Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rejoining the Quest for the Tower...

OK, I loved all Stephen King's "Dark Tower" novels. My wife and my teenagers have since been sucked into them as well.

So, I have been cautiously optimistic since Marvel Comics announced a mini-series dealing with the gunslinger's early life. It's been long delayed, but the glimpses they have shown so far look like they're treating it with a great deal of respect.

Now for the weird thing. Marvel has just released a 'trailer' for the comic. Which looks pretty cool, although the narrator's 'country' accent threw me a little at first.

Take a look:

Comic 'adaptations' of other media (movies, tv) often leave me cold. This one, though, might just hit the spot.

When it finally comes out, I'll let you know.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wii are the Champions

Alternate titles for this post:
"Houston, Wii Have No Problem"
"Wii, Wii, Wii, Wii, All the Way Home"
"What Will Wii Do Today?"
"Wow, Wii."
"To Wii or Not to Wii, That is the Question"
... and the list goes on.

All through December I wanted to post about how hard the friggin' thing was to find. But I couldn't, because too many of my kids read my blog!! Somehow, I figure that reading about my exploits would have slightly lessened the surprise on Christmas morning.

So let's just say that it was impossible to find unless you were:
a) lucky enough to be at a store within ten minutes of opening on the morning that they received a few of them;
b) were willing to camp out overnight at a store which knew that it was getting a few in advance;
... neither of which conditions I qualified for.

So, we bought it on Ebay. Yes, we paid a slight premium. And it *still* was hard to get. Luckily my wife is a sniper par excellence. I'm sure the other people who were leading the auction with 2 seconds to go weren't too pleased. Oh well, law of the cyber jungle and all.

Let's jump ahead now, to Christmas morning. The children were slightly pleased to discover their gift. Dad was kind of pleased too. BECAUSE OH MY GOD IT IS EVER FUN TO PLAY!!! No really. It's REALLY REALLY fun to play. I had no idea.

And it's so cool. It's also accessible to a wide range of players. Observe my five-year-old son playing with my seventy-year-old dad. My dad who, to my forty-year-recollection, has NEVER played a video game of any kind. But there he is, bowling and playing tennis with the boy.

Luckily, nobody has driven one of the remotes through the TV, or smashed an overhead light, or clubbed a family member into unconsciousness accidentally.

But if it *does* happen, I'll take a picture and sent it to

... let's just hope it doesn't. Might take the edge of the excitement just a tiny bit.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Picture the Holidays...

The last couple of days were pretty cool. (Except for my wife's laptop totally dying on Christmas eve, only to be luckily revived two days later. Whew.)

Instead of "blah blah blah here's what we all did", please enjoy a few select pictures that tell the story better than I could:

-Staying up late on Christmas Eve. And very happy about it.

- Some of us just aren't cut out for a 6 am start on Christmas morning...

- Aunt Kate *swears* she didn't know it was this big when she ordered it! But I don't think someone's complaining!

- Play that funky music, white boy...

- And he doesn't even exercise!

- Aharrr! Merry Christmas, maties!

That pretty much covers it. Except for the Wii, which will probably be an entire post on its own.

Hope your holidays were good.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Theory of Santa-tivity...

Merry Christmas. Or whatever else makes you happy this time of year.

It's late.

The kids are up in bed, trying to get to sleep and not succeeding very well.

The big people are up, trying to stay awake and not succeeding very well.

We had another interesting discussion about Santa tonight. About how Santa manages to do such a big job in one night. Someone floated the theory that Christmas eve is actually six months in Santa time. Sounded good to me.

It's only feels like about thirty-six hours in parent time.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Amazing Growing Jack Bauer

After the bouncy castle incident, my feelings on photo manipulation are pretty clear.

Now, it's even happened for something I feel much more strongly about: 24!

Remember a while back, I posted a Season 6 24 Cast photo? I discovered it at Wikipedia, and it's been my home pc desktop image since then.

I returned to Wikipedia's 24 entry today, and discovered that the cast photo had... changed.

Now, I had already realized that the original image had been photoshopped. Clearly the cast didn't all pose together for a photo. Now, however, our hero Jack Bauer is clearly... um, taller. Or at least, much more prominent. Take a look at the two images:

The people are all in the exact same poses (except Chloe's husband the bald guy) but their positions are all changed. And Jack Bauer is now clearly very much the dominant center.

Now, as much as I love the show, it's pretty obvious that, though they go out of their way to de-emphasize it, Kiefer Sutherland (and therefore Jack Bauer) is not a really tall man.

But hey! In *this* picture, he's practically a *monster*!

Oh well. In 24-world, size doesn't matter.

Only saving the world.

Friday, December 22, 2006

STOP! Motion, I mean.

A little imagination goes a long way. Check out this cool little stop motion epic. It's about five minutes long. For the first minute or so you'll kind of go, "Huh?"... but soon enough you'll be hooked.

Well, if you're like me anyway.

The Best Google Ever. Doc.

Why use Google in plain old english when you can have it the fun way instead?

I fell upon this yesterday when I installed Firefox in a foreign language by accident on my Ubuntu system. Don't ask.

Anyway, go to Click on the small link on the right called 'preferences'.

Then, in the top section called "Interface Language", click the drop-down list, and change your language preference to...

Elmer Fudd.

Then click 'Save Preferences.'

Once I saw the word "pweferwences" I knew I would never go back.

Th-th-that's all, F-folks!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Smashing my Windows

OK, that was cool.

After a few months of encouragement, I took the leap and installed Ubuntu on one of our computers. Bye bye Windows XP.

Ubuntu is, if I understand correctly, a flavour of Linux that has a nice graphical interface for normal computer users. Basically another operating system that's an alternative to Windows, which runs on any pc that Windows would run on. And it's totally free.

It's pretty neat. And it's totally free. In fact, I'm using it right now. It seems much perkier than Windows was on this laptop. And I still get to run Firefox! Yay. Oh, and did I mention it's totally free? And so is all the software that runs on it?

If you want to read a bit about it, go to

And did I mention it's totally free? Maybe I did. ;)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dr. Seuss Writes My Whole Day

I *totally* get where that Dad's coming from.

In fact, why don't we just call this page "My Day."

DAD BAD HAD. Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Oh well, at least it provides a nice counterpoint to most other days.

Hopefully by tomorrow my day won't be represented by despondent Dr. Seuss characters.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Deck the Halls, You #%$#& #$%$@^@#!!!!

Yes. I love humanity.

My wife and I took a day for Christmas shopping today. Usually we do it very early in December, but this time circumstances conspired against us and here we were.

But I must say, WOW! We're going to have to shop the week before Christmas EVERY year!

It's SO much NICER to shop the week before Christmas:

1) ALL the stuff you want to find is just SITTING on the shelves available for you to buy!

2) The other shoppers are SO nice! And they DRIVE so well! And they park their vehicles so CAREFULLY! And their conversations are so INTELLIGENT!

3) And the malls and the shops are practically EMPTY!

4) And the people WORKING in the the stores are so EAGER to help! They come right UP to you! And they speak so POLITELY!

5) And even my wife and I get along so WELL when we're shopping in such a pleasant situation. We weren't HOT, or TIRED, or FRUSTRATED at all!! And we CERTAINLY didn't discuss getting divorced!

So, after such a satisfying day, I can TRULY say with all my heart:


Saturday, December 16, 2006

There's No Need to Fear! UNDERDOG is... um... well.... here? Sort of?

Change can be good. Except when it's not.

Change for the sake of change is the kind that concerns me.

Remember New Coke? You see my point.

Here's the one I'm trying to reserve judgment on.


First, we have Underdog the old cartoon. Which I had fond memories of, *especially* the awesome theme song, so I exposed my children to it as soon as I could get my hands on an Underdog dvd:

Next, we have, Underdog... as he appears in the upcoming Underdog movie.

Um. He's a... dog.

Doesn't seem right, does it?

Kind of like going down to the pond, taking a real duck, putting a sailor suit on it, and calling it Donald Duck. See my point?

Now, maybe the movie will be charming and funny, and the kids of the world will love it. Maybe it will win me over too.


Or maybe it will be stupid and suck.

Or even worse, maybe it will fall right in the middle and be totally mediocre.

We'll see.

At *very* least, the movie poster looks slightly cool. I had seen the poster ten separate times before I finally got the pun.

"One nation... under dog."

Under dog. Underdog. Get it? No, really, I *totally* didn't get that at first.

Somehow. Maybe I need a nap.

Friday, December 15, 2006


OK, well, it's not strictly invisible, but it's *practically* invisible against the right background.

And it's not a *killer*. But it did hurt my foot. Not in the same way that the toilet tank lid did last week when IT fell on my foot, though. That was quick and painful. This was slow and insidious.

So. Where were we?

Yes. My foot.

So I'm sitting at work this afternoon, at my desk, and I realize that my foot hurts. And that it's been hurting pretty much all day, just slightly below my level of awareness.

The strange thing is WHERE it hurts. It hurts between my big toe and my second toe. Kind of like there's a cut there. But there isn't. I *know* I hadn't cut or scratched between my toes.

So, once it starts bothering me *within* my level of consciousness, I do what anyone would do. I take off my sneaker and my sock right there at my desk, and check out the old foot. My cow orkers really enjoyed that.

What I found, though, was a little unusual.

It wasn't a scratch or cut. It was a ... crease mark? You know, like if something sharp was pressing against your skin for a long time, it would leave a crease mark. Weird.

And this mark was running along the top of my foot and through the two toes. How the heck could that happen? I had my sneakers on all day!

Then a possibility occurs to me.

I reach into my sock.

And I pull out...

A nearly invisible...

very long and fine...

blonde hair.

My own genetic material, one generation removed. My 9-year-old daughter's hair.

The invisible killer. Well, *practically*, at least. You know, if I kept my shoe on for a few weeks, and the crease mark became a sore, and then got infected, and then the infection spread to the surrounding tissues... who knows WHAT could have happened!!!

Please note: Anyone with any concerns over me wasting bandwidth on such a trivial matter should refer to the title of this blog. They can't all be "War and Peace", you know!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Suit

I arrived home from work last night, knowing the house would be flying preparing for the evening's school Christmas concert.

Had it occurred to me, I might have expected what I saw. But I didn't.

My little guy, performing in his first ever school Christmas pageant, was wearing...

The suit.

The suit that all of our boys have worn to special occasions over the years. There haven't been *too* many, I guess, because it's held up pretty well.

It always gives me a little shot of nostalgia, or something similar. Here's a quick retrospective of the suit from 1997, to 2002, to 2006:

Before long, I suppose, it won't fit anyone in the house any more. We'll hand it off to another young man, or possibly store it in "the trunk of kids clothes that we just can't bear to part with".

And I have to say, when that time comes, I'll miss the suit.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fun with Food 2006

1975: Take one large marshmallow, put it on a long barbeque fork or something like that, turn on a burner on your stove, and carefully begin to heat the marshmallow. Hold it close enough to roast it slowly, turning it regularly so that it turns a golden brown. When it is evenly roasted, carefully pop it into your mouth, savouring the melted goodness inside the lightly toasted outer covering.

2006: Take one large marshmallow, put it on a plate, stick it in the microwave, and nuke the crap out of it. When it resembles a regulation size softball, stop. Eat it.

What can I say? Times have changed.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hey! You Talkin' to Me, MFR???

Yes, I'm a MFR. Although it doesn't necessarily stand for what you think it means.

Particularly if you think it stands for a rude compound word that is very effective in a sharp putdown.

Last month I devoted three and a half days to learn lots of basic medical stuff. Now I have a fancy tag I can wear that tells people that I'm a Medical First Responder. Oh, and I can defibrillate people. As long as the little computer voice tells me I can. CLEAR!!

Anyway, just last night, I demonstrated exactly how competent I am.

My wife and I were having dinner with our friends Kim, Ken, Barb, and Lockie. Yes, that's his real name. Don't ask.

Anyway, we were having a very nice dinner which was following a holiday drink of some kind which contained a LOT of alcohol. And we were having wine with the dinner as well. I'm just setting the stage to explain that what I said really wasn't that bad, in the context of the amount of alcohol I consumed in a short period of time.

Ken, who's sitting next to me, does a little cough or sputter. Something like that.

So me, I figure I should spout off on some of my vast medical knowledge. With my tongue in cheek, I prepared to ask him if he is ok, or does he need something like the Heimlich maneuver. Oh, wait, they call them something else too... abdominal thrusts.

So I say to him,

"I'm an MFR. Do you need a pelvic thrust?"


They all laugh.

REALLY hard.

Takes me a second to clue in. Oh crap. ABDOMINAL thrust. Not PELVIC thrust.

Which really is something altogether different.

So basically, I offered to perform a sexual act on my male friend.

They don't actually stop laughing yet. See, three of them are nurses. So this is the funniest thing they've ever heard I guess. Don't ask me.

So how do you recover from propositioning one of your friends? Not very easily. I try to say that I had actually planned to ask his WIFE that, after she had a few more drinks. They don't buy it.

So you can imagine how the evening progressed after that.

I'm just so smooth.

But hey, if you're ever choking, you know where to come for a pelvic thrust.