December 31, 2004

Happy New Year

Here's hoping that all of my friends and family have a safe, healthy and joyous 2005. May all your wishes come true.

Posted by: Ted at 11:59 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Going out like a lamb

2004 that is. We've got uncommonly warm temperatures for the next couple of days, so I'm going to take advantage and paint the front fence. It's been needing it, but I couldn't get days off to match up with nice weather all autumn, and I thought I'd missed the chance until springtime.

My wife is at a job interview. Someone saw her resume on Monster and called her yesterday. We'll see how it goes. She's been talking about maybe going back to substitute teaching, which would be ideal for her since she can set her own schedule. Last time she did that she was in great demand and was often booked up a month in advance.

I don't know how much posting will happen for the remainder of the weekend. After we finish the fence we've got some household electrical work to do (replace a couple of outlets and rehang a ceiling fan). Mookie is going out tonight to a house party with drama friends and oldest daughter doesn't have plans as far as I know. Well, she had plans but I wasn't real happy about them so she cancelled. She was invited to drive into DC with a group to go clubbing, but what they really wanted was her to be designated driver so they could get ripped. Oh yeah, big fun - on the road on New Years with a carload of very drunk nitwits.

Us? We're planning our usual very quiet evening. At midnight we'll hug and kiss, exchange "I love you"s and mock Regis. Then we'll go to bed, happy that we've spent another entire year together.

Y'all take care and have fun.

Posted by: Ted at 09:51 AM | category: Square Pegs
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December 30, 2004

I'm unique, just like everyone else (maybe even my shoes)

When I got home from work yesterday, I found that both dogs had been given badly needed haircuts, leaving me as the last shaggy beast in the house.

Afterwards, the dogs always spend a few days humping everything in sight, as if they were so traumatized that they instinctively look to spread their genetic material.

I was warned to check my sneaker before inserting foot, just in case.

Posted by: Ted at 10:45 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Clerks: Uncensored

The movie Clerks is one of those movies where you love it or just don't get it. I believe it has to do with your sense of humor, to some it's outrageously funny, to others - eh, not very. I happen to fall into the "love" category.

My wife bought me Clerks: Uncensored, thinking that she was getting me the original movie. Instead, what I got is the animated series that briefly aired on television. In this case, "briefly" translates into "two episodes".

Dante, Randall, Silent Bob and Jay

There were actually six episodes completed, but the test audience watching the premier hated the pilot. After they showed the second episode to dismal response, the network yanked it from the schedule.

Apparently a whole bunch of people fall into the "don't get it" category, including network executives.

And that's a shame, because this had potential. True, it's primarily an attempt to cash in on Clerks cult hit status, but it's still some damn funny stuff. Dante and Randall return, as do Jay and Silent Bob, who've given up dealing dope to appease network television sensitivities. Instead, they're described as "merry mischief makers". Everyone's language has been cleaned up (a lot!) too.

Like the Simpsons and South Park, celebrities make guest appearances, whether they want to or not. If a celebrity doesn't want to make an official appearance, they'll often be worked into the storyline as a joke, and Gilbert Gottfried does the celebrity dialog - in his normal voice. Hilarious. The humor is very irreverent, with lots of sight gags and things to catch away from the main action, as well as movie take-offs. They pack a lot of funny into a short period of time.

Don't watch these expecting a Clerks movie clone, or you'll be disappointed. Instead, enjoy them for the toons they are, but be prepared for outrageous humor that'll make you laugh out loud.

There are also quite a few very cool extras in the DVD set (it's two disks). I'm especially enjoying the episode commentary, where you learn all kinds of back-story on what went wrong and what went right during the creation and life of the project. There are funny stories and fond rememberances of the process, tinged with a bit of bitterness over how the project turned out and why it ultimately died.

Snootch to the Nootch!

Posted by: Ted at 04:59 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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December 29, 2004

He put Baby on the shelf

Jerry Orbach, dead at age 69 of prostate cancer.

Posted by: Ted at 11:44 AM | category: Square Pegs
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One helluva benefits package

Wish mine included this perk!

Via the CheeseMistress, long may she be unelectrified.

Posted by: Ted at 06:04 AM | category: Links
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Brian Wilson's Smile

It is impossible to mistake Brian Wilson's music for anybody else's. He uses vocals in his songs to echo or replace bass and rhythm lines. His melodies are simple yet unforgettable. Every tune he writes is unmistakably his. The (finally) released album Smile is no exception. It opens with an a cappella piece that evokes images of a church organ. A church organ playing Beach Boys music, of course. The music turns melancholy, but even when Wilson writes a dirge, in your mind you picture the funeral being held on a bright clear sunny day.

If you're unfamiliar with Smile, it's because it was unfinished for almost 40 years. Because of professional obstacles and personal demons, Brian Wilson only recently completed the work that was to be his Magnum Opus.

In late 1966, fueled by the Zeitgeist, psychedelics, hubris and hashish, Brian set out to create his ultimate "teenage symphony to God." Earlier in 1966 he had almost singlehandedly created the acclaimed Pet Sounds, and had followed up that masterpiece with the gorgeous single, Good Vibrations. (Paul McCartney has called Pet Sounds "the classic of this century.")

Brian Wilson's album Smile

Good Vibrations was always to be the finale to this work, and throughout you'll hear echoes and teasers from it, as well as from other Beach Boys music. Bits and pieces of their well-known music are strewn about, and as you listen your ears perk up as you recognize a familiar tone phrase woven into the music, but joined together in unexpected and interesting ways. Even Good Vibrations is new again, the arrangement is a bit different and the mix is less polished than the classic we grew up hearing.

I've listened to it twice straight through now, and I think it's aptly named. This is a musical smile on a bright sunny day. I like it.

Notes: My wife had a heckuva time finding this for Christmas. Look under "Wilson", not "Beach Boys".

I intentionally did not read any reviews of Smile beforehand, wanting to hear it with an open mind. Here's one reviewer who agrees with me, but says it so much better.

Posted by: Ted at 05:52 AM | category: Square Pegs
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December 28, 2004

Porn for the blind

Obviously not very good porn, because he's reading with both hands (in the extended entry - marginally safe for work). more...

Posted by: Ted at 05:00 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Blogger Bowl 2004 - Final

It's all over but the shoutin', as my daddy says.

In the Championship game, Munuviana's DFMoore held on to defeat Brendoman for top honors. The last of the points from last night's contest haven't been included, but they weren't enough to close the gap on Daniel. Congrats!

For third place, Victor became a victim of his own success, needing the Eagles stars to have a big game in order to take the victory (wow, three 'vic' words in one sentence!). Since the game meant nothing to the Eagles, they sat most of their starters and Victor came up short on the scoreboard. Sorry Victor, in your shoes I'd be raising hell with the Eagles. Demand season tickets for next year, maybe they'll comp you a jersey or something.

So that's it. The Rockets will be back next year, bigger, badder, and more likely to explode on the pad more explosive next year.

Posted by: Ted at 06:09 AM | category: Links
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My Moosey Fate!

The Hockey Whoopass Jamboree is still going on, and last night my Cleveland Barons (represented by a Shark wearing a monocle, natch), were blanked by the Gir's Manitoba Moose. In accordance with the prophesy rules, her logo will by displayed on my main page for the next day.

They play again tonight, so if she wins again, it'll still be there. If not, then I expect massive and prominent displayage on her page. I may have discovered her weakness, and plan to distract her with tanned cabana boys bearing tall glasses full of paper umbrellas. Us silly earth monkeys are like that.

Posted by: Ted at 06:00 AM | category: Links
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December 27, 2004

More zen of simplicity

This morning in the shower I noticed a whole bunch of new bottles and jars in the rack and stacked precariously on any level surface. Not unexpected because I live with three ladies in the family, and bath items are popular for gift giving. As I was reading the different labels, it occurred to me that my shower routine is simple.

1. Find the squirty bottle marked shampoo and wash hair.
2. Find the squirty bottle marked "Dove" and put some on my scrubber thing*. Wash everything else.
2a. In absence of squirty bottle marked "Dove", find alternate squirty bottle of soap and proceed as normal. Make mental note to ask why "Dove" isn't there.

No weird combinations of flora essensces and oils. No "morning" scrubs and "evening" scrubs. If I happen to get a zit, I congratulate myself on my continued youth and vigor and be done with it.

*My scrubber thing can be any color - I don't care - as long as nobody else has one the same color.

Posted by: Ted at 04:44 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Yay!

I still get comments on a post from last April about good songs for pole dancing. Just for fun, I googled "stripper music" and Rocket Jones came up #1 for that search.

You come for the content, you stay for the class.

Posted by: Ted at 04:11 AM | category: Square Pegs
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December 26, 2004

New tagline

Over on the right sidebar, and you can see the archive of previously posted taglines here.

If you haven't voted yet to name my new Chinese Chicken recipe, please do. It's also on the right hand column (so's a link to the story behind the recipe). If you already have, then vote again. This isn't some democratic process, it's my blog, and management says voting is fun.

The banner at the top of the page is the original one from Rocket Jones, and was done by my good friend Carl. He's an incredible talent, and you may have seen his work on CD covers and children's books.

Posted by: Ted at 10:34 AM | category: Square Pegs
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A late Christmas present

Did you see the football game last night between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders?

Even though my beloved Raiders lost, that was a fun game to watch. Harkening (harking?) back to the old AFL days, it was all offense all the time, and the defenses seemed to be there only because they're required by the rules.

Thank you NFL, that was a treat.

Posted by: Ted at 09:50 AM | category: Square Pegs
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It's Christmas all over

Even up!

A Russian cargo vessel bearing Christmas gifts and vital supplies of food and fuel has docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Interfax quoted the Mission Control Centre near Moscow as saying.

The ISS is depending on these robot supply ships from the Russians since the Space Shuttle has been grounded. Problem is, their cargo capacity is very small compared to what the Shuttle used to deliver.

The vessel was delivering more than two tonnes of water, oxygen, food, fuel and scientific materials -- as well as unspecified Christmas presents -- to Russian Salizhan Sharipov and American Leroy Chiao.

Supplies levels were critical. The astronauts were rationing food and would have had to abandon the ISS and return to Earth without this delivery.

This next part will probably scare hell out of Buckethead over at the Ministry.

A German-made Rockviss robot, designed to complete repairs on the outer surface of the station, was also in the emergency supply package.

Scientists will be eager to deploy the robot, which can be controlled from earth and is seen as opening new possibilities for space exploration.

So the ISS lives. Unlike a lot of people, I think that's a good thing. Having this 'permanent' presence in space is important, and it's worth can't be measured just in dollars.

Posted by: Ted at 09:36 AM | category: Space Program
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Santa Claus was goooood to me

This year, the family veered to the practical with most of the gifts given, and there were quite a few homemade items exchanged as well. Amazingly enough, I had a rocket-free Christmas.

My wife made me an apron, including my name embroidered on the front. She also got me a new food processor. Standing orders in the house include strangling me if I ever holler "BAM!" or say "kick it up a notch".

I suspect every discount priced DVD bin within 200 miles of here was raided, and I wound up with a stack of wonderfulness. Some serious holes in my horror essentials collection were filled, along with a handful of truly craptacular titles.

I also got Brian Wilson's long-awaited masterpiece album: Smile. And yes, I am.

What did Santa bring you?

Posted by: Ted at 09:13 AM | category: Square Pegs
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December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas to all!

clauseffect3.jpg

Posted by: Ted at 11:54 PM | category: Square Pegs
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December 24, 2004

Santa Claus comes tonight

clauseffect2.jpg

Staying at the top all day, scroll down for new entries.

Posted by: Ted at 04:05 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Nice start to the day

Today is Christmas eve, and since Christmas day itself falls on a Saturday, today is a federal holiday. Yay! Next friday too, for the same reason. Yay again!

Mookie and I just finished watching Nosferatu, the silent classic and original vampire movie made in Germany in 1922. Good enough story to keep the MST3K moments to a minimum, and a riveting organ soundtrack added. My only complaint is that the Americanized version I have changed the names of the characters, making the story more familiar yet taking away from the original intent (for instance: Graf Orlok was changed to Count Dracula and Profesor Bulwer became Dr. Van Helsing). Still, that's a minor quibble, and if you can find a copy of this one, I highly recommend seeing it.

Posted by: Ted at 01:26 PM | category: Cult Flicks
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Giftwrapping

I'm hopeless when it comes to wrapping presents. They always come out looking like a first-grader did the job, using odd bits of tape to hold down randomly buckled areas of paper. I'm also stubborn enough to do it myself every year, because that's part of my gift too: that I went to the trouble of wrapping it myself so you can laugh at me and my inept pretty paper skills.

I believe the ladies have something in their DNA that lets them whoof out beautifully done giftwrapping without effort, which annoys the hell out of me.

I also believe though, that I've found the perfect solution. Better than those tacky gift bags or pre-folded boxes even. You will never hear a guy complain or kid you about your wrapping job if you put his gift inside a toolbox.

Posted by: Ted at 08:31 AM | category: Square Pegs
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