Monday, February 19, 2007

My Mind, It Was Going Le Crazy

Kathryn and I are back in the 5400 after a weekend in Laramie. Good times. And now, well, it's pretty much like a Sunday night except it's Monday.

For many, many, many years, I've tried to remember the title of a movie I saw as a kid. I asked my parents (both of whom really aren't the type to remember movies, especially movies they dragged me to during the Carter administration); I asked my friends at work; I asked Dirk - that infallible repository of bad pop culture - and even he couldn't help me out.

Now in all fairness, the only detail I could come up with was that it had three old guys in it and they wanted to rob a bank. So perhaps I really can't blame anyone for their lack of help.

Tonight I had the brilliant idea to surf around IMDB. I tried a search for Walter Matthau because I was fairly certain he was in it. No joy.

Then I Googled "three old guys rob a bank" and found it: Going in Style, starring George Burns. I might rent it one of these days, but mostly I was just glad to finally - finally! - have that figured out.

One OCD tic down, five thousand eight hundred and three to go.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Maybe You Should Have Uglier Friends

Two TV ads I've enjoyed lately:

1. The two lions watching yutzes on Safari unload some Taco Bell. "Carrrrrrrne asada." Funny stuff.

2. The cell phone ad with a family at the dinner table discussing the two kids' top five friends on their phones. While the exchange between the daughter and son is funny, the father's reaction to the daughter's theatrics is even funnier.

Off to Laramie tomorrow, depending on the snow dragons.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Scariest Commercial in the History of Ever

The other night Kathryn and I were watching a show - Heroes? Good Eats, maybe? - when a commercial came on so weird, so scary, so profoundly troubling, that I had to pause (thank you, DVR) and rewind.

Now I think we can all remember some creepy commercials without too much effort. The odd five year old girl with the Southern accent espousing Welch's grape juice, for example, used to give me nightmares. I can't make it through one commercial break on those more peripheral cable channels like the Military Channel or Fox Soccer Channel without being subjected to some hot chick cooing that "she knows you still got it," and that I can pick up some awesome performance enhancers without a prescription.

But it wasn't on an obscure cable channel that we saw the scariest effing thing we've seen in a long time. No, it was on a normal station, and I'm willing to bet you've seen it too.

That's right. I'm talking about the return of Orville Redenbacher.

On its surface the ad is innocent enough - good ol' Orville says something about music and makes a little popcorn. Then, at the end, a group of real people group around him as he bops away with headphones.

Note I say "real" people, and I ain't alluding to a really bad early '80's primetime TV show. No, I'm referring to the fact that while the actors and actresses who collect around Orville appear to be normal human beings, ORVILLE IS QUITE CLEARLY NOT HUMAN.

That's right. Someone either did a really bad makeup job trying to make someone else look like Orville, or they pixelated his happy ass in order to increase Q1 profits down on Redenbacher headquarters. Smart money's on that second one.

I'm serious about this. If you happen to catch the ad, and if you happen to have DVR, pick a moment when Orville has a close up and pause your TV. You'll see what I mean. Creepy.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


We (well, technically, Kathryn) bought sofas yesterday. For a lot of money. They're very nice and will add a touch of class to our living room. They'll be delivered tomorrow, at which point my stupid little loveseatfuton thing will find a new home - in a dumpster.

We haven't told it yet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Random Guitar Lesson. Also, Go Bears.

A few weeks ago I was plinking around on my guitar, trying to figure out "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis. It's unusually funky for an Elvis tune and is propelled by a groovy little rhythm guitar hook. It was made famous when a remixed version appeared in Ocean's Eleven.

I'd been checking out various tab sites because I just couldn't figure it out. As many times as I've listened to the song, I'd just assumed that like many other funk tunes it was in the key of E. Sure enough, all the tab sites had it in E, but when I played it as published, it sounded... wrong.

It sounded wrong because everyone on the Internet is wrong. As I plinked around a little more and picked out specific tones, I realized it's in A. The opening chord is an A7 and the riff finishes on a sliding (half-step hammer on) D7. I play it in the open position but on the recording it might be at the fifth position - I can't tell, and it sounds just fine in the open position anyway.

I have vague memories of my grandfather watching the Bears on T.V. at my grandparents' place in Crystal Lake. I'm not sure the man ever made it to a game; I'm not sure he was even a football fan at all. And towards the end of his life I think he gravitated to televised golf more than anything else. Still, when I think of the Bears, I think of my grandpa.

Way back in the heady pre-realignment days I was an NFC Central guy all the way. I was born in Detroit and chose to be a Lions fan sometime in late childhood... but I had a Vikings hat and coat as a kid (I even saw a game once in the old outdoor stadium in Minneapolis - brrrr); the Packers were hapless schedule fodder and peripheral at best; and then there were the Bears. Some of my favorite toys of all time, which I can find absolutely nowhere online, were my posable NFL players with removable jersey number stickers. I had a Lions player and a Bears player - the Bears player was black and I naturally put #34 on him.

Now, being a Lions fan is a hard life, so I've been rooting for the Bears for several seasons. When they face the [insert AFC champion here] in the Super Bowl, I'll be wearing my Walter Payton jersey.

Finally, I'm sick. Again. This one started as a sore throat on Thursday and quickly moved into my chest. It comes in waves - at times I feel okay and at other times I'm totally miserable. Luckily, Kathryn is being amazingly patient and understanding. Tonight I'm hopped up on Theraflu and am going to try to get some work done. My employees may have an easy day tomorrow.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Well OF COURSE I came up with something to write about. . .

Hmph. Like I said previously, because of how my brain works, I'm going to post now that I've told you I wouldn't be posting for a while. A few thoughts this morning...

Wanna buy a kayak?
A popular allusion in the world of whitewater boating is when someone has "the wife and kids talk." It's basically a reference to the inherent danger of whitewater kayaking and a means of broaching the subject of scaling back the risks one is willing to take. In other words, when a boater reaches a certain point in his or her life, said boater may have "the wife and kids talk" (with a friend or with his/her own conscience) and decide that maybe running that Class V with a suicide strap is a bad idea.

I've never been a serious whitewater boater. Oh, sure, I got really interested in it and there for a while could snap off clean rolls just fine, but I've never had whitewater fever the same way I get flyfishing fever or soccer fever. When I moved to Laramie three years ago one of the first things I did was take a trip to Ft. Collins to buy a whitewater kayak, and I took it down the Poudre River precisely one time.

Now that Kathryn's in the picture, and now that we've moved to a place with very few Class III runs, my whitewater kayaking days are over. Anything that involves the possibility of knocking her head on rocks is straight out for her, and anything that involves storing an 8 foot plastic boat in our spare bedroom is right out for me. So while I never really had a true "wife and kids talk," I think it's safe to say that any kayaking we do in the future will be of the touring/flatwater sort, and that means I'm selling my boat.

It's a Pyranha Inazone 230, if you're interested. I'll let it go, along with sprayskirt and floatbags, for $250.

Scary math.
I realized something this morning and it truly horrified me: I've been paying rent for about ten years. If we say the average has been $500/month, that means I've paid roughly $60K in rent. Not cool, man. Not cool. Time to buy a house.