April 30, 2005

Better'n Special Effects

From Murdoc Online, these pictures of a sandstorm in Iraq, about to engulf an airbase. Incredible.

Posted by: Ted at 08:51 PM | category: Links
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Prom Night

Pictures later of Mookie in her dress (if she'll let me).

Posted by: Ted at 07:14 PM | category: Square Pegs
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All Zombies, All the Time

(alternate title: Less Talk, More Zombies)


On a related note, I rewatched Day of the Dead last night while waiting for a loaf of bread to bake. Terribly underrated and not disturbingly gory until the last half hour (when it goes right on over the top).

Posted by: Ted at 10:45 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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Star Cards - 7

Someone was kind enough to scan and post a whole heap of Players Cigarette cards. This particular set of 85 cards is of Actresses, and were released during the late 1930's (from clues like "her latest film was...").

I'll post one of these every once in a while, with a couple of simple links to IMDB.com or a bio if I can find one. You might be surpirsed at some of the familiar names you'll see. The category is "Star Cards" (over on the right column), and you can click there at any time to see all that I've posted. Hope you enjoy.

(in the extended entry) more...

Posted by: Ted at 08:00 AM | category: Star Cards
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April 29, 2005

As Mookie would say, "That was random"

Just some thoughts.

I hate going to WalMart during the day, because all the senior citizens are there. Yesterday I watched a lady who probably shared a nice piece of fish with Christ himself on the mount as she tottered through the crosswalk. She was clutching her cart for dear life, and I'm positive it was the only thing holding her up. About a third of the way across (a two minute journey, I kid you not), she was almost flattened by another woman in a Cadillac who probably taught female gladiators to drive chariots in ancient Rome. That's entertainment. Like watching the Keystone Kops in slo-mo.

When I get old enough to drive a golf cart, I'm putting wheelie bars on the back.

Mookie's imagination has been fired by the speculative piece about Canada breaking up and parts joining the US, and now the Cambodian zombie story. She's been wandering through the house singing "Invade Canadaaaaaaah, with Zombies from Cambodiaaaaaah." She's such a special child.

It's looking like tomorrow is not going to be a go for the Culpeper rocket launch, due to a really lousy weather forecast. That's a personal decision, I'm sure there will be folks there and some flights will be made. I'm still on for Sunday though, which is supposed to be beautiful.

I may be putting a large "Sears sucks donkey dicks" banner up soon. Next week will tell the tale. Whatever happened to customer service?

Instead of sitting here, I should be cleaning something.

Posted by: Ted at 05:39 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Helpful Reader Email

Sir Knight kindly sent an email that mentioned this Rocket Jones review of Revolt of the Zombies, which he found "when I was googling around for zombies + Cambodia".

How cool is that?

Well, he also sent along a link which talks about a real zombie problem they're having in Cambodia.

You read that right.

Many thanks to Sir Knight for that link. May your maidens be fair, your sword always sharp, and your dragons French.

Note: Because links eventually expire and this one is too good to lose, I've reprinted the entire article in the extended entry (without permission). more...

Posted by: Ted at 11:55 AM | category: Links
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Carnival of the Recipes is up

Hosted by fellow Munuvian CalTechGirl at Not Exactly Rocket Science (gotta love the name), is this week's linkfest to lots of ideas for good eats.

Posted by: Ted at 06:12 AM | category: Recipes
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Snippet of Conversation

Driving through Norfolk yesterday:

Me: Look! The sign says they need a bartender. I could do that again.

(driving by and noticing that the place looks a little "rough")

Me: I dunno though, a black belt is probably part of the job qualifications.

Wife: A couple of tattoos and get something on your face pierced, you'd be fine.

Posted by: Ted at 04:25 AM | category: Square Pegs
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April 28, 2005

Someone's in the kitchen with Diiinaaaahhh!

This is an old favorite with our family that came about after being inspired by a happy combination of leftovers and the ol' "what's for dinner" blahs.

Italian Omelets

eggs (2 per serving)
butter, oil or non-stick spray
half-and-half or milk
garlic powder

fillings: pepperoni, sausage, canadian bacon, mozzerella or other cheeses, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, herbs - whatever you like on a pizza.

spaghetti sauce, warmed

My favorite omelet pan is one of those tiny frying pans with the gently rounded sides. Set it on medium heat, and put a small bit of butter in to melt.

Crack a couple of eggs into a high-sided bowl. Add a splash of milk (half-and-half is even better) and a dash of garlic powder. Mix it all up with a fork or whisk. The idea is to get lots of air into the egg mixture, so whip vigorously and really get it stirred up.

Tilt the pan around to distribute the butter, then pour the eggs into the pan. Leave it be until the edges begin to set, then gently left the edges and tilt the pan to let the uncooked egg on top run around and underneath.

When the top is soft-set, the bottom should be done. Use the spatula (it's a wide one, right?) to carefully flip the entire omelet over.

Add the cheese, veggies, meats or whatever else you're stuffing your omelet with. Gently fold half the omelet over to make a fluffy half-moon shape stuffed with yummy things.

Top with a tablespoon or two of heated sauce and a little more cheese if you'd like, and serve with toast.

Posted by: Ted at 06:43 AM | category: Recipes
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April 27, 2005

I love technology

Liz and I are visiting daughter Robyn down south in Norfolk tomorrow to pick up a load of her stuff. She's spending the summer at home, and she'd have to make a half dozen trips in her tiny little car to haul everything.

So we decided to make it a getaway and booked a room in Williamsburg for the night. Robyn has a final tomorrow afternoon, so we'll hit Williamsburg Pottery and have a nice relaxing morning before heading on in. We both needed this.

I have to admit that Liz knows how to get the best deals on rooms too. I'm posting this from the laptop, hooked up to the wireless network offered by the motel.

And now you'll have to excuse me, the hot tub is calling.

Posted by: Ted at 09:46 PM | category: Square Pegs
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I am *so* behind on my blog to-do list

...let's see...

... feed people... ok, that's "solve world hunger", check...

... broadcast "don't worry be happy" from every satellite... world peace, check...

... that leaves... crap, a whole boatload of new Munuvians to add to my blogroll.

Soon, dammit, I can't do it *all* in one day!

Posted by: Ted at 02:22 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Global Warming is caused by Environmental Activism

Found this over at Q and O:

"If we had simply built all the [nuclear power] plants that were in the pipeline at the time of Three Mile Island, then we would have reduced current coal combustion sufficiently to satisfy the Kyoto treaty." -- Peter Huber

Read about it.

Posted by: Ted at 05:09 AM | category: Links
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April 26, 2005

The Blight is back

Kelley is posting again after a long hiatus.


Posted by: Ted at 11:23 AM | category: Links
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The scene I keep replaying in my mind (updated)

I finally got around to watching the remake of Dawn of the Dead a few days ago. I'm a huge fan of the original, and like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I think the new version is good but in a very different way than the original.

I really like the "fast" zombies. That's not to say they're better than the traditional slow shuffling zombies, because there's a whole 'nother flavor of terror in being inexorably overwhelmed by mindless masses of the flesh-craving undead.

But these new zombies that have been showing up, like the berzerkers in 28 Days Later and these hyper-aggresive monsters in Dawn - wow. They're not just shambling around, instinctively looking for the living. The zombies in Dawn of the Dead are actively searching. And when they see a target, they go full-tilt towards it, ready to rend and devour.

Which brings me to my main gripe about the movie. Like happens all too often in these flicks, everyone is a crack shot. Dozens of zombies sprinting towards you? Your escape route threatened? Ultimate pressure because if they get you, you die? No problem, because everyone instantly achieves perfect head shots each and every time. One of my favorite bits in Shaun of the Dead was the fact that none of the main characters could hit the broad side of a barn with a gun, and it was played to both comedic and suspensful effect.

But this is about "the scene I keep replaying in my mind". It was subtle, and only peripherally related to the main action. I'll try to keep it general enough to not give away any spoilers.

When the nurse is driving away from her home, the camera shot is from the hood of the car and through the windsheild and back window you can see the zombie that almost got her in pursuit. He's running in a full sprint down the street after her. As she begins to gain some distance and turns a corner, a lady comes out of her house and he peels off, still in full sprint, and tackles her and takes her down. By this time, they're far in the background of the camera shot, and you might not even notice.

This morning while getting ready for work, I didn't turn on the TV and I didn't have a radio on. I was completely oblivious to the world outside my home, much like that lady in the movie. As I went out front to take the trashcan to the curb, it struck me how similar my situation was to that lady, who was probably just out to pick up her morning paper.

That is true horror, peeps. Everyday life, interupted by the unimaginable.

Update: If you follow the very first link above it will take you to the IMDB entry for Dawn of the Dead. From there, click on the trivia link and you'll see all of the little tributes to the original movie that were included in the remake. Cool stuff.

Posted by: Ted at 11:16 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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Good Advice for anyone

Originally done by Chet Atkins.

Frog Kissin'

Do you remember in the fairy tale, how the wicked witches spell
Turned the handsome prince to a toad?
By the power of a potion, she handed him the notion
He was lower than the dirt in the road.
And though she left him green and warted, her evil plans were thwarted
Their chanced to happen by a young miss
Who inspite of his complexion, offered him affection
And broke the wicked curse with her kiss

So if you've never been frog kissing
Then you don't know what you've been missin',
There's a wealth of opportunity under each and every log.
And if you've never been charm-breakin',
Then you've never been handsome prince makin'.
You've got to slow down, turn around, bend down,
Kiss you a frog!

Once upon a time ago, I was down and feelin' low
Like a lonely frog in a pond
My life was just a joke, and I was just about to croak
Cuz I'd be zapped by life's wicked wand.
But in the depths of my depression, there came a true expression
Of love from a person so sweet.
She gave me warm fuzzy feelings, feelings that were healin'
And she knocked me off my little webbed feet.

There's a happy-ever-after-land, deep in the heart of man
Where a prince and princess abides.
But all we get are glimpses, of the happy prince or princess
'Cauce they're covered with a green warty hide.
Though they're full of life's potential, they're lacking one essential
To enable them to shine like a star.
That's a handsome guy or missus, to smother them with kisses
And love them just the way that they are.

That's the secret of frog kissing
You can do it too if you'll just listen
There's a wealth of opportunity under each and every log.
That's the secret of charm-breakin',
That's the secret of handsome prince makin'.
You've got to slow down, turn around, bend down,
Kiss you a...
You've got to slow down, turn around, bend down,
Kiss you a...
You've got to slow down, turn around, bend down,
Kiss you a frog!

And because the site where I found this offered up the chord progression, here it is, just for us guitar players.


Am E7 F
G G7 C D
Am A7 Dm A7 Dm-A7-Dm
D7 G D G

G7 C A7
Dm G7 Am
G7 C A7
F F G Am

They also slightly altered the lyrics so they could be played in 3/4 time, so that they "could make it sound like a song that belonged at a Renaissance Festival." I changed 'em back to match what I hear on my original Chet Atkins version.

Posted by: Ted at 05:00 AM | category: Waxing Lyrical
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April 25, 2005

A couple of quickie links

Shank is a sometime commenter here, and he keeps an interesting blog, The Reluctant Werewolf. It's full of fun anecdotes and unconventional wisdom.

Like this:

At work, we employ some Musical Therapists. Basically, they go around the oncology wards and such - places where people are pretty sick and face a depressing prognosis - and kind of help them become comfortable. They play music and sing and shit like that. Lots of patients and families really appreciate that kind of thing, but it's a little too new agey for me. So I'm going to make fun of it.

That's just the opening paragraph of a pretty funny post. He's always worth a visit, especially for his insights on the wedding-planning process, which he's also going through.

Rob and Carol have just gone through the wedding-planning process, followed by the wedding process and now the honeymoon process. Stop by their place at Left & Right and go through the comment process to wish 'em a big congrats. They're due back today.

This next blog, The Smoking Toaster, defies classification. Your pal, Bitterman, is the author and holds forth on everything from the pussyfication of the classic Dodge Daytona muscle cars to topical humor. Added to the mix is some pretty good photography from the Bay Area. He's a smartass, but too on-the-ball to be a dumbass. He's a daily read for me.

LeeAnn is the CheeseMistress of Munuviana and Queen of the evolving banner. She also offered up some living will suggestions. These are my favorites:

3. If I am unable to recognize or interact with friends or family members, I still expect gifts.

4. If I am unable to feed, clean, or dress myself, I would like to be referred to as "Mr. Trump."

There's more cheesy goodies at her place, each and almost every day.

More daily reads:

Stephen at Hold the Mayo. He's got his act together, so I don't have to.

That's an example of stealing an advertising slogan that doesn't quite fit.

Debbye, the Fierce American, is my main source of Canadian news. I guess I'm typically clueless about our northern neighbors because, well, there are plenty of domestic nitwits to deal with (and no, I'm not saying *all* Canadians are nitwits).

Finally, just because:



Random Nuclear Strikes.

Posted by: Ted at 05:37 AM | category: Links
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April 24, 2005

The new logo up top right

Frinklin pointed out this new blog devoted to sports team logos (talk about a niche audience). Since I like pretty pictures, I clicked through and found his latest poll on best team logo. I gotta tell you, I'm torn between the Dallas Derby Devils and the Rose City Rollers. They're both killer designs.

Posted by: Ted at 12:56 PM | category: Links
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Lava Balloons

I've never heard of this phenomenom before.

Columns of white vapor streamed from the Atlantic this winter. About 8km west of an island called Terceira in the Azores, a submarine eruption was under way. Hot lava squeezed up through cracks in the ocean floor at about 500 meters below the surface of the ocean. The lava solidified into lava balloons. These gas-rich lava balloons interacted with cold seawater as they rose. This process generated steam, which emerged from the Atlantic like smoke from dozens of chimneys. The steam rose about 10 meters high. As the lava balloons reached the surface, the gas that made them buoyant escaped through cracks, and the balloons filled with water and sank.

You can keep the Sunday papers, I love to leisurely surf through the museum sites on my weekend mornings.

Here's another weird volcano I posted about some time ago.

Posted by: Ted at 10:28 AM | category: SciTech
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Even stars can be a little loose

Astronomers are used to seeing star clusters orbiting other galaxies. Up to now, they've always been dense little globes filled with millions of suns.

The Andromeda galaxy is one of the Milky WayÂ’s nearest galactic neighbors.

Astronomers recently found star clusters of a type never seen before orbiting Andromeda.

More familiar to scientists are globular clusters. These collections of stars are densely packed.

The newly discovered clusters are much larger and less dense than globular clusters.

These “extended clusters” are not found in the Milky Way. Why not is still unknown.

Mankind may never know it all, but we continue to learn.

Posted by: Ted at 10:13 AM | category: SciTech
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