Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hello Stranger!

(that's your line)

Lots happening in Ted's Universe, let's run it down.

At work, I was selected to coordinate the fiscal year end process. In essence, I tried to steer four different and self-interested organizations into more or less the same general direction. For extra fun, some of these organizations don't talk to each other, and others are actively hostile to others. This consumed me for a couple of months, but apparently I impressed someone with the semi-organized chaos, because I've been told that I get the project again next year. That, my friends, is the definition of mixed blessing.

Something Weird Video had a big sale at Amazon at the beginning of the month. Being in that kind of mood, I ordered a stack of sleazy Times Square classics and have been enjoying movies with titles like "Scare Their Pants Off" and "Terror at Orgy Castle". Last night it was "Satan's Bed", starring Yoko Ono. For those so interested, she never got naked, spoke maybe six words of English, and got hit by a car at the end.

It's not all sleaze though, because I also picked up a trio of Italian comedies starring the luscious Edwige Fenech. She's one of the most beautiful women ever to grace this world.

A couple of weekends ago we visited daughter Robyn, and I was delighted to discover that she lives a few short blocks from Swisher Pens. I spent a few hours browsing there, doodling around with pens I could never afford (and never want to, my perspective-o-meter is just fine, thank you). There was one beautiful Omas fountain pen that retails for $1200.00, but I could have picked it up on special for, well, lets just say way more than I'd be willing to pay for a pen. The people there were very nice, even though I'd told them up front that the budget allowed for the purchase of a single bottle of ink. I'll be going back on my next visit for a big bottle of highliter ink (cool name: Year of the Golden Pig), which comes with an eyedropper pen.

As an aside, if someone wanted to totally spoil me with a "Happy New Grandfather" gift, I really like the Pelikan M600 fountain pen. Any color suits, because I'm easy like that.

Since daughter Robyn is due any day now, I've started cooking. This morning I made a big pot of Chicken Enchilada soup (one of Robyn's favorites) for Liz to take with her when it's time. I'll also whip up a batch or three of biscotti to take with. I don't know when or if I'll be dropping everything and heading to Virginia Beach when the time comes. It kind of depends on the timing. Plus, the last thing they'll need is another body hanging around and getting in the way. Things will be hectic enough without me being there.

So there it is. Work, movies, cooking and waiting. I expected this to be much more interesting when I started.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Insanity? Yes, More Please

God help me, I'm seriously considering doing National Novel Writing Month again this year. Two years ago, I began Zombies of Autumn (still unfinished). Last year, I tried to set up a group anthology about Giant Evil Space Robots (stillborn). This year, I don't have a story in mind - yet - but I've got several pages of notes and vignettes.

Should I share?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tallulah Is In The House

Rachael is home for the weekend, and brought her new kitten, Tallulah. Eight weeks old, black with a little white, full of personality and the most vocal cat I've ever met. She's a hisser too, giving the full effect to our Trix the dog and Ozzie the rabbit. Trix desperately wants to be friends, so I think that they'll eventually get used to each other.

Tallulah was named for Tallulah Bankhead, legendary actress, who also went to Mary Baldwin College.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Poll ---->


Devil in the Details

Dogette has posted some technical information about how comments are handled behind the scenes on her site, Two Nervous Dogs.

1. Your comment first goes into TND’s Moderation Hell, where it is examined by a non-human. It is not “read.” It is “examined” for hatefulness and grammar by a very small yet powerful application using sophisticated logarithms, essentially a series of “if-then” statements. Example: “If” asshole, “then” fuck off.

There is much, much more to read. Way beyond my mad bloggy skillz. She's my hero.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mozzarella Movies

I'm speaking, of course, of that special breed of cheesy movie, the Italian Science Fiction flick. Stuffed full of wondrously crappy special effects, dialogue (usually dubbed, badly), and ambitious plot way beyond the skill and budget will allow, these movies are big fun.

Take War of the Robots for example. A good chunk of Earth is going to explode because of a runaway atomic reactor, and the only man who can stop it has been kidnapped by aliens, along with his beautiful assistant. You could tell they were aliens because they all wore metallic jumpsuits and had blond pageboy haircuts.

No, really.

Luckily, a dashing hero spaceship captain (prone to laughing at inappropriate times) and his intrepid crew give chase. Also luckily, Earth's rocketships are four times faster than the alien saucers. Even luckier, they find a planet to crashland on after their rocket is damaged. Still luckier, the aliens accidentally save the crew from the local inhabitants when they come to collect slaves. That's a helluva lot of luck, paisan.

But wait, there's more! Even still more luckier, it turns out that the aliens have made the professor's beautiful assistant their Empress, making the escape that much luckier easier.

Of course, being Italian, there is much passion in the acting and plot twists in abudanzza. None of it very good, but they try with all their might and fail in spectacular fashion.

C'mon, an alien named General Gonad? Somewhere, a translator was having a giggle over that one. Personally, I have to be in the right mood for these movies. When I am, I enjoy the hell out of them.

It's probably a good thing that the mood required is a rather rare thing.


Or maybe it's the flickering flames in my future.

Thanks to the smoke-free Gaz.

Quote of the Whenever I Feel Like It

And it feels like today.

From the lovely LeeAnn:

...that next person is going to get their head stuck on a pole, dipped in fruit punch, frozen solid and munched like a popsicle of doom.

I love reading genius like that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Neener Neener

On the way down to Norfolk, we filled up the tank for $2.99 a gallon. We filled up for the ride back at the Sam's club in Virginia Beach, for $2.81 a gallon.

First Hockey Game of the Season

We drove down to Virginia Beach for Robyn's birthday this weekend. She wanted to go to a Norfolk Admirals (farm club for the Tampa Bay Lightning) hockey game before her baby is born, and that sounded like a good idea to us. The Admirals are celebrating their 20th season this year, so there's lots of hoopla surrounding the team.

They played the Hershey Bears (farm club of the Washington Capitals), and I recognized several players who've played for the big club on their roster.

The Admirals got off to a quick start, scoring a nice wraparound goal early and decisively winning two fights in the first five minutes. It was rough going from there on. They did have a solid ten minute stretch in the third period, but for the most part the Bears outplayed them. Still, thanks to another soft goal, the score was tied right to the end. As an indication of how the night went, with less than three minutes remaining in the game, one of the Admirals players missed wide on a tap in from in front of the open net.

Once again (this seems to be a habit for us), we saw scoreless overtime and a shootout. Hershey easily put it away during the shootout and the final was 4-3.

Related thoughts and moments:

During the second break, they had a dune buggy come out on the ice with a t-shirt cannon mounted on the back. One of them came right to me, I didn't even have to stand up to get it. Happy Birthday Robyn! (Yeah, I'm cheap like that)

One Zamboni - they have two - had advertising all over it for some tax prep place. I'm sorry, but "We Make Taxes Fun!" is one of the stupidest slogans I've ever heard. Burger-King stupid.

There were babies at the game. I think the youngest we saw, and we asked, was two months old. Liz now has instructions to make a baby jammie set in San Jose Sharks teal.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free Idea, But I Want One For Free If You Run With It

You've seen those family stickers? The little stick figure Daddy and Mommy and kids and pets that people have been decorating their vehicle's back window with.

I want a set where Dad is a stick-figure Frankenstein or Dracula. Mom can be the Mummy or Bride of Frankenstein. Little Billy and Susie can be zombies or little vampires. Spot? Werewolf.

Or a bulk pack. I'd love to put Daddy and Mommy and about seventeen kids. With a bumper sticker from the local Catholic Church. On a sub-compact.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Data Point

How bad is the economy? Well, the media constantly bombards us with story after story about individuals and families who are having a rough go of it.

This is only half of the picture though. Take me, for example. I'm not in financial trouble. I've gotten steady salary increases for the last several years. My home isn't in danger of being foreclosed. I'm not panicking over my retirement investments because I won't touch them for many years, and there's plenty of time to recover (and the market *always* recovers). Food and gas costs are up, but we had some cushion built in between income and outgo. Enough to be doing ok, and to be able to afford adding insulation to my attic to reduce energy bills.

Taking an informal poll where I work, there are at least fifty people just like me, all riding along more or less unfazed by this rough spot in the economic cycle.

In my neighborhood, there are two homes being auctioned off. There are three hundred that aren't. You might hear about them, but you won't hear about me, or my coworkers, or my neighbors who are doing ok. But we're part of the story too.


Something I haven't heard mentioned yet about the bailout bill that was passed... Unless Treasury has a few hundred (or thousand) employees lying around doing nothing, a new and probably large bureaucracy will have to be built to administer the bailout. Growing government, the congressional way. You know, heaps of fertilizer.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Shooting Pain in the Vagina is NOT Normal

Unless you're very pregnant, according to Robyn's doctor. She's due in less than a month, and is very close to that special "any time now" window. Talking to her the other day, she's complaining of odd pains in odd places, all of which are "normal" for a woman in the late stages of pregnancy.

Boring? You bet, but I really wanted to use that phrase in a post title.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Today's Cow Joke

I think I told this one:

What did the cow say?

"Woof," 'cause he had a dog in his mouth!

For the last month or so I've called my kids a couple of times a week to tell them variations, such as:

What did the cow say?

Nothing, 'cause he had Marcel Marceau in his mouth!


What did the cow say?

"Bless you my son," 'cause he had the Pope in his mouth!

Today I told this one:

What did the cow say?

"EEAAAAGGGGHHH!!!!" 'cause he's a taxpayer and just got raped up the ass by motherfuckin' Congress and their 700 billion dollar "bailout" bill!"

Robyn said she could probably guess where I stood on that decision.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Not In Any Universe I've Lived In

I heard a radio commercial for some sort of Botox-ish cream. They promise that it'll remove wrinkles and make you look younger. How much younger? They had "actual" husbands saying things like "My wife looks ten years younger." Oh yeah, *that's* a winning statement to make about your wife, eh? Or how about, "It's like looking at my wife twenty years ago, all over again!"

*rowr* Try it for yourself guys! Just look her in the eye and say in your best "let's go to bed" voice, "I'd love to bang your baby sister."

Yeah, that'll work.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

We Used To Call Them "Back-Seat Drivers"

Nowadays, the map-impaired call 'em "GPS". I don't have one. I don't want one.

At least I didn't until I saw this page of uploadable personalities for your GPS, specifically the Garmin and Tom Tom. Let's just say that now, I'm not quite so absolutely against them, but I still don't want one.

Thanks to Random Nuclear Strikes for the pointer.