Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Holiday Cooking Tip

I know, this just missed Thanksgiving (which is when I remembered it), but, hey - I'm sure more than a few of you might be making goodies for Christmas. Besides, this tip can be used year round.

Cooking Tip: If you don't have an electric hand blender & those potatoes are just refusing to mash, take a spoon or fork with a flat handle, attach to an electric drill & - Voila! Potatoes a la Black & Decker!

Monday, November 29, 2004

blOgS rAWk!!!

I decided to try the "Next Blog" button at the top of my page, just to see what's going on out there & where ol' Blogger might take me.

I've now seen enough blogs in Spanish/Swahili/poorly written English, blogs written by junior high school girls & sites where pEEps tHiNk iT's kEWl 2 wRiTe lIkE tHIs to last me a lifetime. In fact, I think I might just throw up if I run across another black backgrounded, tiny pink fonted assault on my senses.

I did, however come across a few with some potential. V Stands For Vampire, Mike's Blog, & The A Files are three that I stumbled across that a) have something interesting to read, b) are well written & c) hAvE nO tEXt LiKe tHIs.

Give 'em a looksee, Loyal Readers, & see what you think.
I did a little Christmas shopping...

...but not for who you'd expect. No, I haven't shopped for T yet. And we've gotten most of The Boy's schtuff bought. T's also taken care of most everyone in both of our families.

No, the gift I have to offer is for a bunch of complete strangers. People I've never met. Nay, not even a glance have I laid upon them. This gift is for all of the people who went shopping on Black Friday, particularly the one's who went shopping where T works.

For all of you people who lined up outside the store, some many hours before the doors opened at 530a, in hopes of getting a jump on the season's shopping & maybe getting a few deals in the process; for the countless multitudes that literally ran into the store, looking for the specially priced DVD players; for those of you who crabbed & complained & swore at my wife because you & several thousand others with wet sand for brains couldn't understand why it was taking so long to get through the checkout line; for those of you who acted like imbeciles because the store only had a hundred DVD players in stock & to you who tried to blame the store for keeping you in line & making you buy more crap that you or whomever you bought it for really didn't need, I give you all -

A boot to the head. Or a kick in the groin.

Your choice.

Shoot, if you ask nicely, I might just give you both. I'm just that freakin' swell of a fella.

In fact, if I'm out doing my shopping, or if I stop in to my wife's store & hear you kvetching about how crowded the place is, I'll give you repeated boots & kicks & perhaps, if I'm feeling reeeeally generous, a general pummeling about the face & upper body.

No need to thank me, either. Your groans & cries are thanks enough for me.


Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful holiday, Loyal Readers!

And, my most sincere condolences to the Turkey family. Your sacrifice was tasty was greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Y'know how they say it never rains in Southern California?

Well, they (whoever "they" are) didn't say anything about snow.

Yes, you read that right. Snow. In Southern California. And lots of it. Not just a little "dusting." No, no, no. It's a couple inches deep. From here all the way out to where my mom lives, which is about forty miles from here & in the flatlands. It's too heavy for the trees & they're falling over all around us. Even the poor palm trees don't know what to do (plenty of pix have been taken of a truly So Cal event - a palm tree covered with snow).

In my thirty-three years on this planet, I've never seen it snow. I've been in it. I've romped & played & skiied & thrown the odd snowball or two. But to see it actually floating down out of the heavens? Nope. And, I never expected to see it coming down while I lived in the Valley. I mean, Yucaipa does sit up higher than the rest of the San Bernardino Valley, but we still are (normally) too low to get anything. It just doesn't happen here, Loyal Readers.

So, T has now gotten to see me get all happy about seeing live, wild deer & become a complete goof because it snowed.

Thank you, Global Warming! This has been fun.

Monday, November 08, 2004


A wee little review of the trailers from Friday night.

First up, "Cars", another Pixar movie that I have, strangely enough, not heard anything of. I don't know if they didn't want to steal any of "The Incredibles" thunder or what, but this was the first that I'd seen of it. And personally, it doesn't look all that great. It looks almost like "Toy Story" (which was great), except with talking cars. Maybe once I know a little more about it, it'll grow on me.

Next, the SpongeBob Squarepants movie. Oh boy. A little SpongeBob goes a loooong way. I'm suddenly a little glad that the ex has The Boy when that movie opens. I'm sure she'll have him there to see the first showing, but I won't have to be sitting in a theatre full of kids singing the SpongeBob theme.

Moving on to "Christmas With the Kranks". Did Tim Allen lose a bet or something? Was making this movie part of some community service he had to do? Ugh! This movie looks bad. Bad bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. The TV ads are totally misleading. Not that they were making me want to see it in the first place. They make it look like the Kranks are a couple of Scrooge-y, Christmas hating humbugs. Actually, they are quite the opposite. But, when their daughter leaves for the holidays, the Kranks decide to take a vacation themselves & don't decorate their home the way the rest of the neighbors do (the whole neighborhood looks like the Griswald's house in "Christmas Vacation", although without Randy Quaid in his bathrobe emptying out his motorhome's waste tank - classic Christmas schtuff their, Loyal Readers!). That much is shown on the TV spots. What they neglect to tell you is that hijinks ensue when the daughter comes home unexpectedly & the Kranks rush to deck the halls before she arrives. I'm sure there's some warm & fuzzy moral to the whole thing, but I don't think I'll be around to find out.

I can't believe I just spent all that time describing this stinkburger.

Now, to cleanse the pallette, on to the good schtuff - yes, Loyal Readers...the Episode III trailer.

Oh. My. Stars. And. Garters! This movie may make up, for a lot of people, the whole Jar Jar Binks thing. Maybe even the Ewoks. Even though I haven't been a big fan of the Hayden Christensen Anakin (he looks about as menacing as a hangnail & I reeeeally thought that adding him to the end of Return of the Jedi was quite unnecessary - & just a little unnnatural), he looks like he's going to be a baaaad man, what with his eyes glowing red & all. Darth Sidious/Palpatine/the Emperor looks all nasty & eee-vil & ravaged by the Dark Side & then...oooooh boy...Darth freakin' Vader. With James Earl Jones' voice. That deep voice with the breathing sounds. Boyohboyohboyohboy! Yoda's looking like he's ready to open a can of Jedi Whup 'em on someone (gee, I wonder who?), but I don't remember any scenes with the galaxy's baddest feather plucker, Mace Windu. And something tells me that Princess Leia went to the same intergalactic beauty salon that her mommy went to, as Padme' is sporting the "space buns" 'do that Leia had in the original "Star Wars". Yes, I'll admit, it looks as silly as it did the first time. But, I do not care, Loyal Readers, for I am a loyal devotee' to to series, good or bad. I will be there, big geeky grin on my face, bouncing up & down in my seat when those words show up on the screen:

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."

If there were anymore trailers, I can't remember 'em. I think I blanked out until the movie started.
Weekend Wrap-Up

It was, for the most part, a nice weekend. As well as the aforementioned trip to see "The Incredibles" (& the megacool showing of the Episode III trailer - I still giggle like a schoolgirl when I think about it), I took The Boy to a last minute birthday party on Saturday at Pharaoh's (a local minigolf/arcade/amusement park with an Egyptian theme), went up to Oak Glen for lunch (& some fresh hot apple cider & apple pie, of course) after church with The Boy & T & then, made a stop by the local thrift/estate sale store to see what new treasures were in stock.

All in all, a good, fun weekend.

And how was yours?
About Me

I was at work & bored (what else is new?). So, because of that, I decided to subject treat you to a meme list. Probably not a "One Hundred Things About Me" list, because I don't think I could find one hundred interesting things about me to share with you. I'm just not all that fascinating, people.

So, I present to you the "Open Ended List of Things About Me" list.

Ta daa!

1. I'm a Southern Californian, born & bred.
2. I've lived my whole life in & around the same area.
3. I had no desire to ever leave the state until I met my wife.
4. Now, I can't wait until we can move to Arkansas.
5. I love the desert.
6. Not too keen on being cold.
7. Despite this fact, I've tried snowskiing twice.
8. Both times were more like semi-controlled sliding than actual skiing.
9. Despite that fact, I want to try it again.
10. Although I was not accident prone as a child (keeping the Band-Aid & Bactine companies in business was my little sister's job), I received fourteen stitches over the course of several accidents while growing up, & two more since reaching adultedness.
11. When I hurt myself, I made it worth the trip to the hospital.
12. I have two sisters & two & a half brothers.
13. I don't know which half my half-brother is. If you see a pair of legs running around somewhere, that may well be my half-brother.
14. Tens run in my family. My uncle is ten years older than my older sister; my brother is ten years older than me; I'm ten years older than my oldest niece; her sister is exactly ten years older than my son.
15. That probably interested me far more than it did anyone else.
16. I had my artwork put out for the public to see for the first (& so far, only) time in first grade.
17. I made a greeting card to the city of Colton, CA that was blown up & put on a billboard.
18. The only instruction that the teacher gave us was that we couldn't put "Merry Christmas Colton" on it.
19. I'll give you three guesses as to what I wrote on mine.
20. I made my mom drive past the billboard almost everyday for two weeks before it was put up.
21. I was a stubborn child.
22. I haven't gotten any better about that as I've aged.
23. I've passed that trait on to my son. Heaven help us all.
24. I've never drank, smoked or done drugs. Which is probably a really good thing given my stubbornness.
25. I'm a Star Wars geek (big newsflash there).
26. I've seen the original Star Wars well over two hundred fifty times.
27. I didn't date in high school.
28. I'll bet you can figure out why.
29. I played bass in a punk band when I was in the service.
30. I was married to my ex at the time so I couldn't test the theory that chicks dig guys in bands.
31. We never played anywhere other that the guitarist's garage, so I guess that was a moot point anyway.
32. I was in a video for Great White's "Call It Rock & Roll".
33. Actually, the place where I was standing went black as the boom camera panned over, so you can't really see me.
34. I've hated that song ever since.
35. Not because of the lousy camera angle, mind you, but because I found out that when a group films a "concert" video, they play the song about fifty-eight gajillion times. Close to the end of the show, the stage banter went something like:
Singer: Hey! Do ya wanna hear Call It Rock & Roll again?!?
Crowd: No!!! We want you to stop playing that song!!! Unlock the doors & let us leave!!!
36. I hate clowns.
37. And balloons.
38. And I really hate balloon making clowns. Pure, unadulterated eee-vil, I tells ya.
39. In grade school, I taught myself to write left handed, in part to impress a girl who was left handed (again, you wonder why I didn't date in school?), but more importantly, in case I broke my right hand. I neither got the girl (she moved) nor have I ever had to use my emergency back up handwriting contingency plan.
40. I would say that's a good thing.
41. This list went on longer than I thought it would.
42. I would say that's a good thing, too.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Movie Review

We just got back from seeing "The Incredibles". My opinion?

It was wicked!

You'll have to see the movie to fully appreciate the review.

The one thing better than the movie itself?

A preview of Episode III: Rise of the Sith.

Be still, my geeky l'il heart! My geekout while watching the trailer was on par with the recent Hollywood Stormtrooper geekout: bouncing in my seat, dorky grin across my face, hair on the back of my neck standing on end. Even The Boy, who got a little geeky over the SpongeBob Squarepants trailer, scooted away from me.

But, I do not care. I am a Star Wars geek & proud of it!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Four More Years

Look at it this way, ye of the Democratic persuasion - in four years, it'll have to be someone other than Bush.

Unless Jeb runs for office.

Or W declares himself Lord Grand Poobah for Life of the United States.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Like a kid who's filled up on too much Halloween candy, I've ingested waaaay too many horror movies & ghost themed TV shows this past month. It's a good thing that it's November, because I don't know if I could handle many more shows about haunted hotels & movies about killer houses/teenagers/axe murderers/etc. I did have oodles of fun MST3K'ing the movies, though. That's always a good thing.

I'm surprised that T didn't up & leave mid-month.

Now, we get to overdose on cooking shows in preparation for the big chowdown at the end of the month (being hosted at our house this year).

Ohhh...my stomach!
Anywhere But Here

As I write this, it's a little after 1030a. It seems like I've been at work a lot longer than two & a half hours. I woke up this morning with this intense desire to spend my day anywhere other than at work. I so envy ETS & her relaxationizing that she's taking part in. I, myself, have to wait another month or so to take a much needed break. Until then, though, one thing I need to do is to get out & about. Away from everything, even if it's just for a little bit.

Those that know me know that I'm not a people person. There are only a handful of people that I truly enjoy being around or even talking to on a regular basis. The rest? I could go a looooong time without seeing them. But, alas, it seems impossible to get away from these people. Most of these people I don't even know.

My drive home from work used to be a nice relaxing drive through a beautiful canyon. Orange groves all over the place. Horse ranches. No crowds. Then, everyone else started to take the same route. I had to stop taking that route because the traffic would back up &/or I'd inevitably get a slowpoke in front of me. The curse of being Mr. Popularity - everyone wants to be like me. That sounds a bit egotistical, but that's how I feel a lot of the time. That people seem to want to be around me. Not egotistical. Wait...that still sounded egotistical. Oh well - so be it.

My drive to work is the same way now. As with most places in So Cal in the mornings, the freeways are a nightmare. I took to driving through another canyon (yes, we have a few of them in the area). Again, it was quiet, not crowded & no traffic. I could listen to music. It was my "morning prayer time" as well - time to prepare myself, mentally & spiritually, for the day. Now, I sit in a line a block long to get into the canyon & another one out the other side. It takes me twenty minutes to go less than ten miles. Then, it takes twenty-five minutes to get back in the evening. I can't stand it anymore.

When I am at home, it's hardly a quiet evening when I get to listen to bass booming up through the floor. And when it's not coming from inside the apartment below, it's from a car. To their credit, the kids downstairs are apologetic about the noise & are quick to turn it down. But why should I have to go down there in the first place? You live in a frickin' apartment, people! Your home is attached to mine. I do my best not to stomp on your ceiling - can you show me the same courtesy & not rattle my floor?

My other neighbor likes to sit on his patio & smoke - which then wafts into my apartment, making it so I either have to put a fan in front of the door to keep the smoke out or close the door altogether.

Work's not much better. If you've followed this site for a bit, you know that I share my office with two other people. Of course, I'm the only one who likes having the door closed. My cellmates want it left open, or part way open, or just open enough to annoy the crap out of me. Then, we have people coming in & out constantly. It's noisy here all the time, with forklifts & cherrypickers & loud people & phones going all the time.

I just want peace. I want quiet. I want calm.

Last night, T came home late in the evening. We got The Boy to bed & then sat & drank some hot chocolate, had some Grant Lee Buffalo playing in the background & just talked. We just enjoyed each others company. I've missed that a lot lately. With her work schedule, I barely get to see her or spend any quality time with her. Last Wednesday was the first day in a long time that we spent together, just doing things together. We went & had breakfast & then milled around the mall in San Bernardino. We drove up to Oak Glen & had some hot cider & apple pie & listened to good music while it rained (& snowed a few feet higher - literally). We saw some deer going into one of the apple orchards. We went to a thrift store & had fun looking around. It was just a good day. It was nice to have her by my side instead of over a phone line.

I want to go somewhere where it's not crowded. Where the people that you do run into are nice & pleasant. I don't want to see traffic. I don't want to hear the drone of cars. I don't want to be in this office, having to listen to horns & lifts & people. I want to be able to go home & not hear my neighbors. I want to be able to sit outside & smell the night air, not have my nose assaulted by cigarette smoke. I want home to be a comfortable, inviting place.

I guess I just need a change. I'm sick of the things that bug me. I'm tired of being beaten down by the world around me.

Vacation can't get here quick enough.