Saturday, December 31, 2005

End of the Year Post

I haven't posted in what seems like forever.

So I had an awesome Christmas. My wife, who rules all, got me a beautiful black ipod nano. I am having so much fun with it, especially since I lost my ipod shuffle about 2 months ago.

It is so stinking small.

Our parents went way above and beyond what we ever thought. We got enough money so that we can tile our kitchen (can't wait for that) and I got 2 pairs of shoes. And I love me some shoes. My parents got me some custom Nikes (or gave me money to do so) and my brother gave me some retro sneaks. I also got Season 1 & 2 of Scrubs...can't wait to watch. Awesome show.

And now, our friends are here for the new year...good times. I have made a decision this year (similar to last year's new year's resolution) that I am going to read 2 books a month + 1 this year. This will go from Christmas to Christmas. I have the list and I've actually already read my first book, A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I've been waiting to read this for a while and I liked it a lot. More than How to be Good at least.

Next on the list is How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young, a memior about the rise and fall of a British journalist on the New York and Hollywood social scene while he worked as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. I'm about 1/3 of the way through it and it is pretty funny. I'll be blogging all my books so stay tuned.

Happy New Year and all that. Good times.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

King Kong: Kong-tastic

What a great movie.

Peter Jackson is so hot right now. So hot. Kong is awesome. Jack acting since High Fidelity (though he was hardly acting in that). Naomi Watts was great. Adrien Brody was...whatever.

A great 3 hours and 15 minutes of moviemaking. Good times.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Apprentice Finale

I don't know if it's that I'm enamored with Donald Trump's hair or that I just like a reality show that focuses on talent, rather than drama, but ever since the first season, I've been a loyal watcher of The Apprentice.

The 2-hour (semi) live season finale was last night and pitted Randal against Rebecca in a competition of charity events. I really enjoyed the finale a lot until the end of it (but we'll get to that a little later). Randal and Rebecca both had to overcome enormous obstacles on their final tasks...Randal's charity softball game was rained out and Rebecca's celebrity emcee, Joe Piscopo, backed out at the last minute.

Both made the proper adjustments and held extremely successful events. It started to become very clear as they made it to the board room that both candidates were very successful and it was possible that Trump might hire both of them.


Let's be honest. Randal was the odds-on favorite to win. Undefeated record. Impeccable education. Respect from his teammates. Yadda yadda yadda. NO CLASS.

First, I felt it was unnecessary for him to ask his fellow candidates who supported him and who didn't. Who cares what they thought? All of them were FIRED. And Alla was completely classless, showing her true colors, acting like nobody's opinion was more important than her own.

I thought that Rebecca showed incredible poise in the final boardroom and, in my opinion, should have won. Toward the end, Randal got a little cocky and a little complacent. He allowed his team to do most of the work while he sat back and got all the glory (I hate hate hate people like that). Rebecca came into the boardroom with fire, but she refused to make the boardroom about the weaknesses of Randal. Even when she was asked what his biggest weakness was, she turned it into a compliment, stating that Randal just tends to overthink things.

Randal, on the other hand, turned into Alla and started fabricating stuff about Rebecca that, frankly, wasn't very accurate. Not only that, but he had been extremely complimentary of her up to that point. When cornered, he lashed out. Now I understand the need to defend yourself, but I really don't think he had to do it negatively.

So Randal was hired.

And there was much celebration from the crowd.

Then, Trump calls Randal back to the table and asks him if he should hire Rebecca, and Randal, who has gained the respect of millions of people, promptly loses it by refusing to share the title.


What is worse is that I think that if Trump would have hired Rebecca first that she would have shared with Randal. But Randal wanted all the glory for himself, which really disappointed me. And now, even on the news site of the network that puts out the show, MSNBC, there are negative stories about Randal and his selfishness.

Overall, Trump really couldn't have gone wrong firing both of them, but then he takes the advice of his brand new APPRENTICE on who he should hire. It's no wonder so many of his companies go bankrupt.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It was cold, but it was worth it...

I got to go to the Chiefs game on Sunday.

The later start meant that the game would end in the dark and with a forecast of...well...COLD, I bundled up, excited for the game.

And what a game. It started off badly, with Denver scoring on its second play from scrimmage. However, the Chiefs battled all game and Jake "the Snake" Plummer turned into his old self and managed to hook up with two different Chiefs for interceptions at key times during the game, one particularly in the endzone to Patrick Surtain.

During the game, I looked up to the jumbotron and read the words:
"Arrowhead is not what it once was. It has lost its mystique."
-Steve Young, NFL Countdown, December 4, 2005

I've been to plenty of Chiefs games in my life to know that something like that is plenty to motivate the fans to bring the thunder. And that's what it felt like. It was so loud, everyone was yelling. And I lost my voice by the second quarter.

Young, you need to shut up. You haven't been back to Arrowhead since you got rocked there the last time. How about the Arrowhead mystique on Denver's 4th-and-2 play where the Chiefs needed replay to have the refs get it right (everyone in the stadium could tell he was short).

Sadly, however, I lost my cell phone in the parking lot and I think it got run over, so if you try to call me, you'll get a weird message...hopefully, I can fix that today.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Joey's Pizza?

No, not a Friends reference.

It's a reference to another one of my favorite shows, which is unfortunately getting cancelled after the end of this season. Since my friend Sarah introduced us to Alias midway through Season 2, we haven't missed an episode of this show.


With the onset of the season, it was obvious that Alias had lost some of its sheen...Sydney was pregnant, Vaughn's gone, Irina is nowhere to be found and we now have 2 new agents doing all the work (who aren't bad, it's just different).

Why couldn't they bring back WILL?

Oh yeah, that's because he had his own show to get cancelled before it even got a chance. I'll be totally honest, I'm a big fan of Bradley Cooper (particularly after his hilarious turn in Wedding Crashers this summer), so I really wanted this show to succeed. Fox didn't really give it a great chance, especially since it was off the schedule forever because of the stupid World Series.

TV is getting better. Less reality shows is always good. And there are some great new shows this season. Lost continues to be awesome. The Office is SO FUNNY. Scrubs is coming back. How I Met Your Mother is a hilarious new show. So we have that going for us.

But still. I will miss Alias. And I hope that the rumors aren't true. I hope that Fox can find room on its schedule for Kitchen Confidential.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

WITFV30: This Exercise

This last day of November, I'm really thankful for the thankfulness project (thanks, Rachel!). I have really enjoyed thinking about all of the things that I'm thankful for in my life. It's been a good experience this month, forcing myself to post every day (although they may not have been released exactly on the day)

It was fun though...and it was the most regular posting that I have done on here in a really long time. As a review, here's the stuff I was thankful for this month:

Free Stuff, Days Off, Alli, My Company, Chili, Burritos, My Computer, DVR, Fall, TV Shows on DVD, My Music and my iPod, My Dog, Technology, Our House, JJ Abrams, Good Books, My Friends, My Family, "Friends" (the TV Show), The Chiefs, Freedom, My Church, Thanksgiving, Lazy Days, My Camera, Life, My City, and Alli (Take 2).

So the project is over...Alli had the idea to maybe do something for the month of December where I reviewed a new Christmas movie every day...I like the idea, I don't know if I could watch and post every day. Might be kind of difficult. I haven't decided if I'll give it a shot yet or not, but keep your eye on here...there's a possibility I might move this site soon. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

WITFV29: Alli

Now, I know I don't ever talk about my wife on here, but I have to close this month out by reiterating how lucky I am to have such an amazing wife.

Her business is starting to pick up and I'm very excited that she is doing exactly what she wants to do with her life. She's also beautiful and she's my best friend. I'm so thankful that I get to go through life with her.

Monday, November 28, 2005

WITFV28: My City

Technically, I live in a suburb of Kansas City - on the Kansas side, but I consider the Kansas City metropolitan area my home.

I lived in Iowa from the ages of 1 - 4 years old (and also during college, sort of), but outside of that, I have always lived in the KC area. When Alli and I got married, we moved into an apartment in the suburb of Lenexa, then got a house in 2001 in Olathe.

Suburban sprawl runs rampant in Kansas City. Unfortunately, the metro is so geographically large that it is difficult for the city leaders to develop an identity because everyone lives outside of Kansas City proper.

However, that suburban sprawl does not prevent a fierce loyalty to our sports teams, particularly the Chiefs. In addition, there is an intense movement to revive the downtown area right now and I am hopeful that it is successful because I would like to see Kansas City return to its status as one of the premier cities in the country.

One of the things that I have always loved about the city is that it has all the amenities of a large metropolis, but the attitudes of the people are significantly less harsh.

Not only that, but we also have WINTER.

I'm a big "changing seasons" kind of guy. I couldn't live on a coast where the weather is always the same. It snowed today in Kansas City and it was glorious.

So I'm thankful for where I live.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

WITFV27: Life

I know.

It sounds corny. It's a corny thing to be thankful for. But this evening, I'm very thankful for it.

Tonight, we went to see RENT. I've been looking forward to this movie since I first saw the trailer, but as it approached the release date, I became more and more skeptical. Would a film be able to capture the incredible lyrics and music of the late Jonathan Larson?

Alli and I first saw the musical in 1998 (or was it '97?) in Des Moines at the Civic Center. The musical was touring and we had seen lots of advertisements for it in our small Iowa town where we were attending college. We had a couple of friends who had seen it and highly recommended it, so I got us tickets and we went to "the theater".

I was so taken by the story and the musical that I went out and bought the soundtrack. Alli got sick of me listening to it over and over again.

It's weird. I can't figure out what it is that makes me identify with this story so much. I've never been a starving artist like the characters in the movie and I've never been diagnosed, nor have I known anyone who was diagnosed with HIV. But this story rings true to me because the characters in it are real and they are dealing with real issues and real life. RENT captures the early '90s extremely well (as I remember them) even though the musical did not reach the stage until 1996.

What makes this story resonate so much is that the main characters create a family that is non-traditional, but functions as a support group and I think that everyone looks for something like that in their life. I'm fortunate enough to have that familial support in my life. Not only that, but I'm so thankful to have a life as blessed as mine is.

RENT is about finding life and love amidst the chaos of life and love. It's about struggling to find the one thing that makes everything worthwhile through it all. That thing may be different for others, but for me, it's love. And I am truly thankful for that.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

WITFV26: My Camera

A couple of years back, I got a digital camera for my birthday. It's an amazing camera, a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, and I love using it.

I haven't been using it very much in the past couple months, but we've gotten a lot of use out of it recently. We have some great Thanksgiving photos, like this one of my brother doing a spinning jumping kick for no reason:

Or this one of two of my cousins, Hunter and Carly:

Or this one of everyone who was at my parents' house:

But what is especially great about digital cameras is that you can take random strange pictures, like the one below and you can keep them as long as you have room on your computer.

I took my family on a tour of my new building at work today and we brought the camera along to remember some of the best moments. Like this great picture of Alli and Ashley coming down the slide:

I love my camera and I really enjoy taking pictures. I wish I had more time to spend with photography because I think if I wasn't a graphic designer, I would like to probably do that for a living. I always thought that being an Associated Press photojournalist would be a totally sweet job.

For now, I will just be thankful that I have a nice camera to take day-to-day photos with.

Friday, November 25, 2005

WITFV25: Lazy Days

Today, I'm thankful for lazy days. Lazy days are the days in the fall when you can snuggle up on the couch, cover up with a blanket and watch as much TV as your eyes can handle. Alli and I did that this afternoon.

Her family is in town for the holiday weekend, but they were off at the car dealership all day with my sister-in-law picking up her new car (congratulations Ashley!). Since they were there much longer than they expected, Alli and I got to chill out and relax longer than we had planned.

And that was fine by me.

We caught up on The Apprentice episodes (bye bye Adam) that we missed last night, as well as Joey (Thanksgiving episode just not as funny without the rest of the Friends) and My Name is Earl (getting better as the season goes on, but still needs some work). Later, we watched 2 rented movies, Kingdom of Heaven (terrific flick) and Millions (odd British film that wasn't bad, it just wasn't great). was a great day of being lazy. That's what the day after Thanksgiving is all about...laziness.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

WITFV24: Thanksgiving

It's not just about the food today.

Okay, that's a big part of it, but it really isn't why I'm thankful for this day. I'm thankful today because I get to spend the day with my family, including my dad, who has been overseas for the past 6 weeks on business.

I'm also looking forward to the after-meal time of fellowship, games, and laziness that always seems to accompany this holiday.

But I'm thankful for turkey, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

WITFV23: My Church

When I was about 5 years old, our family began attending church in Olathe, KS, switching from the congregation we were going to in Mission. Being 5 years old, I don't remember it all that much, but I do know thatI still attend the same congregation today that I did 23 years ago.

When I was young, I forged friendships and relationships in that congregation that are still strong today and my family has been warmly accepted as a member of that church.

Alli and I had the opportunity to plan the Thanksgiving Eve service this evening and we were so thankful for the turnout and support that we received. It was a great experience for us in planning the service, but I really believe that the service was a good experience for all. I'm so thankful that we have a place where we can worship and that, in this country, we are free to worship as we feel best.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

WITFV22: Freedom

OK, before this sounds like a complete cliche, I want to say that I am so thankful that I live in a country where views and opinions can be expressed so freely and that there is not outright persecution for beliefs (although it may seem that way sometimes).

Today, I'm thankful not only for the freedom that we are provided in this country, but those who fight for that freedom every day overseas. Turmoil surrounds us and we oftentimes forget that there are people all over the world that are in the center of that turmoil, struggling to make sure that our interests and our freedom is protected.

I'm also thankful that we have been so blessed as to allow Alli the freedom to pursue her dream as an artist. It's not always easy, but I have to say that it has been a blessing on both of us for her to be able to pursue her dream full time.

I'm thankful that we have that freedom and that she can do that.

Monday, November 21, 2005

WITFV21: The Chiefs

The game yesterday was a big relief. The Chiefs did exactly what they were supposed to do and spanked the terrible Houston Texans. Larry Johnson was huge and I expect to see him restructure his contract in the off-season when Priest decides to retire.

Trent Green looked good. Tony Gonzalez had almost 100 yards receiving. Even so, my home team has a really tough schedule until the end of the year. (Nothing like the Colts, which is almost a complete cakewalk except for the Seahawks and the Chargers... It's funny how the NFL makes schedules.)

I've been a Chiefs fan ever since I understood football. I remember the great Chiefs teams of the 1990's with Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith and the like. It's been a rough last few years and this might not even be the year for them, but they do have some great young players (Jared Allen, Larry Johnson) and I love watching them.

I tend to get pretty into the games, but that's only because I love them.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

WITFV20: Friends

Not my friends, but the TV show, Friends. I don't care if that makes me sentimental, but I loved that show and I still love it. I just purchased Season 10, completing our set of all of the seasons. Here's a list of my top 5 episodes:
  • The One with the Rumor (Brad Pitt Episode)
  • The One with the Prom Video (I'm a softie for Ross and Rachel)
  • The One Where No One is Ready
  • The One Where Ross Says Rachel
  • The One with the Embryos (Lightning Round)
Such a great show. I think that by the end, I was one of the only people who always wanted Ross and Rachel to be together. That whole thing with Joey...that was just lame.

But Friends represented a time of life to me. Alli and I always watched the show together (once we started dating) and it became a point of conversation. It was a cultural phenomenon, much like Seinfeld, except it was on TV longer and it had a point.

Great show. Good laughs. Good times.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

WITFV19: My Family

I have a great family.

It's a rarity to have a fully-functioning family like I do, but I have been blessed and for that I am thankful. I have a hard-working father who has always strived to do nothing but provide the best for his family. I have an understanding and caring mother who really raised us well and has always been a great friend to me. And I have an awesome brother who would lie down in traffic for me or any of his friends, he's THAT LOYAL.

For a lot of people, this would be plenty to be thankful for, but not only do I have all this, but I also have incredible in-laws. And not only are they great, but Alli's family and mine GET ALONG, which is even more incredible.

During this time of year, there's nothing that I'm more thankful for than my family.

Friday, November 18, 2005

WITFV18: My Friends

I have been blessed with incredible friends throughout my life. Some of them I was born into because our parents were friends. Others I found along the way.

Oftentimes, men find it difficult to have really good friends. We all have "buddies", but sometimes true "friends" are a rarity because male-to-male relationships are so difficult. I don't know what it is about those that make them so difficult, but I have been blessed with great friendships.

When I was 3, we moved from Iowa back to Kansas and we shortly started attending church in Olathe, KS. One of the things that I loved about going to church back in the day was the friends that I had there. When we started attending, I had a bunch of built-in friends, a group of guys who were either my age or within one year of my age and that group was probably about 8 strong at the time. Over time, amazingly NO ONE moved away.

Our friendship grew and we became closer friends. It helped that our friendship was based in a church relationship and all of our parents became friends as well (if they weren't already). Almost none of us went to the same schools. But as we got older, our friendships got closer because we began to play on a club volleyball team together. While our team probably could have been better with other players outside of our group, the way we had it was the way we wanted it and what happened was remarkable. Almost all of us went off to the same college that all of our parents had attended and continued to play volleyball competitively.

After graduation (at different times), things seemed weird. We all still kept in close touch (some more than others), but our lives were changing as we made the adjustment into adulthood. One-by-one, we began getting married (standing in each other's weddings was fun) and settling down, not surprisingly in the same areas where we had all grown up.

As we have all gotten settled, our friendships have changed, but not for the worse, more for the better. All of us have spouses and they have been added to the mix. Our conversation subjects have gotten more grown up (sometimes) and we all seem much more responsible (at least most of the time).

The one thing that hasn't changed over time is that we can count on each other. Our friendship will last even if there are those of us that move away. I'm glad for that. These aren't really my friends, they are my extended family, and I'm thankful for all of them. You know who you are.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

WITFV17: Good Books

I wish that I had more time to read.

There are a lot of really good books out there, some I've read, others I have not. Currently, I'm reading Ogilvy on Advertising, a funny take on the world of advertising as told by one of the true pioneers and geniuses of the industry, David Ogilvy, a founder of one of the largest advertising companies in the world.

OK, so here is a list of my desert-island top 5 books:

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

I get in reading moods. If I find a book that I like, I won't stop reading until I'm done. I read The Da Vinci Code in 3 days, I read Angels & Demons in 4...good page-turning books. When I was a sophomore in college, my family took a trip to Europe and since I can't sleep on planes, I read the whole time on the way over there. And on the train. And in our down time. And on the way back. By the time I returned to the U.S., I had finished 7 books. That's right, SEVEN. We were gone for just over 2 weeks.

So I'm thankful for good books.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

WITFV16: JJ Abrams

Seriously, is there a better television show creator out there?

The networks are littered with derivative cop and lawyer shows (how many different CSI's and Law & Order's do we need?) save my two favorite shows on TV, LOST and Alias. The constant between the two shows: creator, Mr. J.J. Abrams.

Previously known only for his creation of the dramedy, Felicity, Abrams has been all over the news lately with the runaway success of Lost, which was easily last year's best show (others might argue that Desperate Housewives could vie for that title, but this is my blog). I was a big fan of Mr. Abrams when I was introduced to the show Alias a few years back. He has great vision for plot lines along long story arcs (did you know that Lost was originally pitched as an eight-year show?) and what makes his shows great is not their creepiness (Lost's numbers or Alias's creepy 500-year-old Italian prophets), but his ability to make all of his characters interesting. They have a realness (even if the actors playing them don't...cough cough Michelle Rodriguez.. cough cough) and the dialogue is so natural that even though the liklihood of there being a crazy creepy hatch on a deserted island, you believe that the characters are real and that is how they would respond in that situation.

The same goes for Alias. Now, obviously, I don't know much about covert operations of the CIA (they wouldn't be that covert if I did, would they?), but, I imagine that Sydney Bristow is an extremely believable character, even if some of the stuff that happens to her is ridiculous (season finale last year, hellOOOOO). I'm actually really looking forward to his take on Mission Impossible 3. I don't envy him for having to work with the Crazy Couch Jumper, but I am looking forward to the movie.

Most importantly, I think that the emergence of shows like Lost has allowed decent SCRIPTED shows to return to prominence on our TV screens. I do love The Apprentice, but reality TV in general is pretty tired. For that, I am eternally thankful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

WITFV15: Our House

Alli and I happened upon our house and this development by a freak accident. We were just driving around Olathe and found this random street at the back of a subdivision that was filled with new houses and lots. It was separate from the other subdivision and from what we could tell, the houses looked nice.

They were. It was really difficult for us to find any other house that gave us as much for the money as this one. We moved pretty quickly (maybe quicker than we should have, but we were only a year into our marriage...we didn't know much).

We were able to customize this house as much as we thought to at the time (but would have done more had we thought about it more) and we got a great house. I have two favorite parts of this house:
  1. The master bedroom. It's HUGE. because our house is a front-to-back split, the master sits above the garage, which is nice since we have a really big garage. So our master suite gives us a lot of room and a great bathroom and closet.
  2. The basement/movie room. This became our movie room once we bought our big screen TV (before we even had furniture to go in the room). We spend more waking time in this room than any other in the house and we love it. It's cozy and decorated with all sorts of movie posters and memorabilia. And it has comfy couches and a great TV.
Some might say we live out in the country and I is far, but we have very good highway access and we are only about 25 minutes from my work, give or take 5-7 minutes based on the Olathe lights.

We enjoy being in our house and we are very thankful to have a roof over our head.

Monday, November 14, 2005

WITFV14: Technology

I feel a little like Kip with this post.

*singing* technology. But not as much as you, you see. Still, I love technology....

I've already lauded the praises of my computer and my ipod. But I'm going to need to devote another post to the genius that is...TECHNOLOGY.

I'm a gadget geek. I got it from my's not just because of my generation. Each new thing that comes out, I want to try it, to have it. I don't really know why...I just have an appreciation for things that make life a little easier (although do they really do that, or are they just really cool?).

Scott Adams in his Dilbert Blog had a funny post about this the other day. I won't even try to summarize because I'm not nearly as funny as that guy, but I will say this:

I like software.
I like hardware.
I like to upgrade things that don't really need upgrading. I think

Sunday, November 13, 2005

WITFV13: My Dog

Today, I'm thankful for my dog, Dreyfuss.

Dreyfuss Closeup

Dreyfuss is our almost-5-year-old mutt. He's a mix of labrador (or dane...we're not sure) and Husky (we think). His mom was a stray and there's a strong possibility that she "got around" while she was in heat because the puppies in that litter did not look very similar.

SIDENOTE: Did you know that a momma dog can have multiple fathers for her puppies in the same litter? I didn't know that until we got Dreyfuss.

We spoil this dog like a child, except we probably wouldn't continue to let a child sleep in our bed every night at 5 years old. But he smells just like a dog should corn chips.

When we first got him, he had problems, and a lot of them. First, they thought he had mange. Not so much. They tested him for every type of mange possible and they couldn't figure out why he was losing his hair. We even took him to a doggie dermatologist. Turns out, all he had was color dilution alopecia, something that we could do absolutely NOTHING about. That would have been nice to know before the hundreds of dollars in veterinary tests...

The Journal of Veterinary Science defines Color Dilution Alopecia as:
a relatively uncommon hereditary skin disease seen in "Blue" and other color-diluted dogs. This syndrome is associated with a color-dilution gene. The initial clinical signs are the gradual onset of a dry, dull and poor hair coat quality. Hair shafts and hair regrowth are poor, and follicular papules may develop and progress to frank comedones. Hair loss and comedo formation are usually most severe on the trunk, especially color-diluted area on the skin. Six cases of color-dilution alopecia are reported in 3 months to 10 years old dogs. The breeds of dogs are blue Doberman Pinscher, Miniature Pinscher, Dachshund, and Schnauzer. Grossly, extensive partial hair loss was seen on the skin. Histopathologically, the epidermis is relatively normal but may be hyperplastic. Hair follicles are characterized by atrophy and distortion. Heavily clumped melanin is present in the epidermis, dermis and hair follicles.

Dreyfuss also has allergies, which make this skin condition all the more uncomfortable for him. However, he never really complains and we treat him by giving him a rawhide bone EVERY NIGHT. Thank goodness we found that Sam's carries them in big bags for pretty cheap because our dog eats one per night. You might find that excessive, but you have to understand. This dog can be extremely destructive if he wants to be. Keeping him in rawhide makes sure that our things stay nice (there's a side story there about Dreyfuss and how he ate my digital camera, but that's for another time).

Anyway, he's a really funny dog. Any time that Alli and I are discussing something in a serious tone, he gets all worried and tries to stand between us. He's pretty smart, even if he eats his own poop.

Dreyfuss, even though you aren't reading my blog, I say this:

Good dog, buddy. Good. Dog.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

WITFV11/12: Music and my iPod

I want to give thanks today (and yesterday) for music. Music is an important part of who I am. I don't know what I would do without it.

From the time I was very small, I've always loved music. I'm pretty sure that I inherited this from my parents, even if I didn't inherit the taste in music that they would have liked me to at the time. But now, I think that they like to know what I'm listening to because my tastes have certainly changed and matured over the last 28 years. Not only that, but I have a strong appreciation for where the music of today has evolved from and over time, I've come to appreciate the work of early musical pioneers.

I've extolled the virtues of Apple's products before, but I don't know if there's anything that has helped me to realize my adoration for music quite like my iPod. I can carry almost all of my music with me on my 20GB 1st generation iPod brick OR I can use complex algorithms to fill my ipod shuffle randomly and just see what comes up. Sometimes I really like that randomness. It's like I have my own radio station that only plays the songs that I like, but doesn't discriminate styles like a normal radio station would.

You see, I want a soundtrack to my life. Woudn't it be totally cool to have a soundtrack that played in your head and helped to indicate when you should be happy, sad, melancholy, scared, etc.? I would love that.

Soundtracks are important, particularly in movies. Sometimes, they can have a dramatic effect on whether I really like a movie or not. And when I love a movie, there's a high likelihood that I'll buy the soundtrack too, just to re-live those moments captured on film. One of the most poignant I can remember in recent years is from the movie Almost Famous when Billy Crudup's character gets back on the bus with his band and Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" comes over the bus radio. It serves as a cleansing reminder to those on the bus that life is too short to hold on to grudges or to harbor ill will. Such a great scene.

What's so great about music is that it can serve so many purposes. Not only can it entertain on its own, but it can further enhance an existing situation if the music fits the moment. That's what music is to me. It's a seasoning that further enhances the flavor of life.

And for that seasoning, I'm thankful.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

WITFV10: TV Shows on DVD

This is something that is pretty inane to be thankful for, but let me tell you something: I never would have gotten into (nor would I have gotten Alli into) That '70s Show. But my brother bought Season One and Two and Alli and I have been working our way through them, episode by hilarious episode.

We actually own all 9 seasons of Friends that have been released thus far. And we own Seasons 1-3 of Alias (still haven't gotten Season 4 yet...trying to figure out when to make that purchase).

It's just that it is such a great way to watch TV...lots of episodes at a time, so if you have shows that have continuing storylines (like Alias), you aren't lost (by the way, how good is THAT show?).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

WITFV9: Fall

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling off (finally), and football is on TV. It just wouldn't be fall without Priest Holmes going on injured reserve (and possibly retiring from football forever). It's a good thing I don't have him on both of my fantasy football teams. Oh wait, that's right. I DO.

Bad football news aside, fall is such a great season. The anticipation of Christmas and the New Year; Thanksgiving; Football; Eating chili. What else can be said about this terrific time of year.

Oh yeah.

IT'S NOT 80 DEGREES ANYMORE. And I'm thankful for that.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Volume 8
This evening, I am extremely thankful for my DVR. I never thought that I would be thankful for anything that I would ever receive from Comcast (mostly because I think that they are very very evil), but I am thankful for that.

Tonight, I was able to help my mom (with the assistance of my brother) paint one of the rooms in their old house (which is on the market right now if you want to buy it!) and I didn't have to miss The Office.

DVR is awesome. Skipping commercials is the bomb diggity. Comcast is not.

Monday, November 07, 2005

WITFV7: My Computer

Volume 7

Today, I'm thankful for my computer. I have this beautiful 20" iMac sitting in front of me right now. It's such a terrific computer with a gorgeous display and it RUNS MAC OS X.

It was a Christmas present to me last year and I absolutely love it. I would like to build a better desk for it, but that is down the road, when I have some spare time to figure everything out since I have a strangely shaped room.

There's a couple of things that I love about this computer:
  1. Its beautiful form factor. I don't know if there has been a slimmer, more attractive computer.
  2. It runs Mac OS X. I know I mentioned this before, but this is a wonderful thing.
  3. The Bluetooth option. I don't have the internal Bluetooth, but I have a USB Bluetooth key, which allows me to use this very nice wireless keyboard and mouse. What's genius about them is that I was able to haul my computer to a mini-showcase for Alli last weekend and run a slideshow of all her work on my screen on our table. It looked very nice and super professional, almost like a TV.
  4. The nice big screen. Brilliant colors. 20" widescreen. You gotta love it.

Now, don't get me wrong. If somebody got me a companion iBook laptop to go with it, I wouldn't kick that computer out of bed for eating crackers, but it would most certainly be my traveling companion (emphasis on companion...I wouldn't even get MS Office for it...I'd just rock iWork on it). This gorgeous machine in front of me will be my primary computer for a long time.

(Unless of course I get into music or movie production or something insane like that where I might need to get one of those slick new Quad G5's.)

So thanks, Apple (and more importantly Mom and Dad). I really love my computer.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

WITFV6: Burritos

Volume 6

Today, I'm thankful for burritos. And not really just any burritos, but Chipotle burritos.

I (heart) Chipotle. I've made this fact well known here on this little blog and I'm proud to say that I am a Chipotle-holic. What's not to love about Chipotle? Good, cheap grub. It doesn't get much better.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

WITFV5: Chili

Volume 5

Today, I'm thankful for chili. Tonight is our big church Chili Cookoff and I'm excited. I love making chili. I'm not afraid to say that mine is really good. One of the best things about chili is that there's almost always leftovers. And leftover chili is as good, if not BETTER, than fresh chili. Plus, the fact that I can make chili means that it's fall. And I love fall. It's by far my second favorite season after winter.

So here's to you chili:

I salute you.

Friday, November 04, 2005

WITFV4: My Company

Volume 4

Today, I'm thankful to work in a company that is successful, stable and treats its employees right. I got to spend about 30 minutes today playing on a Segway, one of three that the executives bought us as a "house-warming gift" in our new state-of-the-art facility. Yeah, like the facility wasn't enough.

The facility has the following:
  • A dodgeball court
  • A fitness center
  • A twisty slide
  • An Xbox room
  • About 20 plasma TVs
  • Free Coca-Cola products (including Minute Maid juices and Dasani water)

Man, I work for a great company. We were named (for the second year in a row) one of the "Best Places to Work in Kansas City" by the Kansas City Business Journal.

Good times.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

WITFV3: Alli

Volume 3

Today, I'm thankful for my wife, Alli. I am more thankful for her than anything in my life, but I would have REALLY been copying Rachel on this if I'd put her first.

But she is first.


Numero Uno.

I have a wife who is not only loving, caring, intelligent, TOTALLY HOT, and completely in love with me, but she's also this completely talented artist. SEE. I don't know what I would do without her. She's the first person I want to see when I wake up every morning and the last person I want to see when I close my eyes at night.

Did I mention that she's HOT?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

WITFV2: Days Off

Volume 2

Today, I'm thankful for days off. Today was a good day. I took a long-needed day off from work. I've been pushing very hard lately with our company open house for our new building (which was last Friday and was totally sweet) so I rewarded myself with a day off (considering I have about 3 weeks built up...I needed to use it anyway).

Alli and I slept in, made breakfast, almost went to the Plaza, shopped for shoes, both bought a pair (her: brown boots; me: black slip-on work shoes), ate some food, watched some "That 70's Show" and just relaxed.

It was a great day and I'm thankful that not only I could have that day off, but that my wonderful wife has a flexible enough schedule to spend the day with me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Month of November - What I'm Thankful For, Vol. 1 (WITFV1)

OK, so I totally stole this from Rachel (who stole it from someone else, but that's besides the point...)

I'm going to write one post per day (yeah right, let's see how that goes!) and I'll list one thing that I'm thankful for.

So here goes:

Volume 1

Today, I'm thankful for free stuff. We got to see another free movie tonight...Shopgirl. I like free stuff. It's really cool. Mostly because it doesn't cost anything.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Long time, no post

This is kind of train of jumps all over the place. I apologize in advance.


Sorry, it's a bit hectic with our company open house coming up. My company is in the middle of a big move right now...we are consolidating our three buildings into one, high-tech, centralized facility, which is totally sweet.

I've been in there since yesterday permanently and there is still a lot of construction going on around us, but it's nice to finally be in a centralized place. I doubt it will be a permanent home...this is only supposed to last for another 2 and a half years before we outgrow it. We have rights to the same size land directly adjacent to our new facility. Marketing departments are always the first to move.


Saw a great movie last night...North Country. Incredible acting all around, but a really rough subject, sexual harassment.

This might not be a movie that I would go see normally, but I had a free pass and there is a lot of awards buzz surrounding the movie so we went. And I was glad I saw it. Good (albeit somewhat predictable) story, compelling characters and great acting. Charlize Theron continues to impress me with her acting skills. Not bad for a former model from South Africa.


Chiefs looked decent last week against Washington. It will be interesting to see what they can do tomorrow night on the truncated time table against Miami. I'm hoping for them to really blow them out...for the offense to really explode like they haven't yet this year.

We'll see.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Alli and I went to see Proof last weekend. Gwyneth Paltrow stars and is supported by Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhall, and Hope Davis in this movie about...math. Based on David Auburn's award-winning play (in which Paltrow played the same role on the London stage), I wasn't sure what to expect from a movie about a mathematician gone mad.

However, in much the same vain as Good Will Hunting (one of my favorite movies of all-time, if not my favorite), the film is not nearly as much about the math ("sitting behind a desk and doing long division for the rest of my life" - Will Hunting), the movie focuses more around the relationships surrounding the main character, Catherine (Paltrow).

I'm not sure if I could do the plot justice if I tried to explain it. Hopkins plays the aforementioned "mathematician gone mad", her father, Gyllenhall plays (very well, I might add) a former student of her father's and her love interest, and Hope Davis plays Catherine's concerned sister.

Paltrow is a terrific actress and it is a shame that she hasn't done more in the last few years. John Madden, the director (who also directed her in Shakespeare in Love), gets the most out of Paltrow again and should again earn her a nomination from the Academy.

I really liked this movie. It has a very similar feel to Good Will Hunting without all the swearing (Note to Bravo, who is showing Good Will Hunting a lot lately: the movie is not nearly as authentic without all the swear words...just my opinion).

Proof succeeds as a film and I really enjoyed it.

IMDb rating: 8 out of 10.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Different Week, Same Story

See below. The Chiefs embarrassment yesterday against the Eagles was a travesty. 31 unanswered points when your offense is supposedly the most productive of the past 3 years in the league.

Something ain't stirrin' the Kool-Aid...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


That Chiefs game last night sucked.

Here are the non-Chiefs I am blaming for the loss:
  1. The Rock (why the Denver jersey?)
  2. Geena Davis (I never really liked her anyway)
  3. My buddy's new baby (before he was born, the Chiefs were undefeated...think about THAT)*
  4. The guys that tried to carjack someone from my office yesterday, but were foiled by a stick shift (stupid criminals)
  5. Ron Burgundy (he lent his nasty look to Jake Plummer)
  6. Bradley Cooper (for leaving his Alias character of Will behind to be on a new show, which is pretty good)
*OK...not really, he's super cute.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

you're in control, is there anything you wanna know...

I've been meaning to post about this since Wednesday night.

Alli and I were able to make it out to Sandstone...ERRR...Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Wednesday for the Coldplay concert.

God Put a Smile Upon Your Face

Say what you want about Coldplay...those guys are good. I've been listening to them for a few years now and I really enjoy their music (part of my "I love everything British" motif, I think). There are others who might say they are a bunch of wankers, but I think that they are one of the best bands in the world.

They certainly perform like it at least.

What an amazing show. Despite having to wait over an hour for the show (what was up with that?) after the less-than-great opening act, Coldplay delivered with an electric show that was well-performed, well-lit, and interactive.

Square One

Opening the show with the opening track ("Square One") from their latest album, X&Y was apropos (and really cool because they had this digital timer behind them during the song, which was sweet) and the show took off from there. Following "Square One" was "Politik" from A Rush of Blood to the Head (their last album). What followed was an eclectic mix of songs from all 3 of their albums (Parachutes being their debut effort). It was the set list that was peppered with their hits (Yellow, The Scientist, Speed of Sound), fan favorites (Green Eyes, Kingdom Come), and songs that should have been more widely listened to because they are just so stinking good (Everything's Not Lost, White Shadows, Low).


The show only lasted an hour and a half, which seemed a little short to me (especially since we spent almost that long getting home from the show), but then again, I could have sat there and listened to them all night, playing their entire catalog, covering Johnny Cash (no wait, they did that) and anyone else.

4 personal highlights of mine from the show:
  1. Getting to take my camera in WITH telephoto lens (OK, so they didn't find it in my bag...what was I going to do, NOT use it?)
  2. During "Low", they had everyone flash their cameras at once and they used it as a background on their screen backdrop...that was pretty cool.
  3. White Shadows (this remains one of my favorite tracks from the new album...I love it)
  4. The whole encore
#3 was particularly cool because during "In My Place", Chris "Mr. Gwyneth" Martin darted off the stage into the crowd and climbed up on top of the sound booth, which happened to be about 20 feet from where we were sitting. It was madness when that happened, but I managed to get a couple of pretty cool pics from it:

In My Place

All in all, it was totally worth the hour-and-a-half it took us to get home. I would go see them again in a heartbeat, but I'd like to have a little better seats next time...just to be a little closer. Even still, the show was awesome. Probably jumped into the top 5 concerts I've ever seen (the other four? now that's another post...)

If you'd like to see more pics from the show, check out my flickr set here.

Full Set List:
Square One
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
Speed of Sound
Don't Panic
Everything's Not Lost
White Shadows
The Scientist
Green Eyes
Kingdom Come
Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash Tribute)
Swallowed in the Sea
In My Place
Fix You

hosting officially switched

iPaska is evil.

We will no longer be hosting or at iPaska. Apparently, they are run by an evil man who is now being investigated for tax evasion. Plus, the sites have been down for 2 days (NOT ACCEPTABLE). We have officially switched over to TextDrive and I am pretty excited about it. Not only is our plan comprehensive, but it also supports some of the most highly regarded web developers out there.

TextDrive was created by the guy who developed TextPattern, a commonly used CMS. Many other members of the company are considered the web's elite, including the developers of such projects as Ruby on Rails, Wordpress, and Basecamp.

I'm excited about the new host (although I'm a little bummed about the whole "out more money than I should be" thing) and I will keep everyone updated when I get up and running.

iPaska site down...

I have been trying to figure out what is going on with Alli's site (as well as mine) for the last two days. Our hosting company (thus far) has been unresponsive to my requests for support.

Has anyone heard anything about anything?

I can't find any information on the internet. I have even contacted the datacenter that houses most of their equipment and they were extremely nice in responding, but had no answers for me, even saying that they themselves have not been able to get ahold of them.

I'm starting to worry a little bit and I may have to explore another hosting company very soon. For the site to be down for a little bit is one thing, but this has been more than 2 days now. Something needs to happen.

And quick.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Color Purple

No, not the movie.

I'm talking about the tendency of the media to classify someone as a "blue-state" person or a "red-state" person.

That's unfortunate.

See, I live in the bluest of the blue states, Kansas. I voted for George Bush because, to me, he was really the better choice of two candidates. John Kerry never inspired anyone and so I voted for who I thought would be the best for the job out of the two top candidates.

There's something inherently wrong with my reasoning, though: I'm purple.

I'm fiscally conservative (low taxes, small government, etc), but socially, I am at the very least a moderate, but I'm likely much more a little left of center.

Therein lies my dilemma (as well as that of many other people). Where is our political party? Over the past several months, the optimism that I maintained throughout the 2004 Presidential Race has been worn down. I realize that President Bush is probably doing the best he can, but the problem is that he (as well as any other president) usually has to answer to a strong lobby by his political party's strongest proponents. For Republicans, that happens to be the religious right of the country. Now, I consider myself a part of the religious part, but why do we have to be considered "The Religious Right". There are a lot of people that I know who are what might be considered a part of "The Spiritual Left." Do I hold my own Christianity above theirs? Absolutely not.

Until we are provided with a viable, middle-of-the-road political party, there will continue to be the bickering and name-calling that exists in Washington today. A third voice needs to be heard...that of the level-headed, whose allegiance is not necessarily to lobbyists or interest groups, but to the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

I think that I am young enough (29 this year) that it isn't unreasonable for me to expect to see this come to fruition before I become an insignificant member of the polls. Unfortunately, the stranglehold on Washington by the red and blue parties doesn't really allow for purple. Independents are looked down upon and have trouble gaining a large stage unless they are either completely loaded or completely crazy.

The question that remains is:
Why is it that our country only seems to function under a two-party system?

I can't figure it out. This is AMERICA. The Land of Opporunity. The Melting Pot (mmm...fondue...). The Big Salad Bar. Isn't it a bit near-sighted for the Powers That Be to think that we are all represented by two major political parties?

It just feels like there are large chunks of the country that are relatively ignored because their demographic just doesn't fit into the system.

Until that happens, our country will continue to be sharply divided. I hope that someday we'll see the end of that division.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I've been tagged...

Brad tagged me with a's the concept:

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.

My 23rd post, 5th sentence reads:
Now I'm not mad at these kids by any means...enjoy your youth, I say!


I guess I'm supposed to carry this on. I'll tag Brian, brother Mikey D, Kevin (he won't do it...too cool), Char, and Alli (I would tag her if she had the 23 posts so far, but she'll get there)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Emmy Recap

I'll do my best to re-cap the Emmys (even though I was mostly watching the Chiefs beat the Raiders in Oakland).

Here's what I saw:
  1. Couldn't be more glad to see Everybody Loves Raymond off the air. I can't stand that show. Seinfeld was funny, Raymond was not. And Brad Garrett winning for Supporting Actor over Jeremy Piven for Entourage was a traveshamockery.
  2. So so SO happy that LOST won the awards that it did (Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore), Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series). JJ Abrams can be credited (along with Mark Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives) with the return of scripted television. Abrams' other show, Alias, is easily my favorite on TV, but this year, LOST really managed to capture my interest. Great show...can't wait for season two to start this week.
  3. Not enough Ellen. She's funny. Let her do her thing.
  4. Didn't watch the red carpet, but I heard that Kathy Griffin once again was delegated to the bridge and did not get to interview celebrities on the Red Carpet. Star Jones was down there and I CANNOT STAND HER. All she does is pucker up and tell people how great they are. She is so annoying.
  5. Thought that the Brokaw, Rather, Jennings piece was cool, but Dan Rather annoys me. Brokaw was the most eloquent I've ever seen him.
  6. Out of the 3 Desperate Housewives up for Best Actress in a Comedy, the one that I thought least likely to win, did. Really thought Patricia Heaton was going to win, but gave Teri Hatcher an outside chance.
  7. I predict that with Raymond off the air now, Will and Grace will dominate in its last year next year. It will be interesting with Desperate Housewives up again and all the new shows this year.
Anyway, that's all. We shall see what the year brings.

P.S. I'm sore. Played volleyball last night for the first time in ages (OK, not ages, but at least since Corporate Challenge). Sore today.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Worst (early) movie of the year

Without question, it's Lord of War.

I don't care whether it is based on a true story or not, Andrew Niccol really has a stinker on his hands. While The Truman Show (which Niccol wrote) was at least witty in its self-deprication, Lord of War is just plain depressing. And when it tries to be anything more, it's just more depressing.

I'm sure that Niccol thought that he was making some sort of statement against war or guns or whatever, but this movie was so littered with senseless violence (much like the real world) that you almost couldn't look at it.

Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune remarks:
"The film is morally unsettling on its surface, and then you realize the surface
is all you're going to get."

This film is brutal, both in imagery and just all around story. Unfortunately, it can't be saved (like Niccol's last penned film, The Terminal) by its star, Nicholas Cage (The Terminal was somewhat saved by Tom Hanks).

Cage does a serviceable job as the completely morally bankrupt Yuri Orlov, but on screen, he is completely outacted by a surprising Jared ("I'm pretty") Leto, who plays his brother and Ethan ("he was good in that one movie") Hawke, who plays an Interpol agent determined to bring him down. Bridget Moynahan does the best acting I've seen her do in this movie as Orlov's trophy wife. But the story is just depressing. It tries to be satirical and just isn't.

I truthfully almost walked out of it (and I almost NEVER do that).

My IMDb rating: 3 out of 10

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Best (early) movie of the year

I finally got around to seeing Crash last night. My brother bought it and after So You Think You Can Dance, we watched Paul Haggis's masterpiece film about a crazy night in Los Angeles. The film deals with relationships between black and white and latino and asian, between man and woman, between mother and son, between employer and employee, and between protector and protected.

What a powerful film.

Haggis, who was responsible for penning last year's Best Picture winner, Million Dollar Baby, writes and directs this incredible movie which features one of the largest ensemble casts in recent history. Not only does he direct them with skill, he manages to get lifetime best performances out of actors and actresses who I wasn't sure had much skill.

Don Cheadle (who is ALWAYS brilliant) provides a somewhat common thread through the movie as an LAPD detective. His quote at the beginning of the movie provides a strong statement and serves as the basis for the rest of the feature:
"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In LA, nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something."
The supporting cast is terrific and Terence Howard, who finally got a starring shot in this summer's Hustle and Flow is powerful in his role as a television producer who struggles with his own rights and self-image as an African-American man. Sandra Bullock puts out her best performance of a lifetime (WAY better than her turn in 28 Days) and Ryan Phillippe and Matt Dillon are terrific as two sides to the Good Cop - Bad Cop.

What impressed me most was that with the multiple story lines that were going on during this movie, I never once got confused with what was going on. Haggis truly is a great screenwriter.

This movie really reminded me a lot of another movie last year that came out extremely early last year and was my clear choice for movie of the year last year, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. My fear is that because of its early release, Crash may suffer some of the same fate come Oscar time (Eternal Sunshine was largely ignored, despite being a brilliant, original, incredibly-acted film). And the question remains, who would you nominate. Almost all of the actors represent supporting roles (Cheadle really being the only one who could be justified as a lead actor), but I think that almost all of them should be nominated.

Truthfully, if Crash isn't nominated come Oscar time in some way or another, I'll be really surprised. I just hope that it doesn't get punished for being released early in May.

My IMDb rating: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Going to the Dentist

Could anything suck more? Now don't get me wrong, I love my dentist. He's an old family friend and a great guy. But the whole "cleaning" thing (or as I like to call it, The Chair of Gum Destruction)...I could do without it. At least with the instruments they use (metal? really?)...

But you do get free stuff...2 things of floss, a toothbrush, some toothpaste, and some Listerine. Good times.

But not really.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

T-minus 3 hours

Until the Chiefs season starts!!!

Wish I was there to watch them smack down the Jets, but alas, I'll be watching the broadcast from the comfort of a couch.

I'm hoping that their defense is not an embarrassment this year and I think that they won't be...with the free agents we've added and a full year under Gunther Cunningham as D coordinator, they should be good to go.

We shall see...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New iPods!

Apple continues to innovate. We thought that today was just going to be the announcement of the new iTunes-capable Motorola phone that everyone KNEW was coming out. Instead, they also announced the abandonment of the ipod mini line and replaced it with the ipod nano, a 2GB and 4GB version of the big ipod, only without the size. The new ipod nano is only 1.5 oz.

You read that right. 1.5 OUNCES.

Very cool stuff. Brian beat me to the punch when publishing this, but I thought about it right when it came out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Moving Soon

It looks like I'm going to be able to move my site sooner rather than later. I'm pretty pumped about that. Wordpress is one of the easiest installs that I've ever seen. I'm really excited to try it out. Alli's blog will likely be the first one completely up and running and then we'll get ours up and running shortly after that.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Don't be THAT guy..."

I have become THAT GUY.

You know, the guy who watches every reality TV show on the planet? This summer has unearthed a newfound obsession of mine...REALITY TELEVISION.

I resisted. For a long time, I really did. But when they make shows that are this compelling, you can't do anything to tear your eyes away from the TV.

Here's a little review of the shows that have caught my fancy this summer:


"WHAT'RE YOU GONNA DO WHEN HOGAN KNOWS BEST RUNS WILD ON YOU?" I really am ashamed to admit this. I truly did not want to like this show. It is simultaneously terrible and completely amazing. It stars Terry "Hulk" Hogan and the rest of his family (wife, son and daughter) and basically is about their life. Much of it lately is centering around his daughter Brooke and her striving to get a record deal. Hulk manages her through it with surprising grace and intelligence. Who knew? And he cares immensely for his family, which is very cool. It's pretty much a rehash of The Osbournes, but with people that I think are way more interesting.

I was against this show from the start. That is until I was exposed to the CRAZY. The CRAZY is Whitney Houston who steals the show completely. Their relationship is both volatile and sweet and is some great television. I don't really set down to watch this show, but if it is on, I end up watching it.

Keeping with the same channel...

One of my friends told me that he was watching this show and I made fun of him. Well, consider this my public apology because this show is great. Jonathan Antin is one of the most explosive TV stars on TV since that dude Chris from the Apprentice. The people around him are hilarious and I just find the whole show pretty comical, but also extremely watchable. Now that Season Two is over, it will be interesting to see if it comes back. Maybe not, but with Jonathan, anything is possible and as big of an egomaniac as he is, I wouldn't be surprised...that guy loves himself an awful lot. Probably, Blow Out: The Baby is Born...

Also on Bravo is...

I have always thought that while Kathy Griffin was maybe one of the most annoying "pseudo-celebrities", she was also, BY FAR, one of the funniest. She had an HBO special a long time ago that I watched on a New Year's Eve that made me laugh harder than I had ever laughed in my life. I don't particularly like it when she is hosting stuff like Celebrity Mole or The Surreal Life (which, BTW, I can't stand), but when she is just being herself or ripping on celebrities, I am totally there. She is a riot and I like her show so far (one episode).

I actually get a pass on this one because my wife has always been a dancer. She was captain of her drill team in both high school and college and even danced professionally for a basketball team after we got married. It's American Idol for dancers, but without Randy Jackson saying crap like, "It was a little pitchy." I can't stand that crap.

I was totally over The Real World. I thought that after The Real World: Chicago, the show totally jumped the shark. It just got to be a big party with the pretty people. It was totally formulaic and you could predict the type of people that would be on every show. The straw that broke the camel's back was The Real World: Las Vegas. It was so disappointing that NOTHING REALLY HAPPENED when they were there. Just lots and lots of inter-roommate "relations" and your typical boring crap. HOWEVER, in my opinion, I don't think enough people give credit to The Real World for starting the whole "reality television" craze. When that show came out, it was huge and it still is. The reason is that they manufactured better drama than they can on normal TV shows because they make it look "real". I mean, it is "The Real World" for goodness MUST be real. This season has finally delivered with some serious drama. Plus, there's a dude from my hometown on it (albeit, he is the toolish Wes). The whole "Danny almost loses his vision" thing was CRAZY. I loved it. Brought me back to the show that I haven't watched since they went to Paris.

However, I don't usually catch it during its normal time because unfortunately, it conflicts with what is by far my favorite (and least embarrassing) show...

This is a legitimately interesting show. Premise: a guy owns and operates a Miami tattoo parlor with 4 of his closest friends. I don't know where these guys are in the KC tattoo parlors, but they are way more interesting (and surprisingly normal) than most folks I've seen. I have a new tattoo in mind and I want to go have it done by Chris Nuñez because I think he is the coolest out of the bunch. While the owner of the store, Ami, is a bit of a head case, I like the rest of the guys on the show and the stories of the people that come in to get tattoos are very interesting.

So that's all of them (I think). Pretty sad, isn't it. And that doesn't even include the home improvement shows that we watch, but we'll save that for another discussion...they don't really count.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

People taking laziness to a new level

Have you heard about these types of services?

I may be in the minority here, but I cannot imagine paying someone to rip all my CDs for me...that just seems lazy. I suppose that there are people who value their time that much that they will pay someone else to get all their music digital. I could see it if you are a busy person (with money to burn), but I just don't understand it.

I have over 7000 songs in my iTunes library and I have ripped every single one of them myself. (OK, maybe not ALL of them, but most).

Interesting aside regarding this. My hometown newspaper made a mistake. In reporting this, they said that it was about $1/song, but it is really $1/CD. More affordable, but still a little pretentious. I bet those companies are making a killing though.

Thinking about Wordpress

I am planning on creating a blog for Alli's v3 site. In fact, what I may end up doing is using a CMS for the entire site. If I do that, I'll likely use Moveable Type. It's the largest free CMS out there and from what I've read, it's the most configurable when it comes to photos.

However, if I stay with a Flash-interface with a link to her blog, I might use Wordpress. From what I've heard, it is the easiest to install and configure. Other options? Possibly textpattern, but I doubt it.

Ideas? Brian, I know you use Moveable Type, what's that like?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Dukes of Hazzard

There are a lot of critics out there saying that this movie is everything that is wrong with Hollywood: A remake of a mediocre-ish (I always loved it) TV show with a watered down script and a lot of action.

First of all, tell me what's wrong with that.

I don't necessarily want to THINK everytime I go to the movies. Sometimes I just want to zone out and enjoy myself. And that's exactly what I did during The Dukes of Hazzard. I thought that Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott were pretty funny as Bo and Luke and Jessica Simpson was not too much of a distraction. I half-expected to be so annoyed by her lousy acting that I couldn't enjoy myself, but she did OK.

To be honest, what bothered me the most about the movie was that with Jay Chandraskar (or whatever his name is) at the helm, we were unfortunately subjected to countless cameos by members of the Broken Lizards comedy troupe (the morons behind Super Troopers, one of the most completely unfunny movies I've seen). I understand throwing something in there for your fans, but what Jay Chandrawhatever didn't consider was that people could care less who he is or what he directed...people were going to go see the movie who had no idea what a Broken Lizard was.

You have to understand that I was predisposed to like this movie. You're talking about a guy who for his 8th birthday had his mom bake an extra smaller cake and put it on top of the other one and then decorate it with orange icing and a rebel flag. I loved that show and I was entertained by the movie.

It wasn't the best I've ever seen, but at least it was better than Super Troopers. My IMDb rating: 6 out of 10.

Monday, August 01, 2005

62 Things About Me

Inspired by Rachel, I thought that I would do something like this because I haven't blogged in a while and I need to do something besides PowerPoint. I came up 5 short of her list, but I might add more later...

  1. I have resided in the Kansas City area for most of my natural life. For 3 years when I was little, I lived in Lamoni, Iowa and I returned 14 years later to attend college, where I would major in English.
  2. I graduated high school 10 years ago from Blue Valley Northwest and I do not intend to attend my 10-year reunion. Not for $63/person!
  3. I have been married for five years to Allison Ann Arnold.
  4. We have a dog. His name is Dreyfuss because even as a puppy, he looked like he was a 70-year-old man in a little puppy body.
  5. I like the smell of my dog. He smells like Fritos and I love it.
  6. I go to the same church that I was baptized in.
  7. I am a trivia junkie. I like to think that my brain contains the highest concentration of useless information in the region. I am particularly proficient in television and movie trivia.
  8. Subsequently, my favorite board game is Trivial Pursuit.
  9. I love game shows. Especially old ones like Press Your Luck, but my all-time favorite is Jeopardy. Before I die, I am going to go out to Los Angeles and do the "game show circuit".
  10. For a long time, I just didn't understand what the big deal was about Macs. Then I tried OS X. I'm proud to say we are an all Mac household although I have to deal with the dreaded Windows environment at work. I've got a 20" iMac G5, Alli has a 17" Powerbook. Our wireless router is even an Airport Extreme Base Station.
  11. I have worked for Perceptive Software in Shawnee, KS for 5 years, holding 3 different jobs and 2 official titles.
  12. Currently, I'm a designer at the company, but I do it on the side too.
  13. I am a sucker for movies. Anything really...I have very questionable taste...some people don't trust my opinion because they say I like everything.
  14. The last movie I saw was Must Love Dogs. The best movie I've seen this year is Batman Begins.
  15. My favorite actor is Jeremy Piven.
  16. My favorite movie of all-time is Good Will Hunting, but I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. Rounding out my top 3 are Fletch and The Matrix.
  17. My favorite TV show of all-time is Friends. Following close behind is Alias.
  18. I watch too much TV.
  19. I'm 6'3", but I tell people that I'm 6'4".
  20. I have played volleyball since I was in 7th grade. I still play as much as I can.
  21. I drive a Dodge Durango. I don't really have a dream car, but if I did, the Durango is not it. It works fine, but guzzles gas.
  22. I'm a geek. I like computers a lot.
  23. I have 2 ipods. One is a 20GB 2nd generation brick, the other is a 512MB shuffle. I love them both in very different ways.
  24. I am a music junkie. I wish that I had a running soundtrack to my life, like in the movies...I've even got certain songs picked out. Right now, I would have "Reminder" by the Perishers playing.
  25. My iTunes library contains 7,220 songs and the most played song is "Warning Sign" by Coldplay.
  26. My favorite style of music is sad, maudlin college piano rock (Ben Folds, Elliot Smith, etc.).
  27. I like dream job would be to work for the Associated Press as a photojournalist.
  28. I like golf. I'm not very good at it. I have a penchant for losing golf balls. Last time I golfed, I lost 8.
  29. If I could, I would eat cheeseburgers every day for the rest of my life. That and Pizza Shack (Lamoni, IA).
  30. The most recent vacation that I went on was to Santa Fe, New Mexico with Alli for our 5-year anniversary.
  31. I am very particular about a couple of household chores. I prefer to load the dishwasher myself because I think that I can optimize the number of dishes in the washer better than most people. I also prefer to do my own laundry because I am very particular about how my stuff is folded.
  32. I like my Playstation 2. I don't buy many games, but I enjoy mostly sports games like Madden and Tiger Woods Golf.
  33. I am, predictably, somewhat enamored by this recent poker craze.
  34. I have been to 8 countries outside the United States. So far, England is my favorite.
  35. My dad travels a lot more. In fact, he's going to be in Korea in 2 weeks. Some times, he goes to places I can't even pronounce.
  36. My brother lives with us and has since February. Prior to that, Alli's sister lived with us. In the 5 years we've been married, we have lived by ourselves for about 1.5 of them.
  37. I think that the new Black Pepper Jack Doritos are GENIUS.
  38. I have an English friend at work named Phil who I love listening to, but mostly because he can say words like "bollocks" and "wanker" and "tosser" and it sounds funny. When I say them, it just sounds weird.
  39. Almost all of the friends that I grew up with live in this area. We still hang out. Not many people can say that they have friends that they still hang out with that they have known since they were 5.
  40. I have a large tattoo that surrounds my right calf of a volleyball and a tribal design that spells the word "PERSEVERE". I have the design of my second tattoo and am ready to get it on my back.
  41. I have no less than 10 e-mail addresses to my name. (Thanks, Gmail!)
  42. I consider myself a decent web designer.
  43. I have never had a broken bone, but I have had stitches in my leg and have had a cyst removed.
  44. I cannot stand when people drive during the day with their lights on.
  45. My favorite books of all-time are The Catcher in the Rye, The Lords of Discipline, and High Fidelity.
  46. I am typing this blog post at a desk that I hate. I am determined to build my own desk in my oddly-shaped office and paint it red.
  47. If someone gave me an hour-long shopping spree at any store I wanted, I'd probably go to either Best Buy or the Apple Store.
  48. I can't stand Summer. It's too hot. I'm all about Winter. Give me football, chili and a sweater and I'm good to go. Spring and Fall are OK, but Winter rules all. It might have something to do with my birthday being in December, but I think I would still much prefer the colder months.
  49. One of the reasons that we live in the Midwest is that I love the change of the seasons.
  50. I cannot draw.
  51. Or run.
  52. Or sing.
  53. I can act a little. I was the star of my middle school's production of "Up the Down Staircase".
  54. I'm a decent public speaker. I was selected by my high school classmates to give a speech on Class Day. It was pretty good (I think).
  55. My favorite smell is barbecue.
  56. My favorite candle smell from Yankee Candle is "Buttercream". It smells like frosting.
  57. I only get sick about once a year. This has been true my whole life. My parents rewarded my good health by giving me one "mental health day" each semester when I was growing up.
  58. My legs are considerably shorter in proportion to my torso. My wife is a foot shorter than I am and has the same inseam.
  59. If I had cosmetic surgery, the only thing I would have done is that I would have my back lasered.
  60. States I have not been to: Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alaska, Hawaii. That's 17 states!
  61. My favorite web site is
  62. I should have gone to bed an hour ago.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


The new Dodge Charger.


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Wedding Crashers

Maybe one of the funniest movies of the past 5 years.

Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (sans Ben Stiller THANK THE LORD) team up for an absolutely riotous buddy comedy / romantic comedy. There was a point during the movie that I actually thought I was going to choke because I was laughing so hard.

I read an interesting review that posed itself as a feature piece in GQ about Vaughn, Wilson, Stiller, Will Ferrell (whose cameo is actually pretty funny-WAAAAY funnier than Anchorman- but not nearly the funniest part of the movie), and Luke Wilson. Essentially, what the author of the article said was that out of all the movies that these guys have done together, Wedding Crashers is clearly the best. It went on to talk about how their movies are formulaic, but they continue to dominate the box office so why should these guys do anything else?

That's a good question. I, for one, am a bit tired of Ben Stiller and was pretty psyched to NOT see him in this movie. It was infinitely better because of it. Vaughn and Wilson have great on-screen chemistry and Vince Vaughn delivers his lines better than anyone. His timing is perfect and he gives his best performance since Swingers.

The supporting characters in the movie are terrific as well. Rachel McAdams shines and is an up-and-coming star who has finally shirked her teen-comedy jinx and is starting to get better and better roles. Christopher Walken was, well, Christopher Walken. I mean, he's Bruce Dickinson. And he's gotta have more cowbell. Newish-comer Isla Fisher is great as Vaughn's psychotic love interest and one of my favorite Alias characters, Will (Bradley Cooper) is so believable as the ultra-male, in-the-way, dominant boyfriend, that I almost disliked him.

Overall, I loved this movie. Sure, Owen Wilson isn't exactly believable as a romantic lead, but Vince Vaughn more than makes up for Owen's shortcomings in this flick.

My IMDb rating: 8.5 out of 10.