The creator of Funeratic, Scott Hardie, blogs about running this site, losing weight, and other passions including his wife Kelly, his friends, movies, gaming, and Florida.

Documenting My Discomfiture

My company hired a new guy to do documentation a few weeks ago, Rajeev. I've seen him walking around talking to the software developers, and attending meetings with managers in glass-walled rooms. I've heard several managers praising Rajeev by name and telling me that we need to get Rajeev to review prior documentation before we begin on projects. Go »

Falling Snow

It was twenty years ago today that my father passed away. I almost didn't write something today, because I don't feel particularly creative enough at the moment to do his memory justice. But a plain remembrance is better than none at all, and besides, he's been on my mind a lot this week. Go »

Christmas 2016

After a hectic househunt and move, it was nice to have a family vacation to take a break from everything. The whole visit had already been planned back in the summer, and we had spent six months saving up plenty of money to pay for it, so all we had to do was relax and enjoy it. Kelly's father Russ and brother Andy, and Andy's boyfriend Joe flew in for a week. Go »

Moving Day

You don't think about how much unnecessary stuff you own until you're paying someone by the hour to move it all. After Kelly and I moved into our new home last night, here's the current state of our living room, guest room, and garage. The house is a mess, and so are we. Go »

House Hunted

I'm not superstitious, or I wouldn't say this until the closing next month: Kelly and I are buying a house. It's a great house, too, with a guest bedroom and a pool, and the neighbor training horses in the back yard every day, and plenty of room for just about whatever we'd want to do with it, at a lower price than similar houses around here. It's not a hundred percent perfect but damn if it ain't close. Go »

Trial of the Century

I served on my first jury last week, for the gripping case of the Walmart Protein Bar Bandit, accused of a $1.46 theft. Voir dire was oddly focused on whether grazing (eating groceries before you pay for them) was acceptable, whether eating protein right after a workout is important, and whether any of us had strong feelings about the Walmart corporation. Go »

Summer of Suck

It's been a tough summer so far. Here's venting. - Some good people were laid off in my department. Go »

I Am Not Larry David

Last night, Kelly and I joined some friends from work at Tropicana Field to watch the Rays lose to the Blue Jays, something we do from time to time. In the second inning, I caught a foul ball that came wildly bouncing around our section. Everybody in our group got a kick out of it, and I savored the feeling. Go »

Fun with Vacation Planning

I think I have discovered a new interest: Vacation planning. Most people enjoy daydreaming about possible future trips, but not everybody enjoys working out the fine nitty-gritty details of every last part of the trip. I have found that I do. Go »

Breaking Monopoly

My latest pastime has been seeing if I can rig a video game of Monopoly to give me infinite money. It turns out that I can, but it's incredibly tedious, far more so than I thought. I like to play with the NES version, because it's just colorful and fun enough without being too sophisticated in its AI. Go »

Year of Disney

Kelly's been suggesting for a long time that we invest in annual passes to Disney World, since we live two hours' drive away. I finally wised up and listened to her, as some number-crunching showed that we would only need to spend three days there for the passes to pay for themselves. We placed the order and called it a Christmas gift to each other. Go »

Illinois 2015

Kelly just wrapped up a weeklong conference in Chicago. I flew in to join her for a few days afterwards to visit family and friends around Illinois. Trip highlights: - Adventurous food at the state fair in Springfield: Krispy Kreme donut cheeseburger, deep-fried cheesecake on a stick, Cuban barbecue pork nachos, mmm. Go »

Heart Burn

The recurring pericarditis that I mentioned elsewhere is now believed by my primary-care doctor to be heartburn or possibly an ulcer. The latter explanation is possible I suppose, but I'm skeptical about the former since it feels less like an acidic burning than like a sharp localized lower-chest pain such as a knife wound or bullet wound. Either way, it still keeps occurring every few weeks, it still hurts like a son of a bitch and keeps me awake all night, and I'm way beyond sick of it happening. Go »

Kids Again

Kelly is a big Kids in the Hall fan, so I bought her tickets to see them for our first anniversary. And since they were playing at Universal Studios in Orlando, we decided to make a day of it at the theme park, which became a whole weekend getaway. And since I like sharing my opinions at length on the Internet, here's what I thought of each part. Go »

Red Carpet Saturday

Some friends of ours recently made a short film (they're officially in IMDb) that got into the Sarasota Film Festival, so Kelly and I had to check it out. It screened with eight other short family-friendly films on a Saturday morning, and there was good turnout for the two locally-made titles in the set. I enjoyed our friends' comedy and laughed along with everyone else, and I was impressed by several of the other movies too. Go »

Firsties

It's been one year today since Kelly and I got married, but that feels strange to say, since it's been nineteen years today since our first date back in high school. I don't mind that it took us so long to get to this "first" anniversary; I'm just glad that we got here at last. We spent the day out feeding flamingos at a local animal sanctuary and eating at some favorite restaurants before I go back on diet tomorrow. Go »

In Love, in Tampa

Last night we took in a special show by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman for Valentines Day. Kelly is a huge fan of both and I was happy to take her to see them. I did not start the evening as a Palmer fan, but I was one by the time it ended. Go »

House of Pain

Happy new year! The first month of 2015 has been so terrible that I'm declaring a re-do as if it never happened. 2015 really starts now as far as I'm concerned. Go »

Illinois 2014

Kelly and I are home after a week on the road visiting family and friends in Illinois. I wish that we had more time to see more people, but I'm also glad that we got out of town before the sub-freezing temperatures returned. It was important to us to spend time with Kelly's father and brother since this was the first Christmas after her mother passed away, and most of the trip was spent just being a family. Go »

Fur and Feathers

Yesterday was a good day: To celebrate my mother's 75th birthday, we took her out for a day around Sarasota doing things that appealed to her love of animals. After starting with a big breakfast, we went to a local attraction that we've all been meaning to see for years, the Big Cat Habitat that takes care of exotic animals that were born in captivity but abandoned by their owners. The lions and tigers and liger were the prime attraction, but they also had bears, monkeys, a chimpanzee, parrots, emu, turkeys, goats, koi, and even stranger animals like a kangaroo, kinkajou, and coati. Go »

Garfunkel and Oates

Kelly and I had a good time last night taking out two old friends for their birthdays to see Garfunkel and Oates in Tampa. I'm only familiar with the duo's songs, so it was refreshing that only maybe a third of the show consisted of music. The rest was stand up comedy, storytelling, audience interaction, and a weird extended commercial for their sponsor Monster Energy Drink, tall boys of which were being handed out for free, because that's just what my heart needs at ten o'clock at night. Go »

A Fib

I wish the title was "a fib" as in a lie. But no, it's "A Fib" as in atrial fibrillation. That's a heart condition in which the upper part of your heart doesn't keep a rhythm. Go »

Goodbye, Kai

I've been trying to save up for a new computer for the last few years, but bigger purchases like a wedding and medical emergencies kept consuming the funds. This past weekend, I finally broke down and bought a cheap but still quite powerful Windows 7 machine on Newegg, because I could no longer stand my old Windows XP machine. How old was it? Go »

OK Glass

Last weekend, Kelly and I drove up to St. Petersburg with friends to see Ira Glass present a one-man stage show explaining how he makes This American Life on the radio. I had no prior familiarity with his work, having not heard the radio show unlike the fans that I went with, but I think it's long past time that I started listening to the celebrated series online. Go »

Tom's Ball Smells Like Apple Pie

For the last four months, I've spent Tuesdays at a bowling alley playing in a just-for-fun league. Score was kept, but the mood was friendly and non-competitive, except for one of my teammates who kept competing with us instead of the other teams. :-) I struggled with it at first, partly because I thought I was signing up for a six-week league and it turned out to be a sixTEEN-week league, and partly because my skills had somehow diminished even though I'm in better shape now. Go »

Risky Games

Here's plugging two games that I've been enjoying lately: Dice Wars is a good little miniature online game for one person, playable in about 20 minutes and very satisfying for its size. The text below the game explains the rules, but suffice to say, it's basically Risk but built to be played rapidly thanks to some rule simplification and a very swift AI. (Thanks for suggesting it, Joandy!) Go »

24 Hours in Orlando

Recent conversation with Brenda: me: "It's nice to meet you!" Brenda: "It's nice to meet you too!" As Steve mentioned, Kelly and I drove up to Orlando on Friday night to have dinner with the vacationing West family. Go »

Pico de Greedo

On Friday, my company threw a part Mexican, part Star Wars party in celebration of Cinco de Mayo and Star Wars Day ("May the 4th be with you"). It was a weird combination but it worked, with games like a lightsaber piñata bash. Kelly made "lightsabers" (pretzel rods frosted with blue and red frosting), but she really got interested when I mentioned that the salsa contest offered three prizes and only had three teams on the signup sheet. Go »

R.I.P. Pat

Kelly's mother passed away last week. The event had been anticipated for decades: Pat was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child, suffered kidney failure in 1995 and survived on her brother's donated kidney, and had five strokes and five heart attacks and countless operations, including emergency brain surgery in 2007 that changed her personality. She obviously possessed quite an inner resiliency even if she seemed petite and frail on the outside, but it was inevitable that she would someday lose the fight with her own body. Go »

The Honeymoon

After our wedding, it was time for Kelly and I to enjoy our honeymoon: Ten days in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the coastline between them. We (really I, with Kelly's signoff) spent weeks researching and scheduling to pull it off, and the effort was definitely worth it, as we had ten days of bliss. We rode new rides at Disneyland, toured a movie studio and historic ship, saw whales and dolphins up close, ate lunch atop a mountain, hiked among the redwoods, explored Chinatown and Alcatraz, and along the way ate some amazing food. Go »

The Wedding

Kelly and I wed on March 15, an event that we've been looking forward to for a very long time. Despite keeping the wedding modest and casual, it still involved a great deal of planning and anxiety, occupying my attention for the last few months. (Kelly was in charge of her outfit; I planned everything else, with her approval at each stage.) Go »

Illinois 2013: Four Pictures

As a follow-up to my Illinois road trip, here are photos taken at our engagement party. Shown are Kelly and me, Matthew Preston with his wife Liz, and Jackie Mason with her husband Will. I wish that our photographer Lori Lancaster was in one of the shots, but I'm grateful to her for taking the pictures all the same. Go »

Illinois 2013

Ten highlights of my just-concluded road trip to northern Illinois with Kelly, in chronological order: - Seeing lots of friends and family at our engagement party in St. Charles, our old hometown. I was glad to be able to talk to everyone there, and also glad that I now recognize almost everyone in Kelly's large family on sight. Go »

Scott's Pet Peeve #8431

Random strangers on Facebook are not exactly known for impressive displays of intellect, but with several of my friends in the hospital recently, I've been annoyed by one particular bad habit that their friends seem to have: 1) Someone posts that s/he is experiencing a certain medical problem and is going into the hospital. Friends reply with supportive words. 2) A few hours later, the OP posts an update describing what the doctors are doing. Go »

R.I.P. Harry

It's been a melancholy weekend since learning of the passing of a family friend. Fifty years ago, Harry and my mother went on a date. They didn't quite click, but she liked him enough to introduce him to her best friend, and sparks flew between them that soon led to marriage and a lifetime of gratitude to my mother for introducing them. Go »

Upstream Color

Every since seeing the strange and poetic Upstream Color, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I highly recommend it if you're in the mood for something weird and beautiful. After a very limited theatrical release in April, it jumped straight to VOD in May, and now it's on Netflix Streaming and Amazon Instant. Go »

No R'lyeh, I'm Not a Fan

I never thought of myself as a fan of H.P. Lovecraft. I don't think I've read more than a couple of his short stories. Go »

Appetite for Destruction

My name is Scott, and I'm an alcoholic. I don't mean that statement literally. I almost never drink alcoholic beverages. Go »

Katie

We weren't planning to get another cat until maybe late spring, but a friend had to move in a hurry and find homes for her cats, so we agreed to adopt one. Her name is Katie, and she needs lots of reassurance about her new home. So far, she's mostly doing well, playing with toys and demanding lots of cuddling. Go »

February 10-16

I don't really blog much about my day-to-day existence because it feels too mundane. But life is made up of those little days, and we don't get an accurate picture of each other's lives if we only discuss the big events. Here's a snapshot of my life last week. Go »

Varicosity

A couple of people have asked about a foot injury that I mentioned. It sounded scary but it's actually pretty minor. A varicose vein on the surface of my left foot ruptured on its own. Go »

Shadows

Lindsey Stirling combines her violin, electronic music, and hip hop dance moves into a really unique pop act. She was a semi-finalist on America's Got Talent, but YouTube seems to be a better showcase for her. I'm really digging a number of her videos, but especially this one because it's mostly a single uninterrupted shot. Go »

2012

What a great year. Kelly and I got engaged. Kelly gained permanent employment and health benefits. Go »

When Anxieties Attack

It feels weird to write about a fairly minor health incident in my life after someone else on this site just went through a major crisis. But people have been asking since Kelly's cryptic Facebook comment on Tuesday morning and I guess I should explain. I had been working every night last week on a project for work and getting a couple of hours of sleep each night, which turned into an all-weekend thing, and the avalanche of tasks didn't stop when the site launched early Monday morning. Go »

The Little Ship

Our cat Sweetie Pie passed away in her sleep on Thursday night after a very long illness. We don't know how old she was -- she was my mother's cat before mine, and my grandmother's cat before that, and belonged to some other lady in my grandmother's nursing home before then. We have that stranger to thank for giving her the old-fashioned name, but it was appropriate: Sweetie Pie was a friendly cat, who was happy when company came over (especially if they fed her treats!) Go »

iMenus

I think we just experienced the future of restaurants. I thought that once before, and it turned out to be true, but in that case the trend was years late coming to Sarasota after large cultural centers like New York and Los Angeles. We might be a few years behind on this new trend as well, but I still see it becoming commonplace. Go »

The Proposal

By now, the news is out that Kelly and I are engaged. We couldn't be happier about it! Here's the full story for anyone interested. Go »

Illinois, October 2012

Our road trip to see friends and family in Illinois was well worth it. The drive both ways was pleasant. I indulged in junk food like a man taking a break from six months of dieting (since my post-Atkins diet started in June, I've lost 50 pounds). Go »

Members of an Elite Squad

When I started watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit a year ago (!!), I predicted that I would never write about its good episodes because it was a mediocre series. Along the way, it turned out to have plenty of mediocre hours and some lousy ones, but it had a lot more good or even great hours than I expected. Go »

Retrospection

If I recall the dates correctly, yesterday would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. She lived to just shy of her 89th, despite a lifetime of chain smoking. I remember her as a sweet, generous woman who liked to laugh and teach me life's simple pleasures; a typical afternoon for us was playing crazy eights and baking cinnamon rolls. Go »

Get a Clue

Among hard-core board game fans, an argument has raged for years now over preferences for European-style games and American-style games. European games emphasize strategy, trade, and abstraction, while American games emphasize luck, conflict, and detailed themes. European games also strive to keep every player involved as long as possible, rather than eliminating them. Go »

Powerless

Going without electricity in Florida can be a miserable affair. You sweat non-stop. You sleep fitfully at best, waking up in pools of your own body fluid. Go »

Atkins

I'm now in my fourth week on the Atkins diet. I had planned to write about it at the start and maybe once each week, but I've been so busy... dieting. Go »

Dr. Jerk

I wish doctors would treat me like a person, instead of a fat person. No matter what complaint sends me to the doctor in the first place, within minutes, every visit turns into a conversation about how I need to lose weight, and what will happen if I don't. Like I haven't tried a thousand times to lose weight. Go »

And If You're Not Careful, You Might Learn Something

Ten things I learned from watching the entire run of The Cosby Show over the last few months on Netflix streaming: - Cliff wasn't the only one who wore wild sweaters. - Seinfeld was celebrated as the "show about nothing," but this show had even less plot. Entire episodes just riffed for twenty minutes on Vanessa fretting over a test or Theo having a crush on a girl, nothing more. Go »

Blood Lines

A few weeks ago, I dropped a glass bottle of salad dressing on the kitchen floor, making the house smell like vinaigrette for a day. Today, I stepped on the last errant bit of glass hiding in a crack of tile by the corner. Better my foot than the cat's paw, I guess; I don't lick between my toes. Go »

Obama Criticizes Obama Over Rising Gas Prices

I was going to share this fake news article that I drafted in a chat with friends...Stopped at a DC-area gas station to fill up his motorcade, President Obama groaned as he watched the numbers climbing ever higher on the pump. "God, why don't I get off my ass and do something about the price of gas?" Go »

The Ten Best Films of 2010 That I Saw

10) The Other Guys - An offbeat and frequently hilarious comedy seemingly performed by the seats of the actors' pants. Its randomness may turn off some, but the jokes clicked for me. How nice to have a movie so reminiscent of The Naked Gun in the year of Leslie Nielsen's passing. Go »

Gingerbread Office

I don't often join in Kelly's craft projects, and it's even rarer for her to join in one of mine. But that's what happened last week when my company held a gingerbread house contest, and Kelly pitched in to help the team that I signed up for. We decided to make a "north pole branch" of our Sarasota office. Go »

Scott's Pet Peeve #2519

Why do some microwaves have a convenient quick-start option if you press 1 or 2 or 3, so that they instantly start cooking with 1:00 or 2:00 or 3:00 on the clock... but DON'T have this same functionality programmed into 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, which do nothing when pressed alone? How does an engineer possess both the vision to provide the former and the lack of imagination that results in the latter? Go »

The Vagueness Continues

Things are looking up. Tomorrow, we sign the lease on a new house in Sarasota, bigger and cheaper than the ridiculously overpriced apartment we've had for five years. It's the first in a series of changes that we've wanted to make for a long time. Go »

Over and Out

"How's the week treating you?" "Like I slept with its wife." I've had better weeks. Go »

Scott's Pet Peeve #8446

Not all mobile phones mix a qwerty keypad with their main numerical keypad, but I have an old Blackberry that does. That makes me especially frustrated by companies that only provide a letter-based phone number without showing a numerical alternative (800-LIKE-THIS). I just went to cancel Nutrisystem, and of course they require you to call a counselor rather than just cancel online, and the only number they give is 888-459-THIN. Go »

Day 178

People have been asking me how the diet is going. I'm still at it, although I cheat much more often than I'd like, so the daily caloric average is now 1500-1800. However, I've been stuck on one seriously cruel plateau. Go »

Something Comes Along to Intervene

I've been enjoying "Meddle" and "Remedy" by Little Boots, two great electropop songs with catchy hooks, perfect for summer. But I didn't really take her seriously as an artist until I heard "Stuck on Repeat." It's pop music on acid, like Kylie Minogue produced by Captain Beefheart, and the unlikeliest hit song of the year. Go »

Ketchup Packets

I was verbally mugged by a former coworker today, a guy I used to think of as a friend some time ago. I had the displeasure of laying him off last year, and after months of struggling to get by with nothing but condiments in his fridge, he started a blog to vent his frustration at me and a few other coworkers he disliked. The comments are very mean-spirited, from professional criticisms about my managerial competence and decision-making, to personal and apparently very nasty jokes about my weight and appearance. Go »

Illinois-a Will Destroy Ya

Today, I was asked to jot down some memories of living in Illinois. I thought about a topic and wrote: Some of what I miss most about Illinois is the delicious, filling food. Loose meat sandwiches at the Maid-Rite in Peru, chocolate shakes at the Steak ‘n Shake in Normal, deep-dish pizza at Pequod’s in Lincoln Park, monte cristo sandwiches at the Sunrise in Macomb, horseshoes at the Field House in Springfield, pecan waffles at the Waffle Company in Mt. Go »

401.8

Most people wouldn't find anything to celebrate in weighing four hundred pounds. But when you're above that and working your way down, and that number is as high as your scale will go, it's a good milestone to cross. I've weighed more than this for at least four years (how long I've had the scale), and it feels good to know that I've dropped whatever weight I've put on during that time. Go »

Day 86

The diet continues, but I haven't lost as much as I would like by now. Four pant sizes is something to be proud of, but three of them were lost in January, so you can understand my frustration. I've wound up taking a fourth meal most days, bringing me to ~1200 calories, and so far I've had a lot of trouble going back down to three. Go »

Gigantism

Thanks to a friend who couldn't use them, I scored They Might Be Giants tickets to replace the broken Valentines gift that I originally bought for Kelly. We took in the show last night with two other friends who happened to be going, Nathan and Raquel, and it was a great time. Most of my concerts have been metal, so I'm used to screaming and head-banging, and I didn't exactly know how to get into the music, especially since I was the least familiar with the TMBG catalog. Go »

Roller Coaster

Our lives have had lots of ups and downs lately. I'd blog about each of these separately if I could. DOWN - Kelly is laid off again. Go »

Haute cuisine

Today I came across this photo gallery of independent restaurants around our area. Some of them we've enjoyed, like GooCon favorite The Lobster Pot, and others are ones we just haven't gotten around to yet. As pretty as the food looks, I find myself looking at the dining rooms and noticing how many of them look decorated for private parties. Go »

Day 14

In lieu of "weight loss Wednesday" since I'm much too busy on Wednesdays even to get online, let me write today that I'm on day 14 of a new diet, which is 13 more days than nearly all of my attempts last. This is, in fact, the second-longest I've ever lasted on a diet, and in a few weeks it will be the longest. This should indicate how lousy my self-discipline is and why I've ballooned to this size, around 450 pounds. Go »

Fossil

The soap says Cambria & Taylor. "Is that trilobite soap?" "What are you talking about?" Go »

The Ten Best Films of 2009 That I Saw

10: Thirst - A priest must cope with having become a vampire. It's a psychological power struggle between two outcasts with their souls on the line. Slow but very methodical in its effect; every moment matters. Go »

White Christmas

We're enjoying our winter vacation in central Illinois so far. Tue 12/22 - When you're hitting the road for your vacation right after work is over, every extra minute feels like an hour, which means I did 45 hours of overtime. The drive was easier than we thought, probably because we had days to prepare this time. Go »

Final Chapter

The movies that are going to be written about in Brittany Murphy's obituaries are Just Married, 8 Mile, Clueless, and maybe Sin City. But the one most sadly relevant is a movie that few people saw, The Dead Girl. Each chapter of the movie shows how a different woman is affected by the discovery of a woman's body in a field, until the last chapter doubles back and shows us her haunting final days. Go »

Crikey

I saw a trailer for a new Free Willy movie coming out soon, starring Bindi Irwin. They're going to cash in on that kid for as long as they can, before she breaks down and can't be Miss Junior Croc Hunter and more. Maybe working in the same career that killed her dad is good for her psyche; who am I to be skeptical? Go »

Love, Scott

Today is my mother Joan's 70th birthday. I wish her all the happiness in the world, but the occasion brings me feelings of guilt, for I have nothing to give her. Partly that because of bad timing, since she's on a cruise with her boyfriend Andy at the moment. Go »

Cold Turkey

Last night, we visited friends to celebrate "orphans Thanksgiving," for those of us who don't travel north to see our families. My family lives right here in Sarasota and we already had a nice holiday dinner on the beach (mmm grouper), but I wasn't about to miss a gathering with friends. The food was good and the company was great, but what I didn't expect was the cold, or I'd have put on more than a t-shirt and light slacks. Go »

Jacked

It's good to be back online. We lost our Internet connection at home on Tuesday, and it has only come back on for a few minutes sporadically ever since then, just enough time to send a quick email before it vanishes again. Making sure goos got published in time wasn't easy. Go »

Pandora

[This post wound up being very long-winded and self-absorbed, but that's what blogs are for, I guess.] For years, I've gotten increasingly picky about how I listen to music. Sometimes I just want to listen to everything I have on shuffle, but sometimes I want to get more specific like only music from one genre on shuffle or all songs by one artist in chronological order, and sometimes I want to get really specific, like songs about dreams or artists from Michigan or recordings featuring violins. Go »

Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring, Banana Camera Phone

I need to get a camera phone. I keep seeing things that I want to take a picture of, but I don't bring my camera with me, and even if I did, I wouldn't be fast enough with it. Yesterday I pulled up behind a landscaping truck that had one of those "how's my driving?" Go »

In Bed

"You are very generous, and always think of the other fellow." Go »

Hello Stupid

I don't know why car companies insist on calling their products "vehicles" now. Apparently "cars" became a dirty word and I missed it. But if you're going to change the term, consider your marketing messages carefully: As a matter of fact, yes, I have heard about radar, sonar, and infared technology in vehicles, such as submarines, aircraft carriers, and helicopters. Go »

New Dog Upstairs

Third in a series? I don't think I need to spell this one out. Needless to say, the dog seems to live in a cage directly over my kitchen, and its only hobby is barking nonstop, 24 hours a day. Go »

Scott's Razor

Hanlon's Razor states:Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.That's cute, but aren't we all just a little quick to assume either explanation? Nobody trusts anybody else's judgment any more. Go »

New Baby Upstairs

WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH WAAAH... Go »

Crying in Baseball

Kelly and I won tickets to see a Tampa Bay Rays game in a deluxe suite last night. We've been excited about it for weeks, looking forward to a good game, good seats, and good food, all paid except the parking. What we got was a let-down. Go »

Crash

There are some dangerous intersections in our neighborhood, where trucks come barreling through after the light turns red. This morning, Kelly and I were waiting at the light when she dropped her sunglasses. "Fuck beans," she muttered, unbuckling her seat belt and leaning forward just as the light turned green. Go »

Solitaire

Right now, I don't think I could write emotionally about my feelings from last night as well as I could have in the moment, but I haven't finished considering them and this is a part of that process. Long story short, I found myself passing on friends who really wanted to spend time with me in order to sit here and write code for Celebrity Goo Game, and I came to question what the hell I was doing. As in, my whole lifestyle. Go »

Happiness, That's My Livelihood

Somehow I've agreed to teach HTML & PHP classes on Friday mornings. Two down, at least two to go. I enjoy teaching, and you know I enjoy making websites, but the getting-up-before-dawn-at-the-end-of-a-long-week part is agony. Go »

Even When I Was a Child, I Was Hated by Skeletons

We watched The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra again last night. If you haven't seen it, and you have a place in your heart for a pretty good spoof of campy D-grade sci-fi movies from the 1950s, rent it. A few people have been turned off by its slow pace, but I have yet to watch it with someone who hasn't at least found a few things to chuckle at. Go »

Who's Got (Car) Trouble

I'm not even halfway through paying off my new car and already it's being towed to have the engine worked on, since it won't start tonight. It didn't deal well with Kelly's camping event last weekend, coming home with creaking suspension and broken power locks, and now this. He's hoping all four tires (just replaced in the spring) make it through GooCon this time. Go »

Mayhem

Last night I saw Killswitch Engage, Slayer, and Marilyn Manson. This morning I discovered that Walgreens sells a pretty good neck brace for $11.99. Aaron Shurtleff bought my Mayhem Festival ticket in May as a gift, and I'm grateful to have another generous friend. Go »

Buying a Printer

I bet if you work in a grocery store, you spend part of the time rearranging food that you know is going to get thrown away after it doesn't sell, so you feel like you're going to a lot of trouble for nothing. That's what buying a printer feels like. I hate buying printers because I'm highly skeptical that I can find one that will still work after six months, after Kelly and I have gone through a long series of them for the last ten years that all broke down like flimsy pieces of crap. Go »

My Dinner with Amy

Nice to meet you, old friend. Go »

How to Get on My Bad Side

Sign me up for information about lap band surgery, using my work email address and work phone number. I've been getting calls from various hospitals since last week. At first I thought it was my friend and co-worker Aaron (not Shurtleff), since he has a mischievous sense of humor, but he denies it. Go »

Downtown Disney

My mom's birthday present to me was a mini-vacation in Orlando, since we're too broke to take a real vacation. We weighed the options for a few days, theme parks vs small local attractions, and settled on something we had wanted to do for years, DisneyQuest and some of the Downtown Disney complex around it. I knew DisneyQuest had a lot of motion-simulator and interactive video games, but I didn't realize that the entire 5-story building is just one giant video arcade. Go »

Thoughts from Barnes & Noble

- Aren't all of these books in the clearance aisles the same ones I saw while Christmas shopping? - Sarasota must be really obsessed with astrology, Barack Obama, pet psychology, and Eastern cooking. Or the whole country is. Go »

Operation Chillax

Today begins a week-long vacation from work, my first break since GooCon last October. Well, not quite begins, since I still have more work to do tomorrow. But then I'm free! Go »

Det är inte så farligt

Yesterday, Kelly and I joined friends who had free passes to shop at the new Ikea store in Tampa before it opens to the public. It was our my first time in one of those stores, and it was every bit the harrowing shopping marathon I'd heard it was. For a store that boasts so frequently about how efficient everything is, having you proceed through the store in one long winding line for four hours sure doesn't feel that way, but every store has ways of getting you to buy more than you came for and Ikea has come up with a unique one. Go »

Unexpected Easter

This has been an unusual few days. Kelly's father had a stroke on Thursday, so we left town suddenly to see him, ultimately choosing to drive since we can't afford plane tickets on no notice. He's going to be fine; his vision was affected at first but he seems recovered now, pending another examination. Go »

Feeling Lucky

Yesterday was my 13th anniversary of dating Kelly. We've been through many ups and downs together, and those downs have to do with why we're not married yet, but I love her as much now as I ever have. Here are 13 things that have been a part my life for less time than we've been dating: - The Internet. Go »

Grievances

I haven't written about my life in this blog for a while because I haven't liked to think about the state of my life. Things could always be worse, but I still don't feel much optimism these days. - We're being pinched by the economy. Go »

Overheard

"Back when I sold real estate, I used to touch up the houses myself. It was a tough market, there wasn't money to pay for it. Anyway, this one house, I have the damnedest time getting the color in the living room right. Go »

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Steve West doesn't know it yet, but he did me a big favor. Less than 48 hours after meeting me, he offered a friendly observation that I was not being assertive enough while running GooCon, to make sure everything happened right. I've heard that criticism from people my whole life, but explained in terms like "you're too polite" or "you're too fair" that don't sound like behaviors that need to be corrected. Go »

Jeffrey Katzenberg is a Crazy Person

I'm no fan of 3-D. I have lazy eye, which makes my right eye blurry and my left eye sharp. During a normal movie, I usually sit up front to be absorbed in the picture so that it doesn't matter, or if I sit in the back, I can concentrate to correct my vision. Go »

De-Gifting

I'd like to think I'm getting better at white elephant games since I play them every December, but evidence proves otherwise: After losing out on a crock pot, a board game, a video game, a sushi kit, a yoga mat, and a nightrobe, I finally took home a Z-grade zombie movie on DVD, and a Ben Franklin t-shirt. Woo! On the other hand, I scored a quesadilla maker at another party that has been pretty good so far. Go »

Everybody Loves George

As long as everyone already knows I'm years behind the rest of the culture, can I recommend That's My Bush! before Dubya actually concludes his presidency? We just finished watching the short series; it starts weak but gets pretty strong by the end. Go »

Things I Learned About Disc Golf Today

- There are different kinds of Frisbees, like heavy ones for putting and thin ones for long drives. - There's no sweeter sound than the jangle of those chains when your disc drops in. - Yelling "fore!" Go »

Overheard While Shopping for Birthday Cards

"Don't they have any funny cards here? I mean actually funny, not ha-ha the polar bear farted funny." Go »

Veterans

Thank you. You deserve to hear those two words much more than you do. You may not agree with my vote last week, but I'm grateful for the sacrifices you made that let me cast it. Go »

Spirit

I've always felt like my life's dream was to quit my job and spend all my time online. I wouldn't only do that, of course ‗ if I won the lottery and quit my job, I'd also travel and take classes and throw parties and do other things ‗ but let's face it, I'd spend a lot of time working on this site and talking to people online. Last night I dreamed I was a ghost, recently passed. Go »

Screw the Braden River Post Office

I haven't written in this blog lately, and I hate to resume with a negative topic, but I need to vent and this makes a good outlet. I hate junk mail, as longtime TC users may recall from my many rants on the subject. Honestly, I've considered opening a storefront business that offers PO boxes to the public, and pre-filters your junk mail for you. Go »

More Nerd Humor

Thanks, Kelly. Go »

Amazon Appreciation

I just wanted to take a minute to thank Amazon.com. They've been my primary retailer for over a decade now, not to mention the seller of most prizes in the goo game and Oscars contests on this site. Once they started offering their Prime service ($80/yr gets you free 2-day shipping and discounted overnight shipping), they leveled the playing field against local retailers: No longer did I feel the need to save up a list of several items and buy them all at once to save on shipping. Go »

Rocky

Let's take a moment to mourn Rocky Aoki, who lived one hell of an interesting life. And that article barely even mentions his kids (in the sidebar), who have their own interesting lives. Go »

Ten Things I Learned While Kelly's Parents Pat & Russ Spent a Week Visiting Us

• Florida reminds me of Dave Barry's quip that vacationing in Britain is great because you meet people from entirely different states. We stopped a woman to take our picture; she was visiting from New Jersey and her daughter beside her was from California. The only local we met warned us what bridge not to jump off for swimming because the water is shark-infested. Go »

I Have Boring Dreams

Real men don't play tennis, and they don't play chess. They play tennis on a giant virtual chessboard where every step of their feet and bounce of the ball instructs the computer where to move the next piece. And they call it chennis. Go »

Rowr

For all you Lost Skeleton of Cadavra fans... (If you haven't seen it, rent it, or at least watch the trailer there.) Go »

Protecting the Children

"Oh yeah, well you can suck my anus!" "Dude, watch your language! There are kids around." Go »

Música de la polca

"I had to chaperone the prom at the high school where I worked. Most of the kids at that school are Hispanic, so they got to choose the music. You'd think they'd want to listen to hip hop or techno or something cool. Go »

Help Needed

Our friend Bill used to work USF tech support in the early nineties, the days of Windows 3.1 and 28.8k modems. Go »

Rambling Phone Post

Does it make sense for me to keep my phone? Work has provided me with a cell phone. I broke my home phone last weekend, and I could buy another one at Target for ten bucks, but I wonder if I should finally kick the $45 monthly bill and stick to either the cell phone or something like Skype (for which I'd have to buy a mic). Go »

Dodgy

"Is that a Dodge Dakota pickup truck? I heard that Native American tribe is really upset at the commercialization of their name." "Yeah. Go »

The Angry Number

Steve Dunn is bemused when people speak out against corporate America, as if it's a bad thing that they give millions of people jobs and create the products & services that enrich our lives. I'm with him, but sometimes I do get tired of being treated like a number. I've been a good tenant at this apartment complex for three years ‗ always paid rent on time, no loud parties or messy pets or maintenance problems. Go »

Comeback

Kelly shared this news with me: Boomerang returns, even in space. I'm still waiting for scientists to announce, 'Boomerang' Starring Eddie Murphy Still Sucks, Even in Space. Go »

Manly Pastimes

"So what did you do this weekend?" "I went drag racing." "Really? Go »

Jump to Conclusions

Walking through the store tonight, I came across this product... ...and upon seeing the little girl thinking of all the things she could do with her toy egg, I thought, BACK UP IN YO ASS WITH THE RESURREC-SHUN! Go »

WLW: The First 30

Since we're still putting off NutriSystem until our bank accounts recover from the move, Kelly and I have been focusing on exercise instead. So far it's mostly a lap around the apartment complex a few nights a week, saying hi to underdressed strangers walking their dogs. Last weekend we tried the mall. Go »

Key Words

I wonder what would come up if you searched IMDb keywords for "train wreck"? Unbreakable? The Fugitive? Go »

Moved In

We are moved in and settled, or as settled as we can be with little money and way too much stuff for a two-bedroom apartment. The final move will come in April when we transfer to a house. We have our eye on a house in Ruskin, 30 minutes from here ‗ four bedrooms, two-car garage, cable included, never lived in, all for $50 less a month than I pay now. Go »

WLW: No Payin', No Gain

My weight loss plan ‗ which has become our weight loss plan, since Kelly intends to do just about everything I do ‗ is on hold until I can recover from the move, which took my last penny and then some. On the bright side, I've been eating less since getting together with Kelly, and I burned what felt like a week's worth of calories during that move. We should start walking soon before we settle into a daily routine. Go »

Signs and Wonders

Driving through Georgia now. Just passed a plain yellow billboard saying The God with Moral Fault, amazon.com. Hidden agenda? Go »

Snowbound

I'm off to Springfield for the weekend to help Kelly move. YAY SNOW. Back late Monday night. Go »

Stepson

She hasn't come out and told me yet, but it seems pretty clear that my mom is engaged, or at least planning to get married to her boyfriend. I wish them both happiness, especially my mom after eleven solitary years as a widow. This is great news for both of them! Go »

What Other Kitty Cats are as Good as You, the Bestest Kitty Cat in the Whole World, Yes You Are?

• none Go »

Bill$

Saving up is hard to do. I'm spending every dollar I have after the holidays to move Kelly here next week, then we have to move again in two months to a larger place. And I have more than a grand to pay in taxes. Go »

21 Days

Any advice for what to do with my last three weeks of living single? Kelly will now move here on February 4, due to various factors. This, it goes without saying, rules. Go »

WGW: If It's Good Enough for Dan Marino, It's Good Enough for Me

This is more like Weight-Gain Wednesday after a week and a half with Kelly, bouncing around Sarasota restaurants and Disney World. No matter how many thousands of calories I burned walking around that theme park for three days, I'm sure I consumed twice as many, and that was just in fudge from the Main Street Confectionery. Now that I'm back and I've done some very scientific research ‗ asking a friend whether she hated one ‗ I have chosen NutriSystem over Medifast as the exclusive supplier of my every meal. Go »

Ten Stress-Relieving Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World

I know a few people visiting the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth for the first time in 2008, and I've been there a lot, so here's what I tell them. 1) Go during the off-season: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, or between New Years and Valentines Day. The hotels are a fraction of their normal cost, the Florida weather is dry and cool, and best of all, park attendance is at a minimum. Go »

What I Did on My Christmas Vacation

The last week and a half was some of the most fun I've had in a long time, and a much-needed vacation. I tend to take many short weekend trips each year rather than one long break, but it feels so good to be rejuvenated and rested for a change. "Christmas" came on Sunday the 23rd, dinner with my mom and Santa's usual generosity all around. Go »

I Wonder

Is there any way I can program my car's CD player to make an "om nom nom" sound when I slide in a disc? Go »

Happy Holidays

In case you wonder why it takes me so long to answer your message: I'm signing off for a week and a half while Kelly visits. Parties, shopping, museums, bowling, movies, lots of restaurants, and a few days at Disney World lie ahead. Have a wonderful holiday week. Go »

Emails!

Does the Internet baffle you? Try Gabe & Max's Internet Thing. Thanks, Marlon. Go »

WLW: Here's What You Do

No kooky doctor stories this week, as I've been left to my own care, or should I say, the care of everyone around me. I don't want to sound ungrateful, because I'm sincerely glad that people care about me enough to offer advice. It's just, there's a LOT of advice, from all directions, at the drop of a hat, and much of it conflicts with other advice. Go »

Without Teeth

Turns out I'm not the only one in this household in need of medical attention. I took my cat to the vet for an eye infection, wound up getting her a $500 physical since she's overdue, and the doctor wants to pull her teeth in a few weeks for another $400. He says her teeth and gums are impossibly infected and there's nothing else that can be done now. Go »

Flow Charts

Meet the marriage of rap music and Microsoft Office: (link) Why do I have the feeling Herbert Kornfeld made some of these? Thanks, Marlon. Go »

WLW: Can't

"Can't" is a word that fat people tell ourselves a lot after so many failed diets: We can't lose the weight, we can't succeed. Hearing it from a doctor would seem inconsequential. But it still hurts. Go »

Weight-Loss Wednesday: The Stress Test

Two weeks ago, I wound up in the hospital for what I worried was a heart attack, but turned out to be back spasms caused by too much weight on my frame. Either way, the lesson was ominous: Lose weight, or spend a lot more time in the hospital in the future. I would like to document my progress here on Wednesdays as I undertake this long journey. Go »

What's Funnier Than a Heart Attack?

Everything, but especially finding out that it's not a heart attack. The pain started after I finished my usual Tuesday dinner with my mom at 8pm. I stood up to leave, and stiffness shot up my back and across my chest. Go »

Cheesed

If life is about simple pleasures, does the return of Taco Bell's chili cheese burrito qualify? I don't know if it's nationwide, but they've returned on a wave of marketing around here. It was my favorite menu item a decade ago, until lack of counter space in the kitchen eliminated chili from a supposedly "Mexican" restaurant. Go »

PIMP

Many thanks to Miah Poisson and Ines Sarante for throwing a great 30th birthday party for Miah this weekend. I don't play much Guitar Hero, but apparently I play enough to win a tournament against Miah's GH-obsessed coworkers, or maybe it's just because the game is ridiculously handicapped against experts. I'm just happy because I won a pimp stein: We ate lots of great food, had fun with karaoke, and talked until the hour was late. Go »

Crash

Some days are so bad, you feel like you've been the only driver in a demolition derby without a car. Go »

Lars and the Ripoff

I'm sure that Lars and the Real Girl is a good movie and that Ryan Gosling is Oscar-worthy, yadda yadda. But will the bloggers out there spreading the word please stop acting like it's such an original premise to have an adult treat a life-size doll like a real person? In the past few years alone, I've watched indie movies May and Love Object cover the same ground, with Dummy skirting closeby, and those are only a few examples; plenty more exist through the years. Go »

Abe, Honest

During my visit to Springfield last weekend, Kelly and I went to a historical reenactment on the outskirts of town. Every small city that can do so builds shrines to its homegrown celebrity, but Springfield takes worship of Abraham Lincoln to new levels of ridiculousness. Besides the museum with the ordinary tools used by Lincoln during his early twenties, the historical community had the actual buildings he slept in and worked in. Go »

So Tired

Just need to vent. I worked until 2am last Sunday night, writing a document for work. This writing is by far the most miserable task at my company, and this particular instance of it was extra-complicated. Go »

Hungry Hungry Kitty

When you want your dinner, you want your dinner: (link) I do the same thing at China Buffet when they try to take the chicken lo mein off the line. Go »

Bad Housekeeping

If you're lazy like me, there's not a right time to put away the clean dishes. Who cares if you use them one-by-one out of the dishwasher? But there *is* a right time to discover that they're still dirty, and that's long before you're putting away the last couple of items after eating out of the dishwasher for days. Go »

She Can Really Whip a Donkey's Ass with a Belt

I hate the Black-Eyed Peas. You hate the Black-Eyed Peas. But Alanis Morissette really hates the Black-Eyed Peas. Go »

World Trade, Like, Something

I love it when two teenagers ring up and bag my groceries. "Did you ever see that Nicolas Cage movie about 9/11? I watched that last night, and, like, it got me thinking about how bad that was." Go »

alt.tv.bitchbitchbitch

Continuing in my tradition of discussing pop culture 5-to-10 years after its shelf life: Once upon a time, I was an enormous fan of ER. From the time I started watching early in season one, I didn't miss a single first-run broadcast until I finally stopped watching late in season five. I learned the medical jargon; I memorized every minor character's name; I speculated about and debated the future plotlines endlessly. Go »

Newer Neighbors Upstairs

"That's the fucking truth!" "You're a fucking idiot!" "Shut the fuck up before I slap your ugly head!" Go »

Give Me a Little Credit Here

Today's junk-mail pitch from Visa: "Most credit card companies know you as a number. Sean, we know you by name." Go »

Sweet

Even unconsciousness can't keep my brain from coming up with lousy puns. I just dreamed that another GM was telling me about this adventure game he was putting together... "So the heroes enter the forest, and before long they come across this little gingerbread house, with a sign that says PAY TOLL. Go »

Andy Dick Killed Phil Hartman?

How is it I'm only discovering this celebrity scandal ten years later? (link) Go »

Downtown A-Town

I can't write about why I spent the week in Atlanta because it's too confidential and work-related, but I can say that I had a good time around the margins of that event. The first day was the only loss. I got so little sleep the night before (seemingly a part of every trip I take) that I spent it groggy and exhausted. Go »

Space Out

As Denise suggested I do, I've gotten partway through the Unsolved Mysteries set on UFOs. (link) It's not my favorite topic, but the show is entertaining no matter what it covers, and they put on a good show. The problem is that most of it is so hard to believe. Go »

Not Exactly Red Hot

Her: "What's that CD you're holding?" Me: "Chili Peppers. I still haven't gotten over their album from last summer." Go »

Windbag

I don't know what Polaroids he has of whom, but somehow Tom Skilling has elevated himself to some kind of all-important weather-broadcasting god. When I grew up in Chicago, I watched him gradually get a bigger and bigger budget for his animated graphics, and gradually get a larger and larger timeframe to deliver his dull reports. By the time I left town, he had a whole 20 minutes of the hour-long midday newscast for the fucking weather, and boy did he find trivia to fill it: Average dew points across Cook County on this day in 1854, theta-e temperature predictions for every Cubs home game next season, you name it. Go »

Scooter

Headline: Bush Commutes Libby's Prison Sentence Yeah, there are complicated legal and political factors involved, but to the average citizen (me) it reads like "President's friend gets out of jail free." Man, I gotta track down George's MySpace and add him as a friend. Go »

69.120.111.23

By now, we've all read the news of how the bodies of wrestler Chris Benoit and his family were found on the afternoon of June 25th. But who read the news early? Check out this Wikipedia edit which mentioned his wife's death 14 hours before the bodies were discovered. Go »

Goodbye Dooce

Dooce.com has given me a lot of laughs over the years, and it's one of the few weblogs I have made a point to visit every day. But lately I just can't get past how much Heather bashes her husband, and with increasing viciousness. Go »

That Look

If you haven't seen the dramatic prairie dog yet: Stop, turn around and stare now. (Thanks Miah!) the original Kill Bill remix 2001 remix Church Chat remix (loud) infinite loop source footage Go »

The Time Has Come

My kingdom for an alarm clock that beeps once, gently, 60 seconds before it really begins going off. That way you're woken up comfortably and given a chance to turn it off, instead of being startled awake by loud shrieking and having to scramble for it. Go »

Fantastic

The 20th Century Fox sequel "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" debuted as the No. 1 weekend flick with $57.4 million in sales, slightly surpassing the $56.1 Go »

Can't Live With Her, Can't Live Without Her

This is the truncated version of a much longer and more ambitious post about my relationships and why I don't blog about them. Let's just leave the reason at "duh." Denise and I tried being friends again after breaking up, but it was based on each of us not saying what we really thought of the other, which is always unwise. Go »

Home Computing

Any time I get frustrated with how slow my computer seems these days, I just remember that it could be worse. Thanks, Marlon. Go »

Logic Rules

(link) Thanks, John. Go »

Thank You Netflix

I'm in the mood for some Law, followed immediately by some Order. Go »

Doppelgänger

I saw myself at the grocery. Tall, fat, shaved head, black collared shirt, black slacks, black leather shoes. I caught up to myself and muttered "I like the look" with a wink, and myself smiled, then myself's girlfriend saw us together and laughed. Go »

To the Victor Belongs the Spoils

If only I had $4000 to spare: Sopranos Pinball Go »

Mystery Gift

Thank you, Johnson, whoever you are. I received what I presume is a birthday gift hand-labeled from someone named "Johnson" in Jacksonville, Alabama, postmarked Anniston, Alabama on May 22nd. This means it's someone who knows me well enough to anticipate my birthday and know my home address. Go »

Eww

Gross is dreaming about eating a bagel slathered with rich cream cheese, then waking up and realizing that "taste" is the bacterial film in your mouth. Go »

Comedian

The bad news: I have a miserable cold (thanks Charlotte) and I slept for an hour last night. The good news: I had to speak in front of a hundred people today. Why is that good? Go »

Operation Git-R-Done

This past weekend, I explored my inner redneck in a NASCAR-centered visit to Charlotte with Steve Dunn and my family. Here are the highlights, good and bad. Thursday: Very little sleep before the trip: The Jeep parked outside my window sounded off its car alarm every five minutes (I timed it) from 10pm to 10am. Go »

Signs of Summer

The recent Florida wildfires have been a nasty reminder (I drove through one burned-down forest and it was a terrible sight), but if you need any more indication that summer is here, just step outside: It's scorching. Apparently one local still didn't think it was hot enough to take precautions, as evidenced by the recent explosion in the parking lot when we pulled into a strip mall for lunch. An entire trailer had burned into ash with only a skeletal frame and two melted tires remaining. Go »

Mario in Hell

Classic video game fans have been modding their favorite programs for years to make insanely weird and difficult levels. What does it sound like to play Super Mario Bros. in Hell? Go »

Not in My Back Yard

I love Unsolved Mysteries. The show told such interesting stories in perfect bite-size pieces, and knew how to make the hair on your neck stand up. I wish they were more objective in their reporting and didn't rely on pseudoscience as evidence (using psychics to prove ghosts and polygraph results to condemn criminals), but damn they put on an entertaining show. Go »

The News is Furry

I'm glad to see that CNN has continued their crackerjack, no-nonsense news coverage during ratings season: Go »

I Miss My Site

Things I would rather have done than work until 2am on a Sunday: - Fix the Obsessions page. - Fix the sidebar on my blog. - Review Spider-Man 3. Go »

The News is Scary

Sixth-grader admits stabbing ducks with pencil. Does anyone else read this and think, this kid will grow up to be Jeffrey Dahmer? Vegan parents guilty of murder. Go »

I Want to Play Sega with Harrison Ford

Behold the bizarre, pop-culture-inspired visions of Brandon Bird: (link) Thanks, Maggie. Go »

Parking Lot Pun

Overheard from an elderly woman whose groceries were being lifted into her trunk by a teenaged boy: "When you're as old as I am, the world is your hoister." Go »

Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Facial Reconstructive Surgery

When Roger Ebert took ill last fall, I thought it would pass in a week like his previous cancer scares, and he'd barely mention it. Then he didn't come back to work for months, and I thought he'd announce his retirement, because it's really hard to go back to doing something full-time when you've rested too long, even if you love it like he does. Then he announced that he'd be present at his annual film festival this month, and I thought the recovery was done and he was about to return. Go »

Home is Where the ‗‗‗ is

Just how convenient can future additions to Google get? (link) Thanks, Marlon. Go »

Scottish Highlands

Seeing a man in a kilt, the thought occurred to me, "Ha ha! I wonder if anybody has come up with 'upkilt' porn?" Then I checked online. Go »

#FFFFFF

I love how MSNBC.com's new slogan is "A Fuller Spectrum of News," complete with online ads featuring brilliant rainbows, and yet their entire site design is plain white except for one strip of blue across the top. (link) If I didn't give up reading it years ago because the entertainment section is spoiler city, I'd give it up today because I can't stand to look at it. Go »

Twit

Have you heard of Twitter? It's this great new web site where you report to your friends exactly what you're doing at that moment in time. Neat stuff! Go »

Long Live Scott's Other New Car

I never thought I'd write these words, but I'm the delighted new owner of a Hummer H2. It's all black, brand new in perfect condition. I've already got it tricked out with glowing ground-effects lights on the undercarriage and special extra-thick tires for off-roading. Go »

Toothiness, Or: More Bad Dental Humor

You know what company makes my favorite commercials? Oral-B. (link) (link) The camera careens inside the "Oral-B Institute," where a legion of white-coated scientists look sternly at interactive hologram displays and lasers carve out futuristic technology inside reactor chambers. Go »

Tooth in Advertising

Every time I go to the local Carmike cinema and watch their pre-show reminders montage, I wind up thinking about dentists. First they show King Kong howling with those yellowish fangs ‗ he needs a veterinary dentist. Then it's the pirates of the Caribbean; they have gold teeth so they need dentists too. Go »

You Won't See This in the Goo Game

Jeopardy! history was made yesterday: (link) Go »

The Revised Revised Revised Story

Last spring, This Modern World ran a great parody charting the decline of civil liberties in recent years, after the then-shocking revelation that the government was building a database of every call made in the country: (link) I was reminded of that over the weekend as the latest shocking revelation came out, that the FBI has vastly abused its new ability to request confidential information in the interest of national security (link), almost as if it was the next panel in the strip. Except I'm not laughing. Oh, what I'd have given to be the reporter at Alberto Gonzales's press conference this morning. Go »

March 14, 1977

I hope this doesn't set a precedent for doing this on everybody's 30th birthday, or I'm going to be busy writing these for the next few years... Top Ten Reasons Denise Sawicki is Awesome 10) She wore red on her wedding day, and she looked good. 9) She doesn't just send the DVD as a surprise birthday gift. Go »

Upsetting the Pace

Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on homosexuality (link): "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts... I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way." Go »

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Ah, Newsweek. You deliver a comprehensive cover story about the current state of evolutionary theory, barely slipping in a quick nod to the cultural debate, in an article that sticks wisely to the science. What do you follow up with as the B story in this week's science section? Go »

Abortion Aborted

Earlier this week, The Onion published another eyebrow-raiser: Actress' Abortion Written Into TV Show, with a photo of Leah Remini. Later that day, it changed without explanation into the much tamer Apple Unveils New Product-Unveiling Product. (link) Normally they never back down from a legal challenge or controversy, and good taste obviously isn't a factor, so I wonder why they changed the article. Go »

Maybe It's Warwick Davis

(link) Go »

This is Me Getting On With My Life

Any advice for a newly single guy? After five months, Denise and I are no longer seeing each other. I won't get into the causes out of respect for her point of view; let's just say she and I each wanted the other to behave differently and it wasn't going to happen. Go »

Real Predictions, from a Guy Who Takes This Too Seriously

Some of my Oscar contest predictions are solely based on my odds of "winning" the contest. I'm curious to find out if what film I really think will win in certain categories comes out on top. Best Picture: Babel Best Original Screenplay: Babel Best Original Score: Babel Best Film Editing: Blood Diamond Best Costume Design: Marie Antoinette Here's looking forward to a good show tonight. Go »

At Least It's Better Than Bra

You know what sucks, bro? Reading this article a couple of times and later discovering that "bro" has leaked into your everyday speech. Go »

Spiders on Drugs

Thanks, Aaron. (link) Go »

Shoulda Seen It Coming

The news that Princeton's infamous ESP research lab is soon to close (link) is both heartening and a little disappointing. On one hand, if there's anything at all to ESP, then skeptics should have no objection to private donations funding some bonafide scientific research into it ‗ no harm done except for a hint of legitimacy. On the other hand, this lab was a black bruise for Princeton and its "findings" were routinely debunked, and a facility investigating exceptional claims must have exceptional adherence to scientific standards. Go »

Bad for Business

CNN Money published an interesting look at the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business in the year 2006. Go »

Fuzzy Logic

Headline: Britney Spears goes bald. I'm her publicist. My client has an album coming out soon. Go »

More Free-Fallin'

A skydiver's chutes won't open, he falls 12,000 feet and survives with minor injuries, and the whole thing is captured on his helmet camera. (link) You have to click on the speaker to activate the sound. Go »

Meow Mix

Thanks Evgeni: Cat Music. Go »

Devilin'

Bill O'Reilly on Shawn Hornbeck: "The situation here, for this kid, looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his 'old' parents. He didn't have to go to school, he could run around and do whatever he wanted." Yeah, it was great. Go »

Warp Zone

President Bush has a new advisor: (link) Go »

Ten Best of 2006

The feature is done. It was frustrating not being able to see more movies this year, and the brevity of the feature reflects that. Comments about the list, or mentions of your own favorite films last year, are welcome in the replies to this post. Go »

Modern Music

Sadness is not when one of your favorite bands (Smashing Pumpkins) puts out their final album in MP3 format only and you miss it because you don't want to get into file-sharing. Sadness is five years later, when you happily stumble across a website with the entire thing available for download and you finally learn how heinous and unpublishable the album was all along. Go »

Free-Fallin'

I enjoy safe hobbies like making websites, but there's something to be said for the dangerous ones: (link) Go »

It's a Small World

Somehow "small" doesn't do Earth justice. (link) Go »

Dignity

Headline: Bush wishes Hussein execution was 'more dignified' Somewhere in an alternate universe: It's an election year, the Democratic candidate has just said exactly the same thing, and the Republican Party is ripping him a new asshole the size of Mars. Go »

Not to Be Confused with Denise Sawicki

It's been two months since I first mentioned my new love Denise on the site. She's overdue for a proper introduction, since I plan to continue mentioning her on a first-name basis around here. (I don't know why some men continue to tell me about their woman by calling her "my wife" or "my girlfriend" even though I've known her and socialized with her for years.) Go »

Intruder Alert

At 5:30am I was awakened by the doorbell and the sound of someone fumbling with my door. Through the peephole, I watched a young man desperately trying to pick the deadbolt. After a couple of minutes, he gave up and stumbled off towards the other apartments. Go »

That's All I Have to Say About That

Remember those somber anti-piracy messages before theatrical movies a couple of years ago? Like the near-weepy set painter whose wife and kids were going to live in the poorhouse if you illegally downloaded The Big Chill? They must have had an effect on me, because instead of sadness or sympathy, they were all I could think about when I read that the make-up artist for Forrest Gump killed herself and her husband. Go »

More Hypocrisy

Well, now that I've written at length on TC about how I consider online videos an unpleasant medium, this is the perfect time to share some! This year's Lazy Sunday might be this SNL bit with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samburg. NSFW. Go »

It's All About Me

I regret if my rantings around this site have come across either whiny, as I coped with illnesses and a busy schedule, or hypocritical, as I griped about Christmas cheer while still participating in the holiday. I don't regret if they came across as self-centered. Go »

Back in Black

Is it already the end of December? It feels like it's been three days since Thanksgiving. Between late nights at work, holiday parties, and shopping for the big day, this month has been a blur. Go »

DMV Mystery

My last car, a 1996 Mercury, was registered in my mother's name, so every year in December (the month of her birthday), the registration sticker would be delivered to her at her house and she'd have to pass it to me to put on the license plate. No big deal. A few months ago, I bought a 2007 Dodge in my name, though she co-signed the credit application since I had no credit history. Go »

Humbug 4 Life

This isn't a very popular opinion these days, but it's from the heart: I'm getting terribly fed up with Christmas all around me, and being wished a merry Christmas dozens of different ways every day both verbal and non-verbal. Normally I think political correctness is a joke and the word "offended" is a thoroughly dead horse of a cliché, but I have no other word for how I feel than offended. I'm not Christian and want nothing to do with the holiday of Christmas. Go »

PS3: First Impressions

On Tuesday, which happened to be Denise's birthday (we celebrated the night before), an acquaintance sold me a brand new Playstation 3 and I hit Best Buy to choose carefully from among the whopping half-dozen titles available. When I unpacked the system with a friend, I found it to be much bigger and heavier than I expected, but it's sleek and doesn't have any buttons; you just wave your finger over it to turn it on. The far left edge of the screen is cut off on my tv set, since the system doesn't include any display-centering option, but I hope to figure out a solution. Go »

Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes

You can look at this as a parody if you wish (I'm no fan of U2), but mostly it's just silly: (link) Go »

Scary Mary

New horror film? Thanks, Jon. Go »

The Devil and David Hasselhoff

Thanks, JP. Go »

Mile-High Hypocrisy

The homeowners' association in a Denver suburb is furious that one of its residents has dared to put up a Christmas wreath in the shape of the peace symbol. (link) Yeah. Keep reading till the end. Go »

The Weekend of Soup

This has been a miserable week. Monday: I woke up dizzy with a high fever and couldn't stay standing up. There were no cold or flu symptoms, but it wouldn't go away, so I worked the day from home. Go »

Kissingerian

Another of Fareed Zakaria's perfectly lucid articles today, suggesting the only way out of Iraq: (link) Go »

His Name is Bond

[Spoilers for Casino Royale.] One of my favorite bits of any fan-invented mythology is the identity of 007: It is held by some series fans (and me) that "James Bond" is merely a codename. When one Bond is killed or retires, another one takes his place and assumes the same name, which is why you see a different actor every decade and the man doesn't age despite having been around since the Kennedy administration. Go »

Random News

Russian reporter murdered by the state. When I observed to a Bulgarian friend that Russia seems to be sinking back into its old fascist state by breaking one inviolable law at a time, he remarked that it always was that way and always will be that way. Whatever things we may dislike about our Congress or President, thank goodness they don't murder us for saying so. Go »

Eschew Obfuscation

For any FIN players wondering where in the hell the game is: I used my little free time over last weekend writing a mini-post ‗ three whopping paragraphs ‗ and at the end of the weekend I just couldn't bear to publish it so short. (The title of this post was the planned title of that post.) I have now rearranged my social so that weekends are more free, and one thing I plan to do with the time is resume writing FIN, starting this weekend by expanding my three paragraphs into more like three pages. Go »

Thus Spoke Jeffy

This has been around for a while I'm sure, but it's new to me and I love it: The Nietzsche Family Circus. Go »

Blog Entry Post

Pet peeve: Why do people redundantly call it "tuna fish?" You never hear "parrot bird" or "Cocker spaniel dog." Go »

Nooooooooooodge

You know what would be nice? If Google, one of the most web-savvy companies in existence, could manage to remember my goddamn user settings for more than 48 hours. I'm getting really sick of discovering them reset to defaults and having to change them all over again. Go »

Halloween Party 2006

Last night I had the privilege to attend a Halloween party thrown by Miah (Jeremiah) Poisson and his fiancée Ines Sarante, which doubled as Miah's birthday party. My thanks to the hosts! I had a great time. Go »

Rolling Revisionism

In all of the coverage of the execution of Danny Rolling, I keep reading that he was "Florida's most notorious serial killer since Ted Bundy." (link) Umm... Doesn't anybody remember Aileen Wuornos? Go »

Silly Caucasian Girl Likes to Play with Samurai Swords

I heard that a teenager was questioned by the Secret Service after she posted an icon saying "Kill Bush" on her myspace page. My companions were up in arms over it, saying that's a violation of free speech and how dare they scare her, et cetera. I don't see how she was charged with any crime or how this how this disrupts anything but her school day. Go »

TACO TOWN!!

(link) Thanks, Jon. Go »

Irresistible

When I saw this poster at the movie theater, I wondered: Is that a coming attraction, or did I step into a mirror universe where that poster has nothing to do with a movie? Go »

Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

Damn it. After The Sims 2, I'm not ready for another glitch to ruin a game. Elder Scrolls IV has always been a little buggy, tending to lock up my Xbox when it gets too excited for instance. Go »

Good Company and Busy Nights

Highlights from my last two weeks, in no particular order: - Miah Poisson, his fiancée Ines, and her friend Denise have always wanted to see The X Files, and it just so happens I have the complete series on DVD. We've started getting together every Monday night to watch a couple of episodes and eat sandwiches. I'm taking the opportunity to do something I wanted to do the first time I watched the series, which is keep a kill-count. Go »

More Than Meets the Eye

Paramount is holding a contest in which one lucky fan will have their line of dialogue added to the upcoming Transformers movie, spoken in character by Optimus Prime. (link) I wonder if they'll take my submission: "I want these motherfucking Decepticons off this motherfucking plane!" Go »

Rethinking Forrest Gump

Inspired by a conversation this past weekend, I've been thinking about the once-popular movie Forrest Gump. It has fallen out of favor with people who prefer its contemporaries Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption and believe it robbed them of Oscars, but to me all three films are good. Gump succeeds because of a lot of factors, but consider its acting and its visual effects. Go »

Photos from Milwaukee

Some of these didn't come out as well as I'd hoped (many were snapped from a moving vehicle), but I'm putting them up anyway. complete set Go »

Bubba Franks! Bubba Franks, Y'all

There has to be a corny sexual position that nobody actually does (like Dirty Sanchez) named after that man. The rest of my trip is over and was richly enjoyed. We skipped Fearless in favor of playing Playstation games and scarfing down Chinese food while talking at length about the goo game and how it could be better. Go »

Notes from Milwaukee So Far

Bad flight Friday. Late dinner at the local 24-hour Greek diner, first pasta I've had in a week and so good. Matt thought the waitress was ignoring us; I thought she was attentive. Go »

Worst Title Ever for a Magazine Interview with Rob Halford

"Priest Infection" Go »

Screw Delta (Gotta Rant)

When I flew to Fargo a while back for Denise's wedding, I woke up at 2am to be out the door by 3am to get to Tampa by 4am to check in by 5am for a 6am flight. I stepped into the long Delta check-in line an hour and fifteen minutes before my flight, but I was concerned at the signs all over the place saying I would be turned away if I arrived less than an hour before the flight. Sure enough, it took me half an hour to get through the line, and the rude Delta clerk refused to let me on the plane even though I could easily make it to the gate in time. Go »

Parting Thought

I read in the news today that a British businessman will get to visit space in 2009 on his frequent-flyer miles alone. (link) I bet this gives David Phillips a damn good idea. (link) Go »

Milwaukee's Best

Today I learned a valuable lesson: Don't quote that line from Wayne's World about "mill-you-wock-AY" to a native of that city. It's like asking them to bring you a cheese wheel when they visit: You deserve a kick in the balls for it. I learned this while planning my visit to the city this weekend for beer, brats, Packers, and oh yeah, Matthew Preston. Go »

Normal Paranormal

This will offend believers in the paranormal, so read at your own peril. Socially, I've tried to keep it a polite secret that I don't believe in any paranormal phenomena, including the everyday sort. Several of my local friends practice feng shui, buy healing magnets, size people up based on their birth signs, and go to dieticians who tell them not to eat foods of certain colors. Go »

No News is Good News

Yesterday I spent eight hours in a hospital waiting room in Tampa while my mother underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff. She's recovering well, but the harm inflicted on me by eight hours of cable news has yet to wear off. It happened to be Fox News Channel, but that's irrelevant; all news is boring when you're in the hospital and are stuck watching it at length, because the newscasters only repeat over and over the breathless update that they have nothing more to report and here are the things they don't know yet. Go »

Nuts and Veggies

If you haven't heard, VeggieTales is coming to NBC. Without reference to God. And the creator feels duped. Go »

Sarasota

Aaron Weiss likes taking pictures with his spiffy new camera ‗ go figure ‗ and yesterday he captured this beautiful panoramic shot of part of downtown Sarasota. This is why I live here. [I compressed his version for filesize, which caused the pixelization in the sky.] Go »

Game Over

On paper, Game Over doesn't look promising: A vulgar, video-game-themed cartoon series on UPN that only lasted five episodes. But I rented it anyway, and somehow it managed to be entertaining and smarter than it needed to be, but maybe that was just the low expectations kicking in. I think the key to the show is that it actually respected its characters and cared for them as a family unit, instead of using them as empty vessels for punchlines (latter-year The SImpsons) or treating them with unmistakable contempt (Family Guy). Go »

Like That Smash Mouth Song

Dramatic photo of a shuttle docking with the International Space Station, set against the sun: (link) Thanks, Aaron W. Go »

Bombed Back to the Jurassic Age

Judging from what happened to my car the other day, not only is there a species of pterodactyl still alive in Sarasota, but it's suffering from an outbreak of dysentery. Go »

Very Unique

If you're going to write on your resumé that you're an "exceptional team player," you'd better be prepared to explain during your interview how that's possible. Go »

Other Contents Under Pressure

"So this guy is on a dinner date, and he has terrible gas, but he waits because he doesn't want to be embarrassed. When they get back to her house, he can't wait any longer. He desperately asks where her bathroom is, and she says first door on the left. Go »

A Friend Received This Fortune in His Fortune Cookie

"Wow! A secret message from your teeth." Go »

Redundancy

Can we add "information overload" to the list of phrases retired from the language due to clichéd overuse? It is apparently now used to describe anything remotely intense. Go »

Pigeon Panic

Since Adrianne doesn't permit replies to her posts, I'll link it here: Poisoned pigeons fall from sky in Texarkana. The chain of events is too bizarre not to reiterate: A pigeon flew into a bank and defecated on a customer, so the bank put poisoned grain on the roof hoping to drive away the pigeons. Instead, dozens of birds flopped dead on the ground downtown ‗ right during the city's annual festival. Go »

Only in the Web Era

Victim's cell phone is stolen on subway. Thief takes photos of his own wife, family, dog, and home. Cell phone automatically uploads them to victim's Flickr account. Go »

Sup

Miscellaneous goings-on: - Work is a joy. I have become accustomed to operating in ongoing semi-crisis mode because something's going wrong at any given time, and I love it. I love seeing the pressures of schedule and interpersonal conflict force my staff to devise innovative new solutions. Go »

Mac Killed My Inner Child

(link) nsfw Go »

Earth to Cat

What part of get down! are you pretending not to understand? Go »

New Neighbors Upstairs

STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP... Go »

Can't Blog Now...

....Must play Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion! I finally understand why they called that earlier game "EverCrack." Go »

Throw Out Your Caller ID

I'm all for scientific research into the paranormal, since it will benefit humankind whether the results are affirmative or negative ‗ but apparently it's awfully hard to keep such research scientific. For instance, I never fail to be amused by ghost hunters who claim to have proven a haunting because electromagnetic readings are higher in the area, a phenomenon that has no demonstrated correlation with hauntings. And let's not even get into the ones who claim to have proven a haunting because a "psychic" said they sensed ghosts nearby. Go »

Sinners and Losers

Last week, Katherine Harris publicly denounced the first amendment, calling it "a lie" and said that we were supposed to be a nation of religious law. She also said that not to vote for a Christian is to vote for sin. (link) Apparently in Florida that gets you elected: Yesterday she enjoyed a landslide 50% victory over her competitors in the Senate Republican primary despite a bumbling campaign. Go »

Thank You Mario! But Our Princess is in Another Castle!

(link) Go »

Scott's Car is Dead; Long Live Scott's Car

Is it a reflection of our road-rage culture that a company named Dodge manufactures cars with violent names like Ram, Magnum, Caliber, and Viper? I pondered this at the dealership yesterday during the eternal wait between brief flurries of document-signing so I could buy my first car. It took some doing to get the sunroof and other features I wanted, but I'm now the happy (and relieved) owner of a 2007 Dodge Caliber SXT. Go »

Flak Album

Lately I've been enjoying Aimee Mann's I'm with Stupid. Oh, how I wish she'd saved that title for a duets album. Go »

Bogus

You know what I bet would sell really well to people who want to be hipsters and don't get it? A "Wyld Stallyns" t-shirt. Go »

So Long, NCSA Primer

Someone asked me for help learning HTML today. I turned to my trusted traditional source, the good old primer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, but alas, it has finally been removed after all these years. This was one of the major how-to guides in the early years of the web, and it's the very guide that I used to teach myself HTML one weekend in 1996, from which this very site you're reading has since evolved. Go »

Where the Hell I Have Been All Year, Part III

This is a long story of interest only to friends of mine and people who really want to spend fifteen minutes reading about my life, but I've been promising to reveal this secret for the better part of a year and the time has come: Kelly Lee and I were a couple again this past spring. I kept it secret because A) it was difficult to tell the friends who had supported me during her breakup that we were dating again and B) for the duration of the relationship I didn't know where it was going and I wanted to know this before I said anything. Anyway, this story is solely my point of view and may not be fair to hers. Go »

The Aggravation of Blog Readers by the Movie-Spoiler Scott Hardie

The upcoming Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford has looked appealing to me for a while now. (I originally used a pic of Brad Pitt in character for the Jesse James goo.) Great cast, great photography, great old-fashioned title. Go »

Thorough Performance Reviews

I'm not around much this week because it's time for the annual performance reviews at work. I'm staying up till the wee hours each night writing the reviews so that the two-day marathon of face-to-face chats at the end of the week will go well. It's a win-win: For the employees doing a great job, it's my chance to offer serious praise without it sounding phony or arbitrary. Go »

Midevil Mayhem

On Sunday evening, besides indulging in a few rounds of the ever-popular Munchkin with Miah, Ines, and her boss Denise, we tried one round of Midevil, a spinoff of the apparently bestselling Zombies!!! game that my St. Pete friends will recognize. Go »

Eulogy for Two or Possibly Three Restaurants

Dining in Sarasota at 10:30pm on a Friday night is not the easiest proposition. I took my friends Miah and Ines downtown to the only non-franchise I knew would still be open, an upscale sports-themed bar & grill called Patrick's. I've had fifteen or so great meals there, but not last night. Go »

Week from Hell

It's my first week as manager, but there's no time for a honeymoon. On Monday, I got zero sleep the night before, and ran on fumes the whole day. Tuesday was spent almost entirely managing a single project and letting other fires burn. Go »

This Blog Post Definitely Doesn't Conform to NPOV Standards

I once coined a rule that you couldn't read more than three complete articles on Wikipedia without running into a reference to some obscure joke from The Simpsons, Monty Python, or most commonly, Family Guy. Seriously: I just now clicked two links and landed at Anarcho-syndicalism of all things, and sure enough, there's Holy Grail in the "trivia" section. Should it be plural like that, since no one is ever going to enter another item of trivia? Go »

The Importance of Being Richard

A conversation drifted today into weird shortening of names, like Robert into Bob and William into Bill (how come Michael doesn't become Bike?), and inevitably Richard into Dick came up. How did that even happen, anyway? Go »

I Can Deflect Staples

Should you call your day a complete wash if your greatest creative achievement was paper fastener nunchucks? Go »

Weakened

A friend (new GOO devotee Aaron Weiss) once said he had read about a psychological study that found people don't feel like they've had a weekend if they didn't have free time on Friday night. That was my experience this weekend: At the office till eight, then sitting down with pizza and a DVD only to nod off on the couch by nine thirty. I may have woken up refreshed on Saturday morning, but there was this crushing feeling that the weekend was almost over, that sort of numbing dread you feel every Sunday night an hour before bed. Go »

Where the Hell I Have Been All Year, Part II

I have a job! It sounds silly to keep that a secret, and yet I did for two years. I was fearful of being dooced for the slightest remark, since nearly anything can be interpreted as inappropriate with enough reasoning. Go »

Trekkers Will Understand

The Netflix summary of Deep Space Nine (Season Two): "Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) heads the crew of Deep Space Nine -- including Odo (Rene Auberjonois), Worf (Michael Dom), Dax (Terry Farrell) and others -- as it travels through space, trying to keep both the ship and the areas it travels safe, secure and free. One of the first (and greatest) challenges the intrepid voyagers face is the violence of the Dominion, a group composed partially of the shape-shifting Changelings." Gee, I wonder why fans call this the most misunderstood of all Star Trek series. Go »

Deg-Deg, Sims... Deg-Deg Forever

I really want to enjoy playing The Sims 2. I've logged thousands of hours on the first Sims and hundreds on the sequel. The problem is that I can't even play it in the first place in order to enjoy playing it. Go »

Is That a George Lucas Character?

Matthew Preston: "If making up words for directions is wrong, I don't want to be fludoo." Go »

Not-So-Confidential to My Gaming Group

I started writing this out in an email reply to John Gunter, but I guess it should be shared. I miss gaming with you guys, but I'm on the fence about continuing. I like each of you guys a great deal, but when we're together I just don't feel the click of a connection like I used to. Go »

A Pet Peeve That's Actually About My Pet

How come I can't get through the grocery checkout lane without the clerk or the bagger commenting about how many cans of cat food I buy, which inevitably leads to questions about how many cats I own, how much I feed them, and why I need so many cans? Has nobody in this state heard of stocking up? For their information, I have one cat who eats two 3-oz cans of food a day, which is more than a typical cat but not unheard-of. Go »

Great Weekend

Some people love going fishing all weekend; others prefer a romantic getaway. The perfect weekend for me these days means getting enough sleep and writing a FIN post from start to finish, since getting even one of those is a rarity. But this weekend, I put everything else aside and did both. Go »

Mars Needs Kitties

Thanks to Lori for sending me this: That gets me thinking: Do you think if people hadn't had the idea for crop circles until a decade later that the fad would have even happened? In this decade we have the tools on personal computers to fake images like this with photo-perfect results, and hoaxers could just distribute photos with the click of a mouse. Photos have been doctored for decades, of course, but now your grandma can do it, you know? Go »

Cliché

Mighty Girl found a fun and simple way to make her announcement. Go »

Where the Hell I Have Been All Year, Part I

It's been a long hibernation and I'm ready to come out of the cave and see daylight again. For various reasons, I wouldn't talk about why I wasn't around much, and I didn't enjoy being secretive like that, especially since all three were sources of happiness for me. Anyway, I promised recently that I was about to come out of the closet concerning the three things that have occupied so much of my 2006, and it's time now. Go »

Revisiting Survivor: Australia

Since I'm a fan of Survivor and I missed the first halves of early seasons when they aired, lately I've rented them on DVD to see what I missed. And it's given me an opportunity to reflect on how the show has changed over twelve seasons. The first two seasons had a special quality that has largely been missing every since, which is the genuineness of the cast. Go »

Dumb Question

Why is it called "word to the wise" when you're telling someone who doesn't know? Go »

Going Green

This thing might turn out to be as short-lived as my other two attempts at a personal blog, but damn it if I haven't craved having such an outlet for the better part of a year now. It seems like a week doesn't go by that I don't have some little adventure to turn into an anecdote or a frustration to rant about. My idle thoughts are as pointless as anybody else's, I realize, but that's what the Internet is for (besides porn). Go »