Sunday, January 21, 2007


No, I didn't intentionally drop the blog ball again. As I was finally getting back into the groove, from being sick all those weeks, my computer crashed. I made my attempts at "fixing" things, but just ended up with a Norton Utilities disc stuck in my disc drive. I can't say the crash was a total surprise, since various aspects of misc. programs weren't completely functional. I just didn't want to deal with having to reload all my software and transfer tons of files to flash drives (the "burn a CD" function was among those things that weren't cooperating).

I finally took the computer in to be fixed, to the one and only place remotely nearby that even works on them, who have never been able to save any of my files in the past (they just wipe it clean {which takes only minutes} and hand it back to me a week later. $100. Come again.). THIS time they WERE able to save my important files, so that was an unexpected surprise. Ultimately, I'd really like to eventually upgrade to the G4 iMac. I LOVE the design, but couldn't really afford to buy it at the time. Naturally, the model is no longer in production and I HATE the look of the new G5s. Flimsy. The guy at the workshop said he'd put me on a list if he happens to come across a used one, though he didn't seem too optimistic about that happening. Le sigh.

And speaking of surprises, I decided to have a DVD drive installed and bought a new keyboard. Wheee! The drive/installation was insanely inexpensive (I thought it would be just the opposite), so now I can do all those screen captures I have been DYING to do for so long. For the longest time I have wanted to create a library of my favorite scenes from movies and make them into a book for my personal enjoyment, so it looks like that's finally going to become a reality (the picture is really dark though, so once I figure out how to remedy that, I'll be ready to go). I promise I won't start bombarding you with them here. I may have to create yet another blog solely for this reason. Who knows. Maybe even one of those Flickr things.

Anyhoo, though I'm technically back, it may take me a few days to get back on track, so hang in there. I haven't given up on this ol' blog of mine, so I hope you won't give up on me. Besides, I have waaaay too many things to talk to you about, and complain about. Just you wait.

Epilogue: As it turns out, apparently the iMac doesn't allow you to do screen captures from DVDs. I tried it and everytime I only got a picture of a portion of the screen (maybe 3/4). I researched this phenomena and as it turns out, it's just one of those weird things that has other Mac users baffled as well. Allegedly OS 10.4 users can get around it, but I don't see me tackling OS 10.4 anytime soon. Sonofabitch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Perky Pot from the Past

Dallas Morning News- Brew a little blast from the past. Mr. Coffee has just released its Classic Edition coffee pot. The old-school design with a top cup rack brings back the days when "coffee break" meant an afternoon at the diner rather than five minutes at a drive-through. And the '70s-inspired polka-dot background adds a little bit of pop to your countertop.

But the pot is not without modern amenities such as backlit ambient lighting, a removable silicone decanter pad, cord storage and a water-filtration system. In bean brown and poppy red with brushed metal accents. Available in February for $89.99 at Target stores.

Something to Cleanse the Palate

Ah, that's much better.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If you've ever watched any of the "women's" channels (Oxygen, Lifetime, etc.), then you've undoubtedly seen one of the 200 eHarmony commercials that seem to be on a perpetual loop after 7pm. I saw this guy and still haven't decided whether to feel incredibly hopeful or horribly depressed. I imagine Curly here, smells like Frito breath and some kind of spiced aftershave my grandpa would've worn. And I just know he normally sports a unibrow. Yikes. Just yikes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Go to Jail. Go Directly to Jail. Do Not Collect $200

A few weeks ago there was a New Year's marathon of the MSNBC television series Lock-up. I recorded it and just recently got around to watching it. I find the show fascinating. However, the one constant I notice is that there are basically two kinds of prisoners: The innocent "victims" who were [1] in the wrong place at the wrong time, [2] were framed and/or [3] were casualties of The Man. Then there are the ones who actually own their guilt.

I especially love the ones who are upset that their TV privileges, books, etc. are taken away for their infraction du jour. One prisoner in particular was pissed when his chess set was confiscated for whatever rule he broke that week. He rattled off a list of jails that he'd been to in the past that didn't do this or allowed that, but this place was hindering his rehabilitation by stripping him of privileges and his playthings! Whatever. I'd say if he's already been in MULTIPLE prisons that the rehabilitation wasn't working long before he got to the prison he currently resides in. Fuck off, drama queen. And don't even get me started on the ones that complain that they're treated "less than human." Um, here's an idea: {whispers} If you don't want to be treated less than human and enjoy your freedom...DON'T GO TO JAIL, ASSHOLE! I swear, some of these people act like they were just standing around minding their own business and WHAM! they were arrested, indicted and put in jail. Whatever.

The marathon covered all aspects of the prison system: Administration, the violent criminals, the first-timers, the lifers, the homosexuals, the gangs, the women prisoners and even the mentally ill.

There were two inmates in particular whose crimes were so heinous that your initial reaction is "Unforgivable." However, after seeing them during their interviews, I surprised myself by actually feeling compassion towards them. What were their crimes, you ask? One committed matricide the other patricide (these were separate crimes, neither inmate was related). But it didn't end there. Basically, one shot his own mother with a rifle...then ate some of her brain. The other inmate slit his father's throat and did the same. As it turns out, they are both Schizophrenic and in need of medication, which they are getting now that they are in prison. The inmate who killed his mother was the saddest one of all because he had obvious tics and seemed more childlike than the other inmate. Seeing him emerge from the prison's store with a clear plastic bag of new socks, all smiles, made me sad. I just don't know if the extent of his crime has ever really sank in. Meanwhile, the other man who had killed his own father, seemed visibly distraught at what he'd done, saying he wished he were dead. He began to cry while relaying his story and again, I felt sorry for him.

Some of the inmates are so extremely mentally ill that they have to be kept in a special ward, separate from everyone else and in a cell that is void of bars, but instead has a heavy steel door with shatterproof glass windows built into it. There was one inmate who had such severe Schizophrenia that he was basically uncontrollable, convinced that he was the head of the FBI. At first it sounds comical, like something out of a sitcom. However, seeing the paranoia firsthand, is unsettling and more than a little disturbing. This particular inmate had written, quite neatly, the words "Chief of the FBI" (both forwards and backwards, so as to be read correctly if on the other side of the door) multiple, MULTIPLE times all over the walls of his cell, as well as all over the windows of his cell door. According to the guard who was interviewed, it had all been written in feces and tinted with mustard, "for color." Yu-ikes.

Of course, there was the fascinating (and frightening) segment where they show you all the various handmade weapons that had been confiscated from inmates over the years. All meticulously fashioned from everything imaginable (turkey legs, the metal support found in the soles of shoes, toothbrushes, melted shampoo bottles, etc.). Most of the weapons were shivs of some kind, though some had been clever enough to fashion some into razors and some had even fashioned what they call "zip guns" from various fragments of metal. There were all calibers of zip guns, ranging from .18 to 32mm!

One of the things I found interesting was a device the prisons use when/if a riot should break out, called a "flash bang." This device is basically a form of hand grenade that emits an explosive report and brilliant flash that basically overloads the senses of those in the vicinity. The particular one they demonstrated on the show also released a barrage of rubber ball bearings. Sweet! It was pretty interesting to watch file footage of a riot that had broken out in the cafeteria, then seeing one of these babies tossed into the mix and seeing everyone collapse to the ground from the shock waves. Wow. I want one of these to take to the mall at Christmas time! Or release at a crowded Wal-Mart on Black Friday. More crappy $12 DVD players for me!!!

And last, but not least, leave it to me to scope out the eyecandy. I teased a friend of mine that I was going to make one of them my new pen-pal, but my friend neglected to see the humor. I insisted that he didn't mean to bludgeon his boyfriend to death, he just got "caught up in the moment" and that I could change him. Everyone has their little idiosyncrasies. LOL! My friend no likee my humor. Still, he was really cute, but waaaay to young to already have fucked up his life so badly. Oh well, I have 40 years to decide whether or not he's the pen-pal for me. The other guy was older and very cute, but also a big ol' loser. Naturally, he "found Jesus" (I didn't even know he was missing) after his SECOND incarceration for the same thing (multiple rape convictions). Whatta catch! Not.

On a positive note, it was nice to see people like Harry Belafonte and Jim Brown are visiting prisons, giving inspirational talks and working with programs like Amer-i-can. Two very gracious, cool and inspiring celebrities.

The show airs back-to-back episodes tonight at 9 and 10, then repeats at 12 and 1. Check local listings for time and channel.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

No Love for Snowzilla

(AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Snowzilla may be a smash hit with shutterbugs, but the towering snowman has detractors closer to home.

Some neighbors of the two-story high snowman say they're fed up with the hordes of gawkers clogging their street. "When you get 20 people out there in their cars, now the whole street comes to a stop and nobody can get through," said Anthony Bahler, who can see Snowzilla from his front window. "They just stand out there, in the middle of road, talking about a snowman."

Bahler's neighbor, Billy Powers, supervised construction of the original Snowzilla last year. Through the Internet, it became a media sensation, drawing crowds of visitors and TV crews from Japan and Russia before it melted in the spring.

This year, Powers resurrected the snowman and its giant hat made from tomato cages, corncob pipe and beer-bottle eyes. At 22 feet, the new Snowzilla is six feet taller than its predecessor.

Once again, traffic is streaming through the neighborhood.

"Everybody likes it," Powers said. "That's the reason I do it, really, I like the smiling faces."

Mike Schmitz, whose family lives next door to Bahler, would prefer if Snowzilla were somewhere else. "If it's such a public thing, you'd think the community could get together and find a place to do it," he said.

Is this really that big of a deal? Surely this place has a police department. If it's such a problem, why haven't they been involved? It sounds to me like those doing the complaining have too much free time on their hands. If it weren't the snowman, they'd find something else to bitch about.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Spreading Rumars

Sleepless in Chicago (AKA "Anonymous") writes (in regard to this post, written nearly a year ago):

Duz N E 1 els feel this way? Eye hop not. I dint mean 2 start no rumars. Onest.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What You're Not Missing on MySpace

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Year's First Must-Read

I honestly don't really get into most tabloid magazines like The Enquirer and Star Magazine, though I admit to having bought them on occasion in the past. However, I freakin' love incredibly awful tabloids like Weekly World News. I don't see it very often (mostly due to the fact that they seem to sell out too quickly), but I recently saw one in the magazine section of one of my favorite places, Walgreen's, that I had to buy. After flipping through it, I REALLY had to buy it. God, it's soooo horribly delicious! How could I resist with articles entitled:

- Pilgrims of Poop
- The Bigfoot Diet!
- Krakens Corner Hotel Guests

Not to mention a regular advice column called Horse Sense by Lester the Typing Horse.

However, I have to admit that my favorite is The Bigfoot Diet article. Permit me to share some of my favorite excerpts with you:

• "This was not the slender, muscular Bigfoot I'd seen in photos...his gut was enormous!"

• "After limbering up, Bigfoot really got to work. He did a series of roundhouse kicks that culminated in him felling a mangrove with a mighty blow."

• "Then Bigfoot took a well-deserved snack break. I thought he'd head to the nearest chicken coop but instead he nibbled on a handful of healthy, low-calorie swamp berries. After that, he plucked a minty green leaf from the shore, chewing it like chaw. The leaf must have been an appetite supressant because I didn't see Bigfoot eat again."

So, run, don't walk to your nearest Walgreen's and pick up your very own issue. The best $2.99 you'll spend all year.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

M-m-m M-m-m Good

It's 9:30am and I want Campbell's Vegetable Beef Soup and sourdough toast points. I know what you're thinking: "What are you, some kind of maverick or sumthin'?" I just may be. I just may be.

On a similar note, I've been obsessed with Dove's new Milk Chocolate candy bars, Schweppes ginger ale, the soft tacos from Taco Cabana (their margaritas took the edge off of Christmas with the parents) and Panda Express' (my new fiancée) orange chicken with fried rice. That is all.

Auld Lang Syne

I know some of you will find this hard to believe, but I sometimes have a hard time letting things go. No, really, it's true. I mention this fact because yesterday as I was reading the newspaper, there was an article (naturally) on how to resolve issues for the New Year. You know, one of those articles that thinks it's being crafty by not referring to them as "resolutions" but as "life lessons."

Anyhoo, it suggested getting a spiral notebook and shredder and starting a journal where you'd write letters to and/or document when people or situations got you upset, then shredding those letters. The basic idea was to get them out of your mind, onto something tangible, while getting the whole situation out of your system so that you can move on and stop dwelling on the negative. I have to admit I like the concept, but I'm curious to see if it will work for me. I may or may not share one or more of the "letters" I'd write to someone who has either driven me to the brink of homicidal tendencies and/or love. Yes, I'm just that hot and cold. The things that stick with me are either love or hate, I'm just that basic.

Sooo, as luck would have it, I actually had a dream last night about one of the people to whom I'd like to pen a letter to. It was this cuntastic old relic I used to work with when I ever-so-briefly worked at the local university. We'll call her 'Rodan' for blogging purposes. Rodan was a 70-something, who had deluded herself that she was not only 40-something, but also of English ancestry. She was forever working her esteemed "heritage" into conversations, nonchalantly (she thought) and acting all fabulous because she married someone who actually worked for a living and had managed to buy them a house in a froufrou part of town. Well, froufrou to her. Trust me, I've known some rich people in my life and she wasn't one of them. She was one of those types that seems to be plentiful here in Texas, who thinks if they overpay for some cookie cutter home, where they get to pick the amenities for over $250,000 in some "community" that has a name like "Willow Bend" and fills it with overpriced googogs from pretentious stores, that they are the American Dream and all should envy them. In reality, the end up with foundation problems, mind-numbing debt (to which they would never admit to, of course. That's just not fabulous) and a large vibrator collection. Sorry folks, I don't care how much money you think you have, there are some things money can't buy. Talent and taste are two of those things.

But I digress. My dream involved myself and some other "high brow" employees who were at some foofoo product testing scenario/dinner party, testing the quality of dining ware, primarily plates. I was there to do my job and possibly have a little fun in the process. She was there to "shine" and network with the dinner guests. The problem: They saw through her like the fake she was and were engaging me in more conversation. Naturally, this was pissing her off and she was making every effort to undermine me, but to no avail. As hard as she tried, her efforts went undaunted, as she was unable to rattle me and eventually ended up embarrassing herself (she broke a plate in a very disruptive manner).

I bet you're probably thinking to yourself: "This post is about New Year's resolutions...or dream interpretation." Nope! I fooled ya! It's about a paper shredder/pencil sharpener. Yes, as obtuse as that sounds, this whole post initially stemmed from the photo that accompanied the aforementioned article in the newspaper. It was a little manual, translucent paper shredder/pencil sharpener shaped like an elephant. My friends have been trying to get me to invest in a paper shredder for the longest time (paranoids), but so far I haven't been sold on them. Until now. Initially, my head was turned for this cute little novelty paper shredder...that is until I saw the orange HIPPO! *gasp!* Now I must own one, but I've been unable to find one anywhere online, other than (and yes, naturally, I tried eBay). Oh well, I guess if push comes to shove, I can place a backorder, THEN maybe I can try out the whole therapeutic letter writing/shredding scenario. Stay tuned.

*Auld Lang Syne

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007: Year of the Pig

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