Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

"Going up" or "Growing up", which one?

Drifting... drifting... Ah, so many methods of escape, which should I do tonight, into the wee hours? That is the question! At least, I think that's the question... it could be something else. Like Can you make us laugh? Can you make us cry? Can you make us want to break out in joyous singing?

Almost done with the Lies of Locke Lamora. It's building to a solid, though somewhat conveniently crafted, conclusion. I'll roll seamlessly into book 2, no doubt. That one is called Red Seas Under Red Skies. Beyond that, who knows what I'll read? Perhaps I'll re-read Isaiah yet again! Always get something new to chew on when I read Isaiah. I see you are open for business... so let's go to church!

Been dividing my game time between Battlefield 2 (of course) and Mahjong. BF2 has a tendency to frustrate me more often than not lately, so I've been playing Mahjong Tiles more and more - it's the version that comes bundled with Windows Vista, by the way. You know, in case you were madly curious about which version of Mahjong I was playing. See, it's juicy little tidbits of info like that that keep you all reading this blog. I am 98.92% towards my next BF2 rank, though... maybe 10 more rounds and I'll be there! What then? Heck, I don't know! Post a screenshot, pretend you are all proud of me for such a vacuous accomplishment, and then work on the next rank after that!

Can you say "futility"? I knew you could! Well, to tell you the truth, I lied a little...

OK, here's a funny Cyanide & Happiness comic...
Todayve in History: July 1
- July 1, 1862: The Russian State Library is founded. (In Soviet Union, the books check out you!)

- July 1, 1863: The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg begins. (Like a giant game of Red Rover, but with guns!)

- July 1, 1870: The US Department of Justice formally comes into existence. (The first order of business was to break for lunch.)

- July 1, 1908: SOS is adopted as the international Distress signal. (Before that, it was "Help!")

- July 1, 1968: The CIA's Phoenix Program is officially established. (I lived in Phoenix for a year! I was probably under surveillance the whole time!)

- July 1, 1979: Sony introduces the Walkman. (It's a mystical bond between man and machine.)

Birthdays for July 1 include: Princess Diana, Carl Lewis, Dan Aykroyd and Liv Tyler. In honor of Dan Aykroyd's birthday, here is the trailer for the original Ghostbusters (1984):

I think that film is one of those movies that is better in the remembrance than in the watching. It certainly has it's funny moments, but it also has its fair share of nonsense. Hey, sometimes nonsense hits the spot, eh?

I'm done. You see the padre on your way out, he'll punch your ticket. Jordan fades back, swoosh! And that's the game! Nothing further, your honor...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Will You Please Slap the Glasses Off of My Face? kthxbye

"How do I look," Dave asked, running his fingers through his hair and checking his reflection in a nearby window. His prison grays looked wrinkled, but dignified.

"Beautiful, numbnuts," replied the prison guard. "Get in there."

"I can't believe it's been 18 months already," Dave said to himself, passing through the door and into the room beyond, where the parole board sat, waiting silently, Dave's files open before them. He sat down in the empty chair under the fluorescent lights and waited for them to make the first move. After an uncomfortable silence, the gentleman in the center seat cleared his throat and began to speak. He was cut off by the door slamming open. In strode the warden.

"Good, you're all here. Let's get this nonsense underway." He began to pace the floor between Dave and the parole board.

"Let me state clearly and immediately that this prisoner is a disgrace. He's a selfish, arrogant bastard who isolates himself, alienating me and the rest of the prisoners. He has proven to me from the beginning that he is not committed to staying here, and I think it's high time that he leaves. Simply put, I cannot stomach him anymore, and I advice strongly that you boot his sorry butt out of here, so I can get some peace. He's too hard to deal with and I just can't do it anymore. I won't."

The warden turned and left the room, just as suddenly as he entered. When all was quiet again, the head of the parole board cleared his throat again. "Prisoner, do you know why you were incarcerated in our facility?"

"Yes, sir."

"Do you feel you've paid your debt to society and should be released?"

"No, sir, absolutely not."

"You do not wish to be set free again?"

"Sir, in spite of what the warden said, I am committed to stay here for the rest of my life, and here I would like to stay. I realize I'm not the ideal prisoner, and that I have much to learn, but it will be impossible to learn if I'm kicked out. I must stay. Please, reject my parole and let me remain here, where my heart is. I shall redouble my efforts; this time, I'll prove my worth to the warden, I promise."

The members of the parole board all looked at each other. They nodded as an unspoken agreement was reached between them. The man in the center stamped "Parole Rejected" on the paper stapled to the front of Dave's file.

Of course, it was the only stamp he had brought to the meeting.


A boring Monday crawls to a close, and here I sit, a blog to write, and sorely lacking in inspiration. Nevertheless, I shall plow ahead - it's not like it's a new experience for me. Most of the time I have no clue. I am a wing nut if there ever was one...

Stayed up till 3:30 am last night. So much for the early camp bedtimes straightening out my body clock. I'm back to my old tricks again - and so soon! It's mildly depressing, and make no mistake!

I went into the rug shop today and made a bunch of bookmarks for our first real website customer - a gentleman from Great Falls VA. Schweet. Well, here's hoping we'll get more customers, eh! Then I'll be filthy rich and I'll finally be able to buy that giant clam-shaped bathtub I've always wanted. Or the oversized pool table with the 24 pockets and 100 pool balls. Or that stretch Hummer with the driving range in the back. You know, the basics.

Man, I am just sitting here, staring at my keyboard, my head as empty as my heart. Wish I had done something interesting today, but I didn't. Not that there's nothing going on - I'm sure you can tell that by my not-too-subtle intro.

Guess I better track down a funny video. BRB... ok, time for some low-brow humor.

I know, I know. That video shocked and offended you, and made you lose all respect for me, blah blah blah. What can I say? Poor judgment is my middle name of late.

Funny Picture Time:
I know seeing eye dogs are dedicated, but that's borderline ridiculous, isn't it? What do you suppose that dog was thinking at that moment? I should have a Caption Contest for this one.

I would do Todayve In History, but it's pretty light on choices today. The Tunguska Incident occurred on this day in 1908, but unless you're a meteorologist, you wouldn't care. Buddy Hacket died on this day in 2003, but most of you don't know who he was. Having birthdays today are Mike Tyson, Terry Funk and Yngwie Malmsteen. Raise your hand if you give a krap! Yes, I spelled it with a "k"! I kan do that if I kare to - it's my blogg!

And with that sorry spurt of weak writing, I shall let today's pathetic post fizzle out. Until tomorrow, yadda yadda yadda...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gentlemen, Starch Your Engines!

Sunday is officially over. The work week begins. It hasn't even started yet, and I'm changing plans! I was going to work on the Piranha newsletters from home on Monday, but we had our very first customer buy something from Rug Care Central! Yay! A person bought a bunch of the bookmarks I designed. So I'm going into the rug shop tomorrow to make and mail the bookmarks, and I'll work on the newsletters from the shop instead.

The fam will be at the beach all day, so it's 6 of one, half-dozen of the other.

Shared about camp tonight at church, along with a dozen (or so) other people that went. Lloyd (aka The Man In Charge) wanted about 25 pictures in a mini-slide show that he could narrate tonight, before everyone else shared. Good thing I had so many to choose from! Between Leah and Abbie alone, I had over 1200 pictures! I got pics from Hadassah and Sarah tonight as well, and I'll be getting more from Shannon and Jayson at least... I have a lot of sorting, sifting, cropping, correcting and deleting to do before next Sunday! I'm going to put together a more comprehensive slide show with music for next Sunday.

As I threatened yesterday, here's a video clip of me hurling myself down the slip-n-slide...

And here's a couple pics from my paintball adventure.


Left to right: Rebekah, me (duh), Luke L., Norm L., Zack G. and Brenden G. before battle.


Here's a few of us, right before the third round, which was a free-for-all until all ammo was exhausted. This was fun.


Jeremy L. and I, during the free-for-all. I think I just gave him some of my ammo so he could keep playing - that's why I'm not shooting him at this point.


Rebekah and I - the team MVPs. Dave, open your eyes! All 4 of them! If it bothers you that I put you up here Rebekah, let me know and I'll take this pic down.


Not really much more on my mind to say, really. I'm getting very close to finishing The Lies of Locke Lamora, and equally close to getting my next rank promotion in Battlefield 2. They should both happen in the next 2 days or so. Yanni bought a used copy of Battlefield 2 on Amazon this weekend, so he'll be playing it soon. Can't wait to show him the ropes. Dimitri said he'd be interested in giving it a shot as well - though he admits he's pretty preoccupied with his new PS3 at the moment (can't say I blame him). But who knows? Perhaps the three of us will squad it up in BF2 soon. That would be schweet.

I guess I'm going to call it a night. We'll see what this week brings. Until tomorrow, go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider its ways and be wise!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

You Know, Squeezin' That Watch Won't Stop Time...

"A Six Pack" + "A Pachyderm" = A Sixpachyderm.

Oooh! Custom, handmade lame graphics for tonight's post! Now THAT is dedication!

You know what? I'm not going to complain in tonight's post. Not once. If I go to proof-read this post and see that I complained about something, I'm going to edit it right out and you'll never know! You'll think I'm just so upbeat and happy and full of life today! You will be proud of me! You'll wonder how you can learn to be so sickeningly Pollyanic yourself! "Dave," you'll say... "What, may I ask, is the secret to living such an angst-free, worry-less, emotionally cutting-edge life?" And I shall smile, and say, "Editing, my friend... editing."

And we'll live happily ever after! All of us! Together on a big farm. You get to milk the cows, by the way. I'm not into that. And horses scare me, so someone else needs to care for them. And goats stink, so they're out. In fact, you guys divvy up the chores amongst yourselves - I'll be in my office, drinking a Red Bull on ice and farting around on my computer, 'escaping' like a mad man.

Why did we agree to live on a farm again? Who decided that one? Well, at least the rhutebega's are fresh. Nothing like a fresh rhutebega....

[Edited complaining]

New Appliance Week ended well today. Thursday was New Refrigerator Day, and today was New TV Day. Our old(er) LCD TV had the sound stop working on it. Knowing nothing about fixing TVs, I turned to various sources for advice on where to turn to get it fixed. Being good little fiscal conservatives, they all said it's a waste of time and money to get it looked at and/or fixed, so I should stimulate the economy by buying a new one. I thought that was weak sauce, so I researched how much it would cost to fix, and how much to replace the TV with an exact duplicate. Turns out, it really was going to cost more to fix than replace. While I mulled this over, our back-up TV (one of the old school beasts that was donated to our family by mom) also stopped working.

Well, that settled that. We are now the proud owners of a new LCD TV. My hands were tied, in a way. Considering the staggering amount of TV that is watched by the more feminine members of my family every day, we would not have lasted long without a working set in the house. There would have been deaths, dismemberments, beheadings, disembowelments and forced tracheotomies before 48 hours, I'm sure. Now, we can once again partake of the glorious audio-visual offerings of the sublime America's Next Top Model, and Real Housewives of East St. Louis - only now in stunning 1080p! For the record, if I don't make it out of here, don't put me down for mummification.

Hey, speaking of disembowelments...

Actually, I don't have a tie-in, I just thought it would be funny to say, "Speaking of disembowelments"...

OK, fine, here's a cool video clip for you.

There's a kid with too much time on his hands. He gets to milk that "Merry Christmas" shot all year, man. And now that it's on the internet, he'll feel like a king... and that will likely end up being the highlight of his sad little life. Ah, I am green with envy!

Well, as much time as that kid wasted, it's nothing compared to the time (and video tape) that this next kid wasted filming "trick shots" for the next clip...

Man, that dude is so cool! I mean, like, super swank cool! You can tell by the pretentious music and text. He's so cool he accidentally cryogenically freezes himself on a regular basis. He's so cool, people get hypothermia just watching his video clips. Admit it, you got chills... admit it. Ah, I am green with envy again!

I was reading Patrick Rothfuss' blog today, and he updated his page with his upcoming scheduled appearances. He's the author of the best book I've read in years, The Name of the Wind. Anyway, he'll be in San Diego in late July, at the Comic Con downtown. He'll be speaking on a panel on the Evolution of Fantasy and signing books. Alas, it will take more than an appearance by my current fave author to convince me to go to Comic Con again. I went a bunch of years ago with Johnny Boy and Joseph, and I think I'll pass, thanks. I'm not much for crowds - they give me bowel angst... and anything that contributes to the degradation of my intestinal tract is bad news for anyone near me. Anything I can do to encourage wifey to want to remain in the same room with me is a priority at the moment. Seems I have the rare gift for getting into trouble without even trying. I guess you could call it a gift. Get me Hostage Rescue at Quantico now!

[More edited complaining]

Besides, I'm not all that big on "celebrity worship" and all that. "Ooh! Can I have your autograph!? I just LOVE you! You're so cool! I may faint and lose bladder control!"

Spare me. You can turn off the charm - I'm immune.

Ah, I am green with envy yet again!!!

All right, that's enough juice for now. I think I'm going to call it a night. Until tomorrow, remember, most of the time, all you need is a stick of gum, a pocket knife and a smile.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig.

"White Line" or "Light Wine", which one?

WARNING: This is going to be a mellow post today! Traditional goofiness will return tomorrow!

Greetings, one and all. I have returned. It's been a great week away, actually. The camp was very good, in my estimation. Leaps and bounds better than last year.

It started out on a funny note - my main purpose for being there was to video tape the week, so I could edit together the camp video, which is my custom. I got about 3 minutes into taping on the first afternoon, and then my video camera stopped and gave me a message, saying it needed the heads cleaned. I had no way of performing such a procedure, so video taping was out. Plan B was the old "powerpoint" route, which was nice, because there were tons of other people taking pictures. So I was out of a job... which freed me up to do stuff. Lifted some pressure that I didn't really realize was there.

So I got to relax a lot more, got to do some things I normally wouldn't do, such as play some paintball, participate in the water balloon fight, I even went down the "slip and slide" a few times, on a lark, in my jeans/t-shirt. It was really fun, actually. I think there is video evidence of this... Rebekah and Mrs. D both taped me sliding, I think. When I track it down, I'll post it here, as if anyone would be interested...

Better than the freedom to actually enjoy myself was the fact that I did, in fact, get a lot of my underlying angst straightened out. I feel like I'm in a much better place, if you'll pardon how "touchy-feely" that sounds. There was a lot to think about from the various speakers - I won't say which I liked better than others, because it's moot. What nailed me might not have been for everyone else, and vice versa. My least favorite might have been someone else's fave, so I'll avoid lists.

Another plus: last year's camp theme song (actually, the theme song from the past several camps) is a song that pretty much drives me crazy. Dancing Generation, by Matt Redman. Usually, it is sung at every worship service (or close to it), and it has a way of quickly getting on my nerves. This year, they did play it, but not until this morning, which was the final day. So it didn't bother me at all - even when they played it a second time right after the first. It had been such a good week that it didn't bug me.

I got peppered pretty good with paintball pellets on Thursday. I'd never played before, and it was fun. I just kinda stomped around absorbing and dishing out punishment, eschewing the whole "creeping and hiding" approach that seems so popular. I figure, I'm here to shoot people with paint, and that's what I'm going to do. Mixed results. I'd post pics of my battle wounds, but they are pretty unappealing, so I will spare you. What I don't get is that everyone else seems to get these nice little circular welts where they were hit, but mine get all bruised-looking and multi-colored and extend way beyond the impact zone. I wonder why that is? Maybe I have thin blood or something, I don't know. Or maybe I'm just too pudgy. I didn't really feel the shots at the time of impact - I honestly thought, with three shirts on, that I wouldn't have any marks on me at all when it was over. Took my shirt off and found out how wrong I was. I don't care. I'd do it again in a minute. Ultimately it was fun, when I didn't have to keep surrendering to a bush any more...

I'll gather all the pics and video clips I can this Sunday from everyone and edit together a slide show this week sometime. I'll probably post the results here as well.

Left camp this morning with Daughter #2, and discovered that wifey and my other two daughters were at the beach all day. I figured, there's no need to go straight home, really. So we stopped off at the movie theater in Mira Mesa and watched Pixar's new film "Up" in 3D. We would have seen the regular version, but it didn't start for 90 more minutes and the 3D version started right then. So in we went. The 3D gave me a nice headache, of course, but the film itself is terrific. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. It's absurd, of course, but there are lots of great moments and great characters. My favorites were the dogs with the collars on that enabled them to talk. Funny stuff. The 3D effects were cool, but unnecessary. Not sure they were worth the extra ticket cost.

After the film, we ate some grub, hit up Starbucks (Yay!) and drove the heck home! By that time, my headache had reached that stage where the only solution is an ibuprofen, ear plugs and my comfy chair for 90 minutes. Works every time.

So, I decided to pay to subscribe to that Squarespace site, so Wagnervana Beta is live. I added a link to the side bar to your right. I'm going to continue to flesh it out, and then figure out how to make Wagnervana.com link directly to it. I have to tinker with the page for the webcomic... some of the later, bigger ones don't display big enough to be legible, and the thumbnails leave a little something to be desired as well. I'm going to add my entire devotional up there as well. I love the web-building tools - they are so easy to use. It makes me all warm and happy on the inside.

So our Turkish rug that sold recently at auction was featured in an article again (about the auction itself, actually) at HALI.com. It's so cool to know that such an awesome, talked-about piece had our fingerprints all over it (so to speak). It's like being a part of history, in a way. I tell ya, if we had unloaded it for a couple grand last fall and were seeing that rug now, having sold for what it did, and all the talk about it, it would be a bitter pill indeed. I'm so grateful for the way it played out. Mom and I are going to try and get some more info about the ultimate buyer, but according to the article, it came down to a bidding war between to rug dealers from Milan. How cool is that?

Our refrigerator died while I was away. Yeah, I know certain other famous people died while I was gone also, but their deaths, while sad in their own way, didn't directly effect me. So in our kitchen, as we speak, is a terrific nice new fridge, ready to be spilled on/in and to chill hidden left-overs for weeks on end. It's so big, too! I could sleep in it! I may have to, if I get into so much trouble with the wife that I'm not allowed to sleep on the couch anymore...

I'm about two-thirds through The Lies of Locke Lamora. It's still solid, and fairly well-done. The characters are good, though the flow is still too herky-jerky for my taste. It still bounces back and forth between past and present, and it never ceases to be jarring. I would love to take the time to shred the book and reassemble it in chronological order. But it's worth reading. I think I'll carry enough momentum at the end of this book to move me into Book 2, which I already have (bought books 1 and 2 at the same time, back in Albuquerque). Should give me plenty of time to read both, before Best Served Cold comes out at the end of July.

I mentioned before that I bought Scrabble for the DS. It has officially angered me. It has a fairly devastating bug. It has some fun little side games you can play to hone certain skills, but I much prefer to play full games against a tough computer opponent. In this game, I can play against a tough computer opponent, and it can give me a hard time - until I get a bingo (use all 7 letters, getting a 50 point bonus). When I get a bingo word, the computer resets itself to the easiest level and finishes the rest of the game doing 2 or 3 letter words, for 2 to 5 points at a pop. It either stomps me or turns into a toddler. It's frustrating. It can drop 7-letter words all over, but when I do it, suddenly it's lobotomized. Lame, lame, lame.

Well, I told you tonight's post was going to be mellow and boring. That's just how I feel tonight. It's been a great week. I know it's more entertaining to read my hot air when I'm in a manic mood, but for now, this is all you get! No videos, no funny pictures, no movie quotes, no daily trivia... see? I can be normal too!

Well, who knows what tomorrow holds? Until then, remember... um... hmm... what was I supposed to remember again?

Monday, June 22, 2009

See You On Friday

Adios y'all. I'm heading out. I'm all in a frazzle, since a last-second project from a client of mine monopolized all of my last minute running around time. I just know I'm forgetting something.

Here's a Funny Picture for you.

The sign is computer code for "See you in a week."


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Soup's On!

Blah, blah, blah. I should call this my "blahg" instead of a "blog"... A good blog is like a good soup, I think. Nothing like sitting down to a nice, hot, yummy bowl of soup! You stir the spoon, the steam rises, the goodies that have settled to the bottom make a quick appearance, surfacing like dolphins for a quick breath before diving back down again. A bowl of liquid love. There's canned soup, and there's homemade soup... and there's experimental recipes... My "soups" have a lots of stuff thrown in... mostly whatever's left over at the end of the day. You're eating my leftovers! And yes, this soup is steamy... because it's mostly hot air....

My kids make me happy. Truly, I appreciate a long list of things in my life, but very few things on that list truly make me happy. I don't know if they are joined on that short list by anything/anyone else really. Everyone/Everything else comes with so much baggage, both spoken and unspoken, obvious and subtle. My kids are so clear cut, and they each genuinely make my heart smile. Sorry, it was Father's Day Proper today, so my kids are much on my mind, I hope you'll indulge me.

I should record the average conversations I have with Maggie (my 3 year old) and play them here. Or save them up in an archive. Just kicking back, chatting about stuff. How so many different topics can be seamlessly woven into a single conversation, I don't know. Perhaps that's why I do the same here in these posts (well, except the "seamless" part...) - I learned it from Maggie. We laugh and tell silly jokes, we talk about serious things like what makes us angry and why we like to be happy instead, and we tell each other "I love you more", "No, I love you more", and we squeeze each other and smooch each other's cheeks and take turns wearing my hat/glasses. We share headphones - one ear each. We play games together on the "com-poo-tee-err". I can't describe to you what it does for me. And when she comes out with one of my goofy sayings, out of the blue, and it fits the situation, I feel like I'm on top of the world.

I don't know what I'd do without any of them.

Of course, it's not 100% sunshine and roses - I mean, it is real life, you know. There are the puzzlements and aggravations, the things about them I'll likely never understand. I mean, honestly, I hate to bring this up again, but apparently there is a cable channel that, on weekends, will play back-to-back episodes of America's Next Top Model, I mean, all day long. They cannot get enough of that show. They love it to no end, all 4 of them. I am truly baffled. I try to bond with them, as a group, by sitting and watching it with them, but I have yet to make it past, say, 8 minutes. The females are all petty airheads who all cry throughout the show. The guys are all gay, and especially one of the hosts of the show, a big black guy who apparently think he's a woman, wears woman's clothing and make-up, struts around like he's a supermodel, the most over-the-top, self assured, in your face be-all-end-all diva homosexual you've ever seen. Yeah, I know, we're all supposed to be progressive and let people "be who they are", I get it. But I'm sorry, it never ceases to strike me as just plain wrong. A man should not act like that, on TV or in public, period. OK, fine, be gay, whatever. I'm not saying being gay should be illegal. But friggin be a dude. You're not a woman, stop pretending you are, stop playing dress-up, stop being catty and painting your fake nails and wearing women's clothing and prancing about like a horse in ballet slippers and a wig.

I'm sorry. I just don't think it's cool. My gut says, "Stop it, you moron. Be a man." It's like The Emperor's New Clothes. I cannot watch it, and I cannot believe anyone else could watch it, much less eat it up like my family does. "Oh, dad, you just don't get it! I love him, he's hilarious." Yeah, real funny.

OK, I'm done venting.

I've come to a decision about camp. You know I live to entertain you all, and I'd hate to test your loyalty, but I think I'm going to take a break for camp. Before I leave for camp Monday afternoon, I'll pop on here and post a quickie, and then it will be Friday night before I post again. I really think I should focus this week at camp. I feel like I've slowly been pulled and stretched the past year or so, and I feel near a breaking point in many areas of my life. If I have a chance this week to make some breakthrough's and come to some understandings about certain things, I need to grab it now, before I run out of chances, and cave in completely. It's not like blogging every day is particularly hard for me - heck, you all know how long-winded I can be. I can write a thousand words, no problem, even when I feel like I have nothing to say. Yet I think I'll take this week to focus, without distraction, with the hopes that some deep-level shifting and modification can take place. Otherwise, y'all may be visiting me in the loony bin instead of in here.

I would delve into some of the problem areas, but I don't want to depress you, I want to entertain you! Like today's Funny T-Shirt of the Day!

Meh, you're right. Funny doesn't quite work today, sorry. I mean, it's funny, but not as funny as it would have been in another context. I shouldn't have wasted it on today's post...

Context is everything, really. In the grand scheme, I have nothing to complain about. In many ways, my life is great, I live like a king. Great house, steady work, wonderful kids, two cars (one paid off, the other close to it), wonderful weather, healthy family, no chronic pain, good friends, a nice church, no enemies (that I know of), lots of cool readers for my blog, plenty to occupy me. But it's the little unseen things, the things that poke at you in the same place, day after day, poke poke poke, and after a while, you get driven to your wits' end, "great" life notwithstanding. I think that's common to everyone, in whatever state they live in. How to deal with the little things before they drive you to drink or insanity or regretful action.

Poke poke poke. It hurts after a while. You get poked lightly in the same spot ten thousand times, and you're apt to freak out. Then someone on the outside looks in and says "Man, what went on here?" Then you poke them a couple times, and they go, "That? That's what he freaked out about? Man, what a wuss." Context is everything.

OK, enough pseudo-psychological nonsense. Sorry, Father's Day has had a strange effect on me today, both in contemplating my kids, and contemplating the collection of fathers and father-figures in my own life. A mixed bag, emotionally. Kinda did a number on me.

So I'll be going away for a week, and hopefully coming back a different/better person. I still anticipate being goofy and random enough to be worth peeking in on now and then, so fear not. I'm not going to come back a raging religious nut or suddenly-serious-as-death stick in the mud. Just hoping to get some under-the-radar things in better order.

Well, sorry for the out-of-sorts post today. Until tomorrow, this fellow traveler, signing off.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Besides, We Both Know I'm Training to be a Cage Fighter...

"Sand Castle" or "Canned Sassle," which one?

OK! I admit it! I sniped today! Geez, back off already! What can I say? I like to plink away at people from a distance with my .50 cal sniper rifle, and then giggle when they flop over from a 300+ yard head shot! I like to drop claymore mines in hidden places near control points so that later, as I'm off on a rooftop somewhere, I'll get the notice in the corner of the screen that my claymore just blew up some clueless enemy dolt! I love the little "whit whit whit" sound that my silenced handgun makes! I admit it! What so wrong with that, I ask? What's wrong with dealing psuedo-death from afar in a PC game full of other no-life dweebs like myself? Heck, we have to do something with our time, you know! I don't like Anime or macrame, so those two nerd pastimes are out. So that, my friend, means haunting the rooftops, dealing unexpected, long-distance death (that lasts 10 seconds until respawn).

That's the lamest excuse I've ever heard! That's totally non-sequitary!

Wagnervana is slowly taking polished form. I think tomorrow I'll link to it so you can tell me what you think of the layout and color scheme. Right now, I'm mostly getting the look right and the structure in place - which means predominently content-less pages. Oh, what the heck... here is the link, if you're interested. I hope you're interested, because when I switch to that site, I'm going to have to abandon this eBlogger link... unless I can find the feature that will let me post here as usual, and have it automatically update it on my website as well... if I can do both, I will.

I keep getting more and more ideas for my site. Man, it's gonna be fun!

Had an incredible steak dinner tonight, home cooked. We bought some steaks and grilled them up in the backyard. Warmonger Smurf would have been proud. We used a dry rub on them, and had grilled portobello mushrooms and carrots as well. In fact, I took a picture! Here it is!

Believe it or not, I couldn't finish the steak, it was too big. But I did have seconds of mushrooms and carrots. It was so good, I did the Happy Dinner Dance before I even took the first bite! And then, three bites in, I did a never-before-seen combination of the Happy Dinner Dance and the Victory Dance. Then I improvised a Father's Day Meal Shuffle as well... anything to entertain the 3 year old...

Well, at least I wasn't served this unnamed culinary salvo... Extremely dangerous. Keep out of reach of children. Cool!

I hesitate to tell you what's on it... does the term "cruel and unusual punishment" mean anything to you? It's a pizza crust with Thousand Island Dressing as the sauce, with a family-sized bag of chicken fingers and an entire can of bacon bits, covered with slices of mozzarella cheese. And there was silence in Heaven for the space of half an hour...

I got some nice gifts for Father's Day from my family! I got the DS version of Scrabble, which is sweet. I got a nice green golf shirt and a new black hat. And a subscription to a magazine called Game Informer. Looks like a cool mag, though it does spend a good percentage of time talking about console games, which I'm not big into. Sorry Joseph.

Well, in honor of our upcoming church camp, I will play a video of some poor camper getting launched into orbit on a "blob" and her painful reentry. They had one of these at the camp I went to a few years back, in Indiana, and we launched Yanni really high that year... but nothing like this...

Houston, we have a problem...

We won't have a blob (or a lake, for that matter) at our So-Cal campsite this year, but we will have bad food! So we have some weight gain to look forward to. That's ok... according to this article, chubby people live longer than thin people... so if I still want to die early, I'm going to have to hit the gym. Life sure is a paradox, ain't she? You've been in the corps long enough to know that!

Making more progress into The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch last night. I just assumed that "Locke Lamora" was the name of a place for some reason, but it's actually the name of the main character. The author does this wierd thing where he jumps around in time. First Locke is 6, then he's 8, then 6 again. Then he's 24, then back to 8... only this time when he's 8, he's telling a story of something that happened back when he's 6. Then he's 24 again. All over the place, it's hard to keep track. Kind of like how 21 Grams was filmed - only it seems to work better in a movie than in a book. Kind of annoying. Anyway, Locke is this orphan who's a master thief/pickpocket as a youth, and then grows up to be a full-blown conman. Meh, it's ok. Well-enough written, but the pacing is really slow, and it has an awful lot of needless filler, as far as describing the setting. It's a fine art, the balance... knowing how much description is enough, vs. too much.

You know what? I don't think I fully updated the movie quote scoreboard from yesterday... better go back and double-check. Oh, that's great, blame the little guy. How original.

I think I'm going to pull the plug tonight. Thank you all for stopping by. Until tomorrow, remember, if we continue down this road, there will be a third world war.

Current Book: The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
Current Movie: The Toy (better than I remembered)
Current Music: Switchfoot (Beautiful Letdown is a terrific album, as is Learning To Breathe)
Current Snack: Black Licorice Bits
Current Progress Toward Next BF2 Rank: 97.34% (I need another 1,330 global points)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Great. Now I Can Get Rid of My Few Remaining Teeth.

"Friday" or "Fried Egg," which one?

You've got a lot of repressed feelings, don't you Friday?

Yeah, I'm tired... that's why today's "which one" is so weak. I've got this sinus thing going and so my head feels kind of thick and achy. I used to get this sort of head-cold thing once a year, but it's been a couple years now since my last bout. It's no big deal, really, except with a nose my size, once it starts a'runnin', you better look out! I just hope it clears up by the time camp rolls around on Monday. Basically, it burns the eyes, lungs and throat, causes vomiting and if continuously inhaled, death.

Spent most of the afternoon today tinkering with the Square Space web designing tools, working on a Wagnervana beta, just to see what it can do. I'm not quite ready to link you to it yet, but it's been a lot of fun, tinkering with themes, colors, fonts, columns, links, etc. It's so easy, a 4 year old child could understand it! (Run out and find me a four year old child, I can't make head nor tail out of it!) Maggie will be 4 in October... guess I could wait until then...

I was able to quickly and easily import this blog directly into the website, comments and all, which surprised even me. It's so easy to add pages and photo galleries and blogs and videos and it's all customizable and looks great. Anyway, once I get it fleshed out more, I'll link it here. I think I'll talk to Orion about it tomorrow - he's been looking for someone to design him a new site for his business, but wasn't happy with the quotes he was getting. Seems like a good solution for him as well. Didn't hear back from Josh yet with his take on it. Hope I didn't offend him in any way.

Better break up the monotony of today's post with a Funny Picture...

Who's gonna win, eh?

Well, true, it wasn't so much a funny picture, per se, as it was a cool picture. Sorry for the false advertising... Well, I guess I'll redeem myself by posting the Gutbuster of the Day, from This Is Why You're Fat. Give people what they want, then later you can give them what you want...

It's called The Pizzurger, and basically it's a Double Whopper from Burger King, with a slice of pizza between each patty. Guaranteed to produce world-class indigestion, and gas that will kill all the termites in your home. That dog in the background is a classic. Reminds me of the seagulls in Finding Nemo... "Mine?"

Family Beach Day #1 was a wash today. It was cold and overcast, while here in Escondido (further inland), it was nice and sunny. So they left early, and came home to hang out at the pool for a couple hours instead. Then they all went off to church for Worship Practice (you have to practice worship, you know!), and apparently had something happen, to which I am not privy. All I know is that Daughter #2 came in and said, "Don't go out there. They're arguing." And that was 45 minutes ago... Wifey and Eldest Daughter are still "out there"...

Other than that, not much to report today. Guess I'll go to the old fallback and post a funny video clip now... tonight, I pander to the soccer (*ahem* football) fans in the audience... Are there any Paraguayans here?

Cool special effects.

Well, to round out the ol' tried and true blog crutches, I now give you...

Todayve In History: June 20
- June 20, 1782: The US Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States. (That was back when it was still legal to adopt seals.)

- June 20, 1840: Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph. (You can always telegraph by the lines and points...)

- June 20, 1877: Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Ontario Canada. (His first call was to the local talk radio program, to brag.)

Celebrating birthdays today are Errol Flynn, Audie Murphy, John Goodman and Nicole Kidman. Thought I'd keep it "all Hollywood" with the birthdays today... although *one* of those listed is also the most decorated US Combat Soldier in history, and his grave is the second most-visited grave at Arlington, next to JFKs... I'll let you figure out who it is. (HINT: It isn't Nicole Kidman...)

Guess I'm going to call it a night. Until tomorrow, remember, I can't control her any more than I can control the weather...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Was Wondering if You Could Belch Again For Me.... Just Like Old Times...

Greets, y'all! Every last one of you! I won't name you all, since then there really will be a "last one of you," and you'll feel badly for being listed last. And I never purposely offend anyone, if I can help it. Even wifey, though she is fun to annoy sometimes. But when it comes down to it, it's in my best interest that wifey is in the best possible mood at all times. Makes my life easier, and ever-so-slightly increases the near-nonexistent chances that we might-- oops, sorry. Family blog, nevermind.

Although listing you all by name might be beneficial... I mean, in yesterday's comments, I asked where Grace had gone (cuz Grace rocks!)... lo and behold! She resurfaces with a great lengthy comment! Perhaps if I ask where everyone that has ever left a comment on my blog has gone, by name, then the server will crash due to the volume of sudden comments I will get! I'll even ask where Joe Abercrombie has gone! Maybe he'll materialize and leave another comment!

That was so cool... back on my February 4th post, I was wondering out loud whether I should read Book Two in Abercrombie's First Law series or a book called The Briar King by some other author, and Joe Abercrombie left a comment with his opinion. That was back when it was just me, Havah, Joseph and my mom floating around here, with occasional appearances by a couple others... the big man himself, dropping a comment into my obscure blog! That comment made my day. Too cool.

Yeah, yeah, I know... my "brushes with greatness" leave a little to be desired. True, it wasn't the Pope, I get it. But Abercrombie is a great author with strong story-telling abilities, and I admire that. So you'll have to pardon me for thinking it was cool that a semi-famous published author left a comment for little ol' me!

Though I might as well bring up the issue of profanity in Fantasy Literature again. The First Law series is saturated with it, as is GRR Martin's work, and now Scott Lynch's book. I picked up Lynch's first book last night and started reading it... The Lies of Locke Lamora. It hooked me pretty good, and I'm quite into it so far (which is a nice change from my last couple attempts), but it has frequent F-words as well.

Now, I'm certainly not a prude - heck, Snatch is one of my favorite movies, and it is one long F-word-saturated script, so I can overlook it when it seems to fit. But these are FANTASY worlds, with crazy names, magic, wild creatures, fabricated languages, races and histories... all of this is created whole-cloth! Make up some new swear words already! It kind of kills immersion in a fantasy world for the language to be dragged into ours. Am I to believe that knights, magicians, dragon-slayers, nobles, villains, heroes and sailors of all these fabricated worlds would evolve the same profanity? Mix it up a bit, man! You create new versions of everything else!

OK, that's off my chest.

Here's a new combo for ya... BBQ sunflower seeds and a Red Bull Cola. The verdict? The Red Bull Cola kinda sucks. Always loves me some seeds. But it's been forever since I ate them! They're fun and annoying, all at the same time! A microcosm of real life!

Enough nonsense - time for a Funny Picture...

Well, that's one way to take a self portrait...

So I was looking online today for a new blog theme to download and try... I started a blog for our Rug Shop and wanted something unique, and eBlogger doesn't come with as many options as I like. Anyway, I came upon a site called Squarespace.com that looks amazing. This is not a commercial for them yet - I haven't tried it out yet. But with their tools, you can easily (so it seems) build a website, blog or online portfolio, and it looks incredibly robust and customizable. Perfect for the site I want to build for myself at Wagnervana.com. The feedback on it I see elsewhere is very supportive, and the examples of sites that use it is amazing.

Anyway, if it works out, I may use it to build sites for clients, if it ever comes to that. Granted, it's a template-based website builder, so there are bound to be some limitations as far as what you can build, versus what a traditional from-scratch site builder (like Josh Wood) can do. But it seems user-friendly and easy to tinker with, and that's right up my alley (as painful as that may sound). I want to get a professional's opinion of it, so I emailed Josh Wood about it today. We'll see what he has to say. But I'm excited about it. You can easily import pre-existing blogs into the template, so I can import this one into Wagnervana when the time comes. It also lets you embed shopping cart software, in case I want to ruin our friendships by making you buy funny T-shirts I design...

Like this one...

Come on, that's funny... I didn't design it, though. Mine will be funnier...

WARNING: This next video may not be appropriate for Dave-O, since it involves a cat making a full-grown Rottweiler look like a pansy. Viewer discretion is advised.

And now, Chess News: The other day, in the midst of my biannual funk, I lamented the fact that I lost - nay, got spanked - in a game of computer chess, with the computer set on the easiest possible difficulty level. I emerged feeling less than a man - in fact, I felt like that Rottweiler in the clip, right after he got mauled by that cat. Well, yesterday I was feeling good - too good, in fact. I needed to be humbled again, so I fired up the chess game, furrowed my brow, and went on the attack. Ladies and gentlemen, I emerged victorious! I beat that easiest level, though it cost me almost all of my pieces to do it! I managed not only to keep my queen this time, but I somehow managed to get a pawn across the board and get a second queen! At that point, I was only 2 cheat codes away from conquering! After my victory, I stood up on my desk, removed my shirt, and let out a battle cry! Of course, the neighbors called the cops and I had some explaining to do, but after they left, I rejoiced in my victory, and had a hearty meal of undercooked lamb's leg and several pints of dark ale. Then my wife kicked me in the groin. THE END.

Celebrating birthdays today are, Charles Spurgeon, Moe Howard, Guy Lombardo, Lou Gherig and Paula Abdul. I'll let you figure out the connection... it is insidious, to say the least...

Family is going to hit the beach tomorrow. No, I don't mean they're going to fall off the pier near the shoreline, sheesh! Why would I want that to happen! They could get hurt! It will be the inaugural trip of Summer 2009. I will be home trying desperately to work, rather than play Battlefield 2 (just one more round!) or go out to the movies to finally see Star Trek. Tomorrow, I test my latest theory that, in spite of the admonitions against it in Proverbs, I am nothing but a lazy SOB. Strength, Dave! Strength! Stand tall, man!

And Church Camp is coming, as of Monday. Still undecided about trying to update the blog from the camp grounds. I'll talk to Lloyd about it Sunday. I could tell him that I will need my laptop to capture the video footage I take each day, in an effort to get a head-start on editing the camp video... That's partially true. The problem is I'd probably have to tote it around with me everywhere so it doesn't get pinched from my room while I'm out and about! I mean, how can I trust all those people, just cuz I've known them forever and they are Christians! Abbie, Vye, Shannon, Laythe.. I mean, any of them could be capable of all manner of nefarious crime! I just can't trust them! I can't!


OK, fine, I trust you all! Here, I'm gonna fall backwards now, out of my chair, and one of you catch me, ok? Ready?

I do believe this is the point where I give in to the realization that I have absolutely nothing worth saying left in me for today. Until tomorrow, remember, just because there are no movie quotes in today's post doesn't mean you shouldn't Google every sentence anyway... MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You Know, I Bet I Could Fry an Egg on your Head Right Now, if I Wanted To...

Nope, not a clue. Not a blasted idea. Absolutely nothing. The Empty Set. Null and void and everything in between.

THAT, my dear friends, is what I have in my mind to write about tonight. So, I will just begin to type, and we shall all see together where it ends up... think of it as a literary adventure. Let's all take hands here, and form a chain, and together we can circumnavigate, traverse and otherwise cross this great ideological morass. I found it, I did! A way through the marshes... Orcs don't use it. Orcs don't know it... they go around for miles and miles... you may ask, "Dave, how is this any different than every other night?"

Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages... English and bad English. Well, it's a good, reasonable question! I guess it ain't any different!

I've discovered something interesting about the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. They ain't as good as I remembered that they were. I've read the first six so far, and I have found them quite lacking. I don't know whether to keep reading them or launch into The Lies of Locke Lamora or give Sword of Shannara another try... what do you read, my lord?

I went to the book store today to see if Best Served Cold was out yet - I thought it was supposed to be out mid June for some reason. But, nope, it won't be out until the very end of July. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. I should post pictures of my shelves full of books, and color-code them in Photoshop, so at a glance you and I can both see which ones I've read, which ones I haven't read, which ones I started but didn't finish, which ones I have read more than once, and which ones I bought because they look impressive but I have no intention of ever reading. I keep those books in an effort to impress my wife, in the hopes that she'll like me someday... Actually, the only thing that impresses her is really aggressive driving. Which means I'm sunk.

I came to a Battlefield 2-related realization today as I studied my stats... other than my next increase in rank, there is really not much else, as far as achievements, that I will likely ever earn. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of badges, medals and ribbons I haven't earned, but I'm trying to be realistic. The odds that I will get almost any of the remaining ones are slim.

Since I know you are dying for a list, here it is. I aims to please...
- I'm 95.84% toward earning the Sergeant Major rank. Odds: It's a lock. Easy-peasy. Gimme a week.

- I need 33 more knife kills to get my Expert Knife Badge. Odds: Pretty good. Should take me about a month. I've been getting 1 or 2 a night lately.

- I need to run over 5 people in one round to get my Veteran Transport Badge. Odds: Meh. If I focus on it exclusively, I think I could do it. That's a big maybe.

- I need 20 kills in one round combined from the mounted machine gun or TOW missile to get my Expert Ground Defense Badge. Odds: Slim. It's very difficult. Maybe on a marathon round where I can shoot down 10 attack choppers (1 pilot & 1 gunner each) with the TOW, maybe. But it would be lucky. I am a stud on the TOW though.... so you never know...

That's it, really. The rest of them are either impossible, or would take many rounds of focused effort on my part to try and obtain them, and after a while, it becomes work and not play. I want to enjoy the game. If you want to see all the awards I will not be winning, go to my stats page, and scroll down to the Awards section. Put your cursor over each award and it will tell you what would be required to earn it. Then you can scoff at my abject mediocrity.

Wow, how "scraping the bottom of the barrel" does it get when discussing meaningless statistics in an obscure game can take up so much air time? I mean, does making a man a knight make him a better fighter? Well, we all have our passions, I suppose. Mine is PC Gaming. And whining. And history...

Todayve in History: June 18
- June 18, 1812: The War of 1812 begins as the US Congress declares war on Great Britain and Ireland. (There was nothing good on TV that night, so they though, "Hey, why not?")

- June 18, 1873: Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election. (It was an honest mistake... no one told her the election wasn't until November...)

- June 18, 1908: The University of the Philippines was established. (An honorary degree to the inventor of lumpia! Mmmmmm!!!!)

- June 18, 1930: Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute are held. (They were more civil than the windbreaking ceremonies held later that night...)

- June 18, 1940: Winston Churchill delivers his famous "Finest Hour" speech. (He misspoke... it was supposed to be a bread recipe which called for "our finest flour"...)

Let's see if I can't find a Funny Picture for ya...
The ol' "Levitating Cork Trick." Yawn. That is soooo 2004.... Man, you just can't find a decent, modern cat magician anymore... the last good one was Furry Houdini...

I just discovered that when you think you've scraped the bottom of the barrel, look again, because you can usually find another lame joke in there somewhere! "Furry Houdini"... what was I thinking...? You have my profuse apologies... I know, I can hear you now... "You think that by saying 'I'm sorry,' all the past can be corrected?" No, I most assuredly do not.

Well, I could always default to the "cute animal" video clip... here's one where a guy is teaching a baby wolf to howl...

Oh, come on... you gotta admit, that was pretty cute...

Well, if that didn't do it for you, try this article over at IGN that discusses the 25 Worst Wrestling Gimmicks of All Time. They've got descriptions, pictures and even video clips! Hours of fun reliving all those weak wrestling memories from your childhood! All those weekend afternoon hours spent watching wrestling, the Monday Night Wars, renting all the VHS wrestling tapes, practicing moves on your little brother, rooting for Hulk Hogan, even when he turned heel...

Wait... you weren't a wrestling fan? Well, okay then!

Another Rug Shop Day slated for tomorrow. Let's see if I can get to bed at a decent hour tonight (as opposed to an indecent hour, I guess) so I can wake up at a decent hour and get into work at a decent hour. Well, it's a good thing I'm such a decent guy!

Oh, man, that reminds me... I could REALLY go off on a theological rant right here, but I think I'll save it for another day. Pull in those reins, Davey Boy... Whoa, boy! Don't go there just now...

Whew, that was close.

My 20th High School Reunion is about a week away. I'm about 99% sure I will not be attending. I hope it's a great event and well-attended and all, but I think I'll pass. If I go, I'll have to bring wifey, who is SOOO not into it. I'll have to guard my every word and move, lest she think I'm trying to rekindle some old high school flame or something. It would be a dazzling evening full of the most exquisitely uncomfortable pins and needles! And I certainly couldn't go alone and expect to ever hear the end of it. Besides, there's really no one there I feel an overly strong urge to reconnect with face to face. I've become "friends" with a handful of my old classmates on Facebook, and that's pretty much good enough for me. I think I'll stay home and get some knife kills in BF2...

Well, I suppose I'll pull the plug tonight. Not bad for a guy that had absolutely nothing to talk about, eh? Good luck with the Movie Quotes. Until tomorrow, remember, if you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Eel Doesn't Get Her. I'm Explaining it to You Because You Look Nervous...

Question: Which would be more cruel? A man starving to death, with no access to food or hope of any showing up any time soon, or a man starving to death with access to a spread of nice food - food that he has every right to be eating, but is nevertheless prevented from eating by the chef?

Gee, a thinly-veiled analogy! Bitter much, Dave, hmm?

I have a killer headache right now. The usual prescription is an ibuprofen, ear plugs, a light blanket, and my recliner, for about 90 minutes. That's where I'm heading after I finish this (likely-brief) post. I'd turn in for the evening (even though it is early), but I have to go get Eldest Daughter from work when she calls at 1 am tonight. Unlike Paula's daughter, mine has absolutely no interest in getting her drivers license, even though she is 19 years old. Hey, I'm not complaining - it can only be a plus to keep her from having to deal with the crazy drivers out here for as long as possible. Toting her around is a small price to pay, I think.

I waited until 18 to get my license. Had 2 single-car accidents in that first year, both on windy mountain roads. No biggie, either one, thankfully... but only because there was no oncoming traffic in either case.

I did have one occasion that I can't explain in any way other than Divine Intervention. I was 19, and drove up to LA in my very first car to go with a couple friends to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Left really early, drove up, spent the day in the heat with the crowds, had a mediocre time, and drove back late. As I was nearing home (after about 3 hours driving, it was well after midnight) I was heading up the windy I78 stretch going up to Ramona, and I began to nod off. I mean, the caffeine wore off and someone pulled the plug. I didn't want to pull over to the side of the road on the mountain, since I didn't think it would be safe, but I knew I could not drive much longer...

I cranked the music, opened the windows, sang as loud as I could, shook my head, anything I could do to stay awake for the remaining 15 or 20 minutes it was going to take to get home. By this time, I was hallucinating, seeing vehicles that were not there, my head was spinning. I got almost all the way up the hill, and I know - I KNOW - I fell asleep. I could take you to the very spot where I realized it was too late, I was gone. It lasted a split second. My head dropped to my chest (as I was driving), then snapped back up. It was as if someone had slapped me. I went from sleep to crisply wide awake in an instant. I mean, I was wide awake, all exhaustion fled in an instant, all while I was driving. I easily made the rest of the drive, in stunned silence, trying to figure out what had happened. It was as if I had slept soundly for a split second.

I can take you right to the spot, and show you the tree I should have hit in the curve right ahead. You know how sometimes you think, "Man, if I could just go back in time to a certain point and do things differently, I would." Maybe God does that sometimes. Maybe events happen, tragedies occur, ramifications spread out farther than He thought, and He just pauses time, hits the rewind button, goes back to a certain time, and starts it up again, changing things. Maybe this was one of those times. Perhaps He does that in our lives all the time, who knows. I'll never understand why He lets certain things happen when they cause so much pain... but perhaps He also prevents 10 times as many similar events from happening, and we'll never know it.

Anyway, I can think of no other logical explanation for that drive home. I could not stay awake, and I couldn't pull over, and I know I faded completely, I felt it happen, and I was powerless to stop it. And an instant later, like a slap, I was wide awake. It's one of the events in my life I can point to as proof that God exists - and that He was looking out for me.

In any case, that's that.

I'm going to consider this to be the end of Part One. I need to go rest a bit. I'll get back on tonight and edit some more stuff in - I have more to talk about. Until then, to be continued...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Can Say 'Hello' in a Lot of Different Languages. Not Yours, but a Lot of Them...

"A crushing blow" or "a blushing crow", which one?

I learned something tonight. No matter how great a nice big plate of spaghetti tastes, it is NEVER a good idea to follow that up with a second nice big plate. Big mistake. *urp* I have a long night ahead of me! Let that be a lesson to you all! One of my purposes in life is to serve as an example to you all on what *not* to do. With that in mind, if any of you need indirect relationship advice, let me know... or wait and watch the movie they make of my life. I wonder who they'll get to play me? Perhaps Harland Williams is available...

And now, story time...

Once upon a time, Dave lived with his wonderful family in a wonderful house, in a wonderful city. He loved his kids more than anything. His kids were smart and beautiful, and very proud of the dishes in their kitchen - the haphazard collection of chipped plates and bowls, mismatched cups and plasticware, and coffee mugs with all manner of "funny" sayings on them. The pans and pots, most with scrapes and digs on their surface, from using the metal spatulas when they weren't supposed to, and with crud still stuck around the handle like petrified wood. And the drawer full of little plastic lids that have been collected over the years - their matching cheap plastic cups having long since been thrown out! And the collection of singed oven mits.

They were so proud of these cupboards full of odds and ends that they tried their level best to display them for anyone entering the kitchen to see! Dave's house was a house of love. The end.

At least, I that's the best reason I can come up with to explain why every time I walk into the kitchen, every cupboard door and half the drawers are open! And sometimes, the dishwasher door, the fridge and/or the oven door is open as well!

Perhaps it's a calculated act of misdirection, in order to distract my attention from the fact that they think the kitchen floor is a perfectly acceptable substitute for the trash can.

Well, at least the faucet doesn't drip anymore... it used to drive me crazy while I tried to sleep each night on the nearby couch...

Today was not only a Rug Shop Day for me, but it was a rare variation of Take Your Family To Work Day as well. This variation consists of us all driving into the shop, dropping Dad off to try and get some work done, and then the rest of the family continues on to the Mall - or as it's known in our house, "that place that is temporarily storing shoes, clothing and an occasional electronic gadget for us." It is really nice of the mall to store our "to-be-purchased" items for us like that. Every day, we go over there and retrieve some of it... you'd think that a woman that hates doing laundry as much as wifey does would try to keep from exponentially increasing our collection of it...

Well, I do my part to cut down on laundry... by wearing the same jeans at least 7 days in a row. I'll change everything else daily, but real men can squeeze at least a week out of each pair of jeans before they need cleaning. Sometimes more. The only things that get washed less often are my hats - or as I like to call them, the lazy man's hairstyle. It's odd that I would call them that, since a word can't get much easier to say than "hat". If you'd like to research that, check with Dr. Suess.

That reminds me: Why hasn't someone put a bullet into the head of Ahmadinejad yet? I like Michael Savage's idea - wait till that little Anti-semite is giving a speech and introduce a nice Tomahawk missile into the performance. I'm sorry, I know I'm supposed to be a "turn the other cheek" Christian type, but I can't help it - some people deserve to be reduced to a fine, red mist. I knew a man once who said, "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."

Boy, look at me, rambling on, and I haven't even posted a funny picture or video clip yet! What's wrong with me?

Fine, here's a Funny Picture for you. ("For you" not "of you"! Sheesh!)

"Mama, when are you going to tell Rover that he's adopted?"

OK, I've just decided. First, I'm going to wedge a grape really far up one nostril. Then I'll have wifey take me to the emergency room. I'll explain to them through tears and wailing that I just loved the smell of the grapes so much that I wanted to get a really good whiff. I'll thrash about so much as they try to remove it that I'll have to be sedated and strapped down. And then, once the grape is out and I'm in the recovery room, drifting off, I'll say, "Wait... I didn't tell you where the peaches are..." Then I'll pass out. I'll have wifey video tape the whole thing, I'll upload it to YouTube, and embed the video here, so you can all watch it and laugh! I made it, Ma! Top of the world!

Man, the things I do to entertain you! Sheesh! Well, I was trained by the best. British intelligence. But in retrospect, I would rather have been a poet... or a farmer.

Well, I don't just entertain; I educate as well. Here's a clip demonstrating the proper way to steal ice cream from a child.

Remember back in the day, when it used to be called "iced cream" instead of "ice cream"? Remember? Yeah, that was cool... that was back when life was simple, and the world was in soft pastels and there were grassy meadows and sunshine as far as the eye could see... I hope you liked that clip... it was good, but I think I liked it better the first time I saw it... in 1942, you dinosaur!

Alas, I am now going to bail on you. You've been a great crowd tonight, but we are done. No, no... don't speak. For some moments in life, there are no words. Run along now. Now if you'll excuse me, I have stones to sell, fat to chew, and many different men to see about many different dogs. Until tomorrow, remember, Danny... two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left.

Current Book: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (complete works)
Current Movie: None!
Current Body-Odor Reading: Ripe

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We'd Better Get Back, 'Cause It'll Be Dark Soon, and They Mostly Come At Night... Mostly...

Lazy Sunday - not necessarily a bad thing, eh? In fact, I might as well post Lazy Sunday, from SNL right here... haven't watched it in a while...

Sorry to those outside the US... Hulu sucks like that. I tried finding a clip on YouTube, but they don't have the original, only parodies. Must be a lame copyright thing... here's a link to NBC.com that might work for you...

Church in the morning, as per usual. Taught the Sunday School lesson out of Proverbs this morning. You gotta love Proverbs - the "fortune cookies" of the Bible. Good shtuff. We discussed Proverbs 20:23 today...

Proverbs 20:23
Diverse weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good.

No need to skip this part, Bob... it's not really saying anything "religious." It's just kind of common sense/common knowledge. Deal with people honestly, that sort of thing. We covered the idea of merchants back in the day, weighing out things for buying and selling with differing weights that are supposed to be exactly the same. Sort of deciding who to rip off and who not to, that kind of thing. I then tied it in to dealing with people in general - how we forgive certain people for doing the exact same things that we hold grudges against other people for. Kind of makes sense that we should "use the same weight" for all people.

Anyway, the kids seemed to follow (all 2 of them, lol), and so it wasn't a disaster like I feared it might be.

Still feeling really out of sorts, as far as where I am with God at the moment - you can go ahead and skip this part, Bob - I'm gonna wax religious... anyway, with camp coming up, and I'm going to be a counselor and all, I'm kind of concerned about it. I'm supposed to be helping kids out with their "walks" with God when I'm in need of a little help myself? I know God's big enough to use whatever tool is handy to do what He wants with these kids (and yes, I did just call myself a tool, lol), but still, I'd love to feel like I have my act together a bit more than I do now, before I'm put into that sort of "mentor for a week" position.

I also get to video record the week and edit together the camp video again. That's the easy part. I can hide behind a camera with the best of them. Point and shoot... just like Dave-O, only I use a camera and he uses something with a little more fire power... I say, "Wave to the camera!" and Dave-O says "Kiss your *** goodbye!"

Dave-O's post today is really good, by the way, if you're interested...

I played hookie from church service tonight. I had every intention of going, but at the last minute, I just said, "screw it". Not exactly the best attitude to have towards church, I think. I regret not going now, but it's a bit too late now. I guess I could get into the car and go hang out in the church parking lot for 90 minutes or so... Anyway, I stayed home and shot down attack helicopters with TOW missiles in Battlefield 2 instead. Don't tell pastor on me... I might get excommunicated for that!

I tell ya, though... there's nothing quite like the feeling you get guiding a TOW in for the kill while that same chopper is peppering you with fire. BOOM! You get that little "YES" inside and roar a little bit. "That's what I'm talkin' about! Hoo-ah!"

It's my mom's birthday today! Happy birthday, Mom! You = The Best.

Todayve In History: June 15
- June 15, 1215: King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta. (His seal had Cookie Monster on it...)

- June 15: 1752: Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity. (Before that, they though it was God taking pictures)

- June 15, 1775: George Washington is appointed commander in chief of the continental army. (First order of business, get rid of the wooden dentures!)

- June 15, 1844: Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process that strengthens rubber. (What did Spock say, I wonder...?)

- June 15, 1994: Israel and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations. (OK, so the Pope and 2 Rabbis walk into a bar...)

To celebrate the passing of Stan Winston on this day last year, I'm going to post the trailer from the awesome 1987 film Aliens. The only movie I ever had to stop watching for a half-hour to catch my breath before finishing it...

Stan Winston was a visual effects supervisor, make-up artist and a director. He worked on tons of great movies over the years, including the Terminator series, Jurassic Park, Predator, The Thing, Batman Returns and Iron Man, along with dozens of others.

I need to wrap this up - there's a scheduled outage of eBlogger that starts at midnight (15 minutes from this moment) and I want to submit this before that time. I'll crank out the movie quotes again tomorrow. I think I've got my emotional sea legs back under me, at least enough to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Not that I've ever claimed to be normal...

Until tomorrow, remember, if you ever drop your car keys in a river of molten lava, just let 'em go, man... they're gone.