Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Today in the mail we got 27 Dresses and Revolver. We have not watched either movie yet, and probably won't stay up tonight to watch one, we can stay up late tomorrow. Plus, Jordan is laying on the floor (at least it is not me this time).
A couple links for today:
Like I said in an earlier post. Microsoft needs to dump Vista and just go back to XP. Sometimes you can go forward by going back. I guess.
Sometimes I wish I could send the people that send you those really cheesy emails to prison too. Don't those count as spam? Mom, I am just kidding, keep sending them. Not really, please stop. Just kidding, again. What am I saying she will never stop. Just make sure you send them to Diana and she will show me the really good ones. And Diana, you are welcome.
The Mavs fired Avery Johnson today. He was not the best coach, but with that team what can you expect. They were flawed from the beginning and Jason Kidd, their big pickup during the year, is nothing now, especially in the western conference. This team needs a complete overhaul. They should try to trade Josh Howard to Denver for Carmelo. Try to move Kidd for anything (he will be easier to move 2 years from now when his contract is expiring). Move Stackhouse for some rebounding/big man help. If they could pull of the Melo deal I think they will be OK for next year. If they try to stand pat, they might not make the playoffs. And if you do not think Denver would do that deal you are crazy. The Nuggets have to move someone, they have the 3rd highest payroll in the NBA, and cannot get out of the first round in the West.
I hate the BCS, but it will never change. The good old boys club just has it too good. There will never be a playoff even though it makes such sense to turn all the small bowl games into playoff games and then BCS games as the championships, how is that not a good idea? Back to the golden rule - whoever has the gold makes the rules.
Fed lowered the interest rate. Waiting to see what this does to car loan interest rates. We are going to get an All Wheel Drive car for this winter (not a Honda Pilot, we test drove one and Diana did not like it). Hopefully car loan rates go down a little more so we can get a sweet deal on whatever car we get. The one problem with the lower rate is inflation and the dollar, this is bad for oil and gas prices can only go up in the fed keeps lowering rates. They need to stop before things really get out of hand.
New clamshell blackberry coming out for all of you that want a blackberry, but love your clamshell phone. I still love my blackberry.
I am buying my old computer from my work. It still runs great and will be a good addition to the fold. I just need to get a wireless card for it and then it will be ready to go. I just bought a 19" widescreen flat panel monitor for it and I am excited to see it in action. We are going to let Diana have the desktop for her scrapbook room and still have the laptop when she wants to roam, and then go from there. This is like the one I got, but mine had a different brand name, Envision I think.
This is what I should be spending my tax rebate on. But, we are saving as much as we can. We are going to try and do Hawaii this fall/winter. Hopefully, we can just save my June and September bonuses and then we would have plenty for a trip in the fall. But by the time I get those bonus dollars we usually have them spent on something - like Jordan's surgery or house stuff! By the way, if you want the above TV but don't have a Costco card, let me know and I will help you get it, it has to stay at my house though.
We did have fun as a family getting her ready for the campaign and making posters and flyers and paper buttons (that were never used - thanks anyways Diana, they looked really good!).
Other than that not much is going for Chloe, except she is addicted to the Twilight series of books and it is pretty much all she talks about. Hey, I like the books, but I can still talk about other stuff, like my blackberry and...well, at least I can talk about my blackberry.
Sorry C-Bug! Next year we will get them!
After the surgery all seemed well. Jordan quickly devoured an ice pop and they sent us home. We had rented Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium and Alvin and the Chipmunks for Jordan to watch while he recuperated. Don't worry, I am not going to give full reviews for either of these movies. I will just say MMWE is good 4 out of 5 stars, but I don't think it is one for a lot of rewatching and AATC is ok 2.5 out of 5 stars. I just do not like cheesy movies like this, but Theodore is way cute in the movie, so there is all I want to say about that.
We are at home at Jordan seemed fine. He asks us to be quiet and turn off the movie. He is getting a head ache. We give him some motrin, but he just throws that up. We try some Sprite and a couple other small snacks and he throws those up. Now he is really complaining about his head. Diana lays down with him and rubs his back/tummy and he is OK. But you must be completely quiet. I am in the kitchen working and Diana comes in once in a while when Jordan will let her. Or she would text me to come in and take her place so she could have a break. I will tell you that boy gets ornery when he does not feel good.
Last night was also Pack Meeting for Jordan and we were hoping to go. Jordan was getting his Citizen and Fitness pin as well as the Citizen and Geology belt loops. All of that is a little more than a month working with him, and both of those are required for the Webelos badge. Hopefully we will have the Webelos badge soon. Well, Jordan wasn't going so I let the Cub Master know, she was disappointed, but I am not leaving my kid home alone when he just had surgery and doesn't feel good, so I don't feel bad at all about it.
Well, Jordan was up late and couldn't sleep. I ended up on the floor becuase that kid moves too much and I had to get some sleep to be ready for work today. I slept fine on the floor, just woke up more often than usual.
Jordan seems good today. He stayed home from school for safety, we don't want to send him and then have him throw up sometime during first period, that would not be good.
Jordan's chinese teacher did call him to see how he was doing and that was nice. Mrs. Hawker, I take away some of the not so nice things I say to people about you.
Anyways, Jordan is going to school tomorrow. Hopefully all is well.
We still need to find where these head aches are coming from.
Oh, and during the install I only had to call Diana's uncle (who is a plumber) twice. And he also came over to show me one thing. But I did all the work. Honest.
See our new faucet below.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Mario Kart for Wii was released over the weekend. I think we will have this pretty soon.
I was at the WalMart on 5600 West and near 3500 South and they had probably 12 Wii's in stock. Get one now before they run out!
What are the Australians doing with all those cell phones. There are more cell phones that people in Australia. Check out the article.
Almost time for me to buy a GPS for my vehicles. I remember a couple years ago on the day after Thanksgiving people were buying GPS like crazy for like $300, now you can find them for under $200 if you look around.
Another of my NBA picks going awry. Who would have known that the best team in the NBA could get this worked by the 8th seed and a team I don't believe should even be in the playoffs.
I love How I Met Your Mother, and the first time Britney was on wasn't a big deal, but this is getting ridiculous. Are they going to have her on every couple weeks? They really need to kill her off. She is definately not Ted's wife, so get her off the show. Hopefully it is the Sarah Chalke character from a couple weeks ago.
Download 1492 and When I Dream of Michelangelo by Counting Crows for all you that have not bought the album yet. See my review of Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings to get the lowdown on these two songs.
Can you believe that iTunes has already been around for 5 years?
Delta has raised airfare prices again. How high will these prices be when I go to Europe this fall. I had a discussion with our events manager and we are going to try and get everyone we know is going to buy a ticket now.
That should give you all something to do tomorrow at work.
Have a good day.
I will post an update on Jordan's condition once we know how things go.
We have not heard about Jordan's kidney test results. While we were there the radiologist said everything was good, but the urologist was going to look at them before they gave us the final word. We will probably hear from them while we are Jordan's surgery tomorrow.
Jordan's surgery is tomorrow morning. We have to be there at 7:30 AM, so we are leaving the house at 6:30AM, just so we can be sure to make it on time my wife says. This surgery is ear tubes so we hope to be home quickly and let Jordan recuperate and be ready for school the next day. Jordan has pulled out his build a bear for tomorrow, so we know he is a little apprehensive about the surgery. I talked to him and he says he is not scared. I told him it was OK to be scared, and that his Mom and Dad will be there for him the whole time. We will see how he does. He already told us he does not want verced which is what we usually use to calm him down before the surgery. I am sure everything will be OK. We just want to get it done and get him home. He always does better once we get home.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
"Don't be thrown by my British accent."
"I have to admit that was a good impression of the Pope."
Hayden Christiansen has a bad heart, loves Jessica Alba, Lena Olin is the mom, Terrance Howard is the doctor. The mom doesn't know that Hayden and Jessica are in love. The doctor is Hayden's friend, but also his doctor. Hayden needs a heart transplant. Jessica and Hayden get married, a new heart comes through for him. Hayden goes in for transplant and he is awake during the transplant, he can hear and feel everything. During the transplant secrets start to come out. These are secrets that Hayden doesnt want to hear. Things get a little crazy. But the mom figures it all out and then makes the ultimate sacrifice to help her son get back to life and the bad guys get what is coming to them. Then Hayden wakes up.
I give this movie 2.5 out of 5 stars. Jessica Alba cannot act. She is horrible. Hayden can barely act. Lena Olin and Terrance Howard are great, but when they have to interact with the two losers things go downhill pretty fast. I feel that some movies are just thrown together, there is no beginning and no real end. And in some movies there is no real problem that is the center of the movie. We watched another movie Margot at the Wedding that I do not want to even talk about, and since this is my blog, I do not have to do anything that I do not want to.
Today we ran a couple errands and got stuff for Chloe's campaign to be 6th grade representative for next year. We are making 4 large posters and she can have 10 small flyers to hang up. Chloe's campaign manager made the small ones, so we just have big ones to do.
We also got a picture/frame/saying thing to go in our front room. We just have to get our pictures printed out and inserted into our frames and the front room will be done. We have to get all that done by next Saturday - for the Cinco de Mayo party. We also got Diana's magnet board she has been wanting. We went to Robert's - and used the 50% off one item coupons. So we got some pretty good deals. I have to paint the magnet board and today I got the primer on it and one coat of paint, but I need to sand it a little now and then put some more coats of paint on it.
Yard work will have to wait until later this week or next week.
Jim Gaffigan is on Comedy Central right now. This dude is hilarous. We have his special Tivo'd permanantly on our TIVO and watch it every couple months. Here is a couple Gaffigan goodies - and of course I am leading with Hot Pockets, probably the best 6 minutes you can spend in front of a computer.
The NBA playoffs are still going on and a bunch of my predictions are way off. Of course, people point those out to me, but don't say how many I am doing just good on. Let's be fair. These are just predictions.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Don't you just love Microsoft. They release a new version of their software (Vista). Everyone hates it. Businesses will not use it. Most people would rather just use XP, because it just works. No funny business like you get with Vista. Microsoft has announced that they are extending the life of XP, which they wanted to kill a year ago, because there would be a riot if it was actually pulled.
The Bees win again. They are now 19-1. The one loss coming the night I went to a game. I guess it is all me. Maybe I will have to go to another game soon just to see if it is me or not. Anyways, I guess these guys are good.
Yesterday's Lost was pretty good. Read the recap from MSN and let me know what you think. I would rate last nights episode a 4 out of 5. This season on Lost there has not been an episode that has rated under 4. This is by far the best TV show on right now.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Diana learned how to send me meeting appointments from her computer to my Blackberry. Andc it is awesome. We are now keeping our calendars sync'd together and we are loving it, and I love having work and home on the same device to keep all my appointments together.
Thinking of this for my Blackberry: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2008-04-23-microsoft-tellme-blackberry_N.htm?csp=tech. Being able to be somewhere and ask my phone where food or a library or something is and actually having the phone be able to answer is sweet. Except the navigation doesn't usually work on my phone, maybe I just don't have it set up right. It never worked for my iPod Touch either.
A lot of us work somewhere with an IT help desk, and if yours is like mine there could be some improvements. Today at work a random email went out to order new machines for some employees without notifying their managers on what types of machines they should have. Now to me this is kind of a no-brainer to me, alert the manager, see if their is anything the person needs on a new machine and then let the person know when they will be getting it. Production at Burton Group is going all laptops - for when they travel/meetings/ease of use to take home if there is illness/family problems/ other issues. Most people at BG already have laptops, so getting production on laptops seems to be the way to go, but I guess we will see.
A new LOST is on tomorrow. Just about the only show that I am excited to watch each week.
Today in SharePoint I built (along with my hours of meetins) a consulting references database. I am going to show it to the VP of Consulting tomorrow to see what he thinks. He sometimes ask for the moon, but I think I got it locked up for him. I am trying to build it now with thoughts towards setting workflow and reminder emails. This reminder will be based on the last checked date which is automatically entered every time a new entry is put in SharePoint. The workflow will last for 6 months and then change the status of the reference from Active to Contacting and send an email to the reference owner who will be the consultant that handles the engagement. We will see how this all goes down tomorrow.
The Ben Folds concert was tonight - Diana just told me that so I thought I would note it in the blog. I like Ben Folds, but I just can't spend the kind of money that concerts cost - unless I love the band/dudes, and I just don't think Ben Folds will make me leave feeling good about the money spent for it. Plus, sometimes Ben has some bad language.
American Idol tonight, Diana wants Jason to go. I just want time to go faster so it will be over. Honestly, how do they stretch a five minute results show into an hour. Oh, yeah, they put in 55 minutes of junk. BOOOO!
Diana also made arrangements for our cinco de mayo party today. We are going to celebrate our mexican heritage. This will be the 3rd year where we have friends over and have a large collection of mexican/spanish themed dishes. This year we are having three families over which is a first for us. We usually go two because that works better in the house, especially when you start adding kids for the families.
We watched The Savages tonight, but I didn't really pay attention. All I know is that Diana said the preview for the movie was a lot better than the actual movie was. Doesn't that just tick you off? I get mad becuase now we wated our time with our Blockbuster Total Access plan for the next couple days. BOOOO!
Chloe is running for 6th grade representative for next year. I have her skit all planned out, but I don't want to outline it here, one of her opponents may be reading this and I don't want to give up the good ideas. Chloe likes the idea, Diana loves it. When we do it I will hopefully get some video and post it up here for everyone.
Jordan has to get tubes in his ears again. That is going to go down on the 29th of this month. Not to mention his appointment on the 25th and the 28th. We are going to the doctor's a lot this month. The 25th is an appointment to get his kidneys and bladder looked at. The 28th is the cranio-facial clinic visit for this year. I don't like these because we usually just wait around to see doctors and it takes 5 times longer than it really should.
Back to the Blackberry, my friend Scott has installed Jott for his Blackberry and loves it. I am trying to decide if I want to install it as well, since me and Diana have been all about the Blackberry messenger back and forth, I hope Jott works with that. Tonight I even had to tell Diana to stop texting me while I was driving. Now I am a good texter and driver, but sometimes when you are going 85 on the freeway you just should not text.
American Idol update: Jason, the dude Diana wants to go out has just been declared safe. Diana is not happy. She would like it if I gave another BOOOO! So here it is for you sweetie. BOOOO!
Saw the preview for Will Smith's new movie Hancock. And it actually looked pretty good. Here is the preview.
Almost time for the AI results. Here you go and then I will be done. Carly is out. Never liked those tattoos. Plus, she was already signed before to a contract. Never should have been allowed on the show.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
All I know is that I am ready for Lost to be back on Thursday - now that is some great TV.
This movie is supposed to be like a documentary that shows what happens to a group of people on the night a huge monster attacks New York City. The night starts out as one of the guys is getting ready to go to Japan and there is a Going Away party for him. You see the background stories, some of them love each other and don't know it. Others have troubled love. This seemed a little slow, but I just wanted to see the monster.
Finally, a small earthquake and the city goes dark. Lights come back on people are scared, they run to the roof and see an explosion quite a ways a way. Now they run down to the ground and the building down the street collapses and a flying object comes at them. Once it lands they see it is the head of the statue of liberty bashed and destroyed. They run into a store as the monster goes over them. Beth, Robert's love, calls and says she is stuck in her apartment and Robert decides to try and get to her. She calls while they are crossing the bridge out of town. All of a sudden a tail comes in and destroys the bridge. One of the brothers is killed.
They start to walk away and get trapped in a subway where one of the dude's moms calls and he has to tell her that the brother died. Sad. Drama. They decide to go down the track in the dark. You see all the rats running the way they are going and then with the night vision on the camera they see a weird little moster and it jumps on them. They start to get one of the guys, but they beat them off. One of the girls gets bitten as they run into a workers room in the tunnels. They decide to go back out to the top-level and run into a large contingent of army guys. There is a lot of injured and the army is ready to ship this group out, but the girl that was bitten starts bleeding from the eyes and the army dudes freak out that she has been bitten. You see the army people grab her and take her to a room where it looks as if she blows up or something. I just don't know why the army did not check to see if people had been bitten earlier if it was such a problem. Robert is trying to convince the army guys to let him go get Beth. They won't do it, but in all the commotion they get seperated and the one army dude left lets them go.
The group finally gets to Beth's building and it is leaning on another building. They decide to go up the building that is not leaning and then go across the roof to get into Beth's building (she lives near the top). The get up there and go across the roof. Once they get to Beth's apartment you see that she has been impaled by a piece of rebar. She is literally stuck. They lift her off the rebar and get ready to go. They get back down to ground level (one small attack of the small creatures - but this time they had an axe handy). They run to the meet point with the army and the monster is right on their tail. Lily, one of the girls, gets on a helicopter, but there is not enough room for all of them. She lifts off and is OK. The others get the next helicopter and watch as a bomber gets some direct hits on the monster. The monster is down in a pile of dust. Suddenly it jumps out and grabs the helicopter. The copter crashes and out three friends that we have been following are mostly OK.
The monster is right with them now. Hud looks up and the monster looks down at him, the monster eats him, I guess and he is gone. But the monster is gone as well - why didn't it get the other two? We will never know. The last tow go grab the camera and head off trying to get away. They hide under a bridge in central park as you hear the bomb sirens sound off. They tell each other they love them and talk to the camera. Explosions go off and the camera is buried in ruble. You don't know what happens. Then you see the end of what they had taped over...which is the last two left at Coney island saying they had a pretty good day.
I liked this movie, there is some bad plot points, and I think I pointed most of those out above. But, this was well done and I enjoyed my time watching it. I do wonder what else happened. But this was a good start. 4 stars out of 5. I would watch this one again.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The Brave One
Jodie Foster and her boyfriend are in love. They go out to walk to the dog and they get beat up, he dies, she is severely beaten. She takes weeks/months to get out of the hopsital. She is really shaken up. She finally goes home and then it is hard for her to go outside. She gets a gun (illegally). She then feels a little better. She goes back to work at her radio station. She does a sounds of the city while she talks over it thing. I guess a lot of people listen to her. A local cop that was in the hospital does, and he checked up on her. Jodie Foster is back to going about the town, but now she has her gun to keep her safe. And she ain't afraid to use it. When she sees an injustice to her or someone else. She is ready to act. And she tapes it all on her machine to listen to it. She does not feel good about killing these bad people, but she is not really that remorseful either. She does almost turn herself in at one point. But doesn't. Well, her relationship with the cop is growing and she interviews him for her show. He tells her about a bad guy that he is after. Near the end of the show she, of course, kills the bad guy and then the cop knows it is her. Now Jodie Foster is finding out who attacked her. She wants to get those guys as the last ones. She goes after them, the cop helps, she gets shot, he gets shot. He does not turn her in. All the bad guys are dead. Things are happy, I guess.
I had hoped this movie would be more about the moral dilemma she faced, but they really glossed over that part of the show. Or maybe I missed it. I almost feel asleep. 3 stars out of 5. I do think you should rent this one, but rent Juno first.
The movie begins with a young lady walking through town downing a huge sunny d. She goes into a local qwik e mart and buys a pregnancy test. You soon find out that this is the third one and the guy behind the counter knows the girl. Well, the test is positive again, and she is now certain that she really is pregnant. Juno (the girl) decides she needs to tell the boy. When they "did it" it was a one time thing because they were bored. Well, he gets a little crazy about it being his. He likes her, but right now she is indifferent. Juno talks to her friend and she decides to have an abortion, but can't go through it. So, Juno decides to give the baby up for adoption. She finds the family she wants to give the baby to in the Penny Saver (what!?). At this time she decides to tell her parents and this is about the funniest things you will ever see - you will never think the same about a blue slushee after you watch this. Juno goes to meet the family she is giving the baby to and they are a nice couple where the guy seems a little detached. He writes commercial jingles. The wife (Jennifer Garner) works also, but seems like the hyper-, super-wife. Well, Juno is very happy that the family the baby is going to will be good. Juno continues to grow (belly) and she stays at school with the disapproving looks from the administrators and for now, the students think it is cool. Juno decides one day to drop in on the family and just the husband is home, and they start to bond, and Juno kind of has a crush on him, but it also seems like he has a little crush on her a well.
Juno is still at school and now she is huge. She is mad that the baby daddy is going to prom with someone else, and she is getting ornery with everything going on. She decides to go back to the family (she does have that crush on the guy). Well, he is getting ready to move out, he can't handle it, doesn't really want the baby, says he doesn't love his wife. It sounds as if he is trying to leave his wife so him and Juno can date (creepy). Well, the wife gets home and Juno brings it all out. He fesses up that he is not ready and does not want the baby. They get in a fight and Juno storms out. You then see Juno in her car thinking. She grabs a yellow piece of paper and write something on it. She leaves it on the doorstep of the family and then leaves. Juno also decides that she loves the baby daddy. She fills his mailbox with orange tic tacs (his only vice). Juno then tells him that she loves him, and he loves her - he always has, he was just trying to move on becuase that is what she wanted.
Juno has the baby, and Vanessa, the wife, shows up to get the baby. Juno is happy with the boyfriend. Vanessa is alone, but you see the paper she left that said "Vanessa, If you are still in, I am still in -Juno".
Now I left out a lot of the funny, because I want you to watch it. This movie is hilarious - I almost rolled off the bed laughing. 5 stars. Rent it, buy it, own it. Just do not let your teenage girls watch it because teenage pregnancy is not as easy as this movie shows. There is a lot more to it than what this movie shows. But this is a movie, it is not real, so things can and will work out. Good movie.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Cleveland vs. Washington
The best young player (LBJ23) in the league against the best unknown player in the league (Caron Butler). This series will be hardfought. But the Cavs will win. I like the Wiz, for some reason I just do. I liked them when they were the Bullets and had CWebb and Juwan Howard. That was a long time ago. But I just can't like the Jazz. Not this Jazz that we have now. The only player with any heart is D. Will. But we can talk more about the Jazz later.
Cavs in 6
Toronto vs. Orlando
If you did not pay attention to the NBA you would think Orlando would smash Toronto in a series, but the Raptors have had the Magics number all year. The playoffs will be no different. D. Howard is not as dominate as he should be. Rashard Lewis is a 118 million dollar bust and Turkoglu is awesome - o why did I trade him from my fantasy team for Jermaine Oneal? Oh, yeah, I was trying to hit a home run, but instead got a pitch to my head.
Raptors in 6
Philly vs. Detriot
This series is a walkover. The sixers do not even deserve to be in the playoffs, but in the East me and four friends could fight for the 8th seed. These dudes suck. The NBA, where teams that could barely beat a college team make the playoffs happens. You do realize that the Piston have been good (for the East) fir like 5 or 6 straight years now, and other than the fluke against LA only have one championship to show for it. If they do not win this year, they are done.
Pistons in 5
Atlanta vs. Boston
This Boston team is better than people think. The bench really came through for them this year. The past month the big 3 have basically been just staying in game shape. 66 wins and a great record against the West. The C's are for real. And should cream anyone in the East. Atlanta, good job. After 6 months of playing, you have the right to get creamed in the first round.
Celtics in 4
LA Lakers vs. Denver
These should be some high scoring fun games to watch. It seems Denver has the pieces to match the Lakers every way. But the Nuggest play no D, and Kobe can lock down when he needs to. This is the year I predict that Pau Gasol finally gets a playoff win. The Lakers just need to play a consistent game and they will win this series. Do not get out of control and try to outscore the Nuggets. I do like Carmelo (on the floor, as a human, he is horrible), he really earns every point he gets, not a lot of layups or easy baskets for him.
Lakers in 5
Utah vs. Houston
Rematch from last year, when Houston had Yao and barely lost. This year the Jazz should destroy these Rockets. Only McGrady can score and he can be neutralized or the Jazz will just let him score 40 and stop everyone else. The Jazz play no defense, but no one on the Rockets have any offense. Boozer...you suck. Show some heart and play some D.
Utah in 6
Phoenix vs. San Antonio
This series is why the Suns made the Shaq trade, only in the West could it happen in the first round. The Suns have destroyed the Spurs twice since the trade and it will be no difference in the playoffs. Other than some cheap, crap playing from the Spurs once they know they have lost, this series will not be that hard for the Suns.
Suns in 6
Dallas vs. New Orleans
The Hornets have been a surprise to most people (not me). I think they are good, but they will not win this series. The Mavs know what they need to do to win in the playoffs, and will be able to do it against this Hornets team. The Hornets need another year and a better bench.
Mavs in 6
Friday, April 18, 2008
I posted the pics I took on my curve from the top (almost) of the large hill/mountain we were climbing. The middle pic shows where we were camping.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
It has been a great NBA season and I can't wait for the playoffs, well at least the Western conference playoffs. When is the NBA going to get with it and qualify the top 16 teams? This whole top 8 from each conference is a joke. And I don't care about history or rivalries. Once the NBA makes this decision and just does it new rivalries will be created, and the better teams will make it to the playoffs and teams like the Hawks, sixers, raptors, and wiz wouldn't be there as road kill. It is a waste for the good teams of the west that beat each other up have to end up with a well rested and ready eastern conference team. I think we all know that the Cavs, Celtics, and Pistons are the only teams in the east that even have a chance. And the cavs will be destroyed if they make the finals. The celtics and pistons only have a change because they will not have to face three quality teams during the next three months. Which is the biggest problem with the NBA. The NBA season is 5 months and 82 games. The playoffs are 3 months and 20 games. What a waste of time and players. All to even up the TV nights and make sure there are games on every night for a week (which I like), but the games get too spread out.
Stern - I am calling on you to fix this. I know we bonded during our 35 second hello conversation in Barcelona. So Dave, fix this. I know you can do it. And while you are at it, don't let the Sonics move to Oklahoma. Be a man and make these billionaires live with their choices, dont let them pick up a franchise that has been in Seattle for 40 years and just up and move them.
I love sports but hate the business side of it.
So the blackberry enterprise server at work has been down. I haven't been getting work email for the past two days. It is a totally different feeling now. I will be away from my computer and when I get back I will have 7 emails and be like - "when the heck did I get these?" I don't like it. I have gotten so used to having my email when I need it. Actually, not when I NEED it, but when I WANT it. And I want it as soon as it is sent to ME! If it is not real-time it is too slow.
Yesterday at work I gave a presentation during the company meeting on collaboration. It was an overview of what I spent the first three months of the year on. Basically, I took SharePoint sites that had multiple lists and built filtered views into the lists. I created things like rolling date filters and status filters. I then took lists from other sites and imported them into the pages to give our service directors a consolidated view of everything that they need to keep track of. After that was done I built automated email reminders for the lists. These reminders have to go to analysts and consultants and when items are past due the reminders need to go to the service director as well. It is pretty amazing stuff (to me). But during the meeting I felt like the person in the meeting that keeps going and going even after everyone has stopped listening. I heard some compliments on the presentation today and now our consulting organization wants me to build something for them that is like the R&A dashboards. We will see. I had a long meeting today with Stu, the VP of Consulting. I am giving myself a week to try and get something built for him, after that week I have to focus on Catalyst, and I think I will be on Catalyst stuff from early May to the end of Catalyst.
A couple last items. If you want to use an RSS feed put the URL http://mattroblyer.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss into your feed reader or if you use IE7 you can use their RSS reader, I played with it and it worked good for me, just add me as a favorite and you will see when things get updated. We got Juno and something I can't remember from Blockbuster, so be ready for some more reviews coming up. And, "It's All Mac's Fault."
To be fair, I never really knew this story, never saw the play, heard the music, anything. I just knew that Todd killed people as a barber and then his friend turned them into Meat Pies. And I learned all this by watching Jersey Girl. So I feel bad in saying that I could tell the entire story as every new person and scene came up. At the beginning when Todd gets to London, I knew the boy that was with him would be an interal part of the story. I knew that the crazy lady was his wife and I knew that the daughter would fall in love with the boy. And I knew that the younger boy would end up killing Todd in the end. Not very good. And the gore was over the top as Todd killed people. The only good part was when people would slide out of his chair and into the bakehouse to be made into meat pies. They would all land head first and just crumple. It reminds me of Wii boxing. See a wii-boxing video below.
Overall, this movie was just not that good. I guess if you liked the play or the book or whatever, you would probably like the movie. If you do not like Sweeney Todd, but you like Johnny Depp, you might like this movie. If you don't like either of those things, you probably won't like this movie. I give it 2 stars (out of 5), and I don't really know of any way they could have made it better. Just so you know, that is not my Wii boxing video.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
After Scout O Rama me and Jordan went to Costco, my favorite store. We had to return a cutter I had bought Diana. She didn't want it becuase it was gray - she has seen a purple one that she wants before. So, we returned that and then got some lunch. Pizza and a churro. It was some good pizza, I had combo, Jordan had pepperoni. After that we decided to get some toliet paper and go sample all the free stuff Costco has on Saturdays. I went to look as cell phones (Diana wants a Pearl) and decided that I would get her one. Am I just not the nicest husband ever? After making the deal for the phone I was walking to the cash register and lo and behold - there was Littlkins. Littlekins works at Burton Group with me. She actually replaced me when I moved up to Program Manager, and her cube is right outside my office, so we see each other a lot. We chatted as we walked up to the register. We said goodbye to Littlkins and went to pick up the phone. After that we went and snacked around Costco. I don't usually do this, but Jordan likes to get a sample of everything. I got a something if I liked it, but I did not try the spinach tortellini or the seafood sampler they had - and some others. Jordan would make us go back if something wasn't there. He is a hard core food sampler. He needs to gain the weight so why not, right? After Costco we ran to WalMart. Diana had emailed me a list of things we needed (another great thing the Curve can do for you). We got through the list except a couple things, went to the checkstand and there was no line! Now, if you have gone to Walmart on a Saturday afternoon you know that the lines are usually huge. We literally walked right up to the checker and started putting our stuff on the conveyor belt. It was awesome. After WalMart we had to run to Albertsons to get a couple things for Diana. Cereal - they were having a 10 for $25 sale. Most of the cereals were gone so I got Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Two kinds that our family loves, but most other families must not like because they were still left. Diana wanted to build up our food storage of cereal, and this sale seemed like a good way to do it. I also got Halibut portions becuase they were on sale for $6.99. Diana tells me that is a good deal. I have no idea. The sign did say that you saved $3. I got four of the halibut filets. I go to this checkstand and the checker rings me up...over $60. But after I give her my phone number for the "preferred customer" discounts (do you think they turn someone down for the sales if they say they don't have a preferred customer card? That would be hilarious, but I am sure the checker just gives them the deals anyways. Once my preferred card deals go through it costs around $40. So, overall today, I spent a lot of money, but got a lot of good deals.
Last thing, to get Diana's phone for FREE, which was my ultimate goal, we had to add a line to our Tmobile service ($9.99/month). Then we got the Pearl for free. Awesome. Now the kids can have a phone when they go to friends houses or out by themselves, but not to school. We will never let our kids take a phone to school, they just do not belong there. Anyways, Diana has a Pearl now, I hope she is happy. I just got it set up for internet and email as well. I am sending files back and forth between my Curve and her Pearl. I love technology.
Friday, April 11, 2008
This movie was a waste of my time and will never get the two hours this movie lasted back. That is time that is just gone. There was no redeeming quality in this movie and wasting any more bits on it would be a travesty.
There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day Lewis was excellent in this movie. The only problem was that there really wasn't a story, or at least a story that I cared about. I was really just hoping it would be over soon the whole time I watched it. In the movie things would happen, time would pass, there would be no consequences, new things would happen, kids grew up, money was made, oil was found, nothing really happened. They should have showed more of how the money was made. What they did with the money. Maybe reasons why the son hated the father more and more as the son got older. They should have shown what happened to Eli while he was gone. And what about Paul, the other brother? Should have had more of him. And when Roger (the fake brother) showed up, the first thing I said was, "that is not his real brother." This movie had promise, it just never filled that promise.
Good news: I rented Atonement and Sweeney Todd today, so I should have a review of those coming up. Also, tomorrow is Scout-O-Rama, I will publish some pictures once I get home.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Jordan stayed home from school. He woke up with a little headache and we did not want him to be sick at school so he stayed home and worked on homework, took practice tests online. There was no fun for him.
Wow, that is pretty good. How about a picture now?
I am awesome. At first I just thought it was me thinking that, but now that I have done this, I know that I am awesome.
After the 1500 word epic post of the "regular" Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings I was thinking of taking a night off. But now that I learned there are many of you waiting with baited breath on my posting, I can't take a night off. I am in, all the way in. I am now a blogger. Enough of this, let's talk Counting Crows.
Sessions (Bonus Track): Love this song. It is great. I think there is a general idea that I like all Counting Crows songs, but I don't. I like this song because it is good. I pay my bills and get my thrills. This is real rock-country. A lot of people that you talk to think CC is whiney, but if you really listen to this album (and if you have ever seen them live) then you know that they rock. I take my pills and live my nights alone.
There Goes Everything (Pre-Order Bonus): The music seems like an acoustic version of Sessions. There Goes Everything tumbling down all over me. I wonder about these bonus songs, these are songs that the artist does not think are good enough to be on the album, but their fans clamor to get their hands on them. I don't really know what to think about this song. I like it, but it is hard to describe why. Some of it is based on me liking CC. The other part is that I have always been someone that listens to the lyrics of a song, and will like a song based wholly on lyrics.
Come Around (Acoustic): Now, I love Come Around, and I like the acoustic version even more. It takes me back to when I saw CC at the Usana Ampitheatre and they talked about how because there was so many bands there was no room for equipment and they were going to do an acoustic set. Well, after playing two or three quiet acoustic songs they start rocking out with all their lights/equipment. I think I was the only one in the audience thinking, "didnt they say they were doing an acoustic set?" By the way, this concert was CC, Maroon 5, and make me throw up John Mayer. I left before John Mayer even got on stage. Back to this song. I like any CC song with a nice "nah, nah" and Adam even adds a "shake it, shake it." The answer is yes, I like this song.
Sunday Morning LA (Bonus Song): Now this is one of those songs that people say are too whiney. Well, listen to this song, they are whiney. But that doesnt mean it is bad. This is a good song, but not a 5 star song, I would go with 4.5. It is great, and keep listening. You think it is going to be all slow, well, it gets a little rocky and really good at the 2:30 mark. What makes CC so great to me is that they can do fast and slow, and they can do it in the same song, within a couple lines of each other even.
Well, that is it. That is my thoughts on six years waiting CD. I love it. The bonus songs were definately worth the extra $2. I just need CC to get to Salt Lake this year (which isnt happening). Me and the wife are planning on going to Phoenix in September (around our anniversary) to see a show. My first travel for CC. I wish they were in Prague while I was there this year (probably not happening).
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings
1492: This is a song that was originally meant for Hard Candy, but Adam said they could not get a fast enough version for the album. Let's just say that the bootleg version of this song I had years ago was one of my favorite CC songs. I love the lyrics as well as the hard beat and the speed of the song. 1492 is a great song, and I too want to be a cowboy.
Hanging Tree: Somehow I ended up on a Delta flight last November that had a preview of Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings. This song was on the list, and lets just say I fell in complete head over heels in love with this song. I love the way when it goes to the chorus the music actually feels dizzy. I also heard a quote Adam said about this song, "this song is about being a Judas to yourself." It is so true that usually you are the one holding yourself back. This dizzy life is just a hanging tree.
Los Angeles: The first song on the album that I had never heard. And as it started, I thought, what is this...rock country? I am not really much of a fan. And then it starts to go, "I am altrady there..." and I was bobbing my head. And then "if you see that movie star and me..." and I was trying to sing along with a song I had never heard. I had to pull out the lyrics. Needless to say, this song has become my favorite on the album, and I don't think anything will eve change that. This song could be a top-5 CC song for me. I also think this song is a definite #1 on the radio if they would release it. I tell you, Los Angeles, it is a really great place to find yourself a taco.
Sundays: My wife has this theory about Counting Crows records. She does not like the #4 song on any of their albums. She does not like this song at all. She has problems with the lyrics, it talks about rubbers and says bad things about mothers. I think the chorus is awesome and that I gloss over the main lyrics and just focus on the chorus, I have no problem with this song, but it is not one of my favorites.
Insignificant: This is another song that I had a live version of. The live version was much harsher, faster, and I think overall better. Not that I do not like this version of the song, I just think that I have heard a better version, and it is a live version. Can't wait to see them play the song live. I also have a small problem with the rhyming of insignificant and different. They do rhyme, I guess, the iteration by Adam just seems a little too much on this song.
Cowboys: This song was released early and the first time I heard it I thought this song is way too long and Adam was trying to write too much into a song. Then I kept listening and thought, this song needs this speed and the lyrics to prove how disappointed someone can be in themself. This is about how you feel like you are not worth what you already have, and no amount of talking will change how you feel deep down inside yourself. This is a list of what I should have been, but I'm not.
Washigton Square: This is another older song, that I have had (and loved for years). With this song you hear the way Adam feels when he finally understands that not only does everyone leave him, but he leaves everyone too. The only thing he really has is himself and the scenery around him. The harmonica on this song is awesome too. I dare someone to listen to the song more than 5 times and then say it is not awesome. Follow this freeway out into the air, I wanted to find me, I am traveling homeward to washington square.
On Almost Any Sunday Morning: This song is just haunting. As you listen to it, it feels like a song from August, where the music is light and Adam just sings over it. But you can also tell how much CC has learned from their 15 years of playing together. Not this time. Make a time to find your way. I got a little further today.
When I Dream of Michealangelo: I love this song. This is another song I had already heard, but I think this is great. I can imagine Adam walking into the sistine chapel and walking out humming this little tune. The one part I do disagree with is how Adam says we are never as close to God as we think we are. I dont think that is right. We can be as close to God as we want. And when he reaches out his hand to us, it is up to us to either take it or not to.
Anyone But You: This song is good, not great. It has great lyrics, but the music is like carpet. You think it is nice, but carpet it just carpet, you dont really remember it from house to house. The musci I think is what holds this song back from being great. A song full of Adam saying a bold statement and then taking it back in the same sentence. I think about you, I think about everything. See how he starts by making a big statements telling someone that they are on your mind. And then follows it up with, but I think about everything.
You Can't Count On Me: The radio single. I hated this the first time I heard it. Could not stand it. Now I sing it all the time and love to hear it. This song will grow on you, and the doctor has no lotion to make it go away. I can see why it is the single. If you give this song a chance it is good. It just takes multiple listens to hear it.
Le ballet d'or: This song is an example of what my wife says, "Adam doesnt know how to end something." The first parts of this song are great and I love it. But it never ends. This is a 5 minute song, but feels like 10. I say, get your point across and have fun, when something gets tedious it is time to stop. Adam does not get that. Sometimes it turns into a 10 minute epic version of round here. Other times you get a barely above average song like this one.
On a Tuesday In Amsterdam Long Ago: Love this. Have had it on my ipod for years. It was a really bad recording, so I had to strain to hear it. And I always did. When this song came on I would really listen to it. It has great lyrics and music. Come back to me. This is the song I am playing at my wifes funeral. Just so you know, the other song at her funeral is Come Back by Pearl Jam. Also, her and I always talk about the songs we would play at each others funeral, so it really isnt that morbid. I dont plan on attending a funeral for her for quite some time, but I did already promise her that I would let her go first (hopefully that is not too morbid for you).
Come Around: Loved the first time I heard it. This song is an example of why I love CC. Great music, the guys are playing their instruments. There are all these hidden musical gems in here. It is like Hangin Around - a party song that Adam wants you to think just happened, but really listen to it and it is processed and put together to perfection, every clap and background vocal placed exactly where it would impact you the most. Same here, the piano, the drum, all the other isntruments I do not know. Keep changing and new ones start and end and let others take over. This song is a master class on how tot put together a song.
End of the regular album.
I will be back tomorrow to talk about the bonus songs that I recived for buying the version of the album I did. Just so you know, it is a very worthwhile two extra dollars. My overall grade for this album: 5 stars out of 5 stars. 10 five star songs. The lowest song is 3 stars. Pretty good. If you give this album a chance, you will love it to.
Here is the rundown:
A super good cellist (Keri Russell) meets a rocker dude (jonathan rhy-myers, I think) and they have a one-night stand and do not see each other. Keri Russell gets pregnant, but her overbearing dad wants her to get rid of the kid. They have a fight and Keri Russell runs into the street and is hit by a car. She wakes up in a hospital bed, clearly no longer pregnant. Her father tells her she lost the baby. At this same time you are seeing the life of an orphan music-genius who is waiting for his parents to hear his music and reunite his family. The dad of Keri Russell is dying and he tells her that she had the baby and he is sorry, blah, blah, but he gave it up for adoption. Meanwhile, the dude cant sing anymore because he lost Keri Russell. The boy runs away from the orphanage and starts playing music in washington square, meets the wizard (Robin Williams). Keri Russell starts looking for her son, not really worrying about the guy. The guy decides he needs to start looking for Keri Russell. Like I said this movie is very contrived. A sympathetic child welfare worker (Terrance Howard) wants to help Keri Russell find her kid, but now that he has run away they cannot find him. The boy ends up at Julliard (a nice clergyman sends him there when the boy shows up at his church). At Julliard the boy is chosen to lead his symphony as the end of a huge concert in central park. Keri Russell at the same time has chosen to be a featured cellist for the opening of the concert at the park. The dad is touring with his band (he is singing again) and they are in NYC - he is looking for Keri Russell, and runs into the kid he doesnt even know he has. They have a loving heart to heart. I should mention that the day before the concert the wizard comes to take the boy away from Julliard to play and pay the wizard in washington square. So the dad and boy have their heart to heart. The boy runs away from the wizard right as the concert is starting. As they boy runs away, he does have to stop as he hears his mother play the cello for her opening number. Keri finishes her song and prepared to walk away, certain that she will never see her kid again. The dad sees the boys and Keri Russell's name on a light-hanging ad for the concert and decides to go try to find her. Keri Russell is walking away as the boy begins his song. She hears something she understands and starts to walk back. The guy finds her in the crows, but she is more interested in the boy. Both adults walk to the front of the crowd and as the concert is over the boy looks back, sees them and knows they are his parents. The movie is over.
Crazy. How much more contrived could this be?
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
My family and I just got back from a trip to Disneyland (mid-March). I posted my pics on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mroblyer/. You can also view my pictures from when I was in Barcelona, Spain for work. I will try to post more pictures of my life as time goes on. I used to not like Flickr (as you can tell, my Spain pictures were posted years ago). I did not like the interface, the load times, or the limitations I had. When I went to post my disneyland pictures (had family screaming to see them), Flickr was a completely new experience, and I liked it. Upload multiple pictures, tag and describe at the same time. I now firmly reccommend Flickr to all people on the web (and it is FREE if you use less then 100MB a month).
Back to Disnyland. It was a great vacation. My family of 4 went with my sister's family of 5. We stayed at the Disneyland hotel. I will post a full review of Disneyland, Jet Blue (the airline we used), and my sisters family in my upcoming posts. The wife just turned on August Rush, you will probably see a review of that too. Other things upcoming: review of "Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings" the counting crows new album, and that is all I have right now.