These are the thoughts that go through my head...

Holiday Jawas

12/14 - Holiday Jawas! They are the coolest things ever. My friend Matt gave them to me.
Jawas bearing presents, which lead me to wonder what would Jawas give each other. The one looks like he's holding a thermal detonator or a danger ball and I bet there's a power convertor or a motivator in the box the other one is holding.

11/30 - if i smile and don't believe
soon i know i'll wake from this dream

Ah those foolish, foolish people at Hollywood video have done it now. They have sealed their own fate. They created this wonderful rental called "MVP." For $9.99 a month you have can rent an unlimited amount of DVD's or if you're stuck in the stone-age VHS tapes. You are limited to releases that have been out for more than two months and can only rent three movies at a time. That's right three at a time, not per day - I doubled checked. So I have now officially been a MVP member for two weeks and have already rented 30 movies.

11/2 - It's November 2nd you know what that means? No more freaking campaign ads!!!!!

I went in to vote this morning before work. I was voter number 32. I had to take a cheat sheet with me to remember what I decided on the 20 odd propositions on the ballet in California.

Halloween Pumpkin

10/31 - Happy Halloween!!!
This year's pumpkin didn't turn out very good. It kind of looks like Count Dracula on Sesame Street. Not scary at all. I think the fung shui of the pumpkin was off or maybe I just wasn't facing evil when I carved it. It also could have been the awful Gargoyles movie I was watching when I carved it. It was a made for the SciFi channel movie. I knew after five minutes of horrible acting and dialog the movie was going to be bad, but I just kept on watching, hoping that there was going to be some redeeming quality. There wasn't, the movie was bad it was hard to make fun of.

10/26 - You know it's almost Halloween when you can flip through the TV channels and find ten different horror movies playing. Just last night they were playing Terror Train (classic terrorize Jamie Lee Curtis flick), The Invisible Man (Claude Rains is the Invisible Man...everybody sing along), and Rain Man (I was scared when I saw Tom Cruise on my TV). I like to watch all kinds of horror movie, the cheesier the better. Of course my annual Halloween viewing list includes Nightmare Before Christmas and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I'm all ready for Sunday, I've got my candy bought and pumpkin all ready to carve.

Poor Hank tomatoe

10/8 - Poor, poor Hank tomato. Have you ever seen anything so sad. Poor Hank looks worse then Charlie Brown's little Christmas tree. Poor Hank was trying so hard to grow, then these little white bugs started to attack Hank. My neighbor lady said I needed some lady bugs, they would take care of Hank. So I put Frances on the job. I don't see anymore white bugs, but I don't know if Hank is going to make it.

9/30 - What was I doing last night? Nothing much, just watching a movie with Ben Stiller. Ben, me, a few hundred other people, it was fun. What?! You didn't get to watch a movie with Ben Stiller?? That's too bad.

Okay, so it was another movie screening, but Ben stiller was there and I saw him.

9/28 - Earthquake!!! I was sitting in front of my computer at work and everything started to slowly roll back and forth. At first I thought it was the people moving in next door, they had been clunking big things around all morning. But when the rolling motion lasted for a while I knew it was an earthquake. I went home after work to survey the possible damage. What I found was a tragic scene. Pippin was laying face down on the ground after a four foot tumble from the shelf. Luckily I managed to get the poor little guy back up on his feet.

I'm not actually sure that little Pippins fall was a product of the earthquake. I'm suspecting that he might have been pushed off that shelf. When I returned him to his pace on the shelf I noticed that both Merry and Arwen were standing in back of him with smirks on their faces.

9/27 - Once again I have fallen to temptation. I bought Star Wars Battlefield. I kept walking past the display looking at it, thinking to myself, "Hey, I want to defeat the empire." I started playing it last night, it's pretty cool. I did discover something very disturbing. It turns out I also like crushing the rebellion! All those little rebel scum running around wearing their neat little camouflage outfits, a sneaky bunch they are. Camouflage apparently not real big with the empire. All the clone troopers just walk around in their bright white, highly reflective outfits.

9/22 - Damn you George Lucas!!!! I was doing so good not reading any of the Episode III spoilers on the internet or looking at any of the photos. Then you go and put "Return of Vader" as an extra on the Star Wars trilogy DVDs. Now, how am I supposed to not watch something with that as a title. Naturally I watched it and all I have to say is, DAMN YOU GEORGE LUCAS!!! That's just not nice to do to people who have to wait 8 more months to see Episode III.

As you might of guessed I bought and have already watched the Star Wars trilogy on DVD. I'm not a fan of the reworked scene with the Emperor in Empire Strikes Back or with the addition of Hayden in Return of the Jedi. The scenes come off as clumsy and cheesy. However, I am very pleased with the quality of the transfer and the sound. I don't remember A New Hope ever being that colorful.

9/19 - I went to a Garden Party today. It was fun, around 30 local restaurants were there serving sample sizes if there food and wine. The best part is that it was all free! At least for me it was, I was lucky enough to get a free ticket, other people donated $40 per ticket to attend. I walked around for 2 hours just eating and drinking, eating and drinking and eating some more. They had seared Ahi, scampi style rock fish, crab stuffed mushrooms, spicy crab bisque, various cheeses and desserts and much more.

I ate and drank so much, but now six hours later my stomach feels a little twitchy. Which is really strange because my stomach usually has no problem with whatever I throw at it. In fact I've been known to eat seemingly inedible objects kind of like "I'll eat your Bible. But it'll cost you a lot and take me several days of lunching and snacking." Last Christmas I ate a hug Rosemary Sprig for a dollar. Didn't bother my stomach a bit. I did feel very pine fresh for the next couple hours.

9/8 - You know what? If you spend three days straight watching CSI you start to have some really weird dreams. Spike TV needs to end their best of CSI marathon so I can get some sleep. Have you seen the commercials they are airing for CSI? One is of this guy getting buried alive, while telling his would be killer all the mistakes he is making and all the trace evidence that he is leaving behind. I find the commercials terribly funny - is that wrong?

8/21 - I did it! I finished my first century bicycle ride. The ride started off well, I made it up the two steep mini Mount Everest climbs and into the rest stop. Now at this point, 30 miles, I have had enough of struggling up steep climbs. I decided to ask one of the other riders who had done the course before how the rest of the ride was. Her exact words were, "there is one small climb at about 70 miles, but other than that it is pretty flat. It's so flat you will get bored." So I head out of the rest stop full of optimism and ready for a nice boring, flat ride. Unfortunately, what I got was a step 5 mile climb up a mountain.

As I'm gasping and struggling to keep peddling up the hill, the women I had asked passed me and told me that she was sorry, she had forgotten about this climb. Forgotten about this climb!!! I could do tequila shots from now until Christmas and I still will not forget about that 5 mile uphill climb.

As it turned out there were 5 more mini Mount Everest climbs after the big climb. I barely managed to peddle my butt up all of them. I'm breathing hard and peddling with all my might while the uber bikers are passing me going up the hills. One of them rode beside me for a little while and asked if I was alright. I told him a little piece of me is dying inside right now. He smiled, chuckled and kept riding. Um...I was being serious. At this moment I never want to peddle up another hill in my life.

At mile 90, at the top of the last small climb, they decided to put a camera to capture the glory of victory of all the people finishing the ride. I'm don't know what my picture looks like but I'm sure Wide World of Sports could use it in their agony of defeat montage. As I get to the top of the hill the camera man is yelling "smile! Come on show some teeth!" Being able to skew my face into only a slight grimace was as good as it got.

I grunted, growned and pushed myself for 104 miles and crossed the finish line after 7 hours and 20 minutes of riding.

After the ride I stumbled into the hall to get my spaghetti dinner and talk to the other ride survivers. Bicyclist are a nice, if not slightly delusional bunch. Throughout the ride they were making sure all the newbies like me were doing okay. They got very excited when they found out that it was my first century. They all ask when I'm going to do another one. Well, it will have to wait until I get the feeling back in my butt and next time I'll pick one that doesn't involve 3500 feet of climbing.

8/16 - What have I been up to? Making plans for world domination? Growing mutant killer tomatoes? Attacked by rabid seals? - You don't know. How could you. I haven't been keeping everybody up to date.

I got a new Fell Beast. Currently it's perched on the top of my speaker menacing the squatty little Biker Scout I got from Comic-Con. I think it wants to be lord of the home theater equipment. Every time I try to move it to a new perch it promptly falls on the ground with it's feet in the air.

Hank tomatoe

7/9 - Yesterday, my coworkers friend called and asked if we wanted some tomatoes. When we went to pick up the tomatoes this is what we found. Now, I'm not sure when life for a tomato begins, but I think this wispy little green thing does not qualify as being a fetal tomato. We were instructed to take the plants home put them in a pot with Miracle Grow and then we would have nice big juicy tomatoes.

So I am now the proud owner of Hank ( that's what the tag stuck in it said). I stuck Hank in a pot and filled it with dirt. I didn't use Miracle grow, I have the feeling that Hank is more of a generic dirt type of tomato. So far one day has passed and Hank is still a wispy green weed and appears no closer to becoming a tomato. Maybe tomorrow.


7/4 - I went to see the fireworks spectacular this evening. They hold it every year at the community college. This years show was truly spectacular. In some previous years I think I saw better neighborhood displays of illegal fireworks. Some people go all out on the fourth of July, it's great to watch. They'll set of 3 or 4 big fireworks, then lay low and hide when the cops come past, then set off 3 or 4 more. It's great!

6/22 - I signed up to go on my first Century (100 mile) bike ride today. So now I have until August 21st to go into the shape I need to be in to actually ride the 100 miles in under 8 hours. It's going to be a toss up on wether my legs or butt is going to be more sore after the ride.

Picard at Pisa

6/3 - Jean Luc and I enjoyed our trip to Italy. We visited the Coliseum, Roman forums and the Vatican in Rome. Then we went to Florence and saw Michaelangelo's David, the Ufizzi and the building Hannibal Lector disembowels and hung the police officer from in the movie Hannibal. We journyed to Pisa, Pompei and Herculaneum. We went to Venice, wandered around the canals and laughed at all the people paying to feed the swarms of pigeons. Many of whom were the size of chickens and had much trouble becoming airborne when I chased them away from me.

We apparently angered the volcano gods when we tried to reach the crater of Mount Vesuvius. We were about 15 minutes walking away from the crater when it started to lightning and thunder. The Italian park managers were running around and making everyone go back down to the park entrance. By the time we reached the park entrance it started to hail marble sized balls of ice. I knew we should have sacrificed that goat before heading up the trail.

We drank much red wine, ate a couple of gelato's and are both in agreement that we can live long happy lives and never ever eat another panini again.

5/18 - On our continuing mission to be able to order a Screwdriver in every language, Jean Luc and I are heading off to Italy tomorrow! We leave bright and early from LAX which means we should proably start packing for our two week trip soon. And to put off packing until even later tonight I thought I would share some of my very own packing tips with everybody. Now these tips are not for the faint of heart, but they will help those who do not enjoy dragging overweight luggage from hotel to hotel.

So here we go:
1. When in doubt, leave it out.
2. Bring half the clothes and twice the money
3. There are two types of luggage, carry-on and lost
4. Bring deposable clothes. Take socks, underwear and t-shirts that are almost on their last leg. Wear them for the day then throw them away. Viola! you now have more room in your bag for souvenirs.
5. Re wear the same clothes more than once (except socks and underwear). Unless you have a major hygiene problem your clothes are not dirty after one days adventure. To help keep your clothes smelling fresh keep a couple dryer sheets in your bag or pack a small bottle of Fabreze. Unless you are gone for more than one month there is no reason to pack more than 7 days worth of clothes. Maybe you enjoy lugging around huge, overflowing suitcases - I do not.
6. When packing roll your clothes. This will keep them relatively wrinkle free and give you more packing space. If your clothes are a little wrinkled, no problem, just hang them up in the bathroom while you enjoy a hot shower and let the steam do its work.
7. Buy travel size items. Sure they cost a little more, but when you see the space and weight saving in your bag it will be worth it.

Follow these simple rules and you too can go on a two week vacation with only a small duffel bag and a backpack.


5/12 - It's E3 time! We survived the long parking line, the long entrance line, Gary Coleman, a huge spider and a potentially fatal yeti attack (That's my friend Matt and Floyd being mauled by the Yeti in the picture). I got to check out several cool new games, The Rise of Karai (sequel to The Mark of Kri), the new Ratchet and Clank and Burnout 3. What this years E3 was lacking was freebees, no cool pins, figures or medallions were given away that I could find and a complete lack of Halo 2.

Snails at the door

5/4 - I was at home watching DS9 yesterday when I started to hear a tiny knocking sound at my door. I looked through the peep hole and didn't see anyone so I sat back down to enjoy the antics of Jake Sisco and Nog. A few seconds later I hear the tiny knocking sound again. I got up and opened the door to find this snail.

The snail started on a sales pitch to get me to buy Amway products! I told the Amway selling snail how rude it was to bother me in the middle of DS9. I asked if it had somehow missed all the "absolutly no soliciting" (yes that is actually what they say) signs that are posted all over the apartment complex.

The nerve of those snails. They are always coming up to my door to try to get me to buy things. I'm not positive but this Amway selling snail looked eerily similar to the ex gang member, Sees Candy selling snail that came by last week. I should really start putting a salt border around my door. That'd teach them!

4/26 - I think I have a super power. I don't seem to have any control over this power yet, but I'm working on it. Right now my super power only seems to activate when I go into stores and need to be waited on. I've always thought the store workers were just always ignoring me, but now I think I actually become invisible as soon as I enter the store. There's no other way of accounting for stores universally ignoring my presence. It doesn't matter whether I go in a store whose workers are on commission or if I'm the only person in a store I can never get anyone to help me.

4/3 - My co-worker won tickets from the radio station KROQ so last night we went "Bowling with The Strokes." We had tickets to an "exclusive" bowling party in Universal City Walk and Pit tickets to the concert later that night at the Universal Amphitheater. It turned out that "Bowling with The Strokes" was actually bowling then two hours later members of The Strokes, minus the lead singer, come out to mope around and sign some autographs for about 15 minutes. The lead singer couldn't be bothered to come out because he was "saving his voice." There were only 15-30 people at the bowling party so it wouldn't have been a big strain on his voice.

It turned out that the two girls sharing our bowling lane where huge Strokes fans who had crashed the party. We ended up trading our pit tickets to them for their orchestra level tickets plus a couple rounds of drinks. Neither of us are big Strokes fans and it seemed to make their day, so what the heck.

After bowling and drinks we ambled our way down to the amphitheater. The opening band, The Sound, had been described to us as a mix of Blondie and Joan Jett, by people who have apparently never heard Blondie or Joan Jett. The Sound ended up being more like Ace of Base meets Berlin on a bad hair day. My advice is that if you ever have a chance to hear "The Sound" run away.

It took a little over an hour after the opening band had finished for The Strokes to come on stage. First off, whoever designed the stage lighting for the show should be shot. The only source of lighting during the concert came from lights mounted behind the stage and about 10 feet off the ground that were aimed directly into the audiences eyes. I was half blind and seeing spots by the third song. Then to top it off the Strokes sounded absolutely horrible. We ended up only saying through about 5 or 6 songs, I couldn't really tell because they all sounded the same.

At the end, even though The Strokes sucked we did have a lot of fun.

3/23 - Ahhh! my eyes! My eyes! The goggles do nothing!!!

The video store by me has been having 99 cent DVD rentals for the last two months so I've been renting a lot of videos that I would never rent for the regular price. Last night I think I hit a new low. I actually rented Gigli. For 99 cents I just had to know had bad it really was. I made sure no one was looking then I quickly grabbed a copy and stuck it between two other DVDs that I was renting. I then walked around the horror section for a little while to throw any one who might of seen me near Gigli off my track. I took one last guilty look over at the empty spot I had created in the Gigli video line up, ALL of the other copies were still availble for check out, and bravely headed to the cashier.

I got home plopped the DVD in and sat down to watch. Oh the horror! There really is no redeemable qualities in Gigli. It's just bad, I'm talking Cabin Fever bad. Bad acting, bad story, bad accents. This movie should come with a warning label, "not suitable for viewing while sober or awake."

3/11 - I was behind some lady on the freeway this morning that was flipping everybody off. She kept yelling and shaking her head, I thought she was going to have an aneurism. She was apparently pissed off because of the traffic and the fact that people were pulling in front of her. She was leaving a four car gap between her and the car in front of her. I passed her on the right and pulled in front of her as soon as a could. I'm sure she probably flipped me off too but by the time I looked back two others cars had already pulled in front of her.

3/8 - On my flight home to LAX I was randomly selected for addition harassment (aka security) on my way through security. They took what looked liked Oxy pads and wiped down the straps on my backpack then pushed a button on a machine. The machine didn't beep so I was free to go.

3/6 - I made a quick trip to Indiana this weekend to go eat cut fluffy animals at a wild game dinner. This year we ate rabbit, deer, duck, pheasant, musk ox and buffalo. The only thing that I enjoy more than easting little fluffy critters is letting little kids know which animals taste best with ketsup when visiting a zoo.

2/29 - It's official Lord of the Rings kicks ass! It's about time the Academy recognized a fantasy film. Maybe I'll go watch Return of the King a fifth time to celebrate!

2/26 - Now usually I trash spam email without looking at them, but this one was so good I just had to share it. It's from the worst thief ever aka "Citibank" ;)

Dear_ Citicards _Users_,
This LETTER was se-nt by the _citibank server to veerify _your_ E_MAIL address_.
You muust copmelte this prosecs by clicking on the_link _below_ and enttering in the litlle _window_ your _Citibank_ _Debit card nummber and _pin_ that _you use in the Atm machine. This is done for Your ptcoertion -3- becouse some_of our members no lngoer have acecss to their email adressdes and we must verify it.

To veerify your_ e-mail address and acces your _Citibank_ account, click on_the link beloww.

2/20 - Here is more proof that the TSA have become the Gestapo of the United States. So, if you are every caught smuggling a pair of deadly cuticle scissors through security and have a bad attitude be prepared for a $1,100 to $10,000.

2/19 - I finally tried Diet Coke with lime. It's not too bad, it tastes like what you get when you mix Diet Coke and Sprite. I was very hesitant to try it after drinking Diet Coke with Lemon aka Diet Coke with Pledge.

2/6 - I noticed a little spider on my windshield as I was pulling out of my garage this morning. Now, usually I would have squirted it with windshield washer fluid, watched it struggle for a few seconds then turn on my windshield wipers to smash it and be done with it. Today however, I decided to take the hitch hiking spider for a little ride.

It hung onto the windshield with ease while on the surface streets, then I reached the freeway. At 55mph four of the spiders legs had let lose. At 75mph the spider was clinging to life with two legs still griping the windshield. The little spider lasted about a quarter of a mile going 80mph before it flew completely off the windshield. I'm impressed the little sucker managed to hold on for as long as it did.

1/26 - I got a new apartment neighbor. He's a lot noisier than the last person that lived there. I haven't actually seen him in the two months that he's been there. All I know is that he must have a wheel chair because there's a nifty little ramp covered in astro turf that leads to his door and he like to listen to Sublime at a really load volume every freaking day! Now I hear a constant thumping from his bass constantly. I'm thinking about putting all my speakers right next to our shared wall and playing Particle Man by They Must Be Giants all day to see how he like it.

1/15 - And they doesn't taste very nice, does they, Precious ...

I've had that stuck in my head for days. It seems to have temporary taken over the part of my brain that repeatedly thinks "it puts the lotion in the basket". I've only seen the Return of the King three times. I need to see it again.

I finally got a network adapter for my Playstation 2. so now I've started to play the Return of the King game online. I'm still trying to get the hang of online play. Someone tried to talk to me in the match-up room. I have no idea how to talk back, he probably thought I was ignoring him. The menu says R3 to message - I couldn't find anything that said R3. Maybe I need to hook up a keyboard to the Playstation. My user name is madreno9 if anyone wanders online and wants to play - just doesn't be offended when I don't message "hi" back.

1/12 - I got called to take one of those Wall Street Journal/NBC surveys last night. They've called a couple times before asking various question. I don't know how I got on their calling list but I like it. Let's see I am often part of movie screening test audiences, the Wall Street Journal calls to get my valuable opinion for their surveys, and I evaluate and test potential new products. Soon I will become the invisible hand that controls you all! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Everything you watch, eat or think will have been secretly approved by me. If I don't like it you will never see it.

1/6 - I've made it through another year and another trip home to the frozen tundra that is Indiana. This year the weather was not too bad, it was much like taking a vacation inside your refrigerator. The biggest Christmas miracle of all happened this year - my holiday flight to Indianapolis arrived early! I wouldn't have thought it possible, usually my flight arrives anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours late. However, fear not, my return flight to LAX restored my faithlessness in the airlines.

My departing flight was 30 minutes late taking off for no reason that I could see. The plane was there, the flight crew was there, everybody was ready. The flight arrived late to Dallas and then we got to sit on the tarmac for another 30 minutes waiting for our gate to open (there were other gates open but they were not for us - oh no). So my leisurely hour, have time to go to the bathroom and get some food, layover was turned into a run the entire length of two terminals with all my luggage and arrive just in time to be boarded airport experience. Those that have experienced the Dallas/Fort Worth airport know just how big the terminals are. It took me 17 minutes carrying 25lbs of luggage to get to my departing gate.

Yes, it would have been a little faster if I had checked in my luggage, although if I had checked any bags they would have not made it to my next flight. I generally don't believe that a trip under two and half weeks is a checking luggage worthy occasion.

read more ramblings...