Nov 30, 2008

Kyle Stevens In Concert

Last night I met up with Beer Gardens and we drove into Ballard to watch Kyle Stevens play his last local show for the year.



Kyle is a great guy and is fun to talk with, but watching him perform, you can see how much music is his life.

I mean, I like music. A lot of music. From all different genres.
But I'm not a musician, so I enjoy the way it makes me feel when I'm in a particular mood (or the mood that it puts me into).
But Kyle IS a musician. When he plays, he's playing what was once a part of him and he is now sharing with the world. It's no longer private and has become an experience among the select few who are with him at that time.

It was a very small venue and got filled up early on before he even began.


Many of his family and friends showed up to show their support and watch him perform, including:






And Qtilla

The set list covered the gammut of his early, solo, and current works so there were plenty of songs to pull from.


Last time I watched him was at the Comic Stop and he was debuting some of his Kirby Krackle songs.
This time he played a few more pieces from that upcoming album including an instant crowd favorite: "Naked Wii"
He also finished with a unique cover of "Billie Jean".

After the show we talked a bit with him and then the four of us headed over to Dick's for a late burger before going back home.

Nov 29, 2008

THAT'S Forward Thinking!

A police chief in Lansing, Michigan has been stockpiling weapons in preparation for any event... including a zombie attack.

He's quoted as saying;
"We have been doing mock disasters and cross training for several years,” he told the Lansing State Journal.
"People can feel confident, if zombies start invading, we’ll know how to close the streets. We can get chainsaws too.
If a swarm comes in on I-496 westbound, we’ll block off the exits so they miss the city
.

So... crazy police chief or somebody who knows how to take charge and protect the people?


I'll leave you to decide.


Post-Thanksgiving

So I'm assuming that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.
At least, that seems to be the story from everyone I've talked to lately.
Despite home-forclosure worries, a precarious economy, and job-related stress it seems that most everyone was still able to relax with family and friends and reflect on what they still have and be thankful.

Hotness and I spent the afternoon with friends and just had a really nice time.
The kids kept themselves entertained and nobody got hurt. Our conversations were lively. And the food was incredible.
Your's truly made the three-cheese macaroni (with and without bacon).
I also tried out a new pie recipe: Pear ginger maple pie. (By the way, I used Bartlett pears as they were kind of big and I could get a little more than 1 cup per pear. I also used a pre-made pie crust... thank you Top Foods!... for both the bottom and top, instead of the topping in the recipe. I just cooked it a little longer to compensate, like 50-55 minutes) It was fantastic and I plan on making it again.
And I made a tried-and-true favorite; double layer pumpkin cheesecake. Oh my goodness, I love this recipe and so does everyone else!

Lot's of stuff happening this holiday weekend. What with the Macy's parade crowd getting Rick-rolled live to a human stampede at Wal-mart in New York State on Black Friday (by the way, there are not enough words to describe the amount of disgust regarding that incident).
We even had a bit of drama in my neck of the woods. A driver lost control of her car and ran head-first into a guard rail early Friday morning. The car caught on fire but luckily her husband was able to get her out of the vehicle in time. She escaped with a broken leg and a few other injuries, but is alive and expected to make a full recovery.

Yesterday was spent playing games with my co-workers kids (yay Heroclix and ZOMBIES!!!), followed by Hotness and I going to see James Bond kick some @$$. (I'd seen it, but she hadn't yet). I really liked this movie. Not as much as "Casino Royale" but still worth it's salt as a Bond film, in my opinion. It wraps up "CR" nicely so that Bond can move on.

This morning, we got up and went into town to have breakfast with one of our neighbor-friends.
And in a little bit, I'm taking off to meet somebody (who contacted me via a mutual friend) to show off some of the comic artwork I've collected over the years.
Later tonight, I'll be joining Beer Gardens and watching Kyle Stevens perform live in Seattle tonight.
I'll let you know how the show was.

Enjoy the rest of your day....

Nov 27, 2008

PG-Porn

I debated whether or not to post this for a while now.
It's freaking funny (in my opinion, anyway) although it is debatable as to whether it is safe to watch at work.
There's absolutely NOTHING to see that'll get you in trouble but the 'scenario' might raise a few eyebrows if they saw it over your shoulder.

Starring Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Serenity, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) and Aria Giovanni (the next Anna Nicole Smith... without the drugs and crazy), I present to you:
Nailing Your Wife


I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Turkey Day

I just want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving today.


Whether you're with family, or friends, or just staying home and avoiding people, I hope you have a wonderful day.

Nov 26, 2008

Brush With Fame

And by "brush" I mean hardly even close... but you'll see.
-------------------------------

A couple of years back, while working in the front office, I got a call one afternoon;
*brrrrring!*
Me: "Hello, Company X. How can I help you?"
Customer: "Yeah, do you carry brand Y inserts for sheet metal?"
M: "Do you have a particular part number for the one you're looking for?"
C: "Well, I need it to have X threads and be X long. I'm thinking maybe part number 123xyz."
M: "Let me see." (tappity-tap on the keyboard) "Um, no I don't but I can check with the factory about getting some. How many did you need?"
C: "I only need a few, like maybe a handful. About 8-10 pcs."
M: "Hmmm... well that wouldn't be enough for a minimum from them but I can see about getting some as samples for you. Can I get your name and a number to reach you back at?"
C: "Yeah. It's Anthony. Anthony Ray. My number is xxx-xxxx. That's my cell so if I don't answer just leave a message."
M: "Alright, I'll call you back and let you know what I find out."
*click*


So I call the mfgr. and order up some samples and have them sent out to us via the U.S. mail.
I called the customer back, "Hi Anthony? I'm just calling to let you know that they were able to send out some samples for you. They're coming out in the mail so we'll probably have them in about a week. We'll give you a call when they get here and you can pick them up or we'll ship them out to you."
Customer: "Alright, thanks. I appreciate you getting back to me. I'll look forward to hearing from you when they come in."


Cut to a week later~
I'm in Montana with Hotness on vacation. We're sitting in an Arby's having lunch when her cell phone rings.
She picks it up, "Hello? Yeah he is. Just a second" and she hands it to me.
It's one of my co-workers and he says, "You will never guess who was here to see you!"
"You're right I won't. So who?" I said.
"Sir Mix-A-Lot! He was just here to pick up parts you ordered as samples for him!" he says.
"Uh.... yeah. I'm on vacation so thanks for the trying to joke but I'm going to get back to my lunch", I said and then hung up.

A minute later the phone rings again. This time it's G-rod.
"Hey man, we're serious! Sir Mix-A-Lot was just here and picked up the parts you got in for him. He signed one of your worksheets on your desk. He asked where you were, but we told him you were on vacation so he left you an autograph. You TOTALLY missed him dude!"

Then it hit me that Anthony Ray is his real name. It never occurred to me before, because after all... who's expecting Sir Mix-A Lot to call up and order samples of threaded inserts?
He showed up at my work and I totally missed him.

Here's the autograph that he left on my desk:


So that's my close brush with a famous celebrity.

-----------------------------------------------------------

In case you need a refresher, here's what Mix-A-Lot likes:




Nov 24, 2008

That Was Over Too Soon!

Last night was the big night! The "Crater on the Moon" comic book release party!
Hotness and I headed down from the mountains to brave the big city and make an appearance at the Comics Dungeon for Keith's self-published labor of love.
We were also joined by Elwood who came out to show his support.
(He has a great review of the event over on his blog if you want to check it out)
Here's him and Hotness before the festivities took place:


I acted out a couple of scenes from the story along with other CotM alumni:
video
(We had some technical difficulties with the first scene, but let it load for a bit and you can skip to the ACTION!)

video

Special thanks to Elwood for taking the video for both of these. I appreciate it!


And I also got a brief interview with the comic creator himself:


(Sorry about the music, I didn't know the microphone picked it up as much as it did)


There were some nifty door prizes being given out. One of the prizes was a hand-knitted afghan by Keith's mom! (Somebody won some cool swag, but I won't mention any names. *cough!*)


There was music, and although I did bring my Jew's harp I didn't get a chance to join in with the band. (My instrument isn't really "jazz worthy")


Since it's a long drive back home from Seattle, Hotness and I cut out after a couple of hours along with Elwood.
The three of us walked down to Dick's for a quick burger

'cause after all..... Dick's IS the place where the cool hang out!

Overall, it was a fun time and I was glad to help support a local comic.

---------

Coming up soon.... Thanksgiving and my brush with 'fame'!

Music Madness Monday

Thanksgiving is almost here. Only a few more days away.
So here's a video to remind us of some things to be thankful for;
Skinny ties, hair-metal bands, girls rolling around on cars.... generally everything the 80's had to offer.
Oh, and MILFS. Rawr!


Nov 23, 2008

... In Which I Didn't Accomplish What I Set Out To Do

I went over to see my mom this weekend (well, Friday night / Saturday at least).

Last time I was there I was to help her get her toes wet with 21st-century technology by setting up a Paypal, eBay, and Amazon account.
We started with getting her a Paypal account and I soon discovered that she didn't have any antivirus software on her computer.
NONE!
So I immediately ceased any further account set-up information and told her we'd have to get that fixed before anything else.

That's why I was over this weekend, to get antivirus installed.
So I'm there, booting up the computer, getting things going, etc....
And one thing leads to another.
'You have updates to install. Please click to begin the download'
So I do. And it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
'You must restart you system for updates to take effect'
I do that. And the system starts back up.
'You have updates to install Please click here to begin the download'
What? More?!? "Hey, mom! Do you ever get the updates when it tells you to?", I ask.
"No, I click the X on the box and close it. I never do that. I don't know what they are for", she replies.
".......", I'm thinking. So I click to get the new update and it not only takes 2 hrs but stalls in the process. So I try to start over and that makes things worse. It took another 2 hours to undo what it was trying to update.

Finally it's done and I put in the antivirus software. Then it can't download the current signatures to update itself. WHAT?!?
Try it again. No luck.

I'm working with a recycled laptop with XP installed, but it's like it's running at MS DOS speed with a 28K modem.

To cut to the chase, NOTHING worked like it was supposed to. After 6+ hours of putzing with the machine all I succeeded in doing was cursing at it.

I'm not a tech expert, so I had to leave it in other (hopefully) capable hands to solve.


All was not wasted though.
I managed to make a stop at a nearby coffee shop where they diplayed some art from a local artist. She has an anime-flair and I gave her link to Technogreek to maybe contact her for the upcoming ECCC in 2009. Hopefully she'll be there and if you're reading this blog and make it to the show, stop by and tell her you found out about her here.


Today should be a blast.
I've got the comic book release party to go to.
I'm not exactly what's all in store for when I get there, but I'll try to get pictures and post them soon afterwards.
I hope to see some of you there today. (I know some of you will be there at least!)

Nov 21, 2008

Did I Miss The Memo?

This struck me as odd last night when I was checking my email:
"Feds Issue Winter Weather Forecast"

What was that?
Oh they must mean about interest rates and whatnot during the winter (aka "holiday") season.

Um, no. The weather weather.
As in "Baby, it's cold outside. Better wear a jacket".

Since when did the Federal Government have anything to do with reporting and forecasting the weather?
I thought that only belonged to the realm of meteorologists and the Farmer's Almanac.

It's a good thing that Big Brother... er, the government is stepping in to tell us what the weather will be. I mean,with comments like this:
"The rest of the 48 contiguous states have equal chances of being warmer or cooler than normal, the forecast said."
We're sure to be in good hands.



Thank you Big Brother! I know I can trust you!

Nov 17, 2008

Music Madness Monday

Oh Snap!
You've been Rick-rolled!


Or has Rick been rolled himself? Hmmm....


Thanks to Elwood for bringing this to my attention!

Nov 16, 2008

Orbicularus Pacmanicus

The fossilized remains of an ancient prehistoric Pac-Man:







(Just kidding! Found out about it here.)

Nov 14, 2008

Death Race 2000

Well, okay maybe it's a little late for the "2000" part but you can still turn your car into an unstoppable killing machine with only a few adjustments.


Step Two:
(thanks via the Presurfer)


-------------

Also, how to tell if your cat is planning to kill you!






The Return Of Yogi

It's been quiet out at our place. Aside from the rain, that is.

Our garbage cans have remained upright. My birdfeeders have stayed empty and the seed tucked away safely where un-gentle Ben can't get to it.
No problems.

Until last night.

Sometime around 9:00 - 10:00 p.m. I thought I heard noises outside but I couldn't make iut what they were.
With all the rain and wind we've been having, I chalked it up to being that and didn't go out to investigate. (Well... that and I was being lazy)

This morning,I'm trying to get out of the house and get across the valley before traffic gets all goobered-up and as I drive out to the road.... awaiting me is our trash can tipped over and the garbage spread out all acorss the road.
Oh yippee.

So I went back and got my gloves and picked it all up, put it in the trash can and then saw something in the mud next to where it was.

A paw print:

A big F'ng paw print!
( I put a quarter next to it for size comparison)

Looks like my nefarious night-prowler hasn't gone away for the cold months quite yet.
Guess I'll be waiting a little longer before filling the bird feeders again.

There's been some speculation that this isn't a bear, but rather a cougar.
I maintain that it's a bear because;
a) I've actually seen it and there are other reports of it's activities in the area
b) cougars don't dig in the garbage (or eat birdseed)

Check for yourself. Bear or Cougar?

Nov 13, 2008

The Waiting Game (or, How I Wasted An Entire Day And Got Nothing Accomplished)

Man! There has been a lot of rain lately.

So much rain, in fact, that a lot of the roads in my area have been closed due to flooding.
Which makes it so fun trying to get to work, as everyone is now bottle-necking onto the few open roads remaining.

Like this morning for instance.

We've been watching the river rise and the valley start to flood, but nothing too extreme so far. Just the same old same old.

This morning on the way out the door Hotness asked if I'd heard anything about what roads were open or closed. I didn't, so she stopped by the coffee shop to get the 'local scoop' on what's happening before going to work.
She called me at the house and told me that one of the major roads had been closed and a couple of smaller ones as well, so I might want to leave early to have time to get to work today.
No problem. Can do.

So I left earlier than normal to find myself stuck in a l-o-n-g line of cars trying to get to the one bridge out of town that was still open. Creeping along, finally got to the bridge and then trudged across the valley at 5 MPH until the road divided and everyone went their separate ways.

Got to work and called Hotness to let her know I made it in safely (I do this every day by the way) to have her tell me, "Somebody said they're closing the bridge by noon. I have to leave and get back home."

Great. I just got in to work and now I might not get home this afternoon.
Screw that! I'm going back where I can be comfortable if the valley's going to flood.
So my boss comes in to work while I'm on the phone with Hotness. "They're closing the last bridge into town. I need to leave and go back home."
"Uh.. okay then," he said.

As I'm talking to him I still have Hotness on the phone and she's relaying to me that she contacted the King County phone number to ask about the bridge closure and they said, "We'll probably be closing it by 9:00 or 10:00. It may not wait until noon."

So I turned off my work computer, got back into my car and headed home.
The water had risen higher in the hour that I last crossed it, but still not up to the road where it would pose a threat the vehicles.
No signs or anything indicating that the road would be closing, though.

I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some things (before everybody panicked and got there ahead of me) then I drove to the house. Hotness got home about 45 minutes later.

I got online to check to the flood conditions and road closures, but the bridge still hadn't been closed.
My buddy at Microsoft is on a group that contacts each other when things like this happen, and he called me to tell me that they were closing the bridge... but it didn't happen.
We called the coffee shop and they said, "Yeah, they're closing the bridge".... but it didn't happen.
Hotness called to the city hall to see what the status was. They said, "We're keeping an eye on the situation and may close it very soon".... but they still haven't.

So we've been home all day waiting for a flood that will isolate our little town, but it hasn't come to pass.
Luckily Hotness was able to work from home. I, on the other hand, don't have that option so I'm at home taking personal time for a disaster that never came to pass. (Not that I love being at work, but at least I was doing something constructive and getting paid for it).

The rain slacked off a bit today, so I imagine the river will come down some and the risk of flooding over the road will be nil by tomorrow.
Now, I have to go to work and listen to my co-workers nit-pick about how I should have waited before taking off. Yeah.... whatever. STFU.


For your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from the last time it flooded the valley and all the roads out of town were closed (back in Nov '06):



Nov 10, 2008

Music Madness Monday

How in the world did I ever miss this until now?

Nov 6, 2008

Comic Book Release Party

Some of you may not know this already, but I am actually a character in a comic book.
I play XT Space Marine, Mike Valera in Gus F. Martin's "Crater on the Moon".

It's an updated version of the Greek myth, "Jason and the Argonauts" done in fumetti style.
Here are a few of my "scenes" in issue #7:


(that's me on the bottom right shedding a tear for a fallen comrade

Gus F. Martin is the pen-name for Keith Curtis who singularly puts together each and every issue.
He's a member of the Cartoonists Northwest Assoc. as well as the current president of the organization (at least, I believe he still is anyway).

I met the author a few years back while working at the Emerald City Comic Con.
I was intrigued by his booth set-up. Aside from the comics he was selling, he was also dressed in Space Marine fatigues, and was offering aluminum foil 'anti-alien-brainwave' hats.
He was really going all-out in promoting his book and was very friendly.
We talked during the show and he asked if I'd be interested in being a character in his book as one of the XT Space Marines in search of the golden F.L.E.E.C.E.
"Sure, why not? That sounds like fun," I told him. And the rest is history.

So it is with great pleasure that I'd like to tell you about his upcoming comic book release party in Seattle later this month at the Comics Dungeon.

Some of the cast members from the story will be there, including myself.

If there's time (and he can get it arranged technically*) we might re-enact some of the scenes from the comic for your enjoyment.
Also, some of the Space Marines are accomplished musicians and will hopefully be performing that afternoon as part of the celebration.
(I'm not an accomplished musician, by the way, but I told Keith I'd bring my Jew's harp and play along with the band if the opportunity presented itself.)

You don't need to R.S.V.P. to attend the release, but if you do, you'll receive a 20% off discount on store items during the event.

In addition to the "Crater on the Moon" volumes 1 & 2, there will be CotM T-shirts for sale, as well as posters, tattoos, and other related merchandise.

Immediately following the release, there will be a post-party celebration at Kate's Pub right across the street.

*********
Comic books!
Music!
Door prizes!
And an after-party get-together for more shenanigans!
Come out and help support a local comic publisher (and watch me probably make a fool out of myself... again.)

(* Anybody with technical expertise and/or a projector is encouraged to contact Keith at the email in the release ad above. Tell him I sent you)

Nov 4, 2008

Did YOU Vote Today?

I'm not going to harp on you if you didn't, but this was a very important election.
If you didn't... well, you must've had your reasons.

But if your 'reason' was laziness, then you have no excuse after reading this:
Determined Texas woman, 92, votes in ambulance

You did see that she was 92 years old, right? NINETY-TWO!!!
And she STILL made it to the polls to cast her vote.

I hope we all made the right choices today and got out to vote.

All Roads Lead To Bacon

Swiss police were informed of a suspicoius blood trail on a rural road in Northern Switzerland.
Fearing the worst they followed the trail for 12 miles to discover...... that a buthcer's delivery van had been the culprit.

Apparently a the truck was heading to a local sausage factory and a barrel of pork blood had overturned while in transport. Leaving the grisly trail behind it.

Sorry I guess no bacon was actually found.
But... mmmmm, bacon!


Nov 3, 2008

John Jacob Jinglehiemer Schmidtt

That's NOT my name and neither is it the name of a kid from the U.K. who recently changed his name to (and I'm not making this up):

Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined.



*whew!*
That's quite name.
(I hate to inform him, but Spider-man is hyphenated. Just saying.)


And why exactly did he do it?
Because he "wanted to be unique".


I have a lot of personal experience with geek culture and I can safely agree that he will definitely be unique. And probably dateless and / or jobless with a name like that.

I mean, if you were of the female side of the population how would you respond to;
"Hi! I'm Captain Fantastic. Would you like to have dinner with me?"
Or if you're going to get something to eat and you heard this;
"Welcome to Burger Buster. I'm Captain Fantastic. May I take your order?"
Would you trust your stock portfolio to somebody named Capt. Fantastic? Would you let your daughter go out on a date with a boy named that? What if they got married?!?


I'd laugh myself silly upon hearing "I'm Captain Fantastic".
"Yeah, and I'm Baron Von Footupyourass."



I guess the only cool thing about it is that he decided on doing it himself. His parents didn't force him into having a name like that. So if he's happy, well.... whatever. Live and let live I suppose.
I just hope I don't meet him. Not that would beat him up. I just don't think I could actually look at the guy and have a conversation after hearing him say his name.

I'd be too busy laughing.


--------------
In totally unrelated news:
Ew! Ick!

Music Madness Monday

Who doesn't like cookies?



It's always a good time for them!

Nov 1, 2008

Woof! Woof! Woof!

You know what I love about Halloween?
Half-price decorations the day after!

I picked up some stuff this afternoon, including this sweet Cerberus decoration:


It's about 3 feet long and about a foot tall.

Maybe I should park him at my desk at work .
When people ask me where I work, I sometimes tell them "In Hell as a janitor". Since Cerberus was the guardian at the gates of Hell I think it'd be appropriate, don't you think?




Nice doggy!

Post-Halloween

Last night went well.

We got dressed up and out the door for T & Q's Halloween / house-warming party and got there fashionably late.

It was fun and the costumes were great.
Here they are in no particular order:

(Oscar the Grouch was having confession)


(Two Supergirls is twice the fun!)


(It was nice that the Sesame Street gang could make an apperance)


(Surprisingly, NO Jokers at this party)

There were quite a few other costumes, but I wasn't able to get them all.
Lots of yummy Halloween goodies to partake of as well:


Alas, it got to be late and one Supergirl was overtaken by the Kryptonite couch by the end of the evening:
So we headed home and crawled into bed around 3:30 a.m.
Hope you all had as much fun on your Halloween night!