Wednesday, 02 February 2011

Best car commercial ever. EVER.



Mucho gracias to friend Joshua for posting this on Facebook.

posted by retrophisch at 8:52 PM -->in Star Wars , auto , fun , video
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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Jesus loves dinner time

Tonight at the dinner table, Samuel decided it was time to do a little singing.

Jesus loves dinner time from Chris Turner on Vimeo.


posted by retrophisch at 8:39 PM -->in God , fun , music , parenting , that's life
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Friday, 07 January 2011

It’s Almost Game Time, Tigers!


We’re off to the 75th Cotton Bowl today. GEAUX TIGERS!!!

posted by retrophisch at 1:15 PM -->in LSU , football , fun , video
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Monday, 13 December 2010

If I could only bottle the innate cuteness…


If I could only bottle the innate cuteness...

I would be richer than Gates or Buffett.

posted by retrophisch at 11:15 AM -->in fun , parenting , photography , that's life
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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

LEGO Star Wars: Bombad Bounty

Makes me laugh every time I watch it. My boys and I love it. (Make sure you choose the 720 HD version.)

Davis: “That’s funny.”
Samuel: “Again!” (And again, and again, and again, and again…)

posted by retrophisch at 10:33 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Ben Kenobi: Private Jedeye

Yeah, it’s been floating around the Interwebs for a while now, but it’s still great.


posted by retrophisch at 9:41 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Monday, 03 May 2010

George


Brilliant.

posted by retrophisch at 1:28 PM -->in fun , video
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Thursday, 21 January 2010

Get well soon, Charlie.

Because: “That’s how you do it, son.”

(I love the little point with the breadstick at the end. My favorite part.)

posted by retrophisch at 8:15 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Experience Mobile Mobile


Experience Mobile Mobile from James Théophane Jnr on Vimeo.


posted by retrophisch at 6:22 PM -->in fun , video
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Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Partners in crime


Partners in crime

Davis and Samuel having fun on the backyard play set.

posted by retrophisch at 7:25 PM -->in fun , parenting , photography
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Sunday, 29 November 2009

“Mama!”

Featuring my all-time favorite Muppet:

Via Brent, who gave me a very appreciated laugh by telling me about it last night.

posted by retrophisch at 11:22 AM -->in fun , video
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Thursday, 03 September 2009

Because it’ll make you smile



posted by retrophisch at 10:59 AM -->in fun , music , video
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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

“I am on a mission”

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

Will you write on a tablet, or just read from it? Or will you just buy it and put it on your desk and look at it a lot and never use it at all? Or will you maybe carry it around and put on the table in restaurants to show the other humanoids in your tribe that you are more advanced and wealthy than they are, and they should fear you because you have powerful magic that they do not understand? You see what I mean? What is the anthropology here? And what about the ergonomics? Can you mount it on a wall? Will it have a shiny surface so that Macolytes can adore themselves as they use it in public? (Yes. It must.) The tablet must look and feel not like something that was made by man — it must feel otherworldly, as if God himself made it and handed it to you.

I’m so glad Fake Steve came back.

posted by retrophisch at 5:24 PM -->in fun , quote , tech
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Friday, 07 August 2009

Requiem For A Day Off



posted by retrophisch at 12:28 AM -->in fun , movie , video
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Thursday, 23 July 2009

MC Vader

This is about a dozen kinds of awesome:

[Via Brent, who’s still ticked off about the Nirvana/Rick Astley mash-up. ;-)]

posted by retrophisch at 11:16 AM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Monday, 20 July 2009

Because I know it will drive Brent bonkers


Brilliant mash-up.

posted by retrophisch at 8:56 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Han Solo, P.I.

Love it.


But WAIT!

YouTuber TheCBVee provides us with a sequence comparison of Magnum, P.I. and his creation:


This is all doubly awesome since I grew up watching Magnum with my dad. (And mom, too, but she was just watching because of Tom Selleck’s hunkiness.)

Mucho gracias to mi amigo Stephen for the links via Twitter.

posted by retrophisch at 4:25 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Quite possibly the best LOLcat EVER.

I have the LOLcat web site’s RSS feed in my feed reader. I don’t read it every day, but there are days when I’ll get caught up on the past week or two’s worth of photos.

Some of these photos will garner the toothless smile. Others will get a big grin. Rarer still are the ones which make me laugh. This one…

This one made me snort water through my nose.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


posted by retrophisch at 9:09 PM -->in fun , pet , photography
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Saturday, 07 February 2009

The Keene Act and You


Remember: together, we can forge a better America.

posted by retrophisch at 8:26 PM -->in fun , movie , video
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Monday, 26 January 2009

Puppet show



Puppet Show from Chris Turner on Vimeo.

Davis threw an impromptu puppet show from Samuel, and as you can see from the latter’s reaction, the show got rave reviews.

posted by retrophisch at 9:58 AM -->in fun , parenting , that's life , video
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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Why did it take me so long to come across this?


Brilliant.

[Via Funs Size Bytes.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:00 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Thursday, 15 January 2009

This is for Brent

I laughed so hard at some parts I was crying.


Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn’t seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.


posted by retrophisch at 2:40 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Monday, 24 November 2008

The most popular ringtone in Japan



posted by retrophisch at 12:11 AM -->in fun , video
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Thursday, 20 November 2008

An acappella tribute to John Williams


You can follow along with the lyrics.

[From my sweetie via e-mail.]

posted by retrophisch at 6:50 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , music , video
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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The End Times

Tony Woodlief never fails to amuse me in some fashion:

[T]his is what we have come to: a grown man, grooming his eyebrows in traffic, using his rear-view mirror. In Wichita.

posted by retrophisch at 3:04 PM -->in fun , quote , rant
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Friday, 18 July 2008

Habanera



Animal is my favorite Muppet. Just for the record.

posted by retrophisch at 1:49 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Ode to Joy



With thanks to my frient Tom, who lifted my spirits with this earlier today.

posted by retrophisch at 3:36 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Thursday, 03 July 2008

Start your day with a smile


Matt’s Dancing 2008 footage. My favorites: the DMZ in Korea, the two from Tonga, and Nellis Airspace.

[Wave of the phin to my sweet for passing it along.]

posted by retrophisch at 1:13 AM -->in fun , music , travel , video
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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

No can talk. In time-out.

My buddy Tom pinged me with this via IM just a bit ago:



posted by retrophisch at 2:52 PM -->in fun , pet , photography
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Thursday, 29 May 2008

“Lola”? No, “Yoda”


Weird Al. Who else?

posted by retrophisch at 4:15 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , music , video
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Thursday, 15 May 2008

“High Tech Noon”

Pretty good:

[Wave of the phin to Bruce Webster.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:46 AM -->in fun , video
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Tuesday, 06 May 2008

Matrix Guy

What do you get when you mash up Family Guy with The Matrix?

Fun fact: Both of these pop culture dynasties debuted in 1999.

[Wave of the phin to Dan.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:27 PM -->in fun , video
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“No. I like it in here.”

This is my all-time favorite movie trailer.

Brilliant.

posted by retrophisch at 7:55 PM -->in fun , movie
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Monday, 28 April 2008

At least there was no “Ebony and Ivory”



posted by retrophisch at 9:33 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

One Gallon Axe

This is fairly awesome.

Doesn’t that make you want to drink milk?

posted by retrophisch at 4:59 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The Empire Strikes Back. In 60 seconds.

To quote Geekdad, where I first saw this: “Sheer brilliance.”


posted by retrophisch at 12:54 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Saturday, 12 April 2008

AirHogs Press Conference

The Grand Prairie AirHogs are a new minor league team in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and we have some footage from a recent press conference:

The AirHogs season begins in May, and I’m looking forward to taking in a game or two this year.

posted by retrophisch at 5:52 PM -->in baseball , fun , video
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Tuesday, 08 April 2008

Ride’em, cowboy!

This past weekend, we spent a few days visiting my parents in the suburbs of Birmingham. (That would be Alabama, not England. Just in case it wasn’t clear.)

My dad pulled my old rocking horse, Donut, out of storage, cleaned up the parts, and assembled him in the basement, all for my son to ride while we were visiting.


If you want to see a slightly larger version, click on the video.

I got Donut about the same age as the little phisch is now, roughly 1974. The nostalgia from watching my own child ride the same horse I did thirty-three, thirty-four years ago, was overwhelming.

posted by retrophisch at 9:10 PM -->in fun , love , parenting , that's life , video
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Thursday, 20 March 2008

Dog’s Best Friend

This is fairly awesome.


posted by retrophisch at 3:13 PM -->in fun , pet , video
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Monday, 17 March 2008

REM + Muppets = Furry, Happy Monsters

How can you go wrong when you mix REM and The Muppets?


posted by retrophisch at 5:45 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Monday, 03 March 2008

Re: Your Brains

This is for my pal Nathan:

[Wave of the phin to Grant.]

posted by retrophisch at 4:44 PM -->in fun , music , video
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If George had hired Saul

Opening credits of Star Wars, Saul Bass-style:

[Wave of the phin to Laughing Squid.]

posted by retrophisch at 2:53 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , video
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Friday, 15 February 2008

Swedish Sushi

My pal Heather sent me a great recipe for sushi that nearly anyone will eat. I know what you might be thinking: Not me, I’ll never eat raw fish. I’ve had that thought, too, but I love this sushi!

Here’s the recipe:

Swedish Fish/Rice Crispy Sushi Treats
Ingredients:

  • 1 package Swedish fish
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) package of marshmallows
  • 5 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 box fruit by the foot (blue or green)

Directions:
1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine butter and marshmallows. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.
2. Remove from the oven and stir in the cereal.
3. Working with the mixture while it is still warm, shape into small ovals in the palm of your hand. It helps to put a little butter on your hands before working with it.
4. Cut strips of fruit by the foot to fit around each ball. Place one Swedish fish on each ball and wrap fruit strip around it. Let cool and serve!

IMG_7135.JPG
Click on the photo to see the entire set.

As the chef, I, of course, had to sample the product, for quality assurance purposes. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

posted by retrophisch at 10:42 PM -->in food , fun , photography
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Hey Jude

At least his version doesn’t go on forever.


posted by retrophisch at 1:43 PM -->in fun , music , video
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Thursday, 07 February 2008

The 2008 Presidential Candidates

Muppet style.

Awesome. Just awesome.

posted by retrophisch at 9:46 PM -->in fun , politics , video
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Wednesday, 06 February 2008

Eight things you probably didn’t know about me

Raena tagged me. Normally, I’d politely ignore it, but I must give her props for the way she linked to me.

The rules:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
  2. List EIGHT random facts about yourself.
  3. Tag EIGHT people at the end of your post and list their names.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

So, here are eight things you probably didn’t know about me. Well, maybe some of you know some of them, but not everyone knows all of them. Well, maybe my wife. Perhaps my parents. Whatever…

  1. I have never tried Vietnamese food, nor do I plan to. Seriously, it’s like pulling teeth to get me to try non-rice-based Chinese or Thai dishes, so I’m not really interested in trying pho-anything. Noodles should be a form of pasta, covered with marinara or alfredo sauce.

  2. I utterly detest the song “You Light Up My Life”. Made popular by Debby Boone in the late 1970s, this was one of the songs we were forced to sing as a collective choir in fifth-grade as a tribute to our parents during the incredibly lame fifth-grade “graduation” ceremony we were equally forced to participate in. While I sincerely am thankful to my parents for all they have ever done for me, the repeated practices of this song burned it so deeply in to my brain, that even now, as I type this, I can hear Ms. Boone’s voice coming over the jambox we used to listen to the words and music, and I cringe in abject horror.

  3. I managed to get a position I held eliminated. No, I was not fired, thank you very much. Half of the workload was redundant, given the responsibilities of others on the staff, and the other half could easily be folded in to the responsibilities of others on the staff. I eventually took this information to my boss, and, more importantly, his boss, and the decision was ultimately made to phase the position out. I made such an impression with the head honcho that he actually tried to create a totally new position for me elsewhere in the small management company, but I chose to leave instead, to pursue other endeavors I was passionate about. I like to think that this shows I can think outside the box, and think about the good of the company, if need be, rather than just myself. (Viz: “team player”.)

  4. I have been a pallbearer in a military funeral. My sophomore year in college, one of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver. We were in Air Force ROTC together, and Brett’s fondest dream had been to be a navigator for the United States Air Force. It probably wasn’t as pretty, or as crisp, as a military funeral one would get if they were actively serving, but Brett got full honors, it was the best we could do, and it was from the heart.

  5. I have been a jury foreman. The only time I was ever picked for jury duty was five years ago. It was a misdemeanor trial, and there were only six jurors. No one else wanted it, so I volunteered. Didn’t mean much, other than I was the one who interfaced with the baliff, and then read the verdict. The trial turned out to be a he said-he said situation, rife with reasonable doubt, and we acquitted the accused. (Aside: the judge on the case sent each of the jurors a hand-written thank-you note.)

  6. I have met Michael Jordan and Oliver North. Jordan participated in a basketball clinic at the convention center I worked at (see item #3), and I was part of the staff assigned to show him around behind the scenes. No, I did not get his autograph, or a photo with him. The man had been at a charity golf tournament earlier in the day, and was clearly tired from that and the other events he’d participated in while in town. But he lit up when he saw the kids. Colonel North was doing a book signing at an area book store, and I got my copy autographed.

  7. I have never been drunk. I’m not kidding. Not lying. Never been drunk. Don’t plan to be, either.

  8. I don’t really listen to the radio any more, nor do I watch television news. (Yes, I’m kind of stealing this one from Raena.) Between the music I rip from CDs and download from Amazon or the iTunes Store, and podcasts, I have no reason to listen to the radio, other than traffic updates. I get my news online.

I shall be merciful, and break rules #3 and 4, by not tagging anyone and passing the meme along. Of course, you may feel free to share in the comments, or on your own blog, if you’d like me/us to know eight things about you that we probably don’t know…

posted by retrophisch at 1:52 PM -->in fun , learning , that's life
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Sunday, 03 February 2008

Little green men

I love the little aliens from the Pizza Planet vending machine in Toy Story. Thanks to my friend Heather, and a long ago giveaway of some kind, I have two of the little guys guarding my favorite Mac, which is a little otherworldly in its own right…

IMG_7077.JPG
Click on the photo to see the entire set.


posted by retrophisch at 9:30 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , ipod , movie , photography
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Saturday, 02 February 2008

Computer literacy is very important

One day last month, the little phisch wanted to play his Cars computer game, so Dad set it up for him on Mom’s computer (a Dell running Windows Vista! Icky!!), then grabbed some “action” shots.

IMG_7071.JPG
Click on the photo to see the entire set.


posted by retrophisch at 8:58 PM -->in fun , photography
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Third skating lesson

Two weeks later, some more skating fun!

The little phisch got better moving around the house without help, but seemed to regress when it came to getting up when he fell.

IMG_7044.JPG
Click the photo to see the entire set.


posted by retrophisch at 5:52 PM -->in fun , hockey , learning , parenting , photography
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First skating lesson

Whenever he’s been asked what sports he wants to play, our son has been consistent: “Baseball and hockey!” The first skill required in hockey is the ability to ice skate, so with that in mind, we enrolled him in ice skating lessons earlier in the year. Of course, Dad had to take photos of the first lesson!

IMG_6988.JPG
Click on the photo to see the entire set.


posted by retrophisch at 4:13 PM -->in fun , hockey , learning , parenting , photography
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Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Things you won’t see in Star Tours at Disneyworld

As a Star Wars geek, I love one-offs and mashups of Star Wars-related stuff. Ceth Stifel, aka “Thumper-001” on deviantART, inspired by a recent trip to Disneyland and the Disney/Star Wars figurines one can purchase there, has created a unique set of mashup art combining my favorite movie franchise with the Disney characters millions have come to know and love.


Boba Ducks Trophy by *Thumper-001 on deviantART

Donald Duck as Boba Fett, Goofy as Darth Maul, Mickey as Lando Calrissian, as well as a host of other Star Wars characters, Chip and Dale as Wookies. Great, great stuff.

posted by retrophisch at 2:26 PM -->in Star Wars , fun
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Saturday, 19 January 2008

It’s true: bacon makes everything better

Everything.


posted by retrophisch at 1:12 AM -->in food , fun , video
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Monday, 14 January 2008

Proud geek dad moment

This past Saturday, the missus and I took the little phisch to see The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything. The film was released by Universal, and had the studio’s latest audio-visual intro at the beginning, as is the norm for motion pictures. The little phisch leaned over and whispered to me, “Daddy, what music is that?” I told him, and we settled in for a fun time.

That little exchange immediately took my mind back a few weeks before, at the end of 2007, when the missus and I took the little phisch to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. That particular film was released by Twentieth-Century Fox, and its extremely recognizable audio-visual intro rolled at the beginning. Then, the little phisch leaned over and excitedly exclaimed, “Daddy, it’s the Star Wars music!” I smiled broadly, and assured him, that yes, it was indeed “the Star Wars music.”

Amazing how those blaring trumpets and the monolithic wording have become synonymous with Star Wars for him, just as it did for me when I was a boy. To this day, whenever I see or hear that intro, I’m half-expecting the “Star Wars Main Theme” to follow shortly thereafter, or to see “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” centered on the screen.

posted by retrophisch at 4:20 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , love , movie , parenting
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Tuesday, 08 January 2008

I figured Vader as more of a chopper guy



Photo by Andreas Matern

At least it’s not one of those girly-looking Vespas.

posted by retrophisch at 8:59 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , photography
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Monday, 07 January 2008

A reality show I’d actually watch

I make no bones about my disdain for the reality shows which litter network television. The only one I’d consider watching on a regular basis would be The Amazing Race. From the few bits and pieces I’ve seen of the various shows, it’s the only one that didn’t annoy me after thirty seconds.

One of the things that annoys me about some of the reality shows is that they’re not originals. They’re just re-hashed versions of something popular in another country, most notably the United Kingdom. Well, if we’re going to retool reality shows for the American audience, my vote is we roll with this one from Japan:


posted by retrophisch at 12:46 AM -->in fun , video
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Friday, 04 January 2008

Gifts that keep on giving

Yesterday, I put to good use the Barnes & Noble gift cards I received for Christmas and my birthday. (I get at least a couple every year.) The “big” card was used online a few days before, to purchase two other items which were on my wish list:

The in-store Barnes & Noble shopping resulted in:

  • The Shooters, by W.E.B. Griffin. The fourth in Griffin’s Presidential Agent series, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed to date. W.E.B. Griffin writes some of the best military fiction out there, and this current-day, antiterrorism series is no exception.

  • Spirit of the Wolf by Shaun Ellis and photographer Monty Sloan. Wolves are among my favorite animals, and I believe a lot can be learned from their pack behavior. (Especially when you have a dog, and therefore a pack, of your own.) Sloan’s got some stunning photos in this coffee-table book, and I’m looking forward to reading Ellis’s commentary.

  • Star Wars Jesus - A spiritual commentary on the reality of the Force by Caleb Grimes. Any book that combines the movie franchise which impacted, informed, and defined my tweener childhood (and which continues to impact and inform my son’s childhood), and the Author and Finisher of my faith, well, that’s just something I’ve got to give a whirl. I think all of my other book reading just went on hold…

So my thanks to my family members who were very generous this year with the gift cards. They were well invested, I assure you.

posted by retrophisch at 9:37 PM -->in fiction , fun , movie , non-fiction , read
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Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Christmas fun

I received this e-mail from a neighbor. It’s one of those things where you read their answers, then fill in your own and pass it on to the people you’d like to hear back from. Seeing as how while most of you will be getting ready for work or what-have-you this morning while I’m undergoing prep for surgery to get “unscrewed”, I won’t be in much of a blogging mood, and thought I’d leave this here for you to enjoy.

Please feel free to leave your own answers in the comments, or post to your own blog and link to it in the comments. Merry Christmas!

Welcome to the 2007 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends! You know the drill. Don’t be a scrooge! Fill it out, pass it on, blah blah blah. I would love to hear your answers.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

This time of year, I have to go with the nog. I can get hot chocolate any time.

2. Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree?

Growing up, Santa just left stuff under the tree, or on the coach next to the tree, etc. Since then, he seems to have upgraded his process, as the gifts he leaves are now wrapped.

3. Colored or white lights?

I prefer white, though I do enjoy the colored lights when they’re done well.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Nope. I’m already kissing the person I want to kiss the most.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

We have no hard and fast rules on this one. The tree just went up this weekend, and the lights were put on last night.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?

Can I go with the nog again?

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?

The older gentlemen, Mr. Gridley, who lived next door to my grandparents, would dress as Santa and come over to hand out our presents when we did Christmas at their house. As a child, having Santa right there, handing you the presents he’d brought all the way from the North Pole? Incredible.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

I’d have to check with my folks, but it was likely somewhere around ten or eleven years of age. I overheard some other boys talking about, and I confronted my parents with the information. They told me the truth, but swore me to secrecy, as my sister, five years younger than I, still believed.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

That usually depends on where we might be, but generally, yes.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

White lights, with ornaments from my childhood, plus some that were gifts from my mother-in-law, my mom, and my grandmothers. They’re pretty much all personal momentos of one sort or another. No tinsel or garland. Pretty simple, the way we like it.

11. Snow: Love it or hate it?

Love it, just because, growing up in south Louisiana, and now living in north Texas, we don’t see snow often.

12. Can you ice skate?

Nope. Heck, I barely remember how to roller skate!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

So many were favorites at so many different times of my life, I really couldn’t say.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?

Spending time with the family. It’s great to see Christmas through the eyes of a child—my son—once again.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

A tie between my grandmother’s chocolate pie, and my grandmother’s lemon pie. The tie is always broken by having a slice of each.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Watching my son open his presents on Christmas morning.

17. What is on top of your tree?

An angel.

18. Which do you like best giving or receiving?

Definitely the giving, though I won’t lie and say the receiving—especially when it’s something from my carefully assembled wish list—comes in a close second. Hey, at least I’m honest.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?

I’m a sucker for a well done “What Child is This?”, and I also love “Joy To The World” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.

20. Do you like candy canes?

To eat? Not really, but I don’t mind them otherwise.

21. What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Technically not a movie, but I love “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

posted by retrophisch at 12:10 AM -->in God , food , fun , love , movie , music , that's life
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Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The Gods Aren’t Angry

Thanks to our friends Brent and Tracy, I was able to go with Brent this past Friday to see Rob Bell on his The Gods Aren’t Angry Tour. I’d never heard Bell, and while I have one of his books, I confess I’ve yet to crack the cover, so I was looking forward to hearing what Mr. Bell might have to say.

I was not disappointed. Brent has a thorough review, and I’m pretty much a “ditto” with what he says, so be sure to check it out.

I will add a few comments and observations to those made by Brent. I noted how, when Bell was talking about how God changed the entire dynamic of the relationship with humans starting with Abraham, Rob noted how God, “used those other gods, worshipped by the rest of human civilization, as props in His narrative to humanity.” I’m not sure why that line jumped out at me, but it made enough of an impression to get copied into my Moleskine. Maybe it was just a reminder of how big God truly is, that He exists outside time and space as we understand them, and doesn’t display the very humanistic characteristics we see in the gods of the ancient civilizations.

What’s also fascinating is how so much of what transpired, from a spiritual/faith standpoint, in the ancient world still pervades our so-called modern society. Looking at the religions of the world, all of them are still engaged in some sort of “doing” relationship. You have to do this to please Allah, you have to pray at a certain time, facing a certain way, saying certain words. If you sin, you must confess to the priest, and do penance as he directs. If you offend your neighbor, this is the ritual the rabbi can help you with to make things right. It’s all about doing, which is just how the ancients engaged with Apollo, Jupiter, or whoever.

Christianity is unique in that God Himself provided the means of salvation, saying “Done!” The only thing required of you is to say yes to Him. That’s it. Everything that follows is from your relationship with Him, not because there’s anything you have to do, rather there are things that, as a result of the relationship, you want to do. Which was part of what Bell was getting at, too: the God of Abraham is unique in that He reaches out to humanity for a one-on-one relationship with each man, woman, and child. This idea floored the ancients. It would’ve been as radical a concept as showing a modern automobile to the Founding Fathers.

Bell’s still on tour until December 2d, so if you’re in and around Raleigh, DC, Pittsburgh, NYC, Philly, Beantown, Louisville, Indy, or Rob’s home town of Grand Rapids, I highly encourage you to take it in. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

posted by retrophisch at 9:21 PM -->in God , fun , learning
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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Isn’t that what we all want?

People who understand us?

This makes me smile and laugh every time I see it.

posted by retrophisch at 2:56 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Dude



Bud Light Dude

I love this commercial. (Can’t stand the product.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:24 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 20 October 2007

And I thought it was going to be Oscar

The little phisch has always enjoyed Sesame Street, and I’ve started getting him in to The Muppet Show, so when I saw Michelle’s results for the Sesame Street Personality Quiz, I had to give it a shot.

You Are Bert
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don’t love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
The Sesame Street Personality Quiz


posted by retrophisch at 2:07 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007

I knew there was something familiar about those Potter books


[From Lee, via IM]

posted by retrophisch at 11:50 PM -->in Star Wars , fiction , fun , movie , read
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Sunday, 14 October 2007

Another for my typophile homies

(And for those of you who, like me, may still have a celebrity crush on Vanna White left over from the `80s.)

I have to agree with Scott Simpson: there’s just something about the way Vanna says “Helvetica”…

[Wave of the phin to the same Mr. Simpson for the link.]

posted by retrophisch at 8:09 PM -->in fun , type
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Friday, 05 October 2007

“The Star Spangled Banner”, in Baritone

Mark Lowry performs our national anthem as a baritone, with some “surprise” accompaniment:



(Via Lee via IM.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:00 PM -->in fun , liberty , music
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Sunday, 16 September 2007

For my typophile homies


[Via Lee on IM.]

posted by retrophisch at 8:54 PM -->in fun , type
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Friday, 14 September 2007

An excerpt

TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE FOR TIMECORP’S VH3928-MODEL TIME MACHINE:

Problem: You are stranded in the past without plutonium to provide the 1.21 jiggawatts necessary to power your De Lorean’s flux capacitor.

Solution: We at TimeCorp cannot stress enough the differences between real and fictional time travel. Authentic time travel is an infinitely more complicated and intricate process than its whimsical cinematic counterpart. You will need at least 4.3 jiggawatts of power.

posted by retrophisch at 12:09 PM -->in fun , travel
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What American accent do you have?


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 

“You have a Midland accent” is just another way of saying “you don’t have an accent.” You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
 
Philadelphia
 
The Inland North
 
The Northeast
 
The West
 
Boston
 
North Central
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Nothing really surprising here. Though I was born in Mississippi, and I grew up in Baton Rouge, I do not have the country-Southern flavor of speech so many of my relatives have, nor is there a hint of Cajun to my tongue. (Note to the oblivious ones out there: Just because people are from Louisiana doesn’t mean they all sound like they just stepped off the pirogue in the bayou.) Many people have expressed surprise, upon learning of my heritage and upbringing, that I do not, in fact, retain a discernible accent.

“[A] good voice for TV and radio.” Hrmmmm. Tom, remember that podcast idea…?

posted by retrophisch at 11:17 AM -->in fun , that's life
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Life now has meaning

According to the rules laid out in Punk Rock Dad, my punk rock name is:


(Are you ready for this?)


(Are you sure?)


(Really?)


(Okay, you’ve been warned…)


Larry Leprosy.

posted by retrophisch at 10:42 AM -->in fun , non-fiction , parenting , read
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Wednesday, 05 September 2007

We all have our burdens


Crackberry/iPhone IM conversation

Love you, Amy and John!

Oh, and I love you, sweetheart!

posted by retrophisch at 3:42 PM -->in fun , iphone
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Friday, 31 August 2007

My awesome opinion


Reverend Fun comic

There is more of me in this cartoon than I care to admit.

posted by retrophisch at 10:17 PM -->in fun
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“Is the N in NFL for Nancy?”

The Dallas Stars have gone on the offensive, and hockey season hasn’t even started yet. As part of a new ticket sales campaign, several billboards have gone up around the Dallas metroplex, poking fun at the other three major sports, all represented in the metro area. The jab at baseball is a little weak, if you ask me, and the obvious NBA poke is time- and scandal-sensitive.

My favorite of the billboards, however, is the funniest and the most enduring. Taking a shot at the NFL, it reads:

istheNforNancy.png

Take that, Cowboy fans.

posted by retrophisch at 3:40 PM -->in football , fun , hockey
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Saturday, 14 July 2007

Hide-a-Pod

If you have an iPod, or a new iPhone, and you’re worried that the mere sight of the device may prompt a ne’er-do-well to attempt a snatch, consider the Hide-a-Pod as a deterrent.

Even if you choose not to purchase a Hide-a-Pod, be sure to click on the Order graphic or Buy Now link for a special treat. You won’t have to complete the order to enjoy the surprise.

[Via David D. on the Ranchero iPhone list.]

posted by retrophisch at 6:10 PM -->in fun , iphone , ipod
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Thursday, 28 June 2007

LEGO Millenium Falcon Stop Motion

What do LEGO masters Paul Romein and Greg Radzimowski do with 38 hours of their time? This:


posted by retrophisch at 10:50 PM -->in Star Wars , fun
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Wednesday, 02 May 2007

For the waffle-loving geek who has everything

Ladies and gentlemen, do you ever find yourself worrying over what to buy the geek in your life for their birthday, or your anniversary, or Christmas? Wonder no more. Just pick up the waffle iron that makes keyboard waffles.

Oh, yes, you read that right. Keyboard waffles.

[Via Lee via IM.]

posted by retrophisch at 9:05 PM -->in food , fun , tech
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Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Headline you never thought you’d see

“Arctic Monkeys see slower sales for new album”

I guess they gave up trying to come up with Shakespeare.

posted by retrophisch at 9:07 AM -->in fun , music
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Friday, 20 April 2007

Words that should chill the heart of any comic fan

Spider-Man set to swing to Broadway.”

posted by retrophisch at 1:11 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Blades of Glory: The Ninja Interview

For my Blades of Glory homies, the Ninja interviews Jon Heder and Will Ferrell. Boom!


posted by retrophisch at 11:44 AM -->in fun , movie
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Thursday, 05 April 2007

Quote of the day

Stef: In fact, if the weather gets better, Jeff and I were thinking of breaking in our new picnic basket tomorrow.
Jeff: Yeah. We have a secret spot, so if you come with us, we’ll have to blindfold you.
Eddie: Yeeeeaaah, well, unless that’s followed by a gunshot, I wouldn’t count on it.

That is why you should be watching ‘Til Death.

posted by retrophisch at 10:44 AM -->in fun , quote
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Tuesday, 03 April 2007

Quote of the day

“I’ve got the attention span of a 2 year old on crack today.” —Eric Blair

posted by retrophisch at 4:09 PM -->in fun , quote
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Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The duel

Monday evening a promise was kept and shopping commenced for a lightsaber for the little phisch. We charted a course toward the Toys R Us system, arriving there just a few parsecs after dinner time. (It might’ve been faster if Solo had loaned us the Falcon, but whatever, he’s too busy dodging Imperial cruisers or something.)

The purchase was made of a blue lightsaber, because we figured this would juxtapose nicely with my own double-bladed, red lightsaber. (And, more importantly, it was the only color in stock.)

Alas, by the time we arrived back home at Echo Base, it was bed time for the little phisch, so any dueling with Daddy would have to wait another day. The new lightsaber spent the night on the night stand next to the boy’s bed.

Last night, the promised duel was held. The missus insisted it take place outside, so on to the back deck we went. Daddy only used one of his saber’s blades, to, you know, keep things “fair”. Both of us had an awesome time.

The little phisch held nothing back. Every swing of his blade was meant for limb severing, for disemboweling, for decapitation (if he could have reached my neck, that is). My knuckles held the proof of his relentless onslaught.

I also learned a bit of how Count Dooku and Palpatine must’ve felt going up against Yoda: it’s actually tough countering the attacks of someone half your size. That, and since I was seeking to have fun with my little guy without causing injury, played a part in my own defense and counterattack.

(For the record, yes, I injured the boy, but it was a tap on the shoulder that didn’t even leave a mark, and he was quickly over it.)

The little phisch is also quite the drama king. He has a great fake death scene, acting it out more than once when I stabbed him in the tummy. We should get video of that.

posted by retrophisch at 4:56 PM -->in Star Wars , fun , parenting
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Quote of the day

From Amy Gruber, on Twitter:

What’s worse than going to a bachelorette party at a male strip club? Going with your mom.

posted by retrophisch at 12:33 AM -->in Twitter , fun , quote
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Friday, 16 March 2007

The newbie’s guide to Twitter

It’s been difficult trying to explain Twitter to some of my friends and family. (My wife just doesn’t get it.)

Thanks to Twitter’s “unpaid evangelist”, Robert Scoble, I came across Rafe Needleman’s great intro to the Twitterverse. Read, join, add me as a friend.

posted by retrophisch at 12:07 AM -->in Twitter , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 13 March 2007

It happened

Last night, the missus had a work-related dinner to attend, so it was a guy night in the phisch bowl. The little phisch consumed mixed veggies and fish sticks (the irony of this statement is not lost on me), whereas I consumed mixed veggies with leftover red beans & rice. And we watched Star Wars.

The first attempt at the viewing with my son of the movie which made such a tremendous impression upon me when I was six was met with some…boredom. He knew who some of the characters were, after all. I don’t think you can know me at all, or swim in this tank we call home, without encountering, in some random, non-deliberate fashion, characters from the Star Wars universe. But we never really made it through that first viewing of the movie. Not together, anyway. While he decided he was bored and went off to play with Thomas on the train table, or roll Lightning McQueen around the floor, I finished watching the movie.

Because, c’mon, it’s Star Wars.

I’m not sure what changed between then and now. Perhaps it was my receiving the entire Star Wars Mr. Potato Head collection for my birthday this past December. Darth Tater, Storm Tater, and R2 Tater have all occupied a place of semi-honor in the formal dining room, and the little phisch has been allowed to play with them. We’ve read this Luke Skywalker children’s book I picked up two years ago at the Friends of the Flower Mound Library fund raiser. But we haven’t really talked about the movie all that much.

So I was pleased when I was greeted with a enthusiastic response after suggesting Star Wars last night. After dinner, we enjoyed watching about an hour of it.

He asked a lot of questions. A lot. I’m not sure I can begin to describe the totality of “a lot of questions” to those of you who do not have three year-old boys.

Bed time was approaching, and we agreed to stop the movie after an upcoming scene. The missus arrived home just about that time, the movie was stopped, and the bedtime rituals commenced.

The payoff came this morning.

I stumbled downstairs, where the missus and little phisch were already eating breakfast, and on the TV I’m greeted by…Star Wars. Han and Luke are firing down the detention bay while Leia’s already diving in to the garbage chute, and Chewie’s complaining about the smell.

I’m informed, “Daddy, those are stormtroopers!”

I smiled, gave him a pat on the head, and turned so the missus wouldn’t see the tears welling up. It’s done. He’s converted.

Oh, I forgot to mention he wants his own lightsaber now. He told me last night.

Where are the tissues?

posted by retrophisch at 11:03 AM -->in Star Wars , fun , movie , parenting
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Monday, 12 March 2007

The new shirt arrived today


The new shirt arrived today

posted by retrophisch at 3:50 PM -->in God , Macintosh , fun
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Saturday, 10 March 2007

I love how Dewey thinks


Unshelved comic
If the comic is too small to read, click on it to go to the Unshelved page.


posted by retrophisch at 3:09 PM -->in fun , read
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Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Don’t Try This At Home

Will It Blend? has to be one of the more brilliant ad campaigns to come along, especially for something as unexciting as a kitchen appliance.

Tom Dickson actually gets paid by Blendtec to try to blend whatever his little heart desires, and Tom’s latest desire is glow sticks.

Yes, glow sticks.


(Do any CBCers think that Tom Dickson is like an evil genius clone of Mike?)

[Wave of the phin to Lee. ]

posted by retrophisch at 8:47 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 15 February 2007

She knows!

Well, well, well. The cat is out of the bag. I told you it might not be long.

So the missus calls me while Brent and I are still at lunch, and in the course of the conversation informs me I’m “busted”, that she’s activated her WalkAmerica site, and she’s already started emailing her friends.

Now, you have to understand the different circles my wife and I run in. She’s an attorney (pipe down there in the back; it’s corporate law, not ambulance chasing or class-action cannibalism), so naturally a lot of her friends are attorneys, which, as a group, tend toward the wealthier side of the populace.

I, on the other hand, am unemployed. You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?

Given my past, most of my friends tend to be in the IT and creative fields, or in some sort of service area, and thusly, as a group, tend toward the less-wealthier side of the populace. Thus, I have to make up for this disparity in numbers of donators, and would appreciate all the help I can get.

To top it all off, that minx I’m married to set her goal forty bucks above mine!

posted by retrophisch at 2:30 PM -->in fun , helping
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A thought while driving

So. Returning from lunch, as I drove by the KFC/Taco Bell our burg is privileged to have, I noticed the three US Postal Service delivery trucks parked next to one another near the entrance. And the thought that ran through my head was:

“I’m glad they have to stay in those trucks to deliver the mail.”

(See, because it’s Taco Bell, right? And Taco Bell serves…oh, never mind.)

posted by retrophisch at 2:17 PM -->in fun
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Happy Birthday, Brent!

Wishing a joyous and loving birthday for you, my friend. As I stated in my comment to your post, I shall celebrate with some Lost And Found and by starting This Beautiful Mess.

See you at lunch. :D

posted by retrophisch at 11:13 AM -->in God , fun , love , music , non-fiction , read
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Job posting of the day

“Paris Hilton Magazine - Resourceful Customer Service Representative”

Here’s a couple of amusing bits (beyond the fact that Paris is using daddy’s millions to start yet another meaningless “fashion” magazine):

  • Process orders that come from the internet, mail, and phone calls for paris hilton.
  • Data base upkeep for paris hilton trend.
  • Reply paris hilton to customer emails.

Gosh, atrociously bad grammar aside, it sounds like you’ll be working side by side with Ms. Hilton herself, doesn’t it?!?! Oh! Joy of my heart, be still!

In response, I shall employ 1980s Valley Girl linguistics: like, gag me with a spoon.

posted by retrophisch at 11:04 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 06 February 2007

I confess I really like it

“What’s this?”
“Viewer mail.”
“It’s been opened.”
“I pay Suzanne an extra five dollars a week to check our mail for anthrax.”

Dialogue like this is why I watch Studio 60. And don’t we all wish we could be so clever with the snappy talk in real life?

posted by retrophisch at 11:13 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 02 February 2007

“It’s…Groundhog Daaaaay!

And wouldn’t you know Comedy Central’s got it running on and off throughout the day. It’s one of those movies I can watch any time, so why not on the day it celebrates?

posted by retrophisch at 9:28 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 25 January 2007

Only in America

As Chris said when he pinged me via IM, “Someone’s going to get a PhD out of this.”

posted by retrophisch at 10:18 PM -->in fun , learning
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Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Traveling through stats ain’t like dusting crops, boy!

Kudos to the gang at Feedburner for the gratuitous usage of Star Wars references in their Hackathon post. My favorite:

Traveling through stats ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through an aggregator or bounce too close to a subscriber and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?

posted by retrophisch at 12:06 PM -->in fun , tech
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Monday, 22 January 2007

iRebecca


iRebecca
Originally uploaded by paul beefs.

I don’t recall Steve Jobs talking about this new product during the Macworld Expo keynote.

posted by retrophisch at 1:40 PM -->in fun , ipod
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Friday, 19 January 2007

Twittering just got easier with Tweet

Scott McNulty noted Tweet in his Twitter feed as well as on TUAW. I downloaded Ted Leung’s Growl-modified version of Coda Hale’s script. Coda has good installation and usage instructions in the original Tweet script, which you can use if you don’t care about Growl support.

Tweet combines the power of AppleScript with that of Quicksilver (you are using Quicksilver, aren’t you?) to make posting to your Twitter account easier and faster than ever. Sorry, Windows users, but all of this, except the Twitter service itself, is Mac-only.

posted by retrophisch at 10:42 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Night at the Museum

I was going to blog about this yesterday, until I got slammed with the norovirus, aka, the stomach flu.

My beautiful bride had Monday off (if the stock market’s closed, her office is closed), so we did some shopping, sans little phisch, and decided to take in a movie. I wasn’t in the mood for anything too serious, and the movie I really did want to see, Eragon (great book), has all but disappeared from most theaters. So we decided on the Ben Stiller vehicle, Night at the Museum.

We at the phischbowl heartily recommend Night at the Museum. It’s wholesome fun for the entire family, and you may even learn a thing or two. (Regarding the “entire family” bit: I wouldn’t take my three year-old, mostly because he’d probably be bored, but I can see my friend’s second-grader thoroughly enjoying the film.)

Ben Stiller is, well, Ben Stiller, though not in a goofy Zoolander sort of way, more like in an Along Came Polly or Meet the Parents sort of way. Robin Williams is great as Teddy Roosevelt, though not in the usual obnoxious Robin Williams sort of way. I thought Steve Coogan was very amusing as Octavius, and a great foil for the uncredited Owen Wilson’s Jedediah. Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Cobbs are great as the three retiring security guards Stiller’s Larry Daley is taking over for.

One hint: don’t leave immediately when the credits roll; there will be two more scenes within the credits you don’t want to miss.

posted by retrophisch at 12:05 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 14 January 2007

It’s Twitterrific!

I confess I’ve been sucked in to the world of Twitter. It’s kind of addictive, watching what folks like John Gruber, the Iconfactory boys, Maury McCown, and even Darth Vader, are up to.

I’d love to know if my friends have accounts, so I can add you as a friend to mine, and please feel free to add me as a friend to yours. Ping me via IM, drop me an e-mail, or leave a comment.

One cool thing Twitter did last week was they created a Macworld account. By adding this account as a friend, you could follow the postings of those at Macworld Expo as Steve announced the latest and greatest tech from our favorite fruit company. There were so many messages coming in to Twitter through AOL Instant Messenger that Twitter exceeded its allowable AIM traffic, and that service was unavailable for about a day. (To clarify, you couldn’t post to Twitter via AIM; Twitter and AIM were each unaffected.)

You can post to Twitter via your Twitter page, by instant message (Jabber or AIM), or by text message from your mobile phone. (Text message charges from your mobile provider apply, but there’s no charge from Twitter.) If you’re a Mac user, you can also use Maury McCown’s TwitterPost, or the just-released-today Twitterrific from those aforementioned boys at the Iconfactory. Both apps are freeware.

So the question remains, what are you doing?

posted by retrophisch at 2:33 PM -->in fun , tech , web/site
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Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Riddle me this

Why does my artificial tree shed?

Does that not defeat the point—or at least one of the points—of the artificial tree?

(Yes, I’m just now putting the artificial tree back in the box and storing it away for next year.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:01 PM -->in fun
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Scarier words

There are few words I can think of at the moment which are scarier than “First Officer Chris Lawson”.

Except, of course, “Captain Chris Lawson”.

Seriously, Chris, congratulations on the job. Our Mr. Lawson will be flying the skies on behalf of American Eagle in the very near future.

posted by retrophisch at 5:19 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 29 December 2006

A buggy musical

If you’ve ever wondered what Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser sounds like when he’s singing, you can find out from viewing the hilarious Buggy Saints Row: The Musical. (Caution: Some adult language in the songs.)

[Wave of the phin to John.]

posted by retrophisch at 11:21 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , music
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Monday, 04 December 2006

The latest fortune

Cleaning out my wallet, I discovered the fortune from the last fortune cookie I had:

“You add an aesthetic quality to everything you do.”

Alright, alright, keep the laughter to a minimum.

posted by retrophisch at 6:53 PM -->in fun
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Further proof duct tape can be used for anything

You’ve all heard the adage (wrongly attributed lately, online, to Oprah): “Duct tape is a lot like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it binds the galaxy together.” You may have seen the various offerings of the duct tape wallet.

Now, that amazing greyness has been used to create: The Duct Tape Shopping Bag.


posted by retrophisch at 6:45 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 10 October 2006

“And Elmo is His prophet.”

It’s not really important how we got to this point of the discussion, just that we got to it.

Elmo isn't the Antichrist; he's just the latter's prophet


posted by retrophisch at 1:48 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 03 October 2006

Today’s Gmail spam

Screen shot of spam in Gmail

Today’s Gmail phishing (as opposing to phisching, which is the attempt to hook a phisch) spam is more humorous than most. A lot of phishing emails one receives are for non-location-specific entities: Citi, Bank of America, eBay, PayPal, etc. This one is highly location-specific: Hawaii.

I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

It amused me.

Briefly.

posted by retrophisch at 11:43 AM -->in fun , tech
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Thursday, 28 September 2006

Beautiful day

It was a beautiful fall day here in DFW. The inside of the house was a pleasant 75 degrees Fahrenheit all day, the AC not running at all. We don’t get too many opportunities to throw open all the windows here in the metroplex, so I took advantage.

Few clouds in the sky, the sun shining bright, and I was treated to lunch by a friend, as thanks for a favor I was happy to do and expected no recompense for. Some good family time at dinner helped to wrap up a beautiful day.

How was yours?

posted by retrophisch at 10:13 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 01 September 2006

Miscellany

  • For you baseball aficionados, Tiff has a great story on what happened when she gave tickets to some coworkers, and how they thanked her.

  • Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit, affectionately known as the MacBU, has its own blog.

    Via The Iconfactory

  • Someone took the house I, and I’m sure thousands of others, would love to live in—Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater—and put it in Half Life 2.

    Via del.icio.us

posted by retrophisch at 5:07 PM -->in Macintosh , baseball , fun , web/site
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Monday, 28 August 2006

What Your Freshmen Don’t Know

Every year, an updated list of things incoming college freshmen, or graduating high school seniors, know and don’t know circulate the Internet. Hugh points to the latest from Beloit College.

I won’t rehash the list here, but thought I would share some of my favorite points:

  • There has always been only one Germany.
    Whenever I think about this historic event, I am always reminded of Dennis Miller’s (and there’s a personality a lot of these kids may be wholly unaware of) commentary on SNL’s “Weekend Update”, when he said, and I’m paraphrasing, except for the last line: “Today, East and West Germany announced their plans for unification. France has already announced its formal surrender.”
  • A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents’.
    Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s much less so for them than their parents.
  • They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.
    This has been true for a long while now, for many incoming/outgoing classes.
  • Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.
    Do they even know who Milli Vanilli were?
  • Reality shows have always been on television.
    Unfortunately. Oh so unfortunately…
  • Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
    I don’t believe this is something that is new to this particular class.
  • Most of them have never had the chance to eat bad airline food.
    Since when is there good airline food?
  • Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.
    And that is a crying shame. It was something of a rite of passage in my childhood to stay up so late that you were still watching when the anthem came on. Though these days, it’s mostly because there is no end to the broadcast day.
  • They have always “dissed” what they don’t like.
    Do kids this age still use that word?
posted by retrophisch at 5:48 PM -->in fun , learning
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Monday, 21 August 2006

Miscellany

  • Thanks to the folks at Xerox, with help from Layer 8 Group, you can send a postcard, with original artwork by a child, to a member of the armed forces serving abroad: Let’s Say Thanks. I sent one, how about you?

    [Via Susan via e-mail.]

  • About.com has some good advice in its Back to School section concerning backpack selection for students. The first tip they offer, to get a bag with two straps instead of just one, to help balance the load across the body better, is why I’m a dedicated backpack guy.

  • My new addiction is Armagetron Advanced, an open source 3D game of the lightcycle contest from Tron.

posted by retrophisch at 5:36 PM -->in armed forces , fun , helping , learning , parenting , tech
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Thursday, 17 August 2006

“I can feel it, coming in the air tonight…”

So with my spouse not all that interested in seeing it, I took in Miami Vice this afternoon. I went in with preconceived notions, thanks to hearing about/reading reviews and opinions from a couple of friends. I knew to not expect much character development, I knew to expect to not be able to understand every single word from the actors (they mumble a bit, especially in the early parts of the film), and I expected some decent action and good cinematography. After all, it’s a Michael Mann film.

Possible spoilers ahead. Do not click through to continue if you don’t want to know anything regarding the plot.

Having gone in to the viewing with the above expectations, or lack thereof, I have to say I enjoyed the movie. In my book it’s certainly not as good as Heat or The Last of the Mohicans, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. There were some slow bits in the beginning, but it picked up and held a good pace the rest of the way.I thought they did a good job with the entire cast, from the headliners to the supporters. The only character that I thought was really too much of a characticature was that of Jose Yero. I thought Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gina was an excellent choice; she’s hot, handles a gun, knows her job, and still has a bit of mothering instinct. She does get one of the best lines of the film, when a baddie tells her to go ahead and shoot him; the detonator in his hand will still fire and they’ll all die in an explosion. Gina retorts:

That’s not what happens. What will happen is… what will happen is I will put a round at twenty-seven hundred feet per second into the medulla at the base of your brain. And you will be dead from the neck down before your body knows it. Your finger won’t even twitch. Only you get dead. So tell me, sport, do you believe that?

And then, just as the baddie begins to respond, she pulls the trigger.

Coming up in discussion with a friend who also saw the movie, I do wonder if more could have been done with Gong Li’s Isabella. Her backstory was pretty weak. Just because her mother, working as a translator, died when she was 16, she couldn’t go back to China, or wherever her nearest relatives might have been? My best friend is a Chinese-American, and I’ve learned a lot about how close-knit the family units can be, even the extended portions. I’m not saying it couldn’t have happened, but I do think it’s a bit of a stretch for a seventeen year-old Chinese girl to end up working for a South American drug lord. I did like her character’s overall attitude.

The same friend noted that it seemed like Tubbs didn’t have much to do throughout most of the film. Makes you wonder why Foxx got top billing. (I know, I know, he’s an Oscar winner now, blah, blah, blah…) Maybe that’s why there was the Trudy-getting-kidnapped storyline, so he would have something to do.

The locations were great. There’s a shot in one part of the film, taken from above, of waterfall after waterfall after waterfall, on both sides, cascading down in to a river/lake, and it is breathtaking. I’m guessing this is in the Dominican Republic, where a good portion of the movie was shot. Seeing those falls would certainly be a dream vacation, although I’m sure it’s not the Dominican Republic, they’re in a South American country where they like to abduct Americans for ransom. (Having read notes on the filming, the Dominican Republic’s not so hot, either.)

I also like how Mann seems to be one of the few directors in Hollywood who can get gunfire to sound like gunfire. To be more precise, he knows how to get different weapons to make different sounds. He did this in Heat, with the big shootout in the middle of downtown LA, and he followed it up well with the dockside battle in this film.

It seems like most directors don’t care that a 9mm pistol is going to sound a lot different than a 5.56mm or 7.62mm assault rifle, or that those two rifles alone will have distinct sounds of their own. As I discussed with the above-mentioned friend, it’s as if they have access to so many recorded gunfire sounds, and don’t care to make the proper distinctions. This may sound like quibbling, but it makes a huge difference in the realism of the film. Granted, I seriously doubt I’ve seen every movie that features a Barrett .50, but I believe this one is the first that gets the sound of one firing right, not to mention showing what sort of damage a .50 caliber round will do to a typical vehicle. I’ll grant you that Miami Vice isn’t as good as Heat or Collateral, but it was enjoyable. Provided Mann did it, and used the same or mostly the same cast, I wouldn’t mind there being a sequel.

posted by retrophisch at 9:54 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Thanks for the validation, compadre


Roxette IM conversation


posted by retrophisch at 12:52 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 13 August 2006

A Talledega night and a real type-cast film

Last evening, my bride and I had a date night, which included a viewing of Will Ferrell’s Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Two enthusiastic thumbs-up, a Retrophisch™ Recommends.

I laughed so hard at certain points, I cried. The out takes/”alternative scenes” at the end were worth the price of admission alone. My wife was right; the movie is so ridiculous, it’s funny. Too often, comedy films are just outright ridiculous, and you’re lucky to let loose with a few chuckles. Pure ridiculousness will only get you so far with the movie-viewing public. Pure ridiculousness in the hands of a master like Ferrell, however, will garner you big laughs. Such is the case with Talledega Nights, which even includes an exceptionally brief homage to the late Dale Earnhardt. (If you blink, you’ll miss it; it’s that fast. Fittingly appropriate, given the subject matter.)

There’s a lot to worry about in our world: Israel under attack in the Middle East; Iran and North Korea with nuclear power; Islamofascist terrorism; oil prices still way too high; our jobs; our families. Sometimes, we just need a good laugh, to forget about all the troubles for a couple of hours, and Talledega Nights fills the bill. Go see it.

* * *

In what may be the ultimate example of type-casting, there is a documentary under way about Helvetica. (It’s a font, for those of you who don’t know. Microsoft’s Arial is a blatant rip-off wanna-be of it.) I am very tempted to nab a shirt.

Director Gary Hustwit:

Why make a film about a typeface, let alone a feature documentary film about Helvetica? Because it’s all around us. You’ve probably already seen Helvetica several times today. It might have told you which subway platform you needed, or tried to sell you investment services or vacation getaways in the ads in your morning paper. Maybe it gave you the latest headlines on television, or let you know whether to ‘push’ or ‘pull’ to open your office door.

Since millions of people see and use Helvetica every day, I guess I just wondered, “Why?” How did a typeface drawn by a little-known Swiss designer in 1957 become one of the most popular ways for us to communicate our words fifty years later? And what are the repercussions of that popularity, has it resulted in the globalization of our visual culture? Does a storefront today look the same in Minneapolis, Melbourne and Munich? How do we interact with type on a daily basis? And what about the effects of technology on type and graphic design, and the ways we consume it?

Look for the film in 2007.

[Via the Iconfactory.]

posted by retrophisch at 8:07 PM -->in fun , type
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Friday, 04 August 2006

Miscellany

Photo mosaics have become popular; I have one of Darth Vader, made up of different scenes from Episodes 4-6.

There are many tutorials online for making your own photo mosaics, but John Tolva has one where you create your mosaic with LEGOs. You’ll need Photoshop, and a healthy bank account for all those LEGO pieces you’ll be buying.

[Via Photojojo.]

* * *

How close to you and yours does a convicted sex offender live? Find out, thanks to Family Watchdog.

[Via Daily Dose.]

* * *

Happy Birthday to the United States Coast Guard, which turns 216 years old today.

posted by retrophisch at 9:30 AM -->in armed forces , fun , helping , photography
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Monday, 31 July 2006

Miscellany

The iPod cases from ifrogz look very nice. I like the customizable aspects of the design, but would love to be able to upload my own image for the Screenz. A Retrophisch-branded iPod case in “Gun Metal” Wrapz and “Thick Black” Bandz would rock.

* * *

Amazon Grocery is now out of beta after more than 200,000 people have used it to shop for food staples.

* * *

One of the recent winners of a Flickr Pro account speaks to my childhood.

posted by retrophisch at 11:13 PM -->in fun , ipod , web/site
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Saturday, 22 July 2006

Miscellany

This whole “Numa Numa” thing is out of control.

* * *

Tim Zimmerman:

What swims at 20 miles per hour, can carve out hunks of human flesh, and will attack anything that moves? The Humboldt squid. Brace yourself for a dive with the eeriest beast in the ocean.

A fascinating read.

* * *

Jeff has an outstanding parable of the recent Hezbollah attacks on Israel.

posted by retrophisch at 5:39 PM -->in fun , learning , national security
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Thursday, 20 July 2006

Quote of the Day

Tiffany:

The Cheesecake Factory always looks like a mosque to me. Only, a mosque out of Willy Wonka or something. Sort of an Oompa-Loompa faith community.

I have never really thought about it before, but now that she mentions it, the Cheesecake Factory does look like a Willy Wonka mosque! I guess I’ll have to remember not to order bacon on my burger the next time I visit.

posted by retrophisch at 10:50 PM -->in fun
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Chad Vader

“Life is hard when you’re Darth Vader’s less-talented, less-charismatic younger brother and you manage a grocery store.”

I love the Imperial March on acoustic guitar.

[Via Eric via IM.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:46 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 13 July 2006

More miscellany

Liechtenstein is 200. The total population of the nation is a little over half of that of my town.

* * *

In the market for a new mortgage? Be sure to check out the Mortgage Professor, who has a list of “Upfront Mortgage Brokers”. These brokers promise the transparency of disclosing “the loan’s wholesale price (the interest rate and points), plus the markup, in writing and in advance.”

[Via Newsweek, June 26, 2006.]

* * *

A thought on why Honda rocks:

Last week, during swim lessons, I had a moron moment and forgot to take my Pilot’s key and fob out of my swimsuit pocket. An hour later, after drying off the tyke (the lessons were for him, in case you were wondering), I went to change in to some dry clothes and had one of those Seinfeldian “Oooohhhhhh” moments.

Just out of curiosity, I hit the lock button on the fob. Twice. I heard the Pilot’s horn blast a single note.

And I smiled.

It’s still working, with apparently no ill effects. So is the little keychain LED light my sister-in-law got as a stocking stuffer for me two Christmases ago.

posted by retrophisch at 10:26 PM -->in auto , finances , fun
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Miscellany

The federal government is apparently looking at creating a national SMS alert system.

[Via MobileTracker.]

* * *

Congratulations to Kyle MacDonald, who, one year and fourteen trades later, bartered a red paper clip for a house.

* * *

Making sure you tipped the right amount after the fact doesn’t do your server much good, does it?

posted by retrophisch at 12:41 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , phone , tech
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Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Happy Birthday, Lee!

I’m so glad that forever shall I be five months younger than mi amigo, who apparently is already feeling the effects of age, having to recycle his birthday blog post because he cannot muster the mental faculties to create something original. ;-)

posted by retrophisch at 3:44 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 10 July 2006

Va l’Italia!

In recognition of the nation with the better food, better skiing, and better people winning the World Cup, I thought I would share my favorite French joke. (Blame FranX, as this came up in an IM conversation with him this evening.)


Q: Why are the streets of Paris lined with trees?

A: Because the Germans like to march in the shade.

posted by retrophisch at 11:47 PM -->in fun
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Miscellany

John points to a 94x magnification of Velcro being pulled apart. Wicked cool.

You can also see Scotch tape being ripped, more Velcro, still more Velcro, and Equisetum strobilus, all worth a look.

* * *

How much do I love Default Folder? Its functionality should be built in to OS X.

(I was just using it quite a bit today, lots of saving in different locales, etc., and I thought a shout-out was in order.)

* * *

After months of waiting, I found it. Part of a pint was consumed this evening. It was yummy. Retrophisch™ Recommended!

posted by retrophisch at 11:15 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Saturday, 08 July 2006

Miscellany

Oh, if true, a tabbed Finder would rock.

(Yes, I am aware Path Finder has this functionality already.)

* * *

You may have seen Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte”, not realizing what a masterpiece of impressionist painting it is. My first exposure to it, and I’m betting for lots of children of the ’80s, was thanks to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Now, the famous painting has been recreated by those crazy cheeseheads.

* * *

It kind of sucks that the 1.0b1 version of a piece of software has crashed more on me in two days of use than the alpha verisons have in the past year. Update: I guess I wasn’t clear in my above disappointment. For those keeping score, I’ve “downgraded” to Adium X 0.89.1.

posted by retrophisch at 3:09 PM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Wednesday, 05 July 2006

Mostly baseball miscellany

Sometimes, it seems like the Starbucks growth pattern really is this bad, doesn’t it?

* * *

Texas Rangers All-Star Michael Young became the 10th-fastest MLB player to reach the 1,000-hit milestone, cranking off a single in the fifth inning yesterday. Last year’s AL batting champ continues to impress, and remains one of our favorite Rangers.

* * *

I should also note that while my little phisch will see a game on the tube and remark, “Baseball!”, he’s not to the point where he knows players’ names.

* * *

LSU athletics director Skip Bertman was inducted in to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Topping Bertman’s impressive accomplishments are the five NCAA championships he led the LSU Tigers to, making them the dominate team of the 1990s.

I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when the Tigers won the first championship in ‘91. I was at my hometown church, in the gymnasium, buffing the floors, while my bride-to-be was cleaning the kitchen. Starting in high school, I took on the janitorial duties there as a part-time job, and the once-a-month gym floor buffing happened to take place the weekend of the College World Series finals.

Congratulations, Coach, and Geaux Tigers!

posted by retrophisch at 6:30 PM -->in baseball , fun
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Miscellany

I would pay good money to see “The Running of the Congressmen.”

* * *

You know the Oprahfication of America is out of control when Cookie Monster is reduced to introspection.

McSweeney’s:

Me love cookies. Me tend to get out of control when me see cookies. Me know it not natural to react so strongly to cookies, but me have weakness. Me know me do wrong. Me know it isn’t normal. Me see disapproving looks. Me see stares. Me hurt inside.

* * *

You, too, can help Cory Doctorow remove his Apple tattoo. I join Gus in snickering.

posted by retrophisch at 10:27 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Miscellany

Photojojo has a review of the Lensbaby 2.0, a $149 retro novelty lens for digital SLRs.

* * *

From the “Things That Make You Go ‘Huh?’” Department, Tom gives us Mr. Martin Heidegger. After reading Heidegger’s quote, I have the mental equivalent of wanting to get a bad taste out of my mouth…

* * *

In line with my smart-aleck nature, there are more good t-shirts I want, but I would need to perform a serious shirt purge first.

posted by retrophisch at 10:10 PM -->in fun , tech
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Monday, 26 June 2006

Doyle Redland

If you’re not listening to The Onion Radio News, you’re missing a good chuckle.

posted by retrophisch at 10:14 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 23 June 2006

Miscellany

It’s not a full-scale semi truck, or even a VW Beetle, but it is a real-life Transformer.

[Via Firewheel Design.]

* * *

Brent informs us that Mississippi is very dog-friendly at its rest stops.

* * *

As Lee said when he pinged me via IM, “What a waste of a Countach.”

* * *

For some reason, I can’t believe John blogged iStache.

posted by retrophisch at 11:52 AM -->in Macintosh , auto , fun
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World Cup wussies?

So I’m sitting here watching Spain play Saudi Arabia in the World Cup, and we’re having more and more of the pathetic overacting by the players when they get tackled/kicked/knocked down. Can we stop this sad display, manly football men of the world?

Look, I know it hurts like hell when you get kicked in the shin, but I thought that was the point of wearing those pads inside the socks that pull up to your jock strap. Yet these guys get tapped on the shin, they go down like a load of bricks, and writhe around as if their opponent just sliced off their lower leg with a sword. Razor’s right; enough already. I’ve watched the team of thirteen year-olds my friend Gary’s stepson plays on, and they whack at one another more than these “top players in the world”, with less faked agony.

If you want soccer to catch on more in the U.S., show us you all can act like men and take your licks.

This goes double for the eliminated U.S. team.

posted by retrophisch at 9:51 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 20 June 2006

Miscellany

I must have a Gnome-be-Gone. Must.

[Via Uncrate.]

* * *

Why is it I’m learning about Pete’s Famous from Brent, rather than my parents, who have lived in the Birmingham metroplex for a decade? (I can actually answer this one; my parents bring their lunch to work, and don’t go out.) I wonder how far Gus’s place is from their respective offices?

* * *

Eric Blair:

Of course, I could see this eating into the PowerMate’s market. I mean, who needs a flashing knob to notify you of email when you can have a flashing keyboard?

One reason I turned off that particular functionality of my PowerMate was the distraction of the blinking light…

* * *

Presenting the iCarta. iDon’t think so.

[Via Firewheel Design.]

posted by retrophisch at 4:54 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , ipod
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Sunday, 18 June 2006

Happy Father’s Day

So, fellow dads, how’s your day going? A pretty quiet one for us here at the Phisch Bowl. It was nice to sleep in a little, then off to church, and Mi Cocina for lunch (Sunset Fajitas!). Both the little phisch and the missus crashed for a nap, and in addition to doing some online reading, I’ve enjoyed one of my Father’s Day gifts: the fifth season DVD set of Seinfeld. Season five is notable because it includes my favorite Seinfeld episode, “The Marine Biologist”, which I watched, along with the episode’s extras, a few minutes ago.

A pair of homemade gifts from the little phisch: a framed handprint he made at school, and a pocket-protector card he colored in Sunday School this morning. As usual, these will take prominent spots on the refrigerator and study whiteboard.

I’m usually the one who gets our little guy down for his naps, and today was no exception. As he drifted off, and I looked at his peaceful face, it was one of those Hallmark moments where your heart feels like it’s about to burst. Since becoming a father, I have learned more about how much my own dad loves me than I ever thought I knew.

Likewise, having had those thoughts parents have, since becoming a dad my relationship with God has deepened, as I understand more how wrenching it was for Him to give up His only Son for the world.

My fellow dads, I hope you all have a great day.

Dad, I love you. Thanks for always being there, and setting the example you did.

posted by retrophisch at 4:12 PM -->in God , fun , love
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Thursday, 15 June 2006

Pong Vader


My Ping Pong Vader shirt arrived today. Me so happy.

posted by retrophisch at 10:23 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 12 June 2006

Miscellany

You know, I find it quite amusing, given Al Gore’s connection to Steve Jobs (Gore serves on Apple’s board of directors, in case you didn’t know), that at the same time An Inconvenient Truth is released, so is Cars.

* * *

Since Textpander has become TextExpander, and now comes with a thirty-dollar price tag, all of its little quirks may send me back to TypeIt4Me, of which I am a registered user already.

The biggest quirk? If I misstype an abbreviation with Textpander, but backspace and fix the abbreviation’s spelling, it won’t trigger the full text. TypeIt4Me does. With Textpander, I have to delete whatever part of the abbreviation I’ve typed, and start over.

* * *

I really like the FIFA World Cup smiley-faced logo. It’s just so cheery.

When you see “Fédération Internationale de Football Association”, does Monty Python and the “Department of Redundancy Department” come to mind, or is it just me?

posted by retrophisch at 4:08 PM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Friday, 09 June 2006

Miscellany

If you ever see me wearing the Beer Holster, you have permission to slap me silly.

* * *

Headline of the Day:

“Jon Lovitz Says Income From Subway Commercials Allows Him A Certain Creative Freedom”

* * *

Ratatouille looks hysterical.

“You know, if you can sort of muscle your way past the gag reflex, all kind of food possibilities open up.”

Now I can’t wait until next year, and it’s just now opening weekend for this year’s Pixar release…

posted by retrophisch at 3:33 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 08 June 2006

Miscellany

I so want a t-shirt of Vader playing ping pong, but the only guy size they have is small, and I’m a 2X. If you want a different size, be sure to clink on the link to ask for a reprint.

(An e-mail reply from Brian at Oddica says to expect them in the next week or so; he’s a 2X, too.)

[Via Uncrate.]

* * *

An interesting factoid I learned today: a grouping of owls is called a “parliament”.

* * *

I realize you want to get your DVD to market pretty quick, since DVD sales have skyrocketed, but when you have a built-in marketing date—“Remember, remember, the 5th of November”—why in Spielberg are you releasing on August 1st?

posted by retrophisch at 2:35 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 26 May 2006

Miscellany

Leave it to a bunch of Brits to play football with automobiles. In this case, a small fleet of Toyota’s Aygos. There was plenty of rubbin’ going on, and as we all know, “Rubbin’s racin’.

[Via Autoblog, video requires Windows Media Player.]

* * *

When you go to see X3, sit through the credits.

* * *

It is amazingly quiet in my study when my wife’s Windows PC is powered off. My iMac Core Duo, PowerBook, external hard drive, and HP OfficeJet AIO (when it’s not actually printing) are all near-silent.

When I walked in a moment ago, and registered the quiet, being so used to the fans of the PC, I had a momentary thought of “What’s wrong?”

posted by retrophisch at 11:23 PM -->in auto , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 23 May 2006

The psychology of milk

My bride and I have noticed a quirk of psychology regarding the consumption of milk in our abode. Based on the recommendation of friends a couple of years ago, we prefer Horizon Organic milk, and originally bought it in half-gallon cartons, since this seemed to be the largest size the stores that carried the brand would stock.

At some point, gallon sizes appeared, and we began purchasing the larger size. This is when the quirk began:

We drank less milk when we had the gallon container than when we had two half-gallon containers.

I’m still trying to figure out why this is so. As a result of our not drinking as much milk, we found ourselves reaching and going beyond the expiration dates on the gallon-sized milk, something we’d never done with the half-gallon containers. (It should be noted that milk in cartons often have farther-out expiration dates than milk in semi-transparent jugs.)

Switching back to half-gallon containers, we’re back to drinking more milk than when we purchased the gallon sizes. I’m somewhat baffled.

Amateur shrinks, have at it.

posted by retrophisch at 10:27 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 18 May 2006

Miscellany

Good tip, courtesy of TUAW, on pairing your Apple Remote with its intended system. Very useful in a mutliple Apple-Remote-Mac home. I went ahead and paired my iMac with its remote, even though it’s the only such capable Mac we have. You never know what might be around the corner.

* * *

42 Climbers Reach Summit of Mount Everest. Note to self: “May is considered the best month to climb Everest. Climbers in Nepal have to complete their mission by May 31 before the weather deteriorates during monsoon season.”

* * *

“Elvis impersonators can relax: No one’s coming after their bespangled jumpsuits.”

Damn.

* * *

This story is encouraging me to let the little phisch have a cheap point-and-shoot digital in a few months. He loved using a Fujifilm disposable camera a couple of months back, and even framed a shot or two pretty well.

posted by retrophisch at 4:24 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , parenting
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Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Listening to 300 years of history

A new auction record was set yesterday when a 300 year-old Stradivarius violin was sold for $3.54 million. The former owner loaned the instrument out to violinists, and it sounds as if the new owner will continue to do the same. Someone sign me up for those concerts.

posted by retrophisch at 12:57 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 16 May 2006

More miscellany

Lee’s a bit hot under the collar over Skype’s new, supposedly free, SkypeOut plan, and understandably so. I’m not sure I get Skype’s argument; I thought the whole point of their service was to be location free, to the extent of remaining within the borders of the U.S.

* * *

Something tells me my sister would really dig these lamps.

[Wave of the phin to Firewheel Design.]

* * *

Congratulations to Aram Kudurshian, developer of High Priority, who has accepted a developer position with Apple.

posted by retrophisch at 12:51 PM -->in fun , tech
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Miscellany

As is so often the case with video or film, the music totally makes the FedEx pilots drive around thunderstorm short film.

* * *

I sincerely hope JPMorgan Chase & Co. realize they just flushed $150 million.

* * *

This may have been posited elsewhere, but I think when the Power Mac G5 replacement ships, it will simply be called “Mac Pro”. You have the Pro designation separating the portable models, and they’re not going to call a tower/desktop without a built-in monitor “iMac Pro”. Apple will still want to differentiate the line from the consumer series, so it will just be Mac Pro.

posted by retrophisch at 10:45 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , rant
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Monday, 15 May 2006

Miscellany

Johnny Cash’s Johnny Cash’s American V: A Hundred Highways is scheduled for release in July. This album comprises the absolute last recordings Cash made before his death, part of his collaboration with Rick Rubin.

[Wave of the phin to Prosthesis.]

* * *

Now all of my fellow Star Wars fans can decorate their walls with their favorite images from the movies.

[Wave of the phin to Firewheel Design.]

* * *

Professional baseball is coming to Israel, with plans to apply to be in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The history of baseball in the land of the Bible is astounding.

[Via Newsvine.]

posted by retrophisch at 9:02 AM -->in baseball , fun
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Tuesday, 09 May 2006

Headliners

“Spain Raids Stamp-Collecting Firms”

Pursuing terrorists who murder our citizens, not that high a priority. But those stamp collectors have got to be stopped.

“Asian Currencies Soar on U.S. Criticism”

Just think of what they could do with some positive reinforcement!

“Zombie master sentenced to 5 years in prison”

It’s only five years, though, so stock up on shotgun shells, and remember to always aim for the head.

“Will Film Spell Success for Starbucks?”

Is this what education has come to in America? Listen up, Starbucks, it’s “S, u, c, c…”

posted by retrophisch at 10:59 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 30 April 2006

Headliners

“Exxon Profit Is Shy of New Record”

Sounds like Exxon Profit needs to be more assertive, and not such a wallflower.

“IBM to Offer Smaller Mainframe”

Now only taking up half of the typical family home!

“Fuji Film Sinks Into Losses”

Remind me to never travel to Losses.

“Does France really need its own search engine?”

Does the world really need France? Better wine in California, better cheese in Wisconsin…

posted by retrophisch at 10:11 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 28 April 2006

Headliners

“Microsoft Dings Stocks”

Ballmer’s insurance expired, has to get cash for repairs from Bill.

“YMCA office under attack by Muslims in West Bank”

No word on the status of the construction worker or the biker.

“Chad Pressured to Postpone Election”

Meanwhile, Jacob and Britney can hold elections as planned.

“AT&T Shareholders Reject Resolutions”

AT&T shareholders are idiots.

“Government Takes Over Aloha Air Pension”

Aloha Air pensioners see money flushed down toilet. U.S. taxpayers now responsible for the bailout, likewise.

posted by retrophisch at 11:09 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 27 April 2006

Headliners

“Prosecutors Get First Shot at Lay”

Too easy. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay too easy…

“Microsoft to Buy Chinese Hardware”

This is news? Isn’t it all Chinese hardware?

“Songbirds May Be Able to Learn Grammar”

We can’t teach grammar to kids graduating from high school, so we’re going to try birds? Those teacher unions can get away with anything.

“NYC Firefighter Begins Sentence in Brawl”

Is that a regional dialect of braille?

“Dog burns down owner’s kitchen”

“Since when does a medium-rare steak come in a bag marked ‘Purina’?!?!?!?!?”

“Police Arrest Nude Man Stuck in Chimney”

It’s a real shame the lengths some guys will go in some misguided quest for hot sex.

“‘Deep Throat’ Saw Himself As ‘Lone Ranger’”

So who’s Tonto, Woodward or Bernstein?

posted by retrophisch at 8:59 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 21 April 2006

More Headliners

“30,000 Elvis impersonators may be out of work”

Please, God, please, God, please, God…

“Rise in Revenue Helps Cingular Wireless to a Profit”

In other news, rain makes things wet, and the sun gives off light.

“Colombian Police Train Rats to Find Mines”

Because apparently finding cocaine is just too easy.

“Ohio Restaurant Wins Best Restroom Award”

With floors so clean you could…no, we won’t go there.

“Indonesians Evacuate As Volcano Rumbles”

I wonder if Volcano fights fair, or does he use brass knuckles, chains, and knives?

posted by retrophisch at 2:42 PM -->in fun
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Headliners

“Astros Replace Miller With Borkowski”

Borkowski? Is that a Polish beer?

“Biffle: Girlfriend’s Spat No Big Deal”

“Heck, you should see it when she sneezes!”

“Teen Gets Boot Camp for Angering Judge”

Does this judge dislike Mac users or something?

“Hamas Government Strapped for Funds”

In the bomb department, however, they’re running a surplus.

“Will Smith Crashes Bar Mitzvah”

I wonder if he has to take a class to get that off his record.

“Scientists Observe the Brain ‘Shutting Off’”

Was Al Gore speaking?

posted by retrophisch at 12:16 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Miscellany

Dan Benjamin’s cats have the best expressions. I need to take more photos of our pride.

* * *

Because white guys lip syncing rap is funny.

[Via the aforementioned Mr. Benjamin.]

* * *

Thank God the NHL playoffs are here.

I’ve enjoyed the new rules this season, but has anyone else felt like this first, post-lockout season has taken forever?

* * *

Why do celebrities feel compelled to give their children names said children will be complaining about to their therapists decades from now?

posted by retrophisch at 12:09 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 13 April 2006

Miscellany

Dan Wade has too much time on his hands.

* * *

Gavin Shearer:

If I were Sony, or Toshiba, or HP, I’d be freaking out right now.

* * *

I cannot begin to express how broken up I am over the fact that Michael Jackson has to restructure his debt. Oh, look, something shiny…

* * *

It’s about time. Pooh is certainly more deserving than most of the blithering glitterati that populate the Walk.

[With a wave of the phin to the Firewheel boys and John.]

posted by retrophisch at 7:00 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Miscellany

It’s too bad I have no design experience nor web programming skills. The guys at Firewheel Design sound fun to work with, and they’re about fifteen minutes away in Southlake.

* * *

Dan needs some of this furniture in his pad.

* * *

Cableyoyo’s new Pop is a good idea, but most folks I know with iPods keep them in some sort of case.

* * *

What happens when you shove an iPod Shuffle in to a NES controller?

* * *

[With waves of the phin to the Firewheel Design blog, and Macsimum News.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:16 AM -->in fun , ipod , web/site
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Saturday, 08 April 2006

On my birthday in history

You know, if it weren’t Lee, and it wasn’t about history, I’d ignore this meme. For one, I don’t utilize Wikipedia, and two, I don’t usually go in for Internet memes. However, since it did come from Lee, and it is about history, on December 3d:

Events

Births

Deaths

Due to the facts that (1) as previously mentioned, I don’t like Internet memes, and perhaps more importantly, (2) Lee and Lawson have already tagged pretty much anyone I would, I’m going to be a nice guy and let this die here.

posted by retrophisch at 11:14 PM -->in fun , non-fiction
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Monday, 03 April 2006

Miscellany

To get back at phishers (as opposed to a phisch), use PhishFighting. It’s certainly a much better use of CPU cycles than looking for aliens that don’t exist.

[Via IM from Lawson.]

* * *

Lee has no sense of adventure.

* * *

Memo to Skip Bertman, Director of Athletics, Louisiana State University: in the future, Final Four-bound teams are not allowed to come back to Baton Rouge prior to the semi-final game. Apparently, there’s something in the water that results in “chucking”, better known as “the shooting of bricks”.

It was painful enough watching the men’s team lose the game last night due to their inability to put the ball in the basket (as opposed to UCLA’s winning by making it difficult for the Tigers to do so), but the ladies seemed to have the same problem tonight against Duke, a team which was making it difficult for the Tigers to put the ball in the basket.

Two shots at a championship, two shots blown. Kudos to UCLA and Duke. There’s always next year.

And it’s baseball season.

posted by retrophisch at 1:14 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech , web/site
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Monday, 27 March 2006

Double down

For the seventh time in the history of the two tournaments, one school will have a team in both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Final Four: LSU.

GEAUX TIGERS!!!

posted by retrophisch at 10:54 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 26 March 2006

20

Twenty years ago, I was fifteen, and a high school sophomore in Baton Rouge. I had been going to LSU football games for the past five to six years, with the Tigers not doing much on the gridiron worthy of national recognition. Likewise, Skip Bertman still had another five years to go before he would lead LSU’s baseball team to their first College World Series win.

But in March of 1986, a man named Dale Brown was leading a team of talented but not exceptional basketball players to the height of college basketball: the Final Four. There was no Shaq on this team, no Stanley Roberts, no Chris Jackson. Those players would come later, and without the success of this team. This team had Blanton, Redden, Wilson, Vargas, Jovanovich, and Williams.

This LSU basketball team began the tournament of 64 ranked eleventh in their bracket. Twenty years later, they remain the lowest seed to ever make it to the Final Four.

I had grown up in Baton Rouge, having moved there when I was five. While only 60 miles away, New Orleans could have been on the other side of the universe as far as Baton Rouge was concerned. When it came to sports, I lived and breathed LSU athletics. I pretty much still do.

I remember watching the Tigers’ miracle run on television. The joy of the players when they beat number-one Kentucky to advance to the Final Four in Dallas. The tears of Ricky Blanton on the bench as time wound down in their national semifinal loss to Louisville. Coach Brown comforting Blanton and other players after the buzzer had sounded. So close. So far.

Three days ago, the Tigers of 2006, a group of talented but not exceptional young men, knocked off number-one Duke. Duke, ranked number one not just in the bracket they shared with LSU, but ranked number one out of the entire field of sixty-four. Last night, they toppled number-two Texas, and on the anniversary of the last LSU Final Four team, find themselves on their way to Indianapolis with a shot at the national title as they take on UCLA.

So close. So far.

GEAUX TIGERS!!!

posted by retrophisch at 12:25 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 24 March 2006

Apparently, some of my friends have never heard of “too much information”

Too much information


posted by retrophisch at 3:32 PM -->in fun
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Miscellany

The National Next of Kin Registry. Thanks to Motorola, I cannot look at NOKR’s acronym without thinking of mobile phones.

* * *

Apparently, today is National Waffle Day. [Via Radical Breeze.]

* * *

Tom snapped photos at the gathering of Abdul Rahman supporters outside the Afghan embassy in D.C. today. Jeff was there as well.

posted by retrophisch at 3:29 PM -->in fun , helping , liberty
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Friday, 17 March 2006

Miscellany

My favorite band contains big Apple fans apparently. Way cool.

* * *

I downloaded the new iChat icons for .Mac members, but I’m fairly certain I won’t use any of them.

* * *

Europe at night: a digital composite of archived satellite images.

* * *

If you have a Nick-N-Willy’s in your area, and you haven’t tried a pizza from them yet, I encourage you to do so. No, they won’t hold a candle to those from a real NYC- or Chicago-style pizzeria, but the pizzas are way better than any you’ll get from the typical fast-food pizza guys. I’m now discarding all of the Papa John’s coupons we receive each week.

posted by retrophisch at 5:30 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Friday, 03 March 2006

Miscellany

Earlier tonight at Costco, I happened upon the Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection Mix Pack. It’s basically a sampler case of different Sam Adams brews. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a regular drinker, so when I want to have a beer, I want a good one, and a Sam Adams happens to fit that category.

However, I’ve never had any of their brews other than the Boston Lager. So when I saw the Brewmaster’s Collection, I knew I had to give it a try. In addition to the Boston Lager, it features the Boston Ale, the Scotch Ale (one of which is currently chilling), the Black Lager, the Hefeweizen, and the Brown Ale.

* * *

Also at Costco, Boylan Bottling Company had a table set up where you could sample their various sodas, and buy mix-and-match cases. I have had Boylan sodas in the past, due to their being sold at a Jersey boardwalk-style deli we frequented. (Sadly, said deli has since closed up.) Our case contains Diet Black Cherry (my favorite), Diet Root Beer (better than Barq’s), and Orange Creme (you will never look at any other orange soda the same).

* * *

If you use iCal, you owe it to yourself to download and register Aram Kudurshian’s High Priority. It’s well worth the $6 license.

* * *

This afternoon, I finally got around to syncing my new iMac Core Duo with my still somewhat new iPod Video. Only iSync doesn’t recognize the iPod. What?!?!? I’m sure this issue was covered elsewhere on the Mac news and in the blogosphere, but I missed it. You now use iTunes to sync your Address Book and iCal info with your iPod. Thanks, Apple, for making what was once a one-click move now something that takes two applications.

posted by retrophisch at 11:52 PM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Gold streets, milk, honey, and cheap chicken

Jeff Harrell, on his recent move to the DC area:

They have Chick-fil-a here, which is good. But the sandwiches are like three bucks each or something equally absurd. I mean, I knew Texas was the land of milk and honey where the streets are paved with gold. I didn’t realize that it was also the land of cheap chicken sandwiches. Apparently it’s both.

posted by retrophisch at 4:50 PM -->in fun
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The Twinkie is an affront to Life itself?

Dan said it, not me.

posted by retrophisch at 4:24 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 27 February 2006

Niceness

Fraser Speirs:

I have this theory that there is an ineffable quality to certain attractive consumer products, and I can only term it niceness. It’s the MSG of consumerism - you don’t know what it tastes like by itself but you know when it’s present and you know when it’s not.

[…]

It’s somewhere in the confluence of size, shape, materials, texture and that pleasant weightiness that lesser products don’t have. I said it was the MSG of consumerism. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t more like consumerism’s crack cocaine. Jonathan Ive is my dealer.

posted by retrophisch at 11:10 PM -->in fun , tech
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Thursday, 23 February 2006

Clocky go crashy

Welch wants one, but I think if that thing was in my house, it would end up in pieces once I hunted it down.

posted by retrophisch at 8:58 PM -->in fun , tech
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Sunday, 12 February 2006

My first deviantART

“Khaos” has released a derivative piece of art, titled “Forsaken Soul”, based on a landscape photo I took on the Big Island of an old lava flow.

posted by retrophisch at 4:31 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 05 February 2006

Super Bowl commercials

My observations on the commercials shown during the Super Bowl. My top five are at the bottom.

I’ve moved the entire work below the break.

—||—

5:33 PM CST
I can’t believe Burger King wasted two million dollars (or whatever obnoxious amount the spots are going for this year) on the “Whopperettes”.

5:40 PM CST (That was a short four downs, Steelers.)
The “Magic Fridge” Bud commercial had me cracking up.

5:43 PM CST
Living in Texas, I get Spanish shoved down my throat enough, thanks, Toyota.

I liked the FedEx “Caveman” commercial. Something very Dilbertian about it.

Regarding it and the Bud Light “Bear attack” commercial, my wife ponders “Why do people think people getting killed or mauled is funny?”

5:51 PM CST
The Diet Pepsi-“Diddy” commercial left me flat. Nice use of an iPod, though.

5:58 PM CST
The Ameriquest “That killed’em” commercial is hysterical.

6:05 PM CST
The Diet Pepsi-Jackie Chan “Stunt double” commercial is genius.

SBC-AT&T, ho-hum. Can we work on upgrading the Cingular network instead of flushing money down the Super Bowl bowl?

6:12 PM CST
You would expect there to be a Budweiser Clydesdale football game commerical. You weren’t expecting the “Streaker”, were you?

Mobile ESPN: I like my sports, but…

6:17 PM CST
The CareerBuilder.com monkey commercials are soooo played.

Cadillac’s Escalade coming up through the model runway is a cool effect, but otherwise a yawner.

6:19 PM CST
They are looking for any excuse to go to commercial, aren’t they?

Tom Cruise attempts to get you to donate more money to Scientology with the third installment of the Mission Impossible movie franchise.

I think it speaks highly of Dove that they spent their Super Bowl money on the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.

6:25 M CST
Further proof Disney has run out of creative ideas: let’s remake The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen.

Ford scores big with Kermit the Frog and “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” for the new Escape Hybrid. (Take note, Toyota.)

The Michelob Ultra “Touch Football” commercial doesn’t score.

6:35 PM CST
I’ve already seen GoDaddy’s commercial, and it’s certainly the least risque thing they’ve run to date. (Only because this was the fourteenth cut of the commercial, and the network finally allowed it.)

6:38 PM CST
Further proof all of Hollywood has run of original ideas: let’s remake The Poseidon Adventure and shorten the title.

In case you couldn’t figure out that Gilette was releasing a five-blade shaver with all the teasers they’ve been airing the past two weeks, they actually show you the razor this go-around.

The extended Desperate Housewives plug with Shaq, Hawk, Sugar Ray (the boxer, younglings, not the band), and Hef brought a smile.

6:42 PM CST
A typical Overstock.com commercial.

6:44 PM CST
Good call, bringing in Kelsey Grammar to voice the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary commercial.

6:55 PM CST
I was wondering what the Sprint “Crime Deterrent” was going to be. That got a smile out of me.

I thought the NFL Network’s Super Bowl “Today we’re all unified” commercial was appropriately touching.

Nothing new with Nissan’s Xterra commercial. More bragging over the Motor Trend award.

BREAK, BREAK. HALF TIME SHOW.
The Rolling Stones may have been a “safe” choice, but they sound like crap. What a shocker they open with “Start Me Up”, the most recognized Stones song to the modern generation, thanks to Microsoft. Another thought: are the Stones heavy investors in those cryogenic businesses out in Arizona?

Maybe next year the network and league can come up with some entertainment that’s not putting out music no one listens to and has to rely on its thirty-plus year-old hits and brainless fans who show up tour after tour to shell out money to hear the same songs over and over.

7:20 PM CST
The Ford Mustang commercial you’ve been seeing for…well, quite awhile.

Typical cute commercial from Jack-in-the-Box.

One of the Nissan Titan “Work Truck” commercials featuring the theme from Stripes.

Is your local news channel putting out commercials like our ABC affiliate, touting their news team?

7:25 PM CST
The Disney commercials with the Seattle and Pittsburgh players practicing “I’m going to Disneyland!” is genius.

7:34 PM CST
I thought the time lapse of the meteor rock was pretty cool. Didn’t think it would result in a mobile phone being deposited on a beach.

7:42 PM CST
Budweiser’s “I won’t tell if you won’t” commercial with the pony “pulling” the beer wagon is cute.

Nationwide’s “Fabio shampoo” commercial starts off kind of funny, then gets creepy.

I liked the “Old Days” NFL Mobile commercial. “We ate non-organic foods and had to use the Internet!”

7:49 PM CST
Like most Hummer commercials, the “Love is Strange” one for the H3, featuring the giant robot and Godzilla clone having a “baby” just struck me as kind of, well, stupid.

The PS cleaning solutions commercial with everyone in biohazard suits was cute.

7:54 PM CST
I didn’t see it coming in CareerBuilder’s “That’s okay, I work with a bunch of jackasses.” That brought a chuckle.

The latest in Taco Bell’s “Good to Go” series for the Crunchwrap Supreme, featuring geek love. She’s pretty cute; ever since my love and I both started wearing spectacles, I’m noticing more cute chicks with them.

8:01 PM CST
Toyota is 0-2, this time with one of their “indestructible” truck commercials. The commercials shows a Tacoma, via time-lapse photography/video surveillance, getting bounced around by ocean waves while the owner is out kayaking or surfing, or something. Note to Toyota: try making a truck that doesn’t look effeminate, then we’ll talk about how tough they are.

8:14 PM CST
Another Sprint commercial, on music downloads to your phone, with a burning couch.

Nice usage of the sideline hash marks as sound levels in ESPN’s Monday Night Football spot.

Here in DFW, we got a Dodge MegaCab truck commercial, and an American Airlines spot featuring a guy packing for his wife so he can take her on a surprise dinner trip out of town.

Ho-hum spot for the Acura RL.

8:23 PM CST
Degree’s spot highlights a stunt man in various every day situations taken to the extreme.

I’ve never found the Emerald’s Nuts commercials very funny, and the “Druid under the stairs” one doesn’t so anything to change that.

The Fidelity-Paul McCartney spot you’ve seen numerous times before.

8:29 PM CST
Totally computer-generated, of course, but the Bud commercial that purports to show fans in a stadium with those flip signs pouring beer from a bottle to a glass is decent.

The MasterCard-MacGuyver spot is the best of the night.

8:34 PM CST
Another Mobile ESPN spot.

Nice Honda Ridgeline commercial featuring mud flap characters, who have “been around trucks for a long time”.

Here’s to Beer offers “Cheers” in multiple languages.

8:40 PM CST
Great spot for the World Baseball Classic.

The GoDaddy spot airs again.

The ESPN Monday Night Football spot airs again.

Commerical for the new Ford Explorer. (Was this a DFW/Texas-only spot?)

8:53 PM CST
Spot for the movie Running Scared.

Outback Steakhouse commercial with a guy speaking in an Australian accent trying to pry a boomerang off the wall. The whole schtick is “coming back”.

Spot from the Westin hotel chain, announcing they’re going all non-smoking.

Pro Bowl spot that I didn’t really get.

Game Over
I consider these spots shown immediately after the conclusion of the game to be the last Super Bowl commercials of the night.

Blockbuster lets everyone in the nation know they’re going after Netflix.

The same TGIFriday’s you’ve seen for the past few weeks, what appears to be a new All State insurance spot, and the same Expedia.com “Calendar” commercial they’ve been showing lately.

Top Five
These are my favorite commercials from tonight.

  1. MasterCard’s “MacGuyver”
  2. Bud’s “Magic Fridge”
  3. Ameriquest “That killed’em”
  4. Diet Pepsi-Jackie Chan “Stunt Can”
  5. Bud’s “Streaker”
posted by retrophisch at 5:37 PM -->in football , fun
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Does no one like the middle?

Something struck me a few minutes ago: does anyone live in the middle of Missouri? The two most populous cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, are on the eastern and western edges of the state, respectively. You never hear about any other place in the Show Me State, except for Springfield.

posted by retrophisch at 2:09 PM -->in fun
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“We don’t anticipate any management mistakes.”

Given my personal experience working for Verizon, and continuously hearing stories from my friends who are still employed there, this rings so true.

posted by retrophisch at 1:42 PM -->in fun , rant
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Monday, 30 January 2006

Congrats, Oz!

The Ozabs saw Anna pop out in to the world from her warm, cozy womb, back on the 19th. What is it with ATPM staffers and early children? Congratulations, Mom and Dad, and welcome, Anna!

posted by retrophisch at 4:22 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 27 January 2006

Rock me, Amadeus

I missed blogging about the 300th anniversary of Ben Franklin’s birthday, so I knew I couldn’t miss today. What’s today?

Today is the 250th anniversary of the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. While Tom and I agree that Bach is the better composer (and I would rate Handel better, as well), Mozart’s body of work is quite an accomplishment, given what he produced before his death at the age of 35. There are composers today, living in to their eighties, who do not produce music with the depth and scope that Mozart did.

posted by retrophisch at 10:19 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 23 January 2006

Deep Thinking

Things to think about that you probably have never thought about:

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to “put your two cents in”, but it’s only a “penny for your thoughts”? Where’s that extra penny going to?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up like every two hours? (Jim and Lissa, take note!)

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you in a movie, but you’re on TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They’re going to see you naked anyway.

Why is “bra” singular and “panties” plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don’t point to their crotch when they asking where the bathroom is?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn’t he just buy dinner?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his head out the window?!

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

[Via e-mail from my mom.]

posted by retrophisch at 11:54 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 22 January 2006

Happy News

HappyNews.com. Real News. Compelling Stories. Always Positive.

As opposed to the typical “if it bleeds, it leads” attitude of the major news organizations, Byron Reese believes, “News should give you an accurate view of the world.” It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s not all doom and gloom, either.

The site also offers a weekly online lifestyle magazine.

[Via Reader’s Digest.]

posted by retrophisch at 3:15 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 21 January 2006

Shouldn’t dynasties win more than one?

Yes, they should.

Onepeat's proposed billboard

Above is the proposed billboard to be placed in a high-traffic area near the USC campus.

LSU grads in the Dallas area, annoyed by the media coverage over USC’s attempt at “a third-straight national championship”, have raised the necessary $10,000 for the proposed billboard, and are working with a Mobile firm in scouting for a suitable location. As you would imagine, even the Bruins are happy about it.

The message here, people, is that the Bowl Championship Series was created for the sole purpose of providing the means, in lieu of a playoff system, to determine the one, true national champion of Division I-A college football. God knows I have my myriad issues with the BCS, but it is, despite its faults, the system in place, and it should be respected. This is the vein of the message from Onepeat.com.

[Via Hugh via Xon.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:15 PM -->in football , fun
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Thursday, 19 January 2006

Are you a kept man?

Are you a kept man? Living off the fruits of the labor of your wife, girlfriend, significant other? Married a trust-fund cutie or a wealthy widow? Tell the world with Kept Man Apparel!

posted by retrophisch at 3:47 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 07 January 2006

Today’s miscellany

Ron Moore, creator and executive producer of the best show on television, shares his favorite science-fiction tomes.

—||—

From the “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” Department

“Hi, we’re Western Digital. Since our hard drives are slightly above average in performance and reliability, rather than making them top-notch, the industry’s best, we thought we would throw our research and development in to making clear cases for the drives, so you can see the inner workings…”

It actually is a rather impressive drive, specification-wise. I just prefer Seagates, when I can get them.

—||—

From the “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” Department: Part Two

The mail arrived at the house today at approximately one o’clock this afternoon. I know this only because I was walking down the stairs at that moment, and saw the postal worker depositing today’s mail in our box.

Within today’s delivery was my latest order from the BMG music club of which I am still a member. I don’t order from them very often, waiting for the really good sales they have from time to time, but that’s not really the point here.

The point is that at approximately two-thirty, an hour and a half after I pulled the order out of the mailbox, an e-mail from BMG hit my In box, informing me my order had shipped.

Way to stay on top of things, guys.

posted by retrophisch at 2:47 PM -->in fiction , fun , read , tech
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Thursday, 05 January 2006

I thought we were painting our faces for the Tiger game

Have you seen the McDonald’s commercial with the face-painting football fans? I just about lost it when Tiger Face licks the back of his hand at the end.

posted by retrophisch at 1:25 PM -->in fun
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On those Wikipedia ills

Given Ellyn’s column this month on Wikipedia, I thought this Penny Arcade was apropos.

[Wave of the phin to Dan.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:25 AM -->in fun , web/site
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Wednesday, 04 January 2006

So much fun

100 lashes for bragging about FiOS


posted by retrophisch at 10:21 PM -->in fun , tech
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Tuesday, 03 January 2006

Documenting bad grammar

Lee and I share a pet peeve relating to grammar, and he has chosen to begin documenting finds in meatspace.

One reason I don’t slog through comments on most blogs is because the respondents apparently didn’t learn anything in third grade, or since. “It’s” means “it is,” and “Its” denotes the possessive case. “There” denotes a place, while “Their” denotes a plural possessive. Those are the two major mistakes I see, which irk me to no end.

posted by retrophisch at 2:05 PM -->in fun , writing
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Another reason to love the Scots

The Scottish accent—when it is comprehensible—is better for business than a regional English accent.

If you want to get ahead in business and don’t speak the Queen’s English, it is better to sound as if you are from Scotland, or indeed from America, Europe or India, than from any English region.

Those Brits sure can be a wee odd at times.

[Via AWAD.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:39 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 02 January 2006

Why you should not use your mouth before engaging your brain

Scene: my wife and I are sitting at our respective desks in the study, doing our respective things on our respective computing systems.

Her: “Wow. There are thirteen miners trapped in a mine in West Virginia.”

Me: “What the hell are a bunch of minors doing…”

That was the point I shut up and then started laughing. Then I had to explain the insanity that took place in my mind, to which my smiling bride stated, “Doofus.”

Doofus, indeed.

posted by retrophisch at 11:01 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 01 January 2006

Happy New Year

For New Year’s Eve, my wife and I went out to dinner, toddler in tow. Over our meal we toasted the new year, praying it would be better than 2005, which was better than 2004, which was only slightly worse than 2003.

My prayer for my family, my friends, and you, dear reader, is that 2006 is a better year for you as well. God bless, and be God’s.

posted by retrophisch at 12:17 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 31 December 2005

Kelly’s Dump Soup

My wife found this dump soup recipe somewhere online, and neither of us can remember where nor find the bookmark for it. As the name implies, it’s a soup made up of whatever you dump in the pot. Here’s what we had for lunch:

1 can, Campbell’s Healthy Request Minestrone
1 can, pinto beans (15 oz)
1 can, Ro-Tel Original diced tomatoes and green chilies (10 oz)
1 can, whole kernel corn (15 oz)
1 can, cut green beans, no salt added (14.5 oz)

In the past, we’ve also added a can of red beans, and a can of black beans to the mix, each of those a 15-ounce can like the pinto beans listed above. You’ll need a good-sized pot to heat it on the stovetop with, and some Tupperware™ or other storage of your choice for the leftovers. Because there will be plenty of leftovers. It’s very hearty, especially if you go with all three types of beans.Today’s fixing fed both of us for lunch, and will give us at least one more meal, possibly two, depending upon how many bowls each of us has.

If you’re on Weight Watchers™, this soup is extremely low in points; two to three per bowl.

Thanks to the Ro-Tel, I should have skipped taking some decongestant earlier. The green chilies cleared out my sinuses just fine.

posted by retrophisch at 1:44 PM -->in fun
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Razor’s New Year’s words of wisdom

Daryl Reaugh:

The most common eye injury in France is damage done by flying champagne corks. (It’s true.) Apparently they don’t retreat fast enough when it comes to avoiding bubble propelled projectiles.

Razor says, ‘Let’s be careful out there, and wear a visor.’

And this is from a guy with French ancestry.

posted by retrophisch at 1:06 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 06 December 2005

How you know you’re a parent #1,487

While testing a new product for review, you set your iPod on shuffle, and hear Hootie & the Blowfish, dc Talk, King James (old Christian metal group), Petra (the Aerosmith of Christian rock), and then VeggieTales. Just kind of throws that whole rhythm off to have Junior pop in to the middle of the mix with “Come over to my house and play!”

posted by retrophisch at 4:55 PM -->in fun , ipod , tech
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Sunday, 04 December 2005

Walk the Line

Last night, for my birthday, my wife and I went to see the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.

Wow.

In my opinion, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon nailed Johnny Cash and June Carter. No wonder the latter hand-picked the former to play them.

My wife, who isn’t familiar with Cash’s music beyond “Ring of Fire” (written by June Carter, in case you didn’t know, which my wife did not), thoroughly enjoyed the picture. She discovered she likes Cash’s music, too. I’ll have to load some up for her on her iPod Shuffle.

Sidebar: My wife told me that Rosanne Cash, Johnny’s oldest child from his first marriage, was not thrilled with the portrayal of her mother, Viv, to the point of having walked out of the screening she attended. My wife and I agree that Rosanne has nothing to worry about. I don’t think Viv came off as hysterical or unhinged at all. I think she came off perfectly as what she was: a woman who realized that she was not her husband’s true love; a woman who knew her husband was unfaithful, and that her life was not the least bit what she had expected it to be. Given that, I don’t think Viv’s actions, as portrayed in the film, are the least bit out of line.

I thought the movie was great, even if they had to gloss over some more intriguing parts of Cash’s life due to the time constraints of a major motion picture. This was not only a story of a man’s dream to record and perform his music, it was the love story of Johnny and June.

Days before we saw the film, I signed up for an account with eMusic. If you sign up now, you get 50 free downloads. Unlike the iTunes Music Store, the MP3s you download from eMusic have no DRM attached. You can burn them to a CD, load them to a music player, pretty much do whatever you want to with them, just as if you had ripped them from a CD of your very own. I used a little over half of my free downloads to get Cash’s The Complete Sun Singles. This was very timely, given the material is heavily featured in the film. (Consequently, after using my 50 free downloads, I’ve since cancelled my eMusic account; they don’t have anything else I want.)

What’s sad is that, at 35, my wife and I were the youngest people in the theater, and that’s a real shame. Walk the Line is highly recommended, even if you’re not a fan of Cash’s music, and especially so if you know little about the man or his career.

posted by retrophisch at 8:43 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 03 December 2005

What a difference a couple of hours can make

This morning, we took the little phisch to downtown Dallas for the annual Neiman Marcus Adolphus Christmas Parade. He had a gas, and I hope to have photos up soon.

Before the parade began, I was 34. By the time the parade was over, I was 35. My wife—who, for the record, is six months older than I—has found it fun today to refer to me as “old,” and to remind me that it’s “all downhill from here.”

Actually, looking at average age statistics for non-smoking males in the United States, I believe I have another two to three years before I reach the top of the slope and began the descent.

Tonight we’re going out to see Walk the Line, and once again, the Tigers are playing for the SEC Championship on my birthday. (Thank God for TiVo.)

posted by retrophisch at 4:48 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 01 December 2005

Killing them with kindness

Hugh notes Kevin McCullough’s campaign to send Christmas cards to the ACLU.

Ever since the little phisch was born, the Christmas cards we’ve sent out have been the kind where a photo of the youngun was part of the card. So we have a few boxes of Christmas cards that will likely never be used. Kevin’s campaign sounds fun, and I have the materials.

So the ACLU can expect a Christmas card from me this year. Probably two. Maybe three.

Alright, four.

Let’s just say, when I get tired of signing them and filling out the address info on the envelopes, okay?

posted by retrophisch at 11:07 PM -->in God , fun , liberty
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Tuesday, 29 November 2005

I’ve always said, “If you want to play games…”

John Gruber:

[N]ext-generation consoles seem set to surpass the PC as the premier platforms for gaming, which means anyone who’s resisted switching from Windows because of the lack of games for the Mac will have one less reason not to switch. I think there a lot of guys out there who are starting to think they’d be better off with a new Mac and an Xbox/PS3 than with a new Windows PC.

Years ago, when I was more fanatical about evangelizing the Mac, whenever the gaming argument came up my reply was always along the lines of “If you want to play games, go buy a Nintendo.” (Update the phrase with the console of your choice.)

posted by retrophisch at 12:51 AM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Friday, 11 November 2005

Today’s miscellany

I’ve been trying to send some e-mails with attachments via Gmail, from within Safari. Frustrated, I launched the 1.0b1 version of Camino, and it worked the first time I tried.

If Camino could mimic the easy subscribability of Safari when it comes to RSS and Atom feeds, there would be no looking back. Based on my own usage, Camino is consistently faster than Safari at rendering, uses less RAM over time, and remains more stable.

Then Tom has to go and remind me why Safari kicks butt when it comes to designing for standards.

An article in the latest Macworld has prompted me to look seriously at del.icio.us. My personal work habits have evolved to the point where I’m no longer worried about keeping bookmarks synced between two systems, but the prospect of an online backup of my bookmarks, that I could access from any where, is appealing. I’m coming closer all the time to my own personal death knell for .Mac.

Anthro’s eNook is so cool it almost makes me wish I didn’t have enough space to get one. Almost.

A happy belated to Tiffany.

Finally, my thanks to Tom. He knows why.

posted by retrophisch at 10:51 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 01 November 2005

Spam subject line of the moment

“Get a bigger bugle!”

Gosh, I don’t even have a bugle, and they want me to get a bigger one? Isn’t a large bugle called a trumpet?

posted by retrophisch at 1:01 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 31 October 2005

No, we’re just hungry

Lileks cracks me up:

Women writing about men always seems like cats writing about dogs; they just can’t believe that sitting around and waiting for supper or intruders is what it’s all about. It has to be something more. A writer of the Dowd Brigade will ask: why does he want to go have pizza after sex instead of cuddling? A man, or a married woman, will say: because he’s hungry. No, it has to be more than that. Is he using the trip to the fridge as a hedge against intimacy? No, he’s using it as a means to get pizza. Because he’s hungry. You want him to stay, put a frozen Totinos between the mattress and the box spring before you start.

We men are really and truly not that complicated, ladies.

posted by retrophisch at 4:28 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 22 October 2005

Hective

Parents can relate:

My favorite portmanteau came from our two-year-old daughter, whose response to the question “How was your day [at daycare]?” was: “Oh, hective, very hective.” We assume that it was a combination of hectic and active, but whatever the source in her mind, it remains a wonderfully descriptive word for busy family life.

From Anne Beer, on the AWAD mail Issue 183, October 22, 2005.

My wife thought this perfectly appropriate to our lives with a two year-old.

posted by retrophisch at 10:08 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 20 October 2005

Blimp Captain’s Blog

Now if the Fujifilm blimp captains have a blog, what’s your excuse for not having one?

[Via Six Apart.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:20 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Go Astros!

Some time in the first year to year-and-a-half of my life, my parents moved to Houston. My dad had joined the Navy for a two-year stint, and would be spending nearly one of those on a Mediterranean cruise aboard the USS John F. Kennedy. My grandparents lived in Houston, and would help my mom look after their only grandchild.

My grandfather was a regional sales manager for a major tobacco company. He had season tickets to Houston Oiler football games and Houston Astro baseball games. He took clients to games. He gave the tickets away to clients, and if they didn’t want them, to friends. And once my dad’s time in the Navy was over, he took my dad.

And me.

I was only three or four, but there are two or three memories clanking around in my noggin of going to Astros games with my dad and grandfather. I remember the night they gave away baseballs. I remember hurling mine, still in the plastic bag, toward the field when the the team came out of the dugout. It was time to play ball, and I guess I wanted them to play with mine. Dad tells me I clonked someone on the head a few rows down, and cried because no one threw the ball back to me. My grandfather would sneak away and get me another one, but he didn’t let me know, and he hung on to it. My grandmother tells me it’s somewhere in a box in their house.

You can understand, then, why I may have a little affinity for the Major League club in the southern portion of the Lone Star State.

Someone—my grandmother or my parents—also has the orange Astros ball cap that I had during those years. I need to get that; it would be great for my son to wear.

For the first time in their 44-year history, the Houston Astros are going to the World Series. To meet a club that hasn’t been to the Series in 46 years. A historic Series, to be sure, and one that I hope is not one-sided in either team’s favor. (Okay, maybe a little one-sided in one club’s favor.) Biggio and Bagwell, among the last of the franchise players in Major League Baseball, are getting their shot at the championship title, and it’s been a long time coming. Eighteen years for Biggio. Eighteen years he’s been trying with the Houston Astros. Craig, your loyalty and hard work have been rewarded.

My grandfather severely injured his back and one of his legs around the time I was five. It badly disabled him, and I remember climbing the stairs of my grandparents’ house to go visit him in his bed. I don’t remember going to any baseball games after that. My grandfather retired, and when we moved to Baton Rouge in the summer of 1976, my grandparents followed shortly thereafter. Their other son and his new family were living there, too, and the entire extended family was in one location.

Houston is the closest city with a Major League team to Baton Rouge, and you’ll find Astros fans throughout Red Stick. We still followed the Astros, but it was mainly through the stories on the sports page than anything else. It took the move in 1998 that brought my wife and I to Dallas for me to discover a love for Major League baseball, but I’ll never forget the seed that was planted in the early 1970s by my dad and grandfather.

Granddaddy, I wish you were here to see the Astros now.

posted by retrophisch at 11:13 PM -->in fun
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Joining the insanity

Official NaNoWriMo 2005 Participant

So I’ve decided to give it a whirl this year, and join Danno and fifty thousand others at taking a crack at churning out 50,000 words in 30 days. Should be fun. Blogging may drop off considerably.

Think you have a novel in you that’s just dying to get out in the thirty days of November? Join us.

posted by retrophisch at 8:40 AM -->in fun , writing
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Monday, 17 October 2005

“I have overactive sweat glands.”

AOL is still a crappy way to Internet, in my not-so-humble opinion, but their latest commercial (“Too much information”) had me in stitches.

posted by retrophisch at 10:13 PM -->in fun , tech
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Sunday, 16 October 2005

French military victories

  1. Go to Google.
  2. In the search box, type “French military victories.”
  3. Click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

[Via Tommy.]

posted by retrophisch at 1:16 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 15 October 2005

Don’t screw with the librarian

Damien shared this gem with me via instant message. I had no words other than, “That is totally awesome.”

posted by retrophisch at 11:29 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 11 October 2005

One Man

My wife and Tom both told me about Charles Ross’s One Man Star Wars. The video clip sealed it for me; if I find myself in NYC, I’ll definitely have to see this, or his new One Man Lord of the Rings.

posted by retrophisch at 11:22 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 09 October 2005

Zoorific!

Our tyke had his first trip to a zoo yesterday. The weather was fabulous, so we trucked on down to the Fort Worth Zoo for a day with some friends and their son, who is just a few weeks younger than our tot.

Riding the Dragon
Click on the photo to see the entire picture set.

posted by retrophisch at 9:07 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 08 October 2005

Happy Birthday, Tom

Thanks to Tiff for noting Tom’s birthday for the rest of us.

posted by retrophisch at 7:26 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 27 September 2005

It’s about time

Tom asked, and Tiff said yes. I confess to being one of those who knew of Tom’s plan ahead of time, but that’s mostly because I’ve been annoying him about it for…well, a while. Though he had described the ring to me, I had not yet seen a photo of it. A fine job, my friend.

Tom’s plans were certainly more romantic than mine, but then my beloved knew it was coming. (Not at the exact moment it came, mind you, but it was something we had been talking about.) I like that the first person to know of their engagement was the park ranger; for us, it was our waitress at dinner an hour or so after I asked.

Having been through the big wedding thing, I proffer this advice to Tiffany, who is already stressing: skip it. Take the money and run. Small, small, small, family and very close friends. I won’t even sniffle over not getting an invitation. (Though an excuse to go to DC/Cali/wherever would be nice.)

Congratulations you two, and may God bless you with a lifetime of happiness together.

posted by retrophisch at 4:54 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 21 September 2005

Cute, but not that cute

Something amusing I read in RD, courtesy of BizRate Research:

56% of women and 41% of men say their pets are more affectionate than their partners.

Our cats and dog can be pretty affectionate, but I would hesitate to say more so than my wife. She may feel differently about me.

45% of women say their pets are cuter than their partners; 24% of men feel the same way.

Our male cat, Zane, who is an all-grey short-hair, is gorgeous. My wife keeps insisting I should find a pet model agent for him. Our other cat and the dog are cute, but I would honestly say they don’t compare to Zane.

But the animals being cuter than my wife? I’m not stupid. (Contrary to what you might think…)

posted by retrophisch at 3:43 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 18 September 2005

Happy Birthday, ST

Today, the SuperToad turns…well, another year older. We’ll just leave it at that. Happy Birthday, Brian!

posted by retrophisch at 3:01 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 15 September 2005

Okay, I’m not this desperate for a job

Men Wanted 18-45 ASAP.

I’ll let the job posting speak for itself.

posted by retrophisch at 4:09 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Baseball beats blood and water

For my guys in and from New England, as submitted to Reader’s Digest by Gayla Bieksha, of Hubbardston, Mass:

Blood may be thicker than water, but baseball beats them both. I learned this after explaining to my two boys that they were half-Lithuanian, on their father’s side, and half-Yankee, meaning their other set of grandparents came from an old New England family.

My younger son looked worried. “But we’re still a hundred percent Red Sox, right, Mom?”

posted by retrophisch at 6:47 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Esquivalience

Via Gruber via Kottke, the low-down on a fake word.

posted by retrophisch at 12:47 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 30 August 2005

Do you name your car?

I read this and thought of Tom and Tiffany.

For the record, I do not name my automobiles. Macs, firearms, yes. Autos, no.

posted by retrophisch at 3:07 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 29 August 2005

Fall ball

The fall softball season began yesterday for the co-ed church league I participate in. We opened against the sophomore contenders of First United Methodist of Lewisville. (Their rookie season was earlier this year, during the spring.) A lot of youngsters on the FUMC team, but that can cut both ways.

We had a full complement of players show up, and then some. We had three-way and two-way rotations going, as well as outright substitutes. I managed to play three of the six innings, squatting behind the plate and taking the hurls from Heather, our second pitcher of the game. So not much fielding work for me during the first game.

My time in the batter’s box showed the results of not putting bat to ball in four months. I went 0-2, sending out grounders that resulted in fielder’s choices, getting my teammates plugged at second. Definitely time to hit the cages, and friends for company be damned.

Everyone else did well at the plate, and our pitching and defense were superb. The final tally was 17-1, and we begin the season with a win. No play Labor Day weekend, and Katrina has seen fit to deny our trip to the New Orleans area to finish clearing out my wife’s childhood home. So I’ll try to take advantage of the off-week. Anyone for the batting cages and throwing around?

posted by retrophisch at 10:33 PM -->in fun , softball
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Thursday, 25 August 2005

I have had this fight

Maybe not so much verbatim, but in spirit.

posted by retrophisch at 12:04 AM -->in fun
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These are the conversations I have with my friends in the middle of the night



posted by retrophisch at 12:01 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Old is new again

Today, I’ve spent time listening to some old tunes that have recently found their way in to my iTunes library. In the course of cleaning up a small portion of the CD collection, and putting some up for sale, I spent some time sucking CDs into MP3s. Currently tripping the bytes fantastic is The Cult’s Sonic Temple.

posted by retrophisch at 6:11 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 20 August 2005

The NCAA Football Championship BS has already begun

No, that is not a typo in the title. I mean “BS,” not “BCS,” though some would argue they have become one and the same.

I mention this because a few moments ago I flipped on the idiot box to channel surf while relaxing for a few minutes. The satellite receiver had been left on NBC, which is showing the AVP Nissan Manhattan Beach Open, the women’s final, to be specific. They were just coming back from commercial, and noted that in attendance was a large portion of the USC Trojan football team. Then there was the magical BS moment:

“It’s hard enough for a team to win a national title, much less three, which no team has ever done before…” said spokesbabe to Trojan quarterback Matt Leinart.

She was, of course, referring to the fact that USC is ranked #1 in the pre-season polls, and the Trojans will be the frontrunners for another national title in NCAA football. She is, of course, wrong, as is any other sports broadcaster, to suggest that USC may become the first team to win three in a row.

USC did not win the national championship in 2003.

Let me say that again, for the many Trojan worshippers out there, including those infesting sports broadcasting.

USC did not win the national championship in 2003.

That honor went to LSU, which defeated Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl to win the BCS National Championship.

The whole point of the BCS, despite its myriad shortcomings, is to have a clear national champion at the end of the college football season. The whole point of the BCS is that there will no longer be a shared national title. One champion. One.

LSU was the national championship team for 2003. USC was the national championship team for 2004. USC will not become the first team to win three national titles in a row, should they prevail in 2005.

Was USC denied this opportunity, by virtue of Oklahoma being ranked higher in the standings at the end of the year, and getting the shot against LSU in the Sugar Bowl? Undoubtedly. Just as Auburn was denied the opportunity of a national title by virtue of Oklahoma being ranked higher at the end of the 2004 season. Chalk it up to a bias toward Oklahoma in the poll voters. (I note with amusement that now, having gotten it wrong two years in a row, Oklahoma doesn’t even break the Top 5 in any of the preseason polls.)

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: If USC and its worshippers want LSU to share the national title with them for 2003, then USC must share the 2004 title with Auburn. Leinart and Co. will be going for their second title in a row this year, not their third.

posted by retrophisch at 4:39 PM -->in fun , rant
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Wednesday, 17 August 2005

EasyBusiness

I have a hard time calling the son of a Greek shipping magnate “scrappy,” but I guess Stelios Haji-Ioannou can afford to be:

…[I]n 1998, when British Airways launched a budget airline called Go to compete with EasyJet. Not only was Stelios on Go’s inaugural flight, but he and nine of his executives put on bright-orange jumpsuits and handed out free EasyJet tickets to all of the passengers. “The BA people didn’t know what to do, so they just watched us,” Stelios recalls with a satisfied smile. “We looked like clowns,” recalls James Rothnie, EasyGroup’s corporate communications chief. Halfway into the Rome-bound flight, Stelios was conducting interviews onboard with a bemused British press. The stunt moved the media to begin portraying little EasyJet as an intrepid challenger to the giant BA, invaluable publicity for Stelios. More important, Go struggled from the outset to compete with the hustling EasyJet and surrendered in 2002, when Stelios bought it and doubled the size of EasyJet in one stroke.

[Link on Business 2.0 may be for subscribers only. —R]

posted by retrophisch at 3:48 PM -->in fun
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On the spelling of “willies”


How do you spell "willies"?


posted by retrophisch at 1:18 PM -->in fun
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Bad day at the office

Bad day at the office IM
posted by retrophisch at 11:57 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 12 August 2005

Furniture retailer demands Iranian nuclear freeze

So sayeth the Fontosaurus.

posted by retrophisch at 11:35 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 09 August 2005

I like the way Jon thinks

Heather:

Just ask Jon who tonight put a rubber tarantula underneath the bag of ravioli I was about to dump into a pot of boiling water. I BOUGHT THE TARANTULA, for crying out loud, last year, in hopes of frightening Jon, the unfrightable fucker who has more than once stuck his head over the shower curtain when I am mid-shampoo to purposefully convince me that a serial killer has entered the house and stumbled upon my bathing experience with glee.

posted by retrophisch at 10:19 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 05 August 2005

CBS, Race the Blogger Twins!

Damien and his brother Cameron are attempting to get on The Amazing Race. They have a noble purpose for this endeavor, having nothing to do with fame as “reality” tv stars. We’ll be rooting for you guys from the phisch bowl!

[Via Consolation Champs.]

posted by retrophisch at 12:37 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 03 August 2005

Ballpark tours

If you’re a huge baseball fan (Tom) with some time to kill, FranX points us to BallparkTour.com and Ballparks of Baseball. I’m sure it’s due to being in my hometown, but the only sporting venue I like more than the Ballpark in Arlington (I refuse to dignify it by its corporate name) is Tiger Stadium. And I’m not talking about the one in Detroit.

posted by retrophisch at 9:15 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 01 August 2005

Positively annoying

I have a new reason to develop a more positive attitude.

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” — Herm Albright, author, quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press

posted by retrophisch at 7:43 PM -->in fun , quote
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Good advice

Don’t mess with Texas. Now you can buy gear and support the anti-litter campaign with the awesome slogan.

posted by retrophisch at 11:46 AM -->in fun , helping
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Sunday, 31 July 2005

He made a guy cry?

Nick Saban, former head coach of the national champion LSU Tigers football team, has a reputation of being a tough coach. He’s tough on his players during practice, and especially during a game. This was one reason he was highly sought after by the Miami Dolphins.

So what does he do during the first training camp with the team? Why, he makes a rookie defensive tackle cry, of course. I shall refrain from comments regarding the DT being from USC…

posted by retrophisch at 10:32 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 30 July 2005

Which diet Coke is which Diet Coke

Merlin’s del.icio.us page points to this explanation by Leslie on the different make-ups of the different diet sodas now available from Coca-Cola.

For the record, I’ve tried them all, and my own personal taste test results are as follows:

Diet Coke - I knew there was a reason I never liked “New Coke,” and having a non-sugar version only made that worse
Diet Coke with Splenda - new “New Coke”; better than the original, but still not something I’d pick up
Coke Zero - nice try, and it would be a toss-up between it and the Diet with Splenda
C2 - as close as you can get to the authentic Coke with a diet version; if I can’t have, or would rather not have, the Real Thing™, this is what I drink

Though I have been rather successful at keeping soda of any kind to a minimum in my diet. Which means if I’m going to have one, I may as well have the original, non-diet version.

posted by retrophisch at 12:07 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 28 July 2005

Betting on Thomas

Yes, parents, that Thomas. It went something like this:

Mrs. Phisch: “Who are the blue engines? Thomas, Henry, and Edward?”

Me: “No, Gordon’s blue. Henry’s green.”

Her: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Her: “No he’s not! You’re thinking of Henry!”

Me: “No, I’m thinking of Gordon. He’s blue. He pulls the express.”

Her: “Come back this up!”

She refers to the godsend of modern television, TiVo, upon which many an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends has been preserved for the little phisch. She currently has the little phisch in her lap, together in one of the easy chairs, and the remote is across the room.

Me: “I’ll back it up, but you’re wrong. Gordon’s blue.”

Her: “Want to bet?”

Me: “Sure. What’s the bet?”

Her: “The loser has to drive to get ice cream.”

She refers to soft-serve sundaes from Carvel. We pinkie-shake to affirm the bet.

I back up the episode in question to the spot she ordains as telling us which engine the one I say Gordon is.

I await my hot-caramel sundae after the tyke goes to bed.

Update, 8:45 PM CST: A sly one, that Mrs. Phisch. To bathe the little phisch, she changes in to pajamas and sweats. She then uses this as an excuse to not go get ice cream. She barters a trade that I make the ice cream run, while she cleans up the tyke’s bathroom, traditionally my post-bath duty. I retain full bet-winning gloat authority. And I do want a hot-caramel sundae…

posted by retrophisch at 7:40 PM -->in fun
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You And Me

The womenfolk certainly have a way of making us insane—in a good way—don’t they, fellas?

You and Me” - Lifehouse

What day is it, and in what month
This clock never seemed so alive
I can’t keep up, and I can’t back down
I’ve been losing so much time

Cause it’s you and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to lose
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you

All of the things that I want to say just aren’t coming out right
I’m tripping on words you got my head spinning
I don’t know where to go from here

Cause it’s you and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to prove
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you

Something about you now
I can’t quite figure out
Everything she does is beautiful
Everything she does is right

Cause it’s you and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to lose
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you

You and me and all of the people
With nothing to do, nothing to prove
And it’s you and me and all of the people
And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you


—written by Jason Wade and Jude Cole

Published by G-Chills/Songs of DreamWorks (BMI) and Jude Cole Music/Warner Chappell Music (BMI)
© Copyright 2005 Geffen Records

posted by retrophisch at 4:13 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Jeff is bored

Jeff Harrell:

People from time zones west of here should iChat me immediately. Especially if they’re twentysomething women who like to tell weirdo Internet writers how great they are all the time.

Middle-aged men pretending to be twentysomething women are okay too, as long as it’s convincing. You let it slip just once that you’re actually a forty-seven year old tire salesman who’s sitting in his enormous store-brand boxers with a Gateway on his lap, and the whole fucking thing is just ruined.

At least I can go to sleep tonight with something truly funny rolling around in my head. Come on, people, tip the man.

posted by retrophisch at 12:31 AM -->in fun , web/site
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Monday, 25 July 2005

Shreddin’

ATPM staffers lead glamourous lives, let me tell you. When we’re not unemployed (moi), running our own businesses (Michael and Evan), or working for others (Lee, Ellyn, and practically everyone else), you might find one of us interning for a popular magazine. I thought Wes had hit the big-time when he got to wander around Manhattan, challenging perfect strangers to lightsaber duels.

Now, in the August 2005 issue of PM (not yet online), Mr. Meltzer’s in print, taking part in the “Shred Reckoning” personal shredder comparison. For the record, that is not Wes’s photo used in the test document.

posted by retrophisch at 12:27 PM -->in fun , tech
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Friday, 22 July 2005

Punny stock

Overheard on the Dow Jones Stock Report, on WRR, just a few moments ago:

“Maidenform is getting some firm support from investors…”

posted by retrophisch at 2:07 PM -->in fun
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No Danny Boy

In an ADD moment late last night, I was flipping channels, and came across The Great White Hype. Having seen it on HBO or one of the other movie channels some time ago, I left it on, especially since my favorite part was coming up: when Brian Setzer does “Oh, Danny Boy.”

I won’t bore you with details, but I really like Setzer’s version of the song. Unfortunately, it is not available:

q) Is Brian’s version of the song “Oh, Danny Boy” that appeared in the film “Great White Hype” available on CD?

a) No, it is not. The track is in the Surfdog Records vault, but does not appear on the film’s soundtrack or any other released CD. There are no plans at this time to release it.

posted by retrophisch at 7:47 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 21 July 2005

There is no bikini-waxer/client privilege.

Heather cracks me up.

posted by retrophisch at 1:04 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 17 July 2005

Channeling the Bear

Every time Jack Nicklaus plays a tournament for the last time, Tiger wins the event.

posted by retrophisch at 10:14 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Real-life zombie attack

This has to be the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

Update, 7/14: What do zombies do after a hard day of causing panic? They go to McDonald’s, of course. This photoset has had me in stitches.

posted by retrophisch at 11:05 PM -->in fun
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A conversation I never thought I would have

Slurpee IM conversation

Actually, it’s not about a Slurpee.

posted by retrophisch at 10:52 PM -->in fun , hockey
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Tuesday, 12 July 2005

Someone is just asking for a lawsuit

Spotted today on the Dallas Craigslist job boards:

Attractive Female Office Needed

posted by retrophisch at 2:47 PM -->in fun
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Best wishes

It really helps, when you have events set on a certain day, and you don’t look at your calendar every day, to set reminders.

So I missed Rick’s birthday this past Saturday. Happy Belated, my friend!

And I missed Lee’s by a few hours. (You could have said something during our IM conversation, you know, Mr. Bennett. You are the older and wiser one, after all.)

My best wishes and heartfelt prayers for the both of you.

posted by retrophisch at 12:18 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 11 July 2005

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Only it’s on the ukelele. Tom sent this to me via IM, and I see he’s blogged it as well. It’s really quite mesmerizing. This guy is good.

posted by retrophisch at 10:07 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 10 July 2005

FedEx clock is slow

No, I’m not referring to a particular clock FedEx has. I’m referring to this amusing time diversion, the graphics of which fail to keep pace with actual time. The second count isn’t fast enough.

Using the analog clock on my wall, just above my monitor, I conducted a pseudo-scientific test. When the Just In Time clock reached the next :00 on the second count, I began counting ticks on my analog clock. Sixty seconds later, the Just In Time clock had only made it to thirty seconds in its count.

At this juncture, some of my dear readers may be pondering why I went through so much trouble for something that has been posted merely for fun. Well, fun or no, if you’re going to pass something off as a clock, at least get it to tell the time correctly. I have seen other such graphic-based clocks around the Web, and they count the time correctly.

[With a wave of the fin to the MAKE News No. 20 e-newsletter.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:58 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 08 July 2005

Yeah, here’s a match made in Heaven

Is it just me, or is this a marketing sponsorship that’s a wee bit out of whack?

posted by retrophisch at 12:54 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 05 July 2005

Librarian action figure

Noting that Dan provides the main link to Archie McPhee, I can tell you I have seen, in person, the Librarian Action Figure. The toy store on the town square in Jackson, Wyoming, had this very figure in stock when we were there the first week of June.

Yes, for a split second, I wanted to buy it. That was how long it took me to see the Albert Einstein action figure sitting on the shelf behind the Librarian. I didn’t buy Albert, either. But my son got a die-cast, red VW Nu Beetle to fling around our wood floors.

posted by retrophisch at 10:55 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 24 June 2005

Netflix freaking

The Phisch Bowl™ is now a Netflix-renting household. Friends of the Phisch should send us invitations to be added to their Friends lists. We have already watched Sideways and The Terminal, with In Good Company on the way.

posted by retrophisch at 7:23 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 19 June 2005

When editing goes wrong

One of the local semi-independent stations is showing Ronin this evening. Now, being one of my favorite action movies, because it is a thinking-man’s action movie and not a mindless blood and gore fest, I figured I would keep it on while I languished away the hours working on my wife’s XP box. (Bad, XP, bad!) Those of you who haven’t seen the movie can skip the rest, because I’m going to talk about a specific plot point, and it contains kinda-sorta spoiler info.

I realize there’s a lot of editing that has to go in to a film like this, to put it on non-cable television during “family hours” on the weekend. In addition to filtering out the curse words, and especially bloody scenes, the broadcasters have to be concerned with a time factor as well, mostly so they can get enough advertising in to cover the cost of showing the movie. I can appreciate all of this.

But then they go and cut what I consider a central tenant of the movie. Maybe it’s because I am a fan of this film, and have seen it a few times. Maybe persons who have never seen it before won’t miss the scene because they don’t know to miss it.

The scene I’m referring to is at Jean-Pierre’s, where Vincent (Jean Reno) takes Sam (Robert De Niro) after the latter has been shot. While recovering, Sam watches as Jean-Pierre paints miniature samurai warriors for a diorama he has created. His hobby, as he explains to Sam. We see Jean-Pierre put the latest dry figure on to the diorama, and we cut to the next scene.

They completely cut out the rest of the scene with Jean-Pierre, who explains to Sam about the 47 Ronin, and what ronin were: masterless samurai. The 47 Ronin were despondent over failing their master, who was killed by a rival warlord. So, in time, they gave their lives in an attempt to kill the rival. The term ronin in the case of the movie is supposed to refer to agents who have left the fold of their respective agency, like Sam. I always thought this scene was rather important, as it goes a long way toward explaining the title of the film, even if not directly. It’s a shame it was cut for the television broadcast.

posted by retrophisch at 9:18 PM -->in fun , rant
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Happy Fathers’ Day

To fellow dads out there, my best wishes for a happy Fathers’ Day. There are two men I need to specifically mention:

Bucky, thank you for raising the daughter that grew in to the incredible woman who is my wife, and mother of our child. I am so glad she had a strong father to look up to.

Dad, just in case you ever worry, yes, everything you ever tried to teach me did get through. It’s my own fault if I don’t use the wisdom and experience you passed on, and continue to pass on. Thank you for always being around, and available. I love you.

posted by retrophisch at 3:09 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 16 June 2005

Priorities

Lee has his first meal, first tv viewing, and first ‘net access in his new place. Congrats on becoming a homeowner, compadre!

posted by retrophisch at 9:21 PM -->in fun
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Return of the Wolf

Throughout history, the wolf has often been the target of misguided hatred on the part of humans. Personally, I love wolves, the largest of the canine species. I learned a lot about how to deal with my own domestic dogs from reading about wolf pack behavior. Just as I admire tigers and other big cats on the feline side, I find the gray wolf to be a majestic creature.

Our recent vacation to Wyoming included Yellowstone National Park, where they are marking the tenth anniversary of the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Yellowstone region. (For the record, we did not have any wolf sightings on our trip, but with only 174 believed to be in the entire Yellowstone region, you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning—literally—to have a 60-70% chance of seeing wolves in areas they are known to frequent.)

I used to run “Wolf Fun Facts” on my old blog, and you may see them popping up again. Here’s one: each member of a pack can be distinguished by its call, a sort of code that keeps strangers from venturing too far in to a pack’s territory.

posted by retrophisch at 7:21 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 12 June 2005

On the brink

On the brink of Yellowstone's Lower Falls
Click on the image to see a short movie of the Lower Falls of Yellowstone in action.



The hike down to the brink was only three-eighths of a mile, but that three-eighths took place within 600 feet. The words you’re looking for here are “steep switchbacks.” Still, very much worth it, and images do not do it justice. Plan your own trip as soon as you are able.

posted by retrophisch at 9:31 PM -->in fun
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Joys of parenthood

Matthew Baldwin:

That’s right: fifteen months old and my son has already McGuyvered up a rocket launcher.

finslippy:

But why do we resist, you ask? Why not get dressed and enter the playground, where fun could possibly had? Because, that’s why. Because because because. Because we must take every stand we are able to take. Also! Because Caregiver is deceiving you. There is another, better playground, a Naked Playground, with balloons and ice cream and cake. The soiled diaper will lead the way.

[The above via Heather.]

Chris Anderson:

I love the thought that our children are growing up used to having domestic robots in the house. Robots for them are slightly dim but friendly vacuum cleaners, not fearsome weapons or fantasy toys. “Robot love me,” declares the two-year-old.

posted by retrophisch at 1:26 PM -->in fun
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Reason #3,147 to buy a summer home in Jackson Hole after we win the lottery

Less than 16 hours after arriving back in DFW from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, both the missus and I had stuffy noses, no doubt driven by allergens. Neither of us had this problem this past week, except for the time or two when we were in the cold, wet weather.

So, when we strike it rich, summer home in Jackson Hole, winter home on Kaua’i. Hey, at least I have a plan.

posted by retrophisch at 1:15 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 08 June 2005

Tiger baseball ends 2005 season 40-22

The Rice Owls ended the LSU baseball team’s season this past weekend, coming from behind to beat the Tigers 5-4. So, no trip to Omaha this year for one of the most successful college baseball teams in the last two decades. With a record of 40-22, the Tigers have nothing to be ashamed of, and they already have players being selected in the MLB draft.

posted by retrophisch at 9:19 PM -->in fun
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On the Apple-to-use-Intel news

Yeah, right. Like I care this week about the biggest news in the computing industry quite possibly ever.

Me and the little phisch by the Hidden Falls rapids
Click the picture to see a larger version.

Being in Wyoming on vacation, I’ll need some time to digest Apple’s move to Intel. In the mean time, this is me and the little phisch enjoying the rapids coming off of the base of Hidden Falls, in Grand Teton National Park.

posted by retrophisch at 9:04 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 03 June 2005

Tigers crush Marist

LSU fell behind early, allowing four runs in the top of the first inning today against Marist. The twelfth-ranked Tigers would only allow one more run in the next eight innings, and would win big, finishing the game 14-5. LSU will face Rice, which defeated Northwestern, 7-3, tomorrow night. Geaux Tigers!

posted by retrophisch at 10:02 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 01 June 2005

Productivity’s Victoria’s Secret?


productivity pr0n chat


posted by retrophisch at 11:27 PM -->in fun , gtd
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Survivor: Hoth

Lawson and I agree that “Survivor: Hoth” would be one reality show we’d tune in to.

Me: “Your challenge today, castaways, will be to drag the tauntaun carcass across the mouth of this cave, during the nightly blizzard, while avoiding the wampa…”

Lawson: “I’m sorry, Brady, but you were too slow gutting your tauntaun and getting inside. You will face the vote tonight at tribal council. Provided enough of you survive the freezing cold to have tribal council.”

Oh, what fun it would be, watching some accountant from Miami flounder around on the wastes of the Arctic Circle…

posted by retrophisch at 10:20 PM -->in fun
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Tiger baseball in the post-season

I haven’t blogged much about the LSU baseball team this year, mainly because I’ve been focusing more on the local Texas Rangers when it comes to the sport. The Tigers finished the regular season with a winning record, good enough to get them in to the NCAA tournament. The Tigers were eliminated from the SEC tournament last month, but now stand to host their 16th straight regional for the national tournament. LSU will open play against Marist on Friday, June 3d. Geaux Tigers!

posted by retrophisch at 3:15 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 27 May 2005

Give me a boost, will ya?

It’s so nice to know that when my cat came over minutes ago, rubbing up against my legs, purring, then pushing his head in to my hand when I dropped it down, it was all so that when I picked him up, he could use me as a ladder to get to the top of the high-back chair I’m sitting in.

And for this, I scoop the litter.

posted by retrophisch at 9:07 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Can we find something other than [g]Nats?

So I’m hearing that the shortened name for the Washington Nationals is “Nats.” Does this not strike anyone else with negative connotations? It has already resulted in the obvious references to swatting.

posted by retrophisch at 9:42 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 18 May 2005

Baton? I don’t see a baton

Because that so-and-so Tom publicly foisted this meme upon me, and Michael tagged me, too, here goes:

Total size of music files on my computer: Tunaphisch is loaded with 25.72 GB of music, exactly 5,000 songs at the moment. Only one of those is a purchase from the iTunes Music Store, and “purchase” may be stretching it, since I redeemed a Pepsi cap to get the song.

Last CD I Bought: Where Angels Fear to Tread by Matt Redman. Most people know Matt’s work from the worship hit “Blessed Be Your Name,” and this is the album it’s on.

Song playing in iTunes: “Come Down ” from the Vineyard Music album Just Like Heaven, the second-to-last CD I bought.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me: There are a lot of songs that I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me, so here’s what you could call the current batch of such songs, and since I couldn’t decide which one to give up, you get six.

“Callin’ Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks - it’s not often a song contains the name of your hometown, and it was while at LSU I met my wife.

Love of a Lifetime ” by Firehouse - the song we danced to at our wedding. I wish the slower acoustic version had been available then.

May Your Wonders Never Cease ” by Third Day - this song became incredibly important to me when our son was born, nine weeks early, and he spent the first seven weeks of his life in the hospital. Today, you would never know our toddler was a preemie, and God’s wonders do indeed never cease.

“Barely Stay Inside of My Own Skin” by Ceili Rain - like the song says, “Can’t believe the life I get to live.” Despite being unemployed, despite all of the other bad things that have happened to my family over the past two years, I still have a really great life. This is a great pick-me-up song.

Be Unto Your Name ” by Robin Mark - this is one of my favorite worship songs, and I come back to it again and again.

A Living Prayer ” by Alison Krauss & Union Station - I saw them perform this on Leno during the Christmas 2004 season, and Ms. Krauss’ vocals cut right to the bone.

The five victims I’m cursing with this meme:

Since Michael stole the bulk of the ATPM bloggers, and most of the other bloggers with whom I am friends have already gone through this torture, here’s my hit list.

Wes Meltzer, because he needs to blog about something other than interning at Popular Mechanics.
Jim Riggs, because he always has something I like, but may not know about.
Brian Borden, because the SuperToad needs to blog about something other than politics.
Tiffany Baxendell, because Tom foisted it on me, babe, so you get to suffer, too. (And I like what Tiff has previously recommended.)
Damien Barrett, because while we don’t always agree on things, he’s a good guy to hang out with, and he gave me my Newton 2100.

posted by retrophisch at 4:16 PM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Thursday, 12 May 2005

Ann Coulter to move to Iraq

Radical Left falls over itself volunteering packing help. Soros confirms he will cover all moving expenses. Bill Maher “despondent.” News at 11.

posted by retrophisch at 3:31 PM -->in fun , liberty , politics
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Thursday, 05 May 2005

Just enjoy the movie

Jim Geraghty, via Tom:

I’m being warned about the dangers of capitalism from a man who made perhaps more money from merchandising than any other man in history. I’m getting lectured about the dangers of greed from the man who authorized, “C-3POs” breakfast cereal, “The Star Wars Christmas Special” featuring Bea Arthur’s musical number, and not one but two Ewoks made-for-TV movies.

I’m being warned about the dangers of technology, and the glory of primitive cultures like the Ewoks, who are able to defeat the ‘technological terror’ of the Empire, in what is supposedly an allegory of Vietnam. Technology is bad, soulless, dangerous, and dehumanizing. Mmm-hmm. This from a man who replaced a tall man in a hairy suit, a projecting the human-eyed loyalty and sadness of Chewbacca, with the CGI cinematic war crime that is Jar-Jar Binks. A man who tossed aside the Yoda puppet, the spaceship models, the stop-motion animation of the Imperial walkers to go all-computer-animation-and-green-screen, all-the-time.

Having been an ardent Star Wars fan since seeing Episode IV at the age of six, I simply choose to ignore Mr. Lucas’s attempts to inject a little of his political philosophy in to the prequel eye-candy. Sometimes, you’ve just got to enjoy the movie for what it is and not read too much in to it.

posted by retrophisch at 11:58 PM -->in fun
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The Cat Rules

When did Chuq visit my house?

BEDTIME: Always sleep on the human at night so he/she cannot move around.

LITTER BOX: When using the litter box, be sure to kick as much litter out of the box as possible. Humans love the feel of kitty litter between their toes.

[Via Lee and myriad past e-mails.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:15 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 04 May 2005

How much are you spending on java?

John Stossel ran an unscientific, blind taste test of six different brands of coffee, ranging from $12 a pound to $4 a pound. The result was, at least for me, not surprising: the more expensive brands were not necessarily the better tasting coffees.

I am not a coffee drinker. I’ve tasted various coffees scores of times, but it is not something that is regularly brewed in our house. I do love the smell of coffee beans, and of coffee brewing, but don’t care for the beverage.

When my wife and I visited the big island of Hawai’i in 2001, we purchased some Kona coffee from one of the local growers, Country Samurai. While there, we learned that coffee is a lot like scotch. Most of the coffee one finds is a blend of beans, much like the inexpensive scotches one finds are a blend of malts. The best scotch is single malt, and the longer it’s aged, the better. Likewise, the best coffee is from a single batch of beans. Country Samurai sells that kind of coffee, and it was the first I remember really liking. Of course, at $25 a pound, my taste for coffee runs about as expensive as my taste for scotch, which explains why either is a rare find in our home.

posted by retrophisch at 11:05 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 03 May 2005

What’s your name?

Courtesy of Brother Spikey Mace of Loving Kindness, according to the Unitarian Jihad Name Assignment Committee, you may now refer to me as The Gatling Gun of Compassion.

posted by retrophisch at 11:23 PM -->in fun
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Tied for first

So at this past Sunday’s game, we learned that Faith Lutheran—the team which handed us our only loss—lost their game earlier in the day. A win on our part would put us in a tie with them at the top of the league.

Our game was called after the top of the 5th inning, due to our 11-0 score over the opposition.

I played all five innings, the first two at third, the remaining three behind the plate. I was much more comfortable on defense this game, and got in a good catch and a good throw to first during my two innings at third.

Offensively, I was a wee bit off. Only at the plate twice, and the first time up I struck out looking. The second at-bat was a single, right up the middle, which advanced a runner.

So in the past three games, I am now seven of eight at the plate. I’m really pleased with the way my hitting has picked up, and I’m convinced it’s because I’m choking up on the bat more. I really need to get to the cages for some workout with the new grip. My season average slipped to .667, and lifetime dipped to .583.

All games for this coming Sunday have been rescheduled, due to it being Mother’s Day. This means our second-game showdown with Faith Lutheran will now be the last game of the season. Depending on what happens in two weeks, it could be the game for all the marbles of the spring season.

posted by retrophisch at 11:17 PM -->in fun , softball
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How’s that Honda soy?

Apparently, the higher-ups at Honda in the mother country love soybeans. A lot.

posted by retrophisch at 10:02 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 25 April 2005

Lawson on Locusts

Lawson has a blow-by-blow review of CBS’s made-for-television Locusts:

2135: Three commercial breaks already and not one Ortho commercial? Someone at CBS missed a Golden Opportunity™.

posted by retrophisch at 12:43 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 24 April 2005

Won but lost

The team improved to 6-1 today, as we lost to our friends at Flower Mound UMC, 14-10. Yes, that’s right, we won, but we lost. FM UMC didn’t have enough players to start the game, and had to forfeit. A couple of players from Trietsch UMC, who had just finished the game before ours, volunteered to play for FM UMC, so our two teams could play. This was, however, unbeknown to our entire team, with the exception of our coach. I’m glad we got to play, and equally glad that we technically won by forfeit, because as the game wore on, our play got worse, and we relinquished the lead.

As for myself, I’ll chalk up my poor fielding to the two-week layoff: a Texas Rangers game last Sunday, and out of town the week before that.

I switched off with Dave between third and catcher, and I really didn’t have a good day at either position. It seemed I could never get the ball down quick enough to tag a runner out (I never saw a forced play the entire game), and I made critical throwing errors which oftentimes meant an extra bag for the runner. I just plain sucked.

I did have one great grab in the 3d inning, as I leapt to snag a high line drive that was going to drop in to shallow left center before it met my glove.

One could say that I redeemed myself at the plate, but I didn’t feel it. I like playing a solid, complete game. Offensively, this was my best game of the year. I went three for three, two singles and a triple, with two RBIs. The triple felt soooooo good coming off the bat. If I could have kept it about four feet flatter, it might have made it out of the park. As high as it was, it fooled the outfielder and got behind her, rolling to the fence. If it weren’t for her strong-armed counterpart who got to the ball first, I might have had a chance at an in-the-park home run. A long shot, to be sure, but interesting and fun to think about.

So after seven games, five of which I’ve played in, I’m 11 of 16, for an average of .687, with a walk and three RBIs for the season. Not bad, but still much room for improvement. Even more improvement is required on defense. This may come through more field time, should I start playing for the men’s team on Thursday nights…

posted by retrophisch at 9:02 PM -->in fun , softball
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Sunday, 17 April 2005

Who’s going with me to the midnight show?

Being the incredibly lame Star Wars geek that I am—I was six when Episode IV came out, and have been hooked ever since—I have made it a tradition to see the prequels at the midnight showing on release day. The first episode was a quiet affair, just my spouse and I. For Attack of the Clones, we organized a small gathering of our friends to go with us.

Many things have changed in many of the lives that were with us that night of the last movie, including ours. We have a toddler now, and so my wife will not be making the midnight show of the last Star Wars film ever with me. Jeff has failed to respond to my inquiries. Michael isn’t interested in the series enough to go. FranX doesn’t do midnight shows for any movie. So how about it, Jim? Ricky? Brian?

Dear God, who is the pathetic nerd typing this post?

posted by retrophisch at 10:59 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 04 April 2005

Hipster Dock

For those of you with a Hipster PDA like mine, you can now have a docking station.

[Via the 43 Folders del.icio.us page.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:38 PM -->in fun , tech
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Micro editor for hire?

Micro editor IM

So much for my idea of making a few bucks. This is one reason why he’s my best online bud: he won’t b.s. me.

I guess my copy editing will continue to act as a public service.

posted by retrophisch at 8:22 PM -->in fun
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My infectious meme

phisch meme IM
posted by retrophisch at 6:02 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 03 April 2005

Swift end to perfect season

So the team suffered its first loss of the season today, dropping to 3-1. Against an old competitor, the team collectively couldn’t get much going on offense. Our defense was fairly solid when we got to handle the ball. It was the getting-to-handle-the-ball part which proved to be the problem, as the final score was 13-4. As the old adage goes, “Hit the ball to where they ain’t,” and our opponents proved quite adept at just that.

Personally, it was a pretty good day, though that doesn’t mean much in the end. I was 3-3 at the plate, all singles. No RBIs this game. Batting clean-up, you’d think I would have been able to drive someone in, but that goes back to the team collectively not doing much on offense.

I had little to do on defense during the first two innings. I actually found myself thinking at one point, I wish someone would hit something this way. Be careful what you wish for…

I did have this great play in the 4th inning that I was proud of. One of their power hitters drove the ball right to me on the ground, a hard smack that didn’t require me to move laterally much. I corralled the ball and fired it across the infield to first, getting the out while the hitter was still a couple of feet from the bag. That felt really good, certainly the personal highlight of the day.

This was one of the teams I thought we’d have problems against, and I was right. This church used to field two teams, and it appears that this year, for myriad reasons I’m sure, they’ve consolidated in to one. The week off didn’t help much, either, at least in terms of keeping us in a playing groove, but last week was Easter, so that’s perfectly understandable for a church league. (All the leagues that play on the weekend had last weekend off.)

Nothing left to do now but shake it off and get ready for next week, though the team will have to do it without yours truly. I’ll be coming back from New Orleans next Sunday. We’re heading down to visit my wife’s family, and attend a 10-year law school reunion.

posted by retrophisch at 8:15 PM -->in fun , softball
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Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Sit on a key

This is exactly the sort of thing dot-coms would have been blowing venture capital on for their lobbies and any worker who wanted one.

posted by retrophisch at 3:04 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 21 March 2005

You moved Seinfeld to when?

So our local Fox station has been advertising that they’re bringing back King of the Hill to its late-night comedy line-up, following Seinfeld. Great, I thought. I like KotH, too, though I don’t watch it nearly as much as Seinfeld.

What I’ve been missing from all of these little ads was the decision to move my favorite television show from its spot at 10:30 PM CST, to 11. In its place? A Current Affair. Or as I like to call it, A Current Who Cares? Now to dash a letter off to the station manager…

posted by retrophisch at 10:47 PM -->in fun , rant
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Third-time charm

The team went 3-0 this Sunday with a resounding 19-0 defeat of our opponent, another rookie outing by a new church. The bats were certainly mighty for us this week, as the team was able to put together great strings of singles and doubles to mount scoring opportunities.

I fielded from third the entire game, as we only had five guys this week. There was one error on my part, which was saved on the next play by Gary at short, when he turned a double play. That was one of four doubles we turned this game, and I was in on the last one.

My time at the plate was the worst yet, as I went one for three. The first time at bat, I hit in to a fielder’s choice to end the inning. The second time was worse, as I struck out looking. (In this league, you step up to the plate starting with a 1-1 count.) The called strike looked exactly like the previous pitch, which was called a ball. It was low and outside. I guess this strike just crossed the edge of the plate. The third time was a single right up the middle, which advanced runners and got me my first RBI of the year. My overall average for the still-young season dropped to an even .500.

The team looked really good. After we turned the fourth double, I heard from the opposing bench, “We’ve got to get the ball past the infield. These guys are stopping everything.” Quite the compliment, and much appreciated.

We’re off for Easter Sunday, then it’s in to the meat of the schedule, as we pick up games against teams that have been traditionally tough. It will be fun to see if we can maintain what has become consistent play on both sides of the ball.

posted by retrophisch at 8:17 AM -->in fun , softball
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Thursday, 17 March 2005

Incredibles: 5 million on the first day

It’s nice to know I was able to contribute to the sales of five million DVD and video units of The Incredibles on the first day of its release.

posted by retrophisch at 11:18 AM -->in fun
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Cat conversation

This IM conversation, which I had very early this morning, has been edited for brevity and comedy.

Cat conversation IM pic
posted by retrophisch at 12:25 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Peerflix

I can see the value in a service like Peerflix. I’ve got some DVDs that I’d like to get rid of, but don’t feel like wasting time with eBay or Craigslist. Peerflix would be an ideal way to dump these discs, while picking up one or two others.

posted by retrophisch at 5:24 PM -->in fun
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Secret post


CNET secrecy RSS post

An example of “practice what you preach”?

posted by retrophisch at 12:56 PM -->in fun , web/site
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Sunday, 13 March 2005

Spring training

So as the boys of summer gear up for another season of America’s game, we dreamers suited up for game two of our spring season. I only fielded 2 of the 5 innings, but felt much better this time around. I didn’t handle the ball as much as I would have liked, but simply felt more comfortable back in the position.

There was this great play in the second inning. The batter put a shot in to center left, and the runner on first came around second, heading to third. A great throw by Keith, the center-left fielder, combined with a second great throw by Gary, playing shortstop and acting as the cutoff man, nailed the runner while she was still two steps from the bag. It felt really good. Except for the knee she put in the side of my right leg, just below my knee. I didn’t know until about an hour later how big of a bruise I had. I know she didn’t do it intentionally, it’s just one of those breaks of the game, and my first injury of the season.

At the plate, I had a better day, going 2 for 3. No RBIs again, but that’s what happens when for one of those at-bats you’re the first man at the plate for the inning. The second injury of the season came during the fifth, and last, inning, when I scraped up my right shin while mis-sliding in to second. Still beat the tag, and it’s just that top layer or two of skin, which will scab over relatively quickly, so it’s a small price to pay.

The team we played is probably our favorite team to play against. I don’t mean that in any sort of insulting way, like they’re an easy win or anything. It’s the team from Flower Mound UMC, and they’re just a fun group of folks to play against. I see similar affections amongst the teammates, and we enjoy a certain good-natured ribbing and conversation with them during and after the game that we just don’t have with any of the other teams. I see them as kindred spirits; it’s great to win, and you play to win, but you really just want to have a good time playing ball. Truth be told, so long as they’re not playing us, I root for these guys and gals.

In the end, we managed to outlast them. After we went up huge in the third, FM UMC began a comeback, and looked to be on the verge of pulling it off in the bottom of the fifth. Our defense held and the final score was 15-11, putting us at 2-0 with 10 games left to play. Still a lot of season to go…

posted by retrophisch at 10:57 PM -->in fun , softball
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Friday, 11 March 2005

Oh, to be working again

Though I don’t drink coffee, I would have to have a chalk mug if I found myself in the workplace again. This would have come in so handy to send subliminal messages to certain former co-workers…

posted by retrophisch at 3:00 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 06 March 2005

Opening Day

Our softball league’s spring season began today. Most of the old crew was back, with a couple of new faces. We faced a new opponent for this first game, as one of the town’s Methodist churches is fielding a second unit this year. I was on third, as usual, playing four of the five innings. (With one extra man, we had a three-way rotation going.)

From a fielding perspective, I’m out of practice. My throws to first were a wee bit short each time. At the plate, I was much happier with my performance, going 2-4 with a walk. No RBIs this game, but I did advance runners each time I got on base.

Final score was 18-7, and we’re 1-0 to kick off the season. It was a good start, working a lot of the kinks out after being off for four months. My time off was much longer, due to the injury I sustained at the end of last year’s summer season, and it showed. Time to hit the cages, and get to throwing around more with the guys in the neighborhood.

One of our ladies took a shot to the head in the second inning. She was on third, and the batter at the plate, another lady, tattooed the ball right down the third-base line and beaned her before she could get out of the way. She was very woozy, but never passed out. One of the guys on our team is the assistant fire chief for the town, and has some EMS training, and we kept her under observation on the bench the rest of the game. We all encouraged, asked, and begged her to go to the hospital to get checked out, just to be assured there was nothing critically wrong. We’ll be checking up on her in the coming days.

posted by retrophisch at 5:44 PM -->in fun , softball
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Tuesday, 01 March 2005

2I is 1

This week is the week of site birthdays, I suppose. Lee’s Second Initial turns one today. Congratulations, compadre!

posted by retrophisch at 1:16 AM -->in fun , web/site
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Mickey Mouse Musical Toaster

No, I’m not kidding. As if we needed another reason to lobby for copyright law overhaul.

posted by retrophisch at 12:36 AM -->in fun , rant , tech
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Monday, 28 February 2005

Just Can’t Get This Out Of My Head

So while ripping CDs and loading up my wife’s Shuffle, I decided to listen to a few tunes on it. I am still amazed that music comes out of this little chunk of plastic. One of the tunes I came across was Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough”. I remember it was used in a commercial, but the commercial made such an impression on me that I cannot recall what or whom the commercial was for. Anyone?

posted by retrophisch at 11:06 PM -->in fun , ipod
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Saturday, 26 February 2005

Shotgun Rules

No, not a shotgun as in firearm (though those do rule, especially when it comes to room-to-room clearing), but as in calling “Shotgun!” when you’re about to take a ride. Yes, official rules for calling shotgun. Larry’s good for something now and again. ;-)

posted by retrophisch at 11:24 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 14 February 2005

Pair of Harleys

So today I picked up the pair of Harley-Davidsons I ordered. To see a picture of these beauties, click below.

New glasses low res

You didn’t actually think I was talking about motorcycles, did you? Being unemployed does not lend itself well to hog purchases, and I’m still young for a mid-life crisis. Besides, I’ve always been more of a rice rocket rider than a hog driver.

Jon, feel free to flame away.

posted by retrophisch at 3:38 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 13 February 2005

In my right mind

So I’ve been thinking about Daniel Pink’s article, “Revenge of the Right Brain”, over the past couple of days, and it’s amazing how much my own feelings toward a future career mirror his piece.

One would have to consult my parents as to when I may have first exhibited artistic sensibilities, but as I grew up, I was very fond of writing, drawing, and music. I was always doodling, tracing, sketching. Making up stories, or just bits of stories. In seventh grade, I started playing the clarinet in band, was quickly moved to the bass clarinet by Mr. Dawson, our fantastic teacher-director, and continued all the way through high school. I did not attempt to gain a music scholarship to LSU; I had a partial academic scholarship, and the Air Force wanted to pay the rest of my way, so long as I was willing to be an electrical engineer.

By the end of my freshman year, my Air Force scholarship was gone. My grades tanked, and they yanked it. I was not a party animal, I did not go hog-wild upon becoming a college student. I simply goofed off.

Looking back, maybe there was a subconscious effort on my part to sabotage my academic and future professional careers. I was a right-brain person, suddenly thrust in to a left-brain world. No longer burdened with studies related to engineering, I remained in Air Force ROTC, and switched majors: criminal justice. When LSU’s Criminal Justice department was terminated as a separate division the following year, swallowed by the larger Sociology department, I was forced to change majors again. Not particularly interested in a sociology degree, I opted instead for political science, a decidedly more right-brained course of study. I minored in history. I excelled in English classes, testing out of Freshman English 101, or whatever it’s technically called.

The large part of my professional career since college, however, once again led me in to left-brain land. I have been involved with computer technology, troubleshooting, and support, for over a dozen years. When I was laid off in October of 2003, I was both devastated and optimistic. My son was only two months old, and I was looking forward to spending a lot of time with him, which has been great. Perhaps this was the opportunity to move in to a new field as well.

I have not kept completely out of the right-brain sphere these past twelve years, however. I began volunteering as a copy editor with ATPM in the summer of 1998, and began writing the occasional review or opinion piece shorly thereafter. Today, I’m the Managing Editor, and quite happy to work with the fine staff of our little publication, all of whom do what they do because we enjoy the Macintosh platform. I also believe a goodly number of the staffers are like myself, and enjoy having this right-brain outlet, compared with the left-brain professions they may be involved with.

This blog, like its predecessor, is nothing more than an outlet for those right-brain skills yearning for exercise.

Which brings us back to Pink’s article, in which he hypothesizes that the coming “age” will be devoted to more right-brain activities, as opposed to where we currently are now, and have been, where more left-brain occupations have reigned supreme. I’m all for it. I feel as though I have a couple of books in me, and I love the editing thing. Just ask some of my online friends and acquaintances how many times I’ve annoyed them over misspellings and other grammatical gaffes on their blogs. Likewise, they are quick to point out my own brain burps, in large part because they know I care about such things. (Though with Lawson, I suspect it’s just out of spite.)

There is a part of me which has enjoyed my past dozen years in the tech field, and I would heartily welcome another job in that arena. Yet another part of me yearns for something different, something more right-brained, and this is reflected in some of my Monster search agents. In the mean time, I’ll concentrate on editing, writing, digital photography, and most of all, being a dad.

posted by retrophisch at 10:47 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , rant
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Monday, 07 February 2005

What a Crock

Pot, that is.

Over the past year, we have rediscovered the joys of cooking with a Crock-Pot. Today, I made a Weight Watchers Chili Mac recipe in ours, and it was really good. (A little on the tomato-ey side, but I think I can cut that taste down a bit next time by not draining the red beans as much.)

I highly recommend the use of a Crock-Pot, especially for the cooking disadvantaged. In the morning, throw in your ingredients, set your time (4, 6, 8, or 10 hours), and when you get home later in the day, voila!, dinner is served.

We’ve also been making a mean chicken chili dish, though I seriously doubt it’s on the new Weight Watcher-friendly menus we’re looking through. (Missus Phisch is back on the program, which means I’m back on the program, too, and could use the weight loss myself.)

The Crock-Pot is extraordinarily versatile. My sister-in-law has cooked spare ribs in hers, and says the meat is so tender, you can pick it cleanly from the bones with your fingers. As someone who really doesn’t like having to tear the meat from the bones with my teeth, this is something I’m going to have to try.

posted by retrophisch at 9:08 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 04 February 2005

Ocean, pool, pool, ocean

Based on this photo, should I ever get Down Under, I’m making a mental note to not go swimming in the Bondi Icebergs pool…

posted by retrophisch at 12:59 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 03 February 2005

Beatles-Monkees mash

If this doesn’t prove that the original, interchangeable bubble-gum pop didn’t come from the UK, I’m not sure what will.

[Via Eric Case, QuickTime required.]

posted by retrophisch at 10:22 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 02 February 2005

How to fold a shirt

Yes, really. I can see this will entail some practice.

[Via The Sneeze.]

posted by retrophisch at 2:00 PM -->in fun
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Quiet bliss

The little phisch is at school. The dog is at the cleaners. The cats are off napping some where, since that’s what cats do, when they’re not sitting on the magazine you’re reading, leaving hair in your keyboard as they walk across the desk, or cheating death by racing under the dog’s chin.

In other words, it’s very quiet around the house right now.

I am getting an amazing amount of online reading done at the moment.

God, I need a job.

posted by retrophisch at 12:11 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 17 October 2004

Mr. Bennett Goes to Dallas

Lee blogging in Chris's study

Lee blogging from the phisch bowl.

So Lee was in town for an annual conference, and spent Saturday afternoon hanging out with me, the missus, and the little phisch. A great time was had by all chewing on cow at Outback. We may be phisch, but we hail from the piranha side of the species. ;-)

It is very, very cool that I have gotten to meet my best friend from the online world in person. Looking forward to the next visit!

posted by retrophisch at 1:29 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 06 August 2004

Macintosh serial number fun

If you absolutely must know the week of your Mac’s manufacture, or where the factory is it came from, you can use Chipmunk International’s handy Mac serial number dissector. For systems passing the dozen-year mark, use the pickle’s serial number decoder.

(With a wave of the flipper to MDJ.)

posted by retrophisch at 12:05 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 27 June 2004

Sweet Southern Summer

So, yeah, I’ve been playing with GarageBand.

Sweet Southern Summmer

Yes, it is inspired by the southern rock, classic rock, rockabilly, and country music I grew up with. Yes, it’s all done using GarageBand loops. Yes, you can leave a comment and tell me how much it sucks, but I kind of like it. Heck, even Lawson told me the composition wasn’t bad at all, and I can always count on him to be brutally honest. Flame on!

posted by retrophisch at 10:04 PM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Thursday, 08 January 2004

MacCentral: The FoxTrot interview

MacCentral interviewed Bill Amend, creator of the comic FoxTrot, last month. My favorite quote:

Amend previously worked on a Blue & White Power Mac G3, but a few months ago he treated himself to a 2 GHz Dual Processor Power Mac G5, complete with a Cinema HD display.

“I can finally play Warcraft III!” Amend said. “Oh, and it helps with work, too, in case the IRS reads this.”

(Thanks, MDJ)

posted by retrophisch at 11:28 AM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Monday, 08 December 2003

Least deserving of title shot

Poll running right now on ESPN’s College Football page: which team least deserves to play for the national championship? Oklahoma leads by a wide margin, with over 7,700 total voters thus far. The team with the fewest votes—meaning they most deserve to play for the title? My alma mater, of course.

posted by retrophisch at 12:30 PM -->in fun
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BCmess

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the BCS is a bunch of hooey. It happens to be the best the NCAA can do right now, even if their best isn’t good enough. I find it hard to believe that LSU and USC aren’t playing in the Sugar Bowl. I thought that my reasons for LSU being #2 sort of hinted at why Oklahoma shouldn’t be going to the Sugar Bowl. Over twelve thousand voters on an ESPN.com poll agreed; they all wanted to see a USC-LSU match-up, one I believe would have favored LSU greatly.

Granted, I think OU-LSU will be much more entertaining football game, and that Michigan is going to crush USC. So all you Trojan fans can just get those thoughts of a split championship out of your pretty little heads.

GEAUX TIGERS!!

posted by retrophisch at 8:57 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 07 December 2003

The case for #2

LSU should play in the national championship game as the #2, maybe even the #1 team in the country. Here’s why:

  1. Oklahoma lost to Kansas State tonight, and lost quite convincingly. They lose to an opponent ranked 14 spots below them, and do not emerge as the Big 12 Conference champs.

  2. LSU has beaten more Top 25 teams than OU or USC. With the win tonight over Georgia in the SEC Championship, the Tigers have now beaten a ranked team four times, versus only two wins each over ranked opponents by the Sooners and Trojans. Sure, LSU beat Georgia twice, but if you want to use the BCS’s own rankings against it, the Bulldogs were a better team the second time around and the Tigers crushed them.

  3. LSU and OU had to play one more game this year than USC. Both the SEC and the Big 12 have a championship game, while the PAC 10 does not. OU lost its championship game; LSU won theirs—over a Top 5 opponent. USC annihilated an unranked team in yet another gimme game. Both LSU and OU will end up with one more win than USC. Hello, BCS geniuses…having to win more games counts for something.

  4. You can take USC’s “strength of schedule” and go bury it in the backyard. Going back to winning against ranked teams, LSU has a 2-0 lead over the Trojans. Not to mention that Syracuse helped LSU out today with a win over the Fighting Irish (who lost to USC), and at the time of this posting, Boise State was winning against Hawaii (who lost to USC). Suddenly, USC’s schedule isn’t looking too impressive.

UPDATE, 9:45 AM: Boise State crushed Hawaii, 45-28.

Of course, it’s all left up the subjectivity of the pollsters, since the NCAA refuses to institute a playoff system in college football to determine the national champion. With the way the Tigers have been playing since the Auburn game and that convincing win, I’d put them up against anyone in the country right now.

GEAUX TIGERS!!

posted by retrophisch at 1:12 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 03 December 2003

33

I think most people would agree, with the possible exceptions of decade birthdays (30, 40, 50), that year-to-year, they really don’t feel that much different on their birthday. It’s only when you compare, say, your thirty-third birthday to your twenty-third birthday that you “feel old.” Likewise for yours truly.

This birthday is a bit different, however, and that is completely due to my four month-old son. Maybe it’s just psychosomatic, but being a new dad does bring with it certain feelings of getting older. Not that that’s a bad thing. No, not in the least. Becoming a dad is one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to me, and if that brings with it feelings of growing older, then that’s fine by me.

In the mean time, if you’re so inclined, I’m always open to the receiving of presents and swag. ;-)

posted by retrophisch at 10:30 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 27 November 2003

Thanksgiving wishes

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends!

Major Thanksgiving wishes are extended to the forward-deployed men and women of our armed forces, who sacrifice time from their own loved ones to defend our nation. We thank you for your service, and you are continually in our thoughts and prayers.

posted by retrophisch at 11:41 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 19 November 2003

Subway funny

Have you seen the latest Subway commerical with the Airborne Ranger type talking about pulling the ripcord and nothing happening?

I’ve seen this one about four times now, and it cracks me up every time.

posted by retrophisch at 10:56 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 11 November 2003

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for LSU

What a difference a week, and losses by perennial “contenders,” makes.

As Miami fell to Tennessee, Virginia Tech lost to Pittsburgh, and unranked Clemson knocked off Florida State in a stunning upset, upward goes the stock of the Fighting Tigers in the BCS rankings.

Both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the AP poll have LSU ranked at #3 this week. (The Tigers did not play this weekend.) The BCS ranking system has the Tigers at #4, behind Ohio State, flip-flopping positions with the Buckeyes from the other major polls. I can live with that. The Big 10 is a powerhouse conference, and Ohio State is the defending national champion, not a pretender like the Hurricanes or Seminoles.

Now the Tigers have a tough, SEC-only schedule for the rest of the season. This Saturday will be the Crimson Tide, in Alabama, on national television, courtesy of ESPN. Alabama has been pretty weak this season, but you can never discount a SEC opponent. I confess to being a bit worried; the last time the Tigers came off a bye week, they suffered their only loss of the season to Florida, the difference between #4 in the BCS and #2.

Should LSU prevail, the game of their season to date would be the following week, at Ole Miss. After this past weekend, the Rebels are undefeated in the SEC, 6-0, and currently sit atop the SEC West. Looking at the Ole Miss schedule, the only thing I see stopping them from going to the SEC Championship is LSU. Not that all three remaining games aren’t must-wins for the Tigers, but this will be the game, should LSU ride in to Oxford at 9-1. (Something that could work to the Tigers’ favor: while LSU plays Alabama this coming weekend, Ole Miss is off.)

And should LSU enter their last regular season game at 10-1, the Razorbacks of Arkansas are always looking to spoil the Tigers’ chances in the postseason. As far as the SEC championship is concerned, the Tigers control their own destiny; win all three remaining games, and they’re headed to Atlanta on December 6th. Win the SEC championship, and there is the slim chance they could actually play for the national title.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening; like I said, it’s a slim chance. Oklahoma is going to finish the season undefeated, with the Big 12 championship. USC has Arizona (2-8) and UCLA (6-4) left in its season; the Trojans will roll over the Wildcats, leaving the Bruins as the only potential spoiler. It could happen, but again, the chances are slim. Ohio State does have its work cut out for it, however. The Buckeyes, like LSU, have a tough schedule to finish on, first taking on Purdue, then arch-rival Michigan. Should Ohio State cap off their season with wins in these two games, I believe you’ll see them in New Orleans defending their title against Oklahoma, no matter what USC does. I’m sorry, BCS, but you can’t compare the Pac-10 to the Big 10 when it comes to schedule strength.

So, here’s hoping that the Bruins down the Trojans, and I’ll be rooting for the Boilermakers and the Wolverines. Should LSU wrap up all three of its remaining games, and any of the above happens, they would end the season as the only one-loss team. (The TCU Horned Frogs notwithstanding; I like TCU—they’re a hometown favorite—but they’re not in the same league.)

Which means the Tigers would head to New Orleans to be promptly crushed by the Sooners. Hey, I love my Tigers, but I’m a realist. Unless there’s a football miracle out there that none of us can see, Bob Stoops will win his third national championship this season, no matter who Oklahoma faces in the Big Easy.

posted by retrophisch at 1:16 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 05 November 2003

Sim City without the pressure

That’s City Creator. Currently there are three different styles to choose from: Blankton, a modern metropolis, Snoland, your typical snowy village, and what I know will be Rick’s favorite, Medieville, which should need no explanation.

posted by retrophisch at 10:08 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 03 November 2003

Ranked 4th, but no respect from the BCS

Both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, and the AP sportswriters’ poll have LSU at number 4, yet because of the “computer averages” used in their determination, the BCS still has them at number 7.

At least the Tigers have finally vaulted past Georgia, something they should have done after the Bulldogs barely scraped by a second-tier team like UAB. LSU, by contrast, had no trouble with their second-tier-team gimme game of the year. Both Georgia and LSU have had their troubles with those pesky Gators, though, haven’t they?

I dare anyone to show me how Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Miami have tougher schedules than LSU. (This is one of the things the BCS computers use to determine rankings.) The toughest teams these three face each year is each other! Miami owns the Big East, and VT and FSU own the ACC. Next year, all three can happily beat up on everyone else and one another in the ACC. Again, by contrast, SEC teams have to beat up on one another week after week, with the occasional gimme game. For Miami, practically every game, week after week, is a gimme game, and I was happy to watch VT stuff them in to the ground.

Granted, LSU has traditionally had a problem winning the “big one,” or blowing their chances at getting to the “big one.” With a #4 ranking, and the rest of their games all televised (not always a variable that plays to the Tigers’ favor), the strength and resolve of Nick Saban’s team will be tested like never before since he assumed the head coach’s mantle.

GEAUX TIGERS!

posted by retrophisch at 11:17 PM -->in fun
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Saturday, 25 October 2003

More on the crock of the BCS

Yes, once again this is where I ask the question: why is Miami in contention for the national championship? Why is Miami ranked #2 in the country by the BCS?

I mean, what a wimpy schedule this school has. It would be pretty easy for most Division I NCAA teams to romp to a 7-0 record to this point in the season with this schedule. Let’s break down the Hurricanes’ twelve games:

  1. Louisiana Tech: a gimme game, and every big school has one or two of these. Heck, LSU is playing LaTech next week for homecoming.

  2. Florida: a serious contender early in the season, and a game Miami struggled in, only winning by five points. A sure sign to yours truly that mighty Miami might not be ranked so highly if they played SEC- or Big 12-caliber teams each week, instead of those in the not-so Big East.

  3. East Carolina: raise your hand if you’ve heard of East Carolina before. Yeah, Miami crushed them by 35.

  4. Boston College: not really a championship contender in any year, they lost to the Hurricanes 33-14.

  5. West Virginia: shockingly, Miami had trouble here as well, winning by only two points. West Virginia seems to be the shocker team of the year, knocking off national contender Virginia Tech last week.

  6. Florida State: at least Miami plays both of the other Florida schools each year, and both of those have traditionally strong programs. But really, how hard is it to get your team up for two or three big games a year?

  7. Temple: yes, that’s right, Temple is in the Big East. Now do you see why the BCS thinks Miami is deserving of #2 and a shot at the national title?

  8. Virginia Tech: that game is today next week, and will be Miami’s big test pretty much for the rest of the season. Go VT.

Miami then faces Tennessee, which has disappointed this year, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh. None of the latter three are, or have been, serious contenders, and Miami will likely roll right over them, as they do every single year.

It appears Vanderbilt will be leaving the SEC after this season. Let’s bring in Miami, where they can face Tennessee every year, as well as powerhouses like Georgia, Auburn, Arkansas, and yes, since Nick Saban became the head coach, LSU. When Miami is consistently beating the likes of these teams, year after year after year, then I would certainly agree they deserve a national title shot.

Or slot them in to the Big 12 or Big 10, where they can go up against Oklahoma more frequently than the BCS national title bowl game, and play traditionally strong teams like Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Ohio State, and more.

When Miami is in a conference where going undefeated really means something, then their contention for the national championship will really mean something. Until then, it is just a pathetic attempt to get two undefeateds in to a bowl game for the attention ratings of the football-watching nation.

Better yet, let’s dump the flawed, computer-generated BCS ranking system, and establish a playoff system based on the various bowl games. Every other major collegiate sport has a playoff system to determine a national champion. Why can’t football? Seems pretty easy: take your conference champions, plus a smattering of independents that have a minimum of two losses for that year, and mix it up. Spread the bowl games out over four weeks, instead of trying to pack them all in to two, and voila! A football playoff system for college athletics. Too bad no one in the NCAA is listening.

posted by retrophisch at 11:32 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 29 September 2003

Revolutions theatrical trailer

The now-running theatrical trailer for The Matrix Revolutions is available online. QuickTime format only, as it should be.

posted by retrophisch at 10:35 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 24 September 2003

Grayism

I figured since so many people out there like to poke fun at George W.’s verbal blunders, turnabout was fair play:

“My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state.” —Gray Davis, California governor, at a press conference; quoted in Time magazine, Vol. 162, No. 13, September 29, 2003, p. 15

posted by retrophisch at 9:32 PM -->in fun , liberty , quote
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Friday, 19 September 2003

In The Sun

If you’ve been watching The Bourne Identity on Encore, or have the DVD, and you want to know the song that plays in the alternate ending, it’s “In the Sun” by Joseph Arthur, from his album Come To Where I’m From. Thanks to a poster on the Amazon page for the movie’s soundtrack.

I really like this song; it’s almost a lullaby in some respects, and I found myself singing it to the little one night before last:

I picture you in the sun wondering what went wrong
And falling down on your knees asking for sympathy
And being caught in between all you wish for and all you seen
And trying to find anything you can feel that you can believe in

May God’s love be with you
Always
May God’s love be with you

I know I would apologize if I could see your eyes
Cause when you showed me myself I became someone else
But I was caught in between all you wish for and all you need
I picture you fast asleep
A nightmare comes
You can’t keep awake

May God’s love be with you
Always
May God’s love be with you

Cause if I find
If I find my own way
How much will I find
If I find
If I find my own way
How much will I find
You

I don’t know anymore what it’s for
I’m not even sure if there is anyone who is in the sun
Will you help me to understand
Cause I been caught in between all I wish for and all I need
Maybe you’re not even sure what it’s for
Any more than me

May God’s love be with you
Always
May God’s love be with you

posted by retrophisch at 1:23 PM -->in fun
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The Opinionated Amphibian Diatribes

SuperToad has redesigned the Pond, giving up his home-baked PHP model for a site generated by PostNuke. At least this way, his PHP knowledge doesn’t go to waste.

Now if I could just talk him in to another font for his logo… ;-)

posted by retrophisch at 11:36 AM -->in firearms , fun , hockey , liberty , web/site
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Tuesday, 02 September 2003

Tigers on TBS

LSU is ranked #13 in the nation after stomping UL-Monroe 49-7 in their gimme-game season opener in Baton Rouge. So now TBS is carrying college games on Saturday nights, and they kick off their coverage with LSU taking on Arizona in the desert the night of the 6th. This is good and bad for the Tigers; good that LSU is playing at night, bad that it’s on national television. I suppose in this case it’s a wash, and hopefully the Tigers can take down Arizona in Tuscon. Geaux Tigers!
posted by retrophisch at 11:59 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 29 August 2003

iStockphoto praise

iStockphoto saves the day for Eric. Though I haven’t had much use for it lately, I have been a registered member since late last year and think it’s a wonderful service. I have even thought about contributing photos myself, though I don’t believe a majority of mine are at a high enough resolution to warrant inclusion. (via Michael)
posted by retrophisch at 12:00 PM -->in fun , tech , web/site
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Wednesday, 27 August 2003

Font fights cancer

Speaking of Dan, he has hooked up with one of my favorite cartoonists, and all-around nice guy (have met him twice now!), Michael Jantze, creator of The Norm, to produce the Jantze font. The font is the handwriting Michael uses in The Norm comics.
Jantze font graphic
Not only is it a great font, but Dan & Michael have decreed that all royalties earned from this font’s sales will go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which “provides financial grants to researchers working to improve our odds against the disease, individuals stricken with cancer, and survivors of the disease that are advocates for survivorship issues in their communities.”
posted by retrophisch at 9:15 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 26 August 2003

The Man Comes Around…and then some

Dan notes what we can expect from The Man in Black later this year. _Very_ cool!
posted by retrophisch at 2:59 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 04 August 2003

Animated Star Wars

My gorgeous bride pointed me to this story about a series of two- to three-minute cartoon shorts that the Cartoon Network will be doing in the Star Wars universe. _Star Wars: Clone Wars_ is set to debut on 9 November. For those of you who may be a mite confused, think Animatrix for the Star Wars set.
posted by retrophisch at 4:43 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 30 July 2003

Nemo #1

In the ongoing smackdown of animated feature films, Pixar’s Finding Nemo has moved past distributor Disney’s The Lion King as the top-grossing animated film of all time.

The spunky G-rated underwater adventure reeled in $4.39 million over the weekend, bringing its total North American take to $313.1 million, surpassing The Lion King’s $312.9 million in domestic ticket sales generated when that film was released in 1994.

[…]

Swimming into theaters May 30, the computer-animated fish flick netted $70 million its opening weekend, the best ever debut for a ‘toon. Nemo’s been packing ‘em in like sardines and drowning rivals ever since.

I was shocked, and delighted, to see how packed the theater was when we finally got around to seeing Nemo just two weeks ago.

Now the fun will begin: this was supposed to be the last picture by Pixar Disney was going to distribute, at least as far as Pixar is concerned. The contract called for five films, and Pixar has delivered: Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo. Disney, however, contends that sequels don’t count in the deal, and the two companies could find their way in to court to resolve the matter.

Disney must be quaking in their boots; since The Lion King, they haven’t released any animated film worth squat that they produced themselves. If Pixar jumps ship to, say, oh, Dreamworks, Disney’s biggest competitor in animated films, they’re sunk.

Eh, forget all that. I just realized that Pixar’s next flick, The Incredibles, is going to be released by Disney. So they must have resolved that whole contract thing after all, in Disney’s favor. Or the two companies signed a new one…

posted by retrophisch at 10:03 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 28 July 2003

Critical Space

This is the first of Greg Rucka’s Atticus Kodiak novels I’ve read, even though it’s the fifth in the series, but Critical Space had me hooked and reeled in.

Saturday night, maybe a dozen pages were read. Sunday, however, Sunday was a different story. I zoomed through over 450 pages; the story is just that good. Finished it off this morning, and went to my local Barnes & Noble to pick up the first in the series, Keeper. Started reading that during lunch, and can’t wait to get home tonight after baby CPR class. (Though I promise, sweetheart, that I won’t be up as late as last night!)

Definitely a Retrophisch Recommends Read™!

posted by retrophisch at 4:13 PM -->in fiction , fun , read
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Wednesday, 16 July 2003

Happy Birthday, sweetheart!

I love you, Kel.
posted by retrophisch at 1:50 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 11 July 2003

Lee’s Birthday

Today marks the 8th anniversary of Lee’s 25th birthday. He’s being a bit of a curmudgeon about it, so be sure to stop by his blog and comment your birthday wishes to him. :) Happy birthday, bro.
posted by retrophisch at 3:35 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 09 July 2003

Useless baseball info

FranX points me to Jayson Stark’s latest Useless Baseball Information, a baseball statistician’s treasure trove of interesting tidbits. I’m not really a huge baseball fan, nor a statistician, but according to my wife I’m the King of Useless Information, so it helps that I can add some things to my repertoire.
posted by retrophisch at 3:45 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 01 July 2003

The right to keep and arm roos

Programmers like to be efficient, which is a good thing. If programmers are efficient with their code, there is less work for them and less overhead on the systems running the code. Unfortunately, there is a case of being _too_ efficient with your coding, as the Australian armed forces learned. (Thanks, Jason.)
posted by retrophisch at 10:53 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 29 June 2003

Why Star Wars Is Better Than Titanic

1. The Titanic is big, but it doesn’t have hyperdrive. 2. Yoda could’ve used the Force to lift Titanic out of the water. 3. Leia is a princess, a senator, a freedom fighter, and Jedi material. Rose is just marriage bait. 4. Ewoks throw better parties than either first class or steerage. 5. When flying towards the Titanic, Wedge couldn’t say, “Look at the size of that thing!” and really mean it. 6. It would be much scarier to get chased around the boat by a raving madman with a lightsaber as opposed to a handgun. 7. Titanic is egalitarian by portraying poor people as sympathetic characters. Star Wars is egalitarian by promoting bug-eyed amphibians to Admiral. 8. Said bug-eyed amphibious Admiral does *not* lose his ship. 9. We know Cal is the bad guy because he sneers at the poor and treats his fiancee like property. We know Darth Vader is the bad guy ‘cause he strangles people & blows up planets for fun. 10. Yeah, Leo can dance, but can he fly an X-wing? 11. Rose braves icy water to rescue her man. Leia braves Jabba the Hutt. 12. There are always enough escape pods in Star Wars. 13. Do you know what the Empire does to self-proclaimed “kings of the world?” 14. If Luke were handcuffed to a pipe below decks in a sinking ship, he would use the Force to get the key. 15. Nothing has the same sting as “I’d rather kiss a Wookie.” 16. Han is frozen in carbonite and turned into a wall ornament. Leo simply freezes. 17. Han Solo would’ve steered clear of that stinkin’ iceberg! 18. We knew the boat was gonna sink. But who could’ve anticipated, “Luke…I am your father”? 19. Stormtroopers blast big holes in stupid minor characters; everyone in Titanic was a minor character. 20. When Star Wars was proclaimed coolest movie of all time by half of planet earth, George Lucas did not make a fool of himself at the Oscars. 21. Titanic morals:
  • gamble
  • cheat on your fiancé
  • pose nude for pictures
  • premarital sex is OK if you’re infatuated
  • let undesirables drown
22. Star Wars morals:
  • fight evil
  • do good
  • respect all life even if it’s ugly and slithers
  • rescue the princess
  • save the planet
Yes, an oldie, but a goodie, back from when James Cameron’s history lesson run amok displaced Star Wars as the highest-grossing movie of all time…
posted by retrophisch at 12:32 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 26 June 2003

How pathetic am I?

So I’ve spent part of last night and this morning, off and on, installing Fink, FinkCommander, and X11. Why? Why, to play XGalaga, of course, the open source clone of my favorite childhood video game. Geez, you didn’t think I was going to go through all that trouble to do work or anything, did you? ;-)

posted by retrophisch at 10:02 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Wednesday, 25 June 2003

Pen tech

James Lileks:

A few minutes later I have a fistful of Bics, including the new nevr-dri-out highlighting pens with a clear reservoir tank. You can see the lovely yellow ink sloshing around. No more wondering how much highlighting you can do - just check your tank. Highlight with confidence, friend. Across the room, a Sharpie salesman who, true to the name of his product, had the manner of Chris Finch from “The Office”, was handing out the new bleedless acid-free silver-ink Sharpie. Got two. At the Uniball table, the new magic pen with invisible ink that turns purple when it hits the page! And it has - drumroll - a clear reservoir tank. All your old pens with their inscrutable interiors are old and busted, and I sneer at you from my position on the clear-tank paradigm verandah, where I have a lounge chair and an umbrella and a drink. Itís clear but it tastes purple.

posted by retrophisch at 11:52 AM -->in fun , quote , tech
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Monday, 23 June 2003

Self-branding for the road

So how far would you go to promote your own personal brand? Some people nab custom license plates to slap on their vehicles in their respective states. Thanks to the Acme License Maker, now you too can experiment with self-branding for your personal transport. (Please bear in mind that I do not know the rules for number of characters allowed in the states shown.) For instance, I could get:
Retrophisch license plate
Michael might prefer:
C-Command license plate
Or maybe he’d like:
ATPM license plate
Jason could go with:
Kottke license plate
Brad and Mena could promote their new venture with:
TypePad license plate
I know Lee has a custom Macintosh Florida plate, but would he slap on DTPBYLEE, provided Florida allowed all of those characters? Just some fun food for thought…
posted by retrophisch at 5:00 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 17 June 2003

New jobs for friends!

It’s been a good couple of weeks for friends of the ‘phisch. Steve landed a programming job with DirecTV’s billing company in Charlotte, NC, and Richard is now a sysadmin with Standard & Poor’s in Boston. Congrats, amigos! I hope you both have long, happy, healthy, and wealthy careers with your new employers!
posted by retrophisch at 9:29 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 16 June 2003

Tigers first to leave Omaha

The LSU baseball team is swept for only the second time in all of its College World Series appearances, and their season is over. The Tigers dropped their losers’ bracket game to South Carolina yesterday, 11-10. LSU came back from a 6-0 deficit in the 1st inning to take the lead. But Coach Smoke Laval left reliever Jason Determann in an inning too long, and it cost the Tigers severely. The Tigers had a two-run lead going in to the bottom of the 8th, when the Gamecocks blew through a tired Determann’s pitching to take a one-run lead they held on to through the top of the ninth for the win. The Tigers had a great run: they finish the season 45-22-1, and this loss is only their first in seven tries against an SEC foe in the CWS. They were the regular season SEC Champions, and runner-up in the SEC Tournament.
posted by retrophisch at 9:18 AM -->in fun
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Sunday, 15 June 2003

Test driving

So this weekend my bride and I took some big baby steps. Furniture was purchased. Items were registered. And strollers were test-driven through the aisles of the local Babies R Us. I knew having a kid was going to be a lot of fun…

posted by retrophisch at 9:24 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 13 June 2003

Cursive is dead

So sayeth the n3rdling. (And CBS.) I have to agree; the only thing I write in cursive any more is my signature. My handwritten print is much better, and cleaner. So much so that someone is supposed to make a font for me, at some point in his copious spare time. Even then, like Jon, I’d much rather type it than write it. Jon brought up a good point in our discussion about it: if you type it—which nowadays means in to a computer—you can index it, search it, publish it; the possibilities are endless. This is probably why my feeble attempts at journaling have all ended in failure. Printing is just too slow, cursive is too messy. I may fill up a couple dozen pages in a journal, then it tapers off to nothing. I guess what I need is a decent journaling app, where I can print out the individual entries to put in to a binder or some other hard copy product.
posted by retrophisch at 3:15 PM -->in fun
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Brain usage

So, at Dan’s urging, I took Mind Media’s Brain Persuasion Test. My results:

Your Brain Usage Profile

Auditory: 60% Visual: 40% Left: 50% Right: 50%

Chris, your hemispheric dominance is equally divided between left and right brain, while you show a moderate preference for auditory versus visual learning, signs of a balanced and flexible person.

Your balance gives you the enviable capacity to be verbal and literate while retaining a certain “flair” and individuality. You are logical and compliant but only to a degree. You are organized without being compulsive, goal-directed without being driven, and a “thinking” individual without being excessively so.

The one problem you might have is that your learning might not be as efficient as you would like. At times you will work from the specific to the general, while at other times you’ll work from the general to the specific. Sometimes you will be logical in your approach while at other times random. Since you cannot always control the choice, you may experience frustrations not normally felt by persons with a more defined and directed learning style.

You may also minimally experience conflicts associated with auditory processing. You will be systematic and sequential in your processing of information, you will most often focus on a single dimension of the problem or material, and you will be more reflective, i.e., “taking the data in” as opposed to “devouring” it.

Overall, you should feel content with your life and yourself. You are, perhaps, a little too critical of yourself—and of others—while maintaining an “openness” which is redeeming. Indecisiveness is a problem and your creativity is not in keeping with your potential. Being a pragmatist, you downplay this aspect of yourself and focus on the more immediate, the more obvious and the more functional.

Gee, who would have thought I was balanced? :)

This does explain a lot about me, however. How I seem to be at war with myself at times, creativity versus technical interests. How I can do ultra-basic stuff in Photoshop or OS X’s Terminal, but haven’t become more of a power user in either, despite my intentions to do so. Thank goodness I use an OS that allows me to consistently work both sides of my brain.

Feel free to take the test yourself and leave your results in the comments.

posted by retrophisch at 10:07 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 11 June 2003

Icon War

This seems to be an appropriate use for Windows XP technology… (Thanks, Jason.)
posted by retrophisch at 8:43 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 10 June 2003

Incredible teaser

Steve Jobs’ other company has released a teaser for their next film, The Incredibles, due out in November next year. Consider this your splatter warning.
posted by retrophisch at 9:39 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 09 June 2003

Back to Omaha, baby!

The LSU Tigers crushed Baylor 20-5 in game three of their NCAA super regional to earn their 12th trip to the College World Series since 1986. Yeah, that’s right, bub: LSU has been one of -four- eight teams in the CWS 12 times in 17 years!
LSU returns to Omaha for 12th CWS appearance since 1986!
The Tigers will face CWS arch-nemesis Cal State-Fullerton in the first round of the CWS. South Carolina and Stanford play in the other bracket. Geaux Tigers!!! *UPDATE, 6/10:* The rest of the field is SW Missouri St. vs. Rice, and Texas takes on Miami (FL).
posted by retrophisch at 1:26 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 05 June 2003

Mars Mission Patches

Dan notes NASA’s sense of humor with regard to Mars rover naming conventions and mission patches. This is what happens when guys our age, who grew up with Looney Tunes, are put in charge…
posted by retrophisch at 3:53 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 03 June 2003

Galloway moving to ESPN radio

One of my favorite sports-talk hosts is moving from WBAP, 820 AM, to the station’s ESPN radio affiliate. This stinks, since I never listen to ESPN radio, keeping the radio—when I listen to the radio—on either WBAP or KWRD 100.7 FM (Christian talk radio). This is all in the D/FW metro area, by the way. One problem I have with ESPN radio, or, at least, the affiliate here in town: when I’m watching the freaking Stanley Cup Finals on your company’s main network, it sure would be nice to have the game on the radio, if I have to leave the house, as I did this weekend. I wonder if the same would be true if ESPN was carrying the NBA Finals, or the World Series?
posted by retrophisch at 11:45 AM -->in fun , hockey , rant
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Monday, 02 June 2003

Tigers win regional

For the first time this season, the LSU Tigers win an extra-inning game, and in doing so take their 8th consecutive regional championship. The Tigers, 20-1 all-time in regional championship games, were 0-4 this year in extra-inning games. LSU now moves on to a best-of-three super-regional against Baylor to determine who goes to the College World Series. Geaux Tigers!!
posted by retrophisch at 9:20 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 29 May 2003

I am a Total Geek

More accurately, I possess 31.36095% geekish qualities. Take the test yourself, unless you’re Erik.
posted by retrophisch at 11:57 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 28 May 2003

Rangers make history

My good friend Francisco informed me this morning that our up-and-coming Texas Rangers have made baseball history. No MLB club has ever fielded a team in one season that had three players with 500 home runs, 400 home runs, and 300 home runs, respectively…until now.

Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, and Alex Rodriguez take those honors, respectively, and 2001 “Comeback Player of the Year” Ruben Sierra currently stands at 278 home runs in his career, so he’s knocking on the 300-club door as well.

If we could just get some consistency out of the pitching staff, like we did during the last 7-game winning streak (which included a sweep of the playoff-nemesis NY Yankees club), this team would be contending for a pennant. For now, we have to struggle to win two just to get back to .500.

UPDATE, 6/13: Well, this was short-lived. The Rangers traded Sierra last week to the Yankees.

posted by retrophisch at 9:18 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 23 May 2003

This Friday’s Five

1. What brand of toothpaste do you use?

Colgate Total.

2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer?

Angel Soft.

3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear?

Rockport boots and casual shoes; Reebok or K-Swiss sneakers.

4. What brand of soda do you drink?

Trying to cut out soda from my diet, but when I do, I prefer Cherry Coke.

5. What brand of gum do you chew?

Don’t chew gum.

posted by retrophisch at 8:53 AM -->in fun
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Last Friday’s Five

The questions, with my answers, from last Friday’s Five (which I only saw yesterday):

1. What drinking water do you prefer — tap, bottle, purifier, etc.?

Honestly, it depends on where I am. Most of the time, especially at home, I’m fine with the tap, unpurified. When I travel, even to other parts of the metroplex, unless I’ve been there before and have tried the tap, it’s from a bottle.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips?

Tough one; I’d have to say Cool Ranch Doritos (now in a low-fat baked variety!).

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most?

Red beans and rice.

4. How do you have your eggs?

Scrambled.

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out?

The Morrisses and Leaumonts; great grilled burgers and baked fries for a Sunday afternoon pool-side get-together.

posted by retrophisch at 8:47 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 20 May 2003

LSU SEC baseball champs (again)

The LSU baseball team has won the regular season Southeastern Conference championship (again) for 2003, its first since 1997. LSU’s head coach has been named SEC Coach of the Year (again, though a first for current head coach Smoke Laval). Junior shortstop Aaron Hill has been named the conference’s Position Player of the Year. The Fighting Tigers finished the regular season 37-18-1, and begin play against Arkansas in Hoover, Alabama, tomorrow, in the SEC Tournament. (I wish I could come out for it, Dad!)

Looking for another SEC Tournament championship, and a berth in the College World Series, LSU has rebounded from several major injuries throughout the season to clinch the SEC championship. Geaux Tigers!

posted by retrophisch at 10:57 AM -->in fun
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Mavs upset Spurs in Game 1

Go Mavs! After Najera missed his first free throw in the first quarter, the Mavs combined for 49 straight free throws to help catapult them to an upset victory, 113-110. The Mavericks were down by as much as 18 at one point in the game. Dirk Nowitzki was monster on the court for Dallas, proving in every facet of his game to be Tim Duncan’s equal.

I’m not so much a NBA basketball fan as I am a Dallas Mavericks fan, and it’s nice to see them hang in there and pull this one out. Around the office yesterday, we all agreed that we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mavs drop Game 1, having just come off their second seven-game series in the playoffs. The Spurs had an extra day of rest after knocking off the defending champ Lakers in six games.

Finally, it seems the ineptitude and need for sharper contact lenses that pervades the NHL has crept in to the NBA as well. The officiating for this game was inconsistent at several points throughout, and overbearing at others. Both sides suffered and benefited from this behavior, so many would say it was a wash. The fact is that consistency amongst those officiating is greatly needed in professional sports, and this begins at the top of the leagues’ front offices (are you listening, Gary Bettman?). Officials are going to miss things that happen on the hardwoord and ice; that’s a fact of life, and one most fans can live with. What we don’t like is the inconsistency of what constitutes a foul/penalty from team to team, game to game, series to series.

posted by retrophisch at 9:12 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 19 May 2003

Reloaded

[Possible spoilers] So my lovely bride and I caught The Matrix Reloaded Saturday night. My overall feelings with the film mirror Jason Kottke’s.

In addition to what Jason has to say, allow me to add the following. As much as the production touted the Twins in teasers, trailers, and the like over the past few months, they didn’t have all that much screen time. This is a shame, since they are extremely cool characters, the likes of which we hadn’t seen within the Matrix.

The first hour of the movie would have been better with about 20 minutes taken out. We get that Trinity and Neo love one another deeply. We get that Zion’s having a big party to show they aren’t afraid of the machines. We don’t need it to drag out. I actually leaned over to my wife at one point and twiddled my thumbs.

All in all, it was an enjoyable flick, but nothing mind-blowing or earth-shattering, certainly not like the first film. The freeway chase was our favorite part of the movie. I’m going to miss Gloria Foster in the 3d installment.

posted by retrophisch at 4:49 PM -->in fun
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Armey on Clinton/Lewinsky

Back on 15 September 1998, then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) held his weekly meeting with Capitol reporters. When a reporter provided him an opening by inquiring what he would do if he were in President Clinton’s shoes, the _Los Angeles Times_ captured the conference’s atmosphere: bq. …the jam-packed room burst into raucous laughter as one reporter prefaced a question about the Lewinsky scandal by saying, “If you were in the president’s position…” Armey didn’t miss a beat. “If I were, I would be looking up from a pool of blood and hearing my wife say: ‘How do I reload this thing?’” The situation would be similar in my household; except my wife *knows* how to reload! (Thanks to Ricky and Snopes.)
posted by retrophisch at 11:05 AM -->in firearms , fun , liberty
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Wednesday, 14 May 2003

The word for today…

…is retromingent.

Courtesy of Anu’s free A.W.A.D. service:

retromingent (re-tro-MIN-jent)

adjective: Urinating backwards.

noun: An animal that passes urine backwards, e.g. raccoon.

[From Latin retro- (back) + mingent, stem of mingens, past participle of mingere (to urinate).]

“When my turn came, I discovered that the bathrooms had been designed for a retromingent. The rest of the flight? Rather uneventful.” —Jeffrey Levine; The Concorde, Firsthand: Built for Speed, Not for Comfort; The Washington Post ; Dec 17, 1989.

“I can verify that camels are, indeed, retromingent.” —Sally Bixby Defty; Just Deserts Midnight at the Oasis Sing Your Camel to Bed; St. Louis Post-Dispatch; May 16, 1993.

Sorry, but had to pass on another retro- word. You’re welcome for the enlightenment. (And subscribe to A.W.A.D.!)

posted by retrophisch at 12:20 PM -->in fun
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Sunday, 11 May 2003

Prom Night

So I took my wife to the prom last night.

No, we didn’t go to a high school as chaperones. We went to the 2d Chance Prom that benefits the Kidd’s Kids charity. Dallas radio personality Kidd Kraddick’s charity takes terminally ill kids to Disney World each year, and this event is their primary fund-raiser.

I rented a tux, my bride bought a lovely dress that she’ll get multiple use out of (unlike most prom dresses), and we had a great dinner at Sonoma before heading off to the prom.

Half concert, half dance party, the 2d Chance Prom was a gas. Texas native Jennifer Love Hewitt performed four songs with just an acoustic guitar player accompanying her. This cutie can sing, and she was well received by the crowd. A little over half an hour later, MC Hammer and company took the stage for an eight-song set that capped off with a non-stop medley of his big hits “Can’t Touch This,” “2 Legit 2 Quit,” and “Pray.” I don’t go for the hip-hop scene, but Hammer’s set was enjoyable. It’s amazing the energy he and his crew brought to the stage.

My only druthers are with the DJ’s music selection. Way too much hip-hop/techno/dance remix stuff. We got there before 9, left a little after midnight, and there was only one slow song played the entire time. There’s also plenty of normal pop and rock out there that’s good for dancing. And whoever remixed AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long” to a dance beat should be put against a wall and shot for messing with a classic rock anthem.

All in all, we had a fun time. I’ll post a pic of my gorgeous wife and I when we get our prom pics in a couple of weeks.

posted by retrophisch at 10:18 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 09 May 2003

Rumsfeld Sorry for Embarrassing Anti-War Celebrities

You can read the full story here.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld apologized to the celebrity community for the outcome of the war yesterday at his daily press briefing. “In spite of the joy we feel at what happened in Baghdad this week, it is tinged with sadness as we know that we have embarrassed and disappointed the many members of the celebrity community who wanted us to fail.”
posted by retrophisch at 1:05 PM -->in fun
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Dictionary for Comicholics

For thorough research of words in the world of comics, be sure to use Ka-BOOM! The Dictionary of Champions.

posted by retrophisch at 11:53 AM -->in fun
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Dozens Dead in Chicago Meatwave

As if terrorism wasn’t enough to worry about, now we have this to contend with.

posted by retrophisch at 11:21 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 08 May 2003

More for Kelly

Can’t Stop Lovin’ You

Hey!

There’s a time and place for everything. For everyone
We can push with all our might, but nothin’s gonna come
Oh no, nothin’s gonna change
An’ if I ask you not to try, oh could you let it be?

I wanna hold you and say
We can’t throw this all away
Tell me you won’t go, you won’t go
You have to hear me say

I can’t stop lovin’ you
And no matter what I say or do
You know my heart is true, oh
I can’t stop lovin’ you

You can change your friends, your place in life
You can change your mind
We can change the things we say, and do any time
Oh no, but I think you’ll find
That when you look inside your heart
Oh baby, I’ll be there. Yeah!

Hold on. I’m holdin’ on
Baby, just come on, come on, come on
I just wanna hear you say

I can’t stop lovin’ you
And no matter what you say or do
You know my heart is true, oh-oh!
I can’t stop lovin’ you

Oh, I’m so twisted and tied
And all I remember, was how hard we tried
Only to surrender

And when it’s over
I know how it’s gonna be
And true love will never die
Or, not fade away

And I can’t stop lovin’ you
And no matter what I say or do
You know my heart is true, oh
I can’t stop lovin’ you

And I know what I got to do
Hey Ray, what you said is true, oh
I can’t stop lovin’ you, oh no
Oh, can’t stop lovin’ you

© Copyright 1995-2000 Van Halen

From VH’s site:

This was the first single from “Balance” and the song became the band’s 16th Top 40 single! The Ray Sammy refers to in the song is Ray Charles, who had a hit with the Don Gibson original, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” in 1962.

By far one of my favorite VH songs, right behind “Dreams.” I love you, sweetheart.

posted by retrophisch at 11:12 AM -->in God , fun
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Wednesday, 07 May 2003

One million in one week

Yeah, I know everyone has read how the Apple Music Store has sold more than a million songs in its first week.

But Lee has broken down what that means, and the results are impressive. Better than one-and-a-half songs sold per second. I can’t wait to see Apple’s financials on this as the year progresses. My stock has already gone up about three bucks a share in the past week.

posted by retrophisch at 11:12 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 06 May 2003

InDVDiana Jones

My gorgeous mother-to-be spouse points out that Lucasfilm is releasing the Indiana Jones trilogy on DVD! Slated for release on November 4th, this will be at the top of my birthday (Dec 3) wish list.

posted by retrophisch at 2:43 PM -->in fun
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iLoo

I wish I was making this up. From the idiot savants at Microsoft UK. (Note that the emphasis is not on “savants.”)

(Thanks, Ricky.)

posted by retrophisch at 2:36 PM -->in fun , tech
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Friday, 02 May 2003

I have an accent?

A couple of days ago I was talking to my little sister on the phone (okay, she’s 27, but she’ll always be my “little” sister), and she stated that I was picking up a Texas accent.

Seeing how I have long confounded people as to my origins by being pretty much accent-less, this is a trifle upsetting…

posted by retrophisch at 12:50 PM -->in fun , rant
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Thursday, 01 May 2003

Apple’s music Fortune

My lovely bride pointed me to this Fortune article on the new iTunes Music Service. Obviously written for publication before the service was officially announced, it provides a great look at Jobs’ vision behind the service, and the inadequacy of the music industry in its previous and current efforts at online distribution.

A few items I’d like to address:

One thing’s for sure: If ever there was an industry in need of transformation, it’s the music business. U.S. music sales plunged 8.2% last year, largely because songs are being distributed free on the Internet through illicit file-sharing destinations like KaZaA.

I take issue with this statement, since it’s impossible to prove that illegal file sharing has had this much impact on the U.S. music biz. There is a ton of physical piracy (blanket CD copying) going on overseas, especially in Asia, that eats in to the music industry more than a bunch of geeks swapping songs online.

I have downloaded a lot of music from peer-to-peer networks, as well as some centralized sites I have access to. Some of it was digital copies of CDs and cassettes I already own. The rest was stuff I wanted to listen to before I went out and bought it. A lot of that got trashed when I realized it wasn’t for me.

I know I’m not the only one who probably spent more on music (albeit looking for sales and good prices online) because I was pulling music off the net.

Second, it seems as though hardly anyone in the music business thinks that the problem with falling sales may be attributed to the product itself. Elsewhere in the article:

For years they have been able to get away with releasing albums with two or three potential hits bundled with ho-hum filler cuts. That has been wonderful for the industry, but it has made a generation of consumers who pay $18.99 for CDs very cynical. “People are sick and tired of that,” says singer-songwriter Seal. “That’s why people are stealing music.”

Amen. That’s it right there. And we see further evidence of the music industry’s slow-to-catch-on attitude:

But MusicNet users still can’t download songs onto portable players. “These devices haven’t caught on yet,” insists MusicNet CEO Alan McGlade. Never mind that U.S. sales of portable MP3 players soared from 724,000 in 2001 to 1.6 million last year.

Hmmm. I would think a better-than-two-times annual growth, in a year, in any segment of the tech economy would be cause for consideration of said segment.

As for the service itself, I think it’s great. I haven’t actually bought and downloaded any music yet, but that’ll change any day. I’ve spent quite a bit of time searching through it and listening to samples. It’s going to change the way I buy music. It’s going to change the music business.

posted by retrophisch at 11:40 AM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Tuesday, 29 April 2003

S.W.A.T.

Another trailer, this time for the Sam Jackson-Colin Farrell-LL Cool J-Michelle Rodriguez vehicle, S.W.A.T. Loosely based on the 1970s television show of the same name (apparently the only similarity is an updated theme song), it looks pretty good. This was one of my favorite shows when I was about four or five years old.

For the uninitiated, S.W.A.T. stands for Special Weapons And Tactics. The first S.W.A.T. team in the United States was fielded by the Los Angeles Police Department, and next to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), they are considered the elite such force in the nation. (Of non-military units, that is. The Army’s Delta Force and SEAL Team Six are also antiterrorist units, but are used for overseas operations.)

All of the above units are modeled on the antiterrorist division of the British SAS (Special Air Service), which remained secret until Operation Nimrod, the 1980 Iranian Embassy hostage siege in London, which was broadcast worldwide.

posted by retrophisch at 10:31 AM -->in firearms , fun , liberty
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T3 International Trailer

Yeah, baby! Arnold’s back in the 3d installment of the Terminator series. Point your QuickTime-enabled browser here to view the internationally-released trailer.

posted by retrophisch at 10:07 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 25 April 2003

Daddy’s little Stars fan

baby's first outfit

Start’em young, I say.

And yes, this means there will be a little phisch swimming in our pod later this year.

posted by retrophisch at 11:25 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 24 April 2003

Back off, you Rebel scum!

Thanks to Carbon Copy Cloner, my TiBook has gone from four partitions to three, without missing a beat. Well, there was obviously some downtime, but no muss, no fuss!

The new desktop pic is courtesy of my new Canon PowerShot G3.

desktop20030424 thumbnail
posted by retrophisch at 3:49 PM -->in Macintosh , fun
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al-Sahaf’s new job

Brian discovered that former Iraqi (Dis)Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf has a new job.

posted by retrophisch at 1:44 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 18 April 2003

The Bush Regime Change Tour

First it was Afghanistan, where the U.S. military accomplished in less than three months what the former Soviet Union failed to do in a decade. In the process, we ousted a terrorism-supporting regime and installed a democratic form of government.

Then it was Iraq, where the greatest military force in the world took over a country the size of California in under three weeks, liberating its people from an oppressive dictator bent on supplying terrorists with weapons of mass destruction.

Tomorrow, Syria? North Korea? Iran? France?

Whatever terrorism-supporting regime we take down next, be sure to nab your official Bush Regime Change Tour merchandise!

Brought to you by the new United Nations: Inefficient. Ineffectual. Irrelevant.

(Major thanks and kudos to Rick for the idea!)

posted by retrophisch at 9:35 AM -->in fun , liberty
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Wednesday, 16 April 2003

Baker Bros. redux

So, on my own for lunch again. Three bucks in my pocket. Sure, it’s enough for fast food—McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s—but I’m not eating at the first two, and I don’t want fast food. Need some place to use the debit card. So I figured, back to Baker Bros. This go-around, I had the Texas Star and black bean soup. The soup was good, but nothing spectacular. I’ve had lots of black bean soups that tasted just as good. Some worse, and few that tasted better. Of the two, I think I prefer their baked potato soup. The Texas Star sandwich was also good, but messy. Of the two, I’ll stick with the Kentucky Club. Ok, no more Baker Bros. this week! Really.
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Tuesday, 15 April 2003

New York Office Space

I don’t live in New York. Don’t work in New York. Plan to never, ever live or work in New York.

Yet I found this article by Joel Spolsky, on searching for office space in NYC, fascinating. (via Glenn)

posted by retrophisch at 5:07 PM -->in fun , tech
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Tax Day Desktop

Not sure what compelled me to suddenly share what my desktop looks like, but here it is:

desktop thumbnail

Click on the above pic for a full-size image.

That’s Zane, atop one of his former favorite napping places: my 20” CRT, now replaced by a 15” Apple LCD. That shot is about two years old. The PowerBook has four partitions, appropriately named for an avowed Star Wars nut. iTunes is ripping The Elms’ latest to MP3.

The one thing I miss about that incredibly massive Radius CRT, was Zane plopping down on top when I was in the room.

posted by retrophisch at 4:05 PM -->in Macintosh , fun , tech
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Baker Bros. = Yum!

My buddy FranX is celebrating five years of service with the company today, at a special lunch for folks in his division who also qualify. So I was on my own for lunch.

As I pulled out of the parking garage, my Jeep politely informed me that I had 17 miles to go before the tank went dry (theoretically). So I rolled over to Costco, gassed up, then decided to go try the Baker Bros. American Deli. It sits across the parking lot from the Genghis Grill Kelly and I frequent, and we have long talked about trying it out.

It was delicious. I had the Kentucky Club and a cup of baked potato soup. Two enthusiastic thumbs-up. It is a little on the high side for lunch, $11 for the above plus a iced tea, so it’s certainly not a place I’ll go each week. However, the food is excellent, and a couple of visits a month is not out of the question. Retrophisch™ Recommended!

posted by retrophisch at 2:07 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 10 April 2003

Fun with spammers

This isn’t necessarily an anti-spam measure; it’s more along the lines of revenge. From the latest Dilbert newsletter comes this reader gem:

Here’s a fun hobby of mine: When I get e-mail spam that includes an 800-number, I save the number for later. Then when one of the hundreds of Nigerian scam e-mails hits my e-mail box, I reply enthusiastically and give the 800-number of the spammer as my own. I feel that people in the DNRC have a responsibility to introduce A-holes to each other.
posted by retrophisch at 2:19 PM -->in fun , rant , tech
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Tuesday, 08 April 2003

War Zone Entertainment

It never ceases to amaze me how people can find ways to amuse themselves, even during times of danger, blood, and death.

posted by retrophisch at 11:56 AM -->in fun , liberty
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Tuesday, 01 April 2003

Dallas Auto Show 2003

This past Sunday I met up with my friend Michael at the Dallas Convention Center for the annual Dallas Auto Show. Not really in the market for a vehicle (at least this year), I concentrated mainly on the new stuff and concept vehicles when snapping photos. I’ve posted everything in this online photo album. Enjoy!

posted by retrophisch at 11:54 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 27 March 2003

Brent’s Birthday

Jon notes that yesterday was Brent Simmons’ birthday, so I’d like to express my best wishes to him as well. NetNewsWire absolutely rocks, I’m becoming a big fan of TigerLaunch (doesn’t hurt its popularity with me that I went to LSU, either), and look forward to trying out Huevos.

posted by retrophisch at 9:44 AM -->in Macintosh , fun
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Wednesday, 26 March 2003

Why you want to buy the extended warranty

Why you want the extended warranty
posted by retrophisch at 3:11 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 25 March 2003

Can you hear me NOW?

I’ve received enough copies of the Bush/Saddam Verizon Wireless spoof graphic. You can stop now. Thanks.

posted by retrophisch at 2:11 PM -->in fun
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Dark Side Switch

The Lords of the Sith are ripping off Apple with their own commercials.

(Note: Ricky’s warned me that the rest of newgrounds.com isn’t work/family-friendly, so be advised. Flash required.)

posted by retrophisch at 8:27 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 14 March 2003

Happy Birthday, Eric!

Belated birthday wishes to friend and fellow ATPM staffer, Eric Blair. So what, you’re old enough to buy beer now, right? ;^)

Hope you had a great one, amigo!

posted by retrophisch at 11:10 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 12 March 2003

What are they thinking?

Mars bar, meet Snickers Almond. Snickers Almond, the Mars bar.

Why would a company create a product that not only competes directly with one of its other products, but is nearly indistinguishable from its established product? Or is the Mars bar going to get the boot?

posted by retrophisch at 3:57 PM -->in fun
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The Unix Guru’s Guide to Sex

% unzip
% strip
% touch
% grep
% finger
% mount
% fsck
% more
% yes
% umount
% sleep

I IM’ed my wife this with the qualifier that it came from Jim and that, yes, we’re total nerds. She heartily agreed.

posted by retrophisch at 11:15 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 11 March 2003

Open, open, open…

“Training In Progress” cries the banner outside the new Grapevine location of P.F. Chang’s. Two minutes from the office, about 15 minutes from the house. No more half-hour-minimum drives for our favorite Chinese bistro! Chicken lettuce wraps! Chang’s Spicy Chicken! Mongolian Beef! Yum!

posted by retrophisch at 2:09 PM -->in fun
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Large Silent Sinister Menacing Floating Presence

Thanks to Gary and Chuq, I blew water out my nose when reading this. Highly entertaining.

posted by retrophisch at 12:21 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 07 March 2003

Honey, can you take the AmEx out of the freezer?

The March 3 issue of Business Week features a blurb regarding controlling your credit card usage. In the past, the solution to credit card overusage has been to cut up the card—which leaves you stuck in the event of an emergency. A tip from the book Good Advice for a Bad Economy suggests that you put your credit cards in a sandwich bag full of water, then stick the bag in the freezer.

This way, you have access to the cards in the even of an emergency, but “impulses must wait for the ice to thaw.”

posted by retrophisch at 10:40 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 05 March 2003

Something rotten in the state of Japan?

Gibson offers a “readymade” novel to anyone willing, founded upon this news item from Tokyo.

posted by retrophisch at 9:40 AM -->in fun
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Thursday, 27 February 2003

Banana Junior 6000

Tech gear lust can begin at an early age. For me, in 1985, I wanted a Banana Junior 6000. (Thanks to Gruber for the link.)

My personal favorites are “Fritos,” “Toaster Ovens,” and “I Think.”

posted by retrophisch at 12:23 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 26 February 2003

tchotchke

Lee was not familiar with the term, so I pointed him to Webster’s, which defines it as a noun, Yiddish in entymology etymology, and means “trinket” or “knickknack.”

As I told Lee, the word saw a jump into the mainstream during the dot-com glory days, when those companies would give out all kinds of logo-emblazoned crap at trade shows, conventions, expos, and to anyone the marketing people ever came into contact with. Maybe too many tchotchkes is yet another reason why so many of them dot-bombed.

That said, I do appreciate a quality tchotchke, like the metal Apple luggage tag I received from them last year at MWNY.

posted by retrophisch at 10:04 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 24 February 2003

Those lovable French…

Brian informed me that Rush’s stand-in nailed the French today:

Q: What did the leader of France say when Germany invaded?
A: Table for 100,000?

Q: Why are the streets of Paris lined with trees?
A: The Germans prefer to march in the shade.

posted by retrophisch at 7:37 PM -->in fun
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R1

Michael has me gear-lusting after this. I’ve always felt more like a rice rocket kind of guy than one who’d straddle a hog. I’d like it in Liquid Silver, please.

Of course, my wife thinks I’m crazy…

posted by retrophisch at 3:13 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 21 February 2003

54321

I just saw the motorcross commercial on Fox Sports (Southwest) for their show “54321.” The motorcross biker clapping at the end, after the doofus crashes the gate—just seems like something Dan would do. :)
posted by retrophisch at 7:54 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 20 February 2003

What a great kid

Mark Newhouse’s daughter Jordan donated a 14-inch ponytail to Locks for Love on Valentine’s Day, and Mark has documented the event in the form of a QuickTime movie:

“Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children across the U.S. under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

“It takes ten to 15 donated ponytails to make one hairpiece because Locks of Love only uses lengths of 10 inches and longer. 80% of donors are children.”

posted by retrophisch at 4:17 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 19 February 2003

Four-eyes

A little over two weeks ago, I joined the ranks of the bespeckled:

my new glasses

Eyemasters wanted $90 for the non-polarized clip-on sunglasses for them! Thanks to a tip from my dad, I picked up slip-on polarized lenses at Sam’s for 13 bucks. They don’t conform exactly to my lenses (they overlap slightly), but you can’t beat the performance for the price:

my new sunglasses

I have an astigmatism; according to my optometrist, I could have foregone getting glasses for another year, maybe more, but I decided to go for it now, while I have vision insurance! Sitting in front of computer screens 10+ hours a day, for both work and fun, as well as lots of reading for pleasure, helped spur the decision to get them now. I wasn’t really surprised; my dad’s worn glasses since I was a small child, and my mom has to wear them to read and drive, so it was inevitable.

The style is Chaps 51 by Ralph Lauren, just in case you’re so dazzled by them you want to rush out to get your own pair.

posted by retrophisch at 4:14 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 14 February 2003

Happy Valentine’s Day

I’d just like to take a moment to wish my wonderful wife of ten and a half years a Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you, sweetheart.

posted by retrophisch at 8:51 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 12 February 2003

Kenner Pooch Wins at Westminster

A Pekingese from Kenner won the toy dog category at the Westminster dog show this week, though she lost out in the Best in Show finale. Why do I care? I called Kenner home for three years, and my wife’s parents live there. She moved there when she was 7, grew up there. Her father was a city councilman for 12 years. I worked for the Pontchartrain Center.

For the uninitiated, Kenner is actually where the New Orleans International Airport is located. Leaving from the airport, you drive through Kenner, then Metairie, before entering Orleans Parish and New Orleans proper. Kenner is the 5th largest city in Louisiana.

We watched the Best in Show judging, and Yakee was simply adorable, waddling along with her fur all poofed out. Cute as a button. It would not surprise me to learn that my father-in-law knows the owners…

posted by retrophisch at 11:25 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 10 February 2003

Eddie who?

Speaking of the Stars, I think Marty Turco is well on his way to ridding us of the ghost of Ed Belfour. Taking his team to the Finals and winning a Cup will definitely do it. Turco has just been monster in goal this year, and with the team’s win over the Kings yesterday, he extended his personal unbeaten streak to 14 games, tying the franchise record. This is something Mr. Belfour was unable to do during his tenure here. Turco anchored the West’s defense in the 3d period of the 2003 All-Star Game, and performed brilliantly. Belfour’s days at said contest are well behind him.

This is not to say that Ed Belfour was not appreciated by Stars fans, nor that he didn’t deserve to lead Dallas to a Stanley Cup win. Simply, time has caught up with the Eagle, and as he has moved on, the Stars have shown that their minor league system can produce the same kind of high-caliber goaltending Stars fans are used to. Perhaps best of all, Marty doesn’t come with the off-the-ice, emotional baggage Eddie was infamous for.

So thanks for your performance, Eddie, during your stay in Big D, but Marty’s the future, and the future’s bright.

posted by retrophisch at 12:39 PM -->in fun , hockey
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Why IS a team from Dallas in the Pacific Division?

Daryl Reaugh sums up a lot of my feelings on why the Stars are in the wrong division.

posted by retrophisch at 12:08 PM -->in fun , hockey
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Wednesday, 05 February 2003

Right on, Reebok!

You know that annoying Nike Shox ad with the guy running across the soccer field wearing only his Shox shoes and a scarf? Reebok, with the help of Terry Tate, has effectively nuked it, and good riddance. Kudos, Reebokkers!!

(registration and QuickTime or WMP required — click on “Streak This, Baby!”)

posted by retrophisch at 7:50 PM -->in fun , rant
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Wednesday, 29 January 2003

Harmony

“Triumphant in their kill of the elephant chew toy, feline and canine shared bedding in front of a warm fire, and there was peace throughout the land…”

posted by retrophisch at 4:28 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 27 January 2003

Stars beat Senators

In a possible Stanley Cup Finals preview, the current best team in the West took on the current best team in the East (and the league). The Stars trailed most of the game, scored 2 goals in 41 seconds to tie in the 2d, then watched the Sens’ Martin Havlat notch a hat trick with his 3d of the evening just moments later.

The Stars didn’t knuckle under, however, coming back to tie it at 3 all, and Bill Guerin put Dallas up with 5:24 left in the 3d. With 30-something seconds left, Modano added an empty netter to seal the deal. Dallas is now 11-1-3 in their last 15 as the race for playoff position slowly begins to heat up. The Stars are now within one point of Ottawa in the President’s Trophy race.

Horrendous officiating, especially by the linesmen, on both sides of the puck. What else is new in today’s Mr. Magoo NHL?

Great game, and if both teams survive through the playoffs, what a Stanley Cup series this is going to be.

posted by retrophisch at 9:56 PM -->in fun , hockey
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Tuesday, 21 January 2003

Automatic Flatterer

If you’re having a bad day and need a little pick-me-up, click here. (JavaScript needs to be enabled in your browser.)

(Thanks, Jim!)

posted by retrophisch at 12:02 PM -->in fun
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Don’t mess with MacTavish

It’s nice to see that Craig MacTavish, who came up during the NHL’s bruiser days, hasn’t lost the hockey-player mentality as a coach.

(Thanks, Brian!)

posted by retrophisch at 10:52 AM -->in fun , hockey
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Thursday, 16 January 2003

What are you lookin’ at?

Isn’t he adorable? Clancy loves tennis balls…

posted by retrophisch at 11:25 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 14 January 2003

More Vindigo city facts

From back at the end of October, when Vindigo added Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and more coverage for Chicago and Washington, DC:

  • During the 1850s and ’60s many inventors tried to produce a workable typewriter, but none succeeded until 1867, when Milwaukee’s Christopher Latham Sholes and inventors Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soul patented a writing machine. The machine held a sheet of paper between a rubber platen and smaller rubber cylinder, with a carriage that moved from left to right as the keys, each with a separate mark, number or letter, were struck. Their invention didn’t take off until 1873, when the trio contracted with E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York, which until then just made rifles and sewing machines, to produce it.
  • Baseball’s First World Series Game occured in Pittsburgh: A 1903 showdown between the Pirates and the Boston Red Sox. The Pirates eventually lost the series in nine games.
  • Chicago-style, or deep dish, pizza was created in 1943 by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo of Pizzeria Uno.
  • Prince George’s County is the home to the world’s oldest continuously operating airport, College Park Airport. The Wright Brothers taught flying lessons there in 1909.
  • The name for Reston, in Northern Virginia, comes from the initials of Robert E. Simon, who developed the new “town” in the 1960s.

posted by retrophisch at 2:27 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 03 January 2003

Digitize Fido

Fido’s info, that is. The stamped metal dog tags you buy from a vending machine at the pet store are so 20th century. The Dog-e-Tag is a US $40 battery-operated dog tag that stores up to 40 lines of text, viewable on a scrolling LCD. A standard watch battery will power the tag for about 2 years.

posted by retrophisch at 3:24 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 02 January 2003

Cotton Bowl observations

Longhorn Chris Simms lived down to his reputation and didn’t choke at a big game, closing out his collegiate career with a win. I can’t wait to see Simms and Major Applewhite in the NFL. UT had a solid game, but not what I would call a great or spectacular game. It seemed that to beat LSU, they had to resort to the big play time and time again to get the scores, while the Tigers put together drive after drive after drive. What can you say? The strategy worked for the Longhorns and failed for the Tigers.

To me, the Tigers gave the game to UT, which wasn’t really playing, especially in the first half, like they truly wanted the win. Turnovers and the secondary on both sides were the major factors in this game. UT’s only score of the first quarter was on a recovered fumble run back for a touchdown; their offense contributed nothing. That would change by halftime, when the Tigers were down 21-17, from which they’d never recover. The Texas secondary was fantastic in its coverage, able to fall back against the run very quickly when needed. LSU’s secondary pretty much sucked at covering Roy Williams, who scored one touchdown for the Longhorns. To be honest, with such a high-powered Texas offense, I’m amazed the final score wasn’t more along the lines of 42-20, 49-20, or 56-20.

Neither team really capitalized well on turnovers and penalties on the opposition. Speaking of penalties, what conference did these lame officials come from? We had a couple of pretty nice Texas fans sitting behind us, and we all agreed that there was some major holding and blocking from the back going on on both sides of the ball that wasn’t getting called. And can someone please explain to me why LSU’s Marcus Randall was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct while Texas escaped with no penalties on the play? The play in question was this: LSU hikes the ball, but the play is whistled dead for a false start. Yet the Longhorns continue the attack, Randall getting hit three separate times. Randall is just trying to back away, knowing the play is dead, but keeps getting hit. He throws down the ball in frustration, and takes the penalty. Why didn’t UT get hit with unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls? Randall obviously heard the whistle; why couldn’t they? LSU did answer with a 44-yard run by Domanick Davis for a first down. :)

All in all, the Tigers have no one but themselves to blame for the snapping of their five-game bowl-winning streak (an NCAA record, tied with Miami and North Carolina). Hopefully, coach Nick Saban will stick around to shape the Tigers up for another run at the SEC championship and a shot at a national title (rumors of NFL courtship abound). The weather was fantastic, and we had great seats on the LSU 40 (thanks Terry and Wells Fargo!). The Texas fans weren’t overly obnoxious, and the ones around us were pleasant to talk football with. The Tiger band kicked the Longhorn band’s collective butt both in the stands and on the field at halftime. It was the first time we had been to a college bowl of any kind, and it was made all the sweeter by watching our alma mater play, even if they did lose. Photos are forthcoming. We had a great time.

posted by retrophisch at 11:08 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 31 December 2002

Cotton Bowl bound

Yeah, I know the blog’s been quiet the past few days. Since I was unable to get any time off on the days before or after Christmas Day, we had to do the Christmas thing with our families this weekend. Once again, I’m reminded how much dial-up sucks and how thankful I am to have broadband. Dial-up browsers are one of the reasons I try to keep this site on the low-bandwidth side.

As stated previously, we’re going to the Cotton Bowl tomorrow morning (11 am EST/8 am PST on Fox). I think the Longhorns are primed for an upset, as no one seems to be taking LSU seriously, especially Longhorn fans. LSU sold out of its allotment of tickets the day they were put on sale. The Cotton Bowl sold a considerable amount of its tix allotment to Tiger fans even before LSU was confirmed as one of the teams playing! The Cotton Bowl even took some of the Texas allotment back, because the Longhorn faithful just weren’t buying, and gave them to LSU to sell, which they did, all on the day they went on sale. There’s going to be a hell of a lot of purple and gold in Dallas tomorrow. Geaux Tigers!

posted by retrophisch at 9:05 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 26 December 2002

Preloaded

Blog Entry of the Day has to go to Panic’s Steven Frank. Steven’s commentary is just as funny as the item being commented on.

posted by retrophisch at 4:42 PM -->in fun
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LSU vs Ole Miss, 11/23/02

Thanks to a generous neighbor, Kelly & I, along with our friends and fellow alumni, Drew & Melanie, got to go to the last LSU home game of 2002. The Tigers played the Ole Miss Rebels, and had something of a tough time until about midway through the second half, when the defense finally figured out Eli Manning and the Rebel offense. Of course, I took some pictures. We have tickets to the Cotton Bowl on January 1 to see the Tigers upset the Texas Longhorns! Geaux Tigers!!
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Monday, 23 December 2002

Happy Belated Birthday, bro

Dan turned 30 yesterday. Welcome to the ranks of the thirtysomethings, amigo. :)

posted by retrophisch at 3:00 PM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Is this covered by my insurance?

“Watch for falling meteorites.”

posted by retrophisch at 11:00 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 17 December 2002

Well, isn’t this special?


Which Star-Crossed Marvel Lover Are You?

Thanks, Dan! Of course, I always leaned more toward The Punisher, Wolverine, and Captain America when I was collecting…

posted by retrophisch at 11:10 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 16 December 2002

Nice, but it doesn’t do windows…

For your enjoyment, the iRobot Intelligent FloorVac from Roomba. (Flash required.)

posted by retrophisch at 12:13 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 13 December 2002

Barney Cam

No, not the purple dinosaur parents love to hate, but Barney, one of the Bush dogs. Go here and look for the Barney Cam link to see Barney terrorize White House Christmas trees and discover a new rawhide bone. Pretty entertaining for dog lovers. (Thanks, Kel!)

posted by retrophisch at 6:38 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 12 December 2002

Not Carlin’s Paradox

If you are one of many who receives “The Paradox of Our Time” email this holiday season, and it’s attributed to George Carlin after 9/11/01, or a Columbine High student, it was written by Jeff Dickson in May 1998. Just so you don’t embarrass yourself.

It is a fabulous piece of writing, however.

posted by retrophisch at 4:32 PM -->in fun
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I have to try this!

Ever been shopping and when you check out they ask you for your zip code? That make you feel even the least bit uncomfortable? Well, here’s an idea for the next time that happens, courtesy of the latest Dilbert newsletter (and yes, the spelling of Induhvidual is correct—if you get it):

“A store clerk asked for my zip code, apparently as part of their market research. Rather than just saying, ‘No,’ I told the young Induhvidual at the cash register that it was unlisted. The Induhvidual looked at me with obvious confusion and said, ‘I didn’t know that you could do that.’

“I replied, ‘Of course, but like telephone numbers, it costs extra.’ I looked back as I was leaving, and observed the Induhvidual still lost in thought, and the next customer impatiently waiting for service.”

posted by retrophisch at 9:19 AM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 10 December 2002

Beware Bord the Impaler!

As a warning to Gummi Bears everywhere…

Ok, so I work with odd people. And who is more odd—those who perpetuate such acts, or those who capture them for posterity… ?

posted by retrophisch at 4:28 PM -->in fun
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Boundaries of the Contiguous United States

Watch the boundaries of the U.S. and the individual states change from colonization to the modern age. (Thanks, Rick!)

posted by retrophisch at 4:02 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 09 December 2002

X2 teaser

Speaking of QuickTime, Apple is hosting the teaser trailer for X-Men 2 that was shown at ComicCon 2002.

posted by retrophisch at 2:03 PM -->in fun
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Thursday, 05 December 2002

Powers of Ten

Cool site courtesy of one of my co-workers. Requires a Java-enabled browser. From the site:

“View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.”

posted by retrophisch at 9:14 AM -->in fun
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Wednesday, 04 December 2002

<big smile>

“Michael Jackson horrified German onlookers by dangling a baby over his hotel balcony railing in Berlin. He’s there for a reason. Americans are so annoyed at Germany for insulting President Bush that we sent them a fruitcake for the holidays.” —Argus Hamilton

posted by retrophisch at 8:16 PM -->in fun , quote
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Think Geek wish list

Speaking of Think Geek, I have updated my Think Geek wish list, just in case anyone feels generous enough to buy me anything. My top picks include the Bounty Hunter t-shirt, the Megatokyo “Capture the b34r” t-shirt and poster, and the O’Reilly 2003 calendar. No pressure, though. Really.

posted by retrophisch at 3:38 PM -->in fun
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Tuesday, 03 December 2002

MegaTokyo

Thanks to the overlords at Think Geek, I am now a fan of the online manga strip, MegaTokyo by Fred Gallagher. Computer geeks, especially gamers, and any manga/anime fans should check it out.

posted by retrophisch at 12:13 PM -->in fun
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Happy Birthday to me…

Yes, yes, 32 today. Well, officially, 32 as of 11:03 am, about half an hour from now. Eh, just another birthday. Thirty-two doesn’t feel any different than 31 or 30 did. Phil, the department’s resident cook, made peach cobbler today for all of the December birthdays. YUM!

posted by retrophisch at 10:28 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 15 November 2002

Ride the Shuttle

For the first time ever, NASA mounted a “RocketCam” on the external fuel tank utilized by the Space Shuttle. From a launch of the Atlantis earlier this year, you can watch the launch until the separation of the booster rockets, as the Atlantis hurls into space at a whopping 2,800 miles per hour. (QuickTime required)

posted by retrophisch at 11:33 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 08 November 2002

When I grow up

Remember that Monster.com ad with all the kids talking about what dead-end career they wanted “when I grow up?”

If not, you’ll certainly remember it when you see this advertising-centric version that apparently slipped through the cracks. It’s by far the funniest thing I’ve watched all week; two-thirds of the way through, I was already in tears. QuickTime is required. (from Grant)

posted by retrophisch at 3:32 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 04 November 2002

Industrious Clock

A very interesting web page clock. (Thanks, Jay!)

posted by retrophisch at 9:31 AM -->in fun
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Monday, 28 October 2002

Aloha!

I’m on vacation on the Garden Isle of Kaua’i, Hawai’i, right now, so posts will be few and far between. I’ll try to get a few pics up here and there, but don’t hold your breath. :)

posted by retrophisch at 12:54 AM -->in fun
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Friday, 25 October 2002

May It Be

I don’t know what it is about the song, but I have found myself cueing up “May It Be,” by Enya, from The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack over and over today…

May it be an evening star
Shines down upon you
May it be when darkness falls
Your heart will be true
You walk a lonely road
Oh! How far you are from home

MorniŽ utķliŽ (Darkness has come)
Believe and you will find your way
MorniŽ alantiŽ (Darkness has fallen)
A promise lives within you now

May it be the shadow’s call
Will fly away
May it be your journey on
To light the day
When the night is overcome
You may rise to find the sun

MorniŽ utķliŽ (Darkness has come)†
Believe and you will find your way
MorniŽ alantiŽ (Darkness has fallen)†
A promise lives within you now

A promise lives within you now

posted by retrophisch at 1:36 PM -->in fun
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Windows messages rewritten

Courtesy of Neil Gaiman, and like Neil, it made me smile: McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Windows Messages, as if Rewritten by Scott, This Guy Who Bullied Me in the Second Grade.

To be honest, it made me, and a couple of my coworkers, out-and-out laugh.

posted by retrophisch at 12:13 PM -->in fun
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Air passenger ban possible

America’s Finest News Source has revealed that the FAA is considering a ban on air passengers in order to make our skies safer. In the wake of September 11th, this kind of thinking, while not surprising, is still disheartening.

posted by retrophisch at 12:01 PM -->in fun
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Friday, 18 October 2002

Biggest LEGO set ever

Thirty-eight inches long. Twenty-four inches wide. Over 3,100 pieces. Twelve-hour minimum build time. I must have one. Perhaps someone will buy it for me for my birthday or Christmas?

posted by retrophisch at 7:35 PM -->in fun
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Monday, 14 October 2002

Perpetual Bubble wrap

Are you one of those people that loves to annoy others by popping bubble wrap? Me, too. Now you can pop the bubble wrap that always comes back for more popping action! (Thanks, Brian!)

posted by retrophisch at 3:26 PM -->in fun
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