Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2011

We buy popcorn marked up 2000% and watch “Crazy, Stupid, Love”

We saw “Crazy, Stupid, Love” at the theater last weekend. We did not wait for it to go to the Redbox so that right there tells you that we were hoping it would be worth the money.It was a pretty good movie. The cast was likeable and it was toned down to fit the PG-13 rating except for one inexplicable and completely unneeded F-bomb. Maybe they added that to get the PG-13? I’m not sure if a PG-13 rating is more attractive than a PG rating or not but it could have been to set this apart as a romantic comedy for adults vs. a romantic company aimed at the teens. They can have “Twilight” – we’ll keep Steve Carell.There was a twist in this movie that I was either too full of popcorn or enjoying the movie too much to notice before – wham! – it got me. It’s like a Seinfeld episode where it all comes together by the end. The subplot involving Steve’s son and his babysitter is quite funny also.It’s a winner. It’s quite intelligently written and there are plenty of little personal touches you le…

Redboxin’ : “The Beaver” and “Cedar Rapids”

From now on, I’m going to refer to the act of paying a dollar to see movies that I was unwilling to pay full price to watch in the theater as Redboxin’. As part of the review, I will also tell you how much of my dollar the movie was actually worth to me.

First up is “The Beaver”. “The Beaver” is the kind of movie that makes me wonder what sort of people sat down with the synopsis or the entire script and actually agreed to give the green light to spending millions of dollars on something that would seem to me is an obvious flop from the get-go.

There are two ways to think about this movie. One way is “Wow, this is a phenomenal turd of a movie”. The other way is “This is an incredible portrait of mental illness”. Unfortunately for “The Beaver”, it falls right in the middle of the two. I wanted to call Mel on the phone and yell at him after this because his character is so incredibly frustrating. But, maybe that is the point. The performances here are good but the story made me cringe the…


Our first science project was completed last night! Fourth grade is going to be a lot tougher the second time around. This plant cell cookie took forever to make. My contribution is the labels. I also requested red mitochondrion. This better get an A.Since I’m still exhausted from all of this learning, I’ll keep this short and go out by shamelessly plugging my Tumblr blog. Please have a look over at Blogger is a place for serious writing and Tumblr is a more artistic counterpart. It’s more like building an online portfolio or scrapbook. I’m still learning the art of creating decent GIF’s. The fun about tumblr is the ease with which you can share posts and pictures. Also, you can easily follow multiple blogs. The entries here get imported automatically with a 24 to 36 hour delay. Most of my enjoyment is coming from searching for stuff from my favorite shows and reblogging the good stuff I find. Here is a GIF I made and just posted from Frasier:And…

An Appreciation: Nick Ashford

Music lost another great yesterday. A lot of us remember Ashford and Simpson from their 80’s hit “Solid”. Of course, their contribution to music is much greater than one song. They were one of the most successful writer/producer couples in music and they gifted us with an incredible list of classics. So many of my favorites came from their collaboration. No one today sings like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell did and they did it without any computer mixing or other trickery! And, all of these songs and so many more were written by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson. The soundtrack of our lives is better because of them.

Ugh Saturday

I’ve taken too many of these……to clearly write a decent entry here tonight.I did end up dragging through Walmart this morning but the rest of the day was made up mostly of sitting on the couch and watching episodes from the first season of Frasier.

Fair Thursday

The kids love the fair. And, they love Christmas. I’m glad of this but I’m always a tad relieved when both are over.We hit the fair jackpot last night. The clouds moved in about an hour before we got there and the wind from dying thunderstorms gave us a cool breeze for most of the night. Last year it was hot as fire.Even better than the weather, the kids had friends there to ride with on everything so us old people didn’t have to ride a thing! I didn’t have to risk any of the motion sickness that I got at Beech Bend earlier this summer!We were also smart enough to stay away from all of the super-unhealthy fried foods. I really wanted a funnel cake but we skipped it. Our stomachs all benefited from this decision.A good time was had by all. We got home at 10PM and it was extremely difficult getting up this morning. I think I was in a fog from 6AM to lunch. And, thanks to the cold or sinus mess I now have, I’m back in the fog at 8:30PM and counting the minutes until I can slink off to be…

Anti-Social (Networking)

My interest in Facebook is continuing to fade away. I might check it once a day just because I have a nice button on my bookmark bar in Google Chrome. Sometimes, I go down the line clicking the buttons in order and quickly remember “Ugh, it’s Facebook” and I just click the next button before it even opens. I rarely update my status and when I do, it’s typically via Twitter. (I took this picture at sunrise this morning.)Of my 244 “friends”, I think about 12 regularly update. The others are ghosts or lurkers or only update when they need to vent or celebrate. There are quite a few that I only “sort of know” – some are people I graduated from high school with who probably added the whole graduating class. I barely remember them and I am certain they barely remember me. I would leave Facebook but there are some people on there who I would completely lose track of if I left because I know them just well enough to give a comment or a like here or there but I don’t know them well enough to m…

Digital Magazines? No thanks!

I have a video game magazine subscription. It came with my Gamestop membership (we buy games used, play them for a while, the kids get sick of them, we trade them). Now they are asking me if I want to convert from a traditional magazine to digital.Sure, it’s a win-win for them. They’ll save big time on printing and postage. For me, it’s a big NO.I subscribe to these traditional (tree killing) magazines: Game Informer, Sports Illustrated (which has the best writing you can find in a magazine), Bloomberg Businessweek (which I consider the best magazine in print today), and Entertainment Weekly. I buy Real Simple at Walmart every month (I clip $1 off coupons for it). I also subscribe to one digital-only magazine - a radio magazine called Monitoring Times. I used to buy Monitoring Times in the bookstore each month but it is just a pain to find and the digital-only subscription was a huge savings. Unfortunately, I haven’t read my digital copies in three months. I keep downloading them but …

I Go to the Movies! : “The Help”

While everyone else went to Glee 3-D, I did the grocery shopping at Walmart and then headed to the movies to watch The Help. I just finished reading the book last week. The immediate challenge is that there is an awful lot of book here to try to cram into a movie and that is probably why this movie was a bit longer than some people might expect at 2 hours, 17 minutes. I guess since I just read it and have it fresh on my mind, I felt somewhat rushed. The result is that the depth we have with the characters in the book does not translate to the big screen with two notable exceptions – Aibileen (Viola Davis) and Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard). These two deserve Oscar nominations. While Emma Stone seems to be portrayed as the main star (and she is quite good in her role), Viola Davis carries the movie and flat out deserves the Oscar. Of course, I believe her character is also the main character in the book. Aibileen is the glue that holds it all together.The ending is hopeful but still heart…

Music for a hectic Thursday

My daughter, who is in fourth grade, described her day at school as “hectic”. “Social studies! Science! Math! It never stops!!”Tell me about it. Here are a couple of songs to help you wind down after a hectic day.

Pepto Tuesday

Something has been “disagreeing” with my stomach all day long. I finally had to give up and drink some of the dreaded pink Pepto Bismol tonight just to try to regain some control over whatever craziness is happening to the internals. I don’t think I’ve used Pepto for many years but I’ve always kept a bottle for those special emergencies and mainly for the kids. As nasty as it tastes, it does work. What I hadn’t noticed is how fun they’ve tried to make the bottle look.That super fun font and those graphics can’t hide the fact that it still tastes the same way it did 30 years ago when the bottle looked just like it tasted:See – it just looked nasty. We need more truth in advertising and we need to stop dressing up products to give us a false expectation of fun and joy. Drink Pepto Bismol – it’s the fun exciting medicine for the new generation of people with the craps!Just as I suspected – there is a tiny boat inside my stomach. That explains all of my troubles!


Sure, it’s Monday. But it’s also the day that I went to my daughter’s dentist and had surgery. He extracted the money from my wallet after he explained how much her braces are going to cost. Even after insurance, I’m in it for about $4000. Yep – four grand. I don’t have four grand in plasma to sell so I guess I’m going to have to join the Chippendale’s Chubby Dancer Program. Or, I can mow all of the lawns in the neighborhood. Maybe I can sell lemonade in my driveway. Hmmmm.In Nook news, I finished The Help this weekend.It’s quite a story. It’s actually downright scary in parts when you think of the danger these maids are in when telling these stories. It’s disgusting when you read about how they are treated by the people they work for. Sure, some of the nastier of the people in this book get their comeuppance but it’s still not enough.Now, is it the best written book I have ever read? No. It moves far too fast. It glosses over a lot. One of the three main characters has a mother who a…

Enjoy this video while I take a small blog break

I’m buried in work this week and have had to ignore the blog for a bit. Maybe something exciting will happen in the next day or so that is worth writing about. Until then, watch this really odd video for a pretty good song.

First Day of School

Another school year has begun and that means another picture out in front of the school. View allGet your own I took today off so I wouldn’t be so rushed. It’s weird to see all of the kids who come in alone – no pictures being taken or anything. Maybe I’m just weird and I should just drop them off at the door like it’s no big deal. But, I can’t. And I can’t help being a tad sad on the first day since this means they are growing up so fast. It’s amazing how fast it all flies by.Sara starts fourth grade today. I made her pose next to the pencil sharpener.Lindsay is in third grade and she was ready to go gossip with her friends about everything that happened over the summer.I had to go to Walmart after I dropped them off. Next, I will mow the yard thanks to the rain we finally got last week. I can’t think of a more exciting way to spend my 96 degree day off.