Flotsam and Jetsam

What’s up with hair and age?

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Yes, a TMI post. Why is it that as you get older there is more and more unwanted hair you must deal with? I probably should be happy that the hair on my head shows no signs of leaving, but I could really do without most of the rest of the hair on my body. As the years pass I find myself clipping, trimming, or plucking more and more. It’s quite annoying. Well at least Jess loves me in all my furry splendor.

Cell phones, and band gigs, and trips! Oh my!

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So the intense run of gigs went well, but unfortunately the Saturday gigs got cancelled because of rain. It was a bummer because my cover band was going to play and then we were going to do another Craig Davis gig immediately after since the band that was supposed to go on after us had cancelled (however when we arrived at the gig we found out that they may have un-cancelled, so we weren’t sure what would happen anyway). I took the opportunity to look into having my cell phone repaired since it had been having major problems making, receiving, or staying connected to calls, thus making it more of paper weight that you could occasionally use as a phone. I ended up getting a slightly better “refurbished” cell phone for $20! Woohoo! Then on Monday we got up at “stupid o’clock” as Jess calls it to drive to Houston to get her Employment Authorization Card. One and a half hours there, 5 minutes to get her card, one and a half hours back home. I feel sorry for anyone going through this process who doesn’t happen to live only one and a half hours away from the service center.
In other news, I think we should follow Valerie’s tactics in dealing with her own battlefront. We should just set “Saddam Traps” in strategic places.

This is HNN

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This update just in:
Sources are fairly positive that that the initial strike against Iraq very possibly destroyed the majority of Saddam’s wardrobe. Special operatives claim to be fairly positive that his favorite shirt was obliterated. Satellite imagery has shown evidence of him being quite irritated. A secret source who is friends with a guy who knows a special operative is nearly fairly yet adequately semi-certain that they heard a customer at a convenience store saying something in a foreign language that could have maybe been translated as “Oh man, Saddam is really pissed! Like throwing staplers pissed!” However the translation was also very close to “I’ll have a snickers bar and a slurpee”, so further investigation is being conducted.

Todays random thoughts

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I didn’t really have much to say today, but in an effort to update more frequently, I thought I would at least chronicle a few random thoughts:
This weekend I was recounting how it’s strange, the things we think are just so utterly cool as children. My example was this plastic robot hand I had. It was a plastic robot looking hand on the end of a stick a few feet long. You would hold the handle on the other end of the stick and when you squeezed it, the hand would close and grip. I thought this thing was so cool. Oooh! Look! My arm is not 3 feet longer with a grippy robot hand! Woooo!
A few weeks ago, also on a trip to Austin, I was practicing with Craig in the living room of my cousin’s house, while my cousin played video games and Jess watched. As practice was winding down we were talking about writing some new songs, and anything that anyone said from that point on was subject to possibly being a song. At one point we were urging my cousin on in his video game endeavors and we shouted “jump up and shoot!” Craig then immediately started singing “Jump up and shoot! grab the loot!” The thing is, it was kind of catchy and has stuck in my head, and against my will has continued to write itself in my brain. I already have some of the lyrics, a chord structure, and some more ideas. Ahh the stories we’ll have to tell on VH1 Storytellers.
I’ve been feeling kind of crappy since we got back from Austin. Crappy as in slightly ill. Very run down and headachey and stuff. I went to bed way early last night, and will probably do the same tonight since the next 2 nights are band practice, and then a gig. I feel bad going to bed at like 8:00 since Jess has a total aversion to going to bed before 11 or 12.
I’m trying to figure out what to do about working out now, also. I just absolutely can not get up at 6am to work out unless I’m asleep by about 10. Now as I mentioned, Jess going to bed by 10 is near impossible most of the time, and unfortunately I also don’t really “sleep” all that well until she comes to bed too, so I’ve been contemplating maybe working out at lunch or something, but that would require coming home getting undressed, showering afterward and all that, so it has it’s own set of problems. Maybe I should just forget about it and accept my fate as a fat bastard.
I think that about concludes today’s randomness.

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The Decline of Civilization…Well Not Quite

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Why is it impossible to go to a movie theatre these days without being in the company of people who incessantly talk, or kick the back of your seat? My own personal theory is because all traces of movie etiquette have been killed by the home video/ DVD generation. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a part of this generation and a card carrying renter. Hell I belong to Netflix (which totally kicks ass by the way; I encourage you to go check it out now) and the wife and I watch an average of 3-4 DVD’s a week. However we realize that a movie theatre is a different environment. Apparently many other people do not. They’ve been so spoiled by watching movies in the comfort of their own home that they think they can just carry on conversations as if we were all in their living room (not that it would be any less annoying there). I’m surprised they don’t shout at the projectionist “Hey! Could you pause the film? I need to pee!”. If I feel the need to make a comment to the person I’m with then I whisper it in their ear. In fact I whisper it so quietly that sometimes they have to ask me to repeat it.
Then there’s the seat kicking. This isn’t always actual kicking of the seat. Sometimes it’s that very subtle nudging. They have their legs crossed, which results in one of their feet pressing against the back of your seat, thus causing you to feel every shift of their annoying flesh vessel. Sadly I find the majority of my theatre trips involve one if not both of these annoyances. Sometimes I shoot angry glances in their direction hoping they’ll get the hint. They never do. If only I had laser beams I could shoot out of my eyes, that would solve much.
*tangent*
I often see those signs for “Laser Vision Correction” and wonder if these are clinics for super heroes to come and have their laser vision corrected. You know, maybe it’s out of alignment or something.

My goal is to eventually start my own chain of theatres with a very strict regime. There will be ushers/bouncers in every theatre at all times. If you talk, you’re out. If someone is kicking your seat or annoying you, you can push a silent alarm button on your hand rest and the ushers will remove that person. It will be a theatre where you know you can go and have a pleasant cinema experience, unless you’re one of the offenders. Perhaps I’ll call it “Cinemarcus Aurelius”. I don’t know if that’s really appropriate, but it was the only pun I could think of that might possibly work.

The Wacky Seven Hour Movie Marathon!

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So yesterday, Jess and I were planning to go see “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”. While looking at movie times, I noticed there was a “sneak” of “Chicago”, which we wanted to see, but it hadn’t come here yet. There was also a “sneak” of “Shanghai Knights” which we also wanted to see. The times just happened to coincide perfectly so we decided to have a marathon. We saw all three in a row. We were in the cinema from 2:00 to 9:30. All three were very good. “Confessions” was very well done with some real original artistic style. “Chicago” was very entertaining also. “Shanghai Knights” was pretty much more of the same as “Shanghai Noon” so if you liked the first one, you’ll probably like this one.
However all this movie going obviously messed with my head. I had a dream that me, my cousin, and my friend Andy were going to a 3 movie marathon. We went home after the second movie and just watched some TV, napped a bit and just generally lazed about. I realized that it was 8:00 and the movie started at 8 so I was suddenly rushing everyone around saying “Hurry up! If we leave now we can get there at 8:15, and with all the previews and stuff we’ll be fine!” Everyone kind of took their time waffling about whether to go and such and by the time we finally left we were now going to be 30 minutes late and I was annoyed. For some reason it was really important to me to get in the third movie of the marathon because I’d already seen 2 movies in a day before and I wanted to break my record (that fact was true in real life too). When we got there I was waiting to use the little kiosk where you can just swipe your credit card and buy tickets quickly (which I also use in real life) but there was a huge line. Since we were already way late I was annoyed again. Then I bought like 10 tickets because I was confused and thought I was buying tickets for everyone. Strangely the tickets were square crackers that were slightly convex and about 3 inches square, and I now had a stack of 10. Well it turns out they had bought their own tickets so now I had like 9 tickets too many. I decided to go to the ticket window and see if I could explain that I had messed up and pushed the wrong key or some other excuse to get my money back, when real life crept into my dream and I realized Jess and I had indeed already seen 3 movies in a row, so getting to this one in the dream was no big deal.Then I woke up. Crazy.

Christmas is Dead. However for $19.95 you can have this collectible replica of Christmas!

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So I have this friend. Every year, his family all basically tell each other exactly what to get for Christmas.
“You get me X, you get me Y, you get me Z”. If in fact someone decides to be spontaneous and get a gift that was not specifically asked for, chances are it will get returned.
So yesterday another friend of mine comes into work carrying a big box. It turns out he ha just returned from buying his own Christmas gift. He told his wife “I want this for Christmas”, but since she didn’t know the exact specifics and details involved as to exactly what to get and where to get it, he just went out and bought it for himself. When I brought up the subject of how I thought that was kind of lame, and against the whole spirit of Christmas (and how it reminded me of the first friend I mentioned) another co-worker chimed in and agreed with the other guy that it wasn’t lame but indeed was cool. Apparently he and his wife had also already gone and bought their own gifts for Christmas. The Christmas Spirit is officially dead. OK, I don’t really believe that but all these people make me feel that way. Christmas is supposed to be about giving. I like to get people gifts that I think they would like but that also say something about me. Something that they would want and yet that has a bit of my personality to it. I like to receive such gifts as well. I don’t mind giving possible suggestions as to gifts, and even getting things I’ve suggested, but I don’t want to just say “Ok, you get me this” and know for a fact that’s what I’m getting, or even worse yet just go buy myself a gift. Video killed the radio star, and commercialism killed Christmas. Apparently it’s now all about stuff. Junk. Things. Crap. Christmas isn’t a day which you show other people that you care, and that they mean something to you. It’s about having a special day when we can all go out and get ourselves something big that we want. In fact, don’t even wait for the day, anytime within about a month will do apparently.
“Merry Christmas! Here’s my present to you that you went out and bought yourself a month ago! Enjoy!” Evolution must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. This just reiterates my theory that the human race aren’t nearly as evolved and enlightened as we think we are. Can I go back to a saved game somewhere in history and try again?

So you want to sing “Hey Jude”…

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Ok, then, listen up. This is important. Hey Jude is one of those big, feel good, everybody sing along songs. You can just feel the tension rising as all of us wannabe Beatles lie in wait like hungry predators for that grand finale of an ending where everyone sings “Naaaa naa naa na na na naaaaa, na na na naaaaaaa, hey Jude”. However, here’s where we run into the worldwide epidemic. Let me demonstrate…
“Remember to let her under your skin, (the anticipation begins, the wolves are salivating) then you begin to make it better, better, better, better, (people are on the verge of aneurysms now…here it comes) BETTER, BETTER, YEAH!”(YES! Finally!)
Naaa naa naa na na na naaaaaaaaaa, na na na naaaaaaaa, hey Jude”
>>>JUDE JUDE-A JUDE-A JUDE-AY JUDE-AY JUDE-AYYYOOOOOWWW! YOW!<<< That guy. That guy just ruined it. Anyone know why? Anyone? Bueller? Because Paul doesn't shout that for another 3 rounds. However, that guy just can't wait to yell JUDE "JUDE-A JUDE-A JUDE-AY JUDE-AY JUDE-AYYYOOOOOWWW! YOW!" so he pounces to make sure no one else gets it first. Premature e-Jude-ulation. He has just completely ruined that line. In the song the line is placed perfectly for artistic effect. It just feels right. You spend three rounds slowly building up the tension, and then on that fourth round the horns and strings kick in, bringing things up yet another notch, and then at the end of the fourth round, Paul explodes in the orgasmic frenzy that is "JUDE JUDE-A JUDE-A JUDE-AY JUDE-AY JUDE-AYYYOOOOOWWW! YOW!". Ahhhh. It feels so much better when you wait. The perfect ratio of tension to release. Too early and there's just not enough tension to release, too late and it misses it's window and falls like a badly timed punchline. So, everyone practice along with your CD, record, tape, 8-track, mp3, or whatever you happen to have: "Remember to let her under your skin, then you begin to make it better, better, better, better, BETTER, BETTER, YEAH Naaa naa naa na na na naaaaaaaaaa, na na na naaaaaaaa, hey Jude (Stop it! Not yet! Wait for it!)
Naaa naa naa na na na naaaaaaaaaa, na na na naaaaaaaa, hey Jude
(That’s it! You! Out!)
Naaa naa naa na na na naaaaaaaaaa, na na na naaaaaaaa, hey Jude
(*glares* I see the twitching…don’t even think about it)
(horns and strings come in now)
Naaa naa naa na na na naaaaaaaaaa, na na na naaaaaaaa, hey Jude
JUDE JUDE-A JUDE-A JUDE-AY JUDE-AY JUDE-AYYYOOOOOWWW! YOW!”
…and there we are. Practice until your willpower allows you to exercise enough restraint to do it right. Then you can get your official “Hey Jude Police” badge. Be vigilant. The only way we can stop this is together. Knowledge is power. Thank you, good night.
*Beatle bow*

Ruminations on Theme Park “Speed Passes”

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We went to the Six Flags theme park this past weekend, which made me contemplate the new “speed pass” phenomenon that seems to have inundated theme parks across the land. For those of you not familiar with “Speed Passes”, they’re basically little beeper sized gadgets that you pay an extra $10 to use for the day. At the entrance of each ride is an electronic station where you scan your speed pass and it electronically puts you in line. You can then go off and do whatever else you want instead of waiting in line for the ride. When your electronic “place” gets near the front, the beeper alerts you so you can go to the privileged “speed pass” entrance and claim your place near the front of the line. This is nice for you because you didn’t actually have to wait in the line, and it’s nice for the park because instead of standing there in line with your money just happily sitting in your pocket you can be off buying a $2.25 bottle of water or spending loads of money on a ring toss game trying to win a giant stuffed banana that you probably could have bought for one tenth of what it cost you to keep playing until you won it. Not to mention the $10 they already picked from your pocket to rent the speed pass.
Now this led me to think about the future of “Speed Passes”. Sure they’re great right now, when you can just be-bop to the front of the line, but eventually if more and more people start using speed passes, then you’ll have to wait in line to register your speed pass to begin with and then when it beeps you, you go wait in the now ever growing special speed pass entrance line. This will necessitate speed pass evolution. For example, they could then put out the “VIP Speed Pass”, which for a mere $50 allows you to bypass all the normal speed pass peons and go straight to the the secret VIP entrance taking you to the front of the speed pass line.
If that wasn’t enough, perhaps you could get a Super VVIP speed pass (for only $500) which allows you take the secret elevator to the special entrance room where you then jump in an air chute which deposits you directly onto an empty seat on the ride.
For the ultimate experience however, you would get the Super Mega VVVIP “Vengeance” pass ($2500 per ride). This allows you to get in the super secret futuristic air pod which takes you to the fully catered “selection room”. Here a wall of plasma monitors shows you each and every seat on the ride. You then wait for them to fill, and select your victim. That person is then dropped through a trap door which leads back to the end of the line and you are deposited on the ride by a huge, overly elaborate (yet extreme comfy) mechanism.
Oh sure you laugh now, but they also laughed about ever putting a man on the moon! Just wait until the day you find yourself plummeting through a trap door to the end of the ride only to see my evil grin sitting in your place on the souvenir snapshot monitor at the end of the ride.

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