more and he agreed to call the Chancery office to double-check what was required of a non-Cat…

Border Back

It took nearly an hour to recross the border, as the line was long and they did not have the same number of people working as we expected. The woman at the border was also extra curious about our situation; she did not seem to understand that I had flown to Canada on a visit, that during the visit we decided to go to Calais for some shopping, and now we were returning to Canada for me to complete my visit.

However, in the end, she let us go without a search and without further comment. Just sort of hard to explain.


M took me to the border today on a shopping trip to Calais. We have been slowly inching forward to cross for about half an hour now. I can see the river and we're just about to the Canada side.We brought our passport and marriage licence just in case. I am using M's BlackBerry to write this.We are now on the bridge over the St. Croix River.


We went to see the local presentation of Cabaret last night; first, although this is not my cup of tea play-wise, the cast and crew did a phenomenal job. Two of the ladies in the show were very good singers and the EmCee really got into his role with relish!

However, I was a bit anti-social. I stayed in my seat during the intermission and had to run to the bathroom after the show; turns out I had minor food poisoning or something from the sausage we ate at breakfast. It didn't really affect me until we put dinner on top of it-- then it had something to work with and I slowly felt worse and worse. Made M take me home rather than going to the after-show party and I had some additional issues before going straight to bed.

Feeling better today, so it doesn't appear to be anything more than bad sausage. Wheew!

Flooded, Addendum

Alex (M's dad) came over the next day with a good idea; bust up the concrete between the nearby sewer hole and the sump pump and at least get that hole draining to the pump. This good idea seems to have solved all the trouble; it appears that all the drain tile is sloped to cause the water to head predominantly toward that hole with the intent of it draining to the sewer. However, there is no way for the water to actually get into the sewer. Once he busted the hole through to the sump pump, the water has been draining to the pump and it has been going off very regularly. The floor of the basement is not predominantly dry and the stream of water to the pump is keeping the water level from rising too high. Everything seems like it is fixed and back on track. Last step will be to put a false top on that hole and cover the remainder with hydro-cement to seal it. And, of course, to finish the bathroom so the two holes in there can have the same done to them. But finishing the bathroom …


When M has told me in the past that her basement flooded, I believed her but I had no mental picture in my head. Where I'm from, there are really only two kinds of flooding: man made/accidental and flash floods. Neither of which seemed to correspond with what she was telling me; man-made can usually be drained off to a safe place once it is identified and flash floods tend to come like a freight train and then disappear just as fast. Wednesday night her basement flooded. We didn't know until lunchtime Thursday when I decided to go down and light a small fire to take the chill off. We knew it had been raining fairly steadily for a few days, but we had been down in the basement and hadn't seen any issues, so thought we were in the clear. As I stepped off the last step of the stairs, however, it was readily apparent we were not. The first step, about as far away from the areas that flood as can be, squished from the wetness the rug had absorbed. We quickly grabbed appropriate…

Jim Emerson's 102 Movies to Become Movie Literate

Stolen from Chris by way of Liz:

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (hated the first hour and a half)
The 400 Blows
8 1/2
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
2. Alien (great horror movie that just happens to take place in space)
3. All About Eve
4. Annie Hall (meh, not a fan of Woody Allen)
5. Apocalypse Now (still don't know if this is one of the all-time best or all-time worst movies I've ever seen)
6. Bambi (hated it)
The Battleship Potemkin
7. Blue Velvet (Dennis Hopper at his creepiest)
8. Bonnie and Clyde (little movie that could; was in release for over a year before it really found its audience-- you won't see that happen in theaters any more)
9. Bringing Up Baby
10. Carrie (that ending still makes me jump)
11. Casablanca (an all-time classic)
Un Chien Andalou
Children of Paradise
12. Chinatown (Jack is in nearly every frame of this picture)
13. Citizen Kane
14. A Clockwork Orange (I hope we avoid this future. Some would argue we lived it and have gone well beyond now)
15. The Crying Game (It&…

Garfield Humor

Hopefully I'm not this bad. I do take fashion advice and I rarely go clothes shopping without a qualified female around. It is the only

Workplace Rules

I am the type of person who tells you if you have snot on your nose, food in your teeth, smeared lipstick, dirt, etc. I figure, I would want someone else to tell me so I don't go through the day thinking everything is okay while secretly I have a big something on my face making everyone stare, so why wouldn't another person want to know. Generally, I try to be specific and kind in the way I tell the person, to minimize their embarrassment and allow them to correct the issue as quickly as possible. As I was returning from the bathroom, a woman in front of me was also returning. Her skirt had become tucked into her underwear in such a way so that her bottom and both legs were visible from behind. My first response was to catch her and quietly tell her so that she could fix it before someone else walked up behind her. But, then, I had a sudden glaring rules issue pop into my head: would she consider it sexual harassment? Would it be more embarrassing having it pointed out by a ma…

Sometimes It Works

I decided today to get a new combined cable modem/router. I saw a few when my mother was down shopping for similar and thought it might help with a few issues I've been having with my network setup.

Surprisingly enough, the hardest part was finding the damn modem! I bought the wrong thing at the first store, returned it, and they didn't have the one I wanted for an exchange. So I went online when I got home and figured I would just look at prices and get one when I got back from SJ.

Low and behold, my Best Buy across the street showed it available and in stock. Better yet, they have the In-store Pickup feature. I ordered it, paid for it, and just had to stop by and pick it up.

Got home, plugged everything in, called Cox Communications and spoke with Kevin about the MAC address, etc. and got it all set up.

Then I struggled a bit to figure out from the manual how to set up my wireless protection. Boy, could that use some better technical writing! Finally figured out how to set it up…


What does a teacher do? Educator: teaches our kids reading, writing, arithmetic, history, sociology, sciences, arts. They also teach socialization skills.Babysitter: these kids are out of their parents hair and not roaming the streets being hooligans while at school.Role model: many kids don't know what they want to do with their lives until that one teacher sparks a response and gets them interested in doing something.Mentor: many kids have strained relationships with their parents. Oftentimes, a good teacher can serve the role as mentor, confidante, and parental figure.Lawyer and Law enforcement officer: kids often have behavioral and other socialization skills when they arrive at school. Teachers must educate these kids as to right and wrong, moral implications, and, often, the actual law. Health inspector: teachers are often the first to notice things like malnutrition, child abuse, mental and physical abnormalities, and other problems that children may have or develop. And, wi…

Sadly Ironic

This was the quote that came up on my home page when I logged in this morning:

America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.
- Evan Esar

Children of Men

Children of Men was far superior to most of the "Best Picture" movies that M and I watched in preparation for the Oscars. I found the story taut and enthralling, the acting very natural and unforced, the art direction incredible, and the cinematography involving.

What I particularly liked was that they just set you into this world, one about 20 years in the "future," give you only the basic idea of what that world entails, and then let you work it out as the film progresses. Of course, the fact it is set in the future makes people categorize this as "sci-fi." Which is too bad; had that label not been applied, this film may have had a better box office and chance at awards. With the exception of just a few scenes, this movie could have just been a war story taking place in any embattled city existing today.

The basic plot is that human beings have become infertile. Those women who can get pregnant cannot carry it to term. It has been 18 years since the last …

Not How an MVP Should Play

While I am a Lakers fan through and through, I watch other teams and watch a lot of the playoffs, no matter who is playing.

Last night's Mavericks/Warriors game was an interesting one. I like watching Nowitzki play, so was excited about this game. Dallas came out fast and played hard, getting the early lead, and the arena was jumping. However, Golden State played tough, kept chipping away, and slowly caught up to them.

I had never bought into the "Nowitzki is a soft player" rumors and innuendo until this game. Yes, I had seen some soft play and, yes, he takes way too many fall away jump shots for a seven footer playing against guys 4-6 inches shorter and nowhere near as good with the ball as he is. I just chalked it up to the difference between the European players and how American players are taught the game.

Nowitzki, as the "best player" on the Mavericks and the likely season MVP, should have been leading his team, setting the tempo, and doing whatever he could…