Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Quarter Review

Well we are a quarter of the way through this whole 2010 thing. How’s your year going so far? Sticking with those resolutions? Getting anything done?

I’m doing well with the majority of the things I resolved to do differently and/or better in 2010. On the lighter side I have indeed worn a tie to work every single day. On the heavier side I have managed to spend a little more time with my kids, though this is still the one that needs the most attention. I am mostly on track to bring my attempted writing of a novel up to 200 pages by year end. It’s sitting at about 50 right now and I’m optimistic. Since we got rid of the Satellite and never bought a converter box for our television it has been a lot easier to be productive this year. Life really is better when it is spent away from the television, though it will often require you to think. This can be frightening for all of us. I also have managed to stay on the eating healthy and exercising kick so far in 2010 and with notable results. Remind me to show you my biceps some time. Wow. My band is about a third of the way through recording a full length CD to release later this year. I’m also in the middle of putting in flower beds in front of my house, which is rather hard work, but will be worth it once they are in. I think it’s been a pretty good start to the decade.

So how about you? Is this going to be a year to remember? Keep in mind we only get to live this thing one time. It might be a good idea to look back on it fondly when you are older. It might also be a good idea to take care of yourself enough to have a chance to get older and have the opportunity to look back on something. So what have you accomplished so far in 2010?


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


So I’ve been thinking a lot about technology lately. It's rather hard not to what with the fact that even my parents have iPhones.  I generally approach technology with a significant level of trepidation, and I’ve collected some of my thoughts.

1. I don’t like the idea of technology completely replacing humans, primarily because I, myself am a human and would prefer not to be replaced. I read an interesting novel called “Player Piano” recently. It was Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel and it was published quite a long time ago. It’s rather dated, but the ideas are rather interesting. It proposes not so much the idea that technology takes over and tries to eat us (combining Terminator and the Flaming Lips), but rather the idea that humans lose any reason to live when their entire purpose and usefulness is replaced by machines. I like efficiencies being gained, but it seems that some fields really need a human being in place. More and more often the human is being replaced in today’s businesses. I guess humans really need to stop doing their jobs so pathetically most of the time.... That would certainly help.

2. I don’t like assembly lines / mass production. I enjoy the lower prices that result and likewise enjoy the convenience of getting what I want with ease. I know I can’t have it both ways, but it would be really nice to see some pride in craftsmanship somewhere... some time... I don’t think I’d get along with Mr. Ford.

3. Technology will eat us all. I watched War Games a few nights ago and it’s still a great movie. I don’t really foresee machines deciding to launch a nuclear war and I also don’t see artificial intelligence completely taking over and trying to eradicate humanity. I more see the all consuming desire for newer and greater technology resulting in a loss of perspective on what’s going on outside our windows. I think we (collectively) are losing touch with other humans a little at a time. Technology is great for helping to stay in touch with relations that live far away. Unfortunately, it’s also replacing the need to actually interact with the humans that live next door. It started with making a phone call instead of seeing the person face to face and it’s progressed to sending a text because a phone call just takes too long. The world has become a global community through technology and it has simultaneously become a collection of isolationists who don’t interact with their local community.

4. I don’t blame the problems of the world on TV. I really don’t. I don’t blame the internet either. I blame the humans involved in the process of creating television shows and putting things on the internet for all the world to see. I do believe there has been a gradual slippery slope that has helped create a world I am afraid to send my children out in. At six years old I rode my bike up and down the street and my mom wouldn’t see me till I got hungry enough to come home to eat. My six year-old doesn’t go past the mailbox unless I’m watching her. Why? It’s the world we live in, right? But why has the world changed so much in the last 20 years? What has changed so much? Technology has certainly come a long way in that time, but that can’t be the sole cause of problems. However, the gradual moral decline of our world is glorified and magnified every day through television, magazines, and the internet. There are consequences to this constant bombardment of trash. People become desensitized to things over time. Mass numbers becoming desensitized leads to a further pushing of the limits, which in turn leads to a more complete desensitization. Over time, we are changing humans and not for the better. We are helping to create a world we are afraid of. We are bombarded with such trash all the time that we stop even noticing it. Once it’s not a big deal, what’s to stop it from just happening all the time? I know the world wasn’t perfect before TV told us all it wasn’t perfect, but I think we have spread the disease further and more completely than ever before.

5. Yes. I get the irony. I’m posting this in a blog on the internet, using a computer to do so. I’m not opposed to technology anytime it is convenient and easy for me. I like indoor plumbing and electricity. I like emailing and playing video games (although I still play video games on the original Nintendo system from the early 80’s). I like cell phones when I want to reach someone and hate them when I’m trying to talk to you and you won’t quit looking at your facebook page while we talk.

So in conclusion...
Technology that I don’t like to use personally is bad and should be thrown into the Marianas Trench. Technology that I like to use personally is okay, but you should proceed with caution.

Turn off your TV and go say hello to your next door neighbor.

Or at least send them a text to say hello.

One step at a time my friends.

One step at a time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Top 5 Zombie Movies

I like Zombie Movies.

This is something I often find challenging to admit to people due to the fact that it certainly doesn’t speak highly of my intelligence level or sense of culture. But the truth of the matter is I tend to laugh my tail off watching the undead go to town attempting to eat the brains / flesh of the living. There is little I find more humorous in fact.

So if you have similar tastes or are wondering if perhaps you do, I am going to offer to you my personal top 5 zombie movies. Now you zombie aficionados out there will probably hate my list because it tends to ignore the more serious, traditional, and pioneering zombie movies that paved the way and had deeper societal implications in them. Be that as it may, here are my personal favorites in the genre.

1. Fido

Okay, so this one does perhaps have some deeper societal implications. This is a beautiful film the whole way through. My sense of the absurd loves seeing the zombie in the Leave it to Beaver type setting. Greatness.

2. My Boyfriend’s Back

One of the funniest movies ever made. You will truly laugh till your limbs fall off. This also has a surprisingly famous cast for an unknown early 90’s zombie movie. Phillip Seymore Hoffman turns in his best performance to date.

3. Zombieland

The language is a bit extreme, and the zombies aren’t actually undead, but this one had me laughing and cheering. Bill Murray as himself was a nice touch. I also enjoyed the mockery of Garland TX early in the film. Funny cause it’s true.

4. Shaun of the Dead

Again, the language is a bit extreme, but the semi-dance sequence where they hit the zombie with pool cues is delightful. I laughed so hard I nearly joined the undead when the big guy rewinds the disposable camera for another picture in the backyard. A must see for the zombie lover.

5. Dead Alive (aka – Braindead)

This early Peter Jackson movie is disgusting and ridiculous. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but I loved watching every minute of it. It’s entirely over the top and obscene, but it has rockabilly zombies to make up for its other shortcomings. Watching this movie will leave you wondering how the same person could possibly have made this movie and then gone on to craft the epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

So there you have it. I did not include my favorite films from the Evil Dead Trilogy because I do not consider them to be Zombie movies, even though they do include the reanimation of the dead. They fall into some other category. Whatever category that is, they are right at the top of its list, but it’s not really the zombie genre since the undead in those films want to swallow your soul, instead of your brains.

Many Blessings.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A chant to chant, something of a rant

Fire Ron Washington!

All together now!

Fire Ron Washington!

Come on Nolan!

Fire Ron Washington!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Supermarket Quiz

Okay. I have a series of supermarket related questions for you to answer. Give me your honest answer on each one and I'll give you my honest opinion on your worthiness to remain a part of the human race.

1) In relationship to the '20 items or less' line, I...
a. never use the line unless I truly have 20 items or less.
b. sometimes use the line, even if I'm slightly over.
c. say forget you! I'm shopping for my super bowl party and I'm using whatever line I want!

2) In relationship to the item I put in my basket but later decide I don't need after all, I...
a. always return the item to the exact spot I got it from.
b. sometimes return it to the area, or at least the same region of the store.
c. who cares! I'm putting these ice cream sandwiches in with the chili!

3) In relationship to returning the shopping cart to the designated cart return, I...
a. always return it to the cart return, regardless of any circumstances.
b. sometimes return it if it's close by and not raining.
c. look for the closest nice looking car and just shove it in that general direction.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Where I've been.... Where I'm going....

Time can get away from you. Life goes right with it. I find that when things get really busy for a while, I’ll suddenly look at a calendar and realize the month has changed and I didn’t even realize it. I feel like I missed February altogether. The 50 hour work weeks ate a bunch of it... The commute ate most of the rest.... I’m sure there was some life in there somewhere.... when I wasn’t sleeping.

I had a physical recently. I was expecting to blow it away. You see, back around November I decided to make some changes. I cut out soda entirely (this was a reduction of a good 2 liters of Dr. Pepper daily) and went from eating fast food 7-8 times a week to maybe once every two weeks. I started exercising almost daily. I lost 12 pounds. I was joking with Allison that I was going to whip her on the blood test (she had a physical recently also). I was expecting to dominate.

I didn’t.

It turns out my cholesterol is all out of whack. High on the bad. Low on the good. And not just a little bit.

So it’s back to the drawing board. More exercising. More dietary changes. I’m eating almonds like they’re actually good. Which they aren’t. I’m actually going to bed at night to try to get at least 7 hours of sleep. I’m taking fish oil capsules.

What happened to me?

So anyhow, I’ve been rather busy of late but am making an effort to slow things back down and get all this back in check. There have been no recent blogs cause I haven’t stopped long enough to collect my thoughts. This is sort of an apology for the gap blog. We’ll see if I can do better on that.

No promises, of course.

5 ½ months till the next blood test. We’ll see if I can whip my blood into shape between now and then. I’m guessing this will not be the summer of the root beer float.

Such is life.