Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I recently rented the following movies from Netflix: ECW:One Night Stand ; Zatoichi the Outlaw ; & Chronicles of Riddick:Dark Fury

Netflix then recommended a few movies rented by members who also enjoyed those three movies.

Number one on that list?
The Looney Tunes Golden Collection : Volume 1

Monday, January 30, 2006

Responsibility

A father showed his 4-year old daughter a delicate glass vase and told her that it was his mother`s, and that she should "never, ever touch it."

His daughter looked at him and said, "Then you should never, ever put it where I can reach it."

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Aah, the wisdom of the children :)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

SON OF A BITCH!!!

It wasn't a Double-Whammy; It was a Fucking Triple-Whammy!!!

The follow "review" is contains excessive spoilers. You have been warned.

I've been reading James Patterson's "Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas" on the bus to and from work the last couple of days. Yeah, I know the title and cover make it look like a romance. I've already read a few romance novels in my time. What's one more?

The story is mostly made up of, as the name implies, entries in a journal by Suzanne to Nicholas, her son. She talks about him as she goes through her pregnancy, made complicated by a heart condition (she actually has a heart attack early in the story, prior to her becoming pregnant), then about Nicholas' early accomplishments. How he slept through most nights at just two weeks old, how he held his bottle for himself at two months old. A lot of the entries are about her time with Nicholas and his father, Matt, and about how lucky they are that Suzanne didn't die of her heart attack, and and how every day is one more day they get to spend together.

In the present, Matt has disappeared, leaving the journal for his editor, Katie, who is also his current girlfriend. Accompanying the journal is a note that some parts may be difficult for Katie to read. Katie's initial reaction is that Matt has left her to go back to Suzanne and Nicholas, and Katie is distraught because she is pregnant with Matt's child.

Near the end of the journal Suzanne falls pregnant for a second time, but her heart condition worsens and her doctor suggests she abort; Suzanne refuses, and her condition continues to gets worse. To me, it appeared unclear whether or not Suzanne had an abortion, a miscarriage (when she fell down a flight of stairs), or if she continued with the pregnancy. Matt tells her he could not stand losing her, yet he supports her decision not to have an abortion, and so the journal continues.

Shortly after Nicholas's first birthday Matt takes over writing, because while driving into town one day Suzanne has a heart attack and drives off a bridge. She dies, of course. Matt would never have cheated on her with Katie (or vice versa) because he's a great guy.

I'm getting a little choked up at this point but I'm still doing okat so I continue to read...until Matt starts telling Nicholas how his own father died when he was just eight years old, and how much it hurt him. We know this from earlier in the story, but for me, losing my own father just last year, I had to put the book down at this point and compose myself. Donning my shades, staring out the window, repeating "I'm not crying! I'm not!" to myself. Things like that.

Just before the bus pulls into the El Monte Bus Station I feel ready, so I pull the book out and continue reading because I've only got a few pages to go.

Matt writes to Nicholas, telling him how he wished he'd taken Suzanne in his arms and kissed her goodbye that one last time, but she'd had her arms full so she'd just blown him a kiss (sans hands, I guess) as she walked out to the car.

Matt tells Nicholas how he looked so cute, waving back at him and smiling, as Suzanne strapped him into his car seat...before driving into town that one last time.

Yes, Katie and Matt get back together, and get married, and live happily ever after. But Suzanne and Nicholas and Suzanne's unborn child? They're all still dead.

James Patterson, you're a son of a bitch, you know that?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

McDonalds, and Men's Pants

I love McDonald's Apple Pies, and judging by how they're always in stock whenever I go into a McDonald's, so do a lot of other McD's customers. I'm being sarcastic there, but it probably doesn't come across too well.

Liz hates McDonald's, I'm not fond of it myself, but I do love their Apple Pies. We have a local McD's that we used to go to on a fairly frequent basis for dinner on account of the large play area they have, which included an N64 station with 4 or 5 N64s set up with various games for the kiddies to play. Now I realize we're there at dinner time, which may or may not be a peak time for them, but this particular McD's never seems to have any Apple Pies. I think I managed to get some Apple Pies there just once or twice.

Sometimes I'd ask for a couple of Apple Pies (2 for $1 you know) when we'd order our meal, only to be told they wouldn't be ready for about 15 minutes. Fine, we'd have our meal, JE would play, 20 minutes would have gone by so I'd go up to the counter to get a couple of Apple Pies, only to be told they still had none available. Another 10 minutes, I'd be told. 10 to 15 minutes later, just as we were leaving, I'd try again. Still none available.

The other night I went to a different McDonald's, around 5:30, wanting a coffee (or what passes for coffee) and a couple of Apple Pies. Apparently the customer before me also ordered a couple of Apple Pies. We were told they had none ready right now, but they would be ready in a minute or so. We waited, the Apple Pies came out, and the Drive-Thru attendant squealed (literally) and pounced on them for her Drive-Thru customer...and that was it. They had no more Apple Pies. The other customer and I were then told it would be another 10 minutes before some more were ready.

WTF? It's dinner time, one of the peak McDonald's times, they're out of Apple Pies and they only bake/fry/heat two of them at a time?

I'm gonna complain to McDonald's Corporate about this.

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Men's Jeans.

Ladies, I know you have the right to complain about your sizes. What is a size 4? What's a 6, or an 8, or a 0?!?!? What do you do if you're too skinny for a 0? Are there minus sizes? "Oh yes, I'm a negative two." WTF?

Now men have it easy...you'd think, wouldn't you. My pants, size 36. Well...that's what it says on the label. But you can get a pair of jeans from the same manufacturer, in the same style, the exact same cut even, with different waist band sizes. Get yourself a pair of 36x32 and a pair of 36x34. (Second number is leg length) and the waist on the 36x32 pair is tighter/smaller than the 36x34 pair. I have a couple of pairs of pants with 34" waists. They fit me. I have some with a 36" waist. They fit me too. I have other pairs with a 36" waist, and they hang on me, they're almost too big. Can someone tell me which country has inches that are a different length to the U.S.? There is none! So why isn't a 36" waist a 36" waist across the board? "Oh, he's got shorter legs, so his 36" waist is narrower than someone with longer legs. WTF?

End rant.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Here's to Root Canals

And why is the procedure called a Root Canal, anyway?

Thursday I was having trouble chowing down on my roast beef sandwich, specifically, chewing with the molars on the right side of my mouth, which is the side I normally chew on. I chew on the right, I'm right-handed, but I dress to the left, go figure. Actually that makes sense, because I dress mostly with my right hand, so things are going to be tucked away to the left...eww? TMI? Whatever are you talking about?

So I'm forced to chew with the left side of my mouth, and it works, but I have to concentrate and remember not to chew with the right, but that's easy enough because if I forget, it hurts. Pain: the great motivator.

My after-lunch coffee was not enjoyable because the hot liquid was also very painful. Apparently tooth pain caused by heat is not a good sign. Tooth pain at cold is also not good, but tooth pain at hot is a sign of something seriously wrong.

Liz picked me up at from the Bus Station then we went and picked up JE from an Art Class Liz enrolled him in. While A and I sat in the car, I amused myself by sipping the ice-cold coke left over from Liz's lunch and seeing how long I could hold the liquid in the right side of my mouth. It hurt, but it also felt good. When I finally swallowed the coke there was a brief respite from the pain before it returned, so I took another mouthful of coke and Oh Shit! It hurt so good!

When Liz returned with JE I told her we needed to go to a drug store coz I needed drugs, but instead we called our dentist and actually got in to see him at 6:30 that night. We got to his office at 5:30, had dinner at a local Boston Market (normally a good move, but this particular Boston Market sucked for some reason) which I skipped. An aching tooth quelled any appetite I might have had.

Finally we entered the Dentist's office where I still had to wait, had some x-rays taken (why do they put a lead apron over your chest/stomach when they're x-raying your head? Seriously, they're x-raying your head. If the x-rays are so dangerous that you need a lead apron over your body, and the dentist and nurse step outside during the x-ray process, THEN WHY ARE THEY X-RAYING YOUR F**KING HEAD?!?!?

So they take the x-rays and determine that I need a Root Canal. This is apparently a Root Canal I was scheduled to have a couple of years ago when we first started going to this dentist, but with the cost of work I needed to have done, and the willingness of my Insurance Co. to pay for Sweet Fanny Adams of the required work, I've been getting said required work done a bit at a time, like every 6 months, or so. This Root Canal decided it wasn't going to wait anymore and it went supernova on me.

I spend almost two hours in the chair having the inside of one of my teeth drilled out, then packed with a temporary filling. Once the drugs wore off I was pleased to note the pain had gone. I still couldn't eat using the right side of my mouth because it still hurt to bite down on that side, but thankfully I could once more drink piping hot coffee.

Before I left the dentist that night I made an appointment for Monday morning, which is a Public Holiday for me, but the dentist was still open for business. That was another two hours spent in the chair, getting the temporary filling pried out, the tooth re-drilled and prep'd, and a crown fitted, which the dentist messed up and had to carve a new crown. On the plus side, he showed me the new machine he has which actually carves the new crowns/teeth right there on the premises using sophisticated computers, cameras, 3D imagery, etc. It was all pretty cool.

Finally I got my new Crown fitted and I'm once again able to chew.

Yay!

But what a way to spend a 4-day long weekend.

On the plus side, Xinh decided that I was a Hakiu Grand Master.
Yay me!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I thought I was hearing things...

I thought I was hearing things as I walked past the truck parked outside the 7-Eleven.

"Cops'll be here soon."

I stepped inside the 7-Eleven, made my way to the coffee counter, and as I helped myself to a cup of java I looked out the window. The two guys were still sitting in their truck and it didn't look like they were in a hurry to go anywhere.

Two guys mentioning that the cops would be here soon were either cops themselves on a Stake Out, and what better place to Stake Out than a 7-Eleven, or they were the bad guys, tipped off that the cops were fast approaching.

But if they were the bad guys, why would they just be sitting in their truck, waiting for the cops?

If they were cops themselves, wouldn't they have said "Back-up will be here soon"?

As I walked over to the counter and took my place in line I noticed the clerk kept looking out the window...at the truck...which was still there.

It was still there when I paid for my cup of coffee.

It was still there when I got my change, which was when three cop cars pulled into the parking lot and fenced the truck in.

As El Monte's Finest emerged from their vehicles, guns drawn, the passenger who'd told the driver that the "Cops'll be here soon" wound his window up.

That just gave the cop who approached the truck something to tap the barrel of his gun against, which he did, and the two guys decided to get out and have a peaceful chat with the nice policemen. Guns really are an excellent negotiation tool, especially when you have one and the other guy doesn't. You also have to be willing to use the gun, and the other guy has to know that, or at least think you'll use it, for it to be really effective.

As I left the store the two guys were being handcuffed and the initial interrogation had begun. "How much money did you get? And don't lie to me or you're going to jail," said one of the cops to Mr. "Cops'll be here soon".

Aah, the fun & excitement of El Monte :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Amber Liquid - it provokes, and it unprovokes.

Some time back I went to a Sports Bar for a friend's Bachelor Party. There was just a few of us, but the Sports Bar was a happening place, some chain Sports Bar, so it was pretty crowded. As is the way of Bachelor parties we knocked back a few beers in mourning, I mean celebration, for our friend, and as I'd got a lift down with another mate I helped celebrate a little more, to make up for my mate needing to hold back, on account of him being designated driver.

As the night wore on my cast-iron bladder started straining at the seams, and even though I could hang on, with the long drive back home I knew I'd really be feeling the pressure at the end of it, so I elected to break the seal and return some of the Sports Bar's amber fluid.

Now I mentioned that this Sports Bar was a happening place, but what I meant was you couldn't walk through the joint without bumping shoulders with people, literally. When I arrived at the mens' room it was all too obvious just how popular (& crowded) this place was; there was a queue to get into the men's room. That's right. A queue to get into the men's room. I never see queues to get into the men's room, but there was one here, so I took my place in line and waited.

Now the funny thing about guys is while we're (often) very extroverted, there's something about peeing in a crowded men's room that makes things happen...or not happen, as the case may be.

Kettleness (adj.) - The inability to pee while being watched. The Deeper Meaning of Liff, by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd.

I suffer from kettleness. I also really needed to go, I mean I really needed to go. These two factors mean that I was going to have a lot of trouble getting started, and even when I got started, it was going to take a lot of concentration to keep the gates open. Ladies, you may have to sit down to pee, but let's face it, when the flood gates open, they really open, and everything just comes rushing out in an oh so satisfying way, I'm sure. Guys are not so lucky. Sure, we can lean against the blindside of the car parked on a side of a busy highway, and just casually wash the dust off the tire, but when we really need to go, and when we're being watched by a dozen or more guys who also really need to go, we're going to have trouble going.

Now I could have waited for a stall, but I had a mate waiting for me, so when my turn came up I bravely strode forward and took my place at one of the few urinals, and stood there, waiting, willing something to happen. But of course nothing did. I decided in this case, valor was the order of the day, discretion was not welcome at all, oh no.

I called back over my shoulder to the long line of guys waiting their turn, just as I'd waited, and was still waiting, "Sorry fellas, first piss of the night. You know how it is."

The pained groans from the masses behind me told me that they did indeed know how it was. My being there, in front of them, having my first piss of the night meant my time at the urinal was not going to be the average 20 seconds or so of everyone before them, it would be considerably longer.

But my ballsiness in openly declaring the situation (as opposed to gritting my teeth and enduring the calls of Hurry up! and Come on! from behind me) worked miracles and relief was soon at hand. Oh, sweet relief!

So take heed, dear readers, and be warned; if you wish to imbibe of the amber liquid, be sure to seek relief from the inevitable effects sooner, rather than later.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Technology Woes

Liz called me at work on Friday because we had no cable connection. No cable TV, no hi-speed cable internet, nothing. She'd called Adelphia and been on hold for over half an hour. I called and got a "Due to heavy call volume, a Customer Service Rep is not available to speak to you right now. Please call back later." To me, that sounded like someone messed up and cut something they shouldn't have, so everyone was calling Adelphia and complaining that they had no cable.

I got home and we still had no cable. When I called I got their automated help line so I chose to report an internet problem and got to speak to a real person. Of course he was a computer tech meant to help me with my internet problem, while my problem was absolutely no cable at all, so he scheduled a service call for the next day for me.

The Cable Guy comes out the next day, I tell him we have absolutely no service, he tells me he'll check the connection box, where everyone in the complex is plugged in to get their service. As soon as he lifts the lid, straight away, he says "You've been disconnected; I bet this is your cable here." He removes the do-hickey (that's an actual technical term for the thingamabob {not such a tecnical term} which goes between your cable cable and your cable socket in the cable box and prevents you from receiving a cable signal) and reconnects the cable cable to the cable socket and tells me we'll now probably have a cable signal. I go upstairs and sure enough, the cable modem is already showing its receiving a signal. I switch the TV on and we have stations.

WE HAVE CABLE ONCE AGAIN ! ! ! ! !

I thanked the man and called Adelphia to complain that some moron had disconnected us yesterday. The girl told me it was an accident, and as I'd already received a credit for having no service the day before she couldn't really do anything for me. I told her I'd received a credit for having no service, but what about the moron who disconnected us. She gave us a 1/2 day credit. Better than nothing, I guess. I told her what about the moron who'd disconnected us. She said she was sure The Cable Guy from this morning had probably reported the error to his supervisor. I told her I'd like to make sure it had been, and could she be sure to mention it to her supervisor for me.

Now it occurs to me, sitting here, typing this...that maybe Saturday's Cable Guy was also Friday's Cable Guy...and that's why he knew straight away that we'd been disconnected...because HE'D DISCONNECTED US THE DAY BEFORE ! ! ! ! !

In which case he wouldn't have reported the problem as a "disconnect" to his Supervisor, but noted that it was a faulty wire, or something. Oh well. We got our cable back :D

Liz's PC has also been acting up on her for the last week or two, and spontaneously rebooting. Ghoti's Ross mentioned that he suspected the power supply, which is a little 250W thing, so today I bought her a 350W job. It's in now, and Liz has been playing on my PC, so I've been typing this on her PC, and so far, so good. Let's hope that was the problem. Usually when Liz's PC has problems I'll be a nice guy and let her use my PC, which means no WoW for me.

Time to get my PC back :D