Friday, October 29, 2004
Funny parts. Written by Tina Fey, so it was a little different than most of the normal high school movies. Alli said it was a lot like Heathers (which I never saw), so I'll take her word for it. It certainly was not as good as Can't Hardly Wait or American Pie, the best high school movies of the past 10 years (Dazed and Confused would make the list were it not made in 1993).
Thursday, October 28, 2004
What's the deal? Why does every soda company feel they need to add some sort of gimmick to sell more? Someone brought some to work today and they let me have a swig. You know what it tasted like? Dr. Pepper. No different.
I mean, if you are going to create something like this, at least make it noticably different than the original, wouldn't you think?
I haven't had a soda in a long time, though, particularly a Dr. Pepper, so I may not be able to tell the difference, but just a snap judgement...it doesn't taste different.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
There are 2 major drawbacks about this:
- I don't have the fundage (nor the need) that necessitates me buying all of the fun gadgets that I want. So I must be very VERY picky when selecting gadgets.
- New gadgets are often outdated within 6 months, just when you get used to your gadget. Case in point, my 20gb iPod. Now, I have a 1st generation iPod, which I absolutely love. I love All Things Apple these days and the iPod is really what rocks most. That being said, they just released this tasty treat - the iPod Photo - a full-color iPod in 40gb and 60gb versions that allows you to store your photos (really cool when you add the media reader that Belkin makes for it).
Monday, October 25, 2004
So today, Alli and I went to the Election Office and cast our votes. Presidentially...it doesn't matter too much. Kansas has been decided for a long while (I think I read somewhere that KS has not gone Democratic in 50-some years), but the races for Senate and Congress are very close and we also had a vote to cast regarding a bi-state tax that would bring in money for the arts, as well as for improvements to Kaufmann and Arrowhead Stadiums. Not that those sports arenas really need the money, but the arts does here in Kansas City so I decided to go ahead and vote yes on Question 1.
If you need some help getting in the mood to vote, I suggest you check this out. It's not JibJab, but it's pretty funny.
I beg of you. Please vote next Tuesday. If you don't know who to vote for, my suggestion is to vote for Bush. Just vote though. Or Puff Daddy will come and get you.
We watched Super-Size Me last night. I had talked to a couple of people that had seen it who were thoroughly disgusted. I kind of rolled my eyes and thought to myself...everyone knows McDonald's is bad...I don't need a movie to tell me that. After watching Morgan Spurlock's experiment on himself, I never even want another McGriddle (and if you know me, that's something...the McGriddle is easily the best sandwich ever created by McDonald's).
There were a lot of things that were great about this movie...things that make you think. What I didn't realize was how good of shape Spurlock was in before he started. This guy is 6'2", 185 lbs. with about 11% body fat. That's really good.
And McDonald's wreaked havoc on his body. The doctors he employed during the process were funny because they were blown away at the amount of damage that it did to him. His cholesterol jumped from 165 to 225 in about a week. His liver became completely toxic. He got depressed and had a bunch of other awful things.
It's gross, but also funny and well done. I highly recommend to anyone...those with weight problems (like me) and those without.
Friday, October 22, 2004
They were a long time ago. However, one of the things that I don't remember is having conferences once per quarter. Yesterday, while I was slaving away, destroying my back, there were all these neighborhood kids, running around, playing hide-and-go-seek.
Now I'm not mad at these kids by any means...enjoy your youth, I say!
BUT, I remember thinking yesterday that my sister-in-law, who is a teacher (and an amazing one at that), has conferences and in-service days a lot. There's nothing really to this, I'm just a bit jealous. A few days off here and there would have been fun.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
This is what I did on my day off today. I moved dirt. A lot of it. My day consisted of a shovel, a wheelbarrow, and some dirt.
It was made even more fun by the constant drizzle that we've had in KC for the past several days. Good times. Makes moving dirt lots easier when it turns into mud. Not slick at all.
At least I had my iPod to keep me company on this dreary day. It made that hard work a lot easier. But I'll tell you what...my back...didn't really appreciate the whole "hard work" thing.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
3-3 San Diego
1-4 Kansas City
I'm at a loss.
This year was supposed to be our shining shot at the Super Bowl. Now, we are just wondering if we are ever going to win another game. A .500 record would be decent after the start we've had and the schedule we have ahead of us. If you consider that now 4-2 Jacksonville was supposed to be the easy part, it may be a particularly long season.
That's not to say I'm going to give up hope just yet. 12-4 would be a good record, but we would have to win out against some extrememly formidable opponents. I just don't see it happening. Maybe 10-6 is more reachable. That still would mean us going 9-2 the rest of the way.
Possible? Sure, anything's possible.
Probable? Not so much.
What's so difficult is how we have lost our games. It's not just one thing. The overall effort seems flawed. Sure, our defense stinks to high heaven and Dexter McLeon is about as effective a corner as I am, but the offense that has led the league the last 2 years in total offense has been ineffective at times when it is most needed.
Yes, it has been a tough year for Kansas City sports teams. The Royals disappointed us. The Chiefs have been less-than-stellar. Who are we to root for?
At least college basketball season starts soon. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!
Thursday, October 14, 2004
So you can understand my surprise when I looked at CNN.com this morning. I don't think all of the people polled watched the whole debate. Bush really came on toward the end, hit his stride and laid the Texas Smackdown to the "More Liberal Senator from Massachusetts".
I particularly liked this part:
"I want to remind people listening tonight that a plan is not a litany of complaints, and a plan is not to lay out programs that you can't pay for.
He just said he wants everybody to be able to buy in to the same plan that senators and congressmen get. That costs the government $7,700 per family. If every family in America signed up, like the senator suggested, [it] would cost us $5 trillion over 10 years.
It's an empty promise. It's called bait and switch."
That was my favorite. I'm so sick and tired of Kerry saying, "I have a plan," and then saying "go to my web site" when he knows damn well that most of us are too freaking lazy to go to our computer and look up his lousy plans.
2 nights ago: Steak Fajita burrito, with green tomatillo and cheese
last night: chicken burrito bol, no beans, green tomatillo, medium corn salsa, cheese, guacamole
I love burritos.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
After listening to a few of the tracks that they have put out, I have to say that I am completely blown away. Shatner is at the top of his game with his lyrical stylings and the arrangements (the work of my man Folds) are fantastic. The music is really what shines here...Shatner is really more of a sideshow. He enlists the help of everyone from indie songstress Aimee Mann ("That's Me Trying") to country star Brad Paisley (my favorite, "Real) to rocker Henry Rollins (the hilarious scream-fest "I Can't Get Behind That").
I was forwarded a link to the songs from someone and was hesitant, considering I had purchased 1998's Fear of Pop, Vol. 1 which first teamed up Folds and Shatner. I was not very impressed with that one. After hearing these tunes, I may have to get it back out and give it another shot.
Of particular note, is "Real" with Brad Paisley. I'm not a big country fan, but the song is perfect. The lyrics are personal to Shatner and the melody mixes perfectly with Paisley's chorus. If you're going to download one song...that's the one I would suggest. Then "That's Me Trying".
On another note, my brother hooked up a blog. Check it out.
I played volleyball Monday night with my friends. We all have been playing together competitively since we were in 7th grade. It's been a while since I've played at such a high level, and it was a blast. But MAN, am I paying for it today.
Worked out last night to hopefully get some of the kinks out, but I'm sore in places where I didn't know I could be sore (my arches? are you kidding me?) I'm hoping that my body recovers by tomorrow when we are scheduled to play again. You might ask why I would do this to my body?
Because it's fun.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Friday night we had a surprise birthday party for one of my best friends, which ended up not being a surprise because my friend...the one who is always late...was on time...and we were all late. It was still fun. Played poker until 3:30 (that's when I left...talked to them later and they played until 6:15).
Church meeting on Saturday morning (came EARLY), and then a shower for some friends, then picked up Alli at the airport. Instead of taking her home, we ended up driving her mom back to her house because she now has pneumonia unfortunately. Her body seemingly shut down after she knew her dad was OK.
Got home last night, watched some more of Alias: Season Three and went to bed early.
Can I just say...I'm so glad that Alli made it home.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Problem is, my car is parked way over there, and I'm in here. It's pouring, like it has been all day and I really want some Chipotle, but this genius didn't wear shoes (flip-flops, while awesome, don't get much traction or support when running in the rain).
So, I'm here listening to the sound of the rain as it pounds on the ceiling of the makeshift office (which is actually a warehouse) that has become the home to our design and marketing team. I like it. Very industrial and tons of space. The rain is loud, but I really like to hear it...what a great sound!
As he types his message complaining about the rain, he realizes that sitting by the door across from him is his umbrella that he brought in this morning.
He smacks his forehead and rushes off for some tasty Chipotle goodness...
Let me know what you think of the design. Blogger doesn't give you huge amounts of customization and once I move to a hosted service, I'll likely use Moveable Type, but for now...this was relatively painless and FREE.
I tried to make my changes without a little help from my friends (could you imagine if the Beatles would have called their song that?), but at 1:00am I stopped being effective. Kevin at graphicPUSH helped me find a little div that was hanging out in the middle of my code.
I feel better because it finally feels a little more like my own site...my banner, my background, my color scheme. I also would be remiss if I didn't thank Douglas Bowman at Stopdesign for the initial template.
Let me know what you think of it....
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
I'm pretty excited about it.
Check it out here.
Talking about politics can be funny, even when it isn't intended...
What's particularly ridiculous is that this guy deleted my comments that further reinforced my position on the issue...making him look even more silly. Trying to control the flow of information just like the liberal media likes to.
It's sad really.
In hold'em, how do you handle it when a person gets knocked out that was supposed to be one of the blinds? This has happened to us at least 5 times in our regular game and we can never figure out the correct way to do it. I've scoured the interweb for info on it, but found nothing (I was really surprised)...
Can someone help me out???
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
There's an absence that just makes me feel "off" and I can't really explain it (maybe those out there who are married can help me explain it better. I'm going to try and go to bed now.
Dick Cheney is a sweetheart. OK...maybe not so much, but I thought that "Grumpy and Mean" was a really inappropriate way to describe the way that he acted in tonight's vice presidential debate. But that's exactly how the Kerry-Edwards campaign manager classified him. Cheney was seemingly on the defensive all night (Edwards mentioned Halliburton after less than 20 minutes of actual debate). The truth about Cheney's Halliburton ties (which really absolve him of any implications that Kerry and Edwards would like to pin on him).
It was a pretty spirited debate. Prior to the debate, I thought that Cheney would stomp Edwards, given his lack of experience, but I forgot that Edwards used to be a trial lawyer and he did a great job. It was a relatively even debate. One thing that stood out was that Cheney finally brought John Kerry's 20 year record to the forefront...and it's lousy. I thought that the data that he had on Edwards missing all his votes was really funny too. Still, Cheney is a stain on the Bush administration. What I wouldn't give for a Bush-McCain ticket this year...
(I keep trying to finish this post, but Austin Powers 2 is on and now I'm watching an old Saturday Night Live and they are doing the Jimmy Fallon/Horatio Sanz "Leather Man" skit...so funny, but Jimmy Fallon canNOT do a single sketch without laughing... "CHOO CHOO! AAIIIIIEEEEEE!!!")
I call this debate for Bush-MCCAIN!!! Because for some reason, John Kerry's record in the Senate is only being examined on talk radio and in the blogosphere...not necessarily in the mainstream media (surprise...surprise....).
Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I tried to find a flight that would have left Kansas City late last night to arrive in Cleveland. Both of these cities are decent-sized cities, but for some reason, neither of them is really on the radar in the world of domestic travel. The latest flight out of Kansas City to Cleveland was on Continental and left at 7:30pm. Would have worked OK if Alli's mom could have driven down from Iowa in time to make the flight, but that wasn't going to work, so we tried to search for the earliest flight we could.
Midwest Airlines (the best commercial airline I know of) had a flight that left in the 5:00 hour, but connected through Milwaukee and had a plane switch. They still would not have arrived before noon. The flight we eventually settled on was a Southwest flight that left at 6:55am and made one stop (no plane change) in St. Louise. In Cleveland by 10:30 this morning. Still not making it in time to see Grandpa prior to his 11:00am surgery, unfortunately.
They say that competition is good for the airline industry. In most economic cases, it's very good. But the options for flying are not nearly what they used to be. And sites like Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, and Expedia really don't give more options to the last minute traveler who is looking to get to a certain place and fast. Airlines used to offer emergency fares for things of this nature, but even those are gone. Some might attribute the struggles of the airline industry to 9/11, but I think that the problems are much deeper than that. Union control of workers and the greediness of executives have all contributed to the failure of the airline industry to serve the best interests of Joe Consumer.
I don't have any suggestions for reform...I just think it's unfortunate.
Not only that, but I won our weekly poker game and now sit firmly in 2nd place in the Johnson County Tournament of Champions standings. Felt good. Played well. Got decent cards. Knocked my brother out, which is always fun. 2 out of 3 weeks, my buddy Mike and I have gone head-to-head in the finals. He won the first one, I won the 2nd. Seemingly one of us gets knocked out by the other every week. Last night wasn't the first time we've gone head-to-head and I doubt it will be the last.
About the "mostly a good night"...
Yesterday afternoon, my wife called me and told me that her grandfather was going to be having surgery today in Ohio to repair a valve that was keeping oxygen from his heart. So the end of the day was spent trying to find a flight for her and her mom that would get out yesterday or early today. We found a flight that left this AM and we got up at 4am to get to the airport and see them off. Just a minor contributor to the tiredness I would have felt anyway...I feel distracted and it's not even 8 in the morning yet.
But hey...what are you going to do?
Monday, October 04, 2004
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- Peanut M&Ms
- Starburst (or is it Starbursts?)
- Sweettarts Jelly Beans (these are a rarity...usually only coming out for Easter, but they are genius)
It's been a while since Alli and I have had a weekend to ourselves. It was a really busy summer and it seemed like we were always doing something. This weekend, we were fortunate enough to not have anything on the docket, so we did woke up early-ish and made some awesome french toast, complete with Vanilla Almond Special K baked into it. It was [COUSIN EDDIE] "gooooo-oooood."
After that, we sat on the couch and watched Alias ALL DAY LONG. We had 2 discs of season 2 to finish and we had bought season 3 a while back and we were anxious to watch it. During the year, it was disappointing to watch because it was a new episode here, a rerun there, a missed week here...it felt disjointed. BUT, we got three discs into season 3, and I have to say...totally better than I remembered it. I'm holding out hope that I was disappointed with last season only because it was so disjointed, not because the story was all that bad. So far, my assessment is holding up, but time will tell.
We also saw Shark Tale on Sunday. I don't know if I was in a bad mood or what, but the movie was really disappointing. Not really funny, not a great story. As far as animated fish movies go...Finding Nemo was exponentially better. That's not just my opinion. Alli, my brother, Jake...we all agreed...disappointing movie.
This is my dog Dreyfuss. I know I know. Cutest dog ever. He's a complete mutt...mom was part-Husky, dad was...well...we don't know for sure. Vet said maybe a lab or Great Dane. He's gray, but really doesn't have much hair because he has color dilutional alopecia.
I'm going to post pictures when there are pictures to post.
Friday, October 01, 2004
I just got Panther and iLife '04 for the PowerMac G4 that my brother was kind enough to donate to me. As I was sitting here surfing, I stared into the pile of empty boxes that sits in the recliner in my office and wondered to myself, Is it really that difficult to put all of the stuff into a smaller box?
I can't figure it out. Apple can fit an entire computer into this, but for some reason, they can't manage to make a piece of software that fits in something smaller than a Volkswagen.
People might argue that the documentation won't fit. For the money that they spend on these expensive booklets, they could include an extra (much smaller) disc that contains a massive PDF of all of their manuals, documentation, warranties, etc.
You might ask me, "why is it, Shane, that you keep all of these boxes that you so despise?" And that would be a good question, one that really has no answer. You never know when you'll need them I guess. Plus, I always know where to look for the serial numbers. Maybe I should throw them away...
But they're so pretty...
- There are too many choices. How is one to differentiate?
- IE is built in and isn't completely horrible. Why hassle with switching?
- I don't like ads, but I also don't want to pay for my browser (see: Opera).
- Did I mention that I'm lazy? If not, I'm lazy.
- I have having to move bookmarks, cookies, etc.
Well, Mozilla's new preview release of Firefox 1.0...it works. And, it's totally sweet. Not only is it fast and does it have tabbed browsing (which is awesome...totally new to me...like I said...IE guy), but it also has a built in RSS Feed parser so you can subscribe to sites that have an RSS feed and read them without actually going to the site, which is, by definition, awesome. You can browse the headlines of your favorite blogs, news sites, etc. and pick and choose the actual stories you want to read (not that you would skim on this site, considering it is totally sweet).
Not only that, but it will also import all of your existing IE data, including your bookmarks and all of your cookies and stuff, which is great, overcoming the above listed #4 and #5.
That being said...if you are in an office environment like me, IE has engorged itself so much into so many things that it becomes really difficult to permanently make the switch. But I'm trying...
First, you start with a shell or a bowl. Lately, I've been eating it in a bowl...less carbs and less calories. Then you add some of the scrumptious rice that could be described as manna from heaven, a hint of lime and cilantro accents the ricey goodness. Sometimes I feel like peppers and onions, others I don't, and other times, I'll have a splash of their pinto beans.
Next, the good stuff...steak that has been marinated in some spicy concoction that only a true genius could have created. The secret is next...the green tomatillo sauce. It's like the shirt says..."Shhhh...don't tell anyone about the green tomatillo salsa..." You almost feel like you're getting away with something...it's that good. Top it off with some cheese and guacamole and you are good to go.
Sure, it's about 800 calories, but it's totally worth it for 2 reasons:
- You get a ton of food.
- It has healthy stuff in it so it can't be that bad.
Both sides are now currently in spin-mode, trying to claim that they won last night's debate. At the time, I thought that there were certainly areas where both candidates succeeded, and areas where both fell short. Kerry didn't have a good answer for his ever-changing positions, but Bush didn't use his best soundbyte more than once ("September 10 mentality").
Kerry surprised me on some of his knowledge of foreign policy, particularly with North Korea. However, his continued belief that our "allies" (the ones that he believes are allies - France, Germany, etc.) will just fall into line once he gets elected is not only overly optimistic, it's downright stupid. Both Chirac and Schroeder have openly announced that even if Kerry is elected, they will not enter into the ground fighting in Iraq. Kerry believes that he can just wave his magic wand and they'll change their mind.
The reason that France and Germany didn't go into Iraq was because both were receiving oil kickbacks from Saddam in exchange for weapons parts that they were providing.
Bush, unfortunately, at times came across like his 2000 opponent, visibly upset by certain points that Kerry made. He got flustered at times and he does not communicate nearly as well when he is flustered. I would have liked to see him push Kerry more on his plan for Iraq. Kerry very obviously doesn't have a definitive one. A while back I heard that he was planning to increase our military enrollment by 30,000 troops in the next year. Did he say how? Not so much. He just said he would increase enrollment...where from? Thin air, I guess...
Seeing as this is my first post, I thought I would tell you a bit about myself.
I'm Shane. I'm from Kansas. I do not live on a farm. I live in the metropolitan Kansas City area where I am a graphic designer for a software company. My wife and I have been married for 4 years and live in a house with our dog, Dreyfuss.
I've lived in the Kansas City area nearly all my life, save a few years when I lived in Iowa while I went to school at the glorious Graceland College (now University) in the booming metropolis of Lamoni. While there, I engaged in the normal, college-like activities, I played volleyball, worked at a pizza place, wrote for the newspaper - The Tower - and met my wife.
Things I like:
- hanging with my wife and dog
- music (I really really like my iPod + iTunes)
- chipotle burritos
- the TV show "Alias" - the best show EVER
- apple computers
- most EA Sports video games for PS2
- poker (only recently really, but I like it a lot)
- reading (but only sometimes)
- Mountain Dew (most forms, though I have yet to try the new black kind)
- The Chiefs
- people who drive with their lights on during the day
- temperatures over 85 degrees
- people who don't vote because "one vote doesn't make a difference"
- pants other than jeans
- old navy t-shirts (they are too short for my long torso)
- the general refusal of PC users to accept the Firewire interface, favoring USB (for some god-forsaken reason) over it