Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006

Some early pictures are in for this year's Halloween.

Check them out HERE.

Halloween in King George

This is a bit of a rant, courtesy of my wife. Apparently the local Parks and Rec didn't have the best organization in place for a Halloween party for kids. Names omitted to protect the innocent.

Hello Mrs. P[omitted],

It's Y[omitted] here. I wanted to email you about some concerns I had about Halloween Funfest.

When I came home on Friday night, I found my flyer about the event. This morning I also found a poster about the event hanging at school. Neither one of them mention that this event would cost$3.00 per child to get in.

It also stated on both the poster and the flyer that there would be three categories for prizes for costumes and there were only two. I was disappointed that games and prizes were so mixed for age levels. I felt like the gym could have been separated into sections based on ages. It worried me to have E[omitted] near darts and cork guns as well as playing the same games as the much older children.At one point a golfer in front of us was about 13 or so (I know he was at least that old because I had him my first year at Potomac).

I also had some concerns about the prizes that were given out to the little ones.Many of them were not made for little ones under 3 and I had to take them away from E[omitted] because I was afraid she would choke on them.As I mentioned earlier about the gym being divided, this would also allow the prizes to be more age appropriate. I also felt like some of the students helping with the games were not making all children play by the same rules. For example, at the bean bag toss that was near the egg hunt,E[omitted] had to stand on the floor and throw the bean bags, while a young man who went after her who was about 10 stood in the same spot and leaned over the target in order to win his prize.

At the egg hunt E[omitted] and L[omitted] were sent in at the same time as two older girls about 12. As I am sure you can imagine, the older girls got all but three of the eggs.While E[omitted] had fun and so did her friends, it was a night of teaching tough lessons to a two and a half year old for me. Perhaps at the next event the games and prizes could be better divided by ages.Thanks for your help.

Y[omitted]

Green Monster Games and Heroes


Green Monster Games

Curt Schilling has opened up shop in a 30,000 square foot office space. Interesting points to note are the plans for 50-50 profit sharing with employees (planned to number 125) and the fact that there has been no release date or theme mentioned.


Heroes

Follows is a short recap of last night's episode. Don't read if you haven't watched it yet.
You've been warned.

Last night we saw Niki (Micah's mother) get into a potentially fatal fight with her husband DL (who also has the super-power to move through solid objects - something you would already know if you read last week's online graphic novel).

Hiro felt guilty about not saving the gamblers from their death (by Niki's yet to be determined superpower of killing people violently).

Mohinder packs his bags and leaves the city, while his female friend/neighbor trys to entice him to stay. And we find out she's working for/with the bad guy with glasses (the cheerleader's father).

And speaking of the cheerleader, Claire's dad finds her biological parents, who turn out to not be her real parents, but agents working with her father. In turn, Clair's father learns of the message "save the cheerleader."

And of course, we see the wierd symbol again, which I believe to be a DNA stand. Look at it closely and it looks like a part of the double helix.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Some Monday morning Halloween Humor

http://www.greenhorncomic.com/node/50

Pimp Hiro of Heroes


Just a friendly reminder for the fans of Heroes out there, a new episode will air tonight at 9 pm (EST) on NBC.


And don't forget the graphic novels to tide you over to next week!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Pizza and Heroes

House of Pizza

On my way to work this morning, Dad and I were talking about development and how the county (King George) has changed. One of the old memories that was brought up was the old house (or building) that served pizza on the corner by the High School. It was an old white building, was a little bit of a general store, but mainly sold pizza. They had simple tables and chairs (and maybe a few booths) inside. I vaguely recall a counter at the back with a glass front, almost like a deli. This is where you placed your order. There were steps to enter. Small lot. And I don't remember much else.

Heroes Back Door

For those that follow Heroes on NBC (see my previous post here), I've discovered the backdoor into the downloads and videos. The video link works, but there are no videos to watch (when I checked). But there are downloads available. I've already graced my desktop with Hiro, my favorite Hero.

She does not deserve this car-edited-

[For those that are familiar with the Fredericksburg, VA area, I was travelling on Truslow Road - the end nearest Route 1 - in Stafford County]

As I was driving home yesterday from -edited-, I was, as usual, in my own little world. I did have enough wits about me to notice a -edited- was taking the same route, but beyond that, I was simply driving home and listening to the radio.

Out of the blue, a car passes me in the only section available to pass. The car nearly hits an oncoming car before getting back into the proper lane. All while driving at least 60 mph in a 35 zone. As it turns out, the car passed my -edited- as well.

The driver? A young female, clearly under age 20.

The car? A pink, 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe with white Shelby stripes (and a 289 engine).

This is the best picture I could get of her with the limited time I had. She was quickly lost in traffic, despite my best efforts to catch up to her (after she was in traffic and we were both well under the speed limit).


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Salvatore, UFOs, and -edited-

Salvatore's Podcast Continues



Bob gives us some more info on Green Monster Games and playing WoW (that's World of Warcraft for you noobs). But the camera work still needs more work. The phone is ringing in the background again, the lighting is off, there's movement in the mirror, people are talking in the background, and Bob is looking at a spot that isn't conducive to a good interview. Outside of his gaming opinions, there's not much that you learn from this podcast.

UFOs and Aliens

So last night I let Henry (our dog) out to "do his business." He has a routine where he goes out just as I'm falling asleep in bed. While some pet owners wouldn't put up with this, we do because it beats him using the floor. Anyway, he's in the yard and I'm enjoying the clear night sky full of stars, planets, passing jets, and UFOs.

Now, before you think I'm crazy, let me pause the story and tell you where I stand on UFOs and aliens. I believe in them but have never seen them. I believe the chances of extraterrestrial life existing elsewhere in the galaxy or universe is too great to ignore. If Earth can play host to so many life forms, why not another planet somewhere else? No, I don't believe aliens have visited Earth and no, I don't believe people that say they've been abducted. Sorry, it makes a great TV show but, until you can prove it, it's just fiction.

Back to the story, I'm looking at the sky (towards the North and East, in the general direction of the eastern edges of D.C.) and see what looks like a jet making it's way south. Then west. Then north. Then south again. Then east. Then stopping. Then south. At this point, my immediate thought was a helicopter was flying around, not a jet. But the helicopter was at a higher altitude than the passing jets. Something I'm not sure can happen with present-technology. Or at least happen that often.

Anyway, I went to bed with thoughts of aliens and UFOs and imaginary helicopters. Oh, and if aliens attack today, I predicted it first.

-edited-

-edited-

Friday, October 20, 2006

Praying Mantis vs. METRA Train

The Praying Mantis video is quickly outpacing the METRA Train video.

Who will win?

Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today's mindless game

Simply put, a flight simulator on top of Google Maps. Use you arrow keys to change direction, space to fire, and A/Z for throttle.

http://www.isoma.net/games/goggles.html

Today's Random Thoughts-edited-

State of the Company

-edited-

Fall Leaves

Just the other day I was leaving the house to come to work and I realized the leaves were already changing. Summer is gone, fall is here, and winter is just around the corner. Maybe I can get some more brush cleaned up in the backyard before the snow arrives.

Chap Stick

I got home from work last night and Elizabeth came running to the front door (always feels great when she does that). Well, she had one of her little smirks on that said "I'm up to no good." Sure enough, I saw something on her face. She almost looked like Hitler, but with a yellow mustache. And of course, a matching yellow finger. She apparently got a little too excited with the chap stick.




Morning Routine


Every morning, we have a breakfast routine. Elizabeth eats either cereal or a cereal bar. This morning she deviated from the routine and decided to have fruit puffs.


Which she's now apparently tall enough to reach.

And sneaky enough to look cute doing it.
And smart enough to open them.
And cute enough to look like a Queen when eating them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Today's random thoughts

Virginia Flagger Certification



For those interested, you must be certified by the Virginia DOT to direct traffic. Here's the certification order form (you order a certification kit, not the certification itself).



R. A. Salvatore at ValleyCon



According to this source, ValleyCon is attempting to sign Bob for next year's event. Here's the quote:



"As I was looking over the history of the event, I did notice that author Terry Brooks was a guest several years ago, which surprised me. Next year, they hope to get author R.A. Salvatore, one of my favorite fantasy writers."



Heroes



I finally got to watch Monday's episode of Heroes last night. Wow. There are too many story lines and not enough time. But that's a good thing. It's a good show and it just keeps getting better. And now, we finally have a bit of an insight into the plot. Save the cheerleader, save the world.



And for those that follow the graphic novels as well, here's the fourth issue.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This morning's random thoughts-edited-

Alpha and Omega

I started to think about life when I saw the morning bus go by. No, it wasn't a school bus, it was a bus for the elderly to get out of their house. So I began to wonder what else was the same when we are young and old.

Thinning or no hair.
No teeth.
Eating soft foods.
Drooling.
Barely able to see or hear.
Unable to walk.
Wearing diapers.
Afraid of our loved ones leaving us.

My Priceless Outfit
-edited-

7th Heaven

I watched 7th heaven on it's new night Sunday. My biggest concern was the fact that they moved it and didn't tell anyone until last Monday when you were geared up to watch it. Yvonne's big concern was Eric was going to die soon. I think he will. It's a shame to see a great man fall.

Heroes

I'm so upset I missed last night's episode. And I can't wait to watch it (I taped it).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

3rd Reinlistment results in madness


Well, not madness, but at least a good sense of humor.




[via a co-worker who watches Deviant Art]

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bloodlines and Rebel Dream Reviews


Doubled up today on the reviews. First up is Bloodlines by Karen Traviss followed by Rebel Dream by Aaron Allston.


Read the Bloodlines review here (it's awesome!).
Read the Rebel Dream review here.

Elizabeth has boobs

Last night was a usual night, until Elizabeth started to act up. Our usual routine starts around 7 pm. I get home from work, Yvonne has dinner ready for me, we eat, watch an episode of Friends, I do the dishes, Elizabeth gets a bath, Elizabeth goes to bed, Yvonne and I watch TV.

Things started last night with Elizabeth and Yvonne singing Happy Birthday to me, even though my birthday was on the 3rd. It seems Elizabeth thinks anytime mommy makes brownies, it's dad's birthday. Well, she did a good job singing and the brownies were great. So my mood improved.

In the past, Elizabeth has copied some of what she's seen on Friends. We laugh, the audience laughs, Elizabeth laughs. A couple of weeks ago, she heard one of them say "You suck" so she said it too. Very hard to reprimand your kid for doing something funny. Well last night she was flipping her hair like the girl was doing on Friends. That kind of "sexy hair flip" you see in commercials.

Then we had the boobs. Elizabeth usually pulls up a chair to stand on to watch me do the dishes. Last night she's standing on the chair talking to Yvonne about her boobs. And yes, she was even pointing to her chest with her shirt pulled up. I really don't need this kid, you're not even 3 yet!

But at least it was a happy night.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Update - Pella Storm Door has a loose handle

No, I'm not flying off the handle, the handle is flying off. The door. Our wonderful Pella storm door.

We've had it installed for a few months now and we love it. Granted it was a bit pricey, but so far, it's well worth it. The look is great with a large section of clear glass. The handle matches the rest in the house.

Until it falls off. Rather, it pulls out. For some reason the hex set screws keep working themselves loose over time. We've tightened them and tightened them. Short of welding them, I've sent the following to Pella for recommendations:

We purchased a Pella storm door (warranty number 102405 91001 9367)a few months ago and have concerns about the handle. During normal use the handle comes loose from the spindle and occasionally gets pulled off. We have tightened the hex set screw several times but it continues to work itself loose. Is there anything we can use (like Loctite) to keep the set screws tight over time? Is there any maintenance that we should be doing to keep the handles on?

We enjoy our Pella storm door and will continue to buy Pella products in the future.

Thank you.


I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

-----------UPDATE-----------------

Here's the response I got back from Pella (the same day mind you):

Hello,

You could use loctite that should help. I am also sending a d clip to you. That slips over the base of the handle on the backside of the outside plate. You could also turn the spindle a quarter turn to get some fresh metal for the set screw to bite into.

Eric

Thank you

Pella Storm Doors


So, it looks like Loctite may help. We'll see how the D clip works too. And, if need be, the spindle turn.

RA Salvatore PodCast

Let's start with the podcast itself:



Content - Looking older and more relaxed, Bob gives us a bit of a peek into his latest book. Okay, you could probably get more off Amazon's description. Clearly not revealing anything of the plot to the audience, Bob does make the obvious statement that there is plenty of room for future books. As he said, it is fantasy.

Videography - Please, please, please tell me things will get better. I know I'm not a professional, but there really needs to be some improvement. My wife did a better job with a Praying Mantis. The camera was moved during the shot. The subject was off center and not showing his "best side." And the phone ringing in the background? Save that for the blooper reel. Save this whole episode for the blooper reel.

I'm trying my best to give you guys the benefit of the doubt since this is the first podcast. But please, I'm begging you, make the next one better. Make it more viral, more interesting, more captivating. Think ZeFrank.

Technorati Steak

Technorati Profile

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday Humor


I love MacGyver.


Dark Journey Review













Dark Journey

(New Jedi Order #10)
by Elaine Cunningham

Rating: 3 out of 5

Read my review HERE.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Round and round my mind goes

So today marks my 30th birthday. It’s something I haven’t celebrated since I turned 21. I think after that “landmark” age, it wasn’t as important to me. Then on my 25th birthday, I had a bit of a quarter-century life crisis. Now at 30, I feel comfortable with myself. Sad to say, but it’s taken 30 years to get to this point.

Are there things I’d like to change? Of course. I wish I were 50 pounds lighter and 15 years younger. But I wouldn’t change all the positive things that have happened to me these past 30 years. I’ve grown up through the Berlin Wall falling down, the attacks of 9-11, Presidents being shot, and Space Shuttles exploding. So many thing have happened in my life, some good, some bad, I’ve come out a better, stronger person.

I’ve survived my parents being divorced. For me, it was easy. They talked to each other and were civil to each other. They still talk today. I survived my father raising me. He was great at cooking fried foods and watching TV during dinner, but he taught me about life and how to be a good man. I survived my mother’s bought with Multiple Sclerosis. She still suffers the effects to this day and has done amazingly well. I survived a long list of bad relationships with women. Thankfully I found a wonderful wife that taught me how to be a boyfriend, fiancĂ©, husband, and father. I survived my in-laws and the wedding that joined us. While initial opinions were dreary, they’ve turned out to be as weird as my family. I’ve survived countless funerals and weddings. I wish I didn’t have to go to either of them. I survived the birth of my child. Likely the hardest thing I’ve had to endure in my life. But it's so much fun now!

This past Sunday (2 days ago) marked the 12 year mark for Yvonne and I being a couple. I had just ended one of those crazy relationships (I’ll keep the names private to protect the innocent – if there were any) during my freshman year of college (in Edinboro University of Pennsylvania). I had seen this “hot girl” that had a preppy look (not so much preppy as out of my league with the pretty jewelry) around and had become friends of friends. There was a large group of us that hung out in a pack (safety in numbers). We’d eat lunch and dinner together and hang out when time allowed. So my roommate was kind enough to “leave the room” one night when we were watching Hook.

That’s when we first held hands. It was like lightening struck. I had butterflies in my stomach. We were engaged a few years later, then married shortly after that. We’ve moved from a dorm in Edinboro, to a single room apartment (two if you count the bathroom) in Edinboro, to a 2 bedroom apartment in Shelby (North Carolina), to our 3 bedroom house in King George (Virginia). Yvonne went from an undergrad student, to a grad student, to a teacher, to a reading specialist. I went from an undergrad student to a baker’s assistant in a grocery store, to a shipping clerk in a bookstore, to a tech support agent for a software company.

To celebrate our anniversary (and my birthday to some extent) we went to one of our usual haunts to see CATS (at the Riverside Dinner Theater). It was one of the best productions I’ve seen them produce since we’ve been there. And here’s a list of what we’ve seen there:

Season IV
- The King and I

Season V
- Guys and Dolls
- Annie Get Your Gun
- Oliver
- Fiddler on the Roof

Season VI
- Gypsy
- Showboat
- West Side Story

Season VII
- Oklohoma
- Man of La Mancha
- Scrooge
- Brigadoon

Season VIII
- Kiss Me Kate
- Big River
- The Sound of Music
- Ragtime

Season IX
- The Music Man
- CATS
- Nunsense (yet to be seen)
- Bye, Bye Birdie (yet to be seen)

Which brings me to Monday. What a day. I come in early to get things ready for Customer Service Week and end up getting micro-managed about what my priorities should be. I’ve been here long enough to know what the priorities are. And this week, it’s Customer Service Week. I have over 200 people relying on my skills to motivate them. Don’t de-motivate me.

But enough depressing stuff. It’s my birthday. I should enjoy it, right? I have a family that loves me, a house that keeps me warm and dry, and plenty of food to eat. All is good.

Here’s to another 30 years.

Elizabeth trying on a new winter hat

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With and without my gun.


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