Monday, January 31, 2011

Amoxicillin, Guaifenesin, Ice Storms and Cyclones

Another foggy day went by filled with pills and coughs and Kleenex.

In weather news, the ice storm should pass safely off to our north. I’m hoping that this is one forecast that they get right. I’m glad we’re not in Australia where the area that just got flooded is about to be hit by a category 4 cyclone. If you looked at your paper and saw this headline, I believe you’d start packing.

cyclone

If anything else is happening worth writing about, I’m not aware of it. I’m just going to sit here in my own quiet drug-induced fog waiting for sleepy time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

When the day starts with a dead car battery, go back to bed

What a thrill it was to turn the key in the car this morning and hear complete silence. There was not even an attempt to start. Of course, the car was parked just far enough in the garage to not allow me to lift the hood up so I had to push it out of the garage in neutral. I’m not sure why I was in a rush to see how many months past the three year warranty I had gone but I was curious. The answer is 6 months. I had the 3 year replacement battery from Advance Auto and it lived for 3 years and 6 months. It’s amazing that they have engineered a product to allow it to only last long enough to void the warranty.

Since this was my second 3 year and a few months battery in this car, I went to Walmart for the new one. Now I have another 3 year warranty battery and the battery industry is $89 richer. That means I am committed to have this car for at least 3 more years. We’ll see if the car makes it that long. Side note – can car manufactures make removing and replacing a battery a bit more difficult? We’re not far off from having to take a workshop to figure this crap out not to mention the variety of tools you have to have.

Usage: Rolling Ratings<br />Story: Auto Batteries<br />Brand: EverStart<br />Model: Maxx-78S<br />CU: 5148-0015<br />Purpose: ID<br />Photographer: Pete Pezzella

So, trouble loves trouble and the new dog also decided that today would be a good day to be sick. She also decided to jump in the back seat of the car and upchuck all over it. Great times. She seems to be doing better now but is mighty puny and fussy after being injected multiple times and filled up with steroids to calm down her allergic reaction to her vaccinations which she got when she went in for a sore paw. All I know is that the checking account is about $110 lighter now.

Finally, I’ve had to give in to the fact that I am coming down with a cold or something more than a cold. I’m not sure what this is going to develop into at this point. I’ve taken two of the Zicams so far but it is probably too little, too late. I’ve been trying to convince myself since Wednesday afternoon that my “not feeling quite right” was really nothing and it would pass. Dumb me.

zicam

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Roger Federer is back at the baahr

I’m not sure why the Roger Federer is one of my favorite Late Night things but it is. Maybe it’s because I think Jimmy Fallon is probably not far from the real Roger Federer.

I especially enjoy when he buys someone a round of drinks by pelting them with tennis balls and then attempts to identify smells while blindfolded (“That’s the pajama jeans”).

There’s something about this that always makes me nostalgic for Cheers – pre-Woody/Kirstie Alley Cheers. So, rather than think about the snow that’s coming again tomorrow night (ARRRGGHHH!!!), here is a clip the great Nicholas Colasanto as Coach. Not only did he have great timing but he was a Tony-nominated Broadway actor and also a director for years on other television shows such as Columbo and the original Hawaii Five-O.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My weekend of movies

OK, I really only watched two movies this weekend. I tried my best to totally ignore a third one. Considering the interruptions that two kids and two dogs can cause, a typical 2 hour movie can take up to four hours.

schmucks

First up was “Dinner for Schumucks”. I didn’t expect a whole lot from this movie but it was much funnier that I expected. I’ve liked Paul Rudd for a long time and I am glad he is getting more lead roles. In Steve Carell, he has found an excellent comic partner. It was nice seeing Steve Carell in a completely non-The Office type of role.

Another highlight of this movie were all of the insane mouse dioramas. I’m not sure who really created all of those but they should be touring the country in museum shows right now.

 

 

flipped

The second movie we watched was “Flipped”. I wanted to see it because Rob Reiner directed this one and “Stand By Me” which is a great movie set right around the same time.

The movie was quite good. The music was great. Anthony Edwards and John Mahoney were in it – it was like a “Former NBC Thursday night star” reunion.

I did suffer terrible “what horrible melodramatic thing” will happen anxiety through it. I was waiting for the grandfather to die or the girl to fall out of the tree and be paralyzed for life. Most movies these days seem to resort to that sort of crap and I blame Nicholas Sparks. Luckily, nothing of the sort happened here. It was a well-written (based on the novel) and well-produced movie.

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The movie I ignored was “Mamma Mia!”. My wife likes it. The kids like it. I can’t stand it. I don’t mind Abba and I like a lot of 70’s music. I just don’t see how tying all of their songs into a story makes any sense and the story they have here just seems a tad, well, gross to me. “LOL! It’s so funny that Mom has no idea who my dad is. Hee hee hee!”. I’m not a prude but this is just a bit overboard. Add disco music to this and I think it becomes the Titanic. I’ve seen little bits and pieces several times. I think my ears bleed when Pierce Brosnan attempts to sing.

So, that was my weekend of movies. I am hoping that it does not snow tonight and the kids go to school. I really need a good 8 hour stretch of work and silence to clear the mind!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My toes are frozen

I could post some pictures of the snow here but I didn’t take any. If it didn’t snow here all the time, it would be something interesting and different to share. Now, it’s now just a normal part of life – an extremely inconvenient normal part of life. The kids spent their 9th or 10th snow day (I can’t say for sure since I have now lost track) getting on each others nerves and driving me closer and closer to an early grave. Did I mention that it is supposed to snow again Sunday night?

I can only watch this video so many times to distract myself from my currently frozen toes.

I keep turning up the heat and my toes are still cold. It must be part of aging.

I was quite happy to see all new television last night – Big Bang Theory, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Outsourced. NBC tried a new show after Community (which I watch On Demand these days) called Perfect Couples that was absolutely horrible. I wonder if television executives are all high on glue? Who signs the deal to finance that sort of crap? I don’t want to waste $20 at Walmart and these nuts and spending thousands on a show that won’t last 3 weeks. Even worse, these “executives” must be surrounded by people just as enthusiastic about this sort of trash as they are!

The bright spot for me last night was the long overdue return of Parks and Recreation. P&R had a fairly weak first season but blew it out of the water last year only to be bumped from the fall schedule. It was worth the wait as they proved that they have not lost the momentum from being gone half the year (of course, these were filmed in the summer in anticipation of being on in September). One of the highlights for me was the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. I am so glad that NBC has posted a PDF of it here. Below is just a taste of the wisdom of the breakfast buffet lover that is Ron Swanson.

pyramid 

The weekend looms and with it comes the typical excitement – clothes to fold, a trip to Walmart, and, hopefully, some covered hash browns at the Waffle House. Ah, the joys of life in semi-rural America.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Puny Tuesday

Today was a blur of work and tissues and sinus pills.

kleenex-men

The sinuses have been working overtime the last day or so. At first I was thinking it was just the change in the weather but now I am not so sure. The weather has changed and I still have this annoying sinus headache. Of course, I take the sinus headache pills and they upset my stomach so it is just a vicious cycle of feeling puny and miserable. And, I can’t call out of work since I am perfectly well enough to prop myself up at the computer. I need to do something more demanding so I can use being puny as an excuse to get a day off and watch old television shows all day. Maybe I need to operate heavy machinery that would be dangerous if I was all hopped up on sinus pills.

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Now that I am not working and I can sit around being puny, there is nothing to watch on TV. I did watch Piers Morgan on CNN tonight and he had Howard Stern on with him. It was quite entertaining. Piers is a lot more fast paced than Larry King. Piers is also a lot more lucid that Larry has been for the last decade or so. It’s quite refreshing.

That’s all I’ve got for today. It’s bed time for Mr. Puny.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Exercise Program

When you don’t have hills nearby, you have to improvise.

It was a bit warmer today so most of the snow is gone now. Now, we just have to deal with the on and off ice we are going to get.

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On a side note, I am amazed by all of the people commenting on Facebook about the Miss America pageant. This means that they are all watching it. Wow. Scary.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Frappé is the French word for laxative, right?

McDonalds-Mocha-Frappe

Who needs to spend big bucks on Super Colon Blow when you drive over to McDonalds and get the same result for a lot less money?

In other news, the kids go back to school tomorrow. The city is actually opening while the county is staying closed. Instead of making it easy for us, they did decide to go one hour late tomorrow which totally messes up your morning when you are supposed to be working at 8:20 and not sitting in line waiting to drop off the kids at school.

I’m not sure how much safer it will be waiting 1 hour to get out and drive. Let’s see, it’s supposed to be 10 degrees at 7:20 and 15 degrees at 8:20. Yeah, I can see how everything will be melting nicely at 15 degrees.

Then they get a three day weekend since Monday is a holiday.

And the forecast for Tuesday is rain changing to snow.

And spring is 2 months and 1 week away.

Sigh.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Justin Timberlake invented Facebook?

I’m just kidding, I think. The music is so overwhelmingly loud in several parts of the movie The Social Network that entire sections of dialogue are almost completely drowned out. I think they did this so they could insert secret bits of information that only the younger folks who don’t yet suffer from age related hearing deficiencies could hear. So, it’s entirely possible that Justin Timberlake invented Facebook or that a transcript of the secret cure for the common cold was read. I’ll never know for sure.

tsn_dvd

Something almost as annoying as the drowned out dialogue is the way the scenes jump back and forth. If you don’t have basic knowledge of the story behind Facebook, you’ll not really understand the way the movie suddenly jumps between two different depositions, the academic hearing, and the timeline of events that they attempt to bring everything together with. It is downright confusing for the first 30 minutes.

Aside from that, The Social Network was a pretty interesting movie. I’m not sure what my true take on Mark Zuckerberg is after seeing it. It could go either way. He might be a totally deceptive jerk or a genius or a little bit of both. It seems to take a little bit of both to get by in the world today and that’s why it’s hard to take sides based just on this movie. It was well worth my 99 cents at Redbox and my life-risking drive across town to get it.

In other news, the kids are out of school AGAIN tomorrow! We had just enough snow today and just enough freezing tonight to make for quite a mess out on the roads. I wonder if it will clear up enough for them to go back Thursday since it will only be 24 degrees tomorrow.

Oh, well. Soon it will be summer and I’ll be complaining because I have to mow.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The novelty of taking snow pictures is beginning to wear off

Here’s a picture that looks just like all of the other snow pictures I’ve posted in the past few weeks.

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The good thing is that it is all snow. There is no ice and that makes driving on it a bit easier if you know what you are doing.

Unfortunately, the majority of people do not know what they are doing!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Waiting for the White Stuff

This isn’t an episode of Miami Vice. The white stuff we’re waiting for is snow and all we did today was listen to reports of the approaching snow which has the potential to shut down just about everything here tomorrow. Once you get over 4 inches, you start to see actual businesses close – malls, theaters, restaurants. It’s quite amazing how quickly what we would have considered a small amount when we lived in Ohio turns into total chaos down here.

snowy

I’m tired of all of it. We’ve had so many icy driving days that it has really turned into quite the hassle. The kids end up home from school where I have to work and there are no days off for weather when you work at home and your commute is only 6 feet. I am glad that I am not in Atlanta or Birmingham where they are going to get even more than we are getting and they are completely unprepared for this.

Here’s a picture I just grabbed off of the Atlanta traffic cams. I get down to Atlanta a couple of times a year and traffic is bad enough when it is not snowing.

atl_snow

In other news, I wasn’t worth a penny today. I had to really coffee up to make it through the day awake. I don’t know if the exercise is wearing me out or if it is the two dogs who seem to wake me up right as soon as I am comfortably asleep at night or just a combination of all of this and more but I have had no energy for the last three or four days. I’m hoping that this week is better. What is worse is that I should be asleep right now since I start working in 7 and a half hours and I am wide awake!

Oh, well. Come back for snow pictures tomorrow.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow Alert False! Bread and Milk Run Wasted!

The snow missed us. There is more coming next week so maybe the bread and milk will last long enough to prevent us from having to make another snow apocalypse run.

This was day 4 of the EA Sports Active 30 day challenge and I am feeling it all over. I am starting to believe that I am incredibly out of shape.

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18 minutes was all it took for me to feel like my knees are on fire. I actually had to take a break in the middle of this. Maybe in 26 days I’ll look like the Hulk. Or, I’ll be in the hospital getting knee transplants.

All I am hoping for now is a very uneventful weekend with plenty of rest. In fact, I am going to try to sneak back to bed now without anyone seeing me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My pass-me-down 1st generation iPod Touch–how did I live without this thing?

It has taken me a long time to give the iPod Touch a chance. My wife has had one for a long time. She got a new one for Christmas and her old 1st generation Touch went back in the box. Out of utter curiosity, I pulled it out the other day to find out what I have been missing by having Zunes all these years.

What I have been missing are the apps. I’m not talking about the games even though I am suffering from a huge case of Angry Birds Addiction now. I am talking about the news apps from my local TV stations and CNN and MSNBC. And, the Twitter and the Facebook apps are helping keep me from going to those sites on the PC and wasting a ton of time. Did I mention how fast I fly through my gmail now? (Tapping that little trash can is quite a rush!)

So, my morning routine is now supplemented with the iPod Touch which is on the bathroom counter while I am brushing my teeth. I tap through the news and the weather and catch up on everything else all in about 5 minutes. Between this and my Pandigital Novel (which I will be writing about on here soon and is a fully open Android tablet), I have only opened my netbook 3 times in the last two weeks.

How is this a newspaper killer? I stopped subscribing to the big city daily paper two years ago and I dropped our daily local paper last year. I have kept our twice-weekly local paper. I did this because I started reading the news on the computer and had little need for the paper but it is convenient for me because I work on the computer all day. The iPod makes it easy for everyone to drop the paper and saves me a ton of wasted surfing time by just showing me exactly what I need.

newspaper

Another loser from my discovery of the iPod Touch is my Zune HD which now sits quietly on my bedside table. I have not moved any music to the iPod but I do have my podcasts syncing there now which is primarily what I used my Zune HD for. The Zune HD does have internet browsing but the lack of apps makes everything too clunky.

So, between my Pandigital Novel and the iPod Touch, I could eliminate multiple other gadgets and reduce the time I spend on my laptop. I think this will be the year of “less is more”  technology-wise for me.

So, I finally discovered what is so great about the iPod Touch. I’m just three years behind the rest of the modern world. It is weird considering I work with computers that I am so reluctant to try new technology in my personal life. I guess it is the fact that I don’t want to have to deal with learning and supporting new gadgets on my personal time since I have to learn and support software all day long at work!

In other news, more snow is on the way.

more snow

Summer just can’t get here quick enough. We used to go out and take pictures when the snow was coming down because it was so rare. That magic is starting to vanish!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Old Man Winter Sends a Message

Yep, the Old Man reminded us that winter has only just begun.

snow_2

Huge flakes came showering down but didn’t stay long. Rain washed it all away shortly after.

snow_1

We got another batch of it about two hours ago but it too has melted. Snow is in the forecast for 5 of the next 6 days and I doubt we’ll be lucky enough to have it melt so quickly each time.

In other news, I’d call today a nerve-racking day at work. I should have just shut the laptop at noon and walked off because it just got worse as the day went on. I guess those days have to happen now and then. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

My other hobby lately is keeping the dogs from ripping each other apart. About 1:30AM, one dog must have invaded the personal space of the other dog and we were all awakened to the sound of 100 attack dogs shredding a weasel. So, I now have my secret weapon deployed and in sight at all times – the fly swatter. I call it “the whipper” and just showing it usually stops any confrontational behavior. It’s not much fun dealing with two jealous dogs.

That’s it from here. I am so ready for uninterrupted sleep tonight.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dogs, Wii, and Gerry Rafferty

The dogs settled in quite well after the kids left for school. Sadie took her unusual spot on top of the recliner.

sadie_daytimeseat

Alex ended up where she always does.

alex_daytimeseat

I thought today would be a slow day at work but I was so wrong. The good news is that I am still in complete control of my inbox since I cleaned it all up last week. Tracking 70 active projects at once can cause the inbox to explode quite quickly!

After work, I completed day 1 of the 30 day challenge in EA Sports Active for the Wii. This is the older version. There is a new one out with a heart monitor. Mine just has a gigantic rubber band and is $40 cheaper.

easportsactivewii

Within 5 minutes I thought I might collapse. At the end of 20 minutes, I had to sit down for about 30 minutes and relearn how to breathe. It’s going to be a tough 30 days but I certainly need to do something because 10 hours a day in front of the computer is turning me into a young Santa Claus.

Finally, Gerry Rafferty left the mortal world today. I find it weird that the singers I liked from the late 70’s are old enough to be slowly dying off now. It appears that Gerry did himself in over time with poor lifestyle choices. He obviously had no EA Sports Active program.

Most people remember him for 1978’s “Baker Street” but “Right Down the Line” is one of my favorite songs so here it is:

And for the rest of you, here is the actual video for “Baker Street”:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Contour from Space

O.K., maybe this picture wasn’t really taken from a satellite floating far above the Earth but it is the satellite view of Google Maps.

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Yes, the Mighty Ford Contour is visible from great heights. And it started again today after sitting for over a week in heavy rain and polar cold! Can anything stop the Mighty Ford Contour?

In regular news, I wasn’t worth a penny today. Work was somewhat busy but I think people are not ramped up all the way from the holiday. I expect tomorrow to get a bit more insane. Tomorrow is also the first day for the kids to go back to school. We made it through the holidays pretty well – nothing truly insane happened so I would have to call that a major success!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New year, new dog

Today we picked up our new dog. I am so used to my sleep pattern of being up and down all night after Angel, then 2 babies, then Alex that I didn’t want to change it now (sarcasm). Just like Alex, Sadie’s owner couldn’t care for her any longer. I don’t know the full story but it is sad to think about having to give up your pet.
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I’m sure she will be spoiled in the manner that she deserves.
sadie_1
Unlike Alex, she is quite a climber so there will be no hiding anything from her. I live in fear of what she is capable since she seems to prefer sitting on the high part of the back of the chair and she also seemed to want to sit on the end table instead of the couch. She also has a really long tail that will be really effective at knocking things in the floor.
sadie_alex
Stay tuned for what she chews up first and how many times she wakes me up tonight to go out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another year, another trip to Walmart

I woke up this morning to everything exactly like I had left it in 2010. There was no Mr. Fusion installed on the Ford Contour. There was no 3-D hologram television in the living room. None of us are employed at Spacely’s Sprockets. 2011 is looking a lot like 2010.

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I did stay up and watch some of the New Years Eve broadcasts. My new tradition is watching Kathy Griffin make Anderson Cooper uncomfortable and she was in fine form again last night.

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On the tape delay, I watched a little of the NBC program (boring) and Dick Clark (I feel guilty for watching him and I feel guilty for being uncomfortable watching him).

Today we took down the Christmas tree and returned the last of the Christmas paraphernalia to the attic. I love the holidays but I am sure glad to have my house no longer being held hostage by Kris Kringle.