Nov 29, 2007

Santa's Helper

I like shopping. Even more so than Hotness.
In fact, I've been known to do other people's shopping for them.
But when it comes to Christmas shopping, I get more and more burned-out by it every year.

This year I think I'm going to try and get all (or most, anyway) of my gifts online.
I have them sent to work, wrap them during lunch break or at home while Hotness is at the barn with her horse.
I don't need to drive around, trying to find a parking spot and avoiding the rude shoppers in the stores. No carrying bags from the car to the house hoping she doesn't see what I bought.
(Oh honey, is that a Victoria's Secret bag you just brought in with you? *blink-blink*)

Anyway, I thought I'd offer some help to those of you who feel the same or just don't know what to get people on your list.

If you have friends or loved ones who are very 'Earth-friendly', there are a couple of places online to help you find the right eco-happy present.

One place is
It's kind of a "granola" type information site, but they have a great list of helpful ideas to providing environmentally-sound gifts.

Or you can go to
Give gifts that don't involve adding to our landfills with garbage. Give an experience instead.
Lots of great ideas for things to do that don't involve packaging, gift wrap and all the trash associated with opening presents on Christmas.
How about tickets to a concert or a theater play? Or maybe go to a sporting event?
Heck! You could even give your friends the gift of learning the bagpipes!
They have lots of different topics to choose from, and many of the companies listed offer discounts for buying them during the Holidays.

Of course, I'm not saying you shouldn't buy presents.
I'm just offering some ideas for those who don't want to shop or know what to get this year.

If you are getting presents, but don't have gift boxes for them, you can get something unique to put it in.
The Onion has an online store where you can buy gift boxes of bogus products.
Like this one:

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Happy Holiday shopping to you!

Nov 27, 2007


"There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits." — Opening narration – The Control Voice – 1960s

Sorry if you tried to watch some of the videos I have posted on here and can't.
I had some trouble with YouTube and had to disable them.

Nov 25, 2007

More Rock Band

Hey, just so you know....
Even though we're rockin' out, we did sound better than this:

This is just painful to watch!
See more of these here.

Games, Games, Games

Saturday was spent playing games all day. Yes. ALL. FREAKING. DAY.
I got up in the morning and went to my friend Kevin's house to play Guitar Hero and Heroclix with his kids for the day.

We had a 4-person slug-fest against eacher (which I lost... yet again) and then played some Guitar Hero. And played a quick 3-person Heroclix wrasslin' match. Followed by more Guitar Hero.... eh, you get the picture.
It began around 10:30 a.m. or so and went on until around 4:30 p.m.
Then I packed up my stuff and headed north a few miles to meet up with my comic shop buddies to play more video games on Xbox 360.

I hung out at the Comic Stop for about an hour and then went over to join the group to start rocking out.
We all met at George's place (heh heh, while he was still at the store!) for a little, impromptu Rock Band party.

Munchies were waiting for me when I got there (which is good since I hadn't eaten much earlier in the day), including cupcakes! Mmmm.. yum!

Well, you all know of my love for Guitar Hero (and this is the same group who introduced me to it... those scoundrels!) so it should come as no surpise that this was just as much fun to play.
It's great since you can include a group, not just one or two people, per turn. We had up to five band members at any given time;
1) singer /vocalist
2) guitar
3) bass
4) drums
5) footpedal drum (for those not coordinated enough to handle ALL the drums by themself)

I did some furious fret-work* on the guitar and bass and was the designated footpedal drum pusher for a few songs, although I didn't actually play the drums.
And yes.... I did sing.
Luckily it wasn't caught on video and there don't seem to be any incriminating pictures of me floating around the world wide interweb, but I did vocal duty on just one song: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" by The Clash.
I'm hoping nobody lost their hearing the next morning after I was finished.

Others were not so lucky, though, and here is some video and pictures of them:

Here's Bizeau's wife singing "Highway Star"

And Bizeau, himself, singing "Run For The Hills"

(I'm sorry about the crappy sound quality, but it's my camera phone. That's about the best it's going to be)

Also, we got a rare appearance by the Demon-Nacho's parental units:

In the meantime, those who awaited their 15 minutes of rock fame spent the time just chillaxin'.

I don't know how long the rockin' went on, but I finally had to call it a night around 1:30 a.m. It was still about an hour's drive back to my house, and with it being foggy and in the freezing temps, I didn't want to be too tired to make it back in one piece. (Which I obviously did since I'm posting about it)

I really enjoyed myself and I think the game is a ton of fun, but I doubt I'll be getting it for the PS2. I don't have enough people in my neck of the woods to play it with and Hotness isn't really all that into it.

I think I'll stick with Guitar Hero and join the band over at George's every now and then.

Rock On!

* Granted, my "furious fret-work" was on Medium Difficulty Level, but at least I kept it up over 90% for the songs I played. (heh heh... I said "kept it up"!)

Bounce Around

The day after Thanksgiving, we celebrated my niece's 2nd birthday.

A bunch of her play friends and quite a few of us adults spent the morning at Kidz Bounce just, well... bouncing around and having a great time.
It's a fun workout and the hour we spent there went by w-a-y too quickly!

I got into one of the play structures with a bunch of the kids and then proceeded to launch them into the air by doing cannonballs onto the 'floor'.

There was an obstacle course you could race through, and I got challenged at least three different times by the kids. (Not to mention I helped chase a few through that weren't expecting it!)

It is a very fun place to take your kids for the day to wear them out.

After that the Natster went home to open her birthday presents.

A fun day to be a kid!
Happy Birthday Natalie!

Post Turkey-Day

I trust that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and that you all had a good time.

Hotness & I spent the Holiday in town with our friends, Dug & Debbie and their daughter, along with a couple other friends. There was food aplenty, and pies waiting for afterwards.

The 7 of us finished eating and then waited long enough until we could fit some pie (oh, yeah.. and cheesecake) in for dessert. About that time we were joined by some more friends for the post-dinner pie feast.
A lovely day with beautiful weather and great company to be shared. I hope yours was just as pleasant.

Here is a small batch of pictures from our day:

Proper T-Day eating requires training. Here is Natalie warming up with a pre-feast nap.

In the country, even the cows are included in the festivities.

Rarrrr!!! (We had to hide the children from her)

Mmmm.... pie!

A little theater to go along with our dinner, courtesy of the Lovely Ladies of Shady Lane.

Nov 23, 2007

Bed For Sale

Just a heads up to anybody* reading this who's in the market for a new bed...

Hotness & I are selling our old bed and getting a new one.

I've got the old bed up on, but here are a couple of pictures of it...

We're getting the new one delivered tomorrow, and it's going to look like this....

And yes, that IS my Terry Moore picture on the wall in the first two photos.

* When I say 'anybody', I mean local. NO out of state / country buyers.
And bring cash!
11/25/07 UPDATE: I took the listing on down today. We already have a buyer for it. Yay!

Nov 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a quick shout out to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Whether you're eating the traditional turkey (cooked in the oven, deep-fried, smoked, or whatever), tofurkey, or a turducken... may your day be a happy one and well-spent with people you enjoy!

Nov 21, 2007

Lampshade From Hell

Got some money to burn? (Ha ha! Get it? Burn? Hell? Oh, I crack myself up sometimes.)

Anyway, if you've got some spare cash just sitting around waiting to be spent on something you could always buy this nifty limited edition lampshade by designer Luc Merx.
It's called "Fall of the Damned" and it depicts a mass of tiny little bodies all falling into the pits of Hell. Except it's a lampshade.You know... for your lamp. 'Cause that's what turns the ladies on when they come over to your place. That and all the mint condition action figures adorning your walls. Trust me, I know this.

Of course to own this little piece of art, you'll have to cought up $45,000 for it. After all, it is limited to only 40 pieces.

Wait... 45 THOUSAND dollars??? For a friggin' lampshade made out of little plastic people?!?
Dude, I can think of much cheaper ways to cover up a light and still be 'arty' about it.

Silent Movies

As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoy silent movies from the early days of film.
I'm not going to say I think that the acting was better or anything like that, but without the use of sound these movies had to convey the emotions and feelings purely by the actors facial expressions and the music (that was played live for the audience).

Some of them were truly crap (just like today) but a few are still as incredible today as they were back then.

Kino International recently released a 2-disc DVD of the classic German horror, Nosferatu.
I don't have it yet, but I will be getting it soon.
They've cleaned up the print, added the original intertitles and re-recorded the original musical score for 5.1 stereo. Not to mention a host of extras about the films history.
I saw a badly recorded version on a cheap DVD and it was creepy then, so I can only imagine how much better this cleaned-up version is going to be.
(On a side note, this film is a great 'story about the story' of Nosferatu)

In the meantime, I found a trailer for the recently restored and re-released version of Metropolis.
One of the all-time classics and a visionary film that was way before it's time.
When you watch this, keep in mind that the visual effects (that happen about 1 minute into it) are from over 80 years ago!

Well, I hope that gets you interested enough to want to see it.
I know not everyone is into older films, but this really is special and worth seeing at least once in your lifetime.

And just 'cause I'm also kinda of a geek... here's this;

Nov 20, 2007


Yesterday, a story was working it's way around the office about the ACLU filing to prevent the Federal Government from closing for Christmas because it violated 'Separation of Church & State' regulations.

It turned out to be a satire. For now, anyway.


Mmmmm yummy!

On Saturday, Hotness & I got together with some of the 'tribe' for a little pre-Holiday celebration of appetizers and conversation.

We were honoring one member's recent success at passing her exam to become a licensed massage therapist. Another's 18th "29 year" birthday (*a-hem!*) and yet another's recent job promotion.
So with all that happening we just decided to have a good time before Thanksgiving & Christmas took up all our available free time.
It was very relaxed with 'your choice of an appetizer' as the meal theme.
I made up more of the salsa that I tried out a couple of night earlier and also an experimental dish.
I mixed together some cream cheese and smoked salmon along with some horseradish and served it on cucumber slices. Very tasty, if might say!
There was also some mulled wine,
which I don't think I've ever had before but I certainly look forward to having again!
Basically we just hung out like we always do... except not at a campsite. It was sort of like an epsiode of "Thirtysomething".
We talked about getting together again soon for a J-pop movie night and Jason & I tested out a children's drum set that was in the living room;
Not to mention, yet another fun time of "pass the baby"!
Hotness and I each commented on our way way home how much we appreciate all our friends and enjoy spending time with them whenever we can!


Little-known factoid about me.... I really enjoy silent films.

Particularly the early German classics like Nosferatu, The Golem, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and especially Metropolis.

The Seattle International Film Festival group was holding a showing of the film in honor of Kino's 30th anniversary. They (Kino) had done a very exhaustive restoration of the film recently and it was a great choice to show off their efforts.

It was being presented in one of the lecture rooms at McCaw Hall in Seattle, where Hotness and I go for the ballet performances.
I was excited to get a chance to actually see the film on something other than a TV screen, so I made plans with a friend to meet in Seattle and watch it last Friday evening.

I won't go on about the storyline. You've probably heard about before, but if not just click here to find out.
(And by the way, this one is totally different)
But as a piece of film history I think it's incredible the effects they were able to create in that era for this movie.
Anyway, I had a great time and was glad I got to see it.

Here are a few stills from the movie:

But you're probably most familiar with this image:

Nov 15, 2007

Cowbell Hero

Hey, look what's new and just in time for Christmas!
Cowbell Hero!

Rock On!

Salmon & Salsa

Just finshed dinner and was it ever gooooood!

I had a salmon fillet that G-rod had given to me the other night from one of his recent fishing trips. It was just big enough for Hotness and I to have for a meal (along with some rice and a salad).

For the salmon, I sprinkled dill on it and layered lemon slices all over it. Then I wrapped it in foil and cooked it in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 35 - 40 mins.
In the meantime I mixed up a salsa recipe I had found; Kiwi, Pomogranate, Avocado salsa.
Ooooh! Man did it go well with the fish!

I'm going to have to make that salsa again. It was scrumptrulescent!
Hotness said I should have taken a picture.

If you want to try out the salsa, here you go:
Kiwi Pomegranate Avocado Salsa

Nov 13, 2007

Game On!

Wow! Thirty year's worth of video games and game systems recently sold on eBay.
That is one impressive collection!

Nov 12, 2007

One Brain Cell

Being from the Northwest, we like to think we're just a tad higher up on the evolutionary ladder.

Then some idiot has to go and do this.

Obviously he wasn't MacGuyver.

Nov 10, 2007

Mario Theme....

.... on Tesla Coils.

"The music that you hear is coming from the sparks that these two identical high power solid state Tesla coils are generating. There are no speakers involved. The Tesla coils stand 7 feet tall and are each capable of putting out over 12 foot of spark. They are spaced about 18 feet apart. The coils are controlled over a fiber optic link by a single laptop computer. Each coil is assigned to a midi channel which it responds to by playing notes that are programmed into the computer software."

(found on Geekologie)

And, as if that wasn't enough coolness in one day... here is a picture of a monkey. Getting drunk.

Ninja Death Spider

Tonight, while Hotness & I were sitting on the couch watching a movie ("Tommy Boy" with the late Chris Farley by the way), I noticed something move in the corner of my eye.

I was reclining and Hotness was leaning up against me when just inside my field of vision I saw it...
a little black crab spider:

Or as it should've been called.... a Ninja Death Spider!
It was creeping up my arm in stealth-mode fashion towards my shoulder and when I saw it I started flailing my arm about like I was going into a convulsion or had Tourette Syndrome.
"Wah! Wah! Ugh! Ah!"
Of course, at the time only I could see it.
So as I'm waving my arm around and blowing at it (yes... blowing) to try and get it off, Hotness is freaking out 'cause she doesn't know what it is.
Luckily I was able to use my 'combat training skills', and I opened the door and shook my sleeve vigorously to get the little assassin off of me and onto the cold, hard ground outside.
I'll be sleeping with one eye open tonight......

G.I. Joe

I was never into the comic books or cartoon series, but G.I. Joe was pretty popular from my 'tween-age to teenage years.
Of course he's been around for a lot longer than that, but that's how I remember him best.

So along with other Pop-culture icons getting a facelift and a movie (i.e. Transformers, Speed Racer, etc...) Hollywood is planning on making "G.I. Joe: The Movie".

But wait....
What's that you say? G.I. Joe is not going to be an American?
You're kidding, right? I guess not.

I'm not a flag-waving patriot or anything, but c'mon!
How could they make a movie that's ABOUT an American but make him Un-American?!?
Well, thanks Hollywood for that unwavering sense of American pride you seem to have lost.

The Devil's Due

Last night at the grocery store after I picked up stuff for dinner, I got in the car to head home and thought " You know, I think a drink would be nice tonight. Better pick up something for a mixer".

So I went back inside to grab a few things.
I got some cranberry juice, lime juice and a lime.
(I was planning on making some Cosmopolitans)

I realize that drinking can be bad for you, but I didn't think it was going to cost me my soul!